Cossack's Comrades

Cossack's Comrades Season 1: Epilogue 10

“Stranger From The Realms.”

OR

“Not Quite The Blue Bird Of Happiness.“
By Hunter (Skull Man)

(This is a place between dimensions, from which will-workers channel energies. Mana, Psychic energy ... the true term matters little. This place is not without denizens, beings of pure energy who sometimes cross the veil and walk among us. These creatures...)

? : ... sometimes prefer to be called "daemons", thank you.

(Did you ... read that ?)

? : How could I not ? We're fellow weavers of fate. Though, if I may say, I am more experienced at this game.

(I'm not going to take back-talking from what looks like a giant blue bird-man.)

? : A bird-man called Kachen, if you please.

(Whatever. And why did you start bothering me, Kachen ?)

Kachen : Merely to start a story about a favorite topic of yours. The Cossack's Comrades.

(What do you want with them ?)

Kachen : Oh, nothing much. I have seen in the strands of Fate that they are bound to play a role in my destiny, so a social call is in order. This, and I wish to invite some of them to my humble abode.

(In this weird place full of magic energy.)

Kachen : Cosier than you might think. Well, for local denizens. Others ... change, after a while. A pity.

(Hm.)

Kachen : Now, do change the focus. I am bound to step there regardless.

(Kind of forced to, if we want to get somewhere.

(Anyway, at the Comrades' base...)

Drill Man : You know, Over-1, I've been reading your reports recently.

Over-1 : Good thing. I'll need your help to handle otherworldly threats, and the most prepared you can be, the better.

Drill Man : However...

Bright Babe : Here we go again.

Drill Man : It seems that only YOU spotted and fought these things you mention. So I ask ... WHO ARE YOU WORKING WITH ?!!

Gunker : Drilling Comrade is paranoid again. Does big Comrade want coffee to wait?

Dive Man : Nah, I'm taking th' breakfast of champions. *chugs down a bottle of vodka*

Over-1 : B-But ... I ... You ... GAH ! Look at THIS ONE ! YOU *points at Drill Man* were there ! And YOU *points at Dive Man* were there ! And YOU *points at Toad Man* ... were there too, even though I wonder why !

Toad Man : *munching on a tablecloth* Huh ?

Drill Man : What does this prove ? You hired goons to pretend you were useful to the RPD.

Over-1 : If at any point in my career, I staged an invasion, may the sky open RIGHT NOW !

(And so, a hole in reality tears itself open in mid-air, letting out impossible colours and the wail of cursed souls.)

Dive Man : Huh. Vodka's stronger th'n I thought.

Drill Man : SO YOU DID !

Over-1 : ... Fine, there was that one time ! But it was that or babysitting Flippy !

(As the argument goes on, a massive creature starts walking out of this portal-like tear.)

Toad Man : AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH THE GIANT BIRD HAS EVOLVED AND IS BACK FOR MY BLOOD AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Pharaoh Woman : Be calm, Minister of Sewers ! Surely, this is no one but Thoth, God of Wisdom of Magic ! *bows*

Kachen : *chuckles* So wrong, and yet, so close.

Dust Man : As Flippy mentioned it, this newcomer looks like an upper-scaled version of Karasû. But, this portal looks more like something out of Warpman's arsenal. Did the RPD, or an unknown third party, started a project of a super-robot based on the Fatal Five ? We need to see if he displays time-slowing, fencing, and tactician abilities to determine this.

Dive Man : I just need one test, Hoover Boy : does th' bastard bleed ? *fires his Dive Missiles at Kachen*

Kachen : *a chunk of his torso and face missing* Oh, my. That unwanted agression reminds me of some of my "beloved" brethren. But as we have to talk, I should be better-looking.

(In a flash of light, the daemon "smoothes" out the recent injuries, restoring his body.)

Kachen : There.

Over-1 : It's ... incredible ! The sensors read dual sources of energy for that trick : magic, and what looks like psychic energy !

