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The Adventures of Flash Jackson

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Here's a story I started writing about 5 years ago for Life on Mars and Mar Mission that I've added Alien Conquest and now Galaxy Squad into and soon Space Police. Still a WIP and I realize the writing's not that good. 

 

Updated, but still writing more.


 

Earth looked smaller and smaller as we rocketed towards Mars. I had no idea what to expect. Oh, I forgot to introduce myself, I am Flash, a pilot on the mission. I was sent to Mars after a team had gone about 2 years before us and encountered a peaceful Martian species though our probes indicate that they either moved off the planet or have gone into some kind of mass hibernation.

 

It felt like a malfunctioning roller coaster as we broke through Mars’ atmosphere but when we landed, I took the flag of the U.R.L. (United Republic of LEGO) and set it on the ground. Right next to it I saw something lying there. It was a crystal. I picked it up and took it to the newly assembled Eagle Command Base.

 

After analyzing the crystal, we found out that it was a very high power energy crystal. Auron, the leader of our squad, sent some men out to drill up more. Auron, however went out to explore mars and its wonderful sights.

 

I watched as Auron examined another green crystal. After picking it up, I noticed something else green moving. An alien! A new species! One we had never seen before! The being simply pointed at the crystal, drew its blaster, and began shooting at my commander.

 

When I heard the shots over by Auron, I, like my nickname, was on the spot in a flash. I turned off the invisibility field around my switch-fighter and Auron jumped in. While we were dashing away, Auron exclaimed, "LOOK OUT!" I turned to see where he was pointing and saw a platoon of alien vipers coming at us. I looked back just in time to avoid crashing into Mt. Olympus. I maneuvered the switch-fighter into the summit of the magnanimous mountain. "Here goes nothing" I said ominously, the vipers still on my tail.

 

I dove into the dormant volcano...or at least what we thought was dormant. It turned out to be a buzz of activity! I realized that I had stumbled on something big...actually it was more like BIG! I couldn't turn back though so I continued on with Auron in the back. He was trying to communicate with the Eagle Command Base but was having no luck because we were in the volcano.

 

2 minutes later, our shield ran out of energy. I had to do some heavy maneuvering to avoid the vipers and their laser beams but it wasn't long until we took a fatal hit and went down.

 

We crash landed on a cliff and watched my switch-fighter plummet below into a green glow. “Come on!" said Auron, "We have to run away!"

"Yeah but where?" I replied.

"How about that cave over there!" Exclaimed Auron. But just as we were going to run in, an alien commander landed in front of us and blocked our way. The commander grabbed us and whisked us off to his base.

 

While there, we were interrogated. This was tough because I don't speak Martian and Auron only spoke a little. It seemed like he wanted to know why we had attacked his planet, even though we only landed here on an exploratory mission. He soon abandoned the questioning and locked us in a cell.

 

Suddenly, I remembered my emergency radio! I tried to call on it. "PSSSHT-Ello?" Came the reply.

"We have been trapped by the Martians!" I hollered into it.

"Bzz-K Helpshhhet s weeeeo Way!.....Cation please?"

"He wasn’t our location" Said Auron.

"We're in Mt. Olympus!"

"Bzzzzweeeeooo cha. On the wpppptttp" And then, the battery died.

"Let's hope he understood us." I said.

"WAIT!" said Auron, "I still have my radio! Let me turn it on!

*radio* "mmumnucop ayrgo mayantee splaygon warple blorg!"

"Huh?" said I.

"It's the alien commander!" replied Auron." He is saying something along the lines of 'We now have enemy after our con...cun...Conquest of this planet 3 years ago when we took over the natives." And then the battery died.

"That means that the Martians aren't really Martians either! They're alien just like us!†I exclaimed.

 

But then we heard some rumbling and then some laser blasts. Our cell opened and they were Martians but they looked very different.

“Yip Yap Yip Yup†Exclaimed the first

“Huh?†Replied Auron

The second replied for him, “He says we're going to help.â€

“That’s all I need to Hear. Let's go!!!†I replied

“Wait!†Exclaimed Auron, “What are your names?â€

“I’m Vega and that’s Pollux.â€

 

They opened our cell and we escaped but were closely pursued by aliens until Vega led us to their cave. “That was close!†exclaimed Vega.

“How did you learn to speak English?†Inquired Auron.

“Long Ago in 2001 astronauts came and we made peace with them. As a gift they gave our chief a space suit. As a gift we gave them food.†Replied Vega

Pollux added, “How How How Waka Niko Yip Yuppa. Bow Chicka Wow Wow.â€

Vega translated for us. â€What he is saying is†Three years ago in 2008 the evil Aliens came in spaceships and attacked every single one of our villages! The devastation was terrible and they enslaved all of us. There are a few of us still resisting though, we call ourselves the Martian Resistance or MR for short.â€

 

Just then, some Alien assault tanks attacked us and chased out onto the face on mars.

Thankfully, some Astros were there to help. They blasted the tanks into oblivion.

“Take that ya’ aliens!†we heard coming from one.

 

“Come on!†Urged Vega, “We shall lead you to our humble cave which doubles as the HQ for MR.†So off we set and when we arrived, we were greeted by a Martian with a black space suit.

“Greetings astros!! My name is Reginald. We would request the service of you humans in our quest to reclaim our planet.†Suddenly, the Martians all look at each other and get on their knees and began begging!

One named Altair cried out, “Oh please help us please! please! Help us!â€

I looked and Auron and he looked at me. “What do you say?†asked Auron.

“How can we resist the challenge.†Was my reply.

 

We each grabbed an energy crystal and stuck it into the chest of the Martians. "WOW!†exclaimed Pollux. "That is so totally hip!"

"Yeah!" says Vega. "I feel so...so... so energetic!" and Vega proceeded to do a backflip jumping 4 feet into the air.

"We need more crystals" said Auron.

"I can help with that" came a gruff voice from behind us.

"Uh oh..." said I. It was the alien commander.

 

He took us back to their hideout in Mt Olympus. We were thrown back into the cell. Thankfully, I had grabbed my blaster and hidden it under my suit. I blasted the lock and we escaped.

 

We ran out into the alien base but were astounded by what we saw. There were Vipers everywhere and they were all flying away! "Hurry!" I shouted we up the stairway to the exit. "Here!" I shouted and handed Auron my blaster. "Take one out. You have better aim than I do." One was downed. I climbed into it. "You go to the base and alert them. I'll fly with them and help from the inside."

"But what if they notice that they you aren't and alien?" Asked Auron.

"I know it's risky but I have to take that chance!" I jumped into one of the downed vipers and flew off.

 

While in the air, I was able to learn a little of their history. They came from a planet name Xolandian. It is near the middle star of Orion's belt and they came because their planet was taken over by a mutant plant species they call Morbuzkah so they came to Mars to colonize. Unfortunately, they "had" to suppress the current life and took over enslaving, the real Martians. Soon, the Eagle base came into sight and I slowed my viper down so as not to be shot down by my own kind. That was my first mistake. I bumped into the troop leader and he noticed that I was Human. Gorf uu blan jango! (In English that's, "Human alert! Get him!") I then proceeded to fly down under them. Mistake number 2. I became target number one from the eagle base. I tried to dodge the blasts from both sides while trying to stay aloft. Soon, I crash landed on the ground with a very angry alien leader coming straight for me!

 

(From Auron’s diary)

Vega, Pollux, and I watched Flash leave. We realized we were DEEEPPPPP in enemy territory and we grabbed our blasters, prepared to blast our way out of anything.

Mistake 1: We ran out into the open with probably hundred thousands of aliens everywhere. Pollux suffered the pain of having an alien zap him with a taser. Vega and I dragged him out of there, he was drooling like a dog or to them a Zuzzimeroo (Mix of Rattlesnake and Some other thing.)We barely made it out alive, thanks to Vegas acrobatics and my quick thinking. We saw a Battle happening between the Martian forces and the Xolandians. We also saw another one happening by EGB and a Viper flying erratically.

 

The commander grabbed me by the throat and gruffly said, "Rooko minorf glorg!" "Huh?" I said. Suddenly, he slumped to the ground. Standing behind him with a taser was Cassiopeia, one of the true Martians. "Come on!" she said. "Where?" I replied. BLAM! She tazed another alien who flew too close to the ground. "Back to where you were of course!' I climbed into the viper and flew off again not even wondering how she knew English.

 

I spotted Auron below me and swooped down. It was more like a How-do-you-fly-this-thing sort of a swoop but I landed safely. "Flash!" exclaimed Auron. "Wow, what happened to Pollux?" I asked. Auron updated me. 'Come on! Lets get him to somewhere safer." 10 minutes later, we got him to the eagle command base.

 

"Uh uh. No way am I going to help an alien." That was our medic.

"Clay, you have to! He's not one of the aliens. He's a Martian!" exclaimed Auron.

"Even if he was, I still wouldn't. I have no experience working on aliens! I don't want to mess up. He's going to have to go back to his village and get fixed up by their doctor." "I'll be back" I said. 10 minutes later, I came back with Cassiopeia. "Cassie, can you help him?" "Try I can but maybe not help" she said. "HEY! What is that...that THING doing in my room?" screamed Clay. "Come on Clay, she's here to help you."

"Help you I will try, but not be sure" replied Cassie.

"Alright I guess but if we mess up, it's HER fault!" Clay gave in.

"Take the blame will I but no blame to be given I hope."

 

After 10 minutes of working on Pollux, they finally revived him. When we had just finished talking to him, the base suddenly exploded in sirens and alarms. "What’s that?" Auron asked. "That is our air supply running out" replied Clay "We don't need air" said Pollux. "Well that's all fine and dandy but what about us?" "I know!" said Cassie, "Follow me!" We followed her to a cave and inside, she led us to a river. "What good is a river?" Asked Clay skeptically. "It's a river of liquid oxygen!" exclaimed Auron, "Look! I can fill my tank with it and breathe it!" "Come on! Lets get some back to the base before our emergency supply runs out!" We ran a pipe to the river and into our air supply and the alarms stopped.

 

After 3 days of cleaning, we finally got the base back in order. We had taken a heavy toll on the aliens but suffered major damage too. We had to send an emergency shuttle back to Earth for supplies and medics. The base was in shambles and the oxygen was running low again. Everyone was very cautious about breathing and no exercise went on to conserve the air. Meanwhile, Auron and I became experts in the alien language. Both Martian and Xalandorian. By the end of the week, we were fluent in all dialects. The aliens meanwhile were doing the same. Because of our skills, Auron and I were assigned to become spies.

 

We were given disguises and sent into the alien camp as recruits. When we arrived, the alien commander gave us new names (since we said we were never named) our new names were (Auron) Dorun and (Flash) Norgu. We lived as aliens for weeks; sabotaging their machines, stealing supplies, and eating their weird food. Every night we'd send a broadcast to the Eagle base and update them on our latest schemes. One day, the commander brought us into his room. "Dorun, Norgu, your efforts to help our cause have been noticed.

"Well, that's nice" said Dorun.

"In fact," continued the commander whose name is Floop, "We are promoting you two to a status of power. You are now guards of the jail. You will be responsible for ALL escapes and prisoners. Congratulations! If you can prove yourselves in this task, you are well on you way to becoming commanders! Good luck."

 

We were flabbergasted. We were astounded. We were thrilled!

 

On our first day, 2 new astros were brought in. They didn't even realize that we were human (thanks to our disguise department) so we just faked that we were aliens who liked peanut butter (why peanut butter? Keep reading!) One of the astros had a mouse he had dubbed Mickey (for obvious reasons) that had, much like its ancestors a long time ago on sailing ships, hitched a ride on our spaceship. He had had it in his suit when he was captured. Auron and I came up with a brilliant plan. One night (here's where the peanut butter comes in!) I coated the keys in the peanut butter and left. During the night, Mickey, sensing his favorite snack, climbed up and got the keys allowing the astros to escape. Security didn't sense anything wrong since it was the mouse. Auron and I got away with the simple task of removing all peanut butter from the premises.

 

After completing our menial task, we decided to help start a mass escape. We collected supplies of TNT and rigged the locks with small charges. On the day of the task, we also deactivated the security cameras. Many of the astros were confused as to why two aliens were helping them but we didn't comment. We hid behind a barrier and pulled the fuse. The locks blew up as planned and we armed all the astros with the alien's weapons.

 

That was when we realized our mistake. The guns were rigged to only fire when being held. This by itself would have been fine except our body temperatures are 98.6. The alien's is 102.5. "Great" said Auron, "Now what?"

"We could give all the men fevers?" I offered

"Yeah, right. How?" came his reply

"I have an idea!" Came a voice from the back of the crowd. He told Auron and I and we got started immediately.

 

The man, whose name was Garret, happened to be an engineer and knew how these things worked. He modified the weapons to be for our temperature and we proceeded with our plan. We quietly marched into the hallway and took a few aliens as hostages. As we marched further, we noticed a room full of dials. I had to investigate. Entering the room, I noticed a book. I opened it and was astounded by what I saw. It was a plan to take over Earth! After reading further, it became clear that this was a species who were kind of like the Vikings. Taking over planet after planet as they explored new space. I pocketed the book and studied the dials closer.

 

As I watched, the dials lit up and dimmed in a series of patterns. "Hey Auron, Come over here!" I shouted.

"Yeah, what's up?" He inquired,

"Look at these dials. They seem to be giving a message but I can't figure out the code."

"Hmmm, let me have a look." After watching them for five minutes he said, "I don't get it either."

"That's too bad. HEY! I wonder if this book says anything about it!" I pulled out the book I had purloined and flipped through the pages. "Right here!" I exclaimed, "It shows the pattern." The book showed the code being displayed. We were astounded by what we learned.

 

Using the code, we were able to decode the patterns. The message displayed said that the Earth was going to be taken in 3 days! It said that they have been placing disguised Xolandians on Earth for weeks and are now ready for the attack. This was big. "Wow! I don't believe it!" exclaimed Auron,

"Me either!" I replied, "But we gotta do something about it!"

"But our radio messages take 3 days just to GET to Earth so by the time they get there, Earth will be gone and our support with it!"

"This is serious stuff!" lamented Auron. "Anyone got any ideas?"

"What if.... no. How about...no that's even worse," I thought, "Maybe we could..., nope not that either" And then I had it! "I've got it!"

 

"Jason!" I called to our communications expert," Do you think you could hack this computer?"

"Yeah, why?" he inquired,

"Here's what I'm thinking. If we hack their computer and send them a message telling them to hold off the attack for a week, we could have time to warn Earth and prepare. Maybe even find out who the disguised aliens are get them beforehand!"

"Great plan," said Auron," but why not simply tell them to call it off?" "Because they might A: get suspicious and B: find out about us in their base." I replied.

"I see it now. So we delay them long enough to warn "us" and get them before they know what hit them! Brilliant! Jason, get on it!"

 

Jason hacked into the system and we were on our way until we ran into a problem. We didn't know the writing system they used. "Great now what do we do?" Auron lamented. "Jason, can you change the system to English?" I asked. "Sure but it'll take me a few hours." he replied cheerfully "We've got just enough time. Get it done ASAP meanwhile, Auron, let’s go scout around." "Okay. I just hope this works."

 

First, Auron and I put our disguises back on. We decide it was about time to report to our "commander" Not surprising, he was not in a good mood. "You two! Do realize that while you were out to lunch (this is where he thought we were), the entire load of prisoners escaped. As punishment, I remove you from your ranks. You are to go join some of your comrades on our top secret mission to take over Earth. I’ve delayed the mission long enough for you to join them.

 

We concocted a plan. I was to fain a security alert on one side of the base while the astros escaped on the other side. I'd then slip away in the confusion. I just hoped it wouldn't cause Auron to come into any suspicion. I sneaked into the other side of the base and decided on a spur-of-the-moment decision to reduce suspicion by actually blowing up a wall. I pulled out my blaster and fired at the oxygen line. It exploded and I hit the emergency button. Immediately, the area was swarming with Xolandians and I slipped away to join the escapees.

 

After catching up with them, I led them to the hidden MR base where they were all given food and rest. Using the stream, they also refilled their oxygen. Later that night, I was posted as guard when I heard a strange rumbling. "What could it be?" I asked myself. I had to investigate. I followed my ears until I saw some lights. I then used my eyes. I rounded the crest of a large hill and looked inside the crater below. I almost fainted at what I saw.

 

I saw millions of Xolandians preparing to head off to battle. Where? I had no clue. Then it hit me. One word. Earth. I was seized with panic and ran into the squad. Thankfully, no-one thought anything of it since I was still in my disguise. "That was close" I thought. "What now?" Was my next thought. I decided to repeat a former tactic from a few weeks before. I climbed into a viper and flew off with them. Before we flew off though, we were given oxygen tanks for the trip there.

 

It took us 3 days to arrive. We first docked on the moon. While there, I met up with Auron again. “HEY! DORUN!†I called using his alien name.

“Norgu! Nice to see you again!†That’s when the commander got interested.

“I thought I assigned you both to the same unit. Why weren’t you together?†he inquired. I had to do some hard, fast thinking but I came up with an answer.

 

“Uuh, I’ve never flown a viper before and it hit an asteroid on the way over. It dented my craft so I waited up for the others and then came with them.â€

Unfortunately, he had to ask the leader of our group. “Is this true Zorkar?â€

“I don’t know.†He replied, “I don’t remember him being in our group at takeoff so I guess he’s telling the truth.â€

“Whew!†I thought, “That could have been bad!â€

He dropped the subject and continued on checking everything and making sure it was all in spaceship-shape.

 

Then out of nowhere came another troop only these guys had ships the likes of which I’d never seen before! “Who are they?†I asked the commander

“They are friends of ours from another planet. They are going to help in the invasion. Actually, they will be conducting it! We just plan it and take the resources. See, there are their tripod invaders. They use those to wreak havoc on Earth.â€

I realized that Earth was in for a major battle for survival.

 

Later that night, I contacted our commanders on Earth and warned them to prepare for an attack in about 4 days. They had already been warned of the coming doom and were already preparing the ADU, Astronaut Defense Unit, to counter the invasion. They assured me that everything possible was being done to prevent a takeover similar to the one on Mars.

 

We stayed on the Moon for another week preparing for the coming conquest of Earth. While there, I learned that the aliens we had joined up with were from the planet, X 2 ½. “What kind of name is that???†I asked Zorkar.

“It actually is named that because it used to be a large planet but something crashed into it and split the planet into one large and one small piece. That’s where the name comes fromâ€

“Interesting. So what do they get out of this conquest?†I inquired further,

“They want brain power, we want resources. They go in first and steal all the brains and we then go in and turn them into workers for us and steal their resources. You should know that, haven’t you been through training?†I realized he was getting suspicious so I only asked one more question. “What do the planet X2 people do with the brain power?â€

“They are trying to enlist the entire galaxy’s intelligence to try and put their planet back together.†Right then, Auron called me over me. “Dorun!†He called. “Saved by the bell.†I thought to myself and I walked over to him.

 

“Dorun...â€

“It’s Flash. All these alien names are getting on my nerves!†I cut in,

“Okay, Flash, I contacted Earth. They have set up a defense system called the Alien Defense Unit or, ADU.â€

“Well, can they fight the X2½ creatures?â€

“That’s where you come in. I talked to the MR and our contacts on Earth and Mars and they both agree that you are the only one qualified for the job. Will you take it?â€

“How can I accept before you tell me what it is? Auron, you aren’t making much sense right now.â€

“You are going back to Earth!â€

“Back? And how am I going to accomplish that?â€

“I contacted the ADU. They have hooked up a transporter to beam you down to Earth. From there, you will meet with an ADU member.â€

 

I pondered the prospect for a minute but soon I realized that I might be Earth’s last chance. “I’ll do itâ€

“Great! I’ll just put this beam attractor on you and…â€

In an instant, I disappeared.

 

I landed on Earth but something must have gone wrong. I was in the middle of no-where. I turned on my GPS (Galactic Positioning System) to find out where I was.

