|Season 1, Episode 3|
|Air date||June 12, 2014|
Welcome to The Void
"You can't just walk out on this!" The guild's leader hissed. "We had a deal!"
The white being that had contracted them was currently attempting to leave the building, but had been stopped on their way out by their former business partners.
"Indeed, we did." The white being said. "And your agent failed to fulfill your end of it."
"If one agent fails, another one takes their place to complete the job!" The guild leader snapped. "That's how it works!"
"If an agent with an Omnitrix couldn't take down my target, I doubt anyone else here could." The white being stated flatly.
"Wha-how did you know about Ceres' Omnitrix?!" The guild leader demanded.
"I've observed everything in this galaxy for ten thousand long years." The white being replied. "Nothing is a secret to me."
"Regardless, you have to stick to the contract!" The guild leader said. "If you don't..."
A couple of larger aliens armed with swords stepped up behind the white being, placing their blades carefully around their neck.
"Is this supposed to be a threat?" The white being asked, completely nonflustered.
"No." The guild leader growled. "It's an ultimatum."
White strings of light suddenly manifested from the being's hands, wrapping themselves around the guards' swords and carving through them like a hot knife through butter. They stepped back in surprise as the white being stepped past the guild leader threateningly.
"I reject your ultimatum, and indeed, your entire lowlife organization." The white being called behind her. "I will find another way to accomplish my goals."
With that, the white being was gone, leaving behind an equally confused and enraged guild leader.
Mines are not, by any stretch of the imagination, pleasant places. Deep underground, surrounded by darkness and thousands of tonnes of rock, it's not exactly a friendly place for the human animal. Granted, that's certainly never stopped us before, but the point still stands. One good thing you could say about mines, though, is that humans and small animals are typically the only living things down there, which makes them typically less likely of a location to get murdered.
Dean was on a lunch break, sitting down on one of the many rocks to eat his meal, as do many aficionados of bagged lunches. Today was an ordinary day, all things considered. A few coworkers were missing, but the higher-ups had assured the workers that there wasn't any problem and rushed them back to mining.
While he was chewing the first few bites of his tuna sandwich, Dean noticed something odd about the rock wall he had been chipping away at, specifically that there was a large crack down the center of it, just large enough for the average person to fit through. He put down his sandwich and walked over to the wall to examine this new anomaly, grabbing his pickaxe just in case.
He looked over the crack for a while, and finding nothing else very odd about it, decided to enter it and see if it led anywhere. The crack led to a passageway that got thinner and thinner, eventually forcing him to turn sideways to continue onwards. The passageway stretched out for longer than seemed possible, but just as Dean was about to give up and turn back, he felt a small breeze coming from the other side of the hole.
'An air flow?' He thought, pausing for a moment to confirm the out of place phenomena. 'That means there should be a decently large cave on the other side of this thing! Just wait till I tell the other guys about this!'
Dean continued inching down the tight passageway, intent on finding the source of that breeze. As he got closer, he started to smell something odd in the air, though it was difficult to place exactly what it was. After a few minutes, the smell suddenly became much stronger, and Dean froze as he recognized the putrid smell of rotting flesh on the wind.
'You know what? This was probably a bad idea. I think I should head back. Preferably very, very quickly.'
As he tried to move back in the direction he came, he found he was unable to continue after a few feet, as the rock seemed to have closed in on itself.
"Okay, Dean," He muttered to himself, "There's probably a very good explanation for this. Preferably one that's very easily fixable, because I am seriously starting to get a chink in my neck."
Dean felt a shiver go down his back, as the temperature seemed to be dropping. A growing sense of dread festered inside his stomach, rendering him immobile with fear. There was a silent pause in the darkness, until there was a sudden scraping of rock against rock. Heavy, raspy breathing started to be heard from further down the passage, starting out quietly, but growing louder as scraping sounds indicated the approach of...something.
