Series 8 Issue #2 - Out FOXed

(Night falls over Monsteropolis, and two of the Sterling Sentinels roam the corridors of the Robot Police Department’s central precinct.)

Galaxyman: …and then Yamato Man says, “That wasn’t the spear I was looking for!”

Magmaman: (Laughs) Ye gads, that’s the best joke I heard all night! It sure takes the sting out of Crorq bumping down to crossing duty all week.

Galaxyman: (Long, awkward pause) What did you do this time?

Magmaman: It’s a long sordid story that-- (Hears a skittering in the vents above) Did you hear that?

(The skittering noise grows louder)

Galaxyman: Sure did and sounds like it’s getting closer. (Hovers up toward the grate) Probably just a rat, nothing I can’t fix with a Black Hole-- (Removes it)

(A fireball bursts through the vent to collide into Galaxyman, sending him flying into the wall behind him, and ricochets off the opposite wall. It hits Magmaman between the eyes and knocks him back.)

Magmaman: Sizzling Circuits, what the heck is that?

(The fireball dissipates to reveal a bipedal fox-like creature with crimson fur and black markings standing there with a toothy grin that reveals his pronounced canines.)

Fox: (Grins even wider) Hi.

Magmaman: (Stares incredulously) I rephrase that question: what the hell are you?!

Fox: I’m cute, you’re ugly, and he looks an Ed Wood reject. (Points to Galaxyman)

Galaxyman: Hey!

Magmaman: Grr. You’re under arrest for trespass-- (The fox curls up and executes a maneuver similar to a spin dash, expect enveloped by flames, jumps, and bonks him on the head before speeding down the hall) Hey! Get back here you runt!

Galaxyman: (Over the internal radio) This is Officer Galaxyman, we have an intruder in Section D! Be on the lookout for a fox kid-- thing.

(In the central surveillance hub)

Officer: Copy that, I see him-- (Sees the fox zoom past every camera in the building) everywhere. He’s moving too fast I--

(The fox appears behind the officer and knocks him out with a stealthy fire spin)

Fox: (Coughs, and then perfectly mimics the officer’s voice) He’s in Section B, and ripping out panels from the mainframe!

Galaxyman: Roger that.

Fox: (Smirks) This is too easy… and fun!

(He watches every officer in the precinct scramble like headless chickens, and laughs hysterically while he types furiously on the keyboard to find a certain file.)

Fox: I got to have this on DVD! (Pulls out a disk from the drive)

(Meanwhile, in the mainframe room, Galaxyman, Magmaman, and a contingent of officers bust down the door to find--)

Magmaman: Nothing! Where did the furball go?!

Galaxyman: You don’t think--

(They all rush over to the central surveillance hub to find it eerily quiet with the body of the unconscious officer slumped over the floor and the back of the chair turned back on them.)

Galaxyman: All right furball, come out with your paws up! (Hears a ticking noise) What the?

(He turns the chair around to see a bomb, and it’s five seconds away from exploding.)

Galaxyman: Oh dear--

(The Mechs pass by the following morning to see cleaning droids scrub at the royal blue dye on the walls.)

Geminiman: (Sees Magmaman’s outline) Tch. What a mess and they say this is the handiwork of last night’s intruder?

Shadowman: That’s what they say. He appeared out of nowhere and disappeared just as quickly.

Geminiman: My intuition tells me that a supernatural presence was here last night.

Hardman: Did you get that by looking in your crystal ball?

Geminiman: No, just the way the intruder bypassed the motion and thermal sensors in the vents to say nothing of his brazen disregard for the Sentinel’s abilities. You doubt my powers of deduction, Ben?

Hardman: (Pause) You really want ME to answer that question?

Shadowman: ANYWAY, Crorq called us in. He will brief us on the situation.

Snakeman: And by “brief” you mean give us the bare minimum of relevant information and send us on a mission to capture the intruder.

Shadowman: Pretty much.

Spark Chan: Look on the bright side. Maybe he will be in a better mood today.

