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Fan Fic / Eight Mercenaries and a Toddler

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"Aw, hell. I knew that system was due for an update."

Eight Mercenaries and a Toddler and its sequels I'll Be Home for the Holidays and Machines Don't Bleed are three fanfictions (two completed and one ongoing) of Team Fortress 2 by ChaosandMayhem.

Hilarity Ensues when the Respawn system malfunctions on Scout's twenty-first birthday, turning him into a very young kid and giving the other team members a crash course in childcare. They have two days to figure out what went wrong with the system while taking care of a very energetic, enthusiastic child with varying levels of reluctance/competence, because once the weekend is over, it'll be business as usual as far as the Administrator and the BLUs are concerned.


I'll Be Home For the Holidays is set a few months later, when the Administrator agrees to have both BLU and RED teams take a Christmas break, and mainly features Vitriolic Best Buds RED Sniper and Spy spending Christmas at the Sniper's parents, upon which wacky hijinks, low jinks, drama and giant robots ensue. Longer and somewhat Darker and Edgier than EMAT.

Machines Don't Bleed is Darker and Edgier and Denser and Wackier, as the RED team and their allies barely escape getting killed by Gray Mann's robots (unlike the BLUs, who are murdered almost to a man) and uncover a plot of Gray Mann's that may bring about a nuclear winter. There are a couple of chapters and an epilogue to go before the end.


Eight Mercenaries and a Toddler and its sequels include examples of:

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     Series as a whole 

  • Applied Phlebotinum: Australium. Regularly injecting undistilled doses directly into your bloodstream temporarily boosts your brain power but also increases your aggression. It can heal your wounds and prolong your life span, but not without cost (like strong dependency).
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: Corpses may be the enemy team or giant robots, depending on the story.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Between Lizzie and Christian in HFH and Engineer and Pyro - husband and wife - in MDB.
  • Continuity Nod: Lots, to the games, videos, and comics.
  • Flashback: Both Eight Mercenaries and a Toddler and I'll Be Home For the Holidays have extended flashback scenes. The latter's second main storyline is told in flashback in Medic's journal when he worked in a concentration camp.
  • Heroic BSoD: Happens to Spy in EMAT when little Scout is killed by a sentry and in MDB when Blake shoots Sniper, revealing he'd been working for Gray Mann all along.
  • Shout-Out: A lot of the chapters' titles; there's references to Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Joel, Crocodile Dundee, and trope names.

