**Note** This story is a direct reference to the recent, very awesome, lore from SugarVenom about Vox tier 1 skin. If you haven’t read that yet, I recommend you go here and do so first.
Done with that? Wasn’t it sweet? Now, on with this mess…
Stumbling through the Fold at the tail end of a long night on the elo roller coaster, you, “The Player”, emerge from the tri-bush to find your old fodder, Jeff and Marty, standing by the jungle shop. You ready your weapon to strike, but the fire just isn’t there. You’ve done this so many times it feels empty and you’re having a hard time seeing the crystal through the turrets, as the saying goes. With a heavy sigh, you slump to the dirt. The creeps eye you suspiciously for a moment, tittered amongst themselves, and then one of them waddles over with extreme caution.
Marty: Are you ok?
You look up, think about triggering an ability that would delete him instantly, but just shrug instead.
Marty: Ah, I get it. You’ve got the mopes.
Jeff: What’s going on, Marty?
Marty: They’ve got the mopes.
Jeff: The mopes? Ah, churn.
The other one moseys on over.
Marty: We’ve been there.
Jeff: Sometimes we still are.
Marty: This whole thing (waves a hand at the Fold in general) can get a little monotonous when it feels like it’s not going your way. Weird team comps, rage pings….goats.
Jeff: Wanna get drunk?
You think about it, but as this is an all ages game and “The Player” may not be old enough to drink so that’s out the window.
Marty: Jeff, that won’t help.
Jeff: Helped me forget Gina.
Marty: Yea, but not Dominick.
Jeff (raises a tiny fist to the sky): Dominick!!!
Marty: What our friend here needs is a genuine smile. One that only a heartwarming story full of laughs and adventure can bring.
Jeff: That sounds like a prompt.
Marty: It is, we’re going to tell them about Vox and The Battle of the Sky Captains.
Jeff: I’m sure they’ve heard it, everyone knows it.
You shrug your shoulders.
Jeff: Wait, you don’t read the lore???
You shake your tired little head.
Jeff: Get comfortable sweet cheeks, you’re going for a ride now. Okay, SAW is hunting a monster on request from the Mayor of a tree fort village…
Marty: Wait, Jeff. We’re just going to tell them about Vox now.
Jeff: But they’ve missed so much!
Marty: And they should feel very bad about that, because it’s all quite fascinating, but let’s just tell this story.
Jeff: Okay, go ahead.
Marty: Right, so Vox is the captain of The Audacity, and he’s flying all over space, raiding stuff and seizing cargo and making a buttload of money off of it. He’s a real rebel with a heart of gold. That’s super, except there’s lots of other raiders out there trying to do the same thing, and it’s hard to define territory in space because, it’s space. So one day, Capn’ Vox get’s this message on his fancy spaceship phone. It’s from Galahasbeen, one bad dude, but kind of past his prime.
Jeff: But don’t tell him that.
Marty: No way, he’s real touchy. And he says…
Fade out of Marty and Jeff and into the command deck of the Audacity.
Cap’n Vox is standing at his Captain’s wheel and looking quite pleased with himself. Loo, the sprite, is swirling through the air, leaving cool magic particle traces of color behind her as she flips and spins. Samson, weapons technician and reformed Presbyterian, is going over some schematics at his station. Jenine, communications liaison and hopelessly in love with Vox while horrible at reading the writing on the wall, has just brought a video message from Galahasbeen up on the comm screen. Galahasbeen is a bearded, scarred, eye-patched, eye-bagged, eye-brow plucked and cigar smoking raider with someone’s blood on his cheek. He spits some grayish phlegm and barks into the camera, “As you may have noticed, things haven’t exactly been peaceful-like in this part of the galaxy. There’s more backstabbing on back water planets now than in all of recorded raider history, which is about 17 months. You’ve made some serious enemies out in space, kid. Every last raider between here and Higgins’ Moon has a bone to pick with you. So this is what’s gonna happen; we’re gonna fight it out and the winner will rule space. Tomorrow at 0600 hours, I’ve sent the coordinates. It’s a battle royale for the crown.”
Vox makes a show of pondering this, “Samson, would everything be ready by then?”
“Might have to work all night, skip meals and bathroom breaks…”
“Splendid. Jenine, I accept.”
“You do??” Her heart all a-flutter.
“Yes, tell Galahasbeen I’ll see him on the battle space.”
“Oh, right.” Jenine dejectedly sends the message.
Vox smirks his most charming of smirks and spins the wheel of the ship. “Well friends, let’s jam.”
0600 hours the next day.
The Audacity arrives early to the meeting point, Cap’n Vox insisted on getting a feel for the acoustics and reverb from nearby planets. Samson ran tests of all the new audiocannons, emitting low beeps, high whines and one that replicated a kitten getting tummy rubs. Vox sidles up on his weapon technician with a flourish of his new Fight Cape.
“Status?” Vox’s voice is faux-stern, because he can’t help being likable.
“Everything is running beautifully, sir.” Samson smiles.
“What about it?”
“Wanna see?” Samson’s finger hovered over a brown button on his control panel.
“Not yet” Vox inhales deeply through his nose with pure satisfaction. “I can sense its power.”
In this particularly voidish section of space the other ships begin to converge. A Thalian cruiser weaves itself to a lazy stop next to a beige Burgess Town and Country, real sluggish but can take a mean hit. Engines flashed in a firey version of morse code common among raiders. Threats mostly, some of which were rife with overcompensation. As more ships popped into view, Loo settles onto Vox’s shoulder with a crumb of cake in her glowing hand.
“Who are we gonna blow up first?”Her voice bounces like pop music played on a violin.
