|WARNING: PROFANITY FOLLOWS|
|The following content contains profanity that may not be suitable for readers of all ages. Please proceed with caution.|
|Season N/A, Episode N/A|
Libera Me From Hell
Secret Valentine is the twenty-seventh episode of Tech 10: Star Spirit, and was released as a Valentine's Day special. It takes place between Seasons 2 and 3.
“All of it...all of it needs to go.”
The armored figure of Sagittarius dragged himself around his motel room, pacing in a manner that can only be described as something similar to the result of drinking fifteen margaritas and washing it down with a can of lighter fluid.
“I’m not...” Sagittarius stumbled over his words as if he was slowly forgetting how to speak English. “I’m not done in this...this city yet.”
He stumbled his way over to the room’s dark wooden desk, resting his hands on the sides to help hold himself up. Lying in the middle of the worn-down wood was a stack of documents filled with line upon line of complex information.
“What’s...what’s happening to me?” He gasped, wobbling for a moment before catching himself. “I can’t give up now...I finally...finally found it.”
Sagittarius’s legs fell out from under him. He swiped at the desk in a desperate attempt to stay standing, but ultimately accomplished nothing other than knocking some of the papers off the stack.
“I found that damned energy Orion was after.” Sagittarius gasped, clutching at the armor covering his chest. “The energy...Libra died for. The energy he lost.”
Sagittarius clenched his fists and dragged himself to his knees with no small amount of shaking.
“Now...now I know where that energy came from!” He snapped. “And I won’t...tolerate its existence...any longer!”
Sagittarius dragged himself over to the closet of the motel, swinging open the creaky doors to reveal a massive pile of weaponry.
“Damn them all!” He grunted, grabbing onto the closet door and using it to pull himself up. “Damn them all to hell!”
He grabbed a pistol out of the pile of weapons and began turning it in his hands to make sure it was still in decent condition.
“I suppose the least I can do now...” He grabbed a row of ammunition from the pile, loading it into the pistol with a loud click. “Is help them get there.”
Sagittarius abruptly jerked into an upright standing position, his cognitive functions suddenly restored.
“I see now...” Sagittarius laughed, his eyes flashing a sickly green. “I see what it wants from me!”
As Sagittarius continued laughing, a vent on the floor of the hotel room suddenly turned on, creating a flow of air that flipped over one of the papers on the floor. Most of the words on the document were unintelligible at best, but there was one phrase clearly scrawled out for the reader to see.
The inside of Plumber Base UT1 was never a particularly lively area. Construction to finish the facility has always been slow at best, and the only permanent residents were the prisoners in the cell block and some of the Alpha Team, neither of whom tended to raise much of a fuss. At least, that’s how it was most of the time.
This was not one of those times.
“Are ya really just gonna keep using the name “Reaper” forever? We need something else to call ya!”
Reaper walked into the base’s primary control room wearing his golden armor, having evidently left his cloak and mask behind somewhere. Pyros was walking closely behind him, trying to get an answer out of him.
“Something else?” Reaper asked skeptically. “Like what?”
“I don’t know, just, like, a real name!” Pyros threw his hands into the air. “Ya can’t seriously go around using a cheesy name like “Reaper” for everything!”
“Yes, I can.” Reaper replied. “Osirimes and Dethrouge both have more...negative connotations attached to them.”
“Okay, look, “Reaper” made sense when ya had the mask and the cloak and the scythe and what not.” Pyros pointed out. “Now it’s just stupid. What kind of “Reaper” walks around with bright gold armor?!”
“I suppose you have a point.” Reaper replied thoughtfully. “Actually, the name applied to me when this was my primary outfit previously was “Solaris”.”
“And that’s another thing!” Pyros snapped. “Who goes around with four names?! And why are all of them edgy single-word titles?! At least “Pyros” is just a nickname!”
“I wasn’t born in this time period.” Reaper pointed out. “Why do I need to adopt its naming style?”
“Because nobody else is gonna take you seriously otherwise!”
Reaper was interrupted by the base’s alarm suddenly going off. He and Pyros ran over to Alpha, who was carefully manipulating the monitor to pull up a video feed of downtown. Before he could say anything, Herc and Nova ran into the room.
“What’s going on?” Herc asked. “We haven’t had an alarm like this since the Zodiac Organization disbanded.”
“Is this related to why you pulled me out of school today?” Nova asked.
“Actually, I had a specific training regiment I needed you to try with Swarm 2.” Alpha replied. “However, to answer Herculian’s question, this is unfortunately related to the defunct organization.”
Alpha pulled up the video feed, expanding it to cover the entire screen. The armored figure of Sagittarius is seen walking through the streets of downtown, surrounded by a practical hailstorm of bullets. Anyone caught within his range was hit and killed almost instantly, resulting in rows of bullet-ridden corpses lining the streets wherever he went.
“What the hell?!” Pyros yelled. “What is he doing?!”
“Shit, I knew these people were crazy, but not this crazy!” Herc snapped. “We need to get out there immediately!”
“Call Theo!” Nova pointed at the console. “He can teleport us there with Final Countdown!”
“I’ve been trying.” Alpha replied with a grim expression. “He’s not answering his phone or the Driver Gauntlet. I’m beginning to worry something might have happened to him.”
“Then we take the van.” Reaper said. “At top speed we can get there in just a few minutes.”
“But people are dying by the second!” Pyros protested.
“Which is why we need to stop arguing and just take the fucking van already!” Herc interrupted. “We don’t have anything better right now! That’s just how it is! Now move!”
