Orange Hell

by Rich (Bombman) Kassidy


Britt lay in her bed, staring straight towards the ceiling above her, motionless. She hadn’t so much as flinched since her teammates left to fight Cutman two hours ago. Teammates. Just a month ago, they were so much more. They were family. She call them her brothers and sister. Just a month ago, they were all built by the same kind scientist.

But now, it was different. She was an outcast in her view. The very same man she so adamantly opposed so many times before built her. She was a mere copy of the original. How could she even take herself seriously? Could she even refer to herself as a Robot Master anymore? The very thing that designated a Robot Master was the fact that it was the one robot in the world with those powers, the mastery of a certain set of skills. She was a last minute B-plan, a sham.

She tried to fight these feelings. She knew they weren’t right, and that she shouldn’t be so petty. But deep within her subconscious, they nagged at her, they told her she would never again feel right about being a part of the team. She wished she could just go back to the way things were just over a month ago. Things were so perfect then. Peace had finally come to her, and she was enjoying it. She wished that she once again had the luxury of boredom, that her most important item on her daily agenda was to make sure her brothers and sister were happy.

Her train of thought was finally interrupted by the emergency phone beacon that sounded in her room. For the first time in days, she had to leave her room to talk on the videophone. She slowly rolled to her feet and sauntered out of her room, walking down the cold aluminum floor of the main corridor. Her lips dead set into a disenchanted frown, and her eyes halfway open. It was a wonder she even responded to the sound at all, given her state of mind.

Once in the conference room, she pushed the button that revealed the paper thin screen, effectively answering the call. Quickly fading onto the screen was the face of the white bearded scientist she once called “father”. It almost hurt her to even look at him. But before she even had enough time to turn away, he began his message.

“Ah, Cut-Chan. I’m glad someone is there. Where are the others? I have some information on their…enemy.”

“They’re...out.” Britt simply put, “dunno when they’ll be back.”

“Well,” Light began, “I suppose you’ll just have to fill them in for me then. May as well start recording this session now just incase you have difficulty later.”

Britt flicked a few seemingly random switches to begin this function.

“I’m ready, doctor.”

“Well, Roll has finally managed to break Wily’s encrypted files,” Light began, this time with a more grave look upon his fair-skinned face. “What was found was…disturbing, to say the least. Apparently, just before I executed the command to initiate the memory surge of Cutman, Wily had made a back up of his memory and functions onto a hard drive. He did this with all six of the kidnapped Robot Masters, actually, just so he could study their functions for future work, which has undoubtedly served him while building his other Robot Masters.”

“…Please, continue.” Britt leaned forward, her interest starting to perk.

“With this information, he could revive Cutman, but the process for re-downloading files onto a robot is much longer than the process for taking them out, not to mention the fact that he would have to rebuild the advanced ‘genius chip’ that was currently being implemented on Cutman. So, to make sure his plans went along smoothly, he drew up plans to recreate Cutman as quickly as possible, sans the memories of the original, and also minus the genius chip.”

“I’ve heard this story before, doctor.” Britt growled wryly, “Tell me something new.”

Doctor Light puffed up his chest and started to fidget in his seat, somewhat annoyed at Britt’s approach. He continued none the less.

“Before he began his own series of Robot Masters, he decided to experiment with a working example. Cutman’s genius chip was badly damaged still when he reactivated him, which must have triggered a sort of feral madness within him. He was wild and uncouth, barely able to form complete words. He showed signs of what must have been a terrible pain within his head as the repair nano machines toiled away at his near-ruined brain systems. Eventually, his mind returned to him, but he never forgot or forgave Wily for that pain.

As soon as he was released from the table that tied him down, he apparently lopped off one Wily’s arms as a small taste of revenge. Stealing one of Wily’s old lab coats, he made a solemn vow to first defeat me for abandoning him, and then finish off Wily himself when he showed his superiority over him.”

Britt’s mouth was now a half opened look of fear and loathing for her predecessor. As soon as she gathered herself, she had a few more questions for Light.

“But, if Wily’s arm was cut off, how did we not know of it? I mean, he was in prison once before, right?”

“Ah, but the cut was soon clean and quick, Wily was able to reattach it himself using his own machines. However, a scar remains. Perhaps Cutman knew he’d reattach his arm, and just wanted Wily to have a scar constantly there to remind him.”

“That’s…sick.” Britt exclaimed under her breath. “Another thing: It’s been at least ten years since this happened, right? Where the hell has Cutman been all this time? And why is he resurfacing just now?”

“He’s…been biding his time. We still don’t know where he’s been all these years, but we do know he’s working on something…major. The chips that he stole are evidence of this-“

“Hold on, did you say ‘chips’?” Britt interrupted, “I thought he robbed those factories for money, not chips.”

