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Sergeant Ghost Mustache looked up at the sky of Avant Gardens from the top of the monument. It was amazing how lush and beautiful Avant Gardens was considering the fact that it never rained. Small fluffy clouds were scattered in the sky, and birds could be heard chirping in the trees. Ghost loved Avant Gardens. After he had woken up on the Venture Explorer and come to Avant Gardens, he had never left. Him and his circle of friends had based themselves on Avant Gardens, and had always virtually ignored the Nimbus Station launch pad. They rarely ever used the Brick Yard launcher.
Ghost was about to jump off Bob's head and try for the Umpteenth time to get the Imagination Brick, when his friend Dapper Poetic Clot ran up behind him.
"Hey, Sarge," said Dapper, "I was just about to try to smash the Spider Queen again, and hopefully get that cool Force Blade of Lightning, and I thought that it would be so much easier with you there."
"I dunno, Dap," said Ghost, "I've already gotten the Elite Force Blade of Lightning, and I promised myself I would get that Imagination Brick today."
"Right…" said Dapper, squinting down at Bob's hand. He had gotten the Imagination brick a long time ago, and so that somehow made it so that he couldn't see the Imagination Brick, even if it was still there, "How many times do I have to smash the Spider Queen to get the Force Blade thingy?"
"Over five hundred times, Dap," said Ghost, preparing himself for the jump at the Imagination Brick, "the most you've possibly done is twenty. You haven't even gotten the Pneumatic Drill yet."
"I'm sure I'm around five hundred," said Dapper, shrugging it off, "maybe the Mythrans just didn't realize I earned the Drill, and forgot to give it to me."
"Mythrans don't forget anything, Dap," said Ghost, "they're pure Imagination."
"Maybe they're too busy imagining things to realize what I'm doing," hypothesized Dapper.
"You just don't get it," said Ghost, and jumped off the monument. He soared downwards, down toward the Imagination Brick… and missed it.
Dapper stifled a laugh and leapt down to where Ghost was sitting, disappointed. Ghost's depression was lessened somewhat when Dapper landed on a Laser and burned a hole in his pants.
"C'mon," said Dapper, after smothering the fire that had ignited on the seat of his pants, "a nice fight with the Spider Queen will be enough to cheer you up.
Ghost and Dapper ran through Avant Gardens on their way to the Spider Cave. They ran past Beck Strongheart, only barely catching his holler telling them to salute him, and ran past the strangely emotionless guards on either side of the entrance to the Sentinel Base Camp.
After more running, Dapper and Ghost came out in the Spider Cave. Hidden speakers played some dark, scary music, and the near-sighted Spiderlings continued to sniff the ground.
Skirting the edge of the Spider Cave, trying to avoid any Spiderling Encounters, Dapper and Ghost made their way to the wrecked rocket launcher and interacted with it. A second later, Dapper and Ghost were transported to a simulated circumstance where the Spider Queen was still alive. Very much alive.
While Dapper ran at the large Arachnid Sovereign, hacking away at it with his Elite Cleaver, Dapper stood to the side and called down lightning strikes on it with his Elite Force Blade of Lightning. It wasn't long before the Spider Queen leapt up to the mountain that was handy and had her little Spiderlings attack. They were soon dealt with.
The Spider Queen leapt back in and started shooting Energy Ball Barrages at Dapper. Undeterred, Dapper continued to hack away at the Spider Queen, while Ghost gave him Lightning backup.
Again, the Spider Queen jumped away and had her pathetic Spiderlings make an attack. They were quickly smashed, and the Spider Queen entered the fray yet again. Dapper began to hack away once again, and Ghost continued giving him support. The Spider Queen now began launching missiles strait up into the air. And to quote a great man; "What goes up must come down."
The bombs hit the ground in a fiery explosion, and sent Dapper flying into the path of another bomb. Dapper picked himself off the ground and charged at the Spider Queen, determined to make the killing blow. Dapper swung his sword in one final deadly blow, and the Spider Queen smashed in an epic explosion.
Dapper ran around and gathered his rewards, and joined Ghost at the Rocket Pad.
"Nope, I didn't get the Elite Force Blade of Lightning," said Dapper.
Ghost just grinned and interacted with the Rocket Pad, and Dapper soon followed.
"What do you wanna do now?" asked Dapper.
"Get the Imagination Brick," said Ghost, "do you want to scare away the pigeons on our way up?"
"They're not Pigeons," said Dapper, "they're Chickens."
"Yeah!" said Dapper, "they're white, and have orange beaks!"
"Chickens can't fly," Ghost pointed out.
"Then they're doves!"
"Doves don't squawk," said Ghost, "they coo."
"So do Pigeons!" said Dapper.
"Hmm," said Ghost, "you're right."
"So what bird are they?" asked Dapper.
"I dunno," said Ghost, "I can't think of a white bird that flies and squawks."
"Then they're chickens," Dapper bluntly stated.
Ghost sensed that now was the time to drop the argument and carry on with what he had planned. He ran through the remaining Spider Cave, ignoring the Spiderlings that were shooting at him, and came out of the tunnel, next to the dancing Melody Foxtrot.
Ghost sensed something wrong as he passed Melody Foxtrot and walked through the pit between the Main Avant Gardens area and the Spider Caves. He couldn't place what was wrong or why it was wrong, but something wasn't registering with him correctly.
