Coleiosis Productions presents…
A Wall Between A Better You And I
by Cole Bezotte
requested by GeneralRatchet and Sofie Spangenberg
Introduction (PLEASE READ FIRST!)
Believe me, this is something of the modern age of the PlayStation All-Stars fanfic series. Is it the same crap as the oldies? Of course not! This combines the old with the new, like the Ratchet & Clank movie. And believe me, it was a dumb mistake releasing the PS4 game before the movie even came out. TOO MANY SPOILERS!
The productions of today are announced too soon, and people wait for too long until they become extremely impatient. That happened with Finding Dory, Twisted Metal's reboot for the PS3, and even the Sly Cooper movie, which was announced in 2013 and is STILL not in theaters! But as for me, I'm not like that. Once a valid idea has struck my mind, I have no further resistance to fulfill it. Yeah, some stories got cancelled along the road, including the remake of my first ever fanfic, which started the original PSAS series that went downhill as it went along. Twelve whole seasons down the drain, but I could live with it. The age of today is nothing like that.
So you all must be itching to dig right in, eh? Or is it the fault of the Hygienator again? Either way, I hope you enjoy this. This story has been requested by two of my pals, genial GeneralRatchet, and super Sofie Spangenberg.
A Wall Between A Better You And I
It was 7:00 a.m.
Ratchet stood in front of a mirror, holding a cup of shaving cream in one hand, and a brush in the other. It was the night before that he heard the news of the victory of Donna and Mega Man; he planned on meeting them soon once he was ready. Currently on the planet Veldin, he was back at his old home attached to the garage. His old friend Grimroth Razz once owned that place as he ran his business of repairing vehicles, either ships or speeders. The place grew empty once again, especially after the time Ratchet and Pupuru defeated Needles and the Polygon Man (as seen from "Rise of the Reaper").
Yes, Ratchet was constantly reminded of that time when the Polygon Man commanded Veldin's atmosphere to pour snow down upon the desert land. The brave Lombax, with Pupuru as his companion, struggled through the battle against Mr. Grimm in his human form, though they knew little that he was indeed Grimroth Razz reborn in a new appearance.
But now was the time to forget about it. For now, Ratchet had to trim his thick eyebrows and get rid of the coat of hair on his tongue. (Impossible, right?)
"I see you may need some help," spoke a voice more familiar than anyone else's. It was Ratchet's best friend Clank. "Doing it singlehanded may be too difficult for you."
"Go ahead and get the razor," Ratchet replied, spreading some shaving cream across his eyebrows. "And make sure to do it ever so lightly."
Clank used the edge of the razor blades to shave off the loose hairs of Ratchet's eyebrows, doing the work as light as he could. Once that process was finished, the eyebrows had lost many hairs, but were still visible enough for Ratchet to show his expressions. Ratchet then stuck out his tongue for Clank to spread shaving cream across it. Then, with the razor blades, he cut the hairs off with one swipe, clearing it of all distractions and troubles.
"You better get dressed," Clank said, handing the razor back over to Ratchet. "Agent Shepherd is waiting for us."
"Wait a minute!" Ratchet interrupted. "Wait a MINUTE!" Quickly, he dipped the brush back into the cup of shaving cream and held it at Clank's face. "Open your mouth and say AHH!"
To return the favor of the joke before Ratchet could put it into action, Clank shoved the brush into Ratchet's mouth.
Perhaps I should properly tell of what happened the night before.
Sitting at a desk was a long-haired man, sporting a luxurious tuxedo of gray, and with a red necktie. He was at the top floor of his tower, the very building that struck fear into the hearts of the people that passed by. They knew it was he who created the destructive competition known to the world as Twisted Metal; they knew the man's name was none other than Calypso. The sign on the building read CALYPSO INDUSTRIES, which is where he worked to prepare for the Twisted Metal contest each year, and to grant the winner his or her prize, whatever it may be.
The winner approached him; there was the fiendish clown Needles himself, standing right in front of him, ready to demand his reward. But in his right arm, he held the dangling body of a young Lombax he had captured during the deadly battle. And that Lombax was the one everyone knew as Donna, now a captive of the freak who challenged her in battle.
Donna's weak eyes forced themselves to pry open; the blur began to fade away, clearing her vision. The first thing she saw was a shelf on the right side of the room, displaying many items that Calypso had obtained from the fallen contestants of past Twisted Metal sessions. And among these "trophies" were Sly Cooper's cane, Sir Daniel Fortesque's sword, Kratos' blades of chaos, Mr. Grimm's sickle, a RYNO, Nathan Drake's archaeologist notebook, Solid Snake's headband, and finally an Omniwrench.
