The Business of War

Dr. Cossack War Journals 7

Knightman stopped near the Citadel. He had been agonizing over the moment that was about to come. He felt horrible having to explain why he was carrying the large corpse he slung over his shoulder. His soul may have been created from magic, but it was a soul nonetheless, and it despised the evil its host had allowed to take place that day. He shook his head, trying to cast off the gloom. He opened the door and cursed his luck.

Zapper was waiting by the door.

Knight stood in the doorway, stunned. He hadn’t brought Blizzard into view yet. He almost didn’t want to. He looked at Zapper. She was sitting down next to Zymeth. Zapper had been cradling herself and shaking a little while Zymeth hunched gloomily. Knight realized they had already experienced some grief, and now he was to lump more on top of that. He almost wished that he and Blizzard had switched roles.

“Hey, Knight…” Zapper said, getting up. “Where’s Blizzard?”

The question pierced the bloody knight more than any spear could ever accomplish. He REALLY didn’t want to do this. To put her through such pain. But it was too late.

“Milady…” He said gravely. “I… I…”

“Why are you acting so strangely, Knight?” She asked innocently.

Knightman grimaced. “I despise myself for showing you this…” He said gravely as he walked through the doorway. He laid the large body down on the stone floor. Zymeth looked up in shock, noticing what his loyal knight had produced.

"Reg?! Oh my God! Reg!!" Zapper ran over to her wounded lover. "No! It can't-not Reg!"

The other robots in the citadel watched with heavy hearts as tears began streaming from Toadgal's eyes. Zymeth winced as he watched Toadgal struggle with her loved one's body, eventually managing to prop his shoulders against her whole body. Knightman walked over to the grieving Cossack bot. He had been dreading this moment ever since he realized that Blizzardman wasn't going to be getting up from Punk's assault: Telling such a kind and loving soul the one thing that would shatter her world into thousands of pieces.

"I'm so sorry, milady..." He knelt down next to her, placing a hand on her shaking shoulders. "This is all my fault..."

Zapper continued to sob as the Knight solemnly walked to his lord. "My lord..." He bowed with the utmost reverence and humility. "I have failed you... my honor as a knight is forever tarnished..."

Zymeth looked at his fallen comrade. He never imagined Regulus could have actually died. He had always been the one to cheat death by pulling something out of nothing. If someone could escape a sticky situation, it was Regulus, but not anymore. Clever as he was, Regulus couldn't cheat death. Not this time.

"Cutman..." Zymeth fumed under his breath. He was shaking with fury at every passing moment. He knew what Zapper was going through. He had been robbed of a loved one before, and he knew Zapper wouldn't turn to the hatred he had to make the pain go away. She'd blame herself for not being there instead of placing all her emotion on the true source of her sorrow.
"Cutman must die..." Zymeth seethed under his breath. "I'll drag him kicking and screaming to hell even if I'm going there myself..."

He looked to his faithful knight. He still knelt before him, head bowed both in shame and homage to his master. "Whatever, don't sweat it." He said, walking past his servant and over to Zapper. Knightman persisted.

“But, sir!” He said.

Zymeth spun around and glared at him. “Look, I will TELL you when you're to be ashamed of yourself. Alright!?”

Knightman stood up and stepped back, frightened by the sudden outburst from his lord.

The commotion had attracted quite a few viewers, Dr. Cossack among them. "What's going on?" He sounded concerned, hearing Zapper's heavy sobs. He saw the gaping hole in Blizzardman's armor and the exposed circuitry. "Oh no..." Zapper had talked to Cossack once or twice about Blizzardman, and he knew how hard this would hit her. "Everyone, stand back! I need to get through!"

About half a dozen or so robots had gathered around the scene, mainly because they knew Toadgal. Having seen enough of the piteous scene, they now drew back to allow the doctor clearance.

"Oh, Toadgal..." Cossack put his arm around Zapper. "I know nothing I can say will be able to comfort you during this loss..."

