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Reliant "Okay so listen up," Entrapta says, in the great crawler that she's been using as a meeting place since the first time. Today the bay area she's hosting in has a large, elevated platform with a series of glowing circles on the floor. "The antechamber to where we're going to end up is pretty safe, but the whole rest of the place is basically a series of falls. There aren't that many drones, buuuut that's mostly because of all the lasers."

"Y'see, there's emitters wall to wall at set intervals! She explains, holding up a 3d-printed model of the entry area, with a series of harmless mini-lasers used for illustration. "You don't want to get hit by those. It's a really great trap!"

"After three or four minutes of that it's just one long corridor filled with drones. The goods should be in Quick Man's command room just past that. I doubt he'll be there, but if he is I'll take care of it, so don't go getting fighty with him. Now, let's get going!"

Entrapta pulls out a remote and presses a button. The platform lights up and -- yes, whether anyone is actually on it or not -- turns everyone into compressed beams of light. It's an odd experience, and... things go mildly awry from the very start.

You're not on solid ground when you turn back into "yourself". You go straight into a drop.

Entrapta is also there, a lilac column of light de-compressing into her shape. She lowers her welding mask, "I maaaaay have miscalculated the arrival coordinates. Watch out for the lasers!"

There is a hum from the walls as the bright yellow lasers begin to pour out in response to passage.
Xion "So it's a laser fall wall! Nice!" Xion nods enthusiastically. "I've only done a laser wall *climb* before, and those are super boring and the worst. Falling sounds way more fun!"

Xion experiences 'fun' differently from normal people. "Chase will help us out, okay? We're going to help a friend, and not hurt anyone!"

Xion is teleported into a LASER FALL CORRIDOR and...

X Axl, having stuck around on Entrapta's rig until the time to go stealing had come, has disguised himelf in the form of a silent Sniper Joe. This unfortunately means that he finds himself woefully under-prepared for the blunder that follows.

    X, at least, was.

The blue-light coalesces into his familiar form as he finds himself in a freefall, arms and legs spread wide. "This is bad..!"

Axl's mono-eye flashes, as if to go, 'you think?!'. The blue bomber turns in the air, attempting to control his fall by angling himself downwards, the Force Metal in his body shifting pitch as it became active and as a result, so did the exhaust modules on his back that expode into twin trails of bright scarlet, allowing him to both pick up speed as well as yaw and pitch in an attempt to out-maneuver the pattern of hot yellow death.

Axl, for his troubles, positions his shield below himself and hunkers onto it, using it like some kind of board to skate through along the friction.

Both come away, thankfully, with only light singes from close brushes with an unfortunate fate. "Well, at're having fun ... ?"

    Go get 'em, Xion.
Xion "Wahoo!" Xion calls, her jacket billowing out around her as she freefalls. Here, a strut is grabbed and swung on. There, her feet touch a wall and she runs for a while. Zigging and zagging, eventually one of the clever trap-lasers VREEM's her and she stumbles, a flickering displacement as she reflexively blinks back from the SUPERLASER OF SUDDEN DEATH.

"Oh no! Friendly Joe! Quick, the Corridors!" She calls, opening Turbo Tunnel portals for Axl and Chase to surf beams or fly into and avoid areas of certain laser dismemberment, like helpful easy mode holes through the defense grid.
Chase Fighting individuals or groups is one thing. Going up an entire facility is another. Chase has never done something like this before, but despite this, he doesn't look nervous. He doesn't look much of anything, really, but that's normal for him...

Even when he finds himself in free fall, Chase is still outwardly stoic. He pulls out his gun, jamming the barrel into the palm of his hand.


Now Mashin Chaser, they take full of advantage of Xion's EASY MODO portals, though they still come dangerously close with a few of the beams. He's built like a brick, and when falling through the air, he basically is a brick. Why couldn't they be teleported on the ground again???
Reliant "CLIMBING laser walls is a real problem! I had to figure out a whole mirror system that could work with that kind of output--" Entrapta obviously did not bring that particular anti-laser system with her. She did, however, bring a SNIPER JOE SHIELD off of the scrapped Joe she let Axl copy, along with some sort of magnetic grapple. She uses the shield to cover herself while sliding down the wall, evidently adjusting the intensity of the grapple in order to produce a controlled fall.

