By Gauntlet (Shadowman), and Geoff (Sparkman)
The Mechanical Maniacs clashed with Cossacks Comrades ... who've kinda held a grudge against them after Topman "accidentally" killed Dr.Cossack during the 15 year gap. Now that the Mechs are criminals (and friends with longtime Comrades bad guy Kryptoman for some reason) it's payback time!
Last time the two teams finally fought after the Mechs went on an ill-advised drunken rampage on RPD HQ. Now Topman and Sparkman are captured, Snakeman's being chased by Toad, and the rest are on the run. Can this get any worse?
(On the streets of Monsteropolis the Mechs continue to elude the Cossacks thanks to Needlegal's erratic driving...)
Shadowman: Aw, man, driving... You're so SLOW! You should let ME drive.
Needlegal: Nobody wants to let you drive, Shadow.
Shadowman: Seriously, I'm great at driving... away.
Hardman: Geez, where'd they take my arms!? They should have come back by now.
Brightbabe: (While still in Russia) Damn, that jerk Hardman really wants his arms back. Well it's not happening! That's a special cell we made to keep Toadman locked up when he gets rowdy. They are NOT coming back.
Hardman: Aw, this sucks.
Magnetman: Well, it serves you right for this ill-advised adventure.
(The car is rattled by explosions.)
Skullman: We've almost caught up to them.
Diveman: Those heretics will BURN! Pharaoh can help with that. I'm sure she'd love it.
Ringman: Just take your time and aim.
Kryptoman: I have an idea. Allow me to take the wheel.
Hardman: Krypto? I thought you were out like a light.
Needlegal: I don't think switching places is a great idea now, Krypto.
Kryptoman: No need. Observe.
(Krypto and the car shudder as Kryptoman's hand goes into the base of the car.)
Kryptoman: Now, with some minute adjustments ... I'll add what I can from my absorption of Magnetman's and Hardman's powers while I still have them in my systems and ... there.
(The car lifts off the ground and gains speed and precision.)
Diveman: Whoa! Hey, Skull! Do that! Make the car fly!
Skullman: Impossible. The cruiser is incapable of flight.
Diveman: We are not letting those heretics escape!
Skullman: Indeed, we are not.
Magnetman: Uh, Krypto? I hate to be a backseat driver, but we just passed the entrance to the Underground.
Kryptoman: (Jerks his head around) We're not going back to the Underground. At least not just yet. I have a hideout nearby.
(The car chase enters a lower level of Monsteropolis, near the outskirts of the city. The Cossacks are in hot pursuit. Meanwhile ...)
Geminiman: Oh. Ohhhhhhh. What's going on? Hello? Anybody?
Geminiman: Did everyone just chase after everyone else and leave me to wander around the city alone!?
(Geminiman checks the team's radio.)
Geminiman: Is anyone in range? Seriously, guys, just letting me wander the city drunk? What's wrong with you!?
Snakeman: Someone - someone's still here!? Help me!!!
Geminiman: Snakeman, I have have half a mind to -
Snakeman: He's after me!! He won't let up!! If you have any humanity in you, HELP ME!!!
(As Geminiman races to help Snakeman, Sparkman continues his servitude with Pharaoh Woman.)
Sparkman: DVDs are all sorted.
Pharaoh Woman: Excellent! And now for your next assignment! I want you to ... erm ... watch this DVD with me.
(Pharaoh Woman pulls out Fantastic Four.)
Pharaoh Woman: I really want to see what all the fuss is about, but nobody on the team will watch it with me. And it's lame to watch DVDs by yourself. So I ORDER you to watch it with me ... please?
Sparkman: Um ... ok?
Pharaoh Woman: Good! Thank you! This will be so much fun. I'll make popcorn, you just make yourself comfortable.
(The movie starts and Sparkman does, indeed, make himself comfortable.)
Sparkman: I don't suppose you have any pop, or ..?
Pharaoh Woman: Oh, yes i - waitaminute! You're my slave! Get me some pop! And , um, I'm not going to pause the movie while you do that! In fact I will not pause the movie to convenience you in any way! Hold on!
Pharaoh Woman: You've tricked me!
Sparkman: I ... have?
Pharaoh Woman: Somehow we're enjoying ourselves watching a movie when I should be working you to the bone! This shouldn't be pleasant for you. Instead we should watch Green Lantern! There's a movie you're sure to loathe! Put that movie in, slave!
Sparkman: Um ... ok.
(As Pharaoh adjusts to having a slave, Kalinka, Bright, and Drill continue their interrogation of Topman.)
Kalinka: (As she makes hasty repairs on Drill) A likely story. My father working with General Cutman!? HAH!
(Bright punches Topman in the gut and slaps him across the face.)
Brightbabe: How fucking DARE you try to tarnish the memory of our creator by telling these filthy, stinking LIES about him!? How DARE you!?
Topman: It's true!! In exchange for sparing Russia, Dr.Cossack used you guys to help the General. How could you not know about that!? *
Drillman: Doctor Cossack would never do that. NEVER!
Kalinka: You should be very careful with what you say here, Mech. Nobody knows you're here.
Topman: What, you guys just never knew? That's impossible!
(Bright Babe slaps Topman again.)
Brightbabe: Don't try to turn this around on us. YOU were the ones who went against orders and were kicked out of the Robot Police! YOU were the ones attacking Dr.Cossack! That's why we were after you.
Topman: We ... ! General Cutman was goading us the entire time. That's how we found out. You mean none of you knew!? I guess ... well, Kalinka was just a kid at the time, but I thought for sure the rest of you knew all about his allegiance.
Drillman: Listen to me, Mech. Cossack may have been rowdy, but at his worst he was high. And cheap.
Topman: But didn't you wonder WHY you were going after us all that time? You weren't part of the RPD. We weren't your problem.
Brightbabe: Shut up!
Topman: You spent a lot of time in Mesmerman's tender care, right? Don't you think it's possible that the manipulative robot who lives to corrupt and manipulate people corrupted and manipulated you guys!?*
(*It happened during the Business of War.)
Drillman: Well .. he kind of ... did ...
Drillman: I'm just saying that he did change around that time. He stopped using, that's for one.
Kalinka: He ... did stop that.
Brightbabe: No! I'm sure he was as high as ever back then.
