Location: Cape Canaveral, USA (SA)
Max. Cossack Scrap Value: 6248
SA Infantry: 1906
RPD Units: 1393
Wily Bots: 207
"Go!" Captain Spiegel yelled into his radio, and miles
away over a thousand troops charged forth to meet the Scissor Army.
He turned back to his subordinates: Vulcan, Nox, and of course,
Makenshi. "Well well, aren't we a ragtag group here? Alright,
if all goes according to plan, we should be able to head in there
with few difficulties."
"What are we doing anyway?" Vulcan inquired.
"Can't you pay attention, robot?!" Spiegel barked. Immediately
he looked down and cleared his throat, speaking more calmly. "The
Scissor Army's defenses have gathered around the perimeter of a
former NASA launchpad here. We don't know what they're planning
to do with it, but it's not gonna be good. Right now all of our
forces are charging the other side, forcing the SA to concentrate
there. With that diversion in place, we're going to sneak in to
infiltrate the control room. Got it?" The robot nodded. "Good."
Spiegel turned his attention to Makenshi. He was about to say something,
but immediately he closed his mouth and turned the other way.
Vulcan walked up to Makenshi. "So.... you still haven't told
me why you were trying to hide your identity from me."
Makenshi shrugged. "Just in case you wouldn't get in deep
shit if I did anything stupid."
"Is that all?"
"Well, yeah, pretty much."
Starman sighed. "Alright... Well, now that that mess is cleared
up, whatever it was... And now that you're Waveman.... Well...
You wanna help me rebuild the Ascendant Androids.... the REAL Ascendant
With his helmet it was impossible to see Makenshi's grin. "Why
would I say no?"
The two robots shook hands.
"Let's go!" Spiegel shouted. "The decoy's probably
been found already!"
Vulcan and Makenshi nodded to each other and ran off to rejoin
Not far from Cape Canaveral's
launchpad, Mysteryman and the Mercs were discussing on their plan
"Don't worry, Mystery. We'll take care of those who will try
and attack us."
"There's something I want to know, Quint." asked the
"Why did you request to assist me ? It's not like I couldn't
take on the RPD on my own, especially with such numbers !"
"I never thought that, comrade." replied the Megaman
"I would just feel safer if we had full control over space."
Ballade nodded. "The Great Zodiac's down. Baïkonour's and
Kourou's bases are out of commission."
"And we want to make sure no one will try to fight the Marauder
on its own domain." completed Quint. "We do not appreciate
competition, as well."
An emergency signal rang through the base. "RPD force approaching
! RPD force approaching !"
Quint nodded to his colleague, and the Mercs rushed off to intercept
Though Mysteryman was slightly annoyed by the presence of another
Officer, he enjoyed having a good ally at his side. And an alliance
He turned to his guardsmen - Scissor Joes with his own color-scheme.
"Let's head to the security center. Something tells me this
assault is merely a masquerade... And I know that kind of stuff."
As Vulcan and Makenshi
ran to meet with the small reconnaissance group, they were met
by Nox, who had slowed his pace in order to let them catch up.
"So," Nox said, after they had caught up to him, "it
appears you two had some catching up to do. Judging from how close
you ran to each other and how you aren't looking away from each
other, I would assume things went well."
"Is it really any of your business man? Why do you care about
what we do anyway?"
Vulcan replied defensively.
"It just seems that you two weren't really friends when I
last saw you, yet you were part of the same team, a team that has
been robbed from you by the Scissor Army. If you would allow it,
I would be glad to assist you in winning your identities back."
Makenshi shook his head negatively. "Sorry...um, who are you
"Nox, right. This is sort of a personal thing we are doing
here, and I'd rather get that thing calling himself Waveman on
"I understand. Perhaps I will help out in some other way.
But Waveman is not here right now, so we must keep our focus on
that launchpad. Come, I am sure captain Spiegel is becoming irate
that we are slowing down."
On that note, Nox picked his pace up again. Vulcan and Makenshi
followed, walking on a path far outside of the combat zone as to
not draw attention to themselves. As if out of thin air, Nox pulled
out a short metal staff, his weapon against the forces that were
sure to come at them.
Tengu and Clown had been humiliated over and over again. Now, they
had been demoted to “bait”. Their group was nothing but a decoy.
As they approached the southern access to the NASA complex, they
were surprised to see no one was there to greet them. As they walked
past the entrance’s gates, they noticed the surveillance cameras
and destroyed them immediately. They had probably been spotted, but
it didn’t matter much. After all, that was their intention…
“Freeze!” A group of Scissor Joes suddenly appeared above them, and
from all sides. Some were standing atop the gates, and some were
travelling in hovering vehicles. All of them were pointing their
guns at them. There was no alternative but to fight.
Their men, immediately aimed their own guns at the SA, and the tension
grew as they all stayed silent for a few seconds. But it didn’t take
long for the SA leader to order his men to open fire at the intruders.
With the shooting underway, Tengu and Clown were smart enough to
quickly get out of the way. Using their respective abilities, they
made short work of the three hovering vehicles. After some tornado
holds, they had all crashed on the ground, allowing Clown to finish
them off with his thunder claw.