You get the feeling she's at least thought about how she'd do this long before now...

Axl finds something interesting, if he manages to get ahead of the group: While he still has to deal with the fall, the lasers don't trigger with his passage. Seems like the copied form has some IFF equipment in it that lets him get past them.

Nobody else, however, is so lucky.

The next solid landing down which can readily be accessed is a long corridor that doesn't appear to have any lighting in it for most of its length. Instead there are large robots with faces set into their chest, with an open-top where a more humanoid robot's head would be. They're providing all the lighting here.

With the exception of Axl, they're also hostile, immediately beginning to spew fire at anybody who approaches-- and there's really nowhere to go but straight through them. It's not hard to figure out that all the lighting is going to go out when they're all destroyed. Another drop can be seen at the end of the hallway, at least while it's lit.

... But Entrapta just taps a couple of buttons on her wrist-mounted multitool and produces a small floodlight if it should prove to be a problem. In the meantime she uses her magnetic grapple to adhere to the ceiling, staying decently out of reach of the fire spewers. "I always thought this place had the makings of a weird amusement park ride. You know, if it wasn't so deadly!"

When Xion gets nicked, Entrapta instantly produces a small tube of cream and tosses it to her from a tendril of hair.

When Chase gets nicked, it's hard not to get the impression that Entrapta has gone a bit starry-eyed. "Hey, robot boys! Stick around after the end and I'll get you fixed right up, okay?"

She pauses, and drops down beside Chase -- perhaps a little too close for comfort -- to ask quietly, "You *are* a robot, right?"

The rubber suit thing might be giving her some mixed signals.
Xion Xion catches the healing spray with a smile, backrolling through a set of laser columns while applying it to her scorched forearm. "Hey thanks!" She shouts over the VREEEEM of a laser that 'consumes' her -- only for her to reappear in a dark smear and puff of smoke as her form displaces through the obstacle.

She hears Chase's heart, for it is simple and firm and loud when it has desires. "We can't skip to the end if I can't find the end! These Wily stages are pretty complicated, because they've been dealing with people who can teleport anywhere in mind! The only sure thing is teleporting into the hub, but..."

Xion laughs, as the 'floor' beneath is revealed. "We're here!"

Her triumph is short lived, as the conical lights are revealed to be FIRE SPITTING JACKASSES. Xion knows which power she needs here: "In the deepest darkness, you can unleash a golden shine! Hero of everyone's hearts--"

Xion gestures outward with a golden medallion that fades and empties of the last of its power as her hair leeches wheat-golden. "--Shine X!"

Pronounced 'Shine Key', and detonating into the area with brilliant golden sunlight. There won't be any light problems -- Xion has the correct buster for this room!
X Utilizing his shield like a surfboard, Axl makes a powerful and snappy O-K with his fingers, appreciating Xion's incredible easy mode power up, which allows him to do gnarly flips and grinds on the way down. Radical.

Most likely, the first Sniper Joe to ever perform such cash money stunts.

As it so happens, he realizes after not too long, that he was capable of passing through the defense systems without triggering them .. because of the Sniper Joe he'd copied, it seems. If he could grin, he'd have a rather wolfish look on his face right about now, as he kickflips his shield back into his hand to begin advancing ahead of the rest. But, not so far ahead that he'd completely outpace them, he wasn't that fast as a Sniper Joe, no matter how girthy that power walk was.

    "We'd appreciate it."

Nodding to Entrapta, X didn't have the luxury of socializing, as dastardly, fire spewing mechaniloids interject in their banter with hot prejudice. Utilizing his Force Metal to begin dashing again, X protects his face with his armored arms, opting to force his way through the formation with as little damage taken as possible, by clearing the obstacle run as quickly as possible.

He completely trusted in Chase and Xion to be able to navigate it themselves or otherwise deal with the situation as they saw fit, especially as Xion transformed into Shine X (pronounced 'Key').

"These 'Wily Stages' ... I guess Sigma's tactics had to come from somewhere..!"
Chase The group finally reaches solid ground after free-falling, and Mashin Chaser lands on the ground with a large thud, knees bent and a single fist slamming into the floor, like a certain Man of Iron. Please don't tell Marvel.

Picking himself off the ground, they slot in a silver car into the top of their gun, a pair of mechanical bat wings suddenly appearing and bolting itself to his arm.


