Series 9 Issue #8 - Time After Time Part 2


Reality has changed and only the ultra violent Ben (aka Hardman aka Fireman aka a whole lot of things) knows the truth. Unfortunately, nobody believes him and he's been committed to the Sunny Meadows Home for Disturbed Robots...

Iceman: So ... How are we going to make like McQueen and pull off our great escape?

Shadowman: Hm. Well, the good news is that Dr. Crorq probably hasn’t had time to install the shutdown code that he does with all patients. The only way he could legally do it is if Erik signed the necessary paperwork. 

Iceman: Uh oh...

Fireman: And why do I not like the sound of that? 

Iceman: Uh, the Doc said he had some paperwork to do and Erik had to sign a few forms so...

(The door slides open and Gaderham rolls in with Dynaman and Voltman as his escorts.)

Gaderham: Pardon me, gentlemen. Would you kindly stand aside, please? Dr. Crorq requested that I install the shutdown code into his operating system. 

Iceman: Ah, how about "no?" 

Gaderham: Then I am afraid I will need to have Dynaman and Voltman escort the two of you off the premises. 

Dynaman: Come on, I dare you to do somethin’ stupid. Two against two sounds like decent odds to me. 

Iceman: What do you say, G? Think we can take them on?

Shadowman: (Materializes a pair of Shadow Blades between his fingers) Maybe they should bring six more and we could call it a fair fight. 

Voltman: Oh, thems fighting words pilgrim. 

Gaderham: Just remember, no weapons! The last thing we need is another explosion. 

Dynaman: Why did they hire me, anyway?

(Dynaman advances upon the pair. Shadowman throws his Shadow Blades and Iceman fires his Ice Slasher but Voltman’s Force Field prevents them from reaching their targets.)

Fireman: (Struggles against his restraints) If you guys have any bright ideas...

Iceman: How about ... DUCK!

(A Rolling Cutter circles around from behind Voltman and snips off his right hand.)

Voltman: AIEEEEEEEE! (His Force Field drops.)

Cut Chan: I guess someone was not CUT out for this job.

Iceman: Well, we really have to HAND it to you, Britt. 

Fireman: Oh, how I missed your lame puns. (Looks to a charging Dynaman) Uh, Gary, G?

(Shadowman throws three Shadow Blades that strike Dynaman in the shoulder, torso, and knee joint. Dynaman stumbles and then teeters.)

Iceman: Let’s just CHILL for a while. (Throws a large Ice Slasher that throws Dynaman backward and freezes him to the wall.) 

Fireman: Oy, this is going to be "death by bad puns", isn’t it?

Shadowman: Afraid so. What about Gaderham? 

(Cut Chan notices Voltman’s hand skitter past and picks it up.)

Cut Chan: Hey, Wheels, catch! (Tosses it onto Gaderham’s face where it latches on.)

Gaderham: GAH! (Spins around erratically and then rolls off into the hallway and bumps into the walls like a pinball.)

Iceman: So why didn’t you go with Erik?

Cut Chan: Let’s see, alien craft vs. escape from the loony bin? Not a hard choice. 

Iceman: Are we that predictable?

Fireman: If you two are finished...

Cut Chan: Oh, right. (Snips Ben’s restraints) That should do it.

Fireman: (Gets back on his feet) Ah, sweet freedom. 

Iceman: If we’re done here. Let’s make like a hockey player and get the PUCK out of here.

Shadowman: (Sigh) Let’s just go. 

(The group bolts out of the room and races through the halls of Sunny Meadows when the alarm sounds off. They keep running until Mesmerman appears.)

Fireman: Oh great, this guy. 

Mesmerman: I’m afraid I can’t let you leave. (Attempts to hypnotize them) But you don’t want to leave...

Fireman: (Tries to look away, but finds himself drawn to it) Do you have any ninja tricks, G?

Mesmerman: You are all under my power...

Iceman and Cut Chan: We are under your power...

Shadowman: I think I have one. (Pulls out a Shadow Blade about his size) How about this?

(Shadowman jumps in between Mesmerman and the others. Mesmerman unintentionally looks into his own reflection in the massive Shadow Blade and enters into a trance.)

Mesmerman: I am in your power...

Iceman: (Shakes his head and comes to his senses) In our power, huh? You are a platypus and you don’t do much. (Snaps fingers.)

(Mesmerman drops onto all fours and purrs like a platypus.)

Shadowman: A platypus, really?

Iceman: (Snickers) I always wanted to do that. 

Fireman: Hh. Gotta say, he's a lot more formidable in the main timeline.

