The End of the ESF Forums

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Been thinking of typing this up for a while, and so I have! This is only the first chapter of a medium-sized story. A little small, but I hope you enjoy it ;).

Chapter 1 - The Dream

The night sky was lit up by flashes of green and flares of red. It was as though Heaven was at war with the Earth. People screamed left and right as rays of pure energy evaporated them while they ran accompanied by the sound of stomach turning poofs as their powdered remains floated in the air. One of the rays struck a building, detonating it into flames and sending it toppling down onto hundreds of fleeing civilians. Loud, mechanical stomping and high-pitched zapping sounds could be heard in the distance followed closely by screaming.

Miles away, a giant, three-legged machine stood hundreds of feet tall over watching the chaos. Its long metallic head, shaped almost as though it was a horizontal tear-drop, contained three blinding lights which could be compared to eyes, each shining as stage lights down upon the deadly scene, and was held up by three skinny, but powerful-looking, segmented legs with three long finger-like structures at the end of each for support. Two long, skinny, tentacle-like arms protruded from under its head structure and attached to each was a thin, crescent shaped weapon. The weapons looked as though they were holding light in a stasis, ready to be released in an ultimately deadly attack. Behind it stood another one, bellowing a terrible bass roar as it unleashed its blinding weapons upon several people below it. When it fired, a stream of blueish-green shot from the crescent weapon and widened as it approached the ground, traveling almost instantly in a beam-like form. Everything it touched either poofed into powder or detonated in flame. Further behind it walked at least five more tripods, all of which were firing and killing hundreds of helpless civilians as they strode high above.

“Please help me!” begged a young woman, powdered gray by ash, to a taller, ominous-looking man. He turned his head and glared down at her, but said nothing and instead ignited a sabre of some sort. The blade was not solid, but pure energy. It glowed black on the inside and blood red on the outside and echoed a very eery, quiet scream. He raised the saber above his head and narrowed two black slits which could barely be called eye sockets. “Please, no!” screamed the woman, backing away. “Please, don't! Please! Ple-NO!” The man lunged at her, striking the phased saber through the woman's mid-section. She let out a little "Oh.." and her entire body spasmed from pain. Blood dribbled down from her mouth to her neck, which was paling at a rapid pace. With the last of her ailing strength, she stretched out her pale, shaking arm and felt the man's face. “Cucumba...” she whispered, falling limp.

Cucumba awoke in a deathly-cold sweat, his heart pounding in his chest at a very rapid rate. Images of his dream were still convulsing before his eyes and his fists were gripped so tightly that his knuckles were white. He sat up and turned so that his legs were off of his mattress. He leaned forward and placed his elbows on his knees followed by his face onto his hands. A nightmare...? And me the antagonist, the bad guy?

The sweaty ex-administrator slid off his knees and stood up, his feet stepping onto a fresh pair of leather pants and boots that a maid-bot had apparently placed while he slept. While he put them on, his conscious raced about what his mind had witnessed, but it was evaporating from his memory. I shouldn't worry about it, he thought. A dream is a dream is a dream, that's all it is. With his clean pants and boots on, he grabbed the black, leather duster to compliment the set and his dark, mirrored sunglasses to complete it.

“Lights on,” he muttered in a croaked, tired voice. As commanded, the ceiling lit up and his entire room came into view. His bed was the largest object in the room, containing black pillows and sheets, both of which were very rumpled up from his awakening. Next to it stood an older wooden cabinet, which was the usual resting place for his sunglasses. Also on it was an older book which didn't appear to have a title, but was very scathed and tattered. The floor was metal, but had a woody appearance applied to it, like the walls, for personal preference and was pretty clean. Following it from in front of the bed would reveal a picture hanging on a wall of an unnamed woman and child with a few finger prints on the glass covering, showing it had been handled often.

The compartment door was completely different from the room with bolts and iron; very sturdy and strong looking, but also very appearing very unfriendly. On the wall directly next to it was a small screen used for visitors and messages. This was the only technology shown in the room, sans the lights. As he walked passed the door the screen buzzed to life with static and then the clear face of a dear friend: Majin_You.

