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The Barracks Under Fire Story

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Chief Barracks Officer
Chief Barracks Officer

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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:27 pm

Re: The Barracks Under Fire Story

The Barracks Under Fire

by EagleRock

Chapter 30 – Covert Operations
Originally posted on September 23rd, 2009

The next morning was relatively uneventful, as everyone ate mess rather quickly and were basically just waiting for the next match in the loungs. There was quick blips of conversation, but nothing really significant. Andrea was still down from the match yesterday, despite EagleRock re-recruiting her into the Elite Guard. EagleRock himself was doing better, but still feeling soreness and fatigue from all of the gunfire he's taken lately, especially Wadolf's.

As usual, the Elite Guards were sitting in the lounge as Wadolf started his daily announcements and the layout for the next match.

"Good morrrrrrning Newgrounds! It's your Newgrounds Admin, Wade Fulp here! How about yesterday's match, huh? Elite Guards are making a comeback, with 5 games to the moderator's 6. We'll see if they can even this whole thing up in today's matchup: a 4 on 4 skirmish taking place in cs_italy!"

Andrea364's heart sank into her stomach. She knew it meant she had to fight.

EagleRock started, "Well, they have no more breathing room…we have them against the fence! All of them must fight, and one of us gets to rest. So who's it going to be?"

"Sir," said PossiblePancakes, "I think I speak for all of us when we say you really need to rest."

"Seriously," said Coop83. "You're not doing us any favors by putting yourself in a disadvantaged state by fighting against a person like Wadolf."

"Hmm…" said EagleRock, "well if that's what you all want, I guess I'll stay behind."

Andrea364 started shaking. The thought of her fight out there again was traumatizing to her, as she broke out in a cold sweat. Eventually her body gave way into full body spasms.

"Are you all right?" said EagleRock as she kept shaking uncontrollably. "Help me, someone, get her on the couch over there!" Eagle and Pancakes took her over to the couch and got her to calm down a bit.

"Are you all right?" asked Pancakes again. "It's time for the match."

"I--I don't feel like I can do it," she replied. "I feel like I'm not ready for this, and if I go out there, I'll be responsible for yet another person's death."

Phantom chimed in, saying, "This is after you were accepted back into the Elite Guard? It's a disgrace! You need to calm the hell down and get yourself--"

"That's enough, Phantom," said EagleRock as he waved Phantom off. "I'm not going to risk having someone that's in a state like this go out there. It'll hurt us quite a bit."

"Yeah, but--"

"No buts. I'll go out there instead. I'll be okay out there. Andrea, just please keep an eye on the map for us and get a good view of what happened. We'll need as much information as possible to determine what they're game plan is."

Andrea, still shaking somewhat, sat up and nodded at EagleRock. "I'm so sorry--"

"Don't be. Just shake it off. We'll need you for the next fight." EagleRock started towards the lockers.

Phantom stole a look at Andrea as he followed EagleRock.

As they were suiting up, PossiblePancakes approached Eagle. "Sir, are you going to be okay to fight?"

"I'll be fine," he said. "Much better than she'd be out there in her state."

Phantom spoke up as well. "Sir, are you sure about accepting her back into the Barracks? She's doesn't seem capable of being an Elite Guard."

"That's where you're wrong, Phantom. She's shell-shocked right now due to her first person-to-person skirmish. But she's got the skill. How else could she have fended off three moderators singlehandedly?"

"Good point," Phantom thought out loud.

"She's not yet hardened to battle like you or me, but she can do it. I've seen soldiers like her falter at first but become some of the best out there."

"Yeah," said Pancakes, "but how can you be so sure?"

"Trust me," he replied. "It'll only take one more skirmish for her to center herself and quell her inner fear. People like her have incomplete lives without a rifle in their hand. She'll come around. This match isn't her time, though."

Pancakes nodded, as EagleRock left the room. The rest finished fitting their armor and munitions and headed to the portals as well.

Down at the map, they congregated around Eagle to discuss plans. "Okay, I want us all to stick together on this one. We have Coop to snipe the long hallway, and I don't think they have any snipers on their side left. Therefore, we'll make a dash down the long hall. It'll require everyone to stay together and be quick as Coop covers our ascent."

Phantom nodded. PossiblePancakes did the same. Coop83 nodded as well, saying, "You've got my AWP."

"That's what I want to see, soldiers. Prepare to move out!"

Wadolf was still disguising himself as Wade Fulp and was still calling the match from inside the map. He started the match with a loud "Commence!"

As always, EagleRock's plan quickly moved into action. He led the three other members up the main hallway to cut over to the marketplace room. EagleRock expected a bloodbath here, as most matches in cs_italy ended up. He grabbed a flashbang and tossed it into the center of the marketplace before jumping out and zooming in down the hall. Sure enough, Wadolf was there down at the end of the hall through the archway. Wadolf squeezed a few bullets at Eagle, hitting him in the chest once.

Eagle fell down into the carts that were in the center of the marketplace. Coop83 rushed out as well, quickly readying his AWP, zooming in, and shooting at Wadolf's chest. The bullet hit, but somehow, Wadolf was still alive. The blast from the AWP knocked him back heavily and forced him against the stone wall behind him. He very quickly ducked away to the left to prevent Coop from getting the killing blow.

"Damn," he growled. "He should've been dead. That fucker is fast, too. I couldn't keep up with him!"

"Shit, Eagle!" PossiblePancakes rushed over to the fallen fruit display where EagleRock fell. Miraculously, he was also still alive. "Let me help you up…" He pulled EagleRock out of the rubble as Coop and Phantom stood guard.

"Ugh," Eagle said, "I'm alive. Come on, we need to get to the hostages!"

"Let me lead the way, Eagle, you're not feeling well," said Pancakes. "This way, guys…we'll duck around the far alleyway."

The four counter-terrorists made their way around the side of the building through the alleyway and came out to the right of the long hall entranceway. No signs of terrorists so far. Wadolf looked to be the only one that was in the area, as he moved quite a bit faster than the rest. Coop tossed a flashbang into the long hallway before taking aim down the way. He saw nobody down the long hall, nor did he see anyone in the hostage building. "Looks clear, guys. I got you covered from down here," he said.

"Let's go," said Phantom, as he, Eagle, and Pancakes ran up the long hallway. By the time they reached the top, they slowed to a crawl, scoping out the entire area before heading out into the open. With no body to be found in the area, Phantom whispered back to Coop, "Get up here. We're going inside. Guard the outside as we round up the hostages."

"Roger," he replied. "I'm on my way."

The other three dashed into the room and quickly scouted out the room. PossiblePancakes grabbed the two hostages as Phantom and Eagle went upstairs. Phantom took his Desert Eagle and quickly blew a shot at the loud radio, shattering it to pieces.

"See?" said Eagle. "I told you it was fun."

"Satisfying, too. Let's go." They grabbed the hostages upstairs and headed back down to meet Pancakes, who was just inside the front door.

Phantom radioed in again in a whisper. "We're set Coop. We're coming out. Pancakes, you lead the way." They exited the door to find Coop crouched there, protecting the doorway.

"Right," said Pancakes. "Let's take the center stairs down and go through the wine cellar. It'll give us the best cover and get us close to the rescue point without much exposure." The four then crept across the terrorist spawn site and headed towards the angled stairs at the back of the map. Coop83 used his AWP to duck around the corner and check for any terrorists camping there, but saw no one.

"We're clear," he said, as they headed forward under the bridge and cut right into the wine cellar. The four hostages were in tow and crowded into the room themselves.

"So far, so good…" Phantom said as they slowly crept along.

"Their team has been very combat-averse since Wadolf joined them. Did you notice that?" asked EagleRock.

"That's because they're a bunch of pussies," said Phantom. "He's too afraid we might actually kill him."

"Yeah," Pancakes responded. "If we keep this up, we might be able to avoid them all the way back to the spawn site!"

Back at the control center, Andrea364 was sitting at the control desk, just as EagleRock instructed her. She was watching the entire map intently, following the movements of both her fellow soldiers and the terrorists. She watched the quick skirmish Eagle and Coop had with Wadolf, amazed at the speed that he shot, ducked, and moved. She was amazed that Coop was able to get a shot in at all.

She omnipotently observed the team's movement through the wine-cellar, looking to their path ahead. She followed the wine cellar's path back up the stairs and out the building, all the way back to the hostage rescue zone, where she saw all four terrorists waiting here, crouched and ready.

"Shit," she said quietly to herself. "This isn't gonna be pretty…" She took a deep breath and gripped the armrests on her chair.

End of Chapter 30


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Chief Barracks Officer
Chief Barracks Officer

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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:28 pm

Re: The Barracks Under Fire Story

The Barracks Under Fire

by EagleRock

Chapter 31 – Day of Reckoning
Originally posted on September 25th, 2009

Phantom, EagleRock, Coop83, and PossiblePancakes reached the end of the wine cellar and popped their heads out of the room, checking the open area at the end of roadway that partitioned the two sides of the map. With nobody around, they slowly made down the large ramp that would take them down to a road that led to the spawn site. Once they reached the road's surface, they crept across it, coming to the bend that would give them view of the rescue point.

"They're probably down there," said Eagle. "Coop, see if you can pick off any with your sniper rifle."

"Got it," he said, as he positioned himself against the building, ready to pop out, AWP in hand. As he ducked out, scope to his eye, he saw the terrorists down there, but his eye caught Ramagi taking aim with her own scoped SG-552. Before she could pull the trigger, he squeezed a round out of his AWP, headshotting her and killing her instantly.

"Shit," said EagleRock, as the sound of the AWP echoed across the entire map. "That's a giveaway. Are they down there?"

"All of them," said Coop. "It'll be rough."

"Go down this road back to the marketplace and cut around," replied Eagle. "Pancakes knows the way. I'll keep them busy here and try to draw them out of the spawn site. Get the hostages to safety!"

"Sir," yelled Pancakes, "that's suicide! You can't do that!"

"I'll hold them off as long as I can. Get your asses to spawn as fast as you can and see if you can end the match before they do me in."

"We can't do that!" yelled Pancakes again. "You won't make it!!"

"Pancakes, that's an order. Lead the hostages to safety, now!"

