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Short Collection

These can also be found in pieces in the character-specific Mann & Machine pages for this site. They have now been uploaded to Ao3.


Intro shorts for Mann & Machine characters.

Hypothetically a G to low T rating.

Intro: Scout

Author's Note:

...I don't know why I wrote this dramatically. It was like 2 AM. Actually in hindsight most of my writing comes out past midnight. What's up with that

Jeremy was an odd child, but perhaps that could be attributed to growing up without a father. A little too sharp-eyed on his mother's new boyfriends, a little too reluctant to cry, a little too unbruised for a boisterous youth of four and fourteen alike. He was, in a way, the family secret. Not in and of himself - no, the neighbors were quite aware of him, whether he was running screeching around the living room or stumbling through the door with an icepack on his jaw. But the way he healed was... off.
"Helpful," his mother had called it, when he'd first come home sporting a slice across his shin, the flesh already beginning to lattice over with pulsing new growth. "But upsetting." There'd been blood stains on his shoes, but the wound was clean as anything. "Try not to get hurt again, sweetheart. And don't show it to anyone. They won't like it."
Jeremy, not one to ignore his mother's word, had obeyed. There hadn't been any reason not to, really. Well - it would have been nice to boast of, he supposed. But the last time he'd showed off with a baseball, he'd been sent to the principal's office for breaking someone's nose, so perhaps it would be better to wait until he grew up.
Or, perhaps, to wait for when his Dad would come back. Because he was going to see his Dad again eventually, right?

Jeremy's first job was at a hot dog stand. But that was a kid's job, he reasoned, even as the years rolled over and the days ebbed long and short and long again. He wasn't quite grown up yet. Not quite.
Jeremy's second job was with Mann Co. A real grown-up job. And so what if his Dad hadn't shown up? He was great. The greatest. Kind of a big deal. He was just fine, with his big paycheck and his big gun, and when - if - his Dad showed up, he'd be proud. Real proud.

Jeremy's third job was with Mann Co., too.

Dreams, he noted, tasted much more metallic than he'd hoped.

Intro: Soldier

Soldier was never especially high tech, but high-tech was never exactly a requirement for working with Mann Co. Hold rocket launcher, point it at foe, and shoot. Simple job.

Or, well, it should have been a simple job. And for a time it was. But Mann Co. was never big on redundancies for their mercenaries, and that meant off-hours respawn failures weren't the sorts of things that were properly covered.

Medic worked his magic, as he always did - on what was left over, anyway. Rocket accidents are messy, after all, and there's only so much repair that can be done on body parts dispersed into the air. And what he couldn't do, Engineer filled in for. Skin, bone, arms, legs, organs. Carefully revitalised and locked away inside an optimised metal shell. High-tech, for once, and just as capable of singing an anthem or raising a rocket launcher as it ever was.

He should be grateful for it, Soldier supposed, but he couldn't help but wonder what had been lost.

Intro: Demo

Author's Note:

Tbh Demoman has a lot going on in canon and I'm only going to make it more complicated.

Previously working as a freelance Demoman and cryptid-hunter, Demo joined Mann Co. in the hopes of finally finding a job that met all three of the following requirements: satisfying, pays well, mum likes it. And it was alright! Stressful at times, and there was definitely something going on with his boss, but it was more consistent than waiting for Nessie to show up and it provided plenty of pocket money.

It wasn't quite the ideal - it took up too much time for him to pick up other odd jobs, for one, and it was far away from home. But it was a job, at least. And the people! Strange people, truly. Annoying, sometimes. But they were good on the battlefield, and often better off.

When the situation with Grey Mann happened, Demoman didn't think too much of it. Disruption to the routine was - well, it was odd, for sure, but hardly something to get worked up about. Change was always nice, and it sure beat being chased around by a magician yelling about raccoons again. But then, the disruption didn't stop, and it started getting worse, and...


He'd call his mom, and she'd ask him how things were. Yes, Mum, good, Mum. No, I haven't got another job yet, Mum. Yes, Mum. I know, Mum. I love you, Mum.

The close calls got too close. Rockets that hit too close to the heart, sniper shots through the lungs, cold blue eyes staring him dead on as metallic hands scraped under his ribs. Mann Co. had softened him, it seemed - or had the world simply become crueller?

He hoped it was the former.

Intro: Medic

Author's Note:

don't ask about the last line. idk.

An artificial creation, he was initially concieved as an ideal son - one who wouldn't do things like take up art, argue with his parents, and run away from home. Growing up - or, being built up as it was - it was made quite clear to him what his purpose in life was. Continue the family tradition, make amazing discoveries in science, and flout the law when possible. A simple task for one who'd been programmed for such interests only.

He managed two of those things, so it could be called a majority success, if you were feeling pedantic.

His parents' weakness was always that they wanted a son as much as a successor, and when they lost the first to their inept parenting, the second was as much to heal the hole left behind as it was to continue the legacy. People are funny, like that. Perhaps they thought they would do better, or perhaps they had simply failed to concieve of the fact that an artificial human was still, beneath all the programming, devastatingly, utterly, human. The young child, it seemed, practiced medicine as ardently as his lost sibling had practiced with a brush. But not for the family legacy, and that was where things fell to pieces.

It was a shame, really, that things went down the way they did. Had his father not been quite so hot-tempered, had his mother thought to remember the mistakes of their past child, had the child not been quite so much his parent's son - well. Such ruminations were worthless in the end. What came to pass was, perhaps, a long time coming. People are rather egotistical, and do not always learn from their mistakes, after all.

Some things, once set into motion, always play out a certain way. It was a stupid argument, well-rehearsed and tired. Perhaps that was why it came to blows so easily.

Built for purpose, in good health and as intended, a shadow is cast over the vibrance of a life, and Frankenstein's monster kills the name to be bestowed upon him.

Intro: Pauling

Pauling met Pyro a long time ago. He wasn't called Pyro, then - he had another name, one that faded away a long time ago. Pyro was a better name, he had told her one day, and she'd resolved to forget the old one. They'd been runaways, at the time, two teenagers from bad situations come together out of chance. A perfect pair, she'd thought, and perhaps he'd thought so too.

Pauling didn't remember how long they'd stayed together. Pyro said it was a year, maybe, but she'd admitted herself that her memory wasn't so great nowadays. It might have been longer. It might have been shorter. Pauling hoped it was longer. They were good memories, even if they were hazy and buried under years of work.

The deal was a good deal. It had to have been a good deal, or Pauling wouldn't have taken it. Australium-based robots were hard to manufacture and expensive, too, and the promise of one that could bring Pyro back to life... well. It was worth every hour of work they'd put in after, Pauling thought. Pyro had always wanted to work with fire, anyway. Pauling hoped he was happy, now. Happier that he'd been in her memories.

What did Pyro's face look like, again?

Never mind. She was alive, after all. Buried in steel and Australium and fine copper wiring, but alive. That was all that had mattered.