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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by Dashe
Press Start to Continue - Chapter 10: Teisel Bonne vs. The Sharukurusu Hoard

Chapter 10: Teisel Bonne vs. The Sharukurusu Hoard. Chapter image depicts Teisel facing off against a bunch of pink Sharukurusu.

Teisel cursed himself for not recognizing that clanking sound sooner. He'd explored plenty of ruins that were downright riddled with giant Sharukurusu! He had no excuse, and now they were coming at him from all sides. Worse yet, he couldn't even count them without his spotter online. He whipped around to the left and hopped up on top of an outcropping of rock, blasting in the direction of the loudest clanking footsteps, regretting his decision to cut communications with Max, and hoping for the best.

As soon as he hit the target, the Reaverbot sprang into action, revealing itself and charging straight for Teisel. He dove to the side as the Sharukurusu slid into its signature lunge. Teisel swiveled on the spot and pumped it full of lead. "You're not going to get away that easily!" He shouted as it lost its grip on its own cloaking mechanism.

Suddenly a long, bladed claw appeared out of thin air and smacked Teisel in the face so hard he went flying into the pedestal with the chest on it. He backed up against the small edifice as his current assailant made itself visible and started charging at him.

Teisel let loose a steady stream of gunfire straight into the Sharukurusu. It felt like the machine was inches away from skewering Teisel in the abdomen before it finally exploded in a shower of refractor shards and energy cubes. Teisel wasted no time in springing forward to collect what he could before leaping out of the way to avoid a head-on collision.

There were at least four of them swarming him now, though he couldn't really say for sure. All he could do was try and run away and get all of them chasing him from the same direction.

Running worked until he slammed directly into another attacking Sharukurusu. This one actually grabbed him in its claws, right on his chestplate. Any lower, he realized, and it might have sliced him in half. He pointed his gun at the robot and shot it until it blew up.

Teisel didn't have a chance to collect the loot that time. He could see six uncloaked Sharukurusu closing in on him fast, and caught flickers further back in at least four different places. They just kept coming. It was no use. He dashed forward in a last-ditch effort to jump over the hostile throng, but another one materialized and swatted him out of the way like a pesky bug. As he slammed into the wall, he pointed his machine gun and fired. He just held the trigger down and let the bullets fly. There wasn't time for a plan anymore. All he could do was shoot at them until they stopped moving.

As the Reaverbots closed in, Teisel could have sworn he could see the Gustaff flanking him on one side and Bon in his drill configuration on the other, poised for combat in his peripheral vision. At that moment, in his mind, even cornered as they were, the three of them were ready to take on the world. And even though he knew he was probably just hallucinating from the stress, it comforted him to know that if these Sharukurusu were to get the best of him right then, he had Bon and Tron there with him.

Then Tron fired off a shot from the Bonne Bazooka, and against all logic, the mirage actually managed to hit its mark. The explosion of refractor shards dissolved the illusion, and suddenly Teisel could see a volley of homing missiles rocket from the cavern's entrance through the air, taking out more of the horrifying, invisible robots than he could count. He just sat there, pressed up against the treasure chest as an older-looking blond man with a neatly-trimmed beard, a rakish brown cape, and an impressive digging suit burst onto the scene and started slaughtering Sharukurusu left and right.

Teisel's hands were shaking so hard he couldn't even tell where he was firing anymore. His gun felt like it was on the verge of overheating, but he refused to throw in the towel. Even if it hadn't actually been Tron and Bon who'd come to back him up, even if some random stranger burst onto the scene out of nowhere and did most of the work, he wasn't going to just give up! Teisel managed to pull himself to his feet and climb back down into the battlefield, gun blazing, and although he couldn't even manage to blow up any more of them, once they'd cleared the room, the other guy smiled at him and said, "Take' em, Green Guy." He gestured toward the pink swords that Teisel had quite frankly forgotten he'd even found in the first place.

Teisel just blinked. "T-thanks." He stammered as he wandered across the room and picked up his find. Upon closer examination he could barely tell they'd been stepped on by at least two dozen rampaging Reaverbots.

The other man walked over to him once he was done collecting the fallen refractor shards and stuck out his hand for Teisel to shake. "Name's Russell," he introduced himself. "I'm what you might call a veteran digger."

"Teisel Bonne." Teisel replied. He took a step back and eyed Russell with more than a hint of suspicion. "You're not with the local Digger's Guild, are you?"

"Not at all. I'm sorry if I frightened you," Russell tried to explain. "Back in the central hub, I noticed that the skulls on your shoulders looked quite a bit like a logo I've seen before, back in the Shala-Kun ruins on Ryship Island quite a few years ago. I just wanted to get a closer look, really, and make sure I'd remembered it correctly. Are you familiar with three little yellow robots and a flying pig with a propeller? One of the robots was driving a little vehicle with a drill attached...no, there's no mistaking it. You work for #27, #9, and #35, don't you?"

