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Back in the Barracks Story

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Chief Barracks Officer
Chief Barracks Officer

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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:23 pm

Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks
A sequel to The Barracks Under Fire

by EagleRock


NOTE: This is a reposting of the story that I posted in the old forums. If you are looking for links to the old forum threads, I've included them in the handy links below.

I would like to keep this thread solely for the storyline and not have comments in it. As with the my original story, I am creating another thread (link below) that you can comment in. Thanks!

For those of you that have not read the original Barracks Under Fire story, it is a story based on Counter-Strike and the Barracks that I started writing about two years ago. I recently finished the story, and this story is the direct sequel to it. While the beginning of the story isn't as good as I'd like it to be I'd highly suggest reading this story first if you have not already, as this sequel works directly off the end of BUF.

Handy Links:

Comments Thread for Back in the Barracks: Here
Original Barracks Under Fire Story: Here
Comments Thread for Barracks Under Fire: Here

Old Forum Comments Thread for Back in the Barracks: Here
Old Forum Original Barracks Under Fire Story: Here
Old Forum Comments Thread for Barracks Under Fire: Here

NOTE: One important thing to note is that this story, unlike the first, has a lot of first-person narration in it. To distinguish the difference between the first person narration and the third-person narration, I am italicizing the first-person narration. While the story won't technically need this, anything italic is really meant to be a noir-like narrative and I wanted to distinguish it from the rest of the dialogue.

If you have any questions about this story, feel free to ask me in the comments thread, IM, PM, whatever. I recommend asking in the comments thread, though, so that everyone reading can benefit from the answers! I hope you enjoy the new story!


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Chief Barracks Officer
Chief Barracks Officer

Posts: 487

Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:21 am


Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:23 pm

Re: Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks
A sequel to The Barracks Under Fire

by EagleRock

Prologue - Into Obscurity
Originally Posted on October 26th, 2009

The name's Coop83…Supreme Commander Coop83 to you. I'm the Lieutenant Chief Barracks Officer of the most prestigious Barrack in Newgrounds. The fact that I had to introduce myself means you probably aren't from around here. It also indicates you probably have no clue what the hell I'm talking about. So, I might as well bring you up to speed.

I arrived at this city about five years ago when I came over to the States from the UK. You'd be compelled to ask why, but I'm compelled to tell you, "Don't ask." Point is, I had a fresh start here and started to make a name for myself. I'd say this city is one of the best places in the world, but it sure as hell is a weird one to live in. I'd definitely say there's no other place like it.

Newgrounds, to put it simply, is
the place to be if you're a Flash artist. There are other artists around here too, but Flash is what makes this town tick. Everything about this place revolves around the stuff. In fact, the city even went as far as to create a whole system for people to get their work seen by others, which they call the Flash Portal. Artists submit their work to Newgrounds, which releases their work through the Portal in the form of a robotic device with a screen and voting buttons on it. The robot patrols around the city parading the artist's work. People out on the streets get a view of the work and can cast their vote right on the device. Once enough people view and vote it, the Flash is given a final judgment. If it's well-enough liked, the work gets a spot in Newgrounds' Flash Galleries, but if not, well, it gets blammed, and that's that.

I know robots parading around town with a bunch of computer artwork sounds weird, but trust me…it is one of the best ways for aspiring artists to make a name for themselves. The only problem with this setup are the people that like to waste others' time and cause problems. As you'd probably guess, there are people that figure out how to hack these robots and turn them malicious. Also, there are people that submit hateful and harmful, stuff that normally wouldn't pass or would get flagged as unsuitable for Newgrounds. These people, however, gang up on the submission and "mass-vote" this thing to get it past judgment. Naturally the City Administrators have done what they could to stop crap like this, but it's like a never-ending chess match between them and these spammers, both sides constantly vying for control. That's where I come in.

There's another simple way we keep these damn Flash at bay, and it's an old-fashioned one at that: bring out the big guns. This city has developed special forms of ammo called blammunition which can blam or protect Flash from a distance. While most civilians are content with voting on Flash the normal way, there are those of us that wanted more firepower and the ability to serve the Portal more efficiently. People like that tend to get noticed. I got into the B/P business myself and eventually was accepted into the NGPD for my efforts. It wouldn't take much longer before I was called up to the Elite Guard and really got to play with the best firepower that Newgrounds had to offer. The Elite Guard is the army that is responsible for protecting the Portal and the citizens of Newgrounds day and night. It is this duty that I have taken upon myself some time ago, and still do today.

Anyway, it was about four years ago that my work in the Elite Guard led me into a new Barrack that was started up by a brand new Sergeant called EagleRock. It was unusual for such a low-ranked officer to start up his whole Barrack, but then again, Eagle was not your usual person. Most Elite Guard, especially the commissioned officers, were quite elitist and shunned basically everyone that was a lower rank than them, especially citizens. EagleRock had the opposite mentality. To him, anyone with an interest in protecting the Portal was a friend to the Elite Guard, and was welcome in his Barrack. His open-door policy stirred a lot of controversy in the Elite Guard, but it worked. His Barrack quickly became the largest in the city and was definitely the most popular among citizens. While we quickly formed alliances and friendships, it didn't take long for us to gain a good amount of enemies as well. In fact, we knew it was only a matter of time before the other shoe would drop.

It happened, all right. Two years ago, when our influence was at its highest. EagleRock was already a Supreme Commander, as well the majority of his Barrack. New Elite Guards were recruited by the day, and our allies were strong in will and in numbers. Strange things started to happen around Newgrounds, as the whole city was undergoing redesign. Mentions of the Elite Guard were eliminated, and no answers were given to anyone why these changes were made. Finally, one fateful night, twenty-six members of EagleRock's Barrack were taken hostage and interned in some underground facility. What would happen down there was plain and simple manslaughter.

It turns out some evil doppleganger of one of the Newgrounds Administrators managed to seize control of the city from the top-down, and wanted to systematically destroy his strongest opponents: the Newgrounds Moderation team, and the Elite Guard. The moderators were the Admins' personal team of lawmakers that kept order in the city. Taking out the figureheads of these two important groups would send a strong message to everyone else that they either need to fall in line or be killed. The matches themselves were broadcasted all across Newgrounds as a form of "entertainment," where everyone got to see Elite Guard pitted against Moderator in an armed skirmish based on the video game Counter-Strike. While we managed to defeat the enemy and pull through like we always have done, the results were catastrophic.

While twenty-six of us went into this battle, only five of us came out. Many of those killed were the real firepower and leadership of our Barrack, too…including EagleRock himself. The moderation team suffered worse, though…all of them were killed. Needless to say, losing so many important people would cripple the town. Wade and Tom Fulp, the two brothers that run this place, were quite grateful to be saved by us. Phantom, Eagle's former second-in-command, spoke up for the Barracks and agreed to help them rebuild the city government and recover.

At first, everything was great. EagleRock's Barrack was now considered the place where legends and heroes live. Phantom took over as Chief Barracks Officer and was in close communication with Wade and Tom for a period of time. They promised to reward us for our efforts, and we were indeed rewarded. Since selecting more moderators would take time, Wade gave us the authority to arrest and detain perpetrators on Newgrounds and get them into the hands of Wade and what would eventually be his new Moderation Team. Phantom was consulted personally on a regular basis by Wade and Tom during the town's cleanup. In fact, they went as far as to throw a parade for us on November 29th, 2007, the second year anniversary of the founding of EagleRock's Barrack.

Of course, as life goes, all good things had to come to an end. Newgrounds was still awash in corruption and terror in the streets, the General district being the worst section of them all. In fact, it got so bad that the Newgrounds Police Department eventually stopped going into the General district, as well as the Elite Guard. At this point, you'll scarcely see the moderators head down there. The place is an urban anarchy where your best chance of not getting murdered is by killing yourself instead.

The Barrack hasn't fared that well, either. Eventually our hero status faded into the night as Newgrounds all but forgot about us. The Moderators and Administrators barely deal with us anymore, except when we deliver the occasional criminal to their custody. The losses the Barrack suffered still hung heavy on everyone's heart, especially those that were in the skirmish themselves. Phantom, one of the five survivors, took it particularly bad. He eventually broke down and crawled into a bottle, never to come out. SlashFirestorm, Phantom's second-in-command, took over the Barracks and would do a good job of doing it, too. While he was one of the survivors as well, he didn't seem to take our ordeal as difficult as the others and was able to lead us on. Two other survivors, Andrea364 and PossiblePancakes, eventually quit the Barracks and retreated to some dark corner of this city.

We're still alive, though. We have almost a whole new roster of members and still do our duty, and do it well. I often find myself in charge of everyone as the second-in-command, since SlashFirestorm usually finds himself doing things that take him away from the Barracks. In fact, many of the members we have today weren't around for that skirmish we had and scarcely have any knowledge of it at all. I admit that I lament that the losses we had can so quickly fade into nonexistence in the minds of the new Barracks. However, I know for a fact that this is for the best.

EagleRock and the others that we lost were great people, but their legacy leaves a trail of pain for all that remember them. So far, out of all of the survivors, Slash is the only one that can take it. I'm one of those five, and I can tell you that I'll never get over it. The memories of being down there haunt me to this day, and I still turn over in my head countless ways we could have done things that could have saved a lot of the victims. A simple turn here, a faster reaction there…it all would have added up to a very different ending.

My life, in many ways, is better now than it was before we were thrown into that hellhole. Not only am I now Slash's Lieutenant, but I am also now part of the Moderation Team due to my efforts. However, it's blatantly obvious that all of the survivors left a part of their soul behind when we escaped those two years ago. I do what I do now to keep the spirit of the Barracks alive, as that is the least I can do for those that we lost down there. I can't bring them back. All I can do is make sure everything they stood for stays alive. I know, however, that it will never be enough.

End of the Prologue


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Chief Barracks Officer
Chief Barracks Officer

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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:24 pm

Re: Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks

by EagleRock

Chapter 1 - Into the Night
Originally Posted on October 28th, 2009

SlntCobra1 thought to himself as he walked back in the rain after a long night out patrolling.


Joining the Barracks was the most natural thing I could've done. It's in my soul to protect the Portal. Call me a goody-two-shoes if you will, but I'll be damned if some asshole tries to prey on the citizens of this town. It's the really malicious ones that I target. I'm the first one out there night after night ready to shine a light in the faces of those screwing around. My friends in the Barracks call me the "Watchdog of the Portal." It gives me a deep satisfaction that what I do really makes a difference to the millions of citizens that live here.

I will admit, though, that a bit more recognition would be nice. I work my ass off tirelessly going after these people, and what do I have to show for it? Sure, I was made a Portal Violations Officer, but what about my whistle status? What about how my fellow soldiers act towards me? I know I'm standing next to some of the greatest Elite Guard that ever lived, but dammit, I'm
good at this. People say too much confidence in yourself is a bad thing. I say it's what takes you to greater heights.


It was a night like any other night. It was raining as usual, and it was as cold, dark and dreary as it could get. Fitting for a city as cold as this one. I had just finished a long patrol covering the galleries, and found myself quite a few assholes that were being abusive to people's work. No one gets away with that shit on
my watch. Speaking of watches, I checked the time. It was just before midnight.

I ambled up to EagleRock's Barrack and let myself in the front door. Nobody was around in the front lounge, so I walked all the way back into the rec room. The few members that were awake were all back there. It was quiet, though. All you could hear were a few billiard balls clacking together and the sound of the ball game scratching through the old TV in the back. Coop83 was there, lying down on a couch next to the TV, beer in hand, staring into the screen intently as usual. I don't know what the hell the man sees in baseball, but to each his own.

I plopped my tired body down into a particularly squishy couch. It was better than going right to bed. Tired as I was, seeing the shit people are willing to say about others' work gets me riled up. I had to wind down. I find sitting in a comfortable sofa for a half hour does the job quite nicely.

Without bothering to get up and turn around, Coop called out to me,
"That you, Cobra?"

"Yeah, it's me. What's up?"

"Get over here. We gotta talk."

Shit. I just sat my ass down on this comfortable couch. "All right, fine." I grudgingly pulled myself off the couch and walked over to where the TV was. It was a sorry-ass 19" CRT that barely displayed images anymore. I wish they'd just get rid of that thing. Coop seemed to still be glued to it, watching the friggin' Yankees play again. The TV was so shitty that I couldn't even tell what team they were playing. I sat myself down in the couch that angled next to Coop's. "What?"

"Let's talk about General. You got any recent intel on it?"

"What's to know? People dying, malicious Flash rampant, the usual hell-hole of a district. What of it?"

"That's the problem. It's really getting bad over there. You have a plan on fixing it?"

"Fixing General? You're out of your fucking mind." He really was out of his fucking mind. Fixing General is like trying to declare world peace.

"Excuse me, soldier? Care to check that tone of yours?" Coop actually bothered to take his eyes off the screen for a few precious seconds to give me a bad look.

It wasn't nice having him stare back at me like that.
"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. But I can't say I get your drift, though. And why me?"

"Look, you're the Lieutenant Portal Violations Officer. It's your job. Phantomlassuk is out of town, so that means you're up."

"I get that just fine. But what do you mean? Fix ALL of General? The place is a war zone!"

"Yeah, and you're a soldier. Seems like a fit. Point is, if you ever want to be a commissioned officer around here, you better start acting like one. I'm sick and tired of having the soldiers around here shun away from General like the fucking plague is down there. It's time for everyone to start growing a pair and start doing what we're supposed to."

"I see your point. But how do you propose we start?"

"That's where you come in. General is full of goons and thieves. The true malicious citizens of Newgrounds. That's your department, as you seem to be our resident violations expert."

"Yeah, but aren't we understaffed to start patrolling General? We don't have enough soldiers to patrol the other districts as it is."

"This is true. Then why not do a little recon? Get some face time down there and show that General will be protected like any other district of this city."

"Yeah, but who around here has the balls to go into General?"

"Judging by how you talk around here all day and night, I'd say you."

Gulp. "Me? How many soldiers would I have with me?"

"Just you. We need to do recon, not stage a friggin' skirmish."

It was just what I needed. More shit to clean up. Now I get to fuck around in the worst place in America. "When do you want this thing to go down?"

"Tonight. Better head out now."

"Tonight?? Are you fucking SERIOUS?" A couple of people turned their heads at me. I didn't care "What the hell is this all about anyway?"

Coop stood up at that point. He didn't look happy. "Watch your tone, Sergeant. I'm tired of your posturing around here like you own the fucking place. You want to play with the big boys? Now's your chance to prove yourself. I expect some results tonight. Good intel, good reports, and you'd better have a detailed plan on how to start cleaning up General by week's end."

Someone started chuckling behind my back. I spun around to see who the hell it was, but they shut up pretty damn quick. Cowards. "Fine! You'll see. You better go sit back down, though. You might miss the next run the Yankees get."

I stormed off to the locker room to get armed. This would require some serious firepower. Who knows what the hell pissed off Coop. He always did this late at night when he was alone with his thoughts. Maybe the Yankees were losing. I really didn't care. All I know is that he was calling me out, and I would sure as hell put him in his place for embarrassing me like that. I stuffed my damp trench coat full of grenades and extra magazines of blammunition. I'd need it. I'd also need an energy drink. Or three. This was gonna be a long night.


By the time the damn subway got me over to the General district, it was almost one in the morning. I was buzzing on my energy drinks, but I knew it wasn't going to last. Coop had better promote me for this. As I went up the stairs and out to the surface street, I was amazed at how bad the General district actually was. First off, there was not a car in the street. I guess no one was willing to take a chance getting their car jacked, defaced, stolen, or otherwise destroyed. There were tons of vagrants that were taking up residence in the streets. The place was desolate of any action besides the occasional snore or cough in the alleyways. No wonder no one came down here. This place wasn't scary. It was just plain

I started walking up the street towards what would be the far end of the Flash Portal. The Portal itself was huge. Most of it was in the General district, which comprised the whole Northeastern side of Newgrounds. The Portal basically lined the Northern side of the district. It was about two miles long, and it stretched all the way from the western end of the WI/HT district, into the General district, and all the way east near the city limits. It was no wonder so many malicious Flash got past judgment these days. No honest citizen would dare patrol this part of the Portal. They'd end up dead from a malicious user before they'd get two votes in.

I decided then it was best to try to do some Portal protection. Probably the best way to start cleaning up General, after all. It was time to set a little example that we're not taking their shit anymore and that we're reclaiming the Portal for the sake of the citizens. Time to give stand up and give credit to those that do right and stop these spammers from taking over. It sure as hell won't turn this place into friggin' Pleasantville overnight, but it'd be a start.

By the time I was approaching the Portal, I noticed another person striding down the street. The person was keeping quiet, but walked around like he owned the place. I knew he was up to something. Sure enough, he was headed straight for the Portal as well. I couldn't see him too well as he was wearing a black trench coat and was walking briskly. I started to follow him, as he probably was a mass-voter or a spammer ready to upvote some malicious Flash.

As would inevitably happen, I noticed a malicious Flash right down the street. I wasn't going to let this guy get away with letting it pass. I quietly pulled my rifle out of my coat and loaded a magazine, ready to shoot it into oblivion. However, before I could squeeze off a shot, the Flash was blammed in a blaze of gunfire. The man had a rifle of his own, and from the looks of it, it was some serious firepower. While he didn't upvote the flash like I expected him to, he must've had his reasons for being down here, and with a weapon like that, he was dangerous. I had no choice.

"Stop! This is the Elite Guard!" I trained my weapon on him and started to move toward him. The bastard basically disregarded me as he turned and started to run away, his trench coat bellowing behind him. Shit.

I gave chase as he ran straight for the Portal, and cut right onto the street that paralleled it. We were literally right next to the Portal at this point, running parallel to it. The faint glow of the Portal afforded me some contrasting shadows so I could see this guy in the rainy night. As I was running after him, some asshole spammers decided it was a great idea to release their crap through the Portal. One of them materialized in front of me and immediately turned and started to attack. I instinctively brought up my weapon and emptied a whole magazine of blammunition into it. It didn't drop easily, but at least it dropped. As the device fell to the ground, I continued to chase after the suspect as I reloaded my rifle. He was already outpacing me by half a block. Damn was this fucker fast.

The spam onslaught certainly made things difficult. They kept spawning all around us, making a fun little obstacle course that both of us had to dodge around. It was almost like these spammers knew we were there and specifically tried to stop us. It didn't show signs of stopping either, as all of a sudden five or six malicious Flash came out all at once and blocked the street. Luckily, they came through the Portal ahead of the suspect, so he was trapped. It would be good for me for sure: six flaggings and a criminal in custody. Say "hello" to a Deity Whistle and a nice promotion.

That's when things got weird. Not only did this guy not stop, he sprinted faster. As he dashed towards the malicious Flash, he jumped, did a flip
over the Flash and landed behind them, barely breaking his sprint. Whoever this guy was, he was good. I had to stop myself when I realized I was about to slam into an army of malicious Flash that were now aiming for me. I lobbed a grenade at them, but I didn't bother to see the results of it. I turned right and ducked into a nearby alley, heading South and away from the Portal.

The alley was dark and it was hard to see. The buildings I was squeezed between were quite tall and didn't afford much breathing room. I shuffled down the alley as I noticed a few dark characters congregating towards the exit. I held up my rifle as I realized they weren't the welcome wagon.

"Step aside!" I shouted as they started to come closer. It was obvious they were armed as well, and were looking for trouble.

"You have a lot of balls coming down here, rookie. I thought you Elite Guard bastards learned it wasn't your place down here."

I was quick to reply in kind. "You'd better step aside before a bullet gets lobbed in your skull."

"If I were you I'd be worrying about your epitaph, not my skull." One of them lobbed a grenade towards me. I had to duck back behind a dumpster before the blast went off. Sure enough, the blast shook up the entire alley as it pushed the dumpster back on its wheels and knocked me back. Hearing shuffles down the alleyway, I scrambled to get up and rushed down an alley that branched out behind me, towards the east. As I was halfway down the alley, I realized I left my rifle behind. I rushed out the side of the alley, turned South and ran further away from the Portal. I noticed an entrance to the subway and made a mad dash for it.

By the time I reached the subway entrance, I flew down the stairs and took out my sidearm, loading it. I noticed a train was sitting at the station ready to depart, so I hopped the turnstile and rushed for one of the doors before it closed. As I hopped into the subway car, my heart was beating like a race horse and I was frantic. I quickly searched the car and noticed it empty, except for someone covered-up in a blanket in one of the seats. I immediately cocked my blam pistol, pointed it at him, and screamed "FREEZE!"

