|Season 1, Episode 10|
Stairway to Heaven
Under the Sea
[Open to the inside of a dark, abandoned warehouse in the industrial district as rain is starting to fall outside. A somewhat tall, well-muscled man obscured by a black cloak carrying a scythe on his back is sitting in the rafters, staring out of a window on the ceiling towards the dark cloud-covered sky.]
[Cloaked Man]: “There appears to be a storm approaching.”
He sat in silence for a few moments.
[Cloaked Man]: “Of course, I’ve rarely experienced a moment where one hasn’t been, I suppose.”
A few moments after he had finished speaking, the door to the warehouse opened, prompting him to look down. A young man with brown skin and red hair wearing a sleeveless shirt and green pants and a woman with pale skin and dark blue hair wearing a sailor’s uniform walked in, closing the door behind them.
[Scorpio]: “I don’t get what the problem is. You can control water, right? Why not just stop the rain around us?”
[Aquarius]: “Quite frankly, it’s a lot more effort than I find to be worth it.”
[Scorpio]: “You kidding me? Waiting this storm out at base would be better than just sitting around in this random shack.”
[Aquarius]: “If you want try getting to base before the storm hits, you’re more than welcome to try.”
Scorpio simply grumbled in response.
[Aquarius]: “On the bright side, it’s not like we have to share this space with anyone else. I’d like to keep the number of people I interact with to a minimum.”
Up in the rafters, the cloaked man leaned back on the beam supporting his weight.
[Cloaked Man]: (Thinking) ‘I guess I’ll just stay up here for a while, then.’
[Cut to Theo and Nova running through the streets of the industrial district, with Nova using her shield construct to protect them from the rain. The storm has hit full force, with heavy winds and rain smashing into the pavement with the force of small bullets.]
[Theo]: “We probably should’ve stayed at the base!”
[Nova]: “Bit late for that now!”
After a few moments of running, Theo spotted an abandoned warehouse up ahead.
[Theo]: (Points to the warehouse) “Hey, we should wait this out in there!”
[Nova]: “Sounds like a plan!”
The two ran over to the warehouse and entered it as quickly as possible, slamming the door closed behind them. Nova dissipated her shield, after which they sighed and relaxed their stances for a moment. They looked up into the warehouse, only to find Aquarius and Scorpio staring at them with disbelieving expressions.
[Theo]: (Groans) “And now we have to deal with this.”
[Scorpio]: “What are you two doing here?”
[Nova]: “Taking cover from the rain, what do you think?”
[Scorpio]: “Well, find somewhere else to hide in. We were here first.”
[Nova]: “Unless you own the place, I don’t think we’re obliged to go anywhere.”
[Scorpio]: (Transforms his right hand into a massive claw) “You really want to screw with us right now?”
[Nova]: (Summons her arm blades) “Anytime, anywhere!”
[???]: “Okay, I think you people need to calm down a bit.”
The four assembled in the room looked around for the source of the voice, which shortly revealed itself as a man in a dark cloak that obscured his features jumped down from the rafters.
[Cloaked Man]: “I was here before any of you, if you truly need that sort of validation for my presence. In any case, I’d rather not have an uncontrolled brawl break out in here, if you don’t mind.”
[Theo]: “Who are you?”
[Cloaked Man]: “I have been known by many names.” (Pauses to think for a moment) “Well, only two other names, actually, but these days, I am known as The Reaper.”
[Nova]: “Like, Reaper of grain, or Reaper of souls?”
[Cloaked Man]: (Shakes his head) “Merely of what I have sown, whether it be good or evil.”
[Theo]: “That is ambiguous as hell.”
[Reaper]: “That’s the idea. I have my reasons for my true identity to remain hidden.”
[Scorpio]: (Questioningly) “And how do we know you won’t just start trying to fight us, mystery man?”
[Reaper]: “You don’t. You’ll simply have to trust that a fight with me would be detrimental to all parties involved.”
Scorpio mumbled something underneath his breath for a moment, then relaxed his stance, transforming his claw back into a normal hand. The Reaper sighed, then turned to face Theo.
[Reaper]: “Actually, I have a question for you, if you don’t mind.”
[Reaper]: “Considering the device you wear on your hand,” (Gestures to the StarTrix) “do you happen to be-”
[Theo]: “I am not related to Ben Tennyson, dammit! How many times do I need to explain this?!”