(Some random officer goes flying out Crorq’s office and the force embeds him in the wall.)

Crorq: I told you a million times INFIDEL! I wanted “Chernobyl Meltdown Sauce” on my thirty-pound burrito, not “Five Alarm Inferno!”

Topman: Or not.

Crorq: (Still has five pounds of beans dripping from his mouth) Ah, greetings my lowly subordinates. I trust your journey was pleasant.

Needlegal: Actually--

Crorq: Did you actually think I give a care for squalid and insignificant existences?

Needlegal: But you--

Crorq: I mean, how can you even hope to achieve the level of perfection I embody?

Hardman: Will you get to the fraking point already?!

Crorq: (Pause) Magnetman will you kindly restrain your teammate? I fear the stress is too much on his core.

Hardman: Oh, you sonuva-- (Feels the magnetic field warp his insides) OW!

Magnetman: You heard the man, Hard. Time to “ease up” a bit.

Crorq: Ahem, as I was about to say before some nameless INFEDEL interrupted, I called you here because of a serious breach in security.

Shadowman: That’s what you screamed at us about on videophone for fifteen minutes.

Snakeman: This is pretty serious, RPD headquarter is one of the most secure buildings in the entire city. No one can just waltz in here without anyone detecting them.

Crorq: How astute, for a robot with the processing power of a pocket calculator. Shakeman! Use your infernal appendage to play the footage of our unwanted guest!

Shakeman: As you wish sir.

(Shakeman presses play on the screen mounted on the wall; footage of the fox leading Magmaman and Galaxyman on a chase plays on it until the detonation of the “dye bomb.” Shadowman appears perturbed when Shakeman rewinds and freezes the footage on a frame with the fox smiling into the camera.)

Magnetman: Somethin’ wrong, Boss? Looks like you saw a ghost.

Shadowman: You can say that (to Needlegal) remember that adventure we had with the Sinister Six and the X-Force many years back?

Needlegal: Vaguely. Is that the one where we teamed up with the Backstreet Boys and Stan Lee, and ended with the X-Force obliterating Hawaii?*

(*Author’s Note: This really did happen. Check out “Year of the Fox” from Sinister Six Season 2, Issue 19.)

Shadowman: That’s the one. Do you remember it, Ben?

Hardman: …

Shadowman: Okaaaaay then.

Geminiman: I remember that misadventure as well. What about it?

Shadowman: That fox, he reminds me of the one that showed up on the Six’s doorstep and demanded they hand over whoever was responsible for the disappearance of the X-Force. He disappeared shortly after that and no one has ever seen him since.

Topman: That sounds like a rather convoluted tale. I must have blocked it from my own memory.

Crorq: Indeed. My superior processors overclocked themselves to comprehend your nonsense to no avail. I demand more clarification!

Shadowman: Only Ben can give that to us. Who was that fox and why did he demand to know what happened to the X-Force?

Hardman: The hell if I know.

Maniacs: (Long, awkward pause) What?!

Geminiman: It was YOUR team and YOUR history. How can you not remember?

Crorq: Yes, YES! Explain yourself immediately!

Hardman: I died, came back, and switched identities so many times I lost track. I was even Blaze Heatnix for two weeks for Chrissakes!

Topman: Who’s Blaze Heatnix?

Hardman: My point exactly.

Crorq: Enough of this useless exposition! I want you locate this impudent trespasser and bring him back for interrogation!

Snakeman: That’s it? You want us to play animal control officer? I mean, he did break into our headquarters and led our “sterling” comrades on a foxhunt but why did he break in the first place, why was he in the central surveillance hub?

Crorq: That information his highly classified, besides, you work for me and I don’t pay you to ask questions. On that subject, due to budgetary cutbacks you will are all required to take a ten percent pay cut.

Maniacs: WHAT?!

Hardman: Why you ch--

Crorq: (Stomps his feet and randomly fires his blaster, narrowly missing Shakeman and hits the screen) Are your aural sensors defective?! I gave you an order, INFIDELS! Now get out of my sight!

