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|Hell on Earth|
|Season 1, Episode 3|
The Last Stand, Part 1
I make my way through the lifeless area of the Ectonurite Compound as Drillbit, burrowing underneath. From the occasional peeks above the dirt, it looks well-furbished for a murderer's hideout. The corridors are covered with white panels and some kind of lights are placed along the ceiling. Probably made so that they wouldn't damage the Ectonurites, but provide illumination nonetheless. I find my way back into the room where I was ambushed originally, looking around before I burrow up to ensure it doesn't happen again.
Once fully inside, I press down on the Omnitrix, reverting myself. Last time I was here - aside from getting attacked - there were monitors showing images too fast to make out. An idea comes to me and I turn into the electric alien, throwing bolts at the monitor. It slows down like I expected it to, and I can see a humanoid creature, shrouded in shadow. It then cuts out and sends an alarm through the building, making Ectonurites fly through the walls instantly. I try to fire bolts of electricity at them, but it redirects into the centre of the room and I turn back.
"Krueger and Voorheeves that you would be here, so they took the liberty of creating a machine that would stop your lightning from hurting anyone." One says before they all fly forward. I take one last glance at the screens before pushing down the Omnitrix dial.
Everything goes black.
Something looks up at the Ectonurites and they freeze. "W-w-well hello. Sydney is off sick so I will be your host today. Would you like the instant death or the-the-the-"
It holds its finger up. A bright light. The Ectonurite's bones fall to the floor. I try to move but I can't. The transformation is in control.
"Surprise! Bonemeal, it's good for plants-and you know a plant here...ASPARAGUS." It unleashes a slower flash so that I can see that it's an explosion. A few Ectonurites are enveloped and don't come out.
"See? I'm asparagus no wait that's wrong, I'm Mr. Opposite! The opposite of sanity! Let's dance." Mr. Opposite spins around and explosions come from his step. Most of the Ectonurites that survive start to back away, but Mr. Opposite grabs one by the head and pulls it toward him. "I always wondered what weird world was waiting in a ghosties' body. Boo!" It sticks its arm down the Ectonurite's throat. "Ooh, tingly, I love this. So much I can do this." I feel him create a bubble of antimatter and snap the Ectonurite's mouth shut. "Next time you chatterbox, you go firework! I love fireworks, have you heard of the legend that a guy tried to blow up a place with fireworks! Love him as much as I love ASPARAGUS BANANA!"
The Ectonurite is about to phase through a wall when Mr. Opposite walks over to it. "This is your doctor speaking please open your mouth." It flicks the Ectonurite's mouth open and a giant explosion comes shooting out of it, making the entire left wall crumble. "Calm down Fawkes." A familiar beeping sounds from the Omnitrix, signaling Mr. Opposite's leave. "See ya! You were all a lovely crowd!" The darkness disappears and I turn back.
After I've ensured that I have control over my body again, I walk over to the gaping hole in the wall that Mr. Opposite destroyed. Wait, hole? Mr. Opposite left none of the wall standing. I look closer and see the white chips growing and repairing themselves. A self-fixing wall. Before it fully closes up, I jump through and the repair rate speeds up as if the wall itself sensed my presence.
There's absolute darkness in the room, even before the wall closes up completely. I can't see anything, not even my own hands in front of me. A female voice comes from my left, too quiet for me to hear what she says, and something that looks like glitter is thrown in my face. "What the..." My body becomes heavy and I consciousness drifts away.
When I wake up I hear voices and keep my eyes shut, but they're too perceptive. "Hey. You don't need to hide from us. We're the good guys here." A deep male voice says. It doesn't sound like an Ectonurite, so I open my eyes to see something strange.
The man looks human, but his skin is rocky and flames come out of cracks on it, mildly illuminating the otherwise pitch black area. He's wearing a black shirt, which matches his eyes - completely black without pupils.
There's another man on his left, younger, almost teenage even. His skin is brown and his eyes are like a lizard's. He has three elongated fingers on each hand but no nails.
