12Talmidhttps://community.lego.com/t5/Stories-of-LEGO-UNIVERSE/Servant-of-Darkness-Being-the-first-book-in-the-Stromling/td-p/2525720/highlight/false/page/107This is a sequel to Servant of Darkness, The Search, Full Circle, and Fading Fast.
Availability: Alone in Space and Time can also be found here.
Author's Notes: This is a sequel to Servant of Darkness, The Search, Full Circle, and Fading Fast.
Gallant Strong Cyclone shivered as he worked on collecting oversized pine needles to try and use for a campfire.
The rain was coming down hard, and Cyclone doubted he would be able to start any fires in a storm as strong as this, or in any downpour for that matter.
The bristles were pretty numerous, and collecting them was easy. But drying them off and finding a place protected enough from the rain was hard. Luckily, the latter had already been accomplished. A pile or small rocks the size of boulders had formed a small cave, though cracks in the roof let in large drops of rain, which splashed down to the small inside.
Cyclone grunted as he picked up the last pine needle, before heading back to the cave. It wasn't too far from where he was currently, and he wanted to get out of the rain, so he ran a little, which he soon discovered was too dangerous when he slipped and fell face first into a large puddle.
Cyclone picked himself out of the body of water, and wiped the gooey mud off his face. His Space Marauder gear had cushioned his fall, but it was now covered in dirt. But Cyclone didn't care, and just continued on.
Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled through the air as Cyclone entered the cave. He set the pine needles down in the center of the small room, and swung his Wormholer from his back. He set it to low power, and slowly revved the chainsaw, heating it up. He held it close to the needles, which he arranged in a pile, and watched as they started smoking. The hot chainsaw continued to warm the needles, and then they ignited in large burst of flame.
Cyclone shielded his eyes as he stared at the massive fire he had just created. Its flames danced around and licked the ceiling, but it was controlled, since before he had set out to collect the 'firewood', he had poured some liquid around the border of where he would put the needles, and the ground was damp anyways.
Cyclone sat down in the far corner, next to his companion. He stared up through one of the gaps in the roof, at the gray clouds as they unleashed the downpour. With the fire up and running, the cave was warmer, and Cyclone's partner dropped the blanket she was huddled in.
"Well?" Cyclone said to Kate, turning to her.
"What I'm just wondering is why we haven't been rescued yet," Kate put it simply, before burying her face in her hands. "It's already been two days, and we've been living off just consumable rations." she moaned.
Cyclone slid his arm around her shoulders, and as he continued staring up at the sky, watched as the clouds slowly parted, revealing the sun. Its rays stretched out and one went through the gap in the roof, illuminating the cave's interior and shining its light on Cyclone and Kate.
"We'll find a way back home, Kate." Cyclone stated. "I promise."
Cyclone slowly crept out of the cave, and surveyed his surroundings. The ground was still damp and wet from the rain, but the sunshine was warming it.
"The coast it clear," Cyclone called, and Kate stepped out of the cave too. "Alright, where to?"
"Well," Kate said, "we're running low on consumable rations, and this cave looks like it could collapse any second really. With the varying and unpredictable weather conditions of rain, sunshine, rain, sunshine, it's annoying, frustrating, and not worth running around collecting 'firewood' just to have the rain end ten seconds later."
"You're right," Cyclone grumbled. "We need some place where our environment remains more or less the same. Like a house." He quickly corrected himself. "I mean a house OUR size, not one of those human houses. We already had enough trouble escaping from one."
Kate shrugged. "Actually at this point, I'm willing to take the chances and go back. Anything for our survival."
"You're kidding me," Cyclone facepalmed.
Kate smirked. "Let's go."
Two days earlier....
Rover screamed in horror. He had just exited the portal, and turned around to help Cyclone and Kate through. But then it had closed.
Blade's, Intrepid's, and Sergeant's eyes all bugged out. They and Rover all turned to Dica, who was staring at them wide-eyed. "Uh oh," she whispered.
"Uhhh," Sergeant stammered. "You CAN make another, right?"
"Um, no...." Dica's voice trailed.
"AAH!!!!" Sergeant screamed, and ran over to Dica, gripping her shoulders. "WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY!!!!"
Dica shrugged him off. "Listen, I told you it wouldn't last long, and there I don't have enough Imagination stored to make another."
"You've gotta be kidding me," Sergeant grumbled.
"Um, but you WILL try again later, right?" Rover said, trying not to panic.
Dica frowned. "I was only authorized to create two portals, one to get me there, and one to bring you all back. They use up lots of Imagination, and Imagination is something we currently don't have in stock."
Intrepid and Sergeant started crying.
"But I'll see what I can do," Dica said hurriedly. "Until then, we should get going to Avant Fortress. There could be Maelstrom around-"
Rover suddenly became aware of a clanking sound from behind him. He slowly turned around, and paled. They were off in the distance, but he could see them. They walked on mechanical spider legs, each one with sharp tips, ready to impale anything, or anyone, they clawed over. Extended over them was a long mech body, colored Dark Purple, with guns normally found on Spiderlings in place of the mech's arms.
Then all ten of them fired.
"RUN!!" Dica yelled, and swung her Wormholer over her shoulder into firing position. She pulled the trigger, and the chainsaw revved as it chugged laser blasts out at the Mech/Spider/Thingies, which Rover assumed were the Grumpy Mechlings that Dica had mentioned earlier.
Heeding Dica's order, Rover, Blade, Intrepid, and Sergeant all ran off in different directions. They zigzagged into each other again before running off in the same direction.
Rover panted, and looked up, only then taking time to observe his surroundings. The sky was dark orange in the late evening, as the sun slowly set beneath the horizon. They were running across a range of small hills, with long, overgrown, grass swaying blissfully in the wind.
An energy bolt streaked by and smashed into the ground. A massive explosion lit of Rover's face as he quickly dodged around the fireball. He craned his neck, and saw another Grumpy Mechling running after them at a terrifying pace, closing the gap between them rapidly as it strode on its eight mechanical legs.
All its guns were firing, spitting out more energy bolts. Rover ducked and rolled into a somersault, dodging the laser blasts.
More portions of the ground exploded as the blasts collided with them, leaving burnt out patches of brown and black where the grass used to be.
Rover stepped to the side and nearly banged into Intrepid as they weaved in and out between the energy bolts. Then Rover took notice of a line of trees ahead. They reached them quickly, and came out the other side.
The remains of the Paradox lab towered over them. But they had no time to stop and stare, since the Grumpy Mechling bounded through the trees a second later. Its four eyes targeted each minifigure, and then swung its guns to fire.
"Ah!" Sergeant yelped, and threw his Elite Force Blade of Lightning at the Mechling, hitting it straight in the eye. Sparks flew, and the mech spun around blindly, screaming in a deep-voiced monotone, "M4lfunt10n, m4lfunt10n, m4lfunt10n,"
In its confusion, the mechling started shooting all its weapons out in every direction. Rover quickly grabbed Sergeant and half-dragged him across the ground as he tore off in the direction of the Sentinel Base Camp. Blade was right behind him, and Intrepid used his Bat Lord Speed ability to streak forwards. Unfortunately, he crashed head-on into a massive metal door, and Rover, Blade, and Sergeant screeched to a halt on a lowered drawbridge, which sat in front of the new, massive doors and outer wall of the Sentinel Base Camp.
Or in this time, Avant Fortress.
Rover, Blade, Sergeant, and Intrepid looked up, and all stared in awe at a long blue shaft of light that stretched up into the sky from a very high tower inside the fortress. The Imagination Nexus.
A loudspeaker suddenly blared. "State your identity and occupation!" it roared.
"Uhh, Cheerful Power Rover, Rank 3 Venture Buccaneer?" Rover stammered.
But before his friends could follow suit, the mechling came running up towards them. Even though it had lost its optical sensors, it still was able to track them somehow. Sergeant's Force Blade stuck out of its head at an odd angle, almost enough to make the Grumpy Mechling appear comical. But the way it levelled its gun, and aimed it towards them darkened the whole situation even more. Even worse, there was no place to run.
At their sides were the deep moat which the drawbridge was over. Behind them was the massive metal doors of Avant Fortress. In front of them was the Grumpy Mechling, which began charging up its weapon.
They were trapped.
Suddenly, Blade stepped in front of them. The mechling fired, and as if in slow motion, Rover, Sergeant, and Intrepid watched in horror, as Blade exploded.
Master Blade9, Sentinel Knight Rank 3, collector of rares, and one of the best ally and friend any minifig could ever have, was dead.
"Are you sure we should be doing this?" Cyclone questioned, as he and Kate trudged their way through the tall blades of grass.
Kate nodded. "It beats staying in a leaky cave," she told him, brushing aside a certain blade of grass that kept swinging back at her. "This stuff is overgrown."
"Yeah," Cyclone muttered, as they entered a patch of grass which was shorter. He stopped, and looking down, noticed that he was now stepping on grass blades cut cleanly off the ones they were walking through. "Hey, does this look freshly cut?"
Kate stopped fighting with her grass blade, and turned to face Cyclone. "Hey, you're right." she commented. Then she frowned. "Which means..."
A low droning noise in the distance caused Cyclone to perk up. It was getting slightly louder, gradually, but surely. And louder meant closer.
As the sound continued to grow in loudness and intensity, Cyclone slowly counted. "Okay, when I count to three-"
"-three." Kate interrupted him.
Cyclone sighed. He quickly said, "Onetwothree RUN!!!!!!!"
Grabbing each other's arms, Cyclone and Kate took off running. The grass was longer again in the direction they were heading, and the tall blades slapped against Cyclone's face as he and Kate pulled each other through. The source of the noise continued to get closer, evident since it was getting louder.
A shadow began to loom over them, and Cyclone risked a glance behind him as he ran. A feeling of dread washed through him, and he nearly stopped dead in his tracks as his stomach did a triple flip-flop. And if he had stopped dead, but lived anyway, he would have died a second later, since the loud noisy thing that had freaked him out was a rapidly spinning blade, slicing down the grass behind them. And it was connected to another oversized lawnmower.
"Ah!" Cyclone screamed, and quickly tore his head back to face forwards, but not before he and Kate slammed straight in a rock.
"Noooooooooooooo!" he yelled, when suddenly the rock rolled forwards, revealing a hole, which they fell into.
"AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!" he continued screaming, and Kate joined him, as they plummeted down. The lawnmower drove over the entrance to the hole, blotting out the light, and leaving Cyclone and Kate in the darkness before they landed - SPLAT! - on the ground.
The lawnmower kept going, and sunlight once again washed into the hole. Cyclone sat up, rubbing his head. "Owww," he moaned, and suddenly realized that the light in the chasm wasn't only from above, but also from the small passage that stretched to the left.
Cyclone looked up, and noted with dismay that they had fallen a long distance down, at least ten feet. He turned again to the passageway, and opted to check it out before attempting to climb out.
He stood up shakily, and brushed off the dirt that had accumulated on his Space Marauder clothes. He took a few unsteady steps forwards, when he remembered Kate. He turned around and reached out his hand to help her up, but realized that she was faceplanted in the ground, unconscious.
Cyclone sighed, and left her as he went to explore the tunnel himself.
It wasn't very long, but in the dark shadowy areas where the sunlight couldn't reach, the other light was more noticeable.
Orange light flicked around in the shadows, like from a fire. Cyclone slowly crept over to the end of the passageway, which entered into a round room made from digging out the passage's real end.
A small fire crackled quietly in the center of the chamber, casting its orange glow throughout the room. And the contents of the room made it obvious that it was being inhabited by something.
Curious, Cyclone set his gaze on a pile of reeds stacked in the 'corner' to his right. It wasn't instantly recognizable, but the pair of rubber gloves dumped near it was enough of a hint for Cyclone to determine that it was a collection of Thyme.
His eyes followed the wall. A short compact refrigerator plugged into an Imagination generator placed slightly farther down the wall hummed softly, adding to the ambient crackling from the fire. Next to the generator and plugged into it was a heater and an air conditioner, with both powered off. As his gaze passed them and went farther down the wall to the other side, Cyclone took notice of a pile of clothes.
