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Happy Halloween by TheBuggiest
Happy Halloween
fact: a child's plastic bendy straw, a light extracted from a pen, and a water balloon make a pretty darn good anglerfish lure
One more chapter down of Dystopia.  Just got to clean it up.  Might work some on Fireman as well.
This Is Not A Friendly Server by TheBuggiest
This Is Not A Friendly Server
Disregard 0031 in the background there.  This is my first SFM-rendered poster, and I'm fairly pleased with the result.  Props to Roo, Slytha, and Khepri, who inspired the loadouts here.
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: strong language)

0244 hours, Wednesday, February 14, 1973.

I feel an obligation to record the events of the negotiation so that, in the off-chance that I come away from these happenings intact, I might be able to shed some light on exactly what happened.  I am still having trouble processing what I have seen.

The negotiation itself was not difficult to find.  We simply traveled toward the tank's front door through which I had entered. It seemed most likely that Herr Gray would meet with the mercenaries there as they would not want to come inside and possibly be trapped. We were soon proven correct. As we approached our destination, a good many robots could be seen ahead of us marching in the same direction, most of them Soldiers and Demolitions units and Heavies with some Medicbots as well. Sniper pulled me sideways into an adjoining hallway.  He was frowning.

Sniper unit: Right, here comes the tricky part.
0031: Getting past the other robots without being stopped?
Sniper unit: Something like that.

He peered back around the corner to watch their progress.  I made a throat-clearing noise, which seemed to irritate him.  At least, he squinted his eyes a bit as he looked back over his shoulder to me.

Sniper unit: If you're gonna say something spit it out.
0031: Well, ah, it does not seem likely that they will object to my presence, Sniper.  Perhaps you could wait, und I could go see what is happening.
Sniper unit: And have you run off to help Gray robot-ize the lot of us? Not a chance.

That seemed distinctly unfair.

0031: You know, I have a reason to be unhappy with you as well.  You shot at me.
Sniper unit: Yeah, well I thought you'd run off with my mate's brain. It's a good reason to shoot someone.
0031: But I didn't, und you are still being--
Sniper unit: Just shut your bleeding mouth will you?  I'm trying to think!

I fell silent even though I did not want to.  Sniper peered around the corner again.  It suddenly struck me as odd that he was able to get in without being detected.  Spy can cloak and disguise himself well enough for infiltration, but Sniper's type of stealthiness is not as well suited for it.

0031: Bitte, if it will help, how did you get inside the tank to begin with?
Sniper unit: Scaled up the side and busted one of the windows.
0031: You... but the windows are near the very top of the tank!  How--?
Sniper unit: Had to get in somehow.  Getting out that way ain't gonna be an option though, so we're gonna have go forward to get at the Scout and Gray.

I made a frustrated sighing noise.

0031: Sniper, I think that my suggestion from before is the best one.  You may not like it, but the fact remains that they will not look twice at me, even the ones that know what I have been doing for the past several weeks.  If you wish you can pull further back down the hall und cover me with your bow.  If I betray anyone, well, you will be well placed to deal with me.
Sniper unit: Now that's a thought.
0031: Ja, as I said!  Und look, there is even a crate here.  You can push it into the hall und use it as cover.  Most of these robots are new models.  That means they are very stupid, und if you just keep out of sight you should be all right.
Sniper unit: Well... all right, as I don't seem to have much in the way of options.  You cross us though and I swear to God--
0031: You will kill me in an unpleasant fashion, ja, I know.  Help me to move this crate bitte.

He stopped talking at that point, and between the two of us we managed to move the crate into position.  Afterward I did not wait for him to threaten me some more but wheeled swiftly forward to join with the crowd of my brethren.  They did not notice me, as I predicted.  Herr Gray had commanded them to monitor the mercenaries that had approached the tank.  The machines would not watch the halls behind them unless they had been commanded to do so specifically.

With a bit of maneuvering, I was able to secure a position near the lowered door so I could look out on the scene.  A fog had descended over the trees; it reflected the floodlights from the tank almost like a sheet of frosted glass.  The fence around the base was visible, its gate smashed down, but the buildings behind them had been lost to vapor and darkness.

Six mercenaries stood in the space between the fence and the tank with Miss Pauling at their head.  They were approximately ten meters from where I stood, but the mist was not yet thick enough to obscure their features.  Demoman and Soldier had placed themselves on either side of the group with uncommonly grim countenances.  Their respective grenade and rocket launcher were held by their sides, ready to be brought up into use at a moment's notice.   Heavy stood near the center of the group looking more or less how he usually does outside of battle, impassive and a little grumpy perhaps, his own minigun sitting on the ground to his left.  I felt a guilty feeling when I realized he was half-supporting Herr Medic.  The latter looked as though he might be able to stand on his own, but his eyes were not focused even as they glared murderously in our general direction.  The Pyro and Herr Engineer had positioned themselves near Demoman.  Pyro was holding onto Herr Engineer's arm as though afraid he might run at the tank, but from this distance it was impossible to decipher what Herr Engineer might be thinking about doing.  He seemed almost limp, and his gaze focused itself above all of our heads.  There was no sign of the Spy.

