|No Watch, No Problem|
|Air Date||21/05/2018 (UK)|
|Timeline||No Watch Ben Timeline|
Spoiler Warning: This prequel was written between Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 of Ben 10: Reboot Revolution, and was intended to be read from the point of view of someone still waiting on Chapter 7. Reading this before Reboot Revolution may give away some plot elements.
No Watch Ben finds himself falling short during his Plumber training and weighs his options.
Ben rushes through the thick dark forest. His white armour is clearly visible, standing out against the shady green of his surroundings. In his arms he holds a cowering Velosabre child. He dodges branch and tree and log as he races to the edge of the forest. Out of nowhere, two murky green Florauna drop to the ground and block his path. Ben stops, unable to fight back with the child in his arms. He crouches slightly, preparing to dash if need be. He whispers to the crying child.
Ben: "Grab my gun."
Ben: "Only put your finger on the trigger if you're aiming to fire. I'm not asking you to kill anyone. I just need covering fire to gets us outta here."
The child carefully grabs the strap around Ben's chest and unclips it, pulling the gun from his back. Before the pair have a chance to act a hail of orange laser fire rains past them onto the Florauna. Surprised, the child drops Ben's rifle as the two assailants are torn to shreds by the attack. The Revonnahgander responsible arrives from behind Ben, holding her rifle carefully in both hands and wearing the same white armour. She stops firing for a second.
Revonnahgander: "Run! Go!"
Barely giving thought to his dropped weapon, Ben turns and runs back into the forest to find a safer way out. The two barely-standing Florauna begin to regenerate slowly before the Revonnahgander's second attack ensures they don't get the chance to recover. Before getting far their path is cut off yet again, this time by a hulking brown Appoplexian charging another Florauna into a tree. It sparks and begins to collapse. The tiger-like alien picks up the anthropomorphic plant and throws it at a tree behind Ben, who ducks to avoid it.
Ben: "AH! Teirr! You're supposed to be on our side!"
Teirr smirks before running off to find something else to punch. A lone Florauna emerges from inside a tree behind where the Appoplexian had been stood. And then a second emerges from another tree, followed by another and another. Ben hesitates. He knew there were enemies behind him, and now their were enemies in front as well. He had nowhere to run. His thoughts are cut off by one last interruption.
???: "Hit the deck!"
Three smouldering rocks fly overhead and drop onto the leaf litter in front of the Florauna.
Ben: "CAELIUS NO!"
Ben turns and drops to the floor, covering the Velosabre child with his body. The smoking rocks suddenly explode violently, severely burning the Florauna and launching rubble and dirt into the air. Some nearby trees begin to burn. Ben climbs back to his feet, his armour scratched but otherwise unscathed, and helps the little girl up as well. A short brown alien with orange lines running across their body emerges from their own hiding place among the trees. She is wearing the same white armour as the rest of them.
Caelius: "Sorry 'bout that. Gotcha outta that mess though didn' I?"
Ben: "We don't score points for bringing back a dead child!"
Ben dashes off once more, searching for a way out of this dangerous ocean of trees.
Caelius: "Wish we did. It'd give us an excuse to finally get rid 'a you."
Putting one foot in front of the other, Ben marches hastily towards the edge of the treeline. The bright light from the safe open space bleeds through the edge of the dense forest. At long last, he finally reaches it. The space around him is a bright white space devoid of detail. A loud overbearing voice interrupts Ben's relief of accomplishment.
Voice: "Objective secured. Simulation complete. Normalising."
The white fades and the forest disappears. Ben finds himself holding a metal endoskeleton - a robot that had previously been hiding beneath a holographic Velosabre disguise. He drops the now-limp doll and looks around. The three aliens that- as little as they showed it- were on his side were standing a few hundred metres back now holding their own limp robotic dolls, most of which had holes in. Standing among them as they walked back towards Ben was several Splixsons, which merged together as they approached the exit of the large, illusion-inducing room. The five stand side-by-side in a formal line as the large doors at the front of the room slide open.
The five white-clad trainees stand to attention.
A tall, maroon-skinned Vaxasaurian wearing the same, albeit modified, armour ducks under the doorway and enters the holodeck. He is followed by a grey-haired Max Tennyson, and a green-skinned humanoid alien with a black goatee and strange spiny crest running over the middle of his head. The green-skinned Plumber steps forward.
???: "Lady and Gentlemen. This is Magister Yew. He will be taking over your training from here on out."
Yew: "Thank you, Magister Coronach. Rookies, today is the first time I have seen your unit in action. Suffice to say, I am not impressed. What I have seen shows blatant disregard for protocol, safety of teammates, and communication. And on that last note, Rookie Tennyson, since you were the one who managed to secure the objective I'd like you to explain why there was no communication."
Ben: "Comms were down, sir."
Yew: "I see. And why is that?"