Dean frantically pushed against the rock blocking his passage, but to no avail. The breathing and scraping suddenly stopped, and Dean froze once again. He slowly turned his head towards where the noise had been coming from. For a few seconds, nothing seemed to be there, which helped relax the terrified Dean. He let out a tiny sigh of relief, and almost immediately, two red orbs flew open from in the darkness, and the heavy breathing started again, this time seemingly right next to him.
Dean's scream was cut very short.
"Man, humans are messed up."
Tech, Aquadilus, and Alvono were all in the back room of the shop. Aquadilus was reading a newspaper, Alvono was on the internet, and Tech was simply sitting in thought.
"Oh, really? And just what makes you say that?"
Alvono turned to Tech and gave him a flat expression.
"Pretty much everything I've read so far. You guys sure are effective hunters for not having any special abilities."
"Well now, that's hardly true. One of humanity's defining traits is the ability to adapt to any situation and then murder the crap out of it."
"Yeah, I've noticed."
Tech raised his right hand in the air, keeping his bored expression and forming a half-done 'rock on' symbol.
"Number one predator on the planet, baby." He said half-heartedly. "Woo."
Aquadilus looked over his newspaper at Tech.
"You know, for such effective predators, you don't seem to have a very good survival rate underground."
Tech raised an eyebrow.
"What are you talking about?"
Aquadilus waved Tech over, then flipped his newspaper around and showed him the headline story.
"Fifth Disappearance In Major Mining Operation?" He read. He glanced at Aquadilus, then looked back down at the newspaper.
"According to reports from the workers at the Shielbasa Iron Mine in northern Utah, several members of the mining crew have dissappeared throughout the last few weeks, putting workers on edge. The official statement from the company on the matter says that there's nothing to be worried about, and that the mining will continue as planned and holy crap how has no one investigated these people?!"
Aquadilus folded up the newspaper and shoved it into a drawer under his desk.
"Well, if you had read the rest of the story, you would have found out the company claims the missing workers probably just quit or something. Sounds fishy enough right there, but further attempts at interviewing the people in charge has made it clear they really do not want to talk about the issue. Think we should investigate?"
"And by 'we', I presume you mean me and Alvono."
"Screw off, but also, you bet your ass we should."
Tech walked further into the mine, activating his night vision goggles as the area got darker.
"You sure nobody's going to see us down here?" Alvono asked, currently fused with the Pyronaut blade, which Tech had set in a makeshift sheath.
"Positive." Tech replied, carefully scanning the area with a pair of night-vision goggles. "Nobody in their right minds would be down here at night."
"Then why are we here?"
"I thought we had previously established that I have issues." Tech peeked around a corner in the path, ensuring the lack of any unsavory visitors before continuing. "You're here because I'm paying you."
"Ah, but of course."
Tech continued walking down the mineshaft, scanning the walls for anything suspicious. As he rounded another corner, he saw a large crack in one of the walls, just large enough for him to fit through. He approached the crack warily and ran his hand down one of its sides.
"That's...odd." Tech muttered.
"What is it?"
"This crack is...new."
"Well, we ARE in a mine, you know. Maybe someone smashed it out earlier today."
"No, I mean brand new. As in we should have heard this opening not five minutes ago."
"Oh. Think we should investigate?"
Suddenly, a horrible screeching noise, somewhere between a howl and a scream, burst out from the crack in the wall, startling Tech and making him jump.
"Well, in answer to the above question, I believe the proper answer would be a solid 'hell no'. However, since we are both, quite frankly, idiots..."
Tech started walking into the crack in the wall, turning his goggles up to their highest setting.
The passage got tighter and tighter as it went on, eventually forcing Tech to walk sideways.
"Okay, this is getting a bit too cramped for comfort." He noted. "Let's see if I can't fix that."
Tech managed worm his left arm in front of him and use the SpecTrix dial. He transformed into Sandrill and continued down the passageway as a stream of sand, easily making his way through the confined space. A small breeze appeared as he got further and further down the passage, though he didn't really take much notice.
