The SA vs the Cossack Faction
Cossack's Citadel, Northern Russia
"My, he's a tenacious one..." Buster Rod smiled to himself.
Sword took a few more swings at him, they were strong hits, but
nothing too hard to push away. The Impacter went for a thrust,
but Buster Rod jumped and landed on top of his opponent's blade.
"Gutsy move, son." the monkey quipped. He quickly jumped
forward over Swordman's head and somersaulted in the air with his
staff out, hitting Swordman in the back. His floating upper section
wobbled forward before it righted itself back up.
"Little bugger's quicker than I thought..." Sword thought.
The two of them turned around to face each other once again. "You
gonna fight me like a man or what?" He tried to goad Buster
"The ends justify the means, sir knight." Buster Rod
replied. They both charged towards each other and their weapons
clashed. The two were shoving at each other, trying to push the
other down, but their respective strengths were so close that neither
seemed to be gaining anything against the other. Swordman let up
on his push so Buster Rod would fall forward. The simian caught
himself on his hands, but not before Swordman took a quick swing
to lop his right leg off halfway up the thigh.
"AAGH! DAMMIT!" Buster Rod screamed in agony at his dismemberment.
He shakily stood up on his attached foot, propping the other side
with his staff.
"So, you ready to accept your defeat?" Swordman inquired
of the Officer.
"Heh, heheh...heheheheheh...haaahahahaaaa!!! Ooooooohh, far
from it..." His eyes gleamed red as he maniacally laughed.
Sitting down, he took the staff in hand, and started to thrust
it up his bad leg. He created a horrifying sound out of his mouth
during the process, a mixture of painful screaming and demented
laughter. When he was finished, Buster Rod stood up on his makeshift
leg, and looked into Swordman's eyes.
"I've still got more if you want it." He told the blade-armed
"You freaking psychopath!"
"Did you expect any less?"
Once again they took another rush at each other. Swordman took
a running swing, and luckily it hit Buster Rod's new leg, tripping
him over on his back.
"You die here." Sword held up his sword in a downward
position, ready to thrust it into his opponent. But...
"NNGAAAAH!" Suddenly a blinding flash caught Swordman
off guard. As he attempted to blindly stab his opponent, Buster
Rod had got off the ground and was fumbling around him. Swordman's
eyes were recovering enough to see that there was nothing on the
ground. Where did he go?
"Hey Errol Flynn! Over here." Swordman turned his head
towards the voice beside him to meet another flash, this time right
in his face. As Swordman was reeling back, Buster Rod doubled his
fists together and smashed into the top of Sword's pelvis, harming
his anti-gravity device. He smashed the device a few more times
until it eventually broke, making Sword's heavy upper section fall
to the ground with a great thud.
"Yeah, don't you know it?" Buster Rod stabbed through
Swordman's chest with his bo staff leg, incapacitating the brave
fighter. He pulled the staff out of his downed opponent and started
running back towards his team mates.
Artilleryman flew off
and the raging Chargeman chased after him. Grenademan and Dustman
were now left along against the injured CrystalGirl.
"You know, I like these odds a lot better," Grenademan
said with a grin.
"Bastards," CrystalGirl muttered. "I'll tear you
The remaining fragments of crystals flew out at Grenademan and
Dustman as the two frantically dove out of the way. They both managed
to succeed in evading the razor sharp edges, but the gemstones
changed direction after they passed the two robots and returned
to CrystalGirl at full speed. This time the pair were not as lucky,
both found themselves receiving deep gashes throughout their body.
"You know what?" Maha asked angrily. "I am so sick
of getting cut to pieces by these pieces of jewelry! This bitch
Grenademan rapidly threw explosive after explosive at CrystalGirl.
The SA officer was immediately put on the defensive as all her
remaining crystals were being used to block the explosions. Dustman
joined in and fired his Dust Crushers as quickly as he could, but
his slow vacuum could not keep up with Grenademan’s rage. The gemstones
were slowly being broken apart into smaller pieces as the grenades
made impact and some of the smallest fragments were sent flying
towards Grenademan and Dustman. These tiny, but sharp crystals
were becoming harder and harder to dodge and easily managed to
cut through the armor of Cossack's forces. However with all the
bursts of flames and smoke from the grenades, CrystalGirl was having
The gap between the fighters began to close and CrystalGirl smiled
realizing in close combat she would have the advantage. One crystal
was soon sent flying into Dustman’s right knee, where it remained
and twisted around in order to completely destroy his mobility.
The vacuum based robot quickly toppled over as he tried to yank
the precious stone out of his leg. Grenademan however moved in
even closer as he launched one explosive after the other. There
was eventually less than a foot difference between the two fighters.
CrystalGirl grinned and closed the gap even more, moving in personally
for a final blow. Several of her gems quickly gathered around her
hand, allowing one well placed punch to tear through Grenademan’s
chest. Grenademan grimaced and attempted to free himself, but CrystalGirl
twisted her wrist causing her diamond sharp fist to dig deeper
in the armor.
"Idiot," CrystalGirl mocked. "Did you have a death
"No, I didn't really want to die," Maha answered. "But
I'm not afraid of dying for a worthy cause."
Just then Grenademan grinned and looked at his hands. CrystalGirl
glanced down as well and immediately attempted to pull back. A
huge burst of fire erupted from between the two opponents. Maha
had used all his remaining ammo in a suicidal attack against CrystalGirl.
When the flames died down, CrystalGirl and Grenademan fell. CrystalGirl’s
armor had been destroyed by the explosion; the extreme heat twisted
the metal and stained what remained black. Grenademan faired even
worse against his own weaponry. With all the gashes and holes in
his armor, the fires had no trouble entering and tearing him apart.
Both combatants were now out of the battle.
Dustman with one last tug removed the crystal from his leg. Without
CrystalGirl to control it anymore, the gemstone proved much easier
to remove. The Robot Master limped over to his ally and sat down.
"Good job, Grenademan," Sean said despite knowing that
his friend could no longer hear him. "Personally I thought
you had just gone berserk, would of never guessed there was a method
to your madness. Now all that’s left is to take care of Chargeman
and get us back to the Citadel."
The Robot Master laughed to himself for a second.
"Yeah, like either of those two is going to be easy. I mean,
you are at best unconscious and I can only limp at the moment.
Besides, Chargeman’s armor we both know is too strong and we can't
attempt blowing him up like you did with CrystalGirl either," Dustman
thought out loud. "With a furnace hot enough to make ash that
burns through armor there would bound to be some nasty side effects
if we find an explosive powerful enough to tear through Chargeman.
Artilleryman and I aren't even in that good of a shape at the moment
either. We really need some sort of edge..."
An idea suddenly came to Dustman. The Robot Master quickly looked
down at his now useless right leg and all the crystals and bits
of armor scattered across the ground. He quickly activated his
radio and contacted Artilleryman.
"Hey, Artillery? I have a plan." Dustman said.
Artilleryman's voice was barely audible over the intercom thanks
to Chargeman’s roaring. "Hey, I could use some help the Super
"Ya already got Blizzard over there, Artie." Diveman countered.
"What more could ya want?"
"Blizzard? You mean that huge Russian guy?" Artillery asked. "I
haven't seen him since this party started. Don't know what's in that
flask of yours, buddy."
"Sonuva..." Diveman checked his com link. "AA Blizzard.
Yo, Snowcone! Ya hear me, Frosty?! Answer me, dammit!"
"Hmph. Saw that one comin’"
Diveman put his hand up to the communications receiver again.
"CC Toad Gal. Toad? Zap?"
Blizzardman carried Toadgal in his right arm and their possessions
in his left. Zapper's com link beeped. Without thinking, Zapper picked
"Yeah?" She asked before realizing she wasn't supposed
Blizzardman looked down at her. She knew he wouldn't let her go back
and fight. Not in the condition she was in now. All he wanted was
to keep any harm from coming to her, even if it meant abandoning
"Sorry, Dive," she said. "I'm kinda busy right now..."
Toadgal cut the communication. "Reg... what if they die?" She
asked, a tear forming in the corner of her eye.
"They wanted to stay, Zapper... it's their decision..." Blizzard
said, gazing into her eyes. "Please don't ask me to take you
back. If you die... I might as well be dead, too..."
"Okay..." Zapper relented. "I hope they all make it
"I hope so too, love, I hope so, too..."
A plasma shot stopped Blizzard in mid-step. "Ahh... young love..." A snide voice sighed. "How
is it that an oaf such as yourself has the love of such a woman,
whereas my beloved refuses to return the affection I lavish upon
The source of the shot walked into plain view. "Gemini..."
"Fleeing? What a cowardly way to protect your lady!" Gemini
drew his heated sword and pointed it at the Russian. He noticed the
wounds Zapper had accumulated from the fight with Spade. "And
you've failed to protect her as well. Perhaps she'd be in better
hands were she to join the glorious General..." The White Knight's
sinister grin replaced his indignant stare as a manic chuckle passed
Blizzardman looked around as the knight began to close distance.
He saw a fairly large rock to his right.
"Hold on, Zapper." He said.
Blizzardman leapt to the boulder and kicked it towards Gemini with
startling accuracy. The White Knight saw the attack and put up his
shield, however, allowing the rock to smash against the sturdy shield. "Such
brutish tactics, you're hardly worth-"
Gemini was cut short as he caught a face-full of snow. He wiped the
cold precipitation from his face and looked around. Blizzardman had
whipped up a snowstorm while he blocked the rock. He glanced back
and forth. Finally, he caught a glimpse of his prey as it ran through
"So, your crude display was merely to catch me off my guard
for a more refined tactic! Well done, but I'm afraid it won't help." Gemini's
crazed laughter echoed through the woods as he began closing distance
Blizzardman ran as fast as he could. Just as the knight was within
eyesight, Blizzardman saw that the forest led to a ledge. He stopped.
