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UUMArc

Fearoid Rises

So.

That just happened.

To start off with, I was walking down in the gorge like usual, right? Daily exercise and all that. Well, today, for whatever reason, I felt like heading up east instead of west like usual. Nothing all that important, you know? Up the gorge a ways east are the local hot springs, which are normally avoided because they tend to spew out a lot of sulfur. For those who don't know, that means the air in the area will occasionally just start smelling like rotten eggs for no reason other than mother nature feeling cranky at the moment.

The springs didn't seem to be going off today, thankfully enough, which is probably part of why I felt comfortable enough going the direction I did. Anyways, some ways up the trail, I turned a corner and caught a glimpse of a red cloud slipping behind a boulder and disappearing. After waiting in silence for a few minutes to see if it would come back out, I decided to check out the boulder, finding that the cloud thing had just up and vanished.

"Hm...If I was a suspicious red cloud, where would I be?" I wondered aloud.

After a bit of thinking, I figured out a strategy of sorts and transformed into Overtide, liquefying myself into a puddle of liquid that began to creep around the area. I was looking for some sort of hole or crack in the ground that wasn't airtight, and a few moments later, I actually managed to find one!

I slipped down through the crack I had found, landing in some sort of dimly lit metal room. There were crates of supplies stacked around the area, and a large screen mounted above a computer console of some kind near the end of the room. The red cloud I had spotted was floating in front of it, but a couple moments later, it suddenly coalesced into a humanoid alien!

I hid behind one of the crates and peeked out to observe the alien. It had red skin and looked kind of like some sort of demon, with six black horns jutting out of its head. It wore a white mask over half of its face, and it had a dusty brown belt, gloves, boots, and cape. It walked up to the computer console and tapped a few buttons on it, starting what looked like a video call. After a few moments of ringing, the person it was calling picked up, switching the screen to a close-up view of a large, stocky alien shrouded in darkness.

The only details I could make out about the alien on the screen were that it had a long, hooked horn on top of its head and had four glowing reddish eyes, two on its head and two on its chest.

"What is it now, Takut?" The alien on the other end of the call demanded in a deep, gruff voice.

"You said this town was too insignificant to have anyone important defending it!" The red alien, who I guess was named Takut, snapped.

"I do recall saying that. As far as I know, that statement still holds true."

"Then explain why there's an Omnitrix wielder here!"

"...Excuse me?"

Takut began waving his arms wildly.

"An Omnitrix wielder! I've gradually been increasing the criminal element here for months, but over the past few weeks or so, somebody with an Omnitrix has been taking them out!

"And you're sure this is an Omnitrix wielder? Not merely a group of normal aliens?"

"Considering that all the aliens I've seen have worn Omnitrix symbols, yeah, I'm pretty sure!"

The stocky alien on the other end of the video call sighed and pulled back from the screen a bit.

"That is unfortunate. However, I still expect you to do your job."

"How?!"

"Get more criminals. Call in some of Tennyson's rogues gallery if you have to. I shouldn't have to come up with all the solutions for you."

"But-"

Takut was cut off by the other alien suddenly dropping the call, leaving him standing there with an annoyed, semi-panicked expression.

"You gotta be kidding me! How am I supposed to get people like that here?!"

"Why do you need to?"

It was at this point that I decided to step out from behind the crate and reveal myself. Takut practically jumped out of his skin and whipped around to face me as fast as possible.

"Curses!" He snapped. "How did you get in here?!"

"The front door was unlocked." I gestured up to the crack I entered through. "Anyways, what's this about taking me out?"

"Well, it's not something I look forward to, believe you me." Takut grumbled. "You weren't even supposed to be involved."

Takut lunged towards me, punching at the Ultimatrix symbol. I tried to knock him away, but I was too slow. He managed to hit the dial and send me flying back a few feet, reverting me to human. He stared at my true form in mild shock for a few moments.

"What the...you're just some kid!"

"Who were you expecting, Ben Tennyson?" I asked.

"No, but I was certainly expecting something more impressive. This should only take a couple seconds."

