The SA vs the Cossack Faction
Cossack's Citadel, Northern Russia
As far as the eyes could see, all was barren. An icy wasteland
during this time of year, Siberia was an unforgiving zone the further
north you went. It held near-Arctic temperatures, and winds that
would cut through even the most well-prepared of men. It was one
of the loneliest, most desolate places you could find yourself,
native or not.
And, strangely, something interrupted the endless wintry desert.
In the upper Northeast corner of this mineral-rich plain stood
something from the country’s past. It was a rather massive fortress,
erected sometime in the last five hundred years, its original purpose
was now forgotten. Perhaps it guarded something or someone important.
Now, it once again had a distinct purpose. This was the cusp of
freedom in the eyes of its current inhabitants. This was where
the world would either maintain its freedom or die vying for it
against the wave of mechanical terror that had gripped the world
with a force never before encountered.
It was here in this stone-slab Citadel that Dr Cossack had called
home for nearly a decade now, having renovated it into an impromptu
fortress against his will to aid Dr Wily years ago. It was here
where he rather unwittingly positioned himself as the coordinator
of the “Cossackers”- androids who refused to buy into the Robot
Police Force’s strict control over its own forces, or the robotic
Scissor Army’s genocide of humanity.
Here was Cossack; stressed, overworked, and in need of sleep. He
was alarmingly short on funds and raw materials to keep his own
dwindling forces functional, and his core of rebels and outlaws
lived on a day by day basis. However, like his namesake, he wouldn’t
give up the fight. So much was to be lost and regained by merely
refusing to die. So steadfast in his beliefs, that he allegedly
muttered that he was the last sane man on the planet.
But now, even the barren wilderness that surrounded his Citadel
seemed to turn against him. For weeks now, the Scissor Army was
engaged in a campaign destined to find and eliminate Cossack and
his outlaws, forming a fire blanket over even the most remote areas
of Russia in an effort to pinpoint his location. Defend it as they
may, it was inevitable:
The Scissor Army knew where their enemy was.
They were a force nearing twenty. On paper, that doesn’t seem like
enough to decimate entire country, but for the past several weeks
they’ve proven that paper numbers often lie. They were an assortment
of different machines, each designed with a different approach
on maximum carnage and destruction. Barely able to sit still, the
group was bloodthirsty and ready to murder once again before their
collective attention was snapped up by one of their most imposing
“Listen up, worms!”, the volcanic ash-colored Napalmman commanded
attention. “Until the General himself arrives, I have full command
over this operation!”
“Oh good. I thought someone had to have died to make you boss.”,
the sword-wielding Captain Quint quipped.
“Watch your mouth, you useless Merc, otherwise someone here WILL
die, so help me God.”, Napalmman threatened without any sign of
“God?”, Gravityman’s voice rumbled as he casually leaned against
one of the few pine trees dotted around the wilderness. “The General
says he never existed in the first place. How can he help
Napalmman wasted no time in storming to the supercharged gravity
bender, shoving Android and Mercenary alike out of his way gruffly
before shoving the barrel of his cannon into Gravityman’s face.
“Wanna get technical? Fine. Then until our General arrives, I’M
your god. Don’t defy me unless you want me to prove that Hell really
does exist even without an Almighty, belly crawler.”, the tank-like
“Stop wasting time ‘God’.”, Quint once again demanded attention.
“I’m sure the General didn’t want you to throw your ‘heavenly might’
around when you should be getting down to business.
Then again…If you’re not feeling up to this, maybe I should assume
Napalmman glared into Gravityman’s eyes as he lowered his cannon,
with Gravity madly staring back, a large grin carved across his
face. Slowly, Napalmman turned around, momentarily staring daggers
into Quint’s visor before regaining his composure, despite nearly
boiling over with rage.
“Okay…Here’s the POA (plan of attack)…”
“How do you feel, Artilleryman?” Dr. Cossack asked as he finished
his repairs on Artilleryman in the repair bay.
Embarrassed. Humiliated. Pissed off. That was all Artilleryman
could feel after Geminiman made a fool out of him in Toronto and
left him to die. And having that pissant Dustman come to rescue him
made the whole ordeal even more degrading. And to add insult to injury,
he missed out on too many missions that he could’ve cashed in on.
A cynical part of him felt that he should’ve been used these humiliations
by now. But no matter how many times it happened, it never failed
to create a slow-burning, festering resentment. Several Cossack bots
including Blizzardman, Astroman (one of them anyway), and Diveman
were in the room gawking at him. The latter of the three seemed drunker
than usual, which was saying a lot. With all the dignity he could
muster, Artilleryman focused on what was more important right now.
“Ready to be paid,” Artillery replied, holding out his hand expectantly.
Diveman shot him a scornful look as he smoked a cigarette.
“For what? Losin' the goods to the SA? We could’ve gotten that for
free!” Diveman chided. “Until ya start doin’ these things right,
I say ya get squat.”
“Nothing?!” Artillery screamed. “Who died and made you king?! I deserve
a hell of a lot more than that after being blown to smithereens!”
“Ya dropped the ball, Artie!” Dive angrily reasoned, putting his
hands on his hips like he was dealing with a bratty child.
“Easy for you to say! You didn’t have Geminiman riding your ass!”
Artillery retorted, raising his fist.
“Why the fuck were ya goin’ after him in the first place?” Dive demanded.
“All ya had to do was stick to the job! A retard couda done it!”
“…I’ve got my reasons!” Artillery growled. He could’ve cared less
about that stupid errand job they stuck him with. And over his dead
body was he going to pass up a chance to kill his arch-enemy, even
if he turned himself into some powerful monster again. It just made
Artilleryman want to kill him more. But Diveman was making headway
towards being added to his list, too. The punk simply sneered at
him as he bitterly flicked his cigarette at him.
“Gimme a break, Inspector Gadget. Yer not even a has-been. Yer a
never was! N’ expensive one at that!” Diveman sneered. “We can fight
this without ya ‘f we have to!”
“No.” Cossack stated, shaking his head. Dive looked back at the doctor,
“Yer keepin’ tha bum?! Ya gotta be shittin’ me!” Dive protested.
“We can’t afford to let him go, now,” Cossack warned. Artillery smiled.
Cossack had read his mind. If Artillery got booted, then RPD might
learn Cossack’s location thanks to an “anonymous” tip. But as long
as the money was still flowing, Cossack’s secret was safe with him.
Diveman growled in frustration, but relented, taking a heavy drink
from his flask.
“Now Artillery, you did your best out there, so you deserve something,
I suppose,” Dr. Cossack reasoned calmly. “But with your repairs factored
in, your original asking price is too much.” Dr. Cossack took out
a pen and wrote something on a scrap of paper, and slid it towards
Artillery. “Does this sound fair?” Artilleryman seemed to frown as
he looked the figure over. He deserved more than what Cossack was
giving. But he couldn’t kid himself. This was going to be his best
“Better than nothing,” Artillery conceded. “Deal.”
“Good. Because I’ve got another mission for you,” Dr. Cossack said.
Artilleryman perked up, hoping to make another quick buck. “There’s
been a sharp rise of SA activity here in Russia,” Cossack explained.
“Obviously, the SA’s preparing for an invasion here. But we don’t
know when. Until we can devise a plan, I want you on patrol to keep
a sharp lookout for any SA forces in our area. Clear?”
“As mud,” Artillery responded somewhat ruefully.
“Then get to it,” Cossack ordered. Artillery nodded, saying nothing
as he bitterly marched out of the Citadel and took to the dark, snowy
skies. He was angry to have another crap job dumped on his lap. Why
the hell can’t anyone take him seriously?! For God’s sake, he’d brought
the Mechanical Maniacs to their knees on a couple occasions! But
on the bright side, he still had a future at Cossack’s, he was wiser
from his battle with Gemini, and more importantly, he had money in
his pocket. All he needed was the right opportunity to show those
smug bastards who they were dealing with.
Much to Artillery’s surprise, that opportunity came sooner than he
could’ve dreamed. Just beyond the snowy tree line, he could see several
figures headed for the Citadel. One of them resembled a twenty-foot
tall train spewing ash and coal, another resembled a walking black
arsenal on treads. There was no mistaking it- the SA had found them
“That didn’t take long,” Artilleryman grimly mused. “Cossack,
we’ve got company,” Artillery reported over his com. He was about
to hightail it to Cossack, when he saw a familiar white crystalline
figure off in the distance.
Geminiman…Suddenly, nothing else mattered anymore. His archenemy
had returned, only this time, he wasn’t going to be as lucky. Artillery
remembered every detail of his last encounter with the self-proclaimed
“White Knight”. He didn’t want to waste time gloating. He didn’t
want waste time wounding him. He just wanted the arrogant fool dead.
