|WARNING: PROFANITY FOLLOWS|
|The following content contains profanity that may not be suitable for readers of all ages. Please proceed with caution.|
|Ezekiel Elix: Peculiar Institute's Crimefighter|
|Season 1, Episode 1|
Cosmic And Maximum Together
Shock to the System is the first episode and series premiere of Ezekiel Elix: Peculiar Institute's Crimefighter.
"Homeless, a chronic drunkard, and hateful, Ezekiel Elix's life takes an extremely unexpected turn-around that gives him a taste of limelight, a wish to bury his past of violence, and a dream to protect the people who secretly cares for him, but first, Ezekiel will take down the people who threaten his dream, equipped with his bio-mechanical cybernetics and newfound alien powers in the form of the Double Helix."
The opening scene begins with several panning shots of the exterior of a large Nevada city, resembling Las Vegas, as it was bright, flashy, and surrounded by a seemingly endless terrain of sandy desert, under an early midnight sky. The final panning shot shows a large towering sign, about 5 or so meters off the ground, displayed with loudly-buzzing lights and brightly-painted letters that were showing slight signs of age from chips in its still-vibrant paint. In bright-red, bright-blue, and bright-violet-purple-painted letters, the sign read: “Welcome to Jester’s Bells, the home of the King & Queen Museum Expedition!” with the letters of both “Jester’s Bells” and “King & Queen” composed of glowing, multi-colored lights.
Abruptly putting an end to the opening scene’s silently-panning shots, a darkly-colored beer bottle suddenly smashes against the side of the sign, narrowly grazing the lights of the “K” in “King” as it shatters into fragments and falls below in the sand. An unknown male voice yells in frustration below, seemingly the one who threw the bottle.
“Damn it, I had it! I HAD IT! SO CLOSE!” The deep, almost raspy male voice loudly exclaims.
A brief pause ensues, before another bottle is chucked at the sign, this time hitting the narrowly-missing glowing letter. While the letter’s lights unevenly flickers for a few seconds, it quickly regains its pattern while the second bottle falls to the ground in pieces before abruptly, a third bottle is thrown, this one finally managing to bust the letter’s light, leaving it dark as the final bottle falls to the ground, among a scattered pile of shards below.
“YES! THERE WE GO!” The male voice exclaims, as the view suddenly changes, revealing the figure below, though significantly blurry due to the lack of focus on him, but he noticeably cheers, pointing at the sign and waving his arms. “THAT’S WHAT I THINK OF YOU, BASTARDS! YOU TOOK ALL MY MONEY, SO GO AHEAD AND FIX THAT!”
As the scene changes, the man is revealed to be a homeless, drunken man, hinted prior by his slight slurring of words and the excessive amount of empty beer bottles he had on him. He was pale, greasy, and had unkempt black hair in the form of a scraggly ponytail and beard, with bright-blue, hazy eyes, a small scar running over his left eye, and an outfit consisting of dirty, stained clothes, including a heavy, dark-blue parka-like jacket, stained dark-gray tank-top exposed through his jacket’s open zipper, black slacks that hung low to his ankles, slightly ragged black shoes, black, finger-less wool gloves, and a dark-red baseball cap that covered much of his hair. In his right hand, he clutched a half-empty beer bottle in a paper bag, while his left hand held the remaining empty beer bottle he had thrown.
“I should have never come to this place...” The homeless man slurs, before chucking the last empty beer bottle upwards toward the sign, but with minimal effort, causing it to merely plop downwards onto a pile of sand. “I’m going to Las Vegas, even if it means I’ll die in the Nevada heat, or get mauled whatever-... -uhhhh… whatever’s out here... red scorpions, or whatever.”
As the unnamed homeless man turns around, taking a swig of his beer, he begins to stumble his way out the entrance of the city of Jester’s Bells, having his empty left hand in his jacket pocket while he gradually downs his remaining drink. After a couple seconds, the homeless man abruptly halts, as the whole ground around him seems to softly rumble. Already disorientated, he looks around in utter confusion, slurring out an incoherent series of grumbling groans, before the starry sky seems to light up, partially blinding him.
“Aghhh... what the hell?!” The homeless man exclaims, shielding his face with the back of his free hand and glances through the gaps in his fingers to see a strange trail of multicolored light running through the sky. “The hell is that? A shooting star? Ah, wait, I can make a wish!”
“I wish for a refill!” The homeless man exclaims with potent triumph in his drunken voice, gesturing the semi-empty beer bottle toward the night sky, as the trail of light abruptly vanishes. The man abruptly pauses, impatiently waiting, before lowering his hand and looking at his bottle’s contents, which, obviously, had not been refilled.
“AH, BULLSHIT! FAKE AS HELL TOWN OF BASTARDS, NOW A FAKE AS HELL SHOOTING STAR TO GO WITH THIS SHIT-HOLE?! WHAT’S NEXT?! FAKE ASS BEER?! THAT SHIT’S NOT GOING IN MY LIVER!” The homeless man bellows with rage, before proceeding to angrily pour out his drunk onto the sandy ground, throw his bottle to the ground, and stomp on its shattered remains, causing him to suddenly lose his balance and fall backwards.
“Ah, shit… well, ‘Ezekiel’... this is it… you got nowhere to sleep, no beer, no nothing… you’re not going back to that shit-hole to sit in the streets and have people either pretend to pity you or tell you to ‘get the fuck out of the way, you grimy, yellow-toothed hermit’...” The homeless man, his name revealed, slurs out, his gaze almost lifeless. Rubbing his eyes, the homeless man sighs and manages to get back up.
“Alright… I have two options… Option A, I die in the Mojave desert, trying to get to Las Vegas, or Option B… I go back and finally get myself arrested. I’ll finally have somewhere to sleep and something to eat.” Ezekiel mumbles to himself, still rubbing his eyes. “Maybe… if I die in the desert… they’ll put my bones in that museum…”
“I-I can see my title now… the mysterious ‘drunken-sapien’.. They supposedly roamed the Earth back in the 21st century, only stopping in what they called ‘pubs’ to fulfill their diets of alcohol, peanuts, and fried pickles....” Ezekiel chuckles at his own drunken ramblings.
Soon, Ezekiel, apparently finding great humor in what he said, breaks out in a fit of loud, uncontrollable laughter, before eventually breaking out into a forced fit of tears. “...o-oh my god… I’m so fucking miserable… I hate myself… I hate you, Ezekiel! Why couldn’t you finish college?! WHY COULDN’T YOU HOLD A JOB?! IT WAS THE EASIEST THING EVER! YOU WERE JUST FLIPPING BURGERS FOR GOD’S SAKE! FUCKING BURGERSSS!!!”
In a drunken, crying manner, Ezekiel tightens his left hand into a fist and proceeds to repeatedly punch him in the face. Although seconds later, Ezekiel attempts to halt his act, loudly exclaiming, “Stop it, Ezekiel! You’re not that drunk!” but continues to punch him in the face, accidentally causing him to fall on his back again, staring up at the near-starless night sky.
“There’s not enough pity in the world… for a miserable person like you, Ezekiel.” Ezekiel slurs out, still talking to himself, his face flushed and eyes red from crying. “Las Vegas has nothing for you… just go back… things don’t have to be different...”
Loudly hiccuping, Ezekiel slowly gets back to his feet, rubbing his eyes yet again, although now his entire face, and angrily exclaiming, “Fuckkk... why did I pour out that drinkkkkk…?!”
Ezekiel proceeds to narrowly stumble several times, trying to maintain and regain his ability to walk, and at one point, almost falls over yet again, but manages to somehow stay afoot. Eventually, Ezekiel kicks at nothing in frustration, hiccups, stiffly turns, and gradually begins to walk back where he had come from, stepping over the glass shards of his smashed dress in the process.
“Fuck it… getting arrested’s better than this… I’d rather be in a warm cell with an actual bed...” Ezekiel hiccups, as he shambles his way back to the entrance of Jester’s Bells, before suddenly, the ground begins to rumble again, this time enough to rattle Ezekiel’s body, shaking so violently there was practically no direction he could stumble and fall. “WH-WH-WHAT TH-TH-TH-THE HE-HE-HE-HELL?!”
Finally, the intensified rumble comes to a gradual halt, as Ezekiel finally loses his balance yet again and lands on his stomach with a thud, causing him to loudly exclaim “-SHIT! OOF, DAMN IT ALL! WHAT THE SAM HELL WAS THAT?!”
“Punk ass Jester’s Bells! Punk ass desert! Punk ass shooting star! Punk ass earthquake! Punk ass inability to maintain my balance while drunk!” Ezekiel yells and spits in anger, as he gets back up to his feet.
Dusting himself off and continuing to grumble, he is suddenly blinded by a strange sight in the distance, a massive beacon of what appears to be spiraling red and blue light, emerging from the desert ground. As the view focuses on the beacon, Ezekiel shielding his face with his gloved hands, the spiraling beacon of light was revealed to be similarly shaped like the structure of a DNA molecule: a double helix spiral.
“It’s the fourth of July already?!” Ezekiel exclaims, finally managing to lock his eyes with the beacon of light. “That’s no punk ass shooting star… that’s like some sort of Sci-Fi movie beacon of light! It’s like it fell from space!”
Ezekiel thinks to himself, picking at his teeth with one of his dirty fingernails, as a cartoony pair of cogs, caked with oil and cobwebs, within a cartoon rendition of his brain, are shown shifting slightly, before clicking together and starting to turn. Ezekiel’s eyes suddenly light up, realizing something.
“IT IS FROM SPACE!” Ezekiel yells through the teeth he’s still picking, before quickly taking the finger out of his mouth and forcing himself to sober up as much as possible within that very moment, Ezekiel begins drunkenly sprinting in the direction of the beacon of light, pushing his stamina to its limit and rambling within his own inner-monologue, “HOLY SHIT, THAT’S SOME ALIEN SPACECRAFT! MAYBE, A METEORITE! IF I CLAIM THAT SUCKER, I CAN GET SOMETHING FROM IT, LIKE MONEY, FAME, THAT LOCAL TV APPEARANCE I’VE ALWAYS WANTED! I CAN BE SOMEONE MORE THAN THE MAN WHO COULDN’T FLIP BURGERS!!!”
As the scene changes a few minutes ahead, the light of the beacon now mostly dwindled to a transparent state, Ezekiel, now fully arrived, doubled-over, and puking up from the overexertion of his wild sprint, comes back to his senses, wipes his face, and slowly looks down into the source of the faded beacon: a massive, smoking crater so scalding hot that a great portion of the stand surrounding it had transformed into semi-reflective glass.
“Holy shit…” Ezekiel mumbles in awe, as he stumbles into the interior of the smoke-filled crater, coughing loudly as his boots crunch over glass. “Jesus, it’s definitely something from outer space! It has to be!”
As Ezekiel, still coughing and waving his head in the air, struggles to get a better look through the smoke, the beacon of light above seems to flicker and warp, before suddenly seemingly to fizzle out, something unnoticed by Ezekiel as the smoke was slowly starting to fade.
A massive, jagged mass of twisted metal and warped shrapnel, colored a swirled mess of dark-crimson-red and dark-royal-blue metallic fluid, lays in the center of the scorched crater, with smoking streaks of burned ash and spikes of the metallic fluid, crystallized into a rock-like state and resembling clusters of geode crystals, messily emerging from its form, ranging from lumpy patches of sparkling crystals to tall, razor-sharp, quill-like thorns. The sand underneath the foreign object had been so heated from its impact into the Earth, it was at least a few inches of solid, rigid glass.
“N-No meteorite I’ve ever seen.” Ezekiel speaks, slightly nervous but very curious. Holding out a hand in a dazzled manner and seemingly making an attempt to scan for any extreme heat still radiating from its form, Ezekiel continues to ease his way down toward the bizarre artifact from space, narrowly avoiding contact with the sharp glass-layered ground.
“This is it, Ezekiel… you’ve made it… no more scavenging for scraps... “ Ezekiel speaks to himself within his inner-monologue, his tone extremely nervous but excited. “...Las Vegas big shot, here I COME!”
As Ezekiel, overwhelmed by excitement, moves his left hand toward the artifact, seemingly not sensing any form of extreme heat still radiating from it, a bolt of glowing electricity shoots out of a cluster of nearby crystals, causing Ezekiel to throw himself back out of shock, yelping out and narrowly falling back. Seconds later, extremely confused and still rather drunk, Ezekiel glances at the palm of his glove, seeing no burn, as if the electricity didn’t even touch him at all.
Confused, Ezekiel slowly holds his hand toward the mass again, waving it slightly, and thus, like the interior of a plasma globe, crackling streams of electricity, glowing red and blue, radiate from the cluster of crystals on its outer-surface, linking to the palms and fingertips of his outstretched left hand. Not harmed or discomforted, Ezekiel chuckles and laughs in amazement, and upon moving a few inches closer, the six bolts of electricity, three red and three blue, slowly meld together, forming a single, spiraling beam of white light consuming the underside of his entire left hand, further amazing Ezekiel.
“Las Vegas big shot…” Ezekiel repeats his previous quote, albeit slower and now a mere whisper, as he reaches toward the mass. “...here I come...”
Within an instance, Ezekiel smacks his entire hand against the side of the mass, as the bursts of electrified light are reflected back off his palm and into the exterior of the mass, briefly causing rapid waves of white light to surge through it. As Ezekiel’s eyes widen, the mass rapidly trembles and shakes, before the crystals on its exterior begin to crackle with bursts of energy. Before Ezekiel can fully react beyond a look of shock, a dazzling eruption of energy ruptures from the otherworldly mass from where Ezekiel’s left hand makes contact with it.
Ezekiel reels back out of shock again, a piercing ringing filling his ears and with a cracking pop, a geyser of blood and severed fingertips erupts from the now-mangled end of his arm. Before Ezekiel had the seconds to let out a scream, flashes of glowing-red and blue energy rapidly flash from within the entire left side of his body, like electricity glowing within his veins. With a blinding, silent explosion, the otherworldly meteorite-like mass detonates into rays of energy, sending Ezekiel flying back as a muffled scream partially tears through the ringing.
Although black smoke now clouds the air, a bloodied, shredded wool glove visibly falls to the scorched ground, which is now coated in patches of petrified, disfigured crystals, the coloration of them having merged together to roughly form a bright-purple coloration. Like an unholy storm, trickles of fluid fall from the sky and onto the ground, recognized as the red-hot metallic fluid the otherworldly meteorite-like mass was coated in, which rapidly cool and harden, forming the crystals, which took on the shape of frozen droplets.
Dead-silent, besides a faint ringing and the sounds of hissing smoke, a twisted, blackened mass lays half-buried in the sand, emerging from the wall of the crater’s interior, almost entirely covered in the crystals, and blown almost entirely to high hell.
The silhouette of protruding, crumpled human ribs shines in the moonlight, as blood from a shattered leg silently drips into the nearby sand. A burnt, smoldering hand sticks out of a mass of crystallized glass, practically missing all its fingers, and on closer inspection, was most definitely not connected to a forearm. The ringing in the air gradually fades, replaced by the sounds of smoldering clothing and the weak howling of wind, before abruptly being accompanied by struggling gasps for air.