Drillman: Not really, no. He ... became a lot more focused on how he thought the team should be like.
Topman: Go over RPD records. You'll see that he made some questionable moves back then. It won't make sense until you realize Dr.Cossack made a deal with General Cutman. That Russia was completely spared from every one of his attacks!
Kalinka: You're wrong! Dead wrong! I'll prove it.
Brightbabe: I'll help. We'll bury this asshole. We'll shove your story in your face and then we'll take you apart. Maybe we'll put your AI in our toilet.
(At that point Hardman's Knuckles burst free from containment and fly off into the sky.)
Brightbabe: Dammit. I wanted to use those as flower pots.
(As Bright Babe and Kalinka go over to the computer to check Top's story the Cossacks have closed in on the Mechs and Kryptoman...)
Diveman: They went inside this building.
Dustman: This is where they've been hiding the whole time?
Skullman: That appears to be the case. There are signs of recent activity. Moreover, there appears to be recent construction in this area.
Diveman: So this is a trap.
Skullman: Yes, it appears so. Those Mechs are a crafty bunch.
Ringman: They are!?
Skullman: Yes. I see how this works now. They staged the entire thing! They attacked RPD headquarters while merely appearing to be drunk. Meanwhile, they looped in our old nemesis into their scheme knowing it would draw us into the open. Now they've lured us here. Heh. Not a bad plan.
Diveman: Huh. Well, what're we gonna do? Not spring their damned trap!
Ringman: Let's sneak in the back way.
Skullman: Wait. Logically they should be able to figure that we would take such a course of action. Knowing that we know that they know we've followed them they would have put their main forces in the back. So we should attack via the main entrance. They'll never suspect it!
Ringman: Right. The front then!
Diveman: Oh no.
Skullman: Knowing that we know that they know that we know that they know we'd come after them they'd surely booby trap the front entrance. It only stands to reason! Therefore, we should attack by the rear! Wait. Hold on.
Diveman: Aw, enough holding! If we're gonna attack, let's ATTACK!!!
(Diveman dashes forwards and blows down the front door. The team rushes in and immediately a secondary door slams down behind them.)
Kryptoman: Welcome, Comrades! I knew you'd attack the front door. It's so like you.
Skullman: It seems we were too predictable.
(The room starts to split apart and the Cossacks dive to get out of the way.)
Diveman: What's this nonsense!?
Kryptoman: A variation on an old favorite of mine. Although I have built in some enhancements.
(The room reassembles and, from a single orb comes forth Shadow Blade, Magnet Missile, Needle Cannon and Hard Knuckle shots. The Cossacks scramble to avoid them, but just as they do, the room splits apart again. Kryptoman giggles in glee.)
Kryptoman: I wish all of you were here, but I guess I'll have to settle with what I can get.
(Meanwhile, Sparkman goes to put on the DVD, but notices something in the back of the TV cabinet.)
Sparkman: Hey, is that a Nintendo 64 back there?
Pharaoh Woman: Hands off that relic, peasant! No, no, 'serf'! That's even lower, right?
Sparkman: Awww, I'm being demoted?
Pharaoh Woman: Mind your station! Anyway, that has been handed down in my family for sixteen generations!
Sparkman: ...It dates back to at least 16XX, before robots and game consoles were even invented? And thirteen other Pharaoh Men who had not been built yet?
Pharaoh Woman: ...I may've misread the inscription. It's a little dusty...But only those who are worthy may ever gaze upon it, much less use it! And so far, none who dwell within these walls may ever use it!.
Sparkman: No wonder. It's not plugged in.
Pharaoh Woman: ...That's part of the reason why. In fact, the entire reason why.
Sparkman: You don't know how to set it up, do you?
Pharaoh Woman: Nooooo....
(Sparkman rummages around and plugs in a few cables and flips the power switch)
Pharaoh Woman: Magnificent! I see you are settling into your station and taking initiative on completing your labors! Now find us a game that we can play! Like Mario Kart!
Sparkman: I prefer Goldeneye.
Pharaoh Woman: Oh, awesome! I have that?? Put that one in!
(Elsewhere, in the lower levels of Monsteropolis...)
Geminiman: Faster, Snake! FASTER!!
Snakeman: What do you think I'm trying to do this whole time?!
(Both Geminiman and Snakeman are running for their lives from Toadman.)
Toadman: Ooh! Helena! I see your sister loves playing hard to get as much as you!! Maybe it runs in the family! Once we have kids, we'll know for sure!
Geminiman: FASTER SNAKE, FASTER!!
Snakeman: How is that the half of dozen of you can't handle one lecherous Toad?!
Geminiman: It's not my fault! He just won't stay down!! Or stay still!
Snakeman: Just give him a clone, or something!
Geminiman: No way! That's way creepy! I don't want to think about what he'd do to it! They're still part of me! Maybe next time, don't crash the car!!
Snakeman: HE WAS ON THE WINDSHIELD!! I COULDN'T SEE THROUGH HIS SLIMY, MOLDY TONGUE AS HE WAS LICKING THE WINDSHIELD!!
Geminiman: Whatever! Are we even close to the others?!
Snakeman: Their signal's still pretty weak! But I at least got a lock on them! Don't ask me what they're doing out there!!
Geminiman: Ask questions later! We need all the help we can get!!
Toadman: Come on! We passed by at least five or six halfway decent chapels! Or are we going to Vegas?! That's awesome! I always wanted to try their five dollar lobster! Or at least the ones that nobody finished!
Geminiman: Alright, screw this!!
(Geminiman splits into a clone that scoops up Snakeman and carries him, as he keeps desperately outrunning Toadman. Elsewhere still, back at Kalinka's Citadel....)
Drillman: Hm. Looks like there's some merit to the Mech's tale after all. According to these termination records, you were discharged for going after General Cutman, not us.
Kalinka: And none of them even mention that any of you were infected by a virus...
Topman: What's that?!
Kalinka: ...My father told me that General Cutman had infected with you with a virus, putting you under his control. And since we were the only organized threat to his plans, he was going to use you against us.
Topman: Is that what he told you...?
Kalinka: ...It was the only explanation that made sense.
Drillman: Other than that Nergil and the Sub-Atlanteans had pulled you into the Elder God's thrall.
