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> Diamond City Chronicles #10, Contra: Project ACT ZERO
WarioMan
 Posted: Aug 10 2012, 10:49 PM
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-Contra: Project ACT ZERO-

Prologue

ARCTIC BOMBER'S P.O.V.

Hey there. I know it seems rather unusual I'd be giving you guys a heads-up on what's about to happen, but that's only because I've recently reformed myself near the end of World War III. Although it was very devastating all over Earth, we were lucky enough to have saved millions of innocent lives...well, I wish I could say the same for Sergeants Mad Dog and Scorpion of Delta Force. On top of that, I once heard sometime later that they've made an appearance in Contra 4 alongside Bill Rizer and Lance Bean in a war against Black Viper, Red Falcon's partner-in-slime.

Fast-forward to I think 6 months since the day of our victory. It's about March, in the year 20XX now. I've just heard from Blaze Bomber that there's strange activity going on in outer space. On top of that, some guy named General Shepherd has chosen us -- along with the Four Contras -- for some reason, and is intending to brief us in on the situation. Well, time for me to earn my reputation once again by teaming up with Aaron, Ami, Bill, and Lance...

END P.O.V.

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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WarioMan
 Posted: Aug 25 2012, 11:44 PM
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Chapter 1: Shepherd's arrival

February 9, 20XX...

[Opening BGM: Ecruteak City (Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal)]

Six months have passed since the era of World War III. Despite its devastating effects on mankind (courtesy of the Red Falcon Empire and the Five Dastardly Bombers), our efforts in taking out the Death Falcon by obliterating its core -- Red Falcon himself -- have saved the Earth from a fate much worse than World War II itself. However, we Four Contras occasionally recalled hearing Red Falcon's words from our final battle, in which he claimed that the people of Earth would eventually fear our powers and cast us out of Diamond City...if not all of the United States. Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, on the other hand, knew better than to listen to Red Falcon's heresay, and reassured me and Ami Onuki, that it will never happen to any of us. We just have to take full responsibility with our holy-powered gadgets like we usually do, since people are used to the obvious-as-ever fact that guns and explosives, no matter what they look like, can harm anyone. After all, not everyone on Earth knows my Contra Rifle and Ami's Bomberman Watch can never harm the innocent.

In addition to rebuilding our world, video game technology had risen to a new era over the months. WarioWare Inc., despite a few setbacks from the aftermath of World War III, kept itself afloat with WarioWare: D.I.Y., a Nintendo DS game which allowed players to design -- and even share locally or online -- their own microgames, songs, and even 4-panel comics, simply by using the in-game "Super MakerMatic 21." Sometime before Thanksgiving, Nintendo released a new handheld system around the world: the Nintendo 3DS (which came in Aqua Blue and Cosmo Black at the time of release), in addition to the launch games that were eventually released by early December: PilotWings Resort, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions, and Star Fox 64 3D.

Around Christmas time, though, Nintendo released a Flame Red-colored Nintendo 3DS along with Super Mario 3D Land (which Cheerful White and Cute Pink got for 9-Volt as a Christmas gift) when the system itself became popular. Speaking of Christmas, Bill and Lance got me and Ami our own 3DS's (respectively, in Aqua Blue and Flame Red), whereas Wario got Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on his X-Box 360, from Waluigi. Overall, we were glad that the Earth and its people are back to normal, thanks to our efforts in defeating Red Falcon once again.

Today, Mario Kart 7 and Kid Icarus: Uprising were all the rage, even in Diamond City and Oakland, California. Although Arctic Bomber -- still on probation with Bill and Lance keeping an eye on her -- could only afford an Ice White-colored Nintendo 3DS along with Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition and Tetris Axis at the moment, she was happy to have tried out the new Kid Icarus game while it was on display at retail stores...although the controls did take getting used to, at least on her end. Sometime in the afternoon during her gaming session, she got a phone call from someone.

[End BGM]

Arctic Bomber: "Ugh...okay, I'll get it. Just hold on..."
(She pauses her 3DS, picks up her cell phone and answers the call.)
Arctic Bomber: "Yeah? I mean, uh, hello?"
Blaze Bomber: "Arctic, it's me, Blaze Bomber. I'm calling from Crygor Labs in Diamond City. Are you available?"
Arctic Bomber: "Well, pretty much. I'm just playing Tetris Axis offline, at the moment. Why?"
Blaze Bomber: "You'll have to save it for some other time. It's urgent. A general from the US military wants to meet both of us, including the Four Contras, at City Hall."
Arctic Bomber: "I hope it's not another of Red Falcon's schemes, but then again, he's already dead. Alright, I'm on my way."
(She hangs up, and powers off her 3DS before putting it away.)

[Meeting BGM: Calamari Hangar (Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II)]

Later that evening, Arctic Bomber arrived at the City Hall in Diamond City, where a military man in green stood in front of an audience that consisted of no less than 20 people, including his men. Blaze Bomber, Bill, Lance, Ami, and I were part of that audience. The man then opened his speech by introducing himself as General Shepherd, and speaking into a microphone on the podium.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I suppose you're all wondering why I summoned you here for a very important but top secret mission. Now, you do know about the ancient history of Bomberman, right? A long time ago, on a distant planet known by many today as Planet Bomber, there existed a group of four evil Bombermen called the "Dark Force Bombers." They wanted to turn the world into darkness, but the ancestors of Planet Bomber, led by the legendary Hero Bomber (or "Hero Bomberman"), fought hard altogether. Eventually, they had succeeded in banishing the evil ones to the Blue Crystals, and separated them all across the other worlds, believing that they might never again break free and conquer all.

Now, approximately 400 years later, an evil man named Bagular appeared from out of nowhere, after being defeated quite a few times before by the heroic Cheerful White and his close friends, and released the Dark Force Bombers from their Blue Crystal prison. They had conquered the Forest, Wind, Fire, and the Water worlds from their temporary base of operations: the so-called "Dark World." But, Cheerful White alone faced the Dark Force Bombers and his archnemesis, Bagular, and solely defeated them all. Once again, the evil ones were imprisoned in the Blue Crystals, hopefully this time for good.

Another 2 years had passed -- today, the Blue Crystals were rediscovered...not by Red Falcon this time, but by a different race of aliens. To do that, they have stolen one of our space stations, made and funded by our US Government -- even before Bagular showed up to release the Dark Force Bombers. We could do absolutely nothing against them back then; thus, they were in complete control of our research station until now. Not only did they discover the Blue Crystals, but they also found a way to create their own army of Bombermen...no, not the usual "chibi-fied" ones you see. Roughly 2000 human adults were mysteriously kidnapped every year, and taken to the research station to be illegally modified into those kinds of soldiers. The body armor, a hand weapon technology that allows them to generate "bio bombs," everything that your average "chibi-fied" Bomberman doesn't have. In fact, the "bio bombs" are actually the energy spheres, generated by said hand weapon technology.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to fly towards the stolen research station in outer space, and stop this vile alien race from finishing their ultimate weapons project...codenamed ACT ZERO. They were last seen orbiting a planet where the Super Titanium ore were mined for virtually-impenetrable armor 6 months ago.

Aaron...Ami Onuki...Bill Rizer...Lance Bean...Blaze Bomber...and Arctic Bomber. You are among the most powerful soldiers, including plenty of others from our military here, that our country can find.

General Shepherd out.


Henceforth, the soldiers clapped their hands with honor as General Shepherd stepped off the podium, while we Four Contras talked with Arctic Bomber and Blaze Bomber. The moment Shepherd mentioned an army of Bombermen being created, the ex-Hate Bombers thought back to what Crasher and Blaster said, before Wario killed them for the second time.

[End BGM]

FLASHBACK
Blaster: "Oh, and before you die, we have to admit: we were surprised we're not the only ones interested in creating an army of Bombermen!"
Wario: "What the hell are you on about?!"
Warlock Bomber: "Not only that, but before our arrival, there already was a secret base on Galuga Island -- thankfully made just for us!"
Mona: "No, but seriously...what are you guys talking about...?"
Crasher: "Poor Earthlings. There are some things you're better off not knowing."

END FLASHBACK

Blaze Bomber: "Maybe the evil scientists were right, but General Shepherd didn't mention anything about Galuga Island, much less its base being built."
Arctic Bomber: "Hmm...I think something fishy's going on, but I guess we have no choice but to trust him."
Me: "Here's what we'll do: Blaze Bomber, Ami, and I will go and pay another visit to Galuga Island, this time to investigate something we likely didn't notice back in World War III."
Ami: "I'll contact Yumi, Cyber-Crash, and Steven to see if they can help out. I know they haven't done much crime-fighting alongside me and Aaron in a while, but still."
Blaze Bomber: "If they can't make it, just tell them not to worry as long as I'm around."
Ami (smiles): "Okay, Blaze."
Bill: "Since Galuga Island's underground base doesn't seem very large compared to that space station General Shepherd mentioned, Lance and I will go with Arctic Bomber."
Lance: "Yeah. He believed that no less than about 15 people is enough to handle the situation in space."
Arctic Bomber: "Whatever we do is fine by me, but I don't trust Shepherd. Besides, you guys hardly even know him in person!"
(She turned to me and Ami.)
Arctic Bomber: "And just the two of you going back to Galuga Island won't make a difference either, even if you're accompanied by Blaze Bomber!"
Blaze Bomber: "Arctic, relax! We've been through worse; not to mention that Aaron and Ami were able to survive on their own the first time, when you guys got separated. For right now, like you said, we just have to trust General Shepherd. If anything doesn't go as planned for whatever reason, we'll stick together and face the bad along with the good. In short, we watch our backs."

Bill, Lance, and Arctic Bomber decided to take off with General Shepherd and his 14 men, whereas Blaze Bomber went with me and Ami back to Crygor Labs to contact Yumi, Cyber-Crash, and Steven. Once we got word that they'll meet up here by 6:00 AM, Blaze Bomber suggested both of us to get some rest, while he assisted Penny Crygor in readying our space helicopter, which nowadays carried 12 people, including the pilots. Ever since its day of modification for space travel, safety precautions were made throughout the following 5 months, to reduce any sudden accidents that might occur aboard the helicopter.

For one, it had to be enlarged in size a little, in order for ten seats -- each with a safety belt -- to be be built inside its passenger side. To maintain the weight and leg space, eight seats were arranged to make up two rows of four; that way, there would be enough room to bail out in case of emergency. The last two seats, on the other hand, were placed backwards up front, just behind the cockpit. Finally, Dr. Crygor, Penny, and Blaze Bomber created an energy shield for the helicopter (and its rotors), so that it wouldn't be destroyed so easily in the event of a dogfight or an anti-air attack.

Right now, Penny and Blaze Bomber checked our helicopter's systems to make sure it was ready to go by dawn.

TO BE CONTINUED...

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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WarioMan
 Posted: Sep 4 2012, 12:56 AM
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Chapter 2: A space station under siege...

[Stage BGM: Crateria Depths (Metroid: Zero Mission)]

Mission 1A: The mystery of "ACT ZERO"
Lieutenant General Shepherd claimed that the space station, which was indeed funded by the US Government, had been hijacked by a mysterious group of aliens -- and not the remnants of the Red Falcon Empire.
Bill Rizer, Lance Bean, and Arctic Bomber are accompanying 14 of Shepherd's men on a space flight to the overtaken station itself.
February 10, 20XX


Arctic Bomber: "I wonder what's the name of that space station we're headed..."
Bill: "Not to mention that it's far out in space, much less around a planet where Red Falcon's goons had mined for the Super Titanium ore."
Lance: "And why would a group of aliens be so interested in creating Bombermen with that, anyway?"
Arctic Bomber: "Hmph. I still think Shepherd's got something to hide. He didn't even mention Galuga Island, remember?"
Bill: "We'll ask him about it later, but right now, we have our orders."
Lance: "Yeah. Try not to worry so much; we're not expendable."
Arctic Bomber (sighs): "Says the man who clearly resembles--"
(At this, Lance gasped and interrupted Arctic Bomber.)
Lance (whispering): "No! Shhh! There are people reading all this!"
Arctic Bomber: "Dude, I was just saying that you do resemble the guy who played John Rambo and even Rocky Balboa back in his heyday..."
(Lance covered his ears with his fingers.)
Lance: "La la la la la! I can't hear you!"
(Some of the soldiers were baffled.)
Bill (to the soldiers): "You'll have to excuse my old buddy. He does get a little tense whenever someone brings up the obvious about him, but he's a good guy."
Lance: "My appearance and that guy's appearance have absolutely nothing to do with each other, so don't go around spreading rumors!"
Arctic Bomber: "Okay, okay, just calm down already..."

Despite the commotion over Lance's "obvious" resemblance to...well, Rambo, Arctic Bomber kept her thoughts to herself. A few hours later, the whole group arrived at the abandoned space station. According to Shepherd's intel, it was known as the Weapons Research Station, abbreviated as the W.R.S. It had been around for nearly 5 and a half years since the Alien Wars. Upon the arrival, the group was attacked by none other than the "Dark Force Bombers" -- consisting of Earth Bomber, Cyclone Bomber, Fire Bomber, and Aqua Bomber.

