But it was as big as a dump truck. Then entire truck looked like it was sealed in an impenetrable metal. Titanium. It rolled slowly down the road leading towards the NASA station, which was about five or six blocks away. What was so suspicious about this truck was that besides us, it was the only thing out on the streets. People had panicked and tried to vacate this area in record time. "Do you think it is going to attack us like the others?" asked Tim. I shook my head no. "It's close enough to see us. I don't know." Alex said. "Maybe we can use this...guys, follow my lead. We get close enough and then take over the truck. See who's dumb enough to still be out in this danger zone." I said as I sped up. The truck was going extra slow for some reason. What item could be so precious that one would have to guard it with titanium? I jumped from my cycle to the truck. In a split second, I had my weapon out and I pointed it at the driver. Ray was on the other side doing the same. The truck pulled to a sudden stop as Alex, Tim, and Taylor blocked it's path from the front, weapons drawn. The driver looked pale and bleek. His partner slowly reached for the bulge inside his coat. "HEY! Don't move. We are not going to hurt anyone." I said through my helmet speaker. This was the first time one of us Anthrax agents had ever talked to an outside person while we were in our suits. The driver looked sullen. "Listen, I don't know what you want but if I don't get to the NASA station in about 8 minutes, that damn satellite will fire again! MOVE PLEASE!" He shouted fearfully. NASA station? This was the break we needed. "Listen carefully. I want you to tell me why you are going there." I asked. He kept silent. I tapped my gun on his face. "We "rogues" are going to try to stop whoever is inside that building. Tell me why or you will just be another innocent bystander dead." I said acidly. Yeah it was mean, but we were running low on time. "The guy inside has asked for money. I am taking it to him." He shuddered. "How much?" I asked for my own sake. He looked stern, "I am not suppose-" but his partner cut him off. "We have 500 million American dollars. That is the price." They gave in to his demands. Dumb! I thought. "I want you two to open the lid on the trunk of the truck. Me and my four comrades are going to give them a "surprise" when they open it up. After that, you two get out of here as fast as you can." I told them. They nodded as they re-started the truck. We hung on the bumper but Alex trailed on his super-cycle to see if someone was following us. This will be over pretty soon. I thought. How could I have been any wronger?
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NASA station; lobby...
The NASA station consisted of ground-control, mission-control, and a couple of buildings for satellite use and training. "the Minister" and his men had set up shop in the lobby of the main offices of NASA. The lobby was a large room with plenty of space. And plenty of hiding places. His men were elaborately hidden by the marble columns extending to the ceiling. Some hid behind booths, couches, and hallway entrances. About 6 floors up, the rest of his men were still watching Steve. "the Minister" could see the truck now, rolling through the opened gates entering the station. "GET READY EVERYONE! AFTER THEY UNLOAD THE MONEY, KILL 'EM!" He roared with laughter. The truck pulled up and then started to back up towards the entrance. "the Minister" himself hid behind a column. The 20 ft. automatic doors whooshed open as the truck backed up into the entrance of the lobby. It then pulled to a stop. "SHOW YOURSELVES!" barked "the Minister". The two unarmed officers slowly made their way out of the armored dump truck. "the Minister" looked at the large titanium lids that were tightly closed. "Driver, my money is in the trunk, I presume?" he asked. The driver nodded nervously. "Well then, you open the trunk and your friend, I want him out in the open where I can see him TRY to cause trouble." He added deviously. The driver coordinated the gears as his partner stood in the open area of the lobby. This is not how the plan is supposed to go. The driver thought fearfully as the lids started to open.
Inside the trunk...
We all hid in silence behind the huge columns of money. Even in the darkness, I could detect the radiant green of money. They were stacked in 5ft. square piles. One stack had to have held at least 100 million. So much money, in such a close space. I thought greedily. I had even thought of taking a couple million for myself. Did I or didn't I? None of your business. We were in. The lid of the trunk had started to open, revealing the bright lights of one of the NASA buildings. I could hear voices, but the titanium coverings made their conversations muffled. Then the tailgate dropped hard. I was getting ready for the signal when a voice stopped me on my tracks. "Ahhh...good job officers. Now it is my turn to fulfill the bargain." Said a very familiar voice. No way could I, or any Anthrax student forget that voice. The voice of the person who always got off by beating and kicking defenseless children. The voice of a person who would always find a way to make one fell insignificant and weak. I stood up by sheer, dumb, human instinct. He stood beside a large pillar with a sub-machine gun in hand. "Minister..." I said with shock. He stopped talking and just stared, awestruck. "Agent..." he said, stunned. But then his awestruck look turned into an evil smile. "ATTACK!!!" he screamed. Then, as if out of midair, a small army of armed mercenaries appeared from each and every possible hiding place in the lobby! Oh, shi- was my thoughts before the mass of guards unexpectedly opened fire on us.
