Cossack's Comrades

Cossack's Comrades Season 1 Epilogue 25
“Ice Breaker Part 2”

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!

Narrator 2:  Ancient art?!  It didn't exist until last year.

Narrator: Damnit, man!  You calling me a liar??  Anyway, the Comrades saw hope to master this secret art in order to defeat their persistent foe, Kryptoman once and for all!  Currently, they all stand outside of a magnificent stone temple atop of a lonely, snowy hill.  The corners of each of the temple are topped with blazing torches.  Which can be seen in the distance, as the Comrades and their new friend make their journey there.

Dustman: Wow, this place looks ancient.  You guys have been a while, haven’t you?

Tundraman: You might think that. But in actuality, it's only a little over a year old.  Our last dojo was...tragically taken from us.  So, we've had to relocate to a more remote area.

Drillman: Seems like the perfect location.  To dispose of your victims, I bet.  We’re standing where they’re buried, aren’t we??

Tundraman: What are you are talking about?

Drillman: Just how many teams ‘disappeared’ out in this mountain?  Drastic Measures??  Deep Impact??  Wily’s Warriors??  Don’t tell me not one of them isn’t buried out here!

Tundraman: I assure you, nothing of the sort goes on here! 

Ringman: It won’t stop him from thinking that.  Take it from me, he only gets worse from here on out.  

Drillman: Only if you have something to hide!   You should know, John!

Skullman: ...So. You just found a random stone temple in the middle of a remote wilderness?  That is good remarkably fortune.

Tundraman: Oh, surely, you jest!  Can you not tell we built this from the ground up?  I selected the location.  The foundations were laid oh so delicately by Blockman.  The halls, carved diligently by Impactman.  The power, provided by Fuseman.  

Pharaoh Woman: Indeed, a most majestic temple.  Worthy of Ramses II himself….At least I think he’d like it.  He probably had expensive tastes.

Tundraman: Make no mistake, this is a house of focus, discipline, and above all, respect.  Do not think Master Torch will give you favors just because you’re my family.  So be on your best behavior.

Toadman: Why’d you look at me when you said that??  Everyone knows I’m the classy one of the bunch.

Diveman: Yeah, don’ get so uptight.  I’ve been drinkin’ nuthin’ but milkshakes all day. 

Tundraman: …How exactly does rum, mixed with vodka and whiskey qualify as a milkshake, may I ask?

Diveman: Made it wit the shake mixer, didn’ I?

Brightbabe: So that’s why my strawberry milkshake tasted funny this morning!

Ringman: And on that note, we’re as ready as we’ll ever be.  Lead the way, Tundra. 

Tundraman: Very well.  It’s showtime!

(Tundraman approaches a set of large stone gates, and bangs the doorknocker three times. The gates it slowly swings open, leading into a stone room with two smaller wooden doors, with three guards posted in front of them.)

Kui-Saburo: Halt! State your business here!

Tundraman: There's no need for alarm, little brother. They're with me.

Kui-Saburo: Not so fast, Brother Tundra. We cannot let outsiders pass until they prove their worth first.

Tundraman: When did we start testing new arrivals at the front gate? I would think I would be part of this discussion!

Kui-Ichiro: It's new. We already lost one sanctuary to some unruly trainees. And we're not about to lose another!

Drillman: That's right, Tundra. You mentioned John laid waste to your original dojo. How exactly did he do it?

Tundraman: I said nothing of the sort. The truth is, an outsider challenged Master Torch for the title, prestiege and limelight of being the only Torchman. And unfortunately, our home was destroyed in the heat of the battle.*

*Mechanical Maniacs, Series 9, Episode 30, "By Any other Name"

Dustman: Ah. I was wondering if you guys were getting any trouble from the Sinister Six Torchman. He's bothered other people for less. How badly did Master Torchman humiliate him?

Toadman: Yeah! Leave out no detail, no matter how brutal, humiliating, or demeaning!

Tundraman: From what I gather, it was Master Torch who conceded, and the challenger, whose legend will live on.

Diveman: ...Great. If Master Splinter couldn' even beat Torchman, the hell are we wastin' our time wit him fer?

Skullman: A valid inquiry. Torchman is not even as large of a threat as Kryptoman.

