The Story So Far

Mar 28, 2009
(If you've read the Expanded Details thread, you already know everything in the first three paragraphs. If you've read the Ingame History of ULMF and the Internet as well, you'll already know everything in the first six paragraphs.)
Defend ULMF takes place on the Internet. The Internet contains basically anything that can be imagined, effectively like the internet is in real life. Less porn though. It is infinite in size and contains innumerous and varied creatures, which can generally be grouped into one of three categories – Fantasy, Modern, and Sci-Fi.

Modern cities – forums – rule a decent deal of the Internet, while Sci-Fi rules the vastness of space above it. Fantasy cultures take up the remaining portion of the habitable parts of the Internet, though they are distrusted due to generally being warlike and, well, backwards.

It’s important to note that the internet doesn’t follow the rules of reality; while most things are usually the same, sometimes you’ll find that, say, in one place it might be impossible to jump or knock over a knee-high fence, forcing you to find ways around all of them. In general, the Internet tends to act like similar to the world inside various forms of entertainment media; videogames, action movies, things like that.

On the internet, no faction rules – except the addbots. A long time ago they spread from the centre of the Internet, and haven’t stopped spreading since. The largest armies and most powerful weapons that could be brought against them failed to stop them, so most people have given up trying. Instead, they just migrate away – the addbots are slow after all, and there will always be more Internet to retreat to.

ULMF is one of many forums with a significant history. It’s an accepting and generally nice place; initially it was dedicated to one by the name of LineMarvel. However, he vanished when the forum was attacked by lurkers, led by one ‘Supermeme’. In the end, neither group won; the forum was blown up,and the ULMFers and lurkers remaining moved to a second forum at the edge of the addbots expansion. Their continued fighting was cut short by the bots, and they briefly worked together to create a portal and escape before they got slaughtered. The ULMFers made it out, but almost everyone thought the lurkers hadn’t been able to and died there.

The ULMFers in their third forum, also named ULMF in memory of what had been, had peace for a while. There were small fights with the neighbouring Toonpimp’s forum, but nothing big till bots started to appear and attack the forum. For a little while there was panic… and then it was realised that they weren’t the addbots, just the servants of an alien race called the Wraith that had recently come out of slumber. The Lurkers also resurfaced, and aided ULMF in their battles against the Wraith, though it cannot be truly told if the Lurkers are friends or enemies. The aliens were exterminated basically to a man, but they weren’t the main problem; Toonpimp had engineered their reawakening so that they would serve as a distraction, while he created a virus that would turn all it infected into loyal, mutant servants. His first test subject was Supermeme, the lurker leader that had attacked ULMF initially. He planned to seed it all over the Internet, which caused a group called the Brotherhood of Nod to pre-emptively attack him. The ULMFers, also wanting Toonpimp dead, took their best squad to attack his palace, aided by the Brotherhood of Nod and one of the Lurkers…

“So, where are we headed to, anyway?”
“Actually, Host, I don’t have a clue. But the driver knows, so it shouldn’t be a problem.” Siphon replies, as the Nod APC heads to the location of Toonpimp’s Palace. Its passenger compartment held ULMF’s specialist squad – what there was of it – as well as a large number of odd people out. The oddest of the lot was by far the humanoid, demonic reptile being watched with poorly veiled mistrust – and for good reason. He, Host, was a Lurker, and thusly a sworn enemy of the very forumers he rode with. Alongside them was their newest acquaintance, an as of yet largely unknown, but apparently military woman by the name of SinfulWolf. She had arrived on the Internet by drop-pod; everything before that was an unspoken question on the lips of all those present.
Next on the descending list of oddities was Shrike, though she would have been beaten out by Cross_Grave had he been present. Shrike was a woman that the ULMF team had earlier rescued, along with Grave, from the Wraith-controlled bots. Her psychic powers were no secret, though there were only hints toward her past. One such hint was the space fighter of a dead friend that she had repurposed for her own use.
The last female on the journey to assault Toonpimp’s sanctum was Copper. You would be forgiven for thinking her to be as normal as the other two – the signs of vampirism are slight and subtle. The vampire was one of the three ‘appointed’ ULMF special squad members in the transport, but to an extent all of them were probably able to be considered part of the group; the squad had a supernatural tendency to draw suitable specials to it, who then end up becoming members.

The second last, and second highest ranking in the transport was Siphon. Previously a wraith, and a longstanding member of the forum, Siphon had not really known about his species till they attacked the forum. Nor did he have long to get to know them; even before they were annihilated, Siphon had become infected with a version of Toonpimp’s virus that changed him to such an extent, he could no longer really be considered the same species. Looking more human than he had before (oddly enough), the virus-infected Siphon fought for his sanity against its mind altering effects, and had eventually won… at least for the time being. As a short test by the Brotherhood of Nod had discovered, the mutagen would act to try and ‘improve’ him whenever he became injured; unfortunately the virus wasn’t perfect, and the mutations were unstable (as mutations were prone to be). While he was alright at the moment, his state was volatile.

Next to the biological weapon was his technological counterpart, and direct superior; their squad leader Burrito. Other than the skin covering him, the only non-mechanical aspect to the man was his brain. The rest was nothing more than bolts and servos; metal and engines. He had led the squad for a while, and this was the first serious military campaign he had led them in; as much as he had a tendency for clichéd heroics, he had kept them alive so far.

Host was about to start up a conversation, but was incredibly rudely interrupted by the APC being struck be something and flipped onto its roof. Instead of a conversation starter, the words out of Host’s mouth were “What the – flying – FUCK-”, largely lost in the sound of everyone else voicing similar remarks, ranging from Siphon’s “Oh SHI-“, to Shrike’s “Woah-oof!”, to Sinful’s simple and explicit “FUCK!”. With a few groans, the group got to their feet… on the ceiling. No one was screaming, so that ought to be a good sign.
“Everyone alright? ” Burrito asked.
“Peachy.”Comes Copper’s voice as she stands up. “Who have I been lying with?” She asks, with intentional suggestiveness, and Shrike stifles a laugh as she sits up. “That would be me, dear.”
“What hit us?” Siphon asks, standing himself as a cut on his head heals.

“Get out here, you whelps! You’re in need of crushing!” shouts a familiar, deep voice from outside, answering Siphon’s question. “The future god of the world demands that you die!”

“Alright, what the hell is that?” Asks Sinful, while Siphon mutters “Oh you’ve got to be kidding. Looks like Toonpimp is going all out in stoping us.” Copper takes up the duty of answering her question. “That is Supermeme, or it was at one point. And it’s about to be dead.” Siphon clears up the rest of the situation; “He was an enemy of ULMF, and we beat him… but he seems to have been brought back using the same virus as me.”
“Alright…”begins Shrike, “we need a plan. We should probably get out of here before he-”
“SUPERMEME!” came the hammy voice of Burrito from outside the transport, prompting everyone to notice his disappearance. “Well I guess that’s decided our course of action…” Shrike mutters, the group leaving the transport.
“Your powers of deduction are uncanny, Burrito.” Copper informs him when he comes into view, confronting the gargantuan, solid-black humanoid with an outstretched, pointing finger. The cyborg chooses to ignore the quip, and instead converses with the monstrosity.
“What do you think you’re doing? Sure, attacking innocents is something in your nature, but working for Toonpimp!? I’ve fought you enough to know that working for others isn’t something you would stoop to!”
“Do you really want to know!?” asks the monstrosity.
“Well I suppose it will give me more time to thi-” Shrike says quietly, before being cut off with
“Then I’ll TELL you!” from Supermeme, ignoring her and going along with the standard response in the heat of the moment.
“Certainly, I was killed I the battle for your forum… but I am the great Supermeme, and can never be destroyed! Toonpimp saw my potential to grow even more powerful than I had been, and reanimated my corpse with his virus, not knowing that my consciousness was still intact, waiting for a body to use.”
Says the beast, with an annoying air of self-assurance. “But the virus was unstable, and in time, this body would degenerate into a worthless lump. But Toonpimp is perfecting the virus, and its perfect form will render the both of us immortal. We will be as gods, together! Rulers of an army of mutant slaves!”
“I won’t let that happen, Supermeme.” Burrito responds. “We will stop both of you before you have the chance!”
The gargantuan creature just laughs in response, a deep, powerful sound. “Your group could hardly beat only me last time. What chance does a mortal like you stand against me now, let alone a creator like Toonpimp? No, now you all DIE.”
A large fist crashed down where Burrito had been standing, the tin can more than fast enough to get out of the way before it connected. The battle most definitively begun, several guns and at least one pair of claws were suddenly bared. But there was at least one pair of guns and claws that was conspicuously absent, as Sinful made apparent; “Hold on a minute…” she said under her breath, “…Where’d the other guy go? The reptile?” and indeed, none had seen Host since the transport rolled…