"GO! GO! GO! GO!" I screamed as I leapt on the money and jumped from the truck. So many of them! BAMBAMBAM! RATT-A-TATT TATT TATT! It was all out warfare. It was impossible to dodge so many bullets at one time. I didn't bother trying to look for my squad mates, I was looking out for my own ass. I fired continuously on the closest guards. I saw them fall, and then get back up! Bulletproof vests. TINK-TACK! Bullets violently ricocheted off my armor, floor tiles, and anything that was in their way. I jumped behind a wall opening and frantically thought about what to do. Then I saw the truck driver and his partner. They were lying on the floor, hundreds of gunshot wounds in their body. I saw Ray position himself against the truck firing over and over. Tim wasn't even out of the truck yet. We didn't have the advantage of hoping to win. Alex! Where the hell is he? I thought as I jerked my head around the corner to fire on a solitary guard on the steps. BLAM BLAM! One down, about 20+ guards left. I could hear the familiar sounds of a super-cycle outside. KER-CRAAAASH! Alex exploded into the room from the side windows, an Uzi in one hand while his super-cycle used it's machine gun. BAP-BAP-BAP-BAP-BAP! The guns tore through 8 guards. The fight suddenly turned to our favor. But I wanted to handle something personal. "the Minister" was mine. But he was gone! I ran out in the open, bullets flaring around me like rain in a thunderstorm. Then I could see him, standing on the first floor above the main offices. He held a sawed off shotgun in his hand, aiming for Alex's head. Such a powerful blast could rupture our helmet armor. BOOM! The shells hit Alex's super-cycle, blowing his computer core. He missed. I thought as I took cover behind a couch. But I was wrong. "the Minister" didn't hang around Dr. Kraken for so many years only to learn nothing. Alex's super-cycle stared to spark violently and jolt. Then over all the gunfire, I heard his computer core respond. "Auto-selected missile. Firing in 5...4...3..." The shotgun had caused a malfunction in his cycle! Now the computer was preparing to fire a missile! Everything went in slow motion. Then...WHOOOOSH! The missile rocked from his cycle and slammed into the ceiling. BOOOOOOOOM! Right over our heads... I covered my head as the thousands and thousands of pounds of NASA equipment and miscellaneous objects rained from above. CRAAAAAAAAACK! CRUNCH! As the objects landed on me, some of it smashed through the floor. It started to fall in! The floor gave away and I fell through it, with all the NASA miscellany behind me. CRAAAAAAASH! SPLASH! When I open my eyes, I was in the sewers under the NASA station. About 15 feet up, there is a large ragged hole from where the floor fell in. 20 feet up from that, there is a larger hole made by the missile. I was in the sewer, but I wasn't alone.
Satellite control room; 30 sec. before battle...
Clack! "the Minister" and twenty guards had just left the room and closed the door. Steve was now left alone in the room with five other guards. He squinted in pain as he glanced at his left leg. The bones in his leg had been shattered and cracked beyond recognition. But what hurt Steve the most was himself. HE had been the one to press the button, in doing so destroyed 100,000 lives. HE had been the one to carry out murder just to look out for his own well-being. And HE vowed revenge. "Hahahahaha! That's right! Did you see those...." The guards droned on and on, chatting and laughing. Steve's eyes came upon a pair of night vision goggles, used only for blackouts. Out of curiosity, he grabbed them and strapped the goggles around his neck. Then Steve's eyes came across something more intriguing, a small handgun lying on the control panel about 10 ft. away. "the Minister" is smart enough to take over this satellite, but he is not smart enough to watch where he puts his toys. Steve thought conspicuously as he eyed the gun. The guards were on the upper level of controls, away from Steve. No more destruction. I'm gonna go down fighting. Steve thought patriotically. He used his swivel chair to slowly ease away from the satellite control panel, towards the gun. The guards continued to whoop and holler as Steve crept ever so closer to the gun. Once he reached it he covered the gun with his shirt-tail. His heartbeat pounded his ribcage, beating to get out. Sweat covered his brow. His broken bones poked through his skin and glistened in blood. He was ready.
"Guards! Would one of you come down here to help me target the trajectory of the satellite?" Steve asked. The guards snickered at him. "What's going to happen if we don't?" sneered a guard. Steve turned around and faced the guard. "Not much. It's okay if you don't want to help me. But when "the Minister" finds out that you passed on an opportunity to keep the satellite from falling out of line, he'll probably kill you." I said without concern. The other guards booed at the other guard. They said things like, "It looks like he's telling you what to do." And, "You gonna let that asshole tell you off like that?" The guard got mad and started to walk down towards Steve. "You know, if "the Minister" weren't employing me, I'd kill your crippled ass for the fun of it. Now what they hell do you want me to do, motherfucker?" He said menacingly to Steve. Steve showed no fear. "I just want you to do one thing..." Then Steve faked to the control panel while whipping out the handgun. BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! The guard didn't even see it coming. The other guards whirled around and pulled out their weapons. Steve grabbed the falling guard and used him as a shield. BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM! Whipt! Whipt! Whipt! The bullets pounded the dead guard's back. Steve threw himself to the floor, hid from the other guards sight by the second level control panel. Steve took careful aim...BLAMBLAM! Tink! CRASH!...and shot out the ceiling lights! Darkness kidnapped the room. The other guard's started to shoot wildly in the air, but stopped. Steve put on the night vision goggles and grabbed the dead guard's machine gun. He peeked over the control panel to see the four other guards awkwardly bumping into each other, trying to navigate the room. "Hey, look don't do anything you would regret man. Who am I kidding, YOU'RE GOING TO FUCKIN' DIE FOR THIS BASTARD!!!" A guard screamed as he shot through the room wildly. "STOP IT! You're going to hit-" But the cautious guard could not finish because Steve's bullets ripped through the guard's vocal cords. BLAMBLAMBLAM! Ting-tink! "If you hear a noise, shoot it!" Steve slowly crawled up on the second level, positioning himself between two guards, each about 20 ft. apart. Steve kicked a chair down close beside the guard on the right. He watched as the guard on the left turned and fired towards the noise, accidentally shooting his partner to death. Now Steve fired on him with the accuracy of an archer. BLAM! One lethal headshot sent the guard reeling into the control panel and falling over into level one, his blood making a round pool into the carpet.. Steve did the math and noticed that there was one guard left alive. Steve could see him, on the highest level of the room, six. He was running for the door. Steve took careful aim and fired. BLAMBLAMBLAM! The bullets hit the guard in his lower abdomen, making the guard buckle and fall. The guard fell down the stairs, slamming into computer monitors and such, before making a crash landing into the bottom of the stairs. The last thing he would ever feel was the cold, unforgiving circle of a gun before it blew his brains out all over the wall.
