By Rich (Magnetman) and Gauntlet (Shadowman)
The sky has just begun to let in the sun's first light of the day, giving dark blues to oranges and everything in between, with clouds streaked across the horizon, and a feint haze wafting in from the city's industrial hub, dulling the light show with a sheet of thin grays and greens.
Beneath this early morning sky is another light show, with cars new and old strewn about the street as if they were toys, most ablaze in bright yellows and reds, pouring thick black smoke into the atmosphere above. One vehicle, a formerly royal metallic purple car, erupts and pops with the heat, tossing bits of itself all about the asphalt, charring everything within a twenty foot diameter.
Down the street, an inconspicuous building is similarly lit in smoldering fire, its sign melting above the ever intense heat. This is the neighborhood bank, its contents having just been emptied by three new criminals. However, nothing about this bank robbery was as typical as one may imagine.
The bank itself? An energy bank. In this world, at this time, energy has become the most prized commodity, with other resources, even old fashioned cash, taking a back seat to what energy gave you. Energy crystals, once so plentiful in the beginning of the century, had suddenly become scarce, turning the blue and white gem like capsules into the most important thing in the city of Monsteropolis. Everythng ran on these crystals- the lights, the computers, the vehicles, and even the people, as more and more sought to escape their own mortality by converting themselves into cybernetic androids, sometimes by less than legal means.
And sometimes, when you're willing to illegally turn yourself into a quasi-immortal machine man, you're willing to illegally obtain the only thing that keeps you going.
The three men, all of whom had modified themselves on the black market to varying degrees, now only sought this energy, having little need for anything else. Whatever they don't immediately use, they can trade away for something else, using it as a form of currency.
As their dark silver van weaves in and out of the early morning highway traffic, the two who aren't driving pour themselves over their latest wares.
Clyde: I don't believe this! You...You melted the friggin' crystals!
(The enraged ne'er-do-well dips his hands into the large bag filled with half-destroyed energy crystals.)
Billy: I didn't mean to! I mean, you saw how big that door was, Clyde! I had to blow it!
Clyde: You stupid, stupid ass head!
(Clyde smashes a smaller stash bag over Billy's head repeatedly.)
Emin: (While daring a quick glance back as he's driving) Hey, chill out back there! We've got company!
(Clyde lights the pilot flame on his flamethrower.)
Emin: I...I think so. One of them...Robot cops.
Emin nervously fixes his gaze on his side mirror, trying to get a glimpse of what he saw earlier. A distinctive, bright orange energy spark catches his eye, following a small human-shaped pursuer on foot behind him. Emin had seen the news before, and vaguely knew about what he was seeing behind his van. He also knew what the success rate of the suspects attempting to escape them was. Emin clenches the wheel with furious strength.
Billy and Clyde are on their feet now, Clyde with his flame thrower, and Billy armed with his rapid fire plasma rifle, an old contraption left over from the Great Robot War from when he was a kid. The two give each other a look, signalling their readiness, and Clyde gives the doors a swift kick to open them, both firing as soon as they swing open.
After a few seconds of sustained fire, along with the pair furiously screaming, they stop, realizing their quarry isn't even there. Clyde looks to Emin for answers.
Clyde: Well? Where the hell is this ba-?
(The roof of the van gives in a little, as an obvious sum of weight is suddenly deposited atop.)
Billy: I got him.
(Billy raises his rifle, showering the roof with molten plasma bolts, forcing Clyde to shield his eyes with his arm.)
Topman: That's I'VE got him.
(Topman swings like a pendulum inside the truck through the still-open doors, his feet crash into both cyborgs simultaneously.)
Topman: But either way, you don't.
(Both Clyde and Billy tumble towards the front of the van, flailing limbs smack Emin across the back of his head, jarring the entire van as the driver jerks the steering wheel in response. Both Clyde and Billy struggle to regain their footing as Emin attempts to get the big van back on cement, and the entire time their assailant remains on his feet, completely unfazed by the chaos he had just caused.)
Topman: (Folding his arms across his chest) You know what the worst part about that robbery stunt was? The timing. I was just about to make a withdrawal myself, except I actually earned my money, unlike you lowlifes. Although it has been a long time. The boss finally deposited my paycheck in my account. I was really looking forward to blowing it all.
Clyde: The hell with you and the RPD, ya buncha crooks. You're nothin' but a buncha criminals yourselves, only you hide behind those badges as you rob the rest of the city blind.
Topman: Pot, meet kettle. Kettle...
(Topman yawns, unimpressed with Clyde's attempt to justify his crime. Topman had, after all, heard pretty much every story in the book by now, and he had grown quite bored with the number one story- the one that involves cops all being criminals, and criminals all being Robin Hood.)
Topman: So, Mr Kettle, what orphanage were you headed to just now with your recently freed assets, mm?
Billy: Oh, we were just about to invest it into the local economy. (Billy sneers and once again raises his rifle.)
(In an instant, before Billy could pull that trigger, Topman closes the gap and pulls the rifle behind him, jerking Billy forward and into a waiting fist. Billy slumps to the floor, an unmoving mess drooling parts of his palate.)
Topman: Are you a free market enthusiast as well?
(Clyde twitches around his flame thrower. )
Clyde throws his flamethrower towards Topman, who easily catches it. Clyde himself uses it as a distraction to leap behind Topman and out of the speeding van onto the freeway, rolling over and over again until he manages to catch himself and end up on his feet, all thanks to his robotic lower half.
Topman simply grins, knowing he won't get very far at this point.
Meanwhile, Emin is frantically weaving in and out of traffic, as if trying to shake Top out of the van, but to no avail thanks to Topman's superior balance system at play. As Emin curses the orange speedmeister, he nearly misses a semi truck, and has to focus more on the road. In that instant, both Billy and Topman are gone from the back of the van.
Emin breaks his concentration from the road to turn around and scan the van's cargo area, only to find it completely devoid of anything- Billy, Clyde, Topman...even the energy crystals.
He punches the steering wheel as he turns back around to focus on the road, only to catch a glimpse of something big, blue, and in his way. Almost instantly, the van is stopped by an open hand that is at least as large as the front of the van and Emin's face smashes into the airbag.
Hardman: I'd ask ya to stay still but I think that might be a bit redundant at this point.
Topman: Looks like you took my request to 'stop the van' a bit literally, Big Blue. Hope you didn't kill him...
Hardman: Nah. (sniffs) Airbags savin' dirtbags. Typical Sunday drivers.
Topman: Well, that's good. Speaking of saving lives, you think we ought to find Mags before his showboating gets the other guy killed?
Hardman: Why? Mags'd be doing everyone a favor. Anyway, he has real good control over his bullets, nothing'll happen.
Topman: Have it your way. You go take Speed Racer and Trixie here in for booking. I'm gonna go catch up with Mags. Tell Shadow and the rest we'll be in shortly.
Top knew that despite doing his job, an impatient Crorq was back at the station, waiting for all of the Mechanical Maniacs to meet there at once, having called an early Sunday morning meeting for some unnamed reason.
Crorq: How dare you fools delay my voice! Impudent morons!
Topman: (under his breath) Nice to see you too.
