"What the hell are they doing here?" the RED Scout glared at the three BLUs who just entered the dingy room.

A cold metal hand clamped down a bit too harshly on Scout's shoulder, "Now, calm down, partner. We're off duty right now."

"I don't like it, either," the RED Sniper agreed, "but we don't get paid for killin' them off the battlefield. It'd just be a waste of ammunition."


Demoman swung a half-empty bottle of scrumpy into his teammate's helmet, "Shu' up. Ah gotta headache."

A few moments passed in awkward silence as the mercenaries glared at one another. Demoman used this time to pull a new bottle out and start drinking. The RED Engineer sighed and shook his head. When he noticed the BLU Spy, who had yet to say anything, staring at him, he tensed. Spy rolled his eyes and gestured toward the others as if to say, "They are morons." Engineer got the message and grinned.

Scout tossed his baseball in the air a few times, "Ya know, I could prolly kill these guys without any bullets."

"That won't be necessary," all heads turned to watch Miss Pauling walk into the room.

Scout zipped over and slid his arm around her shoulders, "Didja miss me?"

Pauling twisted out of Scout's grip but otherwise ignored him, "I imagine you all are wondering why we are here. Your orders have changed. You will now be united to fight a common enemy."

"Now see here, we ain't gonna do nothin' that ain't in our contract," Sniper glared, "We're gonna need new contracts—with an increased salary, of course—if you're plannin' on changin' the rules of this damn war."

"Actually, Mr. Mundy, this is in your contract. You really should read the fine print. Now, as I was saying, you six are the best that RED and BLU have to offer… the best out of those still alive, at least. Your instructions are to reclaim Gravel Pit from the enemy. You move out in the morning."

Engineer grumbled, "Gravel's over two hundred miles away! An' I bet you aren't plannin' on providing any transportation, are ya?"

"I'm sure Mr. Mundy's camper van can fit six people."

"Aww, hell, no. No way I'm letting them BLUs in my home!"

"THAT IS IRRELEVANT! WE WILL NOT LOWER OURSELVES TO YOUR PATHETIC RE—" Soldier stopped mid-word when he felt Spy's knife pressing into his back.

"We would gladly accept a ride. Zank you, Sniper," with a shake of his wrist, Spy's knife was closed again.

"I don't remember offerin."

"Zen eet is settled," Spy continued, "We will meet you here at six tomorrow morning to leave."

"Surely, the BLUs can make the journey separa—"


"We will be traveling with ze REDs. We will not be arguing zis any further," Spy rubbed his temples.


"Wouldja shuddap already?" Scout groaned.




"Oh, right, of course. You will be fighting money-powered robots built by your employers' eagle-kidnapped brother. Obviously."

"Obviously," Sniper echoed, "No, really. Who're we gonna be fightin'? Hippies? I hope it's hippies."

"What is it about Australians and hippies?" Pauling muttered to herself, "You will be fighting Gray Mann's robot army. More than your employment will be terminated if you fail us."

Pauling left the room before any more objections could be raised. The mercenaries left behind could do nothing but blink at each other for a few moments. The RED Scout eventually broke the silence, "Dayum, is she hot, or what?"

The BLU Demoman held up his bottle in salute, which caused him to lose his balance and drop to the floor. Soldier held out a hand to help him up, "NEVER DROP YOUR GUARD AROUND THE ENEMY, MAGGO—"

"We ain't yer enemy, ya moron," Scout said, leaning against the wall, "Not anymore."

"No, I reckon we aren't," Engineer mused, "Now, isn't that one helluva thought. Teammin' up with the BLUs."

They all pondered that for a moment. Except for Demoman, who pondered the bottom of his scrumpy bottle.

"Until tomorrow, Gentlemen," Spy left, knowing Demoman and Soldier would follow.

... ... ... ... ...

The RED Sniper woke up earlier than normal the next day to enjoy his last few hours free from the BLUs. He didn't want to worry about them until they left at six, but his mind refused to obey. What little he knew about the three BLUs kept floating through his mind like it was stuck on repeat.

Their Soldier was loud and vocal, as if he were trying to make up for the relative quietness of his allies. He was a complete moron outside of combat, but he might as well be a genius on the battlefield. About a month ago, he singlehandedly took out the RED Heavy-Medic team. Since then, Sniper had been gunning for his head specifically, but the BLU practically had a sixth sense for dodging his bullets.

Sniper didn't know much about the other two. He assumed Spy was good at his job, since he was almost never to be seen during battle. It also looked like he was the de facto leader of the BLUs. Sniper heard Engineer complain about the Demoman from time to time. Hopefully, his turret-destroying skills would carry over to other types of machines.

With a sigh, Sniper stood up and downed the last of his coffee. He'd have to tidy up his camper van before all six of the mercenaries could comfortably fit. On his way, he passed Engineer, who had just woken up, "Hey, mate, since I'm drivin', you gotta wake up Scout."

Engineer flipped him off with his robotic hand and grumbled.