|Season 2, Episode 4|
|Air date||October 2nd, 2015|
Rise of Gamma: Part 1
It had been something of a long day for our three...protagonists.
(‘Heroes’ might be too strong of a word.)
They had spent the entire day at the newly-reopened Archives of Oberon, pouring through page after page and screen after screen of information, searching for answers about the Anti-Life Entity. Though their search had been rather unsuccessful in that department, they had uncovered some new information about their alien forms and several surprisingly interesting meatloaf recipes.
After these long hours, they finally decided to head back to the gift shop, where the sun was beginning to slip away from Earth’s horizon, turning the sky a brilliant shade of orange.
“Well, I, for one, am done for the day.” Tech said, flopping down in his chair. “I haven’t filled my brain with so much pointless bullcrap since Geometry.”
“Excuse you, but math is actually a very important part of learning, and practically holds the fabric of society together!” Napoleon rebuked.
“Hey, I didn’t say all math, I said Geometry. Knowing how to compare triangles is not what I’d call very useful information!”
“You talking crap about triangles?”
“Okay, break it up people.” Moranna interjected. “The fact that you’re arguing over math probably shows how tired you are.”
“What about you?” Napoleon asked. “You were there as long as we were.”
“Moranna doesn’t need to sleep as much as normal people.” Tech explained. “She also doesn’t really seem to blink.”
“What’s wrong with not blinking?” Moranna asked.
“It’s freaky, man! It’s like you’re some undead spirit staring into our souls!”
“...I am okay with that.”
Before they could continue with their conversation, the phone on the wall began ringing.
“Hey Aquadilus, could you get that?” Tech asked. “It’s probably the snowglobe people wondering about our canceled order.”
“Why did you even order that many in the first place?” Aquadilus asked, walking over to the phone.
“I told you already, I don’t know! It just happened, okay?!”
Aquadilus rolled his eyes and picked up the phone.
“EarthCo. Gift Shop and Tourist Center, this is Aquadilus speaking, how can I help you?” He said. “Oh, hello Mrs. Logical...mhm...mhm...yeah, I’ll hand the phone to him.”
Aquadilus held the phone out to Tech.
“It’s for you.”
“Yeah, thanks, I got that.” Tech replied, grabbing the phone. “Hey, Mom...mhm...yeah, I’ll be home soon...what am I doing?...Uh, you know, just, uh, hanging out with some friends...yes, I do have those...no, I don’t think you’ve met...well, that’s because, they’re, uh, just visiting at the moment.”
Napoleon and Moranna looked at each other and shrugged, while Aquadilus went back to reading his newspaper.
“From where?” Tech continued. “Oh, well, one’s from Phoenix...no, I don’t think their parents are going to pick them up...mhm...yeah, okay...ye-wait, what?...No, I don’t think that’s...well, I mean, it’s just that...it would probably be...okay, okay, fine! I’ll ask them!”
“Ask us what?” Moranna questioned.
“My mom wants to know...” Tech sighed. “If you two want to spend the night at my place.”
“Would that make you uncomfortable?”
“I believe the custom on this planet is to at least go on a date first.”
Tech gave Moranna a suspicious glare.
“When did you get a sense of humor?”
“About the same time I had to start saving your ass.”
“My parents are expecting me home for dinner, so that’s a no go for me.” Napoleon said.
“How do you even get here and back, anyways?” Tech asked. “Can you teleport?”
“Nope.” Napoleon shook his head. “Observe.”
He clapped his hands together and shoved them forward into the air, then turned his palms outwards and began what appeared to be an outwards pushing motion. Some sort of space tear appeared, with the other side being the street Napoleon lived on.
“See ya later!”
With that, he stepped through the tear, which swiftly closed behind him. Tech and Moranna stared at the spot he had left through for a few moments.
“What is that guy?” Moranna said.
“Your guess is as good as mine.”
“A-hem.” Aquadilus interjected, gesturing to the phone in Tech’s hand.
“Oh, right.” Tech put the phone back up to his ear. “Sorry about that...uh, yeah, one of them apparently lives within walking distance, so they’ll just be headed home on their own. The other one’s willing to take you up on your offer...mhm...okay...yeah, we’ll be there in five...love you too, mom...yeah, bye.”
Tech placed the phone back on the wall mount and sighed.
“Sounds like she’s also invited you to dinner.” He said. “Anything I should know about there?”
“I really only have to eat once every few days or so to maintain prime health, but eating more on occasion shouldn’t hurt.” Moranna explained.