Alpha turned back to face the monitor as the rest of the team ran out of the room.
“Theodore...” She whispered under her breath. “Where are you?”
“Come on, tell us!”
“Yeah, stop holding out! Tell us what happened!”
High school lunch was never exactly a high-class dining experience, but one could usually expect it to go at least adequately, without any particularly obnoxious incidents.
For Sybil White, however, incidents like this were practically routine at this point.
“Everybody knows something went down between you and the Logical kid!” One of the teenage girls crowding Sybil’s table said. “You can’t just keep that kind of drama to yourself!”
“I’d rather not talk about it...” Sybil mumbled, awkwardly picking at the food sitting in front of her.
“Now you’re just making us even more curious!” One of the other girls said. “It happened like months ago and you still won’t tell anyone!”
“It’s none of your business!” Sybil protested. “Let’s just say it was...really bad. I’ve been trying to avoid him since then because I don’t want to think about it any more!”
“Girl, you need to just suck it up and talk to him about it.” Another girl said. “All this moping is making you even sulkier than usual.”
“No way in hell!” Sybil exclaimed. “If I even get near him, I’d probably die of embarrassment!”
Before one of the other girls could reply, the cafeteria wall across from them exploded inwards, sending chunks of debris flying everywhere. A blue pulse of light flashed from inside the resulting cloud of dust as a winged figure appeared. The debris and dust suddenly vanished in a golden flash, reappearing as the reformed wall. The winged figure disappeared in another flash of blue as a teenager in a white suit became visible, evidently having been thrown through the wall. He completed his uncontrolled trajectory by slamming into the table Sybil was sitting at, causing it to tip over towards him.
“Th-Theodore?!” Sybil exclaimed in shock.
“Ugh...” Theo pulled himself to his feet and began dusting himself off, evidently not paying attention to Sybil. “This is just getting ridiculous.”
“What’s going on?!” Sybil asked.
“Huh?” Theo turned to look at Sybil. “Oh, it’s you.”
Sybil blushed slightly and turned away in embarrassment.
“This is perfect!” One of the girls said. “Logical, you have to tell us what happened with you and Sybil!”
“Why the hell do you need to know tha-”
Theo was interrupted by the wall exploding inwards again, this time apparently having been torn open by a large creature that was largely obscured by the resulting cloud of dust.
“God damn it, I just fixed that!” Theo snapped. “Talk later! Everyone needs to get out of the lunchroom now!”
“Why?” One of the other girls asked. “The bell didn’t even ring yet.”
“Are you fucking...” Theo trailed off in disbelief, wildly gesturing to the broken wall. “Why the fuck do you think?!”
The creature inside the cloud of dust suddenly roared and leaped into the cafeteria, revealing its full appearance. It was a massive four-legged creature covered in thick black fur. Each of its limbs ended in long, nasty claws, and the majority of its head seemed to be taken up by a whirling, gnashing mess of teeth that one might refer to as a mouth if you were to stretch the definition of the term.
“What the hell is that thing?!” One of the girls yelled.
“Hell if I know, but it’s been beating the shit out of me all morning.” Theo grunted.
The beast roared again, suddenly lunging towards a nearby student and snagging them with one of its claws. Before it could raise the student to its mouth, a purple, crystalline figure covered in magenta crystals flew over and shot a beam of ultraviolet light directly into the creature’s eye, causing it to roar in pain and toss the student aside, swiping at the new arrival. One of its blows connected, hitting the alien with enough force to send it flying into another wall, chipping one of the crystals on its chest in the process.
“Agh!” Theo stumbled backwards a bit as a corresponding chunk of flesh on his collarbone flew off with a small spurt of blood. “Seriously?! Crystal Days is made of rock! This is bullshit!”
Theo looked around to see the students in the lunchroom running out into the halls, leaving him alone with the creature.
“Alright, nothing holding me back now.” Theo smirked. “I’ll show you why screwing with me was a bad idea! Camera Shy!”
Camera Shy manifested from the StarTrix in another blue flash. The creature lunged at Theo again, but was quickly interrupted by Camera Shy snapping a picture of it. The creature scarcely had time to react as it was dragged into the lens on Camera Shy’s head, and it was only a few seconds from then until it was trapped in a picture printed out from the orange alien’s chest. Theo walked over and grabbed the photograph, looking it over with a confident grin.
“Now, let’s get you back to base.” He said. “Maybe Alpha can tell me what you are.”
The Star Driver Gauntlet began beeping, indicating an incoming call.
“Speak of the devil.” Theo pulled up the Star Driver Gauntlet. “Let’s see what she-”
He was suddenly cut off by the picture he was holding ripping itself apart and releasing the creature, who wasted no time in turning and swinging a set of claws down at his head.
“WHAT THE HELL?!” Theo exclaimed.
Theo tried directing Camera Shy to attack again, but with no time to react, he ultimately couldn’t do anything other than watch in slow-motion as the creature’s massive claws came close and closer to ripping through his head. Moments before the claws hit his skin, the creature was suddenly hit with a massive blast of an unknown force, stumbling backwards a bit before being smashed into the ground. Theo whipped around to see Sybil standing behind him with a panicked expression, extending her arm out towards the creature.
Theo wasted no time in taking the opportunity to dispel Crystal Days and transform into Unity Dream, turning back to the creature and slamming his fist into it’s head. A copper glow surrounded the creature as Unity Dream stepped back, shielding his eye. After a few moments, the creature exploded in a storm of sparks, disintegrating into nothing. After taking a few seconds to make sure it wasn’t coming back, Unity Dream sighed and detransformed, turning back to face Sybil.
