Steve enjoyed this idea the most, still trying to keep his ego low on the matter, though it could not be helped for the time being. ZealPropht and Krazy Sam would probably yell at him for being like that, and he could only imagine anyone else's thoughts on the matter. Truthfully, he didn't care too much. They had a right to yell at him, with Sam being one of his closer friends in the Legion, and Zeal; well Zeal was another matter entirely.
The time was nearing for the meeting to start. Steve made sure he was early, usually to greet, say hi, and sometimes use the time as an excuse to duck out later in the night. Tonight was normal like any other night. He sat at his solid oak desk, typing on one of the many desktops that were hooked up to the massive server and supercomputer in the bowels of the complex. His current story The Coming Storm, along with his What Ifs and Journals works were on back burner. His inspiration shot, he looked forward to another peaceful Friday night. The insanity of Sam, the voice of reason from Brian, the loving words from Zeal. Yes, it would be a good evening.
JWolf was the first to enter the room that night. Seeing the large lycanthrope, he smiled and waved a hello, leaning back in his leather chair.
"Evening Wolf." The Dragoon nodded to JWolf.
"Hey Gasper, how ya doing?"
"I'm good, you?"
The two conversed for a while; not talking much as Steve was still unfamiliar with a few of the newer members who had joined during his summer absence. He turned toward the World Wide Web on his desktop to check his mail quickly, seeing if someone would not be around for the meeting. As of late, a resurgence of LOF members had started with Wolf in the lead, followed by Husker Du on some occasions, and more recently Lady Marrah.
Jerm soon entered the room, and Steve got up to meet the Computer Science genius. They talked for a few minutes, falling mostly on topics about the latest fanfic Jerm was working on, Culminations. The Dragoon had to admit that his counterpart had done a fairly successful job since his appearance on Icy's page. The three men continued talking for moments when yet another entered the room. It was Icy Brian, their leader. Steve had met Brian around the winter and spring of 1998, and the two hit it off rather well. During the school year of 1998/1999, he'd come to consider Brian a close friend.
"Yo Icy!" Wolf said happily, rushing over to greet the webmaster.
"Hey fearless leader." Came Gasper's response from the background. Brian greeted everyone in a big hello, when Steve noticed he was missing the conversation. With all of them at various parts in the room, Steve made a note to contact Icy later on some formatting for RC. Minmei was next to enter the conference room, with Taran and Sam right behind her. Sam nearly ran over Steve to talk to him, and the two started a lively chat, calling Taran over to over to join. Various shouts and laughs could be heard from the people gathered, but there was more to come this night.
A shadow converged on the Complex, as they turned to see a person run into the room, then run back out. Paul Nathans had been one of the largest antagonists to get at the LOF as of late, which was preceded only by the Infamous Albert. The fiasco had gone on over a year ago, but it was still fresh in some people's minds. Paul wasn't that bad of a guy in Steve's eyes, as the two had talked on a few occasions. Yes, Nathans was a dork to Steve, but the Dragoon could be charged with the same offense. Right now, he considered it an uneasy truce.
"Hey Paul." Brian and Steve said as Nathans ran to his own private LOF complex.
"Bye Paul." They both said again. The evening continued, fights were started, stuff happened, when finally, Steve held his breathe. Zeal had entered the room. She indicated hi to everyone then chatted with Sam for a while. Steve smiled to her, nodding a pleasant hello and indicating his intent on wanting to talk to her later. She smiled back, acknowledging the idea, and went back to listening to Sam. His grin was larger now, as he planned on whisking her away to their private room.
His plans were simple, a few threats, maybe a harsh word or two, but nothing more. He just wanted to scare them. The person looked to his HUD (heads up display.) and slowly vectored over the Legion's Complex. Though remote by car or any other land transport, the building could be easily spotted from the air. The stranger scanned the complex, finding that both the shields and cloaking were down. He smiled in glee as he sent the data stream into the large satellite array atop the docking bay. The small ship quickly blasted off towards its larger counterpart, docking with it. The stranger walked down the access ramp, and then to the main control room, where his master sat in a large command chair, coordinating data and ships around the globe.