“Well, that was easy.” Tengu admitted, seeing that only a few of
their men were down. But Clown tapped his shoulder. He turned around
to see at least a hundred SA Joes heading their way, from inside
the complex. “Shucks…”
“Don’t worry, let’s just stick to the plan”. ClownMan reminded him
with resignation. He was quite depressed about the fact that they
weren’t supposed to fight.
“Right… time to fall back, guys!” Tengu ordered their men, and they
began retreating outside the complex. The SA Joes gave chase…
“Status report.” MysteryMan demanded to the custom Joe beside him.
“Well, our troops are faring well against the enemy. The Seven Mercenaries
might not even have to fight. The only inconvenient so far, is their
CO and a group of Special Forces units.” The green and purple colored
“Show me!” MysteryMan was irritated to hear about such nuisance,
as insignificant as it was. The screens of the control room showed
images of the front gates that lead directly to the launch pad. The
armies were battling there, and both sides were sustaining heavy
damage. "Tell our men to back off this instant, I need soem
The Joe issued orders to the army below, and the RPD seemd taken
back by their change of strategy. But soon, Mystery spotted the cause
for their limited success: the SF units. Focusing, his whole body
started glowing with a purplish hue…
After a few seconds, the screens displayed a completely different
scenario. The RPD had been nearly whipped out from the NASA launch
pad. Apparently, three space shuttles had fallen from the sky, crashing
on the ground and taking hundreds of RPD bots with them. The SF units
included. Some SA Joes were destroyed along the way, but it was nothing
to worry about.
Mystery and his henchman chuckled. Their enemy was down to just a
few hundreds. Five hundred tops. They noted Quint turning around
to face the surveillance system, and giving Mystery a thumbs up.
This was going to be easier than it looked…
Hyper Storm managed to get back on his feet. What had previously
been a group of his personal SF bodyguards was now reduced to a pile
of smouldering scrap. The remains of the fallen space shuttle were
barely a couple dozen feet away. Him being alive was nothing short
of a miracle.
When he reincorporated, he found the SA army standing still much
to his surprise. His remaining men were too dumbfounded and were
far from regaining a decent formation. The lines of SA Joes stepped
aside for a group of COs to walk forward.
The seven - now six – mercenaries were walking towards him. Apparently,
they wanted to confront him on their own, without any help from their
army. In spite of that, things weren’t particularly on the bright
side for him…
“I can’t believe this is it!” Mystery exclaimed.
“You are absolutely right, boss!” the Joe responded. “The chief of
security has reported that a group of RPD officers tried to infiltrate
the facilities from the southern entrance. They were overwhelmed
by our numbers and decided to retreat. Some of our men are currently
chasing them down.”
“What?” the master of illusions was infuriated once again. “Just
as I suspected. Who is in charge of this masquerade?”
“Reports indicate that RPD TenguMan and ClownMan are leading this
assault.” The screens now continuously displayed the moment when
Tengu and Clown disposed of the security cameras.
“Those retards?!” Mystery couldn’t believe this insult. “They should
have been kicked out of the damned RPD by now!”
“What’s on your mind, boss?” the Joe asked inquisitively.
“This isn’t right.” Mystery admitted. “With such an important asset
at stake here, you’d figure they send a whole team of competent COs
to recover this launch pad. Have our men hunt them down, and keep
an eye on the operation.” Mystery walked towards the exit.
“And what about you, boss? Where are you headed?”
“Don’t you worry. I’ll be back in no time. I just want to take the
necessary precautions, in case they’re up to something else…”
The Mercs were surrounding
their latest member - and runaway. Their weapons weren't drawn
out, but something in their postures made clear they wouldn't hesitate
to use them on their teammate.
"Officer Hyper Storm ! The Scissor Army Martial Court found
you guilty of the following crimes :
In Madrid, your inconsiderate actions against Hardman caused the
failure of our mission !
You collaborated with the RPD, a force that includes former Ascendant
Android Starman !
You twice fought the forces of the General Cutman, in Lisbon and
Niagara Falls !
"You have been sentenced to death by summary execution ! However,
should you agree to join back our ranks, it shall be reduced to
a seance of discipline.
What is your decision ?"
Hyper Storm was struck by the words of his leader. How could one
become that insane ? After all their defeats, they still accepted
to follow that mass murderer ? He shook his head, and yelled : "I'm
gonna crush some sense into you, Hunter !"
He charged the green Megaman look-alike, but a purple blurr, followed
by a series of detonations, stopped him. Ballade was now in front
of him, ready to fight.
"Officer Ballade shall execute the sentence !" claimed
"We're not to step in - except if the situation calls for
The Megaman Killer spoke up : "That mess ... Madrid ... Murmansk
... It's because I didn't anticipate your foolish move. This error
will be repaired now !"
She charged, and dodged the Surging Gusts thrown by her teammate.
When he ran at her, she jumped back, throwing Crackers to keep
They were staring at each other, each one waiting for the other
to strike, with the remaining Mercs silently watching them. A clicking
came from Ballade's armors, as parts of her upper body moved and
She readied herself, and fired a volley of highly-powered Crackers.