Brightbabe: Neither is Ballade, and we still had a lot of trouble putting him down. Let's not rule anything out.

Pharaoh Woman: Indeed. I do not want this journey to be all for nothing...Other than meeting a long lost brother, who's willing to share adventures with us. Because that's cool...I mean, noble! Yeah! That's what I meant to say.

Toadman: That's what I'm talking about! Besides, whatever this challenge is, it can't be that hard, right? For all we know, we already passed it!

Kui-Saburo: The challenge is simple! One door leads to Master Torch! The other, certain death!

Kui-Ichiro: You may ask either my brother Jiro, or myself one question.

Kui-Jiro: But be careful! One of us always tells the truth! But the other, always lies!

Ringman: Oh, that's not so bad. We saw this one on Labyrinth last week.

Brightbabe: Not so bad? We spent four hours arguing over how the solution of the puzzle worked. It was even more confusing than the ending to 'Trading Places'.

Skullman: Incorrect. The argument lasted six hours. We took a short recess after the fourth hour. And the debate over 'Trading Places' has not yet been resolved.

Ringman: Well, I understood it. Just you see.

(Ringman steps forward and approaches Kui-Jiro.)

Ringman: Would the other guard tell me that this door leads to Torchman?

Kui-Jiro: I dunno.


Comrades: .....

Drillman: That wasn't particularly helpful!

Pharaoh Woman: But at least we know which one of them is the liar. After all, how could he not know whether or not the other guard is honest?

Kui-Jiro: Hey! Only one question!

Ringman: It doesn't help us! He didn't answer yes or no, so we can't infer anything about what's behind the door!

Pharaoh Woman: ...But we all agree he's the liar, right...?

Diveman: (throws up his arms) Ah, fuck it. Here's a question: Skully, yer usually honest, right?

Skullman: Usually. When practicable.

Diveman: Well, ya better be. How quickly can ya whip up a skull barrier?

Skullman: At a thought's notice. Why would that-

Diveman: Good. Think fast!

(Diveman grabs Skullman, kicks open one of the doors, and throws him inside. Skullman activates his skull barrier, just as he lands. When he does, the Comrades watch and wait with baited breath.)

Comrades: .......

Skullman: It appears this is the safe door.

Kui-Jiro: Pfffft. Lucky guess.

Kui-Ichiro: Nonetheless, he passed the trial. You have earned the right to address Master Torch.

Kui-Saburo: May the fists of flame lead the way to glory and victory!

(The door shuts behind the Comrades and Tundraman as they pass through a torch-lit hallway, leading to the dojo.)

Tundraman: The Impact Brothers' behavior notwithstanding, putting your brother's life at risk was extremely callous, you brute! (glares at Diveman.)

Diveman: (lights a cigarette off a torch) It's only a little callous. Ya heard Skull, he could whip up a forcefield in no time, flat. He wasn' in any danger.

Skullman: Indeed. I applaud his utilitarian thinking. Especially since Ringman's approach would have only led to six additional hours of debate over how he reached his incorrect solution.

Ringman: It wasn't incorrect! The guard cheated!

Toadman: Why? Was he not allowed to not know the answer?

Tundraman: But what if the trap was a pit? How would a skull barrier protect you from that?

Skullman: As soon as I hit the bottom, Drillman would be able to tunnel me out, rendering the trap pointless. And we would then know to take the other door.

Tundraman: But what if the ceiling collapsed? Or if the pit had spikes? Or if-You know what? It doesn't matter. It won't be the last sociopathic thing Diveman does.

Diveman: Don' count on it. Now quit yer bitchin'. Yer gonna miss the party!

(Diveman opens the doors to an expansive training yard, where several robots are gathered, in the middle of their training.  Eight other robot stand before the group, leading their exercises.  The frontmost robot is wreathed in flames, and begins glowing with energy.)

Torchman: Now, RELEASE!!  Unleash the raging flames from within!

(Torchman performs a flaming flying kick, which his disciples all do their best to mirror.  As they do, one of the robots standing by Torch notices Tundra and the Comrades and glares at them.)

Acidman: Who dares.  Interrupt our training?

Fuseman: Now, that’s no way to welcome back your favorite frozen frolicker and mine!  Especially if he’s brought back company! 