“No…he stole some highly experimental, and potentially dangerous control chips designed for the war version of the Sniper Joe utility robot. I strongly disapproved of this new chip, so it was created out of my sight, which is why the factory wouldn’t tell you what it was he got away with. Roll had to find out by hacking into their system as well.”

“…How many did he steal, exactly?” Britt’s face gradually faded into a look of worry.

Light’s look looked worried as well as he huffed the answer.

“…Fifty thousand.”


The ceiling about them was tumbling down upon them at an alarming rate. Gary looked around the now collapsing factory that they stood in, frantically searching for any escape possibilities as the plasma compaction barrier closed in on him and his group at a rate of two feet per second. He quickly guessed that he’d have a little over a minute before the energy field was about them, killing them in a most certainly painful manner.

Ben, who’s back now sported a huge dent in his armor plate in the shape of two hands, was having trouble just standing on his two feet. However, he would have no other choice, as he poured on his storm of flame upon the barrier, hoping to at least slow it down. This wouldn’t be the case, as the plasma barrier closed in on them without breaking its deadly pace. They were running out of ideas fast.

The energy barrier, which was usually used as a method for compacting dangerous materials into more manageable sizes, was all but invincible to most forms of attack, including puncture and brute strength, which left Erik with nothing to do but try and hope for some brilliant solution to come up. The field, however, was vulnerable to being disrupted by a strong electrical current, or a localized explosion. This knowledge, unfortunately, didn’t really serve the five heroes all that well, as Odin’s hands remained covered in Cutman’s super sticky instant insulator formula, and Fushi was struggling just to stay alive as she lay on the floor with Gary hovering over her.

“Fushi! FUSHI! Don’t die on me! We can still make it out of here! We can get you back in shape in no time if you just hang in there! Fushi!” Gary pleaded with his teammate. He couldn’t bear to lose a pet, let alone a member of his team. Tears were welling up on the corners of his eyes.

“It’s no use…” Ben gasped as he lowered his arm cannons. “I’m having no effect what’s so ever.”

Odin, however, had an idea, but was at first hesitant to suggest it. Watching the energy walls bear down upon them with unwavering force, and seeing his friend Fushi lay on that cold floor dying before his eyes quickly eliminated all doubt from his mind.

“Ben,” as he raised his still insulator covered arms,”…do it.”

Ben and Gary looked at Odin in sheer surprise. Had they had more time, they would have admired his bravery, but they still would have argued with it.

“I can’t do that! You know as well as I do you might not even have any arms left if I keep the heat on for just a second longer than I should! Out of the question!” Ben rasped.

“You got any other ideas then, cause I’m all out.”

Ben could see that he had no other choice, despite his protests. He raised his arm cannons slowly into place, and after a short moment of hesitation unleashed a smaller-than-normal burst of molten hot flame upon the limbs of one of his closest allies. Odin’s hands briefly disappeared in a maelstrom of red and orange fury as he wailed in agony.

Halfway around the world, Britt had finished up her conversation with Doctor Light, and was now awaiting her team’s arrival. She now knew that, original or not, Cutman had to be stopped, and fast. She halfway hoped, however, that her teammates would have killed him in Italy so that she’d never have to face him, for fear of what mind games he might attempt with her. Her attention was suddenly perked up by a set of footsteps making their way down the hallway towards her position. However, she noticed something strange almost immediately.

The footsteps were not like any of the other five’s. They huffed a small hiss of compressed are with each step, and she could hear the strain of high-tension cables in the moments between each step. As it grew nearer, she became certain it wasn’t any of her kin’s. Over the years, she had come to know everyone’s unique footsteps quite well, from Erik’s small-tremor inducing plod, to Gary’s rapid, plastiky padding about. These footsteps, however new, had a sense of familiarity to them. They sounded…like her own almost.

She quickly put two and two together as the steps neared even more, now just mere paces from the doorway to the room. As she hid beneath a table, she heard an awful screeching sound. Another familiar sound. Metal was split in two as if being torn apart by a ruthless blade. It was constant, as if someone were scraping their fingernails across a chalkboard. The source of the terrible noises was now standing within the doorway.

Humming cords of Ligeti, the orange master of death surveyed the room. Noticing the edge of Britt’s shears from underneath the huge conference table, he made sure his target knew of his presence.

“Well, hello there!” He taunted, grinding his teeth in doing so. “It’s nice to finally meet the clone that has been keeping my spot warm all these years.”

Britt’s eyes grew wide. She stood up, knowing her impromptu hiding place had failed her. She slowly turned around to face her successor, who was drenched in cold oil, but had the substance trickle out of the still open wound at his elbow. It was clear that he had just come from a hellish battle, and his presence here before her suggested things didn’t work out they way she had hoped.