Hyper Storm quickly set a Storm Wall to deflect them, but they
were coming from everywhere, as Ballade was jumping all around
him, looking for a breach in his defense.
Finally, a Cracker hit him on the back. Hyper Storm then felt the
Killer landing on his back. More clicking noises came, and the
enxt second his armor was vibrating in pain.
Ballade was focusing on delivering sonic attacks, a tactic that
worked well on Barrageman. She punched and punched, occasionnally
throwing Crackers in to damage Hyper Storm's systems, as he couldn't
Finally, she delivered a final blow on his enck, which paralyzed
Ballade appeared back in Hyper Storm's vision, and her armor came
back to its former shape. She only muttered those words :
"Consider this as a punishment for your recklesness."
Then, he blacked out.
The remaining Mercs came closer, debating on what they should do
with Hyper Storm. Finally, they agreed on something.
"The opportunity could never happen again." stated Buster
Ballade nodded. "We must take advantage of it."
"We will teach him the lesson for good." stated Quint. "That
his place is in the Scissor Army, no matter what he thinks of it."
The Captain opened his communication channel : "Mysteryman,
the main RPD force has been stopped. The Mercs will retreat and
I'll send someone to protect the place with you. Quint, over." In
the meantime, Punk and Mega Water set teleportation relays on their
Quint then turned to the last Merc. "Enker, go back and assist
Mysteryman just in case. Your Mirror Buster could come in handy
in the defense of the control room." The spear-wielding killer
The Seven Mercenaries, minus their spearman, teleported back on
the Marauder, taking the battered body of Hyper Storm with them.
It could take weeks before Magnus made it back to its post as an
Officer, but they could wait ...
With a final look at the spot his teammates occupied seconds ago,
Enker ran off for his next mission.
It was surprisingly easy for Makenshi, Vulcan, and Nox to reach the
launch pad complex. They had not run into any of the SA guards at
all. The decoy seemed to work well. Perhaps too well.
Makenshi caught a reflection of himself in a large glass window.
His armor was many different shades of blue and green, and the humongous
weapon he wielded was far too large in proportion to himself, though
he carried it with ease as if it were a stick.
He was Waveman now. A robot with the Shutdown Code installed in him.
His helmet covered his entire human face, and he wondered if he would
ever see it again....
The window fell apart as Vulcan sliced a hole into it. He, Makenshi,
and Nox entered the facility. It, too, was devoid of guards, as far
as they could see at least.
"Stay alert.... I sense that we're not alone," Nox warned.
"They could be waiting in the control room," Spiegel speculated
Nox was right. As they entered a large room they encountered Mr.
"Damn those Gila Gladiators.... They're too slow...." the
Mr. Whiz turned around and jumped in surprise.
"You guys go on ahead, I'll catch up with you later," Makenshi
said. Vulcan and Nox nodded and ran passed, leaving him alone with
"Hey now, I'm not here to cause any trouble, so can we just
call a truce and part ways?" Mr. Whiz asked.
"Sorry, but I think you ARE up to something. Wily would have
no reason to be interested in a launch pad unless-" but Makenshi
was cut short as he jumped to dodge an anti-Quick boomerang. Makenshi
swung his massive spear-like weapon downward, and the enormous head
suddenly detached from its perch connected by a chain, bouncing off
of the ground and flying towards Mr. Whiz. The Wilybot began to dash
around the room with the anchor-sized spear head bouncing off the
walls in pursuit. The head kept going faster and faster, but Mr.
Whiz timed his next jump and hopped right on top of it as it was
flying in Makenshi's direction and firing a boomerang. It hit the
blue robot square in the chest but Waveman quickly recovered and
swung his chain-spear in circles until Mr. Whiz finally soared off
of it. The anti-Quickman "landed"
on the wall and pushed off, hurling another anti-Quick boomerang.
Makenshi was prepared this time and strafed to the side. His spear
head retracted back into its pole and he attempted to slam it into
his opponent, but Mr. Whiz grabbed the underside of it and slid past
firing a boomerang at Waveman's back. Scrambling to his feet, the
Wilybot charged Wave, but Makenshi unexpectedly flew upwards, catching
him by surprise and almost running into the wall. However, Mr. Whiz
did not have time to react as the spear head smashed into his noggin.
Not only did it hurt like hell, but he was now almost shin deep in
concrete. He struggled in vain to free himself and watched helplessly
as Makenshi approached him, expecting the worst.
"Stay here," Makenshi suddenly said, and with that he dashed
off to rejoin his group.
Mr. Whiz looked back down at his predicament. "Well, this sucks," he
Nox and Vulcan were alerted by the clatter of boots from a large
group of SA Joes and their gunfire. The two ran as fast as they could,
Starman turning around ocassionally to put up his shield. Ahead of
them was a fork. Vulcan knew from the map of the complex that the
two paths both led to the control room.
"Split up!" he yelled, and they each took a different path.