Tundraman: Many thanks, several times over, Brother Fuse!  And you are correct.  My fellow Brothers, it is my pleasure, my privilege, my honor to give you…MY FAMILY!!

(Tundraman spins and flourishes on his skates, gesturing to the Comrades.)

Blockman: (surprised) Huuuuuuuhhh??

(Suddenly, a large pink, ball shaped robot bounces in front of the group, doing a variety of flips, spins and tricks in front of them!)

Bounceman: Hey, hey kids!  Hoohahahahaa!!

Impactman: How wonderful it is to finally meet you!  Brother Tundra talks about you all the time.  And you’re even more disappointing in person!

Blastman: Don’t be silly!  I see the family resemblance already.  And it’s…AWESOME!!

(Suddenly, a statue behind Blastman explodes, for no apparent reason!)

Brightbabe: …These guys are certainly energetic.

Toadman:  Oh boy!  This place rocks already! (starts hopping after Bounceman!)

Diveman: Oh, thank God.  Here, I was thinkin’ ya’d be a buncha uptight ballbusters who’d be ridin’ our asses.  Thank God yer jus’ a buncha weirdos like us.

Acidman: We are NOT weirdos.  And make no mistake.  Our training demands nothing short of perfection and attention on your part. Minus five points for your arrogant preconceptions. 

Torchman: Indeed.  Do not think for a minute that I will show any leniency or favoritism, simply because you are Brother Tundra’s family.  Everyone is equal before the eyes of the Great Spirit of Torchjitsu!  Still, I assume you are here because you wish to follow in your brother’s footsteps?

Tundraman: That is correct!  They wish to learn the ways of the Flaming Fist!  And after seeing them in battle, I can tell you they will not disappoint!  Their power, their style, their grace is all after my own heart.

Acidman: Hmph.  If they are indeed anything like you, then all they are good for is yet another moving performance of Swan Lake performed on ice skates.  Just one was barely tolerable as it was.

Dustman: I assure you, our hearts going to be in this.  We’re one of the last surviving Mega Man teams from the olden days.  We took on Ballade, Kryptoman, Scissor Army, Shroobs, the Met King, Panzerkons-

Blastman: Panzerkons??  You guys met flesh and blood transformers?!  You know, I happen to be in the movie business. Just say the word, and-

Acidman: Drop it.  Drop it right now.  I’m not joking.

Blastman: Come on!!  If I could get even one to star in one of those in my movies, I’d-

Blockman: …Something tells me giant transforming robots aren’t going to be interested being in movie where they’re “lubricating” humans and have “wrecking balls.”

Blastman: …Now you’re just being harsh.

Torchman:  All things being equal, if you have overcome as many trials and ordeals as you say you have, what could I possibly teach you that you don’t already know?  If anything, you should be up here, imparting your wisdom on us all.

Pharaoh Woman: A generous offer, from one divine ruler to the other. But-

Torchman: We insist!  Brother Tundra wouldn’t have brought you before me if you didn’t have potential.  Show us what you’re capable of!

Fuseman: I second that motion! Don't be shy, brothers and sisters, misters and missuses! We're ready to be dazzled, delighted, and dumbfounded!

Comrades: .......

(Torchman stands aside and motions to the Comrades, who all look at each other sheepishly.)

Dustman: (whispers) …Soooo…Any ideas??  Nobody look at me.  I don’t think switching my vacuum on is going to cut it. 

Diveman: (cracks knuckles) Alright, kids.  Stand back, ‘n we’ll show ya how take care o’ shroobs downtown-

Drillman: NO.

Diveman: …We’ll save that fer a rainy day.

Toadman: Leave it to me, guys!

Ringman: Oh God, Flippy.  No.  No, no, no-

(Flippy raises his arms and unleashes a rain flush!)

Toadman: Hahaha!  Yeah!  Right.  On.  The money!!

Torchman: You manifested your will on the weather itself??  You all truly are most impressive!!

Tundraman: And you doubted me?

Acidman:   It was well-founded.  But credit will be given.  Where it is due.  One point to the amphibian. 

Fuseman: Goodness gracious!  That was exciting, electrifying, and stupefying!  And the million dollar question I’m sure everyone is buzzing with is, what other tricks do you have up your sleeves?

