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A repository for anything Tom Bombadil may or may not write about his experiences in Mercenaries 3.

The madness begins[]

On a lonely road, a small group of people are seen walking. The foremost is a short, chunky young man, hunched over slightly as he schlumps along. He's accompanied by a moderately cute girl in an exotic outfit, an energetic jock, and a...little pink ball? The young man kicks a rock dejectedly. "Man," mutters Tom, "kicked out of my parents' basement by my own mother! How does it get more pathetic than that?"

"To be fair," Atoli answers, "the fact that she actually wants rent is a bit unreasonable from a Merc Leader, especially one with....well, it would be hard even for a successful Leader..." Ralf picks up as Atoli trails off. "MAN! What an unreasonable *****! You shoulda let me PUNCH her in the FACE!"

Tom scratches his head. "Uh...you do realize we're talking about my mother here, right? I mean, I still love her and she's still family...even after she kicked me out and said all that stuff about my being a disgrace to the family and embarrassing to have around...." Tom looks even more downcast than before, and Atoli fidgets awkwardly as the other two march onward in high spirits. "At any rate, we need to find a new home base for the crew, but first, we gotta do something to jumpstart this team. Let's see who's for hire today and then troll around for some new digs."

~

The town square was filled with leaders bustling around, jockeying for position. Good mercs today, then. Tom and Atoli both blanched a bit at the crowd, Tom shuffling a bit towards Atoli, and Atoli shuffling a bit away. Ralf charged headfirst into the crowd and was immediately lost, Kirby trundling behind him. Tom turned to Atoli. "We've got a decent fund scrabbled together, right? Let's go throw it at somebody! There's a big crowd over there...we'll start with that."

It took a bit of effort for the rather puny duo of Tom and Atoli to muscle their way to where they could see the source of the commotion, but when they did, it all made sense. A girl named Terra was showing her stuff, casting powerful magic to the delight of the swarm of potential clients. Atoli's eyes sparkled. "Wow, boss! She's so cool! She's so pretty! Let's get her! Maybe I can be like that someday if I can train with her!" "For you, I will hire anyone, dear..." Tom gave his best suave smile, but Atoli didn't even hear him over her own gushing- probably for the best anyway. Tom reached for his coinpurse, but then he caught wind of some of the bids being thrown around like candy. "Uh...Atoli...I...I think this auction's a bit rich for our blood...." Atoli looked crestfallen, but she was quite possibly the only one with an actual grasp on the team's finances, and knew it would be a bad idea to argue the point.

The pair continued onward. "Look, boss, there's somebody over there without too much competition! It says his name is Strider...." Tom sized up the mysterious man. "Nah." "But boss, I hear he gets lots of respect!" "Nah." "We could get him for cheap!" "Nah." "He'd fit well into the team dynamic!" "Nah." "Well....why...why not?" "No girl parts."

Atoli paused, a bit dumbstruck that Tom would even consider that, much less vocalize it, but then, as much as he hit on her, it wasn't exactly a surprise. Tom had already wandered off to another big clump. "Ne, boss...this Alyx girl is kinda cheap, and you've talked about wanting somebody with a little range..." "Yeah, but without a dog, what's the point?" "She's got a pistol that ca-" "NO DOG NO TOMBOLO." Tom was staring intently at another Merc...Lara Croft. "Oh, another good option, boss! She'd be even better as a gunner..." Tom scratched his goatee quizically. "Y'know...I could hire her and make that the standard uniform....for the girls, of course." Atoli stammered. "B-but....boss! I...I'm a mage! I don't need that kind of mobility, I need...coverage!.............And please stop sizing up my butt!" Tom returned his gaze to Lara. "I dunno, I think you'd look cute in it...." "That skin-tight, slinky thing? I mean...even if it did help me in battle, I'd be way too embarrassed to be seen! Although...maybe....if Ralf-sama was there...." Atoli trailed off into lala-land, blushing profusely. Tom blinked. "Hey, where did that guy get to, anyway?"

It was about that time that a commotion erupted from another part of the market, sounding like people yelling about a fight. Tom and Atoli looked at each other for about half a second, then both rushed off towards the fight.