Zapper refused to let go of Blizzard. "...why?" She sobbed quietly.

Cossack couldn't bear to look at Toad in such a state, and diverted his eyes to the fallen juggernaut. He looked at the hole and the vital machinery that had been damaged. Suddenly, his eyes lit up. He noticed the main processing unit, Regulus's mind, was undamaged.

"Toadgal!" Cossack shook Zapper's shoulder. "Do not grieve, child, look!"

Zapper forced herself to look upon the broken pieces of her lover again. She had buried her face in her arms, which she had rested on his shoulders, so she wouldn't be tempted to look at Regulus's body in such horrible condition. She looked away instantly, only seeing the reminder of happiness stripped from her, Fate laughing at her misery.

"Toad..." Cossack soothed. "Do not look at what has been damaged. Look at what has survived." He placed his hand on Regulus’s statis tank. His mind was cooled by the snow generator, naturally, and the Blue Fox reinforced super-metal had proven resilient against Punk's blows. "His stasis tank has drifted into a dormant state..." He explained. "We can still save him, but he needs attention immediately."

"He's... he's alive?" Zapper looked up, her body still shaking from grief.

"Yes, child, but we must act quickly if we are to save him." He replied encouragingly.

Knight did not need to be told what to do. He rushed to the side of the fallen Russian and hoisted him up, placing a massive arm around his shoulders. "Where to, physician?" He asked the doctor.

"Follow me." Cossack said and began running, Knight able to keep up with him in his steady stride. Within minutes they were in Cossack's lab. Kalinka came in. "Father?" She asked.

"Kalinka, get me a soldering tool, hurry!" Cossack said urgently.

Kalinka rushed to go get the device. Skullman watched as Cossack rearranged torn wires. "Such a mess..." Cossack muttered. "Nothing can ever come of war but destruction and loss..."

Zapper began crying again. "Is he going to make it?" She asked.

"Yes..." Cossack said softly. "He's going to be alright."

"Oh, thank you Cossack!" She threw hers arms around Cossack, hugging him tight, which, given her strength, was rather uncomfortable for any human.

"Ok, dear, you're crushing me now..." He gasped.

"Sorry..." Zapper let go. Cossack put his hand to his chest, catching his breath.

"Come on, Zap." Skull put his arm around her. "We've done all we can for him. Let the doctor do the rest."

"Okay..." Zapper grabbed Skull's arm and he led her out of the room.

Zapper was probably the only one who could find comfort in being around someone so imposing and twisted as Zymeth. She rest her head on his shoulder. "Is he going to make it?" She asked for the 46th time that evening.

"Yes, Zapper. He's going to make it..." Skullman answered the same as he had the last forty-five times.

Knight sat down beside the two. A few minutes later, Regdar showed up. “Hey, Zap…” Regdar said trying to fake being cheery.

Zymeth was relieved to see Regdar. He was afraid that he might snap at Zapper. He was still on edge from his bout with Mesmer, and he knew he’d feel horrible if he took out his frustration on someone as sweet and innocent as Zapper. Zymeth edged away from Zapper tactfully; effectively pawning Zapper’s care onto the gunslinger without having to request it. The four Robot Masters sat there on the bench, waiting for some positive news.

Hours went by and Cossack had still not come out from the lab. Diveman walked past the group. “Hey guys.” He said. Then he saw the grim faces. Zapper’s eyes were still tearing. “Hey… what’s the problem, guys?” The submarine asked. He knew Zapper and Zymeth had been through hell, but Regdar looked depressed, too.

“Punk nearly killed Blizzardman back in Murmansk.” T. Hawk said quietly. He held Zapper’s hand.

Dive looked at Toad. “Oh, man… that’s rough…” He said. He knelt next to Toad. “Hey, don’t worry ‘bout a thing, ‘k, Zap? Blizzard’s a tough son-of-bitch, he’s gonna make it. I’m sure of it.”