The overgrown yellow supercomputer that waddled around on its undersized bowed legs was permanently impatient, and this morning was no different. Top and the others had long ago grown accustomed to Crorq's demanding personality, ignoring it as much as they could.
Shadowman: Go on Crorq. I'll talk to my men about their tardiness on our own time.
(Behind Shadow, the other Maniacs know he isn't at all serious about "talking to them about their tardiness", and that it's just part of the act he puts on to keep Crorq just satisfied enough.)
Shadowman: You've obviously got us here so early for a good reason, since I know you haven't been to Dunkin' Donuts yet.
Crorq: Worthless cretin! The audacity of you pointless slugs to demand that I speak for your benefit! However, in light of current events, I shall move on. Pay attention, idiots!
(Crorq's monitors flip open with multiple images streaming across as the lights in the room darken. Three-dimensional holograms move all around the group, displaying various structures, vehicles, and files on individuals. )
Crorq: Twenty-three hours, forty-two minutes, and fifteen seconds ago, the Galactic Council dispatched a team of agents to the remote mining base built upon the Jovian moon Io. As you uneducated louts may or may not know, Jupiter's moons have been bought up by large mining corporations in the last decade in order to search for resources that we're running out of here on Earth.
Crorq: The Council's goons were sent to investigate a distress signal sent from a base on Io, though there were no specifics noted within the SOS call. The Council's agents were only on the Io base for a mere fifteen minutes before their signal was cut. The SOS signal continues to be sent out from the base, but no attempts at communication have worked so far.
Needlegal: So...Why are we being told about this? As far as the Council should be concerned, we're just street cops.
Crorq: You're even lower than that, scum! However, I offered up my services to the Council in order to assist them in the investigation.
Geminiman: (Grimacing) In other words, we're being sent up to some rock hundreds of thousands of miles away so that you can score bonus points with your golf buddies.
Crorq: Insolent ant! The Great Crorq has no need for political chess games!
Snakeman: ...So...Why are we being sent up there, then?
Crorq: Do not question my supreme judgement, dirt licker! If Crorq the Magnificent desires his loyal disciples' presence on another planet, then it shall happen! That is all you need to understand!
Shadowman: No, it isn't. This isn't part of our contract. We're RPD officers so that we can offer our services to the city that we almost ruined many times in the past. We can't protect it it we're screwing around in space. Besides, this is something the Galactic Council is supposed to have sole jurisdiction of, so we really have no business there.
Crorq is taken aback slightly as Shadowman displays more knowledge of the Council's workings than is commonly known. The Council itself is only known to the public, and their prerogatives are as highly classified as it gets. Once again, Shadowman has shown Crorq that he wasn't an "uneducated lout", but he would never concede that.
Crorq: Perhaps I am not making myself clear, infidel. You're going up there whether you agree with it or not, otherwise I will cut our contract and you will be shut down for good.
(A few of the Mechs collectively shudder, but Shadowman holds fast.)
Shadowman: I'm not giving into your threats, Crorq. If we're to go to Io, you had better tell us everything. Otherwise, we'll just have to become outlaws again. Who knows...Maybe I'll go to the Council myself for the real story.
Crorq: Wh...WHHHHHAAAAAAT?! You DARE threaten me?!-
Shadowman: Who said anything about a threat?
Crorq: ...I see your game, worm. Not that I, perfection that I am, have anything to fear from the Council, but I'll indulge you...But know that your insolence against me has a price! I can have you deactivated with a mere whim!
Shadowman: Whatever. Just spit it out.
Crorq: Very well. As I said, I offered my assistance to the Council after hearing of this debacle hours ago. It seems that the agents they sent in are actually old acquaintances of yours'- the Stardroids.
Magnetman: The Stardroids? I guess that makes sense. Terra's on the Council, after all. Come to think of it, what are they doing working for them?
Hardman: Even the Council needs muscle.
Crorq: Indeed! The Stardroids are the Council's premier enforcers in the Solar System, as they were built for space travel. Whatever is happening on Io, the Council felt it necessitated that its best team be sent to investigate...after they had dispatched three eliete, but lesser teams earlier made up of a formidable, but more ordinary type of robot.
Shadowman: Wait, the Stardroids were sent in after the Council sent in other teams? Something's not adding up. What could possibly be happening on Io that would cause four teams to go dark? I can see ordinary forces getting into trouble, but the Stardroids were never slackers in the combat department.
Crorq: ...Unknown. That is why they petitioned us here for help. And it just so happened that I have eight former experts on otherworldly mining under my direct command! All the necessary information should be in your base programming, even through membership changes.
Geminiman: Aha! So your are sucking up to the Council! I knew it!
Crorq: Silence your tongue, glittering fool! If we're successful in this venture, all of us benefit because the Council shall reward us with untold wealth!
Shadowman: Money. You're doing this for money? That's not your style, Crorq (...food, maybe). But...If the Stardroids are in trouble, we should investigate irregardless. There's not many of us old teams left as it is.
Geminiman: You can't be serious, Shad! You said it yourself- we've got no business on that rock! The Droids were assholes, anyways.
Snakeman: Yeah, we do. Whatever is happening up there may have taken out at least one of the most powerful teams. Who's to say that whatever is going on up there won't make it to Earth eventually?
Geminiman: If it gets to Earth, we can deal with it then! (Balls up his fists.)
Shadowman: By then it may be too late. These things tend to get worse the longer we ignore them.
Crorq: Enough! You have your orders, worms! You depart no later than five hours from now, so pack your toothbrushes! Now, get out of here!
Topman: You know what'd be really helpful in this mission? New armor!
Crorq: GET OUT!
The Mechs stand in Crorq's office for a few seconds, eyeing each other silently. None of them particularly trusted Crorq, and they are not thrilled with this mission.
As they march down the hallway and out of the front door of the RPD, Topman positions himself next to Shadow as the others banter and grouse about the upcoming mission.
Topman: So, what's up with you and Crorq? That got pretty heated back there. You know its not like we can just quit the RPD. Crorq is practically holding us hostage since he keeps our backup files on hand.
Shadowman: (Sighing ever so slightly.) Top, you know I don't like him, and I trust him even less. But, if the Stardroids are up there, its in our best interest to find and rescue them if they need it.
Topman: I don't get it, though. We've never been particularly tight with them, so why the sudden loyalty? You've got to admit that this is a pretty big risk in order to secure a favor.
Shadowman: That's because I already have a favor in mind.
Shadowman: The Stardroids have been working for the Council, they'll have info on them that's not readily available, even to Crorq.
Topman: So? We're talking about some super secret back door government voodoo here- that's way above your pay grade.
Shadowman: Ever since we found out about the Council, Crorq's been acting strangely. His daily routine has changed, which is extremely unusual for him. And there's that business with him bringing them here when everything's in turmoil. I've been thinking it over. Needle may very well be right about Crorq wanting in on the Council and more information on them and what they do can only help us.
Topman: And you think the Stardroids will just give up info on their employers? What are you going to say; 'hey, Mars, ol' buddy, ol' pal, long time no see! Say, you got any really deep secrets you want to share with us, your bestest pals on Earth?' I don't think that'll go over too well.
Shadowman: Be that as it may, its still a legitimate lead. Its also way outside of Crorq's range of influence.