The otherworldly mass was gone, where it rested now replaced by blackened sand and non-reflective glass, and what was left of it was broken shrapnel fragments sticking out of Ezekiel’s semi-decompiled body like a demented, charred pin-cushion. Ezekiel’s face, what would be unrecognizable concealed by the night sky’s darkness, although the sight of sickly scars blinding his left eye remaining visible, lays against the blood-soaked sand, beaten and destroyed: the face of a man who gambled and lost.
“De-death… by meteorite slime...” Ezekiel chokes out through bloodied exhales and leans his head slightly upwards, all while struggling to breathe and sounding like he’s being strangled. “...if that… isn’t on my headstone… whole’s funeral… off...”
As Ezekiel chokes out one last word through straining breath, he drops his head back down, small jets of blood visibly leaking from his nostrils, the corners of his mouth, and a soon-to-be-fatal wound on the side of his neck. However, as Ezekiel is bled dry, the crystals both around and partially covering his semi-conscious body begin to shimmer brightly and eventually, seemingly begin to boil and gradually seem to soften. The strange transformation of their state of matter, now slick and amorphous, begins to sprout strange cord-like tendrils from their liquefied surfaces and glide around the sand, moving like parasitic worms.
Ezekiel opens his right eye, unable to open his left, and maniacally breathes, as the strange colored tendrils slowly begin to move toward his maimed body and encase his wounded skin, seemingly attempting to absorb his entire form. As Ezekiel’s bloodshot eye frantically looks around, the seemingly semi-sentient metallic fluid enters his wounds, causing Ezekiel to scream out in terror, “AAAGGGHHHHH!!!”
His face, everything but his still-functioning eye, is slowly encased in the gelatinous substance, extinguishing further attempts to scream. With a bizarre sequence ensuing, Ezekiel’s wounds are forcefully pinched shut by the metallic fluid, entering his veins and hardening to form makeshift clots, and the shrapnel fragments emerging from his skin are slowly pulled free and deconstructed down. The metallic sludge slowly seals the stump of his destroyed arm, piece his broken rib-cage back together, reform his horribly-shattered left leg, and slowly begin to enter the wounds of the blinded left side of his face.
Seemingly regaining movement, Ezekiel frees himself from the sand, dripping with blood, sand, and metallic sludge. His right foot, intact albeit with a burnt boot, slowly plants itself against the sandy ground, pushing itself upward, but is followed by a bio-mechanical left foot with hydraulic bones and carbon-black armor in place of skin. As Ezekiel finally regains his balance and stumbles forward, shambling with an uneven gait, his damaged eyelids are slowly restored and open upwards, unveiling a newly-reformed optical organ, a glowing-red bio-mechanical pupil radiating out of a new metallic iris. Throwing his head up in shock, a spiral of dazzling colors fill Ezekiel’s vision, as his new mechanized eye sparkles with rejuvenated life.
The post-opening scene shows a massive, seemingly-abandoned industrial factory, described as “Ambidextrous Robotics: The Future, Two Hands at a Time” through a large, heavily-weathered sign atop the factory building. Covered in broken, boarded-up windows and seemingly in the middle of nowhere within the Mojave desert, the visible sporadic bursts of light within its dark interior gave away that something was secretly dwelling inside, and it wasn’t as abandoned as it seemed. Just then, a large black van drives toward a rough sandy road toward its entrance, before swerving around toward its right side and approaching a large open garage door that led into the factory’s interior.
Glowing bright-red and bright-blue binary text slowly appears at the bottom of the screen as the scene gradually plays out, revealing just how exactly how long it’s been since the opening sequence.
“ONE... YEAR... LATER...”
The interior of the “abandoned” factory is shown, entirely filled to the brim with active machinery and a ragtag group of around three dozen industrial workers, dressed in dark clothing with various welding masks and goggles concealing their faces. With makeshift desks of rusted metal tables, the view quickly pans to show a handful of workers performing respective tasks, such as delivering large metal boxes of mechanical parts and electronics down assembly lines, working on metallic devices and even in one of the part of the factory, seemingly using it as a testing zone for whatever they were specifically building.
One of the many workers, a round, overweight but tall worker with a stylized, white-striped welding mask, was hard at work at a large metallic mask, surrounded by computer monitors with glowing interfaces and old metallic desk lamps. Utilizing a makeshift telescopic lens on the right side of his welding mask, the worker was in the middle of working on a large metal-rimmed medallion-shaped device.
Abruptly, the black van pulls into the factory through the rusted garage door, with a pair of workers standing near the garage door manually shutting and locking it shut. As the van loudly grinds to a halt, another pair of masked workers slowly open the back doors of the van, allowing two darkly-dressed figures, one carrying a plastic crate of bizarre metal electronic parts and another carrying a bizarre, golden-yellow Egyptian pharaoh-like mask in a small glass container.
The pudgy worker briefly glances up toward the nameless newcomers, but resumes his work. However, tossing the plastic crate of electronics down on a nearby worker’s desk, startling him, one of the darkly-dressed figures approaches the worker, a lean figure with a prominent beard, dark-brown hair, squared sunglasses over his eyes, and currently in the process of removing a black overcoat.
“Everett!” The newcomer yells out, his tone flustered and annoyed. “The hell’s going on?! You never called me regarding the Density-Shifter Module! I didn’t even know you were still working on it!”
The welding-masked worker, his name revealed, pulls off a pair of previously-hidden earmuffs and lifts his mask, revealing a mild case of baby-face with soft-brown eyes and scruffy, although very short facial hair. In a low, confused voice, he responds back with a short, “Wha-?”
“YOU NEVER CALLED ME!” The newcomer yells back in response, pulling off and pocketing his sunglasses to reveal bright-blue eyes.
“Ab-about the module, Evan? Oh, it’s still being worked on!” Everett stammers back, pointing a thumb over his shoulder into the background. “In fact, Roman and Aaron are currently testing it over there. The intangibility function’s still not working out, but the invincibility option is pretty much operational.”
The newcomer, his name also revealed, looks over in the direction of his thumb toward the testing zone, essentially a large cleared-out area shielded off from the working zones through bullet-proof glass windows and metallic doors. A pair of figures, apparently “Roman” and “Aaron” were seen, one with the “Density-Shifter Module”, a large triangular emblem on the center of his chest, in the process of being repeatedly thwacked in the side of the head by a hammer, courtesy of the other figure, although he was phased in the slightest. Evan sighs and looks back at Everett, suddenly grabbing the medallion-shaped device he was working on.
“If the Density-Shifter Module is over there, then what the hell’s this thing?!” Evan yells with frustration.
“That’s uh… one of the prototype Dark Matter Fragmentation bombs-...” Everett responds back with a monotone voice, causing Evan to suddenly go wide-eyed and fling the device out of his hand in shock, only for Everett to suddenly grab it, chuckle, and finish his sentence with, “...-that isn’t loaded with dark matter yet.”
“God damn it, Everett.” Evan remarks, still frustrated. “Speaking of which, why is your desk so shallow? Where’s the Corrosive Plasmoid Flamethrower? That Fusion Energy Grenade Launcher? Those Electron Rifle parts? All those bionic exo-suit parts? Everett, why is your entire working place bare as the very desert we’re in?! I need you to be working around the clock on all these projects! We have orders coming in FASTER this month, and if we don’t attend to them, our buyers will get pissed and WE WON’T GET OUR MONEY-”
“Alright, first off, Evan, you are talking a hundred miles a minute. I’m finally aware of all my projects. All of it has been mostly taken care of. I gave the Plasmoid Flamethrower project to Elijah, the newly-recruited worker.” Everett calmly responds. “The rifle parts are going to be successfully assembled in the automated area of the factory. The bionic exo-suit parts are going to be saved for a later date. They’re the most time-consuming, and as you just described, we are currently requiring quantity over quality.”
“What the fuc- when did you decide ALL OF THAT?! I’ve been gone for 2 days!” Evan responds, annoyed. “Also, who gave you the right to make ALL those decisions, ESPECIALLY trading projects with other workers?! I’m third-in-command, Everett, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make orders!”
“Everyone here would probably disagree.” Everett scowls, searching for a tool in a compartment under his desk, mumbling to himself, “Damn it, where’s my electro-thermal blowtorch?”
“Hey, LISTEN UP!” Evan yells, frustrated, as he leans over Everett’s desk, before correcting himself and awkwardly leaning under his desk to look him in the eyes. “Do NOT ignore my authority! I told you, I’m one of the few people who was put in actual charge, so I’LL run roost!”
”Alright.” Everett stiffly responds, sitting back up and laying his blowtorch down on his working table.
“Now, where’s that fusion grenade launcher? Did you at least finish that?” Evan asks, also standing back up and additionally crossing his arms.
“Oh, yeah, it… uh…” Everett responds, but suddenly frowns, coming at a sudden loss of words, before finally finding an urge to finish his sentence. “...uh… it blew up.”
“IT- WHAT?!” Evan responds in a shocked manner, uncrossing his arms. “IT BLEW UP?! HOW THE FUCK DID IT BLOW UP?!”
“Oh my god, yes, yes, it blew up! It short-circuited while Sebastian was testing it after you left two days ago!” Everett responds, infuriated by Evan’s explosive responses, but oddly retaining his tone-deaf voice despite being visibly angry. “Now, he’s in the hospital with a massive concussion, third-degree burns all over his body, and a fully-amputated right arm!”
“But, how did it even blow up?!” Evan responds, confused.
“Oh my- read the NAME we gave it. ‘Fusion’. ‘Grenade’. ‘Launcher’! It LITERALLY has a tiny nuclear reactor inside of it the size of a gumball! How much more cartoon-like could it possibly get?!” Everett responds, slightly enraged. “Evan, if that shit was sold to our buyer and it blew up, that’s ONE more dead customer to deal with! You can’t sell this unstable shit immediately after it’s built! You NEED to test it thoroughly!”!
“Then, fuck it, we’ll give Sebastian new cybernetics! We’ll make a new Fusion Grenade Launcher and graft into the new robotic arm we’ll give him! New arm, new skin, new whatever he lost!” Evan retorts in an exaggerated manner. “That’s what we do, we can make him better again! If everything fucks up and goes ‘ka-blooey’ in the end here, we can fix it!”
“We wouldn’t HAVE to be fixing things if we weren’t made flawed to BEGIN with!” Evan snaps back. “Sebastian screamed bloody murder for almost 30 minutes until he passed out! That shit fucked him up BAD! Why do you still think safety is not that big of a priority? Why do you keep considering INSTANT money more important?!”
“Hey, you know what--” Evan suddenly leans over, his face bright-red, whispering into Everett’s ear through slightly-gritted teeth. “-do YOU want instant money? Do you want a paycheck at the end of his week? We can FIX whatever we break, but the only thing we’ll not just break and fix is your STUPID FUCKING FACE IF YOU DON’T SHOVE IT, EVERETT! LET THE MECHANICS BUFF OUT THE ISSUES, YOU JUST ASSEMBLE THE SHIT, GOT IT?”
Mildly defeated, quite upset, and if not for the shadows of his lifted welding mask, visibly red in the face, Evan simply grumbles, “Sure, whatever.” before glancing over toward the plastic crate Evan tossed aside during his arrival. “So, how was the junkyard this week? Full?”
“The exact FUCKING opposite, actually. We gotta expand our looting area, big time, Everett, because that place is offering less and less resources of LESS and LESS value every-time we visit it.” Evan retorts back. “You understand what I mean, right?”
“I mean… I… guess...? I don’t know, man. I’m exhausted.” Evan responds, slightly confused as he suddenly remembers something and reaches beneath his working table. “Speaking of ‘exhausting’, since you’re losing your goddamn mind over progress, I at least finished that dumb project you personally requested from me.”
“What project?” Evan slightly cocks his head in confusion, before firing off a witty response. “The ‘Anti-Everett-Slacking’ project?”
“Okay, quit being an asshole, because I did this exactly for you.” Everett grabs the contents of a concealed plastic crate, pulling out an object partially covered in jumbled cords, before tossing it down on his working table. “Presto, you wanted this, so here you go. That’s your free monthly request from me.”
“It’s… an arm… Actually, it’s part of an arm…” Everett responds, slightly dumbfounded, staring at what was revealed to be a metallic gauntlet reaching up to the upper-forearm, its framework makeshift and brimming with exposed cords, while it was tipped with plated knuckles and sharp electrical prongs.
“Gauntlet. It’s a gauntlet, Evan. Michael helped me with this one. A simple press of a button here and...” Everett responds, lifting it upwards and pressing a concealed button on the gauntlet’s palms, causing metallic plates to suddenly emerge from the gauntlet’s knuckles and light up with blue electricity. Everett stares like a curious child, as Evan de-activates it and tosses it over to Evan, who narrowly catches it. “Presto, have fun. Michael calls it the ‘Tazerfist’.”
“The… ‘Tazerfist’... what purpose does the Tazerfist serve to make me want to request something like it?” Evan responds, looking at it.
“I have no idea.” Everett glares with seething frustration. “For god’s sake, Evan, what do you think we’re making? Bizarre home security products? Weapons! The Tazerfist is a weapon! We make weapons out of defective Ambidextrous Robotics technology, junkyard scraps, and all that alien technology that crashed into the desert almost a year ago!”
Counting one-by-one on his fingers, Everett lists, “The Artificial-Cyclone Generator! The Firebreather Respirator! The Self-Replenishing, Air-Pressurized Jet-Pack! The Anti-Graviton Energy Whip! The Magnetic Pulse Landmines! Even, that fucking metal pair of boots that generate miniature earthquakes! They’re all weapons, the Tazerfist included!”
Almost on cue, half of the entire interior of the factory seems to briefly vibrate and shake, sending loose metal scraps on nearby tables flying off and crashing onto the ground. Evan turns his body in the direction of the testing room, and yells in the direction of Roman and Aaron, “ROMAN, THE ‘QUAKERBOOTS’ ARE FOR OUTDOOR PURPOSES ONLY! YOU’RE GOING TO BRING THIS WHOLE PLACE DOWN!”
“Sorry, some power surge turned them on!” Roman yells back.
“Power surge? It’s not fucking storming.” Evan whispers, squinting before turning back to Everett, who’s returned to his work, his welding mask back down over his face, before Evan begins to monologue to himself. “Look, you absolutely get the picture. We sell them to criminals, they either pay us on the spot or they pay us back later, with interest to make it worth our while. End of every month, we get our money split from the boss himself, and rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. You understand, huh?”
A brief pause of silence, albeit with the sounds of the factory’s ambiance, ensues, with no response from Everett, as he was not listening, due to not being able to hear through his mask and in the middle of working. Everett begins welding, prompting Evan to look away, to not directly at the arc-light.
Evan begins walking away, taking the Tazerfist gauntlet with him out of curiosity. A cartoon rendition is depicted within Evan’s mind, showing a short flashback of Evan and Everett talking in a very similar situation, just with Evan having a complete lack of his explosive attitude.
“You know, I kinda want to be out there, making mayhem with a bunch of modified toys, and just fucking things up, because I feel like it. I’ll like to have one of those scary super-villain suits and a cheesy evil nickname to go along with it.” The cartoon Evan says, all while Everett is comically hammering a piece of scrap metal.