Donna could not move at all; so much of the battle had weakened her and drained her of her strength. Needles' attacks on her made her feel worse; she could not speak, not even cry out. All she could do was panic on the inside, knowing that she was at the mercy of Calypso and this scourge of the living.
"I've done everything…" Needles spoke. "The contest is over. It's time for you to give me the goods."
"You've succeeded…" Calypso hissed in reply. "What do you desire as your prize?"
"I want you to take me to where Pupuru has been hiding all this time. She can't get away from me again! My main objective was to slay her, and the Lombax race got in the way of everything. Now that I'm about to finish the last one off right here and now, my success will become sweeter than ever!"
"Your wish…" Calypso replied, "…is granted…!"
Those were the last words Donna heard before she felt one more sudden burst of pain. It felt as if Needles had dropped his machete into her side, finishing her off. Darkness began to cloud over her; but once the room was completely dark, Donna found herself in her bedroom once again. It was only a dream, now that she realized it.
"She must be in danger!" she thought as she hurried to Pupuru's room. "I can't let this happen!"
But when she opened the door to her friend's room, she saw Pupuru sleeping in her bed peacefully, safe and sound. Donna crept out of there quickly, realizing that nothing was wrong, at least for the time being. "Things have been very uneasy ever since Ratchet left," she thought silently. "Pupuru may become an easier target for Needles now that he's gone. But I'm still here for her… I don't want anything dangerous to happen to her. I did hear that Ratchet will be visiting us in the morning; he must be very excited to hear the details about our last battle. And won't Lan Hikari be so eager to tell of EVERYTHING…definitely! Man, I'm so tired… It's back to sleep for me…"
Now we return to the present time.
Ratchet arrived at the door of the League of Heroes' mansion (same freaking phrase over and over again), where an impatient Agent Shepherd sat at the left end of the couch with young Lan Hikari, while Donna sat at the right end. The nervous Lombax thought carefully as he walked into the living room: "Shepherd hates to be kept waiting…especially by me. I hate seeing him with that grumpy face—you'd know something's up…!"
"It's about time!" Agent Shepherd spoke, folding his arms.
"Hello, Shepherd!" Ratchet replied. "Sorry to have kept you waiting."
"I'll bet you are. I came to discuss the recent battle against Needles, his plan put out of effort thanks to four brave ones. Too bad you weren't here to see their victory. They were superb!"
"You missed so much!" Lan shouted in excitement. "The REAL action didn't happen until Mega Man and I cross-fused! THAT's when we were gaining the upper hand! The Mega Buster made that clown freak look like a total fool, slipping on his own invention and destroying it!"
"Please, calm down!" Shepherd interrupted. "It is better that we explain it in full detail instead of cutting right to your part, which is really the end of it."
"Oh come on! I was the hypnotized captive under his influence! Can't you give me full credit for that?"
"Knew it!" Donna thought silently, but with a smile. "He's gotten in over his head. Hmmm… it's nice to see Ratchet after a while, but something's still bothering me about it. Maybe it's just the conflict he had with Sly Cooper before leaving the group. I hope he doesn't stir up anymore trouble; it's one of the last things I'd want to see."
After the whole story was covered, Agent Shepherd changed the subject, especially for Ratchet. "This message was sent to you…" he explained, "…but little does he know you're not part of the group anymore. It's from the mysterious man known as Calypso, inviting you to compete in the Twisted Metal tournament. And he says he's sent a copy of this challenge to all the country's newspapers!"
"How can I accept?" Ratchet replied. "I know I've done this thing before against Billy Ray Stillwell, the freak who murdered my mother! (as seen from "Shattered Innocence") But this is different! I'm going against all these other people who are foolish enough to compete just for a prize they die for. And yet…I can think of a good reason why I might join… My old friend Grimroth Razz is still out there. He may or may not have escaped from the depths of Greymoor Cemetery. He's still in his evil form of Mr. Grimm, holding the powerful Cosmic Key. And if there's anything I would want, it would be to have my friend back! Of course, my parents also come to mind…but perhaps I should save it for another good time.
"You MUST accept this challenge!" Agent Shepherd continued. "It's a matter of pride and prestige…to prove that we are not afraid to face this enemy and defeat him!"
"Yet, would it be better to fight and lose…than to stand branded as a coward? That's one question I must find the answer to…"
And at that same time, Calypso himself continued to urge Ratchet into taking part of his contest. But at the same time, he searched for other competitors to join in and fight for the prize. The news camera in front of him recorded his following speech, which was projected on every television around the world.
