Teufort, New Mexico
Another day, another bloodbath.
To an outsider, Teufort looked like two farms facing each other, with a water-filled ditch separating them. A bridge had been built in the ditch so that the "farms" could "do business" with each other. Other than the fact that the middle of the New Mexico desert wasn't exactly a prime place to farm in, there was nothing suspicious about the place.
That is, unless the outsider in question was completely deaf and his eyes had some rare disease that made them completely unable to register weapons. And even then, the outsider was sure to notice there didn't seem to be much farming going on.
Yes, Teufort the farming community was an unconvincing cover for the two opposing military bases stationed there; one for the Reliable Excavation Demolition Company, and one for the Builder's League United. RED and BLU, respectively. These two companies were eternally at war with each other, both companies hiring teams of bloodthirsty mercs with the purpose of making off with precious intelligence briefcases.
One such mercenary appeared from seemingly nowhere in a sterile, white room that looked out of place in the bloodstained warzone outside, often littered with body parts. Years back, when the companies were having legal troubles when hiring mercenaries, Mr. Redmond of RED and Mr. Blutarch of BLU had contacted their respective team's Engineers with the task of making a machine that defied death, similar to the one Radigan Cohnager had built for them both many years ago, but less faulty and with a system that worked for multiple people. So they set off on their tasks and one week, two hours and twenty-seven seconds later, respawn was born.
The respawn room contained nine storage lockers, each stuffed to the brim with the mercenaries accumulated weapons, hats, badges, hats, duel challenge forms, and hats. To the left of these lockers was a single resupply cabinet, which held a seemingly infinite supply of first aid kits and ammunition. To the right was a fridge where many of the team's things were stored; the Scout's Bonk!, the Heavy's sandviches, the Demoman's scrumpy, and Medic's frozen organ collection.
Recently respawned, the Demoman opened the refrigerator and grabbed a bottle of scrumpy, stowing it away before leaving the room. The heavy iron door designed to keep the enemy out of their spawn room opened automatically and he set off. The one-eyed Scotsman ran down the stairs leading to the courtyard and took a left, exiting into the main entrance/exit hall of his base and launching a pipe bomb at an unfortunate enemy Scout, who gibbed into many pieces on contact with the explosive. As he exited the building, he took out his sticky-bomb launcher and shot a mine in front of him. As soon as he ran underneath the mine, he detonated it, stickyjumping across the moat at a higher speed than he would have if he had simply ran across the bridge.
The layout of the opposite base was exactly the same as his own—the only recognizable difference would be the overall color scheme of the base and the positions of the hired guns inside. So, of course, the self-proclaimed "black Scottish Cyclops" was able to easily navigate the hallways, stopping just outside the courtyard as he heard the familiar beep of a sentry. Demo listened. Three beeps. That meant a Level 3 Sentry was up. He flattened himself against the wall and peeked around the doorway. The dual-minigun and rocket launcher-equipped machine, set up on the stairs directly below an entrance to the intel room, gave off a warning beep as it swiveled to face the Scotsman. He quickly retracted his head before it fired, bullets piercing the wall in the place of Demo's brains. He thought for a moment. Stickies would get rid of the sentry faster, but if someone came down to try and save the machine, he'd have to rely on his pipe bombs, which were mostly useless if they didn't score a direct hit. He pulled out his stickybomb launcher and plastered the doorframe with sticky mines, to be set off if anyone got any bright ideas about flanking him. Demo kept the detonator at hand and pulled out his grenade launcher, reloading it to replace the single grenade that had killed the enemy Scout. He poked his hand around the corner and fired in the general direction of the sentry. After two bombs went off, Demoman heard a thud and footsteps approaching him. Someone had dropped down the hole in the other respawn room leading to a narrow corridor which led to the courtyard and, if one was going that way, the entry/exit hall. Demo peeked to the right out of the corner of his eye and saw a portly man in a full-body blue Asbestos suit heading his way.
