Villains For Hire
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|This tale has been told! It's done!|
- If you were looking for the company of the same name, see Villains For Hire, Inc.
|Villains For Hire|
It was a perfectly regular day in the city of Crookharbor, with business bustling around as usual. Pickpockets and thieves slipped in between crowds while mercenaries waddled around, looking for potential business.
Meanwhile, a black feathered penguin wearing a dark beanie weaved through the passer-bys, waddling in the opposite direction of the general crowd.
As soon as he approached a building named "XTUX and Austin.Inc", he suddenly turned towards a secluded and empty alleyway. The penguin made several twists and turns, and after navigating this maze of grimy alleyways and streets, arrived at a metal door. He pulled open and locked the door behind him, and descended down a flight of steps.
At the bottom, the stairs opened into a large, stony looking basement where a penguin sat at a wooden desk. The walls and the desk itself were crowded with blueprints of designs, maps, and other miscellaneous junk.
The black feathered penguin approached the penguin at the desk, who seemed to be muttering and cackling to himself about whatever he was working on. Judging by the metallic noises, it must have been some sort of machine.
The penguin at the desk stopped laughing, stood up, and turned around triumphantly. He too was a black-feathered penguin, and had a blue headband around his head as well as an eyepatch covering his right eye.
Rodr33: Ah, there you are, brother! Just in time to witness my latest creation. BEHOLD!
Rodr33 grabbed whatever it was that he was working on and held it up for his brother to see. It was a hollow metal box with several stringy wires sticking out.
Rodr33: The Engine of Sickness. Mark I.
Rodr11 backed away warily.
Rodr11: That looks like an exposed microwave...
Rodr33: That's because it is! I've turned it into my own makeshift nausea-inducing device. Anyone subject to its effects should feel a long lasting dizziness!
Rodr11: And you're positive that this works?
Rodr33: Well, I haven't tested it yet. In fact, why don't we try it out now?
Rodr11: Wait, wait, WAIT—!
Unfortunately, Rodr33 had already activated the makeshift microwave, forcing Rodr11 to dive sideways to avoid the microwave's range. A light lit up inside the microwave, and it began to hum. Buzzing and crackling noises could be heard.
Rodr33: Hm. You see that, brother? Perfectly functional! Nothing to worry about!
Sparks flew from the microwave.
Rodr33: Well, mostly.
The microwave burst into a shower of bright flames and sparks, while smoke poured from its vents. It fell off of the table and crashed, scattering into numerous broken components. Rodr11 rushed to hastily stamp the flames out.
Rodr33: Back to scratch, I suppose.
He rummaged around in the smoking heap of scrap and metal, pulling out wires and parts at random.
Rodr33: I'll conquer this continent someday, brother. Someday.
He began assembling the pieces, putting random pieces together.
Rodr11: Don't you think it'd be easier if-
Rodr33: Not now, brother. Let me concentrate!
Rodr11: Right, sorry. Just wondering if a team or something would make things easier.
Rodr33 stopped meddling with the microwave parts and thought for a moment.
Rodr33: Hm. A team, you say?
Rodr11: Well, yeah. More people would make it easier, wouldn't it?
Rodr33: Yeah, I guess you're right. I should make a company of some sort. In fact, I'll start right now! Brother, pass me some paper. I'll make some flyers.
Rodr11: I—oh, uh, okay then.
Rodr33: And some glue, while you're at it. But what could I name this company?
Rodr11: I mean, there are other options too. We might not even need a team. We could be like those bounty hunters. Like villains for hire. We could even call ourselves "Villains for Hire".
Rodr33: Hmm...villains for hire...Ink! I need ink, get me the—
Rodr33 suddenly gasped.
Rodr33: Wait...I've thought of the perfect name! Villains For Hire, Inc! I'm a GENIUS!
Rodr11 looked somewhat exasperated.
Rodr11: Oh yeah, sure. You definitely made that name all by yourself. Congrats.
Rodr33: Why, thank you brother! Now quick, fetch me that ink. Let's get to work.
Chapter 1: Criminals Unite
The two brothers then set out the next day, hanging up flyers and posters, advertising the creation of "Villains For Hire, Inc". As sunset approached, the two returned home.
Rodr11 sat down at the old, box-like computer in the corner of the room, checking for emails while Rodr33 paced around in circles.
Rodr33: Any word yet?
Rodr11: Well, I did receive some emails regarding the poster.
Rodr33: Excellent! So we have our first members.
Rodr11: They said they'd all be here by 7pm, like you wanted.
Rodr33: Good, good. Now we wait...
Knock knock knock.
Rodr33: BROTHER! Answer the door!
Rodr11: Yeah, yeah, I'm coming!
After an hour or so of waiting, the brothers had a visitor, which they could only presume was the first new member of the company.
Rodr11 unlocked the door.
Standing in front of him was a shiny silver robot, in the shape of a penguin. The robot extended a metal flipper, rather stiffly.
Robot: My designation is BONK-1.
Rodr11: Uh, yeah. Welcome.
Rodr11 shook BONK-1's flipper.
BONK-1: I calculate that this is the location of "Villains For Hire, Inc."?
Rodr11: Er, yes. Just come inside.
BONK-1 then descended the steps into the basement, clanking and whirring with every movement while Rodr11 followed behind. Rodr33 looked pleased.
Rodr11: This is BONK-1. He says that he specializes in calculating, determining probability of success, and is equipped with a fully weaponized system. He's not exactly sure what he was originally created for, though.
BONK-1: Activating weapons system.
BONK-1's body opened up in several places, revealing gun barrels, lasers, and other dangerous-looking weapons.
Rodr33: Perfect! You'll come in very handy, I think.