He lunged at me again, aiming for my head. Thinking quickly, I hurled my right arm out in front of me, blocking his attack with the Ultimatrix. His fist hit it dead on, being stopped in its tracks. All of a sudden, the Ultimatrix flashed yellow, with the dial twisting around and settling on a hologram that looked a lot like Takut himself. A static-filled, garbled voice sounded from the Ultimatrix, indicating that it was trying to announce something, but its speakers were busted for some reason.

"What the-did you just scan my DNA?!" Takut demanded.

"I have no idea." I replied, shrugging. "Might as well find out!"

I slammed down on the Ultimatrix dial, transforming into an alien that was practically a mirror image of Takut, save for my own outfit being various shades of green.

"Hey, this is pretty neat." I noted, looking myself over. "I didn't even know I could do that!"

"You mean you don't even know how your Omnitrix works?" Takut asked in disbelief.

"Not really." I shrugged again. "I usually just wing it."

"Then what am I still doing here?"

Takut dissolved himself into a red cloud again and flew up towards the entrance.

"Finding someone capable of taking you out should be a breeze!"

"Why do you want to take me out?!" I demanded. "That's just rude!"

"There are forces at work here you couldn't comprehend in a million years, kid!"

"Hey! I could probably comprehend them in only, like, a tenth of that!"

"That's still one hundred thousand years!"

"Yeah, well...you're stupid!"

Gee, thanks brain. Throwing out the real zingers here.

Takut didn't even justify that with a response (not that I blame him) and just up and left. After taking a few minutes to figure out how my own powers worked, I dispersed my body and flew out after him, but by the time I got back to the surface, he was already gone.

I mean, at least I got a cool new alien out of the whole mess, but, like...that doesn't sound good, right? I'm not just being paranoid about this? I dunno. I can't even come up with a good one-liner, so I don't know how I'm supposed to process all of that stuff.

Side Notes: My new alien is kinda weird. I think he can control emotions like fear and what not, and it seem like his "true" body is the sphere thing in his chest. I think I'll call him...Fearoid!

Crystalean, Mean, Crab Machine

You ever just have one of those days where everything seems to start out fine but then go wrong? You know, you wake up early and refreshed, eat some breakfast, get dressed, you're in a good mood, everything's hunky-dory, and then suddenly your arch-enemy shows up and tries to kill you?

Okay, maybe that last part's just me, but still.

"Foolish human!" Xenon shouted at me, blocking my path on the sidewalk. I had been trying to go walking for some aerobic exercise, but I suppose I could handle the anaerobic exercise involved with kicking him into orbit.

"What do you want, Xenon?" I grumbled, reaching for the Ultimatrix. "How did you even get out of that weird pocket dimension?"

"It's called the Null Void, you simpleton!" Xenon retorted, snapping his claws together angrily. "And that's none of your business! Just give me the Ultimatrix!"

"I could literally just step around you right now."

"Nonsense! I'll just stop you with my electrical powers, you feeble-minded fool!"

I swiftly activated the Ultimatrix and transformed into Rockoustic, glaring down at Xenon with an unimpressed look.

"Dude, just go home." I waved him off. "There's pretty much nothing you can do to me like this."

"Then I'll just turn you into something else!"

Before I could figure out what that meant, Xenon hit the Ultimatrix symbol with an electric bolt, making me transform into a different alien. The new alien seemed to be made out of large blue crystals assuming a stocky humanoid shape. My head was triangular, with a single shield-shaped eye in the middle of it. The Ultimatrix symbol remained in the center of my chest.

"Huh." I began looking myself over. "It did not occur to me you could do that."

"You seem unfamiliar with this form." Xenon grumbled accusingly.

"Yeah, never seen it before."

"Why do you keep unlocking new aliens?!" Xenon wildly waved his claws around in frustration.

"I've told you before, I don't know." I shrugged. "It just keeps happening."

"You really are an annoyance." Xenon narrowed his eyes. "But with any luck, you won't be around to bug me for much longer!"

Xenon shot a large bolt of electricity at me. Instead of being partially absorbed into my body like it usually would, the bolt hit me with the full brunt of its force, sending me flying backwards a good few meters before I skidded to a halt on the ground.

"What was that?!" I asked, caught off-guard by the sudden attack.

