|Season 1, Episode 8|
|Air date||July 24th, 2015|
Much Ado About Aliens
A Sordid Story is the eighth episode of Tech 10: Rebooted.
Fearoid’s face hit the pavement with a considerable thud, putting a crack in the sidewalk. He tried to get up, only to be grabbed from behind and thrown into the street, slamming into a parked car and thoroughly smashing its frame.
“Ugh...” Tech groaned, shaking his head. “How does Kroz make this look so easy?”
Before he could get on his feet, another car was thrown on top of him, crushing the car he had already wrecked. Thinking quickly, Tech had dispersed his body before the impact, practically phasing through it.
“Okay, that’s it. Trying something new!”
Tech twisted the SpecTrix dial and pressed down on it, transforming into Overtide with a green flash. He quickly formed a ball of ice and shot it towards his lumbering opponent.
The Detrovite he was fighting did not take kindly to this, lashing out with his fist and punching the ball into a fine mist. Feeling overconfident for about 2.5 seconds, he quickly realized that said mist prevented him from seeing Tech. This heavily backfired in the form of a giant drill made of ice shards and pressurized water slamming into him, with Tech’s own body serving as the drill core.
As the Detrovite stumbled backwards a few feet, dazed, Tech quickly transformed into Electrolite and formed a large ball of electricity in his hands.
“Hey, mud face!” Tech yelled.
The Detrovite looked up, still seeing double from the blow.
“How about a rousing game of catch?!”
Tech threw the electricity as hard as he could, sending it flying towards his opponent’s face. The Detrovite tried to punch the sparking ball, as he did with the water; however, it wasn’t until he had thrown out his arm that he remembered what happens when electricity and water mix.
The following electrical blast momentarily bugged out television signals half a mile away.
“So then what happened?”
Tech was sitting in his chair in the back office, explaining the morning’s events to a somewhat interested Alvono and a not-at-all interested Aquadilus.
“I just placed an anonymous call to the Plumbers and left him there for them to pick up.” Tech replied.
“Since when did you start cooperating with the authorities?” Alvono asked.
“Well, ever since I, you know, died, I realized that it might not hurt to have some help once in a while. It’s not like I have anywhere to put criminals.”
Aquadilus looked up from over his newspaper.
“Not that you should be handling that stuff anyways.” He said. “I think this whole thing’s gone to your head a bit.”
“Just what do you mean by tha-”
“Hold it!” Alvono yelled. “I have one more, vitally important question before you two start passive-aggressively arguing again!”
“What is it, Alvono?” Tech sighed.
Alvono pointed at Tech’s clothing.
“WHAT ARE THOOOOOOSE?”
“My new outfit.”
“Why’d you need a new one?”
“If you think I’m wearing my same winter outfit in the middle of summer, you must be out of your mind.”
“Oh. Alright, question answered, move along.”
Aquadilus rolled his eyes in annoyance.
“Look, Tech, when you said you wanted to start using the SpecTrix to fight crime or whatever, I didn’t really care.” He explained. “It was just you going out and doing stuff without anything getting too complicated. Now you’ve got no less than two arch-enemies, an entire weapons smuggling gang, part of the Obsidian Death, and one Specterian warlord I can’t really get a read on, all wanting to beat the crap out of you. When did you switch from stopping minor criminals to causing intergalactic incidents?”
“When I felt like I had to. That Tennyson guy may be out on a road trip or something, but that doesn’t mean Earth stops getting the attention of some pretty bad guys. In fact, it probably makes things worse, because they don’t think there’s anyone left to stop them!”
“And you think you can do it?”
“I don’t know!” Tech snapped. “I just know I need to try!”
There were a few moments of awkward silence as Tech and Aquadilus glared at each other. Alvono slowly started sinking into the computer console, hoping neither of them would notice.
“Is this about the Puppet Master thing?” Aquadilus finally sighed.
“...Yeah.” Tech admitted, crossing his arms. “A bit.”
“The what now?” Alvono asked, poking his head out from the console.