The deluded Maniac was dead center is his sights. Artilleryman was
ready for anything.
Meanwhile, Dr Cossack wasted no time in having his young daughter
contact everyone within the Citadel en masse over the loudspeakers:
"Everyone, this is Kalinka." the girl spoke through the
several loudspeakers throughout the Citadel. "Gather at the
front lobby for briefing. This is not a drill, we are under attack.
I repeat, we are under attack. The communication system will be updated
so we can all talk to each other by using voice commands. State the
initials of the team you want to reach, followed by the name of each
specific person. To address an entire team, just voice their initials.
Example: CC stands for Cossack's Comrades; CG stands for Cosmic Gladiators;
TT stands for Technological Tyrants... " and the message continued
on and on.
Immediately, those who were simply resting from their previous mission
(that hadn't happened too long ago), where startled by the sound
of impending doom...
All of the Robot Masters were gathered in the lobby as Kalinka began
to speak on behalf of her father.
"We need all team members to please divide everyone into task
force groups based on how well each Robot Master works together.
We're going for strategy here, we need to work together if we want
to survive this.”
The various Robot Masters began to chatter amongst themselves, trying
to get decent teams formed.
Jupiter was looking around for someone who knew what he was doing
when he suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to
"I'd be willing to bet Gyroman is out there." he said. "What
say we go out there and kick his ass, together?"
"Heh, let's do it!" Jupiter agreed as the two Robot Masters
got ready to take off.
T. Hawk stood next to CentaurGirl’s. "Hey, where's Blizzard?"
"T. Hawk." Regdar jumped at the Russian voice suddenly
"Don't DO that!" Regdar clutched his chest.
"Go and make yourself useful in the surrounding forest." Blizzardman
"Sure thing." The legendary gunslinger took off.
"Centaur, go help Slashman. He's trying to form a melee fighter
group." Blizzard nodded over in the direction of the clawed
"Okay." The one-woman cavalry unit trotted over to greet
Blizzard himself walked over to Frostman. "Hey big guy." He
said. Frost turned to him.
"Yeah?" He answered.
"Let's pair up." Blizzard said. "I Think Pirate and
Neptune could use our help taking down Waveman and possibly Mega
Water. They'll need help if they're going after both."
The two frozen juggernauts teamed up with the water hunter party.
Meanwhile, Uranus was calling out to Pharoahman and Sunstar to help
them crush Gravityman.
"Hey BB." Pharaoh Waved. "Wanna help us out here?
We could use that shining personality of yours."
Bright Babe smiled nervously. "Sure.", she said as she
walked over to the group.
Out of the corner of his eye, Blizzard spotted Toad Gal. "Excuse
me for just one moment." Blizzard quickly walked over to Zapper.
"Hey, Fox." Toad Gal met Regulus half-way, returning his
"You be careful out there, my love..." Blizzard whispered
"It's dangerous out there... I... I don't want to lose you..."
"I know, I'll be careful." Zapper replied. "And don't
go hurt yourself again like you did back in Murmansk... I don't want
to go through losing you twice..."
"I promise..." Blizzardman replied. Zapper kissed him on
"I love you..." She said.
"I love you too..." Blizzardman replied.
As the two lovers parted ways into their separate groups, the various
Robot Masters had finally sorted themselves into squads, each according
to their natural ability. Drillman now assumed the role of key speaker,
being as he was leader of the home team, and thereby somewhat of
"Fellow Robot Masters." Drill began. "We are gathered
here to fight off the great evil which threatens to kill off hope
once and for all. This is evil unlike any other we have faced before
in our lives. But we can survive this if we just put faith in each
other. Look to your fellow comrades for support, and they will pull
through for you. Give it your hardest. We're fighting for our very
lives here, let's not fall prey to such a vile foe! You are my Comrades!"
The Robot Masters cheered with approval as they marched on to meet
the enemy. They were going to fight the one army everyone was waging
war against, yet each robot was surprisingly confident. They weren't
going to go down without a fight, that was for sure.
The doctor himself, however, had obvious concerns. Maybe even doubts.
"I-I'll go to the control room to get things prepared." Cossack
was already shaking and drenched in sweat as he headed for the exit.
However, Astro interrupted him quite abruptly, grabbing him by the
"Get a hold of yourself, doc." He tried to get the scientist
to calm down. "We will get through this. Just go with the contingency
plan and have faith in us." he then proceeded to give the doctor
an affectionate hug. This took the man off guard, but did the trick
of settling his mood... somewhat.
"Are ya through with the mushiness, Astro Boy?" Diveman
questioned, once the doctor was gone. "What the hell do ya suggest
we do with this potential mess?"
Blizzardman on the other hand, remained silent and deep in thought.
"For one, we should send our airborne units to do scouting while
the doctor prepares the defenses." Astro replied, dismissing
Dive's first comment. "Let's meet up at the front to decide
our course of action. And let's hope Artillery manages to stall them
Slashman looked at Swordman. "Sword, I fully intend for us to
give it our all in battle. However, the plan doesn't go into enough
depth. I think I know our true role in this battle. As decoys."
The other two were disturbed by this. Slashman merely laughed.
"Don't worry, here's what I have in mind. As far as the SA knows,
Cossack is still with us. Thus, we have to put on a farce for them,
make them think that we're guarding the actual doctor. That way,
when they do find out that we're protecting nothing but the Citadel,
Cossack and the others are long gone. It's called getting fooled
by a fool. You two with me on this?"
He didn't wait for an answer. Already, his built-in sensor array
was going off. Movement, just outside the Citadel, and it wasn't
part of Cossack's forces. Wasn't shaped like any of the SA COs, either.
"Don't answer that now." he said hastily. "Something
out there, probably a spy. Both of you, come with me!"
He started off on all fours, hoping that his assigned teammates would
“So our plan is to simply run in head on to Cossack’s Citadel and
lay siege upon it, Captain?” Geminiman asked in a rather impatient
“Yeah. With the element of surprise in our hands we should be able
to overrun their defenses in no time. You got a problem with that?”
The White Knight glared at the walking tank with his soulless voids
of eyes. There was an apparent feeling of animosity between the two
SA Officers as the large groups of overpowered oppressors were marching
towards the Citadel. The White Knight, now having to follow orders
from what he thought to be an uncouth brute of a superior was none
too pleased to hear that he was not in charge of the tactical layout
of this mission. Furthermore, Captain Napalmman was not trusting
of his fellow officer, despite achieving two definitive wins for
the Scissor Army and being entrusted with his own personal Order
of ‘Holy Knights’, as he called them. The fact that the only reason
he was on their side was all due to Mesmerman’s firm grip on his
“I just think that if we were to launch a sneak attack, it would
be best to do it from multiple sides rather than to simply apply
brute force to a single area like some sort of barbarian.” The White
Knight sneered causing the Captain to turn around and look the bishounen
right in the eye with anger.
“You are following MY orders in this mission, so we will do things
MY way, pretty boy! I will not stand for such disrespect towards
the chain of command, understand?”
The White Knight simply laughed in the face of such intimidation
before he made a slight bow and then voiced in a mocking tone, “Yes,
The walking tank decided to not bother with the knight’s sarcasm
and carried on his approach to the Citadel.
“With, the teleportation barrier set; the Cossacks are now trapped
within their cozy little castle.” CrystalGirl laughed wickedly. “Now
they can’t escape without our notice.”
“We must make haste then.” Quint added as the rest of his Mercenaries
dragged behind the Ascendant Androids.
“Agreed. Remember, our mission to destroy all of Cossack’s resistance
and gain access to the innards of the Citadel. However, we have not
been permitted to kill the doctor just yet. That pleasure will be
saved for our glorious general!”
“Onward! Kill now, for Elysium awaits!” Quint cried out, rallying
the Mercenaries before marching forth.
Napalmman did not look too happy as the Mercenary leader had interrupted
him but saved no time in increasing the pace of the Androids’ march
towards the Citadel.
“Move like the wind, attack like fire… I suppose that works.” Geminiman
commented as he followed suit in increasing the pace, catching up
with CrystalGirl and Ballade.
“I look forward to working with you two lovely ladies.” He said as
he gave the two girls a standard bishounen grin as he marched alongside
“There will be time for your own little sick fantasies later Geminiman,”
Mesmerman’s voice sounded from within his head, “Right now, focus
on the mission at hand.”
“Very well, the White Knight doth approach…” he grinned even more
as he advanced further, but soon his expression faded as he looked
up into the sky and saw something unexpected in the distance.
“You… you’re supposed to be dead!”
