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> Diamond City Chronicles #10, Contra: Project ACT ZERO
 Posted: Nov 8 2012, 05:57 AM
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Chapter 12: The means to an end

Mission 7: Area 51
Having averted death after a helicopter crash, the Four Contras head on in to the restricted Area 51 itself. While it was said to have housed experimental aircraft and weapons systems, recent reports indicated that the base is also involved with both the alien cell of Red Falcon, along with stolen Bacterion technology -- courtesy of General Shepherd and his personal army.
February 11, 20XX
10:55 PM

[Alert BGM: Bowser Attacks! (Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time)]

Having emerged from a nearby rock formation we used to protect ourselves from the debris, thrown by the helicopter explosion, we got yet another transmission from General Shepherd.

Shepherd: "Oh, why is it so difficult to kill just the four of you, anyway?!"
Me: "It's because of both our video game knowledge, and real-life training. Now, care to tell us about the searchlight your men used on us?"
Shepherd: "I told you, it's classified. But if you want to find out that badly, you'll just have to come to my office alive."
Ami: "You really are paranoid, aren't you?"
Shepherd: "You're just the same as those two Bombermen that used to work for Red Falcon. Attention, Gilgamesh One, fire mission -- target Bacterion hatch -- danger close."
G.O. commander: "That's too close to the entrance, sir! We might not be able to launch anymore Bacterion attack craft if we shoot there!"
Shepherd: "I'm not asking for an opinion, just send it!"
G.O. commander: "Roger, fire mission danger close!"
(The transmission on our communicators ended here.)
Arctic Bomber: "Oh, CRAP! Not again!"
Blaze Bomber: "Everyone, get behind the rock formation quickly, and keep your heads down!"

We got back to the rock formation, and went prone without delay. Immediately, the outer cannons shot out a barrage of artillery shells like a machine gun, followed by firing a mega shell. Within seconds, the artillery fire landed all over the front of the base and its large hatch (for dispatching Bacterion warships), killing and wounding every one of Shepherd's soldiers opening fire on us. In the end, the mega shell exploded upon hitting the ground, incinerating the dead soldiers' bodies and the wreckage of our CrygorCopter. Although Ami and I didn't have time to recite our Konami Barrier incantation, we turned on our 5-hit barriers via our Contra Rifle and Bomberman Watch. While that saved us from certain death, we were a bit shell-shocked from the blast, and our heavy armorsuits destroyed. Thankfully, though, we didn't suffer any severe injuries.

[End BGM]

Arctic Bomber: "dam...since when does Shepherd care about danger close? I mean, he wasted all of his shells just to kill us for freak's sake..."
(She looks down, and glances over to Ami.)

[Suspense BGM: Taloraan Sky (Star Wars Rogue Squadron)]

Arctic Bomber: "Hey, uh...Ami?"
Ami: "What is it, Arctic Bomber?"
Arctic Bomber: "...Red Falcon's right, isn't he? We're all expendable, aren't we? Doomed to be cast out like garbage and all that..."
Ami (sighs): "No, no...we're not expendable. Well, Aaron and I felt that way five months ago when we destroyed Red Falcon, Sniper Bomber, and Axe Bomber once again..."
Me: "Yeah. But, Bill and Lance told us a few times over the months, that we shouldn't let his words rattle us. We know who we are, and how we live our lives dictates who we are. We're not expendable if we risk our lives fighting for our ideals, the people we love and respect..."
Ami: "In short, we're true heroes. We are Contras."
Blaze Bomber: "You're right. We fight not just for mankind, but Bomber-kind as well. I've just figured out why Shepherd's bringing Project: ACT ZERO into fruition. He must really want to wipe out all living Bombermen and women on Earth, and even planet Bomber as well. Ever since both the Alien Wars and World War III, he believes that our kind must perish at any cost, regardless of their alignment."
Arctic Bomber: "In other words, any Bomberman not worthy of serving him is mortally revoked of his or her right to live."
Ami: "Only the ones that he'll have personally created are considered 'worthy'. Let's finish this."

