The Business of War

Surviving Berlin

Scenario I
Ascendant Androids (SA)
Gila Gladiators (W)

Location: Berlin, Germany
SA Troops: 1121
RPD Troops: 782
Wily Troops: 137

“So… What was our Mission again…?” Oilman, better known as Jose to his comrades, spoke aloud. They were in Berlin, but more specifically, they had no clue. Most of them didn’t know much about Berlin, but they were in the base of an observation/radio tower that reached about 492 ft. in the air.

“We’re here on a cease and capture, Jose…”, Blademan sighed, sitting down on a decapitated SA Sniper Joe. ”The Old Man sent us here to claim some sort of special factory for him…”

“Yes… so why are we still here? We can’t beat these guys, there must be over a thousand other enemies here, and I saw some big thing running through one street like some high speed tank.” The tall red master of oil sighed. “We’re outnumbered. How are we supposed to capture anything with a brigade of bad guys tearing up the town?”

“…Then we’re supposed to trash the place, especially if it’s fallen into the hands of the SA.”, Voltman lectured.

“Big unstoppable tank… that would be Chargeman from what I’ve heard from the news… This is bad…” Blademan stood up “If it’s Chargeman… then it must mean the rest of the AA… is here…” he turned his head to look at his teammates. “We have to report this to the Old Man.”

“But we can’t teleport. I’ve been trying...” Bitgirl said, leaning against the wall opposite to him.

“I know… I’m guessing a barrier was put up, or something’s interfering with the teleportation. We have to get out of here, regardless.”, The purple spiky RM stood up. “Jeremy is providing us with a distraction. A large amount of explosions will detonate on the opposite side of the borough, drawing forces there, to see what had transpired... Tristan is with him.” Dynaman and Sharkman respectively, they were the fastest of the team. “They should be back any second now.”, he informed the rest of his teammates.

A few moments of silence passed in which Zerkai took a moment to measure them up.

After a minute he blinked. “Wait… You’re all…” he stood up straight, looking from himself to Bitgirl, then to Sonicgirl, who had her eyes closed, leaning on the other wall.

“… What’re you staring at?” Bit blinked. Zerkai, aka Blademan, quickly walked up to her, and his suspicions were confirmed. After the new upgrades, Bitgirl and Sonicgirl were an inch or so taller then him, making him the shortest member of the team at 5’6 ½”.

“Y-You’re all taller then me!”, he shouted.

“So you finally noticed, Shorty.” she chuckled.

“I am not short!”

“Never noticed you were so small.” Zana giggled. She herself was very tall, but not muscular like Jose.

“I’m not short!”

“Indeed, Stunty.” Oilman chuckled, even when they were kids he was always taller, well over 6ft.

”Don’t call me that!”.

Voltman smirked, watching the younger members fool around as he and Zaneroth kept an eye out. Sonicgirl had been listening to them bicker and she stepped up to Zerkai.


The three of them stopped, looking at her.

“…” She reached out; patting his head like an adult would to a child. Jose almost fell over laughing.

“You five, settle down, they’re coming back…” Torch finally spoke. Indeed Shark and Dyna were closing in fast. They all went silent, most of the smirking (sans Blademan).

“… Are the charges set?”, “Shorty” asked.

“Y..Yeah…” Sharkman was panting slightly.

“We avoided most of them…” Dynaman spoke. “Way too many enemies against us for my liking…”.

“Never mind them. Get ready to set the bombs off.” Blademan walked up to the two of them. The green and blue explosives robot smirked, handing a detonator to his leader.

“Get ready… and…now!” he exclaimed as he set off his own detonator, and on the other side of the borough, a few houses blew up as no less then a dozen explosives were set off throughout the block.

They waited for about five seconds, then Dynaman pushed the detonator in his own hands, and a street a few blocks away was littered with explosions, and right after Shark pressed his, marking five larger bombs go off a further away from the first two blasts. After the sounds of destruction faded, Blademan turned to his teammates.

“Alright, we wait two minutes for their troops to move, and then we get out of this place.”


Elsewhere in the city, at the Gladiators’ destination point.

The carnage thundered as the factory came alive with the sound of machines battling with an unrelenting fury.

The uniformed Police Bots stood no chance against the monstrous Ascendant Androids. Special Forces robots put up more of a fight, but they all fell trying to suppress the Androids, making no attempt to help the cannon fodder known to be their allies. They followed simple instructions, which were to "destroy the Scissor Army."

Some of the simple Police Bots fell back when the Gladiators' explosions went off, the weaker RPD drones going to check on that mess instead. The Androids ignored it, chalking it up to a misfired Napalm Bomb as they continued their slaughter of the RPD.

Gyroman flew over the scene, firing sprays of bullets into the brawl below, making a bit of an effort to not decimate his teammates in the blasts. At the same time, Chargeman was doing what the primitive-minded Hell Express did best: charge into the fray at various intervals, cutting large gaps in the crowd of robots, frantic pedestrians, and buildings.

It wasn't long before the RPD lackeys' numbers had dwindled, which they used to their advantage. The Police Bots and Special Forcers began to spread out, trying to draw the Scissor Army officers away from the targeted Special Forces factory. As they spread throughout the German city, the Androids seemed to take the bait, starting to expand away from the building as they followed their query.


Waveman cackled like a lunatic as he proceeded with his massacre of the RPD. He pursued them like a child chasing butterflies.

Except in the end he would crush every single one of them.

Special Forces units were a rare treat for him, and if he had had any sort of mechanical heart it would have skipped a beat from glee as he saw one approaching him.

The Special Forces unit did not hesitate to fire several plasma blasts at Waveman. The warrior of the sea was caught off guard, but quickly dodged them all.

"Kyahahaha! Is that all you've got?!" Waveman jeered. With his body entirely composed of water, his arms turned into liquid tendrils that pierced the SF units body. The SF unit struggled, desperately setting off explosives in vain to fend off the invasive water. Within seconds, Waveman had made sure that every single crack and crevice of the robot was filled with seawater, and he jerked his arms in an outward motion. The sound of the RPD unit being instantly ripped apart from the inside was music to his ears.

It was after that that Waveman had just realized the Police Bots had been shooting at him for quite some time. Obviously, the bullets had no effect on him. He couldn't help but laugh at their feeble attempt, and he dove in on them.

"Hahahahaha.... KYAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!"


Most of the buildings in Berlin were smaller than he was. Sure, it had its skyscrapers that he could climb up and jump off of, but they were here and there. Chargeman could easily see everyone and everything standing on the rooftops as he rushed by and through. Mostly, he was charging through, and that took little effort, as the buildings were made of far weaker materials than he was. Any structure taller than him usually toppled over after an extra pass by.

The RPD was trying to keep up with him the whole time he was obliterating the city. Their blasts weren’t really the best-suited to taking him down. One lucky bastard shot him in the eye – if lucky is what you want to call him. The towering train was sure to make his death particularly excruciating. The building this sniper was standing on was a few blocks from the Android-turned-evil. As a result of being shot – though it really didn’t affect him – Chargeman let out something between a roar and a wail, before stomping over to the dead-eye and forcing his fists through the rooftop on either side of the officer. As the ground collapsed around him, the sniper was left with nowhere to go and simply fell to his destruction.