Topman: Well, if you say so. You're the boss, Boss. Besides, its not like we have much of a choice with Crorq.
Shadowman: That reminds me...
Topman: About what?
Shadowman: Don't be tardy again.
Four hours before departure, inside Snakeman's lair...
Snake had already assumed his usual posture, hunching over a projection keyboard and array of touch screens as his eyes dart back and forth between a collection of screens, surveying data at rapid speed. Even at full concentration, he still doesn't fail to notice the figure behind him literally emerging form the shadows.
Shadowman: (Quietly) Snake, I don't suppose you've managed to find any info on any possible meetings Crorq may have had with the Council, specifically in the last twenty-four hours.
Snakeman: Way ahead of you. I've already checked all of my spy programs and relay points, but you already know what I'm going to say next.
Shadowman: No dice.
Snakeman: Yeah. As we guessed, Crorq is teleporting to an unknown destination. The last time he teleported was two hours before our meeting with him this morning. We can safely assume that this is when he met with the Council to discuss the situation on Io.
Shadowman: Any other times within the last day that he teleported?
Snakeman: Seventeen hours ago, with a window of departure to arrival being only ten minutes.
Shadowman: Hm. A meeting with the Council lasting only ten minutes long? Not very likely. Any unusual communications going in or out of Crorq's office?
Snakeman: Just the same encrypted incoming message he's been getting at random intervals for the last month. I haven't been able to crack the encryption, but I'm going to presume its from the Council in order to call Crorq in.
Shadowman: Maybe. I still suspect that something else is going on. An organization that has such a lofty agenda as the Galactic Council wouldn't be calling a city police chief nearly as often as they have been.
Snakeman: I agree, but who else could it be? Crorq is overconfident, but he's not stupid. He's taking a lot of steps to ensure nobody knows what he's up to.
(Shadowman's eye slowly traces its way around the room he stood in, carefully making mental notes.)
Shadowman: We've got to be careful, Snake. If Crorq thinks that we're spying on him, he'll take us out in order to keep it quiet.
Snakeman: No need to worry in here. This room is as sterile as it gets. Not only do I personally check it out every day, but I've always got a few Search Snakes maintaining 24/7 security in here. If anybody enters here, I'll know about it.
Shadowman: I know. All the same, we had better keep it that way.
(The team heads to the garage .... or what's left of it. After Chargeman's attack it's filled with repair crew fixing damage to the area.)
Needlegal: You know, I have to wonder how we'll actually get to Io. The Council's all stuck here on Earth somewhere because we don't have regular space flights. How can we get there if the rest of them can't?
(The Mechs begin to feel a tingling sensation as a powerful teleporter beams them away. They land in a high-tech space filled with complicated contraptions that none of the Mechs could even begin to understand.)
Snakeman: Something tells me you're about to find out.
Galaxyman: (After flying uncomfortably close to Snakeman's face) Find out what? Oh, I hate it when people finish a thought after they beam up. It happens all the time! Why do you people do that?
Snakeman: Er, hi Galaxy. I have no idea.
Galaxyman: Annnnnnnnyway, I've got you all set up for your flight.
Needlegal: And where are we?
Galaxyman: In the international Space Station high above the Earth!
Shadowman: You wouldn't happen to know if the Galactic Council are here, do you?
Galaxyman: Those guys? No, they're way too important to slum it up here.
(The team takes a quick look at the spacious, advanced room they're exiting and the sleek, clean walls of the hall ahead.)
Shadowman: Right. Well, it was just a thought.
Hardman: So what kinda rides do you have cooked up over here? I don't think I ever checked out the local transportation. In the future we have it all! Flying cars, posh shuttles, space colonies (that tend to crash into the planet, but let's not get into that...)
Galaxyman: Nothing so fancy. We were on short notice, so we had to use some old designs and some spare parts.
Spark Chan: We're traversing the solar system in a spaceship made of spare parts!?
Galaxyman: But they're good spare parts! They worked out really well.
Needlegal: They worked out ... hold on! You didn't make our spaceships yourself, did you?
(Galaxyman seems to grin as he does a happy little hop. He doesn't notice as the Mech's faces go white.)
(Galaxyman opens another door and proudly proclaims ...)
Hardman: What in the ... ?
Needlegal: They kinda look ... like Rush Marine. Only bigger.
(The team glares at Galaxyman.)
Galaxyman: Okay, not exactly. They're really based off the Rush Space mode Megaman sometimes used to get to Wily's space fortresses!
Needlegal: The Rush Space design Megaman used 20 years ago?
Galaxyman: That's the one! I adapted the old Friender units Woodman commanded to enlarge the design!
Geminiman: You mean the Friender units Woodman commanded 20 years ago!?
Galaxyman: Those exact ones! Well, not those exact ones. Those exact ones were destroyed by Megaman. These were probably leftovers, we found them a long time ago when we were cleaning up Wily's messes. Thank goodness that evil blob ... thing ... you guys beat up didn't destroy them.
Snakeman: Yes, thank goodness for that.
Magnetman: Now hold on just a minute there, pardner! That happened only a few weeks ago! You don't mean to tell me that you ...
Galaxyman: That's right! I whipped these suckers up in a week! I thought they'd be useful in getting the Council back home, but for some reason they never returned my e-mails (or at least Crorq never sent any back to me). Strange.
The Maniacs: ...
Galaxyman: (Blushes) Well, okay. It wasn't just me. Brightman helped.
Spark Chan: (Unsteadily) Oh good. Brightman helped.
Needlegal: (Quietly) Now I can see why the Council didn't want to use these to get back to their base.
Galaxyman: Oh don't worry. You won't have to rely on manual power to get you so far. There are teleporters every now and then at specific intervals. You'll be there in a mere 8 hours!
(8 hours later, the Mechs arrive on Io...)
Hardman: That stupid sucker Galaxyman. There-there was no insulation in that thing! I nearly froze to death out there! I'm not used to the cold!
Shadowman: Yeah, really. What the hell?
Topman: I don't think you two have anything to complain about. You're all nice and cozy in your brand new armor! Some of us have to deal with antiques.
(The dog heads on the space vehicles begins to glare at the Mechs. Two start growling.)
Spark Chan: You don't suppose ...
Magnetman: I'm just gonna take a few steps over this way.
Shadowman: Well, the good news is that there's plenty of transportation here. And none of it's made from 20-year-old robot parts.
(Snakeman examines a nearby shuttle.)
Snakeman: The bad news is that I think these have been sabotaged.
Shadowman: Wait, what?
Snakeman: (Examines the other shuttles) Yeah, they all have.
Shadowman: God friggin' damn it. What are we gonna do if there're any survivors?
Geminiman: Well, he did seem to make the Friender Spaces overly large and there's one for each of us.
Needlegal: Good grief.
(Topman opens the door of another shuttle, idly investigating, when a frightened Mars rams into him and into the middle of the area. In a panic Mars aims at everyone.)
Mars: Don't any of you come near me! I'm serious! I'll - I'll blow you to smitherines! I mean it!
Needlegal: Waoh! Take it easy!
Mars: Don't tell me to take it easy!
Needlegal: TAKE IT EASY!
Mars: Don't tell me to take is easy! YOU TAKE IT EASY! YOU TAKE IT EASY OR YOU DIE!!