“What…what did you do with the others, you monster?”, she grimaced.

“Monster?” the orange and white robot questioned in an innocent tone, “Why, there’s no need to be so harsh. We’ve only just met. Besides, your friends are still alive…mostly. However I can’t say that in, oh say, forty five seconds.” As he looked at an imaginary watch.

Britt’s mechanical heart now pumped with more vigor than it had known in the past month. She didn’t care if her existence thus far had been for nothing; the demented creature in front of her had hurt her friends. She just knew it. She quickly palmed the middle of own shears and prepared to lob them at her foe. As she released her blades, Cutman actually started walking towards her, snatching them out of the air in an inhuman, and almost impossible, act.

“A gift? For me? My my, we’re coming on rather strong for a first encounter, aren’t we? We haven’t even had supper by the candlelight yet. Come, we can get to know each other better in a more…romantic setting.” The twisted pseudo scientist claimed as he used the butt end of her own blades to knock her out in a swift and decisive blow.

Cutman gathered up his copy and began to exit with his hostage, but not without leaving a few calling cards.

Odin’s hands hurt so badly, he wasn’t able to even close them. He felt like tearing them off his body so they wouldn’t burn so much. They almost looked as though they would do this all their own, as all that was keeping them in place were a few strands of cable and some melted aluminum and steel. Somehow, through all this pain, his intentions surfaced to mind once again.

Slowly, he raised his ravaged limbs towards the impending plasma field that was now a mere ten feet from them, what’s more, is the ceiling was coming down in heavier, bigger chunks as their support was eaten away. Only seconds remained as Odin finally unleashed several strands of electric fury towards the field, rendering it nullified after only a few seconds of battle with the energy. The victory, however, was short lived, as the danger was still apparent as the roof caved in on the heroes. Luckily for them, they were now no longer blocked from using their teleportation devices to get back home.

As soon as they arrived back at their home halfway around the world, Odin collapsed from the pain his body had endured. It was a wonder his automatic shut down feature hadn’t activated as soon as Ben’s flame nearly melted away his hands. He would require days of work to be functional once again.

Erik, despite his head troubles, looked down at his fallen friend with a look of gratitude in his eyes. He could not help but admire his bravery and sacrifice in the face of such horror. He scooped up his fallen fellow hero and placed him on his shoulder, picking up the near-fatally wounded Fushi as well. Despite her massive trauma, it looked as though she would be back on her feet almost as soon as Odin. This was a good thing, as the team was sure to face Cutman again as soon as they could find out where he was hiding.

The three still walking heroes wearily dragged their feet down the long, brightly polished hallway on their way to the med. lab. On the way, they could check for any messages from Dr Light in case Britt was still within her room. However, they were greeted with even more horror for the day.

A long scar traced the hallway’s wall leading into the huge conference room. Traces of oil drops seemed to follow this ominous sign close by. The three heroes peered into the room, halfway expecting a sneak attack within their own safe house.

The room was empty, however. The table lay on the floor, shattered to pieces, and papers lay strewn about the place in what appeared to be a random act of schoolyard vandalism. This was no playground bully, of this they were certain. The screen that they used to speak with Dr Light was partially broken, but still viewable as they checked for recent messages. They began the tape that Britt had made of her conversation with Dr Light when Gary had a revelation.

“My God…Britt!!” He exclaimed as he rushed out the room’s doorway. As he sprinted down the hallway, he noticed the same oil stains making their way to the same destination as him. “Oh God no…”

He flung open the door to Britt’s room, and dropped to his knees at what he saw. Oily “blood was flung about wildly around the quarters, sprayed on everything in view. On the bed lay an even more sickening calling card: Britt’s left arm, laying within a puddle of it’s own fluids. Grasped in it’s hand read a single note with two simple words on it.

“Sweet revenge”


Ben ran as fast as he could down the cold, metal hallway to where he had heard the screams he had heard just seconds before. Along the way, he noticed the same dark spatters that Gary had followed to Britt’s quarters, where he had remained. Ben soon stopped just outside the small room, as he watched Gary on his knees, clutching the severed limb of his loved one. Ben was truly taken aghast at this sight, and couldn’t think of a single word to say. Gary, however, beat him to it.

“He’s gone too far this time.”

Ben couldn’t agree more. He clenched his fists together as he vowed revenge of his own. Brother or no brother, Cutman needed to be stopped for good. They were left with a small problem however. They had no idea where he was or how to track him, and now that he had what he needed, it was only a matter of time before he could activate his army. Time was now a luxury for them.

