The Business of War

Ancient Tomb, Modern Foe

Scenario C
Wraithman (SA)
Gila Gladiators (W)

Location: Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
Max. Cossack Scrap Value: 6675
SA Infantry: 1080
RPD Units: 1031
Wily Bots: 594

Wraith’s music blared in his helmet, namely Tchaikovsky’s 1812 symphony. He waved his arms slightly like a conductor as he moved through the hallways of the Egyptian ruins, discovered only a few years ago. The walls were in wonderful condition, having been buried in the sand and protected from the winds. Three levels of ruins existed, all but one of which was void of sunlight. He hopped gingerly over a section of the floor near the entrance, which turned out to be a large room over fifteen feet in circumference.

SA Joes were milling about the area, careful not to trigger the pitfalls they had set up in the ruins. A Dark coloured Joe named Judas saluted him and said, “Sir, the teleportation shield has been set up. Anyone inside the ruins won’t be able to leave unless on foot.”

“Very good.” Wraith said, admiring the artfulness of the now-trapped ruins. “Tell the other five to get to their places. The Gila Gladiators won’t know what awaits them in that horrible abyss.” The Dark Joe bowed and ran off. Wraith had learned from experience that Robot Masters tended to be the largest hazard on the field, and the occasional human.

He cut the music and peered out of a hole in the ruins. Any moment Wily’s officers will give chase to the SA troops retreating to these very ruins. He ordered to keep them out of the ruins, which suggests that something rather valuable. Also, several ammunition and supply crates were “hidden” in the area, just so that the Gladiators would “find” them and realize that the area was supposedly valuable to the SA. “The bait has been set. The worm is squirming.” With that, he saw his forces falling back to the ruins, with the Gladiators in hot pursuit. Wraith chuckled as he slunk into the shadows.


The eight Gladiators were chasing after the Scissor Army troops in an underground passage. They had engadged a squad of Scissor Army Joes up on the surface, but instead of engaging the GG in battle, they retreated into the caves.

”Anyone else find this odd?” Bitgirl asked. She liked some nice target practice. It was a good way to relieve stress, but the SA Joes weren’t even fighting back, just running into the caverns. It bothered her, their own priority didn’t even seem to be fighting, or protecting themselves, these Scissor Joes were only concentrated on running to an unknown destination.

“It’s a trap.” Dynaman said simply, saving his explosives for whatever lay ahead of them. It was obvious to him, He had more experience then most of their team members, sans the other veterans on the team, Shark and Torch. “They are leading us somewhere… it’s either a trap or an ambush.”

“What’s our plan then?” Zana asked, one of the last to cease fire on the SA grunts, turning to look at Dynaman, hoping that green and blue explosives expert indeed had a plan.

“The only way we’re gonna get to the bottom of this is to go after them.” Dynaman said determinedly, continuing to chase after the Joes.

“So we’re just going to walk right into the trap?” Bitgirl asked sceptically, raising an eyebrow. Surely, she thought, that her team-mates couldn’t be so dim. Then again, she has been surprised before.

“We are aware of it being a trap, therefore the effect of it being a trap is null, as we are prepared for whatever may come.” Torchman spoke in a calm, cool voice, somewhat eerie for this situation. He just stared at the Fleeing SA joes with an equally calm face.


“… STOP!” Dynaman and Sharkman shouted simultaneously, skidding to a halt at then end of the passageway. The Scissor Army Sniper Joes have ran into the end of the passage, only to be enveloped by an unnatural darkness, even in this cavern. It went completely pitch black the moment one stepped out of the passageway.

“… That is not natural darkness…” Voltman spoke up. “This would be the trap I’m guessing. To make us fight in this strange darkness…”

Sharkman blinked, turning his head to look at his large electric comrade “I see… so this is the big trap…?” He casually reached out his hand into the artificial blackness. His hand was enveloped and out of sight. “Well, it’s not hurting any.” He said simply. Moving his hand around, even if he couldn’t see it was there.

“It’s official… I’m surrounded by idiots…” Bitgirl muttered, smacking her forehead “He just… sticks his hand in…”

“Tristin, what are you doing!? Get your hand out of there!” Dynaman said quickly.

