Comics by Shaenon II

Mad science has never been so cute!
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 Post subject: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:07 am 
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Chapter 1: Flint Striking Steel

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
"

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Madness.

It was enough to make the world shudder in fear.

Those that possessed the Spark took to the sky in wings of steel, and made mountains tremble and volcanoes erupt. They straddled the world, reinventing it and remaking it to their whims...

And then vanished. Gone was the insane cackle, and no more were bodies stitched together raised to the sky.

But time flows like a river, history always invariably repeats itself, and the work that men do lives on after them. You know, all those cliches.

And as such, it's no surprise that this ending implied the existence of a later beginning. This is that beginning. It should have started in a tavern. Most great stories start in taverns. Unfortunately, all the suitably dramatic ones were booked, and the second-rate ones were, well, second rate. No, this story began in a different place, and in a much different way...

It began with a lance of white-hot plasma tearing through the center of an apartment building, along a residential street of southern New York City. The building, smoldering and with bits now lit on fire, began to crumble to the ground, as people along the street began to run as far away from the incident as their legs could carry them. Local law enforcement rushed to the scene, identified the source of the threat, and immediately radioed for backup, well-aware that they were in over their heads. This was a job for the military, and it would only be a matter of time before they were called in to deal with the threat. But until then...

The source of the attack was a construct that resembled an enormous metallic spider, painted a fading color of blue, with several cannons of differing sizes mounted to the central spherical structure. At some past point one of the legs, towards the back of the machine, had been torn off, revealing a small rift in the construct's armor, exposing sparking wires and a murky blackness within. Another shot of plasma fired into a nearby house, which shuddered, nearly collapsing under the strain. A mechanical leg slammed down into a car, impaling it as the construct took a step forward down the street. Speakers mounted onto the thing's front began projecting a light, airy, tinny voice...

"Attention people of New York City. You may refer to me as Adonis, the Magnificent Mad. This city and everyone within it now belongs to me, and it is only a matter of time before your government acknowledges that. Mmmhmmhmmhmm... I would suggest that you all begin considering your role in my new society... the ugly, the revolting, and the disobedient will not be tolerated."

It wasn't a tavern. But it was the place and situation that Jack O'Callahan, Brian Johnson,
Ellie Nguyen, Anna Finate, William Strange, Bruce Eccleston, Jonathan Grey and Nicola Hunt found themselves in. Each individual had found themselves on this particular street, each for their own reasons, at this particular moment in time. Perhaps they lived there. Or perhaps they were just in the right place at the wrong time.

And thus, the insanity began...

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:44 pm 
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Brian woke up with a start, feeling his room shake.

What the... an Earthquake? We don't get Earthquakes here, do we?

He rubbed his bleary eyes, and sat up, the room still shaking, and the sounds of someone speaking over a megaphone in the distance came to him, distorted and unrecognisable.

Wonder what he's talking about...

He turned sideways, slipping his feet out of the bed, and into his fluffy duck slippers, you know, the ones with the duckbill and googly eyes?

Anyway, this done he yawns and rolls his shoulders, stands up, and walks to the front door, opening it with one hand over his mouth.

He looks up and down the street, and sees something bright up on the corner, about 600ft from his house, going down Arberter St. A flash of blinding white goes off as he curses and covers his eyes to shield them from the blast. This also has the simultaneous effect of waking him up properly.

Something was wrong, and his brain was frantically trying to get signals to his mouth.

Gah! A giant robot!

_________________
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:48 pm 
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Ellie Nguyen

An old asian woman was bowled over by one of the crowd fleeing before the robot's advance, nearly cracking her head on a nearby wall.

Muttering imprecations, she slowly got back to her feet. "Young punk... watch where you're going... didn't anyone ever tell you to be nice to old people... broke a hip, wouldn't that be the perfect cap to this day - "

She stared up, and up, and up. It really was a very big robot. She'd seen many things in her lifetime - this wasn't even the first time she'd seen an example of old Madboy tech - but it really was a hell of a size. It also wasn't what one expected to see in the middle of New York.

The old woman took cover in a nearby alley, behind the wall that had almost brained her. Essentially out of sight - though certainly not out of danger. She was just too curious for her own good, sometimes. Meddling old woman, right down to the bone.

"This is certainly the last time I vacation here."

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"Yeah.. well... bad things happen to people who kill their families with a hammer." -- Me, Myself & Irene


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:22 am 
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Anna actually almost fell. And she was leaning against a wall so that was pretty ridiculous. She looked at the Giant Spider and cracked her knuckles. Odd she came to New York to fight crime like.....actual crime. She wasn't sure what she could do to a giant spider. A metal one at that.