[End BGM]
[Stage BGM: Sigma's Fortress -- Stage 3 (Mega Man X)]

After recovering from another nearby explosion, we ran towards the entrance to the inside of Area 51. Since it was a restricted area, it's very unlikely that we'll run into some power-up pods, much less a stray Smash Ball (for Final Smash attacks), at all. And because I lost my Laser Beam on my Contra Rifle from the crash-landing, I was stuck with my Ice Breath power-up for the rest of our campaign. Luckily, Blaze Bomber had a backup Spread Gun to give me. He tossed the power-up itself towards my gun, thus filling the empty weapon slot. Then he had me and Ami stand back, so he could combine his flame jets with Arctic Bomber's blizzard. With fire and ice mixed up, they created a tag-team attack, the Particle Bomb, which set off a large enough blast to tear open the metal gates.

Ami: "Wow! I didn't know you two could do that!"
Me: "I think I've seen that move once before, in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years..."
(Shepherd's voice could be heard blaring over the PA speakers.)
Shepherd: "Attention all available units: kill the Four Contras at once! I say again, kill the Four Contras on sight!"
Blaze Bomber: "I hate to say this, but these aren't soldiers...they're vermin."
Arctic Bomber: "I couldn't agree with you more, Blaze Bomber! Those morons are just throwing away their lives for nothing!"

Shepherd's personal army of US soldiers (including the remnants of "Gilgamesh One") ran towards our direction, intent on putting us out of the picture so he could carry on with his anti-Bomberman propaganda. Throughout the firefight, Blaze Bomber dreaded having to fight the soldiers all over again like he did back when he was brainwashed by Red Falcon, during the Alien Wars. But since Shepherd's soldiers were not the good guys, Blaze Bomber felt that he had no other choice but to go forward this way, for the sake of man and Bomber alike.

Meanwhile, a sergeant leading Gilgamesh One's soldiers glanced over to one of the privates.

Sergeant: "Those scum are outnumbered by us! But just in case, we'll outnumber them some more! Release the cloned Xenomorphs!"
Private: "Huh? But General Shepherd said not to let them out unless he says so!"
(The sergeant elbowed him with the butt of his machine gun.)
Sergeant: "I don't care! I want that $1 billion reward on behalf of Gilgamesh One, so DO IT!!"
(He chases off the private by opening fire on him.)
Private: "Alright, already! Dammit, it's always me! Do this, do that, go release the cloned Xenomorphs...I always have to!"
(He opens up a metal crate full of Xenomorphs, only for one of them to impale him to death with its pointed tail upon breaking out.)
Sergeant: "Better get ready to die, Contras! We're gonna be rich!"
Me: "Not on your life. I saw what you did to one of your own guys! You're a terrible sergeant!"
Sergeant: "Freak you!"
Ami: "You are the worst of the worst! You dishonor us all!"
Sergeant: "I don't have to listen to a prissy lady who thinks she's tough! Here, Xenomorphs: dinnertime!"

Unfortunately, for the greedy sergeant, the cloned Xenomorphs turned on him instead, killing him and his men with their inner mouth-like tongues. While they were distracted by their main course, I fired away with my Spread Gun. Ami followed up with her Fire Bombs to dispose of the aliens.

Arctic Bomber: "Looks like that evil sarge's gonna have a lot more to worry about than a dishonorable discharge."
Blaze Bomber: "We're not out of the hot water yet. There are more cloned Xenomorphs coming our way!"
(The commander of Gilgamesh One, concealed by a window on the upper level of the Xenomorph storage, called out to us.)
G.O. commander: "You'll never return alive from here! I'll honor my soldiers' services by taking you to hell with me!!"
(He triggers a self-destruct sequence, intending to blow up the entire storage chamber.)
G.O. commander: "When you die with me, the general will be free to eradicate all of Bomber-kind, and replace them with his own army of Bombermen and women! And by army, I don't mean the Dark Force Bombers!"
Arctic Bomber: "What a way for you to join your guys in the most ass way possible!"
Blaze Bomber (to me and Ami): "We've got to get out of the chamber before it explodes and kills us!"

