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AOI, Part II: The Part That Comes After the Beginning
Posted By: Jay2645<Disneylandjay@gmail.com>
Date: 2 November 2009, 11:49 pm

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      Flyboy sat at his desk, the pencil furiously flying across his paper. Bob, who was at attention behind him, finally couldn't stand being a silent guardian anymore.
      "Whatcha doing Fly?"
      "Drawing up plans to go capture the red's flag."
      "Someone on the Red team has a fag?"
      "No, the Flag. We want it."
      "Why do we want a fag? Unless... Flyboy... No..." Bob had a stunned look on his face. "You're not gay, right? Because I thought my last Commander was straight, but a comment he made to me right as I was leaving revealed his true feelings for me and made me HIGHLY uncomfortable."
      "I'm straight. Sometimes, I steal Pie's Playboy magazines and do things while looking at them."
      "What kind of things?"
      "Do you really want to know?"
      "Well, now I'm curious."
      "Naughty things."
      "Oh. But why do you want to kidnap the red team's fag?"
      "THE FLAG."
      "Oh, the flag." There was a pause, a moment of silence where you could hear a pin drop, or a Zombie apocalypse virus spreading, or maybe even the distant thunderclap of a team of ninjas being unleashed upon a pirate ship which was sailing on the seven seas. Finally, Bob went on: "What flag?"

      Flyboy turned his office chair around to point at a large tattered blue flag, emblazoned with a giant "N".

      "See this flag? Torn used it as a blanket for a little bit, but the reds have one just like it. We want to capture that Red flag and take it back here."
      "If they have one just like it, why do we need it?"
      "Because... Well... IT'S THE FLAG!"
      "But we already have one."
      "It's a sign we captured their base or something. If we get it, then they have to surrender. That's the way it works."
      "What if they don't surrender?"
      Flyboy let out a frustrated sigh. "Go bother Torn or something."

      Across the box canyon, in the red base, the red team's commander, Nate, was fixing an ATV. It had been making funny squeaky noises for the past few days when he pushed it around, and he had no clue why. There was a mouse that had made a home in the suspension, but Nate hadn't figured that out yet. He had a companion, George "Ducky" Montague, who earned his nickname when he was in basic training by refusing to get out of the pool unless he was ordered to several times. Not surprisingly, the first place he was sent was here, to red team's "N" Company. Inside the red base were the other two members of "N" company: Puma and Cake.
      Puma's real name was Pu Ma. He was Chinese and served his function as the base's stereotypical computer genius. The sounds of him hammering his palms on his computer's keyboard were audible from anywhere in the base. Females tended to shy away from him due to the odors emanating from his armpits, and consequently, late at night, the sound of him hammering on his keyboard was replaced by a different kind of hammering.
      Cake's real name was Vanilla Cake. He was Pie's cousin, and both their twin mothers had a sad sense of humor. Growing up, Cake and Pie had always hated each other's guts. In fact, if he could, Cake would have murdered him and used his entrails as party favors.
      When he heard what side of the war Pie was fighting on, he immediately joined the other side, just so he could get the chance to finally fulfill his dream.
      "Nate, can I drive now?" Ducky pestered,
      "No." Nate insisted.
      "What about now?"
      "Ducky, if you ask ONE more time, I will get that Rocket Launcher we have in the base, and I will fire it at point-blank range at your face."
      "What if I duck and you miss your shot?"
      "It has 2 shots in it."
      "But you'll kill yourself."
      "You'll die, too, so it'll be worth it."
      "What will Puma and Cake do?"
      "The exact same thing they're doing now. What are they doing now?"
      Ducky tilted back a little bit so he could see inside the base, which had pretty much the exact same style as the blue base, except with a few more red colored lights.
      "Doing a pole dance with the flag." Ducky replied.
      A smile slowly started to creep onto Ducky's face, but he managed to stifle it before it became too noticeable. "I think they're running a strip club."
      Nate got out from under the ATV and stormed off towards the base. "Alright, I'm going in there to stop this."
      After he was inside finding out that there was no pole dancing going on, Ducky crept over to the ATV and started it up.

      And, with that, Ducky went on a joyride across the canyon.

      Nate came back out of the base, angry as to why the other members of the team lied to him, saying that they weren't doing anything like that; when he trusted Ducky's word enough to know they were. Actually, he didn't trust Ducky at all, he just wanted an excuse to give them punishment.

      "No they aren't. Ducky? Ducky? Where'd you go? Oh well, time to get back to working on the..." Nate then realized what Ducky's true motives were. What he didn't realize is that because of Ducky's actions, there was now one more mouse in heaven. "DUCKY!!"