Throughout the whole fight, Steve had ignored his injured leg. Now he grimaced in pain as he crawled back to the control panel. He pulled himself back in his swivel chair and pulled out some green limelight sticks and activated them. Then he proceeded to lock the doors. After a few seconds, a large metal door slammed shut on the door, blocking anyone or anything from getting in. It would take a technological genius to break in. Steve thought as he sat back and felt at peace, even after all the carnage.
Sewers; present time...
I slowly dug myself out of the wreckage. There was so much rubble it had piled up the fifteen feet leading into the lobby. Above me in the lobby, there was not a sound. I could hear nothing. I then started to panic about my team. Are they ok? Are they even alive? I thought in fear. Just then, something moved from beneath the debris. I grabbed my guns and aimed for the sound. A hand suddenly burst from the pile. It was the hand of a gloved Anthrax agent! I stumbled over to the hand and pulled until the person clattered at my feet. "Tim?" I asked. He sluggishly rose to his feet. "You alright? Where are the others?" I bombarded him with questions. "I'm fine. I couldn't keep track of anyone else. I was looking for cover and the next thing I know, the ceiling pins me to the floor, which falls in." he said allegedly. From then, Tim and I tried covering the whole disaster section in the sewer, calling out for the rest of the team privately through the microchips. Half a minute later, we found Ray. And about five minutes later everyone had been found and pulled out of the wreckage. Obviously, everyone had fallen through the floor. We were all winded. Here we are, mighty Anthrax agents sent on a kamikaze mission to save the world from a planetary threat, and we can't even break through the lobby! I didn't know what to do next. Everyone's self-esteem points were at an all time low. Maybe I should tell them... I thought. "Guys, I have to tell you something very important. LISTEN UP!" I yelled over them. They were NOT going to interrupt me again. All eyes were on me. "Dr. Kraken and the whole Anthrax staff are planning to pull a sick conspiracy on us all. Not us five, but also the ninety-five other Anthrax students." I said grimly. Oh yeah, they were listening now. "On Monday, they are planning to carry out some microchip phase that will make us all bond with the suits. In other words, we won't have any free will, we will never leave the suits, and we will be in their full control. Just tonight I was planning on breaking in on the school, and warning all the students. But this SHIT came up." I said exasperately. None of them talked or gave any comments. They were too quiet for such an emergency. "Well? Don't you believe me?" I spat. "Personally, I believe you whole-heartedly. It's just that, we already have so much stress on us now. I don't know if I can deal." Taylor said. At least one person believes me. I thought. But the others weren't so persuasive. "Do you mean to tell me that the Anthrax guys are going to turn us into some fucking mindless robo-toys? Come on! Don't you think they already enjoy toying with us?!" Ray said skeptically. The others nodded. Only Taylor was on my side. "I heard them with my own ears Friday! They were plotting, saying that they would demonstrate on a pupil and use him to manipulate the others into doing the process! Get real you guys! These are the same people who played God and created us for something that we have no part of! It was all just a big SCAM! And you're going to take their backs and defend them when they want to 100% destroy the little life you already have?! Personally, I don't want to be a damn robot! I practically yelled at them all. Another period of quietness passed. "Look, I believe him, and personally, I'm tired of this whole thing about neglecting Felix. So far, he's never led us astray or lied to us. I want to believe he is right." Tim said, breaking the silence. "Me, too. I haven't been the best person to him in the past few weeks just because he was succeeding. Sorry man." Alex said sincerely. Now all that was left was Ray, my nemesis. He would never agree. He would always be mad and angry at the fact that I succeeded him. He stood up and stared me right into the eyes of the helmet. "I don't regret saying this but..." Then I waited, I waited for him to disagree with me, to say I was a nut. "I'm with you all the way, bro." He said surprisingly. I could feel the unity in the group for the first time. "Good. Thanks everyone. After this is over, we are going to but Anthrax in it's place. But first, we have to finish what we started here. I have a plan." I said, gesturing upwards toward the building. Everyone was relieved, but Taylor kept her eyes on me. She looked at me strangely. "Felix, you said something about them selecting a pupil to go first. Do you know who they chose?" She asked me conspicuously. Taylor was too perceptive, she probably already knew the answer. "Me..." I added privately.
"the Minister" and his men were prepared for an attack, but they weren't prepared for the missile. After the missile had blown clear through the ceiling and out into the sky, in it's wake it had left behind hills of rubble. Three of his men had been crushed by the massive debris. The hills of debris had made a makeshift wall, separating the Anthrax agents and "the Minister's" men. He was sure that the agents were gone, but he didn't doubt that they were all dead. That is why his men were now setting perimeters around the rubble while others tried to break through the wall of debris. I told them specifically NOT to send anyone. Now they will pay. First I will destroy all of those Anthrax bastards, then Antopolis, and nothing more. He thought furiously as he walked up the stairs towards the satellite control room. Once he reached the door, he yanked it open. But it didn't budge. He tried harder and still, nothing. What the fu- He thought mystified as he tried again. He stepped back and fired a round into the door knob. The door knob clattered to the ground. "the Minister" pulled the door open only to find a large, computerized, metal locking mechanism! "GOD-DAMMIT! FUCK!" He screamed in anguish as he fired and beat on the door. Something went wrong. His foolproof plan was starting to fall apart.