“Why don’t you? You’d be decent super-villain material.” The cartoon Everett responds, while he now comically uses a rolling pin to flatten a pile of metal with the appearance of dark-gray dough. “I mean, I have a super-villain nickname, and all I do is work on these gadgets.”
“YOU have a super-villain nickname? You never told me.” The cartoon Evan responds, tapping his chin, to which the cartoon Everett, now having cooked a pizza of broken fragments of metal and wires, responds with, “Oh, yeah. It used to be ‘Grease Monkey’, because I didn’t have the ‘bestest’ hygiene, but I eventually shifted toward… the ‘TAMPERER’. It had more ‘oomph’ to it.”
“Is ‘bestest’ even a word?’ The cartoon Evan asks, still tapping his chin.
As the cartoon rendition abruptly ends, now showing Evan intensely staring at the Tazerfist, now on his face and active, a familiar rumbling sweeps over the factory, causing an uproar of frustrated groans and yells to emit from its workers. Evan staggers and collapses forward, losing his footing and managing to quickly stop himself before the Tazerfist’s active electrified knuckles were driven into his face, although one of his astray hairs of his beard were unlucky and was singed and set ablaze upon contact. Deactivating the Tazerfist and raising to his feet, Evan quickly puts the tiny wick of fire out, before turning toward the testing zone.
“WHICH ONE OF YOU JACKASSES DIDN’T HEAR ME EARLI-?!” Evan screams, red-faced, as he apparently storms through one of the testing zone’s doors, only to abruptly cut his final word off, seeing that not a soul was inside.
Seeing a slightly-opened exit door, Evan pokes his head out, revealing the shady backside of the factory, where Roman, a tall, prominently-lanky figure with bags under his eyes, and Aaron, a muscular, dark-skinned figure with a deep scar across his right cheek, were slacking off and smoking.
“Come on, man! Quit hogging the thing!” Roman pleads, attempting to pluck something out of Aaron’s mouth.
“I did pretty much ALL the work, today, and saved your sorry ass from getting yelled at by Evan.” Aaron responds, pulling a cigarette out of his mouth and blowing smoke in Roman’s face. “You want one of mine? Earn one.”
“Yeah, or…” Roman simply responds, before suddenly attempting to lunge and pull the cigarette out of Aaron’s hand, resulting in the two wrestling for it.
“Get off, dickhead!” Aaron angrily yells, as the two struggle. “Get your own fucking-”
“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TWO DOING?!” Evan exclaims, frightening to the two until sudden petrification, as they quickly look over toward Evan, Aaron pushing Roman off.
“Taking a break. I-... WE finished all our work.” Aaron responds, quickly correcting himself.
“You fuckers are going to get an EARFUL when I tell the boss you almost made me sear my face off!” Evan exclaims, lifting up the Tazerfist.
“The hell are you talking about?” Roman asks, slowly reaching toward the cigarette, still in Aaron’s hand, only to be elbowed in the ribs. “Ow!”
“YOU TURNED THE QUAKERBOOTS ON AGAIN! YOU’RE GOING TO SINK THIS WHOLE FACTORY DOWN TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH!” Evan responds, pointing at them.
“What do you mean ‘again’? We’ve been out here for like 10 minutes.” Aaron responds, taking a puff of the cigarette in his hands and exhaling smoke.
“Really? So that ‘power surge’ turned them again?” Evan sarcastically responds, glaring angrily.
“There was no power surge. Aaron accidentally turned them when he was messing with its processors.” Roman responds, with a frustrated tone, as Aaron’s eyes suddenly widen.
“WHAT?! YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE TINKERING WITH GADGETS IN THE TESTING ZONE! EVEN I KNOW THAT’S NOT SAME!” Evan yells at Aaron.
“DUDE, WHAT THE FUCK! YOU REALLY JUST BACKED OFF YOUR PROMISE THAT QUICKLY!” Aaron shouts at Roman, realizing he had tattled on him.
“THAT’S FOR HITTING ME HERE!” Roman shouts back, gesturing to where Aaron’s elbow had struck his ribs. “THAT SHIT HURTS, MAN, AND YOU KNOW THAT!”
“You’re going to get more of it, you little asshole!” Aaron exclaims, before the two break out into a fistfight, before Evan grabs the back of their heads, clenching their heads together before clonking the sides of them together.
“OH! DAMN IT, WHAT THE HELL?! THAT HURT, EVAN! OW, OW, OW!” The two scream out in near-unison, as they fall on the ground, clutching their heads like toddlers.
“SHUT UP, AND GET ON YOUR FEET!” Evan yells, prompting the two to immediately rise back up to their feet, Aaron still somehow holding the cigarette in-between two fingers, to which Evan finally notices, asking “First off, what the hell is that, Aaron?”
“Something Roman is too poor to afford.” Aaron responds.
“That DOESN’T ANSWER MY QUESTION!” Evan fumes, to which a slightly-startled Aaron quickly responds, “J-Just a cigarette.”
“No, it’s NOT a cigarette! First off, neither of you are smokers, not even recent ones, because this is the first time I’ve ever personally seen you hiding behind the factory!” Evan exclaims. “Second off, I CAN LITERALLY SMELL THE MARIJUANA! THAT’S A JOINT!”
“S-So?” Roman stammers out in slight protest.
“No drugs while AT WORK, NOT EVEN IF YOU’RE ON BREAK! YOU CAN’T WORK IF YOU’RE HIGH! TOSS IT!” Evan fumes in response.
Frustrated, Aaron groans and tosses the joint out of his hands, prompting Roman to suddenly yell out “NO!” and lunge after it like a dog after a thrown stick. As Aaron exclaims, “GIVE A BREAK, ROMAN! STOP IT!” and lunges after him, an annoyed Evan simply rolls his eyes and returns back inside, leaving the two to wrestle in the sand.
“Wait…” Evan exclaims within his inner-monologue, now back within the testing zone as he searches around. “...those boots… they didn’t take them outside… they didn’t tell me they moved them… nobody could have come into him and taken them without me hearing them… so where’s the damn Quakerboots?!”
Evan suddenly removes a walkie-talkie-like communicator from his pocket, seemingly using it to call one of the workers, as he puts it to his ear and asks, “Hey, any workers who were in the facility’s testing zone, besides Roman and Aaron, respond back. I think those two knuckleheads misplaced the Quakerboots. I need them back. They’re being sold tonight.”
“Nothing over here, sir.” A masculine voice crackles back in response through the walkie-talkie, to which an irate Evan exclaims, “Then DON’T respond back, if you don’t have them, JERRY.”
“I think Elijah might have scooped them up a bit ago.” A robust feminine voice responds back.
“Nah, Vicki, I’ve been working on this damn flamethrower for the past 8 and a half hours.” A deep, robust masculine voice retorts in a mildly-exhausted voice. “Evan, Jeremy has them. I saw him walking around with them just a few minutes ago. I think he’s rewiring them.”
“What? Elijah, I don’t have any of that shit. That wasn’t me.” Another masculine voice, presumably Jeremy, responds back to Elijah, bewildered.
“Whoever it was is wearing a dark overcoat and wandering near one of the sides of the facility.” Elijah responds. “Look, I have a big project I’m working on. Talk to you later, Evan.”
“Hey, hold the phone, I think I see what you're talking about, Elijah! He’s a couple meters from my working table, just standing around! He’s part-bionic! He’s got a metal hand! It’s Abraham for crying out loud!” Jeremy exclaims, before his voice grows slightly fainter, presumably due to him becoming distant from his walkie-talkie as he confronts whoever this person was. However, his voice remains audible, as he exclaims, “Hey, buddy, Evan wants the Quakerboots you’ve been toying around with! Where are they?! Hey, LOOK AT ME, ABRAHAM! QUIT SCREWING AROUND, YOU-!”
A brief, abrupt silence ensues, with Evan staring intensely at the receiver of his walkie-talkie, listening, before a third masculine voice, apparently Abraham, comes on the transmission and replies like a confused child, “Huh, did someone say my name? Sorry, my earmuffs are kinda tight. What’s going on?”
“HEY! HEY, YOU’RE NOT ABRAHAM! HEY, FUCK YOU!” Jeremy loudly yells out, his voice crackling, as a shocked, slightly-confused Evan exclaims, “Wait, what’s going on? JEREMY?!”
“AHHH! AH, FUCK, GET OFF! GET-” Jeremy screams through crackling static, before a metallic impact, a painful “OOMPH!”, and both an audible thud and the clattering of Jeremy’s plastic walkie-talkie against the ground, all cut him off.
A shocked Evan stares into his walkie-talkie’s receiver, as various confused voices enter the transmissions, asking what’s going on. Seconds later, Evan, armed with the Tazerfist over his right arm, rushes out of the testing zone, narrowly bumping into several working tables and being forced to jump over one in the process.
Passing behind a confused Everett in the process, who quickly shoots him a “Evan, what’s going on?”, Evan swiftly responds, “Shut up and get back to work!” before he eventually enters the opposite side of the factory, partially blocked off from the other from a large metallic wall.
Slowly searching the partially-unlit, dust-filled area, Evan’s eyes widen as he startlingly comes by the body of a simple worker, a detached welding mask and walkie-talkie both laying on the ground nearby.
Revealing his semi-conscious state through a groan of agony, Evan helps the worker up, revealing him to be Jeremy, a worker best represented by his unkempt, dirty-blond hair, his right eye slightly pinched shut from a semi-formed black eye.
“Jeremy!” Evan exclaims, helping him out of the gloomy side of the factory. “Jeremy, talk to me! What the hell happened? Sounded like someone sucker-punched you!”
“Exactly that just happened! We’re a wooden shack, and there’s a termite among us!” Jeremy responds back, trying not to clutch his bad eye. “He’s in the shadows! There’s no way he can just be hiding in plain view!”
As the two make their way to the mostly-populated side of the factory, several workers helping Jeremy, Evan quickly turns back toward the darkness of the near-empty section of the factory, glaring into its darkness.
“Flashlight, stat.” Evan demands, as a nearby miscellaneous worker quickly runs over, grabs a nearby flashlight, and hands it to Evan, who attempts to turn it on, only to find its open empty battery compartment. “Damn it, flashlight WITH BATTERIES! BATTERIES, I SAY!”
“Sorry!” A timid exclamation emitted from one of the workers, as Evan tosses the empty flashlight out of his hand and allows another worker to hand him over a working one, activating it and beginning to slowly use it to pan through the darkness.
“All of you, get back to work. I’ll take care of this.” Evan demands.
“How the hell are you going to take down an invader? With your bare hands?” The voice of a feminine worker emits from the crowd behind Evan, who merely responds by lifting up the Tazerfist gauntlet over his right hand and lower-forearm, before suddenly activating it.
Meanwhile, lingering in the shadows and narrowly avoiding the glowing gaze of the flashlight, a darkly-dressed, almost-entirely-camouflaged figure ducks, bobs, and weaves through and under metal tables and rusted shelves, revealing that Jeremy’s words were true, and his right leg was visibly robotic in nature, albeit details were visibly scarce due to the darkness surrounding him.
“This is some scary shit, man… this is like a horror movie…” A deep-voiced figure behind Evan exclaims, practically a couple inches away from Evan.
“Whatever, just get back to work.” Evan merely exclaims, quickly facing him to suddenly reveal that he is one of the darkly-dressed individuals that was in the black van. “Huh, wait, what?"
“Oh, so, you were the guy who was in the passenger seat in-front of me. You were quiet the whole trip. Get back to whatever the boss told you to do, I'm handling this.” Evan realizes, briefly hesitating, before a sudden crashing of metal alerts Evan, who quickly turns, pointing his flashlight, and exclaims, “What the hell was that?!”
“I thought he probably tripped over something... looks like the dumb-ass truly doesn’t have that good of vision in the darkness...” The darkly-dressed worker exclaims, pointing toward the darkness with a gloved hand. “In short... I think we caught him..."
“Then, he’s mine! Nobody assaults one of my workers!” Evan exclaims, searching the light and finally spotting a darkly-dressed figure, lying on the ground and struggling to get up. “THERE HE IS! I FOUND YOU, ASSHOLE!”
As Evan rushes toward the fallen intruder, activating the Tazerfist and reeling his fist back, a muffled scream of shock emits from the intruder, who is still struggling on the ground, prompting Evan to halt his punches just inches of it colliding with the intruder’s back.
“Hold on…” Evan’s tone drops, as confusion sweeps over him like a tidal-wave. Examining the figure, his struggling attempts to stand back up were revealed to be the fact that his arms were tied behind his back with cables. “...what the fuck? He’s restrained?!”
As Evan flips him over, now audibly hearing muffled yells emitting from him, he sees the supposed bionic leg, which was on closer inspection, was nothing more than several metallic plates stuffed under the person’s pant-leg to give the illusion of the silhouette of an armored, mechanical appendage.
“It’s just a bunch of metal shit! He’s not a cyborg, he’s…” Evan glances over at his face, seeing that he was visibly gagged with a tied piece of black cloth, shrouding his mouth and eyes, cutting off his ability to see and speak. Pulling the gag off with one fellow swoop, Evan finishes his sentence, “...JERRY! WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?!”
“NO, NO, NO, EVAN, WATCH OUT! HE WANTS YOU TO GET DISTRACTED!” Jerry exclaims, his voice identical to the one who was standing near Evan just moments ago.
“JERRY, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU-” Evan exclaims, out of frustration, as a thundering aura of shock fills the air, as Evan slowly turns around to the sight of a falling fedora and bandit mask, being removed and dropped by a organic, gloved hand and an artificial, black-armored hand, formerly covered up by a dark glove.
“NO…” Evan merely exclaims, as the revealed Jerry continues, stating, “HE USED JEREMY AS A DISTRACTION! AS SOON AS YOU WERE RUNNING OVER HERE, HE TOSSED ME OUT HERE, GAGGED AND RESTRAINED, TO TAKE HIS PLACE!”
“Good job, kiddo.” A familiar, deep masculine voice emits from the unmasked figure, who slowly removes his overcoat and drops to the ground, revealing a strange dark-purple jumpsuit underneath, his right sleeve rolled to the elbow and revealing a bionic left arm, its exterior composed of black metallic plates. “You got it right on the money.”
“Damn it, YOU WERE HERE THIS WHOLE TIME, EVEN BEFORE ALL THIS!” Evan exclaims out of frustration, his face bright-red from a combination of shock and anger.
“Not exactly, I just swapped places with him. I only put this charade on for a couple hours, but... I think I did PRETTY well, if I do say so myself.” The figure responds, removing dark slacks to reveal the lower-half of his jumpsuit and additionally, a similarly-bionic left leg, partially visible through his pant-leg.
“I knew Jerry had a pretty big case of photophobia. He’s scared to death of foreign flashlights pointing in his direction, but even worse if he can only hardly see it. It’s a weird fear I used to my advantage. I knew he would avoid the flashlight and stay hidden, long enough to allow myself to slink through the shadows and blend into your group while you were still mindlessly pointing that flashlight toward him.” Ezekiel continues, to which, out of frustration, Jerry exclaims, “You diabolical bastard!” while still struggling on the ground.