[Reaper]: (Shakes his head) “Actually, I was going to ask if you happened to know a man that went by the name of ‘Tech’, who wore a similar device.”
[Theo]: “Oh, uh...yeah, actually. My dad’s nickname was ‘Tech’ when he was a teenager, apparently. Do you know him?”
[Reaper]: “Perhaps. Brown hair, blue eyes, pale skin, may occasionally wear a gray coat of some sort?”
[Theo]: “That’s him, alright. How do you know him?”
[Reaper]: “That...” (Pauses to take a deep breath) “...is a long and complicated story. Suffice it to say, I doubt he’d be particularly happy to see me alive.”
[Theo]: “Uh...’alive’? Can you tell me at least something about what the heck went down between you two?”
[Reaper]: (Waves him off) “It is in the past now. I don’t know if he has moved on, but I have gone through things you would not believe to become someone new. I would rather not dwell on it.”
[Nova]: "Whatever you say, Edgy McEvanescence."
[Theo]: (Sighs) “Fine. What do we do now?”
[Reaper]: “Isn’t it obvious? We simply wait out the storm.”
[Nova]: “Nice thought, but if you somehow hadn’t noticed, we kinda have beef with these guys.” (Gestures to Scorpio and Aquarius) “Just sitting here would be pretty awkward.”
[Aquarius]: “...We could fight.”
The four other people in the room all turned to give her a questioning look.
[Aquarius]: “In a controlled manner, that is. Without anything getting out of hand.”
[Scorpio]: “Why the hell would we do that?!”
[Aquarius]: “Because I'd rather kick the shit out of someone I have issues with than stand around awkwardly with them. Besides, I’m interested in knowing how strong they are.”
[Nova]: “Well, I can't say I disagree.”
[Theo]: “Hold on, what sort of fights are we looking at here? What’s considered a win condition? And who would monitor the fights?”
[Aquarius]: “The first person to be knocked out loses. As for the referee, we do happen to have a relatively neutral third party on hand.” (Gestures to The Reaper)
[Reaper]: “I suppose it’s a decent alternative to sitting around and hoping tensions don’t hit a breaking point. Fine.”
[Nova]: “Sounds like we’re all agreed, then. Now, who’s fighting who?”
[Scorpio]: “You and I have unfinished business from the train incident. Aquarius tossed you out before we could get a proper fight.”
[Nova]: “Sounds good to me.”
[Aquarius]: “In that case, I suppose I’ll fight the Omnitrix wielder.”
[Theo]: “Call me...Tech.”
[Aquarius]: “You’re just going around using your father’s old nickname?”
[Theo]: “No, but I’m sure as hell not giving you people my real name.”
[Aquarius]: “Fair enough.”
[Nova]: “So, who’s going first?”
[Theo]: “I think the blue-haired lady and I will be going first. It’ll probably be the shorter fight.”
[Aquarius]: “My codename is Aquarius.”
[Theo]: “Okay, Aquarius. Let’s just get this over with.”
[Cut to Theo and Aquarius standing on opposite sides of the warehouse. The center area of the building has been cleared of any obstructing materials, and Nova, Scorpio, and The Reaper are standing off to the sides.]
[Reaper]: “Okay, are you both ready to fight?”
[Aquarius]: “Of course.”
[Reaper]: “Alright, then. On three, the battle may begin. One...two...three!”
As soon as that last word had left The Reaper’s mouth, Aquarius pulled her anchor flail out of its holster on her back and began swinging it in a circle. At the same time, Theo pulled up the SpecTrix and transformed into Rolling Stone, assuming a defensive stance.
[Nova]: “Yeesh, Rolling Stone right off the bat? I guess he meant it when he said this was gonna be the shorter fight.”
[Scorpio]: “What are you talking about? As much as I hate to admit it, Aquarius is practically masterful when it comes to closed-quarters combat. It’s our team’s specialty.”
[Nova]: “Good for you guys, but Rolling Stone is basically a walking tank that can control rock and sound. I haven’t seen anything yet that’s been able to damage him.”
[Reaper]: “Metamentians are known for their endurance, but I do know of...a particular way to damage them, albeit one I doubt might apply in this situation.”