Other snipers began to repeat the process, with similar failing results. Of course, looking from the Scissor Army’s side, that would be a failure, but the RPD was actually doing exactly what it had hoped. They knew that getting Chargeman off track would prove difficult, but their plan for doing so seemed to be working splendidly.

In the meantime, Stoneman was passing along the roadways; far enough away from Chargeman to not have to worry about being made into road kill. The mass of rock-covered orbs was stomping along at a steady pace, pulling concrete from nearby office buildings and swinging them about his body like a flail. Special Forces… typical officers – It didn’t matter; they all went down about the same way, and usually at the same time. For someone that was usually so massive, seeing him spinning parts of the ground around him so fast was almost like a horrible nightmare. That’s also why he thought that the RPD was retreating, causing him to pursue as best he could.

They too had begun to drag him away from his comrades. It was costing them units, but it seemed to be working well enough that casualties would not matter. After all, faking out the Androids would be quite an accomplishment.


“Me, Dyna, and Shark in one group. We’ll scout ahead” Blademan divided the team a few miles from their target destination.

“Oh Captain my Captain.” Sharkman chuckled, walking over to him, thinking he could test out his new HF blades; they cut clean through one of the SA Joes.

“Jeremy, you have any more of those timed explosives?” The blade firing GG leader asked.

“Of course”.

“Good, we're going to need them to take out the factory… Torchman, you’ll lead the next squad. Bitgirl and Sonicgirl, you go with him.” The three of them could back up either side of the group if they ran into anything.

“Volt, that leaves you leading the last, with Oil and Wave. You’ll be in the back, in case we’re followed, make use of your spreading weapons” he told Oilman and Wavegirl.

Voltman nodded “Understood. My lightning can work with either of their attacks.”

Torchman sighed. “You are leaving us with the inexperienced…”.

“Damn right”, Blademan nodded “You’re each taking care of two noobs. I expect you to still have two by the end of this… Be careful all of you. This is a war.” He, along with Dyna and Shark made their way to the exit.

“We’ll keep in contact via radio. When it’s clear, we’ll signal for each squad to move ahead. We can do this, and show them what we’re made of.” With that, Blademan and squad 1 left the base of the tower.

“So… how do you think we’re really gonna do?” Sharkman asked Blademan with a smirk.

“We’re outnumbered over 10 to one, 20 to one at the most, we have no back up, and we’re dealing with Special Forces and the AA. Tristin, if we’re not dead in five minutes, I’ll be fuckin’ amazed.” The leader of the GG said rather bluntly.

“Yup. Can’t have the new guys panicking, though.” Dynaman sighed.

“Nope… twenty bucks says one of them kicks the bucket.”

“You’re on.”

“No betting on whom on our team dies.”, Blademan glared at them as the three ran in unison.

“... Fine.” , both Sharkman and Dynaman sighed.

“Hm… Only a mile left.”, Dynaman noted. He stood beside Sharkman as they had stopped in an abandoned and heavily damaged building. They had only encountered a few SA Joes and no RPD robots yet.

“Everything seems clear. I’ll signal the others.” He said, abandoning his joking tone and adopting a serious attitude for a moment.

Blademan nodded to Sharkman “Good… they’ll show up soon, and then we all go in together.” He sighed, everything was going according to plan and well, but he knew that just meant something was going to screw up from here on out to the factory.

“Alright…” Sharkman put a hand up to where his ear would be on the helmet. “Squad 3, report to our designation, meet up with Squad 2 en route. Squad 2, The pathway is clear, rendezvous at our coordinates, Squad 3 will be on their way as well. You guys read me?” he asked.

After a moment of static, he was greeted with;

“I copy, Squad Three shall be there momentarily.”, Voltman’s voice responded.

“We have encountered some trouble, but we‘re fine.” Torchman responded as well.

“Good to hear…” Blademan joined in the radio transmission “Once all of you have arrived, we’ll head in.”

“Copy that.”


Blademan cut the transmission. “Great…”

“Something the matter?” Dynaman asked, while keeping a lookout.

“Yes… How should we sneak in? If any AA are still in the factory, then that means any group of one or two will be in some serious trouble. Any more and we’ll be spotted. What to do…”.

“Just charge in and take the place over?” Sharkman suggested casually. Then he blinked, seeing the looks the other two gave him “… What?”

“Are you basic- Wait… that might work…” Blademan considered this. “We hit the factory hard and fast, clearing out anybody who may be inside… It’ll be easier with all of us attacking the place at the same time.”

“Sounds like a plan…” ~I guess…~ Dynaman added to himself.

“Alright then. We rush them as soon as the others get here.”

Five minutes later a small explosion blasted down the doors to the factory, a few pieces of SA Joes fell to the ground as the nine GG Robot Masters ran into the building.

(General Cutman)

“It doesn’t look like there’s much in the way of resistance here…”, Blademan noted, recognizing a lack of active RPD guards. “That’s…Not a good sign.”

“What’s that over there?”, Voltman inquired. “Oh wait…Sniper Joes? They must have taken over the factory already. Crap…”

As the Gladiators moved quickly into the factory, scoping things out and deftly planting “just-in-case” charges, courtesy of Dynaman, they observed the actual product of the assembly line.

“These are…What are these?”, Bitgirl wondered aloud as she tapped a finger on one of the large robots.

“RPD Special Forces units.”, Torchman muttered. “Their big guns.”

“…So that’s why the SA is here in such full force. They want to make their own SFs.”, Blademan proposed.

“Makes sense”, Volt agreed. “I remember seeing these things on a news report. They’re pretty strong. If these were to fall into the SA’s hands, everyone would be in for a tough battle.”

Blade picked up the pace. “We’ve got to make sure that isn’t the case! Gladiators, screw taking this place over- we’ve got to level it! We can’t let anyone have this place, especially the SA! Plant those charges and let’s high tail it within…five minutes! Don’t be caught by any sentries, though, otherwise we may not be able to pull it off! Let’s move out.”

The Gladiators nodded, almost in unison, and Dynaman quickly distributed some of his explosives to the other GG to speed things along. “Key structures, people.”, he reminded.

The group wasted not a second as they swept through the factory, targeting support beams in the vast factory. It was actually quite uneventful, as few Sniper Joes had been left around to guard the building- most had probably been sent outside to stave off the RPD and Wily forces. It was pretty easy to stay low and avoid detection, so within the five minute deadline, the group of Gladiators rendezvoused near their entry point in the parts warehouse.

“How’d it go?”, Blademan asked, slightly winded from his jaunt from one end of the building to the other.

Dynaman pulled up a mental image, which told him exactly where his charges had been planted, even by the other team members. “Lookin’ good. That should take down the whole place all at once.”

