Kamen Rider Construct! Let’s do this Texas style!
This Team Fortress 2 Engineer is neither RED nor BLU. The respective Engineers of both teams made him during a crisis involving Overwatch’s Talon and had him join up with Richard and his team. He still remembers his experiences from both of his original RED and BLU clones. I could go on about him, but this can explain things better than I could.
Because of his individual nature, he joined the F.N.S as Kamen Rider Construct, armed with his trusty wrench and various machines. Why the machines? Mr. Conagher, would you mind explaining it to them?
After we rested up, we got into various vehicles, pickup trucks, camper vans, motorcycles, what have you. We then departed for Merasmus’ Carnival of Carnage. I reflected on how Merasmus owed $12,000 to the Japanese Mafia when he was making it. Then my thoughts drifted to when he crossed the Russian Mafia. “When’s he gonna learn?” I mumbled.
“What did you mutter?” rumbled the BLU Heavy driving the truck I was in.
“The Joker’s a crime boss,” I explained so he could hear me. “This would make him the third crime boss Merasmus crossed paths with.”
“Wizard is not too bright,” replied the BLU Heavy. “Not even Scouts of both teams would make stupid mistake.”
“…Did anyone ever comment how much you and the RED Heavy look alike?” I remarked, changing the topic.
“We are same,” answered the BLU Heavy.
“…Huh?” I quizzed.
“Both teams are clones of same people,” explained the BLU Heavy. “Our minds are linked to our original selves.”
“You guys are clones?!” I yelped.
“Administrator believes none of us know but both me and RED Heavy, both Spies, both Snipers, both Medics, and both Engineers know,” continued the BLU Heavy.
“What would happen if the Administrator found out?” I quizzed.
“No chance,” answered the BLU Heavy. “Joker killed her before she could. Her clone was placed on lockdown until this whole thing blows over, according to Spies.”
“I thought she had a life-extending machine powered by Australium,” I remarked.
“It only worked on age, not bullets,” replied the BLU Heavy.
“So, why do you lot persist in continuing a feud long after the two founders, Redmond and Blutarch Mann, died?” I asked.
“Enough talk,” grunted the BLU Heavy. “We are here.” The Carnival WAS in sight, but the answer I got meant that the conversation was at an end. He was right. Time to plan our strategy. As we set up camp outside the Carnival, I motioned the Spies and Scouts over.
“This is probably not gonna be like y’all are familiar with,” I explained. “I need you to case the place.”
“A question,” interjected the RED Spy. “Why are we joining with the Scouts?” I then motioned them to come nearer so I could whisper why. They leaned in and I explained.
“Those idiots will, in all likelihood,” I whispered, “try to outdo each other and the Joker is NOT an enemy where you can afford to do so. I know this is asking you to do the Scouts’ job as well as your own, but I need someone to get the job done.”
“Je comprends,” (I understand) replied the BLU Spy.
“We shall depart immediately,” declared the RED Spy. The Scouts and Spies then headed off.
“Someone got a map of the place?” I asked.
“Here,” replied the RED Sniper. He handed over a map that indicated where the teams would usually spawn.
“Now, any class tokens?” I requested. Pup-X5 then handed over black, red, and blue versions of each TF2 class’s symbol. “Good dog,” I praised as I laid them out. “Okay, red and blue will represent you guys while black will represent the enemy forces. Now, we wait for the report.” It took a good hour, but the Scouts and Spies told us where the enemy was hiding within the Carnival. “Perfect,” I praised as I placed the black tokens where the enemies were. We then started making a plan of attack.
It was simple, the Heavies and Soldiers would clear a path to the center while the Scouts pick off any ground forces still remaining. The Snipers would take care of any airborne enemies while the Demomen would hide sticky bombs near the enemy spawn, effectively trapping them for the foreseeable future. Once a path was cleared, the Engineers would set up their sentries and dispensers around the center while the Soldiers and Heavies joined them with the Medics. The Pyros would set fire to any areas that would serve as cover for the enemy while the Spies infiltrated the center of their operations and download any information from their computers. The rest of us would assist the Scouts and Snipers in picking off the enemy forces that manage to get past the Demomen’s sticky bombs. Us Riders had already changed into our Rider personas. We entered the battlefield with the Soldiers announcing our presence. “Last one alive, lock the door!” shouted the BLU Soldier.
