Where's my paycheck?
It's Yopo again, it's time for our Normal Writing Contet! Let's get this show on the road!
It's CaT... again. Looks like luck just isn't on your side so far buddy. As to why you ended up in last, your entry was just too short that we didn't get a feel for your world that you where trying to craft.
Dioga is our runner-up this year. Our judges loved the way your story was crafted but simply felt it lacked in detail and relation to the theme of this years writing contest.
Jack the Potato-Kun has won this years normal writing contest. Our judges thought your piece was intriguing and meaningful, showcasing a civilians perspective was also a great twist
and you can read said entries right here...
Another day, another block of Bellwood destroyed.
At this point, the destruction was becoming rather droll.
Jason was not what you would call a very active man. Oh, he was in fine enough shape for a middle-aged man, but outside of perhaps absentmindedly clicking on a social movement’s ‘Like’ button, he did very little to interact with the outside world.
‘People don’t need people’ he would rationalize to himself. ‘We go out, cooperate for a bit to get paid, then come home and return to our own little bubble. That’s all there needs to be.’
This line of thinking is why someone like Ben Tennyson really ticked him off.
Always jumping around, getting into trouble and getting homes and businesses destroyed, and for what? Some sort of arbitrary ‘hero’ label that made him feel better about himself? The whole thing was ridiculous.
He grumbled thoughts of this sort and more to himself as he put on his jacket and stepped out the door of his apartment, hurriedly making his way out of the building and onto the sidewalk. He was late for work already, and hoped he wouldn’t be caught in any of the seemingly daily alien monster attacks.
As he rushed towards the bus stop, he heard a panicked yelling coming from somewhere behind him and groaned, figuring something had already gone wrong today. He turned his head to see what the source of the commotion was, and saw a baby stroller rolling down the street at high speed, being chased by a desperate mother running down the sidewalk parallel to it, trying to keep up.
As the stroller came closer and closer towards him, he suddenly noticed a cat come barreling through a nearby stoplight, borderline running the red light. Time seemed to slow down around him as he realized the cat wouldn’t be able to stop in time before reaching the runaway stroller.
Without thinking, his body seemed to react on its own, quickly jumping into the road and grabbing the stroller, pushing it out of the way and narrowly missing being hit by the cat himself. He swiftly retreated to the relative safety of the sidewalk, bringing the stroller with him. Time sped back up, and he breathed a quick sigh of relief at avoiding the cat.
The mother shortly ran up to the stroller, and after checking to make sure the baby was okay, began profusely thanking Jason for saving it.
“Just, thank you, so, so much!” She said, trying to pull herself together. “You’re a real hero, you know that?”
“Oh, well, I don’t think so.” Jason hurriedly denied, cringing inwardly a bit at the use of the word. “I just did what anyone else would have done, you know?”
He looked around the area as if trying to prove his point, but the few bystanders he saw that even took notice of the incident had instead pulled out their phones, filming the whole thing. He paused for a moment, a bit puzzled by the odd reaction.
After talking with the woman for a couple of minutes and insisting that he really needed to get to work, he finally made his way to the bus stop and checked his watch. He let out a sigh of frustration.
His boss was not going to be happy.
“Jason, I am not happy!”
Well, there it is.
“Fifteen minutes late?!” His boss snapped. “This is an attorney’s office, not an informal meet-and-greet!”
“Well, I apologize sir, but on my way to work, there was a baby stroller rolling down the middle of the road!” He protested, making a mental note to speak with HR about management standards. “It just sort of hit me that I needed to help! I’m sorry I inconvenienced you, but I was just trying to...do the right thing...” He trailed off, having a silent epiphany of sorts.
“Well, next time, do the right thing on your own time! Just get to work, will ya?!”
“Uh...right.” He shook his head, snapping himself out of it. “I’ll get right on that.”
As his boss turned with a huff, Jason exited the room and made his way towards his cubicle.
‘Perhaps,’ he thought, ‘I have some things to think over.’
Normal Contest; To Be a Hero: Omni Crew Crash Course
In the city near Mt. Rushmore, several kids, human and alien, are sitting in a class, with the teacher, with blond hair in a pony tail and wearing a long blue jacket over his attire puts up a slide on the next assignment.
Mr. Crowler: What makes a hero? In our world of heroes and villains, it is important to be able to distinguish what the prominent characteristics of them are. Some of you may get the once in a lifetime chance of being a hero one day, so it’s important that you know what this means. You’ll have to do research to support your claim, as I’m sure while you will have similar ideas, you may have gotten to them in very different ways. You will all present these next week, so get working!
The class groans in disappointment, as the school bell rings, them all leaving. Four kids, a boy who looks like a younger version of John Smith with blond hair, the Billy Alien, Cow Alien and Chicken Alien all walk home together.
Billy: Aw! Paper! And we actually have to do research! What’s research?
Cow: I know! It’s when you go to eat food!
Chicken: No, it’s when you go get data that agrees with what you hypothesized, and then make a claim.
Nowatch: I’m actually excited about this paper. I mean, how often do we get to look up super heroes for school?
Chicken: Heh. Nerd. And how would you fathom doing this presentation? It’s not as if you’ll just bump into a superhero that’ll willingly help you.
Billy: What about the Omni Crew? Those guys are awesome!
Cow: Yeah! I hear they have lots of food!
Chicken: Those guys are always busy saving the world! In fact, I predict that they are too busy saving the world to be able interact with such lowly civilians as we are.
Nowatch: Way to be pessimistic. I’m out of here.
Nowatch pulls out a hoverboard, expanding it to full size. He hops on it, and rides off.
Nowatch: No chance, yeah right. There’s always a member of the Omni Crew in town. Being able to get close is another thing.
Astrodactyl flies past Nowatch, him almost losing his balance and falling over. Astrodactyl is carrying a sack.
Nowatch: Hey! Watch it!
An Upgrade powered Tenn-Speed flies by next, the wheels turned into turbines. Nowatch barely keeps himself up, watching in amazement.
Nowatch: That was, a real life chase! Oh, man, I’ve got to catch him!
Nowatch speeds up, following the pursuit. Astrodactyl and Upgrade travel down an alley, as Astrodactyl spins and swings an energy whip. Upgrade dodges, and fires plasma lasers back. Astrodactyl pulls up into the sky, going over the buildings.
Upgrade: Nice try! But you can’t outrun the king of speed!
