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Ratchet & Klunk

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Disclaimer: I do not own Ratchet & Clank, or any of its associated characters and lore. That right belongs to Insomniac Games.

[R&K]

Ratchet & Klunk

[R&K]

Self-Centered Heroes

[R&K]

Plant Z332, Skorg City, Planet Quartu, Solana Galaxy

A barren world primarily used for industrial activities rather than a purely habitational livelihood, Quartu had a green atmosphere that went in hand with the numerous factories that dotted its surface. All such factories were the property of Drek Industries, an influential corporation in the Solana Galaxy headquartered on the distant Planet Orxon, which was even more environmentally ruined compared to Quartu due to poor decisions initially made by the founder of Drek Industries, whose example was followed by many other Blarg, the reptilian natives of Orxon that comprised much of the company's workforce.

At a mountainous area on the planet's surface, a series of factories linked together, which was uniformly referred to as Skorg City despite being less of a settlement and more of a massive facility, was being patrolled by large, muscular Blarg that piloted medium-sized yellow helicopters with mounted cannons around Skorg City while the ground was covered by smaller yet somewhat muscular Blarg alongside numerous robot models fresh of Quartu's assembly line in preparation of the arrival of the Chairman of Drek Industries himself. At that moment, an armored transport of Blargian design, designated as a Dropship Model X67, and escorted by black minifighters, descended from Space with many of Skorg City's personnel either observing the dropship in the shape of an upside-down triangle, or, in the case of the dropship's inevitable landing pad, standing at attention for their overall boss's arrival.

It was at that exact landing pad, that Victor Von Ion was waiting for his employer's descent. A large, red warbot with a broad upper body and a protruding jaw that made him distinct from other warbots as well as even more intimidating, Victor had literally beaten many other savage warriors of diverse natures to become his employer's personal bodyguard and be trusted with tasks that required his brutal efficiency, and seeing as how the Chairman had a big plan that would affect not only his species, but the entire galaxy itself, he had no intention of disappointing him anytime soon.

"All troops, attention!" Victor called out in a military fashion upon the dropship's landing, prompting the Blarg Troopers and their heavier Commanders to respond accordingly as the dropship than opened up to first let out a deployment of four fully clothed Blarg, whose dark grey uniforms, large jetpacks, and pistols identified them as Elite Commandos of Drek Industries, who then quickly stood aside for a small, hovering robot with a visor-like yellow eye and a butler-like paintjob to exit next.

Holding out a microphone in his three-fingered left hand, the robot, who Victor knew as the Chairman's administrative assistant, Zed, then messed around with it for a bit even as it released a scratchy sound that got on everyone's nerves until he was satisfied, then cleared his mechanical throat, and finally announced in a bold voice. "And now, employees of Drek Industries, Blarg and robots alike, the keyman behind the march for progress, the glorious mastermind to our laboring hands, and the one sophont who can restore his family honor as much as the future of all Blarg-kind, Chairman Alonzo Drek!"

Exiting the dropship last at his cue, Alonzo Drek, who inherited his company from his late father, the first Chairman Drek, gazed at all his enforcers with a stern look, which prompted even the Elites to restrain from looking down at him, as he was shorter than most sentient lifeforms in the known universe. In addition to his height, Alonzo Drek possessed light blue pupilless eyes and a paler skin compared to the gold eyes and orange-red skin of the Blarg surrounding him, a large, pointy head with large eyebrows and black hair with a small portion elegantly tied as a topknot, and a business suit that distinguished him as the head honcho of his race's political and economic arenas.

His physical appearance aside, Victor knew, from the very moment he met Drek, that his greatest strength was not simply that he could harm others with the power he wielded, but that he had the will to act on it from start to finish.

Moving past the fact that he should never underestimate his superior, Victor saluted the Chairman as he came to him with a sinister smirk, Zed not that far behind him either. "Quartu, as ever, welcomes you, Chairman Drek." The red warbot informed his superior.