Were the Pyros portly? Because they never took their suits and masks off, for all he knew the mumbling firebugs were simply wearing an ill-fitting suit.
That was a question for another day, however; what mattered at the moment was that the pyromaniac had designs on creating extra-crispy Cyclops. Demo played dumb for a moment, pretending to focus on the sentry while keeping an eye on the Pyro, and the second he passed under that doorway…
"OW'S THAT FEEL, YA BLOCKHEAD?" The RED Demoman's gleeful cries could be heard through the BLU base as he set off a sticky-bomb trap, killing the resident Pyro. Said Pyro had come to attempt to stop the Scotsman from destroying their Engineer's sentry. Sparks shooting from the machine clearly showed the results of the Demo's continuing assault, and had caused some of its innards to catch fire. The Demoman had a swig of scrumpy before launching more pipe bombs at the sentry.
The Engineer who built this sentry was currently having a discussion with the BLU Spy. "Now, Spah, this is a prototype. It's very fragile and could easily break if you handle it wrong." He handed Spy a sapper - a metallic box connected to two magnets, designed to short-circuit and destroy RED technology in a matter of seconds. When used en-masse by an expert, a whole base's defenses can be brought down in one fell swoop, allowing other team members to assault it directly.
The Frenchman blew a ring of smoke from his cigarette before crushing it under his foot. "Laborer, please. What do you zink I am, some sort of amateur?" The Frenchman took a cigarette out from his disguise case. "Got a light?"
"Spah, I think your smoking habit can wait until I explain how it works. Now, this works just like any other sapper except for two things: in order to sap, you must place it very specifically, and when it does sap, it stores the energy it absorbs and doesn't self-destruct once the thing it's sapping is destroyed. It's got a gauge that indicates how much charge the sapper has built up, and when that gauge is full, it's ready to deploy." Engineer pointed to the gauge on the sapper that had previously served no noticeable purpose. "When it's full, ah want you to report straight back t'me, ya hear? No capping the intel—it would make you too much of a target and ruin the plan. When y'all get back, place the sapper on one 'a my machines."
Spy raised an eyebrow. "You…want me to destroy your things? Laborer, I appreciate your concern for my score, but wouldn't zis only hamper ze defense effort?"
Engineer shook his head. "Lemme finish, Spah. Put it on backwards. This activates the secondary mode I implemented which will deposit the electricity it's sapped into the machine it's attached to, supercharging it. Once supercharged, a building will work far better than it could regularly; dispensers will generate metal and give health faster, Sentries will fire faster than I could ever get it to fire with the Wrangler, and Teleporters will charge almost instantly, allowing for mass transportation of a large offensive force nearly instantly. The one universal effect is an increased amount of punishment the building can take, of course." Engie handed Spy an earpiece. "Now, you keep this on, Spah. With this, I can contact you if I need help, and you can contact me once the sapper is ready. Remember: report straight back to me once ya done, ya hear? Ah want that thing field-tested as soon as possible."
"Yes, yes, you can count on me, Laborer. Just remember you owe me that light after zis." Spy replaced the cigarette in his disguise case.
A beep was emitted from the Engineer's PDA. "See ya later, Spah. Ah gotta go fix mah sentry." Engineer ran off.
"Let's just get zis over with, Laborer." Spy selected a disguise from his kit, cloaked, and went outside.
The Infirmary: Where injuries that cannot be fixed by the Medigun are treated. Conveniently located by the entrance to the battlements so that once the injury is treated, the combatants can go right back to the battle.
"Ach, Heavy, vhat have I told about playing vis ze rattlesnakes? You know zat I have not implemented ze antivenin in my medigun yet." RED Medic was searching around in a cupboard.
"Doktor, they are such tiny animals. I do not see how such a tiny and thin animal could—" Heavy winced as a wave of pain went through his body. "—could be so dangerous."
Medic tittered. "Vell, now you know, don't you?"
Heavy chuckled. "Do not vorry, doctor. Will not happen again."