Aquadilus turned towards Alvono.
“Did you ever wonder how Tech got the SpecTrix in the first place?”
Alvono popped out his upper half and shrugged.
“Not really.” He said. “Just kinda rolled with it.”
“Well then, I think it should probably be explained.”
Aquadilus and Alvono both looked over at Tech.
“Ugh, fine!” He said. “But don’t get your hopes up for a happy ending.”
“Don’t worry, I’m used to you never being happy.” Alvono joked.
Tech rolled his eyes.
“Anyways, it happened like this...”
“So, you catch anything lately?”
“Depends. Does a cold count?”
Tech and Aquadilus were sitting in a large canyon next to a small river. An equally small patch of sand lined each side of the river, with fallen birch trees providing decent seating arrangements.
“Do aliens actually get colds, or are you just being facetious?” Tech asked.
“Well, not actual Earth colds, but a few species do have similar diseases.” Aquadilus explained.
“Man, I’m bored.” He grumbled. “There’s nothing to do in this stupid small town.”
“You think you’re bored?” Aquadilus replied. “I spend most of my time sleeping in a river! The most exciting thing that happens to me is when I accidentally float too far downstream!”
“Eh, fair enough.”
Tech glanced over at the canyon’s only building, a water-wheel power plant abandoned decades before.
“Ya know, if I wasn’t so lazy, I’d consider turning that old power plant into a cool secret base or something.”
“Dude, you’re like, twelve. How would you even get permission for something like that?”
Aqaudilus rolled his eyes. They sat in silence for a few moments.
“Hey, have you heard about those weird disappearances lately?” Tech asked.
“Whatever. I live in a river. Unless the driftwood starts handing me newspaper articles, I’m not exactly up to speed on current events.”
“Whoa, whoa whoa whoa whoa, stop it right there.” Alvono interrupted, pointing at Tech. “Your real name is Isaac?”
“Well, duh.” Aquadilus said. “Isaac Matthew Logical. He just made up some stupid pun name to make himself sound cool.”
“I did not!” Tech said indignantly. “It was also to, like, throw off enemies and stuff!”
“Ah, yes, the endless hordes of enemies you faced as an eleven-year-old.”
“Ahahaha, really?!” Alvono started laughing hysterically. “Your name is Isaac Matthew Logical?! That is the lamest-”
“One more word and you’re fired.” Tech snapped.
“Okay, okay.” Alvono tried to stifle his laughter. “It is pretty funny, though.”
“He’s right, you know.” Aquadilus said.
“Just let me finish the story, okay?!”
“Oh, right. Well anyways, there’s been a lot of people going missing lately. It’s sort of spread out, so nobody really noticed at first, but after looking at some data, I guess some government guys found some sort of line pattern to it or something.”
“Hm. Odd topic to bring up.”
“Yeah, dunno why I thought of it. Just kinda popped into my head.”
“Kinda surprised much goes on up there at al-” Aquadilus started to snark, but was interrupted by a high-pitched whistling noise.
“The heck is that?” Tech asked, looking up at the sky. “It sounds like it’s coming from up above us.”
“I think I see something.” Aquadilus replied, looking up. “It looks kind of like some sort of...I don’t know, a drone? I can’t tell from here.”
“Well, I don’t think that’ll be a problem for much longer!” Tech pointed at the object. “It’s coming right at us!”
The object slowly grew larger and larger in the sky, a trail of smoke following behind. Suddenly, the object was rocked by a huge explosion, and was propelled straight into the canyon wall, knocking off a significant amount of rock and dirt.
After ensuring the cloud of debris had settled, Tech and Aquadilus got up and walked over to the canyon wall, looking up at the object.
“Uh...now what do you think it is?” Tech asked.
“Looks like some sort of robot, to be honest.” Aquadilus said, pointing at the object. “Look at the leg structure.”
Tech was about to respond, but was interrupted by the robot falling out of the wall and crashing onto the ground below. A small compartment on its chest popped open, with an odd gauntlet being shot out of the wreckage and knocking Tech to the ground.
