By Hunter (Skull Man)
(Somewhere in Siberia. The place is a secret facility, and the protagonists, two scientists.)
Female Scientist : And here are the results of Group B's experiment, M. Lezhivk. I think that by increasing the Bassnium extracts, we could optimize the desired results.
Lezhivk : Hmm ... And supposedly, there would be no risk of system deterioration. Wonderful idea, Mrs Burke !
Anna Burke : Thank my colleagues, too. And please, just call me Anna.
Lezhivk : Yes, yes. I must still confess that since your arrival in our team, our results have increased a hundredfold.
Anna Burke : *blushes* What can I say ? I guess I have a vision. But I've always wondered : are we really safe ? I've seen our test subjects, and...
Lezhivk : Oh, don't worry. They're volunteers, and if they know what's good for them, they'll behave. Besides, they're restrained and under close surveillance.
(At this moment, because the universe loves irony, the lights start flickering out.)
Lezhivk : Uh-oh.
(Crashing noises can be heard.)
Anna Burke : Gather the rest of the team to safety, Mr Lezhivk. I'll activate the emergency signal.
(Then, something crashes through the wall ... something HUGE.)
? : GGGGWWWAAAAARH !
Lezhivk : Go ! Go ! I'll hold it back !
? : *turns to Lezhivk* Y-Y-YOOOUUU ! C-C-CRUSH ! DESTROOOY !
(And before we get thing-on-scientist violence, we turn to something equally gross, a few day later, in a more familiar place.)
Gunker : Is tiny Comrade really going to eat that ?
Ring Man : I'm afraid so.
Nastenkà : Hunter, isn't your basic programming to protect your teammates ? This will kill him - that is, if he's lucky.
Skull Man : I have developped a new sub-routine in order to deal with this kind of situation : either he survives, and my goal is reached, or he dies on the spot, and his replacement can only enhance the team.
Nastenkà : This makes a disturbing amount of sense.
Toad Man : Hey, could anyone pass me the sponges ?
(In an act that can only be described as chemical warfare, Flippy is preparing himself a sandwich.)
Drill Man : Sean, are you writing down wha he puts in that sandwich ? If he dies, I want that kind of power used against our enemies. Visible *glares at John* or hidden.
Dust Man : Is the brand of blue liquid important ?
Drill Man : Capital !
Dust Man : Should have figured. While I'm at it, I'd better track down the bakery we took the bread from, the sponge's origin, and the genus of the rat he just added in.
Bright Babe : *looks rather ill* That's horrible. Geoff, can't you do anything to stop him ?
Dive Man : *pulls out a piece of paper* Got his last rites ready, but I won't do a thing. If he croaks, Heavy here will give me twenty bucks !
Bright Babe : *sighs* ... Ten dollars say he turns yellow while agonizing.
Dive Man : Yer on.
(In the office next door...)
Pharaoh Woman : I implore you, Great Vizier ! You must reconsider opening the coffers of the Kingdom !
Kalinka : No can do, your Highness. Not after that cookie fiasco.
Pharaoh Woman : I ... Well, that was a bit of a mistake after all. But this time, my idea is flawless ! Directly inspired by Ptah himself ! And, and ... I just want to make myself useful to my kingdoooooom ! *does big puppy eyes*
Kalinka : *sighs* Alright, I'll bite.
Pharaoh Woman : Really ? Thank you so so so so so much ! Er, I mean ... After a long observation of the recent medias, I have deduced that the denizens of the Kingdom of the Russian Nile, much like Egypt, revere cats.
Kalinka : ... You've been on the Internet again.
Pharaoh Woman : That's beside the point ! If we were to alter our likenesses to that of cats, the criminals would be overtaken by religious awe and stop in their tracks !
Kalinka : *pictures Skull Man with cat ears, and snickers*
Pharaoh Woman : So ?
Kalinka : *imagines Dive Man with whiskers, and chuckles*
Pharaoh Woman : I intend to submit that proposition to the Head of the kingdom's police. Shall you support me, pleaaaase ?
Kalinka : *pictures Crorq with a cat face, and bursts out laughing* That ... that has some merit.