Rodr11: BONK-1 is here, so that means we're only waiting on-
Knock knock knock.
Rodr33: Ah, that must be them. Get to it, brother!
Rodr11 waddled back up to the door and opened it.
?????: Is this Villains For Hire, Inc.?
Standing in front of him was a penguin in a ninja suit. He wore a purple belt, and a matching purple ninja mask.
Rodr11: Yes, yes it is.
Rodr33 rushed up the stairs to meet the ninja.
Rodr33: Excellent! Another one has arrived...
Rodr11: I believe that this one is Scythe. A trained ninja looking to become an assassin. He was never able to earn his black belt from Sensei, though.
Scythe grumbled and crossed his flippers.
Scythe: Card-Jitsu was never about skill. Never.
????: Ey! Down here, lads!
All three of them looked down to a puffle wearing a dark red hat. Strangest of all, the puffle had a slightly darker red coat of fur.
Puffle: The name's Draco. Draco Cypher. Is this Villains For Hire Inc.?
Rodr33: Why, yes it is.
Scythe: Wait, you're-
Draco: Not, a red puffle, no. I'm a crimson puffle.
Rodr33: I see. And what can you do?
Draco: Simple, mate.
Draco's entire body suddenly turned a shiny and reflective silver. After a few seconds, he returned back to his crimson-coloured self.
Draco: I'm a crimson puffle, which means I can turn myself into a strong metal form at will. I'm good with weapons, and can also serve as a leader, if you like.
Rodr33: Yes, yes, YES! It's all coming together...come inside, both of you.
The two of them stepped inside, while Rodr11 shut the door.
Scythe: Is this the whole team?
Rodr11: Well we're still waiting on one more. A certain person named "Crabbe the Snapper". According to the email, they're a well-trained fighter, an excellent hacker and a master escapist.
Draco: Sounds promising.
Scythe: So where is this "Crabbe the Snapper"?
knock knock knock.
BONK-1: Detecting low-decibel noise.
Scythe: I heard it too. It's the door.
Draco: It must be Snapper, then.
Rodr33: Well, brother? Go open it, then!
Rodr11 pulled the door open once again.
The others all crowded around behind Rodr11 and looked down at the source of the noise. It was a small scarlet-coloured crab. An even smaller yellow starfish was stuck on its front.
Scythe: That's not Snapper. What's this crab doing here?
Crab: Click click click! Click!
BONK-1's eyes began flashing red.
Rodr11: What's it saying?
BONK-1's eyes stopped flashing.
BONK-1: The crustacean states that it received your message and is here to join the Villains For Hire Inc.
Draco: Wait, you're telling us that this little whipper-snapper here is...well...Snapper?
Crab: CLICK! CLICK!
BONK-1: According to him, yes.
Scythe: You can't be serious.
Rodr11: This crab? Crabbe the Snapper...? Oh. Wait a minute-
Rodr33: Great! This is great! Now that everyone's here, let's plan for our first mission. Its time we prove we're more than what we seem...
The members of Villains For Hire Inc. all took a seat around a table in the basement.
Draco: Alrighty, so any ideas on where exactly it is that we start?
Rodr11: Maybe we could hunt down and capture someone? Like a mayor or a businessperson or something.
Snapper: Click click click!
BONK-1: Snapper states that we could attempt to steal a nearby convoy of valuable resources.
Draco: Eh? What're you on about?
Snapper made a series of clicks and noises with his claws, which BONK-1 began translating.
BONK-1: A train is expected to arrive in the city of Aquarius within 3 days carrying several carts worth of cargo to later distribute and sell. It is said to be carrying contained radioactive metals such as uranium and plutonium, among other items such as silver, Ditto, and deletion crystals.
Rodr11: Sounds reasonable. We could make a lot of money if we took it...
Snapper made more clicking noises.
BONK-1: However, Snapper says that there will be a squadron of guards present, as well as a helicopter. My calculations predict a 66% chance of success.
Scythe: Seems worth the risk.
Draco: I agree, mate.
Rodr33: I like it! Do we all agree to this, then?
Snapper clicked in agreement.
Draco: We could probably sell the items onto the Black Market for money. I know a few lads who'd be willing to pay a large price for it.
Rodr11: It's settled then.
Scythe: But how exactly will this all work? We don't have a plan.
Rodr33: Leave it to me.
Chapter 2: Night Heist
A train snaked its way through the blizzard that consumed the heavily snow-coated Trans-Antarctican mountains. The sky was dark and cloudy, rendering the surrounding landscape almost entirely obscure.
Two helicopters flew overhead, closely following the train and shining their bright spotlights over the area.
A small plume of snow and flames exploded upwards near the side of the train, causing a bank of snow to cascade downwards. While the snow didn't reach the railroad and the train continued onwards, the two helicopters suddenly turned their spotlight on the small avalanche.
While this happened, a figure landed onto the top of the driver's train with a clang. Another smaller figure crawled off his back.
BONK-1: Snapper and I have successfully landed on the train's driver compartment. The helicopters were successfully distracted.
Draco (radio): Nice one.
Rodr33 cackled over the radio link.
Rodr33 (radio): Good. You know the rest.
Meanwhile, inside the front car of the train, the driver was navigating the railroad ahead of him, whistling quietly to himself.
Just as the driver looked away to try and locate the sound, the compartment door swung open, revealing a robotic penguin with a small scarlet crab on his back.
Driver: What the-?
BONK-1: Activating shock mechanism.
BONK-1 placed a robotic flipper on the train driver, who suddenly recoiled and slumped onto the floor unconscious as arcs of bright electricity sprouted out of him. BONK-1 then opened the door outside and dropped the driver into a bank of snow.
