By Gauntlet (Shadowman), Ben (Hardman), and Geoff (Diveman)
Our previous adventure saw Snakeman turned into a female version of Toadman because he made the mighty Galactic Council member RaMoon angry. For the record I'd like to state my full support of RaMoon and am honored to serve him (please don't turn me into Toadman). Meanwhile the vicious Lion Men have awoken once more and, with Megaman retired and Dr. Light in hiding, it's all up to the Maniacs to stop their ridiculous menace.
(Back at RPD HQ, Toadman is dressed in a tuxedo and standing at an altar, covered in rotten flowers.)
Dustman: Flippy? I can't even begin to describe on how many levels we all object to this.
Ringman: I don't suppose explaining to you one more time that "Helena" is really Snakeman is going to solve anything.
Toadman: Not likely! Helena and I were meant to be! We are like peas in a pod! She is the cream to my half-eaten twinkie! The mold on my five day-old pizza! Without her, life has no meaning! I can just imagine the children we're going to raise together...
Skullman: The rest of us are desperately trying not to.
Bright Babe: Well, he's certainly not going to wear the dress.
Toadman: Of course she will! I picked it out myself! She's trying it on right now, I just know it! That must be why she's taking so long!
Toadman: Perhaps I should check to make sure...! Don't start without me!
(Toadman hops off to find his blushing bride-to-be.)
Bright Babe: Shouldn't we tell him that checking on his bride just before the wedding is bad luck?
Skullman: All things considered, that would only be a blessing.
(Meanwhile, "Helena" struggles to retain her composure as she hides in a janitor closet.)
Helena: (Thinking) I didn't think it was possible for me to find a more loathsome person on the Comrades than Diveman, but here we are. RaMoon, I swear you will pay for this.
(Toadman slowly rises out from the shadows behind Snakeman with a toothy grin and gives him a big hug.)
Toadman: There you are, my sweet little lollipop!! (Licks the back of Snake's head).
Helena: GET AWAY!
(Snakeman hops out of the closet and Toadman pursues him.)
Helena: AHHH!! AHHHH!!! Get away!!
Toadman: Ooh! I hope our children are every bit as energetic as you!!
(Helena hops even faster away as Toadman stays in hot pursuit of his trophy wife-to-be. She sees an open elevator at the other end of the hallway, its doors slowly closing).
Helena: Hold the door!! Hold the door! HOLD THE FUCKING DOOR!!
Police bot: What in the world...?
(Helena races for the elevator, just as Toadman starts closing in on her. She leaps into the elevator just as the doors close behind her. She only breathes a sigh of relief when the doors close. She hears Toadman slam into the closed elevator doors with an unforgiving thud).
Police bot: Do I want to know...?
(Snakeman kicks at the floor and creates an opening.)
Police bot: Hey! What do you think you're doing?
Toadgirl: Uh ... put that on the Comrades' bill.
Toadgirl: (Thinking) I'll never be one of them. I'm Snakeman, damn it! If only in my head I will forever be Snakeman!!
(Toadgirl dives through the hole and lands at the bottom of the elevator shaft. Thinking quickly the robot leaps to the closest door and pries it open. In moments he's through and steps into a dimly-lit hallway...)
Toadgirl: (Thinking) Where am I? I've never been to this area of the RPD...
(Toadgirl wanders the halls and stumbles into a Police bot.)
Police bot: Toadman? What are you doing here?
Toadgirl: Oh, just looking around.
Police bot: Well, you shouldn't be here. In fact, how are you even here? The elevators aren't programmed to go to this floor without proper access.
Toadgirl: That just means I have proper access, doesn't it?
Police bot: Well ... I guess that follows.
Toadgirl: Where is "here" anyway? They didn't cover it in orientation.
Police bot: This is the archive floor.
Toadgirl: The Archive ... you mean the floor with all the backups!
Police bot: Yes sir! Just in case any of our brave brothers-in-arms falls in duty, backups stored on this floor will restore them to full functionality!
