|Death of Ben 10|
|Act 3, Chapter 7|
Logo by CaT
Trials by Fire: Part 2
With a green flash Clockwork returns to his human form, Ben’s use for the alien having expired.
Apollo: “A bold choice Tennyson. I’m sure that Chronosapien form would have served you well when you inevitably try to fight me.”
Ben: “I’m not afraid of you Apollo.”
Apollo: “Then that makes you stupid, not brave. And to think: The good Professor Paradox put so much effort into trying to save you. Even getting Eon to help.”
Ben: “Okay how do you even know who they are? Professor Paradox and Eon are not common knowledge.”
Apollo pauses, judging Ben closely. Apollo stands atop his vat of molten iron, looking down at his challenger. He points Ascalon at Ben.
Apollo: “Very well I shall afford you this answer, since you are the only foe I have faced to survive our first conflict. But this answer shall be in the form of a question: Who do you think gave me this sword?”
Ben: “Why am I worried the answer will be Eon?”
Apollo smiles, looking down at his sword.
Apollo: “Not directly, probably not intentionally. But yes. He is the one responsible.”
Ben: “That should surprise me more than it does...”
Apollo’s eyes jump from studying Ascalon back up to Ben.
Apollo: “If you intend to fight me, I shall let you make the first move. I might even let you witness my perfection.”
Apollo: “Did they not tell you what I planned for this world?”
Ben looks around.
Ben: “I’m going to assume it has something to do with iron?”
Apollo: “Exactly. As common as iron is, planets made of it are surprisingly rare. Earth is a jewel, and it is exactly what I have been looking for: A core made of liquid iron.”
Ben: “So what? You’re going to sell the Earth to the highest bidder?”
Apollo: “Nothing so trivial. Using Ascalon I shall turn myself into iron and merge with your core. To us, heat is power. And what could be hotter than the core of a planet! With all that power, and Ascalon to boot, I shall spread my reign over this galaxy! I shall become the god of all Pyronites!”
Ben: “Okay first question: Why iron specifically?”
Apollo: “No other metals have properties so perfect.”
Ben thinks for a moment.
Ben: “Okay at first I thought you were just another warlord. Now I know you’re insane.”
Apollo: “I seek power Tennyson. Just because it is within my reach does not make me insane.”
Ben: “You’re going to become a planet!”
Apollo: “And what do you think of Galileans, then?”
Ben looks down at his omnitrix and touches the faceplate. He turns the selection dial, searching through his aliens. Goop, Eye Guy, Ditto... The dial stops over the angular head of Bloxx.
Ben: “You’re going down Apollo!”
Apollo: “If you want to join your friend in the vat, be my guest.”
Ben’s smile turns to a frown of hate-filled determination. He slams his palm down hard onto the Omnitrix dial. A green flash consumes his body, before he falls to his knees with a clang. He stares at the cold, hard ground.
Apollo: “I believe we’ve seen this fight play out before, have we not?”
The black and yellow alien looks limply at his claw-like hands.
Lodestar: “But… But I’ve seen the future! It wasn’t this! It can’t be this!”
Apollo: “Time changes, Tennyson. And now you shall witness the future that is Apollo!”
Apollo walks out across his vat of molten iron, standing atop the liquid as though it were solid footing. He holds Ascalon out in front of himself, and it levitates before him. It floats in place as Apollo slowly sinks into the vat, to begin his transformation.
“I can’t stop him. Soon he’ll destroy the Earth I knew.” Ben thinks to himself, “I’ve failed. He’ll turn himself into iron and then he’ll...”
Lodestar: “But iron’s magnetic!” He blurts aloud, unheard by his submerged foe.
Lodestar quickly looks around the room, seeing another vat of molten iron to his side. He pulls the iron out of the container, floating it along using his magnetic powers. At the base of Apollo’s vat he builds a stairway, which he hastily climbs. He forms a makeshift bridge across the top of the vat as not to disturb Apollo. He grabs Ascalon and jumps down the other side. Acting quickly, he disperses the iron that he had used back into the vat it came from.
With a deep rumble, a glowing orange hand grasps at the rim of Apollo’s vat. A hulking mass of molten metal lifts itself upright, revealing itself to be a tall singular body with Apollo’s unmistakable face. He looks down at his new form, carefully studying his glowing hot extremities.
Lodestar: “Looking for someone?”
Apollo turns around, seeing that Ben was now behind him. Apollo towers over Lodestar.