I went over the plan with the group over and over until they understood it. The guards were probably still up there, looking for us. Tim, Alex, and Ray would go up, cause a distraction and fight the guards while Taylor and I went up to the control room. "Felix, what if "the Minister" is already there, maybe firing on more people?" She asked me. "Well, that's a risk I'm willing to take." I said savagely. As the other three guys crawled up towards the hole using the rubbish for footing. I had a sudden urge to say something to them. "HEY, you guys!" I called up to them. "Be careful, alright?" I said sincerely. They saluted and started back to the hole. Taylor and I crawled up towards the hole also. Once we neared the top, the other guys were resting with their backs against the debris. The wreckage made a large line of separation between us and the guards. Tim, Alex, and Ray were in position, weapons drawn. "All right guys, this is it. GO!" I yelled. Then they all sprang up and swiftly climbed up and over the makeshift wall. I could hear the sounds of gunfire and fighting going on over there. Hurry up Ray, where's the signal? I thought drastically. Then I saw it. WHOOMP! HISSSSSSSSSS! Our signal! The signal was for Ray to throw a gas bomb out so Taylor and I would not be seen creeping upstairs. We rapidly clambered over the pile and headed for the stairs. Bullets ricochet through the air. I could see nothing in the gas, but I could feel the heat of battle swarming all around us. We kept running until we reached the top of the stairs, blinded by the gas. After speedily felling on the walls, I found the doors to the upper level and ushered Taylor in, and then slowly closed the door and locked it. We were in.
After finding out that he could not get inside is own door, "the Minister" went about upstairs fuming over it. Then he had the idea of just simply looking at the security cameras posted inside the room of the satellite control systems. What he found shocked him. The cripple, the nerd, the little man, Steve, had MIRACULOUSLY killed all of "the Minister's" guards inside the room! He could see Steve now basking in the glow of a lime-light. The guards were littered on the ground. Dead. That bastard! How could he- but "the Minister" stopped his mad thinking. Oblivious to him, war was being waged in the lobby again. But what made him sick to his stomach was that now, two Anthrax agents were sneaking into the upper levels of the building FROM the lobby. His shocked look turned into a raw smile. Nothing changes. I still have the upper hand. Anyways, Plan B will certainly give them a run for their money. He thought deviously.
After stealthily searching throughout the floors, we finally came to a floor labeled "Engineering and Systems". It was worth a shot. We had not found anything remotely connected to the satellite yet. I was starting to doubt that the control system was even at this station. Who knows, maybe the control system is in Cape Canaveral or Houston. I thought. But Taylor's voice brought me back to reality. "I think this is it!" she said, pointing to a door. Well it wasn't really a door at all. The door had been shot up, the knob was missing, and there was a large metal thing covering the doorway. The side was labeled, S. C. S. or, Satellite Control Systems. This had to be the room where they controlled all the satellites. The room where "the Minister" controlled the asteroid satellite. I walked up towards the door and looked for a knob. But the metal door covering it didn't have a knob at all. "This door is blocked by the metal thing. It won't budge." I said. Taylor nudged me aside and took a look at the thing. Hell, I didn't care, she was the techno genius. "It seems like this door is being used as an sealing unit. Someone must not want anyone else to break in." she said. "the Minister?" I asked her. She nodded. "He may have us locked out, but not for long. I think I can get the door open." She said as she removed a covering at the central part of the metal door and grabbed some colored wires from the door. "How long?" I asked. "Five minutes the most. Simple work..." But I stopped paying attention. Because about 30 feet from me now was "the Minister". He stood there, staring at Felix, like he had been expecting him. "Taylor, look." Felix said, turning her head away from the door. She stood up drawing her weapon, but I lowered her hand. "Get through with the door. I'll handle him." I said, my eyes still locked on him. She still stood, but she got the point. "the Minister" then darted around the corner, with me after him.
I chased him through darkened hallways, up stairs, until he burst through a door at the top of the stair well. I kicked the door open, gun drawn. I was on the roof of the NASA building. I had never seen Antopolis so desolate. No city lights were on. No skyscraper windows brightened the skylights. No one strolled or drove through the streets. Nothing, just a dark, red, splotch in the sky. Clack! Clack! Clack! There he was! I turned towards the noise to find him running across a long catwalk leading down into a huge warehouse. Clack! Clack! Clack! I ran without haste right after the fiend. By the time I had neared the middle of the long catwalk, he entered the warehouse via the rooftop door. I ran over to the door and pulled. Locked. I lowered my shoulder and rushed into the door. BLAM! I lost my balance and tumbled down the stairs leading into the warehouse. FLASH! FLASH! Bright, white light burst from the ceiling. The warehouse was filled with computers and astronaut training equipment. I stood up on my feet and looked around for him. Not much longer I found him, standing in the middle of the room, sitting at a computer. I aimed my gun at him while walking. "No more games "minister"! Get ready to become just another victim of the Green Dagger squad." I spoke with fury. He stood up with both hands clasped together in front of him. "I would know that voice anywhere. Yes. The great Felix Alvarado himself! Model Anthrax student!" he said smiling. "Don't humor me! You've caused enough horror!" I yelled at him. He just kept smiling. "I bet you've been asking yourself why would I want to do something like this? Yes. The primitive mind of a lowly FOLLOWER always asks those clichéd questions." He was pushing my buttons now. Soon I would pop a cap in his a- "The reason is quite simple. Dr. Kraken came up with his master plan thirteen years ago. I played the dumb bodyguard, trying to learn something from him. He wouldn't allow it. But this was my master plan. This would've been the greatest plan of CRIME that had ever gripped the free world, if not for some coincidental mishaps. No worries! Plan B was made just for you Felix." He said conspicuously as he gestured towards a large box, covered by a sheet. "You see Felix, Dr. Kraken and his other Anthrax associates planned on using all of you for the ultimate brain control weapons. They would use you all for their own purposes." He said, walking towards the box. "Well I did some detective work myself "minister", and I found that out on my own." I seethed. "Excuse me if I don't applaud you on that. But Dr. Kraken or any other person would not get the chance to turn ANY of you into mindless toys. I would." He said. I was confused. What does he mean? I asked myself. He pulled the sheet off of the box and moved towards the computer. WHATEVER he was pulling, I wasn't going to let him. I fired at him. BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! My shots deflected off some of the metal, but one of the shots hit him in the left arm. He wasn't even phased by it. Then my clip ran out. As I quickly applied another one, "the Minister" had pressed some keys in the computer. Then...CRASH! CRUNCH! CRASH! When I looked up, something had happened. Something STRANGE. "Felix, Dr. Kraken had planned on turning all 100 of you Anthrax students into brainless super soldiers that they could command. Well, they will only get to turn 99 of you into robots. Let me be the first to present you to Prototype 1, the first Anthrax agent turned super android." He said. The box was totaled, and there in it's wake, was an Anthrax agent. No, not an agent anymore, but a creation gone mad.