“Yup, that’s me, alright, and I did the whole thing to finally step foot in the facility I’ve never been able to crack.” The figure responds, straightening out his flattened black hair into semi-natural spikes and finally removing his glasses, revealing a scarred left eye, occupied by a glowing, bright-red bionic left eye, truly revealing his identity: Ezekiel, one year later. “...not until today.”
“EZEKIEL!” Evan exclaims, clenching his fist. “I should have known... there’s all these fucking Jester’s Bells mutants trying to break into our hide-outs and steal our equipment, but I should have expected this shit to come out of YOU!”
“You’re absolutely right, Evan, and it ABSOLUTELY WORKED! I’M HERE! I’M INSIDE THE FACTORY!” Ezekiel joyfully responds, his appearance much different than how he was almost a year ago, now with fairer skin, a clearer goatee, better hygiene, the scar over his left eye now faded, and of course, his new cybernetics, created after the incident that narrowly took his life. “AND NOW… I’m about to kick your ass…”
“You keep on dreaming, Ezekiel. That’s all you’ll be doing when I’m done with you.” Evan angrily retorts, activating the Tazerfist.
“Cool gadget. Didn’t Michael help out with that one? Crafty fellow.” Ezekiel sarcastically remarks, as he squints toward Evan and smirks, before suddenly unveiling and lightly tossing something hidden within his overcoat: the Quakerboots, sabotaged and battered.
“Bastard…” Evan mutters under his breath, still clutching his fist, as the ruined Quakerboots crash to the ground, exploding in a mass of compressed electronics and frayed wires.
“When I’m done, this factory will be rubble under my feet. I will stop at nothing to destroy these rogue operations. I will make my home, Jester’s Bells, a safe haven once again, free of your illegal alien weapons!” Ezekiel responds with a heroic urgency in his voice, something entirely new to his now-different personality. “Me and you, Evan. Let’s do this.”
As the two stand tall and stare each other down, dead silent and filling the atmosphere with enough tension to break rock, Jerry breaks the tension, screaming in the direction of the other side of the factory, yelling out, “HELP! HELP! SOMEONE SOUND THE ALARMS! THE INTRUDER IS-”
“Shut up already, JERRRRYYY!” Ezekiel loudly yells out, throwing his overcoat over Jerry’s head and muffling his yells. However, his moment of distraction allows Evan to get an unexpected running start, as he rushes toward Ezekiel, reeling his Tazerfist-gauntlet-tipped arm back and charging a punch.
“I WILL BURN YOU TO A CRISP, EZEKIEL!” Evan loudly exclaims, as Ezekiel quickly reels his bionic arm back, clenching his robotic fingers into a tight fist, and uppercuts Evan back, sending him flying a few feet backwards and onto Jerry, who lets out a muffled “Oof!” in response.
As Evan recovers, Ezekiel holds his bionic arm out, revealing the top of his forearm, as a series of plates retract to reveal a digital screen underneath, displaying several abstract silhouette-like shapes, slowly changing from left-to-right, until it stops on one of them, prompting a pair of flowing metallic tubes atop the mechanical hand of Ezekiel’s bionic arm to glow, one red and one blue, and for a similarly-glowing piston-like button to emerge from Ezekiel’s palm.
“Aw, shit.” Evan merely remarks.
As Ezekiel smirks again, he loudly exclaims, “DOUBLE HELIX! TRANSFORM!” before clenching his bionic hand’s fingers into a fist at all, pushing the piston down fully and causing an explosion of red and blue light to erupt from Ezekiel’s cybernetic arm at first, then his entire body. Evan stares in shock, as Ezekiel’s entire body is consumed in the light.
“GET BACK!” Evan exclaims, using his gauntlet’s electrical energy to burn the restraints, merely a segment of rope binding his hands together, off before shoving him in the opposite direction, away from the two of them
[“BOMB CYCLONE” TRANSFORMATION SEQUENCE: Ezekiel thrusts out his right limbs, then left limbs outwards, which are gradually concealed in a series of segmented cobalt-blue, metallic armor-like plating, highlighted with bright-red accents and soon shrouding his clothing. Soon, Ezekiel’s neck, torso and pelvis are gradually covered in the armor, soon forming a small emblem-like symbol, surrounded with a black rim and containing a glowing digital X shape, formed from two helix-shaped symbols, one blue and red, upon Ezekiel’s left outer-shoulder. Finally creating a mechanical helmet over his head, baring glowing vertical slits for eyes, the right blue and left red, and a minimal facial structure, gaseous streams of oxygen begin to emit from ventilation grate-like openings on the top of Ezekiel’s scalp and shoulders, Ezekiel finishes his transformation, striking a dramatic pose.]
“Bomb Cyclone… as I live and breathe…” Evan begrudgingly exclaims, his gauntlet armed, as he faces Ezekiel’s alien transformation.
“Ha, nice one!” Bomb Cyclone exclaims in response, his voice deep and metallic.
“IT WASN’T INTENTIONAL!” Evan barks back, while Jerry, now freed, attempts to flee in the opposite direction. Spotting him and lifting his left arm out, air pressure begins to massively accumulate around Bomb Cyclone’s left wrist, before a powerful compressed blast of air erupts from the accumulation of air, sending the blast into Jerry’s side, which sends him flying several feet back, crashing straight through the facility’s wall and sending a large hole through it.
“Looks like someone has to take a sand-nap!” Evan sarcastically exclaims, facing the hole in the wall.
“Hey, where did that come from? You pushed that dude out of the way earlier!” Bomb Cyclone asks, putting his arms up. "Sounds like you're not the best supervisor."
“YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO LECTURE ME!” Evan swings around, swinging around and thrusting the Tazerfist in his direction, to which Bomb Cyclone repels his attack with a quick swat of his armored hand.
As Evan yells out in rage, the two begin trading blows, the view spiraling around in a circular motion to show their shifting positions. Swinging his gauntlet-covered arm down with a slashing overhead strike toward Bomb Cyclone’s right collar-bone, Evan violently electrocutes his right shoulder, lowering that side’s guard and allowing Evan, with a crazed expression, to land a critical blow, a fully-charged jab straight into Bomb Cyclone’s facial armor.
“Shit, he’s slower than me, but he’s got all of his confidence in his right hand!” Bomb Cyclone exclaims within his inner-monologue, narrowly managing to catch the Tazerfist gauntlet by the wrist and leave Evan’s jab incomplete, at the cost of leaving the two clashing characters at a stand-off, struggling against one another.
“Damn it… Bomb Cyclone’s strength is hardly over that of the average adult!” Bomb Cyclone evaluates within his inner-monologue, before being unexpectedly kneed in the chest by Evan, an attempt to push him off.
“LET GO OF MY RIGHT HAND, YOU LITTLE SHIT!” Evan angrily exclaims, repeatedly punching and kicking Bomb Cyclone with his other arm and legs, sending a few blows into his chest and hips, attacks that didn’t do damage, but were causing Bomb Cyclone to lose concentration in his grip. With a hard punch to the side of his head, Bomb Cyclone’s very brief moments of disorientation were just enough to loosen his grip.
With a sweeping motion, Evan swung at the air, missing Bomb Cyclone by a few inches as he narrowly ducked another overhead slash, the kinetic energy of his strike expelling in the form of electrical jolts that shot into the factory floor where Bomb Cyclone was formerly standing, leaving blackened streaks.
“You seem a tad un-eager to be brawling with me. You seemed so excited to reveal yourself just moments ago.” Evan remarks, as he turns around to face Bomb Cyclone, his stance wide and defensive. “Maybe I should call my workers to join in on the fun. They’ve earned the recess break.”
“You won’t lay a hand on that walkie-talkie, Evan!” Bomb Cyclone responds.
Meanwhile, Everett continues working on his table with his welding mask down, seemingly unaware of what’s going on within the other side of the factory, unlike several workers surrounding him who are heading toward the source of the sound of a metal wall rupturing. A sharp beeping sound on his desk catches his attention, causing him to halt his work, lift his mask, and look for it, revealing to be a makeshift gas detector with parts of a Geiger counter, seemingly detecting high levels of toxic gas in the air.
“Shit, what the hell?! Fuck, there’s some sort of gas leak! One of the pipes must have burst again!” Everett exclaims, shocked at the presence of it going off, as he abruptly stands up and just notices the sight of several alarmed workers. “...but there’s no way it can be something like Carbon Monoxide! What the hell’s going on?!”
As Everett tosses his welding mask down on the table abruptly, the force of it landing against his desk causes the makeshift gas detector to shift slightly to the left, causing its series of beeps to slightly increase in volume. Immediately noticing this detail, a bewildered Everett lifts it up and begins to move it around, pointing in several random directions before finally pointing in the direction of the vacant side of the facility, causing it to reach its peak volume.
“That’s… not possible! Everything on that side of the facility’s not functional! There shouldn’t be any working gas pipes over there!” Everett speaks within his inner-monologue, shocked and almost frightened at the peculiar events. Before Everett can continue, an unexpected burst of orange light, followed by an explosion of ignited gas rockets the facility, sending shrapnel fragments, twisting metal, and tools flying from the opposite, abandoned side of the factory, followed by Evan crashing to the ground, small patches of his clothes slightly singed.
“JESUS CHRIST!” Everett yells in shock.
Metallic rubble smashes into nearby machines, crushing and destroying them, as workers run around in a panic, a few generously coming to Evan’s aid. As Everett stares in awe at the smoldering source of the fiery explosion, a flaming hammer, sent flying up into the air, soars downwards, just past Everett’s head as it sinks its claw directly into the window line of sight of his welding mas.
“GAHHHH, DAMN IT! SHIT, I’M HURT!” Evan yells out in shock, as a few workers manage to get him to his feet, smearing black ash from his face. More startled workers surround Evan, a few quickly beginning to spray the border of the flames with a pair of extinguishers. However, the streams of white foam began to unusually divulge outwards, as if a strange pair of powerful wind gusts were pushing them aside.
Before everyone can realize what was going on, the towering framework of Bomb Cyclone emerges from the glowing fire, his fire-proof armor unscathed besides some splotches of ash clinging to his body. The very flames around him were swirling around his lower-body like a miniature tornado, his lower-body rotating rapidly and keeping the cyclone of fire active.
“Bomb Cyclone’s main ability is the power to control oxygen itself. My body constantly produces it through openings, and while I can use it for aerokinetic means, the slightest ignition can create a powerful explosion and only fuel my produced gas with incinerating terror.” Bomb Cyclone speaks, his swirling legs slowly halting as his face returns to the ground. “What was that calling me ‘un-eager’ earlier, Evan?!”
“You…” Everett loudly exclaims, pointing in the direction of Bomb Cyclone, trembling in terror, his pointer finger shaky. “...y-y-you’re him… you’re ELIX…”
“Everett… it’s been a while.” Bomb Cyclone responds with a non-friendly, slightly-disgusted tone. “You’re still working for them, huh?”
“I have bi-bills to pay. There’s t-things I need to buy to st-stay alive.” Everett shakily responds.
“You’re paying your bills by selling illegal, unsafe alien technology that’s hurting the people of Jester’s Bells, the people of the city you live in! Don’t you even care about what you’re really doing?!” Bomb Cyclone responds, his tone suddenly pleading.
“It’s not unsafe, you dumb-ass!” An angered male worker among the small crowd yells.
“Everett is doing the best he can to sell good, high-standard, stable products to our customers!” Another angered worker, a female one, follows up.
“BUT IT’S WRONG, AND HE SHOULD KNOW IT’S WRONG! HE JUST ADMITTED HE’S DOING IT FOR THE MONEY!” Bomb Cyclone responds, slightly annoyed as he holds out his hands toward Everett.
“He’s not just… doing it for the money…” Evan stutters slightly, his face dark from ash and right thigh oozing blood from an injury created by an explosion, although he ignores it, standing tall and facing Bomb Cyclone. “He’s doing it for the quality… if he’s a criminal… he’s a damn good one.”
“That doesn’t make it right!” Bomb Cyclone responds.
“So ...who gives a damn if it’s not right…? Wh-what has Jester’s Bells done for me? I-I’ll tell you what… nothing! Why should I follow the rules if I won’t benefit from them?!” Everett abruptly responds, darkness dramatically concealing the upper-half of his face.
“I’M NOT SOME RUSTY COG, I’M THE ‘TAMPERER’, ELIX, AND YOU’RE INFERRING WITH MY WORK!” Everett exclaims, finally raising his voice for the first time, as he points a thumb to his chest. “AND IF YOU WON’T GET LOST, I’LL MAKE YOU DISAPPEAR!”
“Well, that was a bust.” Bomb Cyclone mutters.
“ATTA BOY!” Evan triumphantly exclaims, before suddenly commanding his crew of workers around him. “ALL OF YOU, GIVE HIM HELL! USE ANYTHING YOU CAN, AS LONG AS YOU’LL USE IT TO MAKE SURE THAT ASSHOLE IS EXTINGUISHED FOR GOOD!”
Immediately rallying together, a handful of workers begin to arm themselves with whatever weapons they can find, some merely wielding metal chains, some wielding thrown tools, and some even gearing themselves up with manufactured machinery. As facility alarms blare in the background, a handful of workers grab either emergency fire-axes and even the fire extinguishers, as Bomb Cyclone immediately realizes the situation around him, but stands his ground.
“I hope you sons of bitches haven’t forgotten why they call this one ‘BOMB CYCLONE’!” Bomb Cyclone exclaims, beginning to rapidly rotate his fists.
“Aw, shut up!” An irritated worker yells in response, as another pipes up, simply repeating Evan’s orders in the form of, “Get that asshole!”
As the armed group of workers suddenly charge and attack, Bomb Cyclone commences the brawl against the facility’s workers, standing tall as the armor plating over his midsection separates, and within seconds, the section of his vertical, axle-shaped is exposed.
“TWISTER… OF... TORMENTION…!!!” Bomb Cyclone loudly exclaims the name of his specialized attack, as his upper-body, soon his lower-body too, suddenly begins to rotate at extreme speeds, creating a massive cyclone of pressurized air around him that sweeps several close-by workers off their feet.
Fully commencing a fight sequence, Bomb Cyclone lowers his body slightly and scrapes his fists against the ground, creating sparks that suddenly ignite the oxygen of his rapidly-swirling cyclone, setting the clothes of several thrown workers ablaze, forcing them back. One fire-extinguisher-wielding worker struggles to set his wailing allies out, while another worker, soon revealed to be Roman, having returned back inside, activates a huge wrist-mounted weapon that covers his arm from shoulder-to-wrist, that of a Polarized Plasma Blaster.
“EAT HOT PLASMA, BOMB CYCLONE!” Roman loudly exclaims, as he fires the blaster, creating a hot smoldering blast of glowing-red plasma energy. Before Bomb Cyclone can fully react and halt his attack to deflect the blast, he is struck, flinging him back several feet, smashing against several metal shelves and divulging his burning cyclone.
“SOMEONE GET THE PHOTONIC ICEMAKER, SO WE CAN FLASH-FREEZE THAT SON OF A BITCH!” Jeremy loudly exclaims, wielding a fire-ax.
