Series 8 Issue #7 - Off The Fourth Wall

(RPD Headquarters. Everyone in the building shuffles around nervously as if the wrath of the almighty is about rain down upon them all. Our heroes wait outside Crorq's office where they can hear the supercomputer's bellowing from behind the thick wooden doors.)

Needlegal: Geez, I swear Crorq conducts these evaluations just to scream and berate us.

Hardman: And does he really need that as an excuse? He screams and berates us the other 364 days of the year.

Topman: 365 on a leap year! Anyway, these evaluations determine whether he demotes us. I don't think he has actually PROMOTED anyone, other than himself of course.

Needlegal: True enough. Remember what happened when he found out Pharaohman used RPD funds to fly to Vegas and stayed at the Luxor?

Shadowman: Yes. Crorq demoted him to target at the firing range and they still haven't recovered all the pieces. I'm not worried, I'll be happy if we scrape by on the bare minimum.

Geminiman: Isn't that always the way with you?

Shadowman: Meh. We have a gluttonous and insufferable supercomputer for a boss. Would you give him one hundred percent?

Magnetman: We're all part of the RPD, aren't we? We should be giving it two hundred percent for the team.

Hardman: And you keep giving me new reasons for me to kill you in unspeakable ways.

Magnetman: Okay, okay. One hundred and fifty percent, at least.

Hardman: Still not helping.

Snakeman: Anyway... why should we worry? It's not like we monumentally screwed up any of our missions or misappropriated department funds. Crorq will scream at us for ten minutes and that'll be it.

Spark Chan: I don't know if I can handle the headache.

(Crorq's screaming stops and the doors creak open. The Sterling Sentinels shuffle out single-file with their eyes wide open and their mouths agape. Even the burly Concreteman is crying!)

Crorq: Where are those imbecilic Maniacs?!

Needlegal: Sounds like he's in a good mood today.

Topman: Maybe he will only shout at us for five minutes.

(And so the Mechs line up in Crorq's office. He paces around with his hydraulics creaking and the floor slightly shakes with each step. Each of their files appears on his many screens.)

Crorq: Why did I even pay you morons?

Topman: You haven't paid us in...

Crorq: (Thrusts his face into Top's) SILENCE! All of you have done such a mediocre job the reason why I keep you here continues to elude me. Except for you Hardman. Your pointless and excessive brutality warms my circulatory coolant pump.

Hardman: Uh, thanks?

Crorq: (Belches loudly) No, wait. It was the chimichanga I had for third breakfast. One of you has stood out from the rest. Shadowman!

Shadowman: Yes, sir?

Crorq: Your file says you opened fire on a bus full of schoolchildren, blew up a senior's care facility, and most heinously, gave the cashier at Kentucky Fried Chicken $8.75 when you owed her $8.77!

Shadowman: Uh, I didn't do any of that.

Crorq: WHAT?! You dare question my supreme intellect?!

Hardman: Is water wet?

Needlegal: Can I see his file? (Shakeman hands her a pad and she glances over it) He's right. I think somebody filed this report in the wrong folder. The name I see here is...

Crorq: Are you telling me a member of MY staff made a clerical error?

Needlegal: Just read it again...

Crorq: I am Crorq! Nothing can measure my intellect! I make no mistakes and neither do my personal staff! (Points to Shadowman with one of his spindly arms) I am demoting you to crossing guard duty!

Mechs: WHAT?!

Snakeman: You can't be serious.

Geminiman: Crorq is not renowned for his sense of humor, Snake.

Shadowman: So who is taking over my team?

Crorq: Your FORMER team and I have handpicked your replacement. Shakeman! Introduce him to the team!

Shakeman: Yessir!

(Shakeman opens the door and a roboticized Shadow the Hedgehog stiffly walks in.)

"Shadow" Man: All hail Crorq!

Crorq: Say hello to your new subordinates, Shadow Man.

"Shadow" Man: Crorq's word is law!

Topman: Mr. Personality, I see.

Shadowman: Okay, you obvious went to the trouble of capturing Shadow the Hedgehog. But how did you turn him into that?

Hardman: He probably took or reverse engineered the roboticizer Wily and Eggman created when they messed with the space/time continuum a couple decades back.

Mechs: ...

Hardman: What?

Spark Chan: Could you repeat that for us, hun?