On the first man's right, there's a happy-looking woman with vibrant, bubblegum-blue hair and blue eyes to match. She looks even younger than the second man, and my gaze stays on her longer than the other two.
"My name is Rob." The one with the rocky skin says. "That's Matthew." He gestures to the other man. "And that's Isobel." He points to the blue-haired girl. "We were put in here against our will by those wicked ghosts like you were."
"Actually..." I sit up, "I came in here by choice. You knocked me out against my will."
"Oh. In that case, you won't be getting out anytime soon. The wall is everything but unbreakable and repairs itself even if you can crack it. How did you even get in here? Was it that blue watch of yours?" I look down at the Omnitrix. It's recharged.
"Yes, and I can use it to get out again." I say, and start walking.
However, it only takes going out of Rob's flame's illumination to land me in darkness. "It's a device made by the Ectonurites." Rob's voice comes from behind me and I start walking that way. "Almost no light created can penetrate it. Mine is one of the rare exceptions."
"I guess you could say it keeps us in the dark." It's Isobel's turn to speak, "In all seriousness, I've been stuck here for 2 years, Matthew's been here for 7 and I don't know how long Rob's been here, but none of us have escaped. There is no escape."
"Why don't the Ectonurites just kill you?" I ask.
"You seem to think that all they do is kill. That's stupid. If they killed everything they saw then how did you end up here? They're smarter than you think; I didn't get these by accident." Before I can ask, she turns around to show wings on her back. Fairy wings. "Before you ask, no I can't fly, though I can hover if I try hard enough." She lifts into the air I stare at her, entranced.
"Back to the point..." Rob's voice snaps me back into reality. "Behave, and they might let you choose your species to be fused with. I got Pyronite, Matthew got Ornithis but Isobel chose to be a Nemunia."
"Why would they fuse you with alien DNA, wouldn't that just make you stronger?" I ask.
"We don't know the full extent of their plans, but you might've accelerated them." Rob pointed at me.
I'm taken aback by this. "What?! How?!"
"Before you came along, the Ectonurites were using scraps of DNA they found from previous species' visitations - but now, with your watch - they have all of the DNA that they like!" He turned away.
I had never thought about this. What happened when Krueger slashed the Omnitrix? He couldn't have done it just to hurt me; the attack was aimed directly at it. It's my fault the Ectonurites can continue with their plan; they captured me, tricked me, manipulated me for that.
I'm escaping. I'm leaving at the first chance I get. The longer I stay, the more the enemy can use me. I flick through the Omnitrix holograms, seeing various forms. Some of which I've given names to (to help identify them better), some I haven't and some I don't know at all. I settle on one that looks like a beetle with a star on its back and push the dial down.
When the green light fades, a blue light immediately takes its place, and look around to find its source. The light shifts with me and I realise that it's coming from me. The star on my back is glowing; perfect to penetrate the thick darkness ahead. Rob has gone back to talking with Isobel - Matthew nowhere to be seen - so I start scuttling forward.
As soon as I enter it, the darkness swallows up my light, but I don't stop, occasionally reach in front of me to ensure I don't hit anything. After a short while, I feel something. Metal, but not big enough to be a wall. I feel the pattern, and realise that it's a chain.
One of the things that we were taught back at base is that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and if you find that, you can break it. So I feel up and down until I hear a metallic snap. I wait to see what happens.
Growling. Quiet at first, but getting louder. I take a step back. What did I do? Once the growling has reached its crescendo, it's replaced by barking, and something jumps at me. It's only when its right on top of me that I can see its face.
Tusked, with a wide mouth and vaguely human eyes. I kick out and it disappears into the dark again. I start running and turn back out of the beetle form. The growls and barks are ever-consistent no matter what I do, so I turn the watch blindly and press it down.
I still can't see what I am, but I feel taller and yet slower. Something glimmers in my hand, enough to penetrate the darkness, and I instinctively make it grow until it forms a screen in front of me. The creature crashes against but it doesn't leave any mark; not even a scratch.
