Series 9 Issue #9 - Time After Time Part 3

Reality has changed thanks to the machinations of Mother Brain and her Alliance of Evil! Under the leadership of Captain N (wha?) the heroes are teleported by the otherworldly Nth to her lair on planet Zebes.

Fireman: Hey! Hey!!! Nth totally ignored me!

Shadowman: Let it go.

Fireman: He played ping pong with my life and he totally ignored me! Me!!

Shadowman: The whole world doesn't have to revolve around you.

Fireman: Yes it does!! It does and you know it!

Cut Chan: Quiet down, Fire, we're trying to sneak around here.

Fireman: Hey, who's Captain N talking to?

Iceman: It looks like Bowser and Dedede.

Fireman: Let's get closer.

Bowser: ... And the Go Kart races we used to have. That's gone too. And how about those mass brawls?

Dedede: Yeah, I liked those less than you did.

Bowser: Mwah hah hah. Aw, man. Good times, good times.

Pit: You were never that good at those.

Dedede: I thought ruling the world would be great, but it's all just paperwork!

Shadowman: Looks like they're friendlier than expected, they're even handing us a map of the area.

Link: (...) (Holds a map up high in the air.)

Mario: That's-a good work, Bowser. But, we don't really want you getting in trouble on our account, so ... maybe we should make it look like we forced you two to help us out.

Dedede: What?

Samus: Oh, I agree.

Sonic: Great thinking, guys.

Bowser: Um, guys?

Pit: It'll be like old times.

(Pit, Mario, Samus, and Sonic all beat up on Bowser and Dedede while Captain N and the others hatch a plan.)

Fireman: I think I'm in the wrong group.

Shadowman: Focus, Ben.

Iceman: Yeah, focus!

Captain N: It's time we split into groups. Pit, Mario, Link, and both Megamen - I want you guys to free the Princesses.

Megaman 1: Great idea. You'll definitely need a Megaman in the group to get the job done.

Megaman A: Yeah, and that's why I'm in the group.

Simon: I say, shouldn't I go with the group saving princesses?

Captain N: No, I need you and a few other heavy hitters to go with me to stop Mother Brain.

Simon: Hm. Yes, you do need me to do that, don't you?

Cut Chan: Sounds like we'll get to be in the big fight, at least.

Fireman: Yeah, but still.

(The teams split up and the "boss fight team" quickly runs into hordes of enemies.)

Iceman: It'd be nice if they could wait their turn like good little bad guys!

Cut Chan: We're not in a Final Fantasy game.

Samus: I don't suppose you planned for this?

Captain N: Sure did! We go out there and give it our all!!

Samus: *groan*

Link: (Throws hands up in exasperation.)

Fireman: FINALLY! A chance to really cut loose!

(Fireman runs headfirst into the fray knocking down creatures of all kinds as he goes on a rampage.)

Shadowman: He's really ... really violent today, isn't he?

Iceman: Yeah, I dunno what went on in his alternate reality, but he really seems to want to cut loose.

Cut Chan: Which is fine by me in this case.

Fireman: Mwah hah hah hah!! Nobody's gonna tell me to hold back this time!

(Fireman blasts away Goombas, Badniks, Kremlings, and many others. An explosion can be heard and a massive hand races in to confront the heroes.)

Captain N: It's Master Hand!

(Fireman blasts at the thing while the others lay ground support.)

Iceman: It'll take a lot more than foot soldiers to stop us.

Sonic: I think they have something bigger in mind.

Eggman: You noticed, haven't you, you blue rat?

(Eggman blasts at Sonic, but winds up hitting Iceman as the hedgehog dodges.)

Iceman: Ouchies!

Sonic: Too slow, Robuttnick!

Mother Brain: Take them all down, my minion! Do it for the glory of Mother Brain!!!

Eggplant Wizard: Will do, your royal braininess!

(Eggplant Wizard fires magical rays everywhere and manages to turn Pit into an Eggplant.)