Snapper leapt of his back, scuttled across the floor onto the control panel. After a few moments of examining it, he twirled and twiddled several knobs, flipped several switches and pushed buttons. The whole train began to slow down.
BONK-1: Infiltration successful. You may began boarding the vehicle.
Guard 1: The train's stopping?
Guard 2: It's probably nothing. The choppers must have spotted something ahead. Maybe a herd of wild puffles blocking the path.
Guard 3: The cargo. Is it secure?
Guard 4: I'll go ahead and check.
The door at the front of the train car burst open.
Rodr33: Heh heh! No you wont!
Scythe landed next to Rodr33, and threw a handful of small, round items at the guards. They all split open with loud and long hisses, spewing large clouds of purple gas everywhere. The guards began heaving and coughing as the whole car filled up with the gas.
Rodr33: Those are concentrated gas bombs created from extracting the fumes of Cream Soda. Courtesy of yours truly, of course.
The guards began to stagger back and collapse.
Guard 1: *cough cough* Who-?
Rodr33: Learn to fear the tyranny of Villains For Hire, Inc!
Rodr11 appeared behind his brother.
Rodr11: That phrase...doesn't really stick well...
Rodr33: Eh, it'll take some getting used to. It has a nice ring to it, though.
Rodr33 slammed the door shut to the guard's compartment and pulled out a blowtorch before welding the door shut.
Scythe pulled out a sharp metal katana and struck the coupling linking the guards' train compartment to the rest of the train, which was in fact located at the very end. The coupling shattered almost instantly.
The helicopters turned around and instantly noticed the ruckus.
Rodr33: Snapper, we're clear to go! Start the train! Full speed!
Snapper (radio): Click click!
The three of them hopped onto the main train as it started to move, picking up speed while leaving the uncoupled guard car behind. The helicopters began to follow the train, shining their bright spotlights down on the band of criminals.
Rodr33: Uh, we need some help! Draco!? BONK-1!?
Draco (radio): On it!
A few moments later, they heard the sound of gunshots. Bullets whizzed past them towards the helicopters, which dodged around them.
Draco (radio): They keep moving, I can't get them!
BONK-1 (radio): Allow me to be of assistance.
Seconds later, the criminals heard the sound of an engine. BONK-1 flew over their heads, his arm transformed into a laser gun. His back had opened up, revealing a built-in jet pack.
BONK-1 (radio): Target locked.
The laser gun fired a single, bright blue bead of energy, which struck the helicopter directly in the side, hitting the engine. The copter spun out of control, before crashing into the side of a mountain behind them.
The other helicopter flew ahead, trying to dodge BONK-1's lasers.
Rodr33: That should be it. If we're lucky, we should be on the way back to Crookharbor in no time!
Draco (radio): Yeah, I don't know so much about that, mate.
BONK-1 (radio): Warning. The helicopter has crashed and destroyed part of the railroad bridge ahead.
Rodr11: Uh, I don't think we anticipated a helicopter potentially crashing a bridge ahead while we're travelling over 60 miles per hour on a runaway train in the planning process.
Scythe: Oh, you don't say!
Rodr33: Snapper, slow down the train!
Snapper (radio): Click CLICK CLICK!
BONK-1 (radio): He states that we won't be able to slow down in time to avoid the bridge. We have a limited amount of time before the train reaches the collapsed bridge. Estimated time: 58 seconds.
Rodr33: QUICK, GRAB AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AND LEAVE!
The criminals subsequently looted as much of the cargo as they could, storing and taking as much as they could carry.
BONK-1 (radio): I detect a port not far away. If we survive the incoming destruction, we can take a boat back to Crookharbor. We also have 32 seconds left until impact.
The bridge was now visible ahead of them. It was a viaduct-like structure, and had collapsed midway, still smoking from the helicopter crash.
Rodr33: Everyone out! NOW!
The train had slowed down enough for all of them to leap off and land mostly unharmed into the snow. Seconds after Snapper leapt out of the driver's car and into the snow, the train reached the bridge.
As soon as it met the mid-way point, it flew off the rails, colliding with the beam of the bridge.
The entire series of train cars exploded spectacularly, in clouds of bright greens, yellows, reds and neon purple.
The members of Villains For Hire, Inc. all stood up and stared in awe at the resulting explosion.
Draco: Well that was a bust, eh?
Chapter 3: Hit and Waddle
Draco: Ey, look at this! We made the news!
After a short journey to the river mouth, the criminals of Villains For Hire, Inc. had managed to steal a fishing boat and return to Crookharbor unharmed.
Draco tossed the newspaper onto the table. The others took a look at it before passing it around.
Rodr11: Although the culprits escaped, an interview with a guard involved says the culprits addressed themselves as the "Villains For Hire, Inc."
Rodr33 suddenly burst through the door, cackling. He was carrying a bag full of something.
Rodr33: Everyone! Come check this out! I sold the valuables at the market.
He tossed it on the ground and unzipped it. Inside it were thick wads of banknotes.
Rodr33: All thanks to us. But mostly thanks to me, of course.
Draco: We're all getting a fair share of this cash, aren't we?
BONK-1: Scanning contents... About 75,650 Fish worth of money. Divided between our members, we each get $12,608.3 each.
Scythe: Glad to see we got something out of that fiasco.
Rodr11: At this rate, we could make more money than Mission Transaction ever made...
Rodr33: Quite right, brother. That and more!
Scythe: So, what next?
BONK-1: I calculate the best possible course would be to complete another mission.
Rodr33: Excellent idea! Any ideas?
BONK-1: I may have a proposition of my own. South Pole City is one of Antarctica's largest population, finance and political centers. Attacking the city will surely prove our capabilities if successful, and affect the lives of many.
Draco: We could rob a bank.
