|WARNING: PROFANITY FOLLOWS|
|The following content contains profanity that may not be suitable for readers of all ages. Please proceed with caution.|
|Season 2, Episode 4|
|Namesake||Window Shopper by Robert William Service.|
Whom the Bell Tolls: Part 2
Window Shopper: Part 2
Window Shopper: Part 1 is the sixteenth episode of Tech 10: Star Spirit, and the fourth episode of the second season.
[Open to the front room of a candy shop. The pleasant aroma of freshly-made sweet treats fills the air, as a kind-looking, unassuming man in a white apron is going about his business, stocking candies in their cases and setting up a window display. After a few moments, two police officers walk into the store, causing a small bell on the door to let out a delightful little “ting”.]
[Cop 1]: “Good mornin’, Mr. Farnsworth.”
The man in the apron finished putting away the candies and wiped his hands on his apron, turning to face the cops with a welcoming smile.
[Mr. Farnsworth]: “Ah, good morning, officers. What brings you here today?”
[Cop 2]: “Nothing good, I’m afraid. Several children in the area have gone missing lately, and we were wondering if you might have seen anything suspicious lately.”
[Mr. Farnsworth]: “Oh my, that’s very bad news indeed. I wish I could help you, but I haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary recently. I spend most of my time in the shop, after all.”
[Cop 1]: “True, but we thought it might be worth checking with you, just to be sure. Thanks anyways.”
The police turned to leave.
[Mr. Farnsworth]: “Hold on a moment gentleman.” (Picks up a platter of freshly-made fudge) “Won’t you have some fudge before you go?”
[Cop 2]: “Oh, we couldn’t.”
[Mr. Farnsworth]: “But I insist!”
[Cop 1]: “Well, if you insist...”
[Cut to the cops exiting the store, each eating a piece of fudge.]
[Cop 1]: “What did our town ever do to get someone as nice as Farnsworth living here?”
[Cop 2]: “Can’t say I know. You’re a complete ass.”
[Cop 1]: “It takes one to know one!”
[The camera pans back inside the store, showing Mr. Farnsworth continuing his opening tasks. It continues panning to reveal the back room of the shop, passing by a series of candy-making equipment until it finally settles on an ominous shot of a large vat of strange brown liquid.]
[Cut to an area in the main timeline’s suburbs. It’s close to sunset, and Nova is seen walking into her house, then pausing in the front hallway. The house was much quieter than usual.]
[Nova]: (Thinking) ‘That’s weird. The car’s outside, so I should hear Dad going through paperwork or something.’
Nova walked further into the house, attempting to walk across the carpeted floor as softly as possible. After a few moments, she heard hushed talking coming from the living room. Quietly positioning herself next to the room’s entrance, she listened in on the conversation.
[Cut into the living room, where Herc and Napoleon are sitting in chairs across from each other, speaking in hushed tones.]
[Herc]: “Napoleon, I know when you’re skirting around an issue. Just get to the point.”
[Napoleon]: (Sighs) “Yeah, you’re right. It’s just not something I’m very keen on talking about.”
[Herc]: “You had me come all the way over here for some reason, so it better be something important.”
[Napoleon]: “Look, do you remember our trip to the Anur system?”
[Herc]: “I remember my ship getting wrecked.”
[Napoleon]: “Yeah, that trip. More specifically, do you remember Lord Kucorbian?”
[Herc]: “How could I forget? He murdered his entire species.”
[Napoleon]: “Actually, Azmuth and I were able to restore them with the souls Swarm 1 took from Kucorbian when it absorbed him. Unfortunately, there was one soul that didn’t particularly want to leave.”
[Herc]: “Don’t tell me...”
[Napoleon]: (Nods) “Kucorbian’s own soul stayed in Swarm 1. Ever since then, he's been trying to take control.”
[Herc]: “Is Swarm 1 still not removable?”
[Napoleon]: “No. I figured out how to make Nova’s Swarm 2 easily removable if necessary, but Swarm 1 isn’t able to change anything in regards to its own command chip.”
[Herc]: “Hm. Is there anything that can be done about this?”
