By Gauntlet (Shadowman)
At the very moment N-Topman fires a laser from the Ark to destroy them, our heroes, the Mechanical Maniacs teleport into a virtual war zone. Special Forces Units are being attacked by other Special Forces Units and regular Police Bots. All are trying to enter an inconspicuous, but heavily fortified building.
Snakeman: (Collapses and convulses on the ground as the teleportation finishes.)
Topman: (Throwing off his jacket, now actually on fire) We just barely made it out of there. Snakeman got us all out, but...the beam still overloaded his systems. He's fried.
Shadowman: First the Technodrome and now the Ark. Why are all our old bases turning against us today? It's so depressing.
Needlegal: Don't take it personally.
Police Bot: H-halt! You are all under arrest!
(The team turn and see Police Bots with their busters aimed at them. Their leader stood slightly ahead of the pack, shaking in fear.)
Police Bot: St-stay back! I'm warning you!
Needlegal: Officer...you know us, right? You know that we weren't behind the attack on the city.
Police Bot: I - I don't -
Needlegal: You do! Look around you. How can we be behind all of this?
Police Bot: W-well...
Needlegal: Our friend here is hurt. We need your help to save him. You know us and you know what we've been trying to do for years now. We save people. Now...let us save Monsteropolis again.
Police Bot: O-okay. This...we could use your help.
(The Police Bots take Snakeman away and the four remaining Mechanical Maniacs charge the building.)
Shadowman: So, Nightmare Top was behind all of this? Didn't we kill him?
Topman: I wish. He must have survived somehow. It makes sense, I guess. He's always been a low-grade Mesmerman, he could have hacked me a bit and made me see what he wanted me to see back in the Technodrome, and he waited until I entered my security code before securing it fully.
Shadowman: Right. We've upgraded our computers completely, so even using Bizarro's technology, he might not have been able to access them directly until then. Our recharging chambers are basically the same Bizarro made though. Easy pickings. But how did he get access to that technology in the first place?
Special Forces Unit (N-Top): It was everywhere! (The Unit shoots at the Mechanical Maniacs. They sustain several hits before they're able to find cover.) Those morons used Bizarro's technology to upgrade all sorts of systems - not just the Special Forces Units. That bastard General Cutman was trying to hack into it too during the War. But I had a leg up on them all. Long ago the Sinister Six stole Bizarro Shadowman's own CPU!* I deciphered enough of it to make this whole plan come together.
(*Way back in Series 6 #3)
Needlegal: (While shooting the Needle Cannon) So when we destroyed your last body, you just downloaded into a new one. Nice Job, Toppy.
Special Forces Unit (N-Top): Don't call me that! I'm not "Topman" or "Geminiman" or any crap like that! I'm just "Nightmare" - making your worst dreams come true! And now that every single other obstacle is out of the way... You're next!
(Special Forces Units attack the Mechs from the rear. Needlegal loses an arm during the deadly assault.)
Geminiman: Keep covered! I got this! (His Gemini Laser bounces off every nearby surface available to strike the enemy indirectly.)
(Shadowman throws Shadow Blades from all around as Topman delivers devastating kicks to the group. After a brief, but hard battle for the depleted Mechs, the last Special Forces Unit falls.)
Special Forces Unit (Nightmare): Heh. Not bad. But it'll all be over soon. I've almost got it.
Topman: Got what, you sick freak?
Special Forces Unit (Nightmare): My true body! The body I always deserved. I never wanted this one...my end goal was always...Bizarro Shadowman's old body!
Shadowman: What, so you want to be Nightmare Shadowman now?
Special Forces Unit (Nightmare): Yuck it up, but I'm just about there. You can't stop me! None of you can!
Special Forces Unit (Torch): Like hell!
(The new Unit delivers a finishing blow to Nightmare's unit and stands before the Mechs.)
Special Forces Unit (Torch): So, Bizarro's body is kept here? That's what this has been all about?
Shadowman: Torchman? That's you in there, isn't it? I recognise your voice.
Special Forces Unit (Torch): ...
Shadowman: You heard him. He wants to download himself into Bizarro's old body. Bizarro might have been an idiot, but Nightmare isn't. He WILL have us for breakfast if we don't stop him.
Special Forces Unit (Torch): So? What are you suggesting?
Needlegal: Yeah, what are you suggesting?
Shadowman: I'm saying that...we have to...
Special Forces Unit (Torch): Team up? You want me to...team up with you?
Shadowman: I hate to say it, but...yes. We need each other, Torchman. You have to see that! We can't fight them and you!
Special Forces Unit (Shark): Hey! There's the Mechs! Torchie, what's going on?
Shadowman: Stop! We don't have to fight!