Kalinka: Not now, Drill!
Drillman: ...It's still a possibility...
Topman: Well to be fair, General Cutman's ultimate plan was to put us under his control. But he wasn't going to do that until he went back in time, just after we were first defeated by Mega Man. He got a time skimmer for just that reason.
Brightbabe: Now you're being ridiculous!! Mesmer influence or no, I can't believe Cossack would sell out humanity under less dire circumstances! Why not take control over Cossack when he also took control over the rest of us?!
Topman: I don't pretend to understand why! Maybe Cossack was part of one of Mesmer's longer-term plans that didn't work out. Maybe General Cutman found a way to control him the same way Mesmer used you guys. Seriously, you guys thought we were allied with General Cutman?!
Kalinka: ....That argument works both ways!! As awful as some of us (who shall remain nameless) can be, you really think we'd take the coward's way out and side with General Cutman?! Even Diveman has his limits!!
Topman: We were stretched pretty thin at that point. Everything was falling apart all around us. We didn't have the time or luxury to ask why you'd chose the side we thought you chose. Though if we did, it would've saved a lot of people a lot of trouble...
(Brightbabe slaps Topman. But not nearly as forcefully or direct as before. Tears are welling up in her eyes).
Brightbabe: Stop it!! STOP IT!! It's your fault! It-it has to be!!
Topman: ...Maybe Cossack would still be standing here, if we did.
Brightbabe: WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE HIS FAULT?!
(Brightbabe falls to her knees in tears, covering her face).
Brightbabe: ....Why did it have to be his fault...
(Drillman tenderly climbs off the operating table as Kalinka kneels down next to Brightbabe. Remorseful, Topman can barely look on, as each of them embrace each other, as they softly weep over each other's shoulders. Meanwhile, back in Krypto's lair...)
Diveman: This is bullshit, man! That flu shot shoulda wiped ya out! It's done the trick before!
Kryptoman: I saw that coming, too! I would've recovered sooner if it wasn't for your wretched, stale vodka! That was nastier than the flu shot!
Ringman: Be serious, Dive! Skull, if you have any bright ideas, I'd love to hear them!
Diveman: Like what? Krypto laughed off the flu shot! There's no way we're gonna kill him 'fore he assimilates our weapons! 'N it's only the four of us! We need divine intervention, here!
Kryptoman: HA!! Don't hold your breath!!
(The room reassembles itself, and the crystal fires more Maniac-themed weapons at them. The Comrades counter with their own weapons, but the room breaks apart before they can destroy the crystal.)
Dustman: Wait, since when did Krypto attack us with anything like this?!
Ringman: And why a crystal that fires Mech weapons? Wouldn't it make more sense to just send the Mechs after us??
Skullman: ...He must've absorbed them already.
Kryptoman: Not quite! That would take too long...And...And they're my friends...
Diveman: Some pal! Ya sucked the life outta 'em 'n threw 'em in the trash!
Kryptoman: ...No...! No I didn't! I'd never...It doesn't matter either way! Don't count on them to save you!!
(The room starts reassembling again. But as it does, Diveman and Dustman fires some Dive Missiles and Dust Crushers at the mechanisms controlling the room. The room shudders slightly and lurches to a dead halt).
Diveman: Ha!! Try that trick on someone ain't good at solvin' room escapes!
Skullman: Or breaking them.
Diveman: Same thing.
Kryptoman: Agghh! You little cheaters! That's not the way you're supposed to-! BAH! Never mind! That's not the only trick I have up my sleeve!
(Suddenly, a demonic-looking moth swoops down and swings a spiked, mace-like tail at the Comrades. The Comrades all dive out of the way as the club hits ground.)
Diveman: Where the hell is he gettin' this crap?!
Ringman: Since when did Krypto know how to build stuff like this?!
Dustman: It's coming back!
(The moth swoops down, showering the area with Needle Cannon shots and swinging its tail. Diveman deflects the shots with his chest gatling gun as Skull blocks the tail with his Skull Barrier. As the tail swings wildly, Dustman knocks it with a Dust Crusher, sending it flying into the moth's face).
Dustman: Okay, I don't think Krypto's out of stuff to throw at us, yet. We need to find the Mechs, wherever they are, so we at least have better odds.
Kryptoman: They're not your friends!! They're my friends!! You're not going to bully them the way you bullied me!
Diveman: ...Again, says the guy who sucked their life force out 'n stole their weapons!
Kryptoman: It's what they would've wanted!! Now just die already!!
(A pair of walking cannons climb out of the pit, scaling the walls. They fire Krytpo's missiles at the group, which Skullman deflects with his Barrier. Ringman easily severs their legs with some well-placed tosses of his Ring Boomerangs).
Kryptoman: BAH! I thought I fixed that!!
Ringman: Okay, this is getting waaaay too familiar. All that's missing is...
(Ringman narrowly dodges to one side as a monstrous claw drops from above and slams down beside him. Kryptoman can be seen inside it, operating the controls).
Ringman: Alright, what's with the Cossack-themed traps?! You thought we wouldn't figure them out eventually?!
Kryptoman: Cossack-themed traps?! I came up with this by myself...Of course I did! Who else would've come up with them?!
Diveman: Am I the only who's a little weirded out by the way Krypto's actin'...?
Skullman: I wouldn't know.
Kryptoman: Besides, they weren't for you, they were for them!
(Krypto's claw reaches down the pit and pulls out Shadow's, Hard's, Needle's, and Magnet's lifeless bodies.)
Kryptoman: Take them if you want! They can't help you! My...My friends...?! What happened to them...? BAH! You know what happened to them! No. I didn't want them to be hurt. I thought they weren't going be hurt...They won't be hurt! I've got plans for them!! I don't like the sound of that...
Diveman: Seriously, did Krypto turn into Gollum...?
Ringman: This is really bugging me. The Cossack traps, Krypto's odd behavior...No...No!! There's no way Cossack could be in there!!
Kryptoman: Are you sure??
(Kryptoman's abs slide open, revealing a pulsing, mutated brain inside a glass jar.)
KryptoCossack: Bah!! Yes, I'm happy to see you, too!
Skullman: That - that doesn't make any sense.
Diveman: What the freakin' HELL!? Wait. He's LYING!!