(A sudden blast of electricity courses through Mars, startling him into inaction. In a quick motion, Spark Chan slaps the Stardroid and then kicks him for good measure. Within moments Mars in on the ground in a daze.)
Spark Chan: No, I think you should take it easy.
Topman: (Looking over his armor) Damn it, more scuff marks. You don't suppose I'd get new armor if I get more scuff marks, do you?
Spark Chan: No, I don't.
Needlegal: (While slapping Mars) Hey. Hey. You with us?
Mars: What...? No ... you won't get me too. Wait. The Mechanical Maniacs?
Needlegal: That's right.
Mars: The guys who went nuts and teamed up with General Cutman before disappearing for over a decade?*
Needlegal: (Dryly) Well, it wasn't really that cut and dry.
Spark Chan: Look there sweetie. We're here to help.
Mars: Then ... then you have to get me out of here! You have to! You - !
(Spark Chan electrocutes Mars again, rendering him unconscious.)
Needlegal: Was that really necessary?
Spark Chan: He was freaking out again.
Shadowman: (Sighs) Clearly he won't be any help. I guess we have no choice but to split up. Needle, Gemini, and I will make one group. Magnet, Hard, Snake - you'll make another.
Hardman: I'm paired with Tex Mex again?
Magnetman: Like peanut butter and jelly we're a combo that can't be beat!
Shadowman: The rest of you will stay here in case any of the other Stardroids come in. Hopefully they'll make more sense than Mars over here.
Spark Chan: Fine by me.
Topman: Wait, hold on! How will I ever wreck my armor by staying here!?
Snakeman: Maybe you'll get lucky and Mars'll wake up long enough to beat you to a pulp.
Topman: (Brightens up) You think so? Hey, wait ..
Needlegal: Let's get going. The sooner we find everyone, the sooner we leave.
(The team walks in separate directions. The Shadowman team explores the upper area from the docking bay...)
Needlegal: What do you think went wrong here?
Shadowman: I don't know. The comm's down. Snakeman's probably looking into it as we speak.
Geminiman: You know, this could be even more efficient. I could scout the entire floor all by myself.
Shadowman: A little caution might -
Geminiman: We want to get out of here quickly, don't we? So let's do this fast!
(Geminiman produces several copies and runs off in all directions.)
Needlegal: He has a point there. I really don't want to be here.
Geminiman: Hey, I've got something! Follow me!
(Geminiman runs ahead, forcing Shadow and Needle to follow him.)
Geminiman: That's weird. Pluto and Saturn are fighting. They're really going at it. Why - That jerk!
Geminiman: Saturn destroyed my copy!
(Elsewhere, Magnet, Hard, and Snake encounter a calm, but worn group of Stardroids.)
Magnetman: Take it easy there, bud.
Uranus: Thanks. I'm so happy they sent us help!
Snakeman: Can you tell us what's wrong with the computers? I can't access anything here.
Mercury: They were like that when we got here. Nobody really has a clue as to why.
Snakeman: I guess it's back to the drawing board, then.
Hardman: So, what's the deal with you guys? Why is Mars loopy? And where are the other teams?
Venus: As far as any of us know they're dead. There was only a couple left active when we got here, but they're long gone now. There's still one or two maniacs out there, though. Unless they killed each other.
(Hardman gives Venus a level look.)
Venus: Uh, no offence or anything.
Mercury: As for Mars ... we don't know. As time went on he just went nuts. One minute he was fine and the next, he just snapped.
Magnetman: Great. So they've gone nuts, eh?
Uranus: Please, you have to get us out of here. I just can't stay here anymore!
Magnetman: Easy there, pard. We'll get you home.
Snakeman: Can you tell us what this place is for? Why did the Council send several teams way out here? Why all the secrecy?
Mercury: Well ...
Hardman: Oh come on! It could be important.
Venus: Forget it! We're not here to chit-chat about Council business.
Hardman: Then I guess you don't care about being rescued.
Uranus: What is wrong with you? You have a job to do and so do we. Yeah, we're on the same side, but that doesn't mean we're just going to sing like a canary because you're curious about what this place is about. You don't have to know every little thing about every little thing just to get us outta here.
Hardman: When it comes to our safety, I think we do! I, for one, refuse to just stumble into a situation I don't know anything about because of your misplaced sense of duty!
Magnetman: Guys, let's cool it here. Hard, I hate to say it, but he's right. We're here to rescue 'em, and whoever else we can from this dump. But that don't mean we have a right to pry into their business.
Uranus: (Sniffs smugly.)
Magnetman: However, if it becomes clear that your secrets are threatening our safety, I'd say we have a right to know about it.
(Back in the hangar bay, Mars rouses once more from his state of shock.)
Mars: Ohhh ... what?
Topman: Alright, are you calm now? Because this is getting old. Seriously. Almost as old as my armor.
Mars: I think so.
Spark Chan: Then can you tell us why you attacked us earlier?
Mars: I ... well, you're with them, aren't you? Those fruitcakes?
Spark Chan: Hunny, we just got here.
Mars: Did you? Did you really?
(Mars gets into a sitting position.)
Mars: We came here because of problems plaguing the facility. Workers were going crazy and disappearing. I don't think anyone's left.
(Mars darts his eyes towards Spark and Top.)
Mars: I ... I don't want to disappear!
Spark Chan: You won't.
Mars: ... how do I know you're telling me the truth?
(Mars' eyes narrow and he begins to stand. Before he's even halfway up, Spark Chan knocks his lights out with another Spark Shock.)
Topman: Wow. This is really getting us nowhere.
(Elsewhere, Shadowman, Needlegal, and Geminiman are embroiled in a fight against Saturn and Pluto.)
Needlegal: You just had to go charging in, didn't you?
Geminiman: I said I was sorry!
Needlegal: You can say it again!
Pluto: You're all out to destroy me.
Saturn: You're crazy! You're all crazy!
(Shadowman slides under Saturn's ring and clings to the floor as he tries to suck him in.)
Shadowman: You're the ones who're crazy!
(Needlegal manages to hit a running Pluto.)
Needlegal: Why don't you people just calm down!?
Pluto: You won't take me alive!
(Pluto runs off into a corridor. Gemini races after him.)
Shadowman: Gemini! Get back here! ... Damn it, he's gone.
Needlegal: He just doesn't learn, does he?
Saturn: You won't! You won't get me!
(After a struggle, Needlegal and Shadowman do manage to subdue the rampaging Stardroid, however.)
Needlegal: (Breathing hard) That was so ... useless!
Shadowman: It's a testament to our new armor. It looks like technology has finally caught up to the Stardroids. There was a time when terrestrial technology couldn't even phase them.
Needlegal: Something phased him. All of them, it seems. Do we go after Gemini?
Shadowman: No, let's just head to the docking bay. Gem's determined to go on his own, so we may as well let him. I just sent him a message telling us where we are. Besides, if the Stardroids have all gone crazy, we may as well lock them up in the one place and keep them unconscious.
Needlegal: What, already?
(Shadow and Needle pick up the unconscious Saturn and head back the way they came with no new information gleaned from their struggle. Meanwhile, though, things take a turn for the worse...)
Hardman: I think it's this way.