Special Forces Unit (Torch): We don't have...to...
Needlegal: The Technodrome attacking the city wasn't our fault. It -
(Torchman punches Needlegal through a wall.)
Special Forces Unit (Torch): Not your fault? What does it matter whether it's your fault or not?! How is that relevant to anything? And...team up with you? YOU!? I'd rather die!
(The armor nimbly dodges an attack from Shadowman and then punches him down the far side of the room.)
Special Forces Unit (Blade): (Newly arriving om the scene) Aw man! It looks like Torchie's getting his mojo back!
Special Forces Unit (Torch): Do you think we're so pathetic as to need assistance from the likes of you!? NEVER! I've suffered your presence for as long as I could stand, but this offer of - of - WEAKNESS enrages and disgusts me!
(Sharkman and Blade cheer as Torchman knocks aside Topman and Geminiman as they both attack at once!)
Special Forces Unit (Blade): YEAH! Get 'em! Get 'em!
Special Forces Unit (Torch): We lay in wait patiently for years! ...Learning the systems, planting programs in key places... We started doing that even before the War - when we had our Navi forms!* We can now manipulate these bodies with impunity! Once we finally earned the trust of the public, we eliminated our only competition and claimed our ultimate reward! It was all to this end, Mech!
(*Series 6 #7)
Geminiman: Wait, this was all some sort of...plan!? From even before the War!? How long have you had control of the Special Forces!?
Needlegal: They took out Crorq. It was them!
Shadowman: You're insane! This place is a war zone! We have to -!
(Shadowman is felled by a shot form Sharkman's Unit)
Special Forces Unit (Shark): Let the brotha' preach the good word!
Special Forces Unit (Torch): I was lost! When my carefully laid plan was set awry by cruel fate, I was crushed! I almost quit. But your cowardly offer of an alliance has rekindled my righteous rage! And, you know, it wouldn't have mattered if you left or if you really had used the Technodrome to attack the city. Eventually we would have come for you. I want you to know that in your final hour. (Torch's Unit levels its buster at the Mechs. Shark and Blade's do the same. Before they can fire Shadowman grabs his teammates and teleports them away using the Shadow Warp.)
(They reappear on the other side of the corridor and make a run for it. They dodge warring police factions and pass by many Police Bots paralyzed into a state of inaction by the resulting confusion.)
Shadowman: They had a plan. All this time? They had a plan!
Geminiman: And now we have to fight all of them. Do you know where we're going?
Shadowman: I'm following the destruction. It's - oop!
(Shadowman makes another Shadow Warp as a squadron of Special Forces begins to attack. They find themselves on the other side of them and continue to run, heedless of pursuit.)
Shadowman: That's...taking a lot out of me.
Geminiman: We have to keep on moving! If Nightmare wants to download his personality into Bizarro's old body then whatever he's holding his consciousness in right now has to be all of him. We'll end him and this chaos. I don't even care about being captured by the Sinister Six. They'll want to brag, so we'll escape later. For now let's just focus on getting Nightmare.
Needlegal: Sounds like a plan.
(The remaining Mechanical Maniacs make their way through the lab and eventually arrive at a large, broken-down door. The remains of Police Bots and Special Forces Units litter the area and the Maniacs move quietly towards the conflict...)
Special Forces Unit (Oil): If anyone's getting the technology here it's going to be us!
Special Forces Unit (Nightmare): You idiots don't deserve it! You've been loitering at RPD HQ for years and only care about Bizarro's body because I'm finally here to claim it. What are you even going to do with it!?
Special Forces Unit (Blade): That's for us to know, sucker!
Special Forces Unit (Wave): Can't we all just share Bizarro's technology?
Special Forces Unit (Blade): NO!
Special Forces Unit (Oil): Shut up, Waveman!
Special Forces Unit (Nightmare): I've grown to really hate you people!
(The Special Forces Units controlled by the Sinister Six scream as an unseen force starts fighting them. They fire wildly in all directions and the Unit controlled by Nightmare chuckles to itself.)
Special Forces Unit (Nightmare): I hope you simpletons appreciate that little bit of torture. And now... (The Unit gently picks up the headless body of Bizarro Shadowman) I'm going to take this away and complete my body. After all this time I - URK!
(The Special Forces Unit jerks in place as a giant scythe appears out of nowhere and skewers it. Within moments one of the fallen Police Bots morphs into the large white robot the Mechanical Maniacs know well...)
Topman: (whispering) Mesmerman!
Mesmerman: So this is what all the fuss was about. I wish I had been around to know this insane creature before his untimely end. I must say I admire his ability to sew chaos even after his death.
(Shadowman gestures to his teammates to circle the maniacal robot, but Mesmerman fixes his eye on their position behind the wall.)