"You're made of diamond right now, if you hadn't noticed." Xenon began charging up an even larger electric attack. "Diamond doesn't conduct electricity very well!"

“Then let’s go with an alien who’s great at conducting electricity!”

I attempted to activate the Ultimatrix dial, but nothing seemed to happen. I began tapping on it, starting to get annoyed.

“What are you doing?” Xenon asked.

“I’m trying to turn into Electrolite, but this thing isn’t working!”

“All the better for me!”

Xenon shot another bolt of electricity at me. As it was about to hit, I braced myself for impact, clenching my eye shut. I felt my body become larger all of a sudden, taking on a lighter feeling. There was a slight crackling around my body, followed by...nothing.

I opened my eye to find that my body had indeed expanded, taking on a black, grainy texture. Xenon was staring at me in annoyance.

“And now you’re graphite.” Xenon grumbled. “Why not?”

“Graphite?” I questioned, looking myself over. “Wait, if I started out as diamond and then turned into graphite, that means-”

“Yes, you dolt!” Xenon snapped, obviously getting impatient. “You’re made of carbon! On top of that, you can apparently switch between different states of the element!”

“Okay, thanks.” I paused for a moment. “So...what now?”

“I’m just going to leave.” Xenon grumbled, starting to scuttle away. “Next time, bringing the robot.”

“Hey! What makes you think you can just assault me and leave?!”

Xenon turned back to shoot me an annoyed glare.

“Be realistic.” He snapped. “What exactly is your plan here? Stick me in the river and tell me to “stay”?”

“...Uh...”

“That’s what I thought.”

Xenon pressed a button on his harness, teleporting away to parts unknown. As soon as he left, the Ultimatrix suddenly deactivated, turning me back to human.

“Oh, thanks a lot!” I threw my arms up in the air in frustration. “You couldn’t have worked earlier?!”

After a few moments of standing there in silence, I let out a huff of frustration and started back on my walk.

Sometimes I think I’ll never figure this watch out.

Side Notes: The new alien started out made of crystal, so maybe...Crystalean? I just don't know anymore.

Fire in the Spider Hole

If you can believe it, the stuff I'm talking about here happened literally the next day after the last entry's! I swear, if I start having to deal with Xenon on the daily, I'm gonna...

Uh...

Be very cross? I don't know.

Anyways, I was walking down the same street the next day, and was somewhat predictably interrupted by a giant, crab-like robot suddenly smashing into the pavement in front of me.

"Oh, come on!" I yelled. "Again?!"

"I told you I'd be back with the robot!" Xenon sneered over the robot's speakers.

"Whatever." I grumbled, activating the Ultimatrix. "Maybe this thing will be nice today and actually give me what I want this time."

I twisted the Ultimatrix's dial to highlight Rockoustic, slammed it back down, and transformed into...basically a walking campfire, if I'm being honest.

"Another one?!" Xenon snapped.

"Trust me, I know how you feel." I replied, looking myself over. Everything looked fairly standard until I suddenly realized I couldn't feel my neck. I ran my hand over where my neck was supposed to be, finding nothing but empty air. "Okay, that's kinda freaky."

"Not as "freaky" as what I'm about to do, kid!" Xenon's mecha raised its right claw, swinging it downwards towards me.

"Smashing people does not count as "freaky"!" I snapped, rolling out of the way. "It's just rude!"

Figuring that the walking campfire's abilities probably had something to do with, you know, fire, I attempted throwing a fireball at Xenon's mecha. I managed to shoot a fairly decent-sized projectile, but it ended up bouncing harmlessly off the hull.

"You idiot!" Xenon cackled. "Do you really think hurling a single measly fireball is going to do anything to the hull of something built to handle atmospheric re-entry?!"

"Cut me some slack, will ya? I haven't gotten a chance to get used to this guy yet!" I yelled back. "Actually, come to think of it, I haven't really had time to get comfortable with any of my aliens because of how much this thing keeps putting me in new forms." I mumbled to myself. "That could end up being an issue."

"Stop mumbling to yourself in the middle of the fight!" Xenon yelled, smashing the mecha's left claw towards me. "Now who's being rude?!"