Miss Pauling, for her part, watched the crowd of robots with stiff composure.  It looked as though I had arrived just after she'd finished saying something.  All of the humans seemed expectant, and I had an idea of what they might be waiting for.

Even as I shifted to get a better view, the crowd around me began to part.  I moved to the right, peering curiously at the aisle they had opened up, but any questions I had were quickly answered.  0484 marched through our midst.  He was steering the Scout in front of him.  The Scout's hands were secured behind his back, but for the most part he seemed unharmed; I think he was more embarrassed by his plight than frightened or even angry any more.  When they got to the ground just in front of the tank they stopped.  Miss Pauling looked a bit less tense.

Scout unit: Uh... hey, fellas!  And Miss P, you're looking good and stuff.  

0484 hit him in the back of the head.

Scout unit: Ow, geez, fine!

And then Herr Gray's voice sounded, magnified over the speakers at the top of the tank.  I looked around to see where he was, but I could not find him.  For some reason it irritated me to realize that he was not physically present at the negotiations.  Did he think the mercenaries would try to assassinate him in the middle of a truce?

Then I remembered where Sniper was positioned, and suddenly I was not so sure that he had no reason to fear.

Master Gray: There.  Your friend is alive and just as functional as he ever was.  Are you satisfied?
Miss Pauling: Not really, but it's a start.  What do you want for him?
Master Gray: I think you know what I want.  And shouldn't there be nine of you?

Miss Pauling frowned slightly, and I saw the fingers clutching her gun twitch.

Miss Pauling: It doesn't take nine people to handle a hostage situation.
Master Gray: And it doesn't take more than one to infiltrate a carrier tank, does it?
Miss Pauling: Gray, we came to the negotiations like you wanted whether or not all of us are present.  If you think one of my men could have gotten past the security measures on your tank, then perhaps we should speed this along so you can perform a search.
Master Gray: Or I could kill you, take what I want, and leave without any repercussions whatsoever.

I hesitated.  He was suspicious.  For a moment I considered going back to tell Sniper to run, but Miss Pauling's reply took the conversation in a different direction.

Miss Pauling: You're the one who decided to call for us.  You wouldn't have set this up unless you had something to gain from talking.  Besides, how are you so sure you'd win?  These men have taken your robots down time and time again with just six people, and this time I'm with them.
Master Gray: That counts for so much, I'm sure.  Regardless you are correct in that I would prefer a peaceful solution to this hostage situation.  I can give you your Scout back and leave you in peace if you hand over what you've stolen from me.

The Scout shifted his weight, looking uneasy.  None of the mercenaries seemed happy with this proposition.  Engineer alone stood stock still, just staring up at the loudspeakers while Pyro edged in front of him.  It was impossible to tell what he was thinking.  I sidled my way through the machines to get a bit closer to 0484 and the Scout.

Miss Pauling: Men can't be stolen.
Master Gray: Really now.  I wasn't under the impression that your employer thought much about human rights.
Miss Pauling: You're not talking to the Administrator; you're talking to me.
Master Gray: You represent her and the company she owns.  The man formerly known as Dell Conagher didn't show much loyalty to TF Industries.  Why should you care about what's become of him when the life of another one of its employees hangs in the balance?
Scout unit: (muttered) He's got a point there, you know.

I was close enough to hear the Scout's words, but I do not think anyone else was besides the other robots.  Herr Gray continued.

Master Gray: But those are my terms, as they stand.  Your Scout for unit E-001.  Make your decision.

The mercenaries were silent.  Most of them were looking to Miss Pauling, and she only stared up at the loudspeakers with the utmost rigidity.  Then, to my bewilderment, Herr Engineer pushed Pyro aside and stepped forward.  Miss Pauling spun around, and for a moment I thought she would shoot him on reflex.  She caught herself in time.

Miss Pauling: What are you doing?
E-001: Nothing.  I just got something to say.

His words were not angry, or frightened, or that terrifying defeated tone I have heard him use only once before.  He stepped around Miss Pauling into the space between his teammates and the tank.  Everyone but him was still and quiet as he pushed at the helmet making up the top of his head.  It seemed a very human gesture, something he might have done at any given time before working for Herr Gray but which was only pointless habit now.

E-001: Gray, I've got some terms of my own.
Miss Pauling: No, don't you dare do something--
E-001: It's okay, Miss Pauling.  Just let me talk.

It was a few seconds before Herr Gray responded.  His voice was wary.

Master Gray: You have terms.
E-001: Yeah.  Just between us.
Master Gray: What's that supposed to mean?

Herr Engineer rocked back on his heels, his lights shining up through the fog like beacons.  His next words sounded like nothing more than a statement of fact.

E-001: My terms are that I'm gonna come into that tank.  I'm gonna find where you're holed up in there.  And I'm gonna rip your head clean off your shoulders.

Herr Gray hesitated for the briefest moment before sighing.