“Thanks, Dive…” Zapper said quietly. Her voice was shaking. She was trying her best to hold back tears.

Just then, the doors swung open, and Cossack stepped out. “He’s going to make a full recovery.” He said with a smile. “He asked to see you.” He pointed to Toadgal.

Zapper stood up. Her body was still shaking all over from the shock of nearly losing Regulus. She looked inside. Blizzardman was sitting on the table. His blue eyes were glowing once more, and they cast a dull blue light on the wall he was staring at. Zapper heaved a sigh; she was still trying to keep calm. Blizzard heard it and immediately looked in her direction. His eyes shrank to glowing points of light like they always did when he was around her.

“Zapper…” He said softly. His chest was still open.

“Reg…” Zapper started to cry softly as she rushed over to her lover. He put his arm around her.

“There, there…” He said, holding her as she clung to him. “It’s all going to be alright… I’m fine… I’m here.”

“Don’t ever scare me like that again…” Zapper half-smiled as she rested her head on his side.

“I’m sorry I frightened you, dear…” Blizzardman said.

“I thought I lost you forever…” Zapper’s chest heaved as she spoke. “I thought I was going to be all alone… I… I don’t wanna be all alone, Reg…”

“I know, Zapper…” Regulus replied. “I know…”

There was a long silence. It seemed short to Blizzardman, but Zapper agonized over nagging thoughts and fears.

“Reg… you… you love me, don’t you..?” Zapper looked up at him with tears in her eyes. “You’d never leave me… right?”

“Of course I do…” Blizzard cradled her in his strong arms. “How can you ask such a thing?”

Zapper didn’t answer. Instead, she just curled up even more against her lover. Blizzardman rocked her slightly as she rested against his massive frame.

“I… don’t think I should upload Centaur’s memories today…” The Russian said after a while.

“Why?” Zapper asked.

“Well…” Blizzard hesitated. “Centaur was with me just before I blacked out… That means…”

“Centaur saw you get killed…” She finished. She rubbed her eyes. She’d been crying off and on for a long time.

“Yes.” Blizzard said. He placed his hands on Zapper’s shoulders and gently turned her to meet his gaze. “I don’t think I could bear seeing you die before my eyes, Zapper…” He said quietly. “Much less twice. That’s a sight no one should be put through. I won’t make you go through that…”

“Thanks, Reg…”

The door opened, revealing Cossack. “I need to finish, dear.” He said to Zapper. “I’m afraid you can’t be in the room.

“Okay…” Zapper had to pull herself away from Regulus as she left. “I love you…”

“I love you, too…” The large robot replied as Zapper left the room. She was hunching over, clutching her arms around her sides. Blizzard’s eyes returned to the full glow, his ability to express emotion leaving with his pupils as she exited the room.

“This can wait, Cossack.” The icy giant got up. Cossack rushed up and braced himself against the robot, trying to force him back down. Blizzard walked forward slowly, hardly affected by the scientist’s efforts.

“No, it can’t. You need to sit down and allow me to finish.” Cossack argued.

“I can do this myself. I’m a mechanic, too. I constructed my own damn body!” Regulus replied, referring to his alternate form. “Give me some sturdy metal and I’ll replace the hole myself later.”

“No! You won’t do as good a job if you’re working on yourself! Now sit down!” Cossack’s voice rose to a shout, something the Blue Fox leader was not used to hearing, and it froze him in his path. “If you love her, you need to be strong for her and heal properly! You’re not the only one who cares deeply for her! She has her family, too. Now lie down and let me finish, Comrade.”

Blizzardman stood there. “You’re right…” He admitted. He got back up on the table. “Surgeons can’t operate on themselves… they need someone to do it for them…”

“It’s not weakness.” Cossack replied, sensing Blizzardman was feeling helpless. “It’s being wise…”

“You’re right…” Regulus said as he leaned forward. He had to if he didn’t want Cossack climbing up on the table to access his open chest. He put his faith in Dr. Cossack now as his mind wandered to Zapper.