 

I was in Iceland. Why Iceland? I will never know but it is a good thing I landed there. One thing was for sure, I was cold. Freezing actually. I turned up the temperature on my suit but it didn’t help much. After stumbling around in the snowy wilderness for three hours, I came to a town. Instantly, everyone started running for dear life. I tried to ask for help but as I don’t know Icelandic, it did me no good. Soon, the police arrived; they set up a roadblock and began shooting at me. I ducked behind a bush shed and tried to comprehend why this was happening. Here I was, and astro hero sent to Earth to save the planet but yet I was stranded in a foreign country whose inhabitants were shooting at me. “Why?†I asked myself but then the answer hit me like a laser blast from an AK-56.

 

The answer was so simple I couldn’t believe my folly. I was still in disguise as a Xolandian! I quickly tore off my helmet (Which consequently froze my nose) and ripped off my disguise. Next to me, a bullet turned a brick into powder so I hurriedly tied my hankie to an icicle and waved at the police. In an instant, the barrage of bullets ceased and quiet was restored. I put my helmet back on for warmth and proceeded to show myself.

 

Once I stepped out, the officers hesitantly came forward. None of them spoke English though. They took me to their headquarters for questioning but since I only speak English and Xolandian, it wasn’t a very productive session. They tried sign language but I only know bits and pieces of it. Icelandic? Not a chance. German, I haven’t studied that since I was in 3rd grade. After a few hours of unsuccessful conversation, they locked me up in a cell.

 

While in the cell, a tourist came in to report a stolen handbag. He didn’t look like a native so I spoke to him in English. “Hey! Do you speak English?†I asked.

“As a matter of fact, I do!†he replied.

“Oh great!†I sighed with relief, “Can you translate for me?â€

“Sure thing! What are you being held for?â€

“For being an alien.†Was my reply.

“…..†was all he said

“I am an astro from the Mars team and was sent here to help with the invasion. I was still in disguise when they found me. Please explain that I am here to stop the invasion and I am supposed to meet with the ADU but something went wrong with the transporter and I ended up here. I think I was supposed to be in New Jersey. “

He promptly explained my predicament and the let me out.

 

“Thanks. I owe ya’ one. Say, I don’t even know your name yet. Mine’s Bud Jackson but most people just call me Flash.â€

“Mine’s Rob, Rob Bricks. I’m a newspaper reporter for the Mars Mission News Station. I’ve been keeping the people on Earth updated on the latest escapades of the astros. Funny, I’ve never heard of you.â€

“That’s probably because I’ve been mostly on recon missions hence my disguise. Hey, you might be just the person I need!â€

“Me? Really? How so?†He was flattered.

“I need a guide to get me out of here and a sidekick would be nice. I have one back on Luna but no-one to help me here on Earth. So, are you in?†I asked.

“Well, Sure! It’d be a great way to get the news first that’s for sure. I’m in.â€

 

We traveled across Iceland with immense speed and arrived at the ADU headquarters 3 days later. I met up with the ADU Sergeant and he told me the plan. “Son,†he said, “We are here to fight the invasion and you are just the person to do it. How? I don’t know. I only know that neither I nor the ADU alone can. The other astros are still fighting and mining back on Mars so we can’t rely on them.â€

“So, what’s the plan?†I inquired.

“Plan? We defeat the X2 1/2ians any way we can. It’s up to you as to how you do it. Just do it.â€

“Come on Rob,†I said slightly annoyed at the lack of organization, “Lets go make a plan.â€

 

We headed to the nearest Starbricks to get a coffee and think. While there, I got a call from Auron. “Hey buddy!†He started

“Hey Auron, what’s up?â€

“I got something you might want to know.â€

“And what might that be?†I inquired.

“The leader of the X 2 1/2ians is named Hypaxxus 8. He says he is planning on attacking New Jersey first…just like we thought.â€

“Hypaxxus 8 eh, okay. Any idea what their strategy is?â€

“Well, it seems they have creatures called Pluuvian Brain Beasts. They’re small, cute, and fit right on your head. They are going to use them to suck out the brain power they need.â€

“Okay. Thanks for the update. Anything new from the MR?â€

“Oh yeah, it seemsBRRRZZZZZZKKK.†Right then the signal was cut off.

“Hmmm, doesn’t sound good.†I thought, “Well, Rob, we have our work cut out for us. Let’s head for New Jersey.â€

 

We arrived in NJ a few days later. Just after the action had begun. It was July 8th when we arrived and the town on Passaic was all in a buzz. Apparently, a farmer by the name of Plowed Unger’s cows began to act strangely. They wouldn’t stay in the barn. Soon after, he spotted a strange craft flying through the air. It landed in his field and took a poster for an upcoming rock concert. Rob and I decided to stay in town for awhile and see what happened. We stayed in the local Holibrick Inn. We also soon learned that a popular star minifig has been missing so we decided to investigate in our spare time. “After all,†I told Rob, “We are here to find out all clues and stop the invasion.â€

 

We inquired and found that it was popular Club TV and Club Magazine star, Max! Apparently, he was last seen wearing a strange green hat with a protruding eyeball on it. “Max is missing?†exclaimed Rob, “This will make big news!â€

“Yes it will.†I replied, “But maybe we should hold off until we learn more. It may just be a rumor.â€

“I suppose,†Rob lamented, “But it would make an awesome story. I’ll bet it would have made the front page!â€

“But think, if you write about our adventures finding him, it could just make a whole newspaper by itself.†I joked.

“Ha ha, I bet it could at that.â€

 

We decided it might be best to go where he was last seen. We headed to Enfield, CT where he was supposedly abducted. Some said it may have just been a hat but others claimed it was an alien. It took us 5 hours of searching but we found him. Eating lunch out in the woods. “It was scary man!†he told us.

 

“Was it a hat or an alien you were wearing?†Rob asked while taking close notes.

“I’m not sure. It was kind of,…of,…â€

“Both?†I prodded.

“Both what?†He asked.

“Max, are you sure you are feeling all right? You look like very tan right now… I think you need to see a doctor.â€

“What’s a doctor?†He asked childishly.

“He is someone who can help you.â€

“Why do I need help? I feel fine!†He roared. He was very dazed.

“Just follow me Max and everything will be all right.â€

“That’s just what the alien clinger said. ‘Follow me’ so I did. He was an awesome….†And then, he fainted.

 

“What’s wrong with him?†Rob inquired still writing the account down.

“I believe he’s had his brain power sucked out by a Pluuvian Brian Beast. I’ll contact Auron who is back on Luna with the invasion force for more information. I hope we can restore him back to his old self.â€

“Yeah, he’s such a cool guy!â€

“Well, we’d better take him to the ADU. They have a research lab there. Maybe they can help him. In the mean time, let’s get back to New Jersey. It’s almost time for that concert to begin.â€

 

We arrived at the ADU headquarters 4 days later. It was a tough journey because we were trying to keep Max occupied. He was basically a big, 1.5 inch tall, baby. When we arrived, the ADU was in a training session. “They’d never survive on Mars.†I proclaimed to Rob, “Look at how formal they are. They’re going to need some real help if they are going to defeat the X 2 ½ians.â€

Rob ignored me saying, “I wish they’d called their planet something more catchy. I mean, it’s hard to write an article about the X 2 ½ians. What kind of a name is that anyways?â€

“I’ll explain it later. Right now, we need to find someone who can take Max off our hands so we can get to the concert on time!â€

“I can help with that!†came a gruff voice from behind us. Rob and I wheeled around and saw the ADU sergeant standing behind us with his arms crossed. All of his trainees were doing the same thing. “Why do they have their arms crossed?†I asked the sergeant.

“Because I told them that in order to fight the aliens, they need to be exactly like me so they are copying my every move.â€

“Hmmm.†I said disapprovingly, “And just how does teaching them how to cross their arms help stop the X 2 1/2ians?â€

“It gets them into a tough mood. Now, what was it you were going to see me about?†I gave Max to him and he led me to their scientist who had set up a makeshift laboratory.

 

“Hmmm. It seems to have taken Max’s brain power. This is not the first case like this we’ve seen.â€

“How does it do that?†I inquired.

“They use a complicated system of brain receptors and hypnotic frequencies to actually get the brain to literally syphon its entire system out.â€

“So that’s what this creepy green thing was doing?â€

“Auron! You kept it? I told you to get rid of it!â€

“If I may interject,†the scientist interrupted,†It’s a good thing he did.â€

“Really?†both Auron and I said at the same time.

“That means that he hasn’t had time to send his brain power back to the mothership and we may be able to restore him! Quick, there is no time to lose!â€

 

Auron dashed to his backpack and pulled the slimy atrocity out. Placing it on Max’s head, the scientist shocked it. When he did so, Max sat up with renewed vigor and threw the alien pet across the room. It began squelching its way down the hall but I pounced on it and forced back into Auron’s pack.

 

“Thanks guys.†Max said sitting up. “I have to warn you, this is not the end.â€

Rob looked worried and replied, “I suspected as much.â€

“How?†I asked him, “It’s not like you’ve ever talked to themâ€

“Actually I have.â€

Everyone in the room whirled around and looked at him. “Do go on…†Auron demanded.

“Well, being the intrepid journalist I am, I was snapping photos of one of their tripods when I was grabbed by a huge claw that reached into the sky. The arm dragged my through the clouds so fast that the air rushed by too quickly to take a breath and I passed out.

 

When I awoke, I was in some kind of laboratory. Suddenly, I saw one of the Xolandians walking toward me with another, new alien I’d never seen before. They were talking and then he turned to me. The new alien looked very different from the X-2½ians and the Xolandians due to the fact that he was red rather than green and had some kind of mandibles around his mouth.

 

It seemed he was trying to show the Xolandian commander something and from my angle it looked like a gun and when he aimed it at me, indeed it was. I closed my eyes and waited for the blast to hit me. I waited and heard the gun but felt no pain so I opened my eyes. I looked around and the commander seemed pleased but I couldn’t see why until I felt a growing feeling on my legs. I looked down and saw a sticky, purple substance creeping around me.

 

The commander pressed a button and my constraints released but the substance was sticky goo that kept me from moving an inch. I strained against it but in about a minute I was encased in a purple cocoon.

 

The commander shook hands and then controlled the claw to hover above me. The red alien spit on the pod and it immediately began to dissolve. While it did so, the claw grasped me once again and transported me back to the surface. That was all shortly before I met you, Flash.â€

 

“Sounds like something even bigger is afoot. Auron was trying to tell me something when our connection was cut. Perhaps he’s gotten wind of it too. I’ll contact him tonight and see what he has to say.â€

 

Later that night, when it came my time to report to mission command, Auron, who was still on the moon, warned me that that main front was planning to attack on the morrow. Together, we concocted a plan. The survival of the entire minifig race was now on our shoulders.

 

The attack began early in the morning with the Mothership descending upon New York. Panic ensued in the streets as the tripod invaders landed and unfolded. Within minutes the ADU was on the scene but, though their performance had drastically improved, they were hopelessly outnumbered. It was no longer just a battle for survival; it was a battle for existence. A battle to prevent annihilation, a battle between a planet and a doomed city, a battle I intended to win.

 

“Rob!†I screamed tossing him a blaster while running into the heart of the fray.

“What the brick am I supposed to do with this!†He yelled back, “And why are we running right at the enemy!â€

“You’re going to have to trust me.â€

“Like when I kept the Pluvvian brain beast?â€

“Yeah, something like that.â€

“Flash, I disobeyed you!â€

“You challenged my authority and rightfully so. I told you when I met you, I need a sidekick to keep me in check.â€

“Well how about I start now and not run at those invaders!â€

“Too late for that.†I said as a tripod emerged from behind a skyscraper in front of us and cut us off.

 

I was wholly unprepared for the sheer size of the mechanical atrocity that stood before me. Bashing into the scene came the ADU in their giant mobile defense unit. They drove it right under the tripod and launched a flick-fire missile at the underside of the invader instantly demolishing it. Rob and I ran toward the ADU truck as they prepared to set up a defensive line in the street.

 

“Well, we meet again.†said the ADU Sergeant, “You’re not so critical of my tactics now are you.â€

“Sir, I request permission to take a squad of your soldiers and advance on the enemy. I have a plan.†I said ignoring his haughty comment.

“A plan eh? And what makes you think mine’s inferior to yours?â€

“Mine has already worked.â€

“Oh yeah? Where.â€

“On Mars.†I said confidently.

“Mars eh, you’re one of the Astros then.â€

“I am sir and I need to act now. One of my friends, another astro, is currently in the enemy camp in disguise and will soon be ready to enact his portion of our plan.â€

“Blaze, Starbeam, Stonebreaker, Fireblade, and Starstrider, this guy’s your new officer. If he messes up though, feel free to rub it in.â€

“Yes sir.†They all said in accord.

 

“Good.†I said looking them over.

“These men are hand-picked. Be good to them.†The sergeant urged. “All these men…â€

“Ahem†One of the troops cleared her throat

“All these troops,†he continued nodded to Ashlee Starstrider, “are well on their way to becoming squad leaders. I can’t afford to lose any of them.â€

“Have no fear Sarg.†Chuck Stonebreaker said, “We won’t let anything happen to any of us.â€

“…or the rest of the world†finished Jack Fireblade.

“Trust us, if anything’s going to happen to anyone, it’s going to be to those invaders. Let’s go blast ‘em back to where they came from before they can say ‘Hypaxxus 8’†added Billy Starbeam.

“I can’t wait to see what technology we can learn from these aliens though so try not to blow everything up.†Concluded Solomon Blaze. I was thoroughly pleased with my men so I began with a speech.

 

“Before us is an enemy. Three enemies lay behind this plot. Three enemies lie within each of us. The enemies within us must be defeated before we can even think of approaching the enemies of our planet. What are these enemies? Fear, pride, and irrationality. Each of us will experience all of these enemies in different forces but we must overcome them in order to overcome our real enemies, the Xolandians, the X-2½ians, and the unknown buggoids. We’ve faced enemies like this in the past with the insectoids and the Blacktrons. We’ve faced enemies on our own turf who would take over Earth such as the Evil Ogel, the Brickster, Vladek, and Dr. Inferno but never before have we faced this many at once.

 

Who will win today depends on you. Your skill, your bravery, and your willingness to fight, perhaps perish, for the freedom of New York, the freedom of your country, the freedom of your planet, and ultimately the freedom of the galaxy.

 

I’ve seen their plans. They jump from planet to planet destroying everything in their path. We must not only defend Earth but it’s time we become the protectors of the galaxy. We shall become a Space Police force, an elite squad sworn to protect the galaxy, and we will need each and every one of you to join. Now, let’s go show those aliens who runs things around here shall we?â€

 

Cheers erupted from the ADU line as they paused to listen to my speech. The sergeant saluted me, turned around, and was caught in an alien tractor beam from above. During my speech, an alien hovercraft had silently flown into position above us waiting for the perfect moment to cause chaos. All but my new squad panicked and ran, my team stood their ground. Ashlee and Jack dashed into a nearby building while Billy ran into the beam himself slowing their ascent into the craft. Solomon ran to the ADU command center and beckoned me to follow. Rob followed me over as Solomon strapped me into their jet fighter. “Go!†he yelled, “save the Sarg and Billy!â€

“And then we’ll finish saving the world!†I yelled back as I took off. Rob and Solomon took off after another hovercraft as I began my attack.

 

By now, Ashlee and Jack had reached the top of the building and they bravely threw themselves over the edge onto the alien craft which was busy firing its guns at me. Billy and the sergeant were now sealed inside the craft so I couldn’t fire back. It was up to Ashlee and Jack now but the craft was preparing to shoot off to the mothership.

 

Jack fired his grappling hook into the building below hoping to delay the flight while Ashlee began disassembling the craft with her laser cutter. I, unable to assist, continued to circle the craft as they desperately tried to break in. The craft had finished ramping up its interstellar engines and tried to shoot off into space but the grappling hook yanked it back snapping as it did so and sending Jack plummeting toward the ground. I sped my jet under him to catch him and landed him on the ground but the craft was energizing for another takeoff – with Ashlee still on top.

 

Suddenly, a huge jet-copter came blasting through the sky and flew right over the hovercraft. A huge claw descended from the ADU vehicle and grabbed the alien ship stopping it from flying away. Ashlee jumped off just before the claw hit and she smashed through a window landing in the building next to us with a roll to break the fall. “We got some tips from the Dino team.†Solomon yelled from the pilot seat of the modified jet-copter. He took the alien craft and threw it at a tripod destroying both.

 

“Solomon, do you think you could get us into the mothership?†I asked the technology expert.

“Sure. Just disguise yourself as a reporter and they’ll bring you right up. Don’t know why but they seem to like reporters.†He replied adjusting his eyepiece.

“Rob, I’m going to need your outfit.â€

Rob looked at me confused and then pointed to a costume shop nearby. I headed over and found a reporter’s outfit and promptly put it on. In a flash, I ran out into the middle of a city park and waited. I had not long to wait however because soon, the claw came flying out of the clouds and pulled me up into the mothership.

 

Prepared as always, I pulled out a laser whip from my tool-belt and freed myself from the alien claw’s grasp. The sound of an opening hatch caught my attention so I hid behind the largest thing in the room, the lab table and waited. I could hear the aliens confused chatter behind but knew they had no idea what was about to hit them. After taking off the reporters uniform, I pressed the foot-pad nearby and the table began to move, distracting the alien scientists long enough for me to sneak around to the exit and deeper into the ship.

 

I watched through the door I had just gone through to see if they would fall for my ruse. A tense moment passed when they found the uniform and inspected it but as I had hoped, they walked away passing it off as though I had melted in the trip through the atmosphere. Closing the door behind me, I pulled out my radio and asked Solomon for the next part of my plan. “Beam up the box.†I said quietly hoping the signal would not be noticed. Around a minute later, the requested box materialized in front of me and I hastily put on the alien disguise inside, the same one that had served me so well on Mars. Seconds later, Auron, who was also disguised, appeared in front of me.

 

 

“That was one wild experience.†Auron said after fully materializing.

“It probably wasn’t as bad as my trip up.†I replied jokingly.

“And neither are as bad as it’s about to get.†Auron finished. “Let’s get this over with.†He said unclipping his gun as he did so. That was when both of us slammed into the wall on as Hypaxxus-8 exited a doorway down the hall from us. “Drat!†I thought as he began walking our way, “This is going to be interesting.†I said as I whipped my taser out of my suit, burst into the walkway, and fired at the alien commander. The green menace before us screamed as Auron repeated my gesture but we were shocked, literally, when the bolt from our tasers came flying back at us and floored us.

 

 

“Well, an assassination attempt by one of the Xolandians eh? I thought this might happen. Are you tired of my rule or did someone higher put you up to this atrocity? Speak up or I’ll reduce you to the slithering balls of slime you deserve to be.â€

 

Thinking on the spot, I squeaked, “Zorkar, Zorkar told us to take you prisoner. It’s been his plan since the start. Please, we’re tired of this nonsense. Let us use the hyper-flame and just destroy Earth instead of acquiring the petty brain power of such an inferior species.†Using the name of the Xolandian commander as the culprit of the crime, I would create enmity amongst the aliens themselves and possibly just let them handle each-other.

“Zorkar, I suspected as much.†Hypaxxus continued, suspicious as always he said, “How do I know you are telling the truth?â€

Not wanting to divert his suspicions from Zorkar, I feigned unconsciousness from the taser and Hypaxxus wandered off muttering to himself as he went.

 

When he was out of earshot, Auron screamed, “What the brick were you thinking? Now the entire plan is in jeopardy!â€

“Exactly. The plan would have failed anyway.†I said, “Seeing as we are hopelessly outnumbered. Now, in our alien disguise, we can use raise at least a small Xolandian army to take over the ship and pilot it to its doom instead of locking ourselves on the bridge and hoping our teleporters have enough range to rescue us before the crash into the Sun.â€

“Well just don’t ever change plans like that without telling me okay? Boy, those tasers really sting!â€

“Yeah. Apparently he has some sort of electric diverter on him. Guess we’ll have to use real bullets as our lasers will probably be just as ineffective on the X2½ians.â€

“This should be fun as we don’t have any on us.†Auron pointed out.

“Then a little ingenuity will come in handy won’t it.†I said yanking down some wires.