I hear voices and stick my head forward. I can see Rob and Isobel still talking and Matthew moving his hands in a way that looks like Sign Language. Matthew glances at me so I pull my head back but continue to listen to the voices.
"When will they do it? We can't deceive her for much longer." Isobel's voice.
"Whenever. We've stayed here this long, we can wait a little longer." Rob.
"I'm not worried about us, I'm worried about our pet. His species are only designed to hold darkness fields for six months at most. It's been years."
"It holds up, doesn't it? As long as its slumber isn't disturbed, we're fine. And even if it fails, we can tell the girl that we managed to deactivate the device or something. She's as gullible as they get."
"It makes you wonder what exactly the ghosts upstairs want to do with her. I have a feeling that watch has something to do with it, and hopefully with purifying us.." A silence follows, only broken by the faint bangs against my barrier, and then Isobel speaks again. "Matthew, please write it down. Ever since our Pisciss Volann guy died we can't understand your sign language." Another silence follows and this time Rob fills it.
"We know that the girl is gone, we wouldn't be careless enough to talk about this in front of her. It's probably one of her stupid 'I can escape plans'."
At that moment I hear a cracking sound. There are shards of my barrier broken off. Another crack, and there's a small hole. "Oh c-" The barrier breaks and sends me flying backward in front of Rob, Isobel and Matthew. "I think I released the Kraken."
The creature comes jumping at me with more accuracy than ever before and I quickly create a barrier to stop it from crushing my skull. Do I have a skull? I look at myself and see a tall pink thing that looks a lot like the coral and other sea-myths we were told about at base.
"Uhh..." I stare at Rob's angry face before he unleashes a stream of fire at both of us, driving the creature backward while turning some of my pink body white. I get up and fake-swing at Rob, creating a barrier around him last minute, finally managing a good look at his face. Oh.
Roberto Brand was the leader of the Crusaders before he went missing 10 years ago. Matthew Peters, pacifist and mute, went missing just 3 years later. And Isobel Kirie only went missing three years ago, along with her teammate, Neil Ackbar. These people used to be the good guys, but they were corrupted.
I make the barrier smaller, closing in around Rob and cutting off his oxygen, signified by the diminishing of his flames. I think about making one around Matthew, but he's just sitting there. Making the same signal with his hands while wearing a look that indicates what he's saying. I told you so.
Rob starts gasping for air and I look around for Isobel, and when I see her I expect a punch, only to be met with a kiss. I lose focus momentarily, but that's enough time for Rob to break out and punch. I'm dazed, so I turn back and try to pick another form, and settle on an icon of Bronzoon, what I decided to call the bell creature from before.
I press the dial down, and my arms expand and harden, turning into bronze. My eyes morph into one and my legs disappear, getting replaced by the bottom of a patterned bell. I hold my hands out. Nothing happens. I spin around and float but still, nothing happens. "Ugh!" Instead of coming out as talking, my voice comes out as a deep, resonate sound, making Rob wince. "Huh?" My vpice echoes again, and I begin humming, making Rob and Matthew double over and cry out, Rob's cracks expanding until his body looks more like a jigsaw puzzle than a person, and he falls to the floor, defeated.
Isobel swoops down from above and I barely dodge a spray of glitter. The next time she comes down I grab onto her wings and she smashes into the ground. I only feel a moment of guilt. I turn back and walk past Matthew and he looks annoyed but does nothing to stop me. The darkness has long since retracted (though the room is still dark due to lack of lighting) so I walk without worrying.
That was a mistake.
The creature jumps at me and I barely avoid getting my leg bitten off. Its tusks cut against my already burnt midsection and it stings badly. I hit the Omnitrix, but it doesn't respond; its normal blue replaced with a deep red. I scramble up and run, but the creature gives chase and keeps up easily. I reach the large walls and look back. I'm cornered. "Can we reason?" The creature responds by digging its tusks straight into my chest.
Waking up is supposed to make you drowsy. Obviously. Changing from one state of mind to another isn't instantaneous, and there'll always be something left behind.
