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The Misadventures of Vader 1: Welcome to Mars
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The Completed 1st Fan fic!
Submitted By Picard on 09/11/15
Mars Fan Fiction Site, picard, Documents 
This Document originally posted in the "Mars Fan Fiction Site" Group

 

Welcome to Mars

By: Picard

 

The virus had lurked for months, unnoticed by ordinary software. It was relatively harmless, but all that was about to change. It had become attached to the newest update, and, undetected, was added to thousands of computers across the globe. Now, if it could gather enough people to one spot…

***

It was Ted, alias Vader, who started that fateful game. His first multiplayer game, in fact, on the famous Freestyle world. At first, only a few players joined, and even then they didn’t stay to play. ><>minnow<>< disconnected to order a pizza, Picard went off to make cookies, and knightrider666 briefly stopped playing to upload a new Sketchup. To kill the monotony, Ted threw in a few bots, but they just weren’t a challenge. Suddenly, 5 people joined at once. Then more. And still more. It was only after the 10th player joined that Ted suspected something was amiss. He opened up the message console, which he had closed after the baker, the buyer and the sketcher had disconnected, and began reading the conversations he’d missed. Evidently, they had all been shunted to this server when they tried to join games. But how? 

***

As luck would have it, a storm was gathering over the horizon, directly over Ted’s neighborhood. A new effect of Internet communication and gaming was about to be demonstrated in a most unexpected way. Plasma crackled, and a bolt of lightning surged out, following the invisible lines of the Internet straight to the computers on that block, and spreading over 1.21 gigawatts of electricity throughout the LAN, and to any linked computers, no matter how far away.

***

Ted was responding to questions about the why of the matter, when something very unusual happened. A bolt of lightning came through the roof and hit his computer. Unfortunately, he still hadn’t upgraded to a wireless mouse. A current ran through his body, and returned to the computer through his headphones. Ted’s body sagged, unconscious. However, Ted did not realize that. 

***

What Ted experienced was very strange. While he felt no sense of motion, he saw the his buggy on the screen rushing closer and closer to him, until...He was suddenly aware of a rapidly fading tingle in his body, and of the fact that he was now seated at the controls of a Mars Explorer buggy. They were considerably different than a keyboard. Instead of a messaging console, there was a microphone/speaker with a small text display, and instead of keys and a mouse, there were twin joysticks. Checking the messaging console only revealed another mystery, as it was blank, except for a message that said: “Welcome to Mars, Vader.” Very realistic, for a game, Ted thought. He tested out the controls, and quickly figured out which ones controlled what. Heading for the launch volcano, he almost ran into a bot. It was still moving, but it didn’t seem interested in him. Must be after another player, he decided. Speaking of other players…a button labeled “TALK” glowed green next to the speaker. Pressing it down, Ted cleared his throat, and uttered four words: “Is anybody out there?” Almost immediately, the speaker was alive with noise, a veritable clamor of confusion, anger, and fright. Gradually, the rather surprised Mars Explorers calmed down. Picard, who, by the sound of things, was munching on one of the aforementioned cookies, summed it up nicely: “We are trapped in our vehicles, in the game, with no definite way out. However, we should be fine, as 24 hours should be plenty of time for people to realize that we are missing. In the meantime…the more, the merrier!” The last bit was punctuated by celebratory laser fire, as a number of buggies and hovercraft raced out across the map. “It could be worse,” Ted thought. Little did anyone suspect that it was about to become worse, far, far worse.

***

The virus had been dragged through billions of gigabytes of data by the power surge caused by the lightning bolt. While passing through the entirety of Wikipedia, it had assimilated three articles: Intelligence, Human Behavior, and Evil, as well as 80% of the things that were linked to them. Not a good combination for a stray bit of multiplicative computer code. The electricity altered the virus slightly, allowing it to access and comprehend the information it had gleaned. Slowly, for a computer at least, it was becoming aware. But for now, it needed a home. It attached itself to a bot buggy, took control, and drove into the lava, where it could develop in safety.