We swerved around the aggressive Xenomorphs, and ran to the nearest exit before the blast door sealed it. As soon as we made it through, the Xenomorph storage chamber exploded, vaporizing all of the aliens, Shepherd's soldiers, and the rogue commander of Gilgamesh One. However, the commander's words did not go unheard to Aqua Bomber and Cyclone Bomber. Despite that they were Dark Force Bombers to begin with, they were still Bombermen in general.

[End BGM]

Aqua Bomber: "So, Shepherd and his guys don't think we Bombermen are worthy of living anymore, eh? That wasn't part of the deal!"
Cyclone Bomber: "Even our old master, Bagular, cared about us! Let's ditch this base and do a bit of conquering on our own!"
(Arctic, Blaze, Ami, and I got inside their room.)
Me: "There you guys are!"
Aqua Bomber: "Oh, hey there! As much as we'd love to tear you limb from limb, we've decided to take five for a while."
Cyclone Bomber: "We heard what that commander said over the speakers, and we're not gonna do our job for General Shepherd anymore. It seems he only cares about the Bombermen and women that he personally creates, and not us Dark Force Bombers! Oh, and he's not far from here. The elevator you need to take should be half a klick, as in 500 meters, from this door in front of you."
Ami: "Huh?"
Cyclone Bomber: "Don't misunderstand. We're still gonna defeat you, but not tonight. When the time comes, we'll do it on our own. Oh, and one more thing: that searchlight we used on you sapped some of your holy power, but it turns out that we 'bad guys' can't touch it at all, not even General Shepherd himself."
Aqua Bomber (eyeing me and Ami): "So, he just went and made copies of your DNA containing the holy power, to override the rejection. You might still be able to take him out, so we can face off with you another time. But just because we told you what we know doesn't mean we like you! Until then..."
(He takes an escape route to a helicopter, with Cyclone Bomber following suit.)
Ami: "I guess we're free to go on then..."

After a rather strange scene with the remaining Dark Force Bombers, we moved on to the elevator, fighting off the rest of the rogue soldiers along the way. Eventually, we reached the top floor of Area 51, and entered General Shepherd's personal office.

[Interlude BGM: Theme of Nebula (Mega Man Battle Network 5: Double Team DS)]

Shepherd: "You know what they say about better be ready to dig four graves. Go ahead and end it. It won't change anything. I still have plenty of Xenomorphs and Bacterion warships at my disposal. Just think of how magnificent they are, and how they can change our world forever..."
(We glared at him, but stood our ground rather than put a bullet through his head.)
Shepherd: "Hmph. I knew you couldn't do it. You're such good warriors. However, you could never take that extra step to do what was absolutely necessary."
Me: "I should smash your skull in...personally. Just think of the innocent lives you've taken over the course of your so-called project, when you forced them into these armored suits that look like Master Chief clones..."
Shepherd: "You know, I never understood that. Why did you judge me? In fact, why did you judge us, the Blood Falcon organization, as the enemy in your so-called counter-broadcasts?"
Me: "You killed innocent people!"
Shepherd: "The means to an end!"
Blaze Bomber: "You started a massacre!"
Shepherd: "I caused a revolution!"
Arctic Bomber: "YOU BETRAYED THE LAW!"
Shepherd: "...I betrayed what? You Bombermen are all the same. You destroy anything you see fit with your spherical bombs, and even enjoy it to the bitter end."
Ami: "But not all Bombermen and women are bad! The ones that attacked our planet were working for Red Falcon! He and his loyal followers created them! The rest of them that aren't among the attacking forces are from planet Bomber -- neutral or good!"
Shepherd: "What do you know about a Bomberman? Or perhaps Cheerful White, Cool Black, Cute Pink? Not to mention Arctic Bomber or even Blaze Bomber, for that matter? Do you know who they all are?"