This is why I'm not surprised when I feel drained after I wake up from Isobel's dream. What surprises me is that the feeling doesn't go away. In fact, it increases. I'm weaker and weaker and soon I feel like I can't move. I use the last annals of my strength to open my eyes and realise that I don't just feel like I'm being drained - I am being drained.
I'm in a room about twice the size of a cupboard and just as dark. Machinery surrounds me and I'm strapped to something that looks like a hospital bed. On my left arm, in place of the Omnitrix, there is a metal clamp, hooked up to what looks like a heart monitor. It's readings are labelled with 'Amount of energy', 'Heart rate' and 'Awake/Asleep'.
A fat Ectonurite burst in and checks me. It taps the clamp and nods to itself before it looks at me. "This may be scary, but you will be allowed to go free once the transfer is complete. Of course, this is just so that we can track down your base and-... I've said too much, haven't I? I always say too much. It's like a curse like I might even tell you that our plan is to mutate ourselves to get through defense field and fully colonise the planet. But-wait... FOR ORION'S SAKE!" He looks at the monitor again and unplugs the tube connecting to the clamp. "I'll just let everything slip, like, we're supposed to keep a reputation of fearsome, bloody overlords but half of us can't even fight. Sure, we could injure a defenseless human, but I couldn't beat an armoured one. Even now, I'm just chattering on like a, what is it, carrot. The others always make fun of me, they call me Chuck the gossip truck. Chuck isn't even a scary name like Krueger or Voorheeves." Chuck undoes the strap holding me down and cuffs my hands, taking me out of the bed. "In exchange for not killing you, can you tell me when I'm about to say something spoilery?" I nod and we turn intangible to go outside.
Rob, a flame in his hand, is walking angrily toward Isobel and Matthew. "You little traitor! You didn't help AT ALL in that damn fight! Just because you're a pacifist doesn't mean you couldn't have stood in front of them or something!" A small voice in the back of my mind wants to help. Matthew signs something but Rob just turns to Isobel. "And as for YOU! You call that a good job? You could've spritzed her with that sleepy-eye dust at any time but you chose to do it after she found about us?! And what kind of method was that? That was a half-assed job on the most important job we've had in years!"
Isobel replied calmly, "Anything else and she would've been suspicious."
"She was suspicious the moment she heard of our plans!" Rob snapped.
"...of it being a dream. Please, Roberto, you pretended to keep your temper with Sydney, you can pretend to keep it some more."
Rob threw the fireball and Isobel barely got out of the way. The voice in my head grew louder and I jumped forward, much to Chuck's ever-talking surprise. "Leave them alone!"
Rob looked at me, incredulous. "Don't interfere. This matter is between me and those two." He growled. "And you're not even able to stop me; you're shackled."
"No, but I can provide a decent distraction."
"A-" Rob is hit in the face with a handful of glitter and falls to the ground.
Isobel looks at me. "Thanks, but we're scheduled to be killed anyway. We were promised freedom and cake, but both of them were lies."
"You can come with me." I blurt out, immediately wishing I hadn't. "There's safety where I am, and I can't let any who's good get treated like this." Yes, I can. I don't care about death, I don't make connections, I don't care about anyone.
But I do. I got depressed when my father was taken by the Ectonurites, and I would do anything for Hannah. What I'm telling myself is a lie; I don't care about the Ectonurites, but they've been such a large part of my life that I've mixed them with the people that matter. These people, however evil, were also taken prisoner by the driving force of all of our sorrow. They were probably forced into becoming like this with lies, the same thing that got me here.
I am Sydney Armidale, and I will not let these people die.
Matthew grabs my shackles and clamp and starts moving his hands faster than I can see. They fall to the floor, next to a dazed Chuck.