'Oh, well," thought Ghost, 'it'll come to me.'
While Ghost continued trying to get the Imagination Brick, the thing that he sensed was wrong was taking effect. The Stromlings were acting more organized and Militia-Based. While one Stromling would walk up to a minifigure and distract him, two other Stromlings would run up behind the minifigure and smash him.
The Mechs were also experiencing heightened aim and reload speed, and the turrets built out of their remains were often glitchy and didn't shoot strait.
The only person who did notice what was going on was Fitz Vanderbilt, who was noticing a large amount of Stromlings attempting to get through the gap in the wall that he guarded. Pretty soon he would have to ask for some additional emotionless guards to be posted there.
Meanwhile, Ghost perched on the edge of Bob's monumental hand, preparing to finally get the imagination brick. He gathered his breath, bent his legs, and jumped down at the Imagination Brick. His feet hit the blue studded cube, and in a shower of sparks and stars, he achieved the Imagination Brick.
It was strangely unimpressive. All he got was an extra imagination point. Ghost was seriously disappointed.
Trudging back to the Sentinel Base Camp, Ghost met up with two of his other friends, Happy Silent Eclipse and Smart Cheering Monkey.
"Hey, Ghost!" called Eclipse, "Where you off to?"
"Nowhere in particular," shrugged Ghost.
"We just came back from Avant Gardens Survival," said Monkey, "And we were thinking how much we would like to survive in there for over an hour."
"That would be cool," Ghost agreed, "but you do realize that our time would just be beaten by those weirdoes who use a jetpack to get on top the cliff and just stay there, right?"
"Yeah," said Monkey, "but it would still be fun to survive over an hour."
"I guess," said Ghost, shrugging, "but I've already gotten all the Survival Achievements."
"Life isn't all about achievements, you know," said Monkey, "What about just having fun?"
The three minifigures' conversation was cut short by the sound of a scream. Several screams, all coming from the same direction.
"The base camp!" Ghost cried in alarm.
"Let's go!" shouted Monkey to all the surrounding minifigures.
The minifigures all ran through the tunnel connecting the Monument to the base camp and began equipping armor and weapons. Ghost donned his Wizard Hat of Whirlwind, leather jacket, cargo pants, Breastplate of Imagination, the Shield of Shielding, and the Elite Force Blade of Lightning. He skidded around the corner to the Base Camp and saw something that he would never forget.
Stromlings, numbering in the hundreds, were entering the base camp. They were crawling over the wall, dropping down off the surrounding mountains, and making mad dashes at the front gate. Somehow, the guards had been smashed, and their rifles lay on the ground, unmanned.
Ghost jumped into action. He ran through the Stromling crowd, jabbing and swiping here and there, and calling down a few lightning strikes. He began throwing firecrackers, and started trying to figure out how to stop the onslaught of Stromlings. They were just… popping out of the ground, not really coming from anywhere.
"What am I supposed to do? Cover up the ground?" he asked himself grumpily.
"Not a bad idea," said Dapper, coming up behind Ghost and scaring the plastic out of him.
"What are you talking about?"
"We'll stick spears into the ground, and then when the Stromlings try to come up, they get smashed!" said Dapper, taking out a spear and sticking it into the ground, demonstrating his idea. As if on cue, a Stromling tried to pop up, and subsequently got smashed. "See?"
Ghost stood with his mouth open for a second, and then began yelling out commands, hoping that someone would hear him.
"TAKE YOUR SPEARS, AND STICK THEM IN THE GROUND!" hollered Ghost, "DON'T LEAVE ANY OPENINGS!"
Minifigures who were too panicked to care who was commanding them began sticking spears into the ground. Soon, other minifigures saw what they were doing and followed suit. Klaus Zett began handing out spears with a happy grin on his face as people kept coming back for more spears and dropping money in his outstretched hand.
More and more spears thunked into the ground, and less and less Stromlings entered the base. Other spears were stuck into the ground, so that the Stromlings coming in through the gate and dropping off the mountains would be smashed as well.
Ghost, who had temporarily become the leader of the minifigures, moved everyone into the tunnel, where the stone floor protected them from Stromlings coming out of the ground. Ghost posted two guards at the entrance of the tunnel, and two at the exit. Three Sentinel Samurai Archers were on the top of the Base Camp wall, were they had set up beds and a small stove. Dapper and Rusty Steele had begun tunneling into the wall of the tunnel, and were making chambers and bedrooms. They made very fast work, too.
It wasn't very long before Beck Strongheart came over to Ghost, saluted, and requested permission to lead a charge into the main Avant Gardens Area, to drive those Stromlings out.
"One: that's suicide," said Ghost, shaking his head, "and two, I'm not in charge here. No one invested me with authority. You have the freedom to do what you want, but you can't force others to follow you."
"If I can't get others to follow me, I'll do the charge on my own," Strongheart bluntly stated.
"That's definite suicide," said Ghost, shaking his head again.
"No," said Strongheart, "not if I fight well enough!"
"Look!" said Ghost, getting frustrated, "I can't control you! If you want, go out there and die a useless death, in a weird effort to protect the Nexus Force."
Beck Strongheart began to say something, but Ghost just turned away.
"I'll be out by the Front Gate if anyone asks!" Ghost called over his shoulder.
No one noticed a small, dark cloud in the sky, passing overhead then just casually floating to the ground of Avant Gardens and disappearing. No one.