[Interrupt BGM]
[Fight BGM: Space Pirates Battle (Metroid Prime)]

Earth Bomber: "Ho, ho...we have visitors!"
Cyclone Bomber: "This space station belongs to us!"
Fire Bomber: "You want it back, yer gonna have to come and get us!"
Aqua Bomber: "But that's if you can make it all the way to our lair alive..."
(The four Bombers vanished into thin air.)
Bill: "Those were holograms!"
Lance: "Looks like they wanna play cat-and-mouse with us."
Arctic Bomber: "We've got company!"

Swarming the group's way were a group of dragon-like aliens, each with a laser-sharped tongue and a pointed tail. Like with the beasts that served Red Falcon as his brethren, they had concentrated acid for blood.

Arctic Bomber: "Are those things the Xenomorphs from the Alien movies?! Eck!"
Bill: "Watch out for their claws!"
Lance: "Don't get too close, guys!"

The Xenomorphs attacked relentlessly, looking for an opening on their soon-to-be victims. But, 14 of Shepherd's soldiers fought back and hard. They had their assault rifles, miniguns, and rocket launchers at the ready; whereas Bill and Lance had their own guns to back up the troops. Before the mission began with the trip to outer space, Blaze Bomber gave the two Contras the Spread Gun and Laser Beam power-ups, aware that it's almost unlikely there will be power-up pods floating around the W.R.S. As for Arctic Bomber, all she needed were her ice powers and Bowling Bombs to assess the situation. Everyone then opened fire, making sure to distance themselves from the acidic blood. However, two of the Xenomorphs surprised the soldiers by jumping down from the ceiling and killed four of them with their claws and laser-sharp tongues. Despite the uneven odds, Shepherd's group unloaded their weapons on the alien aggressors, killing them in the end -- but not without splattering the acidic blood on the floor. Everyone backed away, and met up with Shepherd just as he stepped outside the ship.

[End BGM]

Shepherd: "Good work, soldiers! But this is only the beginning. The Dark Force Bombers, apparently supervising Project: ACT ZERO now, are hiding somewhere aboard the W.R.S."
(Two of the soldiers, named Jimbo and Sully, spoke up.)
Jimbo (Southern accent): "Yeah. The ones we saw were holograms!"
Sully (Southern accent): "It's like they expected us..."
Shepherd: "Well, that will soon change, now that we're onboard. There should be a main deck where the aliens are running the project, but the only way in -- by elevator -- is safeguarded by a force field to keep out intruders."
Arctic Bomber (scoffs): "Figures..."
Shepherd: "But, we can disable the force field to get in, but to do so, there are three different sectors, each housing a control room that powers the force field. These sectors, each with a different environment for a battlefield, are said to be the 'training grounds' for the victimized test subjects. If you can disable the controls in each sector, the force field should shut down. I'll be monitoring the entire operation from aboard our space ship. Good luck!"
(He walks back into the ship.)
Arctic Bomber (to herself): "This is gonna be a long, long day...or night...whatever."
Bill: "Arctic, I know you don't trust General Shepherd, but we have no choice."
Lance: "Those Dark Force Bombers have to be stopped at all costs."

TO BE CONTINUED...

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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WarioMan
 Posted: Sep 13 2012, 03:17 AM
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Chapter 3: The return trip to New Zealand

[Stage BGM: Wrecked Ship (Super Metroid)]

Elsewhere, back on Earth, my group had taken off for New Zealand aboard our helicopter, which Penny officially called the "CrygorCopter." While Ami and I contacted Steven, Cyber-Crash, and Yumi to tag along, Blaze Bomber got in touch with Yuffie and asked her if she'd like to join us on our trip. Since she wasn't at Galuga Island during Brain Bomber's takeover, she was eager to check it out with us.

Mission 1B: Galuga Archipelago revisited
Aaron and Ami Onuki of the Four Contras head on back to the jungle depths of the Galuga Archipelago, intending to search for clues as to why the underground base was built on that island long before Red Falcon's minions took over.
Blaze Bomber, Yumi Yoshimura, Cyber-Crash, Steven, and Yuffie Kisaragi are accompanying the co-leaders as backup.
February 10, 20XX
4:05 AM


Due to our past activities on the island itself, mostly involving the destruction of all its outer defenses, it was safe for us to land the CrygorCopter just by the waterfall, where the underground base was located.

Me: "Time sure flies, doesn't it, Ami?"
Ami: "Yep. Our first trip to the Galuga Archipelago in 6 or so months."
Blaze Bomber: "At the very least, though, there aren't any stragglers to deal with...I hope. Speaking of which, I read an article one time, which explained the origins of the island's underground base."
Yuffie: "As much as I hate to agree with Crasher and Blaster, they admitted that the base existed long before World War III. Still, the fact that they claimed it to have been built 'just for them' disgusts me this day."
Steven: "Blaze Bomber, did that article explain in full detail about the base's origins? Like, say, any Bomberman-related experiments that General Shepherd told you earlier?"
Blaze Bomber: "All signs pointed out to the US Government having funded the construction of Galuga Island's underground base in the last 5 years as of the Alien Wars, for use as an outpost in case of another war. Beyond that, it's all 'classified information' and stuff. In short, not a word about Bomberman-esque experiments like with that space station General Shepherd was talking about."
Cyber-Crash: "Well, let's press on and see what we find."
Me: "Guys, hang on a sec. I just remembered something: Did the article, by any chance, mention the supercomputer that generated a holographic brain?"
Blaze Bomber: "Yeah. In fact, it was programmed to power the whole base and its defense systems. Why?"
Ami: "Aaron and I actually stumbled upon it while we were separated from Bill, Lance, and the others. Come to think of it, it's possible we shut down the defenses when we took out the supercomputer itself..."
Yumi: "Then the base should be clean enough to search around unscathed, right?"

[Interrupt BGM]
[Fight BGM: Kraid Battle (Metroid: Zero Mission)]

Just then, a fortress wall arose from beneath the surface, poised to kill us in its "classic" layout: four snipers, two cannons, and a red core. However, the snipers we saw looked different from the ones that worked for Red Falcon; now, they resembled humanoid robots with scar-like marks reaching down their faces, across their left eyes. The right hand appeared normal (albeit strapped with a chain), while the left hand resembled a claw with a large, circular palm. The "snipers" roared like zombies, and fired away with their sniper rifles, while throwing energy "bio bombs" with their left hands.

Yuffie: "I thought that base, let alone the entire island, was supposed to be empty! Now we've got robot zombies who somehow act like they're Bombermen?"
(The red core began flashing.)
Yumi: "Don't look now, but that thing's charging up!"

We immediately jumped up onto higher ground just before the fortress wall's core fired a large laser beam. The cannons, on the other hand, did not shoot explosive shells, but rather smaller laser shots. Blaze Bomber got out two power-up pods, and tossed them up high for me to shoot down. The pods contained the Homing Missiles and the Crash Missiles, which I grabbed for both weapon slots on my Contra Rifle. For now, I used the Crash Missiles to blow up the laser cannons, while Ami damaged the core with her Thunder Bombs, preventing it from firing anymore charged-up beams. As for Yuffie, she cast Curaga on the "snipers", killing them instantly since the undead take damage from Cure spells. Finally, Steven sliced the malfunctioning core with his katana, causing a chain reaction that blew up the entire fortress wall.

[End BGM]
[Resume Stage BGM]

Steven: "Good thing I've been taking lessons at Diamond Dojo with Kat and Ana's sensei in the past six months."

Before we could ponder over what was up with the zombified "Bombermen", the ground suddenly gave away, sending us plummeting into an underground laboratory. When we regained consciousness, we discovered a lot of glass tanks, each containing the humanoid "Bombermen" we fought just now. Blaze Bomber got out a scanner, and analyzed the data on the nearby computers. A brilliant invention by Dr. Crygor, the scanner had a useful feature: password decryption.

OCTOBER 3, 200X AD

And thus began our project on creating our own army of "Bombermen" during the construction of the underground base on Galuga Island, off the coast of New Zealand. Two months since the Alien Wars, we lost a good number of men that were defending both Diamond City and Neo City in the United States -- and that was before Bill Rizer and Lance Bean finished the job by destroying Red Falcon and his Hate Bombers. We don't know how we can replicate the Bomberman-like technology that the world saw during that war, but with enough research and effort, we will achieve a new military technology for the future.


Meanwhile, inside a command center, someone was monitoring our actions. He received a call from an unknown source.

Caller: "Do Aaron and Ami suspect anything?"
Man: "Yes. They have a hacker on their team..."
(He types in a code on his computer, and presses "Enter" afterwards.)
Man: "A former hacker, if you will. They had unauthorized access to our project's files."
Caller: "What? They must not be allowed to discover the truth, let alone leak it to the public. Terminate them!"
Man: "...Understood. I'll see to it that they don't leave here alive."

Unbeknownst to us, the "man in charge" had just hacked into Blaze Bomber's scanner through the base's network, causing it to malfunction and shut down. To add insult to injury, a blaring klaxon went off with all glass tanks opening up; the humanoid "Bombermen" came out to attack us.

Cyber-Crash: "So much for analyzing the encrypted data."
Steven: "But the base was shut down when Aaron and Ami blew up that supercomputer 6 months ago!"
Ami (to me): "Well, Aaron, here we go again!"
Me: "My sentiments exactly, Ami. Remind me to talk to General Shepherd if we ever get out of this."

[End BGM]

TO BE CONTINUED...

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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Zillaman
 Posted: Sep 17 2012, 06:33 PM
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Keep it up!

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WarioMan
 Posted: Sep 17 2012, 09:08 PM
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Chapter 4: The chaotic W.R.S.

[Stage BGM: Phazon Mines (Metroid Prime)]

Mission 2A: Battle aboard the Weapons Research Station
It was confirmed that the Dark Force Bombers, thought to have been defeated long ago, have taken control of the W.R.S. and the alien "Xenomorphs" that attacked the US Marines.
Under General Shepherd's orders, the group must find and disable the force field controls, in order to access the main deck.
February 10, 20XX


With 10 of the US soldiers left, General Shepherd recommended that they, along with Bill, Lance, and Arctic Bomber, split into 3 groups to take care of all three sectors at once. The first group (consisting of Bill, Lance, Arctic, Jimbo, and Sully) went to cover Sector 1 (Dungeon); the second took on Sector 2 (Mountain); and the third group was assigned to Sector 3 (Desert). At the same time, however, the Dark Force Bombers were informed of the situation at hand by a mysterious caller...

Caller: "They've taken the bait and split into separate groups. Aqua Bomber, you are to oversee the sectors from the security monitors, while the rest of you take your positions at the three sectors."
Earth Bomber: "At your service, master. When I'm through, they'll be the ones who are beaten so badly and not me!"
(He takes a teleporter to Sector 1.)
Fire Bomber: "Hah hah! This'll be fun!"
(He walks into the teleporter for Sector 2.)
Cyclone Bomber: "The poor jerks will soon learn to appreciate my adorable cyclones!"
(She steps into the teleporter, taking her to Sector 3.)
Aqua Bomber: "Hopefully it'll prove entertaining; definitely something to pass the time while we finish rounding up the kidnapped Earthlings into an army of Super Bombermen..."

Meanwhile, in Sector 1 (Dungeon), Bill's group took careful steps to make certain there weren't any ambushes. As they explored the whole place in search of the force field controls, there were glass tanks filled to the brim with humanoid "Bombermen", each with an inscription next to said tanks...

Bill (reading out loud): "'Bomberman: The Genesis...'"
Lance (reading out loud): "'All I know is my own existence.' ...Eh?"
Arctic Bomber: "They sure did a number on that guy, didn't they?"

The group then came across a computer, which Lance used a decryptor to analyze the data. What it displayed on the screen was shocking, indeed:

PROJECT: ACT ZERO

The main purpose, especially in return for the attacks by these "Bombermen" that served Red Falcon during World War III, is to empower both US soldiers and civilians alike with the battle suits -- each with a special gauntlet on the left hand that allows the usage of energy "bio bombs."

Long before that, we started the project by having built an underground base on Galuga Island, back on Earth. We originally intended it to be an outpost in case of another war, as with the Alien Wars. However, we had to take a different step to make certain no more lives are lost. That was when Project: ACT ZERO was born.

Unfortunately, given the fact that our experiments were not successful, we were forced to abandon Galuga Island and start over with a space station as a means of backup: the Weapons Research Station. The "Super Titanium" alloy for the battle suits is one thing, but if we expect to make our Super Bombermen invincible, we must find and harness a key ingredient that makes us tick. It is rumored to be on Earth, but only a few people possess that key ingredient. Once we get our hands on that, we will be one step closer to achieving our ultimate dream.

END OF FILE
W.R.S. CREW EXPENDABLE


Just then, the computer shut itself off with an alarm blaring all over the place. The "Super Bombermen" woke up, and busted out of the glass tanks, ready to do battle. And leading them was none other than Earth Bomber, who brandished a battle axe.