----------------------------------------------------------------------------Meanwhile ------------------------------------------
Host got to his feet with a groan. He had been travelling to Toonpimp’s palace with some of Burrito’s squad, the transport got flipped by something, and…
…and he’d, instinctively and unintentionally, activated the protective system he had added to his body, which turned off the stabiliser counteracting the effects of the many Pocket Dimension entrances he had sewn onto the underside of his scales, thusly causing a spontaneous uncontrollable spatial dislocation…
…or to a more common man, he teleported the hell out of there before the transport blew up around him.
Of course, due to the random nature of such events, he had rather no idea where he had teleported to. He was inside, in an empty corridor, intricately carved from what may very well be a single, monolithic piece of Emerald. Keen ears picked out the sounds of a battle outside, and he followed them, beginning to form several unfortunate ideas as to where he had ended up. Oh, fuck me. I’m in the middle of another Vahnatai spire. He was more than careful about his progress, listening for footsteps and carefully trying to find traps in the mass of reflective green around him… both of which proved totally unnecessary, as the inhabitants were apparently all out fighting their battle, and did not seem to have put any obstructions in their paths. Either they were quite confident of victory, or this battle was not all that important to them…

After a while of walking the overly large and extravagant structure, Host arrived at an arch leading into a courtyard. He had been hanging back and taking his time not just for his own safety, but because it was more than likely that the battle had nothing to do with him, and either side, should he encounter them, would not react well to the presence of an unexpected third party. It was only when he reached the courtyard that he realised his mistake. From here, the weapons being used did not only include the explosive bursts or firearms, but also the low hum of laser weaponry on the attacking side, and, far more importantly, the clanking of machines and gurgles of mutated bioweapons on the defending side… by sheer chance, he had been teleported into Toonpimp’s palace, and without any backup or means of escape.

Host mentally slapped himself as he walked back inside. Looks like it isn’t a Vahnatai spire after all. If I had hurried, I could have crippled practically half their army’s supplies by now – a massive explosion threw him to the floor. Chunks of large debris pelted the arch behind him as he got to his feet, largely unscathed – just cuts and bruises. Unfortunately, one of Toonpimp’s human skinned bots rounded the corner at the end of the corridor well before he had the chance to hide himself. He grimaced internally. He really wasn’t designed to deal with these armoured machines; sure, bullets would kill it eventually, but he’d be a bloody pile of bullet holes well before it did. He needed to stop it from shooting at him, and keep it off balance…

Host and the bot weren’t that far apart. Even as he began to run toward it, his gut gave him a brief estimation of the time it would take him to reach it at a run, against the time it would take the construct to turn and open fire. The estimation was not favourable, but it still beat standing and shooting at it. He dashed. The bot turned toward him, aiming. 10 meters. 5 meters, 2 meters – with the bot’s assault rifle all but pressed against Host, it fired the beginning of a burst into the charging demon before being barrelled over. Landing on the enemy, Host immediately kicked its weapon away. Getting his guns out in these close quarters would just give it a chance to snatch them away, so he instead began smashing its head against the floor, tearing the faux human skin and splattering blood around, but doing no noticeable damage to the machine underneath. He had no easy way to outright destroy it, but this was far from the first bot the Lurker had had the pleasure of encountering. If he could just break the right joint or dislodge the right component…

He didn’t get very far before being grabbed and thrown off by its impressive mechanical strength; in a direct physical confrontation, the bot had him beat. However, Host got up as soon as hitting the ground - while, as he had expected, the bot was not so agile. Host kicked it flat in the face as it tried to get up, rolling it onto its back. With the machine prone again, he began to stomp its head into the ground; that was where the most vital components always were in these things… His assault only managed to dent the exposed metal skull somewhat before the bot lunged with an arm, grabbed the leg Host was standing on, and pulled it out from under him. It even managed to punch the demon in the side as he tried to stand, meat and scale bending obscenely around a flesh covered fist of iron. With a pissed off grimace, Host changed his priorities and smashed his elbow against its head. There is a muffled, nearly inaudible snap as something in the machine breaks, and it finally stops moving. Host stands, breathing audibly, giving it a few moments... bots had a bad tendency of getting up and shooting you when they looked to have been broken.

He used the time to take stock. Three gunshot wounds to the stomach, bullets still inside.Broken rib. Muzzle-flash burns. All within my ability to survive and regenerate.

Certain that the bot would not be getting back up, Host proceeded back into the palace. He had to be quick; the explosion that had earlier knocked him from his feet was the outer wall being destroyed; the battle was coming closer, and Toonpimp’s forces were getting closer to his location to defend it – he would not have long before the battle would be upon him.

-----------------------------------------------Back to the fight with Supermeme -----------------------------------------
A few small metal rounds thunked into the unmissable target of Supermeme’s body, which created several very flat bullets. Copper ducked under an oversized hand, scraping claws along Supermeme’s side, which had about the same effect as the bullets, only this time causing him to laugh uproariously. A nigh impenetrable foe was facing them… and Shrike knew she had the perfect solution to it. Or rather, would have had the perfect solution to it. The creature that Supermeme had become moved with stunning speed towards her, grabbing the psychic before she had a chance to respond, and before anyone else could have reached her to save her.

Raising the girl in his oversized hand, Supermeme taunts the ULMFers and assorted allies. ”Toonpimp told me who here actually had a hope of hurting me, little girl. If you try something, we’ll see how well you can cut me while I’m crushing your lungs. And what are all of you going to do now? Your laser will vaporise my captive, Burrito.” The cyborg grimaces and harmlessly dissipates the charge he had been building. Taking the upsized mutant out with his beam of energy had pretty much been the whole game plan…
“Fire your puny bullets at me and you risk OOF!” a charging Siphon interrupted Supermeme by bowling his fellow mutant over. “What the hell?! I have a hostage!”
“Doesn’t mean I can’t beat the tar out of you.” Siphon responded simply, throwing an elbow to the mutant’s head that Supermeme barely blocked.
“You… mistake, you are inferior to me! How can you hope to challenge your genetic superior!?”
Siphon smiles to himself. “You really don’t get it, do you? I plan to challenge my genetic superior, because while you may be stronger than me…. I can use both my hands to fight with.”

ULMF’s genetic weapon waited for realisation to slowly creep its way into Supermeme’s features.
Then he started throwing punches.
Last edited:
Mar 28, 2009
Re: The Downfall of Toonpimp (End of the plot remaining from DULMF (NEEDS TO BE REVIS

A pair walked from the tree-line and back into the Ork camp. One was an ork, and a caster of their ‘magic’; the other was, for lack of a better term, human. Until recently ‘human’ would have done perfectly well for the darkness-user, but then Cross_Grave had gotten himself mixed up in something a bit worse, and now was more darkness creature than user. He had come here to gain the insight of a creature whose powers were similar to what he had become – the ork whom he had just finished speaking with. His method of transport and direction to the camp had been a lurker of wildly varying personality who was currently… dancing around in the middle of the Ork camp. To a loose definition of dancing, anyway; it was fairly meandering and unco-ordinated, and the orks found it funny enough to have kept from killing the nutty armoured guy.