Upgrade follows in pursuit, as they fly over a busy intersection. Astrodactyl turns, facing Upgrade.
Astrodactyl: (In robotic voice) Primary objective, escape with the possession.
Astrodactyl fires an energy beam from his mouth, firing it at the approaching Upgrade. It hits Upgrade head-on, as he falls towards the ground.
Upgrade: Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! Come on, come on! Thrusters!
Nowatch hovers over the ground, looking around for the chase.
Nowatch: Oh, man! Don’t tell me I lost them.
Upgrade: Look out!
Nowatch looks up, as Upgrade falls towards him. Nowatch screams as he slips off his hoverboard, it hitting one of Upgrade’s turbines. The hoverboard is chopped to pieces, as a small explosion occurs, the force propelling Upgrade to the side, him crashing to the side of Nowatch. Nowatch stares in awe, as Upgrade comes off the Tenn-Speed, inspecting it.
Upgrade: Whew! Just a few scratches! There could’ve been some major internal damage to that.
Nowatch: You, you, you, you’re!
Upgrade reverts, as Ryder stands in front of him. He smiles, and laughs sheepishly.
Ryder: Heh. Hey kid. Sorry about your hoverboard there. You heading somewhere?
Nowatch is stunned silent, as he nods his head.
Ryder: Well, hop on then! I’ll give you a lift.
Ryder goes into the bins on the side, pulling out an extra helmet.
Ryder: Here. (He tosses Nowatch the helmet.) Keep you safe.
Nowatch: Uh, (He shakes his head) Mr. Ryder, my name is Nowatch! I’m doing a school paper on what it means to be a hero! Can you help me with that, being a member of the prestige Omni Crew?
Ryder: School paper? Ha! That actually sounds kind of fun! Alrighty! How about this? In exchange for destroying your hoverboard, I take you to the Omni Tower! There, you can talk to all the Omni Crew!
Nowatch: All of them?!
Ryder: That’s right! Now, hop on! We haven’t a moment to lose!
Ryder gets on the Tenn-Speed, Nowatch hopping on behind him. He wraps his arms around Ryder, as he revs off, Nowatch screaming with excitement.
The Tenn-Speed pulls into the Omni Tower, the base of the Omni Crew, with Mt. Rushmore visible nearby. They go into the loading dock, as Ryder leaves the Tenn-Speed, several other vehicles there as well. Ryder and Nowatch get in the elevator, going up to the main floor.
Ryder: Now, the most important thing about being a hero is appearance.
Ryder: Yeah. Everyone has their own style, their own sense of, pizzazz let’s call it. When the hero looks like they are the hero, then they are the hero. For example, me! I look like I’m ready to roll, willing to get down in the dirt to fight evil, and I’ve got that Biker appearance that says, “Whoa. That guy means business.”
Nowatch: Appearance, huh?
Ryder: Oh, yeah. When we get up there, I want you to notice the different styles of their appearance. The first impression of a hero determines their success, and (He whispers in Nowatch’s ear) Some of them weren’t successful until they joined our group. (He leans away.) You’ll be able to spot them.
Nowatch: Wow. Get to meet the Omni Crew, and get advise from them! This is the best day ever!
The elevator arrives at the top floor, Nowatch running out of the elevator. The floor is a large penthouse style room, with a living room, kitchen, and computer station room all jumbled into one. In the living room, on a TV screen as tall as the window, Ben Tennyson and Yami are sitting on a couch playing Sumo Slammers X. Jane is in the kitchen, loading a tray of sandwich wraps for snacks. Megaman is working in the computer room, attempting to repair it, while Samurai is sitting away in the corner, reading a book.
Nowatch: So cool!
Jane, the only one not occupied, is the only one to notice them.
Jane: Ryder, what’s with the kid?
Ryder: Ah, right. (Ryder whistles loudly, nobody turning their head to look.) Listen up, Omni Crew! I’ve got a friend with me today, little Nowatch! I agreed that we’d help him with a school project, on the meaning of being a hero! So help him out as best as you can.
Ben: (Uninterested) Uh-huh.
Yami: (Not paying attention) Whatever you want, Ryder. Just shut up.
Jane: Hey! Don’t be rude!
Jane walks over, flicking Yami in the back of the head. He flinches, as Ben continues button mashing, taking the lead.
Yami: Hey! You did that on purpose!
Ben: Yes! Thank you, Jane!
Jane: You owe me. Which means you have to entertain the kid.
Ben: Uh-huh. Sure. Got the snacks?
Jane places the tray of wraps on the table, Ben and Yami stopping, staring in terror.
Yami: Uh, what are those?
Jane: Veggie wraps. Have to keep your nutrition up! All you two eat are junk food and the least healthy smoothies.
Ben: But, they’re delicious! Get us unhealthy snacks!
Jane groans, as she walks around the couch, standing in front of Ben, blocking his view of the TV. He tries to look around her, but she moves with him, Yami excited.
Yami: Whoo-hoo! I owe you, Jane!
Jane: Great! You can help Ben with the kid!
Nowatch: I thought you’d guys would be a bit more, you know, heroic and refined on your off time.
Ryder: (Laughs nervously) Well, we are still teenagers. Why don’t you go ask those guys your question? I’ll help Jane make some appropriate snacks, right?
Jane: Ugh. Fine. You two better answer the kid’s questions by the time I get them ready.
Ben: Thank you!
Yami: Alright, kid. Ask away!
Nowatch: Uh, first off, I’m a huge fan of both you guys! I especially love your fusion aliens, Mr. Yami.
Yami: (Still playing the game) Glad to hear. I like to think they add to the team.
Ben: (Jealous) Yeah, yeah. Everyone loves your fusions!
Yami: Of course! They allow me to be smart. A true hero quality.
Nowatch: Smart? I thought you used them to beat people up.
Yami: Eh, that’s how it ends. But using fusions, I can create an alien that suits the situation. So, if I have to be able to survive in a fire, but still have the strength to punch my way through, I can create a combo specific for it. I use my brains to create the brawn that I need, and that gives me an advantage.
Ben: Yeah, but that takes too long. Besides, most of my aliens are super strong without those! And my intuition makes me the better hero!
Nowatch: Intuition? What’s that mean?
Ben: Instinct. Sometimes, a hero doesn’t have time to think. A true hero is able to make the right call in those kind of situations, something that I’m able to do. And with that, I can punch my foes even faster.
