|The Struggle Against Mecha Insano
Author: DarkenedAngel57 PM
In the post-apocalyptic world of 2020, the evil Doctor Insano holds the world in a terrifying grip of madness. But it all soon changes as a team of rag-tag heroes join together and begin an epic journey to free the world and face their destinies. R R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Sci-Fi - Spoony Experiment - Chapters: 2 - Words: 7,054 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 06-05-11 - Published: 01-27-11 - id: 6691247
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Struggle Chapter 2: Plastic Harbor
While the labs of Wyntech fell to rubble, on the other side of the country a man was roused from his slumber by the harsh sun. Andrew Forsyth blinked and groaned, his mouth full of sand as he turned to his side. His long and curly blond locks shone as speckles of sand dislodged themselves. He sat up in shock as he realized where he was. "How in the hell? Motherfu-OW!" He looked down at his hand as a scorpion stung his hand. He realized at that moment that for the first time in what seemed like years, he was aware of himself. Not only that, but he seemed corporeal again. Andrew shook his head again as memories flowed into his mind. Faces and names of comrades flashed in his mind before fading. He groaned again as he stumbled to his feet, scanning the landscape for any signs of human life. To his relief, an old gas station could be seen in the distance. He started towards the station, praying for some kind of sign of life.
When he finally got to the station, he was dismayed to discover that whoever had worked there was long gone. The station was a wreck, but luck seemed to still be on Andrew's side. He spotted a bottle of soda well past its "best by" date sitting on the counter. Andrew shrugged and popped the top off, chugging down the soda. Further investigation of the gas station proved fruitful as Andrew found a shotgun, shotgun shells, a backpack, several bottles of water and a map. A glance at the map told him he was in Texas. Shrugging and pocketing the map, Andrew started walking westward, unsure of where he was going or what he would face. Leaving the station behind him, he spared a prayer for those whom he had met years ago.
Jigen sighed as he carried the unconscious woman into his bedroom on the ship. He rolled her onto her stomach so he could examine the back wound she had sustained. The laser shot had seared through her jacket, but left only a small wound, cauterizing the skin shut. He breathed in relief as he removed the Lantern's jacket and wrapped her wound to be on the safe side. He turned her gently onto her back again and left the room, letting her sleep.
The King Andre was a truly unique ship. Equipped with a powerful computer and tracking system, it was much more advanced than the humble little ship appeared. Jigen's touch as a collector was apparent throughout the ship, with an entire room dedicated to his collection of video games. The galley and dining area of the King Andre were of modest size, designed specifically for Jigen's cooking needs. In the lower deck was a storage room and medical bay holding a large healing tank. Beside the tank sat a box of glowing feathers alongside other medical-based supplies. Jigen had spent years upgrading the ship with various weapons, including a Gatling gun on the deck with a protective shield. He had yet to find a situation where the gun would be needed, but Jigen still felt more secure.
Unsure whether or not he should leave his new companion alone, Jigen remained awake the night through, sailing the King Andre through the swampy terrain of the state once known as Louisiana. The rise of Insano had caused much of the former United States landscape to change as great cities and rural towns alike were destroyed and enslaved by the mad dictator's armies of massive robots. The rising sun reflected off the ruins of an old crypt half submerged in the swamp, causing Jigen to sigh sadly. So much had changed, and as such life for those who fought against Insano also changed, for both better and worse.
While the sun rose higher into the sky, Jigen inputted the coordinates of a known rebellion base commonly referred to as Plastic Harbor to his computer before making his way to the galley. Many years ago he had been a young soldier, back when Insano first gained power and more people were willing to fight. Despite his mental and physical scarring, Jigen had picked up many useful skills, including the ability to cook splendid meals, no matter how lacking in ingredients. As he began to cook, the wafting aroma drifted down into the captain's quarters where C-Squared rested.