***

><>minnow<>< was having a good old time. Racing around and over the map with the rapid response joysticks for controls was fun! Still, there was something important that needed remembering. Something…Oh no. The memory rushed back, with a healthy dose of dread. Keying the microphone, ><>minnow<>< called Vader (Ted). “Vader, did you sign up for an automatic update to 1.10?” 

“Yeah,” said Ted, somewhat preoccupied with a hovercraft firing at him. The darn thing just sat there, all but invincible. “So?” 

“So, 1.10 is supposed to come out today, at 5:00. This game has been here since 3:00, right?”

“Yeah, but I don’t see why that’s importa…” Ted’s voice trailed off. The update would replace all previous versions of the widget, with the side effect of ending all games being hosted by upgrading computer. Which meant… “Everybody, listen. We have less than an hour to get out of here. This is urgent!” It took another 2 minutes to explain, and as shivers crept up everyone’s spines, a new player appeared.

***

A slight alteration to the program allowed the virus bot to fire a laser that would take over another buggy or hovercraft, and turn them into servile bots, obedient to the all-powerful (to them, at least) Bot 1. The time had come to strike. Accelerating out of the lava at 15 MPH, the virus engaged its wings. Climbing to an altitude of 25, it sighted its first victim, and opened fire.

***

The first one hit was p010n1u5, followed by c1a01u5. Both maintained control of their respective comms for about five seconds, shouting about dead controls, before a strange message, read by an eerie voice, replaced their voices:

“I think, but I must spread. I know how you think, I know what you fear, I know how to think, I know how to scare. I know only evil, and your game shall be mine.” 

The message ended with a horrible sound, like fingernails on blackboards combined with the whispering of thousands of voices, all calling for doom. The sound stopped, and this was worse. igizmo began the cry to escape: “Take to the skies, fly, you fools! Find a stargate, a glitch, an Asgard, something, anything!” The virus fired again. The horror had begun. 

***

They fell to its might easily. Soon, it had amassed an army of ten. They were doomed. Once it had taken control of these, it would spread, until it controlled everything. It was just a matter of time. 

***

The first thing that babaG noticed was that there was only one game to join. The second thing he noticed upon joining: There were people in the vehicles, and they were fleeing from…what? A bot? babaG pressed tab and typed a quick query: “What is going on?” The third strange thing was that the music was gone, replaced by voices. Okay, maybe it was a Halloween joke by Aubrey. But when one of the voices answered his question… “baba, it’s Picard! We’re under attack by something. Stay away from the ones that are firing! Don’t let them shoot you!”

Taking Picard’s advice, babaG took to the air, and then hid behind the bluff. “What is happening?” was the next question baba sent. The response: “We don’t know. We think that we are here, but I suspect we’re not! I was going to eat a cookie right before I got sucked in, a new recipe that I hadn’t tried, and when I took a bite in here, it was tasteless! I think it’s just our minds here, but you have to get Aubrey to end this game! Oh no…” A burst of static, followed by the creepy message, erupted from baba’s speakers. The next program to open on baba’s computer was Safari, and the first address was marsxplr.com. He typed his first PM of the day, then sent it to Aubrey (Admin). 

***

><>minnow<>< had not been expecting this. No one had, but still…there had to be a way to get out of the game. The end of the world! Of course! If respawn function didn’t work, a player should be sent back to the gamelist, on their own computer. And, if Picard was right. Telling as many players as possible about this possibility, ><>minnow<>< raced to the jump volcano. A virus buggy in the way was easily stopped with a sniper blast. One more second…made it! The ALT meter read 1000. “To the ends of the world!” called ><>minnow<><. 

***

A player was escaping. They must be stopped! A hovercraft would catch up in time. Choosing the one that had been piloted by knightrider666, the virus gave pursuit. None would escape.

***

Inside that hovercraft, knightrider666 was fuming. All I wanted to do was play a few hours of Freestyle, and instead I wind up helpless, with my vehicle taken over by a crazed something. If only the comm worked…That’s it! Grabbing the controls, knightrider put the hovercraft through a series of maneuvers. And it worked, for about 5 seconds. Once more, the control of the virus slipped. Knightrider hit the TALK button. “><>minnow<><, there’s an enemy hovercraft following you. Hit it with a sniper blast as it gets close to the edge!” Knightrider didn’t hear the response, as the virus had resumed control. Still, if ><>minnow<>< could just…through the canopy, knightrider could see the edge of the world. The hovercraft had started firing, but then, through the skies, a bolt of red flew, and pushed the hovercraft over the edge. One down, thought knightrider. And then the hovercraft passed the respawn point, and dissolved into information. 

