New recruit:

It was only with the assistance of the oddly silent man, that Charles Snippy was able to walk through the knee deep snow. His muscles were aching and his lips numb. Fatigue and lightheadedness made him want to keel over, but the man was holding him tightly and keeping him upright. Though, oddly, he chose to interlock their arms, as if they were a happy couple taking a lovely stroll through the park. Charles could barely find it in him to keep his eyes open. The original sensation of hope he'd felt when disbelievingly taking the man's hand and being helped up, had subsided. Right now, he was just tired and in pain. He wished briefly that the man would just let him relax, and take a nice, long, and final nap in the snow. But he couldn't even bring himself to utter this desire.

After a walk that seemed to have taken forever, they were leaving the dead zone, and walking through the outskirts of the ruined city Eureka. A meaningless realization, since there was nothing left of the city; the entire world had become a dead zone and was set ablaze.

He felt like he must've climbed over a thousand snowy hills, and passed a million rundown buildings. Finally, the man came to a halt. Snippy nearly fell onto his face, but he was held up by the other man. Lifting weary eyes, Snippy glanced out at the misty, snow covered, wasteland. The area looked no different from all the others he'd been through; ruins, charred remains, and lots and lots of snow. He wondered if the man had read his mind, and decided to grant him his death wish. It really made little difference to Snippy at that point. But he'd appreciate it if the man hurried up with it already, his wrenched arm was really starting to hurt him.

A shadow bounced out of a nearby doorway, quickly to be revealed as a person wearing large round green goggles, full head gear, and a leather jacket. The person stopped near the two men, glancing with what seemed to be curiosity at Snippy, before turning to the tallest of the three. "What's this, Captain?"

Shouldn't that question start with 'Who'? Snippy wondered. His tired mind couldn't tell for sure anymore, he needed to rest.

"This is our new recruit." The man who answered to Captain declared, "I foundzed him in zee park, taking a nap on zee pretty snow."

Too tired to question the lack of sense or truth in that statement, Charles merely let out an incomprehensible murmur that quickly turned into a tired moan.

The Captain glanced down at the slumped over ex-tour guide, then began half dragging him towards a dentist office. "How is zee chicken farming going?" Captain called back to the green goggled man.

The man responded in a shout. But the wind howling in Snippy's ears, and the sudden dizziness that swept most his consciousness, prevented him from hearing it. His thoughts became jumbled momentarily, and his vision went blank. He slightly lost track of time and the events around him. In what seemed to be a couple seconds, he found himself lying on an uncomfortable couch. It was made of old black leather that reeked of burnt plastic. He was covered with a large wool blanket, with holes seared through it in many places. He lifted his head slightly, taking in his surroundings in a glance. He was in the waiting area of the dentist office, decorated only with the sofa, a low table in front of it, and an armchair against the opposite wall. There was a door leading to examination room, and an opening leading deeper into the building. Its walls were charred black and the equipment was covered with a thin layer of ice. Heaps metal and plastic melted out of shape littered the small space, scattered around by the elements.

From the inner part of the office, the tall man emerged, two steaming mugs in hand. One a grayish white, with a long crack through the side. The other new looking; it was black with white rims, and a bright red heart in the middle of it. The man sat on the cracked low table, that was once meant to be covered in ancient magazines that no one liked to read. It creaked ominously as he leaned over, handing Snippy the old white mug.

Snippy lifted his torso somewhat, graciously accepting it. He could feel the heat warming his throbbing hands through his gloves, as he stared unsurely at the hot mug between his fingers. Meanwhile, the other man produced a straw from his pocket, dunking it in the hot liquid. Finally, Snippy lowered his respirator, and lifted his goggles onto his forehead as the steam emitting from the cup caused their lenses to become foggy. He glanced up at the man that was staring at him expectantly, before taking a small sip of the dark beverage. It was tea, much too strong for his liking, and must've had some two tons of sugar in it. But it was warm, and was slowly relaxing him from the inside, so he wasn't about to complain. He lowered the cup again, letting it warm his hands as he gripped it tightly. "Thanks." He whispered softly, offering a small smile to the man across from him.

The purple goggled man stared at him briefly, before setting his mug next to him. "I am Zee Captain, zee glorious governor of all of Capitania." His voice was booming and filled with pride.