Entraptra asks a simple question, and gets a simple answer.


Everyone else is being smart about this. And fast. Mashin Chaser is not fast though. He is however, built like a brick shit-house. That is his superpower, and he's going to utilize it.

He just strides forward through the hostile enemies, sparking as he takes damage as he retaliates by shooting back. With Xion, they don't need the lights these robots are providing anyway.
Reliant The room with bad lighting is lit up by Xion, which really just sort of eliminates the problem of 'the lighting is hostile flamethrower robots'. X just straightforwardly bypasses them to the best of his ability, which is to say, fairly adeptly.

Axl advances up ahead, finding himself at the end of the corridor. The others are loosely within sight, the glow of lighting coming from below casting eerie shadows on the wall. Laser emitters can be seen down the dead drop.

... And there's someone else there.

What's best described as an engineering access panel is open along both sides of the corridor. Where either of them lead is uncertain, but it leaves a roughly robot-sized opening there. Leaning against the one to Axl's right is a robot in grey-and-red, his helmet very much in X's style, but with a shaded visor and a closed mouth. A monocular green eye gleams in the center, tracking Axl's movements visibly.

So precisely so, in fact, that it's got to be deliberate. Every tiny movement results in a micro-adjustment of that eye.


Entrapta, in response to both X and Chase, excitedly exclaims, "That's great! Really, I can't believe my luck. There's so many interesting machine-people out there! One day, I've gotta make a robot like you guys. Or Bravura! Probably more like Bravura, that's more my style. No offense. I don't think I can sculpt anything THAT--"

She gestures broadly at Chase with her hair, "humanlike! That is, when he's not wearing that stuff. The suit he's wearing right now is right up my alley! Maybe I could make a robot to do the sculpting instead..."

Suddenly, Entrapta drops down next to Mashin Chaser. Simultaneously, Mashin Chaser just walks right the hell through every single mechaniloid in this place. Entrapta angles her shield so as to keep the fire off of her while pointing towards his Break Gunner and in particular the cars within. "What are these little modules? How do they work?"


Break Man glances back towards the drop-off, and then towards the Sniper Joe that is Axl. "Go ahead. It's one less problem for me to deal with. I'm already tired of Kentucky Fried Chicken Man and Wendy's Woman."

For plausible deniability purposes, Break Man turns his right arm into a buster and fires it at Axl Joe. Despite a complete absence of wind-up time, the searing plasma bolt that comes out is a full-yield charge shot most of the size of the corridor itself.

Before he can be questioned further though, Break Man compresses into a beam of red-and-grey light and is gone.


The plunge down into the corridor is a fresh new hell of lasers. They come from two different directions in several cases, funneling everyone down towards a chamber with high ceilings that leads into what is most certainly the final stretch. There is a shadow of something large towards the middle of the hall.

You get the feeling it's an annoying miniboss.
X Axl has a brief, freezing tic -- the former assassin carefully falling back into inherited instincts. It's too little, too late, he feels, but he wouldn't croak until the cows came home. It was a perfect mimicry of what a Sniper Joe's mannerisms 'should' be.

Naturally, this does not escape Break Man's discerning gaze. And realizing this, Axl raises his own buster arm and makes an exaggerated motion in the classic, universal prompt of, 'Well? What is it?!' ... after all, he didn't get the impression that Break Man was here to stop them, and moments later, he confirms as much. Axl doesn't have time to question what the hell a Wendy's Woman, or Kentucky Fried Chicken Man even were.

    WITH X:

Sparks flash and spray as he digs his feet into the ground to kill his momentum, the Force Metal becoming inert once he'd cleared the obstacle course, the others not far behind him and advancing the way they knew best. Enrapta, it seemed, was as giddy as ever.

"They're like the Shift Cars and Signal Bikes, aren't they?" X notes, as it appeared to be a reasonable assumption. Whatever he was about to say next is cut off by a great flash of light, and the explosion that follows. " ... Axl?!"

X sprints ahead on foot. Smoking in a crater blasted in the hall, is no longer a Snpier Joe, but the form of a scar-faced reploid crawling out of the slag. "Ugh .. what the heck was his problem?!"