 

Using the wires, I rigged a trap. Nothing more than a simple net, but I had confidence it would suffice. When Hypaxxus came striding back into the room, he tripped on the wire. Instantly, it pulled all the wires in the walls out, entrapping him in a tangle of red, green, blue, and black wires.

 

"Gotcha!" I triumphed.

"You'll never get away with this! I've already sent the buggoids out." Hypaxxus said with a maniacal laugh. I ignored his haughty remark and stuck him in one of the purple cocoons. To my shock, he began to transform! Laughing even harder, he burst through the cocoon minutes later, now a green, flying buggoid! He buzzed away to the control room, with Auron and I on his heels. With his new flight ability, he was much faster and locked the doors long before we had a chance of entering.

 

"What now?" Auron asked.

"I don't know. I barely even know what's happening anymore! Just a week ago we were on Mars to explore, and now we're fighting for our lives and the vitality of the entire planet! We've discovered not one but four species of hostile aliens, and who knows what's coming next!"

"I think we may have stepped out of our comfort zone a little too early with the mission to Mars. We are totally unprepared for this!" Auron agreed. Suddenly, we felt the mothership descending!

 

We ran to a window to see what was happening. As we peered out the window, we saw the entire ADU trapped in a giant force field and the X21/2ians were setting up some kind of machine. The Pluuvians were then transported back up to the mothership, now hovering above the ADU huddle. I could see Rob standing behind a ridge, giving a live broadcast. I turned on my receiver to listen.

 

"The ADU fought bravely, but it seems nothing can stand in the way of these invaders." I heard Rob say, "Is this the end for humanity? Will we survive as a species? Who knows. I only hope our guys on Mars will be around to continue the fight for us. Now the field around the ADU is changing colors, and the same little bug who captured me is activating a switch. Yes, it is as I feared, the field is turning purple. This is a sad day for the ADU and Earth." Rob was right, the field was turning purple. Tears began to fall as I watched my comrades turning into the same buggoid creatures as Hypaxxus, and knew what the fate of our planet was to be. That was when I heard him laugh.

 

I turned and saw Zorkar standing right next to us. "Enjoying my little display?" he asked, holding us at gunpoint.

"You despicable monster." Auron replied.

"Despicable? Only to those who I conquer. But to my own kind, I am a hero. You see, it's all perspective. Oh, and by the way, thanks for the help."

"Help?" I gulped.

"Indeed, your assistance was greatly appreciated. My nemesis Hypaxxus is now one of my minions, as will soon be all of his minions. His people are as doomed as his planet."

"What are you doing with these buggoids?"

"They will be the eternal minions of the Xolandians. I will send them around the galaxy, patrolling for new homeworlds as ours become depleted. They will live on their own, in the stars, but we will always be their masters."

"And Earth?"

"Earth will be the first of our homes for centuries to come."

"And what about all the minifigures of the world?"

"You will be cryogenically frozen until we depart. Then, you will be free to rebuild your civilization as you see fit. All who resist will become buggoids, like the ADU."

 

"Not if I have anything to say about it." I replied, having kept quiet, allowing Auron to distract Zorkar. I blasted open the window and we leapt out. As we fell, my switchblade came buzzing around from behind the mothership and caught us midair. I had sent it back from Mars when I left and called it with a remote. We flew off and took course for Mars once again, knowing it would be the safest place now that the Xolandians had their eyes set on Earth.

 

Along the three-day trip, we spotted the entire Xolandian force flying to Earth. "They must be excited for their new home." Auron noted as we turned on the invisibility on the Switchblade.

"Wish I could say the same." I replied. Mars was now in sight and we could just make out the expansive Astro base on the surface. "Well, how are we going to break the news?"

"I already did." I replied, "I sent them the details during the night while you slept."

"How did they take the news?"

"I don't know, but Commander Stonebreaker said he was working on a plan."

"Good. We'll need all the help we can get."

 

We arrived back at the Eagle Command base and rushed to a meeting with Commander Stonebreaker. As we ran, we observed the base was in a flurry of activity. We heard welding sparks and tools buzzing across the camp, and astros were rushing around with all sorts of machinery.

 

"Flash, Auron, good to have you back." Commander Stonebreaker greeted as we sat down around a conference table. Four other astros joined us moments later. The commander greeted them all. I recognized several of them as our comrades from the ADU! "Ashlee! Solomon! Billy! Glad to see you!" I said, excited. "I didn't think you escaped!"

"After Commander Stonebreaker beamed back to Mars to try and organize a counter assault from behind, we beamed up to help him organize the operation."

"I see." Auron said, "So what's up?"

"You and Flash have shown extreme, and I mean extreme bravery and resourcefulness in your escapades against our foes. In order to survive this new buggoid menace, we will need a new set of skills, machines, and tactics. Our scout's reports are indicating that these pesky pests are swarming the galaxy. We've gotten reports from prison planet X4 that they've been hit and their prisoners have escaped. We've already sent a team of four, headed up by Clutch Powers, to apprehend them. Our mission will be to protect the other planets from the swarm. They are using a similar hive-system to the Xolandians, and it seems they share a common home-world. From what we've gathered, the buggoids are the animals of Xolandia, and the Xolandian people have domesticated a large number of them which they are now using as their "pets", if you can call them that. Together, the remaining astros will form a new force for protection. We are no longer just astronauts. We are the protectors of the galaxy now. We are the Galaxy Squad."

 

"Galaxy Squad eh? I like it. What's the plan to save Earth?"

"At the moment, we will let Earth alone. A small number of our people have escaped the freezing. A team of scientists under water, the Aquaraiders, have not yet been found. A crew of theirs has discovered Atlantis and they have moved in. The Power Miners also have not been discovered and they are mining energy crystals, much like these, to power a new civilization underground."

"What about the rock and lava monsters? Not to mention the Atlantean guardians?" I asked.

"The rock monsters were reconciled by Clutch, when he realized they thought we were trying to capture their babies. The Atlantean guardians were overcome and are being kept in an ancient Atlantean prison."

"So where does that put us?" Ashlee asked.

"We will head out and dock with the LMS Explorer."

"The Rock Raider team?" Solomon said excitedly.

"Indeed. One of their scientists was sent a sample of an energy crystal we found here on Mars and it matches the kind they found when their ship was stranded. It's possible they are of Xolandian origin. If it is, we need to find their planet."

"And how are we going to do that?" Billy asked.

"The CESS Stormrunner is equipped with a large fleet of RIS robots.â€

“You mean the one that dropped us off here to terraform Mars?â€

“The very same. They're on their way to Pluto as we speak. You will dock with them and use the RCX fleet to comb the galaxy for possible homeworlds. We have not been able to reach them, but they are on our side. Perhaps the signal strength is not good enough. The course has been uploaded to your Galactic Positioning System"

 

"And what's our job?" Auron and I asked, at the same time.

"We will fight off the swarm to the best of our abilities. Our technicians are already fabricating new machines for us to use."

"So that's what all the hubbub is about."

"Exactly. Solomon's crew, the engineering corps, has us covered. Ashlee and Jack designed some incredible new weapons for us, and Billy is allowing us to use his special hyperdrive. With my strategy, we should be able to take on the swarm with a fair chance of success."

"You still haven't told us our jobs." I pointed out.

"You two will be taking a cargo of crystals to the CESS Stormrunner, and then docking with the LMS Explorer. It will be your job to track down the Xolandian homeworld, and ultimately find a way to defeat them."

 

"I already have an idea for that." Auron spoke up. Commander Stonebreaker raised his eyebrow.

"Well, we were talking with Zorkar right? And he said his people just want to find a homeworld right? What if we could convince him that their original homeworld is perfect for them!"

"I'm intrigued, but how would you do that?"

"I don't know, but it's a thought right?"

"Keep working on that idea."

"Yes sir."

"All right, I hear the technicians slowing down so our vehicles must be ready. Let's end this meeting and get to work. Galaxy Squad, let's go do this." We cheered, shook hands, and Auron and I watched the squads take off, each in their own special bug-smashing vehicles.

 

The next day we met with the MR to discuss plans. "Your plan is incredible." Reginald said, after I recounted all the Chuck Stonebreaker had told us the day before.

"How can we help?" Pollux asked.

"Defend Mars if the swarm arrives."

"But how!" Cassiopea asked, "We have no weapons, no infrastructure left, no defenses at all after the Xolandian invasion!"

"Don't worry, we'll help you." Auron assured. "Only a small team of astros left, and the rest of us will stay here. We still have a decent army and we are bringing in vast amounts of weapons and vehicles left behind in the hives of My. Olympus."

"We will need training." Vega pointed out.

"Our astros will be more than willing to help in that aspect."

 

"You know what I just realized Auron?" I said, after thinking for a moment.

"What partner?"

"The astros are without a leader now."

"Drat, you're right. We are the highest ranking officers on the compound."

"Auron, I think this is where we split up." I said, almost tearing up at the prospect of leaving my partner and best friend.

"Which one of us is going to stay behind?" Auron asked, "We could draw straws." he suggested.

"As much as I hate to say this, you are the most qualified. You were, after all, once my superior officer when I started this mission and you still outrank me."

After a moment of contemplation, Reginald chimed in, "Flash is right."

"Well Flash, I will cherish these next few days with you before you depart for the Stormrunner. I know you will be more than capable to handle this on your own. It's been amazing getting to know you these past few weeks and I hope to run into you again soldier!"

 

Suddenly, alarm bells rang. We rushed to the control room. "An emergency transmission sir!" Jason, the engineer, announced when we arrived.

"Where from?"

"Makuhero City!"

"Stormer's in trouble?" Auron exclaimed, and answered the call.

"Hello, human allies, are you there?"

"I am Sergeant Auron of the Astro Corps. What's going on?"

"Auron, Zib here from mission control. We are under attack from some strange brain beasts that are turning our heroes into monsters! Can you send assistance?"

"Negative. I hate to say this but Earth has been completely taken over!"

"What?" Zib said, taken aback, "How?"

"A species known as Xolandians."

 

"Wait!" I called out, "Did you say brain beasts?"

"Yes, why"

"We had a similar encounter here! These Pluuvian Brain Beasts sucked the brain power out of nearly half the population here! I wonder if there's a correlation."

"Quattle, start working on that! Can you read any information off the captured brain?"

"Blorp gurgle gleep!" Quattle replied, buzzing away.

"I know you're scared of them, but this is no time for that. Now analyze it!"

"Splurge gloop blop!"

"What is he saying?" Auron demanded.

"He says it will take him several hours since he doesn't know what he's looking for."

"Well, report back if you get any results. I'm afraid we still can't send anything your way though. Also, be warned, there is a massive alien swarm invading the galaxy."

"Oh, we are well aware. Those pesky buggoids tried to scout us, but they were no match."

"Wait, you already encountered them?" Auron said, excited at this information.

"Why sure! Wait, don't tell me they're the ones who took Earth!"

"No, not them, well them in conjunction with three other species."

"Well once the brains are defeated, we'll be glad to lend a hand. Your little minifigure opponents should be no match for us. Why Surge himself could probably handle it. Zib out."

 

Those of us in the room sat back, and breathed deeply. "Something bigger is going on out here, and we need to get to the bottom of this." Auron remarked, and called a meeting of the astros. After instructing them to teach the MR in the use of the weapons and train them with our battle tactics, he met with me privately in his new command office. "Flash," he started, "I'm scared. Terrified. I've never felt this way before but truly, I am afraid."

"Auron, no matter what happens, you can rest in knowing that you have done literally everything you possibly could." I consoled.

"Thanks Flash, you're the best. I'll remember that."

"No problem."

 

The next day, I departed for my rendezvous with the CESS Stormrunner. With my cargo of energy crystals aboard, I knew it was vital for me to reach the Stormrunner and ultimately the LMS Explorer. Although I was more than qualified to fly the craft myself, I requested a pilot to keep me company. The pilot I was assigned was a kooky fellow, he always wore blue. Auron assured me he knew literally everything there possibly could be about spaceships, and he had been with the LEGO space program from the start. This was obvious by his vintage suit, cracked helmet, and constant smile. He has now gone on to save his own world with some other misfits, but that happens much later in his future. For now, he was my pilot and he was singing our spaceship to sleep. I couldn't have asked for better entertainment if I'd tried. I also couldn't have asked for a more perfect person to assist us later, but you'll find out about that soon enough.

 

Soon we saw the looming hulk of the Stormrunner up ahead. The yellow Commonwealth of Earth States logo painted on the side of the massive colony ship, with the cargo hold in the center empty. We wondered what happened, but continued on anyway. Parking our ship in the missing cargo space, Benny, the pilot if you hadn't guessed, perfectly docked with the freighter. The airlocks sealed and opened, allowing us to enter the ship.

 

We passed through an RCX storage area and marveled at the size of the customizable RIS machines. Large sensors lay stacked in one corner. Outdated now with newer systems, next generation robots the NXT and the third evolution EV3 models having now been released, but the Stormrunner was an old ship. One of the RCX's had a special case around it. "Why is that?" Benny asked. I looked closer. "Oh, that's Shadow, also known as the Robohunter." I explained, "He was used in a series of detective cases."

"Oh." Benny said, "This is a cool spaceship though!" He was always making such remarks.

"Indeed. Old, but it wasn't worth it to scrap, so the CES sent it out on a colonization mission."

"Cool!"

 

We walked into the control room but found no-one present. Using the intercom, I made a call announcing our presence. We waited ten minutes, but still no-one showed up. "Strange," I thought, "They should have been notified by now of our arrival."

"What's that?" Benny asked, pointing to something I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed yet. A huge planet, split it two was sitting right front of us. The Stormrunner seemed to be in orbit around it!.

 

"It's so dark!" Benny exclaimed as we marveled at the planet.

"It's not supposed to be here!" I said, "This is not from our solar system. Where did it come from?"

"I don't know!" Benny said, "I wonder what kind of spaceships could have brought it!"

"Beats me, but it looks familiar.. Hmmmm." I pondered, wondering where I had heard of a split planet. Then I remembered, "It's X2 1/2! This must be the planet Hypaxxus came from!"

"Not much of a planet anymore. No spaceships at all flying around it." That was when we saw the shuttle approaching.

"Then what do you call that?" I said, pointing to it. "I wonder if it's the crew to the Stormrunner."

 

When the shuttle boarded, we found out that indeed, it was the missing crew. When they walked in, they looked disheveled and were all injured. "What happened to you!" Benny shrieked. The crew was shocked to see us standing there. "Answer me first." Said a man, the captain Jaques De Wint., "Who are you and what are you doing on my ship?" If he'd had a weapon he probably would have had it drawn. However his arms were around a female crewmate, who could barely walk. "We are astronauts from Earth and we need your help." I explained our predicament and our cargo. "Well, glad to have you aboard. We need all the hands we can get to fix this eyesore of a freighter back into working order."

"What happened to it?" I asked again.

"Now that is something I still don't understand. How it's still here I don't know, but we've been stranded on that planet down there for months. Never, ever ever in your life go to the surface. It's a nightmare. Everything is out to destroy you. Everything. The plants are alive, the surface is covered in landmines, and lakes of acidic goo everywhere."

"What happened?" I asked for the third time."

"We were on a mission to Pluto, it takes years to reach that place, when suddenly this planet appeared out of nowhere. It was caught in some kind of solar storm and there was nothing we could to to avoid it. We dropped the cargo bay trying to lose weight, but it did no good. We watched it tumble down, with most of our RCX units inside, and stood in horror as the Stormrunner plummeted into the planet. We ran to the shuttle vehicles trying to escape. We made it out and watched  the Stormrunner crash. When the Stormrunner hit the planet, it went right through it, splitting it like you see. Just before it did, a massive alien mothership flew past and beamed up the inhabitants. Then, it buzzed our shuttles and caught us in a tractor beam, and threw us onto the surface. Amazingly the atmosphere survived on our chunk of the planet, but it was too toxic outside. We recovered several RCX units and used them to track down the missing cargo bay. We didn't realize it but our repairman was still inside the cargo container! We rescued him, repaired the shuttle, and just now made it back."

"That took you three months?" Benny said.

"It took a long time to recover all the needed parts to repair the shuttle. Plus, we kept losing the RCX units to massive carnivorous plants. It's hard to drive those things so remotely and we lost communication several times with many of our units."

"So what now?" I asked.

"Now we see if we can fix this sore excuse for a spaceship back into shape and fly home."

"There is no home."

"What?" they said in unison as I had only told them of my mission and not what happened to Earth, which I now expounded upon.

 

"Well then, we need to reach the LMS Explorer ASAP! This freighter is slower than turtle trying to swim in snow though. You guys got anything better?"

"We have our own spaceship!" Benny offered.

"But it's only designed for a small crew." I pointed out. Suddenly we heard the sound of a fleet of spaceships approaching.

 

We watched as a small group of green and black ships circled around our craft and then dock. “Aliens?†Benny said fearfully.

“I hope not.†Jaques De Wint replied, “But we have to prepare for the worst. These look insect-like. I doubt that means anything good.†The captain was right. Soon a small force of Zotaxian insectoid drones were standing in the doorway, blasters drawn. The Zotaxians had been known to us since the ‘90s when they first appeared. They swarmed the peaceful Futuron base, but thankfully the Space Police fought back and defeated them. They faded away, but a few of them had surfaced now and then. They joined forces with the UFO alliance and had been a nuisance ever since. But that was all they were, a nuisance. I drew my blaster faster than their outdated sensors could detect and smashed the insectoid robots.

 

“Quick thinking.†the female Stormrunner crewmate remarked.

“And and even quicker draw with that blaster!†Jaques said, impressed.

“They don’t call me Flash for nothing.†I replied, gloating a little.

“Flash eh? An appropriate name. Mine’s Susan.†The female crewmate said, shaking my hand. I shook it gently, as she was injured from their journey on X2 ½.

“I’m Benny!†Benny said excitedly. Susan gave Benny an odd stare.

“You’re from the original program aren’t you.â€

“Yep! I built the first spaceship!â€

“What’s wrong with your helmet?â€

“It cracked while I was on a spacewalk one time. That’s why I’m so crazy!†Benny winked. (this is actually why he is a little off, according to an early draft of The LEGO Movie script. Lots of goodies in that script that didn’t make the final cut.)

“Crazy eh? And this is the guy you let pilot your ship?†Jaques was very skeptical.

“I needed the company.†I half apologized

“But I thought you needed me to fly the spaceship!†Benny whimpered.

“What I need you to do now is build a spaceship Benny.†I said, changing the subject.

“Build a SPACESHIP!†This perked him up.

“You’re going to let this crackerjack build a spaceship!†Jaques was outraged.

“You’d be surprised.†I said. Benny was already zipping around collecting parts, yelling “SPACESHIP!†as he flew.

“But how! This ship will takes years to repair after a crash like we had!â€

“Benny is a Masterbuilder. Just you watch.†I said, crossing my arms. Jaques did the same, but with a more dour expression on his face.

 

“SPAAAAAAACESHIIIIIIP!†Benny yelled from outside the Stormrunner. We could hear him through the glass. He was now tearing apart the Insectoid crafts and throwing parts everywhere. Minutes later, those parts had been assembled and a haphazard concoction that  could have passed as the work of an abstract artist hummed before us. Two large, green wings buzzed on top of a grey and blue vintage-style spaceship, with no less than 18 legs sticking out of the sides hovered into position and docked on the side of the Stormrunner. “SPACESHIP!†we heard Benny call, obviously summoning us. The Stormrunner crew and I trudged over and boarded Benny’s mish-mash craft. “She’s a beauty isn’t she! Of course, any spaceship is.†Jaques rolled his eyes. “Buckle up!†I announced and took the copilot seat. We set a course for the asteroid belt and the Rock Raider crew of the LMS Explorer.

 

Our trip was not to be free of hardships however. Along the way we were attacked by a group of Blacktron raiders. Thankfully Benny had the foresight to build some hidden guns into his design so that, though we looked like a harmless piece of junk, we actually packed some firepower. After blasting a few of their ships into the inky void of space, we continued our trek.

