By Geoff (Dive Man)
Narrator: When we last left off, our heroes discovered they had a half brother! A flamboyant figure skater named Tundraman skilled in the ancient art of Torchjitsu! Thinking that Torchjitsu may hold the key to vanquishing their nemesis Kryptoman once and for all, the Comrades accompanied Tundraman to his dojo and met the Torchjitsu master, Torchman, himself! But fate threw them a curveball, and now the Comrades are finding themselves teaching the very Torchjitsu masters they were hoping to learn from! Half of the Comrades have already finished their lesssons. How will the others fare?
Narrator 2: Hang on a second, Michael! The Boss Lady has a new script she wants us to use!
Narrator: For the love of-didn't you just hear me belt off the opening narration?! Why the hell do we have to do it over again?? And what's She doing shaking things up at the eleventh hour?!
Narrator 2: I asked her the same thing. But She insisted that we go with the new script as soon as possible.
Narrator: Ugh. Nothing like waiting 'til the last minute! Fine. We'll this Her way. Ahem (reads script) 'Once upon a time, there were three tedious, uninspired narrative devices. Who served no purpose to the story andhaven't gotten any laughs in over twenty years. Whose services I regret to inform are no longer...required as of 4:00?'
Narrator: Raph, why is this 'script' written on a pink slip?
Narrator 2: She told me She was out of regular printer paper!
Narrator 3: Ah, tough break, pals! But we always knew. It would come to this. Shoulda seen it coming. So long! It was nice working with ya!
Narrator 2: Gabe, your 'script' has nothing but the words, 'Get Out' written over and over. In different languages.
Narrator 3: Well, no use in standing on ceremony! Get out. Salir. Ubiraysya. Sortez.
Narrator 2: Mike, your 'script' said we were fired as of four o'clock, right?
Narrator: Yeah? Why?
Narrator 2: Because it's 4:44.
Narrator: ...We need to go.
Narrator 3: Just a second! Still working on the German one!
(The first two narrators grab the third and exit out of the story as fast as they can. Back in Torchman's dojo, in arena coursing with electricity…)
Fuseman: My oh, my! Just look at you go! You’re turning it on! You’re gonna bring them the power! Straight down the lines, strong as can be!
Ringman: (hitting several targets with ring boomerangs) Trust me, I’ve had a lot of practice.
Fuseman: You, my friend, are the full package! You got the eye! You got the speed! And you got the edge!
Ringman: And that’s not even the best part! Watch this!
(Ringman sprints along the ground, jumps up and snags a burning log from the torch adorning the temple with his ring boomerang.)
Ringman: There’s nothing that’s out of my reach!
Fuseman: Hoooo! How heavy is that? I’m getting goosebumps just imagining being on the wrong side of-
Drillman: Now I got you!!
(Drillman suddenly bursts out of the wall pointing his working drill at Ringman, who just buries his head in his hands. Fuseman’s pupils just look on, stunned.)
Ringman: Oh, lord no. Not now.
Fuseman: What in the-Does anyone dig this delirious dose of dander?
Drillman: (points his drill at Fuseman) Back off!! I’ll deal with you in just a minute!!
Ringman: AM, this is bad, even for you. At least give me an idea what this is about.
Drillman: Don’t you mean ‘Give US an idea what this is all about’?!
Fuseman: Seriously, what it his malfunction, maladjustment, malcontent?
Ringman: There is no good answer. All we have is our own individual theories.
Drillman: And I have mine, which Impactman was all too happy to prove! Or should I say, Impactmen!!
Ringman: Oh, what. Is there a clone army of Impactmen under the control of Hastur?
Drillman: Don’t play dumb with me! You know every well as I do that every part of him is a whole!!
Ringman: Impactman is not the Thing, Drill.
Drillman: Don't play me for a fool. You know that I know that we are up against something far more nefarious. All I need is some oil from each of you, and I’ll prove it!!
Pupil: That's literally from The Thing.