The breeze slowly grew stronger and stronger until he finally reached a large cavern at the end of the passageway, where the breeze suddenly stopped. He detransformed and instantly got hit by the strong stench of rotten flesh.
"Gah, what is that?!" He exclaimed, pinching his nose.
"What is what?" Alvono asked.
"Oh." Alvono tsked. "I don't really have a nose, so I didn't notice."
"Fair enough. Let's just see if we can figure out where it's coming from."
Tech looked around the cavern they had stepped into. There wasn't really anything notable about it, save for its size. He noticed a large passageway in one of the walls and walked over to the entrance. A cold feeling of dread washed over him as he approached the passage, stopping him in his tracks.
"Tech? What's up? Your hair is standing on end."
"I'm...not sure, actually. This tunnel just feels...wrong somehow."
"What, are you psychic all of a sudden?" Alvono joked.
"Bite me." Tech snapped. "I just get a seriously bad feeling looking down this tunnel."
"But you're going to go ahead and start exploring anyway, aren't you?"
Tech steeled himself up and walked into the tunnel, hoping against hope that he was simply being paranoid.
Despite seeming fairly straight from the entrance, the tunnel Tech had entered ended up having quite a few twists, turns, and branching paths to it, and was a very easy place to get lost in if one wasn't careful. Tech continued as straight ahead as possible, and whenever he got to a branching path, he simply went down the one he felt as if he needed to get far, far away from the most. There were scuffling noises, rocks scraping aginst rocks, and the occasional unidentifiable cry from somewhere in the distance, giving an even more disturbing atmosphere to the seemingly lifeless path.
Tech walked quickly, hoping to find out what had been happening down here and then leave as fast as humanly possible. After a while of walking fairly unhindered, only hitting the occasional rock, he suddenly noticed that the floor had become a whole lot...stickier. He looked down to find himself walking through a large, red puddle. He knelt down closer to the floor to examine it.
"Well, that's definitely not punch..." He muttered.
He stood up and pressed the 'Call' button on the SpecTrix, selecting 'Base' on his contacts list. As soon as the SpecTrix beeped, he started talking.
"Hey, Aquadilus, I found some sort of...blood puddle or something. I'm going to need you to run a few scans on it. There aren't any other remains or anything in the area, but..." He said, taking notice of the trail of blood leading away from the other side of the puddle. "...it looks like something got dragged through it."
There was no reply from Aqaudilus, and Tech looked over at the screen to see...
"No signal?!" He yelled in frustration. "This thing is supposed to be able to pick up messages from the other side of the galaxy, but down here in some stupid cave system is where it loses communication?!"
"Calm down, Tech." Alvono said cooly. "You want me to upgrade that for you and see if it helps?"
"No, no, it's fine. I want you upgrading that sword right now. I have a feeling we're going to need it."
"Not a bad idea."
Tech started walking down the path again, trying not to think about where exactly the puddle came from.
After a while of walking in darkness, Tech started to ponder a few things. Where exactly was he? What time was it? Why wasn't he in bed? Was this a dream? Or just an oddly blurry reality?
Tech felt his eyes getting heavy, but forced them open and continued dragging himself down the tunnel. He started wobbling as he walked, and almost decided to just sit down and get some sleep, before being jolted awake by another horrible screech coming from further ahead in the passageway. He quickly drew the Pyronaut Blade, waking up the sleeping Alvono.
"Ugh...what is it, Tech?" He asked sleepily.
"That screech we heard earlier? I just heard it again. Much, much closer."
"Oh. That could be a problem."
There was a sound of rock scraping against rock, followed by the sound of something shuffling in Tech's directon. Tech shifted into a battle stance, keeping a hand hovering over the SpecTrix dial. Heavy, raspy breathing started to become audible near Tech's location.