Meanwhile, Bomb Cyclone tears himself free from the twisted wreckage he crashed into, his midsection reformed, regaining his balance, as he’s quickly surrounded again.
“You kiddies should know… when you play with fire… you get BURNED!” Bomb Cyclone exclaims, as he concentrates the still burning wisps of oxygen around him into his forearms, creating a pair of makeshift flamethrower-like streams of fire from his arms, forcing several workers to retreat or suffer from their clothes being set ablaze. Extinguishing one arm’s flames, he uses his powerful manipulation of air to create miniaturized cyclones to suddenly begin lifting several masses of machinery, throwing them at small crowds, taking them out in the process.
“WHAT ON EARTH?!” Aaron exclaims, emerging from the testing zone, before abruptly yelling out, “WOAH!” and retreating back inside, narrowly missing a metal table hitting him as it smashes against the metal door, crushing it.
Meanwhile, Bomb Cyclone, in hand-to-hand combat enhanced by burning oxygen, battles several workers, including one welding gauntlets tipped with industrial drills, one wielding a simplistic energy blaster, and one even lobbing a spherical explosive, visibly made from bolted steel, in Bomb Cyclone’s direction, which explodes into fiery shrapnel upon its eruption.
In the end, Bomb Cyclone comes out victorious, as he seemingly fends them all off, but is suddenly confronted by a slightly-wounded, Tazerfist-wielding Evan, who’s adrenaline rush is allowing him to mostly struggle off his injured leg.
“You ready… to finish this...?” Evan exclaims, breathing heavily. “...HUH?!”
“You’re so blind to be so dead-set on sacrificing life and limb for what? A life of crime?” Bomb Cyclone responds.
“What can I say…? Ambidextrous Robotics… is family to me...” Evan responds, menacingly smiling.
“Then you got some household problems, man.” Bomb Cyclone responds back, false sympathy in his voice, prompting Evan to attack, as he lifts out the Tazerfist, his palm open, and creates an electrified blast of crackling energy from his fingertips, firing directly into Bomb Cyclone, who manages to shield himself with crossed forearms
As Evan continues his blast of electricity, Bomb Cyclone is left unable to move out of his defensive state, as he is slowly pushed back in the direction of a recovering worker, grabbing a nearby section of metal chain.
“YEAH, NOW, I GOT YOU!” Evan triumphantly exclaims, as Bomb Cyclone, struggling, is alerted to the sound of the Double Helix symbol on his shoulder emitting a series of buzzing beeps and flashing yellow. “WHAT’S WRONG, ELIX?! RUNNING OUT OF JUICE?!”
“N-NAH! JUST CONCLUDING… MY WARM-UP!”” Bomb Cyclone strains, before he suddenly unhinges his midsection and begins to rapidly spin his lower-body, creating a cyclone of electricity-coursing air around his legs. His feet, tightly pressed together, pick up enough speed to now essentially become that of a gigantic drill-bit, and begin to tear up the metal facility floor beneath him.
“WHAT-” Evan exclaims, out of shock, as within an instance, metal fragments and rusty bolts slowly gather within Bomb Cyclone’s typhoon, and with one fellow swoosh of his left leg and the re-hinging of his waist, sends them shooting directly toward Evan.
“SHIT! HE USED BOMB CYCLONE TO TEAR UP THE FLOOR AND CHANNEL ALL THE PIECES OF METAL INTO HIS TORNADO!” Evan loudly exclaims, the view dramatically zooming into his panicked eyes. “HE’S TURNED PART OF THIS VERY FACTORY AGAINST ME!”
Evan grunts and yells in pain as he struggles to defend him, shielding his face with his other arm, but to no avail, as he’s struck by a storm of shrapnel that pierces random areas of his body below the neck and above his lowermost set of ribs, leaving tiny punctures all over his forearms and sections of his chest, one even managing to narrowly move past between the fingers of his defending arm and stab through his chest. Groaning, as jets of squirting blood erupt from his body, Evan loses his balance and collapses to the ground, wailing in pain.
“I’LL SAVE YOU, EVANNNN!!!” The chain-wielding worker cockily exclaims, as Bomb Cyclone turns to face him swinging the chain straight toward him. However, before he can even block his upcoming attack, the worker’s makeshift weapon collides with the side of Bomb Cyclone’s head, causing the electricity surging through his body to shoot up the chain and violently electrocute the worker. “BZZZTZZZZTZZZZZTTTTTTTT-!!!”
“Chains are made out of conductive metal, you dolt.” Bomb Cyclone merely exclaims, as he grabs the electrocuted chain of the worker, as it slips from his hand as he limply falls to the ground and Bomb Cyclone reverts back to his human form with a one final drawn-out buzz of the symbol on his shoulder.
Ezekiel rests, kneeling slightly and breathing hardly, as unbeknownst to him, a wounded figure, oozing with blood and staring wide-eyed with bloodshot eyes, rises from behind him. With the buzzing and crackling of the Tazerfist, Evan rushes toward Ezekiel, raising the Tazerfist into the air and readying an electrokinetic strike. As his electric fingers near the back of Ezekiel’s head, the screen abruptly cuts to black.
“Pfft, well, what would you know? It’s almost like I saw that back-stab coming from a couple miles away, give or take.” Ezekiel narrates over the black screen, before a gray-scale flashback of Evan getting pierced by a flurry of shrapnel briefly plays. “The Tazerfist was damaged when I fended off Evan just moments earlier. Its points of damage are seeping jolts of electricity, like one of the many blood-leaking wounds on his body… and all I need to...”
“WHAT-?!” Evan loudly exclaims, as the screen reverts back to normal, showing Ezekiel ducking to the left and entirely dodging his sneak attack.
“...IS SEND IT TO THE REST OF HIM!” Ezekiel speaks his inner-monologue, as he swings the metal chain in his hand up in the air and swings it down as hard as he can over Evan’s arm, rapidly wrapping over and swinging around almost his entire right arm, wrapping over his bicep, then elbow, then forearm, and finally, the damaged backside of the Tazerfist.
“He wrapped the chain around my arm! How would he know to do that?! HOW IS HE ALWAYS TWO STEPS AHEAD OF ME?!” Evan yells within his inner-monologue, extreme shock sweeping over his body, before a burst of electricity from the damaged Tazerfist connects with the end of the chain-link. “FUCK! FUCK! FUCK-”
Violently, Evan’s right arm, then his entire body, is violently shocked by the Tazerfist, as electricity surges through his ghoulishly-screaming body and his hair bursts into flames. The Tazerfist gauntlet over Evan’s arm begins to malfunction and overload, writhing and twitching as the metal plates covering its form begin to fall off and eventually, the entire construct ruptures and explodes, releasing a dazzling blast of broken metal and electricity, a force that sends him flying back into a metal shelf, causing his body to crush it and cause it to essentially bury him under smashed metal and jumbled cables. A weak groan emits from Evan’s smoldering body, as his body goes limp and what’s left of the Tazerfist, nothing more than a heap of charred electronics, slips off his burned arm.
“That was…” Ezekiel states. “...actually really fucking disturbing.”
Meanwhile, several workers are all seen in the process of fleeing, carrying whatever valuable technology they can as they load up into the truck, which had survived the explosion, albeit with some scorched paint.
“Moving day! Everyone get out of here and take what you can!” Roman exclaims among the ground, before he suddenly turns around, alerted to the sounds of Evan’s defeat, yelling out, “NO, HE GOT EVAN!”
“FORGET HIM! COME ON, HURRY!” A female worker exclaims, quickly pushing him into the truck. Several other workers, unable to hitch a ride, simply take off on foot, with Jeremy, one eye bruised and blackened, spots Ezekiel rapidly attempting to chase after the escapees, still noticeably clutching the chain, and faces the closing garage door, the truck driving away in the background, before unveiling a huge slim, double-handed blaster covered in translucent tubes and having a large tank of liquid nitrogen on its underside.
“Asshole.” Jeremy merely states, before firing the blaster, the Photonic Icemaker, off in his direction, which releases a teal-blue beam of liquid nitrogen that instantaneously freezes the moisture in the air that it collides with, creating a huge barrier of ice that blocks off the garage and manages to freeze over Ezekiel’s cybernetic foot.
“Well, shit.” Ezekiel frowns, as he glances at the glowing screen on his cybernetic arm, which has the X-shaped helix shape, although blinking bright-yellow and unresponsive. “The ‘Double Helix’... Damn it, only around 10 to 12 minutes? Should recharge soon...”
The name of the mechanical device within his alien-cybernetic arm revealed, Ezekiel uses the enhanced strength of his cybernetic arm to punch at the mass of ice coating his foot, freeing himself after a few punches. Glancing at the ‘Double Helix’ again, Ezekiel is suddenly alarmed by the sounds of rustling metal and crunching glass, looking up through the damaged, near-vacant interior of the facility.
Suddenly glancing toward the testing zone, crumpled and badly damaged by a massive industrial machine in the form of part of an assembly line, thrown by Bomb Cyclone, prior, an aura of dark-purple energy rapidly surrounds the broken assembly line, before the surrounding energy seems to send it flying outwards, causing it to crash and smash a massive hole into the wall of the facility.
“HUH?!” Ezekiel exclaims, as broken metal and glass crashes to the ground. Emerging from the testing zone, Aaron suddenly emerges, injured by the machine crushing the testing zone, suffering from a bad cut on the right of his lower-lip, bruises coating the upper-half of his face, and visibly clutching the right side of his bruised rib-cage with his blood-soaked left hand.
“Knew someone special was missing from here.” Ezekiel responds, glaring before glancing up at the huge, newly-created hole in the wall. “Collateral damage, much?”
“You’re dead meat, ELIX! BOSS WILL KILL YOU FOR WHAT YOU’VE DONE!” Aaron speaks through bloodied teeth. “But, maybe… I’ll do it for him.”
Unveiling a massive electronic device over his left arm, a chrome-black, purple-highlighted gauntlet up to his mid-bicep, ending in a metallic whip-like appendage glowing with purple energy, Aaron swings it around, prompting to repeatedly crack the whip it against the ground the ground, creating a similar, although miniaturized field of purple energy surrounding each impact zone, causing several loose bits of metal to be floating within them.
“The Anti-Graviton Energy Whip… I thought it was just rumors...” Ezekiel responds, briefly glancing at the Double Helix’s screen interface again.
“Bravo… you’re going to be its first guinea pig.” Aaron responds, before suddenly rushing forward, reeling his left arm back, and thrusting the whip forward, sending it straight toward Ezekiel’s upper-body.
Quickly, Ezekiel defends his face and chest from being struck with the underside of his cybernetic arm, at the cost of a field of anti-gravitational energy materializing around his robotic hand, causing his mechanical fist to unravel, straightening out his fingers. Aaron suddenly strikes again, hitting Ezekiel’s right shoulder and materializing a field around the entire right side of his upper-body, causing him to be suddenly launched upwards into the air.
“DAMN IT, THIS ISN’T GOOD! ANOTHER VILLAIN, AND I’M STILL TIMED-OUT OF THE DOUBLE HELIX!” Ezekiel exclaims within his inner-monologue, gritting his teeth as he struggles to move his energy-field-constricted right limbs.
Aaron utilizes the Anti-Graviton Energy Whip to suddenly wrap around a mass of broken machinery and with one fellow swoop, swings it up into the air and sends it flying. Ezekiel, with a panicked look, sees both the nearing ceiling and the hunk of broken technology flying toward.
“SHIT! I’M GOING TO GET SMASHED FLAT! I HAVE TO BREAK OUT OF THESE GRAVITY FIELDS!” Ezekiel dreadfully realizes within his inner-monologue, before he’s startled by the sound of a soft pair of buzzes that suddenly emit from the Double Helix’s screen interface. “The buzzes… IT FINALLY RECHARGED! I’M TIMED BACK IN!”
As Ezekiel mentally switches behind the silhouetted icons of the Double Helix, stating “Alright, ‘Xpanshun’ can take care of this!”, he soon realizes that upon the activation of the piston emerging from his robotic palm, he can’t close any of his fingers to push it down nor use his other arm to reach over and push it down.
“DAMN IT! I CAN’T PUSH THE PISTON DOWN! I’M A SITTING DUCK!” Ezekiel exclaims, wide-eyed, before the view abruptly shifts to a third-person view of Aaron, witnessing the mass of machinery colliding with the ceiling, seemingly crushing Ezekiel, as the glow of gravitational energy underneath disperses.
The entire facility, besides the alarms, is dead silent.
“...heh… heheh-HAHAHAHA! I DID IT! ELIX IS NOTHING MORE THAN A RED-AND-BLUE STAIN ON THE FACILITY’S CEILING, ISN’T HE?!" Aaron triumphantly exclaims, as he halts his semi-maniacal laughter and remains silent.
With a dramatic view of his face from a slightly-lowered angle, his expression of terrifying glee slowly disperses into a bewildered look.
“The machinery I threw… is stuck to the ceiling…” Aaron asks himself, speaking out-loud. “...has the fine paste I crushed Ezekiel in wedged it stuck? Has it simply formed a dent compact enough to completely lodge itself?”
Within an instance, Aaron is shocked as a flickering burst of red, then blue, then both red-and-blue light blasts the section of ceiling apart, sending the mass of broken machinery flying downwards and smashing directly into the facility ground, sending loose parts flying up in the air.
“What…” Aaron loudly exclaims, as he looks up, seeing the bizarre sight of a cartoonishly-extended appendage branching off of the broken mass of metal and into the ceiling. A dramatic, zoomed-in shift of the view reveals the part connecting to the ceiling to be an anthropomorphic avian-like hand, tipped with gnarly black talons, its palm, where the activation piston was, pressed against the flat surface of the ceiling.
As Aaron watches, disturbed, the extended arm slowly winds downwards, moving in a spiral-like pattern as it slowly returns to its source, who is in the process of emerging from dented, mangled plates of metal from the top, Eventually bursting a hole open, a silhouetted figure, its movements elastic, jumps free and stands atop the broken machinery.
“...WHAT?!” Aaron loudly exclaims, as the screen splits into five segments, showing dramatic close-ups of the new alien transformation’s clawed right hand, covered in a very thin layer of bright-blue feathers, its talon-tipped, two-toed right foot, the left side of its waist, lined with a denser layer of dark-purple feathers, the Double Helix’s transformation symbol, resting in the center of the front of its left thigh, and finally, its face, baring prominent, bird-like characteristics, including both its thin dark-blue feathers and thick dark-purple feathers, a jet-black beak, the same color as its claws, and of course, a bright-blue right eye and a bright-red left eye.
The alien’s outfit, generated by the Double Helix’s systems, consisted of a sleeveless, two-piece jumpsuit with the lower-half consisting of simple shorts, colored primarily jet-black with bright-red and bright-blue highlights in the form of helix-shaped, spiraling stripes.
“AWWWW YEAHHHH!” The unveiled alien exclaims, in an uncharacteristic, hyperactive voice. “XPANSHUN IS IN... THE... HOUSE!”
“WHOA NELLY!” Xpanshun suddenly exclaims, as he lurches out of the way, narrowly avoiding the Anti-Gravity Energy Whip striking downwards from above onto the mass of machinery, slashing it in two and storing each of the slashed halves in two separate gravity fields. Xpanshun catches his fall, landing on one leg and suddenly coiling it to act like a spring, sending him flying up into the air.