The ledge was about a six foot drop onto a steep incline. Gemini
caught up with him.
"Any last words, you dishonorable coward?" The White Knight
Blizzardman looked back. "Yes," He said. "This is
some nice powder."
With that, the Russian jumped off the ledge and his retractable skis
shot out from his boots. Geminiman rushed to the edge and watched
the ex-ski instructor Robot Master pick up speed while dodging trees
and rocks with ease.
"Come back and face death with honor!" Gemini shouted,
firing off plasma rounds as Blizzardman quickly faded out of sight.
He growled and reach for his com link, but then hesitated. "Do
I really want to call for backup and tell them I allowed two Cossackers
to escape?" Gemini thought to himself. "Grrr, he's not
worth the trouble..." He turned and then stroked his face. "How
does a giant walking snowball have such a lovely lady to call his
own when a far more attractive soul such as myself retires to a lonely
Enker simply beckoned back at Slashman. "It's not worth my time
to walk over there." He said in an almost bored tone.
The clawed robot was taken back by the insult, but he didn't show
it. He only smiled. "Well, then. If you won't make the first
strike, I'll cut you down to size myself!"
"No! Slash, he wants you to-" Centaur tried to warn him,
but Slashman was already on the attack.
The wolverine leapt at the Mercenary, lashing out with a devastating
combo attack. Just as he lashed out, however, Enker pole-vaulted
into the air using his spear, slamming his foot down on Slashman's
back. Slashman cried out in pain while the Mercenary laughed.
"You see? Why should I have to walk over there to kill you?" He
"Oh, no. Slash!" Centaur aimed her buster.
"Heheheheh, are you sure about that, sweetheart?" Enker
readied his mirror buster.
"Why that little-" Enker saw the plasma coming from behind
and performed a back flip over the incoming projectile.
Once Slashman was no longer pinned, he leapt up and dashed in close
"That spear is worthless in close-range." He said with
Enker didn't even bother to answer him as he retracted the spear,
it was much smaller now, and capable of being used in close combat.
Enker parried a slash attack and sank his fist into Slashman's gut.
"Ever get tired of being wrong?" Enker said calmly.
The Mercenary attempted to stab him, but Slashman was nimble and
jumped up just in time to avoid the spear thrust. Enker lobbed the
spear at the airborne foe. The spear passed through the target, but
no scream was heard and Enker didn't see any damage. His radar beeped,
cueing him in their presence. Zapper and Slash were off to his far
right. He had struck an after-image.
"That's a wonderful trick, Slash." He said with a light
"That wasn't me." Slashman said, looking up at Zapper.
She had used her accelerator to nab Slashman out of the air before
the spear struck him.
"You're welcome." Zapper smiled. "Let's kick this
Slashman smiled back. "Agreed. Let's show him how it's done!"
The two Robot Masters dashed towards the Rockman Killer. Enker drew
his spear. He timed their approach and leapt between the two. Now
he extended his spear, tripping Zapper up and making Slashman leap
over the pole. Enker lunged at Zapper's mid-section, but Slashman
caught the spear by interlocking his claws to make scissors, causing
enough friction to stop the blade. Zapper got up and attempted to
run Enker over, but the Mercenary rolled to the side and attempted
to run her through again with his spear. This time, Zapper caught
the pole as it passed by her side, grabbing the length of the pole
with her arm and cradling it like it was a lance. She followed the
forward motion of Enker's attack by slamming her free elbow into
his face. Enker landed on the ground, rolling on the floor and holding
"GAAH! I'll show you!" He shouted.
Enker pulled out a plasma spear. The tip glowed with superheated
Zapper materialized a naginata. She nodded to Slashman, who nodded
in return. The two ran at the infuriated spear-wielder. He ran the
plasma tip in a short arc in front of him, kicking up small splash
of liquid metal. The two Robot Masters were momentarily distracted,
and that was all Enker needed. He shot through the two attackers,
slamming the butt of his spear into Slashman's chin, sending him
sprawling into the wall. He attempted to eviscerate the mythological
Robot Master, but she was able to see it in time and escaped with
a mild gash on her side. She swung her naginata at Enker, who nimbly
evaded the attack, jumping to the ceiling and launching himself from
the surface, attempting to sink the red-hot point into her chest.
Slashman slammed into him, however, stopping the attack. Slashman
attempted to swipe his face off his skull, but Enker defended with
his spear. After stopping the attack, Enker kicked Slashman in the
gut, forcing the wolverine off of him and allowing him to handspring
to a standing position. The two Robot Masters rush him, wildly swinging
their blades as Enker blocked and evaded the vicious steel onslaught.
Enker stuck his spear into the ground and used it as a pole to hold
on to as he kicked off of Slashman's face and struck Zapper in the
stomach with a devastating kick. He held on to the pole and flipped
back to Slashman, landing an axe-kick to his head, slamming the wolverine
to the ground. He picked up the downed Robot Master and swung him
across the room. The agile Slashman stuck the landing after being
thrown as Enker pulled his plasma spear out of the ground to counter
the naginata swipe from CentaurGirl’s. The two fighters swung viciously
at each other with their mid-ranged weapons. Zapper performed a brutal
overhead strike which Enker promptly dodged by jumping up as she
swung, landing on the back of her head and front-flipping off her
head into a perfect landing several yards away from her. Slashman
had just gotten back to the fight.
"Certainly you must realize by now that the Scissor Army is
invincible!" Enker laughed. "Why don't you just join them?"
"Because we're above scum like that!" Slashman shouted,
dashing at Enker.
Enker simply laughed and mounted his spear against the oncoming foe.
Suddenly, Zapper appeared at his side, naginata drawn, ready to slash
him in half.
"Damn her accelerator!" He said, breaking off the attack.
Both Robot Masters swung at once, but Enker dropped to the floor
on his back as the attacks barely missed his head. Now he leapt up
into the air.
"Now you will both-" Enker was cut off in mid-sentence
as Zapper reared up, goring him with the horn on her helmet.
"ACK!" He gurgled. "You-you... little... DIE!"
Enker thrust his spear into Zapper's chest. Zapper screamed in pain
as the searing heat melted through her armor and ravaged her circuitry.
She took her helmet off, leaving it imbedded into te ceiling where
she had nailed Enker. Enker frantically tried to remove the horn
as Slashman shot a goo bomb onto the ceiling, allowing him to stick
to the ceiling right where Enker was nailed. He jumped into his own
goo bomb, the sticky substance adhering him to the ceiling. He glared
at the trapped Mercenary, who shot a glance back at him.
"You can't stop us. We'll just come back every time." Enker
"Sure, your buddies might," said Slashman, "but I
have news for you, Enks. You won't."
Within seconds, Enker clattered to the ground in eight different
pieces. Slashman pulled Zapper's helmet out of the ceiling and kicked
himself out of his goo bomb. He walked over to Zapper, who had pulled
the plasma spearhead out of her chest. She clutched her wound.
"Are you ok?" Slashman asked, worried.
Zapper gave him the thumbs-up. "Yeah." She smiled. "He
missed my power-core just barely..."
"Close call." Slash said. "Here's you helmet." He
said, handing her the headpiece.
Zapper brushing her long, beautiful white hair back and placed the
helmet back on her head.
Once Dustman explained his plan to Artilleryman, the mercenary smiled
and turned around to fly back to the battlefield. Chargeman continued
running straight ahead for a few seconds before quickly changing
“Not a bad plan,” Artilleryman said he began to charge his particle
cannon. “Try to avoid getting flattened.”
“Don’t worry. Just lead Chargeman and fire if necessary. I’ll handle
the rest,” Dustman replied.
Sean saw the massive Chargeman run towards him before he could make
out Artilleryman flying in front of the locomotive. Dustman sighed
and began aiming his vacuum straight ahead. Perhaps if Chargeman
was not so full of rage or if General Cutman had given the battering
ram more intelligence the giant would of found something wrong. The
field was empty except for Dustman and the inactive bodies of Grenademan
Chargeman increased his speed when he noticed the unmoving Dustman
in his path. “Just a little more,” Dustman muttered as the distance
between him and Chargeman lessened. The superheated soot was beginning
to get closer and closer to burning his armor.
As soon as the black ash landed within a foot away from his feet,
Dustman checked his aim and closed his eyes. Sean then fired the
most destructive Dust Crusher he had ever made. All the fragmented
crystals had been used along with most of the metal shards rather
than the normal, harmless dust. A storm of sharp, jagged pieces of
metal and gems tore into Chargeman’s legs; one of Dustman’s attacks
had finally succeeded in piercing the tough armor of the crazed train.
Chargeman staggered backwards and Artilleryman quickly opened fire
on his opponent’s wounds. The charged particle beam tore into Chargeman’s
already weakened knees. The giant toppled to the earth causing the
surrounding area to shake. Upon hitting the ground, the locomotive
flailed as he desperately struggled to rise and found that he could
not. Chargeman roared in rage as he squirmed on the ground
“Nice job. I don’t think the hell train is too happy about it though,”
Artilleryman said. “The Scissor Army has been so kind to share their
weaponry with us today.”
Artilleryman waited for a reaction and when none came he began to
look for Dustman. He found Sean not too far away lying on the ground.