Phantom jumped in. "Eagle, you need to--"

"That's an order, Phantom. Go, NOW!" EagleRock grabbed his last flashbang and tossed it down the corridor as the other three reluctantly followed orders. In a primal rage, EagleRock gave a war cry loud enough for everyone to hear as he ran around the corner, shooting his AUG. As he did this, the three terrorists scrambled to avoid getting shot. Wadolf, however, managed to quickly find cover and start shooting his AK47 in retaliation. EagleRock saw this and ducked for cover in a small entranceway that recessed itself into the building on his right.

Steading his AUG, EagleRock heard footsteps coming up the road. As the sound neared the building, EagleRock ducked out again, finding SlashFirestorm running up to him. Eagle squeezed his trigger and fired his gun, discovering he only had a single round left in the magazine. The one shot hit Slash in the chest, stopping him for a second. Slash, however, regained balance quickly and took aim with his AK47.

EagleRock, however, already rushed up to him and proceeded to give him a very strong side kick to the abdomen. Slash buckled over, dropping his rifle. EagleRock raised up his Desert Eagle, aiming at Slash's face. Slash, who was doubled over on the ground, looked up at EagleRock.

"This is what you get you sonofabitch," said Eagle. However, before he could pull the trigger, Wadolf shot his AK47 at EagleRock's right arm. Unsteadying his shot, Eagle tripped back. As he started stumbling backwards, he tried shooting at Wadolf, who was forced to pull back himself. Eagle then ran around the corner and back towards the center of the map.

It was getting harder for Eagle to maneuver as he dodged around another corner under the bridge that led out of the apartments. He ducked around a blockade of wooden crates and sat behind them, reloading his Desert Eagle. EagleRock sat there, adrenaline racing through his body, heart beating and body throbbing from the gun wounds he suffered. "It won't end like this," he thought to himself as he waited for the sound of footsteps.

The other three Elite Guards were coming back up on the marketplace. They heard the shots from the skirmish behind them as they rounded the corner off of the central road and were heading towards the archway back into the marketplace. Pancakes slowed them up.

"Careful, now, they'll be camping the hallways past the marketplace. We don't know if they all followed Eagle."

"Fine, we'll creep from here," whispered Phantom, "but don't take your fucking time, ok?"

"Trust me, I don't want to," said Pancakes. "Come on."

Andrea364 was still watching the match from inside the base, her own heart pumping. She sat carefully watching Eagle knock down Slash, then draw Wadolf away from the base. She saw Slash get him and follow Wadolf, with Denvish pulling up the rear. EagleRock was crouched and ready to shoot at whoever rounded the corner from behind the wooden crates under the bridge. She saw Wadolf, AK47 in hand, creeping up to the corner, waiting to duck around.

That's when Wadolf quietly ducked around the corner. Instead of running around the boxes, he slyly shot his AK47 through them, hitting Eagle in the chest one last time. Andrea saw EagleRock scream in pain as he tilted forward and fell face down, bleeding everywhere.

Wadolf slowly walked forward around the crate and saw him lying there, miraculously still alive. Wadolf swelled in anger as he walked up quickly to grab Eagle's pistol, which was laying on the ground close to his open hand. Wadolf stood back up and aimed the pistol at Eagle's head. EagleRock looked conscious, though barely so. "You just won't fucking die, will you? What are you trying to prove, huh? That you're better? Slash, get your ass over here!"

SlashFirestorm was there, his own Desert Eagle drawn in hand. He stepped over next to Wadolf. Wadolf looked at him and said, "Now it time for you to join in the fun. Kill him." Slash looked scared as he stared back at Wadolf. "KILL him, NOW." Wade's ultimatum shot through Slash like an icy dagger. He slowly looked down at EagleRock, who was breathing hard and barely able to look up. He lifted his weapon and pointed it at Eagle's head. Hand shaking, he turned his head and closed his eyes shut as he started to squeeze the trigger.

Andrea was looking on at the situation and saw Slash take aim. She couldn't bear to look as she shut her eyes in fear, when she heard the Desert Eagle go off. The sound shook through her body as she looked back up and saw EagleRock laying face-down with no motion or signs of life. Slash was looking down in shock at him, his Desert Eagle still pointing directly at him. Andrea saw Slash look back at Wadolf, who patted him on the back and whispered something in his ear. She immediately started welling tears in her eyes and broke into a crying fit, slamming her head down on the desk.

Wadolf rounded the corner slowly to find Denvish right behind him. "Denvish, why aren't you at the spawn site??" he yelled. "Get your fucking ass back there, NOW!" The three terrorists ran back towards CT spawn. By the time they rounded the final corner and reached the ramp leading down to spawn, the siren had went off, signifying the end of the match. "GOD DAMMIT!" Wadolf yelled out loud, as he saw the three counter-terrorists at the spawn site, hostages rescued.

Phantom and Pancakes were looking up the street back at the terrorists standing there. Phantom cried out, "You're a DEAD MAN, Slash! And YOU, Wadolf, I'll kill you if it's the last thing I do!"

Denvish turned to Wadolf, who was staring back at Phantom, "Wadolf?? WADOLF?? What the fuck is the meaning of this? Take that goddamn mask off!" Wadolf slowly turned to Denvish, to find a pistol pointed at his face. Wadolf slowly pulled off his ski mask to reveal he was not in fact Wade, but was in fact Wadolf. Slash didn't look surprised, but Denvish sure did.

"You sonofabitch," Denvish said. "I can't fucking believe you'd do this to us! How could you have lied to all the moderators like that?"

"Who said I lied to all the moderators? Ramagi knew, Dobio knew, and our buddy Slash over here sure as hell knew." Slash looked down, not saying anything. Pancakes and Phantom were looking on in silence.

Denvish said, "I've had enough of this." He pulled the trigger of his own Desert Eagle, which clicked in protest. Wade just laughed as he unsheathed one of his Baretta Elites and shot Denvish in the head, killing him in one shot.

"Shame, shame," Wadolf muttered, putting away his pistol. "I better call this match over, now. I guess my cover's blown, now..." he said to himself as he pressed a button on his bluetooth headset. "Well, folks, that's it for today! As you have undoubtedly seen, I'm not really Wade Fulp, but I am in fact YOUR Newgrounds Administrator! And now that this match is all tied up with 6 games to 6, I think we are ready to have our final match! Make sure to tune in and watch the climactic end of the Newgrounds Battle Royale tomorrow!"

Once he shut off his headset, Wadolf stole a look towards Phantom as he started back down towards T-spawn. He patted Slash on the back and pulled him along as he walked around the corner and out of sight of the Elite Guards. Slash didn't dare look back at his former friends as he and Wadolf rounded the corner.

Phantom definitely showed signs of rage as he turned around and stormed into the portal. Coop just shook his head at Pancakes as he walked up to his portal and went back. Coop didn't look too pleased at having to deal with the enraged Phantom, either. Pancakes paused a second to think.

"EagleRock's dead," he thought to himself. And to make matters worse, he would have to deal with Phantom's unbridled rage on the other side of his portal.

End of Chapter 31


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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:28 pm

Re: The Barracks Under Fire Story

The Barracks Under Fire

by EagleRock

Chapter 32 – Lamentation
Originally posted on September 26th, 2009

Phantom stepped into the portal leading back to the base. Rage filled his body as he transported back through space-time. While this trip normally felt instantaneous, it all of a sudden felt like it took forever. With nothing to see but incoherent blurs around him, he was alone with this thoughts.

The anger he had inside of him wanted to manifest itself by destroying anything and anyone in his path, but he gave pause to the thought of Eagle's death. This left him in charge. While running the Barracks was something he did for good amounts of time already, it was always in EagleRock's absence. He thought back to those times when he ran the place just fine, but it was always with the expectation that Eagle would always return at some point in the future. This time, he wouldn't.

Phantom knew what he had to do, no matter how hard it would be. The Chief Barracks Officer had to do everything right the first time, every time. He had to display unwavering control over a situation and not give anyone any reason to second-guess him. While he felt EagleRock didn't do a perfect job at that, he sure did better than anyone else could. That's how the entire Barrack was created in the first place, after all. Phantom realized he had to uphold that role once he stepped out of that portal.

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, but in reality only took a few seconds, Phantom was back inside the base. Stepping out, he walked over to his locker and started storing his gear. He heard Coop83 and PossiblePancakes return through their portals as well. They were walking into the locker room just as Phantom was finished stowing his gear.

"I want you two in the lounge after you get your gear stashed and yourselves situated," Phantom said to them in a rather neutral tone as he passed by.

"Yes, sir," Pancakes said quietly as Coop simply nodded in agreement. They both went for their lockers.

Phantom walked into the large area that comprised the lounge and the control room, and headed over to where he found Andrea364 still heads-down on the desk. As he stepped over to her, she took a large sniff as she bolted up off the desk. It was quite obvious she had been crying for a while.

"You don't need to lecture me, Phantom, I know it's my fault! I don't want to have it beaten into my brain right now!"

"Excuse me--"

"No! I'm not going to take your bullshit! I know I was wrong and I know he's dead because of me! Let me hold my guilt in peace!"

"Now look, you shut up--"

"No, YOU shut up! I know I don't belong here! I just want you--"

"SHUT UP for a second and let me talk, goddammit!" Phantom was booming at the top of his voice. Andrea just sat there, scared. Phantom took a deep breath after she silenced herself. "Now look, I don't want to hear any of this talk about guilt or whose fault it was. It wasn't your fault at all."

This quickly stopped Andrea in her tracks. Before they went down there Phantom was blaming her for him going out there, and now this. "Wait a minute, he went out there because I couldn't. You even said that beforehand!"

"Look," Phantom continued, "EagleRock may have been the kind of guy that was willing to help people and listen to others, but it was damn hard to get him to do something he didn't want to do. The only reason he went out there is because he wanted to."


"Well, for one, he stupidly refuses to sit on the sidelines in any battle. But he did it because he believed in you."

Andrea looked down at the ground. "Yeah, well, it was a waste. I don't believe in myself."

"Look, shell shock can affect anyone, especially someone as green as yourself. But it doesn't mean you don't have the ability. Remember that, soldier. This has to be something you need to get over. Otherwise, Eagle has sacrificed himself for nothing, right?"

"Yeah…I suppose so."

"Look, I need to talk to everyone about this, and the other two are coming in the lounge any second. I just need to know what happened when EagleRock died. What did you see?"