      Nate went inside to grab their experimental laser-type weapon, the Anti-Vehicle Model 6 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle, as it said in the instructions which had come with it. He had been meaning to test their new weapon, which he affectionately called the "Big Shiny Laser Beam". He had named it himself, and was quite proud of the very original name he had come up for it.
      He set the sights on one of his marines, riding around the canyon, humming the song "William Tell" while going on a joyride with his new ATV. Poor Ducky couldn't figure out why the squeaking had stopped though; maybe Nate fixed it. He was sad, because he was getting attached to the little squeaky noise, it was almost like getting the pet mouse he always wanted, except you can't really take care of or play with a noise like you can a mouse.
      "This'll teach him to mess with me..." Nate said, as he slowly charged up the battery in his laser. "Hey, Ducky! IMMA CHARGIN MAH LAZER!"

      At this obscure internet reference, Ducky perked up. Then he saw a little patch of flowers next to him.
      "OH LOOK! A FLOWER!" Ducky rushed off his ATV and ran to the flower garden. As he did so, Nate let out a cry of "SHOOP DA WHOOP!" and a laser fired across the canyon, destroying the ATV and leaving a scorching mark on the ground.
      Puma, meanwhile, put his face in the palm of his hand.

      "OH MY GOD!" Ducky cried, "A BUNNY!" Then, oblivious to the destroyed and smoldering hulk of what was formerly a military ATV, he ran over to play with a little white bunny rabbit hopping around on the other side. And oh, how much fun they had for the thirty seconds they knew each other! That bunny was Ducky's new best friend, the companion he always wished he had. That is, until Nate fired another shot, narrowly missing Ducky, but hitting his poor, poor little white companion, killing it instantly.

      "NOOOOOOOO! MR. BUBBLES!" Ducky lamented for the loss of his friend, and he immediately ran off crying towards red base. Nate, out of battery for his laser, decided to go back inside to put it on the charger.

      As Ducky ran towards red base, he ran into Bob, who was taking a brisk jog around the canyon, which he was told would build his muscles, but was really just to leave everyone alone.
      "Hey Ducky! Long time, no see!" Bob said.
      "Oh, hey Bob. I lost my best friend today to a superheated laser shot."
      "Sorry to hear that. That's how I lost my pet turtle. Poor, poor Speedy." A tear formed in Bob's eye. "Anyway, before I start to break down and cry, any plans coming up?"
      "Yeah, my teammates are going to take a fag somewhere."
      "Whoa, that sounds awesome!"
      "Yeah... But I'm a little homophobic. No real reason for it... Its just they creep me out. Except the lesbians. God, I hope that by fag, they mean a lesbian. A HOT lesbian. That would be SO AWESOME. Except you know they'll never have any attraction to you, so it's pointless to even try, but they're hot anyway. Unless they have a unibrow. Or if they're fat."
      "Yeah. Anyway, I got to go. See ya later, Ducky!"
      Pie was on guard duty outside the base when Bob ran up to him.
      Bob, slightly out of breath from his brisk jog, said, "Pie! I heard the reds say that they're taking a fag somewhere!"
      "What? And why aren't you leaving all of us alon- I mean, going for a nice jog?"
      "I said, the reds are going to take a fag somewhere! And I got tired of jogging, it's exercise! I don't like exercise."
      "So the reds are going to take a fag somewhere. Riiight. How about you go ask them? If they let you live, maybe we can follow them."
      "Wow, that sounds like a great idea!"
      "I think so too, Bob. I think so, too."

      Nate had a feeling he was going to have an unexpected visitor. He didn't know why; he just KNEW. This is why his initial reaction wasn't to fire the shotgun he was holding when a stranger in the blue's armor walked up to him.
      "Hey, where are you guys taking the fag?" Bob asked.
      "The what?"
      "The fag."
      "We have a fag?" Immediately, thoughts of his worst fears confirmed went through his head: He was trapped in a base full of gay guys. Then he realized that the reason this stranger was in the blue's armor was because he was on blue. He thought about shooting him... But that was too easy. "But I DO know that we'll be in Sniper Country soon."
      "Oh, thanks."
      "No problem." Nate said, watching as Private Bob Guy left across the box canyon, going off to tell Pie of his news. "Idiot."

      Sniper Country was a barren, desolate place. They say that when God was making the Earth all those years ago, Sniper Country was one of the last places He made. In fact, God was so thoroughly tired of making things by this time that He just said, "Screw it." And thus Sniper Country was born: Miles upon miles of God-forsaken desert, with two gigantic mesas stretching up on either side. The UNSC government had carved out one mesa and converted it into a system of tunnels which functioned as a base for the Blue team, the Neo-Communist rebels the other. Each side existed only because the other side was there (like most places in this damn war), and both sides constantly had snipers just sitting there, watching the broad expanse of desert and waiting for someone wearing different armor to venture out of their hole.