"Still you!" I yelled back. I didn't have enough time to roll to the side, instead improvising by shooting myself over the incoming claw with a blast of fire directed towards the ground. I landed on the arm connecting the claw to the robot and wasted no time scrambling up the side of it. Before Xenon could react, I crawled up right next to the cockpit in the machine's "head", using small, concentrated blasts of heat to melt handholds in the mecha's exterior. "For the record, my name is Tech, not "kid". Don't forget it!"

"I won't have to remember it once I get rid you, you know!" Xenon snapped, maneuvering the robot's right claw until it sat directly over my position on the machine's hull. "If you would just sit still for once, this wouldn't be an issue!"

The mecha's claw slammed down towards me at top speed. I used a jet of well-timed fire to blast myself off the hull at the last second, falling to the ground as the claw smashed into the cockpit, ripping a massive hole in the hull.

"On the contrary." I smirked, getting to my feet. "I think you're the one that needs to stop moving around so much."

"You are completely insufferable!" Xenon seethed, using a field of electricity from his brain to dislodge the claw from the wall of cockpit. "All I want is the Ultimatrix! Why did it have to go and attach itself to a brat like you?!"

"Better than attaching itself to a brat like you."

"Why, you little-!"

"Why do you even want this thing, Xenon?" I asked, pointing at the Ultimatrix symbol. "It doesn't even work right half the time, and I'm pretty sure most of its systems are busted."

"I can fix superficial issues like that!" Xenon replied. "Any Cerebrocrustacean worth their salt can! The thing I want is the ability to transform! I'm sick of being stuck in this limited body! With a transformation matrix, there wouldn't be any limits to what I could do!"

"That's what I'm afraid of." I reached for the Ultimatrix dial and began twisting it to select a different alien. "I'm an eleven year old and I'm pretty sure I'm still less immature than you. You clearly have some issues you need to work out."

"I DO NOT HAVE ISSUES!" Xenon yelled, smashing his mecha's left claw into the pavement.

"...I don't think I'm getting anywhere with you." I grumbled. "Now, let's hope this thing actually lets me turn into an alien I'm at least kinda-sorta familiar with."

I slammed down on the dial, and...promptly transformed into an alien I absolutely was not kinda-sorta familiar with.

"Oh, what now?" I groaned in frustration, looking myself over again. "I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but still."

"NO!" Xenon shouted as his mech suddenly began scuttling backwards. "No, no, no! Of all the things for you to unlock, you get the Letharachnid?!"

"The Letha-what now?"

Looking myself over had revealed that I was some sort of tubby spider-like alien with a black and red exoskeleton. A distractingly bright red hourglass symbol sat on my stomach, and four spear-like legs jutted out of my back. All in all, I looked sort of weird, but not really threatening, so Xenon's reaction was sort of confusing.

"What are you freaking out about?" I asked. "What's wrong with this alien?"

"Nothing as long as you keep that...that spider-freak away from me!" He snapped, continuing to pilot the mech backwards. After a few moments, he smacked into a house across the street from me, stopping him in his tracks.

"Look, I'm gonna level with you right here and tell you I have no idea what this thing is or does." I pointed out. "If you leave right now, you can keep things from presumably getting ugly."

"Yes! Alright, alright! I'll leave!" Xenon began punching something into the controls of the mech. "If you don't know what you're doing with that form, you could end up being even more dangerous!"

Before I could ask what he was talking about, he and the robot suddenly disappeared from view, leaving nothing but cracked pavement and a bent house gutter behind to show that they had been here in the first place.

"Well, good day to you too, then." I grumbled.

After that, I was able to detransform and continue on with the rest of my day like usual. I'm hoping that the spider alien is enough to keep Xenon away in the future, but given how much the Ultimatrix keeps transforming me into completely irrelevant aliens, I might not have much of a leg to stand on as far as that goes...

Side Notes: The fire guy can shoot jets of fire and heat, so...Heatjet works, I guess. I think I'll call the spider guy Spiderfreak just to screw with Xenon. That'll be fun.

Gotta Bounce

Have you ever had those days where you expect something weird to happen but still end up being caught off-guard by exactly how weird the thing that happens is?

That's pretty much every day of my life now, but today in particular is a stand-out example of that kind of situation.