Snippy lifted a brow, wondering which question was best to utter first. "So, what am I supposed to call you?" he finally asked.

"Silly man," the man chuckled, "I just told you, I am Zee Captain. You may also call me: your grace, mein lord, your awesomezness, zee all mighty one, or my liege.. But, just Captain is also sufficient."

Snippy stared at the man incredulously, it appeared that he was completely serious. Extra radiation with you fries, anyone? Sighing, Snippy decided it was unimportant. So what the man thought he was the governor of something? The end of the world isn't the best time to start getting picky about who you hang out with. Besides, a little nuttiness couldn't hurt anyone, right? He sat up further, setting his mug aside, as it was quickly growing cold, "My name is Charles Snippy." He said, smiling.

Captain tapped his chin, "Snippy, hm?" he hummed thoughtfully, "Snip snap snoop snippidy snapper snipping Snippy!" he tested the name with a nod.

Charles didn't say anything. A moderate amount of nuttiness couldn't hurt anyone, right?

Captain clasped his hands together, "Indeed, you will be perfect for my new Sniper division." The man announced, suddenly standing up, and hurrying into the other room.

He came back quickly, holding a rusty sniper rifle, and tossed it at the sitting man. "From now on, you are The Sniper, eh Snipster?"

Charles looked down at the weapon sitting in his lap, "I can't shoot!" he said, knotting his brows, "I mean, I can shoot a little, I was trained briefly.. But I'm certainly no sniper!"

"Nonsense mein sniper!" the Captain waved him off, "You are the elite sniper of the glorious army of Captain! Why, it's as if this division was designed just for you!"

Snippy inspected the weapon in his hands again, "It doesn't have a trigger." He said confusedly, looking up at Captain.

"Ah, you mean the can opener?" Captain said.

Snippy couldn't find it in him to argue, he was exhausted. So what the man was off his rocker? He did after all, save him, cover him, and make him a cup of hot tea; he couldn't be that bad. As long as he let him sleep for the time being and regain his energy, and possibly give him some food, it didn't matter. He could even think that unicorns exist and that the universe was shrinking, for all Snippy cared. He set the rifle at the side of the couch, slumping into the ash covered cushions and pulling the blanket over his shoulder.

At that moment the green goggled man burst through the already weak doorway, letting in a cold gust of wind and snow. He was carrying a large basket, and a ripped patio umbrella. "Captain! The mission was a success!" he announced, kicking back his leg and roughly closing the door. He turned over the basket, dumping its contents on the ground.

Charles peered over the couch arm, the two men were hovering over the pile on the ground, blocking most of the view with their bodies. However, he could make out an assortment of useless items, such as chipped china cups, dirty doll clothing, and a broken leash.

Turning around slightly, Pilot seemed to just notice the blue eyed man lying on the couch, who was watching him carefully. Pilot stared back without comment.

Captain turned his attention away from the treasures on the ground, finally seeing the questioning gaze the aviator was casting in the new hire's direction. Placing hand on the shorter man's shoulder, he deigned to take care of the introductions, "Pilot, I haven't yet introduced our new recruit." He said, gesturing explanatorily at the worn out tour-guide, "This is Mr. Snippy, our new sniper. Snippy, this is Pilot."

Pilot stared long and hard at the other man, seeming to weigh him with his piercing gaze. Piercing even through the aviator gear on his head. "How long will he be staying here, Captain?" he questioned.

"Well, until the next Monday, then forever after that." Captain said in an absent tone.

The man didn't seem pleased, "Why's that Captain?" he asked sourly, "Didn't I do everything you wanted?"

"You mustn't hog Captain's awesomeness, Pilot," Captain said in a scolding tone, "I have decided to expand my smexy army, Mr. Snippy is an important part of that."

Pilot lowered his head, sneaking a glance at Snippy once more, "Yes Captain." He murmured grudgingly.

"Good." Captain hummed, "Now Pilot, fix our friend here some dinner while I'm out."

Snippy cast his gaze to the outdoors, it was already nearing nightfall, "C-Captain!" wow, the name took more getting used to than he anticipated. "I don't think you should go out there, it's getting dark.. It's far too dangerous. It would be best if you stayed here." He said with concern.

"Nonsense Mr. Snippy, there is nothing to worry about." Captain said, his tone couldn't have been more confident or carefree.