“Alright. No time to waste, then. Let’s bolt before they find the charges and we’ll-“

A loud, shearing noise interrupted Zerkai’s instructions from a few feet behind them as a large metal bay door was torn down like paper. Scattering behind more cover, the group had hoped it was merely street fighting spilling into the factory.

The door-killing culprit quickly ended those thoughts.

“So it’s true. Guess this place does have a rat problem after all.”, the harsh, quick worded voice affirmed from a silhouette in the doorway. “Don’t insult me, ladies- I know you’re here! You’re not as stealthy as you think you are…”

Backing up his claim, the Gladiators realized the factory’s sentries had quietly encircled them, giving away their positions to this commanding figure.

Blademan cautiously stood up first, almost defiantly. “You’re one of the AA.”, he accused.

“I am.”, the figure confirmed, stepping into the factory and revealing his structure. “I am Napalmman, Captain of the Scissor Army, Ascendant Androids division, you maggot. And you? You’re vermin. I don’t take kindly to vermin crawling around MY factory.”

“Just…checking this place out.”, Blademan attempted to cover. He looked over the form of this menacing figure and could barely even recognize him as the Napalmman of old.

He was painted a lusterless jet black. Set deep behind a grate-like opening were his eyes...Or where Zerkai presumed his eyes were, since they were hidden in the darkness of the tank- being’s body. His legs were reverse kneed, like a dog’s, but heavily armored. He strode upon toe-like tank treads, which no doubt granted him easy travel over broken urban terrain. Most imposing of all were the numerous cannons arranged on his body- six barrels protruding from his shoulders, a massive, ten foot long Howitzer-type cannon mounted on his back, facing skyward at a 45 degree angle, and each arm carrying very imposing-looking launchers about as long as he was tall- around nine feet upon estimation. Wrapped in heavy iron, it was clear this creation was bred for war and nothing else.

“Bullshit.”, Napalm denied. “You little worms are up to something. Joes! Sweep the area! Find out what the vermin was up to!”

Wordlessly, the Sniper Joes obeyed, disappearing into the innards of the factory floor.

Blademan shifted his eyes over to Dynaman, hoping they were on the same page. The Dynamite Master managed a quick wink, and he flashed a single finger beside his thigh.

The fuchsia pigmented Blademan knew what his comrade was up to; in one minute, the place would go down, regardless of the Joe’s findings. And regardless of their safety.

“Who’s first?”, Napalmman demanded to know cryptically, hefting his cannons.

“Wait! We’ll tell you what we were doing!”, Wavegirl jumped in.

“What are you doing?!”, Oilman tried to hush.

“Don’t be stupid, Jose!”, she argued. “I’d rather be a POW than dead!”

“POW?”, Napalmman scoffed with a chuckle. “Dumb broad…There’s no Geneva protocol here. If I say you’re gonna die, you better believe it. That said…Guess I’ve got my first volunteer…”

That was the only warning given as the roar of the Black Death’s cannon filled the room with smoke and fire, the sticky, burning substance splashing about as soon as the canister-like projectile crashed to the floor just in front of Wavegirl. She barely had time to escape the Napalm Bomb itself, let alone the wide splash effect.

“Wwwaaughh!”, she screeched as she flailed about, the left side of her torso and arm caught in the blaze, stubbornly refusing to go out.

“Wave!”, Oilman called out.

She was already on it, dousing her comrade in water, hoping to put out the starving fire, which was rapidly consuming her. After some severe effort, she was doused, but by this time, Napalmman was finished being amused by the suffering of the GG alumni, and had randomly chosen another victim.

“GG! Retreat! Get the hell out of here!”, Blademan ordered, though most of the team was way ahead of him, as they fled another bursting Napalm Bomb with more success this time.

“Gyrahahaha!!”, the Black Death shook with laughter as he launched a full on assault on his hapless foes as they bee-lined for the opposite end of the block-wide factory. With a cruel thought, he launched one burning bomb at the escaping team’s intended exit, covering the other steel door with white hot fire.

“Oh crap!”, Voltman shouted, barely stopping his momentum in time to avoid diving into the sea of flame. “He’s gonna cook us alive in here!”

“The other door!”, Oil pointed to, still helping the injured Wavegirl around. “We’ve got to get behind him!”

“Oh yeah, like that’ll be easy…”, Torch countered.

“Torch! Idea!”, Blademan exclaimed. “If you can, go through this burning door, loop around, and surprise him from behind. Maybe we can distract him long enough to- LOOK OUT!”

Another rain of Napalm Bombs landed near the group, almost surrounding them by the burning door with more flame.

“Screw it…”, Zerkai relented. “We need you here!”

“I’d say so…”, Torch agreed, using his Torch Arm to blow out the fire with even more fire, clearing a path of escape. As soon as they could, the GG ran out of the fiery prison, only to find themselves under just as much fire as before.

“We need to shut that guy down!”, Dynaman explained. “He’ll eventually melt us down if we don’t do anything about it!”

“Look at the guy!”, Bitgirl countered. “Do we have anything than can put a dent in him?!”

“No…”, Volt murmured. “But maybe…we don’t need to.”

“…You’ll have to be pretty close to pull THAT off, Volt!”, Zerkai protested out of concern.

“We d-don’t have a-any other choices…”, Wavegirl meekly argued through her pain.

“…Alright.”, Blademan relented. “Bit, you up for it?”

“Do I have a choice?”

“Afraid not. The rest of us…give ‘em some cover fire!”

The group charged around the giant robot in a wide loop, avoiding the pockets of super heated gas-fueled fire. As soon as they were in range, they unleashed hell, finally attempting to counter Napalmman’s brute force with their own arsenal. The black-painted Android laughed it off.

“Hahaha…That’s pretty goddamn pathetic.”, he claimed as a volley of blades, boomerangs, and other projectiles and energy showered him. He knew exactly what his body could withstand. And it could withstand a lot. “Now…You’re makin’ me burn down my new factory, so I’m not gonna put up with this for long.”, he threatened.

“Go!”, Zerkai yelled, ignoring his enemy’s claims.

The two electric masters of the team took front, and in one quick, precise attack, they launched a volley of brightness into a specific part of their foe’s body.

“RrrrAAAHGGH!”, Napalmman yelled out of frustration as he reeled backwards, his eyes taking the force of the blinding power before he could shut them. “Damn it!”

“Okay, okay!”, Torchman yelled. “That’s it! Let’s get the hell out of here!”, he said as he ran around behind the large imposing robot.

Napalmman was whipping his massive guns about, trying to smack the fleeing GG as he knew what their game plan was. “You ain’t getting out of this city alive. I’ve signaled the other AA! They’re-“

Almost on cue, an ominious noise could be heard, coming from the opposite end of the factory. A music-like beat, rhythmic and easily predictable.

“Oh, damn it…That moron! He’s going to-“

Napalmman’s complaints were both confirmed and cut short simultaneously, as the other end of the factory began to collapse, as well as explode with the detonating dynamite charges. More than that, something was furthering the destruction of the structure.

