(By Hunter (Skull Man) and Regulus)
(PART 1 : REG)
*In the Blue Fox HQ, a creator trains his creation...
Regulus: *Deflecting attacks from a beam dagger with his katana* It's too textbook. Surprise me.
*The skeletal being in front of Regulus retracts the blade and lashes with a bony whip. The Cerulean Assassin dodges the attack by ducking under the whip and through his attacker's legs, turning to face his opponent's back.*
Regulus: Just because you have a weapon that can multitask does not mean you should.
*Regulus lunges with his katana, only to have the skeleton pivot his waist to meet the attack with a parry without moving his legs. The robot walks "backward," advancing forward towards Regulus.*
Regulus: Good, thinking outside of the ordinary will startle your opponent. Let's see how you handle unorthodox attacks.
*Regulus rotates his hand quickly, spinning the katana in his hand like a fan. The other robot backs away from the deadly windmill until he is backed against a wall. Regulus continues to move in, but the skeleton digs his beam sword into the wall above him and hoists himself into the air using the sword as a grip. He kicks off from the wall, landing behind Regulus. As he whips the beam sword at Regulus's mid-section, his target splits at the waste, dodging the swipe. His upper half activates a thruster on his back and Regulus's top half flies over the skeleton's head. Regulus continues to attack as though his legs are still there, using the jet to keep him at eye level with his opponent. The other robot's defense remains inpenetrable.*
Regulus: Good, but you've taken your attention away from my lower half. *Regulus's lower half kicks the skeleton's left leg out from underneath him, dropping him to a knee. Regulus spins himself like a torpedo at the floored robot, who slumps like a ragdoll to the floor, barely missing the spinning blade as his assailant flies over head.*
Regulus: *attaches to his lower half* Mind your surroundings. You have a knack for correcting the mistakes you make with creativity, but true perfection lies in not making mistakes to begin with. The person who dies in battle was the person who made the last mistake, so if your abilities are flawless, you force your opponent to achieve your level of perfection.
Skeleton: Yes, Commander.
Regulus: I’ve taught you everything I know, Hunter. I’m no longer your commander. Think of yourself as equal to me.
Hunter: As you wish… Regulus.
Regulus: I believe it’s finally time for you to prove your worth and fulfill your purpose in being designed. I want you to show me that you can apply your abilities learned in the practice environment to a real situation. I want you to kidnap Dr. Cossack without alerting the Comrades to your presence. Give him this when you have him. *hands Hunter a metal plate with a button in the center* When he reads it, he’ll understand.
Hunter: Right. I won’t fail.
Regulus: And Hunter?
Hunter: Yes, Regulus?
Regulus: I’ve programmed you to obey the three laws, except that “human” has been replaced with the Comrades and me. You won’t be able to directly harm any of the Comrades or Cossack himself, so I’d avoid direct confrontation, but with your abilities that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Hunter: Yes, Regulus. I will take that into my calculations. I estimate a 78% chance of success.
Regulus: You belittle yourself, I gave you 85%. *leaves the training room. As Hunter prepares to leave, Regulus re-enters the room* Oh, one more thing...
Regulus: Cossack's Skullmen have a history of not lasting very long. The body your AI is housed in at this very moment is modified from the remains of my old friend, Vincent Zymeth.
Hunter: What happened to him?
Regulus: *stares at the ground* I... I killed him with my own hands.
*Hunter thinks of what could have made Regulus kill his own friend, but as he looks up to inquire what provoked the incident, he finds the assassin is gone.*
(PART 2 : HUNTER)
*After a teleportation, and several minutes walking in the Siberian tundra...*
Hunter: (cloaked) : There it is. The Cossack Citadel.
*He gets closer, careful not being spotted by the various surveillance systems.*
Hunter: It is certain the designs of the Citadel have been altered during its rebuilding. It doesn't alter my plan, however - looking for an unguarded opening.