[Napoleon]: “Well, at first I tried having the Anima Devorantum’s Soul Fire burn him out of the system, but it didn’t work. I’ve been taking anti-psychotics for a while,” (Holds up his cigarette-like device) “and that seems to hold him off for now, but I keep having to up the dosage. Lately, it’s been getting to the point where I have to adjust it every few days.”
[Herc]: “Are you sure your body can handle that?”
[Napoleon]: “No. I know it can’t. With the way things are going, I’m either going to die of an overdose at some point, or Kucorbian’s going to take over.”
[Herc]: “How long do you think that’ll take?”
[Napoleon]: “At this rate, somewhere around a year, tops. Probably less.”
[Herc]: “Does Nova know?”
[Napoleon]: “Not yet. With her mother gone, I’m the only family she has left. I don’t want her to worry.”
[Herc]: “You have to tell her at some point.”
[Napoleon]: “I know, I know, it’s just...I’ve never been good with the heavy stuff. You should know that from personal experience.”
[Herc]: “No kidding.”
[Napoleon]: “Isaac and Moranna already agreed to be her godparents if something went wrong, so I’m not too worried about where she’ll go after I’m gone, but...I just don’t know what I’m going to tell her.”
[Herc]: “Is there anything I can do?”
[Napoleon]: “Actually, yes. It’s why I called you here. You can shapeshift an arm cannon or something with armor-piercing rounds, right?”
[Herc]: “Uh...yeah. Why?”
[Napoleon]: “Look, if Kucorbian gets control of my body, and by extension, Swarm 1, there’s no telling how much damage he could do. He already killed an entire species, and that was without wielding a timeline buster.”
[Herc]: “What are you saying?”
[Napoleon]: (Pauses for a moment before continuing) “If Kucorbian takes over, I need you to kill me. No second thoughts. No hesitation. Every second he’d be in control would put everyone and everything around me in danger.”
[Napoleon]: (Snapping) “No ‘buts’, Herculian! I’ve never been as responsible as I should be, but even I know a situation like that would be too dangerous to mess around with! Swarm 1 is too powerful! If Kucorbian gets control of it, I know he certainly won’t hesitate to kill every single living thing on this planet! If he gets control, he needs to be terminated immediately and with extreme prejudice, even if it means killing me yourself! Do you understand me?!”
Herc froze for a moment, taken aback by Napoleon’s sudden outburst. After a few moments, he sighed.
[Herc]: “Yeah. I get it.”
[Napoleon]: (Sighs) “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have snapped like that. I’m just...worried.”
[Herc]: “I can tell.”
Napoleon began to reply, but froze upon hearing what sounded like the front door slamming closed. He swiftly headed to the other side of the living room and peeked his head out of the entryway.
Nobody was there.
[Napoleon]: “...I have a bad feeling about this.”
[Cut to a red portal opening up onto an empty cobblestone street in a different timeline. Aeron and Clockwork exit through the portal and pause for a moment to take in their surroundings. The street is lined with tall, thin houses and shops built into tightly-packed spaces, with only the occasional small alleyway noticeably separating them.]
[Clockwork]: “Interesting. Looks like we’re still in Europe.”
[Aeron]: “What, like Britain or something?”
[Clockwork]: “...You didn’t really pay attention in history class, did you?”
[Aeron]: “It’s still part of the continent, you dip.”
[Clockwork]: “I was speaking culturally.”
Clockwork dissipated, leaving Aeron alone on the street. He simply stood there for a moment, absorbing the atmosphere and taking a deep breath.
[Aeron]: (Sighs wistfully) “What a nice area.” (Grins maniacally) “Can’t wait to wreck it!”
Aeron started to walk down the street, but was interrupted by the two police officers seen at the beginning of the episode, who walked up from behind him.
[Cop 1]: “Excuse me, sir, do you have any information regarding the whereabouts of theses two children?” (Holds up a “Missing” poster with the children’s faces on it)
[Cop 2]: “There’s an award for any info that helps us find them.”
[Aeron]: “Well, I just got here, so that would be a no.”
[Cop 1]: “Ah, I see. Sorry for the interruption. Are you new in town?”
[Aeron]: “You could say that, yeah.”
[Cop 2]: “Well, I think you’ll enjoy your stay. It’s a nice community we have here.”