Nox and the orks turned their heads to notice Grave and the weirdboy approaching. Gorgutz, the warboss of the camp, spoke to the other ork, and shortly the two orks looked very pleased, as if they were in some sort of harmony - apparently, Grave had succeeded in completing his task. Gorgutz stopped in front of the orks around Nox, which quickly formed a line - or at least something orks accepted as a line. "Now dis is a propa WAAAGH!!! We got a weirdboy now! Get the wartrukkz ready, we goin' look for a fight!" The warboss turned his head and noticed Nox. "Oh, an' humie said he ain't needin' ya anymore, scrap. Lugnut! Get 'im!" Gorgutz didn't have to repeat - the Mek and his subordinates quickly surrounded Nox, preparing their weapons.

What?!” came the half angry shout of Nox in response, which, like everything he had been saying recently, was undercut with mirth, only all the more eerie for the lack of any apparent reason for it. “You mean I could have been playing with the greenskins all this time, and you didn’t let me know? Boy… I’ll get you for this, hehhee…!” he finishes with a sick giggle as the darkling’s new companion teleports Grave from the area.

The Lurker faces the group of Orks menacing him with an expressionless mask… if only because he was wearing a metal, expressionless mask as part of his armour. “Quelest le temps, M. Xellor ?*” he lyrically intones, and chuckles quietly.
HEURE DU DÎNER!” He roars, slamming a hand into the ground and lighting up the clock-shaped rune he had ‘danced’ into the dirt with blue energy. A moment later, his other hand shoots into the air, lighting up a second rune above him… what had he done, made it with air currents? …Nevertheless, both elaborate clock- faces start to tick. Suddenly, the orks surrounding the Lurker found everything was moving quite a bit faster around them…

(*All French in this game is provided by We wish to advise that you should not confuse this for actual things that would necessarily be said by a speaker of French, who was not also retarded. Thank you)

Nox didn’t give them time to make any funny, slowed-down, typically orkish remarks. When he stood up, in front of his open palm was a large minute hand, as would be seen on the face of a clock. He aimed at an ork which was moving to activate a personal teleporter, and with a puff of blue energy against Nox, the clock-hand shot off at incredible speed. It struck the ork with all the force and destruction of an artillery round, blowing the creature into a few pieces and throwing dirt everywhere. Some of the orks very slowly reached for shootas. Nox giggled manically and called up another clock-hand; this one he held. With superhuman speed, he cut into the slowed orks, laughing all the while.

Not all his foes were slowed, however. An oversized bullet smashed up part of his arm armour; the offending ork who had fired it wound up impaled on the Xelor’s ‘sword’. Nox giggled up to the point where the ork happily punched him in the face, minute-hand still through its gut. The retaliation the smaller humanoid gave to the greenskin was swift. Grabbing it by the neck, the lurker started to siphon some blue energy out of the creature, and after a few seconds of struggle and being used as a meat shield, it fell limp. More Orks came to gleefully join the fray, and more orks died – but Nox was far from winning. A lucky blow from an axe of an ork who had not been slowed by his glyphs practically tore off his chest plate, which hung on by a few wires. The clockwork underneath sped up as the time-manipulator put another spell of haste on himself, then sucked the life out of the ork who had hit him, as he had several previous. One of his eyes was cracked; the other had broken. The insanity that possessed him earlier, after being struck by an electric bolt from some malfunctioning machinery in the battle with the wraith, was passing with each ork he drained. Finally, he was sane enough to know when he couldn’t win a battle. With a loud curse at the orkish force whose numbers he had put a dent in, the Xelor instantly vanished, teleported off to some other location.

----------------------------------------Back to the Fight against Supermeme--------------------------------------------

Supermeme reeled as Siphon’s fists struck more blows against his nigh-invulnerable skin. He swatted the lesser mutation away, but his speed meant that the once-Wraith’s punches were back moments later, nearly flooring him if probably not actually doing any damage. Shrike had begun to cut the humanoid monstrosity with psychic attacks, and had been stopped before doing any real damage by a painful squeeze. “FUCK THIS!” Supermeme finally yells angrily, immediately closing his hand on Shrike. Her ribs snapped, stabbing through the wall of her lungs and filling them with blood; her shoulders dislocated, her arms broke, her pelvic bone cracked in half. She retained consciousness long enough to feel herself hit the ground after Supermeme threw her, the pain of the impact causing her to black out. Supermeme, both his hands open, moved to punch Siphon. The smaller mutant barely moved out of the way – and was rammed by Supermeme’s other closed fist, causing him to fly several meters. The humanoid was on him again in moments, knocking him down as he got up and slamming a fist into his prone form. Only the strength from Siphon’s own viral infection stopped him from being turned into chunky salsa, and he had certainly broken something.

Supermeme did not manage to land another punch, however. An odd sound alerted him to something to his left – he was barely able to raise his arms in instinct as an intense beam of energy from Burrito’s mouth slammed into him, engulfing him in bright, lightly blue light, Siphon just barely on the edge of the attack.

Unfortunately, when the light ended, a smoking Supermeme was still left standing there. The skin on his arms appeared to have partially melted, but he was otherwise fine. With a dark look on his pitch black, featureless features, the raging god-wannabe stormed over to Burrito… and was stopped short as he started to sink into the ground. The place beneath him had become nothing but shadow… and was crawling up his body. Walking up to him, the ork who had teleported him here by his side, was Grave.

“DAMN YOU!” cries Supermeme in panic, as he sinks into the darkness of a realm of shadow. “I AM UNSTOPPABLE!”
“I’d say you look pretty stoped to me.” Grave responds with a cold smile. “You’re falling into a realm of darkness. We’ll see how unstoppable you are there, shithead. You should consider yourself honoured I’m bothering to waste this ability on you. I can’t do this very often, you know...”

“NO!” cries the monster in fury, struggling as the darkness overtakes his waist. The rest of the group watch, as for a moment it looks like they may have stopped Supermeme… and then suddenly, on Supermeme’s head is a lean man in a fairly nice suit, with a cane, and a far less nice expression. ‘Man’ could only be applied to him in a loose sense of the word; he was a humanoid rabbit… and psychotically menacing. He was only there for the briefest of seconds before both he, and the giant underneath him vanished, the darkness that had been climbing Supermeme falling in on itself as Grave’s spell collapses. A few shots are fired in their general direction. Unsurprisingly, they all fail to hit anything.

“FUCK!” cries an enraged Grave, summing up the situation nicely.

“Damnit- Shrike.” Siphon curses, recollecting himself and rushing to the side of the badly crushed psychic. “She needs to get to a hospital, now!”
“Do it!” Burrito responds without a moment of hesitation. “Get her back to the forum through the nearest hyperlink!”
“Toonpimp’s old forum, it’s close to here!” Copper provides, before Siphon could even ask. With only the quickest look of thanks, he picked up Shrike’s broken body and ran as fast as he dared with the mortally wounded woman in his arms.

“…Okay, so what do we do?” Grave asked, finally breaking the tension.
“Well, we still need to get to Toonpimp’s palace... So see if you can wake the driver, and then help me flip the transport.”
“Yes, sir…” Responded the darkling rather unhappily. He had been hoping to get into the midst of battle immediately after re-joining the rest of the group, and was more than a little disappointed that there wasn’t anything present to kill yet.
“Good to have you back with us, Grave.” Responds Burrito, half amused at the darkling’s conduct, half terribly worried for Shrike…


His mutated legs adapting to take the brunt of the impact of running at his accelerated speed, Siphon quickly approached the bombed out ruin of Toonpimp’s old forum. His mind only focused on one goal, he dashed through the deserted ruins and in as close to a direct line as possible towards where he remembered the hyperlink console from his last visit. He imputed the code for ULMF as quickly as holding his charge’s body would allow, immediately going through the link with her.