Vox scans the ever growing circle of ships through the cockpit window. His smile broadens to an almost painful degree when Galahasbeen’s cherry red Nissan DestroyerOfWorlds 2314 glides into view. The sleek body is studded with cannons and rockets like a robot porcupine from hell. Vox spreads his hand and passes it over every ship with a sweeping gesture, “Loo, we’re going to be well fed.”
The next several moments of waiting build tension among the raiders, several ships pacing back and forth like space tigers in a star cage. The threats kept escalating, thankfully all the bad language was kept to the engine flash code and this fight was 18 and over with wristband only. When it seemed like all combatants had finally arrived, space became suddenly quite still.
“What are we waiting for, honey?” Jenine inappropriately addressed her Captain.
“The sign.” Vox said dreamily.
“And what’s that?” Chirped Loo.
Her answer came in a small form that floated to the center of the circle. It was man-sized, blueish with what looked like wings. No suit to deal with the intense pressure of space or even breathe for that matter. When it got closer, the crew of the Audacity could see the person was wearing short shorts with a little shirt and holding a checkered flag. With a fancy wrist flick, Adagio brought the flag up and down, signalling the start of the Battle of the Sky Captains.
“Jenine, hit it.” Vox cued. Jenine punched in a few numbers and started the official battle music. With the first downbeat Vox smashed the pedals on the floor and plunged The Audacity strait into the heart of the ensuing war.
Space was lit up like a whole team bought flares at the same time. Explosions spattered ships on all sides as no one really knew who to fire at first. The Audacity juked around a badly damaged Orbiter and pumped two rounds of sonic death into its hull. Two more ships closed from port and starboard, whichever is which, but Samson was quick on the controls and launched THOOOOOOOOOMMM and ZOOOP ZOOP ZOOOP straight down the opponent’s gully works. Return fire bit into the Audacity’s left flank, peeling back a section of hull and dumping some precious cargo out into space.
“Hold 7 has been compromised, Cap’n!” Samson reported. He was responsible for that too, as Jenine was basically useless when the space phone wasn’t ringing.
“Sorry about your encyclopedias, Samson.” Vox watched volume R-S drift past the monitors. The weapons tech sinks into his chair. “I only had one payment of $29.95 left…”
Loo flits over and sets a gentle hand on Samson’s shoulder. “Let it out.” Samson emits a ululating moan and smashes every button before him. A cacophony of sound pollution floods from The Audacity and ricochets through every ship within a 100-yard radius. Wings crack, engines putter and portholes shatter sucking gnarly raiders out into the black embrace of space, where your chance of survival drops below zero. (Unless you’re Adagio for some reason)
Cap’n Vox expertly swivels between oncoming hazards from all sides, even executing an unnecessary (but totally sweet) barrel roll. Cannon fire glances off the nose of The Audacity and Cap’n slams the brake. A few more shots breeze by, followed by a purple rocket. Vox spins the wheel and brings the front of the ship up to meet the red face of its attacker. From this distance, he can see the set jaw of Galahasbeen at his own wheel.
“Jenine, dial him up.” The adoring fool checks the Raider phone book and punches in the enemy’s number. Five agonizing rings later, he finally picks up.
“Giving up?” The gruff voice pumps through the command deck.
“I’ve brought you something.” Vox leans his forearms on the wheel.
“You sound confident and all, but let me stop you right there, kid. Before I sent you that friendly invite, I had my baby here reinforced with sound proofing from every corner of the multiverse. There’s hardly a peep you could squeak through these panels, but I can see good old-fashioned guns have plenty effect on you.”
Cap’n Vox steps out from behind his wheel to the center of the deck. “Not a peep huh? What about a poop?”
“Excuse me?” Galahasbeen’s baritone wavers just a bit.
Vox turns his back to the cockpit window, spreads his cape with both hands and spins back again, raising his hands high into the air. “Unleash the Crack Rattler!”
Samson whacks the brown button with mighty force. A pale beam warbles out of the nose of The Audacity accompanied by a long, wet BRRRRRAAAAPPPPPPPP. The fart laser cuts the opposing Nissan like a hot pepper through a butt.
As the enemy ship begins to break up under the sheer intestinal fortitude of the blast, a terrified member of Galahasbeen’s crew can be heard screeching over the comm, “I can’t believe he has The Audacity to do this!”
“Stop saying that!” Bellowed the captain with a desperate attempt to turn the ship away from the piercing funk. The bays of the DestroyerOfWorlds ruptured from the pressure, tearing the vessel apart ever so slowly as if to be deliberately agonizing. Galahasbeen jabbed a finger at the comm screen with the last act of a burning man and screamed, “Doorknob!”
The Nissan bloomed into a blazing flower of scrap metal, sending pieces careening into surrounding fighters. The destruction of Galahasbeen’s ship brought an immediate stop to the raging battle royale, as is always the case when the main antagonist is defeated. The surviving raiders wasted no time pledging allegiance to Cap’n Vox as their undisputed ruler of all of space.
The Audacity led raids all across the multiverse, reaping incredible rewards. Samson used most of the money to regain his extensive encyclopedia set. Jenine waited long enough for Vox to return her favor before settling down with a scraggly ruffian she met on some slog of a moon. Loo learned she could shoot killer death glitter out of her hands and joined the Fold in patch 1.9. As for Vox, he kept a cool head despite the immense power he wielded, but he did get really into jazz for a while and that made his company unbearable. But that’s another story, for another time.
Fade back to Marty and Jeff, they high five at a story well told, only to notice you have fallen asleep while they were regaling you.
Marty: Oh, that’s rather rude.
Jeff: Don’t worry, that Taka in the bush will kill them. C’mon, let’s get back, we’re almost at the end of our leash as it is.
They waddle back to their post.
Marty: How about that new Rona, she’s pretty cute, huh?
Jeff: Kind of butch.
Marty: Right? Yummy.
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