I was out on my daily walk (which is when most of this stuff happens to me, come to think of it) when it happened. I was in a fairly isolated part of town, so I wasn't particularly expecting to see anyone, but as I turned the corner, I saw what looked like a teenager with gray hair and a red and black outfit messing with an unfamiliar handheld device.

"What planet manufactured this OmniNav, Selus?" He grumbled in frustration, tapping at the device's screen. "The Ultimatrix should be around here, but I don't see any-"

It was then that the odd teenager looked up from his "OmniNav" thing and noticed me standing there somewhat awkwardly.

"Uh...hi?" I said with what was probably a weird wave in hindsight.

"That device on your arm." The teenager pointed at the Ultimatrix. "Where did you get that?"

"What, the Ultimatrix?" I pulled up my right arm. "It sort of fell out of the sky. Just about broke my neck."

"Odd." The teen narrowed his eyes. "How would my Ultimatrix end up in that situation in the first place?"

"Your Ultimatrix?"

"Yes, my Ultimatrix." The teen reaffirmed. "My name is Albedo. I'm the one who built the Ultimatrix." The teen's left eye twitched momentarily. "For the most part, at any rate."

"But you don't look that much older than me." I pointed out. "How the heck would you be able to do that?"

"This...human form isn't my real body." Albedo hissed with disdain. "I was trapped like this thanks to an...incident with the Omnitrix. I built the Ultimatrix to reclaim my original Galvan form."

"...Eh, not the weirdest thing I've heard lately."

"Now," Albedo pointed to the Ultimatrix again. "If you could give me the Ultimatrix, I'd like to be on my way as soon as possible."

"Uh...I don't think it comes off." I said, tapping on the Ultimatrix's dial to accentuate my point. "I've tried."

"Of course it's not going to come off if you're just messing with the dial." Albedo explained impatiently. "Press the black rectangle on the back of the gauntlet."

"Oh." I pressed down on the rectangle, causing the Ultimatrix to grow in size and begin sliding off my arm. "It did not occur to me that that was a button."

"Of course it didn't." Albedo sighed. "Now, if you could just hand it over-"

"Here ya go." I grabbed the Ultimatrix and extended it towards him. His only response was a confused look that quickly switched to suspicion.

"Is this some sort of trick?"

"What's wrong? You just asked for me to give it to you."

"Things don't usually go that smoothly. This seems too easy. If you think you can get away with fooling me-"

"No tricks unless they're on your part." I shrugged. "If you're the guy who made it, then it's yours. You seem like a trustworthy guy."

Albedo shot me a questioning look before taking the Ultimatrix. He looked it over, then warily slid it onto his left arm.

"If you're not lying to me, you're a very poor judge of character." Albedo said, activating the Ultimatrix dial. "You're just lucky I really am the one who- what is all this?!"

"What's all of what now?" I asked.

"These transformations!" Albedo gestured at the alien holograms he was scrolling through. "Psioknight? Amprey? Virobe?! This isn't synced to the Omnitrix's playlist at all!"

"Should it be?"

"Ideally no, but realistically, yes!" Albedo snapped.

"Well, the thing is like super broken, so that probably screws things up a little."

"Broken?" Albedo focused his gaze on the Ultimatrix. "System Diagnostics Code 10."

Some sort of infographic hologram took the place of the alien holograms as warped static started to blare from the Ultimatrix's broken speakers.

"What in the name of Primus happened to this thing?" Albedo said in disbelief. "The alien set limiter is broken, the lock function is broken, the evolution function is broken, almost everything is broken! With the effort it would take to repair all this, I might as well just build a new Ultimatrix!"

"So...does that mean you're not going to use it?"

"Of course I'm not using this! It's only a matter of time until the Mechamorph Hibernation Circuit fails, and then who knows what'll happen to this thing?!"

"The Mechamorph what now?"

"Hold on a second." Albedo's expression suddenly turned serious. He turned the dial again, bringing the Ultimatrix back to alien selection mode. He twisted it back a few times until it displayed Fearoid's hologram. "What is an Emotispecter doing on the Ultimatrix?"

"Is it not supposed to be there?"

