Operating on Valve Time we may be, but here comes more HEART-EXPLODING ACTION!
That being said, first, TIME FOR A RECAP!
Yukari Yakumo, bored, decided to gap in the nine mercenaries that worked for RED, tasked them with retrieving 'flags' scattered across Gensokyo in exchange for hats, made all their weaponry non-lethal, and promptly set them to work.
Sniper, Spy, and Demoman were the first group sent out, and, due to Yukari's meddling, they ending up crashing through the roof of the magic bookstore Suzunaan, crushing an unfortunate shopkeeper assistant by the name of Kosuzu beneath them. Sekibanki ended up intruding as they attempted to rouse her, but after some quick diplomacy, the mercenaries recruited the redhead to their cause.
They decided to hit up Eientei as their first objective. Demoman provided stylishly explosive transportation for the mercs, eight sticky-bombs launching the party through the skies of Gensokyo, past a fighting Mokou and Kaguya (where Demoman smashed his bottle to pieces on the latter's face), and straight into Eientei, where Spy landed headfirst in an oven, Sniper was mauled by a horde of enraged rabbits, and Demoman transformed into the legendary Demopan when he found an appropriate skillet.
After they dealt with the rabbits, the team, minus Spy as he was dead, advanced until they came under attack by both Tewi and Reisen, the former's traps and the latter's bullets forcing a retreat. The mercs set up a trap of their own, but only after Sniper was stabbed and Sekibanki was shot did Demoman get a chance to spring it, flattening their attackers. Sniper promptly introduced Tewi to the horrors of Jarate before she could escape, and then moved on Reisen, only to have her take him hostage. Things were looking grim until Spy drove six inches of steel into Reisen's neck, the man having survived his initial landing via Dead Ringer.
Having assumed Reisen's identity via a backstab with his Eternal Reward, Spy was used as a false hostage to approach the flag unmolested. As soon as the party entered Eirin's backroom lab, however, the Lunarian doctor revealed herself, flag in hand. Then a giant mutant rabbit, the product of Eirin's experimentation, jumped through a wall and attempted to murder the mercs, save Spy, who 'escaped' his captors and followed Eirin to safety.
Spy's attempt to eliminate Eirin early failed, the doctor having seen through his disguise, and she promptly fled into an escape tunnel. Spy elected to stay behind and work on Eirin's computer, disabling further traps in Eientei.
The rest of the team were busy running from slash fighting the giant mutant rabbit, and soon triumphed. They joined Spy, then chased Eirin into the tunnels. After disabling the mines in their path, the mercs found Eirin and engaged her in a gun battle in her private combat training chambers.
In the end, the mercenaries proved victorious, though not without suffering heavy damage. They defeated Eirin and took their objective, as well as several of her items and equipment, from her stunned body. Now they're deciding how to escape Eientei and return to their starting point at Suzuunan to capture the flag!
"Right, lads, getcher kit together, we're getting outta here!" Demoman said. "With style! Lemme just get some more stickies and-"
"No." Spy retrieved a new cigarette and lit up. "I have had quite enough of flying around in incredible agony for the moment, thank you."
"I would probably actually die this time if we jumped again," Sniper said. "Sorry, mate."
"Yeah, you know, I think I prefer walking this one out?" Sekibanki said. "I got shot in the chest, not the legs."
Demoman scowled. "Buncha bloody buzzkills, you lot. Fine, I'll save the stickies for whatever we got comin' next."
So, loot in tow, the four walked out of the chamber, back down the dark, earthen corridors, and came to a screeching halt when they returned to where they jumped in.
And then they found themselves stuck.
Spy scowled at the hole in the ceiling, just barely out of their reach. "Perhaps we should have accounted for the fact that everyone besides us can fly when we decided to jump into this deep pit. They certainly seem to have designed everything to account for that."
"Oh, quitcher whining and lemme give ya a boost," Demoman said, setting his looted shotgun aside, then pressing his back against the earth and cupping his hands to provide a foothold. It was a shaky platform at best, given how he swayed back and forth, but it was a sight better than nothing.
"You guys go first," Sekibanki said, and demonstratively lifted the hem of her short skirt up by inches. "I'd rather not have any of you sneak a look."
"Yer legs are more than enough for me, personally," Sniper said. He quickly hopped onto Demoman's waiting hands before Sekibanki could kick him for that comment, and the Scot launched him up high enough to climb out on his own.
"I am offended and insulted by your insinuations, madame," Spy said, his brief wink the only sign of his bluff before he too climbed out of the pit.
Demoman grabbed the shotgun, then jumped up after them, his outstretched arm swiftly caught by both mercs on high, and they hauled him up in quick order. Alone at last, Sekibanki flew up after them without fear, and gently touched down back in the office. The arrow she'd taken through the head wasn't doing her sense of balance any favors, but she barely held herself upright.
"Allow me to check the cameras," Spy said, already seated at the desk. "Sekibanki, plot a route for us, would you?"
"No need to ask again," Sekibanki said, pulling the map out. As an afterthought, she kicked Sniper in the shin, sending the bushman to hopping about on his other foot, cursing all the while. "Huh," she said, moments later. "This can't be right, everything's all wrong- wait, crap, no, I've got it upside down."
As the redhead struggled to make sense of the map through blurry vision and a brain that felt like it was on an overdose of painkillers, Spy tapped away at his keyboard.
"Gentlemen, please come over here," he said, and leaned back in the chair, letting everyone else have enough space to see when they all trundled over.
Sekibanki growled beneath her breath, scrunching the damned squiggly map up before drunkenly weaving across the room until she reached Spy's side. She glared at the screen. "Oh, really? Really, that's what we gotta deal with?"
"Och, that's a lotta wee bunnies," Demoman said, resting an arm on Sniper's shoulder, to the latter's grumbling displeasure. "Can't you do something with those traps, lad?"
"I disabled the network, remember?" said Spy. "I've no time to reprogram their targeting algorithms."
"Hordes of those little buggers, eeeeugh," said Sniper, grimacing as though one of the creatures had just bit him in the crotch. "Don't fancy going through them, that's for sure."
"Well, we don't have much time before they get here," Spy said, rising from his seat. "I recommend a swift evacuation."
There was no disagreement there, and so the group left the office and headed into Eirin's 'clinic.' The room was the same as when they left it, but Demoman held up a hand and went over to an expensive-looking piece of machinery. He slammed his pan against it a few times, filling the room with a godawful racket before he finally busted the equipment down into a heap of scrap, and promptly began stuffing the metal into his weapons. Sniper and Spy quickly followed him, cannibalizing the scrap for a field resupply.
Sekibanki cringed as she watched the whole display. "Ooh, I do not want to be around here when Eirin wakes up."
"Then let's make sure we're not, eh?" said Demoman, his grin wide with the knowledge he could blow absolutely everything to hell once again.
The group limped their way into the hallways of Eientei, Spy holding the lead, Sekibanki taking the middle for maximum protection, and Demoman and Sniper bringing up the back. The Scot was dual-wielding grenade-launcher and shotgun, although in his current state he was more likely to somehow shoot himself than any foe. Sniper, meanwhile, was looking to test out his newly acquired bow, an arrow already strung.
They paused, momentarily unsure of what to do next.
"A route, madame?" Spy asked, taking initiative.
"I- hold on, almost got it," Sekibanki said, wrestling with the map like it was a python trying to strangle her. She soon triumphed over the fell paper beast, and pointed down the hall. "Okay, we just wanna go down that way, hang a few corners, and then we're out. Nothing complex."
"Then let us move," said Spy, already following his own advice.
They made it all of ten feet before the ceiling caved in ahead of them in a shower of wood and flaming princesss. Stunned, it was all they could do to watch the burning woman claw upright and flail madly at the fires engulfing her.
"@#$%, @#$%, @#$%, mother@#$%!" Kaguya swore. Midway through the process of extinguishing herself, something clicked in her head when she saw the group standing slack-jawed ahead of her. "YOUUUUUUU MOTHER@#$%ERS!" she screeched, staggering towards them with horrible murder in mind, still ablaze.
And then a flaming body fell from the hole in the ceiling, stomping Kaguya headfirst into the floor. The flames around it extinguished, revealing Mokou in a bloody, charred, but undoubtably alive state.
"Sup #*%$@es, name's Mokou," she said, cheerfully dusting her hands off. "How's things? Kicking ass in here, I take it?"
"We were actually on our way out," Sekibanki said, edging behind Spy for what protection he could give. "So, you winning?"
Kaguya chose this moment to lurch up, grabbing Mokou about the legs and bringing her to the floor.
"The game is still afoot!" Mokou said, enthusiastically elbowing Kaguya in the face as they rolled around on the floor. "You guys can go on ahead, I've got her under control!"
[X] Mokou seems very cooperative; lend a hand while the getting's good!
[X] Getting Kaguya even angrier is probably a bad idea. Quick, while they're busy, leg it!
[X] Mokou seems very cooperative; lend a hand while the getting's good!
Line of logic: Kill Kaguya, get Mokou as an ally to deal with the huge bunny hordes. She seems to be pretty amicable to the mercs already in that sort of 'if you smashed them up you can't be that bad' way.
Line of logic for fleeing: Mercs are restocked but not healed, and escaping now would mean no Kaguya fight and only having bunnies snapping at their heels like little green skeletons instead of having to try to wade through the horde.
[X] Getting Kaguya even angrier is probably a bad idea. Quick, while they're busy, leg it!
Let's leave them to their game. Mokou seems to be enjoying herself as it is- she likely won't appreciate us sticking out nose into her business. Plus, we don't have the health for another fight. Let's just get out of here- and get to home base- before we get whittled down.
Well, seems like if I'd had things called a few days ago, Mokou would be assisting the mercs! And if I did it a few minutes ago, there'd have been a tie! Instead, she's going to keep up her own fight while the mercs run for their lives. Votes are CLOSED, dear readers!
BUT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN HIS CONTRACTOR LACKS ANYTHING THAT COULD BE USED TO WRITE ON
HOPEFULLY AFTER SIX MONTHS, THIS UPDATE WILL HAVE BEEN WORTH THE WAIT __________
“You're entirely sure you want no help?” Spy asked, watching in mild horror as the immortals engaged in their murder-brawl.
“Yeah, totally, I got this!” Mokou replied, beaming up at the mercs even as Kaguya started ripping her entrails out.
