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Dave stared across at RED's sniper deck through his scope, and grumbled to himself.  This round was not going well.  RED were winning by 2 intel captures to 0.  Granted they had a 4-to-3 player advantage because John hadn't showed up yet, but even so, the three of them were playing like a bunch of noobs fresh out of noob academy.  Although clearly it wasn't his fault.  He was pretty evenly matched against the enemy Sniper.  It was Rose and Jade, yeah, they weren't doing their bit.

ectoBiologist has joined team BLU

"Hi guys, sorry I'm late!" came John's voice over the chat.
"Jeez, Egbert, do you ever show up for anything on time?"
"This thing took forever to load.  Must be all those custom sound thingies..."

Dodging behind cover so he could check what class John had picked, Dave groaned.  Medic.  John always picked Medic.  Okay, it was a vital class and he was pretty good at it, but probably not the best choice right now.  Medics were no good without combat classes to heal.

"John, can't you go Soldier or something?  I mean look at the rest of the team.  I'm Sniper, Rose is Spy, Jade's Engy.  Medic's a step in the right direction but it's not going to achieve much on its own."
"Well, I dunno, Dave, I'm not very good at Soldier.  I guess I could go Pyro, but I'd probably just end up spy-checking..."
"You know, Strider, you could always go Soldier, and have John as your pocket medic," called Rose.
"Hey, I'm doing a very important job here.  Someone's got to keep their Sniper in check.  You go Soldier."
"I'm the only person who's picked up their intel so far!"
"Yeah, but you couldn't get out with it, could you?"
"I guess I could go Soldier..." piped up Jade, "... but I think my sentry's the only thing stopping them getting that third capture..."

Dave groaned, and headed towards Resupply. "All right, all right, I'll go Soldier.  Rose, try and backstab their sniper so we've got a clear path.  John, once I switch I'm going to start self-damaging to help you build up uber, so be ready.  Jade... uh, keep swinging that wrench, I guess.  We've got to turn over a 2-0 defecit, let's make this count..."

Rose sidled into position behind the enemy sniper and decloaked just as Dave and John were emerging from the BLU base.  The sniper hesitated for the tiniest fraction of a second, wondering whether to shoot the soldier or the medic first.  It was all she needed.

tentacleTherapist [backstabbed] gallowsCalibrator

Always shoot the medic first, thought Rose. "Sniper down," she said coolly. "And careful you two, there's a sentry covering their courtyard, in the corner by resupply.  I'll try and get it sapped, but now they know I'm nearby it probably won't work..."

*    *    *

"Ugh, stupid human software not catering for the sensorially-different," moaned Terezi as she waited in the respawn queue. "Why can't it let me smell spies coming in from behind me?  I'd be able to if this were real."
"Anyone else spotted the irony of Terezi playing Sniper yet?" asked Karkat.
"Hey, I can taste those blueberry bubblegum uniforms a mile off - when they're in front of me.  Why weren't you watching my back, Mr. Pyro?"
"I'm trying to lead Tavros on an assault on their intel room because, in case you hadn't noticed, we're 2-0 up and we should be pushing for victory.  Can't get into the intel room, though - they've got a sentry in there."
"Oh, fine.  I'll go back to Demoman when I respawn.  I was only doing this to keep their Sniper in check, and he's changed classes now.  Anyway, yeah, spy on the battlements, incoming soldier-medic pair.  Get ready for some hurt, Sollux."
"Okay, thankth for the headth up..."

The pyro heading towards Sollux carried the name carcinoGeneticist, but Karkat had just told him that he was currently attacking BLU's base...

twinArmageddons [shotgunned] tentacleTherapist

"Thpy down!"

But the spy had distracted him just long enough for the soldier-medic pair to round the corner, uber ready.

turntechGodhead + ectoBiologist [rocketed] Sentry (twinArmageddons)
turntechGodhead + ectoBiologist [rocketed] twinArmageddons
turntechGodhead + ectoBiologist [rocketed] Dispenser (twinArmageddons)
turntechGodhead + ectoBiologist [rocketed] Teleporter (twinArmageddons)

"Thit.  Thorry, guyth."
"And I thought we had enough problems already," said Karkat. "Speaking of which, Tavros, why did you decide to be a scout?"
"Ummmm, well, scouts are good at carrying the intel, yes?"
"Yeah, but they're fucking terrible at dealing with sentries.  And pyros aren't great at it, either..."
"So, umm, why are you playing as pyro then?"
"Because, idiot, someone had to stop their spy creating havoc.  And someone had to organise an assault to take the last intel.  And wouldn't you know it, once Terezi switched to sniper those two someones ended up being the same person."
"I, uhhh, I wish I'd done that achievement farming now... this might, uhh, have been a good time to use that, uhh, canned drink that makes you invincible..."
"Yeah, well, it's too late now..."