“Cucumba!” Majin_You said through the small screen. “Been trying to contact you for a while (Cucumba noticed the flashing sign below which said 'Missed messages: 4'), but I'd like to personally invite you to a moderator/administrator meeting. Care to come?”

“What time?” asked Cucumba, rubbing his head.

“Uhm... now?”

“I'll be there,” Cucumba yawned, “shortly.”

“Good, good. Oh and, when I am getting your head administration compartment?” Majin_You asked with a wink and a laugh. Cucumba only smiled and pushed the end conversation button below the bi-directional screen. He stepped towards the door, which slid horizontally open with a loud, mechanical thump. The narrow-eyed ex-admin looked out of his room and began his trek towards the Administration Tower.
 
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It's coming along nicely - much improved since you last had me read over it those many months ago!

btw...I am the Head Administrator =\
 
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Seconded, Maj is the Head Administrator.

Nicely done though, the writing is well beyond your normal Smith.
 
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Majin_You said:
It's coming along nicely - much improved since you last had me read over it those many months ago!

btw...I am the Head Administrator =\
I'm making Cucumba seem reluctant to give up his room ;P. In the story you are the head administrator, so don't worry :D.
 
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I better be the dominant ruler in the story or something D:

I wanna be in it /sob
 
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I like it, as long as you don't add and associate me with Pain's ass =x
 
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Nice story, now I have something to do again. :smile:
 
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Cuc is the bad guy!?!?!

/me wonders if he will be mentioned squashing EVM posts and closing "When will ESFv1.3 be released" threads. *hint hint nudge nudge*
Or maybe I'll die in an extremly painful way, touching upon the joke of my name that I hear oh so very often.

Cold Steel said:
I like it, as long as you don't add and associate me with Pain's ass =x
YOU SWORE YOU WOULD NEVER SPEAK OF THAT >_<
 
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I volunteer being the tragic hero! O.O
 
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I was thinking of doing something like this when the forums took their recent dark turn, but I realised I don't know enough about the locals to make characters out of them :p

This chapter made for enjoyable reading, both action and (possibly unintentional?) comedy.

Majin_You asked with a wink and a laugh
So i'll continue reading, looking forward to the next chapter :]
 
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That'll probably be one of the few comedic moments as I'm going to try to make this very melancholy.
 
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Looked nice :p

Can i be the mindless forum eating zombie ^^
 
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Next one coming soon. Composing it now.

It'll be posted tomorrow =).
 
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Rock on, I've been waiting to type 10 more characters.

Seriously though, I'm curious to see how you think Cuc can die. ;)
 
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Chapter 2 - The Surprise

As Cucumba strode out of his metallic door, he was greeted by rays of the mid day sun coming in through the overhead window. His boots made a slight, yet heavy, clunk as he walked towards the Administration Tower, the tallest structure in the entire forum. The hallway he was in seemed devoid of life, as it was the highest tier of the residential compartments: the staff section, and the majority of the moderators were already at the Tower. Only one remained behind, Arthos, who, unfortunately, was looking extremely pale; probably for forgetting about the meeting. He stood by the elevator, tapping his shoe on the glass floor.

“Any time, now...” He whispered under his breath, glancing down at his watch. He stood at ~5'10” and held a body weight of ~180-200 pounds. His brown eyes, while dark, stood nothing compared to his hair and clothes, both of which were pitch black. They seemed to oppose his slightly tanned skin, paled by anxiety, which held its own battle scars. A package of important looking papers were gripped tightly in his left hand and his right was near his face, as it contained his watch. “I swear to fu--”

“Hello,” interrupted Cucumba, smirking slightly. “Don't worry, I'll be your alibi. Say I slipped or something.” Cucumba laughed, but Arthos only gave a wiry smile.

“What? Oh, thanks.” said Arthos, finally lowering his watch hand. “I was supposed to be there --” He raised his hand and looked at his watch once again, “ -- 10 minutes ago. They are so going to fire me.”

“Do you really think that?” Asked Cucumba.

“Well... I... They...”

“Look, don't worry. You're acting as though they're going to cut off your balls. Just calm down. I've been late a few times myself, and I still have mine.” Cucumba laughed again, but Arthos didn't. Instead he only sighed and looked to his feet .