A hot pink T-Shirt, cargo jeans, a rumpled green jacket with the pink cursive "Nexus Girl Scouts" logo on it, casual clothes. But what Cyclone was most interested in was some familiar looking dark blue clothes that lay, neatly folded, atop the pile of laundry. He nearly threw up when he recognized them as Nexus Force gear.
Sentinel Samurai Rank 3 gear.
Cyclone shook his head. He wasn't going to bother himself with that now. Instead, his gaze continued, until he was nearly staring at the other corner of the room. Beyond the pile of clothes was an open can of "Lemon-Aid" energy soda, alongside an empty bottle of water, a pink mug with the word "Epicsauce!" in flashy colors painted on it, a baseball cap with the logo "Team Talmidon" on it, a pile of books from assorted genres, a stack of disposable utensils, and a portable microwave at the end of a dark blue sleeping bag.
The microwave beeped, and Cyclone jumped, nearly bumping his head on the low dirt ceiling.
He watched, speechless, as the sleeping bag's occupant, a girl in a white tank-top, looked up from the fiction novel she was reading, and leaning forward towards the microwave, opened it and took out a plate with two sizzling hot pizza slices on it.
Cyclone watched with his mouth agape as the girl took another paper plate from the pile of utensils, and slid one of the pizza slices onto it. Then she turned to him and held it out. Smirking deviously, she broke the silence.
"Want one?" Kate's double asked.
Numbly, as if in a trance, Cyclone took the plate with the pizza slice which Kate's double handed him. The source of the numbness was his confused mind, which was all mixed up. Mostly because of the current situation. Questions swirled through his head, and he scrambled to find answers for them.
The problem was, he didn't have any answers.
"Sit down," Kate told him, and Cyclone did so obediently, still in his numb state. His thoughts were jumbled, but his three distinct ones were: 1) How did she even EXIST? 2) How was she HERE? 3) Why was she giving him free PIZZA?
"Sooo," his host was saying, "You're probably wondering how one, I exist, two, how I'm here, and three, why I'm giving you free pizza when you tumble into my home, right?"
Cyclone's eyes turned into spirals. It was almost as if she had read his mind....
"Yes, I read your mind." Kate said.
Cyclone nearly fainted.
"And 'how?' you're wondering." Kate went on. She reached forwards for one of the books that lay with the pile of other articles. It was a big hardcover, with a plain blue cover and back, just the latter had flower patterns on it.
She handed it to him, and Cyclone looked over it, amazed. Its title stated:
When Imagination and Maelstrom Combine
Who's "K.D."? he thought.
"That's my initials, Katherine Doe." Kate explained. "Eh, like Jane Doe, just with MY name instead. Get it?"
Cyclone nodded, while slowly opening the cover. Inside was the foreword, which said,
"Imagination and Maelstrom. Like Protons and Electrons. One positive, the other negative. The opposite of the other. Always in constant battle, pushing away from each other, never the same. But when they join into one, they form a Neutron. Dull, boring, empty, lifeless.
Just that's not how the relationship between Imagination and Maelstrom goes. Sure, they're always in constant battle, are exact opposites, one ruling through creation, and the other through destruction. But when these two forces join, they don't become dull, boring, empty, and lifeless. They become a strength, a power beyond any other. The power to not only do creation and destruction at once, but to bend the reality between space, and time.
But that's not all...."
Cyclone looked up, and his eyes bugged out again. Kate was now dressed in the pink T-shirt and the cargo jeans he had seen earlier. She was stuffing a backpack with the Samurai gear and everything else, but blindingly fast. So fast, her movement was blurry, like seeing the motion blur of objects whizzing by in a car driving over 200 miles per hour.
A split second later, everything was packed, and she stopped motion-blurring. At a more normal speed, Kate looked up at him. "You're probably wondering how I just did that." she said. "Read the book."
Trying to ignore the abnormal actions that Kate's double proceeded to do, Cyclone read on. And in the chapters he read, Cyclone discovered some disturbing, but interesting, information. And in addition to those, a million more questions arose. And one of them was: Why wasn't she a science teacher?
In summary, the information he learned was as follows: 1) The power that is created with Imagination and Maelstrom combine has the power to bend physical space and time. (duh) 2) That power can allow the object or person affected with this power to, hypothetically, --A. Move insanely fast. --B. Move through different time periods. --C. Travel through different universes. --D. Change physically. 3) This power can also cause mental instability.
Cyclone glanced back up at Kate's alter-ego, who was now motion-blurring through the task of packing up the large pieces of equipment placed around the room.
"Ahem," he coughed, getting her attention. "I've got some questions...."
"Fire away," Kate said.
"Well, first off," Cyclone stammered, unsure how to put it, "Kate- er, the OTHER Kate-"
"You mean the REAL Kate, right?" Alter-Kate corrected him, sighing. "I know what you're thinking. I don't exist anymore is what you're thinking. 'Cause your Kate smashed me."
Cyclone found himself nodding.
"Well," Kate went on, "That wasn't me."
Cyclone nearly fainted.
"Blade...." Rover whispered hoarsely.
"No-!" Intrepid and Sergeant exclaimed together.
None of the three minifigs could believe it. Blade, their friend, was gone. Dead.
And the Grumpy Mechling was preparing to give them the same fate as Master Blade9 too.
Rover sunk to his knees, and buried his face in his hands.
"Uh, Rover?" Sergeant said. "I wouldn't do that now, since the Mech is about to kill us...."
Rover didn't answer, and Sergeant and Intrepid watched in horror as the Mechling's gun powered up. Energy around swirled in the cannon's barrel, as the Mechling prepared to blast them with the same deadly Maelstrom Energy it had killed Blade with.
There was a flash of blue, and suddenly the Mechling fell apart in pieces. Dica stood behind it, looking triumphant, as she gave her Wormholer a final revving before jamming it into the Mechling's motherboard, assuring its pieces wouldn't get up and walk away.
"What's going on?" Dica asked as she stepped over the dead Mechling towards them. Then she caught notice of Intrepid and Sergeant's solemn expressions, and Rover's staring blindly at the ground. "Where's Blade?" she asked worriedly.
Sergeant broke out in tears, and Intrepid blurted out, "Blade's dead."
Dica paled, and reeled back in shock. "Oh no," she said quietly. Then she walked briskly over to the massive doors and banged on them loudly. "Let us in, Harold." she barked.
The doors swung open, and a Sentinel Guard stood there. "Oh, it's you." he mumbled. "I thought the Maelstrom was using their Stromling Imposters again. No one in their right mind would go out there in Rank 3 gear, it's so brittle...."
Rover gave a bitter laugh from where he remained on the drawbridge.
"Listen Here," Dica told him sharply. "Your slowness caused the death of one of the people I was sent to rescue."
Harold's brow furrowed. "You were gone?"
Dica facepalmed, then turned back to Intrepid, Sergeant, and Rover. "There's nothing we can do about Blade," she said softly. "He's gone, but in order to move on, it's best to leave the past behind us."
Sergeant and Intrepid nodded silently, but didn't say a word as they stepped into Avant Fortress.
Rover was still on his knees on the bridge, staring into space. "Rover?" Dica called. "You coming?"
Rover grunted, and stood up. Mumbling something unintelligible, he followed Dica into the fortress. A few seconds after they entered, Harold the Sentinel Guard closed the doors with a resounding slam.
Two days had passed in Avant Fortress uneventfully.
Morning sunlight washed in through the window in Rover's room, illuminating the figure as he splashed water over his face near a small sink that jutted out of the wall.
The previous two days had, as seen before, been uneventful. There were no Maelstrom attacks, and even 10 years into the future, Avant Gardens still seemed pretty similar, if not the same, to how it was back in the present.
The 10 years into the future thing was only one in many small snippets of information Rover had learned during the past two days. He had spent those 48 hours catching up info on the new Maelstrom enemies, the new faction gear, but most importantly, how the future played out.
There was a knock on the door, and Rover pressed a towel into his face to dry it off. He donned his Buccaneer gear, and answered it. Standing there was another person, obviously a Sentinel. His gear was reminiscent of Knight gear, but way futuristic. His helmet completely covered his face with a black visor, obscuring any ability for Rover to try and identify him. And like Dica the Rank 8 Inventor, this person's gear was more titanium than Imagination.
The Sentinel grunted, and beckoned for Rover to follow him. Rover shrugged, and followed the Knight down the hallway.
Silently, the Knight lead Rover out of the barracks, and into the courtyard.
Avant Fortress was pretty similar to the Sentinel Base Camp. The barracks had been built into the cliffs on the right side, coming from the Sentinel Caves, while the left side had been dug out into a briefing room. The courtyard was the same as the old Base Camp, just with several defense turrets in several rows lining the front.
His guide lead Rover across the courtyard, and into the main briefing room. Intrepid and Sergeant were already there, and they joined Rover as the Sentinel lead the three to a side door, which opened into a long hallway. They passed several more doors in silence, until the Knight stopped at one on the right. He opened it, and gestured for Rover, Intrepid, and Sergeant to enter, while he waited outside.
The three stepped through, and the Knight shut the door. The room was drab and boring, with gray linoleum tiles and bare walls. The only artificial lighting in the room was a small corner lamp, despite the room's apparent brightness. Rover looked up, and noticed a dirty skylight, the source of the brightness.
There wasn't much furniture in the room, except for the small corner table which the lamp sat on, and a larger, round table surrounded by ten chairs, six of them reserved for Rover, Intrepid, Sergeant, and their absent friends, Cyclone, Kate, and Blade.
On the other four chairs were the four people whom Rover, Intrepid, and Sergeant had been waiting the past two days for. They were due to return to Avant Gardens from the battleground at Nimbus Station two days before, but as usual when a war is going on, they were late.
And they were the four faction leaders.
It wasn't that easy for Rover to recognize any of the faction leaders, but there's a simple reason why he couldn't. Three were different people, and the fourth was ten years older.
And the fourth was Vanda Darkflame, while the other three Rover had no idea who they were, but the Sentinel one knew who he was.
"Rovintregeant!" the Sentinel Faction Leader exclaimed, jumbling their names together while knocking over his chair in his haste to jump to his feet. "Gosh, I know you guys! But you're...." his voice trailed, "....the same...."
Rover glanced at him. "Do I know you?"
The Faction Leader threw his arms up in desperation. "Come on, you've gotta remember me! At least, Intrepid, Sergeant, you've got to know me. You know, the Super Sentinel?"
Intrepid and Sergeant stared at him for a few seconds in silence, until Intrepid broke the uncomfortable silence. "Lord-" he stammered, "-Lord Brocktree?"
The Sentinel's eyes turned glossy, and he looked away. "No," he said softly. "I'm not Lord Brocktree. I'm Suave Able Cat."
"SUAVE!!" Sergeant exclaimed. "Ohmigosh, I didn't recognize you! You're so different!"
"And you're no different," Suave whispered. He started walking off towards a different door. "Excuse me."
Sergeant gaped at Suave's retreating back, while Intrepid whispered to Rover, "What's his problem?"
"Ahem," the Assembly Faction Leader coughed. "I think we'd better introduce ourselves."
"Good idea," Rover snapped. "So we don't get anymore identity mishaps."
The Assembly Leader glanced at Vanda and the Venture Leader for support, before continuing. "I'm Alpha Warrior, and with me are-"
"AdVEEEEENturuous!" the Venture Leader sang out. "Adventure is a wonderful thing!"
"Shush," Alpha Warrior mumbled. Then he went on, "And Vanda Darkflame, I think you know her already-"
"Duh we do," Rover snapped again.
Alpha Warrior buried his face in his hands.
Cyclone didn't actually faint, that was an exaggeration.
"That," he mouthed, "wasn't you?"
Kate's double nodded. "You got it. You could say she's an experiment gone wrong. I was testing with Imagination and Maelstrom, then accidentally smashed myself. Then she appeared, and.... you know the rest of the story."
Cyclone recalled something he read in her book. One of the effects of combining Imagination and Maelstrom was Mental Instability, and Kate's alternate ego seemed a little... maniacal. Plus the fact that she was acting sort of unethical too....
"When did you start doing tests on how Imagination and Maelstrom combine?" Cyclone asked.