Toadgirl: (Thinking) Backups. Shadow's against them and forbade any of the team from indulging in them, but I have to admit, they present an appeal. How many teams we were torn to shreds during the War only to be revived thanks to backups? And here they all are ... Maybe even ...
Toadgirl: You know, I was sent here to try and help organize things. Is there anything you want me to do? I have a few hours free.
Police bot: Really? Help?? Actual help? The way Crorq keeps going on about budget cuts, I never thought I'd see another robot again! You musta pissed him off if he sent you down here. Sometimes he sends that poor blender-headed bot down here and oh ... how that poor robot suffers.
Toadgirl: Yeah, I'm sure it's tragic. Why don't you tell me all about it while showing me around?
(As Snakeman takes advantage of a poor, trusting member of the RPD the other Maniacs deal with a rampaging horde of lions...)
Hardman: The Bronies! They killed them!! They killed them all!!! Oh, the humanity!
Topman: I had no idea you cared so much about Bronies.
Hardman: They're just misunderstood is all. I mean, some of 'em are a little out there, but ... you can't paint 'em all with the same brush.
Topman: I can't believe what I'm hearing! Ben! Don't tell me you're -
Needlegal: Look, it's the sweetest, most charming show on TV. Let's leave it at that for now!
Tar: Surrender now and you'll not be harmed, Mechs! Yes, my minions have told me who you are. You could make a fine addition to my army. What say you?
(Needlegal and Topman effortlessly shrug off the Lion Men's attacks.)
Lion Man: ACK! It's like punching metal!
Lion Man: And it's like biting iron!
Needlegal: It's kind of both of those things, actually.
Magnetman: I think we'll keep our current gig, thanks.
Tar: So, you chose to side with the losers? How pathetic!
Shadowman: Try not to hurt them, guys! We might be able to get Light to make another anti-curse machine to change them back to normal.
Needlegal: I shoot giant needles, but okay fine! Maybe I'll just let them chip their teeth on my chassis.
Shadowman: Don't you dare! Our department's on a budget!
Magnetman: More fer me! It's like a good ol' fashioned street brawl! YEEEE-HAW!
Hardman: Heh, I can't belive I'm saying this, but I'm right there with you, Mags! This is fun, even if I have to pull my punches.
(A crowd of Lion Men lies on the ground with the Mechs standing triumphantly.)
Tar: Is that the best you've got, Mechs?
Tar: I must say, I'm unimpressed. Your skills show no finesse, no subtlety.
Geminiman: What is this? We mopped the floor with your minions, Tar.
Tar: Yes, you've felled a few.
Geminiman: A few!?
Tar: Once, more SURRENDER!
Topman: Is he kidding?
Shadowman: Why don't you come quietly?
Tar: DEATH FIRST!
(The Mechs are then rocked by a tremendous attack from above. Lion Men are dropped from familiar-looking flying saucers and land in blue and pink suits.)
Topman: It's the same Soccer armors that Hu Man wore. Aw, they made it all the way here too?
Spark Chan: Catch 22 sure was busy.* But how did the Lion Men get this armor?
(*See issue 4; Catch 22 is the hacker group who stole Wily's old tech and sold it to criminal organizations around the world.)
Lion Woman: We were part of the Emerald Spears before Tar opened our eyes to the feral beauty of the Lion People!
Tar: Lion Men, actually.
Lion Woman: We'll discuss that moniker later. Lionesses are the hunters, Mechs.
Lion Woman: Prepare yourselves!
Lion Man: And we'll attack from above! You're doomed, Mechs!
Tar: Feel the wrath of the Lion Men!
Hardman: Alright, time to really kick some -
Shadowman: No, we're trying not to hurt them.
(The Lionesses shoot out Concrete Shots from their suits' arm cannons. The Mechs are quickly immersed in hard concrete.)
Tar: Hah hah hah! Your are fools, Mechs! Fools!
Hardman: Great job, Shad.
Shadowman: Shut up.
(The Lion Men all begin to walk away.)
Topman: Hey, wait a minute! Aren't you going to take this opportunity to hit us?