The person jumped up and screamed himself, throwing their hands in the air. He was speechless as he started at my pistol trained on his forehead. The person was obviously a vagrant that was sleeping in the subway car overnight, and probably scared to death by my entrance. I stood there several seconds staring at him, as my brain was trying to catch up to my body. The only sounds you could hear were my panting and the noise of the subway train clanking away from the station. I eventually uncocked my weapon, dropped it, and panted out a "sorry" to the person.

My heart slowing down, I limped over to a seat on the far end of the car and plopped down. The humming along of the subway car was a welcomed silence over the action that took place by the Portal, and it was obvious General wasn't the place to take your constitutional walk. It made my mind turn to think about that guy I was chasing. Who the hell was he, and why the hell was he going around blowing up malicious Flash like that? It didn't make sense to me. He sure didn't act like he was a malicious person, but what citizen gets ahold of a rifle like that? I didn't get a good look at it, but it was obviously contraband. Only the serious gangs down there had the ability to pull that kind of firepower, and as I learned pretty damn quickly, anyone going around protecting the Portal was a target for half the friggin' population down there. All I know is that I was getting a headache trying to wrap my head around it.

I checked my watch again. It was 2:03 AM. What a night. Here I could be sleeping by now, but instead I'm in some dingy subway car waiting for it to take me all the way back to the C&C section back in the middle of town. I rested my head back on the glass behind me as I stared up at the ads that lined the car. Stupid shit, too. There were ads for the latest work from illwillpress, like people didn't know about Neurotically Yours already. There was also a nice banner for Time Fcuk, which was apparently the latest adopted work by the NG Admins. Not to mention some ad for Billy Mays' Portal-Clean, whatever the hell that was. Stupid shit that kept the masses complacent, I guess. What a city to live in.

It was encroaching 3AM by the time I dragged myself back to the Barracks. When I got inside, it was dark and quiet. I headed back to the rec room to see if anyone was there. The only light left on in that room was the light of that shitty TV crackling in the back. Sure enough, Coop was still lying on his couch dead asleep, beer still in hand. I headed to the locker room to stash what was left of my gear, and headed upstairs to my bunk. What a night.

End of Chapter 1


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Chief Barracks Officer
Chief Barracks Officer

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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:24 pm

Re: Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks

by EagleRock

Chapter 2 - Reinstatement
Originally Posted on October 31st, 2009

Inside the Barracks Records room, ismael92 was alone, going over the latest roster update.

Good thing Lizzardis did this last update…I didn't have the energy to do it yesterday. I spent the day going over previous rosters and managing the archives, only to come across rosters from the start of the Barracks…all the way back from 2005. This Barrack was a lot different back then. As a matter of fact, it was weird seeing all of the old members back in their heyday. I even saw SlashFirestorm's first roster appearance as a new Elite Guard Private. He didn't Private for long, though. The abilities of these people back in the day were crazy. I wish I could've seen Slash in action back then.

It got to me, you know. Looking back at these rosters, and all the people that died. The original Barrack roster was full of superstars by today's standards. Most of them were Supreme Commander by the time that Battle Royale started. It's unfortunately that by now this story, despite the fact the 47 people died and the fact that all of Newgrounds was hijacked, is ancient history. It's amazing what people will not think about to keep themselves complacent with life. Only people like Lizz, Coop, and myself are the ones that think about this stuff nowadays: the ones that keep our noses in the records all day long.

I will say this about being the Records Officer: I love it, but man is it a thankless job. People sure do appreciate having a nice updated roster all the time with as much info you'd care to know, but it doesn't do you well to keep your head stuffed into a bunch of books and spreadsheets all day long. I don't go out on the Portal as much as I'd like since I'm so busy in the Records Room all the time. As such, I haven't really advanced as much as I'd like to. I'm still just a Staff Sergeant, and advancing is hard for me. I do get a lot of respect around here, which is nice, but I'll be damned if I'll ever make Supreme Commander like this.


I was just finishing up checking over Lizz's work for the month. Damn good job, actually. As I was archiving the roster, I heard a bit of a commotion outside. I filed away the latest entry and headed out of the Records Room into the front lounge of the Barracks. When I entered the main lounge, I found Lieutenant CBO Coop talking on the phone. He sure sounded happy to be talking to whoever he was talking to. I only started listening in on the middle of the conversation, though:

"Okay, okay, calm down. Tell me what you saw. … What? … Who? … You're talking crazy, you know that? … That's impossible! … Look, you're talking about ancient history here. You know for a fact you couldn't have-- … Whatever. So what else did you need to tell me? … Really? … Both of them? … Well, whatever the hell you saw really knocked some sense into you people. I sure can be glad for that. But I don't think-- … Look, I don't have time for this. Just get your ass back here and we'll talk then. But I don't want to hear about that anymore! And don't you dare bring it up around here. You know what that would-- … God dammit, stop this! You KNOW it was not him, and nothing will bring them back. You're smarter than that, dammit! … Look, you really need to lay off the sauce, man. It's screwing you in the head. … Just get back here, all right? … Yeah, your setup is still here. … Yes, I'll get them set up too. … All right, great. See you then."

Coop just sat down for a second with his head in his hands. He then lifted his head up and stared at me. He then got up and started walking towards me and the Records Room entrance.

"Ismael, I need you in the Records Room." Ugh, this couldn't be good. I walked into the room with him and sat down at the table in the center of the room with him. Coop immediately started the conversation. "Well, obviously you heard part of that conversation, so let me fill you in a bit better. That was Phantom that called.”

“Wow, really? What'd he want?”

“He called to tell me about some revelation he just had. He was acting all happy and glee about it, too.”

“Wow, that's not like him at all. Was he drunk or something?"

"No, actually. He sure sounded sober to me. But he said that because of this revelation of his, he is coming back to the Barracks full-time."

"Really? Wow, that's great! He's a hell of a soldier. Having him on active duty again will boost our power considerably. It'll probably give morale a nice kick, too."

"I agree. The man is a B/P machine. He deserves the utmost respect around here, too, even if he does have a drinking problem."

"Well, I guess I can understand that. From what I've read about what you guys dealt with, it must really have been brutal."

I think I hit a nerve with Coop at that point. He looked downtrodden all of a sudden and started staring down at the ground. "You'll never know what we go through from day to day. I'm not happy that Phantom took refuge in a whisky bottle over it, but I can't say I blame the man. He took the weight of the Barracks on his shoulder with a heavy heart the very day we got out."

This begged a question I probably shouldn't have asked, but I did it anyway. "Sir, I don't mean to ask stupid questions, but why did it affect the survivors so much? I've seen my fellow soldiers fall and it never really affected me....not to that degree, anyway. Obviously I mourn for those lost, but this whole thing practically destroyed you all."

Coop sighed as he rested back in his chair, letting the front legs come off the ground as he looked up at the ceiling. "You'd have to have been there and been a part of it to understand, ismael. It wasn't like we walked on out to a random battlefield somewhere and decided to fight these people. We were trapped.” Coop let out another large sigh as he continued. Talking about it was obviously difficult for him. “In all honesty, Wadolf really had the opportunity to kill us at any second if he so chose. It was only due to his sadistic nature of wanting to play around and torture us that we're alive today.”

“Say no more, Coop. I understand completely, and I'm sorry to have brought it up. I know it's tough to talk about, sir.” I understood at that point exactly what they went through. I'd never feel the pain, but I understand why they were all hurt as bad as they were...they were toys. They were basically tossed around by Wadolf like a cat bats around a mouse before the inevitable kill. No wonder everyone eventually broke down because of it. Hell, even I couldn't help getting depressed just thinking about it...I can only imagine how Coop really felt.

“It's okay, ismael. I understand your curiosity. I'd rather people know about the story, as long as it won't be a terminal buzzkill for them. Anyway, Phantom said that this big revelation of his was that he met someone out on the street in the General district, and apparently this guy talked some sense into him.”

“Huh? Just some random guy out on the street? That makes no sense.”

“That's the funny part. This guy had an Elite Guard issued rifle with Phantom's tag on it. He gave it to him right there on the street.”

“Really? How the hell did he manage to get a hold of that?”

“That's what bothers me. I was here when he turned in that weapon, and I saw him give it to Slash.”

“I dunno, sir. That sounds kinda fishy to me. Slash isn't the kind of guy that just lets random Elite Guard weaponry leak out on the street.”

“I know, ismael. I don't know what to make of it either. But I believe Phantom for sure. Or at least if it's made up, he believes it himself.”

I gotta admit I'm wondering to myself what Slash is doing all the time outside of the Barracks. I'd dare not say anything to Coop, though. “Well, however he got Phantom's rifle, who was this guy?”

“I—I'd rather not say. It sounded like Phantom was confused about it, and I'd rather not stir up controversy over it.”

“As you wish, sir. So I should update the records and indicate Phantom is back on active duty?”

“Yes, ismael.” Just then, Lizzardis walked into the room with papers in his hand. He stopped when he saw the two of us conversing and saluted.

“Sorry, sirs. I didn't know you were having a conversation in here.”

“No, it's okay, Lizz. Ismael and myself were just talking about some soldiers that are returning to active duty. We were working out the details.”

“Great news, sir! Who is returning?”

Lizzardis sat down at the table and plopped some papers down. Looked like copies of his latest roster. I replied to him, “Supreme Commander Phantom is returning to active duty, Lizz.”

“Wow! It'll be great seeing him around again!”

Coop chimed in as well. “That's right, Lizz. However, there's something else. Apparently Phantom ran into two old Barracks members in General that night and they're coming back with him.”

Lizz looked like he was in shock. “Really? Two more members as well? Who?”

“PossiblePancakes and Andrea364.”

Holy shit. Three survivors coming back to the Barracks. As good as this was to hear, I had pangs of doubt as to whether this would be good for the Barracks or bad. I mean, after all, these people were royally scarred. Either way, I wouldn't bring it up to Coop again. Instead, I just replied, “Great news, sir! I'll prepare bunks and update the records as well. Am I just bringing them back into active duty?”

“Yep. Same ranks and all. Phantom mentioned they've been B/Ping all night in General and are ready to return. He said expect them in an hour or so.”

Lizz was elated. “This is great news! Best news for the Barracks in a while!”

“Wow...tough bastards they are,” I added.

“Nah...General isn't that bad. Everyone just thinks it is. That reminds me...I sent out Cobra to check out General last night. Time to get a report from him.” Coop got picked up the phone on the nearby desk and activated the PA system.”

“This is LCBO Coop83 speaking. Sergeant Cobra, please report to the Records Room immediately. Coop out.” The PA System crackled off as Coop hung up the phone. “We'll see what he came up with last night.”

That sounded a bit crazy to me. “Sir, you sent Cobra into General by himself? Isn't that suicide?”

“Quite the contrary, ismael. He's an Elite Guard. He can hold himself in a skirmish. So can all of you, you know. The problem with the soldiers around here are that you're all too scared of General to even step foot near it. We need to change this.”

Just then, SlntCobra1 knocked on the door and entered. He looked embarrassed and not too happy to be here. “Sit down, Cobra,” Coop said sternly. Cobra did so. “So tell me what you found out there, huh? How'd it go?”

Cobra didn't look like he wanted to speak at all. “Nothing much, sir. Just what I expected. Malicious Flash are rampant out there, and there are people that want to kill you left and right.”

“How'd you hold up down there? Catch any perpetrators?”

“No, sir.”

“I heard you came running back to C&C with your tail between your legs and less one NCO-grade blam rifle.”

Cobra hung his head in shame. Lizzardis chuckled quietly to himself. Coop immediately turned towards him and said, “You think this is funny, Sergeant?”

Lizz's face went from giddy to pale. “N—no, sir. I was just laughing at how you described it. I mean--”

“You can laugh at all you want, Lizzardis, but it takes balls to go into General all by yourself and come back alive.” Cobra raised his head up at hearing this. Coop turned toward him. “Cobra, know that I sent you there for a reason. I knew it would be rough, but knew you'd make it out no problem.”

“But sir, I lost my--”

“There are other rifles in the armory you can take, Cobra. Issue yourself one later. The point is, you made it back in one piece, and shook things up a bit over there.”

“Shook things up, sir? But I barely lasted out there without needing to turn and run.”

“Yeah, but put yourself in their shoes. Things are going great, they scare off the NG Police, they scare off the Elite Guard, and they even scare off the NG Moderators. Now, all of a sudden, you show your face alone, with no backup, with nothing but a rifle in your hands. What do you think is going through their minds right now?”

Coop's ideas were becoming very clear to me. I had to chime in at this point. “They're going to expect more of us. And they are worried we're going to come back in larger numbers.”

“Exactly, ismael. You stole the words out of my mouth. Don't you see what you did just by showing face, Cobra? You're stirring the pot.” Cobra managed a weak smile. “However, I did send you down there for another reason. I don't think it's a secret that you've been acting real cocky around here and it's been getting to people. Now, there is something to be said about having confidence in yourself, but there is also something to be said about overconfidence. One of these can take you far in this life. The other can get you killed. Get my drift?”

It became a bit clearer to me why Coop sent Cobra out like he did. He was killing two birds with one stone. It looks as though Cobra figured it out, too, as his face sobered. He looked back up at Coop and said, “I understand, sir. You've made your point.”

“Good, Cobra. I knew you would get it. However,” continued Coop, “There is still the business of figuring out where to go next. Now, tell me about what you did down there, Cobra. What came to mind once you entered the district?”

“Well, the first thing I thought of was going to the Portal itself and giving the Flash down there some fair votes. I figured the only people voting down there were malicious and that tossing in some fair votes might send a message.”

Coop rested back in his chair again and popped a big smile. “Damn good idea, Cobra! See? This is why I sent you down there. So what happened when you did that?”

“Well, to be honest, when I was running along the Portal, malicious Flash were popping up left and right around me. It was almost like the authors knew I was there and knew where to strike.”

Why would he be running along the edge of the Portal? Something must've happened for him to be doing that. I chimed it to get some clarification. “Wait, running along the Portal? What do you mean?”

“Oh yeah. The guy that I was chasing. Some guy I saw down there that was attacking malicious Flash himself. I dunno who he was, but he had this black trenchcoat on and was sporting some weaponry I've scarcely seen before, even around here. I tried to stop him, but he was too fast for me. I ended up getting bogged down by the Flash and had to run off in the process.”

Coop just stared back at Cobra. He looked like he just got hit by a bus. “That's enough Cobra. I want you back down there tonight. I need you to find this person now.” It was obvious this guy was bothering Coop quite a bit. I wonder if it has to do with Phantom?

Cobra sunk down in his chair. “Again, sir? It was quite exhausting and took a lot out of me, sir.”

“I know, Sergeant. Don't worry, I have full faith in your abilities. Besides, you'll have support this time.”

“That's good, sir. Who will come with me?”

Coop sported a little smile out of the side of his face. “How about chuckles over here? Lizz, you're going with him.”

Lizz's jaw dropped. “M—me, sir?”

“Oh, yes. You two have fought side-by-side for a while. You'd make a great team out there. Just stay near by each other, keep in communication via radio, and keep yourselves safe.” Coop stood up as he walked towards the door. “And if you see that person down there again, I want him under military arrest and brought back here immediately.”

Coop walked out of the door and slammed it. I don't know what the hell got into him, but obviously that guy from General was pissing him off. He must have been the same person Phantom saw down there, which is why he didn't want to talk about it. I know Phantom has been a drunkard as of late, but it's not like him to get confused about stuff like that. Coop dismissed it like it was nothing, but there has to be more to it than that. Oh well. If anyone in this Barrack has a knack for having trouble come to them, Lizz and Cobra were the men for job.

...Shit. I just realized that Lizz would be out all night. Looks like I'll need to handle all the roster changes myself. Another night holed up in the Records Room for me...
End of Chapter 2


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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:25 pm

Re: Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks

by EagleRock

Chapter 3 – Remembrance
Originally Posted on November 3rd, 2009

Coop83 was upstairs in his quarters, thinking over the events of the day.

I don't know why Phantom had to do this...he knows better than this, dammit! The man is level headed, yet when he gets that damn booze in him, he could see anyone or do anything. What a waste. Now he's going around drudging up the past as if he can change it. Nothing can change the past. Nobody can do it over. No one will come back from the dead. That's it, and that's final. There are few inevitabilities in this life. Trying to go against them is the last refuge of the weak and pitiful.

I had enough of this. I had to clear my head and center myself. If there's one thing I'll never do in this life, it is let the Barracks down. Others might crack under the pressure or abandon their post, but I'll be here, leading this place day in and day out. That's what I do. I'm sure Slash has is reasons for being out of the Barracks so often, and I'm sure there's a good reason that he won't tell us anything about it. However, I have no excuse to leave my post, and I won't crack under the pressure, either.

Some time out of the Barracks would help, though. Get some fresh air and clear my head. I know what I'll do. It's time to pay my respects to the dead. I haven't been to the cemetery in a while, and the trip would probably help me think things over. Even though it's 1800 hours already, I don't mind going out at night. An hour or two out there will hopefully give me some focus on what to do next.

And hell, the Yanks don't start until 9.


Lizzardis was downstairs getting ready to head out to the General district with SlntCobra1. He took time to collect his own thoughts.

I know I shouldn't have laughed like that. It was a knee-jerk reaction from all the times we joked around. It was just the four of us: Krev, Cobra, Chop, and Lizz. We were comrades in the Newgrounds Police Department and we all eventually moved up to the Elite Guard. Unfortunately, Krev eventually left for her own reasons, and PorkChop left recently as well. Now it's just the two of us left. I mean, there are others in the Barracks we pal around with, like Supreme Commander ByteSlinger, but it's not the same. I mean, the soldiers in the Barracks are great and are our friends, but it's not the same as a tight-knit group that you've been a part of for so long.

I find that my own image in the Barracks seems to be one of a light-hearted guy, which unfortunately leads people to believe I'm not to be taken seriously. I've been referred to at one point as a guy that was “like a puppy dog.” Well, personally I think that's bullshit. Young I may be, and light hearted I am as well, but that doesn't make me weak and powerless. Even though Krev always called me “Tiny Lizz,” I'm still not to be underestimated. I can handle a rifle, and I've taken a serious oath to this Barrack. I will defend it and Newgrounds with my life, no matter what gets in my way.


“You ready to go, Lizz?” Cobra finished arming himself. If he wanted to try to fit any more weaponry underneath that trenchcoat, it'd probably require the assistance of the space-time continuum.

“Jeez, Cobra, did you bring enough guns? You're not Neo, you know.”

“I'm not taking any chances. It was rough out there yesterday, and I don't see why it won't be today.”

“Right, right. Can you even move under there?”

“I'm fine, Lizz. Let's just get the hell out of here. It's already past six. It'll be dark by the time we get over there.”

“Fair enough.” We exited the Barracks, stocked to the brim with blammunition. Cobra got ballsy and decided it was wise to take 2 rifles and no less than 5 pistols with him, but I'm satisfied with my own rifle. It may be standard issue and the same one the new recruits get, but damn if it isn't reliable. When I made it to Sergeant, they offered me the standard-issue NCO rifle, but I say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

We headed on down to the subway, ready to take the train over to General. The usual people were down in the train station checking tickets and whatnot, giving us a wave as we passed. Cobra and I were usuals for taking the subway around Newgrounds, and it gave people a good feeling to see us around. The Barracks might not have a great amount of face-time around here, but anyone that sees us around knows we're here to protect the Portal. As such, most citizens are always happy to see us walking around. The honest ones, anyway.

Cobra and I talked a bit about our marching orders as the train went by, keeping to ourselves of course to prevent anyone from hearing us. Not that what we were doing was strictly confidential, but it isn't wise to telecast your intentions for any convenient ear to pick up on. Time bled on as the train slowly crept across the city, eventually bringing us deep into the General district.

By the time we exited the train, we were back on the far end of Newgrounds again. You could tell, too. While none of these train stations in this city could be called anything close to “clean,” this place was obviously stretching the definition of “dirty” to new heights. Or lows, I should say. We stepped out to find only a handful of people walking around, all rushing around, scared as usual. As we were ready to exit out of the turnstiles, a Portal Security officer guarding the station saw us. While we had our long coats on, our weapons weren't exactly hidden. The officer immediately grabbed his radio and reached for his weapon. Cobra and I almost instinctively flashed our badges to the officer, who immediately relaxed and saluted us.

Man, was he relieved as ever. I can't imagine being a Portal Security officer trying to guard this place. That'd be like trying to stop a freight train with a rubber band. I mean, not that the Portal Security officers can't do their job, but who'd expect such a rookie to last down there? I can't imagine how many of these people end up dead down there. What a sordid state of affairs this is.

Anyway, as we passed the turnstiles, we slowly ascended to the street level. Sure enough, it was close to 1900 hours already, and the setting sun afforded little illumination to the area. The large, smoked out buildings that surrounded us didn't help, either. It may not have been sunset yet, but it might as well have been midnight.