“ATTACK!” shouted the RED soldier. We charged forward, our bloodlust at its peak…only to find no one. “…What?” asked the RED Soldier.
“Something is different!” remarked the BLU Heavy.
“Scouts!” I growled.
“There WERE people here!” protested the BLU Scout.
“I can confirm this,” supplied the RED Spy.
“Where in Sam Hill are they, then?!” asked the RED Engineer.
“Something isn’t right,” muttered Arch.
“Not right is putting it mildly,” shuddered Seeker. We took up our positions on a heightened state of alert. Seeker was near me as we scanned the area. This lasted for a good hour.
“This is ridiculous,” I whispered. “I’m starting to seize up from being in a constant state of tension.”
“I’m going through the same thing,” replied Seeker. “Where are they?”
“¿Qué tal?” (What’s up?) asked a voice. Given that it was Spanish and feminine, I looked at Seeker.
“Que no era yo,” she gulped.
“What do you mean that wasn’t you?!” I hissed.
“Exactly what it sounds like!” replied Seeker.
“¡Apagando las luces!” (Turning off the lights!) announced the voice. Just then, a horrible idea struck me.
“…It can’t be…” I breathed.
“SENTRY DOWN!” called one of the Engineers before eliciting a dying noise. We headed to the Engineers to see a woman appearing in purple light. She had half her head shaved to reveal some cybernetic circuits leading to her spine. Her main color scheme was purple. She had conjured up a holographic keyboard and typed in a few commands before spotting us, then miming a kiss before dismissing the keyboard.
“Sombra!” I breathed.
“Aw, you DO know me!” cooed the woman.
“But, how did you get to this universe?!” I protested.
“A little help from Shocker Rift,” replied Sombra. “By the way, you’re making the assumption that I came alone, amigo.” I then realized what was happening.
“GUYS! TALON’S IN THIS UNIVERSE!” I warned.
“Just once, keep that mouth of yours shut!” rasped a voice. Black smoke then came out of the center of the map and formed itself into a man dressed in a cowl with a skull like mask on his face. This was Overwatch’s Reaper, a member of the terrorist organization, Talon, the same one Sombra belonged to. He leveled two large shotguns at us and fired, causing us to scatter. The Joker’s laugh then rang throughout the map.
“Roll up! Roll up! Come see the crossover that should never exist!” he cheered. “A debate that’s just as emotion-inducing as Star Wars vs. Star Trek! The Joker presents to you Team Fortress 2 vs. Overwatch!” The rest of Talon then arrived, the leader; Doomfist, the Sniper; Widowmaker, the geneticist; Moira, and the astrophysicist; Sigma.
“TAKE COVER!” I shouted. “MAKE THEM LOSE!”
“Try us,” taunted Doomfist as we took cover. Unfortunately, Talon’s presence caused us to scatter. Widowmaker was sending us to the respawn rooms at too quick a rate by swooping through the air with her grappling hook and firing her gun in automatic mode, Doomfist’s signature gauntlet caused insane amounts of damage, Reaper just couldn’t stay down, Moira healed her allies and caused all sorts of havoc on us with her Biotic Orb of Discord, Sombra hacked anything mechanical on us, and Sigma kept slowing us down by altering our personal gravity fields. I respawned in the BLU spawn, as did the BLU Medic and Wyldstyle.
“We’re not winning this one, are we?” muttered Wyldstyle.
“Not yet,” I replied. “Isn’t there ANYTHING that can help us?” The BLU Scout then appeared.
“STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!” he protested.
“Take it easy!” I directed.
“This is unacceptable!” the BLU Medic snapped. “We’re getting killed left, right, and center! I can’t stay alive long enough to get the ÜberCharge ready! Neither can my RED colleague!”
“We’ll have to try again,” I remarked. “The mission’s still a go!” We departed the respawn and tried to take up positions that Talon couldn’t reach. A mistake, as we separated from each other, leaving a certain hacker to pull me aside.
“Well, well, well,” purred Sombra, “a little man all on his own.” I raised my gun. “¡Relájate! No hay por qué preocuparse.” (Calm down! There’s nothing to worry about.)
“No te creo,” (I don’t believe you.) I hissed.
“Oh, you DO know Spanish,” grumbled Sombra.