Nowatch: Huh. You guys do so much more than punch stuff, it’s really cool! Who should I ask next? Jane?
Ben: Eh, better not. There’s a reason she put you with us.
Yami: She’s not a fan of kids.
Nowatch: Oh. (He looks around.) What about the girl in the corner?
Ben & Yami: Oh, no!
Ben: That’s Samurai! She’s not one to help you.
Nowatch: Is she new? I’ve never heard of her before.
Yami: Heard is an optimal word. She’s deaf, can’t hear anything. She lived in complete isolation before John recruited her. She still doesn’t socialize with anyone.
Nowatch: OOH! Is John here?! He’s only like the most famous member and founder ever! I’d love to meet him!
Ben: Good luck with that.
Yami: After forming the team, he’s here less and less. He lets us handle the standard stuff, while he handles stuff on the other side of the Earth, or in space. Quite frankly, he’s not here much.
Ben: You should totally go over and ask Megaman over there though. I’m sure he’d help you out!
Nowatch: Cool! The cyborg, Megaman!
Nowatch gets up, heading over to the computer room.
Yami: We say no to Jane, but yes to Megaman?
Ben: If we mess with Jane, she may try to force-feed us those wrap things. Those things smell like death. I’ll finish you off here, so we can see the look on his face.
Yami: Want to know when knowledge comes in handy? For unleashing secret combos!
Yami inputs a command on the controller, as his Sumo Slammer leaps into the air. He comes down, almost the full size of the screen, squishing Ben’s Sumo Slammer.
Ryder and Jane are getting a snack tray loaded, Jane sighing.
Jane: You know, I’m trying to get you guys to be healthy. The team falls apart if you guys get sick. And what’s with the kid?
Ryder: Eh, I sorta broke his hoverboard. And besides, it’s important to interact with the fans. Something you more serious guys tend to forget.
Jane: (Scoffs) Ben never misses an opportunity to be adored by his fans.
Ryder: (Smirking) Is that jealousy I hear?
Jane: (Blushing) What? No!
Ryder: It so is! Your face turned bright red!
Jane grabs a veggie wrap, grabbing Ryder to try and force it in his mouth. Ryder flails, being pinned to the counter.
Ryder: I’m sorry! I’m sorry, I’m sorry! Huh?
Ben and Yami are peeking from behind a control panel, watching as Nowatch approaches Megaman.
Jane: Those bozos! They let the kid go over to Megaman!
Ryder: They must think it’ll be hilarious. And they’re probably right.
Ryder slips out of Jane’s grip, and runs over, joining the two in their spying.
Jane: Ugh! Boys!
Megaman is under a console, as Nowatch approaches.
Nowatch: Hey Mr. Megaman!
Megaman jerks up, as he hits his head on the underside of the control panel, denting it with his helmet. He sits up, angry, as the other boys start laughing.
Megaman: Ha, ha. Very funny.
Megaman raises his buster, firing a shot. The boys freak and duck, it destroying the console they were hiding behind.
Megaman: Uragh! I just got that one working! (Megaman leans down and glares at Nowatch intensely.) This better be good kid.
Nowatch: Uh, (He starts sweating) what’s it mean to be a hero?
Megaman sighs, as he pulls out a hammer from the toolbox, starting to bang the console back into position.
Megaman: Acceptance. That no matter how much good you do, there are always things you can’t prevent, can’t fix, and can’t avoid. You’ll be remembered by your worst failure.
Nowatch looks upset and disturbed, as he slowly backs away.
Jane: Great job. You’ve traumatized the kid.
The red siren light flashes, as the alarm goes off. All the heroes react, running towards a computer monitor that is a table. Samurai notices the flashing light, and closes her book, joining them.
Ben: What do we got? DNAliens? Vilgax? Incurseans?!
Ryder: Eon’s grunts. A lot of them.
Yami: That’s it? That won’t require too many of us.
Samurai: (Monotone) I’ll go.
Everyone turns, seeing Samurai standing behind them.
Ryder: (Nervously and slowly) Oh, hey Samurai. Uh, yeah! You can join us!
Samurai looks irritated at Ryder, as she turns to Jane.
Samurai: Who the kid?
Jane: One of Ryder’s ideas.
Nowatch: This really is the best day ever! I get to go see the Omni Crew fight first hand!
Megaman: Who said that you’re go
Ryder: That sounds like a wonderful idea! You can take what we’ve all told you and put it to practical use! It’ll work much better for you!
Ben: Alright. I’ll go too. I think the three of us can handle it.
Yami: Alright. Have fun then.
Ben: Come on kid, Samurai. We’ll take my car.
Ryder, Samurai, Ben and Nowatch take the elevator down to the garage, as they go to the DX Mark 10. Ben gets in the driver’s seat, while Samurai and Nowatch get in the backseat. Ryder gets on the Tenn-Speed, as he rides off, Ben speeding to keep up with him.
Eon’s Servants are terrorizing the downtown area, using energy blades to cut through everything. Rubber screeches, as the Tenn-Speed and DX Mark 10 approach. Nowatch is nervous in the back, as he looks at Samurai.
Nowatch: Uh, (He taps Samurai’s shoulder, her turning her head to him.) can you understand me?
Nowatch: Uh, I’ve been asking the others
Samurai: What it mean be hero. I saw Ryder say it early.
Nowatch: Oh. Well, so, uh,
Samurai: Loyalty. Loyal to cause, never waver.
Nowatch: Loyalty to the cause?
Ben: To the cause of fighting evil is probably what she means!
Ben swerves to a stop, as Ryder does the same. Ryder hops off the bike, activating the Omnitrix, while Ben gets out, activating his Omnitrix.
Ryder: They’re robots. Which is perfect for me fighting with style!
Ben: You do that. I’ll go pound them away!
Ryder slaps down the Omnitrix, transforming into Rustcharge. Ben slaps his Omnitrix down, transforming into Swampfire in blossomed form.
Swampfire: Time to burn through them!
Swampfire runs into the middle of the street, throwing fireballs at the Eon Drones, destroying some. They respond, and turn and charge him. Rustcharge walks forward, weighed down, as several implant their blades into him, stuck in his rust. The rust travels up the swords to the Eon Drones, taking control of them. The Drones go to attack the others, as Rustcharge fires a blue transparent laser, his rust hand breaking off.
Nowatch: So awesome! So, uh, what about you, Samurai?