Shifting slightly in bed, C-Squared groaned as she stretched her body. She winced as the pain from the night before caught up to her as her hand moved slowly over the beige bandages wrapped around her waist. She smiled to herself as she moved to sit up. "Good to see the pirate takes good care of his guests…" She mused, breathing deeply as the scent of bacon and eggs filled her nose. Her smile widened as she carefully stood up, making sure she was physically able to support herself. Using her staff as a crutch, C-Squared made her way up the stairs to the galley, where she was greeted by the sound of Jigen singing along to a DragonForce album.
"Not bad Captain," she said with a bemused smile as Jigen turned around with a sheepish grin on his face. "I would never have expected a pirate to actually be able to sing on key."
Jigen chuckled as he took the pan he'd been working with and walked over to the table, sliding an omelet onto a ceramic plate before motioning to C-Squared. "Well, I never expected you to heal so quickly after last night, so I suppose we're even." He motioned to the chair a second time before C-Squared understood that the breakfast was for her. She smiled and sat at the pine table, breathing deeply before digging into the omelet. Jigen watched her a moment before turning back to the stove.
"So…we really didn't get that much of an opportunity to talk last night, what with the whole escaping business…" Jigen started, speaking cautiously as he glanced over his shoulder.
C-Squared sighed, swallowing a piece of omelet before looking down at her plate. "You want to know why I was in there in the first place."
Jigen nodded, slipping his omelet onto a plate before joining her at the table. "I do, but if you don't feel comfortable talking about it right now, I'd understand. Being trapped couldn't have been pleasant for you."
C-Squared shook her head, putting her fork down as she clasped her hands together. "No, it's alright. I owe you that much…after all, you did save my life." With a sigh, C-Squared pushed away from the table, standing at the window at the farthest wall of the galley from the table. She glanced out at the swamp as the sunlight filtered through. "I was infiltrating one of Insano's obedience domes and was caught by some of his robots. I almost got away, but a squad of Black Lanterns ambushed me." She stiffened up slightly. "I was hoping to find my children in that dome…"
Jigen looked up at the woman with shock. "Your…children?"
C-Squared nodded reluctantly. "Yes, my children." She dug into her pocket, pulling out a folded up photo, passing it to Jigen before turning back to face the window. As Jigen examined the photo, a tear came to his eye. The image couldn't have been taken more than three years before. C-Squared stood next to a man with vibrant red hair the fell in waves around his face. She smiled widely while holding a little boy in her arms. The boy had short blond hair and deep blue eyes. The man beside her held a second child, younger than the first boy. The younger boy looked like he was laughing as his father held him almost upside down.
Jigen coughed slightly, putting the photo on the table. "Looks like you had a pretty happy family…so what happened?"
C-Squared was quiet for a moment before she turned back to the table. "Colin was taken from me first." She walked back to the table, sitting down in one of the chairs. "We were investigating what we thought was an abandoned laboratory of Insano's. It was a trap. We were separated. As far as I know, he's been dead for the past two years."
She rubbed her temples as though trying to ease the memories gently into her mind. "I lost my children about two months later. I was trying to get them to a safehouse, but we were attacked by a squad of Insano's Neutro-Class robots. I was pulled away from them by a robot as buildings were coming down. I managed to break free and destroy the robots, but by the time I did so…my children were gone. I have no idea if they're alive or not." She said the last sentence in a hushed tone as she placed the photo back into her pocket.
Jigen watched C-Squared sympathetically. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring up painful thoughts for you." He sighed. "You're not the only one with a nasty history…" Jigen looked up as a beeping sound came from the navigation room. "Oh, looks like we're getting close…"
C-Squared looked at Jigen slightly confused. "Close?"
Jigen nodded, smiling slightly at the woman before him. "While you slept, I imputed the coordinates for Plastic Harbor. You might be familiar with it."
C-Squared cracked a smile. "Of course I know Plastic Harbor! There's a Lantern base there, so I can check in and get some new weaponry." She stood up, collecting the plates and taking them to the sink as Jigen went to the bridge. "About how long are we talking until we get there?" She called out to Jigen.
Jigen poked his head back through the door. "I'd say about two days. Until then, just relax." He smiled widely at the woman as she returned the smile and washed the dishes.