And it was something…massive.

“Chargeman! Cease and desist! Stand down, goddamn it!”, Napalm ordered via his communicator. However, he already knew it was futile by this point. His wholly too-large trooper was lost in a fury, his territory being infringed upon by the enemy.

“Goddamn it…”, he sighed. “Not this again…Ah well. You little maggots!”, he turned his attention, whirling about blindly, occasionally launching a Napalm Bomb in a random direction. “You’re DEAD! We’re comin’ after you! You’re dead!”

Most of this was lost on the GG, having long escaped the factory using Napalm’s blindness to their advantage. They knew what was coming, though, and it was furious.

“Blade!”, Torch yelled. “We’ve got injuries! Lot’s of ‘em!”, he announced, looking over his team.

“Tell me about it…”, Zerkai grimaced, holding onto a ruined stub of an arm, which had been melted off during his attack on the lumbering menace.

“Oh no…Blade, you alright?!”, Shark insisted on knowing.

“Oh yeah, just fine. I’ll be okay. Just…help the others with their injuries! We’ve gotta get a move on!”

Shark hefted up a severely burned Wavegirl, helping her along. “Get going where?! How do we escape…THAT?”, he asked, nodding to the giant Chargeman behind them as the monster surveyed the area savagely, desperately trying to locate the intruders in order to stomp them to death.

“Ten miles due East! That’s the end of the teleportation barricade!”, Blademan informed quickly.

“Ten miles?!”, Bitgirl yelled, momentarily forgetting her injuries. “Oww…You’ve gotta be kidding! We’ll never make it with that thing chasing us!”

Blademan took point once again. “We don’t have a choice! Stop complaining and get going! I don’t want to die here today!”

Behind them, the rampaging beast of a creature finally located them, and, almost bull-like, scraped his foot on the decimated factory floor, his head poking out of the ceiling of the warehouse Napalmman had melted. Behind him, the rest of the factory fell, but it was of little concern to the one track-minded Android. All he knew…Was that he was supposed to kill any enemy.

With a Earth-crushing first step, he began his new charge.


“Run! Now!” Blade ordered his teammates, who didn’t need to be told a second time as they started to run, or be half dragged into running for those that were injured. This was no time for fighting or heroics, it was a time to survive, which they won’t if that giant monstrosity caught them.

Bitgirl turned back as she ran, raising her arm to send a blast Chargeman’s way, but she was interrupted by her blade slinging leader grabbing her wrist with his good(and only) hand, pulling her along to run faster.

“We can’t fight that thing, keep running!” Blademan ordered, only glancing to look back at their newest obstacle. Chargeman had begun his sprint and the conclusion was already obvious.

“We can’t outrun it…” Blademan muttered. “He’s gonna catch up dammit!...”

“Heh. Don’t worry about it boss, It’s being taken care of as we speak” Sharkman smirked, even when running for his life he seemed to be in a good mood. He had been on a radio frequency for a few minutes now.

“Pardon?” Blademan asked, still dragging the slower Bitgirl. Who stared at his hand, then wretched her arm free, running on her own and keeping pace for the moment.

“H…Heh… Don’t worry about it. In a moment he’ll stop chasing us. He’s going to be… preoccupied with something else.” Sharkman chuckled, staying with Blademan and Bitgirl instead of running ahead along with Dynaman.

“…Tristin. What are you planning?” Blade asked. Although he may not act it sometimes, Sharkman was a veteran not unlike Torchman, so he had more… experience if you could call it that.

“It’s already been planned.”, he gave a toothy grin, turning back to observe the giant mass of metal that was Chargeman, the juggernaut, tearing up the ground in its wake as it ran like an Olympic runner. He was half a mile and closing. Blademan privately thought that Sharkman couldn’t possibly get this thing to stop.

But then, he was surprised.

No less then two dozen Wily-born Sniper Joes emerged from a nearby rooftop, jumping off and landing on the massive Scissor Army robot. Most of them had used their shields to block most of the damage form the impact, quickly blocking the AA’s unstoppable machine’s eyesight.

This action caused Chargeman to skid to a stop, sending up broken debris of what use to be the city street, giving a loud grunt of aggravation, swatting off some of the Joes that were climbing on him, but they were a lot of them. After a few seconds he brushed most of them off with a sweep of his giant forearms. Once his vision was clear, he saw that the street he had been chasing the GG on was empty. They had escaped by some miracle.

A loud roar echoed through the ruined city of Berlin as Chargeman took his anger out on the Wily Joes that had hindered his sight.

Out of the Joes trying to escape, one small Metool was charging towards the gargantuan metal beast, and surprisingly, it was able to speak in English. “FOR WILY!!!”, it gave a brave war cry as it charged into battle.

Moments later, that very same Metool, made a small stain on the ground as he met with Chargeman’s foot.


Attempting to throw off the fast-approaching giant, the GG instinctively split up and weaved into buildings, neglecting to maintain radio contact in the process. It wouldn’t do very much, given the roar of the train-like monster’s rampage on their heels as he occasionally spotted a glimpse of a Gladiator, and would sweep towards it.

It was hellishly frantic. The sky grew noticeably dark behind them as it filled with smoldering ash, baking the paint off of buildings with its heat, and even causing still-sparring Joes and RPD Bots to cease fighting, having lost sight of each other in the thick of it.

Noticing this with a curious glance, Torchman’s mind quickly churned out a plan.

“Keep going!”, he screamed out to Blademan.

“What?! Where the hell are you going?!”

“I’ll meet back up with you soon! Just keep running til you’re out of sight!”

Torchman darted out into the center of the street, waving his Torch Arm about like a rescue flare before the colossus’s eyes, ensure his full attention. Chargeman’s AI had been reduced to the bare bones functionality, and his attention was easily robbed by new points of interest.

Banking on this, Torchman succeeded in making himself the center of Chargeman’s focus, and the other GG melted out of the Hell Express’s mind as the fire dazzled him.

“Here! Here! Follow this, you stupid ape!”, Torchman yelled. The words didn’t mean very much to Chargeman.

In a risky move, the master of flame leapt towards the rampaging beast suddenly, bounding off one of the dump truck-sized legs, and landing behind the beast. Still focused on the bright object, Chargeman smashed his feet into the street, up heaving tremendous slabs of concrete, brick, steel pipe, and dirt as he buried himself knee deep to stop his full-bore dash. Half a block would be destroyed by the crude emergency braking system before he finally settled to a suitable halt, then turned himself about with a grunt and a roar, more molten ash spewing from his masked nostrils in effort.

By now, Torchman was only visible due to his flaming beacon in the distance, still in the center of the road. The black ash was still thick for three blocks behind Chargeman’s swath of destruction.

Again, almost bull-like, Chargeman stamped a foot across the tortured street before regaining full speed, destination: the glittering flame.

He was almost right back on top of it within a few seconds, as he rushed towards it even faster now, both fascinated and frustrated by this elusive target.

And then…it was gone. Out like a candle in the darkness of the ash.