Samurai closes her eyes, the image of Spidermonkey flashing in her head. An Eon Drone leaps and slashes at her, as she reacts with fast reflexes, catching its arm and jumping, flip kicking it away.
Samurai: Stay in car.
Samurai runs towards a building, running it up it on all fours, jumping down and crashing down on Eon Drones. Nowatch watches in marvel, when Eon teleports in behind him, grabbing and muffling him.
Nowatch: Hm! Mhm!
Eon: Interesting. They brought a kid. Just the bait I need!
Eon teleports away, as Rustcharge punches an Eon Drone, it breaking. Swampfire uses thorn whips, cutting through the Eon Drones. Samurai kicks and punches them away, until they are all defeated.
Rustcharge: Oh, yeah! Take that! Watch me fighting in style!
Swampfire: And my incredible strength!
Samurai: Where is kid?
Rustcharge & Swampfire: Huh?
They all look back, seeing Nowatch is gone. Rustcharge and Swampfire revert, Ryder face palming.
Ryder: Oh, man!
Nowatch is dropped in a factory room, which is poorly lit. Eon stands by a machine, where Dr. John is working on a machine, a large robot with a humanoid shape with a head shaped like John’s, but it being blue.
Dr. John: Eon, what is this thing? It obviously isn’t a member of the Omni Crew, the evil that rules the streets!
Eon: He was with them. And knowing them, they will come for him.
Nowatch: Wait, what? I thought they were the good guys, and you’re the bad guys! I mean, you’re Eon! And a scary looking scientist guy!
Dr. John: What?! You don’t even know who I am?! I am Dr. John! I am the true hero, fighting the Omni Crew and their rise of violence! They speak of peace, when all they do is fight and destroy and hurt! But, I have been labeled as evil, while John Smith gets all the glory!
Nowatch: Uh, then, what do you think a hero is supposed to be like?
Dr. John: A hero should be able to fulfill the idea of safety! John is only fighting crime! I plan of getting rid of it before it happens! With my robot force, eventually to become equals to Metal John, I’ll be able to deter, detect, and destroy criminals before they ever commit a crime!
Eon: (Encouraging him) Yes, yes. And the Omni Crew are the true evil right now. In order to succeed, you must kill all of them. As a former member, I know the truth of their evil ways.
Nowatch: Whoa. You’re both crazy.
Dr. John: Perhaps you would be more convinced if you see my current robots.
Out of the shadows, Metal John comes out. Then, from the ceiling, GIR falls, crashing into the ground.
GIR: Hi master!
Nowatch: Haha! That thing looks so weak!
Dr. John: Oh, really? GIR, go ahead and play with our guest.
GIR: Yay! (GIR runs over to Nowatch, stopping in front of him.) Do a little dance.
Nowatch: What? No!
GIR activates the Omnitrix on his stomach, slapping it down. He transforms into Silver Wind, as he uses his telekinesis, Nowatch glowing with a cyan aura. Silver Wind then starts dancing, as Nowatch is forced to dance along with him, screaming as he does.
Silver Wind: (Singing) Shake shake shake! Shake shake shake! Shake your booty! Shake your booty!
Silver Wind continues to make Nowatch dance, as several cages are lowered from the ceiling. Silver Wind lifts Nowatch into the air, and places him in one, clamps locking in his arms and legs. The cage then closes, as Silver Wind reverts.
GIR: Yay! Do I get a gyro now, master?
Dr. John: Yes, yes. You did an excellent job, GIR.
Dr. John pulls out a wrapped up gyro, as he tosses it to GIR. GIR catches it, squealing with excitement.
The wall cracks, as Humungousaur breaks through, roaring.
Another section of the wall is broken through, Launch Octopus going through.
Launch Octopus: Launch Octopus!
Slapstrike strikes a section of the wall down, charging in.
Slapstrike: Sorry. Too cool to shout my name.
The ground shakes, as Heatdrillo digs out of it.
There’s a stainless steel door, with a computer lock on it. The lock sparks, as the door opens, a female Brainstorm and Samurai walking through.
Brainstorm: Seriously, boys? You have to just bust your way through everything.
Eon: Welcome, all of you. I now have you right where I want you! Metal! GIR! Destroy them!
GIR is sitting on the floor, eating the gyro.
Dr. John: GIR. Defeat these guys, and I’ll give you another gyro.
GIR’s head opens up, as he throws the gyro into his head, it closing. He activates and slaps down the Omnitrix, transforming into Green Skull.
Green Skull: Whee-hoo! Fight time!
Metal John glows, as his body breaks apart and morphs, transforming into NRG. Humungousaur charges at NRG, swinging his fist at it. NRG blasts Humungousaur with a radiation blast, Humungousaur slowing down as he pushes through.
Humungousaur: Hah! That the best you got?
Brainstorm fires a lightning blast, though it is intercepted by a time ray. Eon smirks at her, though Brainstorm doesn’t look amused. Samurai moves in front of her, the image of Whampire flashing in her head. Samurai flies at Eon, hovering in front of him and kicks at him. Eon skids back from it, as she dives at Eon. Eon fires a time ray, Samurai dodging with ease.
Slapstrike goes to slap the cage Nowatch is stuck in, when Green Skull flips and kicks the flipper aside, landing in Slapstrike’s way.
Slapstrike: Give it up. There’s no way a tiny little robot like you can defeat me!
Green Skull whistles, Slapstrike and Brainstorm groaning in pain, holding their ears.
Slapstrike: (Yelling) Okay! I take it back!
Slapstrike and Brainstorm levitate into the air, both startled. They are flung into the cages, the two reverting as it clamps down and locks them in.
Jane: How did?
Dr. John: So sorry. Forget about me?
Ryder and Jane look over, seeing Dr. John with a maniacal smile, holding his hand up. Heatdrillo fires a fireball at Dr. John, it exploding on him, breaking him into gold dust. The gold dust reforms in the shape of a grey alien with tentacles for a body, having three of them. Dr. John flies forward, wrapping his tentacles around Humungousaur, restricting him.
Humungousaur: Hey! Get, off me!
NRG turns, firing a radiation blast at Heatdrillo, who counters with a fire blast. Whampire flies down to kick at NRG, when Eon fires a time ray, hitting and slowing her down. Green Skull leaps into the air, grabbing Samurai.
Green Skull: I’m going to bake me a cake!