"Hey, you can't do that, because that girl is a prisoner. I think. I can check the rules, I just need to ask someone else. But it's Sunday, so a lot of people leave work early, so maybe I should just call Voorheeves. Or Krueger. I could call Myers instead, though he might be busy getting mutated, but they're the only two I have in my contacts - I have no idea why." He finally noticed Matthew's puzzled expression. "Oh uh, can you understand me? Can people who use sign language only understand sign language? I'll try, because, after all, this is America, land of the free. In fact, this whole compound used to be a castle, one where a giant rat lived. I think. Maybe it was a duck...." I didn't need to tell Isobel to throw her glitter at him, and we watched the chatterbox go silent.
"We need a plan. I doubt the Ectonurites will let us waltz out of their clutches." I address my audience of two. They wait, expecting me to continue, but when I don't, Isobel steps forward.
"Actually, Matthew and I can walk most of the way - we're given free access mostly anywhere until our deaths. You just need to blend in." She nods to my watch and I look through it, resting on a silhouette that looks like it's made of paper. I press the dial and my body becomes thinner, and rough.
"So, how does this work?"
"Don't ask me. Matthew's the one with all the knowledge." Isobel shrugs. Matthew reaches forward and tears off my paper-arm, though it's next to painless. He digs into it with his fingers, creating torn words.
A Thep Khufan and stretch and retract its limbs and bend into any shape. Retract yours now. I stare at him, confused. How do I retract my limbs? I assume stretching is like reaching forward, but what's retracting? Reaching backward? He looks and understands my confusion, and so without warning he tears off a ton of my skin and rolls the remainder into a ball. A very uncomfortable ball.
"Hey!" I shout, but he's not done. He stuffs we into his pocket, and walks on pretending I'm not there.
The journey is just as exciting than I thought it would be - walking, a bit of assurance that we weren't trying to leave and absolute silence from me. People couldn't see me, but they could still hear me. When we reach the exit corridor, it's guarded by two Ectonurites wearing stone masks, presumably to prevent Isobel's dust from affecting them.
"Uh oh." I say, and they glare at us angrily.
"Trying to escape?" snapped one with enough of its second skin showing to look like a skeleton.
"No, sir. Just walking." Isobel calmly replied.
"Towards the exit?" Another one glared at her, one with protruding teeth out of its exposed skull. "Sure. This cannot go unreported, don't you think Lecter."
"Of course not Dahmer."
"We could report this to Krueger and Voorheeves."
"Or we could kill you ourselves."
Dahmer taps their mask and it shoots a web, surrounding me. I fidget, trying to get my arm free. For a second it seems like it's working, but I'm covered with another web. Isobel isn't doing too well either - Lecter is shooting a multi-colored beam through their mask at her, knocking her down. Matthew is... not here?
A large humming noise comes from behind me, and Matthew walks in, holding a big red button in his left hand, paper in his right. He holds up the first page. Make another move and I'll press this and destroy all of you. Isn't he a pacifist? Last time I checked, big red buttons didn't exactly give out kittens and hugs.
Nonetheless, they stop. Matthew turns the page. Step away from Isobel and Sydney. They do. Matthew walks up to us and grabs Isobel's hand while he puts his shoulder on me and turns the page again. Realise that you've been tricked and this will teleport us out of here. The duo lunge as he presses the button.
An image. It is barely visible, barely seen but it was an image nonetheless. It flickers, becomes clearer, sharper each time. When it had become solid, the world shakes and I fall off of a pedestal. Then Matthew, then Isobel hovers off with her wings. I try to ask where we are, but no sound comes out. Isobel also tries to say something, but it's silent. Unnervingly silent. Matthew shows us another piece of paper People won't be able to hear or see us for at least a few minutes, we just moved near to the speed of light. I give a shaky thumbs up, and throw up. That will happen too.
We make our way through the building, its dirty halls contrasting the clean tiles of the Ectonurite's Compound. However, it's only until I see people (their voices also seemingly disconnected) that I know where we are. Home. And if I'm home....
I rush forward, barely managing not to hit the people that stand around in the corridors. I look into every room until I see Hannah.
She's panicked and joined by a group of people who look the same way. She's saying the same word over and over again, but I don't know what it is until a sudden rush of sound fills the room. Thousands of words by thousands of people all said at the same time. But one stands out, one that continues after the others subside.