"Vell, I should hope so. Zis antivenin is proving most difficult to find…" Medic grumbled as he closed the cupboard he was looking through. "No, not there…maybe in zat vone…" He opened another cupboard and began searching.
RED Intel room
RED Engineer surveyed his work. Level 3 Dispenser. Check. Level 3 Sentry. Check. These things in the corner. Check. Just one more thing needed…
BLU Spy, disguised as a RED Pyro, walked into the room. Engie broke into a wide grin. "Pyro! Right on cue! Ah'm gonna go out and build a Teleporter down in the BLU Sewers, but there's a Spah around. D'you think y'all could spycheck by my machines until I get back?" Spy, wishing to keep up his disguise nodded. Engie clapped him on the back. "Ah knew I could count on you. See ya later." He ran off.
Spy waited until he was sure the Engineer was over in his sewers and then sapped the Sentry. He waited until the sentry was destroyed, located the sapper in the rubble and placed it on the dispenser. Spy was getting nervous by now; the Engineer knew he was there most definitely and was now probably close. The dispenser was finally destroyed and he picked the sapper up and checked the meter. Full.
The red-clad Texan banged relentlessly on his teleporter when a beep was emitted from his PDA. He jumped and gave the teleporter one last whack before he checked the device and immediately his mood took a turn for the worse when he saw what the PDA had to tell him. "Spah sappin' mah sentry!" He ran off back to his base, leaving his teleporter alone.
A few minutes later the teleporter gave off a spark and a energy control valve, accidentally damaged by the startled Engineer, fell off and clattered onto the floor.
RED Intel room
Static came in from his earpiece and then a voice came in over it. "Spah, ah've got a situation here. What's yer situation? Over."
"Everything is going according to ze plan, Laborer. I am heading over zere now. Over."
"Well, hurry the hell up, Spah! I'm takin' heavy fire! Over and out!" Gunfire and explosions were heard over the earpiece.
"Oh, quit whining, Laborer…" Spy muttered before running out of the Intel room.
"Ah, here we are…" Medic produced a syringe full of milky liquid from a cupboard. "Zis vill only sting for a second, Freund Heavy, so try not to…vhat is ze phrase Herr Engineer likes so much…ah, yes, 'squeal like a stuck pig'."
"Doktor, I am not baby, like Scout. I can take it." He winced as Medic injected the antivenin into him. "See? Does not hurt."
"Ja, ja, wunderbar…" Medic refilled the syringe and replaced it into the cupboard. "Ze antivenin vill take a little bit to vork its work its way through your system, so try not to strain yourself, mein freund."
"Da." Heavy picked up Sascha and walked for the door.
"Vell, I vould like to accompany you to ze BLU base, but I hear Herr Engineer's teleporter upstairs. I vill check if anyone needs ze healing up there and then take ze teleporter." Medic picked up his weapons and Medigun and left.
"See you on other side, doktor." Heavy went the other way and exited outside. As he left, he saw a faint blue silhouette he hated so very, very much. "I Spy vis my little eye!"
Spy, after taking a few bullets, looked behind him. "Merde." He pulled out his revolver, uncloaked and tried to get a few shots at him—no need to keep up the charade. After a few minutes of gunfire, Heavy was mildly wounded and the Spy was close to death before Lady Luck smiled upon him. Heavy's arm seized up from Minigun recoil and he dropped Sascha in surprise. The last words Medic had said to him rang through his head: "Try not to strain yourself, mein freund." Well, this would certainly be the last time he didn't listen to the doctor.
Spy, happy for the lucky break, laughed and straightened his tie. "Feel zat? It's your muscles, crying out for some exercise, fatty!" He cloaked and jumped into the sewers.
In the sewer tunnels, Spy ran for a health kit until he saw the RED Engineer's teleporter. Temptation raced through his mind—he had never had to resist sapping an unguarded building before. He radioed in on his earpiece. "Laborer, what's your situation? Over."