[Aeron]: (Raises an eyebrow) “Except for the whole ‘missing kids’ thing, right?”
[Cop 2]: “It’s not like this happens all the time. We were fairly unprepared for this whole situation, to be honest; I don’t think we’ve ever actually had it happen here before.”
[Aeron]: “Whatever. Clockwork.”
Clockwork swiftly appeared and stopped time.
[Aeron]: “Thanks. Stopping time is easier than carrying on a stupid conversation.”
[Clockwork]: “You’re getting way too comfortable with abusing the DNA Card again, Aeron.”
[Aeron]: (Rolls his eyes) “Fine, last time I’ll summon you until we leave the timeline. Anyways, it sounds like there are some missing kids in this area, so it doesn’t seem quite as idyllic as we thought.”
[Clockwork]: “So, what’s the plan?”
[Aeron]: “Uh, solve the case, kill the morons who think they can operate on my new turf, and then go wild.”
[Clockwork]: (Sarcastically) “Flawless plan. And how do you expect to find them?”
[Aeron]: “Find out where the missing kids were last and have you do that time-rewindy thing to figure out what happened to them. Duh.”
[Clockwork]: “...Well, it’s more thought out than most of your plans. Of course, if this whole “solve the mystery” pattern keeps going for us, we’re just going to end up being a smaller, edgier version of the Scooby gang.”
[Aeron]: “...I’m not entirely adverse to that, although I’m not sure it’s a good comparison.”
[Clockwork]: “Nah, it makes perfect sense. I’m Velma, and you’re Scrappy Doo.”
[Aeron]: “YOU TAKE THAT BACK, YOU SON OF A BITCH!”
[Cut to the inside of Plumber Base UT1. Alpha is attending to the computer consoles, Pyros and Reaper are making small talk, and Nova is sitting hunched over off to the side. After a few moments, the platform elevator activates, and Herc enters the room.]
[Herc]: “Hey, has anyone seen-” (Spots Nova) “Never mind.”
Herc walked over to Nova and sat down next to her. If she noticed, she certainly didn’t seem to acknowledge it.
[Herc]: “Nova, I think we need to t-”
He was interrupted by the computer’s alert signal blaring.
[Alpha]: “Everyone, get over here! Pyros, go get F3 from the training room.”
Pyros nodded and set off for the training room, while Reaper, Herc, and Nova walked over to Alpha. Nova kept a bit of a solemn hunch while walking, staring down at the floor.
[Herc]: “What is F3 doing in the training room?”
Alpha gave Herc a flat look.
[Herc]: “I meant specifically.”
[Alpha]: “I gave him an air filtration mask to wear over his mouth and nose to keep his powers from backfiring. He’s trying to adjust his fighting style accordingly.”
[Herc]: “Fair enough.”
After a few moments, Pyros and F3 entered the room and walked over to the others. F3 took off his filtration mask and let it hang from his neck.
[F3]: “You guys are not going to believe what kind of a difference this thing makes! I came up with this one move where I generate some dust and then punch a guy-”
[Alpha]: “That’s good, but we have other priorities at the moment. Several key members of the Zodiac Organization were spotted at a nearby iron mine by one of our overhead drones. You need to get there and apprehend them, if at all possible.”
[Pyros]: “I didn’t think we had an iron mine in the area.”
[Alpha]: “Technically, it was shut down and abandoned by the Sheilbasa Iron Company about two decades ago due to the mysterious deaths of multiple workers. However, it was recently bought by an unnamed private company, and seems to be somewhat active as of late, albeit off-limits to the public.”
[Herc]: “Sounds a bit shady.”
[Alpha]: (Nods) “Suit up and head out. I’ll keep tabs on you from here as usual, but I may lose the signal if you go too deep underground.”
The group split up to prepare for the mission, with Herc giving Nova a worried glance before walking away.
[Cut to Theo as Final Countdown arriving in the new timeline. He reverts to human and examines his surroundings, spotting a “Missing” poster on the wall of a nearby alleyway.]
[Theo]: (Reading the poster) “I swear, if Aeron has anything to do with this...”
He heard a nearby door somewhere down the alleyway start to open. Feeling the odd sense that he needed to hide, he swiftly pulled up the StarTrix and transformed.