The desolate forum was left in silence. Had Siphon taken his time, Shrike may well have died. However, he may have also noticed the small, rather intricate foreign device on the underside of the terminal… a device that a shady looking man slowly walked up to and removed. “How fortuitous that the quarry should come to us…” he spoke, apparently to himself, as he brought up the last address recorded in the bug. The man’s eyes flash purple, lighting up ULMF’s address on the bug’s display, and his voice warps with the voice of another creature entirely. “And to show us where it retreats to, at that.

An ULMF soldier was overseeing the link, leaning against the wall inside the fortified building containing the link point when Siphon came through. Someone entering through the link, pushed out of the green tunnel of polygons it creates was not unusual, but the appearance of a battered mutant and an even more battered woman in his arms merited the shocked look he gave.
“Do you have a vehicle nearby?” Siphon interjected before he could get a question out.
‘Uh, yeah!”
“Lead me to it.” Siphon dictates, and the soldier complies. “This way.”
“I’m leaving her in your care; get her to a hospital immediately.” Siphon dictates as they walk.
“What about you?” the soldier asks, easily taking in his battered state.
“I’m fine.” Siphon lies as they reach the soldier’s truck; after being pointed out, Siphon opens a door and places Shrike inside. Before he can stand up, the truthlessness of his previous assertion is confirmed when he almost falls over, bracing himself on the side of the car, his other hand holding himself with a groan. It isn’t the only sound he makes, either. Flesh parts, and bone twists as a small ivory spike grows out of his upper arm.
“Siphon, you need to get to a hospital more than she does!” The mutant just shakes his head.
“Nothing they have can help me. This is being caused by a mutagen I was infected with some time ago, which is slowly twisting my body and mind. It is designed to mutate the victim as needed, as well as destroy their mind. It must have been about a day ago that I was first infected, and fought with the mind altering effects. I and the group I travel with were in a hive at the time, and w-”
“Okay! Okay, I get it! I don’t need your life story - if there isn’t anything here that can help then hurry up and find something to fix yourself!”
“…Yes… Yes, right, sorry.” Siphon says, heading back to the link. He turns briefly to add one last thing before passing through the hole in reality heading back to Toonpimp’s old forum. “If it helps, you can tell the doctors she’s been crushed in a hand about as large as she is!”
Then he is gone, running back to the location of the transport, nobody on Toonpimp’s forum’s side of the link there to worry him.

“Siphon! How is she?” Burrito called as his second in command entered hearing distance, racing back towards the group on the horizon. They had flipped the Nod transport upright, its driver shaken, but still in one piece.
“She’s been sent to a hospital; I’m no doctor but I think they’re going to be able to fix her.” Siphon responds as he reaches the group, only somewhat winded from his excessively long sprint.

“Siphon, your face…” Burrito informs him, and Siphon brushes a hand over features that had become quite… warped. It was as if someone had stuck their finger into his cheek and swirled their finger around. And it was far from the only modification; there was still a spike of bone on his right shoulder, and a disconcerting lump of twisted growth around his left wrist.
“You look like you’ve been manhandled by a drunken Tzimisce.” Copper informs him, her humour only partially masking her concern.
“…I will be fine. Nod created a specialised immunorepressant to lower the speed of the changes; this isn’t a threat to my life. But my mind could still fall prey to the virus’ effects, turning me into another of Toonpimp’s mutants. I have said it earlier and I will say it again; if it looks like”
“I am going to turn on you, I want you to kill me on the spot.” Grave finishes with him. “And like I said before, I’ll be the first one at your throat. You don’t need to worry.” Siphon nods appreciatively.

“So, does anybody know where Host ended up?” Burrito asks, exasperated at everything managing to go wrong.
“I haven’t seen him since the big guy showed up. I don’t think he ever left the transport.” Informs Sinful. She may have only been with them for a short time, but she could recognise which one Host was. The demonic reptile was fairly conspicuous.
Copper looks derisive. “So he either chickened out when he saw Supermeme, or he hoped his former boss would squish us and left him to do his work. “
“Those aren’t the only possibilities…” Burrito adds, but it was half-hearted; it certainly seemed that, at the very best, the Lurker had willingly left them to fend for themselves. Of course, he wasn’t actually a part of the team yet, but Supermeme was as much his problem as theirs.

“Whoa, back up. Host was here? And you didn’t beat the snot out of him!?” comes Grave’s angry interjection.

The Nod soldier driving the transport interrupts the group. “Hey, could you continue it in the APC? I’ve got it working again and Toonpimp is aiming doomsday weapons at most of the internet…”
Burrito looks to the driver, seeming uncertain. “Siphon, you should head back to ULMF. There has to be some doctor there that can fix you up before the virus has a chance to eat your mind, or at least stop it from getting worse…” Copper gave him a look that echoed the sentiment.
His second in command just shook his head. “We both know there isn’t. I’m better off out here where I can help you, and where there is something powerful enough to stop me if I do turn.”
“Agreed.” Copper interjects. “I’m all for you not dying, but if there’s no help to be found back at ULMF, you should be where we can keep you safest… with us.” Safest for the people you’re around, was the implication she didn’t want to articulate.

“Alright, fair enough. Everybody in!” Burrito orders, and the group enters the Nod APC.
“…So?” Grave says, testily, after a moment. “Are you going to tell me what you were doing with that sonuvabitch?”
“The Lurkers are, momentarily, at peace with ULMF, at least until this business with Toonpimpis dealt with. Host is helping us hunt him.”
“That’s great. But it isn’t going to stop me giving him what he’s got coming to him.”
“Grave… can’t you at least wait until after we kill Toonpimp?” responds Burrito, some of the darkling’s annoyance beginning to rub off on him. Grave doesn’t provide him with an answer.

“…Why do you hate him, anyway?” Sinful throws into the silence that follows, almost totally out of the loop.
“Hah, why? He thought that a good way to ‘introduce yourself to friends’ was to take some of their people hostage, steal some of their technology, and put through severe pain the group that came to see what was wrong. So I’m going to return the introduction.”
“He sounds charming.” Is Sinful’s dry reply. “I want to punch him already.”

Host, his back to the wall as he snuck by a particularly large humanoid abomination, heading for the control panel for the Oroborous warheads, suddenly and inexplicably sneezed. With a humanoid grunt, the tyrant turned its head towards him. For several seconds, neither made a move. Quietly, Host spoke.
“…Well, damn.”

Some of the Nod forces that assaulted Toonpimp’s palace and survived would later tell tales of a large, green zombie, roaring furiously around the complex, with a smaller and vaguely demonic reptile sprinting for dear life away from it – and into the middle of any group of creatures he could find, including Nod soldiers, trying to throw it off his trail.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t talk about people behind their backs, or you might stop someone from saving the world!

---------------------------------------Back to your regularly scheduled programming-----------------------------

The journey to Toonpimp’s palace took a considerable deal of time, most of it passed in bringing people up to speed with events, and small-talk that failed to mask the fear underlying most of the people in the transport. This was not going to be easy, and almost, if not none of the people present had any reservations that it would be.

Their actual point of arrival was outside the Palace itself, in the part of the mostly flat plains surrounding it that Nod had taken as their staging ground.The glorified fanatics had a few, very temporary looking structures set up, all adorned with the Nod logo. The green, unmissable target of the palace was still far enough away to make the din of combat nothing more than a quiet backdrop for any conversation that would take place. Kane himself, rather uncharacteristically, seemed to be at the staging ground, leading the force of troops assaulting the base. His soldiers had superior numbers and superior tactics… but Toompimp had time on his side. There was little way the soldiers could destroy the facility before Toonpimp’s viral weapons were ready for use. And that was where the ULMFers came in. Their squad could get to the heart of the palace while Toonpimp’s mutants were preoccupied with the Brotherhood's forces. After the ULMFers stopped the mutagen-filled missiles at their control centre, Toonpimp’s forces were as good as crushed.