Gary and Ben made their way back into the conference room where Erik was watching the recording of Dr Light’s synopsis on Cutman. Odin and Fushi were delivered to the med. lab, where a few of the worker robots administered first aid to the badly damaged crime fighters. With hope, they’d make a full recovery in a week, but it was unlikely that they’d be able to rejoin their comrades for the showdown with Cutman, assuming they could find hi. Erik’s head was being reworked by one of the robot technicians as he mulled over the video.

“Well, now we know why this guy is so messed up, but we don’t know how he’s stronger than all of us combined, even with our upgrades and improvements throughout the years.” The giant laid out the facts. “If we just rush into his lair or whatever and try to fight him again, he’ll just kill us, especially now that we’re down in numbers.”

“Maybe he’s been doing a few improvements of his own.” Gary theorized. “I heard some familiar sounds coming from his body while we in that factory. The sound of pressurized suspension systems and high tension steel wire. None of those came standard on him when he was first built, of that I’m sure, but they did come on one robot in particular…”

“Quickman.” Ben growled. “He must’ve got a hold of the plans for Quickman back when he was in Wily’s custody. And with that high IQ of his, he’d have no problem improving on those plans. Hell, he’s had ten years to do so.”

“He’s been busy, that’s for sure.”, Gary agreed, “ He’s got this army apparently, so now we have to take that into perspective as well. Now that he’s got all that he needs, its only a matter of time before he’s ready to launch it. We’re running out of time and we have no leads at all.”

The three androids sat in silence, trying to figure out the best way to find out where their enemy had hidden himself. Suddenly, the answer came to Erik.

“That’s it! If he teleported out of here, we can track him!”

“How?” Ben questioned, “I thought modern day teleportation systems were untraceable.”

“Yes, but he might not have upgraded his own systems!”

“But, how does this do us any good? Do we have any means to even track him?”, Gary chimed in.

“Not the conventional way, but I know how. You see, when we teleport, our bodies first send out a signal to our intended destination via a satellite to ensure we won’t end up ‘beaming in’ on top of some animal or person, and make sure we don’t meld with them on a structural level, which would surely kill us. Since it happens so fast, we don’t even notice it most of the time, but it does happen, so…”

“We can check the satellite’s logbook to find out where he went! It’s brilliant, Erik!” Gary proclaimed.

“You know, sometimes you surprise me, man.” Ben commended. It wasn’t often he handed out compliments.

Erik began the process to check the satellite’s logs, hoping to find the answer they desperately needed.

Britt’s eyes gradually flittered open to reveal her latest surroundings. Within seconds, she realized her entire body from the neck down was paralyzed, perhaps mercifully since she’d then have to deal with the pain of her missing arm. She glanced around her immediate environment and felt the cool, damp air on her face. The dimly lit cave walls reflected sketchy shadows all around, as if the room was lit solely by candlelight. She noted that she lay on what appeared to be a medical table, complete with a fine surgical kit next to her.

Looking to her right she glimpsed her kidnapper with his back turned towards her. He was obviously working on something, but couldn’t quite make it out yet. After a few minutes, Cutman became aware of her regained consciousness and greeted her.

“I trust you had a restful nap.” he mugged. “You should thank me for being merciful. You’d have to deal with a lot of pain right now had I not taken the liberty of deactivating your motor control servo.”

“Eat me!” Britt shot back.

“You’re welcome”, the orange villain grinned back. “You should also feel honored. You’ll be the first person to see my great army alive and moving. You’ll see first hand the might that will crush both Light AND Wily with ease, and perhaps Cossack should he even think he can stand in my way. It won’t matter. Soon, these wretched scum of the Earth, the scientists that birthed such a twisted creation such as us and our kind, will be wiped clean from this planet’s face. I’m just helping evolution along.”

“How does mass murder help anything evolve, you psycho?”

Cutman laughed, amused by his “guest’s” indigence. “Human beings have evolved far beyond what they were meant to reach. They never outgrew the pre-programmed violence that exists within the heart of each and every man, woman, and child that inhabits this world, despite their arguments. Robots, on the other hand, can grow past that. They’re not forced into the same thinking that man is predisposed to. I’m the beginning of a new age in the history of the world. I can right the wrongs that man has inflicted, and fill in the many gaps he has left behind. Robots like myself can and WILL become the future of this planet, and will not repeat the same mistakes man has made time after time.”

“You’re still just trying to justify murder. Don’t you understand the concept of human life?” Britt argued.

“Ha! All this from a quick fix copy robot? I should be impressed with Wily and Light’s monstrous little creation then. Still, you’re nothing more than a cheap copy of a vastly superior model. You never could realize your true potential with that half assed frame of yours.”

It was the same thought that Britt had gone over time and time again herself over the past few weeks. Hearing it come from the real thing left her questioning herself just as much as before. Before Britt could think up a response, Cutman began his speech yet again.