Zapper and Jet's War Journal:

It was the first time the Comrades had been home in a while. It was around Midnight. Everyone was in their rooms asleep.

Well... almost everyone.

Zapper was still shaken up after her experience with Mesmerman. Even with her night light on, her room was dark and frightening. To add to it, her good friend Zymeth, AKA Skullman, was also still bothered by his experience. Zapper's lover, Regulus, was nearly killed too.

She had a lot on her mind that night. Sleeping wasn't really one of them either.

Toad was in tears. She was too scared to sleep. With good reason too. She was already insecure about some of her problems, so this made things worse.

“What if something happens to Regulus?” she thought as she nervously looked around her darkened room. She was wondering if maybe she should go see one of her team mates. As if to answer her, the light of her night light suddenly died. The bulb burned out. That tore it. Zapper decided she'd see if Jet, also known as Brightbabe, was awake still. With that, she grabbed her blanket and her teddy bear. Off she went down the hallway of the citadel to BBs room.

BB was indeed still awake. She was having trouble staying asleep actually. She was still feeling bad about the whole mess with Mesmerman too. She knew she had no control over her actions, but she still had a lot of guilt about attacking the RPD and her team mates. Her team hadn't said much about it, but she was afraid they were probably mad about it. She just laid down once more to try and go to sleep. It was no use though. She could only lay in bed quietly crying to herself. She felt horrible.

She was just about to try one more time when she heard someone at her bedroom door. As she sat up to see who it was, she saw someone in her doorway with a blanket and a teddy bear.

“Zapper? Are you alright?” BB asked.

“I- I'm too scared to sleep.... My night light went out too.” She answered. She looked down at the floor as if slightly embarrassed by what she was about to ask, then she looked up at BB again. “Can I sleep with you tonight, Jet?” she asked.

“Well of course Zapper.” With that, BB just scooted over and pulled the blankets back on her bed so Zapper could climb in. As Zapper got situated in bed, BB couldn't help but notice she'd been crying.

“Is there uhhh... something you needed to talk about?” she asked her sounding a bit concerned.

Zapper just hugged her teddy bear and turned to BB, “It's everything....”

“Everything? What do you mean?” BB asked her.

“I was already scared of a lot of things, but after what happened with Mesmer... I feel like it's worse. I almost lost Regulus too! What if something happens to him on his next mission? I'm just scared...”she replied almost on the verge of tears again.

BB wasn't entirely sure what to say to her friend. What do you say really? She was scared too.

“I'm sorry Zapper..... You're always welcome to bug me if you get scared. I don't really know what to tell you about Regulus. I know he's a tough guy though. I know the others will watch his back too. No matter what happens, the team and I will be here for you too. We're all scared, but we're sticking together.” BB said as she gently hugged her friend. She really did feel bad for her, but she wasn't sure what to say.

“Thanks Jet...” she said still sniffing a little. She was still worried, but she was feeling better about it at least. Zapper was beginning to calm down some. She was thinking about maybe going to sleep, until she noticed that Jet looked like she'd been crying earlier too.

“Jet? Is something on your mind too?” she asked BB.


“You look like you've been crying...” Zapper said as she sat up again.

“Oh... Well, yeah.” she answered quietly. It seemed she was a bit ashamed of something.

“Why? What happened?”

“ Well..... I can't help but worry I got everyone mad at me... The team hasn't really mentioned the mess with Mesmerman or the fact I attacked them either. I feel really bad. I think I got them mad at me. …I'm scared I got you mad too.” BB said finally. From the way she said it, it sounded like she was trying to keep herself from crying again too.

Zapper was actually a little surprised at BB. What gave her the idea that anyone was mad at her? Where'd an idea like that come from? Rather than question where the thought originated from, she decided to try and put it to rest.

“No one's mad at you BB.” Zapper began. “Most likely the others are still shaken up too. They're trying to sort through their own ordeals. That's all.”

