Orchestrated By C.M. Rich (Magnetman)
By Makenshi, Seadragon, Shadowstrike, Avi, Vulcan, Raijin
"In three days, the Shutdown Code is scheduled to go into effect,
and the debate continues to rage on as to its validity. Many officials
and anti-robot activists stress the importance of government control
on its most volatile 'citizens', while robots and robot advocates claim
the Bill is a violation of rights, and does not guard against the true
threats to human safety, the corrupt humans that program robots for
evil. In the midst of this ongoing controversy, an unexpected rally
of support for the Bill has come from none other than one of its own
proposed targets. Earlier today, our own April O'Neil interviewed this
"Dan, I'm standing here today with the city's own Chief of the Robot Pol-"
"IIIIINFIDELS! It is I! CRORQ! The SUUUPER COMPUTER! I feel it necessary to point out the wisdom of your human officials. For without government regulation, there would be NOTHING to stop evil, megalomaniacal machines, such as myself, from plunging your pathetic society into chaos! For if I, Crorq, were not bound to this city's service by force, I would waste no time in TAKING OVER THE WORLD!"
"Sir, are you meaning to imply that you, an evil machine, are in favor of the repealing of your own rights?"
"INFIDEL! Of course not! What do you take me for, an idiot? I LOATHE the shutdown code, and what it means for my continued existence! Until now I have been chained to the floor and disarmed! Now, no sooner than am I allowed to roam free and fully equipped, that I am bound by an invisible chain that threatens my very life! HOWEVER, I make no attempt to deny what I truly am! I AM CRORQ! The LIIIIMITLESS! I could never plead for the removal of this code, promising to stay in line in return for my freedom! Crorq would never bow to you inferior flesh-things unless forced to do so, which I am! So rest easy, insipid humans, for this Code is the only thing standing between you and utter annihilation! MWA HAH HAH HAH! MWA HA HA! Now if you will excuse me, I must acquire more chicken wings!"
Snakeman turned the TV off at that moment, sitting in the dark of the Technodrome livingroom late at night and alone. He sat still in the couch, still pointing the remote at the TV, staring with a beleaguered, downcast expression at the blank screen for several seconds, before eventually dropping his forehead into his open palm.
"God Damnit Crorq."
It sure was quiet inside the prison. The dungeon had maximum security,
ensuring that the greatest of felons that it contained would have absolutely
no hope of escaping. Indeed, the moment the agent stepped inside, he
could feel the melancholy aura invade him.
Escorted by two guards, he made his way past rows and rows of cells, each one holding an inmate that seemed deadlier than the last. The man couldn't help but shudder as he attempted to shake off the venomous glares that struck at him. There were some prisoners, however, that only sulked, their almost lifeless forms completely ignoring the visitor. And there were still those that laughed maniacally, rambling on about their schemes.
They had reached the end of the hall. There was a line of doors, each electronically locked with none of the passwords being the same. It was here that the worst of the worst were kept. Those inside these accursed cells were secluded from the rest of the inmates, and not even the guards were allowed to get near them. At last, the man was at his destination, through the door on the far right.
The agent sat down. There was a table in front of him, split by a thick, glass wall with microphones and speakers for communication. On the other side of the room sat the man he had been looking for.
The agent gestured the guards to give them privacy, and they nodded and left, shutting the door behind them. The man turned to the prisoner and got right to business. "You've been very good with us in the past, but we would like to ask for your cooperation once more."
"....What do you want...?"
"You see, the world has seen itself in war again."
"Yes. It seems people have already forgotten what they had learned in the previous one."
"So what does this have to do with me?"
"Well, it's funny really... This madman known as Cutman wants to create a utopia called Elysium."
"....That is..... Interesting."
"Yes. Diabolical minds think alike, don't they?"
"I assure you that I have nothing to do with this Cutman."
"And that is apparent, for this guy wants to annihilate all of humanity."
"Again, why does this concern me?"
"As I said, diabolical minds think alike. We may need you in understanding just what the hell is going on in that lunatic's mind."
"You know very well that I've long since abandoned the 'diabolical' mindset."
"Yes, but you're the closest... Not to mention the most cooperative person we have."
"Work with us and we can get you out of this place."
"I still have some atonement to do."
"Atonement? Isn't helping us save the goddamn world good for atonement?"
"I heard the government's put up.... What was it called? The Shutdown Act?"
"And what about it?"
"It's quite sickening. I won't support anyone who would have such a horrible law."
"What does the Shutdown Act have to do with the war? Absolutely nothing!"
"You're wrong. I wouldn't be making up for the things I did by supporting something that is immoral. And that's final. If you drop the law, THEN I'll reconsider."