*As he walked around, the skeletal being fell on two surprising characters.*
Jay (visibly stoned): Woah, man ! That last stock was soooo good ! How about we pay ol' Skully a visit, Lunchbox ?
Silent Bob (stoned as well) : *nods*
*The two stoners then bumped on Skullman; as they looked up, their faces turned white.*
Jay : Holy ... A g-g-ghost !
Silent Bob : *shivers*
Jay (walks to Hunter's feet) : I ... I'm sorry, Bones !
Hunter: ... What ?
Jay : F-for ... pissing on your grave, and getting drunk on it, and digging it to hide crack, and ... *carries on*
Hunter: (They seem to mistake me with Zymeth. From what I read, he was extremely sadistic...) *removes his cloak* Now, who wants to be strangled with his own spine ?
Jay : RUN AWAY !
*As the two druggies flee in terror, Hunter finally found an air vent, and proceeded to open it.*
Hunter: Now, the real mission begins.
*Soon, the skeletic invader goes all around the castle, using the vents to explore and recording a plan as he goes on. He then stops, hearing the sounds of a television being on.*
Hunter: (Perhaps Cossack is here. Let's have a look.)
*What he sees, however, doesn't seem to please him.*
Diveman *holding a beer* : Gooooaaaaaaal ! Go, Moscow Lokomotiv !
Drillman *carrying a "Kiev Dynamo" sign* : The Ukrainians are good, too ! Remember how they beat Belgium last European Cup ?
Dustman : Why are we watching soccer, anyway ?
Ringman *with a bag of popcorn* : Doctor gets mad if we watch American Football. He's in an "anti-capitalist" time again.
Pharaohman : Gotta apply the communist sharing, eh ? Share some popcorn, then.
Ringman : On my dead body ! *karate-chops Pharaoh*
Diveman *as Pharaoh falls to the ground screaming in pain* : Ssshh ! It's getting better !
Hunter: (Disappointing. However, I will say nothing about them if they're Regulus' allies.)
*He went on his path, and got to a remote area of the Citadel, where Cossack was working.
Silently, Hunter slithered out of the air vent and covered his face with his cloak, ready to strike...*
Cossack : Is someone here ? *turns back* Z ... Zymeth ?!
Hunter: I get this a lot, this day. *knocks Cossack unconscious with his claw* Now, for the hardest part.
*A few minutes later, at the game's half-time...*
Drillman : How about we get Cossack with us for the second part ?
Dustman : Alright.
(As they headed to the lab, they met BrightBabe and Toadgirl.)
BrightBabe : Sean, I believe you should take care of what Jay and Bob take these times.
Pharaohman : Let me guess. They saw Zymeth again ?
Toadgirl : *nods* But this time, he physically threatened them. And it wasn't what he started with.
Drillman : Now that's interesting. A look-alike, maybe ?
Dustman : Makes me wonder if Wraithman really kicked the bucket...
Diveman : Either it's Mesmer playin' a prank on us, or some bastard with a sick sense of humor. I shoulda done this long ago.
Ringman : After the match, okay ? Now, where's the *opens the lab's door* ... Doctor ?!
*All that was left of the Russian robotician was a paper note.*
Pharaohman : *picks it up and reads* "I have Sergueï. Come and meet me there." It's a map to an old bunker in tundra. A mile or two away.
Diveman : Gettin' to beat up that sunnuvabitch kidnapper ? Count me in.
Toadgirl : *jumps up and down* Yay ! Rescue !
*A few minutes later, the robot expedition was ready to go. Once arriving to the bunker...*
Drillman : There we are. Now, where's that kidnapper ?
??? : Just here.
*The Comrades turn back and gasp in surprise. A cloaked figure stands in front of them ; all they see of him is a claw and a glowing red eye.)*
??? : I believe you can call me Hunter.
Drillman : Like ... Searchman ?