Communicator : *rings*
Kalinka : *straightens up* We'll discuss that later. *activates screen*
Porter : *on-screen* Greetings, Dr Cossack.
Pharaoh Woman : Oh. The merchant.
Porter : And greetings to you too, my liege.
Kalinka : Let's cut to the chase, Powell. What do you want with me this time ?
Porter : I admit, Dr., that I am in dire need of your assistance. Nay, I humbly request it.
Pharaoh Woman : Humility coming from you is like a flood coming from the desert : nonexistent. Except for the, you know, the Nile. And the oases when there's a flash flood. But you see my point ! I hope.
Kalinka : That request, Porter. I don't have all day.
Porter : I'll cut to the point, then, my dear ladies. One of my, ah, research facilities in Siberia suddenly lost contact with us. I find myself in dire need of investigators, and your Team would be the best suited for the job in my ever-so-humble opinion.
Kalinka : Sensitive research, I gather. Otherwise, you would have contacted Crorq first.
Porter : My dear Kalinka, that pompous Amiga would not understand the scale of the studies undertaken there ! That is, if he were to raise his eyes a second from his never-ending meals ! Besides, some of the persons involved in that research work ... well, we shall say you all have prior experience with them.
Pharaoh Woman : A shady job, in a shady place ... it does not take the wisdom of Thot to suspect something illegal.
Kalinka : Which raises a fair point : what do we win from this ?
Porter : My never-ending monetary gratitude, my dears ! And, I suppose, that should some strings need to be pulled, you shall not find an ingrate in my person.
Kalinka : Very well, you've got yourself a deal. But if anything, anything, happens to my Comrades, you go down. Hard.
Porter : I expect no less from you, Dr Cossack. You'll receive the coordinates in a further message. Good day to your family ! *signs off*
Pharaoh Woman : Vizier, do you really expect us to follow orders from that, that, bad guy ?
Kalinka : Sadly, what he can give, he can also take. And the more allies I have against Crorq, the better. Now, we must go and inform your teammates. *walks off*
Pharaoh Woman : *follows* I'm sure they will ... not ... disappoint you. What is happening here ?
Toad Man : *groans* The future is in the past ...
Gunker : Tiny green Comrade has a stomach stronger than his brain.
Dive Man : So, did th'frog croak ?
Skull Man : Negative. I can still feel a pulse ...
Dive Man : *grins*
Skull Man : ... but shall not accelerate his demise.
Toad Man : I ... still ... function ... *barfs on Skull Man*
Dive Man : Ah, dammit. Can't blame a guy fer trying. *hands over twenty dollars to Gunker*
Bright Babe : *nudges Geoff* He looks yellow-ish to me.
Dive Man : Wha- Ah, come on ! Grim Fandango here says he'll pull through ! 'Sides, he's nat'rally green, so he's actually turning blue. I guess.
Bright Babe : *grins, opens her palm*
Dive Man : ... Alright. *hands over ten dollars* Now, yer startin' ta sound like my kinda girl.
Bright Babe : Sadly, I'm a fast learner on bad behavior. But I guess I had the best teacher around.
(A few minutes and a teleportation later...)
Ring Man : *stares in the distance* This must be the place.
Drill Man : Oh, you know already, right ? Admit it : you've been here before.
Ring Man : ... Why ?
Drill Man : Such familiarity with the environment ... you've set us up for an ambush !
Dust Man : It would be nearly impossible, AM. It's an empty, snowy plain for miles on end, and the weather is pretty clear. Nowhere to hide, see ?
Drill Man : Hah. You're attempting to cover up your friend. Real cute. *revs up his drills* This will get you a hiding place anywhere.
Bright Babe : As relevant as that point is, could we just enter the facility ? It's still cold, and I think Flippy will do something stupid.
Toad Man : *stares into the horizon* Look, the sun ! If we can find his lair, we will find gold ! *runs off* Follow me, my fearless crew !
Bright Babe : Nevermind.
Dive Man : Please, God. Give me the strength ta deal with 'em. *looks pensive* ... Eh, why not. *fires a Dive Missile at Flippy*
Toad Man : EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Dive Man : *thumbs up* Thanks, God !
Drill Man : And now, we go. John, you carry Toad Man.