Alter-Kate shrugged. "Eh, you could say shortly after 'the first encounter' I and 'Real' Kate had." she told him. "I discovered there was a link between us, so I went looking for a way to change some things around with me. We're separate people, I'm fine with that. So I'm trying to find a way to coexist with each other, without killing her. And I've found the epic solution."
Cyclone raised his eyebrows. "And that is?"
She rolled her eyes. "I thought you'd realize it already. Combining Imagination and Maelstrom. As it turns out, every entity has not only an Imagination Spark, but a Maelstrom Spark. The Maelstrom wasn't actually created when Baron Typhonus turned bad. It existed before, just only came to power against Imagination when the Imagination Nexus was corrupted. All of us started out with nothing, but get our Imagination Sparks unlocked to their full power when joining the Nexus Force, since Imagination is very essential in that organization. However, if you are 'corrupted' by Maelstrom, your Imagination Spark is downgraded, and your Maelstrom Spark is unlocked to its full potential."
"Wait, you mean, uh, er-" Cyclone stammered.
"And," Alter-Kate interrupted, "since Imagination and Maelstrom are opposites, combining them is supposed to be impossible. But there is a way, and I've done that, and now I've got both my Imagination and Maelstrom Sparks working simultaneously."
"You mean, half and half?" Cyclone asked.
"You could say them," she replied with a devious glint in her eyes. "Which means, epicsauce."
"'Epicsauce'?" Cyclone repeated.
"Yeah, since now they're balanced out." Alter-Kate stated. "Which means I'm balanced out, which ALSO means being in the same vicinity of Real Kate won't kill her."
Cyclone glanced around. "So you've LOWERED your Imagination Spark?"
"Yep," was the reply.
"But then," Cyclone asked, "why's she unconscious right now?"
"Well whaddya expect someone to do when falling down an at least fifteen feet drop?" Alter-Kate snapped.
Cyclone grimaced. "But I'm not unconscious."
"Not my fault you've got a hard head," Kate's double joked.
"Well, gotta go now," Alter-Kate announced, and only then Cyclone did realize, that the whole room was empty of everything that had been there before, except for the book in his hands.
"How'd you do that?" he asked, puzzled.
Alter-Kate paused to look at him as she headed for the exit. "Blindingly fast speed acceleration. Another side effect of combining Imagination and Maelstrom. It also affects one's perspective of the passage of time. You might want to try it out." Then she motion-blurred out.
Cyclone blinked, and prepared to leave too, when he heard a scream from down the corridor. Cyclone sighed, when 'Real' Kate barged in.
"I JUST SAW A GHOST!!!!"
Fake Chapter 9Edit
"Adventurous, why don't you begin the briefing." Alpha Warrior mumbled, his face still buried in his hands.
"Will do," Adventurous said. Turning to Rover, Intrepid, and Sergeant he stated, "Have you ever heard of The Rhoddwr Marwolaeth?"
They all shook their heads. "Nope," Rover spoke for them. "What's the Rad Washing-machine?"
"Well, it was a huge battle station," Adventurous explained. "Sort of like the Death Star from Star Wars. The Rhoddwr Marwolaeth had the destructive capacity to destroy an entire planet. Thankfully, it was destroyed by two Ninja and Lord Brocktree."
"Wait wait wait," Rover interrupted, raising his hands. "I've actually got some questions for you all. 'Kay?"
Adventurous glanced at Vanda, who nodded. "Alrighty, what are they?"
"First," Rover said, "What happened to Lord Brocktree?"
Suave reentered the room, and bitterly, he answered, "Lord Brocktree died as a hero, ten years ago, at Gnarled Forest. The Pirate Camp came under attack, and Brocktree and I happened to be there. We helped evacuate as many innocents as possible, but then...." his voice trailed off.
"Second question," Rover continued, "what's the mission?" "Oh yeah, that." Adventurous said. "Anyways, The Rhoddwr Marwolaeth was commanded by an evil Lord Enfawr, and according to the two ninja, he had two crazed Mythrans working for him, known as Barney The Dinosaur and thedude7500."
"BARNEY THE DINOSAUR??!??!" Sergeant screamed, before bursting out laughing.
"And thedude7500." Intrepid said grimly. "I've heard of him."
"Yes," Adventurous went on. "Even worse, is that we've received reports of a large purple Tyrannosaurus Rex stalking our brave defenders in Nimbus Station, and the dinosaur has been seen with a Red Mythran who 'taks lik dis'."
"That's thedude7500 all right," Intrepid muttered.
"And as if it couldn't get worse then that," Adventurous continued, raising his voice for emphasis,
"The retarded Dinosaur and his Mythran accomplice are spawning several never-before-seen Maelstrom enemies, and we've lost several innocent recruits."
"Okay, SO WHAT'S THE MISSION?" Rover screamed.
"This is the fun part," Adventurous said with a glint in his eyes. "We're sending you back to the time of the Rhoddwr Marwolaeth, to PERMANENTLY smash Barney the Dinosaur and thedude7500, so that all the trouble in Nimbus Station would never have happened.
"Paradox Alert, Paradox Alert." Sergeant droned.
"What about my faction?" Vanda asked, shocked.
"No, he means Time Paradox." Intrepid explained.
"No I didn't," Sergeant corrected him. "Look."
Then the roof caved in, and two Rank 11 Paradox Space Marauders fell in. The first was extremely overweight, and his suit was Size XL. There was a hole in the back for his tail.
His partner was more normal looking, but when he took off his helmet, and gave his Wormholer a loud revving, Rover, Intrepid, Sergeant, Adventurous, Alpha Warrior, and Vanda Darkflame all knew that there was nothing at all normal about him.
"this is notin to do wit lu" said thedude7500. "und i want meh grmmer sord bak naow"
"Adventurous, why don't you begin the briefing." Alpha Warrior said, his face still buried in his hands.
"Will do," Adventurous said. Turning to Rover, Sergeant, and Intrepid, he explained, "As you probably know by now, we've got a special mission for you, and that's why you here. You can think of this mission as a great adventure, and since adventure is a wonderful thing, this mission won't only be substantial to the whole universe, but to also the fun-loving person in you, since adventure is a wonderful thing-"
"Get on with it," Vanda stated, elbowing Adventurous.
"Ow," Adventurous moaned, rubbing his side. "Anyway, your mission is as follows-"
"Wait," Rover interrupted. "Just stop. Why don't you give us some answers first?"
"What do you mean?" Alpha Warrior asked, looking up from his facepalm.
"This, is what I mean." Rover snapped. "First off, what happened to the faction leaders? As in, the REAL faction leaders, Duke Exeter, Dr. Overbuild, and Hael Storm. Where are they?"
Alpha Warrior and Adventurous turned to Vanda, who said softly, "Duke, Albert, and Hael were defeated in the takeover of Nimbus Station."
Rover raised his eyebrows. "I see. Second Question: What happened to Lord Brocktree?"
Suave reentered the room, and bitterly, he answered, "Lord Brocktree died as a hero, ten years ago, at Gnarled Forest. The Pirate Camp came under attack, and Brocktree and I happened to be there. We helped evacuate as many innocents as possible, but then...." his voice trailed off.
"Third question," Rover continued, "What's the mission?"
"Oh, yeah, the mission." Adventurous stammered. "This is the mission. You see, in every universe, there is an Imagination Nexus, and if-"
"We know that already," Intrepid spoke up. "Just tell us the mission, please."
Adventurous nodded. "As you say. We're sending you three back in time, to the first major Maelstrom event. To the time when Crux was still whole. You're going to the Temple of the Imagination Nexus, when it was first discovered by Duke Exeter, Dr. Overbuild, Hael Storm, and Baron Typhonus."
"So you want us to prevent EVERYTHING from happening by just stopping the Maelstrom from existing?" Rover asked incredulously. "If so, you don't realize how many lives you'd RUIN in your feeble attempt to make everything better. Plus there's Time Paradoxes and-"
"Actually," Vanda interrupted him, "your mission is far from that. When Crux blew up, four shards of the Imagination Nexus were sent flying through space. The smallest one was recovered in Dr. Overbuild's Robot Dog, and is now here," she gestured to the skylight, which through it, they could see the Imagination Nexus towering high into the sky. "The three others are still missing, and according to our calculations, at the velocity they've been going for the past several years, they're out of our galaxy by now."
"Oh, I get it now." Rover said, understanding. "You're sending us back to a time when the Imagination Shards are easier to collect, bring them back here, and restore the Imagination Nexus before this universe collapses."
Vanda's jaw dropped. "Who told you that? It was classified."
Rover was about to say, "Dica told us," when he decided against it. If the information was classified, then probably the Rank 8 Inventor was not supposed to gain knowledge of it, and he wouldn't want to get her in trouble.... "I figured it out myself, since it's so obvious anyway." he lied instead.
Intrepid and Sergeant shot him panicked looks, but Rover waved his hand at them. "So, fourth question: When are we going?"
"Not so fast," Vanda stated. "There's still more. You're not going alone."
"What?" Rover stammered. "Why?"
Vanda gave him the silent treatment.
"What she means is," Adventurous said, "is that you three be accompanied by two others. Dica and Mester Sword."
"Who's Mester Sword?" Sergeant asked.
Someone grunted behind them, and Sergeant, Intrepid, and Rover turned around. The Sentinel Knight was there.
"That's Mester Sword," Adventurous said, pointing. "Rank 13 Sentinel Knight, though he has all the kits of every rank, and all 33 Sentinel Rank Valiants, including the three Rank 13 Extreme Valiants. A great fighter to be in our ranks, and he makes a great adventurer too, since adventure is a wonderful thing-"
"Shut up," Alpha Warrior moaned.
Adventurous clamped his jaw shut, and looked away from the Assembly Leader in spite.
Vanda spoke up. "In response to your fourth question Rover, you'll be leaving in a few hours."
"Goody," Rover said. "I'm looking forward to be in a time period I'm more familiar with."
Vanda raised her eyebrows. "The day when Crux exploded was several years before YOUR present, so what do you mean?"
Rover smirked. "The Nexus Force of my time had the whole Crux Explosion drilled into us. It replayed over and over again, never stopping, in the Venture Room of Nexus Tower."
Vanda buried her face in her hands. "Don't remind me of Duke Tower."
"'Duke Tower'?" Intrepid repeated.
"We renamed it that," Vanda told him, "in honor of Duke, but then the tower fell, and Duke was killed in Nimbus Station...."
Adventurous couldn't keep fighting the urge to 'shut up', and talked again. "You'd probably get ready to go. We've already had Dica prepare the round-trip Temporal Portal for you. Once you get in the past, Mester Sword will guide you through the mission. Remember: Wait till the explosion, then chase down the Imagination Shards in your rockets. Collect them, and return back here IMMEDIATELY."
"Got it," Rover said sarcastically. He, Intrepid, and Sergeant turned to leave, with Mester Sword following silently.
Then the red alert alarm klaxon sounded.
It didn't take longer than a second for Cyclone to realize the 'ghost' that Kate had seen was really her double motion-blurring away to.... wherever she was going.
As Kate rambled on about ghosts, Cyclone tuned her out as he thought about his confrontation with the alternate Kate. He was so tuned out, he didn't feel Kate lifting the book from his hands.
"What's this?" she stated, studying the cover. "I never wrote this." Kate looked up at Cyclone, and squinted her eyes at him. "You're hiding something."
Cyclone's cheeks reddened, and he quickly looked away. "No I'm not," he stuttered.
"Gallant Strong Cyclone," she said, hands on her hips, before sitting down next to him. "You think I can't tell when my best friend is hiding some really important information from me?"
Cyclone sighed. "Alrighty, I'll tell you. But you're not gonna like it...."
And he was right. She didn't. As he related the whole incident over to Kate, Cyclone noted that Kate was back to her usual self: Uncertain, looking around wildly, worried and panicked look combined in her eyes....
When he finished, Cyclone realized that her eyes were glistening. "But I WANT to be whole," she whimpered.
Comfortingly, Cyclone slid his arm around her. "Kate, listen. You're separate people now, different, not the same. All your alternate self wants is to give live out her own life her own way...."
"But you don't get it Cyclone," Kate told him. "We ARE the same person."
"Only on the outside," Cyclone explained. "On the inside, you're different. She's ambitious, risk-taking, maniacal...."