Green Skull spins around, throwing Samurai into a cage, her being locked in. Dr. John tosses Humungousaur into a cage, him reverting and Ben getting locked in.
Ben: Oh, man! Seriously?!
Launch Octopus throws several punches at Green Skull, him catching them with ease. Eon fires a time ray at him, Launch Octopus leaping into the air to dodge. A radiation blast hits him, knocking him back into a cage, as he reverts.
NRG turns and fires a radiation blast at Heatdrillo, who charges through it, going to punch NRG. NRG catches it, and blasts Heatdrillo, who is caught in telekinesis, flung into a cage, reverting as he’s locked in. All the heroes pout, as Eon laughs.
Eon: Finally! I will eliminate John’s cherished Omni Crew once and for all! He’ll rue the day he chose you over me!
Dr. John returns to human form, as Green Skull reverts, at his feet.
GIR: Did I do master?
Dr. John: Yes. Brilliant job. Now, go close that door, and I’ll get your gyro ready.
GIR runs over to the door that Jane and Samurai went through, pressing the code in on the panel. The door closes, as GIR turns around to walk back. A hollow knock occurs, someone knocking on the door. Everyone turns to look at the door, except Samurai, who looks confused at everyone’s confusion.
Samurai: What’s happening?
Dr. John: Who is that?! No one knows the location of our secret base!
Ben: Besides us, of course.
GIR: I’ll get it!
Dr. John: GIR, NO!
GIR types in the combination, as the door opens. John Smith, in his grey suit with the Omnitrix logo expanding across the chest, is standing at the door. His suit has short sleeves, exposing his forearms. All of his exposed skin has visible veins, glowing an eery green.
John: Hello. May I come in?
John walks past GIR, as his right arm becomes pure black, with his fingers merging together and two bolts on his arm. His hand sparks with green electricity, as he shoots a burst of electricity, shocking GIR. GIR short circuits, as he flies off, rolling across the floor.
Nowatch: Wow! How’d he do that?!
Megaman: So, he finally figured it out.
Nowatch: Huh? Figured what out?
Eon: NO! Doctor, stop him!
Dr. John: Metal, stop him!
Dr. John runs over to the giant robot, typing into the control panel to activate it. NRG shifts to Armodrillo, charging at John while pumping his jackhammers. John stops walking, as his legs become Crashhopper’s large hind limbs, with a green film connecting his leg joints and legs.
Ben: Crashhopper’s legs?!
Ryder: And Buzzshock’s arm, it looks like.
John bends his knees, as his right hand is filled with electricity. John hops forward, going past Armodrillo as his lightning blade clashes with the jackhammer fist. John lands behind Armodrillo, it shocked and falling over, reverting to Metal John. Eon, in a rage, teleports in front of John.
Eon: Die, you scum!
Eon forms a time blade, going to stab John. John’s left arm and chest transforms into Goop’s green slime, the time blade getting stuck in it.
Eon: What? Goop?
John’s left arm extends, grabbing Eon and slamming him all over the place. He then tosses Eon, him out cold.
John: I don’t remember him being that weak.
Dr. John: GIR! Stop him! Play with him!
GIR reactivates, as he looks happy.
GIR runs at John from behind, slapping down the Omnitrix. Wildmutt with green fur runs after him.
Wildmutt: Ray! Ray!
Wildmutt pounces at Wildmutt, as a green snake tail extends out from John’s behind, wrapping around and ensnaring Wildmutt. Wildmutt tries to get free, when John slams him around, then tosses him aside. Wildmutt reverts, GIR dazed.
GIR: Ooh. Pretty stars.
Jane: That was Ssslither’s tail!
Dr. John finishes the process, as he turns to face John.
Dr. John: You think you can stop me?! I am the chosen hero! I will rid the world of your tyranny!
John: You talk too much.
John hops into the air, making it to the ceiling, then hops off, crashing through Dr. John. Dr. John breaks into gold dust, John hopping out of it. Dr. John forms into his alien form, as John’s head morphs into Articguana’s head.
John: (With Articguana’s voice) You need to chillax.
John fires a freeze ray, freezing Dr. John. John then turns, firing a freeze ray at Eon, freezing him as well. John hops over to the cages, striking them with electricity. Everyone is freed, as John’s body reverts to normal, as he notices Nowatch.
John: Who’s responsibility is the kid?
Everyone points at Ryder, him in shock.
Ryder: Oh, way to support your teammate!
John: If you’re going to have a kid accompany you, at least keep a better eye on him.
Nowatch: (In amazement) Oh, my. No one is going to believe me when I tell them I met John Smith! I’ve been researching on what makes a hero!
John: And you’ve been asking them?
Nowatch: Well, can you tell me then?
John: Doing what’s right. A hero always knows what needs to be done, and doesn’t hesitate to do it.
Nowatch: A combo of what the others said. Cool!
The large robot, the John Duke 4.0, activates, taking a step forward.
John Duke 4.0: Targets identified.
The heroes take a battle stance, getting ready to activate their Omnitrices. The John Duke releases a pulse wave, which disables them.
Jane: You’re kidding!
Megaman: No wonder he was so proud of this thing.
Megaman fires his Mega Buster at John Duke, which walks forward in large steps, its hands being large cannons. It fires a cannon blast, everyone scattering. Nowatch hits the ground, hiding under a desk.
Nowatch: I don’t know how they do it! What now?!
Megaman opens fire, as John leaps into the air, walking up John Duke and flipping off. Jane and Samurai move back to dodge a cannon blast, while Yami and Ryder survey the situation.
Yami: That thing can’t be further than the beta stages. It won’t be able to fight long without a power source!
Ryder: Oh, thanks a lot, egghead! What’s the power source?!
Yami: I don’t know! And without a transformation, we can’t hold it off long enough to find out!
John jumps, kicking John Duke’s arm away, firing a cannon blast at the wall, where the holes from before are.
Nowatch: They’re still fighting. Doing what’s needed. Huh?
Nowatch spots a cable going along the floor, revealing that John Duke was plugged into the wall. John Duke keeps the Omni Crew busy, as Nowatch gulps. He runs out from under the table, heading towards the plug. John spots him, smiling.
John: Ryder! Cover the kid!
Ryder: Oh, why me?!
Ryder runs in that direction, John Duke spotting him. It fires a cannon blast at him, Ryder being launched back. Nowatch makes it to the plug, and pulls it out of the wall. John Duke powers down, everyone surprised.