Hardman: You guys don't remember? They...

(Meanwhile, on the other side of the fourth wall. Ben is tapping away at the computer and Gauntlet leans over to read it.)

Gauntlet: You know the crossover's not finished yet, right?

Ben: Not a problem because I went straight to the source. (Gets up and opens the closet door to reveal Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man writer, Ian Flynn, tied up and gagged)

Ian Flynn: (Makes muffled noises until Ben removes the gag) You guys know you're in trouble, right? Archie Comics is eventually going to notice that I'm missing.

Ben: Oh, I'm going to let you go. When you tell me how "Worlds Collide" ends.

Ian Flynn: Not going to happen.

Ben: I can be very persuasive, Mr. Flynn. (Pulls out a feather.)

Ian Flynn: Do you expect me to talk... whoever you are?

Ben: No, Mr. Flynn. I expect you to laugh! Tickle tickle!

(Back on the other side. The team and Crorq peer off in separate directions.)

Mechs: ...

Spark Chan: Why do I have this feeling somebody wasted a minute of our life?

Hardman: You get used to it.

Crorq: And you peons wasted enough of my precious time! Get out of my illustrious presence, NOW!

(The Mechs file out of his office completely dismayed.)

Shadowman: (Grumbles) I guess I should report for crossing guard duty. Catch you guys later. (Shuffles off)

"Shadow" Man: Crorq gives my life purpose!

Topman: So why don't you marry him?

"Shadow" Man: Crorq is way out of my league. None are worthy of his affection!

Hardman: Okay, I say we ditch this hoser, anyone with me?

Mechs: YES!

Geminiman: I have to agree with Ben. This sycophant will only drag the rest of us down.

Magnetman: Hey now! He may be new but is still a member of our team. Shouldn't we give him a chance and get to know him better?

Needlegal: Go ahead Sheriff. I somehow doubt you will get very far with him.

Magnetman: Much obliged ma'am. (Clears throat) So, uh, "Shadow" Man, what do you do on your time off? Have any hobbies?

"Shadow" Man: Only what Crorq tells me to do!

Magnetman: So, how about them Yankees?

"Shadow" Man: Crorq is a Red Sox fan!

Magnetman: Listen to any music? Have any favorite bands?

"Shadow" Man: I listen to whatever Crorq listens to!

Topman: Okay. I am officially curious now. What does Crorq listen to?

"Shadow" Man: Crorq adores the Spice Girls! He often dresses up like Scary Spice and sings "Wannabe" when he is 99.44% certain that he will not be disturbed.

Mechs: ... (Try to avoid breaking out into riotous laughter)

Snakeman: (Snort) I have got to see that.

(The Mechs begin to hear a familiar melody behind the office door.)

Snakeman: Can you go see if that is what we think it is, Sparks?

Spark Chan: Sure thing, hun. (Opens the door a crack and peeks in)

(She sees Crorq dressed in a wig with his screens displaying the music video to "Wannabe." A reluctant Shake Man is dressed up as Posh Spice and appears to be on the verge of tears.)

Crorq: So I'll tell you what I want! What I really, really want!

Shakeman: (Sobs) So tell me what you want what you really, really want.

Crorq: I'll tell you what I want! What I really, really want!

Shakeman: So tell me what you want what you really, really want. (Bawls)

Crorq: I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha.

(Spark Chan's jaw drops as she pulls away and surreptitiously closes the door. She silently steps back.)

Snakeman: Well?

Spark Chan: It's true! He was wearing a wig and everything, and poor Shakeman.

(The Mechs carefully walk away and try to pretend they did not hear anything.)

Needlegal: Anyone think we should install some hidden cameras in his office?

Geminiman: The blackmail possibilities are endless.

Spark Chan: NO! No one needs to see what I just saw!

Hardman: I don't believe I'm saying this but I think Class is right. Watching Crorq dance in drag is the last thing the world needs.

Geminiman: (Pauses, and shudders) Then we should purge that memory from our banks tonight. Agreed?

Mechs: Agreed!

Snakeman: Hold that thought. I'm getting a transmission from dispatch. Someone's—

(Beyond the fourth wall. Ben continues writing while Gauntlet tickles Ian Flynn's feet with the feather.)

Ian Flynn: Hahahaha!

