All characters, original concepts, canon names/traits/occurrences, basic plots, and such other objectives of this story not specifically labeled as otherwise belong to Jetix, Disney, and several individuals of which I am simply too flat out lazy to write the names of because quite frankly it's just too long a list. Certain aspects of this story do not belong to them, however, including general theories as to the nature of Mandarin's leaving the team and all that rot, and the portrayal of the characters, including fan-created scenarios of the past. Those things are mine, and no one else's. I advise against any legal action taken against me for the content of this fanfiction, as I'm relatively impoverished what with being an in-debt college student. You really won't get all that much.
I told myself it was over.
I said I wouldn't come running back.
...I sound like a lovesick idiot, don't I?
Alas, tis oh-so-true. I have a tendency to think I'm a little too...grown up for this place at times. Which, yes, I know that is an incredible show of arrogance. Ah well, the important thing of life is to enjoy it, and I always did enjoy this place, for reasons I cannot quite explain to anyone who holds a decent shred of sanity. Perhaps the idea of being able to post a story here that is almost certain to be seen and given some form of feedback is too much to let go of; since we're all glory-hounds at heart. Or at least I am. I can't vouch for you readers.
Sorry, but I barely know you.
I would like to say that this is my first bit of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go! fanfiction, but that would be something of a lie, seeing as I've hoarded away far, far too many of these snippets for this to even rate in the top ten of the original works. But I like this one, so it will get its own little spot on the Internet. This story was written for two reasons: I wanted to write something from a villain's perspective, and I adore the character Mandarin, if only for his thou-art-inferior ways and the fact that he played Benedict Arnold. I have a soft spot for turncoats.
So enjoy the story...or...well, whatever it is you do.
An Unannounced Homecoming
The Sixth Monkey Returns
The sunrise blazed in glorious splendor above the city-planet of Shuggazoom, demanding the silent attention of the world beneath it, which on most nights managed to bustle restlessly until the wretched hours of early morning. More often than not, at the very least there would have been a small, scattered numbers of couples sitting blissfully underneath the rosy aura of quickly coming morn, but on this dawn, there was an unchallenged quiet. A storm had battered the city late in the night, one that had migrated across the wilderness outside of the vast metropolis to strike in the late night hours. Though the world seemed the fresher for the sudden onslaught of rain and thunder upon it, such an occurrence—as rare as they were—meant that there were no civilian spectators to witness the majestic ascension of the sun into the brightening sky.
Nor did anyone see the struggling figure of a small creature as it forced its feet to move through the deserted streets.
The silhouetted animal swayed gently on its apparently exhausted legs, moving with an ungraceful demeanor that bespoke the fact that all motion was sheer willpower and extraordinary stamina. Hissing breaths were one of the very few sounds echoing through the almost silent city, and every few steps, the stranger's entire form would shudder heavily for a split moment before its owner forced it to move on. It seemed unlikely the injured being would make it anywhere it planned to go if the destination wasn't already close, but such logic was simply discarded without further inquiry.
Sunlight illuminated fire-orange fur as soon as the hobbling form shuffled out into the park, the helmeted head jerking away from the light in pain as pupils drank in the sudden brightness. A small chest that bore dozens of criss-crossed scars of battle heaved, agony rushed through metal and flesh limbs alike until vision swam, but still the legs held and the feet were commanded to move forward, for it was only a little farther now. After so long, surely he could manage a little more distance.
Slender legs buckled without warning, and steel arms shot outward, their owner forgetting for a moment that he no longer had hands of any kind, and thus he truly had little more that broken wires and dented melted to catch himself. The impact jarred him, and the cry he uttered was low and soft, too sudden for him to bite back. The mental reprimand he gave himself was partially lost in the midst of searing aches that coursed through his body as if they were within his very life's blood, and a white muzzle clenched shut to ensure he would not cry out again.