“This from the guy who was just about ready to charge in a second ago?” He smirked. “You’re all afraid of a bunch of fake shadows?” He moved his hand back and forth quickly, letting out a small laugh.

“That stuff isn’t natural; you should get away from it, now.” Dynaman warned his team-mate, before taking a few steps back.

“Are you serious?” He blinked, turning to look at his uneasy team-mates “Geez… it’s not like this stuff is ali-AAGH!” Sharkman jerked forward suddenly, enveloped by the darkness. And then there was a brief silence.

“… Tristin?” The blue and green explosives RM took a few steps towards the darkened entrance. Readying a small bomb in his hand, as the other Gladiators all readied their weapons.

After about ten seconds of silence Tristin re-emerged from the Shadow’s, laughing his ass off. “Just messin’ with yah…! Heh heh heh heh.” But he quickly had to duck a blast of lightning fired at him from an irritated Bitgirl “Whoa!”

“Er… Calm down Lena…” Oilman put a hand on his friend’s shoulder. The last thing he wanted was for his teammates to start fighting with each other.

“Enough…! Did you see anything?” Dynaman was getting agitated enough as it is Now was not the time for any stupid stunts. “Better yet, CAN you see anything in there?” he asked.

“Well, not really, but if we had a light we could probably see through it while we’re inside… probably…” he nodded, then looked at Volt, Torch, and Bit. “So that means you three get to head in first. Have fun” he smirked. Then fell over ad Bitgirl roughly pushed him over as she passed. The Orbs on Voltman’s shoulders lit up, glowing with electric energy. Torchman ignited his torch arm, and Bit channelled energy into her conductors, the three of them walking as one, being slowly enveloped by the darkness. Sharkman followed soon after. One by one each of the Gladiators entered the Darkness.

“Ah… so the light does work in here… somewhat…” Dynaman nodded. As they all stopped to take a look at their surrounding “Underground ruins…”. Old ancient buildings buried underground, barely visible in the dim lighting. “Everyone stay close. We don’t know what they have waiting for us” He warned. No more then ten paces of walking together did the ground start to crack before them. Back pedaling didn’t work, as the area behind them started to break up, falling into an abyss below.

The floor gave way, sending, all 8 remaining members hurling into the darkness. They all hit the floor, their bearings being somehow thrown off by the strange energy permeating the area. They clattered to the ground like rag-dolls, unable to stick the landing on the uneven floor.


Oil and Torch stood back to back in the bleak darkness, adjusting their weapons in preparation for Wraith's eminent attack. They weren't moving from their current room as the others did, they just waited for the fiend to show himself. Oil fiddled with his buster while Zaneroth slid a bayonet attachment onto the nozzle of his torch arm. Wavegirl just tried to concentrate on the mission. She was scared of the dark, but ... she could get over it just fine. The Scissor Army was here to do what they do, so the Gladiators had been sent to stop them. Simple as that.

"So what, we just wait for him?" Oil asked the figure behind him. He couldn't see it but he knew Torch gave a sombre nod.

"It is wiser to remain where we are currently rather then flee, stumbling, into the pitch blackness. We are barricaded and prepared here, while if we were to begin moving we'd present an opportunity I am sure he'd not hesitate to take." The fire-based RM said in his usual cold, sophisticated tone.

Oil sighed, "I don't know. This is creeping me out, seriously. I just have this bad feeling in the pit of my guts..."

Torch scoffed, "Improbable, seeing as how you lack said organs."

"You know what I meant!" Oil shouted back. Suddenly a noise was heard in the entrance to the room, tipping the two off to the presence of another. Oil slowly crept toward the sound, activating his light and pointing it in the direction. No one was there.

Suddenly a sharp pain shot through Oil's body and the sound of metal scraping against metal was heard. Torch ignited a flame on the end of his buster and used it as a light to see what was happening. Wraith had hoisted Oil into the air after impaling him. Wraith willed the darkness to lighten slightly, giving a dim view of the whole room.

"'Tis a fool who wanders the shadows alone..." Wraith chimed in his echoing voice.

"A fool you say?" Torch asked, sinisterly. Wraith turned to him and raised an eyebrow, trying to guess the meaning of it. He heard Oil chuckle and he looked up at his victim.