“Ow!” He groaned, rubbing his head. “The heck just happened?!”
“You got hit on the head.” Aquadilus deadpanned.
Suddenly, a whirring sound came from the wreckage of the robot. It dragged the top half of its body up, revealing a semi-humanoid oval structure. One of its eyes flashed, and it flung out one of its arms towards Tech, the appendage splitting apart to reveal a small cannon.
“Oh, crap.” Tech said, going wide-eyed.
The robot fired its cannon, Tech barely managing to roll out of the way in time. Before it could get in another shot, Aquadilus let loose a barrage of electricity, frying its circuitry..
“Okay, seriously, what just happened?!” Tech yelled.
“No idea.” Aquadilus said. “What’s that thing it hit you in the head with, anyways?”
“I dunno.” Tech replied, picking up the gauntlet, which had fallen next to him. “A piece of armor or something?”
“Huh. Well, we should probably-”
“I’ma put it on!”
“Tech, wait! You don’t even know what that thing does!”
Tech unceremoniously slapped the strange green device on his left arm, quickly fastening the clasps. After a few seconds, he got up and shrugged.
“You see?” He said, holding up his arm. “Nothing happened.”
As soon as he finished speaking, the device suddenly booted up, a green glow appearing from the hourglass-shaped dial, with the touchscreen lighting up.
“Specialty Omnimatrix active.” The device said in a robotic monotone. “Stand by for core test.”
“Stand by for what now?” Tech asked.
Before he could get an answer, a green flash came from the SpecTrix, enveloping him in green light. After a few seconds, the glow faded, and in Tech’s place was a very confused, tall, lightning bolt-shaped alien.
“Uh...” Tech began.
Aquadilus simply stood there, staring him down.
“Is someone going to pick up that phone?” Aquadilus asked.
“Pick up what pho-”
“BECAUSE I DAMN WELL CALLED IT.”
There were a few moments of awkward silence.
“I’m going to need you to stop being smarter than me right now.” Tech finally replied. “You’re making me look bad.”
“Trust me, you didn’t need the help.” Aquadilus snarked.
“Core test complete.” The SpecTrix spoke. “All systems operational.”
With that, there was another green flash, turning Tech back into a human. He gave the SpecTrix a wary look.
“O-kay, I think we’re done here.” He said, fiddling with the clasps. “I’m just gonna put you back where you came from and hope I don’t have to deal with this later.”
“Uh, Tech.” Aquadilus said, pointing up behind Tech. “I think we might want to get to cover.”
“Get to what now?”
Tech and Aquadilus quickly ran behind a nearby tree. A few moments later, a low-pitched humming sound could be heard, as an odd spacecraft descended upon the area. Once it had landed, a door on the hull slid open with an ominous hiss, and two humanoid robotic figures stepped out of the ship.
“Retrieve the wreckage.” One of them said in a raspy monotone.
“Negative.” The other replied with a similar monotone. “You do not have higher ranking authority than I.”
“That is not what your mother said last night.”
“Are you not going to respond?”
“I will not have a battle of wits with an opponent so clearly unarmed.”
“Bite my shiny metal posterior.”
After a few seconds of looking at each other, the robots finally turned to face the wreckage.
“Fine. We will retrieve the wreckage together.”
“That would be for the best.”
As the robots walked to the wreckage, Tech quietly began creeping his way to the ship.
“Tech, get back here!” Aquadilus angrily whispered. “What are you doing?!”
“Getting some answers.” Tech replied quietly. “Either be quiet or come with me.”
Aquadilus let out a few frustrated grumbles, then begrudgingly followed Tech onto the craft. Once inside, they quickly ducked behind a set of metal crates.
“For the record, this is your worst idea yet.” Aquadilus snapped.
“You’re just jealous of my mad infiltration skills.” Tech replied haughtily.
“Unload the wreckage.”
“Must I make another unsavory comment about your mother?”
“We do not have mothers. We are robots.”