Coop83 had made it to the Newgrounds Cemetery which was located on the Southeastern side of Newgrounds, down in the eastern section of the Flash Gallery district.

Man is this place just plain depressing. I mean, not that cemeteries are meant to be happy and jovial attractions, but I'm surprised people can even walk through here without breaking down. Here I am a Supreme Commander who has been in worse spots than most, and I still can't get through this place without driving myself crazy. It really starts to hit me as I come up to the section reserved for the Elite Guards fallen in battle. Seeing the rows of fallen soldiers is hard to stomach, especially when I reach my destination at the edge of the cemetery.

There they were. Seven stones across, three stones deep. The twenty-one graves of the Elite Guard soldiers that fell. They were stuck all the way in the back, but it was a special spot, I admit. The graves had their own small hill that they rested on, with two white oak trees on either side. Still, I feel like no amount of special care will ever make up for what these people went through. I still wish I could've done more to this day.

There was EagleRock's grave, right in the middle of the first row. His gravestone was simple, but told the story:

Supreme Commander EagleRock
Died: 20 August 2007

“For the Protection of the Portal”

By now, the sun was completely set and the cemetery was washed in darkness. Yet another night had come upon this city. I stood there, ready to speak to EagleRock and the rest, as if they could hear me. I didn't care if they couldn't. I had to say it anyway.

“Sirs, I'm so sorry for what happened. I still feel like we could've done more. It bothers me to this day that I feel like there might have been away to get you out of this, and yet here you all rest. I am at a loss at what to do at this point in my life. I try to move on day to day, but it gets harder as they go by. I wish I could have some form of guidance to move me forward. I wish I could run this place as easy as you seemed to be able to. If you hear me now, please, please, give me some kind of sign.”

I knelt down and touched the two graves which were closest to me, EagleRock, and Sentio's. I bowed my head in reverence, closed my eyes, and proceeded to say a small prayer. As I finished, I kept my head bowed. I then heard someone walking up to me break a twig under their feet. I quickly shot up and spun around to see someone lurking behind, staring at me and the graves around me. I couldn't see the person at all, but the second they saw me spin around, they took off and ran.

I immediately gave chase. I had no clue who he was, or if he was the same guy Cobra and Phantom saw the other day. Either way, there was no way in hell this guy was getting away from me.


Lizzardis started patrolling the General district along with SlntCobra1.

“Okay, just like we said, Cobra. Let's get to the Portal and start from there. If we stick together and watch our backs, we'll be able to hold our own for the night.”

“Right. Follow me. I'll take you down where I met that guy and got that flood of malicious Flash.”

Cobra started walking North towards the Portal. The streets around here were surprisingly barren, and even at 7PM, when late rush hour usually kicks around the area, the place was deserted. I'm sure it wasn't that much busier during the day, either. You really wouldn't believe how shitty it was down here.

Anyway, by the time we reached the Portal, there was no sign of any Flash or anyone in the nearby area, save for the standard group of stray vagrants living in the alleyways. Both Cobra and I locked and loaded our weapons as we stared at the huge Portal that stood in front of us.

“So, now what?” I asked Cobra.

“To be honest, I really don't know...I mean, when I came here last, I barely got near this thing without getting bombarded by Flash left and right. Maybe we should patrol around for a bit.”

“Good idea. Did you want to split up a bit? We can stay on this street, just head a block away on each side. Either one of us should have decent range to support the other in case something serious happens.”

Cobra kind of gulped at what I said. “I guess we can do that. Just stay in sight. I don't want to lose you out here.”

“All right. You take the right, I'll take the left.” I started patrolling down the street as Cobra slowly slunk away in the other direction. We were both quiet and barely making a sound. Having full city combat gear and boots with soft rubber soles kept us damn near invisible out here, even to each other. The last gloaming bit of twilight had already put itself away over the horizon as I scoped around the area. The Portal was to my right, glowing in the darkness, barely illuminating the street which had no benefit of street lights. Good.

Cobra started radioing me. “Hear anything over there?”

“Nothing yet.”

“Just keep me posted Lizz. Holler if you need me. Cobra out.”

I had to squint to try to acclimatize my eyes to how dark it was out here. Staring at the Portal, despite the fact that its glow is subtle, can kill your night vision rather quickly. I kept going forward, not seeing sight or sound of a Flash. That's when I heard some distant shooting noises a block or two ahead of me.

Immediately, I took to a quiet run, following the source of the noises. My heart beat loudly as I carried myself carefully down the street towards the source of the noise. By the time I reached the street it was coming from, I crept up to the corner ahead and stopped just before the intersection opened up.

As I peeked around, I saw no less than 5 malicious Flash attacking a person wrapped up in a trenchcoat. He was moving very quickly and was forced to constantly dodge all forms of attacks from these Flash: body blows, electrical shocks, you name it. Anything that a robot could conceivably do to attack a human being was being done here, and it was quite obvious it was personal.

This person moved quick, though. Quick enough that these robots couldn't get a single blow on him. He kept up the dance, sporting nothing but a .50 caliper blam pistol, which he used to systematically take down the Flash one by one. I think he even punched his hand through one of the screens of the Flash. Either way, this guy wasn't to be trifled with. Whoever he was, he knew what he was doing. This had to be the one that Cobra met up with yesterday. I still couldn't understand why Coop was so interested in arresting this guy, as he seems to be doing good for the Portal, not bad. May Coop wanted to scout him. Maybe he knew him. Either way, I had to bring this guy in. I caught myself starting at him in awe as he skillfully handled all of the flash singlehandedly, with not a scratch. Once all the Flash were destroyed, he took to reloading his pistol, holstering it, and starting towards the Portal.

As he approached the corner I was hiding behind, I carefully positioned my rifle in prime position for attack. When the timing was right, I jumped out from around the corner, gun in hand, screaming out, “FREEZE! HANDS IN THE AIR, DAMMIT!” As if guided by instinct, the person grabbed inside of his trenchcoat and flung his arm forward. As the side of his trenchcoat artistically bellowed away from him and behind him like a cape, it revealed a rather large rifle, locked and loaded. With only one hand, he held out this weapon and pointed it straight at my head. The street lamp behind him showed off exactly how powerful the rifle was, complete with scope, laser sight, extended clip, and just about anything you could conceivably snap on a rifle.

Gulp. Now I see what they meant back when I made Sergeant. I really would've appreciated the more powerful rifle right now.


Coop83 started to give chase after the person that was lurking behind him in the cemetery.

There was no way in hell I was letting this mope get away. I've been through too damn much in this life to let someone get the best of me. It happened two years ago, and I'll be damned if it will ever happen again. I don't care if it costs me my life, I'm going to find out who that fucker was.

As I darted through the rows of headstones around me, I made sure never to lose track of the guy. I slowly but surely was gaining on him, as he tried to twist and turn around the graves. He wasn't as fast as Cobra described him, but he sure didn't want to be seen, I can tell you that. I've seen people run when their lives were in the balance, and this one was doing just that.

I have no clue why he was lurking around the graves he was, but this person made a big mistake. Wrong place, wrong time. His ass was mine, no doubt about it. The cemetery was too large and he was in too open of an area to escape. Besides, if necessary, I had my sidearm ready to shoot. There was no way in hell he was getting away.

We were running for a good five minutes. Muscle fatigue was setting in, but there was no way I was stopping. He didn't seem to show signs of stopping either, but I was still gaining on him. By now I was a mere five feet away, which seemed miles away considering the pace of the chase. He wasn't wearing a trenchcoat like Cobra said, but he was someone with something to hide. If he wasn't our man, he sure is someone that doesn't want to be found.

Eventually, he made a mistake. Not looking at the ground, he managed to stumble on a low grave. Tripping forward, he had the agility to stay on his feet, but it was too late, I doubled my speed and tackled him to the ground as hard as I could. Sidearm out, I cocked it and put it to the back of his head, screaming in his ear. He dare not budge as I barked orders for him to put his hands behind his back . After I cuffed him and he was sufficiently secured, I pulled him up and spun him around, all the while still at gunpoint. Since there were no lights around, it was too dark for me to see his face.

It was time to find out who this fucker was once and for all. I reached behind me on my belt and released the flashlight I kept with me. I switched it on and shone it in his face.

When I saw who it was, I took a step back. I couldn't believe my eyes.

End of Chapter 3


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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:25 pm

Re: Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks

by EagleRock

Chapter 4 – Recognition
Originally Posted on November 4th, 2009

Coop83 stared at the person he was chasing through the cemetery.

I couldn't believe who I was standing in front of. I couldn't even think. All I could do was speak.


TheThing sighed at me and lowered his head. “Yes, sir. It's me.”

I still was barely able to comprehend what just happened here. “Why in the hell were you running away from me? Don't you know how relieved I am to see you alive?”

“I—I know, sir. But I had to run.”

“But why? I don't get it, Thing. You die in one of those skirmishes, yet now I see you've been alive this whole time? How is that even possible?

“To be honest, sir, I never died in that match. I was wounded pretty badly, but I faked death. I knew I wasn't going to be of any help in the skirmish, so I figured I could try to stage something afterwards to save us.”

My heart was pumping even more from this news than it was from the running we just did. “Go on. Tell me what else happened! How did you escape?”

“Well, I waiting until nightfall when I assumed everyone would leave the map. I figured I could do something to get out of there, but I was caught by a moderator that was cleaning up all the dead bodies.”


“Well, I lucked out. It was Denvish. He didn't seem too keen on the whole thing, so he wanted to help me out.”

“Really? What'd he do?”

“He took me out to the dumpster trucks that carried out the 'leftovers' and told me when and where to jump out. The driver never even saw me. I was back in the city, and I was free. Denvish instructed me to lay low and assume a pseudonym if I wanted to stay alive.”

“Interesting...but still...why still hide yourself from the Barracks at this point? The Battle Royale has been over for two years!”

“Well, I was ordered to, sir.”

“Ordered to stay away from us?”

“Precisely. I can't go into details, either. In fact, I shouldn't have even let you catch me.”

“It's kind of late for that now. But regardless, this is still great news. I mean, if you're alive, there must be other survivors!”

“Well, sir, I wouldn't bother to go looking.”

“Why? If you made it through, there could conceivably be more that are still alive. Not all of the bodies were recovered, you know.”

“I know, sir. But...trust me. Don't go looking.”


Lizzardis had his rifle trained at the head of the mystery man at point blank range. The man had his own considerably larger rifle pointed right back at Lizzardis.

“T—This is Elite Guard! I demand you drop your rifle immediately!” This guy was intimidating as hell. How he managed to keep that monster of a rifle trained at me with one hand was a mystery to me. I just hoped he was all show and no go.

“Is that supposed to impress me? You seem a bit jumpy at this, newbie. How long are they training you nowadays before putting you out to the slaughter?”

Man this guy was making me pissed. “I am Sergeant First Class Lizzardis, and I don't care whether you're impressed or not. I care about you dropping that rifle and putting your hands in the air.”

“An SFC using a pea-shooter like that? Don't make me laugh. Do you really go around the Portal protecting it with that thing?”

“Don't laugh. It only takes one shot to the head to kill you, you know. This gun is like an extension to my hand.”

“That's all well and good, Elite Guard Sergeant First Class Lizzardis. Now turn around and leave me alone.”

Now he's mocking me. “Negative. I need to bring you in.”

“I love your undying optimism here, but you're not in the position to be barking orders, Sergeant. Besides, even if you were, would you mind telling me the charge?”

“That weapon is restricted from citizens and I'm required to bring you in for using it.”

“First off, I'd like to see you try. Second off, how do you know I'm not authorized to use it?”

“You'd have a hard time convincing me you're permitted to use that rifle. Guns of that stature are only allowed to be used by Generals of the Elite Guard. Now I tire of this back and forth. Show me your hands!”

I heard him sigh audibly. I couldn't see his face, as he conveniently had a hood on. The street lamp behind him was bright enough, but his hood framed his face just right to cover it in shadow. His voice seemed to turn apologetic at this point. “I don't want to kill you. That's not why I am here. I suggest you leave me alone.”

“I am an Elite Guard of EagleRock's Barrack. I will protect this Portal and Newgrounds with my dying breath. If you want to stop me, you'll need to kill me.”

“Don't tempt me. I just might.” The man then quickly drew a sidearm with his other hand and shot a round of blammunition about 1 inch away from my right foot.

I probably jumped about a foot in the air when he did that. It took me completely by surprise. You'd think I could've reacted in a better way. I mean, here I am, an Elite Guard, gun in hand. This guy, however, was just plain fast. I knew for a fact that I couldn't beat him in a firefight. He was accurate, too. My rifle started to visibly shake at this point. “L—look. You say you are qualified to use that rifle. Simple. Just prove it, and all this will go away.”

“No.” His answer was quick and emotionless. I had to think quick. Thoughts rushed through my head as I tried to formulate a plan. I processed every single tactic, strategy, and scenario that my brain could manifest. It eventually came to one feasible result: an ultimatum. I knew what I had to do, but my brain gave pause to consider the choice.

There comes a time in a man's life when he might be presented with a situation that results in a life-or-death decision. It is something that is indescribable. The emotions that run through your mind turn the sands of time into molasses, as every millisecond crawls by waiting for the inevitable to occur. As the situation pans out, there are only two outcomes that will be a result of it. One points to life, one to death. I knew that making an ultimatum would bring me to that crossroad.

I am a member of the Elite Guard. I have sworn to protect the Portal with my life. I will not falter from that duty. If that duty results in my death, so be it. I re-trained my aim with my rifle and steadied my hand. It was time. “Last chance to drop that gun and show some ID. I'm counting to three. I WILL pull the trigger.”

No response from the guy. My heart was pumping adrenaline like it was no tomorrow. Time was almost at a stop. “One.”

I started at the person in front of me whose face was still covered by shadow. I couldn't read his thoughts or do a damn thing to figure out how he was responding. I was normally used as a specialist when it came to psychological tactics, but without a face to read, I was lost. “Two.”

Time just wasn't ticking at all. The person wasn't budging. There was nowhere else to go. Life or death. “Th--”

“All right, fine.” He lowered his weapon. My heart dropped into my stomach. What a relief.

“Let's see some ID, then, shall we?” The person lazily reached into his back pocket and tossed a wallet at me. I let go of the rifle with my left hand to catch the wallet in mid-air. Keeping my gun trained on him, I inspected the wallet from the light down the street. This wallet has seen better days for sure.

I flipped it open to see what was inside. Shocked as I was, it was a Supreme Commander badge shining back at me. In stark contrast to the state of the wallet, it was obvious that this badge was cared for quite a bit. It looked as new as the day it was minted. I saw the badge number stamped on the front: badge number 69. This had to be a hoax. I flipped the wallet around to see the ID card behind. I actually dropped my rifle when I saw the name: “Elite Guard Supreme Commander EagleRock.”

As soon as I realized I had dropped my rifle, I immediately drew for my pistol, which I managed to cock and point at the person's head before they had a chance to lift their rifle back up. “Thought I was a fool, did you? I'm FROM EagleRock's Barrack, and I know for a fact he's dead. I don't know how the hell you got this badge, but I want some answers now. SHOW YOUR FACE YOU COWARD!”

My echo boomed across the burnt out factories that lined the streets. The person's shoulders slumped slightly at my words. I had him where I wanted him. Gripping my pistol with my life, I watched him slowly as he cast back the hood that enshrouded his head. As soon as the light from the nearby street lamp illuminated his face, it was clear to me.

It was him.

I had never met him before in my life, but you get to learn your history as a Barracks Records Officer. Late nights in the Barracks Records Room actually did me a favor tonight, as I happened to always sit opposite the large portrait of EagleRock that was in the room. I'd never mistake that face for another. Granted, the face staring back at me now had an unkempt beard, tired eyes, and what appeared to a war-torn complexion, but it was sure as hell was him. I couldn't believe my eyes.

“S—sir? I—it's you! I mean...this...it's you! This is amazing!” I almost jumped in glee.

EagleRock didn't seem too pleased. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Congratulations. Good for you. Can I have my badge back now?”

“Oh, r-right.” I tossed him back his wallet. “But sir! This is an amazing thing! We need to get you back to the Barracks!”

As he pocketed his wallet, he gave me a raised eyebrow. “Get me back to the Barracks?”

“Sure! I mean, finding you after we thought you were dead for two years! This is unheard of! It's time to get you back there! Everyone will be so happy to see you alive! I can't believe this!”

“Will you stop acting like an idiot? I don't get what you're so happy about.” My elation stopped as it was obvious he was not happy about this. “Do I look like I'm fucking senile here? Sure, I might be twice your age, but I didn't exactly forget where the hell my Barrack was.”

“But—I don't get it, sir. Why wouldn't you want to go back?”

“I have my reasons. But I don't feel like explaining them to you. Suffice it to say this is how I operate now.”

“But, but sir! I mean—I must tell the CBO about this!”

Just then, EagleRock did what I didn't expect him to. He raised his rifle again at me. The laser sight was beaming out of his rifle and was pointed right to my forehead. “You will do nothing of the sort. I've lived like this for two years, and you're not going to come around and screw it all up.”

I didn't know what to say. I just closed my eyes out of fear. All of the things I heard about EagleRock...his valour, courage, and leadership, seemed to be lies. I had no clue I'd be meeting him tonight, but if I told you I'd be meeting EagleRock tonight, I would've expected to meet a very different person. It made me wonder how much of what was written about him was the truth. I also started to wonder what the Barracks really was all about.

As my thoughts turned in my head, my radio started crackling. “Lizz, come in! Come in! I need help over here now! They've got me surrounded!”

“Oh, shit,” I said aloud. I wanted to answer him, but I dare not move with Eagle's rifle in my face.

Eagle looked at me for a second before he responded. “Well? What kind of an Elite Guard are you? Aren't you going to save him? Where is he?”

“He's back there, sir, right down the street.”

“Well let's go, dammit!” Eagle then took off down the street, rifle in hand. It took a split second for my brain catch up to the situation, but I grabbed my rifle and started to follow him as fast as I could. Both of us flew down the street, the Portal faintly glowing to our left. As fast as I was running, Eagle was breaking away from me at a pretty good clip. For someone that was supposed to be dead for two years, he sure could move fast.

As we ran down the street, we saw commotion in the distance. It was good that Cobra stayed on the same street, as it made it easy for us to find him. Only problem was that he was a good 5 blocks away. By the time we reached him, it looked like the Flash were already besting him. There were a good 4 or 5 surrounding him, and he was just knocked back against the wall of a building.

EagleRock let out a primal scream and shot his blam rifle up in the air. Immediately, the Flash bots charged at him and left Cobra for dead. EagleRock was soon in a skirmish with the Flash, doing the same “flight of the bumblebee” thing he was doing earlier. I tried to take aim and shoot at the Flash, but everything was moving around too fast for me to take a proper aim. I dared not hit Eagle.

Instead, I ran over to where Cobra was and helped him off the ground. After he quickly acknowledged he was okay, he and I went to assist against the Flash. Man, these bots were vicious. It was almost like the mere presence of us put these things into complete death-and-destruction mode. I've seen my share of malicious Flash, but man, this was a different league altogether.

By the time Cobra and I joined the fray, Eagle had already downed two of the Flash, leaving us three to finish off. Eagle, Cobra, and I had managed to corral the Flash together. We surrounded them in a circle-the-wagons formation, keeping them in one place. It was time to do them in for good.

Just before we could strike, though, all three Flash took their final gambits. They all lunged out at us, each one taking one of us. While I wasn't expecting them to do this, I was prepared. I pulled my trigger and landed every round into the bot. It exploded in front of me and ended its tenure as a malicious Flash. I looked to the right and saw that Cobra managed to down his Flash bot as well. I looked to the left and saw Eagle was having a bit of trouble. It looked like the Flash managed to knock him back off his feet and caused him to stumble and fall on his back. EagleRock hit the ground hard, as the Flash quickly closed in on him. The Flash was poised to kill, too.

BLAM. Between my gunfire and Cobra's, that Flash was pulverized in a hurry. Eagle laid back on the ground for a second with his eyes closed. He didn't look hurt, but he sure looked exhausted. Before either one of us could go to help him up, he windmill-kicked his way off the ground. He dusted himself off and picked up his rifle. “Jesus Christ, these Flash are out in droves, tonight. I'm getting too old for this shit.”

Cobra was calming himself down as well. As he took a deep breath and started to calm himself down, he stared at EagleRock. “Hey, wait, you're that sonofabitch that I was chasing last night!” The fast action of the fight didn't give either of them time for proper introductions. Cobra immediately drew his rifle on EagleRock. Eagle was quick to bring his weapon up as well. Ugh. Not this shit again.