KryptoCossack: I am not lying. I am your creator. And it's really you this time isn't it? Not imitations of my creations like last time, but my Comrades!
Ringman: Um ... well ... mostly.
KryptoCossack: Then - then, I'm sorry for all this. So, so sorry.
Diveman: You're sorry!? You attacked us and now you're sorry!?
KryptoCossack: Yes, I thought you were more copies, like that mockery of a team, "Cossacks Creations," but you're mine!
Ringman: Well, mostly.
KryptoCossack: It ... really is me. How is ... how is Kalinka?
Skullman: Kalinka is well.
Diveman: She won't be so well once she finds out her father's just a brain in the body of our old villain!
KryptoCossack: Good! She can - stopitstopitstopit justshutup!
KryptoCossack: Sorry. I can't help it. My mind shares this body with Kryptoman.
Skullman: I see. But how did this happen?
KryptoCossack: That monster General Cutman did this to me!!
The Cossacks: !?
KryptoCossack: You remember how the Mechs were working for the General at the time, right?
Skullman: How could we forget? We clashed with them as they ran from the law. The last adventure we had as a team involved us battling with them. They defeated us and, from what I gather, Topman murdered you in cold blood.
KryptoCossack: Yes! YES!!! He - he did. But the General wanted revenge for the trouble I put him through. He was watching the whole thing and managed to rescue me before the castle came down.
Skullman: It'd been a long time before we would be rescued.
KryptoCossack: He couldn't save my body, but he saved my mind. He - he FORCED me to tell him where Kryptoman was. I had no idea he would merge my mind with his body.
Diveman: The General. He needs to pay!! I wish he was still alive so I could kill him all over again!
KryptoCossack: So it's true? He's dead?
Skullman: But, I do not understand. You've been alive this whole time ... why not contact us?
KryptoCossack: General Cutman's dead. I thought so, but I couldn't be sure.
Diveman: I wouldn't put too much stock in that. We only have the Mechs' word on that and you know them.
KryptoCossack: They're my fr - Shut it!
Skullman: I still do not understand. General Cutman or no, you had ample opportunity to contact Kalinka. I do not understand why you did - URK!
Ringman: Hey ... what?
Diveman: Doc? What's going on?
KryptoCossack: Heeheehee. They fell for it. Indeed they did, Krypto.
Diveman: Doc, what going' ... on ... ?
KryptoCossack: This is my lair, Comrades. I am in full control here. I'm not like Krypto. I have long ago absorbed this entire building. Just by stepping inside and standing still you've doomed yourself.
(The Comrades twist around to see wires attached to their backs. They try to get up and see that their feet have affixed themselves to the ground.)
Diveman: Yer not Cossack. He'd never do this to us!
KryptoCossack: I never thought you'd leave me to ROT, but you did. So you did. Everything that's happened to me has been YOUR fault! To both of us! Yes, to both of us, that's right.
Ringman: But we were destroyed! We only came back online recently!
KryptoCossack: HAH! A likely story. But don't worry. Once I'm done with you, I'll rebuild you! Better and stronger than before. Now ... sleep.
(The building begins to rumble.)
KryptoCossack: General Cutman's dead. I thought so. It seems too good to be true, but it looks like I don't have to worry about getting revenge on this STINKING CITY! Oh, so we're doing the plan now? Yes, yes, the plan. the plan!
(Lights throughout the city dim and sputter as KryptoCossack steps within a fortified capsule.)
KryptoCossack: But you won't hurt my friends right? No, no of course I won't. No. But I will hurt everyone else. Yes. Yes! This city will be mine. I've laid everything out. Soon! Soon!
(Elsewhere, Toadman hops off Snakeman and stares around the city.)
Toadman: Hey? What's going on?
Snakeman: It seems like power's being disrupted throughout the city.
Geminiman: Can you track it?
Snakeman: Of course!
Toadman: You're so smart, Helena.
Snakeman: Wanna bet that's where the Mechs are?
Geminiman: And your friends too, Toad. You ... do care about your friends, right?
Toadman: Of course! I'm not inhuman.
Geminiman: Then let's set aside our differences and see what we can do about this. I have a bad feeling about this.
(And, in Russia...)
Pharaoh Woman: I can't believe how good you are at these games.
Sparkman: Sure, I love 'em!
Pharaoh Woman: I must admit, I may have misjudged you before now, my slave.
Sparkman: Yeah me too. You guys get a bad rap, but you're all right at least.
Pharaoh Woman: Indeed! You aren't bad, at least. I must say, it's possible the bad blood between our teams is a complete misunderstanding.
Drillman: I'll say. It .. it's unbelievable, really.
Sparkman: Drill? And Top? You're okay?
Topman: Yeah, I'm fine. But I can't say the same for Kalinka.
Kalinka: All this time. All lies. I just ... can't believe it. All this time and we never knew.
Sparkman: Hm. Well, there's nobody else here, so I think we're fine on doing it.
Pharaoh Woman: Doing what?
Sparkman: Well, I guess everything turned out alright.
Sparkman: And we learned something too.
Sparkman: Come on, Top, don't leave me hanging here.
Topman: Uh, this isn't over, Spark. We're still under arrest by the RPD, remember?
Drillman: And, more importantly the rest of our team isn't responding to our calls. I suspect it's the Illuminati.
Sparkman: Dude, you work for the Illuminati.
Drillman: THE DEVIL YOU SAY!
Sparkman: The Galactic Council?
Sparkman: Oh, come on! You have to have noticed. It's led by a bunch of aliens and non-humans. They're a shadowy cabal with obscene amounts of power and nebulous goals. They were a total secret to the people at large until they decided to exert their influence and create a NEW WORLD ORDER!
Pharaoh Woman: Oh no. Now you've done it.
Drillman: Hardly. Look, you're being paranoid and ridiculous.
Sparkman: But - !
Drillman: Your silly ideas notwithstanding, we have a real problem on our hands. Namely, our friends not responding to our hails.
Brightbabe: I won't lose any more of us. We don't know what's happening and that's why ... *sigh* that's why you ... people ... are going to help us find our friends.
Kalinka: Don't think this means we're letting you go. But if you behave yourselves, we'll put in a good word for you.
Pharaoh Woman: Indeed. My fellow Pharaoh Crorq has become a great ally in recent times and we may rely on his reason to see the course through this day.
