By Sean (Dust Man)
*Yin and Yang have burned the midnight oil working on a new project. It started with the frame of a Sniper Joe and now while the base was still visible, there was a great difference in design.
Yin: I must question your judgment brother.
Yang: May I ask why?
Yin: This design we’ve taken from that Project: Stonehenge. The design is overly simple and would probably be better suited to mass production. Yet we have only created one. Also we have barely done any modifications to the design. It was designed during a war with an incredibly limited budget in mind. We could easily upgrade the arsenal along with mobility and armor. So far we’ve only slightly improved the armor and only slightly modified the joints and such barely. Also the fact that we are using an AI that is based off something one of our enemies programmed-
Yang: Simply consider it a proof of concept. As you mentioned the design could easily be improved and mass produced. But it is better to test it in its simplest forms to get a better idea of how cost effective these units would be. Plus there is no need to worry about the AI. We only used theirs so we’d quickly have access to their combat data rather than having to collect it ourselves and program our own battle routines. This way we only need to modify a few parameters and finish the code that has yet to be implemented severely reducing the production time. We will need to implement our own AI anyways for the mass-produced model to better take advantage of the upgrades we’ll make.
Yin: Very well. With the AI I also believe that it is a little too complex for a mechaniloid design. There is too much intelligence in the code.
Yang: That to will be fixed. However if we don’t have a smart prototype it will not last long enough to collect efficient combat data.
Yin: I shall concede to you, brother. Shall I activate this machine?
Yang: Yes, brother. Proceed.
*Yin flips a switch*
????: Activation complete. All systems normal. Please state mission.
Yin: You are to seek out the Megaman team, Cossack’s Comrades, and destroy them.
????: Any further orders or information?
Yang: All you need is stored in your memory banks and code. Seek and destroy.
????: Affirmative. *quickly leaves*
Yang: And now to sit back and watch.
*Outside, the new robot begins to plan as he approaches the citadel.*
????: Data indicates that the units designated Dustman and Toadman should best recognize my design. Analysis of Dustman indicates that my weaponry would prove much more effective. Best to find an instance in which he is alone.
*The robot makes it to outside the citadel*
AM: Where are you going?
Sean: Oh, I want to pick up a new game for my computer. I’ll be back later.
AM: Okay, whatever.
????: … I have determined not to question convenience.
Narrator: Especially when the author can’t think of a good reason…
*A few minutes later*
????: Surrender now and I shall make this quick and painless.
Sean: What? That’s not possible! You’re my design!
????: And Black Lotus’s craftsmanship. I believe you and your allies designated me ‘Grimtooth.’ Since they have yet to give me any of their own, I shall accept that when you address me. Now will you surrender?
Sean: I’m not going down without a fight.
Grimtooth: As to be expected. *chainsaw, drill, and buzz saw all start spinning*
Sean: You have no ranged weaponry at the moment. I can easily beat you if I keep my distance. *jumps back and starts firing*
Grimtooth: *dodges* Predictable. *charges forward jumping out of the way of blasts* You managed to improve you’re agility with your recent upgrade, but I know you’re attack patterns. *uses a downward slash with buzz saw to slash open one of the leg vacuum hoses* I know how to knock you off balance and where all you’re weak points are. *the chain saws rotate down and cut through both of the arm vacuums in seconds* My victory was assured from the beginning. *uses the buzz saw again to cut the remain leg vacuum* This would have been easier if you had surrendered. *Takes out the fifth, remaining head vacuum*
Sean: I’m still standing.
Grimtooth: Not for long. *begins drilling into Dustman’s chest* I believe this should help to disconnect you’re power core. But just in case… *chainsaws swing down and begin cutting through the arms* I hope you don’t mind the dismemberment. It is purely a safety precaution.
Sean: Ugh… why nothing lethal…
Grimtooth: Data indicates that if I destroy one member, replacement is not only possible but easy. However by incapacitating each of you and then striking the finishing blow there will be none remaining to find replacements and restart the team. Do you wish to be awakened before I strike the final blow?
