The Replacement – Encouraged by that crazy little voice in my head, screaming: Why did they change Ratchet's voice?

Disclaimer: The entire concept of Ratchet and Clank – the robots, the planets, the storyline, the characters – doesn't belong to me in any way whatsoever. I do, however, have the first game in my PS2 collection. Whoot!

Summary: Clank blinked, and blinked again. "Ratchet. I do believe something may have happened to your voice." (Just a silly little ficlet highlighting a strange theory as to why Ratchet sounds so different in the second game) (One-shot, Parody)

Extra note: This story is set after the first game but about ten minutes before the second one.

- - -

A lone figure stood deserted in the middle of a rocky wasteland, nothing but a tall, blue, out-of-place toilet cubicle to keep them company. A large silver wrench twisted and turned over a small bolt, desperately trying to tighten it. Finally, the sound of that bolt fastening into place echoed over the stubby hills.

The unknown inhabitant sighed in relief and slipped to the ground for a much needed rest, their wrench following suit. "Thank goodness that's over!"

A muffled sound suddenly came from the cubicle, words vaguely along the lines of – "LET ME OUT!" – coming soon after. The one outside growled dangerously and slammed a gloved hand against the blue metal, causing the portable toilet to vibrate. However, that didn't stop whoever was inside from starting to yell again.

"Will you shut up? I'm trying to rest here!"

And that was when a banging joined the yelling. The figure threw one hand over his ear (in a failing attempt to drown them out) while the other reached for the wrench. He stood up quickly and aimed his weapon at the cubicle, getting ready to strike as many times as possible. He was stopped, however, when…

"Ratchet! What are you doing all the way out here? The interview will start in ten minutes!"

All fell silent. Even the banging. The one known as Ratchet dropped his wrench in surprise and turned around to see Clank – his partner in crime – standing there with a grim expression on his face. "Uh, Clank! Oh pal, oh buddy of mine." He smiled a cheesy smile, as though trying to hide a secret, "I was just here… um… doing… stuff?"

Clank blinked, and blinked again. The Lombax watched, hoping beyond hope that his friend wouldn't notice anything too suspicious. Of course, he WAS standing in the middle of nowhere – talking to a toilet. After a few seconds, the robot spoke, "Ratchet. I do believe something may have happened to your voice."

At that, Ratchet sucked in his lips guiltily, thinking quickly for some kind of excuse. "Uh… yeah… ya' see… I have a little bit of a cold!" Yeah, that'll work. "That's all!"

Clank locked him in a stare, causing Ratchet to sweat. The poor Lombax could just see, fell,andeven smell that disbelieving look in those big, green, mechanical eyes. "I do not think a cold could make you sound -" He paused briefly to eye his friend up and down, "- older."

"Heh, Clank! You worry too much! If I say it's a cold, then it's a cold!" Ratchet gave him a wide, forced smile, hoping the whole thing would just blow over.

"And what is that strange compartment behind you?" He moved past the native Veldin resident and tapped lightly on the cold, blue-painted steel. "A urinal, perhaps."

Ratchet pulled a face, "Dude, don't say that word."

"What word? Urinal?"

"Yeah, that one! Now can we just go?"

The small robot took one last quick glance at the toilet cubicle before making his way back over to Ratchet. "I suppose we should."

The Lombax smiled wider. He picked him up and strapped him to his back. "Finally! Lets get out of here!" He crouched slightly and pounced forward, thus activating the thruster pack. Both Ratchet and Clank speed off to their destination, leaving a trail of light grey smoke behind them.

And then that consistent banging started up again.

- - -

Ratchet – the real Ratchet – threw his body against the wall in an effort to knock the door down. No such luck, as he was thrown back. "Why – won't – you – BUDGE!" He screeched, trying again and again to break it down between each angry word. "Gawh! I give up!" He gave it one last hit with a gloved fist, but the door still stood stubborn.

How did this happen? How could it happen? One minute he's back at his garage, tightening a few screws just for the heck of it when BAM, someone hits him on the back of the head – knocking him out – and he wakes up in a… a…

…a stinkin' TOILET!

"Who was that guy anyway? I swear he looked just like me… except not as muscular… and… and… he was wearing my clothes! Where the heck did he get those?" Ratchet bent over to peer through a small hole fixated just under the – missing – doorknob in hopes of confirming his suspicions.

Of course, only a dusty plain of nothing-ness greeted him.

"Hey! Where'd he go?"

- - -


- - -

Well would you look at that! My first shot at humour (and my only story so far where no-one punches anyone else, and there is absolutely NO romance). Hopefully I was successful, but only you, the reader, can be the judge of that.

Now, for the story behind this story. It all started when I hired the second game after only just finishing the first one. I put it in my PS2 and started it up. I couldn't wait to see what story line they had… surely it would be better than the first. And then, during the first cut-scene, Ratchet speaks. And after only three words from him I realize something: They changed Ratchet's voice! I still love the second game, don't get me wrong, it's just - that fact irks me a bit.

Of course, they changed his voice ages ago, so I guess there's nothing that can be done about it now. But still… WHY?

P.S. Oh my GOSH! Clank's eyes are green? I better go fix that…