By: Gauntlet (aka Shadowman)
On the road and looking for adventure, our heroes the Mechanical Maniacs have been following a track of chroniton particles to investigate the cause behind them and the strange time distortions felt the world over. Feeling sure that the heart of the matter lies at the South Pole, the Mechanical Maniacs speed towards the end of their journey using a jet they rented with their newly recovered credit cards and wallets. Accompanied by Shival, the former Needleman, they know not what to expect when they arrive, but with so many heroes already there, they feel confident of success.
Shival: God damn, I can't believe we were tricked by that witch.
Needlegal: If it weren't for the timely arrival of Prince, we may never have awoken from our deathlike slumber.
Gauntlet: Let us never speak of that incident again.
Snakeman: Yeah..... well, I'm glad we have our money back. I can't believe that bastard Xelloss had them all this time!!
Topman: You think we'll actually be useful over at the South Pole? According to the TV (which I missed terribly) the Super Friends, Power Rangers, Planeteers, and various other heroes are already there.
Sparkman: Oh, I think so.
Topman: How you figure?
Sparkman: Well, events have been oddly centered around us lately. It just seems like the action follows us around.
Geminiman: Lucky us. What's up with losers having an odd fixation with us?
Gauntlet: Who can say? Villains are pretty petty by nature. Hey, we're here! I'll land us.
(Gauntlet lands the jet only to find....)
Shival: The heroes ... they've been totally beaten!
(The 'Maniacs find Thor.)
Geminiman: Thor, what's going on here?
Thor: The Mechanical Maniacs? So thou hast come here as well. Verily I tell thee we were defeated mercilessly in battle.
Needlegal: Who, Thor? Who did this? What's up?
Thor: I do not know, child. The Odinson dost not recognize the ones who did battle with him and his friends. But one called himself "Quint".
The 'Maniacs, Shival: QUINT!?
Thor: Aye. You know him?
Snakeman: Annoying 8-bit guy who's been stalking us for no reason. What's he doing here?? You think that ..... he could be behind all this?
Topman: HIM!? He's a weakling! How could he take out all these heroes INCLUDING Superman when he can't even stand up to ONE of us alone?
Thor: He was aided by many warriors. Most of which looked something like this.....
(Thor picks up a mostly intact, but severely damaged robot from the ground.)
Gauntlet: A TERMINATOR!
Needlegal: You think it has something to do with the Terminator that attacked us?*
(*series 3, issue #12)
Gauntlet: Of course. Hm, we never really knew WHY the Terminator attacked us. I doubt Quint knew about it....
Geminiman: Then he must have a boss who didn't let him in on the plan that time.
Snakeman: Well, he couldn't do this all by himself!
Thor: All of us heroes of Midgard have been attempting to pierce the barrier that protects the cave. Yet none of us posses the power to overcome it. Player 2 managed to get inside a strange black portal the villains came out of before it closed. We have not heard from him since.
Kwame: HEY! It's the litter bugs!
Needlegal: Oh, boy.
Wheeler: FIRE!! (Wheeler shoots out a fireball, but it has no effect of the Mechanical Maniacs.)
Topman: Um, can we NOT do this right now?
Quint: HA HA HA! So you finally decided to come, did you?
Tick: EGADS! It's the Quint guy!
Jubilee: He's behind the barrier!
Gauntlet: That little sleaze!
(Gauntlet throws a Shadow Blade! It strikes the barrier causing a mighty current of electricity to run through it!)
Sparkman: What's going on!?
Gauntlet: The Transmetal in the Blade is reacting to the barrier!
(The Shadow Blade drops and Quint lunges to grab it!)
Quint: It's MINE!!
(Another Shadow Blade knocks Quint out of the way and Gauntlet grabs the Blade!)
Gauntlet: It's .... gold!
Topman: Wouldja lookit that....
Green Ranger: Hey, they went through the barrier!
Yellow Ranger: That means it must be down! Power Ranger - GO!!!
(The Rangers, save for Green, charge towards the cave and all ram headfirst into the barrier.)
Red Ranger: Ow.
Blue Ranger: A diabolical trick!
Shival: Well, it looks like we can pass right through.
Needlegal: A trap. Gotta be.
Gauntlet: Well, whoever would join up with QUINT can't be too powerfull. Besides, I'm tired of running. Let's go find out who's behind all this.