Ben: "I-I don't know, sir."
Yew cranes his neck to address Coronach.
Yew: "Was there a hidden challenge that required the trainees to have disabled comms without their knowledge?"
Coronach: "No sir."
Yew: "Magister Tennyson?"
Max: "First I've heard of it."
Yew: "Rookie Tennyson, let me look at your comms chip."
Ben reaches inside the neck piece of his Plumber armour and pulls out a small wafer of metal. He hands it to the massive Magister. Yew then gently pulls the device apart into two plate to reveal the device's guts, among which was an obviously disconnected wire. Yew proceeds to reconnect the wire and gives the device back to Ben. His teammates are smirking dumbly.
Yew: "And your equipment inspection earlier didn't uncover this easily fixed fault?"
Ben: "Well- I, uhh..."
Yew: "Or was there no inspection."
Ben didn't respond, but he could feel his heart sinking. All that effort just to be chewed out for basic protocol...
His teammates begin snickering.
Yew: "Silence! You there, Splixson! Now show me your comms chip!"
The four silenced immediately. The Splixson carefully pulls his comms chip out of the inside of his neck piece and gives it to Magister Yew, who proceeds to pull it apart in the same manner as previously. Unlike last time, however, there was no loose wire.
Yew: "Oh look, no faults."
Yew throws the device gently back to the Splixson, who catches it carefully. Yew stomps closer and towers over the already small alien.
Yew: "So would you kindly explain to me, Rookie Sohn, why you said sweet bugger all to your teammates for the entire duration of that exercise?"
Mito Sohn: "Well that's because uh... Because I... was all over the forest! Yeah, I was using myself to relay information physically between teammates in case our comm lines were hacked into by the enemy!"
Yew: "Hacked into? By training droids capable only of incredibly limited critical thinking and pre-programmed personality? Droids with no wireless capacity outside of their link to the holodeck itself? Droids that, as per your mission briefing, had no technology of any sort on them?"
The Splixson Mito Sohn pauses, completely silent, as he tries to think of another retort. Magister Yew shakes his head in disgust.
Yew: "Oh don't you dare. I can see the cogs turning in your head. Don't you dare come up with another justification for why you weren't using comms to communicate- that isn't my problem with you. My problem is that you didn't communicate at all!"
Mito continues to be silent, a look of panic hidden beneath his shocked expression. Ben was doing a good job at hiding his satisfaction at this turn out.
Yew: "In case nobody told you, any of you, we record EVERYTHING you Rookies say during training missions. Magister Coronach, if you'd please."
Coronach produces a small phone-like device from one of the pockets attached to his belt. He presses a few buttons, and audio begins to play. The Rookies, Ben excluded, can be heard saying 'good luck' to each other briefly, followed by the sound of leaves rummaging. Changes in ambient noises excluded, the audio remains silent for an embarrassingly long time. Eventually a relaxed groan can be heard, akin to someone relaxing after a hard days work.
Mito's face went bright red.
Coronach stops the playback.
Yew: "Did you all hear that? That's the sound of you five scrubbing the toilets for three hours first thing tomorrow. You ought to be ashamed"
Revonnahgander: "In his defence, sir, that only sounded like one of his clones relaxing. He could still have been actively contributing to the mission."
Yew puts his hand to his ear hole and leans condescendingly over to the female Rookie.
Yew: "Is that the lovely voice of Brana Merr I hear? Oh. No, sorry, my mistake. That was the sound of you five scrubbing toilets for the entirety of tomorrow. Dismissed. Get out of my sight."
Teirr growls aggressively under his breath as the squad leaves the oversized training holodeck. Yew stares down at the Appoplexian and he stops.
Ben and his squad mates are spread equidistant from each other in the clean white-tiled room. They strip the lightweight Plumber armour from their bodies, some more gracefully than others. Decency Projectors ensure that no one sees anything private that the others may not want seen. Ben keeps to himself as he changes from his clunky uniform back into his signature white-and-green hoodie. As much as his teammates hated him, the feeling was mutual, Ben knew he could take solace in the fact that their schemes to make him looks bad blew up in their faces just as much as they actually worked. Caelius looks over her shoulders with a devilish grin on her face.
Caelius: "Boy, that debrief sure woulda gone smoother if Ben hadn't been such as massive screw up."
Ben's already dull expression turned to an annoyed scowl, but he did not dignify the insult by turning around. He continued keeping to himself. All of his teammates were amused by the remark. The Revonnahgander decided to join in.
Brana: "Yep. I've said it before and I'll say it again. There's no such thing as a decent human Plumber."
Teirr, the Appoplexian, laughed loudly. Ben decided to join in as well, after all that was an insult to his Grandfather as well.
Ben: "Haha. Funny thing is; at least my species has actually produced a decent Plumber before, unlike any of your species. No Revonnahganders, Appoplexians, Splixsons, or Vesuviusapiens have ever been Magisters before. I wonder why that is?"