 

Soon after the raid, we made contact with the Rock Raiders. “LMS Explorer, here, this is Jet speaking.†We heard on our radio in response to our automatic transmission.

“Jet, it’s Flash! nice to hear from you again.†I replied. We had been great friends as kids, growing up in the same district. Our home was located near Fabuland and LEGO Island had been our favorite vacation spot.

“Flash! The kid who used to take all the pepperoni’s off his pizza just to annoy Pepper Roni?â€

“Yeah, that was me.†I laughed, “Those were the days eh? Back when attention was all I cared about. Now all I care about is being destroyed and we need your help to restore peace to the galaxy.â€

“What!?†Jet exclaimed.

“Call the crew together and I’ll explain.†I replied. Jet called the other Rock Raiders, Axle, Bandit, Doc, Sparks, and Chief.

 

After I finished with the story, a moment of silence ensued. “Your mission to map the galaxy has been and will be vital to save it.†I explained, “And I heard you found some similar energy crystals to the ones we discovered on Mars.â€

“Indeed we have.†Chief said, “They’ve been extremely helpful after that solar storm sucked our ship way out into the middle of the galaxy and we lost power. I’ve even been able to use fragments of them to power my robotic arm!â€

“You lost an arm?†Benny said, shocked.

“Yes, I was rescuing some colonists on Pluto when a cave-in occurred.â€

“You’ve been to Pluto already?†Susan asked, intrigued since she had been on a mission to join those colonists.

“Indeed. Cold place and I’m not sure why the CES insists on colonizing it, but it’s out there and ready.â€

“You also said a space storm sucked you through some sort of portal?†I said, starting to make some connections to the Stormrunner incident.

“Yeah, there we were, here in the asteroid belt, just on our mission to map the galaxy when a giant wormhole opened up just behind us and started sucking us and the asteroids around into it! We took major damage from several rocks that smashed our ship, so we beamed down to a planet, we’re just calling it Planet U for now until we explore it some more, and found these energy crystals. It looked like the storm sucked some stuff through from both ends though as we saw an entire planet go through the other side!â€

“X2 ½!†I yelled. “That must be how it appeared out of nowhere!â€

“Could be, could be.†Chief responded.

 

We were now almost to the LMS Explorer so Axle opened the bay door allowing us to enter. The Explorer was a newer, upgraded version of the Stormrunner so they had many similarities, though the Explorer was far faster and more efficient. We walked through the power room where Bandit was clearing a space for us to examine the Martian crystals. “Nice spaceship!†Benny greeted as he marveled at all the technology.

 

It took several days for the analysis to be completed, but a team of scientists working around the clock with the fate of the entire galaxy in their hands can get a lot accomplished. While the crystals shared very similar properties, they did not actually come from the same planet. They did, however, contain traces of stardust from the same start, leading us to the conclusion that the Martian crystals came from another galaxy, the one in which Planet U was located.

 

“So either the Xolandians imported them or Mars is not original to our solar system. Is that what you are saying?†Chief asked the science crew.

“According to our findings, that would seem to be the case.†Jet replied. “We sent our findings off to Makuhero City as well, in the hopes that perhaps they know more about it than we do. We should be receiving a report from Quattle soon.â€

“This is all rather interesting, but shouldn’t we be back on Earth, trying to save the planet?†Jaques said, getting restless.

“We need to understand what we are dealing with first.â€

“Well this is all taking far too long. Can’t we at least set a course for Earth?â€

“Earth can be reached very quickly in this ship, I assure you.†Sparks replied, “I’ve already made some modifications to the Explorer using the Insectoid machinery you brought in. They have a fascinating warp drive mechanism that I don’t fully understand, but it will speed this baby up by three percent!â€

“Three percent?†Jaques scoffed, “Three percent is all you can get? Well then we might as well just save three percent of the population!†He grumbled and walked away.

 

“Ding!†That was the sound of the transmission from Zib arriving. “Zib! What did you find?†Susan asked the robot, since she had headed up the science team when studying the crystals. “What did I find? Not much. Although, we did experiment with virtually combining the two crystals together and guess what they formed?â€

“Uhhhh, a bomb?†Bandit guessed.
“Not even close. Quaza!â€

“Quaza!†I exclaimed, “But I thought that quaza was only found on Quatros!â€

“So did I. Our results are all just computer models, but if we were to find a way to combine the crystals, a synthetic quaza could be obtained theoretically. This could have huge ramifications for our society!â€

“Not only yours. It could be a virtually limitless source of energy! Can you imagine what this means!†I jumped up and down.

“It could power a new spaceship!†Benny grinned.

“Yes, I can imagine what it means.†Chief said, his arms crossed. “It means that we’re not the only ones out there who know this.â€

“I don’t follow.†Zib said.

“Two crystals from two galaxies merge to combine Quaza right, but what could a third source create? Or even further kinds of crystals? Last I left Earth, our sister crew the Power Miners had discovered energy crystals beneath our own surface, also being protected by rock monsters. If the Martian crystals are not native, but from the same galaxy as Planet U, then why go through the trouble of importing them. Then, why take over Earth when there are so many other planets nearby ready to be terraformed?â€

“Why?†I asked in Zib’s place, as he had gotten an emergency summon during Chiefs exposition.

“Because there’s something special about our crystals on Earth. Something that must be even more powerful that Quaza.

“But what could that be?†Jet pondered.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t be scratching my chin like this.†Chief concluded, “But I hope we don’t find out from the wrong side of a gun.â€

 

Connection to Zib was restored a few  moments later after the asteroid passed. “Oh, about those brain beasts you were telling us about?†Zib said, changing the topic.

“Yes? The Pluuvians?â€

“There does seem to be a correlation with our creatures here. Some kind of transference or something. The brains on our creatures seem to be mutant clones of the brains sucked out by the Pluuvian brain beasts! We have not been destroying the brains so far, just stunning them and caging them, and it seems this was a good idea.â€

“Incredible!†I said aloud, “Then all is not lost for the ADU! Is there any way of restoring the minds of those who had their brains sucked?â€

“Well as such an operation has never been attempted before, not to mention heard of before, no! But we will work on it once the menace has been defeated. There are only a few brains left, though one of them has taken control of our alpha team member Mark Surge. The other should have him restored soon enough. I’ve upgraded their equipment with a special sensor that will hopefully read what is going on when the brain releases itself from the victim.â€

“Good. We will head to Earth then and try to stop the Xolandians from finding Earth’s energy crystals and combining them.â€

“Then I’m out. Gotta help Stormer with some logistics.†Zib said, signing off.

 

“What about your mission to find them a homeworld?†Jaques said from the doorway behind us.

“Oh, Captain De Wint! I didn’t know you were still here.†I said, flustered.

“I listened in a little. What are your plans, since you seem to be ordering everyone who outranks you around.â€

“Sir, no disrespect, but the only reason I am giving the orders is because I have been a part of this mission longer than anyone else here.â€

“One mission means nothing. I’ve been on hundreds.â€

“But hundreds of missions that never dealt with any of this. Now, would you like to hear my plan, or will you continue slowing us down with arguing?†The man scowled, but kept silent.

 

“Good. Here’s the lowdown. I will head back to Mars with the new information and re-join the astros. Those of you with the Stormrunner crew will now join with the Rock Raiders, and it will be up to you to travel to the new galaxy and try to locate their homeworld.â€

“But how are we going to get there?†Jaques questioned.

“The co-ordinates should still be in the Explorer’s computer, and I’m sure with Benny, Jet, and Sparks all working together, they can come up with a new hyperdrive to take you there.â€

“What I wouldn’t give to have my feet on solid ground again.†Susan said, with a little remorse.

“I’m sure you can be assigned to the surface exploratory crew.†Chief responded.

“Last time I was on an alien planet I almost got eaten though. Perhaps I should have specified safe solid ground.â€

“Susan, they will need your scientific expertise.â€

“Perhaps telecommunication from a ground base camp will work then.â€

“Awww,†said Benny, who we hadn’t notice slip away, “Then you won’t need this spaceship I was building for you?†He kicked it and it fell apart.

“No Benny, but I do!†I said, “I’m going to need a ship to take me back to Mars!†Seconds later, a new ship was standing before me. Blue and grey, of course, but it would do the job.

 

Though indeed the asteroid belt is the layer just past Mars, the section we were sitting in was across the solar system and behind the sun, so the distance to Mars was great. A few days later, I spotted the familiar red planet on my vision screen. Within hours, I was approaching the atmosphere. A strange bluish glow seemed to be surrounding the planet. It appeared to be some sort of force-field so I slowed down. “Identify yourself.†I heard the familiar voice of Cassiopea call over my radio. “Hey Cassie, it’s Flash Jackson.â€

“FLASH!†I’ll let you in. Hang on one sec.â€

“Your English is amazing! Much improved over what it was when I met you!â€

“After hanging around the astros enough, and using the energy crystals for mental stimulation, I’ve been able to pick up a significant amount of your jargon and so have most of the MR. The field should be down, you can get through.†I flew down to the Eagle Command Base and parked, put on my spacesuit, walked inside the base, took off my spacesuit, and entered the control room.

 

“Emergency meeting of the Martian Resistance members. I repeat, this is an emergency meeting. Conference room A113.†I announced over the camp loudspeakers. As the native Martians entered the room, I noticed a few more in the group. “BB! Doc! Mac! Assistant!†I greeted, as these astros were my former teachers at the academy. They had been on the first expedition to space back in 1999 when BB won a competition to be among the first to travel to Mars and were the group of astros that Cassiopea mentioned when I first met her. They also had been the ones who designed the challenging racetracks on Mars for Rocket Racer when he traveled here as a part of his galactic racing adventure.

“Flash, good to see you again. I’ve heard you’ve been all over the place in the last few weeks!†Doc said. Though his name was Doc, he was not the same man as on the Rock Raiders crew, nor the Doc the former Power Miner who was currently working with the Atlantis crew.

“Indeed, I have been.â€

“Well let’s get down to business.†Assistant said.

“Let’s start with some introductions. I’ve met a precious few of the MR and I am going to need to know you all better to further my plan. Just give me a name for now.†One by one the Martians went around the table announcing their names. Assistant wrote them down for me as they went.

“Rigelâ€

“Polluxâ€

“Cassiopeaâ€

“Vegaâ€

“Mizarâ€

“Antaresâ€

“Canopusâ€

“Centariâ€

“Altairâ€

“And I’m Bud Jackson, though most people call me Flash.â€

 

“Do you all know English or should I speak in your Martian tongue?†I asked.

“We all know English. This group learned it during the soccer tournament you hosted many years ago.â€

“Good. Then there are more of you.â€

“Thankfully our species is not confined to these small numbers, but most of the others have retreated to the Xolandian hives and are rebuilding our homes.â€

“All right, well here’s what we’ve learned so far.†I said, and proceeded to explain for the umpteenth time it seemed, everything that had happened so far. “What I need to know from you is simply this. Did these crystals exist on Mars before the Xolandian invasion?â€

"They did. They were hard to get though, not scattered all over the place like these new ones are. They were always found in these big orange boulders." Altair explained.

"You say 'these new ones'. Could you explain a little further?"

"Sure!" Mizar offered. "The ones you see now are not from our planet. The Xolandians brought them with, presumably to power their massive ships. When they arrived, we were waiting with open arms, as we had with you humans when your Solar Explorer crash landed, but these new visitors had nothing less than an invasion in mind. We scrambled to our Red Planet Protector units, but we never expected to need them and were easily overtaken. When they started to kidnap our citizens, we started our sabotage effort. One night, we took all their storage containers and began trying to ship them out. We nearly had them out of the atmosphere when a swarm of viper flyers buzzed up from the surface and blasted our airships down, but this scattered their crystals across the planet. They began their cleanup effort, but that was when you humans arrived and saved the day."

 

"I wouldn't say we saved the day, we merely slowed them down a little." Auron said, walking into the room.

"Auron!" I called, jumping up and embracing him in a tight hug.

"Nice to see you too Flash, but it's only been a week and a half."

"That's a week and a half of not knowing if I'd ever see you again though. Have you been attacked at all?"

"Nah, no sign of the aliens yet. We did take the precaution of setting up a planetary force field though in case they ever do dare show their green slimy faces around here." Auron had changed quite a lot since I last saw him and he had taken on a new aura of command.

"Well, though we may have only slowed them before, we need to stop them now."

"And stop them we shall, I am sure of that, but we need a plan."

"That is where I can help." Pollux declared.

"Do tell. I'll take anything right now." Auron said, taking a seat at the table.

"We do exactly what we did before, infiltrate their ranks."

"Yeah, that worked out great last time." I said sarcastically.

"Which is exactly why it will work better this time. Zorkar won't be expecting it. You said you had men still unfrozen, under the surface right?"

"Yeah, a small portion of the elite Power Miners and Aquaraiders, but no-one else."

 

"That's what you think." BB spoke up. I raised an eyebrow. "Well you see, Pollux and I have been working closely on gaining contact with those still hiding out and, as it turns out, there is one other group that survived the great freeze."

"Who?" I asked.

"The Alpha Team."

'Who?" I repeated, more quizzically.

"The Alpha Team," BB explained, "Are a super secret group of agents who have saved the world on a number of occasions from an evil overlord name Ogel."

"That guy who terrorized LEGO Island and was stopped by Pepper?"

"The very same. LEGO Island was but a test market for his schemes and he has amassed a large army of mindless drones, formerly LEGO citizens, that he converted using mind control orbs. The Alpha Team was formed by a fellow by the name of Dash Justice when his girlfriend, Cam Attaway was kidnapped by Ogel for her mechanical skills. He assembled a team of super spies and took him down first on land, then underwater, and then in a desert. They were in their underwater base when the invasion began, and have been concocting a plan to counter the tactics being used against us."

"Now this seems like a group I need to meet. How soon can you have me down there?"

"Right now." Suddenly Pollux aimed a transmitter at me and I found myself standing in the middle of a dark closet. "I didn't mean at that very moment." I mumbled to myself.

 

All around I could hear an eerie ambient rumbling sound. It was as if I was standing in the belly of a giant. "Probably because this is under the ocean." I thought. Trying to get my bearings, I flipped on a flashlight. I was in some kind of storage closet, I surmised by the stacks of boxes all around. Curiously, I flipped the top of one open and immediately regretted it. I felt a sickening wave wash over me as the green-domed case with a skull inside began glowing. I felt my consciousness slipping away but I could not look away! The rumbling sound began to fade into a whining, screeching sound in my mind and a head-splitting headache racked my brain with pain. The last thing I knew was thinking "Great, it's one of those orbs." and then all was black.

 

When I awoke, I found myself in a green tube. Energy rings pulsated around me and some kind of anti-gravity flooring kept me hovering midway up the tube, which was about two inches tall. A rather gruff fellow with a beard and a grimace that looked permanant was sitting in a chair, watching me. "Awake eh? Who are and what were you doing in our closet?"

"I'm Bud Jackson, most people call me Flash, and I was supposed to be meeting you under better circumstances. I'm with the Astros on Mars and we are coming to formulate a plan to save the planet."

"So the astros think they can help us eh? Hah. Don't make me laugh."

"Sir, if you will, I know more about this invasion than anyone else in the galaxy currently."

"Now you are making me laugh. That coming from the guy who just brainwashed himself doesn't sound too convincing. If it weren't for Radia's machine, the one you're floating in, you'd still look like a swirly-eyed skeleton." I gulped, but tried a new tactic.

"And what do you know that I don't?"

"Pffft, that's easy. I know how to turn those ice orbs off."

"Ice orbs?" I said, wondering what he meant.

"Yeah, ice orbs. See, like I said, you don't know nothing Bud. Ogel's using them ice orbs to freeze the planet and time itself, just because he can. he cut a deal with that alien general. Zorkar gets the crystals, Ogel gets the planet."

"But what good does freezing a planet do?"

"What good? None. Ogel doesn't have an ounce of good in him."

"I mean what does it accomplish for this fellow?"

"Pffft he just gets a planet of his own and a mindless army to boot!"

"Wait, mindless?"

"Yeah, mindless. Those orbs take over people's minds, or did you forget about your little experience already."

 

"Always back to the mind control, brain sucking business." I thought, "There has to be a correlation." I said aloud.

"Between what?"

"The Pluuvian brain beasts, the Makuhero brain menace, and Ogel's contraptions."

"I had no idea what you just said."

"I told you, I know more about this than anybody."

"You might know more, which I doubt, but you sure as heck don't know everything." The man scoffed.

"Did I ever say I did?"

"It kinda came off that way."

"Well maybe you could turn this off and let me out to think a little better." The gruff figure shrugged and flipped a switch. Instantly I fell as the machine stopped humming and opened. I exited and walked over to him.

 

"I feel like we got off on the wrong foot, so let’s shake hands." I said, holding out my hand. He hesitated a moment, and reluctantly repeated the gesture saying, "Call me Charge. Welcome aboard the Alpha Team Flash." He said cordially. The door behind us opened just then and a handsome man sporting a flat-top haircut and spazzy uniform walked in. "Ah, good to see you recovered nicely. I'm also glad to see Charge didn't give you a hard time."

"Are you kidding? I gave the kid the full nine yards."

"And did he pass the test?"

"I think we found a new recruit."

"Good." the man said and turned to me saying, "Welcome aboard the Alpha Team. you've met Charge already, our weapons specialist. I'm Dash Justice, the team leader and motions expert."

"Flash Jackson." I said, shaking his hand. Dash had a firm grip, but not as crushing as Charge's had been.

"You'll meet the other agents soon, but first, let's hear what you have to say. I just got off the radio with BB and he gave me your specifications. I told him of your blunder with the orb and he said Pollux sends his apologies. He thought the closet was a bedroom."

 

We walked down several hallways and over to a room with massive screens, all lit up showing a spinning globe and lots of technological jargon that only a code monkey would understand. An android walked into the room and selected several points on the image of the globe. Images began cycling on the screen showing the views of several cameras at the various points around the globe which he had selected. "This is Teevee 3.0, our resident computer genius. You will meet 2.0 soon, a submarine form of the same operating system."

 

"Now, if you will, tell me what you see on these screens." I studied them, but they all looked the same.

"They're just images of abandoned, icy cities." I said.

"Exactly. Now, else do you see common." I looked harder.

"I see some blue objects of some sort."

"Good. You will make a good agent. Those are Ogel's ice orbs." Dash tapped the screen and a virtual model of one of the orbs appeared rotating on the screen. "Each contains the signature skull of Ogel inside. These are not real skulls, of course, but they serve as a protective casing for the device stored inside. These orbs freeze everything within a mile radius once activated. Our mission has so far been to de activate as many as we can, but Ogel's drones are continuously replacing them, making our efforts futile."

"Can you deactivate them remotely?" I pondered.

"I wish we could but they are activated manually and have no wireless capabilities, preventing this. Now, look at this." He said, making some motions in front of the screen. I noticed several other agents had filtered into the room behind us.

 

The screen now showed the globe once again, this time showing a diagram of the ice on the surface. "This shows how far the ice has encroached across the planet so far, with the red dots being alien mining bases. Now, can you spot our dilemma?"

"Odd, the land barely covered at all."

"Indeed, this is because the aliens can not survive in the arctic environment."

"It's starting on the oceans now." I noted, and moments later had the revelation, "Oh no! Your base is in the ocean!"

"Exactly. Ogel knows we are under here somewhere, but he doesn't need to find us to halt our progress. Mile by mile as the surface is frozen, his drones are placing the orbs freezing the ocean one mile a day. Obviously the oceans have been the frontline of the battle recently. Once he freezes the ice thick enough above us, there will be no way to escape and we will be forced to either freeze ourselves to conserve air, or beam off the planet entirely, leaving the menace to roam freely."

"Couldn't you join the Aquaraiders and Power Miners in Atlantis?" I suggested.

"Hiding is not our style." Charge growled from behind.

"So what do you want me to do?"

"Tell us everything you know. Tell us what is going on around the galaxy. Maybe from that information we can find a weakness or even just a purpose to the enemy's plan."

"Now that I can do." I said, once again explaining what I knew.

 

"So they're after our crystals?" Diamond Tooth, another gruff agent who was standing with Charge, Arrow, and Flex.