Mesmerman: Come out, come out wherever you are! You aren't fooling anyone, old friends, and you certainly can't sneak up on someone like me.
(The Mechanical Maniacs grudgingly come out of hiding.)
Needlegal: So the Sinister Six never killed you.
Mesmerman: Those idiots couldn't kill boredom. The body they found was one of many now-useless shells I have around. It was simplicity itself to fake my death and the world was all too eager to believe I had finally been put out of their misery. As if that's even possible. (Mesmerman giggles in a high pitched voice and lifts Bizarro's lifeless body into the air).
Topman: So, it was you pulling the strings all this time! This all seemed to start with that Scissor Army base you crashed at, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It would also go a long way to explain the Sinister Six's plans actually working!
Mesmerman: "Pulled the strings"? I wish I could claim the credit, but I'm just going with the flow this time around. I'm as shocked as anyone that the Sinister Six had a plan as thought-out as this one. And that Nightmare Top had a plan before I so rudely interrupted it so long ago...but that two-bit copy of me has no business obtaining the technology found here! I'll use this to augment my own body and then...nobody will ever be safe!
Special Forces Unit (Nightmare): It's MINE!!!
(The unit fires on Mesmerman who shrieks as the blasts hit Bizarro's body.)
Mesmerman: (Flying through the air and shearing the body into two) Careful! This is already in poor condition and -
(Mesmerman continues to dodge projectiles as Needlegal and Geminiman add to the chaos.)
Geminiman: If you think we'll simply let you have that, then you have another think coming!
(Mesmerman avoids the barrage as best he can, but Bizarro's body continues to sustain damage.)
Mesmerman: This has been fun, but I really have to go!
(Mesmerman splits into ten Mesmermen, each carrying their own Bizarro-corpse and each flying in different directions around the room.)
Shadowman: Damn it! We'll never find him at this rate!
Topman: None of them are are the real Mesmerman!
Shadowman: Yes, but one of the holograms is carrying the real Bizarro and that has to be our main concern.
Mesmerman: Yes, pick a target, any target! But watch out for the hazards!
(Mesmerman's scythe tears into an unsuspecting Shadowman as he's distracted by the display.)
(The Maniacs attack, but Mesmerman only laughs.)
Mesmerman: You robots have been constantly in my way. I once thought I could use you to further chaos in the world, but now...maybe I should just take this opportunity to be rid of you once and for all!
(At that moment the true Mesmerman is caught by the damaged Special Forces Unit.)
Special Forces Unit (Nightmare): YOU!! You've made my life a living hell!
Mesmerman: I do try.
(The true Mesmerman wraps his tentacles around the Unit.)
Mesmerman: We've done this song and dance before, you satellite with delusions of grandeur. We both know how this ends.
Special Forces Unit (Nightmare): If it means the end of you...all of you...
(The compound shakes as it's hit by rocket fire.)
Mesmerman: What's that!?
Special Forces Unit (Nightmare): (Laughs wildly)
Special Forces Unit (Torch): Beware, Mechs! I've come to destroy you once and for all!
Special Forces Unit (Bit): Take this, bitches.
(Torchman and Bitman fires wildly around the room, hitting everything in in sight...including one of the ten Bizarros held by Mesmerman. The torso explodes as it finally succumbs to the extensive damage.)
Shadowman: They...they ...
Needlegal: They actually nailed the right one.
Mesmerman: Noooooo!!!!!!! You - you! How could you have hit the one true prize!? How!?
The building rocks again and debris falls everywhere. Before anyone knows it, Nightmare and Mesmerman are engulfed in flames. The holographic Mesmermen disappear and the building begins to collapse. It's then that the remaining Mechanical Maniacs and the Sinister Six present see their doom...)
Special Forces Unit (Bit): Is dat...?
Geminiman: The Ark. It looks like it's out of control.
Special Forces Unit (Shark): It's headed right for us!
(At that moment a large jet screams by and blasts the out-of-control spacecraft out of the sky. Its remains come crashing to the ground far away. Nonetheless, the resulting termor levels the rest of the damaged building with everyone still inside.
(Some time later, the Mechanical Maniacs awake in the robot hospital.)
Snakeman: What? We're in...
Spark Chan: Oh, thank goodness you're finally reactivated!
(Spark throws her hands around Snake as he comes out of bed. the rest of the Mechanical Maniacs follow suit.)
Needlegal: Sparks!? What's going on here?
Spark Chan: We found you after we knocked the Ark out of the sky. We stopped it from blowing the base away, but not before it was too damaged to stay standing. So all of you were hurt.
Kenta: But we're all recovered now, I see.
