|Season 2, Episode 3|
|Air date||September 28th, 2015|
Spend The Night
Full Friction is the third episode of Tech 10: Rebooted's second season, and the fifteenth episode overall.
Tech had gathered Moranna and Napoleon together inside the gift shop’s back office for a discussion about the Anti-Life Entity and what he knew so far.
“Okay, so, big things to watch out for with this...thing.” Tech said. “We can at least assume that it can destroy all life in a timeline, giving it a high probability of being invincible and/or a reality warper.”
“In addition, knowledge of it could instill a maddening panic in people.” Aquadilus added. “We don’t know if this is an actual ability or just a natural occurrence stemming from instinctual fear, but either way, it’s something to keep in mind.”
“If that’s the case, then why aren’t any of us affected?” Napoleon asked.
“I don’t think anyone here could be classified as a normally functioning person.” Tech theorized. “I’m disconnected, you’re over-the-top, Moranna’s heart may or may not be a black hole, Alvono barely moves, and Aquadilus could hardly give less of a crap about stuff in general.”
“That’s fair.” Aquadilus shrugged.
“That sounds ridiculous.” Moranna remarked. “How do you know the people that supposedly ‘went’ crazy weren’t just nuts to begin with?”
“Well, for one thing, one of them was a synthetic.” Tech pointed out.
“Okay people, moving on.” Napoleon interjected. “We know anything else about it?”
“...That would be a solid ‘no’.”
“Well, that’s just dandy.” Moranna snapped. “I can certainly see how important it was for us to come here instead of just being told over communicators.”
“Well then, it’s a good thing that that isn’t the only reason I needed you two to come here, now isn’t it?” Tech replied. “Methinks you need to try doing more stretches before you go and jump to conclusions.”
“Maybe if you would explain things up front instead of dangling pieces of information in front of us like some kind of key chain, we wouldn’t have to assume things!”
“Oh, I’m sorry, I guess I figured I wouldn’t have to spell everything out like I was lecturing a bunch of four-year-olds!”
“Uh...” Napoleon began, watching Tech and Moranna go back and forth arguing. “Does this...usually happen?”
“Actually, no.” Aquadilus replied. “This is kind of weird.”
After a few seconds of this, the computer a sleeping Alvono was sitting at began beeping and flashing red, indicating an emergency and interrupting Tech and Moranna’s arguing.
“Oh thank God, something terrible is happening.” Napoleon breathed out a sigh of relief.
Aquadilus ran over to the computer and shoved Alvono out of the chair, waking him up and taking his place at the console, pressing a few buttons on the keyboard. A screen popped up indicating the nature of the emergency and its location.
“Well, this is a new one.” He remarked. “Looks like the Obsidian Death just booted up a pretty big Kill Sat in orbit.”
“And we’re the only ones to have noticed this?” Tech questioned.
“Probably not, but until whoever runs the place actually fires the weapon, there’s not much to do about it.”
“Weren’t those made illegal in, like, the 1960s?”
“Well, the ones using chemical, biological, or radioactive weapons were. Everything else is technically A-OK.”
“How are you even getting this data feed?” Moranna asked.
“I plead the fifth.” Tech replied. “Come on, we’ve got a Kill Sat to investigate.”
Tech navigated to the ‘Teleport’ function on the SpecTrix and synced it with the satellite’s coordinates, then pressed the ‘Confirm’ button. The SpecTrix let out a couple of green sparks, but ultimately, nothing happened. Tech pressed the ‘Confirm’ button a few more times, to no avail.
“I take it we’re not in a hurry, then?” Moranna snarked.
“Okay, you know what?” Tech snapped. “Screw this thing and screw you!”
Tech slammed his fist down onto the SpecTrix, finally activating it with a ‘clunk’ and causing Moranna, Napoleon, and himself to disappear in a green flash of light.
“Uh, I know I just woke up and all, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say that’s probably not a good thing.” Alvono said, sitting up.
“For once, you’re probably right on that.”
The three teens popped into existence in an empty corridor near the bottom of the space station. A low, smooth engine whine could be heard in the background, while sounds of activity came from further up in the satellite.
“Well, at least we made it.” Tech commented, leaning against the wall for support.
“Okay then, where do we go from here?” Napoleon asked.
“I, uh...I don’t know.”
“Wow, you not knowing something.” Moranna rolled her eyes. “What else is new?”
“You wanna do this right now?” Tech snapped. “Oh, silly me, of course you do. Not sure what else I was expecting from some maniac that casually throws her gun in everyone else’s face!”
“Better that than some moron who keeps lording himself over everyone!”
“Too bad for you then, because it looks like you’re both!”
“Guys, come on!” Napoleon hissed quietly. “You’re going to get us caught with all that yelling!”
“Right, right, okay.” Tech took a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. “Let’s see if I have an alien that can help with this.”
Tech tried to pull up the SpecTrix’s alien selection, but was instead met by a frozen, glitched-out screen.
“Okay, what?!” He quietly snapped. “What is going on with this thing today?!”