(We paused for a moment, staring Shepherd down.)
Shepherd: " concern of mine! You Contras are all fated to be killed here, anyway. For you see, Project: ACT ZERO was basically the ultimate weapons project, designed for complete genocide of every living Bomberman in the universe, much less planet Bomber. You've destroyed my project, you annihilated my experimental Super Bombermen, and you kept forcing me to take extreme measures..."
Blaze Bomber (sighs): "Look, I'm aware I took some of the US soldiers' lives long ago, during the Alien Wars...but only because I wasn't feeling myself. I was brainwashed against my will by Red Falcon. However, committing genocide against Bomber-kind in retribution won't change anything! In fact, Aqua Bomber and Cyclone Bomber told us what one of your commanding officers told us before they walked off. You don't even care about the rogue Bombermen that weren't even yours to begin with."
Shepherd: "Who cares if I broke my promise to them? I can always mass-produce my own Bombermen and women, modeled after the Five Dastardly Bombers and the Dark Force Bombers, with the power of the alien cell. Oh, and speaking of which, I've combined my copies of Aaron and Ami's DNA samples containing the holy power, with the alien cell. Now that the original DNA samples are no longer needed to make anymore copies, I've fused that mixture with myself, and in the process created the ultimate super-being! How fitting that you would be killed by the one energy source derived from your worthless ancestors! Behold the true, combined strength of your holy power and the alien cell of Red Falcon!!"

[End BGM]

(He raised his arms, and transformed into a tall, humanoid alien form of himself!)
Shepherd: "5 and a half years ago, during the Alien Wars...I lost over 15,000 men in a blink of an eye while General Rupert was still in charge of sending in Bill Rizer and Lance Bean to assess the situation. The following years since, came World War III, and I lost another 15,000 men throughout the entire campaign...including the Delta Force soldiers that assisted you. And what did the world do about it? Nothing! They just frickin' watched! Tomorrow, there will be no shortage of shortage of patriots. I know you understand."
Blaze Bomber: "What vile form he's taken! We've got to stop him!"
Arctic Bomber: "He can't mess with what originally belonged to Aaron and Ami's bloodline to begin with!"


"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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 Posted: Nov 14 2012, 09:02 AM
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Chapter 13: The fall of a fell General

[Interlude BGM: Doppler Demo (Mega Man X3 (PSX))]

February 11, 20XX
11:30 PM

This is for the record. History is written by the victor. However, history is filled with liars, if not every one of them. If he lives and we Contras die, his truth becomes written -- and ours is lost. General Shepherd will be a hero, despite losing all of Project: ACT ZERO.

To make things worse, he claims both his personal army of Bombermen and the armada of stolen Bacterion warships, to be a sure-fire way of changing planet Earth forever. And on account of changing the world, all you need is one good lie and a river of blood. He's about to complete the greatest trick a liar ever played on history. His truth will be the truth. But only if he lives, and we die.

Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, if you're hearing this and we really have died in battle: please take care of Cheerful White, Cool Black, Cute Pink, and even our close friends of WarioWare Inc. and what's left of Puffy AmiYumi, for us. Whatever happens, we cannot let General Shepherd wipe out every living Bomberman in the known universe and replace them with his own army...


[End BGM]
[Final battle BGM: VS Andross (Star Fox Adventures)]

With General Shepherd transformed, he experienced with the power the alien cell had in store by super-dashing across his office, knocking us over and taking away my Spread Gun power-up. Then he followed up with hurling energy bursts in mid-air to hurt us some more, causing heavy damage to the office in the process. Thankfully, we weren't injured badly due to the 5-hit barriers Ami and I had on our bodies.