“God dammit, Cobra, put your gun down! This is not how you act in front of a superior officer.”

Cobra turned towards me. “Now is not the time for jokes, Lizz. And I don't care if you're a higher rank than me, I am NOT saluting you. Now let's bring this guy in!”

“This 'guy' is Supreme Commander EagleRock. He also just saved your life. Care to show a little respect?”

Cobra's eyes went wide. He immediately turned towards Eagle, lowered his rifle, and saluted him smartly. Eagle rolled his eyes as he lowered his own weapon and walked past him. He started to walk away from the Portal, down the street running South from it.

Cobra and I just stood there, wide-eyed for a second. “Wait, sir!” I eventually called out. “Where are you going?”

He turned around briefly. “I'm going to get a drink. I've had a hell of a day.” Cobra and I just stood there as we saw him walk away. I still couldn't wrap my head around why he was doing this. I knew I had to find out, but it wasn't easy trying to do so. When the guy points a rifle at your face every time you say something he doesn't like, it tends to dry up the conversation a bit. By the time he was halfway down the block, he stopped and turned around to us. “Well, are you coming or not?”

“Y—yessir,” I stammered. Cobra and I followed him into the night.

End of Chapter 4


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Chief Barracks Officer
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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:25 pm

Re: Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks

by EagleRock

Chapter 5 – Hot Tip
Originally Posted on November 9th, 2009

Lizzardis followed EagleRock up to the bar along with SlntCobra1.

We walked a good 5 or 6 blocks to where Eagle was taking us. We didn't say anything along the way. I didn't feel like getting threatened to get shot again, to be honest. By the time we reached this place, I was throughly underwhelmed. The bar was about as seedy as they come, and the inside was full of hopeless people. Why the hell was EagleRock taking us here?

When we first walked inside, I figured we'd stick out like sore thumbs. Between the three of us, we had enough weaponry to stage a war down here. However, everyone just basically kept to themselves and thoroughly ignored the three of us walking up to the bar and sitting down. Now I see why Eagle likes this place.

The bartender walked up to us. “Drinks, gentlemen?”

“Nothing for me, pal,” said Cobra.

“I'm on duty,” I replied.

“Double scotch. Single malt. Neat,” said EagleRock.

“Ah, a scotch man. Shame you weren't in here the other day. We had a thirty-year single malt in stock, but someone pinched it last night. All we got of the single malts now is a twelve-year old from Speyside. That work for you pal?”

EagleRock smirked. “That's fine.” EagleRock seemed to know his liquor. Why am I not surprised? The bartender placed a glass of whisky in front of Eagle. He picked it up and started sniffing it lightly, staring ahead at the bar.

“So,” I said to him, “I don't think we ever formally introduced ourselves, sir. I'm Sergeant First Class Lizzardis, the Lieutenant Records Officer, and this here is Staff Sergeant SlntCobra1, the Lieutenant Portal Violations Officer.”

EagleRock didn't bother to turn toward us. “Charmed, I'm sure.”

“Sssooooo...” I continued, “What did you bring us here for?”

“This,” he said as he took a sip out of his glass. He looked to enjoy it greatly. I don't know much about hard liquor, so I didn't really get the appeal.

“Sir, I'd really like to know why you've been running from us.”

“Yeah,” Cobra added. “I damn near got killed chasing you.”

EagleRock continued to sip his scotch. “That much is my fault. Those Flash you ran into yesterday weren't after you, by the way. They were after me.”


“Yep. Got myself a pretty big reputation down here. I'm a particularly large thorn in the sides of these spammers, so they've been trying to off me for months. Unfortunately, you showed your face down here, Cobra. What makes it worse is that you seem to have been spotted around me. So, naturally, they've tagged you as well.”

Cobra didn't look too happy. “Well, that explains that. But you didn't explain why you ran.”

“Isn't it obvious? I didn't want you to find me. I would've gotten away, too, if it wasn't for Sergeant Persistence over here sticking to his guns.”

I guess he was talking about me. “Really? You had a rifle in my face and didn't exactly looked scared. I thought you were gonna kill me for sure.”

EagleRock sighed. “I don't kill Elite Guards. Especially ones from my own Barrack. Trust me...it was an empty threat.”

Jeez...I can tell he's pretty bummed over this whole thing. You can tell by his body language, too. He wasn't a man of small stature, yet here he was slumped over a bar basically tucking himself in. “Well, you don't blame me for what I did, do you sir?”

He took another sip of his drink. “No. You were just doing your job. I'll tell you, though, I thought I'd never see Elite Guards in General again. And I'll give you some credit, Sergeant. I've been in countless confrontations over the past two years, even with Phantom himself. I was able to elude, trick, or coerce anyone that tried to stop me out here...until you came along.”

Holy shit...it just clicked for me. THAT is what was bothering Coop before. I'll bet you that's why Phantom is returning to active duty, too. It all makes sense now. “I guess you ran into Phantom yesterday, huh?”

“Yep. Knowing him, he's probably telling it to the hills already. Unlike most of the confrontations I deal with, though, I actually came up to him. He was too boozed up to see who the hell I was, but I gave him a good talking. Shook some sense into the bastard. I can't stand people that drink themselves to death.”

Cobra jumped in. “Yet you're sitting at a bar here drinking hard liquor.”

“I know how to drink, okay? Unlike some other Supreme Commanders that frequent this place, I can control myself and leave myself sober. Why do you think I'm sipping scotch out of a rocks glass? If I really wanted to get hammered, I'd be doing tequila shots from here all the way to the floor.”

Somehow, this conversation quickly turned towards alcohol. I had a feeling EagleRock was trying to shift the conversation away. I'd be damned if I was gonna let that happen. I didn't come here for a meet-and-greet...I came here for answers. “All right, all right. That's enough, Cobra. There's still questions I had for you, sir. Like, how the hell are you alive, anyway? You were killed in the Newgrounds Battle Royale.”

“Do I look dead to you? I never died.”

“I remember the exact recounts of that match from the Barracks records. You were shot in the head by Wadolf at point blank range with a Desert Eagle. That sounds like you were killed to me.”

“I'm sure it did. Did the records also say I had a kevlar helmet on?”

“Well, no--”

“And did the records note that the bullet actually skimmed the side of the helmet, and not actually hit me square? Wadolf may have been a great shot and a hell of a madman, but he wasn't one to control rage well. He was royally pissed that day, so much that he never even noticed that I was barely winged.”

“Holy shit,” I replied. “Do you know the guilt that SlashFirestorm has about that day? He'll be so happy to find this out!”

“Somehow, I greatly doubt that he's be surprised. Slash already knows.”

My mouth hit the floor. “WHAT??? Slash is the one that goes on and on about your death and the deaths of the others! You'd need to be deaf and dumb to miss his speeches about our ideals and how we need to live up to them for those that fell!”

“Slash beats himself up for everything that happened down there, but he sure as hell knows I'm alive. Actually, he's the one that helped me escape. If you remember the story well, you'll note Slash had disappointed Wadolf by not shooting at me. What you don't know is that he was sent down to the map after dark to clean it up and dispose of the dead bodies. I was wise enough to stay put until I had a chance to make an escape, but Slash knew I was faking death the whole time. He approached me and helped me out of the map in the middle of the night.”

This was too much to take in at once. I felt like my head was going to explode. “I don't know what to think about it, sir. It's amazing...but unbelievable.”

“You can stop calling me 'sir,' Lizzardis. I'm not your superior. I'm not even in the Elite Guard anymore.”

“Yet you go around General all night blamming malicious Flash. Sounds like an Elite Guard to me. How do you stay armed, anyway? You can't find weaponry like that around here. Even the worst groups inside of General can't get ahold of munitions like that.”

“Slash keeps me stocked up. He'll meet me some nights and drop off payloads of blammunition, rations, and anything else I need. Keeps me going down here.”

“Speaking of Slash, why hasn't he told us about you? Why would he lie to us?”

“I told him to lie. He didn't want to lie to the Barracks, I assure you of that. The man begged me for forgiveness. I told him the only way I'd forgive him is by making sure my death was known to all, and that he made sure the Barracks never came looking for me. Naturally, after that whole ordeal, he was quick to comply.”

“I still don't get it, sir. There is no reason on this planet that you shouldn't be in the Barracks right now!”

He turned towards Cobra and me. It was the first time he turned and looked at us since we entered the bar. Now that I think about it, I don't think he was being rude. He probably has made a habit of keeping his eyes away from people to keep from being recognized. Seeing his face was awkward, as the portrait I know of him was made only 3 years ago, yet he easily looked 20 years older. The General district was not good to him.

“Look at me, Sergeant. I'm old. I'm past my time. I'm probably twice your age. I can't even hold my own in General anymore. Hell, I'd be dead if you didn't keep me alive tonight.”

“Are you fucking KIDDING ME? You basically handled that whole skirmish singlehandedly! You only got tripped up at the last second!” I couldn't believe what EagleRock was saying. If this he thinks he did poorly out there, I can only imagine what these old-school soldiers are really capable of.

“Three years ago that would have never happened. I would've had them all down before they had a chance to strike. Point is, I'm not fit to do this anymore. I've done my service. I've led the Barracks. I'm washed up and I don't belong here anymore. That's all I'm doing down here...running out the clock. These spam groups are getting stronger and stronger by the day, and it's only a matter of time before they get me for good. Why delay the inevitable?”

“But sir, you're still one of the strongest soldiers I've seen out there! The Barracks needs you...as a soldier, and a leader. Morale isn't the highest right now, and Slash barely shows up anymore! Having you back would turn things around for sure!”

EagleRock turned back towards his drink, staring down at the bar. “That's where you're wrong. I'm not fit to run the Barracks.”

“I'm sure many people would disagree with you, sir.”

“And if they were alive, I'm sure the 19 that died down there would agree with me wholeheartedly.”

“Yes, but sir, I read the accounts of that story very well. Nobody down there could have done any better than you! If it was anyone else, I don't think there'd be any survivors! It wouldn't be 19 dead, it'd be--” I just realize what EagleRock had said. “Wait a minute...19 dead? That means there's another alive!”

Cobra looked wide-eyed at the two of us talking. I don't think anyone ever really told him about the whole Battle Royale thing. I'm sure this whole conversation is shocker after shocker for him. EagleRock stared down at his drink for a second longer. “You're a quick one, soldier. You sure remember your Barracks history, too. You are right. There's one other survivor: Sergeant TheThing.”

Why did I feel like every sentence this guy uttered was basically throwing a monkey wrench into everything I know about this city? “Okay, first off, how do you know he's alive, and second off, why haven't we heard from him? Wouldn't he have come back to the Barracks?”

“I coerced him to stay in hiding. I'm not stupid. The second he'd have gone back there, they'd have been out searching for me. Even Slash couldn't stop them from doing so, I didn't want that. So, I swore him to secrecy.”

“Are you sure the rest are dead?”

“Absolutely. I didn't get 19 people killed and not do my homework to see if any survived. That's how I found TheThing in the first place.”

“Sir, you keep saying you got them killed. Wadolf killed them, not you. You can just be thankful that there were as many survivors as they were. It appears that there were seven...including you.”

“Imagine how that makes me feel. I'm alive, they're not. Some leader. I sometimes wish I let Wadolf off me right then and there.” He gulped the rest of his drink.

“Sir, being a good leader doesn't mean you automatically need to die whenever any of your soldiers die.”

EagleRock turned to stare at me again. “I know you're trying to help and all, and I don't mean to come off as an asshole here, but I really am not in the mood to get a leadership seminar from a guy that's half my age. Catch my drift, rookie?”

“Sorry, sir.” Wow this guy's words bit down hard. He was also the poster-child for being hard on yourself. “Look, we can talk more at the Barracks, sir. You...are coming back, right?”

“Hell no. And you're not telling a damn soul about me, either of you. I don't want any part of the Barracks anymore. I've done enough damage to it already.”

Talking to EagleRock was like trying to convince a brick wall to move. I wasn't going to give up, though. “I'm not convinced, sir. I believe you want to return and I will get you to come back.”

“You're wasting your breath. You did good even just getting me to show my face to you. Consider yourself lucky for getting that far. And don't make me regret it, either. I--” EagleRock cut his words off, as he showed signs of urgency and quickly glanced at a nearby table. He quickly turned away and looked down at his now empty glass.


“SHH! Those two in the booth over there. Cover your faces, too.” Cobra and I immediately complied as I strained to hear the conversation coming from the booth:

“You sure this is safe? You know, this is the second time we came in here. I dunno about this place.”

“Absolutely. Nobody important ever comes in here. Just a bunch of lowlifes and drunks.”

“Fine. So, you down tonight?”

“Maybe. Depends on if you make it worth my while.”

“Oh trust me, my friend. You want to be a part of this organization. We're poised to dominate, and we'd appreciate your talents on our side.”

“I'll swing by and check it out, but I'm not making any promises, you know. I don't trust you people yet.”

“Meet us in 30 minutes at the factory. The big one. Same one I told you about earlier.”

“Yeah. I'll stop by for a bit of a meet-n-greet. Better make it interesting, though. I don't need any wannabes wasting my time.”

“You can rest assured that once you see what we have going down there, you will be begging us to let you in. The meeting of the minds is tonight, and you'll see just exactly how much firepower we have at our disposal.”

“Whatever. I'd better get the red carpet treatment. Both of us know that you need my abilities to survive.”

The conversation was over that quickly. I dare not look, but I heard the two people stand up and shuffle out of the bar in a hurry. Once they closed the door. I looked at Eagle. “What was that about, sir?”

“We don't have much time. We need to get down to that warehouse now. I'll fill you in on the way. Let's go.” Eagle dropped 5 Grounds Gold on the table and got up to leave. I could already tell this was gonna be a long night.

Eagle, Cobra, and I quickly moved out to the subway to get over to the warehouse. We quickly headed down into the subway station nearby, carefully making sure we weren't drawing attention to ourselves. People tended to carry guns around here, but the weaponry we had on our persons was about as conspicuous as it could get. It was bad enough coming down here earlier with Cobra and his two rifles...now we have EagleRock with that big-ass rifle that could take out half a building.

As we dashed down the stairs, we came across another Portal Security officer guarding the turnstiles. All three of us instinctively flashed our badges at the officer, who basically gave us a look of amazement, wonder, and confusion. We ran into the front subway car and waited for the train to depart from the station.

EagleRock paced down and up the subway car checking for anyone hiding around. The car we were in was vacant, and there was only a handful of people in the car behind us. Still, EagleRock insisted on checking. Perhaps he was looking to see if the train was bugged, who knows.

We sat down in the middle of the car, away from the train behind us and the conductor up front. EagleRock leaned into us and started to explain the situation. “Look, I've been following a lead for weeks on a new spam group that is forming. I had these two pegged as looking for trouble the second they walked in. I know something is going down tonight.”

“Really?” said Cobra. “Nothing like this at all came across the Portal Violations Desk. Are you sure about your lead?”

“Positive. Don't you realize how much shit you people miss by staying away from General? Anyway, I think I know where this place is. It's all the way on the Southeastern side of the district. There's a huge factory that used to be owned by the Armor Games corporation. They moved out of it years ago to a bigger location outside of Newgrounds. But this place is huge and has been abandoned since. I can't think of anywhere else they'd meet.”

“Sounds plausible,” I added. “How far away are we?”

“At this time of night, the subway can get us there in just about 30 minutes. That's why we needed to hurry down here. At least the warehouse is closely positioned to the station.”

Knowing it would be a little while before we would be in action, I rested my head back against the glass window behind me and closed my eyes. My body responded to the soothing rattling of the subway's wheels against the track with a feeling of sleepiness. I felt the strength of my body dissipate as the effects of sleep started to envelop my senses and dull them. I all of a sudden wished I was asleep in my bunk. My body had been through a good amount of stress tonight, and it was obvious it was asking for some recharge time. However, I knew I couldn't acquiesce to this, because we'd be involved in something serious not too long from now. My body seemed to insist, though, so I eventually drifted off to sleep.


I woke up to a smack in the face.

“Hey! HEY! Tiny Lizz! Come on man, you better get bright...we're approaching the station!”

I shook my head to clear out my listlessness and looked back at Cobra. “I'm up, I'm up...” I sat up and gave a quick look around to see where I was, and sure enough, nothing changed. EagleRock was still sitting across from me in the subway car.

Eagle had a smirk on his face. “Tiny Lizz?”

“Oh shush. I didn't make up that nickname, okay? I know it's a bad one for an Elite Guard.”

“Most people don't make up their own nicknames. Though I wouldn't be ashamed of yours. In my experience, you don't want to mess around with a guy named 'Tiny' that is holding a rifle.”

The man had a point, I'll give him that. By now I was back to my alert self and ready to go. The train was slowing down and inching forward to the station. The three of us stood up and waited at the door for it to open. EagleRock looked like a track runner waiting for the pistol to go off. He looked back at us and said, “No turning back, soldiers. The warehouse is a block away from the station. They'll probably see us the minute we hit the surface.”

I gritted my teeth as the doors flew open. The three of us ran like bullets out of the train and made a bee-line for the stairs. As we dashed upward step-by-step, I couldn't imagine what was coming up ahead of us. All I knew is it wouldn't be pretty. At least I was in good company.

End of Chapter 5


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Chief Barracks Officer
Chief Barracks Officer

Posts: 487

Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:21 am


Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks

by EagleRock

Chapter 6 – Man Down
Originally Posted on November 28th, 2009

SlntCobra1 was running up the stairs to the street, following EagleRock and Lizzardis.

I must admit that the conversation between EagleRock and Lizz was interesting, but it was really about a bunch of stuff I never heard before. I mean, I'm glad to know EagleRock is alive, but when he started talking all about this Battle Royale thing, I really was getting lost. I know Lizz tried to tell me this story a million times before, but I really couldn't have cared less at the time. Now I wish I listened to him. Either way, story time would have to wait. If Eagle really knows what he's talking about and he isn't just batshit crazy, then I'd need to concentrate.

We reached the top of the stairs and I looked out onto the street. The warehouse Eagle was referring to was in plain sight straight ahead. Also, it looked as though the warehouse already had company. There were people scrambling outside and what looked to be a good 3 or 4 getaway cars that were speeding away from the scene. The large doors of the warehouse were wide open.

“Move out, soldiers!” cried EagleRock as he double-timed it towards the warehouse. Nobody was around, at least from what we could see. Still, we weren't stupid. All three of us had guns drawn and ready to shoot at the slightest sign of life. And, sure enough, out came someone, guns blazing. This guy had two pistols in his hands and he dove out from the warehouse door like he was friggin' Neo. I didn't get a good look at his face, but then again, I didn't have much time. EagleRock headshotted him before his body could reunite with the ground.

“Jesus!” cried Lizz. Can't say I blame him, either. It was shocking for sure. Eagle knew how to move and shoot. No wonder he made such a fool of me yesterday. We slowly crept up towards the huge warehouse door, keeping watch for anyone inside. Once we reached the entrance, we were able to take discreet looks inside to see if anything was moving around in plain sight. After a clean spot check, we all were ready to charge inside.

I certainly expected the unexpected when we got in there, but what we saw was certainly a shocker. There was Supreme Commander Phantom lying on the ground in a pool of his own blood. “SHIT!” yelled out EagleRock as he saw his body laying down on the ground. “Cover me!” he yelled as he ran to check on Phantom. I dare not lower my weapon as I scanned the entire area for signs of enemy fire. “He's still alive! I'm bringing him outside! Keep me covered!” Eagle proceeded to pull Phantom out of the warehouse as we still covered his back. I couldn't hear a speck of noise inside there, so it was kind of eerie in that way. I expected anything from a spammer to a zombie to jump out from around a dark corner in there.

Once Eagle got Phantom to the curb outside and away from the warehouse door, he immediately started checking Phantom's vitals. He started putting his feet up and covering him with his trenchcoat. Eagle then pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and dialed a number quickly. “Hello?...Slash, is that you?...Yeah, it's me. Listen man, we have trouble here. Phantom's been shot and he needs to get to the hospital now!...You know every well that ambulances don't like to come down to General. We need an EGB Hummer down here! It's at the old Armor Games warehouse at 2800 Fulp Boulevard...Yeah, please do, 'cause he's pretty bad off...All right, he'll be outside. Thanks.”

Eagle turned to us. “Okay, Slash is sending us a Hummer, and they're completely disregarding any form of law to get down here. It'll take them about 5 minutes. Sergeant Lizzardis, keep an eye on Phantom while Sergeant Cobra and I are going inside to check out the warehouse. We'll be out in a minute to escort him to the hospital.”

“Yes, sir, but why me?”