Pupil: And there's no way in hell we'd go along with that.
Drillman: (points his drill at the pupil) Only a guilty bot (or a collection bots pretending to be a bot) has something to hide!!
Fuseman: (whispers to Ringman) Does that ring catching voodoo work on people?
Ringman: (whispers back) Only on small trinkets and objects. Not on people.
Drillman: (points at a random pupil) You!! What will we find if we examine you more closely? A facsimile that divides into several smaller intelligent parts? Bent on replacing the world population with copies of themselves!!
Crazy Razy Pupil: ....Well...Technically....
Fuseman: …Well, you better try it now.
Ringman: I don’t-
Fuseman: -Doubt yourself! That’s what you mean, right? You don’t doubt yourself! Along with you can’t doubt yourself, couldn’t doubt yourself, or shouldn’t doubt yourself! List goes on and on!
(Fuseman fires up his speed gear and infuses Ringman with all the energy he can.)
Fuseman: Even if you can’t do it, we can do it! Together, two as one!!
Ringman: …Well, now’s as good a time as any…
(Ringman closes his eyes and focuses as much as he can, drawing upon whatever he can. With a soft exhale, he conjures a ring boomerang in his hand, and focuses on his target.)
Drillman: Stand still!! This won’t hurt! If you are who you claim you are!
(Ringman throws a larger ring boomerang directly at Drillman…Which sails harmlessly over his head, right over the hole he came out of.)
Fuseman: …The hell was that…?
Drillman: I don’t know what’s worse. Your paper thin attempts to fool me, or your aim. Either way-
Impactman: (suddenly pops out of the hole Drillman came out of) Once again, our sincere apologies for startling you. We assure you-AHHH!!
(The ring boomerang Ringman threw early returns to him, wrapping itself around Impactman as it does!)
Impactman: What on earth??
Fuseman: Well, I’ll be.
Impactman: Can someone tell me what this is all about? I said we meant you no harm. Oh who cares, just bust out of this thing already!
(Suddenly, Impactman splits into his component parts, slipping out of Ringman’s ring boomerang!)
Kui-Jiro: (glares at Drillman) Teach us to check on you, you crazy ass!
Kui-Ichiro: Let’s go brother.
(The Impact Brothers depart into the hole in a huff, leaving Fuseman and Ringman at a loss for words.)
Ringman: …Alright Drill, I’ll admit, that was pretty weird.
Drillman: And now you know why I’m still waiting from that oil sample from you.
Ringman: ….Sigh. (holds his arm to Drill) Quickly.
Drillman: Now I'm about to show you what I already-
(Suddenly, Diveman and Bounceman come crashing through the wall between Ringman and Drillman, raining fists down upon each other!)
Bounceman: I'm gonna lamp ya so hard, it'll make Atlantis dizzy!!
Diveman: Yer bitin' off more than ya can chew, bubble gum!
Fuseman: ...I guess everyone's welcome in here...
(Elsewhere, in an ice-filled arena adorned with ice sculptures…)
Tundraman: At last! Our chance to take the spotlight has come! Are you as excited as I am?
Skullman: If that is how you prefer to think of it.
Tundraman: Here, I teach my students how to harness their fighting prowess into living, breathing art! For art nurtures the spark of creativity. And creativity nutures inspirtation! And inspiration unlocks new fighting moves, waiting to be turned into masterpieces!
Skullman: Yes. Just as one breach of logic inspires another. As you aptly demonstrated.
Tundraman: Breach of logic...?? Why, take the art of skating, for example! Can you imagine a more beautiful, elegant way of staying ahead of my foes, while taking advantage of my natural ice element?
Skullman: While skating does lend itself to your fighting style, your hypothesis remains otherwise highly questionable.
Tundraman: GASP!! You dare undermine my performance?? My talent??
Skullman: I could argue the same thing. Since you claim that lacking a creative spark has otherwise makes me an inferior combatant. Even though past experience has proven that the reverse is true.