Kachen : You'll learn in due time, my boy, that they can be one and the same. What matters is our own perception.

Drill Man : And what I perceive is that you're a fraud ! Over-1, you've had your fun. Now, just deactivate that hologram and be done with it.

Bright Babe : AM ... Please don't anger the giant magic-wielding otherworldly invader. Again.

Kachen : A hologram ? Me, Kachen, Lord of Change ? The nerve ! Could a hologram do this ? *waves his staff*

(In a blinding flash of unearthly light, the Cossackers are thrown to the ground, only to wake up and find AM and Jet missing ... And something else...)

Skull Man : *stares at a yellow-green glass-like structure, separating the room in several sections* We've been separated by transparent walls. Recent context suggests magic was involved.

Kachen : How astute. Now you and the Ring-slinger shall play a game with me to while time away.

Toad Man: My second worst nightmare! Trapped with a bird man and without food!

Over-1 : Sean, any idea where the others are ?

Dust Man : If what Hunter said is true, then it is possible that the remaining Cossackers have been teleported at random places. Also, we're in the only area of the room with a door to the outside, which suggests that we can flee. However, this Kachen's modus operandi makes me believe he planned for it. Should we go along, or stay here to form passive resistance ?

Over-1 : What we should do is to regroup and plan. And I know who can help... *runs away, followed by Sean*

Kachen : As I expected.

Ring Man : I ... don't really like the sound of this.

Kachen : What, because I came from a tear in your reality and banished your friends away ? I get that a lot. Now, who would like to play first ?

(As we leave these gamers together, let's see how things are going in another part of reality... Namely, a city.)

Bright Babe : AM ? Any idea where we are ?

Drill Man : *standing about twenty metres away* What I'm certain of, is that Over-1 will have a lot to answer about ! I bet he's in cahoots with Kachen and teleported us to ... wherever we are !

Bright Babe : *sighs* We should find the exit first, don't you think ?

Drill Man : Wise idea. We should stay grouped, in case hostiles are ahead. *walks to Jet*

(It is a strange thing, travelling through a place of magic. One second, you're walking toward your teammate, and the next ...)

Bright Babe : AM ? How did you - I never let my eyes off you - how did you manage to get to the balcony on the second floor of that house ?!

Drill Man : Whatever it is, it's Over-1's fault. Try to enter it, I guess. I'll meet you inside.

(And after a little more walking...)

Bright Babe : *standing upside down under a balcony* This is extremely confusing.

Drill Man : *standing perpendicularly to a wall* Doesn't matter ! We're still moving to somewhere, right ?

(While this duo handles non-Euclidean walking, let's see another place ... In this case, a valley.)

Gunker : Gunker believes this place not natural. Are little comrades alright ?

Pharaoh Woman : *looks around* The colours are all ... wrong. Do you think- well, er, I am certain we stand in the land of Seth ! The dead-ish trees and muted colours were a big hint, of course.

Dive Man : I dunno. Looks like sum' old-timey artist took his old canvas and puked his absinthe-soaked innards all over th' paint.

Pharaoh Woman : Onwards, my ministers ! By searching for locals, we may found a way out of this kingdom, and back to fighting that despoiler of Thoth's appearance !

Gunker : Look ! Something coming little comrades' way !

Dive Man : Some ... giant mutant beast ? Eh, whatevs.

Pharaoh Woman : And another is coming. And they, ah, appear to like each other ? Very much ?

Dive Man : Bah. I seen hardcorer stuff on National Geographic. *stares for a moment* Then again ...

Gunker : Egyptian Lady Comrade ? Please tell Gunker this is not ...

Pharaoh Woman : Sadly ... I think it is. Will they really - no ! It shouldn't bend that way !

Dive Man : They're steppin' - draggin' - comin' near that tree and ... Did they ... I mean ... *cigar falls out of his mouth*

Gunker : Now Gunker will never look at trees - or animals - the same way.