Nowatch: I did it. I saved the Omni Crew!
Jane: That was anti-climatic.
John: Let that be a lesson to you guys. Never assume that you need a complex solution. A simple one will suffice.
Ryder: Well, with some luck, you have enough for your paper.
Nowatch: Oh, yeah!
The scene changes to Nowatch speaking to his class.
Nowatch: And that’s my journey on learning what it means to be a hero. You need a strong instinct to figure out what’s right, then use your smarts to figure out how to beat it. After that, you have to be able to fight your way through, staying loyal to your own meaning of peace.
The class claps and cheers, Chicken looking unamused.
Chicken: Yeah, right. I don’t believe a word of that!
Mr. Crowler: It does seem a bit farfetched. Even for you.
Nowatch: But it’s all true! And to prove it, I asked one of the Omni Crew to come in to tell you!
Billy: Ooh! Is it Megaman!
Nowatch: Nope! May I introduce, Yami!
Something hops off Nowatch’s shoulder, it growing into a Crashhopper and Nanomech fusion. He has Crashhopper’s body, with Nanomech’s metal body covering his chest, arms, legs and head, not affecting the film on his legs.
Nanohopper: Hi there kids!
Everyone gasps, as Nanohopper reverts. Mr. Crowler goes crazy.
Mr. Crowler: It’s Yami!
Mr. Crowler screeches, as he passes out, falling out of his chair. Everyone laughs, as Yami looks over.
Yami: Uh, guys? He’s actually out cold. Shouldn’t we call someone?
Billy: Are you kidding?! No class! And I don’t have my thing ready anyway!
|WARNING: PROFANITY FOLLOWS|
|The following content contains profanity that may not be suitable for readers of all ages. Please proceed with caution.|
The bar was dimly lit and stunk of cigarette odor. The caramel colored walls were worn with stratches and dents. Pool tables caked in dust. Booths empty. A few men sitting on stools, sipping their drinks, occasionally glacing at the TV. It cuts to Harangue Nation, beginning yet another rant about Ben 10.
[Man]: When will he ever shut up? Let the kid do what he wants. Everybody already knows he isn't a hero.
The man who spoke was an older man, in his late fifties or so as wrinkles spread across his face. He wore glasses, as his vision began fading. The long, navy blue trench coat covered most of his body but didn't cover his press cover, which read: Matt Blake, investigative reporter for the Bellwood Times.
[Matt]: These kids playing superhero will end up getting killed. Once one of them die, the rest will crawl back into the shadows.
A man sitting next to him, who was slightly overweight and had a combover, gruffly replied before downing his drink.
[Man]: Plumber's should take 'em out anyway. These amateurs don't have jurisdiction, they're vigilantes.
They are silent for a few moments, drinking. The bartender puts down the glass he was wiping and brings out more drinks for the two.
[Matt]: Listen, Carl, where are we at with your mission?
[Carl]: I've found out the IRA, the Pisciss Volanns, and the Violet Offenders all answer to one man now. No one has seen him yet. I haven't heard of an endgame yet.
[Matt]: Be careful, they might be getting suspiscious of you leaving so often.
Carl nods, swallows the rest of his drink, slaps a few dollars on the bar and then gets up to leave. Matt sits there, thinking about the new evidence he just heard, pondering for a while.
Matt's office was cluttered but he considered it organized. The smooth walls were pastel blue and many photographs and certificates were hanging. Matt's desk was covered in papers, all stacked into yellow files while he had his computer to the left and the keyboard in front of him. A small lamp lay hunched over, waiting to be flicked on. There was a cup filled with countless pens, pencils, and other writing utencils. On either side of the desk were chairs. Behind his desk was three file cabinets stacked next to each other which formed a small table almost. More documents were stacked onto there and a much larger lamp, standing on the ground, peeked over it. Matt sits in his chair, wearing a white plaid shirt with black stripes and a vivid red tie. He is starring at an old newspaper clipping about the violent gang, the IRA, whose ruthless and dissolute methods often led them to clash with the Pisciss Volanns, who just wanted the mission done. The infant gang in town was the Violet Offenders, who are mysteriously crashing into stores and robbing them and sporadically attempting home invasions. Matt's boss, was a middle aged ma who was bald and had a mocha colored beard, with a few gray hairs becoming visible over time. This man, Ellison Hoffman, was often referred to as an asshole.
[Ellison]: Matt, I need to know the general idea for your new piece.
[Matt]: There is a new leader who may be tying together the three gangs in Bellwood. This could exploit their endgame and stop them.
[Ellison]: Stop. Those papers won't sell, Matt. C'mon! Stop with this-this fascination with crime-related activities! If you wanted this, you should've joined the goddman Plumbers!
Ellion sighs, rubbing the back of his bald head, cogitating.
[Elliot]: Jimmy running a piece on the civil servants in our community. That's in your general interest, why not pair up with him for this one?
[Matt[: When I first started working here, twenty, maybe even thirty years ago, the people cared. Today, our job is a joke. We talk about new stop lights or a record breaking selfie. My prime was when the people were concerned when kids turned up dead, or gang members attack the well-being of our city.
[Elliot]: I don't care. You are not running the paper. I'll have Jimmy run some ideas off you later.
Elliot turns and closes the door behind him. Matt vigorously pounds his clenched fist onto the desk. Squeezing so hard that his knuckles were turning white. Attempting to distract his mind, to calm himself down , Matt checks his e-mail. There is a strange message from someone named "Liz Bennet". He opens its and it reads:
- I read your recent story on the Kraaho cartel in Undertown, and I feel like you might interested in what I know. I can't say in the case they monitor my e-mails, but meet me behind Max's Plumbing at sundown tonight. This information could take down the IRA once and for all.
- Liz Bennet
Matt, dressed once again in his moccasin colored coat, briskly trudges his way behind Max's Plumbing, as the down pour soaks him. The girl there had long brown hair, an angry look to her face, thin and beautiful. She had potruding cheek bones with thin eyebrows.
[Liz]: Mr. Blake?
They stand under a staircase to avoid completely getting soaked.
[Liz]: I need your help to stop the IRA. I have something that could put down.
[Matt]: I don't want to get involved in this type of work Mrs. Bennet.
[Liz]: They have my son.
Matt turns to face her, hesitant.