"Not much better, Spah. They got a Medic up here and if y'all don't hurry yer ass up, superchargin' ain't gonna be worth that much! Don't call me unless it's somethin' life-threatenin'! Over and out!" Spy caught fragments of sentence from the RED Soldier in the background. "…right…hide behind your sissy toys…call for help…die, maggot!"
That cinched it. No dallying on this one. Spy ran down the hallway and was about to turn the corner when—
"BONK!" Spy felt the agonizing sensation of his brains being bashed in for a second before he fell over and died.
"Oh, man, you shoulda seen yerself! Tryin' ta sneak up on us, eh? Yeah, dat's right, dat's what ya get when you mess wit us! You were like, 'Oh, lookit me, I'm da BLU Spy and I'm French an' crap!' and den I was like—" The RED Scout hit his bat against the wall. "'BONK!' and den you died. Yeah, yer fancy suit don't stop my bat, does it? I mean, it was like a car crash in slow motion. It's like I was watchin' ya fly through a windshield." The RED Scout grandstanded and bragged as usual before collapsing on the wall in a fit of laughter. "Dohoho, hohohoho…yeah, yeah…"
Unnoticed by the RED Scout, momentum carried the sapper out of Spy's hands and it landed on the Engie's teleporter backwards. Scout finished his fit of shadenfreude and was about to leave when he finally noticed the supercharged teleporter. "Aw, jeez…frickin' Spy, goin' around and sappin Engie's crap…well, seems ta be workin' even better now, so I dunno why Engie'd be complainin'. Dude owes me some Bonk! Atomic Punch fer dis."
RED Pyro ran through the RED Base, putting up a constant firewall in front of him to try to catch the BLU Spy. The Spy had infiltrated the Intel room, disguised as him, and sapped the Engineer's buildings. One by one for some reason. Odd, but Spy had always had a reason for his actions. No doubt some kind of nefarious scheme. He would have to watch his back for at least a while after he was done with his sweep. Even more suspicious, he had neglected to take the intelligence. Pyro had always thought his best friend was a bit paranoid about Spies, but he had to admit this was the most suspicious activity the Spy had ever been up to. As he got outside the spawn room, he stopped as the ground rumbled beneath his feet. "Hrmmph?" Teufort didn't get that many earthquakes, at least, not in the time he'd lived there. Pyro walked out onto the Sniper deck to have a look-see, try to find out if the BLU Demoman had put one too many bombs under his feet while trying to stickyjump up to the deck again. He was greeted with the sight of the Heavy grumbling about something and jumping into the sewers. Right as he landed in the water, a tiny splash went up inches away from the Heavy. Pyro looked straight up to see the BLU Sniper reloading his rifle and grumbling—probably about missing the Heavy. Pyro got out his flare gun to try to catch the Sniper unawares.
Just before he was about to fire, Sniper decided to try to keep tabs on the RED Base again. An Australian voice rang out across the gap. "G'day!" Pyro dived behind cover just before a gunshot rang out and a bullet hole appeared on the wall where the firebug's head had once been. Pyro wiped imaginary sweat off his mask. "Phhewh!" He ran off to continue his firewall work—it was safer to continue with his sweep than get in a flare-bullet war with the BLU Sniper.
BLU Sniper Deck
BLU Sniper watched the bridge like a hawk. The RED Heavy had just come out of the base and opened fire on his Spy, but as he had gotten under the cover of the bridge quickly enough, the bushman couldn't provide him with cover. That had been about ten minutes ago. Sniper supposed they could have been doing anything down there except fighting. Maybe having tea. He swore he could hear a vulture screech overhead as the sun beat down on his slouch hat. Finally, the Heavy decided to get the bloody hell on with the match and jump out into the water. "There we go…"
Sniper pulled the trigger on his rifle just as the ground rumbled, throwing his shot far off-target and ensuring the Heavy's safety. "Agh, bloody hell, mate…did you make a deal with the Devil down there?" Sniper grumbled as he loaded another bullet into his rifle. "You just got lucky enough…" God, he was thirsty. He'd spent hours out in the hot sun while his Engie was probably getting some refreshing lemonade from his Dispenser. Sniper hated the summer days. He rummaged around in his pockets and pulled out some Jarate. "Naah, I ain't that thirsty…" He stowed it back away before a flash of red caught his eye and he looked back at the Sniper deck opposite him. The RED Pyro had decided to get sneaky on him. He looked through the scope of his rifle, quickly getting the firebug's head in his crosshairs. "G'Day!" He fired again and…missed. The Pyro had decided that he valued his own head. To be fair, it probably wasn't the best idea to announce that he knew he was there. This just wasn't his day—only two wankers had lost their heads today. The ground rumbled beneath his feet again and he was just thinking that the Earth did not like him today when he heard something collapsing downstairs. "Holy dooley…if I catch that bomb-lobbin' drunkie wanka, I don't care whose team he's on, I'm wringing his bloody neck…" Sniper left to check the first floor.