“I’M GOING TO SQUEEZE THAT NEW FUNNY ATTITUDE RIGHT OUT OF YOU!” Aaron exclaims, swinging the whip around. “NOBODY MAKES A MOCKERY OUT OF US!”
“Sorry, chump, but Xpanshun’s not a fan of hotheads!” Xpanshun exclaims, still in the air, as Aaron suddenly thrusts the whip toward Xpanshun’s midsection, only for him to suddenly deform the structure of his torso, bending to the left to avoid the strike. “You can’t hit Xpanshun! He’s all stretchy!”
Aaron repeatedly swings and slashes toward Xpanshun, only for him to repeatedly contort and stretch sections of his body to dodge his attacks, including fully retracting and sucking in one of his arms, squashing his head downwards, and bending his entire torso backwards.
“GAHHHHHH!!! HOLD STILL!!!” Aaron screams out of rage, as he slams the ground beneath Xpanshun, creating a massive gravity field that sends fragments of metal shrapnel and sharp objects flying upwards toward Xpanshun, who swiftly contorts his body, twisting himself inwards to extreme standards, as the shrapnel fragments narrowly fly past Xpanshun’s form and stab into the ceiling.
“Apologies again, but I’m not a fan of bullies! Time to teach some manners!” Xpanshun exclaims, unwinding his constricted body and landing against the ground, as he suddenly reels his left arm back, fingers clenched into a fist, and fires the limb straight forward, extending it forward. With spiraling momentum, Xpanshun loudly exclaims, “WIND-UP WISDOM BREAKER!” and before Aaron can realize it, Xpanshun’s fist collides with the side of his jaw, sending him off-balance as blood and a few broken teeth shoot out of his mouth.
“Remember, kids.” Xpanshun faces the point-of-view, breaking the fourth wall. “Physical violence is not the best answer to correcting the actions of a bully, but sometimes, it’s your last resort. Now, let’s get back to the show.”
As Xpanshun suddenly begins retracting his elongated arm, he grabs onto the end of the Anti-Gravity Energy Whip, tearing it from Aaron’s hand and sending him flying towards himself in the process. Tossing the energy whip aside, Xpanshun faces the oncoming Aaron, as his only audible response is a terrified wail. Xpanshun readies himself, baring his claws.
“I'LL SUCK THE AIRRRR...!!” Xpanshun exclaims in the form of a war-cry, as he slashes and dices Aaron with his large claws, drawing deep, albeit oddly bloodless wounds deep into Aaron’s chest and abdomen, sending him flying back as Xpanshun collides his attack with a thrusting punch. "...RIGHT OUT OF YOUUU!!"
Aaron lays crumpled against the ground and on further inspection, was physically crumpled, as air was bizarrely leaking from his wounds, opposed to blood, and his own body was squeezed flat and wrinkled, taking on an extremely similar appearance to a deflated balloon. Weakly raising his left arm, which loosely swung with the lack of structural support, as his bones were additionally under the effects of Xpanshun’s strange ability, Aaron lets out a hissing moan and collapses, laying distorted against the ground, as Xpanshun stares him down, before suddenly reverting back to his human form with a brief flash of light.
“Xpanshun’s claws may be threatening and perfect from drawing blood, but they wield an unique ability: the power to temporarily obliterate a human body’s structural support through creating air-releasing wounds, like poking a few holes in a party balloon and letting the air seep out.” Ezekiel speaks within his inner-monologue. “It doesn’t kill them, in fact when they recover, their inflicted wounds will have vanished, but during the moments they’re under effect, they’re entirely defenseless. I’d give him 15 minutes before he’s back up.”
“Now.. ...as for that dreaded whip, I’ll use my Plagiarizone’s ability of duplication to render it destroyed, just like I did earlier with the seismic boots!“ Ezekiel approaches the Anti-Gravity Energy Whip, laying across a mass of broken cables, as he readies the Double Helix’s interface once more, selects a bizarre, lanky humanoid and presses down on the piston, activating his transformation. “DOUBLE HELIX, TRANSFORM!”
[“PLAGIARIZONE” TRANSFORMATION SEQUENCE: Ezekiel’s skin gradually takes on a darker coloration, gaining emerald-green splotches in the process, his limbs becoming long and pointed, possessing extremities in the form of strange, triangularly-shaped fingers and mere points for feet. The underside of his pointed arms sprout triangular openings, radiating an emerald-green energy from within. Ezekiel’s head structure remains primarily humanoid, but lacks visible ears and features sharp, narrow, flat nostrils, emerald-green stripes running from his brow to his cheek-bones and disc-like protrusions emerging from his scalp, forming ridges. As the Double Helix symbol materializes on the back of his left hand, Ezekiel finishes his transformation, striking a dramatic pose.]
Plagarizone immediately gets to work, as with a flurry of blows from his pointed fists, each impact of the points of his fists begin to radiate a small penny-sized speck of green energy that within an instance, begin to each morph and twist, as the structure of the energy whip begin to horizontally stretch and within mere seconds, fully split apart into two exact copies, although the left one baring the cut-off left sides of each of the dots of energy that covers its form, and the right one baring the right sides of the dots.
“Plagarizone… the ability to clone objects and create two clones from the original by imbuing with the energy that materializes from underneath his arms...” Plagarizone speaks, his voice nasal and abrasive. “...and when Plagarizone decides to negate the clones by reverting the cloned object into one…”
Plagarizone seems to be ready to land another flurry of hits, but only strikes once. Within an instance, each dot of energy cataclysmically detonates all at once, releasing geysers of bursting energy, before the two clones suddenly smash together, causing them to both unstably fuse together, but severely damage themselves in the violent process.
“...THEY GLUE THEMSELVES BACK TOGETHER!” Plagarizone loudly exclaims, as he’s left nothing but a broken, ragged device, its advanced anti-gravitational energy slowly fading away, followed by the sounds of whatever busted machinery and broken metal was still floating in gravity fields to immediately cease and fall to the ground, creating a calamity of banging and thudding sounds.
“And that’s when I clock out. Job’s done. I trashed this place.” Plagarizone speaks, turning around to see the wreckage of the robotics factory, left almost completely shrouded in rubble, as the remaining workers, including the chain-wielding worker from much earlier, had seemingly fled the destroyed facility during Aaron’s fight and Xpanshun’s introduction.
“...NOOOOO...” A low, unfamiliar voice echoes through the factory’s interior, startling Plagarizone.
“You’re seriously ready for Round 2, Aaron?” Plagarizone sneers, glancing behind his shoulder, before slowly turning, seeing the still-unconscious, flattened Aaron laying against the ground. Plagarizone’s eyes widen, as he realizes, “Wait… no, you’re not Aaron… Evan, how did you get back up from what happened to you?!”
“...YOU THINK I’M EVAN?!” The booming voice responds, as the sounds of charging energy and winding electronics begin to emit from the darkened side of the facility where Ezekiel first revealed himself to Evan. The view changes to a point-of-view as the figure, fully encased in the darkness, raises his silhouetted hands to reveal a massive double-handled rail-gun, haphazardly jumbled together and with its exposed, cable-covered generator crackling with plasma energy. “...THINK AGAIN, ELIX!!”
Within an instance, a blinding beam of condensed electricity fires from the darkness, creating a blast almost identical to that of a miniature lightning bolt. The blast strikes Plagarizone in the abdomen, sending him crashing against the facility’s floor, creating a massive dent.
“You destroy this facility… you beat up my higher-up… you get the thing Michael and I have been working on for forever destroyed… YOU…” The figure yells, gradually emerging from the darkness. “...DID THAT TO AARON?”
“I deflated him. “If you thought I would honestly hollow him out like some Ed Gein motherfucker, his ‘skin-suit’ would be on a clothesline by now.” Plagarizone bleakly responds, as a wheezing attempt at a chuckle emits from Aaron, causing the unknown figure to audibly express disgust at the sound.
“You think this is a joke?!” The figure continues to emerge from the shadows, readying the rail-gun again and beginning to charge another blast. Plagarizone raises his arms, as the rail-gun releases another blast of extremely-powerful, concentrated electricity, prompting Plagarizone to strike the oncoming blast with swift strikes, causing several specks of energy to materialize from the electricity’s plasma form, causing the end of the beam to divulge and split apart, now entirely missing Plagarizone.
“Yeah, man, I’m laughing it up over here.” Plagarizone snarkily responds, irritated by the figure’s attack, who by now, has revealed himself to be Everett, having avoided the oncoming wreckage of the figure by presumably hiding in the dark side of the factory and aiding wounded workers, allowing them to escape.
“I will put you in AN EARLY GRAVE!” Everett loudly exclaims, as he begins to charge a third blast. As Plagarizone rushes toward Everett, swinging his arms and readying a barrage, Everett unexpectedly aims upwards, firing his blast into the ceiling and tearing a great majority of it apart, sending broken pipes and rebar flying downwards onto Plagarizone.
“GAHHH!!” Plagarizone yells out in pain, as he struggles to shield himself and even punch the falling rebar out of the way, but is rapidly engulfed and buried by the mass of gnarled steel.
“Got you.” Everett exclaims, the rail-gun cannon in his hands fuming with smoke, the usage of it three times in the span of around 20 seconds sending it to the verge of overloading.
Meanwhile, a sickening cough and sputter emits from nearby, as Everett looks over to the right, sending Aaron in the process of recovering, slowly regaining his shape by the second, but still appearing partially deflated, almost zombie-like in appearance, as he moans in pain.
“Aaron, are you okay?” Everett asks, worried, to which Aaron, his voice high-pitched and sounding as if he had inhaled helium, simply states, “I feel like shit.”
As Everett rushes over and helps a recovering Aaron over, the two are suddenly alerted to the sounds of a snobbishly-chuckling presence slowly seeming to re-enter the facility, looking up to see it was none other than Jerry, finally having returned after thrown out of the entire battle by Bomb Cyclone. His collision with the metal wall had badly wounded, most notably leaving the gruesome sight of a large piece of shrapnel jutting from his right shoulder.
“Heh… heheh… I’m okay…” Jerry chuckles, his clothes covered in blood and sand, as he limps back into the facility, seeming to be moving toward Everett and Aaron, but was definitely disorientated as Jerry was noticeably stumbling. “Everett… Everett… where’s Evan at?”
Everett’s eyes widen, as he begins to quickly scan the factory’s interior, not recalling Evan to have ever fled outside of the factory with many of the workers. Aaron finally regains much of his internal volume, allowing him to easily keep his balance and finally regain the proper pitch of his voice, while the claw marks across his torso slowly seal shut. Immediately spitting up the remains of a broken tooth, a gagging Aaron removes a rag from his pocket and puts it in his mouth, covering his lip wound and the exposed bleeding sockets of his lost teeth.
“EVAN!” Everett loudly exclaims and rushes over a portion of the factory wall, startling Aaron, as both him and Jerry quickly follow Everett, who tosses the rail-gun cannon and begins to struggle to lift a broken metal shelf, which is surrounded by a faint pool of blood and burnt metal floor.
“Oh shit!” Aaron exclaims, quickly assisting Everett and allowing them to move the shelf entirely, revealing a Evan underneath, having lost consciousness long ago and was badly burned on his right side. His hair was ruined and scorched, his semi-open eyes were bloodshot, and his right arm from the shoulder down was horrifically damaged by the destruction of the Tazerfist gauntlet.
“First-aid-kit NOW!” Everett exclaims, as seconds later, Jerry returns with an emergency one within one of the facility’s glass cases that were mainly filled with fire-axes the workers had taken to fend off against Ezekiel. Aaron helps Evan up, kicking the charred remains of the Tazerfist away in the process, while Everett quickly opens the kit, wraps the heavily-wounded right arm of Evan in gauze, grabs what appears to be a small glass capsule, and crushes it inches from Evan’s face, revealing it to be smelling salts that quickly awakens Evan.
“AAAAGGGGHHHH-HA-HA!” Evan loudly exclaims, the pain of his right arm immediately coming to fruition, as he makes an attempt to grip at his arm, but is stopped by Aaron. “My arm… where am I? W-What the fuck’s wrong with my arm?”
“Evan, calm down. We’re going to get you out of here.” Everett exclaims, helping him up to his feet and pulling out a large, circular device from his welding coat’s pocket.
“The Photonic Teleporter Unit?” Aaron questions, confused. “You’re going to activate it? It’s not engaged at all! It has no Teleporter Exit point on the other side!”
“You’re right, it doesn’t. I haven’t had the time to set it up.” Everett responds, opening a hatch on its underside. “That’s why I installed an emergency default Teleporter Exit point. It’s going to take us to a secondary hide-out. We can patch up Evan more and regroup much of the workers who fled.”
“Are we going to call… the boss?” Jerry asks Everett.
“Hell NO.” Everett broadly responds, as he scrounges around in a mass of broken weaponry. “This entire thing was a disaster. Boss will be pissed. He’ll point fingers at two people: ELIX and one of us no matter.”
Eventually locating what he was searching for, a small generator-like electronic, Everett loads it into the underside of the teleporter unit and begins to charge it. Tossing to the ground and pressing a large button on the top of it with his foot, the teleporter begins to initiate, creating a large circular area of metal plates that Everett signals Aaron, Jerry, and Evan to stand on.
“How long will it take to charge?” Aaron responds.
“I have no clue. I tore that generator out of one of the weapons used against Bomb Cyclone, and I have no idea how much it was used in combat.” Everett responds. “It should be very soon though. The second it is, it will warp us out of here if anyone outside attempts to harm one of us, as long as we’re inside the teleporter.”
“My arm…” Evan weakly speaks, still not lucid, as he finally notices his heavily-bandaged limb.
“You’re going to be okay, Evan.” Aaron comforts him.
“I’m gonna… kill that… fucker…” Evan weakly speaks, his eyes droopy.
“Evan, you’ve done enough today.” Everett faces Evan, patting him on the head, before pulling out a remote-like device, a dark-red button in its center, from his pocket. “Allow me.”
“What’s that?” Jerry asks in confusion.
“While Ezekiel was distracted fighting workers, I pulled the old ‘building-going-to-self-destruct’ trick you see in all the action movies. I scattered many of my makeshift explosives around the factory in different crevices and hooked them to this remote. With a press of a button, this massacred factory will be wiped off the map of the Mojave desert, and the explosion will transport us out of here in the process.” Everett responds. “And if I’m lucky, I can take that ELIX down with me, and we’ll never, EVER have to deal with him aga-”
“VORTEX STRIKE!!!” A booming voice loudly exclaims from within the mass of rebar, before an explosion of powerful wind sends the metal fragments flying in different directions, revealing Ezekiel, having seemingly switched his transformation to that of Bomb Cyclone while pinned under.
“AND THE BLUE-AND-RED-EYED COBRA RETURNS TO STRIKE ONCE MORE!” Everett exclaims, maniacally exclaiming while pointing toward Bomb Cyclone. “BUT IT’S TOO LATE! I KNEW HE WAS GOING TO REAR HIS UGLY HEAD AGAIN! PREPARE TO DIE, YOU SAVIOR OF FOOLS!”