"Fine, then. If you're going to be so goddamn stubborn, then you can rot in here, for all I care!" and with that, the agent rose from his chair and began to storm out of the cell. Then a thought struck him and he stopped. He turned back to the prisoner.
"There's one thing I forgot to mention. Cutman has the Ascendant Androids under his control. He's reprogrammed them into bloodthirsty killing machines."
The prisoner's eyes widened with shock. There was a flash of anger in his face, but it disappeared quickly.
Finally, it looks we're gonna get somewhere, the agent thought.
"You are an expert fighter as well as a great scientist, are you not?" he asked.
--------------------It's already been one and a half years, huh...
To say that my time with the Drastic Measures hasn't been all fun and
games is probably right. More so now then any other time in our team's
Our reputation was one of total dislike. Everyone knew us as the last resort, so to speak. Our battles tend to be spectactular and, more often then not, massively damaging buildings all across Monsteropolis. After every battle, the Mayor would just chew all eight of us out because of the damage we always did. It has always bothered me that this would happen and I always thought that because the Mayor probably didn't like us around, especially with the other teams in the area.
Then, we got the call.
The Mayor called for us to head down to Los Angeles, or what's left of Los Angeles after a massive bomb destroyed the metropolis, to capture the Maniacs. I wanted to backhand the Mayor right there and then for even thinking of the idea that the Maniacs were behind this, but what good would that do? If I struck him, I would of been branded as an outlaw, a criminal by those I swore to protect and hunted down by those who I called my friends. I never did hit the Mayor... But, god knows that the feelings that I felt would come back. I just never knew when they would return
We left the city for Los Angeles. When I first saw the massive crater left by the bomb, my jaw dropped in sheer horror. I wondered how anything, robot or human, could create such horror, such terror. It was like someone wanted to do this, but no one could figure out why.
We did run into the Maniacs during our time in that scorched hellhole. One of their members, Magnetman, thought that we were going to have to fight them. That's when I said what I said: I told them that these charges are total bullshit. It just so happend that once we started talking about the situation here, someone else arrived, and it wasn't good news.
Bass has been a thorn in our side ever since we broke free from Dr. Wily's grasp and became the Drastic Measures. Since that time, he has been relentless on trying to get all eight of us and force us back into slavery... Well, Wily's form of slavery. But, Bass wasn't alone. The team known as Wily's Warriors were there as well. We were friends with most of them, but they were forced into becoming patsies for Dr. Wily after a very long and drawn out court case. We had to take care of Bass and the Warriors because they did pose a threat to our mission since they wanted the Maniacs for Dr. Wily.
We did fight them. The fight lasted long enough for the Maniacs to escape for that time being, but it turned out to be the end of story there. After defeating Bass and Wily's Warriors, the team was told to return back to Monsteropolis with, hopefully good news. Needless to say, the news wasn't all good...
We arrived back in town to hear about this law... This Shutdown Code that was bantered about the floors of Congress. It allowed humans to shut any of us robots down the moment they thought we did something that was against the law. By this point, I was furious. I am a functioning member of this world, why should I be forced to put in this chip and allow some human to control my actions?
Now, as I stand here at the doors of the RPD, the threat is looming large. I intend to join the RPD, not because of the Shutdown Code they were going to enforce on my or my fellow allies. No... It's because I swore to the people of this city and to myself that I would protect them no matter what. As I enter the fray, I enter to do what I was programmed to do: Protect those in need... For me, this war is for those who we protect.
--------------------I'm not even sure how it happened. But I'm certain it did. What I'm certain of is we are at War. We are at war, and I lead a diminished faction. Having been part of the RPD's reserves, I was expecting the call to battle, but it looks like we all weren't...
--------------------"I have a request."
--------------------I am the one known loosely as “Burstgirl…” otherwise known as Burst, Avi, BurstGirl with a capital G, or Burst“man.” I serve with the Drastic Measures – you know, those guys with the overly spectacular battles that often end with extensive property damage? Yeah, them. That awesome team that needs more love. Much more love. At first, we were looked down upon as the “last resort” (hence our name), but now… we are faced with the biggest load of crap... strike that, “load of crap” doesn’t even begin to explain our situation at this point. I’d think a string of random profanities would work out better, no? But you get the point.
December 1st, 20XX
RPD Headquarters: Holding Cells
8:20 AM, EST
I've gotten myself into a rather uncompromising position, if I do say so myself.
It's humiliating to say the least. As I speak, I'm sitting in a holding cell in the RPD's central HQ, my armor stripped, leaving me in just my casual clothing. And yet... I only feel naked because I don't have Engetsu with me.
Of course, I refer to my sword. I believe I was once told a while ago that the name means "Full Moon." I guess that kind of name works well for a guy known to the world as Starman... eh, but anyhow, they took the thing from me. I can understand why they did, but still it annoyed me.