"No, as a matter of fact, it is not. After a particular incident with Ectonurite DNA about five years ago, "problematic" DNA strings were removed from the Omnitrix as a precaution. Even if it isn't synced with the Omnitrix anymore, the Ultimatrix still wouldn't magically generate a new sample."

"Oh, it didn't." I reassured him. "I scanned it."

Albedo slowly turned his head to look at me with an incredulous expression.

"You...scanned an Emotispecter's DNA?"

"Yep."

"...And lived?"

"What's the big deal?" I shrugged. "Dude was a wimp."

Albedo stared at me in disbelief for a few moments.

"Where exactly did you meet this Emotispecter?" He finally asked.

"Right here in town." I explained. "Well, down in the gorge, actually. He has this secret base where he was talking to someone who apparently hired him to come here or something."

"Who exactly was he speaking with?" Albedo's expression suddenly turned serious.

"I...I don't know." I stuttered, mildly surprised by Albedo's sudden change in attitude. "It was some sort of giant alien that looked like it might have been made out of dirt or something. He was talking to them over a video call, and they were in a pretty dark room, so I'm not sure on that last part."

"I see." Albedo crossed his arms in thought. "That does narrow it down, but not to an overly helpful extent."

"He also had a big, crooked horn on his head, and had four glowing red eyes, if that helps." I elaborated. "Two of them were on his head, and the other two were on his chest."

"You should've told me that to begin with." Albedo said. "That narrows it down quite a bit. Assuming your description is correct, there are only a few hundred species it could be from, and only a few dozen of those have achieved any significant form of intergalactic travel. What immediately jumps to mind are the Animam Creari, but their entire species are essentially librarians, so I find that extremely unlikely. In any case, do what you can to get a better look at whoever the Emotispecter was talking to if you get the chance."

"Takut." I interjected.

"Excuse me?"

"Takut." I repeated. "The Emotispecter's name was Takut. He kinda seemed like he didn't want to be there."

"Why does that matter?"

"I don't know." I shrugged. "I just felt like I should point it out."

"Humans." Albedo shook his head. "I'll be taking my leave now."

"Hey, hold on a sec!" I protested. "If you're not gonna be using the Ultimatrix, do you think you could, uh...give it back to me?"

"Why would I do that?" Albedo raised a questioning eyebrow.

"I kinda need it, to be honest." I explained. "Takut's "job" here is bringing in a bunch of criminals to my town, and there's no way our tiny police force can handle all of it alone! I've been using the Ultimatrix to keep things from getting out of hand."

"How is that my problem?"

"How is it...you were the one asking about Takut and everything!" I snapped. "If you don't care, why were you so worried about all that in the first place?!"

"Emotispecters haven't left their home system in millenia." Albedo replied. "The fact that one happens to be here around the time my Ultimatrix shows up here, mysteriously broken, no less, is exceedingly suspicious. Aside from that particular issue, I couldn't care less about what happens to this place."

"You jerk!" I yelled. "Just because you don't care about something doesn't mean it doesn't matter!"

"It doesn't matter to me, and that's all I'm concerned with. I'm sure you're exaggerating anyways. What kind of major threats could possibly come to this insignificant backwater town?"

As if the universe suddenly decided to help me prove my point, our conversation was abruptly interrupted by a loud explosion somewhere nearby. I shot Albedo a flat look before running off to investigate.

It didn't take me too long to reach the source of the explosion, as I ran down a nearby hiking trail and rounded the corner of a cliff wall to find the charred remains of a detonator, a few pieces of rock that had crumbled away from the side of the cliff, and a soot-covered Takut ranting unintelligibly while picking up pieces of the detonator.

"Make your own cave, he says!" Takut calmed down enough to start grumbling as he walked through the area picking up chunks of plastic. "Just buy a discount detonator he says! It'll be more efficient, he says! Last time I'm taking hideout advice from a golem! Next time, if Prelude wants a new hideout for me to call him in, he can build it himse-"

It was at about this point that Takut noticed me watching him and froze awkwardly in place.

"...How long have you been standing there?"

"Who's Prelude?" I asked.

"CURSES!" Takut spat, throwing down the detonator chunks in frustration. "Today is not my day!"

"Eh, we all have off days."

"In my case, it feels more like an off year."