Sean: Does it really matter, you… *passes out*
Grimtooth: Target neutralized. Next target: Toadman. Enemy unit has the secondary designation of Regulus. Now analyzing data to determine weakness. Drill weapon is best for piecing armor.
*Grimtooth quickly returns to the citadel*
Grimtooth: Now to determine a way to separate Toadman from the rest of the team.
Jade: I can’t believe Hunter and Regulus left again. Where do they keep knowing?
AM: Probably spar, train, or mercenary work I’m better off not knowing about.
Grimtooth: Accessing data on Hunter. Designation: Skullman. Weakness: Dust Crusher. Analysis indicates my weaponry would be rather ineffective but weariness from training or sparring might provide an advantage. In either case it is best to be prepared.
Regulus: Do you believe we should tell him?
Hunter: It would be better that way.
Regulus: Hey! Whoever we are, we know you’re hiding over there! Might as well show yourself!
Regulus: Pretending you didn’t hear me won’t solve anything!
Grimtooth: *steps out* Very well. The probability of catching the two of you off guard was low.
Regulus: Wait! I recognize your design!
Grimtooth: Yes, my data indicates you worked on Project: Stonehenge.
Regulus: I guess Sean finally got around to using those designs. So this is supposed to be a test battle.
Grimtooth: Affirmative. One on one is preferable for the data needed to be gathered, but if you need a partner…
Regulus: Don’t worry. Hunter, you can wait and make sure nothing goes wrong.
Grimtooth: *All weapons start spinning* Ready to begin.
Regulus: You start.
*Grimtooth dashes forward with the buzz saw, and Regulus easily sidesteps*
Regulus: Good to see you’re taking this test seriously, but you’re combat skills aren’t all that great. Sean should have asked for more help from Hunter and me. Can’t you land a single hit?
Grimtooth: In honest, that attack was created as a distraction. This attack was my objective. *stabs Regulus with the drill*
Regulus: *pulls back leaving a wound half an inch deep* Not bad. Looks like we can actually trust you to pull your weight. *rubs the wound slightly* Pretty good almost hit something vital. I think we can end there. You’re style has some flaws but it isn’t bad.
Grimtooth: Testing has not concluded. You are misinformed about who has called for this testing and what is the objective. *goes in for another jab and swings both chain saws down*
Regulus: *jumps back and takes a few minor glancing blows* What are you doing?
Hunter: My database indicates a few anomalies in his build. The design matches something Sean could have made, but the way it was built has some irregularities. This is most evident with the paint job.
Grimtooth: Too dark?
Hunter: Too even and lacking scratches from where Sean makes a mistake during assembly.
Regulus: *readying weapons* So who then?
Grimtooth: My database led me to believe you were more intelligent than that. Black Lotus should be the obvious choice. *charges*
Hunter: I see why you wanted to make this a one on one fight. *jumps in and blocks with Skull Shield* The Toadman armor is vulnerable to drill based weaponry. I also am willing to guess that you’re also the reason Sean has yet to return. The Dustman armor has an overwhelming weakness to blades and other weapons that cut. Basically you’re entire arsenal. *knocks Grimtooth back* However you’re weaponry fails again my own. *attacks with his beam weaponry and proceeds to slice off one of Grimtooth’s arms.*
Grimtooth: Impressive. With my current arsenal I do not believe I could win. I wish to make a trade in order to escape.
Regulus: What could you have to offer? We can break into Black Lotus anytime we want.
Grimtooth: A boast that I doubt you can truly accomplish. Especially since they have been working hard on some long needed upgrades. However I do believe you have noticed the disappearance of one of your comrades. Your team’s Dustman and I believe his alias is ‘Sean.’ If my data is correct he also helped with my design. I can tell you where I hid him. He is alive, but that could change.