Hadrian: I never want to be in the middle of one of your shitstorms ever again, Mags.
Kenta: You won't have to worry about that ever happening again, friend.
Geminiman: M'lady, you keep saying "we"... Who aided you in our rescue?
Spark Chan: I...uh...
Crorq: It was none other than I!
(The large robot stomps into the room.)
Crorq: I was waiting for just the right time to make an appearance. Heh heh heh.
Topman: You!? But you're dead! You have to be dead! You should be dead! Why aren't you dead!?
Crorq: It'll take more than one measly building collapse permanently take one such as I out. Although... (sparks fly from Crorq's body) Some parts of this tired body are irreparable, perhaps it's about time for another upgrade.
Geminiman: We'll never be free, will we?
Crorq: As for my resurrection, your teammate thought that piece of sewage Oilman didn't really search for me and she was correct. Spark Chan dug me out and informed me of the situation. Tapping satellite signals, I knew the Ark was on its way and I intercepted it.
Snakeman: What about Gaderham? Is he alright too?
Crorq: Oh, yes, never mind me. I only saved your miserable lives! But yes, meals on wheels is fine as well. Although still out of commission.
Snakeman: There's that at least.
Crorq: You'll be glad to hear that, after all this, I'm scrapping the Special Forces Units. They just can't be trusted. Too easy to corrupt.
Topman: And what about the Sinister Six? Nightmare? And Mesmerman?
Crorq: The Sinister Six used proxies: they escaped shortly after my magnificent last-minute save. But I am aware of their treachery. One day soon... they shall see why it's a bad idea to cross me. As for the others, it's inconclusive. It's improbable that they had survived, but no bodies have been found.
Geminiman: It's too much to hope that that kind of thing could kill either of them.
Topman: I don't know. Nightmare had to really be there in order to download himself into Bizarro's body. And you all saw the Ark...it was out of control after that last explosion. Maybe...maybe my twisted copy has finally gone to that recycling bin in the sky.
Needlegal: Or the garbage heap down below anyway.
Shadowman: I...never thought I'd say this, but...thank you, Crorq. You...really saved our bacon.
Crorq: Oh, no need to thank me yet. You'll be repaying this debt for a very long time, Mechs! Hwa hah hah hah hah!
(Crorq laughs as he stomps out of the room. All eyes then turn to Spark Chan.)
Kenta: What did he mean by that?
Spark Chan: He...even after I dug him out he wouldn't help us! He seemed ecstatic that we got in way over our heads!
Hadrian: Dat sounds like 'im.
Spark Chan: I had to make a binding contract with him. We're...back on the RPD...under his direct command...and Kenta and Hadrian are out of the team.
Spark Chan: He said it was due to "budget cuts", but you know Crorq. I think he just wants to put his own people on the team.
Topman: We were out! We were finally out! We were freelance heroes and now...
Kenta: One day that yellow fool will realize who he's dealing with. One day.
Snakeman: Well, I guess things turned out all right...
Needlegal: But we're back under stale cheese's thumb!
Topman: I can't believe this. Can Sparks really make a deal for all of us!?
Shadowman: I...think so, yes. As a member of the team she can speak on our behalf.
Topman: But, Shadow, are we really gonna take this lying down!? We have to fight that gassbag!
Shadowman: Top, we just stopped being public enemies. We're homeless, broke, and robots are still unwelcome in most workplaces. What exactly are we going to do for money? For now Crorq has us right where he wants us. For now.
Spark Chan: I'm sorry, guys.
Hadrian: Don't be, Class. 'fore Mesmer came back my life wuz a wreck. The Mechs gave me my fight'n spirit back. It's time to put dat to good use and put my life back togeth'r.
Kenta: I'm in the same boat. It's been 15 years since I first became Magnetman and I have to go back to some very dark places to use my powers.
Shadowman: I can't believe it's goodbye. Good luck you guys.
Hadrian: At least we're fin'ly free of dat yellow slimebag.
Snakeman: This sucks! We were jerked around this whole time by events we barely had any control over, Sparks saved our boss' bacon, and we still got screwed!
Needlegal: And we learned something too.
Geminiman: About how far gratitude gets you in the RPD?
Needlegal: We learned that you should never underestimate your enemies. We underestimated the Sinister Six, but they nearly took us all out. The RPD underestimated Mesmerman and we were all blindsided by his return (although, how many times has he faked his death now? You'd think we'd catch on.) And Mesmerman underestimated Nightmare Top and was nearly killed by him! So in the end, we should just stop underestimating each other.
Kenta: And that yellow fool underestimates us. Don't forget that. I've added him to my list. One day he'll get his.
Topman: Well, until he finally does, we are...The Mechanical Maniacs!
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