While the attack was extremely effective, it was not without side
effects. Dustman was weak to cutting weapons like Ringman’s attacks
and the area most sensitive was his vacuum. Sean practically tore
himself apart from the inside out to make that attack and the nuclear
ash that had fallen afterwards did not help matters. His vacuum had
been shredded to pieces and damaged beyond repair or recognition.
Both of Dustman’s shoulders were now practically destroyed and his
previously damaged right arm was gone. His left eye was destroyed
along with part of the surrounding area and his right eye was half
close. The previous damage to the rest of his body had been worsened
by the heat of the ash.
“Come on, wake up,” Artilleryman said as he shook Dustman’s body.
“I need you to get up; I can’t drag both you and Grenademan back
to the Citadel.”
Sean’s right eye opened the rest of the way and he struggled to his
feet once Artilleryman let go. He opened his mouth to speak but no
words came out. Instead Dustman coughed violently and almost fell
back to the ground.
“Are you okay?” Artilleryman asked.
Dustman shook his head.
Artilleryman paused for a second and then asked, “Can you at least
Dustman hesitated and then took a step forward, dragging his right
leg behind his left. He then nodded.
“Good, we better hurry back to the Citadel before Chargeman manages
to wiggle over to us or calls for help,” Artilleryman said gesturing
to the squirming Chargeman.
Dustman started to move, but then stopped and pointed at Grenademan.
Artilleryman sighed, “Don’t worry, I’ll carry him. You just worry
Skull took a few shots from atop the wall at a semi-distracted Spade,
trying to get his attention off of the more wounded members of Cossack’s
faction he was staring at. Spade stumbled behind his stolen vehicle,
narrowly avoiding Skull’s shots. The plan worked as Spade teleported
from behind the van to its front, lobbing an energy ball at Skull
and laughing childishly. Skull activated his barrier, deflecting
Spade laughed and threw down a smoke bomb, disappearing. Skull crouched
behind a low wall, waiting for Spade’s next move. The crazed jester
appeared suddenly, standing on top of the wall Skull was taking cover
behind. “HERRO!” Spade shouted as Skull jumped away from him firing
more shots from his buster. Spade nimbly dodged each one, closing
distance with Skull with his wrist blades drawn.
“C’mon, don’t you want to duke it out? I’m itching to fight with
my Daniel Boon hat!” He shouted, gesturing towards the Pluto fur
hat on his head.
“It’s just sheer bliss being you, isn’t it?” Skull asked, whipping
his scythe from behind his back.
“Not so much lately…” Spade said, sadly, “Working with Killjoy is
no fun at all…”
“Well, someone has to keep the pure, unadulterated madness in check,
don’t they?” Skull replied, readying for one of Spade’s surprise
“Madness!?” Spade spat. Skull could see where this was going a mile
away, but somehow Spade still caught him off guard with the sheer
lunacy of his upcoming attack. “THIS IS SPARTA!!!” And as predicted,
Spade kicked Skull right in the chest, causing him to tumble backwards.
Spade laughed manically while Skull started to get up, stunned by
the fact that he actually got hit. “Wait…” Spade mused, “This is
RUSSIA. I messed that up… Okay, come back over here, we need to try
that again.” Skull began walking towards him as if to humor him,
but suddenly lunged at the performer. He cocked his scythe back,
ready to swing.
Spade raised his wrist blades up in defense, ready to block and counter
attack. But Skull’s swing went low, imbedding itself in the floor
in front of him. Spade reacted too late this time, as Skull propelled
himself forward from the stationary weapon, returning Spade’s previous
kick with even more force. Spade lunged backwards from the wall,
falling and being imbedded face-first into the exact same spot in
the snow that Blizzard had launched him into earlier.
Skull shook his head and chuckled to himself. He decided that it
was a good thing that Spade played around so much. His thoughts were
interrupted as Drill’s voice blared over his com link. “Skull! Get
back to the basement ASAP! I’ll see you there.”
Skull put a hand to the side of his helmet. “Fair enough. I’m on
my way.” He said. He jumped from the wall and made a mad dash towards
the Citadel, rushing inside. He skidded to a halt in the hallway
to round a corner. He took a few steps to get a run going again but
suddenly a huge flash of metal flicked out in front of him. He ground
to a halt and it flashed again. This time he realized it was a scythe
Suddenly Zymeth realized he was standing on top of a grate. His eyes
widened with the insight and he began to leap when suddenly the same
flash sprang up to his left, and then his right. The four slashes
made a perfect square, which began tumbling into the bowls of the
Citadel. Skull pulled off his jump before the sliced section of the
floor fell, but he felt a pair of hands grab him by the ankles, pulling
him into the dark section of the Citadel.
The hands disappeared and he landed about 15 feed down, on top of
a walkway. He looked around the long, wide corridor, finding it to
be full of pipes that carried water to and from the various rooms
of the Citadel. He looked up at the hole in the ceiling, only to
see it become shrouded by blackness.
“Wraithman…” Skull muttered under his breath, activating the light
that emanated from the gem on his chest. The only sounds at first
were the vague dripping from the various pipes, and the occasional
sound of an explosion from the real battle. But the sound of footsteps
walking on the grated walkway began to echo, and Skull readied his
scythe. He put a hand up to his helmet.
"Drill-" He began, but was cut off by a horrific static
"Hello, Vincent." Wraith said, emerging casually
from the shadows. Skull only glared in return. “I’m so glad I caught
you before something… terrible happened. I’d be quite distraught
if something happened to my dearest younger brother.”
“Don’t talk such nonsense.” Wraith responded, waving offhandedly.
“You’re just rather confused ever since your dark energy transfusion,
when you inherited that man’s memories. You’re still the brother
I’ve grown to care about.”
Skull chuckled in response. “Well I STILL can’t remember a damn moment
we shared as brothers, if that’s the case. So what the hell are you
Wraith looked around the room. “I’ve actually frequented this very
spot many times, without the knowledge of its residents. You’re all
so interesting to listen to.” Wraith looked back at Skull, who was
beginning to become annoyed by Wraith dodging his question. “Hm.
I’m here to save you from your foolishness, Vincent. To take you
to the winning side, whether you see it fit or not. I would have
thought that you of all people would have seen that.”
Skull laughed, “Well you’re going to have to drag me there kicking
and screaming, bro.”
Wraith chuckled, “Well, if that is your request, it can be arranged
quite easily.” Wraith lunged at Skull, his scythe spinning. Skull
met it with his own, locking their blades together. Wraith yanked
back and swung again, forcing Skull on the defensive. Wraith’s speed
and agility made him hard to keep up with, but Skull’s sheer martial
weapon prowess kept him together. Again and again their scythes clashed
in the dark. Skull leapt over Wraith’s head, aiming his buster down
and showering the demon with rapid-fire plasma bullets.
Wraith easily warded them away with his cloak, returning fire with
black and purple fire-like shots as the white-clad brother hit the
ground. Skull deflected them all with his Skull Barrier, but Wraith
suddenly closed distance again, flourishing his scythe. Skullmanaged
to throw an elbow into Wraith’s jaw as he swung, but Wraith didn’t
recoil as dramatically as Skull had hoped.
Wraith let go of his scythe and grabbed his brother’s arm, twisting
it and sending him spinning towards the pipes below. Skull stuck
the landing and Wraith materialized from the ground in front of him,
his scythe soon following. The two spun and lashed out at each other,
cutting a few pipes in the process. Steam poured from one of them
as they locked blades again, the foundations of the Citadel being
shaken with yet another explosion.
“Can you not see you are doomed here?” Wraith asked, coldly. “I am
offering you an easy escape. Even your treachery will be overlooked.”
Skull glared, “I can find my own way out of this.” Skull reached
inside his cloak, extracting a normally unseen dagger that he had
stripped from an SA Joe before. He tried to stab the tall robot in
the leg, but his wrist was caught by Wraith's free hand. Skull kicked
Wraith in the gut, causing him to stumble backwards slightly and
allowing Skull to leap backwards, trying to put some distance in
between him and his brother. But Wraith lunged forward again.
Skull began to swing upwards with his weapon only to feel a sharp
pain in his left leg. He looked down to see that his own knife was
lodged into his calf. Wraith’s charge had masked the fact that he
had thrown Skull's knife at him before, as to keep his eyes on himself
rather than the projectile. Skull cursed under his breath. Despite
having no real facial features outside his yes, he could see Wraith
sneering at him. He tried to swing his scythe up again, but Wraith
danced backwards and responded with his own attack.
Skull stumbled backwards, trying to ignore the pain in his leg. He
sliced at Wraith again, cutting through several pipes in the process
and water began spewing from the incisions. Wraith batted Skull's
weapon aside with his own and delivered a few more slices that Skull
attempted to dodge, leaving him with several gashes on his body.
Skull could feel the fatigue begin to wear into his system from the
wounds. Skull continued to collect wounds, completely outclassed
As their weapons swung more cuts entered the pipes, allowing more
water to exit them. Wraith rammed the butt of his scythe into Skull's
stomach, followed by a deep cut to both his upper legs. Skull swung
again but Wraith spun to the side, slamming the butt end of his scythe
into Skull yet again. This time he felt the weapon enter his gut
and exit his spine. The pole kept going, pinning him to a wall and
puncturing the pipe that was behind him. Skull struggled against
his impalement, a combination of water and dark hydraulics fluid
leaking from his open wound.
"Brother..." Wraith began. "All of this could have
been avoided if-" Wraith was cut off as Skull raised his buster
in another attempt to shoot him. Wraith yanked the knife out of his
leg and stabbed it into his forearm, inciting another holler of pain
from his brother. "Why must you continue to fight against your
Skull just looked up, glaring. "You can go to Hell, Wraith..." His
right eye was twitching, manically.