"The message is sent."
"And the virus?"
"It cannot be detected, but I am unaware of their systems as of late."
"No matter." The leader said smiling within the folds of the cowl that covered his face. "They cannot track it, nor can they eradicate the virus. Did they scan you?"
"No my lord, they did none of the sort."
"Excellent, proceed with phase two. Pull up Files and dossiers on this list of people, I want to see them on my desk in the morning. We will be outbound to Krinis in 12 minutes."
"Yes, my lord." The stranger said bowing and leaving for his tasks. The dark master continued to monitor the current systems that were displayed, a smile crept up again.
"Soon. Soon, I will have my revenge, and soon I will destroy the Legion of Fantasy."
Amidst the party that was surprisingly in full swing, Steve looked through the system once more, finding a message sent to the LOF's internal comm systems. He read it slowly, then checked for viruses on the attachment. Jerm's program was working smoothly, and cleared the attachment. Steve looked it over, and left it in the 'current business' folder in the mailbox. Zeal walked over to him, and looked over his shoulder at the monitor.
"Aren't you enjoying the party?" She inquired. Her evergreen hair was pulled back and styled into a braid of sorts. Her clothes were immaculate, resembling that of a late 18th century noblewoman's suit. He smiled, lounging back in his chair.
"Who says I'm not. I just enjoy it in different ways. Haven't seen you in awhile, been okay?" He responded.
"Just tired, busy and the like. The new chapter of Story of Magus is almost done though."
"I can't wait to see it." She huffed at him, rounding the desk to put a hand on the chair.
"Hmm." Her violet eyes looked onto his current desktop, and her hand roamed to his shoulder. He raised his hand to hers, and held it there for a few moments.
"I really am."
"I'm not doubting you, just didn't have anything to say."
"Oh." He shrugged down, embarrassed almost. "My bad."
"It's okay. I'll let it go this time." Zeal said, smiling and touching his cheek, laughing a little. "So what are your plans for the evening?" Steve asked.
"Don't know, I wanted to look up some stuff on the net, and the main system. Mostly fanfic."
"Yeah." There was an awkward pause in their conversations, or so it seemed to him. He felt he was doing something wrong sometimes, just odd moments where he wasn't keeping her interest anymore.
"Anything new in the mail box?"
"Just some mail that got beamed in. For Icy, Saul and me. Other then that, not much of anything. Naki here?"
"No, afraid not dear." Her hand went back to his shoulder.
"Well, strike up yet another meeting. Been a while since we've seen the furball."
The smile crept up on his face again. "Wanna go up to the room later."
"Not interested." She sighed. "Is-"
"No, not that, just to be together like I said, haven't seen ya in a while hon."
"I know like I said, I've been tired. But yes, later tonight, we'll go up and spend some time alone."
He laughed a bit, then went back to work. She watched him for a few minutes and he could feel their closeness. It'd been almost a year now since they'd started seeing each other, and for the first time in his life, "Gasper" Steve Keltner felt comfortable and at ease with ZealPropht.
R2-D4 made his way around Steve's chambers with relative ease. The astromech droid had been under Steve's tutelage and guidance, serving him with loyalty. Artoo was like ZP's Nu; both made to be a messenger or companion for their master when alone. The small droid made his rounds, finishing the day's work of communication with the mainframe located in the living area of the chambers. It was a rather rustic feel, with a door leading out to a balcony overlooking the river and mountains. It was more of a natural atmosphere, with hard wood floors under a few large rugs. A fireplace in the middle of the room, giving off heat during the winter times. A few chairs and a large sofa accompanied the living area, along with a kitchenette and food replicator. It was home to Steve for over 9 months, and had served him well as of late. Lighting the room were various lamps, and an expansive skylight looking up into the heavens. The sliding doors to the lift opened, revealing its lone occupant. Steve walked out, and was greeted by Artoo.
