Seven Strangers, Seven Mercenaries
Written by Hunter-Chameleon (Quint)
(It was a night like any other, in a place known as Henry’s Hideout. Tonight, the lives of seven people will drastically change...)
(19:30. Some of the usual customers are already in the bar, having a good time chatting. Then, a tired-looking man walks in. It seems like he witnessed the Apocalypse and came back – which, in fact, is kinda true. No one is afraid of him: he’s just a regular guy despite all that.)
Man: Hi there, Henry. Same as usual.
Henry: (while preparing a Cola) Ah, it’s you, Hunter. Have you seen anything eventful happen lately?
Hunter: I'm afraid to say that I haven't. (stares at the crowd) ...Hey... There seems to be a new customer here.
Henry: Oh, yes. She came early, but she's not the talkative type.
Hunter: Hmm... Guess I’ll welcome her.
(In the backroom of Henry’s...)
Cook: Alright, man. All you have to do is to walk by people at tables, and ask them what they want to drink. Got it?
Falling star: Right.
(Back to the bar. A lonely person is sitting at a table. She seems to be staring at the drink in her glass when...)
Hunter: Err... Hello, there.
?: Who might you be, sir? And... where did you get all of those injuries?
Hunter: Ah... That's quite a long story. The name is Hunter, and if you give me yours, the story will begin.
Hunter: Kayorei, eh? A nice name, I suppose. You see, it all began with...
(Meanwhile, in the streets, a tired-looking man, speaking to himself...)
Shinobu: Damn customers... Madden NFL this, FIFA that... no one likes good games anymore.
(His steps finally led him to Henry’s Hideout.)
Shinobu: Hmm. Maybe a glass or two will help calm me down so I can think.
Shinobu: So, what is there to do in this place? (looks around the bar, then...) Hey! Karaoke! (comes closer to the stage) Well, let’s see if they've got any Insane Clown Posse music.
(Several minutes later...)
?: Wow, that was a good performance!
Shinobu: Why, thanks, Mr...
?: Jeremy "Stardust" Lehn. So, how about a drink?
(Back to the first group...)
Hunter: ...And now I’m trapped in this universe with no chance to accomplish my mission.
Kayorei: Sad story indeed. And how have you been able to survive since?
Hunter: Well, I give French lessons. I met some good students, and they helped me find a place to live and such.
Kayorei: Glad it turned out well for you. May I offer you a drink?
Hunter: Why not?
Kayorei: (Waves to Falling star) Sir? Two Colas for this table, please.
Falling star: Sure thing!
(21:00. The bar's starting to fill up, as tonight is the final game of the Speedball World Championship: the Tennessee Pirates vs the London Punks! The atmosphere is quiet, even though two of the most “known” customers are here...)
Clawman: Man, I'm telling you, the Pirates are totally winning this one! They even beat last year’s favorites!
Chimeraman: The Mexico Desperadoes? Meh! Just a bunch of advertised wannabes! But the Punks will get the cup this time! They managed to throw Larry Arünnson out of the game!
Clawman: “Big-Bone” Larry? From the Vinnheim Ravens? Cool!
(And so, prognostics were taken, and drinks were sold to the customers. But let’s take a look at that one person outside...)
Naoshi: Hmm. It's getting cold out here. I should be heading home. I can't afford to forget to buy the groceries tomor-... Hey! What’s this?
(Sitting among the random garbage and refuse, there was a lonely, sad-looking robot toy. Its paint was badly scratched, and its serial code, 1-GA, was barely visible)
Naoshi: You sure look like one of those toys that just recently got recalled. *flips the toy's power switch* What's your name?
1-GA: Unit 1-GA...no name...
Naoshi: Okay. What about Iga?
1-GA: Name input...Unit will now respond to “Iga”.
Naoshi: Alright, then, but you look broken. I’ll try to look for a mechanic's phone number in this pub.
(But the floor at the entrance of Henry’s had gone slippery over time. And what naturally happens with slick floors took place...)
Naoshi: Excuse me, sir, do you have... *slips*
(Naoshi lands on Chimeraman's back, making him do a spit take)
Chimeraman: Who dares?
Clawman: (pats on Chimera’s shoulder) Relax, man! I'm sure that all of this was just an accident, right?
Naoshi: Err... Yeah...
Clawman: No problem! Tell you what,(grabs Iga with his claws, speaking in a devious voice), have some fruit...
Chimeraman: (glares at Iga) Nice idea, buddy. (Starts laughing)
Naoshi: Hey, Slash Man reject! Give that back!
Clawman: No way, pal.
Falling star: Would you mind, people? (goes talking to Clawman): Sir, I'd suggest that you give that toy back, and leave now, or ... (gets punched by Chimera)
Chimeraman: Or what?
Hunter: (looks like those guys need some help...) (to Kayorei): I’m really sorry, miss, but it sounds like I should help. (walks to the “riot”)
Clawman: Ah, if it isn’t good ole Hunter... What are you gonna do, going "war never changes" on me?
Hunter: No. This time, I’ll leave the pacific way.
Clawman: Oh, I'm dying to see this! You have the first shot!
Hunter: My pleasure. (Hunter quickly whips out a huge, rusty-looking gun from his backpack and shoots right at Clawman’s torso. The greenish energy ball opens a hole the size of a fist in this armor.)
Clawman: What the...? (falls to the ground)
Shinobu: (watching the fight) Ooh! He'll be feeling that tomorrow.