"Sadly, neither of us can..." Wraith said, surprisingly
compassionately. He let go of his scythe, leaving his wounded brother
hanging there. "Our destinies are forever intertwined, cemented
by the very darkness in which we dwell. You'll thank me for this
someday soon, Vincent..." Wraith said.
"I very well doubt-" Skull began, but was cut off when
more static blared into his ear from his com link. Wraith took that
moment to kick the top end of his scythe, sending the pole deeper
into the wall behind Skull. The blade made contact with him, finally,
cutting deeply into his chest. Skull twitched for a moment before
passing out, finally, along with his light.
"I promise..." Wraith added to his previous statement.
He touched the side of Skull's helmet, using his darkness particles
to channel the sound to his own ears. He allowed the transmission
to reach him.
"Zymeth?" Drill asked, concerned, "Are you there?
Can you hear me!?"
Wraith used a similar method to carry his own voice into the transceiver.
"I'm afraid Vincent cannot answer you, Anime Master."
"Wraith!?" AM shouted back. "What happened? What did
"It's quite rude to shout over the phone like that." Wraith
chastised, "But I must apologize that you'll not have the opportunity
to bid him your final farewells. Rather, you'll regret having that
opportunity once you see him again, I'm sure." With that Wraith
He put his hand to his own helmet. "A thousand apologies, my
General, but my task is complete. I think you'll find my personal
victory quite rewarding." Before Cutman had a chance to answer,
Wraith cut off his com link again. He yanked his scythe out of the
wall, allowing Skull to fall to the ground.
Wraith began chuckling to himself. He had won, yet again. The artificial
blackness of the room crept from the walls, surrounding and condensing
around his form and his brother's. The black mass moved down the
corridor like a great, black snake, creeping out of a small hole
in the ceiling a short trip down. The blackness slithered from the
opening and into the open, moving across the snow away from the battle.
Eventually the shadows collected into a single, swirling mass and
dissipated like smoke in a strong wind, revealing both figures to
Blizzard went quickly to his room. He packed all his worldly possessions
together, including a picture of Zapper and himself. He sighed. He
didn't really want to retreat, but he had to get her out of here.
If anything happened to her, he would never forgive himself.
Toadgal paused as she got her things. She was torn. She wanted to
stay with her love, but the Comrades saved her. They took her in
even when she attacked them. She picked up her teddy bear, her favorite
possession. How many a time had she clutched it while laying on her
Thoughts of Bright Babe filled her head. She considered Bright to
be her best friend, with the war bringing them together. Of all the
people, she would miss her the most. And of course Zymeth, possibly
her oldest friend. Her teammate. She hoped he would be okay.
She gathered all her things and decided to look outside. Her home
was being destroyed. She wanted one more look before she fled. And
she would not be alone.
Blizzard finished packing and went to Zapper's room. Surprisingly
she wasn't there. He picked up his com link and punched in her code.
"CC Toadgal, where are you?!" he called in. Static filled
his ears. Then finally a quivering voice answered.
"Reg...Listen...something came up. I need to go with the Comrades
just for a little while longer. I need to talk to them. I assure
you...I'll be fine. I will meet up with you at Zymeth's old hideout.
I swear to you love...I will see you soon," she radioed in.
Blizzard felt a twisted feeling in his chest area.
"Zapper, what happened?! What is going on?! I won't lose you!" he
"Reg...This needs to be done. I will meet you there. I promise
you. I love you."
Blizzard felt his heart shatter a little bit. "I...love you
too Zap. I will see you there."
Artilleryman, Dustman, and the inactive Grenademan managed to make
it back to the Citadel intact. Every few minutes Artilleryman dropped
Maha's body and flew off to scout for SA officers ahead to ensure
the group's safety. They often had to walk out of their way to avoid
encountering the enemy, but more walking was better than any more
fighting. The group could not survive another battle. Eventually
they found themselves relatively safe behind the Citadel walls once
It didn't take long to find Dr. Cossack and the rest who would be
escaping to the tunnels. They were finishing off a few last minute
preparations in the basement when Dustman entered followed by Artilleryman
who was still dragging Grenademan’s corpse.
"Good Lord!" Dr. Cossack said as he saw the three enter. "What
Dustman futilely tried to explain the situation with hand gestures.
The only results of Sean’s attempt at sign language were some laughs
from Artilleryman and looks of confusion from the rest of the group.
"We ran into Chargeman, CrystalGirl, and Geminiman. The clone
was toasted and fled and CrystalGirl was defeated by Grenademan here
suicide bombing her," Artilleryman explained finally dropping
"Dustman then used the crystals scattering the battlefield and
my weaponry to kneecap Chargeman and leave the hell train squirming
on the ground. Dustman took a lot of damage earlier and his attack
on Chargeman had some rather nasty side effects. One of the things
that got wrecked was Dustman’s voice box, or at least I assume that’s
why he isn't saying anything."
"Good work, but I'm afraid I don't have time to do any repairs
before we leave. We have little time left. The best I can offer you
Dustman when we exit underground is a shoulder to lean on," Dr.
"Drillman, please quickly contact the members of Grenademan’s
team about his current condition."
Drill nodded and activated his communicator. Dr. Cossack turned around
to finish his final preparation to leave when Dustman tapped him
on his shoulder to get his attention. Dustman then drew an 'S' in
the air with his hand followed by a '|.' He then proceeded to point
"You think I should pay him now?" Dr. Cossack asked.
Dustman quickly nodded in response. Dr. Cossack sighed and ran off.
He was back in only a few seconds with an envelope for Artilleryman.
"Thanks," Artilleryman said as he took his payment. "I
hope I'll be able to continue working for you guys after this."
"So do I," Dr. Cossack replied.
“What’s going on back there?” GroundMan asked the people behind him.
He was leading the group through the underground passage, while Drew
was watching their backs.
“It seems old Vladimir isn’t feeling too well…” an old Russian woman
“That guy again?!” Ground exclaimed. The group of five lab coats,
was also quite puzzled at their comrade’s unusual attitude. “What’s
the problem Drew?” he asked Dr. Cossack’s old pal, who was going
back in order to check on Chevchenko.
The guy was crouching on a corner, covering his face with both hands.
What the group didn’t know was that Chevchenko had died several minutes
ago, and this guy was actually an impostor sent by Mysteryman. “Captain,
I don’t have much time.” He tried speaking into his communicator
a low as he could, in order to avoid suspicions. “I have to tell
you about Cossack, he’s escaping through an underground passage!”
just then, Drew was getting too near fro him to continue talking,
so he turned off his com unit.
“What is it this time, Dr. Chevchenko?” Drew questioned.
“Hrm… nothing, nothing.” The impostor faked. “That damned stomach
ache, I thought I was going to throw up, honest!”
Drew sighed, and guided the “Russian scientist” back into the group…
Astroman wasn’t much of a swimmer, but he had managed to reach the
shore. And so did TenguMan, who was also panting next to him, coughing
up some water. “Where’s AstroChan?” the TT leader asked his teammate,
who just pointed at the lake, where her motionless body was floating
face down, thanks to the orb that served as her lower body.
“Dammit!” Astro cursed.
“But that’s not our biggest problem, boss…” Tengu pointed at the
opposite direction, where two giant Mysterymen where standing, one
was double the size of the first one.
The SA officer laughed audibly again, both of them did, as they approached
the duo. On their way, one of their feet almost crushes Jupiter completely,
which made Koala scream further and crawl away from them. “What are
you doing, you coward?! Take him to safety!” Astro tried ordering
freaked out marsupial, but he didn’t care to listen.
“Get ready boss, here it comes!” Tengu took flight, foreseeing Mystery’s
attack, but when Astro tried to do the same, he found out that his
anti-gravitational system had been put out of commission. His attempts
to levitate were in vain, and soon, a kick from one of the giants
impacted him head-on. This sent him flying alright… right back into
“Naop!” TenguMan realized the situation a tad too late, and rushed
to try and help his leader.
“It’s useless Tyrant, accept your defeat!” both MysteryMen threatened
“To you? Never!” with all his strength, Tengu caused a powerful gust
of wind with the help of his blade, but was only manage to slow them
down a bit. It was enough time to pick both AstroMen from the lake
and take them all the way across.
Once on the ground, he tried to slap them awake, but only AstroChan
seemed to respond right away. It seemed that his leader was out for
the count. After coughing up some water, AstroChan regained her senses.
“Nevermind!” Tengu had no time to explain. “I need you to look after
him and wait here!” The girl could do nothing but nod in agreement
as Tengu jetted off to the other side of the lake.
As he approached his enemies, the Mysterymen laughed at his pathetic
attempt of what seemed to be a frontal assault. But instead of attacking,
TenguMan flew right through them, in order to get behind them. He
had taken a risk, he didn’t know if Mystery would “become” holographic,
but fortunately for him, it worked.
When the perplexed Mysterymen turned around, he saw TenguMan picking
up the injured Jupiter and approaching Koala shortly after. The Tech
Tyrant extended his hand in front of Koala. “Come with me, if you
want to live.”
“Are you out of you mind?!” Koala backed away. “Get the hell away
from me, you will get us killed!”
With a slight tint of anger in his face, Tengu decided to leave the
coward marsupial behind and go join the AstroMen.