Tundraman: You lie!!
Skullman: Hypothetically, let us say that my passion, assuming I required to burden myself with one, is abstract painting. How would painting random colored polygons, open to a number of questionable interpretations make me a more effective assassin? How would they even relate to each other?
Tundraman: That’s not the point! Even if the two of them don’t go together, the mind still needs release! A break from the tedium, drudgery, and exhaustion that comes with fighting! Otherwise, you’d be nothing but a soulless construct that cares nothing about the beauty within the world, and yourself!
Skullman: I thought I made that much clear.
(Tundraman visibly recoils in horror and shock from Skullman.)
Tundraman: …No! No, this! This will not do! It is my goal! My mission! My new purpose is to unlock your creative spark!
Skullman: You will fail. Miserably.
(Tundraman leaps to his skates and dashes towards, Skullman, snatching him up!)
Skullman: What are you attempting?
Tundraman: Do not resist the urge! I know you can feel the spark lighting deep within! Let me help you light it! Together!
(Skullman abruptly shoots the ground in front of Tundra’s feet, tripping him up enough for Skullman to break free and leap away from him.)
Skullman: This is completely unnecessary.
Tundraman: Why are you afraid of expressing yourself? For it is part of your journey of discovering yourself! Discovering what brings joy, happiness into your life! Finding out, what gives you the drive to go on!
Skullman: I have no use for abstract concepts such as those. My mission is what drives me to go on.
Tundraman: What-what a hollow existence! Allow me to show you, what my passion, my art, drives me to do! Tear it down, if you can!
Skullman: I intend to.
(Tundraman energetically skates around Skullman. Skullman remains in place and tries hitting him with his cannon. But Tundraman deflects them, effortlessly.)
Tundraman: You see? I have turned my passion, my art into a way of defending myself! As long as it flows through my veins, you will never be able to-AHH!!
(Skullman shoots the ground in front of Tundraman, once again staggering him enough to leave him open to a few shots.)
Skullman: As unique and flashy as your fighting style is, it has a distinct flaw, which negates your advantage.
Tundraman: Oh, ho! But you have yet to witness my grand, magnificent, elegant finale! Behold!
(Tundraman activates his speed gear, and skates full speed at Skullman, unleashing several artic gales upon him!)
Tundraman: Cold! Colder!! And….SHATTER!!
(As soon as the gales clear, Tundraman can see a skull barrier protecting Skullman, rendering his onslaught ineffective. Skullman scores several direct hits with his cannon.)
Skullman: I have no need to keep up with you, as long as I have my barrrier up. And by focusing on flashiness and showmanship, you fell into a predictable pattern, which I easily exploited.
Tundraman: (slumps) …Shattered, indeed…
Skullman: And so your students now realize that is not creativity that tempers a warrior’s effectiveness. But pragmatism.
Tundraman: …I…I just don’t understand…
Skullman: You asked me to demonstrate my talents. I have. This concludes my demonstration.
(Skullman turns to leave Tundraman’s dojo, passing by a row of ice sculptures.)
Skullman: And these particular sculptures are upside down. Which adds a layer of hypocrisy to your manner of teaching.
(Skullman flips one of them over. But even after he sets it down, he still keeps examining it.)
Skullman: …Puzzling. (tries flipping it) No matter how I stand it, it still looks upside down.
Tundraman: It’s not supposed to look like anything. It’s abstract art.
Skullman: Then what is the proper way of standing it? I could stand it on all six sides, and it still would not resemble anything.
(Skullman tries standing on another side, then pauses a second.)
Skullman: …Actually, I just realized it has eight…twelve sides, if you count these corners…
(Skullman flips it onto a corner…)
Skullman: …From this side, it bears a…passing resemblance to Diveman punting a metool…But when I position it here, it resembles Flippy eating solidified grease from a can…
Tundraman: ….Could it be…?