(The 'Maniacs and Shival all go into the cave and suddenly, they are in a very technological room!)
Snakeman: What the Hell?!
Gauntlet: We must have entered into a time anomaly. This place exists outside normal reality.
Shival: Well, there's no going back now.
(The 'Maniacs look back and there is no exit, only more room.)
Gauntlet: Doesn't matter. These guys have targeted us and I won't leave until I find out why!
Sparkman: Well, let's go snooping around.
(The 'Maniacs walk aimlessly from room to room, the building apparently empty and unguarded.)
Magnetman: There's nothing here!
Hardman: Or somebody cleaned it all out.
(The 'Maniacs enter another room with a large machine. The room is in disarray and walls are broken.)
Needlegal: Looks like a fight went on over here!
Geminiman: This must be the portal room! All this destruction must have been made by Player 2 when he busted in! We can follow him and get major backup. That guy is almost as powerfull as Superman himself!
Topman: I wonder what's behind these other doors though. They're locked. Can't be good.
Geminiman: Let's just keep going forward and follow the wreckage.
(The 'Maniacs follow the trail through walls and hallways Ever more do they find blood on the ground and more signs of a struggle.)
Needlegal: I really don't like the look of this....
Shival: Look! *points* over there!
Topman: He's...... dead!
Snakeman: Who could have killed him!?
Gauntlet: I have a feeling we'll find out soon enough. Let's keep -
Snakeman: Wait. You hear that? Cries for help coming from behind that door over there!
Gauntlet: Or a new ally. Better to find out sooner rather than later.
(Hardman uses his strength to rip through the doors! Inide is a laboratory and a few jail cells. Inside two of them are....)
Magnetman: Doc Robot? And Bizarro!? Aren't you on THEIR side!?
Bizarro Shadowman: No thank you for coming and not saving us! Me hate you! Me really, really hate you!
Doc Robot: Oh, let us out! We've been experimented on and tortured....
Gauntlet: First explain all this to us.
Bizarro Shadowman: No thank you....
Doc Robot: Well, we thought that we teamed up with this crew to get part of the wealth, but .... they had no intention of sharing it with us. You see.... they want that gold Shadow Blade!
Gauntlet: This thing? (gestures to the Blade) Impossible. It was just made a few minutes ago.
Doc Robot: Heh. Yeah, it was wasn't it? Well, we're dealing with time-people. They foresaw that it would be created. But they didn't know how ... or when. You see they want control of this reality and, for some reason, they need that Blade to do it. I thought they hired me to get it from you, but ... I was dead wrong.
Gauntlet: I think I see. Both you and Bizarro can produce Shadow Blades.
Doc Robot: They started experimenting on us a few weeks ago to see if we could be made to make one. Oh, the things they did to us....... But, we couldn't. heh. HAH!! We can't make those Transmetal Blades like you guys. Not even the Terminator they sent after you could imitate it perfectly.
Magnetman: They sent that thing after us.*
(*Series 3 #12)
Doc Robot: Yeah.... they tried that before they started on us. I should've known then.....
(Needlegal uses her Needle cannon to free Bizarro and Doc Robot!)
Someone: So ... it looks like you all gained new friends. How delightful. The more the merrier, I always say!
Snakeman: That voice.....
Needlegal: It's .... XELLOSS!!!!
(Xelloss appears from nowhere!)
Xelloss: You got it, sister!
Gauntlet: So, your involved in this thing too. Well, I can't say I'm surprised.
Gauntlet: Well, you were following us, and I never bought that "me owing you a favor" crock. The presence of a really powerfull monster and odd time distortions couldn't have been a coincidence.
Xelloss: So, you all knew that from the start? Then why let me follow you around?
Gauntlet: As much of a pain as you were, I knew that if we kicked you out, you'd just follow us in secret. It's what you do. So, I thought it would be best to keep an eye on you. But what I CAN'T figure out is WHY you've been following us when you could have simply kidnapped me to begin with!
Xelloss: Oh? I thought that should be obvious after what Mister Doc Robot told you about our little scheme. I knew from the beginning you'd get that golden Shadow Blade and my associates require it. However, we didn't know where or when your get it! What a mess! So, we recruited Quint as he has the most experience with time travel and the Megaman universe and he recruited others, to take you by force so we could experiment on you and try to bring it out. And, as insurance, I went along with you as a companion in case it turned up at a different time. We wanted to have all the contingencies planned out for.