A couple moments later, the door swung open, revealing Mr. Farnsworth, who was carrying a large, lumpy bag out of his shop. After suspiciously looking both ways down the alley, he warily walked over to a nearby dumpster and tossed the bag inside, scanning the area again before quickly making his way back inside the building.As soon as the door closed, Theo faded back into view, having transformed into a purple and black salamander-like alien
|Powers and Abilities|
|Namesake||Silent Lucidity by Queensryche|
|First Appearance||Window Shopper: Part 1|
[Cut to night time at the iron mine, where the Alpha Team is sneaking around behind some rocky outcroppings. Security guards are patrolling area, making access to the mine pit difficult.]
[Herc]: “Alright, we need some way to take out those guards without making a scene.”
[F3]: “I could try shooting some sleep dust at them.”
[Herc]: “Maybe not the best idea in close quarters. You may be wearing a filtration mask, but we aren’t.”
[Herc]: “Nova, do you think you can sneak up behind them and knock them out with a gauntlet construct?”
Nova simply nodded in response and began to make her way across the outcropping, waiting for one of the guards to walk by. As soon as they did, she swiftly lunged out and smacked them across the head.
[Guard]: “What the hell?!”
He swiftly pulled out a pistol and aimed it at Nova. Before he could shoot, Herc swiftly jumped out in front of her and shifted his arm into a shield, blocking the bullet.
[Herc]: (Frustratedly) “Good lord, is this giving me flashbacks.” (Looks back at Nova) “What’s going on? Why didn’t you build a gauntlet?”
[Nova]: (Staring at her hands in shock) “I...I don’t know. I tried summoning one, but it just...didn’t work! I’ve never had this happen before!”
[Herc]: (Pauses for a moment) “Well, your dad has. I think I know what the problem is.”
Nova was interrupted by the sharp metallic “ping” of bullets reflecting off of Reaper’s scythe. More guards had arrived, and were being engaged by the rest of the Alpha Team.
[Pyros]: “Yo, y’all can talk after we get out of this alive!”
[Herc]: “Point taken.”
Herc shifted his shield into a broadsword, using it to knock the gun out of the nearest guard’s hands before shifting it into a laser rifle, gunning down several approaching security guards.
[Herc]: “Alright, we need to be in and out of here ASAP. Nova and I will go scope out the mines. You three think you can handle the guards?”
F3 coated his hands in small clouds of sleep dust and began punching nearby opponents, knocking each one out in a single hit.
[F3]: “Well, I think I’ll be fine, at least!”
[Reaper]: “We’ll be fine. Go ahead.”
Herc nodded and grabbed Nova, shifting his legs into a more aerodynamic shape and running down into the mine pit. Pyros created a massive wall of fire that blocked the approaching enemies and shielded the group from view.
[Pyros]: (Worriedly) “Yo, Reaper, ya sure about that ‘we’ll be fine’ thing?”
[Reaper]: “These are hardly the worst circumstances I’ve ever faced. Hired help, whether they have guns or not, is hired help, and I don’t think they’ll be that much of an issue.”
Pyros began to reply, but was interrupted by two figures suddenly jumping down from a nearby overhang. One of the figures generated a pointed horn of some sort from their hand, spinning it around to “drill” away Pyros’s fire wall.
[Taurus]: “Well well, you were right. This is that Feuer hybrid from a few months back.”
[Virgo]: “You should trust me on these things more often.”
[Taurus]: “I don’t trust anybody. In any case, I’m afraid we’re going to have to ask you” (Gestures to the remaining Alpha Team) “to leave.”
[F3]: “Uh, we can’t really do that yet.”
[Virgo]: “And why not?”
[Reaper]: “For one thing, we were sent here to apprehend you.”
[Taurus]: (Notices F3’s Plumber suit) “Ah, the Plumbers. If they’re going to bother us so much, I would at least appreciate a proper strike squad, not this...mismatched group of random people.”
[F3]: “Sorry, but you can’t get always get everything you want, like a nice car, or a large house, or your parent’s love, or not being a disappointment to your family and peers, or-”
[Reaper]: “I think they get the point.”
[F3]: “Oh, uh, sorry. Went on a bit of a tangent there.”