The SA Joes divided themselves to cover both paths.
the innards of the launch pad complex, surrounded by a small group
of his custom Scissor Joes. The lack of commanding officers on
the battlefield made him a little uneasy, but he was still largely
confident that things were going to go their way. With his troops
boasting superior firepower combined with his tactics, the RPD
would be repelled in a short time. Wily's forces would also fall
if they hadn't already. The main thought on Mysteryman's mind was
to find and stop any parties that might have slipped past the SA's
He and the SA Joes stopped in an emergency bunker somewhere off
the normal routes. Mysteryman motioned to the Joes to seal the
bunker shut, allowing him to remain in a quiet state. He needed
that quiet to allow his power to work to its fullest; the officers
might have been able to keep from being seen, but their fears,
their worries would be as loud as a scream to him.
Turning his focus inward, Mysteryman cleared his mind and opened
himself to the thoughts of others. After a couple of minutes, fear
began to broadcast itself into his mind, the collective of the
RPD forces, the Wilybots, and even his own Scissor Army soldiers.
But the ordinary Joes were of no interest to him; their thoughts
sounded the same, and he had dealt with enough of them to know
the patterns of their thoughts, what some might term as an "aura".
In the chaos of the battle, he could feel a few distinct thoughts
and fears. These were more complex and layered than the Joes; they
were the thoughts of the commanding officers. From what he could
feel, Mysteryman knew they had split up and were going in different
directions. He guessed there were about four or five of them, mixed
human and robot team. With a little more time, he would be able
to identify them more accurately, but it was a good start. One
in particular, however, seemed new, unfamiliar to him. Mysteryman
theorized that this was a new recruit, taken in by the RPD to help
them minimize losses. Either way, he had them now. It was just
a matter of putting their own fears to use.
While keeping his focus on the officers, Mysteryman signaled to
his soldiers inside the complex to gather at specific locations
ahead of the officers. Now, it was time to put his gifts to work
Nox moved swiftly through the hallways, attempting to keep the SA
Joes off of his back while he attempted to find Vulcan and the others.
He had learned about the enemies of the Scissor Army during his month
of RPD duty along with ways to deal with them, but most of them involved
teamwork. Summoning Tempest would only slow him down, and time was
of the essence.
Finally stopping at a corner, Nox produced a piece of chalk and quickly
drew a marking on the ground. Circle for a transmutation spell, square
to indicate an earth element, V-shaped line representing a blade.
Nox placed the tip of his staff into the center and his other hand
on the edge, he focused on the circle, giving it the necessary amount
of energy to activate the circle. As if drawing out a sword from
the stone, Nox pulled his staff up from the ground, resulting in
a sharpened stone blade on its tip. A crude dagger, but suitable
to help him cut out of a tight spot.
Nox continued working his way forward, creeping past the Joes patrolling
the halls. Weighing on his mind was how he could get back to the
group without giving himself away. On one hand, he was doing well.
But on the other hand, he could get caught and end up becoming a
pawn for the Scissor Army. That was even if they had any use for
him...he could be dead in a matter of seconds if they found him.
The possibilities for Nox seemed infinite, almost...
He stopped short. In front of him was an ordinary man, seemingly
in his thirties, standing there not noticing Nox's presence, or even
the chaos in the area. Nox approached him cautiously, wary of any
traps that might have been set for him. But nothing seemed to bother
the man. He just stood there, gazing at the wall like something was
happening in front of him.
In a moment, his gaze shifted upward, following some invisible line
Nox could not see. In another second, the man turned and began to
run in fear. Nox tried to move out of the way, only to be shoved
aside. So it wasn't an illusion... or was it?
Nox got his answer quickly, as more people seemed to appear instantly.
But is wasn't long before they started running too. Finally, Nox
began to hear a rumble, followed by the sound of screaming. It was
a familiar scream...oh God, Nox thought to himself. Not again. Please
let it not be that.
Nox was not able to complete his thought, as he was instantly swept
back by a chorus of cries, people swept up in the force of the oncoming
shockwave. But this was not any shockwave. No, this was the explosion
that had shook Nox to his core, made him so sick to his stomach that
he wanted to die. This was what had set the Shutdown Code into motion,
the very event that had made the Maniacs into fallen heroes.
Nox could see the wreckage of Los Angeles, fresh from the explosion
that had claimed so many lives. Surprisingly, he had walked into
it relatively intact. But it wasn't the city that struck him, as
much as the millions of misplaced people, who had suddenly died without
any warning. It was their terror, their fear that drove him crazy.
It was the curse of being an empath like he was, such large displacements
of life or energy would come into his mind no matter how far away.
But this was different. It has to be a trick, he just knew it. He
recalled that one of the Scissor Army officers present here was Mysteryman,
a master of illusions. Illusions were a common form of magic practiced
by Magi, often to distract or deceive ordinary people or even other
Magi. Nox tried to remember how he was taught to deal with illusions
by ignoring them no matter how violent. Nox attempted to steel himself,
and began to walk towards the end of the empty street in hopes of
catching his path.
