Bulk groaned quietly as he stood up and stretched, looking around with uncertainty and sighing when he saw no sign of Stringer anywhere. "He was supposed to be here by now…" The silver-clad Hero murmured to himself, frowning as he glanced around yet again. "We're supposed to do this together, and he's still not showing up… maybe he got off in his own little world again and is jamming out in his room…" Shaking his head at the situation, Bulk headed out of the training sphere, activating his com link and trying to contact his music-playing partner. "Hey Stringer, where are-"
He was surprised to find himself cut off by static, followed by Stringer's urgent pleading. "Bulk, get out of Hero Factory now! out!"
Bulk stopped walking, blinking as he tried to figure out what was going on with Stringer's side of the connection. "Stringer I can't hear you, what's going on over there?"
"Can't talk! get be. get found!" Was the only reply that Bulk received, the connection dying shortly after and fizzling out of existence.
For several seconds, Bulk just stood there in bewilderment. What had Stringer so freaked out? It had to be big, considering that Stringer rarely got buzzed about anything. If it'd been Surge, Bulk wouldn't have been bothered about it. Frowning, the veteran Hero activated his com link again, this time trying to get a hold of Stormer. There was no signal. "Since when does Stormer have his communicator off?" Bulk muttered under his breath. "He's always got it on in case there's a mission to be had… something really weird is going on around here…" Now holding his weapon close, Bulk set out down the hall, going through his contact list and soon locating Zib's name. "If anyone knows what's going on, it'll be Zib." Bulk mumbled before trying to contact the Senior Chief. "Hey Zib, what's going-"
Again he was cut off. "Bulk, thank goodness you're still yourself. Listen, you have to get out of the Factory. Heroes all over the place are going rogue, and I haven't got a clue why. Quadal and I just managed to give Furno the slip, but there's no knowing where he or any other rogue Hero is going to show up."
Bulk was startled to hear this news. "Furno went rogue? Why? Zib, what's going on in here? Heroes don't just up and go rogue for the fun of it."
"I don't know what's going on, Bulk, but I do know that Stormer is missing." The Chief replied after a pause, probably because he'd checked for danger. "He went out on a solo mission last night, and he hasn't come back. He went offline several hours ago, and hasn't been on since."
"Where was he deployed?" Bulk inquired, glancing around and quickly moving to take cover. He'd managed to hide just in time for Surge to run past, being chased by two Heroes that Bulk didn't really recognize. "And why is Surge being chased around? Did he break something?"
"Stormer was sent to Tantalus 5 to investigate a disturbance in the old penitentiary site you encountered Corroder at." Zib replied grimly. "I'm sure you remember that little incident. As for Surge… he must still be at least half sane if he's running from the other Heroes. See if you can catch him before they do. But for heaven's sake, don't get caught!"
"On it, Zib." Bulk responded, leaning out to take a look down the hallway again. He could hear someone coming back towards him, and he could only hope that it was Surge and not someone else. Going by the speed, it probably was, or it was some other Hero not yet brought down by the rogues they once called friends.
Sure enough, Surge came barrelling down the corridor again, looking panicked out of his wits as he glanced over his shoulder… giving Bulk the perfect chance to grab him and pull him out of sight. Quickly covering the Rookie's mouth so he wouldn't make a huge fuss, Bulk just held the blue-clad Hero down and waited while the two rogue Heroes ran past. Once they were gone, he let go of Surge, looking him over and asking quietly. "Surge, do you have any idea what's going on here? Hero Factory's turned into a nuthouse, and apparently Furno was chasing Zib and Quadal around."
Surge looked Bulk over before seeming to sigh with relief, clearly thankful that the veteran wasn't as crazy as the rest of the factory seemed to be. "Furno was after me too earlier. He sent those two after me when he spotted Zib… I have no idea what's going on, Bulk, but I don't like it. I haven't seen Breez or Rocka anywhere, and I haven't seen anyone else either. Not anyone sane, at least…"
Bulk grimaced at this news. Things were going from bad to worse with every word he was told. Activating his communicator again, he spoke to Zib. "I've got Surge, and he seems to be okay. I'll take him to Tantalus 5 and see what we can find out about Stormer's disappearance. With any luck we'll have this problem sorted by sun-down… Zib? Zib are you there?" There wasn't an answer. Sighing, Bulk closed the communication off and looked at Surge. "Here's the scoop; pretty much everyone is against us now, and Stormer's been missing since he left on a scouting run. We're going after him to see if we can figure out just what happened."