“Because Cobra has the better rifle and seems to know how to use it.”

“Sir, I was the one that stood up to you!”

“And the next time I need a negotiator, I'm coming to you. This is not the time to argue. Cobra, move out!”

I hauled ass behind Eagle as we went inside the warehouse. All of the lights were on, so it was very bright inside, especially compared to the dark outside. We quietly but quickly scoured the entire warehouse floor to ensure everything was devoid of humans waiting to kill us. Luckily, the warehouse was quite open and empty. The entire inside comprised of one large room with several large shelves that held copious amounts of stolen Flash. We were surrounded by the stuff. No signs of life, though.

We ended up coming back out of the warehouse to where Lizz and Phantom were. Phantom was barely conscious and didn't seem to know where he was. As we waited for the Hummer to arrive, EagleRock went over to check the dead person for clues. Besides the two pistols the guy had, Eagle only produced a wallet.

“Look at this, guys.” Eagle pulled out the user's Newgrounds identification card to reveal that the person he shot was Fleek.

“Holy shit,” said Lizz. “I didn't suspect him of this!”

“Hmm,” I added. “The warehouse didn't seem to be Fleek's style. Fleek didn't steal Flash at all. I have a feeling he wasn't the person that owned this place. I'd venture to guess he was the guy in the bar that was being invited over.”

“Sounds right, Cobra. Sounds like you know your Portal violators quite well. Let's check this wallet for more clues.” EagleRock kept searching the wallet for more information. Most of the stuff in there was stupid useless crap, though. Eagle was just about to toss the wallet to the side when he noticed a small flap on the inside of the money compartment. He managed to pull it up and reveal a hidden compartment. From inside, he produced a small letter, which he started to read.

EagleRock's eyes went as wide as dinner plates and his face became pale. He looked like he'd seen a ghost. “Sir?” said Lizz. “Sir, are you all right?”

EagleRock stood in a trance for a second before he shook it off and looked up at me. “It's nothing,” he said, as he stuffed the letter and the wallet in his pocket. “We need to worry about Phantom right now. We'll deal with Fleek later.”

“But--” said Lizz.

EagleRock stared at Lizz with intensity. “No 'buts.' This is not the time nor place. We'll deal with it later.”

“Y―yessir,” Lizz responded. EagleRock had that hardened look on his face again. Whatever it was, it wasn't good. But he was right...it'd have to wait until Phantom was in good hands.


Supreme Commander ByteSlinger quickly drove her EGB Hummer down to the Southeastern General district to the address that SlashFirestorm gave her.

I must admit that this vehicle does not garner the respect it used to on the highway anymore. I remember back in 2006 when I first came to this city, I was quite amazed at the sight of these huge vehicles that brought the soldiers all around the city. I remember hearing all about the Elite Guard and the skills and weaponry they used to protect the Portal. It didn't take me long after that to learn how to blam and protect. I knew right away that it was meant for me. I had unsurprisingly heard that most the Elite Guard was full of elitists and chauvinistic people, that that wouldn't stop me. I knew it was my goal to have a badge on my chest and a rifle in my hand, out there doing my duty for this city, I wasn't going to let a bunch of idiotic men stand in my way.

It took me a few years, but I finally found my place in Newgrounds as a protector of the Portal. I quickly made my way through the little odd-jobs around the city until I was accepted into the NG Police force. While I was glad to have steady work in the field I wanted as a Police Officer, I must admit it was a bit of an anti-climactic job. You'd be surprised how many men scoffed at me. It didn't really phase me much, though, as I just plodded along and kept working towards getting promoted and keeping an eye on the ultimate goal of being an Elite Guard. The name was calling out to me as I clawed my way up the ranks of the police force until I was given that acceptance letter that fateful day. I made it.

Being a female Elite Guard private was admittedly not easy, but hey...I was doing what I wanted to and what I was destined for. I was often tossed around from outpost to outpost with little sense of direction, as if I was being held back. It only pushed me harder to advance, though. As if an ironic twist of fate depicted my life, all of that adversity ended up helping me in the long run...I had become one of the strongest soldiers in the entire Elite Guard. Few could outpace my abilities, and it was obvious I was destined for more than just a nominal role as a non-commissioned officer. You could tell the signs of reluctance on my commanding officer's face as he was forced to push me through the warrant officer positions and eventually promoted me to Captain. Every pep talk I'd get from that brainless bastard seemed to hint “Ok, that's enough,” but it wasn't enough for me. I wanted more.

Eventually, I got fed up with the adversity and was ready to move on. I had heard a lot of gossip from my fellow soldiers about EagleRock's Barrack. Regardless of whether the talk was good or bad, all of the talks about the place indicated it was controversial at best. Few were willing to even acknowledge its existence, almost as if they had a chip on their shoulder over the place. Despite this, I was willing to take my chances and requested a transfer to there. I remembered that the place was given a lot of face time in Newgrounds back in 2007. The whole Battle Royale thing that had taken place during the city redesign really shook it up, though. I had heard the Barrack fell into obscurity, and rumors spread that it was closing down. I didn't care. If it was going to be the Barrack that might give me the respect I deserved, I'd be damned if I wasn't going to find out about it.

I was quickly accepted by Supreme Commander SlashFirestorm, despite the fact that my former CO kept basically no records of my achievements to date. I was quite pleased to see that EagleRock's Barrack was in fact alive and kicking, and it was full of people that I was looking to be around. People didn't seem to care about who you were around here, just what you were capable of. As you might have expected, in a place like this, I moved up the ranks rather quickly. I was promoted to a Supreme Commander within a period of six months. The leadership around here was great. Slash was an exemplary leader, at least when he was around to show it. Coop83 made a great Lieutenant to Slash, even though he was a bit rough around the edges at times.

All of the officers are great around here, and everyone gave the respect that others deserved. It makes me sad I didn't get to see this place in its heyday, before the Battle Royale of 2007. Back then, this place was unstoppable. The way Slash talked about EagleRock, you'd think the guy was a demigod. I'm sure a lot of it was exaggeration, but even Slash himself is an incredible fighter out on the Portal...when he still does it. Unfortunately, he's not around the Barracks that much nowadays, so you don't get much face time with the Chief Barracks Officer anymore.

You can imagine my surprise this evening when I personally got a call from him. He told me about an Elite Guard that was gunned down with multiple shots and required medical transport to the hospital. Luckily we always keep a medic-equipped Humvee stocked and ready to go. The ambulances don't exactly get speedy response times out in the General district anymore, so I had to head out immediately. That's where I was headed to tonight...to the huge warehouse at 2800 Fulp Boulevard. I was only a minute or two away by now. I had no clue who was out there or who was hurt. I hated knowing one of my fellow soldiers was down out there, and only hoped I wasn't too late.


By the time I reached the warehouse, I could see the large open door in the distance. I saw three people standing around a downed soldier. I gunned the engine, which brapped and roared in the night as I came quickly screeched to a halt in front of the warehouse. After pulling the e-brake of the Hummer, I jumped out and quickly ran to the back in order to pull out the stretcher. I didn't have time for pleasantries or even to see who was injured. A multiple gunshot wound situation was a simple run against the clock.

I rushed around with the stretcher, which I dropped down to the the floor. I paused for a split-second when I saw it was Supreme Commander Phantom on the ground. I looked up and saw Sergeants Lizzardis and SlntCobra1, along with some unkempt individual in Elite Guard combat fatigues whom I didn't know. “Let's go! Time is of the essence here! Get him on this stretcher NOW!”

They sprung to life and helped me gently coax Phantom onto the stretcher. He was unconscious, but his feet were elevated, head supported, and covered with a trenchcoat. He looked to have been properly treated for shock. He would make it if we properly hauled ass over to the hospital. Luckily the Hummer's suspension would allow me to speed down the road, no matter how poor of a condition it was in. It would cushion the ride for Phantom, too.

We managed to get Phantom in the Hummer with little trouble. The hospital was about 10 minutes away from here, so I really had to get moving. I barked out a quick order to everyone, “Cobra, give me backup up front. You two, keep Phantom comfortable in back. Move out!” I jumped in the front, and waited for all the doors to close before I dropped the e-brake and hit the gas.

The Hummer roared to life as it pulled us away from the warehouse and up North on the road towards the hospital. Cobra was sitting shotgun with a rifle in-hand. You'd never know who would try to stop us in this area, so I needed someone to stave off any random idiots that tried to get in my way. I continued to give orders to the two in the back. “Make sure you're still treating him for shock. See if you can stop the bleeding with pressure to the wounds. If the wounds are too large--”

The soldier I didn't know interrupted me and said, “Don't worry, I am fully medically trained, and I've got Phantom under control. Just get us to the hospital and I'll make sure he's all right.”

I must admit that being interrupted pissed me off a bit, but I wasn't going to cause trouble. Phantom needed help badly, and I wasn't going to let an insignificant thing such as pride get in the way of his safety. However, I wasn't going to roll over like I was some insignificant Elite Guard, either. I dealt with that enough in the past, and I didn't make it all the way to Supreme Commander just to be degraded once again. I gave the guy the benefit of the doubt, though, as I'm sure he was more concerned about Phantom, just like I was. However, if he kept that up afterward, there'd be words exchanged, for sure.

I swiftly glided us down the road, eventually coming upon the general hospital that bordered the C&C district and the General district. Pulling the EGB Hummer into the emergency entrance, I slammed on the brakes, screeching the large vehicle to a halt, garnering the attention of the triage nurse and other staff inside.

Pulling the e-brake again and jumping out, I immediately ran to the back to grab Phantom's stretcher. Lizz and the other guy jumped out back, pulling out Phantom along with them. We carried his stretcher inside and ran him into the automatic doors. The staff inside had already grabbed a roller stretcher with fresh linens, so we pulled off the coat that was blanketing him and helped move him to the new stretcher. They took off down the hall with Phantom, with the guy I didn't know following behind them. It was odd that they let the guy go by, as they usually don't let non-medial personnel go into the emergency room unless it was a good friend or family of the person in this hospital. It was all strange to me. Lizz, Cobra, and I went back outside to park the Hummer.

As we pulled the doors shut and started to pull out from the entrance, I couldn't help but ask. “Who the hell is that guy?”

Lizz reponded, “Byte, you wouldn't believe who he was if I told you.”

“Try me.”

“Trust me...you don't want to go there. It's complicated.”

Huh. I didn't push the issue, as Lizz was never one to hide anything from me. So, I parked the Hummer and we walked back to the hospital, waiting for word on Phantom's health. We sat in the waiting room for about half an hour until the soldier finally came out to meet us.

Lizz immediately spoke up. “Well? How is he?”

The soldier responded, “Phantom is okay. He's stabilized at this point and the bullets are out. He lost a lot of blood, but he was given a transfusion and he should be fine after a few days under medical observation. He's sleeping right now, though, and he needs rest.”

“Well, at least he's okay,” Cobra commented. “He had me scared back there.”

“You and me both, Sergeant. I've seen him take a lot of bullets before, but nothing like that.”

Huh? Who the hell is this guy, anyway? Apparently he used to serve with Phantom, too? It was time to find out. “Excuse me for asking, but I'm Supreme Commander ByteSlinger, and I was wondering if you could tell me who you are.”

Lizz stared at me with a bit of fear as the man sighed at me and handed me his wallet. “This is me.” I opened the wallet and found myself staring at the badge of Supreme Commander EagleRock. This had to be a joke.

Lizz read my mind. “It's true, Byte. I recognize him from his portrait.” He stared up at EagleRock staring down at us. “But sir, didn't you say you didn't want people to know about you?”

He gave out another defeated sigh. “Yes, I did, but all of that changed when I read that letter.”

“What letter?” I asked.

“This.” EagleRock produced a letter out of his pocket. “We found this on Fleek's person back at the warehouse full of stolen Flash.” I took it and started reading it aloud:

Dear Fleek,

We are pleased at the thought that you will consider coming to work with us. We know you are fully aware of our potential and are willing to offer you a considerable position in our group if you are willing to join. You will be approached by one of us soon to determine the meeting time and location. Please bring this letter to our meeting, as we will require it for identification purposes. We look forward to meeting with you!


The Star Syndicate

I nearly dropped my jaw when I read that. Below the closing were seven signatures all in a row of the seven leaders of the Star Syndicate: Onestar to Sevenstar. They were supposed to have been taken care of years ago. As far as I knew, Sevenstar was still in jail after that whole debacle. I looked up from the letter, speechless for a minute. This had to have been a hoax. It had to. I mean, if it wasn't a hoax, I can only imagine what danger all of Newgrounds was in right now. Lizz and Cobra didn't seem to take the news any better, either. The silence persisted for another minute until Lizzardis finally broke it.

“Sir...do you think this is real?”

“I think so, Lizzardis. The signs are all there.”

“What do you mean?”

“Think about it. A huge surge of malicious Flash as of late, a late-night meet-and-greet in a huge warehouse with enough malicious Flash in it to take down all of Newgrounds, and they run off and leave it like it was nothing to them.”

“Why would they do that?”

“Simple. They saw Phantom and knew their location was compromised. That's why they left. However, for them to abandon all of this, they have to have more power than we can imagine.”

Cobra jumped in. “But wait a minute...I thought the Star Syndicate was broken up. Isn't Sevenstar still in jail?”

“Last I heard. But that doesn't mean the SS can't reform. And that's probably why Fleek was here...he was going to join them.”

“Does that mean that they--”

EagleRock interrupted, “That they are recruiting and expanding? It sure appears so.” EagleRock just held his chin and looked down for a second as if he was in deep thought. This was not good by any definition of the term.

Lizzardis chimed in again. “Sir, what do we do?”

“We need to get back as soon as possible, that's what.”

“Get back?” inquired Lizz. “Back where?”

EagleRock looked up. “Back to the Barracks.”

End of Chapter 6


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Chief Barracks Officer
Chief Barracks Officer

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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks

by EagleRock

Chapter 7 – The Gathering
Originally Posted on February 16th, 2010

Supreme Commander ByteSlinger was driving the EGB Hummer back to the Barracks, along with EagleRock, SlntCobra1, and Lizzardis.

I must admit, that when I was woken up tonight by Slash, I expected bad things to happen. I expected a fellow Barracks member to be in serious trouble, which was true. I expected the need for fast medical transport from the General District, which did occur. I expected to be thrown into a situation that required the need of highly trained Elite Guard personnel, which was also true. I did NOT, however, expect to be put into the situation I was in tonight.

Not only was I now privy to the fact that EagleRock was alive and well, but I find out that he's exposing himself tonight because of the threat of the resurgence of the Star Syndicate. He explained to me the details of his survival and TheThing's survival as we rode back, but it was still surreal and as if I was in some kind of alternate time and dimension. I really didn't know what to think next.

The SS's return was not as incidental as it sounded, though. It was obvious that this “New Star Syndicate” would include all sorts of people, including the likes of Fleek. This, and the huge warehouse full of stolen Flash they abandoned, meant that they had power, and lots of it. I barely had time to wrap my head around it, though, as we were already back in the C&C District and reaching the perimeter of the Barracks entrance gate. The time for silent contemplation was quickly running out.


I punched in my 12-digit passcode on the keypad which slid open the electrically-charged metal gate that allowed the Hummer passage to the Barracks grounds. I drove around to the garage plaza where I parked in the designated parking space. We all wordlessly exited and slowly walked towards the Barrack.

Just as we were about to enter the Barrack's front door, EagleRock stopped. He turned back at us and said, “If I know you people well-enough, you're going to wake everyone up to announce my return, right?”

Lizzardis was wearing a guilty face. “Well, sir, it is kind of a big deal. And you yourself said this Star Syndicate thing couldn't wait, right?”

“Right,” EagleRock replied. “However, there's a time and place for everything. First off, I need to speak with the officers about the SS and determine our plan of action. Then we can address the whole Barracks. But first, I'd like a few minutes to clean up a bit, ok? I'd prefer not to be seen like this.”

I guess EagleRock had a point. He did look very different than he was represented by the portraiture inside. His long hair and beard was, well, unbecoming, and it showed signs of graying. The guy could definitely use a shower, too.

“If I'm not mistaken, sir,” continued Lizz, “SlashFirestorm has kept your quarters and your office untouched since you left, except for the occasional dusting. I'm sure you'll find everything you need inside.”

“Perfect. Give me 30 minutes and then we'll have an officer's meeting in the War Room.” EagleRock then quietly opened the front door, as we all stepped inside.

“So, it is true.” A voice from the corner of the room immediately commented on our entrance. As I turned to see who it was, there was LCBO Coop83, along with TheThing sitting in the corner. “And here I thought I was going batshit crazy, listening to a guy that was supposed to be dead for two years.”

EagleRock turned to the two. “Well, well. Looks like someone else got caught, too.”

TheThing immediately stood up. “I—I'm sorry, Eagle! I tried the best I could to keep from getting caught...and by the time Coop caught me, he made me tell him everything! I know I shouldn't have said anything, but--”

“Oh, shut up, Sergeant. You can calm down...I'm not mad. I got caught myself. You're too nice for you own good, sometimes, you know that?”

“B—but you said if I ever—you would--”

“Idle threats, TheThing. I just really didn't want anyone to find me at the time. But we're past that now. There's more serious issues that we need to take care of.”

Coop83 looked annoyed. “Now wait just a goddamn minute here. First you waltz on in here after we thought you were dead for two years, now you're going to go around running the place?”

“I'm not running anything, Coop, nor do I want to. In case you didn't figure it out, I kept myself away from here because I'm not fit to lead this place.”

Coop's anger turned from frustration to confusion. “But—how could you say that? Since you left, we've done nothing but splash about like idiots in this Barrack! And in case you're wondering, none of the survivors have done too well with the guilt of your death on your shoulders...well, except for Slash, when he's here.”

Now EagleRock looked angry. “Guilt? You know nothing about guilt, Coop. Imagine the guilt I have over my head, watching 19 people die under my command. Imagine how I feel every waking moment knowing I survived and they didn't? Why wouldn't I want to be dead to the world with that on my conscience?”

“If that's the way you feel, then why come back?”

“I didn't want to...trust me. And I'm not here to 'take over' or 'lead us once more.' I'm here for two reasons. First one is because you train your bloodhound Elite Guards just a bit too well.” He stared at Cobra and Lizz for a few seconds. Lizz just smirked a bit. “Second, because of this.” He took out the Star Syndicate letter and handed it to Coop.

Coop read it for a minute before he donned a face of shock. “Dear God...how the hell could this have happened?”

“Because you stayed away from General too long. I'm surprised they didn't take over Newgrounds by now with all the free reign they had over there. I've sure as hell been busy keeping Flash at bay.”

“That's why I sent Lizz and Cobra down there, to start making a presence. Slash said for the longest time that we should never touch the General district again...it was too risky.”

“Yeah, I can imagine him saying that. But you were right for what you did. Unfortunately, it might have been too little, too late. Either way, we need to alert everyone about this.”

“Agreed. Do you want me to assemble the Barracks now, Eagle?”

“Not yet, Coop. I want to have a meeting with the rest of the officers in the War Room first. Once we have a plan of attack we can alert the whole Barrack. Give me a half-hour to clean up a bit, and we'll start the meeting, okay?”

“As you wish, sir.” EagleRock started to head upstairs to his quarters, before Coop interrupted, “Oh, and one more thing...”

EagleRock turned. “What is it, Coop?”

“It's—good to have you back, sir.”

EagleRock smiled. “You change emotions quickly, Coop.”

“Well, can you blame me? How would you feel if I did the same to you?”

“Betrayed, I'm sure. But I did it because I didn't want to hurt the Barracks any more than I did. And it was time for people like you to shine. I had to be out of the way, Coop.” Coop didn't have much to say after that. “I'll see you in the War Room.”

It was an interesting conversation to witness, to say the least. Also, I'm sure that War Room discussion would be all the more interesting as well.


Coop83 sat alone in one of the chairs at the large conference room in the middle of the War Room.

I will admit that that being in this room was strange. Since the Battle Royale, this room has been largely unused. At first, when we returned, Phantom had many meetings with the Newgrounds Admins, many of them in this room. However, as of late, we haven't had much need for this room, despite the technology in here. The surveillance equipment in here alone could fund a small country for a year or two. The server setup we had in the back room driving this stuff was impressive, too. Most of it EagleRock helped design himself, since he came from that field before he joined the Barracks. It was state of the art when it was installed a few years ago, but hasn't really changed all that much, sadly. It's still powerful and valuable equipment, though, and it basically just sits idle. Most of the intel we receive about Newgrounds I've been getting straight from Slash...over the phone, of course. I really wish he'd be more active around here, especially now.