RED Heavy sat on Sascha, opting to simply wait until the cramps cleared up. Why did he always have to do the exact opposite of what Medic told him to do? Medic tells him to slow down, he tries to run faster. Medic tells him to quit wasting time spychecking him and kill the guy with his Intel; he goes right ahead punching him. That was justified, though; that time he really was a Spy trying to backstab him. Filthy Frenchmen. Of all the ways to kill, he picked the least honorable. He would certainly be in the lowest caste in Mother Russia if she were not a communist country. Equality for all there; at least, more than the United States of America could say. Despite being a "free country that commie maggots like you can never hope to corrupt", as Soldier claimed, you were looked down upon in the United States for being a Russian. Before he could muse more about how much better Russia was than the USA, he noticed his cramps had cleared up. Enough sitting there like a coward and doing nothing. Time to fight.
Heavy decided to jump down into the sewers; the enemy Sniper had more than likely heard the commotion and was watching the exit of the bridge. In all likelihood, the Sniper had been there all along. The bear of a man picked up Sascha and hopped over the bridge. Initially sinking like a stone due to his and Sascha's combined weight, Heavy swam up to the surface and headed into the sewers. As he turned the corner, he saw Scout clinging onto the wall for dear life.
"Scout. Vhat kind of fight did you foolishly pick zis time?" Heavy sounded bored as if he had seen the Scout being pulled around corners many times in his career. And, due to the fact that the overly macho man had picked many fights he couldn't win in his lifetime, this was quite possibly the case.
"Look, dude. There's somethin' really freaky back there. I tink I heard a' it in High School, it's a, a, black—" Scout tried to explain what was going on.
"Oh, so it is Demoman again. Vhy do you fight that man when just one hit vis bomb kills you? Even Engineer can take bomb hit." Heavy cracked his knuckles. "Do not worry. I vill take care of it."
"Naw, man, not the Demoman. It's a black hole, man! Look, I'm a goner. Just stay outta it!" One of the Scout's hands lost his grip.
"Scout, Scout. You make ridiculous claims. Do you think I am stupid? Perhaps you are afraid you cannot pay off honor debt. Do not worry, give me Sandvich at end of day and I call it even." Heavy thought a little more. "Oh! Perhaps you view needing help as bruising to honor! Zat is vhy you try to convince me that I do not vant to go back there! Is a silly thought, but a common one. I help you and you see." Heavy jumped around the corner and revved his minigun.
Before his feet could touch the ground, the gravity created by the black hole around the corner began sucking him in. This vortex, created by the RED Engineer's supercharged, malfunctioning teleporter, was already bigger than the teleporter itself, and it showed no signs of stopping its growth. At the moment, it was as big as two Heavies. Along with the size of the black hole, the gravity created by it was growing stronger and stronger. Initially, the black hole had enough strength to make the Scout struggle to move. In a matter of minutes, it was now strong enough to pull the Heavy and Sascha into its ravenous maw.
Heavy managed to grab onto a railing next to the black hole and stop himself from getting pulled in. Sascha, not possessing hands, was not so lucky. "NOOOOOOOO!" Heavy yelled in anguish and thrust a hand out futilely as his favorite weapon was swallowed up by the vortex.