(As Topman and the other Cossacks work out their differences, Snakeman, Geminiman, and Toadman have made their way to KryptoCossack's lair...)
Snakeman: This is nuts. From what I can tell this place has tendrils throughout the city. And ... huh. My Search Snake just cut out.
Geminiman: That's not ominous at all.
Snakeman: Hey, I'm getting a message from Topman. What do you mean, "don't be startled"?
(Geminiman jerks back as Bright Babe, Pharaoh Woman, Drillman, Sparkman, and Topman all teleport in.)
Geminiman: It's the Cossacks! ATTACK!
Sparkman: Hold yer horses!
(Spark grabs Geminiman's arm and jerks it upwards as the Mech shoots.)
Geminiman: What's going on here!?
Drillman: We know ... about Cossack. And General Cutman.
Geminiman: What do you mean?
Topman: It seems like they weren't in on it. It was Dr. Cossack alone who was responsible for all that trouble years back.
Geminiman: Then ... what? Our entire feud was some sort of big misunderstanding?
Brightbabe: Topman killed Dr. Cossack. That's no misunderstanding no matter the circumstances.
Topman: Uh, but ... regardless of that it seems like both our teams have disappeared and that they're in there.
Drillman: Obviously it's the fault of my errant and hopelessly ugly creation.
Snakeman: Hey, Kryto's alright.
Geminiman: And you made him ugly! Why did you do that?
Drillman: It doesn't matter. Whoever's responsible for this (Krypto) can we agree to set aside our mutual dislike and work together?
Toadman: Yipee! We're all friends!
Snake, Gemini, Drill, Bright: NO WAY!!!
Geminiman: I have a great plan on how to "work together."
Brightbabe: What a coincidence. So do I. It involves my team attacking the back.
Geminiman: Splendid. My team will find another way in and sneak in.
Pharaoh Woman: That hardly seems to be "working together."
Sparkman: Yeah, really.
Snakeman: Let's just get this over with.
Toadman: Wait, does this mean I'm not working alongside my fiancée!?
Geminiman: Oh, don't worry. You'll be keeping him safe by providing a distraction.
Toadman: Oh, yes!! That sounds perfect!
(The Mechs hurry off.)
Brightbabe: Alright, guys. Time to show those amateurs how it's really done, and why we're Crorq's favorites.
Toadman: Yay! I'm somebody's favorite!
Brightbabe: You're nobody's favorite.
Drillman: Wait! If I know my devious creation, he would expect us to-
(Brightbabe doesn't listen and blasts a hole in the back entrance. No sooner do they charge through it does a secondary set of doors slam shut behind them).
KryptoCossack: HA! You went through the back door! As expected!
Drillman: Beat me to it. Clearly, Kryptoman has assimilated a robot master with clairvoyant powers!
(Suddenly, the ceiling opens up and the Mechs all drop through it, landing in a pile in front of the Comrades.)
Sparkman: ...I think this is why Gauntlet never lets you be the leader, Lenny.
Geminiman: Not helping!
KryptoCossack: Aha! You tried to find a hidden way in! Just as I planned!
Pharaoh Woman: But you just said-
KryptoCossack: I planned for everything!!
Topman: Uh, is nobody going to ask about the pulsating brain inside Krypto's body??
(Topman points to Cossack's brain as it bubbles and pulsates.)
Pharaoh Woman: Clearly a canopic jar! Why a robot like Kryptoman here would need one is anyone's guess, as he's not of royal descent...Am I right..?
Drillman: What?? I never built that inside Kryptoman!
Toadman: I dunno, but it sure looks like candy!
(Toadman hops over to KryptoCossack's capsule and tries opening it, only for Krypto to swat him aside with a barrage of missiles.)
KryptoCossack: ...BAH! I don't remember either of you being so stupid! Me neither! But I'll fix that, later! But as for you...!
(KryptoCossack swings his arm downwards, and his claw device snatches up Topman. Several wires slither out of its palm. But rather than attach themselves to him, they start tearing off his armor, one piece at a time.)
KryptoCossack: ...You deserve everything that's coming to you!! Let's see how YOU like being dissected!! No!! No, he's one of my friends! He's the one who did this to me!! It was him?? YES!!
Sparkman: ...Not every day you see a bad guy fighting us and himself at the same time.
Drillman: Isn't it obvious?! That's Cossack's brain! General Cutman must've salvaged what's left of him after Topman eviscerated him, found Kryptoman, and placed his brain in Krypto's body! It all makes sense now...
Geminiman: ...And you pieced that together faster than Crorq being in an intergalactic Illuminati.
Drillman: That's just crazy talk!
Snakeman: Keep your eyes on the ball, people!
(Everyone looks in time to see several wires attaching themselves to their backs, but several Search Snakes sever them before they're fully connected.)
Snakeman: While you guys are screwing around, the rest of us are trying to figure out how to stop KryptoCossack from assimilating Monsteropolis!
Sparkman: That's why you're the brains of this outfit, Snake.
(Sparkman's electrodes unfold as he jabs them into some of the wires connected to Krypto's capsule.)
Sparkman: Alright, I can siphon off some of this thing's power, try and buy us some time. Gonna need someone to watch my back so I don't get assimilated. Who wants the honors?
Pharaoh Woman: (Detonates some missiles fired at Sparkman) Have no fear, my royal knight! Your humble queen shall keep you safe!
Sparkman: I dunno if ancient Egypt had knights.
Pharaoh Woman: You're getting a promotion! Take it!
Snakeman: Good luck, guys. The rest of the Comrades, try and figure out a way to free Top while we figure out a way to sabotage Krypto's capsule-
(Snake looks over and sees the other Comrades bashing away at KryptoCossack's capsule as Topman is going limp in the claw's grasp.)
Snakeman: ...Hang on, Top! We're coming!!
Topman: Well, at least SOMEBODY remembered me...
(Suddenly, Snakeman gets shot by a barrage of needles!)
Snakeman: GAAAHH! What now?!
(Snake turns and sees the rest of his team and the Comrades standing before them, staring blankly ahead. Their limbs hang loosely, like a puppet's.)
Needlegal: Th-things turned out ookaaay...And we-we learned something toooo...