“Thanks for the save.” Theo said. “I wasn’t expecting it to break out of the picture. I didn’t even think it could do that.”
“Oh, uh...you’re welcome.” Sybil replied, awkwardly rubbing the back of her neck. “I was just sort of acting on instinct, to be honest.”
“Then you have some decent instincts.”
The two stood in awkward silence for a few moments.
“Hold on a second.” Theo said. “Your appearance didn’t change when you used your powers this time.”
“It didn’t?” Sybil looked herself over, noting that her white and green sweater and black hair were still their normal colors. “Huh. That’s weird.”
“You should look into that. As for now...” Theo pulled up the Star Driver Gauntlet again. “I have to take a call.”
Bullets of all kinds streaked through the air in a large sphere of bloody carnage, ripping through flesh and metal alike without so much as losing speed. Sagittarius stood in the center of this sphere, controlling the trajectory of these projectiles without so much as a second thought.
“This is almost inordinately easy.” Sagittarius noted. “Perhaps I’m thinking too small-scale.”
As he continued walking through the streets, people were running as fast as they could to get away from the destruction. Those who didn’t flee fast enough were swiftly turned into hole-ridden corpses as screams and pleas for mercy were all but ignored.
Sagittarius spotted another large group of people fleeing up ahead, desperately trying to get away from him.
“I don’t think so.” He mumbled almost absentmindedly.
He threw out one of his arms, directing a pocket of bullets in their direction. As the projectiles were mere inches away from plowing through the crowd, shimmering silver walls suddenly appeared around the row of people nearest to him, blocking the hail of metal.
“What in the-”
Sagittarius was cut off by a massive fireball scraping past his head, singing part of his powered armor. He turned to find a white van plowing towards him, with a massive white humanoid figure covered in silver armor and surrounded by two eye-filled metal rings flying directly behind it.
“Plumbers.” Sagittarius spat, calmly pulling out a sniper rifle and aiming the sight directly at the driver’s side of the windshield.
Sagittarius took the shot, but the bullet simply bounced off the reinforced glass of the windshield. He grunted and took aim at one of the tires instead, blowing it out with a single shot. The van swerved out of control for a few moments before braking to a halt with its single side door facing away from him. Seconds after the vehicle stopped, Reaper, Pyros, and Herc jumped out onto the street. Herc shifted his left arm into a riot shield, shielding himself as he shifted his right arm into an energy rifle and took a few shots at Sagittarius’s head.
Sagittarius simply swatted aside Herc’s shot, returning fire with a pocket of bullets from his own reserve. Silver walls popped up in front of Herc and the rest of the Alpha Team, blocking the deadly projectiles.
“I can see this being obnoxious.” Sagittarius observed, glancing up at the silver alien flying above the group.
Sagittarius lunged at a nearby car and grabbed it with unexpected strength, whirling around and chucking it at Silver Mt. Zion, who countered with a stream of silver fire that melted the car before it reached her. Right as she stopped the fire to see what was happening, several sniper rounds suddenly carved through her armor and drilled holes through a few spots on her torso and forehead. A white glow surrounded her body as she fell to the ground, reverting to Nova, who quickly jumped behind a nearby car.
“Well, that didn’t work.” Nova hissed, peeking her head under the car to see what Sagittarius was doing. “The hell do I do now?”
“Good question. What’s going on?”
Nova snapped her head to the side to see where that voice had come from, finding a familiar white-haired teenager wearing a faded magenta t-shirt and dark purple jeans. He twirled a sharpened knife around his right hand, clearly itching to use it on something.
“’Sup?” Aeron asked with a toothy grin that revealed his elongated canines. “Long time no see.”
As Theo pressed the “Answer” button, Sybil noticed a dark cloud suddenly starting to form behind him.
“Theo, behind you!”
Theo turned just in time to see the creature reform and smash its foreleg across his torso, sending him flying backwards and landing next to Sybil. The creature leaped forward and swung down at Theo and Sybil, but before its blow could make contact, Rolling Stone manifested from the StarTrix and blocked the attack. The force of the blow sent Rolling Stone smashing through the cafeteria floor, creating a hole underneath Theo and Sybil that sent them tumbling down with it.
“Are you kidding me?!” Theo yelled.
Theo recalled Rolling Stone, but it was too late, as the ground underneath the school had already given way to a pre-existing tunnel dropping the two into a dark abyss below.
“What the hell is all this?!” Theo exclaimed. “Why is there a tunnel beneath the school?!”
He received no response, as Sybil was currently busy screaming as the two kept falling.
“Oh yeah, I should probably do something about that.” He grumbled.
Sybil kept her eyes clenched shut as tight as she could. She wasn’t sure exactly how far they would be falling, but given the fact that they hadn’t landed yet, she could only assume it would end very messily. After a few moments, her fall was suddenly halted by hitting a relatively soft object, which, while not the ideal surface, still prevented her from slamming into the ground made of rock and turning into a pile of bloody giblets.
She groaned in pain as she slowly pushed herself to her knees. The give of whatever she had fallen onto may have been enough to prevent a fatal impact, but it was still a painful landing. As she rubbed her head, she opened her eyes to see what she had landed on.
As it turned out, she was currently kneeling on top of a rather impatient-looking Theo.
“Would you mind moving?” Theo asked. “Your knees are digging into my legs.”
“Oh my god!” Sybil exclaimed, hurriedly scrambling off him. “I’m so sorry!”