"And I'm the opposite," Kate retorted. "Cautious, boring, and-"
"No your not," he corrected her. "You're more than that."
Cyclone stood up, and headed towards the exit, with Kate slowly tagging along. Then he recalled something, about what Alter-Kate had said about Imagination and Maelstrom combined. "Your double said with Imagination and Maelstrom combined, she could create spatial, temporal, and trans-universal portals." he said, before entering the part of the tunnel which bent upwards to exit back to the surface. "Wherever she is, we should probably follow her."
"Whatever you say," Kate grumbled, before grabbing hand holds in the dirt wall and scaling it upwards.
Cyclone shrugged, and followed her up the twenty-or-so foot (for them) vertical plane up to the surface. Kate, being smaller and nimbler, easily stayed ahead, and soon had climbed out and was out of his sight.
Even though his backpack had a seemingly infinitely large space, all the items in it still were heavy, and weighed him down. Cyclone grunted as he slowly made progress. He couldn't imagine what Blade had to go through, since the Knight was a collector, with hundreds, if not thousands of items in that labyrinth of a backpack he had.
By the time he made it up, several minutes had passed. Cyclone was hot and sweaty when he got to the surface. His helmet off and his wet brown hair sticking to his face, Cyclone pulled himself onto the ground, and let the world spin for a few seconds, before taking in his surroundings.
He heard voices from a few steps in front of him, beyond a wall of grass. Brushing the tall, though now shorter, blades aside, Cyclone crossed through, and grimaced at the sight ahead of him.
Kate and Kate. Arguing.
The faction leaders, except for Suave who were already standing, stood up at the sound of the klaxon.
"A surprise Maelstrom attack," Vanda said grimly. "They must have found out we were here."
The building shook, and Rover, Intrepid, Sergeant, Mester Sword, Suave, Alpha Warrior, Adventurous, and Vanda were thrown off their feet. The eight were sent flying into the far wall.
"Not good," Rover heard Alpha Warrior, who had landed next to him, mutter. Staring straight ahead at the other wall, Rover knew what the Assembly Faction Leader was talking about.
A massive purple metallic drill ground its way through the wall. Concrete and stone exploded all over the place, and one bashed Alpha Warrior over the head, knocking him out.
The drill continued to push its way through, until it was merely a few inches away from Rover's face. Then it stopped rotating.
"Aw, crux," Rover cursed, as he looked up the drill to the massive tank which the oversized Maelstrom tool was attached too.
A hatch opened, and a Grumpy Darkling in Stromling Admiral Invader clothes hopped out, unfolding its wings and holding its hammer at the ready. "Surrender and be destroyed," it said grumpily.
"Uhhhh," Rover heard Sergeant and Intrepid stammer.
Suave stood up, and unsheathed a bright shining white sword. Lord Brocktree's Verminbane. "Not today, Colonel Rawstew," Suave challenged.
"So be it," Gull Rawstew's Grumpy Darkling descendent growled. He jumped into the air, and rotated his hammer General Grievous style.
The Darkling lunged through the air at Suave, who merely stepped to the side. The foolish Maelstorm being crashed into the wall, putting a massive dent in the concrete, and knocking himself out.
"Come on," Suave said, helping each of his allies up. To Rover, Intrepid, and Sergeant, he told them, "You've got to get out of here. Mester Sword will guide you."
Rover nodded, while Intrepid and Sergeant saluted. Then Mester grabbed their arms, and they ran.
Mester grunted as he guided the three recruits back into the hallway. But instead of heading back to the courtyard, he lead them down another corridor, and then through a different door.
They burst in, and found Dica crouching in front of a large, device with a ring standing erect over it.
"Hey, I know what that is!" Rover exclaimed.
"I thought you would," Dica replied, fiddling with some wires. "Ms. Darkflame told me about its history, and how it was used for you."
"Not me," Rover corrected her. "Two of my friends."
Dica shrugged, and connected two wires together. A bunch of lights on the ring lit up, and Dica stood up and headed for a large switch. "Whatever," she said, shrugging, before pouring several gallons of Imagination from several jugs into a tank next to the switch. She eyed a meter, before placing one of her fingers on the switch, which was labeled "Power".
"Ready guys?" she asked.
"Yes," Rover answered for Intrepid and Sergeant, while Mester just grunted his approval.
"All sytems go!" Dica yelled, and flipped the switch.
A bright blue flash from inside the center of the ring lit up all their faces. A massive blue portal exploded out from it, bathing the room in bright blue and white rays of dancing light.
Rover shielded his face with his arms, while Sergeant and Intrepid found helmets with visors to put on. Mester already had a helmet, so he didn't flinch in the bright light, while Dica put on her Inventor helmet.
Rover, Intrepid, Sergeant, Mester, and Dica stepped towards the portal which would take them to the day Crux exploded. But just before they were about to step through, Dica exclaimed, "Wait!" before loading at least twenty more Imagination jugs into her black hole of a backpack. "You can always use extras," she grunted, before stepping first into the vortex.
"Let's go," Rover said quietly, and Intrepid and Sergeant went next.
Rover grinned, and was about to step through too, when he felt Mester Sword's eyes on him. He hesitated a moment, before looking back.
The Sentinel Knight just stood there, his heavily tinted visor blocking any way of trying to see his expression. It was eery, but Rover just shrugged it off, before staring back into the two-dimensional depths of the portal.
And then Rover, followed shortly by Mester, stepped into the vortex.
Nothing was more strange to Cyclone than seeing two of the same person standing in front of each other arguing. And since both Kates were wearing their Samurai gear, there would be no way to tell the difference between them, except for the way they were talking.
"I can't believe I could ever turn out the way YOU are!" one shouted, waving her arms in the air excitedly.
"I told you already," the other retorted, folding her arms. "We're NOT the same person."
"Yes we ARE! Just cause for maybe a year or so you lead a different life, DOESN'T MEAN WE'RE DIFFERENT!"
"Oh yeah? We're quite different."
"Look," she interrupted, thrusting out her hands. "Scars."
"From what?! You're 'experiments'?!"
"Yeah, my 'experiments', which also changed us on the inside too."
"Like, my Imagination Spark is lower, and I've got a Maelstrom Spark?"
"You're kidding me."
Cyclone's head was spinning, but he just barely was able to discern which Kate was which. The one with the scars was Alter-Kate, and the other one who was screaming more was.... 'Real' Kate.
Before they could start screaming at each other again, Cyclone ran in and stepped between them. "Okay, stop it, both of you." he stated.
Both Kates folded their arms.
Cyclone sighed. "Question time." he muttered. Looking at both of them, he sort of realized he didn't actually know which words came from which Kate. To a random one, he said, "How and why are you here anyway?"
"WHAT?!" Real Kate shouted.
Cyclone's cheeks reddened. "Uh, never mind." To the other, he repeated the question.
Alter-Kate shrugged. "I wanted a nice quiet place to work where I won't be disturbed. What better than another universe? Just apparently, this place ISN'T a nice, quiet place where I won't be disturbed. So I'm going off to yet another universe." Sensing Cyclone's thoughts, she continued, "I waited for you two since I thought you might want to come along for the ride."
"No, no way." Real Kate muttered. "I just want to go back to MY universe."
Alter-Kate smirked. "Suit yourself. Cyclone?"
"Uhhh, same answer." he told her.
"Too bad," Alter-Kate said, "since I'm not sending you back."
"What?! Why?!" Cyclone screamed.
"Too much work," she replied simply.
Suddenly, an all familiar shaking in the ground felt its way into Cyclone's legs. Wobbling around, Cyclone reached out and gripped one of the grass blades to his side to steady himself, when he realized his arm was numb.
Sucking in his breath, Cyclone looked at his arm, and nearly fainted when he realized it was plastic.
Then a shadow fell over them, and Cyclone didn't even need to look behind him to realize what was about to happen.
A feeling of immense pressure and heat was pressed against Cyclone, and he realized that the now plastic forms of Kate and Kate were sandwiched against him. It didn't hurt, since now he was now made of ABS plastic too, but the heat was unbearably uncomfortable. The all too familiar feeling of Deja Vu went into his head, and the next sentence will explain why.
The free one way trip back to the house of the humans began once again.
Several gallons of ice water washed over Rover's face, jerking him awake.
"Why do these things ALWAYS knock me out," Rover muttered, as he tried to sit up.
His arms and legs were numb, so accomplishing that was near impossible. But the Buccaneer got it done, and slid back to lean against a rock wall behind him.
After settling himself more or less comfortably in front of the wall, Rover let his eyes focused, and stared ahead of him. Several more buckets of ice water lay arranged in a small pattern ahead of him, and standing amongst them was the person who collected the water in the first way.
He was young, probably sixteen, with dark hair that stuck out everywhere. There was a now empty bucket in his hands, and after putting it down, stepped over to Rover and held out his hand.
"My name's Raptor," he introduced himself. "Raptor Flune, for long. Welcome to Crux Prime of the past."
Rover stood up quickly, and looked around with his mouth open. Yes, now that he realized it, the landscaping and locations were reminiscent of the present day's Crux Prime. He hadn't noticed because there weren't any flying rocks, and because he had been looking at everything from the wrong perspective.
"This is across Rivendark Canyon," he gasped.
"Right on," Raptor said. "And behind you is The Temple of Imagination."
Rover whirled around in shock, and stared up at the massive building created by The First Builders to house the Imagination Nexus-
Wait, where was the Imagination Nexus?
"Where's the Imagination Nexus?" Rover asked.
Raptor shrugged. "The Nexus only became illuminated after the Faction Explorers unlocked it on the Venture Koi." He glanced at his watch, and finished, "They won't be here for a few hours."
"Wait a sec," Rover said, squinting his eyes, and gripping his sheathed Hesevalints. "How did you get here anyway? It's just me and four others who came to do this mission."
"I guess I'd better explain," Raptor told him apologetically. "But I'm not all that good at explaining stuff. But she's a pro," he said, jerking his thumb in the direction of Dica, who was lying unconscious next to Intrepid and Sergeant, whom Rover hadn't noticed earlier. Raptor picked up another bucket of ice water, and prepared to toss three rapid icy splashes of water over them. "These sure come in handy."
The ice water splashed over Dica's, Intrepid's, and Sergeant's faces. They all sputtered to life, with Sergeant first, as he jumped up into the air screaming, "HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT- I mean, COLD COLD COLD AHHHHHH!!!!"
Raptor burst out laughing and uncontrollably fell backwards into all the buckets, which tipped over and spilled their freezing contents onto him.
Rover sighed, and watched as Dica, then Intrepid, stood up. But then two questions popped into his mind:
1) Where do all these phantom ice buckets come from anyway? 2) Where's Mester Sword?
Rover shook his head, and set his thoughts on one goal. He couldn't care if Mester ran off exploring or something like that, since he had other questions to ask first....
"Dica," Rover said, walking over to her. "Raptor said you could explain, what's HE doing here? I thought it was just us."
"Oh," Dica responded, "he's been here for awhile, a couple of months. The faction leaders sent him here beforehand as sort of a scout, in preparation for this mission. It's sort of classified."
"Like all the classified information about the Universe collapsing." Rover blurted out, before realizing what he had just said.
Dica stared up at him wild-eyed. "What- what do you mean?" she stammered.
Going along with it, Rover continued, "Do I sense a guilty conscience?"
The Inventor looked down at her feet, before mumbling, "Alright, yes, it was classified."
Rover raised his eyebrows. "And something tells me the information about Raptor being here was supposed to be classified too?" he pressed.
"Yes." Dica confessed. "You see, Raptor Flune and I hit off as friends when he arrived here in Nimbus Station a year ago. And I've sort of had a reputation as 'classified data stealer'. In one of my adventures in the depths of the Nexus Force's data computers, I discovered that the faction leaders were planning on sending Raptor here. That was before I even knew it was for this mission. I learned about that more recently."
"And let me guess," Rover interrupted, "you were caught?"
Dica's shoulders slumped. "How else did I get that reputation?" she sighed. " And yes, that time I was caught too, and I was given my final warning before being expelled from the Nexus Force."
She chewed on her lip, before saying softly, "You didn't tell them I knew of that info, did you?"
"Nope." Rover assured her.