As Everett deeply pushes his thumb down onto the surface of the red button, a loud click is all that responds from the remote. Everett, still pointing toward Bomb Cyclone, presses it again, a third time, and a flimsy attempt at a fourth attempt before he suddenly realizes something is wrong.
“Th-There was supposed to be a big ‘kah-boom’...” Everett stammers, as he shakes and jostles the remote in confusion.
“Maybe it needs batteries.” Jerry pipes up.
“It doesn’t need batteries, Jerry, you moron! It’s not for a remote-controlled monster truck toy from Walmart, it’s a DETONATOR!” Everett responds, flustered by Jerry's response.
“If it doesn’t... need batteries... then what’s powering it?” Evan asks, still weakened.
“Holy shit.” Bomb Cyclone states, noticing his fully-bandaged arm.
“Did you do this?!” Aaron asks, gesturing toward Evan’s injured arm.
“It wasn’t entirely intentional!” Bomb Cyclone feebly attempts to defend himself, as Jerry and Everett continue to inspect the detonator.
“YOU WRAPPED… A METAL CHAIN… AROUND THE TAZERFIST...” Evan responds, infuriated but notably out of breath, as his stamina had sapped almost entirely from his battle with Bomb Cyclone “...AND NEARLY… ELECTROCUTED ME… TO DEATH… FUCK YOU!”
“I’ve found the issue!” Everett suddenly exclaims, inspecting the detonator’s backside. “The miniature energy capsule powering it was slightly disconnected.”
“So, it did have batteries!” Jerry exclaims, attempting to correct Everett. now
“This isn’t a battery, you idiot!” Everett says, as he closes the backside and before he can press it, is suddenly snatched out of his hands by Jerry, who steps forward, noticeably out of the radius of the teleporter, suddenly points the detonator toward Bomb Cyclone, and loudly exclaims, “NOW... HERE’S THE ‘KAH-BOOM’, YOU-”
Before Jerry can press down onto the detonator’s button again, Bomb Cyclone fires a compressed blast of air from one of his palms directly into the hand of Everett, sending it flying out of his hand and onto the ground.
“-AH, SON OF A BITCH, JERRY! YOU FUCKING IMBECILE!” Jerry yells in frustration, before Evan loudly swats the back of Jerry’s head with his good hand and demands, “YOU DOLT! SINCE YOU SWIPED IT FROM EVERETT’S HANDS, GO GET IT BACK!”
As a panicked Jerry begins to sprint after the detonator, Bomb Cyclone attempts to chase after him, but is quickly halted by Aaron, who steps out of the teleporter's radius, arms himself with the rail-gun cannon dropped earlier by Everett, fires a recharged blast, taking out Bomb Cyclone’s right hip and sending him crashing backwards.
“Everett, protect Evan!” Aaron demands. “I’m going to take this bastard down!”
As the screen splits into two, the left side shows Bomb Cyclone recovering to his feet and Aaron readying another blast of electricity, while the right side shows Jerry seeing the detonator, sliding across the ground, slip under a rusty metal shelf that was apparently still standing.
Meanwhile, Bomb Cyclone fires an aerokinetic blast of oxygen from his palms toward Aaron, who in return, fires an electrical blast of plasma energy, the two projectiles colliding and creating a miniature explosion, while Jerry, extremely determined and seething with frustration, uses the strength in his good arm to pull the entire shelf down.
Bomb Cyclone and Aaron continue to repeatedly exchange blasts, which simply create a miniature explosion of ignited oxygen when the two sides collide, keeping them at bay. Everett watches in suspense, as Jerry, having required the detonator, spots a triangular-shaped device laying on the ground: an explosive device.
Aaron suddenly drops the rail-gun, as his attempt to fire it a sixth time causes it to suddenly erupt with smoke and electric sparks, now having fully overloaded its generator. Bomb Cyclone, having come out victorious, fires a blast of oxygen in the direction of the dropped rail-gun, prompting Aaron to lunge out of the way as the electric sparks ignite the oxygen, causing yet another miniature explosion that this time, destroys the rail-gun, as Jerry, partially opening the explosive up, stares in awe at its energy contents, a strange pitch-black, white-outlined coloration.
“I don’t want to hurt any of you more that I’ve had to today, okay?!” Ezekiel, now having reverted back to his human form off-screen, says, as he attempts to confront Aaron, who simply backs up and onto the teleporter where Everett and Evan were.
“Stay the fuck back! If we can’t kill you, the boss definitely will! There were hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of products in the facility!” Aaron exclaims.
“ELIX!” Jerry loudly exclaims, rushing toward Ezekiel, clutching something in his hands.
“Wh-Why is he running like that?!” Evan asks Aaron, greatly confused, before Everett unveils the explosive device he had acquired in his hands, tightly gripping it before pressing a button on its side, causing a white LED light atop its form to be sharply beeping.
“FROM ME, TO YOU!!!” Jerry exclaims, as he raises the explosive device in the air, allowing the others to get a look at it.
“Wait… holy SHIT, IS THAT A-” Everett exclaims, before he’s cut off by both Aaron and Evan, who simultaneously exclaim, “-A LOADED DARK MATTER FRAGMENTATION BOMB?!?!” at once as the explosive soars through the air.
“JERRY, THAT BOMB DISTORTS MATTER AT AN ATOMIC LEVEL! IT CAN DESTROY THIS ENTIRE FACTORY IN A NEAR-INSTANT! IT’S AN ULTIMATE FINAL RESORT!” Evan exclaims, panicking. “PUT THAT THING DOWN BEFORE IT’S FULLY ENGAGED, AND ACTIVATE THE FUCKING DETONATOR ALREADY!”
“PREPARE TO DIE… ELIXXXXX!!!” Jerry loudly exclaims, having ignored Evan, as the view dramatically zooms-in on the dark-matter-loaded explosive, its white light starting to suddenly blink faster, as the alarmed faces of Evan, Aaron, Jerry, and Everett look on, with the latter’s expression changing to shock.
“THE BOMB’S VAPORIZING BLAST WILL BE ACTIVATED SO FAST THE TELEPORTER WON’T ENGAGE IN TIME! WE’LL ALL BE KILLED!” Everett exclaims.
“GOD DAMN IT, JERRY!” Evan exclaims out of frustration, as suddenly, Ezekiel swoops in, darting past the three of them, charging toward Jerry.
“No, you DON’T!” Ezekiel exclaims, as the Double Helix suddenly activates and initiates a transformation sequence. “DOUBLE HELIX, TRANSFORM!”
Engulfed by the light, Plagiarizone’s arms shot from Ezekiel’s glowing silhouette, which quickly re-materialized into the rest of Plagiarizone, as he briefly pummeled Jerry, creating dots of energy all over his face and arms, which with sickening pops, Jerry’s head, then arms, each violently split into two, sprouting a new neck and pair of shoulders in the process.
“WHAT-” Jerry’s original head on the left side exclaims, finished by the newly-sprouted head on the right side, “-THE FUCK?!”
Within seconds, Plagiarizone rams his fist into the chest of Ezekiel, creating a miniature shock-wave of green energy that causes Jerry’s duplicated heads and arms to violently fuse back together, their explosive fission creating damage to Jerry’s body, as his nose, chin, biceps, and hands are violently lacerated in the process. The force of Plagiarizone sends Jerry flying back, both the Dark Matter bomb and detonator flying out of his hand, the latter which Plagiarizone first destroys, smashing it with a single swoop of his fist.
“NOOO!” Everett yells in dismay, as Plagiarizone turns his attention to the Dark Matter bomb, its LED light blinking faster. Plagiarizone pummels it with his fist, but its durable shell hardly cracks as it plummets further and further toward the ground. “IF IT STRIKES SOLID MATTER, IT’LL GO OFF!”
“FUCK, I CAN’T GO OUT LIKE THIS, WHERE I’M ALL BANDAGED AND FUCKED UP!” Evan loudly exclaims. “EVEN IN DEATH, YOU SCREWED ME, JERRY!”
“I’m… sorry… boss… I wasn’t thinking straight…” Jerry speaks through gashed lips, still in the process of falling backwards onto the ground.
“You’re never thinking straight.” Evan responds, as Jerry hits the ground, while Evan, Everett, and Aaron avert their attention to Plagiarizone, who has now transformed back into Bomb Cyclone yet again.
“If I can’t stop it, I’ll have to delay it just enough!” Bomb Cyclone exclaims, beginning to rotate his fists.
“That bomb will take out this whole facility in just seconds! There’s no way you can delay it!” Everett responds, annoyed.
“I may be unable to delay it, but I can keep it from hitting the ground in time!” Bomb Cyclone exclaims, as he unhinges his midsection and begins to rapidly rotate, building up speed and gradually beginning to pick up loose pieces of rubble and debris. Soon creating a powerful vortex of air, it swiftly develops the Dark Matter bomb, keeping it hovering in mid-air. As the cyclone begins to grow in height and size, the Dark Matter bomb begins to lift higher and higher, gradually moving away from the ground.
A woozy Aaron, beginning to suffer blood loss, narrowly collapses out of the teleporter’s radius, but is caught by Everett, who, during the split second his hands exit the radius of the teleporter, has the back of his left hand slashed by a piece of shrapnel, gravely startling him as he grits his teeth in pain and pulls his companion back inside.
Within the cyclone, the Dark Matter bomb begins spinning faster and faster and faster, its LED lights blinking several times a second. As it begins to radiate a glowing aura of extreme heat, an injured Jerry begins his way back up to his feet, although only resting on his right elbow and knees, mostly unable to support himself with his bloodied palms.
By now, Bomb Cyclone’s massive cyclone, empowered by a huge source of oxygen generated by him, tears a great majority of the middle of the facility’s ceiling, finally causing the hole-ridden facility to stop giving away, as one of its walls starts to collapse, while another one is on verge of similarly falling. Warped metal, broken glass, and charred wood crash against the sand, and are partially swept up and into Bomb Cyclone’s tornado, the Dark Matter bomb now at the top.
“I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say when that sucker eventually detonates, it’ll be slow enough for the teleporter to kick in and get us out of here… correct?” Evan begrudgingly asks.
“Hopefully.” Aaron simply responds.
“BOSS! TAMPERER!” Jerry calls out, a small distance away, his silhouette clouded by the cyclone, as he’s finally managed to get up to one of his feet.
“Wait… shit! Jerry’s outside the teleporter!” Everett exclaims .“If the bomb goes off with him, he won’t teleport with us, but if anyone one of us exits the teleporter’s radius to try and save him, the bomb could detonate, prematurely activate the teleporter, and leave them BOTH behind!”
“Fuck, what are we supposed to do?!” Evan asks. Aaron begins sweating, as he furiously wipes his wet brow and bloodied lip.
“BOSS!!!” Jerry screams out, as his silhouette noticeably collapses. “HELP ME!!!”
“If Ezekiel’s telling the truth about holding the bomb off… then I have no choice but to take his word!” Aaron exclaims, as he rushes off out of the radius of the teleporter, much to the brief protest of the other two. Narrowly avoiding being slashed by fragments of broken metal, he hurries toward Jerry, who has been badly injured by debris and is drooling fluid, and grabs onto his hand.
“Come on, Jerry, I got you!” Aaron strains, tugging on his limb. “Get up! Hurry!”
“AARON… SOMETHING’S WRONG!” Jerry exclaims, as the skin over his face begins to crack and warp like brittle stone. With a sickening crack, Aaron stumbles back and his brief confusion changes to terror as he realizes he is still holding Jerry’s now-severed hand, which slowly crumples into stone-like pellets.
“AARON!!” Jerry cries out, revealing to have collapsed earlier due to his legs from the knee down breaking apart into petrified fragments. A shimmering, bright-pink coloration flashes in Jerry’s pupils, as he struggles to crawl with his remaining limb. “THE CYCLONE… IS PULLING ME APART…!!”
“Shit… your fucking eyes… Jerry... YOU’RE ONE OF THEM...!” Aaron exclaims out of shock, as he rises back to his feet, a mass of machinery soaring toward him from behind.
“AARON, WATCH OUT!” Jerry exclaims, as with his remaining limb, uses all of his remaining strength to suddenly shove Aaron out of the way, allowing the machinery to suddenly flatten him. Aaron yells out in horror, as Jerry’s body is pulverized, exploding into a mass of calcified fragments, an ghoulish howl emitting from his shattered jaws as his remains are swept into Bomb Cyclone’s hurricane.
As Aaron, sitting on his backside, stares terror-struck and frozen, he is abruptly pulled back by Everett, who returns him to the interior of the teleporter, exclaiming, “AARON, MOVE! WHAT THE HELL’S WRONG WITH YOU?! WHERE’S JERRY?!”
“Jerry turned…” Aaron merely states, still terror-struck.
Meanwhile, Bomb Cyclone strains, his arms trembling, as he shakily attempts to keep the momentum of the now-massive cyclone, as tall as the facility, stable. Stony particles among the debris, their identity unbeknownst to him, begin to accumulate in the air around him.
“...into one…” Aaron continues.
The mass of machinery that had crushed Jerry begins to warp and twist, its metal casing shifting, as swaying cables begin to erupt from the top, followed by a crude, mechanical hand, its makeshift fingers flexing and contorting, and a glow of bright-pink light from within.
“...of them…” Aaron finishes.
“...R-R-RIGHT NOW?! RIGHT FUCKING NOW?!” Evan yells out after a brief period of silence, as suddenly, an explosion of air pressure ravages through the facility, shattering all remaining windows and glass structures, as Bomb Cyclone releases all of the built kinetic energy of the cyclone at once, sending the small bomb flying straight upwards into the sky, before he collapses, exhausted and reverting to his human form, falling to one knee and panting. The other three groan, as they grip their sides of their head in hearing pain.
“Son of a bitch, you’re going to make me go deaf!” Evan grabs at the side of his head with his good arm.
“I couldn’t hold it anymore. I probably just barely sent that thing into the stratosphere. It’s gonna blow the second it falls back and hits the ground.” Ezekiel responds, getting back up to his feet and facing the three of them again, before briefly pausing. “They were four of you earlier… where’s your idiot friend...?”
“HOLY SHIT!!” Everett exclaims, pointing behind Ezekiel, as by the second he turns around, a crudely-assembled mechanical appendage ensnares around Ezekiel’s throat, shoving him back as he gags and retches at the sudden pressure on his esophagus.
As the view follows the appendage’s source, it reveals a bizarre creature in the process of assembly, made out of wreckage and debris, with metal shrapnel, twisted rebar, machinery, broken rock, snapped cables, and glass shards,both composing and jutting out of its body. Forming a humanoid body, the head finishes construction, revealing itself to be skeletal, half-metal and half-stone, with glowing bright-pink eyes. Evan stares at shock, as he yells out in terror, revealing the identity of the creature, “JERRY?!”
“He was a fucking Inherited Insomniac… not even he knew it himself!” Aaron exclaims.
“Of course not, Inherited Insomniacs don’t know when it’s coming until it KICKS IN!” Everett yells out in response.
“DAMN IT! CAN’T I CATCH A BREAK TODAY?!” Ezekiel chokes out, before suddenly, a pair of soft, familiar buzzes emit from the Double Helix. “AH, OKAY… MUCH OBLIGED!”