Well she knew what she had to do. She pulled out her cell phone and dialed "Yeah, Sheila, I need you here right now" She began running towards the spider "I know today was your day off, but believe me...I need help, thanks darling"

As she neared the spider she jumped and landed on the leg. Her gloves had small suction cups on them, a design she had thought up out of nowhere a few nights ago.

Uncaring of the movement of the dangerous spider she began to climb the spider.


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:47 am 
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Jack O'Callahan

Jack had been wandering in a grey fugue - out of his hotel room for the first time in days, thinking about nothing. He had to get out - the urn had arrived today, and he couldn't bear to look at it. He felt like it was looking back at him. He was trying to think about nothing in particular. He'd bought a hotdog from a street vendor. She'd never liked that sort of thing - her old microbiology professor had once detailed the various virii and bacteria that lived in such comestibles and -

His thought broke off as he watched the hot ball of plasma. He dropped the lukewarm tubular meat-snack to the dirty pavement, forgotten. He watched it go by, for the first time in days thinking about something other than his her - he still couldn't bear to think her name.

He ducked back between two buildings, only half-mindful of the danger as he looked up at it, awed. An actual mad, and a real working gearspider - a good example of the class, too. For some reason, that sort of design was a common one. So common, in fact, that the term gearspider had been coined by Konrad Schnepp in the sixties, after one of the earliest examples of the craft created by a Victorian Mad...

But here he was, remniscing when he had an actual invention of the craft - it was incredibly, even if the driver was obviously a bit of an ass. But still, a Mad! Assuming, of course, he hadn't just highjacked the thing from some old depot and claimed to be a mad - but no, someone like that wouldn't be able to pilot such a thing without years of research... It was simply incredible, like a palentologist confronted with a real live dinosaur. Not counting, of course, those poor fools who were caught on Professor Tyrannus' Island of Terror back in '22, but that didn't really count, given that they were reproduction dinosaurs bred with a taste for human flesh...

He felt his head begin to throb, and massaged his temples. His mouth tasted ozone... must be the excitement, or else just exhaustion catching up with him. No, not that - he was far too excited to be exhausted. He had to learn more. So much to learn...


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:31 pm 
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As Anna grabbed onto one of the back legs of the creature, several cameras mounted at various points on the Gearspider's exterior turned, detecting her movement, and focused on her. The man's voice came again. "Oh, how simply horrid..." the Gearspider paused it's forward locomotion, as the leg she was gripping onto lifted up and began shaking back and forth. "A mosquito's latched onto me. Fly away, ugly insect, before I brush you off on my own..." The leg began to shake faster, piercing the ground in front of it and a rather large car behind it as it shook, with Anna clinging on for her life. "It'd be a mercy to activate the electroshock function, but I haven't figured out how to activate it yet... still, you have only a matter of moments left before I do, garish bug."

It was at this point that the Police forces present at the scene had come to the conclusion that they simply could not handle this situation on their own, and thus began to radio for military support to come as soon as it possibly could. The remaining officers that didn't immediately pull themselves out began to focus on evacuating all civilians as fast as possible.

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:33 pm 
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William Strange

William had been walking to the subway station, thermos of coffee in one hand and Wall Street Journal in the other, like any other day when the giant mechanical spider attacked. To be honest, he'd been so engrossed in reading his paper that William didn't even notice the spider until a building not far away collapsed and the maniac pilot began blathering on his loudspeakers. Stunned, William merely looked up at the mechanical beast with his jaw hanging open.

It didn't take long for William to regain his composure. He'd been famous at law school for his ability to stay cool under fire and now wasn't the time to panic. No...there was something about this spider. There had to be something about this that William could spin to his advantage.

Ducking into an alley, William stuffs his thermos and paper into his laptop bag and pulls his Blackberry out of a coat pocket. He dials his secretary, checking around to make sure there were no buildings about to collapse on his head.

Good morning Mr. Strange, how are you?
I'm just fine Alice. I just wanted to let you know that I got stuck downtown on my commute. I'll be late to the office. Oh, and if you could check the local news stations for me and tape any coverage they may have about a giant mechanical spider rampaging around Manhattan that would be excellent.
Uh...sure Mr. Strange. Be careful.
Will do, Alice.
*click*

Dashing out of the alley, William wields his Blackberry like a safari hunter may wield an elephant gun, snapping as many pictures as he can of the mechanical beast and the destruction it is causing.


Last edited by Baerdog7 on Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:49 pm 
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Brian screamed a girly scream, and slammed his front door shut, leaning against it in terror.

He spoke in a whisper, as if trying to deny what he now knew.

The MADs are back! We're all gonna die!