KryptoCossack: Help me, my friends! They're trying to hurt us!! Kill them, my children! They're trying to take our new home away from us!!
Hardman: Where-where are my arms?! I want my arms!
Shadowman: Take-take this Cr-Crorq!!
(The captured Mechs and Comrades turn against their respective teams, forcing them to retreat away from the capsule and the claw arm.)
Brightbabe: I don't remember Krypto ever being able to do something like this!
Drillman: KrytpoCossack must be controlling them with a virus after he assimilated them! I almost forgot Krypto could make those!
(Suddenly, Drill is bombarded by Dive Missiles and Magnet Missiles!)
Diveman: I'm-I'm a cold-cold blooded messiah! Who are you..?!
Magnetman: This t-town ain't big 'nuff fer the two of us...
(Diveman and Magnetman hold Drill down so that some wires can start attaching themselves to him, but before they can connect, an exceptionally powerful Spark Shock knocks Magnetman aside as a charged Pharaoh Shot dazes Diveman).
Drillman: Thanks for the save, Pharaoh!
Sparkman: ....I helped, too. But whatever. Drill, you wanna do something constructive? Tunnel around, see if you can't cut some of these wires off at the source!
Drillman: We may not be adversaries anymore. But I still don't need you telling me what to do.
Pharaoh Woman: My fellow ruler! I would highly suggest you strike at the heart of these cursed tendrils, deep underground! It would uh...mean a lot to us if you did!
Drillman: That's brilliant, Pharaoh! Good thinking!
(Drillman tunnels underground and starts sabotaging KrytpoCossack's device anyway he can).
Sparkman: ...Did I not say the magic word?
Pharaoh Woman: I asked nicer than you did. How goes the uh...sabotage...stuff?
Sparkman: It's not as easy as it looks. (Fires a Spark Shock at Diveman) He's soaking up Monsteropolis's power faster than I can bleed it! I think I'm only buying seconds at the most!
Pharaoh Woman: (Pharaoh Shots Ringman) Keep trying, loyal knight! Our empires are counting on you!
(Meanwhile, Geminiman and his copies are keeping Skullman and Needlegal at bay as Snakeman tries to free Topman.)
Skullman: Your-your fixation on my outward appearance is of no cooonnsequeence...
Geminiman: Hurry it up! I can't keep them back much longer!
Snakeman: (Firing Search Snakes) There's a lot wires for my snakes to chew through! It doesn't help that they're biting back!
(Suddenly, several of the cables gnawing on Topman detach and fly towards Geminiman, clamping down on his armor.)
Geminiman: Agggghh!! Those were Search Snakes?! That's just cheap...!
Snakeman: ...So that's what happened with the Search Snake I lost contact with earlier. (Gets clobbered with a Dust Crusher) AGGHH!! Stop doing that!!
Dustman: I can make a few improvements on that if you'd let meee...
(Suddenly, Toadman lands on top of the claw, licking his lips as he looks down at Topman.)
Topman: ...I don't know what's about to happen here, but I think it's going to be the shittiest way to die. Ever.
Toadman: Huh?? I just wanted to know if you're going to eat all that spaghetti!
(Toadman forcefully yanks out the remaining wires holding Topman and starts devouring them in the most sickening way possible. The claw tries to catch him again, but a few plasma shots from Brightbabe incapacitate it long enough for Top to fall away from it.)
Topman: Thanks, Bright...
Brightbabe: What are friends for, huh?
(As he falls, Topman angles himself at Dustman. Just as he's right on top of him, he slams into him with a Top Spin, knocking Dust out.)
Snakeman: ...Thanks, Top...
Topman: (Hurls explosive tops at the snakes gnawing on Geminiman) Better late than never, right?
KryptoCossack: Not really! You all accomplished nothing all the same!! Absolutely nothing!
(The lights in the room turn the same shade of green as Krypto's face, as do the lights in every window in Monsteropolis. Elsewhere, in the RPD...).
Crorq: INFIDELS!! How could you let a cyberterrorist just waltz in here?! In the middle of my dinner, no less?!
Officer: We're trying to contain it as we speak!
(Suddenly, the monitors on the screen flip on, revealing the face of Dr. Cossack.)
Crorq: COSSACK?! Still alive, are you?!
KryptoCossack: You haven't changed a bit, have you, Crorq? BAH! I've been waiting to do this for over fifteen years!
(A surge of electricity shoots out of the computer and zaps Crorq!)
Crorq: AAGGHH!! INFIDEL!! NOBODY RE-PROGRAMS THE ALMIGHTY CRORQ!! NOBODY!!
KryptoCossack: Then it pleases me to be the first! Now stop struggling! The virus will only hurt more if you do!
(Meanwhile, in the Wily Underground...)
Doc Robot: No!! You're not master! I already have one! And it's not you!
KryptoCossack: In case you haven't noticed, I'm far more brilliant than your "master" ever was! Has he learned to come back from death yet?!
Doc Robot: STOP LYING!! MASTER IS NOT DEAD! HE WILL BE BACK!!
KryptoCossack: Well, let me know when he does.
(Cossack zaps Doc Robot with another bolt, leaving him helpless. Meanwhile, in Russia...)
Kalinka: ...You should've stayed dead, father.
KryptoCossack: And you should've died with me! Seeing you as Crorq's lapdog! BAH! I can't tell you how disgusted this makes me! I don't even care if what I'm about to do works on humans, or not!
(A bolt of lightning hits Kalinka in the head, making her convulse. Back in KryptoCossack's lair...)
Brightbabe: Spark! If you're going to siphon him, hurry it up!!
Sparkman: What am I gonna do?! Siphon the whole damn town?!
(Suddenly, Pharaoh Woman stabs Sparkman in the chest!)
Sparkman: GAAGHH!! What's gotten into you, you goofy queen!
Pharaoh Woman: Twas-twas a hologram!!
(Pharaoh Woman reveals herself to be Shadowman. As he does, Hardman Hard Presses the real Pharaoh Woman into the ground.
Sparkman: Cheating prick...
Pharaoh Woman: Sorry, my brave knight...He got me too...
(Meanwhile, Hardman is slamming into the ground with Hard Press after Hard Press, trapping Drillman beneath the floor.)