“Just let me do it.” Moranna said, trying to activate the AemuTrix’s bracelet component.
“This...is getting a bit strange.” She commented.
“Gee, you think?” Tech said.
“Here, let me try.” Napoleon interjected.
He swiftly transformed into Zelusassin, performing an impressively low-key transformation. After taking a moment to look himself over, he looked to Tech and Moranna and shrugged.
“Maybe this place just has something blocking transformation matrixes.” He suggested.
“I guess that’s possible.” Tech replied. “They’d have to have access to some pretty advanced tech to do that, though.”
“Well, you’re here, and I’d say you’re pretty advanced.” Napoleon joked.
There were a couple of moments of silence.
“...That was the worst pun I’ve ever heard.” Tech finally remarked.
“I have to agree.” Moranna said.
“See, you two are agreeing on something!” Napoleon said. “Progress!”
“Let’s just get moving.” Tech grumbled.
“I’d normally say the engine room, but I think we probably want to find out who’s running this thing first.”
“How do we do that?”
“Well, I’m gonna start walking and see what happens.”
Napoleon began to walk down the hallway, eventually taking a corner and disappearing from view. Tech and Moranna shot each other a nasty look, then took off running after him.
“And so, I was like, just fire him already!”
The three had been walking for a few minutes, turning into the occasional next hallway or corridor. The place seemed to be built like a maze, and the atmosphere of tension between Tech and Moranna wasn’t helping the situation any. As such, Napoleon had decided to try and lighten up the mood with a story.
“But then he was like, ‘we can’t fire him, he has seniority!’ and I was just like, seniority on what, sucking?!”
“Napoleon, this really isn’t helping.” Tech said.
“Hey, at least I’m trying!” Napoleon snapped. “All you two have done is argue! They haven’t even been worthwhile arguments, like what toppings to get on a pizza!”
“How is that a worthwhile argument?”
“Okay, first of all-”
“Quiet!” Moranna snapped. “Someone’s coming!”
The three pressed themselves up against the wall. Heavy footsteps could be heard walking down a hallway that intersected with the one they were in.
“Okay, here’s the plan.” Tech said. “Once whoever that is comes out from around the corner, we transform and tackle them.”
“I’m already transformed.” Napoleon remarked.
“Other than you!”
As the footsteps got closer and closer, the three of them prepared to strike. As soon as the approaching figure came into view, they leaped, Tech and Moranna activating their transformation matrixes.
Well, they tried to, at any rate.
What ended up happening was that two teenagers and a lightly-built bug alien tried tackling down a heavily-built, fully armored Detrovite.
That ended about as well as you might expect.
“Oh, crap.” Tech said.
“Indeed.” The Detrovite replied, swinging his fist.
Tech slowly forced his eyes open and sat up, rubbing his head.
“What happened?” He grumbled. “I feel like I got hit by a truck.”
“Close, but not quite.” Napoleon replied. “We all got knocked out by the Detrovite guy and dragged in here.”
Tech looked around, finding himself, Napoleon, and Moranna locked in what appeared to be a small room with a heavy metal door.
“Well, this shouldn’t be a problem.” Tech said, pulling up the SpecTrix. “I’ll just transform and have us out of here in a jiffy!”
Tech tried to select a form, but quickly noticed that the SpecTrix was still frozen.
“I already tried the AemuTrix.” Moranna commented. “It seems to be having the same issues.”
“And besides that, they have a power nullifier in here.” Napoleon said. “None of my alien forms can do anything.”
“Wait, you can still transform?” Tech asked.
“Well, yeah. Swarm 1 still works.”
“Then why don’t you just cut through the wall using, I don’t know, your sword or something?”
“It’s not a laser sword, it’s a fire sword!” Napoleon pointed out. “Besides, all I’ve been able to make holes in are timelines, not metal walls.”
Tech gave Napoleon a baffled look.
“You confuse me to no end.”
“Yeah, that sounds about right.”
Tech sighed in frustration and began rubbing the bridge of his nose.
“I swear, the one time I don’t take my plasma sword...”
“So you’re saying that we could have gotten out of this if you hadn’t screwed up?” Moranna remarked.
“Hey, I don’t see you using any of your equipment! What happened to that Taydenite dagger you carry around?!”
“This wall has an invisible energy shield.” Moranna tapped on the wall, creating a barely noticeable ripple. “You can’t physically cut through it without some sort of energy-based weaponry.”
“Well, that’s just great!” Tech snapped. “You’re telling me no one has any idea of how to get out of here?!”
“Hold on a second!” Napoleon snapped his fingers. “I think I know someone that could help!”
“...You know we’re the only people in this room, right?”
“Not for long! Tech and Moranna, meet...”
Napoleon clapped his hands together, summoning a purple and orange humanoid construct.
“The Swarm 1 guide construct!”
“Wait, you have a guide just sitting around for you to ask things whenever you want?” Tech asked.
“And you never use this because...?”
“If you had everything in life figured out for you, you’d never be able to grow as a person.” Napoleon asserted. “But for now, we kinda need the help.”