[End BGM]
[Fight BGM: Mountain Stronghold (Contra: Legacy of War)]

Earth Bomber: "I hate to break it to you, but what you just read on the monitor is the last thing you'll ever see before you die!"
(He gets out a Mega Mushroom, and supersizes himself with it.)
Jimbo: "WHOA! He's twice as big as he was before!"
Sully: "But, wasn't that thing only in video games?"
Arctic Bomber: "New Super Mario Bros., to be precise!"
Earth Bomber (deep voice): "You're gonna be the ones who get beaten so badly! Have at it, Super Bombermen!"
(The "Super Bombermen" saluted, and attacked without saying a word.)
Jimbo: "They're attacking! I don't know for sure if we can survive this!"
Sully: "Incoming bio bombs! TAKE COVER!!"
Arctic Bomber: "Amen to that! These guys are giving Bomberman a bad rep!"

While Jimbo, Sully, and Arctic Bomber took cover next to Bill and Lance, the "Super Bombermen" made use of the Line Bomb tactic, an addition to their special gauntlets. Like in the Bomberman games, it typically drops a bomb line. How many bombs were placed all at once depended on the number of unexploded bombs a Bomberman could set at a time (via "Bomb Up" items). In that case, the "Super Bombermen" had ten bombs to set at once, giving a load of trouble for the group.

Earth Bomber: "Aw, quit being scared! Our Super Bombermen just wanna play with you!"
Arctic Bomber: "Shut up! I'm gonna cut you down to size for that! Bill, Lance, gimme a boost!"

Bill and Lance nodded, and held Arctic Bomber by her feet before flinging her upwards like a catapult. Then she generated her icicle spears with an icy wind, and slammed their blunt edges on Earth Bomber's face. Afterwards, she clinged herself onto his head, climbing around to avoid his axe swings. She pelted him with her Bowling Bombs, until the Mega Mushroom's effects wore off, shrinking him back to normal. Arctic Bomber fell down with him, but not before throwing her Bowling Bombs downwards to set off the bomb lines, resulting in a massive explosion that wiped out the "Super Bombermen" along with Earth Bomber himself. Arctic and her friends, on the other hand, were not killed.

Arctic Bomber: "Sorry I had to do this, but they left me no other choice! Whoever's in charge of this project really screwed up those victims into brain-dead zombies."
Jimbo: "But they didn't move or talk like zombies..."
Sully: "She was speaking metaphorically, Jim."
Bill: "Right now, we gotta shut down the controls for the force field!"
Lance: "I don't think we need to. The blast from all the combined explosions must've taken them out."
(They surveyed the entire sector, and found that the controls were indeed totaled in the explosions.)
Arctic Bomber: "I hope the other guys are doing any better..."

[End BGM]
[Interlude BGM: Koume and Kotake's Theme (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)]

(Fire Bomber and Cyclone Bomber teleported in.)
Fire Bomber: "You may have killed Earth Bomber, but we already took care of the others in Sectors 2 and 3!"
Cyclone Bomber: "They were surprised at what I could do!"
Bill: "Oh yeah? I'll bet they shut down the controls for the force field, too!"
Cyclone Bomber: "Well, they did...but their punishment was termination! All you fools are doing is following General Shepherd without ever guessing the truth!"
Lance: "What are you on about? And how do you know him, let alone us?"
Arctic Bomber: "I knew it! General Shepherd DOES have something to do with all this. The project being funded by the United States government, and the fact that you bozos somehow knew who we were, and that we were coming, everything! AND not to mention that he came out of the ship AFTER we took out the Xenomorphs earlier! But the question is: why?"
Fire Bomber: "If you wanna know the whole truth, then come to the main deck! All you gotta do is beat us and our Super Bombermen, and you're home free!"
Bill: "And if we lose?"
Cyclone Bomber: "Then you'll serve us, and appreciate my cyclones!"
Lance (sighs): "Fine. It's a deal..."
Arctic Bomber: "You just wait till Aaron, Ami, and Blaze Bomber discover everything about your evil project on Galuga Island, and expose it all to the public!"
Fire Bomber: "HAH! Don't count on it, stupid girl! Our master already knows what they're up to! We'll be back...and waiting for you at the main deck."
(He and Cyclone retreated to the main deck.)
Jimbo: "Gee...we're screwed! Game over man! Game over!"
Sully: "Now what are we gonna do?!"
Arctic Bomber: "We're gonna fight for it to the finish. I refuse to lose you guys just like Mad Dog and Scorpion from 6 months ago!"

[End BGM]

TO BE CONTINUED...

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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Zillaman
 Posted: Sep 18 2012, 06:33 PM
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Keep it up, Aaron!

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WarioMan
 Posted: Sep 20 2012, 02:49 AM
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Chapter 5: Crew expendable

[Stage BGM: Gekokujoh Norakura (Contra: Hard Corps)]

Mission 2B: Underground base revisited
Aaron, Ami, Blaze Bomber, Yumi, Cyber-Crash, Steven, and Yuffie are forced into battle against the humanoid "Bombermen" all around the underground base.
The truth is yet to be revealed, as to whoever's really in charge of Project: ACT ZERO, much less the whole base on Galuga Island.
February 10, 20XX
4:30 AM


With the zombified "Bombermen" milling about, we were fighting and fleeing for our lives, especially when they were backed up by the Xenomorphs.

Yumi: "Those alien creatures aren't supposed to be here!"
Steven: "Somebody must be really paranoid about people unveiling this project's secrets!"
Yumi (scoffs): "Ya think?!"
Cyber-Crash: "We'll have to find and shut down the supercomputer that was powering the base. We can't fend them off forever!"
Blaze Bomber: "I'll go with Aaron and Ami to take out that supercomputer, while the rest of you find whoever's in charge of this operation."
Yuffie: "Alright, but what if something happens to you?"
Me: "No time to explain! We've got to uncover the truth and the mastermind behind Project: ACT ZERO before these vermin do us in!"
Ami: "I'm with you, Aaron!"

As we fled from the laboratory, Blaze Bomber incinerated as much of the Xenomorphs and zombified "Bombermen" as he could with his flame jets. Just then, someone called out to us, "Your actions won't stop Project: ACT ZERO from coming to fruition!" We demanded to know who that caller was, but he insisted that we're better off not knowing. With no other options, we chose to split into two teams as planned. On account of being swarmed all over, Ami and I decided it's time we activated our 30-hit Konami Barriers. Since we have to be perfectly still for this to work, Blaze Bomber covered for us.

Me: "Up, up, down, down!"
Ami: "Left, right, left right!"
Both (in unison): "B, A, Select, Start!"

Knowing that our Contra Rifle and Bomberman Watch must recharge for 30 minutes once the souped-up barriers have taken 30 hits, we needed to be even more careful with our moves. Henceforth, we trekked to the underground base through the bottom of the waterfall, and blasted through the gates the same way as we did on our last visit. Some red cores were plated with metallic shields, but even that didn't last against our attacks like in Contra and Contra 4. Despite taking some hits along the way, Ami and I led Blaze Bomber to the room where we fought the supercomputer's holographic brain. Our suspicions were correct: someone had indeed rebuilt the supercomputer itself. Upon our arrival, it generated two holographic brains instead of one; however, instead of attacking, they merely scanned me and Ami.

Me: "Eh? I don't remember that in both Contra and Contra 4..."
Ami: "Me neither. But keep your guard up!"
(The holographic brains eventually took the forms of both me and Ami.)
Blaze Bomber: "Whoa! That's something you don't see in a Contra game everyday...I think."

[End BGM]
[Boss BGM: A Spirit of Bushi (Contra: Hard Corps)]

As soon as the supercomputer generated the holographic clones of me and Ami, it kept Blaze Bomber out of the room with an electrical field, before sending in the Xenomorphs after him. Then the clones generated the holographic versions of my Contra Rifle and Ami's Bomberman Watch before attacking us with the Spread Gun and Fire Bombs. Obviously, the Spread Gun is rather difficult to dodge when pitted against it -- and we knew by then how Red Falcon's goons felt whenever any of us Contras had the Spread Gun equipped. Ami and I couldn't avoid losing more of our Konami Barriers' power, even when swerving around the clones. Since I lost the Crash Missiles along the way, I had to keep my Homing Missiles in reserve and stick with the default machine gun.

The moment we retaliated, the clones switched to the Flamethrower and the Thunder Bombs. We leaned just beneath the flames, and returned fire with our own weapons, eventually wearing down the fake Ami...but not without taking more hits to the point in which our barriers' power was about to expire. Immediately, the fake me stunned us with a lightning strike and revived the fake Ami by touching its shoulders. Even when we eventually took down the fake me, the story was the same: the fake Ami temporarily incapacitated us before bringing the fake me back to life.

Me: "Crap! They're not going down!"
Ami: "Maybe defeating them simultaneously would work!"

Due to the fake me having switched back to the Spread Gun, we were forced to jump and dodge around again, even at the expense of our energy. The instant our Konami Barriers expired, we had tired out. The gunfire from the Spread Gun weakened us to the point, in which the fake Ami easily knocked us out with Fire Bombs. Eventually, the clones took a step closer for the finishing blow. Just when it seemed like the supercomputer itself was about to win the rematch, Ami got up and chucked her Thunder Bombs at the clones, while I backed her up with my Homing Missiles, making certain that the clones were simultaneously taken down. The last thing we saw before passing out was the supercomputer malfunctioning once again, with its holographic clones reverting back to their brain-like forms before shorting out, eventually causing it to explode.

[End BGM]

Nearly half an hour later, Ami and I came to. Upon waking up, we saw Blaze Bomber, Yuffie, Yumi, Steven, and Cyber-Crash. We found out that the project, while funded by the US Government, was started by a then-unknown organization known as Shadow Company. According to the "man-in-charge" (who fled the base after Yumi's group encountered him), Shadow Company excelled in black ops missions, even at the expense of its own members. The "Bombermen" we had fought earlier were in fact called the "Super Bombermen", though the ones that attacked us were zombified; in other words, failed experiments. As for the Xenomorphs themselves, which were somehow cloned from Red Falcon's brethren, Shadow Company also planned on using them for the development of biological weapons along with the "Super Bombermen." The only thing the "man-in-charge" did not give away was the main leader's identity, intending it to be the last thing we'd ever discover for ourselves before dying.

In short, it was only a matter of time before Shadow Company would get word of our mission and send its troops after us...

TO BE CONTINUED...

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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Zillaman
 Posted: Sep 20 2012, 06:51 PM
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Great work, Aaron!

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WarioMan
 Posted: Sep 23 2012, 04:14 AM
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Chapter 6: One less loose end

Another ten minutes had passed since Ami and I woke up from unconsciousness. We had just returned to our CrygorCopter and took off, so we could report to Penny Crygor the shocking news. However, before we could even get in touch with her, let alone leave Galuga Island, a good number of helicopters flew by and opened fire on us! It was as we had feared: Shadow Company didn't plan on letting us live to spread the truth to the media and citizens alike. In fact, the 'man-in-charge' who ran off earlier was leading the assault, revealing himself as Colonel Bassad.

[Alert BGM: Black Shudder (Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow)]

Bassad: "I warned you that I wouldn't be so merciful when I call for backup. I am Colonel Bassad of Shadow Company, and we'll soon make America into the strongest nation on Earth with our Super Bombermen and the Xenomorphs at the military's disposal!"
Yuffie: "So it was General Shepherd all along! I figured as much..."
Bassad: "Well, lucky you that we didn't have to bluntly advertise it all for you to get the hint. Very good detective skills you got, even when the General didn't mention Galuga Island yesterday, I'll admit. But then again, we'd have to kill you for betraying everyone in the country."
Blaze Bomber: "Betraying the people of America? You're the ones who did just that by killing innocent people with your twisted experiments! You freaked them up beyond the healing capabilities of White Magic, not us!"
Bassad: "You scum know too much. Open fire, men!"

The helicopters of Shadow Company fired their EMP missiles to disable our CrygorCopter and its energy shield, before shooting us down. We were forced to crash-land back onto Galuga Island, although the damage was -- thankfully -- not severe. Blaze Bomber immediately got out the helicopter's interdimensional communicator to warn Bill, Lance, Arctic Bomber, and the US soldiers that were not with Shadow Company.

Blaze Bomber: "Bill! Lance! Arctic! This is Blaze Bomber! We've all been had! We're under attack by Shepherd's men at the Galuga Archipelago on Earth! Aaron, Ami, do what you can and take out those choppers! Do not trust Shepherd! I say again, do not trust Shepherd! Yuffie, get down!"
(One of the stray missiles damaged the cockpit, cutting off all further communications.)
Blaze Bomber: "AACK!"
Yumi: "Blaze!"
Yuffie: "Are you okay?!"
Blaze Bomber: "I've felt worse...but we've gotta get the word out to the people of the United States!"