Brightbabe: I think you’re setting your expectations a little high.

Torchman: Nonsense!  Brother Tundra, you have chosen our new instructors wisely. Together, we shall perfect the art of Torchjitsu, and unlock the ultimate secrets of the body, heart and mind!

Brightbabe: We didn’t come here to be-

Blockman: Come on! Don't be shy! From what I'm told, talent has always run in the Cossack family, not modesty or stage fright! 

Blastman: You already got our attentions! Might as well make it worth our while!!

Bounceman: Whatever else Toadman has up his sleeves, it's gotta be good!!

(The pupils all surround the Comrades, cheering them on, even though if the Comrades (minus Toad) could sink into the floor, they would.)

Toadman: Watch and learn, kids!  Somebody get a can of worms, some lube, and-

Skullman:  (puts his hand in front of Flippy’s mouth) …All in good time, our apprentices.  First, we must…prepare…our fighting techniques before we proceed any further.

Torchman: Take all the time you require!  Seek me out when you are ready.  I have a feeling we will all be addressing you all as brothers before too long.

(Later, in the dining halls, the Comrades and Tundraman are discussing potential lessons amongst themselves.)

Brightbabe: …Show of hands, who feels slightly in over our heads?

Drillman:  We all have John to thank for that.  Well played.  I wouldn’t have seen this coming.

Ringman: …I’m just that clever, I guess.  I don’t have to talk to be clever. 

Dustman: (glances at Tundraman) What I don’t get is why you didn’t tell them why we were here in the first place.

Tundraman: I admit, I wasn’t expecting your debut to be as captivating as it was.  But Master Torch sees your potential, and gave you all a moment in the spotlight.  Why run away from it?  You can’t!  You mustn’t!  You won’t!!

Toadman: See, that’s what I was thinking!  (turns to the group) You’re welcome!!

Pharaoh Woman: Indeed, this could be a grand opportunity.  I would never turn down an opportunity to pass down the wisdom of the pharaohs to a new generation.  There’s no telling they would learn.  Like….Pyramid building.  And…chariot races.  And…modern philosophy…?

Skullman: Most likely, they will learn nothing of particular value.  Our expertise does not lie with martial arts, we will most likely fail and be subjected to scorn and ridicule.

Pharaoh Woman: …A little more than that, I hope.

Skullman: It will be most humiliating.  But once Torchman realizes we are not true practitioners, he will understand that we require training.  This will be momentary embarrassment we will have to live with.

Brightbabe: …Oh.  Well that’s a relief.

Dustman: …Or he’ll throw us out for being frauds and wasting their time.

Skullman: That is also possible. The odds are approximately 40-60.

Brightbabe: …Slightly less relieving…

Toadman: Speak for yourselves.  I’m gonna knock this outta the park!

Drillman: What else are you going to do?  Your rain flush was your one hat trick.

Toadman: Do what I always do!  Carry this team on my broad, powerful, slimy shoulders!!

Diveman: Ah, what the hell.  Even if we screw the pooch, we’re no worse off than we started.  Jus’ fake it ‘til we make it. 

Tundraman: I do not understand.  Have you not faced greater challenges?  More daunting odds?  Why should imparting your expertise, your wisdom, your experience prove so daunting?

Dustman: I’m sorry, since came here to get guidance rather than impart it, we sort of feel like the blind leading the blind.  Or rather the blind, leading the ones who see better than anyone.

Drillman: Hm.  Don’t give up yet.  Dive’s right, faking it until you make it has worked for John this whole time.  If we pretend there’s a spiritual connection to our special weapons, they might just buy it.  For once, I agree with you, John.

Ringman: Diveman was the one who suggested it!!  Like, barely a minute ago!

Drillman: Of course, that’s how you’d want us to remember it.  Mandell Effect Man.

Ringman: It’s Mandela Effect. 

Drillman: That’s how everyone remembers it now.  Just how you want them to remember it.

(Drillman stares daggers at Ringman who looks to Diveman for help.  Dive looks just as confused as he is and shrugs.)

Brightbabe: …Can just we get our crippling failures over with now?

Skullman: Do not worry.  Our upcoming failure cannot be considered crippling, as it will have no long-term impact on our team.

