CowLord and Cowlad stepped through a portal in the shadow of a great black tower that overlooked an expanse of uninhabited wilderness.
"THE TRAIL OF BF RADIATION LEADS HERE TO THE LAIR OF OUR FOE, COWLAD," announced CowLord looking up at the tower through his visor. He flew them both to the top of the tower and handed CowLad a Town Portal scroll. "YOU WILL FIND SUGAR AND ACCOMPANY HER TO SAFETY WHILE I ENGAGE THE FIENDISH MAXIMUM EVIL."
At that moment, Maximum Evil appeared on top of the tower with them in a flash of black lightning. With one hand, he held a bound-and-gagged Sugar by one shoulder. With the other, he opened a portal. "Allow me to save you the use of a scroll," he said. "If you want Sugar, you may have her. She is of absolutely no interest to me."
"Mmmm-mmph!" said Sugar, simultaneously relieved and offended.
He shoved Sugar at CowLad. "Holy Flying Babes in Bondage!" exclaimed CowLad as the Rogue crashed into him and they both hit the floor in a heap.
"IT IS CONTRARY TO YOUR VILE NATURE TO RETURN UNHARMED A HOSTAGE WHO IS NO FURTHER USE TO YOU," observed CowLord.
"True," admitted Maximum Evil.
"THEN WHY DOES THE FAIR SUGAR YET LIVE?" wondered CowLord.
"As a token of my goodwill," smiled Maximum Evil. There was no goodwill in him and he knew that CowLord knew it.
"Holy Difference Between Good Touching and Bad Touching!" exclaimed CowLad as he struggled out from under Sugar. "Sorry about that!"
"Mmmm-mph-mm!" complained Sugar. If she was going to have someone groping her while she was bound and gagged, she usually preferred candlelight and a little edible massage oil.
"SO WHAT UNLIKELY CIRCUMSTANCE COULD CAUSE ONE SUCH AS YOURSELF TO DESIRE THE FAVOR OF THE MASTER OF THE PASTURE?" mused CowLord, ignoring CowLad and Sugar for the moment.
"I would have thought that much would be obvious," chided Maximum Evil. "We share a common foe."
There was a tense pause as the CowLord 2000 missed its cue by a few seconds before crashing into the side of the tower. With a thought, CowLord telekinetically pushed CowLad and Sugar through the Horadrim Portal to safety even as he took to the air to avoid joining the rubble of Maximum Evil's fortress thirty feet below.
Maximum Evil teleported to the ground and waited for the dust to settle. Well before it did, the rubble shifted and the CowLord 2000 rose, wires sparking and servos grinding. It glared at Maximum Evil and CowLord with its one functioning, glowing-red, Terminator-style eye. A speaker somewhere near CowLord 2000's throat hissed with white noise for a moment, then CowLord and Maximum Evil heard the voice of Archbishop Lazarus: "Hello, boys. The Adversary sends its greetings. And condolences on your imminent demises. Goodbye, boys."
Max unleashed wholly ineffective Autokill while CowLord rained Firebulls and Cudstars down on the CowLord 2000.
Shrugging off both attacks like a gentle spring rain, the CowLord 2000 responded with its array of cross-continuity weaponry. A plasma cannon popped out of its left shoulder and unleashed a beam of superheated crimson death in CowLord's direction. At the same time, a panel of machine guns opened from its chest and opened fire at Maximum Evil. Each bullet in the clip was a +100 magic bullet of Enemy Slaying.
Fortunately for Max, he was no stranger to illegal gameplay-unbalancing armaments himself. The bullets bounced harmlessly off his Godly Obsidian Gothic Plate of the Zodiacal Whale. Likewise, CowLord's own hacked-to-hell Mana Shield proved itself a match for the CowLord 2000's assault. He responded with a powerful lag bolt while Max blasted the robot with a barrage of level-99 fireballs and chain lightning.
The combined assault brought the CowLord 2000 to its armored knees. Not bothering to get up, the CowLord 2000 repeatedly hammered the scorched ground with its massive fist. The shockwaves from the blows knocked Max off his feet. At the same time, the CowLord 2000 ensnared CowLord in web of crackling energy from the stump of its other arm. It stood and then whipped CowLord into Maximum Evil at close to the speed of sound.