Lodestar: “Or maybe it was something else?”
Ben holds Ascalon aloft. Apollo roars with a deep and coarse voice.
Apollo: “NO! HOW?”
Lodestar: “Looks like I’m not the only one asking questions anymore!”
Apollo: “GIVE THAT BACK!”
The mighty body of Apollo reaches down to reclaim his lost sword, but Ben holds him back with Lodestar’s magnetic powers.
Lodestar: “You can’t beat the one with magnetic powers when you’re a living magnet yourself!”
With an invisible blast of power, Apollo gets thrown back. He stumbles, but catches himself on one of the walkways high up.
Apollo: “I’ll kill you Tennyson! Your head shall hang on my wall!”
Lodestar: “Believe me that is not the first time I’ve heard someone say that to me. I doubt it’ll be the last either.”
Apollo reaches down once more, this time leading with his right arm, but Lodestar simply throws the hand into a wall -sending Apollo with it.
Lodestar: “Let’s change things up shall we?”
He slices the air with Ascalon, and a portal opens up. Through it, a blue laboratory can be seen. A small grey alien can be seen on a counter working on a very familiar device.
Lodestar: “Hey Azmuth! Catch!”
The portal closes immediately after Ben tosses Ascalon carelessly through.
Apollo: “You fool! What chance do you stand at defeating me now?”
Lodestar points both of his hands at Apollo’s head, before violently moving them to point at Apollo’s feet. The giant Pyronite’s head follows, slamming into the ground.
Lodestar: “I think my odds are pretty good.”
Apollo reaches over to the other vats of liquid iron, assimilating them into himself. He grows even larger, his head now reaching the ceiling. Lodestar stands confidently, pushing his chest out forwards and placing his hands on his hips. He laughs confidently. Apollo tears the suspended walkway out of place and swings it down upon Lodestar while he is distracted in his cockiness. The metal weapon slams into the Biosovortian, near enough crushing half of his body beneath it. Apollo pushes the walkway into Lodestar’s broken body, but Lodestar pushes back against him- slowly forcing Apollo back and lifting the walkway off of him. The broken parts of his metal body reform, the cracks healing and the displaced chunks returning to their correct position. Lodestar struggles to keep Apollo back, but as his body finished healing a green flash returns Ben to his human form. The metal weapon bears down once more but Ben rolls to the side, escaping its wrath.
Apollo: “Not so mighty now are you? RODENT!”
Apollo slams his fist into the ground once more, but Ben runs. He darts around the large, dark, engine-like machines in the back of the room, hiding in the crevices. Apollo tries to seep his metal body through the human-sized gaps. Ben sits in the back, panicking. Sweat beads down his face, both from stress and heat. He looks down at his Omnitrix, tapping the faceplate. A green circular hologram appears above it, upon which a triangular warning symbol is shown.
Ben: “What the hell am I gonna do now?”
Apollo: “Come out Tennyson!”
Apollo’s voice booms throughout the ironworks. He pulls his liquid iron arms away from the engines, and presses his eye up to the gaps peering inside.
Apollo: “I grow tired of your games!”
Ben takes this opportunity to dart out of his hiding spot. He runs for the exit. Apollo watches him as he runs, before going in for the kill. Ben continuously taps his Omnitrix until the core finally pops up. He slams it down blindly and is consumed by a green flash. Apollo bears down on his prey only for a small white humanoid to emerge from the flash. He turns to face Apollo directly, before unleashing a devastating sonic attack. Apollo lurches back in pain. The small Sonorosian quickly multiplies four times, creating five versions of himself.
Echo Echo (x5): “Echo Echo! Ultra Sound!”
Apollo grasps at his ears with his new liquid metal hands, before crushing four of the clones beneath his fists at once. He opens his palms towards the final Echo Echo clone and brings his hands together, enveloping Ben with another green flash. Apollo brings his hands towards his face, scrutinising Ben’s Pyronite form closely. Heatblast smiles brightly, his confidence renewed.
Heatblast: “Hey, you’re right! Heat does make me feel stronger!”
Apollo: “A Pyronite form?! You really are stupid!”
Heatblast: “Not stupid, just placing a bet! See, I don’t think you know how to use this body properly!”
Apollo: “That’s a bet you’ll lose Tennyson! Now die as I choke the life out of you!”