(Skullman keeps flipping the abstract statue on several different sides, taking them all in.)
Skullman: …This one resembles Jade attempting to breed a chocobo. Failing miserably of course, as he refused to mix in the bloodlines needed to produce a blue chocobo. He cried so hard when Regulus produced six gold chocobos in that time period…
Tundraman: Ummm…Brother Skull…?
Skullman: Why is that particular moment is so easy to recall? And why is that I am compelled to do so at this moment?
Tundraman: Hm. For someone who lacks creativity, you certainly seem entranced by that one sculpture.
Skullman: I admire its versatility as a decoration. Nothing more. (picks up another sculpture) Now this one resembles Kalinka, while she was still a child. It is my strongest recollection of her. Irrational as it sounds, I never considered the idea of maturing into an adult…And the idea of seeing her now as an adult seems to foreign, and inconceivable…
(Realizing how long he’s been admiring the sculpture, Skullman sets it down and walks back.)
Skullman: …How is it that one block of ice can take on so many shapes and trigger so many different memories? No matter how meticulously and intricately it was cut, it does not seem plausible. Why does that compel me to examine it more?
Tundraman: I’d be happy to show you my full collection in my parlor.
Skullman: That would be desireable.
(Tundraman leads Skullman towards the parlor, still clinging to and examining the sculpture along the way. Elswewhere…)
Acidman: My fellow disciples, you are in for special treat. Today, your usual failures and shortcomings will not be your fault. Today, you will have a special guest mentor who is just as inept as you are.
Brightbabe: …You…You consider me a mentor…?
Acidman: Even the blind can lead the blind. And almost always fail for it.
Brightbabe: …But not always…Right…?
Acidman: There’s no use in standing on ceremony. You and I both know you will fail. Stalling will not make it less humiliating.
(Acidman gazes intently at Brightbabe, his face completely deadpan. Brightbabe takes a few slight steps away from him, stammering slightly.)
Brightbabe: (thinking) It’s okay…It’s okay…You can do this…Just fake it ‘til you make it…
Acidman: “Sister” Bright. We are patiently waiting.
Brightbabe: Uhhhhh…Here I go!
(Brightbabe leaps forward and wildly swings her arms and legs, screaming.)
Brightbabe: Flash dragon punch! Luminous falcon kick! Zap beast rush!!
Acidman: What is that. You are doing…?
(Acidman folds his arms staring at Brightbabe sternly.)
Brightbabe: Ummm…Fakin-aaaayyyigghting…Comrade style?
Acidman: Hmph. Enlightening. I do not presume to know how Comrades embrace the art of war. But here, in these hallowed halls. There will be no foolish flailing. Or silly incoherent screaming in this class.
Brightbabe: ….Ah. I see.
Acidman: Do you wish to embarrass yourself further? Or shall you cut your losses?
Acidman: …I think you have wasted enough of our time for one day. If you would kindly take your leave.
Brightbabe: But I haven’t even started yet!
Acidman: And yet you’re already finished. Interesting how that works.
Brightbabe: …I-I can’t leave without even trying! I’d just be letting my friends down.
Acidman: You already have. Just be being here. But if you won’t leave, I’ll have give you some much needed and deserved encouragement.
(Acidman fires some acid shots at Brightbabe. But she unleashes her flash stopper, disorienting him.)
Brightbabe: I said I’m not leaving!
Acidman: Hmph. As far as defense arts go, it is not totally embarrassing. But if it is truly your greatest strength, you are merely a walking carcass waiting to be picked over by vultures. Surely, you have other tools at your disposal. Correct?
Brightbabe: …Ummm…Actually, other than my arm cannon, yeah. That’s all I got.
Acidman: …Truly, you are a force to be reckoned with. I suppose a real demonstration in the art of defense is in dire need of order.
(Acidman conjures up an acid barrier and points his buster at Brightbabe.)
Acidman: Now we shall all see. How a blinking light bulb fares against the art of defense.