“That was intentional, actually.” Theo groaned, slowly pulling himself to his feet. “I’m durable enough to take a hit like that, but I didn’t feel like cleaning you off the ground.”
“If you want to put it like that. Can you stand up?”
“I-I think so.”
Sybil pulled herself to her feet, stumbling slightly and letting out a small groan of pain.
“Is something broken?”
“No, I don’t think so.” Sybil replied. “But...you think you could fix me up with that pink alien like you did when...well, you know.”
“If nothing’s broken or missing, Season’s not gonna do you much good.” Theo explained as a hot-pink and white humanoid alien with heart-shaped markings on its torso and legs manifested from the StarTrix. “Feel Good Inc. should be able to take care of the pain for a bit, though.”
“Feel Good wha-” Sybil began to ask before cutting herself off with a sharp yelp as Feel Good Inc.’s fingers stabbed into her neck for a moment. “What are you doing?!”
“The painkiller has to get in your system somehow.” Theo pointed out as Feel Good Inc. stepped back and dissipated in a blue flash. “It should kick in in just a few seconds here.”
“I don’t feel any-” Sybil cut herself off again as her body was suddenly flooded with a feeling of euphoria that completely numbed any of the pain she was feeling. “Okay, that was fast!”
“Told you.” Theo sighed and turned away, looking down the tunnel they were trapped in. “Never thought I’d wind up in here again.”
“You recognize this place?” Sybil asked.
“Yeah, I was in these tunnels last year. There was a bit of an...incident, but we got it sorted out.”
“What do you mean by “incident”?” Sybil asked worriedly.
“Don’t worry, there’s nothing down here anymore.” Theo assured her. “Problem is that all the entrances got sealed off, and back the way we came is a giant-ass monster that’s been hunting me down all morning.”
“Can’t you phase through the walls or something crazy like that?”
“I don’t have any phasing aliens on my roster right now.” Theo replied. “Well, I have Rough Diamond, but he only passes through organic material. I can’t swap out any of my aliens either. These tunnel block any signals from passing in or out.”
“You mean we’re stuck down here without any way to call for help?!” Sybil exclaimed.
“That’s the gist of it.”
Sybil fell to the ground again, desperately trying to control her breathing.
“How...how are we supposed to get out?!”
“...Hold on a second.” Theo snapped his fingers. “There is one hole that was never filled in.”
“Really?” Sybil breathed a sigh of relief. “Where?”
“The main chamber. My dad made it when he punched a giant spider into the upper atmosphere.”
“Sounds weird, but that’s what happened. I have Fatemask with me right now, so I should be able to divinate our way there.”
Theo pulled up the StarTrix and started turning the dial. As he was scrolling, a roar sounded from above them as the creature suddenly fell into the tunnel, landing right next to them.
“SHIT!” Theo yelled. He instinctively smashed down on the StarTrix, accidentally transforming into CryoShell. “Uh-oh.”
The creature whirled around and smashed CryoShell into a wall, breaking off chunks of rock but ultimately not doing much to CryoShell himself thanks to his thick shell.
“Alright, I guess this works better than expected.” CryoShell noted. “Let’s put this little squabble of ours on ice!”
CryoShell shot a blast of freezing energy from one of his arms, freezing the creature’s arm that was pinning him to the wall. He brought down his other arm on the creature’s wrist, shattering the frozen limb. The creature howled in pain and dropped CryoShell, who quickly ran over to Sybil.
“Howsabout we skedaddle the fuck out of here while that thing’s busy?” CryoShell said, twisting the StarTrix dial and transforming into Diamond Eyes.
“How is Diamondhead supposed to help with that?” Sybil asked.
“Diamond Eyes.” Diamond Eyes snapped.
“But that doesn’t make any sense.” Sybil pointed out. “Your eyes are probably one of the only parts of you that aren’t made of diamond.”
“It just sounds cool, okay?!”
The creature roared and turned to face the two, rearing back to attack again.
“Oh no you don’t!” Diamond Eyes yelled, shooting a stream of crystalline shards at the creature. “Sybil, plant that thing in place!”
Sybil raised her arms into the air towards the creature, increasing the pull of gravity around it tenfold. The creature slammed into the ground, and before it had any time to recover, Diamond Eyes planted his fist into the ground, creating waves of crystal that shot up and encased the strange animal in a prison of shimmering diamond.
“That should slow it down a bit.” Diamond Eyes affirmed, transforming into Fatemask. “Let’s get out of here before we find out how long.”
Fatemask’s eyes lit up, and after a few moments, he turned to one of the tunnels leading away from the area and gestured for Sybil to follow him. Sybil cast one nervous glance back at the creature before running after him, giving a silent prayer that they would be able to get out of these tunnels as fast as humanly possible.
“It occurs to me that the guy shooting people is probably bad for you, but god damn is all that blood making me feel great!” Aeron laughed. “Seriously though, what’s the deal here?”
“Aeron?!” Nova exclaimed, jumping backwards. A few shots near her head reminded her what was going on, and she quickly ducked back behind the car.
“The one and only.”
“What the hell are you doing here?!” Nova hissed.
“I figured I might as well pop in and see how long it takes Theodore to figure out I’m in his own timeline.” Aeron smirked. “So far, nada.”
"Great, as if I didn’t have enough problems right now!”
“Well geez, I see how it is then.” Aeron pouted. “Why ya gotta be such a Negative Nancy?”
“You murder people!”
“So does that guy, and I don’t see you doing anything about him.” Aeron pointed to Sagittarius, who had returned to exchanging fire with Herc and Pyros.
