| BARREN WASTELAND, 23 DECEMBER 2015|
We see a barren wasteland. Dust clouds clatter the landscape. All of a sudden, a dark purple portal opens in the sky, from which Ben Tennyson falls towards the ground.
[Ben, standing up and clearing the dust off his shoulders]: Oh, this is just great. Who knows where Maltruence has sent me now.
He looks up, catching a glimpse of the portal closing, leaving him stranded in this wasteland.
[Ben, cracking his knuckles]: Looks like Escape Option A has expired. Good thing I can always trust upon Option B.
Just as he says that, he stares at the Omnitrix 1.5, which glows a strange shade of yellow. Ben tries to rotate the faceplate, but the device doesn't respond.
[Omnitrix 1.5, rapidly blinking]: Uncatalogued DNA sample detected. All functions have been disabled until sample is added to database.
[Ben, looking around]: Uncatalogued DNA sample? But I don't see anyone else nearby...Weird.
He tries to activate the Omnitrix 1.5 once more, but receives the same response.
[Ben, frustrated]: So much for Option B. (shrugs) Meh, always been a fan of Option C anyway.
He starts walking at a slow pace towards a rock formation in the distance.
[Ben, pondering to himself]: You know, I expected some kind of monster to have popped off by now. I mean, why would Maltruence send me here if not to get myself killed? (pauses) Okay, having these kind of thoughts doesn't help in the slightest. Let's just focus on my destination...which is currently the middle of nowhere. (stops) I need to think this through.
He looks up, but the only things he sees are brownish grey clouds, ready to unleash a thunderstorm of epic proportions.
[Ben]: Okay, status update: Find shelter and be quick about it!
He starts running towards the rock formation as fast as he can, while lightning strikes in the background. The moment he reaches the formation, a deafening thunder can be heard, with the first raindrops seen falling.
[Ben, covering his ears]: Ouch. Certainly could give Echo Echo a run for his money. Hm...what if I'm on Echo Echo's planet? Sonorosians are living sound waves, which would explain why I haven't seen anyone yet. Then again, I haven't heard anyone either. (looks at the Omnitrix 1.5, still yellow) Wait, why didn't I think of this sooner?! Omnitrix 1.5, determine current location.
[Omnitrix 1.5]: This information is classified.
[Ben, confused]: Wait, what?! What do you mean "classified"? You know where I'm stranded and you won't tell me?
[Omnitrix 1.5]: Affirmative. This information is accessible only to the Galvan.
[Ben]: This doesn't make any sense.
[Omnitrix 1.5]: Of course it wouldn't make any sense to an inferior being such as yourself.
[Ben, stumbling back]: Uh...That didn't sound creepy at all. (gulps) Omnitrix 1.5, repeat last statement.
[Omnitrix 1.5]: Affirmative. This information is accessible only to the Galvan.
[Ben, raising an eyebrow]: Huh? That's not-but you just said (sighs) Calm down, Tennyson. All this pressure makes you imagine things, right? Right...
As the storm continues, Ben sits down and tries to stay as close to the rocks as possible.
[Ben, rocking back and forth]: Hm...I wonder how the others are doing. I just hope that 12 and 99 haven't got into any more fights...but that's just wishful thinking. And someone had better keep an eye on 850...something's really off about him.
He stares at the rain for a few seconds, lets out a big sigh and blinks. When he opens his eyes again, he notices something, someone standing still in the rain, staring back at him. The figure is definitely humanoid, but there is something unnerving about it that Ben can't exactly pinpoint.
[Ben, standing up]: O...kay. (towards figure) Hey, you! Need any help?
The figure doesn't respond, yet Ben could feel that it was telling him something.
[Ben, stepping out of the rock formation]: Just stay there, okay? I'm coming towards you.
He walks with a slightly fast pace, though this doesn't prevent him from getting soaked from the rain. Trying to ignore the sudden sense of chill, Ben advances towards the figure. When he reaches it, he notices that the figure had its back turned at him, even though he hadn't seen it making any movements.
[Ben, slightly nervous]: Are you...alright, uh...dude?
The figure once again doesn't respond, though this time, it clenches its fists. Ben notices this and puts his right hand over the Omnitrix 1.5, ready to transform.
[Ben]: Oh no, you don't!