After only a few more steps though, the screaming became more vivid
and the visions became clearer. Nox felt himself slowing down, as
something hindered his movement; no mattered how Nox tried to ignore
it, he could not speed up. Attempting to find the source of the resistance,
Nox looked around him. He was shocked to find that he was being held
at his feet by a group of corpses, flesh burned and parts missing
due to the explosion. These were real bodies really holding him back,
not just some typical illusions. Nox could barely hold himself up.
Despite trying to slash away at them with his stone dagger, they
simply crawled onto him even faster.
No...Nox would not let himself be stopped by something so unreal!
He was a Mage, not a normal human! These were not real; bodies could
not come back to life no matter how much magic was used. Nox decided
he had to fight it, he had to purge himself of these thoughts! Nothing
could stop him now, not when he had friends and people who he needed
It then came to Nox, an enlightenment about his situation. He remembered
something he had read about Mysteryman, something he had kept in
the back of his mind until now. Mysteryman could use illusions, but
he needed fear , and most of all, he needed to be able to see the
thoughts of his targets. That's why these were so familiar to Nox,
they were his fears. And he had made a big mistake by keeping his
mind open to such thoughts. He could do something, but he needed
to get back.
Nox immediately turned his dagger to his feet, cutting off the edge
of his cloak to free himself. After running a distance away from
the bodies, he decided to try a new technique he had read about.
Facing the bodies, he drew out two symbols on his hands. He aimed
at the ground beneath them, letting his hands glow with the light
of Mana running through him. Small pieces of the earth rose up like
teeth, the precursor of something fierce. Nox then closed his hands
tight, forming a series of small sets of sharp, bear-trap like formations
of earth. Bodies became trapped in the jaws, screaming to be let
loose. Nox smiled under his mask, as with one final force of energy,
he forced a large set of spikes from the earth to enclose the bodies,
impaling them with rock.
Looking satisfied, Nox collapsed to his knees due to the large strain
from such a powerful technique. In a matter of moments, the dismal-looking
LA street began to melt back into the hallway of the shuttle complex,
looking worse for wear due to the earth practically swallowing the
hallway where Nox had just been. Nox set himself up against a wall
to catch his breath. After about ten or fifteen more minutes, Nox
walked away to rejoin the group, having faced down his fear once
Instead of his compatriots,
Makenshi found Enker. Or rather, Enker found him. He barely jumped
out of the way as a javelin almost pinned him and exploded in a
shower of plasma.
Makenshi turned to face his assailant and fired his Iormungandr
and the Rockman Killer strafed to the side to dodge the giant spear
head and dashed forward, brandishing his spear. However, the spear
head bounded back and its chain extension wrapped around Enker.
Makenshi ran up and jump-kicked the Mercenary in the face, then
unraveled the chains and reconnected the spear head, smashing it
into Enker. The SA officer flew back and slammed into the wall
before slumping to the ground. However, Waveman instinctively turned
to meet weapons with a second Enker, as well as three other Enkers
"What the hell?!"
"Heheheh, you're outnumbered here," the Enker he was
dueling said with a sneer.
Makenshi responded by knocking away Enker's spear and smashing
Iormungandr into his skull. Then Makenshi decided enough was enough
as two more Enkers filed into the room and he ran like hell, doing
his best to dodge the exploding javelins that were being thrown
at him. There was a stairway ahead leading to the basement, and
he scaled each set of steps in one leap. It appeared that they
were in the guts of the complex, with tanks, pipes, and generators
all over the place. A javelin pierced one of the tanks and detonated,
causing a deluge of water to spray into the air.
Perfect, Makenshi thought.
The water began to warp and twist in the air as Makenshi gained
control of it. It then shot forth like bullets, forming large spikes
aimed at the Enkers. Many of the Enkers were impaled by the spikes
and fell, and only one remained, blocking the water with his force
This was the real deal.
Enker had already dashed forth and he met Makenshi spear to spear.
They began to duel, each trying to deflect the other's weapon to
make an opening. Enker dealt his blows quickly and landed a couple
blunt blows to Makenshi. They were swift yet painful and Makenshi
winced each time he was hit.
"You put up an impressive fight, but your skills are still
inferior to mine," Enker mocked.
"Yeah, well, my stick is still bigger than your stick," Makenshi
retorted, narrowly cloud parrying a thrust aimed at his heart and
swinging Iormungandr at Enker's head. The Rockman Killer ducked
and thrust his spear upward and Makenshi kicked it up into the
air. Enker leaped into the air and swung down with all his might
to bat away the giant spear head that was fired at him.
Makenshi continued to combat Enker using Iormungandr like a chain
whip, keeping his distance from the Mercenary's spear but close
enough to discourage the use of his exploding javelins. He wanted
nothing to do with them now. Then, the spear head wrapped itself
around Enker's weapon and he gave a sharp tug, sending it flying
out of his opponent's hands. He was about to proceed bashing his
enemy when a shrill laugh echoed throughout the room.
"Kyahahahaha! Over here, fake me!"
Makenshi couldn't believe it. It could only be Scissor Wave. But
what was he doing here? He turned around and sure enough, his watery
evil counterpart stood before him laughing like a lunatic.
By the time Makenshi remembered Enker's javelins it was too late.