"Yes, as it should, Victor." Drek commented in a smooth tone of voice before immediately turning to Zed with a sharp look. "In the meantime, Zed, while I am pleased you didn't mark my introduction with beatboxing like you stupidly did last time, manage your microphone before such moments! I did not get this far just to be rendered deaf by your nonsense!"

Forcing a frantic salute of his own, Zed replied in his normal, high-pitched voice. "Yes, of course, sir! It won't happen again!"

Giving his assistant a warning look for good measure, Drek then returned his attention to Victor with a respectable grin. "Now then, Victor, I believe I was owed a meeting with the other half of my forces?"

Victor nodded in obedience. "Yes, sir. The scientists are already reviewing the warbots being assembled as we speak."

As Victor turned around to lead the way, Zed had made a quick trip back to the dropship to return with a red hover scooter for Drek's use before the three then entered Plant Z332 of Skorg City at last. While Drek could walk and even run just fine, as the overall dictator of his species, he liked having certain advantages over others, nonetheless.

[R&K]

Receiving word from his unnamed, unknown, and yet apparently, reliable contact that Chairman Drek himself was entering the very factory that he himself was infiltrating, Klunk, a diminutive robot made from a grey titanium alloy with large eyes that were red in color to match his antenna, and adjustable arms and legs, had looked through hacked camera footage from the security room he had tapped previously to confirm that Drek was indeed being given a tour by Victor Von Ion. Knowing when not to waste crucial time, Klunk quickly navigated his way through the airducts he was sneaking through to arrive in a different spot of the robot factory's interior, close to where Von Ion was guiding Drek along, but well enough out of sight to not be noticed.

Ignoring the conveyor belts of sentrybots, electroids, and other robots of Blargian design being manufactured as he had already seen it before, even as he scorned the sentrybots to a degree for having a similar yet cruder design to his own, Klunk focused on finding an infobot that would logically hold information to Drek's plans as his creator instructed him to find. Thinking about his creator, Klunk could not help but wonder why his maker believed that he was ready for infiltration at his present inexperience and lack of upgrades due to being a recent creation, but he pushed such self-doubts aside in favor of his goal.

Moving as stealthily as he could, Klunk sticked to the shadows in a way that he figured would leave more professional intelligence agents look at him in envy, determined to complete his assignment and return to his homeworld of Mariona as the victor, when his inbuilt sensors detected an infobot near his position. Feeling excitement in a way that squishy organics would compare it to adrenaline, Klunk moved to a nearby room where he found the small, hovering robot he was searching for.

Just when he was about to grab it, however, the infobot expanded its metal jaws to reveal a flat telescreen inside and then played a video for Klunk to watch, and even he, whose own creator described as being cynical and egotistical to the point of having no apparent sense of either humor, or empathy, could not help but instinctively step back in surprise and concern even. The details of Drek's plans to resolve his people's overpopulation on the polluted world of Orxon would endanger the entire galaxy from the organic squishies that Klunk and his faction could care less about to the more valued robots that are settled here and there throughout Solana.

"This may require more attention than even the Doctor can provide, though." Klunk admitted to himself on that at least as he took the infobot into his body's storage compartment and was about to move when he then saw to his surprise one of the sentrybots he had silently derided standing right over him and looking down at him. Recognizing his situation with the bulkier, more heavily armed robot with an inbuilt alarm system, Klunk exhaled in annoyance. "Oh, joy."

In response, the sentrybot's green eyes, antennae, and chest light all turned red as the alarm went off with Klunk running as quick as he could to a nearby escape route he learned off earlier.

"Intruder alert." A computerized voice announced across the factory and repeated before Klunk then heard a less automatic and more amused voice over the intercom.

"An intruder, huh? Almost looks like a tiny sentrybot defect as if there ever was one. Care to play around with the little troublemaker, Victor?"

Pushing past his own emotional responses of anger at being called a "defect" by Drek himself and surprise that the Blarg were already tracking him via their camera systems, Klunk instead felt panic at the idea of being chased by the larger, more brutish warbot and ran even harder to the escape as something, or rather someone, immediately crashed through a wall on his right to pursue him.