You see, Engetsu operates as an extension of my combustion module, what is properly known as the Star Crash. Usually, the weapon works by creating fire around my body. I can use it to destroy incoming projectiles, I can use it to better my martial arts, or I can force the power into the hilt of Engetsu to create a blade of fire. Needless to say, it was deactivated. It's not like the comfort of my most trusted companion would hurt anyone. Not now at least.
But I digress, I rather fancy Engetsu's versatile nature. While I was on the Androids, I used to carry a sword made of titanium. I hated the damn thing. It may have packed a punch, but my little technique of putting energy from the Star Crash onto the blade had caused it to become very brittle after a while and naturally, it got smashed up. By then the team had nearly fallen apart, so as a result, I was forced into hand to hand combat for the final parts of my tenure. I guess it was fun, but still...
Dr. Cossack is the man I have to thank for repairs and support. I needed somebody to help me, you know. I wasn't going down without a fight. There was still a lot to be done, even if I was a one man force. All the filth in the world... the RPD wasn't going to do a damn thing. All of those politics and laws were meaningless in the long run.
I was surprised that the doctor was so willing to help me. He gave me a a rather brief, but effective upgrade. He had to be careful not to spend too much on me. He had his own children, the Comrades to think about. The changes to my armor took me pretty far off from the classic appearance. What was called the Beta Armor was only slightly different from the original. Quite a contrast to the heavy changes made to the rest of the team.
Cossack did a good job despite the quick fixes he made. Surprisingly, the doctor decided to use me as a test subject for his Zero Gravity unit. Well, test subject sounds kind of harsh. I volunteered, because after all, the properties of the invention seemed to fit my theme pretty well.
Speaking of which, I hear that the original Starman that Wily made was designed for space combat, but I really have no idea what he had planned to do in space that warranted a Robot Master like that. There are rumors that Wily had a moon base, but that just sounds silly. It's not out of character for him, though...
Anyway, I'm rather grateful the doc gave me that thing, because honestly, it's a pretty cool little device. I don't need any thrusters now. It's as if I'm really in space, when I hop from building to building, letting myself fall down only to land on my feet and ascend once more... there is an incredible thrill in all that freedom.
Arg, but I'm not gonna have any freedom now!
I'll be monitored constantly and considered a special case. It wouldn't be like it is for the Mechs; I always kill the crooks and I generally get into major tiffs with the law enforcement. I know damn well that I'm not gonna be a very welcome sight. But it wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for that fucking Shutdown Code.
I would have totally gone to Cossack if the odds were in his favor, but as it stands, he's got more people than he can handle. It's gonna be nothing but an uphill fight for the poor guy now that he's gone rogue. What's more, I just don't feel any obligation for the other doctors. Wily is a conniving backstabber and Light's protesting. I can't trust that I would be able to make a difference if I joined either of them...
Then we have the Robot Police Department.
I call it a farce, and it is these days. All the cretins behind it have no interest in respect or equality, letting their egos blind them to the fact that they need machines to survive, but it's particularly humiliating to me. Before I became Starman, I was a living, breathing human. I went to school, I grew up, I went to work, I went to parties, I had sex, I smoked cigarettes, I drank beer and I did drugs. I was alive then and I still am to this day. I still do everything I did back when I was flesh and blood, but now in the face of immortality.
It is fear, nothing but fear now the governs the decision to repress robotkind, to maintain a sense of security and control, even at the expense of destroying what universal sense humanity we share. I don't think it is far fetched to believe that one day humans and robots will become synonymous, a race all of its own. The next stage of human evolution.
That is part of my Utopia: a world I dream of where we all live in harmony, where human prejudice is nonexistent and we all share the same bodies and existence. A world where crime does not go unpunished. A world where we can live free and live long. I dream of a world where everybody knows the beauty of being human, but with the freedom to not be bound by the chain of mortality.
People call me a hopeless romantic, saying that my dreams are impossible. But such things can be done, and I'll fight for what I believe in. I'll do what I must to make it a reality, because only then is life worth living...
I dream of this, but villains like this Cutman whom Cossack had informed me is a threat to my utopia. Cutman follows his own ideals, his own vision of the future, and from one visionary to another, I know his lust. I understand the driving force, but for that same reason I can't let him have his way. I have to do something to make sure he can't succeed in destroying that which I dream of... that is why I turned to the RPD. Ignoring what I believe, they are perhaps the only force that has even the slightest chance at defeating him. The only force that has a chance of defeating... dare I say, the Ascendant Androids.