While C-Squared and Jigen made their way to Plastic Harbor, Kevin Halworth found himself waking up in an old storage crate that had been air dropped into Plastic Harbor. In an effort to hide his true name, the British spy had taken the moniker of Loiterer before embarking on his mission. A member of an elite spy force, Loiterer had been sent to America to contact the rebellion alliance and to provide aid against Insano. He hadn't expected to be dropped midair, and woke up in excruciating pain as he crawled out of the box. "Bloody hell…that could have gone much better…" He growled, standing up and cracking his back with a wince. His dark brown hair accented his hazel eyes and slightly tanned complexion. He grimaced at his clothes, torn and filthy from his long journey from London. Shaking his head, Loiterer stumbled as he made his way down the alley. "Alright…I have no idea where I am, but I've gotta find my way to a computer terminal." As he walked, Loiterer was unaware of three sets of eyes watching him with interest and greed.
Jigen and C-Squared watched as the gray steel buildings and wooden shacks and docks of Plastic Harbor came into view, the hustle and bustle of rebellion soldiers, pirates and lanterns greeting them as Jigen inputted his identification information to the computer, transmitting the data to the dockmaster. "Alright, we're all set to disembark." Jigen said with a smile as C-Squared pulled on her jacket. She nodded, walking out to the deck and stepping out onto the wooden dock.
C-Squared glanced around her, observing the metal and wooden ships that filled the dock, many of them dwarfing the King Andre in size and stature. She let out an impressed whistle as Jigen joined her side. "So, where's the Lantern base you were talkin' about? I could use a place to stock up on supplies before heading out."
C-Squared smiled and walked towards the main port, motioning to Jigen to follow. "Come on, it's this way." The pair walked for some time, pushing through the crowds of rebellion supporters of all ages and genders. A large building came into view, bearing the emblem of a robot referred to as Burton on a panel just above the steel door. As C-Squared approached the door, she heard the sound of scuffling in a nearby alley. Her eyes narrowed and she turned away from the door. "Something's going down over there…" She walked briskly towards the alley, Jigen following close behind.
Loiterer winced as one of the three thugs following him punched him in the gut as another held his arms. "Shoulda just given us' yer stuff when we asked…" The third man said between breaths, puffs of smoke emerging from his mouth while a cigarette hung down from his right hand. The captive Loiterer spat at the smoker's feet.
"Shove it up your ass you blooming fruitcake."
The smoker narrowed his eyes, throwing down the cigarette and stomping it out before approaching Loiterer, cracking his knuckles. "Yer gonna regret sayin' that…" He brought his hand back, slamming it into Loiterer's fist with a powerful right hook. A crack was heard in Loiterer's jaw as the thug wound up for another blow.
"I'd let the man go if I were you."
The three thugs turned from Loiterer as they were startled by the new voice, releasing the spy. Loiterer fell to the ground, his hand on his jaw as he looked up at his rescuers. He noticed two figures standing in the mouth of the alleyway and felt a sense of relief wash over him. The thugs snarled as the smoker took a step forward. "Jus' who da hell do ya' think ya' are, girly?"
C-Squared stepped up to the thug, her eyes harsh as she kept her hands in her pockets. "My name is no importance to the likes of you. You boys better get outta here, or my friend and I will take your treatment of this man into our own hands." Jigen stayed a few feet behind C-Squared, his hand twitching towards a hidden pistol in his pocket.
The thug scoffed at the short woman. "Lady, please. Ya' ain't got no way to fight me, so why dontcha find somewhere else ta' play?" He smirked, moving to push C-Squared away. The other two thugs began to laugh as well. C-Squared smirked as the man moved, her hands whipping out of her pockets as she grabbed his wrist, twisting it violently to produce a loud crack. Instantly the thug's smirk turned to a look of anguish. He howled in pain, backing up as the two other approached. "Get dat damned skirt!" The smoker yelled, turning back to Loiterer and kicking the downed spy.
C-Squared smirked, looking over to Jigen. "Three men against one is never fair. Shall we even the score to help our friend?"