The group of would-be heroes got out of the transport, and headed toward the charismatic leader of their current allies. Copper was noticeably and understandably hesitant. Kane gave off a pretty imposing aura that anyone could feel…but it was affecting her supernatural senses all the more. There was something off about him – although that could potentially be attributed to leading a psychotic cult dedicated to the worship, and abuse, of a hostile alien substance.

Ï am glad to see you came,” he begins rather simply, addressing Burrito. “I was beginning to worry that we would be without your support, commander.”

“Supermeme held us up, but we’re here now.” A few smallish red tanks with sleek designs rolled past the group, towards the firefight that was off in the distance. “Good, good. Although, I notice two of the people I had been expecting, Shrike and Host, are not present?”
“Shrike was hurt pretty badly by Supermeme, so we took her back to the forum. Host just kind of… vanished when we weren’t looking at him.” Kane raises an eyebrow. Despite the messiah not saying a word, Burrito gets the impression that Kane was disappointed in him. Burrito apologetically flinched. The prophet may not have had any position in ULMF’s command structure, but when He looks disappointed in you, there really is no other response.
“Well, I suppose you will have to work with who you have. Make no mistake, commander. Nod is helping you, but we will use no more than I think is necessary for you to win this battle. The forces that are present I consider acceptable losses, should you fail. We are in no immediate threat from this Toonpimp’s weapons; other groups would take care of him for us if we did not intervene. Were it not at the request – and to avenge the death of – one of my best engineers, Nod would not be here at all.” There is a sudden, muffled ‘Ooph! Bloody consoles…’ from Kane’s direction, and he turns to the left to look at… apparently nothing. A ghost of a smile plays across his expressive features*, and the group begins to notice that he had not moved a step from his current position in the whole time that they had been looking at him. As if to solidify the assumption, a ripple of static briefly passes through Kane – or, more accurately, Kane’s holographic projection. With a quick return to his former demeanour, he looks back to the ULMFers and addresses their leader again.
“I trust you will make this risk worth our exertion, commander.”

Burrito realised that he had been holding his breath, and lets it out – not that it was actually necessary for his cybernetic body to breathe. He was annoyed more than cowed; he had not needed the reminder, and from someone who was not part of his chain of command no less! Still, ULMF needed the Brotherhood now – Burrito, being the one to ask for them to be called in, was aware of that more than anybody. And he had lost the infernal diplomat he was supposed to be escorting… the cyborg had reason to believe that the Lurker wouldn’t do anything untoward, but his superiors were going to give him hell about it back at ULMF…

“Your role in this attack is simple,” Kane continued. “My soldiers have breached two of three wall layers into the palace grounds with artillery fire, and the third is soon to fall. Swarms of infected from the former palace-city are forcing us to hold our ground near the entrance. Arial assaults are being directly thwarted by a barrier Toonpimp has placed over the totality of the city.

The warheads’ control console is in the middle of the building, in the palace’s throne room. The warheads themselves are located in two bunkers at opposite sides of the inner city, but it will take even our best disposal teams half a day to figure out how to disarm a missile spawned by a creator; the circuitry in them, I am told, is always a nightmare. Instead, you will have to hack the console.

When the third wall falls, Nod will push to the breach and hold ground. It will be up to you to get inside; the palace has a number of entrances, and the most unguarded one is going to be opposite the side we are attacking from. Of course, to get to it, you will have to pass by the full force of Toonpimp’s soldiers.

Once inside, you will need to navigate to the control room and hack the console; brother Andrews, by the transport behind me, will be able to provide you with both the code and a virtual map of the structure. We presume that Toonpimp himself and his compatriot, Supermeme, will be located in the palace’s centre.

I suggest you see Andrews immediately. You have no more than three hours before the mutative missiles are guaranteed to be ready for use.” His dictation finished, Kane left no time for questions, the hologram ending immediately after.

“Well, I hope that you’re all ready.” Burrito informs them, dramatically turning to the group of soldiers he was currently responsible for.
“It looks like its go time."
Last edited:
Mar 28, 2009
Re: The Story So Far (Masochistically Long Version)


The group again found themselves in a transport, one that looked all but identical to the one they had left previously. They were at the line in the sand Nod had drawn; outside the APC, a diminishing number of infected rushed to their deaths on the bullets - and occasionally lasers – that the ground troops were peppering them with. A dozen of the sleek red tanks that had passed the group were arranged in a line, covering the totality of the collapsed section of the plain, concrete wall that had once encircled the palace city. The gaps between the tanks were filled in by Nod soldiers, two people thick, peppering the majority of the attackers without issue. A few vehicles that looked like nothing more than oversized kerosene canisters waited behind the soldiers, inactive for the moment. A few figures in black, powered armour waited with the machines, flamethrowers in hand. And over all of them towered the humanoid form of an avatar, a precarious but powerful symbol of the Brotherhood’s might, the discharge of its arm mounted beam cannon regularly drowning out all other noise as it pounded at the last layer of fortification between the palace and its attackers. Parts of it had already melted under the attack, just like the two walls before it, and the wall looked likely to fall at any moment. The bodies and charred ashes of mutants were strewn around the entrance, piled high and thick enough as to make a second floor. Someone with exceptional analytical ability could use the placement and depth of bodies to tell you that the flow of infected humans had slowed considerably since the first wall had been broken, then swelled again when the second wall had gone down, before finally lowering to its current, quite manageable pace of a couple of zombies every few seconds. The ULMFers, however, simply used their intuition that the enemy was currently thinning out.

The Brotherhood confessors shouted inspiring words from behind their meatshields, while the devout Black Hand affirmed their conviction to the Brotherhood of Nod with their voices.

We have sworn our lives in the service of the Brotherhood.
In Brotherhood, we are all equal.
Within our Brotherhood, we are united.
Within unity, we are victorious.
By attaining unity, we strive for peace.
With our lives, we sacrifice to bring peace to the Brotherhood.
Through our lives, we bring power to the Brotherhood.
With power, the Brotherhood brings peace.
Peace through power.
In the name of Kane.

The avatar fired a last beam of crimson energy at the defence keeping Nod from its opponent. A vital piece of the barrier superheated, collapsing the section into an easily surmountable pile of rubble. Before the slag was even remotely cooled, the undead could be seen shambling over the red-hot coals, silhouettes in the plaster that had been kicked up. Certainly, the third wall encircled the smallest part of the palace-city, and thusly would have the smallest number of infected inhabitants… but the first two circles had simply been the city, full of regular humans( and humanoids), suddenly and mercilessly exposed to the virus for the simple purpose of creating a distraction for their ruler. The innermost area of the palace-city contained his labs… and the worst monstrosities science could offer. Toonpimp had saved the best for last.

For a moment, like the moment of weightlessness at the apex of a jump, everything was silent. The world hung in the space in-between breaths, whispering doubts about their ability to survive the manoeuvre the soldiers were tasked with performing. But the silence was dispelled with the thunderous sound of one foot, simply being put in front of the other. Or, not so simply, given that said foot belonged to the several hundred ton avatar… but the effect was the same: the Black Hand, in their black suits, moved out from behind the normal soldiers, the flamethrower tanks with them. The typical infantry, and their mechanised support, were now the rear guard; fire would prove far more friendly than inaccurate bullets to their attacking advance. Behind even the rear guard, the avatar walked, but it did not need to be in the front to be effective – a fact it proved as its beam cannon smashed into the semi-obscured group of infected. As if signalled by the blast, they swarmed, running out towards Nod’s formation… that was new. They hadn’t been running before.
The Brotherhood’s men subconsciously tightened formation around the vehicle they were protecting – the transport containing the foreign soldiers who would be seeing the mission through, who held the lives of the Nod forces in their hands.