“Your mother was a toaster and your father was a defective washing machine.”
“YOU TAKE THAT BACK YOU SON OF AN EASY-BAKE OVEN.”
While the two robots were arguing, Tech and Aquadilus had taken the opportunity to sneak out of the ship and hide behind another set of crates. They appeared to be in a loading area of some kind, with rows and rows of crates and barrels lining the area.
“You two certainly took long enough!”
Tech and Aquadilus peeked out from behind their hiding spot to see who was talking. A large, orange, crab-like creature wearing cartoonishly large headgear was scuttling down the large hall furiously.
“Did you find the drone?” The crab-like alien snapped.
“Affirmative.” One of the robots replied.
“And the device it was carrying?”
“Gone. Scans indicate that it ejected the object at some point after being shot down.”
“Excuse me, but I could have sworn I heard you say it was ‘gone’.” The crab alien’s left eye began twitching furiously.
“The whole reason I raided the warship of Vilgax himself is...’gone’?!”
“Well then, in that case, there’s something I need you to do.”
“What would tha-”
“GET BACK OUT THERE AND FIND IT!” The crab alien screamed furiously. “I DON’T CARE IF YOU HAVE TO DESTROY EVERYTHING ON THIS USLESS BACKWATER PLANET TO DO IT! RETRIEVE IT, OR I WILL HAVE YOUR HEADS!”
“We are robots, sir. That would not-”
“I DO NOT NEED ANY OF YOUR LIP RIGHT NOW, REGGIE. FIND IT!”
The two robots turned and re-boarded the ship. A large metal door slid open in front of it, with the craft proceeding to fly through the opening. As the door closed, the crab-like alien paced angrily in front of the unoccupied landing pad.
“Xenon, go to Earth, they said.” He ranted. “It’ll be easy, they said. Humans make great organic batteries, they said. Well, they sure forgot to mention the little fact that the person I stole from HAS A GRUDGE AGAINST THIS PLANET AND WOULD PROBABLY FIND ME!”
Xenon walked back down the hall, ranting to himself the whole way.
“Uh, did he just say ‘organic batteries’?” Tech asked.
“Yes.” Aquadilus confirmed. “He did.”
“Is...that actually a thing?”
“Well, it’s illegal as crap, but yeah.”
“We need to figure out to get those people out of...wherever this is!”
“And just how do you propose we do that?” Aquadilus asked. “We don’t exactly have the upper hand here.”
Tech looked down at the SpecTrix.
“I might have an idea...”
On any normal day, seeing a giant uniform-wearing spider and a bipedal electric alligator walking through a spaceship together would raise multiple questions, very few of which would have proper answers. In this case, however, such things were slightly more normal.
“Are you sure we’re going the right way?” Aquadilus asked.
“Well, no.” Tech replied, his words becoming somewhat difficult to pronounce with his current mouthparts. “But it’s the best hunch I’ve got.”
“Not a very solid one, if you ask me.”
“Do you have any better ideas?”
“Then just keep following me.”
As the two came to a fork in the hall, Tech paused for a moment, looking down each path. After a few seconds of waiting, he started moving down the hall to the right.
“The vibrations are stronger from over here.” He explained. “We must be getting close to the engine room.”
“Or the trash compacter.” Aquadilus grumbled under his breath.
After a few more minutes of walking, Tech suddenly stopped walking, holding out one of his legs in front of Aquadilus.
“What now?” Aquadilus asked.
“Sh!” Tech snapped. “I can feel two robots around the next corner. It seems like they’re guarding something.”
“Well, that’s all very interesting, but what are we supposed to do about it?”
“You stay here. I’ll crawl along the ceiling and surprise them. Once they’re taken care of, I’ll signal you.”
“Uh, Tech? I don’t think-”
Before Aquadilus could finish his sentence, Tech had already crawled away.
“Oh boy, here we go.” Aquadilus groaned.
“...But then I said to him, ‘Everyone that has ever loved you was wrong.’”
“What was his response?”