"Well, I didn't see the whole thing, but I saw Wadolf bring Slash over to kill him. Slash held up his gun and I heard a Desert Eagle go off. I didn't see him actually shoot it, as I closed my eyes for it. But afterwards, Slash was staring down at EagleRock, while Wadolf whispered something in his ear and patted him on his back."

Phantom looked quite upset, but he was reserving his anger quite well. "That's all I needed to hear. Come on, let's get over to the lounge."

Andrea got up as she fixed her composure and followed Phantom over to the other side of the large room and took to the sofas there. PossiblePancakes and Coop83 didn't take long to join them. They both sat down nearby and were waiting for Phantom to speak. They were visibly on-edge and worried.

Phantom didn't wait too long to break the ice. "Look, everyone, I need you all to relax. Being all worried, upset, and angry isn't going to do us any good." Pancakes went wide-eyed as if a spirit had possessed Phantom. "Today was difficult on all of us, I assure you. EagleRock's been my fellow Elite Guard and my friend for years. But I'm sure all of you here considered him a friend as well." Everyone silently nodded in agreement as Phantom stood up.

"Before you start blaming yourselves for what happened out there, I'm going to stop those thoughts in your head right now. Everyone did what they were supposed to out there, and nobody in this room is responsible for what happened, got that? We all know EagleRock did whatever he did for good reasons, and for him to put himself out there like that, he had his reasons." Phantom turned and looked at Andrea for a second. "But he didn't just do it to save one person, he did it for all of us. He also did it to turn the tides against Wadolf." Everyone started to stir as they heard him say this.

"Think about what EagleRock did. First off, his sacrifice won us the match, and evened us up in this fucked-up little game Wadolf has going on. Their team is down to two people…just Captain Happy himself and that fucknut Slash. Those are two people I sure as hell want a crack at! Wadolf's true identity was exposed for everyone to see right there in broad daylight. And, from what Andrea just told me, he couldn't even bear to shoot EagleRock himself…he had to have Slash do it. So, we know he's a coward, too. Denvish even turned against him when he found out who he was. All of Newgrounds knows who this asshole is now, and it's all because of Eagle.

"So, I don't know about you all, but I think we're finally getting this idiot Wadolf where we want him. He is losing his grip on this whole situation, and it's really getting to him. When I met him down in his control room, he was all giddy about this battle royale and was confident like you wouldn't believe. Now, he can't even break a smile. It's only a matter of time before this asshole cracks. And I'll be damned if I'm going to let EagleRock's sacrifice go to waste and not have us champion the situation!"

"You're right, Phantom," PossiblePancakes said. "It's hard to not be sad about him, but I sure as hell don't plan on letting EagleRock down. Let's show that bastard Wadolf what's for!"

"You have a real good way of looking at this," replied Coop. "And you're taking this surprisingly well, Phantom. I think we'll have a shot at this after all. I expected all of us to crack once we got back here."

"Well," said Phantom, "I'm in charge now, and I sure as hell don't plan on cracking. I also don't plan on just rolling over for Wadolf to kill us. So, I know that we need to have time alone with our thoughts right now, but we also need to eat. We should all get to the mess and have dinner."

The Elite Guards got up and headed to the mess to quell their hunger. They ate in relative silence as seemed to be the custom as of late. While Phantom's words were definitely encouraging and his handling of the situation was welcomed by all, the soldiers' hearts hung heavy knowing EagleRock was gone. No matter how much Phantom made sense about the sacrifice that was made, it still didn't feel right. Pancakes still felt in the back of his mind that the Barracks would never bounce back from this, and Andrea still felt guilty for his death.

Once the soldiers were finished eating, Phantom directed the members to the lounge. They kicked back and gained what precious relaxation they could down gain that night before seeing what their fate was the next day. As their minds turned to tomorrow's match, they started discussing strategy and what to expect.

"So," started Coop83, "What do you think their plan is, sir?"

"Not entirely sure," said Phantom, "but I'd guess it'll be a 2 on 2 match. I don't see why either Wade or Slash would go up against one of us. Most likely they'd want to conspire together."

"Good point," said Coop. "So what's your strategy?"

"Well, if it's 2 on 2, I'm not sure who's should go in there. I could go into who should go in there and why, but I think it's best to determine who goes in when the time rises. Therefore, I want all of you prepared for tomorrow as if you were going to fight."

"Yes, sir," said Andrea, as she retired to her room. Coop followed behind her, as well as Pancakes.

"Not you, Pancakes," said Phantom, still sitting down, unmoved."

Pancakes looked startled. "Sir?"

"Have a seat. You don't get to retire early I'm afraid."

"W…why, sir? What'd I do?"

"You see, you made one big mistake."

Pancakes' heart jumped into his throat. He just realized what Phantom meant. Pancakes was the one leading the soldiers back to the CT spawn, and it was his decisions that made them get to the rescue point too late. Now he knew why Phantom was so calm before…it was a facade. Panackes stared back at him with nothing to say.

"Anyway," Phantom continued, "you made the mistake of telling me you were an expert at Counter-Strike. So now, you get to help me plan out strategy for these maps."

Pancakes felt his legs turn to Jello. The look on his face was half relief and half anger, as he realized Phantom was up to his old tricks again. Sure enough, Phantom had a devilish smile on his face. "You know," said Pancakes, "you're really an ass, sir."

Phantom laughed. "You know you're laughing on the inside, admit it!"

Pancakes rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let's get started, huh?"

The two talked strategy until late that night. However, PossiblePancakes didn't seem to lose rest over it, as he slept better that night than he did for days.

End of Chapter 32


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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:29 pm

Re: The Barracks Under Fire Story

The Barracks Under Fire

by EagleRock

Chapter 33 – Showdown
Originally posted on September 27th, 2009

The morning found the four Elite Guards in better spirits than yesterday, but still in a relatively somber mood. There was basically no conversation, as it was obvious today's match wouldn't be pleasant. Wadolf even said on the loudspeaker that today's match would be the last. The part that was most worrisome was the fact that he never seemed to set up matches he didn't think he could win. The fact that he telegraphed a final match was indicating that he either had a plan up his sleeve to rig the match in a more bulletproof way or that he was going to find some way to defeat them outside of the matches. Either way, the soldiers would need to find out the hard way: waiting.

As the soldiers prepared for the day and ate at mess already, they were all forced to sit and wait in the lounge until the same crackly speaker finally gave way to where their fate lied. The seconds seemed to last as long as minutes as the four were forced to sit there, speechless, with nothing to listen to other than their own thoughts.


Coop83 sat there on his sofa, waiting with bated breath just like all the rest. All he could think about were the soldiers that had fallen around him over these past few days. He couldn't help but think how barren the Barracks would be if they ever got out of this place. While he often worked well by himself, his mind thought about how many commissioned officers and top Elite Guards were gone. He knew that things would need to change around the Barracks if it were ever going to survive this massacre.


PossiblePancakes was doing the best he could to steady his nerve. Despite the hours of planning he and Phantom did, he felt that they were completely unprepared for the situation. As strategy came along, there were too many contingencies, too many ifs, and just one too many things to be thrown at a situation for them to truly harness. Counter-Strike, as it seemed, was not that easy if you only have one life to lose.


Andrea364 dare not speak it to the group, but she still felt personally responsible for Eagle's death. Her rationale was simple, as it was based on what Phantom said about EagleRock not doing what he didn't want to do or wasn't sure of. Despite the fact that Eagle never really seemed to make big blunders of judgment mistakes, she couldn't help but think back to the failures of judgment that were made recently. She felt like his trust in her was just another one of those failures.


Phantom was the quietest of them all. Not speaking a single word all morning, his mind was racing over the upcoming match, realizing how unprepared he was for this. EagleRock seemed to just have the answers in a split-second as soon as he knew what as happening. How the hell did he do that? Why was this so difficult? There was literally nothing he could do but wait.


The anticipated moment finally came as SlashFirestorm came on the radio again. "Hello, Newgrounds! This is your newest moderator SlashFirestorm again here to call the final match of your Newgrounds Battle Royale! As you heard yesterday, we are all tied up, and this last match will determine it all! Because of this, your Newgrounds administrator has decided to change it up a bit, to make this match special!"

Phantom closed his eyes. He had a feeling there would be some huge twist that Wadolf didn't want them to figure out. Slash continued, "This final match will be a one-on-one match between your Newgrounds administrator and the current leader of the Elite Guard Barracks, Supreme Commander Phantom!"

"I like how he has to toss in 'current' as if I'm going to die out there today," mused Phantom.

"Of course," continued Slash, "a one-on-one clash of the titans just isn't quite good enough for the citizens of Newgrounds! Instead, we will be making this match a knife-fight in the fan favorite de_dust! That's right! No guns, no bombs, just a one-on-one match of skill!"

Phantom started stroking his chin in thought as he figured out what he was going to do. "Naturally," he started, "Wadolf would choose something that would completely broadside us. Oh well." Phantom started over to the lockers to get suited up.

The other three Elite Guards followed him for support as he started getting into his gear. They started conversing as Phantom was readying himself. "Sir," started PossiblePancakes, "don't you think this is a trap?"

"Sure it is," said Phantom as he attached his knife to his belt. "But I do know this. Anything that he does to me will be televised for the rest of Newgrounds to see, especially after his little stunt yesterday. Even if he does just kill me in cold blood, it'll cause such a ruckus that he won't be able to withhold the masses from revolting. I don't care how powerful he thinks he is. He'll have a fucking revolution on his hands."

"You may have a point," said Pancakes, "but wouldn't it be just a bit smarter to figure out how you might actually get out of this ALIVE?"

"What's to figure out? Find him, kill him. Assuming he's not immortal, that should work just fine." Phantom shut his locker and started walking towards the portals. Pancakes just shrugs his shoulders then follows.

As Phantom stepped up to the portal, he turned to Coop and said, "Supreme Commander, if I don't make it, I'm trusting you in charge of this."

Coop saluted. "Yes, sir." Even Coop was getting perturbed by Phantom's lack of emotion. Phantom turned towards the Portal and entered it.


Phantom knew that everyone was surprised by his apparently turnaround in emotion. The fact was he was angry, pissed off, and couldn't wait to show it. But he knew better than to take it out on the people that least deserved it. That's what the battlefield was for. By the time he'd see Wadolf down there, he knew there would be little that could stop him from entering the primal rage that was welling up inside of him. It wouldn't be pretty. But he knew that if there was one place he could truly lash out and give his worst, it'd be here.