Shadowman: (Sigh) Let's go team. We have a fox to catch.

(When the Maniacs leave, Shakeman gets back onto his feet and dusts off his soiled lab coat.)

Shakeman: If you don't mind my asking sir, why did you not inform them about the stolen file? Surely that would have helped-

Crorq: Silence! That file contains sensitive information I don't want falling into those cretins' hands. Besides, that hardly matters. Hardman is clearly lying since he was in that fox form when we retrieved his worthless husk from space! He is using it to undermine my authority!

Shakeman: B-B-But he has an alibi, sir. Your spy cameras have footage of him at the Autobar last night.

Crorq: Well, what are you waiting for, infidel? Show it to me immediately!

Shakeman: I would but (points to the destroyed screen, which is belching out sparks and smoke) you blasted the screen during your last outburst.

Crorq: Then find me another one and return with another thirty-pound burrito while you are at it. Make sure it has "Chernobyl Meltdown Sauce" this time! Then comes my one o' clock sponge bath!

Shakeman: (Shudders) A-A-Affirmative, sir.

(That evening, at the amusement park known Clownman's Toy Kingdom, Snakeman watches from atop the tallest tower of the castle while his Search Snakes survey the park for suspicious activity. He sees a dilapidated mansion near the edge of the park.)

Snakeman: (Over his internal radio) Snakeman reporting no signs of any intruders. Hey, I thought the city was going to demolish the (original) Sinister Six's headquarters so this park could expand.

Shadowman: (Sticking to the shadows near Frost Mountain) They were, but a new owner showed up and halted it. Don't know who it is though. Are you sure the fox will show up? Why this place?

Snakeman: I did some research after Crorq briefed us and found some strange reports of a fox-like creature trespassing on park property after hours from the security here over the past three weeks. He's liable to show up again.

Geminiman: (Patrolling Toy Town) I did some research as well and came to the conclusion that the fox is in fact a kitsune.

Needlegal: (Outside Swordman's Temple of Doom ride) A what? Mind explaining that to the rest of us plebs?

Geminiman: A fox-spirit with incredible magic power, Needlegal. From what I gathered, they feed off of raw energy so all we need to do is set a few traps and use E-Tanks as bait for our errant vulpine.

Needlegal: Why do I get the feeling your plan is doomed to failure?

(Topman, along with Sparkchan and Hardman, are patrolling alongside her.)

Topman: It definitely sounds like something out of an old Warner Bros. cartoon. It's bad enough we let Magmaman and Galaxyman come along.

Spark Chan: Well, the fox did humiliate them and I believe in second chances.

Topman: Yeah, but he'll probably outFOX them again. What do you think, Ben?

Hardman: Probably. Those nimrods couldn't catch a cold.

Topman: Technically speaking, we robots can't catch the cold virus. Vulpine bipeds on the other hand--

Hardman: Do you ever get tired of correcting people?

Topman: It's just a habit of mine.

Hardman: Well it's gettin' on my nerves. I'm going to nose around Tenguman's Sky Ride, don't wait up.

Needlegal: Wait, Ben! (Too late, Hard meanders off and ignores her.) Geez, what is up with him?

Topman: How rude, is it me or is he more cantankerous than usual?

Needlegal: Ben was never Mr. Congeniality in the first place. Was he like this on the X-Force, Classi?

Spark Chan: Um, I don't think it would be appropriate for me to say. You two go on ahead, I'll go find Ben and keep an eye on him.

Shadowman: What about you, Sheriff?

Magnetman: (Setting up a tripwire in Searchman's Jungle Adventure) Almost done with my trap. If the critter pokes his nose in here, he'll be in for quite a shock.

(He places the E-Tank, and then adjusts his hat as he slinks back into the trees.)

Voice: (Snickers from behind him) He won't know what hit him.

Magnetman: I know...wait a minute. (Turns his head to see...the fox) YOU!