Ring Man : What ? Why ?
Drill Man : He's dead weight if you try running off. And besides, he's pretty much useless as a hostage.
Ring Man : *sighs*
Pharaoh Woman : Rejoice, survivors ! We, Avi XXIII, Queen of the Kingdom of the Russian Nile, have arrived to rescue you from your, your, years ? weeks ? days ? Well, your undescript but way-too-long time of suffering !
(There's no one to hear.)
Dive Man : Hah. Seems like yer smell was so bad they ran off preemptively.
Pharaoh Woman : But ... But ...
Skull Man : Hang on. I detect biological activity.
Pharaoh Woman : Yay ! Er, I mean, do bring her before us, oh great warrior of the afterlife !
Skull Man : *walks over* You. Come here.
Bright Babe : Hunter ... Remember that talk about 'empathy' ?
Skull Man : Yes.
Bright Babe : It might be a good idea to apply it.
Skull Man : Irrelevant. My role in this team is not to deal with people, but with armed threats.
Dust Man : He has a point, you know.
Bright Babe : You're not helping.
Anna Burke : *follows Hunter* You're from the RPD ?
Drill Man : Technically ... yes. What's your name, role, secret organization, and world-ending plan ?
Anna Burke : ... I'm just a scientist here. Anna Burke. And if I were a member of a secret organization, would I really tell it to the first RPD person I met ?
Dust Man : And what is it you do here ?
Anna Burke : I was part of a project from Mr Powell on new sources of energy. It's supposed to be top secret, but I guess the media will know of it once you give your reports to your bosses... Anyway, we were trying to increase the efficiency of Energon, and ended up creating new strains, with unexpected effects.
Drill Man : Energon, huh ? Never trust a power source that can blow up by being looked at funny, that's my motto.
Toad Man : Nice motto. Mine is "If it doesn't move, eat it. If it does, eat it anyway, it'll stop moving soon."
Anna Burke : (And THIS is the rescue squad ?) So we tested these Energon strains on volunteers.
Dive Man : Not sorry ta butt in, but were they "Yay fer science and crap" volunteers, or "I'll take being a labrat over prison shanks" volunteers ? I know what ta expect, mind, but jus' checking.
Anna Burke : The second kind. Apparently all criminals met by your ... predecessors, I guess, and supposedly compatible with Energon already.
Dust Man : "Supposedly" compatible ? Logically, it means that they are mechanoids whose main fuel intake is Energon-based.
Anna Burke : From what I read, this was the case. All subejcts were fit with power inhibitors, but they eventually broke out, and now rampage through the lab. I think we'd like it if you were to stop them before they leave the place.
Drill Man : Okay, thanks. *hands Anna a device* Teleporting relay. I guess you don't want to stay any longer than needed.
Anna Burke : Thanks. By the way, it seems the emergency generator is kicking, so you'll be able to download the facility map on terminals. Good luck ! *walks out*
Dive Man : Hey, wait ! *hands her a grubby note* Call me anytime. We'll get plastered and talk about God. Or maybe just get plastered. Yer choice.
Anna Burke : I'll ... consider that. *walks away*
Bright Babe : Hmm ... I'm not really sure she's your style, Geoff.
Dive Man : What can I say ? Robophobic dominatrixes are gettin' rarer with time. But now we gotta focus on th' mission.
Dust Man : And how. Comrades, I think we might have to deal with the Panzerkons.
Pharaoh Woman : Panz- what ? Are these some nefarious servants of Apophis ?
Toad Man : Can we eat them ?
Skull Man : Panzerkons. A group of giant robots from outer space. Can transform as armored vehicles.
Dust Man : And if it's not them, it could likely be another group of Decepticons, the larger army they're a part of.
Drill Man : I'm surprised they're still stuck on Earth. Wouldn't they have flown away at some point ?
Ring Man : I don't know. But apparently they can't use their weaponry, or merge, so there's that ?
Toad Man : 'Merge' ? What, they're actually Voltron ?
Dive Man : Nah, they just form a walkin' orgy giant that can blast you ta atoms. Kind of a wuss, actually, but it packs a punch.
Drill Man : So we stick together. All the time. Even you, John.