“Oh, that is absolutely bloody disgusting,” Demoman said in approval, before he hobbled past the flaming duo.
“You heard 'er!” Sniper said, pursuing Demoman.
“Good luck!” Sekibanki added, shuffling around the two women and steadfastly averting her eyes from the bloody carnage.
“We'll be in touch,” Spy said by way of parting shot, hurrying after everyone else.
The group limped along at a decent pace with Sekibanki directing them through the hallways, running into a remarkable lack of resistance along the way. The sounds of turret fire and screaming rabbits could be heard in the distance, leaving little doubt as to why their retreat was going smoothly.
One last corner was rounded, and Sekibanki's face lit up at the long corridor before them. “That's our door!” she said, pointing out the double sliding doors at the end of the path. “Go! Go, go, go!”
“We get it!” Sniper snapped, advancing with longbow at the ready. “Now just-”
Several things happened at once.
The floor beneath Demoman gave way, the Scot's boot plummeting through and pinning him as he swore and tried to wrench himself loose.
A door they just passed slid open, and Reisen slipped out, full of deadly purpose as she stalked towards the group, hands firmly gripped around her pistol.
The ceiling above Sniper gave way, dislodging a mad-eyed Tewi with blade in hand.
“DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” she screeched, falling onto the bushman and bringing him down with her, knocking the bow from his grip as they sprawled out on the floor. She popped up, straddling his chest, and raised the knife.
“Geddoff, you c-AGH!” Sniper cried as the girl's blade dug into his shoulder, before Tewi ripped it back out, fueled by manic fury and a lust for revenge as she stabbed him again and again and again. Too exhausted from his earlier injuries to fight, the bushman flailed ineffectually at the girl as he was being diced up, screaming in panic the whole time.
Sekibanki had jumped back in shock, fumbling with the map as she landed next to Spy, who was already bringing his revolver up when Reisen's pistol barked several times in rapid succession, bullets stitching their way up his back. The rogue pitched forward with a shout, and before Sekibanki could do anything to help, Reisen was already on her; the commando grabbed her by the shoulder and threw her headfirst against the ground, knocking her senseless.
While that was happening, Tewi raised her knife over Sniper's head, the blade dripping blood onto his face, and he brought his arms up to try and stave off the final blow.
“DIE!” Tewi howled, slamming the knife down on his neck. Her vengeance was denied, however, when Demoman's shotgun roared, the blast catching her in the side and launching the tiny girl through a wall.
“Ha!” Demoman barked, before Reisen's pistol responded in kind with a flurry of bullets, slamming into his right side and arm and tracking up towards his head, the woman taking a step towards him with every shot. He flinched but did not falter, awkwardly circling around the hole his foot was trapped inside, but Reisen reached him before he could bring the gun to bear against her.
She pressed the pistol against his head, her eyes narrowed into tiny slits. “Put it down. Now.”
At that moment, when he looked into her eyes, Demoman caught a glimpse of true madness. The shotgun fell from sweaty fingers as his mouth worked soundlessly in sheer terror.
“Good boy,” Reisen said, before pistol-whipping him across the face. The man toppled onto his back, dazed and bleeding, and as he fell, Reisen twirled around, training her pistol on the last man standing (for a given value of the word).
“Oh, bloody hell,” Sniper said, frozen midway through pulling his SMG free of the confines of his jacket.
“You can't bring that up before I shoot you,” Reisen noted with supreme disinterest. “Let it go.”
“Oh, you wanker,” Sniper growled, easing his hands off the weapon and putting them atop his head. “Good work getting all four of us, that was impressive, but you're still an absolute wanker.”
“Ahuh,” Reisen said flatly. “Frankly, I don't give an iota of a damn about what you think after all this.” She lifted a boot over his head, and favored him with a humorless smile. “Say goodnight.”
“Cor, but those are some nice legs,” Sniper mused, and Reisen's expression darkened as she brought her foot down.
The air split with cannon fire, and Reisen's head jerked aside, her expression frozen in a peculiar mix of shock, pain, and annoyance. For a moment she was completely still, before slowly, slowly tipping over, as if someone had given her a gentle shove.
Spy, flat on his stomach, lowered his smoking revolver. He pushed himself upright, dusted himself off, and glared down at the blood rapidly spreading across the front of his clothes as though it wasn't his. Sniper gave the frowning Frenchman a glare of his own. “If you say anything about getting blood on your suit, I swear to God, mate, I'll clobber you.”
“What, no thanks?” Spy asked, not taking his eyes off Reisen's body as he strode towards Sniper and offered the hunter a hand up, one quickly taken.
“All right, one, thanks,” Sniper said, wincing as he was pulled to his feet. “Two, do you see all these new holes in me?”
“Quit being such a whiner,” Spy said, patting the man on the shoulder. “I've been shot, and you don't hear me complaining.”
Sniper grumbled something uncharitable as he pulled away from the smirking Spy and hobbled over to Demoman. “Oi!” he said, and gave him the boot.
“Whaaaaaaaargh!” Demoman thundered as he flew upright, ready to deliver an unholy beating on his attacker. He promptly tripped over the hole his foot was still stuck in as he swung blindly at Sniper, and crashed flat on his face.
“Ace,” Sniper muttered.
“Would you two please hurry up?” Spy asked, keeping his revolver trained on Reisen's twitching body. “I don't feel like waiting around much longer.”
“Yeah, yeah, keep your mask on,” Sniper shot back, helping the discombobulated Demoman to his feet.
“Whuh?” slurred the cyclops, glaring blearily around him. “What jus' happened?”
“Swung at me, mate,” Sniper said genially. “Now let's get your foot outta that hole, eh?”
It took some doing, but Demoman was, with Sniper's help, able to break loose. “Thanks, lad,” he said, giving his freed foot a few kicks to work out the kinks. “Now what're we waiting around here for? Let's go!”
“A problem,” Spy said, turning to gesture back at Sekibanki, still flat-out on her back and showing no signs of moving any time soon.
“Aw, that's no problem at all!” Demoman said, stomping over to prod the girl's head with his boot. “Lassie! Up you go!”
Sekibanki twitched and groaned as Demoman repeatedly nudged her, but his boot wasn't enough to rouse the girl from her latest bludgeoning. Even a harder kick to her side didn't work, so Demoman stepped back and rubbed his chin in thought.
“I might stand corrected, lads,” he said, turning to the others and spreading his hands. “Well, now what? We carry her?”
There are also special statuses that can be inflicted with a variety of positive or negative effects, such as Bleeding, On Fire, Overhealed, or Stunned. Certain mercs boast heightened resistances to certain negative effects. __________
[X] No one left behind, that's the mercenary way! But there's still the problem of who carries her.
[X] There's no telling how long it'll be before someone gives chase, and carrying someone will just slow the team down. So long, Sekibanki, and thanks for the map!
[X] No one left behind, that's the mercenary way! But there's still the problem of who carries her.
This is gonna be interesting. The Spy's the least dinged up but also comes off as the least physically strong. In-game he has the melee attack speed of most classes but the damage output of the Scoot's bat (not counting variants with lower damage.) The guy favors precision, not brute strength, and it's reflected in everything he does.
Sniper and Demo are more than capable of it, I think they'd be roughly equal in strength since the Sniper has no problems firing the Huntsman constantly and for extended periods of time, while the Scotsman can charge around and lop people's heads off without a care. Granted a two-hander is probably consistently lighter than a bow's draw poundage, but the demo carries it constantly while the Sniper only experiences strain while firing. So again, about even I think.
So with that in mind, it comes down to who's the least wounded. Sniper's probably gonna get blown over with a stiff breeze while the Demoman can at least take a couple more hits, but it plays into an interesting problem.
They're still in enemy territory, and whoever's carrying Sekibanki is a sitting duck. So the question is, does the Sniper take her and risk overexerting himself, resulting in even more work and higher risk? Or does the Demo bring Sexybanki back and risk putting the team at a disadvantage if another ambush occurs?
VOTES CALLED in favor of Demoman using all his superior Scottish strength to haul RED team's latest member to safety!
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“Ah, hell, we ain't leavin' her,” said Sniper, limping towards Sekibanki's body, only to stop when Demoman held up a hand.
“Not to put too fine a point on it,” he said, gesturing at the battered, bloody bushman, “but you're in no shape to be doin' much carryin', mate.”
“Hers would not be the first body I've carried away,” Spy said, adjusting his tie. “... Granted, I usually only do that in the dead of night, with everyone else none the wiser.”
“Dear God, Spy,” Sniper said, boggling at the man. “What're you, some kind of sexual pre-”
“I mean the bodies of people I have assassinated!” Spy hissed, eyes bulging at Sniper before the man could finish his hideous accusation.
“Oi!” Demoman said, and they turned to see him with Sekibanki hoisted across his shoulders in a fireman's carry. “Enough whinin', you two! Spy, hold this!”
He lobbed his shotgun at Spy, who smoothly caught it and looked the weapon over in disapproval. “You cannot be serious.”
“Well, y'can either carry it, or you can leave it here and I'll tell Scout you cost him a new gun.”
Spy drew back, mouth hanging open in dismay; the idiotic Bostonite would be on his case for days if Demoman carried through with that threat, it mattered not where Spy went: around the base, at his study, sneaking through BLU's headquarters, even in the bathroom – wherever he went, Scout would find him and annoy him and never shut up.
It was the most horrific thing he could think of.
“Good man!” Demoman said, grinning widely at Spy as the masked man, with a sigh of disgust, hefted the shotgun in both hands. “Now let's-”
“Wait a sec,” Sniper said, frowning deeply as more gunfire echoed through the building. “Spy?”
“Yes?” Spy asked.
“You said you disabled the traps, yet those guns're firing at the rabbits.”
Spy blinked. “So they are.”
Spy shrugged. “Perhaps I triggered them accidentally?”
Sniper's face twisted from a mixture of paranoia and sheer annoyance. “Y'said you didn't have time to reprogram them! Someone else must've-”
“This makes absolutely no bloody sense, lads,” Demoman cut in, “but can we argue 'bout it later, before someone else tries to kill us?”
“Hold a moment!” Spy said. “We still need our map, after all, and... other prizes.” Everyone else waited impatiently as Spy retrieved the fallen map, then Reisen's pistol and Tewi's knife, stuffing all of them into his suit. Loot acquired, he stood tall. “Now, gentlemen, let us move!”