[End BGM]
[Stage BGM: Guillotine (Contra: Hard Corps)]

APPROXIMATELY 40 MINUTES EARLIER...

Mission 3A: Loose Ends
With Arctic Bomber's suspicions about General Shepherd's agenda raised further, she and her remaining allies proceed with shutting down Project: ACT ZERO aboard the W.R.S.
Even Bill and Lance believe something is amiss, much less the fact that the Dark Force Bombers somehow knew they were coming to begin with.
February 10, 20XX


Bill, Lance, Arctic Bomber, and Privates Jimbo and Sully had fought their way back to the elevator, returning to the main deck of the W.R.S. According to the information they've discovered during their trip, the Super Titanium alloy wasn't concentrated 100 times over with dark power; in other words, the weakness is no longer restricted to Star energy. Aside from fighting the "Super Bombermen" and the alien Xenomorphs, they had not one but two giant alien turtles -- each cloned from Slave Beast Taka -- to contend with.

Arctic Bomber: "Great, now we have TWO Slave Beast Takas to kill! I definitely don't recall that happening in Contra: Shattered Soldier!"
Jimbo: "Dude, can you at least fight WITHOUT mentioning a video game?!"
Sully: "Those freak shows mean business!"

The Slave Beast Taka clones sent out maggots and wasps, while puking out the pink energy bursts from their mouths. As for the "Super Bombermen", they now had machine guns similar to Bill and Lance's; only now, the sophisticated guns had three different weapons, each with their own charge shots. The Master Chief-like clones opened fire without mercy, switching between the machine gun, flamethrower, and grenade launcher.

Arctic Bomber: "Well, I'll be damned! I could use one of those, just like in Contra: Shattered Soldier!"
Bill: "What are you blabbering about? You've got your ice powers, and Bowling Bombs..."

[End BGM]
[Fight BGM: Slave Beast Taka (Contra: Shattered Soldier)]

The ex-Hate Bomber wasted no time swerving around the gunfire, and swiped the assault rifle from one of the "Super Bombermen" for her very own. "Pathetic ripoffs of Master Chief who give Bomberman a bad name!" she exclaimed. "This...is...CONTRA!!" Bill and Lance, recalling the time Arctic Bomber angrily swiped their machine guns to chase down Brain Bomber and his minions 5 months back on Galuga Island, feared that she would shoot around aimlessly. But this time, however, her aim wasn't so abysmal anymore; she actually held the gun with both her arms like a real soldier would. Then again, one might say it's because she's not holding two assault rifles this time.

Bill: "Jimbo, Sully, help us with those Super Bombermen and the cloned Xenomorphs!"
Lance: "I think Arctic's got everything under control with those two giant turtles milling about."
Jimbo: "Are you sure?"
Sully: "Whatever makes me feel any better!"

While the gunfire is useless against the "Super Bombermen" due to their Super Titanium alloy, concussive weapons (mostly from Earth) work wonders even without the Star energy since they're not as durable as Red Falcon's army of evil Bombermen and women. The three weapons on the rifle were as Arctic Bomber quoted from Contra: Shattered Soldier: Heavy Machine Gun, Fire Whip (typically a flamethrower), and Diver Mine (grenade launcher).

Arctic Bomber: "Hey, punks! Time for an ass-whooping!!"
(Bill and Lance heard what she just said.)
Lance: "Don't go overboard, Arctic!"

Arctic Bomber wasted no time switching to the Diver Mines and blasting the Slave Beast Takas' wasp and maggot nests. Then she switched to the Fire Whip and figured out how to charge her gun. Since she equipped the flamethrower itself, its charge shot was a powerful flaming blast, called the Energy Shot. As she fired the charged shots every few seconds, she swerved around to avoid getting eaten by the Slave Beast Takas, until she eventually blew their heads off.

Arctic Bomber: "I think I know what's coming next..."

As expected, the giant alien turtles turned around, showing their sickening man-like faces. Arctic Bomber resisted the urge to vomit at the sight, and stuck with the Fire Whip. Bill and Lance, having taken out the rest of the "Super Bombermen", came to help her, while Jimbo and Sully took out the remaining Xenomorphs. The Slave Beast Takas opened up their mouths, and puked out a stream of acidic vomit. Jimbo and Sully barely jumped out of the way, leaving the Xenomorphs to be destroyed. Arctic Bomber then threw her barrage of Bowling Bombs into the Slave Beast Takas' open mouths, blowing them both up from the inside. The clones' green blood began oozing out of their bodies; they could only groan in agony before dropping dead.

[End BGM]

Arctic Bomber: "Blech...this is exactly like in Contra: Shattered Soldier -- gross, yet there was only one to face that time."
Jimbo: "Now we can leave this uncomfortable episode behind us and move on."
Sully: "You said a mouthful, Jim!"

[Boss BGM: R.A.V.E. (Contra: Hard Corps)]

(Just then, Fire Bomber showed up again.)

Fire Bomber: "Not so fast! My fire isn't out yet, fools! Let's go, Master Builder!"
(He presses a button on a remote control, summoning a giant skeleton-like robot; he jumped onto its top to pilot it.)
Arctic Bomber: "I think I've fought that blue guy before in Contra: Hard Corps..."

Master Builder started the battle just outside the elevator by pounding the floor, causing several metal parts to drop in. Then he put the parts together to form a tank, which fired armor-piercing shells without delay. The whole group was injured by the blast, but not bad. Bill and Lance, however, were unable to damage the tank since they lost their Spread Gun and Laser Beam power-ups during the fight against Earth Bomber earlier. Arctic Bomber, on the other hand, had no problem blowing up the tank with her Bowling Bombs, angering Master Builder. He came out of hiding, pounded the floor to summon more metal parts, and put them together to build about ten copies of Earth Bomber.

Jimbo and Sully helped Bill and Lance blast the clones, just as Arctic Bomber unloaded a barrage of Energy Shots via the charged-up Fire Whip to inflict heavy damage on the hiding Master Builder. Once the clones were wiped out, Master Builder got angry again, and summoned more metal parts by pounding the floor. However, before he could even build something else, Arctic's group blew his head off. The entire body shorted out as the arms fell off before detonating in a large explosion, eventually killing Fire Bomber in the process.

[End BGM]

With two Dark Force Bombers dead, the group took the elevator all the way to the top of the main deck, and found Aqua Bomber and Cyclone Bomber getting away in an escape pod. To add insult to injury, they had set the W.R.S. to self-destruct in 10 minutes. Bill, Lance, Arctic, Jimbo, and Sully were forced to retreat all the way back to General Shepherd's spaceship; and escape they did just before the W.R.S. detonated in a nuclear explosion.

Shepherd: "Did you get 'em all?"
Jimbo: "Not exactly. Aqua Bomber and Cyclone Bomber got away!"
Sully: "But we stopped their project..."
Bill: "Which we discovered was started by you. Why?"
Shepherd: "I don't know what you're talking about."
Arctic Bomber: "Don't play dumb, Shepherd! We're on to you! The project being funded by the United States government on both Galuga Island and the W.R.S., and the fact that the 'aliens' somehow knew who we were, and that we were coming, everything! I mean, somebody's gotta be telling those jerk-off clowns to come and kill us, much less in the three sectors! To top it all, I knew right from the start that something was up when you didn't mention Galuga Island or its underground base during that briefing!"
Lance: "Why did you do all this?"
Shepherd: "Hmph. No point hiding the truth any longer. I must admit, you were able to escape with your lives...but you know too much. Oh, and the aliens who kidnapped the victims were my soldiers in an organization that I lead: Shadow Company. We wore our clever disguises so that nobody would suspect our real intentions. But now that the deception is over, the time has come to dispose of you. I can't afford to have you around to spread the truth."
(The "alien soldiers" came out of hiding, and revealed themselves by taking off their disguises.)
Jimbo: "What?! Traitor!"
Sully: "It was a set-up the whole time!"

Before the group could retaliate, Shepherd's soldiers subdued them, and killed Jimbo and Sully before putting Bill and Lance inside an escape pod. The soldiers then held Arctic hostage on Shepherd's orders, intending for her to watch as Shepherd released the escape pod into space. Aqua Bomber and Cyclone Bomber eventually showed up to dispose of Jimbo and Sully's dead bodies, whereas Shepherd fired a missile at the other escape pod. Arctic could only watch in both fear and anger as the pod was engulfed with a blinding explosion.

[Betrayal BGM: Mission Failed (Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader)]

Arctic Bomber: "BILL! LANCE! NOOOOO!!"
Aqua Bomber: "And that leaves us two more Contras to deal with!"
Cyclone Bomber: "But not before we return to Earth to kill you, Arctic Bomber!"
Arctic Bomber: "Grrr...I'M GONNA KILL YOU ALL!!"
(Shepherd subdued her with a taser.)
Shepherd: "Save your breath, Arctic. I put you and your friends on the 'mission' with that briefing yesterday in an attempt for my loyal followers from Shadow Company to kill you. But like I said, I didn't expect you to be able to survive all the way, let alone escape alive. We may have sacrificed the Weapons Research Station for nothing, but we have enough of what we need -- Super Bombermen and alien Xenomorphs alike -- to begin a new era. And I intend for you to see it before you die."

The traitorous general walked back to the cockpit with Aqua Bomber and Cyclone Bomber, while the rest of his men kept Arctic Bomber prisoner. Her interdimensional communicator, left on from the beginning, transmitted a message: Bill! Lance! Arctic! This is Blaze Bomber! We've all been had! We're under attack by Shepherd's men at the Galuga Archipelago on Earth! Aaron, Ami, do what you can and take out those choppers! Do not trust Shepherd! I say again, do not trust Shepherd! Yuffie, get down! An explosion was heard over the communicator, abruptly ending the transmission. One of the soldiers then grabbed Arctic Bomber's communicator, and crushed it with his bare hands.

[End BGM]

TO BE CONTINUED...

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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WarioMan
 Posted: Sep 24 2012, 01:04 AM
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Chapter 7: The escape

[Boss BGM: Bloody Storm (Contra III: The Alien Wars)]

Mission 3B: Shepherd's betrayal
Things have taken a turn for the worse as General Shepherd revealed his true colors: he had plotted the mission as a means of killing us Four Contras, along with Arctic Bomber and Blaze Bomber, so that he could run our home country and its military unopposed -- especially with Shadow Company backing him up.
On account of betrayal, he was the one who had the kidnapped victims "converted" into his personal army of Super Bombermen, leaving them dead on the inside.
February 10, 20XX
5:10 AM


Not only were we betrayed by General Shepherd, our CrygorCopter was damaged, thanks to Colonel Bassad and his henchmen that attacked us with ten of their helicopters. It would take some time for Blaze Bomber -- even with help from Yumi, Steven, Cyber-Crash, and Yuffie -- to fix the CrygorCopter and its cockpit, so Ami and I were on our own for now.

Bassad: "Everything would've gone so well for all of the United States, if not the entire world! We would've been successful if it weren't for you nosy adults and that synthetic freak-show you call a Bomberman!"
Ami: "His name is Blaze Bomber!"
Bassad: "All Contras are to be terminated on sight! I just got word that General Shepherd did away with Bill Rizer and Lance Bean!"
(Ami and I gasped)
Me: "WHAT?!"
Bassad: "That's what they get for nosing in on our private data files for Project: ACT ZERO. And I'm gonna kill you!"
Me: "They can't be dead! I know them...they, along with me and Ami, aren't that easy to kill."
Bassad: "...Anyway, like I said just now, we're not gonna let you live!"

The evil colonel and his followers commenced with opening fire on me and Ami, their missiles raining all over the jungle. Due to the intensity, we couldn't activate our 30-hit Konami Barriers like this; sticking with the normal 5-hit barriers was our only option. Fortunately, it was a good thing I kept my Homing Missiles, although I can't expect to inflict any damage since it's likely the helicopters were also reinforced with Super Titanium alloy. Even if I did pick up the Crash Missiles for my Contra Rifle, it still wouldn't do us any good due to the helicopters being too high for them to reach.

Ami: "I hope we find the Drill Shot for you to use, Aaron...because it's our only chance at taking out the choppers."
Me: "I doubt it. The power-up pods are scarce on Galuga Island as of our last visit."
(I spotted a nearby anti-air cannon.)
Me: "Maybe we can use that!"
Ami: "It looks undamaged from the last time we fought our way through. Let's give it a try!"
Bassad: "Don't even think you can stop us with that! You don't have a chance at killing us!"
Ami: "Care to wager on that, traitor?"

Henceforth, Ami and I hijacked the abandoned AA cannon (based on the Flakvierling from World War II), and used its firepower to blast the Shadow Company helicopters threatening to kill us. Since their Super Titanium alloy wasn't concentrated 100 times over like with Red Falcon's killing machines in general, we had no problem reducing their numbers to even the odds. As soon as we were down to 5 more, they eventually blew up the AA cannon, forcing us out. Luckily, we landed next to another abandoned AA cannon, which we used to take out another batch of choppers with only so much time, before Bassad blew it up with his missiles. Fortunately, for us, only 2 of Bassad's helicopters remained in the fray.