"Where do you think you're going, you waste of scrap metal?!" Von Ion exclaimed as he released an energy beam in his wrist at Klunk just when the latter jumped down the large chute he needed to go to.

Even more fortunate, when Klunk landed at the chute's end, he found himself in the cockpit of a minifighter. Foregoing his creator's instructions to let their inside man in Drek's operation help him escape from Quartu since he had been exposed, Klunk then interacted with the minifighter's controls with his inbuilt robotic ignition system to power the vehicle and escape as fast as his getaway spacecraft could.

Noticing that two more minifighters were tailing him as he left Quartu and went into Space, however, Klunk tried to access the Galactic Map and was dismayed to see that just he had the latest robotic ignition system that would allow him to power and pilot any starship he chose, the minifighter's Galactic Map had to have coordinates inserted into it in order to take Klunk to anywhere else but Quartu, or he would be lost in Space. Nonetheless, remembering that his recent infobot had the coordinates to a separate, inhabited planet, Klunk inserted the knowledge he had to travel there. It was not Mariona, or even the Galactic capital of Marcadia, but it would have to do.

Klunk's thoughts were then pulled away when he felt one of his pursuers fire at his escape craft. Taking a quick glance behind him, Klunk quickly returned his focus back to the steering mechanism as he shook his head with a groan. "Well, if I do go down, at least it will not be by squishies."

[R&K]

Ratchet's Garage, Kyzil Plateau, Planet Veldin

Derisively described by many as one of the Solana Galaxy's boonies, Veldin was a desert planet of rocky terrain with few large bodies of water, but to the locals, it was home for one reason or another, even if some of them dreamed of something bigger. Life there was simple, but, excluding getting rid of Horny Toad infestations and avoiding Skreeduck droppings, it was not exciting, and none knew better than the sole Lombax of Veldin, who resided in the Kyzil Plateau region.

Having lived in a cylindrical garage at the Plateau's southern end since his childhood, Ratchet, as the Lombax was named, had long sought to leave Veldin on his power, but just over forty minutes before noon would have arrived on his part of the world, he might as well have experienced another cruel, if well-needed, reality check. Unless he could find a robotic ignitions system to power his homemade starship, he would have to take the common methods to leave Veldin that were available to the public.

As a growing Lombax, Ratchet was a bipedal feline with yellow fur, two pointy ears with brown stripes, triangular clawed feet, and green eyes while wearing a simple attire of pants kept by a belt, a cap ober his head that would suit most pilots, gloves, and a chest harness, and even in his developing years, many had noted him to have the makings of a resourceful mechanic and even fighter. Of course, for all his talents, Ratchet felt often isolated due to being the only known Lombax anywhere, which resulted in him leaving the local orphanage at a young age, getting in fights with those who mocked him as "the last of his kind", and right then, as he sat alone on a small hill on the left of his garage with his OmniWrench 8000 in hand, he recognized that he was absolutely friendless right then as he had always been.

That last thought, however, made Ratchet regretful as he at last got up and into the garage to look at a photo frame of himself in his preteens, smiling broadly to the camera with a canine-like sophont with one full tusk and a broken tusk both sticking out of his mouth and wearing a brown leather vest having placed a supportive arm behind Ratchet's back. The older man who was in the picture with Ratchet was Grimroth Razz, the owner of the garage that Ratchet went on to live in alone after his employer had to go off-world and, unfortunately, never returned.

Turning away from the picture so as not relieve bittersweet memories, Ratchet instead turned his gaze to the poster of a being he once looked up to growing up, even if they never met in person. With a muscular upper body and compact lower body and wearing his iconic green uniform that had a red antenna on top and a lightning bolted atom resembling a "Q" on his chest, Captain Qwark was said to be the Solana Galaxy's premier superhero who saved many planets and was often seen on holovision and heard on the radio either recounting his past exploits or ongoing endorsements, and when Ratchet was a bit more optimistic, he actually wanted to be like him when he finally left Veldin to seek his own adventures, opportunities, heroic legends, and, even more hopefully, find the Lombaxes that left him on Veldin as a baby, including his unknown family of birth.