"Got'ya" Oil smirked. Zaneroth, as Torchman, took his cue and aimed his buster down at the floor and let loose with a mighty blast of flames. The room had a natural moat around its edges, which Zaneroth was quite pleased with. It had been filled with almost all of Oil's ammo, and the flames spread around the combustible moat, creating huge walls of inferno. The light was so intense that it forced all of Wraith's Darkness away, leaving him exposed.

Wraith looked about, almost startled. Torch and Oil both chuckled. Torch said, "You speak of Heaven and Hell so often, I deemed it appropriate to bring a pocket of the later to you. This conflagration should keep you at bay for now. At least long enough to allow the safe retreat of our allies."

Wraith yanked Oil down and drew his scythe, running it across the robot's neck as if to slit his throat. The vital wires were severed, leaving him limp. Wraith tossed his body down and began walking towards Torch, ominously. "Clever, quite clever. I'm not surprised it took both of you to come up with this one, hmhmhmhm. Sure you may have me trapped for now, but you're all alone, my friend. All of your other allies are either disposed of or becoming so as we speak. The 6 Dark Joes I brought with me were my most clever. So now you get to die here in the Hell you've created."

The two opponents gave a respectful bow as the giant flames danced around them. Wraith sprung into action, spinning and hurling towards Torch. He raised his blade-clad nozzle to defend himself from Wraith's scythe. As they clashed each of them glared with their glowing red eyes. Wraith leapt from Torch, who then realized his bayonet had a moderate-sized nick in it. Wraith laughed at him.

"Dare you tempt a stronger being?" Wraith asked, mockingly. Torch answered with a blast of flames from his buster. Wraith easily dodged out of the way. Torch raised his other hand, in which much flame collected. He hurled the fireball at Wraith, who swatted it aside with his cloak.

"The light of a candle shall forever beat the darkness." Torch answered, coldly.

Wraith chuckled, "Is that so?" With that he attacked once more, closing distance with the flame throwing RM. Zaneroth managed to defend himself from the flurry of cuts Wraith gave him, but Wraith's speed and acrobatics made it far to difficult to return the attacks. Zaneroth slammed the nozzle of his flamethrower into the ground, causing a pillar of fire to erupt around him, which Wraith back flipped away from. Zaneroth flung the flaming remains of his cloak away, and the flames covering his body leapt off of him, bearing the vague likeness of demonic faces. Flames still trailed from Torch's body. Wraith wasn't impressed, however.

"You've taken away my best method of attack, and still you cannot beat me?" Wraith mocked. Torch looked at the battered condition of his bayonet, with which he was defending himself. "It's a shame that in your madness you can't feel the fear that a normal man would at the moment."

"I would like to feel many things." Zaneroth answered back, coldly, "Most pressingly, the feeling that one gets from gloating over the fallen body of one's opponent."

"I'll be sure to describe it to you as I squeeze the last ounces of life from you." Wraith said. Wraith had a special loathing for the sociopath, Zaneroth. He flung himself forward, somersaulting on the stream of flames that Zaneroth issued. Zaneroth did his best to dodge the swipes, and leapt away, finding two gashes on his chest, one on his gut, and another on his right leg. Wraith laughed, enjoying himself. "I normally don't take this much pleasure in slaughtering the fools who oppose the General."

Wraith raised his scythe up, ready for another assault. Torch wasn't sure he could take another one, and he took a few steps back, ready to give Wraith a generous dose of fire. Wraith began walking towards him, slowly. Suddenly a silver object parted the flames from a hallway. It sailed through the air, catching Wraith off guard and grazing his left arm, leaving a fairly deep gash. The object slammed into the ground, revealing itself to be a circular blade. Wraith's eyes widened and looked towards its origin.

Torch put his free hand up and made a small part in the flames, through which the purple-clad Blademan leapt. He hit the ground and threw a few more blades at Wraith, who knocked them aside with his scythe.

"How kind of you to join us." Torch said.

"Hey, I kind of got held back by a ton of rubble, thank you." Blade remarked. The two grinned and stood side-by-side against the demon. Wraith brushed his head, lowering his hood.

"This doesn't increase your odds of winning too terribly much." Wraith said. "It just won't be a tireless slaughter on my part anymore. Well then, shall we dance in the flames of Hell?"