Both Mysterymen watched idly as the aerial robot passed by, unwilling
to give chase. “I hope you realize how pathetic you performed in
this battle.” The giants spoke. “Fortunately for you, my presence
is required somewhere else. So I will let you go so you can live
to remember the humiliation. And please, give my regards to that
stupid psychic when he wakes up. I’d love to see his infuriated face
when you tell him, but I guess it was not meant to be.”
Tengu tried hard to ignore the maniac, but he couldn’t help to notice
when the giants vanished. Instead, the sole figure of Mysteryman,
was now heading for the Citadel. The Tyrant was also able to see
Koala crawling up to Mystery and pulling at his cloak, begging for
a chance to join him. The SA officer limited himself to strike the
traitor on the back of his neck, leaving him unconscious and lifting
him off the ground. With Koala under his arm, Mysteryman vanished
with a cloud of purple smoke.
“TT: PirateMan!” TenguMan called out. “What’s your situation.”
“Everything’s gone to hell. They’ve invaded the Citadel!” PirateMan
replied through the com link.
“What?! It can’t be... what about Cossack?” It seemed things couldn’t
get any worse.
“You should ask Drillman about that... the plans changed, they’re
getting Cossack out through a secret passage. I’m headed for Ground’s
group, right now it seem’s like our only channce to escape.” PirateMan
tried to sum it up as best as he could.
“Aku, we’re already outside the teleportation perimiter. Tell me
when you get to Lyon and well meet out here. I’d offer you more help,
but my hands are kinda full right now...” he was carrying Astroman,
while AstroChan carried Jupiter.
Mysteryman stood atop the Citadel, contemplating the battlefield,
still with the motionless Koala under his arm. His deliriums of grandeur
never ended, and right now, he was having the most glorious moment
in his entire robotic life. The man that created him, only to reject
him and deem him as a failure, would meet his end that day. And on
top of that, he had finally defeated his sworn enemy. He was at peace,
inspite of the chaos ensuing beneath him inside the Russian Citadel.
He had answered his call, only to find out the single piece of information
that would clear his name, and regain his honor within the ranks
of the Scisor Army. His spy, had confirmed Cossack’s escape plan,
and now, he was seconds away from making the General’s day. It didn’t
matter if he hadn’t brought any of the Tyrant’s heads with him.
Without rushing, taking his time to enjoy the moment, he pressed
the button of his com. unit. “General Cutman, I have some information
Drill looked to his
motley crew. He seemed a little confident for reasons known only
"Team, remember the plan I told you earlier? Are you all ready?"
Drill asked the team. They all turned a shade of red. They had
not wanted to talk about it. They had discussed it in secret when
Sean arrived, badly injured with a shot vocal capacitor.
"I don' know, Fearless Leader. I think it may be a tad risky," Dive
"This is our last stand for the Doctor. I'm willing to give
up my life, Dive. You give me a rough time a lot, and you know…it
prepared me, I think," Jet stammered. Dive smiled.
"Well, that's swell kid. Where's Phantom of the Opera and
little Kermit? Shouln' they be here too?" Dive asked.
Drill looked terrible. "Wraith...got him. I don't know what
he did to him...but he got him. And I think Zapper's –“
The Comrades jumped. It was Zapper herself, and she seemed rather
"I'm sorry I'm late...but I had an..." she started. Drill
cut her off.
"I can guess exactly what happened. All that matters is that
you're here. But still, we lost Skull..." he limited. Zapper
"Well...that's just prime. But Drill, was it wise to split
up?" Jet inquired. "They could need our help."
Pharaoh turned to his companion. "Listen, they have protection.
More then enough. Besides, if this goes like we expect, they are
Bright Babe looked around the tunnel, lit only by the emergency
flood lights. Even in this dim light, she spotted something strange
on the ground.
“Hey…Is this…blood?”, she asked, crouching down for a better look.
The other Comrades leaned down for a closer look, then turned to
the only person down there capable of bleeding.
“Dr Cossack, are you alright?”, Drill pressed.
“It’s…a minor scratch.”, he claimed, revealing a tear on his white
lab coat, with a trickle of blood running down his arm. “It’s a
minor injury from the tunnel collapse.”
Toad Gal bent down, ripping part of the doctor’s long lab coat
at the bottom. Before he could question her, she was tying the
strip of fabric across his arm, stopping the blood flow.
“Can’t have you bleeding to death down here, can we?”, she weakly
“No…I guess not.”, he half heartedly smirked back. “We must make
“Right. Let’s get the hell outta here.”, Dive agreed.
The group forged ahead, with BB looking down at the blood splatter
for a few more seconds before finally jogging to catch up with
It was getting close to crunch time and the hunt for Cossack was
still on. The now-six-man “orange peel” figured everyone was already
either occupied outside, hiding, or tending to whatever wounds they
may have acquired. Probably even a combination of those options.
Punk was just about to comment on the relative lack of resistance
when a powerful voice echoed through the room.
It was Knightman. The medieval-styled Robot Master set his gaze upon
the Scissor Army forces that were gathered before him.
"Heh... Good to know not everyone around here resorts to sneak
attacks," Mega Water quipped.
Knightman ignored the remark and fixed an unearthly glare on Punk.
He hadn't forgotten what had happened at Murmansk and even if Blizzardman
had been restored, the actions were still unforgivable. If not for
the presence of the others, he would finish off the red Mercenary
Punk tensed at the unspoken challenge, remembering the unbridled
brutality of the knight. Even Mega Water, who was absent from the
carnage, was slightly intimidated. Ballade, on the other hand, turned
to the General.
"With your permission..."
"No. Your talents will be better used elsewhere. Mega Water,
you take care of him," the General replied. Ballade bowed her
head in acknowledgement.
"M-me?" Mega Water stammered.
There was no answer. The group had already begun to leave without
"Heh, give 'im hell," Punk said over his shoulder.
Soon it was just the two of them, staring each other down. It didn't
take long for Knightman to begin the attack, charging into his kappa-like
"Holy...!" Mega Water yelped as he leapt out of the way
of the charge, then followed up with a powerful stream of water,
which splashed uselessly against the knight's shield. "Why me...?" he
Sedulus observed the rambling Frostman as he muttered to a Wraithman
who had long since left the battle. Frost was apparently wandering
about the confines of the Citadel, seemingly unaware of anything.
Sedulus turned to his commanding officer, General Cutman.
"General Cutman. Cossack faction member Frostman wishes to join
our side." Sedulus remarked with his constant soft smile.
"You know the rules." Was all the General replied with.
"Scissor Army Officer Mesmerman, this is Scissor Army Officer
Sedulus. I wish to inform you that there is a former Cossack Robot
Master waiting to be picked up near the entrance to the underground
network." Sedulus reported.
"Oh, a new toy for me." Mesmer remarked. "It would
appear as though my new toys seem to be some sort of ice-cube or
another as of late. Perhaps your creator will be my next new toy,
Sedulus." Mesmer giggled slightly.
The General was pleased. He wished everyone else would report to
him so diligently. The group reached a hallway with a thickly reinforced
"By my architectural calculations and judging from the power
output from this room, I am led to believe that this is the control
room." Sedulus remarked.
"Well, let's knock and let ourselves in." Punk said. "Old
man Cossack must be in there."
"No." Cutman said sternly. Punk immediately put his fist
"I know Sergei is smarter than that. You'd only fall into a
"If I may interject, General..." Sedulus interrupted. "Perhaps
a suitable idea for this situation would be to turn the trap around
on them. I am an expert on every single programming language known
in the field, and I assisted my creator, Blizzardman, in keeping
the lengthy computer code involved in running the Floating Fortress.
If I have approximately one minute and 37 seconds, I will no doubt
be able to hack into the main defense systems of the Citadel and
turn their own weaponry against them."
"Make it so." The General commanded.
"Oh, we could have sent PUNK to deal with the armored tank,
but nooo! Let's pick on the waterboy." Mega Water groaned as
he rolled out of the way of a mace shot.
Knightman’s relentless assault continued as Mega Water desperately
tried to dodge as many of the shots as he could. He was used to being
deployed in places where there was already water. He had heard that
Wave burst a waterline in the Citadel, but apparently they had already
shut off the source to avoid flooding. Water dodged a mace shot that
crashed right through a wall, creating a massive hole. Knightman
retracted the mace and swung it at the Mercenary again. This time,
he swung it in a massive arc around himself. Mega dodged the mace
shot the first time around, but he didn't expect Knight to keep the
momentum going for another pass. The mace slammed right into his
right hip. He heard a sickening tear as the joints were crushed and
torn out of place, crippling him.
Mega Water fell to the floor, writhing in pain as Knightman laughed
and retracted the massive steel ball. "Now I'll crush you once
and for all." He said, stomping slowly towards the fallen Merc.
He wanted to take his time. If he couldn't kill Punk, he'd make sure
his teammates knew pain.
"Oh, man. I'm done for..." Mega Water thought. Then he
noticed the water he had shot earlier as Knightman walked through
it, leaving the puddle behind him.
"Here goes nothing!" Mega Water shouted as he directed
the water in a concentrated column, slamming Knightman square in
the back with a pressurized blast, knocking him off his feet and
slamming him into the floor face down.
Mega Water couldn't believe it. "Holy crap! I did it!" He
His jaw nearly unbolted and fell to the floor when he heard Knightman
growl and begin to pick himself up.
"No, no, no..." Mega mumbled to himself.
Knightman was pushing himself up from the floor. He looked up at
Mega Water. His normally white eyes were now glowing blood red. "I'LL
He roared, picking himself up. He began to stomp over to Mega, taking
slightly less time between steps this time.
Mega fumbled with his com link. "Anyone care to help me?" He
looked at Knightman as the stone floor cracked under each furious
step as he stomped over to him. "...Please?"