Phantom stepped out to the desert wasteland of de_dust one more time. His eyes were easily blinded from the burning sun above, as he paced down to the end of the starting area. He unsheathed his knife and gripped it. His knuckles were turning white. As he waited, he stared down the long pathway leading down to the map, where he kneeled down in a runner's starting position. His boots dug into the dust as he was clearly ready to go. Each breath was laborious waiting for the time to begin. He needed to fight.

Slash cut the tension with a simple "Commence!" over the loudspeaker. Phantom immediately started out in a full-speed run down the pathway. It was clear there was a determination and drive in him that no one had seen before. Since Phantom was considered the most deadly Elite Guard in the whole Barrack, that was saying quite a bit.

He rushed full speed out into the central area as he ran around into the tunnel entrance. Before he could enter the tunnel, he saw Wadolf already ducking out. He was amazingly fast to be able to get this far into the map already, especially with Phantom's speed in this map. Phantom immediately dashed forward toward Wadolf and lunged forward, knife in hand. Phantom, in mid-air, had dived into Wadolf and swung down with his knife, cutting deep into his shoulder.

Wadolf fell back as Phantom started toppling over him. Phantom felt his knife rip out of Wadolf's shoulder as he started falling head-first into the dust. He immediately tucked his head in and over to the side to perform a body roll, which plopped him into the dust next to the tunnel entrance. As soon as he was able to spin around and check for Wadolf's position, he found Wadolf charging him.

Phantom, who was still kneeling down, immediately jumped up and lunged for Wadolf again. This time, he pushed his body forward and held out his knife arm as if he was a human spear. Wadolf quickly dodged to the side and swung his arm down toward Phantom's back. The connect was strong, as it went in deep, only to be stopped by his rib cage.

Phantom wasn't able to recover from this dive as gracefully as before. He fell flat onto the ground in a rough way, jolting his entire body. He quickly rolled his body over to again find Wadolf lunging at him again. Phantom instinctively started to swing his right leg around in a crescent kick, knocking away Wadolf's knife arm. As he gained momentum, he swung his left leg around behind his right and was able to pull himself up. As he lunged forward, he thrust his knife into Wade's abdomen. The kevlar armor afforded better protection from this strike than the last one, but it still penetrated through and cut Wadolf deep. In retaliation, he punched Phantom in the face hard before taking the knife yet again and stabbing it forward.

Phantom was able to deflect off the knife attack as he pulled himself around Wadolf to his back. Using his arms to pull Wadolf in, he gave him a strong knee to the back that made Wadolf stumble forward. Wadolf was definitely worse for wear at this point. Bleeding in multiple locations, he started running away towards the pathway that led under the bridge. Phantom took chase, rushing as fast as he could behind him. It was quite difficult, though, since Wadolf ran with such precision and speed.

Wadolf led Phantom down the pathway, then jumped up and over the corner of the pathway. Wadolf had the ability to jump about 15 feet in the air, somersaulting around the corner, and landing around the way. As he glanced down at all the damage he took from Phantom, he decided to take decisive action. He reached inside his combat vest and pulled out a Desert Eagle.

He ducked around the corner back where Phantom was.

Phantom was there already. Before Wadolf could take aim with his Desert Eagle, Phantom had his own Deagle pointed at his face.

End of Chapter 33


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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:29 pm

Re: The Barracks Under Fire Story

The Barracks Under Fire

by EagleRock

Chapter 34 – The Moment of Truth
Originally posted on September 28th, 2009

Phantom had his Desert Eagle pointed straight at Wadolf's head. Wadolf tried to do the same thing, but was a split-second too late. Phantom's eyes glowed red as he stared at Wadolf as if he was cutting into his brain. Wadolf's demeanor was a bit more calm.

"You know," said Wadolf, "I did say the match was supposed to be a knife fight."

"Like I'd trust you to uphold that," Phantom responded as he motioned towards Wade's Desert Eagle. "That don't look like a bowie knife to me, Wadolf."

"Okay fine, so it isn't. What's your point?"

"My point is right here." Phantom extended his arm another inch or so as he tightened his grip on the pistol. "Any last words?"

Wadolf had a sadistic grin on his face. "Sure. How about, 'I told you so?'"

"I can work with that," Phantom quipped. He then squeezed the trigger.


Wadolf turned his head slightly. "Huh! Did I not activate your weapons? How could I have done that? Oh, right! This was supposed to be a knife fight!"

Phantom was seething. Gritting his teeth, he growled slightly. "I swear you are the biggest coward I've ever seen in my life."

"Correction," said Wadolf. "I'm the biggest coward you've seen in your life that's still alive. I'm afraid your friend EagleRock took the role for the biggest coward."

Phantom tossed his useless Desert Eagle away. "You slimy little shit! How dare you call him a coward? Here you are tossing these ridiculous challenges against us, each one of them more unfair than the last, and we fought every single one of them. Eagle was in most of them alone! You'd be hard-pressed to call those actions one of a coward."

"Yeah, whatever. You keep thinking that about your famous leader like that. He was nothing but a fraud. All he ever did was hide behind what he preached. You really got sucked into that one, I swear. Oh sure, let's just all shoot for impractical ideals and figure out the most counterintuitive way to run Newgrounds, huh? HAH! Like the masses would ever follow."

"Standing up for your ideals is NOT cowardice."

"Rolling over and giving into whatever your captors sure as hell sounds like cowardice to me."

"Not when you have the chance to blow the brains out of them."

"YAWN. More bullshit. Just what I expected to hear. Like I said to you before, the only thing I wish I could've figured out from that sad sack was how he convinced his members to follow him. My life would be a lot easier if I could get people to so blindly accept marching orders just like he did."

"You seemed to do a good job with your moderators. I still don't get how you duped them into dying for you, or why you'd want them dead."

"Yeah, well, you can figure that one out in hell. All I know is that I will be sleeping good tonight!. So, on that note, I think it's time to say good night!"

The sound of a Desert Eagle sounding off echoed across the map. Phantom's life began flashing before his eyes.


Phantom thought of when he first came to EagleRock's Barrack as a Master Sergeant. Back then, EagleRock was only a Sergeant himself, and starting an entire barrack as such a low-ranked noncommissioned officer was unprecedented for the time. However, there were quite a few soldiers that were willing to take residence in his new location, as it had revolutionary practices for the time. EagleRock's Barrack had a policy that accepted all Elite Guards with good records for full-time residence, but he also accepted visitors from the NG Police Department as well as other citizens of Newgrounds that protected the Portal. Other barracks did not have an open door policy like this, and some were even restrictive towards noncommissioned officers taking residence at all.

The barrack had some of the greatest leaders of all time serving in it under EagleRock, despite his low rank. While the oligarchical Supreme Commanders of the time did not touch the place, the likes of XwaynecoltX, TITROTU, and Bahamut fell under the umbrella comfortably and happily. The barrack quickly made ties with other organizations on Newgrounds, such MrCrawford's Newgrounds Police Department precinct, as well as ties with the often misunderstood Newgrounds Mafia. Phantom himself came from this organization, which gave him a stigma in the ranks of the Elite Guard as it was. That, plus his erratic personality, basically ensured there was nowhere he could stay and take residence as an Elite Guard.

EagleRock was the one that saw through all this and quickly appointed him the Relations Officer for his barrack. Eagle seemed to have the inane ability to see through people's rough exteriors and get down to the person that was deep down inside. It wasn't hard to like a guy that was very non-judgmental and fair, but it was hard to believe in his decisions sometimes.

Phantom kept flashing his mind towards other big events in the Barracks, such as the mess-up with the illegal sting operation that originated out of the NGPD, the whole mess of events that Dream-of-Duke caused, as well as the many times they had butted heads with Wade's moderators. The history there was volatile and quite turbulent. There seemed to never be a time that EagleRock's Barrack wasn't under some form of scrutiny, and Phantom had been through it all.

Phantom was there to witness the beginning of EagleRock's haven, and was now ready to witness the end. All of the years of service seemed to culminate to this single point in time. All of those years, all of the history, boiled down to a single heartbeat, and a single gunshot.


Phantom opened his eyes to find himself still quite alive. He stared back at Wadolf, who had a look of horror in his eyes. Wadolf dropped down to his knees and let out a final breath before he dropped face down into the dust. The back of his head revealed a large gun wound that Wadolf received from behind. Phantom stood there as he saw the shadow of a man walking around the corner.

It was Slash, holding his own smoking Desert Eagle. He stepped around Wadolf and stood next to his body, facing Phantom.

"Hey there, Phantom."

Angry, yet powerless to do anything, Phantom just took in a deep breath of air as he stared back at Slash. Slash was dressed in his terrorist uniform, the garb of a traitor. "You have a lot of nerve, you know that?"

"Look, it's not what you think."


"First off, calm the fuck down, okay? I'm right here and I can hear you. Second, give me a chance to explain, will ya?"

"There is nothing that you can do to convince me that you were doing this for anything or anybody but yourself."

"First off, Phantom, let's remember you don't exactly have much of a choice in the matter here. I'm the one with the gun, remember? And if I really wanted to kill you, I could've done it already. So really, why else would I be talking to you now?"

"Don't cats like to play with mice before they kill them and eat them?"

"Maybe, but I'm no cat. Trust me when I say I have no reason to try to explain any of this to you other than to try to make you understand what happened. I know I'm a traitor. I know I did wrong. I feel fucking horrible about it. But I was just trying to do what I felt was best for everyone, okay? Just let me try to redeem myself one tiny bit here."

"It's kind of hard to believe that when you have a Desert Eagle pointed at my face, you know."

"Well, you and I both know that if I lower this weapon, you're going to charge at me in a rage. Aren't I right?"

"You'd be safe to assume so."

"Exactly. I'm doing this so you'll actually listen to me and I might actually have a chance to prove to you that my intentions were only for the best."

"There isn't going to be much you can say to me that's going to justify you killing EagleRock."

"Phantom, I didn't kill him. That's impossible."

"WHY is it impossible? You had a gun pointed right at him! Andrea saw you clear as day!"

Slash took a nervous breath. "Look, let me explain, okay? I promise I'll make sense of it all."

Phantom paused for a second and looked at Slash. The look on his face was half horror and half sadness. Phantom stared into his eyes and saw turbulence inside of his head. It wasn't hard for him to tell if a person was lying if you had the ability to read what their eyes were saying. To Phantom, Slash's eyes were telling him that there was in fact a story to be told. After taking a deep breath, Phantom finally responded, "I'm listening."