"That would seem to be the case."

"Then why would Zorkar tell you he just wanted to colonize?" Asked Dash.

"Zorkar may be alien, but he is in no way crazy. He's brilliant and calculating and probably wanted to throw us off track. He's not your average fictional villain who just wants to laugh in your face so badly he'll give up his entire plan. He still likes to laugh in your face though, which is good because it gave me time to escape."

"Hmm, well let's work on ideas overnight and we'll put our heads together same time tomorrow all right team?"

"You got it Dash." Cam said.

"Who are we?" Dash called out.

"We are bravery. We are cunning. We are the hope of the world! We are The Alpha Team!" they chanted in unison and headed to their stations or quarters, depending on what their assignments were.

 

Following Dash, I tailed behind the leader, who seemed to be totally absorbed in thought. "Sir," I prodded, "Do you have a minute?" he waved his hand iin a motion that said "Halt!" and kept thinking. I waited until he lowered his hand and turned around, which was nearly ten minutes later. "Yes?" he said, as if I had just caught his attention.

"How would you like to expand your team?"

"If you are asking to join, the answer's yes. We could use you."

"No, not I." I said, "My feet belong on the frontier in space but what about making what you do official?"

"I don't follow."

"Right now everything you do is in the shadows, and, though you do incredible work, don't you think you could do more with a larger team? Think of the large-scale operations you could conduct!"

"I'm afraid I couldn't do that. Until Ogel is out of the picture, the Alpha Team's sole purpose will be to stop him. All the other villains are petty in the face of what Ogel could accomplish."

"But they are out there still."

"They're all wannabes. Dr. Inferno, a crazy madman with no orginization. Dr. D. Zaster? All he can do is throw acid around and that goes for Toxicita and all the others. They're nothing at all compared to Ogel."

"Nothing compared to him, no, but they are something and should be stopped."

"Perhaps but I'm sure they'll be caught someday. We're a sort of Batman, always living in the shadows. No-one knows we exist but everyone benefits from the good we do. We're like the Masterbuilders. A hidden group living amongst the population, but never revealing their potential after the great DUPLO invasion of 2014."

"Well, it was a thought."

"There's nothing stopping you from doing what we've done, but I doubt any of us would want to be that public. I don't ask them about their past and they wouldn't want the world digging too deep either."

"But just look at the Hero Factory! They have hundreds of teams across the galaxy, including their own Alpha Team, and look what they've been able to do in their home chunk of the universe!"

"Their Quaza-powered machines have far more capabilities than any of us could hope to have." I gave him a look that said "Oh really?" and he remembered the crystals.

"Of course! if we can figure out what Zorkar is doing with these crystals, perhaps we too could have similar technology!"

"Exactly."

"Still, I'm not doing it. Besides, I need to work on my plan further, and you should formulate one of your own. Sorry kid, it was a valiant effort, but it's just not going to happen."

"Then I shall leave you to your work." and I did.

 

During the night, Ogel began making significant advances so agents Zed, Diamond Tooth, and Arrow were on the frontline doing their best to hold off the enemy in their Blizzard Blaster, Ice Blade, and Tundra Tracker. While they held off the enemy in their mechanisms, Teevee drove the Mobile Command Base with Radia and together, they were gathering the ice-orbs and deactivating them. Eventually, the skeleton drones retreated, but the agents were exhausted were not able to attend the meeting scheduled for noon.

 

At the meeting, it was just myself, Dash, Cam, Charge, Flex,  and Teevee. We each took our turns explaining our plans. As the leader, Dash took the stage first. "All right team, as last night proved, 'evil never sleeps' and, sadly, that means neither can we. We also can not afford to blunder so choosing the correct strategy to counter the menace will be vital to the survival of our planet and perhaps our species. Are you all prepared?" We murmured in confirmation. "All right then. How many of you have a plan to present?" he asked. Myself, Radia, Charge, and Dash raised our hands. "I heard from the others before they crashed in their quarters and they did not have enough time to fully formulate a plan. Hopefully one of us will bring the winning strategy to the table. I will go first. Take notes for us will you Teevee?" Teevee activated his spot on the table with the press of a button and the conference table in front of him lit up.

 

"All right, here's my proposition. First, we need to take out Ogel. Are we all in agreement there?" All but myself gave a thumbs up. "Then Flash, I look forward to your plan." I nodded. Dash continued to explain his plan as the team's droid faithfully outlined the plan. Radia stood up next and gave a similar plan, with a few minor modifications. Charge's plan was the most brutal of the strategies presented with most of it being centered on sabotage. "Dangerous," I thought, "But it could be quite effective." After each presentation we all ranked the ideas in several categories: plausibility, ease of completion, and damage.

 

Soon it was my turn. "So, here's the deal. You all are thinking solely in a terrestrial mode. I know you have some experience in lunar combat after your experience in the LEGO Island caper, but Ogel has been fighting you so long, he knows your tactics. He knows he doesn't have to capture you to stop you, just starve you out with the ice. I think we need to bring in a few more assets."

"And were are you going to get these assets?" Charge snarled.

"I have connections around the galaxy."

"But they are all occupied!" Flex exclaimed.

"Not all. I say we bring in some muscle. I know heard of a fellow named Berg. A close relation to the Rock Monsters of Planet U, we first encountered him when our Artic team set up camp. He later challenged Rocket Racer to a duel when Rocket was on his galactic tour. Berg lives in a hidden cave on the top of an ice mountain. No-one has even been inside the mountain, but it is suspected he is guarding some kind of ice crystal."

"More rock monsters guarding crystals? First Planet U, then Mars, under the surface of Makuhero, even on Earth, what is it with these rock monsters and their crystals?" Dash noted.

"That is a rabbit trail I intend to follow as soon as we save the planet."

"And what can this Berg fellow do?" Charge growled. He was obviously still very skeptical of anything that came out of my mouth.

"Berg is a massive monster with a heart just a big. He can be a cry-baby, but put the heat on him and he'll crush everything in his way. He is well suited for the icy conditions Ogel has produced and should be able to make short work of his drones. Unfortunately, I have no idea where his cave is. I've contacted the Drome Racers Arena see if Rocket will be able to give us a hand. He's been working with team Nitro to train their rookie Max Axel but I'm sure he'd be a valuable asset as well."

 

"We have an incoming transmission from someone named 'The Mouth'" Teevee announced.

"Ah, that would be Rocket. Madox, also known as The Mouth, owns the place. Put him on." I directed.

"Hey, Shicane gave me your message." Rocket said on the video chat.

"Rocket, glad to see you. Can you help us out?"

"I sure can. I've sent you a text with the location of Berg's cave, but I also have a bonus for you."

"Oh really?" Dash said, leaning forward.

"I contacted my friends at the Xalaxian embassy, and they are already preparing to give us a hand."

"Who?" Charge asked.

"Xalax in known to have the fastest racers in the galaxy." I explained, "These aliens could come in handy for our fight against Ogel."

"Good, because they've already built a portal. Meet us at Sandy Bay tomorrow and we'll talk more then. I gotta let the others know I'll be leaving."

"Just curious, how has the Drome survived the freezing? You're so big, I can't beleive they haven't found you yet!"

"We're protected by a large force field and our in-house climate control has prevented the freezing. Plus, we have an unlimited supply of power-ups to use against them. Missiles, EMPs, and our other massive selection of weapons have kept them at bay so far."

"Well I'll meet you soon." I confirmed and ended the call.

 

"So I take it you're just going full speed ahead with your plan without consulting us first?" Charge challenged, annoyed that I was taking.. charge.

"That is what I came here to do is it not? We must work together and you must support my decisions if we are to save the planet." I explained. "Dash, I guess I need your support to convince him."

Dash thought for several minutes and said, "Flash, you are in charge. Though I have no idea what you are planning, it is obviously more in-depth than anything we've come up with. Plus you're right, Ogel does know our tactics. Some fresh brains in the mix just might give us the edge we've  needed all along."

"Then let's head to Sandy Bay." I said.

 

Dash drove the Mobile Command Center with just myself and Charge aboard, leaving the others behind to hold down the fort, and we rolled out from their secret land access cave. We arrived and spotted the portal glowing inside a large dent in the side of a large hill. As we got closer, we could see the Xalaxians and their cars in a huddle, with Rocket Racer talking to them. They turned to cheer as we drove up. Calmly we climbed down from the truck and gave them a quick update on what was going to transpire. "Berg should be here soon." Rocket said, "I already stopped by his cave. He just had to build a few snowmen to guard his cave or something like that. The guy's a real softie at times."

 

When Berg arrived, the Xalaxians boarded the truck, 10 of them in total, and drove off without delay. Taking the rear, Berg ambled along behind us, though truthfully he could have ran right past at the pace we were moving. The truck was powerful, but not the fastest on the block. This was okay though because it gave me time to brief the team on my plan. When I finished explaining it, everyone agreed it actually had a chance at stopping Ogel and chasing the Xolandians off the planet.

 

Along the trip, we stopped to sabotage a few alien mining bases. The Xalaxians proved to be quite adept at jumping, which greatly confused the aliens, and while they distracted the slimeballs, Berg tore the buildings up. We would have taken many prisoners had our truck been larger, but we did not have the capacity so we merely took their weapons and let them go.

 

"It's just us." Dash said into his radio as we neared the entrance to the cave.

"Got it." Cam replied, "Did you pick up the racers?"

"Affirmative."

"You're the best Dash."

"I know it."

"So do I."

"I know you do." Dash bantered with Cam ocassinally as they sometimes had their romantic moments. We all exited the vehicle and met with the other agents, who had assembled in the garage/hanger. The Xalaxians quickly re-assembled their cars, after having stored the parts in a giant bundle on top of the truck, and the Alpha Team started up their vehicles.

 

"Ready for this?" I pepped. Arrow, Charge, and Diamond Tooth cocked their guns. "I'll take that as a yes. You all have your orders, but remember, use your best judgement in everything."

"The only one I'm not judging right now is myself." Charge snarled and received a light-hearted punch from Arrow.

"Then let's rock roll and ride." Dash quipped. Each team member jumped into their vehicles and we headed out.

 

Ogel's forces spotted us from nearly three miles away since the landscape was so flat and soon their scorpion crawlers were standing formidably in a line protecting Ogel's ice fortress. The Xalaxian's made up the first wave of attackers on our side of the battle. In their zippy little cars, they charged at the enemy dodging the energy blasts flying at them. Their cars were designed to eject the seats as soon as they crashed so they rammed into the line of crawlers, destroying a significant number of them and launching themselves far behind the enemy lines. "Now!" I directed and the Alpha Team rolled out to widen the hole in the enemy defenses. While they kept Ogel's forces busy, I hopped into Berg's hand, in a thermal suit to protect myself from his chilly epidermis, and we rushed through while the Alpha Team covered our backs.

 

"All right Dash, this is where we split up." I said into my nifty microphone, courtesy of the Alpha Team.

"Got it. Good luck!" he replied.

"Luck has nothing to do with it." I said and pointed to Berg. While Dash's team did what they did best, taking down Ogel's fortress, I headed off to do what I did best, saving the galaxy, with Berg as my transport. Rocket and the Xalaxians ran circles around the drones, allowing the Alpha Team to infiltrate the fortress with ease, and kept our foes away from Berg and I as we ran off to solid ground, since this battle was all still on the frozen ice of the ocean.

 

Soon we reached what should have been the beach, Dash's favorite beach, but instead it was coated in ice. "Berg, time to do your thing." I said as he set me down.

"My pleasure." He walked over to one of the ice orbs and smashed it. Bringing it over, he looked shocked. "Time to see how this thing works." I said, "What's wrong?" I added, noticing his consternation.

"Well, I can tell you how it works, but that's what's making me sad!"

"What?"

"It runs on an ice crystal! My ice crystal!"

"What?" I said again.

"Somehow that pipsqueak Ogel has managed to find the stash of crystals I was commissioned to guard! I hope he pays for this. No, he will pay for this when The Beings get to him, if I don't get to him first."

 

Now I was just as confused as he was. "Wait, what beings? Who commissioned you to guard these crystals and why?"

"I don't know who they were, but they were tall, taller than me. Would you like to hear the story?"

"Please, do tell!"

"All right, but you'll have to follow along behind me, I'm going to collect my crystals again." Berg smashed a chunk of ice off the edge of the sheet and tied it to his leg with a rescue-buoy rope sitting just beyond the beach.

"Sounds like a plan." I said and climbed onto the makeshift sled.

 

"So, there I was, all huddled up in my cave one day and this giant walks up. I offered to let him eat but he said he didn't need any food at that moment, but what he needed was my undivided attention. I motioned for him to take a seat and he did. He told me that there had been a crisis on his planet, that a major threat had come to our universe and his team needed to wait for the right moment to stop it. So I said, 'How can I help?' and he told me he had a large treasure for me to protect. I said I would give my life to protect it if it meant that much and he thanked me. A group of smaller beings, similar to him, then built me a special treasury to keep the crystals in. I asked him why he chose me, and he said because I was the only one on the planet who could, because of my icy body and that other kinds of crystals had already been hidden with some other rock and lavamonsters beneath the surface and around the galaxy. He didn't want this badguy to find them or be able to find them all so he was spreading them out around the universe for safekeeping, entrusting their safety to those who fit his purposes. Some of the crystals, he said, went to the Serpentine, others to the Atlanteans, the beasts of Quatros, my cousins on Planet U, on Mars, and many other places. He said each crystal type was special and they needed to be separated or else doom would come or something like that. That was almost four-hundred years ago."

 

Berg had now cleared a large number of ice orbs and was dragging them along in a giant pile on another sled. I was amazed at his seemingly unstoppable strength. "Is that all you know?" I asked.

"Yeah, that's about it. The only other thing he told me was goodbye and that it was my destiny to preserve the unity of the universe from the power of the enemy. I never forgot his words and have followed them dutifully. Years later the Artic team arrived and started digging. Of course, I had to protect the crystals so I chased them off. When Rocket came with his racers, I knew I had to do what I could to not seem suspicious, so I agreed to race him. Everyone thought I was a monster, but they never knew my secret. We rock monsters are not monsters, we are guardians."

"Well I can certainly see how this story changes everything. But come now, it's time for the next part of the plan."

"I need to bring these crystals back with me." Berg said, starting to sob.

"Why are you crying?"

"I failed. I failed my mission. The one thing I was ever told to do I failed and let these crystals get stolen."

"We've all failed in some way or another. I for one have failed many times since the start of my mission to Mars but here I am, still fighting. We may fail again today, but we'll never stop trying. They say you can't fail if you don't try, but failure to try is the worst kind of failure I can think of." This speech lifted Berg's spirits and he he growled in an expression that could only mean, "Then let's get this done."

 

As we ran off toward the ice fortress again, we could tell the ice behind us was starting to melt. This was exactly what we wanted. Along the way, Berg collected more of his crystals and added them to his sled. When we reached the fortress, I radioed to Dash and they evacuated the building and sped off in their vehicles. Meanwhile, Berg ran circles around the fortress, leaving massive ice spikes behind. "I did this to Rocket when we raced, but even with the spikes and my cheating by starting before the green, he still managed to beat me." Berg explained.

"Well your spikes will make a nice wall to prevent the drones from leaving now." I said and we headed off in the directed the Alpha Team took once the fortress had been surrounded by several layers of the spikes.

 

Once back in the underwater headquarters, I walked into the control room. Cam was fervently working on her computer and I could see tracking signals all heading to one spot: Ogel's fortress. My plan was succeeding so far. "The sea monsters are on their way." Cam announced and we watched them closing in on the fortress, foolishly built on the ice.

"Good." I replied, "They are no friends of Ogel's after what he did to them." A satellite image of the fortress appeared on the screen, showing the crawlers around the fortress trying to break through Berg's ice wall. Suddenly cracks appeared around the building as loud crashes resounded from under the ice. The sea monsters were smashing the ice from below!

 

Then, something we hadn't counted on happened. Just as the fortress tumbled into the sea as the ice broke underneath it, Ogel blasted off in a hidden rocket. "Blast!" Diamond Tooth exclaimed.

"He pulled that one on us again!" Radia lamented.

"Just like the volcano." Dash noted.

"Well, as least he's out of the way for now." I said.

"Don't count on it." Charge snarled angrily, "I blame you for this Flash, it was your plan."

"You need to put a smile on that face." Flex told him.

"What are you trying to say? Calling me ugly"

"No, I'm just saying you need to do a little renovating on that permanent grimace you've got going on. If you want, I can help show you how to smile!"

"But then I'd look as dumb as you Mr. Ropes.†At this remark, Flex yanked one of the ropes from his body and instantly tied up Charge.

“A rope may be simple, but it can still save your life.†With this, Charge could not argue and Flex removed his ropes.

 

Berg went on a collection spree, rescuing all his crystals. Eventually he collected them all, and the ice began to recede. Later that night we held a celebratory party for everyone, though the HQ was quite crowded with all the Xalaxians. I, however, did not participate. A battle had been won, but not the war. I was not alone in this either as I soon found out when Radia strutted over to where I was gazing anxiously out the window. "What's eating you?" She inquired.

"Ogel."

"Yeah, he has a tendency to keep you on your toes doesn't he."

"If I had toes, perhaps. I just can't help wondering what happened to everyone's brains? I mean, if those drones used to be normal people, and their brains have ben turned into those brains over on Makuhero, then how are we ever going to restore them? We're talking about the entire population of the world here!"

"Quite a chore isn't it. I'll bet I know a guy who could help though."

"Who?"

"Jack Stone."

"Why did I not think of him before!"

"His Res-Q mission hasn't been heard from in quite some time, but I'm sure he'd hear you if you called."

"What was it people used to say?"

"Can do, will do. I doubt he'll be listening, but it's worth a shot."

"What about you guys?"

"It's time for us to pursue Ogel again. Dash is always after that guy and I think this is where we split off."

"It's been a pleasure working with you."

"Same. I'll let the team know of your departure."

"Don't worry, I don't need any help packing. I only brought what's on my body and I promise, I didn't take anything."

"Well, remember, if you ever want to join us, we'd be happy to add Agent Flash to our ranks."

"A generous offer, but I have larger visions in mind than just chasing one maniac around. Goodbye!"

"Goodbye Flash."

 

Radia equipped me with a motorcycle and I drove out the secret cave on my way to LEGO City. When I arrived, looked around the eerily silent metropolis. A billboard of Clutch Powers showing off his car stood near the highway entrance, all torn up now. No trains whizzed by overhead on the tracks, the skies were void of any airliners, and not even the bark of a dog could be heard. The city was deserted.

 

I turned on my radio to see if anything had been left running to ease the chilling silence. As I scanned the stations, I heard nothing but snow. Seemingly out of nowhere, I heard a short blip on a station. Quickly I backed up to the frequency and heard someone talking! Turning up the volume, I could hear someone talking. A message, an automated message I could now tell. "This is General Zorkar. Lunchtimes have been shortened by three minutes to speed up the mining process. Please take note. Thank you. Our operation has been compromised and Ogel is gone so we must get our goods and get the crystals to the Baron."

"Who is the Baron?" I thought, “Baron Von Barron? No, that couldn’t be it, this was not his style. Baron Flambo? Not a chance. It certainly wasn't’ Baron Rosso either. All they cared about was racing and treasure, not world domination.†I was sure I would soon find out however.

 

“Well, this is the place I guess.†I thought, standing in the middle of a street. “Here goes…†I mumbled to myself. “CAN DO, WILL DO!†I shouted at the top of my lungs. Not knowing how long, if at all, it would take for the legendary Jack Stone to show up, I righted a bench on the sidewalk and sat down. “What am I doing here.†I thought, “I don’t even know what I’m going to say to this guy. I mean, I heard he’s a giant! Besides, he rescues people; he’s not a weapon specialist, or a superpowered fighter or anything like that.†but that was all I had time to think for, swinging on a cable, the fabled Jack Stone appeared. He landed right in front of me. I marveled at his size, he marveled at the fact that I wasn’t frozen, and we spent an awkward few moments just marveling.