“How can I be of assistance?” The construct asked.
“We’re kinda in a pickle here. We need to get out of whatever this is, but they have a power nullifier and an energy field up.”
“I assume you can still use your other constructs?”
“In that case, I would suggest creating a pair of energy-infused gauntlets to bludgeon away the shield and wall at the same time.”
“Uh, couldn’t we stick to something more simple, like the sword?”
The guide shook its head.
“Energy fields follow different rules than ordinary matter.” It explained. “Whereas a slicing tool would be ideal for physical objects, bludgeoning objects that can apply strong force to a wider area are ideal for energy-based obstacles, as it creates a much higher toll on the power source.”
“Okay, so, how do I make the gauntlets?”
“The same way you make any other construct.”
“I make constructs by planning out their construction in my head!” Napoleon protested. “I need time to create a mental blueprint, and I don’t know how much of that we have!”
“That is how you have been creating your constructs?”
“That would explain quite a bit.”
“You don’t need a full blueprint.” The construct explained. “Swarm 1 is equipped with artificial intelligence and construction algorithms. All you need to do is request a construct type and it will be created.”
Napoleon paused for a moment, getting a blank look on his face.
“Information I could have used MONTHS AGO!” He finally exclaimed, waving his arms around.
“You never asked.”
“I...just make the gauntlets, please.”
The guide construct dispersed, which was closely followed by a massive pair of gauntlets appearing on Napoleon’s arms. They were a bronze-orange color, with what appeared to be pulse generators on the palms and massive bolts holding everything in place. Several small ports with what appeared to be miniature energy turbines were inset on their backs.
“Hey, not bad.” Napoleon remarked, experimentally flexing the fingers. “Let’s see what kinda punch these babies pack!”
Napoleon stepped up to the wall and and smacked it, causing a heavy ripple in the energy field. He stepped back a bit and reared both of his arms backward, charging the gauntlets with a purple energy. After a few moments, he rocketed his right fist forward, causing another ripple in the field, followed by his left, which had a similar effect.
“That’s really not helping, man.” Tech said.
“Hey, give me a second here.” Napoleon replied. “Still new to these things.”
Napoleon took a deep breath and reared back again. This time, the turbines on the gauntlets activated, sending Napoleon’s fist forward at high speed. The impact with the energy field caused a few sparks, shortly after which Napoleon’s other gauntlet slammed into it, causing the same effect.
“Okay, I think I got it!”
The turbines suddenly began spewing purple energy, rocketing the gauntlets forward and back like finely-tuned pistons. The punches got faster and faster, reaching the point where it was almost impossible to see them because of their sheer speed. The wall rippled and sparked furiously, creating a shower of light that would’ve been rather incredible to see had it not been such a fire hazard.
As it was, Tech and Moranna leaned up against the back wall, trying to avoid being hit by a wayward spark. Cracks began to appear in the energy field, and after a few more moments of this, the field finally cracked, allowing Napoleon to punch through it and rip through the metal, creating an explosive force that sheared a rather large hole in the wall and shorted out the energy field.
“Hah!” Napoleon exclaimed. “Screw you, wall! No physical boundary can stand before the power of punching things!”
“Come on, let’s go!” Tech said. “We need to do what we came here for in the first place!”
“Yes, because rushing in without a plan worked out so well last time.” Moranna snapped. “We need to figure out a precise plan of action!”
“We had a plan of action last time, it just didn’t work because our stupid transformation matrixes aren’t working!”
“Are you two seriously doing this right now?” Napoleon asked in disbelief.
“And that isn’t something you thought you should’ve checked beforehand?!”
“They’ve always worked beforehand! What sort of indication would I have to check it this one time?!”
“Seriously, people?!” Napoleon commented from the sidelines.
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe the fact that it was malfunctioning?!”
“If you’re so smart, why didn’t you say something?!”
“Oh my god.” Napoleon groaned.
“I’m sorry, I figured I didn’t have to point out the obvious!”
“If that’s your idea of ‘obvious’, maybe you should-”
“ENOUGH!” Napoleon yelled, startling Tech and Moranna. “I swear to all that is holy, if you two don’t stop arguing, I will smack both of you with force the gods themselves could only dream of! Are we clear?!”
“...She started it.”
Before anyone could respond, loud yelling and footsteps could be heard in the distance.
“Oh crap, they heard us!” Tech exclaimed. “Come on, let’s get out of here!”
“Oh, no you don’t!” Napoleon snapped.
He quickly used the gauntlets to grab Tech and Moranna by their shirts, stopping them in their tracks.
“What are you doing, you idiot?!” Tech yelled. “Are you crazy?! We need to get out of here!”
“If worse comes to worst, I can always do the ‘super mode’ thing.” Napoleon explained. “But you two need to settle this right here and now! So, spill it, what’s going on?!”
“Nothing’s ‘going on’, Moranna just keeps making stupid comments!”
“And Tech keeps on making stupid decisions.” Moranna replied.