~

As they'd expected, it looked like Ralf was about to fight some...kangaroo....thing. Ralf grinned at his teammates' approach as Kirby bounced around excitedly. "HEY, boss man! This guy looked like a fighter, so I'm gonna kick his ass!" Tom facepalmed. "Hey, suit yourself. Just don't get hurt." The crowd clamored around offering bets. "10 GP on the kangaroo!" "15 on Roo!" "2 on Ralf!" "50 on Roo!" Tom shook his head, and emptied his purse to put forth his own bet. "30 on Ralf!" Ralf turned and gave an appreciative grin and thumbs-up...but by that time, the bell had rung. Roo charged in and hit a rabbit kick, sending Ralf flying. Angered, he found his feet, and charged the GALACTICA PHANTOM. Atoli screamed her lungs out in encouragement, but Tom just rubbed his head, suddenly feeling very tired. Ralf let the PHANTOOOMMM fly.....and Roo simply ducked before countering with a leaping uppercut. Ralf toppled to the ground as Kirby and Atoli rushed to his aid. Tom shook his head as he helped Ralf up. "Y'know what? This day has been enough of an embarrassment. Let's just head home, wherever that is now."

A highly dejected Kru made their way back through the market in silence. Kirby noticed something glimmer, and trundled off to investigate. This was a frequent occurrence, and nobody paid it much mind...until they heard vigorous exclamations of "poyo!" The group wandered after him, and found...what appeared to be a robot! It was old and rusted, and didn't appear to be moving, but hey, robots are cool, right? The group quickly decided to bring him with them. Ralf was still a bit loopy from the beating he took from Roo, and Kirby wasn't really big enough to lug a heavy robot, so obviously Tom made Atoli carry him. The odd assembly slowly wandered onward...

~

"Geeze, this place looks really creepy...." Atoli quivered slightly as she looked at the castle looming before them. "Psshhh," Tom ventured, "It's clearly fine! And obviously unoccupied! What could possibly go wrong with this?" Ralf looked fired up. "That's RIGHT! And if we run into ghosts or anything, I'll PUNCH them in the FACE!" "Areeee? Ralf-sama, you can punch even ghosts? That's so...manly...." Atoli was displaying the most emotion she had in her entire tenure with the Kru, but Ralf didn't even notice her as he sized up his next challenge. Kirby was already halfway to the door, so there was nothing left to do but follow him in.

"Welp, this castle obviously isn't haunted or anything. Ralf, take Kirby and go scope things out. Atoli, you can stay with me, and..." "...help you investigate the robot." Tom blinked at her, but then it hit him that it was probably a superior idea to his own. Atoli finally unloaded the 'bot onto the floor, and Tom crawled over to investigate it while she collapsed in exhaustion.

"Hm...well, it obviously hasn't been switched on in a while...in fact, I don't see a power switch anywhere...." Tom pored over the metallic body in front of him. After a while, he raised his head. "I...I checked everywhere....everywhere except...do you think....?!?" "Boss, I think that's Chobits..." "What'd you say?" "Um, nothing! I don't have any common interests with you! Uh...why don't you let me try?" Tom looked slightly confused as she cradled the robotic head and closed her eyes, invoking vague and unspecified magical powers. The robot's eyes flickered, and then it came to life. "I...am.......Robo."

~

Elsewhere.....

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f326/commsky/EvilKirby.jpg

Being Nice[]

Tom surveyed the bracket for the day's matches with no small amount of approval. Today's match would be against the adequately named Shambles, the last remaining Mercs team without a win. Laying out his file on the table, he briefed his team on the opposition. "Okay, guys, we've got a totally winnable fight here, but we need to play it smart. They've picked up a new guy recently, so they're not quite the pushovers they've been so far. Atoli, do you think you could butter them up a bit before the match?" "Um...I really...I really don't think I can do much with this particular team....." "I didn't ask for your opinion!" "Actually, boss, you-" "SHUT UP AND GO MAKE DEDEDE A SAMMICH." "....yes, boss."

Elsewhere....