“Surprised to see me, Geminiman?” Artilleryman smiled looking down
at the cluster of SA Officers approaching before aiming his cannon
at an upwards angle. “I’ve been fully repaired just in time to find
you approaching Cossack’s Citadel. Perhaps things are finally starting
to go my way with my revenge… No more games this time Geminiman,
this is where you will die!”
Artilleryman’s body suddenly shot downwards as he fired something
into the air, the White Knight quickly realized what the former Wily
Bot had just launched and his expression turned into pure horror.
It was a Long Tom shell.
“Stop that shell from hitting the ground immediately! That thing
could kill us all right here, right now!” he screamed out.
Artilleryman flew back up and laughed at his enemy’s peril. “I will
see to it that you won’t leave Russia alive, Geminiman.”
Geminiman, you retarded yaoi reject! Napalmman cursed as the
Long Tom shell plummeted back down towards the Earth, annoyed and
astounded that Artillery Man was still kicking. Why the fuck couldn't
"White Knight" slaughter some Crashman wannabe? Christ,
Napalmman could've obliterated that loser in his sleep! Now they
were all going to pay for Geminiman’s screw-up.
However, Gravityman and Stoneman were nodding at each other, as if
they reached some unspoken agreement. Suddenly, a stone pillar shot
up from underneath Gravityman, raising him until was almost eye-level
with Chargeman. When the shell was twenty feet above Gravityman,
it suddenly started slowing down. Just before it hit the dirt, the
shell came to a gentle stop, then gently floated up in front of Gravityman.
Pleased with himself, Gravityman sneered with delight as the shell
floated just over his open palm.
"I think I'll keep this for myself..." Gravityman commented
happily. Napalmman and CrystalGirl shot each other uneasy glances.
Just what they all needed: a repeat of Johannesburg. As if it wasn't
fun enough the first fucking time around. Goddamn Geminiman.
"THAT'S why you're not calling the shots, Almost-a-Lady!" Napalm
snarled at Geminiman. "Alright twinkletoes. I want Almost-Crashman's
ass on a platter. And do it right this time if you want to keep yer
good looks," Napalmman barked. "Gyroman, you know the drill"
"Aye, aye Cap'n" Gyroman shot back as he took off towards
the Citadel and begin his recon. Out of the corner of his eye, Napalmman
could see a couple probes also racing off towards the Citadel. Sedulus
must've been trying to take matters in his own hands. Just who the
fuck did he think he was?! Did he forget who was running the show?!
"Congratulations, Sedulus. You just pulled guard duty" Napalmman
congratulated over the com, receiving nothing but static in response.
"It would appear as though the battle has already started." Sedulus
began to observe. "It was a foolish notion for Captain Napalmman
to order a direct assault on the Citadel. My analysis on the moral
values of the different factions would lead me to conclude that
the Armored Assassins have taken residence within that Citadel.
Prior observations on their operating record combined with the
research that I have gathered on the other major Cossack-faction
Robot Masters points to a frontal assault being ill-advised, as
they have exhibited a noteworthy ability to formulate effective
combat techniques when pressed beyond their normal fighting limits."
Sedulus slowly sank to the ground, as he had to hover to get a
good view of the Citadel. "Thankfully, Captain Napalmman was
too busy in debating the logic of the situation at hand with Scissor
Army Officer Geminiman to properly monitor my actions, allowing
me to implement a more suitable plan as my function dictates."
Sedulus raised his arms and a mass of floating spheres began to
hover from the cover of the trees. Each sphere had a crystal embedded
in the center that looked like an eye. They slowly made their way
into the surrounding area of Cossack's Citadel, hardly noticeable,
as they stayed low to the ground while projecting images of the
surrounding background to mask their presence.
"Now initiating reconnaissance operations to assist the General
in creating his model environment." Sedulus remained where
he stood as his probes slowly crept towards the Citadel in the
hopes of eliminating one more obstacle to perfection.
Not too far away, another SA Officer evaluated his options against
Wraith loomed on top of a hill overlooking the battlefield and
near Sedulus, only part his face showing in his black-as-night
cloak. “I can feel the horror in the air.” He said, cryptically.
Wraith looked back over to the castle where his brother and his
allies were standing their ground.
“And so it is that the Scissor Army gathers at the gates of Cossack’s
Citadel, a bellowing storm of arrows and swords. So it is that
the meager resistance of the castle walls crawl from their misery
and hopelessness to do battle with the storm, ripe with the stench
of doubt. The storm moves on, spreading death and decay to all
it touches, and all life is extinguished in a flurry of metal and
light. What is it that will happen? The tempest moves ever closer
by the second to the foolish defenders’ walls. Shall this maelstrom
of death breach their defenses and very souls, or shall they flee
in terror in its wake? This I ask all of them in quiet inquiry
and my answer is soon to be given. My plea? Run. Run little warriors,
so long as you wish to draw out your wasted lives… or embrace the
storm, and the life-giving waters it will cause to flow, and the
new life that will rise from the barren ashes.”
Wraith looked down, at his fellow officers, most of whom were twitching
with anticipation. He laughed to himself, and said,
“Then it is to be. Let no man here look to the sky and find God’s
mercy bestowed unto him. Let no man’s prayers be granted. Let no
words of mercy be answered, no words of confidence uttered, and
no words of hope chanted.”
And with that, he retreated to the shadows, practically melting
into the void. He had a brother to find and save from his stupidity.
He lurked through the shadows cast by his fellows and the grand
The team of Pharaoh, Bright, Uranus, and Sunstar headed out to the
terrace to scope the surrounding area.
"Aright, here's the plan." Jade turned to his posse. "We
can't afford to let Gravityman near the Citadel. The General probably
isn't gonna let him use too much juice since it'll be hard for him
to confirm Cossack's dead if he flattens the whole place in one flick
o' the wrist. But he can still keep this battle tilted in the SA's
favor as long as we let him be, so we're taking him out ASAP."
Jet looked a little nervous. "That was a tough battle we had
with him last time. Will we be able to do it with just the four of
"That's why we have a secret weapon this time." Pharaoh
motioned to Uranus. "How do you feel about putting your own
gravity powers to the test, big guy?"
"Well, I don't think my powers are quite as strong as his, but
I'm willing to give it a try." The enormous Stardroid shrugged.
Pharaoh nods. "That's why we're not sending you against him
by yourself. We just need someone with a way to counter those Gs
of his." Pharaoh comforted, then turned to Bright. "Jet,
we'll need you to stick to a support role here. Gravs can't attack
what he can't see, so keep him busy with your brand of million-watt
BB laughed quietly, "O-Okay, sounds good. I'll try not to let
Pharaoh smiles. "I know you won't." He looks over to Sunstar,
the powerful prototype Stardroid. "You and me will be the primary
attack force. While Jet and the Brahma bull there keep his threat
to a minimum, we attack the guy with everything we have. Remember,
he can still crush anyone around him so don't get in close. Use your
best energy attacks that he won't be able to stop with his gravity
powers. All clear?"
"Remember, teamwork is gonna be the key to beating him. Stick
to the plan and we can win this. Everybody got it?"
The other three all silently nodded in agreement.
"Excellent. Then what are we waiting for? Let's go hunt us an
Elsewhere, Searchman had headed to another terrace of the Citadel,
from which he could see the Army without being shot back. He focused
his eyes ...
Quint was here. At the thought of what he would do to his "brother"
soon, he felt a sudden rise of Evil Energy, which he promptly stopped.
Now was not the time to lose his mind.
He opened the communication channel.
"AA Tomahawk. Do you hear me ?"
"Loud and clear, Searchman. What's the matter ?"
"Suggestion : we take on Quint. Buy some time to the others
for now. Once he gets in my range, I'll contact you back."
"Roger. T.Hawk, over."
The two-headed sniper took one of the secret exits of the Citadel.
He thanked his idea of repainting his armor parts to a snow-themed
camo. Once he was perfectly hidden, he checked his weapons ... and
Quint was looking at the fight between Artillery and Gemini from
the distance. He had to admit his “fellow” mercenary was faring well
"Too bad you didn't join me as a co-worker..." he muttered,
a grin on his face.
Taking his focus back on the battlefield, he opened a line with his
"Here's the plan: Buster Rod, Enker, stay grouped. We'll need
a shield and explosions to distract the Cossackers from the bigger
"Yes sir !" they replied in unison.
"Ballade, Punk, try to break those walls down. Don't hesitate
to break your opponents down as well."
The two Killers didn't reply, but Quint knew they got the order.
"What about me ?" asked Mega Water.
"What ? But-" complained the aquatic Merc.
"No "buts". Follow the orders. Quint, over."
And for me ... Well, let's see who I run into.
He carried on, ready to kill Cossackers in the name of the General.