Ring Man : Ah, glad to see you realize I'm not a spy or whatever.
Drill Man : Oh, I'm still not sure about that. I just want you alive so I can deal with you later.
Ring Man : Ah. Hurray, I guess ?
(And such, the hunt begins. Will our Cossackers be able to handle this ?)
Drill Man : First and only warning : anyone suggests we split up, he or she goes with Flippy. Understood ?
Everyone else : *nods*
(Yeah, I think so.)
Drill Man : So. Walking order. John, you take front with me. Geoff, you're with Hunter on the back. Everyone else, you take center and alternate spots. I want this operation run tight. Sean, any idea on where is the closest terminal ?
Dust Man : From what I've seen so far, this place has roughly the same design as most scientific facilities, but due to the nature of the studies, we should expect major differences and hidden areas. But we can get a start over there.
Drill Man : All right. Here we go, Comrades !
(All start walking)
Drill Man : First suspicious noise, blast away !
Dive Man : *raising hand*
Drill Man : Flippy talking is not a suspicious noise. And I reluctantly say the same about John.
Dive Man : Worth a try.
Pharaoh Woman : We should give a prayer to Apophis, God of the Night, and Sneakiness, I guess. Shall we lead the rites, oh Grand Priest ?
Dive Man : Las' time I prayed a walkin' snake ta help me, I got a sniper bullet to th' face. But I guess I can pray. *looks up* Hey, God. In case I don't make it, could ya set a keg in yer fridge ? And maybe somethin' fer the other Comrades.
Bright Babe : A touching prayer.
Dive Man : Yeah, God is more of a "help yerself or shit won't get done" kind.
Ring Man : Wait. I see something up ahead.
(And indeed, a giant silhouette is standing in their way. It seems to carry a giant cannon on its back, and stares at what seems to be food containers.)
Dive Man : Oh goody. We have a 'Con in th' cafeteria.
Toad Man : Food place ? My belly hungers !
Drill Man : *stops Flippy with his drill* No rushing. Sean, see a terminal anywhere ?
Dust Man : Hmm ... There. I think I can make it without being spotted.
Drill Man : You go, then. Everyone else, be ready to blast at him should he move. Go !
(Sean then takes off. But as he walks near the Decepticon, he feels something chilly.)
Dust Man : *on comm* AM, we have an issue. It seems to be Treader, but ... I don't remember him generating temperatures below zero. I don't like this.
Drill Man : *on comm* Me neither. But he was the reasonable one. We'll talk to him to buy you time. *to the team* On your marks. *walks closer to Treader*
Treader : *turns immediately to face AM* You ... you are ... familiar.
Dive Man : Heh, guess all these ass-kickings set a mark in his memory banks.
Treader : That tone ... Yes, the Comrades. It all makes sense now ! I'm dead, and this is the Pit !
Drill Man : Waaaaait a minute. Why would you think you're dead ?
Treader : We were all rotting away in your prisons, our powers stolen. Some scientists were looking for subjects. *walks closer to the Comrades* They gave me Energon and opened my innards ! I can't transform, can't use my weapons, and all I can feel now is the cold of death !
(The ground around Treader is covering itself with frost with every step.)
Treader : I try to feed, but the Energon here is diluted, and congeals before I can consume it. Maybe a living robot will do the trick... *steps closer*
Pharaoh Woman : That's far enough, spawn of Ammit ! *fires a Pharaoh Shot*
(The impossible happens : as it closes to the Panzerkon, the mass of super-heated plasma cools off and dissipates !)
Treader : I told you already. Nothing can warm me anymore. *lunges and grabs Jet* Let's hope your death will make me feel warm inside...
(A Dust Shot fired from behind makes him drop his prey !)
Dust Man : I got the map ! Now, run away !
Drill Man : Run for it ! *detonates Drill Bombs near to Treader and runs off with the rest of the team*
Treader : This will not be enough, Comrades ! My own team is here, and they're as hungry for oil as I !
(A short way over...)
Dive Man : Ye'll be okay, Lite-Brite ?
Bright Babe : *shivers* Yeah, I think. Reminds me that I always wondered why a team of russian robots never had an ice-themed one. There was Blizzard later on, but you know what I mean.