Brightbabe: …Again…That’s-That’s a relief…

(Later, the Comrades are meeting up with Torchman and the other Disciples of Torchjitsu in the training courtyard.)

Torchman:  So, I trust you are ready to reveal your secrets to us?

Pharaoh Woman: Indeed we are!  With our guidance, we will make you worthy of the Knights of Osiris himself!

Dustman: …Was that ever a thing?

Pharaoh Woman: …I could make it one, couldn’t I?  I’m a pharaoh, after all.

Torchman: Already, I admire your enthusiasm!  Your passion!  Clearly, you will make great instructors!  I will pair each of you with myself or my fellow brothers, Tundra included. 

Acidman: I’m sure this will be a most…Educational lesson.

Impactman: Don’t be a slouch, Brother Acid!  I can’t wait to see what they’re capable of!  Man, I hope they crash and burn!

Diveman: …Maybe it’s the seventh milkshake talkin’, but are ya guys hearin’ three differen’ voices comin’ out that guy…? (points at Impactman)

Skullman: Depends.  Are you asking if his behavior is peculiar, or are you finally diagnosing your faulty audio circuits?

Drillman: So that’s your plan.  Trying to split the team up so we’ll be easier to pick off.  I should have guessed. 

Torchman: I have paired each of you with a master who, according to Brother Tundra, should best fit your fighting style.  Go forth, read your names on the roster, and meet your destiny!

(Torchman stands aside so that the Comrades can read the roster and see who they’ve been paired with.)

Toadman: Yeah-ha!  Couldn’t have picked it better myself!

Drillman: …Just as I suspected…

Ringman: …Okay, why not.

Diveman: Ugh.  Can I get do over?

Brightbabe: …You could trade with mine…

Dustman: …Best fit…?

Skullman: …That seems questionable to me, as well.

Pharaoh Woman: I believe that my partner would benefit the most from the wisdom of the countless pharaohs before me.

Dustman: You’re only our third Pharaoh. 

Pharaoh Woman: …Well, I can still impart their wisdom though, can’t I…?

Diveman: Yeah, I gotta flask fulla wisdom.  ‘N we’re gonna need every drop ta get thru this.

Drillman: Oh, they’ll learn that much and more from us, I’m sure.  Let’s not keep our ‘hosts’ waiting.  (whispering) After all, they were up all night digging our graves.

Torchman: Indeed, the time has come to shape the destiny of the eager bodies and minds awaiting you!  And as always, may the spirit of Torchjitsu always be your guide!

(Later, in Impactman’s subterranean dojo, Impactman and his students are gathered for a demonstration from their guest practitioner…)

Impactman: I must say, I’m excited to have you here!

Drillman: I bet you are indeed.  Now you don’t have to bury my body anywhere, once you’ve gotten me tell you everything.

Impactman: …Nothing of the sort will happen, we promise.  But there’s no use in standing on ceremony.  Show us everything you’re capable of!

Drillman: Don’t play dumb with me.  I know you know what I’m capable of.  This charade is pointless.

Impactman: …I’m sorry…?

(Impactman tilts his head at Drillman, more than a little puzzled.  Noticing his bewildered expressions, Drillman narrows his eyes.)

Drillman: Very well.  I’ll keep the charade going for now. 

(Drillman burrows through the massive boulder with ease!)

Drillman:  I trust that meets your expectations.

Impactman: That wasn't so impressive. Yeah, what a letdown.

Drillman: …Letdown…? Letdown??

Impactman: You think the giant drills on your head and arms went unnoticed?  Anyone can tell you’re capable of more than that.  Don’t be a poser!

Drillman: …Ah, I see.  It’s my special weapon you’re after.  I’m sure John already told you what it does.  But I’ll play along.

(Drillman fires off two drill bombs, destroying two boulders while drilling through another.)

Drillman:  If that doesn’t show you everything you need to know, I don’t know what else will.

Impactman: ….

Drillman: What?? What was wrong with that?? 

Impactman:: …How anticlimactic…That's nothing, really. I can do better than that. 

Drillman: …Better…?  Better??  Better than obliterating boulders with explosive drills??  What more could you possibly want??

Impactman: Are you serious?  Is that truly the limit of your abilities?  What a letdown!

Drillman: Oh?  I’d like to see YOU do better!