He was a little proud of that retort, not that he'd ever let on.
Caelius: "What was that? I couldn't hear you over the mud."
That response was so confusing it actually managed to make Ben turn around. He wished he hadn't, though, as he is met with a mud ball to the face courtesy of the spiteful Vesuviusapien. The rest of the room bursts into open laughter. They all walk past Ben on their way out, mocking him as they do. Brana is the last of the four to leave, stopping as she passes Ben.
Brana: "Do us all a favour, Ben. Don't show up tomorrow. Just drop out. Go away. Actually do something with your life instead of dragging us all down with you."
She walks away, leaving Ben alone in his black undersuit. Unlike his alternate-universe counterparts, this Ben was used to dealing with stress. Tears begin to roll down his face as he removes the undersuit before using it to wipe away the mud.
A quarter of an hour later, Ben walks out to the shuttle bay of the Plumber Academy. Many small shuttles move either way through the atmosphere shield holding the air in at the far end of the bay. Ben was one of the few Plumbers training here that would go home at the end of each day, as the Academy was only a few star systems away from Earth. He began walking towards his designated shuttle.
He stopped in his tracks. Max walked up to Ben from behind, and Ben turned to meet him.
Max: "Ben, we need to talk about earlier."
Ben: "We really don't."
Ben turns to walk away.
Max: "You need to buck your ideas up, Ben, or you'll never pass this academy!"
Ben: "That's implying I have any chance of passing with these teammates you've given me."
Max: "You can't blame your teammates for your own shortcomings, Ben."
Ben: "My shortcomings? They constantly mess with me, sabotaging my equipment, and convincing me of things that aren't true. Just ask Coronach."
Max: "That's Magister Coronach to you."
Ben: "I really don't care right now. What's the point of me being here if I spend more time trying to make sure I'm not being screwed with than actually learning to be a Plumber?"
Max: "We all have hardships, Ben, that's a part of being a Plumber."
Ben: "Oh you're not even listening to me! Plumbers should be able to depend on each other, instead everyone here is placing bets on whether I'll fail the end exams or drop out before I get that far!"
Max: "That isn't true-"
Ben: "Oh screw this. You aren't listening to me at all, you clearly don't care about me. I'm going home."
Max: "You need to learn some respect Ben!"
Ben: "I need to learn some respect?! What about the four dillweeds I have to work with?! I did everything right in that training exercise, but because someone decided to sabotage my comm piece and Mito decided that at least one of him could just laze around, I have to suffer!"
Max: "Calm down!"
Ben: "Or what? You'll tell my parents? Well maybe I should tell them what this 'summer job' of yours actually is! How'd you think they'd react if they knew I was working with aliens in hopes of becoming an inter-planetary police officer?! No. Instead they think I'm learning a trade skill. They think I fix pipes alongside my Grandfather, instead the only time I actually get to see you is when I'm being chewed out because my teammates are spiteful wastes of space that are perfectly happy to see me fail even at their own expense. I'm going home. I'll see you tomorrow."
Max briefly considers following him but stops himself. It was best to let Ben sulk in peace. Max turns to walk back to his office, but is stopped by a large mechanical figure. The figure hands him a brown envelope with 'Max Tennyson - CONFIDENTIAL' scrawled onto the front. Max looks down at the document and peers inside.
Max: "What is this? Who are you--"
He looks back up only for the figure to have vanished. He looks around and sees nothing. He decides to leave the document until he was alone. Confidential files were rarely supposed to be read in public.
The Earth shuttle arrived at the Bellwood base without incident. Ben crossed the street to the nearby bus station, and sat waiting. The next, and only, bus home would arrive in twenty minutes. He sat alone as a cold breeze rolled through. He mulled over the events of today, the events of tomorrow, and his future with the Plumbers -assuming he had one. He had been so happy when his Grandpa opened up to him about the Plumbers, when he was invited to join them and become the first human Plumber since the turn of the millennium.
Now he was filled with regret and dread. Regret for events he could not have changed and had no control over, and dread for a future that would never be fair to him. Would his Grandpa ever forgive him if he did drop out of the academy?
Ben heard a metal clunking behind him, like the sound of a trash can falling over. He peered over his shoulders to confirm that he was still alone, but instead sees a large dark figure behind him in the corner of his eye. He turns rapidly, stumbling out of his bench seat, to meet the figure.
???: "Relax, Ben."
The hooded figure spoke in a deep, calm, accented voice. The wide character covers its left side with a ragged cape. Its metal body is a dark blue.
???: "I really have no intention of fighting you."
Ben: "Sneaking up on me doesn't sound like good intentions to me. Who are you?"
???: "My name is Telos. I'm a Chronosapien. I believe you've met -no- you've been one of my kind before?"