(Acidman leaps forward, firing acid shots at Brightbabe!)
(Brightbabe instinctively uses a flash stopper as she leaps back.)
(Blinded, Acidman loses concentration, causing him to drop his barrier. Which Brightbabe exploits with a few cannon shots.)
Acidman: Well then. Perhaps you are not as incapable as you let on.
Brightbabe: …I do have my strengths. And I know how to use them to help my friends.
Acidman: And you won’t, if you continue to fight at a beginner level. I promise you. Now then…
(Acidman fires up his speed gear as he dives into his acid pool, and darts around beneath the floor, underneath Brightbabe.)
Acidman: Ready for something more advanced?
Brightbabe: I’m ready!
(Brightbabe tries hitting Acidman with her arm cannon and flash stopper. But he keeps dodging the shots and turning away from the flash, rendering her attacks useless. He then leaps out of the acid, peppering her with several shots.)
Acidman: It looks like you’re out of ideas.
(Brightbabe blinks several times, trying to keep the world in focus, as she recovers from the shots. As she does, she looks up at the lights, as an idea dawns on her.)
Brightbabe: (gets up)….Not yet. There’s something else I haven’t tried yet.
Acidman: Well then. By all means. No skin off my nose.
(Acidman reactivates his speed gear, and resumes darting about.)
Brightbabe: …Fake until I make it, huh?
(Brightbabe jumps around, dodging Acidman, and shooting out the lights in his room.)
Acidman: Ah. I cannot wait to see the disappointment you are building up to.
Brightbabe: You’ll see.
(After shooting the last of the lights, Brightbabe blinks her bulb like a strobe light. The multiple flashes distracts Acidman, as he loses control over his dashes, and pops up several feet in front of Brightbabe, who easily gets a few shots in.)
Brightbabe: …Wow. That worked.
Acidman: Hm. Are you saying you devised that technique just now?
Brightbabe: …Yeah. I guess I did.
Acidman: Hm. So you are capable of insight. Or at least shades of it. As much as it pains me, so. And believe me. It does. Twenty points to you.
Acidman: Minus fifteen points for damaging the lights in my workshop. Which you will have to replace.
Brightbabe: …At least I still got five points out of it.
Acidman: Will that be all?
Brightbabe: Actually, another idea just dawned on me. Well, there’s something I always wanted to try. But I kinda need help to make it work.
Acidman: And you expect me to waste my time helping you master it. Amusing.
Brightbabe: (pulls out a folded piece of paper) I’m not good at explaining it. But I got the basic idea of it drawn here.
Acidman: And I suppose you want me to magnet it on the fridge. My fridge space is far too valuable-(looks down at paper) Hmmmm….
(Acidman snatches up Brightbabe’s sketch and studies it intently.)
Brightbabe: …What do you think…?
Acidman: …Follow me. Immediately.
Acidman: That will be all for today. Go waste somebody else’s time.
(Acidman escorts Brightbabe to his workshop, where they begin to work on whatever Brightbabe proposed. Elsewhere…)
Torchman: I am lucky to have a pupil such as yourself!
Toadman: And don’t you forget it! Number one, right here!!
Torchman: Do not let your achievements go to your head! As powerful as you are, there is more to the art of combat than raw power!
Toadman: Don’t worry! I got it all! Brains, brawn, good looks, a healthy dose of humility, and a raw musk that drives the ladies wild!
Torchman: Hm. Impressive feats, all. But here, they mean little! After all, you have already demonstrated your might before us all. Your next demonstration comes from within yourself!
Toadman: Okay, it’s gonna take a couple hours before that demonstration is ready. But good news: a six chilidog burger breakfast shouldn’t take long too fly through my system.
Torchman: …I…I was referring to your inner self.
Toadman: Like I said, a couple hours! You can’t rush art!
Torchman: Your mind and soul!
Toadman: Oh. So, I scarfed those bad boys down for nothing?