Magnetman: I beg to differ, pard. This is the way back to the hangar!
Venus: I can't believe you guys.
Magnetman: What's that supposed to mean?
Venus: You guys just got here! What's the deal with not remembering where you parked?
Hardman: Hey, there, weren't you parked there too?
Venus: Uh, no!
Hardman: We saw your ship, guys.
Mercury: Okay, we've been kinda lost since we got here.
Hardman: That's pathetic!
Uranus: We've been mostly trying to get our teammates under control.
Snakeman: Yeah, control. That's what it's all about.
Uranus: Exactly! Wait, what?
(Snakeman turns to the other robots.)
Snakeman: I made it into the computer system. And there's something interesting in there you guys'll want to hear.
(Geminiman continues to chase Pluto around the station. By now both robots' energy levels have been depleted and it has become a pathetic trudge.)
Geminiman: You ... *huff* ... I'll get you.
Pluto: Not on ... *puff* your ... *huff* ... life!
(Geminiman raises his arm cannon and attempts to fire a Gemini Laser, but Pluto's still too fast for him and this time he manages to round on Geminiman.)
Pluto: You ... none of you will get me!
(Pluto collapses before being able to strike Geminiman.)
???... So, what have we here?! More visitors!
(A dark figure approaches Geminiman and the Stardroid.)
???: Maybe this one can be useful to my master!
(The dark figure easily lifts up Geminiman and takes him away. Moments later Magnet, Hard, Snake, Uranus, Venus, and Mercury stumble onto Pluto.)
Venus: It's Pluto!
(The other Stardroids run to their fallen comrade.)
Uranus: It looks like his short-term energy supply is low. He'll come around soon.
Magnetman: Good! We're here to pick everyone up and get goin'. So far that's half the team.
Mercury: Poor Neptune and Jupiter just couldn't make it.
Snakeman: Yeah, and according to the ship's sensors, there are only a few people left aboard. I can't identify them completely, but ... damn!
Hardman: What now?
Snakeman: My connection's been cut.
Magnetman: That's alright. We'll get back to Needle and Top and think of our next step. Now, you got a good look at the ship's schematic, right Snake?
Snakeman: Of course I did! We go ... (Snakeman looks around carefully) that way!
(The group of robots move along the corridor on their way to the hangar bay.)
(Topman kicks the deranged Mars down once again.)
Topman: These guys sure do take a lickin'.
(Shadow and Needle walk into the bay carrying Saturn.)
Needlegal: Heya, guys. Looks like you caught a straggler too.
Spark Chan: It's actually a little annoying. He just keeps getting back up after we knock 'im down.
Topman: Where's Geminiman?
Shadowman: Mr. Impulsive decided to chase Pluto around the place. We decided it was best to get back here to check up with you.
Spark Chan: Uh .... nothing's really happened.
Spark Chan: Really.
Topman: We woulda called you if something had happened.
Shadowman: Oh. It's just that ... something always happens when we split up.
Spark Chan: Didn't anything happen to you?
Needlegal: I told you nothing happened with them yet!
Shadowman: Whatever! Any minute Snakeman and the rest will come in, with probably 1.5 Stardroids of their own! You know, since there's more of them. I'll bet they're just around the corner!
(Shadowman shuffles his feet. Eventually the team finds stasis cuffs Galaxyman managed to hide about their modified space transport and both Saturn and Mars lapse into uncomfortable silence while the team awaits for the arrival of the rest of the team.)
Shadowman: The cuffs were inside their throats. Getting them was one of the most unpleasant things I've ever had to do as leader.
Needlegal: Oh, the burdens of command.
Topman: That Galaxyman sure is special.
Spark Chan: That's mean! His heart's always in the right place.
Topman: Unfortunately his brain is not.
(It's about this time that the rest of the team finds their way to the docking bay.)
Uranus: Ah, it looks like you've managed to snag Mars and Saturn. Poor guys. You should cuff Pluto up too. He's lost it.
Snakeman: Looks like everybody's here!
Magnetman: Not quite, pilgrim'. Out shiny swordsman's missing.
Snakeman: Aw, dammit. I was hoping we'd be able to get off of this rock.
Topman: So you've found some sane ones? (Topman cuffs the unconscious Pluto).
Hardman: Yeah, this group's fine. But Neptune and Jupiter bought the farm, apparently.
Mercury: Eh, we'll just build new models.
Spark Chan: So cold!
Mercury: (Shrugs) It's how it is. Old models get replaced by new models. Really, I'm surprised you lot have lasted as long as you did. Everyone else from your era's been replaced, haven't they?
Shadowman: Cheerful fellow, aren't you?
Topman: Please tell me you've found something out.
Hardman: We sure have.
Snakeman: What's this "we" stuff? I did all the work hacking into the computer.
Needlegal: So we have access to it now?
Snakeman: Well ... no. Unfortunately it's been shut down again. But I have learned what all this is about.
Snakeman: No sense of drama. It's about Energen.
(The Stardroids jerk in surprise. Even Mars and Saturn seem to pay closer attention to what Snakeman's saying, although since they're in stasis it's hard to tell.)
Venus: N-no it's not!
Magnetman: That's a good guess there, Snakes.
Snakeman: Guess nothing. Once I was inside the system it was obvious what this place was for. Mining Energen remotely. Although it's a pretty tough place to get to thanks to the terrain. And the rock here has been proving to be especially difficult to work with.
Hardman: You read all of that in the short time you were in the system?
Snakeman: I did.
Shadowman: So, someone's trying to take control of the base?
Snakeman: Precisely! And they've used their influence to infect the robot workers, the rescuers, and some of the Stardroids with a virus. First the virus causes the robots to go mad. They become paranoid and irrational. They become aggressive and prone to attack at even the slightest provocation. But that's only the initial stages. Later on infected robots become morose and despondent. Eventually they deactivate themselves. Apparently, they try to get outside and just .... leap into space.
(Spark Chan and Topman eye Mars. Their look is of unmistakable pity. Uranus, Venus, and Mercury don't even blink.)
Mercury: Don't act like you found that out yourself. WE told you what the virus did.
Snakeman: (Huffs angrily) I have to recap it for the others. Anyway, you don't know who created the virus, do you?
Snakeman: It was Ra Moon!
Hardman: Wait, who?
Shadowman: He's an alien super computer that took control of the Lanfront Ruins years ago. According to records he could build whole robots out of thin air using only data found on a laptop! He could generate a whole electromagnetic field around those ruins and he placed the entire world at risk! Megaman was supposed to have destroyed him, but I know better than most how well that goes over.
Hardman: Yeah, what doesn't kill you just makes you stronger. I guess.
Needlegal: But what's a guy like that doing here?
Snakeman: I don't know. The commander who sent the message just asked for help and didn't know why Ra Moon suddenly decided to attack or even how he got here.
Spark Chan: Then is Ra Moon the one who sabotaged the ships?
Snakeman: Maybe. Or it could have been one of the infected Stardroids.
Shadowman: I don't suppose you found out where Ra Moon is located.
Snakeman: That'd be a little easy, wouldn't it?
Snakeman: I was hoping Spark Chan could zero in on the highest source of Energen in the facility. It has to be the reason he's here.