For ‘go time’, the ULMFer’s role in the move towards the palace was fairly boring. They sat and watched, as the formation got to the second gate, meeting the enemy shortly after. They watched the Black Hand and the tanks supporting them light the infected up without missing a step, the zombies’ flesh melting instantly in gouts of flame, their skeletons charred ash a moment later. Not a thing slowed them… until a large mutant, looking humanoid but with far more prominent lizard traits – claws, scales, fangs - burst through a cloud of flames, its body burning far too slowly for the liking of the soldiers it attacked. It knocked one of the Black Hand to the ground with a sweep of its claws… succeeding in winding the trooper, who then brought his flamethrower to the creature’s face. Finding the flavour of firey death not quite to its liking, the creature backed off in pain, and was then promptly incinerated by concentrated firepower. Three more of its kind decided to enter and shake things up – and immediately found red streams of energy where their torso’s used to be, the tanks in the rear making short work of them.

In the back, a Nod soldier noticed the movement of something to his left far too slowly. His cry of “Incoming on the *glurck*” was punctuated by the absurdly sharp tongue of a leaping humanoid going through his throat. The humanoid, with red skin and a transparent brain case, lived just long enough to savour its kill before being shredded by automatic fire. Some more of its kind were coming from the left and right, trying to catch the back of the Nod group unaware, but now that the troopers knew what to look for, they were having none of it.

Small arms fire from a decent number of bots peppered the front of the formation, the attackers obscured by the wall of fire that was simultaneously saving them from the zombies. Still, the weapons did next to nothing to the flame tanks, or their powered armour escorts. “Goddmanit,” one of them cursed as shots recoiled off of his armour. “”Bloody bots…!” “Hey, what are you getting worked up over?” replied another with a laugh. “The worst they can do is damage the targeting optics!” This, of course, was punctuated by the sound of glass shattering, and “Agh! My goggles?! Oh, son of a…”

There was a brief enough respite in the waves coming from in front that the constant wall of fire fell, allowing visibility of what was beyond. Standing out amidst the unusually red zombies was a giant of a man: it looked similar to the creature that had attacked the forum some time earlier. Its body was quite twisted by the mutation, his flesh black and deeply necrotic - but still capable of holding a rocket launcher. Before anyone had the chance to stop him, he displayed the weapon’s potency by firing on a flame tank. The Black Hand near it tried to dive out of the way, but when it went up like the oversized fuel-tanker it was, several of their rank went with it. A decent shot from one of the scorpion tanks made sure that the creature would not get a second shot. While the bioweapon itself seemed to reform after a beam of light incinerated its arm, the launcher itself was not so durable, left as nothing more than slag. The creature left it behind, heavy footfalls slowly heading to the awaiting Nod soldiers… who never got the chance to engage it, as the creature catastrophically failed to exist under the sudden and terrific light that was the Avatar’s beam cannon.

After a small horde of the reptilian attackers broke through the flames, got vaporised on lasers, and managed to do light damage to some of the Nod elite, the group was quite suddenly at their destination. A flame tank melted a group of bots standing in the wall-breach, and then the intact edges of the fortification were to the left and right of the group. The Brotherhood forces flipped positions again; the flame segment stopped and the more typical soldiers moved to the front. Their opposition was fierce; the relatively unarmoured soldiers took cover in rubble to avoid the fire of bots on the palace’s wall, firing at an approaching group of the more deadly infectees. The main battle tanks, of course, simply rolled over a couple of the undead and started to thin the bot snipers with bursts of laser fire. Unfortunately, there were a number of the large rocketeer infected that countered the tanks, blasting dents into their protective canopies. The avatar lit one of the monsters up, but a series of missiles from the enemy’s fortification forced it to back up - though little actual damage.

A very large, humanoid machine leapt from the emerald tower of the palace itself directly onto the wall. It was the size of a tank - smaller than the avatar by far, but still far more than any normal bot, with one large mechanical arm, and a smaller one which instead had a rapid rocket launcher attached above it. Emblazoned across part of the machine’s chest is “TALOS”. Judging by the ridiculous distance it had jumped moments previous, it was also more agile than Nod’s giant robot. The beam cannon blasted a section out of the wall the machine had been standing on, though the machine itself was long gone… jumping in an arc directly towards the avatar. The impact almost knocked the overly precarious Brotherhood machine over, though it managed to right itself – but the pounding of the TALOS unit at it was certainly not helping things. Acting quickly, a few little puffs of smoke rose from the nothing that would immediately after prove to be one of Nod’s stealth tanks. The TALOS’s systems detected a lock on just quickly enough for it to turn towards the swarm of small missiles as they impacted it, flinging it from the avatar with only minimal damage to the Nod walker. Holes the missiles blasted into TALOS' armour revealed disgustingly biological tentacles, which anchored themselves into the ground as it landed, slowing its skid.

It was then that the ULMFer’s transport stopped, as close as it could get to the palace without being in serious danger. The door to the transport opened, and a Nod soldier waved them on towards the nearest entrance to the palace, shouting for them to get moving over the gunfire around them. As they exited, the Nod troopers who had been in cover all simultaneously broke it, firing everything, trying to pin the enemies… or at the very least, draw their fire from the heroes of the hour.

The ULMFers ran, sticking to the wall, staying behind rubble where they could find it. When the rubble ran out, they dashed across the courtyard to the palace wall, under the range of any of its snipers. Unfortuantely, this put them perilously close to the main mass of zombies, one reaching a hand for Siphon, being stopped abruptly when Sinful blasted it into chunks with her shotgun, the name “Claire” scratched into the stock.

Copper and Grave had become the defacto front of the formation, bisecting zombie heads to clear a path, and doing it messily for the fun of it. Grave used a sword – an oddly mundane one, too, given his general otherworldly nature; Copper just tore them apart with vampric claws, with no need to fear the infected’s ability to spread their undeath. Siphon and Burrito were behind them, taking shots at anything dumb enough to get too close. Though it went unnoticed, Siphon occasionally had to stop, clutching at himself as his skin rippled and the mutation that had been put in motion some time earlier remade more of his body. Sinful took up the rear, sending a few more zombies back to their graves with her trusty shotgun.

Soon enough, the group entered the emerald palace… and they found it quite empty. The echoes of battle could still be heard raging outside, bouncing around the immense, solid green hall that the ULMFers found themselves in. Shaking himself of his awe at the structure, Burrito consulted the digital map of the palace Nod had uploaded to him. With a walk that quickly turned into a jog, he said back to his group, “This way.”, guiding them towards the control room. Unfortunately, while all the others moved to follow, Siphon stayed where he was.
“The infected…” he began slowly, his cheek bubbling and growing a large, red pustule. “I can feel them…” he looked up, his voice no longer sounding quite like his own. “This is a trap. There is an ambush along the path you need to take the reach my great lord Toonpimp’s throne room, and the controls…” Siphon seemed halfway unaware of what he had said, and not his expression left no doubt that he was not altogether there. In the pause after his declaration, he could be heard muttering “Hunt. Kill,” under his breath. Suddenly he stopped, with a look that indicated he had realised the mumbling was coming from him. Siphon looked at his feet for several moments… then raised his head, a look of conviction on his features. “I will buy you passage.” With that statement, he was gone, rushing off at speed only his mutant form could possess, down the path towards the control room. Burrito and Copper had only the chance to utter the briefest of pleas to him before they were too far away from him to hear.

As much as they hurried after him, an explosion rocked the building well before Siphon was found. And there wasn’t much of him to find… the hall they entered had a crater in the middle for a new centrepiece, bits of emerald strewn around the area. There were a small handful of bots and zombies in large enough chunks to feebly paw in the general direction of the group, but the rest of what looked to have been a sizable force, were now only so many gibs. To crush any but the barest of hopes, a few of said gibs strewn around were torn shreds of Siphon’s former trenchcoat.
The inaudible sounds of teeth clenching and knuckles whitening were almost deafening.
“…We need to stop the missiles.” Grave said finally, Sinful nodding agreement. As they began to walk further down the hall, not one to put emotions before duty, Copper followed. A few moments more, and Burrito did too, though still halfway between dazed and moping, his eyes occasionally flashing with a blue screen. None voiced the secondary concern that was on all their minds… with Siphon, they had someone able to go toe to toe with Supermeme and hold him off, leaving them with Toonpimp only to deal with. Now, the chance of them coming out of this fight on top was exceedingly slim, but there was no point in mentioning that; if they didn’t win, ULMF was doomed anyway, and there was little likelihood of deserting alive, not with Nod on their backs.
Mar 28, 2009
Re: The Story So Far (Masochistically Long Version)

It didn’t take them overly long to reach the centre of the emerald palace; apparently, other than that ambush, all Toopimp’s forces were being thrown against Nod – just as they had hoped. The control room was as open as a decently sized cavern, with a raised platform at the opposite end to the one the ULMFers entered from. On either side of it were two humanoids. On the right was Supermeme, immense and bulky, his literally featureless face watching the group enter. On the left was Toonpimp, lithe and a little short, cane in hand and suit over grey fur, managing to look dangerous despite being a humanoid rabbit.