"Thank you," replied Slash. "I have a lot to explain. I better start at the beginning."

End of Chapter 34


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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:30 pm

Re: The Barracks Under Fire Story

The Barracks Under Fire

by EagleRock

Chapter 35 – Flashbacks
Originally posted on September 29th, 2009

Slash began to tell Phantom about his confrontations with Wadolf.


Slash had gone to bed the night before Clock Day quite upset that he was powerless inside of this dungeon of a room. His talks with EagleRock and Phantom didn't help. He didn't always see eye-to-eye with EagleRock on how Newgrounds should be run. The forever pious Eagle felt the masses should have full control and that it is up to them to do the right thing. Slash wasn't so optimistic. He knew that the greediness of Newgrounds would always take over the Portal and always dominate the actions therein. As he laid his head down to sleep, all he could think about were the countless entrants that were going to be storming the Portal, and he couldn't do a thing about it. He closed his eyes to enter what he expected to be a throughly unsatisfying sleep.

Before he knew it, Slash was awoken in the middle of the night by a bunch of people dressed in black. He tried to struggle out of bed, but his arms and legs were strongly held down to where he couldn't move. He tried to scream, but his mouth was covered by a thick towel held down by the largest of the group. When he found his struggling to be futile, he stopped. He saw yet another man standing to the side with a silenced pistol pointed at him. The man held up a piece of paper with the words "Come with us and no one will be killed" scribbled on it. Slash started at the man in fear until he finally nodded in agreement.

The captors let loose their grips on Slash's extremities as he sat up, dizzy from the commotion. The man with the gun put a finger to his lips and motioned for Slash to stay quiet as he pointed to the door with his pistol. Slash raised his arms and followed the captors out of the room, with the armed man behind him. They walked him over to the portals, which were glowing bright in the unlit corridors of the hallway. He was directed to entering one of the portals, which he did after taking a nervous gulp.

As spacetime contorted his body to his destination, he came out to find he was in a similarly dark room somewhere unknown. He stepped into room, which appeared to be some kind of small office with nothing but a glowing terminal screen behind a desk and a high-backed chair that was pointed away from him.

"So nice to finally get to speak to you, SlashFirestorm," said Wade's voice.

"Wade?? Is that you?"

"The very same, Slash. Forgive me for not turning around, but I'm extremely busy at the moment."

"What's going on here?"

"I need to talk to you, Slash, as one of the officers of your Barrack."

"Me? Why me? I'm just the Recruitment Officer. Why not talk to EagleRock.?"

"Because I know I can talk to you rationally without hearing an hour-long lecture about the way things should be. And don't bother asking about Phantom, I need to talk to someone that's sane."

"Okay, fine, but still…why me out of all of those that are left?"

"Because you think like me. You think that this idea that the masses should be in charge of the Portal is ludicrous and that we need to change it."

"Go on."

"I'm going to be perfectly honest with you, Slash. The fact of the matter is this whole battle royale is a facade. I'm doing it to weed out those that are too weak to serve in the new Newgrounds."

"What do you mean? What else are you changing on us?"

"It's quite simple. I've decided to dissipate the Elite Guard and the Moderators that we have now and combine them into a single elite group of Supermoderators. They will have powers to control Newgrounds like no others…except the Administrators, of course."

"Supermoderators? As in--"

"As in full control over the Portal and over the entire city. No more of these spam groups and their bullshit with 'working the system.' I want complete control over this city, and this is the way to do it."

"Hmm," thought Slash over those words. "Sounds like it might work, but what does that mean for all of the citizens?"

"Well, they'll still get to vote…but it just won't mean much anymore. More of a formality really. Like most democracies today."

"How are you going to get the masses to go along with that?"

"Simple. Change around the statuses of everyone around here and make them feel a bit more wealthy than they really are. Same amount of Grounds Gold, but they think they have a higher status level than before. Keeps them all happy."

"Huh…seems very deceiving to me."

"Sure it is! Why do you think I've started this whole Battle Royale thing in the first place? I get to select my own Supermoderators, get rid of the people in my way, and we give the citizens of Newgrounds a nice big celebration to keep their attention while I make the changes I want. It's an old concept, really."

"Bread and circuses. I've heard of the concept before. I don't know how convinced I am, though."

"Not convinced, Slash? I'm giving you everything you want! Moderatorship, top rank in the Elite Guard, and the ability to blam or protect at your whim. What else could you ask for?"

"How about not killing off all my friends down there?"

"Well, my friend, that's up to them. You see, I will give them an opportunity to join my forces, but I need an act of faith, first. I'll need you to join the moderator team."

"You mean, betray my friends??"

"No no no! All I mean is you'll need to join us by entering our portal of the map. Once you do, I will give the rest of them the full opportunity to join my team the next match."

Slash furled his eyebrows. "How do I know if you're on the level?"

"I am a man of my word, Slash. If you do this for me, the very next match they will have a chance to surrender this fight and join my side."

"Well, I'll think about it." Slash stood up.

"See that you do. Not only will the Barracks not get a chance to join my team until you do, but you won't get another opportunity to bargain with me. If I were you, I'd make this one count."

"Can I go now?"

"My moderators will escort you back. And remember…I can hear everything you say down there. Any word about this deal and I will gas the entire underground facility without skipping a beat."

Slash was transported back to his room before the rest of the Barracks were awake. He tried to fall asleep that night, but didn't do a good job of it.


SlashFirstorm was obviously upset after Wade's failed attempt to recruit EagleRock and the rest of the Barracks. He walked up to Wade Fulp's office door, knocked on it, and stepped in. Wade was sitting with his back to the door as usual.

"Sir? I had a question for you."

"Not now, Slash. I'm busy."

"But sir, I saw what happened at the match today. I think I can get Eagle to join if you give me a chance."

"It's too late for him. He's good as dead."

"But sir! You said you wanted capable people for Supermods, and he is definitely one! You need him on your side!"

"Don't you tell me what I need. He's a worthless case and deserves to die!"

"You're wrong, Wade! He does NOT deserve to die. And you had NO right to shoot him like you did! I thought you were trying to recruit the best! It sure as hell doesn't appear to be the case! You're a fraud!"

The chair spun around as Wadolf revealed his true identity to SlashFirestorm. He also revealed a Desert Eagle in his hand, pointed at Slash. "You do not tell me what I am. I tell you who you are, you got that? Your friends had their chance, and they have chosen death. I suggest you don't choose the same fate for yourself. You leave this room right now and say nothing to anyone about this conversation."

Slash had no choice but to leave the room, shutting the door behind him.


Slash got up off the street of cs_italy where he just had a confrontation with EagleRock. He followed Wadolf from behind to observe what happened. He heard a few shots of Wadolf's AK47 and stopped in his tracks. It wasn't until he heard "Slash, get your ass over here!" from Wadolf that he came around the bend and saw EagleRock on the ground, crippled from gunfire.

He stepped up to Wadolf and looked at him. "Now it's time for you to join in the fun," said Wadolf. "Kill him." Slash didn't know what to say. He was now being asked to kill his friend by a person basically holding him captive. He picked up his Desert Eagle and pointed it at EagleRock, trying to buy time to figure out a way out of this. He couldn't bear to look at Eagle starting up at him in pain, so he turned his head and closed his eyes as he held is finger to his trigger.

All of a sudden, Slash heard a gunshot from a Desert Eagle and looked up in shock. He saw EagleRock laying there, lifeless. Did he kill him? He turned to look at Wadolf, whose gun was smoking. Wadolf walked over to Slash, patted him on the back, and whispered in his ear, "Don't you ever disappoint me again." He then walked off back around the corner.


Slash finished telling these stories to Phantom, waiting for a response. Phantom remained silent.

End of Chapter 35


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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:30 pm

Re: The Barracks Under Fire Story

The Barracks Under Fire

by EagleRock

Chapter 36 – Judgment Day
Originally posted on September 29th, 2009

Phantom continued to stare at SlashFirestorm after his long-winded story on his dealing with Wadolf.

"Well?" asked SlashFirestorm. "Does that explain it for you?"

Phantom stared some more, but finally broke his silence. "I don't know. Seems a bit far fetched to me. You expect me to believe this?"

"Yes. It's the truth. I swear."

"Well, then, why keep fighting for them?"

"I had to. Wadolf threatened to kill me. You'll notice I didn't do much shooting or killing on the Terrorist side. I faked it."

"Then what about killing Wadolf? Why wait until now?"

"It was the first opportunity I had."

"And why did it take you so fucking long to get up here?"

"TWENTY FUCKING STORIES! JESUS CHRIST! Look, I know I'm in the wrong here, but I don't want to be interrogated for the rest of my life!" Slash tossed his Desert Eagle at Phantom. Phantom caught it and started back at Slash. "Look, I fucked up. Yes, I know. I know I deserve punishment, and I know I deserve to die. So kill me. If my own friends won't believe me, I might as well be dead anyway. Kill me."

Slash put his arms out to his side and closed his eyes. Phantom inspected the Desert Eagle, and it was in fact ready to fire, safety turned off and all. He stared at it for a few seconds and stared at Slash who was still standing there, ready to go. "Come on goddammit, put me out of my misery! Do it now!!" Phantom stood there for a few more second before he took aim with the gun in a reflex-like manner and shot the remaining six bullets left in the weapon at Wadolf's dead body.

Slash opened his eyes in shock as he saw Phantom had emptied the pistol. Slash dropped his arms as Phantom slowly approached him, dropping the Deagle onto Wade's carcass. Phantom grabbed Slash's collar and pulled him close to his face. "If you are lying to me, the worst punishment that you can receive is living the rest of your life with EagleRock's death resting on your soul. You are a moron, a fool, an asshole, and a man of poor judgment. But I don't think you're a traitor." Phantom pushed Slash away.

Slash nodded in agreement. "I know I fucked up, Phantom. Thanks for understanding."

"So now what?"

"Well, the moderators are dead, and Wadolf is dead. Let's get out of here!"


"Wadolf taught me all about this portal equipment. I can open up the portals to take us back to Newgrounds."

"Excellent. I guess you have to go down twenty flights of stairs again."

"Yep…but from there I can open up the portal to get everyone out of the underground base, then redirect the portals outside."