Ben: Can you keep it down? I'm trying to think!

Gauntlet: (Stops) I've been doing this for an hour, Ben. We really need to re-evaluate our interrogation techniques. He's no closer to talking.

Ben: It worked in Sly Cooper!

Ian Flynn: (To Gauntlet) He knows this isn't a video game, right?

Gauntlet: I honestly don't know anymore.

Ben: Keep interrogating the hostage! We have a golden opportunity—-wait, that's it! "Gold!"

(Back behind the fourth wall)

Snakeman: Uh, someone just broke into the Monsteropolis Federal Reserve from underground...

Topman: Isn't the city called "Mega City" nowadays? I seem to remember the Mayor renaming the city for Megaman's birthday.

Needlegal: Come to think about it...

Hardman: (Ahem) Genesis Wave?

Magnetman: I'm confused now. What are we talking about again?

Geminiman: Who knows? I can't make head nor tails of this conversation.

Snakeman: ANYWAY. Dispatch is calling for all available units to respond.

"Shadow" Man: Crorq's word is law!

Hardman: So do we take the dingus with us or not?

Spark Chan: Something tells me we shouldn't leave him alone. (Points to "Shadow" Man.)

("Shadow" Man keeps walking into a pillar again, and again, again.)

Hardman: We could always use another body as a shield, I guess.

(A few minutes earlier, in the deepest sub-basement of the Monsteropolis Federal Exchange where the government holds the gold reserves of several other nations. The wall suddenly explodes. Bricks and dust fly off in every direction before the alarms start to sound.)

(A figure with a pointed helmet emerges from the newly opened hole.)

Quickman: Well, we finally made it boys! Crashman! Show the boys how handy you are and load that bullion on the transport with the others!

Crashman: HANDY?! (Points to Quickman with his drill tip) And who made you boss you lazy pile of—

Quickman: Doc Robot did, you spaz! Now chop-chop, Hans Gruber! That gold is not going to move itself.

Crashman: HANS! (Lunges at Quick) I'M GOING TO KILL YOU FOR THAT MOTH—

(Turboman intervenes and fires a Scorch Wheel that chars Crashman to crisp.)

Turboman: Tsk. Sane help is so hard to find, isn't it?

Quickman: You said it pal. Alright ladies, chop-chop! (Claps hands.)

(The other Robot Masters start loading the Sisi Truck transport down the tunnel they drilled whilst grumbling under their breath.)

Woodman: I really hate those guys. They stand around while we do all the hard work.

Junkman: Tell me about it. Their day will come.

Quickman: Too much talking! Not enough walking!

Woodman and Junkman: (Grumble)

(The guardbots finally arrive and fire their weapons at the Wilybots.)

Guardbots: Cease and desist! You are in violation of—

(Quickman wastes no time in charging towards the guardbots and dismantles them with a bevy of Quick Boomerangs.)

Quickman: Little tip for when they repair you! Shoot first and yak later.

(Turboman transforms to his car mode and plows into the next wave of guardbots. Then transforms back to robot mode and melts them down with his Scorch Wheel.)

Turboman: All right, lazy bones! Get your rears in third gear and take as much bullion as you can while we hold them off.

(Woodman, Junkman, and the others do not waste time arguing and scramble to load as much gold as they can.)

Junkman: (Jumps into the trailer along with Woodman) Let's ditch those jerks and get out of here!

(Sisi Truck revs up and accelerates down the tunnel.)

Quickman: (Turns his head when he hears the engine) They're leaving without us?! Why those a—

(Needlegal jumps out from behind a battered column and fires her Needle Cannon. One bullet pierces his shoulder while another pierces his foot.)

Needlegal: Don't worry about them, Speedy. We got them covered.

Quickman: So Crorq's lapdogs finally show up. I was waiting for a chance to do this! (Charges at Needle while firing boomerangs from his launcher.)

Needlegal: (Ducks and roll out from their path) What's the matter, Quick? Age is slowing you down? It's been 15 years since anyone's seen you, so I can't say I'd be surprised.

Turboman: (Revs his engine and transforms) Let's see if you find this "slow."

(Turboman's tires screech as he accelerates to ram Needlegal. Two Search Snakes intercept him and explode; the shrapnel shreds his tires to ribbons and he rolls over and skips off the floor before smashing into the wall.)