Tar: And free you from your concrete prison? I think not, Mech. Come, my legions! My lieutenant informs me that our transportation is ready!
Lion Woman: You mean we finally lionised a pilot?
Magnetman: Hey, wait! You have to hit us! That's how these fights are supposed to work! How're we supposed to have an epic duel if we're trapped in cement!?
Tar: Not my problem.
(The Lion Men walk off)
Geminiman: Alright. Once we're free we mention this humiliating scene to no one. Especially Galaxyman. Agreed?
Shadowman: Still ... one of us has to call RPD HQ for backup.
Hardman: You're the one who was against me killing 'em.
Needlegal: Yeah, I'd say this falls under the burdens of leadership.
(In the RPD's basement, "Toadman" has accessed the RPD's backups while the body of the tired, old police bot lies slumbering on the ground.)
Toadgirl: (Thinking) Holy crap, it's a good thing I keep a reserve of my snakes. This lumpy body isn't equipped to handle a job like this and I can't generate more as I am. I've finally managed to do it though. I've hacked into the yellow cheese's backups! And ... what a find! He might seem like a joke, but he really had his hands into everything! Crorq's connected to surveillance, not only in Monsteropolis, but all around the world as well! It's incredible just how much information he's gathered on the world's infrastructure. But the rest of this...
("Toad" opens up images, maps, and encrypted e-mails)
Toadgirl: (Thinking) It was him. All this time, it was him! He - what's this?
(Files begin closing on their own.)
Toadgirl: No, no, no...
("Toadman" quickly unplugs his snake from the machine, only to find it charred and smoking...)
(The computer's screen is engulfed in static before shutting itself down completely. Then it begins to smoke. In short order the lights go out on the entire floor.)
Toadgirl: Double crap! I think I've worn out my welcome.
(Just then "Toadman" gets a call...)
Toadgirl: Shadow? Great timing! You wouldn't believe what I've found out!
Toadgirl: You're kidding, right?
Toadgirl: Fwa hah hah hah hah hah!
Geminiman: Yes, yes, get it out of your system.
Toadgirl: I mean ... just .... HAH HAH HAH HAH! Oh, this is rich! Wait 'till the other Cossacks hear about this!
Spark Chan: Hey, you wouldn't tell them, would you?
Toadgirl: Well, since I'm a Cossack now...
Needlegal: Quit lording this over us and get us out!
Toadgirl: Yeah, okay okay. Hope this doesn't hurt too much.
(With a giggle of his belly "Toadman" brings down the rain and frees them from their ridiculous situation.)
Shadowman: We have to get back in a hurry. There's no telling what madness Tar has wrought while Toadman selfishly gloated over our sad state of affairs.
Toadgirl: Oh, come on. Sure, World's Strongest and the Sterling Sentinels are out of town, but the Cossacks are still there. And then there's the entire Robot Police Force to reckon with! I'm sure they could handle whatever Tar has up his sleeve.
(Shortly after the Maniacs teleport back to base only to find the city in chaos with both robots and humans running madly in all directions.)
Shadowman: I can't believe you couldn't handle what Tar had up his sleeve!
(Cossack's Comrades are all encased in concrete.)
Skullman: Well, obviously you didn't do much better. Otherwise, you would've stopped them before they made it this far.
Shadowman: You're talking like someone who wants to stay in that block for a loooong time.
Geminiman: Wait. Where's Drillman? There's no reason why he can't get you out.
(Dustman nods towards Drillman's unconscious body, lying behind them).
Dustman: They knocked him out with a few dive missiles right before they cemented us. The only one of us who got away is Brightbabe.
Topman: Well, Kalinka has two perfectly good lab assistants/Mary Sues who can help you out. Goonker and Leader-1 or, whatever. Give them a buzz.
Pharaoh Woman: And leave Kalinka, our royal vizier at the mercy of this creepy feline plague?! Surely, you jest! ....Because that's just stupid...!
Toadman: Enough chitchat! Come my love!! Help me eat our way out of my prison! And we shall spend the rest of our lives in wedded bless!
(Toadman gnaws on his concrete prison. It does nothing. Except chip one of his teeth).