“So what?!” Napoleon asked. “Even Aquadilus thought this was weird! This isn’t just ‘action-reaction’, you people are going at each others throats whenever you get the chance! It’s like you’re...”
Napoleon’s eyes widened in realization.
He dissipated the gauntlets, dropping Tech and Moranna to the ground.
“That’s it!” He exclaimed. “You two aren’t just being stupid, this Anti-Life whatever is screwing with your heads!”
“What makes you so sure of that?” Tech asked.
“Well, I guess I’m not a hundred percent on it, but it makes sense, doesn’t it?”
“Well, for one thing, why aren’t you being affected?”
Napoleon paused to think for a moment.
“If I had to guess,” He said. “It might have something to do with all the souls in my body.”
“...Say what now?”
“It’s a long story, involves an extinct species of soul-stealing pumpkin-headed skeleton guys, all that good stuff. Point is, I have tons of souls just sort of floating around in the ether somewhere around me, whereas you two just sorta have the ones in your body at the moment.”
“So you’re saying it’s some sort of...soul corruption?” Tech scoffed. “That’s pretty hard to believe.”
“Assuming that you’re right,” Moranna said. “How would knowing that help? I doubt you know how to ‘fix’ a soul.”
Napoleon stood in thought for a couple moments, then snapped his fingers.
“Actually, I just might!”
Napoleon transformed into Hallow Fire with a white flash, placing his sunglasses on his chest.
“Okay, so, this might feel a bit weird.” He said. “Also, it might be a bit easier if you’re standing next to each other.”
Once Tech and Moranna had moved into position, Napoleon let out a stream of blue fire from his mouth, aiming it directly at them. The two instinctively flinched as the fire engulfed them, but quickly noticed that the flames weren’t burning them. The sensation was more similar to being in the warm area around a campfire. After a few seconds, there was a sudden burning feeling that shot through them, but faded as quickly as it appeared. Napoleon cut off the fire, and Tech and Moranna suddenly felt as if a strange weight had been lifted.
“...What the hell was that?!” Tech exclaimed.
“Hellfire.” Napoleon said. “Or maybe Heavenfire? Purgatoryfire? Yeah, okay, no idea what it is, but I basically burned off the soul corruption or whatever.”
“That doesn’t sound right, but I don’t know enough about souls to dispute it.”
“I feel like this is something we should probably question more.” Moranna remarked.
As she finished talking, the footsteps could be heard getting exceedingly close to their location.
“Question later, punch stuff now!” Napoleon said, transforming into Sludgehammer.
“Yeah, that figures.” Tech sighed.
“You feel like turning that bad attitude into fighting spirit?”
“Eh, I’m game.”
Tech pulled up the SpecTrix, noticing that it was finally working properly.
“Well, whadda ya know?” He remarked in a suspicious tone. “Now, I ain’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I really have to question the logistics behind this.”
“The AemuTrix seems to be working too.” Moranna said, pulling up its holoscreen. “Problems for later, I suppose.”
Tech transformed into Electrolite, followed by Moranna transforming into Briiz. A few seconds later, a group of heavily armed guards came storming around a nearby corner, running in formation. Upon catching sight of the three, they stopped in place and assumed a shield-like formation, guns aimed forward.
“Surrender immediately!” The one closest to the front demanded. “These are Venoshock V3s, and you don’t want to know what they can do to a person!”
“Let me guess, they have enough atomic charge to kill a rampaging Tetramand, and a single drop of that poison mix can kill an entire army of Chimera Sui Genesis in the time it takes you to say all that?” Tech deadpanned.
“...What are you, an advertisement?”
“Depends on how you look at it.”
Napoleon jumped forward and fired a strange substance that acted as a smoke bomb, creating a cloud of obscuring gas. Moranna seized the opportunity to create a whirlwind through the tunnel, clearing away the smoke and breaking apart the guard’s formation, catching them in the swirling vortex. Tech used his lightning travel to zap into the eye of the whirlwind, then created an explosion of chain lightning, electrocuting the members of the guard and knocking them out.
“Come on, let’s go!” He yelled back.
He quickly began running down the hallway the guards had entered from. Moranna cut off the whirlwind and hovered after him, followed by Napoleon turning into Iron Wrecker and rolling after them.
After making their way through the maze-like hallways of the satellite for a while, the three began to slow down. There didn’t seem to be any clear directive signs, and every hallway look the exact same.
“How the hell do they operate this place?!” Tech finally snapped, breaking the silence. “There’s now way for them to know where they are!”
“They probably hand out station maps to employees.” Moranna speculated. “Either that, or their training program is better than we thought.”
“I could just ram through these walls if you wanted to move more directly.” Napoleon offered, his voice slightly muffled by the metal shell covering his ball form.
“And if you ram through the outer wall and get us sucked into the vacuum of space?”
“...Wanna throw the dice?”
“How about no.”
Suddenly, there was a swift, quiet sound from behind the three. Only Moranna took notice, turning to see if anything was out place. There seemed to be nothing there but an empty hallway.
“Did either of you hear that?” She asked.