Gauntlet: I see. You delayed us until your "associates" were ready to challenge us directly.
Xelloss: Exactly right!
Gauntlet: And just WHO are these "associates" exactly!? Quint certainly doesn't have the power to cook up all this! Neither does SkyNET!
Xelloss: Oh? You haven't figured that out? Well, you see.... my associates are...
Xelloss: A SECRET!!!
Gauntlet: DAMN YOU, XELLOSS!
Xelloss: Why don't you just hand it over quietly? I mean, what hope do you think YOU have when I killed Player 2 so easily?
Bizarro Shadowman: YOU!!!!
(Bizarro leaps forward and attacks Xelloss with a barrage of Shadow Blades! Xelloss merely disappears, avoiding them all and reappears behind Bizarro and kicks him across the room!)
Doc Robot: We'll take care of Xelloss, you go to the control room! It's in the uppermost level! Hurry!
(Doc Robot attacks Xelloss with Crash Bombs, but Xelloss explodes them in midair before they reach him!)
Xelloss: Your only postponing the inevitable! He He He He HEH!!!!!!!
(The 'Maniacs rush out as Bizarro Shadowman and Doc Robot battle the merciless Xelloss. The sounds of their battle echo onwards for a while as the 'Maniacs run through the chamber unopposed.)
Sparkman: Alright, we're finally here! Let's go see who's behind making our lives difficult.....
(Sparkman opens the door and the 'Maniacs rush in! When they enter,. the door disappears behind them. They are in a dark room with a stormy sky glowing red overhead. They cannot see the walls, but they can see the huge machine in the center of the room..... and the room's occupants.)
Quint: Finally made it? Hope Xelloss didn't keep you for too long.
King: So we meet again.
Torchman: A rematch is in order.
Needlegal: Oh, big talk! We already defeated all of you, so what hope can you possibly have for victory?
Someone: They can do it with the right backers of course.
Geminiman: EXTANT! And ... Ultimecia?
Ultimecia: Yes, Mechanical Maniacs.
Topman: Care to fill us in on the rest of the story? Common, we made it all this way.
Extant: Heh. Why not? You see, I could have died when I battled the original Topman that time, * but my future self came and rescued me from death. It was then that I realized the scope of what exactly I was doing. You see, this is no ordinary reality. We're actually at the center of the Multiverse! All realities happen around this one, so anything major that happens to this one may bleed out to the others. And also, the other realities affect this one as well. Inagine how surprised I was to discover that in other realities beings such as you or Galvatron never coexist at all!
Needlegal: And if you conquered this one, the others wouldn't be too far behind.
Ultimecia: Yes! Extant knew this, but he also knew it was a mistake to try handling so many energies on his own, so he contacted me. I have had experience with time kompression, after all. Together, we contacted the Monster race and they agreed to let Xelloss help us.
Xelloss: Hello! Mister Bizarro and Mister Robot we're any trouble at all. We needn't worry about them interfering now.
Extant: With us splitting the power, and from doing that here, in the central timeline of the multiverse, we can conquer not only THIS reality, but all others as well!
Snakeman: So, it's come to all this? But why do you need the Shadow Blade at all?
Xelloss: As a stabilizer for the energies of course! And now, Gauntlet, I think I'll call on that favor you owe me and ask you to hand over the Blade quietly.
(Gauntlet refuses to move.)
Xelloss: Very well, then....
(Xelloss disappears and quickly reappears right in front of Gauntlet! He knocks him aside and grabs the Blade! He then 'ports to Extant and Ultimecia with it in hand.)
Ultimecia: Excellent! We shall begin!
Shival: Not if we have anything to say about it!
Quint: YOU have to deal with US!
Needlegal: HAH! You and what army, shrimp?
King: This army. (Presses a button on a control pad and several black portals open up and legions of Terminators emerge from them!)
Terminators: Target acquired. Terminate!
(The Terminators begin to shoot Shadow Blade, Torch Arm, and Search Snake projectiles at our heroes!)
Gauntlet: Aw, NUTS! I forgot they had those.
Topman: All those doors must have been holding these guys.
(Meanwhile, Xelloss and co. have placed the Shadow Blade on the machine!)
Extant: Here we go!
Xelloss: All that planning is finally paying off!