"Any news?" The droid gave off a series of quick beeps. Its utility arm held out a data-pad, which he grasped in his right hand. A list of messages from various LOF members saying their good-byes for the weekend, as most of them lived at home, with the exception of him and a few others. A few more beeps came from the droid, and Steve shook his head. "Yeah, that's about it. Go ahead and recharge for the night. Thanks bud." He patted the droid on the dome. It twirled its headpiece then went to its socket. Settling in, it hooted once more, then went into standby mode. Steve chuckled a bit, then went about preparing a sandwich. Gathering the ingredients, he swept the salad dressing he'd been calling mayo onto the white bread. Taking out some sliced turkey, he threw it on in a hurry, and cut the completed sandwich. Grabbing a Sprite, he ate quickly and feeling the hunger subside. A small ding was heard as the elevator opened once more to reveal the Prophet of Zeal. She walked over the kitchenette where He stood. Encircling him with her arms, she leaned against Steve.
"Hey." He said softly, reaching back to hold her.
"Hey." Zeal said. She held on to him for a moment, then he rotated, letting her circle around to his front.
"I don't have much to do here tonight. Sorry."
"Don't be sorry so much." She scolded. He smiled a bit, and bent over to kiss her.
"Okay, I won't. But we don't have to stand in the kitchen either." They laughed a bit. ZealPropht walked over to the couch, sitting on it and leaning into the soft cushions. Steve finished cleaning up, and ran across the room, jumping over the back of the couch and landing next to her.
"So how was your week?" She asked.
"Not too bad I guess. Work sucked as usual. But hey, money's money."
Artoo finished his recharge cycle early, and hooked up with the main systems. The data downloaded into his main hard-drive, along with a data string that had circulated through the system from an attachment previously that night. The data string fed through his hard drive, changing the drivers and motivaters little by little. The data string was then formatted by into a holo-picture message. Artoo rolled over to where the two talked. Swiveling his head, he beeped quickly.
"Shoo you noisy droid!" ZP said in a harsh tone. Steve looked at the astromech, and saw the flashing light on its dome.
"Hon, he's got a message. Go ahead and play it Artoo." It swiveled its head to show its holo-projector. The hologram was blue, and showed the person around the size of 10 inches. The man's face was covered by a large mask, his body that of a robot.
"Sounds like some bad anime villain."
"Looks like something from some Mega Man game." The message started, catching their attention.
"Legion of Fantasy
Your reign over the fanifc section is at an end. Your so-called "elite" group has produced nothing but crap for over a year now. Your only good authors were Nanaki and Krazy Sam, and neither of them have done anything for months.
"Come July, I'll be assuming control of all things fanfic. If you want to stop me, you're welcome to try, because you can't. There is no way in hell you weak battlers can defeat me. Feel free to recruit all the outside help you want. Even Paul Nathans couldn't save you now. Enjoy your last weeks together, because I'll be here before you know it."
The two stared at the hologram as it dissipated. They stared perplexed at the message. Zeal was the first to act.
"Sounds like some bad anime villain. Artoo, where did you get this message?" Artoo beeped a couple times, while Steve grabbed the translation pad he used with Artoo.
"I don't believe it that message. Artoo, scan the message, check for any viruses!" He rushed over to the Droid docking bay. The droid started its scan with the implanted data string starting to systematically wipe his systems. A small program was initiated that began to run its course. Artoo continued the scan, as steam and smoke started coming out of the astromech droid. Zeal spotted it, and slowly backed away from it.
"Steve, Artoo's going crazy!" She ran over to him, knocking him further away from the droid. "Get down!" He picked them up, and using his trained Dragoon jump, lunged them both into his private chambers as the droid's power generator overloaded. Shrapnel flew out, hitting the two of them with stinging shards of metal. A large flame engulfed the room's furniture. The couch was destroyed, while a chair was launched through one of the windows. A heat wave blew over the two lovers burning them, with only the protection of their clothes to save them from a far worse punishment. Steve looked up from covering his head.