Scythe: Or bomb the city.
BONK-1: My calculations recommend interrupting a South Pole Council meeting. It would surely disrupt communications between the council's member states and its associates.
Rodr11: Uh... what about all four?
Scythe: All four?
Rodr33: Hmm... well, it's not a bad idea, is it?
Draco: Guess not.
Rodr33: Any objections, then?
Rodr33: That's what I thought. We'll do all four!
Scythe: Oh, boy.
Rodr11: How will we plan on getting there, though?
Rodr33: Oh yeah, did I mention I was working on an official transportation vehicle?
A week later...
The South Pole Council was hosting a meeting in the South Pole Capitol building. Contrary to how any regular meeting would actually function - which was considered completely normal for the council specifically - none of the delegates were interested in the topic at hand, and were chatting amongst each other, snoring in their seats, or doing something else.
The somewhat strange judge who presided over the council, Judge Xavier, was twirling his gavel in his flippers when he suddenly decided it was this specific moment that he had to instil order.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Judge Xavier: ORDUH!! OORRRRRRDUHH!
The court fell silent.
Judge Xavier: Now that I have everyone's attention, today's case will be-
Bob McGoo: Judge, I think we're missing a few people.
Jacko #1558: Indeed. Where's Explorer?
Xavier: We'll begin the meeting without him. Now–
Cheddarbox: Uh, sir? I think I may have forgotten my judicial robe...
Judge Xavier: Go get it then! Yah never even bring it to meetings in the first place!
Cheddarbox: Heh heh heh heh... sorry.
Cheddarbox hastily got up and exited the room.
Xavier: Now, as I was saying–
Akbaboy: Hey, judge? My chair's broken.
Xavier: Got get yahself a new one over there. And now...
Xavier banged his gavel several times.
Xavier: Today's topic will be about–
The doors to the meeting room burst open, banging onto the sides of the wall. Two penguins entered.
Rodr33: Surprise, surprise!
Rodr33 threw four grenades into the air, two with each flipper. Scythe, who was standing next to Rodr33, whipped out shurikens, several in each flipper, and tossed them directly at the airborne grenades. Upon impact, the grenades exploded into clouds, followed by blindingly blight flashes of colour, in the shape of a hashtag.
The colours were so bright, that all the delegates in the room were temporarily blinded as they covered their eyes with whatever they could, with others screaming and panicking.
Judge Xavier yelled loudly and bashed his gavel numerous times, trying to restore the order. However, being temporarily blinded by the explosion, he couldn't seem to hit the block for his gavel and missed several times, even hitting a purple puffle nearby in the face.
Mabel: #%§@%$&€#*! Watch where you're putting that thing!
A few delegates who were running in panic tripped, stumbled, or banged in to walls, sometimes into each other.
Rodr33: Heh heh heh... I think our work here is done. Let's give them the parting message.
Rodr33 pulled out a very crossbow-like device strapped to his back and fired a bolt at the wall on the other side of the room. Attached to the bolt was a folded up banner, which subsequently unravelled itself, revealing "Courtesy of Villains For Hire, Inc." in large, crudely painted letters.
Just as Rodr33 and Scythe turned to run, a snow shovel pummelled Rodr33 in the back of the head from behind him.
Rodr33: What– OW!
Rodr33 collapsed, causing Scythe to grumble and begin dragging him along while the culprit, a blue penguin in a red propeller cap, appeared behind them and laughed to himself.
Scythe continued to haul Rodr33 out the exit just as Cheddarbox wandered in, wondering what all the commotion was about.
Cheddarbox: How come everyone gets have fun when I'm not around...? Oh, there you are, Explorer.
Rodr11 was waiting outside when Scythe dragged Rodr33's unconscious body out the entrance.
Rodr11: What happened?
Scythe: He got hit in the head with a snow shovel.
Rodr11: Okay... we'd better get going.
Rodr11 climbed into the driver seat of his brother's incredibly peculiar "official transportation vehicle". From the front half, it looked like a combination of a winged, wheeled boat and from the back half, a mixture of a jeep and a helicopter, with a caravan-like cab on the back, and a helicopter-like tail sprouting out of it. Two engines were attached to each side of the vehicle. The tail wing of a plane was visible on top of the cab, and several propellers were stuck to the wings of the boat half.
Scythe: I still don't understand this... "vehicle". It's supposed to function on land, fly in the air, and travel across water?
Rodr11: Uh, yeah. Apparently. My brother says it's supposed to be an all-terrain vehicle.
Scythe hoisted Rodr33 onto the vehicle.
Scythe: Where can I put him while he's out cold?
Rodr11: Er, just put him in the back. We've gotta get to the bank. Draco, BONK-1 and Snapper are already there.
Scythe: Let's get to it, then.
Meanwhile, the three remaining members of the crew were outside a nearby bank, setting up their attack.
Draco: Alright lads, we know what to do. Snapper will move in through the ventilation system through the back of the building and hack security. After he hacks security, he'll steal the banks data of online accounts and other details. Once that's done, he'll shut down the power, which is the cue for me and BONK-1 to take the cash stored in the safes. By that time, the rest of the team should arrive at the specific time, and we'll escape with our winnings. Got all of that?
Snapper gave an excited click.
Draco: Good luck then, mate.
Snapper nodded and quickly scuttled off, out of view.
Draco: Let's get our disguises on. A robot walking a rare puffle around would make a pretty odd spectacle, innit?
BONK-1 and Draco entered the bank in their respective disguises. BONK-1 was wearing Draco's hat, blue and white face paint for feathers, a hoodie, and some shoes, all of which they shoplifted from a nearby store. Draco covered himself in yellow facepaint to look like a regular puffle and found a rope to use a fake leash.