Quickman: Turbo! (A Search Snake latches onto his right leg and explodes) ARGH!

(Needlegal fires another barrage of needles that turns his arms into swiss cheese.)

Quickman: ARGH! You jerks! I'll get you for that!

Needlegal: (Pins him to the floor under her heel) Yeah, yeah. You always say that and never deliver.

Snakeman: (Turns on the comm link) We subdued Turboman and Quickman, and it looks like they saved us the trouble of dealing with Crashman. The remaining suspects are en route to your location.

(Sisi Truck barrels through the tunnel until it surfaces onto an incomplete freeway and continues unabated. Geminiman watches them approach from atop a half-complete overpass.)

Geminiman: It appears we have our suspects. Are you ready, Ben?

Hardman: Heh, this will be a piece of cake.

"Shadow" Man: All glory to Crorq!

Hardman: Oh, shut up, dingus.

Geminiman: Now!

(Hardman jumps off the overpass and executes a Hard Press that smashes the cab of Sisi Truck into a crumpled wreck. The abrupt halt causes the contents of the truck to fly into Woodman and Junkman. They crash through the door and land on the pavement where they are buried by several million dollars' worth of bullion.)

(The rest of the Maniacs leap from the overpass to confront the two Wilybots.)

Hardman: (Cracks knuckles) Well, well, well. Looks like we caught us a couple of John McClane fanboys. Wily Return Squad, right?

Woodman: It's Wily Return Force, Hardhead!

Hardman: (Recoils in shock when he sees Woodman) Holy hell! And what are you doing here, Woody? I thought the Warriors vanished years ago and why are you working for that little creep?

(Beyond the Fourth Wall)

Gauntlet: Y'know, I wonder why Multiman and Barrageman are busy.

Ben: Does it really matter?

Gauntlet: It does if you don't want a major plot hole.

Ben: Okay. Time to invoke the "Word of God" trope and say it was their turn to pick up Doc Robot's dry cleaning. Satisfied?

Gauntlet: Not really. It sounds sort of like a cop out like using the Genesis Wave as a plot device twice.

Ian Flynn: Hey! Why don't you guys try to write a comic with Sega and Capcom scrutinizing each script? It's not all chocolates and roses!

Ben: Maybe I can play this up for laughs somehow. I didn't call this ep "Off The Fourth Wall" for no reason.

Gauntlet: Oh screw this, I'll take it from here. (Knocks Ben off his chair and starts typing)

Ben: Hey! What's the big idea?

Gauntlet: I'm just going to explain why Barrage and Multi are busy. Don't worry.

Ben: (Grumbles)

(Behind the Fourth Wall.)

Topman: Y'know what? it's so weird that Doc Robot's dragged Wily series 2 out of the cave they've been in for this fight.

Spark Chan: Yeah. He, Multiman, and Barrage are best friends.

Junkman: Doc only told us that he sent them on an important mission.

(Elsewhere Barrageman flies high above while a score of Multimen scour around a formidable looking building ...)

Barrageman: Unit Barrageman did not complete the task yet.

Multiman: Raaaaahhhh! Fat lot of good you are, big and with no hands to speak of.

Barrageman: Unit barrageman doesn't like when unit Multiman mocks Unit Barrageman's lack of hands!

(All the Multimen throw their hands up in the air in frustration.)

Multiman: Cry me a river!

Multiman: Hey! I think I found it! Is this it?

(Most of the Multimen crowd around the one who spoke. Shortly Barrageman swats a dozen of them away to make room for himself and he inspects the Multiman's prize.)

Barrageman: Negative. That is not Teddy Bear Man.

Multiman: But ... it's a teddy bear.

Barrageman: But not Teddy Bear Man.

Multiman: Couldn't he just make this Teddy Bear Man!?

(Barrageman's eye glistens)

Barrageman: There is only one true Unit Teddy Bear Man.

(The Multiman tears the stuffed animal in two)

Multiman: Well, crap

(Back to the fight)

Hardman: (Growls, and glares past the fourth wall) I'm really, REALLY starting to get tired of this "intrusive author" bit!

(Everyone silently gawks at Ben.)

Spark Chan: Are you sure you're feeling alright?

Topman: I don't know. I kinda feel like we just came back from a commercial break.

Woodman: What in Asimov's name is he talking about?