He slams down the Omnitrix 1.5, but, since it was still in Scan Mode, it had no effect. The figure quickly turns around and lands a vicious punch on Ben's face, sending him flying back to the rock formation, thankfully without slamming into the rocks.
[Ben, rubbing his right cheek]: Must be one of Maltruence's lackeys. Took you long enough to show up, you know!
The figure once again doesn't respond, instead it starts running towards Ben.
[Ben, frantically slapping the Omnitrix 1.5]: C'mon, c'mon! What are you still scanning for anyway?
The Omnitrix 1.5 begins flashing yellow rapidly, as it unleashes a blinding yellow ray at the figure, causing it to become distorted, halting its movement. The Omnitrix 1.5 then releases a yellow beam, seemingly destroying the figure and the hourglass symbol becomes once more bright green.
[Omnitrix 1.5]: Unknown DNA sample acquired.
[Ben, raising his fist to the air]: Oh, yeah! That was awesome! Alright, now let's just turn into Clockwork and get outta here!
He rotates the faceplate of the Omnitrix 1.5, causing it to pop up. However, instead of displaying the hologram of an alien, it is simply blank.
[Ben, worried]: Oh, come on, what's wrong with you now?
He rotates the dial, causing it to display a distorted hologram of Heatblast. Ben tries to select another alien form, but the Omnitrix 1.5 shows the same result.
[Ben]: Okay, this is beyond weird. Did that figure mess up the watch? What happens if I try to transform and end up like some monster from a B-movie? (sighs) You know what? Let's just get this over with.
He slams down the Omnitrix's 1.5 dial, becoming engulfed in green light. Ben hovers in a dark green background, with light green bubbles pulsating rapidly behind him, as he crouches down. Suddenly, the footage stops for a few seconds, living the screen black. When the footage resumes, a distorted version of Ben can be seen hovering, having a giant slasher smile and tears coming out of his eyes, with them becoming circular and hollow, glowing blood red. The screen once again glitches out. The footage then resumes, showing Ben enveloped in a dark green armor, covered in rust. His facial features distort beyond recognition, as a gold helmet forms around his head, it having two large devil horns. His shoulders grow gold shoulder blades, however, the one on the left explodes, revealing underneath a pinkish red tumor growth. His hands are covered by gold gauntlets, with the metal around his fingers being replaced by swarms of maggots. A pair of hairy brown spider legs emerge from each side of his ribs, as a gold belt with a pentagon shaped buckle surrounds his waist. A cape, consisting of five separate pieces of fabric, emerges from the top of his spine, with the pieces imitating the shape of a bat's wings. The new alien then grabs the right horn on his helmet and breaks it. He uses the sharp edge to carve a crooked Omnitrix symbol on his chest, with cockroaches emerging from the gaps. The new alien licks his serrated teeth with his forked tongue, completing the transformation.
[New Alien, hovering above the ground]: ThIs Is InTeReStInG...HeH...HeH...Ha...Ha...HA HA HA!
The new alien begins laughing like a madman, as he flash steps towards the camera, then quickly turns away from it.
[New Alien, grinning]: It ApPeArS i PoSsEsS nEw InSiGhT oF hOw ThE wOrLd wOrKs. YeS, YeS. I wAs BlInD, bUt NoW i...I...
The new alien stops grinning, as his eyes widen from shock.
[New Alien, horrified]: No...No...It CaNnoT bE...tHiS iS nOt ThE aNsWeR! It Is ImPoSsIbLe!
The new alien covers the sides of his head in pain, as if suffering from a serious migraine.
[New Alien, stuttering]: I...rEfUsE...tO...aCcEpT...tHiS!
The new alien falls to his knees, unable to comprehend whatever new information he has registered. He lets out one final scream, before becoming unconscious. The screen fades to black.
| BELLWOOD, 23 JUNE 2007|
It was a warm, sunny day. School had just ended and the summer vacation had begun. Lots of people, along with their families, were eager to leave Bellwood, as we notice several vehicles departing. Among them is a familiar RV, none other than the Rustbucket. The camera zooms in to the interior. We see Max in the driver's seat, while Gwen is in the co-driver's one. Ben, on the other hand, is sleeping at the upper bed. Suddenly, the Rustbucket makes a quick turn, causing Ben to fall off the bed and wake up.
[Ben, rubbing his head]: Ow! What gives?