"Good. Get on it."

"But first…I know where Wade and Tom are."

"You do?? Where?"

"Hidden in some room. But I can get a portal open to there as well. I'll bring the rest of the Barracks out to dust, then open up three portals to where Wade and Tom are captive. Have someone go in, retrieve them, then I'll open up all the portals back to Newgrounds. I'll come back up and we can go."

"Sounds like a plan. Just don't do anything funny."

"I won't. I'll activate the guns for everyone as well. The guys inside can suit up if they want."

"Okay fine. Don't take your sweet ass time, all right?"

"Yessir. On my way!"

Slash took the long journey down all twenty flights back to the control room. From down there, he did as he promised. He activated the weapons and opened up three portals for Coop83, PossiblePancakes, and Andrea364 to enter de_dust. Phantom make quick work of explaining everything that happened to the soldiers and made sure they armed themselves. Afterwards, Slash reprogrammed the portals and opened them up to where Wade and Tom Fulp were being held captive. Phantom, taking his now-working Desert Eagle, traveled into the location and found them alone in a small, barren room. Untying them, he brought them back out to the de_dust map to meet with the others. Slash then opened up all the portals to bring them back home.

"Okay, everyone," Slash said on the intercom, "I'm on my way up!"

"I don't believe it," said PossiblePancakes. "To think the amount of planning and subterfuge that man had to use to get everyone sequestered like this."

"I still don't know how he took us captive," said Wade. "One minute I was hanging around at my home, and then the next thing I know I was stuck in that dark room."

"What happened here with these CS maps, guys?" asked Tom.

"A lot of deaths," said Phantom. "Wadolf made us fight against the moderators, and I'm sad to say not a lot of people survived."

"Wow," said Wade. "I don't know what to say. I can't help but feel like it's our fault."

"How could it be your fault, Wade?" asked Pancakes. "Did you know Wadolf would turn against you?"

"Turn against me? I didn't even know he existed!"

"Yeah," said Phantom. "That was the general consensus. Completely took us by surprise."

"But still," continued Wade, "I feel like we let Newgrounds down."

"So," said Coop, "what are your plans now?"

"Well," started Tom, "we need to rebuild. Many people were hurt by this redesign that Wadolf made, and it's time they were helped."

"Are you putting things back the way they were?"

"Not exactly," said Tom. "From what we do know about these changes, I like a lot of them, but we will need to fix things."

"I'm going to need to find a new group of moderators for sure," said Wade. "I'll also need to find some way to thank the Elite Guard for all they did for us."

"Not at all," said Phantom. "Just doing our duty as usual."

"The average call of duty doesn't include what you guys went through," said Tom. "EagleRock's Barrack deserves some recognition for their work."

"Speaking of EagleRock," said Wade, "where is he? I would like to congratulate him on a job well done."

The Elite Guards almost simultaneously bowed their heads in sorrow. "Oh," said Wade, "I'm sorry. I had no idea."

"Think nothing of it," said Phantom, "But I'm taking over for EagleRock as I was his second-in-command."

"Good to hear," said Wade. "We'll need to have some discussions regarding what to do for the future of Newgrounds."

Slash finally came back onto the surface of de_dust after his 20-story climb. Considerably tired, he stumbled over to the others' location. Panting heavily, he said, "Are you two okay?"

"Just fine, Slash," said Wade. "And you came into the conversation at just the right time. I was saying to everyone that I am going to need to usher in a new age of moderators due to what happened. I know what your aspirations were, and I'd like to offer you a role on Newgrounds as a moderator!"

Slash looked back at Wade, stunned. "Well, that's certainly an honor, sir. But I would honestly say I need to respectfully decline." The rest of the Elite Guard simultaneously dropped his jaw at the sound of this complete reversal on Slash's part. Slash continued, "While I was certainly gung-ho on getting more power on Newgrounds in the past, I've learned my lesson the hard way. One person with too much power is a true danger, no matter how much you slice it. EagleRock was right all along. I want to uphold his values. Besides, I don't feel like I deserve it. Someone else would be better suited for it, Wade."

"Again, very admirable of you Elite Guards," repeated Wade. "While your ideals were always just a bit perfect for most people's tastes, I could always depend on you all to do the right thing. However, while I hate to interrupt this lovely chat of ours. I'm afraid we weren't exactly fed well in that dungeon of ours."

"Oh shit, let's go!" said Phantom. "Slash, are the portals ready?"

"Ready to go," said Slash. "Follow me." The five Elite Guards, Wade, and Tom all entered their portals to be ripped through spacetime back towards Newgrounds. The sensation of spacetime, though weird and awkward as always, was welcomed this time around. The seven eventually materialized into what appeared to be a dark warehouse that had seen better days. Luckily, the Andrea, Pancakes, and Coop had come fully armed from their lockers for protection.

"Better stay behind us," they said to Wade and Tom, as they instinctively entered an escort squad formation to protect the two Newgrounds Administrators, working to get them to safety.

Phantom took over quickly and instinctively as well. "Fall in, troops. I don't know where we are, but it doesn't look hospitable by any right. Slash, any information on our twenty?"

"If my knowledge of these portals are right, Phantom, we're in an abandoned warehouse in the General district."

"Great," sighed Phantom, "just what we wanted to go through. It's no wonder no one comes here anymore." They proceeded through the warehouse, guns poised and ready, Wade and Tom following inside the pack safely and securely. As Phantom came up to a small entrance door on the side of the building, he pulled it open and inspected what he saw.

For the first time in a while, he saw the streets of Newgrounds. The General district, despite how run down and dirty it was, it was a welcomed change to the stoic and unchanging quarters they were in. Phantom stepped outside to get a breath of the fresh air. It was a welcomed breath, despite the scent of pollution and decay that hung heavy in the air. The city was still quite dark, but the morning twilight gave an ambient glow to the overall darkness and seemed to beckon the day's arrival. The wind was blowing in their direction, as they felt the majesty of the elements hit their bodies like a long-lost friend.

As they walked out into the barren street, the sun had crescendoed over the horizon, breaking dawn over the dark city with an inviting and invigorating orange beam of light. As Phantom felt the heat of the morning sun on his face, he gave a smile and closed his eyes, as he had felt alive for the first time in weeks. However, his mind didn't stray too far from their goal at hand. He beckoned the troops forward with his hand as he marched towards the light.

They were home.

End of Chapter 36


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Chief Barracks Officer
Chief Barracks Officer

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Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:21 am


Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:31 pm

Re: The Barracks Under Fire Story

The Barracks Under Fire

by EagleRock

Epilogue - Two Years Later
Originally posted on October 4th, 2009

Phantom walked down the road in a particularly bad section of Newgrounds, in the General district, not far from the Flash Portal. Most dwellings were burnt out or abandoned, and the abundance of vagrants living in the streets were mind-boggling. It wasn't hard to find malicious entrants around here, either. Theft and murder were high. Most people in this city were smart enough to steer clear of this place. Those that were stupid enough to linger either just didn't care about death or had enough sense to carry a piece.

Phantom didn't seem to care. He strode down the road with utter disdain for the dangerous atmosphere around him. The dark and dreary night punctuated by the rain suited him perfectly. Dismal, dreary, and most importantly, alone. He was no stranger to this section of town, as he walked down this way many times before. He finally came upon his destination, a dirty and dingy dive that passed as a bar in this urban version of hell. Opening the worn and tattered wooden door in front of him, he came upon his usual night-time destination.

A first look inside would make any honest man cringe. It wasn't the kind of place you took your first date. Or any date. Or your bitch of an ex-wife. It was full of tired, drunk, and depressed individuals trying to find refuge in an otherwise sad existence. Most people around here took despair to a new level. However, this was the best place around to get cheap liquor. When you can easily spend hundreds of Grounds Gold in medical bills just trying to get into the place, fair market prices don't really apply. The bar patrons didn't seem to care, though. Most people were on the last strand of their pathetic life and were eager for a stray piece of blammunition to finish it off. Phantom sat down at his usual stool.

PossiblePancakes walked over to him behind the bar. "Hey there, Phantom...good to see you. What'll it be?"


"The usual? Double on the rocks? White label?"

"No. Not in the mood for that cheap shit tonight. Gimme your best stuff."

"Best stuff, huh? Well, we have ourselves a beautiful bottle of 30-year single-malt that we just got in. Care for me to crack it open for you?"

"Yeah. Fill up that glass, too. And make it neat."

"Dude, this is 30-year scotch we're talking about, not malt liquor. You know how much a dram of that stuff costs?"

"Yes I do. Gimme."

"Dude, you already have enough of a tab racked up, and this stuff ain't cheap. I can't cover you for this one."

Phantom tilted his head slightly and had a sense of agitation in his voice. "Well then, why don't we make this one on the house instead?"

"Fuck you, Phantom. I'm not giving you this shit on the house. I don't care who you think you are."

At that, Phantom almost instinctively grabbed his .50 caliber blam pistol, cocked it, and slammed the butt against the bar, barrel trained at Pancakes. The impact of the weapon shook the entire bar, not to mention the bottles precariously stacked behind it. The noise from this was enough to shut up everyone in the room, as they stared on at Phantom.

Pancakes threw his arms up. "What the fuck, man?"

"Don't give me that shit. You really think I was born yesterday?"

"Dude, seriously. I think I put up with quite enough of you not paying your tab around here. I put my fucking neck on the line, and this is how you thank me?"

"Well then, lemme ask you this..." Phantom lifted his pistol and pointed it straight at Pancakes' head. "You get a lot of those nice Newgrounds businessmen with the admins in their pockets coming down to this place to do their negotiations?"

Pancakes winced. "Huh?"

"Tell me...how much 30-year scotch have you sold to the lowlife scum that go to this dump?" You could hear one or two of the patrons in the back slur out a disapproving remark.

"What are you talking about, man??"

"I guess you're just in the habit of keeping top-dollar booze around just in case Tom fucking Fulp comes along to meet with the fucking Queen of England?

"Dude, the boss just--"

"Just what, huh? Hoisted a shitload of stolen Flash and found a case of rare scotch as a bonus? Tell me...how much of a cut you get of that?"