(The four continue their daring escape and the end is within sight when they come to a door that leads to the outside. Their problem is a simple one...)

Fireman: Locked... great. I wish we swiped a key from Voltman or Mesmerman.

Cut Chan: So how are we going to get out of here?

(A hauntingly familiar face jumps out in front of Fireman from the adjacent room.)

Gasman: Hi, I’m the new robot master, Gasman!

Fireman: Oh dear lord, not you aga-

(The resulting explosion destroys the hallway and blows a whole in the wall.)

Shadowman: (Coughs) Is everyone okay? 

Iceman: Still here and kicking.

Cut Chan: All parts present and accounted for.

Fireman: (Gets up with only a few scuff marks) I... miraculously survived. 

Shadowman: Well, let’s get out of here while we still can. I know where we can hide out.

(Meanwhile, in downtown Megalopolis, minions and grunts from at least a half-dozen universes swarm our heroes and Quint’s time craft.)

Magnetman: (Shoots down a horde of BBats) Anyone have any idea where these carpetbaggers are comin’ from? 

Snakeman: If I had to guess... the giant enemy crabs are from the Metroid universe: the robots are from the Badnik Horde on Mobius, and the alligators are from Kongoland.

Elecman: (Fries a Kremling) Oh, that’s just great. Why would they be working together?

Gutsman: Who knows? Just keep hitting them. (Stomps on a Redz, and then picks up a Stegway before crushing it with his hands.) 

Needlegal: Um, guys? Check it out. 

(The Space Pirates are occupied with securing Quint’s craft and chain it to a herd of Stegways.)

Space Pirate: Arrrrr! Move it ya landlubbers! The queen wants the interloper’s ship!

Stegway: Do you really have to speak like a walking stereot-(The pirate commander whips him) OW!

Space Pirate: Arrrr! Quit yer jawin’ and start movin’ ya dog!

Stegway: But I’m a triceratops-(Whipped again) YEOW!

(The Stegways begin to drag the craft towards the warp zone.)

Needlegal: Don’t let them get away. Hardman!

Hardman: Nnnnnnh?

Needlegal: Clear a path for us!

Hardman: Nnnnnnh!

(Hardman mindlessly plows a path through the horde towards the craft. The rest of the heroes follow until another figure emerges from the warp zone.)

King Hippo: What’s takin’ you guys so long? Mother Brain wants that time machine yesterday!

Bombman: Hey! Who’s the lard bucket?

King Hippo: (Turns to him) What did you call me?!

Bombman: What’s the matter? Got a drumstick stuck in your ear? You’re fat, Fatty McWhale!

King Hippo: RARGH! I’ll teach ya’ to make fun of me! (Charges at Bombman.)

Bombman: Yikes! (Jumps out of the way and throws a bomb at King Hippo.) 

(Bombman throws a bomb at the flabby boxer, only for it to bounce off his stomach.)

Bombman: See? Fat! 

King Hippo: (Starts beating his chest) RARGH! 

Gutsman: (To Needle) You guys secure Quint’s time machine. We’ll take care of Flabby, here.

Needlegal: Right!

Elecman: Hey King Rhino! Your epidermis is showing! 

King Hippo: What? (Looks down, only to get punched in the face by Gutsman.) 

Gutsman: Wow. You sure don’t need brains to get into Punch Out, do you?

King Hippo: (Seeing stars for a moment and then shakes his head) Hey! Show the champ the proper respect!

Gutsman: Didn’t a dwarf knock you out in the last tournament?

King Hippo: He got lucky! (Punches back, only to feel a sharp sting when his fist hits Gutsman’s armor) OW!

Gutsman: Yeah, metal’s hard. The more you know!

Oilman: And knowing’s half the battle!

Elecman: No one asked you!

(While the Six keep King Hippo busy, the Mechs descend upon the horde dragging Quint’s craft.)

Needlegal: (Slows them with a barrage from her Needle Cannon) Hey guys! Don’t tell us you’re leaving! The fun’s only beginning. 

Space Pirate: Arrrrrr... (Fires his eye beams at Needle) Mind yer own business, lass, and let this be a lesson to ye.

(Needlegal dodges and then "Gentleman" Mags fires back with his revolvers.)

Magnetman: Brave words from someone who’s runnin’ away with their tail tucked between their legs.

Topman: (Spins towards a pair of the intergalactic buccaneers and knocks them over) Are all of you so-called pirates this pathetic? 

Space Pirate: (Swipes at Topman) Big words comin’ from a runt like you. 