Kneeling down, X grasps Axl under his arms and lifts him up, helping the red-haired teenager with attitude up to his feet. He looked worse for wear, but there wasn't any visible damage on his body.

"That guy in red blasted me to smithereens .. I think it was probably strong enough to smash through my real body, if I hadn't of been transformed. Jeez."

    "Guy in red..?"

Axl nods, "Yeah, he was .. here a second ago, but looks like he got while the getting was good. Tch."

But the way was clear now, at least. "From what he said, I'm guessing what we're looking for really is this-a-way."
Xion "Guy in red?!" Shine X gasps from the start of the horizontal laser wall tunnel, jogging in place like she's at a stoplight. In her grip is a water bottle that she sips at, puffing her breath steadily. "I touched the heart of a dude in red in a place like this... He's the red armor that I talked to you with in Gaia City? His heart was..." Xion holds her position still. "... complicated. But his power's unmistakeable. Fastest, strongest."

With thumbs and forefingers, she signs a W over her chest. "W Gear."

As Chase and X go about being ROBOT BOYS in the corridor, Xion moves to deep leg stretches, having warmed up by jogging and powered up by PROPER HYDRATION. "Okay." She breathes, shifting from a stretch to leaping from the layer into the second laser hall and disobeying 'down' to start in a runner's crouch on the side of the wall. "Laser hall, take two." Set on her mark, Xion zips past Chase as she slides under an offending laser, back-hopping through a second, and short-blinking in springing solar flares pingponging around the stage, in a largely laser-immune freefall.

"If I can see the end, then--"

"That means we're close! Remember, don't kill anything!!!"
Chase "Viral Cores. They power my Break Gunner."

Another simple answer, for questions that probably wanted a full on explanation. But Mashin Chaser isn't super knowledgeable about Core Drivia and all the systems of the Break Gunner. He just knows how to mantain them at best.

The rest of her talking is 'ignored'. Not ignored as in he's not listening though, he clearly is. But the most Entrapta gets out of him is a grunt of affirmation at best, and silence at worse.

In his defense though, she seems really happy just to talk as is. No point in interrupting when he has nothing to add. Xion mentions not killing anything, which causes them to nod.

More wall lasers come spilling out, and Mashin Chaser just sprints forward...

In this case, sprinting is just extreme power walking. It's enough to just barely get him out of the way of most lasers, but the ambient heat and near grazes are taking an extremely slow toll on his armor's integrity. It's mostly the grazes, though.

An enormous field of colossal deep fryers surrounds a Wendy's. Railless gondola platforms travel over bubbling oil, from which yellow mechaniloids shaped like french fries float lazily on golden-brown helicopter rotors.

A giant robot chicken emerges from a pit in the middle, spewing boiling oil from its beak. Several yards away the ground gives way to a pit of soft serve ice cream, through which it is necessary to walk to advance.

A smug-looking female robot master with an enormous screen of a twitter feed scrolling by rapidly is sitting on a throne of Sniper Joes.

This is an evil that must certainly be stopped-- in a different scene.

"I don't know what either of those things are! Or do I?" Entrapta seems genuinely uncertain. Regardless, she quickly falls in beside Axl when it turns out that he's been injured. She slows down when she notices it's fairly surface-level, taking out a spray can of some sort of foaming metal that she applies to anyplace on Axl that looks scratched.

Evidently satisfied with that for the moment, she moves on after Xion. "Most people are pretty complicated! Actually... not getting that, it can cause some pretty big problems. It's part of why I get along so well with the Doc! He's not all that bad. And neither is Enker!"

Past the lasers and down the corridor, through the vast hall. Entrapta is cradling a bit of her hair that got scorched off at the end by that point, and as they approach the large Thing in the hall...

They find that it's already been taken down. A huge walker stands there in the way, easy enough to simply walk underneath... because the Sniper Joe that was sitting in it has been scattered around the room in about a thousand pieces.

Entrapta dithers around collecting the pieces feverishly, and has them in her arms when they approach the shutter-door. It opens with that characteristic clinking sound, and inside...

Quick Man is staring at a smart phone. The objective, a capsule-like object that is suspiciously identical to the one that Zero was found in (to X's recollection) and very similar to the "sleeper pods" normal during his time regardless, is in a corner of the room.

Quick Man looks up, but before a questioning look can even cross his face--

Entrapta switches something on her wristpad and points at him. A clock appears superimposed in the air.