Fox: Hi. (Smiles)

Magnetman: (Pulls his revolvers from their holsters and aims them at the fox) How did you...?

Fox: (Wags his finger and winks) That would be telling.

Magnetman: Doesn't matter one way or the other. You're coming with me.

(The fox suddenly jumps onto the Sheriff's arm to get a closer look at them.)

Fox: Oooh! You like the play cowboy? Issat a real gun?

Magnetman: Hey! Get off you little-- (The gun accidentally fires)

(The bullet, attracted my the metal in the fox's goggles follows the vulpine who hits the ground and then does a fire dash. Just when it looks like the bullet is about to hit its mark, the Fox rebounds off the trunk of a nearby tree where the bullet embeds itself.)

Magnetman: You crazy little sonuva--

(The fox bounces off another tree and knocks the Sheriff back into his snare.)

Magnetman: Oof! (Knocks over the E-Tank and gets caught on his own snare.) Why you--

(Magmaman walks in, oblivious to the Sheriff hanging from the tree and notices the E-Tank.)

Magmaman: Sweet! Free energy! (Picks it up)

Magnetman: Don't just stand there you idiot! Help me down!

Magmaman: (Looks up) Sure. Let me--

Magnetman: Look out!

(The fox, having built enough momentum from rebounding, konks out Magmaman and swipes the E-Tank.)

Fox: (Smiles, and heads for the exit) Thanks!

Magmaman: (Dazed) Buh?

Magnetman: Why that useless hunka-- (Fires his revolver twice to snap the cable, and lands less-than-gracefully on Magmaman) This is Sheriff Magnetman! The fox showed up and it's headed westward.

(One of Snakeman's Search Snakes spots the fox bolting off.)

Snakeman: Confirm that. He's headed towards the Hall of Mirrors.

Geminiman: On my way there already.

(Geminiman swings the door open and splits into several copies to cover more ground. He cautiously levels his busters in the poorly lit room.)

Geminiman: Come on out with your paws up. You might have gotten the best of the Sheriff but there are still seven of us left. Why not make it easier on yourself?

Fox: (His voice echoes from some unknown direction) Where's the fun in that, Pointy?

Geminiman: (Looks at his distorted reflections and cringes at the name, "Pointy") This is not supposed to be "fun."

Fox: Why not?

Geminiman: Your little game is starting to bore me. I know what you are!

Fox: Really?

Geminiman: It's obvious by the way you warped reality to gain access to our headquarters. You're a kitsune, and allegedly a messenger of Inari from Japanese mythology. I don't know why you're here but I will--

(The fox's childish laughter echoes throughout the building, and sends a shiver up Gemini and all his copies' spines.)

Geminiman: What's so funny?

Fox: You have NO idea what I am.

Geminiman: Then why don't you come out so we can get better acquainted?

(The fox drops from the rafters onto the true Geminiman's head and clasps his paws over Gemini's eyes, clinging on for dear life.)

Fox: Guesssssss whoooooo!

Geminiman: Ack!

Fox: Not "Ack!" It's Pyro. Pyro Da Fox.

(Gemini fires his buster in the confusion. His laser reflects off a series of mirrors, hitting and dispersing each copy until it hits a mirror on an angle that directs the beam to another of the Sheriff's traps: a net suspended by a cable. The laser melts the cable and sends the net falling towards Geminiman. Pyro jumps out of the way and Gemini is pinned to the floor.)

Pyro: (Snickers, and scampers off.)

Geminiman: Grrrr...Gemini to team...

Needlegal: (Via the internal radio) Let me guess, Lennon. Fox-boy got away?

Geminiman: Oh, be quiet. He was far more clever than I anticipated. (He uses his Laser to cut through the net) Snakeman! Can't you simply tranquilize him from your vantage point?!

(Just then, every single one of the lights in the park turns on, as do all the rides.)

Snakeman: Gah! No, he's moving too fast for me to get a bead on but he's heading due north for the train.