In the shadow of the Citadel’s outer walls, Geminiman was quick to
follow Captain Napalm’s orders as he spread out from the rest of
the SA officers and headed straight for Artilleryman whom was still
flying up above. His appearance was drastically different now, due
to Cossack’s low budget, use of salvaged parts and overall lack of
knowledge on the mercenary's build, Artilleryman was sporting a new
look. While his color scheme was the same, he seemed skinner and
slightly taller than his previous incarnation and even his old Crashman
helmet had been replaced with something that resembled a Scissor
Joe’s head although it still maintained a small fin of sorts, but
the most obvious change was the addition of a set of wings on his
jetpack, a creative twist from the Russian doctor, no less. “Back
in Toronto, you fired that Long Tom Cannon and blew yourself into
pieces. How could you possibly be alive after that?”
“Surprisingly enough, my head was still intact after the explosion.
So once it got recovered, Dr Cossack outfitted me with a new body,
while it may not be as sturdy as the one Wily had given me, I’ve
found that it is significantly lighter and easier to move in.” the
mercenary demonstrated this by zipping past the approaching White
Knight while firing several blasts from his Pyro Cannon at him, Geminiman
leapt out of the way and retaliated with several plasma shots from
his arm cannon but the airborne Artilleryman gracefully maneuvered
around the blasts and smirked back in his longtime foe. “The downside
to all of this is that it all came out of my paycheck! You cost me
a lot of money back then in Toronto, so now I will have you pay it
all back in full.”
The White Knight observed his surroundings; they were not in his
favor at all. There was not a single surface that would reflect his
laser into forcing Artillery’s movements, and due to the surrounding
snow he could not use his cloaking ability due to the footprints
he’d leave behind. He hated to admit it, but Artilleryman had an
overwhelming advantage over him now.
“This time, I will make sure you are dealt with properly. By the
end of this you will be just as dead as Multiman after I blew his
head off at Cape Canaveral!” the Twin Terror remarked only to be
met with laughter.
“You think you killed Multiman? That’s just great! I’ll tell you
one thing Gem, Multiman cannot die. Did you think he’d send all his
clones into the battlefield? No, unlike you, since he only needs
one alive to fully survive, he always keeps one safe and sound at
Skull Fortress, making it impossible for him to ever be killed in
combat! Face it Geminiman, you’re incapable of killing your enemy
Geminiman was annoyed beyond belief. Not only had Artilleryman survived
his encounter in Toronto, but Multiman had also survived at Cape
Canaveral, not to mention Woodman also miraculously revived after
getting hit by the Celestial Dance of the Gemini back at Kalingrad.
All his proud moments of battle had just been dashed. Sure, he was
able to conquer the cities with a definitive victory, but he had
failed to kill a single commanding officer permanently. How was he
going to defeat Shadowman if he couldn’t even rid himself of Artilleryman?
Something had to be done. His pride had been torn once again, but
this time he was going redeem himself and he had to do it by himself,
with no help from the rest of the SA. Artilleryman was his target
and his alone.
“I swear that I will turn that new body of yours into nothing but
charred remains, Artilleryman. I will kill you in ways that you couldn’t
“And how exactly are you going to do that when I’m all the way up
here, and you’re all the way down there? With no walls to bounce
your lasers off of you can only fire them directly up at me, and
with my new body I can evade any direct attack you send my way. Face
it Gem, you’re not going to win this time.”
Artilleryman then proceeded to launch a barrage of missiles down
into the ground and cause several explosions around the White Knight,
covering him with smoke and concealing his vision. Geminiman tried
to search around for his target but the smoke was so thick that he
could not see past his hand. Soon the sound of Artilleryman’s Pyro
Cannon could be heard and fireballs from all directions shot past
his face. He was toying with him.
The mercenary robot sneered from above with his targeting visor locking
on to the White Knight within all the smoke. He was winning this
time, without a doubt. He circled around the smoke once more and
launched even more fiery death into the cloud, but then to his surprise
he saw a bright light blast through the smoke and go right past him
forcing him to quickly divert his flight path. He looked down and
lo and behold, the White Knight was standing there now free from
his cloudy prison, grinning back at his old rival.
“A very well thought out plan, Artilleryman. However I will not be
outdone just yet.” The Twin Terror spoke as he quickly threw a clone
into the air with all his might with the intention of colliding into
the airborne mercenary.
“You seriously don’t think you can knock me out of the air that easily?”
he laughed as he evaded the incoming clone but then heard a familiar
sound of a laser being fired. He looked down to see the laser being
fired from within the smoke and into the clone positioned outside
the smoke with its shield up, the laser then bounced into the direction
“Cunning bastard…” Artilleryman muttered before attempting to change
direction again in order to dodge the laser, the blast was so large
that he couldn’t continue flying backwards, he had no choice but
to descend, and then he saw it. The clone that was thrown into the
air had managed to line himself perfectly with the descending Artilleryman
and had his laser pointing right at him.
“And now you’re perfectly aligned for my most graceful performance…”
the White Knight smirked and fired another laser straight at Artilleryman.
In quick response, the mercenary launched several more missiles around
him and fired his stun laser through the giant beam of light heading
towards him hoping to at least immobilize one of the clones and cover
his tracks immediately before he could try maneuvering his way out
of this attack. However he was not fast enough and in the process
of changing his flight path again, the laser had grazed him and blown
off a chuck of his leg.
“Damn it, that’s more damages coming out of my paycheck! You’re only
going to make him worse on yourself Geminiman!” he yelled as he flew
out of the dust cloud, passing the falling stunned clone on the way
up whom gave him a bitter glance and then positioned himself high
up in the air once again.
“I think a nice change to the terrain is in order.” Artilleryman
remarked as he switched his arm cannon into particle beam mode and
charged up pointing down below to where his targeting visor told
him Geminiman was.
Of the various Cossack troops formed, the aerial "team" was
the first to be dispatched. Jupiter was worried they were only two
of them. Well, at least Gyroman seemed to be the only airborne SA
"Don't underestimate this guy." Tenguman warned. "The
Ascendant Androids are robotic monsters..."
"Right." This only made Jupiter even more nervous.
As they circled above the Citadel, they caught a glimpse of the approaching
horde of robots. Signs of a battle were seen near the Northern wall...
it was probably Artillery's doing.
"Take a look around, see if they're not approaching from any
other direction!" Tenguman told Jupiter.
With keen eyes, Jupiter scanned the barren stretches of snowy Earth
"All is clear!" A few seconds were enough for them to confirm
that it was only a frontal assault.
"TT: Astroman." Tengu voiced out loud. "Naop, they
are engaged frontal assault..."
Just then, the sound of what seemed to be a chopper was heard. Tengu
and Jupiter turned around to face their opponent...
"Understood." Astroman replied through his com link. "Guys,
it's time to send out our heavy-duty units!" he ordered the
people that were still in the lobby. "The enemy is relying on
an all out, frontal attack. Try to hit them from the distance, and
give us cover fire while we do our massive attacks! Melee units remain
close behind the heavy-duty units, and guard the Citadel at all costs!"
And with those words, everyone else in the Citadel got moving. As
Astro himself was heading out, he almost bumped into one of the doctor's
old colleagues taking refuge within the old fortress. "Vladimir?
What the hell are you doing here? Go join the others!" he shouted
at the old man, who did an apologetic reverence. "Drill! Please,
could you escort Mr. Chevchenko?" he asked the CC leader before
he headed for the escape team's location.
After this, Astroman joined AstroChan and Toad Gal outside of the
"Okay, girls, let's get ready to..."
The TT leader was interrupted by another incoming transmission. "TT:
Astroman, the motion detector gun turrets have spotted a camouflaged
threat near the Citadel’s perimeter. One has already been taken down.
Just thought I'd let you know." reported Pluto, who was
keeping an eye on the defensive systems.
"Damn!" Astro cursed. "Spies..."
"What a shame, comrade Sedulus..." a voice was heard from
behind the SA officer, just as a cloud of purple smoke materialized.
It was Mysteryman, and behind him, a group of 5 odd-looking Joes
that had recently become known as his personal "Troupe".
They all sported the same color scheme in their uniforms, a distasteful
green and purple combination. "It seems your plan has backfired
"Hmm... It would appear so. However, only a few of my surveillance
units have been taken out of commission. As of this moment, there
are 30 probes still in operation." Sedulus smiled back at him.
"Well, I guess I should thank you. Thanks to your Crystal Eyes,
one of my agents has already infiltrated the Citadel." Mystery
confessed, while his men chuckled in unison.
"I am aware of your entry into the Citadel." Sedulus said
"I would like to inquire how you were able to infiltrate the
defenses with a larger and more readily visible unit such as a Scissor
"Oh, yes... You all seem to forget that I am a Cossack robot
by birth. And while the old man took the time to get the location
of his fortress out of my memory banks, he didn't bother to remove
many other bits of useful information." the cloaked robot explained. "You
see, there's a surveillance system all around the Citadel. And while
you little toys were able to be undetected by the cameras, the motion
sensor weapons were a different matter. So my agent took advantage
of this, and while the gun turrets were focused on your toys, he
made an entry."