Snippy wasn't quite sure what the man was so confident about, but he chose not to question it. It wasn't long before Snippy and so called Pilot were left alone in the quickly darkening room. Pilot silently left the room, leaving a bewildered Snippy alone. A few odd sounds, and a couple minutes later, he came back with a small oil lantern in the crook of his arm, and a can with a faded label in each hand. He placed one in the sniper's lap, with a spoon on it. Then sat cross-legged on the armchair across the room, unfastening his head gear, and lifting it just high enough for his face to be exposed. He pulled the key on the top, opening the can of caramelized fruits and sticking his fork in it.

Snippy stared down at his can briefly, then lifted the key to open the can. It broke off in his hand. He stared down at his can, then up at the man who studied him cautiously for some reason. "Uhh, you got a can opener?" he asked lowly.

Pilot didn't move at first. Finally, after a few awkward moments, he jumped out of his chair. Fumbling briefly in a small old looking, green backpack, he retrieved an odd looking metal device. He stepped over, handing it to him silently.

"Thanks." Charles hummed, as the man returned to his seat.

Not receiving an answer, Snippy studied the presumed can opened in his hand. It had a trigger, probably from the old rifle, fixed securely into a longer metal piece. Sharpened roughly, it did somewhat resemble the old fashioned can opener. Guess the man isn't as crazy as I thought, this is quite crafty. He thought. He struggled shortly to figure out how it worked, but eventually he managed to get his can open.

All the while, bright green eyes were fixed on him, an unwavering glare following his every move. It was as if the man was sizing up an opponent he needs to take down.

Feeling the weight of the tense atmosphere, Snippy stirred the lumpy chickpea purée with the tip of his spoon. "So uhh, I'm Charles Snippy.." he hummed, struggling to paint a friendly smile on his face, "What's your name?" I

The pilot hesitated for a few moments, a look of confusion breaking his stern expression. "Silly sniper.. Captain already told you, I'm Pilot." He said, trying to keep his tone cold, "That's what Captain calls me, so that must be my name."

"Okaay.." Snippy hummed, averting eye contact.

It occurred to him a few minutes later that perhaps the man doesn't remember his name. He'd seen that kind of mental confusion before, when the ANNET using test subjects were disconnected. He placed a full spoon of his lumpy dinner into his mouth, savoring the overly acidic flavor and grainy texture. It wasn't too bad though, it was better than the dehydrated beans he'd been eating for the past few days. He looked around the room, the surroundings were now swimming in darkness, he couldn't see anything but black beyond the doorway. His eyes landed on his companion's face once more, who was still staring at him.

The faint glint of the flickering lantern light reflecting off the fierce green eyes, gave the man quite the frightening appearance. He had only recently started eating his food, sloppily dropping the syrup on his face and lap, as he refused to break his gaze away from the blue eyed man.

"So um, what's up with that Captain guy hm?" Snippy said, hoping that he could break the ice with some conversation, "Quite the odd character, isn't he?"

"Captain isn't odd! He's awesome!" Pilot shouted with sudden anger, jerking his fork in Snippy's direction, flinging syrup and bits of fruit at his face in the process, "Captain is the most magical Captain. He's the Masaya of this city of the dead. The very physics of the universe bend at his command!"

"That's.. Ridiculous.." Snippy snorted, his intolerance to stupidity getting the better of him.

Pilot jumped to his feet furiously, letting his canned fruit fall to the ground with a muted clank. "How could you say stuff like that?!" he growled, "And after Captain saved your life!"

Snippy couldn't argue with that last part, but he still found it annoying. All he did was state the obvious.

"I had a feeling about you, sniper.." Pilot rambled on, "And I was right! You're nothing but a jiggly slug!"

The insult uttered was more laughable than infuriating, however, Snippy had had enough of the man's unjustified prejudice against him. What made that vertically inferior man think that he could push Snippy around like that? He may be exhausted, but he isn't that much of an invalid.

"Look, I don't know what your issue with me is, but you have no right to talk to me like that!" Snippy shouted back, standing up as well.

Pilot glared at him, taking a deep breath and a step back, "If you think you can just come along and take Captain away from me, then you're wrong!" he growled, waving a finger, "I'm Captain's faithful minion! It's always been like that! We don't need you here!"

It took Snippy a moment to sift through the insanity of the accusations, "I don't want to take your Captain away from you!"