Eggplant Wizard: Just like old times.

Iceman: (While riding in on an ice wave and firing Ice Slashers at the wizard) Hey, pumpkin-head, looks like you're facing off against the one and only Iceman!

Eggplant Wizard: I'm not a pumpkin!

Iceman: Feeling cold? You want a candle in your mouth to warm you up?

Eggplant Wizard: Why you ... I'm no pumpkin!

(Eggplant Wizard fires off blast after blast.)

Eggplant Wizard: Take that! And that! After I turn you into a zucchini I'll turn your pink coated girlfriend into a squash!

(Eggplant wizard gets his head chopped off by a Rolling Cutter.)

Cut Chan: What's this about a "pink coated girlfriend"!?

Iceman: He got me confused with someone else! Honest!

Ridley: Get off me!!!

Fireman: Make me!!!

(Ice and Cut look up to see Fire riding Ridley and driving the dragon into the ground.)

Mother Brain: Don't just stand there, you incompetent fools! Get them!

Medusa: I'll stop them all right in their tracks.

Dracula: While I find that cursed vampire hunter and turn foe to friend.

Shadowman: We're out-gunned and outnumbered.

Fireman: Just my kind of odds.

Shadowman: We have to stop the Genesis Wave Generator. The best way is to sneak around the battle.

Fireman: Sneak!? Oh - but - but - dammit! But I wanna break stuff! You haven't changed at all!

Shadowman: Good. There's a generator to break anyway, so focus!

(A figure slams Shadowman across the field of battle.)


Iceman: Who!?

Fireman: Princess!? Here!?

Princess: "Fireman!? Here!?"

(Princess blasts Fireman and Iceman away.)

Princess: The whole lot of you are going down.

Gannon: (Teleporting beside Princess) Ahhh, good work, Princess! I must say, you are a rare creature.

Princess: Back off you, or I'll turn you to bacon!

Gannon: Well excuuuuse me, Princess! (Teleports away.)

Princess: Now, where were we? Ah, yes. You know, I don't really care about ether of you guys, but this person - Shadowman - has stood in my way for the last time!

Shadowman: I don't know what you're talking about.

Princess: Don't play dumb with me, fuckwit!!

(Princess blasts at Shadowman, but he evades it by leaping into a shadow.)

Iceman: The language on this lady!

Fireman: She seems to remember the old timeline. I guess her dimensional status was as screwed up as mine.

Princess: Spoiler alert, kids: I'm gonna rip your spine out and make you EAT IT!

(Princess is knocked from behind by two powerful electric attacks.)

Spark Chan: How unladylike.

Elecman: And downright rude.

Fireman: Guys! You made it!

Geminiman: Obviously.

Magnetman: The good doctor got Quint's time machine working. Late we may be, but we're ready to fight.

Bombman: And not a moment too soon, it seems.

(Bombman is leapt upon by a familiar foe.)

General Cutman: The Sinister Six and Mechanical Maniacs. I really didn't expect to see you here.

Fireman: General Cutman!?

Iceman: Wait, you mean Bombman's little toy?

Bombman: I hate irony.

General Cutman: I'm nobody's toy.

(Princess flies into Elec and Spark Chan and tosses them like rag dolls.)

Princess: Actually, I'm pretty sure these guys are Gamma's Disciples.

Shadowman: No, we're the Mechanical Maniacs!

General Cutman: You're dead, that's what you - Nnnnngh!

(General Cutman is lifted into the air by a visibly annoyed Magnetman.)

Magnetman: Now, I say son, you think mighty highly of yourself, don'tcha?

(Magnetman is blasted away by Princess.)

Princess: The man's a genius! If anyone can be arrogant he can!

General Cutman: Hmph.

(Fireman roars and tries to tackle the General, but he easily evades.)

Fireman: YOU!! How are you back!? You were killed - once and for all!

General Cutman: Kyah hah hah hah hah! Someone like you could never keep someone like me down.