Apollo’s liquid metal flesh creeps over Ben’s head, smothering him inside an iron tomb. Suddenly a violent explosion launches chunks of Apollo’s left hand across the facility. The humongous villain stumbles backwards, letting Heatblast fall out of what remains of his hands. Apollo rushes to assimilate the lost iron back into his body as his hands regenerate. Heatblast picks himself back up.
Apollo: “What changed? Why are you so confident now?!”
Heatblast: “That whole ‘knowing your body thing’? I made that up on the spot. What gave me confidence is something I noticed that you’re doing a good job at hiding.”
Apollo’s arms stretch out and slam into the ground where Heatblast stands, but Heatblast jumps and lands on Apollo’s hands.
Heatblast: “You’re panicking too!”
Heatblast runs up Apollo’s arms, but the giant metal Pyronite moves them out of the way trying to shake him off. Heatblast jumps, slamming down the Omnitrix symbol on his chest as he does.
Apollo suddenly finds himself being pushed into the roof and walls of the iron works, before being forced through. He crashes into the deep water outside. Water steams off of his molten body. He looks back at the iron works to see Ben now equalling him in height. The light of the sun behind the To’kustar obscures his face. After a brief pause Way Big charges into the water, slamming his right fist into Apollo before following through with his left.
Gwen 10, Ben 23, and Ultimate Ben 10 climb up the gangway to the top of the massive red freighter. Ben 23 is consumed by a blue glow, becoming a lean Kineceleran form. He runs about the deck grabbing the workers distracted by the two clashing titans in the water and pulls them onto solid ground. Gwen becomes a grey Ectonurite, disappearing into the hull of the ship. The Ultimatrix wielding Ben runs over to the control bridge. With a slam of the Ultimatrix dial he becomes Upgrade and immediately merges his arm into the nearest intercom speaker, highjacking the system. Using his own hand like a microphone his voice booms across the entire ship.
Upgrade: “Attention everyone. This is not your captain speaking. In case you hadn’t noticed, this ship is now in the middle of a warzone. If you value your life, get to dry land ASAP.”
Upgrade removes himself from the com system as panicked workers begin to run past him, fleeing to land. Ben goes to tap his Ultimatrix when he suddenly stumbles. Metal crunching can be heard distantly as the boat begins to tip onto its side. He looks forwards to see two of the workers fallen, with a metal container beginning to slide towards them. They look up in horror at their oncoming doom, before a purple humanoid stops it in its tracks. He strains as he battles the changing gravity to keep the container away.
Chromastone: “If you’re going to run I suggest you do it soon!”
Chromastone bides his strength and tosses the container away, only for it to fall parallel to the floor as he realises he is now hovering. He looks up to see that the freighter is being lifted away by the giant liquid iron Apollo. Chromastone hears screams beneath him and goes to catch the workers who had now fallen through the safety barriers on the side of the boat. Metal containers crash into the water around them as Chromastone flies to safety.
Scene 1 (Cont.)
Apollo wields the huge freighter as a makeshift bat. Way Big watches him lift it up over his head but sees tiny specs flying off of the boat, flung by the force of Apollo’s lifting it. People! Ben’s eyes widen at the realisation that the fight was no longer just between him and Apollo. Before Way Big has the chance to act, three aliens speed past him through the air: one black and blue, one pale red, and the other human. All three fly in formation towards the endangered civilians, catching them and flying gracefully around Apollo back to the dock.
Apollo slams the boat down over Way Big, who catches it with both hands. Suddenly a bright orange liquid splatters over Way Big’s face causing him to stumble back. He lets go of the freighter to wipe the stuff from his eyes, looking back he sees Apollo drooling slightly now swinging the weapon a second time. The ship crumples slightly over Way Big’s shoulder as he collapses into the water. He opens his eyes to see the surface of the water, behind which the obscured orange shape of Apollo drives the freighter down into Way Big’s face. As he struggles in the bottom of the docks he crosses his arms in front of his chest. Apollo lifts the ship to ram it down again, but before getting the chance a bright beam of green energy blasts him away.
Way Big climbs back onto his feet. He stands over the monstrous Apollo, seeing that the alien’s legs now glow dull where they had been beneath the waves. The Pyronite gets back up and his cooled legs crack slightly.