The bank was somewhat busy, with a small crowd gathered inside the building. Several penguins would walk past to queue at the counters. Whenever the coast was clear, Draco would pull out his radio communicator from hammerspace and whisper into it.
Draco: Alright, Snapper. How's it coming along?
Voices could be heard yelling on Snapper's radio, accompanied by crackling noises. After a few moments, the radio went silent.
Draco: Erm... Snapper?
Seconds later, the happy clicking of a crab's claws could be heard.
Draco: I'll take that response as a successful attempt at disabling security.
Snapper (radio): Click click! Click!
BONK-1: Snapper says he is now disabling the electrical system and the alarm systems.
Draco: Now's our chance.
The lights in the entire bank suddenly cut off, darkening the room.
Most of the people in the crowd didn't seem too bothered by this, while some employees went into the back rooms to try and figure out the issue.
After a moment passed, Draco shook off the face paint, leapt high enough to grab his hat off BONK-1's head and land back on the floor. He pulled out a golden-coloured Fruit Blaster.
Draco: Alright, everyone! STEP ASIDE AND NOBODY GETS SHOT!
He fired several shots into the ceiling.
Everyone in the room screamed in fright and dispersed.
BONK-1's hoodie ripped itself to pieces as his body opened up, revealing several weapons. His eyes lit up red.
BONK-1: Activating aggressive mode.
Almost every weapon present on BONK-1's body immediately began to attack, firing bullets, shooting flames and sending out laser beams in every direction. The hiding civilians now seemed extra terrified and ran towards the exit. Draco turned his fur to metal as a laser passed over him and reflected off of his metal form, putting a hole in a wall opposite to them.
Draco: Oi! Can you not? At least try to not hit me!
BONK-1's eyes briefly returned to their usual lightless selves.
?????: HEY! Security! Get–
As soon as security guards came in through the back doors, Draco began rapid-firing orange seeds at them. The guards took cover, just as BONK-1 reverted back into aggressive mode and opened the underside of his right arm, revealing a missile. The missile launched directly at the table which the guards were hiding behind, exploding it into splinters and sending them flying.
Draco: Quick! The safe! I'll distract any more of them.
BONK-1 advanced the the safe door, and began quickly using his laser to saw out a hole.
Just then, a police officer ran into the bank, armed with an ice pistol.
Officer: Freeze! This is the police!
He shot several frozen ice shards at Draco, who quickly solidified into metal. The ice bullets shattered uselessly against his toughened exterior. Draco leapt into the air, still in metal form, and landed on the officer's head, knocking him down. BONK-1, meanwhile, was using his laser to create a hole in the safe.
Draco: Come on, hurry!
Sanpper suddenly scuttled into the building from the entrance, seemingly rather happily.
The crab nodded.
Ahead of them, BONK-1 finished cutting out a circular hole for them to enter. Draco pulled out bags from hammerspace, and they began stuffing as much cash as possible into the bags.
Draco: This is as much as we can take. Let's get out of here!
The sirens of police cars could now be heard in the distance as BONK-1, Draco and Snapper exited the building. They heard a strange clanking noise, and saw a helicopter-boat-plane-jeep like vehicle arrive outside the bank, with Scythe and Rodr11 in the front seats.
Scythe: Get in!
The "official transport vehicle" was now travelling at top speed down the roads of South Pole City, which wasn't easy, considering how many cars there were. Police cars were not far behind them, and were catching up.
Draco: We should work on getting the bombs ready.
Rodr11: What about attacking the Elite Penguin Palace's mainframe?
Draco: Already doing that. Snapper's using BONK-1's antennae as a connection device while he sends bugs from his laptop.
Scythe: Hey! We're approaching a dead end!
In front of the car, some blocks away, the road split into two smaller roads to the left and right, too small for the vehicle to drive through. Directly ahead of them was the Hutt River.
BONK-1: I calculate it would be ideal to activate the flying apparatus in 10.3 seconds.
Rodr11: Uh, okay sure. Could you tell me the exact moment to do it?
As they neared the river, the unconscious Rodr33 began to stir.
Draco: Ey, look! He's waking! Rise n' shine, good chap. We're about to start bombing the city!
Rodr33 looked around confused. He expression instantly turned stern.
Rodr33: Where am I? Who are you? What do you villains mean about bombing the city?
He stood up.
Rodr33: I'm Agent Rodr33 Argentum of the Penguin Secret Agency. I don't remember how you brought me here or how you blinded my right eye, but you are all officially under arrest-!
BONK-1: Activate now.
Rodr11 obliged, and the vehicle spread its wings to their full width. The engines in the back suddenly powered on, and the entire vehicle tilted upwards quickly at exhilarating speeds. Everyone slid back in their seats, and Rodr33 fell back, hitting his head on the back of the vehicle. They were now in the air while stunned police officers stopped their cars and stared at them in awe.
Draco: Sorry mate, I didn't catch that. What were you saying, Rodr33?
Rodr33, who was rubbing his head from being thrown back and hit in the same area yet again, looked around confused.
Rodr33: Huh? Oh, nothing. I was probably just mumbling in my sleep... Now, where are we? Bombing the city already?
Rodr33: Excellent! Here, I've equipped the vehicle with the bombs. All you have to do is press the red button on the control board, which will unleash them.
Rodr11: Got it.
Meanwhile, in the Elite Penguin Palace, the agents of the Elite Penguin Force were suffering to cope with the endless onslaughts of bots attempting to attack their mainframe. Their System Defenders were barely able to destroy the endless swarms, which were inching closer and closer to the mainframe.
An agent rushed over to an officer.
Officer: Yes, agent? What is it now?
Agent: We've just been informed of a rogue aircraft flying above the city. The police just warned us of it.