Fireman: It's YOUR fault! You ruined EVERYTHING!

(The General tosses his Rolling Cutter at Fire, but a wall of ice appears around the blade - and between Ben and the General.)

Iceman: Ben - focus! I don't know what he did in your timeline, but we have bigger fish to fry.

Shadowman: That's right - the Super Genesis Wave generator.

(Fireman looks all around him. Eggman had sent several incarnations of Metal Sonic on Sonic and Shadow (who had rejoined the group at some point) to keep them from using Chaos control. Dracula seemed to have bested Simon Belmont while Link was still battling Gannon. King K.Rool was attacking Mario, and Master Hand was tossing anyone in his way all over the place.)

Mother Brain: You can't win N-Team! This time it's Mother Brain who'll laugh longest! MWAAHHH HAH HAH HAH HAH!

(Mother Brain is attacked by Samus, but Metroids keep getting in her way.)

Fireman: The princesses seem to be holding their own.

Princess: What!? Those bitches escaped. I'll show them!! If I can't be a Disney Princess I'll sure as fuck be a video game pricness! The best one EVER!!!

(Princess flies off while the General continues his assault against the S6 and the Mechs.)

General Cutman: It's a pity Red opted out of our grand scheme. As I understand it he and I share similar origins. How he could have lost to pathetic morons like you, I can't even imagine.

(Magnetman once again tries to "grab" Cutman, but is repelled.)

General Cutman: Nuh uh uh. There was a Magnetman where I came from too and I found an answer to his powers too. And you were there too!

(General Cutman rounds on Britt and plunges his Rolling Cutters into the startled robot.)

Cut Chan: Aieeee!

Iceman: Britt!

General Cutman: I know you're not the same Cut Chan as in my home universe, but this will be oh so satisfying just the same.

Elecman: You ... You ...

Fireman: GET OFF HER!

(Fireman then transforms into Hardman and uses a fiery Hard Knuckle attack to slam a startled General Cutman away.)

General Cutman: Ughhhh. How!? (General Cutman collapses, the Hard Knuckle being super effective against the Cutman model.)

Hardman: I ... have no idea.

Iceman: Then it's true... you really did become Hardman in some wacky alternate reality.

Shadowman: So, Magma Dragoon, Fireman, Hardman, and Heatman ... tell me, are you just trying to overdo it or is it just a special thing you do?

Hardman: Eh, it's a gift.

Elecman: Oi and Oi future friends. I couldn't help but overhearing the exchange.

Iceman: Andon!? Wait, why am I surprised? You were always here.

Elecman: Indeed so, my confused friend. It seems as if there's a great degree of chronal instability in the region. I think that may have given Ben here access to some of his multitude of forms.

Hardman: Sweet!

Elecman: Although I must say that you should really stick to one identity, my friend. Moonlighting on so many teams can't be very good for anyone. Certainly it has to split your concentration -

Hardman: Nonsense!

Fireman: Wait. Who's moonlighting? What's going on here!?

Hardman: Wait ... why're there two of us?

(The entire world rumbles as reality compensates for the disruption.)

Fireman: What was that? I should be over my hangover by now.

Magnetman: Baka. Drinking all the time ... you don't take your job seriously enough!

Geminiman: I don't know why but something made reality unravel just a bit more.

Hardman: My bad.

Sparkman: Why am I not surprised?

Hardman: What, who are you!?

Shadowman: Leon, obviously! Wait. Wasn't he Elecman just a second ago?

Iceman: It's the Super Genesis Wave! It's doing this to all of us.

Snakeman: Then why are we here chatting!? Let's move!

(The S6 and the Mechs fan out, taking out wave after wave of opposition.)

Hardman: What a sec ... if I have all my powers, then ... Ben warp to: Magma Dragoon Perfect! The Fires of Compassion!

Magma Dragoon: Sweet! It's Hammer Time!

(Ben happily squashes Goombas and eats Kremlings that dare stand in his way.)