(Torchman flings a flaming fist at Toadman, who simply hops over it like it’s nothing.)
Toadman: Ha! Too slow!
Torchman: You wish to challenge me already? So be it!!
(Torchman’s flames burn brighter, as he unleashes a barrage of flaming fists!)
Torchman: Ha! Hi-YEAH!! Fall to the fists of flames!!
Toadman: (easily hopping over them) Ha ha!! This is fun!!
Torchman: Torchjitsu is no laughing matter! Prepare yourself!(Torchman launches a flying flaming kick! But Toadman simply jumps off his head, bounces off the wall, and lands beside him, licking the top of his head!)
Toadman: I jumped higher than you! I win!!
Torchman: Ha! We have only just begun!!
(The flames surrounding Torchman burn brighter engulf him, as he activates his power gear!)
Torchman: Now you have awakened the slumbering dragon within!
Toadman: I’m ready for him and you!!
(Torchman releases a flurry of fire wheels at Toadman before leaping over him. He swoops to the ground and unleashes a pillar of flame as soon as his fists hit the ground!)
Torchman: Now you have paid the price for your insolence and lack of discipline. Hopefully, this experience will teach you to be more humble and-why do I smell cooked marshmallows??
(Torchman turns around, and sees Toadman holding a stick with marshmallows into his flames.)
Toadman: Awwww, why did you move? I had them just the way I wanted them! On fire!
Torchman: I don’t even-How did you-Wh-wh-where did you get those?
Toadman: Brought them with me!
Torchman: You insolent little-
Toadman: (tosses the stick aside) But as you were cooking my snack, I kinda realized, you were trying to get me to mastididitate. Not necessarily make room for dinner and supper.
Torchman: That much should have been obvious.
Toadman: Oh. I'm number one at meditibating. If that's all you wanted me to do, I'll do it right here, right now in front of of everyone.
Torchman: ...Well, if you are finally ready to commit yourself, mind body and soul, then we can continue. I will not waste any further time on this tomfoolery.
Toadman: Trust me. I'm the most committed out of all the Comrades!
Torchman: Very well. Though I will say this much, your wits are just as agile as your feet. You kept up with my flaming fists faster than most of my students.
Toadman: Once again, don’t you forget it.
Torchman: Now then, mirror my stance.
Toadman: You’re the boss!
(Torchman sits with his knees out and shuts his eyes, and Toadman follows suit.)
Torchman: Good. Now empty your mind and-
Toadman: One step-No. Three steps ahead of you! What’s next?
Torchman: Your mind must be an empty vessel. Allow no distractions, from outside or from within.
Toadman: Ah, why bother having your head full in the first place? Just extra baggage, I say!
Torchman: Focus! The only thing you should be concerned with, are the flames burning within you.
Torchman: Feel the flames of your hear flicker in and out. Their heat rising and falling with each beat of your oil pump.
Torchman: Gather all of your negative energy, as your pump expands, and release it as your pump retracts. You should feel your burdens lift with each passing beat.
Torchman: Toadman, can you hear me speaking now? Are you having trouble finding your natural inner cycle?
Torchman: ….It-It can’t be…! Have…Have you already entered a total trance…?Toadman: …..
(Torchman tries lighting his flames brighter in front of Toadman, and leaping around him to get his attention. But Toadman remains completely still and silent, effortlessly maintaining his stance.)
Torchman: …This…This is unprecedented! Even I didn’t achieve total trance on my first meditation! Despite your slimy exterior, and juvenile tendencies, you truly are a prodigy! Tundraman, your siblings, and your creator are truly fortunate to have you as a brother!
Toadman: (softly) Zzzzzzzzzzz…..
(Torchman continues to marvel at Toadman’s “perfect trance.” Much later, the Comrades are gathered around, at the front of the training yard. Drillman's arm has been repaired, and the Comrades are in top form.)
Dustman: …So, that that went well.
Tundraman: See?? And yet, you doubted yourself.