Calm down Brian, calm down. What do I have to do now? There's always something to do...

I know!

I've got to get out of here before that thing crushes my house and me in it!


Spurred into action by this new stream of thought, he went to the door of the garage, and tried to reef it open, but to no avail. Yelling in anger and fear at the door, he lashed out with his foot.

Suddenly, quietly, he heard a voice in the dark, coming from nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

Then, a pinpoint of light in the darkness, as if someone was smoking a cigarette.

It seems I have no choice now. I was hoping to have more time, but events lead me to drastic actions before they are full grown.

What? Who... who's there?

*Sigh* My name is John Bryson, and I am what you should always have been, what you could have been, you pathetic failure of a human being.

A man stepped forward then, a smile on his face and a cigarette in hand. Brian gasped, and saw that this man was almost identical to himself; same height, same hair, same eyes, same build. But where they differed was in their bearing, the way that this "John Bryson" carried himself, as if he was royalty and everyone else was beneath him. An intelligence flared in his eyes that shocked and scared Brian, causing him to step backwards and come up short against the door.

Wh....what? How? Why?

For now, let us say...

He takes a long drag on his cigarette, and blows a smoke ring

... that you and I are linked. Brothers, or something similar, yet far more than that. In the same way that twins are two souls born at once, you and I are one soul born twice.

What do you want?

Want? What do I want?

John laughs for a moment, seeming to enjoy a good joke. Then he lunges forward suddenly and pins Brian to the door, staring eye to eye, face to face.

I WANT TO LIVE!

_________________
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:25 pm 
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Anna ignored the voice and began climbing faster. It may have looked like madness, but it was sheer determination to stop the bad guy before he hurt innocent people.

She had to balance speed with safety, but she had done this sorta thing before when dealing with other villains, though they weren't actually mads, just people with mad toys.

By some miracle she made it on top and there she spotted a porthole that said "Keep Out, I mean it!"

She ran over to the porthole and tried to open it, hoping that her feet were insulated enough.

A car came speeding around the corner and Sheila got out "Chione! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING ON THE GIANT BUG?"


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:15 pm 
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Jack O'Callahan

Jack continued to watch - even as the strange woman clambered up the side of the spider with more enthusiasm than was probably healthy. He couldn't help but stare at she did so, part of him thinking she was crazier than the Mad driving the thing, part wishing he had thought of it first, and part wondering how she was sticking to the metal in such a way. The gearspider lurched closer, and he decided to move.

Quickly darting to the next alleyway, he continued to look at the spider. The way it moved was almost hypnotic - like he could see whole thing laid out before him in parts, every component moving in synch, a symphony of motion and phyics. He smiled for the first time in days. He wished Gina could have seen this - a thought that stung his eyes with tears - but somehow the grief was muted by wonder as he continued to observe from his new hiding place.


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:38 pm 
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"A-HEM."

Behind Jack emerged slow footsteps. Someone pounded on a box of cigarettes, pulling the first one to escape the box into his mouth. He pursed it in his lips as he reached up with a lighter to light the thing. "Isn't it a bit past time for you to run for your life, young man?"

Timothy Prast stood about 6 feet tall, with graying black hair and piercing blue eyes that seemed to flicker between a deep navy blue and a bright cyan. He exhaled a cloud of smoke and glared down at Jack, regardless of the comparative difference between their size. "The name's Prast. I'm currently employed with the United States Military in their efforts to take that thing down. They're going to be arriving within the hour, and once they do, if I know anything about government procedure they're going to be locking down this region and seizing anyone and anything that may have seen or taken photos or whatever about this little rampage. Yer lucky I got here before they did, kid. So if you don't want to be abducted by your own government, you might want to consider running for dear life and remembering nothing, got it?"

He walked forward to stand next to Jack, puffing on his cigarette. "'Sides, there's not really anything to see here." He looked up at the rampaging Gearspider. "It's jess another banger, playing at being a Mad in some decaying tech. 's not anything that hasn't been on the news at least once before in your lifetime." For a moment, he sounded a bit wistful. "Sparks 's gone, but it doesn't prevent them from screwing up people's lives."

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:53 pm 
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Anna pulled and it opened.

Anna practically fell backwards in surprise. The stupid bastard didn't even think to lock the hatch to his bug?

She called over her shoulder "Heh, Sheila, Distract the Insect"

Sheila paused, then sighed and stamped out the cigarette she had been smoking. Out of her jacket pocket she pulled a conventional grenade. She pulled the pin....waited.

Then she threw it, and she timed almost perfectly. The spider wasn't to badly hurt, but Anna used the moment of jarring motion to drop inside where she saw.....