That was how the team marched out of Eientei's doors and into a bamboo forest they had no idea how to navigate.
“Sometimes,” Sniper groused as Spy fumbled for the map, “I wish one of the other lads had my place.”
“How're they doin', y'think?” Demoman asked.
“Eh, can't be too bad,” Sniper replied.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-” Soldier was screaming, as he had been ever since the team had fallen into the swirling dimension full of purple and staring eyeballs and no land in sight. Everyone else had tuned him out by this point, having found different ways to occupy their time.
Engineer had somehow erected a metal lawn chair and was contentedly drinking a beer, with Pyro clinging to the back of the chair and giggling as they plummeted. Heavy was taking a well-deserved lunch break with Medic, the two of them making small talk and pointedly ignoring the last man in the group, who was busy plunging headfirst through the air, arms folded across his chest as he glared at the rapidly-shifting purple haze surrounding him.
“Holy crap,” Scout grumbled, “this goes on forever.”
“You sure you know where you're going?” Sniper asked Spy, the bushman advancing with longbow at the ready as the group made their way through the underbrush and weaved around the many towering, albeit thin, bamboo trees that made up the forest. They'd bypassed the initial slog to the mansion with their spectacular entrance, but making their way out on foot was promising to be a different, and markedly more strenuous, problem altogether.
“Just be glad I have us heading roughly in the right direction,” Spy shot back, shotgun dangling from one hand as he held the map up in the other. “Having an objective arrow pointing us to home ground in this mess”-he waved the map demonstratively at the trees-“isn't something to take for granted.”
“Y'think we should snag that thing when we're done?” Demoman asked, easily toting Sekibanki as they marched. “It'd be a pretty prize, no doubt.”
“Remember the hats, my friend,” Spy replied. “I doubt our host would take kindly to us stealing anything of hers.”
“Mrrrgh...” Sekibanki groaned, and everyone came up short as the group's latest addition stirred.
“Oi!” Demoman asked, craning his neck to get a better look at his cargo. “You with us?”
“Mmph,” Sekibanki mumbled. “M'head...”
“Good enough for me!” Demoman said, before unceremoniously dropping her.
Sekibanki crashed through the underbrush and landed on her back with a disgruntled cry. She propped herself up on her elbows, head poking through a fern as she squinted blearily at Demoman. “What was that for?”
The Scotsman shrugged without shame. “You're awake, so unless you can't walk, I ain't carryin' ya.”
Sekibanki started frowning. “That's no way to-”
“-Because I need both me hands open to aim this thing properly,” Demoman finished with authority, hefting his grenade launcher.
“... That makes more sense,” admitted Sekibanki, forcing herself to her feet and dusting herself off, before Demoman found himself on the receiving end of an irritated look. “But you still didn't have to drop me.”
“Lass,” Sniper said, scanning the forest for movement. “Look around, would you?”
It was only then that her new surroundings sank in, and she blinked rapidly as she looked about.
“Oh,” she said, almost in a whisper. “You, uh, you carried me out, then?”
“No man- no body left behind,” Sniper corrected himself. “But that's not important right now.”
“What is?” she asked, tugging her collar up to hide the faint blush on her cheeks.
Spy harrumphed. “Us making our way through this forest, what else? Since you've been here before, you wouldn't happen to know a path out, would you?”
Sekibanki winced, pressing the tips of all her fingers together. “Well, uh, keeping in mind how fast the bamboo trees grow, and that there isn't any one set path, and the lack of landmarks...”
“A tracker's nightmare is what this place is,” Sniper grumbled. “Guess we're taking the long way out, mates.”
Spy acquired: The Silent Assassin! An exceptional gun for social events, such as weddings, parties, friendly get-togethers, and the wakes you attend after using this weapon at all the events previous.
Spy acquired: The Butcher's Trademark! Some might say that this is a mere kitchen knife, which is when you ram it into their necks and tell them “Guess what's for dinner tonight?” It's not the man currently bleeding over you, because that would be cannibalism, but he doesn't need to know that!
[x]Move quickly. Since Spy's obviously not suited for a shotgun, have him take Sniper's kukri and try and cut a path through the bamboo, while Banki takes the shotgun; even if she doesn't know how to use it, it's probably more use than her trying to use magic in her state.
“Just watch your footing, mates,” said Sniper as he cautiously trudged onward, the outdoorsman taking point by virtue of experience. “No telling if that crazy stabby bint has anything set out here too. Take it single-file, all right?”
“Ah, we're past the worst of it,” said Demoman as he fell in behind Sniper, the Scot idly flicking his grenade launcher's sight up and down as he walked. “S'not like she can throw up any more of those wires, right?”
“You'd be surprised,” said Sniper, right before his next step plunged through the underbrush and he toppled forward with a shout of panic – the only thing that saved him from falling all the way was Demoman's hair-trigger reflexes, the Scot dropping his weapon to grab the back of Sniper's shirt, digging his boots into the earth. He bodily hauled back, jerking Sniper along with him to solid ground.
“Before you say anything,” Demoman said, clapping his hands atop a shaken Sniper's shoulders, “it still wasn't a wire trap, eh?”
“Shaddup,” growled Sniper. Once everyone had recovered from the initial shock, they crowded around the hole to peer in; the pit was at least twenty feet deep, and the dirt walls were entirely smooth, which would have made climbing out nearly impossible. Sniper paled a bit more, which was quite a feat with how much blood he'd already lost on this adventure.
“Imagine if we'd been running,” Sekibanki said, taking relief in the fact she could fly.
“Then I'd probably have snapped my neck,” Sniper said, and with a quick shake of his head composed himself. “Well, I'd say that's our proof of more traps, lads.”
“Of course,” Spy dryly remarked. “But Demoman won't always be able to catch you, so do try to spot the next pit before you walk straight into it.”
“Wanker,” grumbled Sniper, circling around the hole and paying a great deal more attention to his path as the group advanced once again. With Sniper on point and Demoman behind him, that left Spy and Sekibanki to bring up the rear, the former reading off directions from the map and the latter hovering scant inches off the ground out of well-placed paranoia, even if her path was less a line and more a drunken zig-zag from all the head trauma she'd suffered.
After a bare handful of minutes filled with Sniper stomping through underbrush and dodging the occasional pit, Sekibanki came to a sudden realization and groaned, covering her face in despair. “Aw, man, I can't ever go back there after this!”
“I don't see why you'd want to go back,” said Sniper, pushing past a shrub. “Place's a bloody madhouse.”
“Well, yeah, of course it is when you break in like we did!” Sekibanki replied, folding her arms and sulking. “But now I- agh, I never should've agreed to this stupid mess!”
“We'll just have to make it worth your while, then,” said Spy, taking a moment from the map to spare her a winsome grin. “How about-”
“Lads?” Demoman said, holding a fist up as he stopped in his tracks, which had the unintended side-effect of the distracted Spy bouncing off his back. “Y'hear that?”
“Hear what?” Spy groused, scowling at the cyclops. “Your liver weeping in agony?”
Sniper spoke next, voice low. “Rustling.”
“Oh,” said Sekibanki, her earlier worries rendered unimportant by the threat of her face getting removed. “Oh.”
Everyone stayed quiet as they spread out into a cross formation, backs to each other as they slowly glanced around the forest and, perhaps more importantly, the thick undergrowth all around them that, at its worst, came up to their knees. The air was silent save for the occasional noise of something moving through greenery, slowly intensifying with more and more with every passing second, and all around them leaves and ferns would sway.
“Spy,” Sniper said to the man at his left, forced calm radiating from him. “Which way out?”
Spy's eyes flicked to the map. “... Ahead of me,” he whispered. “About a mile.”
“Oh, hell,” Demoman grunted, setting his gun's sight up for the last time.
“Right.” Sniper took a deep breath, then slung his bow over his back in favor of his SMG. “Ready, lads?”
“You know,” Spy addressed their ambushers, sounding supremely disinterested as he rolled the map up and stowed it inside his suit, “hiding won't save you.” He dropped the shotgun in favor of his revolver, because if he was going to go down fighting, it was going to be with his gun of choice, damn whatever Scout would say afterwards.
“This is how I'm gonna die, apparently,” Sekibanki marveled, hovering in place, fists clenched tight and glowing faintly red. “Oooh, I'm an idiot.”
All the rustling in the underbrush stopped.
“Fiiiireeeeee!” Demoman bellowed, firing pipe bombs around him at random. Everyone else joined in, filling the forest with explosions, booms of revolver fire, the steady rat-a-tat-tat of a full-auto machine gun, and streams of unaimed danmaku, and they were rewarded with screams from the underbrush as their mad assault struck home.
The problem was that a horde of rabbits surged forward, screeching as they swarmed the group's legs. Sniper was the first to go down, the combined weight of all his injuries rendering him easy prey. Demoman fought hard, pan a-swinging, but when one jumped on his face it was all over. Spy was the last to drop as he was buried underneath the weigh of three-dozen bunnies latching onto every square inch of his body and gnawing him to the ground.
Sekibanki, dazed as she was, still remembered the most important thing that separated her from the mercenaries, and flew up, spraying bullets at the horde below and glorying in her foolproof plan. “Ha!” she cackled, more out of relief at avoiding even more pain than anything, but a familiar howl jerked her eyes upwards to a crazed, divebombing Tewi.
When the small girl collided with Sekibanki, the redhead was treated to a stream of gibbering along the lines of “Killyougonnakillyoudiemaimburnslaughterskullsforhisthronediiiieeeeeeeeeeeeee”
The two hit the ground hard, the impact knocking what little sense was left in Sekibanki's head out while leaving the infuriated rabbit straddling her chest.
“I'LL RIP YOUR HEART O– damn it she's out cold,” Tewi snarled, hopping off the thoroughly unconscious redhead and turning her attention to a quivering pile of rabbits and the Australian buried beneath them. She stalked over, hands trembling in bloody-minded anticipation, and a snap of her fingers was all the cue the rabbits needed to clear off Sniper, the man laid flat out on his face. It was a miracle he was still breathing after his latest mauling, but even so, he was already blindly groping for his kukri when Tewi stomped on his outstretched hand; his answering hiss of pain was all the encouragement she need to start talking.
“Hey, you piss-lobbing jackass,” she said, leaning over his head, jagged teeth bared as dark joy welled up in her. “How's it going?”