Surge gulped, wringing his hands as he thought about it. "A-anywhere's safer than here, I guess… but how are we going to get to the launch deck without getting trashed?"
The veteran had to think on that one a moment, but it soon dawned on him. "The same way Rocka got to Mr. Makuro's office when the mass breakout happened; we're going to use the vents."
Despite Surge's displeasure and unease with the idea, the vents ended up being the only semi-safe option that they could actually use, as several rogue Heroes had started moving in on where the pair were hiding, giving them no choice but to take cover in the vents. Now making their way towards the launch deck, Surge was surprisingly quiet, something that Bulk was thankful for at the present time. It allowed him to think the situation over more clearly, as well as get a better view of what was going on. It wasn't a pleasant sight by any stretch of the imagination; Heroes were running hither and thither, those who were still sane being cornered and captured by their former comrades. Senior Chiefs were being rounded up and locked away, probably in the villain containment facility.
Luckily for Bulk and Surge, they managed to get to the launch deck without that many difficulties. However, now came the real challenge; how were they going to get a shuttle and launch it without being caught? Glancing at Surge, he said quietly. "So… any ideas?"
Surge looked around, grimacing a bit as he thought it over. "Um… what would happen if you shot that light down?" He pointed out a particular light, at the far end of the hangar.
Bulk thought a while, looking the surroundings over and taking note of the various rogue Heroes that were making sure the vehicles were in lockdown. "Hm… it'd certainly draw attention… let's find out." With that, he drew out his blaster, took careful aim, and fired.
The sound of metal snapping indicated the lamp was broken, and the resounding crash that followed drew the attention of virtually everyone in the immediate area. Bulk and Surge bolted for the nearest personnel carrier as soon as the other Heroes had moved past, ducking down inside and quietly closing it up before looking at each other. Now they had a new problem; getting to the vehicle was one thing, but actually taking off was something else. "What are the chances they'll just shoot us down when we try to leave?" Surge asked with unease.
Bulk grimaced at the thought. Surge had a point; all of the rogue Heroes had been heavily armed from what he could see, and they would probably be more than willing to shoot their own craft down. "Uhm…"
That was when the two Heroes would have received a message over their communicators. "Bulk, Surge, was that you in the hangar just now?" It was Breez!
Surge scrambled to answer, sounding relieved to hear Breez was alright. "Yes, we're in one of the vehicles. Where are you?"
"I'm in the vents. I don't know how we missed each other, but I'm in the higher shaft, up on the ceiling. I can't get down there, but I'll give you cover for as long as I can. You have to get out of here and find Stormer. I know that Nex managed to escape earlier on Furno's bike. If you can find him out there, that would be great."
"Wait, provide cover?" Surge stammered. "But you're coming too aren't you?"
"I don't have enough time to get there and protect you at the same time." Breez responded. "Just get the vehicle started up, and I'll handle the rest. I'm going to do what I can about evacuating the Senior Chiefs that have been rounded up. Now go, okay? Don't worry about me."
Before Bulk and Surge could have said anything else, Breez ended the communication and logged off. Bulk moved to the pilot's seat, starting to fire the vehicle up. Surge looked at him with alarm. "W-we're going to just leave her here?!"
"She'll be fine, Surge. Trust Breez to do what she says, and stay focussed. You devoted your skill to save her one time, now it's up to her to save us."
That was when the rogue Heroes opened fire, but it wasn't on the craft Bulk had just turned on. It was on a different vehicle entirely, which had started lifting off and threatening to fly out all on its own. Bulk gunned the accelerators, blasting out of the launch bay before the rogues could have even got a chance to shoot at them. It was a good thing Bulk had taken off so quickly too, because just moments after the two sane Heroes made their escape, the launch bay doors slammed shut, sealing Breez and anyone else with her inside.