REDMature

Reliable Excavation and Demolitions, otherwise known as RED. A team of nine independent individuals working for Redmond Mann, each with their own specialization in weaponry and firearms and armed with a set of skills higher than anyone else in their field. Highly dangerous. They are not to leave Mann Co. regions unless given permission and are not to bring any weapon with them outside of Mann Co.'s boundaries.

That was the official definition of who RED was. The same went for BLU, with minor edits to the name and who they worked for. All this didn't really matter anyway, since they were all under the chain-smoking, iron fist of the Administrator.

She was in her smoke-filled office, as usual, watching the mny screens before her that showed live video feed of what the mercenaries were doing. Boring, boring, boring. Nothing on those screens were ever interesting outside of battle. Even during battle, the same moves were pulled, every single time.

The last battle, however, had been interesting. She had clearly seen what happened with the Pyro and Medic, and was genuinely surprised that Gray had launched an attack and on only two of them.

When Ms Pauling had come in asking if she wanted her to send the mercenaries to fight Gray, all she had done was chuckle. "They can handle themselves. I want to watch their teammates react to the situation. Leave them be, Pauling," she said.

"But, Admin, they could be in real danger and-"

"I said," Admin snarled, turning around to glare at Ms Pauling, "Leave them be." Ms Pauling was the only person, apart from Soldier and his ignorance, who could take Admin's killer stare without shying away. She nodded, before quickly disappearing out of the room with her clipboard in hand.

Left to herself again, Admin turned her chair back to the screens. None of the mercenaries had noticed their teammate's disappearance yet. Of course. No one wanted business with the creepy German doctor who had a fondness for blood and weird experimentation, and the mumbling demon spawn who took delight in setting people and things on fire.

Of course, no one else knew better who they really were.

...

"Guys? Anyone seen the Doc?" That question had been asked many times, and all by the same person. The BLU Scout usually didn't quite care for where the Medic went or what he did, but he was always out at 5 to get his cat food. It was already 6.32 in the evening, and still no Medic.

"Yo Truckie," he said, poking the Engineer in the arm. The Texan looked up from his blueprints, already knowing what Scout was going to ask.

"Sorry boy, but Ah ain't seen the Doc lately. Go check his office or something, he's probably takin' a nap," he said. Enter his office? What if Medic was really there, and decided to slice him up for entering his office without permission?

"Uh... yeah, I'll- I'll go do that. Thanks Truckie!" Scout said, leaping away in to the shadowy hallway. BLU hardly ever turned on their base lights unless absolutely necessary.

He stopped in front of the double doors at the end of the corridor with the huge blue cross painted on it. That door always scared him, and what lay behind the door scared him even more. He raised his hand and knocked, once, twice, but no reply came.

He knocked again. "Doc?" He called, deciding it was worth the risk to push open the door and step inside. The infirmary was completely quiet, everything was just there, quietly.

Something soft touched his feet, and his looked down to see Medic's cat by his legs, her tail brushing against his leg. "Prrrow?" Scout had no idea what the cat wanted, till she wandered over to her food bowl and sat by it.

"Oh uh, Medic hasn't fed you. I don't get what you normally eat and I won't give you any milk I own since it'll drive you mad..." He then remembered the Holy Mackerel. Cats ate fish, right? "I'll be right back."

Scout turned and sped out of the door, leaving Schnaps sitting there, confused. He went back to the fridge and pulled out his Holy Mackerel, slamming it on the table a few times to soften it up after sitting in the fridge for so long.

Engineer caught Scout hitting the fish on the table. "Boy, the hell are you slapping a fish on the counter for?" He asked. Deciding it was defrosted enough, Scout made a run back to the infirmary.

"No time Truckie!" Scout called back as he disappeared again. Schnaps greeted him with another loud meow as he tossed the fish into her bowl. It was still a bit cold, but Schnaps was hungry and accepted it with small nibbles.

"So like," Scout said, plopping himself into Medic's chair at the cluttered desk, "where is he? You seen Medic, cat?" He didn't expect any reply from Schnaps, cats wouldn't have known better. When was the last time Medic had been seen? He remembered seeing him in Respawn before the battle, and once or twice during the game, but not after. So it was easy to come to a conclusion that something had happened during the battle and he was probably still somewhere out there.