“My dad’s former superior has family in Mexico City,” I explained. “I took every available opportunity to learn Spanish from him, originally to wind up my grandfather.”
“Well, I suppose I can’t fault one for winding up a racist asshole,” she sighed.
“Let me say, you aren’t exactly doing my dad’s former superior any favors or helping him dispel any stereotypes,” I hissed.
“Are you sure you want to talk to me that way, kiddo?” chuckled Sombra. “Especially since, after scouring the databases hidden in your belts, I found some juicy secrets you’d rather leave hidden from the new guys you picked up?”
“…Tell Victor anything,” I threatened, “and your head will be mounted above my fireplace!”
“You’re not in a position to make threats!” laughed Sombra.
“I’m warning you!” I continued. Sombra activated her keyboards and keyed in a command with the biggest smirk on her face. The results…weren’t what either of us expected. O Canada played as a hologram of the Canadian Flag flapped.
“¿Qué?” (What?) squawked Sombra. A hand grabbed her shoulder, turned her around, and its partner slugged her in the jaw! The figure was Range in armor evoking her!
“The EMP of Sombra,” explained Range. “Grants me armor and your abilities. While you were talking, I was hacking your spinal graft!”
“But…but I programmed my graft’s security measures!” protested Sombra. “How did…?!”
“You didn’t quadruple check to see if you left a backdoor open!” answered Range as he fired on Sombra. She threw a translocator beacon at a safe spot as she ran from us and teleported to the beacon before throwing it again and teleporting away. Widowmaker then shot us and made us respawn in the BLU room.
“Range, I owe you a…!” I gasped.
“I know the secret she was talking about,” replied Range coldly. “What everyone on the team owes me is an explanation.” With that, he left to rejoin the fight. I was left with figuring out how I was gonna explain it all to him. Wyldstyle’s appearance snapped me out of my thoughts, as did the grin on her face.
“There’s a Chroma Lock design on the giant Strongman machine!” she reported.
“Then that’s our goal!” I declared, temporarily pushing my future conversation with Range to the back of my mind. I relayed the order to find the Chroma Discs, explaining what they are to the Mercenaries, as we fought. The Joker, evidently, saw that we were organizing and decided to join the fray to keep us in a chaotic state. He fired on us as we kept up our defenses. Range had heard about the Chroma Lock and found it on the machine’s backside. It had an orange circle, a green left L-shape, and a purple right L-shape.
“Over here!” called Arch. He was on the left of the RED respawn room with the blue Chroma Disc. The Joker then caught sight of the disc!
“I remember that Keystone!” he snapped. “Hand it over!”
“Oh no, you don’t!” argued Wyldstyle as she used a few bits of the Strongman machine to make a bazooka. “That’s mine!” She fired, knocking the Joker off his feet.
“Ah, so it’s magic we’re using!” giggled the Joker. “Oh, wizard!”
“Cower, fools!” cackled a voice as a man flew around us with a skull on his head and a staff in his hand. “Merasmus is here!”
“Merasmus! I am going to pull a rabbit out of your ass!” snarled the BLU Soldier.
“You are ten pounds of ghost crap in a five pound dress!” supplied the RED Soldier.
“Stop talking and start shooting!” I shouted. As I ordered that, Pup-X5 found the yellow Chroma Disc near the platform of the Strongman machine. Merasmus fired various spells and kept us running.
“Fellas!” called the RED Engineer as he found the red Chroma Disc near the wooden Merasmus head looking out at the map in a fortune teller machine.
“ENOUGH!” declared Merasmus. “By the power of the Bombinomicon!” He pulled out an eldritch book with a bomb fuse on the front.
“Everyone down!” warned the RED Soldier. “He’s got a book!”
“All right, stand back!” called the voice of the Bombinomicon. “Have some bombs, guys!” The book spat out large bombs at us, all of us, even Talon and the Joker.
“WATCH YOUR AIM!” roared Reaper as a bomb exploded near him.
“Oh, this is so wonderful!” laughed the Joker.
“Why did I join your ilk?” muttered Doomfist. Just then, the Wheel of Fate appeared!
“The Wheel!” announced Merasmus as it spun. “Come on… Set them all on fire.” The Wheel then chose our fate! “You are GODS!” The ÜberCharge Fate! Yes! “Aha,” gulped Merasmus, “that may SEEM good, but it WILL be bad. In the fullness of time.”