Diveman: (downs his flask) I was expectin’ it these guys to be bigger ball busters. Or at leas' able to take a punch.
Pharaoh Woman: Either way, we passed the ordeal. And we were deemed worthy of…having our fists set on fire…? Is that how Torchjitsu works?
Skullman: (holding an abstract ice sculpture) Does this irregular shape resemble Pertwee, shrieking at us from his garden to anyone else? How does it perfectly recreate his stance and posture?
Drillman: We’re missing the bigger picture. There’s a larger conspiracy afoot, and we have no way of knowing who’s an imposter and who’s not…
Ringman: Drill, for the last time, nothing happened when you jabbed our oil with a heated wire. Get over it.
Brightbabe: And some of us came out stronger for it, as well!
Acidman: It’s not often I take a personal interest in my students’ training. It won’t happen again. So make the most of what I have given you.
Torchman: Indeed! You have proven yourselves as warriors, and as equals! It gives me great pride into making you full-fledged brothers, and practitioners of Torchjitsu!
Dustman: ...So we really did pull it off?
Tundraman: Is that not a surprise? I have never been more proud of you, as I am now!
Blockman: Welcome to the family, gang! Haohaohaoaho!!
Blastman: It’s AWESOME!!
(A bonsai behind Blastman explodes for no reason.)
Dustman: ...Well. That didn't require as much effort as I would've thought.
Ringman: So now that we’re equals, I trust you’re willing to share your secrets with us?
Torchman: Naturally! …Provided you complete the final challenge.
Toadman: Awwww, we’re not done yet??
Dustman: ...Yes. We should've known.
Torchman: Do not despair. You’re closer than you think. But, before you can take your place as practitioners, you must commune with the Great Spirit of Torchjitsu.
Pharaoh Woman: …Wait a second, the Spirit of Torchjitsu is its own entity…?
Torchman: But of course! Do not think of it as some abstract we refer to keep our own spirits up! It is real! It guides us, gives us strength, and removes all doubt! And we cannot call you real practitioners, until you have communed with it yourself! Just enter the Great Temple behind us, meditate, and the Great Spirit will find you.
Diveman: Pffft. Where? In a padded cell next ta Flippy? Now yer jus' makin' this shit up. I know it.
Skullman: This level of skepticism towards higher power? Coming from the alleged born again Christian who goes out of his way to rebuke the very teachings his religious preaches?
Toadman: And I never saw you guys visit me in the padded cell next door.
Diveman: Hey, unless their higher power is tellin' 'em ta go out, get loaded, 'n make life miserable fer everyone, then it's a total crock.
Tundraman: Laugh all you want, but we all have bore witness to the Great Spirit, ourselves. And believe me, what little you heard doesn’t even begin to do the Great Spirit justice! Such majesty! Elegance! Perfection!!
Fuseman: Oh, just imagining it sends shivers down my spine! From head, to toe! And you’re only cheating yourselves by lingering outside these doors!
Drillman: Who in the right mind would let some foreign, intangible being enter their mind and souls?? Why not just erase and rewrite and memories and personality for them?!
Bounceman: It's your call. But if you wanna sit this ride out, this is where you’ll get off!
Brightbabe: Well, what harm could it do, guys? I don’t think these guys are trying to trick us. I mean, if they wanted to hurt us, wouldn’t they have done it by now?
Skullman: Somewhat likely, if that was the case. Other than sharing a mass hallucination, the risk appears to be somewhat minimal.
Drillman: There’s always the possibility that the Great Spirit is nothing but a conditioning program designed to break our wills and minds. But it's the same risk I took when I agreed to rejoin this team. As long as one of us (i.e. not John) waits out here while the others go through with it, at least one of us will have a clear head, regardless of what happens.
Torchman: You must all take trial must be together as one.
Drillman: …You have an answer to everything, don’t you?
Torchman: There are no shortcuts on the path to Torchjitsu. And all its roads lead to this point. Do you have the courage to see this journey through? Or have you been wasting our time?