Hardman: Stop-stop calling me me an SA washout!! I want my fire attacks back!!
Drillman: Gahh! Curse that Spark Chan! This was all her idea! Clearly, this is what she had planned all along!
KryptoCossack: HA!! Who needs your measly offer, General Cutman?! Why bother settling for Russia when I have the whole world! We have the whole world! Of course we do! Nobody will ever threaten my homeland again now that it all belongs to me! To us! TO ALL OF US!!
(Suddenly, a pair of high-velocity blunt objects smashes through the walls and barrel into KryptoCossack! They then re-connect themselves to Hardman's arms).
Snakeman: Hardman's Knuckles?!
Brightbabe: ...So that's where they've been.
(The force of the impact from Hardman's Knuckles traveling at much-higher than usual velocities sends KryptoCossack flying, severing his connection to his assimilation capsule. Elsewhere...)
Crorq: ...Is...Is he gone? HA! No one can reprogram Crorq THE MAGNIFICENT! MY MIND IS JUST TOO VAST FOR YOU, YOU TREACHEROUS HACK!! This calls for a celebration/reward! Shakeman! Make me a pureed SA Joe float!
Shakeman: ...Coming up...
(In the Wily Underground...)
Doc Robot: ...M-master? Did...Did you save me? Yes! Master saved me! He's still watching over us! He is! He is!
Over-1: Kalinka?! Kalinka are you okay?!
Kalinka: (Pulls out her shotgun) Take your hands off me father, you creep!
Over-1: ...Yeah. You're fine. Not sure if I want to get the context of that, though.
Kalinka: It's not what you think it is! Though it's not much better.
(Back in KryptoCossack's lair...)
KryptoCossack: NO!! I was so close! So close!! You all cheated!
Toadman: Oh boy!! The candy came out of its wrapper!
(KryptoCossack looks down and sees that the jar containing Cossack's brain has been shattered open.)
KryptoCossack: No! NO! We need to get out of here! Why? We're still stronger than all of them!! I'M NOT TAKING ANY CHANCES!! NOT WHILE I'M EXPOSED!! It won't take long!
(Toadman jumps onto Kryptoman's waist and starts nibbling on Cossack's brain.)
KryptoCossack: WE'RE LEAVING NOW!
(KryptoCossack swats Toadman aside and blinds everyone with a Flash Stopper. By the time everyone's vision returns, he's long gone.)
Toadman: Mmmmm! Tasted like butter! Like butter-covered marshmallows! I've got to get more of that!
(Toadman hops off after KryptoCossack as everyone else slowly recovers.)
Geminiman: Ughh...Did we win...?
Brightbabe: You see Krypto's weird green glow coming out of the city?
Brightbabe: Then we won.
Pharaoh Woman: What about our hypnotized friends? Are they still under the thrall of Set?
Magnetman: Ohhh...What happened...?
Diveman: Uggghhhh!! I swear, climbin' outta Hell didn' kill my head this much!
Shadowman: CURSE YOU CRORQ!! I OUGHTA-Oh, he's not here.
Sparkman: Yep. Back to normal.
Snakeman: KrytpoCossack couldn't have gone far. I've sent out a few Search Snakes to see if we can't pick him up. Hang on a second. I think they got something...
Toadman: (Over the Search Snakes' comms) HELENA!! You came looking for me! I'm so touched you'd-
Snakeman: (Commands the snakes to gnaw on him) Nope. I think we lost him.
Pharaoh Woman: Why don't we take you back home so that our royal vizier can repair you?
Topman: ...You'd do that for us...?
Pharaoh Woman: We are no longer enemies, are we not? There's no reason why we can't spare some of the blessings Osiris has bestowed on us to you!
Brightbabe: But we're first in line, make no mistake.
Topman: Still no lost love, I see...
(Later, after the Mechs have been repaired...)
Snakeman: ...Are you SURE Flippy's back in his padded cell?
Skullman: For the fifth time, yes. Quit asking.
Magnetman: Call me amazed that nobody knew he was gone.
Diveman: That's easy. To cover fer Flippy's escape, I sprung a waaaay more dangerous loony to keep the boys in white coats busy. As far as they know, Flippy never left.
Needlegal: What?? How does that make it any better?!
Dustman: Dare I ask who else you helped escape?
(As if on cue, a nearby TV flickers, broadcasting the image of...)
Scarecrow: Monsteropolis, this is your only warning. Abandon this city, or I will unleash your greatest fears!
Diveman: (Shuts the TV off.) Yeah, I'm sure somebody will take care o' that sooner or later.
(The Mechs all throw up their arms in frustration.)
Geminiman: ...And yet you get to stay on the RPD.
Diveman: Ah, consequences are fer godless heathens!
Topman: ANYWAY...For whatever it's worth, I'm sorry...For my part in what happened.
Kalinka: I'm more angry that you couldn't finish him off.
Topman: Well, I honestly thought he would've been. After, you know...walking into a blender, basically.
Kalinka: I don't know what's going through his head...or how much of it is Mesmer's fault, but I don't care. Once you side with the likes of General Cutman, there's no welcoming you back. Just ask Zymeth.
(Sparkman, Geminiman, and Hardman exchange sideways glances).
Needlegal: I can't believe nobody told you about the truth behind Cossack until now.
Kalinka: There were rumors. ...At least I hoped they were just rumors...You have no idea how many times I told myself 'this is the day I'll learn the truth', but every time I pulled the records out...I just...Put them away again without reading them...
Dustman: I don't blame you. I wouldn't want them to be true, either.
Brightbabe: ...If you ask me, he never came back from Mesmer's satellite.
(The Comrades all fall silent. As their gaze falls, Diveman pulls out his flask, but as he raises it to his lips, he hesitates, giving it a unsatisfied look. Sighing, he pours it out a window and flings the flask out.)
Hardman: ...So...Uh...Are we still under arrest...?
Sparkman: Law's the law, Hard. They arrested us fair and square. And now we must face our punishment. Oh, diddly dee. Tomorrow's another day. C'mon, Pharaoh. Your servant's got an itch only Smash Brothers can fix.
Drillman: You may be in the clear for what happened to Cossack, but not for trying to assassinate Crorq! Nobody lays a finger on him and lives to tell about it!