“Good grief, is there anything you’re not better at than a normal human?”
“From what I can tell, I’m not quite as good at whining.”
With a green flash, Tech and Moranna appeared at an oddly-shaped intersection in the middle of an average-looking neighborhood.
“Okay, so something to keep in mind.” Tech said. “My parents know about everything I do that isn’t inherently dangerous.”
“What about the inherently dangerous stuff?” Moranna asked.
“If they knew about all the crap I deal with on a daily basis, they’d never let me out of the house again. Oh, and also, Tech’s a nickname, my real name is Isaac, don’t ever call me Isaac, I’m just telling you so you don’t seem surprised when my parents call me that.”
“Why do you even have that nickname?”
“I gave it to myself. Was supposed to be a joke at first, but it sort of spiraled out of control. Not to mention that Isaac is just a mediocre name in general. It’s like the tofu of first names, perfectly serviceable, but wholly unsatisfying.”
Tech gestured for Moranna to follow him, and walked towards a white house with a small second floor. After walking up the driveway and up to the door, Tech turned the handle, opening it and walking into an open hallway.
“Hey, I’m home!” He called.
“We’re in the dining room!” A female voice, presumably Tech’s mother, called back. “Your father’s working late again, so we’ll just go ahead and eat now!”
The two made their way down the hallway until they reached an archway built into the right side of the wall, which opened directly into the dining room. The tabletop was already set up, with Tech’s mother walking towards the table holding a large container of what appeared to be some sort of stew.
“Well, hello there!” Tech’s mother said enthusiastically, catching sight of Moranna. “You must be one of Tech’s friends!”
“Uh, yeah, that’s...that’s me.” Moranna replied awkwardly.
“No need to be shy dear, just take a seat!”
Moranna and Tech sat down at the table as Tech’s mother placed down the bowl she was carrying, then sat down herself and began serving up the stew.
“So Tech, aren’t you going to introduce us?” She asked.
“Uh, right.” Tech replied. “So, uh, mom and dad, this is Moranna. Moranna, these are my parents.”
“Well, it is certainly a pleasure to meet you, Moranna! Tech doesn’t get out of his shop much, so it’s nice to see he’s managed to make some friends!”
Moranna gave Tech a quick side glance that seemed to go unnoticed by his parents. Tech gave a slight shrug in response.
“Speaking of which, how did you two meet, anyway?”
“Internet!” Tech interjected. “We met on the internet.”
“Oh, that makes sense!” Tech’s mother replied. “You must be the friend Tech mentioned lived in Phoenix, right?”
“No, that’s the other one.” Tech corrected.
“Didn’t you say they lived in walking distance?”
“Alien technology, remember?” Tech tapped the SpecTrix.
“Oh, right, I always forget about that! So, Moranna, tell us a bit about yourself!”
“Well, I...” Moranna racked her brain, trying to think of non-incriminating details about herself. “...have achieved mastery in several martial arts...and, uh...I have a spacecraft license.”
“That’s amazing! How old are you?”
“And already such an achiever! Your parents must be very proud of you!”
An awkward silence fell over the table. Tech barely held in the urge to slam his head against the wooden tabletop.
“My parents are...not around.” Moranna finally broke the silence.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” Tech’s mother profusely apologized. “You poor dear!”
“It’s fine.” Moranna assured. “I never really knew them anyways.”
Have you ever had those moments where you wish you could just shrink away and die of embarrassment on the spot? Well, Tech was currently in the middle of one of those moments.
‘Oh boy.’ He thought. ‘This is going to be a long evening.’
The rest of the dinner passed by rather uneventfully, with Tech’s mother and Moranna conversing more about some less sensitive subjects.
A few hours later, everyone had gone to bed, with Moranna sleeping on a spare bed in the second floor’s main area. Tech’s room was the only other one on the floor, down a short hallway. He had lied awake in bed for a while, staring at the ceiling.
‘Someone who tried to kill me a few months ago is sleeping just down the hallway.’ He thought to himself. ‘Granted, I never had very many expectations for my life anyway, but this is not a situation I would’ve even considered happening.’
Eventually, however, he did manage to fall asleep as the weariness from the day caught up to him. After a few hours, though, he woke up with a very dry mouth.
‘Great. The one night I forget to grab a glass of water for my nightstand...’
He slowly forced himself out of bed and out of his room, walking into the second floor’s main area. Two faintly glowing purple circles were visible in the darkness, causing him to jump a bit. Once his eyes adjusted properly, he saw that the circles were just Moranna’s eye implants.