“Hear what?” Tech questioned.
Tech and Napoleon turned around, finding that Moranna had vanished from sight.
“She’s gone!” Napoleon exclaimed.
“Thanks for the insight, Captain Obvious.” Tech snarked. “Besides, that form can turn invisible. I doubt she’s actually ‘gone’. Let’s just calm down, okay?”
Tech turned to find that Napoleon had disappeared as well.
“Okay, now this is getting weird.”
After a few tense seconds, Tech heard a small, barely noticeable scuffling noise above his head. Thinking quickly, he threw up an orb-shaped cage of electricity around himself. A pair of arms suddenly reached out through a hidden hatch in the ceiling to grab him, but recoiled upon contact with the electric field.
“Oh, no you don’t!” Tech snapped.
He quickly retracted the cage, compacting it into a solid ball of electricity, then threw it upwards. Before the retreating arms could close the hatch, the electricity hit, prompting a shout of pain from whatever was in the tunnel. Tech transformed into Steelith and reached up, grabbing the metal ceiling and ripping a section of it down from the supports, revealing an unexpectedly large tunnel. On top of the ceiling wreckage, there was a slender, lightly-armored, ferret-like alien with three purple stripes on its uniform, along with an unconscious Napoleon and Moranna. Tech reached down and grabbed the alien by the head, lifting it up into the air.
“Okay buddy, couple things.” He began. “First off, who are you?”
“I’m not telling you anything, intruder!” The alien snapped. “The troops of the Obsidian Death have much better training than that!”
“Not in the combat department.” Tech remarked, eliciting an indignant growl from the alien he was holding. “Fine, I’ll see if I can figure this out by myself: your uniform has two stripes, so you’re sort of in the middle of the authority ladder, and I’m guessing you’re from the Obsidian Death’s version of a Stealth Division. Am I getting warm?”
“Wha-who told you about the Obsidian Death’s uniform system?!” The alien demanded.
“Some three-striped idiot from your Beast Master division named Fuviquo.” Tech replied, shaking his head. “I take it the ‘not running your mouth’ training doesn’t always stick?”
“In that case, it seems like I have some report-filing to do. So if you could just put me down and let me get to that...”
“Yeah, no. Hand over your map.”
“Yeah, the map of the facility. This place is a dang maze, and I don’t think they have a specialized course for way-finding in here.”
“How would you know? The Obsidian Death prepares for everything!”
There were a few moments of silence, with Tech giving the ferret alien a deadpan glare.
“Okay, fine!” The alien finally exclaimed, pulling out a small, metal box from one of his pockets. “Just take the damn map! I’ve got the hidden tunnels here memorized anyway!”
“Just doing that in the first place would’ve saved us both some time.” Tech replied, grabbing the box.
Tech dropped the ferret alien, who promptly scurried his way back inside the tunnel system.
“The commander will know about this!” He yelled back from the tunnels.
“Good!” Tech yelled in response. “Tell him I said ‘screw you’!”
Meanwhile, Napoleon and Moranna had begun to stir on the wreckage of the ceiling. They groggily got to their feet, Napoleon rubbing his head in confusion.
“Ugh...” He said. “What just happened?”
“I saved your butts and got us a map.” Tech said, holding up the box. “Any questions?”
“Multiple.” Moranna replied.
Tech activated the box, causing a small holoscreen to pop up showing where they were on the satellite. There were several buttons on the edges of the screen, but they were labeled in an alien language Tech couldn’t understand.
“Hey, Moranna, you think you could read this?” He asked, handing it to her.
Moranna took the box, and after looking the text over for a few seconds, shrugged and held it out.
“No language I know of.” She said. “It’s probably a cipher created by the Obsidian Death themselves.”
“Hold on a second, let me try.” Napoleon spoke up, grabbing the box.
“I don’t think you’re going to be able to-”
Tech and Moranna gave Napoleon a flat look of disbelief.
“What do you mean, ‘done’?” Tech asked.
“I mean I deciphered it!” Napoleon explained. “They’re using a slightly modified Caesar Cipher, with characters meant to represent the Greek alphabet.”
“Why would they do that?”
“Well, they do seem to have a weird investment of Earth lately.” Napoleon shrugged. “Besides, who would ever expect them to use that kind of cipher?”
“Nobody sane, I admit.” Moranan replied. “How did you know what it was?”
“I’m just good with language stuff, I guess.” Napoleon shrugged. “I’ve actually been practicing alien languages using Swarm 1 as of late.”
“As...admittedly unexpected as that is,” Tech interrupted. “we need to get to the control room ASAP. Now that we know where we’re going, think you could smash us a straight path?”
Napoleon took a moment to fiddle with the map screen, bringing up a blinking green button near the top of the satellite.
“Yep! Should be a piece of cake!”
Napoleon handed the map back to Tech and quickly rolled back into his metal ball form, then revved up and started effortlessly smashing a path through the walls with a rolling attack. Tech transformed back into Electrolite and zipped after him, followed quickly by Moranna.