"It would appear as though I was in error in calculating your
ability to formulate competent military maneuvers under demanding
Sedulus's face had retained its smile the entire time, not in the
least phased by Mystery using his eyes to gain the advantage. "Judging
by your operating record, I expected something less efficient by
design. You have had several notable failures on your record, one
of which was a near-fatal encounter with my creator, Blizzardman
of the Armored Assassins."
Mystery clenched his fist. "Blizzardman... created you?" He
Sedulus nodded. "Yes, he is quite remarkable when it comes to
mechanics and programming. I was designed to look after the Flying
Fortress, keeping it in a constant state of perfection as defined
in my programming." Sedulus turned towards Mysteryman, still
"You underestimate me, comrade. Even our 'beloved' captain was
unable to notice my agent as he went by his team..." Mystery
emitted a maniacal laughter. Mystery was masking some indignation
at Sedulus's lack of frustration at being outclassed, and it especially
irritated him to have his failures brought up.
"Oh, I have also calculated that there is a 33% chance that
the Cossack's Comrades’ leader, Drillman, may be planning to tunnel
Dr. Cossack out of the barrier, as they have no other suitable alternative
at the moment. It is more probable than any other plan so far according
to my calculations."
"Hmm..." Mysteryman thought about it. It did seem likely...
"Thank you, Sedulus." He said after giving it some thought.
"I'll have my spy look into it."
"I hope that you continue to deviate from your normal performance
record, as observations would indicate a strong tendency for overconfidence
to alter your judgment, thus jeopardizing the success of the mission." Sedulus
turned back the Citadel.
Mystery gritted his teeth. He hated to have flaws pointed out. He'd
"DM: Slashman" Astroman commanded. "What is your situation?"
"We've located another of those crystal spheres. It has already
tasted the metal of my claws. They are very sneaky and well camouflaged,
though. We had to rely on infrared vision..." Slashman explained
through the com link.
"Nice going. We just spotted another one escaping from the gun
turrets and launched an attack in it's overall direction, managing
to hit it. You should try that if it gets difficult. Astroman over
"Naop, I've done what you told me." Toad Gal came running
towards the pair of Astro robots. "The first SA grunts to come
this way will be greeted by a shower of acid rain."
"Great! Now let me check on the escape team... TT: Groundman.
What's your situation?" Astro asked through his com link.
"Man... I'm already digging our way out since the alarm started,
but..." a lot of noise could be heard on the background, obviously
because of the drilling. "A few of Cossack's colleagues haven't
joined us yet, they stayed behind because one of them is taking a
lot to get out of the bathroom. Drill is waiting for them."
"What?!" Astro shouted. "There is no time for that!
Let me talk to Drill... Naop over and out."
AstroChan and Toad Gal gave him a worried look. "No need to
worry, I'm sure it's just one of those old dudes dealing with incontinence.
CC: Drillman, what the hell is going on? Get that man out of the
"Roger that, Naop, I'm already on it." Drill replied. "Mr.
Chevchenko! We have no time to lose, I'm coming for you!" Astro
could hear as Drill knocked on the door. Then the door was opened,
and there was silence for a moment.
"What happened?!" Astro was getting impatient, he started
fearing this would be a trap.
"Nothing, really. He came out on his own, we're already moving
out. Drillman over and out!"
"Gee... these old folks..." Astro wasn't left with a lot
of time to ponder on the situation. The SA had reached them, and
the gun fire had started. The heavy-duty guys had begun their preventive
Crawling next to the toilet, and old Russian scientist gasped as
life escaped him. The blood pouring out of his throat, which was
slit open from ear to ear. Doctor Vladimir Chevchenko was no more...
A blizzard had moved in over the Citadel. It was something that would
be lethal for any human to fly in a modern plane, let alone a chopper.
Yet, casually, Gyroman stayed aloft a few feet before the pair of
Tenguman and Jupiter, his arms folded in front of his chest as his
body made minor adjustments to compensate against the wind.
“So.”, he shouted over the wind and his own engine, barely heard
by the two Cossackers. “They sent you two up here to do…what, exactly?”
“To keep a scumbag like you from firebombing our place!”, Jupiter
“Ha ha…You think so? Sounds to me like they’re just trying to get
rid of you guys by sending you on a suicide mission.”
“The hell are you talking about?”, Tenguman interjected. “You’re the
one who’s out numbered and outclassed, genius!”
“Do I look worried?”, Gyroman commented snidely.
“No, but that’s probably because you’re a friggin’ idiot!”, Jupiter
“An idiot who’s already had enough time to survey your entire Citadel!
Now, we have just as much of an advantage here as you do!”, he claimed.
“Yeah, right!”, Tenguman snorted. “Man, we LIVE here! You think a
quick fly by will tell you everything that we know?”
“It’ll tell me enough, let’s just say.”
“Jup, this guy’s an amateur! Let’s blow this jerk out of our skies!”,
Gyroman began a low laughter, unheard by the other two up there with
him as he silently sent a file to his commander below. Methodically,
the safeties from all of his sidewinder missiles clicked off, and
his machine guns chambered their first of many rounds to be fired
Back down on the battlefield, something beeped in Napalmman’s mind,
alerting him to a message just received. His vision now split between
a live feed and the file, he was pleased to find that Gyroman, despite
encountering the enemy high above, had finished his recon, and had
sent him a texturized map of the area.
And while this made things a little easier for the infinitely enraged
SA Captain, he still had to contend with other issues down on planet
Out of the corner of his eye, Napalmman noticed Punk and Ballade
marching towards the Citadel. Christ, couldn’t these retards wait
“Where the hell do you think yer going?!” Napalmman barked over the
com. “Report back to me ASAP. You too, Duchess and Houdini,” Without
saying a word, the two brain-dead Mercs along with CrystalGirl and
Mysteryman started falling back towards Napalmman.
“What are you doing?!” Quint demanded. “We need to attack now while
the Cossackers are still off guard!”
“Hush sweetie, the adults are talking,” patronized Napalmman as he
turned back to the gathered troops. Infuriated, Quint was about to
draw his useless, pogo-stick thing, only to find himself staring
down eight different launchers trained on him.
“Don’t even try, shrimp,” Napalmman warned. “You’re hanging on by
a thread, and the General’s not going to miss you. ‘Til you and yer
shit eaters stop bringing us down, you’re my bitches.” Several seconds
passed as the captains stared each other down, barely flinching.
Eventually, Quint resentfully disarmed, and Napalm turned his attention
back towards the shitbags he summoned.
“Now listen good, you puddles of eel piss, you. Sedulus and I are
gonna form a perimeter 200 yards away from the Citadel. If you see
Cossack or any of his other meatsacks make a break for it, kill them
on sight. Ignore any fleeing commie-bots, and take prisoners if they
offer themselves up,”
“Guard duty?” Mysteryman scoffed. “I’m capable of better than that.”
Steam shot out of Napalm’s vents.
“Luckily for you, I want you to keep mindfucking these commies from
your position. So you get that for free,” Napalm retorted. “Like
I said, nothing fancy here, just a frontal assault. We’re powerful
enough to stand up to whatever these losers throw at us. Once the
Citadel’s softened up, Enker, Shrimp, Spade, Buster Rod and Team
Watersport will keep the General company as he storms it. I’ll provide
cover fire from my location throughout the battle,”
“What about Geminiman?” CrystalGirl asked, nodding towards the pompous
pretty boy as he fought the merc against the wall of the Citadel.
“Fuck him,” Napalmman dismissed. “Super Stud should be able to get
himself out of this mess. Or he won’t. Either way, he’s getting what
he deserves,” Napalmman snidely reasoned. “But if he pulls through,
he’s stuck with guard duty. Ya hear that, Fabio?!”
“Guard duty?! You-“ Napalmman switched off his com channel to Geminiman.
Napalm wasn't interested in arguing the point with Bishie-Boy. They’ve
wasted enough time already.
Artilleryman was about to fire his particle beam when the Gemini
Laser he had just dodged suddenly shot back up in his direction.
“Damn his bouncing laser!” he screamed out before turning away to
dodge the laser at the same time as he fired the beam of light, creating
a large trench into the ground which melted a large amount of snow
in the process. While his attack had missed its initial target, it
had done damage to some of the terrain in front of the rest of the
SA. However, this did not seem all too significant to the overpowered
oppressors who continued their storming of the outer walls.