"Sydney!" Hannah shouts, "Where is she?!"
A man next to her speaks "We've been searching for a day. Maybe she just-"
"No. She wouldn't have. She teleported, and I meant to teleport with her but the circuit went dead and-"
"If she went to the surface, she's already dead."
"She can't be. She tells me everything so if she was she would've told me." I want to tell her that I'm right here, but I still can't talk. I reach out and touch her shirt, but the fabric tears and it creates a hole. Right, moving too fast.
Matthew and Isobel catch up to me. What was that? Matthew's latest sign reads, and I point to Hannah. He turns another page. That clarifies nothing. But this gives me an idea. I take his paper and pen and try to write, but it tears right through. How... These are all pre-made; you're just really predictable. I scowl at him, and start mouthing something offensive at him "...don't normally listen to a half-iguana." My voice stuns me and everyone else.
"Sydney! I just heard her!"
"Can we talk now?" Isobel asks and I just grunt, not wanting to reveal my voice. "Hello, we're invisible and we were un-hearable up until now. I don't know why, only the mute guy in our group does, but we teleported so it might be something to do with that."
"Is Sydney there?"
After a long silence, I finally say, "Yes. I'm here. We just teleported." Isobel starts to flicker, and appears, followed by Matthew and finally me. "Hey Hannah, you'll never guess where I've been."
She pulls me into a hug, "It's not time for hide and seek, silly." I don't pull away.
"We came directly from the Ectonurite Compound." Isobel's voice sounds from behind me, "They're planning to attack, something Big with a capital B."
"How do we know that you're not a spy?" Another voice, male, interrupts
"You came from the Ectonurites, so how do we know you aren't one of them?"
"Yes I'm totally a spy because they tell the enemy of their current situation, their plans, brings their otherwise left-for-dead child back unharmed and looks nothing like an Ectonurite." Isobel says, her voice dry and sarcastic.
"How did you get out then?"
"How did you get past the defenses?"
"We walked quietly. Have you ever watched or read Peter Pan? Good book and mostly good films, there are tons so I guarantee you'll find one that you like. Anyway, in them, there's this thing called pixie dust that can make you go up and fly. But my dust doesn't make you go up, it makes you go down." She hit the rude man in the face with her glitter and he dropped. "I would explain everything, but seeing as you don't trust me, I'll let Sydney handle this. Sydney? Sydney?"
I finally let go and look at the dozen-or-so people standing before me. "It's a long story. You remember Matthew Peters and Isobel Kirie? Crusaders gone missing? Here they are." Matthew and Isobel stay where they are, but the eyes turn to them. Matthew drops to the floor and puts his hand down. "What-" He kicks a sign towards us. The Ectonurites are planning an attack. Do you know when that is? All eyes stay fixed on him, but not for the same reason. He holds up a hand. Three, two, one...
A thunderous shaking starts throughout the room, no, the entire base. A large crash resonates from near us, and Hannah and I run to find the source. In a pile of dirt and rubble, there's something inhuman. Its skull blotched yellow, its right arm replaced with sharp claws and spinning like a drill. Its back is armoured and it overall seems like an inhumane mixture of Drillbit and an Ectonurite. They're here. The Ectonurites are here.
It lashes out with incredible agility, curling into a pinball shape, and Hannah can barely phase through it. It rebounds, its hand spinning and this time aims at me. I quickly twist the Omnitrix but its claws strike my forehead before I can transform, causing me to collapse, blood shooting from where we collided. I finally manage to press down the dial, and a green light covers his vision, hiding the enemy's location.
Once it fades, I can see the hybrid shooting towards Hannah. She phases, but at the last minute, it does too, striking her in the shoulder and ripping her shirt further. She cries out and I rush forward, swiping at the hybrid with my...paw? I analyse myself and notice that I'm somewhat a combination of a tiger and a person. I look at my hand, well, paw and try to create the claws that should be there if the anatomy was correct. They appear, and I slash at the hybrid with them, making it stumble back. I slash at it repeatedly until it morphs out of its curled shape. Hannah jumps forward and goes to punch it, but at the last second her arm turns intangible and goes into the Ectonurite. It solidifies when her fist is lodged directly into its skull, and it screams.
