This Does Not Expand Horizons
Attai, Shane, and Ryan once again sat at a table inside the fruit cafe. Attai and Shane held intact scripts while Ryan had accidentally burned half of his.
"Okay, since this is a Ben 10 fan fiction, first thing's first:" Shane cleared his throat. "Did the original version of Horizons actually tie the Omnitrix into the setting so heavily?"
"It didn't tie in at all, at least in the episodes that came out." Attai replied. "The original's only reference to Ben 10 were the powers people were getting, and it was really more of a technicality than anything."
"Huh." Shane sniffed.
"Hey, you remember how in the last .5 you said that the plot threads left hanging in the last episode would be resolved in the next episode?" Ryan interjected.
"Not exactly in that manner." Attai grumbled.
"Well, this episode just left more shit unresolved!" Ryan snapped. "What the hell?!"
"Yeah, what exactly was the point of foreshadowing Selene as a Hybrider in the last episode or establishing KafKo as being super shady in this episode?" Shane asked. "Neither of those got followed up on."
"The idea is to give the illusion that this version of Horizons is a world with a full extant show behind it instead of mostly being a cobbled-together remix of a deleted series." Attai tsked. "It's the only show being given a tribute that falls into that situation."
"What about Team Tennyson?" Shane pointed out. "That setting had to be mostly built up by this show too."
"Team Tennyson had absolutely nothing to its name and it was just another generic Ben 10 series with no overarching plot." Attai explained. "There was mo unique universe to try and set up."
"I guess that makes sense, but I still don't like it." Ryan pouted.
"Who knows, maybe there'll be a Project Deca: Horizons Gaiden at some point." Attai tsked. "I wouldn't count on it, though."
"Do we at least get to know why the hell the company at the center of all this is called 'KafKo'?" Ryan demanded.
"It's a reference to a scene in the second version of Horizons where Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis is brought up regarding the situation with people getting superpowers." Attai said. "There isn't a specific in-universe reason for it in the tribute."
"Well, whatever." Shane shrugged. "Moving on, let's talk about Professor Marcus. Was he in the original or not?"
"He wasn't." Attai replied. "The original Horizons never went on long enough to explain its world in any way or introduce a main villain. Professor Marcus was a 'kill two birds with one stone' kind of thing there."
"So why make him my dad here?" Ryan raised an eyebrow.
"That's a continuation of the Kamen Rider reference, actually." Attai coughed. "The 'Evil Dad' trope was fairly common in the Heisei era's Phase 2 shows."
"Seriously?" Ryan grunted. "Talk about flimsy reasoning..."
"I'm not sure what you were expecting." Attai rolled his eyes. "Anything else either of you want to bring up?"
"Yeah, actually, I was wondering about the whole 'Gamma Energy' thing." Shane spoke up. "What is it and why can the Hybrider belts interact with it?"
"Gamma Energy was the main 'gimmick' power source in Mig X, the series this version of Terox hails from." Attai explained. "It was originally referenced in the show as 'alien DNA', so that specific property ended up carrying over to Project Deca. That's part of the reason the Hybrider belts were conceptualized with the functionality they have, actually."
"The long con, huh?" Shane nodded. "Interesting."
"Stupid." Ryan muttered.
"Both." Attai tapped his fingers on the table.
"Oh yeah, is there any specific reason why Ryan is such an edgelord?" Shane asked.
"Hey!" Ryan snapped
"He's actually toned down in Project Deca compared to his original personality." Attai stated. "The original just straight-up had him beating the shit out of people in alleyways and threatening to kill a guy's mom while talking about how everyone is a pathetic worm who lives in a society."
"Dang." Shane whistled. "Someone really needs an anger management class."
"I DO NOT NEED AN ANGER MANAGEMENT CLASS!" Ryan yelled angrily.
"Maybe not this version of you, but I would still recommend therapy." Attai said. "If that's everything, I think we can go ahead and wrap this thing up. Act 3 starts in September, and this show is going to start entering the endgame."
"I bet a lot of people can't wait for it to be over." Ryan snarked.
"Now listen here you little shit-"
TO BE CONTINUED