[The Two Fates]

Chapter 8: Traps and tracking

From: Jon
To: Chad
Subject: Re: An epic storyline spanning the continents, and perhaps even the bounds of reality! (or at least believability)
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 1999 23:54:55 -0400

Alright. Here, finally, is my response.

The Two Fates, part 8

As the Barneys charge, I quickly drop to my knees and unshoulder my compact air rifle. I may have walked into a trap, but at least I didn't come unprepared. The gun speaks, Piff, Piff, Piff, and three of the velocibarneys drop to the floor, writing in the jaws of a powerful neurotoxin. I have no time to squeeze off a fourth shot, tho, as the remaining four barneys are too close, and a slash from one robs me of my gun, leaving my forearm and the back of my hand a bloody mess. He is not lucky enough to survive the attack though, as I activate my wrist mounted tazer, plunging two electrodes into his chest and changing him from a ferocious beast to a smoking purple and black lump. I duck and roll behind some lab equipment, swiftly followed by the barneys. "Now, Pikachu!" I yell, and he bursts from my pack into the air, and onto the back of one of the barneys. He masterfully turns it into todays purple hot-plate special, leaving only two barneys now pursuing me. I dash toward a door and burst through into a large room. In it are two rows of abandoned cloning devices, one along each side, and a thoroughly chained and padlocked door at the other end. The two barneys enter and proceed along both walls, keeping the cloning machines between themselves and what has turned out to be a very dangerous prey, until they are ready to attack. I fire my other tazer at the one on the left, but it jumps and the electrodes clink into the ground very close to where it lands. The tazer activates, sending current through the metal floor, but it is only enough to burn the creatures feet a little. It howls in displeasure and they both leap to attack. I flip backwards and away in a graceful arc, leaving a leaden pipe on the ground where I was. Both barneys land on the pipe as I finish my arcing flip and press a button on my watch. The explosion of the pipe sends both barneys flying into the side walls, broken, bleeding profusely, and very dead. Panting heavily from the fight, I take some gauze from my pack and bind up my arm. Pikachu dashes in, having finished his battle with the other barney, and skids to a stop in front of the smoking crater left by my pipe bomb. He leaps over it and scrambles over to me to make sure I'm all right. After being reassured that I am, he climbs back into my pack and we get up to leave. As we wander the abandoned base, I remember that this is a hidden base fifty miles outside of New York, and in a relatively unpopulated area. I would have no problem destroying it without killing anyone. When we reach the surface, I call my helicopter and it dutifully answers. As I take off, I hover by the base. A flash of smoke and flame comes from one of the winglets on the side of the chopper, and the missile flies off, blasting a hole in the ground, revealing several levels of the underground base. The chopper then hovers over the hole and rains cluster bombs inside. When I reach a safe distance, they detonate, creating an small mushroom cloud, and a rather large crater. I wonder why your base wasn't better reinforced, especially why it hadn't been buried deeper. Then I realize that the massive complex must have been a small research outpost and nothing too important. I certainly had my work cut out for me. At least I knew where you were. I press a couple of keys on the keyboard in the helicopter's dash, and the tracking program pulls up a map of the globe. Flashing on the map is a small arrow pointing toward a place deep in the rainforests of South America. I set the helicopter's autopilot, and head into the rear compartment to clean up my arm and get some sleep.

I wake several hours later to see a gloomy, overcast sky through the side windows, the eastern horizon just beginning to redden. Heading back into the cockpit, I see the tops of trees flying past only a few feet below, a precaution to avoid unfriendly radar automatically taken by the choppers autopilot. Checking the monitor on in the dash, I zoom the map in until both your and my locations are clearly visible. I am only fifty miles away from your next base and twenty from my landing point (don't want to give myself away). I quickly check the automated flight logs to see if anything eventful happened while I was sleeping, and notice that at around 2 in the morning, the helicopter had stopped for fuel and to resupply in my own, fairly modest, secret base. I don't have nearly the financial resources that you do. And I work for the government. I head back through the small passenger/sleeping compartment, and into the cargo area in the tail of the copter. There I crack open the supplies the copter had taken on board, a large crate brimming with nasty tricks and goodies. Thrown in for good measure was a fresh pizza, kept warm during my travels by a tiny heater attached to the bag it was in. The guys who did resupply always had a good sense of humor. Just then, the warning buzzer in the cockpit rings, and I go back up to see that we had reach the landing zone. I decide to take over control, as the landing area is rather small. After touchdown, I head back and gratefully devour half of the pizza. I then strap on some fresh gimmicks and weapons, along with a portable tracker, and get out the hoverboard I will use to travel the last thirty miles to your base. I walk outside the chopper and press the remote that activates it's security mode. It chirps dutifully and proceeds to spout armor plating over the windows and retract all the vulnerable things, such as rotors and communications dishes, along with all it's armaments, into it's body. I finish off by covering it with a camouflage tarp and a large supply of brush over top.

I Set off into the jungle on my hoverboard, whizzing past trees and hanging vines, all the while watching the distance close between me and your base. When I get within a mile, I set off on foot, silently padding my way through the brush, and only when absolutely necessary, hacking my way through with a well-made and well-used Japanese sword.

When I get within a couple hundred feet of your location, I stop and wait until just thirty seconds before the forecast sunrise. My suspicions prove correct, for Demona, being a feral creature by nature, and also having been on guard duty at that moment, picks up my scent (even though I was wearing jungle-scented deodorant). She creeps through the low tree branches until she is within range. Suddenly, laser fire blasts from above in the trees, lancing through a leaf near my head. I duck behind a nearby tree and switch on the night vision system in my eyeguard. Demona's heat image shines like a beacon in the half-dawn. Unstrapping my own firearm, I lean out from behind the tree and blast the gun from her hand and into the underbrush. She snarls in frustration, emits a piercing shriek, and leaps from the trees toward me, unfortunately forgetting the time of day. I smile as the first slice of a golden sun breaks through the trees and puts an end to her attack. She is caught in mid air as her transformation begins, and she falls to the ground, groaning in pain. I walk up to the crouched Demona, silently unshouldering my air rifle. By the time her transformation is complete, I have it ready and aimed right at her (I'm not cruel enough to shoot her during the process). It makes a quiet PIFF, and Demona is out of action for a few hours, thanks to a non-lethal but still incredibly potent sleeping drug. I then continue on to your base, wondering just how much of a hangover MacBeth will have from this when he wakes up.

When I can finally see it through the trees, I see it isn't so much a base as a campsite. Sitting around a fire are you, your henchmen, and your hostage, all drinking coffee (even evil masterminds need an extra kick in the morning). I creep under cover of bushes till I'm within range of my rifle and unshoulder it again, ready to capture the whole lot of you with one fell stroke. Unfortunately for me, this is where I hand the story over to you. Obviously, I won't have much of a chance...

Well, that's it. I have one question for you, tho. Are you using your Velocibarneys for anything but trying to kill me? Robbery and the like perhaps?

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