Master Gray: I don't think you understand how terms work, exactly.
E-001: Only thing I don't understand is why you expected any of us to listen to what you have to say. You haven't exactly given us a reason to trust you.
Master Gray: You're one to talk.  Ah well, no one can say I didn't try.  It seemed fair to give you a chance to surrender first, but if you have made your decision I have nothing more to say to you.  Goodbye.
Miss Pauling: Hold on Gray, we're not done yet!

Herr Gray did not respond.  He was through talking.  All around me the robots were beginning to mobilize.  Miss Pauling shot Herr Engineer an irritated look and readied her gun, but Soldier pointed into the mist behind them.


I groaned.  At least forty shadowy figures made indistinct by the fog emerged from the trees to flank the mercenaries.  The bursts of light accompanying them signified that at least some of the robots were Pyro units.  Medic started toward them with a hand on his syringe gun, one foot still dragging the ground, but Heavy jerked him back by the arm.  A wild sort of grin crossed Demoman's face as he readied his weapon.

Demolitions unit: What's the plan then, Miss Pauling?  Kill as many of the metal bastards as we can while we're still standing?
Miss Pauling: NO.  Stay alive for as long as possible.  If I tell you to run-- damn it, get back here!  Engineer!

Herr Engineer was walking toward the tank with quick even strides.  Walking, not running.  He had one of his shotguns, I think it was the one he calls the Widowmaker, and as needed he used it to blast robots out of his way. They seemed at a loss as to what to do.  The units looked at each other as they barred his way, only shooting reluctantly, but he showed no such hesitation to attack.  This bewilderment that had taken them at being fired upon by another robot made them easy targets for the sudden explosions no doubt generated from Demoman and Soldier.  A shout from nearby startled me out of my observations.


With a jolt, I remembered the Scout.  I was the only person situated to help him, if anyone was to help him at all.  I spun around against the tide of robots who, to my dismay, had inadvertently been bearing me down the ramp toward the site of conflict.  Even amidst the other metal countenances I picked out 0484 immediately, an erect figure more battle-scarred than the rest.  He was pulling the Scout backwards into the tank.

I squeezed my way between two Heavies and bowled over a hapless Demolitions unit that didn't get out of my way quickly enough.  My line of sight to the Scout was constantly crossed by my brethren, but I could at least see that he was fighting his captor with every ounce of strength he had.  Scout tried to dig his heels into the metal ramp, he kicked at 0484's legs, he writhed and bucked and squirmed, and it did a little bit of good.  0484 had to turn his attention more fully on the human even as the units under his command fell to the mercenaries.


I pushed my way out from between a confused Medical unit and a Soldier to collide with 0484.  He stumbled sideways and let go of the Scout, who regained his balance quickly and turned to face us both.  0484 grabbed my arm and pulled me upright.  I tried to pry his fingers from me.  Medicbots are not built with the same sort of upper body motors found in Soldierbots, unfortunately, and his grip remained firm.

0484: TREASON!
Scout unit: Yo stupid, let him--!

The Scout did not finish his sentence.  I heard a sound I was all too familiar with, a reverberating crack I had come to associate with immediate peril.  Both 0484 and myself were momentarily diverted from our struggle, heads swiveling to find the source of the noise.

The Scout fell forward onto his face.  The back of his head was dark and damp with a fluid that needed no further identification.  He did not stir.

0484 dropped me in surprise and scrambled over to the body.  He seemed as startled by this turn as I felt.  His hand passed over the bullet hole, blood staining his fingers, before he jumped to his feet again and looked back and forth wildly.


I had managed to land on my wheel and began to back away from the body and the Soldier.  I did not process it.  I had to keep thinking of other things and not about what had happened.  That was the only sensible course of action.

Sniper was in the hall.  From the arrows sticking out of some of my fellow robots it seemed he had not been idle.  Therefore, I had to go back and either fetch him or help him in whatever capacity I could, if I wanted him to survive.

Respawn may still be working.  Respawn may still be working, and there is absolutely no point thinking about why the Scout was in his position to start with because there is work to be done.  I am not going to think about it.  I won't.

Anyone else think BLU might actually be helping the Administrator gather Australium as opposed to being just merged into their RED counterparts?


Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
You can call me Buggy. I'm primarily a writer, but I have a degree in biology and also enjoy drawing, origami, and stuff. And, uh... that's me in that picture up there. Except usually I'm not dressed as a praying mantis.

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Add a Comment:
AlithiaSigma Featured By Owner 10 hours ago
'Ey look, it's that fanfic writer! Don't mind me, just browsing. Mostly for images of robot Medics and cyborg birds.
Hedghog2234 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Student Photographer
thanks for the llama! 
Kethavel Featured By Owner May 15, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for comments and fav.
TheBuggiest Featured By Owner May 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
No problem! I've been watching you for a while now, and your stuff's really fun to look at.
PivotShadow Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014
Happy birthday!
TheBuggiest Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hey thanks! I'd say happy birthday to you too, but something tells me that wouldn't make much sense.
PivotShadow Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014
It wouldn't - not until October :J
TheBuggiest Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Well happy half-birthday yesterday then! ^^
KuznyaDragonOfBaa Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy B-Day you buggy pro-writer ;3
TheBuggiest Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
D'aw shucks. cx  Thanks!
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