“Okay,” said Sniper candidly, squinting up at her through all the blood on his face. “Before you kill me, I got a question.”
“Your- your name, it's Tewi?” he asked, pronouncing it Tei like everyone else had previously because Japan is a strange land with stranger names not meant to be written in English, and the finer points of the language are lost in translation as a result.
“What's your point?” she asked, patience rapidly running out.
Sniper grinned weakly. “I suppose you got Jaratei'd, eh?”
Bushman and hare stared at each other.
“Ahaha,” Tewi said, her small frame wracked with giggles as she crouched down. She was still giggling as she grabbed the kukri with both hands and hauled it back over her head. “AhahahahahahahahahahahaI'LL KILL YOU.”
All Sniper could think to say as she swung down at his face was a simple, resigned “Bugger.”
“WHAT'S ALL THIS COMMOTION, EH?” bellowed a new woman cheerfully, and Tewi halted her deathblow inches from Sniper's face. “I BETTER NOT SEE ANYONE GETTING MURDERED OR WE'RE GOING TO HAVE WORDS.”
“Gods damn it!” Tewi swore, panting in agonized frustration at her vengeance being interrupted, even as her eyes flicked between the man at her mercy and the woman rapidly closing on their position, crashing through the underbrush with thunderous impacts. Her whole body shook in rage as she stood up and kicked him in the face purely out of spite. “I'll be coming for you, you rotten son of a bitch.”
Parting shot delivered, she scampered away with Sniper's knife as her only consolation, the rest of the rabbits following her lead and leaving the mercs with a charming assortment of bite marks.
“Merde,” Spy cursed, running his hands over his torn suit and grimacing in dismay; the rabbits had left him looking like some homeless wretch, and he mentally swore revenge on Eientei as he stood and brushed bits of fur off.
“We good?” Demoman asked, sitting up and wincing as he gingerly prodded at his bloody face and sincerely wishing he had more to drink.
“Think so,” Sniper mumbled, face-down in the dirt and happy to stay that way.
“I'd say you are!” said their savior, and the two upright mercs shifted to face her.
Keine Kamishirasawa, with her trademark pagoda-hat and blue dress and blue eyes and blue hair, might have provoked a more hostile response from the mercenaries if they were on a regular battlefield, but instead-
“Lookit her hat,” Demoman whispered in awe, pointing at her. Spy could only nod slowly in agreement, both men marveling at the teacher's headgear.
Keine squinted at the two men, brows furrowed. “My eyes are down here.”
“Of... course, “ Spy said, and with a heroic effort tore his eyes away from the majesty of Keine's hat. “Thank you for your fortuitous arrival, madam.”
“Yeh,” Sniper added, raising a hand in a thumbs-up before dropping it once again.
Keine spared both Sniper and Sekibanki a deeply concerned look before shaking her head, focusing on the mercs ahead of her and studiously ignoring how Demoman was still staring at her hat. “So I take it you bunch are the cause behind those big explosions at the village earlier?”
“Aye!” said Demoman, seeing no point in hiding it.
“And that you were engaging in some highly illegal activities at Eientei not too long ago?” Keine continued, tone innocent.
“Nah!” said Demoman, because he still had some brain cells that alcohol hadn't destroyed, much to Spy's pleasant surprise.
“Why're you here, anyway?” asked Sniper, having rolled onto his back and content to stay that way.
Keine blanched as she got a good look at Sniper's injuries, but pressed on. “Well, A, I was tracking you bunch to try and figure out what you're doing here, and B, I was also planning to see my friend Mokou. Thought I'd make it a two for one, you know? Maximize my trip efficiency.”
Spy shrugged. “Well, Mokou's doing all right, from what we saw of her. She was setting some other woman on fire and strangling her with her own intestines.”
“What,” said Keine, expression flat with resignation.
“Doing a fine job of it, too,” added Demoman. “Might be you'll catch up with her if you head to that big ol' mansion.”
Keine swept her disapproving teacher eyes across the men, who all found good reasons to avoid them. “... Tell you what. I've got to go handle that, but we're going to have a talk back at the village when I'm done here.”
“See you then, lass,” Sniper said as Keine floated up, but that act raised another question from him. “And, ah, why didn't you fly here instead of slogging through on foot?”
“I did,” she said. “But then I heard the whole commotion over here, and stomping around made my approach more noticeable, so-”
“Right, right,” said Sniper. “Thanks.”
“Hmph. Just remember that if you avoid me, I'll find you.” Keine floated away on that ominous note, the effect of which was lessened when her dress caught on a shrub and she had to spend an embarrassingly long handful of seconds extricating herself.
While that was going on, Spy ambled over to Sniper and lit up a new cigarette. “Get up, would you?”
“Go to hell, Spy,” Sniper genially replied, sitting up with a great deal of effort. While Spy helped him to his feet, Demoman employed the time-tested method of rousing Sekibanki with a solid kick, which sent her rolling away on instinct.
“No, I don't wanna get on your doom-ferry, lady, lay off!” she moaned, covering her head and curling up.
“You're not dead,” Demoman patiently explained, as Medic had to him the first time he'd exploded on the job. “So quit layin' about and we can get outta here.”
She peeked out at him through vision so hazy he was just a red and black blob. “What.”
“He's spot on,” added Sniper, standing on his own power, if barely. “Let's go before that girl what stole my knife comes back to murder me, please?”
Before Sekibanki could ask for further details, Demoman grabbed her arm and pulled her upright. “Okay,” she said, rubbing at her eyes. “This sounds like a good plan. Let's do it.”
While the group didn't rest easy until they were out of the forest, the trip back to the village was surprisingly without incident, if still painful for everyone involved. They cleared the village gates without a problem, since the guards took a single look at the heavily-armed, blood-coated lunatics and deciding this was a problem for a higher authority. The villagers gave the mercs a wide berth for much the same reason, which was perfectly fine by them; it meant they didn't have to answer questions about their guns or the briefcase or all the blood they were leaking. This left them with a clear path to the shop where this mess started, and they stormed it in high spirits at their success.
“We did it!” Demoman cheered, first through the door. “Ahahaha!”
“Right, then,” Sniper said, filled with satisfaction at a job done, if not well, then at least without him dying in the process.
“Yay!” Sekibanki added, relieved to be on safe ground once more.
Spy was merely content to lean against the doorsill in peace, puffing away at a new cigarette.
As they crowded inside, their voices drew the attention of the young lady perched on a ladder and nailing wood boards to the hole in the ceiling. The redhead looked down at them, hammer in one hand, bucket of nails on the ladder with her, and her face twisted in recognition.
“YOUUUUUUUU!” she howled, hopping off the ladder and storming over to meet them, shivering in outrage. She barely came up to Demoman's neck, but that didn't stop her from waving the hammer about menacingly at him. “You broke my roof! And my head!”
“Hold on, lass,” said Demoman, laying a hand on her face and pushing her away. “Banki, you can put the briefcase down now.”
“You got it!” Sekibanki said, pulling free the purple briefcase that had been stuck to her back this entire time and planting it on the counter, whereupon a gap formed beneath it and gravity forced it in. Everyone watched in silence as the gap sealed, and stayed that way as they processed this new development.
Sekibanki swiveled to give the mercs a wide-eyed look. “You're working for Yukari?”
“You know it!” said Yukari, popping through a gap in the ceiling to hang upside-down. Sekibanki shrieked, the assistant sputtered, and the mercenaries took it without blinking.
“Well, that explains the closet!” Kosuzu finally managed, gesturing angrily at a wooden locker with both a medical cross sign and an ammunition sign bolted to the bottom. “When did you sneak that thing in here?”
“It's not like you were in any state to notice,” Yukari said, waving her off. She receded into the gap, only to pop out through another and end up leaning over the store counter. “Now, Kosuzu, if you'll just-”
“No!” Kosuzu declared, and thank goodness we finally got a name for her because otherwise this would have gotten annoyingly repetitive. “Get out of my sto-”
Yukari shoved a hand through one gap, another opened above Kosuzu's head, and Yukari deposited a pouch full of coins on her head. “There you go!”
Kosuzu took the pouch, undid the string holding it shut, and peered in. Her eyes grew very wide indeed as she looked back up. “Um. Never mind.”
“Good girl,” Yukari said, smiling at Kosuzu as she quietly returned to fixing the ceiling. The blonde turned her attentions to the patiently waiting mercenaries and a not-so-patient Sekibanki. “Nicely done, all of you.”
“What's all this about?” Sekibanki demanded from the head of the group, glaring determinedly at the woman she thought responsible for her many brushes with death and conveniently ignoring it was her own fault she went with the mercenaries in the first place. “What are you trying to pull?”
“Oh, I'm just livening things up around Gensokyo,” Yukari airily replied, still smiling. “I'm already paying these fine men to cause trouble, but how would you like to get in on this too?”
“What're you paying them?”
Sekibanki blinked, slowly rotating her head one-eighty degrees to stare blankly at the mercs. “Hats.”
“Naturally,” said Spy.
The respect she had just lost for the men could not be calculated on any scale known to mankind. Her head swiveled back to Yukari, who had placed a hand over her mouth to cover her now-genuine smile. “Why?”
“They love hats,” Yukari confirmed, carefully keeping her voice neutral.
“This is great and all,” Sniper said, disinterestedly examining his fingernails, “but you wouldn't show up without a reason, lady. What's going on?”
Yukari giggled, clasping her hands together against her chest. “How observant! I'm here to give you all a bonus after your first successful mission!”
“What're our options?” asked Demoman, ever eager to augment his ability to vaporize people he didn't like.
“It's quite a list, let me warn you,” said Yukari, expression suddenly businesslike as she folded her hands together under her chin. “In the interests of fairness, however, I'll only let you have one. Now, I can give you another one of your teammates, if you want. Then four of you can cause trouble! Otherwise, well, I've seen you work when you're up against those robots, and those upgrades you get are very, very nice indeed! I suppose I could also send my minions out to try and hush up what you did over at Eientei; it won't last very long, but you should be able to get around Gensokyo a bit longer without everyone being on edge. It's up to you, really.”
Yukari spread her hands. “Well, if you want a break, I can always substitute another of your friends to take your place. That one's for free.”
[X] Additional mercenary slot acquired! (You can now deploy 4 mercs at any one time.)