"Scissor Army Officer Spade, this is Scissor Army Officer Sedulus.
I require your assistance posthaste."
"Awww..." Spade was just about to go hassle a fleeing Pirateman
when he received the request. "Just give me five more minutes,
"Scissor Army General Cutman demands your assistance at the
control room at once. I will send you the coordinates now." Sedulus
"Awww! He's a killjoy!" Spade kicked the side of the vehicle
he had hijacked. Then he got an idea.
"Damn, you're heavy." Pirateman groaned as he hauled Neptune
across the battlefield.
Pirate heard insane laughter in the distance accompanied by the roar
of an engine. He looked towards the source of the sound, his eyes
"OH NO!!" He shouted.
"WOOHOO!" Spade whooped, still wearing the Daniel Boon
coon skin cap.
"Remember some place in Texas that I forgot!"
Pirateman dodged out of the way as the vehicle slammed into a wall
of rubble. Pirate looked back to the stolen buggy, realizing that
the driver was gone.
"And that's why you should buckle up, kiddos." A voice
behind Pirate said, giggling to himself.
Pirateman heard a distinct, "YOINK!" as he turned around,
finding nothing but purple smoke. He felt his head.
"Wave's crown!" He shouted. "He stole it! Wait a second."
Pirate thought for a moment. "Why should I be upset? I could
have died..." He looked at the vehicle, then at Neptune's heavy
body he'd been lugging around. "What an obnoxious little gift..." Pirate
Sedulus was diligently working on the blast door control panel to
the main control room as Spade slowly crept up to him.
"SURPRISE!" Spade yelled out, shooting streamers into the
air and tossing confetti everywhere.
Sedulus remained unaffected by the sudden display.
"YOU ARE NO FUN!!!" Spade shouted, irritated that Sedulus
didn't even jump. He had been trying to startle him ever since he
got teamed up with him, but the killjoy never even flinched. "Look
what I got!" Spade took off his Boon hat and dramatically nested
Waveman’s crown on his head.
"Crazy clown's crown! Try and say THAT five times fast!"
"If you are quite done with your childish horseplay, I must
insist that you exercise your capacity to bring your vocal functions
to a low whisper, as the occupants within this room may overhear
your intense shouting, thus defeating the purpose of our mission." Sedulus
scolded, although still cheerful in his delivery.
"Alright, you killjoy..." Spade switched the crown back
to his Pluto-skin hat.
"I wish we would see some action!" Ivan slammed his right
fist into his open left palm. Ever since the Special Forces unit
had been reprogrammed by Regulus, he'd been itching to fight for
Just then, the door opened, and Drill stood there. "Ivan!" He
"We need you."
Ivan stomped over to Drillman. "What is it, Comrade Drill?" He
"Oh, the Comrades decided to stay in the control room and keep
the Citadel from falling, you go knock some heads together." Drill
said as he stepped inside the control room.
"But what about the doctor?" Ivan asked. "He must
be protected! He's the spirit of our cause!"
"Oh, I'll make sure to make a jack-in-the-box out of him or
something. AAAAAHAHAHA!!!!!!!" Drillman started to laugh maniacally.
Before Ivan could react, Drill slammed the button on the other side
and the door slammed shut, locking Ivan out. Ivan tried mashing the
key code, but the locks had been changed. "Dammit!" He
began pounding on the doors with his massive fists.
Dark Moon was starting to think something was up. "You're not
Drillman." He said.
"CORRRECT!" Drillman faded away, revealing a grinning Spade.
"Would you care to try 'Pointing out the Obvious' for 800?"
Dark Moon didn't bother responding and instead formed himself into
dozens of cubes which he proceeded to launch at Spade. Spade nimbly
dodged the bodily projectiles, jumping around and shouting, "WOOHOO!
WOOHOO!" in his best Daffy Duck imitation. Dark Moon reformed
and stretched an arm at Spade, who leapt to the side and lopped the
limb off as it rushed past him.
"Looks like you could use a hand." Spade giggled as a rim
shot emanated from an unseen drummer.
Spade was about to lung at Dark Moon when the limb he had severed
turned into a block which slammed him in the back of the head. "Oooouch." Spade
said. "Why would you do that?" Spade had produced a blue
crayon from nowhere and doodled a teardrop on his mask.
"To make you cry." Dark Moon said.
"And why would you do that?" Spade started sniffing.
"To make me laugh." Dark Moon finished.
Spade started heaving like he was about to cry, then he instantly
cheered up, passing his hand over his face and wiping the crayon
off while plastering a grin on the mask. "HEY! That reminds
me of this neato invention I just made! I call it, 'Emo Grass.'" He
got uncomfortably close to Dark Moon, shoving a clump of sod into
his face. "It cuts itself!" Spade laughed with the "audience."
Sedulus watched the battle, unknown to the Yellow Devil variant.
He was using a probe to mask his presence in the control room. Meanwhile,
Ivan was losing his patience.
"Grrr... TAKE THIS!" Ivan began to blast the heavily
reinforced steel doors, weakening their structure even more than
Spade looked at the door, it was beginning to soften under the intense
plasma shots. "Err... Seddy-boy, the big guy wants in REAL bad."
Dark Moon looked around. "Who are you talking to?" He said.
"Oops..." Spade cupped his hand over his mouth. "Sorry
about that, Sedulus."
"Sedulus?" Dark Moon asked. He figured it was just another
ploy of Spade's as he lunged at Spade again.
Ivan finally managed to burst through the doors, showering the fight
with plasma bolts as he ran through. Spade passed a hand over his
face revealing a visage of shock and amazement.
"Mother..." He said weakly.
Before Spade could make a move Ivan had already plowed into him with
a shoulder rush, slamming Spade all the way across the room and denting
him into a wall. Ivan aimed his buster at Spade, only to have a laser
hit his wrist. Against his massive armor, it only stung a little,
but it was enough to direct his attention. Spade and Dark Moon continued
to fight as Ivan stared down the new foe.
Ivan fired a plasma shot at Sedulus, but he disappeared, appearing
on the other side of him, punishing the newcomer Cossacker with a
laser to the back.
"I'm over here." He corrected. "Defend yourself."
Ivan shot another blast, only to have Sedulus warp above him, hitting
him with another blast. Ivan began to growl in frustration. If only
he could hit him.
"Your combat style is flawed." Sedulus observed. "You
cannot keep up with me. Now would be a good time to surrender, as
the General has charged us with the ability to take prisoners, unless,
of course, you feel that you may be able to deactivate me."
Ivan started fired a plasma shot, then another shot behind him quickly,
turning around to see if Sedulus had teleported behind him.
"I would not use the same tactical maneuver twice, I'm afraid."
Sedulus said calmly. "Are you ready?"
Ivan began to fire rapid shots of plasma from his buster. Sedulus
would teleport from each one as the shot neared him, hitting Ivan
with a laser as punishment. Sedulus's lasers didn't do much damage,
but he was consistent in his aim. Each shot hit a previous mark,
and soon the Special Forces unit was beginning to take minimal damage.
Nothing to be concerned over, but now he'd have to spend some time
getting it repaired later.
"Stop teleporting!" Ivan shouted.
"I'm afraid that would jeopardize my combat ability, as you
would no longer be at a disadvantage in this battle. I only have
a 4% chance of beating you in traditional combat, as my design was
not built for full-scale combat." Sedulus remarked.
Ivan clenched his fist. This was getting old.
"However, as it stands now, this battle is over." Sedulus
disappeared, revealing one of his probes.
The defense weaponry of the control room pointed at Ivan and Dark
Moon. Spade even stopped flitting around the room like a loon and
looked at the turrets.
"WAY TO GO, SEDULUS! We win!" Applause showered the killjoy
from thin air.
The real Sedulus now materialized before them at the control panel,
he had his hands on the keypad. "Your defense systems are easy
to reroute. I was able to reconfigure them ahead of schedule." He
checked his internal clock: fourteen minutes and 57 seconds remaining
until the Napalm Nuke would be launched.
"General Cutman, this is SA Officer Sedulus. I have hacked into
the main defenses." Sedulus reported over his com link.
"Good." The General said. "Now find Cossack. Don't
bother with anyone else. Bring in your remaining probes if you have
"But General," Sedulus cautioned. "If I indeed pull
in the remaining 24 probes, then the security around the Citadel
"Cossack is in here. I know it." Cutman interrupted. "None
of these scrap heaps matter. If they can escape, let them. I want
Cossack. Find him."
"I will do as you have commanded, General Cutman." Sedulus
cut the communication.
"You think these turrets can stop us?" Ivan shouted.
"No. I admit that the presence of the turrets only increase
our odds of success to 68%. I will require further assistance." Sedulus
pressed a few buttons and a steel clanging noise began to ring out
from the hallway. The sound grew louder and louder until at last
Cossack's wall-walker entered the room, scurrying up to the ceiling. "This
brings our chances to 75%, and I am waiting on my remaining probes
to assist me in combat."
Spade used the distraction of the dialog to teleport to Dark Moon. "Put'r
there, pal!" He high-fived Dark Moon, electrocuting him with
an obnoxious joy-buzzer he had on his ring finger. The electric current
disabled Dark Moon for a while, allowing him to slump a bit.
Ivan responded with a powerful shot from his blaster, causing Spade
to forfeit his attack on Dark Moon. Sedulus activated the turrets,
and the fight continued, much more heavily swayed in the Scissor
Army’s favor. Ivan and Dark Moon were having trouble with the auto-turrets
and the wall-walker while trying to deal with Sedulus and Spade.