The breathing and shuffling got closer and closer, the sense of dread in Tech's chest growing stronger as they did. A large figure could be seen approaching, walking unnaturally with joints seemingly bent the wrong way and bones snapping every time it stumbled forward.
Tech found himself unable to move as the thing made its way into his field of view. The first thing he saw was an exposed skull, resembling that of an elk, with only a few muscles connecting it to the neck of the creature. Two glowing red orbs floated in the otherwise empty spaces where its eyes should have been, and its canines were frighteningly long.
As the rest of creature came into view, it became clear that it was built for fast hunting. It had unnervingly long, thin arms that dangled limply from its torso. Claws like scythes were haphazardly attatched to the end of its arms, and its legs were bent in two places, similarly to a dog's.
It approched Tech slowly and deliberately, raising its right arm to strike. Tech snapped out of his stupor and dodged off to the right, barely getting out of the way in time.
The claw grazed his left arm, slashing a long, shallow cut in it. Tech responded by quickly swinging his arm around and slamming the SpecTrix dial, transforming into Heatjet and startling the creature. It stepped back, blinded by the sudden light and heat. Tech took the opportunity to shoot a huge stream of fire at the creature, engulfing it in flame. The smell of burning hair filled the area, and the creature screeched in surprise.
Unfortunately, the fire seemed to have no further effect on the creature, which simply took a few seconds to recover from shock, then ran forward and slashed at Tech again. Tech dodged backwards and transformed into Magmator, generating a large stream of lava that, while it didn't harm the creature, slowed it down considerably.
Tech took the opportunity to turn into Terminano and start running back the way he came. While the run back wasn't nearly as long now that he was traveling at high speed, the rocks on the floor were hard to dodge while moving fast, making him trip fairly often. At this point, the creature had begun to catch up with him, as he could hear it barreling down the tunnels.
As he he ran into the large cavern he had entered the tunnel system from, he found that the entrance to the crack had been closed up. Panicking, he ran frantically around the room, searching high and low for an escape point. The creature was getting closer, and Tech had a sneaking suspicion it would be able to crush the metal Terminano was composed of far too easily.
Tech paused in the spot where the crack used to be and started thinking. There was really only one form that could make a way out in time, but previous experience had taught him that, if used incorrectly, the form would most likely cause much worse damage than it could fix. Still, he was running out of time, and at this point, trapping the creature under a huge cave-in seemed like a perfectly acceptable option anyways.
Tech twisted the dial of the SpecTrix, slamming it down and transforming into Rockoustic. With the creature closing in, he frantically pinpointed the exact location to strike, then let loose a punch that could easily shatter mountains. However, the pressure point Tech had hit, combined with the angle of the strike, simply blasted a wave of destruction through tonnes of solid rock, forming a large tunnel to the mineshaft he had entered from.
He transformed back into Terminano and raced down the newly opened passageway, which had already started to close in on itself, as if the Earth itself wanted to seal this abomination in. He got out of the passageway well before it closed, but could hear the creature close on his tail. He ran into the large, cavernous main section of the mine, and quickly mad his way over to the exit passage.
Right before he could run out, however, he turned back around and contemplated his situation. He had inadvertently released that thing, and who was to say it would stay in the mine? Fire and lava certainly didn't seem to do anything to it, and he doubted any sort of conventional weapon would have much of an effect on it, either. He had to finish this here and now, or the resulting casulties would insane. But how?
Tech was interrupted from his musings by the creeching fo the creature as it entered the main room. Tech suddenly felt a lot more vulnerable as he realized he was the only thing between this monster and the outside world. He hurriedly grabbed at the SpecTrix dial, sending it into a fast spin that made it impossible to see what he would end up as. Running out of time, he slammed down on the dial, transforming into a large plant alien he had never used before.
'Okay, I can work with this.' Tech thought to himself. 'Granted, I'm not sure exactly what 'this' is, but I'm like two stories tall, so that should help things a bit.