Torch and Blade leapt forward, trying to catch Wraith off guard with a direct assault. However he anticipated it and caught their weapons with the shaft of his scythe. He took a step to the side and swung down, tripping Blade. The nimble RM landed on his feet however, but not before getting kicked back by the lanky SA officer.

Torch swung his bayonet but Wraith blocked it with the blade of his scythe, ducking to avoid the blast of flames that followed it. Wraith punched him in the gut, making him double over before shoving him into Blade. He leapt into the air, bringing his scythe down on the two downed robots, but the GG members both handsprung from the ground letting Wraith land on the bare floor.

The SA officer flung himself at Blade, however, knocking away the disks he had thrown at his pursuer. Wraith grappled him, trying to force him into the squelching inferno, but Torch grabbed him by his neck, forcing him to let Blade go. Blade took a swing at the grappled Wraith, but he wriggled out of Torch's grip before contact could be made. Torch shot a stream of flame at him, but Wraith jumped back. As the flames hit the ground they shot up as a small wall, from which three more blades were shot. Wraith barely dodged the unforeseen attack, getting nicked again by the last blade.

They both pounced on the slightly wounded Wraith, but he lashed back out with his scythe, relieving Blade of several digits, and giving Torch another gash to his side. Wraith leapt up to meet the stunned Gladiators, throwing an elbow into Blade's stomach and giving a similar blow to Torch with his leg. The two landed hard back on the ground as Wraith patted out a few flames on his body that had gone previously unseen.

They took that moment to spring back on their feet to continue fighting. Wraith chuckled and began walking towards the obviously outclassed robots. The two nodded and leapt forward, firing their weapons. Wraith deflected the blades until the flames began to obscure his vision again. He backed away so that he'd have more reaction time. He swatted another pair of discs out of the air and was about to swat another, but suddenly he realized that the blades were distracting him from the real threat: the two Gladiators charging him from the flames.

He couldn't react in time as they slammed their fists into him, forcing him back. A few more blows met with his body as he staggered backwards, fairly unharmed but overwhelmed and surprised. They both raised their weapon and he readied his scythe to shield himself. But instead of firing as he expected they hopped about a foot off the ground, both of them slamming their heels into the tall robot's chest. Wraith left the ground and sailed backwards into the flames. Wraith screamed in agony and rage as he disappeared from view.

They took no chances and fired their weapons into the spot that he had landed. That part of the tunnel collapsed from the stress of the heat, burying the SA officer. They continued firing until they could no longer spare the ammo, and turned to each other. Awkward silence ensued, until Zerkai began laughing out loud. He couldn't believe they had pulled it off. He laughed and Zaneroth just crossed his arms, not amused.

"I fail to grasp what you find so humorous." He said, cold as ice. Zerkai continued to chuckle as he heaved Oil onto his shoulders.

"I bet you don't, big guy. But can you believe we pulled that off!?"

"Yes." He said, flatly. "I have no other choice. Obviously I had just witnessed it happen."

"Nevermind." Zerkai said, his mood not in the least ruined by Zaneroth's aloofness. Suddenly he became more serious. "C'mon, Zaneroth. Let's go round up the others and see if any of them can't walk or help. Let's get out of these damn ruins and teleport back to base. We're retreating."

"Understood." Zaneroth confirmed. The two left in search of their friends.


The fires had burnt their fuel and died down after a few hours. The chamber was quiet as death itself. A few minutes later, this peaceful scene had changed. Stones shifted uneasily on their foundation. Suddenly a large piece of stone was shot across the room as the dead man kicked it from his path. Wraith struggled free of his confines, ignoring the apparent damage he had gathered. His armour was charred and the gold was flaking off, along with small flakes of red-hot, ruined metal. Around his neck was his ruined cloak's remains, which comprised mainly of glowing cinders. But he wore a smile. If they thought the hand of the Lord would be diverted that easily, they were sadly mistaken.


The Gladiators were making their way into the darkness. They were bickering somewhat. They may be slightly lost, but they had bested the Scissor Army Officer and left him buried a mile off. Things just didn’t get much better than that. This counted as a clear win for the Gila Gladiators.

Wraithman hovered nearer than those fools thought. He heard the one called Tristin foolishly ignore his wiser companion’s words. This was not quite his domain … the graves of heathens intrigued him, but they were not what he’d call fitting for a robot like him.