“IDIOT!” roared Doomfist as we took advantage of the effects of the mass ÜberCharge. Talon was trying to put us down but could no longer secure the advantage.
“Now’s a good time!” declared Wyldstyle. “Chroma Keystone, activate! Chroma lock, reveal!” The Lock design appeared on the ground. “Chroma! Red! Range! Chroma! Yellow! RED Engineer! Chroma! Blue! BLU Soldier!” The people she directed jumped into their respective paint blobs.
“Great, a permanent ÜberCharge for those nitwits!” wailed the Joker as he fired on those of us that weren’t painted. Range went into the circle, the BLU Soldier went into the right L-shape, and the RED Engineer took the left L-shape. Range then moved to the BLU Soldier’s position, convinced the BLU Soldier to take the RED Engineer’s place, and the RED Engineer took Range’s place, causing the lock design to match the one on the Strongman machine. A door opened to reveal a Gateway!
“Pup-X5, see if you can program the Gateway to suck in only Merasmus, the Joker, and Talon!” I directed. Pup-X5 gave a thumbs up and hurried off to do so. Just then, the Engineers ran from the field! “HEY!” I shouted.
“Need to check the respawns!” called the RED Engineer. “Sombra may have hacked them!”
“Be back soon!” supplied the BLU Engineer.
“COME BACK!” I shouted. Too late. They vanished. “And I thought the Spies were sneaky rats!” I hissed. We had to try and keep the enemy off Pup-X5’s back as he programmed the Gateway. It took a while, but Pup-X5 gave us the thumbs up. “Throw it!” I called.
“No, you don’t!” shouted the Joker as he shot the Gateway. Pup-X5’s optics went wide.
“The suction won’t be as strong unless they’re in the air!” read his tablet as the Gateway activated.
“How are we gonna get them into the air?!” I protested.
“Maybe I can help!” called the voice of an Engineer.
The pair of them returned with another Kamen Rider wearing a Chronicle Driver.
“Who’s the new guy?!” I asked. The Engineers pulled me aside.
“Do you know how we keep coming back?” asked the BLU Engineer.
“The BLU Heavy told me you guys are clones,” I answered. “Wait, did you guys make a third Engineer?”
“One that needs the belt more than we do,” replied the RED Engineer. “It works for both of us, but neither of us want to abandon our team.”
“So, we made him so he can travel the multiverse while we help out our teams,” continued the BLU Engineer. “He’s taken to going by our real name, Dell Conagher.”
“He want to help you out against the Joker’s boss,” finished the RED Engineer, “if you’ll have him.” I thought for a few seconds, then decided.
“Engineers, I would gladly have him,” I answered. I relayed where the new Rider came from and we took up positions to kick the enemy into the air.
“What makes you think you can stop us?!” laughed the Joker.
“We have our ways,” I replied, “blending order and chaos seems to work.”
“Order and chaos CAN’T be blended!” argued the Joker.
“That’s why you constantly get sent back to Arkham,” I countered. “They ain’t mutually exclusive! Doomfist can attest to that!”
“He IS correct,” remarked Doomfist. “Only through chaos can order flourish. Or, as I prefer to say it, only through conflict do we evolve.”
“You, zip it!” snapped the Joker.
“In any case, it’s about to get real chaotic for you,” I chuckled, “since you’re right where we want you! Kamen Rider Guard! None shall harm my friends, family, and lady!”
“Kamen Rider Arch! My skills outdo Robin Hood!”
“Kamen Rider Seeker! It’s not gold I seek, but your end!”
“Kamen Rider Herald Y! I bring news of your defeat!”
“Kamen Rider Famine! I shall starve you of victory!”
“Kamen Rider Range! I’ve got you right where I want you!”
“I’m Wyldstyle! Time to think outside the box!”
“I am Technarain, the genius wanderer!”
“I am Pup-X5!” called a prerecorded message that X-PO made for Pup-X5. “I shall dig up success!”
“Kamen Rider Construct!” called the Engineers’ third clone. “Let’s do this Texas style!”
“You’re gonna do it DEAD style soon!” laughed the Joker. “GET THEM!” They leapt into the air to attack us.
“NOW!” I called. We spun the wheels and pressed the buttons.