     Eight Mercenaries and a Toddler 

  • Always Someone Better: The RED Spy to the BLU Spy.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: It's only three dead BLUs, but it makes for a very striking mental image.
  • Badass Boast: Soldier gives a pretty sweet one after the BLUs have kidnapped the babified RED Scout. Subverted in that, after the Moment of Awesome has passed, someone remarks that he was crying.
  • Back from the Dead: The whole point of Respawn, but they aren't sure it'll work on Scout after the glitch. It does.
  • Berserk Button: Medic really doesn't take kindly to being called a Nazi.
    • Obviously, little Scout being killed is a huge one for the entire RED team.
  • Brick Joke: The Jane Austen books.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Heavy, although Soldier also qualifies.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The (RED) Engineer shows little Scout his sentries at some point. A few chapters later, a BLU sentry kills Scout.
  • Covered with Scars: Spy's hands.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Eventually, with the right incentive.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Spy is a Holocaust survivor, and lost his two little brothers in a death camp.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The author develops backstories for Scout, Spy and Medic.
  • Disappeared Dad: Scout's father as well as Spy's.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Spy reaches this when little!Scout is killed.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In Spy's flashback to the concentration camp he was sent to in 1942, one of the doctors he sees is clearly Medic. He never made the connection, and it's uncertain whether Medic ever did. They accidentally do in the sequel.
  • Evil Counterpart: Downplayed. The BLU team in general is out for the REDs' blood and cross a line when they kidnap little Scout, but the BLU Spy is just an old colleague of the RED Spy who made different career choices and was slightly jealous.
  • Feed by Example: How Soldier tries to have little Scout eat dinner, with mitigated success.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Averted. Scout sees "limbo" as a baseball stadium.
  • Friendship Moment: A few between Spy and Sniper of the heartwarming Vitriolic Best Buds kind.
  • Funetik Aksent: Everyone, especially (adult) Scout, Demoman, Engineer and, well, Pyro.
  • Heroic BSoD: Spy has a very nasty one after little Scout is killed.
  • Infant Immortality: A double subversion. Little!Scout is killed by a BLU mini-sentry, only to respawn as adult!Scout. However, the trope is averted with Spy's younger brothers.
  • Informed Judaism: The RED Spy, revealed in a flashback.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Spy, naturally.
  • La Résistance: Part of Spy's backstory.
  • Last Stand
  • Manipulative Bitch: The Administrator, as always.
  • The Masquerade: The RED team has to do a bit of obfuscation to convince the Administrator to give them a day's extension to the traditional weekend ceasefire, because clearly Scout can't fight and they don't know if Respawn will work on him. She guesses there's something shifty about it and quickly sees through their subterfuge.
  • Men Can't Keep House: Subverted on two counts. When Demoman has his turn babysitting Scout, he's surprised to find out that Scout's room is neat and clean (albeit filled with baseball posters and Playboy magazine pages). The team's refrigerator also has the groceries labeled and organized by food group. Lampshaded by the narration: "For a bunch of guys, they kept the fridge surprisingly clean."
  • Mood Whiplash
  • Morality Pet: Toddler!Scout becomes this for the eight other RED mercs.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: The Engineer uses this to explain way the baby Scout likes to hang out with the Spy over all the others even as they take care of him more than the Spy.
  • Nazi Germany: Part of Spy's and Medic's backstories. Neither is aware of the other's past. Until the sequel.
  • Nice Guy: Engineer.
  • Oh, Crap!: The RED Spy breaks the Mexican Stand Off between him and his BLU alter-ego when he hears little Scout's cry.
  • Pet the Dog
  • Papa Wolf: The entire RED team eventually becomes this to Scout.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Inverted. The malfunctioning Respawn system knocks enough years off Scout's age to turn him into a two-year-old.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The BLU Spy gives one to his RED counterpart at some point.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Boy, d'you know why I call this lil' beauty the Gunslinger?"
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After little Scout is killed, the RED team massacres the BLU team and nearly lays waste to their base.
  • Secret Test of Character: In a twisted kind of way, the Administrator made one of these to both RED and BLU. BLU's test was to see how far they would go, and where they would draw the moral line between kidnapping a child and killing it. RED's test was on how hard they would fight for one another in times of need. And they passed their tests.
  • True Companions: The RED team.
  • The Un-Reveal: We never hear what Spy's dead little brother told Scout to tell him.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Medic was not a Nazi. But he did work for them for a while.

    I'll Be Home for the Holidays 


    Machines Don't Bleed 

  • Driven to Suicide: Desmond, the BLU Engineer, in the prologue. Radigan Conagher also did this in the backstory to escape the effect Australium was having on his brain.
  • Everybody S Dead Dave: Almost the whole BLU team is killed in chapter 3 in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • First Chapter Spoiler: Delmond, the BLU Engineer, is the first of many to die.
  • Gender Reveal: Pyro is a woman.
  • Grave Robbing: Though they're not happy about it, Team Mundy does this in chapter 20 to get Radigan Conagher's blueprints.
  • He’s Back: It takes a possibly imaginary conversation with the ghost of Medic, but Spy, in chapter 30, after leaving the team in a major BSOD.
  • Insult to Rocks: Spy notes in chapter 20 that calling Radigan Conagher's house a shack would be an affront to shacks, because at least shacks have an excuse for being badly kept.
  • Killed Off for Real: No Respawn means no coming Back from the Dead, which means that the entire BLU team plus Bidwell, Medic, Soldier and two of the "classic" team who died stay dead.
  • Little "No": In chapter 32, Blake stands up to his father when he's ordered to kill Scout.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Apparently, Engineer swears so heavily in chapter 2 that even Scout turns red.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: When Pyro tries to point out that Engineer is missing the others have that reaction, since s/he's The Unintelligible and they're too busy yelling at each other.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: "It looks like we're going to have to find ourselves a new Engineer."
  • The Reveal: In chapter 4 — Pyro is Irene, the RED Engineer's wife.
  • Starts with a Suicide: Delmond, the original BLU Engineer.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Delmond, the original BLU Engineer shoots himself in the head in the prologue.
    • Taken to eleven in chapter 3, in which almost the entire BLU team is gruesomely wiped out by the Gray robots.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Sniper noting that a storm is coming.

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