"You say that now, but I don't trust you!" Pilot huffed, crossing his arms.

Snippy wasn't quite sure what to say after that, so he settled for staring awkwardly at the man.

"I'll be watching you, day and night.." Pilot warned, beginning to back away towards his seat, "Because I'm a ninj-aaaaahhhh."

He yelped as he tripped over the remnants of a stool, landing on his back.

Unsure of what to do, Snippy shifted uncomfortably, "Uhh you alright?" he asked hesitantly.

"I'm fine!" Pilot huffed, as he slowly got up.

Snippy slowly sat back down, while Pilot took his place across from him, angrily shoveling down the rest of his dinner. In a couple of minutes he was done, he'd barely given himself time to swallow. Which made itself apparent in his reddened face, as a particularly uncooperative piece of fruit lodged itself in his throat. Before Snippy could wonder if he was expected to help the man, Pilot had managed to clear his airway. Coughing slightly, and taking in deep breaths, he stared at the blue eyed man, as if blaming him for his sudden misfortune with food.

Snippy shifted in his seat, hesitating to eat any more of the food. "You al-…"

"I'm going out." The man declared, jumping back to his feet.

Charles anxiously stood up, shifting his gaze between the blanket of utter blackness outdoors, and the determinate man that was fixing his gasmask back on. "You really shouldn't!" he said, taking a step after the man as he headed to the door. He'd just found other living humans, he didn't want them all to die already, "It's much too dangerous at night, and you can't.."

His sentence was cut short, as the titled aviator spun around suddenly; hurling his empty can at the other's face. Snippy went down instantly. Sternly, Pilot turned away without a word, marching out in a very military like manner.

Snippy groaned, propping himself back up and looking at the empty door way. He sighed as the man disappeared into the dark, he'd be lucky if he ever saw either of them again. Resigned, he dragged his feet back towards the couch, his previous exhaustion returning to him full force, as he slumped down on it. Kicking off his boots, he lifted his feet onto the cushion, bringing the blanket over his head. He stared drowsily at the faint lantern light that flickered softly, wondering if it would be better to turn it off or not. It would be a bad idea to waste what fluid was left it in, but it didn't seem much better to risk not seeing the monstrosity of the night in the darkness. The decision was made for him as he drifted off before he could reason any further.

His eyes shot open with the usual start, fragments of nightmares and memories clinging to his mind for a few more moments, before fading away into nothingness. He blinked, trying to restore his vision's clarity. He lifted his hand to rub his eyes, then lowered it again, remembering why everything was tinged with cyan. Something was off. He squinted, a blurry swirl of black, purple, and white slowly becoming clear.

The Captain's face filled his vision, staring at him intensely from an uncomfortably close distance.

"Bwah?!" he gasped, jumping back as best he could from a lying position. With a low creek, the sofa leaned back dangerously, before falling back forward, throwing the flailing Snippy onto the floor.

Stepping back just in time to avoid the man's body, Captain peered down, "Finally up, Snipping beauty?" he asked cheerfully.

Charles looked up angrily, trying to get off the slippery ground, "What," he grunted, "Were you doing?"

Captain ignored the question directed at him, instead stepping over, and plucking the sniper rifle off the ground. He turned around, thrusting it at Snippy, who was on his knees, searching for his boots.

The weapon hit him in the chest, winding him, while simultaneously knocking him onto his back. He groaned, rubbing the back of his head, but spotting his boots pushed beneath the couch.

"Come Mr. Sniper!" Captain called, heading to the door, "It's the sniping hour!"

Snippy retrieved his shoes with some difficulty, finding them filled to the rim with thumbtacks. He stared at them blankly for a moment, before emptying them on the ground, "Wait, what sniping hour?" he shook his boots upside down for a moment, feeling through them with his gloved fingers, making sure he'd gotten all sharp objects out. "The rifle doesn't work, remember?"

But it was no use, Captain was already wandering outdoors, gesturing as if still talking.

Snippy sighed, slipping on his shoes quickly, grabbing the functionless weapon, and hurrying after the man. He stepped outside, and was greeted by a peculiar sight. A variety of objects littered the clearing; large empty kegs, tires, an inflatable dolphin, and a few cardboard figures. They were meant to be targets, it appeared. There were also quite a few skeletons, unskillfully hidden in the surrounding area. They were dressed in camouflage suits, posed with parts of weapons, as if sniping at the two of them. It was both impressive and extremely creepy, in equal parts. It was barely morning, so the man would've spent a great time and effort getting it all ready, most likely in the dark. Snippy shivered, deciding that it was defiantly more creepy.