Elecman: "Fires of Compassion"? Oi, what an inappropriate catchphrase.

Magma Dragoon: What? I'm plenty compassionate! I'm compassionately ending their useless lives.

(The area shakes as reality once more trembles.)

Hardman: Ben!! Quit muckin' about wit' time, ya mook!

Magma Dragoon: Screw you!

Iceman: I want in! Gary warp to: Split Mushroom Perfect! The Spores of Humor!


Iceman: Nothing happened.

Shadowman: (Chucking a Shadowblade at Iceman) Just as well. What were you thinking?

Iceman: Ouchies!

Magma Dragoon: Heh, I guess it was just never meant to be.

Sparkman: Enough with the mushy feelings and more with the action! We aren't out of the woods yet!

Mother Brain: What!? Some fools are getting through to the generator! Stop them!

Captain N: Wait, what!? When did those guys take charge?

Megaman A: Who cares as long as they help get things in order?

Megaman 1: Keep on going, guys! We'll hold these guys off.

Captain N: But it's supposed to be me!

Lana: Don't be jealous. You'll always be my hero!

(The Mechs and the S6 make their way past the video game hordes and into the Genesis Wave generator room only to be faced with even more enemies.)

Snakeman: There's no end to them!

General Cutman: That's correct! The universe will belong to me!!

???: To ME!!

(General Cutman staggers back and a purple glow briefly flashes in his eyes.)

General Cutman: Nnnnggh. Either way, a world just for robots. All humans will be obliterated ... humans and traitors!

Magma Dragoon: You ... You turned me into a monster!

(Reality rumbles as Ben shifts into Heatman.)

Heatman: You! You made me into a monster! I'll fry you into slag!!

(Heatman throws flames at the surprised General.)

Shadowman: Whoa!! Is that ... was that what this "General Cutman" guy turned Ben into?

Iceman: No wonder he was depressed.

General Cutman: You ... you look just like the Heatman from my world.

Heatman: That's right. And now ... I'll burn you up!! Consumeret Omnia!

(Heatman unleashes uncontrollable flames.)

Oilman: Wahhh!

(Iceman puts up a wall of ice.)

Iceman: Control yourself, Ben!

Heatman: What? Gary? Is that you?

Iceman: Yes.

Heatman: It's ... so hard to think. There's something I want... something that'll clear my head... GAAHHH!

(Ben collapses in pain as General Cutman roars in laughter.)

General Cutman: Kyah hah hah hah hah! You really are one of mine, aren't you? And you'll do as I say. Kill my enemies and you'll get what you want. Sweet release from the pain.

Heatman: I ... I ...

Iceman: Don't do it. You can't really ...

Heatman: I won't be controlled by you or anyone!

(Heatman blasts General Cutman. The General tries to get away, but is held back by a mysterious force and is incinerated by the fire.)

Heatman: That was cathartic. You really were Nth this whole time, weren't you?

Iceman: That's right, buddy. I was there with you every step of the way.

Shadowman: Holy crap, what the hell was that?

???: A minor setback. I can revive the General between the seconds of time and you cannot stop me, even in that form.

(Plumes of purple energy emerge from the collected items of power and resolves into Trio.)

Cut Chan: Who's that?

Heatman: I have no idea.

Sparkman: It's Trio! How could you forget about him?

Iceman: That's right - Trio. Mother Brain made a deal with it to boost the power of her Sonic Wave Generator using its Evil Energy.

Trio: Indeed. I had outgrown the council, just as I'm outgrowing Mother Brain's cabal. I have a direct link to her power and will use it to claim all of reality, as I lay claim to Monsteropolis!

Shadowman: What?

Heatman: I know for a fact that didn't happen!

Trio: You must be from my relative past. When you disrupt time everything gets mixed up. Those who come outside of time are like leaves floating on a pond. You're one such example, "Heatman," as is the other-dimensional Princess and General Cutman. We had approached Iceman Red as well, but that one only wanted destruction. We left him to his fate.