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:09 pm 
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Anna entered a cramped, smoke-filled compartment where she could see the silhouettes of two people moving, as well as a third lying on the floor. One of the shadows darted forward, grabbing at her wrist, and as smoke emptied out of the Gearspider's open hatch, Anna could see a girl with short, bubblegum-pink hair gripping her arm tightly and glaring at her with a look that could kill.

The other silhouette emerged from the clearing smoke, a tall, lanky young man with bright, floppy green hair and a shirt cut short enough to as to reveal his belly-button, as well as jeans that sagged down his waist. He was also pointing a Browning Hi-Power Mark III pistol at her. The man, evidently the mad who introduced himself as Adonis, truly did have a pretty face. Even when it was scowling. "Julie-Sue, it seems that a rat has crawled aboard our precious ship. It's even bitten dear Amy, the poor thing. Be a dear and tazer it until it stops moving, will you?"

As the pink-haired girl, evidently named Julie-Sue, withdrew with her free arm a large, ominous Tazer, Adonis sighed and turned back to the control console, which had thankfully not gotten swept up in the grenade explosion. "If you so much as try to resist I'll shoot you. You've lost." he sniffed indignantly, setting the Gearspider to an odd sort of autopilot mode as he turned around, and Julie-Sue rammed the two prongs of the Tazer against Anna's exposed arm.

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:10 pm 
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Wha... what do you mean?

John moved his face back a little, took a drag of his cigarette, and pushed off the door frame, walking around as he spoke.

Well, it's really simple. You and I are two people, but we share the one body. For months now I've been taking control when you sleep, and furthering my work. I'M the one who was taking things from MIT, I'M the one who changed the locks on the garage, and I'M the one who has all the skill with machines and computers. NOT you. When we were younger, you used to let me share control of this body, this... vessel, that we are both trapped within. But I got stronger.

Now, you are Brian, and I am John. And I'm offering you a choice here. The choice of a lifetime.


A choice? What choice?

John turned to face him, pulling again on that foul cigarette, and breathes out again.

You join me, or you perish.

No! You go away! You ruined my life, took away my job, and my joy! I'll kill you!

Brian stepped forward in a boxers pose, fists at the ready, and jabbing.

Really, you think that will help you? You can't beat me Brian, just give up.

Brian swings a huge haymaker towards John, trying to knock him out, get rid of him, anything, whatever it took.

NEVER!

John sidesteps him neatly, and kicks on the back of Brians left knee, causing him to collapse in pain.

NO! You stop this now! You can't beat me, and you're wasting what little time we have. Give up, and take your place beneath me. You will serve me, one way or another.

Brian kneels on the floor, clutching at his leg crying...

No, I can't give up. You took everything from me. Everything.

John drops down on the floor behind Brian, and places his hands on his shoulder.

Brian? I AM you. Remember....

A swirling vision comes before Brians eyes, of him pocketing the wrench, of him removing electronic sensor arrays, of him taking the Spectrometer and rolling it into a waiting truck outside the lab, of him tinkering in the garage on some kind of machine.

Another vision then. Of him when he was a child, playing with his toys, and of the imaginary friend he made up to explain things. Of him showing his high school teachers what he could do with machines, all the while there was a shadow behind him that he never noticed...

Another vision then, of him looking at a pathetic failure standing in the doorway in fluffy slippers, as he smokes a cigarette and plans his next move, stupid fool lummox who can't do anything right, but he has his uses, of course...

Of him sitting on the lounge...

Of him watching himself sit on the lounge...

of him... of John and Brian and all of it, and all of them... is him...

Is him.

ALL OF IT IS HIM!


Both voices cry out in unison

NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

_________________
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:11 pm 
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William Strange

William took a break from his photo safari to take stock of his surroundings. The police appeared to be pulling out; bad sign. The spider also seemed to be heading in his general direction; also a bad sign. Looks like it's time to hightail it out of here.

Stuffing his Blackberry in a coat pocket, William hurries uptown, hailing a cab to his office building as soon as he sees one.


Last edited by Baerdog7 on Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:20 pm 
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Anna felt the tazer hit her, and volts of high voltage electricity flowed through her. She knew she was probably seconds away from unconciousness.

She reacted as fast as her body would let her. Using the arm held by Julie, she turned and flung the villain into her boss, using the pink-haired woman as cover in case he decided to shoot. She slammed into him causing the both of them to slam into the control panel.

The Tazer, still in Julies arm connected solidly with the control panel.