The three smashed into the control center rather unceremoniously, creating a large hole in the wall. Only a single, rather unimposing, unarmored alien occupied the room, standing in front of the control module and systematically pressing buttons and pulling levers. A few moments after the three had burst into the room, the alien turned with a sigh, revealing a uniform with three gunmetal stripes on the chest.
“Well, well, if it isn’t this planet’s little protection squad.” The alien said, sounding utterly uninterested in the situation. “If you don’t mind, I’m a little busy.”
“As a matter of fact, we do mind!” Tech snapped. “What are you even doing?!”
“Preparing to drop a kinetic bombardment charge on Canada.”
“You basta-” Napoleon began, before pausing. “Uh, what’s a kinetic bombardment charge?”
“Large metal pole that gets dropped from orbit.” Tech explained. “It’s sort of like an artificial meteorite.”
“You bastards!” Napoleon exclaimed. “We need Canada!”
“For what, maple syrup?” The alien snarked, turning to face the three.
“...If you’re insinuating there’s anything wrong with maple syrup, I’ma smack you.”
“I couldn’t care less about maple syrup, I just need to clear Canada’s major cities off the map.”
“Why would you need to do that in the first place?” Moranna questioned.
“Unlike that idiot Fuviquo, I’m not going to tell you anything I don’t need you knowing.” The alien replied. “I am Verramortem, First Commander of the Obsidian Death’s Weaponry division. Beyond that, I’m not keen on telling you much.”
The console module behind Verramortem began beeping, with several red lights blinking rapidly.
“What’s that?” Tech asked.
“The launch sequence. You’ve got five minutes until Toronto’s gone. Spend it wisely.”
“In that case, we’ll spend it kicking your butt, then make you shut the sequence down!” Napoleon said. “Fuviquo was a total pushover, and you’re the same rank, so you shouldn’t be too difficult to take down!”
“You really are clueless, aren’t you?” Verramortem chuckled. “First off, the launch sequence is irreversible. Second, Fuviquo’s rank had nothing to do with his combat skills, it had to do with his skills with controlling animals! Why do you think he was in the ‘Beast Master’ division instead of the ‘Combat Specialist’ division?!”
“Oh. Yeah, that makes sense. But wouldn’t that put you on about the same level anyway?”
“For regular, hand-to-hand combat, yes. But as far as weaponry goes...”
Verramortem snapped his fingers, summoning a large metal canister that dropped from the ceiling, covering him. After a few moments of whirring sounds, the canister burst open, revealing him in bulky metal armor far above the quality of the standard grunt’s.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a more experienced person!” He finished.
“Yeah, we’ll see about that!” Napoleon said, summoning his arm cannon. “Let’s see what you think of this!”
Napoleon fired several shots of energy at Verramortem. Unfortunately, each shot ended up simply bouncing off his armor, temporarily revealing a built-in energy field.
“I really hate those energy fields.” Napoleon grumbled, dispersing his arm cannon. “Tech, Moranna, stop that missile! I’ll take care of this guy!”
“Are you sure you can handle him by yourself?” Tech questioned.
“Nope, but that’s what makes it exciting!”
“...Alright, but draw back if you end up in serious trouble!”
“You’re seriously just letting him fight one on one?” Moranna asked.
“We need to stop this thing, Moranna.” Tech asserted. “To do that, we need a distraction.”
Tech took off running towards a door on the other side of the room labeled ‘Kinetic Charge Bay - Authorized Personnel Only’, followed shortly by a hesitant Moranna. They easily slammed through the door and started running through the hallway.
“Besides,” Tech explained. “I think Napoleon’s got more power than he’s letting on.”
“Sending off your companions to fight me alone?” Verramortem questioned. “Interesting strategy, if a foolish one.”
Napoleon responded by simply summoning a taco, grabbing it out of midair, then pointing to it.
“You know what the difference is between this taco and your opinion?” He asked.
“...I can’t say I-”
“I wanted the taco.”
Napoleon quickly transformed into Batdrill and ripped up a chunk of the floor, compacting it into a metal projectile and firing it at Verramortem’s head. The metal simply bounced off the armor’s energy field, ricocheting around the room.
“Weren’t you paying attention the first time?” Verramortem tsked. “Projectiles are unable to break through my armor’s energy field alone.”
“Oh, I was.” Napoleon replied. “I just figured bouncing it off your head would distract you from where I was actually aiming it.”
There was a loud metal crash from behind Verramortem, who turned to find that the metal ball Napoleon had fired had ricocheted directly into the console, rendering the controls unusable.
“No more missiles for you!” Napoleon gloated.
“They’re not missiles, they’re kinetic charges!” Verramortem snapped. “How did you pull that off?!”
“Using the most vile, demonic ability known to man!” Napoleon’s voice took on an edge of faux seriousness. “Math.”
“...What are you?”
“Beautiful!” Napoleon retorted, turning back into Iron Wrecker. “But enough about me, it's bowling time!”
Napoleon assumed Iron Wrecker’s ball form and smashed into Verramortem’s armor, creating a shower of sparks.