Drill Man : *shrugs* I guess that, if the old man wanted to see ice, he could always look through his window.
Dust Man : Safer route down that way. And apparently the other Panzerkons are here. With potentially new abilities.
Ring Man : He mentioned the scientists. I guess something as freaky as a cold field would get noted.
Drill Man : Good point, John. No doubt your secret masters want us to recover the notes here for their own projects.
Ring Man : My secret master is Kalinka.
Drill Man : Yeah, and I'm a robo-mammoth. Sean, lead us to the labs.
(But this was not to be a safe travel. Indeed...)
Dust Man : Uh, guys ? There's another one ahead.
Dive Man : Lemme see. *shoves Sean away* Pfah. It's jus' their giant robo-chicken. Nite-Stripper or whatever.
Ring Man : The flyer, you say ? He was kind of a scaredy-cat. Guess we'll just, threaten him, or something like that.
Skull Man : Be careful. He may not be the same as before.
Ring Man : No worry, Hunter. *points at Nightspinner* Hey, big and ugly ! Move out of the way, or we'll go jet-judo on your ass !
Nightspinner : You !
Ring Man : (Look, he'll run away any second now.)
Nightspinner : I remember ! The gnat who knocked me out !
Ring Man : (Aaaany second now.)
Nightspinner : The pain ! The humiliation ! You'll pay back a hundredfold !!!
Ring Man : (See ! He's running away !)
(Or rather, running at you.)
Dive Man : No one punches my Comrades but me. *tosses Flippy at the Panzerkon*
Toad Man : EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE- *bonk*
Nightspinner : Get away, meddlesome organic ! GET AWAY !!
Dust Man : Yeesh, that's a big personality change.
Nightspinner : *punches off Flippy* There ! Tonight is an open buffet of pain, and I'm your personal waiter ! *kicks Geoff in the face*
Dive Man : *spits out a tooth* Call that a kick ? My own gramma could do better ! *punches back* Oof ! That's one resilient customer.
Nightspinner : ENOUGH ! *grabs Geoff's face and rips it off* Now you're better-looking !
Pharaoh Woman : Geoff ! *fires her Pharaoh Shot right in Nightspinner's face*
Nightspinner : GRAAAAAAGH !!
(Taking advantage of the occasion, the Comrades grab their wounded and run off !
A bit later, in the lab proper...)
Bright Babe : Geoff, are you alright ?
Dive Man : No worry, Jet, I'mma big boy. Got way worse Down There. *looks at Hunter* Hah, I'm missin' a face and I'm more expressive than ye !
Skull Man : I'd suggest using a first aid kit to protect your cranial systems. You wouldn't want your eyes to fall out. The sensorial disorientation is potentially deadly in a fight.
Dive Man : Bah, as long as ye don't use Stink-Mummy's clothes fer it, I'm game.
Drill Man : Sean, see if there are interesting files in that computer. Meanwhile, we'll rest and take a look at the docs left behind.
Toad Man : Oh, I got one ! *looks at a paper* Hmm ... I think it's written in moon-speak. Care to translate it ? *hands the paper to Avi*
Pharaoh Woman : Er, certainly, Minister of Sewers and Hygiene. *browses the paper* I'm not entirely sure, but it seems to be an incantation of warding against Seth ... or the paper is upside down.
Toad Man : Oooooh ! What a clever cipher. Lucky I spotted it, right ?
Drill Man : *sighs* What does it say, Great Queen ?
Pharaoh Woman : Let's see ... "Experiment XV-88-2. The Energon composite supposedly accelerates user systems and enhances reaction time. The first subject, XV-88-1, as a naturally-designed speedster robot, was thought to be able to handle the heightened data input, but it ..." Wait, that can't be right.
Dust Man : *looks up* What's the problem ?
Pharaoh Woman : It says here that the subject "blinked out of existence". This can't be right !
Drill Man : Believe me, your Highness, we've seen stuff that makes "he speeded himself to oblivion" mundane. Carry on.
Pharaoh Woman : Right. "The new subject, while supposedly of a slower neural ability than the others, has shown a positive reaction to the Energon composite. With further tests, he may find himself capable of reflexes higher than the average robot."