      Naturally, according to standard naming procedure, both divisions were given the designation of "S" division, meaning "Sniper". The usefulness of not naming divisions based off of their purpose had been lost over the years.
      There was a common saying about sniper country, a proverb of sorts: "Like trying to bring a shotgun to Sniper Country." In accordance with the saying, Bob and Pie each arrived at the place where the red team's fag was to be held armed only with their shotguns.
      Bob thought this was a grand idea.

      The Warthog jeep they were in paused for just a moment in the middle of the broad expanse of desert. A seemingly random bridge just was… There, in the middle of the desert, and Pie directed his full concentration on the bridge, as if he were going to destroy it with only his mind.
      After a long silence, Pie finally spoke. "I think I see a red."
      Bob quickly stared at the bridge as well. "I don't see anything."
      "Keep looking." Both of them stared at the bridge even more intently than before, as if focusing all their destructive energies upon that bridge itself. "Bob, get out and check."
      Bob whined like a ten-year-old who had just been asked to clean his room. "But whhhhhhhhhhyyyyy?"
      Pie's unflinching gaze was directed fully onto Bob. "That's an order."

      Bob sighed as he slowly climbed out, the same ten-year-old angst put into each one of his movements. He began to scan the area and advance towards where Pie ordered him to when fifty separate sniper bullets hit his chest from all angles.
      Somehow, his body survived intact and he fell to the floor.

      Pie finally stopped staring off into the distance. "I guess that it was just a fox. C'mon, Bob, get up, stop being such a lazy bum and get back in."
      "I can't." Bob groaned.
      "Why not?"
      "My legs don't work anymore."
      Pie sighed in frustration. "Don't be stupid. You got shot in the chest, not your legs. Your legs should work fine."
      "Did you SEE the number of bullets that hit me? It's a miracle I'm still alive."

      Pie was taken aback; Bob was actually using logic for one time in his life. "Alright," he said reluctantly, "I'll go get you some help."
      In a cloud of dust, the Warthog spun its tires and headed off into the distance.

      Back at Blood Gulch, the Red team received a knock on their door. Nate opened the door slowly to reveal a mercenary, clad from head to toe in midnight black armor (midnight blue was sold out), with the only slight variation coming from the silver shine of the helmet's visor.
      "Inferno here, at your service," said the mercenary, "Pyromaniac and heavy weapons specialist."
      Nate was most pleased that the mercenary he had ordered off of ineedaweapon.com had arrived.

      "Did you bring the mech?"
      "The Mythos is parked out back, as per your request. We are loaded up with 700 high-energy anti-matter charges and ready to go."
      "Good," Nate said, smiling, "Warm her up. I have our first target."

      A lone Warthog once again tore through the barren wastelands of Sniper Country. Once again, it was only occupied by two people: Pie in the driver's seat and Flyboy in the passenger. Torn was left back home to watch over the base.
      "And so, after the flying monkeys attacked us, we-"
      "Fine, fine. He's over there, by that funny and pointless bridge to nowhere." Pie said, stopping the 'Hog next to Bob's body.

      Flyboy rushed out and felt for a pulse. "It's no use. Bob's dead. Kaput. Gone. Poof."
      "Missing. Gone forever."
      "On the other side. No longer with us."
      "Slaughtered by the many bullets of an angry and wrathful God, never again to walk among the living!" Flyboy screamed, voice rising in intensity as he did so.
      Pie stared at him. "Are you quite finished?"
      "Good. AS I WAS SAYING, that sucks. Poor Bob, he will be missed." Pie paused for a moment. "Oh well, time to send in another recrui-"
      Pie was once again interrupted by a huge explosion behind him. He slowly turned around to view it in its majesty, as it glowed a bright blue, slowly dimming along the edges, the mark of a bolt made out of pure high-energy anti-matter charges. The explosion left a distinctive smell in the air, not unlike the smell of poop from a newborn baby. The smell of this newborn baby poop lingered as the explosion faded away, leaving a massive 100-meter diameter crater behind the Warthog.

      Flyboy quickly leaned over the center console of the 'Hog, putting his elbows in Pie's lap and grabbing the steering wheel of the Warthog. "GAS IT!" he cried, "GO, GO, GO!"
      Pie didn't gas it, but instead stared at Flyboy. After a moment, he slapped Flyboy across the face. "That was gay," he said, "Get out of my lap, and never, ever, touch me again."
      Flyboy slowly took his hands off the wheel and put them back where they belonged as Pie hit the gas and took off. Another explosion marked the place where they just were, hitting the bridge where Bob's body lay.