“Oh, you’re awake?” Tech asked.
“I don’t sleep very much.” Moranna replied.
“Well, I know, but you should at least try to do it more often. Who knows how much energy someone like you could build up?”
“I’m not sure if I can, to be perfectly honest.”
There were a few moments of silence.
“It can’t be easy.” Moranna spoke up.
“Trying to get along with someone that’s tried to kill you. To be frank, I’m not sure why you deal with it so well.”
“Well, A: I can’t die, and B: I’m not sure how much I’m physically capable of caring at the moment.” Tech shrugged.
“I don’t think you’re really as flippant as you try to be.” Moranna pointed out. “I’ve seen you react badly to certain situations, and I’ve noticed that you’re not entirely comfortable around me.”
“I can’t blame you. Even knowing that I’m from Earth, I feel like just as much an alien as your customers, and more than likely come off as one too.”
“So you’re saying you feel like you don’t fit in?” Tech sighed, sitting down on the floor. “Welcome to the human condition, I’ll be your tour guide.”
“What, it’s a species thing?”
“Well, more of a ‘sentient pack animal’ thing, but I suppose humans are a prime example. Protip: If you ever feel like you one hundred percent fit in, you’re probably doing something wrong.”
“A pack animal that can never fit in...” Moranna repeated. “I’m not sure if that’s funny or sad.”
“A little of both, and a little of neither. Most of us have our whole lives to get used to it, but I think you probably got screwed out of the important bits.”
“I guess so.”
There was another brief silence.
“Do you think-”
Moranna was cut off by a large explosion outside. She and Tech jumped up and looked out the window, seeing a relatively small but blood-chillingly familiar spacecraft hovering in the middle of the road, with a scorched blast area a few meters in front of it.
“No, no, no, not again!” Tech snapped, taking off downstairs.
“What are you-” Moranna began, but swiftly took off after him.
The two ran outside the house, Tech silently thanking his earlier decision to wear slipper socks to bed as they ran into the road.
“What do you mean, ‘not again’?” Moranna finished her question. “What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about-” Tech began to reply, but cut himself off after catching sight of Moranna. “You wear your full uniform to bed?”
“Well, yeah. What else would I wear?”
“Fair enough. Anyways, these guys-”
Tech was again cut off, this time by the loud impact of the ship landing. A door opened up on the side of the craft, out of which stepped two humanoid robots carrying guns.
“Four years of ‘your mom’ jokes Reggie, and what has it gotten you?” One of the robots spoke in a raspy monotone.
“Satisfaction with a job well done.” The other replied in a similar monotone.
“You are a sad and pathetic machine, Reggie.”
“That is not what your mother said last night.”
“This is what you were worried about?” Moranna asked.
“I’m not so much worried about them as I am their maker’s agenda.” Tech explained.
“Tech, what are you doing?!” A voice shouted from his front yard.
“Oh god no.” He groaned, turning to find his parents standing just outside the door.
“Get back inside!” His mother shouted. “We don’t know what those things are!”
“Yeah, but I do!” Tech yelled back.
“Citizens of this neighborhood!” The ‘Reggie’ robot began talking through the ship’s speakers. “We have thoroughly combed every sector of this planet for the past four years, but have not found the device we are looking for! Though data initially indicated this area as unlikely, as this was the location we began in, it now remains as the only possible area for the device to be in.”
“What device?” Moranna asked. “What are they talking about?”
“The device we are searching for is a green gauntlet that can attach to the human wrist.” Reggie continued. “You have five minutes to present this device. After that, this area will be destroyed and manually combed for it.”
“Tech, get back inside or you’re grounded!” Tech’s mother yelled.
“If I don’t deal with this, a grounding is going to be the least of my issues!” Tech yelled back.
He quickly ran to the side of the craft, where the robots had exited, and held up the SpecTrix.
“Hey, bolt heads!” He snapped. “You talking about this?!”
“Scanning.” The other robot began. “Eighty-five percent appearance match. Functionality is generally the same, but upgraded. Likely scenario: a reformat.”
“Sure, let’s go with that. You want this thing?”
“Then come and get it!”
Tech quickly slammed on the SpecTrix dial, transforming into Fearoid and rushing the robots, slamming into them. The impact sent the two machines flying, slamming into the pavement with the sound of metal scraping and more than a few sparks.
“Hold on a second.” Moranna said. “You mean to tell me, that this entire time, you’ve had access to the DNA of a Leader-Class Emotispecter?!”
“Yep!” Tech replied. “Probably got it while fighting that other guy who tried to kill me.”