[Max, concerned]: Ben, are you alright? Did you get hurt?
[Ben, lazily standing up]: Nah, nah, I'm fine, thanks Grandpa.
He rubs his eyes and when he sees clearly, he notices Gwen having her cellphone out and aimed at him, while sporting a devilish grin.
[Gwen]: Don't worry, doofus. I captured every single moment of your rude awakening.
She covers her mouth, as she begins laughing. Ben, with an angry expression on his face, lunges at her.
[Ben, growling]: Give it right here, dweeb!
He attempts to snatch the phone, but Gwen moves her arm away and puts it back to her pocket.
[Gwen, moving her index finger left and right]: No can do, doofus. Looks like this summer vacation might be actually fun if you keep acting like this.
[Ben, whining]: Grandpa! Aren't you gonna do something?
[Max, sighing]: What is it with you two? Our trip has barely started and you are already fighting!
[Ben, pointing at Gwen]: She started it!
[Gwen, frowning and crossing her arms]: I didn't even want to come to this stupid trip with cousin doofus over here!
[Ben]: The feeling is mutual, cousin dweeb!
He makes a sharp turn to the left, then pulls the brakes, parking the RV on the edge of the road.
[Max, getting up]: Your parents wanted you to spend the summer vacation together so that you stop arguing all the time! If you can't stay calm for even a few minutes, then what's the point?
Silence follows. Ben and Gwen look at each other, then towards Max.
[Gwen, her head lowered]: Sorry, Grandpa.
[Ben, his head lowered]: Yeah, we didn't want to make you mad.
[Max, having a faint smile]: You didn't make me mad. Okay, maybe a little bit. The thing is, all this senseless arguing won't do you any good.
[Ben]: Yeah, you're right.
[Gwen]: We will try-no, we will be better from now on, Grandpa.
[Max, smiling]: I'm glad to hear that. Now, I do believe this warrants a celebration. Who wants to try my famed maggot soup?
As Gwen makes a disgusted expression, Ben is overcome by a cold shiver, sitting down. The word "maggots" keeps replaying itself in his mind, when he looks down at his arms and sees flashes of gold gauntlets, with swarms of maggots as fingers.
[Max]: Ben, are you alright? I know you're not the biggest fan of my cooking, but-
[Ben, interrupting him]: Grandpa, where are we?
[Max, confused]: Uh...just outside of Bellwood, why do you ask?
[Ben, staring at Max with a mean look]: You're lying.
[Gwen, annoyed]: Did the summer heat get into your brain, doofus? You heard Grandpa, we're outside of Bellwood.
[Ben, his eyes flickering red]: No, we are not. Just tell me who you are.
[Max, nervous]: Ben, what are you talking about? I'm your Grandpa, Max, and this is your cousin Gwen.
[Ben, his eyes glowing red]: No, you're lying! NONE OF THIS IS REAL!
Ben grabs his face and starts violently pulling it, until it gets torn off, revealing the new alien's head, who shrieks.
[New Alien, furious]: WhAt HaVe YoU dOnE tO mE?!
["Max"]: No, no! He realized it too soon! We have to incapacitate him!
[New Alien]: I wIlL kIlL yOu!
He lunges towards "Max", however "Gwen" karate kicks him in the abdomen, sending him crashing outside the "Rustbucket".
["Max"]: We've got no time to waste, come on!
"Gwen" nods at "Max" and follows him outside. In the meantime, the new alien has recovered from the attack and looks around. There are no cars to be seen and the sky is blood red, while also looking like shattered glass.
[New Alien]: I gEt iT nOw. ThIs iS mErElY aN iLlUsIoN. NoNe Of tHiS iS...rEaL...
He grabs the sides of his head in pain, just like before. "Gwen" and "Max" quickly approach him.
["Gwen"]: Oh, no! We're too late!
["Max"]: No, there's still hope!
[New Alien, stuttering]: ThE tRuTh...iS...uNbEaRaBlE!
["Max", reaching out to him]: You need to focus.
[New Alien, struggling]: FoCuS...oN wHaT?
["Gwen"]: People who are close to you. People that mean the whole word for you. People...that you would do everything in your power to protect them.