Geminiman: I am going to pretend that made sense.

Woodman: Anyway, like Junk said, the actual Return Force guys are busy, so we were tapped to help out. And it's about time too! Doc rebuilt our bodies and set our personalities back to their factory settings so don't expect any happy reunions. Now that we dispensed with the exposition-- (Fires his Leaf Shield)

Hardman: (Shields his face) Guess that means my old pals are gone and I can smash you to pieces without the guilt. What a bittersweet day.

"Shadow" Man: This conversation is counterproductive! I arrest you in the name of Crorq! (Rushes at Woodman, only to get a face full his razor-sharp Leaf Shield)

Junkman: Ha! Looks like your teammate has the smarts of a malfunctioning Batton.

Topman: Such a witty insult. Are you going talk us to death?

Junkman: How about this instead? (Raises his Junk Shield and fires it on Hardman and "Shadow" Man)

(Topman spins and races to intercept it and redirects the junk orbs at Woodman.)

Woodman: ACK!

Topman: And for my next trick... (Spins in a tight circle around Junkman to whip up a dust devil to blind him) ...and around and around I go. Where I stop...

(Geminiman leaps and slashes Junkman in the chest.)

Topman: Only Lennon knows.

(Meanwhile, Magnetman fires his revolver at Woodman but despite all attempts to direct the bullets, Woodman blocks it with his Leaf Shield. Spark Chan keeps firing Spark Shots to absolutely no effect on the non-metallic robot master.)

Woodman: You guys REALLY are stupid. Do you think electricity and magnetism will do squat to me?

Spark Chan: It doesn't have to, hun.

Woodman: What?

Magnetman: It's called a "distraction."

Woodman: Huh? (Turns around to see Hardman fire Hard Knuckle at him) Oh dear.

(The Hard Knuckle smashes him into one of the overpass supports.)

Hardman: Teamwork. You nimrods should try it.

Magnetman: Reckon we should trade dancing partners, Gemini?

Geminiman: Excellent proposal, Sheriff! (Transforms his arm to cannon mode and fires a Gemini Laser at Woodman.)

(It burns through the outer level of his armor. Woodman screams and attempts to shred him with a volley of his Leaf Shield only for Top to effortlessly redirect them so they slice off his arms.)

Woodman: ARGH! You jerk I'm gonna—

Geminiman: Stay down. (Fires another laser that burns all the way through Woodman's body to permanently disable him.)

Junkman: Uh oh, time to get out of dodge! (Tries to flee but Magnetman snags him in a magnetic field) Ack!

Magnetman: Let's make him a little more manageable for when he take him to the station.

Spark Chan: Gladly. (Powers up for a large enough Spark Shock to disable to Junkman's magnetic joints.)

(Junkman falls to piece and remains as a helpless torso.)

Junkman: Right! I'll do you for that!

Hardman: What are you going to do, gnaw at our ankles?

Junkman: Do you think we would pull this heist without backup?

(A large shadow swoops over the battlefield. The Mechs do not see it at first but when it flies over again they realize that it belongs to the Wily Mecha Dragon.)

Topman: Oh dear, this is not good. Not good at all though it thematically fits with Lennon's MO.

Geminiman: And could this get any worse?

(The ground begins to rumble and the pebbles on the pavement move and scatter. Another giant robot wheels in and smashes through the overpass.)

Guts Dozer: RAARRRR!!

Topman: Oh come on! How many of those things are there now?

"Shadow" Man: Stop in the name of Crorq! (Charges toward Guts Dozer only for the behemoth to smash him with its fist and crush him under its treads.)

Hardman: And there goes our shield.

Magnetman: I reckon we should call for backup right now.

(Beyond the Fourth Wall.)

Gauntlet: You really should show what happened to Shadowman.

Ben: He was demoted to crossing guard duty. ‘Nuff said.

Gauntlet: You said he was now a crossing guard but didn't show him doing the job.

Ian Flynn: (Leaning behind Ben's chair, still tied up) I have to agree with your friend here. You should show him being a crossing guard and miserable. I know I would be if a monstrously obese supercomputer with a superiority complex demoted me to that job.

Ben: (Indignantly) And why should I listen to the hostage?

Ian Flynn: I don't know. It's not like I write Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe, Mega Man, AND New Crusaders, or anything.