      "Well, he's dead for sure, now." Pie remarked.
      Flyboy was quiet for a moment as the smell of baby poop permeated the air, before he finally said, "Ever think that we're just two fictional characters in a story written by some random guy who have just experienced an elaborate plot device?"
      Pie shrugged.

      The Warthog darted behind into the "Blue" mesa of Sniper Country. It tore past many surprised snipers and finally parked itself in a hangar full of bombers.
      "Speaking of elaborate plot devices…" Pie said, leaving his sentence unfinished and pulling out a set of car keys. He causally hit a button on the keys and one of the Longsword bombers in the hangar bay chirped.

      "Well, it is a jolly good game of hide-and-go-seek, isn't it?" Inferno asked, turning around in the pilot's chair of the Mythos walker. "I expect we'll kill Pie and Flyboy soon enough. Then you just have that last imbecile to take care of."
      Nate gave him a cold, hard stare.
      Inferno had a giddy sense of happiness in his voice. "I just wish I could see the terror on their faces!" he said with glee. When Nate didn't break his stare, he turned around and resumed operation of the Mythos.
      "Just shoot another random antimatter charge and pray we hit them." Nate said. There was a large, light-blue explosion and the thick smell of newborn baby poop as Nate slowly let a smile sneak across his face and closed his eyes for a nap.

      Flyboy was finally in control of his dream plane: The Longsword-class bomber. "She's slow," he said, casually caressing the bomber's control console, "but she can blow the hell out of anything she wants to. Virtually limitless missile supply, bay full of mini-nukes…" He sighed in ecstasy. "I love you, Longsword."
      The onboard computer let out a single beep.
      Flyboy smiled. "Aww… That's so sweet!" He attempted to give the plane a hug, rather unsuccessfully.
      Pie's voice rang out from the galley. "I just restocked this damn thing with food, where the hell did all of it go?"
      Flyboy got more pissed than an angsty teenager going through puberty. "SHUT UP! You don't know what she and I have been through! We love each other, and we always will! You wouldn't understand; you CAN'T understand! YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING!"
      Pie simply stared back at him.

      After a lengthy staring contest, Flyboy went back to caressing the Longsword's control panel. He was running his finger up, down, and around the buttons, giggling as he did so, when a large explosion rocked the Longsword. Flyboy's romance with the plane was lost and he jumped to full alert.
      "They missed us, but it's only a matter of time until that thing brings my baby down." Flyboy said, "Distance to target is 1 kilometer. Missiles will be in range in twenty seconds."
      The overwhelming smell of baby poop went through the Longsword's cabin as the entire view through the main viewscreen was obscured by bright blue. Flyboy simply flew straight through the explosion. "We're in missile range."
      The Longsword launched a sudden hail of missiles at the Mythos.

      Inferno finally finished getting the Mythos' built-in Macintosh to boot up iTunes and begin to play some heavy metal. "Nothing like the classic stuff for an epic battle."
      Nate groaned. "Inferno, that stuff is almost 600 years old now. Can't you change it to something a little more… Recent?"
      The Mythos' hull was suddenly riddled with explosions.
      "Hull integrity at 62%. Antimatter charge ready." Inferno reported.
      "Fire." Nate replied, half-asleep.
      The Mythos trembled as another shot raced out of its cannon. The heavy metal music continued to blare. Inferno leaned back in his chair and turned it up some, much to Nate's chagrin.
      "Damn, they dodged it." Inferno said.
      "Inferno, it's a giant damn bomber. How the hell could you miss it?"
      Inferno leapt up and pulled a pistol out of his belt. "What the hell did you just say?" he said menacingly, leveling his pistol with Nate's unprotected head.
      "You wouldn't, Inferno."
      "I'm warning you, friend. I am a dangerously insane individual." He let a slight smile crawl across his face. "The worst psychopaths are the ones that know they're insane." Inferno said, laughing.
      "If you do it, you won't get paid."
      Inferno slowly lowered his pistol, face scowling behind the visor. The Macintosh behind him paused the music suddenly and let out a cheery beep.
      "Hull integrity at critical levels." it said, before resuming the music.
      "Hell." Inferno said. He grabbed Nate by the collar. "C'mon, let's get the hell out of here." Inferno dragged Nate out of the Mythos, pausing to retrieve his sniper and flamethrower. He threw Nate into a nearby sand dune, jumping out of the door and going into a combat roll himself.
      The Mythos exploded in an epic blue explosion in the background.
      Nate pulled himself up and dusted himself off. "That wasn't so bad."
      Multiple sniper shots suddenly ripped through his legs and sent him tumbling to the floor. "Never mind."