Sighing tiredly at such sad memories and broken dreams, Ratchet turned back to his homemade ship to get his mind off Grim, Qwark, and his own childish years. As much as he wanted to still see what the greater galaxy could offer him, he knew by then that relying on hope just hurts in the long run. At the same time, he knew that the Gadgetron HelpDesk stated clearly he needed a robotic ignition system to get his vessel spaceborne, but still, he needed to do something since he was not getting any customers for the day after sending a notice earlier that business hours would be held off while he was working on his own projects.

A small round ship that consisted of just the cockpit, two engines at the back, and short wings, Ratchet's homemade endeavor was made up of several metal plates of various shades of blue and held up on the ground by three landing gears. As he examined his work for the umpteenth time, though, Ratchet was surprised to hear a loud whooshing sound coming from the sky, followed by seeing a minifighter crash not so far away from his position and burst in flames.

"Okay, wasn't expecting that." Ratchet admitted to himself upon absorbing the recent incident. Seeing that no one else was nearby to investigate, however, the Lombax then smirked knowingly as he kept his OmniWrench in his grip and checked over the Bomb Glove that he got from Gadgetron Corporation for free as a first-time costumer long ago and then said. "Oh, well, finders keepers."

Granted, Veldin was not exactly a lawless planet, and Ratchet had seen some salvagers get thrown in jail for doing their work illegally, but the curiosity of what happened as well as the chance of finding a component to add to his ship kept him going to where he needed, or rather wanted, to go. Horny Toads were out and about, but with his OmniWrench, which was both a weapon and a tool, Ratchet was able to hit any that came in his way.

As he came closer to the crash site, however, Ratchet was surprised to see several medium-sized, turquoise robots that hovered off the ground, observed him with singular sensors, and had electric cannons for right arms. Before he could communicate with them, though, the robots immediately attacked him as some went further along to search through the wreckage on their own, prompting Ratchet on the offensive with his Bomb Glove to fire explosives at the robots that tore them to pieces.

After destroying all the unknown robots, which his HelpDesk connection identified as electroids of Drek Industries design, Ratchet had arrived at the destroyed ship to find a small, grey robot curled into a deactivated position on the ground near the flaming vessel. "Huh, looks like you bailed at the last second, little guy." He said, even though the robot was not in a position to hear him at all. Looking left and right to see if anyone else was noticing him, the Lombax then eagerly brought the robot into his arms to bring it to his garage.

[R&K]

Taking a quick bite to eat for lunch after returning to his home, Ratchet then studied the little robot for any external damage, but held back from looking internally out of a little respect to the robot's privacy. Thankfully for the both of them, Ratchet's guest soon awoke with piercing red eyes and a notable grimace that actually unnerved the Lombax a bit.

"And just what do you think you are doing, squishy?" The robot asked in a demanding tone of voice that was meant to be intimidating, even if Ratchet found it more amusing.

Showing a relaxing grin, Ratchet showed the palms of his hands as he answered. "Easy now, pal. Your ship crashed not too far away from here, so I got you out of that mess before Blarg robots nearly got you. Don't worry about those guys, by the way. I took care of them permanently."

The small robot looked skeptical at Ratchet's words as his own words indicated. "You expect me to believe that you dispatched a force of Blargian electroids all by yourself?" Before Ratchet could defend against the accusation, however, the robot then added in an analyzing tone. "Then again, I see that you are equipped with a Bomb Glove and an OmniWrench 8000, so, depending on the size of said force, logic tells that you would have an advantage over them." Noticing the homemade ship, he then added. "And I see a self-built starship crudely yet steadily put together. For a squishy, you may be quite the handy individual."

Accepting the slight compliment for what it was, Ratchet replied. "You've got all bets on that." Looking dubious, he then said. "Still, what the heck do you mean by "squishy", tin can? I've been called worse, but come on."