Jigen nodded, bringing out his pistol and pointing it at the men. "I think that sounds about right. Now, you boys are gonna be good and listen to the nice lady, or else I'll be adding a few more breathing holes in your bodies." The thugs growled, lunging forward. C-Squared ducked out of the way, grabbing hold of one man's arm, bringing it up behind his back.
"Now now, play nice or I'll have to break your arm."
While C-Squared and Jigen took care or the flunkies, Loiterer glanced up at the Smoker, rolling out of the way of the man's kicks. He noticed a silver glimmer in the coat pocket of the Smoker and grabbed at it, struggling with the thug to gain control of the hidden weapon.
C-Squared managed to restrain her thug, a dark grey glow surrounding the man's wrists and forming into cuffs. She looked over to Jigen, watching the pirate put the second thug unconscious with a blow to the back of the neck. "Two down…" She said as a gunshot echoed in the alley. Jigen and C-Squared looked immediately to the two struggling men. The Smoker stumbled, falling backwards as his eyes widened. The man fell with his hands spread out, a dark stain of red coming through his shirt as the light faded from his eyes. Loiterer stood above the man, his hands trembling as he held the gun tightly. Acting quickly, C-Squared formed an orb of energy around Loiterer's hands, preventing him from shooting the gun.
"Stay calm man, it's okay. We're you're friends…" She said cautiously, moving towards Loiterer and releasing his hands as he dropped the gun. "Can you tell me your name?" She asked gently, placing her hand on Loiterer's cheek as Jigen got the two unconscious thugs to the side.
Loiterer winced as C-Squared touched his broken jaw. "I'm Loiterer." He reached for her hand to remove it, but one glance from her stopped his movement.
"Alright Loiterer, this is going to hurt, so please stay still." C-Squared forced a flow of energy into Loiterer's cheek, repairing the damage done as he hissed in pain. She looked up at Jigen. "Gather up the thugs that attacked Loiterer here. We'll take them to the Spoony Lanterns. They'll deal with them." She pulled away and stood up, turning to walk away.
Loiterer stood up shakily. "Wait!" He called out to C-Squared. She stopped and let him catch up to her and Jigen. "You said you're going to the Spoony Lanterns?" She turned and nodded.
"We are. I'm Captain C-Squared, Lantern leader of Roanoke."
Loiterer smiled. "Great! I've been looking for a way to contact the alliance. Mind if I come along with you?"
C-Squared chuckled. "We actually need you to come along.. You're testimony will help speed up dealing with these goons."
Loiterer gulped slightly, following C-Squared and Jigen out of the alley and back towards the Spoony Lantern offices. C-Squared stepped up to the door, knocking on it three times as a computer lock appeared. "Name and squad identification number please." A feminine mechanized voice said through the lock. C-Squared cleared her throat, holding out her ring.
"Captain Coleen Briggs, Roanoke division, squad number 621. Codename C-Squared."
The lock scanned her ring before opening the door. "Welcome Captain C. Please inform your guests of the rules and procedures of the base. C-Squared sighed, looking over to the two men behind her.
"Okay boys, here's the rules. You need to give up any weapons in your possession when you enter the base. You listen to me and follow my orders." She said sternly, stepping into the building. The two men shrugged, following behind C-Squared. Two men wearing grey suits and Lantern rings stepped up beside the group.
C-Squared nodded, handing over her staff and pistols to the speaker. "Pleasure to see you Nikoli. Hope the family is well." The man known as Nikoli nodded in thanks, allowing her forward. He looked to Jigen and Loiterer expectantly as the two sighed, handing over their guns. Once unarmed, the three were allowed to continue into the base. Jigen glanced around the hallways as they walked, shuddering at the cold gray colors.
"Not exactly the most comforting of places. What is with you Lantern's and the color gray?" He asked, his eyes following an attractive agent walking in the opposite direction. C-Squared nudged Jigen hard in the ribs.
"I wouldn't try anything if I were you. Most of the female agents are ball-busters, married or both."
Jigen smiled guiltily as he kept pace with C-Squared. Loiterer stayed quiet until his stomach began to grumble. "Umm…I've been in a storage crate with very little food for the past few days. I don't suppose I could get some food?" C-Squared chuckled slightly, sticking her hands in her pocket as they got to the main desk of the office.