Spark Chan: That makes sense. Well ... (Spark Chan touches a wall and uses her power to sense the flow of electricity within the facility) I think I may be able to detect where the energy's coming from.
Topman: Excellent! With a group as large as ours there's no way even a guy like Ra Moon can stop us!
Venus: Uh, actually ... we're just about out of juice. Our weapons are completely drained of energy.
Topman: Wait, what!?
Uranus: We've been stranded here for a long time. And now we know why the recharging stations don't work.
Spark Chan: Puts a new light on why Mars was so easy to take down.
Shadowman: Alright. Then you guys can guard the ships while the rest of us confront Ra Moon.
(Elsewhere, Ra Moon watches it all ...)
The Mechanical Maniacs encounter no resistance in the eerily quiet space station. Spark Chan does her best to guide the team down hallways and corridors. Several times she plugs into the power grid and pauses for a time in order to sense the flow of the current. At first the team tries to sustain an uneasy conversation, but after a time it stops and they travel in silence. The halls are as quiet as a tomb.
Eventually it becomes clear that they're headed towards the center of the facility. Not deep into the subterranean where you would expect mining equipment, but nearer to the top.
Snakeman: Ra Moon must be setting up shop at the station's center.
Shadowman: So ... he's hogging all the power for himself?
Snakeman: I guess so.
Hardman: So what you're saying is that he's an even bigger pig than Crorq.
Snakeman: Heh, I guess so.
Hardman: Eh? Who's this joker?
Shadowman: Ra Thor! Ra Moon's remade him!*
(*As the sole remaining original member of the group only Shadowman has actually met Ra Thor before in Super Adventure Rockman.)
Ra Thor: Correct, Shadowman! My master will not allow further entry into the facility! For the glory of my master I will stop you!
Hardman: I've faced bigger and badder jerks than you, bean pole. If you've got a bone to pick with me, I'm ready to pick right back. After months of abuse by my crummy, bloated, self-absorbed boss, I'm just itchin' to pummel something into the ground and it may as well be you.
Shadowman: Wait, Hard. Ra Moon made him with all of our designs in mind. You can't face him head on; he's specifically designed to be more powerful than all of us.
Hardman: Ask me if I care.
(Using internal thrusters made for his Hard Press attack, Hardman launches himself at Ra Thor. However, the smaller robot is faster and, not only nimbly dodges Hardman's attack, but uses his momentum to send him flying at Topman.)
Topman: (Dodging) Woah! Be careful, buddy, it doesn't take much for you to crush me like an ant.
(Topman sends several tops flying at Ra Thor. The black robot puts up an electric barrier.)
Ra Thor: For the glory of my master!
(Ra Thor dashes towards Topman and the latter spins at high speed to deflect a strong physical attack. From the shadows, Shadowman leaps at Ra Moon with a large Shadowblade in his hand, taking a swipe at the dark robot.)
Shadowman: What's Ra Moon's game here? Why have you invaded this facility?
Ra Thor: We are here by right! For the glory of Ra Moon I shall destroy you!
(Ra Thor blasts away Shadowman with an energy attack, but is quickly knocked down by a series of kicks from Topman, who used the attack on Shadowman as a distraction.)
Topman: Now if I had my new armor, that would have hurt him more. Probably.
(Ra Thor grabs Topman's foot as he tries another kick and delivers a powerful current of electricity through the robot.)
Ra Thor: For the glory of Ra Moon!
(Ra Thor is knocked to the ground as Hardman lands a press attack. Not waiting for Ra Thor's quick retaliatory strike, Hardman lifts him up and sends him flying using his Hard Knuckle. Ra Thor is slammed into the far wall.)
Ra Thor: Uff!
Spark Chan: Just stay down!
(Spark Chan sends a charged shot at the black robot, who shudders in pain, but isn't deterred from turning towards the uneasy Spark Chan.)
Spark Chan: Just give it up!
Ra Thor: No! I will not ... !
(Ra Thor generates a barrier and, to Spark Chan's surprise, he deflects her attack to Magnet, who's standing at the far distance.)
(Magnetman uses his magnetism to fly towards the ceiling. He then shoots his magnetic bullets at Ra Thor. They hit the robot squarely in the chest. Ra Thor tries to dash to the side, but is stopped when a spinning Topman barrels into him. He tries to get up, but Hardman once more slams into him. Shadowman throws a Shadow Blade into the robot cutting off another barrier creation. The Maniacs surround the cornered robot.)
Shadowman: Give up, Ra Thor. You can't beat all of us. Not at once.
(Ra Thor seems to evaluate his options when, all of a sudden,. his head jerks towards the doorway.)
Ra Thor: Ra Moon! My master!
(The Maniacs' internal speakers register Snakeman's voice.)
Snakeman: I've got Ra Moon cornered. Without a guardian he's helpless.
Shadowman: What? Why did you go there by yourself? No, never mind, is there anyone else there? Geminiman?
Snakeman: Not that I can ... ACK!
(Ra Thor tries to dash towards the door, but a quick punch from Hardman knocks the robot out. Hardman draws himself closer to the dark robot to ready a final blow.)
Shadowman: Hold on there! What are you doing?
Hardman: Not much. Just one more shot ought to take care of things.
Shadowman: No! Stop that.
Hardman: Wha? Why!?
Shadowman: He may have information we need.
Hardman: What? Look, leaving him active is just asking for trouble! It's stupid to leave -
Shadowman: Don't argue! We have to get to Snakeman. Spark Chan -
Spark Chan: Make sure Ra Thor doesn't get up? It's just not my day is it?
Hardman: We had much more permanent ways of dealing with our problems in the X-Force.
(The Mechanical Maniacs head towards Ra Moon's chamber and find the door ajar.)
Shadowman: Stay focused, guys. He may have reconstructed Ra Devil and anyone else for all we know.
(The Mechanical Maniacs make their way into the chamber slowly. But have to dash aside quickly as a Gemini Laser streaks through the opening.)
Shadowman: What? Oh, don't tell me ...
(Shadowman and the rest make their way inside to see Snakeman battling Geminiman. The green robot easily dissipates the blue's clones and Geminiman is on the defensive.)
Shadowman: Geminiman, God damn you! Again with this? How many times do you have to pull this "I'm evil" crap!?
Snakeman: So you guys are here. Help me quick! Ra Moon's infected Geminiman with the virus. We have to subdue both him and Ra Moon quickly!
Geminiman: You! All of you! Stay back! I won't let you near Ra Moon.
Topman: Gemini, take it easy. Center yourself. Say it with me now ... "I am not Evil Lennon. I am not Evil Lennon."
Geminiman: I am NOT "Evil Lennon!"
Topman: Hey, I think I got through to him, guys! That was easier than I think it'd be.
Snakeman: Don't be an idiot, he's protecting Ra Moon. Let's go!
(Hardman launches a fist at Geminiman. In his tired state, the robot can't dodge in time.)
Shadowman: I'm sure destroying Ra Moon will cure Geminiman of his latest insanity.
Snakeman: On it!
Ra Moon: Wait!
(Snakeman doesn't wait, however, and proceeds to plug himself into Ra Moon.)
Ra Moon: Ahhhhhh!!!
Shadowman: What are you doing? (Shadowman prepares to throw his blade at Ra Moon, but Hardman grabs his hand.)