"Shit." He said to himself. His foot had one of the former droid's optical lenses in it. The force of the blast had blown through the socked foot, and imbedded itself in the bone. Zeal's leg was chewed up; along with a section of the droid's casing lodged in her shoulder.
"You can say that again." She replied with a strain in her voice. Steve tried sitting up, but felt the burns on his back. His clothes were no more, save scraps from his pants and the upper part of his shirt. Zeal was more covered, save for the parts where her legs were shredded.
"You okay hon?"
"NO! What do you think! My leg's hurt."
"They're shredded, and fuck, my room's gone too. I catch the bastard that did this, I'm " He went off into various ways of torture and punishment as he helped her up. Hitting one of the comlinks in the private chambers, a screen popped up to show a tired Jerm still in the main conference room.
"Jerm, do a search of the main computers. Check for that message beamed in about three hours ago." Jerm looked into the view screen and noticed the burning couch.
"What the hell happened!"
"Artoo had a lot on his mind, and decided to blow up. Zeal's hurt bad, and we could use some first aid up here." Steve looked over to Zeal who was now on the bed, lying in pain. His arm was now hurting, finding some more metal in his bicep.
"I'll have someone up in a minute. Are you two okay?"
"I think so. Whoever did this knew us well enough to plan ahead. Find anything yet?" Jerm nodded, keying different commands into his workstation.
"Holy shit! G, this is one heavy-duty virus. I don't think any of the systems were able to pick it up. Once activated, it'll rearrange drivers, and in your droid's case his motivater. R2-D4 must have picked it up."
"Can you purge it?"
"Yeah, we just have to make sure to get it out of all the systems." Jerm replied.
"Surgery droids affected?"
"Why do you ask." Steve winced in pain.
"Cuz I have a piece of glass in my foot for crying out loud! Look, sorry; just see if you can purge the system of the virus. I'll talk to you in a little bit." Jerm sighed and waved. Steve turned from the video screen, and looked over to Zeal. The door opened, and Kaeru walked in with a first aid kit.
"What happened here?"
"Artoo to blew a fuse." Zeal called out from the other room. "We got caught in the madness." She groaned in pain, as Kaeru walked over to the bed followed by a hobbling Steve.
Kaeru brought the case up, and took out a mastered Cure Materia. Closing his eyes and murmuring some words, the wounds stop bleeding. The surgery droids rolled over to ZealPropht, injected a sedative, and extracted the various shards of metal. It was quick, and painless for her. He mumbled a few more words, healing her fully, along with waking her. She woke up, looking down at her leg.
"Thanks. Your turn Steve." She jumped off the now blood soaked bed, then reached her arm out to help Steve. He sat down on the large canopied bed, and showed his arm to the newest member of the Legion.
"Flesh wound eh?" He smirked. Beckoning a surgery droid over, Kaeru stepped back, letting it examine the Dragoon. It shot a painkiller into Steve's arm, knocking him out. Held up by Kaeru, Steve's head nodded over, his breathing light now. The droid extracted another piece of metal from the green dome of R2-D4. Kaeru sealed the wound then laid the larger man down on the bed. Bringing his feet up, Zeal looked over the whole procedure, and motioned towards his foot. The bleeding had subsided, and now oozed. The droid proceeded to take the glass out, but looked at the bone again. Talking in its robotic voice, it turned to Kaeru and ZealPropht.
"The bone was traumatized by the insertion of the glass, it is repaired, but we will need to check it in five days time. Until then, the subject is not to damage it further."
Zeal sneered. "Fat chance of that happening." The medical droid turned to the Prophet and stated again.
