As the warm sunlight beams down across Genus, the restful village of Covington, outside the Capital, is interrupted by the sound of soldiers marching blended with a noise like the heavy chugging of some steam-driven machinery. A little way outside the village is a large military depot, with a complex railway track running all the way along the camp zig-zagging past buildings and various obstacles. Everywhere, there are notices in Aniversian, each translating to say:
DUE TO THE WAR EFFORT, ALL MILITARY RAIL VEHICLES ARE HEREBY DECOMMISIONED AND ARE TO BE SENT TO THE NEAREST SCRAP MERCHANT. AS REPLACEMENTS, THE GENUS MILITARY RAILWAY WILL USE ANTIQUATED MACHINERY FOR ROUTINE TASKS.
Sure enough, in the nearby Engine Shed are four engines, being cleaned and polished by several military personnel. The first is an American 4-8-4 Northern originally meant for the Northern Pacific RailRoad. Next are two British GWR Class 14XX Tank Engines, followed by an Austrian Golsdorf 310 and a British LMS Fowler Class 4P 2-6-4 Tank Engine. This is the Genus Military Railway, a backup auxiliary defence system used in times of urgency.
Post by Kooshmeister on Feb 15, 2005 12:55:51 GMT -5
Dr. Croaker and his two beefy Stormtoad bodyguards ride on the quaintly old-fashioned locomotive into the Railway, unaware that Captain Mimi Le Fleur is kinda stowing away on board.
Looking out the window from their seat, the first big toad says, "I don't get it. How come all their stuff is so old?"
"Who knows?" replies Croaker, also looking out the window. "I've long given up trying to figure these filthy mammals out, and I'm a scientist! But Wing Commander Sludge will certainly be pleased to hear of this in addition to what's on the diskette, heh-heh!"
Just then, Staff Sergeant Perkins arrives to give them more info. "The reason everything is so old-fashioned is due to the fact that our up-to-date engines were scrapped for ammunition and to lower the cost of diesel fuel."
He points to a small depot on the other side of the track. "You need to go there if you want to get off of this planet alive. A captured Double Bubble is inside, so two of you will have to share cockpits."
In an instant, the panther fires a maser at one of the Toads behind Croaker. Luckily, it does nothing but give him a slight cut. Several other mammals around the depot, including Captain LaFleur, all point masers and other forms of guns at them.
"I'm doing it to retrieve the diskette, now just keep your hands up and you'll be OK once 2nd Lieutenant Wilson gets here."
Post by Kooshmeister on Feb 17, 2005 10:09:07 GMT -5
The huge Stormtoad yelped as Perrkins' maser hit him in the arm, and he yelled, "Owie! I've been bitten by a mosquito!" and then he and his equally hulking companion began to frantically search for the offending insect, until noticing the large variety of weaponry aimed at them. "Uh-oh..."
Croaker, for his part, was stunned, mouth agape. "What sort of doublecross is this?!" he roared, his voice unusually loud and deep for such a small toad. He looked around at all the blaster-wielding mammals, then quickly reached into his pocket, as though to get a blaster, but instead he pulled out a diskette. Tossing it to one of the big Stormtoads, he commanded, "Swallow it!"
"What?" the Stormtoad said, observing the diskette. He shook his head fiercely. "Uh-oh! I might choke on it!" Croaker palmed his face as the two huge toads began to hand the diskette back and forth between themselves, arguing over who should swallow it. "You swallow it!" "Nuh-uh! YOU swallow it!" "No, you!"
Snatching the diskette away, Perkins simply smiles. "On second thought, I think I'll swallow it." As Perkins places the diskette into his pocket, a well-built dog in a Royal Artillery uniform marches up, coughing as he mumbles to himself. The insigna on his shoulder denotes the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
"Now then," the dog barks in a gruff voice. "What goes on here?"