"Well you could, but I wouldn't suggest getting food here. Lantern chefs aren't exactly the best."
Jigen nodded, his face turning green. "Seriously…is there anyone in this organization that can actually cook? I swear I've had better meals in the military, and that's saying something."
Loiterer gulped. "Alright…I'll take your word for it."
C-Squared smiled at the men before walking up to the desk. "Captain C-Squared checking in, I'd like to meet with the head officer of this base. Insano's Wyntech lab has been destroyed."
The secretary smiled and typed a message into her computer. "Very well captain. I have alerted the commander to your arrival. Please make your way to the wardrobe department; it appears you could use a new jacket. I will be sure to message you when he is ready to see you."
C-Squared nodded in thanks, leading the men down another hallway. Loiterer glanced around just as Jigen had. "Geez, how many hallways does this place have anyway? Talk about secret…."
She just shook her head. "You get used to it." C-Squared said with a sigh, turning the corner and entering a large room filled with clothes. She looked through the coats as Loiterer and Jigen stood awkwardly in the middle of the room. "Well don't just stand there, pick something out. I'll cover it." She grabbed a dark red form-fitting tank top and a pair of black combat pants as Jigen and Loiterer reluctantly picked out coats. C-Squared disappeared into the changing room, returning a few moments later dressed in the new wardrobe. Jigen smiled at C-Squared as she stepped out before a message reverberated through the room.
"Captain C-Squared, you and your guests may now meet with our Base Commander. Please report immediately to the 2nd floor office."
C-Squared gulped as a feeling of dread came over her. "Alright guys, grab on to me." Jigen and Loiterer grabbed C's arms as her ring glowed, teleporting the three of them to the 2nd floor. They stood in front of a set of large steel double doors. Both doors were adorned with the image of a four wheeled robot. C stared at the doors for a moment before straightening it up. "Alright, whatever happens just follow my lead." She pushed the doors open and walked.
The base office was huge to say the least. Banners were draped along the walls with famous rebellion sayings and a tapestry describing the rise of Insano. A large oaken table sat in the middle of the room with four chairs on each side while a leather chair sat at the head of the table. The chair was turned so it's black leather backing faced C-Squared and the men. Three of the side chairs were occupied by heads of the Lantern Corp. The room had an unusually dark and ominous atmosphere. C-Squared breathed in deeply before stepping forward.
"Lantern C-Squared, Captain of Roanoke Division unit 621; I have information that may prove helpful in our efforts against Insano and his armies."
There was silence in the room as the executives turned to look at the head of the table. "Oh really Coleen? Do share this information. I'd like to know exactly what you've found…" The chair turned around and C-Squared backed up as she stared at the man sitting at the end of the table. Her mouth was a gap as her eyes filled with shock.
"N-No…It can't be…I thought you were…"
Jigen looked from C-Squared to the red haired man before them. "Uh, do you know this guy personally?"
The man smirked, hazel eyes narrowing as he chuckled darkly. "Of course we know each other. Why don't you introduce me Coleen? After all," The man raised his left hand, showing a golden band that had faded in its shine, "You are my wife…"
"What? His wife?" Jigen exclaimed in shock, looking over to C-Squared. "But…I thought you said he was dead…"
C-Squared shook her head as she was knocked from her trance-like state. "He is." Her eyes filled with tears as she spoke. "You've become a Black Lantern…" The man grinned wider, standing up from his chair and approaching the three.
"Yes, and soon you'll be like me. Insano's been looking for you ever since your escape." He pointed his gray ring at C-Squared while she stared. "Goodbye my dear." The man laughed as a beam of light burst from his ring and towards C-Squared.
Through this exchange, Jigen came to the revelation that Insano's forces had complete control of the harbor through the use of the Lantern headquarters. He shook his head before seeing the bolt of energy fly towards C-Squared. "Get down!" He yelled, tackling her out of the way down to the ground while avoid the bolt himself. He stood quickly, producing an orange vial from his pocket as he locked eyes with C's former husband. "Back off man." he uncorked the vial and raised it as though threatening to drop it. "You know what this is don't you? You're master was the one who invented it after all…" He narrowed his eyes as the man stepped forward. "Take another step and I'll drop it. This is THX-1138…alchemist's piss. I drop this and this whole place goes up in flames."