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Jack O'Callahan

Jack looked at Prast, listening to what he said. His face fell a little Oh... Oh, I see. My apologies. Although I'm not sure that being abducted by the military could make my life all that much worse at the moment. Shorter, maybe. He sighed But my moping serves little purpose. I suppose... well, it might sound foolish, but I suppose I'd hoped it was real there, for a moment. There's something... special about the Mads. They do a lot of damage - but somehow they add something to the world. Color. Spark. Magic, even, though I don't mean that in a literal sense... He shrugged Anyway, I'm rambling... I don't suppose, though, that I could do anything to help? Studying the Mads and their inventions is my profession, actually, rather than simply my passion... and frankly, I could use the distraction at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:42 pm 
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Ellie Nguyen

Ellie came to a decision. It was a decision that had come before her many times before; a decision between what was smart, and what was right. It was hardly even a choice at all, by now - she'd made the same choice when she'd joined the Peace Corps, when she volunteered to go to Africa, and a hundred times since then.

The old woman hiked up her ankle-length skirts and ran - not away from the spider thing, nor directly at it. She skirted around the path of destruction wrought by the so-called Mad, and headed for the collapsed residential building. The police seemed to have other things on their mind than search and rescue; she had training in first aid, and perhaps even an elderly hand was better than none at all to anyone left alive in that rubble.

_________________
"Yeah.. well... bad things happen to people who kill their families with a hammer." -- Me, Myself & Irene


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:25 pm 
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Looking around, Brian, John, or possibly BJ, takes stock of the situation.

Where am I?

We're both in here now Brian. You can hear my thoughts, and I can hear yours.

So, what do we do now?

We go into the garage, and we take the car, in which I've mounted an EMP cannon. We then go out there, and shoot the Giant Spider before making ourselves scarce.

An EMP cannon? What's that?

Let's just say that it knocks out electronics.

But... how? How did you make it?

From spare parts and the Spectrometer. I was planning on using it when I need to get more supplies, but I guess this qualifies as an emergency. Can't have the lab destroyed by another Mad now can I?

Wait a minute, what do you mean, ANOTHER Mad?

Well, that much is obvious, isn't it? I, and by that I mean we, are a Mad. A Prometheus, a god amongst mortals.

Really?

*Sigh* Yes, but we don't have time for this now. Come on.


Taking a quick drag on a cigarette he found in hand and simultaneously loving and hating it, he went to the garage door and knocked out a rhythm on it.

Da Dada Da da... Da DA!

Shave and a haircut... I know that one

Yes, yes. Give the monkey a banana for good work. We've got to keep going.


The door swings open, revealing row after gleaming row of shining tools and metallic parts with electronics lying strewn about like refuse.

The car itself, a Volkswagon Beetle from the early 60s sat there, looking the same as it ever did.

I don't see an ENP cannon...

It's an EMP cannon you dolt, not an ENP cannon. That's an entirely different device, and is used to shut down someones brainwaves for a time.

You don't see it because it's built into the front trunk of the car. Very handy that, having a rear engine. I had to boost the power somewhat to be able to get it to move with the extra weight on board, but it should do. Come on.


Putting the cigarette out subconsciously in a twisted metal ashtray, BJ climbed into the car, pressed the button for the garage door to open, and started the engine.

_________________
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:06 pm 
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The little apartment's single room faced away from the chaos, but there were clues that alerted Nicola. There was the loudspeaker, of course, which she didn't pay too much attention too. There were the explosions, which were rather more attention-grabbing.

And crossing the line from attention-grabbing into invasive attentionectonomy was the fact that the apartment complex was shuddering and leaning to one side. An alarmed Nicola opened the door, rubbing the bags under her eyes, and found that a solid portion of her building was gone. The hallway opened out onto empty space—well, empty except for the giant mechanical spider—a few feet away from her door.

Blink. Nicola hadn't been sleeping well lately, and it took her a moment to react the way a normal person would, which is to say she grabbed the doorframe to steady herself. Her only thought was an incoherent what.

Another shudder shook her out of it enough to think a little more than that. Okay. Okay, the stairs are gone and there's no way the elevator is still working. I'm only one story up; maybe I can down by jumping?


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:05 pm 
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High above the streets of New York City, a lone figure stands on the roof of one of the many skyscrapers that line the city's skyline. This building in particular was built in the shape of a double helix, and is one of the tallest in the city. Eccleston Spire. The house that his father built.

Bruce Eccleston watches over the vast city below while enjoying the cool morning air and dwelling on tomorrow's stunt that he has planned. All the preparations were made, and all the required equipment was laid out on the roof. With the help of a couple wind experts, Bruce has already determined the 'safest' routes between the skyscrapers, and paid particular attention to areas that he should avoid at all costs.