“Thanks to your would-be fellow Robot Master, Iceman, I have this to thank him for.” As he held up his replacement arm, which was obviously stolen from one of the thousands of Sniper Joes that lined the room’s walls. “That’s why I kept you alive instead of simply using you for spare parts. He’ll be here shortly, of that I’m sure, so I wanted to make sure you saw his inevitable death by my hand.”

“Britt had mixed reactions upon learning of Gary’s certain arrival. On one hand, he would be here to save her, and might be able to do so. But then again, he might die, just as Cutman predicted. She much rather would die herself rather than see her beloved die right before her eyes. As her eyes searched for an answer, she glanced at the sneering orange monster again, but this time noticed something different. He was now wearing her shears instead of his own. Cutman immediately noticed Britt glaring at his trophy.

“Oh yes, I really must thank you for my new head accessory. It really is becoming of me, don’t you think? A new set of blades for a new era. How fitting that they’ll be used to kill the brethren you’ve been living with these past ten years. It’s simply soaked with irony.”

Cutman turned to watch his handful of operational Sniper Joes install the remaining control modules into the last few soldiers in his army. It was only a matter of time before they were ready to be unleashed upon the world. Had Cutman stayed with Dr Wily any longer, he might have picked up his signature cackle for such an occasion, but Cutman had his own method in celebration as he lifted an oversized Cuban cigar to his lips, and simply smiled as he took in this awe inspiring sight.

“Got it!” Erik exclaimed. “Coordinates 389.154.0784…an old mining town named ‘Desert Gulch’ in the middle of the Mojave Desert.”

“A ghost town? Fitting, since we’re going to have some burying to do when we get done with him.” Ben grimaced. “Let’s stop wasting time and get over there pronto.”

The three remaining Sinister Six alumni had already finished their personal repairs while waiting for Erik to find their enemy’s location. Had they had the time, they would have done more upgrading, but they couldn’t afford to lose anymore sunlight. Instead, they would have to relay on their wits and what they had seen of Cutman’s movements to gain an edge, if it were possible. However, they made no delusions in the fact that they very well may be headed into a suicide mission. Once again, their faces grew grim as they said their good-byes to the unconscious Odin and Fushi and activated their teleportation devices.

As Desert Gulch was a scant 2,000 miles away, the trip via teleportation travel was only fifteen minutes. As they arrived on the outside of town, the sun began to dip behind the mountain range in the far West. The sky began to turn a bright mixture of orange and pink, highlighting the few clouds that drifted lazily in the air around the sun in a purplish shadow. The shadows on the ground had grown to the point where the century old plus buildings now cast huge projections of themselves on the dusty earth at their feet. It would truly be a beautiful sight for anyone who had the luxury of time, but unfortunately for the Sinister Six, they hadn’t the time.

Immediately, they had to search for any suspicious buildings that might have shown signs of recent use. Clearly, no decrepit structure in plain view could hold the massive collection of robots that Dr Light had predicted, so there must be some hidden passageway to an underground hideout, they collectively guessed. Sure enough, the dried up well in the small town’s center displayed unusual patterns of wear at its base, and upon closer inspection, it was clear this was no ordinary well. Erik, having no time to figure out the trick to open it, simply ripped the structure from the ground, and left them with a perfect entrance way to what appeared to be some sort of hidden mine. This was the point of no return.

The three heroes all looked at each other, then took a last look at the wonderful sky that seemed to bid them good luck. At this point, luck seemed to be all they had, as they were soon about to face what could be their biggest challenge yet.


Ben, Gary, and Erik now traversed to the deep ends of the mineshaft, knowing their enemy might very well be expecting them with a trap. They cautiously inspected the walls as the trekked forth into the dank, dim cave, half expecting a boulder like that seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark to come tumbling forth, crushing them before they could even reach their intended target. Luckily, no such traps were to be found, as they neared a fork in the path ahead.

On the left lay what appeared to be a condemned mineshaft, boarded up long ago with an ominous skull and cross bones marking adorning the planks that blocked the path ahead. To the right lay a another dimly lit corridor, but this one had something else: music. Some sort of classical music blared from within, announcing to them the obvious choice. Without wasting another thought, the trio forged ahead slowly, peeking around corners to try and keep and element of surprise they might still be able to take advantage of.

Eventually, they finally came across what they intended to come across: the holding chambers for Cutman’s massive army. Small Metool robots hobbled along the ground, carrying whatever tools they could to the Sniper Joes that labored on their brother Joes, attempting to get everything ready for the fight that lay ahead of them. Already it seemed, that army was nearing completion, as a new Joe was activated every few seconds, and then given a set of tools to help out his work force. Had they not known what the army was going to be used for, the Sinister Six might have been impressed. However, they were instead very troubled, as the battalion that stretched in front of them was far larger than what they had anticipated. If this army ever left the cave, it would spell certain doom for most of the Earth’s population.