He turned his attention back to Enker but one of the javelins was
already hurled at him with such force that it impaled his shoulder
and almost went all the way out the other end. Makenshi yelped
in surprise and agony but he reflexively clutched the javelin and
tore it out.
Scissor Wave stopped his chortling. "Hey, what are you doing
with tha-" And in an instant the javelin was thrown at him
and he was showered with plasma. Makenshi was within the radius
of damage as well and screamed as it scorched his armor. There
was another detonation and the ceiling collapsed on Makenshi. He
tried to stagger out of the way but he slipped and before he knew
it his legs were immobilized in a pile of rubble.
On the other side Enker chuckled. He was about to search through
the debris and finish his opponent off when Quint suddenly contacted
him. "Enker, I'm afraid we need your assistance. Get back
to us immediately."
Enker frowned. "Yes, Captain," he replied reluctantly.
He quickly threw a javelin at the ceiling to add more rubble to
the pile and ran off.
"Captain! Our forces aren't faring too well especially since
they've already captured our commander!"
"Damn it!" Spiegel shouted into the radio. "They got
"Unfortunately, yes, sir! I'm afraid we won't even be able to
reach the launchpad! We're outnumbered and they're taking us out
faster than we can get them!"
"The control doesn't seem to be attainable either...." Spiegel
muttered. He had no choice left. Reluctantly, he switched channels
to all of the COs. "Alright, robots and Nox, we won't be able
to get this launchpad, so Clown and Tengu, you know what to do. And
don't forget to delete the blueprints!"
"Damn you Mysteryman, you play a solid defense for a single
"These illusions are pissing the hell outta me," Vulcan
"Alright! We get to do something!" Clownman exclaimed.
"Dash, close the connection!" Tengu scolded.
"I'm still tied up here!" Makenshi shouted.
"I have faith that all of you can get the hell outta here. Now
hurry up!" Spiegel commanded.
Makenshi was panting heavily. There was no way he could get out of
Then, there was the clatter of footsteps, and the wall beside him
collapsed as Vulcan burst through.
"There you are," Starman said to the trapped Waveman.
"No, I'm right here." a second Waveman said, stepping out
from the shadows. "That guy's an illusion! Remember that time
An Icarus revolver smashed into the second Waveman's face and the
gun went off, firing an Explosion round that detonated deep within
his skull. The illusion-disguised SA Joe fell.
"Shut the fuck up, Waveman," the first Waveman said.
"Why do you still carry those around? I thought your hands were
too large for them?" Vulcan inquired.
Makenshi patted his second revolver holstered by his waist. "I
just like showing them off," he stated.
Starman rolled his eyes and sliced away at the debris that pinned
Makenshi. Soon he was free, and after retrieving his giant spear
and the pistol that he threw, he ran off along with Vulcan. As they
made their way through the complex, Makenshi failed to notice that
in the room where he had fought Mr. Whiz, two deep, foot-sized holes
were all that remained.
Mysteryman chuckled. The RPD was retreating. It was all too easy.
Nox and company had been a challenge, but that's what made it so
The appearance of Tenguman and Clownman on one of the monitors caught
his attention. What the hell were they still doing here? "I
need a squad to take down two buffoons in the east wing," Mysteryman
casually communicated to his troops. The two RPD bots were already
on their way out but it was too late. Within minutes a horde of Joes
had surrounded them. Tengu flew up and fired some Tornado Holds while
Clownman took the Joes head on, but more and more Joes kept coming.
The RPD bots were not holding well and eventually they decided to
make a mad dash away from their attackers. Mysteryman laughed.
"Let them go! I'll relish in the fact that they'll be punished
for their incompetence!"
"Sir it looks like they've planted a bomb. It looks like they
tried to hide it from sight."
"Of course, sir. There's still approximately 6 minutes until
Mysteryman calmed down a little. "Scour the area for any more!"
Mysteryman chuckled. What a sneaky plan! The RPD wanted to make sure
the Scissor Army didn't secure the launch pad at all costs! They
even went so far as to attempt to blow up the control room if they
couldn't win it back! Such a devious plan! And they almost had him
too! Once he had seen them retreat he had been ready to sit back
and bask in his own glory for a mission accomplished. Even if there
were any more bombs the SA Joes certainly had the training and equipment
to detect and disarm them.
After ten minutes, a Joe radioed in. "We've searched the entire
complex and found none, sir."
That was fast. "Double check the place," Mysteryman ordered.
His gaze turned to another set of monitors displaying various places
of the actual launch pad. This space pad was very important, General
Cutman had said. Wouldn't he be pleased to find out that Mysteryman
had safely secured it for him!
Suddenly, someone's face appeared on one of the screens. Sticking
his tongue out and flashing both middle fingers was Mr. Whiz. Then,
the robot forcefully turned the camera. There, with the timer at
40 seconds, was a time bomb. Then he was gone in a blur.
The whole world seemed to collapse before Mysteryman. How could this
be?! How did that damn robot evade his attention? The RPD! Those
bastards were distracting him! If only...
"Everyone to the launch pad! There's a bomb there!" Mysteryman
screamed into the radio even though he knew it was futile. There
was no way they could get there and disarm it within 30 seconds.