 

After we had both confirmed that our eyes were in fact not deceiving our brains, Jack asked, "So, you called?"

"Uhhh, yeah! I didn't think you'd actually come though."

"I always come."

"But you disappeared!"

"Only because people stopped calling! You're the first to call in nearly a decade! I've been living with Max and Tina since my services were deemed outdated."

"Well, I need you."

"How can I help? I'm great with imagination and creativity."

"So I've heard. I'm sure you know what's been going on." Jack nodded. "Well, so far we've been on the losing side. Justice usually served, but lately it's been getting served in the other meaning of that phrase. I need someone who thinks not only out of the box, but someone with enough imagination to put everything back into the box. At the moment, anything goes it seems. Aliens, brain sucking, mind control, planetary domination, and who knows what's next."

"Now this is right up my alley."

"Good. What do you have?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing?"

"Not yet, I need some inspiration. It's a little tough to find it with everything so empty though."

"What kind of inspiration?"

"Something simple, like once I saw a snail and got the idea to move a burning house on a trailer to a lake when the firemen were off at another fire. The snail had its home on it back and I just emulated it."

"Brilliant!"

"That's what the chief said. How about we head over to my old friend, Artie's. He usually has something to say about this sort of thing."

"Artie?"

"Artie. He's crazy, but don't worry, he'll get the job done."

 

Jack's caution had me a bit worried, but I followed the massive man to Mayor Playwell's office building. The structure looked very similar to pictures I'd seen of the Hero Factory HQ, but this was a much smaller building. As we walked inside, an NXT Alpha Rex unit stood guard at the doorway. "He's been holding off the aliens quite well so far." Jack remarked. We approached what seemed to be a solid wall, but hidden doors opened up as we got near it revealing elevators. "He's on floor 8. Meet you there." Jack said, and the doors to his elevator slid closed. I heard a whoosh as the transporter turned on. Stepping inside, I pressed the button for floor 8 and waited. Once the doors closed, a rush of air shot me up into a tube and moments later I flew out, and tumbled onto the floor after it shot me out at the appropriate floor. I heard a strange laugh and someone saying, "Bernie did the same thing. Nifty design though eh? Gets you where you want to go! Fun too!"

Edited by eagleeyedan
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Hrmm, excuse me child, but we only accept the highest quality of fan fiction in narrative in grammar. This... story you have written, is substandard, so do not expect any praise from the ladies and gentlemen of The Society of Rock Raiders.

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A cursory glance reveals acceptable grammar... I don't have time to read this now but I don't know what you're talking about, Alcom. I'll find out tomorrow.

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Hrmm, excuse me child, but we only accept the highest quality of fan fiction in narrative in grammar. This... story you have written, is substandard, so do not expect any praise from the ladies and gentlemen of The Society of Rock Raiders.

I don't know why you would post this. Did you even read the story or did you just look at what he said in the first sentence?

I'm going to "Thank" his story in spite of you trying to discredit his effort.

Thank-you for posting this eagleeyedan, ignore Alcom1.

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I... I'm sorry. I have greatly ashamed myself. Several dozen moments of mocking younger LEGO fans had got me complacent in the attitude.

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"WOW! That is so totally hip!" It's awfully long, but the first half was very engaging. When you finish it you might want to split it up into chapters to make it easier to digest. And of course there are some writing improvements that need to happen but that will come with time. Thank you for posting this.

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I... I'm sorry. I have greatly ashamed myself. Several dozen moments of mocking younger LEGO fans had got me complacent in the attitude.

I'm in college -_- but I wrote this before highschool :P

"WOW! That is so totally hip!" It's awfully long, but the first half was very engaging. When you finish it you might want to split it up into chapters to make it easier to digest. And of course there are some writing improvements that need to happen but that will come with time. Thank you for posting this.

Yes, that is my intent eventually. This was/is written for the LEGO MBs so I just post it a paragraph at a time. Oh, JSYK, the beginning part was written with another LMB user (who had terrible grammar :P) so it might be a bit confusing in parts. Now I have a developed story line in mind.

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I haven't read this yet but I will, I just wanted to say that you don't make double posts. Just put both quotes in the same post. This isn't the LMB.

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Huge update coming soon. I've written a lot more, just not posted it. It is really becoming super crossover story, even into the games (mainly Stormrunner) 

 

Edit: It's too long for one post here so I guess I'll have to put it in a reply soon.

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Here's the promised updates.

 

Jack's caution had me a bit worried, but I followed the massive man to Mayor Playwell's office building. The structure looked very similar to pictures I'd seen of the Hero Factory HQ, but this was a much smaller building. As we walked inside, an NXT Alpha Rex unit stood guard at the doorway. "He's been holding off the aliens quite well so far." Jack remarked. We approached what seemed to be a solid wall, but hidden doors opened up as we got near it revealing elevators. "He's on floor 8. Meet you there." Jack said, and the doors to his elevator slid closed. I heard a whoosh as the transporter turned on. Stepping inside, I pressed the button for floor 8 and waited. Once the doors closed, a rush of air shot me up into a tube and moments later I flew out, and tumbled onto the floor after it shot me out at the appropriate floor. I heard a strange laugh and someone saying, "Bernie did the same thing. Nifty design though eh? Gets you where you want to go! Fun too!"

 

I opened my eye, which had been closed in fear during the elevator ride. A man with bright blue hair, bifocals, and a white lab coat was standing next to Jack, clicking his hand together. Standing up to get a better look at this man, I noticed his name card said "A. Fol". "Artie Fol's my name!" he said excitedly, "So nice to meet you sir! What is your name may I ask?"

"Bud Jackson, but most just call me Flash."

"Ooooooh myyyyyy!" Artie said, falling backward as he flipped over a brick lying on the floor of his messy workspace. "THE Flash Jackson?"

"Oh, you've heard of me?"

"Well, you're only the greatest space explorer ever!" He said, re-adjusting his glasses which were tilted from his fall.

"I wouldn't say that." I said, wonder why Jack even associated with this maniac.

"Don't worry," Jack said, "He gets nervous around anyone new."

"Right, well what are you here for?" Artie asked, trying to casually lean on his work table, but missing it with his hand and falling over again. I almost burst out laughing, but helped him to his feet instead. "Such a gentleman." He exclaimed.

 

"We need your help," Jack said, "Saving the world."

"Ohhhhh myyyyyy goodness gracious golly gee! Well isn't that noble mission!"

"Indeed." I said, "I'm sure you've seen what' happened to the planet. Can you help us stop the aliens?"

"I can't believe it! THE Flash Jackson wants my help!"

"It's your help I want, not your praise." I mumbled, just low enough that only Jack could hear me. Artie just ignored it and continued fanboying for a few moments before diving into a pile of bricks.

"Well, it just so happens I may have the solution right here!" He said, pulling out a napkin from the pile. "Nope, not that. Hmmm, it's here somewhere." Artie rummaged some more in the pile. "AHA! I found it!" He exclaimed, tossing out a coin. I put an expression on my face that said, "?"

"Oh, that's a coin straight from King Leo's treasury! I lost it last week."

"Sooo, your plan to save the world?" I said, crossing my arms. Jack smacked his forehead with his hand.

"Oh, it's here I promise!" Artie shouted wildly, diving back in.

 

"There it is!" He emerged from the pile holding a toy. "This is a time machine I invented for Dr. Cyber many years ago! All you do is put a hat from the time you would like to return to into this slot here, and the machine takes you right where you want to go! And it's got a spinner!" He said, whacking the propellor on top and watching it spin the way a cat watches a doorstop spring.

"Uhh, I just have one question. How are we supposed to fit in that tiny thing?"

"No, not this, this is just a model. I gave the real one to Dr. Cyber and Timmy. But, if you could find me all the pieces, I could build another one!"

"And where would we find those pieces?" Jack asked.

"You can't. They're discontinued for the most part."

"Discontinued, then what are we going to do?! Could you build a different one?"

"Nope!"

"I thought you said you had a plan!"

"A plan is not always a solution Flash." Needless to say, I was quite disappointed.

 

Seeing that he had let me down, Artie jumped to the pile again shouting, "But, I do have something else!" I rolled my eyes expecting another pointless invention. When he brought it out, I thought I was right. It was nothing more than a strainer with a spring welded to the top. "This..." Artie explained, "Will stop the Pluuvians from landing on your brain!"

"As if my helmet doesn't already do that. Besides, the Pluuvians already left."

"Well, let me tell you son, it worked for me!"

"I'm not sure the Pluuvians would have wanted his brain." I thought to myself, but said aloud, "Do you have anything that will help put the  brains back in?"

"For that you will need to talk to my cousin, the Brickeeper."

"Oh great, another whacko." I thought again, but said, "And where might we find him?"

"He's on Crux Prime last I heard."

"Hmm, the wasteland of Stromlings." Jack said.

"Indeed. I would not suggest going there though, unless you have the proper gear."

"And I take it my astro gear won't make the cut?"

"No, you need to protect your imagination, or else the Baron will get to your Creation Spark and extinguish it!"

"The Baron, who is he?" I shouted, excited to find out what the radio broadcast had been about.

"Ohhh, the Baron is an evil one he is, but my cousin knows a way to defeat him! I can build you a rocket to get Crux if you like!"

"No thanks, I've got a master spaceship builder who I'm sure can get me there." I said, shocked at myself for actually putting more faith in the crazy blue Benny than this crazy blue haired scientist.

"Well, good luck on your mission!"

"That's all?"

"Well, did you need anything else?" Jack asked.

"I thought you needed to find your inspiration for a solution or something."

"Son, I'm a rescuer, not a fighter. I'm a mechanic, not a weapon specialist."

 

I was thoroughly disappointed in the both of them at that point and bitterly turned away. Suddenly, a thought struck me. "Jack," I said, "I've got an idea for you."

"I'm all ears." He said, and I noticed that he did, in fact, have ears and a nose.

"You said you were a rescuer right? Well, how about trying to recover all the minifig's frozen bodies and returning them to their appropriate living quarters. Perhaps that way, if and when we find a solution to return their minds to their bodies, they will at least be in a familiar place."

"Can do, will do." Jack said.

"Oooooooh myyyyyyy! An actual mission!" Artie shrieked.

"Yeah, an actual mission. An ambitious one, but I suspect you will have plenty of time before I find a solution."

"What will you do?" Jack inquired.

"Head to Crux."

"And what of the aliens here? How do we deal with them?"

"They, I'm afraid, have almost completed their mission. While the Rock Monsters provided a slight slow-down to their operation, they simply didn't have the brainpower to do anything more than annoy the enemy. Berg stashed his crystals with the Aquaraiders in Atlantis, along with all the crystals the Power Miners could salvage, but for the most part, Earth has been mined clean. I'm headed back to Mars to figure out my next step."

"Well I hope you get the job done." Jack said, giving me a thumbs-up.

"Thanks. Now, if you've got a transport beamer here Mr. Fol, I would appreciate a ride back to Mars."

"Oooooooh myyyyyy! Yes! I do have one! It's right over here!"

 

Artie led me over to the beam machine and I stepped in. Chuckling, Artie threw his hands about, pressing buttons and pulling levers until, but suddenly he stopped and dove back into his pile of junk. I banged my head on the glass of the transporter and watched as he threw bricks every which way before emerging with what looked like a gun. "This is an Interstellar Portateller! I built it one day but it caused nothing but trouble. Perhaps it could come in handy for you though." He opened the door to the transporter, stuck it in my arms, closed the door, and sent me on my way. I had no clue what this gun did, but I thought it might come in handy sometime and decided to keep it.

 

The familiar scent of the Martian atmosphere filled my nostrils mere seconds later as I materialized in the Eagle Command base once again. I set the Interstellar Portateller down, leaning it up against the transporter, and headed to the control room to try and locate Auron. Along the way, I passed my old room. I found him and we embraced each other for a moment as old friend often do after a hiatus from seeing each other. When he released me from his grip, he jumped back. I looked at him, puzzled. "Holy brick man, how long has it been since you slept!" he said, alarmed.

"Why, does it show that badly?"

"You look like The Brickster with those dark eyes!"

"It's been about three days I suppose. Since I started planning for the attack on Ogel, I've been working non-stop."

"Well, you can tell me all about it after a long nap mister. I won't accept anything else." Auron led me to my old  room, and as we walked, I realized just how tired I was. Shear stress had kept me awake for a long time, but Auron was right, it was time for a good, long sleep. I removed my uniform, showered, dressed in my slipsuit, and fwumped into my bed face-first. It was not a comfortable bed by any report, but it felt like it came from Cloud Cuckoo Land to me and I dozed off almost instantly.

 

When I awoke, I rubbed my eyes and then my belly, which growled angrily at me for not feeding it sufficiently. Wondering how long I had slept, I asked the clock, "Clock, what day is it?"

"Monday Mr. Jackson."

"Wow, I slept for two entire days then." I thought and proceeded to get dressed in my leisure uniform. This, I would soon find out, was a mistake. I had just finished choosing my hair for the day when the outside wall of the room, the one at the head of my bed, suddenly smashed inward as a missile exploded into the room.

 

"What the imposter!" I yelled and slammed the bathroom door shut moments before the unexpected gift remodeled my room with fire and shrapnel. I could hear the air rushing out of the room so I grabbed the emergency oxygen mask from under the bathroom sink. Thinking it was safe, and knowing I couldn't stay in the bathroom, I tried the door. It had bent and was tough to open, but I body-slammed it and crashed into my freshly-blackened living quarters. With the absence of the wall, I could now see the battle raging outside. The Xolandians had returned!

 

Our astros were doing everything they could to hold off the waves of vipers flying through the air, droves of tanks, and squads of soldiers pouring down on the Eagle Command Base. As I stared in horror, one of our defense towers fell and the trikes attacking it were moving on to the power pump! It didn't take long for them to topple the pump and the engineers inside fled for their lives, but were stopped in their tracks by blasts from the enemy. My comrades were falling left and right, and here I had been, sleeping. Then I realized I wasn't really doing anything better by standing and watching, so I suited up into my battle gear and rushed out.

 

The garage was nearly empty, since all available forces were out in the fray, however my trusty old switch-fighter had been graciously left behind. I heard an explosion outside and at nearly the same instant, the lights cut out in the garage. "They must have hit another power pump." I thought, "And the remaining pumps can't handle what's on the grid!" This also meant our defense turrets were now out of commision. I scrambled my way over to my switch-fighter in the dark, hopped in, and blasted the garage door open since the electricity was out.

 

Though I had intended to join the fight, by the time I flew out of the hangar, the fray was over. Switching on the invisibility on my jet, I could see a terrible scene enfolding below. Astros, my comrades, were being lined up and systematically placed in the same gooey cocoons used on the X21/2ians and carted away toward the hives. I knew it was but a matter of time before they too had morphed into evil buggoid pests. I knew then what I had to do, I only prayed it was actually possible for, from where I stood, it did not seem to be so.

 

It was now night time on the Red Planet. Phobos had risen and I could see Deimos peeking just over the horizon and the time had come for my infiltration. Since I was the only astro left, or so it seemed, I entered the top-secret room hidden under the base. Normally it was kept under lock and key, but due to the power outage, the security systems were down. Inside, I found exactly what I had hoped I would. Three identical spacesuits hung on special mannequins. These were grey stealth suits used by the high-tech Space Police! I slipped one on and pressed the invisibility button. Instantly, the suit glowed and matched the surroundings. It was perfect... well, almost.

 

I had read a long time ago about how these suits worked. Developed by Captain Magento for the Space Police after he retired, these suits used a technology called Digital Camo. Infused in the fabric of the suit was a system of cameras and tiny LED bulbs, with the latter being stored in the helmet and life-support systems. Each camera corresponded to a single LED on the opposite side of the suit. The cameras worked together to create an image which was then displayed on the opposite side of the suit, making the wearer appear nearly invisible. While not as effective as the cloaking used on our Switch Fighters, it worked quite well in the daytime. However, since it was indeed a light creating the invisibility effect, it did not work well in the dark. To help with this, the suit was made out of a dark-grey material for better hiding in the dark without using the camo. Why, you may ask, couldn't we just use the same cloaking technology as the Switch Fighters? The answer is simple: the cloaking device for those is large and heavy, and when you're trying to chase down a criminal, or run for your life, the last thing you want is something large and heavy on your back.

 

The Space Police were a group who did their best to keep order and peace across the galaxy. First defending against the Blacktron invaders, who they successfully defeated, and now they were in pursuit of the Brick Daddy and his minions. Since their adventures were always far from Earth, we rarely had any sort of contact with them anymore, though occasionally we came across one of their outposts. They were happy to be left to their own mission, and we to let them do their thing.

 

Now that I had suited up, I took a look around to see what else was in this room. Being just an outpost colony base, the Eagle Command Base was not deemed safe enough to store a lot of top secret items, but I found a few more handy devices. Among them was a K-9 unit, again from the Space Police, laying folded up in a corner, but when I tried to turn him on he only flashed a low-battery symbol. Before I left for the hives, I also grabbed the Interstellar Portateller just for the heck of it.

 

I decided it might be a good idea to figure out what this thing did, so I examined the controls. They seemed simple enough, just a couple buttons for inputting what I correctly guessed to be coordinates, and a trigger. Using my GPS, Galactic Positioning System, I pinpointed the coordinates of the K-9 unit and plugged them into the gadget. By its name, I suspected it was a reverse teleporter and would bring objects to wherever you pointed it. This turned out to be true. As I pulled the trigger, the K-9 unit suddenly vanished and materialized a few feet in front of me, not harmed in the slightest.

 

Next I decided to try it on myself. I punched in the new coordinates. Not wanting to find out what would happen if I tried to portatell the portateller, I kicked the trigger with my foot and quickly retracted it. The next thing I knew, I was standing a few feet from where I had been a moment before. This, I thought, will surely come in handy so I carried along to the garage with my battle rifle. Along the walk, I bookmarked a few coordinates of items that would come in handy during my rescue mission.

 

Back at the garage, I decided upon using the Recon Dropship, since it was our stealthiest ship and able to fly far above the surface, out of detection from the enemy's defenses, and it would be large enough to transport a significant number of my comrades. Since I had spent a considerable amount of time in the hives previously, during my time serving as a mole within the alien forces, I knew exactly how to get in. I positioned the drop ship directly above the mouth of Mount Olympus, the massive volcano that was their headquarters, and put it in "park".

 

Instead of turning invisible, since it was nighttime and I would just be a glowing outline if I used my suit's ability, I instead had it display the body of an alien drone. This way, I could blend in without suspicion since the aliens themselves glowed in the dark. I stuck the portateller in a crate and carried it over to the on-board transporter and beamed myself down to the surface, behind a rock and out of view. Now at the bottom of the volcano, I marveled at its incredible size. Though I had seen it many times at a distance and even been inside it, never before had I stood right at the base of the largest mountain in the solar system. While I was standing there observing, a Xolandian guard walked past and scolded me for not doing my duty. I bowed my head and rushed inside with the crate, and headed straight for the prison quarters.

 

I feared I may have been too late when I saw the cells, for in each was an astro trapped in a cocoon! Knowing how quickly these could transform someone, I wondered why they were not already turned into buggoids, but I did not have time to hesitate. One by one, I ported my comrades out of their cells and cut away their gooey cocoons with a knife, and lifted their still bodies out. It seemed that these cocoons were not the transformative ones I had seen before, but rather simply put the person inside into a state of suspended animation. I breathed in relief and stacked the still bodies together until all had been released. Even Auron did not awake in the slightest. This was probably a good thing though, because had they all awaken, it would have caused quite a stir and drawn attention to my secret operation.

 

Leaving the astros where they lay, I headed to the alien's vehicle bay, which was deserted being so late at night and without any threat from the astros, most of the Xolandians were asleep. Without delay, I found an empty parking space and used the portatellar to transport the pile of sleeping astros to it. For the next part of my plan, I needed them to be awakened. Guessing that an electrical shock would do the trick, I cut the end off an extension cord and placed it in a large puddle of water which I had dumped on the astros. Momentarily, I plugged the cord into the wall and shocked my comrades. This did indeed bring them out of their slumber with a jolt and they all untangled themselves and stood up. Being jittery from their shock and woozy from their cocoons, none of them made a noise.