“Oh, this is just sad.” Verramortem said. “Quite a bit of bravado for someone with no concept of his opponent’s capabilities!”
With that, dual ports on his armor’s wrists popped open, each shooting out a grappling line. The wires wrapped themselves around Napoleon’s ball form, latching onto each other with the hooks. Verramortem immediately spun around, swinging out the grappling lines and smashing Napoleon across the wall. He stopped spinning and threw his arms upwards, slamming Napoleon into the ceiling, then brought them down again, slamming him into the ground.
“Tell me, how well do you think your shell works against armor-piercing rounds?!” Verramortem shouted.
His chestplate split open, revealing a large Gatling cannon in the center of it. The cannon began firing, expelling bullets at high speed. Expecting the bullets to easily carve through Napoleon’s body, Verramortem was rather surprised when a large circular shield suddenly materialized in front of the metal ball.
“What the hell?!”
Napoleon, who had been bracing for impact, unrolled to his humanoid form upon hearing this, seeming to be equally surprised about the shield.
“Hold on a second, I can summon constructs when I’m transformed?” He wondered aloud.
After a few seconds of processing this, he assumed a rather mischievous look on his face.
“Oh, this is going to be fun.”
Tech and Moranna, meanwhile, had made their way to the firing bay, but hadn’t found a way to stop the firing sequence.
“What is this stuff made of?!” Tech exclaimed, trying to smash apart a mechanism as Destramonium, with little success.
“If I had to guess, I’d say it’s Taydenite coated.” Moranna replied, inspecting another nearby mechanism.
“Wouldn’t that be, like, one of the most expensive things possible?”
“Not really, but it’s certainly up there. They really wanted the firing sequence to stay uninterrupted.”
“I don’t get any of what these people do!” Tech yelled in frustration, giving the mechanism one last punch out of spite. “It’s like they’re just doing random crap for the sake of random crap!”
“It’s all got to be connected somehow.” Moranna said. “We just need to figure out how.”
“Sure, but right now, we need to figure out how to stop this thing from firing!”
Before Moranna could reply, a ten-story kinetic rocket suddenly dropped into place above a pair of hangar doors, which slowly began opening. Tech swiftly transformed into Terminano, avoiding the need to breathe, whereas Moranna’s form was already non-dependent on air.
“What if you transform into Rockoustic and punch it apart when it flies into space?” Moranna suggested.
“I guess that could-”
Tech was interrupted by the rocket on the end of the kinetic charge roaring to life and launching it out of the bay at unbelievable speeds, shaking the hangar bay and knocking Tech off his feet. By the time he recovered, the rocket was already long out of range.
“Oh crap.” He remarked.
Back in the control room, Verramortem had continued fire, hoping to break through the shield, with little success.
“What is that thing, Taydenite coated?!” He snapped.
As if in response to his question, the shield suddenly exploded towards him, wrapping around what appeared to be Iron Wrecker’s ball form. The charge knocked Verramortem off balance, giving Napoleon a chance to circle around and modify his new armor, generating a series of flaming spikes. With his modifications in place, Napoleon’s next step was to turn and, with a screeching of metal, launch himself directly at Verramortem.
“You have got to be kidding me.”
Napoleon’s body made impact, grinding through the energy field almost instantaneously and shredding apart the outer layers of the armor, destroying its Gatling cannon. Napoleon then jumped back and detransformed, leaping into the air.
With that, Napoleon’s gauntlet constructs formed, the turbines quickly activating and sending him on a direct course towards Verramortem’s face. Before he could make impact, however, the satellite suddenly shook, throwing him off course and smashing into the already-useless console, destroying it even more.
“Your friends are too late!” Verramortem chuckled. “The kinetic charge has already been fired!”
“What?!” Napoleon exclaimed. “But that means-”
“Exactly, you insufferable ignoramus!” Verramortem gloated. “I won!”
“Crap, crap, crap, what do we do?!” Tech began to panic and pace back and forth. “That thing’s gonna wipe out a city!”
“Calm down, Tech!” Moranna said. “We just...need to think of something!”
“Think of what?! The only way to stop that thing now would be to, I don’t know, stop time or something!”
Tech began to pace faster and faster, running over ideas in his head and blurting them out at an illegible speed, reaching a point where the speech started to blend together into one big mashup of words. Moranna swiftly hovered over to Tech and grabbed him, lifting him off the ground.
“Okay, first off, stop pacing!” She snapped. “Second, panicking like this is going to help all of nobody! We need a plan, not a bunch of gibberish!”
Tech froze for a couple moments, then slowly sighed and tried to regain his composure.
“Okay, calm.” He muttered to himself. “Need to be calm. Calm.”
After a few moments, Moranna put him back on the ground, then folded her arms and glared at him.
“Are you done now?”
“Yeah, I’m good, I’m good.” He rubbed his head. “Still not sure what to do about this whole mess.”