“He just stared at me. I am beginning to think there is something wrong with that ferret.”
“I do not think...hold on, what is that?”
The robot speaking pointed to Tech, who was currently trying his best to sneakily walk across the ceiling.
“Wait, you can see me?” Tech asked. “But I’m on the ceiling!”
“We have been equipped with peripheral vision.”
“Curse you, unforeseen but inevitable kick from reality!”
Tech jumped from the ceiling and onto the first robot faster than the eye could see, ripping through it’s vital circuitry with his fangs. The second robot tried to fire a laser blast at Tech, but was quickly shot down by a rain of venomous darts that ripped through its plating like a knife through butter.
With both robots destroyed, Tech detransformed and let out a whistle. Aquadilus walked around the corner, looking thoroughly unimpressed.
“Bravo on the stealth mission.” He said sarcastically. “Ten out of ten.”
“Hey, I took them out either way!” Tech replied. “Let’s just open this door and see what they were guarding.”
Aquadilus looked over at the complex control panel for the door.
“Do you even have any idea how to operate this thing?”
Tech stepped over to the panel and started fiddling with the buttons.
“Hmm...” He mused. “If I press this one here...another one there...maybe this one over here...”
Suddenly, Tech reared back and slammed his fist into the panel, smashing the interface. The door snapped open with a strange whipping sound.
“Good old percussive maintenance.” He said. “Works every time.”
“Oh, for the love of...” Aqudilus trailed off. “What if you met something you couldn’t get through by punching? Like if you were left alone with a crying baby?”
Tech and Aquadilus stepped into the room. The room’s dimensions were huge, with organized clusters of tubes and shelves lining the walls. On the far side of the room was a huge wall filled with large metal pods, each having a control panel and small orange window.
“What is this place?” Tech asked, walking further into the room.
“I don’t know.” Aquadilus said. “Didn’t you say that we were going to the engine room?”
“Well, I thought we were.”
Tech walked up to one of the pods closer to the floor. He stretched his neck upwards to try and see what was in it.
“You know, this kinda looks like-”
Before he finished talking, he let out a surprised yell and lost his balance, falling to the ground.
“What the heck was that?” Aquadilus asked, helping Tech up.
“Those pods!” Tech yelled. “I know we sort of knew this, but I still didn’t expect it!”
“You mean those pods are holding-”
“Yeah, humans! This must be where all those missing people went!”
“I don’t know, Tech.” Aquadilus said, looking up at the pods. “It doesn’t look like there are enough here to hold all those people.”
“Well, even if there aren’t, we should still try and get out the ones that are here!”
Tech stepped up to the pod’s control panel and punched it. The blow simply bounced off the panel without leaving so much as a dent.
“Ow!” He yelled. “Why is this panel so much harder than the door’s?”
“I wouldn’t try that again, if I were you.” An annoyed voice came from the entrance to the room.
Tech and Aquadilus whipped around to find Xenon as the source of the voice, surrounded by a multitude of robots.
“Those pods are designed to withstand a free-fall from orbit.” He explained. “You’re not going to be able to punch them open.”
“Xenon!” Tech yelled. “You have some explaining to do!”
“What the-how do you know my name?!”
“We overheard you ranting in the loading dock.” Aquadilus replied.
“Oh.” Xenon paused. “Well, I’ll have you know that my proper title is The Puppet Master, and I expect you to address me as such!”
“Okay then, ‘Puppet Master’, you have some explaining to do!” Tech repeated.
“Not really.” Aquadilus said. “He’s collecting humans to use as organic batteries. Not much else to it.”
There were a few moments of awkward silence.
“Well, in that case, we’re getting these people out of here!” Tech proclaimed.
“I can’t let you do that.” The Puppet Master said matter-of-factly.
“And just how are you going to stop us? With more of those robo-goons?”
“No. With a trap.”
The Puppet Master’s headgear glowed momentarily, causing the floor to slide out from underneath Tech and Aquadilus, dropping them into a black pit. After a few moments, The Puppet Master turned and walked out of the room.
