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Member Since 15 May 2010
Offline Last Active Dec 24 2013 11:15 PM

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SSLF: Kinda Black but Not Really Ops

25 November 2011 - 08:35 PM

The internet.

An amorphous, roughly spherical blob of a planet that’s about fifteen times the size of Earth, it is still young. Only ten years ago did it truly begin to blossom into the wonderful place it currently is. And it still has a long way to go.

But our story isn’t about the internet- well, not the planet at least. Our story is about a little isle somewhere on the internet, that had the good fortune to be shaped like an arthropod. Coincidentally, the all-mighty dictator of this island has an arthropod shtick going on, along with all of his eleven year-old fanboys.
It’s called SSLF, and it’s host to a whole metric f$#@ton of people- writers, artists, gamers, musicians, et cetera, morons, CoD bros, small woodland creatures. Members come and go, some more profilic than others, but nothing really of note has happened for a while.
Until now.

The doors slide apart with a sort of heavy metallic whirr, which is odd since whirrs aren’t usually heavy, accompanied by suitable grinding noises. A dark figure steps into the airlock beyond. It smells like Cheeto dust and recycled air, with maybe a pinch of human bodily odors thrown in for good measure, and the place itself is brightly lit and stereotypically grey for an airlock. The doors close behind him, locking into place with a nice noise. He makes his way to the entrance to where he needs to be, the two sliding doors a smooth matte black in stark contrast to the shiny, heavily detailed metal of the rest of the room. He takes off his sunglasses, and bends over to the overly complicated and probably unnecessary eyeball scanamajig, as it is colloquially known in these parts. A green light travels horizontally across his eye, just for show, as a high-def camera takes a picture of his right iris to compare to the computer database. It does this all in less than a second, and one of those stereotypically soothing female voices talks.

WARN: 0%

He sighs and presses the little rubber button that indicates that he is, indeed, himself. The doors summarily slide open as if unbound by friction, revealing what appears to be a “pimpin’ crib”, as they call it. The whole place looks like it was made by a guy with a Tron fetish, shiny and smooth. There’s a bar on the right side of the room, and on the other side a lounge with some low tables and beanbag chairs, holographic displays and Xbox controllers on the tables. Everything is a nice shade of crimson, with black highlights here and there- thing is, the highlights actually glow thanks to some magical thing that can’t be described here unless you have a thorough understanding of quantum physics and have your last will & testament written out. Harbinger steps out onto the plush carpet, which is somehow unstained and as plush as the day it was synthesized, even from years of use. The soothing female lady says, “Welcome to Red Base,” as he moves through looking for his contact. There are about twenty to thirtyish people spread apart in the room, and he hears little snippets of their conversations as he passes through.

“On the other hand, the combat sucked, and the graphics really have not aged well. Also, encumbrance was a bit of a problem. “
“If anyone griefs Dood, we'll grief them back twice as badly.”

He sits down on one of the weird barstools that fits to your butt, and waits for whoever he’s supposed to speak to to get over here. It’s not too polite to interrupt when someone is in the middle of something, which his contact is currently doing right now.
There’s a young man dressed in a suit of MJOLNIR power-armour that looks to be made out of paper-mache, conversing with three others at one of the tables. He’s not really conversing so much as spewing random baseless and offensive bullcrap, when a man dressed in a tan suit of better power armour skulks behind him with a futuristic-looking hammer glowing red. He’s dragging it behind him, as if he’s about to smash the lad in the back of the head.
He smashes the lad in the back of the head. It looks like there’s a small pit there, but he’s not bleeding- the pit is composed of little white blocks, and similar little blocks are pouring out while his head lays there unconscious. “Warned for spam and generally being offensive, you little [REDACTED].” He walks back behind the bar, turning his back to the patrons as he returns to cleaning the glasses. Harbinger’s heads-up display indicates that this man is 880_Zero, local moderator of Red Base and a man not to be trifled with. At that time, Zero notices the white-clad figure behind him. Turning around, he extends a hand. “My name is 880_Zero. Do you need help with anything?” His handshake indicates that he’s a busy man, and while he does want to help this mysterious stranger, he also wants to return to all of the other issues he needs to get to.
“I’m Harbinger- that new defense contractor your boss wanted to be brought in?”
Zero pauses for a second, and even through the helmet one can tell that he’s currently trying to search the depths of his brain as to who Harbinger is. It dawns upon him.
“Ah, so you’re that man Scorp was talking about. You’ll be meeting him in Nova Board, along with a few of the other mods.”
“May I ask where that is?”
“I can’t be bothered to tell you- it’s too far away, and you need to get there fast. You’ll learn how to get to it later, for now, just take my express monorail.”
He vaults over the counter, and walks ahead, a clear indication that Harbinger should follow. He does so, the bottom of his longcoat brushing against the carpet, probably creating loads of static and making that pleasant swishing sound. They come across a wall, which Zero promptly strolls through. Harbinger follows suit, ambling through the gunmetal gray corridor until they reach a sort of ovular pod that matches the look of Red Base. They step into it, and just like that they start gliding at a moderately fast speed on a rail of pure white light. An elevator music cover of “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” tinkles lightly in the background.
They get to their destination. The doors slide open, and they go down the gilded hallway. Zero opens a wooden door, revealing an elaborately decorated
boardroom, with various figures sitting at the table.