(We must now leave this place of debauchery, lest our minds become as damaged as those of the Comrades. Poor saps...)

Skull Man : A question remains : what gives you power ? We learned, sometimes through debilitating pain, that magic is not always a source of strength.

Kachen : An interesting question. *looks at John, his hand of cards, and the board* There. I put this "draw 4" card to counter your barbarian token, and uses my Amazons to invade your railway station. While you ponder your next move, I'll answer your companion's query.

Ring Man : But ... we were playing poker at first !

Kachen : Did I say so ? The Game of Change is for high-level intellects. Maybe I underestimated you.

Toad Man : I know ! Grab this mighty orb of power, and use it to wreck his base ! *hands John a ball of lint*

Ring Man : Not. Helping.

Kachen : Regardless. While it is true I am made of magic energy, what gives me shape and purpose is the collective thoughts of mankind and sapient beings. I have brethren back at home, feeding of various emotions : the red warriors strive on bloodlust, rage and the honour of the battlefield. Their sinuous nemeses strive for perfection and the quest of pleasure, through carnal acts or intellectual quests. And ... yes, there are those pustulous fools who live on plague, despair, resistance and the ability to endure and accept one's fate.

Skull Man : None of them fit you.

Kachen : Indeed. My kind lives through evolution, conspiracies, the quest of knowledge and magic. And let me tell you : your world, for the past decades ? A complete smorgasbord of emotions.

Skull Man : You sent our friends to places connected to your inhuman brethren.

Kachen : Indeed. Your irritating leader and the lady of light are visiting a place formed of all feelings of loss and misdirection. Meanwhile, the trio of two bruisers and a regal dame are seeing the darkest and most depraved side of natural creation and decay. A bit disgusting to my tastes.

Skull Man : And the last group ?

Kachen : Oh, they're on their way. And now, boy, what is your move ?

Ring Man : Hmm ... I ... go fish ?

(But hold on ! There's a group we haven't seen yet ! Indeed, in a night-club near Berlin ...)

Nástenka : C'm'on, Kal ! Your favorite song's about to start !

Kalinka : I don't know... Sure, that robotics exposition was important, and we do need some downtime, but I'm worried. What about the Comrades ?

Nástenka : You fear they'll put themselves in trouble ?

Kalinka : Not really. ... Actually, yes. The last time I wasn't there for them ...

Nástenka : *sighs, sits down* Kal, this wasn't your fault. You've done everything for them, and they can handle themselves. Besides, I'm certain Over-1 and Gunker will put them back on the right track.

Kalinka : Maybe you're right. Sorry for being such a downer, but I know them. They have that weird tendency to put themselves in trouble.

Nástenka : I'm telling you, once we get back to base, the worst thing we'll have to do is replace the wallpaper. Again.

Kalinka : And deleting every one of Geoff's alcohol-fueled voicemails. *chuckles* Now, let's go. I'm in the mood for some pogo.

(Nice as that was, I am not certain this is the group you had in mind. Let's see it now, just under the Cossackers' base - next to their teleporter.)

Dust Man : Any way I see it, the situation is critical. Whatever that Kachen is using, we have no way to fight it. Should anti-magic devices be a regulation equipment in the RPD now ? How would they work ? Should they draw on a robot's energy to generate an anti-magic field ? Wouldn't it cause interference with sensors, servos or weaponry ?

Over-1 : *typing on a console* Oh, we thought about it, Kalinka and I. Too costly and inefficient. And I know some people who could help us.

Dust Man : The base's teleporter. I suspected we had one, based on the plans of other RPD buildings, but never found it.

Over-1 : It's under security. Do you really want Geoff or Flippy using it for kicks ? Or AM casting away whoever he rants against ? Truth be told, you'd all be trouble with that thing on free access. No offense.

Dust Man : None taken.

Over-1 : Besides, we need a special sequence for untraceable teleportation, in case his magic can pick that up. *types some more* Done.