(Pyro jumps and swings from the nearest lamppost to land on top on the train on the elevated track.)

Pyro: (Snickers) This is too much fun and almost too easy.

(His ears perk when he hears something softly land behind him.)

Shadowman: I'm glad that makes one of us, but playtime's over, kid.

Pyro: (Spins around) Says you!

Shadowman: You know, we don't get to do the whole 'guest star' thing anymore. Why not just toddle back to the Sonic universe where you belong? I think the bus to there leaves in an hour.

Pyro: (Snorts) But you guys are too much fun. ‘sides, who said anything about the Sonicverse?

Shadowman: Well, it doesn't matter anyway. I have a job to do and I don't have time for chatting. (Materializes a pair of Shadow Blades and throws them at Pyro.)

(Pyro dodges and then tries a fire dash on Shadowman but soon discovers that--)

Pyro: ‘Twas a hologram? Now that's getting a little old hat, isn't it?

(Several more holograms of Shadowman appear and quickly surround the fox.)

Shadowman: What can I say? It's a classic!

Pyro: But cheaper than an SNK Boss-- (Summons a vortex of white-hot flames to dissipate them) BLAZING SPIN!

(Another two holograms appear in mid-air above Pyro)

Shadowman: Says the kid who announces his attack. What is this, Digimon? Speaking of which-- (Pulls out a Pokéball.)


(The Pokéball opens and catches Pyro. It moves once, twice, and then the fox breaks free in a burst of fire.)

Shoot! Almost got it!

Pyro: You thought that would work? (Fire dashes one of the Shadowman holograms.)

Shadowman: Heh. Was worth a shot, wasn't it?

Pyro: (Does a back flip over the lone Shadowman as he throws two more Shadow Blades) You're fun. I like you.

Shadowman: I wish I could say the feeling was mutual.

Galaxyman: (Swoops in unexpectedly) Hey furball!

Shadowman: (Facepalms) Oh, not now.

Galaxyman: Who's the reject now? (Fires a Black Hole Bomb.)

(An artificial singularity appears over the train, and threatens to pull both Pyro and Shadowman in. Both cling to edge of the car, however, the fox lets go at the crucial moment before the black hole dissipates and uses the warped gravity to launch himself at Galaxyman.)

Pyro: (Lands on top of his head and grabs on to the antennae) Yee-haw! Ride ‘em!

Galaxyman: Hey! Let go of me! (Careens to the side.)

Shadowman: Ugh. Remind me never to let those two tag along on our missions. Ever.

(Meanwhile, Pyro continues to ride a frantically zigzagging Galaxyman and manages to stay on when he lets go of the antennae.)

Pyro: Look Ma! No hands! (Looks to the audience) and don't try this at home, kids!

Galaxyman: (...) Who are you talking to?

Pyro: Shouldn't you be looking at the road? (Jumps off.)

Galaxyman: What are you talking--?

(He looks ahead to see Frost Mountain coming in too fast.)

Galaxyman: Oh dear, not again. (Crashes rather spectacularly.)

Pyro: (Blows kisses as he lands on a nearby corn dog stand.) Cya, and give my regards to the Air Force! Yeow!

(A spray of needles tears through the stand. Pyro jumps off to come face to face with...)

Needlegal: That was a warning shot, Fox-boy. Or do you want to continue this dance?

(Pyro keeps hopping about and dodges her Needle Cannon. While he's distracted, Topman comes spinning in and knocks Pyro in a shrubbery.)

Pyro: Hey! No fair double-teaming up on me like that!

Topman: Sorry kiddo, but last I checked, you don't get to make the rules. (Spins again but Pyro is prepared enough to hit back with a fire dash.)

Spark Chan: (Dashes in) Sorry, I'm late.

Needlegal: (Notices Hardman is missing) About time, did you find Ben?

Spark Chan: (Shakes head) I lost him shortly after we split off, then the fox suddenly appeared so I came to rejoin you as fast as I could.