“Guard duty…” Geminiman muttered under his breath, “That oversized
brute is placing me on guard duty? How dare he disgrace me
with such a task!” Of course, that was for later. The matter at hand
was still Artilleryman, who still had the advantage of an open field
and being airborne. If he could force the mercenary on to the ground,
then he would be a much easier target to hit. The question was “how”,
The smoke from all the missiles had been a nuisance for the White
Knight. It had completely obscured his vision, leaving him no idea
where an attack would come from except for the clues left by the
sound of Artilleryman’s jetpack and cannon, and to make matters worse,
Artilleryman’s accurate aim seemed to indicate that his targeting
system could see through the smoke when he had him pinned. Even if
he were to cloak himself, the smoke would distort the light manipulation
of his cloaking device and his footprints also left a dead giveaway.
He needed to get out of the smoke, just long enough for him to regain
“This shouldn’t be that difficult… It’s only Artilleryman! He hasn’t
even got a decent build anymore. Neither he, nor any other robot
present in this battlefield can match up to my caliber…” the White
Knight thought to himself. “I’ll show them… I’ll show them all!”
Determined, Geminiman threw a clone of himself in a random direction.
He knew from before the fight occurred that they were in a reasonably
open field, so there wouldn’t be many obstacles or pitfalls that
might endanger him if he threw his clone too far and so he got the
clone to split off and throw another clone which cleared him out
of the smoke. Artilleryman did not let this action pass his radar
and quickly re-aimed his cannon at the clone outside of the smoke
and fired a stun laser at the clone, freezing him in place just outside
the cloud of smoke. However, the White Knight had already anticipated
that, as he had shifted his mind into the paralyzed clone he could
not see outside the cloud and knew immediately how to position his
clones. Soon, four more Gemini clones had appeared outside the smoke
“I have you now, Artilleryman…”
Two of the clones fired a laser at two of the other clones which
had activated their shields causing them to bounce off them and head
back into the smokescreen. The mercenary robot just laughed at the
former Maniac’s tactic. It was easy to figure out what he was doing-
he was trying to use the smokescreen as a cover so he wouldn’t know
which clone the laser will eventually bounce upwards from and head
towards him, causing him to dodge that one and force his movement
into the next laser. But with all the clones outside the smokescreen
all he had to do was look for how the clones would change the angles
of their shield to determine which ones were going to come in his
direction and in what order. From that, he would be able to dodge
both lasers with ease. Or so he thought…
Finally, a laser shot upwards into the sky… From the center of the
cloud of smoke. The mercenary had been paying too much attention
to the outside clones that he had forgotten there was still one within
“Damn it, the bastard purposefully left a flaw in his plan as a distraction!”
Artilleryman thought as he turned his attention to the incoming laser
in order to dodge it. The Gemini clones reflected the second laser
to where Artilleryman was moving. But the laser was still too slow
for the airborne robot and he managed to duck under the intersection
point of the lasers and looked down to laugh at his adversary, only
to find that he was no longer there.
The lasers had then passed over, revealing the White Knight plummeting
straight towards Artilleryman, unleashing a shooting star punch right
in the centre of the mercenary’s chest.
“Those lasers weren’t meant to hit you; their actual purpose was
to mark the point in which I was drop down from the sky so I could
personally break you and see the expression on your face when you
finally realize that you are simply inferior.”
However, Artilleryman did not show any sign of anger or frustration,
only an evil grin as a small compartment at the base of his fin opened
up and a tiny dart fired into Geminiman’s face causing him to reel
back a slight bit as the two robots crashed into the ground.
“I got you…” Artilleryman laughed as he slowly rolled over and picked
himself up from his crash landing. The White Knight stood up clutching
his face although angered; he was oblivious to what had just hit
“Argh, you shot me in the face again! Damn you…” Geminiman was about
to finish his sentence when he suddenly went down on one knee and
felt a surging pain inside him. “What the hell did you do to me?”
“A little secret weapon I had,” The mercenary sneered, “it’s a virus
that quickly eats away at the life of whatever trash is foolish enough
to get hit by it has left to offer, slowly, and painfully.” Artilleryman
watched as Geminiman finally collapsed into the snow before he activated
his jetpack, which was still functioning despite the crash landing,
and flew away from the fallen White Knight. “I win this time Geminiman,
your defeat came with your overwhelming arrogance. Now you will finally
suffer a long and painful death that I had promised you.”
He turned to see the rest of the SA clawing away at the Citadel.
Before activating his communicator with Dr Cossack, “I hope those
reinforcements are coming soon, Doc, I can only hold off so many
of them on my own.”
Geminiman was feeling the pain of the virus coursing through his
body. Was this how he was going to die? No, this was ridiculous.
He couldn’t die from something so trivial, from someone he deemed
unworthy. This was not how it was going to end! And yet, he felt
like he was beginning to slip away. It was all so pathetic, falling
in a battle in which he was reduced to the lowly job of guard duty
by a stupid, bombs-for-brains, oversized tank and done in by a cowardly
virus deployed by a Robot Master reject. He was in the Scissor Army
so he could get the respect from robots that humans did not give
him, to be worthy of SparkChan’s attention and to finally show up
Shadowman and prove his worth, and yet his end was approaching, and
he felt that he had gotten none of that. He was beginning to feel…
different, there was no other way he could describe it. His mind
had seemed to have wandered as it was inching closer and closer to
death and feelings of self-doubt were beginning to surface. Was this
really what he wanted? Was the Scissor Army really his answer? Then
a familiar voice echoed in his head.
“We’ll be having none of that, Geminiman. You still have plenty of
worth left in you so it would be a shame to lose you right now.”
Suddenly, the pain from the virus was fading. Mesmerman had done…
something to cure it. He was still feeling weak, but he could feel
his strength slowly come back to him.
“I shall remove all self-doubt from your mind. I don’t want you blundering
again, or perhaps next time I’ll remove something more precious from
your mind…” the malevolent entity warned the White Knight as he stood
back up and brushed the snow off his chrome plating, looking for
“I must redeem myself…”
Static filled Napalmman’s ears, and soon, so did a voice he was much
“Captain.”, came his General’s calm, tenor-like voice. “As much as
I appreciate you taking command of this mission while I wrapped up
a few loose ends elsewhere, I’ll be taking control from here on out.
Things need to run MUCH more smoothly.”
“Sir…Yes, sir!”, Napalmman responded with only the slightest hesitation.
Cutman was walking calmly towards the Citadel a few yards away from
the bulk of the SA, his hands behind his back casually as he strode
amongst the snow, turret fire blazing across the snow fields at his
feet, barely missing him in the process. He now had a few new additions
to his outfit, with pockets adorning his legs, and a satchel bag
on his side, held up by a shoulder strap.
“Hmm, I was hoping for a significant breach in Cossack’s outer defenses
by the time I had shown up…”, he lamented to Napalm in front of the
“Sir, we were just getting to that.”
“And what’s this? A straight forward, full frontal assault?”, the
rusty skull visage challenged his second in command’s decision. “It
would appear I have made a grave miscalculation in giving you so
much pull here, Captain. Time to correct that mistake…”
Cutman leapt atop a nervous Napalmman to properly address his troops.
“We do this MY way, now.
Gravity and Stone, you shall open up breaches on the North and West
walls, respectively. According to Gyroman’s recon data, there are
significantly fewer obstacles for our friends, the rats, to hide
With a nod and a small salute, as well as a sneer from Gravityman
to the embarrassed Napalmman, the two dutifully departed.
“Waveman, even you must realize your diminished usefulness here in
the cold. It would only be a matter of time before you met your end.”
“Impossible! Look at all of this liquid, just waiting to be freed!”
the watery mess retorted.
The General sighed. “You’re ignoring your own limitations. I thought
I programmed the lot of you better than that. Well, let’s remedy
this situation. Napalm, if you would aim…right…there…”
Cutman physically moved Napalm’s turret-like body, aiming it towards
an indistinguishable spot on the terrain. With a blast from his cannons,
the ground now bore a new hole, and brown water spewed, fountain-like,
from the opening.
“Waveman, infiltrate through the sewer. Apparently, none of you morons
even thought of such an opportunity. I doubt the Cossackers have
anymore level of intelligence than you at this point.”
“Eww…Why did I have to be the one who gets the nasty jobs?!”, Waveman
“GO.”, Cutman insisted. That was all it took to straighten out the
protesting Waveman, and he disappeared into the open pipe maze.
Off in the distance, Chargeman’s rampaging form could be spotted,
uselessly destroying trees in the distance.