*    *    *

It was kind of lonely down in the intel room, thought Jade as she heard the chatter from her friends over her headphones.  But everyone had an important job to do, and she was used to being on her own.  Besides, she had her nice sentry and dispenser friends for company.  But a pyro and a scout were hanging around outside, and she was locked in something of a stalemate with them.  If they came in here, they'd be easy prey for her sentry.  But she wouldn't stand a chance if she left the room.  Something was bound to tip the balance one way or the other eventually, though.  She sure hoped it was her way.

"Rose, when you respawn... d'you think you could help me out down here?  I'd like to get rid of the pyro and scout..."
"Okay, I'll go... yes, why not.  I'll go Heavy.  As improbable as it sounds."
"Just as long as you don't get into character," chirped Dave.

ectoBiologist has picked up the INTELLIGENCE!

"Oh, sorry Dave, do you want it?"
"Nah, it's cool, you're faster than me anyway."
"Saying that, I'd still better go first up these stairs..."

But Dave had reached the top of the stairs when John noticed the trap. "STICKIES!" he yelled, a second too late.  Miraculously, Dave survived with 1 hit point left. Thank goodness for overhealing, thought John.

"Run!" Dave yelled back at him. "I'll hold them off"

Healing Dave up as much as he could before the beam broke, John darted forwards.  Dave grimaced at the screen.  In a fair fight, Soldier should beat Demoman.  But he only had 75HP now...

gallowsCalibrator [pipebombed] turntechGodhead

"Ka-BEWM! I'm a grey Alternian noclops!" laughed Terezi as the soldier exploded in front of her.  But she didn't smell the medic running off with the intel until it was too late.  She had to admit, that was one advantage of light over chemicals: it did travel faster.  She sent a few half-hearted sticky bombs after the medic, but he was too fast and too far away by now.

Still, it wasn't over yet. "Karkat!  Tavros!  Incoming medic with our intel!"
"On it," replied Karkat.  Medics were easy pickings, at least...

*    *    *

John arrived in the safety of his base.  Or at least, it should have been safe.  He was worried about what Jade had said about the pyro and scout... he could try attacking them with the Blutsauger, but he didn't fancy his chances...

But he was in luck: Rose had just emerged from Resupply and, as promised, she was now playing Heavy.

"Whoa, whoa, slow down there John.  Let's get you over the finish line."

John gratefully followed Rose down the spiral stairs to the intel.

* * *

Karkat lay in wait, watching the intelligence on the radar get closer... closer... NOW!

tentacleTherapist + ectoBiologist [minigunned] carcinoGeneticist
tentacleTherapist got REVENGE on carcinoGeneticist

"Finally.  That guy's spy-checking was a pain in the structurally superfluous new behind."

Tavros heard the minigun whir, saw his teammate go flying backwards out of the stairwell.  Advance or Abscond?  Silly question.  He was Tavros Nitram.  Abscond.

But sometimes it pays to check the direction you're absconding in...

gardenGnostic + tentacleTherapist [sentried] adiosToreador
ectoBiologist has captured the INTELLIGENCE!

"YES!" yelled John.
"Well, now we're only 2-1 down," said Dave, once he'd recovered from having his ears bawled out. "Okay, good work guys.  But there's a long way to go... and now they know what they're up against..."

Chapter Text

"Okay, so what's the plan for the next intel capture?" asked Rose.
"Well..." said Jade, "I was thinking maybe I could get a teleporter set up for you guys down in their sewers.  I mean, I don't want to leave my sentry unguarded, but I feel like I could be doing more to help out.  Could you stay down here and guard my sentry, Rose, while I go and do that?"
"Yes, that sounds like a good idea."
"I'll go with you Jade, and then we can pick up Dave on the way!" said John.
"Yeah, okay, we'll do that," said Dave as he emerged from resupply.  "Meet you in their sewers."

The sewers under 2fort were perfect for launching sneak attacks from, and a good place to set up a surprise teleporter.  Dave kept watch and John built up another Ubercharge while Jade worked.

"Be careful when you go in there, guys," said Jade.
"Why?" asked Dave.
"Well, after you blew up their engy's sentry nest so easily last time, I get the feeling that this time he might try something... I dunno, sneaky."
"Engineer's intuition?" asked John.
"Well, your gut feeling's usually good on this sort of thing," said Dave. "Okay, we'll keep an eye out."

Jade had just finished upgrading the teleporter to level 3, when the kill reporter sparked into life again.

gallowsCalibrator [stickied] Sentry (gardenGnostic)
tentacleTherapist [minigunned] gallowsCalibrator
tentacleTherapist [minigunned] adiosToreador

"Sorry Jade... their demoman got in here," said Rose "I managed to eliminate him - or possibly her - and the scout who'd come down here with them to take the intel as well... but not before they destroyed the sentry.  Dispenser's still up - it's in a bit of a state, but it's keeping me healed."
"Okay, thanks for trying, Rose.  I'd better get back down there, you guys.  Good luck!"
"Thanks," said John as Jade hurried off back to their base.
"Well, guess we'd better get going,"

John and Dave climbed out of the sewer system, headed towards the courtyard, heard the sound of the sentry...

turntechGodhead + ectoBiologist [rocketed] Sentry (twinArmageddons)

Ubercharged, Dave's rockets cut through the sentry easily... but there was no enemy engineer to be seen.