"Dude, I didn't touch that shit and you know it. Why don't you--"

"DON'T fucking talk back to me, maggot! I'll tell you what's gonna happen. You're gonna pour me some of my fucking scotch, walk back to your little room, and I'm gonna drink all happy happy joy joy all fucking night. And your sorry ass sure as hell isn't gonna fucking bother me about a fucking tab. Why? Cause you'd fucking regret making me walk all the way back to the C&C district just to report a certain stolen batch of Flash I came across. Now that'd leave you in a pretty little mess that I'm sure your boss wouldn't be too happy about, huh?"

Phantom stared Pancakes down the sight of his drawn pistol, waiting for a response. Pancakes whipped around and grudgingly grabbed the dirtiest whiskey glass he could find and poured him his scotch.

Just as he went to shelve the bottle, Phantom said, "And you can leave that right here. That fifth will be coming with me tonight."

Pancakes uncaringly plopped the bottle down on the bar. "Whatever you say, sir. I forgot how you took care of yourself down here, no matter who you step on along the way. And you fucking know I had no part of that hoist."

"Doesn't bother me none. Just as long as you leave me the fuck alone."

"Whatever." Pancakes turned and walked away from the bar, muttering "Asshole" under his breath. He went into the staff room, slamming the door behind him as hard as he could.

The din slowly returned to the room, and people were no more concerned with Phantom than they were 2 minutes before. Phantom picked up his glass, and swirled the golden liquid around. The aroma was intoxicating, and had scents drawn from the legacy that preceded it. He nosed the glass for a good 30 seconds before taking his first sip. The peat hit him with a smokey warmth like no other as it clung to and coated his entire palette. Flavors from far away lands pierced his taste buds as he let golden liquid rest in his mouth, which caressed his senses with a smoothness rarely felt by any liquor. As he finished the sip, he felt fire go down his throat, giving it a satisfying burn as his entire existence was enveloped with hints of more flavors he'd care to count. The aftertastes came through the tingling sensation in his mouth that gave him a euphoric rush. He just sat there eyes closed, entranced in a world of flavor that seemed to last forever.

"I can see you haven't lost your worldly charms, Phantom."

Phantom spun around, breaking from his alcoholic trance to find Andrea364 standing next to him. "Oh, it's you."

"Well, it's so nice to see you too after all this time. I can see you're ALL about the pleasantries tonight."

"Hey, if I wanted fucking pleasantries, I wouldn't be fucking around in a dump like this."

"Anyone that calls their own nightly haunt a dump has their own problems, but it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what you do want. You're looking to be alone."

"Holy crap, we have ourselves an Einstein here!" Phantom's sarcasm oozed through is pores. "I knew you had a brain up there. Now, on that note, why don't you act on this revelation of yours and fuck off?"

"Jesus fucking Christ. After all the shit we went through, I think you can spare me five fucking minutes, sir."

That last "sir" was the kind that could pierce souls. It stabbed Phantom and steadied his words, which generally just didn't happen. He took a large sigh as he stared at his drink. Turning away from her, he said, "Fine, have a seat." He dusted off the bar stool next to him. Andrea sat down.

"Well, wasn't that gentlemanly of you? I'd be inclined to buy you a drink, if you hadn't taken care of that for yourself already." She motioned at the fifth of scotch on the bar.

"Yeah, well, vigilanteism has its perks." He took another sip of his drink, enjoying the sensations once again.

"Is that what you call that? Coercing some guy to get yourself some free scotch?"

"Hey, I just do what I do to survive. Sometimes I help people out along the way. It's what I do. Besides, if it wasn't me, it would've just been someone else. That last hit this bar owner made was just a bit too sloppy."

Andrea stared down at the bottle of scotch sitting there. "You still didn't have to be so rough on that bartender. What'd he ever do to you?"

"Oh, him? Fuck him. If he knew any better, he wouldn't fucking be working here."

"You know him?"

"Sure, its PossiblePancakes."

"Really?? What the hell is he doing here? Isn't he still part of the Elite Guard?"

"Hell no. Quit not long after that trouble. Tried to make it as an artist. Still trying, actually. Found this dump when he was hard pressed to make ends meet."

"I just can't see him a quitter. He loved the Barracks."

"Yeah, was doing good there, too. He got promoted quick. He made it all the way to Master Sergeant before he burnt out and left."

"Well, that explains him being here, but what about you? What's a prestigious Supreme Commander like yourself doing in a shithole like this?"

Phantom took another large sip of scotch, which stayed him as it coated his body in sensation. The affects of the alcohol were already coming over him. It didn't take much of this stuff to get you sloshed. "I haven't been called Supreme Commander for years. I don't exactly do that anymore."

"You quit? YOU? How could YOU quit the Barracks?"

"You're passing judgment on me? Hell you quit right after we got out of that damn underground hellhole."

Andrea stared down at the bar. "Yeah, I know. I...I couldn't take it. After seeing Sentio, Eagle, it just...got to me, okay?"

"So you took refuge in writing your stupid stories."

"They're NOT stupid." She spun her head around quickly towards Phantom, causing her hair to wrap around her head. Giving him another bad look, she said, "I make enough money to get by, okay? At least I don't sit around in THIS place getting hammered to cheap whiskey night after night."

"Pardon me," Phantom said disdainfully. "That being said, what ARE you doing in this place?"

"Well, honestly, I came looking for you."

"Huh? Why me?"

"Well, I've heard rumors about this place and some Elite-Guard-turned-vigilante that comes by to bury his head in a glass every night. I didn't believe it, but I guess it's true."

"I guess news gets around."

"Yeah, well, that still begs the question...why quit the Barracks?"

"First off, I didn't quit, okay? I still work there on occasion, but I keep out of people's business. I go in, do some pencil pushing, get my gold and I'm off. All right?"

"Pencil pushing? You? Never thought I'd see the day the world's itchiest trigger-finger would be doing that."

"I..." Phantom stopped as he stared back down at his class. After gulping down another sip, he said, "I hung it up."

"Hung it up? As in no more protecting the Portal? I don't get it, though. I thought you lived for that stuff."

Letting out another sigh, Phantom said, "I did." He swirled the remnants of his drink around as he turned around that sentence in his head. "I...I couldn't do it anymore. As time wore on, things just ate at me. Things bothered me more and more, and it just...hit me one day. I...I couldn't go on. Turned in my blam rifle to Slash and told him I was done. Put him in charge, and that was that."

"Never thought I'd see that day. So exactly how do you go about being a vigilante if you claim to be a pencil pusher?"

"It's a good line to hide behind, isn't it? Keeps people out of my business and me out of trouble. But I haven't shot a gun since I left."

"That doesn't surprise me. Anyone as soused as you all the time would have trouble holding up a gun, let alone shoot it."

"That's enough out of you. I'll shoot when I need to. I just haven't had to."

"Fair enough." The conversation paused for a minute, giving Andrea a minute to take in the surroundings. Listening to the background noise and staring behind the bar, she looked at the rows of alcohol lined up on glass shelves, which looked like they were in desperate need of replacement. "Where the hell is Pancakes, anyway? I thought you said he tended the bar here."

"Doesn't mean he actually does it when he's supposed to. Probably grabbing a smoke out back or fucking around with some worthless piece of ass."

"...You're not nice to your friends, are you?"

"Friends," Phantom repeated as he narrowed his eyes. "Who are MY friends? Are they the ones that stood by my side, only to betray me and get everyone around me killed? Really. Who can you call a friend these days? Who the FUCK can you trust?"

Andrea paused at this. "Still bitter about Slash I see. Why name him your successor, then?"

Phantom looked up at the dim lights and the lines of dust-laden wine glasses that hovered over the bar. "Cause he does right. Sure, he fucked us over big time, but in the end, he really came through. Never saw a man do a turnaround like that before. Not since Pancakes, anyway."

"He's still in charge?"

"Yeah. Still doing his EagleRock thing. Recruiting people, fighting the good fight, blah blah blah, keeping the Barracks alive."

"What made him turn around so much?"

"Oh hell, you saw how he was after that whole thing was over. Damn near killed himself over what he did. It was obvious it was a fuckup. Apologized up and down to everyone, and you could sure as hell tell he meant it."

"Still, how could people forgive him?"

"How could they not? Eagle was all about giving people second chances and letting these people that wanna be do-gooders do good. It was painful naming Slash second in command, but I did it."

"Damn, I missed all this."

"Well, you up and ran pretty fast there, missy. You missed out on a lot."

"Yeah, I know. It was tough for me…you saw. Still, I--I wish I..." She stopped mid-sentence. "Hey where the fuck is Pancakes?? I need a drink."

"Here." Phantom pushed the bottle of scotch towards Andrea.

"No thanks. I can't drink that stuff. I need something that tastes a little less like turpentine."

"Nothing like a good scotch."

"Ugh," Andrea said in disgust as she watched Phantom slide the rest of the scotch down his throat and slam the glass down on the bar. "Anyway, so what else happened when I left? What happened to the survivors? Did they all turn out as hopeless as we did?"

"Well, I'd say Slash is doing pretty well for himself."

"Besides the born-again."

"Well, Coop did pretty well for himself, too. When he was promoted to Supreme Commander, he took up a third-in-command role under Slash and me. When I left, that made him the second banana. Stuck around the Barracks more, too. Kept himself busy in the records room sometimes, and seemed to really be into talking to the new recruits and stuff."

"I remember he was always a big loner. Never really came by much."

"Yeah, that turned around after we came back. I think what happened down there kinda stuck with him. Even got himself modded for it. As it turned out, trading places with me as the Barracks loner was the best thing that could've happened to him."

"What about the rest?"

"The rest of what?"

"The survivors."

"There was no one else, remember? Rest got slaughtered."

Andrea looked down again. "Damn. I thought maybe a few more would've turned up or something."

"Nope. That was it. No mods got through, either. Save Wade and Tom, that is."

"Barracks must be pretty empty."

"Well, it was at first, but Slash got it filled up pretty quick, sporting his pretty-boy charms and pushing the ideals he clutches to so dearly."

"Oh, don't talk like he's some kind of goody two-shoes. You hold yourself to the same ideals and you know it. You used to cram that shit down our throats day and night."

Phantom sighed yet again. "Yeah, I did. But doesn't mean I have to do anything about it. I don't do that shit anymore, remember?"

"Yeah, whatever. You said that a dozen times already. But I must admit, I still wish I could-- GOD DAMMIT, WHAT'S A GIRL GOTTA DO TO GET A FUCKING DRINK AROUND HERE!" Andrea slammed the bar with her fist."