Hardman: Not so fast, "boss."
Ra Moon: No! I don't want to make it! I ... I ...
(An aura of energy surrounds Ra Moon and a bolt shoots the ground directly in front of him. A small figure forms at the center of the resulting energy pool and seems to step out of the light.)
Ra Moon: You ...
Shadowman: No freakin' way!
Roboenza Virus: Way! I'm back. But not for long. Just kidding, I'm here to stay!
(With startling speed Hardman rounds on Topman, shooting one fist at him and the other, still holding Shadowman, into the wall. The speedy robot master is too startled by the appearance of the virus to move out of the way and is hit squarely by the Hard Knuckle.)
Hardman: Being used by Crorq, being used by Roboenza ... how has my life sunk to this?
Magnetman: (While shooting Needlegal) Look on the bright side, it beats being on the receiving end.
Geminiman: Come on! We can still rally!
(Geminiman is swarmed by Search Snakes.)
Snakeman: Yeah, not really no. I am sorry about this, I really am.
Needlegal: If you're so sorry you could try helping us out.
Roboenza Virus: Oh no he can't! I've loosened my control just a wee bit to let my new boy toys know who's boss. They can think and talk freely now, but I'm still calling the shots!
(Needlegal is drawn close to Magnetman. She fires needles at him, but they bounce harmlessly off his magnetic barrier. Within moments he catches a hold of her and sends a rush of damaging magnetic currents through her body.)
Magnetman: I'm trying to stop, Needle. I really am. But I can't fight it.
Ra Moon: Get up! Get up and fight for me!
Hardman: (Turns towards Ra Moon) I'd brace myself if I were you.
(Hardman opens his chest up wide and hurls a large mace at the helpless alien computer. Ra Moon flies to the far side of the room. He lands with a crash and the Roboenza Virus giggles as she sees a large dent with several smaller holes in his round body.)
Roboenza Virus: Hee hee hee ... so long, Moon Pie! I'll miss you! Well, not really.
Shadowman: (Emerges from the shadows and tries to slice the virus, but it steps nimbly out of the way) Damn you! I can't believe we fell for such a stupid ambush by such a stupid enemy!
Roboenza Virus: So rude! Boys, if you'll do the honors...?
Magnetman: I'm really, really sorry about this.
(Magnetman draws Shadowman close and delivers a large magnetic current through his body. The last thing Shadowman sees are all the non-infected members of his team getting pulverized.
(Shadowman awakens to find himself aboard a spacious shuttle. Geminiman, Needlegal, Spark Chan, Topman, Mars, Pluto, Saturn (all three Stardroids still in stasis cuffs), Ra Moon, and Ra Thor are crowded all around him.)
Ra Thor: The great Ra Moon has revived you ... thank him and praise him!
Shadowman: What's -
Ra Thor: Thank him and praise him!
Shadowman: Thanks, Ra Moon! Wow, it's incredible! (Oh, brother.)
Ra Moon: You should be grateful. It takes more work than you know to revive a Robot Master. And I was tempted not to revive any of you.
Shadowman: So, what's going on here? Didn't Hardman smash you?
Ra Moon: Clearly not as completely as he or the Roboenza Virus thought. After they left us for dead to take your shuttles back to Earth, I was able to use the greater supply of Energen to restore myself. And then all of you. And, finally, this spacecraft.
Ra Thor: Such a wondrous feat could only be the work of Ra Moon!
Needlegal: Since we're all friends now, could you fill us in on what's happening here? How did you get to the space colony?
Ra Moon: Shining one, I bid you to explain. I am wearied.
Geminiman: Ra Moon's here because he was invited to be here. He survived Megaman's attack all those years ago, but it was kept secret (for obvious reasons). He's been here the entire time, aiding the Galactic Council in mining operations throughout the galaxy.
Ra Moon: A waste of my talents.
Ra Thor: Truly so!
Topman: Then why do it?
Ra Moon: ... (Ra Moon bobs slightly)
Topman: Was that a shrug? What?
Ra Moon: After my defeat, I saw ruling this world was too great a burden and not truly worth my almighty efforts.
Geminiman: Considering we came to the same conclusion years ago I don't think you can fairly judge.*
(*Series 2 #10)
Topman: You still remember that time?
Shadowman: How did the Roboenza Virus get into the facility?
Ra Moon: I know only that the sender named himself "Catch 22."
Needlegal: Them again!? They have some reach!
Topman: I'll say. Geez.
Geminiman: The virus originally wanted to use the facility's power to spread itself everywhere. Of course that changed when she discovered Ra Moon was there. She then tried to infect Ra Moon, but he was too alien and was incompatible with her programming. You'll notice Snakeman had to physically interact with Ra Moon to coerce him into doing the virus' bidding.
Ra Moon: Grrrrrrrrr ...
Ra Thor: You would do well to move away from that topic!
Geminiman: Anyway, it turns out it was Ra Thor here who damaged the spacecraft. And it was Ra Moon who was suppressing the colony's computers. He was trying to keep the virus at bay.
Topman: So what about those jokers? (Topman gestures to the captive and inactive Stardroids.)
Geminiman: I guess they were uninfected, but went mad after seeing their teammates infected slowly, one at a time. Their systems are alien as well, but it appears they were not wholly immune to the virus' influence. Also, when the infected robots attacked, Ra Thor easily dispatched them (although I wonder exactly how "easy" he dispatched Neptune and Jupiter). Ra Moon then used the remains as raw materials to repair damage done to the base, which is why it looked pristine when we arrived. But now, I have a question. If you had access to all that power, why didn't you remake Ra Devil? Or ten Ra Thors? You could have easily wiped out all opposition.
Ra Moon: Ra Thor could have handled all opposition. And their power supply was not unlimited: they would have exhausted themselves eventually. Moreover, there should only ever be one Ra Thor and Ra Devil. My servants are not mere toys to be endlessly duplicated.
Geminiman: But you could have ended it all so easily ...
Ra Moon: 'Twas easier by far to stay the course.
Ra Thor: Do not question the wisdom of Ra Moon! He is of the stars!
Geminiman: Okay! You just didn't want to. I get it.
Shadowman: We're inside of one of the larger space cruisers one of the other teams came here in, aren't we?
Ra Thor: The others destroyed them, but the great Ra Moon remade them!
Shadowman: You didn't happen to scan any of the modified Friender rockets we took over here, did you?
Ra Moon: Indeed, I found enough to scan. A crude and tiresome design.
Shadowman: Still, they were pretty fast. And they had weaponry, left over from the Rush design. Could you adapt the rocket boosters and weaponry into the shuttle?
Ra Moon: I ... could, however I deem our present craft to be suitable to our needs.
Topman: What!? Of all the -
Ra Thor: Ra Moon has spoken!
Needlegal: Ra Moon, think about it. If the virus lands on Earth, you'll no longer have a convenient resting place. It will become impervious to your influence and you'll have to wander the stars looking for a new home. Also ... are you going to just let the Roboenza Virus win by allowing her to infect our planet?
Ra Moon: ...
Needlegal: Because if the world discovers just how easily the Roboenza Virus beat you, I'm afraid people will think less of you.
Ra Moon: No!
Needlegal: They may even ... laugh at you.