Meanwhile, on the battlefield, Aquarius had finished winding up her attack and hurled the anchor at Rolling Stone, who simply deflected it by backhanding it with a sound wave. Aquarius stretched out her hand, summoning the anchor back to her.
[Rolling Stone]: “How do you do that? Can you control metal or something?”
[Aquarius]: “Water, actually. The anchor is hollowed out in the center and filled with water, allowing me to flawlessly control its trajectory.”
[Rolling Stone]: “Clever strategy. With a brain like that, I have to wonder why you’d join some criminal organization.”
The two opponents began to circle each other, slowly closing the gap between them.
[Aquarius]: “College is expensive, and if this job pays out as much as promised, I’ll never have to worry about money issues again.”
Aquarius took the opportunity to hurl her anchor again, with Rolling Stone simply smacking it to the ground.
[Rolling Stone]: “It’s just about the money, then?”
[Aquarius]: “More about the long-term effects of what I could do with said money.”
[Rolling Stone]: “Such as?”
[Aquarius]: “We live in an age of access to intergalactic technology of the highest caliber, and yet we still don’t know all that lurks beneath our own oceans. If I had the proper funding, it would be simple to create the kind of initiative needed to explore and possibly colonize the sea.”
[Rolling Stone]: “I’m like 90% sure there are more legitimate ways of doing that.”
[Aquarius]: “Well, helping to take down the ‘Big Brother’-esque alien police force is a bit of a bonus, I must admit.”
Aquarius hurled her anchor towards Rolling Stone again, this time pulling a feint attack at the last minute by twisting the anchor to the side, slamming it into the StarTrix symbol and reverting Theo back to human. Before he could pull up the StarTrix to transform again, she pulled back the anchor and tossed it towards him at high speeds.
[Theo]: “Nice strategy.”
As the anchor was about to hit him dead-on, Theo raised his arms and caught it, stopping it mere inches from his face and sending him skidding backwards a few feet.
[Theo]: “Unfortunately for you, I’m not the kind of person you can easily hit with an anchor.”
Aquarius swiftly yanked the anchor back to her, bringing Theo, who was still holding onto the anchor, along with it. She pulled back her right arm while holding onto the anchor’s chain with her left, winding up for a punch. Right before Theo got in range, he twisted his body around to the other side of the anchor, dodging the hit and landing on his feet behind her.
Before Aquarius could react, he grabbed hold of his side of the chain and swung it off to the side, sending her off-balance and giving him time to transform into Broken Dream Boulevard. He quickly generated a thorned vine from his right hand and slammed it into Aquarius, knocking her out instantly. With the fight over, he pressed down on the StarTrix symbol, reverting to human.
[Reaper]: “Hm. When he said this would be short battle, he wasn’t kidding.”
[Scorpio]: “What the hell was that?! That wasn’t a strong enough hit to knock her out!”
[Nova]: “Doesn’t matter how strong it was. Those vines are laced with an anesthetic that activates as soon as it hits your skin.”
[Scorpio]: “That’s cheating!”
[Reaper]: “I don’t believe we set any rules other than ‘don’t destroy the building’.”
[Nova]: “Oh, don’t ruffle your hackles. We’re up next.”
Aquarius woke up, groggily getting to her feet.
[Aquarius]: “Well, I’m not sure what I expected.”
[Theo]: “Hopefully this means you people will think twice before screwing with us in the future.”
[Aquarius]: “I make no promises.”
[Cut to Nova and Scorpio having assumed their fighting positions. Theo and Aquarius are off to the side with The Reaper this time.]
[Reaper]: “Same as last time. Are you two ready to fight?”
[Nova]: “Hell yeah!”
[Scorpio]: “I’ve been itching for a fight all day.”
[Reaper]: “On three. One...Two...Th-”
Before The Reaper had even finished counting, Scorpio suddenly shot towards Nova, transforming his hands into massive claws. Thinking quickly, Nova summoned her shield and blocked his initial attack, sending him skidding a few feet back.
[Nova]: “What the hell, man?!”
[Scorpio]: “Waiting for a fair fight is practically saying ‘I’m fine with losing as long as it means my opponent’s feelings won’t get hurt!’ Why should I stick to such an idiotic rule?!”
Nova dissipated her shield and summoned large gauntlets, going on the offensive. Scorpio dodged and weaved through every blow, avoiding each attack.