"There is no pain." He growled aloud, his accent reverberating off of the concrete and asphalt, ringing against metal structures and reaching his single working sonic antennae. Morning light now flooded the open space that was Shuggazoom Park, showing the features of the traveler for a nonexistent audience.
Hunched over in the usual fashion of non-sentient primates, it was obvious from his demeanor and the faint sounds of discomfort he made that the diminutive creature had adopted this pose solely because of pain, and that most occasions found him standing as straight as any human would. His face was narrow, especially considering the scarred features gracing it, and dark eyes gazed out at the early morning with a defiant glow of red to their center, though it was dim. The monkey's entire left part of his face seemed to have borne a great deal of damage, for one antennae meant to enhance his hearing was missing entirely, and the ear beneath was crusted with dried blood, along with the cracked lens covering the eye on that side.
Useless arms twitched with the mechanical memory of hands and serviceable digits attached to them; his chest heaved, having been stripped of the armor he had always worn to protect himself for as long as he could remember being a cyborg. His back had been laid open by something with claws that were certainly at least as long as his arm and sharper than most, for the jetpack that had been there was shredded to pieces, and wherever flesh showed there was at least one angry red line running across it.
"Pain is an illusion." The mantra came again, the thick underlay that was his natural voice warbling slightly. Small fangs ground together, and the barely working eyes focused on watching the ground for anything that would cause him to stumble, stubbed arms moving outward just barely to attempt a steadying maneuver as he walked. He felt his legs protest the action more grievously than ever, and almost allowed himself the inane pleasure of telling them to shut up and move. Instead, he used his air for a more worthwhile cause. "Only the weak allow pain to rule them."
One step. Then another.
Until he lost count of the steps, standing in the midst of an open area, and wincing for the city was stirring around him, and he would not have dozens of human looked upon his state before he had had a chance to find a better, more defensive place to hide. His energy was all but spent, and tiredness racked his body relentlessly, forcing his knees to bend further under his weight with each new step that was taken. He shook his head as the corners of his vision began to swim and haze like underwater images, but the movement simply made the effect that much more pronounced, until a headache raged beneath his dented helmet. His bruised ribs objected all too openly as he attempted to deepen his breath enough to meditate, a prospect he'd always disliked, but at the moment he was willing to do almost anything to be rid of the pain. Sheer torment of being, but he would not die; his life was something that was his and only his and it was not to become forfeit in any situation.
But the pain...
"There. Is. No. Pain." He wished he still had claws to dig into the cement. Something to take his mind off of the swimming images of battle and agony, and the fact that his computer uplink to the Robot wasn't working properly, leaving him unable to contact aid or at the very least find out how long he'd been unconscious.
Another step. How many was that?
He stumbled then, falling against a form that was far more solid than he, and as he tried to focus his waning sight, he was able to make out a face that looked straight ahead, paying him absolutely no heed, not even a glance. Too exhausted to be indignant about being ignored, the heavily damaged primate allowed himself a brief respite against those firm legs. If the human wasn't going to say anything, then why should he?
That thought got through, and suddenly he was up and attempting to take an equally defensive and offensive pose to combat the person who was still paying him no mind. Paranoia rushed through him, followed by a dim wave of anger at not immediately being assuaged or confirmed in the matter of his suspicions. Then he stopped, because the features of this man were very familiar to him, and he couldn't think as to why, since for the larger part of his life he hadn't made it a point to know the names of humans in the city.
Oh, yes of course. The Hidden Fortress' access module. It had been designed to look like a common tourist and placed in Shuggazoom Park, wasn't that right? His brain swam and now his body complained treacherously until he scuffled to the nearest supporting column of the park construct. He'd wasted valuable energy allowing himself to be spooked in such a way, and his temper battled his pride within his tired mind.
Ignorant fool. He hissed at himself, not bothering to speak. Now is not the time to jump at shadows. Concentrate. How much farther do you have to go? How much more time do you have?