EagleRock's return shook me up more than I'd care to admit. Seeing him and TheThing did make me quite happy, though. Finding two more Battle Royale survivors is a big deal. Unfortunately, the only reason EagleRock came back is because he came across a threat to Newgrounds so large that it seems insurmountable. Even though we know very little about this new Star Syndicate, it is blatantly obvious they're not doing it to screw around...they mean business. Just as I felt leaving that accursed Counter-Strike map, my happiness was accompanied with just as much sorrow.

So, here I sit. I checked my chronometer. It was 0104 hours on 22 August 2009. The meeting was supposed to start at 0115 hours, but I came up here early to ensure everything was in order. With Slash AWOL as usual, I was the guy in charge. I didn't want EagleRock to think I ran a slipshod Barrack in his absence.


The first officer to enter the room was the Records Officer, ismael92. He sat down quietly after saluting me and sat patiently waiting for the rest to arrive. I knew SlntCobra1 and Lizzardis would be a bit late, as I had just finished their debriefing, along with Supreme Commander ByteSlinger's. I only had time for a quick 15-minute session, since I knew the matter with the Star Syndicate couldn't wait. I excused them for a few minutes of absence due to the debriefing. After a few more minutes, Violations Officer phantomlassuk came in, followed by the Emergency Operations Officer, RohantheBarbarian. It was the first time I've seen him in a while.

“Good to see you, Colonel,” I said.

“Glad to be back, sir,” he replied. He had been gone for a while on personal leave, and this happened to be his first day back. “Are we going to start now?”

“Well, we need to wait for EagleRock, as he has the information we need.”

“Wait, what??” shouted Rohan. I just realized what I just nonchalantly said. I had to explain the situation to the officers. Luckily, save for Lizz, Cobra, and Slash, everyone was here, so it was time to explain it to everyone. I informed them about how he had been hiding out for two years after his death, along with TheThing. I didn't go into why Eagle did it, but I at least explained the how.

By the time I was finished explaining the situation, the three remaining officers to arrive had come into the room. EagleRock looked entirely different after cleaning himself up. His scruffy beard was gone, his hair buzzed down to his normal length. He looked like his old self again, and not like the vagrant that came walking in the door downstairs. That, combined with his formal service uniform, sure made him look the part of a Supreme Commander, all right.

“Yeah yeah,” he said, dismissing everyone's bolt-up saluting. “I can see Coop has informed you all about me, judging by the looks on your faces. But please remember I'm not CBO around here. Supreme Commander Coop83 is the commanding officer in this room, so please direct your attention to him.”

“Well,” I started, “I was hoping you would take the floor for this meeting, sir. As it turns out, you have the most field experience in General, and would best direct us for this particular threat.”

“Fair enough, Coop. Well, first off, I would like to know who I am dealing with here.”

I started to introduce the group to Eagle. “Well, sir, sitting to your left are Lieutenant Portal Violations Officer SlntCobra1 and Lieutenant Records Officer Lizzardis, both of whom you've met. To your right are the Portal Violations Officer, phantomlassuk, Records Officer ismael92, and Emergency Operations Officer RohantheBarbarian.

“It's a pleasure to meet you, sir,” replied Rohan.

“Likewise,” Eagle replied, “and that goes to all of you. But pleasantries must be withheld due to this pressing matter.” He placed the SS document on the table. “This was discovered on the late Fleek's person during a raid on a warehouse full of stolen Flash. As the letter indicates, there are supposedly seven active leaders of the Star Syndicate. Combined with stolen Flash, Fleek's presence, and other things, this all sums up to a serious threat.”

“This is a bit disturbing,” said phantomlassuk. “I had no reports come across the Violations Desk.”

“So your Lieutenant noted to me. This stuff has been squirreled away in the General district for a while. It's a damn good thing Coop83 decided to start taking back General, otherwise we might not have uncovered this.”

“But sir,” continued phantomlassuk, “Isn't SevenStar in jail?”

“Last I heard. That's what I'll need you to find out. I'm going to have you check up on him. I'm pretty sure he is still in solitary in the maximum security prison.”

“That's what we have on record,” replied phantomlassuk. “I'll confirm with the NGPD and the NG Mods and check up on him.”

“Good,” said EagleRock. “Get as much info out of you as you can. I don't really care how.” Eagle turned to me again. “Coop, what kind of numbers do we have in the Barracks these days?”

“Well, according to the latest roster from SFC Lizzardis, we have 27 in total,” I replied. Eagle's eyes closed for a second. I know it was a meager number compared to years ago. He looked disappointed, but if I had to take a guess, he was disappointed with himself.

I think Lizzardis noticed as well. He spoke up. “Well, sir, I last updated the roster in the evening. That was before you and TheThing showed up. We're up to 29 now.”

“Do you have the roster I can peruse, Sergeant?”

Lizzardis produced a one-page roster sheet for Eagle to look at. He handed out extra copies to the rest of the group. The roster was very neatly outlined and made for an easy overview of the Barracks:

Elite Guard Barracks Roster – 21 August 2009


Chief Barracks Officer – Supreme Commander SlashFirestorm
Lt. Chief Barracks Officer – Supreme Commander Coop83
Emergency Operations Officer – Colonel RohantheBarbarian
Portal Violations Officer – Staff Sergeant phantomlassuk
Lt. Portal Violations Officer – Staff Sergeant SlntCobra1
Barracks Records Officer – Staff Sergeant ismael92
Lt. Barracks Records Officer – Sergeant First Class Lizzardis

Active Soldiers
Supreme Commander Phantom
Supreme Commander Idiot-Finder
Supreme Commander Little-Rena
Supreme Commander byteslinger
Supreme Commander Shanus
Supreme Commander Fro
Supreme Commander aldlv
Comander Idiot-Buster
Sergeant First Class Calipe
Master Sergeant PossiblePancakes
Master Sergeant Marsupial
Sergeant SoulMaster71
Corporal Caraboo
Corporal perfect-insanity
Corporal KingExodus
Private First Class Andrea364
Private First Class KidneyThief
Private First Class silentisdeath16
Private puddinN64
Private Sheizenhammer

Respectfully Submitted
SFC Lizzardis, LBRO

EagleRock looked over the list while stroking his now short goatee. “Not a bad roster,” he replied. “I've heard of quite a few of these people, actually, and I'd feel comfortable going to battle with them .”

“Glad you think so, sir,” I replied. “What are your plans, exactly?”

“Well, I think it's pretty obvious what we need to do. It's time to take back General.”

SlntCobra1 piped up. “Are you mad? Has hiding out for so long made you crazy? We can't take back General just like that! Look at what we were through just in two nights!”

Eagle stared at Cobra for a second. “You still don't get it, do you? For someone so good at handling Portal violations, you can really be short-sighted.” Cobra didn't look too happy at that. Eagle could be blunt like that. “Think a bit harder about what exactly transpired down there. Between you, me, Lizzardis, and Phantom, we scared off an entire warehouse and let them abandon their stolen goods. The simple fact that we're down there is making them scramble!”

Cobra seemed to get the hint. You could see it in his face. I spoke up, myself, “Eagle has a point. The more we keep a presence in the General district, the more we will send the message that we're cleaning house. The gesture alone is enough to get them to panic. Imagine what some real presence down there will do?”

“I like the thought of this,” added Lizzardis, “but what kind of a presence are we talking about, exactly?”

“Simple,” replied Eagle. “The whole Barracks. Tomorrow night.”

A gasp or two was lightly heard, but I think we all knew he was right. Hard as it would be, it was the only solution that made sense. We had no leads, no contacts, and almost no intel. Best thing to do was shake up the nest.

“But sir,” asked phantomlassuk, “do you really mean all of us?”

“Well,” just about. “We'll need a skeleton staff at the Barrack itself, and I don't want all of the leadership out in the field at one time. I'm thinking that Coop83 should stay back as acting leader, and he should have a small coterie of staff at his disposal.”

Huh. “Why me?”

“You're too valuable. You're the figurehead of this place, and if they saw you in the field, you are the one they're gunning for.”

“What about you, Eagle?”

“Me? I'm dead, remember? Just because you know I'm alive doesn't mean the Star Syndicate does.”

The man had a point again. It was hard arguing with him. “Okay, fair enough. Who will stick with me, then?”

“Well, that's simple. Sergeant phantomlassuk is heading to the prison to check on SevenStar, and she can hold the fort with you when she returns. As far as the Records Room, that should be staffed as well.”

All eyes turned on ismael92, whose head drooped again. He hasn't seen action for a while, and it was obviously bothering him.

Eagle continued, “So, Sergeant Lizzardis will stay behind with you as well.” Ismael looked up at Eagle. “If I know how it goes with the Records Officers, they rarely get to see action. I'm sure it's time to switch the roles for a change. Besides, Lizzardis has other skills besides what he can do with his rifle. It'll be good having you here at the helm.” I don't think Lizz was upset about it. Actually, he looked relieved to not being in action tonight.

“So, besides, Phantom, Coop, Lizz, and phantomlassuk,” said ismael92, “We'll all go out into General? What about the rest of Newgrounds?”

“Simple,” replied Eagle. “We'll have the NGPD cover for us. As we tackle the General district, we'll have them cover the rest of the area. We'll have good communication due to our skeleton staff in the Barracks, and we can redeploy troops as necessary.”

“Not a bad idea, Eagle. We can coordinate with the NGPD first thing in the morning and prepare. That night, we can head out in 8 three-person squads and cover lots of territory.”

“Exactly, Coop. You got the idea. A few of the squads will help scour that warehouse for clues, and the rest will just strut their stuff out on the streets.”

“Wait a second,” said Lizzardis. “Besides the four not heading out there, we have 25 active members, not 24. You're forgetting Slash.”

Oh yeah, duh. It was easy to forget he was an active member. I doubt he'd head out and fight, though. Hell, he couldn't even show up for this meeting. I did send word to him, too.

“Well,” said Eagle, “Slash is a figurehead as well for the Barracks. It wouldn't be wise for him to be out in General, either. He should stay behind as well.”

Just then, the door opened up. As if he knew we were talking about him, SlashFirestorm entered. “Did someone mention my name?” Slash had that upbeat personality on as usual. He was always serious about what he talked about, but always kept an air of good feelings about him. He sure knew how to keep everyone in good spirits that way. Everyone immediately stood up and saluted him. Even Eagle stood up and gave him a salute. It was weird.

“Please, no salutes,” said Slash. “I'm sorry I'm late. I came as soon as I could when Coop told me about the situation, especially with EagleRock returning.”

“No problem, sir,” I replied, “I'll fill you in right away.”

And so I did. I quickly gave a synopsis of what we talked about to Slash, and advised him of EagleRock's plan. He sat there, listening intently, carefully evaluating the situation in his mind. The mere threat of the Star Syndicate's return was enough to stir up everyone. Hell, Slash came back rather quickly when I gave word, and even EagleRock shows up out of nowhere. Still, as serious as we were taking this, I don't think anyone had any clue about what we were going up against that night.

End of Chapter 7


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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:27 pm

Re: Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks

by EagleRock

Chapter 8 – Old Hats and New Hats
Originally Posted on May 27th, 2010

Fro laid down quietly in his bunk after the morning's assembly.

Nobody expected this. This morning was nothing but a shock to everyone. Two Elite Guards, one of them the former leader, alive this whole time. I wouldn't have believed it if it wasn't for Slash explaining the whole thing. It was a very awkward situation, at least. Everyone was amazed and confused at the same time. Some people felt betrayed. But who wouldn't? I mean, it was the biggest coup we'd have ever seen. Even Slash helped perpetrate it. EagleRock had his reasons, and I think it was obvious that the good of the Barracks were in his mind. However, we were all still scared.

The threat of the Star Syndicate didn't help, either. I mean, that's what drove EagleRock out of hiding in the first place. He was just silently doing his thing until this threat came around. He'd be working with Slash, Coop, and the rest of the officers to help thwart the SS. Now we were to go out
en masse into the General district. Tonight, of course. I was not looking forward to that.

My past was pretty shaded around Newgrounds. I used to be in those crowds that hung around General and caused havok. That was around the time EagleRock's Barrack was a thorn in my side. I was in the Elite Guard myself, in a different Barrack, but I used my power to help get spam out to the Portal. It was EagleRock and his goody-two-shoes group that was the biggest resistance. Either way, I did my thing until they finally had enough evidence against me. I was dishonorably discharged from the Elite Guard with no hesitation. It was a bit upsetting, but I really didn't care at the time. After all, I had my spammer friends to go to.

That was when it hit me. They were only my friends because of my influence and inroads to the Elite Guard. The second I lost those connections, they wouldn't give me the time of day. Here I was, abandoned by the two groups I was a part of. I had no identity. I found myself on the streets of the General district with no friends to turn to. It was a bad time for me. In fact, if it wasn't for SlashFirestorm discovering me and eventually reinstating me into the Elite Guard, I'd probably have been dead by now. He and his Barrack helped get me where I am now. I changed my ways for good and even got myself to Supreme Commander for my efforts.

It helped that Slash understood where I came from. What didn't help was that nobody else did. I am still looked upon as a black spot on the roster to this day. The best I can do is just prove who I am now, day by day. Of course, proving the same to EagleRock might not be as easy. After all, when he was in charge of this place, I was one of his targets.


I woke up from my bunk and realized I had nodded off for quite some time. It was already 1300 hours, and the field assignments would be posted soon. We would head out to the field tonight in three-soldier squads to shake up General, as Slash and Eagle detailed. I got up and splashed some water on my face before I headed downstairs towards the mess. Before I could walk in there, though, I ran into Lizzardis.

“Supreme Commander, sir,” he saluted to me.

I saluted back. “Sergeant.”

“Actually, sir, it's Praporshchik now, sir. I was promoted.” He was grinning.

“Good for you, Lizz. Isn't that a double promotion?”

“Yep. Sure is. Anyway, I had a message for you, sir.”

“What is it?”

“Supreme Commander EagleRock wanted to see you in his office as soon as you woke.”

Fuck. Here it comes. “Do you know what it's pertaining, Ser—I mean Praporshchik?”

“No, sir. Just that it was classified and he wanted to see you immediately.”

“Right. I'm on my way.” I saluted him as I turned from the mess and headed back towards the stairs. Just what I needed. My past was coming back to haunt me yet again. I drudged up the stairs, dragging my feet along the way. I got a look or two on the way, but I didn't really care. Looking the part of a Supreme Commander was the least of my worries at the moment.

I walked to the end of the hall where EagleRock's old office still resides. Slash never wanted anyone to go in there or reuse the room. In retrospect, it makes sense. I came up to the door and knocked.

“Come in,” I heard, as I turned the knob and pushed the door inside. The room was actually quite nicely furnished and well-kept considering it stayed dormant for several years. He must have dusted. I quickly glanced around at the furnishings, which show the telltale signs of a computer geek. Multiple workstations, dual 30” monitors, a small server rack in the corner...yeah, he was a geek. He had some other nice stuff around, too. A few bottles of expensive scotch were on display in his mini-bar behind his desk, as well as an espresso bar. If he had vices, at least he picked the expensive ones.

“Sit down, Fro.” I just realized I was standing around looking at his office for a good 30 seconds. I quickly sat down in the chair across from his desk. Eagle turned from his workstation and stared at me. “I read your file. If I'm not mistaken, we've met before, but not in this situation.”

“Y—yes, sir, we have.”

“And, if I'm not mistaken, you used to go under the name Corky52. Is that also right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“You were quite the spammer back then. Gave me and my Barrack a run for our money. Caused us a lot of trouble.”

I started to stare down at my feet. “Yes, sir, that's me.”

“Good,” EagleRock said with a smile. I immediately looked back up at him. Now what?

“Sir? What do you mean?”

EagleRock stood up and turned his back to me to look out the window behind his desk. As he was stared out at the training grounds, he said, “I do remember you from around the time the Battle Royale occurred. You were one royal pain in the ass. A corrupt Elite Guard, just as bad as the next spammer, if not more effective. What changed?”

“Everyone abandoned me, sir.”

“So I read. Slash took you in, too. Accepted you into my Barrack, despite your record.”

My heart started to pound. “This is true, sir.”

“It shows exactly how smart of a commander Slash really is. Your record since you rejoined the Elite Guard is nothing but stellar. Perfect, actually. Slash really got into your head, didn't he?”

I gulped. Now I had no clue where this was going. “You could say that. He made me realize what team was the right one.”

“So it shows. Tell me, Fro, do you know why I brought up up here?”

“No clue, sir. I was assuming you had some unfinished business with me from years ago.”

EagleRock laughed. “Far from it. I'm sure you get a lot of flack for your shady past, but it actually put you at an advantage today. Let's just say that ex-spammers posses skills and qualities that most Elite Guard do not.”

I furled my brow. “Like what, sir?”

“Well, for one, you can think like a spammer better than anyone else. But I'm really referring to your blatant and utter disdain for the rules.”

I winced again. “But Sir, I've done nothing but...”

“I'm not referring to your actions as a re-enlisted officer, Fro. I'm referring to your past. While you have a spotless record as of late, you still have the propensity to do whatever the hell you want. It's wired into your brain.” EagleRock turned back towards me as he sat back down in his char. “As you know, we're going to set up eight field squads to infiltrate General tonight. I need soldiers for my own squad that I know can get the job done.”

I think I see where he's going with this. I still don't know if he's testing me or not, though. “And you want me on your squad, sir?”

“Exactly. My squad needs to be capable of special ops that most soldiers can't...and won't...do. I need to make sure you're the right man for the job.”

“I understand, sir.”

“But I need to know I can trust you, Fro. You were in deep for a long time before you came here. Are you really here for us?”

I stood up and stood tall. “Sir, I am an Elite Guard. I was kicked out of the Guard because of my affiliations. Also, when I thought they were ones I could trust to stay by me, they threw me to the curb. There is only one group I trust to be there for me when I need it, and this is it. I would do anything for this Barrack, sir.”

EagleRock sat back in his chair. “Good. It's settled then.”

I had to speak up, though. My doubts were still there. “But, sir, how...well, how do I put this?”

“You don't know if you can trust me. I get it. I don't blame you, either. Last time we met I was trying to bust you, and as far as you know, I've been dead for three years. Well, I'll put it this way. Actions are the best way to gain trust. But until we get the chance to prove ourselves, I'll be sure to trust in you if you trust in me.”

I thought for a second. “Sounds good, sir.”

“Great. You'll be wanting to get some mess now, so why don't you head downstairs?”

“Thanks, sir.” I got up and left his office. It felt funny trying to walk while resisting your body's urge to buckle at the knees.


Byteslinger was coming in from from the shooting grounds to check on the bulletin board.

I'm the first person that hates to admit I'm at a loss for words. A woman that has been through as much as myself wouldn't like to say she has come across a situation that puts her on edge, but this was no normal situation. It's still a bit much for the mind to digest. But it wasn't so much what I now know that bothered me, but rather, what I still didn't know. I want to know what they aren't telling us.


As I heard my name come across the intercom, paging me up to the War Room, I jumped. Hopefully this would be my chance to get some answers! I swiftly strode towards the War Room with a bounce in my step that I did not take effort to mask. I hated to admit that this was my first time in the War Room, though. Actually, besides last night, I don't think I remember seeing anyone using it. As I kept turning the thoughts in my head, I found myself doubling my speed.

Once I reached the secure door, I knocked twice and slowly pushed it open. When I stepped inside, I saw EagleRock examining some large displays that were connected to some surveillance equipment. My eyes quickly darted around the room, as I had heard that the room was well-equipped, but not this well equipped. I'll best most of the people in this Barrack can't even appreciate what they have at their fingertips.

“Nice setup, huh?” EagleRock had noticed my chin on the floor, which I quickly closed up. “However, I think you'd appreciate the next room.” He pointed towards a locked double-door on the far end of the room, complete with Medeco locks, keypad, and biometric scanner. He authenticated to the room and opened the door, which he held open for me to enter. The telltale woosh of loud blowing air told me it was the Barracks Data Center.

Sure enough, when I stepped inside the room, I saw the power behind the equipment in the War Room. Twelve 42U racks checkered the raised floor, complete with blinking lights and all. I immediately recognized quite a bit of the hardware, including Cisco switches and routers, HP Proliant servers, HP EVA storage arrays, and many other machines that looked hand-built. It was also a very clean data-center, which had no random parts lying on the floor nor nests of cables lying around, as most data centers tend to accumulate. It was obviously no amateur job done by little Billy the computer whiz down the street.

I realized it had been a good minute I was standing in the room in silence. “Very impressive, sir. I had no idea we had this much power in this Barrack.”