Quick Man stops moving.

"Stop Essentia. Okay, could all of you huddle around the capsule with me? Just like a biiiiiig group hug!" Entrapta exclaims, moving over to squeeze in the back of the capsule (because she is the smol person here) and wrap her hair around it.

"You too, Mashin Chaser! It's to make the teleporting simpler, the capsule doesn't need group hugs. Probably." Entrapta knocks on the back of the capsule and asks it, "Do you?!"
X     "Whew!"

With Entrapta applying robo first aide spray to him, Axl smiles in contentment. "Thanks a bunch! Hoo, I'm still kind of shook about that guy's strength. What was that Xion called it? Double?"

X crosses his arms and considers. Recalling back then, it made some sense then, that Axl's Sniper Joe form had been no match. Being capable of perfectly mimicking someone came with both ups and downs, after all.

"Well, let's get moving. It's straight ahead, and the sooner we grab the target, the sooner we can return home."
"Yup! Alright, I'm feeling refreshed, so let's rock!"

Axl's legs had visibly rocket attachments that fired off to let him zoom along the ground, while X dashed at a significantly slower pace compared to before, relying on his internal propulsion instead of the incredible thrust of Force Metal energy.

By the time they come upon Quick Man and the capsule, it seemed as though they had managed to show up just in the nick of the moment. " ..!"

Entrapta, before either Axl or X could seize the initiative, utilizes Stop Essentia to freeze Quickman in place. And with a succinct prompt, Axl was already swaggering towards the capsule, pausing briefly to stare at Quickman. After a moment of consideration, he reaches down for one of the oil splatters on the ground, and draws a pair of googly eyes on Quickman's face, topping it off with a goofy and childish moustache. "Eh he he ... well look at that! I made that ugly mug of his look pretty good, huh, X? .... X?"

The blue bomber blinks, seeming to have been shaken from some sort of internal revelation, "Ah. It's nothing. Stop goofing off, we need to shake a leg."


X stands next to the capsule, Axl following closely behind him with both hands folded behind his head.
Xion Xion jumps at the door on impulse, foot striking out as Axl asks her important contexts about the mysterious red Man. "Double Gear!" She handsigns W again, perhaps uncomfortably for X. Perhaps not!

She's not saying 'jusdie, x' or 'Sugma' or anything of the sort. History marches on!

Marches right into the final room, that is, as Xion floats through the door and lands, nonplussed at Quick Man. Entrapta has this!

"Gathering together?" Xion asks, before smiling and cheerfully dragging Chase towards the Large Hug Pile For Perfectly Prgagmatic Reasons. "That's a great idea! You know, essentia gave me my own ideas... That powers can work together, right? This place, where everyone could experience it in that perfectly right way, even though none of us are from this space -- that's an amazing thing. I want to try that out some more, so..."

As everyone gathers up, Medallions appear in a selector ring around Xion, energy drawn from the surroundings, as well as Entrapta, X, and Mashin Chaser. Two medallions in her ring regain their luster - Entrapta's welding-mask face and Break Man's red and blue interlocked gear with a stylized crack through the center - while more join the ring - one bearing the forehead jewel of X, and the other bearing the 'monocular' masked face of Mashin Chaser.

"I've just had the best idea and I can't wait to try it out."
Chase "I do not need hugs. No."

He doesn't say that he wants them though. So maybe he does. Maybe the stoic Grim Reaper is actually a big softy on the inside. Maybe you should shut up.

Making quick note that Quick Man appears to not do too well with being stopped (Like most people really), Mashin Chaser joins Entrapta and Xion around the capsule to hug it like the big strong robot man that he is.
Reliant "Y'mean Double Gear? The Doc showed me that once. He used it to make his saucer go SUPER fast. Don't know if he ever did anything else with it, though." Entrapta says.

He absolutely did, and she just didn't notice.

She pokes her head out in reaction to Axl's comments about Quick Man, the lenses of her mask appearing around the edge of the capsule. "Aw, he's gonna be in enough trouble as it is. I guess it won't be that hard to wash off..."

To Xion, she says, "Combining powers is amazing! Wealth can do all sorts of convenience things, it's why I like using it as payment. A lot more flexible than just the money, too!"