Needlegal: (Curses under her breath) Hmm. In any case prepare to stun Fox-boy with a Spark Shot while I keep him on his toes. I'm sure Ben will show up, some time.

(Topman comes out of his Top Spin and kicks Pyro when the fox comes at him with his fire spin.)

Topman: (Notices the scorch mark on his boot) Yee-ouch! That's some hot stuff!

Pyro: You like me! You really like me! (Goes doe-eyed at he jumps away from Needlegal's attacks.) ACK!

(A spark fired from Sparkchan's electrode hits Pyro in the chest and he limply falls to the pavement with his ears drooped.)

Topman: So that's it? I admit I'm kind of disappointed.

Needlegal: Speak for yourself. Chasing a bratty fox around an amusement park is not my idea of a good time.

Spark Chan: (Retracts her electrodes) I will just see if he's all right, if no one minds.

(Meanwhile, Sparkchan cautiously approaches Pyro and bends down to flip him over onto his back. His ears suddenly perk when she does so, his eyes open, and he jumps up to give her a kiss on the cheek.)

Spark Chan: Huh? (Blushes)

Topman and Needlegal: What the?!

(Pyro winks at Sparkchan before he leaps over her to make a break for it, only for Geminiman and an army of copies to block off his escape.)

Geminiman: I don't think so.

(Turns to the right, only for the Sheriff to fire a couple rounds at the fox's feet.)

Pyro: (Jumps) Yeow!

Magnetman: (Spins one revolver while he holsters the other.) Don't get cute with me, kid.

(Soon Snake and Shadow both appear behind Pyro while the others, aside from a curiously-missing Hardman, form a tight circle around the mischievous vulpine.)

Shadowman: It's over, kid. Just surrender and we can all go home. Except you, of course.

Magnetman: Though I hate using my power this way, I'm making a once-in-a-lifetime exception for you-- ya mangy fleabag!

(The Sheriff uses his magnetic fields to rip the steel fence from its moorings and twists it into a makeshift cage to trap the fox.)

Pyro: Hey! (Grabs the bars and vainly tries to pry them apart) No fair!

Magnetman: (Spins his revolver and holsters it.) All's fair in love and war, runt. (Reaches in to grab him by the bandana, and pulls out a disk) Pity about this disk though, my magnetic field just erased it.

(Pyro begins laughing hysterically, much to the discomfort of the Mechs.)

Needlegal: And what's so funny?

Pyro: That was the best game, EVER! (Grins like an idiot.)

Maniacs: (...)

Snakeman: This was all a game to you?

Topman: Breaking into RPD HQ, stealing that disk, and having us chase you around. You call that a GAME?

Pyro: (Grin grows wider) Duh! What else would it be?

Geminiman: I believe someone needs a new definition of fun.

Pyro: Well, I would like to stay but it's waaaaay past my bedtime now. But I have one last trick I want to show you--

(He gathers his power and concentrates it into a perfect sphere of fiery plasma that begins to shine a brilliant white.)

Pyro: I call it my "NOVA SPHERE!" and it actually packs a punch. Wanna see?

Shadowman: Everyone look away!

(Too late. The NOVA SPHERE erupts in a blinding flash of light that blinds the Mechs for minute. When they finally regain their sight, the only thing they find is a glassed crater and the melted remains of the Sheriff's cage.)

Shadowman: Damn it! He got away.

Geminiman: Well, the kitsune gained infamy as a trickster. If you studied on your Japanese mythology you would have--

Needlegal: Enough! At least the disk Fox-boy stole is now useless thanks to the Sheriff. Hopefully that will satisfy Crorq.

Magnetman: (Tips his hat, and winks back at her) Much obliged, ma'am.

Needlegal: (Rolls eyes) Really?

Hardman: (FINALLY arrives on the scene.) Damn it, I missed the whole thing!

Spark Chan: (Turns around) Ben!

Geminiman: And what took you so long to show up?