The new alien closes his eyes, as the "sky" around him falls like glass pieces to the ground. Flashes of Sandra, Carl, Max, Gwen, Kevin, Rook, Ester and countless other people that Ben has allied himself with or helped in the past pass in rapid succession, one after the other. He relives the memories he has shared with them. Every adventure, every struggle, every challenge that he has conquered with the help of his family. His friends. The new alien opens his eyes, now glowing bright green. He slowly rises up, as a mouth guard piece covers his mouth, his horns rearrange to be curved like an ibex's, the left shoulder blade and the metal around his fingers regenerate, his spider legs retract, the cape pieces hang down, the crooked Omnitrix symbol disappears and his armor gains a more vibrant color scheme, while also getting rid off of the rust. The sky and his surroundings completely shatter, revealing his true location: the barren wasteland he was left stranded on. Only this time, it felt more...alive.
| BARREN WASTELAND, 23 DECEMBER 2015|
[New Alien, towards "Gwen" and "Max"]: Thank you.
["Gwen", smiling]: It was nothing.
[New Alien]: Wow, this whole thing felt so...surreal. (checks himself out) What am I, exactly?
["Max"]: They call us the Pseudonians.
[New Alien]: "They"? Who's "they"?
["Gwen"]: Visitors. Not that we have many of them, anyway.
[New Alien]: Gee, I wonder why. (laughs) So, let me get this straight: You can create illusions?
["Max"]: More or less.
[New Alien]: That explains the weird reply I got from the Omnitrix 1.5...and that strange figure that it scanned...
["Gwen"]: Nope, the "figure" was quite real.
[New Alien]: Wait, you know him?
["Max"]: Well, we don't really have genders, but yes, we know "him".
[New Alien]: What?! And you let him punch me a mile away?
["Gwen"]: Oh, that must have hurt.
[New Alien]: It sure as heck did! Where is he now?
["Max"]: "He" is probably playing with the other younglings.
[New Alien]: Wait, younglings? He's...a kid?! I did not just let a kid punch me a mile away... Good thing Kevin's not around here...Wherever here is...
["Gwen"]: They call this place Deciperon.
[New Alien]: And what do you call it?
["Max"]: We don't name things. Not even ourselves.
[New Alien]: That seems confusing. Well, my name is Ben Tennyson, though you somehow knew that already, judging by the trick you tried to pull off earlier.
["Gwen"]: We Pseudonians share a psychic link. You're thinking of a name for this new alien of yours right now.
[New Alien]: Well, yeah. I name all of my alien forms. And I think I'm gonna call this one...Façade. Yeah...Façade sounds just about right.
["Max"]: Well then, "Façade", how did you end up here in the first place?
[Façade]: Oh, yeah, should have probably started with that. Anyway, a being called Maltruence-
[Façade]: Yup, that's the guy's name. You've heard of him?
["Max"]: Indeed we have. Regrettably so.
[Façade]: He isn't exactly the nicest guy in the cosmos, but I'll take care of him.
["Gwen"]: You intend to face against Maltruence?
[Façade]: Definitely. And with this new alien I've just got, he doesn't stand a chance.
["Max"]: You show signs of overconfidence. You need to be cautious.
[Façade, sighing]: Yeah, you're right. Anyway, I gotta go. I've got friends fighting elsewhere and they must be worried.
Façade is suddenly engulfed by a green light, as he transforms into Clockwork.
[Clockwork, raising his arms over his head]: Clockwork!
["Gwen"]: Good luck. And when using "Façade", always keep a mind on what truly matters.
He rotates the key on his head clockwise and stretches his arms in front of him, unleashing an electrifying green beam, causing a portal around his height to form. As he slowly walks towards the portal, he turns around.
[Clockwork]: So...I was wondering...why do you look like my Grandpa Max and cousin Gwen?
["Max"]: It is simply the way your subconscious interprets us. That applies to your "Façade" form as well.
[Clockwork]: So, Façade doesn't actually look like a fearsome knight? Bummer.
He waves towards "Max" and "Gwen" and they do the same, as he steps into the portal. The camera zooms out, revealing that the events have been witnessed by none other than Maltruence, who holds a crystal-like ball.
[Maltruence]: Hm...that is certainly an interesting development. Too bad Ben Tennyson wouldn't submit to the truth. Well...this is merely going to make things easier for me...
He forms a slasher smile and smashes the crystal ball, causing the screen to fade to black.