The phone rang. Robo, being new to the team, wasn't particularly surprised that Tom had managed to pay the phone bill, and instead answered. "Hi, this is Oddity. May I speak to Tom please?" "You are an enemy. We do not fraternize with enemies." "Well, y'see, I was wanting to see if Tom wanted to make a de-" "Bargaining is impossible. You may not poison the mind of my leader."

Robo hung up and thought no more of it. The rest of the team, busy strategizing, failed to even notice the phone.

~

Dedede was totally ready for this fight! He was finally going to get the chance to beat up that there Kirby! He hefted his hammer over his shoulder and set off. "Um...Dedede-sama?" Dedede turned to see a young girl...apparently a mage of some sort. "I wanted to talk to you a little. You see, let's face it...we're both on teams that are...a bit....um....bad. I was wondering if....maybe you wanted to be a little nice to each other today."

Dedede cocked his head.

"I mean, doesn't everybody feel like being nice to somebody sometimes?"

Dedede scrached his chin.

"So...how about it? Wanna be friends?"

Dedede paused for a moment, but decided he was not convinced. Atoli heaved a small, exasperated sigh, and tiptoed up to give Dedede a peck on the cheek. "Please?"

Dedede chortled happily, nodding his assent.

"So...you'll be nice to us today? Maybe not use that badge of yours?"

Dedede chortled harder, shook his head, and walked off.

"Well....that failed pretty hard."

~

Tom banged his fist upon the table. "DAMMIT, ATOLI, YOUR FAILURE WAS COMPLETELY UNFORSEEABLE. NOW WHAT DO WE DO?" "BOSS MAN!" Ralf yelled. "I could PUNCH somebody in the FACE!" Tom immediately assented. "You do that! Take somebody out! Hm.....yeah, go get Dedede back."

Atoli cocked her head. "Um, boss? Wouldn't it be better to have Ralf-sama attack somebody a bit more of a threat?" "SHUT UP YOU FAILURE."

Robo entered the room. "The mage's suggestion is logical. Both Crono and Ashley have significantly higher threat ratings, and therefore would make superior targets for elimination." "PENGUIN."

Atoli heaved a sigh as Ralf (sama) geared up his PUNCHAN arm.

~

The match started off well enough. Ashley was an unkown entity, but he stayed on the farside of the arena muttering some random stuff. Kirby had absorbed Crono's powers, and tested out Cyclone with his fire sword. Crono and Dedede charged as Atoli and Kirby attempted to slow them down. Their spells didn't do that much damage, but caused Crono difficulties in closing the gap. And then, after an excruciating ten seconds, Ralf sparked forward, and met Dedede with a magnificent GALACTICA PHANTOM to the face, dropping him on the spot. A disoriented Crono turned behind him to meet the new threat, but Kirby was on him in an instant. Caught between the two fighters, Crono went down fairly quickly to Fire Whirl and Ground 'n' Pound.

Atoli healed the last of her team's wounds, wondering what exactly to expect from Ashley Riot. She would soon regret that. Ashley looked up from the ground and smiled. "Gentlemen and lady, thank you for waiting. It was so kind of you...foolish, but kind. Now, I am buffed, and I am ready. Abandon all hope of survival, mortals." A dark vortex appeared behind him, and energies of every element known to magic swirled roundabout him. "I am now fully powered. My defense is perfect. I invite you to take your best shot before I massacre you all."

NLK turned to each other, enduring a harsh wind coming from the vortex of RIOTFEAR. Atoli nodded at Ralf, who stepped forward and began charging his beloved PHANTOOOOOM. She put a strength buff on him, and prayed, as Ralf and Ashley stared each other down.

"GALACTICA......PHAAAAAANTOOOOMMMMMM"

A massive explosion of flame emerged from Ralf's fist as it slammed into Ashley's unguarded face. Smoke and debris flew everywhere, taking some time to clear. Atoli bit her nails. "Ralf-sama....did you do it?"

The smoke cleared.

Ashley had a small cut on his cheek. The force of the impact, combined with Ashley's defensive abilities, had been too much for Ralf to handle, and he'd collapsed unconscious. Ashley smiled, and tapped the badge on his lapel.

The cut healed.

"Poy-" Kirby didn't even have time to offer the Kirby equivalent of "OH ****" before the fight was over.

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