Dust Man : *walks in the teleporter* Just to know, who will we meet ?

Over-1 : *follows* I've made a point of keeping track of all individuals with skills regarding the supernatural : time travel, magic, teleportation ... Should I get involved in matters out of my expertise, I can call on them for help. Thankfully, being a RPD special officer makes that easier. *mutters* Wish I could get to meet Flash Man and Centaur Man, though.

(After a quick teleport...)

Over-1 : There we are. Luckily, my two most needed contacts live in the same place.

Dust Man : This is somehow familiar...

? : Saw the red light blipping, Over-Worker, so here we are. What's the big deal, today ?

Over-1 : First of all, let me present you -

? : Dust Man. We got acquainted recently.

Dust Man : Warpman, Karasû. You are Over-1's contacts ?

Warpman : Yeah, the wonder of modern science needs the help of two rusty Wily-Bots to do his big job. Besides, you still owe me a set of eyes.

Over-1 : We needed it to stop the Nightmare Engine and you know it. Besides, you got to have fun at the Time Fortress, isn't it ?

Warpman : Heh, right. *chuckles* What a push-over.

Karasû :*to Sean* For all his expertise in time-related issues, Quint knows narry a thing about fisticuffs. *to Over-1* Tis was no mistake, then, to call on the two of us ?

Over-1 : Sadly, no. Follow me, and we'll explain.

(Meanwhile, a game has been going on.)

Skull Man : Fact : this game has started as what seemed to be poker.

Ring Man : Uh-huh.

Skull Man : Fact : Kachen started to lead the game, pulling moves out of seemingly nowhere.

Kachen : And here I thought mortals as enlightened as you knew of the High Game.

Skull Man : Fact : You have lost all the boards, are in red with the bank, burned all your Fate Points and managed to mortgage three of our teammates' souls to cover your losses.

Toad Man : Should have followed my suggestions.

Ring Man : "Throwing pizza in your mouth" has never been a helpful move in any game EVER !

Skull Man : Conclusion : You are a terrible player.

Ring Man : I'd like to see you try, then !

Kachen : So do I. Now, roll your character stats and set your token at the bottom of the first ladder !

Skull Man : I have calculated that any attempt from me to play this game will hasten our inevitable demise by a significant factor. So, I choose another player. *points at Flippy*

Toad Man : Yay !

Ring Man : *groans* And this isn't hastening our end how ?

Kachen : ... Excuse me ?

Ring Man : Oh, he's slimy and all, but apparently he's a better player than I. Or so has decreed the master of logic.

Kachen : I see nothing here. Was that a jest of some sort ?

Skull Man : There is someone, much as we regret it.

Kachen : Hmm ... Let's try something. *concentrates* By the GODS ! How is that able to exist ?

Toad Man : Only by my good looks, dudebirdbro ! *winksblinks*

Kachen : (He ... he is unpredictable ! I cannot see his Fates !) Play instead, oh master of logic ! Surely you will defeat me !

Skull Man : Him or nothing.

Toad Man : And he's Hunter, not Shirley !

Kachen : Fine. *sits to play* There, five of a kind ! How do you beat that ?!

Toad Man : *plucks a feather on Kachen's head and gulps it down* Hmm, feathericious.

Kachen : (He ... he beat it ! And I didn't see it coming !) Beginner's luck. You still have an uphill battle ahead of you !

Ring Man : *to Hunter* So, what's the plan behind that ?

Skull Man : All the time he was here, he never focused his stare on Flippy, or aknowledged his noises. I suspected it had to do with his ability to beat your every moves.

Ring Man : And you gave him an opponent that he can't decipher. Let's hope it works.

(At the same time, in Murmansk...)

Over-1 : And that's everything so far. You've seen the readouts from my sensors, and you know what we must do-

Warpman : Yeah, yeah. Get your pals back to Earth thanks to me, and then kick that Karasû knock-off back to his place. We're smarter than your usual roommates, y'know.