Impactman: We are not teaching this class.  You are.  Why aren’t you letting yourselves go?

Drillman: …Myselves?

Impactman: Observe!

(Impactman abruptly splits into three smaller piledrivers that fly around the chamber!  Two of them shatter rows of boulders with ease, while another flies towards Drillman’s arm!)

Kui-Jiro: Release all of your true potential!!

(Kui-Jiro cleaves through Drillman’s arm!  It simply falls to the ground in a shower of sparks and oil!)

Drillman: What the hell?!  WHAT THE HELL?!!!

Kui-Jiro: (floats over Drillman’s arm) …Well, what are you waiting for??  Fly around already…

(Kui-Jiro pokes at Drillman’s lifeless arm.  It simply twitches and flops around like a beached fish, still leaking fluids.)

Kui-Saburo: Jiro…??  I don’t think he’s the same kind of robot we are…

Kui-Jiro: …A little late to know that now!!

Drillman: What-what are you??  WHY are you?!

Kui-Ichiro:  Didn’t Brother Tundra tell you our true nature?   That Saburo, Jiro and I make up Impactman?

Kui-Saburo: We can’t begin to apologize about your arm.  Apparently, Jiro thought you were the same as us.

Drillman: Same as you??  A trio of alien imposters, pretending to be a robot master?!? 

(Drillman backs away from the students revving his remaining good drill.)

Drillman: Who else here are pretender robots, trying to infiltrate our society??  I know there are others amongst you!!

Kui-Saburo: What the-?  Surely, we aren’t the first combiner robots you’ve met.

Drillman: Not counting Panzerkons, which were a different category of robots!  Of course!  It all makes sense!!  You’re all Decepticon secret agents, pretending to be martial arts students!! 

Kui-Saburo: …Huh…?

Drillman:  (fires a drill bomb in front of the students) You’ll never take me alive!!  I just hope I’m not to late to warn the others!!

(Drillman tunnels out of the room, with some difficulty, as he’s missing an arm.  The remaining disciples look on in shock.)

Kui-Saburo: …So that concludes that lesson…

Kui-Ichiro: (glares at Jiro) What were you thinking?!  You were supposed to take out the third row of boulders!!

Kui-Jiro: …It seemed like a good idea at the time…

(Elsewhere, in a movie set adorned with scorch marks…)

Blastman: Oh yeah.  Sure.  I bet this will be awesome.  (snorts)

Dustman: …

Blastman: Why couldn’t I get the one that won Pearl Harbor…?

Dustman: (stares blankly) …Are…Are you referring to Skullman…?

Blastman: No!  I meant that submarine guy!  Submarines were in Pearl Harbor, weren’t they?  Those are what helped win the battle against those fascist, slave-owning Russians!!

Dustman: …I…I can’t even begin to point out all the things wrong with that.

Blastman: Whatever.  No big deal.  I can pick his brain about that later.  Just do whatever it is you’re going to do.

Dustman: …Oh-Okay…

(Dustman uncomfortably turns to address Blastman’s pupils, all of whom look bored.)

Dustman: …I…I know you’re used to using explosions to win your battles-

Blastman: Because they’re AWESOME!!

(Blastman blows up a random motorcycle for no reason.)

Dustman: …That wasn’t necessary.

Blastman: Just trying to liven your lesson up, that’s all. 

Dustman: …As I was saying-

(Blastman explodes random school bus for no apparent reason!)

Dustman: Do you mind??

Blastman: Just roll with it!

Dustman: It’s extremely disruptive!  I can’t make my point if I keep having things blow up around me!!

Blastman: (stares blankly) That’s the point, isn’t it?

Dustman: My point is, you don’t have to blow up everything to be the better warrior!  I don’t, and I get by!

Blastman: That’s your mistake.  What are you going to do when you’ve got a meteor the size of Texas coming straight at you?  Blow it away with your vacuum cleaner?

(A few pupils snicker at that, as a random brick building blows up, for no reason.  Dustman leaps back, switches his vacuum on, and sucks up some of the falling debris.  He unleashes a massive dust crusher made up of mortars, bricks and stones, and shatters a large of chunk of the building.)

Dustman: This is what I do.  I look for an opening, and exploit it, using nothing but what’s around me. 