Regulus: We could find him without-
Hunter: if the Black Lotus was to send a solitary assassin, they could do better. His weaponry is ill suited against the majority of our team. The only one he could easily take would be Sean do to his weakness to cutting weapons. Second going by purely design, not battle skill, would be you since he does possess a solitary drill that is not enough once you take in battle skill and all of your upgrades. The other comrades have no innate design flaw that would provide a weakness to this Grimtooth. The Black Lotus are up to something and that will require full strength.
Regulus: Fine. Give us his location.
Grimtooth: Distance is 1.23 kilometers here. Direction is ENE, east north east. Now I must be off. *quickly runs off*
*Shortly after, Grimtooth returns to Black Lotus*
Yin: Why do you return to us empty handed?
Grimtooth: I must report that I can’t take them all. I could maybe defeat them if it was possible to isolate them all, but I have to be lucky to catch one on their own and off guard. If there is more than one I don’t stand a chance. I also believe overconfidence is the only reason a distress signal hadn’t been sent by those I attacked.
Yang: And how do you suppose to finish your mission now?
Grimtooth: At the very least you must give me repairs. However any weapons upgrades or assistance would be appreciated. I know you have more warriors and together we might be able to take them out. Just give me a few troops to lead and-
Yin: Silence! You are not a commander and you do not have a place of power. We are testing you to see if you can be trusted and aren’t just going to lend such valuable resources before you have proven yourself. We can repair you, but then you’re next battle with them shall be crucial. A victory will prove you’re worthy of our trust. However do not come back empty handed again. No upgrades will be given until Cossack’s Comrades lay dead.
Grimtooth: I cannot argue with you so I shall accept. Based off the information you’ve given me on them, I’d like to suggest some alterations to the metal alloys being used for my weaponry.
Yang: That is fine. As long as your request is reasonable we can take care of it. Now power down so we can start work on the repairs first.
Grimtooth: Affirmative. *shuts off*
Yin: I don’t like this, brother.
Yang: And why is that?
Yin: He’s been getting smarter ever since he activated. He keeps sounding more human the longer he is kept active and that worries me. I don’t think we should of even based the AI on anything the CC wrote, that should have been entirely our product.
Yang: I only took what was needed, information that would have taken us weeks to replicate. We’ve already used the data we’ve recorded to start work on the upgraded form for some new soldiers. Those robots will be even more powerful and we’ve made them much more basic in AI. This thing right here is already outdated and will now be forced to face the CC in direct combat. And there is no way he can survive that. Just let him have fun with his final ‘test.’ It will be over soon, brother.
Yin: Very well. This will be the only fight I look forward to seeing those Russians survive.
*Later outside the Citadel*
Grimtooth: I am with sight now so I expect that- *quickly jumps out of the way of a dive missile* … A little earlier than I expected but nothing major.
AM: I told you not to kill him before we had a chance to talk.
Geoff: Don’ complain. He jump’d.
Grimtooth: You wish to talk first.
AM: Yeah, I want to know why you’re attacking us.
Grimtooth: A simple query. I was built by Black Lotus and that is what I was built to do.
AM: But you seem to know you don’t stand a chance against us.
Grimtooth: True, but I believe you have some phrase about never knowing until you try?
Grimtooth: It is like that. I would prefer to do this one on one however, but at least you’re conversation has let me take the initiative. *Dashes forward and attempts to slice Drill with his buzz saw*
AM: *Jumps back* Reasoning never works. Attack!
Geoff: This bastard’s mine! *Charges forward and takes a swing at Grimtooth sending him flying backwards*
John: *taking out a couple rings* Don't worry, Dive! There's plenty for everyone! *throws them at the fallen Grimtooth*
Grimtooth: I’m not out yet. *uses chainsaws and buzz saw to deflect the rings*
Regulus: I still owe you for last time. *launches an acid grenade*
Sean: Same. *fires off a series of dust crushers*
Grimtooth: *blocks both attacks with his arms and staggers backwards* I really wish I could change my armor without tradeoffs. I made it less vulnerable to those acid attacks but it isn’t as durable now either.