"You uh, you stay here and eat the fish, kay cat?" Scout said, getting off the chair and back to the door. "I'm gonna go look for Medic."

Taking nothing but his bat with him, Scout left the base again. Engineer had looked up when he left, but said nothing. Less questions, easier to go.

The evening Teufort breeze was there like always, but the air hung with mystery still as Scout wandered around, checking corners, the sewers, the water, anywhere, for their Medic. What if the other team captured him and were just waiting for them to realize it? What if they were using him as a bargaining chip, to force the BLUs to hand over the intelligence?

RED wasn't that smart, right? They were just mindless, brutal grunts trying to get that them in every way possible.

Who knew that there was one other person thinking the exact same thing about BLU as he searched his own base for their Pyro?

...

Gray had returned once to speak with both of them, though he had not received anything but grunts and snorts and the occasional scarcastic remark from his two captives. "You both aren't very cooperative, now are you?" Gray asked, narrowing his eyes at them. When neither of them replied, he sighed. "I suppose I'll just leave my P.A. here until you two decide to say something. Of course, if it takes too long then I'll just stop asking questions and get on with what I'm supposed to be doing. You'll have to wait still, since we're currently trying to configure everything so nothing screws up. See you later," the old man said, turning to take his leave. Just as he exited the door with his personal Medibot waiting outside for him, he turned back to the Sniperbot standing at the corner of the room with another Medibot. "Makina, stay here and make sure they don't try anything funny," he warned. Makina nodded, and Gray left.

Makina stared at the two captives, before walking closer to them. Horst was clearly slightly put off by the movement, but said nothing. Makina noted the way their eyes moved, from his lit optical sensors to his plated body to the personal Medibot behind him.

"Gray says you have something in common with each other that is very special," Makina said. Axel turned his head back to share a look with Horst. "Something he wants. Perhaps you two might know?"

The silence remained. "Medic, I understand you can make your hands glow. Why I cannot say, but I know you can do it." If he wasn't going to get any answers, he was going to provoke answers from them. Upon saying the words, he noticed the Medic's eyes flare. If Makina could smirk, he would have.

"How do you know?" Horst asked, his voice dropping to a low growl. Everything he had done was in full privacy. On the battlefield it was never obvious since his hands were permanently on the Medigun. How had he been spied on and not know it? How long had he been spied on for?

"Gray has his ways. I have something to request of both of you," Makina said, gaining some interest from the both of them. "I want you two to help me escape. And in return I will help you as well."

Axel raised an eyebrow. "You? Escape? What for? You work for that Gray person and you're a robot. There isn't many places for you to go out there in Mann Co territory without getting shot."

Everyone in the room knew Axel was right, even if no on dared to say it. After the... smoking, bullet-ridden history with Gray Mann and his robot army's attacks, it was hard to just trust a robot, especially one that was Gray's personal assistant.

"How can ve trust you?" Horst asked. Axel nodded in agreement, and Makina beckoned for the Medibot to come forward.

"Ah, you see, Herr Makina here is vhat ve vould normally know as ah, malfunctioning. Most bots just shoot upon enemy sight, but Herr Makina here has a mind of his own. Ve don't really know vhy or how, but he's a good robot. He zhinks for himself and questions zhings. I do the same too, being a Medibot and having a bit more intelligence programmed into me zhan a typical Scoutbot, but not as much as Herr Makina here," the Medibot explained. It didn't really answer how the two mercenaries could trust them, but it was still interesting to know. "Normally Gray trashes malfuctioning robots, but Herr Makina here clearly has something a bit more... special, you could say."

The door opened again, two Heavybots standing there. "The Maker has assigned us here. You two are to leave," they said in unison. Makina and the Medibot shared a look, before turning to leave. They would need to talk before trying to get the two mercenaries on their side.

"My office, now," the Medibot said, following Makina back to his personal workspace. There would have to be lots of planning for the worst if they were really going to have a shot at finding freedom.

The End

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