A man who looks to be dressed in a black gimp suit, wearing combat pants and a vest that appears to have many varieties of explosive ordinance and sharp objects strapped to it.
Someone of ambiguous gender wearing traditional Japanese garb and holding a ornate staff.
A navy admiral with a white uniform, blue skin and red eyes.
A young lady, dressed like Chloe Frazier, toying around with what appears to be a large-calibre handgun.

But at the head of it all, is the famed Saber-Scorpion. Clad from head-to-toe in an advanced armour, and wearing a finned helmet that belays no emotion whatsoever that isn’t intimidation.
It would be rather scary if they weren’t all watching an episode of My Little Pony on the holoscreen situated in the middle of the table, piping an independent, perfect 2d image to everybody, regardless of viewing angle.
Zero coughs loudly, but nobody notices except for Scorp, who presses his thumb and fingers together as if to say, “Silence. Rarity is talking.”
Harbinger and Zero take their seats regardless, and sit there for about ten minutes until the episode ends. After that, Scorp and the other mods return to a business-like aura.
“So, you’re Harbinger. It’s great to meet you in the flesh, or at least the internet equivalent of it. However, the rest of the mods here don’t know you too well. Mind if I read over your credentials for them?”
He nods in acceptance, and Scorp brings up a touchscreen.
“Harbinger, IRL age 23. Single-handedly defended three major IRC channels from takeovers, bodyguard of high-ranking Anonymous officials, received top accolades in two major flame wars. Described by fellow troopers as a “badass *PARENTAL FORNICATOR*”, and has shown major proficiency with assault rifles and shotgun-type weapons. Currently an independent defense contractor that will self-professedly take on any job if the spacedollars are right.”
He finishes up this spiel, and closes the touchscreen. He folds his hands together.
“The reason we’ve hired you is because unbeknown to the denizens of SSLF, we are in big trouble right now. A couple of days ago, we were sent a rather mysterious message that we believe to have originated from another forum. They vowed to destroy us, and currently, that’s what they’ve been doing. The message itself was in the form of a iPod touch loaded with the video in the .mp4 codex, that was sent to us by form of a ballistic missile that breached the penthouse of the Watchtower. Luckily, it didn’t reach it’s full destructive potential, and nobody was in there when it hit, but this does not bode well for us.
That’s where you come in. We want you to form a reconnaissance team in order to find out who did this, and launch counter-operations against them if possible. You will be paid in TF2 hats and MS points for your services, and if you are successful, there’ll be a big bonus in it for you.
Our tech expert Squirrel isn’t present today, but from the make of the missile, he believes that it originated from the Sea of Memes, on a small island from around there. Get to forming a squad, and you’ll be airdropped there in 120 hours. Mods can’t leave this area without becoming incredibly weak as a caveat to our power, but you’ll have the disposal of the full resources of the mod squad behind you. You’ll have received the video file in your PM inbox, and you will have a room like any other member while you are serving with us, plus the more uncommon access to the armory.”
He snaps his fingers, creating a little blue spark of light and a crackle when he does so.

“I need to introduce you to the mods, don’t I? All of the mostly active ones are present today. The man in the gimp suit is Vorgain. He was responsible for blowing up half of our personal alternate dimension, destroyed most of the houses there, permanently broke a 5000-meter swath of the place, and he once ate all of the food in the mod pantry. I honestly don’t know why he’s still hired by us, or even alive for that matter.”
Vorgain glances up from his work of what appears to be converting a fragmentation grenade so that it throws out knives rather than shrapnel. “Hullo.”
Turning back to Harbinger, he continues. “You've already met Zero. The man in the kimono is Ter Loki, and the blue guy is Thrawnie. Both of them specialize in the Magitek that's integral to our weapons and most of the stuff on this island, short for magical technology- Loki specializes in the magic aspect, and Thrawnie the technological parts. They’re a bit odd, so don’t get on their wrong side if you don’t want to be crushed into a fine dust or turned into a newt.”
Both of them smile at him.
“Finally, there’s my sister, Maverick-Werewolf, or Wolfy for short. There’s nothing much to say about her really, besides the fact that you should never talk bad about the voice actor Nolan North in front of her. Vorgain, demonstrate for us.”
He sighs and rises from his chair. In a deadpan voice, he mumbles, “Nolan North is a talentless hack with no place outside of Uncha--”
Wolfy converts into her werewolf from instantaneously, and punches Vorgain through the wall.
They can hear an “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH” as he falls to the ground about ten stories below, landing with a sort of mixture between a squish and a thump. In the distance they can hear a dim, “I’m okay!”
“That about wraps things up. Get to work, if you would be so kind..”
Harbinger walks to the elevator, turns around as the doors close, and gives the mod squad a salute.
On the way down, he’s absolutely perplexed as to how a completely horizontal monorail could have lead them up to a ten-story tall tower.


((Will be updated semi-regularly.))