“Final attack!” announced the Vortex Drivers.
“Final Pen Stroke!” supplied the Chronicle Drivers.
“RIDER GUARD KICK!”
“RIDER ARCH KICK!”
“RIDER SEEKER KICK!”
“RIDER HERALD Y KICK!”
“RIDER FAMINE KICK!”
“RIDER RANGE KICK!”
“RIDER CONSTRUCT KICK!” Our kicks landed on our opponents and pushed them towards the portal!
“NOOOO!” screamed Merasmus as the enemy was sucked in. “SOLDIER! YOU WERE THE WOOORST ROOOOMMAAAATE!” The portal disappeared once everyone was sucked in.
“Victory!” called the Overwatch announcer.
“…That ain’t the Administrator,” mused the RED Engineer.
“Play of the Game,” continued the Overwatch announcer. The Gateway then projected a screen with Arch posing. The caption read “Emmanuel Babineaux as Kamen Rider Arch.”
“What?!” I protested. “Why are YOU getting Play of the Game?!” We soon got our answer. While he was fighting Reaper, he had separated his bow into his blades and leapt up into the air before inserting his i.d. tag into the one in his right hand.
“Final attack!” it announced.
“RIDER ARCH SLAM!” he shouted. The impact caused Reaper to fly across the map.
“…Okay, you get Play of the Game,” I grumbled.
“Well, the moment has passed,” muttered the RED Spy.
“Agreed,” supplied the BLU Spy. “We have work to do over at Thunder Mountain.”
“Thunder Mountain?!” squawked the RED Soldier. “I don’t know how you knew that’s where we’re going, but you BLUs won’t take it from us!”
“We’ll be throwing our payload at your ass all day long!” snarled the BLU Soldier.
“I am going to strangle you with your own frilly training bra!” threatened the RED Soldier. He then chased the BLU Soldier out of the carnival with their compatriots following close behind, save for Construct. Once it was just us, we all powered down. The third Engineer clone, Dell as the original two called him, was wearing a purple Engineer’s outfit.
“Welcome to the team, Mr. Conagher,” I bid as I stuck my hand out for a handshake.
“Please, son, Mr. Conagher is my father’s name,” replied Dell as he shook my hand. “Just call me Dell.”
“Well then, welcome, Dell,” I greeted. We then finished and I turned to Pup-X5. “Get into contact with Vorton. Tell them the Tarlaxian crew gave their lives successfully getting the Source out of harm’s way. It should be in the Tarlaxian vaults. Tell them we’re on our way with a new member!”
“Belay that!” snapped Victor. “You lot still owe me an explanation as to why you decided it was a good idea to keep Megumi’s emotional collapse a secret!”
“…Pardon?” asked Dell. I sighed.
“During our first trip through the multiverse,” I explained, “we kept information about the enemy from our new allies, Wyldstyle included. When it was revealed that the one who gathered us MEANT for them to be with us, Megumi realized her mistake and had an emotional breakdown at her mistake. We kept it from our recent additions to the team because we didn’t want their views of us tainted. …But we still tainted them anyways.”
“Yeah, you did,” remarked Victor.
“Victor, I’m sorry,” I sighed. “The majority vote was that we wouldn’t tell you. We thought we were doing this for the greater good. …That was the first mistake, thinking we were doing this for ANY kind of good. I understand if you want to leave us.”
“I appreciate that, I really do,” muttered Victor. “Maybe…maybe we need a little more forgiveness here. A little more compassion than hatred. It’s just…why did you vote on this in the first place?”
“I raised the issue, saying that it would turn away any potential new members,” replied Emmanuel. “We debated and then voted.” Pup-X5 raised his hand, indicating he had something to say.
“Apparently,” read his tablet, “your arguments swayed Richard.”
“…No, they didn’t,” I replied. “I voted no.”
“…No, you didn’t,” argued Pup-X5.
“Yes, I did!” I insisted. “You can see that I voted no!”
“No, it says you voted yes!” replied Pup-X5. He displayed the results and they baffled me.
“Okay, I KNOW Emily voted no!” I declared.
“Something seems screwy with your voting,” mused Victor. “We need to check this out.”
“‘We’?” I repeated.
“I’m still mad at you all,” replied Victor, “but it looks like someone wants to drive a wedge into us. We need to settle this before I make any decision.”