(While the three keep the contingent of Space Pirates busy, the other Mech focus on dispatching the Stegways. )

Spark Chan: Let’s see if we can stun them. 

Geminiman: Be my guest. 

(Spark fires a Spark Shot at a Stegway; the Badnik overloads and explodes, which releases the animal inside. It blissfully scurries off.)

Spark Chan: I admit that I didn’t see that coming.

Snakeman: Yeah, I heard Dr. Robotnik liked to use animals as batteries.

Spark Chan: Then this is rescue operation, then? 

Geminiman: I suppose so. 

Spark Chan: Save the animals, then!

(Spark Chan fires Spark Shots at the Stegways and frees the animals trapped inside. When the other Badniks notice this, they converge upon the group.)

BBat: Avenge our fallen comrades!

Redz: Avenge Stegway!

Snakeman: Oh boy, here we go. 

(Snakeman and Geminiman Red join in and fire on the mechanical t-rexes and bats. One of the Kremlings charges towards the group.)

Klump: WHAT THE CENSORED ARE YOU DOING?!

Spark Chan: Hardman, could you give us a little help please, hun?

Hardman: Nnnnnnh.

(Hardman picks Klump up and throws him at the Space Pirates, who are preoccupied with fighting off the remaining Mechs. The morbidly obese reptile lands on one pirate and crushes it under his girth.)

*CRUNCH!*

Space Pirate 1: AIEEEEEEE!

(At that time, dozens of officer bots descend upon the scene to assist the heroes.)

Space Pirate 2: Yar! We’re outnumbered and outgunned. Time to bid a hasty retreat.

Space Pirate 3: What about King Hippo?

(They turn to watch Gutsman fell a bruised King Hippo with a couple more jabs.)

Space Pirate 2: Arrrrr, tis too late for him. To the warp zone! RETREAT!

(The Space Pirates, Kremlings, and the remaining Badnik Horde make a mad dash for the warp zone, which closes after the last Kremling flees.)

Bombman: I wonder what that was about.

Needlegal: Well, Quint must’ve had something in his time machine that they wanted. Information maybe? 

Gutsman: (Hefts an unconscious King Hippo over his shoulder) Well, Let’s take it to Light Labs and see if Roll or Brain Bot can give us some insight 

Elecman: And what about Flabby?

Gutsman: I’m sure we can get him to talk. Just get me a German chocolate cake...

Needlegal: A German chocolate cake.

Gutsman: Just trust me on this.

(Elsewhere, in the warehouse district of the city, Fireman and his entourage arrive at a familiar building that appears somewhat different than remembered.)

Fireman: "Rock’s Bar?" What happened to Hadrian?

Shadowman: Oh, he retired from the Mechs, married Cassandra, and sold his bar. I hear they have kids now. What happened to him in your timeline? 

Fireman: Cassandra died and he was "fired" from the Mechs before I took his job. That’s all I can remember. I was offline for most of it and never bothered to look into the details. 

Iceman: Yeesh, your timeline is such a dismal place. 

Fireman: You have no idea, Gary. 

(They enter a mostly-empty bar (because it is so early in the day) with the Ruby-Spears version of Megaman at the bar.)

Megaman: Hey guys! What’s shaking?

Iceman: Mind if we lay low here for a little bit, Rock? 

Megaman: Not at all--my place is your place. Mind if I ask why?

Cut Chan: We liberated Ben from the loony bin and the robot masters in white coats are looking for him.

Megaman: So, nothing out of the unusual?

Fireman: Hey!

Cut Chan: Nope-well, we learned the Muffin Man was real until Ben turned him into a pile of ash. 

Megaman: Cool. Well, go ahead and make yourselves at home. I’ll just-

(A loud boom echoes from the back.)

Megaman: Sizzling circuits! What was that? 

(The group rushes to the inventory room. Megaman opens the door to find some unexpected visitors. All of them are battered and worse for the wear. The most prominent of them is a teenager clad in a red and white letterman jacket.)

Megaman: Who in the name of Asimov are you?!

Captain N: My name is Kevin Keene, but you can call me Captain N: The Game Master... and ... wait, Megaman? 

Megaman: Yeah, that’s my name. Don’t wear it out. 

Captain N: That’s impossible! Because...

(The classic version of Megaman steps up from behind the captain.)

Megaman (R-S): Sizzling circuits!

Fireman: Is that going to be your catchphrase? If so, I’m going to need an aspirin. 

Megaman (Classic): What happened? I know the Super Genesis Wave altered our worlds but I never thought it’d create another "me."