The helmeted head tilted upward, and a sour face spread across the wane countenance of the spent monkey. A vague wish that he still had a hand to shield his eyes passed fleetingly through him, but he pushed the thought away. There was no time for feeling sorry for himself. The sun was too high already; if it was visible then it was too high.
"Not long now..." He murmured, trying to access his internal calendar and failing miserably. He had no power from his energy cell, no uplink to the only source of information and chance at help, and he was wasting time sitting here, but his legs simply weren't going to move yet. The urge to sleep weighed upon his eyelids, but there would be no rest. He wanted to be awake, had to be. He would not go quietly.
"Ah, so I was correct to suspect that you would come here."
Chilling laughter rushed up his spine and though he wanted to stand as if nothing was wrong and face the much larger creature he knew was standing there with all his hard-won pride and power, there was nothing save a slight turn of that assaulted head and a narrowing of already dim eyes.
"So you were." He wanted to be derisive, but there was no strength for such a luxury. His accent made the words thick, more so than the pain had already made them. But they were understandable, if only just. The face he glared at so weakly broke into a grin wider than usual, toothy and sharp looking as it had always been. He remained unimpressed.
The visage of his mortal enemy did little to frighten him, mostly because it was shown in the most cowardly way. Instead of coming on his own two feet, the loathsome master of evil opted instead to send a searingly white robot covered in faintly glowing lines and fitted with a screen to transfer his image across the distance. It was a familiar monster, one he knew he had seen before, but beyond that nagging déjà vu, there was little to identify it.
"Foolish, filthy primate." The oily voice soothed, slanted eyes gleaming in assured victory. The image fizzed and crackled every so often, but the aura of the ruler of the undead oozed readily from the circuitry of the machine. "There are no allies for you here."
"My brethren are not dead." A statement, grim and weak, but solid in its spoken form even if the speaker was failing. His knees were wobbling inwardly, but he would not lean any further. He would die before he let himself go to his knees before a grinning skull. Die and rot, and eat human food, which unless it was grown in a completely organic state was the vilest substance alive.
"You have not killed them."
This time it was logic fueling his argument, for Shuggazoom was a ghost town, but it was not in ruin. He could hear no one in the streets, but it was early, only six hours before the height of the sun at the very latest because it was winter and the sun rose so much later during that time. It was winter, wasn't it? It had been when he had left for his mission, if he recalled. Any attempt to remember brought flashes of agonizingly vibrant pain to the forefront of his mind. But regardless, he could still smell the scents of people and his working antennae, damaged though it was, could pick up the customary sounds of life. His companions were alive, that much was all too certain; the Skeleton King would never let the city prosper under his control.
"No, but neither have you."
His eyes opened a little at that, but he remained where he was. He doubted he could have moved if he wanted to.
"Nor will I."
"A pity." Two more shapes moved from the first to come to him, and he found himself somewhat insulted. Only two Formless sent to finish him off? He understood the need for silence and quickness, for this was enemy territory to the dark lord and it behooved one to tread lightly on such ground, but surely he merited twelve at least. If not for the sheer act of bringing him down, then at least so that he had some form of honor in the act of it. But only two? He ground his teeth so hard that his gums ached. "I always did enjoy the company of your clones more."
The orange monkey's answer was barely heard, but the intent of the flowing words spoken in the foreign dialect was all too clear in meaning, and the King's grin faded oh-so-slightly. There was a victory in that, however small.
"Dispose of him."
He moved then, leaning backwards hard, for one of the Formless accompanying his enemy swung out a long arm, only missing because of the distance he'd instinctively placed between himself and the long claws the creature possessed. The next attack however, landed hard, connecting with his chest and earning a loud yelp as he was flung backwards, hitting the concrete hard and staying there. One handless arm moved, attempting to give the monkey support in order to raise himself, but a large foot landed hard on the appendage, pinning it down and bending the metal and flesh beneath so that the monkey could not stifle the sharp cry of pain. The other arm was treated in much the same way, as were his legs. A Formless towered on either side of him, and the primate struggled as only the condemned could, voicing outrage at so easily being held down.