[Scorpio]: “You’re not bad, I’ll give you that, but you never had to fight your way out a of a brawl in the slums!”
Scorpio suddenly slammed his right claw towards Nova’s head, forcing her to block.
[Scorpio]: “Which gives me the advantage in hand-to-hand combat!”
[Nova]: “Alright then, in that case...”
Nova jumped backwards, dissipating her gauntlets and summoning her lantern construct.
[Nova]: “Let’s give this fight a little space!”
The front plate of the lantern slid apart, shooting a massive stream of purple fire that slammed into Scorpio, knocking him back a few feet. Blocking the flames with his claws, he slowly began advancing through the stream of fire.
[Scorpio]: “It’s going to take a bit more than a warm breeze to take me out of this fight!”
[Nova]: “Sounds like a plan.”
Nova dissipated the lantern construct and summoned a leg booster on her right leg, jumping forward and slamming the armored leg into Scorpio’s gut, sending him flying back a good ten meters before hitting the ground.
[Scorpio]: (Groans) “I probably should have seen that one coming.”
Scorpio quickly jumped to his feet, momentarily clenching at where he had been hit.
[Scorpio]: “Alright, enough screwing around!”
Scorpio’s skin suddenly transformed into a black, organic armor of some kind, his eyes becoming fully red. Two large tails with stingers at the end erupted from his back, extending to reach over his shoulders.
[Nova]: “That’s new.”
[Scorpio]: “Great, isn’t it? The exoskeleton I generate is stronger than steel!”
[Nova]: “Well, if we’re transforming in this battle, I might as well take a shot at it too!”
[Theo]: (Raises an eyebrow) “Excuse me?”
[Nova]: “Yeah, it’s something my dad taught me. I haven’t gotten the chance to try it out yet, but hey. there’s a first time for everything!”
Nova’s body was suddenly enveloped in white light, which twisted and turned until it reached its final shape, fading to reveal what appeared to be a golden sarcophagus with separated legs and a large purple gem embedded in it.
[Scorpio]: “...You gotta be kidding me.”
Scorpio lunged forward at Nova’s new form claws first. Right as he was about to make contact, the sarcophagus teleported across the room with a purple flash. Snarling angrily, he charged her again, only for her to teleport away before he even got within a few meters of her.
[Scorpio]: (Turning to see Nova back where she started) “What the hell is that thing?!”
[Nova/???]: “I call this one Veni¤Vidi¤Vici. This is just its first form.”
[Scorpio]: “Oh great, an opponent with special forms. My favorite.”
[Scorpio]: “For one thing, you aren’t even fighting! You’re just making it impossible for anyone to land any blows here!”
[Veni¤Vidi¤Vici]: “Okay, I’ll see what I can do about that.”
Veni¤Vidi¤Vici’s sarcophagus suddenly flashed with a gold light and evaporated away as dust, leaving behind a humanoid alien covered head-to-toe in mummy-like wrappings. A golden headdress with eyes lining its rim rested on her head, masking her face.
The eyes on the headdress began to glow. Almost instantly, illusory versions of Veni¤Vidi¤Vici began to fill the room, each one impossible to distinguish from the original. They advanced towards Scorpio, who began wildly turning about, trying to figure out which one to hit. As he turned, he was suddenly punched from somewhere behind him. He whirled around and swiped at the illusions in that direction, only to hit thin air and get struck on the side of the head.
[Veni¤Vidi¤Vici]: “Is this better?”
[Scorpio]: (Angrily) “Seeing as how your hits aren’t actually doing anything, no. It’s just annoying.”
[Veni¤Vidi¤Vici]: “Fine, have it your way.”
The illusory versions of Veni¤Vidi¤Vici suddenly faded away, revealing the real one to be standing near Scorpio. A moment later, the wrappings concealing her body dissolved in a similar fashion to the sarcophagus. Her true form was revealed to be a tall, blue humanoid alien with double-jointed legs wearing golden armor that resembled a boxing outfit, albeit sans gloves.
[Scorpio]: “Alright, now we’re getting somewhere! Take this!”
Scorpio lunged at Veni¤Vidi¤Vici, attempting to slam into her with his claws. She swiftly countered by dodging to the side at incredible speeds and grabbing onto his right arm, twirling around and using his own momentum to hurl him across the room.