He opened his mouth to speak, but instead only grunted as, with impossible speed, the lapine drew a sword from his cane-esque sheath, bringing it up to deflect a bullet fired at him. Having forcibly skipped the opening taunting that was typical to a formal hero-villain confrontation, Copper ran at the villainous bunny which had so far been responsible for the death of now two of her friends, firing further shots wildly as she did so. Grave and Sinful tried to keep up with her, but the vamp had a head start, giving her no support when the immense shadow that was Supermeme barrelled into her. Burrito, to his credit, had begun storing energy for his light-based weaponry the moment his two opponents entered into view. However, with Copper no longer annoying Toonpimp, and both his other allies trying to help the pinned corpse, he was an open target. Toonpimp’s excessive speed put him in front of the cyborg before his allies could do anything more than turn their heads. Toonpimp paused ever so briefly in front of Burrito, smiling a self-assured smile, before sheathing his sword down the ULMFer’s throat; the durable cyborg immediately drew out his own blade, but Toonpimp had jumped back before the katana had a hope of reaching him.

Grave began trying to draw up a portal to the realm of shadows, knowing that it was unlikely to work so soon after its last use, but realising the stiffness of their opposition. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to see if it would, one way or the other; Supermeme’s fist came down from above, utterly liquefying him before he could call it up. Little globs of used-to-be-Grave got splattered around, some sticking to the fist of his attacker. Copper jumped on the giant’s back, apparently stabbing uselessly at him, causing only a laugh… and then quickly a cry of agony from Supermeme as her fleshcrafting kicked in, pulling the meat away from the mutant’s bones as she grabbed it. The enemy of ULMF quickly put a stop to it, however, crushing her against him with a hand as if she was nothing more than an oversized bug. To add insult to the bone-crushing injury, his flesh even fitted itself to its usual position. The feel of buckshot against his head made Supermeme turn around, scratching his now itchy scalp. Sinful was saved from having to worry about the monster’s retaliation when Copper rammed his legs, her body already almost completely healed through her vampric abilities.

Toonpimp laughed quietly to Burrito as he dashed around the cyborg. Burrito managed to block a blow from in front, only for Toonpimp’s blade to cut through the skin on his back a moment later. Burrito had the robotic reflexes and reaction time needed to have a hope against the lapine creator, but Toonpimp still had one definitive advantage… the rabbit could seriously run. While running, he could strike from in front, and then be behind Burrito before the cyborg could catch him. Toonpimp’s sword cut into Burrito lightly, but repeatedly, without giving him the slightest opportunity to retaliate. Each chink of both combatant’s swords against each other was followed with a slick slice through some of the cyborg’s artificial skin; tearing a piece off of his thigh, his arm, his head… The ULMFer could take hits, but not quite as many as he was getting.

Forced to the ground as his opponent tore through an important servo, Burrito watched Copper fall into a very significant blood pool, enough stuffing finally beaten out of her to keep her down. Some of Sinful was just at the edge of his vision, and she hadn’t appeared to have fared any better. Toonpimp’s foot then comes into view at great speed, the kick rolling Burrito onto his back, giving him a chance to hear the first word Toonpimp had said all fight long as the cyborg’s energy ran out, and he slipped into unconsciousness.

Toonpimp hauled the damnably heavy shell of Burrito over his shoulder, leaping to the slightly elevated section at the back. At his touch, a panel on the wall opened up to reveal a keypad, and he keyed in a location. A whole section of wall lifted, and he tossed the excess scrap in; with a flash, Burrito was gone. Dusting his hands off, he turned back to the hall – and found an unexpected visitor had arrived. His zombie henchman was looking at the new arrival with vague recognition.
“It’s good to see you, Supermeme. Been quite some time since I’ve seen you in a single piece.” Said the reptilian stranger, black scales contrasting sharply with white shark-teeth, arranged in an ever-coy smile.
“…Oh, Host.” The mutant replied, no longer holding any interest in the demon now that he knew why he remembered him.
“Who’s this faggot?” Toonpimp asked with annoyance, wary of any unknown that cropped up at the crux of his evil scheme. It was, after all, when a plan was most likely to be thwarted.
“Just some lurker I used to own.” Was the reply, and Toonpimp’s decision as to the demon’s fate was similarly uncaring. “Kill him.”
“Wait!” Host cautioned. “I have important information that you will need to hear.” While speaking, he scanned around the hall, which prompted him to add a question. “…Wait, where is the cyborg?”

“Heh. I incinerated the little faggot like the trash he is.” Toonpimp said with a malicious smile, unable to resist a chance to boast. Host’s brow could be seen to furrow… if you had an electron microscope with which to look through, anyway.
“Supermeme, I must ask. Why are you working under Toonpimp?” Host asks, with what truly sounds like nothing more than simple curiosity.
“I do not work ‘under’ Toonpimp! I work with Toonpimp!” the mutant shouts, slamming the ground with his weaponised fists in juvenile annoyance. “He resurrected me, and we work together to make a virus that will give us immortality, without the decay caused by the current version of the virus. When it is complete, we will both be gods, as we were meant to be!”
“’and so shall the Ur be immortal’ still getting you down, is it?”
“What is he-” Toonpimp began to ask with annoyance, but Host cut him off.
“Still, it’s an understandable goal, but you don’t actually think Toonpimp is going to share power, do you?”
“Shut it!” the bunny shouts, while Supermeme replies. “Of course he will. Together, we are more powerful than anything the Net can throw at us! His Uroborus virus can cure the degeneration of my body, and will make me more powerful in the bargain!”

“You’ve got all of three seconds to start telling me what you think is so important, or I tear your fucking head off.” Toonpimp informs the reptile, his sword pointed towards Host’s neck.
“Fair enough. All of your Uroborous warheads have been tampered with.” Host said simply, a small smile hidden by his inhuman features. “If you activate the missiles now, they will immediately explode; the virus payloads will be incinerated, along with both of the silos.”

“You desperate piece of shit.” Toonpimp laughs, trying to ignore the cold feeling in the pit of his stomach. He moved to the control console for the plague warheads. They were ready to fire, and he planned to use them. “You actually think I’d be fucking dumb enough to KABOOM

The force of two missile silos exploding simultaneously knocked the three still-standing creatures in the palace to the ground. “FUCKKK!” Toonpimp cries, smashing a chunk out of the wall next to him. “YOU!” he yells furiously, getting to his feet.
“Supermeme!” Host quickly addresses, engaging in conversation with the mutant; Toonpimp could only watch, as the flighty, but irresistible force of narrative causality was momentarily preventing him from attacking someone in conversation. “It is true that you are more powerful with Toonpimp, but can you be so sure that he will not betray you?”
“Of course! He has done nothing suspicious to indicate otherwise!”
“Oh? Then, tell me this. Your virus, unstable though it may be, will still grant incredible strength. Correct?”
“The Uroborous virus, when perfected - which will happen ‘soon’, as he has told you - will cure the instability of your condition.”
“What’s your point?”
“If Uroborus could really fix the degeneration, why hasn’t Toonpimp infected himself with your virus, granting him increased strength? Since he could just fix the degeneration afterwards, he has nothing to worry about… unless he is lying.”
“Don’t just LISTEN to him, you idiot! He’s trying to trick you!”
Supermeme did not turn to look at his ally when Toonpimp ordered him to ignore the demon, and Host continued to try and worm into the mutant’s skull.
“The Uroborus virus, the ultimate virus, capable of making its infectees perfect, is ready to mutate everyone the Internet over – except for you, who needs it for eternal life… and to be able to take some of Toonpimp’s glory from him.”
“It won’t work on someone infected with your virus, Supermeme!” Toonpimp tries to counter.
“But it will apparently work on everyone infected with any other virus, ever. Funny, that.”
“STOP FUCKING LYING!” Host ignored him.
“One of us in this room is trying to feed you bullshit, Supermeme, and the other is trying to help. One person in this room has told you nothing but the truth since they entered - since you knew them, in fact. The other lied about what had happened to Burrito, not a minute ago.
Tell me, Ur-Troll. Which one of us is trying to troll you?”