S. C. S.; Satellite Control Room...
After Felix ran off after "the Minister", Taylor reluctantly kept at the door. After about two minutes of tweaking, the door whooshed open. She was about to step in, but gunfire made her duck and pull out. "I am not going to let you get to this damn control!" came an enraged voice from the inside. It was too dark for Taylor to clearly see inside the room, but she could make out the glow of a lime-light. "Stop shooting. I'm here to help. You don't even have to put your gun down." She reasoned to the person. "How do I know you're not one of those men? I am not going down without a fight goddammit!" he roared and released rounds of machine gun fire towards the door. "Look, I don't know what you have been through tonight, and personally, I don't care. All I know is, if you do NOT stop firing and denying my help, then I will put you down myself and say it was an accident later. Do you understand?" she yelled irritably. The man was quiet. "Okay, come in. I really don't care about living anymore so what the hell..." he droned on and on. Once Taylor stepped into the man's line of sight, he jerked his gun at her shakily. "You're one of those rogues! I've heard the stories! What do you want?!" he screeched. In one swift move, Taylor swiped the gun from the man's arm and snatched it out of the air, aiming at him. "I'm here to help, and my job would go a lot easier if you would cooperate." She said. Then she noticed his leg. It looked as if he had shoved it into a human blender and taken it out before it was fully shredded. From his knee to his toes, all was smashed and broken. Such deformity made Taylor sick to her stomach and she forced the bile back down in her throat. "Who...did this to you?" she said repulsively. "Them." He said as he pointed towards the upper levels of the control room. Taylor counted five bodies. It's a miracle this guy is still alive. She thought with grief. "Is this the satellite room?" she asked. He nodded. "Yeah. These are the primary controls to the satellite." He gestured towards the control panel. "They made me use it to destroy all the people..." he said, head lowered. "I should've refused! I could have saved so many people. But I put myself before the 100,000+ people who are lying there dead now..." he babbled. Taylor put her armored glove hand on his shoulder softly. "Look, I know you feel supremely guilty, and you should. But if you help me out, you could save millions more. Now come on, the door is de-activated now and we don't have much time. Tell me all you know about the satellite." She commanded. He shifted in his seat. "Well the shield that is over Antopolis now is made by the laser. The beam covers a 10 mile radius and it can only be penetrated by disarming it with a shot by the laser inside the beam. The satellite itself is powered by the latest in Techno-chip creations." He spoke as Taylor held her hand up for him to stop. Techno-chips. Our microchips have Techno-chip parts in them. She thought in wonder. "Umm, so does that mean that the satellite needs another chip to control it?" she asked. He nodded in amusement. "Yes. One chip is implanted in the control console right here. The other is in the satellite's computer. All it takes are a few commands in the keyboard to make the satellite carry out them." He said. But something was on Taylor's mind about the chips. The same type of chips in our heads are also in that satellite...She thought. "Is it a way that you can deactivate the chips?" she asked. He looked off track. "The chips are made of a fine mix of plutonium and titanium. They are very hard to destroy without risking accident. But there is one way to shut off the power in the microchips for good." He said. "How?" Taylor responded. "If one of the microchips were within 200 feet of a high powered laser blast, then the shock wave would disengage the chip forever. It wouldn't be gone, but it would not have any more power." He ended. "But I don't see what that has to do with our problem." He stated. But Taylor did. She had a major plan brewing that would put an end to Anthrax rule, once and for all.
Wham! BAM! I was knocked through the air, finally landing against a table filled with office objects. As I fell to the floor, Prototype 1 was slowly walking in my direction. "Activate handheld machine guns! Activated." Two fresh machine guns plopped out of my side. I wasted no time and fired on Prototype 1. RATT-A-TATT-TATT-TATT! Tink! Tong! Ting! No effect at all. I kept firing, trying to break through the weak spots of the armor. But nothing happened. Regular weapons could never break Anthrax armor. But Anthrax weapons could break through the armor in seconds. Yet this android wasn't phased! I ducked as it lunged a punch for my head. I rolled on the ground, behind the thing. Before it could turn around, I swung a well placed roundhouse kick to its head. Bam! It merely shook the hit off. I ran towards the opposing corner of the warehouse. But with amazing speed, the android blurred right in front of me. Before I knew it, the android clotheslined me to the ground. The hit was so severe, I was coughing for air in the suit. Prototype 1 grabbed me by the neck and hoisted me high above his head. "Hold it right there Prototype 1." "the Minister" commanded. The android froze with me trying to break free of his grasp. "I don't mean to bother you Felix, but I hope you like the 50% increase on power, armor, and speed of the android. He wanted power. He wanted glory. I gave it to him by turning him into a permanent Anthrax agent. Go on as you were Prototype 1." He ended as he turned around, leaving the room.