“Ehh,” replied Eagle, almost indifferently. “The stuff is about 4 years old. It isn't as powerful as I'd like it to be.” Eagle motioned for me to exit the room, to which I quickly complied. We were shouting back and forth over the loud air conditioning in the room, and it wasn't really the best way to have a chat.

Once Eagle locked up the server room, we both sat down at the round table in the middle of the room. “So tell me, did it occur to you why I brought you up here?”

Oh yeah. That. I was so busy staring at all the pretty lights that I forgot why I was brought up here in the first place. “Well,” I said I ramped-up my reply, “I honestly am not too sure. It obviously pertains to tonight's skirmish, but I'm unsure where I come in.

EagleRock plopped a folder on the desk. I saw my name on the tab. “I was going through the Barracks records today, pairing up soldiers for tonight. When I came to your file, it interested me quite a bit. Rather than going over what we both know, let's just say you have a hell of a past.”

“Yes, sir.” I lowered my head. He was right, all right. A lot of times I wondered how I got through all of it.

“Your present is no less interesting, though. You have one of the best records I've ever seen. You're best-in-class all the way. Slash really got lucky getting you in this Barrack.”

I hate to admit it, but I blushed. Having a legend like EagleRock talk like that is sure an ego-boost. “Thank you, sir. Your words are kind.”

“You're welcome. However, there was one thing that didn't seem right. I noticed that in your tenure in this Barrack, despite your rank and record, you never once held an officer position. It wasn't a coincidence, either. You were also banned from even entering the War Room, is that correct?”

My heart sank into my stomach. “W-what?” My reply was not so much stated as it was squeaked.

“Yep. SlashFirestorm specifically put it on your file.”

I had no clue. “But-but why, sir? What have I done to the Barracks to lose its trust?”

“Oh that's the easy question,” EagleRock dismissed. “We both know your history as a computer hacker and your criminal record give you a certain poisonous demeanor when it comes to being around a computer. Did it not occur to you that someone with your qualifications never had access to all the systems at our disposal?”

“Well, sir, I honestly never thought of it. I just assumed this place was a bit lower-tech, that's all. I was just happy to be here in the first place. But sir, I don't really have much of a criminal record! I was never caught for any serious computer crimes!”

EagleRock's eyes narrowed slightly. “You don't have to play dumb with me. Both you and I know how it works. For every system you were caught compromising, you had been in twenty undetected. Even Slash knew this. That's why he kept you away from my servers.”

“But sir, I obviously play for the good guys now. Why couldn't he see that?”

“Because Slash doesn't understand the hacking mentality. He doesn't see white hat, black hat, just 'hacker.' He may know how to use a computer, but he really is no hacker, not by a long shot. After I left, he was so scared he wouldn't be able to manage my systems, and was taking no chances on who got to touch it. That's also why he kept people out of the War Room as much as possible.”

Hmm...I always thought of Slash as a true legend with no weakness. Now I find out he was a bit computer illiterate? What a turn-around. “Well, sir, I appreciate you pointing this out to me, but why did you bring me up here at this point? Aren't I still banned from this room?”

“Good question,” he replied. “Just because Slash can't understand how a hacker works doesn't mean I don't. I've lifted the ban. We can't afford to keep someone as good as you away from my systems. Besides, now that I'm out of hiding, Slash doesn't really need to worry about who can be around to fix the systems when they break.”

“So you were the one that ran all of these systems?”

“Oh sure. Before my life in the Elite Guard, computers were my life. You can say that having copious amounts of processing power around me was kind of a security blanket for me.”

“I guess that makes sense, sir. I appreciate you understanding me and letting me have a piece of the action. Does this involve tonight's skirmish?”

Eagle looked up at the ceiling. “Not quite. I was just cleaning up old business. As far as tonight's skirmish, I'm assembling three-soldier squads, and I want to make sure I have the right people along with my group. I need to bring someone along I know I can depend on to do what needs to be done.”

This was getting interesting, all of a sudden. “Well, what do you need done?”

“I'm not sure yet. It depends on what we find out there. But I need to know the people I have around me will do whatever it takes, regardless of the cost. I need people I can trust.”

“And you want to know if you can trust me, is that right?”

Eagle nodded. “And to know if you have the right skills. So tell me this: you were in that server room for about 60 seconds. Tell me as much detail as possible about what you saw in there.”

A test! I loved it. I told him as much as I could remember: network topology, system layout, power management, cooling, system brands, system models, anything and everything relevant to keeping those systems running, or, if I was inclined, to stop them from running. After a good five-minute description, Eagle seemed pleased. “Well, it's safe to say you still think like a hacker, Byte. People like you don't stop once you start.”

I smiled. “So I guess you want me along with you tonight?”

“Not yet. I need to know if I can trust you. Tell me, what kind of a hacker are you?”

Now I was a bit nervous. Telling him what I know was one thing. Telling him what I stand for is another. “Well, I was a white hat, sir.”

Eagle's face immediately turned cold. “Bullshit.”

I started to panic a bit. “But sir, I really was! I didn't go into systems to shut them down! I did it for the knowledge! It was fun! I was classic white hat, I swear!”

“Then why don't I believe you?”

I stuttered. “I don't know, sir!” This conversation sure turned to an interrogation in a hurry.

“You may have fooled many with the whole white hat story, but I don't buy it. Like I said, I read your file. Nobody with a personality as jocular as yours is pure white hat. There are one too many ways to screw around with a system, and I know you're the kind of person that would do this stuff for laughs. Don't bother trying to lie to me.”

I can see why EagleRock was as respected as a leader as he was. When he was with his troops, he was very fair, very honorable, and treated them with the utmost respect. When he was interrogating someone, he was hard as nails. There was no way of coasting out of this easily. “Okay, sir...you're right. I wouldn't say I ever compromised systems to hurt them, but I did find myself leaving signs of my presence in a 'creative' way. But I swear to you I never did anything serious! Just little stupid things, you know?”

I think I saw EagleRock holding back a laugh. “So you admit you're a gray hat?”

I sighed. “Yes, I do. You're right...pranking some hapless admin is just too much fun to pass up.”

“I get it. You've got the right ideals, though. That means I can trust you.”

“Thank you, sir. I appreciate that.”

“It also means you're willing to bend the rules, as long as it's for the right reasons. The squad I'm forming may get involved in things that will require getting your hands quite dirty, if you know what I mean. I need people willing to do whatever it takes, no matter who or what gets taken down in the process.”

I thought about that for a second. “I understand, sir. My skills are at your disposal.”

EagleRock smiled again. “Great. You'd better take time to prepare, then.”

“Yes, sir!” I immediately saluted EagleRock and headed to my quarters. Even though I still had no clue what we would be up against, I knew it wouldn't be a pretty fight.

End of Chapter 8


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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:27 pm

Re: Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks

by EagleRock

Chapter 9 – Full Throttle
Originally Posted on May 31st, 2010

Private Sheizenhammer proceeded downstairs to prepare for the skirmish.

I could say one thing about tonight...it was going to be a big deal. I haven't been around here for long, but I've been around Newgrounds long enough to know when the proverbial shit was ready to hit the fan. Before I joined the Elite Guard, I was looked up to in the NGPD as the go-to guy for guidance. I was always prepared with tips and pointers for most situations that young recruits would come across. Even in the Elite Guard, despite my new rank, people seem to respect my ability to give guidance. However, when it came to tonight's skirmish, I have no idea what the hell to expect.

I was ready to get suited up for the skirmish, but felt the need to check the team assignments once more. I headed to the bulletin board to check on the freshly-posted memo:

Operation Full Throttle Squad Assignments

Alpha Squad – Special Ops

Supreme Commander EagleRock
Supreme Commander byteslinger
Supreme Commander Fro

Bravo Squad – Infantry
Colonel RohantheBarbarian
Staff Sergeant ismael92
Elite Guard Supreme Commander Shanus

Charlie Squad – Covert Ops
Supreme Commander Idiot-Finder
Master Sergeant PossiblePancakes
Private First Class Andrea364

Delta Squad - Infantry
Corporal Caraboo
Corporal perfect-insanity
Private puddinN64

Echo Squad – Heavy Weaponry
Supreme Commander Little-Rena
Corporal KingExodus
Private First Class KidneyThief

Foxtrot Squad – Calvary
Staff Sergeant SlntCobra1
Private First Class silentisdeath16
Private Sheizenhammer

Golf Squad - Engineering
Supreme Commander aldlv
Sergeant First Class Calipe
Master Sergeant Marsupial

Hotel Squad – Infantry
Commander Idiot-buster
Sergeant TheThing
Sergeant SoulMaster71

Yep, no changes. Excellent. I was one of the lucky ones that would be in an armored EGB Hummer. It was time to head to the locker room to get my weaponry and report to SlntCobra1.

On my way down there, I saw everyone bustling about like I have never seen before. Checking my watch, I could see why. It was already 1804 hours, and we were due out in General by 2000 hours. I felt bad for those that had to get out to General by subway. When I entered the locker room, I found Cobra standing around, waiting for everyone to get ready. I immediately saluted him, to which he returned in kind.

“At ease, soldier. Time to suit up,” said Cobra.

“Yes, sir!” I wasted no time to head to my locker and get into full field dress. I grabbed my trusty blam rifle from the locker as well and shouldered it. With any luck, I wouldn't have to use it and could simply man the .50cal minigun on the back of the Hummer.

After the few minutes it took for me to suit up, I immediately returned to Cobra and saluted him. “All ready, I see,” he replied. “That makes three of us. I already sent silent to run preliminary checks on the Hummer. Let's head out to the garage.” After a quick salute, we proceeded over there.

When approached the garage, I saw only two Hummers were getting gassed up and ready to deploy. From the look of it, the one Hummer was ours, while the others belonged to Alpha Squad. As we passed by Alpha Squad's Hummer, I overheard part of a conversation inside:

“I'd rather you drive and Fro act as gunner.”

“Why me, sir?”

“Your record said you were quite the speed demon too. Need I say more?”

“You just love reading those dossiers, don't you?”

I chuckled to myself at the dialogue as we came up to our Hummer. Private silentisdeath16 looked to have already completed his checks, as he was simply skimming notes on a clipboard.

Cobra came up to him and exchanged a quick salute. “How we doing?”

“Hummer is in tip-top shape, sir. We have 5,000 rounds of minigun ammo, plus all the extra boxes they requested to help supplement the Infantry, sir.”

“Excellent! We'll be using a lot of the rifle ammo as well. I want both you and Sheiz on gun detail tonight.”

“Yes, sir,” I replied. “Who will be manning the turret, sir?”

“Makes no difference to me, as long as the shooting gets done.”

Here's my chance! “In that case, I'd like to man the turret, as I'm used to heavy weaponry, sir.”

“You got it, Private. In that case, silent will use his rifle and help with belt-feeding as needed.” A quick glance to silent showed a smile and a thumbs-up in my direction.

“You got it, sir!” As I saluted, I could tell this was going to be a fun group. If I was going to be out in the middle of General tonight, at least I was with a good bunch.


1942 hours, Hotel Squad

Sergeant TheThing was sitting in the subway headed towards the General district, thinking to himself.

Here I go back into the fray. I hated this place. I never really blamed EagleRock for keeping me out here like he did, as he always took care of me. He always made sure I had rations or some place to stay the night unbeknownst to the general populace, but it was still a rough life. Being dead isn't as easy as it sounds. At least now when I'm out on the street tonight, I won't have to just rely on EagleRock getting my back at a distance.


As the subway clacked along the track, my headset crackled with word from headquarters:

“Attention all soldiers, Supreme Commander Coop here. In about 15 minutes you will all be deployed in your target areas. Make sure to cover as much territory as possible and to get your presence noticed by others. With the exception of Charlie and Golf squads, you are to make all efforts to get others to see you. You will be sure to B/P as much as possible and to stop any and all malicious Flash that come across your path. You will all continue heavy B/Ping well into the night. Any person-to-person combat follows standard rules of engagement. Regular updates and any contact will be relayed to you through Praporshchik Lizzardis here in the War Room. Good luck, everyone! Coop out.”

As Coop's voice cackled off the radio, I looked over at Commander Idiot-buster, who was sitting across from me. “Are you ready, sir?” I asked him as he stared back at me.

“As ready as I'll ever be,” he responded. Sergeant SoulMaster71, who was sitting next to him, had his head tilted back and eyes closed. He didn't even budge. “You seem nervous, TheThing. Strange, considering you've been out in General for years.”

“It's a place you never get used to,” I said. “I'm worried that this plan won't work. There are only 24 of us going out in the field. What difference will 24 soldiers make in such a large area?”

“Well, it's pretty simple. We don't really need to solve all of General's problems tonight...just shake the waters. If we let people know we're coming out in full-force, they'll scramble.”

“Hmm, you got a point,” I replied. As I thought about it for a second, another question popped up. “But if that's the case, why are two squads going covert?”

“Well, we need to have some element of surprise. That's what Charlie Squad is going to do. Since we won't be too spread out, we can back each other up. Having one group stay covert can help coordinate surprise attacks, if necessary.”

“That makes sense, sir. But what's the other squad doing?”

“Golf Squad? They're Engineering. They need to stay covert as well.”

“Why, sir?”

He leaned in towards me and lowered his voice. I leaned in myself to allow him to drop to a whisper. “Because they're the ones reclaiming that warehouse tonight and setting it up as a Barracks outpost. That's something we want to keep hush-hush.”

I sat back and silently nodded at Idiot-buster. It was actually a pretty damn good plan. All of a sudden, I didn't feel so scared.


2004 hours, Charlie Squad

Andrea thought to herself as she started her foot patrol along with Commander Idiot-buster and PossiblePancakes.

I have to admit, it felt good to be back in action. When I left the Barracks, I pretty much kept myself secluded and out of people's way. I tried to avoid action (and interaction) as much as possible. I stayed in my apartment in the Art District, only coming out for the necessities. It was only through research for my writing that I heard a rumor about some former Elite Guard mucking the waters in the General District. In retrospect, that rumor probably had more to do with EagleRock than it had to do with Phantom. Now I see how he kept himself hidden all these years. The man had his ways with subterfuge.

But being out here now was a big stretch for me after sequestering myself to the Art District. While I was no preppy, I only really hung around in the safer sections of Newgrounds, keeping myself away from the criminals. Now I was deep in the General district, going undercover.

“Sir?” I got Idiot-buster's attention as we walked down the street in our civilian attire. “What exactly is the plan?”

“Not much at this point, Andrea. We are basically just going to B/P with civilian weaponry and keep on the lookout for any leads to malicious action. Remember, this is the first night of this. We're not going to eliminate all forms of malicious action tonight.”

“Got it.” I closed my leather overcoat tighter around my body as a cold breeze blew by. It still amazes me how quiet this place gets around sundown. The other districts are still up and lively with tons of action, yet this place turns into a ghost town. People must really be scared in this area. I don't blame them, either. As we walked down the street, the only noise I could hear was coming from down the block.

By the time that we got down the block, I noticed what was causing the din. Some corner electronics shop had their TVs on display...behind a closed and padlocked metal grate, of course. God knows why...who was going to notice it out here? Besides, the only thing on this channel was a bunch of infomercials. One particularly annoying one came on the air, too:






Now, while I know we are undercover and all, I never said I prided myself on my good temper. I drew my blam pistol and pulled the trigger. As the TV fizzled in the night, I heard someone yell “Shit!” behind me. When I turned, I saw PossiblePancakes looking sheepish with a pad and paper out, trying to write down the number on the infomercial.

When I groaned and rolled my eyes, Idiot-buster gave us both a bad look. “If you two are quite done waking up the entire neighborhood, you're on a COVERT fucking mission, remember? I don't think either of you would be too keen on a court-martial after being back for a day.”

“Sorry, sir,” said PossiblePancakes.

“Now move out! I want to hit the Portal by 2030 hours.”


2027 hours, Alpha Squad

Fro shut the Hummer door behind him as he, Byteslinger, and EagleRock prepped for their mission.

“So who the hell is this guy again, Eagle?”

“Simple, Fro. Some idiot spammer wannabe that started spamming the Portal last week.”

“What's his name again?” Eagle started walking into the dingy apartment complex. The walkways were pretty dark and overgrown with unkempt foliage and bushes. It'd be a prime spot to get attacked. Then again, what idiot would attack fully armored Elite Guards with heavy assault rifles in hand?

“Not important.” Eagle waved at me from behind in a dismissive manner. All you need to know is that he's been obviously trying to get initiated into some group. Intel showed him trying to make ties to the Kitty Krew, but I have a feeling it could involve the SS as well. Call it a hunch.”

“Makes sense to me,” said Byte. “Is this guy dangerous?”

“About as dangerous as wet cap pistol. The kid is green. He's young, and just moved into town. Obviously he's just getting involved with the wrong crowds.”

“Obviously,” I said. “But what do you want us to do?”

“Simple. Byte is going to scan his computer for malicious Flash and try to get a record on him. You? You're going to hold your gun and look mean. If things get hairy, pull the trigger.”

“You really think that'll be necessary, EagleRock?” As we reached the guy's doorway, EagleRock turned around and looked at me.

“Not likely. But you can never be sure. Get your war face on.” EagleRock turned around and started banging on the door hard. “OPEN UP IN THERE! THIS IS THE ELITE GUARD!” Five seconds passed, and no answer. “YOU HAVE EXACTLY THREE SECONDS TO ANSWER THIS DOOR BEFORE WE COME IN SHOOTING!”

Sure enough, there were thumps of a guy running towards the door and the sound of a turning lock. The guy opened the door, and didn't look too pleased of our entrance. “What the fuck do you people want?”

EagleRock pushed the door hard and forced the guy to stumble back. The guy's eyes went dinner-plate wide when he saw what we were carrying. He stumbled back a few steps until he plopped back on his couch. “Who the hell are you people?”

I shut the door behind me, playing the role as Mr. Tough Guy, just as EagleRock ordered. I honestly was a bit nervous about the whole situation, as I thought we were going to come across some hardened spammers shooting at us. Here we were disturbing some young punk in his own apartment as he was watching TV. He really didn't look like someone we needed to concern ourselves with. I stepped into the living room next to ByteSlinger as EagleRock took on a really sarcastic tone. “Well, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Supreme Commander EagleRock, and I'll be your interrogator tonight. To my left we have Supreme Commander ByteSlinger, who will be scanning your computer for signs of malicious activity. To my right is Supreme Commander Fro, who will be pointing this very large gun at your head at all times.”

I could tell this was going to get interesting, but Eagle was acting very unpredictable. He then pulled a piece of paper out of his vest pocket. “Let's see, according to this, you are...oh, it doesn't really fucking matter what your name is, does it? Anyway, let's get started, shall we? Byte, if you would do the honors and take a look at his computer? You should find it in the bedroom.”

Byte saluted silently and walked into the bedroom. “Hey!” the guy yelled after her. He dare not get off the couch, though. You can't look at my shit! Besides, I've encrypted my hard drive, it won't do you no good!”

“Oh, don't worry about that. In the meantime, let's talk about what brought us here. We've traced a few malicious Flash that came through the Portal this week. They were under an alias, of course, but it wasn't hard to figure out where they were coming from. So why don't you tell me about them?”

The kid put his hands up. “Hey, dude, I think you got the wrong guy. I don't know what you're talking about.”

When he said that, EagleRock really looked pissed all of a sudden. “Look kid, I don't make idle threats. She's going to come out of that room in 2 minutes with the evidence I need. Best of you to confess now.”

The kid stood up and walked up to EagleRock with some courage that he mustered. “I just realized something...you can't do jack-shit to me. I have my rights. You can play Mr. Bad Cop all you want, but you know it won't get you anywhere. I'm not talking. And if you don't call off that bitch in the other room until you get a warrant, I'm calling the cops.”

EagleRock stared the guy down for a good five seconds. The look on Eagle's face was like ice. The kid was acting tough, but I could smell the fear. Nobody innocent would take a tone like that, either.

That's when Eagle took action. Unprovoked, he swung the butt of his rifle around and smashed it into the kid's face. It knocked him a good 7-8 feet across the living room. Dropping his rifle, EagleRock stepped up to him and grabbed him by the hair. When he pulled him up, you could see his nose was visibly broken and had started to bleed profusely. The kid was screaming in pain as Eagle threw him back across the room into a coffee table. It broke into pieces as the kid crashed on top of it.

“YOU THINK I'M PLAYING GAMES, MAGGOT?” I tried to stand as still as possible as I watched Eagle scream and punch him in the face a few times. “I'M NOT FUCKING AROUND, KID. THIS IS SERIOUS SHIT WE HAVE YOU FOR, AND I WON'T STAND FOR YOUR INSOLENCE!” Bleeding on the floor, the kid stopped screaming and looked pretty dazed. EagleRock picked him up by his shirt and pulled him into a sitting position. “Now let's try this again. Who are you working for?”