Tech coughed heavily. His fall had been broken by some sort of powder, and the impact had caused it to swirl around through the air.
There was a momentary sound of electric crackling, after which bright yellow light flooded the dark area. The light source revealed itself to be Aquadilus, who was generating it with his electrical organs.
“You okay?” Aquadilus asked, brushing the black powder off of himself.
“Yeah.” Tech replied, getting to his feet. “Just a bit banged up.”
Tech looked around the room they had landed in. The walls were a scorched metal, and the powder on the floor appeared to be soot. On the far wall, there was a large great, with what appeared to be open-ended pipes on the other side.
“Aaand we’re in a furnace.” He said. “Great.”
“What’s a furnace doing here of all places?” Aquadilus wondered aloud. “And why would The Puppet Master have the entrance on the ceiling?”
“Don’t know, don’t care.” Tech replied, inspecting the walls. “We need to get out of here before he fires this thing up.”
Aqaudilus began walking over to Tech, but was stopped when he stepped on something hard and painful.
“Gah! What the heck?”
He picked up the object he had stepped on. Brushing off the black soot revealed its actual color to be a creamy white between the scorch marks.
“Uh, Tech?” Aquadilus said. “You might want to come see this.”
“What is it?” Tech asked, walking over to him.
“It’s...well, it’s bone. I’ll be frank here, Tech, this isn’t good.”
“I thought that was more or less established when we got dropped into a furnace.”
“Not what I meant. Think about it; about how long do you think a human could last as an organic battery?”
“I have no idea how those things work, man.”
“Until they run out of nutrients, Tech. An organic battery lasts until the body supplying the energy runs out of nutrients. Now, how long would it take for someone to die of malnutrition?”
“About a month, I guess.”
“And exactly when did the disappearances start?”
“About a...month...ago...” Tech’s eyes slowly widened in realization.
“And what do you suppose The Puppet Master would do to get rid of the bodies?”
Tech stared down at the soot in horror.
“You mean...all this stuff we’re standing in right now...”
“Used to be people, yes.” Aquadilus confirmed grimly.
“But...the average person could only make about five pounds of ashes!” Tech exclaimed, backing away and staring at the mounds of powder covering the floor. “How many people has he...”
“You think that’s bad? I don’t even want to know how he got rid of most of the bones that would’ve been left over.”
Tech dropped to the ground, cradling his head.
“We’re not getting out of this, are we?” He muttered, rocking back and forth. “We’re just going to get burned like the rest!”
“I’m never going to see my family again!”
“They won’t even know what happened to us!”
Tech looked up, only to be met by the sight of a clenched fist headed straight for his face.
“LET ME SEE YOU GRIT THOSE TEETH!”
The punch connected, sending Tech flying backwards. A cloud of powder exploded into the air as he hit the ground. He dizzily lifted up his head, seeing Aquadilus standing in front of him with his arms crossed.
“What...what was that?” Tech asked.
“You snapped out of it yet?”
“Look Tech, whether or not we get out of here, I need you to get your head back in the game. We can’t just sit around waiting to get roasted!”
As Aquadilus finished speaking, there was a click from across the room, after which a hissing noise started coming from the pipes.
“The faster you could do that, the better!” He snapped.
“...Okay.” Tech nodded. “I’ll see what I can do.”
He stood up, lifting the SpecTrix in front of him.
“You know, if this thing let me take out those guards, maybe it can help us get out of this mess.”
Tech pressed the ‘FORMS’ button on the SpecTrix’s touchscreen. A list of species names and small pictures popped up.
“Okay, I have no idea what any of this means, so I’ll just hope I pick something good.” he said, scrolling through the list. “Hey, this one looks like it could help us!”
Tech selected the form, causing the SpecTrix dial to pop up. Pressing it back down, he was enveloped in a green flash of light. A few seconds later, the light faded to reveal a blueish-purple alien made of ice and water.
“A water alien?” Aquadilus questioned. “Wouldn’t you just evaporate in the heat?”