"Mr. Snippy!" Captain called, getting the man's attention, "These men and women have kindly volunteered to help with your field simulation training."

Snippy followed the mad man's gestures, his vision landing on the skeletons. "But.. They're dead.. They can't volunteer for anything."

"Nonsense." Captain waved a hand with annoyance, huffing, "It's impolite to be so ungrateful for their efforts."

He then pushed Snippy forward, before he could protest further, positioning him behind a make-shift wooden 'shooting booth'. That was actually a wooden doorway, with the bottom half of the door still intact.

"Now, may zee hunt begin!" He shouted enthusiastically, "That means you're supposed to shoot, Mr. Snippy!" he urged, while the man remained quiet.

Snippy looked at the weapon in hand, then back at the purple goggled man. Repeating that a few times, "There's still no trigger, I can't shoot."

"Of course you can! All you have to do is belie~ve in yourself!" Captain chimed, and strode over, pushing Snippy's arm up, and his face towards the scope. He pointed to the empty wasteland in the distance, "See that white little bunny there?"

Snippy stared ahead, squinting, "..No, there's nothing there."

"Well of course there won't be when you take so long to shoot it!" Captain scolded, shaking his head, "Well, there goes our guide to zee wonderlands."

Snippy didn't bother to question the logic of trying to shoot their 'guide'. Before he could articulate any of his other thoughts, Captain wrenched him by the arm, dragging him to the obstacle field.

"Quickly! Defend yourself Snippy!" he commanded dramatically, flinging his arm around, gesturing to the assailing figures.

The blue eyed man didn't respond in the anticipated panic. Instead, he stood idly, gesturing at his gun once more, "Like I said, can't shoot without a trigger."

"Ah, but anything is possible with zee imagination!" Captain explained, gesturing extravagantly with his hands, seeming a little too enthusiastic about fantasy play.

"Imagination will make the gun shoot?" Snippy questioned dryly, raising a brow.

"Crorrectimundo." Captain replied cheerily, leaning back expectantly.

The man seriously wanted him to play pretend? No way.. He'd been pushed around quite much before in his life, but he won't play along with this. He was about to tell the man what he was thinking, when something hit him in the side of his head. Stunned, he lifted his hand, dusting off flakes of snow and ice. He threw a snowball at me, seriously?

If Snippy didn't know better, he would've said Captain's mask bore a smirk as he stared at him.

"Defend yourself Snippy! They are attacking!" Captain exclaimed, bouncing around the field.

Snippy followed his movement shortly, before deciding it would only make him dizzy. "They're not attacking.. y-.." he cut his sentence short when another snowball hit him in the head, and then another in the back, "Would you cut that out?!"

He turned towards the man, but before he could say a word, another snowball hit him square in the face. He wiped off the white dust clinging to his mask and fogging his goggles, "Real mature, are you.."

Two more hit him in the head, nearly knocking him over. He floundered, turning slightly, and trying to locate Captain. But the man was moving too quickly, and only appeared as a dark blur moving at the edge of his goggles. Another hit him in the side of his face, knocking his mask out of place. "Ow! Stop it!"

"Only zee power of imagination can save you!" Captain chimed, his voice all too amused, but seeming to come from a different location every passing moment, "Fight back Mr. Snippy!"

Snippy lifted his arms defensively, while simultaneously trying to adjust his face gear back into place. A bombardment of snowballs came at him, hitting him mostly in the head. "Ow alright! Stop! Stop it already!"

The assault seized immediately. Snippy straitened his back, dusting off his shoulders and hood, trying to maintain what dignity he had left. He turned to the Captain, seeing him standing ready, with a couple snowballs in hand. He let out a huff, straightening his jacket, then hesitantly lifting his gun. He aimed it at the nearest skeleton, "Bang?" Oh god, this was just too humiliating.

Captain tutted disapprovingly, bouncing the snowball in one hand. "That won't do!" he shook his head, "With conviction! I must be able to sense zee imaginarying from space!"