Ring Man : So, let me get this straight. They tested a "go-fast" product on a speedster who literally ran away, and then they tested it on a slow guy ? What kind of science is this ?
Toad Man : The best science !
Dust Man : Alright, guys, I'm done. And the sooner we're away, the better.
Drill Man : I agree. A slow guy, as far as the Panzerkons are concerned...
Dive Man : Oh, shit. Move it, ya Silent Hill Nurse !
Pharaoh Woman : Wh-Why ? Is there a big problem ?
Bright Babe : You can say it ! Let's go !
(But before they can get out, through the wall crashes a titan that dwarfs their previous encounters. A formidable behemoth, whose processor now runs at a higher speed than two thoughts per hour !)Dreadnought : New toys !
Ring Man : Guys ? Giant-sized speedster in the place !
Toad Man : We're DOOMED ! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-Dreadnought : Silence ! *kicks Flippy away*
Toad Man : AAAAAAAAAAAAAA *bounces on the wall* OWIE !Dreadnought : Heheh. That one, I like. *grabs Flippy and bounces him ball-like*
Dive Man : So, whaddaya say we all get away while th' Charge-tard is distracted ?
Skull Man : Sadly, his acid rain generator could still be of use against other Decepticons.
Dust Man : I'm on it. *stares at Dreadnought* Back structure ... Articulation ... There. Hitting his neck articulation, where his armor is weaker, should disable him. *fires a Dust Shot*Dreadnought : *turns around and grabs it* Hah ! Thought big stupid Dreadnought didn't have faster reflexes ?
Dust Man : I counted on that.Dreadnought : Huh ?
(Know the fun thing about Dust Shots ? They can shatter and scatter fragments.)Dreadnought : MY EYES ! *drops Flippy*
Toad Man : Yay !
Drill Man : Let's hurry, while he's ...
(The team bumps into Dreadnought, who got in their way before they could act !)
Drill Man : ... Distracted.Dreadnought : Hah ! What will you do now ?
Bright Babe : Well, THIS ! *Flash Stops right into Dreadnought's face*Dreadnought : MY EYES ! AGAIN !
(And such, the out-of-control behemoth screams and flails wildly, running away and crushing every wall in his path.)
Dive Man : Hah, reminds me of th' good ol' times. *tries to smoke, but his cigar falls off* Damn lips, never here when I need 'em.
Drill Man : Mock me all you want, but I'm thinking things will only get worse from now on.
(A bit deeper...)
Ring Man : Is it me, or are the walls ... shaking ?
Pharaoh Woman : You are right, Emissary of the Hula-Hoop god. And ... I ... I need a rest.
Skull Man : It seems my powers are depleted in unison with these vibrations.
Drill Man : *points at John* I KNEW IT ! By making us aware of these so-called vibrations, you hypnotized our systems, so as to give your Panzerkon allies the upper hand !
Ring Man : What ? No ! How stupid an idea is that ?
Toad Man : It all makes sense ... YOU'RE IN LEAGUE WITH ROBOTNIK !
Skull Man : Flippy agreed with your idea. You should re-evaluate it.
? : *from afar* Re-evaluate THAT ! *stomps on the ground*
(A sonic wave, laced with purple energy, rushes over the Comrades and knocks them down !)
Dive Man : Gee, look, it's th' Vibrator.
Stonegrinder : Har har. I bet you thought over that one since last time we met. ... Didn't you die, at some point ?
Dust Man : Didn't you work under a guy who was a ghost at least once ?
Stonegrinder : Hm. If you're robots too, I guess it's not out of the impossible. But boy, look at me throwing big ideas around ! Makes my brain shake - and the rest of me follows ! *stomps on the ground*
(Each stomp generates a new shockwave, further poisoning the Comrades.)
Stonegrinder : That's what science is good for - instruments of destruction !
Dust Man : *looks at Stonegrinder's feet* Know what science is good for too ?
Stonegrinder : I dunno, future corpse, enlighten me.
Dust Man : Predicting when to say goodbye.
All the Comrades : Goodbye !
Stonegrinder : Huh ? *looks down*
(I guess stampeding in a damaged facility is a VERY bad idea ... makes the ground crumble, for a start.)