Ra Moon: They wouldn't dare!
Ra Thor: No one would dare mock Ra Moon!
Needlegal: The Roboenza virus would and she could make the other robots laugh at you.
Ra Moon: Grrrrr .... this affront ... cannot go unpunished!
(The craft shimmers and the Mechs grunt as their already cramped space grows even tighter.)
Ra Moon: They wouldn't DARE!
(The craft lurches as it gains unexpected speed.)
Topman: Congratulations, I think you found a button.
Needlegal: Praise Ra Moon!
(Meanwhile, the shuttles containing the Roboenza Virus and her new reluctant henchmen fly lazily about the system on its way to Earth.)
Roboenza Virus: What a fat, bulbous, fat, overbearing, fat boob!
Hardman: I hate my life. *fzzt* I mean, oh yes he's a fat, ugly boob!
Magnetman: And you're a cute, pretty little virus!
Hardman: Yes, very pretty.
Snakeman: Hey, let's sing a song about the Roboenza Virus!
Venus: I'm game!
(The ship is rocked by an explosion.)
Roboenza Virus: What's that!?
Mercury: it appears that we have a bogey on our tail.
Snakeman: (While looking over Venus' shoulder) Good grief! It looks like they've hybridized one of the larger space ships with Galaxyman's ridiculous Hot Dog shuttles! It looks even more ridiculous than before.
(Indeed the shuttle looks like a large, boxy space cruiser with large, primitive thrusters and a overlarge robotic dog head placed in the front without rhyme or reason.)
Uranus: It must be Ra Moon. Only he could build something like that.
Magnetman: He ain't the most creative fellah, is he?
Roboenza Virus: Hey! Isn't he supposed to be dead!?
Hardman: I thought he was! I gave it my best shot and .... aw, I'm losing my touch, aren't I?
Roboenza Virus: Attack!
Mercury: Actually, this thing doesn't have any weapons, so ...
Roboenza Virus: Then get out there and attack!
Hardman: Eh? I don't think any of us can actually -
Roboenza Virus: Oh I'm sorry, did that sound like a suggestion? Just kidding! I said do it ... so DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!!!
Hardman: Yes, ma'am!
(And , in the other shuttle ...)
Topman: Did they all seriously leap out of there?
Needlegal: What's going on? Someone move over, I can't see!
Shadowman: None of us can move over: we don't have any room!
Ra Moon: That little pink speck mocked the wrong alien supercomputer.
(The ship hums for a second and then the screen lights up and Ra Moon uses the modified spaceship to destroy the shuttle carrying the Roboenza Virus.)
Topman: He did it!
Ra Thor: GLORY BE TO THE MIGHTY RA MOON!
Ra Moon: I feel ... satisfied.
Shadowman: Uh ... I don't suppose you could pick up our friends and maybe the Stardroids while we're out here?
Ra Moon: We have already passed them by.
Shadowman: Oh, God!
Ra Moon: it is right to refer to me as "God", but you need not do so.
Ra Moon: Oh, very well. I could use the debris to expand this cumbersome mode of travel.
Ra Thor: (With awe) Such generosity!
(With that, Ra Moon (reluctantly) picks up the other Mechanical Maniacs and Stardroids while also expanding the cabin. The supercomputer than proceeds to wipe the Roboenza Virus from the minds of - )
Geminiman: Hey, hold on a second there! If you could do that all this time why didn't you to start with!?
Ra Thor: You dare question Ra Moon!?
Ra Moon: Insolent fool!
(Ra Thor blasts Geminiman within the close confines of the shuttle. However, it's so cramped that he winds up hurting everyone nearby. In the end, the team figured that, since Ra Moon placed the infected robots in stasis he halted the progress of the virus and could then leisurely destroy it, whereas there was no way to place the entire lunar facility in stasis. Rather than explaining this to the robots, Ra Moon proceeded to lecture them on how great he was and how they should all be grateful to bask in his presence.)
(8 hours later ...)
Topman: (Practically bouncing off the shuttle with glee) Oh, FINALLY! Finally finally finally finally - AW CRAP!
Spark Chan: What?
Topman: My armor ... it's in perfect shape! This is terrible!
Topman: Because if my armor isn't destroyed enough it's cheaper to fix it than to replace it! And with my luck I'll NEVER GET NEW ARMOR!
Hardman: Oh fer cryin' out loud!
(Hardman grabs Topman by the head and mercilessly pummels him into the ground.)
Magnetman: WOAH! (Magnetman uses his magnetic powers to restrain a grinning Hardman.)
Hardman: What? Didn't you hear him? He wanted to be hurt! I'm helping him!
(Once all the Stardroids are out, Ra Moon exists the craft, carried by Ra Thor.)
Ra Moon: What strange little people you are.
Ra Thor: *mmmmmph!*
Hardman: Yeah, nobody can hear you back there, Ra Thor.
(The large doors to the RPD's shuttle bay (yes they have a shuttle bay) open revealing Crorq and Terra.)
Terra: Good work, Mechanical Maniacs. That facility is of great importance (especially to those higher up on the social ladder).
Crorq: And I, in my great insight, sent them!
Ra Moon: Actually I did most of the work. Without my tremendous efforts all would be lost and these fools would have succumbed to the debilitating Roboenza Virus. And it would have razed this planet to the ground.
Terra: Oh did you? Never mind, then.
Crorq: But - ! But surely - !
Terra: Ra Moon, I'm glad you found your way here. Your great service is known to us in the Galactic Council. I would like you to accompany me to meet the rest of us. I have an offer I think you'd like to hear.
Ra Moon: Very well, Stardroid.
Crorq: But - ! But - !
Terra: Crorq, Honus Wagner Card Man has disappeared. Shouldn't you get on that?
Ra Thor: (Muffled, but now audible) Praise be to Ra Moon!
(Ra Thor, carrying Ra Moon, follows Terra into a large elevator and they head out of the room.)
Crorq: What just happened here? I don't understand. How did this get away from me?
Topman: Help ... me ...
Crorq: Oh stop your whining. I have more important things to concern myself with. (Crorq produces a large tub of beef stew and begins to eat it while walking away deep in thought.)
Snakeman: Well, I guess things turned out all right...
Magnetman: Obviously. We all got home safe and sound! Well ... not Topman.
Hardman: Look, he wanted to be hit and I wanted to hit someone. It was mutually beneficial.
Needlegal: And we learned something too....
Topman: Seriously, you guys. I can't feel my legs.
Spark Chan: Whatever did we learn this time, Needle?
Needlegal: We learned that sometimes it's best not to rush things. Sometimes you have to naturally let things play out. If you try to force something to happen, it may have unintended consequences you didn't see coming.
Topman: Yeah, okay, I get it! I should have waited!
Magnetman: Look here, Hard. We're a team and in teams you don't beat up yer teammate just to prove a point!
Hardman: You don't!? Because that's how it was in all the teams I've ever been in! And lemme tell ya, you could learn a lot from my old teams.
Topman: Well, until Hardman leans to play nice I will JUST LIE HERE AND FREAKIN' DIE IF SOMEONE DOESN'T GET ME TO THE INFIRMARY!
|Classi Cal as .....||
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|Sheriff (Kassidy) Mags as .....||
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