After observing the scene, they finally looked ahead to the small platform that rested overhead. Atop that platform was none other than Britt, who hadn’t yet noticed her saviors. Unfortunately, someone else did.

“No need to be shy, gentlemen.” The wicked voice rang out from overhead. “I’ve known of your arrival since monitoring your arrival here. I must say, you figured out my whereabouts rather quickly. Had I more time, I would have put on some coffee for you.”

“No more crap, Cutman.” Ben bellowed back. “We’re here to shut you down for good.”

“A little overconfident, aren’t we? Perhaps you didn’t realize the hundreds of thousands of war machines that now stand before you. In a few mere seconds, every single one of them will be online, awaiting my marching orders. Not even the three of you can beat those odds. However, you are my brothers, and I suppose it would be only sporting of me to at least offer you the opportunity to join me by my side. But, given your predictable nature, I believe I already know what your answer will be…”

“Not a chance in hell!” Gary shouted. “You’ve got some nerve to think that we would join the likes of you. You stopped being our brother the second you thought up this mad scheme of yours.”

“What a pity.” Cutman said with a look of fake sadness adorning his dingy orange face. “Well, I suppose I’ll just have to dispose of you. Unfortunately for you, I don’t have time to deal with you personally, so do forgive my inhospitality. I do have, however, another playmate to keep you occupied in your last moments on this planet.”

The demented tangerine android then flicked a few switches on his control board, setting forth a new menace for the Sinister Six to deal with. A monster resembling the Yellow Devil emerged for a grate in the ground, but only silver in color. A single, monotone black eye opened from within the center of the giant liquid beast, setting its sights on the three warriors that stood in front of it.

“Have fun!” Cutman goaded from atop his platform. He turned his attention to Britt. “Like clockwork. Say good bye to your teammates. But don’t worry, you’ll all meet again in the robot after life, unless I decide to rebuild you all as I see fit.”

Britt could only muster the energy for one last scream. “GARY!!!”

Gary’s attention perked immediately. “Britt! Hang on!” He turned to his two comrades beside him. “ I’ve got to get up there before he can give his final commands to the army!”

Without so much as another word, Erik knew what to do. He scooped the small Arctic research machine into his massive hand, took aim, and lobbed his friend like a football high over the Silver Devil’s head, who tried to block the small android like a blocker trying to deflect a field goal. Luckily for Gary, Erik threw him fast enough to avoid the monster’s high reaching arms, and Gary landed sloppily on the platform above the massive army. Cutman almost looked impressed.

“Well now, come to have another go at me? I hope you realize the futility of your actions. My personally destroying you will be just a formality at this point. But, in a way, I’m glad to able to finish you off myself. I still owe you for this little gift.” Cutman reminded himself as he raised his replacement arm, which now bore a quick orange paint job to cover the original flat black covering of the former Sniper Joe appendage.

“And I still owe you for all the blood you’ve spilt. All the pain you’ve caused my friends and me. All the destruction you plan on unleashing! I won’t give up so easily!”

“How trite. Come, let’s get this pathetic show over with quickly. I still have much work to do before I commit mass genocide.” Cutman coldly stated as he rolled his eyes mockingly.

Gary made no wasted effort as he launched his first offensive against the orange megalomaniac. He leapt high into the air, extending his white boot to try and land a solid kick on Cutman’s jaw, but he was quickly avoided with a swift sidestep on behalf of his target. He next launched a flurry of punches, to which Cutman avoided just as easily. The entire time, Cutman never unfolded his arms in a show of ego even Forte could match. He merely laughed off his tiny attacker’s misplaced moves.

“It’s sad, really. I almost expected better of you, Iceman.” Cut mocked as he delivered a kick of his own to the small robot. Gary rolled backwards into the guardrails behind him. Coughing up “blood”, he had to think of another approach.

Meanwhile, Erik and Ben had their hands full with the Silver Devil, who swung wildly at them. Neither side had landed a single blow to one another, but Erik and Ben were already showing signs of fatigue with their dodging maneuvers. Ben poured on the heat, as he now knew from experience that the liquid monster was made out of the same insulation material that covered Odin’s hands the last time they encountered Cutman. He guessed that this giant would have been made to counter Elecman’s electric attacks, as that’s what the original Yellow Devil had been weak to. However, there seemed to be an almost limitless supply of the goo that rose up from the grate beneath it, constantly resupplying the fifteen foot tall monster with whatever was needed to repair it’s body.

“We’re getting nowhere fast.” Ben loudly stated over the roar of his own flames. “If we keep wasting time like this, the army will be complete.”