Dica smiled, but it wasn't really genuine. "Thanks," she told him. "But I think I'd better go...."
Rover grabbed her arm. "Where? And I'm not finished. What's up with Mester?"
"Huh?" Dica asked. "What do you mean?"
Rover had earlier on made a mental note not to trust anybody from this wacky future. Dica's undercover sleuthing, Raptor's mysterious presence, and Mester's weirdness all lead to it.
Squinted his eyes, Rover focused his sights past Dica and at the mountains behind her. Cave openings adorned it, making it a good place for hiding out.
Letting go, Rover stepped past her and headed towards the range.
"Uh, where are you going?" Dica called nervously.
Without looking back, Rover answered, "Looking for Mester." Quietly, under his breath so she wouldn't hear, he added, "To try and get some answers from him."
Rover's search for the mysterious Sentinel Knight called Mester Sword began.
"Aahhhhh!" Cyclone screamed in his mind as he plummeted down to Walking Talking Plastic People Ville.
Being made of ABS Plastic, he didn't smash on impact with the hard plastic baseplates which adorned the massive table and which the houses of Walking Talking Plastic People Ville were built upon. Instead, he landed hard on his back, which sent spasms running through him.
Next to him, and on top of his legs, had fallen Kate. Or at least one Kate. Her Alter-Ego was someplace else.
"Mikey, I want these stupid toys of yours OUT!" Cyclone heard someone yell above, then realizing that a heated- no, SCALDING HOT conversation between two hooman kids was going on.
"No." the younger kid, a boy with messy black hair, pouted. Mikey.
And the other one was the girl Cyclone had seen a few days earlier, Alysomething.
Alysbla gave Mikey a hard shove, and threatened, "If you don't get them out of my room NOW, I'll take EVERYTHING up to your room and throw them out the window."
The two hoomans started punching and kicking at each other, and Cyclone looked away in horror. But wait- he moved.
With their attention off him, Cyclone realized he wasn't paralyzed anymore. He felt his plastic hands morphing back to normal. Numbly, he wiggled his fingers, before jumping up and helping Kate to her feet.
"Let's hide," Cyclone said quietly, and he and Kate climbed through a window of one of the plastic buildings.
"Oooh, it's dark in here." Kate commented, as they tumbled into the dark space, with the only light coming in through the multiple open windows, but even that barely lit up the room.
The sounds of fighting still went on outside, and Cyclone buried his face in his hands. "I've never been much of a fan of sibling conflict." he groaned.
"I've had enough trouble with THAT already," Kate muttered.
Cyclone looked up. "What do you mean?"
Kate sighed. "Okay, that was ambiguous. Not with siblings, but with ME."
"Oh, I get it." Cyclone realized. "Where's she anyway?"
Before he could get an answer, something hard and cold suddenly tapped on Cyclone's shoulder. He jerked his head around in surprise, and came face to face with a weird Plastic Person.
"Oh no," Cyclone moaned. "Not you again."
The weird Plastic Person pressed a button that stuck out of wall, and suddenly the room lit up with an eerie red light.
"We don't do this when the humans are around," the Plastic Person, a girl with the plastic representations of a Red Ponytail in a Blue Tank Top and Green Sweat Pants whispered. "This is just so you can get a quick look at what we look like."
Cyclone and Kate watched in surprise as two other Plastic People walked next to the Red Haired Girl. One was just a normal LEGO Minifigure, just he was made to look like a Blue Astronaut or something. He carried an epic looking gun, which was also made of plastic, but having seen already what the plastic weapons could do, Cyclone didn't doubt its ability to actually blast him out of existence.
The other Plastic Person was the same, just his arms and legs were longer by about a third of a normal LEGO Minifigure. He had a banana-shaped head, and a lopsided Cowboy Hat, to match the rest of the Cowboy decals on his shirt and pants.
"My name is Mia," the Red Haired Plastic Girl introduced herself, after switching off the light.
"And I'm Woody," said, Cyclone assumed, the Cowboy.
"And I'm Flex," stated the other minifigure, the Astronaut.
"We're The Resistance," they all said together.
"'The Resistance'?" Cyclone echoed.
"The Resistance Against Human and Minifigure Misconduct Against Other Minifigures, or TRAHMMAOR (pronounced Trah-MA-or) for short." Mia explained.
"Uh huh," Cyclone mumbled. "So you're the spokesperson?"
"You could say that."
Then Cyclone felt a tingling sensation run through his body. With a sigh, Cyclone watched as he turned plastic once again, and the building's roof was torn off.
Bricks flew all over the place, and Cyclone, Kate, Mia, Woody, and Flex were knocked out of the remains of the building as Alysomething began the Wrecking of LEGO Ville, against Mikey's wishes, as he was banging his fists on her.
Cyclone landed roughly underneath a bunch of plastic trees. "Here we go again," he grumbled as he went back to normal.
In horror, he watched as the girl human wrecked the Plastic Ville. And Cyclone knew he would have to get out of sight soon, and NOT hide under a bunch of plastic trees.
Quickly he scrambled to his feet took a running jump over a bunch of plastic rocks. The plastic wall that had been built around the city was a short distance ahead of him.
Escape Rule #1: Always make sure you have an escape route.
Cyclone swung his Wormholer in front of him, and revved the chainsaw as he prepared to cut a hole through the wall.
But then the chain derailed, and Cyclone remembered for the hundredth time that his Wormholer was broken. And he also decided that cutting through the wall would cause too much attention.
Suddenly Mia the Plastic Person ran up to him. She took one look at the wall, and decided to take matters into her own hands if Cyclone didn't do something.
"You'd better get it over with before you change your mind," she snapped.
Cyclone sighed, and fumbled for his Rocket Launcher. His hand closed around it, but it wouldn't come out of his backpack. It was stuck.
Mia grumbled something unintelligible, and then wrenched the Rocket Launcher out of his backpack, spilling a bunch of other stuff out in the process. She aimed it at the wall, and puled the trigger. With a massive explosion, a huge portion of the plastic was blown away away. In its place was a gaping burnt out hole, lined with fire.
There was silence, and Cyclone facepalmed. Of COURSE a loud explosion would attract the humans, and then they would look at him, and he would turn plastic again. And then they would start screaming.
And they started screaming.
The next few minutes went by in a blur. First, the humans' screaming attracted adults who called 911. Then weird Men in Black came, who put the whole house into lockdown before taking ALL the Lego Minifigures, and Cyclone and Kate, to a lab for 'testing'.
And all this was done in as secret a way as possible, to 'avoid panic' in the general public via the media.
But Cyclone and Kate didn't count as general public, since they were panicked.
Rover made his way up the mountain side, groping around for rocks to hold onto as he pulled himself up.
Crux's moon shone brightly through patches of wispy clouds in the night sky, its rays dancing across the slope. One of them briefly lit up a person standing on the mountain's peak. Mester Sword.
One leg resting on a flat-topped stone, the other erect, Mester was faced away from Rover. Staring up into sky, Rover realized the Knight's helmet was not on his head, but rather being held under his arm, revealing his long black hair.
Hoping to get a glimpse at the mysterious Sentinel's face, Rover began to slowly step sideways to the side.
A rock slid out from under Rover's foot. Loosing his footing, Rover began to slide down, but before he could slip farther, the Buccaneer quickly jabbed Hesevalints into a gap in the wall, whilst kicking his feet in an attempt to find more stable footing.
The rock rolled down the incline, knocking more rocks out of position and creating a mini-rockslide. The resulting sound attracted Mester Sword, who quickly whirled around to face Rover.
The moon was in front of both Rover and Mester, so while the reflected light shone full-force on Rover, Mester's face was obscured by shadow.
But before Rover could even try and discern what Mester's face looked like, the Knight had in no time got his helmet back on, and now was staring coldly down at the Buccaneer through his jet-black visor. Mester 1 - Rover 0.
Before Rover could scramble up to the mountaintop, Mester had marched down the slope without stopping to look for misplaced rocks or anything. He grabbed Rover's arm, and without word lead the Buccaneer back down to the base of the mountain, and from there back to where Raptor and Dica had set up camp.
"Hey guys," Sergeant greeted the two over a mug of steaming hot Expresso as they emerged from behind a few rocks.
Mester grunted, and practically threw Rover down next to Sergeant and Intrepid.
It didn't take long for Mester to head back into the passage, and then back to his vantage point on the mountain.
"You okay Rover?" Intrepid asked, handing him an Expresso of his own.
Rover took the mug from him, and after sipping the hot drink, muttered, "What's his problem?"
Intrepid shrugged, and glanced back at the way Mester had gone. "I've got no idea. What's under that big blank visor of his anyways?"
Rover was going to answer, when suddenly a blue beam appeared out of nowhere from some random place in the sky. Open-mouthed, he, Intrepid, and Sergeant followed the beam's path as it streaked across the sky, before coming to land in the Temple of Imagination.
There was a ground-rumbling sound like fifteen-hundred volcanoes erupting all at once. Then a massive blue tower of swirling energy blew out of the Temple's open-roof.
The Imagination Nexus.
But then suddenly Rover felt a spear being pressed against his back. But it didn't feel like a spear. It felt more like three prongs, with the middle one pressing deeper than the other two.
Rover glanced out of the corner of his eyes at his friends. Sergeant was on the verge of screaming at his left, the whatever-it-was pressed into his back as well. Intrepid was gone, and Dica and Raptor were being held on the opposite side of the campfire by more of their captors.
Whom Rover recognized as a bunch of people in Mosaic Jester suits.
The Nexus Force? No.
Rover gulped, and didn't dare look behind him as his captor prodded him and Sergeant towards the fire, where the other Jesters were beginning to tie up Dica and Raptor.
Bonds were tied around his hands, and then Rover was thrown to the ground next to Raptor. The same was done for Sergeant.
The Mosaic Jesters stepped back, observing their prisoners, and letting them observe them back. Rover looked them over, while at the same time wondering where Intrepid was. And Mester was nowhere to be seen either.
It was only a minute before a distinguished looking Jester with an Armor Vest, larger shield, and longer, sharper Wand/sword/thingy stepped towards them. "So, you must be the prisoners." he said coolly. "I am Straxx, leader, king, and the best of the Mosaic Jester clan."
"What do you want," Raptor spat, eyeing the king equally cold.
Straxx giggled, and his clan men joined in. "We ask the questions, invader." Straxx gurgled. "What are you doing in our land? The Fool Tuha sent you, didn't he? You can't trust those Bat Lords."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Raptor answered. "We don't want a fight, and we have no connection whatsoever with the Bat Lords. If you'd let us go-"
Straxx cut him off, and started babbling on about Bat Lords and how epic he was. Rover's ears automatically tuned the annoying Jester out, not just because Straxx was so silly, but also because Rover was more interested in the figure standing on the ledge above Straxx and his men. Intrepid.
And even worse, he was in his Full Bat gear, and as Straxx said, Mosaic Jesters HATED Bat Lords....
With a yell, Intrepid double-jumped down from the ledge and tackled two of Straxx's guards. The king and three other Jesters instantly whirled around to face Intrepid, who had quickly regained his stance and was preparing to shield-slam Straxx.
A swarm of laser beams from the Jester wands struck Intrepid before he could start slamming. The first one knocked his shield away, sending it clattering to the ground several feet behind him.
Intrepid's staff fell from his hand, and then he dropped unconscious to the ground. The Jesters took little time in bonding the unconscious Bat Lord and placing him alongside the others. But unlike the others, they dragged several heavy rocks over, and tied Intrepid to those as well. Then they shackled him to even more rocks, and then to the a nearby rock wall.
"You lie," Straxx seethed, after regaining his composure. "You cannot deny your allegiance with the Bat Lords now." Straxx sighed, and lamented, "The Bat Lords nearly beat us in every way. They have discovered the power of flight, can speed past our Disco Lasers, and their weapons are stronger than ours. Even their clan name sounds better."
This woke Intrepid up. "I can fly?"
"Shut up, Bat," Straxx spat.
"Epic fail Intrepid," Sergeant whispered.
Apparently, Straxx had good hearing, since he screamed, "WHAT DID YA SAY?"