[Matt]: I have a guy, he's undercover in the IRA. He feeds me intel. You need to stay low, in case the IRA targets you. I'll contact you if I have any information on your son, Mrs. Bennet. Do not do anything stupid. This case would only end one way, us both dead. I'm sorry.
She nods and Matt turns away. Liz wipes a tear away.
That night, Liz is at her apartment. She twists her key into the slot and as she opens the door, blood puddles everywhere as a man hangs from the body with slashes all over his body. She screams, falling to the ground. Covering her mouth in horror, Liz scrambles back and grabs her phone. She dials in 9-1-1. Sitting in agony, she hears the line click.
[Operator]: 911, what's your emergency?
[Liz]: I-I just got home from work...and I found a dead body in my apartment.
Liz begins crying softly.
[Operator]: Ma'am stay there, the police will be there to the station shortly.
[Liz]: Wait, no I didn't-
The line goes dead. They think she did it. Her immediate reaction is too flee. Sprinting into the bathroom, she grabs the scissors and begins chopping at her hair. When finished with that, she bleaches it. Desperate, she slices her face with the scissors which will leave a nasty cut. Placing on sun glasses and a baseball cap, she sprints out of her apartment.
Matt looks at the empty document. He ponders, trying to think of an opening which would bring down all crime in Bellwood. How do you start the biggest article in your career? There's a knock on the door. He opens it.
[Matt]: Who are you?
[Liz]: It's me....Liz!
[Matt]: What happened?
He notices the cut.
[Matt]: Are you okay?
[Liz]: The IRA, they know, they-they know and they are coming after me! They placed a body in my apartment, framed me, I had to run away I had to get out and I-I-I...
She lets out a moan and tears stream down her face.
[Matt]: I'll do it.
[Liz]: What-what are you talking about?
[Matt]: I'll help you take down the IRA.
Liz lets out a sigh of relief.
[Liz]: Thank you so much.
[Matt]: I have a man in the ranks of the IRA. Let's not discuss it here. Police men often come patrol through here. Coffee?
She nods and they both get up to leave.
The coffee shop was small with multiple circular black tables and oak wood chairs. Matt sips his frothy coffee while Liz just stares at her's.
[Matt]: Where did you say they were shipping the drugs?
[Liz]: They produced them at Nukem Wins, out on 24th Street. But I heard one of them mentioning to transport them to Sci100 Studios, and spred them out to whatever junkies want to make a quick buck.
The ground rumbles as people begin screaming, sprinting to the window where a large alien was attacking buildings. Out of nowhere, Rook Blonko and Gwen Tennyson are fighting the monster. As the monster lethargicly swats his hand, he knocks Gwen down as Rook dives, catching her. Gwen throws a few orbs at the monster, causing it to roar irately. Matt and Liz remain focused on their conversation as Matt scribbles down notes on a writing pad.
[Matt]: How did you discover this?
[Liz]: I was on a run from my boss to make a deal for my client at Nukem Wins, Sif Hunderson, but the case got dropped and as I was leaving, I heard men screaming. Peeking, I saw it and I saw them burn a man alive for ratting them out.
Matt places down his pen, unable to write the monstrous act he just heard.
[Matt]: I've done a story like this before. Three of my friends went undercover and were ratted out by one of them who was a cowardly asshole. They were all murdered and their heads were sent to me on a pike. This type of work, it's very dangerous Mrs. Bennet. Avoid all publicity, all cops. Do not visit me at my home or my place of work. Here.
He hands her a disposable cell phone.
[Matt]: If you need to contact me, use this. We don't want any feds getting on our back.
[Matt]: Federal agents.Sorry, thought you knew.
[Liz]: I was thrown into this lifestyle a few days ago. I don't like it.
[Matt]: No one does.
He lets out a deep exhale as he gets up to leave.
It is late at night. The obsidian colored sky glimmers overhead with the illuminating light from the moon glistening down below. Matt sits in his office, starring a bulletin board filled with newspaper clippers, names, photographs all tying together through strings. The IRA, Violet Offenders, and Pisciss Volanns are tied together through one factor: Ben Tennyson. Matt realized this in the coffee shop today. When returning to his office, Matt dug through some old records and discovered that during the turf war between the Violet Offenders and the Pisciss Volanns, Ben took out both of their leaders. Then, the IRA began dealing drugs with them. Matt realizes their target is Ben. Going to his computer, Matt goes to the Plumber records, seeing which gang members Ben took out who are still alive today. After narrowing the searches down, Matt found three results: Psyphon, whose current status is confirmed incarerated, Scott Cartmen, who currently posesses an Unknown status and the ex-convict Morene Lewis, who was confirmed dead after the Myelia Cartel murdered him in his sleep. Matt did it. It was Scott. It had to be.
Suddenly, explosions outside rock his building as bricks crumble on the side. Matt dashes outside to see what the commotion was. Pisciss Volanns, armed with automatics, began shooting down civillains. Cop cars show up but RPGs shoot them down. Plumber armored vehicles drive up as a shoot out begins. Humunguosaur comes crashing down, wiping them out. Letting out a colossal roar, Humungosaur smashes one of them into the ground. Flesh explodes everywhere. Plumber general Carl Whiteman and his deputy, Bernard Woods are standing back where Matt is.
[Matt]: Officer Whiteman, any words for this attack?
[Carl Whiteman]: Fuck off.
As bullets suddenly whiz by, Matt's heart jumps into his throat as fear overhwelms him and he lunges into the Plumber vehicle. He shoots the door close and huddle down, covering his ears as the ringing phases him. After a few minutes, the bullets stop and Matt got up. He sees Pisciss Volanns being arrested. Scrambling, he notices Ben limping off into an alley. Matt sprints after him. A matured, twenty year old Ben turns to him, with a little goatee and chiseled jawline with defined, bulging muscles connecting to his broad shoulders.
[Ben]: Sorry, I don't talk to the press.
[Matt]: Please Mr. Tennyson, I have information that could stop all three gangs in Bellwood.
[Ben]: How do you know this? You're just some sort of old ass reporter.
[Matt]: This old ass reporter has been working on gang crimes for nearly thirty years.
[Ben]: I have to go, but stay in touch.
He hands Matt a Plumber's Badge. Ben stretches his arm where a nasty bruise began forming. Slapping down his Omnitrix, Ben morphs into XLR8 then zooms off. Matt feels the breeze as XLR8 whizzes by. Returning to the crime scene, Matt snaps a few photos on his phone then pulls a pad out of his pocket, stopping one of the Pisciss Volanns who were being led off.