With the hybrid temporarily subdued, I run over to Hannah. Her shoulder is bleeding badly. "We need to get you to the medical wing," I tell her, looking around for materials to ebb the flow of the blood.
"Who are you? Where's Sydney?! Are you a spy? And anyway, these hybrids are all around the base; just look outside." She's right. There would be no way to get her medical attention without running into a hybrid. I consider the idea of trying to tend to her myself, and I feel energy flowing through me. It increases and increases until pink lighting comes shooting out of my fingertips, headed straight towards Hannah.
I try to move my hand, but it's too late, and the lightning spreads around her shoulder - where the wound is. But she doesn't seem to be in pain, quite the opposite, in fact. The lightning fades, and her shoulder is clear of blood, it's clear of anything. It looks as good as new, and Hannah moves it about to test. "So you help me, and then heal me? You're not a spy then."
"Of course not. I'm me."
"That explains nothing." I realise that nobody but Isobel and Matthew would know about the Omnitrix.
"This'll be a lot to take in, but..." I touch my head, healing the damage caused by the hybrid, and turn back into Sydney. Hannah jumps back in surprise.
"Sydney? You're...a were-tiger!"
"Actually..." I hold up the Omnitrix "I use this to transform into different forms with different abilities." I turn into the tiger form again - healing is a very useful ability - and see Hannah fumbling in her pockets for something.
She finally takes out a torch and ignites it. "I see what you're doing here, you think that the light trick that works on cats will work on me. Well, I'll play along for a bit, but we have more important things to do." I stare at the light and feel a compelling urge to touch it. It wouldn't be chasing it, and this would be my chance to find out why cats do it.
I jump forward but at the last second it moves away, so I try again. It moves again. This happens for a while before Hannah asks, "You having fun there?" I meow in response and go back to chasing the light until a scream snaps me back to my senses.
I run toward the person responsible and find Isobel backing away from two hybrids. But these two weren't infused with a drill, but the first one instead had a purplish-blue crystalline body. It was made up of smaller, sharp diamonds somehow stuck together, with two huge ones making up its arms. The second one is covered in a thick, red shell, a small set of pincers, like a crab, is on its grey face. "I've waited so long for this! You have no idea." The crystalline one shrieks and I remember hearing it before. A sinister, insane voice. Krueger.
"How many times have I told you to be quiet? You're apparently mentally scarred, but can you stop screaming?" I agree with Voorheeves.
"She betrayed us! She took our trust and snapped it!"
"So did we." Voorheeves pointed out.
"This doesn't matter! The girl is the one I want, she has the same device that left me stuck burning for years on end."
"This is getting ridiculous."
Krueger is about to retaliate when he sees Isobel, edging towards the exit. He breaks a crystal off of himself and lazily throws it at her, pinning her down through her leg. She screams, but Krueger ignores it and is about to go back to talking when I jump forward and slash at Voorheeves, splitting his shell in two and making water come pouring out. "Augh! That's unfair." Isobel shoots some glitter, but nothing happens. "We already told you, Tinkerbell, that stuff doesn't work on us."
Hannah runs up to Voorheeves, now using his left hand to channel the leaking water back into him, and tries the same trick she did with the drill Ectonurite and phases her hand into his head. But he spins around, and when it comes free, Hannah's hand is wet, and Voorheeves looks unaffected. "A pro of the species I combined with, I'm completely made out of water. This shell is unnatural but necessary for travel outside of water. Now, you'll give up and let me take the Omnitrix."
"Or?" I hiss.
"Or Krueger fires."
We look over to see Krueger's hand fashioned into a blade - pressing against Isobel's neck. "Don't do it." She manages to say before Krueger pushes deeper, still not enough to draw blood, but enough to make her stop talking.