Snippy shifted, aiming once more, "Bang-Bang!" he attempted again, his face slowly turning red, "This is stupid, I can't…"

Another snowball to the face cut off the rest of his sentence.

"Better.." Captain hummed thoughtfully, but still wasn't pleased. He paced about, "But there's still something missing. Your enemies are still alive."

Snippy snorted. He placed a hand on his waste, gesturing with the gun at his surroundings, "What about bullets actually shooting out of the gun?" he sighed.

Captain snapped his fingers, a brilliant achievement through the gloves. "Aha, I've got it! You need bullets!" he declared happily, then proceeded, ignoring the man face-palming. He cupped his hands around his mask, "Pilot! Front and center!"

Nothing happened for a moment, then some crashing noises erupted from behind the row of buildings. A couple minutes passed, before the presumed aviator came running. Tangled in colorful string, he stood in attention before the Captain, saluting him stiffly, while trying not to heave.

Snippy stared at him, he'd almost forgotten about his existence. So both men were able to survive the night, that's.. good..

"Ah, Pilot, perfect timing, I was just needing you." Captain said as if he hadn't been calling, placing a hand on the shorter man's shoulder. He gestured at the new sniper and hidden opponents, "Assist Mr. Snippy, he appears to be out of ammunition."

Pilot glanced reluctantly at the other man, before quietly and swiftly collecting frozen rocks off the ground. Finally after he accumulated too much to hold with ease, he balanced his pile against his torso, turning to his Captain for approval.

"Good, now.." Captain turned to Snippy, waving a hand, "Proceed."

Charles was about to object, but decided otherwise. He rolled his eyes, suppressing a sigh as he aimed his weapon again. "Bang." He said boredly.

A rock whizzed by his head, too close for comfort, which caused him to jump. It continued to fall in the distant snow. He turned to Pilot, seeing him readying another rock.

"I don't remember asking you to stop, mein snippity sniper!" Captain warned, "Take out zee slimy foes!"

Deciding that playing along was less of a hassle than being attacked with snowballs, Snippy lifted his weapon again, repeating the ridiculous act. He continued for a while, until Pilot was nearly out of propellants, every single one of them had missed their mark completely.

"Your sniping skills need zee polishing!" Captain critiqued, as he'd been doing for a while.

Snippy angrily lowered his weapon by his side, flinging his arm out. "I can't kill what's already dead! Certainly not with a gun that doesn't work." He then glanced at Pilot standing next to him, last night, he'd had no problem with his aim, "And it's not even my aim that's the problem, he's the one doing the aiming.. And-Ow!"

He bounced to the side, his foot throbbing with pain. He glared angrily at the aviator.

"Snippy shot himself in the foot." Pilot explained coldly.

"Now now, Mr. Snippy, don't blame your fellow minions for you incapabilities." Captain scolded. He then began to wonder off, gesturing back at them, "Keep practicing until you've perfected your boobish aim!"

As the man's heavy footsteps melted into the distance, the area grew extra quiet. Snippy uncomfortably glanced over at his companion, who seemed displeased with having to stay behind. He sighed; he didn't want to continue on like this, he'd try to keep conflict to a minimum. "Look, Pilot, right?" he started, in as friendly a voice as he could muster, the aviator turned to him silently. "I think we got off on the wrong foot yesterday.. How about.. How about we put that behind us, and start over?"

Pilot's hand jerked up, pointing a finger, as if about to scold the man. But then he froze, possibly contemplating the offer. He lowered his hand and remained still for a while, staring at the stone in his hand. Finally, he looked back at Snippy, as if seeing him for the first time. "Fine!" he spat, "But, I'll be watching you still! If you try anything funny, I'll know!"

Resisting the urge to laugh, Snippy shifted his weight onto his other foot, "Sure." He shrugged, "So.. What now? Do we get breakfast, or…"

"No you stupid rubber banana!" Pilot huffed, "We work on your boobish aim, like Captain commanded!"

"But that's stupid and you know it!" Snippy quickly protested, "It's not even my.."

A rock to the head quickly silenced him. Snippy spent the next few hours having to deal with Pilot. Who was a lot more difficult to deal with than Captain. At least the later was kind enough to use snow, and only hit him for a reason –no matter how invalid. He later had to run around an obstacle course Captain crafted for him in the back, as part of some sort of fitness test/training. By the end of the day, Snippy was just as exhausted and ready to drop dead as the previous.