Sergeant grumbled, "I said, 'Epic fail In-'"
"That's it!" Straxx exclaimed. "The name Mosaic Jester is too silly, our clan name shall now be called Epic Fail! WE ARE THE EPIC FAILS!"
Suddenly Rover became aware of a loud whooshing noise behind him. He and his friends who were bonded with him craned their necks to identify the source of the sound, and noticed a red pod-shaped vessel fly over and land by the Temple of Imagination. The original faction leaders.
Straxx noticed it too, and used this opportunity to extend his rant. "A new age has begun! An age of freedom! This day, 300 Epic Fails will fight! The Bat Lords in there flying thingamajigs will fall before us Epic Fails! THIS. IS. SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!"
"Awoo! Awoo!" the Epic Fails chanted.
Straxx and the Epic Fails began marching off towards the Imagination Nexus, and the Venture Koi's exploration pod.
Dica attempted a facepalm. "This is terrible." she groaned. "History will be ruined forever if those Mosaic Jesters get their way."
"Don't worry, all isn't lost," Rover told her, and started wriggling his hands. The Mosaic Jesters/Epic Fails weren't all that smart, and he could feel the rope around his wrists start to loosen. But not enough. "Sergeant, can you reach my hands?"
"No...." Sergeant said, "I mean yes. Move closer."
Rover stretched his arms until they ached, and Sergeant announced, "Hold on."
Skillfully, Sergeant loosened and untied Rover's bonds even more, until they slid off to the ground. Rover stood up quickly and then untied everyone else. "Now what?"
"We've got to stop Straxx and the Fails," Raptor stated. "Some of us will need to take care of that."
"Count me in," Intrepid saluted, and took off running in the direction of the Jesters.
"Alright," Raptor said, taking charge. "Rover and I will go with Intrepid. Dica, you go find Mester. Sergeant will get our rockets ready for the chasedown."
"Fine," Sergeant grumbled, and began building launch pads.
"Let's go," Raptor told Rover, and they ran after Intrepid.
Activating his Bat Lord Speedboost ability, Intrepid rocketed ahead in the blink of an eye, instantly appearing in front of the horde of Epic Jesters.
Intrepid raised his shield, and aimed his staff straight at Straxx. "Stand down, Fail." Intrepid ordered.
Straxx laughed, and rapid-blasted laser beams at Intrepid. The Bat Lord danced to the side, and began dodging the laser blasts sent by all the other Mosaic Fails at him.
At that moment when all the Jesters were focused on Intrepid, Rover and Raptor crept up at the back of the group. Raptor nodded, and suddenly two epic looking Battle Axes appeared in his hands. He raised them, and with several swings began bringing down the Jesters at the rear.
Rover grinned, and grabbed his Broadsider. Holding it in front of him, he lunged forwards, knocking all the Jesters who turned around all-too-slowly aside like bowling pins in front of a snowplow. He literally cut a path through part of the horde, and turned around twirling his Valiant when he reached the end. Rover quickly replaced it with Hesevalints, and began smashing the stunned Jesters.
Two of the ones he had knocked out first recovered quickly, and began shooting their wands at the Buccaneer. Rover ducked and dove to the side behind a rock outcropping, narrowly missing several beams of doom. But one of them struck Hesevalints, and the sword flew from his hand, landing out of cover several feet away.
Rover sighed, and fumbled for his pistol. He yanked it from his holster, and returned fire on the Epic Fails who had been slowly getting closer.
Both Jesters smashed instantly.
"Cheerful Power Rover, Sharpshooter." Rover said, and began squeezing off rounds at more of the Jesters who were almost fully recovered.
Smash. Smash. Smash. Smash. Smash.
"Epic," Raptor stated, walking over to Rover while spinning his custom Axes of Epicness.
Intrepid strode over to the two, dragging something. "Epic Fails eliminated, sirs." he announced. "Except for this guy."
Rover and Raptor glanced behind Intrepid, and recognized who he had been pulling behind him. Straxx.
"You'll never get away with this!" Straxx spat. "You despicable Bat Lords! The Explorian King will beat you and your feeble Bone Suit friends, MARK MY WORDS!" The ex-leader rambled on, until Intrepid taped some Frog Tape over his mouth.
"Ah, much better." Raptor smirked. But then his eyes darted upwards, and he stared in shock at something.
Intrepid and Rover turned, and watched in a mix of horror and amazement at the Imagination Nexus beam that towered high into the sky. Purple lightning bolts shot up next to it, and the Nexus's color slowly turned to purple. Maelstrom.
The chaotic energy rose into the sky alongside the beam, corrupting its host like a parasite. One of its spindly whips of lightning struck the Venture Koi, suspended in mid air high above the ground. The starship smashed, its pieces already being infected as they crashed down.
Rover, Intrepid, and Raptor shouted as bricks rained down on them. The smaller pieces eventually stopped, and they all breathed a sigh of relief. But then Rover looked up and noticed a large piece of bulkhead teetering in the cliff-ledge above. It began to tilt out towards them, and slowly, but gaining velocity, slid further over the edge of the cliff.
"Oh Nexus......" Rover muttered, before the bulkhead came crashing down, crushing them all. Smash.
Rover, Raptor, and Intrepid rebuilt shortly, next to the bulkhead. "Owwww, that hurt." Raptor moaned.
"Probably because there's very little Imagination still in this area," Rover explained. "Look."
The towering beam of Maelstrom was shrinking. Its height was rapidly decreasing, until they could no longer see it anymore.
"Time for the big boom," Rover muttered, as the ground started shaking.
Like the hologram in the Venture Room of Nexus Tower, history replayed itself. Planet Crux EXPLOOOOOOOODED into countless smaller worlds.
But not that quickly.
Rover quickly grabbed Intrepid's and Raptor's hands, and jabbed Hesevalints into the cliffside. He immediately harnessed them all to the sword, which wasn't going to be breaking or slipping out of the rocks anytime soon. And just in time. The ground fell away underneath them, as Crux fell apart.
Maelstrom gas that was (for a few seconds) trapped inside the planet was released, blowing over all the worlds, but with most of it flowing into the chunk that the heroes were clinging to now: Crux Prime.
The Maelstrom quickly passed, and Rover began scaling the rock face, with Raptor and Intrepid at his heels. Once they had made it to the top, Rover leaned over the edge and retrieved Hesevalints.
Placing his sword in his sheath that hung at his belt, Rover turned around to face Raptor and Intrepid. "Now for stage two. I'm pretty sure the others are on the same world as us. Hopefully Sergeant will have those rocket launchers ready."
"Then let's do this!" Intrepid yelled, and they all took off running in the direction of where they assumed the rocket launchers would be.
Soon Rover caught sight of a bunch of long structures placed neatly in a row on top of a large circular platform, loosely connected to the main planet chunk by wispy strands of Maelstrom smoke. Raptor and Intrepid also noticed it, and the three ran, then jumped to the platform. Sergeant was there.
"Yikes, I've been waiting for you guys," Sergeant told them, once they got near. "This chunk doesn't look like it'll be staying here for long."
"Trust me, it will." Rover assured him. "This is a REALLY familiar platform, and if I'm right, this will belong to Butterscorch."
A loud roar suddenly filled the soundwaves in the air, and Rover, Raptor, Intrepid, and Sergeant all whirled around to face an angry red dragon. Maelstrom wisps clung to its wings and tail, slowly infecting the enraged giant salamander. The Maelstrom was also clouding around its head, so the dragon already was thinking the following: Infect. Infect. Infect.
"Hey butterfly!" Raptor called to the overgrown lizard as it approached. "Come and get me!" Raptor slung a huge broad axe covered in gems and stuff off his back, and swung at Past-Butterscorch as she landed on the platform's edge. A fierce fight ensued between person and dragon. In the present day, Raptor would have won easily, but Butterscorch hadn't yet gained the clumsiness that all Maelstrom creatures had, and she was putting up quite an adversarial stance against the experienced warrior known as Raptor Flune.
Rover mentally counted the rocket launchers, four in total. He fumbled in his backpack for his rocket, but then remembered the horrible truth.
Intrepid and Sergeant did too, since the former facepalmed. "Aaaauurgh, we ALL left our rockets in the silly hotel in the present day!" the Bat Lord moaned.
"Maybe Raptor has some?" Sergeant suggested.
Rover glanced at Raptor, who seemed pretty occupied with Butterfly. "I wouldn't bother him now," Rover said.
Someone grunted behind him, and Rover turned around. Dica and Mester stood there.
The Knight instantly charged at Butterscorch, who had just nearly French-fried poor Raptor with a massive fireburst. She knocked Raptor to his feet, and was going to enjoy some Paris-style Lunch if Mester hadn't stepped in front of his fallen ally and stabbed his Rank 12 Powerjouster into Butterscorch's chest.
But he wasn't fast enough, since just before his sword made contact, the Maelstrom finished corrupting the evil butterfly. Heavy armor plating covered the dragon's whole body, including her chest, and Mester's weapon didn't do much damage before he too was knocked down.
Dica quickly loaded four rockets onto the launchers, but then noticed that there weren't enough launchers. "Sergeant...." she started.
Sergeant mumbled something, and quickly quickbuilded two small Block Yard-style launchpads. "Can we go now?"
"Yes," Rover answered for them all, and quickly climbed into the nearest rocket, a boring plain White Rocket. Before gunning the engine and blasting off, he turned around and noticed Mester dumping Raptor into a random Yellow Rocket, and setting his own Sentinel Rocket on one of the launchpads and blasting off.
"Time to get outta here!" Rover yelled, and they all blasted off.
Another loud roar filled the air, and Rover didn't have to turn around to know that Past-Butterscorch was following. But he turned around anyway.
"Eat this, you Overgrown Butterfly!" Rover yelled, and fished a Big One from his backpack. Grinning, he threw it as hard as he could at the pursuing Dragon Invader.
At the same moment, Butterscorch opened her mouth to blow another fireball. Before she could roast Rover, the Big One landed in her mouth, and proceeded to slide down her throat.
Confused, Butterscorch broke off the pursuit, and flopped around for a few seconds, before she exploded. (note: Time is NOT ruined, since she'll just be rebuilt later by Dark Mythrans) Bricks were blown everywhere in the resulting ball of fire. One of them grazed the side of Rover's rocket.
Knocked off course, the rocket entered an indefinite spinning rotation to the left. Rover fought with the controls, but nothing could change its course from the looming mountain up ahead.
Thinking quickly, Rover jerked the control-yoke to the left, releasing the counterforce. The rocket shook a little, before Rover slowly eased back on the controls. The rocket was now under his control.
Immediately Rover turned the rocket away from the mountain, nearly clipping its tail-wings on the mountain's peak. Then he looked around for the other rockets, wanting to get back with them.
"Spotted Imagination Shard #1," Sergeant's voice came in over the inter-rocket radio. "Headed south, towards future Pet Cove."
"There are two others out here," Dica explained. "Sergeant, you follow Shard #1, I've just spotted Shard #2 due east over Rivendark Canyon, behind us. Going back."
"Belay that," Rover told her, and turned his rocket around. Craning his neck, he caught sight of a bright white object sailing through space, leaving an eerie glowing dust trail. "I'm on it."
Rover gave the rocket full throttle, and it lurched higher up in Crux Prime's atmosphere. So he wouldn't die from lack of oxygen, Rover pulled a small lever, which activated the bubble canopy. The elongated dome slid over the cockpit, sealing it.
The rocket soared out of the atmosphere and into space. Homing in on the Imagination Shard, Rover placed his left hand on the switch that would open the cargo bay doors.
Carefully, Rover angled his rocket so it was running in a parallel course with the Imagination Shard. The shard was gaining velocity, and would overtake Rover's rocket in a few minutes.
Rover guided the rocket into a course that would have it and the shard cross paths. A few seconds before they would collide, Rover aimed the rocket upwards, and quickly pressed the switch.
The cargo bay doors opened, and Rover immediately pressed a vacuum switch. There was a small *thump* from under his seat, and grinning, Rover closed the cargo bay doors. "Imagination Shard #2 retrieved."
It wasn't long before the last two Imagination Shards were also collected. With the mission complete, the six heroes grouped back up in the location where the Sentinel Point Zeta would be created in the future. The plan was they would stay for the night on Crux Prime, before returning to the future's Avant Fortress and restoring the Imagination Nexus.