It did make a lot of sense actually. BB felt a bit embarrassed that she was so worried, but she couldn't always help it. “Thanks Zapper.” she answered.

“You're welcome Jet.” she replied as she hugged her.

After a glance at the clock on the nightstand, they decided it would probably be a good idea to try going to sleep again. Zapper and Jet each had half the bed to themselves as they pulled the blankets up. Then BB noticed there wasn't any kind of night light in the room for Zapper except the light from the hallway. After thinking a moment she decided to turn her own light bulb on just enough to light the room a bit.

Zapper was just fine with it as she rolled over and held her teddy tight.

“Good night, Jet.” she said.

“Good night, Zapper.”


Pharaohman makes his way onto one of the balconies near the top of the citadel. It’s a nice place to go to enjoy the cool night; to look out over the snow-covered fields and forget about your troubles… or dwell on them whatever suits your fancy.

When he got there, he wasn’t alone. Diveman was there as well, taking in a smoke. He offers one to Jade, who lights on up as well. Pharaoh, in turn, offers a tug from the bottle of vodka he brought with him.

“Feeling any better?” Pharaoh asks, referring to the especially savage beating he got from Captain Napalmman. That was one crazy stunt of his, but from the sound of things, he got the job done, leaving that walking tank just as worse for wear, and hopefully at the mercy of the General’s bad temper as an added bonus.

“Eh, not too bad.” Dive stretches, “I’ll be good ‘s new in no time. Yourself?” Jade, while not mangled as badly as Geoff, still got quite the going over from Gravityman, taking a couple serious hits causing some internal damages, but nothing a quick patch-up from the doctor couldn’t fix.

“Pretty good.” Pharaoahman answers. “Can’t say much for what’s to come. It sounds like things’ll be worse before they get better.”

“Yeah.” Diveman scowls, “Now that ol’ Cold Cuts has entered this thing personally and gotten himself into Russia, he’s no doubt determined to take us out.”

Jade takes another swig, “Funny, you’d think he’d be more worried about the RPD, or Wily for that matter. But here he is hunting US down. I don’t know whether to be honored or scared shitless.”

“Both.” Dive laughs. “Point is, he fig’res it’s better to pick off the smaller wolves before they get too big n’ bite ya’ in the ass.”

“Makes sense, I suppose. Hopefully Gravity and Napalm are least out of the running for a while. But we have plenty more to worry about. I heard about how the Tyrants got completely decimated by Cutman, not to mention the close call with Regulus. I just hope we see a break in the storm soon.”

With that Pharaoh says g’night and heads to bed.


He wakes up the next morning with a strange feeling in the back of his head. He heads downstairs to the living room of the citadel and is horrified by what he finds:

The floor, ceiling, and walls are covered in blood as the bodies of the other Comrades, Dr. Cossack, Jay, and Silent Bob are strewn all over the room, most of them having been savagely ripped to pieces or burned alive. And in the middle of the gruesome carnage stand the Ascendant Androids.

Jade feels his body suddenly go limp. “You… how could you do such a thing?!” He stammers, barely even able to form words.

“It was really easy.” Gravityman laughs. “I rip them apart piece by piece, they scream and bleed. It’s really simple, but GOD, I love it!”

“Not as much as I love the smell of searing flesh while they burn to death, screaming in agony…!” Napalm sneers.

“Damn you…” Pharaoh’s rage hits its peak. “DAMN YOU!!! I’LL KILL YOU ALL MYSELF!!!”

He barely gets a chance to draw his sword, though, when he gets flung into the wall by Gravity. “Take it easy, you’ll have your turn in a minute.”

Pharaoh picks himself up. “What about the others…?” He realizes. “The Assassins? The Tyrants? The Gladiators?”

“They were absolutely no challenge at all.” A new voice speaks up. Now stepping into the room is none other than the General himself. “I’ve fought old grannies with better fighting skill than those worms.”