Toadgirl: For that, I'm sorely tempted to just leave you guys that way.
Hardman: Yeah, I like them better this way, too. (Smirks at St. Diveman)
St. Diveman: No one was askin' ya, Scissor Army washout!
Toadman: You - you wouldn't let a fellow toad rust away in concrete, would you, my true love?
Toadgirl: I am not your true love, nor a toad.
Toadman: What!? But .... but ...!
Spark Chan: You tell 'em, Snake.
Toadgirl: In my heart of hearts, I'll always be Skullman!
Skullman: You wish. (Rolls eyes)
Hardman: Don't look at me, I got nothin'.
Topman: Damn it, Snake, let it go already.
Ringman: Come on, Rai! It's not our fault you got in this mess!
Toadgirl: No. But none of you were really any help, either. So why should I be bothered?
Pharaoh Woman: Because it is your duty, Mistress-Sorry. Master of the Cobra Nest! Without our help this hex of the bestial lion form will consume the whole kingdom! And uh, probably the world too...! Yeah...So come on! You of all people know what's like to be turned into a monstrous beast against your will!
Toadman: Hey, are you saying I'm a monster?!
Skullman: Statistically, that's the nicest thing we could say about you.
Toadgirl: ....Not buying it.
Dust Man: We'll let you destroy Toadman if you cut us loose.
(Snakeman melts the Comrades' prison with a Rain Flush).
Toadman: At last! My sweet princess! Nothing shall keep us apart ever ag-
("Helena" tackles Toadman and rains her fists down upon him).
Toadgirl: You put your tongue in my mouth! YOU ACTUALLY PUT YOUR TONGUE IN MY MOUTH!! I KNOW BECAUSE I CAN STILL TASTE IT!!
Toadman: Ahhhh!! EEEEEEE!! OWWW!! Why, my love?! WHHHHYYY?!! AHHHHHHH!!
("Helena" slams Toadman's head in the ground while biting off a piece of his cheek).
Spark Chan: Hey uhh...Do you mind if I just...Join in...? I'll fix up Drill-
Ringman: All yours.
(Spark Chan starts shocking Toadman as Snakeman starts curbstomping him.)
Spark Chan: Steal hair from my hairbrush will you?? I heard about that! YOU SICK CREEP!!!
(Suddenly, Hardman inexplicably smacks St. Diveman with some rebar).
St. Diveman: You sonnuva-
Hardman: Oops! I was aiming at the frog! (Halfheartedly kicks Toadman.)
St. Diveman: (Rubs cheek) Suuuure ya were.....
(Much, MUCH later Snakeman collapses next to Toadman, panting heavily and limply punching his battered, unconscious corpse).
Toadgirl: ...Sigh....I think I'm done...No....
(Snakeman elbow drops Toadman again in the head).
Toadgirl: Okay, NOW I'm done...
Needlegal: This isn't a problem for you...?
Drillman: No. We'll just tell Kalinka that the Lion Men did it.
St. Diveman: Just count yerselves lucky that God and I hate these heathen hairballs just a little more than we hate you.
Shadowman: Good for you. Just deal with the ones on the street. We'll take care of the ones going after the Galactic Council.
Magnetman: Go easy on 'em now. They're just everyday folk who can't tell right from wrong.
Spark Chan: Certainly don't bomb any bridges with any on them.
St. Diveman: No promises.
Shadowman: And if you get cocooned again, you're on your own. Alright, let's kick some lion ass, everyone!
(The Comrades stay on the streets beating down Lion Men left and right. But just as the Maniacs leave, a stray Dive Missile hits Hard Man in the kisser).
Hardman: HEY! What the-!
St. Diveman: Oops! I was aimin' at the Lionman at yer two o'clock!
Hardman: (Rubs cheek) Suuuurrre you were.
(The Maniacs follow Shadowman towards the Council's meeting room, cutting down Lion Men as they go.)
Shadowman: Undoubtably the Lion Men will try to convert the human members of the council into one of them.
Spark Chan: I'm so sick of these Lion Men!