The robot was not impressed by Ratchet's term for him as his eyes narrowed back once again and he raised his right arm with each of his three fingers for emphasis. "First of all, my body is composed of titanium, not tin, just as how your organic body is squishable compared to mine. Secondly, my designation that you shall refer to me from now on is Klunk, as in K-L-U-N-K. And thirdly, I need someone who can assist me in avoiding a galaxy-wide crisis, so I would appreciate it if you told me how I can pass along crucial information to the proper authorities."

Absorbing all that information, Ratchet looked at Klunk with an extremely weirded-out expression before ultimately letting out. "Okay." Clearing his throat to force a more easygoing look on his face, he then said. "Anyway, Klunk, my name's Ratchet, and last I checked, the Veldin Planetary Defense Center is still under construction, so you won't have much luck calling Captain Qwark, the Galactic Rangers, or whoever for help while you're still here. On Veldin, I mean."

Humming in thought, Klunk then turned back to Ratchet's ship before returning his attention to the Lombax. "Then perhaps we, and I cannot believe I am saying this, should combine forces in these desperate times? No doubt your ship lacks a robotic ignition system while I do not, so I shall start your ship, you will fly it to the planet Novalis where we will hopefully find a way to contact someone to ward off the Blarg's offense on the galaxy, and after that, we can go our separate ways however we like."

Stumped by the proposal, but no less intrigued, Ratchet replied. "Well, that sounds tempting, but what exactly are the Blarg doing that you'd get hunted down by them like with the electroids?"

Exhaling in exasperation, Klunk answered. "I will not convey much information about myself, if that is what you are wondering, but my creator, who is also a robot, if I may add, had a suspicion that Drek Industries was planning something that would affect several worlds in the Solana Galaxy, if not the entire galaxy itself, so I was tasked to infiltrate the facilities on Quartu for inside knowledge." He then released what Ratchet recognized as an infobot from his compartment which then expanded its jaws to play a video.

Showing the red and yellow logo of an arrow-shaped helmet that Ratchet figured belonged to Drek industries, the video soon moved to a scene onboard a starship with a short, black haired, and blue eyed Blarg in a business suit smiling smoothly to the camera as he said in the midst of a sinister anthem playing. "Hello, citizens of Novalis. For over fifty years, my race, the Blarg of Orxon, have had a small problem that I feel partially responsible for, and now, can no longer be ignored. Due to poor past decisions, our planet has become so polluted, overpopulated, and poisonous, that we are no longer able to dwell there." As the video showed an image of the pristinely green Novalis and then depictions of Orxon in such a state to sell the point, the Blarg reappeared to say. "But I, Chairman Alonzo Drek, inheritor of my father's company and overall representative of my fellow Blarg to you all, have a solution!"

While Ratchet looked uncertain, the video then showed blueprints of a massive extraction machine with the crane to match followed by an illustration of a mismatched, artificial planet as Drek went on. "Using highly sophisticated technology, which you couldn't possibly understand, we are constructing a pristine, new world using only the choicest planetary components available. So, what does this mean to you, you might ask?" The extractor was then shown tearing a chunk of mass from an illustrated planet as Drek added. "With the same technology that shall create New Orxon, we will be extracting a large portion of your planet and adding it to our new one."

Ratchet's jaw dropped at the news just when Drek was made centerstage once again. "Unfortunately, this change in mass will cause your planet to spin out of control and drift into the sun where it will explode into a flaming ball of gas, but, of course, for the good of all Blarg-kind, sacrifices must be made, and if it helps, my Novalian friends, you aren't the first and you won't be the last." Chuckling a bit too innocently, Drek said in conclusion. "Thank you for your cooperation."

"Cut!" Someone outside of camera view shouted, which prompted Drek's affable smile to be replaced with an irate frown.

"And if you don't like it, you can take your whiny, sniveling, snot-nosed populations, form a line behind me and kiss my Blargian-!" Drek's ranting was then cut off when he turned to his right in confusion. "We're still on, Zed? Well, turn it off, you complete idiot!"