A red car screeches to a halt as a terrified Pyronite crosses the street in a blind panic. The alien stumbles, before a grey gauntlet grabs his shoulder. He looks over to see Eon, before both of them disappear. Eon returns to visibility just a short second later, and walks over to the next fleeing Pyronite. Professor Paradox walks past Eon and holds out a stopwatch. A blue beam fires out from the watch, creating a portal in front of the Pyronites. They run through the portal without realising and end up in a barren field of red rock with an orange sky, before the portal closes behind them.
Paradox: “You know Eon, I don’t think I got the chance to say this before but thank you.”
Eon: “For what? Saving my own hide?”
Eon continues to catch the running Pyronites, disappearing briefly before reappearing in place.
Paradox: “Now, there’s no need to be humble. You know how much would be at stake if we let Ben Prime die here.”
Eon: “So are we going to tell him?”
Paradox: “Tell him what?”
Eon: “How Apollo got ahold of Ascalon.”
Paradox: “If he asks.”
Eon: “And which one of us is taking the blame?”
Paradox turns to see one of the Pyronites charging aggressively towards him. He opens his fob watch again and a blue portal opens in front of him, removing the Pyronite from this time and place.
Paradox: “You’re the one who thought stealing Ascalon and bringing into the past was a good idea.”
Eon: “And you’re the one who disarmed me and chased me off of Pyros. Why didn’t you go back for it?”
Paradox: “I got distracted.”
Eon: “You’re a time traveller, what could possibly have distracted you?”
Paradox: “Time Beasts have a habit of not waiting around.”
Eon thinks for a second.
Eon: “Oh, right. Sorry.”
The pair look around, not a single Pyronite in sight. The car drives off cautiously. Paradox inspects his pocket watch.
Eon: “That looks like the last of them.”
Paradox: “And just in time too. It looks like this whole fiasco is about to be over...”
Scene 1 (Cont.)
Apollo steps forwards slowly, cracking loudly as he does. Way Big looks down to see the giant’s legs now silver in colour with fractures revealing his still liquid insides. Ben’s eyes widen at the realisation of what this means. He looks over at the concrete docks, where his counterparts now stand tending to the wounded civilians.
Way Big: “Hey! Guys! I need a hand! We can freeze Apollo!”
The Bens look up, giving Way Big their full attention now.
Apollo: “You won’t beat me Tennyson!”
Way Big points confidently at Apollo.
Way Big: “You’ve lost Apollo! Without Ascalon your plan has failed. Give up. Go home.”
Apollo clenches his fists.
Apollo: “And surrender?!”
Apollo jumps at Way Big, punching him with each word he says.
Apollo: “I. AM. A. GOD!”
Before his last punch lands, Apollo finds his arm being pulled down by an invisible force. He looks over to the docks and sees two Galileans with blue Omnitrixes with their arms outstretched towards him. As Apollo hunches over slightly under the weight of his arm Way Big slams both of his fist down onto his distracted opponent, causing him to collapse into the water. Gwen 10 and Ultimate Ben 10 both run to the edge of the docks and slam their Omnitrixes.
With a pink flash, Gwen becomes a larger-than-average Polar Manzardill with bright pink eyes. Consumed by green, Ben becomes a slender Necrofriggian before he turns his Ultimatrix dial upon his chest and slams it again. His wings become tattered with yellow ends as his skin turns a bright red. Both aliens inhale deeply before projecting their frozen breath into the water. Apollo rises back to his feet as the water begins to freeze around him. His entire body hisses as steam rises off of his glowing hot body. The ice in the docks spreads to his legs, freezing him in place. He tries in vain to move.
The green hologram of Ultimate Big Chill appears above Ultimate Ben 10’000’s head. He runs to the edge of the dock and flies into the air, followed shortly by his younger self. They both fly above the iron giant, who watches them carefully. They begin their icy attack but Apollo blocks it with his right arm, which he then swings at the evolved Necrofriggians. They phase through the attack, freezing the arm as they do. Apollo roars in pain, hugging his now frozen right arm and trying to crack it with his left.
Ben 23 shifts from his Galilean form into another Polar Manzardill. He walks over to Gwen’s side and joins in freezing the water around Apollo. His future counterpart, Ben 23’000, assumes a Necrofriggian form and joins the Ultimatrix wielders in their attack from above. Ben 10’000 joins the fray, slamming his Biomnitrix gauntlets together over his head. Emerging from the green glow is a tall, hunchbacked humanoid with blue fins growing out of his back. He has a huge jaw and green eyes, and his body appears to be mostly mechanical. His arms have blue canisters embedded in them with a clear liquid inside.