Lion Man: And we're sick of you!
Lion Woman: FUR IS MURDER! FUR IS MURDER!
(Lion Men and Women in PETA shirts attack the Mechs more ferociously than their brethren.)
Lion Man: Now we are ONE with nature!
Lion Woman: And since we're now animals I can finally eat MEAT! I've so missed meat!
Lion Man: Hey! No, that's not cool!
Lion Woman: Huh?
Lion Man: You can't harm an animal!
Lion Man: YEAH!!
Lion Woman: But are ARE animals now!
Lion Man: YEAH!
Lion Man: FUR IS MURDER!
(The Lion Men begin ripping each other apart.)
Hardman: Please tell me I can kill these guys.
Shadowman: No, Ben, you can't kill people anymore.
Hardman: But Kenta killed people all the time!
Shadowman: God damn it, no!
Spark Chan: I'll handle this ... (Spark Chan uses her Spark Shock to disable the group of warring Lion Men. The Mechs continue on and run into the Lions wearing Wily's Power Suit.)
Lion Woman: It's the Mechs!
Lion Woman: Machines. It's always machines...
Lion Woman: Get them with the Concrete Shot!
(The Lions use the Concrete Shot, but "Toadman" uses his Rain Flush to disable the attacks before they even reach the Mechs. They follow this up quickly with several attacks which destroy the suits.)
Geminiman: This was their elite guard. Which means, the council must be in here.
Magnetman: What's the plan?
Hardman: I've got yer plan right here! HADOKEN!
(Hardman smashes through the door using his Hard Knuckle while Shadowman sputters in disbelief.)
Shadowman: N-no! We're the tricky team! We rely on stealth and ... stealth!
Needlegal: (places a hand on Shadow's shoulder) The times, they are a-changin'.
(The Mechs rush through the door to find a chaotic scene.)
Crorq: Mechs! Where have you been!?
Shadowman: In Hawaii where you sent us.
Crorq: Fools! You failed in your mission and now we're overrun with Lion Men! We must stop Tar from reaching the human members of the council!
Faberge Egg Man: SAVE US! SAVE US! Don't you know how fragile and expensive I am!?
Rolls Royce Man: It's all I can do not to get scratched.
S. Schwartz: Pull yourselves together, men.
Terra: I wish my Stardroids were as ferocious as these Lion Men. As it stands there's too many of them even for Crorq and I. You could help, RaThor!
RaThor: I MUST PROTECT RAMOON!
RaMoon: Yes. Do not move unless I am attacked.
Terra: Damn it.
K. Watson: Hee hee hee.
Tar: Too late, metal fools! I have a clear shot!
(Tar fires his eye beams at K. Watson and S. Schwartz.)
S. Schwartz: (In a burst of light Schwartz grows fur, fangs, and roars with ferocious malice) ROOOOAAARRRR!!!!
Bright Babe: Hey guys! Remember me??
(Bright uses her Flash in close proximity to Tar and the Lion Man throws up his hands.)
Tar: AAAAHHHH!!! I - I can't see! I CAN'T SEE!
S. Schwartz: LEADER!
Lion Man: NO!
Bright Babe: Haha! I stopped the Lion Men!
Needlegal: Bright Babe stopped the Lion Men?
Geminiman: I'm happy as long as somebody stops them.
Rolls Royce Man: Hold on ... Tar zapped both of you. Then why aren't you ... ?
K. Watson: Uh ...
Terra: You've been acting very peculiar as of late.
Crorq: (Takes aim at the council member) I knew it was one of you!
Faberge Egg Man: WAIT!!! What are you doing!?
K. Watson: (Smiles maliciously) Damn. I was really hoping to go undetected.
(Out of nowhere K. Watson pulls out a scythe and skewers Rolls Royce Man.)
(K. Watson morphs into the masterless puppet and floats in midair.)
Mesmerman: Indeed, it is I!
(Crorq's guns fold back into their compartments and he stands down. The Robot Police Forces in the room lower their weapons.)
Police bot: Look, it's Mesmerman.