(They use their power to activate the machine and a pulse of chroniton energy is shot through the Shadow Blade!)
Extant: Without the Shadow Blade as a regulator, we created mere time anomalies*, but now ... we shall rule all of time!
Needlegal: We're too late!
Gauntlet: Actually, no.
(The Shadow Blade pulses and sends chronal energy into the MM3 team!)
Ultimecia: The Blade.... it has a FAULT!
Gauntlet: That's right! After I found out you wanted the Blade, I broke it just a little, figuring it'd wreck your plans a bit!
(King whacks Quint.)
King: Don't praise them!
(The Maniacs pulse and suddenly there are several versions of each member from their own personal timeline!)
Transmetal Shadowman: Well, this is unexpected!
Neo Gemini: It appears the chronal energy was drawn to our Transmetal armours, and when it hit us ... THIS was the result!
Erik: So, it's us versus an army, eh?
Sarah: Not a problem for TEAM HARDMAN!!!
Transmetal Hardman: nnnnnnnnnhhhhhh!
(The Hards plow through and destroy several Terminators!)
Airman: Been a long time since I was in a fight.
Split Mushroom: Feels great, right guys?
Shival: Let's just get going! This is just too creepy.
Needleman: You said it!
Xelloss: Hmmmmm so there's an army of you now? Don't you know one thousand times zero is still nothing!
(Shival and his personas attack Terminators.)
Extant: Keep pushing them! We can still use the Shadow Blade to take over reality! Just stall for more time!
King: You heard the boss! Keep going!
Nightmare (Topman): Hey, King! We got a score to settle!
King: HAH! You think any Topman can beat me?
C.J.: Actually, I think all of us COMBINED can beat you!
Transmetal CJ: Exactly right!
(The tops confuse King with throwing huge tops at him while one tops spins him to the ground!)
Titanium 91: Not many of us, eh?
Transmetal Titanium 91: Just means we have more experience!
Transmetal Jacob: That's right! Experience is the key!
Jacob: Well said, Jacob!
Magnetman (Nightmare): I feel just weird. I was only Magnetman for what? One day? Two?
Transmetal Titanium 91: Get used to it fast, we got work to do!
(Titanium and Jacob pound on against the Terminator army, but more still come through the portals!)
Torchman: AAAHHH!!! You cannot do this to meee!!!
(The Jonathans have got Torchman in a wedgie!)
Transmetal Jonathan: This is great! I hold him in place...
Clownman: And I hit him with a pie!
Colored man EXE: And I hit him with another pie! HAH!
Dynamoman: And I laugh my head off!!! *laughs insanely*
Magicman: You know, this whole situation really reminds me of Digi -
Gauntlet: QUIET, YOU!
(Elsewhere still, others do battle! Needlegal and her non-Transmetal counterpart have been cornered by a group of Terminators!)
Needlegal: Well, this is it....
Transmetal Needlegal: So long cruel world!
(Suddenly, Sean and Sarah (as Rush) leap in and destroy the group!)
Sean: Here, take an e-tank!
Transmetal Needlegal: They've been pounding us with the Gemini Lazer!
Transmetal Sean: I know! They're pretty quick, but they're not team players! They've even been hitting each other trying to get us!
Sarah (Rush): I'll just be glad when this is all over! I HATE THIS FORM!!! I'm a girl ... and a DOG! I'm a girl dog! WHY!?
(Human Lennon riding elsewhere with the Gemini Force!)
Human Lennon: Alright, it's time to take these suckers out! Everyone with me?
Lennon (Geminiman): Right behind you!
Transmetal Geminiman: Together we conquer all!
Gizmo: Let's go!
Gizmo (Gemini Blue): I dunno ..... hitting them may hurt their feelings!
Gizmo (Gemini Red): Oh, shut up, you sap! To think I merged back with such a goodie goodie.....
Gemini Nightmare Red: Will you two just stop arguing?
Transmetal Gemini Nightmare Red: It makes the term "split personality" have an entirely new meaning!
Gizmo (Gemini Red): JUST SHUT YER TRAP!
Neo Gemini: I think now would be a great time to put the plan to action! SPLIT!!!
(All the Geminis split into two forms with the exception of Gizmo Gemini Blue and the Gemini Red!)
(The army cuts a path to the villains!)
Human Lennon: All right now, everyone - GEMINI LAZER!