Shepherd: "Do you feel it? really DO feel true pain! We could've been gods of our nation, if not the entire world! And besides, you'd be angry too if you lost this many close friends of yours!"
Me: "Yeah...but venting out the hatred by committing genocide on an entire species, let alone Bomber-kind, won't change anything!"
Ami: "Also, do you have any idea what the Bacterions will do once they get ahold of their own warships you stole right under their mechanized noses?"
Blaze Bomber: "Killing us won't stop them from jumping into hyperspace towards Earth!"
Shepherd: "So what if they come in a matter of months? I'm going to rebuild both Earth and planet Bomber. The Xenomorphs and Bacterion warships will prove very useful for profiting as bio-weapons!"
Arctic Bomber: "You mentioned that before, jackass! You're no god if you abuse your powers as a general! Killing innocent people, stealing technology from another galaxy, and stockpiling what used to belong to Red Falcon's do you plead? Huh?!"
Shepherd: "What are you, a stubborn Bomber-girl? I'm not guilty, but you are for nosing in on our business!"
Arctic Bomber: "I knew you'd say that! HEE-YAAARRGH!!"

The Mistress of the Cold attacked aggressively with her assault rifle, firing a barrage of Diver Mines at General Shepherd to inflict damage. He retaliated by charging up for a Hadouken-style energy blast in his hands; Blaze Bomber pulled Arctic Bomber out of the way just before Shepherd unleashed his attack on her, killing instead his own soldiers that ran in here to back him up. The ex-Hate Bombers strafed around to draw the traitorous general's attention, while Ami and I opened fire with both her Ice Bombs and my Ice Breath (which I luckily still kept) to freeze him over.

Just as Shepherd broke free of the ice, Arctic Bomber and Blaze Bomber performed their tag-team Particle Bomb attack, dishing out more damage to him. Suddenly, he stopped super-dashing towards us as his alien form went haywire after enough damage had been done. He held his head in pain like his brain was about to explode.

Shepherd: "UUGGGGHH!...Too much power!...Can't...maintain...EEEEEEEEYYYAAAAAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHH!!!"
Blaze Bomber: "Oh, my gosh! He's changing again!"
(Beyond Shepherd's control, he mutated even further...)
Arctic Bomber: "Wh...what the hell IS that?"
Shepherd (distortedly): "Everything must burn!"

A major side effect from having fused the alien cell of Red Falcon with himself, General Shepherd was no longer a man but a distorted, alien beast of mass proportions with two bald, humanoid heads situated at either side of his bulk. He began jumping up and down, and towards the back of his office, heavily damaging both his seat and desk, knocking a computer over, and breaching a big hole in the wall. Then he lunged at us with one of his heads on a long neck, banging upwards and downwards to injure us some more (taking away my Ice Breath power-up), while completely destroying his office appliances. Then a rain of molecule-shaped projectiles was summoned from the ceiling, just barely touching our injured bodies as we moved out of the way. Arctic Bomber and Blaze Bomber unleashed yet another Particle Bomb attack, hurting Shepherd's exposed head.

Me: "Everybody okay?"
Ami: "I've taken some damage, but I think I can still fight."
Arctic Bomber: "How are we gonna exterminate the distorted monster who's both massive AND quick?!"
Blaze Bomber: "We keep firing, until his form changes once more!"

When Shepherd finished his attack, he jumped across the heavily-damaged office once again, nearly crushing us flat as he broke another big hole on the other wall. Then he lunged out at us for more damage with his other head, but instead of banging against the ceiling and floor simultaneously, it chased us in a snaky fashion. We put as much strength as we could into avoiding the sharp fangs from the head's mouth, and returned fire with our weapons. Once that was over, Shepherd jumped back to the center of the office, and transformed once again. Although his third form's much smaller, it was now an alien brain with bald, humanoid heads for a circular shield.