Blastman: Who cares about what’s around you?  It you can blow it up, why not?

Dustman: …I don’t think even Napalmman’s that reckless.  You should be ashamed.

Blastman: Now those are fighting words!!

(Blastman fires off a barrage of chain blasts at Dustman.  But Dustman simply sucks them and shoots them back at him before they can detonate.  Blastman’s eyes go wide as he’s caught up in a trio of massive explosions.)

Dustman: That awesome enough for you?

(The pupils all nod, suitably impressed.)

Blastman: ...Okay, fine. You made your point. But I still have one question.

Dustman: I’m listening.

Blastman: Couldn’t you just have shot those with your arm cannon?

Dustman: …….! 

(Dustman looks down at his arm cannon, as though he’s noticed for the first time.  Elsewhere, at a theme-parked theme area, where dozens of excited robots are gathered…)

Bounceman: Hey, hey kids!! We got a special treat for you today! Everybody give a big round of applause for...Uhhhhhh.

(Bounceman leans in close and whispers.)

Bounceman: Hey uh, I didn't catch yer name, buddy...

(Diveman is off in the corner, smoking a cigarette, trying to make himself invisible.)

Diveman: First name: Ura. Last name: Ayhoe.

Bounceman: (whispers back) ...Yeaaah, nice try, pal. (out loud) Barney Boat Boy!!

(The crowd errupts into a applause as Diveman's eyes go wide and he scowls at Bounceman.)

Diveman: ....That's gonna cost ya...

Bounceman: (whispers) Ya brought it on yourself, kid. Serves ya right. (out loud) Before the show, I made a bet with Barney Boat Boy that he he would’t be able to lay a finger on me.  And you wanna know whhhhyyyy?

(Bounceman starts bouncing around the training area, unpredictably.)

Bounceman: Because you’ll never know where I’m gonna be next!  It’s what I do best!  Keep my enemies on their toes, keep them guessing, and always one step ahead of them!  Hoohahahaha!!

Bounceman: HEY!!

(Bounceman gets hit with a dive missile in mid-bounce.)

Diveman: One step ‘head, huh?

(Bounceman shakes his, and staggers to his feet, and resumes bouncing around.)

Bounceman: …Ugggh, okay.  You got lucky, kid.  Not gonna happen again-

(Another dive missile hits him in mid bounce.)

Bounceman: Oh, come ON!

Diveman: ‘N this is what I do bes’.  I don’ piss around.

Bounceman: Oooh, you think you’re sooooo big just because you’re packing homing missiles!  Well, let’s see how you like this!!

(Bounceman kicks his speed gear in overdrive and starts bouncing around faster than anyone keep track.)

Bounceman: Hoooohahahaha!!  Who’s laughing now! I can outrun a dozen homing missiles like this! Whatcha gonna do-YEAAAGGHHH!! 

(Suddenly, an explosion tosses Bounceman like a rag doll, and he lands at Diveman’s feet, who’s taking a drag off his cigarette.)

Diveman: Don’ needta guess where ya gonna be.  Toss out ‘nuff dive mines, ‘n yer bound ta set one off.  Game.  Set.  Match.

(Growling, Bounceman gets to his feet and points a finger into Diveman's chest.)

Bounceman: Alright, pal. You think you can just march on up here and make an ass out of me just becuase you're some hotshot World War 2 hero, you got another thing coming.

Diveman: Like that's hard to do! What kinda dumbass power is bouncin' any-Wait. World War 2 hero...?

Bounceman: Well, that's what Blastman keeps callin' ya. Me, I just call you a raging asshole!

Diveman: (smiles) Well, actually I'm a dick, not an asshole. Ya know why?

Bounceman: What difference does it frickin' make?!

(Diveman grabs one of Bounceman's lanky arms and clobbers him with it!)

Diveman: 'Cuz dicks fuck assholes!

Bounceman: (rubs his jaw) Ooh, that's it buddy! Yer asking for it!!

Diveman: Come at me! See what happens!

(Bounceman runs over and tackles Diveman, who keeps punching him in the face as he slams into a wall. The force of the impact causes them to bounce all over the room, as they try and beat the daylights out of each other.)

Kung-Fu Bot: ...Is this part of the training...?

Bounceman: Yeah! How do you like that?!