Megaman (R-S): Hey! I’m the real deal. 

Megaman (Classic): Are not!

Megaman (R-S): Are too!

Shadowman: Enough! We’re going to need to differentiate the two of you before we can continue this conversation. 

Captain N: Yeah. Our Megaman can be "Megaman 1", and you can be "Megaman 2."

Megaman (R-S): There is no way I am going to be second to short stuff over there! 

Megaman (Classic): Wanna take this outside? 

Megaman (R-S): You’re on!

Shadowman: If you two are finished... how about we call him "Megaman 1", and you can be "Megaman A." Does that sound okay?

Megaman A: I guess...

Cut Chan: Yeesh. We got Megamans "1" and "A?" What’s next? Megaman X and Megaman Zero?

Fireman and Iceman: ...

Cut Chan: What? 

Fireman: Ah, you’ll see... in a hundred years.

Shadowman: ANYWAY. Who are your friends? 

Captain N: The guy in the red cap and overalls is Mario from Mushroom World.

Mario: It’s a me!

Captain N: The babe in armor is Samus Aran, bounty hunter for the Galactic Federation.

Samus: For the millionth time! Call me "babe" one more time and I will castrate you.

Cut Chan: A winning personality, that one.

Captain N: We got Pit and Simon Belmont from Angel Land and Castlevania. 

Pit: Hello.

Simon: (Reaches over and kisses Cut Chan on the hand) Charmed, milady.

Cut Chan: Why...

(Iceman pulls out his mallet and conks Simon on the head. The vampire hunter drops to floor with a large, red bump pulsating from his stylized blonde haircut.)

Simon: Durrrrrrrr...

Iceman: Hands off, blondie!

Captain N: Yikes! Anyway... there's the Hero of Time, Link.

Link: (...)

Iceman: Talkative, isn't he?

Captain N: And finally, Sonic the Hedgehog...

Sonic: 'Sup?

Captain N: ...and Shadow.

Shadow: Hmph.

(Ben starts laughing)

Cut Chan: Uh, Ben?

Shadow: (Growls) Do I amuse you? 

Fireman: Oh, I just remembered the last time I saw "Mr. Ultimate Lifeform" here. You had to be there to get it.

Cut Chan: I'll just take your word for it.

Megaman 1: Can we get to business, please? The fate of all worlds depend on all of us!

Megaman A: Geez, why do you have to be so serious? 

Megaman 1: Because one of us has to!

Shadowman: ANYWAY... What happened? You said the fate of all worlds depends on us.

Sonic: The abridged version of it is Mother Brain came to my world and contacted Eggman to help him rebuild the Super Genesis Wave so they could remake all worlds in their image.

Pit: They enlisted all of our enemies: Medusa, Dracula, Ganon, Bowser...

Iceman: Not Wily?

Fireman: Wily was already dead in my timeline. I'm guessing they didn't enlist Sigma because the X-Force timeline was erased with him along with it. 

Shadowman: Wily's dead too? Would it be quicker for you to tell us who isn't dead where you come from?

Fireman: (Shrug) Look, he's human, right? It was gonna happen eventually, though I dunno how it actually did. I was adrift in space when it happened.

Megaman 1: Dr. Light went into seclusion and I went into retirement until the Captain convinced me to take up the armor again and help stop the alliance of evil. 

Fireman: Wait, you're the Megaman from my timeline!?

Megaman 1: ...Was that not clear?

Fireman: Man, nothing's clear to me today! It's good to have a little more evidence that I'm not crazy though.

Shadowman: So what happened? Did you try to stop them? 

Samus: We did. We stormed the gates of Tourian with every ally we could recruit, but they knew we were coming and their armies slowed us enough to activate the Super Genesis Wave. 

Mario: We-a managed to escape by opening a warp zone to Megaland ... but we-a saw your world already got-a changed.

Fireman: So more timey-wimey stuff. The other end of the warp zone must've opened a nanosecond after the wave hit our world. 

Cut Chan: What exactly is this Genesis Wave thing you keep talking about?

Shadow: It's a machine that warps time and space that requires the power of all seven Chaos Emeralds to alter the multiverse...

Sonic: ...except Eggman and his new pals gathered alternate talismans of power. 

Link: (...) (Pantomimes the Triforce.)

Pit: Palutena's Sacred Treasures. 

Mario: And those-a thieves stole all of the Power Stars from Peach's castle!

Fireman: Holy crap! I hope someone was taking notes.

Shadowman: (Puts a notepad away) Don't worry, I was.