Geminiman: Oh for the love of-Didn't that misunderstanding fifteen years ago teach you anything?!
Kalinka: Don't look at me. I'm as appalled in their taste in friends as you are.
Sparkman: But again: Treason's pretty stiff as far as crimes go -- a sentence that can only be served by playing a few rounds of Mario Kart 64. Let's go, Pharaoh.
Pharaoh Woman: Silence, slave! Uh, I mean...Just a second. I want to know what our guests think our generous benefactor, blessed with the generosity of Osiris, could possibly be guilty of?
Needlegal: He was behind Catch-22. Actually, he just was Catch-22 all by himself. He raided the weapons holding facility and leaked all that Wily technology.
Snakeman: He staged the attacks on Monsteropolis that he "happened" to prevent. Remember when Mesmerman attacked? And he just happened to free himself from his control just in the nick of time? What about when the Council first came - how do you think Omni, Golem, and the rest knew about it all?
Needlegal: And that's just page one of all his crimes! Where do you want us to start?
Shadowman: THE FACT HE PLAYED US LIKE FIDDLES AND GOT AWAY WITH IT!! AGGGHH!!!
Magnetman: Give it a rest, already!
Drillman: How about you start with the one that's not mindless paranoia and conjecture? And doesn't smear the newest ninth member of our team!
Dustman: Ninth member?! Can we do that?!
Shadowman: I wouldn't recommend it. DAMN THAT CRORQ!! HE HASN'T SEEN THE LAST OF ME!!
Topman: Come on! You think we're lying?!
Skullman: They have been honest about everything else.
Drillman: It's not that I think you're lying. It's just that you can't believe every silly tabloid headline you read!
Needlegal: It wasn't a tabloid, it was true!
Snakeman: If Crorq didn't wipe the database, I could show it to you! I saw it with my own eyes!
Drillman: Not buying it.
(Everyone but Drillman facepalms at the same time.)
Drillman: ...What's all this about? Are you all in on some plot I'm not?!
Magnetman: ...Technically, yes...
Hardman: Tell me somebody believes us.
Kalinka: All things considered, nothing you guys could say about Crorq would surprise me.
Dustman: Let's say what you're saying is true. Is there anything we can do that you haven't done already?
Snakeman: If you confront Crorq, you're confronting the rest of the Galactic Council. That didn't work out well for us at all.
Diveman: Damn straight it didn'. They turned ya into Flippy's dreamgirl.
Snakeman: I take that back. You can piss them off as much as you want. It's not like you're going to suffer any consequences for it, right?
Sparkman: Well, unless somebody else has any better ideas how to overthrow the Council, I say we order out a pizza and whip up eight extra guest bedrooms while Pharaoh and I catch up on some Bomberman 64. Sound like a plan? Alright, Sinister Six-Mechanical Maniacs, re-unite!
Brightbabe: I don't know what we can do for all of you, but housing fugitives probably isn't it.
Kalinka: We'll tell Crorq that you gave us the slip...but we'll *ahem* keep an active look out for you.
Sparkman: No. No! I still got a few years left on my sentence! I can't be sent home on good behavior! Wait! I also broke Dr. Wily out of Monsteropolis prison! Surely, I should be locked up for that, shouldn't I?!
Ringman: I'll look into what you guys talked about. If there's anything I find that proves your story, or mentions you in anyway, you'll be the first to know.
Drillman: Plotting against our benefactor, are you John?
Ringman: If he's plotting against us.
Magnetman: Any little bit helps, pardner. If nothing else, so Shadow can stop whining about Crorq.
Hardman: Worst comes to worst, if you get caught, we'll keep a spot in the Underground open for you. Next to the dump or something.
Sparkman: The whole place is a dump! We can't go back there! We can't!!
Needlegal: Let's go, Spark.
(Sparkman puts an electrode to Kalinka's throat.)
Sparkman: Make a move, and the blondie gets it!!
(Gunker comes up behind Sparkman and clobbers him.)
Gunker: Get hold of yourself.
Sparkman: ...Ugh, as much as I'm entitled to the pursuit of happiness, I can count on you guys to aid and abet its desperate escape from me...
Pharaoh Woman: Do not fear, your selfless labors will always live on within the hallowed walls of this kingdom. So, yeah. I can write you a letter of recommendation to your next master, if you want. You make a great royal servant girl!
Sparkman: ...Wait, wha-?
Snakeman: Well, everything turned out alright.
Needlegal: And we learned something too.
Hardman: That Kryptoman is an asshole? No shit.
Needlegal: We learned that poor communication kills. When Cossack tried too have us killed, we thought that the rest of the Comrades were in on his schemes and assumed they were the bad guys. Likewise, they took Cossack's word without asking for our side of the story and assumed we were the bad guys. If we had just sat down and compared notes 15 years ago, we'd have saved ourselves a lot of trouble.
Brightbabe: We didn't have any reason to believe Cossack was lying to us.
Needlegal: Come on! You thought for two seconds we'd side with General Cutman?!
Diveman: We could ask ya the same thing.
Needlegal: That's the point I'm trying to make!
Skullman: I do not understand the purpose of this verbal exercise.
Sparkman: Nobody does.
Topman: Well, until they save Cossack's colon and put it inside Ballade, we are...THE MECHANICAL MANIACS....!!
(Meanwhile, in another corner of the world...)
Porter C. Powell: So, Dr. Burke! How goes our research into our newly procured Super-Potential Laser/Energon Energy Negator?
Burke: Other than wishing you had come up with another name for it, outstanding.
(Burke points to a small device opening up a wormhole...)
Kryptoman: BAH! I could think of at least five different improvements you could make on this!
Porter: You? Make improvements on a device that opens wormholes?! Seems a little outside of your league, don't you think?
(Krypto's chest compartment opens up, revealing Cossack's brain.)
KryptoCossack: ...But not out of mine.
Porter: What on Earth?! What is that supposed to be?!
Burke: ...If I didn't know any better, I'd say it's Dr. Cossack...What's left of him...
KryptoCossack: Here's what I'm thinking, you scratch my back, and I scratch yours. Yes?
AM as Drill Man Sean as Dust Man Geoff as Dive Man
Jet as Bright Babe Hunter as Skull Man
John as Ring Man Avi as Pharaoh Woman Flippy as Toad Man
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