"All RIGHT, all RIGHT! Keep your fucking pants on!" Pancakes yelled from inside. He came out and saw Andrea sitting next to Phantom. He blinked.

"Andrea? W-what are you doing here?"

"Waiting for a fucking lager. Care to hook me up?"

"Sheesh. Pushy as ever." He came over, carefully ignoring Phantom as he drafted a lager for her.

"You can put that one on my tab," said Phantom.

"Fuck you, Phantom. Don't you have a job to not go to?"

"Yeah, whatever. I'm outta here. You two play catchup all nice now, hear me?" Phantom grabbed his bottle of scotch and stumbled out the door.

"Prick," said Pancakes.

"Tell me about it," replied Andrea. "So that's what came to be of our illustrious leader. I had to see it to believe it."

"Yeah, well, try seeing it every night. Anyway, enough about him. How's life treating you?"


Phantom pushed his way out of the bar and walked a few blocks down the street. He stopped in front of a nearby alley and chugged from his bottle. His senses were too dulled to truly appreciate the rare whisky he was drinking, but he still felt the strong burning sensation enveloping his throat. As he lowered the bottle, he drunkenly snapped his head down and forward to stare at the label. The gold print on the label shone against the dim light from the street lamp overhead. "Waste of a good scotch," he muttered to himself. He stumbled over to one of the wrapped-up vagrants sitting in the alley and shoved the bottle in his hand. "All yours, buddy." He then proceeded to walk away into the night.

"Hey, mister...that's awfully kind of you!" the vagrant called out. Phantom turned back. The vagrant stood up, showing that he was clothed in a dirty robe that enveloped his body and covered his face. Looked like just another useless member of society.

"Think nothing of it. It's a waste on me, anyway."

"Well, if you're in the habit of chugging expensive scotch like there's no tomorrow, I would say so."

"Hey! Who the hell do you think you are judging me? Go back to your fucking alley."

"Now now, calm down, I'm just trying to return the favor here."

"There's nothing you can do for me. Now leave me alone."

"I wouldn't be so sure. I want you to have this." The vagrant pulled out a blam rifle out of his robe and gestured towards Phantom.

Phantom stopped. "Where the fuck did you get this?"

"I figure you need it more than me."

Phantom took the rifle and gave it a good look. "Yeah, but where did you get this? This ain't no pea-shooter, you know. In fact, this isn't even civilian-legal...advanced scope, extended magazine…hell, this is Elite Guard equipment...officer-grade!"

"Seems like you know your stuff. You should know how to use it, then."

"Don't play with me." He stared at the cloak-covered body in front of him. "Where the hell did you get this?"

"I know people. It was given to me."

"Bullshit. I don't know of any Elite Guard that'd give away a weapon like this."

"I don't know of anyone that'd give away a 30-year single-malt to some bum on the street, either."

Again, Phantom words stopped in this throat before he could speak. This vagrant didn't talk like the usual bums around here. The cloak he wrapped himself in hid a stature you generally don't see from most. It didn't add up. He tried to focus in on the person, but his vision had already started to blur from the alcohol. "Who...who are you?"

"I think the better question is, who are you?"


"Are you some guy that's gonna let himself curl up and die inside a bottle, or are you going to go out there and make something of yourself again?"


"That's no Supreme Commander to me. Some namesake you have."


"You know what you need to do. You certainly don't need me to tell you. And hey, thanks again for the scotch. I'll enjoy it." The vagrant turned around to leave.

"Wait a minute!"

The vagrant stopped, turning back at Phantom. "Oh, and to answer your question, a 'friend' might not be an easy thing to define, but they certainly not hard to pick out when you find one. Like the one keeping a trigger-happy bar owner off your back over your expensive drinking habit. Or the one that came to find you after not seeing you for two years in the shittiest section of town. Think about it." The vagrant then turned around again and started off.

"HEY!" Phantom tried to give chase, but his drunken stupor had caught up to him. He tripped and fell in the middle of the street, letting the vagrant escape. Shaking his head and trying to focus his eyes, he stared at the rifle he let fall to the ground. It was definitely not a common piece of equipment, even for an Elite Guard. Whoever this belonged to wasn't your average safety patroller.

Examining the weapon more, he noticed it was quite similar to the weapon he once used. Then, he remembered that all officer-grade weapons were tagged. Turning the rifle around so he could look at the bottom of the grip, he indeed found an Elite Guard name tag on the bottom. The name read "EGSC Phantom." Phantom shook his head around trying to shake off the effects of the alcohol to no avail. He read the tag again, and sure enough it still said his name. The gun was his.

Phantom stood up, still trying to shake the dizziness out of his head. He shouldered the rifle and looked around for any sign of the vagrant. The street was deserted with no signs of coherent life, other than his. The street was completely barren, except for the occasional raindrop, debris, and something he couldn't quite make out in the distance.

Moving closer and straining his eyes to focus, Phantom saw what appeared to be a weak entrant from the Portal. Phantom took up the rifle, and used its scope to get a better look. Sure enough, it was a particularly poor entrant that looked like it had been hit with blammunition many times already, but didn't quite get finished off. Phantom closed his eyes for a second and took a deep breath. He pulled up the rifle, focused the scope and trained his shot. He squeezed the trigger.

Sure enough, Phantom's shot held true and hit the entrant square on. The sound of the blam rifle cut through the silence and ricocheted through the urban decay. The entrant was blammed right then and there. Phantom all of a sudden had a rush in his body like he hadn't felt for years, a feeling like no other that no amount of good scotch could ever compare to. The satisfying justice of the well-placed shot gave his cold, rained out body a warmth like he hadn't felt for years. This newfound fervor ran deep and pierced his soul, giving him a full-body shiver. The rush he was feeling cleared his vision and made his head considerably less dizzy.

He let out an audible gasp as he panted and looked around. He scanned the area and noticed another entrant in the distance that looked pretty malicious that was in fact harassing a vagrant in the shadows. Another quick shot with the blam rifle neutralized the situation with another deafening bang. His pulse quickened, and whole body throbbed with every pulse of blood going through his veins. His vision was clear again, except when it blurred slightly every time his heart gave his body that strong, adrenaline-fueled thump. By now, he had several vagrants popping out of their dark corners to look on at him. For the vagrants that lived in these streets, he started doing what no one had bothered to do for the longest time. While malicious entrants were still violently hunt down in Newgrounds, no one ever cared to do it down here. Onlookers stared his every action, waiting to see what he'd do next. He was flying higher than a kite, and raring for more.

Phantom started to rush towards the Portal, but soon stopped himself. His mind carried him back to what the vagrant said to him. After yet another sobering realization, he knew what he had to do.


"I dunno, Andrea, life just doesn't pan out like you expect it to," said Pancakes, still at the bar. He'd taken to drinking a copious amount of beer himself.

"Yeah, well, what are you gonna do?"

"I need to get the hell out of here, that's what."

"Yeah, so? What's stopping you? You're too good to be working in this joint."

"I dunno...what would I do?"

"Go back to the Barracks, that's what. You know you belong there."

"No, I can't go back there. Hell even when I WAS there it was only Eagle that stood up for me. My reputation preceded me, you know?"

"Sounds like a cop-out to me."

"Yeah, well, that's how it is. Sometimes, you just can't go back, Guess I'd better--"

Just then, Phantom burst open the door slamming it on its hinges against the wall.

"What the fuck?" yelled Pancakes, looking up from his beer. "What are you doing back here?"

Phantom held up his blam rifle for the whole bar to see. "I'm here for you two. Get your stuff and let's go."

"Wait a minute, what's with the rifle?" said Andrea.

"Long story. I'll tell you later."

"Go?" asked Pancakes. "Go where?"

"Go protect the Portal of course!"

Andrea stared back at Pancakes. Looking back at Phantom, she said, "What the hell's gotten into you? Where'd this come from all of a sudden? Not one hour ago I find you in here getting bombed to all hell, now this?"

"Look, I'm not going to stand here all day explaining myself. I need to go back out there, and I can't do it alone. I need a few of my friends to come with me. Are you in or out?"

Pancakes paused at hearing this. "But--"

"No buts. I know you want out of this hell hole and you know it too. Now, do you have a piece?"

Pancakes stuttered, "Well yeah, but it's in the back--"

"Get it, dammit!"

"Y-yessir." Pancakes ran to the back room.

"How about you? You have a weapon?"

Andrea said, "Well, no. I don't carry anymore."

Phantom unsheathed his sidearm and tossed it at Andrea. "There. Now get your stuff...let's go!"

Andrea was speechless. She stared at the Phantom's blam pistol, which was a rather impressive weapon, even for a Supreme Commander. It sure wasn't the kind of weapon anyone could just up and buy. Even the years of tarnish and dirt on the silver barrel couldn't hide its beauty and power. As she squeezed the grip, she felt an urge returning from inside of her. She looked back up at Phantom, still not saying a word.

"Come on, goddammit! I don't have all day! I'll be waiting outside and I expect to see you two out there! Move it!"

Phantom ambled out the door, shutting it behind him. He walked back out into the street, staring down its path towards the Portal. His heart was racing and blood was pumping faster than it did in years. Waiting in anticipation of Pancakes and Andrea to come out, he scanned the area and saw the same vagrant leaning against the corner of the bar, staring back at Phantom.

Phantom, as a loss for words, was only able to say "Thanks." The vagrant took his cloak that covered his head, lifted it up, and cast it back. He then looked up and stared back at Phantom. Phantom's eyes went wide. They held eye contact for a second or two before the vagrant smiled then turned away and walked into the alley.

Phantom's chin dropped down to the ground as he cried out "WAIT!!!" Phantom went dashing into the alleyway in chase, only to bump into Andrea and Pancakes, who were coming out the back door to meet him.

"Jesus, you startled me!" Pancakes said to Phantom.

"Wait, wait, did you see him?"

"Who?" asked Andrea.

"That guy! The one that just ran into the alley! You didn't see him??"

Pancakes and Andrea just looked at each other. "What guy?" asked Pancakes.

"There was a guy that ran into the alley just now! How could you have missed him?"

Andrea raised an eyebrow, saying, "You all right?"

Phantom looked at them, then looked back out the alley, down the street. He paused for a second or two before calming his voice and staring back at the two, saying, "Yeah. Never better." He smirked, cocked his blam rifle, squinted his eyes, and said, "Let's do this."

The End.

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