“Probably, but that’s not the point.” Tech said, cracking his neck. “You ever heard of a water-jet cutter?”
“Well, yeah.” Aquadilus replied as Tech approached the wall. “But don’t those require some sort of mixed in abrasive to cut through harder objects?”
“Oh, right.” Tech said, pausing as he reared back. “Hey, wall! Yo momma so ugly, her portraits hang themselves!”
Tech lept forward with his whole body, forming a high-pressure slurry of ice and water into a drill shape around him, boring through the metal like a sheet of paper. A large hole was left behind, leading into a black tunnel of broken metal and piping.
“Not what I meant, but okay.” Aquadilus said, crawling after Tech into the tunnel.
“And done!” The Puppet Master said, turning away from the bridge’s main console. “With the furnace fired up, I can get my troops back to searching for that accursed gauntlet!”
As he began to walk away, a low rumbling sound started. He paused and looked for the source of the noise.
“Odd. I thought I had fixed those faulty couplers.”
“Oh well. Problems for later.”
He began walking again, but only got a few feet before being interrupted by an explosion of water from the back of the room.
“What in the-”
A huge drill came roaring out of the explosion, rapidly dissipating to reveal a very angry Overtide flying through the air.
“WHAT THE HE-”
The Puppet Master was interrupted by a water-jet assisted punch to the face, sending him flying through the bridge’s main window with a crash. Rapidly scurrying to his feet, he was met again with the sight of a water stream headed right for him.
Dodging to the left as fast as he could, he lost his balance, almost falling off the thin platform onto the ground far, far below.
“Who are you?!” He hissed, scrambling to regain his balance. “Besides that, how did you get onto my ship?!”
“I’m the kid you lobbed in the furnace, remember?!” Tech yelled, pulling himself through the broken window.
“What?! But that’s impossible! Unless-”
The Puppet Master caught sight of the emblem on Tech’s chest.
“That gauntlet you had on earlier! That wasn’t a gauntlet at all! It was the SpecTrix! How did you get that?!”
“Like I’d tell you!” Tech said, lunging forward with another punch.
“Useless!” The Puppet Master spat, raising an electric force field to block the punch. “You don’t seriously think you can beat me, do you?!”
He quickly sidestepped Tech and shot a bolt of electricity at his feet, causing a massive explosion that sent him flying off the ship.
“Have a nice trip!” He yelled maliciously, before turning and scuttling back towards the bridge.
Before he could get there, however, he heard a large explosion, and turned around just in time to avoid getting hit by a pillar of rock bursting from the ground.
“Oh, what now?!”
The rock pillar receded, with a very angry stone humanoid climbing out of the hole it had left behind.
“Oh.” The Puppet master said quietly. “The SpecTrix has Metamentian DNA.”
A few seconds passed.
“Oh CRAP, THE SPECTRIX HAS METAMENTIAN DNA!”
He tried to scramble away, but was knocked off his feet by a wave of sound, smashing him through the wall under the broken window. Before he could get up, a large thud indicated the arrival of an absolutely livid Tech.
“Fool!” The Puppet Master “You’re going to ruin everything!”
“My name isn’t ‘Fool’, you know.” Tech spoke in a dangerously quiet voice.
“Well then, perhaps you would be so kind as to tell me your name so I can come down and murder everyone you know and love!” The Puppet Master spat with unmasked vitriol.
“My name...” Tech said, rearing back his right arm. “My name is TEKNOIS NEFERUS LOGICAL!”
He lunged his arm forward, sending his fist careening towards The Puppet Master.
“DON’T YOU DARE FORGET IT!”
“Tech, wait!” Aquadilus yelled.
The Puppet Master hastily jumped out of the way, barely making it in time. Without its previous target, Tech’s punch hit the floor instead.
The front half of the ship practically disintegrated.
Shards of metal and broken electronics rained from the sky, as the remaining half of the ship dove through the air in a downward spiral. Tech and Aquadilus were falling along with the metal, but The Puppet Master seemed to have disappeared.