Police bot: How ya doin', buddy?
Mesmerman: I'm doing well! It's good to see all my colleagues. But what's this? A new Magnetman and Hardman? Replaced so soon? I'm hurt. I thought I was part of the team.
Hardman: Screw you, ya jackass!
Faberge Egg Man: WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? DESTROY HIM!
Police bot: Destroy him? But he's a war hero!
Police bot: Right.
(Crorq is uncharacteristically silent.)
Toadgirl: You've hacked them somehow.
Mesmerman: Of course I've hacked them.
Magnetman: Guys ... I feel this dude in my head.
Hardman: Me too.
Spark Chan: Aren't the firewall protocols working?
Mesmerman: Your protocols are somewhat out of date, although your new armor and software are a nut to crack these two haven't built up the resistance the rest of your team has. And Benjamin here has a delicious amount of rage for me to work with.
Mr. Holzenbein: What are you after? And how did you hack the security here?
Mesmerman: What am I after? Isn't that obvious?
Terra: He wants to kill us all and replace us with versions of himself. In fact, he probably already dispatched Honus Wagner Card Man, Diamond Man, and the real Watson just as he killed Rolls Royce Man just now.
(The Mechanical Maniacs spread out, encircling the floating menace.)
Shadowman: (Through radio) Keep him talking. We have to find his true form and destroy it quickly before this gets out of hand.
Geminiman: (Through radio) There's no way we can bring him down before he kills more of the council.
Topman: But how did you hack into our system in the first place? Our firewalls are top notch! And they were upgraded with our own programs after our exposure to you. That should have helped the RPD build up resistance.
Mesmerman: It did ... until I was plugged in. Don't you remember? You brought over my "body" after your Sinister Six "killed" me. You examined the software of one of my spare parts.*
(*Series 7 Issue 10)
Needlegal: Bad idea?
Mesmerman: Bad idea. Yes, your team has been exposed to my illusions long enough to develop resistance against them, but that didn't translate perfectly to the RPD firewall. I was able to infect the entire RPD before being locked out!
Geminiman: Which explains why The RPD and even Crorq acted as if you were a hero. *
Mesmerman: Yes! Yes! It was all part of my glorious plan!
Hardman: Sorry to mess it all up.
Mesmerman: "Mess it all up?" Oh, not really. I just have to kill everybody in this room.
Tar: You released us just to kill us!?
Mesmerman: Well, maybe I won't kill you. I actually like you guys.
Mr. Holzenbein: And me?
Mesmerman: You I can't stand.
RaMoon: RaThor will oppose you if you try to harm me!
RaThor: I WILL PROTECT RAMOON!
Mesmerman: Well, maybe I won't kill you either.
Terra: With RaThor to protect all of us -
RaThor: I WILL ONLY PROTECT RAMOON!
Terra: *Sigh* Of course.
(A Mesmerman appears behind Terra and slices him down.)
Mesmerman: There will be no escape for any of you!
Shadowman: Damn it! We have to find his real body!
(Magnetman fires his bullets at Mesmerman.)
Magnetman: I can feel you squirmin' in my head, but you won't stop me, varmint!
Mesmerman: You're a strong-willed one, aren't you? But your predecessor was too and I still bent him to my will eventually!
Hardman: (While firing a Knuckle at the floating menace) I don't think so, chuckles.
Mesmerman: (Coming up from behind) I don't see why you're fighting me. Not only do you hate being forced to work for authority, you long for death, don't you?
Hardman: Don't think you know me.
(Hardman knocks Mesmerman's scythe aside and trades blows with him as the floating robot splits into two and engages with other Mechanical Maniacs)
Mesmerman: My my MY! You're actually over that!
Hardman: Yeah, I guess I have to thank that chunk of stale cheese for bringing me back.
Mesmerman: You won't get the chance. Crorq's not coming back UNTIL I SAY HE IS!
(The Mechanical Maniacs scramble as Mesmerman fights as several opponents. Needlegal deflects a blow against Faberge Egg Man while Bright is struck down by another version of the masterless puppet. Geminiman splits into six and fights Mesmerman in all corners while Shadowman and Topman create a perimeter around the injured Terra and transformed Schwartz while Lion Men fight anyone around them.)