Officer: Oh come on, we have better things to worry about. Do they not know we already have our flippers full with this virus attack?
Agent: Well...see... the thing is, sir...
Agent: We've located the source of the virus attack. The person doing it hasn't taken the measures to hide their identity or location.
Officer: We have?
Agent: Yes. But as it seems, the person doing it...
The agent typed something into a keyboard and pointed at a large display screen nearby. It switched to a 3D map of the city, revealing a pulsing red dot speeding around in the air.
Agent: Is the same person aboard the rogue aircraft. And they're headed straight for our headquarters.
At that moment, a low, quick rumbling noise reverberated through the building from outside. Muffled screams could be heard from outside.
Officer: What is that?
Several agents got up from their seats and rushed outside to have a look.
The aircraft was circling the Palace headquarters. A cloud of dark green hovered over the building.
Officer: Did they just try to bomb us?
Suddenly, an agent yelled. A small object had dropped from the aircraft.
Agent 2: INCOMING!
Everyone dived out of the way.
An ear-splitting roar sounded out just above them as a second explosion occurred, this time much closer to the palace. The officer got up to see globs of a sticky green substance splattered all over the place and over the building - Ditto.
The other agents carefully got up as the aircraft abandoned bombing their headquarters and soared off into the distance, out of the city.
Chapter 4: Villains Number One
The villains had landed their vehicle back onto the road, and drove the remaining distance back to Crookharbor. Upon parking their vehicle, they got out to see their faces on the nearest poster.
Rodr11: Oh. Oh, wow...
Scythe: Our faces on a wanted poster. Classic.
Draco: Looks like they really mean business now, eh? That bombing on SPC must've got their attention.
Scythe: Yeah, no kidding. We'd all better keep a keen eye on where we're stepping now.
Rodr33 rubbed his flippers together, delighted.
Rodr33: This is great! Antarctica is finally beginning to realize just how much they should fear us...
Rodr11: Probably not always a good thing.
The six of them made their way back to base, waddling through the crowds. As they passed by, many penguins turned their heads to watch them, all with varying expressions.
Draco: They're all looking at us...
Rodr33: That's because we're popular now! They're probably just jealous.
They ducked through the alleyways, making several turns until their base was in sight.
BONK-1: I detect an envelope present on our doorstep.
Rodr11 waddled up to the door. Indeed, an envelope was present on the doorstep. Rodr11 opened it and took out the message.
I have an assignment for you. If you're willing, be at the location displayed on the map below on the West Side of Crookharbor at exactly 6:45 PM on March 3. We will discuss details later. Every single member must be present.
Don't be late.
Rodr33 clapped his flippers together.
Rodr33: Finally! Looks like somebody's hiring us!
Scythe: This might as well be a trap by the EPF.
BONK-1: I agree that the possibility of a trap is at a high percentage.
Snapper looked just as suspicious, as well.
Rodr33: Oh, come on guys! Only a crook would know how to find this place.
Scythe: You literally put up posters around town advertising your location. Trust me, it wasn't even hard to find you guys when I joined.
Rodr33: But if the EPF were to really be onto us, they'd have blocked this place off already, wouldn't they? Come on! I've worked with these guys for years. I know how they work.
Scythe: Yeah, but-
Rodr33: And I am the leader of this group, after all!
Scythe: *sigh*... Fine.
BONK-1: Time time is currently 2:31 PM. It is currently March 3, 2015. If we are to be there by 6:45 PM, then we have 4 hours, 13 minutes and 18 seconds remaining.
Draco: Well then, lads. Let's be ready.
Back at the Elite Penguin Palace, the officer stepped into a meeting room, which had a table in its center, embedded with as many electronics as possible. The agent he had ordered from before finished whatever he was doing on the electronic table and nodded to the officer as he left the room.
Officer: Thank you, Agent Stuart.
The officer sat down at the electronic table as it hummed. After a moment, the bright blue holographic image of a penguin projected out of the table's center. The penguin in the hologram had black feathers, wore a dark suit and tie, as well as a matching fedora. His eyes were obscured behind shades.
Agent Tux (hologram): Good evening, Keen. Apologies for the delayed meeting, I'm afraid I've got a very tight schedule.
Officer Keen: That's quite already, commander.
Tux (hologram): There was something that required my attention?
Keen: Yes. It's about this group of criminals. They're calling themselves the "Villains For Hire". They've stirred up quite the ruckus recently. First the train crash in the Trans-Antarctic, and now the attack on the capital. Not to mention the fact that they raided our mainframe and almost completely overloaded our system defenders. I fear that in time, they'll be doing a lot more than just firework shows.
Tux nodded in agreement.
Keen: Agent Stuart was able to track the virus attack on our systems to the criminals. According to him, they still haven't cut off their connection. Do you think it will be possible for the SID to find them?
Tux (hologram): I'll be prioritizing this case. If they're still trackable as you say, its only a matter of time before we find them.
Keen: Thank you, Commander Tux.
Rodr11: You're sure this is the place?
The villains had followed the note's instructions and found themselves at an old aviation field at the edge of the city.
Rodr33: Indeed, brother. I've followed every instruction.
Draco: I think that over there is our man.
Some distance ahead of them was a jet. A penguin in dark shades and a business suit stood outside it.
Scythe: That better not be an EPF Agent. Because he sure looks like one.
Rodr33: Oh, it'll be fine! Just follow me.
The villains stuck behind Rodr33, most of them with a certain level of cautiousness.
As soon as they approached the penguin in dark shades, Rodr33 offered him the letter.
Rodr33: Good evening! Is this the place?
The penguin with shades took a look at the letter and back at them.
Penguin: You are the members of Villains For Hire, Inc?