AM: Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to make some nice clean cuts. *activates lightsaber* It’s been a while since I’ve used this. *dashes forward*
Grimtooth: And here’s a reason to keep it sheathed! *swings his chainsaw blades down and makes contact with the lightsaber blade. They both hold for a second and then the lightsaber shorts out* Cortosis. Shorts out lightsabers but it is a rather brittle metal and an alloy can resist but it doesn’t cause a short. However with the multitude of ‘teeth’ on a chainsaw I had a few small areas where only the metal itself was used while the rest was mostly varying alloys. And it still allows me to do this easily! *swings chainsaw blades down at Drill who quickly blocks with his drills*
Hunter: Then allow me to cut you to pieces! *charges with his beam daggers, Grimtooth attempts the same maneuver but the beam weapons don’t short out. Skull then proceeds to weave around his opponent and make a few hits* Mine operate on a different principle and that Cortosis is really just an unnecessary cost.
Grimtooth: I can still win this… *clutching his chest and staggering backwards* I will not fall easily!
Jet: Sadly you guys never do seem to go down easily. *attacks from behind with her ‘ponytails’ draining Grimtooth’s energy. She then withdraws them and freezes him place with her traditional weapon*
Jade: Lets finish this now. *all of his ‘eyes’ glow* Storm of Ra! *Pharaoh Shots go flying forth from each eye*
Geoff: No way I’m leav’n this guy t’ you! *fires off a barrage of dive missiles*
AM: Might as well let everyone go all out. *begins firing off drill bombs which are quickly followed by a series of attacks from the rest of the team*
Grimtooth: WHY CAN’T I MOVE! *attempts breaking free of the Flash Stopper but can’t move at all. All attacks hit dead on with an incredibly large explosion*
Geoff: Now, it’s time to celebrate! *pulls out a flask*
John: Wait, while I don’t see how anyone could survive that consider your enemy dead until you see the body. You guys should know that most people don’t stay dead.
*The smoke clears revealing a pile of rubble. Mostly molten metal and other scrap, but the torso of Grimtooth can be found with all of his weapons missing along with an arm. The metal is scorched and wiring is exposed and the red eye is no longer glowing.*
Regulus: Nice call, newbie. We could have been killed.
John: Hey, I’m only slightly newer then you.
AM: Well, it’s nice to see one of these fights end completely resolved for once. And an easy victory for that. Might as well see Dr. Cossack to get these scratches patched up.
*Later at Black Lotus HQ*
Yang: See, you had nothing to worry about. He fought hard until the end. Surprisingly well for being so outnumbered and outclassed.
Yin: Yes, brother. You were right there is no need to point it out repetitively. We’ve started mass production of our new model. I prefer it over that prototype personally.
Yang: Ah, yes. Any thoughts on the name?
Yin: How about Strelet? It roughly translates to soldier but it is a Russian word to add insult to injury.
Yang: Perfect. What do you think about the name Strelet?
Strelet: Error. Do not understand user’s query.
Yin: Perhaps a little too simplistic in AI, but a much nicer unit.
Yang: I’d consider this test a success overall, wouldn’t you?
Yin: Yes, I think I would.
Grimtooth: *dragging himself in with one arm. His body sparks as he moves and his eye remains unlit* G-g-good. I-i-I b-bel-elieve re-re-repair-pair-pairs are-are in or-order.
Grimtooth: M-ma-man-man-aged to br-eak fr-ee-ee at-at-at the l-last sec-second. M-m-ov-ed-ed qu-ick-ickly enough to de-de-de-flect the-the ma-major-jor-ity of the b-last.
Yang: You must have spent hours crawling with only one hand.
Yin: That’s impossible. Besides you failed-
Yang: To kill them, yet we already declared the test a victory. I believe by our agreement he gets repaired and given trust, but no upgrades. However I don’t think that will be too much of problem considering his ingenuity.
Yin: I suppose I must admit, he’ll prove more useful than we thought. Who would guess that the CC would provide the weapons to their own destruction.
Shadowy: Our revenge is at hand.
Grimtooth: A-at-t the mo-ment I-I’d pre-pre-prefer-fer re-pair-s.