 

"Flash!" Auron whispered when he saw me standing nearby.

"Auronn good, you're alive."

"Of course I am! It'll take more that a little purple goo to take this old man down."

"Well it'll take more that this old man to take these invaders down. I need your help and that of your men!"

"This is the entire astro force right here."

"Good. Then I'll address them if you don't mind."

"Not at all. Be my guest. What's with your suit by the way? It looks awesome!"

"Courtesy of special projects."

"You got into special projects???"

"When the power shut down, so did the security. There's some cool junk down there!"

"Well I can't wait to see how you plan to use this. In other words, what, exactly is your plan?"

"Here's how it's going to go..." I leaned in and explained my plan for getting out.

 

When I was about three-quarters finished directing everyone, the outside bay door jolted and began to open. When it had opened, we squinted through the open door and say a viper patrol squad flying in, probably to change shifts. There were eight of them flying toward us, and we were helpless and unarmed. One soldier tried to start a mini defense-turret meant to protect the garage, but like the guns in our earlier adventures, it only responded to the alien's body

temperature and there was not enough time to modify it to fit out metabolism. We were sitting ducks.

 

"New plan, run for the door!" I shouted urgently.

"What, are you crazy? They'll shoot us!" an astro pointed out.

"No they won't, trust me." I replied confidently and started a dash for the door. Hesitantly, the others followed behind, though not with as much gusto. They realized my plan though when the dropship I had parked above lowered itself to the open door, blocking the Xolandian patrol's barrage. Though the dropship was only meant to hold 15 troopers, we crammed our small force of twice that inside. Auron, out of respect, was the last to enter and he slammed the door shut as I began to fly away.

 

As soon as he slammed the door, the drones in the vipers ejected and the aircraft slammed into our dropship, sending us crashing back into the vehicle bay. Our helemts protected us from injury, but the dropship was totaled. We pulled ourselves from the smoking wreckage and braced for the drones to return and fight. We heard their temporary jetpacks coming closer as they descended on the opening and we watched as they landed, holding their blasters like they meant it. I needed a weapon, but the only one we had was the portateller. In my haste to run, I realized I had left the portateller in the dropship!

 

One of the drones began examining the dropship to see if any of us had melted in the crash while the other six cautiously searched the room for us. Several astros stood up, hands above their heads as a diversion. While the drones focused their attention on the surrenders, I quietly sneaked around with Auron to the exit. "Maybe if we can make it out, we can get these guys out again later." he whispered. Unfortunately, whispering made no difference with a helmet on, since the communication was all transmitted over the radio from suit to suit, and the Xolandians knew our frequencies. They turned our direction and began walking over. An idea hit me just then and I motioned for a nearby astro to stand up and surrender, as if he had been the one talking. Auron also stood up, but I stayed hidden. Seeing the two of them satisfied the drones and when they turned again, I slipped out the door.

 

As soon as I had made my exit, I turned on my drone disguise on, turning myself into one of them, and grabbed a spare blaster from one of the many small arsenals in the hallways around the alien base. On thinking again, I switched it to display a drone commander image instead and strode confidently back into the room. "What is going on?" I demanded in their tongue.

"These astros tried to escape, sir." a drone reported.

"Hrmf." I replied, "And are they all accounted for?"

"All 29 are here. They were unarmed and stood no chance against our might."

"Good." I said, remembering that I was not in their original headcount since I had not yet actually been captured. "And did you find anything on that dropship interesting?"

"Just this toy." replied a drone who was holding the Portateller.

"Let me see that." I commanded.

"Right away sir." He handed it to me. Now I had the advantage. Had my body temperature been aligned, I would have already blasted them, but since I could not use it, I had been powerless until now. I wished I could have charged the K-9 unit (model #13) from special projects, but since there was no power in the base, it was still sitting in the corner. Still, there was something else I could do. "Line up and salute!" I commanded and my order was followed. I punched in their coordinates and walked over to the open bay door and looked out.

"Such a lovely sunset eh boys?" I said looking out, and looking down at how far up we were on Mt. Olympus.

"Sir?" a drone asked.

"Yes, a lovely day for conquest. Too bad you won't get to." I activated the Portateller and they vanished from their spot and materialized just outside the bay door. I turned off my disguise and waved to them as they plummeted down, smashing at the bottom like a LEGO model that just fell off the kitchen table.

 

The astros cheered for a moment, but knew we were still in grave danger. We no longer had transportation out. "What are we going to do?" they asked me.

"What we are best at, we build." I punched in the coordinates I had saved when back at the Eagle base and began transporting crates as tall as we were into the bay.

"Our unfinished vehicles!" one of the engineers shouted.

"Exactly. We had a stockpile of vehicles to be used on the next base we built, but we never got that far so they sat in crates. Now, it's time to build them."

 

Since we had eliminated the drones who knew of our escape, and I was supposed to be guarding the prisoners, we were able to work in peace for the most part, though we made sure to carry a blaster, which I provided with the portateller. We worked in a flurry for just over an hour to put together the ships, but we now had a fleet of MX-11 Astro Fighters, Crystal Hawks, and two MX-81 Hypersonic Operations Aircraft assembled and at our disposal. Auron and I took the MX-81's with two pilots on the side pods, while the rest of the crew manned the other vehicles. "Your astro fighters have very limited ammo so use it wisely. Because of this, we will attack in waves of fifteen. Each wave will include an MX-81, ten astro fighters, and five crystal hawks. As soon as the astro fighters are need a recharge, they will fly back to this hangar with the crystal hawks providing support and the MX-81 in the rear for firepower. Once back, the next wave will fly out with the Crystal Hawks and the MX-81 side pods protecting the bay, and the pilots holding off any assault from the Xolandians in here if they try to enter the hanger from inside the base. Our first objective is to take thin their ranks, then do what they did to us and take their power pumps away. Got it?"

"Roger that sir!"

"After that, their defense turrets will go offline, but so will out charging stations since we are tapping into their system. Use your last ammo on the entrances and exits and do your best to seal them off. Then, we will all meet back at the Eagle Command Base where the engineers will begin right away on repairing the pumps, while the rest of us clean up and repair the building. Understood?"

"Ready to roll."

"Good. Then Astros on three."


We all gathered in a circle, put our hands in the center and chanted "One, two three, ASTROS!" before climbing into our fighters. I hoisted myself up into the cockpit on an MX-81 and Auron did the same in his. "I'll take the first shift." Auron told me so I climbed back down to help guard the charging station we had setup with the other pilots in my shift. We watched as the first wave of brave pilots flew out into the open and heard the sirens flare up as the Xolandians sounded the alarm.


Our fighters buzzed and zipped around as the vipers swarmed out of the hive. Though lightly armoured, in such large numbers they were a large threat, but small enough for the MX-81 to handle while the Astro Fighters zoomed around and made sure every shot counted. After several minutes of battle, Auron reported that his pilots were running out of ammo and needed a recharge. "Pilots, man your fighters!" I announced and we scrambled to our aircrafts. We flew out first so that the incoming fighters could quickly find a spot to charge. As soon as the Xolandians realized our plan however, they found a weakness.


First, they sent out strike fighters, which were more heavily armoured and harder to take down, meaning our fighters needed a charge much sooner. As our shift moved into our stations and the pilots were preparing for an inside assault as planned, the aliens did actually attack from the inside. An entire squad had burst through the doorway before any of us could react.  The side pods disconnected from my MX-81 and zipped inside to assist the astros inside, who were desperately just trying to hold their own. As I had planned, the pods turned the tide of the battle, but we knew they would send further waves of drones into the station and try to destroy it, since doing so would cripple our ability to fight. We needed a new tactic. Soon we changed shifts again and while I was out in the battle, I had a revelation. I looked below and saw a mess of destroyed alien machines below, all broken into pieces. Then, I thought of Jack Stone, and took inspiration from the way he took inspiration. "Fall back!" I announced into the radio, "Back to the vehicle bay!"


As soon as everyone had made it back inside, which was nearly momentary, I shot the support holding the door, sending it crashing back closed. It had been built to withstand substantial damage so we were safe for now from outside attack. On the inside, the Xolandians had not yet attempted a second surprise attack so I assembled the remaining soldiers together. After a quick headcount, 23, I addressed the men. "All right, time to recalculate. Our numbers simply aren't large enough to take them down and it would take a force at least 5 times ours to thin their ranks. I did not realize how massive their force is, my fault, I apologize, but I have another plan. Down below us on the ground lies a mass of destroyed vipers and strike fighters. With the portateller, I will transport as much of that junk as I can up here. Use it to build yourselves a fortress. Just a giant box with walls as thick as possible and holes to stick your blasters out. Make sure it also has a floor. Once built, stay inside it, and I will fly away to find a safe place, and use the portateller to bring you there. While I am gone, do your best to make yourself a pain in leg-holes for the Xolandians. If this plan is agreeable, then I suggest we start right away." I urged as a missile dented the outside door inward. I could tell it wouldn't hold forever. Auron seconded the plan and the engineers got to work on a basic design while I ported the wreckage into the room.


The first thing they did was to build a blockade in front of the inside door to prevent an inside attack. Then, they reinforced the garage door, which was still taking heavy fire. We were all glad, for once, that the aliens had built that door as securely as they did since, currently, it was the only thing standing between us and a swarm of angry, green, slimy, beings bent on galactic domination.


As the engineers built and the soldiers followed orders, I worked with Auron on a strategy to defeat the Hive once we had escaped to the old Martian Resistance hideout. "So, once we escape, what is our next move?" Auron inquired.

"First, we refill our oxygen at the river. Our supplies are quickly depleting."

"Then?"

"After that, I don't know. Most of our force is still out with the Galaxy Squad. Maybe the Martian Resistance can help. You guys trained them like you were supposed to right?"

"Yes, but they decided they were better at hiding than fighting and retreated to who knows where."

"Hmm, I wondered where they were when I arrived but I was too tired to care at the time. We can hope they are still at their old hideout. If not, we will still be grateful to them for building it in the first place."

"Either way, we still need a plan."

"Ah yes, a plan. Right now, my only plan is to get everyone out of here and safely to that base. That's enough of a plan for me right now."

"You've done a lot for everyone already Flash, just keep it together okay? I don't want you falling apart."

"I don't plan on it. It looks like the defense hut is almost built now so I should probably zip out of here."

"Good luck Flash."

"Luck is nothing more than glorified coincidence and it can turn either way, plus I'd rather not rely on coincidence to keep me alive."

"The do your best and hope for the best."

"That's more like it. I'll see you soon, Auron."


I climbed into an astro-fighter, since it was the fastest of the crafts we had on hand, and waited until everyone had entered the defense hut before I activated the bay door and zoomed out into the fray once again. It seemed like the entire hive was outside that door waiting for me, however, and I only made it a few yards out the door before my shield died and the jet exploded. "Drat, that didn't work." I thought as I ejected before the explosion and rocketed out in my jetpack. "So this is how it ends eh? Well, gg guys."


I wasn't going to give up yet though. Using my jetpack, I flew up and grabbed on to one of their motherships to hide. Then, I dropped the jetpack and shot it as it fell, causing it to explode in the hopes they would think I was now eliminated from the picture. This seemed to work as they began to focus their fire back at the vehicle bay, whose door had been closed again. Climbing around to the top of the mothership, I used my cutting laser to slice off the hinges holding the cockpit cover on and gave the cover a kick. This sent it flying off and the commando pilot inside was a sitting duck since he was restrained by his safety belt. I zapped him with my taser, now useless, and dropped him out, taking his place in the pilot chair. Now I had some firepower at my fingertips.


I started firing mah lazah and took down a large number of enemy aircraft as they were totally taken off guard. I lost control of my weapons though when the vipers detached from the main body. Since they were where the guns were located, now I was a sitting duck. Moments after detaching, they turned around and shot my mothership down. Once again, here I was tumbling down in a smoking wreck. Once again, I wasn't going to let that stop me.


Climbing to the topmost part of the wreck as it fell, trying not to lose my balance as it flipped and spun, I leapt off and spread out my arms and legs to try and slow my fall. When this did nothing, I remembered that Mars has almost no air and therefore no air resistance to slow me down. Recalculating, my move, I had only seconds to plan, which is probably why it turned out to be such a terrible one. I yanked a tube out of my oxygen tank and opened it up, using the short blast of air to propell me on top of a nearby viper. Our combined weight sent the viper crashing down, but significantly slower than my previous fall rate, since the viper was still trying to fly.


I tried rolling to dampen the crash as I had seen my heroes do in the movies, but I still felt like I had a broken arm when I picked myself up. As I stood, I say the Xolandian doing the same and he looked mean as ever. I stared at him as he glared at me and we shared a moment of mutal licking our wounds while preparing to attempt to inflict more upon the enemy while sustaining as few as possible upon ourselves. In other words, we both knew we were going to have to fight. "We don't have to fight." I said in his tongue, contradicting what we both were thinking but this turned out to be %100 true. As I said this, the alien ships finally wore through the vehicle bay door and chunk flew down and knocked my opponent out cold. I tried to climb into his viper to see if it was still flight-worthy, but slid to a stop when another large chunk plummeted down and crushed the aircraft. I was grounded.


"Auron," I radioed, "It's not going to work. I'm grounded just outside the base. I barely made it out the door."

"Well for now they're barely making it in the door. Our engineers built a solid fortress."

"It won't last forever though. I'll try to make my way on foot to the hideout, but it will take hours unless I get transportation and your guns won't last that long."

"Flash, just go. If even one of us makes it out of this alive, I will be surprised and there's no-one better to make it than you."

"Auron don't talk like that! We'll figure something out!"

"We've been through a lot Flash, but we can't possibly get through everything. Go, the fate of the galaxy depends on it."

"But your destiny depends on me staying and helping! I have a duty to protect out unity and I'm not going to run away from that!"

"You're not running away from anything, Flash, you're running toward saving everything."

"Everything but you, you mean."

"Everything. I have faith in you Flash. Go. You agreed to leave me in command, and I order you to run, soldier. You are not retreating, you are running. Go."


I knew Auron was right, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I could still make this right if I went back in. Still, I had to follow orders. I turned my Space Police suit to invisible mode and started running. Quickly tiring after so much physical exertion during this battle, I paused to look back after about six minutes of running. As I watched, I saw chunks of the battered fortress flying out of the vehicle bay door as the aliens barraged it with wave after wave of laser blasts and flick-fire missiles. It was hopeless. The battle had been lost. Though I knew it was not my fault, I still felt as though it was somehow on my hands.


I watched the astros inside desperately hiding behind anything they could find to escape the gunfire from outside when the walls finally gave way, and then cried as I saw the white flag go up. The shooting stopped, and they all stood up with their hands up. A squadron of drones entered from inside and began to prepare my comrades for their cocoons again.


That was when the sky seemed to crack. Everyone watched as a massive dropship of some sort exploded into the atmosphere and flew to a hovering position underneath the alien ships. This dropship was sleek, white, and unlike anything I had seen before. Then, I noticed the large "H" inside a circle symbol and knew we were saved. The side door on the ship opened up and out stepped three massive robots, all with the Hero Factory's signature Quaza core in their chests. It was Mark Surge, Duncan Bulk, and Evo! Between Surge's electric blasts, Bulk's sonic boomer, and Evo's quick melee attacks, the entire Xolandian fleet lay in ruins within minutes.


I rejoiced for a moment, until I noticed the empty vehicle bay.

"Auron, Auron, where are you?"

"Flassss." came the reply.

"Auron?"

"Flss, they escay. Weeee slheep. Be ther heeerohhhhhh..."

"NOOO!" I thought, "They have the rest of the soldiers!" I shouted, running toward our saviours.

"What? Who said that?" Evo yelled. I turned off my invisibility and rushed right up to the massive figure, who stood nearly six times my height.


"They, they..." I panted, "They have the others in there. I'm the only one who made it out."

"Inside! NOW! Evo commanded and the trio ran for the entrance and I joined them, but we were too late. We halted to a stop when we heard the blast of a rocket and watched helplessly as a pod blasted from the top of Mt, Olympus and off into the sky. "Ogel." I said, "He must have escaped here. He always does that. Makes a base in a volcano and escapes through the top just when the going gets tough." Mark fired a blast of electricity at the pod, but it dissipated before reaching the craft.


"My sensors aren't showing any signs of life inside. He must have taken the whole army, astro hostages and all." Evo announced after a moment of scanning.

"Not a single person left behind?" Surge asked, surprised.

"The pod wasn't that big." Bulk questioned.

"But remember, we're a lot smaller than you guys are." I pointed out, "Meaning more of us could fit inside that pod. Let me call up Auron and see if he's within range or in a condition to answer. Last time we spoke he was passing out." I pressed on my helmet to turn on the radio and sent a hail signal to Auron's radio unit. As I had expected, I got no reply.


Then, seemingly unprovoked, Evo let out a yelp. "What was that!" He exclaimed.

"What was what?" We all thought and Bulk said aloud.

"Inside! The Crystals are still there! But, they're different!"

"What do you mean different?" I asked.

"I'm going to have to see this for myself. I don't trust my sensors right now. There must be something wrong about them. There's no way this is possible."

"After what I've seen recently, anything's possible." I hopped onto Bulk's back and we rushed inside, making sure to stay on the alert in case of an ambush.


As soon as we entered, All the heros stopped dead in their tracks. “What happened to this place!†Bulk marveled as we all stared into the depths of the alien hive. “Last time I checked our files it was  just a gorgeous crystal cave, but this, this is something else to behold!†Evo thought aloud. All around us we could see the green hexagon shapes of the alien living quarters, only barely glowing now that the crystals were no longer supporting their energy draw. Of course, this was a sight I had seen many times, but the Hero Factory heroes had not been here since their archival scout team visited many years ago to add the planet to their database. “You can sightsee later, we have a mission with the fate of the universe on our hands at the moment, let’s get to the crystal chamber shall we?†I urged.

“Righto mate.†Evo replied and we moved onward toward where Evo’s sensors were indicating the crystals currently resided.


When we arrived, we found that indeed, the crystals had changed as Evo had thought. No longer were they green, but each had turned a different color. Some blue, some light green, others dark green, even some yellow, red, light blue, and white! Some of them seemed to be glowing, however.“Fascinating!†Evo said after scanning the crystals.

“What?†the rest of us inquired.

“These crystals, the new ones, they’re combinations!â€

“Combinations, of the other types?â€

"What other types?" Bulk asked. He was always a bit slower to figure things out.

"The other crystals from accross the galaxy. The non-glowing crystals are in their original form, like the ones the Power Miners were finding under the surface of Earth and the ones Berg is protecting in the Arctic still."

“According to my scanners, the new crystals seem to be hybrids! And they each posses different abilities! It looks like the glowing ones are the hybrid crystals. They’re not just energy crystals anymore, they’re,... elemental crystals! Here, feel this red one!†Evo handed me a red crystal and I immediately dropped it. “Yeeeeeouch! That’s hot! Like fire!â€

“Exactly, and this blue one, watch.†He touched it and an arc of electricity shot from the crystal to his hand before he even made contact. “And the light blue one is wet, like water!†Again, after touching it, his hand came away wet. “No wonder the Xolandians wanted all the different types! They can change the powers of the crystals by combining different types! I must take these back to Zib and let him analizy them. Bulk, Surge, help me load these into the dropship. We’ll take these to Makuhero for safe keeping."

"I don't see any glowing white ones." Surge pointed out.

"They must not have found Berg's supply after they left in a rush after our battle with the Alpha Team last."

"You really must catch me up on what has led to this point." Evo said, "I mean, I thought the brain-bots we were fighting were a big deal but this looks even bigger."

"I think they're connected too, like everything that's been going on lately." I said and explained my adventure so far to them.


“But how on earth, or on Mars rather I suppose, are they combining these crystals together in the first place? It’s not like you just touch them together and Bam, they’re amalgamated.†Bulk pointed out when I had finished my story.

“I have no idea. Perhaps they took whatever they are using with them when they blasted off.†Evo responded.

“Also, why would they leave these behind like this?†Surge asked.