Jade turns to glare at Cutman, when he sees that he’s not alone, he’s dragging Kalinka with him. Tears pour down her face as he forces her to look on all he’s done to her family. “Yes, I caught her trying to escape. Now what shall we do with her?”

“Don’t you lay a hand on her!!”

“Quiet you.” The General just brushes Pharaoh off, as if he were completely insignificant. “I know!! We’ll have dear ol’ Pharaohman here kill the young lady.”

“What is this, some kinda sick joke?!” Jade hisses. “I’ll kill YOU!!”

He charges a Pharaoh Shot when something grabs him from behind. Jade glances behind him and his pupils practically sink into his eyes when he sees what it is. Mesmerman.

“Heheh. I told ya you couldn’t save them.” Mes giggles as he forces control over Jade’s mind.

“Pharaoh… Jade… Please stop…” Kalinka tearfully pleads as Pharaoh raises his buster. All he can do is scream silently as he fires…


Jade jumps up in bed. Tears and swear drip down his face. He gets up and runs to the door. Opening it, he sees Kalinka on the other side, just about to knock.

"Oh, hi Pharaohman." She looks a little worried. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah, I think I'm fine now. What about you?" Jade turns slightly, a little embarrassed.

"Just tired. Me and daddy have been working overtime patching all you guys up. That must've been some battle out there."

"Yeah. Thanks for all both of you have done."

Kalinka smiles, "It's the least we can do. You've all worked so hard for our sakes, I should be thanking you." She gives him a hug. "Well, I'm off to bed. I'm exhausted and there's still so much to do. Good night, Jade."

"G' night"

Jade goes back into his room and lays back down.

"I'll try not to let you guys down..."


A Web of Strings: Skullman's War Journal pt.3

Zymeth's pipe organ resonated with the sound of the almost crazed melody that he composed. All his grief, rage, and frustration all flowed into that song. His organ was amongst the only things that was there to console him, and half the citadel sounded out with the music he created. Mesmer had dragged up many repressed emotions that Zymeth had, until then, gotten a decent handle on. He also grieved for Zapper and Regulus, though he knew their plight would subside in time, thanks to Regulus’s eminent recovery.

He locked himself away in the room that housed his organ, and his teammates knew to leave him there to sort out his conflicting emotions. However, the others that saw fit to intrude on him or even ask him to stop playing were met with his frustration and anger, and if need be violence.

Zymeth heard the massive doors open and close behind him, and the sounds of the footprints gave him an idea of who it could be. His suspicions were proven when Regdar piped in, “Hey Zy. Haven’t seen you out and about for a while.” Zymeth ignored him and continued playing. He saw Regdar in the corner of his eye, now standing next to him and leaning in order to see his eyes. “You wanna talk about it?” The axe-wielding RM asked.

Zymeth glared back at him and asked, maliciously, “You wanna die?” Regdar grinned slightly, as if half-expecting that reply from his friend.

“I’m just worried about you, man.” He continued.

“Then stop it.” Zymeth replied, still playing.

“If you wanna talk about it I’m here for ya. I mean, with Zapper’s condition right now I don’t think she’d be up to it, but I haven’t got any major psychological damage right now, so-”

“Look, Regdar,” Zymeth said, actually stopping his song to turn to face him, “I will God-damn tell you when I need consoling, and I don’t!” Regdar actually took a few steps back from the verbal assault, unprepared for it from the normally calmer Zymeth.

“Listen to yourself, man. You’ve been on-edge ever since you got back. That’s why you’ve been avoiding Zapper, isn’t it?” Regdar pointed out, still trying to be friendly. Zymeth’s eyes widened slightly, and then returned to an annoyed glare. “You’ve got to get some of that stuff off your chest, man. It’ll help you deal with the stress.”

“THIS is how I deal with stress, Regdar!” Zymeth said, gesturing towards his organ keyes.