Me: "Good thing we had our 5-hit barriers on."
Ami: "Yep, that way the explosions wouldn't wound us."
Bassad: "You may have blown up most of my helicopters, but I've destroyed all of the anti-aircraft cannons you can use! Surrender now, and General Shepherd will kill you peacefully."
Me: "What the hell do you want from us?!"
Bassad: "Hmm hmm hmm...take a wild guess. Only a few of you possess something that could make our Super Titanium-reinforced technology, including our Super Bombermen, invincible."
Ami: "I think we've figured it out. It's our holy power, isn't it?"
Bassad: "Right the first time! We at Shadow Company have been monitoring all of your actions in secrecy, ever since World War III. Just imagine what your power could do for us by the time we extract it...especially from your dead bodies."
Ami: "You're wasting your time, Bassad! Only the pure of heart can touch that!"
Me: "So don't expect to get your hands on it without getting rejected!"

We ran around to avoid more gunfire and missiles alike, and finally ran into a stray power-up pod, which Bassad's helicopters accidentally shot down. Miraculously, it contained the Drill Shot I needed for the situation at hand. I picked it up for the empty weapon slot on my Contra Rifle, and aimed at the two choppers. Ami distracted them with her Flash Bombs, giving me just enough time to fire my Drill Shots to pierce the choppers. Due to the penetration, especially through the rotors, Bassad's helicopters malfunctioned with a chain of explosions going off; eventually they exploded completely, killing the traitorous colonel and the rest of his crew.

[End BGM]
[Victory BGM: Stage Clear (Contra 4)]

Me: "That's the last of 'em!"
Ami: "What a close shave it was!"

[End BGM]

Upon reuniting with Blaze Bomber and the others, we were relieved to see that they just fixed the CrygorCopter, although further repairs were to be taken into account at Crygor Labs in Diamond City. Despite what Colonel Bassad said about Bill and Lance being killed by General Shepherd, Ami and I believed that our two close friends were not dead. They had to have survived somehow...

Meanwhile, back aboard the spaceship Arctic Bomber is held prisoner in, General Shepherd had made an arrival on Earth...via a military base in Nevada known only as Area 51. "Now," said Shepherd, "our new era begins. Aqua, Cyclone, come with me. The rest of you, do what you want with Arctic Bomber. She knows too much." With that, he and the two Dark Force Bombers left the spaceship. As soon as they were out of sight, the Shadow Company soldiers pointed their guns at Arctic Bomber. Just then, four of the soldiers changed their minds and opened fire on her captors instead. Arctic Bomber didn't know what was going on when she woke up from unconsciousness, but decided to let out a scream anyway. Outside the ship, General Shepherd heard the gunfire and Arctic's screaming. Thinking his soldiers killed her, he grimaced and walked off with Aqua Bomber and Cyclone Bomber.

Back inside the ship, the remaining four soldiers put their guns away...and revealed themselves -- much to Arctic's surprise -- as Bill Rizer, Lance Bean, and Privates Jimbo and Sully, in holographic disguises.

Arctic Bomber: "Huh? Wh-what? But...but I thought..."
Bill: "We were dead? Not really."
Lance: "The ones that were next to you earlier were synthetic clones of us."
Jimbo: "Pretty ironic that one of Shadow Company's evil gadgets could be put to good use."
Sully: "It's a long story, but we'll explain."

(BILL, LANCE, JIMBO, AND SULLY'S FLASHBACK)
[BILL'S WORDS]
When we arrived at the top of the main deck only to see Aqua Bomber and Cyclone Bomber escaping, we took a look at something else besides the self-destruct timer...well, while you had panicked and attempted to escape, no offense. Immediately, we made use of a cloning device to create four synthetic copies of us, which you then saw running behind you during the escape.

[LANCE'S WORDS]
As soon as the coast was clear, we "borrowed" some holographic belts to disguise ourselves as Shepherd's soldiers. We had to prepare ourselves because we knew from having read the "classified" files on Project: ACT ZERO, that Shepherd would kill us for "violating his privacy." You didn't think you were the only one who's suspicious of his intentions the entire time, did you?

[JIMBO'S WORDS]
Anyway, we followed you and our synthetic clones in secrecy, although we had to move real fast. Fortunately, we were able to make it back to the general's spaceship just before it took off -- and yes, before the entire W.R.S. exploded like a freakin' atomic bomb.

[SULLY'S WORDS]
In order for our plan to work, we had to stick with the "alien soldiers", by pretending we're on Shepherd's side. That way, see, we make him think he and his goons killed us. We were lucky, however, that he didn't do away with you immediately afterwards...
(END FLASHBACK)

Arctic Bomber: "So...lemme get this straight: the Bill, Lance, Jimbo, and Sully that were with me the whole time since the evacuation, were none other than these synthetic duplicates of you, right?"
Lance: "Yup. You didn't think we'd let a traitorous bastard like him get away with killing us that easily, did you?"
Sully: "You can come at the Four Contras, and you can even smash their bones, but you can't break their spirits."
Jimbo: "General Shepherd's gonna be in for a shock, especially when he's learned this lesson the hard way."
Arctic Bomber: "Heh, more like General b***h-herd. But there's one thing I wanna say..."
(She then proceeded with slapping her friends' faces.)
Arctic Bomber: "Don't you EVER do that again without telling me! I thought I'd lost you forever just like we lost Sergeants Mad Dog and Scorpion!"
(She hugged Bill and Lance warmly.)
Bill: "Shhh, calm down. I'm sorry we scared you, Arctic. There just wasn't the right time to explain without blowing our cover. We had to fool Shepherd into thinking he really got rid of us."
Arctic Bomber (sighs): "I'm just glad you're all alive."
Lance: "I hope Aaron, Ami, and the others made it safely, too. Sorry we let one of Shepherd's henchmen crush your interdimensional communicator."

TO BE CONTINUED...

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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WarioMan
 Posted: Oct 4 2012, 02:42 AM
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Chapter 8: Dead or alive

For the next two days since we began a rather suicide mission, we came back to Diamond City -- whereas Bill, Lance, Arctic Bomber, Jimbo, and Sully used Shepherd's spaceship to rendezvous with us. Even when we had reunited, our CrygorCopter was in need of further repairs. In fact, we all needed medical help since we were almost killed on both sides.

[Interlude BGM: Rukifellth's Theme (Bomberman 64: The Second Attack!)]

Meanwhile, at Area 51, Aqua Bomber and Cyclone Bomber reported in to General Shepherd...

Aqua Bomber: "General, I've just received word from our security guards!"
Cyclone Bomber: "Their cameras' footage displayed Arctic Bomber, alongside Bill, Lance, Jimbo, and Sully!"
Shepherd: "WHAT?! But I...we..."
Aqua Bomber: "Hmm. I knew something seemed a bit off when Cyclone and I disposed of Jimbo and Sully's dead bodies...oh, crap! Those must've been synthetic clones that Arctic's allies made right under our noses!"
Cyclone Bomber: "And even made use of our Holographic Belts to boot! They tricked us!"
Shepherd: "It seems they're more clever than we thought. I better contact Colonel Bassad and see if he managed to kill Aaron and Ami of the Four Contras."
(He radios the colonel, only to hear nothing but static.)
Shepherd: "Great...just great. How do the Contras do it in a pinch?! It's got to be that holy power I've heard so much about, ever since World War III..."
(He turns to Aqua and Cyclone.)
Shepherd: "I've heard rumors that their holy power didn't just come from Crygor Labs. The main source is that of the Contras' bloodline. Their ancestors, consisting of two warriors and a wise sage, had that power to banish Red Falcon and his brethren back in 1603. Aaron, Ami, Bill, and Lance are the descendants that carry said bloodline. But, if we were to extract it, and combine it with the alien cell we had salvaged at the time we found you and broke you free of the Blue Crystal prisons...well, just think what it can do for us at Shadow Company -- nay, the Blood Falcon organization."
Aqua Bomber: "Then our army of Super Bombermen could become invincible! But, how are we to pull it off?"
Cyclone Bomber: "Yeah. If that power was obviously meant for good, wouldn't we get rejected since we're not pure of heart?"
Shepherd: "It is true that no evil may dare touch it...but not if we have the technology to reverse-engineer all that. Remember, just because we sacrificed our Weapons Research Station doesn't mean our Super Bombermen are no more. Those were merely test subjects as a means of showing what our real soldiers can do, once they don these armorsuits, and that turned out successful. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a broadcast to address to the public..."

[End BGM]

The following two days had passed. We were back to normal, and the CrygorCopter ready to go. However, Dr. Crygor, Penny, and Blaze Bomber had grave news for us. In fact, all of WarioWare and its close friends -- including Cheerful White, Cool Black, Cute Pink, Sakura Kinomoto, and even Yuffie -- were to report at once. Upon our arrival, Penny and Blaze Bomber showed us a news report, broadcast live on TV...

Good evening, people of America. I, General Shepherd, have grave news to bring you: we were supposed to have defeated the aliens that hijacked our Weapons Research Station in outer space. The Four Contras, of all people, should've been eager to help. But instead, they -- along with ex-Hate Bombers Arctic and Blaze -- attacked and blew up the station for no reason, and even gained unauthorized access to the classified Area 51. As it turned out, they pose a threat to us all, and themselves as well. In fact, the people at the so-called "WarioWare Inc." were their accomplices.

But don't fear one bit: we, the people of Shadow Company, now officially known as the Blood Falcon organization, have the technology to bring them down once and for all. While the words "Blood Falcon" may scare you at first, this organization is far different from that of the Red Falcon Empire. We fight for justice, and decimate those who oppose our people of the country, which we live in. Therefore, I am offering a bounty of $1 billion against Aaron, Ami, Bill, Lance, Arctic Bomber, and Blaze Bomber; dead or alive. I know it pains me to do this, but as the world faces a crisis, we cannot afford to have them around.

Thank you, and good night.


[Alert BGM: Environmental Shock (Metroid Fusion)]

Jimbo: "Why, that two-timing, double-crossing BASTARD!"
Sully: "Yeah! How dare he lie to us?!"
Wario: "I second that! I played all the way through Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in its single player campaign. Near the end, General Shepherd revealed his true colors for the evil bastard he really is, firstly by killing Roach and Ghost! Thank goodness John 'Soap' MacTavish killed him in return!"
Arctic Bomber: "And what he failed to mention in the broadcast, is that he's got his army of Super Bombermen at his side, and that the 'aliens' were none other than his own men in holographic disguises! He doesn't even give a crap if innocent people died on the outside or inside when he turned them into Master Chief ripoffs!"
Blaze Bomber: "Leave it to him to twist words in a desperate attempt to hide the truth from the media and the people. But, we have proof. It's a good thing I kept Penny's digital camera in case of emergency."
Penny: "And I have all the photos you took in secrecy."
Bill: "Lance and I got our own photos -- and kept our cameras safe from physical damage."
Lance: "But now that Shepherd knows we 'borrowed' his Holographic Belts and made use of our synthetic clones, he's bound to send his entire army of Super Bombermen..."
Yuffie: "Yep, and that's to attack and destroy all of Diamond City just to kill us and extract the Four Contras' holy power for their twisted experiments. Shadow Company -- I mean, the Blood Falcon organization -- doesn't care who they kill as long as they get the profits from all their bio-weapons and stuff. Seriously, this is a new low."
Penny: "Aaron, Ami, Yumi, and Arctic Bomber, you're to take it to the streets and drive Shepherd's forces out of our fair city. Bill and Lance, you accompany Jimbo and Sully to help the Diamond Police direct all civilians to the nearest emergency shelters possible."
(We all nodded.)
Blaze Bomber: "I'll stay and help Penny address our own broadcast to the civilians. It's just sad that even on Earth, there exists its own forces of Red Falcon...in human skin."
Arctic Bomber: "Right. That selfish general has hit a new low in...how did Kevin put it one time...dork history!"

[End BGM]

Henceforth, Penny and Blaze Bomber went with Dr. Crygor to get the broadcast out to Diamond City, via D.E.B.S. (Diamond Emergency Broadcast System). Within minutes, the message was sent out to all active TV monitors, including residential homes: ALL RESIDENTS OF WARIOWARE INC. ARE INSTRUCTED TO GO DIRECTLY TO CRYGOR LABS /// YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE -- EMERGENCY EVACUATION IN PROGRESS /// HEAD IMMEDIATELY TO YOUR NEAREST EMERGENCY SERVICE SHELTER. TROOPS WILL BE THERE TO MEET YOU. BRING A PHOTO ID AND NO MORE THAN ONE BAGGAGE ITEM PER PERSON. /// BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. BE ALERT.