The guy closed his eyes and started crying. EagleRock was unrelenting. He slammed him back down on to the remnants of his coffee table. Eagle drew his sidearm and dug it into the side of his skull. “WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?? YOU'D BETTER TELL ME BY THE COUNT OF THREE!! ONE! TWO!”

“OKAAAAAAY!!!” The kid started bawling in tears and covered his face. “I'm not part of any group, okay? I swear!” Looking up at EagleRock, he continued, “I made those Flash to try to get myself accepted...the Kitty Krew had a gathering for new members, and they told me to prove myself before I came back. I swear...” He curled up in fetal position as he cried some more.

EagleRock stood up and grabbed the kid by the back of his shirt, pulled him up, and sat him on the couch. “Where was this, and when?”

“It...it was last week. It was on top of some restaurant on 32nd street in some old office building. It was 32nd and Broadway. I swear... Please don't kill me...I don't--”

“SHUT up, kid.” EagleRock held his hand up to his face as ByteSlinger walked back into the room. “What do you have?”

“A computer with useless encryption, that's what. I got the files you mentioned...three malicious Flash that were the ones submitted last week. A couple of vague e-mails with some Kitty Krew members about a gathering...his story checks out.”

EagleRock cocked the hammer on his pistol as he looked back at the spammer. The kid looked up at the sound. “Then you're no more use to us.”

In that one second, I could tell that kid's life flashed before his eyes. Fear of everything appeared to come to the surface: fear of the authorities, fear of God, fear of a disappointed mother...you name it. He looked pitiful staring up at Eagle with wide eyes, a broken nose, and a river of blood and tears running down his chin.

EagleRock then pulled a cell phone out of his left pocket and dialed 911. “Emergency?--Yes, I do.--We discovered a person that appeared to have been attacked in his apartment.--248 26th Street, Apartment 2D--Broken nose, multiple lacerations...he needs an ambulance, yes.--I don't have information on the suspect, no.--Oh, and one more thing. Any bills can be directed to the Barracks account, okay? We think it's related to a case we're investigating, so he shouldn't be out-of-pocket.--Thanks.”

As he sheathed his cellphone, Eagle said, “We've got the evidence on you, remember. You breathe one word about this and you're a dead man. Also, I'd keep away from the Kitty Krew or any spam group if I were you. We won't be so nice the next time we catch you.”

Eagle sheathed his pistol and picked up his rifle off the floor. As he turned around to leave the apartment, he motioned for us to move out. We walked out in single-file and slammed the door behind us. Once the door was closed, I have to admit I almost buckled at the knees. I felt really bad for that kid. We made our way back to the Hummer. As I climbed in the back seat, I had to ask, “Can you tell me NOW who that poor kid was?”

EagleRock turned from the passenger seat to look back at me. “Someone that will never dare spam the Portal again, that's who.”

Byte looked over at Eagle. “Where to?”

“You heard the kid. 32nd and Broadway.” Byte roared the Hummer to life and pulled out into the night.

End of Chapter 9


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Chief Barracks Officer
Chief Barracks Officer

Posts: 487

Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:21 am


Post Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:30 am

Re: Back in the Barracks Story

Back in the Barracks

by EagleRock

Chapter 10 - Infiltration

2048 hours, Golf Squad

EGSC aldlv thought to himself before his EGB Hummer approached the abandoned warehouse.

Man, this place is deserted tonight. I didn't realize that the General district had such an early curfew. I guess when you have crime as high in this area as Camden, New Jersey, people lock in tight around sundown. The warehouse was a few blocks away, so it wouldn't be long before we were able to start our base establishment. However, I didn't realize exactly how empty the streets were at this time. I wasn't too keen about pulling the Hummer right in front just like they do in the movies. Who the hell always gets a spot right in front of where you're going, anyway? Well, I guess we were, tonight. Even still, I wasn't going to be so stupid as to telegraph our location by sticking a big flashy camo Hummer right in front. Time to shift the plan a bit.


Once we reached the 2800-block of Fulp Boulevard, I pulled into a dark alleyway about a block away from the warehouse.

SFC Calipe gave me a puzzled look. “Sir, this isn't the warehouse, is it?”

“Nope. I didn't exactly want leave a conspicuous Hummer in the front while we just browsed around to see what was there. This is supposed to be covert, remember?”

“Good point, sir. So what's the plan?”

“Well, we'll sneak in through a side entrance and snoop around for a bit to make sure everything is okay. We'll use nightvision goggles to keep it inconspicuous for now. Once we're sure the place is clear, we'll open warehouse doors and bring the Hummer in to start setting up base. Got it?”

“Got it,” replied Master Sergeant Marsupial. “We'll follow your lead, sir.”

“Okay, move out.” We exited the Hummer and locked up. Keeping to the shadows, we quickly and quietly shuffled down the street. The lack of proper street lights were a welcome treat. After about two minutes, we came upon the warehouse on our right. It had large alleyways to either side, which were well lit, unfortunately. It did, however, help us spot a door on the right side of the building, which looked easy to enter. Following my hand motions, the two Sergeants stayed in close proximity to me as we rushed to enter the door. It was unlocked.

Once we got inside and shut the door, it was pitch-black. “Okay, nightvision on,” I whispered. The three of us switched on. Initial appearance showed a rather large main room to the warehouse, which looked relatively empty to me. It looked like it was in disarray, but was nothing out of the ordinary. There was a decently-large clear area by the main doors, which was perfect for a waiting Hummer to park. “Stay in close formation,” I whispered again. “I want this place searched from head-to-toe before we start.”

“Roger that,” I heard from two waiting Sergeants behind me. We quietly crept along the main floor of the warehouse, searching around the high storage racks that looked to have held many items before we entered for any signs of life. We made our way to the rear of the building, where the foreman's office oversaw the warehouse floor, plus additional stairs up to the office area above the main floor. We climbed the stairs up to the railing that ran in front of the floor offices. We used the vantage point to get a quick survey of the area.

Just as I was about to enter the Foreman's office, Calipe tapped me on the shoulder. “Sir...something's bothering me.”

“What is it, Sergeant? Everything seems fine to me.”

“Remember the briefing, though? SC EagleRock said this warehouse was full of stolen flash, right?”


“It looks pretty empty to me now.” I looked out to the main floor again. Sure enough, there were shelves and shelves meant for many full pallets, but most appeared empty. Not only that, but the remnants that scattered the floor was very suspicious.

“Shit, I think you're right. They were here earlier.”

“But sir,” said Marsupial, “That doesn't make sense. How could they move that much stolen Flash out of here in broad daylight?”

“I'm not sure, Sergeant. What's bothering me more is that if they were here before, they could be--”

All of a sudden, all of the lights in the building flashed on. With my nightvision goggles on, the bright lights overhead and coming from the Foreman's Office blinded me. As I clamped my eyelids shut from the pain, I scrambled to pull off my goggles. After the second or two I was disoriented, it'd be my shock to see the three of us surrounded by half a dozen armored men. There wasn't much we could do. We dropped our guns.

One of the gunners picked up my rifle and laughed. “Nice piece of hardware, there. Always good to have a stupid Officer fortify the troops.” He looked at the guy behind him. “Get OrangeBeef down here, he'd love to see this.”

“You got it.” The guy headed up the stairs.

The leader looked back at us. “As for you three, let's get you comfortable until we figure out what to do with you.”

That's when it all went black.


2119 hours

Staff Sergeant phantomlassuk was just returning to the Barracks Headquarters.

I was just getting back that night from the prison. I had hurried back after checking up on SevenStar, since I knew the Barracks was on skeleton staff tonight. I knew my presence would be appreciated. Good thing. It was a nice change-up from not being appreciated at all.

If there was one thing that I noticed about being in this place, it was that your image was vital to being respected. And by 'image,' I mean every little thing about you. It wasn't good enough to be the best B/Per, or to know where to find stolen Flash. You had to be right about everything you did. If not, people would trash you for it. I've had to deal with that ever since I came here, and especially since I became Portal Violations Officer. While I wouldn't call myself the perfect Elite Guard, I had my strengths. I was particularly good at dealing with malicious content on Newgrounds, and did best in protecting the Portal in that manner. SlashFirestorm saw me fit to fulfill the officer position I do now, and it was great.

However, my weakness was apparent: I didn't have the best grasp on the English language. While my gun nor my whistle were no less accurate than anyone else's, it was important to my image. In fact, the way you speak is a big deal in this stupid city. Even fellow Barracks members trash me for it. Why? I have proven myself worthy of being in this Barrack just like everyone else. Slash would not have put me here if I wasn't worthy. Not only that, if I was so unworthy, why the hell was I in an officer position? Seriously. Everyone paid their just desserts to be here, why should I be any different?

It was nice at least to be taken seriously when asked to investigate SevenStar's situation. Since he was in jail for so long because of his stint with child pornography, it didn't make sense he was out in public able to write letters and invite people wherever he wanted. Sure enough, when I got to the prison, SevenStar was there, in solitary, just as usual. I was cleared to visit him in his cell, where I found a man that was quite delirious and looked to have really taken being in solitary badly. He sure as hell was off the deep end. To think he was in charge of some mastermind plot was ridiculous. Obviously the SevenStar that signed that letter was a fake. Now it was time to get inside and see how the mission was going.


When I walked inside, I immediately headed upstairs towards the War Room. When I entered, I found Lizzardis at the Communications Desk, with Slash and Coop sitting at the round table, talking over a map of Newgrounds. I saluted towards the two Supreme Commanders, both of whom stood up and saluted me back.

“Sirs,” I said, as I approached the table. “I have a report back from SevenStar.”

“Good,” said Slash. “Sit down and give us a report.”

I sat down at the table opposite the two. Lizzardis just waved at me quick before he put his hand back to his headset. “Well, I confirmed he's still there. Hasn't left the cell since the day he got there.”

“Hmm,” said Coop. “Hasn't left the cell at all?”

“Nope. He was placed into solitary confinement because of the large amount of charges on him, as well as their nature. He's not allowed to leave his cell.”

Slash asked, “And the records support this?”

“Absolutely, sir. I asked to check the logs, and sure enough, he was accounted for every single day since he got there.”

“Interesting,” thought Slash as he looked up at the ceiling.

Coop was in deep thought as well. “Yeah, but we all know it's not impossible for someone to run a whole crime syndicate from behind bars. How do we know he wasn't working with someone from the outside?”

“Solitary took care of that, sir. Speaking to other people at all is quite a luxury for him. As a matter of fact, every single visit he's had has been law enforcement related.”

“That's still kinda fishy,” said Coop83. “We can't assume nobody was working from inside our ranks, after all.”

“Yes, sir, but I checked that as well. The last visit he had was over eight months ago. Even if someone did sneak in to do some business, it was too long ago. And besides, when I went to see him, he didn't look too good in the head. I couldn't even get a coherent sentence out of him.”

SlashFirestorm sat back in his chair. “Okay, so we rule the real SevenStar out. Therefore, whoever signed that letter is a new SevenStar.”

“New leader for the new Star Syndicate. Makes sense.” Coop nodded lightly as he thought it over.

“Let's just hope we get some clues tonight,” I said afterward. “Speaking of that, how is the mission going so far?”

“So far, so good,” said Slash. “Not too much talk back to base at all, though. Lizz has been getting status updates every hour. So far, only Eagle's group has anything. Has some kind of a lead on a Kitty Krew hideout. He's on the way over there now, so we'll get some word on that soon, I'm sure.”

“Sounds good, sirs. Sounds like we just need to keep our wits about us for when the action strikes.”

Lizz spoke up. “I'll tell you what I need. I need someone to relieve me here so I can go use the little boys room...”


2139 hours, Alpha Squad

Fro sat in the back of the armored EGB Hummer as they approached their destination.

“So,” I said, “you think that kid's tip is going to pay off, Eagle?”

“Oh yeah,” he said, as he sat head-back in his seat. “He wouldn't have lied to me after that scare.”

“Scare? You nearly killed him!”

“Pfft. I roughed him up a bit. Anyone that young and so eager to defy authority is going down the wrong path. Both you and I know that the KK got to him, and it would take a good kick to get him away.”

“Well...yeah...I guess so, but...”

“Let me ask you this, Fro.” He turned around again to look at me. “Back before you got in the groups you did, would you have appreciated someone slapping you around and keeping you away, or would you have rather gone through what you did?”

I paused for a second. “He's got a point,” Byte said, not taking her eyes off the road. “Excessive, but effective. Wouldn't be surprised if that kid was an Elite Guard in three years.”

“Yeah, well,” said Eagle, “at any rate, let's discuss a battle plan here. This hideout is above a bar, so it's not going to be huge. Also, it's bound to be defended. Make sure you're ready to shoot to kill, you two. These groups are getting vicious, and they won't stop at hurting you.”

“So I've heard,” I replied. “Cobra's stories were electrifying that night Coop sent him out alone.”

“Yep. I also have a pretty bad name out here for playing the good guy. Every damn malicious Flash that enters the Portal seems to come after me these days.”

“Well,” said Byte, “good thing we brought tons of blammunition, then.” Her driving speed started to slow down, as we seemed to approach the hideout.

“There' s a good place to park, Byte,” Eagle said as he pointed to an alleyway right next to the location. She crept the Hummer to a halt. “Guns at the ready, under your cloaks,” he continued. “Who knows who might start shooting the second we walk in the door. I haven't been in this bar, so I don't really know how loud it is. We might stick out like sore thumbs in there.” Both Byte and I nodded.

Eagle ticked on his radio to headquarters. “Alpha to Nest, come in, over.”

“Nest to Alpha, we have you, Eagle, over.”

“We've reached the hideout, and were going in. Expect resistance. We'll provide updates when we can, but it could get hairy, over.”

“Acknowledged. If we don't hear from you in 15 minutes, we'll send backup, over.”

“Roger that, Nest, over and out.” He clicked open the passenger door. “Move out.”

We got out of the Hummer and strolled up to the bar. When we entered, it was luckily a lively place. Many people laughing and getting drunk certainly made it easier to fall into the background. With huge rifles under our overcoats, three of us standing in the middle of an empty room would have been good cover for about 10 seconds. We cased the place for exits quickly as we made our way around the bar. Two exits were evident, including the one we came in. What interested us more, however, was getting upstairs. Conveniently for the Kitty Krew, the door heading upstairs was right next to the bar where the staff could easily see the door. Not-so-conveniently for us, there would be no way getting up there without being seen.

Surprisingly, it didn't seem to concern EagleRock at all. Once he was done sufficiently casing the bar, he just slowly strolled up to the doorway and looked right at the bartender. When he looked back, EagleRock gave him a silent nod. The bartender, after quickly glancing at the three of us, nodded back and shrugged his head in the direction upstairs. Eagle opened the door and we proceeded inside.

Once the door was shut, we were at the foot of the stairs that lead to the area. We grabbed our guns and locked-and-loaded. As we did, I whispered to Eagle, “You know that guy or something?”

“Nope. He was just an idiot. We just looked the part. Remember, they'll have guns, and they'll use 'em. Move out.” We trotted up the stairs, guns at the ready. The upstairs landing was pretty empty, save a door that appeared to lead to a larger room. We rounded the corner around the stair railing and stood at the door. EagleRock carefully opened it and entered, with the two of us in close formation.

The room was a fair size, and looked like a fair sized meeting hall. This place full could easily hold 50 people. It looked rather sparse, though, with only a few rows of chairs, and two desks at the far end of the room. There was also a TV flickering in the darkness, being watched by two people sitting next to one of the desks.

“Hey, what the fuck?” One of the two grabbed a pistol on the desk. EagleRock quickly squeezed two rounds into his leg, forcing him down to the ground. The other guy just jumped and raised his hands in the air.

Eagle swiftly strode towards him, rifle expertly trained on the bridge of the person's nose. Byte and I quickly followed towards the two people. I took particular attention to the gunman on the ground, wincing at the pain from his shot-up legs. I wasn't falling for it. His pistol was just a bit too close to him for us to forget about him.

"Evening, folks," quipped EagleRock as he motioned for the two men to get on the ground. They sorely complied as I took the pistol on the ground and quickly disarmed it. As Byte and Eagle proceeded to handcuff the two people, I also confiscated an automatic rifle that was propped up next to the television. "Thanks for trying to shoot at us, by the way. Probable cause won't be too hard to prove."

"You're a dead man, EagleRock," said the bleeding gunman. "We know all about you now, and your days are numbered."

"Glad to hear it," Eagle responded, looking unfazed. "I'm tired of fighting oblivious morons, anyway. Speaking of oblivious morons, you might have had a chance to squeeze off one or two shots if you were paying attention to the door rather than watching American Idol."

"I told you to keep the TV off, you moron," said the gunman to his fellow captive.

"Shut up, asshole," was the response. "OrangeBeef will have both of our heads anyway, so what do you care?"

"All right, all right," interrupted ByteSlinger. "As much as I love to hear two men coo to each other, you can save this conversation for your cell. You'll need something to pass the time, anyway."

"Fro," said EagleRock, "search them." I frisked them quickly, only to find two wallets. The amount of cash in them was negligible. There wasn't any form of ID in them, either.

"Clean," I said. "No evidence."

"Don't worry," Eagle responded, "we'll make them talk. Let's search around for a bit before we take the two lovebirds downstairs."

It didn't take long to learn there wasn't much to search. The room was as bare as it could be, save for the two desks. They were obviously emptied, leaving not even a pen cap behind. The layout of the chairs was an obvious tell that this place was meant for recruitment, but as the kid said before, but they knew we were coming.

"There's obviously nothing here, sir," I said after we fruitlessly searched for over 5 minutes. EagleRock stared noiseless at the desks for a few seconds before he kicked an open drawer from one of the desks. The drawer splintered into pieces. He quickly removed the pieces and searched behind the drawer.

"Search the other desk," he stated to me. "They're bound to have missed something behind one of the drawers." I started to dismantle the other desk. There was a lot of dirt and grease behind the bottom drawer, but no clues. The top drawer, however, was more useful. Once I pulled it off the track, I noticed a folded-up piece of paper that was lost behind the back of the drawer.

"I found something, sir!" I peeled it off the gunk it was stuck to and quickly unfolded it. It was a piece of paper writted in some cipher. I handed it to Eagle.

"Ah, very good, Fro. It's a start." Now let's get the canaries into police custody where they can start to sing."

"You're not gonna--"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Eagle said dismissively, as he interrupted the one guy from repsonding. "I've heard it all before. Don't worry, we'll torture you regardless. Now get your ass up." We pulled the two of them up and started them walking downstairs. The one that took the two bullets was having a hard time of it, but he managed.

Once we got down to the foot of the stairs, it dawned on me that it was going to be difficult getting out the front door with two Kitty Krew soldiers in our custody. "I hope you have a plan for getting out of this, sir," I said.

"Sure I do," he replied. "Watch this." Once he reached the foot of the stairs, he kicked the door to make it fall off its hinge. I noticed he liked kicking stuff. The din from the bar quickly shut up as EagleRock proudly raised his rifle in the air.

"Hey! What's the meaning of this?" yelled the bartender. Eagle pointed his gun at him before any form of retalliation could occur.

"Litterbugs. We've been watching them for a while and got evidence on them." He displayed the scrap of paper he found. "Let's hope I don't find any more littering around here, otherwise we'll do more damage than a few leg wounds."

The bartender wasn't so stupid after all...he got the drift. Fuming, he stayed in place and said nothing as the three of us left the bar. Fortunately for us, nobody else in the bar seemed to care. We left the bar as if we owned the place.

Once we were outside, Byte questioned Eagle, "Sir, shouldn't we check in now?"

"Just getting to it. We need to get our friends over to the NGPD, too." He switched on his radio. "Alpha to Nest, come in, over."

Lizzardis responded, "Nest to Alpha, we're here. Way to check in at the last second there, Eagle, over."

"Har har, Praporshchik. We have two KK members in custody. We need to bring them in. Any chance at getting an NGPD car over here, over?"

"Don't think so, sir. We might need to hold them over at the Barracks for now. You know well that the NGPD doesn't tread over there, over."

"Good point. Well, we have leads to go on for now, so I have no objection returning. Any action nearby? Over."

"No sir. Everything's been quiet. Especially Golf Squad, over."

Eagle's brow furled. "What do you mean? Over."

"Well, they haven't even bothered checking in since 2030 hours, sir. Over."

Eagle paused a second. "And you're not doing anything about it?? Alpha to Golf, come in! Come in Golf!" No response.

Lizzardis was silent from that point. I think he realized what happened. Eagle broadcasted to the Barracks, "Attention all Soldiers, this is EagleRock. We have a problem here."

End of Chapter 10

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