[X] Upgrade equipment and abilities across the board for all mercenaries! (Think Mann VS Machine. The mercs will be rendered more resistant to damage of all kinds, they'll slowly regenerate health, their weapons pack more kick and hold more ammo, and they're just a bit faster and jump a bit higher)
[X] Stifling the flow of information is a good idea when you've got an entire fantasy land of people who are eager to kick your head in. (Yukari prevents word of your exploits from spreading, which means whoever you attack will still be completely off-guard)
WHAT IS YOUR NEW TEAM COMPOSITION
[X] Actually, this team worked fine as it is.
[X] WRITE-IN [LOADOUT SUGGESTIONS ALSO POSSIBLE]
SELECT NEW TARGET
[X] The Buddhist Temple: AKA the Palanquin Ship. *
[X] The center of the Forest of Magic. **
[X] The Palace of the Earth Spirits. **
[X] The top of Youkai Mountain. ***
[X] Eientei's backroom research area. ***COMPLETED
[X] The Nuclear Furnace. ****
[X] The basement of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. *****
[X] The center of the Garden of the Sun. *****
[X] The Hakurei Shrine's donation box. ********************
[X] Additional mercenary slot acquired! (You can now deploy 4 mercs at any one time.)
-[X] Bring in Medic and Heavy, leave behind Spy.
Medic will help here. Alot. Unless we get a very good reason we should keep some healing around. Heavy is to better protect Medic and cover our team weakness to close range attacks.
Leaving behind Spy as he'll be less useful in the forest of magic were there's less factions to disguise our way into and more chance of animal an plant threats who may use senses which break through cloaks (like smell).
>People voting for Medic/Heavy combo
>When Demo and Medic together is a stickybomb spewing hell from the underworld
Guys. Trust me on this. Take Demo and Medic as a pair.
(Really the issue is that Heavy's minigun suffers heavy fall off damage further the distance. While at 0 hu, it's the hightest DPS in the game, in reality, its often far less. Demo can still deal full damage to buildings at range, has *two* very powerful offensive weapons, has AOE damage, and a large magazine size, which is why he's traditionally the strongest pocket for the Medic.)
Also, Hale, do the Mercs have access to the side weapons? Can we toss Soldier the Airstrike and give him the B.A.S.E Jumper? Because as of the current patch, that is some broken fuckin' shit.
NEW TEAM COMPOSITION
[x]Medic, Scout, Soldier, Demo
aka the 4's meta. Let's take our A-team out for a spin. The optimal 4-man team with the 4 strongest classes, gameplay wise, and 2 of the most powerful classes period lore wise.
Medic's powerset is pretty much top tier in nearly any setting: regen, healing, sharable invuln, and resurrection. It's too good to not have on all of our missions from this point on. Crossbow/Uber/Ubersaw will probably be optimal, as it usually is.
Soldier: there's no reason (unless Yukari) that Solly can't equip several secondaries at the same time; this means he gets the mobility of gunboats, the anti-air option of the reserve shooter, the buffs from his backpacks, and the sidearm with ridiculous firepower in lore that is the Righteous Bison. His primary can be the Cow Mangler, a gun that deconstructs matter on a quantum level, or the ridiculous spamfest that is the buffed airstrike. And of course, we bring the market gardener for the hype kills.
Demoman is Demoman.
Scout makes for a great recon/flank class, filling the same niche as spy in this case but with significantly higher DPS, mobility, and utility with weapons like the sandman and FoW. Bonk would let him no-sell enemy attacks and is a no-brainer for this. BFB or Soda Popper would both be good here, for increased mobility, or perhaps the FaN for CC. Also, Scout's interactions with the 2hus will probably be the most entertaining out of everyone's, especially since we missed out on Medic vs Eiren.
>>184651 It might be preferable to bring engie and pyro in place of soldier and scout for the temple only. The reasoning being:
I'm expecting Nue to use her seeds to turn this from ctf to mvm, transformed into robots rather than UFOs for thematic appropriateness. Level threes are our friends here.
Pyro's airblasts can completely deny Byakuren and Unzan's devastating melee attacks, and a dispenser makes ammo cost a nonfactor. Spychecks prevent Nue or possibly Mamizou from trying stuff in our ranks. And as mentioned before, reserve shooter is a great anti air option.
And this is the most likely place where diplomacy could be an option. Engie is, after Spy, the most suited to this.
Engie: Rescue Ranger, Short Circuit, Jag
Pyro: Stock or Degreaser, Reserve Shooter, Powerjack
>>184656 It's more like the 4's comp should be our default (it's effective for most targets, including the underground though we might want upgrades or 5 people before we go there), with some locations requiring off-classes.
[X] Additional mercenary slot acquired!
[X] Engineer, Pyro, Medic, Heavy
[X] The Hakurei Shrine's donation box. ********************
You might think I'm insane for choosing the donation box, but I have an equally insane plan to pull it off. First, Engineer erects a teleporter in the home base. Then the mercs make their way to Hakurei Shrine, where the donation box should be waiting out in the open in front of the building for people to chuck coins into. When they reach the gate, Engineer erects his second teleporter, thus creating an instant portal back to the home base. Meanwhile, Medic ubercharges Heavy, rendering them both invincible. Heavy then runs up to the donation box, lifts it over his head with his superior Russian strength, and runs full speed back to the teleporter before the ubercharge wears off. Reimu will probably intervene at this point, which is why Pyro will be standing gaurd next to Engineer and the teleporter to air-blast away any stray danmaku or shrine maidens which could damage the teleporter. Once the four of them are safely teleported back to the home base with the box, Engineer puts the teleporter back into its toolbox, thus closing the portal and preventing Reimu from following. They should be in and out faster than you can say, "WHO TOUCHED MY DONATION BOX!?"
Well, unless votes have been MISCOUNTED HORRENDOUSLY, the next mission's location is the Forest of Magic, and the mercs going there are Heavy Weapons Guy, Medic, Demoman, and Sniper.
NO GUARANTEES ON WHEN AN UPDATE MIGHT COME. If you don't like it, you can take it up with me! I will even PAY FOR YOUR FLIGHT to Australia if you don't live here! However, since I want to avoid YET ANOTHER LAWSUIT, I am forced to warn you that when we meet, you may NOT SURVIVE! Because I will PUMMEL YOU with my BARE HANDS!
The legal fees that result from this are EXPENSIVE!
No. 185098 File 14433983402.jpg
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“I believe I will take that reprieve, madam,” said Spy. “But before that, we could sincerely use our doctor, and another man to replace me.”
“Second that,” said Sniper. “Any ideas on who'd come with the Doc, mates?”
“Well, if Spy's going,” Demoman mused, rubbing his chin. “We could also use... Heavy!”
“Not a bad choice,” Spy said, enjoying the sensation of solid ground for what he suspected would be the last time for quite a while. “It isn't as though you all were especially subtle in the first place.”
“Who're those two now?” Sekibanki asked.
“Oh, just one of the nastiest pairs you'll ever meet,” Sniper said, raiding the resupply closet for all the medicine and ammo it was worth. “Anyway, Yukari, was it?”
“Yes?” Yukari said, making no move to leave the desk.
“Was it, and this is just a guess, mind,” Sniper said, “was it you who got those guns firing at the mansion?”
Yukari spread her arms, smiling. “Guilty as charged!”
Demoman felt only grave offense at this revelation, tightly gripping his pan's handle. “You sayin' we couldn't have handled it ourselves?”
The gap-witch gave Demoman a wink. “I hardly wanted you all to lose on your first outing. Without those guns clearing a path, I figured you were probably going to get swarmed and die. But don't worry, I'll leave the rest in your capable hands from now on!”
Sniper had successfully mummified himself in medical tape by this point. “Well, it's appreciated.”
“The exposition is fascinating,” Spy said, rolling his eyes, “but madam, if you please?”
“Very well!” said Yukari, and with a snap of her fingers a hole opened in the ceiling, and the giant Russian and his German friendbuddypartner plummeted through to crash on the floor.
“Oof!” Heavy said, pushing himself up with no regard to Medic clinging to his shoulders. He glared around the room without regard to the man on his back, huge fists clenched in case something needed its brain punched out. “What is this?”
“Aha, well,” Medic said, letting go of the giant and landing without a hair out of place. “I think we've just been called to work!”
“Oh.” Heavy looked faintly embarrassed as he relaxed, noticing his teammates properly for the first time. “Ah, is the other tiny men. You look like you have- Oh my God.”
“Uh,” Sekibanki said as Heavy lifted a meaty mitt to his mouth, his eyes bugging out at the sight of her. “What's your deal?”
Heavy looked over his shoulder to Medic, seeking confirmation that his eyes weren't lying to him. “She has the red hair.”
Medic leaned out from Heavy's profile to look for himself. “So she does!”
“Hello, you two!” Yukari said, heading things off before Heavy could fall further into the clutches of his obsession. “I'm bringing you in to replace your masked friend. I hope you find this agreeable?”
“Ooh!” Medic said, clapping gloved hands together with a smile on his face. “Yes! Thank you!”
“Da!” Heavy said, eyes fixated on Sekibanki, who was wisely taking cover behind Sniper.
Speaking of whom, Medic finally got his first good look at the rest of his team, and his grin only widened at their states. “Ah, I see you all have been having an adventure without me! What did I miss?”
“Aye!” said Demoman, ambling over to meet his long-wanted teammates. “There was rabbits and explosions and Spy stabbed several women in the back because they were trying to kill us. It was a good time.”
“Did any of them have the red hair?” Heavy asked, a wide grin splitting his face as he thought of the possibilities this place held.
“Nope,” Sniper said. “Was a giant mutant monster rabbit thing we had to put down, though. That was excitin'.”
Medic frowned thoughtfully, nodding as he spoke. “Now I know I missed something fun!”
“Yeah, yeah, doc,” Sniper grumbled, gesturing at himself. “That's great and all, but could you put that gun o' yours to work?”
Seemingly only just then remembering his profession, Medic stepped out from Heavy's shadow and clicked his heels together with Teutonic precision, raising his Medi Gun. “Oh, certainly!”
The moment he pulled down on the gun's handle, a red beam of energy with little red crosses emanating from it leapt from the Medi Gun and tethered itself to Sniper. Hardly three seconds had passed before the bushman endured a full-body shudder, more crosses hovering around him, and he gave Medic a thumbs-up. “Thanks, doc!”