The android suddenly came back to the present. He reared his hand back and chucked me through the air. "Ahhhhhhhhhhh!" I screamed as I came to a violent landing 20 feet away. CRASH! "the Minister" was leaving the room. I staggered to my feet and tried to go after him. "Sorry Felix, gotta go! Bon Voyage!" He said as he ran through the double doors leading who-knows-where. Prototype 1 was still after me. I started grabbing various objects and tossing them at him. Computer screens on his head. Smash! Chairs. Crunch! Even trashcan pails. He easily knocked them all away. He threw a punch at my face. I blocked and countered with an elbow to his jaw. He picked me over his head and heaved me across the room! BRASH! I can't win this! I thought in pain. I stood up and started to run. He just walked, cool and calm. I pushed through another set of doors. I raced through the dark hallway leading into another room. I could hear the doors being knocked off of their hinges as he burst through, after me. When I entered the other room, it was another warehouse. But this one looked cooler. A crash test thingy was set up in the warehouse. But instead of cars, there were model spacecrafts mounted on the tracks, being tested before going into space. There was also a set of controls on the right side of the track, probably used for the crash test. I wasn't the smartest mechanical person in Anthrax, but I knew that when Prototype 1 appeared, I was going to put him out of his misery.
Blam! Prototype 1 burst through the doors leading into another warehouse. The lights were on. All known equipment was operational. Millions of dollars worth of the most advanced technology was right in that room, but Prototype 1 only had eyes for one thing: Agent #27, Felix Alvarado. He had been commanded to go on a search and destroy mission of all known Anthrax students, starting with Felix. He searched the room for the hiding agent, soon he would find him, and kill him. Eradicate him and all of the other wretched experiments created by the damned Anthrax Co. Inside Prototype 1 was the host body of a young boy. Agent #94: thirteen-year old Eddie Macintosh. Once apart of the elusive Squad #16 a. k. a. the Dark Thunder. Eddie was an outcast. He was very gothic and dreary, never satisfied and yet never the one to complain. Hence, he never had any "true" friends. He lived in a foster home, his adoptive parents died of the fatal C4 bombings weeks ago. He became suicidal and very dangerous to his peers. His problems came into his Anthrax work, causing the failure of several missions. He wanted an escape, he wanted vengeance, he wanted to die. When he met "the Minister", head of Anthrax security, he had an outlet. He had someone that really listened to him. Like a father figure. "the Minister" promised him something every Anthrax student would want. Freedom. How could he resist? But "the Minister" was a conniving snake. He used young Eddie's despair for his own sick will. By luring Eddie into the Anthrax labs one night, Eddie was attacked by an entourage of armed radicals. There he was held and beat beyond recognition. He was still alive when the transformation took place. "the Minister" used his knowledge of Dr. Kraken's "suit bonding" plan on Eddie. Soon there was no more gentle, misunderstood Eddie Macintosh. All that was left was the cold, unforgiving, surreal killer known as "Prototype 1". Poor Eddie was just a pawn in "the Minister's" chess game.
Prototype 1 used his heat seeking capabilities to search for Felix. He found him standing by a set of controls across the room. "You know what? I was just thinking that since you're a robot, do you have bolts instead of nuts?" Felix said with a laugh. Prototype 1 proceeded across the room. "I mean, it's something to debate about. How 'bout it, you fucking remote control! Want to kill me? Go right ahead." Felix kept saying. Prototype 1 paid no attention to the slurs. He stepped down into the tracks in the middle of the room and....could not move his feet. Prototype 1 kept jerking his feet up, but to no avail. He eyed Felix dangerously and would not stop trying. "Well, well, well! It looks like our friend is stuck on the tracks! Hmmm...did I forget to mention that NASA has this cool test track that works on electromagnetic currents? OH! That's why you can't move! Well, don't worry, I'll get you free!" Felix said as he punched in some controls in the console. Prototype 1 sensed an oncoming object, approximately 200 ft. away and approaching now, close to Mach 3 speed. Before Prototype 1 could even raise himself to see the object, a 5 ton test space craft slammed into him, knocking him loose from the tracks! The machine was so fast, Prototype 1 was still moving his feet, trying to free himself from the tracks when the craft slammed into the target wall at astounding speed. CRAAAAAAAASH! BOOOOM! The craft crashed, causing Prototype 1 to explode from the inside. Shards of Anthrax armor rained through the warehouse. Felix immediately ran for the door, but he could not help but notice a faint felling. A feeling of appreciation. Before he left, he heard an extremely faint voice, but it sounded like it said "Thank You".
Satellite control center...
"the Minister" was no where to be seen. I had wanted to get my revenge from him in the worst way, but he ran. Now I was running, but back towards the control center to see if Taylor had had any progress. I turned the hallway and towards the room. I burst into the room gasping. "Freeze! Where you are!" she said. "Taylor it's me, Felix." I gushed. She lowered her weapon. The room was very dark, with the exception of the lime-lights and an Anthrax flashlight. She eyed the small shattered parts of my armor "What happened to- but I cut her off. "We'll talk later. Now, who is this guy, and have you made any progress?" I asked her. "Felix this is Steve Brunner, he knows how to pilot the satellite. He knows how to deactivate it and shut it down also." She ended. "He does? Well what the hell are you waiting on?! Shut the damn thing down!" I said bewildered. She grabbed me by the shoulders and stared me right into the eyes of my helmet. "Felix, the satellite is controlled by the console. Both of them use microchips. The exact same that we use." She said. "And your point?" I asked annoyed. "Felix, we have found out a way to shut down OUR Anthrax microchips with help from the satellite!" She said anxiously. How could I have not seen it before? I thought with a mix of emotions. "Wow! Oh my god, that's fantastic! Do it now!" I urged. "Not so fast. There is a catch. See, to do it we need to send an emergency shut down signal to the satellite. This will cause the satellite's microchip shut down, but not before sending yet another emergency shut down signal back down to the control panel." She said pointing at the computer. I listened, trying to keep up. "The emergency shut down signal will go to the next microchip, and the next, and next, and next until all existing microchips of it's kind are shut down in a 100 mile radius." She ended. "So what you're saying is, the microchip will play tag with every other microchip of it's kind until it runs past 100 miles?" I asked. She nodded. "So that means when you guys do this, we won't be controlled by Anthrax any more." I stated. "Exactly." She nodded. I didn't know what to say or do. I had been waiting for something like this for three years. It had finally came and I didn't know how to react to it. "Well go ahead and do it." I told her. "Felix, there is yet another catch." She stammered. "Well, what?" I pressed her on. "Someone has to be here to put in the controls. After the signal is sent, the side-effect is that the laser will fire one last blast. We can't move the satellite because the signal has to come directly down and we can't harm any innocents so the only perfect place for the laser to fire is....here." she ended. "So you mean, one of us has to die so the rest live?" I asked, hoping for another answer. She disappointed me. She simply gave a sad nod. Now the dilemma, who was it going to be?