“Not for lack of trying!” Nova snapped. “You try getting near him and seeing how that turns out!”
Aeron hopped over the car and started walking towards Sagittarius.
“What the hell are you doing?!” Nova yelled.
“If you’re gonna wimp out on this one, I’ll show you how a real killer gets things done!” Aeron yelled back. “I think I’ll thank him for all the blood by taking his!”
As Aeron continued approaching Sagittarius, the other members of the Alpha Team took notice of his presence, reacting with visible surprise. Sagittarius noticed this and turned to find Aeron walking up to him.
“Show of hands, people.” Aeron said smugly. “Who’s ready to get facefucked-”
Sagittarius smoothly whipped out a pistol and shot Aeron several times in the head. Aeron fell to the ground as Sagittarius turned back to face the Alpha Team. Moments before he could start shooting again, he was grabbed by the shoulder and whirled around to face Aeron, who was standing behind him with his bullet wounds swiftly closing up.
“As I was saying,” Aeron continued. “Who’s ready to get facefucked by a vampire?”
“Bullshit!” Pyros yelled. “Vampires can’t walk around in daylight!”
“Not without an Anti-UV charm crystal from Dimension 79, they can’t!” Aeron yelled back, pulling a small red crystal out of his pocket to show it off before putting it back.
Aeron grabbed Sagittarius and looked him straight in the eyes while brandishing a knife at his throat.
“Now remember, if this hurts, you probably just haven’t been flossing enough.” Aeron said, beginning to slide the knife across the armored man’s throat.
Sagittarius replied by wrenching himself free of Aeron’s grip and grabbing his assailant’s face, taking the opportunity to whirl around and throw him through a nearby wall.
There were a few moments of silence.
“I’m okay!” Aeron’s voice suddenly sounded from inside the building he was tossed into.
Sagittarius responded to this by dismounting a machine gun from his back and revving it up in Aeron’s direction.
“Do you...hate me?”
Fatemask paused and turned back to look at Sybil, who was looking down at the ground in an attempt to avoid eye contact.
“Sort of an odd thing to bring up right now.” Fatemask replied, giving her a curious look.
“I know, but we’re kind of stuck together at the moment, and the question’s been weighing down on me ever since...you know.”
“That was months ago.”
Sybil shifted her feet, clearly uncomfortable with the conversation.
“I guess you’re right. Just...just forget I said anything.”
“Now hold on a second, you said you’ve been carrying this around for months?” Fatemask pointed out. “Why haven’t you asked me before?”
“I guess I was just...afraid of what you might say.”
Fatemask sighed and stared off into the distance for a few moments before replying.
“Look, I don’t hate you, Sybil.” Fatemask asserted. “I don’t hate anyone except for that edgy-ass vampire.”
“...Did you just say “vampire”?”
“Forget about that for the moment.” Fatemask waved her off. “The main thing I want to say here is that I sort of understand why you pulled that shit.”
“You do?” Sybil asked with a puzzled expression. “I don’t even think I understand it.”
“Yeah, turns out Nullamor gave you Trista DNA. They’re territorial as fuck and have a bit of a reputation for smashing people into flesh cubes.”
“So it was the DNA?”
“Not entirely.” Fatemask corrected. “The DNA may have contributed to the extremes you went to, but the logic that led you there was all your own. You have to take some responsibility for your actions.”
“I guess you’re right.” Sybil replied. “I was just so desperate, and I jumped to some pretty out-there conclusions...”
“Pretty much.” Fatemask nodded. “But I still don’t hold it against you. Keeping a grudge against someone like you would just be pointless.”
“Okay.” Sybil looked at Fatemask directly for the first time since their conversation had started. “Do you think there’ll ever be a chance?”
“Right now, not one in hell.” Fatemask replied. “But you can never rule anything out entirely.”
Sybil paused for a moment before simply nodding in response.
“You ready to keep going?” Fatemask asked. “We’re almost there.”
“Yeah, I’m good.” Sybil answered. “I actually feel a lot better having that out in the open. Granted, the drugs are probably helping with that a bit.”
Fatemask and Sybil shared a small chuckle at this before they turned and continued walking. After a few more minutes of walking, the two arrived at a large hole dropping into a massive chamber. Fatemask wordlessly gestured at the hole, with Sybil nodding in response. The two stepped into the hole, with Sybil using her powers to make them descend at a comfortable rate.
“When we get out of here, I can swap out one of my current roster for Final Countdown and teleport us home, okay?” Fatemask said.
“Okay.” Sybil nodded.
The main chamber was just as Theo had left it all those months ago, with stray shreds of webbing littering the walls and floor. A few piles of small crystals were scattered around the room, the remains of the drones he had created with Viva La Vida. The only real change to the room was the rather significant new introduction of a tall, hunched alien with glowing, sickly green skin and an odd breathing apparatus. The alien wore a specially-fitted uniform that was unfamiliar to Theo, with dark green stripes on the chestplate signifying a unique position.
“Well, well, well, look who finally decided to show up.” The alien laughed, his odd, wheezing voice echoing across the cavern. “What’s wrong, kid? Not expecting little old me?”
“Actually, I foresaw your presence with Fatemask’s clairvoyance.” Fatemask corrected, transforming back into Theo. “No idea who you are or why you’re here, though.”
“Of course you don’t.” The alien chuckled. “My name is Fuviquo, former Beast Master for the defunct Obsidian Death. I have some...unfinished business, let’s say, with the Logical family.”