Post by Kooshmeister on Feb 18, 2005 12:18:41 GMT -5
"Hey! Gimme that!" growled the left Stormtoad, reaching threateningly for Perkins' throat with his enormous hands. The appearance of the dog wearing a Royal Artillery uniform made him stop though.
"I'll tell you what goes on here," said Dr. Croaker, "we're being harrassed by Sergeant Perkins here!" He spun to Perkins, point one of his skinny green digits at him. "Illegal seizure of private property! My men and I have done nothing wrong!"
"Nothing wrong?" the dog enquires. "Let's see shall we? You're on Genus stealing information on secret installments of the UAC, and from what I've just been told, you're also working for Wing Commander Sludge!"
The dog frowns and pats Perkins on the back. "Staff Sergeant Perkins happens to be a spy for the UAC, he works undercover in the bar frequently. Now, unless you do want to be harrassed, Doctor Croaker if that is your real name, I suggest you co-operate!"
Post by Kooshmeister on Feb 19, 2005 13:00:38 GMT -5
"Uh-uh," said the first big Stormtoad in response to the Royal Artillery dog's mention of Wing Commander Sludge. "We not working for Sludge. We working for Professor--" He was cut off as Croaker suddenly walked over and stomped viciously on his foot, making the big toad howl in pain, jumping up and down on his other foot while clutching his injured one. "Ooowwwww! Owie, owie, owie! What'd I say? What'd I say?"
"It doesn't matter now. Seeing as you're here, we might as well do something with you." but the dog is interrupted when Captain LaFleur runs up from a nearby building.
"Excuse me, Lieutenant, but Fireball XL6 is requesting permission to land. You're the head of this depot, so what do you say?". Hearing Mimi mention the words "Fireball XL6", the dog is a little unsure at first, but finally nods his head once, and watches Mimi run off.
Post by Kooshmeister on Feb 20, 2005 12:29:35 GMT -5
As soon as the ship lands, a certain moss-green hair wearing a matching muddy-brown business suit, gray slacks and dark green tie gets out and quickly crosses the railway to where everyone is. He skids to a halt beside the Royal Navy canine, quickly looking over the small group that has assembled.
He pauses to catch his breath as he and Dr. Croaker lock eyes for a moment, and frown at one another. It seems they know each other. "All right," Renfield finally says, looking extremely miffed, "What's going on here? I leave Genus for one little census inquiry, and suddenly we've been invaded by toads?"
"It must be them blasted jamming beams used against Orwell!" the dog concludes, and holds out a paw for a handshake.
"I am 2nd Lieutenant Brian Wilson, the head of this railway, and these are three toad Prisoners Of War found skulking around with a diskette full of classified information on UAC personnel and equipment."
Post by Kooshmeister on Feb 21, 2005 3:17:31 GMT -5
"And how would you know what was on that diskette?" Croaker demands to know, the short toad's eyes bulging in fury. "I'm telling you, this is a frameup! You filthy mammals haven't got a thing on me!"
"Watch that language, toad," scolds Renfield, pointing at Croaker and indicating that he be silent. Turning back to Wilson, the hare smiles, his mood apparently changing for the better as he grabs the dog's hand and shakes it vigorously. "Lieutenant Renfield Billings, UAC Security Council," he says. "You did good work, Lieutenant. I've long suspected that someone on the inside was leaking information out to the toads, and that this little sorry excuse for an amphibian, whose name is Dr. Croaker, was the one collecting the stolen data."
Turning to Perkins, he held out his hand, "I'll take the diskette now, if you please Sergeant. That's sensitive UAC material."
Perkins does as he's told and hands Renfield the diskette. Meanwhile, Wilson is scolding Croaker.
"You should be careful, Croaker. I may not know about the contents of the diskette, but I do know that someone has duplicated information on UAC installations and inserted it onto a diskette similar to that one Lt. Billings is holding! On top of all that, any Toad foolish enough to step onto Genus is automatically a prisoner-of-war!"