Captain N: We're going to invade Mother Brain's hideout on Planet Zebes. We have a couple guys on the inside. Then we can save the princesses -

Fireman: Plural?

Captain N: Lana, Toadstool, Zelda, Sally ... you know, the usual.

Samus: "The usual." *humph*

Bubsy: That's right, team! What could possibly go wrong?

(Everyone suddenly notices Bubsy.)

Shadowman: And he's here because...?

Bubsy: Because I'm the greatest , the fastestest, the cleverestest, -

Simon: He's just an annoying stowaway.

Pit: Annoyingus to the maximus!

Bubsy: Awww, you guuuuuuys.

Iceman: Allow me.

(Iceman flattens Bubsy with a mallet and the cat starts folding in and out like an accordion. Ice quickly flattens him and stuffs him into a beer cooler under the bar.)

Sonic: That takes care of one problem (hopefully for good this time.)

Shadowman: Now for another. Let's see how our friends are handling the latest incursion. I assume it has something to do with your own troubles.

(Shadowman calls Needlegal while the heroes mill about.)

Iceman: One thing's bugging me, Benno. Why do only you remember things that happened in the previous reality?

Fireman: Probably because my timeline's extremely messed up. Maybe I'll be rebooted to fit into this one too eventually - who knows? And you know what? I hope so. This timeline's a paradise!

Iceman: I think "paradise" is overstating things. I was nearly killed by Red and was brought back by luck more than anything else. Not to mention your home timeline being obliterated.

Fireman: Oh? Those things still happened?

Iceman: Darn right! I really didn't think we'd survive any of that.

Fireman: That does suck, but I take it you've never heard of General Cutman? Or Mesmerman either, for that matter?

Iceman: No, I haven't.

Fireman: They ruined everything.

Shadowman: You're torturing King Hippo for information!?

Fireman: Aw, looks like I missed something fun.

Needlegal: Yeah, but probably not the way you're thinking.

King Hippo: Stop it! Stop it!! You're killin' me!!!

Gutsman: Oh, I dunno. I think yer holding out on us. That means no chocolate for you.

Hardman: Nnnnnnnh!

King Hippo: But - come on! I'm starvin' here and German chocolate is my favorite!

Topman: You're buffoons. The whole lot of you.

Shadowman: Oh, I see. (Shadowman sighs and hangs up the phone.)

Iceman: Any news?

Shadowman: Not really. King Hippo just confirmed what we already knew: these jokers changed reality.

Fireman: Shoulda just let me wail on the guy.

Cut Chan: (After coming back shaking her head after a conversation with Simon) I just got off the phone with Timegirl. She and Brain Bot have been working with Mayor Light on Quint's time machine, but can't make heads nor tails of it. It looks like we're stuck.

Shadowman: We have to come up with a plan.

Iceman: I think those guys are taking care of that part.

Shadowman: Wait, what?

(A flash of light emits from the strange glove worn by Captain N and a loud voice booms into the small room.)

Nth: Time grows short, my emissaries! Have you found the keyhole to this world yet?

Fireman: Hey, is that .. ? It is! Hey, Nth!

Captain N: Not yet. We just got here.

Sonic: It's hard to find the dang things without Sora around.

Nth: It would help stop our enemies from corrupting this land further. Nevertheless, we need to get ready to move on to the next world.

Shadow: I'll stick around and check things out.

Fireman: Hey! Hey! Over here!

Nth: Holy crap, Ben!? Look, I don't have time to catch up, I have a whole "resistance army" thing I'm doing.

Fireman: But - It's me!

Captain N: Do you guys know each other?

Nth: Yes, obviously. Look, Ben, I wish we had time to have a drink and reminisce about old times, but I've located Mother Brain's homeworld. She's amassed an army and it's time we made our move!

Fireman: What, already!?

Captain N: You kinda came in at the tail end of this mission.

Megaman 1: Feel free to come along, though.

Megaman A: I absolutely will! I can do anything you can do, after all.

Iceman: Sometimes these things don't revolve around us.

Fireman: (Mumble grumble.)

Nth: Prepare yourselves!

(In a flash, the heroes are transported to Planet Zebes, at a back entrance to Mother Brain's base.)

TO BE CONTINUED

Cast:

Classi Cal as .....
Spark Chan
Raijin as .....
Snakeman
Psycho Magnet as .....
Needlegal
Ben as .....
Hardman
    Nightmare as .....
Topman
Lennon as .....
Geminiman
Sheriff (Kassidy) Mags as .....
Magnetman
Gauntlet as .....
Shadowman

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