He would not be executed in so low a manner!
The looming, white mechanism, TV Monster he nearly growled as the name rushed back to his senses through the blinding pain as his limbs were being crushed, moved forward, the face of the Skeleton King vicious with glee upon its monitor. For a moment, he caught himself wondering how the machine had been fixed, but forgot the question as quickly as it had come. He scowled, roaring the worst combinations of curse words he could manage to think of through the agony, and was only rewarded with a deeper smirk. The bone dictator had won, and he knew it.
"You never did learn."
The right arm of the robot moved forward, and the orange monkey gritted his teeth as the evil creation's limb reformed itself into an energy weapon. A blue glow covered his face, making the eyes beneath his lenses water, but he would not turn his head from death, or close his eyes. He had never backed down in life, and refused to do so now, when that life was coming to an end. If his death was to be dishonorable, then he would not be to blame for it.
"Farewell, to a highly unworthy adversary."
Just as the beam was to fire, Mandarin froze and blinked in the solid millisecond, because he could almost make out—
"Boom Boom WAKE-UP!"
"Cyclo-Chopping DOOM SPIN!"
The Formless on either side of him fell apart like wet sand, and the TV Monster rocked as several more blasts struck it from behind. He'd never approved of attacking an enemy from behind, but even in his remarkably injured state, he could see that this was to lure the creature off of him until he could be moved out of harm's way. Then there would be battle done here. He winced, trying to make his limbs obey, for he would not have himself rescued like a helpless civilian. Perhaps it was arrogant of him, but really, it didn't behoove him to return home on a stretcher of all things.
The robot monster had turned away and was advancing on whichever members of the team going against it had been elected to fight, so he breathed softly and managed to drag himself up off the ground, albeit shakily.
"Whoa there! Can't have you hurting yourself, buddy!"
Strong hands wrapped themselves underneath his arms and jerked him upward, so much that a loud groan caught in his throat as he felt the break in his tail pulled along the ground. Then suddenly he landed hard against the cool concrete, his vision going spotted and blinking as he attempted to focus on the blur above him.
Well, that explained that lack of restraint in handling him.
The blob of white serving as his comrade's mouth moved, but no sound came out, and he accurately decided that the other monkey was making fish faces at him. He wanted to roll his eyes so badly that he almost troubled himself with it. Instead he summoned the last of his precious energy and chose to get the damn primate moving before Skeleton King remembered they were simply standing there and tried sending a blast their way.
It was all he could manage to get out before his system flashed all of the seventeen warning signals that were programmed to appear on the screens on the inside of their lenses before their robotic parts automatically shut down and sent their organic system into a state of suspended animation until repairs and refueling could be accomplished. He agreed to them all grudgingly, for now he was in the care of allies and there wasn't much else he could do but glimpse one last barely clear picture of Otto gaping at him in a manner that could only be taken as incredulous. He gave himself the privilege of being quietly amused.
Well, at least the idiot still knew who he was.
And thus we leave our...hero...to fall into the cold grip of unconsciousness.
...I said I liked Mandarin, guys. I didn't say I would be nice to him. Also, please note that I have no earthly idea as to the timeline of this story. I know it's after the Season Two finale, but perhaps before they actually leave Shuggazoom. Or it may in fact be after Ghosts of Shuggazoom. I repeat: not a clue.
Nor do I know, at all, when it may update, if it does so at all. There's a very good chance that it won't.
I do stuff like that.
Now, I'm going to go indulge in what little life I have...which actually doesn't involve leaving the computer so much as simply not talking to you guys anymore:3 Have a lovely day, night, or rest of whichever mode of time you happen to be suffering at this moment.
Hugs, luffles, and chocolate truffles,