Rodr33: Yes, that would be us!
He opened the door to the jet and gestured for them to go in.
Penguin: Please, come inside. Feel free to relax until the ride is over.
Draco: Ooh, private jet! I like this already.
The other members piled in, leaving Scythe standing there, still looking suspicious.
Scythe: Where exactly are we going?
Penguin: A safe place. The boss would like to talk to you all.
The plane ride only took a few hours, with the members of Villains For Hire, Inc. helping themselves to whatever was available in the private jet. Draco and Snapper were eating whatever snack they could find. BONK-1 was scanning whatever he could see outside the window. Rodr11 was watching the jet's TV set while Rodr33 was messing around with the many features available for his seat.
Scythe seemed to be the only upset one and was staring out the window.
Draco: Oh, lighten up, Scythe! We've got time to relax!
Scythe: I just feel like all of this is a bad idea. How can we even trust this person who has a request for us? We don't even know who they are.
Rodr11: I imagine whoever's made a request of us certainly has the money to spend. We might have a pretty good opportunity here.
Draco: Well, I mean we never knew each other until we joined Villains For Hire Inc, eh?
Scythe sighed and continued to stare outside. The bright lights of numerous sksycrapers and buildings were visible out the window.
The penguin with shades appeared from out of the driver's area.
Penguin: Gentlemen, we're now arriving.
Scythe: And where exactly are we?
Penguin: Nampai, Zhou.
As soon as they touched down at what seemed to be a private airport, the penguin led them to a black limousine, which took them into the heart of Nampai. Several times they were slowed by congestion and traffic as they navigated the highly crowded city center. Eventually, their car came to a stop, and the penguin led them into a dark, secluded alleyway.
The alleyway stopped in a dead end, and the penguin waddled up to the solid brick wall ahead of them and knocked on one of the bricks. Some bricks slid apart, and the penguin whispered something into the opening. Suddenly, the whole wall split apart, revealing a proper entrance. The shaded penguin once again gestured for them to follow him inside, as the villains were greeted by a pistachio-coloured penguin.
Draco: Nice. I always liked secret entrances...
Penguin: This is the Vermillion Lotus. A secret hideout for criminals and the like to convene in private.
The room inside was fairly large, light in bright red colours, and seemed to be a bar of some sort. The shaded penguin directed them through a corridor and into a smaller, separate room where a very dark-feathered penguin stood.
Penguin: Boss, they're here.
?????: Ah, excellent.
The dark-feathered penguin wore a grey coloured suit and a red tie. He had similarly dark hair.
?????: Such a pleasure to finally meet you all. My name is Octavius Businessmun.
He shook flippers with each of them, somewhat uneasily with BONK-1 and lastly with Snapper's claw, much to the annoyance of Draco, who lacked any flippers.
Octavius Businessmun: I must say, I admire the effort you put into your work. The South Pole City incident was quite the spectacle. Something like that must truly involve a great amount of perseverance.
Rodr11: So, uh... you're the guy who asked to see us.
Businessmun: Indeed. I have a request for you all, as you likely saw in my letter. I take it you've accepted the task?
Rodr33: Yes, we do!
Scythe looked like he wanted to say something, but otherwise stopped himself.
Businessmun: Good, good...
Businessmun summoned a penguin from the back of the room, who appeared to be his bodyguard. The bodyguard gave him a rolled up newspaper, which Octavius unravelled and passed to the villains.
The front page of the newspaper depicted a modern-looking building, as well as several penguins crowded around it.
Businessmun: A new museum has completed construction the city of Snowville. It is due to be opening very soon, and the mayor will be there at the opening ceremony. According to the article, the museum will host several high-priced paintings among other pieces from other artists. There are quite a few in there that I quite like. But there's also this.
He turned the page of the newspaper, revealing a picture of a large, shiny diamond.
Businessmun: The Crown Jewel Diamond. A highly valuable, high-priced jewel that's also in the museum. It'll be protected I'm sure, but with decent skill, you might just be able to steal it. As well as the other paintings available there, of course.
Businessmun: In return for you efforts, if successful, I will reward you all $200 million worth of Fish.
Draco: 200 million?
Rodr33: 200 million... brother, could you hold up 200 million flippers for me? I've forgotten how much that is.
Scythe: That's not possible.
Rodr11: Well yeah, but 200 million is like, a lot.
Rodr33 grinned widely.
Rodr33: 200 million! It's a deal, then.
Businessmun: Excellent. Pleasure to do business with you.
Draco: We're going to be rich, boys!
Snapper snipped his claws excitedly.
Businessmun: But not a word of this to anyone. Otherwise, the deal is over.
Rodr33: Yes, yes, of course.
It was noon in the city of Snowville, with crowd of penguins were gathered around the entrance of a large, two story glass building. They all applauded when the mayor of the city, Sam Rudi, waddled his way onto a podium outside the building's entrance and up onto a microphone at the stage.
Sam Rudi: A great many thanks to everyone who came here today. It is my honour and pleasure to reveal the opening of this museum...
As the mayor continued his speech, a shady-looking penguin ducked in and out of the crowds, weaving between them. As soon as he got to the front of the crowd, he stopped moving.
Sam Rudi: ...So with that said, I am happy to announce that the brand new opening of the Screwball86 Museum!
Just as the crowd applauded, one of the members of the crowd threw something onto the podium.
Chapter 5: The Not-So-Great Escape
As soon as the penguins had began rushing away from the museum, the villains took the opportunity to enter the museum. Rodr11 and Rodr33 took to dismantling and unhooking paintings from their place while Scythe, Draco and BONK-1 threw shurikens, shot and blasted any guards that came their way. Snapper scuttled away to find the control panel.
Rodr33: Ah, there it is! The Jewel!