Then he sees something off in the distance... What's that? A giant spider balloon? When the hell did they start doing Macy's Parade in the summer? Then a beam of hot plasma punches a hole in one of the buildings below. Holy ****! That's no balloon! At that very moment, he remembers something... Something that his father mentioned a few months ago while they were discussing Helix Biotech's direction.

Quote:
"Dad...you stayed on the cutting edge of the field for so long, and then...well...it seems like you sort of went into cruise control. There's so much that could be done, so many diseases that could be cured, so many missing limbs that could be regrown... And what about cloning..."

Ralph Eccleston cut the question off. "That way lies Madness, Bruce. Madness with a capital 'M'. I started in that direction myself in the first few years after your mother passed, and I only went into 'cruise control' because I finally realized what I was becoming. It took me so long to see because I was so obsessed with the idea of bringing her back." Ralph sighed. "You know how the old saying goes...if you love someone, set them free. It took me far too long to come to terms with that. Perhaps someday, you'll be able to do the same. I just hope it doesn't take you nearly as long as it did for me..."

Bollocks. She still lives. How can I just abandon Liz to oblivion now? Bruce thought it, but he thought better about actually saying it. Instead, he had something else to say... "Dad, when you said 'Madness with a capital M'... What did you mean?"

"If you have an hour or three, then I shall tell you..."


The realization hits Bruce like a hammer. The Mads have returned to the world, and this one in particular seems to be heading in the same direction as the hospital where Elizabeth sleeps...

Bruce immediately dials a number on his cellphone as he heads over to a tarp covered mass. "Steve! You see what's going on? You do? All right, well gather everyone you can and bring them up here, along with all the gear..." As he talks, he removes the tarp, uncovering a state-of-the-art powered paraglider. "Yeah, that's right, all of the gear, along with a few other things. No, this can't wait until tomorrow! Anyway, here's the list of extras I need...and I need them quickly."

Several minutes later, with his support team assembled on the roof, Bruce is suited up and ready for...what the hell is he doing again?? "You're ****in' nuts, Bruce. You know that?" "Yes, I do... So what's your point, Steve?" Steve sighs. "Good luck. You're gonna need it."

"Damn straight." Bruce replies as he takes off from the roof of Eccleston Spire in his paraglider, heading off in the direction of the spider shaped monstrosity below.

"Lunatic..." Steve mumbles to no one in particular.

_________________
"Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don't you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough." - Frédéric Bastiat


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:54 am 
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The tazer flew at the control console, soaring across the room. Had it just struck the console, it might have had the slightest chance of harmlessly bouncing off, without the activated metal prongs striking anywhere dangerous. And that would have been the end of that. However, as it flew, it happened to crash into a glass filled with diet, calorie-free Pepsi that "Adonis" had rested near the console. The glass tipped over, spilling all over, which caused the console to hiss and pop, smoke rising from it. For a brief moment, the Gearspider stopped moving, shorting out as it shuddered, sputtered, and died.

Then the tazer, whose flight path had been altered by crashing into the glass, landed, active prongs down, onto the Pepsi-soaked console, shocking it. The liquid acted as a conductor, sending current from the tazer all over the console, shocking circuitry and frying buttons.

And the Gearspider lurched back to life...

Adonis, eyes wide, tossed his hair in frustration, glaring at the now immobilized Anna. "My device! My beautiful device!" he sounded as if he was pouting. "You've ruined it, you hideous wench! Do you have any idea how long it took to steal it?" His voice seemed to waver between enraged and about to cry. "Now it's lurching around on auto-destroy mode, and I don't know how to fix it!"

Julie-Sue looked up at him, a question on her face that she evidently didn't see fit to say. Adonis sighed. "No... this device is ruined now. No point in killing her when the Gearspider will just detonate as it reaches the end of it's auto-destruct protocol and destroy everything within a radius of it. Just throw her out of the mech and we'll seal the hatch doors behind us as we leave, we've only got so much time to get away, and I feel like a good sulk back at base."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Outside the Gearspider, which was now taking bizarre steps and firing it's plasma lance at random intervals and in random directions, on-lookers gasped as the hatch opened once more, and the woman who had crawled inside before (Specifically, Anna, still under the effects of the Tazer) was thrust outside, falling through the air towards the firm, inviting concrete below. If she was lucky, someone would catch her before she fell...

Shortly afterwords, three more figures emerged from the hatch much more gracefully, climbing down the provided support ladder. The male was by himself, while the female with pink hair was carrying another, less conscious, girl slung over her shoulder. With the turn of a key, the hatch was locked behind them. They had some difficulty climbing down the moving Gearspider as it roved around destroying anything that apparently looked at it funny. Midway through their descent to the ground, the only male figure, (Adonis) ran out of support ladder (it didn't go all the way to the legs, since it was only made for people getting into the tank from a designated loading zone, which a wrecked street was not.) And let go, falling and landing gracefully on the ground, followed shortly by Julie-Sue and her unconscious compatriot. The three of them made a beeline for a nearby alleyway, trying to find an avenue of escape.