"'Kay, you can't say I didn't warn you, ya big dumb galoof. Now we're gonna lose 'cause we're down two men. Waytago, slugga."
"Scout, vhatever you do, do not let go!"
"'Kay, sage advice there, pally. Anythin' else? How 'bout 'bullets hurt'?" Scout rolled his eyes. "Sheesh."
The railing broke and Heavy was sent into the abyss.
The ceiling collapsed over Scout, sending rubble down. Some rocks hit Scout's hands and he recoiled them instinctively, taking a second to suck on an injured finger. He hung there suspended in midair for a second before realizing what happened. "Aw, shit."
BLU Sniper hustled down the stairs and turned the corner to see an extremely large hole in the floor. A light fixture snapped off and fell down the hole. "Bloody 'ell…I gotta see Engie 'bout this." Sniper drew his Tribalman's Shiv and jogged up the stairs.
BLU Spy respawned. There was a crackle over his headset as Engineer reported in. "Spah! What in Sam Hill's holdin' you up? Over."
Spy grabbed a lighter from a nearby bench and lit a cigarette. "I'm sorry, Laborer, but I was held up by the small matter of my death. Over."
"WHAT? Y'all go righ' back down there and get that sapper back or I personally will lay you out so bad—"
Spy sighed. "It's a little late for retrieval, Engineer. My Sapper PDA reports zat ze energy is being discharged right zis second. Over."
"YOU INCOMPETENT SMOKE-ADDLED YELLOW-BELLIED TURNCOAT—"
"Laborer, ze important thing is zat it definitely works for ze most part. I will go down zere and backstab ze enemy as soon as possible, so I would kindly appreciate it if you would not deafen me!"
"—RIFLE-DROPPIN' SNAIL-EATIN' ARTSY-FARTSY NO GOOD VARMIT WITH A STUPID HAT—"
Spy threw his earpiece on the ground and crushed it under his foot. "Zat…" Spy's voice was trembling with rage. "Zat was uncalled for…" He went to his supply locker and pulled out his Frenchman's Beret. He started rubbing the beret in a soothing way. "Shhh…it's okay. You are not stupid. Laborer is ze stupid one…" He replaced it.
Spy ran out of spawn, grumbling. "Vhen I backstab every single one of zose REDs, zen we shall see who has ze stupid hat—" He was interrupted by the floor collapsing under him. He grabbed onto the edge of the hole and looked down to see what was going on. He saw the second hole on the first floor and the black hole, now encompassing the entire room in the sewers. "Mon dieu…is zat…"
He looked back up and saw Sniper jogging up the stairs. "Sniper! Help!" Sniper turned his head just in time to see the BLU Spawn door be ripped off, smacking Spy in the face and knocking him into the black hole. Sniper kept running down into the Intel room as a very confused BLU team was sucked into the black hole.
Sniper ran past the resupply room in the Intel chamber and into a narrow hallway leading to the Intel room. As he nearly tripped over the body of the RED Demoman, the RED Soldier noticed him and fired rockets at him, all the while hurling slurs about Australians at him. Sniper caught something about kangaroo wives before the wall was broken open and the Soldier and Medic were sucked into the void.
He ran into the Intel room and grabbed the BLU Engineer by the shoulders. "Mate, there's some bleedin' vortex that's been suckin' everything in. We don't stop it, ain't gonna be much point in cappin' their intel much longer. You got any ideas?"
Engie punched his palm. "Spy, Spy, I am going to kill Spy, I don't care if he's on our side, he is a dead man."
"Vortex got Spook, mate. Just you an' me."
Engie shook his head and sighed. "Black hole. Rip in time and space. It's gravity is so great, not even light can escape it. If it gets ya, you might get deposited in an entirely new reality. Or you might get spit out ten minutes into the future. You can't know for sure. I think the only way to stop it is—" He was interrupted by a knife being planted in his back, courtesy of the RED Spy.