If the creature was at all bothered by it's opponent's sudden change in size, it certainly didn't show it, continuing to rush for its prey on all fours. It pounced up in the air, preparing another blow-
-Only to be immediately grabbed by Tech's huge maw. Once he had a hold of the creature, he started thrashing it around, slamming it into the walls, ceiling, and floor as hard as he could, snapping bones and crushing rock. He finally threw away his injured opponent, which hit the ground hard a few hundred yards away. The creature got up, seemingly unfazed by the vicious attack, and shot forward at Tech once again.
This time, Tech unraveled the vines composing his body and arms, tensing up and waiting for the thing to get in range. Just as it got in striking sdistance, he snapped his vines back together, grabbing creature and violently crushing it in his chest. More bones snapped, though the sound seemed to be more than superficial this time, as the creature screeched out in pain. Tech swiftly applied further force to the creature, causing more snapping to be heard, and the creature let out another, far weaker screech.
"Huh? What?" Alvono finally woke up from his doze, awoken by the commotion. "What's going on?"
Tech didn't answer, but instead loosened his grip on the trapped creature, then grabbed it tightly again with his arm. He tossed it up in the air and snapped at it with his huge jaws, snatching it as it fell. His jaws snapped shut incredibly quickly, causing a large *CRUNCH* to ring through the area. This time, there was no screech to accompany it.
The mine was now silent.
Tech opened the door into the back of the base, dumping a ridiculous number of mints into his throat. Aquadilus looked up from his newpaper with an eyebrow raised.
"The hell are you doing?"
Tech raised his index finger, indicating Aquadilus to wait as he dumped the last of the mints into his mouth, chewed as quickly as possible, and then swallowed. He let out a large sigh, and then plopped down in his chair.
"I was trying to get that taste out of my mouth." Tech explained, with a sour look on his face. "Fifteen minutes of brushing my teeth and around 52 breath mints later, and it still hasn't worked!"
"Well, maybe you should've thought of that before turning into a specifically predatory form."
"I didn't even know I had that form unlocked! Besides, it isn't like Alvono was of any help!"
"Hey!" Alvono yelled from his seat at the computer. "Some of us need beauty sleep to keep up our winning complexions! Is that so wrong?!"
Tech simply responded by giving Alvono a hard glare. Aquadilus rolled his eyes and flipped his newspaper over, showing it to Tech.
"Well, it looks like you certainly left an impression on the place." Aquadilus said. "And by 'impression' I mean one big mess."
Tech got up and walked over to the newspaper, which showed a picture of the area he fought the creature in with all its thoroughly wrecked glory.
"Okay, so maybe I went a bit overboard, but what did you want me to do?" Tech snapped. "That thing was practically unstoppable!"
Aquadilus sighed and flipped the newspaper back over.
"Oh, I understand, but the people running the mine are outraged, claiming it was probably the work of some vandal and then proceeding to rant about 'kids these days'." Aquadilus tsked. "How they assumed a vandal took chunks out of solid rock on the floor, walls, and ceiling is a mystery to me, but these people didn't seem terribly bright to begin with."
Tech walked over to his chair and flopped back down onto it.
"Man, I don't even care anymore." He grumbled. "I'm just glad I never have to deal with that thing, and hopefully anything like it, ever again."
Though the tunnels had received extensive damage thanks to a cave-in caused by Tech as Rockoustic, there was still one clearing in particular that was still standing, completely unharmed. The creature living in the tunnels had made extra sure to secure this clearing above all others, ensuring it's precious contents would remain safe.
A large mound of human remains lay in the center of the room, weaved into a circular pattern of bones, clothes, and a nametag that read 'Dean'. Inside the middle of this mound was a hole, hollowed out and partially filled with blood. The contents of the hole were very interesting indeed. Smooth, white, and oval-shaped with a taper, it was clear that these were eggs.
A small scuffling noise could be heard in the silence, and one of the eggs began to crack.
- The Creature