Hardman: Well if you actually used your damn optics you would notice I'm wearing ‘bout a metric ton of armor. That doesn't exactly make me the Flash. Maybe if you stopped looking in the mirror you'd--

Geminiman: And there he is ladies and gentlebots! "Gentle Ben."

Hardman: (Lunges at him, but Sparkchan stops him) You little sonuva!

Spark Chan: Ben-sama, please! We don't need any more violence tonight.

Snakeman: Agreed, we got at least some of what we came for. We'll worry about the fox if he sticks his nose out again. I just don't look forward to meeting with Crorq tomorrow.

(That following morning, at RPD Central.)

Crorq: Why must I surround myself with IDIOTS? What is so hard about capturing one insignificant gnat?!

Galaxyman: Well, sir. He's a VERY clever insig--

Crorq: SILENCE! You failed me not once but TWICE. For both your incompetence, I am demoting BOTH of you to my personal cleaning detail!

Magmaman: Not that!

Crorq: Now get to work. I finished two feasts of the Colonel's finest and my innards won't clean themselves!

(Galaxyman and Magmaman shudder, and begin the hideously disgusting job of cleaning their boss. Crorq on the other hand, shifts his anger towards the Maniacs.)

Crorq: And you! Your incompetence is just as damning. You nearly capture that troublesome vulpine and he escapes using a parlor trick?

Snakeman: To be fair, sir, we had no idea of the scope of his powers.

Crorq: And you say that like it's the perfect excuse.

Shadowman: The mission wasn't a total loss. (Shows Crorq the now-erased disk) Exposure to the Sheriff's magnetic field erased the disk so the fox can't use it anymore.

Magnetman: So you can look at it this way, Boss. We don't have the fleabag in custody anymore but he doesn't have anything to hang over your head.

Crorq: (Greedily swipes the disk from Shadowman's grip) Excellent! I suppose you accomplished SOMETHING useful. Well since I am feeling rather magnanimous this morning, I will overlook your failure this ONE time.

(The Maniacs turn around to leave but Crorq stops them.)

Crorq: There is one thing, though. Where was Hardman when you engaged the vulpine?

Spark Chan: I was following him when it happened, sir.

Crorq: And did you see him afterwards?

Spark Chan: Yes sir.

Crorq: (The emoticon on his screen indicates inquisitiveness) Curious. You are dismissed.

(Once the Maniacs exit Crorq's office and head down the corridor, Geminiman approached Sparkchan.)

Geminiman: (Whispers so not to arouse Ben's attention) I thought you said you lost Hardman after he split off. Why did you change your story?

Spark Chan: I have my reasons, Lennon, and I would rather not talk about this case.

Snakeman: Same here, I think I had my share of woodland creatures for the next few weeks.

Needlegal: And we learned something too.

Magnetman: Huh? Learned something from this blasted mess?

Needlegal: Yeah, sometimes the past comes back to bite you in unexpected ways. An obscure character from an adventure half of us can barely remember returns to put us all through the ringer because he wanted to play a game. I mean, what kind of character shows up from oblivion to do that?

Snakeman: Someone with a long memory?

Shadowman: I'm beginning to think that someone upstairs really hates us...

Needlegal: You mean from accounting? But who in that department hates us?

Shadowman: Probably the bureaucrat who sees how much money we spend on Lennon's polishing.

Geminiman: Hey!

Topman: Well, until Lennon buys generic brand, we are... The Mechanical Maniacs! (Looks around) Hey, did anyone see Ben?

(Outside the of the original and REAL Sinister Six's mansion. Hardman teleports onto the front step and quietly opens the door. The inside is practically stripped of everything of value save for a battered portrait of the team's second incarnation hanging from the mantle.)

Hardman: Erik, Britt, Rich, Leon--and Gary. You are all missed.

(He walks down the stairs towards Fireman's old panic room. When he steps out of the shadows and into the light-- he does so as Pyrodafox.)

Pyro: (Looks to the audience) Don't look so surprised. So...what am I going to do today? (Saunters off.)


The End.


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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