KLONDIKE, CP Army Headquarters – Welcome back to another edition of Short Stories! In the next chapter of Operation Frost, the resistance search for an arsenal in the Thermal territory to rescue Alderam. However, the Card-Jitsu master has to fight his way out against one of the most brutal Frozen Strikers members. Who is this dastardous villain? What occurs during the risky jailbreak? Find out in this edition!
Thermal was a land with a self-explanatory name; swamps of lava and molten rock plagued the territory. Conditions here were harsh, except for those who acquired unique training on tolerating life in the charred wastelands. In these conditions, Herbert wanted to give his prisoners of war the worst experience in prison. Selecting Thermal as the ideal establishment to set up shop was the best answer. Rumors spread that Sabertooth was the only one capable of surviving this landscape. He guarded the Molten Arsenal, a factory that supplied Herbert’s war efforts and his own economic needs.
The Molten Arsenal was the largest factory for ammunition, weapon production, and robot soldier distribution and doubled as a compartment of confinement. Any prisoners taken from the Resistance’s forces were placed here, by far the only prison camp Herbert had available. His sinister plan was to take all the prisoners and hypnotize them into fighting for the Frozen Strikers. They would either control colossal mechanical suits that the Resistance’s small size couldn’t bear.
Meanwhile, one of the Frozen Strikers members was approaching Alderam’s cell. The scariest brute of them all, known for its lethal strength. Sabertooth was preparing the Card-Jitsu master for a battle against the beefiest one of the pack. “Your time has arrived, little boy.” Stomping feet rumbled the ground and grew louder as the brute approached his cell. Alderam stood up and walked towards the bars he stood behind, staring at Sabertooth. “After all these months, your end has finally come. Face me for one last fight as the true warrior of Card-Jitsu you claim to be.”
The cell door opened, but Alderam didn’t make a sudden move. Sabertooth was waiting to escort him to a mysterious place in the factory. “Well, what are you waiting for, worthless runt? Get a move on!” Alderam was waiting for something, but what was it? The hero could’ve been wanting to be moved by force. Suddenly, the Card-Jitsu master ran up towards Sabertooth and attacked the guarding brute with a roundhouse kick to his face. Alderam took this as an advantage to escape. “Pull the alarms; Alderam has escaped!” Sabertooth warned the nearby guards as they missed Alderam while he escaped through the eastern corridors of the prison.
After a few moments, red alarms began blaring all over the facility. An automated message from a computer intercom stated, “Warning: Inmate-88 has fled Solitary Confinement. All faculty should proceed with direct aggression upon sighting the fugitive.” Alderam didn’t let the guards stop him from escaping, but he knew Sabertooth was on his tail. Alderam could hear stomping far from where he was, crashing through the building to reach the inmate. Alderam had nobody else to rely on but himself. Nobody around to help him. Nobody to break him out of this jail.
“Come back here and face me like the self-proclaimed warrior you are!” Sabertooth roared, his voice happening to sound louder than before. The closer voice meant he was catching up. “I can’t lose him,” Alderam thought to himself, his mind beginning to flood with a wave of negativity, beating himself down for how he was close to yet another defeat. “Nobody’s ever defeated me before, but I can’t let it happen again.” And that was true. Alderam remained undefeated for so long until his encounter with the Frozen Strikers. Finally, taken down by Prima Morgana, he wanted to make sure he held only one loss. There was no room for a singular mistake in this escape attempt, only success.
Still, Alderam knew that there was no point in running. If he were going to get rid of Sabertooth, he would face him in a brawl. Alderam placed a giant wall of ice using his Ice Card to stop Sabertooth. The ice wall bought him time to go through the weapons factory, where the factory made the robot soldiers. But just like the rest of the guards, the robot soldiers were also on high alert, searching for the escaping prisoner. A deadly variant of Herbert’s robots then met Alderam. They were known as Ucopatrons.
Reaching the highest threat level on the charting determining how hostile robot soldiers were, the Ucopatron was a robot made of black, polygonal diamond-shaped limbs that hovered close to its core body using a strong magnetic force, allowing it to make unpredictable movements and ambush its target. Removal of any limbs other than the head would have zero effect, as they would quickly retract back to their original place. A wave of them blocked the exit into the factory. “Target acquired, proceeding with pure aggression.”, one of the Ucopatrons responded.