Ben: Fine. Fine! We'll do it your way Mr. "Big Shot Comics Writer."

(Behind the Fourth Wall. Not too far away from the battlefield, Shadowman stands in the middle of the street holding up a stop sign to halt traffic so the schoolchildren behind him can cross. He appears mind numbingly bored from the monotony.)

Shadowman: Ugh, this bites. What deity did I tick off to deserve this? (Blows whistle and steps back to the curb so traffic can pass.)

(A kindergartener in a yellow hat runs up to him and kicks him in the shin before running off.)

Shadowman: (Pulls out a Shadow Blade) Why that little... (Puts it back) Ah, the brat isn't worth the trouble.

(The Mecha Dragon flies overhead.)

Shadowman: Oh, screw this. I'm out of here. (Drops the sign and runs off in its direction.)

(Seconds later, Little Johnny skips off the curb and into the path of a Humvee...)

(Beyond the Fourth Wall.)

Ian Flynn: Wow. Kind of harsh, isn't it?

Ben: Who's writing this story again?

(Behind the Fourth Wall. The Mechs scatter as the Mecha Dragon rains fire on them from its mouth while Metools from Guts Dozer's hatch flood the battlefield. One of the fireballs hits Hardman on the back as he stomps on a Metool.)

Hardman: OW! I just had my armor waxed you overgrown salamander!

Geminiman: (Fires a Gemini Laser at the Dragon) And you make fun of my polishing habits!

Mecha Dragon: (Stops and hovers) Well excuse me, Hardhead. I didn't know RPD officers were so prissy!

Hardman: (Fires a Hard Knuckle at him) C'mon, is that how you talk to an old friend from the Warriors' days?

Mecha Dragon: (Dodges) Ah, so what Doc Robot said was true. You are the former Heatman! How is your life going?

(The Hard Knuckle circles around to slam into Dragon from behind and pummels him into the ground.)

Hardman: Sucks as usual. So did that little freak revive you and Gutsy over there?

Mecha Dragon: (Swings his tail, which sends Hard flying into a cement mixer) Yeah, and I thought we could enjoy our decommissioning but Doc insists on finding Wily so here we are.

Hardman: Ugh. I guess we all have our own windmills to chase. (Knocked back further by one of Dragon's fireballs)

Topman: (Scatters a wave of Metools with Top Spin) Uh, why is Ben strolling down memory lane with the enemy?

Magnetman: (Reloads his revolver, and fires on a pouncing Metool) I don't know and I don't care as long as he's keepin' the lizard out of our hair.

(Snakeman and Needlegal join the fray by destroying the next wave of Metools.)

Needlegal: Sorry we're late. Did we miss anything?

Magnetman: Well, Mecha Dragon and Guts Dozer are back and causing one hell of a ruckus.

Needlegal: You mean we have to deal with another Wily copy?

Geminiman: No, they are working for the Wily Return Squad—

Guts Dozer: Wily Return Force!

Geminiman: Whatever. Ben's keeping the Dragon occupied so we need a strategy to defeat this brute.

Snakeman: Well, Dozer and Dragon are traditionally weak to the Quick Boomerang and Crorq reassigned our resident blade master—

(Hardman unexpectedly appears behind Topman and picks him up by the collar.)

Hardman: Hey Top! Want to practice our fastball special?

Topman: What? Let go of me you lunatic!

Hardman: Allons-y! (Throws Top, who bounces off Mecha Dragon's belly and crashes into the ground.)

Mecha Dragon: Tsk. That was anticlimactic.

Hardman: I guess some people don't know the value of teamwork.

Topman: (Coughs) I hate you.

Snakeman: We are going to need to have a talk about the definition of teamwork when this is over.

(The Metools begin to overwhelm the Mechs...Until Shadowman conveniently appears out of nowhere to throw a pair of Shadow Blades in Guts Dozer's eyes!)

Guts Dozer: RARGH! Can't see!

(He blindly smashes his fist into the ground and crushes scores of Metools while flattening more of them under his treads. The Mechs take out the rest with relative ease.)

Geminiman: Your timing leaves much to be desired, Shadowman. But we appreciate your assistance nonetheless.

Needlegal: I take it crossing guard duty did not suit you, bro?

Shadowman: Eh, I reached my quota of annoying brats for the year. So any suggestions on how take care of this bruiser?