"You know, this day has been long and hard for me. I have been the killer of 100,000 people. I don't know if I can live with the fact that I did something like that." Steve muttered. "Steve, as much as I want you to do it, I can't let you do this. You are a survivor man. I really think you should live." Taylor told him reassuringly. I really don't care if he does it. I thought grimly. No one said anything for a while. "Ok. Look we can't keep sitting here and wait for something to happen." I said as I walked over to the paper shredder. I shoved my hand into the wastebasket and pulled out a handful of paper clippings. "We draw straws...I mean we draw paper clippings. Whoever gets the long one lives to see their next birthday. Whoever gets the small one goes up in flames." I said darkly. I put the clippings behind my back and snipped the end off of one of them. I mixed them around and held them in my fist. It was impossible to tell which one was the short one or the long one. Three straws, three fates. We pulled them in the dark. Taylor went first. Steve second. And I held the third. Taylor switched the flashlight back on to reveal the clippings. Steve gasped in relief when he saw that he had a long one. Taylor waited for me to go, I did the same. "Same time." She said. I nodded. I thrust mine in the light. She thrust hers. No one moved. No one made eye contact. We all just KNEW. They apologized and gave their sympathies, but there are never enough words to express defeat.
Five minutes later I was prepared to die. I had my helmet off, because I felt that I didn't have anything to hide anymore. Steve gave me specific instructions on what to do. I shook his hand and whispered in his ear, "You did what you had to do today Steve. Don't be ashamed of yourself. Ever." I reassured him. Taylor then came over and sat down beside me. By her voice I could tell that she had been crying. "Do you remember the time you thought I had a crush on you? You didn't talk to me for weeks." I laughed miserably. She removed her helmet also, and smiled. Tears clouded her face. I had never taken the chance to recognize how beautiful she was. "Taylor, I want you to get the guys from downstairs. I am going to wait a full five minutes for you guys to get as far away from here as you can before the blast. You will be free, you all will be." I said as I stroked her cheek. "Felix, I never got to say it..." she started. "Don't. I already knew. I feel the same." I said. We locked in a kiss. A sweet, sweet kiss. She smiled. "Thank you Felix. For everything." She ended. She put her helmet back on and carried Steve out the room, not before taking one last look at me. I watched them until they left the room. I turned to the clock and started the count down. Four minutes and fifty-nine seconds until Armageddon.
Taylor rushed downstairs with Steve. "Guys! Tim, Alex, Ray! Are you around!" she screamed as she lay Steve on the bed of the armored truck. She ran around the interior of the lobby looking for the guys. The bodies of dead guards were piled on the ground. She finally found them, war torn in the alley. There must have been a major battle. All three of the guys' armor was punctured here and there and Tim even had a visible gunshot wound to the thigh. But they were alive. She didn't waste time informing them of the problem. "Where's Felix? Talk to us Taylor?! What the hell is going on?" They asked, following her to the truck. "I'll tell you on the way! We don't have much time, we gotta go, NOW!" She roared with unmistakable authority. When they were all on the truck, she roared away, foot plastered on the accelerator. There she told them what had happened. She told them her plan. She told them they would be free. She told them Felix was going to die for them all.
Satellite control center...
The clock signaled 0:00. It was time. Just two more minutes, just to make sure they got away in time. I thought. But I knew that they were all gone. I was just stalling my own inevitable death. I fought back and forth with myself. I don't have to die! We can all just wage war on Anthrax! That way, more of us die instead of just me! I thought frantically. Suddenly, it seemed as if someone had grabbed my hand and thrust it on the control panel. I did it so fast that I shocked myself. Taylor said it only took thirty seconds for the microchip to shut down and the laser to fire, right down on me. I stared fearfully at the control panel. It's gonna blow! I thought. Then I felt a strong urge to get up and run. It was stupid, but I didn't want to just sit down and wait for the blast to burn me to ashes. I ran up and out of the room while counting down the seconds in my head. 28, 27, 26, 25. I burst through the stairway and stumbled over my feet, falling down two flights of stairs. 22, 21, 19, 18. I got back up to my feet and ran into the lobby. It was a warpath. Serious fighting had gone on here. 17, 16, 15. I ran up on the hill of debris and looked outside. It was daybreak. I wanted to see Antopolis. I wanted to see the damned city as I went up in flames. It wasn't worth it. The city was never worth fighting for. 14, 13, 12, 11, 10. Ten seconds. Ten seconds until the laser shot down, blowing everything within half a mile into ashes. My last ten seconds on Earth. My life didn't flash before my eyes like they say. I looked around, I didn't know what to do in my last few seconds. 5, 4, 3, 2. I jumped! I ran! I could make it! I could make it! 1....