"What's it gonna be?"
I turn back and
Isobel's lifeless body hits the floor.
Not a second later, I leap toward the exit, but Krueger fires a shard at the ceiling and that, combined with the drilling from before, caves in.
Hannah reaches out to me and I take her hand and become intangible just before the rocks and rubble crash through me. Voorheeves screams as his shell is hit more and more, leaking more water, until the same shard that Krueger used comes back down and sliced through his torso, making his liquid form come spilling out, unable to move.
We're about to reach the exit when Krueger cackles and disappears. Nothing happens for a second, but soon I feel a pulling on my jumper. "He's invisible!" I call to Hannah, but she's already figured it out. He continues pulling until I hastily take off my jumper and throw it in his direction. It stops mid-air, covering what I can only assume to be Krueger. I hope it hit him in the eye.
Hannah and I continue running and make it into the hall before two purple-blue crystals fly past me. Krueger emerges and fires another two, pinning me to the wall and hitting Hannah's leg, stopping her from moving. "Finally, I get to take that watch...do you know how long I've been waiting?" He snarls. I want to tell him to stop talking and that we heard this less than five minutes ago, but it's buying us time.
He continues monologuing and I think about all that has happened. I wonder if this is happening in underground bases all over the world. I wonder if there's someone fighting against them. I wonder if the Crusaders will come and help, or if they are already, in another area. Or if they've already been defeated. I'm so caught up in my own thoughts that I almost don't register Krueger turning into a puddle. Behind him stands a middle-aged woman with the same blue eyes as Hannah. "Mom?" Hannah asks, surprised. "What are you-"
"Saving you." She touches the crystals and they melt too. "I was born with a mutation that lets me change the states of matter of things. All of the states." She picks up a clod of dirt. "Liquid..." The dirt melts. "Gas..." The dirt evaporates into a brown gas. "Energy..." it flashes for a split second and disappears. "And other states that even I don't know about." She picks up another clod and throws it at me, but instead of hitting me, it passes through me. "That's the state that some species can assume voluntarily and that my daughter can control."
"So it's hereditary? Pass the parcel but the parcel is a genetic mutation? If my kids are puddles I'm blaming you."
"Look, this doesn't matter. We're planning to get everyone out safely and blow the whole area up. We’ve already placed motion bombs on important structures. As for all of your personal items, they’re being shipped off to a random location, which is where we’ll evacuate.”
"We can’t just leave here. We have to defend the base." I tell her.
"We already placed bombs on the equipment and our things are already moving. There’s no point. We’ve done this before many times."
"No offense, but putting bombs on important stuff isn’t exactly a great move."
I don’t have time to argue back, as rubble flies past us, coupled with a large rumbling. An explosion. We run away from where the explosion came from, but there’s a wall of rocks and rubble blocking our path. Hannah’s mom is about to move, but I stop her. “We can’t outrun an explosion, so we need to escape it.”
”Not to be rude, but what you just said makes no sense.” Hannah’s mom tells me.
”Have you been feeling sick lately?” Hannah jokingly offers.
”I know what I’m talking about.” I start cycling through the Omnitrix and press the dial down when I get to Purple Rain.
Mr. Opposite smiles.
“Did you really think diluted Goop could counter an explosion? Hang on, wrong Omnitrix user.”
”Sydney?” Hannah backs away.
”Gone, poof! Disappeared into the recesses of me. Recess is fun, you ever did that. Can’t have recess without school like a smile without a cat. Meow!” The rumbling gets louder and Mr. Opposite looks in its direction. “This measly contender can only explode forward, while the three-time champion, Mr. Opposite, can go up, down, left, right, wrong and it’s gonna be BIG!”
I realise what he’s about to do and try to scream, to warn Hannah and her mom, but they can’t hear me. I’m stuck in this void. Mr. Opposite holds out his hands. “I would charge up, but the moment I get out into the matter world, it’s game over right? Ever seen that episode?”
I brace myself,
close my eyes and