My team ended up near a desert. There WAS civilization but I had a humanoid robot dog and a monstrous looking person with a scalp looking like an exposed brain with me, revealing ourselves would only cause a panic. Given the collective mental capacity of the town (Teufort), if I remember the comics correctly, a panic could only lead to disaster…and our being hanged. “Okay, guys, we stick to the outskirts,” I warned. “There’s a facility near here that keeps putting lead in the water supply. As such, the townsfolk aren’t too bright and are led by an idiot mayor. Pup-X5, I trust you have water filters?” Pup-X5 gave a thumbs up and held up a tablet. Since he couldn’t speak, his tablet communicated what he wanted us to know.
“Given the nature of this universe,” read Pup-X5’s tablet, “I figured a full emergency kit for everyone would do.”
“Good dog,” I praised. Pup-X5 wagged his tail at the compliment. Famine mumbled something.
“Don’t talk with your mouth full!” groaned Victor. Famine swallowed.
“I said, this is a town, right?” asked Famine.
“Yes,” I replied, a little confused.
“Meaning, it should have people, right?” continued Famine.
“Again, yes,” I confirmed.
“So, where ARE the people?” asked Famine. Our eyes went wide as we looked into Teufort. Sure enough, there were no people!
“Pup-X5! Technarain! Bio-readings!” I ordered. The two sent a probe into the air and scanned the area. After a few seconds, the probe announced the results.
“Bio-readings: negative,” it reported.
“Okay, change of plan! We’re going in!” I declared. We entered Teufort and started looking. The search took an hour until Emmanuel screamed in fear. The scream came from the town hall, so we headed in that direction. “Emmanuel! What happened?!” I barked.
“The enemy beat us to this universe!” he reported.
“How do you know?” asked Xiomara. Emmanuel revealed the body of the mayor of Teufort. His skin was chalk white, his lips were red, and he had a toothy grin on his face. Pup-X5 checked for life signs. His head and tail drooped, telling me what the man died of.
“Smylex!” I hissed. “The Joker’s here!” Said clown’s laugh then played throughout the building.
“So, you figured out who’s here!” he cheered. “Excellent! Since this recording didn’t pick up Bratman’s usual edge-lord rasp, I assume he’s not here! Pity, but it makes it all more fun to see a lesser man than him try and defeat me!”
“A recording?” muttered Emmanuel.
“Don’t bother looking for me here!” taunted the Joker. “I’m already somewhere else! All I can say is there’s a barn and a concrete building separated by a bridge! Might want to hurry if you want to save the mercenaries!” The Joker laughed as we heard a beeping. It didn’t take long for us to guess what that beeping was.
“RUN!” I shouted. We ran out of the building and out of the town before we heard the explosion. “Everyone all right?!” I called.
“We’re fine,” assured Brenden. “The Joker mentioned two buildings, right?”
“He has to be talking about 2Fort,” I replied.
“Then should we be there, like, YESTERDAY?!” remarked Wyldstyle.
“Steeds! Now!” We summoned our horses, converted them to bike mode, and took off.
We soon arrived at an area with two buildings called 2Fort, the first map of Team Fortress 2 and the mercenaries of both Reliable Excavation Demolition (RED) and Builders League United (BLU) were holed up in the BLU base. The Joker’s goons were sieging the BLU base from the RED base, neither allowing the REDs to return to their base nor letting the BLUs gain any intelligence. “Looks like we’re gonna do like the Spies are trying to do,” I declare as we witnessed both RED and BLU Spies being shot. “We’ll sneak in from the back and try and take out the goons so the teams can reclaim the base.”
“And HOW, pray tell, will we do that?” asked Emmanuel.
“The old fashioned way,” I replied. I held up my Vortex Driver. The others got the idea and got out their belts.
“Chronicle Driver!” After those voices, we took out our i.d tags and Armor Auto-bio.
“Henshin!” we called.
“Open! Turn! Imagine!” announced Victor’s belt. “The Rifle of Range!” Victor’s Rider persona, Range, evoked a Canadian Mountie. Unfortunately, one of the goons heard the belts and spotted us.
“HEY! DOWN THERE!” he shouted. His buddies looked in the direction he was pointing at and fired on US! We scattered and had to resort to taking cover.
“You know,” grumbled Arch, “we should have Sludgiona install a stealth mode into these things!”
“A discussion for when we get back!” I replied. We were pinned as the Joker’s men kept us behind cover. What we didn’t know was that both mercenary teams took advantage of that opening.
“Ready to charge!” called a German voice. That could only mean one of the Medics was ready with the ÜberCharge, the temporary invincibility mode for a teammate.
“I am fully charged!” reported another Medic.
“Is team-time, Doctor!” declared a Russian voice, a Heavy, I would say.