Having a leaf blower going off in your face first thing in the morning, certainly is more startling than Snippy had anticipated. He figured that the pain in his left shoulder was irrelevant to his heart functioning, and most likely caused by the extra vigorous workout he was put through the day before. "What the hell?!" he shouted at the man standing across from the couch he'd made his own.

"Hm, so it does work!" Captain mused, tossing the old device aside carelessly, "Now you can do your gardening chores later!" And with that, he wandered off, as if he'd completed his objective.

Snippy kneaded his shoulder with annoyance. Would every morning start like this from now on? He wondered with dread. On the plus side, such awakenings blew the nightmares right out of his head, along with his ear drums.

His eardrums wouldn't get a rest. On the fourth day, Captain woke him with a frightening melody played by clapping garbage can lids together by his head. The rest of the day was dedicated to locating intact paper and pen to write a complaint to Grinch for stealing Christmas.

Next he was treated to an exclusive of Captain's giant balloon bursting practice, before the sun could even come up. Followed by the order of forming a marching band with Pilot. Who, he discovered, should never be let anywhere near a tuba.

He was also fortunate enough to get the morning news broadcasted straight in his face through an amplifier. Then, according to it, was forced to decorate the whole area for the king of France, who was apparently visiting.

For the following week, he experienced a different morning awakening. Surely, he thought, the man would soon run out of ideas. But the scream therapy, emergency-call drill, and fireworks set off on his back begged to differ.

He located his boots on the floor where he'd left them, after being ambushed with a water gun. He inspected his shoes, they were booby-trap free. It was safe for him to assume that the truce he'd made with the deranged fellow was still on. He didn't find either of the madmen around, so he went out instead, to where he'd been mending a rifle for the past week. The parts the skeletons had been armed with were useless individually, and without any welding machines, some of the more intact ones were a bit too difficult to repair. But he'd still managed to assemble a somewhat durable weapon for himself. He examined it, proud of his work, only a couple more small adjustments and it would shoot. He was starting to warm up to the sniper title, it appeared. He carefully picked it up, and went to find Captain to show him. They were packing to move to a new "Base" as the man put it. One that was apparently "More abundant in zee culti-flowers" and "Superiorly awesome."

He located the man at the back of the neighboring pharmacy, occupying himself by concocting an ominous, bubbling mix of the remaining useless medicines. Diet pills, laxatives, contraceptives, and breath-mints barely mattered any more. Snippy came up next to him, tilting his head to the side curiously. He momentarily forgot what he'd come to do, as he watched the mixture growing increasingly weird. Captain was now adding rubber gloves and colored wax, which disappeared inside, letting out colored smoke. "Captain, where's Pilot?" he asked absently, watching the mixture change color as new substances were added, "Is that even safe?"

Captain looked around quickly, finally locating his objective on the ground. He opened a can of soda, pouring its contents into his evil looking batter. It bubbled wildly, before settling once more. "I've sent him to retrieve some more shoes for my new collection!" he finally answered, waving a hand carelessly.

"Uh huh." Snippy hummed, keeping a wary eye on the dangerous looking liquid. He finally shook his head, remembering why he was there in the first place, "I wanted to show you this.. With a few more pieces, I think it should function properly."

Captain didn't seem the least bit interested, instead he busied himself with making his mixture more bubbly.

"No, seriously.. If we have a working weapon, we can defend ourselves against unwanted intruders." Snippy continued, following Captain as he walked away to find more oddities to add. "We can get rid of them."

A horrified gasp came from the doorway. Snippy whirled around, seeing Pilot drop a gym-bag filled with old shoes on the ground. He stared quizzically at the man's clearly aghast stance, wondering what had gotten into him. Then, as Pilot's expression turned to one of anger, it hit him. He overheard… No.. he didn't… his luck certainly wasn't that bad?

Pilot's trembling body, and near attack stance clearly told otherwise.

Snippy opened his mouth, but no sound came out. Surely… Certainly, he could clear things up. If he explained this misunderstanding, Pilot would understand, be reasonable..


A/N: lame ending, I know.. I'm sorry :/ Please forgive any contrast to the canon story.. I wrote half of this the beginning of May.. I didn't want it to go to waste.. Hope you enjoyed it regardless.