Again, Cutman sighed. “You mean to tell me…That we have access to
a twenty ton wrecking machine…And you’ve simply let him flail about
“Well…Uh…I’ve been distracted…”
“FAILURE!”, Cutman spat. Clicking on the radio once again, he commanded
the out of control beast directly. “Chargeman! This is your commander,
DLNO- zero-zero-three. Cease current action immediately. Focus on
“Good luck, sir.”, Crystalgirl chuckled. “Maniac psycho’s been like
that since we got here. He-“
Chargeman was already running, with no hesitation, towards the Citadel,
and closing in fast. Trees seemed to be of little concern to him
Cutman tilted his head mockingly towards the rest of the group. “You
really didn’t think I’d create something like that and have
no means of control over it, did you?”
“But…We…!”, Napalmman began to argue.
“Never mind! We have more pressing issues at hand, Captain! Such
as righting your many wrongs.
CrystalGirl! Follow Chargeman. He’ll have no problem breaking through
their defenses, so once he does, infiltrate the Citadel and take
the fight to them. It should be everyone’s goal to move the fight
inside of the Citadel as soon as possible. Hold off on destroying
it until you get confirmation from myself that Cossack has been dealt
Wraithman! Where are you?”
“Sir, Wraith vanished early on.”, Mysteryman informed. “Presumably
to seek out his brother.”
“Idiot. We haven’t any time to waste on trivial matters like ‘family’.
I see he’s cut off communication with me.
I’ll deal with him after this is over.
Mercenaries and Mysteryman! You come with me. I am here to finish
off Cossack and his inner circle once and for all, and you will be
my ‘orange peel’. I cannot waste time in fighting every insignificant
ant we come across, so one of you will split off of the group and
engage these useless simpletons until Cossack is found. At that point,
I will deal with him and whatever defenses he may have scrounged
“Sir, what about me?”, Napalmman meekly asked.
“Oh. You. Let’s see…You can perform guard duty.”
"Guard duty it is, sir!”
“Good. Mysteryman, you will guard that quadrant over there” Cutman
motioned towards the Northwest corner. “and Geminiman, when he’s
finished with his little game over there will guard the rest. There
is an anti-teleportation grid over this area, so anybody fleeing
will have to do so on foot or below the Earth. I suspect they may
use Drillman and Groundman to tunnel themselves out, but that’ll
be easy to detect due to the noise. They may also attempt to use
the sewers, which is why Waveman is down there."
Cutman leapt down and stood on one of Napalmman’s cannons, leaning
casually against his torso and bringing himself face to face with
his monstrous customization.
“Napalmman, now listen carefully…In thirty minutes, if Cossack is
not found, I will disengage the grid. We will teleport out of there
at that moment, while simultaneously, you will launch a Napalm Nuke.
The timing MUST be perfect, for if we teleport in front of anyone
we will give away the fact that the grid is down, and therefore give
Cossack a chance to flee. The Nuke MUST hit JUST as we escape. Is
“Sir…You can count on me!”, he exclaimed, glad to be instilled with
such trust once again.
“Excellent. The rest of you have you orders. Now... Go.”
Cutman leapt down from the black tank of death and began his march
towards the Citadel, Mercenaries and Mysteryman in tow.
Sedulus had heard the conversation over the com link system waiting
for his assignment. When he received none, he spoke up. "General
Cutman." He said cheerfully. "SA Officer Sedulus requesting
permission to accompany your task force into the Citadel."
"Hmm?" The General thought a moment. Sedulus was that new
recruit he had paired up with Spade. "I think I see where you're
going with this, Sedulus. You may join us in an attempt to gain access
to the control room. Keep your Crystal Eyes positioned at the barrier's
rim so that you'll know if someone is fleeing."
"Indeed, General." Sedulus agreed. "Your decided course
of action bears a substantial similarity to the method I was about
to suggest. I will be with your group shortly. I shall contact Spade
and inform him of the change in authority."
The General felt as though his job had just been made easier. He
knew he needed to take care of something, however.
"Captain Quint." Cutman turned to the Mercenary leader,
making him jump by instinct. Interaction between the two had been
much less than pleasant.
"Yes, General!" Quint straightened to attention.
"I know the Cossackers have snipers who will be wandering the
forest around here. Eliminate them." The General commanded.
"Yes, Sir!" Quint split off to go hunt the would-be hunters
as the General returned to his business.
As the rest of the “orange peel” approached the Citadel, Mysteryman
could already begin to recognize the Robot Masters far off into the
distance. One of them in particular, was an old acquaintance of his:
Astroman, with what seemed to be one of his copies, was guarding
the front entrance of the Citadel.
“Sir!” Mystery asked for the General’s attention. “Permission to
annihilate the Technological Tyrants.” He had made all kinds of plans
about how he’d use his spy to regain his honor and prove his worth
to the Scissor Army, but as soon as he saw Astro, his vendetta became
more important. This was probably the only chance he’d get to get
back at his nemeses.
“Permission granted.” the General replied after a slight chuckle.
“In fact, it’s an order. If you don’t come back with their heads
on a silver platter, you won’t live to see another day.”
Their original “agreement” was that Mystery would willingly join
his army and serve Cutman as he pleased, and the cloaked robot only
asked for one thing in return: a chance to get back at the Tyrants.
And it wasn’t like the General was forced to fulfill his promise,
but he would indulge him that much. After all, Mystery’s last assignment
had not been a complete failure. Besides, Astro Boy was well aware
of his electro-phobia. If Mysterymanaged to keep him busy, at least,
it would be one less issue to worry about.
Just as Mystery was about to vanish, along the rest of his “troupe”,
he heard one last warning. “Be ready to answer my call. I have no
interest in your personal vendetta, if I call you up, leave everything
“Understood.” Mystery didn’t care. He would finish this business
before anything else came up.
“Naop!!!” the voice
of Koala was heard from inside the Citadel. “We have to surrender;
there is no way we can win. Our only chance for survival is to
Astroman, who was guarding the entrance along Astro Chan, couldn’t
believe his ears. “What are you talking about? The battle hasn’t
fully started yet, and you’re giving up?” the TT leader demanded
“I’ve seen what they can do. They are monsters! We’ll never win!”
“Look, I have no time for this. So you either come out here and
fight like a man, or you go grab your blanky and hide under your
bed. Just let us do our job!” Astro had no tolerance for that kind
“But…!” Koala tried to complain further.
“No buts! Be a man or be gone! Now, are you ready, AstroChan?”
Astroman asked his female counterpart, and she just nodded in response.
“I can see them coming. Let’s launch our attack at the same time
to give them a crushing welcome. On the count of three…”
Both robots started glowing as they lifted their arms, ready to
greet the enemy with their Astro Crushes. “One… Two… Three…???”
Suddenly, both Astros blinked for a second, and when they opened
their eyes, neither the enemy nor the Citadel was to be seen. Only
a splashing sound was heard.
“What happened?” AstroChan tried looking around.
Astroman turned around, just to see the Citadel a few miles away.
They were now floating by the lake, south of Cossack’s. Astro knew
this place too well, he had used it for training on several occasions.
But he had no clue how they had been instantly transported there.
No signs of teleportation, no signs of nothing. Only Koala, who
had apparently fallen into the lake, was with them.
Suddenly, he noticed three people on the water's edge, shouting
and waving at them. In awe, Astro realized who it was: the rest
of his team (MagicMan, DynamoMan and Odin). “Stay close.” Astroman
told AstroChan. He was suspicious about the whole situation. “Don’t
say anything, no matter what. And try to keep your mind clear,
don’t think of anything either.” As weird as it sounded for AstroChan,
thinking about nothing was easier said than done.
“Naop, come here!” MagicMan shouted.
“What the hell Pharaoh? Are you the one who brought us here? Don’t
you realize what’s going on?” Astro approached the trio.
“I’m perfectly aware! That’s why we came to get you.” MagicMan
“Those Scissor freaks are invading this place, we thought we’d
better get you out.” Dynamo interjected.
“Is that so? How kind of you to keep an eye on me…” both Astros
kept getting near their “allies”. “Specially when you’re supposed
to be traveling to distant dimensions, on a very important 'mission'.
You took the time to come all the way back…” Astro was faking his
“Uhh… yeah.” Was all that MagicMan had managed to articulate.
“Well then, answer me this… why didn’t you bring Aku, Lyon and
Kusa with me?” Astro got even closer. He would now be breathing
down on Magic’s face, if he had been able to “breathe”.
“We couldn’t find them!” Odin intruded, in MagicMan’s defense.
“Of course you couldn’t…” Astro accepted. By now, he was sure of
it. They were impostors. The absence of the secret mental link
he had with his teammates was what gave them away. Several Astro-copies
appeared around the trio, surrounding them with menacing looks.
“Get out of there you idiots! He knows!” a voice was heard from
the distance, just as the multiple AstroMen fired their plasma
shots. Unable to avoid them, the three impostors fell to the ground,
their disguises vanishing to reveal their true form: that of three,
unfashionably dressed, Scissor Joes.