Gizmo (Gemini Red): Who made you in charge?!
Quint: STOP!!! Or face my -
(The Geminis all use their lazers at once, decimating Quint and the Terminator army!)
Gemini (Nightmare) Red: Wonder Twin powers activate! Shape of - A BEAR!
Lennon (Geminiman): Form of WATER!
(Lennon tuns into a bucket of water and Nightmare turns into a giant bear! Nightmare begins to use the bucket of water to club away Terminators left and right!)
Gizmo: Be serious!
Transmetal Geminiman: Here they are!
Extant: So, some managed to get to us?
(Xelloss, Ultimecia and Extant combine their powers and push back the army of Geminimen to the far side of the chamber, destroying the Gemini Force and the mindwipe crystals Lennon carries!)
Gizmo: Damn you .... Xelloss!
Xelloss: Aw, don't take it personally! I have orders to secure this power. It's just unfotunate buisness........ unfortunate for you! Heh heh heh...
Gauntlet: Hey, Xelloss! Remember when I said we weren't surprised by your betrayal?
Xelloss: Yes. Why?
Shadowman EXE: Well, it just so happens we prepared something in case of such an eventuality.
(Transmetal Gauntlet takes out a device and Presses a button. Suddenly, Xelloss goes into epileptic seizures!)
(Xelloss collapses to the ground writhing in pain!)
Shadowman: "How" is easy! Knowing he was one big risk, we asked our friend Magma Dragoon for some futuristic nanobots to "disable" Xelloss. He was only too happy to agree! We slipped it into Xelloss' food while he was eating. By now they're all over his body wreaking all sorts of havoc!
Ultimecia: I'm willing to chance unleashing the power without Xelloss! Extant and I can control it all on our own!
Extant: Right! And the Blade is nearly done .... AS ARE YOU!!
(Extant and Ultimecia blast at the Shadowmen, but they evade with their quick speed!)
Lennon (Shadowman): Been a long time since I could do this! (Chucks three Shadow Blades!)
Transmetal Shadowman: Well, don't get used to it!
Gauntlet: Quickly! We gotta blow that thing up!
Shadowman: No shit, Sherlock!
(A few of the Shadowmen are knocked down by force blasts, and only Transmetal Shadowman and Shadowman EXE make it to the top!)
Shadowman EXE: And now, time for -
(Ultimecia grabs the two in a telekinetic field!)
Transmetal Shadowman: UGH!
Shadowman EXE: WHAT!?
Extant: UTTERLY USELESS!
(The Golden Shadow Blade radiates with power while Ultimecia and Extant grow to giant proportions!)
Extant: Too little too late!
Ultimecia: This is the END!
(Suddenly, the Golden Shadow Blade is broken and Sean stands next to the machine! Slipping by unnoticed by the gigantic villains he managed to use his electricity to destroy the Golden Shadow Blade!)
Ultimecia, Extant: WHAT!?
(The room explodes in a metatemporal cascade!)
(Outside, the force field blows apart and the mountainside erupts in a fury of energies! All that is left is a smoldering crater.)
Batman: What happened in there?
Wonder Woman: By Hera! Movement!
(Wonder Woman goes in and rescues from the rubble Shival, Titanium 91, and Sean.)
Sean: Hey... I'm normal! What happened to my powers?
Titanium 91: I ... I'm not Magnet the Mighty!?
Shival: Where's everyone else?
Superman: I scanned the area with X-ray vision.... you're the only ones left.
Kwame: What went on in there?
Sean: I ... don't know.
Shival: Neither do I, but ... from what I can vaguely remember ... it was confusing as hell!
Titanium 91: I think Sean and my powers were shot because we were closest to that explosion!
Sean: Well, I guess things turned out alright...
Black Ranger : I guess...
Shival: And we learned something today too...
Green Arrow: Not us, we've been stuck out here all this time. And I just got here.
Shival: We learned that no matter how hard the villains are, we can take 'em. As long as we all work as a team.
Titanium 91: *sob*
Sean: We were a pretty good team, right?
Shival: Sure we were, Sean. After all, as long as we're around, we are ... The Mechanical Maniacs!
Sean as .....
Jacob as .....
Psycho Magnet as .....
Jonathan as .....
Nightmare as .....
Lennon as .....
Titanium 91 as .....
Gauntlet as .....