Hunter: Turbo-Plasma P94 Winchester Rifle. Never leave home without one.
Chimeraman: Why you...! Take this! (charges at Hunter)
Naoshi: *smashes a glass cup on Chimeraman's head*
Stardust and Shinobu: (jumping in the fray) Stop it right there!
(And so, a huge melee took place in the Hideout. Shots everywhere, broken chairs, and poor Henry eventually got thrown right into his jukebox.)
(The next scene takes us to Megalopolis State Penitentiary. The seven main suspects in last night’s melee (Naoshi, Hunter, Shinobu, Kayorei, Iga, Falling star and Stardust) were put in a special cell.)
(Later in the morning, an elderly man comes in the jail, escorted by two dangerous-looking robots. His face is known all around the world, but not for good reasons.)
Police-Bot: Dr. Wily? What are you doing here?
Wily: Just my citizen’s work. Please show me the way to their cells.
Police-Bot: (as they arrived at their destination) Here you are, sir. You have only 15 minutes to talk with them. Sorry, but that's strict regulations. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting at the main entrance.
Wily: Thank you sir. (turns to the seven prisoners) So, it was you guys who started the riot?
Naoshi: No way, man! Your robots tried to destroy this toy here.
Wily: Hmm. Still, they got severely injured, and you have to pay the fine for my robots' repairs.
Hunter: Uh-oh. I hope Henry won't get too mad about that.
Wily: Of course not! He even sold more drinks than usual after the fight. But...
Wily: He still wants you to pay $500,000 for the destruction.
Wily: But we come to an agreement. I’ll pay for you if you seven work for me. What do you think of this?
Falling star: Sounds fine with me. (the others nod).
(After this agreement, the “suspects” move to Wily Fortress.)
Wily: I can guess that you’re probably still tired after what happened last night. We’ll meet up in the lab in two hours. My Sniper Joes will show you the way.
(Later, in the lab...)
Stardust: So, man, what is this work you want us to do for you?
Wily: Actually, it’s a long story. Ever heard about the Mega Man Killers or the Genesis Unit?
Falling star: Well, who hasn’t?
Wily: Good. And you’re aware that their results were rather... mediocre.
Shinobu: Sure, but what do they have to do with us?
Wily: Let me explain. In my recent experiments, I’ve been able to adapt some more recent evolutions in robotics on seven new prototypes, modeled after the original Killers.
Naoshi: And you want us to test these armors?
Wily: Exactly! Now get in line. I’ll give each of you one of these suits.
(Naoshi was the first one to go in the Experiment Chamber. Right after he got in, the door hermetically closed.)
Wily: Let’s go! RKN-001, activate! (pulls a switch)
(Immediately, the whole lab was glowing an electric blue, as a strange transformation occurred in the Chamber: Naoshi’s body “disintegrated” and his particles reorganized themselves in the form of an armored, spear-wielding bot. Then, the flashes stop, and a whole new creation enters the room.)
Wily: Behold...Enker! The defense master!
Hunter: Naoshi? How do you feel?
Naoshi: Well, I feel MUCH stronger. And to think it’s thanks to public enemy #1...
Wily: Enough chit-chat! Now, get in, Hunter! (then):DRN-001a, activate!
(The same process occurred on Hunter. When he stepped out of the Chamber, he now wore a green armor, similar to Megaman’s, with the major difference that he held a drill-like device in his back)
Wily: Heeeeere’s Quint!
Hunter: Great. So, now, I’m the lame one.
Wily: Did you even hear what I said first? I upgraded this armor, so that it could emulate Megaman’s abilities. You’re as strong as he is!
Hunter: Now, THAT’s cool.
(The same process occurred with Shinobu, Kayorei and Stardust, who respectively became Punk the mad destroyer, Ballade the agile sniper, and Hyper Storm H. the porcine behemoth.)
Shinobu: Check this out! (uses his left shoulder armor as a boomerang Screw Crusher, and decapitates an unfortunate Joe). Oops.
Kayorei: Meh. Looks like “collateral damage” is your middle name.
Stardust: It’s great to have a giant armor like this, but how am I supposed to move around in this Fortress? It’s not that tall, y’know.
Wily: And now, (turns to Falling star and Iga), I’ll update you with the remaining suits. But first, (grabs Iga), I’ll give you a brain update.
(Minutes later, after the three remaining people left to the lab’s Robotic section...)
Wily: Here it is, people! Now the seven of you are together under my orders!
Naoshi: (to Iga, now in his Buster Rod G. armor) So, how do you feel, Iga?
Iga: Very well! Thanks to Wily’s updates, I now have the equivalent of a scientist’s intelligence.
Hunter: Good news, Comrade.
Falling star: (in his Mega Water S. suit) So, now what do we do?
Wily: You’ll begin training tomorrow. Then you’ll work under my orders, as a specific unit. Your name will be...err...anyone got an idea?
Hunter: What about the Seven Mercenaries?
Shinobu: Sounds good to me.
Kayorei: I agree.
Naoshi: Well, I do hope we’ll get along well together.
Stardust: We get friends, lodging AND cool armors! I’m in!
Iga: I would be glad to help you.
Falling star: Somehow, I don’t think Henry will allow me to continue working for him, so I'm in.
(The End? It was only the beginning!)
Credits: ChimeraMan and ClawMan are made by the people of Mechanical Maniacs.