As soon as the guards were defeated, the other villains waddled into the next room, where a large diamond was present inside a glass case. A laser-like grid was present inside the case, creating an extra layer of defense.
Draco: Ey, Snapper! Now would be a good time!
They heard a series of clicking and snapping noises over the communication channel, and moments later, the lights flickered. Suddenly, the entire building lost all of its power, plunging the room into darkness. The laser grid vanished.
BONK-1's eyes projected lights, illuminating the villains' surroundings for them.
Rodr33: Excellent! Although I would've preferred you kept the lights on, Snapper.
Scythe: The grid's off, now what do we do? That case is likely made of reinforced glass, I would think. It's not going to shatter easily.
Draco: Step aside, gentlemen. BONK-1, I'm going to need you to throw me.
Rodr11: Throw you? Why would-?
BONK-1 picked up Draco, who turned his skin to metal.
Draco: Aim for the case.
With the force of a canon, BONK-1 launched Draco at the glass case.
The glass shattered into an innumerable number of shards, while Draco skidded across the floor, dazed and giddy. Rodr11 picked him up while Snapper scuttled out towards them from the control room.
Rodr11: Wow. That, uh, actually worked.
Scythe swiped the jewel from its exposed pedestal, just as the voices of more guards could be heard.
Rodr33: We have all we need. TO THE OFFICIAL TRANSPORT VEHICLE!
Scythe tossed a number of smoke grenades at the incoming guards before bolting away with the others.
Sam Rudi: They're here! They're here in Snowville!
The mayor of Snowville himself, Sam Rudi, was communicating to the commander of the Special Intelligence Division, Agent Tux, who appeared as a hologram in front of him.
Sam Rudi: They just made off with several paintings and items, including the Grand Jewel! If they escape-
Tux (hologram): They won't. Special Intelligence has been monitoring their every move intensely as of recent.
Sam Rudi: The police are reporting they're on their way out of the city right now, heading west.
Tux (hologram): Which means they have only a few minutes left of freedom. They're wandering into a cage.
The Official Transport Vehicle was high in the air over an open snow field, heading away from the city of Snowville in the background. Draco was still barely conscious from colliding with the glass.
Rodr33: Phew, that was easier than expected! The police didn't even bother chasing us this time!
Scythe: That's not right... something's definitely up.
Rodr33: Who cares? We have the paintings. We have the jewel. Now, we just need our payment!
The entire vehicle rocked violently. Rodr11, who was manning the controls, struggled to realign the craft.
Rodr33: What happened!? Brother, why are we dropping!?
Rodr11: Um, something just hit us! We're losing altitude quickly.
BONK-1: I have identified the source from down there. It appears to be a projectile launcher and several penguins.
Scythe: Oh, great. I knew it.
Rodr33: BONK-1, destroy them!
BONK-1: System overridenn. External computer requesting access. Error...
Suddenly, BONK-1's antennae began blinked red. He went still, and fell backwards with a heavy thud, rocking the vehicle again. Snapper jumped over to try and fix him.
Now, they were only several dozen feet above the ground.
Rodr11: We're, uh... about to crash.
With a terrifying shake, the Official Transport Vehicle struck the ground, grazing the surface like a snowplow, losing its wings, wheels and breaking apart. Draco was thrown out of his position from the back with BONK-1 and Snapper. Rodr11's face was pressed into the control panel, while Rodr33 was thrown overboard off the side. Scythe stuck a dagger into the floor and held on as the vehicle slowed down.
The Official Transport Vehicle finally came to a stop, both the vehicle and its passengers half-buried into the snow.
Scythe: That's it, I'm out of here.
Two helicopters suddenly soared over the vehicle as a confused and Rodr33 waddled over to his teammates.
As Scythe freed himself from the wreckage and tried to escape, he was met with a large circle of penguins in dark suits and sunglasses. Almost all of them held weapons. The two helicopters hovered just behind the penguins, facing the villains. A black-feathered penguin in the same attire as the others below him leaned out of one of the helicopters. He held a megaphone.
Tux: Villains For Hire Inc., this is Agent Tux of the Elite Penguin Force. You are under arrest; we have you surrounded and outgunned.
Rodr11 emerged from the crashed vehicle.
Rodr11: Uh oh.
The villains sat around in a cramped, metal cell protected by lasers in an EPF holding facility. Draco was finally awake, his head bandaged. BONK-1 lay deactivated next to them.
Scythe: If we ever get out of here, I'm never doing this again.
Draco: Lighten up, mate. It's not all that bad.
Scythe merely sighed and shook his head.
Rodr33: It doesn't matter! We still made the news! Antarctica fears us! Isn't that right, brother?
Rodr11: Sure, I guess.
Rodr33: So! What're we going to do once we get out of here?
Draco: Well, seeing as heists aren't serving us well, there are still plenty of other options. I hear the bounty hunting business is a good one.
Rodr11: Bounty hunting?
Draco: Yeah, mate.
Rodr11: I mean... that doesn't sound like a bad idea...
Rodr33: Exactly! You all could work for me! We could plot to get revenge on the EPF for locking us in here.
Scythe: Well, whatever it is you have in mind, we're not getting out of here any time soon!
Draco: Hey, has anyone seen Snapper recently?
Sure enough, Snapper wasn't in their cell.
Suddenly, an agent outside their cell collapsed. The laser door entrance deactivated.
Rodr33: What? Who-?
A familiar scarlet-colored crab scuttled into view.
Draco: Oh, I knew it!
Rodr33: Looks like we're getting out sooner then we thought!
Rodr11 quickly grabbed the unconscious agent's gun.
Draco: Let's get going, then. Scythe, you coming with?
Scythe: Here we go again.