[Stage BGM: Neo City (Contra 4)]

Mission 4: The streets of Diamond City
As of Shepherd's faux broadcast, his army had arrived to attack Diamond City, since it wasn't too far from the classified Area 51. Penny Crygor and Blaze Bomber rush to spread the truth to the city and the rest of America to counter the traitorous general's lies, whereas Bill Rizer and Lance Bean accompany Privates Jimbo and Sully with helping the Diamond Police get all of the innocent civilians to safety.
Aaron, Ami, Yumi, and Arctic Bomber, however, are instructed to commence attack on Shepherd's soldiers, rumored to have donned their own "Super Bombermen" armorsuits for the oncoming invasion.
February 11, 20XX
9:40 PM


Arctic, Ami, Yumi, and I ran across the bridge to get back into the city itself. Along the way, we thought back to all the evidence we saw, regarding Project: ACT ZERO. The "Super Bombermen" that we fought were intended to test the armorsuits' weapons and capabilities, despite that it required turning innocent victims into brain-dead killers; in other words, all they knew were their own existence. Now that Shepherd's plans were successful, he was ready to arm all of his soldiers with said armorsuits, intent on destroying Diamond City just to kill us.

The moment we came across the Super Bombermen, we blasted them with our holy-powered weapons (and the sophisticated assault rifle Arctic stole from one of Shepherd's dead soldiers), and found not a moment too soon: they were indeed Shepherd's men. But what shocked us was, according to Blaze Bomber's scanning device, that they were injected with a mixture of an alien cell and anabolic steroids.

Arctic Bomber: "Ugh. Are they seriously messing with what used to belong to Red Falcon? As if the cloned Xenomorphs weren't bad enough already..."
(She facepalms herself.)
Arctic Bomber: "But, I'm armed to the teeth like they are with one of their assault rifles. From what I found with Bill and the others, these specialized guns carry three different weapons at once, a-la Contra: Shattered Soldier. Machine Gun, Flamethrower, and the 'Diver Mines'...but I'm sure you fellas already know that from said game."
Yumi: "Yeah, that's cool and all, but we've got an army of steroid-induced Super Bombermen to pulverize!"
Ami: "Guys, there are a few tanks approaching!"
(The tanks' cannons alternated between firing Energy Shots and Diver Mines.)
Me (to Ami): "Shouldn't be too much of a threat, considering we faced that tank in Contra 4."

Despite the enemy tanks' efforts to decimate us, I still had my Drill Shot (and Homing Missiles) for penetrating through the armor. Combining just that with the Fire Whip's charge shot on Arctic Bomber's gun, we blew the tanks to pieces. This was merely the beginning, for we had yet to get to the root of the invasion. For now, Ami and I readied our 30-hit Konami Barriers with our "Konami Code" incantation (while Arctic Bomber and Yumi covered us). The moment we ran towards Mona Pizza, we were attacked by a giant mechanical spider which crawled downwards from the roof. It shot out a deadly rain of bullets, followed by a laser beam. We were hit, but not bad -- despite that I lost my Drill Shot and had to switch to my Homing Missiles.

Yumi: "Let me guess: that giant spider is also from Contra 4, right?"
(Ami and I nodded.)

The spider did not stay on the walls of Mona Pizza for long. It jumped down in an attempt to crush us; we merely swerved out of the way. Then the spider launched a barrage of missiles from its mechanical legs, which Ami froze with her Ice Bombs. Two power-up pods flew by; shooting them down revealed the Ice Breath and Laser Beam power-ups. Knowing that the Diver Mines' "charge shot" on Arctic Bomber's gun consists of homing missiles, I decided to replace just that with the Ice Breath, while putting the Laser Beam in my Contra Rifle's empty weapon slot. Then the giant spider mech unleashed its artillery of missiles, bullets, and laser beams all around Mona Pizza's parking lot, just barely missing us. Yumi used her trusty guitar to send the shots away with a loud riff, whereas Ami and I inflicted damage on the giant spider mech's head. Then Arctic Bomber finished things up by throwing her Bowling Bomb at the mech, eventually setting off a chain reaction around its body that caused it to explode into a pile of scrap metal.

Me: "I'd say that king-sized spider mech was just squished."
Ami: "Heh. Amen to that, Aaron! Spiders scare me..."

Suddenly, a giant attack ship flew by, firing four blue laser beams in our direction. We merely avoided getting vaporized, and managed to recognize it as a "BigCore MK-I" warship from the Gradius games. It was the first in a series of "BigCore" warships, each housing a blue core in the center. Usually, the cores within were guarded by barrier-like panels, which were easy to penetrate through. That's when I made good use of my Laser Beam, while backed up by Arctic Bomber's currently-selected Machine Gun on her rifle, to blast away the barrier panels protecting the BigCore's blue core. It kept firing laser shots and flying around, just barely missing us, until Arctic and I blew up its core. A chain of explosions went off all over the BigCore, and then it exploded entirely.

Arctic Bomber: "Well...that's that! I take it Shepherd and his merry men are also playing with the Gradius bosses."
Me: "When it comes to Area 51 -- and I don't mean the on-rails shooter game itself -- expect the unexpectable."
Ami: "Which means there's likely to be more Gradius bosses that we'll have to face, if we ever get to Area 51 alive..."

Although we managed to wipe out the more dangerous threats to Diamond City, we had only scratched the surface. We could not hold off the Super Bombermen forever. In fact, it was only a matter of time before they would bring forth a large enough BigCore-like mech to take out the entire city...

Come to think of it, we might need the CrygorCopter since it's technically impossible to destroy such a large, metallic behemoth on foot.

[End BGM]

TO BE CONTINUED...

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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WarioMan
 Posted: Oct 6 2012, 05:51 AM
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Chapter 9: Destroy the cores!

Thirty minutes had passed since we began our mission to drive General Shepherd's forces out of Diamond City. But even then, we were only able to scratch the surface of the invasion, for its source had yet to come. Ever since we encountered -- and destroyed -- a certain warship one might recognize from the Gradius games, we deduced the possibility that Shepherd had gone insane with power. It just wasn't possible that a certain classified base like Area 51 could house a "BigCore" warship or two, but then again, said base is well-known for keeping unnaturally hi-tech weaponry as "experimental" in this world.

Because of that, Area 51 is highly protected with radar stations that detect unauthorized personnel, mainly civilian and normal military air traffic alike. Those who would stumble upon the base, intentional or not, are quickly expelled without mercy. In our case, Bill and his group were detected by the base's security, but they were lucky to have escaped aboard Shepherd's ship just before the armed forces wiped them out. Had they stuck around without waiting for me, Ami, and the others, they'd be dead before they could even reach the traitorous general himself. After all, we'd need a plan if we are to take back the base and return alive...

[Meeting BGM: Mission Ahead (Star Wars Rogue Squadron)]

Me: "We were lucky the BigCore warship we destroyed was the weakest in its respective series of 'BigCore' warships."
Ami: "It's possible there are bound to be more powerful variations of the BigCore. But there's one thing that puzzles me: where did Shepherd get that kind of attack ship?"
Blaze Bomber: "From what I saw in Ken the Reporter's live footage on the Diamond News Network, that technology is too advanced. It could only have existed at some point in the future, or perhaps from another world or dimension..."
Bill: "I'll bet General Shepherd must have used the W.R.S. to bring in those kinds of advanced craft. I've read on the Internet that there exists a distant planet similar to ours and planet Bomber; only they call it the planet Gradius."
Lance: "Wait, wasn't that the one that's usually attacked by the evil Bacterion forces? So far, the only ship capable of destroying their BigCore technology was the Vic Viper."
9-Volt: "I think I've played some Gradius games on the earlier Nintendo systems before, but I haven't really gotten that far..."
Ana: "Yeah. Coming from Konami, those games were tough -- mainly since you get sent back to an earlier point in a level everytime you lose a life."
Kat: "Wait, if the Vic Viper's the only ship that can blow up these giant ships, then what chance would we have?"
(At this, Penny directed our attention towards the CrygorCopter.)
Penny: "Our CrygorCopter can take on anything Shepherd can throw at us. It's just that...well, unlike the Vic Viper, it doesn't have any of...um, what were they called again? I know it's small, oval-shaped, and orange--"
Blaze Bomber (interrupting): "They're called 'Options', or commonly Multiples. But either way, our chopper has powerful enough technology, courtesy of Crygor Labs. It doesn't just have the two cannons, force field, and souped-up armor. We actually installed twin plasma laser cannons up front. We're just glad they weren't totaled when Colonel Bassad attacked us the other night."
Mona: "So what are we waiting for?"
Wario: "Yeah! Who knows what other 'BigCore' ships General Shepherd has in store?"
Me: "Ami and I are gonna fly the CrygorCopter, directly to Area 51."
Yuffie (gasps): "But it's suicide! No one can get there without getting blown out of the sky!"
Ami: "Don't worry, Yuffie. Aaron and I already trained with Bill and Lance to be able to fly a helicopter."
Bill (to me and Ami): "Lance and I could come with you, but somebody's gotta stay and drive the rest of the steroid-induced Super Bombermen out of Diamond City."
Lance: "So for right now, we're both letting Blaze Bomber and Arctic Bomber temporarily take our places as part of the Four Contras."
Arctic Bomber: "Huh? Whaddya mean?"
Cyber-Crash: "What Bill and Lance are saying, is that you and Blaze Bomber have done so much to help us defeat the evil forces of Red Falcon. And now, you've proven yourselves worthy of fighting for freedom and justice as the Contras."
Steven: "Aaron, Ami, Blaze, and Arctic...you're our last hope. Now go save us."

[End BGM]
[Fight BGM: BigCore MK-II (Gradius V)]

Mission 5: Attack of the BigCores
Bill and Lance have officially allowed Arctic Bomber and Blaze Bomber to take their places alongside Aaron and Ami as the Four Contras, whereas they volunteered to assist Cheerful White, Cool Black, Cute Pink, Yuffie, Sakura, Yumi, Steven, Cyber-Crash, Jimbo, Sully, and everyone at WarioWare Inc. (9-Volt, Kat, and Ana included) in helping the Diamond Police destroy the rest of the alien cell-and-steroid-induced Super Bombermen.
Meanwhile, more powerful variations of the "BigCore" approach the city to commence eradication. Since the Vic Viper did not originate on Earth, only the CrygorCopter can destroy these metallic behemoths.
February 11, 20XX
10:15 PM


Clear for takeoff, Ami and I took Arctic Bomber and Blaze Bomber to the starry-night skies of Diamond City aboard our CrygorCopter. Not a moment too soon, three more BigCore warships had arrived, each being more powerful than the "MK-I" variation. These warships consisted of MK-II, MK-III, and MK-IV; the first to attack us was the BigCore MK-II (which first showed up in Gradius II). Larger than the MK-I variation, it had red streaks instead of yellow, and possessed two cores instead of one. It started its attack pattern by opening up to reveal two cores, and shot out a total of ten blue lasers up front instead of the usual four. Only with our skillful flying were we able to maneuver around the laser shots to avoid getting vaporized. Then it thrust forth like a battering ram and zipped by, just barely missing us.

Afterwards, the BigCore MK-II returned to its original position to spin rapidly and fire its lasers randomly. Arctic and Blaze could not get a clear shot with our cannonball launchers (with the Bowling Bombs for ammunition), leaving it up to me and Ami to utilize our twin plasma laser cannons to break open the barrier panels protecting the cores. We were barely grazed by one of the stray shots, but thankfully, the CrygorCopter's force field absorbed the hit. The BigCore MK-II closed its sides again, and tilted a bit to face us before opening up for the third time. We avoided the laser barrage some more, and managed to take out the bottom core, causing the warship's bottom side to stop working. Only its top half would fire the lasers, but we were quick to destroy the barrier panels and the top core before it attempted to ram us for the second time (obviously, a non-functioning side of the BigCore MK-II meant a bigger ramming space like in Gradius V).

As soon as the BigCore MK-II's sides blew off and detonated, it exploded into nothingness. Next up, was the BigCore MK-III (first seen in Gradius III; nicknamed "QB2B" in the SNES version). It was about the size of the predecessor we just blew up, only it looked a little different, and had three cores to destroy now. It opened up and shot two large lasers out of its wings, followed by firing two reflective lasers out of its inner body, that bounces off of the giant lasers in a "V" formation. Ami and I carefully directed our CrygorCopter just in-between the reflective "V" lasers, and opened fire on the barrier panels to expose the two frontal cores -- all while backed up by our cannon fire.

We only had enough time to blow up one core before the BigCore MK-III closed its wings; it then fired four lasers and attempted to ram us down a-la Gradius V. Despite getting slammed by surprise, our CrygorCopter wasn't badly damaged, let alone its rotors. As soon as we regained our balance from the impact, the BigCore MK-III opened its wings again for another barrage of giant and reflective lasers alike; this time, we made certain to blow up the other frontal core, thus taking out the outer part of its inner hull. Although we no longer had to worry about reflective lasers, the mini lasers being shot out like a machine gun were to be taken into account. Its wings, on the other hand, fired homing lasers aimed at us. We redirected the BigCore MK-III so its homing lasers did not damage the buildings below, upon missing us. As soon as the warship stopped firing the homing lasers, we blew open the rest of the barrier panels and destroyed the final core, causing the BigCore MK-III's wings to break off and explode. A few seconds later, its main body detonated in a large explosion.