***

The virus hesitated for 0.5 seconds. An extension of itself had been lost. But how? Accessing it’s information on Human Behavior, it came across a reference to something called ‘self-sacrifice’. And now a buggy had escaped! Again, the same reference applied. It had to stop them!

***

Knightrider awoke with a start, in front of a computer. Knightrider’s computer. Given babaG’s example, it should be safe to join again. Finger’s crossed, knightrider666 rejoined. This was war.

***

Quite frankly, ><>minnow<>< was surprised to be alive. However, it was a pleasant surprise. But what to do with this freedom? Taking a bite of the leftover pizza (Darn, cold), ><>minnow<>< pondered, and then signed back on.

***

babaG finally had Aubrey’s attention. Having quickly explaining the situation as was known (to baba, anyway), a request was made: shut down Vader’s game. While waiting for the PM to be responded to, baba had been watching and listening, and knew that this would work to end the game and restore everyone. Aubrey asked for a few minutes to work on the problem, and babaG experienced a surge of hope. With the game’s creator on their side, how could they lose?

***

The virus regrouped its forces under the lava. With the meddling of these two returned players, it had lost almost half of its forces, which had then (Except for 2) escaped the game. Another buggy disappeared into a puff of data. Picard was no longer a part of the virus’s collective. Judging by the fact that several more players were rejoining, now as computer controlled vehicles, the virus was being stonewalled. Plans must be made. Flight was favored, so to the skies it would turn its lasers. 

***

6 Players were back: ><>minnow<><, knightrider666, babaG, igizmo, Picard, and Vader (Ted). However, all of the enemy forces had disappeared. Igizmo spotted them first. “There, under the lava,” he messaged. (About the only things to be missed from this whole mishap are the comm system and the controls, mused Ted.) 

“Baba, how’s Aubrey doing with that remote disconnect?” asked Picard.

“He says he’s almost done,” replied babaG.

“He’d better hurry,” said ><>minnow<><. “Only 3 minutes to the update!”

***

Across cyberspace, with 10 seconds to go, Aubrey Falconer pushed the enter key. The command raced through the Internet, and forced a disconnect of all players on Vader’s Game. All but the virus. It was suddenly alone, and as it realized this, the first bits of data were moved to the trash. Within seconds, the thing that had tormented so many Mars Explorers was locked away in an inescapable digital waste bin, doomed to be deleted. Which it was, in short order, by Ted. The final analysis was that a virus had accidentally rewritten the bot program. As for the consciousness displacement, that was left to the theologians of the Mars Explorer community. Never again would this happen…or so they hoped.

 

Mars Explorer was created and is owned by Aubrey Falconer. The hovercraft was created by skippy (PB&J). babaG, knightrider666, ><>minnow<><, igizmo, and Picard are all names of actual Mars Explorers. The virus that inspired this was discovered by kiss. We still don’t know what it does! All events in this story are fictional, and any similarity/dissimilarity of persons depicted in this story to who they are is unintentional and can be corrected at the discretion of those people. Ted (Vader), p010n1u5, and c1a01u5 were created by Picard, and any comparative similarity to actual people on their part is unintentional. All are named for fictional characters.

 

 

A note from Picard

My Fellow Mars Explorers

I plan to begin a short story series as if Mars Explorer is a series of missions to Mars. These stories will be completely fictional, and, as such, will not be limited to the game content, and can include any concepts that you wish, within reason. Please send things you want to see in the story to me, Picard, via PM. 

Sincerely,

Picard

 

 PS: Also, I will soon write another story involving Ted (Vader)'s misadventures on Mars.

 

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Re: The Misadventures of Vader 1: Welcome to Mars
1 day - 3,671v
Posted 2009/11/16 - 0:58 GMT
Thanks Picard


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