“Finally,” Arthos said, looking through the glass floor. “Took it God damned long enough!” The elevator was moving at a rapid pace up through its metal surrounding. As it slid up to their floor, it made no sound at all, almost as though it was gliding through butter. The only thing you could hear was the “Ping!”, meaning it had reached their floor.

Both Arthos and Cucumba stepped on and waited. The doors remained open for a few seconds for any stray passengers. Then finally, they closed and the computer's female voice came from the speakers.

“Welcome, Cucumba and Arthos. Please either push the button or say the floor or location that you wi-”

“Administration Tower,” interrupted Cucumba.

There was a slight pause and then, “I'm sorry, but the path to the Administration Tower has been temporarily removed from transit. Would you like to be brought in the General sector, where you may walk to the Administration Tower? It is only a few minutes from the elevator. Please either push the button of your answer or say it out loud.”

“Of course,” said Cucumba in an overly cheery voice. The elevator slid up slightly and then fell at a comfortable rate towards the ground. While on the outside you could hear nothing, on the inside you heard a comforting, light humming sound. The elevator came to a stop 12 stories down from where they were previously, and then began to slide to their right.

“Twenty seconds until the General sector,” said the computer woman.

The humming continued, dulling on and on. Cucumba's eyes began to defocus as he stared out of the glass sides onto the forum around him. Signs passed extremely fast, almost in a blur, buildings the same, and people also. Soon, he began to hear a voice that resonated with the humming of the elevator.

Your forums will fall before the power of the trip--

“Cucumba?” asked Arthos. “Cucumba?!”

Cucumba came back to life, his senses becoming sharp once again, and the voice fading as fast as it had come. The elevator was stopped. How long he had been phased away, he did not know.

“CUCUMBA?!”

“Yes, I'm fine. Just dosed off.”

“You didn't look like you were sleeping to me. Had your eyes open and were whispering something, but looked... dead,” said Arthos, still with a slight trace of panic.

“I'm fine. Let's go.”

Cucumba stepped out of the elevator, followed closely by Arthos. The crowd was extremely immense today for some reason. Around them stood massive structures with gigantic displays, showing hundreds of messages every few minutes with one major point displayed at the top, most likely the most popular of the bunch. Each building was slightly different in both color and structural form. The building labeled “Off-Topic” was circular in formation, but massively tall, with hundreds of people entering and exiting every minute or two. A triangular building labeled “ESF Chat” was almost as popular, but with about a third less visitors. A spectacular building with shining lights and models on display seemed to be ignored by the vast majority of the forum base with only 2-3 people entering or exiting at any given time. Closer inspection showed it to be the “Force Pit”, a building only visible to those who have paid the due.

Looking straight along this lane of buildings would lead straight to an incredibly massive structure that pierced the clouds. The bottom starting as the base of a pyramid, ascending into a long rectangular shape, and then finally at the top, an extremely sharp point, complemented by a holographic diamond above it, swiveling around without stopping. The tower itself was no one color and the sides were made up of thousands upon thousands of displays, each working together to create massive images of moderators, people wanted for crimes they committed, special birthdays, and other events.

Today, however, the tower was flashing pictures of a strange machine along with text. “Today! The future is NOW! Witness the next line of security and strength as we bring you the Tripods© of tomorrow!” Under this was an enormous animated picture of one of the Tripods©, standing erect and menacing, hundreds of feet tall. Further under this image was yet more text, “This image is actual size! Prepare to witness the ultimate in technology!”.

A crowd of thousands of people stood below the tower, all talking amongst themselves and glancing up at the sign, as though hoping for further information on the surprise. The crowd was divided up into two groups, separated by a cemented passage to in front of the tower.

“Thanks, Cucumba,” said Arthos, checking his watch one last time before setting off into the crowd and disapeering. Cucumba merely waved and rolled his eyes, and then set off into the dividing passage.

“This is amazing!” said one onlooker to Cucumba's left whose name tag revealed to be Fire Pheonix. “I've never seen anything like it!”

“It's nothing too incredible. If it's like 1.2.3, it'll be flawed,” said another.

“el-oh-el,” said a third on Cucumba's right. “Technology of the future here today? Overkill!”