"The subject is to remain of his lower appendages. If you must, use a cane or crutch. That is all." Kaeru sealed the wound on his foot up, then ran the cure spell over the two of them for burns. Healed, she woke Steve up with a jostle. The Dragoon opened his eyes, looking up into Zeal's violet irises.
"Wow I'm in heaven-" On that note, she hit him in the shoulder, close to his now old wound.
"Don't go there. You can't walk too much for a while. Use your spear or a crutch. Steve, I told you not to keep that damned droid around." The medical droids exited the room, returning to their stand-by stations.
Kaeru looked at the two, and spoke. "Um, if you guys need anything, Jerm and Minmei are here. See ya two later." The young author left in a hurry, not wanting to intrude in their fight.
"See ya man. Thanks." Steve nodded. He turned back to Zeal, and looked plaintively to her. "Hey, how was I s'possed to know someone's gunning for us."
"You're right. Look, you can't stay here tonight. Might as well salvage what you can. 'Twas a good room though. At least I liked it, for the time being." She shrugged.
"Hon, you're not by chance offrin' me a place to stay are ya?"
"After what happened up here no."
Steve's eyes widened. "Where the hell am I supposed to stay then hm?"
"I'm sure the Storm will have more then enough room. Besides, you always said you felt it was unprotected." She scoffed. He struggled to get off the bed, but felt a dull pain in the sole of his foot and his ankle. "Here, I hate seeing you like this. Where's your spear at?" He pointed over to the closet, letting her follow his hand, and looked at the weapon rack. A few spears lined the wall, along with an old dusty cane. She grabbed it, along with his best spear from what she could tell, and brought them over to him. Steve eagerly grabbed the cane, and tried once more to get up. This time successful, he hobbled to the door of his private chambers.
"I'm gonna miss this room. It's been pretty good. And I'm gonna miss Artoo."
Zeal hit him again. "Would you stop whining about that droid, geez, men and their toys." She continued to grumble as they left the now desecrated room.
Icy Brian looked at the message that had finally been removed from the now dead virus. Studying the figure along with his co-leader and friend Saul. Finally, the two looked at each other.
"So this came through last night?" Brian finally asked?
"Yeah, attached with a nasty little program that damn near killed us." Steve said, sitting in his desk chair in the main conference room. His cane leaned against one of the windows, with Zeal sitting on built-in bench in the alcove. The four had been watched the message ten times now.
"You're right about one thing though ZP. This guy is like a bad anime villain." Brian smirked, laughing a bit. Steve arched a brow, and slammed his hand down on the desk.
"C'mon, he's from Mega Man, I know it!" The four burst out laughing. Settling after the light-hearted jokes, Saul was the first to get serious, rubbing his chin.
"It confuses me. Yes, some of us have not been writing, but why strike at us? How could we threaten this person?"
Zeal sighed, leaning back against the wall. "Couldn't tell ya. But I find it odd he told us not even Paul could save us."
"That makes me think even lower of this one." Saul retorted. Steve leaned back in his chair, searching the message logs again.
"It just wish I could track this guy. He'd be easy to, if I just knew some things I could figure it out." He gave up and exited the mail program.
"I don't like how he called us weak." Saul spoke up, clenching his fists.
"Can't be helped, he's trying to ag us on. I'd say he's a threat though. Considering he killed my droid, destroyed my room, and attempted to hurt her and me. I wanna go after him. I want him dead, or locked up." The Dragoon twirled around in his chair to face the three. Saul's armor clinked slightly, as the Venezuelan stood rigid, looking down up. Searching, he looked to the roof of the floor and sighed.
"So what do we do now." Steve asked.
"Bring it to the Legion, it's addressed to all of us. We'll have to be put on alert status. How soon can we get everyone here?" Brian looked up from his chair to Saul.
"If we send something now, about 12 hours." He replied. Brian huffed, struggling to figure a course of action.
"Send the notice. Everyone is to be here as soon as possible. I think we're in for a long fight "
Gasper S. Keltner's Fanfiction