Hunter: More or less. Anyway, the Doctor is safe in that bunker. Fight me if you wish to take him back with you.
Diveman : Ya've been askin' for it, sucker ! *releases a volley of Dive Missiles, which detonates around Hunter* Ya still on your feet ?
*Suddenly, a skeletal shape, mostly unscratched, emerges from the smoke. Hunter opens his cloak, reveling a giant left fist, and charges at Diveman. Immediately, he charges at the walking sub, and fist meets face. The sound of cracking bones attests it's not pretty.*
Hunter: *as Dive falls to the ground* Take care of the big guy first. Whose turn is it ?
BrightBabe : *uses her Flash Stopper to immobilize Hunter* He's all yours !
*In response, Drill, Pharaoh, Ring and Dust unload their arsenal on the skele-bot. He immediately activates a forcefield, which repels most of the attacks. Then, in a swift move, he removes his cloak and throws it around the giant lightbulb.*
Hunter: My optics are too sensible ; this must be corrected later on.
Ringman : Try to correct this ! *karate-chops Hunter*
Ringman : Wha ?! Time for the Fist of the North Star !
*By channeling his inner energy, using his robotic reflexes and yelling "ATATATATA !" in a high-pitched voice, Ringman delivers about 100 punches a second - all blocked or parried by his opponent.*
Hunter: Nearly got me. But you're exhausted. *catches Ringman with a judo move and throws him on Dustman.* Ippon.
*He is then charged on by a frantic Toadgirl who tries to beat him up.*
Hunter: *not fighting back* I have specific orders not to harm you. Personnal request of my master.
Toadgirl : Wait ... You mean Reg ?
*Before he can reply, Hunter removes two of his vertebraes -which turn into beam daggers- and uses them to block an attack from Drillman's lightsaber.*
Drillman : A friend of Reg ? So why are you doing this ?
Hunter: You shall see soon. *moves slightly on the right to dodge a back attack from Pharaohman*
Toadgirl : Wait, AM ! I understand now ! It's just a test !
Hunter: Exactly. *steps back and bows in front of Drillman.* The bunker's entrance was never locked. I shall explain back at the Citadel.
Pharaohman : ... Oookay.
*Later, the Team and their freeloaders had a special meeting in the Citadel's main room.*
Cossack : While waiting in that bunker, I got to see this. *puts a metal disk on the table.*
*An hologram displays, revealing Regulus*
Regulus: Greetings, Comrades. I felt it was my duty to find an acceptable replacement for an old friend of mine. Hunter here will work with you as your new Skullman. You may have seen what skills he's gifted with. Regulus, over.
Skullman : My orders are to serve you in any way you need.
Diveman : Get me a beer, Bag-o-Bones.
Skullman : Alright. *walks off*
Diveman : I'm lovin' him already. Think he'll agree to be beaten to a pulp ?
BrightBabe : You shouldn't pick on newcomers, Dive. Remember how he got you there ?
Diveman : Payback.
Pharaohman : I wanted someone to train on.
Dustman : He's as creepy as Zymeth.
Ringman : I must challenge him for defying my kung-fu !
Toadgirl : He looks funny. ^_^
Jay : He may help us getting crack and not paying for it !
Silent Bob : *nods*
Drillman : It's agreed then. We have a new Skullman !
Skullman : *comes back with a beer, which he throws at Diveman.* I heard all of your ideas. Some may be rejected.
Diveman, Pharaohman and Ringman : Aaaww...
Toadgirl : We must party for our newcomer ! =D
Skullman : I do not "party".
Everyone : ...
*Here's the fact : the new Skullman is a war machine and nothing else. Do you think he'll be able to fit in ? Let's take a look minutes later...*
Skullman : *with a paper hat* I do not feel any "fun".
Toadgirl : *throws confetti on Skull* You've gotta try more !
Diveman : *throws an empty beer bottle on Skullman* Gemme another one, Mr Jack !
*Apparently, he isn't able.*