Ben: "Clockwork. When I had the Omnitrix. What about it?"
Telos: "Ah yes. That was during the Eon Crisis was it not? My people watched that conflict unfold, sworn not to interfere. Speaking of the Omnitrix, though, there aren't many people that would willingly give away such power once it is bestowed upon them. Why did you?"
Ben: "I dunno. It wasn't mine to keep, I guess."
Telos: "How honourable of you. A true display of heroism, if you ask me. But what future waits for you now?"
Ben hesitates for a moment
Ben: "Well, I--"
Telos raises his hand in dismissal.
Telos: "A rhetorical question. I've been watching you, Ben Tennyson. I know what they've put you through."
Ben turns silently and sits back down on the bench, hunched over and looking straight down at the ground. Telos walks over to the side of the bench. He places his right hand on Ben's shoulder to comfort him.
Telos: "You deserve better than this. You've saved the multiverse! They should be grateful to get to train alongside you!"
Ben looks up suddenly at the alien and Telos withdraws his hand.
Ben: "Why are you here? What do you want from me?"
Telos: "Believe it or not I know how it feels. To work so hard to be a hero only to be treated like dirt for it."
Telos grasps the cape covering his left side with his right hand.
Telos: "I cannot change that about myself, but I can help you become the hero your counterparts are always destined to be. To that end I want to show you something called the Time Breaker Armour."
Ben: "Time Breaker? That doesn't sound evil at all..."
Telos: "Remember how I said my people didn't intervene? That's a pretty well-followed rule among my people. The Time Breaker Armour gives you incredible power, but on the understanding that the only people who would use it would equally be willing to break the laws of time in order to save lives. As such, it is forbidden technology among my people."
Ben: "So it's more like Law Breaker Armour?"
Telos laughs. Ben waits for him to stop.
Ben: "So what kind of power does the armour give you?"
Telos: "Incredible strength and durability, and the ability to slip out of space and into time. You'd be like a combat-ready version of Professor Paradox. But of course I'm not just going to give you this powers. I'll mentor you on how it should be used."
Ben: "And what does that mean?"
Telos: "Your first task: Your Plumber teammates are far too cruel and unbalanced to be Plumbers. Irrelevant of whether they intend to change or not, the Plumbers MUST be made aware of this so they do not put abusive and controlling Plumbers into positions of power during field training. I'm sure you are aware of how authority figures abusing their positions can be a bad thing?"
Ben: "Well I already told my Grandpa about them so I don't know what you want me to--"
Ben's phone starts to ring. He looks at the screen and sees a photo of his Grandfather looking back at him.
Ben: "hold on a minute."
He slides the green bar on the screen and holds the phone to his ear.
Ben: "What do you want?"
Max: "Ben I'm sorry."
Ben: "You- I- What?"
Several light-years away Max Tennyson sits in his office in the Plumber Academy. Papers are strewn across his desk intermittently broken up with pictures of Ben's four teammates. On his computer monitors are videos of the four violating the Plumber code in various creative ways, one of which is footage taken from the changing rooms not an hour ago.
Max: "I was wrong to doubt you. You're a good boy, I don't think I tell you that enough. You'll make a fine Plumber one day and it makes me proud to know you're my grandson."
Ben: "Wah? Grandpa, what is this about?"
Max: "I was given some... information, regarding your squad mates. I'm going to have your punishment tomorrow suspended. Those four aren't going to be a problem for you anymore. I love you Ben. I don't say that enough either, but I do. I'll see you tomorrow."
Ben glances over at Telos, who is smiling.
Ben: "I love you too."
He pulls the phone away from his ear and presses a red button on the screen before sliding the phone into his pocket, all while maintaining eye contact with Telos.
Ben: "Did you do that?"
Telos: "I didn't do anything."
Ben thinks for a moment.
Ben: "Alright. I want to do it! I want to be a hero! ...I don't really want to name myself after the armour though. Something like Time Fixer at least? I dunno, I'll work on it."
Telos: "Excellent! Excellent! We shall begin at once! After all, with power over time any other priorities can be dealt with at your leisure."
Telos steps away from the bench. The large key in his head spins and a blue portal opens up in the space a few metres behind Ben. Telos steps through, before Ben climbs over the bench to join him. He steps through, before finding himself in a dark murky corridor leading into a room full of sharp and dangerous-looking equipment. He looks back through the portal before it dissipates, leaving the bus station as empty as it had been before.
- No Watch Ben is acquired by Timekiller
- No Watch Ben's life post-Eon Crisis is shown for the first time.
- Ben Tennyson
- Plumber Training Droids
- Velosabre Child Disguise
- Florauna Disguise
- Brana Merr
- Mito Sohn
- Magister Yew
- Max Tennyson
- Magister Coronach
- This is the first story set in Earth-1010 to have a co-writer.
|Ben 10: Reboot Revolution|