“Looks like Herbert made a few toys to get ahead this holiday season,” Alderam responded. “Somebody’s gotta tell the big man that he’s been bad this year!” Alderam blocked a strike from an Ucopatron, grabbing its arm and gouging its eye sensor. The robot fell to the ground, and the rest of the small wave began charging toward the Card-Jitsu master. Alderam was quick enough to use the Ice Card and freeze all of them in place. However, the rest of the world around him seemed to stop. Alderam just froze time. He realized that now, he had the freedom to manipulate his surroundings as though it was an act of lunacy.
Alderam started by grabbing one of the Ucopatron’s arms, stuck in place after flying through the air from being launched by its owner, and pointing it close to its head. Examining what else he could do, the Card-Jitsu master positioned two other Ucopatrons to face each other while frozen in attack positions. The next thing Alderam went towards was one of the machines inside the weapons factory. He grabbed one of the robot turrets mid-creation and pointed it toward one of the power generators. If he could get it to fire, he could blow up a fraction of the Molten Arsenal. The Resistance could also use this opportunity to steal crates of ammunition and weapons for their marching soldiers.
After meddling with the frozen time, Alderam figured out how he would find his way out of the place. Setting up the Ucopatrons to destroy each other, vandalizing the machines that created ammo and weapons, and even summoning a large horde of puffles to ambush Sabertooth running in the corridors, now with clown makeup; the prisoner walked outside of the facility and noticed something in the sky. It appeared to be somebody soaring through the open skies with a jetpack, dodging a rocket that someone shot directly at them. “Is that Jetpack Guy? And is that… the Shadow guy?” It was months since Alderam saw anybody from the outside world except prisoners who were apparently soldiers from the Resistance. He almost didn’t recognize anybody.
“Sheesh, and I’m somehow not dead from this wasteland? How the he-” Alderam’s sentence was interrupted when the factory behind him exploded, with time beginning to speed back up to its average pace. The puffle wave stopped Sabertooth and smashed him down, the Ucopatrons sliced each other, and the factory’s generators caused a chain reaction across the establishment. Alderam turned around and saw explosions beginning to break out in the arsenal. Alarms started blaring once the smoke cleared, showing flames engulfing the debris of what was destroyed. The Resistance arrived in an escort ship among numerous others, deploying soldiers for the Battle of Thermal.
In the chaos, Lotus landed next to Alderam, watching the collateral damage he caused. “And you didn’t invite me to do that? That’s no fun at all!” they cried. The Card-Jitsu master then turned to see escort ships landing, making way for the Resistance leaders. Sensei departed the ship first to greet his former student. “It is an honor to see you alive and striving in this melting wasteland, grasshopper,” he remarked. The rest of the Resistance leaders stepped forward to see the explosions breaking out through the Molten Arsenal. Soldiers rushed the escort ships as they landed and opened, hoping to get their hands on ammunition and whatever weapons Herbert was designing. However, they all seemed to turn back and retreat to the safety of their escort ships when they saw a familiar villain ambling through the destruction. Sabertooth had survived the explosion!
The Resistance armed forces took position outside of the factory as Sabertooth approached them, including tanks and fighter jets. “Sabertooth the Mighty,” A deep voice echoed as though it was distorted via computer software. “By order of the Club Penguin Embassy, you’re under arrest for domestic terrorism, arson, advocating the overthrowing of the government, violation of prohibitions governing atomic weapons, and hostage-taking.” Sabertooth stood among the Resistance and listened to the warrant for his arrest. “Raugh, you damn degenerates!” The terrifying brute bellowed. “I will not be arrested for my so-called crimes while all of you have endlessly tried foiling Herbert’s plans. Nothing but pure hypocrisy! If you are justice, stop lying to yourselves. There is more that is not seen by the blind eye you turn to evil.”
Suddenly, Lotus began firing coffee-bean missiles at Sabertooth, interrupting his monologue about how the Resistance was hypocritical about their law enforcement system. “Just say you’re gonna try to catch up to me if you can,” Lotus said, “and stop embarrassing yourself! You have the muscles of a real hunk, which I would’ve given you a chance for, but you still got kicked by somebody who knows Card-Jitsu.” The pilot gave Alderam an elbow before quietly snickering. Sabertooth growled in response, growing angrier by the second. “The time for talking is over. If you really wanna know true strength, you’ll have one hell of a time trying to capture me! Have at you, you dingbats!” Sabertooth slammed both fists together and roared at the Resistance.
The brute made a point then: if the Resistance wanted to capture Sabertooth, he would have to beat him first.
End of Part IV – Molten Arsenal.