He couldn’t understand it. It was right here! He should be grasping it within his hands as he thought this, but it was gone in the night-like atmosphere.

He stopped, again annihilating the pavement below him.

He whirled around and, cautiously now, approached the last place he saw the flame. Was it hiding?

Yes! It had to be hiding! Hiding in these structures around him! They needed to go away, and quick! Otherwise, the bright fire might get bored and go away for good! That wouldn’t do…

With the behemoth Chargeman smashing buildings and anything else within sight in the ashen fog, the Gladiators continued to pursue their immediate goal, and escape this mad city. It was clear who owned these grounds now, and the GG knew when they weren’t wanted.

Eventually, Chargeman’s primal, raging yells were almost out of earshot, and his destruction could barely be heard. Some of the GG peered behind them, finding debris still flying upwards as though it were in a tornado. Smoke continued to fill the sky, but it was doing so in at least a hundred different locations as far as the horizon stretched. The urgent need to leave grew stronger and stronger.

A soot-painted Torchman soon rejoined his comrades, earning him a few mum remarks of praise for his quick thinking, which he was quick to keep down.

“How much further?”, Dynaman quickly asked. It was almost an annoying habit now, but the others were just as concerned.

“We’re not even half way there…”, Blademan answered sullenly.

Sonicgirl’s head perked up from underneath Sharkman’s arm, who was helping her along. At first, she was the only one to notice it, but gradually, so did the others.


It was a song everyone had heard before, though not everyone knew its name.

“Hey…I know this song…”, Oilman stated. “Yeah…It was in that movie.”

“Yeah…’that movie’, he says. Really helpful.”, Torchman grunted. “Ignore it. We gotta keep moving.”

“Guys, its getting closer…”, Wave noticed aloud.

“Yeah…She’s right, guys. Something’s not right.”, Blademan insisted on.

“What th-…What is that?”, Volt pointed to in the sky.

“Oh…Oh CRAP…Don’t you see?! It’s Gyroman!”, Blademan announced. “Get moving!”

It was obvious now that the music was coming from the flying death bringer, who had apparently watched too many war movies at some point. Or maybe just one.

“Aha!”, he yelled over a voice amplifier unit. “Thought you could get away from the SA, did you?! No one gets away from us!”

The streets exploded in gunfire as he swept in fast and low, his back, mounted machine guns tearing up the concrete around the huddled GG as they made themselves into smaller targets quick as they could.

“Not good! Definitely not good!”, Oilman screamed over the gunfire as Gyroman passed overhead at about one-hundred miles and hour. Quickly, the flying machine looped around for another pass, but this time, the GG was back on the move, with a few of them sporting a few more holes.

“C’mon! We gotta keep moving!”, Blademan attempted to motivate. It was something of a moot point, since none of them wanted to be shot to death to begin with.

Way too quickly for their tastes, Gyroman was back in line for another strafing, only this time he kept to a higher altitude. The reason being that he now launched four miniature “sidewinder”-type missiles from his body, and they screamed down upon the group.

“Everyone scatter!”, Blademan shouted.

Running in as many different directions as possible, the GG barely made it clear of the cluster of missiles, which collided with each other in mid air as they each targeted a different Gladiator. The ensuing explosion was more than enough to knock the entire group off their feet, and even caused an already stressed building to buckle.

Dust filled the street as it fell to the ground, and Gyroman cursed his luck.

“Damn it…Shoulda used only two! Hey…Where the hell did they go?!”

By the time he had looped back around, the entourage had used the building’s destruction as cover, and they stole into an office building for respite.

“Well, what the hell do we do now?”, Oil muttered.

“Yeah, the guy’s got missiles…Missiles! The kind that blow up tanks!”, lamented Sharkman.

“Yeah, I noticed.”, Blademan said in a flat tone. Okay, here’s what we gotta do. Stay in these buildings. He’s a helicopter, right? That means he’s stuck up here, and hopefully, he doesn’t have some tripped out X-ray vision. If he really wants to kill us, he’ll have to come down here and-“

The sound of more missiles being launched alerted the team, and the office building shook as two surrounding buildings crashed down under the explosions of the rockets.

“Or he could just blow up the entire block…”, Torchman added.

“Well…Crap.”, Wave frowned.

“Hey…These missiles…They’re probably heat seeking…”, Oilman realized.

“Probably. They did try to track us down before they blew up, I noticed…”, Torchman also agreed.

“...What are you two planning?”, Blademan stared at them quizzically.

“Ever been to a good ol’ bonfire?”, Oilman explained, hefting his gun. “You with me, Torch?”

The red master of fire stood up. “Let’s go.”

Blademan began to protest, but couldn’t think of a better plan. For the time being, this was the best shot they had at avoiding direct fire.

Cautiously, the duo peered out into the sky, and only a street away, Gyro was busy destroying more potential hiding places.

However, down the street, a new concern showed itself, and they quickly hide themselves again.

“Sniper Joes!”, Oilman announced.

“Gyro probably called them to look for our bodies. That way, he can level the entire block and never have to land.” Torchman surmised.

“Great. Just friggin’ great.”, Volt spat.

Dynaman spoke up again now. “Well, we can’t sit here and get into a shootout with the Joes. Gyro would notice, and then we kinda…die.”

“He’s right. We gotta keep moving.”, Voltman agreed.

“Alright, let’s give this a shot. Oil and Torch, you stay behind the group and keep on lighting fires. BIG ONES. I’m hoping those’ll attract the missiles rather than us. Everyone else, we’re going to make a mad dash for it. We gotta keep moving til we find better cover.”

“We’re way ahead of you.”, Torchman nodded, alongside Oil.

“It’s gonna be dangerous, guys. Stay safe.”, Blademan warned.

The Gladiators, almost all in some form of injury, ran out of the back entrance of the office building onto the adjacent street, with Torch and Oil both getting to work spreading fire around like salt on a snowy street.

Of course, this attracted the attention of their pursuers almost immediately. With another “aha!” from Gyroman, the Joes were giving chase, along with Gryoman and his machine guns.

The GG, running as fast as they could, bolted down the street, and even managed to make it to the end, before Gyro decided it was missile-time once again.

Just before that, though, Oil and Torch managed to make another fire, and the pair of tank-destroying missiles sought out the intense heat over the smaller sources, the GG. Though it still rocked them to their cores, the explosion largely missed them.

“It’s working!”, Blademan exclaimed while ducking gunfire from the Joes. “Keep going, guys!”

And they did, with Blademan and Sharkman returning the Joes’ gunfire, and Oil and Torch tracing the sidewalks with bonfires. Gyroman seemed to stick with machinegun strafing when he learned his missiles were distracted by the fire, and he occasionally voiced his anger over that.

“Go ahead! Prolong your suffering, you rats! You’re gonna die eventually!”, he would taunt, though he changed the words every time he felt the need to scream at them.

Blademan would sometimes answer these remarks with a few blades launched skyward, but Gyroman’s height and speed meant they were destined to fail.