[End BGM]
[Boss BGM: Stage Boss (Gradius Gaiden)]

Me: "Whew! That was close!"
Ami: "I second that! But, we're not out of the hot water yet."
(The BigCore MK-IV approached us, ready to deal out plenty of destruction to Diamond City.)
Arctic Bomber: "Oh, crap! I only got up to that thing before I ran out of lives and continues, in Gradius V! And to think I was just getting started..."
Blaze Bomber: "Keep your wits about you, everyone! That BigCore looks powerful enough to obliterate the entire city!"

With four cores to take out this time, the BigCore MK-IV was perhaps the most powerful in its standard BigCore series. Its wing-like arms were detachable, yet still able to shoot. It commenced just that and shot out waving energy beams. Luckily, we were in-between their lines of fire so the arms did not slam us backwards. Then it sent out giant plasma balls, we could not maneuver them. However, we recognized them as shrinkable from the actual game, so long as we continuously shot them. Doing just that gave us room to fly through, and blow open the barrier panels protecting the two cores on the BigCore MK-IV's main body. Sooner or later, small plasma balls came out of the detachable wings to travel along the waving energy beams to fire small lasers upwards and downwards. We were hit, but not bad. Unfortunately, the force field on our chopper was about to wear off if hit again; we needed to be more careful throughout the entire fight.

Blaze Bomber: "The homing lasers are coming out! We can't let them damage the buildings in the city upon missing us!"

Dodging a lot of laser shots was one thing, but having to redirect the homing lasers away from the city below at the same time was easier said than done. Thankfully, our days of helicopter training paid off, thus enabling us to avoid all of the laser beams. We managed to take out the two cores on the warship's main body during the crossfire, but the rest of the cores were on its detachable arms. Said arms detached again for another round of waving energy beams and giant plasma balls. Making certain not to bump into the deadly balls, we positioned our CrygorCopter carefully towards the core on the top wing. We shot open the barrier panels, and unloaded enough plasma of our own to take out the core. Then we did the same for the core on the bottom wing, dodging the small plasma balls and their mini lasers in the process.

Finally, after such an intense dogfight, we had totaled all four cores on the BigCore MK-IV. A chain of explosions went off all over the warship, its detachable wing-like arms breaking off and exploding a few moments later. Eventually, the last of the BigCores erupted in a massive, blinding explosion, with us just barely out of the blast radius. We all breathed a sigh of relief, happy that we saved Diamond City from a fate worse than a nuclear meltdown.

[End BGM]

Now all that was left for us to do, was to fly directly to Area 51, and to be prepared for a possible boss rush against any other Core-style warships that the Blood Falcon organization might have salvaged from another dimension, some time ago...

TO BE CONTINUED...

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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WarioMan
 Posted: Oct 8 2012, 07:26 AM
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Chapter 10: Old foes die hard

[Stage BGM: Urban Warfare I (Contra: Legacy of War)]

Mission 6A: Urban Warfare
With Diamond City's mass destruction averted, Aaron and Ami lead Arctic Bomber and Blaze Bomber directly to the forbidden Area 51 itself within Nevada, via the CrygorCopter. Even though the rest of the standard BigCore warships had been destroyed, the Blood Falcon organization had more in store.
Speaking of which, the $1 billion bounty that General Shepherd mentioned in his faux broadcast, did not go unheard to the ears of criminals and convicted felons alike...
February 11, 20XX
10:35 PM


Meanwhile, back on the war-torn streets of Diamond City, Bill and Lance's group fought hard to eliminate the Super Bombermen...when suddenly, motorcycles came roaring in to the fray; each of which were driven by mohawk-haired punks in their early 30s. Immediately, Bill and Lance recognized them as a once-feared gang throughout California, if not the entire country of America. 5 years ago, at some point after the Alien Wars, the all-male mohawk punks (calling themselves the "Killer Mohawks") made a living in a run-down area outside of Diamond City, known only as Silver Slum. Any rival gang that lived there had feared the Killer Mohawks, especially due to the horrifying crimes they've committed across 100 schools -- elementary, intermediate, and high school alike -- stationed in the following cities within California besides Diamond City: San Francisco, Oakland, and even Los Angeles. Though the dangerous punks attacked said schools, they mostly preferred vandalizing elementary schools and harassing its students because, to them, it brought them joy. Ever since Silver Slum became run-down, the Killer Mohawks went on a crime spree across said schools in hopes of scaring the governor into turning the entire state itself over to them, lest they kill the students.

The Killer Mohawks, whose leader called himself the "Mohawk King", managed to pull off their heist within a week, thus striking fear in the hearts of students, teachers, and parents alike. The surviving victims could not sleep at night without worrying that the crooks would break in and slit their throats. Even the police had trouble with those felons; however, that didn't go unnoticed when Mona got word about it, especially from 9-Volt and his then-alive mother. She immediately took action and called Bill Rizer and Lance Bean to come to Diamond City's rescue for the second time as of the Alien Wars. In fact, she was glad to have given them a pair of "Warp Pipe Whistles", said to have been manufactured in the Mushroom Kingdom for years. That way, fast travel was possible for Bill and Lance, so they had more time to protect Mona and 9-Volt from the Killer Mohawks before it was too late.

A 2-on-100 fight between the two Contras and the criminals sounded like a no-win situation to the good guys at first, but thanks to their fighting skills and the experience they had during the Alien Wars against Red Falcon and his alien associates, they were able to defeat and detain the Killer Mohawks before any of the students and teachers were killed. The felons were eventually put on trial, found guilty on the counts of attempted murder (on students, teachers, parents, and police officers alike), arson, vandalism, and evading arrest; and hauled off with no chance of parole, to Neo Alcatraz Island: a successor to the now-tour-friendly Alactraz Island (which is located in the San Francisco Bay).

Nowadays, and yet for some reason, the Killer Mohawks had broken out of Neo Alcatraz Island to lay waste on Diamond City and its schools, with Bill and Lance on their kill list.

Bill: "I know these scumbags...and they sure look pissed."
Lance: "Me too, ol' buddy. But, how'd they get out?"
Young Cricket: "Neo Alcatraz Island was supposed to be the maximum security prison in Diamond City's history."
Ashley: "Still, what they did back then was lower than low."
Mohawk King: "Hey, puke-heads! Where are yer stinkin' butt-buddies, Aaron, Ami, Arctic Bomber, and Blaze Bomber? Y'know, the ones who are worth a billion bucks along with these..."
(He paused for a moment to glare at Bill and Lance.)
Mohawk King: "...two assholes that detained us 5 years ago!"
Punk A: "Yeah! General Shepherd promised us a pardon from all the charges against us, for such an easy job!"
Punk B: "When we're through, we'll be rich beyond our wildest dreams! We'll become billionaires!"
Punk C: "You don't know nothin' about General Shepherd's true plans! He promised to even make us invincible!"
Wario: "Blech! Why would a military organization wanna hire a bunch of convicted felons just to kill us?! Those freakin' cowards!"
Mona: "Leave here at once. You've got no chance to win."
Mohawk King: "Shut up, b***h! Things ain't gonna be the same as last time! Obviously, somebody had to be telling Bill and Lance to come all the way here and ruin our plans! I dunno how they got here that fast, but they beat us! And now, we're gonna pay them back, along with the rest of ya, tenfold!"
(Some of his followers glanced over to 9-Volt, Kat, Ana, Cheerful White, Cool Black, and Cute Pink.)
Punk A: "You kiddies hear what the big boss just said? Heh heh heh, that's right...We're gonna kill ya!"
(Yuffie gasped upon hearing that, and got angry.)
Punk B: "Colonel Bassad may not have got yer best pals, but you won't escape! DIE!!"
Yuffie (angrily): "What...did...YOU...JUST...SAY?!?"
Punk C: "We said, we're gonna--"

Before the mohawk-haired punk could finish his sentence, Yuffie swift-kicked him just in-between his legs, causing him to wince in pain. Then she grabbed him for a shoulder throw, knocking him and his fellow mates to the ground.

Jimbo: "Whoa, right in the jewels!"
Sully: "You got that right, Jim. Now it's our turn!"
Mohawk King: "Grrr...you puke-heads are gonna pay for that! C'mon, boys! Our $1 billion reward is at stake!"
Dribble: "Don't you guys know what you're doing?"
Spitz: "Yeah! Taking lives for the sake of greed..."
Ashley: "In other words, what do you want with money, anyway?"
Lance: "You're just a bunch of psychos who have latched onto an excuse to kill people, and who are so stupid, they don't even realize they're being used by General Shepherd!"
Mohawk King: "The mistake you and Billy-boy made, was buttin' in on our scheme of the century!"
Bill: "The Killer Mohawks, along with Shepherd and his personal army, are evil. We Contras destroy evil."
Mohawk King: "Yer goody-two-shoes attitude annoys me. We're owed an apology, and we WILL have it!"
Yuffie: "You're the ones who owe the schools you've assaulted, an apology!"
Mohawk King: "Hey, chill out, lady. We just wanna return the favor, that's all..."

The gang leader got out a lead pipe and swung away, just barely missing Yuffie. Due to her fast reflexes, the Mohawk King could not even score a single hit on her. He grew annoyed and threw his pipe at her, only for Sakura to deflect it with her well-timed Shield Card, resulting in a hard blow to the Mohawk King's gut. He immediately got out a machine gun (stolen from one of the prison guards), and his followers did the same. That's when Bill, Lance, Jimbo, Sully, Ashley, and Young Cricket stepped in to assist Yuffie; let alone return fire. Meanwhile, Sakura ran to help Yumi, Steven, and Cyber-Crash chase off the Super Bombermen, despite a few police officers getting killed during the firefight. Even Cheerful White, Cool Black, and Cute Pink got into the action by blasting the alien-cell-and-steroid-induced soldiers with their bombs, feeling disgusted that said soldiers are giving the Bomberman franchise a bad name. As for the Killer Mohawks, their heinous acts had reached a certain point in which deadly use of force is authorized.

Bill: "You guys cover me and Lance while we ready our 30-hit Konami Barriers!"
Wario: "We're on it!"
Mona: "I'll help 9-Volt, Kat, and Ana. Just be careful!"
Bill: "Right. Okay, Lance: Up, up, down, down!"
Lance: "Left, right, left, right!"
Both (in unison): "B, A, Select, and Start!"
(Bill and Lance's machine guns had generated the barriers around their bodies.)
Lance: "Alright, Mohawk King...are you scumbags ready for round two?"

While the rematch was going on, some of the punks headed towards 9-Volt, Kat, and Ana, ready to do away with their lives. The ninja twin sisters swung away with their katanas to deflect all oncoming gunshots, whereas 9-Volt smashed a punk's head with his skateboard. Then he got back to Kat and Ana for Mona to follow up with an uppercut to the punk's jaw. Then she performed a spin kick, a move taught to her by Young Cricket and Master Mantis one time, knocking the punk out. His comrades ran out of ammo, and stopped firing to reload their machine guns, thus giving Kat and Ana the opportunity to throw their explosive shurikens at them. While the blasts dealt good damage, they didn't exactly kill the punks. Yuffie's explosive shurikens, on the other hand, were more powerful; she threw just that to kill them, thus saving 9-Volt, Kat, and Ana.

9-Volt: "Thanks, Yuffie!"
Yuffie (smiles): "Don't mention it, sweetie. Just doing my job as your bodyguard!"
Mona: "We're not out of the woods yet."

As Bill and Lance ran around to shield everyone from the gunshots with their Konami Barriers, Ashley and Young Cricket got into the act of fighting as a team. The witch-in-training used her magic attacks from her wand, whereas Young Cricket performed the famed Cyclone Kick, learned from the Lee twins (Billy and Jimmy of the "Double Dragons") long ago, dispatching more of the Killer Mohawks in the process. Ashley cast a fire spell on some of the punks, sending them screaming in agony before they dropped dead on the ground. With about 20 gang members left, the Mohawk King had had enough. He stopped firing his machine gun, and pulled out a sophisticated, blue-colored grenade. Wario immediately recognized it as the deadly "Plasma Grenade" from the Halo games, for it was known to stick onto personnel and vehicle alike, but not on the environment or its owner. Either way, anything caught within ground zero at the point of detonation, be it flesh, metal, or otherwise, is instantly vaporized.