"Greetings!" he spoke. "My name is Calypso. Each year, I gather the twelve worthiest drivers to face off in each year's competition. They must face each other—and some of my friends—to claim their ultimate prize. I grant a single wish: whatever the victor's heart may possibly desire. And to the losers…death! Welcome to Twisted Metal!"
Later that night, during Ratchet's registration into the tournament, a new scene took place at Interpol HQ. At Paris, France, Carmelita Fox sat at her desk, knowing that Sly Cooper had gone back to his ways of thievery, and that he may be causing some trouble once again.
"I just don't get that raccoon…" she thought aloud while a dim light from the lamp above shone upon her desk. "I don't get him one bit…"
Only a few mere minutes passed before a sudden sound could be heard from the hall. The footsteps began to grow louder, the eerie feeling urging Carmelita to reach into her drawer and draw out her shock pistol. "If that's Sly…" she continued, "…then he's too naïve to think stealing the contents of this safe could be easy."
"If you thought I was Sly…" spoke a dark, gruff voice as the figure fully appeared and stepped into the room, "…then why didn't I climb the pipes, or slide down the chimney, or even steal the keys to the windows? Certainly your boyfriend doesn't KILL anyone with that cane of his, does he?"
Carmelita finally realized that his intruder was not whom she thought it was at all. This was someone far more menacing than anyone she had faced before. This was the one who wore that horrid clown mask, as he held his sharp and deadly machete in hand. The fire on his head blazed wildly as his rage increased. Quickly, he reached out his gloved hand to grab Carmelita by the neck and hurl her out the window.
Carmelita held tightly to a nearby pipe outside the building, before she could fall any further and hit the ground. Some of the shattered glass from the window cut through her, some other pieces stuck to her. Her bleeding face struggled to look up and see what was going on; she needed to know what Needles was after.
Suddenly, she saw a mild explosion extrude from her office. Needles had used a time bomb to blow open the steel safe and empty it of its contents. And what he found was just what he was looking for to start his latest diabolical scheme: the Dimensionator.
Before all this happened, Ratchet had placed the Dimensionator in Interpol's hands for safekeeping. Now the devilish clown had it. The only thing Carmelita could remember before climbing back into her office and blacking out was the sound of Needles' truck driving away into the night.
"There's been a struggle!" Agent Shepherd announced that same night. "A doctor contacted me just now, saying that Needles had stolen a valuable item from Interpol HQ. The Dimensionator has been taken, and he may be planning to use it for his own purposes. I don't know where he could possibly want to travel to with it."
"But I know for sure…" Donna replied, shaken and worried. "He'll find that realm where the rest of the Lombax race lives! He's bound to continue what Emperor Tachyon had started! And if someone is going to stop him where he is, it has to be ME!"
"You can't go alone, the rest of the League of Heroes needs you."
"It's a risk I'm willing to take. If he's going to kill anymore Lombaxes, then he should be DEFEATED by a Lombax. I'm going to stop him, just as I had defeated him many times before."
Lan looked very worried. Seeing Donna walk out very quickly was not a good sight for him, especially when there are mixed feelings of stress and gloom involved. "Wait!" he exclaimed, stopping her in her tracks. "Let us come with you! Mega Man and I can help…"
"Lan, please!" Donna interrupted. "I can't be stopped now. I'm sorry, I really appreciate you volunteering for help, but I must do this alone. I hope you understand…" And with those words said, she gave Lan a small kill on his right cheek, then walked out the door, leaving him in wonder.
Meanwhile, Ratchet prepared a new model of the car known as Spectre, mounting two machine guns on each side. Stored in the other compartments of the vehicle were missiles of various kinds, some homing, some others firing straight ahead but with more power. As he filled the trunk with barrels of gas, the thoughts of Grimroth Razz continued to haunt him still, as the only image he could think of was his form of the Grim Reaper. "I hope I'm doing the right thing…" he thought, as a tear formed in his left eye. "And if I must die in this contest…let it be with honor…"
So off he sped into the L.A. night, seeking the empty, wide battleground where he would meet his awaiting opponents. Deep inside, Ratchet began to feel like this would be a very long night.
And at that same time, Donna desperately took the powerful Time Cube and used it to travel to that dimension in the universe, where the rest of her endangered race dwelled. She was hoping to find her kind unharmed and without any damage, and that Needles would be farther away from them. But instead, a rather nasty surprise was the first sight that she received once the hatch door opened. A few bleeding Lombax bodies lied upon the dry ground, motionless and without any sign of life within them.
"He's gone too far this time!" Donna thought out loud, gripping a falling Omniwrench very tightly in rage. "He'll pay for all this! I swear I'll use this thing to twist his neck!"
Right then and there, somewhere far off in the distance, she heard the cry of a male Lombax screaming for help. "No, please!" he cried. "Get away from us!"