“I think we’re being followed…” said Bitgirl quietly while trying to get more light into the tomb.

“That’s ridiculous,” said Volt who nonetheless added his own light to the mix. “We’ve been walking for a bit now and you’re just feeling creeped out. Anything that’d hurt us is right – “

Volt’s clever words were cut off as Wraithman’s scythe cleaved him in two.

“Voltman!” screamed Wave Girl as Wraithman emerged from the shadows. A horrible gouge had been ripped through most of his upper body. His eyes widened in pain.

Sharkman and Sonicman panicked and ran deeper into the shadows. Torchman tried scorching Wraith with his flames once more. “Come back for more, you bastard! You’ll pay for what you did to Volt!”

Wraithman laughed coldly while he dove relentlessly into Torchman’s assault. “You’re doing hapless harm to others my friend.”


Wraithman amplified Bitgil’s and Oilman’s screams so that they flooded the ancient passageways. He turned towards the sound and saw his friends were burning! He hadn’t been careful enough and he lit the most vulnerable to his weapon on fire!

“Wave! Douse them! Douse – “ Torchman felt hot punches hit his back. He fell to the floor and found he was unable to move. Wavegirl screamed and ran in the other direction. Wraithman was floating towards her. He had severed Torchman’s spine and left him twitching helplessly. He chuckled as he used his scythe to carve new scars into the bodies of Bit and Oil. They whimpered …. They still lived. And were still aflame. Wraith too was on fire and it hurt … but being bathed in cleansing fire suited him. Even if the light it cast did not.


Wavegirl turned into a passageway. And then into another. And another. It was dark. So, so dark ….. and the screams. She must have been far away by now, but she could heard Dynaman’s screaming as if it was just around the cover. She wanted to help. She really did. But … the dark … and this place …

She fell down an ancient hole. She screamed in surprise when she hit the ground. It was a long way down.

“Oh no, oh no, oh no …” she muttered. She heard crunching sounds …. Obviously something had died here a long time ago. She walked towards the walls.

She could hear Sonic screaming now. Tears filled her eyes. Sonic didn’t deserve this. He was hurt so badly the first time and …

She tripped on something hard and fell to the flood. She searched blindly for what she fell on. She then found it. It was metal. In fact …. There was a lot of metal lying around. Wavegirl whimpered as she felt the fin mounted on top of the helmet she was holding. And a helmet it was.


She heard Blademan shout obscenities before falling silent. That was followed by loud cracks and snaps. And a low gurgling sound that sickened Wave to the core.

And then she was left alone in the silence that followed. She looked up. The hole was far too deep to crawl out of. And all she could do was wait for the inevitable. Wavegirl whimpered. She really couldn’t stand the dark …


He looked around the room, and then began laughing. His eerie cackle echoed throughout the ruins. A Dark Joe appeared from the shadows, one of the several surviving units. "Sir." He said, interrupting Wraith's laughter. "The battle's proceeding brilliantly. Consider this another win for the Scissor Army!"

"Punctual as ever, James." Wraith said, calmly. "What remains of each army?"

"Wily's army has retreated due to heavy losses. The RPD still has a force of 20%. We have 65%."


James saluted and walked off, preparing Wraith's order. Wraith crossed his arms and chuckled to himself again.


It was only a day later. Wraithman deposited his gifts to Wily at the boarder of one of the territories he controlled. Darkness cloaked him and gave him safe passage to do so. He had heard these people were blown up, ripped apart, and more. It seemed that they were indestructible. Well … whatever happened, Wily may be ble to repair their bodies, but Wraithman wondered how well their minds would survive.

Patiently Wraithman brought out his lighter and lit his gifts.

The crucifixes easily caught on fire. And, nailed to each one, was a Gladiator. It was said the unworthy did not deserve a place in the Heaven the General would create. Wraith quite agreed. He looked up at his eight gifts to Wily with pride. This would send just the message the General was aiming for. And, look at that … Torchman was groaning up there. Oilman had awoken as was screaming while giving the most beautiful blaze of all. Perfect.

Wraithman casually walked away. Yes, they would come back. Eventually. That was okay.

But one has to wonder how long it will take them to find little Wavegirl …



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