“Of course!” Medic was quick to turn his gun full blast on the other two mercs, leaving them hopping about (figuratively only in Spy's case), but he paused when aiming at Sekibanki. “Ah, you don't look very well, miss. Care for some medicine?”
The way he waggled his eyebrows while smiling and nodding disconcerted Sekibanki. “I, uh, think I'm-”
Heavy shoved the handle down before she could finish protesting, and Sekibanki was hit full blast by some prime-quality heal-juice. Medic made a wordless noise of fascination, ignoring how Heavy had broken several of his fingers when he slammed his fist on Medic's own, because more important than that was how Sekibanki was vibrating up through the air.
“Well, the flying is certainly new!” Medic said, looking like he'd just come across a stash of perfectly fresh, preserved organs. “Now, Heavy, do you mind?”
“Oh,” Heavy said, vaguely embarrassed as he let go of Medic's hand. The German nodded his appreciation, grabbed his busted fingers with his other hand, and wrenched them back into place.
“Well, that was hideously painful!” Medic said, teeth glinting in the lamplight as he kept his strained smile up through sheer force of will. “Miss? How do you feel?”
Sekibanki was thrumming with vitality as she hovered around, a goofy, vaguely stoned grin on her lips. “Wow!”
“What's even going on down there?” Kosuzu asked, curiosity finally getting the best of her as she hopped off her ladder. She only realized the magnitude of her mistake when Heavy got a good look at her.
“She too has the red hair,” he whispered, covering his mouth with both his meaty mitts. “I like this place.”
“Uh-” Kosuzu said, suddenly acutely aware of how big Heavy was, but she found salvation in the form of Demoman laying a companionable hand on the Russian's arm.
“Heavy, buddy, laddie, listen,” he said, giving the much bigger man a shaking. “Stop being weird.”
As Heavy closed a hand around Demoman's entire head and was rewarded with a muffled scream of horror, Kosuzu seized her chance to flee deeper into the store. While that went on, Spy sidled up to Medic with Eirin's cap and the team's map in his hands. “Doctor?” he said, paying no heed to Demoman's bones cracking as he offered Medic his gear. “Before I leave, you may want these souvenirs from our latest outing.”
Medic took one look at the hat before there was a blur of movement and it ended up on his head. Spy blinked in astonishment at his empty hands as Medic unfurled the map and looked it over, only thinking to add a distracted “Thank you,” after a few moments had passed. “Oh, and Heavy, stop killing Demo, we need him alive.”
Heavy snorted, but he let the Scotsman go tumbling to the floor with a distinct imprint of his fingers in the drunk's skull. “All right. What happens now?”
“Now?” Spy said. “I bid you all adieu, gentlemen.”
Yukari obliged him with a gap opening beneath his feet, and he plunged through without a sound, the hole in reality zipping itself back up once he was through.
“He was gratin' on me anyway,” Sniper admitted, having demummified himself once more while everyone else was busy. “So, Banki, you still feel like stickin' around? Your whole flyin' head thing was pretty good.”
Sekibanki had finally fallen off her overheal-high, and was simply away in a corner, embarrassed at her overreaction. “Well, it was fun... and also terrifying, and that's not counting how it completely ruined my good rep there. I'm pretty sure everyone in Gensokyo is going to want my head if I keep helping you guys out.”
“They will not get it,” said Heavy, having stumped over to Sekibanki while she was distracted by Sniper. Before she could defend herself, he grabbed her head and yanked it clean off. Her body immediately started flailing wildly in panic as he planted the head atop his own. “Your head will be safe with Heavy Weapons Guy.”
“Hey!” she said, more stunned than outraged. “Give me back!”
“Nyet.” Heavy held Sekibanki's body back with one hand, keeping her head atop his with the other. “Now all I need is hat for my hat.”
Demoman raised a hand in protest, then let it thump limply against the ground, which was what finally got Medic to take notice of his predicament.
“Get me off him!” Sekibanki demanded, her body having given up trying to save her in favor of assaulting the floorboards with a flurry of childishly outraged stomps.
“Sorry, lass, not today!” Sniper said, knowing full well the result of trying to go hand-to-hand with Heavy through repeated, painful, humiliating experience.
“You want head back?” Heavy asked, laying an oversized hand on Sekibanki's shoulder. “You come with Heavy. We destroy many bad people. It will be fun time.”
“Nnngh,” Sekibanki grumbled, her body shrugging Heavy's arm off in a gesture of annoyed resignation. “... Just give it back until we're outside the village, okay? I'm still kind of undercover here.”
“Very well!” Heavy planted Sekibanki's head back on her body without a moment's hesitation. “Now we go to-” He paused, brows wrinkling in thought. “... I do not actually know where we go.”
“Th' map,” Demoman helpfully supplied through a mouthful of floorboard.
“Yes, yes,” Medic said, Medi Gun tucked under an arm and dispensing aid to Demoman even as the doctor studied the map in his other hand. “Oh, this is quite the itinerary we have!”
“I'll leave you to it!” Yukari said, beaming as she receded into her gap and closed it shut. These men were more fun than she had anticipated, and she was immensely grateful she was recording all of it.
The void was, as Spy expected, blessedly boring after all the excitement and near-deaths he had endured, and the rest of the team had taken the disappearance of Medic and Heavy surprisingly well once he had explained it to them.
That just left – he shuddered – Scout.
After taking a moment to compose himself, Spy plummeted down to the Bostonite, the latter passing time by idly pitching a baseball up and down.
“Yo, Frenchie,” Scout said by way of greeting, not taking his eyes off the ball. “You got a reason for comin' down here, or are you just trying to catch some of my awesome? It ain't for sale, I'll warn you right now.”
Suppressing the urge to smack Scout by only the barest of margins, Spy instead produced the Surgeon's Shotgun, having cleverly concealed it on his person. “Present for you!”
He lobbed it at the Bostonite, taking glee in how Scout fumbled to catch it and only barely succeeded by sacrificing his baseball to the abyss. The stink-eye he gave Spy was enough to send him cackling as he floated away, chased by a shout of “Spy, you jackass!”
“So!” Demoman said, bouncing on his heels after a dose of medicine. “We're goin' on a nature hike, eh?”
Medic nodded, smiling brightly as he rolled the map back up. “This Forest of Magic sounds interesting, yes! Just think of the samples I could get!”
“I do not like forests,” Heavy said, frowning. “Too much cover for babies to hide in and ambush us.”
“Well, you'd better keep on your toes, then!” Sekibanki said with strained cheer. “Because we got, uh, some kinda nasty stuff in there. Just be sure you don't eat the mushrooms!”
“I coulda told you that,” Sniper whispered, thoroughly ignored by everyone else.
“Right!” Medic chopped a hand through the air at the door. “Onwards!”
Heavy was the first through, squeezing past the doorway with a heroic effort, followed by everyone else. Sniper was at the rear, but he paused in the doorway with a pained grimace. “Oh, bloody hell.”
The rest of the team stopped to look askance at him, and Medic waved a hand. “Come on, my friend, what is it?”
Sniper palmed his face. “I shoulda asked her if she'd let us have my van.”
Everyone else paused to consider this. Medic was the first to break the silence with a cheerful “How stupid of you!”
“What's a van?” Sekibanki asked, as Heavy grumbled something unflattering in Russian.
“His house,” Demoman explained.
“Oh.” Sekibanki thought this over for a few moments before something else occurred to her. “You... drive his house to battle?”
Demoman just shrugged.
Sekibanki regarded the team with bemusement. “You people are weird.”
[X] IT IS NEVER NOT TIME TO SUPER STICKY JUMP
[X] The walkabout is a good thing, lads.
[X] Horses! Horses are loved by everyone! Even if you have to steal them!
One of the main reason the 4s composition was pushed so hard was explosive mobility coupled with sustain- of course, since demo can apparently share his jump, that lets us take normally slow classes like heavy along with us too. God bless the medigun.
“Because it's faster than walkin' it,” Sniper said, hanging back as Demoman set up their improvised launchpad. “Also, you get to be a bird. Hoot!”
“You are not an owl,” Heavy said. “And also bird heads are horrible. Why would you want this again?”
“I liked bein' an owl,” Sniper grumbled.
“Yes, yes, but you're much happier with your regular head!” Medic chimed in. He tucked the map under his armpit, readying his Medi Gun. “Now, speaking as someone else who has gone along with Demoman on his journeys, well, eheheh... let's just say I should heal everyone up first, ja?”
While Medic topped everyone off with overheals, Demoman finished laying mines. “Our ride's ready, lads!” he said, gesturing proudly at the eight sticky bombs he'd arranged in a smiley face. “Which way we headed, Doc?”
Medic gestured absentmindedly in a direction not important for the narrative. “That way, if I remember the map right. Which I do.”
“Right! Everybody, get on!” Demoman followed his own advice by standing on his mines, racking new ones into his launcher as he waited for everyone else to settle in, which they did with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
“Oh, I regret this already,” Heavy said, squaring his shoulders, gritting his teeth, and generally looking like the next person to bother him would get his fist through their skull. “Is everyone ready?”
The band's marksman gave his hat a pat. “Sniper, ready for action!”
Medic clicked his heels together and stood at attention, Medi Gun raised, and on cue a white glow lit up behind him, doves erupted from the dirt at his feet, and a heavenly choir sang out from nowhere in particular. “I am ready, my friends!”
Sekibanki was struck dumb by the sight, her mouth working but no noise coming out for several long seconds, before she finally managed a “What the fu-”
“LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET'S DO IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!” Demoman bellowed, pulling the trigger, and for the second time that day a band of screaming mercenaries hit orbit.
The Forest of Magic was peacefully quiet, as usual, which meant that the snapping of branches, the screams of people, and five separate crash-landings resulting from the previous two were heard throughout the land. When everyone's flights had been terminated, Sniper was wrapped around a tree branch, Demoman was flat on his face, Sekibanki remembered hovering was a thing she could do, Heavy landed on his feet (surprisingly enough), and Medic was-
“I am meltiiiiiing!” he screamed, wildly swinging his bonesaw at the car-sized mantrap that had its mouth around his lower body.
Unfortunately for the carnivorous plant, Heavy Weapons Guy was on the scene, and with a mighty bellow of “DOKTOR!” he leaped at the unfortunate plant monster and commenced a vicious pummeling. For something big enough to swallow the Russian whole, the mantrap was unprepared for the sheer rage of a Heavy seeing his Medic under attack. While the woods were filled with inarticulate warcries, the rest of the mercs were quick to right themselves, although they made no move to help as Heavy showed just what his muscles were for.