When the smoke cleared, CowLord lay dazed at the bottom of a shallow crater, his visor thrown open. Beneath him, Maximum Evil was little more than a smear of red jam in a crushed suit of armor. The CowLord 2000 stepped forward to finish off the Master of the Pasture.
"You'll have to do better than that," grinned Maximum Evil swiftly resurrecting himself behind the CowLord 2000. With blinding speed, Max slashed at the CowLord 2000 with his Strange Vorpal King's bastard sword of the Galaxies of Vampires.
Again and again, Maximum Evil's hacked blade bit into the CowLord 2000's armor, drawing sparks and exposing its cybernetic innards.
Notably less effective in close quarters, the CowLord 2000 tried in vain to defend itself with its force field while flailing at Maximum Evil with its anvil-like fist and the sparking stump of its wrist. It finally managed to connect with the former and forced Maximum Evil back a few yards.
A bolt of power arced between the robot's horns and blasted Maximum Evil. Max let out a scream as the blast caused every single hacked item on his person -- down to his jockey shorts of the Mammoth -- to lag out of existence.
"Eww! Maximum Evil booty," commented Ichabod. He lowered his visor and hit the CowLord 2000 with a powerful concussive blast of his own. The force was so great that it tore off the CowLord 2000's remaining arm and caused sparking bits of debris to fly out of the slashes Maximum Evil had cut its chest.
Staggering, the CowLord 2000 turned toward the new threat and made the fatal mistake of turning its back on Maximum Evil. Despite still being scorched and naked, Maximum Evil had pulled the Hammer of Thor from... somewhere. He stepped forward swinging it.
The CowLord 2000 crumpled to the ground as its dented head cleared the horizon somewhere to the north. The ensuing silence lasted less than a second before being shattered by the grinding of mismatched mechanical parts that accompanied the CowLord 2000 struggling to its feet again. The fact that it was missing an arm, a hand, and its head seemed only a minor inconvenience.
Annoyed, Maximum Evil dropped a level-600 thundering meteor of poisonous blizzards on it. At the same time, CowLord unleashed his Bova attack. This time, the CowLord 2000 stayed down, literally not having a leg to stand on.
The staticky voice of Lazarus once more issued from a melted and dented speaker grille. "Not bad, boys," he allowed. "But still not good enough." A panel in the CowLord 2000's chest slid halfway open and then stuck. Nonetheless, CowLord and Maximum Evil could both see the anti-matter bomb built into the armored behemoth's chest.
"I'll see you both in Hell," finished Lazarus, detonating the bomb.
The scrying mirror went white as Lazarus, Sister Twisted, Red Vex, Arch-Mage Suave, and the new MadCow watched.
"Could they have survived?" asked Sister Twisted.
Lazarus shrugged. "If it was anyone else, I'd say definitely not. With those two, I'd say the odds are fifty-fifty.
"Either way, good riddance to bad rubbish," said Suave. "That clanking CowLord clone freaked me out."
"It served its purpose," said Lazarus. He passed his hand in front of the scrying mirror and it showed Elsie, Evette, Lord Cool, Dolt Lungren and Stupidhead the Weak descending from the lower levels of the cathedral and into the catacombs. "It looks as if it's nearly time to be greeting our guests. Do your best to make them feel welcome."
As the others filed up the stairs, Lazarus stopped Red Vex. "What is it?" she wanted to know.
"I have a little something from our Master for you to give to Lord Cool when you see him."
"All I'm giving Lord Cool is a long, agonizing death," snapped the demoness.
"Oh, I think you'll agree that what I have is better," said Lazarus drawing a small wooden box from under the altar. He lifted the lid and, as its contents bathed Red Vex in an evil crimson light, she had to agree with him.
Did Max and CowLord survive the blast? What does Red Vex have in store for Lord Cool? You won't find out next time, because the next mutation is just the Episode with Gratuitous Bare Breasts and Genitals. I'm sure no one here is interested in that.
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