Snakeman: Ben's tangled with them back in the day. Maybe he has some insights?

Hardman: Well, maybe we can start by getting him to stand still before he crushes us like a soda can.

Shadowman: Stand still, eh? Think you can make that happen, Classi?

Spark Chan: Sure thing but I don't think I can hit him while he's moving around like that.

(The Mechs watch him run around in circles while screaming like a madman.)

Shadowman: Leave that to me. Hey, Gutsy!

Guts Dozer: (Stops) Huh?

Shadowman: We're not over here!

Guts Dozer: Crush Maniacs! (Charges at them only to get hit by a Spark Shock large enough to paralyze him) RARGH!

Spark Chan: That should keep him in place for a minute.

(Meanwhile, Gemini, Snake, and Needle use their weapons to destroy his treads before Hardman pushes up against him and strains to tip over the behemoth.)

Hardman: Ugh! What does that wacko feed you? (Heaves and tips over Guts Dozer, who lands with a loud thud)

Shadowman: And that's the end of that chapter.

Mecha Dragon: Ahem!

(The Mech turn around the see Mecha Dragon hovering behind them.)

Mecha Dragon: You forgot about me. How rude.

Shadowman: We can fix that!

(Before any of them can act, an energy blast fires from seemingly nowhere to paralyze the Mechs. Doc Robot appears in his Wily Capsule.)

Doc Robot: I contract other members of the Wily Underground to pull a heist and look who interferes!

Needlegal: Wily... Underground? And you lead the Wily Return Squ--

Doc Robot: Wily Rescue FORCE! Say it right!

Needlegal: Whatever. Don't you think somebody will confuse the two groups?

Hardman: I think somebody already has.

Shadowman: And what is that supposed to mean?

Doc Robot: Enough! Why do you insist on ruining all my plans? This heist was supposed to fund my search for the master but you ruined it. RUINED IT!

Hardman: Everyone needs a hobby. Ours is just to screw you over.

Shadowman: I hate to have to remind you for the millionth time, but Wily's dead! He is no more. He has ceased to be. He has expired and gone to meet his maker. He's a stiff! Bereft of life, he lies in peace. He is DEAD. What part of that don't you understand?

Geminiman: I am guessing the "dead" part, Shadow.

Topman: And we can expect some pretty nasty letters over this rant in the near future.

Hardman: Yeah, somebody is an unoriginal hack and I'm not talking about our fearless leader.

Doc Robot: Lies! All lies! The master is out there and I will find him after I destroy you!

Hardman: Go ahead, but you'll destroy your only lead to Wily.

Doc Robot: What? Explain yourself!

Hardman: Promise to spare our lives?

Doc Robot: Fine! Just tell me!

Hardman: Crorq was lying to you when he said Wily is dead. He's alive and he's building his ultimate weapon to take over the world.

Doc Robot: How do you know this?

Hardman: I'm from the future, remember?* I don't know where he is, but history says Wily lived long enough to finish this weapon.

(*Don't ask. It is a long and convoluted tale to explain.)

(Doc Robot pauses, and then deactivates his paralysis beam.)

Doc Robot: Thank you for your assistance. Do not interfere with my search, or else! (Teleports out with Dragon and Guts Dozer)

Shadowman: Good riddance. Nice bluff, Ben. He completely fell for it.

Hardman: Who said I was bluffing? I stretched the truth but I wasn't bluffing.

Snakeman: What do you mean?

"Shadow" Man: Shadow Man is in pain. Shadow Man needs repairs.

Hardman: I'll explain when we get back to HQ.

(And so the Mechs take a horribly mangled "Shadow" Man back to the roboticization chamber back at RPD headquarters. A pair of Police Bots toss him into the crystalline tube while a technician turns the machine on. The roboticizer hums and then in a flash of blinding light, Shadow the Hedgehog is organic once more.)

Shadow: (Still disoriented from its effects) Where am I? What happened?

Crorq: Tranquillize him before he recovers!

(Several Police Bots fire enough tranquilizers to render him unconscious.)

Crorq: Send him back to Mobius this instant!

Police Bots: Yessir!