“Ready for that charge, Doc!” announced an American Drill Sergeant’s voice. Just then, a Heavy and Medic team glowing red charged across the bridge and mowed down the goons at the entrances while a Soldier and Medic team glowing blue took care of the goons on top. The rest of the mercenaries followed the two teams and swarmed the RED base. We ran in and assisted.
“Now is coward-killing time!” cheered the RED Heavy as he mowed down his enemies. We all managed to get downstairs into the RED team’s intel room and found more goons. They raised their weapons at us but didn’t check for the Scouts. Both of them grabbed a purple and a green briefcase and made a mad dash for the BLU base.
“STOP THEM!” called a goon. Not a chance. We mowed down the lot of them. We then heard stomping up above.
“…They’re using OUR respawn?!” roared the RED soldier.
“CHARGE!” shouted the BLU soldier. We all headed topside to see the goons on the battlements shooting at the Scouts while other goons charged across the bridge after them. We kept fighting the ones on the battlements until…their weapons disappeared!
“Victory!” called the Administrator’s voice. We all mowed down the goons as they tried to run from us.
“Well, I reckon that’s that,” sighed the BLU Engineer as he activated a metal lounge chair and strummed his guitar.
“I wouldn’t be so sure,” I replied as us Riders powered down.
“Son, you seem to know those maggots,” remarked the RED Soldier, guessing I was the one in charge. “Who are you?”
“I’m Richard Saunders,” I introduced, “better known as Kamen Rider Guard. This is Wyldstyle.
“Hey!” called Wyldstyle.
“Emmanuel Babineaux, Kamen Rider Arch,” I continued.
“Bonjour,” greeted Emmanuel.
“Xiomara Elizondo, Kamen Rider Seeker,” I went on.
“¡Hola!” cheered Xiomara.
“One of the new guys, Victor Young, Kamen Rider Range,” I introduced.
“Hello!” greeted Victor.
“Famine of the now FIVE Horsemen,” I went on.
“Hello!” she mumbled while eating a sandvich (the spelling IS on purpose).
“Brenden Patterson, Kamen Rider Herald Y,” I continued.
“Hello!” he greeted.
“Pup-X5,” I went on. The robot just waved, earning a glare from the Mercenaries. “He’s not of Gray Mann’s design, I promise!” I yelped. “Anyway, last but not least, Technarain.”
“Greetings,” he bid.
“Those maggots, as the RED Soldier described them, worked for a clown, and I mean that in the literal sense, called the Joker,” I explained. “He’s, to put it mildly, insane.”
“How insane are we talking?” asked the BLU Scout. “Like, Medic level? Gray Mann level? Cause it don’t matter! I’ll beat that dummy’s face in! You see these guns?” He flexed his wimpy muscles. “Yeah, they’re beautiful, ain’t they? And these?” he lifted his shirt to display his lack of pecs. “Yeah! You’ll be grinding meat on ‘em! I’ll be running circles around…!”
“Don’t you ever shut up?!” barked the RED Sniper. “You’re as bad as OUR Scout!”
“Hey! At least I actually have something!” protested the RED Scout. The RED Pyro then mumbled something. “Okay, repeat after me!” snapped the RED Scout. “Mmm mm mmm I’m dead!”
“He said you can’t pull your weight, you walking matchstick,” I translated.
“…You…understand Pyrospeak?” asked the RED Soldier.
“Yep,” I replied. “We all can. A multiversal translator in our belts.”
“Mmmph mmphmmph,” (Thank goodness.) sighed the BLU Pyro. “Mph mmph mh mmph mph mph mmph mph mpmphmmph mph mpmphmmmph mh.” (It’s nice to know it’s not just our Engineers that understand us.)
“Anytime,” I assured. “Now, the Joker is here on behalf of his organization called Shocker Rift, a terrorist organization that’s after something that belongs to Famine. He’ll most likely be trying to stir up chaos with someone skilled in that. Given that he sent his goons after you, I don’t think you Mercenaries are on his list.”
“I don’t know if I should feel relieved or insulted!” protested the BLU Medic.
“There ARE Gray Mann’s robots,” mused the BLU Sniper.
“And Merasmus,” interjected the RED Demoman.
“Come on, Merasmus always lays low when it ain’t October,” argued the RED Engineer.
“Besides, he’s still enjoying his house-warming gift,” supplied the RED Soldier.
“…House-warming gift?” asked the RED Spy, a little suspicious.
“Yes, house-warming gift!” confirmed the RED Soldier.
“What house-warming gift?” asked the BLU Engineer.
“Soldier,” hissed the RED Sniper, “I swear to God if you did something to anger him…!”
“All I did was give him a grenade!” protested the RED Soldier.
“Knowing you, hippie,” chuckled the BLU Soldier, “it was a dud. Your hair must have gotten in your eyes if you gave him a dud!”