Shadowman: And you don't?

Trio: Not at all! How can I claim anything if it's ripped to shreds? I just want things shifted to my liking. Your home reality has already been tenderized ... it won't take much to make it as malleable as clay!

Iceman: Not if I can help it.

Trio: I don't see how any of you can stop me. I have complete control of all the items of power.

Heatman: Yeah, you're hooked into them, but you're not the only one with that power. I saw Robuttnik trying to keep Sonic and Shadow at bay. And why is that? Chaos Control, that's what!

Trio: Hah, and what of that?

Heatman: They aren't the only Mobians around here!

(In a flash, Ben changes his form into Pyro Da Fox.)

Needlegal: Wait, Ben was that fox creature this entire time!?

Geminiman: Disgusting!

Pyro: Hey!!

Shadowman: Oh, riiiiiiight. That's what I forgot!

Hardman: You and your shitty memory.

Iceman: Go on, Ben!

Pyro: Gimma a lift, won'tcha Hard?

Hardman: You bet, little buddy.

Trio: No!!

(Pyro rides Hadrian's Hard Knuckle and reaches the interior. Trio can only watch as Pyro absorbs not only the power of the Chaos Emeralds, but the Triforce, Palutena’s Sacred Treasures, and the 120 Power Stars, becoming SOLAR PYRO. With the power of the added talismans, he is now as powerful as Red was, if not more.)

Pyro: I feel as powerful as Red, if not more!

Trio: You can't! I won't let you. I AM the energy you've absorbed. I have as much control over you as I had over General Cutman and all the others who've attempted to use what's mine.

(Purple energy surrounds Pyro as Trio struggles for control.)

Pyro: I lost this fight once. I let sadness and grief overwhelm me until it was all I could see. I won't let it happen again!

(Trio screams in rage as a white light consumes the room and the multiverse itself begins to collapse. Trio and the Alliance of Evil disappear, then the N-Team, then the S6, and the Mechs. Cut-Chan disappears as well, but not before declaring her love for Ice. It is now just Ice, Shadowman, and an increasingly unstable Solar Pyro.)

Shadowman: Ben? Is this your idea of fixing things?

Pyro: No. Not yet, anyway.

Shadowman: Well? What are you waiting for?

Pyro: It was ... almost right.

Shadowman: What was?

Iceman: I don't think I like the sound of this.

Pyro: The world, Shadow! The world was almost like it's supposed to be. Everything was brighter. Better. No General Cutman, no War. You - you were alive, Ice. I have the power now. I can remake the world like Trio did - just better than it was! No General Cutman, No Red! No pompous blowhard telling us what to do or two-bit fakes claiming the Sinister Six name! All that goes into the trash. We'll all be back - just like we're supposed to. The entire X-Force timeline back the way it was. Chibi Dragoon can be like he was and have a real future!

Iceman: You have to put things back the way they were, Ben.

Pyro: NO!! You don't get it. That means you die!

Iceman: I know.

Pyro: That means hundreds die! A whole timeline dies! Neo too - he was a funny little tyke. Didn't deserve what he got.

Iceman: I know. This version of me knows a lot more than the one you're used to and has a lot more experience. You have to let it go. Resetting everything the way it was isn't what you really want. Everything changes.

Pyro: In my perfect world, it won't. You'll be just the same like you always were. Everything will be the same! There's no God or justice, so I'll step up and make sure that ... that ...

Iceman: Aw, Ben.

Pyro: I ... I sound just like Red. And Trio. I didn't erase everything, but I'm sure ready to reshape things the way I want 'em to be.

Iceman: I know. It's tempting. But we can't rewrite our lives like we write stories. We can't just wish things were the way we want and we definitely can't impose our will on reality. It's okay to be sad and to ... to miss me when I'm gone. But you need to move forward.