With a free tendril, Entrapta lifts her welding mask to peer at Xion's selector ring. "Are you... a Pri~ncess?"

But she doesn't wait for the answer-- and doesn't provide context, either! Entrapta blinks rapidly when Chase answers for the capsule. She looks between him and the capsule, evidently wondering whether he actually communicated with it just now.

"Well, hold on tight!"

Entrapta boops a trigger on her wrist with her nose. Everyone is again compressed back into a beam of light, along with the capsule...

They emerge moments later in a workshop back on the crawler, which is definitely not Entrapta's. One side of the room sprawls with sheet-covered spheres that must be some sort of tanks-- there's a bubbling sound coming from within.

A massive construction at the head of the room is very definitely some sort of work-in-progress, and looks rather like somebody is trying to assemble a stargate.

The rest of the room is a sprawl of messy, miscellaneous projects in progress.

The group appears about a foot off the ground. The capsule plunges the distance in the middle of the room with a thunderous BANG, though Entrapta manages to suspend herself from her grapnel rather than fall properly. She looks around rapidly. "Hmm... that isn't right, either. I've gotta work on my calculations for moving teleportation targets."

A tall humanoid stands directly behind Entrapta. His face has a natural white color to most of it, though it is also a light blue along his ears, jaw, and cheeks in a way that offers the impression of a skull. The nose is snub and bat-like, and his ears are pointed. His eyes are completely red, and his short hair is a deep blue-black. He wears a great suit of armor, a simple gunmetal shade to much of its plating, and a tabard-like covering with a pair of red wings surrounding a crystalline structure.

The high, metal collar is ornamented with a set of red stripes, and set at its center is a notably Entrapta-colored triangular gem.

Hordak's expression is a combination of restrained aggravation and surprise.

"Entrapta, who... ARE these people?" he asks.

"This is my heist crew! Heist crew, this is my lab partner Hordak. Hordak, heist crew." Entrapta exclaims excitedly, pushing back from the capsule and laying a tendril of hair across Hordak's shoulders as most people would an arm.
Xion 'Are you a princess?'

Xion has a moment to think about this as translocation happens via nose-beep.

Beamed straight into Hordak's lab, Xion looks at the bat-faced man, smiles, waves her hand cheerfully, and then answers Entrapta's question.

"Actually, I think I am a princess. Why?"
X Axl snickers mischievously. Poor Quick Man.

"So the Double Gear can work on other kinds of machinery, too .. " X surmises. Thankfully, because Xion did not go on about any kind of 'Sugma, Mega Man!' she got a cool person pass. Xion has a habit of receiving these.

Much like with Roxas, his bond with Xion manifests into a tangible ability for her, and it makes him smile. He had faith that whatever it was she had planned, it was generally going to be aimed in the correct direction.

Fast forward to X and Axl both crumpled on the ground with a sigh, at Entrapta's buggy teleportation technology, Axl is the first one to look up at the newly introduced lab partner.

He cocks his head, eyes squinting and a raspberry ready to blow. "That look is /so/ 21XX, dude. You really do not rock it."

    X sighs.

"Are you a princess?" he parrots, shocked at her answer.
Reliant Hordak does not look like the type of person who takes getting deliberately irritated particularly well. His expression is now less agitated and more angry, but before he can do anything--

Entrapta presses a button on her wrist pad and a STOP Essentia is applied to Axl. Her expression remains relatively cheery, "That's Axl, I need to fix him up. He can copy things! It's really cool, I was hoping to get a closer look at how he does it..."

This appears to bewilder Hordak enough to stop him from trying to put Axl through the nearest three walls.

A bunby catcher flies in through the door, picks Axl up between its claws, and carries him out into the hallway, where the STOP Essentia's effect cancels. It flies back inside immediately afterwards and picks up the capsule, carrying it out the door-- presumably, towards Entrapta's lab.

Disentangling herself from Hordak, Entrapta sweeps in next to Xion and whispers conspiratorially, "I need to study you."

Then, motioning rapidly towards the door, she says, "C'mon, this isn't my workshop. We gotta let your scientist friends look at this thing, too, right?"

Hordak lifts one eyebrow quizzically, but doesn't push the matter. He retreats back towards one of the workbenches, where he's working on some sort of... helmet, or head-mounted device of some kind.