The monitor displays went from a fiery yellow to white static, and
the SA officer knew that all that remained would be the bare foundations
of the launch pad.
Mysteryman's mind raced desperately. It was gone. The all-important
launch pad the General had entrusted him with was gone. But they
could always rebuild it. They could build more. They could build
as many as they wanted to! Because the blue prints were definitely
somewhere on the hard drive....
Mystery dashed to the computer and searched through the files. However,
when he attempted to access the blue prints, a message appeared in
large red letters.
ERROR: NO SUCH FILE EXISTS.
Tenguman and Clownman had had their revenge.
The Gila Gladiators wandered through Cape Canaveral. Their forces
had been unorganised and had suffered devastation. They’d lost track
of Whiz. Luckily none of the Scissor Army cared to fight them. And
that was just what they wanted. Well …. Most of them.
“We should be fighting!” said Blademan in frustration. “We’ve gotten
through worse odds than this.”
“And get roasted in the meantime,” said Voltman weakly. He had not
forgotten their disastrous battle against the Ascendant Androids.
Blademan tried to rally his troops. “We came through in resuing Wave
Girl! We can do this, guy!” Blade shook his fists to emphasize the
point. The other Gladiators remained unmotivated. Truly, this had
been a long and hard war. Blademan didn’t want to admit it, but even
he felt chilled when he thought of what Wraithman did to them … but
Wraithman wasn’t here.
“Look guys …. Wily is counting on us …” Blademan trailed off. None
of them needed to say it. They all knew what Wily had done to Spark
Chan. None of them liked it. Was it worth fighting for that madman
when he turned against them like that? He was worse tham the Robot
Police Force with their Shutdown Code!
“You!” said a voice from behind them. The Gladiators looked around
in fear and confusion. Was it Wraithman, coming back to get them?
Or some other Scissor Army monstrosity. “You who dare mock us,” the
voice continued. No, it was definitely not Wraithman. Still, the
Gladiators remained tense. That tone was not friendly.
“What do you want?” cried Bitgirl, half threatening, half hysterically.
All around them came snickering laughs.
“Only what is ours,” said the same voice, “Only what is ours.”
“Well, we don’t have anything of yours, so get lost!” shouted Sharkman
angrily. Still, he made no move to draw his weapon. He wanted to
avoid trouble if possible. Again came the derisive laughter.
“Look at ‘em. They look so scared,” said a different voice, mad with
“Aw, we shouldn’t do this, you guys,” said another.
“What once was lost is right now found ... Gila Gladiators,” said
the first voice, “but you already knew that. Didn’t you?”
“Show yourself, coward!” shouted Blademan angrily. If they were going
to be crucified or torn apart, or shot at he wanted to see who was
doing it! No more games!
Immediately a flame ignited in the dark. It came from the end of
a large arm attachment. The igniter of the flame casually walked
forward. The Gladiators gasped. He wore red armour and a long, burnt
leather jacket. His head was cocked to one side. They couldn’t tell
what his expression was through that helmet of his and it’s blue
visor, but it seemed he was laughing at them. Despite the slightly
different appearance … they knew this person.
“It can’t be! I’m Torchman!” said Zaneroth moving to the front of
the group. This was met with even more snickering from around the
Gladiators. There was crunching sounds … whoever had surrounded them
was circling them. Like sharks.
“Aw, we shouldn’t fight them,” said another voice, “We should be
friends! We’re all in the same boat … right?”
“Wrong!” said this other Torchman. “We have suffered disgrace after
disgrace … humiliation after humiliation … and now … this. We have
been copied enough!”
“Who the Hell are you supposed to be!?” said Sonicman angrily.
“I’m calling you out, ‘Torchman.’ You must fight me!” said the other
Torchman pointing his Torch Arm at his counterpart.
Zaneroth stepped backwards. And then forwards.
“Torch, what are you doing!?” said Wavegirl as she grabbed Zaneroth’s
arm protectively. Zaneroth put his hand over hers.
“We’ve had enough running. I will deal with this impostor.”
Blademan stepped to the side of his friend, “We will deal with this
More derisive laughter from the shadows. Torchman #2 chuckled, “How
like cowards to hide behind each other when they’re in trouble. How
unlike the true Megaman PC team! If you desire a full confrontation,
I will happily oblige …”
“No!” yelled Zaneroth in fear, “no, leave the others out of it. It’s
me you want, right? Well, let’s settle this, then. But be warned,
other Torchman … I’m a brilliant strategist and master fighter. In
fact, there’s a portion of my blood within this metal body and it
grants me small amounts of magical –“Torchman’s speech was rudely
cut short as his doppelganger shot a burst of flame at him. Oilman
reflexively jumped back and Wavegirl doused the flames with her Water
Zaneroth turned to thank his team mate, but he was jumped on by the
jacket-wearing Torchman. Wavegirl screamed, but the ground was blown
before the team’s eyes. After the dust cleared a huge Sharkman-like
robot loomed before them. It was larger than their Sharkman. It’s
teeth gleamed in what little light there was. And it spoke, “Now,
now. Let’s let the Torchmen handle this, eh?”