Crorq: Hmph! Never send a converted fleshing to do a robot's job. (Turns around to face the assembled Maniacs) I have investigated this clerical error and found it to be the fault of a nameless underling—

Shakeman: Actually, sir. It was Jerry from Android Resources. He gave you that sweater for last year's Secret Santa.

Crorq: Whatever. I have dealt with him accordingly.

(Some Police Bots drag Jerry down the corridor behind them.)

Jerry: NOOOOOOO! Anything but target duty! Please!

Spark Chan: Poor soul.

Crorq: As for you peons! The five robot masters from the heist are in custody and we returned the stolen bullion to the Federal Reserve but you still failed me!

Shadowman: How so, sir?

Crorq: You failed to apprehend Doc Robot! I hunger for vengeance!

Hardman: (Under his breath) That's not the only thing you hunger for.

Crorq: What did you just say?!

Hardman: I said that was part of the plan. I gave Doc Robot some information from the future in regards to Dr. Wily's final creation and told him that Wily was still alive.

Crorq: You...WHAT!? You're supposed to be giving ME secret information about the future! Not our enemies! Why haven't you told me about this!?

Hardman: I did, didn't I? It was one of the first things. It doesn't actually come into play for decades and the part about Wily being alive was mostly a lie to get Doc's attention. Still, he's probably the best equipped to hunt down that "final creation". If we let Doc Robot search for it and keep tabs on his movements, he'll lead us to a win that can really raise your standing with the Galactic council.

Crorq: ...I like this plan.

Hardman: Well, it's your plan, of course. We are just carrying out your orders.

Crorq: (...) Of course it's my plan. Could you even conceive of anything so brilliant? Come Shakeman! We need some time, alone, in my office.

Shakeman: (Whimpers) Yessir.

(The Mechs, save for Shadow, shudder as Crorq and Shakeman leave.)

Needlegal: I know what he meant by that but for someone who doesn't know the context of what he's speaking about...

Shadowman: What are you guys talking about? Did I miss something?

Geminiman: You are better off not knowing. Believe us.

Shadowman: Alllllllrighty then...weirdness aside. Ben, tell me you did not really give both Doc Robot AND Crorq a lead on a future doomsday device.

Topman: Oh my god Ben why.

Hardman: Oh relax. It's not like Doc Robot could actually find it if no one else in this timeline could.

Magnetman: But such a weapon actually exists? You weren't entirely BS-ing them?

Hardman: Uh...maybe?

Mechs: ...

Hardman: Either way, it's not like I gave them anything actually helpful. I don't even know anything actually helpful, just that there's at least one new Wilybot in the future that isn't one of the endless rehashes we're dealing with today.

Snakeman: Hm. Well, then that's alright.

Needlegal: So I guess we learned something today—

Topman: Like how much of a jerk Ben is?

Hardman: Hey! I apologized didn't I?

Topman: You threw me at a freaking 30-foot-tall robot dragon!

Hardman: Then I learned throwing Topman at a 30-foot-tall robot dragon is not a sound tactical decision.

Spark Chan: I don't think that was the right lesson.

Needlegal: Well I guess we also learned that placing brown nosers in charge of police units is not sound policy. I mean, "Shadow" Man didn't do anything other than sing Crorq's praises and run at the enemy "Leeroy Jenkins" style.

Snakeman: Well, I do admit that I wish he could've given us more dirt on Crorq.

Topman: Well, until Crorq takes his show to Vegas we are the—

Magnetman: Wait! I think we're forgetting something.

Shadowman: Come to think of it...

(Beyond the Fourth Wall)

Ian Flynn: Not bad. Not bad at all. I don't know what you're writing about half the time but there were a few gems.

Ben: So does that mean you will tell us the ending to "Worlds Collide?"

Ian Flynn: I suppose one little spoiler won't hurt. So it ends like this...

(The police kick in the door)

Officer: FREEZE!

Ian Flynn: I told you this wouldn't end well.

Gauntlet: (To Ben) I hate you sometimes. (Raises hands)

Ben: Well, until Rich and the others post bail for us, we are...

(A half dozen cops dog pile on Ben and start beating him senseless. One of them knocks over the camera and the screen suddenly turns black.)



Classi Cal as .....
Spark Chan
Raijin as .....
Psycho Magnet as .....
Ben as .....
    Nightmare as .....
Lennon as .....
Sheriff (Kassidy) Mags as .....
Gauntlet as .....


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