"Epic!" Sergeant exclaimed, raising his glass of soda to a toast with Intrepid, Rover, Raptor, and Dica. "To the future!"
"To the future!" Intrepid cheered, and *clink*, toast.
Was it just his imagination, or did Intrepid and Sergeant seem sort of.... overdoing the cheerfulness? Rover mused. He sipped his glass, and put his thoughts from Intrepid and Sergeant's weirdness to another matter. "Where's Mester?" he asked. "Isn't he going to join us?"
Raptor glanced at the row of tents arranged around them. His eyes fell on Mester's, which like all the others, was silent. "Who knows. Maybe he's dozing?"
Rover shrugged. "We've got a long night ahead of us."
After a meal of BBQ Blast Hot Dogs, Thirst Quenchers, and other random consumables, the group went in for the night. As Rover was gathering the last of his stuff, something compelled him to look up.
It was interesting, but strange. Intrepid and Sergeant were standing at their tent flaps, watching each other, and Sergeant was Breakdancing. No, not Breakdancing. Signalling?
Sergeant moved his finger around in a circular motion in the air, and then raised his other arm only to slowly lower it afters. What are they DOING? Rover thought.
Intrepid nodded, and repeated the motions, before both recruits entered their tents. Whatever, Rover concluded, and went into his tent.
A low beeping sound awoke Rover. But to him, the quiet peeping of his Alarm Clock was intensified a hundred times, because he had it pressed into his ear.
Rover rubbed his eyes, and threw off the covers. He was still in his Rank 3 Buccaneer gear, except for Hesevalints, his spare Broadsider, and his Pistol, which were arranged neatly at the foot of his mattress.
Silently, Rover raised his alarm clock, and reset it. It read, 4:00 AM. Perfect. His plan was ready.
Rover grinned, and went over his plan once more. First, get Dica's Rank 8 Inventor Time Twister Subkit gear, more specifically the chestplate armor, since it most likely had the Time Travelling stuff. Then, he would travel to the present day Nexus Tower, which was being rebuilt, and restore the his Imagination Nexus. Following that, he would travel a year into the future, and save Lord Brocktree from death. And last, but not least, he would travel to the day he, Intrepid, Sergeant, and Blade went to the future. And somehow, save his friend Blade from death, as well.
After slipping Hesevalints into his sheath, holstering his pistol, strapping his Broadsider to his back, and packing EVERYTHING ELSE (including the Imagination Shards, which were kept in his tent) of his stuff into his backpack, Rover crept silently out of the tent.
A full moon shone brightly down on the ground, illuminating Rover and all the tents, rocks, and mountains farther away around him.
Shifting his backpack, Rover stepped quietly over to Dica's tent, making sure his feet didn't make too much noise as he walked over the loose stones that adorned the rocky surface of Crux Prime.
The flaps were sealed with velcros. Thinking quickly, Rover decided on what to do. Peeling them apart would cause too much noise, while slicing a sword....
Slowly he unsheathed Hesevalints, and held the tip of its blade to the velcro lock. Sliding carefully, he sliced through the velcros in less than a second. That was easy.
Lowering his Buccaneer goggles, which provided X-Ray vision, Rover watched out for obstacles in the path from the entrance of the tent to what his objective was: Dica's Rank 8 Inventor Gear.
There weren't any objects in his path, and quietly he stepped further into the tent. He kept moving, until he was less than a few inches to his target. Then he lowered himself to a crouching position, and carefully pushed her helmet, shoulder pads, leg armor, and weapons out of the way.
The chestplate armor wasn't there.
Rover nearly screamed in exasperation. He NEEDED that chest armor. And someone had already gotten to it.
Frustrated, and angry at himself that he wasn't able to complete Stage 1 of his plan, Rover left the tent-
-and bumped into a Bat Lord.
Rover froze. Mosaic Jesters who thought they were Epic Fails, and now a Bat Lord. Doom.
"R-R-Rover?" the Bat Lord stammered.
Rover facepalmed. "Intrepid." he grumbled.
"What are you doing up at this hour?" Intrepid asked, startled.
"I'm gonna ask you the same question." Rover replied.
"YES!" Rover heard someone shout from Sergeant's tent. He stormed past Intrepid towards the tent, but Intrepid quickly speed-boosted ahead of him to block the entrance.
"Ummmm, it's a secret." Intrepid stuttered.
Rover pushed him aside and entered the tent, and shocked himself. "What do you think you're DOING?" Rover exclaimed, after recovering from his shock.
Sergeant was kneeling in front of Dica's Inventor Armor, fiddling with it. "I've finally found out how to work this thing," Sergeant was saying to himself. Then he noticed Rover. "What-"
"Just tell me," Rover ordered.
Sergeant sighed, and noticed Intrepid, who was standing behind Rover. "Tell him, Serge." Intrepid sighed.
Sergeant's shoulders drooped. "In summary, we're going to rescue our dead friends." he mumbled.
Rover reeled back in another shock. "Blade and Brocktree? That's what I was planning to do too!" he exclaimed, nearly losing all sense of caution.
Intrepid clamped his hand over Rover's mouth, and muttered, "Both of you, be quiet, NOW."
Sergeant and Rover nodded, and Intrepid took his hand away.
"The problem is," Sergeant continued, "if this thing is going to take someone on multiple trips through time, it can only take one person...."
Intrepid folded his arms. "Me."
"No," Sergeant protested. "I thought of this idea, I should-"
"Stop it, both of you." Rover interrupted. "I think it would be truthful to say that I made this plan from the start, though as a secret to myself. As long as we all know what to do, it doesn't matter who goes. But regarding WHO actually will go, that can't be decided by us." He grabbed a piece of paper, and ripped it into three equal pieces. On two, he left blank, while on the third, he drew a star. Then he threw all three into a box. "We each take one, and the person who gets the one with the star, goes." he explained.
"Sounds fair to me," Intrepid said.
Sergeant sighed. "Alright."
"Then let's do this." Rover announced, and they each took one.
Rover was lucky. His eyes slowly opened, and he grinned. The slip of paper he held had the star.
"Lucky...." Sergeant grumbled.
"It doesn't matter, Serge." Intrepid told him. "Now we just need to find out how to work this piece of future tech." To Rover, he said, "You'll come back for us when you're finished, will you Rover?"
Rover nodded. "I'll never leave you guys behind, ever." he promised. "I promise."
Intrepid and Sergeant saluted. "Now to get that gear to work...."
Finding out how to work the Rank 8 Inventor armorplate wasn't very hard, and didn't take too much time. But by the time they finished, two more hours had progressed. Time was running out.
"This tent is pretty large," Intrepid stated, surveying the dimensions of the tent. "But we'll need an even larger space for the resulting vortex/portal/whatever/bla. It'll be big."
"Then we risk exposing our plan by using it outside." Rover surmised. "Want to to take it?"
"Anything for our friends," Sergeant insisted.
"With Time Travel, anything is possible." Intrepid said with a shrug.
"For some reason, I feel like you've been saying that phrase to everybody." Rover told him.
Intrepid raised his eyebrows. "Oh?" was all he said.
"The mountains." Sergeant said suddenly. "We can hike up there, but that'll be the only hard part. We can't be seen from here, and it's a wide open space up there."
"How long will it take to get up there, do you think?" Intrepid questioned.
"Another hour, at least." Rover estimated. "That means it'll be daybreak by the time we get to the peak. Too small is the gap between victory and failure."
"It's worth a shot," Sergeant protested. "By the time Dica, Mester, and Raptor notice we're missing, we'll be up at the top of the mountain, and hopefully you'll be back in the present day."
Rover sighed. "Then we'll do it." he decided. "But to make it less obvious that I'm gone...."
"'You're' gone?" Intrepid pointed out. "What do you-"
"Put this in Dica's tent, among her gear." Rover interrupted the Bat Lord, fishing a Crux Armor from his backpack. He quickly equipped his Thinking Cap, and used his Imagination to color the Crux Armor yellow. Then he gave it to Intrepid.
Intrepid gawked at it, before Rover pushed him out of the tent. "Go," he urged.
Intrepid sighed, "Fine," before leaving.
"It's getting WAY too late, Rover!" Sergeant called up to him.
Rover glanced down at his partner, before looking back up at the mountainside above him and continued scaling the wall.
"Think we should call it off?" Sergeant persisted.
"No!" Rover shouted back, and began climbing faster. "It's now or never, Sergeant!"
Sergeant sighed, and climbed after his friend. "You're probably right, Rover." he grumbled. Then for the millionth time that morning, checked his watch. "It's 7:30, Rover!" he yelped.
Rover quickly looked at his watch, and nearly fell off the cliff. "No, IT'S 7:45!" he screamed. "This is way too late!"
He quickly scaled the rock wall even faster than before, with a gasping Sergeant barely keeping up with the Buccaneer any more than he was before.
Gradually the more 'flat' area of the mountain near its top became visible. Panting, Rover slid his arm over the edge, and pulled himself onto the plateau.
The sight was NOT as he expected.
Dica and Raptor stood there, arms folded, with a battered, bruised, Bat Lord armor-less, and grimacing Intrepid standing in front of them.
Rover's jaw dropped, when Raptor spoke. "It's over, Cheerful Power Rover." he snarled.
"I'm sorry," Intrepid stuttered, gasping when Raptor elbowed him. "They found out, I couldn't resist...."
"Zip it," Dica whispered sharply, pressing the knife part of one of her Inventor guns against Intrepid's side. She raised the other one at Rover's head, and growled, "You're under arrest under charges of planned creation of time paradoxes and unlawful modification of history. This ends here, Rover."
The hairs on the back of Rover's neck raised, as he heard a rustling below him. Sergeant. The rustling noise continued around the base of the plateau, and then there was a low droning noise. Rover sucked in his breath when he saw Sergeant rise up behind Dica and Raptor on a jetpack.
Time to buy time, Rover thought. "Uhhhh," he stammered.
"You understand the charges faced against you, Rover." Dica stated, oblivious to Sergeant's reckless piloting of the jetpack, as he soared uncontrollably this way and that way. "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you. If you cannot abla bla bla bla yak yak yak....."
Rover's attention drifted from her to Sergeant, who was lining up on a course that would knock both Raptor, Dica, and unfortunately also Intrepid over, and probably send Sergeant flying off the plateau and over the edge to the sharp rocks below.
Wincing, Rover watched as Sergeant strapped a bottle of Nitrous Oxide to the jetpack's propulsion system. He radically pulled and pushed the throttle, and a loud revving noise filled the air.
Intrepid quickly ducked, while Raptor and Dica turned to face the sound. But not fast enough. With a whoop, Sergeant gave the jetpack full throttle and it smashed into Raptor and Dica head on, knocking them to the ground.
Sergeant's whoop turned to a yelp as the safety strap that held him to the jetpack snapped, and he fell to the ground too. The jetpack careened over the edge and exploded on the rocks, but not before Intrepid had snatched up his backpack and pulled out a Pneumatic Drill of Blasting from it, quickly aiming it at Raptor's head. Sergeant wasted no time in also getting out his Drill, and aiming it at Dica.
Hesevalints unsheathed, and in defiance, Rover held it in front of him. "Stand down, you two." Rover stated valiantly. "Now. Intrepid,"
Still holding his gun up and not taking his eyes off their captors, Intrepid fumbled again in his backpack and equipped his Helm of Entrapment. He quickly created two energy rings of entrapment around Raptor and Dica, and fueled them with several Notion Potions to ensure a long life.
"Sergeant," Rover said, addressing him. Sergeant carefully took Dica's Inventor armor from his backpack, and began pressing the buttons on it. A blue/white temporal vortex appeared in a bright flash of light next to Sergeant, and he nodded to Rover.
"Why are you doing this?" Dica pleaded. "This could ruin everything...."
"....And fix a lot more." Rover finished for her. He took the armor from Sergeant, and stepped towards the portal. "Your present day is my future, and the future is always open to changing. If you thought I'd want to stay in a dark time where Maelstrom rules every corner, then you've got the wrong man."
The vortex shone brightly, casting white rays across the morning sky.
Before entering the vortex, and vanishing into the interdimensional realm between space and time, Rover looked back once, and said one sentence. "I will return."