“Yeah, see, this is why we figure out what our attacks will do before launching them.” Aquadilus snapped.
Tech’s only response was a very long scream.
“Oh, for the love of...TECH!”
“AAAAAA-Sorry, what?” Tech responded, temporarily snapping out of it.
“Look man, I know heights freak you out, but this is not the time to be panicking! Doesn’t that thing have some sort of flight alien on it?”
“Okay, are there any aliens we can use in this situation?”
“Actually, now that you mention it...”
Tech twisted the SpecTrix for a few seconds, then slammed down on it. With a green flash, he transformed into a metallic alien covered with tubes.
“What is that?” Aquadilus asked warily.
“I have no idea! I just know what it does”
Tech flung out his arms, causing a rippling effect in the air around them. They gradually began to slow down, eventually slowing to a calm, gradual descent.
“Gravity powers?” Aquadilus asked.
“Gravity powers.” Tech confirmed.
A few minutes later, they landed softly on the ground. The surrounding field was littered with flaming wreckage and shards of metal. The back half of the ship had flown itself nearly a kilometer away before crashing, leaving a large impact crater in the grass.
“So...what now?” Tech asked.
“Now, we go home.” Aquadilus said. “I am one hundred percent over this whole mess.”
“What about all those people that were in the pods?”
“The Puppet Master said that the pods were designed to withstand a fall from orbit, so they should be perfectly fine. Besides, the nearest city is only a mile or two away.” Aquadilus gestured toward a nearby skyline. “It won’t be long before authorities come to investigate the crash site.”
“I’m guessing we won’t want to be here when that happens.”
“Nope. Red tape is not fun to deal with, believe me.”
“So...how do we get home?”
“Detransform. I’m sure there’s something on that gauntlet thing that can get us out of here pretty quick.”
Tech deactivated the SpecTrix, turning back into a human and letting Aquadilus inspect it.
“Wait, you had a teleport button the whole time?!” Aquadilus snapped after a few seconds of looking at the touchscreen. “Why didn’t you use that before?!”
“I tried, but I didn’t know what the numbers meant!” Tech protested.
“Or, for the love of...Tech, these are coordinate numbers.”
“That explains nothing.”
“For now, let’s just say I can get us home and leave it at that.”
“Whatever you say, Christopher Croclumbus.”
Aquadilus gave Tech a hard glare.
“Hey, that was a good one!”
With a green flash, they teleported out of the field.
“That wasn’t so bad.” Alvono said, scratching his head. “I mean, it ended with a pun. How sad could it be?”
“A lot of people died, Alvono.” Tech snapped. “People I couldn’t save in time.”
“As I recall, we got there after all those people were burned.” Aquadilus said, looking back down at his newspaper. “What were you going to do, travel back in time?”
“Yeah!” Alvono agreed. “Besides, since when do you care about that stuff?”
“What do you mean?” Tech asked defensively.
“I think you know what he means, Mr. ‘I’m here for justice, not people.’” Aquadilus replied.
Tech opened his mouth to respond, but couldn’t find anything to say. After a few moments, Tech got out of his chair and started walking towards the exit.
“Where are you going?” Aquadilus asked.
“I’m taking the day off.” Tech replied, not stopping to look back. “I...have some things to think about.”
Tech closed the door behind him, leaving Alvono and Aquadilus staring toward the exit in an awkward silence.
“Okay, just one last thing I don’t understand.” Alvono said, breaking the quiet atmosphere.
“Shoot.” Aquadilus replied.
“WHY DID HE THINK THOSE SHOES COULD POSSIBLY WORK WITH THAT SHIRT?!”
“He wore the same outfit all winter. How much variety do you think he actually has in his wardrobe?”
“Eh, point taken.”
- Rampaging Detrovite
- The Puppet Master (Chronological Debut)
- Tech reveals how he obtained the SpecTrix.
- The Puppet Master makes his chronological debut.
- Tech's real name is revealed to be Isaac Matthew Logical.