It was hard to ignore the crazed jester, but as soon as they tried
to deal solely with him, Sedulus would have open access to their
weak points with all the Citadel weaponry.
Then the crystal probes began to filter in. Sedulus began to become
even more active, firing his own, more potent laser into the probes
and charging them. Sedulus's own lasers did more damage than the
probe shots, and each probe could hold one charged laser. The fight
was starting to grow hopeless even for the ever-optimistic Ivan.
"We need to get out of here!" Dark Moon said. "The
control room is too heavily armed!"
"Agreed, Comrade. Let's go!" Ivan said.
Dark Moon concentrated all his mass into one enormous fist, slamming
through a wall in the control room and making an escape route for
the fleeing team.
"Awwww..." Spade said, disappointed. "Why do they
Knightman’s stomping grew even closer, and the Assassin was already
swinging his mace. In a desperate act, Mega Water set himself on
his left leg, outstretched his hands and formed a water shield the
exact moment Knightman was to hit him.
The mace stopped, and a little variation in pressure threw it back.
But Knightman was ready for it; his mace flew in a descending circle
and went through the shield, hitting Mega Water in the torso.
The aquatic Merc flew away, and crashed in a wall. As he fell to
the ground, he saw Knightman charging back. He inadvertently closed
his eyes, and waited for his death.
After a few seconds, realizing his body was still whole, he opened
his eyes, and saw a miracle : Cossack's castle was rebelling against
its residents !
Knightman was assaulted by various security drones, and weapons hidden
in the walls revealed themselves and opened fire. After a few hits
in the back, he was forced to retreat, not without a final glare
at the Merc, meaning We'll finish this next time.
Suddenly, the intercom was activated and a voice several people were
already familiar with shouted over the intercom.
"Helloooo! Is this thingymabob working?" The sound of Spade
slamming the microphone on the counter rang throughout the Citadel. "Ok.
Attention everyone! May I have your attention PLEASE?!" There
was a brief silence.
"Do I have everyone's attention? This is an extremely important
announcement, I have something URGENT to communicate... Hugbies,
that is all."
Spade's laughter rang over the intercom until a wrestling noise could
be heard, followed by Spade whining before the static shut down,
signaling the intercom had been turned off.
Mega Water was about to send a witty remark at his opponent, but
retracted. Only winners could afford themselves to gloat over their
He set his hands on the ground, and created a water column. Standing
on the top of it, he rushed out of the Citadel, to a place where
he could safely watch at the firework show.
Maybe he'd be able to gloat over Knightman, then.
"My mic..." Spade had his sad face on.
"I've indulged in your childish fanatics for quite some time
now, Spade, but the intercom system is not a toy. We have an objective
here, and once we have fulfilled the mission, you may do as you wish
with the intercom system."
Spade crossed his arms and pouted, floating upside down beside Sedulus.
Even though he didn't have a tongue, he made a sound like he was
blowing raspberries at the killjoy. "You've got a girly-face!" He
shot back at him.
Sedulus turned around. "Hmm?" He looked Spade over. "Your
waste-to-hip ratio is higher than mine. That's a rather feminine
Spade suddenly hit the ground, standing up straight and looking down.
"Awww..." He groaned.
“Someone’s coming!” Drew shouted from the back of the group leaded
“Is it Pirate?” Ground asked.
“I don’t know yet, I can only hear footsteps. Let’s hide!” the scientists,
Drew and GroundMan took cover in one of the tunnel’s openings. It
seemed Cossack liked to plan ahead. Throughout the tunnels, there
were similar gaps in the walls.
Soon, the tattered PirateMan passed by, not noticing the people hidden.
He was too busy trying to keep Neptune in one piece as he carried
him. “Hey Aku!” GroundMan reappeared in the tunnel once he confirmed
his friend’s presence. Startled, PirateMan tuned around with his
arm cannon readied.
“Oh! It’s you guys!” he was relieved. “You wouldn’t believe how hard
it was to get here. The security systems have turned against us!
Every turret and every trap…”
“You mean they’ve taken the control room already?” Drew asked, quite
worried. “They could have seen you get into the tunnel with the security
“I know that!” PirateMan confessed. “But I had no choice! And, there’s
something suspicious about all of it… some psycho was babbling through
the loudspeakers, but no one sent a CO after me. Only the gun turrets
and mechaniloid traps were set. If they saw me get here, they didn’t
seem to care.”
“Could it mean…?” Drew began questioning.
“Don’t even think about it.” GroundMan suggested. “Let’s just have
faith in Cossack’s Comrades.” The group resumed their progress through
the tunnel, now with a quicker pace, just in case they were being
followed. If that was the case, Dr. Périphérique had the holographic
device ready. But if what Pirate said was true, there would be no
need for it.
As the people sprinted towards the end of the tunnel, Dr. Chevchenko
approached Drew. “Excuse me, son…” he addressed him. “Where exactly
are we headed? After we get out of this darned tunnel, that is.”
Annoyed, Drew frowned and looked at the man. “You really are going
senile, old man. We’ve already discussed the plan thoroughly, so
I don’t have time to answer your questions. Just move!” everybody
was tired of having to deal with the guy.
The spy cursed under his breath, his inquiry for more information
had failed. He would have to keep up the charade a little longer…
“TT: PirateMan, do you copy?” Tengu issued the voice command.
“I’m here Kusa. I’m with Lyon’s group already.” The Pirate replied.
“I’m glad to hear that. Tell me your approximate escape route, so
I can meet you when you come back to the surface.” Tengu and AstroChan
were flying low, in order to avoid detection by the SA goons guarding
the perimeter. Fortunately, what was left of the foliage was enough
cover for them.
“Good thing you asked… we’re in fact headed for the south-eastern
portion of the woods. You should look for a clearing there, although
the exit should be hard to spot. Cossack must have done a good job
at hiding it.” Pirate explained.
“Understood. TenguMan out.” The airborne robots kept going for the
east, hoping that nothing else, apart from pine trees, would stand
in their way. And after a couple of minutes, they reached the aforementioned
After gently dropping Astroman and Jupiter on the ground, AstroChan
started removing the snow from the ground, trying to find the passage’s
“There’s no point in doing that, girl. They’ll come out eventually…”
Tengu knew how stressing the situation was for her, probably, but
he never used to encourage that kind of anxious behaviour. She was
in fact worn out, and all she wanted was to get out of there, so
she was getting impatient.
As if on cue, the sound of rusted metal was heard from behind them.
One by one, people were coming out of the nearby bushes. Once they
were all outside, GroundMan greeted his teammate. “It’s a shame we
have to abandon our ‘ship’ like this… but there is no alternative.
Where is Naop?”
Tengu man pointed at the spot where they had left their injured comrades,
but only Jupiter was there. Soon, they noticed that Astroman was
approaching them, levitating erratically and almost falling to the
ground a couple of times. His head was a lot more flat, the orb that
served as his lower body was cracked open, and he could only move
“Naop! Are you ok?” Pirate was the first to ask, and go lend a shoulder
for his leader.
“Who is that fucker?!” Astroman asked, quite infuriated. It seemed
his patience had run out from his battle with Mystery, and he didn’t
care to watch his language. He was pointing menacingly at Dr. Chevchenko.
“What do you mean, Naop?” Ground was confused. “It’s Chevchenko!”
“No he isn’t.” he stated bluntly.
By now, the spy had gotten anxious from the killer look that Astro
was giving him. Backing away some, he then proceeded to make a run
for it. He didn’t know how, but his cover had been blown.
This confused the rest of the group, but they didn’t have much time
to ponder, since Astro’s metallic orbs came rushing at blinding speed
and squashed the escapee’s head at full force, before he was able
to get any further. Surprised by the unexpected turn of events, the
group turned at Astro, some of the humans already taking him for
a murderer. “What have you done?!” Périphérique shouted.
“Look closer, gramps.” Astro suggested the man, and the group as
The scientists approached the almost decapitated body of Chevchenko,
only to find a Scissor Joe’s body instead. “How did you…?” one of
“Don’t ask.” Astro didn’t feel like explaining his telepathic abilities,
which had been kept a secret.
“We’re gonna have a talk after we get out of here.” Tengu warned
“Speaking of which, can you drop the bullshit already and get us
out of here?” Astro’s patience grew thinner. “And by the way, where
the hell is the rest, where is Cossack?”
This was certainly going to piss him off, but GroundMan had no choice
but to explain. After hearing it, Astro’s body was trembling so much
that PirateMan had to get away from him. “CC: DRILLMAN!” he shouted
out. “What the hell is going on, man?”
“Naop? What’s the problem?” Drill replied.
“You decided to take Cossack on your own? What’s your status? How
far away are you from escaping?” he asked all the questions he could
think of. On top of almost being pummelled to death, he was now worried
sick about the one man they were supposed to be protecting.
“Look, I have no time for this! Our hands are full at the moment.”
Astro was quiet for a second. He realized his attitude was not helping
anyone. He settled down, and accepted the fact with resignation.
“Just… Just be careful Drill. We found one of their spies was impersonating
Chevchenko. They might know where you are.”
“Roger that. We’ll be alert.” The CC leader responded.
Astro dropped to the ground, looking blankly into the sky. “Beam
us up Scotty… we should settle in DI’s base and keep an eye for whoever
manages to get out of the anti-teleportation field.”
“Understood…” Ground had no objection. “DI: Searchman, do you copy?”
but no answer came his way. After trying a couple of times, he gave
up and looked at AstroChan.