Sagittarius, Nova, and the rest of the Alpha Team watched with bated breath as they waited for Aeron to make his next move. Sagittarius had already unloaded the entirety of his machine gun’s ammo at him, but since Aeron was, you know, a vampire, it was highly doubtful that this was a permanent solution.
A red, slightly magenta flash suddenly burst into existence right outside the building Aeron had been flung into. The light faded to reveal a dark purple alien that, upon first glance, seemed humanoid. Upon further examination, however, one would realize that this alien was missing the majority of its lower half, with a red, exposed spine sticking out of the upper half of its torso. Its “arms” were actually a pair of pointed legs that held it up, with a third leg sticking out of its back, and various disfigurements covered its body, giving it a rather nightmarish appearance.
Sagittarius’s response was, naturally, to unload several rounds of bullets into the new arrival. However, the alien’s wounds warped and filled as soon as they were created, leaving the strange creature ultimately uninjured. Sagittarius tried to summon the bullets back to him, but as he was doing so, his powers mysteriously seemed to cut out. The sphere of ammunition he had created fell to the ground, as Herc’s constructs suddenly reverted to his normal arms.
“What the hell is that thing?!” Herc snapped. “I’ve been in this field for a long-ass time, and I’ve never seen anything like that!”“Meet Stunde Null
“If it doesn’t affect technology...” Sagittairus began, aiming a rifle at Aeron’s head. “Then why would you try to use it against me?”
Sagittarius fired, but before the bullets could reach their target, Aeron swiped his hand out in front of him, plucking the bullets out from midair.
“Oh, I can handle bullets.” Aeron replied. “Perk of being a vampire. I just didn’t feel like dealing with your BS super strength again.”
Aeron caught a quick glance out of the corner of his eye of Nova aiming a shot from her arm cannon construct at Sagittarius’s back.
“Of course, now that that’s out of the way, I have to make a decision here.” He rambled, trying to buy time for Nova to take the shot. “Do I slit your throat and then drink your blood, or drink your blood and then just slit your throat for the hell of it?”
“What are you rambling about, you idio-” Sagittarius cut himself off as he noticed Aeron’s line of sight looking behind him. He spotted Nova aiming her shot at him, and before anyone could react, pulled the trigger of his rifle. Nova tried to dodge, but since dodging bullets is generally rather difficult, the shot hit her directly in the forehead, sending her flying back in a spray of blood. Sagittarius landed a few extra shots just to be safe, hitting her in the shoulder and chest.
“NOVA!” Herc yelled.
Time seemed to slow down around Aeron as a high-pitched ringing suddenly shot through his ears. Stunde Null noticed Aeron freezing up and instinctively backed up a few steps.
“Oh, that’s not good.” Stunde Null affirmed. “That’s not good at all.”
Sagittarius turned back to face Aeron, who was staring into the distance with a blank expression. He tried waving his rifle in Aeron’s face, but received no response.
“Well, alright then.” Sagittarius pressed the end of the rifle’s barrel up against Aeron’s forehead. “You just handed your death warrant to me on a silver platter.”
Before Sagittarius could pull the trigger, Aeron suddenly jerked forward and grabbed his head, his own face contorting into a snarl of rage. He wordlessly began slamming Sagittarius’s face into the asphalt, creating a massive hole that grew with each violent impact.
“Well, shit.” Stunde Null said. “This isn’t going to end well.”
“Sorry, do I know you?” Theo asked. “What’s this about having unfinished business?”
“Of course you wouldn’t know me.” Fuviquo scoffed. “I fought your parents, not you. I just want revenge for what they did to my Pyx all those years ago, and what better way to get retribution for my pets than by killing their child?!”
“...That seems like some very disproportionate retribution.”
“Well, you don’t actually have any pets, so what else am I supposed to do?”
Their conversation was interrupted by a roar as the creature that had been chasing Theo suddenly burst into the main chamber, running over to Fuviquo and standing between him and Theo.
“I take it you’ve already met my latest pet.” Fuviquo smirked. “He’s a hunting animal known as a Canibon. They’re extremely difficult to get a hold of. It took me twenty-five years to find this one!”
“So Toothy over there is yours?” Sybil repeated incredulously.
“His name is not “Toothy”, you overgrown ape!” Fuviquo spat. “For the record, his name is “SPOOPY RICHARD”. All caps.”
“...That’s kind of worse.”
“It’s avant-garde you uncultured swine!” Fuviquo protested. “Who are you supposed to be, anyways? Logical’s girlfriend?”
“Not exactly.” Theo said, reaching for the StarTrix. “Anyways, I’m just going to go ahead and kick your ass so we can get on with our lives.”
Theo transformed into Unravel, reaching his arms towards the ground and unraveling it into stone ropes. The Canibon lunged at him, prompting Unravel to counter by quickly weaving the strings of rock into a stone wall. The Canibon’s blow smashed through the rock, knocking Unravel across the ground. Sybil tried to hit the creature with another pulse of gravity, but Fuviquo swung a chain around her wrist, preventing her from moving her arm.
“You’ll stay out of this if you know what’s good for you.” Fuviquo hissed.
“Funny, I was about to say something similar.” Sybil snapped, throwing out her free arm towards Fuviquo. His gravity suddenly reversed, sending him flying towards the ceiling and causing him to drop his end of the chain out of surprise.
Unravel grabbed a hold of the Canibon as it tried swiping at him again, digging his claws into it and unraveling it into string. Before he could start shaping it, the string itself suddenly lunged and wrapped around his throat, trying to strangle him.