Stonegrinder : *falls, then showered by debris* GAH !
(And a big fall makes a big impact ... and another shockwave.)
Pharaoh Woman : My energy ... Ra has forsaken us !
Skull Man : We are at less than 50% energy, and most of us have sustained damage. We must pull out.
Drill Man : Not ... yet. We have a mission.
(And on they went.)
Bright Babe : So, Sean ... Do you think we can stop the Panzerkons this time ? I'm not sure we can.
Dust Man : Only a matter of time. If we can make it until their systems have consumed the experimental Energon, then they'll be left powerless and without being able to transform.
Dive Man : Yeah, and they'll just be 20-foot tall assholes ready ta crush us. Good plan, there.
Skull Man : Hold. Hazardous power source ahead.
(And what could be more hazardous than a giant flamethrower ?)
Drill Man : Oh, God. Him.
Gehenos : Yes, yes, yes ! *sprays flame around him*
(As soon as the flames hit the walls, their structure starts detonating.)
Gehenos : The purging rage of Unicron, running through my systems ! What good is a vehicle mode when I can do this ?! *throws some more fire*
Drill Man : Anyone willing to mess him up before he turns to us ? I'm a bit low on ammo.
Pharaoh Woman : Never fear, Underground Vizier ! I shall punish this miscreant for mishandling the gift of Ra ! *fires a Pharaoh Shot at Gehenos' back*
(Exposed fuel-tanks hit by a plasma sphere ... Yikes.)
Gehenos : *exploding and burning* GGYYYAAAAAAAGHH !!!! *flails around until only a metallic skeleton is left ; drops in the inferno*
Dive Man : ... Holy Shit. *looks up* Sorry, but I say it like it is.
Pharaoh Woman : I ... I did it ! Woo-hoo ! *hugs the closest person to her*
Toad Man : Yay ! *hugs back*
Pharaoh Woman : ... *pushes Flippy away* Still, yay.
Drill Man : Okay, on we go.
? : FORGETTING SOMEONE ?!
(From his impromptu tomb rises Gehenos ... completely whole and unscathed ?!)
Pharaoh Woman : B-but ...
Gehenos : Oh, your shot did hit -gonna pay for that pain, by the way- but the good doctors here wanted to try something on me. Some sort of non-dying Energon, I guess.
Toad Man : Eeek ! *starts shaking*
Gehenos : Too bad you don't have some... *aims at the Comrades*
(But Flippy's fear-induced spasmas called upon his Rain Flush, covering Gehenos with acid goop.)
Gehenos : Hah ! Useless. Goodbye, Earthlings.
Gehenos : What ?
(Somehow, Flippy's acid rain reacted with Gehenos' ammo, rendering it useless !)
Toad Man : I, er, I meant to do that, of course !
Gehenos : No problem. I can still crush you.
? : Don't forget me !
(Another towering silhouette walks in, surrounded by an unealthly purple glow.)
? : Ze years hafe not been kind to you, Comrades. *stare focuses on Avi* Is zat a normal Earthling reaction to resurrection ?
Drill Man : Flakmaster ? Did you really throw your men to being guinea pigs ?
Pharaoh Woman : (What did he mean by 'a normal reaction to resurrection' ?)
Toad Man : (*shrugs* Beats me.)
Flakmaster : Vhy not ? It vas a step up from prison. And I can do ... zis ! *throws a beam of energy at the Comrades*
(Behind him, the Panzerkons arrive.)
Flakmaster : Vhatever zese fleshlings of science gave me, I can use it to revive ze dead. Meaning ve can kill you again ... and again ... and again ...
Dive Man : Frakkin' good plan ya had, Sean. See ya later, I guess.
Panzerkons : *closing in* For Megatron ... For Megatron ...
Skull Man : ... Energy readings off the trails. Something is happening behind this wall.
(And indeed, something happened. A blast, powerful enough to destroy said wall, and open a path to the outside !)
Flakmaster : Vhat is this ?
(A human-sized robot walks through the new hole, his body covered in energy. His body moves erratically, as if suffering spasms and convulsions.)
Drill Man : No ... That's not true ... That's impossible !
Ring Man : What's happening ?