“Don’t worry. Everything was prepared before hand.” She was painfully
considering the fact that Hunter had not made it out alive. “Our
base should be ready to take us all in.”
“Right.” Ground issued some commands into his com unit, and soon,
the group was engulfed in light. DI’s base was in fact ready to teleport
them in. The escape had been a success… for them, at least.
With a brisk, all business stride, the skeletal figure marched through
the hallways of the stone-made Citadel, exploring parts he presumed
were not usually visited by its human inhabitants, given the layers
of dust and neglect obvious throughout.
These were hallways lit by basic flood lights in the narrow lower
levels of the fortress-like building, and the most likely place of
exit for the fleeing family. His exhaust forming visible clouds that
escaped through his many openings in his mouth area, Cutman’s eyes
peered into the darkness, the hallways stretching on for hundreds
of yards in multiple directions.
Behind him, his dwindling entourage grew restless.
“There’s way too many hiding places down here.”, lamented Punk. “It’s
gonna take us hours to find ‘em at this rate!”
“We don’t have hours.”, the General replied simply. “We have…twelve
minutes, fifty-two seconds.”
“General…Perhaps its time to think about leaving without confirming
a Cossack kill?”, Ballade suggested, somewhat meekly.
Cutman brought his fingers to his chin thoughtfully, noticeably twitching
while doing so, which he seemed oblivious to. He seemed to stare
beyond the pair of fidgeting Mercenaries.
“You two…Head upwards. Check any rooms we’ve passed on our way here.
Do not evacuate until the last possible second.”
“Sir, what about yourself?”, Punk inquired, seriously concerned.
“The rats are down here, of that I’m certain. Logically speaking,
this is the only way out for them.”, he informed quietly while turning
around towards the long stretch of hallway.
“How…How do you know?”
Cutman bent down to look at something at his feet. “I’m well acquainted
with Cossack’s layout.”, his memory recalling the time he spent in
another world studying Dr Light’s personal files.
“You are?! If that’s true, then why did we have to look for this
place for all of those weeks? Why didn’t we just come here from the
start? We could have saved alotta time!”, Punk argued.
“All valid points.”, the sheared monster answered with machine-born
coldness. “Cossack has been the one wild card throughout this entire
campaign. I needed to know what he had up his sleeve, and to do that,
I needed to delay his death.”
“Sir, I still don’t understand…”, Ballade frowned.
“Don’t worry. You needn’t worry about doing so.”, he attempted to
comfort, still with the quiet storm in his voice. He brought his
twitching fingers to his nasal passages, inhaling dramatically, sniffing
it as though he were a wine connoisseur sampling the aroma of a fine
Chardonnay. “Our ‘red friend’ has played out all of his cards already…disappointingly.
I overestimated his abilities, and that’s all there is to it.”
“You thought Cossack had some sort of trump card in the works?”,
“A lesson, my creation: always assume your enemies are one step ahead
of you. That is how you yourself stay ahead of them.”, Cutman reasoned.
He displayed his fingers to his two cohorts.
“Blood.”, Ballade named the substance on them.
“And it hasn’t had a chance to coagulate yet. It had an initial temperature
of sixty-seven degrees- still warm, indicating that is no more than
a few minutes old. Given the direction of the splatter, it came from
a human traveling approximately seven miles an hour down this very
There’s a Cold War-era bomb shelter at the end of this hallway, with
an escape hatch leading towards the outside. From there, it would
be a mere three hundred yards to the outer stretches of the grid,
enabling their escape to anywhere in the world.”
“Sir! We must hurry then!”, Punk urged.
“No need, my boy.”, the skull-faced creature lectured coolly, eying
the ceiling. Beyond a normal human’s ability to comprehend such speed,
Cutman slashed at the corner of the hallway, severing several power
lines, and plunging the hall into darkness. “Both bomb shelter doors
should be electronically controlled. Sans electricity, their escape
is hopelessly delayed.
But I could always be wrong. You two…Return to the surface and continue
the search for as long as possible. I’ll deal with whatever the situation
may be down here.”
“Understood, my commander!”, Ballade saluted, somewhat confused by
her latest master’s cunning and his strange thought process. But
now wasn’t the time to question him. Or ever.
Punk and Ballade exited deftly, leaving the General alone in the
darkness and quiet. Fear didn’t affect him in the slightest, and
the sound of metal sliding against metal was heard as he drew his
shears slowly, his metallic footsteps lurking down the hallway methodically.
Aided by the ever-handy Flash Stopper, Drillman was hard at work
on the ten-inch-thick steel door at the end of an otherwise dark
passageway. Sparks flew in every-which direction, as his drills suffered
against the unforgiving metal barrier- they were designed for soft
Earth excavation, rather than heavy steel work. Still, he persevered
because he had to. So much was riding on his efforts.
“Guys! I broke through!”, he proclaimed, exhaustion apparent through
“Keep going!”, Dr Cossack urged, himself drenched in sweat. He and
the other Comrades were in an unfortunate position down here. Ordinarily,
he could have Pharaohman or Diveman use their firepower to blast
down the heavy door. However, with the tight area they were in (only
eight feet in width, and just as tall, forcing Dive to hunch slightly)
the back blast would kill the humans near their effects. Doubling
back down the hallway didn’t seem like a wise option, either.
The power failure seemed to be intentional. This was an emergency
sector of the Citadel, powered by a separate power source from the
upper levels. Even with the upper half being decimated and no doubt
left in blackout itself, the bottom levels should have survived longer
than this. This was something…deliberate.
The group remained tight around the safety of BB’s glow, the darkness
beyond was threatening to eat them entirely if they moved. Even beyond
the noise of Drillman’s signature and Dustman helping to keep the
metal shavings from being a factor, something else rang out from
the dark far down the hallway. It was yet another metal cry.
Mikhail Cossack’s stomach tightened.
Pharaoh jerked at Drillman’s shoulder slightly, interrupting his
work. Far too distant from breaking through enough to escape, it
seemed needless to continue with the work.
Bright Babe looked up and out, using her buster as a flashlight to
peer out into the dark beyond. It was clear from the erratic bouncing
of the light that she was far more nervous than she wanted to let
There, about twenty five feet away, he made no effort to hide himself.
And Dr Cossack’s stomach overwhelmed him, forcing him to double over
from the fear in his tired mind.
“Sergei.”, the skull-faced being called out, using Dr Cossack’s middle
name instead of his first- something only his closest friends used.
“You look awful. Troubled…are we?”
“Leave us alone!”, BB demanded. “You have no right to kill us!”
Cutman looked at his wrist, making a mental note of the time he had-
a mere nine minutes to wrap things up. What a shame- he had such
a speech in mind for Cossack’s end. Oh well…A deadline’s a deadline.
“As much as I’d love to engage you in my favorite debate, my dear,
time is of the essence. I’m afraid its all business now.”
The weary Comrades gathered before the beleaguered Cossack, ready
to defend him with their very lives. Knowing this, Cutman sauntered
forth to fulfill their wishes.
Napalmman had stayed amazingly patient as he watched the action unfold
for the past few minutes, screening the countryside for any escapees,
but coming up empty handed thus far.
Suddenly, another alert sounded off within his mind, this time reminding
him of the time.
“Thirty seconds…”, he uttered. “And still no sign of the General.”
Napalmman’s Howitzer slid into place, the barrel extending slightly
for that extra bit of accuracy, and a trajectory reading popping
into his view, automatically deducing the correct angle for him.
It was as easy as just pulling the trigger now.
But without the General…Should he really go through with it?
Fifteen seconds. Out of the corner of his eye he could see several
of the other SA Officers begin to prepare themselves in little ways,
getting distance between themselves and who ever they were fighting
at the time.
“Ready when you are…”, Crystal’s voice filled his receiver.
“Yeah.”, he returned.
Ah…Dammit. Hope you got out of there…sir.
The cannon on his back barked, the concussion actually visible from
the barrel as the shell took the sky. Snow all around the death tank
was cleared away from nearly twenty feet all around from just the
firing of the terrible weapon.
And off atop the Citadel itself, he spotted him. Standing high atop
the top most part, he apparently awaited the shell’s descent as it
hung high above, looming overhead.
Napalmman’s vision zoomed to maximum.
With the weathered red flag behind him, General Cutman stood atop
the pointed dome that decorated the center of the Citadel, holding
his prize as he enjoyed his bloody display of power.
For a mere second, he held Dr Cossack’s severed head high as the
Napalm Nuke descended achingly slowly, and then casually tossed the
useless cranium down below, his message already clear.
The shell hit the Citadel with blinding force at that instant, making
it impossible to tell who had escaped and who didn’t. Napalmman failed
to see if Cutman had teleported in time, though he assumed he escaped
Even from his vantage point hundreds of yards away, Napalmman was
clobbered with giant stone debris from the ancient fortress, instantly
decimated by the sub-atomic weapon of mass destruction.
When the initial fire died down, and the eye-searing blaze ceased
enough, Napalmman leered at the smoldering site. There was no mistaking
it- Dr Cossack’s Citadel had been wiped clean off of the face of
the Earth, leaving only a burning husk as its only mark. A structure
that survived centuries and countless shifts in power…gone.
Napalmman didn’t bother to get close to it to further examine his
handiwork. He stayed a few more minutes to think a bit more about
what it meant to him.
This was a glimpse of Elysium. The uncaring sweep of an arm over
the chessboard this world had become. Decades, centuries, millennia…All
of it would be cleared away for a new history to surface, and he
was helping to usher it in.
This was an…honor.
“Goddamn…”, he whispered to himself. “That’s beautiful.”