Cucumba continued to walk up the path, eavesdropping into conversations as he went, trying to get an idea of what was happening. He wasn't used to being left in the dark. But then, a great roar of excitement occurred.

“WELCOME!” shouted the familiar voice of Majin_You through an extremely amplified microphone, accompanied by live feed of him on the whole tower. “Welcome and be wary, for this may 'rock your socks', as some people put it. We're very excited to bring you this incredible improvement to the forum, but I'm not the one who should talk about it. Instead, I give you the creator of the Tripods: Smith!”

Majin_You stepped down and nodded cheerfully to Smith, who stood up, and with no sort of doubt at all, walked up to the podium and turned to look at the tower. His face was magnified a thousand times on the thousands of displays behind him. He turned back to the crowd and smiled, his eyes hidden by his black sunglasses. He stood at a formidable 6” tall, and while he didn't look too powerful, his strength doesn't come from muscle mass, but by code and formulii. His black hair matched his sunglasses as well as his suit and boots. His stride was very powerful, almost purposeful with every step one of many in a never ending serious of thought out events. If there was one thing he feared, it was unpredictability.

“The creator or the Tripods, indeed,” said Smith, turning his head to look at all of the crowd, his smile widening. “It's nice to get some attention for once instead of my colleagues. Ah, well. Let's get down to business.” He turned his attention to a building next to the tower, standing a few hundred feet tall, but looking abandoned. Smith's face wrinkled slightly, as though he was concentrating slightly.

Only a few heads turned with Smith's at first, but almost immediately following the final word, an enormous, deep roar bellowed from behind the building, and every head in the audience turned to look at the source. The roar was extremely deep, sounding as though it came from a gigantic tuba. It played a very deep note and slurred up to a higher one. The ground rumbled slightly from the incredible bass produced from this mysterious instrument. Finally, it peaked off at a high note and stopped.

The entire crowd, including Cucumba, who was still only about half way along the road, had their mouths open. They stared at the source of the sound, but saw only the building. Then another roar occurred behind the first, and another, and another, further and further behind the previous. Then suddenly, the building detonated in flame, toppling down onto an empty, marked-off space. It exploded with debris and smoke, particles of its previous self tumbling, flaming, to the ground. As it fell, it made a terrible crashing noise. A bright stream of light pierced through the smoke and hit the falling building again, pushing it down even faster and causing even more fire to break out, followed by more smoke and explosions. As the beams were fired, a loud buzzing sound was created with a deep resonation. At least 4 beams were fired, completely incinerating the building and demolishing it into crumbled, flaming, piles of metal and dust.

A great three pronged structure stomped onto the debris. It was connected to a longer segmented, black metallic leg, only one of three, of some sort, leading to a great tear-shaped head with three circular lights, dimmed down because of day light, but still on because of the thick dust of the fallen building. The long head was black but decorated with orangish, thin stripes that were lit from the inside and pulsating. Under the head were two smaller, extremely thin tentacle like structures and at each end was a crescent shaped formation. Inside the crescent, from the top tip to the bottom tip, was a pulsing stream of electrical light, looking ready to be shot as a very devastating weapon. Further under these two tentacles was a bunch of longer, but skinnier, tentacles with different shaped endings, probably for different purposes, such as gathering, scouting, studying. This only described the one Tripod. There were at least 10 behind it, each looking just as menacing and evil.

“I present to you,” said Smith, his smile widened considerably, “the Tripods...”
 
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Tripods? Pff! Take out one leg and they're finished.
Nice 2nd chapter though. Can't wait till the 3rd.
 
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Well done, and I do appreciate the second set of quotation marks around "rock your socks", as you knew I wouldn't seriously say something like that :)

"<3", as they say

Can't wait for the next chapter. Keep up the good work!
 
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Interesting read, while you've taken some licenses with the characters, you definately have done them justice with small homages here and there. I also like the fact that your literary ability is coming up to speed with your imagination. Keep up the good work Smith.
 
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Sounds great man, im not usually around this part of the forums but its starting to catch on with me. It'd be nice to see someone with a user name that starts with the letter "W" and ends with "almart Security" in there. (hints to Smith to add him to the story...)
 
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