I heard footsteps behind me and turned to find Albedo staring at Takut with a suspicious expression.

"I take it this is the Emotispecter you were talking about?" He asked.

"Yeah, Takut."

"I don't care what his name is." Albedo snapped. "What are you doing outside the Specterian system?" He demanded, turning his attention to Takut.

"Whatever I want!" Takut shot back. "I don't need to explain myself to brats like you!"

"Excuse me?!"

"No." Takut turned to point at me. "As for you, I was trying to put this off, but now that you know the boss's name, I can't let you live!"

"Okay, that's kinda rude." I instinctively pulled up my right arm to use the Ultimatrix, only to remember that Albedo was still wearing it. "You know, now would be a great time for you to reconsider giving me back the Ultimatrix!"

"Again, why would I do that?" Albedo asked. "I'm not involved in this. You're the one he wants dead, not me."

"His boss's name is Prelude!" I shouted. "It's Prelude!"

"You idiot!" Albedo grabbed me by the collar of my shirt and shot me a death glare. "Now both of us are marked to die!"

"That's the idea!" I swatted his hand away. "Now, do you want to give the Ultimatrix to the kid who's been using it for a few months straight, or keep it with the jerk who's been out of practice for who knows how long?!"

Albedo glared at me for a few moments before wordlessly removing the Ultimatrix and handing it over to me.

"Good choice. Now..." I turned back to face Takut, who had been watching our interactions with a slightly baffled expression. "Time to send you packing."

"And to send you to your grave!" Takut replied, abruptly lunging at me.

I quickly pulled up the Ultimatrix and transformed into the first alien that popped up, turning into a hulking armored creature with bulky arms, short legs, and cream-colored fur covered by a thick brown shell. Takut's punch simply bounced off my armor, sending him reeling backwards without inflicting so much as a scratch.

"Hey, this new guy is actually kinda neat." I noted, looking myself over. "Albedo, what kind of alien is thi-"

I turned to look at Albedo and paused mid-sentence upon realizing he had already fled the scene, leaving me to face Takut alone.

"Rude." I grumbled before turning back to face Takut, who was glaring at me with an incredulous expression.

"A Vulpinic Tortugan? Really?" He groaned. "As if this day wasn't crappy enough."

"Sorry, but I don't really choose what I unlock, you know. You gonna attack me or what?"

"Is there a point? You can just roll into a ball and cover all of your weak points from my attacks."

"I didn't know that was an option, actually." I remarked. "Thanks for the info."

"Oh, for the love of..." Takut shoved his head into his palms. "Look, I don't want to deal with this right now, so could we just not fight and say we did?"

"Uh...weren't you going to kill me because I know your boss's name?"

"His idea, not mine." Takut waved me off. "I don't see why it matters. There's no way to track him down, even with that name. Trust me, I've tried."

"But you're still attracting criminals to my town." I pointed out. "Even if you don't want to fight me, I have to get you out of here somehow."

"Sorry, that ain't happening. I have a job to do and hell to pay if I don't do it. I don't feel like dying and I don't think you feel like murdering me, so how about we just go our separate ways and agree to not bug each other unless we have to, okay?"

"Um-"

"Alright, good deal, nice talk, see you never hopefully." Takut rose into the air and began flying away. "Good luck with the crime fighting and stuff!"

"Hey, wait a minute!" I yelled, starting to run after him. "Get back he-"

My attempts to run were unfortunately cut short by my comically stubby legs falling out from under me and tripping me over in what must have looked like an almost intentional pratfall to any outside observers.

I just sort of rolled home after all that, since I really did not feel like walking anymore. Thankfully, if there's one thing the new guy is good at doing, it's rolling. Takut wasn't lying about the ball thing. Of course, that makes me kind of worried that he also wasn't lying about the whole "being killed if he doesn't do his job" thing. That's going to make sorting this whole mess out a lot more difficult...

Also Albedo is a total jerk, even if he did make the Ultimatrix.

Just throwing that out there.

Side Notes: I noticed the new guy kept digging into the dirt while I was rolling back home, and I sort of had to bounce myself upwards to get out the holes I was digging. Maybe I'll call him Terrabounce or something.

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