“Either they were in a hurry to save their skin, or they already had what they needed on that ship.†I concluded.

“But why does combining them give them their powers? They’re all just energy crystals when in their natural state, just different colors.†Bulk pondered.

“Maybe it takes the right combinations to unlock their full energy, or elemental potential.â€


“I heard of a guy who knew about unlocking elemental abilities in people, maybe he could help us with these crystals?†I suggested while we were loading the crystals into the dropship.

“Who?†Evo asked.

“An old man. He lives in New Ninjago City. His name is Wu Garmadon."

"Let's set course for Ninjago then. Zib, " Evo said and called his home base. "Send us a flight plan for Ninjago please."

"I'll have Quattle start on it right away. How did the rescue mission on Mars go?" Zib replied.

"I will upload a full report right now for you. Sending it through the Hero Uplink server."

"Transmission is coming in loud and clear." Zib said, and we waited while he reaid Evo's report.


"Hmm," Zib said through the radio after a minute or so of studying the message, "I see you found similar results to what we had speculated with the crystals from Planet U! When Flash sent us the specs on them after his encounter on the Stormrunner, we found that they could possibly combine to for Quaza, but these crystals you found have been combined, just different ones. Fascinating. We must find out how the Xolandians were doing this!"

"We have to track them down first though." I noted.

"True, any leads on where Ogel took the astros?"

"None yet," I explained, "But maybe if we understand these crystals, we will be able to understand his motives for all this."

"Well, keep working on it. I've sent a course to your computer that will take you to Ninjago with a stop at the Makuhero to drop off your load of crystals."

"Roger that. We'll be there as soon as we can. Evo out."


As we approached the massive planet known as Makuhero, named after the massive city which covered its entire surface, I had to wonder how I would stand on such a planet, which was much larger than Earth and would most likely have a much higher gravity level than my comparably tiny body could endure! Thankfully, the Hero Factory was accustomed to off-world visitors and Evo had some gravity normalizers which magnetically attached to my helmet. How they worked, I have no clue but Makuhero was home to many incredible technologies along with mysteries.


It was not long before we were docking at the Makuhero headquarters. I could not help but marvel at everything I saw. I had been to some pretty large cities in my life, but nothing could have prepared me for the scale of Makuhero City. Everything was just so massively gigantic! I now had an idea what it felt like to be an ant.


It was not very long before standard workmen robots were expediently unloading the payload of crystals. "Come, follow us. We'll take you to mission control." Bulk said, picking me up and placing me on his shoulders like I remembered my father doing when I was still just a microfigure.


After going down an elevator tube and through a few hallways, we came to the misson control room. I could see Zibb and Quattle dragging lines around on a giant holographic map and talking to Preston Stormer. As we neared, Preston addressed us saying, "Bulk, I hear your mission was pretty exciting. Of course, your enemies were just pipsqueaks in comparison."

"Yeah, something like that." Bulk replied. He was always a man of few words.

"I see you brought one of them home." He said, pointing at me, "I didn't know you had a fondness for pets." Stormer, I had heard, had a very condescending sense of humour and so far he was living up to his reputation.

"Who, this guy? Nah, he's a better fighter than Furno. Keeps his cool like Kopaka."

"Hey, I heard that!" came a voice from the peanut gallery, which I presumed to be the famed motorbike-riding red Hero.

"Hey," Stormer called, turning his head over hsi shoulder,  "at least Bulk was nice enough to call you Furno, you're still Rookie to me." he retorted. "And you, what should I call you?" He asked, turning to me now.

"Flash, Flash Jackson."

"All right Flash Flash Jackson, it looks like we're going to be getting to know each other pretty well on this next assignment." I rolled my eyes at his obviously fake attempt at my name. Thankfully my visor was down so he did not notice this gesture. Yes, I would be getting to know him quite well, if it didn't drive me crazy in the process.


"There, all finished." Zibb announced and Quattle blurped and burbled in consensus. "I've plotted your route and uploaded it to your Hero Uplink."

"I'm receiving the mission now." Stormer confirmed, pressing a button on his helmet. "Any upgrades for this mission?"

"No, since we really don't know what to expect, you can choose whatever form you would like."

"I'll take my normal armour. Am I to go alone or are any other noobs, I mean heroes accompanying me?"

"I do believe Flash counts as a hero, but no, it will be just the two of you. Evo, Bulk, and Surge need to recharge their cores and the rest of the Alpha Team are resting after the Battle with the Brains."

"Alpha Team?" I said, confused, "But they're back on Earth!"

"Different team kid," Stormer explained, "every team of Hero Factory heroes is assigned a team name. I'm the leader of the Alpha Team and I pick and choose my members depending on the mission. We've got teams all the way down to Zeta. I tried to give Zeta to Furno but Evo would have nothing of it. Apparently his involvement with Hero Factory Special Forces trumps my command."

"Bleep sqourp deedle zimp blap!" Quattle said in his own little way.

"What did he say?" I asked. Zibb translated, "Errr, he said 'Sometimes you need to be trumped just to take down that ego of yours.'" Zibb added, "Don't shoot the messenger!" When Stormer glared at him with an icy gaze.

"Oh did he now," Stormer said threateningly, and dove for the hovering robot. Quattle chuckled and zoomed around to the other side of the hologram. "I'll have you dealt with later."


After Stormer had studied the mission plans from Zibb, we headed to the pod hangar to prepare for departure. We were just about to blast off for Ninjago, when Evo came running into the hangar shouting "Wait!" Stormer and I paused in our ascent up the pod stairs. "Stormer, there's been a lead on the missing Von Nebula staff!"

"What is a Von Nebula staff?" I asked.

"The staff belonged to Von Nebula, the greatest enemy the Hero Factory has ever faced. His staff had the ability to create blackholes at his command. We defeated him by reversing the effect and trapping him inside his own staff. However, the prisoners rigged a massive breakout a few months ago and we've been fighting to recover all the inmates ever since. One of the items that disappeared was Von Nebula's staff, which plausibly still contains the mastervillain trapped in a space-time freeze inside. If someone were to figure out how to release him, our existence would be in even greater jeopardy."

"Sheesh, well, you'd better get on that then. I should be fine on my own, though if my luck so far is of any indication, it ain't gonna be an easy trip."

"I admire your bravery and resolve little man, but I couldn't possibly allow someone as weak as you to travel these stars in solitude. I'll assign a detachment to accompany you. Besides, how in the world would you fly our ship?"

"Good point, hopefully I can have Jay rig me a craft of my own size when we get to Ninjago."

"Sounds like a plan."


Rushing off to join his new mission, Stormer struck me as one of the strongest leaders I'd ever met. Never wavering, always on call, and he sure knew how to build you up to his standards, even if that meant taking parts of you off until you saw the light in his ideas.


I had little time to reflect on this, however, for my pilot arrived. When he walked into the room, the room became silent, other than gasps of reverence coming from the workers. I thought he must be some sort of retired robot who had served well in his time, judging from his bent  and copperish appearance. I was very wrong. When he walked up to the flight pod, hobbling on his cane, he introduced himself, "Flash, good to meet you. I am Mr. Makuro. It will be a pleasure to escort and accompany you on this flight. Shall we depart?" I realized that this was no ordinary hero, this was THE hero, the founder of the Hero Factory himself, and he was to be my pilot!


"Mr. Makuro, I am indeed honored!" I said when we were seated. "But how come Stormer didn't send a regular pilot?"

"Oh, he did. Nex was supposed to be your pilot, but Wu and I have not spoken in a long time and I thought it would be a hoot to show up at his door again. Don't you agree?"

"Having never met him, I really have no input in the matter."

"Quite quite, but you will soon."

"Well Mr. Makuro, I'm afraid I won't be of much company for a little while at least, for I have been awake for an extensive amount of time and I must rest if you do not mind."

"By all means, even we heroes must charge our Quaza cores." With that, I proceeded to sleep. Hours later, after I awoke, we talked a long time about what was going on, trying to see if we could think of any leads as to who was behind this galactic if not universal enterprise of evil. Unfortunately, neither of us could come to any conclusions.


Several days later, after an uneventful flight, Ninjago was finally in sight. We landed in New Ninjago City itself, which was surprisingly advanced. Soon, Nya arrived in one of her many vehicles to pick us up. "And how are the ninja?" Mr. Makuro asked.

"I don't really know." Nya replied. "You see, they ran off to somewhere without telling anyone. Only Wu, Misako, and I are still on this island."

"Hmm, even Garmadon?"

"Yep! He's gone too! I've been trying to locate them, but I've got nothing yet. Oh I do hope Cole and Jay are all right."

"And what of Kai and Zane?" I asked.

"Kai's my brother, he can handle himself. And didn't you hear? Zane is, well, he died honorably saving the city from the Overlord."

"The Overlord! Why, I thought he was banished to his Island of Darkness!"

"Garmadon ended up freeing him while he was possessed."

"Ah yes, I had heard something about that come to think of it."

"Well, anyway, I'm on my way to try to find them. I'll drop you off at our headquarters with Wu, but I'm off to follow a lead at Master Chen's Noodle House, where the ninja were last seen."


Nya dropped us off at the door to their hideout, which was cleverly disguised as a large skeleton of some ancient beast thankfully now non-existent in today's society, it seemed almost Serpentine in origin. The jaw of the beast opened and we stepped inside. Since it was build to accommodate Nya's Samurai X suit, it was plenty large for Mr. Makuro. A large atrium greeted us after a short driveway exit and we could see Sensei and Misako standing by a large monitor that was displaying a large map of the Ninjago mainland. Several red dots were marked on the screen, presumably places where they suspected the ninja may have disappeared. They were muttering together and did not notice our presence until we were quite close.


"Nya, we... Oh, you're not Nya!" Misako said when she turned around, obviously unaware of our plans to meet up. Wu also turned around at this point. "Ah, Makuro, good to see you. What brings you to our neck of the universe?"

"Actually, this young man here, Flash, can better explain what is going on, I merely came along to pilot him."

"Humph, I don't believe it for a minute. You came here for some of my tea didn't you." Wu said with a hint of a chuckle in his voice.

"Oh darn, you saw right through me."

"Right over here." Wu led us to his tea machine, and brewed us a batch. I had to admit, it was the best tea I had ever tasted and it was a welcome treat after having lived off astronaut food for some time now. I wanted another swig, so I walked over to his machine and pressed a button, which I had thought was the one he pressed to dispense our tea, however, as it turned out, I was gravely wrong.


As soon as I drank it, I felt warmth from the tea running through my veins. I said aloud, "Wow, this is some tea. How do you make it do that? I feel like my whole body is warm!"

"Oh dear!" Wu cried out, "That is not regular tea!†I stopped drinking it right away and dropped it when I looked down at my hands, or rather where I thought my hands should have been.

“Whaa, what kind of tea is this?!†I cried out.

“Invisbili-tea. I invented it based on the Anacondrai scales. Don’t worry, it will wear off eventually. You didn’t drink the whole cup so you’ll still be mostly visible, but please, be careful around here! Not everything is as simple as it seems."

"Things rarely are." Makuro added. I put on gloves just so I could see where my hands should have been, and technically were.

"Can I control the invisibility caused by the invisibili-tea?" I asked.

"Sadly, no."

"Is there a visibili-tea to reverse it?"

"I'm afraid not. You'll just have to deal with it for now. Let it be a lesson to you not to meddle with things you do not understand."

"Well, it's because of something we don't understand that we are coming to you." Makuro said, changing the subject.

"I will be glad to help if I can." Wu said.

"And I too." Misako added.


I explained everything, it seemed for the umpteenth time, all over again up to this point to the two of them. All about the mission at the start, my missions undercover with Auron, my adventures with Rob Bricks and the ADU, then on to the Stormrunner and the LMS Explorer, then with the Alpha Team, Jack Stone, Rocket Racer and his pals, how my fellow astros were kidnapped by Ogel and Zorkar, and how the Hero Factory became involved. Then, I explained the crystals and how their combinations seemed to produce special elemental powers and even Quaza if they were all combined together, at  least the ones we knew about.


"Hmm," Wu said when I had finished, stroking his beard as he did, "I wish Nya were here right now. She might be able to figure out a how to build some sort of machine to combine them."

"Do you have any of the crystals with you?" Misako asked.

"For safety, we only took two. One raw energy crystal taken from the Xolandian's stash, one of the non-native crystals, and then one of the glowing crystals. The ice crystal was the easiest to transport so we brought that one." Makuro said, producing a crate holding the crystals that he had carried in.

"Let me see them." Misako said, and examined them closely.

"Wu, look at this crystal!"

"Why, it looks just like Zane's power source!" Wu cried out.

"Exactly! Remember how we couldn't figure out what powered him, and he broke it giving half to PIXAL?" Misako then told us the story of Zane and how he sacrificed half his heart to revive another Nindroid who he admired after she nearly died when the city's power was cut after the Overlord possessed it. Then, with tears in their eyes, they took turns retelling the story of how Zane also sacrificed himself in the battle with the overlord.


"Zane was truly a noble ninja," Wu told us after the story was over, "I always saw something special in him. Now all we have left is his raven. There is something special about that mechanical bird too. Somehow it always sees something we cannot. Much like Zane always did."

"I only wish Dr. Julian were still here, he must have known something about these crystals, if he used one, or part of one, to power Zane!" Misako lamented.

"His time to go had come once again."

"Once again?" I asked.

"Yes, he left this world once, of old age, but Samukai, the leader of the Skeleton Army of the underworld brought him back into this world to build his machines of war when Lord Garmadon took over. Then, trapped him in a lighthouse until we rescued him. We learned a lot about Zane then, but we never did find out about his power source. That man was a genius"



"Hmmm," Misako pondered, "I wonder if my scrolls have anything to say about these crystals." Misako rushed off to another room and returned with a box of ancient scrolls. "Serpentine, The Great Devourer, The Final Battle, The Golden Ninja, The Elemental Masters,..." She said, reading the titles of each scroll, "Spinjitzu, A love letter from Garmadon, Ah, here! Maybe this will help! This one's titled The Great Guardians."

"What are the Great Guardians?" Makuro asked.

"The legend tells of a group of Great Guardians who once protected the galaxy from a great evil spirit brotherhood, the Makuta. Each guardian had an elemental power, Fire, Ice, Water, Air, Earth, and Stone. There were many generations of these masters, but they disappeared eons ago. Long before I was even born." Wu explained, "These guardians were called the Toa. Each Toa possessed special masks of power, each infused with elemental abilities. No-one knows what happened to them, our scrolls beyond a final battle between two massive robotic beings have sadly been lost and all we know is that their planet, which had been split, was finally re-united. Bara Magna became Spherus Magna once again. What happened to these creatures, we do not know. Perhaps their story holds the key to unlocking this mystery!"


"Fascinating!" I said, "Perhaps the X 2 1/2ians have something more to do with this than we thought! Their planet was also split after a portal sucked it into our galaxy and the Stormrunner crashed into it, sucking the LMS Explorer into another galaxy as well. Too bad they've all been turned into an alien insect swarm."

"I think you need to follow this trail. Perhaps it will lead you to an answer."

"We were kind of hoping you knew something about unlocking the powers in these crystals though." I said, hoping he could help us find the trail in the first place.

"I'm afraid my knowledge is limited to guiding my pupils to unlock their powers. I have no idea where these crystals came from, or why they display similar elemental powers. Perhaps if you can find out, it will help us all to understand how the first elemental masters received their powers in the first place though!"

"Did your father never tell you?"

"No, he only told us that he was the first Spinjitzu master, and that he created this world, Ninjago, to protect the people and gave the first masters their power so that they could protect the citizens from evil, and he created the Golden Weapons to help them in this task."

"A pity, do you know where your father came from?"

"My father was a mysterious man. He had the ultimate power, the power of creation but would never tell my brother and I where this power came from. Only that we too could harness the power by combining the four elemental powers together, in the Tornado of Creation. Lloyd also has this power, but we know so little about it, it is hard to train him to use it. Especially since he is young and irrational at times."


"Perhaps I can help you though." Misako offered.

"Anything would be appreciated." Makuro replied.

"In my studies, I heard of a rather reclusive fellow by the name of The Brickkeeper. He has devoted his life to studying imagination and the creations people make with his robotic dog, M.U.T.T. in his secret Creation Lab. He had four acquaintances, great warriors, who went on a quest to find the last piece of Pure Imagination, the most powerful force in the universe."

"And did they?" I asked.

"Yes, with the help of thousands of children from across the world, they found it and built a massive tower, the Nexus Tower, to protect it. Last I heard, they were making huge advances on a new frontier called Crux Prime."


"And how did you hear about all this?" Makuro asked.

"The ninja helped them for awhile when the Skullkin showed up and they taught many of their brave warriors the art of Spinjitzu. Sadly we had to return to our home when The Great Shutdown occurred in 2012. We were the only survivors as far as I know, all the others vanished without a trace for no reason at all. It broke our hearts when we heard the news. So much work had been put into their mission and it all was for nothing."

"Not quite for nothing though," Makuro said, "For as you mentioned, the Brickkeeper escaped as well, living in his Creation Lab long after the Shutdown, though he has not been heard from in a long time and even his MLN profile has been inactive for quite some time."

"True, but I believe we may know someone who can find him." Misako told us.

"Who?" I asked.

"Captain Soto. His brother, Captain Jack Knife, was one of the Brickkeeper's closest associates. One of our own also joined him, Numb Chuck. Perhaps Soto could tell you where the secret lab has disappeared to!"

"Where might we find this Captain Soto?" I asked.

"At the prison."

"He's a criminal?"

"Since when has being a pirate not been a crime?" Wu remarked.

"I didn't know he was a pirate."

"Well, let's go talk to this Captain Soto then!" I said.

"I will let you continue your journey Flash, but it's time I head back to Makuhero." Mr. Makuro said, "I'm sure Wu will have an appropriately sized spacecraft for you now!"

"Goodbye Mr. Makuro! I am sure we will meet again!" With that, we separated. Wu, Misako, and I to the prison and Mr. Makuro back to Makuhero.


When we walked up to the entrance, Wu just had to wave into the camera and the guard knew who he was and opened the doors. "Welcome Mr. Wu, Misako, and I do hope this isn't a new prisoner you're bringing me." He said cordially.

"Oh no, this is Flash, he's trying to save the universe right now."

"The universe is in danger! Oh my! I salute you sir!" And he did just that.

"If you could please show us to Captain Soto's cell we'd greatly appreciate it." Misako instructed and he led us into the high-security building, through the many traps and doorways and into the main chamber where the many villains of ninjago were kept from the public. Captain Soto was on the second floor. "He's on your left!" we heard a parrot squawk, "Bwak, no, your other left!"


"Sooo, you have come to see me again Wu." Soto snarled from behind bars.

"Soto, if you would like to survive for much longer in this universe, I suggest you work with us." Misako answered for Wu.

"Ah, a new threat has come to Ninjago? Have the pajama men failed to stop the snake men this time?"

"No, not as far as we know, but we need you help for something else. Something bigger than just Ninjago."

"And you came here to tell me this why?"

"We need to know the location of your brother, Jack Knife. It is imperative that we speak with the Brickkeeper." Wu explained.

"My brother puts shame on pirates everywhere.There is an unwritten rule that pirates do not associate with ninjas, we fight them but he dared to befriend one and has been disowned by real pirates everywhere."

"But do you know where he is?" Misako asked. I was staying silent in this conversation, letting the older, wiser couple deal with this criminal.

"'Course I do, he's searching for Hael Storm out near the Maelstrom. But I wouldn't dare go out there if I were you, since the Mythrans vanished, the Maelstrom has become a dangerous beast of a cloud, consuming everything it can as it grows. As far as I know, Duke is still out there fighting the Stromlings, but it's a lost cause mate, without the Mythrans, there isn't much that can be done to stop it. We'll be better off giving in to it if it ever washes up on our shores. Even your pajama men couldn't help when the Skullkin joined forces with the Stromlings."

"Is there any way we can reach him?"

"If yer arm can't stretch that far, then no, not from here. Ye must venture out on yer own to the Crux Prime and find him yerself mate."

 

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