Knife in the Ribs

Author: Silver
Rating: Moderate
Status: In Progress
Series: N/A
Preceding: N/A
Succeeding: N/A

Chapter 1

There was night resting over the town of Teufort, New Mexico, with broken-down granary mills ringing the outskirts. It was in one of these granary mills that the entire RED team was assembled, circled around a broken-down poker table. Large, empty scrumpy bottles lay in the corners of the room, and a baseball bat lay against the wall.

Heavy shifted in his seat, causing it to creak and groan in woody agony. "So you say we will get new teammate?"

Spy turned slightly, the left side of his face in the light. His cigarette was pinched in two fingers and his mouth barely moved as he said, "Yes. We will."

Medic placed one arm on Heavy's massive shoulder, the other resting thoughtfully on his chin. "Vell, we should be very careful about... zis... new teammate." He flicked his hand in disgust, accidentally slapping Heavy across the face.

Soldier, unable to keep his trap shut for any longer, yelled, "They'd better not be a traitor, or else we will all spread their entrails from here to Kalamazoo, then refuse to hold their guts in!" For Soldier, this was the ultimate refusal of friendship.

The mercenaries considered this with varying levels of disturbance. Sniper, standing in the back of the room at the shadows, announced matter-of-factly "We'll 'ave to watch him closely, 'course. But I ain't too worried. They can't take down nine of us. Administrator wouldn't unbalance the teams."

Most of the team nodded, except Spy, Pyro and the drunken Demoman, leaning against the wall.

Engineer piped up from next to Heavy. "Well, I say, no buffalo, that we should just accept this new guy as a pal. He'll be less likely to become a traitor if we act like pals to 'im."

Spy hissed, "This man is a mercenary. Your pathetic social engineering skills won't work on him."

Scout, unusually quiet, said, "Well, who's gonna be waiting for him in the morning? That's when Miss Pauling said his plane would arrive."

There was much debate, and eventually, Pyro and Soldier were selected.

"Gentlemen, get your sleep," Spy announced. "We have a big day tomorrow."

"Hell's right we do," Sniper muttered bad-naturedly.

Chapter 2

The newcomer, dashing down the steps to his plane, was greeted by a rocket launcher in the face.

"I warn you, civilian, if you are a traitor, I will BLOW YOU TO KALAMAZOO!" Soldier screamed. He then retracted his rocket launcher and shook the newbie's hand.

He was a tall man, broad-shouldered, with a simple, kind face. A fishing vest, with multiple colored badges and hooks, clung to his frame, slightly bulging. Pockets adorned every last inch of it.

The stranger, meanwhile, followed Soldier inside. Pyro viewed his back as if it was a perfect sheath for a fire axe, but avoided striking... just yet.

Inside the base, the mercs were assembled in a loose semicircle. On the far left, Scout was jogging in place, his fists pumping up and down rhythmically. "So who we got 'eah!"

"I," the man announced, posturing rather dramatically, "am the Assistant."

Sniper snorted, causing the man to turn his way. "What's wrong, my dear friend? You appear to have a head cold."

Scout grimaced, grumbling "Some glamorous kid you are. Just a little guy, with no weapons or nuttin'!"

Assistant grinned in response to his new teammate's grimace. "Ah, but I have this." He pulled a health packet out of his breast pocket.

Heavy grunted. "Is health packet." He jostled the shoulder of Medic, nearly sending the smaller man flying, and whispered, not at all quietly, "I do not like new man. Is too small."

"But you picked it up," Spy said slowly. "You picked a health packet up. None of us can. But you, apparently, can. So that's your purpose?"

Assistant grinned, pleased to be recognized. "That's not all I can do. I can do ammo, metal, and even more." His eyes sparkled.

"Well, we best be gettin' ready for the battles today!" Demoman announced loudly. "They be startin' in a few minutes, aye!"

Chapter 3

"Today is a good day!" Soldier announced as Medic healed him inside the RED base. Today was another typical, good day: BLU was going to try to blow up their base with a giant bomb. Standard protocol for the mercs.

The worst days were when they had to do bomb races, or sometimes when they had to launch some australium to the next county. Those were a lot harder to do. But no matter. Today was an easy day. A good day.

The bells rang, and the RED team got ready. As Spy faded into nonexistence, Demoman's stickybombs blew up the BLU Engineer, who had tried to sneak by to set up a sentry.

The BLU team lunged out of the gate, guns blazing. Three grenades whizzed by Soldier's ear as Pyro deflected the fourth. The BLU Heavy's minigun pushed Scout down out of the air.

Assistant was at the back of the fray, near Sniper. He was constantly supplying the assassin with ammo as the BLU team fell to headshots. Sniper was the best of the best.

The BLU Sniper emerged from the gate. He took aim, before Sniper even had time to move, and shot the RED team's assassin cleanly through the head.

Sniper fell.

The BLU Sniper, who was waving at his fallen counterpart, laughed and was blown up by a bomb.

The BLU team's cart was almost to the first checkpoint. That was normal. It never got much farther.

As Spy poised to backstab the BLU Demoman, he was blown up by a rogue stickybomb. Heavy fell to a knife embedded solidly in his fleshy back, while Medic fled.

Soldier flew over the heads of the enemies, propelled by a solid explosion. He blew his horn mid-air and rallied his teammates.

Back in the RED spawn, Pyro was rummaging through the supply locker as Spy looked on.

"I will cause a diversion," the Frenchman announced. Pyro responded with "Mmph!" and dug a Backburner out of the closet. He wanted to use this weapon, because it was a good day. His friends always laughed harder when he gave them their surprise from behind, rather than just spurting normal rainbows. They always loved it.1

As Spy dashed through the enemy lines, backstabbing crazily, Pyro flanked them... walked up behind them... and sprayed them with rainbows. They all laughed joyously, so he continued, until they all hugged him.

Behind a large tower, Spy tipped his hat to Pyro. "Well done, my friend."

The Backburner, in normal Team Fortress, always deals critical hits when it strikes an enemy from behind. Pyro has a skewed reality, and as such believes that when he burns enemies he is spraying them with rainbows, which makes them laugh (actually, scream in pain).

Chapter 4

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