Diveman: How do ya like my boot up yer ass?!

(As Diveman's and Bouneman's traininng devolves into a barfight, Blockman is starting his training in a sparring room modelled after some ancient ruins…)

Blockman: So, what do you think of my dojo?  It has the full works.  Double jamb doorway, trapezoidal niches, all three planes represented: The condor, all the way down to the snake.  You could rip the original Temple of Moon off the face of Machu Pichu, slap this baby on there, and Nathan Drake and Lara Croft would never know the difference!

Pharaoh Woman: …You truly possess a knack for bringing to past back to life…At least I think you do.  Egyptians and Aztecs weren’t exactly neighbors.

Blockman: …Temple of the Moon is Incan, not Aztec.

Pharaoh Woman: …Oh.  As I said, we weren’t neighbors.  Shouldn’t we be training…? (points to the gathered students.)

Blockman: Ah, get wrapped uptight.  It’s on our to-do list.  Say, maybe the royal queen of the Nile herself could give me pointers on something else.  You know a thing or two about building pyramids, right?

Pharaoh Woman: Naturally!  The most lasting physical mark the Egyptian empire has made on our world!  Long may they stand, so that our children’s great grand children can gaze upon them!

Blockman: Tell me about it, right?  So, maybe you can share a few insider secrets on how they were built, eh?

(Blockman playfully nudges Pharaoh Woman with his elbow.  Pharaoh Woman looks at him, as though he just asked her to solve the hardest problem in math class.)

Pharaoh Woman:  …Stack one block on top of another…?  Moving them one row in at a time…?

Blockman: …..

Pharaoh Woman: …Oh!  And, watch out for asps!  Those are pretty mean!  They’ll kill you instantly!

Blockman: ….

Pharaoh Woman: ……..

Blockman: …..

Pharaoh Woman: …I think my mummiras did most of the work on those….At least I think I did…I’m not the first Pharaohman/ Woman on the team…

Blockman: ….Yeah….Very informative…Soooo…About that training…

Pharaoh Woman: Oh, right!  My secret to battle is not only drawing strength from myself, but also…Channeling it?  Focusing it??  …Whatever helps you shoot charged solar energy.  Like this!

(Pharaoh Woman demonstrates an uncharged and charged pharaoh shot on several stone dummies.  The gathered pupils seem reasonably impressed.)

Blockman: Ha!  Now you are a woman after my own heart!  We both know, you gotta go big, or you go home!

Pharaoh Woman: …I don’t think so, Blockman.  There’s more to fighting than that.

Blockman: Ah, don’t be such a Moses in the bulrush.   You know what this reminds me of?  My good ol’ fashioned, Block Titan trick!

Pharaoh Woman: … Your what…?

Blockman: (claps and rubs his hands) Oh boy, are you in for a treat!

(Blockman ramps up his power gear, gathers several blocks out of the temple into himself, and transforms into a towering rock giant!)

Block Titan: What do you think of that?  Thirty feet tall, 300 tons of raw power!

Pharaoh Woman: …Whoa.  Wasn’t…Wasn’t expecting that…

Block Titan: Neither will they!  Next time some two bit punk tries to take you downtown, you can bring down the smack down!

Pharaoh Woman: Ummm…Did we need some of those blocks?  I mean, turning into a rock monster will hardly help you win if it ends compromising the structure of this magnificent temple you built.

Block Titan:  Ah, come on!  This is good ol’ fashioned Incan architecture.  Stood for 1500 years, (taps it with his knuckle) and it’ll stand-

(Without warning, the whole wall collapses, sending rocks and boulders plummeting towards the fleeing students.)

Block Titan: …We’ll take a quick break, and we’ll have this cleaned up…

Narrator: So far, so good! Half of our heroes have risen up to the Disciples' challenge! And half of them knocked it out of the park! Our first run-in with the Disciples of Torchjitsu couldn't be going better!

Bounceman: (bounces by with Diveman in a headlock) You asked for this, a-hole!

Diveman: (hits Bounceman from behind with a dive missile) Ya ain' got nuthin!

Narrator: Case in point. One can only hope Bright, Ring, Skull and Toad can make as good of an impression as their teammates next month! See you then!

To be continued!

Cossack's Comrades

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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