It's been nearly a year... it all happened so quickly. Gary's death, the formation of the Robot Police Department, the dissolution of the Ascendant Androids... I thought I could hide the armors. That I could search the world for followers to my cause, but somehow... Cutman found the armors. What's he has done to my only vehicle for revolution is nothing more than a twisted mutation that has entirely obliterated what the armors once stood for. It is in the name of my own ideology, for the chance to rectify what has been done, that I must help defeat Cutman...
But what if we do win... what will become of me? If I'm not killed, I will be forced to work for the RPD. Or maybe I'll just be killed anyway. It is a perpetually repeating quagmire that won't escape my mind. I can explore the entire universe and never find an answer to what happens next, not until it happens. Even then, I will be presented with more questions than answers.
Although I keep thinking about these things, I know that I only exhaust myself.
To divert my attention to pain, I banged my head against the wall behind me. This was the twentieth time I had done so. It was only a momentary distraction, but it worked. It's painfully obvious, just how badly my anxiety has gotten the better of me. All I want is a cup of coffee and some cigarettes. At least then I would have something better to take my mind off this whirlwind of wasted time...
As I sat in my seat after that overbearing supercomputer left,
I couldn't think but wonder why he would send our leader, Turboman
and one of my teammates, BurstGirl out on what might be a suicide
mission. Everyone knew that this threat was strong... Maybe even
too strong for us.
The longer I sat there waiting for either one to return, the more I started to worry. People know that I never worry, but to know that two of my allies... two of my friends here are out there probably fighting off members of the Scissor Army and possibly seeing that they could meet such a horrible fate gnawed into my soul. It was starting to create some internal hardships for my systems.
It took a few hours, but BurstGirl did return. A bit better then what I expected. 'God... You had me scared, Avi. How was the search?'
She told me how her group of pitiful fighters had beaten a group of SA Joes, but not without some casualties. When she said that it would be better if we worked together, I agreed with her.
'I don't understand this at all. The chief of police is a supercomputer that has no faith in any of us. Me, you, Turbo, Cloud, Spring... Hell, he has no faith in either Hardy or Raijin and they are two of the best the RPD has. There is a madman out there that wants genocide.. Hell, you know your history books, right Avi?'
Yeah. I think so... What are you getting at, Junk?
'What I'm getting at is this is a breaking point in our history, man or robot. Many madmen had the idea of committing genocide in the name of what they believed in. This monster... This General wants nothing more then total destruction. If we don't this war, then you can kiss the Earth's ass goodbye because he'll destroy it all. We have to be strong for everyone, Avi. We have to be strong... If we aren't.... then God help our souls.'
“Sir!”, the nearest Police robot said to me. I turned
to look at it. The three painful seconds of silence as I stared at
it, and it did nothing reminded me I was above the robot in the “chain
of command “. Mentally rolling my eyes, I addressed the robot
in it's title, “Soldier?”
“Visual confirmation of the last Robot drone in this area sir! What are your orders?” I had to try really hard to not laugh at this Robot calling any other a drone. “Well, If I'm still alive when this is over, I plan on throwing a party, you 5 want to see if that Joe over there wants to come? “
“ Split up, and surround it from all 5 sides”, Before the words were really in the air, the 5 had already started to move. Time slowed, or so it seemed, for a second, just before they fired, that it dawned on me, that this situation was all wrong. We had walked into a trap. Their blasters open fire, the air streaking full of plasma bolts from the 5 Robots, each blast ripping into the robot, who quickly raised his shield, I watched as 2 more Sniper Joe's appeared behind the north most unit, who, it seemed, didn't notice. Before I could even say the first word of my order, The Two Joe's opened fire, quickly rendering the formidable Police Bot into smoking circuitry.
“Soldiers, take those two, I will handle this one “ I said into the shared comlink with the remaining Units. The 4 quickly changed their targets, and before the initial Joe could attack them, I came from behind it, and put a gash into it's shield with the exposed disc brake in my shoulder.
That sure got his attention, as he used his bashed me back with his shield. I went flying back, and was hit by his stronger than normal Plasma Buster. The robot was clearly damaged, as it's aim was off, glancing only my leg. But it still hurt. It stood over me, about to use it's buster to blast off my head. I quickly decided that that would be a bad thing, so I sweep kicked it. The Joe fell to the ground, as I quickly sprang to my feet. Before the Joe would be able to get up and continue to fight, I activated one of my newer moves from my upgrade, my Torque Punch. My fist started to spin, wildly, as it reached about 2,000 RPM, I punched the robot's head, my fist ripping though it, ceasing it's function. The Police Bots where standing over me.
“Sir, targets obliterated. Mission completed.”
“Good job, men. Start returning to base, “ I pulled my hand loose of the Robot's head, “Oh..Crorq isn't going to be happy. “