Before they knew it, the traveling circus of carnage had traversed a near mile East. A mile closer to the GG’s goal. It was an agonizing journey to say the least, made ever more frustrating by the endless waves of Joes that would ambush them on occasion. Small, nagging injuries piled on top one another, and the GG found themselves to be walking wounded, with even more journey ahead of them.

By now, Gyroman had reached his limit, having failed to score one measly kill.

He waited.

In what had settled into routine by now, Oilman began dousing a spot on the street with flammable oil for bonfire fuel. Torchman would follow that up with a simple lick of flame. They managed to time this to be in between all of Gyro’s loops.

This time, however, Gyro slowed down with each pass, and they eventually realized that their timing was off.

“Hold it!”, Oilman stopped his comrade just before igniting the fire. “Our timing’s off.”

“No problem, we’ll just adjust for it with the next- Oil, GET AWAY FROM THERE!”

All Torchman got from his partner was a quizzical look at a missile slammed into the oil-slick concrete, instantly consuming the petroleum master in its explosive death. Torch, who was very near him, also caught hell, and was thrown into the building across the street, large pieces of missile, street, and even Oilman shrapnel embedded in his entire body.

Blademan rushed over to him. “Oh hell, Torch! Torchman, you alright?! Say something!”

Torchman struggled against the building, unable to stand, or move much at all. He sputtered something about oilman, but Blade couldn’t quite make it out. He managed to repeat it, though a bit clearer.


“Oil…Oil didn’t make it.”, Blademan informed quietly. “But we’ve got to make sure you do! C’mon! On your…feet!”, he strained, picking up the wounded Torchman in the process.

The group ran, extremely shaken by the gristly end of one of their members. Some of them displayed tears, even. Others assumed even more silence.

A giant sinkhole has filled one of the streets ahead, probably from another missile strike from an earlier attack. Realizing it would make efficient cover, Blademan ordered his teammates inside, where they’d be able to elude the mad copter man and his unit.

The last one in the hole, Blademan gave Gyroman a piece of his mind with a simple hand gesture, and disappeared into the hole.


The sewers were dimly lit and smelled putrid, yet to the Gladiators it was their temporary haven. For some reason, no one had chased them into the underground system, but they didn't think of it as suspicious at all. Rather, it was their chance to take a breather.

Torch felt the urge to sit down, but being ankle-deep in sewage discouraged him to do so. "Damn, how much longer can we hold off?"

"I don't know," Blade replied, "but we're not even halfway out of the city yet."

Leaning against the wall, Voltman sighed. "I don't think I can take this game of cat and mouse any longer."

"Come on, guys," Blademan said encouragingly, "We can't give up now. We just sabotaged a scheme that could have spelled the end of the world. Can you imagine the Scissor Army with their own version of the Special Forces? Well, thanks to us, that's not going to happen! And who knows how many more plans we need to stop? I'd say the war is counting on us to survive."

"You're right," Sharkman said, supporting his leader. "We can make it out of here."

The team's boost of morale was interrupted by the sound of rushing water, accompanied by ground shaking thuds. They turned to the source of the noise, squinting their eyes to see what was coming towards them. Then, their eyes widened as they realized what it was.


In their brief rest they had thankfully regained some of their energy to dash through the sewers. The giant alligator gave chase, skimming through the waste that composed most of its body and slamming its feet on the ground at an inhuman speed. It snapped its jaws menacingly, seeking to clamp down on its prey.

Bitgirl turned as she ran and fired off charges of bit cannons. They met their mark, slowing down the large beast. However, it still gained on them and prepared to swallow the Gladiators in its massive maw. However, one more bit cannon did the trick, hitting it right through its throat and electrocuting its insides, prompting the sewer monster to fall apart back into harmless sludge.


Waveman’s laughter echoed like thunder and he continued his assault. The aquatic demon didn't move and only watched the Gladiators run away. They noticed it, and realized he was only playing with them.

This was all just a game to him. The Gila Gladiators were his toys, and if he so desired he could smash them in a heartbeat.

But only if they started to bore him.

They were still running when they heard the sound of rushing water. Turning back, they saw that part of the sewage had turned into small serpent-shaped waves, splashing in and out of the water like dolphins. They skimmed through even faster than Waveman, and one leaped into the air, aiming to collide with Sonicgirl with tremendous force. She quickly darted around and waved her hand, sending out a sonic wave that shattered the serpent, which only sprayed her in its explosion. She gave the rest of the serpents the same treatment and ran to catch up with her teammates.

Then, pieces of armor zipped right in front of her and rose along with clear water.


Unintimidated, Sonicgirl fired another Sonic Wave, blasting through Waveman. She dived right through the hole and continued running.

"Kyahahaha! That was a good move!" Waveman complimented. Then, he lashed out his arms, transforming them into blades that stalked the Gladiators.

There was a corner in the path, and the Gladiators sprinted for it. Wavegirl swiftly brought up a wave of water, hoping to catch Waveman off guard. It worked only a little bit, and as the tendrils pierced through the wall of water, it could only land a small scratch on her. However, they returned once more, slashing a deep cut into her side, while also attacking Voltman.

Waveman continued to attack with his blade-like arms relentlessly, laughing the entire time.

"Will that guy ever SHUT UP?" Sharkman panted in frustration.

As they turned the corner, they found a hole busted in the wall. Before them was some sort of underground building. Blademan realized that it was the subway. There were a handful of Sniper Joes waiting for them, but his main focus was the inactive train ahead.

"That train's our ticket to freedom!" Blade yelled. Torchman engulfed the Sniper Joes in fireballs, and Sharkman finished them off with his boomerangs.

Waveman almost missed the hole in the wall and slid back to meet it. "You won't get away that easily!" he threatened, but then an explosion caved in the walls of the subway, blocking up the hole. Dynaman gave a thumbs up to his team, and Blademan, Bitgirl, and Sharkman dash into the train. At the operating car, they struggled to find a way to get the train to start. "How the hell does this thing work?" Sharkman said in frustration.

Torchman, Dynaman, Voltman, Sonicgirl, and Wavegirl stayed outside of the train, doing their best to fend off Waveman, who had effortlessly slipped in through the cracks of the debris. Voltman dispersed an electric barrier around Waveman, but the SA officer merely ran right through it, dashing in through the train doors. The others followed him in pursuit just as the doors closed and the train began to move. Waveman reached out with his tendrils, whipping his opponents mercilessly. The tentacles then transformed into claws that seized Torch and Sonic by their faces and lifted them into the air. They each responded by firing their respective attacks, and it was enough to push the aquatic demon backwards. A beast then emerged from his torso, biting off a sizable chunk of Voltman's stomach.