Dust Man : I have a question, ignoring Warpman's insults : how does Kachen perform his magic ? I know that Magic Man and you can do magic, and so did former Comrades, but is it actual magic, or merely a highly-advanced technology ? Do you tap in a finite source of energy ? What is to stop us all Comrades to learn magic and use it to stop such attacks ?

Karasû :Ahh, magic. Such a broad and complicated topic. Regardless, I will do my best to satiate your curiosity.

Warpman : And there we go again...

Karasû :Magic, you should first know, is a highly subjective topic, and I may be in the wrong. But what I believe, for having talked with many willworkers, is this : all spells are linked to words of power, that we cannot pronounce. Our acts, whether drawing runes, chanting a spell or tearing a scroll, give form to these words, focus them through our willpower and create a spell. For example, I combine the words of "fire", "speed" and "volume" to cast a fireball.

Dust Man : Please go on.

Karasû :However, there is a price : the more exuberant the spell, the more you suffer from backlash. I could snap my fingers and send you back to your house, but I'd suffer in return. Pain, bad luck, whatever the universe's fancy. Hence, I prepare scrolls and incantations ; they achieve a balance between efficiency and safe casting.

Over-1 : That Kachen. He did things that, if I follow your logic, would have destroyed him.

Karasû :That is a big difference between magicians and daemons. He can do such things, because he is made of pure magic energy and willpower - enough to make me look like an infant in both domains. Sever his link to his realm, and he will dissipate. Block me from magic, and I remain a fearsome opponent.

Warpman : "Fearsome" my diodes. You weren't quite laughing when Lento was wrestling with you !

Karasû :It was training.

Dust Man : And what about us learning magic ?

Karasû :Sadly, the art of magic is reserved to a handful born with the ability to do so. Us Robot Masters able to do so were a fluke ; perhaps something inspired our creators at our birth ... But some scrolls can be used by non-magicians with enough will, as you recall, my friend ?

Warpman : I'll admit that a lightning bolt or two are always a good trick in the sleeve after a harsh jump.

Karasû :Anyway, to rescue your friends, we shall perform a ceremony with the help of Warpman here. He will prepare a portal, and you shall focus on your teammates to connect us between dimensions. Account for a few minutes, and we will be on our way.

(The preparations are over. Warpman's teleporter relay now stands in the middle of a hexagram, decorated with various bits and knick-knacks.)

Karasû :There. Stand over here, so that we can form a triangle around our gatekeeper. Now, we shall focus on one of your missing teammates. The one who left you the most vivid memories and emotions.

Dust Man & Over-1 : Dive Man.

Karasû :I expected as such. Do you, perchance, have any items of focus ?

Dust Man : Let me see ... *rumages through his vacuums* There. An old Hemmingway's cigar.

Karasû :*picks it up* That shall do. Now, focus on Dive Man. Concentrate your every thoughts on him? On my signal, we shall open a Gate to him.

Warpman : *focusing* Ready when you are.

Karasû :And such, may the Way to the Realm reveal itself ! *slams his staff on the ground*

(A hole, not unlike the one caused by Kachen's arrival, opens in front of Warpman.)

Karasû :Make haste to retrieve your companions ! The door will not remain long open.

Over-1 : I'll go. I have more experience with this, and your focus will help.

Dust Man : Understood.

Over-1 : *runs inside*

(The chastiser of reality deviants then finds himself in a valley brimming with unpleasant lifeforce. And two traumatised Comrades.)

Over-1 : (Magic levels off the charts. Another reason to make this a quick trip.) Gunker, Avi ! Have you seen Geoff ?

Gunker : What Gunker has seen ? Better ask what Gunker has not seen, tiny nearly-Comrade !

Pharaoh Woman : They ... it ... That was horrible ! Monstrous beasts doing ... stuff ! Completely disgusting, even in Sekhmet's eyes. Or, maybe she approves of it. But still!