The video finally concluded, Ratchet then turned to Klunk, who returned his shocked look with a glare as he said. "As you can see, my maker was correct. I am unable to communicate with him, though, which is why traveling is my next best option to protect as many robot lives as I can."

"All the people on all those planets will be hosed, if no one who can stop them learns about it." Ratchet said to himself softly. While he never had much good experience with people outside of Grim, he was not sure if he had it in him to leave entire planets full of people to go through what he has. Shaking his head to clear such thoughts, he then went down on one knee to address Klunk with his right hand held out. "Well, as you said, Klunk, desperate times call for desperate measures. So, for the sake of argument, we'll partners starting here and now. Okay?"

Klunk studied Ratchet's hand for a brief amount of time before he then begrudgingly shook it with his own as he said with warning. "Yes, partners, for now."

Hearing the sound of landing minifighters, though, Ratchet was quick to pull a yelping Klunk into the homemade ship with him. While this was not how he figured his first adventure would start, Ratchet was not going to turn such a gift away just because the giver was kind of a jerky robot supremacist.

[R&K]

Flagship of the Blargian Space Fleet, Veldin Orbit

Having followed the intruder on Quartu to Veldin as it was close to his eventual target of Novalis, anyway, Chairman Drek, accompanied onboard his flagship by Victor and Zed, was seething with irritation and foreboding of the probable consequences as the three witnessed the ship that their ground forces reported had both the intruder and his rescuer fleeing Veldin to a different location. Balling his fists, Drek said without turning to his two robotic henchmen. "Did the electroids gather any info about those two?"

Victor made his que to speak. "The listening device the first wave planted details the intruder as one Klunk, whose robotic creator somehow had an inkling we were planning something big, and the little space rat that saved his metal hide and is taking him to Novalis is a local Lombax mechanic named Ratchet."

"A Lombax?" Zed responded in surprise. "The Cazar-like Technomites from the Polaris Galaxy? I thought they were all extinct."

"Apparently not, Zed." Victor replied brusquely before turning his voice to their boss instead. "Chairman, what are your orders?"

Thinking to himself deeply, Drek was curious on who Klunk's creator was as well as who in his company obviously leaked his plans to said robot, but held off such eventualities for the time being. They could learn more from Klunk after they tore him apart. Sighing audibly as his thoughts turned to the Lombax, Drek regretted not learning about him earlier as he would have made a fine asset, if he had much of his race's characteristics, but it was too late, all the same.

Frowning towards Space, Drek at last said. "This could be a problem, gentlemen. Alert all our people, including New Orxon's spokesman, that they are to take care of it by whatever means necessary."

"Yes, sir." Victor obeyed with a salute before letting his frustration show. "Rest assured, when I find those two myself, I will not hesitate to clean up my failure from Skorg City."

Finally turning back, Drek showed a cruel smile. "See that you don't, Victor. I'd hate to replace you after all your hard work."

Gesturing to be left alone, Drek returned his focus back to Space as he thought on how his plans, his true plans, would unravel as time passed. There were many variables, unseen and otherwise, to be considered, but that made things thrilling nevertheless.

[R&K]

I know I already have Ratchet & Kit to do, but while doing some texting way back, the autocorrect gave me an idea of how Ratchet & Klunk would do as a team from the very start and onwards. It is kind of like a similar story known as Rivet & Klunk, but I will be making this a bit different from that one, of course, as I am sure you have noticed with this first chapter.

In fact, seeing as how Klunk is a canonical villain, and that I have grown into the idea of depicting the main protagonists of the fandoms I like on the same side as villainous factions, if they are workable enough, I am kind of interested in portraying Ratchet here as a roguish, yet no less, decent enough villain protagonist himself to go with Klunk's character. Then again, it might be easier to just have them stay as heroes to go with later entries in the series, but I will think about it as time passes.

Truth be told, I did plan on Klunk's creator, who backed Drek in the 2016 stuff, take a more active part in this, but then I figured I could make somethings different, so there you have it. Just read, see how it unfolds, and enjoy.