[Veni¤Vidi¤Vici]: “Well, whaddaya know? I can move around a lot better without all that crap in the way.”
Scorpio pulled himself to his feet, raising his left claw and shooting a ball of strange liquid at Veni¤Vidi¤Vici, who nimbly leaped out the way. The liquid hit the floor, melting through a good square foot of it.
[Reaper]: “Hey, you’re supposed to knock out your opponent, not eat through their flesh!”
Scorpio ignored him and ran towards his opponent, firing rapid shots of acid from his claws and tails. Veni¤Vidi¤Vici was easily able to dodge all of them even as Scorpio got within close range. She quickly flipped over his head and smashed a well-placed punch into the base of his neck, cracking his armor and sending him stumbling forward with a yelp of pain. He whirled around and tried to hit her, but she had already leapt out of range.
[Scorpio]: “How do you keep dodging all my attacks?!”
[Veni¤Vidi¤Vici]: “Why do you think I chose to use this as my main transformation? I can predict and counter every move an opponent makes! It’s especially easy in your case, since all you ever do is lunge and shoot. Not even the second thing most of the time.”
[Scorpio]: “So, what, I’m just too predictable? Well, hate to break it to ya, but just knowing when to move doesn’t make you win the fight! You’d have to break through my armor to do that, and I doubt that you-”
Scorpio was interrupted by Veni¤Vidi¤Vici leaping forward and spin-kicking his forehead, breaking apart his black armor and sending him flying back a few feet, knocking him out cold.
[Reaper]: “That didn’t last long on either account.”
A white light surrounded Veni¤Vidi¤Vici, reverting her back to her human form.
[Veni¤Vidi¤Vici/Nova]: “Well, duh. Hybrids are almost never as strong as full aliens.”
[Theo]: “I didn’t know you could transform.”
[Nova]: “Me either until about a week ago. After my dad found out about all this, he taught me how to use Swarm 2 to transform into whatever I want.”
[Theo]: “That sound like a better deal than what I’ve got.”
[Nova]: “Except you don’t have to study the anatomy of whatever you want to turn into before you can use it. You just load up a DNA sample and boom, superpowers.”
[Theo]: “Point taken.”
[Aquarius]: “Either way, you two still have the advantage over any of us.”
Theo and Nova turned to face Aquarius, who was leaning against the wall.
[Aquarius]: “With that kind of power, you two could change just about anything you wanted. Why not take advantage of that? Why work for the Plumbers?”
[Theo]: “I’ve seen first-hand what unchecked power can do to someone like me. It’s not pretty, and believe me when I say you wouldn’t want to see it.”
[Nova]: “He punched a hole clean through a guy once.”
Theo shot Nova a quick glare.
[Nova]: (Shrugs) “Well, you did.”
[Theo]: “It’s not really one of my prouder moments. At any rate, it’s better to work with a reasonable authority than to go around and screw up however many lives you want just because you personally think it’s a good idea.”
[Aquarius]: “And if that ‘reasonable’ authority is causing more harm than good?”
[Theo]: “Then I do what keeps everyone safe, the rules be damned.”
[Aquarius]: “You’d fit in well at the Zodiac Organization.”
[Theo]: “I doubt it.”
[Reaper]: “Alright, that’s enough politics for now. These conversations can get very ugly, very fast.”
There were a few moments of silence.
[Theo]: “Hey, do you hear that?”
[Nova]: “Hear what?”
[Theo]: “Exactly. The rain’s gone for now.”
[Nova]: “In that case, we should leave ASAP in case it decides to start up again.”
[Theo]: “Good idea.”
[Aquarius]: “I suppose Scorpio and I will leave as soon as he wakes up.”
[Theo]: (Turns to The Reaper) “Well, this was...interesting.”
[Reaper]: “Quite. Perhaps we’ll meet again at some point.”
Theo and Nova walked out of the warehouse that day supposing the storm was over; for the moment, they were correct.
This would not last long.
- The Reaper makes his debut
- Nova reveals she can transform.
- Veni¤Vidi¤Vici makes her debut.
- Veni¤Vidi¤Vici (Debut)
- Urban legends surrounding the song 'Gloomy Sunday' tell that the song induces or increases suicidal thoughts and actions. No proof has been found of this claim, though whether this is because the claims are legitimately unsubstantiated or all the people with proof killed themselves before making it public is uncertain.