There was silence, none of the three humanoids making a move. Supermeme had its head down, fists clenched. Finally, he stood, looking with what could only be described as a glare directly at Host. Toonpimp’s laugh was manic. “You didn’t actually think that you could win just by spitting blatant lies into my underling’s ear-“

With the sound of a mallet hitting an overly thick piece of meat, Toonpimp’s eyes bulge. If he had been expecting it, he may have been able to dodge the fist of his adjacent mutant companion slamming him against the wall behind him, his gut bursting a vivid smear of blood and intestinal tract onto it. The lower half of his ribcage shattered and splintered through the sagging skin that had previously been filled with his organs. As Supermeme’s fist was removed, he expelled bloodied vomit, falling to the ground; his spine was almost certainly shattered. His former ally loomed over him menacingly. “…Idiot…” he managed, his hand reaching into a pocket in his pants, pushing a button on an unseen controller. The controller had released the Uroborus virus inside the mutant… and Supermeme’s body dissolved so quickly that he barely had the chance to look terrified, before becoming nothing more than bubbling, black fluids at Toonpimp’s side.

Toonpimp looked into the eyes of the only humanoid left standing in the room, a look of smugness on Host’s inhuman excuse for a face.
Unfortunately, it was not yet over.
Host’s conceited look was wiped away the moment he saw Toonpimp’s mouth moving; he reached to get one of his guns, but too late – Toonpimp had started monologuing. Just like before, when Host had been talking with the now twice deceased Supermeme, he could not bring himself to aim his gun at the man who had been close to destroying a good deal of the Net… let alone pull the trigger.
“You think this is over?” Toonpimp hissed, ever so slowly rising to his feet. “This is only the beginning. You have no idea what is in store for you…”
Host was glad for the small pleasure of being able to roll his eyes at the blithely generic dialogue. Sometimes the narrative could be so strong that you couldn’t move even the slightest of muscles…
Despite what had to be several spine fractures, Toonpimp was able to stand, and even walk. Host couldn’t be sure if it was because he was a creator, more narrative causality at work, or both. “The damn fools of the Internet were blind enough to see their own flaws in my perfect creations.” He sidled along the wall toward the section where he had previously thrown Burrito - not that Host knew that. “But they will all see… You will all see… the truth. The Light. For I have plans within plans, and the conclusion of this first attempt is unimportant, for nothing can best, stop, flee or hide from the maelstrom that I will next unleash upon you all.”

“The only thing I don’t understand is how you even managed to scrape through this conquest alive. Nothing should have been able to disarm my missiles.”

Host grinned, unable to resist the flow of the narrative calling him to respond. It was like the catchiest song ever created, its listeners unable to keep from tapping their feet to its rhythm. “Don’t underestimate the power of the Lurker’s Keeper of Engineering, fluffykins. Or the usefulness of a remote bomb disposal robot - such as this one.” Host informed, pulling a treaded robot from under one of his scales, about half as big as the demon himself. There was absolutely no way that it could have physically fit under there, but the reality of the robot now on the floor of the main chamber was undeniable.

“Ha! Such cheap party tricks will not save you next time, scalefag! Not even the greatest dukes of all the hells could stand against my next, greatest creation.” Toonpimp had managed to amble to his secret escape chamber. While he spoke, he opened the panel, and keyed in the code to access the teleporter he had thrown Burrito into. Then he keyed in his destination, and another, final code, which the palace identified with an audible “Self destruct system activated.” His final words of parting as he stepped into the teleporter and disappeared in blue light were probably intended to be chilling, but mainly just managed to be odd.
“Prepare to become Buddha, faggot.”

Host wondered just how long the timer for the self destruct was as he moved over to the goo that had once been Cross_Grave… and which was currently twitching. He nudged globs of it back towards the centre with his foot, finally declaring “Alright, time to wake up, Grave. No lying around on the job.” After a few moments, the black gunk had begun to climb itself, shakily coalescing into a Grave-like form. It opened an eye.
“What…” the semi-Grave asked, not quite ‘all together’ yet.
“No time to explain. The place is going to blow up, and I can’t carry everybody. You want to get out of here with something resembling life, you’re going to have to start moving.” Host informed him, picking up Copper’s body. She was going to seriously need blood soon. Any vampire of her kind that was enough out of blood to stop moving was practically already dead. “Get Sinful.” He commanded simply, and Grave complied. He was beginning to recognise the voice of this demonic reptile, though he had yet to place where…

The pair ran from the main control room; there was no telling how much time Toonpimp might have set his palace to give them, as he had apparently deigned to install any means of observing the countdown. Grave was getting back his senses; he had at least enough of them to tell when his companion had stopped running for a few moments. He turned, and found the demon scraping slime off the floor. “Don’t stop, I’ll be there in but a moment!” was Host’s order – and it was when Grave realised just where he had heard his voice before: on the radio in the trenches, fighting the wraith; he was the one giving orders to the Lurkers, which made him the one Grave had a grudge against. “You’re Host.” The darkling remarked, distinctly not continuing as Host had told him. “That I am. And you’re Grave, and I’d be glad to talk to you once we aren’t resopncible for saving the life and unlife of two unconscious women – so, less admiring me, more running!” the demon said, having finished whatever he had been doing, bolting up to Grave’s location and past.

The pair and their cargo made it from the palace at the last possible moment, the fireball barely scorching the hair off their backs in a typically clichéd fashion. Rather than a heroes’ welcome, a number of guns were pointed around the pair as they lay on the ground, held by Nod soldiers. They were all pointed at Host, and for good reason – he was not part of the team that had entered, and thusly was suspect. They led him away to speak with Kane; Host reassured Grave that he would be fine… after all, he knew the Brotherhood’s messiah fairly well.

Grave and his unconscious charges went back to the forum. The response was bittersweet; they had won, but the enemy himself had escaped, and as Host had remotely informed them, was apparently planning something more. Burrito was MIA, presumed KIA. Siphon was undeniably KIA.

Copper, after her own recovery, spent the remaining time in an eerily silent vigil at Shrike's bedside. When the psychic finally recovered, it was to a wane smile on the vampire's lips. Doing things the forum's way had cost them too much and Toonpimp was still out there, something she wouldn't stand for. It was time, she informed her squadmate, to hunt her prey on her own terms.

In the two weeks that passed since the battle, the forum not only mourned their losses but welcomed new allies as well. A fully recovered Shrike decided to join the forum. Grave, not really having anywhere else to go, also stuck around, and grew to like the place, soon officially becoming a member. Sinful healed too, though what she did afterwards is, like most of the rest of her, currently unknown. And Host was occasionally seen relaying information to the high-ups at ULMF; while Toonpimp still lived, the alliance between ULMF and the Lurkers was still valid. What Toonpimp did in his time of rest, or if he even survived his injuries, was something everyone at ULMF was still unsure of. But they searched; high and low, near and far, the forumers using their every available resource to find the megalomaniac before he could bring about the horrible end he claimed to be preparing for the Internet…

(* A tribute to, and/or blatant rip off of, the Tiberium wars fanfiction.)
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