"I dunno.  You don't see sentries on their own like that very often.  Where's the engineer?  Where's his dispenser?  Jade did say she thought the guy might try something sneaky..."
"Oh well, why worry?  We took it out, let's get going."
"John, one of these day's that optimism's going to get you killed..."

They headed down to the intel room.  Even though Dave self-damamged himself a few times to help John build up another ubercharge - just in case - John's meter was still only up to 70% by the time they arrived.  But John wasn't in the mood to hang around.  Not when the enemy were only one capture away from victory.

"Wait!  John, wait for your uber!"
"Oh come on, they'd never have got another sentry set up by n-"

twinArmageddons [sentried] ectoBiologist

"Now that there wath a fine pieth of work," said Sollux to himself.  It had been a good plan, he thought.  Build the sentry up by resupply, then rush down to the intel room to get the dispenser up.  When you hear the sentry explode, start building a new one straight away in the intel room.  The sentry was only up to Level 2, but it had caught their medic out perfectly.  Although their soldier had hung back.  Could be a problem...

*    *    *

"Aw, man, sorry Dave!  I should have listened..."
"Gog dammit, John.  Oh well, no use crying over spilt apple juice..."

He had to go for it.  Not much point retreating now.  He still had some overheal from John's ministrations.  Maybe he'd get lucky.  

turntechGodhead [rocketed] Sentry (twinArmageddons)
turntechGodhead [rocketed] twinArmageddons
turntechGodhead [rocketed] Dispenser (twinArmageddons)

What do you know, he did get lucky.  Although [i]again[/i] he was left with a just sliver of health.

turntechGodhead has picked up the INTELLIGENCE!

Scavenging a health crate, Dave headed back up the stairs out of the intel room, this time making doubly sure to check for stickies.  He only had about... what, 105 health?  Not enough to survive any serious encounters.  So he was probably going to get killed before he got back, and drop the intelligence... which meant he needed someone ready to pick it up.

"Rose, take Jade's teleporter down to the sewers.  I'm heading there with the intel now, but I'm low on health.  I need someone to pass the baton on to."
"Da, comrade."
"What did I say about not getting into character?"
"Oh, fine.  On my way."

Dave started to head back towards the sewer exit, but as he went down the stairs he could hear footsteps approaching from behind.  He turned to see the enemy pyro bearing down on him.  Can't outrun him, not enough health to rocket jump away from him... welp.

carcinoGeneticist [flamethrowered] turntechGodhead
turntechGodhead dropped the INTELLIGENCE!
carcinoGeneticist defended the INTELLIGENCE!

"Take that, session-wrecking scum!" Karkat yelled triumphantly.  Now all he had to do was hold them off for a minute and that soldier's assault would have been in vain.  Although wait... was that a teleporter he could hear?

Karkat walked towards the sound.  Damn it, it was a teleporter.  They'd set one up inside his sewer.  He'd show them.  Teleporters went down easily enough, after all, especially if they weren't guarded.  Still, he was a bit damaged from that last rocket that their soldier had managed to fire off at him.  Best heal up first.  By the time he got back to the teleporter though, he was a little too late...

tentacleTherapist [minigunned] carcinoGeneticist

"Huh.  Good job I spun up the minigun before stepping onto the teleporter.  Although I'm somewhat on fire here, and that damn pyro took the health crate before I could get here.  Still, I see the intelligence."

tentacleTherapist picked up the INTELLIGENCE!

"On my way, Rose!" said John.  Seconds later he appeared from the teleporter and started healing away the flames.
"Thanks, John.  Look, you take the intel, I'd take forever to get this home playing as Ms. Heavy McSlowposterior.  I'll stay here and protect the teleporter a bit longer, so that Dave can get here quickly once he respawns."

tentacleTherapist dropped the INTELLIGENCE!
ectoBiologist picked up the INTELLIGENCE!

"All right, see you soon!"

It was actually a pretty easy run - well, swim and run - back to the intel room this time, although that just meant that John had time to brood over his silly error back with that sentry.  He could make up for it by delivering this intel, though.  Although by the time he reached their intel room and saw Jade patiently setting up her sentry again, he had decided to make up for things in a slightly more... selfless way.

ectoBiologist dropped the INTELLIGENCE!

"John, what are you doing?"
"Go on Jade, you take it.  I don't really deserve it after not listening to you and Dave about sneaky Engies and stuff.  And it was your teleporter getting Rose and me to where Dave died that made all the difference..."
"And hey, this way we've all helped carry the intel home!"
"... okay then."

gardenGnostic picked up the INTELLIGENCE!
gardenGnostic captured the INTELLIGENCE!

"All right, 2-2!  We're on a roll!" shouted John.
"Careful, guys," warned Dave. "Let's not put the mockers on us..."

arachnidsGrip has joined Team RED

"Ah, fuck."