The leather-clad Torchman dragged his other to the center of a relatively
clear area. He then used his Torch Arm to create walls of flame to
keep the fight contained. “One shall stand … one shall fall!” said
the Torchman loudly. Zaneroth got to his feet. This other version
of him had left himself wide open. Knowing fire-based attacks were
useless, he ran straight at his doppelganger.
Somehow the other Torchman knew he was coming. He grabbed him and
threw him to the ground. Then he used his Torch Arm to sear a hole
into his back. Zaneroth squirmed. This leather-clad Torchman’s Torch
Arm was much more powerful than his own was. And he didn’t stop talking,
“I know all about you, you pathetic would-be-me. You’re some loser
named ‘Zaneroth’ who fancies himself connected to the world. But,
in reality, you’ve done little during this whole war.”
Zaneroth angrily threw his double off him and shot his Torch Arm
at him. The other Torchman just laughed and took it. There was snickering
all around. Zaneroth chanced a look behind him. Where were his friends?
He continued to pelt this other Torchman with fire. If he kept him
talking, perhaps some opportunity would present itself. “And what
have you been doing?”
Torchman (the other one) laughed more. “Wouldn’t you like to know,
faker.” He then leapt high into the air. Zaneroth sidestepped him,
but this other Torchman was faster than he was. And he continued
to pelt him with fire. It was frustrating! He wasn’t really hurt
by it, but it was insulting. How dare some nobody come at him from
out of nowhere!
“Why not just give up?” continued the other Torchman, “You have no
hope left. Your pathetic flame is nothing compared to mine. For only
I have the right and the privilege to be me! While you are too pathetic
and stupid to even hope to be me in all the nine worlds there are!”
“What are you babbling about!?” screamed Zaneroth angrily. He tried
to fight the other Torchman physically, but he seemed to dodge with
ease. He seemed to be taking this as some sort of joke!
“I’m babbling about fate,” said the other Torch seriously, “and how
it connects us. For, if you never existed, would this confrontation
happen? I think not. And, yet, your existence shows that someone
out there is set to besmirch our good name. It seems that there is
some plot- yes, I see it clearly now – there is a plot to get us
“No, there isn’t!” said a voice impatiently. Zaneroth noted with
a growing anger that this mockery of him ignored the voice.
“A plot to cast our uniqueness in doubt! A plot to further shove
us down! Is it not enough that those Mechs seek to destroy us!? And
yet every hero is confronted by twisted duplicates of themselves.
Is it not the way of the Force to face the Dark Side and overcome
Zaneroth tried to distract this mad Torchman by blowing away the
floor around him, but he wasn’t buying it. He seemed lost in his
“Did not Bizarro Shadowman, Iceman Red, and even Torchman Blue seek
to destroy all humanity? They did! And those adventures cemented
them into the hearts and minds of all the world! And now I face my
own nemesis – again! – and – again! – I am thrust into the mild world
of confusion and doubt! Is this the way I could have turned out!?
Doubting my place in the world? Doubting my very existence?”
Zaneroth couldn’t take it anymore. “Shut up!”
Torchman did not, “I think, therefore I am! I am, therefore I do!
I will never be turned into the self-doubting whiner that these Gladiators
are purported to be! I will not be turned into Waveman!”
“I am Torchman!” Zaneroth felt a sharp pain as his doppelganger screamed
them out. He looked down. There was a wide and deep gouge in his
“But … I don’t have a sword.”
Torchman hefted his curved blade to his face. It was lit of fire
instantly. “That is because I am Torchman. And you … don’t exist
anymore.” Torchman plunged his sword deep inside of a surprised Zaneroth.
“It’s time the Sinister Six chose a side.”
The large Sharkman monstrosity was called off, much to the Gladiator’s
surprise. He just dove underground as if it was water. They stood
there for a few moments. Was the a trap? The wall of flame before
them hid the battle within. There was shouting. And screaming.
“Let’s go, guys!” said Blademan nudging Wave Girl forward. She nodded
and doused the flames before them. They ran inside the ring of fire
and to their friend.
Wavegirl gasped at the remains of Torchman. He had been chopped up
and lit on fire. His head had been chopped in half. A surprised expression
was frozen on his dead face. Bit girl shook. Again, one of them died
horribly. This could have been any one of them.
Oilman knelt beside his friends and picked up the pieces. “We can
rebuild him, right? We … we always come back.” Blademan nodded. He
looked to his team. They all looked sick. Wave girls looked about
ready to cry. Again. She just wasn’t the same since Wraith left her
to rot in that tomb.
Blademan began a rousing speech, “Team, we - !” He looked around.
None of them seemed to want to hear it and Blademan didn’t really
want to finish it. This entire campaign had been a colossal failure
since day one. “We’re done.”
His team looked at him in surprise. Blademan continued, “We’ll just
hide out somewhere and ... we’re done here. Gather up Torchman. We’ll
just … lie low.” Blademan hung his head down low. This other PC team
wanted to see action in War? Let them. The Gila Gladiators were done.