30 seconds earlier; launch pad...
"the Minister" loaded his 500 million into the cargo bay of his stolen NASA portable craft. The craft was as large as a modern day charter bus. Mission accomplished. He thought with glee. As far as he knew it, all of his men were dead. But he didn't care at all. He wasn't going to pay them anyway. He sat and fired the hydraulic lift, aiming the shuttle towards the sky. He was headed for the human settlements of Mars, hide out there for a few years, and then come back to Earth. He fired the rockets and gripped the controls. FWOOOOOOOOSH! He was off! "Hahaha! Take that you Anthrax bastards!" He screamed joyfully. At about 20,000 ft. he had an amazing view of Antopolis. But what he noticed the most was the blackened parts. His handiwork. When he turned back towards the sky, he noticed a strange red dot. What? Oh, it must be a planet. He thought reassuringly. But the dot got bigger, and bigger, and BIGGER. The dot was so big, it filled up all the windows on the ship. "the Minister" knew very well what that was. He had only seen it before the satellite blew apart Central Park. He jerked the controls, trying to turn back towards Earth. But the spacecraft turned slowly. Then...FLASSSSSH! Blinding light! "the Minister" held his eyes in pain. He forced himself to look back up. When he did, all he could do was scream in terror as the deadly laser blew the spacecraft apart in less than a second.
1 1/2 miles away...
Taylor floored the gas until she saw the incredible flash. She stopped the truck and ran out into the street. The remaining Green Dagger squad watched in silence as the satellites' laser fired down, straight into the NASA station. The impact was so loud Taylor could hear it from almost two miles away. No one spoke. Everyone knew that just then, their friend and squad leader, Felix Alvarado, was dead. Taylor didn't notice the tears until she felt them slide down her cheek. After 10 long seconds, the laser disappeared. A faint boom came from above. Taylor looked up and saw small specks of yellow and red from the satellite. The protective beam over the city disappeared. The satellite had exploded. The chips were down. Now let's see if the plan worked. Taylor thought with hope. She tried speaking to the guys through her microchip. It didn't work. She tried again. Nothing. They all took off their helmets and Taylor was the first to say, "We're free!" she screamed. They all yelled and roared in happiness. Soon every Anthrax agent would be free. Everyone, except Felix.
An hour later, a large assembly of law enforcement met the remaining Green Dagger squad, still sitting on the truck. FBI, CIA, MIB, A. P. D. (Antopolis Police Department), Army, national guard, SWAT, and countless more lawmen and women went down to the former NASA station for clues. Steve was taken to the hospital, but not before thanking Taylor personally for saving his life. The Green Dagger squad didn't even try to make an escape. Everyone treated them with great respect and thankfulness for the things they did. For once we are being treated like the heroes we are. She thought happily. They were all questioned by many officials but the squad didn't give anything away. The only things they told the law people was that they destroyed the satellite threat. They did all of this by using their helmet speakers. Then, CLANG! Everyone froze with silence. The lid of a sewer opened from the middle of the street. A small army of SWAT members and soldiers gathered around the opening of the sewer, assault rifles pointed around the hole. Everyone gasped in shock as officers helped pull something out of the sewer. "FELIX!" screamed every member of the Green Dagger squad as they ran toward him in high spirits. He was battered and smoking. His armor was cracked and broken. He had been through hell and back. But he was alive. Alive to enjoy freedom.
2 weeks later...
Ding-dong! They back already? Felix thought as he turned away from the t. v. to answer the door. Felix could still remember the last ten seconds before the blast. He had seen the open hole leading into the sewer. Once Felix jumped into it, he ran like hell. Then there was the blast. The sewer behind him started caving in with buildings. Felix made it to an adjourning pipe line just before the sewer caved in on him. From then, he walked through the sewer until he reached a manhole that wasn't blocked by debris. It was a miracle he survived. He never saw "the Minister" again. Every Anthrax agent was now 100% free. Shortly after Anthrax lost control of their subjects, they had completely booked out of town. It was as if they never even existed. Felix casually pulled open to door, but when he saw who was there, he almost stumbled on weak knees. Dr. Kraken stood in his doorway. "Hello Felix." He said. Felix responded with a simple "Hi." "Felix, I want to congratulate you. I am impressed with your skills. From now on, I will be forever indebted to you." He said. I had a mix of emotions. "You know, I hate you. I've hated you since the day you put this damned thing in my head. Have you failed to notice that 98 Anthrax students are now free, with the exception of Eddie Macintosh? The poor guy who was the first person to do your stupid suit bonding thing. I want you to leave me. I never want to see your ass again. I won't be able to control myself if I do..." I told him through clenched teeth. He looked to the ground and nodded. "Felix, I just wanted to say goodbye. And for what it's worth, I'm sorry." He spoke. "Well, what are you going to do now?" I asked suspiciously. He looked startled by that. "Hmmm...Let's see. I don't have any known records. I can't just get a real job. But I do have a sufficient amount of money. I really haven't thought on it. I've bothered you enough, goodbye young Felix. You never ceased to impress me." He said as he turned around and proceeded to walk back down the driveway towards his exclusive car. I felt a sudden urge to do something. This was a strange moment for us. "Dr. Kraken!" I yelled. He turned around. "Yes?" he asked. "Are you going to do this again?" I asked him, disbelief in my heart. He gave me a disturbing smile. "Young Felix, I don't want to give anything away, but Project S.T.A.R. was only the beginning."
*Editor's note: Thank you for reading. This story took a lot of thought, time, and effort. After you are done, please be so kind to give a review, just so I can know that I haven't written this epic story in vain. Thank you.