[Virgo]: “We noticed.”
[Taurus]: “In any case, if it’s a fight you want, it’s a fight you’ll get. We already have two other members going after your teammates down in the mines, so this whole mess should be over relatively quickly.”
[Reaper]: (Raises scythe, assuming a battle stance) “Let’s hope so.”
[Cut to the back area of the candy shop, where Mr. Farnsworth is working on a batch of what appears to be fudge. After a few moments, a small clatter is heard across the room as something falls to the floor.]
Mr. Farnsworth paused for a moment, waiting a couple seconds before turning around. Seeing nothing, he set down the bowl of fudge mix and went to investigate the noise, walking across the cooking area to find a metal whisk lying on the floor.
[Farnsworth]: “Ah, I must have left this balancing on the counter. How careless of me.”
He grabbed the whisk and walked back to the bowl of fudge, dropping the whisk in a dishwashing tray along the way. As he began mixing again, the invisible Theo let out a silent sigh of relief, having almost been caught after brushing against the whisk and knocking it off the counter.
After waiting for a few moments to make sure Mr. Farnsworth was occupied, he quietly slithered over to a door at the back of the cooking area, silently opening it and slipping through to investigate the other side.
[Cut to the inside of the mines, where Herc and Nova are walking into the main cavern. Herc spots a small shack sitting near the entrance.]
[Herc]: (Gestures to the building) “Well, since there weren’t any buildings outside, I can only assume that’s where all the white-collar work happens.”
Nova simply nodded in response.
The two made their way over to the building, with Herc using his shape shifting abilities to pick the lock. As they entered the small shack, Herc spotted a crate filled with metallic crystals.
[Herc]: (Eyes widen) “Oh, that better not be what I think it is.”
[Nova]: “What is it?”
Herc walked over to the crate and grabbed a piece of crystal, holding it up to examine it.
[Herc]: (Sighs and puts the shard down) “Great. As if we didn’t already have enough problems.”
[Nova]: “What are you talking about?”
[Herc]: (Gestures to the box) “This stuff is an off-world compound called ‘Displotram’. A single cubic square-inch of this stuff could pretty much disintegrate a good-sized house if detonated.”
[Nova]: “And they’re...mining it?”
[Herc]: “No way in hell. This stuff is banned everywhere in this sector, and it certainly doesn’t naturally occur here. My guess is that this ‘mining operation’ is just a cover-up for smuggling this stuff on-world. They probably have a cloaked launch bay set up for stealth cruisers somewhere.”
[???]: “Right you are, darling.”
Nova and Herc whirled around to find two humans standing right outside the open doorway. One was a middle-aged Japanese woman wearing some sort of swim gear and having large fins running up her body instead of arms, and the other was a young man with orange-ish hair and a matching turtleneck sweater, along with a pair of black jeans and orange shoes.
[Man]: “Of course, we can’t exactly let you leave. Do you have any idea what sort of mess this could cause for us in the long run? My perfect hair gets split ends just thinking about it!”
[Woman]: “Exactly. I may not be in my prime any more, but I’ve got a ways to go before I should start getting gray hairs.”
[Herc]: “Who are you people? The Zodiac Organization’s fashion department?”
[Man]: (Laughs haughtily) “I suppose you could say that. My lovely companion here is Pisces, and I am the everlastingly splendorous Cancer.”
[Herc]: “You said it, not me.”
[Pisces]: “My my, that attitude of yours is almost as unpleasant to be around as that hideous sash you’re wearing.”
[Herc]: “When you’re a bounty hunter, you learn to value function over form. For example...”
Herc swiftly reached into a pocket on his sash and pulled out a smoke grenade, throwing it at Pisces and Cancer before grabbing Nova and diving out the window, hitting the ground with a roll.
[Herc]: (Getting up) “You okay?”
[Herc]: “Good. We should probably come up with a plan while those two are busy with the smoke grenade.”
[Cancer]: “I think you underestimate our ability to deal with grenades.”
Herc turned to find Pisces and Cancer standing nearby in unnecessarily over-the-top poses.
[Pisces]: “One can have both form AND function, after all.”
[Herc]: “Oh for the love of...how?!”