Dust Man : It's ... Ballade ? But we saw him dead ?
Ring Man : Ballade ? Wasn't she with that group of mercenaries ?
Dust Man : The original Ballade. With a grudge against us ...
Dive Man : ... and high on a crap-load of experimental fuels.
Flakmaster : No matter. Panzerkons, crush him !
(The battle is fierce, but quick. Ballade makes an easy number of the Decepticons, then turns to AM, aiming at his head.)
Ballade : You ... should never ... have come back. I'll ... kill you ... myself ... to make sure ... it will stick.
? : -WARNING : POWER DOWN IMMINENT-
Ballade : ... Lucky ... But next time ... Boom.
AM : How ... how did you come back ? And why ?!
Ballade : ... Revenge. *flees to the outside*
Treader : *slowly gets up* My ... my systems ! The heat ! I can feel heat !
Flakmaster : Then, our powers ... Scheisse. Ve'll meet again, Comrades. *all Panzerkons flee*
Ring Man : Should we ... ?
Drill Man : Nah, not worth it. We need backup for the next time.
(Days later, in Powell's office...)
Secretary : *on the phone* Mr Powell ? Dr Cossack on the line.
Porter : Very well. Put her on the main screen.
Kalinka : Powell. I think you will have much to answer for this.
Porter : My, ah, errand, right ? I admit I may have underestimated the threat the prisoners created. You no doubt have seen that I covered the whole of your unit's repairs.
Kalinka : A good gesture, but two questions : why ? And, regarding a certain someone, how ?
Porter : What can I say ? At the time they asked, I thought these Panzerkons were truly on the path of redemption. That, and they had a prior experience with Energon - and a small scientific background to boot.
Kalinka : You didn't answer the how.
Porter : Ballade, you mean ? Surely, that wouldn't be the first case of miraculous robotic resurrection. And he was a shadow of his former self. Convincing him to volunteer wasn't hard.
Kalinka : You're hiding me something and we both know it. But I'll leave it at that - for now. How was your interview with Crorq.
Porter : Dreadful, as expected. He was livid at the thought of the Comrades being requested without his consent, but it took little time to convince him the threat they encountered was otherworldly - for a given value. But it was the contracts that gave him pause.
Kalinka : 'Contracts' ?
Porter : Starting next month, Powell Enterprises will produce and release enhanced equipment for the RPD. After all, if another similar threat were to happen, we'd wish for the Officers to be able to fight back. Seeing as how above-the-norm units like yours fared ... Rest assured, the Comrades will get their share.
Kalinka : Awfully philanthropic.
Porter : I suppose it took such a tragedy -and the heroic intervention of your Robot Masters- to open my eyes to the dangers the police forces must deal with.
Kalinka : I knew of these dangers long ago, Powell. But I thank you nonetheless.
Porter : My pleasure. Take care, now !
Kalinka : Goodbye. *logs off*
Porter : And now, for these other matters... *opens another channel*
Prometheus : *on screen* Ah, Porter. I saw you put my investment ideas to good use.
Porter : They bought it. Even better, they applauded after that little romp in Siberia. Speaking of which, did you manage to get ahold of the Panzerkons ?
Prometheus : Indeed. They received supplies through a disguised convoy, and I took the liberty of helping them remove their power limiters - adding a little failsafe in. You know, to see if my systems had not gone to rust.
Porter : Efficient. I like that.
Prometheus : Hey, you got me out of jail. I have to prove my usefulness, isn't it ?
Porter : Exactly. How is the plan going along ?
Prometheus : Smoothly. I have identified and prepared for the next targets. Defense contracts will help us approaching them. On the side of logistics, I have started to set up a small business.
Porter : Remember what I said : it must be able to work smoothly without our direct involvement and act as a scapegoat. We're playing with too high stakes to lose it all.
Prometheus : Naturally. Obviously, nothing in this will besmirch your good name.
Porter : Hah. Now, all this organization needs is a few other associates.
Prometheus : I might have a few names to propose already.
Porter : We'll see that later. For now, keep the plan going.
Prometheus : Will do, Porter ! *logs off*
Porter : *looks at a picture of the Comrades* It's hard to be at the top ... but I fully intend on keeping it that way.
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