It was true. They were down to just a handful of soldiers that needed to be completed. Luckily, the already activated Sniper Joes were too busy with their own work to even bother with the battled that raged just inches away from them, despite Erik using some of them for ammunition against the Silver Devil. Suddenly knew what to do.

He jumped in front of Ben just as he was set to unleash another flurry of flame. “What the hell are you doing?!” Ben asked in bewilderment.

“Just keep up the fire!” Erik shouted back.

Ben did as he was told and the intense flame surrounded the giant construction robot. Using the fire as a shield against the monster’s attacks, Erik was able to get in close and attack the beast’s weak spot: it’s eye. Erik wasted very little time once he was within range as he grabbed the edges of the optical device and began pulling furiously, eventually tearing the entire control center from it’s command center within the protective silvery goo. It wasn’t unlike pulling an old tree stump from the ground, except wires stood in place of roots, and plates of metal substituted bark.

Finally, the eye of the great beast was completed separated from it’s symbiotic liquid, and the body of the beast quivered for a few seconds before losing its shape entirely, rescinding back into the grate below. Gutsman, still smoldering from Ben’s intense down pour of heat, crushed the thing’s electronic brain with his bare hands, putting an end to the formidable beast once and for all.

“…No…sweat…” he huffed. The two exhausted fighters then looked upward to see if they could observe the fight that wore on top of the platform. Unable to make out anything from where they stood, they decided to fight their way through the hordes of Sniper Joes, destroying as many as they could before they could be commanded for battle. “Hang on, Gary.” Ben uttered beneath his breath

Gary stumbled backward after receiving another volley of blows from his opponent. The devious and cunning Cutman, who’s ego now swelled well past what he had shown, totally out matched him.

“What a waste of time this was. I could have been doing something useful, but instead you insisted on wasting precious minutes that could have been utilizing to perfect my plans even more.”

Gary was exhausted and could only mutter a few words: “…*huff*…I wouldn’t…count me out….*huff*…just yet!” With that, Gary stood straight up and took in a huge amount of air to mix with the deadly nitrogen mixture contained in his back. Expelling the frozen mixture, Gary unleashed the Ice Slasher upon his foe, who yet again dodged the V shaped ice wedge as it sailed past him.

“Your aim is even more pathetic than last time. That wasn’t anywhere close to me!” he taunted again.

Gary was the one grinning now, despite his shortness of breath. “…wasn’t…aiming…for you…”

Cutman’s eyes grew with surprise as he whirled around quickly to see what it was he had hit. His precious control panel, which would activate the entire army, was now frozen in a sheet of sheer ice, preventing any immediate activation of his forces. For what seemed to be the first time, Cutman lost his cocky attitude in a blur of rage.

“You little bastard! Do you have any idea what you’ve done?! I’ve had enough of this game! This ends now!”

Cutman rushed forward and pummeled Gary mercilessly, nearly ending his life within seconds. Oily “blood” now poured freely from more than a few places on his face, and his limbs went weak with pain. Cutman lifted the battered Iceman clear off the ground, holding him up with just one hand

“I suppose the least I can do is end your miserable life with some style.” As he reared back his hand to lob Gary skyward. Gary took this moment to look at Britt one last time, as if to say he was sorry he couldn’t save her. He closed his eyes and waited for the swift end that Cutman was about to administer.

Cutman tossed Gary high into the air like a paper airplane. Removing his shiny new pair of shears from their resting-place atop his head, Cutman launched them towards his helpless foe, aiming to slice him neatly in two. Things, however, didn’t quite go that way, as the blades slowed down halfway into their flight and began to whirl back towards Cutman. In his confusion, Cutman hadn’t even had the time to dodge his own blades as they plowed into his chest, separating his head, right shoulder, and right arm from his lower half. His lower half tumbled to the grate that made up the platform, as his upper half spewed warm oil from it’s open wounds while it briefly sailed through the air. It landed with a solid “thunk” on the steel feet away from his once agile legs.

Cutman hacked up massive amounts of his own “blood” as he still remained in a state of shock from his sudden defeat. “…I d-don’t…* cough *… understand…. H-how? W-why?”

Gar landed with a “thunk” of his own on the same platform, in a state of shock of his own that he landed in one piece. He clambered to his weary feet to see what went wrong for Cutman. To his surprise, the shears that would have been used to kill him now rested on their original owner’s head: Britt, who welled up with tears as she looked at Gary.

Gary walked over to his fallen opponent, who was now within the last seconds of his hate filled life. He knelt beside his brother to hear whatever last words he would mutter with his last breath.