“That’s the thing with Canibon, you know!” Fuviquo sneered. “One they have a target to eat, they won’t let them go no matter what! Do whatever you want to my pet! It won’t matter a single bit! At the end of the day, you’ll be dead, and it’ll be eating your corpse!”
“Eating my corpse, huh?” Unravel began retracting the string into his arms, pulling it away from his neck. “We’ll see about that!”
Unravel began weaving the string into a new shape. After a few moments, his creation was complete, as he drew back to reveal that he had knit the Canibon into a massive teddy bear with no mouth.
“Wait, hold on, one last little detail!”
Unravel picked at the end of the Canibon bear’s arms, knitting them into something new. He stepped away to reveal that he had transformed the stubs of the arms into fully-detailed human hands heartily flipping Fuviquo the bird. Sybil snorted, trying to hold back her laughter as Fuviquo’s eye began twitching in rage.
“You cocky bastard!” Fuviquo yelled. “That won’t be enough to stop it!”
“Oh, I’m sure it won’t be.” Unravel replied as the teddy bear suddenly got up and started to lunge at him. “Which is why I have a plan.”
As the Canibon bear leaped forward, Unravel twisted the StarTrix dial and transformed into Rough Diamond, phasing right through the bear’s hands. He flew up to where Fuviquo was hanging upside down on the ceiling and crossed his arms.
“Now that thing can’t touch me.” Rough Diamond stated. “Any other bright ideas?”
“How are you going to beat it, then?” Fuviquo asked flatly.
“I don’t need to beat it, I just need to grab Sybil and get out of here.”
Rough Diamond swooped down and tried grabbing onto Sybil. Unfortunately, as Sybil was not, in fact, made of rock, this did not work.
“Oh yeah.” Rough Diamond huffed. “Forgot about that.”
“You idiot!” Fuviquo laughed. “What are you going to do now? Run away and leave your companion behind?!”
As Fuviquo was laughing, a piece of coal suddenly dislodged from somewhere in his armor, falling to the ground below.
“What was that?” Sybil asked.
“The Canibon eat carbon.” Fuviquo explained. “Carbon-based lifeforms just so happen to be fine with them too.”
“...That gives me an idea.” Rough Diamond said, turning to look at Sybil. “Sybil, can you compress that coal into diamond?”
“Uh...maybe?” Sybil replied with a shrug. “I’ve never tried anything like that.”
“Well, get your trying shoes on, because I don’t know if I have anything else to work with right now.”
Sybil nodded and picked up the coal, focusing all of her energy into creating a field of gravity strong enough to compress it.
“Oh, please!” Fuviquo scoffed. “You’ve got to be kidding me! There’s no way she could-”
“Done.” Sybil said, holding out the newly-formed diamond. The rough surface hid a blue gleam, indicating a slight imperfection in its composition.
“That was stupidly fast.” Rough Diamond said, reaching for the diamond. “How strong are your powers at this point?”
Sybil shrugged as Rough Diamond touched the blue diamond. Crystal shards instantly raced up his body, coating him entirely within a new form composed of shimmering blue diamond. Spikes formed around his head and back as he grew in size and took on a slightly more regal shape, completing his form change. After a few moments, he noticed the Canibon bear futilely grabbing at his body.
“So Fuviquo, this thing is going after my scent or something, right?” Rough Diamond asked.
“Indeed!” Fuviquo exclaimed proudly. “As long as it has your scent, it won’t ever leave you alone!”
“Then what if I gave it my scent?”
Rough Diamond turned and raised his arms into the air, generating massive crystals of pure diamond and scattering them around the room. The Canibon bear ran around the main chamber, pawing at every new addition to the cavern’s landscape.
“That’s what I thought.” Rough Diamond said. “It’s not very bright for how tough it is.”
“You can’t do that!” Fuviquo seethed. “You can’t just incapacitate my Canibon so easily! This is bullshit!”
“You may be right about that, Fuviquo, but there’s one thing you need to know.”
Rough Diamond turned to look at Fuviquo wearing a massive smirk.
“I’m a very good practitioner of bullshit.”
Nova’s last thoughts before blacking out were that if she woke up from this, it would probably hurt like a bitch.
Her first thoughts after waking up were more or less just confirming this.
“Agh...” Nova grunted, forcing her eyes open. “What the hell?”
The first thing she saw was Wither standing over her, which happened to raise more questions than it answered.
“...Aeron?” Nova asked, slowly dragging herself up to a sitting position. “Did you...Did you save me?”
“First off, Aeron’s over there.” Wither gestured to Aeron repeatedly smashing Sagittarius's face into the pavement. “I’m Ego. We're not exactly the same person. I don't think he even knows the Driver Gauntlet lets me swap out our alien set on the fly.”
“You still work with him.” Nova pointed out. “Why would either of you try to save me?”
“That’s for Aeron to discuss, not me. Now, I’m sort of out of practice with Wither, so you may still have some issues moving your left shoulder. If you hadn’t used Swarm 2 to minimize the impacts at the last second, I don’t think I would’ve been able to fix it at all.”
“Okay...” Nova gestured towards Aeron, who had stopped smashing Sagittarius’s face into the ground and was currently punching him with enough force to crush his powered armor. “So... what the hell is going on over there?”
“He’s having a flashback.” Wither explained worriedly. “This has happened a few times before, but I’ve never seen it this bad.” After a few more moments of watching, Wither winced at the scene in front of him, noticing that Aeron was twisting his wrists as he was punching. “Good lord, he even thinks he has the drills.”