[End BGM]
[Danger BGM: Hurry! Hurry! (Final Fantasy V)]

Mohawk King: "Freeze, assholes! I've got a live Plasma Grenade! If you puke-heads try to take me in, yer all gonna be fish-bait! I'll do it, man! I'll do it!!"
(Everyone on both opposing factions stopped what they were doing, and glanced over to the Mohawk King.)
Yumi: "Oh, crap! I think we've had it!"
Bill: "We're not licked yet. Yumi, hand me one of your Thunder Bombs, quickly!"
Yumi: "Here!"
(She tosses a lit Thunder Bomb to Bill, who then threw it to the ground close to the Killer Mohawks.)
Bill: "There. That should do the trick."
Mohawk King: "What? You only gave us a bad hair day, but it doesn't matter."
Lance: "The Thunder Bomb did more than just that. Its electrical blast actually scrambles enemy machinery and sophisticated weapons alike, including high-tech grenades."
Mohawk King: "You mean...ah, screw it! Yer dead-meat!"
(He throws the Plasma Grenade, only for it to remain glued on his hand.)
Wario: "Oh, I get it! Yumi's Thunder Bomb scrambled the Plasma Grenade's internal mechanism; that way, it sticks to its owner immediately after it's primed!"
Mohawk King (gasps): "WHAT?! AAAHH! Get it off me! GET IT OFF!!"
(The good guys got out of the impending blast radius, but the Killer Mohawks attempted to get the now-burning grenade off.)
Mohawk King: "Quick, somebody get rid of it before it--"

[End BGM]

Before the sadistic leader could finish his sentence, the Plasma Grenade exploded in his hand, completely vaporizing him as well as the rest of his followers. Meanwhile, the Super Bombermen, realizing they're on the brink of defeat, got out their bio-bombs and primed them for detonation. They ran towards Bill and Lance's group for a suicide bombing run. 9-Volt, Kat, and Ana got on his skateboard to safety, throwing a few shurikens at the corrupt soldiers to set off the bio-bombs prematurely before said soldiers could even get within range of taking the innocent lives with them. The ensuing chain of explosions killed the last of Shepherd's invading forces, finally freeing Diamond City of total destruction despite the minor damage and a few injuries along the way.

Wario: "Whew! That was freakin' intense, if I say so myself!"
Mona: "Yep, but we all did it together, as a team."
Cheerful White: "We've got the bad guys on the run!"
Cool Black: "The Killer Mohawks' own evil had doomed them to fail."
Cute Pink: "More importantly, we saved a lot more than we had lost tonight."

Henceforth, the group returned to the emergency shelters to check up with Penny, Dr. Crygor, and Mike, who had stayed behind to keep the civilians safe and sound. They were grateful that Bill and Lance sacrificed their Konami Barriers to help prevent further injuries, much less anymore casualties. All they had left to do was hope for our safe return from Area 51, for they prayed that Arctic Bomber, Blaze Bomber, Ami, and I made it in there alive...

TO BE CONTINUED...

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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WarioMan
 Posted: Oct 23 2012, 06:56 AM
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Chapter 11: Bosses on Parade

Inside one of Diamond City's emergency shelters, 9-Volt, Kat, and Ana were expressing guilt for having put their own lives at risk to help kill the Killer Mohawks and the Master Chief look-alikes themselves.

9-Volt: "Guys, I know the three of us are only children, and..."
Kat: "We're sorry we almost got killed, even when Ana and I had our ninja skills to assist 9-Volt."
Ana: "I mean, sure, Cheerful White and Cute Pink are also kids, like us, but..."
9-Volt: "We couldn't just stand back and do nothing; not when the Killer Mohawks were mostly fixated on Bill and Lance..."
18-Volt: "I...I'm just glad you're all okay. I was afraid I might've lost you as my Player 1!"
Jimmy: "Don't blame yourselves for this mess. You three, along with White and Pink, did what you had to do to help save us."
Dribble: "Jimmy's right. When Bill and Lance used their Konami Barriers to shield our bodies, we've managed to save a lot more than we had lost tonight."
Spitz: "Those five officers who gave their lives, were good men..."
Penny: "With most of General Shepherd's 'Super Bombermen' wiped out, the Bomberman franchise's reputation, along with Bomber-kind in real life, should be restored soon. It's all up to Aaron, Ami, Arctic Bomber, and Blaze Bomber to finish the job."
Mona: "Just one detail still bothers me: why did Shepherd hire a bunch of convicted felons, such as the Killer Mohawks, just to terminate us?"
Lance: "Two reasons. 1: greed, and 2: he's a selfish bastard who will go to such extreme lengths to make sure we never live to spread the truth about Project: ACT ZERO."
Bill: "Even if it means bailing out those dangerous crooks who had both me and Lance on their kill list."
Wario (scoffs): "Shepherd's a freakin' joke! He doesn't give a crap about the damage he's inflicted, as long as his half-assed organization gets the profits!"
Yuffie: "I guess all we can do now is pray for our friends' safe return. They're not expendable, and neither are we..."

Mission 6B: The "boss rush"
At the time Bill, Lance, and all the freedom fighters were pitted against the Killer Mohawks, the Four Contras had eventually reached Area 51 after having blown up all of General Sheperd's BigCore warships.
It is not uncommon, however, that the forbidden base had all sorts of powerful outer defenses at its disposal, even today.
February 11, 20XX
10:40 PM


The time had come for us to thwart Shepherd's twisted project once and for all. As soon as we arrived at Area 51's location, we heard a blaring klaxon going off below. Then came a searchlight, pointing directly at the CrygorCopter. Ami and I shielded our eyes, and suddenly felt strange as the searchlight shone at us before shutting off. We were flabbergasted as to why it turned off rather than stay on our trail, but we set our trains of thought aside for an upcoming ambush.

Blaze Bomber: "Aaron, Ami, are you okay?"
Me: "Yeah. I don't know why that light gave us a strange feeling."
Ami: "It's probably nothing."

[Fight BGM: Boss Theme C (Star Fox 64)]

(A large, concealed hatch opened up from the surface just next to Area 51, and released a giant brain-like mutant.)
Arctic Bomber: "Looks like we've got company!"
Ami: "I think it's Brain Golem, from Salamander -- aka. Lifeforce! Not to mention a few other Gradius games he showed up in..."
Arctic Bomber: "I knew it! General Shepherd and his merry men are really playing with those Gradius bosses we've had to face tonight!"
Blaze Bomber: "Keep your wits about you, everyone! This isn't your average shoot-'em-up game!"
Me: "Heh. I know that feeling, Blaze Bomber."

Brain Golem floated towards our direction, and stopped momentarily to grow two arm-like tentacles from his body, each with claw-like hands. Then he floated about again, flailing his arms about and shooting acidic blobs out of his hands. We took care to avoid that, and like from the Gradius games, unloaded on him as soon as he opened his one eye. We had to maneuver around since his arms acted as shields to his eye; either way, he wasn't too much trouble. With a final blow from Arctic Bomber's Bowling Bombs (shot out of our side cannons), we blew Brain Golem to guts; his remains gradually evaporated upon hitting the ground (and our cockpit, much to Ami's dismay).

The large hatch on the surface opened up again, this time releasing a circular Core-style warship. Known by many Gradius fans as Tetran, it appeared in a good number of Gradius games to date, firstly in Salamander/Lifeforce. It opened up its four tentacle-like arms to swing away, and fire bullets from its arm tips. Once again, our flight skills enabled us to avoid its gunfire, and even blast the barrier panels protecting the core within. However, each barrier panel that's destroyed split into a spread of "suicide bullets", headed our way. We barely avoided getting hit, while Tetran changed its attack pattern to spin its arms around with blazing speed. In Gradius V fashion, it rapidly fired its laser shots like crazy. We could not react quickly in time, and ended up completely losing the CrygorCopter's force field.

Blaze Bomber: "Dang! It'll take an hour for our helicopter to fully recharge its force field!"
Ami: "Don't panic, guys! Just...don't...panic!!"

Now that the chopper was vulnerable to damage, we took care to destroy the rest of the circular warship's barrier panels, despite taking some damage (but not to the rotors, thankfully) from both the laser shots and "suicide bullets." Finally, after all the trouble we've just experienced, we took out the core, destroying Tetran in the ensuing explosion.

[End BGM]
[Fight BGM: Ridley Battle (Metroid: Zero Mission)]

Unfortunately, we only had a moment to take a breather, as it was time for part 3 of the boss endurance. The large hatch on the surface reopened once more to send out another Core-style warship, before closing up for the third time.

Arctic Bomber: "I know that thing! It's the Crystal Core, nicknamed Ice Ice for some weird reason..."
Me: "Don't tell me, you fought it in Gradius III on SNES, right? But then again, it did show up in Gradius II, first off."
Ami: "No time to reminisce, you two. We have to stay focused since we're now open to damage."

The Crystal Core commenced with extermination by waving its tentacles, while shooting laser beams from both the tips and the frontal part of its main body. Because the tentacles act like shields to protect the blue core within, we maneuvered about to avoid the laser shots and find the opening. While the main body was momentarily uncovered, we blasted open the barrier panels. Eventually, the Crystal Core closed its tentacles to fully cover the now-exposed blue core, and fired its laser shots like a machine gun. We were merely grazed, but thankfully again, not on the rotors. The Crystal Core stopped firing to stretch out its tentacles, enabling us to destroy the core, thus obliterating the whole warship.

Blaze Bomber: "How many more of these Bacterion warships do we have to face before the CrygorCopter goes down?"

Before he could ponder any further, Blaze stopped there as the large hatch reopened to release yet another Core-style warship from beneath the surface. This time, however, it was a large, circular ship known only as the Covered Core. Being defensive, it was equipped with a rotating shield which looked like a nuclear symbol. Fortunately, though, it wasn't as difficult as the previous warships (minus Brain Golem) we've had to eradicate. All it did was rotate its shield around its main body, stopping momentarily to fire some missiles that came up around us. Arctic Bomber and Blaze Bomber destroyed the missiles with their cannon fire, while Ami and I blasted the barrier panels (and avoiding the "suicide bullets" spitting out of the wreckage) to uncover the core within. With teamwork, we succeeded in blowing up the Covered Core, hoping this was the last one.

[End BGM]
[Alert BGM: Vile Intro (Mega Man X)]

Ami: "The base should be running out of its stolen Bacterion warships by now."
(Just then, we were contacted on radio by none other than General Shepherd.)
Shepherd: "Huh?! You're STILL alive?!"
Me: "Hell yeah, we are! Oh, and what was with that searchlight just now? Care to tell us, sir?"
Shepherd: "I'm afraid that's classified. However, I have but one more Bacterion warship in reserve. I didn't want to have to waste it on you, but you leave me no other choice! Release the Dellinger Core!"

[End BGM]
[Boss BGM: VS Vile (Mega Man X)]

With that, the treacherous general ended the transmission as the large hatch opened up for the final time, revealing the Dellinger Core itself. Although it did not appear in many Gradius games rather than quite a few, mostly Gradius III, it posed a good enough threat with many laser cannons mounted on its two stretchable arms. It started the fight by doing just that, and fired a volley of lasers at us, inflicting more damage on the CrygorCopter...and this time, on the rotors. The Dellinger Core stopped firing, and closed its arms to assume its large, circular figure. Immediately, it rammed toward us to damage the CrygorCopter further. Even with our flight skills, we could not maneuver as well as we normally would, due to the damaged rotors. The Dellinger Core opened its arms once more, but stopped just halfway through to fire diagonally in our direction. Meanwhile, we used whatever time we had left aboard the CrygorCopter to dismantle the barrier panels, avoid "suicide bullets" spitting out of said panels, and destroy the core within.

As the Dellinger Core began exploding, it went for a last-ditch effort by swinging one of its arms at the tail of the CrygorCopter, while ramming its main body at the hull. Right after it detonated in a nuclear explosion, our only ticket back to Diamond City was completely wrecked beyond all repair.

Blaze Bomber: "Aaaack! I guess the CrygorCopter wasn't as durable as we thought, mostly when pitted against killing machines from another galaxy!"
Arctic Bomber: "More like the Bacterion warships, to boot!"
Me: "Brace yourselves, everyone! We're going down!"
Ami: "It'll be a rough landing!"

[End BGM]

No matter how hard Ami and I tried to maintain our balance, the CrygorCopter was rotating around in circles. In just moments, we crash-landed onto the surface just outside Area 51, ripping the landing skids clean off the bottom of the chopper in the process. When we recovered a moment afterwards, we found the chopper on fire and the cockpit controls crackling with electricity.

Ami: "Aaron! Aaron, get up! We have to make our exit!"
Me: "Oh, crap! Arctic, Blaze, take what you can!"
Arctic Bomber: "Wait! I think I can cool things down a little with my blizzard!"
Blaze Bomber: "We can't! The CrygorCopter has taken too much damage; it'll blow any second!"
(Arctic Bomber gasped.)
Arctic Bomber: "In other words...BAIL OUT!!"

We all scrambled for the exit, grabbing some heavy armorsuits that Blaze Bomber designed just in case of emergency. Arctic Bomber, on the other hand, grabbed ahold of her assault rifle and jumped out with us. We got away just seconds before the CrygorCopter exploded, leaving nothing but a large, flaming wreckage. At the very least, we were glad to have escaped with our lives.

TO BE CONTINUED...

--------------------
"Faster than a donut! Stronger than cardboard! I am Wario-Man!!" ~Wario (from WarioWare: Touched!)

"What is Bill Rizer? It is just the name of a single entity who has been gone for centuries." ~Master Contra (from Neo Contra)

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