He hovers slightly above the ground, charging a ball of light blue energy between his hands.
Arctomix: “Cold War-head!”
The ball fires out as a beam from between Arctomix’s hands. It collides with Apollo directly in the chest. A wave of grey crawls across Apollo’s torso as he freeze into solid iron, followed shortly by a wave of clear frost. Apollo now stands paralyzed by ice. Way Big crosses his arms. Energy crackles across his forearms before a bright green beam skewers Apollo. His body shatters and crumbles into the water, his torso colliding with the side of the dock as it does and his still-liquid head slams down onto the dry concrete land. Way Big walks over to the edge of the docks. His Omnitrix flashes red, deeply and slowly. He climbs onto land before a red flash returns him finally to his human form.
Ben stands in front of the amorphous mass of liquid iron. Freezeghost, Ultimate Big Chill, and Ultimate Ben 10’000 land next to him, each flashing back to their human forms. Gwen, Ben 23, and Ben 10’000 all detransform as well and stand beside their prime counterpart. The iron flows slowly but surely, forming into a tall humanoid figure more closely resembling the original Apollo. He stands not much taller than the future Bens and looks down at the ground, sighing.
Apollo: “Just… end it.”
Ben Prime: “Why? So you can escape punishment for all the people you’ve made suffer?”
Apollo: “By the end of today, one of us will be dead. If you don’t end this… I will.”
Ben Prime: “I could stop you. Easily. I can make you face your charges if I wanted to.”
Apollo: “No you couldn’t.”
Ben looks down at his watch. Again, he sees the green dial with a warning sign.
Ben Prime: “Then how do you think I’m going to be able to kill you?”
Apollo backs up to the edge of the Docks. Ultimate Ben 10 readies his Ultimatrix and steps forwards to prevent Apollo from jumping, but Ben Prime holds his arm out to stop him.
Apollo: “Ha. You think I’m talking about the Omnitrix? I’m talking about my resolve. You could kill me easily, all you need to do is wait. And with so many others around, I doubt I’d be able to land a killing blow in time. But if you refuse to kill me, then what?”
Ben Prime: “I’ll hand you over to the Plumbers.”
Apollo: “Even without Ascalon, in this form I am still the most powerful Pyronite to have ever lived. I’d fight my way out if I had to. And just imagine how many people would die then? All because you refused to end me now.”
Ben Prime: “Why do you want me to kill you so badly?”
Apollo: “Because I know what true power feels like and you took it away from me. I’m a shadow of my former self. A death here, today, would be honorable. I fought you all I could but at the end of the day, you proved superior. If I live, it would be a life of running. From Plumbers. From you. From anyone who knew what my head might be worth. That’s not a life I want to live.”
Ben Prime: “And you think I care at all what you want after you tried to kill me twice?”
Apollo: “A better question would be: Is spiting me worth the lives that might be lost in doing so? I let you witness me at the one moment I was vulnerable and I misjudged you. You beat me because of that, but I still know you. Deep down, you couldn’t possibly let me walk away today.”
Ben’s attention is drawn by an alien beep. He looks back at his Omnitrix. The green ring now displays the heads of five aliens.
Apollo: “Time’s up Tennyson...”
Ben scrolls through his aliens.
Ben: “Then let’s end this the same as it started.”
The holographic ring vanishes. The faceplate on Ben’s Omnitrix slides back and the core rises up. He pushes it back down gently. Apollo regards Ben’s choice of alien with subtle appreciation.
Apollo: “The irony is not lost on me.”
Ben’s emotionless grey face watches Apollo. He raises his black and yellow arms, his sharp claws pointed squarely towards his liquid iron foe.
A few moments later, Apollo slammed into the cold water. Steam bellows out from the surface as he sinks immediately to the bottom. The orange glow of his molten iron body can be seen from where the Bens stand, but seconds later it fades into darkness.
END OF CHAPTER 17
- Apollo achieves his goal of converting himself into iron, but loses Ascalon in the process.
- The Bens defeat Apollo.
- Apollo dies.
- Ben returns Ascalon to Azmuth
- Eon and Professor Paradox return all of the Pyronites on Earth back to Pyros (Earth-1010).
- Ben Prime
- Ben 23'000
- Ultimate Ben 10'000
- Ben 10'000
- Professor Paradox
- Gwen 10
- Ultimate Ben 10
- Ben 23
- Dock Workers
|Death of Ben 10|