Gunker : And then ... diving Comrade joined in.

Dive Man : *walking away from a crying beast, throwing a paper at her* Call me when y'got sum real training. *lights himself a cigar, spots Over-1* Oh, back to home already ?

Over-1 : I think so. Do I really want to know what happened here ?

Dive Man : Nah, no need. Just lemme tell ya : them Circle o'Lust harlots may not know as much, but they sure as Hell are classier.

Pharaoh Woman : How can I ever respect cats anymore, knowing they can do this ?

Dive Man : Bah. Buncha lightweights. *slaps both Gunker and Avi* Ogling time's over, folks ! Next time, it's pay-per-view !

Gunker : *blinks* So, where are we to go ?

Pharaoh Woman : Yea, we have to restore the good name of Thoth, and destroy that usurper ! Perhaps we should buy an ibis to pay respect... Or a cat. A pharaoh can never have enough cats.

Over-1 : (Hm ? Some strange fluctuations when Dive hit them. Worth investigating, but later.) Follow me through that weird, unnatural door. Huh. If I had a dollar every time I did that...

Dive Man : Story o' my life, kiddo.

Karasû :*after they leave the valley* Ah, familiar faces.

Pharaoh Woman : Thank thee, true son of Thoth, for bringing our royal-ness back to the Kingdom of Russia ! Royal- ness ? Royal-ity ? Maybe ... regalness ? Hum, of course it is regalness ! Just a, a, yeah, a test on my loyal followers ! ... Right ?

Dive Man : Just smile and wave, TP-Roll Queen. *spots Warpman* 'Sup, Junkyard ?

Warpman : Oh, nothing much, you leaky sub. Just pulling your exhaust ports out of Hell, apparently.

Dive Man : Nah, not a thing on th' real stuff. Thanks anyway.

Over-1 : Now, to go and rescue AM and Jet. I suppose us being more numerous will help on the focus ?

Karasû :My, we have a fast learner ! Just leave me a few minutes to redraw the seals, and to let Warpman refill his energy.

Warpman : Anybody can hand me the E-Tanks ? Some designer jerk thought it'd be fun to not hand me unlimited energy and a Warp Gate amplifier at once. So they're stocked where I have to disconnect and leave the device.

Gunker : Da, Gunker will help quench prototype-bot's thirst. Please be telling Gunker about how the gate works ?

Warpman : Hah, an admirer. Ball's in the court, Raven !

(Later, in another place...)

Bright Babe : *grabs AM's hand* Okay, no more moving. We'll just ... wait for someone to come, alright ?

Drill Man : If anyone comes.

Bright Babe : If anything, it looks like the kind of place Over-1 works with.

Drill Man : Over-1. Yeah. You know, Jet, I have to admit I was possibly mistaken about him faking that one particular invasion.

Bright Babe : AM ...

Drill Man : Alright, I was wrong. Over-1 does fight genuine otherworldly threats. And this bird-thing is the real article.

? : Never thought I'd see the day.

(Both surprised Comrades turn to see a grinning Over-1, hanging in mid-air from a freakish portal.)

Drill Man : But I'm still on to you for other "invasions" until further notice !

Over-1 : Fine enough for today. Let's go, will you ? We have a house to take back, and we need your leadership.

Drill Man : Let's go.

(Meanwhile, back at the Comrades' place...)

Skull Man : Fact : it appears your luck has run out.

Kachen : This is ... unprecedented. I know this game. Every move recorded, and those yet to be played. So how can I be bested BY A SICKLY LUMP OF DISEASES AND STUPIDITY ?!!

Toad Man : Yeah, I'm pretty handsome. *grabs a chess piece and throws it in Kachen's beak* Bullseye !

Ring Man : Seeing how much you lost, does it mean you owe us eternal service, or something close ?