Shepherd (telepathically): Pitiful Contras. Your kind cannot defeat me now.
Me: "Care to wager on that, Shepherd? Let's end this here and now, Ami!"
Ami: "I'm with you as always, Aaron! We just might survive to tell the tale..."
Me (smirks): "I knew you'd say that."

Shepherd's brain floated around the room, its circular shield of alien heads bobbing back and forth. Everytime we shot his brain, the heads extended briefly, eventually spreading out to hit us in the face as we kept attacking with wild abandon. Apparently, Ami and I forgot about that part from Contra: Hard Corps, but that didn't stop us from standing our ground. We stopped firing to wait for the heads to retract back towards Shepherd's brain. Five or so minutes later of keeping the circular shield at a tolerable size, we finally prevailed over the traitorous general, bringing about the end of the Blood Falcon organization for good. He floated haphazardly as his circular shield of alien heads went out of control.

[End BGM]

Shepherd (telepathically): You're all idiots! Bombermen destroy anything they see fit with their spherical explosives! You and your loved ones will be dead, buried, forgotten...spending eternity rotting in the ground! GRRAAAAARRRRGGHHH!!
(His telepathic death scream faded into nothingness as the humanoid heads detonated around his brain in a whirlwind of explosions, incinerating what's left of him for good.)
Arctic Bomber: "The only Bombermen that destroy anything they see fit, are the ones that corrupt warmongers like you or Red Falcon have personally created! You mess with us Contras, you get the horns!"
Blaze Bomber: "Now that it's finally over, I'm afraid we'll have to take out Area 51 by setting all Bacterion warships to self-destruct. There should be a master control room beyond the damaged wall..."

We followed Blaze Bomber to the destination, and watched him initiate the self-destruct sequence on the warships. Then we began evacuating Area 51 by finding a nearby helicopter. Nearly ten minutes later, we reached the last remaining helicopter and used it to escape from Area 51. The moment we had reached minimum safe distance, the Bacterion warships' cores had overloaded, causing them to detonate in a chain of explosions, destroying the entire base and leaving behind a large crater.

[Ending BGM: Ending -- Farewell (Gradius II (NES/Famicom))]

As for us, the Four Contras, we were relieved that General Shepherd's reign of terror was over. Now, our friends in Diamond City awaited our safe return before midnight.

Blaze Bomber: "There. With the Bacterion warships and cloned Xenomorphs destroyed along with Area 51, life in the country will return to normal."
Arctic Bomber: "But what good would that do? The Bacterions have probably already picked up on their 'missing' warships' location by now!"
Ami: "Our actions may not stop them from coming in a matter of months, but if they really do, we'll be ready for them."
Me: "I know it's a pain to have to destroy such a restricted area in the process, but we can't risk any further jeopardy if the warships and Xenomorphs fall into the wrong hands before the Bacterions even arrive in the near future. Like Ami and I said, we know who we are, and how we live our lives dictates who we are."
Ami: "In short, we're true heroes...We are Contras."


(Ending Credits)
Aaron (me) -- MYSELF
Bill Rizer -- BOB BUCHHOLZ
Arctic Bomber -- GREY DELISLE
Blaze Bomber -- SCOTT MENVILLE
Penny Crygor -- JANICE KAWAYE
General Shepherd -- LANCE HENRIKSEN
Steven -- HIMSELF
Cyber-Crash -- HIMSELF
18-Volt -- CHRIS RAGER
Cheerful White -- TARA STRONG
Young Cricket -- SCOTT MENVILLE
Jimmy Thang -- JEFF BENNETT
Colonel Bassad -- TOM KANE
Aqua Bomber -- BRIAN DOBSON
Cyclone Bomber -- KATHLEEN BARR
Fire Bomber -- PAUL DOBSON
Earth Bomber -- MICHAEL DOBSON
Gilgamesh One commander -- GARY CHALK

[End Credits]
[End BGM]


"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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