"Heartwarming." The Spy removed the knife from Engineer's back and puffed out some smoke from his cigarette. "Well, this certainly was an…interesting afternoon, but if I know that I'm probably going to die for good in a few moments, I want to know I died right after killing you nitwits." Spy drew his Ambassador. "I want you to know, Sniper…you disgust me."
Sniper, using reflexes built up from years of dealing with the Spy, gutted the Spy just as he pulled the trigger. Sniper's brains splattered against the wall and Spy collapsed in a heap on the floor. "Filthy…jar man…" Spy died, his body soon to vanish mysteriously along with Engineer's and Sniper's.
RED Sniper Deck
RED Sniper, Engineer and Pyro watched the destruction as the BLU base collapsed in on itself.
Sniper took off his hat. "Those were our men in there, mate."
Engineer slapped Sniper on the back. "Aah, they'll respawn, pardner. What I'm wonderin' is how in Sam Hill that happened."
A creaking noise was heard from outside the spawn room. "Y'all hold on a second. I think my teleporter's actin' up again." Engineer rounded the corner to find the entrance teleporter was generating a black hole as well. It only made sense; the teleporters had been so linked, that if one end of the teleporter was sapped, the other was as well…this teleporter seemed to have received the supercharging effects later than the first one, but the force generated was still enough to start ripping off the spawn door. So, of course, it took no effort for it to suck the Engineer in, his scream of surprise echoing throughout the Sniper base. Pyro, hearing the scream, ran out to help his best friend.
"Oi…oi! The bleedin' hell you doin, mate?" Sniper ran after Pyro. Both were sucked in.
The Spawn door was ripped off and the rest of RED was sucked into the abyss, clearly not in some obvious rushed attempt to get the stupid story moving.
In a final, great creak of metal, a large block of debris fell on both the exit, then entrance teleporters, destroying the black hole.
Inside the Black Hole
RED Engineer floated endlessly through dark nothingness. 'Well…', he thought. 'This is it. After inventin' a machine that essentially defeats Death, this is how I'm goin' to die. Stranded. Alone.' Engineer's Level 2 Sentry floated by behind him, still faithfully doing its duty to protect intelligence that was no longer there. 'I'm in a black hole…an' I learned back in engineerin' school that a black hole's the one place y'all don't wanna be. Unpredictable little sonuvaguns, they are. They could spit you out in a horrible reality of demons, or monsters, or even the undead. Met a fella who claimed a black hole'd spat him out in a place you could die twice, an' become the ghost of a zombie. But, that's ridiculous.'
His Level 3 Dispenser floated by in front of Engineer and he instinctively grabbed a handful of metal from the machine. ' A' 'course, worst case scenario is that the thing don't spit me out at all. And then ah just starve ta death, probably go insane from loneliness before even that happens.' Engineer pictured a man huddled in a fetal position, babbling about nonsense, a hollow shell of what had once been one of the world's smartest men, and shuddered.
'Daddy always told me…if yer gonna die, then you gotta face death with dignity. Stand tall, be a man. 'Course, he'd never been inside of a rip in time an' space before, but the general point still stands." Engie's Frontier Justice floated by him and he snatched it out of the air, before making sure he had a full clip and destroying his sentry, sending crit energy sparking through his gun. Bring on whatever nightmare reality of monsters and demons this black hole had in store for him. He was ready.
Fluttershy's house, Equestria
"Angel, you have to eat more than that…come on…" Fluttershy nudged a half-eaten carrot towards the white rabbit, who crossed his arms and turned away while giving a little "Harumph."
"Just eat the rest of the carrot, come on…" Fluttershy stopped as Angel shrank back into his pen. "Angel? What's wrong?" Angel pointed behind Fluttershy.
Fluttershy turned around to find a large black spot in the sky over Everfree Forest. "Oh, my. What is that? Maybe Twilight Sparkle or…or another pony knows…"
A leaf fell from a tree and landed on Fluttershy's flank, sending her into a dead faint.