“And you haven’t used this form more often because...?”
“Well, I’m not very good at it.”
“You have got to be kidding me.”
Their conversation was interrupted by a barrage of blaster shots that ripped through Tech’s body like it was a wet paper bag. Unlike a wet paper bag, however, Emotispecters can instantaneously change and repair their cells, so this endeavor was rather fruitless.
“It appears that this situation requires a change of strategy.” One of the robots said, opening up a panel on their arm and punching in a code.
A loud mechanical hiss sounded from the spacecraft, after which began a large stomping sound. After a few seconds, the hatch the robots had left the craft from suddenly doubled in size, letting out a massive, two-legged robot mounted with several missile launchers and a single hydraulic arm tipped with a clamping mechanism.
“Well, you gave me a different target to hit, so that’s one thing you’ve got going for you.” Tech remarked. “Unfortunately for you, it’s also a bigger target!”
Tech lunged at the new robot, trying to tackle it as he did with the humanoid machines. Unfortunately for him, however, this new robot was made of much tougher material, causing him to bounce right off. Before he could react, the robot’s arm picked him up and smashed him into the ground, creating another dent in the asphalt.
“It occurs to me that this may not have been my best plan.” He said woozily.
The robot released its grip on him and raised its arm, preparing to deliver a blow straight to his head. The arm swung down faster than the eye could see, but only halfway down, it was suddenly blocked by the edge of someone’s hand, cracking the clamping mechanism. Tech’s eyesight finally went back into focus, allowing him to see what had just happened.
“Hold on a second, Moranna?!” He exclaimed. “Did...did you just block that with your bare hand?!”
Indeed, Moranna had rushed in front of him and blocked the machine’s arm with a chopping motion, stopping it in its tracks. She stood in silence for a few moments.
“That...hurt...like a bitch.” Moranna finally spat out. “Get the hell up already!”
Tech swiftly got to his feet, allowing Moranna to break contact with the machine’s arm, causing it lunge forward and temporarily lose its balance.
“Look, if you’re not good with that form, then turn into something you are good at that can take this thing out!” She snapped.
“In that case, I have an idea!” Tech began rotating the SpecTrix dial. “Haven’t used this baby since I built the shop!”
With that, he pressed down on the dial, transforming into a tall, green and blue humanoid with a robotic appearance and circuit-like skin. His forearms hovered in place, unattached to the rest of his body. On top of each shoulder rested a two-pronged mechanism, one end being fitted with a rotary energy saw, and the other being fitted with a clamping mechanism.
“Man, feels like putting on a winter coat you haven’t used since last March!” He exclaimed. “Let’s do this!”
The robot fired its missile launchers simultaneously, sending several missiles directly towards Tech’s head. The mechanisms on his shoulders sprang to life, the clamping mechanisms grabbing two of the missiles, with the energy saws cutting the other two in half. Tech shot his forearms at the robot, each one latching onto it and emitting an electromagnetic pulse.
The pulse shorted out all three robots, causing them to crumple to the ground. Of course, it also had the effects of shorting out the spacecraft, street lights, and half the block. Tech’s forearm drones returned, allowing him to scratch his head sheepishly.
“Man, I am not having a good night when it comes to ideas.”
“Uh, Tech?” Moranna said.
Tech turned to look at Moranna, who gestured towards his parents. They were both looking on at the scene with a face that suggested they were still processing the situation.
“Man this night just keeps getting better and better.” Tech grumbled sarcastically.
The next morning, Tech and Moranna had made their way back to the office, where they had explained the events of the night.
“So you’re parents...aren’t grounding you forever?” Alvono asked.
“Well, I did leave out a few details, but yeah, they took it a lot better than I was expecting.”
“While I’m glad you got all that sorted out, I hope it doesn’t mean your mother will be visiting us at some point.” Aquadilus remarked. “She frightens me.”
“Really? Tech’s mom frightens you?” Moranna asked.
“You haven’t seen her angry side!” Aquadilus snapped. “You know nothing of that woman’s wrath!”
“Is that really accurate?” Moranna asked Tech, who simply shrugged in response.
Before they could continue their conversation, a large tear in space opened up, out of which stepped Napoleon.
“Hey, guys!” He said. “Sorry I’m a bit late, but I didn’t have a very good night.”
“Really?” Moranna raised her eyebrow. “What happened?”
“I couldn’t get to sleep until eleven.”
Tech and Moranna shot him a nasty look.
“...What’d I say?”
- Puppet Master Robots