As the train began to tremble from its speed, the fight turned into a chaotic barrage of shots. Waveman lashed out his whips with the same impact as bullets, while Torch, Dyna, Volt, Sonic, and Wavegirl pummeled him with their attacks. The Gladiators dared to advance on Waveman, and he responded with more of his tentacle-like beasts, but they were swiftly negated by Sonic Waves, prompting Waveman to step back, and the process was repeated until he stood by the very back of the car. Still enduring Waveman's rapid attacks, they fired right through him, which ended up tearing a hole in the door directly behind him. The aquatic warrior realized their plan, but it was too late. Wavegirl leaped up and seized one of the holding rails, then swung forward and landed a heavy kick to Waveman's helmet. The force sent him flying through the door and out of the train. He lashed out an arm to grip the train, but it was too fast, and so he fell...directly on the third rail. 750 volts of electricity surged through his body and stunned the nanobots that ran his thought processes. As the Gladiators sped away, they heard the Officer break into a scream which soon turned into fading laughter.

They breathed a sigh of relief. The train would be their ride to freedom, carrying them out of the city limits and enabling them to teleport of this hellhole.

Torchman, Dynaman, Wavegirl, Voltman, and Sonicgirl made their way up the train to join Blade, Shark, and Bit. The five Gladiators had received a good beating from their recent fight, with Volt's protective chest plate completely torn off, Torchman having gotten a large scar across his eye, Dyna, Wave, and Sonic missing a couple fingers and arm plates, and everyone being slashed many times in various parts of their body. It was time for them to rest once more.

Then, six miles in, they saw it. But it was too late to slow down the train. There wasn't even time to say, "Oh shit! There's a pile of debris in the way!"

The resulting crash made every single robot fly right through the windshield, and they landed violently into the pile of rubble. If they were humans, it would have meant their immediate end, but they were still badly shaken up from the landing. Sharkman found to his horror that a pipe had impaled his leg, and they all struggled to their feet.

"Damn," Blademan panted, and he looked up, seeing that the wall of wreckage rose higher until it touched the ceiling. "We can't go any farther down here."

"Should we go back into the sewers?" Voltman proposed, though his voice was weak.

Blademan shook his head. "No, we'll risk running into Waveman again, and this time he won't let us escape. We'll probably have to go back to the surface and try to sneak out from there."

The Gladiators nodded. They were badly damaged, and there was still one mile left to go. Could they make it?


The Gladiators emerged cautiously from the wreckage that was once a subway. Sharkman was clutching his arm, within which a rather large and thick metallic pole was lodged, due to the crash they’d just suffered moments before. As the others re-oriented themselves, Blademan took stock of the situation they were in. They were located in a fairly open area, about a mile away from their destination. There was no sound, except for the faint roaring of flames coming from the area they’d fought Gyroman in. The aerial Android wasn’t around, and it didn’t seem as if any of the others were either.

“Alright guys, it looks like we’ve run into some good luck. We can take it easy for now.” The purple-clad leader announced. There was a collective noise of relief from the rest of the group.

“Thank god.” Voltman groaned shakily as they began walking, clinging to Bitgirl for support. The team walked in silence, mostly so as to not draw attention to themselves, in case someone were around. Part of it was due to the reflection on Oilman’s death, though. The loss of one of their own had taken it’s toll on the team, and what little joy they may have felt at this ‘lucky break’ was extinguished because of it.

“I hear something.” It was a simple phrase that caused the other seven Gladiators to strain their hearing. Finally, Torch keyed in on the noise as well.

“It… sounds like… glass?”, he questioned, confusion obvious in his voice. At first, it didn’t occur to them what that noise meant. By the time realization had dawned on Blademan, multi-colored shards of various gemstones were already hurtling at him.

“Oh SHI—AUUUUGH!” The seven other Gladiators stared helplessly as the glittering shards embedded themselves into their leader’s body, decorating him with kaleidoscopic cuts. A shrill, demented laugh could be heard as a figure approached them. Eight heads turned to see who it was, though they all knew deep down.


The female member of the Androids chuckled softly, her body language giving off a calm and relaxed vibe. There was a fleeting hope that she would spare them, maybe show that brand of feminine kindness that so often stereotyped them as weak and unable to fight. That hope diminished as she gave a sadistic laugh, and made a motion with her hand, causing Blademan to go flying towards her as the shards in his body responded to her command, yanking him about as they dug into his metallic body as deep as they could go.

At the same time, more footsteps could be heard as a platoon of Joes emerged from hiding places, surrounding the wounded warriors.

“You’re not going anywhere.”, the self proclaimed “Queen of Fortune” taunted. “End of the line, kids.”

Blademan struggled against the sparkling wounds as he was brought close to Crystal. Despite this, he managed a bitter retort.

“Y-you…coward! All of y’you! G-glaaahhh!”

Crystalgirl yanked her shards from his body at that moment and reassembled them into an oily, giant chunk of diamond, which took its place amongst her six other dissimilar-sized gemstones. She seemed to take pleasure in the GG’s weariness and anger, as well as Blademan’s pain at her feet as she coldly kicked him away with a boot to the shoulder as he attempted to regain his footing.

“You children caused us a lot of headaches today.”, she said in a more grim tone. “I can’t believe you managed to get this far, and this intact. How ridiculous.”

“Lady,” Blademan coughed. “The last thing we need right now is another speech.”

“Hoh ho ho ho!!”, she laughed wickedly. “My, aren’t you in a hurry! I can’t see why…But I can see your future. It only goes as far as a few more minutes…”

“We may be injured…”, Blademan relented. “But we’re not cowards! We’re through running from you jerks! If you want a fight, you’re gettin’ one!”

Crystalgirl snidely put up a halting hand. “For one, you chumps wouldn’t get a fight from me- you’re GOING to get slaughtered. Secondly, our captain, Napalmman, is pretty pissed off now, thanks to you blowing up his new factory. He’s decided there’s nothing of interest in Berlin, so it may as well…go.”

A few miles away, a tremendous light filled the sky, and a massive plume of smoke accompanied it, filled with flame. The GG looked in shock and horror at the wanton destruction.

“A…nuke?!”, Dynaman attempted to identify.

“Close!”, Crystalgirl nearly confirmed. “It’s a ‘Napalm Nuke’, fired from our captain himself. Its not as strong as the real deal, but its much…cooler. And not as radioactive, either. He’s gonna take his frustration out on this burg one square mile at a time!

And judging by his rate of fire, and that he’s going clockwise, we’ve got about…oh, four minutes of playtime!”

“Won’t you get killed, too?”, Blademan raised an eyebrow.

“Not bloody likely. Unlike you chumps, I can teleport out of here. The SA isn’t subject to our own barrier. You know…The barrier you guys are trying to escape from?”

The GG looked collectively angered and annoyed at the crystalline menace’s spot on guess. She chuckled again, and continued as Napalmman’s assault continued to level the city, mile by mile in the distance, growing closer.

“It’s only one hundred yards behind me. Hell, I’ll give you a sporting chance, even! Joes! Return to base! Leave us…”

Unflinchingly, the squadron left the group of Robot Masters alone.

“Now then,” Crystalgirl continued with bravado. “I concede that if all of you make a dash for it, maybe…half of you would make it. The other half? You’re dead.

Any takers?”

The GG looked at each other. None of them wanted to die here, that’s for certain.