Toadgirl: We have to find the real Mesmerman! Change me back so I can do that!
RaMoon: I do not see why you cannot do that in your current form.
Toadgirl: As Snakeman I use SEARCH SNAKES! They're made specifically to find stuff!
Toadgirl: Oh, come on!
RaMoon: Very well.
(In a flash Snakeman returns to fighting form.)
(Snakeman fires off several snakes in search of Mesmerman's true form, but the battle rages around him.)
Shadowman: This is nuts!
Needlegal: He can't keep on doing this. Remember what happened the last time he spread himself too thin? He lost power.
Shadowman: But can we keep him busy long enough for that to happen?
Mr. Holzenbein: AHHH!!
Mesmerman: Nighty Night!
Crorq: OH NO YOU DON'T!
(The Mesmerman hologram is knocked back by a strange brown liquid.)
Mesmerman: (While flickering in and out) Crorq? Don't you recognise me? I'm your bestest pal!
(The hologram is knocked back again by the brown liquid and several others turn their attention to the chief of police.)
Crorq: IIIIINFIDEL! Do you think you could infect Crorq with a virus INDEFINITELY!?
(Crorq fires his liquid weapon in all directions, knocking each hologram back. The Mechs can only stare in amazement as Crorq rallies the team against the masterless puppet.)
Hardman: I can't believe it! He's actually being ... effective!?
Snakeman: You know, this tastes like ..
Crorq: I've read up on you, Mesmer. I know liquid shorts out your holograms and so I've equipped myself with your bane! Feel the might of MY GRAVY TRAIN!
Snakeman: Of course.
Crorq: Now, Spark! Use your weapon while the holograms are disrupted.
Spark Chan: Right!
(Spark Chan fires her weapons as Crorq continues to pelt the holograms with gravy.)
Mesmerman: Rats! My plan's .... spoiled! But, on the bright side, defeat has never tasted so good.
(The last hologram flickers out.)
Crorq: Snakeman! Have you located the true Mesmerman?
Snakeman: Uh, no. Not yet.
RaMoon: Why did I bother changing you back!?
Crorq: And, as for you ...
(Crorq turns to Tar.)
Tar: I don't fear you!
Crorq: You're blind as a bat!
Tar: It's nothing!
S. Schwartz: Hold on just a minute here. Lion Man or not I am still a member of the council. And, by my fur, I now turn my position over to Tar!
Mr. Holzenbein: Eh?
RaMoon: Can he do that?
Terra: Well ...
S. Schwartz: What gives you the right to stop my people from representation? As leader of the Lion Men Tar is the rightful man for the job.
RaMoon: Don't you want to be human again?
S. Schwartz: NEVER! RRAAAAARRRRRR!
Mr. Holzenbein: What say you ... Faberge Egg Man? Where is he?
Snakeman: Don't tell me ...
Crorq: These pieces on the ground ... the true Mesmer was hiding inside Faberge Egg Man all along! He was Mesmerman is disguise and YOU let him get away! Incompetent dolt!
Snakeman: Wait, hold on!
Shadowman: Weren't you -
Crorq: I apologize for the incompetence of my minions, council members. But, as you can see, I've managed to preserve all of your lives.
S. Schwartz: And added to our illustrious council by way of Tar!
Crorq: Erm, yes!
Terra: You were an effective measure against Mesmerman. If only my own powers were effective as yours against that fiend. And, you have shown yourself able to handle subordinates well.
Spark Chan: He has?
Terra: Come - you as well, Tar. We have much to discuss.
S. Schwartz: RAAAHHHHAAA, yes, Tar.
Tar: Indeed. You! I don't need your help to get around ... but if you wanted to help out of courtesy, I suppose I'll indulge you.
S. Schwartz: RAAAHHHHAAA, yes, Tar.
Terra: I'll see what we can do about your eyes.
Crorq: (All screens show a smiling emoticon) Yes! Let us discuss the future!