“Neither am I, but...look, if we work on it together, I’m sure we can figure something out.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
Before Moranna could bring up any ideas, the AemuTrix symbol suddenly started to glow, followed shortly by the SpecTrix’s.
“Uh...what’s going on?” Tech asked.
“I have no idea.” Moranna replied. “Maybe this is one of those matrix reactions Nullamor was talking about.”
“Oh, great, something else to deal with from that guy.” Tech grumbled.
The symbols on both transformation matrixes each popped up, then projected holograms of a new form.
“...Think we should try this out?” Moranna asked.
“We’re not exactly full of other ideas at the moment.” Tech replied. “Might as well give it a shot.”
The two pressed down on their matrix dials, transforming with a purple and a green flash, respectively. Tech’s light faded to reveal a tall, gray, humanoid alien clad in golden armor. Moranna had transformed into a tall, purple, humanoid alien clad in grayed-out purplish armor. After looking themselves over for a few seconds, the two looked out of the hangar bay towards the rapidly falling kinetic charge.
“So...what now?” Tech asked.
“Well, at this point, let’s just go for it and just see what happens.”
The two jumped out of the hangar bay and slowly started falling after the charge. Moranna instinctively reached her arms out, and with a distorted flash, the two suddenly appeared right next to the falling metal.
“How did you do that?!” Tech questioned.
“I...I don’t know!” Moranna replied. “It just sort of happened!”
“Okay then, let’s see what happens with this!”
Tech threw out his right arm towards the charge. After a moment of nothing happening, a sudden ripple exploded from his arm, accompanied by a strange warping sound. All of a sudden, everything froze in place around them, taking on a grayed-out appearance.
“Did I just stop time?” Tech asked flatly.
“Sure looks that way.” Moranna replied.
The two separately floated around the charge, carefully inspecting it.
“Okay, what do we do about this?” Tech asked. “I get the feeling that if we transform, time’s heading back to normal.”
“Well, if you just stopped time, it probably figures that I did something with space.” Moranna replied, tapping the side of her head. “If I can warp the space around this thing...”
Moranna trailed off, then raised up her arms again.
“I think I have an idea.”
“No way did you win!” Napoleon yelled. “Tech and Moranna will find some way to take out that missile!”
“It’s a kinetic charge, not a missile!” Verramortem snapped. “Besides, I can assure you, unless your friends have some method of altering the fabric of space-time itself, I highly doubt-”
Before he could finish his sentence, he was interrupted by the event of a kinetic bombardment charge suddenly materializing in the middle of the room, accompanied by the hiss of the room’s rapid decompression and the appearance of Tech and Moranna in the area, detransformed.
“What-how did you do that?!” He demanded.
“We altered time and space.” Tech replied.
There were a few moments of silence as Verramortem stared into the distance, temporarily reconsidering the life choices that had led him to this point.
“Well, I suppose it doesn’t matter anyway.” He finally said, snapping out of it. “Each level has its own set of airtight doors that cut it off from the others.”
“Yeah, we sort of figured you might have a system like that.” Tech rebutted. “Considering that this is the bottom-most room on the satellite, we sorta pushed the kinetic charge through the top of it, then shoved it all the way down here.”
“You probably want to start evacuating.” Moranna said.
“Next time we meet, you’re all going to wish you were never born!” Verramortem hissed, scrambling to his feet and racing out of the room.
“Really?” Tech yelled after him. “I didn’t think your face was that ugly!”
“Guys, that was amazing!” Napoleon exclaimed, walking over to them. “Since when can you do that?!”
“Since now, I guess.” Tech replied.
“It appears that the forms we used can only be accessed during special circumstances, and only in unison with each other, at that.” Moranna explained.
“Aw, what?” Napoleon said. “You can’t do that all the time?”
“Unfortunately, no.” Tech responded.
“I think we have bigger things to worry about at the moment.” Moranna interjected. “Like the fact that we’re running out of air.”
“Good point.” Tech began fiddling with the SpecTrix. “Let’s go home!”
On a personalized ship, Verramortem had begun repairing his armor. All of a sudden, his control panel started ringing, upon which he grumbled a bit before answering.
“First Commander Verramortem, receiving you loud and clear.” He spoke into the communication module.
“I’ve received reports that our kinetic bombardment satellite has been rendered utterly inoperable.” A voice came from the other end of the call. “Is this correct?”
“Yeah, it’s correct.” Verramortem replied. “Those kids that Fuviquo reported took it out. Everyone’s been evacuated, and we’re headed back to headquarters for new assignments.”
“Would you care to explain exactly how three human teenagers managed to ‘take out’ an entire space station?”
“The little brats can transform! And as if that wasn’t enough, they somehow managed to warp time and space itself! All due respect, but I don’t think you could’ve done much better in my shoes!”
“Warping time and space?” The voice went quiet for a few seconds. “Interesting. We’ll be expecting a fully detailed report on this when you return. Get to work.”
With that, the call on the other end of the line went silent. Verramortem turned off the communications module with a frustrated grunt and turned back to his armor, grumbling all the way.
- The Obsidian Death
Swarm 1 Aliens