Shadowman: It's true. I'm sure it can't be so bad where you're from. It can't be. You can do it, Ben. You can move forward and grow. You always did come through when it counted, even if you were violent and stubborn -

Pyro: Heh.

Shadowman: And selfish, and petty, and juvenile and -

Pyro: Okay, okay! I get it. But... but, Gary ... you’ll die.

Iceman: Well, Benno, we’ve all got to go sometime. I’m just glad I got to share one last adventure with you.

Pyro: ...

Pyro: I've just been a selfish ass since you died, haven't I? Well, there's still a chance for me. So long, perfect world. So long, Gary. I'll miss you.

Iceman: You, me, and G. Together, we saved the multiverse. That’s kind of cool, isn’t it?

Pyro: (...) *Smiles* Yes, yes it is. I’ll never forget you, Gary. I’ll be a better person. I promise.

(The three lock hands and Solar Pyro uses his power to reset the universe.)

Back to the royal rumble unfolding elsewhere in the building...

Diveman: Blasphemy! The Lord will smite you for this!

Hardman: Blasphem - wha? (Hit in the face with a Dive Missile) GAH! You cheap sonova-


Diveman: Well? I have seen Hell and eternal perdition! I won't have you blaspheme in my presence!


Hardman: You know what? You aren't worth punching.

Diveman: What!? HEY! Don't you walk away from me!

(Diveman unleashes a barrage of Dive Missiles at him. Hardman is unphased, but the entire floor is destroyed.)

Crorq: (Stepping out from a nearby room) What is going on out here!? Diveman, you blustering boob! What have you done to my MAGNIIIIFICENT floor!?

Diveman: It weren't me! It was that walking pile of blasphemous scrap! The Lord needed me to smite that -

Crorq: Save it! You have no idea what punishment awaits you!

(The rest of the robots clear out as Crorq is chewing out Diveman, avoiding the robot's ire.)

Snakeman: Best to let Dive take care of that.

Spark Chan: Yeah, it's a good thing Ben didn't let himself get involved. For once you actually held your temper.

Shadowman: Yeah, that was weird.

Hardman: I had an epiphany.

Spark Chan: And that's it?

Hardman: (Scratches his head, thinking) It's all fading, like a dream.

Snakeman: Well, I guess things turned out all right...

Hardman: It did. It really, really did.

Needlegal: And we learned something too...

Geminiman: We did? Already?

Needlegal: We learned that -

(A familiar warping sound echoes throughout the room and Quint’s time machine appears before them.)

Shadowman: God, not this guy!

(Quint steps out from his machine.)


Quint: Is ... anyone having a temporal crisis at the moment?

(The Mechs stare at him blankly.)

Quint: You sure? Like ... none of you stole a sports almanac from the future or became their own grandfather or ... ?

Needlegal: Quint. You're interrupting. Right at the end.

Quint: Right. Sorry. My mistake. Sorry.

(Quint up and leaves just as quickly as he came.)

Shadowman: That freakin' guy. At least he didn't mess anything up this time. So, you were saying, Needle?

Needlegal: Right. We learned that ... um ...


Needlegal: I forgot.

Snakeman: *tsk* Quint.

Topman: Well, until you remember what today's moral is, we are... hey, wait the Sheriff is missing! We can't finish until we find that guy.

Geminiman: Ugh. New guys. They never respect tradition.

(Back in the supply closet, "Alfred" has the Sheriff dressed in drag as Vanna White.)

Alfred: I'd like to solve the puzzle.

Magnetman: Someone! Someone, help me!!!
















Back in the current timeframe, Trio jolts upright after he continues his examination of Monsteropolis' power grid.

Trio: The Mechanical Maniacs have changed time and thwarted my plans ... yet there appears to be no outward sign. Hm. Perhaps I have underestimated them.

The End


Classi Cal as .....
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Psycho Magnet as .....
Ben as .....
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Lennon as .....
Sheriff (Kassidy) Mags as .....
Gauntlet as .....


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