But, could they continue to live with themselves at the cost of more of their teammates? It would be hard enough trying to cope with the sight of Oil’s end…

Finally, Blademan answered. “The hell with you, witch! We fight as a team, and we’ll die as a team! Gladiators…let’s show her what we’re made of!”

“Idiots…You’ll certainly die as a team! Its in the cards!”

The GG, injuries and all, charged her.

At the same time, the seven large chunks of gemstone that surrounded the Android moved into position, as if they were opponents in and of themselves. Initially, the situation caused confusion. Were they seriously supposed to fight a bunch of floating chunks of rock?

As one of them shattered in mid air, surrounding Sonicgirl with the shards, and then attempted to reform with her in the center, they found their answer.

Forcing themselves to ignore the screams coming from the half-melted female member of their team, as she was being compressed into the middle of the giant stone, the rest of the Gladiators began hurling attacks at the giant gemstones in flurries.

Except for Bitgirl.

“You’re sick…” She growled, referring to Sonicgirl’s demise, as she faced off with the Android herself. She fired off a ball of electricity, which the ‘Queen of Fortune’ nimbly dodged.

“Hmph. That was a mercy killing. At least… compared to what I’m going to do you to.” A psychotic grin, and the glint of sunlight on a knife-shaped shard of diamond were all she could see.

She swore.

Voltman weakly fired off another shot at the gigantic mass before him. Electricity hit, then bounced off, heading skyward uselessly. He’d long since learned that the rock would move with him, essentially barring him from helping the female electricity using Gladiator, who was attempting to brawl with Crystalgirl. With a pained groan, he attempted to punch the mass of gemstone.

At first, nothing happened, then seemingly of its own accord, the rock rose up in the air, and dropped down on him. Crying out, he attempted to dodge, and was rewarded with the weight of stone merely crushing his legs, as opposed to all of him. As the sheild became airborne again, he tried to move his legs, but it was apparent the servos had been shattered.

They were useless.

Torchman watched helplessly as Voltman’s lower half was smashed, shuddering a bit. Though he had taken severe damage from Gyroman’s missiles, he was still mostly functional, a fact he was thankful for. All around him, similar things were happening to his teammates. Blademan was currently feeling the effects of being a living puppet once again, Sharkman was noticeably missing the arm that had once been impaled, along with a good chunk of the rest of his torso, and Wavegirl was stumbling around a bit, shards of sapphire embedded into her body and optics.

Then he heard Bitgirl’s blood-curdling scream.

It seemed as though the SA officer had finally overpowered her prey, and had disabled any movement from her. He watched as the diamond knife was slammed into Bitgirl’s chest, causing another cry from the yellow-clad girl, and then drug down her torso. Once she was cut open, he realized what the alleged former scientist was going to do.

He rushed over to the scene as quickly as he could, ignoring the block of crystal that was following him as he fired a steady stream of flames at the insane ‘doctor’. She pulled back from Bitgirl with a shrill screech, and as the flames died off, he knew he’d gotten her attention.

“You little….” The turquoise and white SA officer stood, growling at Torchman. Part of her helmet was melted, and the synthetic skin had bubbled slightly where her face had been burnt. Rage filled her eyes, and he was suddenly very much aware of the danger he was in.

“You… you’ll pay for that.” Three of the large shields had returned to her by this point, and had fallen into position in a line. Behind them was the apparatus that had continued floating around Crystalgirl, almost uselessly. The entire structure looked menacing, but he could see no reason for it. Raising his hand to fire another stream of flames at the SA officer, he soon found out its purpose.

It was a laser.

He didn’t have time to even think as the colored light slammed into him, trailing a path down his middle. He’d already fired at Crystalgirl, the stream of flames licking at her as the laser began its trail down the middle of his being. He dully heard her swearing before it cut off his ability to hear, and then see, and then think.

He stood there, whole for a moment as the laser finished its job, before he began to split in two, starting at the top, and slowly peeling apart from there.

Crystalgirl stood triumphantly and partially melted, staring at the scene of helplessness and injury before her.

Napalmman’s nukes were getting closer.

“Hehehe…”, Crystal sneered as her attention snapped skyward, noticing a distinctly-shaped missile looming from the distance. “Looks we’re outta time, ladies and gentlemen! At this time, we’d like to thank you for your patronage as we ask you to fasten your seat belts on your flight to Hell. Later, losers…”

She attempted to teleport with the remaining seconds…and yet, something stopped her.

Looking down, she peered at this thing than anchored her. Blademan wrapped his arm around her leg as tight as he could, refusing to release his grip.

“Heh…heh heh…Can’t t-teleport if I hold you back, can you? C-can’t trans-s-port blocked signals, huh?”, he accused.

He already knew the answer due to the fact that she was still here, trying to kick herself free of his grip. “You insolent little bastard! Let me go this instant!”

“G-Gladiators! Stop w-wasting time! Get outta h-here!”

Volt looked at his barely functional leader. “No way! We’re a team! We die together!”

“H-heh…Didn’t think….anyone w-would actually take that…to heart…”

Wavegirl grabbed Volt by the arm. “There’s no time…We gotta go!”

The team gave their leader one last look, knowing there wasn’t time to break him free by now. They couldn’t…let this sacrifice be in vain.

“GO!”, he gave a final order.

Finally, the GG collectively ran as best as they could. Wavegirl clasped an arm around one half of Torchman. She couldn’t see who had the other half, but she was sure they had it amongst the group. As a matter of fact, the still-standing GG grasped on the bigger pieces of their fallen friends, assuring their losses would be as minimal as possible. Sure, it’d take some convincing to get Wily to fix them up using back up memories and a whole lot of time, but it could be done.

The thing that would really irk them by doing that would be…What kind of modifications would Wily impose on them, assuming the mad doctor would be up to his old tricks, even during a war…

Overhead, the missile was within a few hundred meters, dooming the landscape to certain fiery hell.

As fast as they ran, they lost track of where the end of the barrier was, so they just kept running while constantly trying to teleport, continually coming up short.

“C’mon, C’MON!!”, Sharkman screamed in frustration, carrying a few chunks of Sonicgirl in his good arm..

Behind them, the Napalm Nuke made it’s impact, and the devastation quickly swept outward. The actual impact created a horrific wind, sweeping the Gladiators off their feet, as if they were in a tornado. Just as fast, or even faster, the wall of sun-like fire chased them, threatening to engulf them entirely. Sharkman, the last in line, looked ahead as Wavegirl, who was swept ahead of everyone else, succeeded in teleporting. With no time to spare, the rest followed suit, finally crossing the elusive barrier, and ending this tragedy of a mission.

Hours later, across many time zones, they awakened, having been automatically shut down once their injuries overcame them upon being received by Wily’s Castle.

Desperately, they would attempt to reach Blademan, hoping that, somehow, he had made it.

And they were reminded…War…isn’t the type of event where miracles come into play often, for God stayed away from the battlefield. That was the Devil’s playground here on Earth.




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