“It’s not working very well then.” Regdar rebutted. Zymeth just turned back towards his keys, aggravated. He was about to start playing again until Regdar said, “It’s about Katrina, isn’t it?” Zymeth expression softened considerably beneath his Skull helmet. “I know you. Whenever she’s on your mind you either get real happy, sad, or pissed.”

Zymeth slouched in his seat, slightly. “C’mon, why don’t you tell ol’ Regdar what your issues is, eh? It’s what friends are for.” Zymeth stood up and reeled on him.

“I told you I don’t want to talk about it!” He growled.

Regdar put his arms up and said, “I know, but it’ll do you some good.”

“I’d be wasting my time…” Zymeth said, staring down at the floor.

“I might not have any idea how it feels, but I do feel bad for ya, Zy.” Regdar said in his normal, friendly tone. Zymeth continued to stare down at the floor. “Look, whatever it is isn’t your fault, and it’s not a cross you gotta bear alone.”

Regdar reached a hand out to place on his friend’s shoulder, but suddenly Zymeth looked up, his white pupils now ablaze with crimson. He slammed both his palms into Regdar’s chest, launching him clean across the room. “For the last damn time, I don’t want to discuss it!” He barked after him. Regdar’s eyes were still spinning in his head after that tumble. He got to his feet, dizzy and with two good-sized dents in his armor.

“God damn, man!” Regdar remarked both shocked by the attack and amazed at Zymeth’s sudden increase of strength, “You been taking steroids or something? That fuckin’ hurt!” Zymeth’s eyes returned to normal, and he looked away from Regdar. The gunslinger hesitated a moment and said, “Ah, I’m not mad at you. I shouldn’t have pressed you so hard. Well, I have to go. See you around, Zy.” Zymeth let out a long sigh. Regdar stopped, having an afterthought, “But seriously, you should at least try to get some rest. Even if you don’t sleep, I think it’d do you good too.” And with that, Regdar left.

Zymeth flopped back down on his organ bench, thinking to himself out loud. “Sleep? I haven’t slept in over a month. It’s not like I need it…” He motioned as if to start playing again, but he looked up at the clock in the room. It was late, and his organ would probably keep up anyone who actually did need some sleep. He admitted that he had been pretty insensitive about others’ sleep cycles. He sighed and took his fingers away from the keys. He thought a moment, and then decided to visit his personal quarters.

Many of the people he passed on the way to his room looked shocked, happy, or scared to see him out away from his organ, but he ignored them. He stepped into the frigid air of his dimly lit room for the first time since his encounter with Mesmer and looked about it. It all seemed somehow alien to him. However, he soon located something that he was all too familiar with. He walked over to the shelf where he kept the ancient relics from his former life, looking them over and thinking of Katrina.

He picked out a music box from the shelf, the one he had given Katrina so long ago. He had picked it up on a trip to a country they were at war with, and it was the pinnacle of technology in its day. The metallic box had survived the centuries almost untouched by time. He opened the lid to look at its contents. The plates that went into the actual player wall all neatly tied to the top of the lid, which he quickly took out to examine. There were 5 different songs he and Katrina had listened to so very often, most of which he used to play for her on the organ as well.

The small painting inside the lid had faded with time, but not as much as one would expect. It was of a knight kneeling in front of a damsel. Of course, she was really impoverished from birth, but that meant little to him then or now. He unfastened his helmet and tossed it aside, sliding to a sitting position with his back against the wall. He fought back tears as he fastened one of the music plates into the box and flipped the switch that activated it. It took a moment for the cogs and gears to catch and warm up, but soon the pins of the box began to string along against the grooves of the plate.

He closed his eyes and rested his head against the wall as the box played. His mind wandered to his days spent with his late lover and his heart sank into his guts. However, the atmosphere did prove to be comforting to the ex-knight. He sat there listening for several hours, letting his mind roam wherever it did. He felt his emotions slowly falling back into the state of which he was accustomed to.