“…* Cough * This…. This isn’t * hack *…right…I-I was…. jus-stified in…my vengeance…I had every…right…You…stole this from…meeee….” Cutman wheezed as he uttered his last words. His LED pupils gradually faded from view as his steel eyelids covered his aged yellowed eyes. A final trickle of blood escaped his mouth as soon as his last word was spoken. Gary may not have had any kind words for the evil Robot Master, but he could help but feel sorry for the poor misguided monster that called himself brother.

Erik and Ben had watched the scene from the point where Cutman was sawn in half. They fell silent as the Sniper Joes finally finished their work on each other, then assumed an at-attention stance, awaiting their general’s orders that would never come.


Gary slid the missing control servo back into its rightful place through the access panels at the back of Britt’s head. As she regained control of her body, she felt a sharp sting in her elbow, followed by the strange sensation of missing an appendage. Luckily for her, her automatic repair systems hadn’t been shut down with her motor control circuitry, and had already stopped the flow of oil and vital fluids to the severed limb.

As she stood up from the surgical steel table, her eyes became fixated on the lifeless remains of her captor. She felt an immense sense of guilt fill her, feeling as though she was somehow wrong in destroying the being that should rightfully occupied her spot on the team. Gary must have noticed this, and took her hand into his own.

“You had every right. If you didn’t act so fast, I would have been killed no question. I owe you my life, Britt.”

Gary and Britt locked eyes, and suddenly the sense of worthiness returned to her as she gazed at her beloved Iceman. She now realized that how or why she came to be was irrelevant, and that what she did now was far more important than any pre-determined destiny. For the first time in a month, a genuine smile returned to her face.

Ben and Erik offered to clean up the mess and dispose of the still-waiting forces of the Cutman army. It would be hard work, and would take up perhaps an entire day to destroy the quarter-million strong army, but seeing the condition of Gary and Britt made them realize how much the two had gone through these past few weeks. As they congratulated Gary and Britt on the battle, the four took a long look on the legacy that Cutman had left behind, soon to be destroyed for the good of the world. The army seemed to stretch on for miles down the cave, with tightly packed regiments motionlessly awaiting their marching orders.

“It’s kind of a shame. He spent so long working on this, and it all comes crashing down in an instant.” Erik sympathized.

“We did him a favor. He’d have made a lousy leader anyway.” Ben said with a halfhearted tone of humor.

Gary once again turned around to look at his fallen opponent and brother. It was then that he had a small idea planned for his destroyed sibling. He gathered up his remains and set out with Britt to take the long path upwards into the awaiting night time sky above them.

It was so much different looking than what they were used to seeing in the city. You could see stars that weren’t even visible normally, and everything rang with an almost surreal clarity. After a night like this, it was inspiring to say the least.

“What are you going to do with…that?” Britt asked Gary in the cool night air.

“You’ll see. But for now, let’s go home.” Gary softly replied as he teleported back home. Britt smiled slightly and followed suit.

Three weeks later, things had finally returned to normal. After they were finished destroying the Cutman army, Ben and Erik sealed the entrance to the underground lair, ensuring its use would never come back into play. Odin and Fushi had finally recovered, and were now sporting new armor plating that made them look even better than before, and they made no hesitation in showing off their new wares.

Britt walked by herself down a long wing of the S6 headquarters, into a brand new room made with but one purpose in mind. In her hands were a bouquet of flowers to show her respect for the fallen, as she placed the bundle on a pedestal in front of a large, blue lit cylinder placed at the back of the room.

Cutman’s body had been meticulously restored over the last two weeks to new condition. Gone were the oil and grime stains that dirtied up his entire body for the past ten years. The crooked sneer and battle scared shears were replaced with a soft expression of levity and a new polished set of blades now adorned his gleaming head. His mind, however, was not left within his body, as it was shipped back to Dr Light’s lab, forever to be kept within the confines of his secret vault, off the record. Though the genius chip offered great potential, perhaps the world was not yet ready for such an improvement just yet. However, he did implement some of the chip’s design into a new, private project he simply kept in a file marked ‘X’…but that was for another day.

Britt bowed slightly before the cylinder that contained the world’s first Robot Master to show her respect. If only things had gone slightly different, she thought, he could have done great things. But by this time, Britt was over with letting any darker thoughts that lay within her mind control her. She had a purpose in Gary and the team, and would now focus on making the world a safer place in the world, so that perhaps one day, the need for crime fighters such as herself wouldn’t be needed anymore, and she could retire with Gary.

Her day dreaming was interrupted by the sound of a level 1 alarm. It wasn’t to be anything more than a bank robbery, but nowadays the S6 took everything a bit more seriously, even with petty crimes. Britt started walking out the door of the small memorial room, but turned around to take one last glimpse of the world’s first Robot Master, and the plaque that rested at his feet, which read:

“DLNO. 003- Cutman
The World’s First Robot Master
May His Soul Find Peace At Last”