As Jigen distracted the red haired man, C-Squared regained her senses as Loiterer moved towards the exit. "You didn't honestly think we wouldn't be prepared in the case of giving up our weapons did you? Man you're dumb…" Jigen said with a smirk, his hand trembling ever so slightly.
From her spot on the floor, C-Squared aimed a beam of energy at the ankles of her former husband, wrapping the energy around him tightly before pulling him to the ground. She got to her feet, grabbing Jigen and Loiterer while being careful of the vial. "We have to get out of here!" She ran with the men, pushing Corp members out of the way before one of the guards motioned to her. "Nickoli! Weapons!" She yelled to him. The man nodded, vanishing for a moment before returning with their weapons.
"Don't worry Captain, I didn't let them touch your equipment." The guard explained as they ran. "You need to get out of the harbor; you didn't tell them what your ship is did you?" C-Squared shook her head as they ran to the door.
"No, I just hope they haven't figured it out. She looked behind her. "Make sure they don't follow us." Nickoli nodded, pushing the three out of the base before sealing the door behind them. C-Squared sighed, relaxing a moment before the sound of gunfire filled the air. "Well shit…"
Jigen growled, pulling out his m16 carbine. "We've got to get to the ship! Insano's got control of this place now…" He fired at the mass of soldiers and lanterns that surrounded them. C-Squared pulled out her staff from its carrier on her back, swinging it around and sending ten soldiers flying.
"Hold onto me! I'll get us there!" She yelled to Jigen and Loiterer, both of whom were fighting off the swarm. Nodding, both men grabbed hold and in a flash of gray light they vanished from the center of the mob, reappearing on the deck of the King Andre. Not far from them they could hear ship approaching them.
Jigen pushed away from C-Squared and Loiterer, running to the Gatling gun on the deck. "C, get us out of here! I need you to steer us away!" He yelled as Loiterer went to his side to help load the gun. C-Squared nodded, running to the cockpit as Jigen began firing on the enemy ships. She kicked the ship to life, sending them skimming across the water away from the harbor and ships. Above them flew jet planes, following the little ship and firing down on them. Jigen aimed the gun upwards towards the jets, sending them down in flames, but not before a bullet struck his shoulder, sending him flying from the gun. "Fuck!" He yelled in pain as Loiterer stared at him in shock. Jigen motioned to a lever not too far from the gun. "Pull that! We need to slow down!" He said as the last jet he had hit fell into the river.
Loiterer nodded, scrambling to the emergency brake and pulling it hard. The King Andre jerked to a slower pace, throwing C-Squared from the captain's seat. Once done, Loiterer went to Jigen's side to examine his wound. "Shit man that looks bad…" He tore part of his coat and wrapped it around the wound before helping Jigen to his feet.
Jigen looked to Loiterer, wincing in pain. "In the lower deck…there's a healing tank. Get me in there and I'll be fine." Loiterer nodded, taking Jigen below deck as the King Andre floated down the river. C emerged from the main bridge, meeting up with Loiterer and Jigen. Seeing Jigen's wounded shoulder, she said not a word but helped Loiterer carry Jigen down to the lower deck, placing the captain into a large tank and letting him rest.
C turned to look at Loiterer as the mechanical tank worked on Jigen's wounds, a blue gel surrounding the wounded man. "I assume we lost them?"
Loiterer nodded. "We should rest…it's been a crazy day, and we'll need to find somewhere safe to dock in the next few days."
"I agree, plus Jigen needs to rest as well. We'll find somewhere to restock soon enough." C walked up the stairs to the main part of the ship. "Come on, I'll show you where to stay." She said, motioning to the spy to follow her down the hall. With the insanity of Plastic Harbor behind them, C-Squared and Loiterer wondered to themselves when, if ever they would be able to find a safe haven.