His sorrow simmered back down to a dull throb, as well his temper cooled. He found himself capable once again of scheming and clever thought. He looked down at his music box, recalling that his revenge wasn’t to be merely death and destruction, but purification of the uncaring, corrupt, and ignorant masses. Suddenly, another thought flashed into his head. He recalled the look of Sean’s face as he was forced to use the human hand “gloves” that Zymeth had crafted for him. A smile found its way onto his face. His mind also wondered to the wonderful torment and execution he’d like to bestow much of humanity, and the so sadly few “innocents” he would save or, hopefully not, remove from this horrible world. Kind people, in other words. But more than that he thought of the hell before death he’d give to the cruel majority who he saw as unfit for life. Those like Mesmerman, Cutman, and, admittedly, himself.

He began chuckling to himself in his normal, sinister tone. In his ideal world, he’d be the only evil person left. True villains would keep to themselves out of fear, and not harm the innocents. But he’d never reach that ideal world, so he figured he’d be happy with finding, torturing, and killing the other evil ones that acted out their nature. Humans or robots, it mattered not.. He began laughing to himself out loud, finding that he was himself once again. His mind had focused his sadistic urges again, giving him more control. He stopped and got up, looking at himself in the mirror. “Someday soon… Katrina…” He said, softly, “The whole, God-forsaken, world will know the taste of the agony that we’ve been forced to live with… and die with…”

Suddenly he thought of his friends. Those he held dear to him, as few as they were. He smirked and said, “And I really have found people worth saving…”


Drill went into Dive's room. He looked around to see if anyone was there.


A reply came behind him.

"What the hell are you doing in my room? It better be good..." the submarine told his captain. Drill looked at him.

"Take out the shot glasses and cigars. We need a break," he explained to Dive. His eyes widened.

"Well, look who decided to come out of the shell? Let's do it!"


"Dive, do you think I'm a good leader?" The cuban cigar smoking robot asked the vodka drinking robot.

"You...? After now you show to be a great leader. Why kid?" he asked. Drill took the vodka and chugged.

"Mesmer. He really got to me. It's my fault that so many are dead. And Rebel...he MAY be dead! I blame myself," he sighed. Dive shot him a look.

“Don’ blame yourself. The bastard fucked up all of us. Why should you bear any guilt anyways? You done nothing wrong ta deserve it,” he said as he took a swig.

“I have blood on me. Remember Shadowyguy? Oh wait he was before you…well the others mutinied against him and had him er…disposed of.”

“Then let them atone for that crime. You had nothing to do with it,” Dive countered.

“What about the original Diveman? If I never made Wraithman, he would be alive!” he cried.

“Tis’ for the best. After all, you wouldn’t have gotten me!” he chuckled.

“The Parrs…” Drill started. Dive cut him off.

“Oh for pete’s sake! Think it this way. Had you joined the SA, you would have lost your soul and PERSONALLY kill the Parrs. Either way they would be dead. This was the best possible scenario,” Dive told his intoxicated leader. “You want guilt? I’ll give you guilt! Remember the Alexandra? What I told Mystery? That ain’t some lie kid. I blew them up.”

Drill stared at him. He had somewhat mixed reactions. He had always suspected that Dive did what he did. But now he’s revealing it?

“Dive…that took a lot to confess man…but why did you do it?” the leader asked his companion. Dive killed the bottle in a gulp.

“It’s War kid. Makes you do crazy things. No excuse…but what happened happened. You better?” he asked.

“Yeah…liquor does wonders. Thanks for sharing,” he chuckled.

“I didn’t know you liked this stuff. Glad I have a drinkin buddy now.”

“Unlike you I don’t publicly announce my taste for the strong stuff,” he told him. They both laughed.

“Boss, I’d rather if you didn’ mention this to anyone…I’ll tell em when the time is right,” Dive requested. Drill nodded.

“Fine, but you don’t mention the drinking. I try to keep a respectable image,” Drill shot back. Dive laughed.

They both lifted their shot glasses.

“To the Fall of the SA and the Rebirth of a Community.”



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