“Do you really believe I’d do something so dumb as give Merasmus a non-functional grenade, Private?!” shouted the RED Soldier. “I pulled the pin to prove it worked! Merasmus can confirm what I’m saying is the truth since I showed him in his house!”
“YOU BLEW UP MERASMUS’ HOUSE?!” wailed Victor.
“YOU BLEEDING IDIOT!” shouted the RED Demoman.
“I’m going to saw through your bones!” threatened the BLU Medic.
“Gentlemen, please!” I called. Everyone stopped yelling at the RED Soldier. “Okay, it’s more than likely that Merasmus joined the Joker to get revenge on the RED Soldier for blowing up his house. That means the Joker and Merasmus will be based at one of the Halloween maps. Someone get me a list of said maps!” The RED Spy pulled out a list and handed it to me. “Thank you,” I bid. I then read off the maps. “All right, we got Cauldron, Cursed Cove, Gravestone, Monster Bash, Slasher, Harvest Event, Mann Manor, Eyeaduct, Ghost Fort, Ghost Town, Helltower, Carnival of Carnage, Gorge Event, Hellstone, Moonshine Event, Sinshine, Brimstone, Maple Ridge Event, and Pit of Death. That’s a lot.”
“Merasmus will want a map that he hangs out at,” guessed the BLU Demoman.
“All right, that narrows it down to Ghost Fort, Carnival of Carnage, Brimstone, Gravestone, and Slasher,” I replied as I crossed of the other maps.
“Why not start with Carnival of Carnage?” suggested Emmanuel.
“Mph MMMMPH mh mmmph mmph Mphmpmph mh Mphmmph?” (Why SHOULD we start with Carnival of Carnage?) asked the RED Pyro.
“If Merasmus teamed up with the Joker, then, knowing the Joker, he’ll want a base that resembles a theme park,” explained Emmanuel. “For all his boasting of being an agent of chaos, the Joker IS predictable.”
“That’ll get under his skin if you say that,” I replied. “Seems as good a place to start as any. Let’s rest up and head there. We’ll foil Merasmus and the Joker’s plans and things can get back to normal…whatever passes for normal in this universe.” Just then, Pup-X5’s eyes flashed green. He wagged his tail. “What’s going on?” I asked.
“I left a probe to investigate the town,” read Pup-X5’s tablet. “Hopefully, it discovered something useful. Data’s coming in!” As he read the data, his tail slowly stopped wagging, then it drooped as did his head.
“What’s wrong, boy?” I asked.
“The probe found the Tarlaxian scout ship with the crew displaying the effects of Smylex,” explained Pup-X5’s tablet. “They’re…they’re dead.”
“…Damn!” swore Technarain.
“The probe’s working on decoding the black box right now,” reported Pup-X5, “but initial reports are telling me that the Source was on board as well.”
“Then he got us,” I grumbled.
“The Joker?” asked Victor.
“Who else?!” I snapped. “The Joker attacked the ship after it picked up the Source and killed the crew! Now Shocker Rift has one and has a potential bargaining chip! We gotta…!” Pup-X5 tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to his tablet.
“The Joker doesn’t have the Source,” it read.
“No, I’m positive he…!” I continued. The text on the tablet changed.
“Decryption complete,” it reported. “The Tarlaxians got the Source out of this universe.”
“…What?” I asked.
“The Tarlaxians sent it away to a safer location,” explained Pup-X5. “In fact, it looks like it went into the Tarlaxian Black Vaults.”
“The safest place within Tarlax,” I realized. “Shocker Rift can’t get to them.”
“Then you can go now,” directed the BLU Soldier.
“The Joker’s still here,” I argued. “He won’t leave until he makes a chaotic, bloody mess out of this world. We need to stay and help you…gentlemen get him OUT.”
“Considering your knowledge on this ‘Joker’ person,” mused the RED Spy, “we would be fools not to accept your help.”
“If that’s the case, y’all need to stay with us until tomorrow morning,” offered the BLU Engineer.
“What if the Joker’s men come back?” rumbled the BLU Heavy.
“That’s what a Sentry’s for,” assured the RED Engineer.
“Thank you for the offer,” I bid. “I think we’ll take you up on it. Pup-X5, Technarain, see if you can help the Engineers set up whatever builds they need.”
“On it,” replied Technarain as Pup-X5 saluted. They followed the two Engineers out of the Respawn.
“The rest of us will catch some rest while one of us guards the place,” I declared.
“I’ll take first watch,” offered the RED Sniper.
“Good,” I praised. “Warn us if you see anything. The rest of us, let’s get some shuteye. RED Sniper, I’ll take your place in an hour.” We all headed off to get some rest while the RED Sniper headed off after the Engineers, Technarain, and Pup-X5.