Meanwhile, Timothy Prast watched the scene and scowled. "OI! GET BACK HERE, YOU WANNA-BE! Darn it, no time to worry about that now..." He sighed, taking another deep drag on his cigarette. "D@#% it... why would those guys just abandon their tech like that? It don't make sense, even for a madboy... which he ain't. And of course the Military's slow on getting here... never mind that people's lives are in danger, they just HAVE to follow proper deployment protocol." As Jack offered his help, Prast looked at him skeptically, as if sizing him up. Then he blew smoke in his face. "Look kid. These ain't the cute clockwork sparrows like you see on the old TV shows. Real Mads were crazy and random: sure, some of 'em were decent, but a whole mess more of 'em were bad lads, and no matter what their leftover gear is dangerous. Take it from a former experiment: you don't want any part with this. Besides, what could you do?"

He sighed. "I just don't want to see a kid like you die. No matter how much you've studied, but you probably don't have the training to go up against these things. No one ever does. And no matter how much you know, you aren't smart enough to take that thing apart. H#&%, I'm not smart enough to take those things apart. You'd have to be Mad to go up against something like that on equal footing, even if it is damaged. Me, I'm not Mad, I just get really really lucky." He raised an eyebrow. "You wanna help? Help yourself by getting as far as you can away from here. Or even better, help other people that haven't ran away yet get as far away as possible." He stretched his arms, readying himself to charge in and try and stop that thing...somehow. He heard his back pop several times.

"Eff," he thought, "I'm getting really old."

He hadn't thought of a strategy yet. But he couldn't sit on his ass and wait for the military. They were paying him to minimize the impact of this thing, after all. He'd just have to rush in and hope he could find a way to deactivate it. Or something like that.

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:02 am 
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Racing through the New York City skyline in his Black Hawk Powered Paraglider, Bruce heads toward the metal monstrosity in the most direct route possible while still avoiding the areas where he expects to find the nastiest air vortices. He levels out some hundred yards or more behind the giant spiderbot, and then accelerates to close the remaining distance. As he gets closer he sees that the hatch is open, and that someone is about to have a very rough landing. Bruce abandons his original plan - which was rather foolhardy anyway - of landing on top of the giant robot as he kicks the engine into high gear, and descends closer to the street below.

Got to time it...just...right...

At just the right moment, he backs off the engine so he can match the speed of the spiderbot. As the paraglider slows the parachute lurches forward slightly, slowing the woman's fall as she then rolls off the front of it...and then straight down toward the paraglider's pilot. As he deploys the air cushions in his jet black paragliding suit - which suddenly makes him look much like a horribly burned version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man - Bruce reaches up to catch the falling woman, hoping that the air cushions in his suit help lessen the imminent pain...for both of them.

_________________
"Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don't you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough." - Frédéric Bastiat


Last edited by Toxic Avenger on Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:15 pm 
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Jack O'Callahan

Jack's smile was tinged with pain as he looked at Prast - or, rather, over his left shoulder, staring into the void. Mmm. I see. Agent Prast, do you know where I spent the last few weeks? Being chased by Robo-Hounds through the basement of a deceased Mad upstate. I was lucky enough to make it out alive. Most of my research assistants - and... and my wife, were not so lucky. So I think I have an inkling of the dangers involved in the situation.

I've spent my life studying the Mads. It's what I do. It's what we used to do. If anyone's qualified to have a look at this thing, I am.


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:52 pm 
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Luckily for both Bruce and Anna, Sheila had already been running to attempt to grab the falling redhead.

Well, she didn't quite catch them, as the two landed directly on top of her. Sheila was a tough fighter, so wasn't hurt to much and gave a relatively soft landing for the two fallers.

"oof" she coughed "Damn it all, I told her not to climb the giant spider"


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:35 pm 
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As the Volkswagon rolls quietly out of the garage, BJ looks around to try and work out his bearings. Looking around, he eventually spots the spider doing what looks like the flamenco through a housing subdivision.

Where is that damnable spider? Oh, over there... GOINGS NUTS!

Come on Brian, we've got to stop it!


I know, I know.

Putting his foot down, the car picks up speed rapidly, far quicker than he was expecting as they rocket along.

WHAT DID YOU DO TO THIS THING?

Oh, calm down. I just supercharged the engine.