“All right,” I declared. “Pup-X5, get us home.”
Richard’s team arrived after telling us what happened in the universe he and his team went to and we told him the news about the Rose clone and the Doctor’s involvement. “We’re coming up with nothing,” I explained as I held my crown in my hand. “The Doctor is unavailable to help right now, she’s busy trying to figure out why she’s forgetting an adventure.”
“Did Emily find anything?” asked Richard.
“She DID find something chemical in her,” I explained, “but that’s probably part of Gallifreyan biology.” At that point, the Doctor approached us. She was fanning herself with her hand.
“Could someone lower the heat?” she griped. “Far above what Time Lords are used to!” She then noticed something. “Wait, shouldn’t you be fanning yourselves as well? It IS 41.8⁰C.” (107.3⁰F)
“No, it’s a comfortable 23.8⁰C,” (75⁰F) I argued. The Doctor then seemed to let her attention get grabbed elsewhere.
“…I think my right heart is ARRGH!” She then doubled over in pain, clutching her chest at her right heart. “I’ve been poisoned!” she gasped. She then ran off for the cafeteria. We followed to find her grabbing Michael by the shoulders. “Ginger beer!” she gasped.
“Doctor!” protested Michael, presuming that to be the insult version of the phrase.
“I need ginger beer!” explained the Doctor. Michael hurried off and replicated the drink. The Doctor guzzled it down.
“Doctor, what’s going on?!” yelped Michael. “You’re acting like you need to go through detox!”
“Protein!” called the Doctor.
“Will walnuts do again?” sighed Michael.
“Doctor, how are any of this gonna stop whatever poison’s inside you?!” I protested.
“Wait, the Doctor’s poisoned?!” yelped Michael. He hurried along replicating walnuts and handed them to the Doctor who greedily devoured them. She then mimed shaking something.
“I can’t understand!” I yelped as Michael was trying to replicate something else. However, his panic was making his fingers make mistakes. The Doctor held up one finger. “One word. Shake, shake,” I floundered. “Milk shake? No, not milk, cocktail shake! What do you want, an orange screwdriver?!”
“ORANGE SCREWDRIVER?!” protested the Doctor when she finally swallowed the walnuts.
“WELL, I DON’T KNOW!” I shouted back.
“HOW IS ‘ORANGE SCREWDRIVER’ ONE WORD?!” continued the Doctor.
“She was miming salt!” called Michael as he got the desired dish. “She needs something salty!”
“What is that?!” I yelped.
“Anchovies!” replied Michael.
“Brilliant!” praised the Doctor as she scarfed down the anchovies.
“Why not just salt?!” I asked.
“That’s too salty!” answered Michael as he tried replicating something else. The Doctor finished off her anchovies and mimed a flash with her hands.
“A song?!” I guessed. “Er, I don’t know! ‘Turkey in the Straw’?!”
“‘TURKEY IN THE STRAW’?!” protested both Michael and the Doctor.
“Oh, all right, ‘American Pie’!” I snapped.
“Doctor!” called Michael when he finished with the replicator. “Close your eyes and pucker your lips!” The Doctor did so and Michael held a piece of paper to her lips. The Doctor felt the taste of paper on her lips and opened her eyes, yelping in surprise at seeing whatever was on the paper and jumping back before leaning back, opening her mouth, and letting something smoky come out. The smoke cleared and the Doctor leaned on the table before regaining her strength and standing upright to glare at Michael.
“Dearest Michael,” she hissed, “when I’m going through detox and ask for a shock, just get a defibrillator! Do not, under any circumstances, make me kiss A PICTURE OF BLOODY DAVROS!”
“Detox?” I asked. “Time Lords can get rid of poison?”
“Not every poison, just certain poisons,” explained the Doctor. “Especially THAT poison used on me. It’s Sparxotylin, a Time Lord developed poison that inhibits certain memories, especially the memory of being injected with the stuff. Lasts a long time, even throughout regenerations, before it starts to kill the Time Lord.”
“When were you poisoned?” I asked.
“Just before I was imprisoned within my confession dial,” replied the Doctor.
“The Time Lords poisoned you before imprisoning you?!” snapped Michael. “Your own people?!”
“So, this ISN’T connected to the Rose clone?” I asked.
“No, it isn’t,” replied the Doctor.
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.