“Nice of you to pay us a visit, Mystery…” Astro turned around to
face the cloaked robot, who was now floating towards them with
“How dare you destroy my troupe!” Mystery shouted while pointing
his finger at his nemesis. He had wisely decided to stay a few
meters away from them.
“Oh, so now you have a troupe!” Astro replied sarcastically. “I
gotta admit, I was wondering when you’d show up ever since the
CC told me about your little charade in St. Petersburg. But to
think you would recur to the same old tricks? This is getting boring
Mystery, why don’t you just give up?”
Mysteryman emitted a hysterical laughter before answering him.
“You think you’re the only one who can put up a good performance?”
“What are you talking about?” Astro was confused.
“I knew that you would see right through my illusory Joes. You
are no longer susceptible to my fear-inducing illusions, so this
was just a game, a simple greeting.” Mystery boasted.
“You mean to tell me you have something up your sleeve?”
“Precisely! I’ll give you a taste of my new abilities, endowed
to me by General Cutman himself.” The bragging continued.
“Oooooh! I’m trembling!” the Astro copies mocked in unison, and
fired their plasma shots without any warning.
Seemingly surprised, Mysteryman got hit, and fell to the ground.
Yet another vanished disguise, revealed another Joe.
“Haha! I’m now immune to your sarcasm and humiliations!” Mystery
shouted, with a disembodied voice. He was nowhere to be seen.
“Is that an upgrade you got from General Lumberjack? Sarcasm immunity?
Laaaaame!” Astro kept on mocking him, while approaching the nearby
forest in order to hide from the mysterious robot. His copies,
plus AstroChan, were close behind. Staying in the open would make
them easy targets.
“Psst… Naop!” AstroChan whispered. “Don’t you think we should be
heading back? Our friends need our help.”
“I know, girl, I know. But this guy isn’t just going to let us
off the hook. He might as well do whatever he did to bring us here,
in order to bring us again.” Astroman had a point. “Now, follow
Using his own holographic abilities, Astro camouflaged AstroChan
and himself inside the foliage. Much like he did in St. Johannesburg,
he used a hologram resembling a giant tree’s cortex to cover them
up. It was not long before Mystery passed by…
He was obviously getting impatient, and was bound to let his guard
down. His ego would always show in the end. Taking the opportunity,
Astro jumped out of his hiding spot to surprise Mysteryman, who
proceeded to blast every copy he could with his buster. He even
managed to hit the real Astroman. “Haha! I bet you thought you
had me, stupid psychic!”
“No, I didn’t.” Astro said, while recovering from the hit. “But
she did!” he pointed behind Mystery, where AstroChan was already
launching an Astro Crush.
“Nooooo!” Mysteryman shouted, as the barrage of meteorites came
crashing through the foliage, pummeling him to the ground.
“Phew…” Jupiter sighed, looking down at the remains of Gyroman, resting
atop one of the Citadel’s watchtowers. “This was one tough fight.”
The Stardroid was holding on to his right arm, which had been almost
completely removed from it’s socket. His leg also showed a certain
degree of damage, as he limped while approaching Gyroman to confirm
“Not really.” TenguMan admitted. He had his arms crossed and was
resting by the wall.
“Easy for you to say when you can control the wind to an extent.”
Jupiter had fared the worst, and was covered in bullet holes. Tengu
only sported a few minor scratches.
Suddenly a transmission was heard through Tengu’s com link. “TT:
TenguMan. Guess who I bumped into?”
“Don’t tell me… Fishbowl-head…” Tengu guessed.
“Bingo!” Astro joked through the com line. “Anyway, I’m currently
a couple of miles south of the Citadel. Can you tell me if I have
a clear path back into the battlefield? As soon as I find that darned
Koala, I intend to rejoin the fray…”
“A couple of miles south? What the hell are you doing there?” Tengu
asked in disbelief.
“Long story… just be kind and take a look.” Astro insisted.
“Alright, alright…” the aerial robot took flight and scouted the
southern perimeter of the Citadel. “It seems there are some Geminiman
clones guarding the perimeter, but I can guide you through so you
go undetected.” He reported.
“Awesome…” suddenly, laughter was heard through Tengu’s com link.
“Shit… the guy we nailed was just another Joe. Tengu, forget about
the re-entry plan. Come here and give us a…!” static was heard, interrupting
“Damn it… hey, Jupiter!” Tengu shouted back at his aerial partner.
“Follow me!” the airborne robots wasted no time in jetting towards
the southern lake…
“What the…???” TenguMan and Jupiter stared in awe at the strange
display that was happening at the southern forest, still far away
from them. The trees from a portion of the woods were disappearing,
vanishing. And meanwhile, at the opposite direction, quite a commotion
was going on. It was hard to tell from their location, but it looked
as if that section was being devastated from the inside, as if the
missing trees were being poured into the thick foliage that predominated
in that area.
As both airborne robots kept approaching the strange phenomenon,
they were forced to doge a few lasers fired from below. It looked
like Geminiman was doing his job, but there wasn’t much he could
do against them. After a while, the enemy fire subsided once they
were far away from the perimeter. Tengu and Jupiter had reached the
There, they found Koala kneeled by the water's edge, trembling and
staring blankly into the horizon. The aerial duo descended to see
what his problem was. “Hey, what’s wrong?” Jupiter tried shaking
him by his shoulders, but Koala kept his blank stare.
“They’re all dead… Cossack, and all the Robot Masters.” he murmured.
“And I will be dead too!”
“What’s he talking about?” Jupiter was quite confused. The battle
at the Citadel had just begun, Koala was talking nonsense.
“It’s Mysteryman, the guy fell prey to his mind games.” Tengu approached
them, a proceeded to slap Koala’s face several timed. “Snap out of
Suddenly, Tengu heard a familiar laughter, as the water from the
lake was lake being stirred, quite audibly. Unexpectedly, a gigantic
figure emerged from the lake… it was jumbo-sized Mysteryman.
“Surprised to see me, Tyrant?” the giant robot asked. But before
Tengu was able to say anything, a couple of figures were seen rushing
out of the forest.
“Someone has been eating his veggies!” Astroman shouted, while leaning
on AstroChan’s shoulder. The giant tree barrage had managed to leave
him in a pretty bad shape. His levitation was erratic; a hit had
messed up his anti-gravitational systems.
“Good to see you’re still making jokes…” Tengu greeted his leader.
“But I believe it’s time we talked serious!” and with that, a Tengu
Blade was sent flying right into the giant’s dome-shaped head… but
it went right through it, only causing it to show signs of holographic
“So it was a hologram!” Jupiter shouted with excitement, while positioning
himself in font of the giant hologram to try and dispel it with his
electric-based weapon. And at first, it was working… the fake guy’s
middle section was barely recognizable among all the distortion.
But for some reason, the guy kept on laughing…
“Get back here!” Astro rushed towards the lake, ignoring the pain
he felt. “It’s a tra…!”
But it was too late… the “hologram” had slapped his hands in front
of him, surprisingly crushing Jupiter in the process. The Stardroid
fell to the ground, by the water’s edge, like a squashed fly. Next
to him was Koala, who noticed the devastated body of his “comrade”
and started screaming like a little girl. Obviously, he was still
in shock from whatever illusion Mysteryman had made him believe.
“You bastard!” Astroman shouted, while summoning an Astro Crush.
TenguMan, also enraged, tried to cut Mystery’s hands off with his
blade, but his weapon went right through them. Confused, he barely
had time to move out of the meteorites’ way.
The water splashed, and a dense layer of steam covered the lake when
the heated meteorites touched the surface. But when everything settled,
giant Mysteryman was still there. This time with his arms crossed,
“There is no way you can defeat me now! You don’t even understand
what’s going on, poor little Tyrants!” the master of illusion mocked
them. His vengeance was finally coming to fruition.
“Naop… this is different.” Tengu got close to his leader, while AstroChan
joined them. They were levitating above their enemy, hoping to regroup
in order to formulate a strategy. “Mysteryman never showed this kind
of power. And now Jupiter suffered the consequences from our recklessness.
We have to start taking him seriously.”
“You don’t have to tell me that. I just came from a shower of pine
trees…” Astro reminded him. “I don’t know how he does it, but he
“You mean like your telekinesis?” TenguMan inquired.
“How the hell should I know?” Astro was getting frustrated. This
was way different from Mystery’s modus operandi.
“Are you done with the chitchatting?” the giant Mystery, still with
arms crossed, taunted them from below. “You better watch your backs,
And with that, what seemed to be a gigantic hand smashed the trio
of robots from behind. Again, as if they were flies, their bodies
hit the water sooner than they were able to understand what was going