“The what?” Nova asked incredulously. “What the hell happened to him?”
“Again, that’s for him to discuss.” Wither replied. “I didn’t get the majority of our memories during the split, so I couldn’t explain it very well anyways. In any case, I think I need to step in.”
Wither flew over to Aeron and grabbed his arms, preventing him from punching Sagittarius again.
“Aeron, calm down.” Wither ordered, transferring blue energy to Aeron’s body. “You’re in the city. They’re gone. They were never here in the first place.”
Aeron slowly stopped struggling, a small flicker of consciousness returning to his eyes.
“They...what?” He mumbled, trying to process what was happening.
“Nova is fine. She’s sitting over there.” Wither gestured to Nova, who was watching the scene play out in confusion. “I fixed her up.”
“Fixed her...?” Aeron turned to look at Wither, finally noticing his appearance. “Wait...how did you get Wither back on the roster?”
“I’ll explain later.” Wither helped Aeron to his feet. “It’s alright. Everything’s fine right now.”
“Died about five minutes before you stopped beating him due to blunt-force trauma.” Wither explained. “You damaged his armor to the point where I don’t think it can be removed. Considering the state he’s in, that might be for the best.”
“...It happened again, didn’t it?”
“What happened?!” Pyros yelled from the sidelines. “What the hell was that?!”
“Ego.” Aeron said.
Wither transformed into Clockwork, stopping time around the two. Nova tried to move away before the time stop reached her, but noticed that even after it passed her, she was still able to move. Aeron walked over to her and offered his hand to help her up. She looked at him suspiciously for a few moments before cautiously accepting the offer, allowing him to help her to her feet.
“Okay, what the hell is going on?!” Nova demanded. “Why are you helping me?!”
“You- I mean, my version of you and I were...good friends.” Aeron sighed. “I guess I’m having trouble shaking that.”
“Theo told me you killed everyone you knew in your timeline.” Nova said. “That would include your “friend”.”
Aeron looked away from Nova, staring off into the distance with an unreadable expression.
“Well, do you have anything to say for yourself?!” Nova asked. “If you were such good friends, then why the hell would you-”
“YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO DIE!” Aeron snapped. Nova fell into a shocked silence as Aeron tried to calm himself down. “You were never supposed to...I wasn’t the one who...”
Aeron stopped talking for a few moments to collect his thoughts.
“...You know why I chose the name “Aeron”?” He eventually said. “You...well, the alternate you...found that word somewhere when we were still kids. For whatever reason, she wouldn’t stop saying it for the longest time. I guess she just thought it sounded funny.”
Aeron paused for a moment before continuing.
“You grew out of it eventually, but I never let you live it down. It was sort of an...in-joke, I guess. After the split, I guess it just kind of...stuck with me. A lot of things seem to have stuck with me.”
Aeron sighed and turned back to Nova.
“Look at me. I’m still acting like you’re the same person I grew up with.” Aeron let out a tired scoff. “But you’re not. My Nova died a long time ago.”
There were another few moments of silence.
“It took me a bit to work out that people are never the same across timelines.” Aeron continued. “Nobody’s the same, and nobody’s replaceable, but god dammit...” Aeron looked Nova in the eyes. “You’re so much like her that it hurts.”
There was another lull of silence as Nova tried to figure out what to say.
“I guess there’s really no reason for you to care, though,” Aeron sighed, turning away, “I’m not exactly the upstanding citizen I used to be. Come on, Ego. Let’s head out.”
Before Nova could say anything, Clockwork nodded and teleported himself and Aeron out of the timeline, setting time back to normal.
“Nova, are you okay?” Herc asked, running over to her. “Did you use Swarm 2 to block the bullets?”
“Uh...yeah, yeah.” Nova replied absentmindedly. Her gaze was still focused on the spot where Aeron had disappeared from, as his words kept ringing through her mind.
Rough Diamond flew out of the hole leading to the cavern’s main chamber, exiting into a grassy field at the base of the mountains while carrying Sybil in his arms. He turned to look at the sun, finding that it was starting to set over the horizon.
“What a day.” Rough Diamond sighed. “You as ready to get home as I am?”
“Definitely.” Sybil nodded. “Let’s go.”
Rough Diamond nodded in response and began flying back towards the city. After a few minutes, Sybil suddenly remembered what Theo had said about using Final Countdown to teleport her home. She moved to remind him, but paused as she looked into Rough Diamond’s eyes. She suddenly became aware of the cool breeze floating through her hair as the last golden rays of the sun refracted brilliantly off of Rough Diamond’s gleaming form. She settled back into his arms, noting that the normally cool crystal still carried a certain warmth to it.
‘No.’ She thought, softly closing her eyes. ‘It’s better like this.’
- Sagittarius goes rogue and ends up getting killed by Aeron.
- Stunde Null makes his debut.
- Fuviquo makes his Star Spirit debut.
- The reason behind Aeron's name is revealed.
- SPOOPY RICHARD
- Crystal Days
- Camera Shy
- Unity Dream
- Rolling Stone
- Diamond Eyes
- Feel Good Inc.
- Diamond Eyes
- Rough Diamond
- This episode was almost delayed by a goddamn MAILBOX, but CaT was able to get it out on time via MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE AKA writing the remaining 5,350+ words in around five hours. Fun.
- The name "SPOOPY RICHARD" comes from a typo made by CaT's phone's autocorrect that changed the actual name of the animal to, well, "SPOOPY RICHARD". It was kept in the episode proper because fuck it.