In a flash of red and blue light, with a sealed left fist, Ezekiel rapidly transforms into Plagiarizone, grasping the robotic extremity of the mutated Jerry, before effortlessly tearing it away, forcing the mutated Jerry to retract his limb and demonstrate a low-tier form of regeneration, as he absorbs a mass of nearby bolts, screws, and chunks of steel to create a new, clawed left hand. Plagiarizone dramatically strikes a pose, before using his sharply-pointed fists to swiftly cross his arms, hitting his outer-shoulders in the process and creating a single dot of energy on each of them, resulting in both of his arms suddenly duplicating outwards into four total limbs.
“Whatever your fucked-up mutant ability is, you can absorb pieces of the environment around you to construct any aspect of your new body structure.” Plagiarizone wittingly exclaims, clenching all four of his fists, before remarking, “I guess that makes you… the ENVIRONMENTALIST!”
“No, IT DOESN’T! THAT’S THE WORST PUN I’VE HEARD ALL TIME!” Evan annoyingly yells from a distance away, but is ignored by Plagiarizone.
The mutated “Environmentalist” rushes forward, reeling one of his unrefined arms up into the air and smashing into the metal ground, allowing a quick-timed jump by Plagiarizone to be propelled further up into the air, bounce off a wall, and slam back into the Environmentalist, pummeling him with a rapid barrage of double the amount of fists. Turning him into a scrambled mass of semi-duplicated constructs through Plagiarizone’s ability, Plagiarizone finishes him with an overhead swing, causing destructive fission to demolish the Environmentalist’s form, violently crushing his head and limbs, as Plagiarizone lands against the ground, rolling back up to his feet and facing the others again.
“I hope that teleporter activates soon. That thing’s most definitely coming back as we speak.” Plagiarizone exclaims.
“Then you better start running out of here, Ezekiel.” Evan responds, clutching his bandaged shoulder. “When we meet again, events will play out much differently.”
“Pfftttt… another one? I already got a ton of supposed ‘arch-rivals’. Come up with something different next time.” Plagiarizone responds. “Think about it at wherever you teleport off to.”
A blurring streak of black-and-white light begins to fill the sky above the factory and the view briefly shifts, showing the Environmentalist into the gradual process of reassembling himself. Plagiarizone begins sprinting away, swatting the symbol on the back of his original set of arms’ hand to suddenly transform into a four-armed Bomb Cyclone that immediately begins to generate miniature aerokinetic blasts from his pams that suddenly send Bomb Cyclone flying straight out of the facility’s destroyed interior, crashing through a crumbling metal wall and being sent soaring out into the sandy desert.
As the reassembled Environmentalist slowly rises upwards, creating animalistic sounds, as he stiffly shambles around, facing Evan, Everett, and Aaron, it bellows with mindless rage and begins to violently rush toward them. As the sky above the facility seems to be filled with black-and-white light, Everett, his eyes closed, calmly speaks to the others, stating, “I suggest you guys close your eyes to avoid optical damage. I’ve only noticed one of these explosions before, and they’re bright.”
On cue, Evan and Aaron additionally seal their eyes as the roaring Environmentalist lunges toward them, his clawed, metallic arm outstretched, before a massive beam of black-and-white energy, the Dark Matter bomb in the process of exploding, re-enters the factory’s interior, everything glowing with light, before an emission of electricity, like a fork of lightning, pierces the Environmentalist through the torso.
“RRRAAAGGGGGHHHHH--?!?!!!” The Environmentalist screams in agony, before a vaporizing blast of dark matter sweeps through the factory’s interior, disintegrating the Environmentalist's body mid-scream. With Aaron wrapping his arms around both Evan and Everett, the teleporter unit instantaneously activates, releasing a flash of blue light, tiny compared to the huge radius of black-and-white light.
“Jerry...” Evan solemnly mutters out the second the trio are transported away. From a bird’s-eye view of the factory’s interior from a mile away, a catastrophic of destabilized dark matter obliterates its exterior, sending rapidly-dispersing energy flying off in every direction. In the distance, a far-away red and blue flash of light flashes in the background, before the silhouette of Ezekiel blurs forward, before swiftly crashing into the sand.
“Mmphhhh…” Ezekiel lets out a frustrated groan, as he emerges from his crash-site, spitting out a mouthful of sand and furiously attempting to swat particles of it out of his hair, while he slowly gets back up to his feet.
“Fuck, that was close. Safe to say that’s one rogue factory down for the count.” Ezekiel says to himself, before facing the destroyed remains of the factory in the distance, surrounded by rapidly-degrading wisps of dark matter. “...but who knows how many are left? I could probably knock down another one today, though I shouldn’t have wasted all that time at that one.”
Cut off, Ezekiel suddenly turns to the sound of a mass of approaching vehicles heading in his direction, both jet-black or chrome-white with signature flashing bright-purple lights, causing them to vaguely resemble police cars. Freezing in place and merely stating, “Aw, shit! The fun police!”, several men in dark, orange-highlighted uniforms and shades emerge from their vehicles, one armed with a megaphone.
“Ezekiel E. Elix, put both of your upper-extremities in the air and come with us! You have violated one of the major rules of your P-B-C, the ‘Public-Blending Contract’ and are in deep trouble! Refusal will be met with varying levels of force! Repeat, put your hands in the air and return with us to base NOW!” The megaphone-wielding individual yells through the microphone, revealing Ezekiel’s full name.
“Ugh.” Ezekiel groans, as he halts his attempts to get sand out of his goatee, his human form now entirely revealed in the light, as his homeless appearance one year prior’s pale, greasy complexion had now dwindled to a slight twan. His jumpsuit had small silver-gray highlights and what appeared to be an I.D. on his left pectoral, reading the numbers “071719”.
Sighing, Ezekiel faces forward, lowers to his knees, raises his arms, puts them behind his head in a similar manner to someone being arrested, and jokingly states, “My ‘upper-extremities’ are behind my head...”
The view slowly zooms out, audio becoming slightly muffled the more distant it becomes, as a pair of police-like personnel approach Ezekiel and grab him by the wrists, allowing him to get back up to his feet.
“Careful, I might have dark matter on my clothes.” Ezekiel states, as he’s guided toward one of the vehicles, its passenger door open.
“Boy, what the hell are you going on about?” One of the personnel responds, as Ezekiel softly chuckles in response. “Boy... you are… an enigma.”
“Well, I’d go with the more appropriate term you give me and everyone else at the institute…” Ezekiel responds back, in the process of entering the vehicle, “...peculiar...” before he closes the passenger door.
Within an after-credits scene, among the wreckage of the semi-disintegrated facility, a twitching, shrapnel-composed hand clutches the remains of the explosion-preserved, although badly charred Tazerfist gauntlet, the hand slithering the group, using cables like tendrils, as it slowly begins to approach the semi-buried remains of the Environmentalist's head, corroded by dark matter.
“Bo… ss…” A weak, mechanical voice croaks out from the destroyed head, as the interior of its jagged eye-sockets flicker with bright-pink light. "I-I... will... ma-make... you... proud..."
The episode ends on a freeze-frame of the Environmentalist's partially-submerged head and glowing eyes, as cables around it begin to shift and move.
- Ezekiel makes his debut and stumbles across one of the first crash-sites of alien technology within the Mojave desert.
- Ezekiel interacts with the crashed technology, causing it to destabilize and explode, destroying his body and fatally wounding him, but soon rebuilding Ezekiel's lost body parts from its metal fluid form, granting Ezekiel the genekinetic, DNA-altering Double Helix apparatus within his new bionic left forearm.
- After the time-skip, Ezekiel has seemingly gotten back onto his feet, adopting a more optimistic personality with better hygiene and obvious past usage of his new ability of alien transformations.
- It's revealed at the end it's due to the fact Ezekiel has been apart of an institute of "peculiar" individuals, most likely behind his improved characteristics. Whenever he joined by force or not remains unknown.
- As of the end of the episode, Ezekiel is in trouble after violating one of the major rules of his "Public-Blending Contract", most likely referring to his ability to exit the institute without permission
- Ezekiel is revealed to be an avid nemesis of Ambidextrous Robotics and has met several individuals who are apart of Ambidextrous Robotics, including Evan and Everett.
- Bomb Cyclone, Xpanshun, and Plagiarizone make their Double Helix debuts.
- Ezekiel's attack results in the violent destruction of one of the many, albeit major facility operations.
- Evan foreshadows his adoption of becoming a super-villain, after acquiring the Tazerfist, a project created for Evan in the form of a weaponized, electrified gauntlet.
- Evan's brawl with Bomb Cyclone with the Tazerfist results in his defeat, disfigurement of his badly-burned right arm, and the destruction of the Tazerfist.
- Evan officially declares himself an arch-rival of Ezekiel.
- One of the workers, Jerry, undergoes a violent "Insomniac" mutation and becomes a shapeshifting mutant Ezekiel dubs the Environmentalist.
- Evan, Everett, and Aaron escape the destroyed facility to an unknown location. Ezekiel similarly escapes, unscathed, but is abruptly returned to the institute after being tracked down.
- The Environmentalist is at first, presumably killed by an explosion of destabilized dark matter, but the after-credits scene shows his slow recovery.
- In his fight with Ezekiel and Xpanshun, Aaron is moderately injured, losing teeth and seemingly having broken ribs, but remains and escapes in stable condition.
- In the after-credits scene, The Environmentalist seems to reveal Jerry regaining some of his sanity through him briefly speaking coherently, despite his recently-mutated state.
- Ezekiel Elix / "ELIX" (first appearance)
- Peculiar Institute Supervisors
- Evan Thema (first appearance)
- Everett Winters / "The Tamperer" (first appearance)
- Aaron Foster (first appearance)
- Roman Rogers (first appearance)
- Jerry Townsend / "The Environmentalist" (first appearance; mutates)
- Ambidextrous Robotics Operation Workers
- Elijah (mentioned)
- Sebastian (mentioned)
- Michael (mentioned)
- Vicki (voice-only cameo)
- Abraham (mentioned)
- Ambidextrous Robotics Operation Boss (mentioned; unnamed)
- Bomb Cyclone (x4; first appearance; fourth time cameo)
- Xpanshun (first appearance; off-screen transformation)
- Plagiarizone (x3; second time cameo)
- Ezekiel witnessing the crash of alien technology, believing it to be a shooting star at first, was inspired by Ben Tennyson witnessing the crash of the Omnitrix-containing pod from the first episode of the 2005 original series, And Then There Were 10.
- Jerry's name and characteristic of being despised by Evan for his childlike personality was inspired by the somewhat-common running gag in media for characters named Jerry to be naturally hated, examples including the video-game Undertale and the TV series Rick and Morty.
- A section of the scuffle between Bomb Cyclone and Evan wielding the Tazerfist, primarily that of Bomb Cyclone attempting to shove Evan's gauntlet arm back, was inspired by a segment of a fight sequence from the anime, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, in this case, its fourth part, Diamond is Unbreakable, between characters Josuke and Okuyasu, primarily their psychic Stands Crazy Diamond and The Hand.
- Ezekiel makes reference to Ed Gein, an American convicted murderer and body snatcher most known for fashioning the remains of his victims into everyday household items, when referring to Aaron's deflated state as a "skin-suit".
- Shock to the System's writing progress was much longer than anticipated, with the episode's original release around January 2020, but was pushed to mid-March due to abrupt losses of motivation.
- The episode was originally just around 30 pages, but after it began to breach the limit, it was announced as a double-length feature. In the end, the final product was a little over 44 pages.
- While writing, details such as the dark matter bomb and Jerry's mutation were not planned out. Jerry was originally to be straight up killed by the dark matter bomb's detonation after it was accidentally flung toward him by Xpanshun, as to give Evan a vendetta against Ezekiel for killing one of his workers.
- The drill-tipped gauntlets used by an unnamed worker to fight against Bomb Cyclone were named the "Stonestrikers", a name never brought up due to the characters never referring to them.
- Xpanshun was meant to be appear twice, taking Bomb Cyclone's place when he keeps the bomb at bay from detonation, but was scrapped in favor of him utilizing a tornado to slow its detonation.
- Everett's planted bombs were never engaged nor detonated, as the dark matter bomb disintegrated them.
- During the beginning of the introduction scene of the Ambidextrous Robotics facility, one of the workers emerging the trucks is seen carrying an Egyptian pharaoh-like mask in his hands, a reference to the canon Thep Khufan species of the Ben 10 canon and was included for Snare-oh Fest.
- In the original pre-written 2019 version of the episode, events played out much differently.
- Ezekiel's character at the beginning was much more unsympathetic and less pitiful.
- Ezekiel's bodily destruction after the mass of alien technology exploded was much more gruesome, and Ezekiel expressed much more sounds of agony as his body reassembled itself.
- A sequence, inspired by the Ben 10 movie Race Against Time, was added apart of the intro, foreshadowing the Double Helix's aliens through showing their silhouetted forms, and having theme lyrics based off the Ben 10 original series' theme, albeit edited with ELIX's theme.
- It narrowly made the cut in the re-write, but was cut due to taking much way too more time and generally sounding way too cheesy.
- Everett was much more aggressive when he brings up Sebastian's near-death experience, and describes in slightly more detail after the whole situation left Sebastian with massive mental trauma to the point he may never entirely recover.
- Aaron and Roman's names were swapped, a mistake not noticed up until prior to the beginning of the rewrite.
- Many scenes, including Evan's imaginative conversation with Everett, him confronting Aaron and Roman smoking marijuana outside the facility, and him trying to locate a hiding Ezekiel, unknowingly being a frightened, severely-photophobic Jerry, were not in the original version.
- Instead, Ezekiel would have hidden in the truck off-screen, crawl out, and be confronted by an unnamed worker as soon he transforms into Bomb Cyclone, before making himself revealed and facing off against Evan.
- Much of the rest of the episode after Ezekiel's reveal is entirely different, with the only thing similar to the final production being Ezekiel being confronted by Peculiar Institute supervisors with demands to return to the institute.
- Ezekiel only transformed into both Bomb Cyclone and Xpanshun, both once only, as Plagiarizone did not exist at the time of writing the original version.
- In the original, Ezekiel never destroys any of the technology he does in the final product, although does similarly damage the Tazerfist.
- Like Roman and several workers, Everett escaped via truck in the original version.
- Aaron used the Quakerboots alongside the Anti-Graviton Energy Whip to fight Bomb Cyclone.
- Instead of using Bomb Cyclone to propel himself out of the factory, Ezekiel used Xpanshun by grabbing onto the frame of a broken window, stretching his arms like a slingshot, and using them to fling himself to safety.
- The factory was not destroyed by an explosive, instead collapsed after Ezekiel's fight against Evan severely damaged the foundation.
- Aaron's fight with Ezekiel was much, much shorter, and he hardly used the Anti-Graviton Energy Whip. In the end, he escapes with Evan by using the energy whip to carry his unconscious body with him and allow him to escape.
- The after-credits scene shows a recovered Ezekiel returning to the remains of the destroyed facility and reclaiming the damaged, albeit working Tazerfist, before finally declaring himself a rival and enemy of Ezekiel.