"Shut up and bleed, you motherf*&%!" replied the harsh, devilish voice of Needles.
The next thing Donna heard was the man screaming in pain as the deadly blade of Needles' machete landed upon him. As the tears began to form in her eyes, she followed the direction of the harsh sounds to where Needles was. All she could ever think about was vengeance upon the fiend who was truly her worst nemesis.
"Where's my daddy?!" cried another voice. It was a young girl whose left ear was held by Needles' strong hand, with the blade held at his neck. "What did you do to my daddy?!"
"Sorry, sweetheart…" Needles hissed in reply. "But daddy's been dead for a while now… And he's never coming back!"
"But neither are YOU!" shouted Donna in interruption, whacking Needles' hand with the wrench as hard as she could. Needles exclaimed in pain as he dropped the machete, gripping his wrist with his other hand to calm the impact. It was enough of a diversion for the girl to run off and escape, while Donna took the matters into her own hands.
"How did you get here?!" Needles hissed, grabbing his machete again. "What does it take to get rid of you?!"
"That's what I should be asking YOU!" Donna replied. "You've tormented my people for too long!"
"Honey, you don't get the half of it… A keen killing instinct is all I need to fulfill my dream. Destroying those who defy me, or those who do good, are the ones that deserve the pain. It's what the man who dwells in the depths desires of me. He helped form a part of me within Pupuru's dream. But somehow…somewhere deep inside of me, I am ever so grateful to be doing this on my own. And so, little Donna… YOUR HEAD IS MINE!"
Needles raised his machete as high as he could, then brought it back down with full force, using both his hands. Donna luckily blocked the attack with the wrench; but she was weakened by her feelings of anguish and disgust, she was unable to hold it for long. The machete scraped across one of her long ears, leaving an ugly scar. Both metallic weapons clashed with each other, one strike after another, after another. The anger of both combatants drove them on to fight even harder, but the insanity began to set in, proving that at no one would win the battle at this rate.
But Needles began to prove himself as Donna's master in combat. The unending fury within him brought him closer to his victory, as he left more scars upon his opponent. Donna was at the stage were she was weary from the battle and the many injuries brought upon her. It seemed she could not revive herself and stand to fight once again.
"Finally!" Needles exclaimed. "It's about time you gave up! I'm about to make my wish come true! I'll shove your head in my ice box, and we'll be together FOREVER!"
At the top floor of Calypso Industries, the mysterious man waited for the one person to appear and demand the desired reward from him. Calypso himself was there, listening to the weakening footsteps of the one who had conquered over his enemies in this competition. There was Ratchet, bleeding and bruised from being constantly tossed around by his opponents. He had to crawl his way out of the wreckage of his car, but he had still won the battle.
"Well, then…" Calypso spoke, turning to see Ratchet. "Apparently, the winner of my contest is a corpse that is about to rot."
"That sounds too familiar," Ratchet thought, struggling to keep himself on his feet. "That's right… he said it in the dream! But I can't stall any longer. I must have Grim back!"
"While you were signing up…" Calypso continued, "…you neglected to tell me what your wish is. Now is the time to say so, for I do not intend to wait any longer."
"Calypso…" Ratchet replied, leaning over Calypso's desk. "I need your help. My friend Grimroth Razz is still alive, but not in the way he should be. Please, bring him back to me, in the lovable way he was before. I don't want him as the Grim Reaper anymore. I want him back as my old friend!"
Raising his hands and summoning his powers, Calypso replied: "Perhaps it is more fitting for someone to replace him in his underground tomb. Your wish is granted…"
Ratchet shielded his eyes from the bright red light that engulfed the room; excitement caused his heart to beat even faster. This was the time to prepare for what he had fought for. Once the light faded, Ratchet opened his eyes to see his prize right in front of him. There he was, Grimroth, back to his normal form. No sign of the Grim Reaper was present.
"You did it…!" Ratchet whimpered. "Welcome back, Grim…"
And as for the "replacement" that Calypso spoke of, he found a very undesired surprise. Calypso had used his powers to snatch Needles from the void and back on the Earth, buried deep underground, at Greymoor Cemetery. He had replaced Grim as Calypso had promised. "What happened?!" Needles exclaimed. "How did I get here?! I swear someone's playing with me on purpose! I will find you! I will cut your head off, do you hear me!? YOU WILL FEAR MY NAME!"
Little did he or anyone else even know that the Cosmic Key was right below him. Perhaps one day he will notice it and harness its power. No one knew for sure…
Thank you all very much for reading this, for it means so much to me. Special thanks go to GeneralRatchet and Sofie Spangenberg for requesting this story. I love you all!