(Crorq and the remaining council members leave the room and the Mechanical Maniacs can only stare dumbstruck.)
Spark Chan: Should we worry about Tar being on the council? Isn't he still a threat?
Topman: I don't really think so. He was the only Lion Man that could pass the curse on to others. Even if they fix his eyes, I doubt he'll be able to turn others into Lion Men again.
Hardman: And it looks like we've seen the last of Crorq. Talk about failing upwards.
Magnetman: Gotta admit, even I'll be glad to see the guy go.
Snakeman: This is terrible!
Needlegal: Eh? You're supposed to say -
Snakeman: I know what I'm supposed to say! But everything didn't turn out alright. Crorq can't be on the Council!
Geminiman: Because he's an egotistical jerk? Seems like that's the running theme for being on the council.
Topman: Gotta agree. Not seeing the big deal here.
Snakeman: You don't understand I -
(Snakeman glances around and ushers the group into a quieter corner.)
Snakeman: I hacked into his backups while you were out.
Magnetman: You WHAT!?
Snakeman: Everyone thought I was Toadman! And they were all destroyed afterwards anyway.
Magnetman: That's messed up! Not only can you be busted for that, but it's a damned violation of every bot's privacy! You should be ashamed of yerself. I have half a mind to -
Snakeman: Just listen! I know, there's laws against that and it's risky, but you don't know Crorq like we do. And we don't know him half as much as we'd like to think. He's not just some hard case with more power than sense. He's been behind it all! Or at least most of it.
Magnetman: What are you yammering on about?
Snakeman: I saw it all. Crorq is Catch 22. He doesn't just help them, he's the entire thing. He's the one who allowed the RPD's vault to be broken into* and he's the one who's been supplying Wily's old tech to criminals everywhere. He found the Roboenza virus and let it loose. **
Spark Chan: He's Catch 22?!
Snakeman: But even more than that, he's the one who let Doc Robot's virus infect the RPD just so he could swoop in at the very end and look good! And when the council came to Earth, not only has he been keeping them here (which was obvious), he's the guy who hired Omniman and Golemman to cause chaos, so that he could look good fighting against it. **
Needlegal: To what possible end?
Snakeman: Isn't it obvious? Look at what just happened today!
Magnetman: No way. Crorq's not a great guy, but ... he's not ...
Hardman: He's an asshole, Mags.
Shadowman: Hard's right. Everything we've been through has only benefitted one person - Crorq.
Topman: But, guys, is this really our problem?
Magnetman: Of course it's our problem! If Crorq's a crook we can't just stand by and let him get into the council!
Hardman: I've wanted to kick his ass since I met him.
Needlegal: Don't you have any proof?
Snakeman: He may be overbearing, but he's not an idiot. The entire database was wiped the moment I was detected.
Topman: Well, this sucks
Needlegal: And we learned a lot more than we wanted to about our boss.
Shadowman: We'll have to act sooner rather than later if we're going to stop him. The Council still has to build a ship, so there's some time, but not much of it.
Topman: Well, until Crorq makes fans of us all, we are ... The Mechanical Maniacs!
(Much later, Snakeman returns to his room and collapses on his bed.)
Snakeman: I'm so glad this day is over with...
(As Snakeman covers his face with his pillow, he hears horrible screeching and wailing outside his window.)
Snakeman: Uggghhhh...Give me a break already...
(Snakeman looks out the window and sees Toadman outside, playing an out-of-tune guitar).
Toadman: Ahhhh!! My sweet Helena! I thought I had lost you!
Snakeman: Stop it!! I told you before!! I'm not Toadman/Toadgirl!!
Toadman: But I'd recognize you anywhere, my lovely little duchess! While you have the slithery exterior of a snake, you still have the passionate heart of a lowly amphibian like me!!
(Snakeman reaches into his dresser and dusts off an old sniper rifle. Locking and loading, he fires wildly at the serenading Toadman.
Snakeman: Die, you miserable little freak!! DIE!!
Toadman: Oh! I love it when you play hard to get!
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