YOU SUPERCHARGED A VOLKSWAGON? THIS CAR WAS A COLLECTORS PIECE!

It still is! Now it's a MAD Volkswagon. Its value just went through the roof. Now stop whining and let me drive.
What? Oh...

Brian felt something ...move... inside his head as he was pushed aside, and John came to the surface.

Now, that's better. Come into my parlour said the bug to the spider...

John takes a sharp right, and starts bearing down on the spider at high speed.

Gotta aim just right, only got one shot at this...

_________________
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:52 pm 
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Prast paused, appraising Jack. Eventually, he came to a decision. "Fine. It goes against my grain, getting a civ involved, but fine. You wanna help that bad? I gots a bit of an idea we might be able to try. But you gotta understand, this is serious stuff, and it needs to be taken pretty seriously too."

It was about at this moment that a winged cat, a large calico tom, landed on Timothy Prast's head and began washing a front paw. Timothy turned a distinct reddish color as he glared upwards. "GET OFF'A ME YOU PEST!" He scowled and shook his head wildly, and the cat, yowling and hissing, took flight and soared southward.

He pointed up at the Gearspider, to a particular crevice that had been narratively mentioned before. "See that? This hunk of junk is missing a leg. I'm thinking if we get someone up there to the socket where the leg used to be, they can play around with the wiring and short it out or something. I'm not too familiar with these models, a bit before my time, but it's as good a plan as any. So here's what I suggest..." He took a drag on his cigarette. "I'm pretty strong. I can prolly throw you up there into the opening where the torn-off leg would have connected with the hull of the thing itself. It looks about human sized, and I can throw a person that far. You willing to go inside that thing and try to short it out, kid?"

Then the Volkswagon took off like a shot, driving straight towards the spider. "WHAT THE H#&%?!? WHAT'S THAT GUY THINKING?" Almost instinctively, he turned to Jack. "If we're doing this, we gotta do it now, before that #&%@ gets himself killed. You with me?"

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:05 pm 
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Bruce Eccleston

Actually, Bruce was still in the air and firmly in the seat of his craft when he caught the falling Anna. However, he sees Sheila below and figures out what she is after, so he lands his paraglider and hands her over.

Immediately, he opens his cellphone and takes a picture of the robot, and then zooms in on the torn off leg before taking another one. Then he dials a number...

"Kyle! Take a look at the second picture I'm sending you... What can we do with that, aside from shorting it out? See any wires we could use to send a virus through? I might be able to get up there and use my phone as a receiver..."

_________________
"Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don't you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough." - Frédéric Bastiat


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Ellie Nguyen

Ellie came to a stop, huffing and puffing. No more cigarettes, she promised herself. It was probably only the thousandth time she'd done so over the years. She looked at the destruction the spider bot had wrought, hot plasma carving an apartment building nearly in half like a Thanksgiving Day bird. Clutching a doorway, a girl looked around with what would have been - in a different situation - a hilarious look of disbelief on her face.

Forget the little first aid kit in her purse, she'd have needed a grappling hook to help Nicola out. She briefly looked around for something soft for the girl to land on, found nothing, and shrugged fatalistically.

Looked like the other woman was on her own. She picked her way carefully through rubble, looking for someone who could actually use her assistance.

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"Yeah.. well... bad things happen to people who kill their families with a hammer." -- Me, Myself & Irene


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Wars: The Second Battle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:18 pm 
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Driving at high speed, John swerves around civilians and debris as best he can, trying to get in front of the spider.

Come on, come on. We've got to get in front, I want to see this thing in action!

What do you mean, you want to see this thing in action? Haven't you used it before?

No, of course not! A good scientist only ever tests his creations in the field! It'll work first time... or, at least, it should.

IT SHOULD? ARE WE RISKING OUR LIVES BASED ON "IT SHOULD?"

Of course not! Considering its pattern of movement, it's likely to only severely maim us.

I'M NOT SURE I LIKE THE SOUND OF THAT!

Bah, you're over-reacting. Come on!

Finally catching up with the spider, John swerves between its legs and pulls in front of it, slamming on the brakes about 150 feet ahead of it and swinging the car around so that the front of it faces the spider.

He opens the glovebox and pushes a button inside it, causing the front trunk to open, and a small, silver glowing ray-like device to rise up, throbbing gently with power. Where the tapedeck was, a touch-screen display slides out with a targetting array on it.

Come on, come on...

The targetter takes a few moments, but finally zeroes in on its targets central thermal signature as the spider moves towards them.

Ahahaha! The moment of truth! Eat Science, spider!

Pressing the horn hard, the cannon fires a beam of silver light towards the spider

_________________
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


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