“Shouldn't we do something?” Sekibanki asked quietly, a hand over her mouth as she watched the massacre in front of her.
“I think Heavy's got it,” Sniper said, not eager to get in the big man's way. “We should just let him do his job.”
“I ain't getting close to that bloody thing,” Demoman said, grenade launcher readied. “If he moves, though, then I'll light the blighter up.”
“Noooot that I think that'll be an issue,” Sekibanki said, since Heavy was now inside the creature's mouth, the better to continue his assault. Medic slipped in after him, and the mantrap's toothless maw slammed shut around the two.
For about ten seconds, the only thing to be heard was muffled, angry shouting and tearing plant-matter, before a ham-sized fist punched clear out of the plant's back. Heavy quickly tore free of the ambulatory mouth and crawled out, dragging Medic with him, and the two landed little worse for wear outside the very much dead mantrap.
“Once again,” Heavy said, grinning as though he hadn't just jumped into a man-eating plant's mouth to rip it apart from the inside, “Heavy proves why he is best of team.”
“And I'm very grateful, yes!” Medic added, heedless of how several patches on his pants and coat had been burned through by the mantrap's acid as he laid into the thing's corpse with his bonesaw. “Now I just need a sample, and... There!” He pocketed the chunk of plant, then turned to beam at the rest of his team. “All right, let's go – hold on.”
As Medic checked the map once again, Heavy plodded over to the rest of the team, plucked Sekibanki's head off her shoulders and placed her atop his own. “Now we go into battle. You stay on Heavy's head, I kill all who cross us. This is good plan.”
Sekibanki folded her arms, her head glowering down at Heavy, and yet she was entirely unwilling to press the issue after witnessing him in action. Instead, she settled for venting her frustrations with a quiet “Mrgghrrh...”
“Okay!” Medic said, face buried in the map as he chopped a hand in an entirely unimportant direction. “Assuming this map isn't lying to us, we go that way!”
“Deeper into the forest, huh?” Sniper said, readying his kukri. “Looks like the shrubbery gets pretty thick in places, lads. Best let me take point.”
After a solid fifteen minutes of Sniper hacking a path through the undergrowth, the team emerged into a clearing that played host to –
“A house!” Sekibanki said.
“Yes,” Heavy said, nodding slowly. “We all see this.”
“... Shaddup,” Sekibanki whispered.
Indeed, it was a nice house, very much western in design with the slanted blue roof and white walls, plenty of windows letting sunlight in, a little flower-garden ringing the front, and a second-story tower jutting from the building's right side.
“Ah, very nice,” Medic said, rolling the map back up and stuffing it away safely inside a pocket. “The briefcase seems to be in the tower, my friends.”
Sniper nodded, doffing his hat and trying to appear presentable. “Well, let's see if they'll just let us-”
A hole was blown in the house's roof, courtesy of a massive rainbow-colored laser, and everyone watched in silence as shouts of outrage and sounds of violence drifted out of the hole.
“Aheh,” Sekibanki said, trying to keep a smile up and failing horrifically. “Looks like Marisa's here.”
“Who?” Demoman asked, looking at the destruction in awe; the things he could do if he had a gun that shot lasers like that.
“The girl who just blew the roof off,” Sekibanki said, just as several explosions sounded off from inside the house. “And is probably responsible for all of those, as well.”
Heavy grunted, considering the merits of busting out his minigun. “And this is big problem?”
Sekibanki sadly shook her her head, her body spreading its hands in despair. “Oh, yes.”
[X] HEAVY WEAPONS GUY OPENS DOORS WITH HIS FIST
[X] Be polite! After all, no one here has done anything to offend the house's owner. What's the worst that can come from knocking?
[X] There is a flying headless woman who can just break into the tower and grab the briefcase, right? Let the maniacs inside deal with each other.
-[X] Be polite! After all, no one here has done anything to offend the house's owner. What's the worst that can come from knocking?
-[X] There is a flying headless woman who can just break into the tower and grab the briefcase, right? Let the maniacs inside deal with each other.
Team Dead-meat shall distract the defenders for as long as reasonable while team Headless-Chicken shall sneak up to the tower and prepare to capture the flag. This way even if Master Spark bad things happen we still have a good chance of getting the intel clear.
Smash and grab, then run away before the enemy can react. Seikibanki is probably going to be gunned down by a stray bullet if she tries to get it herself, and a fight between the klepto witch and the doll otaku is never a good time to attempt diplomacy.
Readers, it has come to my attention that CENSORSHIP BLEEPS (as seen earlier in this story) are not nearly as effective in a written format, compared to our TF2 ACTION COMICS! So I am giving a warning for any women, children, and pansies in the audience: CTF_Gensokyo is hereby going to be UNCENSORED!
This warning may or may not come into play at some point in the future! I felt it was relevant to mention it now, before something is seen that CAN NOT BE UNSEEN.
By which I mean SWEAR WORDS!
Also, there was an update here before, but there were ERRORS! They have been FIXED! Enjoy your ERROR-FREE EXPERIENCE! __________
“Judgin' from all the shouty business goin' on in there,” Sniper said, running a hand over his stubble, “I figure we should maybe knock instead of bustin' in, lads.”
They looked at each other, trying to figure out who would handle the task of introducing themselves. Sniper and Demoman were right out, since they still hadn't cleaned the blood off themselves from last outing, and Medic was no one's idea of a good first impression.
That left only one man left for the job, as Heavy discovered when everyone cleared out from around him. He exhaled, nostrils flaring in irritation at becoming the party's face. “Very well. I do this.” He stumped up to the cheerily white door, raised a fist, and paused as the VRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR of another laser went off inside, followed by a wordless and high-pitched shout of anger.
The Russian looked over his shoulder, expression dark. “You will want to step back.”
As the team wisely took this advice, Sniper dragging Sekibanki's body out of the way with him, the unwilling headpiece took her chance to flee upwards. “I'm gonna just scout out up there real quick!” she said, staving off any attempts by Heavy to retrieve her by zooming up to the tower's window.
With his hat reconnoitering, Heavy repeatedly slammed his fist to the door, dialing his blows back just enough that he wasn't knocking the poor thing off its hinges. “You have guests!” he shouted over another explosion. “Open door and be good hosts!”
All noise within promptly died, and Heavy, no stranger to peril, sidestepped out of the way. This proved to be fortuitous when a rainbow-colored laser blew the door off its hinges, but the rest of the mercs were faster, diving into the grass as the beam flew over their heads. When it died down, Heavy poked his head around the door-free barrier. “Hello.”
He was greeted with an excellent view of the house's living room, a mess of upturned chairs, scattered books, broken dolls and assorted scorch marks, as well as the two war-torn blondes responsible for all of the above. The long-haired one, dressed so stereotypically witchy that actual witches would hex her for giving them a bad name, lowered her laser-spewing octagonal hakkero in surprise as she got a good look at Heavy, while her short-haired, blue-dressed counterpart took advantage of this distraction to slowly raise a gauntleted fist.
“Marisa?” said the latter, smiling without any humor to it. “Why did you just try to blow up a visitor?”
Marisa glanced back at the woman, only to catch a face full of steel that sent her toppling over a chair, her pointy hat landing atop her face as she lay concussed. “Ow.”
“I'd be of a mind to do more,” said her attacker, nose upturned at the witch, “but I have guests to attend to.” She turned her gaze towards Heavy, then clapped her gauntleted hand against its bare partner. “Come in, won't you? And don't mind her, we were just having a”-her head twitched-”disagreement.”
Marisa plucked her hat off her face and tossed it aside, leaving her with a clear view of- “Alice, you fu-”
Alice made a curt gesture with her gauntlet, and one of the dolls amidst the wreckage jumped on Marisa's face with a tiny spear in hand, pointing it down at the witch's eyeball.
“-uuhriend of mine,” Marisa finished, holding completely still. “I'll just- stay down here, shall I?”
“Why, that's an excellent idea!” Alice said, expression carefully neutral.
Heavy waved the other mercs onward before he squeezed through the doorway, having to hunch down and turn sideways to actually fit through. He gingerly stepped around a chair that had been broken in half, then stopped in front of Alice, who didn't so much as blink at the giant looming over her.
“... I am Heavy Weapons Guy,” he said, extending a hand. Alice took it with her (comically undersized in comparison) gauntlet and shook it decisively.
“And I am Alice Margatroid!” she said, pinching up the side of her dress with her other hand and dipping in a makeshift curtsy. “I'm so very sorry about the mess, but you know how it is.”
Heavy nodded. “Yes. I too destroy many buildings when tiny babies annoy me.”
Alice clasped her hands together at her waist, smiling genuinely for the first time since Heavy had seen her. “Finally, someone else who gets it!” She leaned aside, looking past Heavy's room-filling presence to spot the rest of the mercs peeking around the doorway. “Ah, and there are your friends! Please, please, come on in!”
As the other mercs filed inside to meet their host, Sniper bringing up the rear and pulling their headless compatriot along, the body's owner flew back down and hastily reattached herself to it, a haunted look on her face. “It's upstairs,” she whispered, but any further questions were put on hold as they went inside.
“My goodness,” Alice said, her smile faltering at just how many houseguests she had to entertain. “I'd offer you all a place to sit, but-” She gestured vaguely at all the wrecked furniture.
“Yo,” said Marisa, not daring to move so much as a millimeter. Her grin was desperately strained. “How's, uh, how's life?”
“Shush, Marisa,” Alice said, and her doll made a minute jabbing motion with its spear.
“This is a nice place you've got,” Sniper said, and meant it; life in the outback had skewed his standards of what an acceptable mess was to the point he could happily live in hazardous waste. “The broken couch really brings out the, uh-”
“Your house is a bloody wreck, lassie,” Demoman said, punctuating his words by nudging a headless doll with his boot. He gestured at Marisa with his pan. “You bust it up often, or is it just something that happens when she comes around?”
“Pardon me,” Medic said, shoving his way past those two to stand at Heavy's side. “But are you controlling that doll, or is it just active on its own?”
Alice blinked owlishly as the mercs, sans Heavy, bombarded her with further questions about her house and her dolls and everything else they could think of, and a faint blush crept up her cheeks as she took a step back. “I- um, that is- yes, I do direct the dolls- hold on- excuse me!” Everyone shut up at her forceful declaration, and she took a deep breath to steady herself. Her smile took a sickly edge as she looked at her silent audience. “I- I mean- how about I make some tea first?”