Kachen : Hah ! Arrogant upstart ! *flips the table, rises to his full height ... and then some* My gift to you is OBLIVION ! *staff glows an unreal colour*

Skull Man : No.

Kachen : What ?

Toad Man : Yeah, I already got it. Couldn't get past the first town.

Ring Man : Besides, we have company.

(A hail of fire comes from behind Kachen, shattering his energy structures and striking him in the back ! The "rescue team" is present, all carrying experimental-looking weaponry.)

Over-1 : Phasing cannons. Never leave home without it.

Kachen : So. I see each and everyone of you went through my gauntlet, and you picked up some helpers.

Warpman : Hey, not gonna be nice to your lil' bro over here ?

Karasû :Silent, Warpman.

Kachen : But your weapons are empty, and I can resist anything else you shall throw at me. Submit now, and I may yet you live as my servants !

Dive Man : Or I can do this. *runs to Kachen and starts beating on him like a punching ball*

Kachen : *staggers back* Th ... The pain ...

Dive Man : And 'nother one fer good measure ! *kicks right into Kachen's eye*

Kachen : Aaaargh !! How can you pass through my defenses ? ... Wait. I see now.

Dust Man : What is it ?

Kachen : Of course. The faith. You're pious, aren't you, Geoffrey ?

Dive Man : One way o' puttin' it, yeah.

Kachen : My brethren suffers in the presence of someone with as strong convictions as you. And with your unpredictable friend over there, I know when to cut my losses.

Ring Man : Hey ! We still beat you fair and square !

Kachen : How ? You cheated and denied me my greatest asset !

Ring Man : Exactly !

Skull Man : You claim to be a master of manipulation. We gave you the one opponent you couldn't predict. We out-manipulated you.

Kachen : *chuckles* Nicely done. I'll allow it : you'll get a single favour from me. Think hard on it.

Toad Man : I know ! I want -

Drill Man : *punches Flippy out* NO ! I'll put some experts on that. *stares at Sean and Over-1*

Kachen : Good choice. I shall be back when the time is right. *disappears*

Pharaoh Woman : Praise be to Sekhmeth, likely goddess of justice, for having helped us through this ordeal !

Gunker : So, is leader Comrade convinced of Tovaritch Over-1's role ?

Drill Man : Well, yes. I guess those threats were not made up.

Dust Man : All we have seen today would be impossible to replicate with our current technology.

Drill Man : However, those forces may have servants paving their path here on Earth. Isn't that right, John ? How did it feel, pretending to fight your secret master ?

Ring Man : *sighs* Never letting that drop, huh ? What about Geoff ? Why did his punches affect him more than your sci-fi guns ?

Dive Man : Mebbe it knew who was th'boss 'round here. Or maybe its drivel on faith an' all had some truth in it. I dunno, and I dun'care. Anyone wanna beer ?

Warpman : Do I ?!

(Elsewhere, in lands not meant for man, someone seems to be a good loser.)

Kachen : Why would I ? Everything went just as planned.

(Really ? Was that freak-out against Flippy expected ?)

Kachen : That was unpleasant, true. But I had seen that I would lose to the Comrades somehow. And now, they know of two ways to defeat me.

(Ensuring your defeat later on. In your final fight for the universe, or something close.)

Kachen : Oh, never. I am forging the Comrades as a weapon, you see. Their greatest victory shall herald mine. And -that's the beauty of it- nothing they can do will alter that !

(Everything planned, I see. You always keep an ace in your sleeve, I gather ?)

Kachen : *chuckles* Oh, do not take me for an amateur. Why would I do so, when I can take it right from my opponent's hand ? But let us depart. The future will prove wondrous to behold.

(Goodbye, then.)

***

THE END

Cossack's Comrades

AM as Drill Man          Sean as Dust Man          Geoff as Dive Man

Jet as Bright Babe       Hunter as Skull Man

John as Ring Man       Avi as Pharaoh Woman       Flippy as Toad Man

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