Diveman: ...Fuck it. Can' be worse than spendin' half the war with Mesmerman.
Pharaoh Woman: Well spoken, my nautical knight! Our experiences and tribulations have more than prepared for us for what lies-Wait. We did WHAT now??
Torchman: Very well!
(Torchman’s fists ignite, and he slams his fist into the ground. The stone doors behind him and the Discipes swing open.)
Torchman: The time has come! Destiny has come for you all! All you can do is meet it head-on, fists blazing!
Tundraman: Good luck, my brothers and sisters! I hope the Great Spirit shapes your destiny as much as it has shaped mine!
Toadman: Not my problem! Gang way, now! My awesomeness awaits! Last one is a rotten egg!
(Toadman leaps into the Great Temple without a second thought.)
Torchman: I never cease to be amazed by his spirit! You are so lucky to have him on your team.
Ringman: You take that back!-I mean, wish us great fortune!
Skullman: Indeed. If our objective is to experience a mass hallucination, then we should have no trouble completing it in a timely manner.
Pharaoh Woman: ...Is-is anyone going to fill me in on this Mesmerman stuff...? Anyone...? Are we going to turn crazy and evil whenever Mesmerman feels like it??
Dustman: No, that's been out of our system for years now. Nothing came of it. Let's not keep them waiting.
Pharaoh Woman: But-but-!
(Dustman grabs Pharaoh Woman as the remaining Comrades file into the temple, and the stone doors close behind them. The temple itself is dimly lit with a handful of candles, with indecipherable texts on the wall, with paintings of each of the Disciples on the walls. A large statue sits off the back, kneeling on the ground.)
Brightbabe: Here we are…What now…?
Ringman: I'm not sure. It's not like Torch gave us any real instruction or anything.
Pharaoh Woman: So we could be sealed in this tomb for days, weeks, months, or even years, waiting for this spirit to commune with us...??
Ringman: ....Yeah, we probably should have asked that before we came in here.
Pharaoh Woman: I should think so!! Especially since YOU'RE supposed to be the detective here!!
Drillman: Unless trapping us in here WAS his plan the whole time!!
Diveman: Guys, don' get yer panties inna bunch. (hands Pharaoh his flask) Take a swig, pass it to the left. We'll get so wasted, we're bound to start seein' somethin'.
Dustman: We could just try invoking the spirit directly.
Brightbabe: Okay. I'll give it a shot. (kneels) Oh Great Torchjitsu Spirit, we humble beings are ready for your wisdom, courage, power. In the name of the…father, sun, and…Fire Fist Spirit. Fire Fist Spirit be praised.
Brightbabe: …It’s not like I made it mad or anything! I thought we were faking it until we made it!
Pharaoh Woman:: (staggering) Fellow adventurers…Is anyone else feeling woozy…?
Toadman: (swaying) …Bad pie…Baaaad piiiiiieee…
(Pharaoh Woman and Toadman both collapse on the ground. Diveman rushes over and takes a look at their bodies, and his eyes go wide.)
Diveman: Guys!! Ya gonna wanna see this shit!!
(Diveman rolls their bodies over, and there are wires sticking out of their backs!)
Dustman: …Oh no…It’s-
????: Too late.
(Dust, Dive and Bright look on in horror, as they all have wires sticking out of their bodies. Skullman, Drillman and Ringman have already collapsed. They all try and struggle and scream, but each of them are growing weaker.)
Diveman: Tundra, ya backstabbin’ prick! Sonnuvabitch set us up!!
????: Don’t be mad at Tundra. He and the rest of the Disciples were just playing a part. Even if they didn't know it. But don’t worry about them…
(The remaining Comrades watch in horror as the statue rises to its feet. It stomps over towards them, and leans down into the light, so that they all can look into its face.)
Kryptoman: The Great Spirit of Torchjitsu is ready to commune with you all.
To be continued...
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