[Matt]: I already know that you are in touch with the IRA and the Violet Offenders. I know you ship drugs from Nukem Wins to Sci100 Studios. Who is running all of this? Is it a man name Scott? Where is his base? Tell me!
The Plumber pulls out a pistol and glocks the Pisciss Volann then holds it to his temple.
[Plumber]: Answer him or I'll blow your goddamn brains out.
[Pisciss Volann]: I don't know who is in charge. I swear to god. I just know that we launder our money through a man. All I have is a name. Nesmith.
[Plumber]: Oh shit, does he mean Carl Nesmith?
Matt turns and walks away, returning to his office. Doing some more research, he discovers Carl Nesmith has ties to a woman named Veronica Cartmen, Scott's mother.
The next morning, Matt immediately contacts Ben via the Plumber's Badge. Together, they meet up at the address Matt discovered online for Veronica Cartmen. Ben shaved his goatee and the bags under his eyes went away. He knocks on the door and Matt awkwardly stands next to him, waiting.
An elderly, overweight lady with grey curls and big eyes opens the door. She smiles at them.
[Veronica]: How can I help you?
[Matt]: Your son, er, might be in some trouble. We just want to know where he might be.
A frown creases her face.
[Veronica]: Scott...he had a rough childhood. When he was eleven, his was angry that my husband Craig and I were getting divorced. He ran away and we thought he had died for almost three years. Then he came back to me. Scott was never the same. Always yelling, cursing, resorting to violence. It breaks my heart.
She begins tearing up.
[Ben]: I'm sorry for your son, but I need to know where he is currently.
[Veronica]: I-I don't know-
[Ben]: YOU'RE SON HAS KILLED HUNDREDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE! YOU ARE HELPING HIM BY NOT TELLING US WHERE HE IS!
Ben is up in her face, spit flying off his tongue into her face as her tone grows angry. She breaks down crying. Matt pulls Ben shoulder away from Veronica and Matt shoves him against the wall.
[Matt]: What the hell are you doing? This woman is innocent, you're hurting her!
[Ben]:All these years, you should know by now. Justice isn't as clean as it seems. Locking men up, only for them to break out and kill more. Sometimes, you have to be willing to go over the edge to take down these fuckers.
Matt stands, silent, accepting defeat as Ben exhales deeply and threatens Veronica. She gives them the address, crying as Ben looks down at her in pity. Scrunching his nose, he turns and leaves.
[Ben]: Let's go.
Matt leaps onto Ben's back, who is now Fasttrack.
[Fasttrack]: Hold your breath.
Matt inhales deeply then closes his eye and feels nausea washing over him.When he opens his eyes, they are at a large house, seeemingly abadoned. They enter and hear screaming. Girls, tied up, were screaming as aliens and human, holding guns, patrol. Ben as Fasttrack, pile all of them up in front of the house then turns into Heatblast, burning them down. Matt cries out as he watches the bodies burn and the agonizing screeches. Heatblast walks over to the girls who scream in fear and cuts the chains, freeing them. Matt smells the odor of decay and pukes. The girls all attempt to flee but Ben stops on, grabbing her vigorously on the wrist and pulling her back.
[Ben]: Who did this?
She begins crying, as she quivers, terrified. The frustration in Ben grows and he slaps her across the face. Matt clocks Ben across the face. Ben looks at what he did and zooms off as Astrodactyl. Matt stands there, horrified, consfused, angry.
The church was filled with murals and stain glass windows. Jesus Christ lay crucified on the cross. The church was empty as the sun curves over the horizon. Matt is there, his head down as he is praying.
What makes a hero? Is Ben a hero? His concept of justice is broken. But he helps people. Does power make you a hero? Is it okay to kill? The sharp line between right and wrong, can it blur sometimes? Strength, power. This means nothing. It is what they do is what makes them a hero.
He gets up, adjusts his coat and leaves. Outside, he calls Liz.
[Liz]: Did you find something out?
[Matt]: Well, Bellwood's most famous hero is a corrupt vigilante.
[Liz]: About the case, Matt.
[Matt]: The IRA are led by a man named Scott Cartmen. I intervened when some IRA members were setting up a slave auction. His mother disowns him.
[Liz]: Now what?
[Matt]: Meet me at my house. I have some more information written down there.
Six o'clock. Seven o'clock. Eight o'clock.
That's how long Matt wakes outside his house for Liz until she finally pulls up.
[Liz]: Sorry, something came up.
[Matt]: Are you okay?
[Liz]: My son was found dead in the Bellwood Harbor.
[Matt]: I'm so sorry.
He brings her into a warm, tender hug. She wipes a tear away.
[Liz]: Yeah, let's just go in.
Matt twists the door open and they enter the living room. A man was in there. Scars slashes down his face with an irate expression.
[Scott]: The IRA has had enough of your bickering.
He pulls out a pistol and fires, the bullet ripping through Liz's stomach. Blood surges up, staining her shirt. Matt screams and rushes over to her. He presses on his Plumber Badge, which sents a distress signal to Ben.
[Scott]: Honestly, I control three different factions of crime in Bellwood. What made you think you had a chance? A reporter and a wanted criminal. You look at me as a villain, but there is no good or evil. Only power. People crave it. This drives them to do certain things.
[Matt]: You're wrong. People who serve others are heroes. Even if they make mistakes, even if they do things they shouldn't, the good overrules the bad. There are people who are willing to take bullets for others who they've never even met.
[Scott]: Where's you hero now?
Scott shoots Matt three times as Matt gasps. Blood drips out of the corner of his mouth. Matt lays on the ground, clutching his chest, sputtering for breath. As his vision begins to fade, he spots Ben crashing into the room, tackling down Scott. Scott kicks Ben in the chin and fires his gun, chipping Ben in the shoulder. Liz crawls over to Matt, who began crying.
[Matt]: I'm sorry for not being able to save your son, for not being a hero.
[Liz]: It doesn't matter. You risked your career, and your life for me. You are a true hero, Matt.
Matt whimpers in pain as he continues crying.
[Matt]: I don't want to die.
He looks to Liz, who was going pale from the loss of blood.
[Matt]: Thank you.
Liz looks at him, and hugs him tightly.He holds Liz's hand as his eyes close for the final time.