“This will work,” Heavy said, looking back to glare at everyone else.
“All right, I'll be just a minute!” Alice took this chance to flee deeper inside the house, leaving the mercenaries alone.
“Okay, guys,” Marisa said, eyes fixated on the doll perched on her neck. “I'm just gonna tell ya right now, you'd really be doing me a solid if you just punched her out when she gets back.”
“Why should we do this?” Heavy asked, scowling down at the witch.
“Oh, I dunno, because you're here for a glowing briefcase?”
The mercenaries shut up.
“Yeah,” Marisa said, unsurprised. “She, uh, she isn't letting anyone look at it. Believe me, I tried, and you see where I'm at now.”
“And the room's full of dolls,” Sekibanki said tonelessly. “The briefcase room, I mean. When I looked through the window, one of them poked it with a knife.”
Marisa smiled knowingly. “Yup. Also, yo, Banki. What're you doing with these dudes?”
“I'm with them because reasons,” Sekibanki said, tugging her collar up and hiding behind Sniper.
“Almost ready!” Alice called, a frantic edge to her voice. Something ceramic crashed to pieces in the background. “Uh, okay, maybe it'll be another minute, sorry!”
Marisa gave the mercenaries an appraising look. “Yeah, so, beat her up and we can get that briefcase. How's that sound?”
“Why do you want it?” Medic asked.
Marisa shrugged. “I wanna see what's inside it, what else? Now can you get this freakin' doll off me? I'll give you a hand if ya do.”
[X] Alice has been nothing but pleasant to her guests! Maybe she'd be willing to give them the case, or at least trade for it.
[X] Beating up Alice will both guarantee a briefcase and earn favor with the blasty witch. Having someone on your side who can unleash Master Sparks is never a bad thing!
[X] Make Marisa shake on it. Then explain the plan to Alice. Have Medic Uber Alice, then have Heavy uppercut her into the air.
That way, you will have beat her into an upward direction, therefore, Marisa will be bound by her word to help you (in this case, cooperate without lasers and nastiness) or suffer Alice, lasers and now mercs with guns, and we can get the briefcase from Alice by being civil, respectable mercs, not dirty thieves like Marisa, who bring lasers upon themselves.
No. 185254 File 144593173159.gif
- (3.67MB, 356x198, IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED.gif)
I am here to CALL THE VOTE, which in this case is for BEING POLITE.
I, personally, would NOT DO ANYTHING TO YOU, but you are CORRECT that I would DISAPPROVE of beating up any women who ARE NOT SUPERPOWERED CREATURES OF JAPANESE FOLKLORE. Or MAGICIANS. Feel free to do WHATEVER YOU WANT to those types.
I LIKE YOUR STYLE, but, unfortunately, this write-in has a problem that Medic would spot IMMEDIATELY. However, if he DID NOT, this WHAT-IF shows what would happen!
“So, um, is this going to hurt?” Alice asked, fidgeting nervously as Heavy worked his knuckles over.
“Oh, not at all!” Medic said, tethered to Alice via his Medi Gun's beam, red energy crackling from the tool's barrel. “In fact, being ÜberCharged is a uniquely empowering experience!”
“I like the sound of that,” Alice said, a smile creeping up on her face.
“I don't,” Marisa said, arms folded across her chest as she still laid on the floor, not daring to move by virtue of how Demoman had planted a sticky on her forehead. “But get on with it, wouldja?”
Heavy nodded, raising his fists, while Alice nervously smoothed out her skirt.
“Ready?” Medic asked, his grin SMUG AND EVIL. “Here we go!”
He pulled the handle down, Alice glowed red for a brief moment, and then there was a pop and a spray of scarlet as her heart (and several ribs) exploded from her chest, smashed into Heavy's, and bounced off his prodigious gut to hit the floor.
Alice blinked, looking down at the hole in her torso with a vaguely horrified expression. “...What a curious feeling,” she said, holding a hand to the gaping wound as though that would fix it. “I, um, I don't seem to have a pulse anymore.”
Medic's smile had shifted into a thin-lipped line, even as he was bombarded by both the disapproving gazes of the rest of the mercs and Marisa's horrified glare. “I may have... forgotten most hearts can't withstand the voltage.”
“So-” Alice said, turning to face Medic, the color steadily draining from her face much like the blood steadily pouring from her chest. “If- if you cut that beam off-
Medic shrugged. “Well, you die.”
Alice blinked once again. “...And if you keep it on me?”
“You have three minutes to live!” Medic's enthusiastic grin fled as quickly as it arrived, replaced by a more thoughtful frown. “I think. I never tested my improved Medi Gun on someone without a heart.”
“Oh.” Alice's lips curled up on their own, the resulting smile not quite sane as she turned to the other mercs. “So, aheh, would anyone still care for tea?”
“So,” Heavy said, crouching down in front of Marisa, resting his arms on his knees. “You, tiny girl, want us to fight your battles for you, so you can then steal briefcase for yourself.”
“Hey!” Marisa said, all scowling outrage, her doll captor momentarily forgotten. “I wouldn't!”
Heavy inhaled deeply, nostrils flaring as he fixed Marisa with enough disdain that she could quite possibly drown in it. “Nyet. You are like horrible mix of Spy and Scout. You cannot be trusted.”
He laid a meaty finger on her lips. “Shhhh.”
Heavy wagged his finger back and forth, dragging her head along with it. “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”
“Hello again!” Alice said, bearing a nervous smile and a shaking tray of teacups as she made her way into the living room. She paused to look askance at Heavy. “Um.”
Sniper raised a hand. “Your witchy friend wants us to beat you up.”
Alice's eyes flicked down to her tray-laden hands, then back up, filled with the depressing knowledge of just how vulnerable she was at the moment. “...Will you?”
“Well, no,” Medic said.
“Oh!” Alice's smile, previously a rictus, transformed into a beam of joy. “Well, thank you!”
She hustled and bustled through the wreckage, delivering cups to the mercs and chattering all the while. “I realized too late I didn't ask what kind of tea you liked, or if you even liked it at all, but I hope you're all okay with some apple tea? I, aha, I harvested the ingredients myself!”
“What were they?” Sniper asked, seated on the back of an upturned wooden chair.
“Apples?” Alice said, politeness strained by the idiocy of that comment.
“Shoulda figured,” Sniper mumbled, accepting a cup with his head bowed. This just so happened to give him a look at himself. “Actually, don't you mind the, well, the blood? On us?”
Alice was already delivering a cup to Demoman, who was making the best of a broken sofa for seating. “It's not as if you're the first people to come in here coated in it.”
Sniper accepted that explanation with a grunt as Demoman took his cup of tea, the cyclops squinting at the liquid as though it were poison. “Oh, what the hell,” he said, and upended the drink into his maw.
He tipped over a moment later, landing next to Marisa.
“Uh,” Alice said, stunned as Demoman looped an arm around a very uncomfortable Marisa's shoulders and slurred tearful apologies into her ear. “Is he-”
“Demoman is not drinker of anything besides alcohol,” Heavy said, grabbing Demoman's leg and dragging him away from Marisa, who was incredibly grateful. “He is not eater of anything besides alcohol, either. How he survives this, I do not know.”
“I do!” Medic said, grinning at this chance to educate everyone else. “The last time I operated on him, I decided to open up his liver as well, and- Oh!” He accepted Alice's offered teacup. “Danke!”
While Medic alternated between sipping his tea and going on about a horrific breach of medical ethics to his unwilling audience, Alice passed off a cup to Heavy, then shuffled over to Sekibanki, who was keeping as much distance from the Russian as she possible could by lingering at the front door.
“Here you go, miss!” Alice said, giving her the last of the tea. Sekibanki stared deep into her cup's contents, debating the merit of drinking the off-kilter puppeteer's offering.
“You're really just letting everyone in here, huh?” she asked, gesturing at the door. “Right after your house got wrecked, too. Why?”
“My God,” Sniper said, staring down at his cup with a slack jaw.
“Oh no no no no no,” Alice squeaked, empty tray nearly flying from her hands in her panicked rush to Sniper. “Is it bad is it awful I'm sorry I thought you'd like it-”
“Whoa, lass, easy!” Sniper said, holding his free hand up placatingly. “It's got that appley taste to it, sure, but then on top of that it's like there's a small man made of cinnamon punching me in the throat. That's good tea, that is.”
Alice blinked, flushing at her overreaction. “Oh.”
“In short!” Medic said, and Alice realized just then that she had completely missed what he was saying with how preoccupied she was doling out drinks, “anything that is not grain alcohol is poisonous to Demoman!”
“Hooooooo...” Demoman said, lifting a hand up and then letting it thump against the ground.
“Is most unfortunate,” Heavy said. “He will be like this for half hour, at least.”
“Maybe.” Medic sniffed. “Or! I could!” Still sipping at his tea, he readied his Medi Gun with his other hand. “Use this!”
A blast of concentrated scientific healing stuff brought Demoman jumping to his feet as vigorous as if he'd just downed an entire cellar of scrumpy. “Wooooo!”
As Demoman rejoiced in the power of mad science, Marisa debated the merits of just blasting everybody and to hell with the doll, and Alice hustled about for a place to set her tray down, something occurred to the puppeteer.
“So, I was thinking,” she said, finding a little corner-spot untouched by the carnage to deposit the tray. With her hands free, she turned to her guests, smoothed out her dress, and asked, “Why did you come here, anyway? Not that- ah, I mean, I'm not complaining about having you as visitors!”
Those words dropped anvils on the mercs' senses of good cheer. A shrewd look crossed Marisa's face, and promptly shifted into a fearful one when Heavy pointedly moved his foot into head-stomping range.
[X] Miss Margatroid, we need to beat you up.
[X] Yeah okay we're here for the briefcase you mind handing it over?
[X] Nah we're just wandering around and decided to visit while we were in the area no one's sneaking up to your tower room to steal a briefcase nosiree madam (BANKI QUICK DO THE THING).
[X] Yukari sent us to get the briefcase because she put it there for us to pick up out of boredom.
The truth is likely the only way to not fight this pleasant Alice! Also, I like watching her tremble nervously, which she
must be alive to do and it would be down right rude of us to pull our guns on our host!