Teisel felt his legs start to buckle, but he held his ground. This man had met his Servbots. On Ryship Island, no less. He must have met them while Tron was working to bail him out of Loath's prison. Not only that, but they'd made enough of an impression that he'd even remembered them thirteen years after the fact. He also got their hierarchy completely backward, but that was a minor detail, all things considered. All he could do was nod.

"Anyway, to make a long story short, the Guild didn't see you take off into that passageway. They were after me. Since I carry a universal Class S license, I didn't have much to worry about aside from you getting away and running into this Sharukurusu den. To tell you the truth, though, I was hoping I'd get to see you face off against some Reaverbots...you can learn a lot about a Digger by watching him in battle!" Russell chuckled. "And I must admit, those little guys certainly taught you well."

"I...uh..." Teisel trailed off. "...You really think I did alright?"

"Most people would've been content to let me do all the heavy lifting once I showed up with my trusty rocket launcher and saved the day. You may lack the technical skill it takes to face thirty-eight invisible Sharukurusu on your own, but you more than make up for that where it really counts."

Teisel couldn't help but smile. Hearing something like that out of a guy who could annihilate an entire room full of some of the most dangerous Reaverbots out there made him feel all warm and fuzzy inside. "Thanks." He uttered.

Russell reached into his satchel and held out what couldn't have been any less than 30,000 zenny in refractor shards. "You should take this and use it to bulk up your arsenal, maybe invest in a good energy canteen. You have a lot of potential even at your age, and the little robots must've seen something in you if they decided to take you on as a protégé."

Teisel shook his head, gently nudging the blond man's hand back. "Thanks but no thanks. The Bonnes don't take handouts, and I've already broken that code of ours enough since I..."

"What are you doing, man? Just shut up and take the money!" Max's voice suddenly crackled to life around them. "You're the only Bonne left to follow these stupid rules in the first place, so you can do whatever you want!"

Teisel's mouth hung open in stunned shock. "H-how long have the systems been live?" He stammered. Russell just raised his eyebrows in mild confusion.

"I turned the power back on while you were getting swarmed by Reaverbots," Max nonchalantly replied. "I figured you knew you were being swarmed by Reaverbots, so I decided I'd just let you do your thing."

"Did something...happen...?'" Russell hesitatingly asked.

It was as if Teisel had been riding a bicycle and Max had just reached in and jammed his gears with a metal pipe. "...Why?" He finally managed to utter after spending an unholy amount of time scouring the far corners of his mind for words that made sense. "Why would you EVER bring something like that up around someone we've just met?"

Russell couldn't help but cringe and take another step back while Teisel proceeded to tear Max a new one. What had started as a nice, potentially heartwarming conversation with a promising upstart had begun to turn very awkward very quickly. "Hey, you two," he interrupted before the situation had a chance to get any worse, "If you're just going to argue down here, it's probably a good idea to just head back to the surface and call it quits for the day. Pro tip—don't stay underground when you're fighting with your spotter if you can help it. It never ends well."

"He just told you my entire family's dead!" Teisel roared. He seemed genuinely unable to process anything Russell had told him. He grabbed the veteran digger by the shoulders and shook him as he continued his tirade. "That is PRIVATE INFORMATION! What'd you expect me to do, give him a cookie?!"

"I didn't mention anything about them dying," Max defended, "That part was alllllll you just now."

Russell grabbed one of Teisel's hands and pried it off his arm, twisting himself out of his grasp with a professional efficiency. "Hey. Spotter." He raised his voice to address Max so that Teisel's mic would pick him up. "You're gonna want to back off here. That stuff is strictly the Green Guy's business, got it?"

Max mumbled something that neither of the older men were able to understand, but Russell took it as an apology, or at the very least some sort of unintelligible acquiescence. He turned and started toward the exit.

"Well, come on," Russell called out when he realized the other Digger wasn't following him out. "If you keep going in this direction you're only going to find yourself in more trouble. The next room's full of Shoebafun and Karumuna Bash. Trust me when I say it's not a fun combination to deal with." He scanned the room for any hint of an invisible Sharukurusu and added after an unsettling pause, "And, uh, if you're really just worried about me wanting to know what ended up happening to #9 and those guys, I won't press for any details. Wasn't going to. You have my word."

"If you really knew my Servbots, I wouldn't hold it against you that much if you did ask about ‘em," Teisel replied. He walked out after Russell and examined the slash across the front of his armor. It would probably cost a lot to fix. "And they, uh...they worked for me, actually," he added sheepishly. "My sister built forty-one of them to act as all-purpose servants, and after our travels took us to Ryship, my little brother and I got ourselves imprisoned by this loan shark..."

As Teisel recounted the story of how he almost got away with the Golden Refractor of Ryship Island, Russell decided to lead him back to the surface the long way. Even if he never did get to find out where #9, #27, and #35 wound up in the end, he was sure this guy's tale was going to be worth his while.

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