[Cancer]: (Transforms his skin into a thick shell, then back again) “I have the powers of a crab, darling. This shouldn’t be difficult to figure out.”
[Nova]: “Wait, so you’re just Scorpio without the acid?”
[Cancer]: (Laughs) “Oh, that’s a good one. Scorpio’s exoskeleton shell doesn’t hold a candle to mine. You could probably pierce his shell with a shotgun, but mine could tank an explosion. Why do you think I’m the one working with explosive material?”
[Herc]: (Gestures to Pisces) “And you?”
Small, previously unseen points along Pisces’ body lit up, creating an electrical barrier around her body.
[Pisces]: “Nothing gets in or out of this barrier unless I want it to. It comes in handy quite often.”
[Cancer]: “Now, are you going to leave peacefully, or does this have to get messy?”
[Herc]: “Well, we have to arrest you, so probably the latter. Granted, I’m not sure exactly how messy this can get given that your abilities are defensive and not offensive.”
[Cancer]: “You are just full of wrong answers today, aren’t you?”
The ground behind Herc and Nova began to rumble. After a few moments, the rock composing the cavern floor exploded outwards and reformed into a giant, crab-like golem.
[Herc]: “Since when can crabs make giant enemy crab golems?!”
[Cancer]: “Crab, crab-like alien with the ability to bring things to life as servants, same difference.”
[Nova]: “So you’re a Venefican hybrid?”
Herc, Cancer, Pisces, and the crab golem all stared at her in confusion.
[Nova]: “Theo’s original alien set has a Venefican transformation. He calls it Viva La Vida.”
[Cancer]: “I’m not sure what you’re talking about, but yes, I do have the abilities of a Venefican. Kudos for figuring that out, but I’m afraid it won’t help you much at the moment.”
[Herc]: “Maybe not, but I have an idea of what might.”
Herc grabbed a small, cylindrical capsule from out of his sash and pressed a red button on the top of it, hurling it at the crab golem. The golem attempted to knock it away, but the device ended up attaching itself to its claw and began beeping.
[Herc]: “Hit the deck!”
He shifted his arms into one massive shield and held it in front of himself and Nova, immediately after which there was a huge explosion. After a few moments of debris raining down across the area, Herc lowered the shield, revealing the the crab golem had been blown to pieces.
[Herc]: (Turns to face Cancer) “Ha! Got any other bright ideas?”
[Cancer]: “Well, not really, but you never actually took care of the last one, so...”
[Nova]: “Uh, Herc?”
Herc turned back around to find several stone crab golems rising out of the ground.
[Herc]: “...You have got to be kidding me.”
[Cut to Theo, still transformed, walking up the walls of a staircase in the back of the candy shop. Once he gets to the top of the stairs, he quietly jumps to the platform they connect to and reverts back to human. To his right is an unlocked door slightly cracked open.]
[Theo]: “Alright, let’s see what we can find in here.”
He entered the room and examined his surroundings. It was a relatively small area compared to the openness of the main shop, and was filled with tidily kept personal belongings.
[Theo]: (Frowns) “It’s just this guy’s bedroom.”
He just stood there for a moment and sighed.
[Theo]: “What am I doing? I can’t break into someone’s living space just because I think they look suspicious!”
He moved to leave, but suddenly saw something that caught his attention out of the corner of his eye. Turning to look at it, he saw the end of an odd metallic object poking out from beneath the room’s bed.
He walked over to it and pulled it out from under the bed, finding it to be an ID Mask. Curious, he put it on and activated it, giving him the appearance of Mr. Farnsworth. Surprised at this, he took it off and began looking it over.
[Theo]: “Now, if I were really human, why would I need an ID Mask of myself?”
He turned back to face the stairs, narrowing his eyes in suspicion.
[Theo]: “Something fishy’s going on here...”
- It's revealed that Lord Kucorbian is slowly taking over Napoleon's mind, which is the reason he's been taking medication.
- Furthermore, Napoleon expects to be either dead or possessed in less than a year.
- Silent Lucidity makes his debut.
- Pisces and Cancer make their non-cameo debuts.
- It's revealed that the Shielbasa Iron Mine is now owned by the Zodiac Organization.
- Mr. Farnsworth