And then after actually entering the vortex, and before all went black before him, he added, "I promise."
Then Rover was gone.
Rover's eyes blinked open. He was numb all over, and could barely feel, hear, or see anything around him.
Squinting, Rover tried focusing on the blurry whiteness in front of him. Eventually his senses came back, and groaning, Rover sat up from the lying-down position he had been.
Grogilly, Rover looked around, trying to make sense of where he was. The white was a huge white ceiling of some sorts, supported by equally huge white walls, which rose up at the edges of the white tile floors in a huge white room. People were all around him, dressed in faction gear, Crux gear, Ninjago rares, casual clothes, and other outfits. And in the center of it all was the Imagination Nexus.
Two words landed smack in Rover's head. Nexus Tower.
Rover shakily stood up, and took a step forwards, effectively tripping over something. Rover quickly regained his balance, and looked down. The Inventor Armor was there.
Of course, Rover thought, as his memories flashed back into his mind. Quickly he grabbed the armor and stuffed it into his backpack. He wouldn't need it now.
Cautiously, Rover stepped through the swarm of people towards the Imagination Nexus. He walked right past the Sentinel Guard guarding the Nexus, but the Elite Knight didn't make any sound or motion to stop him.
"What-" Rover stuttered in surprise, before quickly clamping his hand over his mouth.
Even though he had been standing right next to the guard, the Knight didn't hear him.
I'm invisible, Rover decided, They can't hear or see me. With a shrug, Rover stepped over to the Nexus the Nexus, and carefully removed the Imagination Shards from his backpack, placing them down on a small ring/ledge/thing that surrounded the Nexus.
Now Rover paused to think. How was he going to reintegrate the shards back into the Imagination Nexus?
Turning away to face the sea of crowds, Rover didn't notice the shard nearest to the blue beam of Imagination start sliding towards the Nexus. It was only the small recurrent rattling noise it, and the others following it, made, that attracted the Buccaneer's attention.
Rover's ears perked up, and he whirled around. His jaw fell open, and he watched in awe, surprise, and amazement as the Imagination Shards MOVED, as if attracted by a magnet, towards the Imagination Nexus.
The first shard disintegrated as it touched the glass encasing the Nexus, and Rover facepalmed. But then the Nexus turned a brighter shade of blue, and Rover realized that the shard had actually TRANSFORMED into a different element of Imagination to pass through the glass.
The other two shards did the same thing, and suddenly there was a loud roaring noise.
It obviously wasn't only perceptive to Rover, because all the people around him, including the Sentinel Elite Knight Guard, stopped chattering and turned around and watched the Imagination Nexus change to such a bright shade of blue/white that it was practically blinding. The swirling white patches inside the beam shot out and extended beyond the glass, giving the room light similar to sunlight passing through gaps in clouds. The rays cast light which danced across the walls, bathing the room in a beautiful aura. The Imagination Nexus was restored
Rover grinned, and stepped away from the Nexus and headed for a side-room. He needed a less-crowded place to be in in order to begin the next stage of his mission.
Stage 1 complete, begin Stage 2.
This time Rover didn't fall unconscious. The white hallways of present-day Nexus Tower faded away into the hot, humid afternoon of two years into the future Gnarled Forest.
Rover adjusted his eyes to the blinding sunlight from the horizon over the waters. Things were.... quiet.
The usual cawing of parrots was silenced, and the noises of other animal life in the forests were also notably gone. There were no sonuds, except....
....the sounds of battle.
The hairs on the back of Rover's neck stiffened. He could feel it. There was a battle. Going over his mission again in his head, Rover loaded his pistol, rapidly sharpened his Spare Broadsider, and then unsheathed Hesevalints, which was such an epic sword that it did not require sharpening.
Stepping out of the forest, Rover came onto the top of a cliff. Looking down, he saw the Pirate Camp, and sucked in his breath.
Several pirates lay motionless on the ground far below, Maelstrom mist hovering by their bodies. Rover shuddered, but then noticed a few more pirates still standing. They were dueling with Stromling Pirate Invaders and what looked like an early ancestor of the Grumpy Mechling, which was spinning around shooting purple balls everywhere. They were all standing at the beach, but it wasn't only pirates and Stromlings there. Sitting in the water, not too far from the coast, was a large tank with a drill in front of it.
Colonel Rawstew! Rover realized. Then his eyes fell upon two well-armored figures running through the water towards the tank. He narrowed his eyes, and focused on them. Then it hit him.
Lord Brocktree and Suave Able Cat. Supa Sentinels.
Holding Hesevalints ahead of him, Rover double-jumped off the cliff. He landed softly on the sand, and took off running after Brocktree and Suave.
He swerved through the fighting Pirates and Stromlings, until he found a straight path to the water. Pumping his legs, Rover's speed doubled, and he charged towards the tank.
A purple ball flew right past his head, and Rover instinctively ducked. Still running, he turned his head around and saw the Mechling SHOOTING AT HIM.
"How does it see me?!" Rover thought aloud, ducking under another energy blast. The ball struck the water, and on impact sent out a wave of Maelstrom mist. Rover barely dodged the wave, and ran as quickly as he could through the water.
Turning around again to the sound of clanking metal and moving motors, Rover saw the Mechling crawling down the beach after him.
Silly computer, Rover thought with a grin, and ran even faster. If he was lucky, he could lure the mech-
- The Mechling ran into the water, and electrocuted itself -
-ling.... into.... the.... water.
With the Mechling down, Rover could continue at his own pace. The water eventually came higher and higher, and soon Rover was up to his shoulders in water. But that didn't matter, since in a few seconds the tank was right in front of him.
Quickly he climbed up by its treads, and stepping out of the water, slid onto the hull of the cabin. He looked around, and observed his surroundings. Water all around. But where were Brocktree and Suave?
A clanging sound from under the metal hull he was standing on answered for him. Shuffling noises were heard too, and Rover quickly looked for the entrance to the cabin.
Carefully walking on the slippery metal, Rover walked around to the back of the tank, and found an open hatch. Looking through, Rover saw a Grumpy Darkling in Admiral Flogmore clothes standing in front of a cornered, weaponless Lord Brocktree. Verminbane lay in the center of the cabin by an unconscious Suave's feet. Two fallen Stromlings also lay on the floor, probably dead.
"I will enjoy this, Lord Barktea," the Grumpy Darkling, Colonel Rawstew, cackled, raising the sharp blade at the end of his oversized hammer's handle to Brocktree's neck. "Your teleporter can't save you now."
Rover followed Brocktree's panicked gaze to a small device lying next to Verminbane. The way Brock looked, he was probably about to try and make a run for it. But he never made it, since a split-second later, Rawstew slashed the blade, and Lord Brocktree was dead.
Rover blinked. What had he just seen? Brocktree was still standing, alive, without a trace of anything slicing him.
I just glimpsed the future, Rover realized with a pang, and instantly jumped down through the hatch. Yes, he had just witnessed a future. A future that wasn't going to happen.
"Take THIS!" Rover yelled, and whacked Hesevalints into Colonel Rawstew's side. The Darkling was knocked away to the right, falling into the control board at the front of the cockpit. But whatever the unconscious Flying Hammerling had just triggered, Rover didn't care. He had just effectively changed history, or in his case, his future, by saving Lord Brocktree.
"Are you alright?" Rover asked.
Brocktree's mouth fell open, and if he could have, he would have stepped back in shock, if there wasn't a corner behind him. "Rover...." he stuttered.
Rover bit his lip. "What is it, Brocktree?"
"Rover, you're-" Brocktree stammered.
A bleeping noise brought Rover's attention off Brocktree back to Rawstew. Rover whirled around, and watched in horror as a screen came up in front of the cockpit, blaring in red letters, "SELF DESTRUCT IN 10 SECONDS", with the 10 changing into a 9, then an 8, and then a 7.
"We've gotta get outta here," Rover stated, and quickly pulled Brocktree towards the hatch. The Buccaneer quickly ran towards Suave, and hoisted the Supa Sentinel over his shoulder. With the countdown timer going down to 6, then 5, Rover rapidly climbed out of the cabin and threw Suave into Brocktree's waiting arms. Then he dove back into the cockpit.
With less than 3 seconds remaining, Rover grabbed Verminbane and Brock's teleporting device.
"Aaah!" Rover yelped, and jumped out of the hatch.
Propelled with a running jump, Rover flew over the tank and towards the water. Behind him, the drill-tank exploded, and Rover was in the air again. Soaring over the waves, Rover watched in the water's reflection the bright fire and explosions raining down around him from the tank's demise.
He hit the water with a splash, and nearly banged his head on a bunch of rocks. Gasping for breath, he swam up to the surface, and realized he was very near to the coast. Half-swimming half-running, he made his way back to the shallows, and dripping wet, leaned against the cliff to catch his bearings.
After getting his breath back, Rover reached into his backpack and took out the Inventor Armor. To his disappointment, it was as dripping wet as he was. He flipped a few switches, and found that it was amazingly still working. But one switch was stuck in the off position, and wouldn't move. It was the invisibility switch. Rover wondered when it turned off, but he didn't care. He would be leaving shortly.
"Rover!" someone called, breaking his train of thoughts. Looking up, Rover saw Brocktree and Suave standing over him.
"Yes, guys?" Rover answered, taking in their solemn expressions. "What's the matter?"
"Rover," Brock started. "How.... how are you here?"
Rover's eyebrows furrowed together. "What do you mean?"
"You're DEAD." Suave blurted out.
"Dead?!" Rover shouted, shocked. "What-"
"You died two years ago, at Avant Gardens!" Brocktree exclaimed. "You fell off the monument, we all saw it! How are you alive?!"
Uncomfortably, Rover stood up, and still holding his finger over the Invisibility Switch on the Inventor Armor, stammered, "Uhhh....... I'm a ghost, coming back to save you." Then with a loud click, the switch finally budged.
But Brocktree and Suave didn't hear it, since by then Rover was invisible to them, not just in sight, but sound. To both Sentinels, he was gone.
And in a way, Rover was.
Rover grimaced as amidst a bright rapid succession flashing of white, blue, and other light colors, he arrived back in the future.
When the pretty colors died away, revealing that Rover was inside Avant Fortress, he could instantly tell things weren't right.
For one, the trees were blowing in the wind strangely. From what Rover could see over the fortress's high walls, the treetops would sway slowly, then suddenly pick up speed. A second later, they'd stop all of a sudden, then instantly resume super fast speed again. Like they were out of sync.
Rover felt the hairs on his arms raise. Or it was really HIM who was out of sync.
But that wasn't all. It wasn't just his surroundings that were acting weird, it was him too. Cringing, Rover glanced at his left arm, which was.... partially transparent. And pulsuatingly glowing.
Eventually, it resumed normal composure, and Rover sighed in relief. Remembering his mission and plan, Rover quickly ducked behind a rock and began looking for a hiding spot that would keep him hidden from sight, while supplying him with a good vantage point.
A grove of trees at the top of cliff to the right of the Base Camp, on the cliff housings. That looked good. Jumping down quickly could be accomplished with a double-jump ending with a nimble, soft landing. Rover raised his eyebrows. Good.
Cautiously, the Buccaneer rose to his feet, and was about to take a step towards the cliff if he hadn't suddenly felt the barrel of a rifle digging into his back.
"And what are you doing creeping around here, good sir?" asked a familiar voice.
The barrel dug deeper into his back, and Rover clamped his jaw shut to keep from crying out.
"It's a simple question. Answer." the voice demanded, losing any type of formality.
Some motion in front of him caught Rover's attention, and apparently the guy-who-was-stabbing-him's too.
Taking the risk, Rover looked up, and watched a security screen which was wired up to a security camera outside the walls. The screen showed the bridge outside the fortress's doors, and standing on that bridge were Rover's previous self, a week younger Intrepid and Sergeant, and most importantly, Master Blade.
Rover felt the barrel slowly move back, and then drop altogether. Taking this opportunity, Rover whirled around, and was going to grab whoever had ambushed him when he recognized him.
Harold the Sentinel Guard.
"Go," the guard waved him off, and returned his gaze to the screen. He picked up a loudspeaker, and roared, "State your identity and occupation!"
Rover quickly scuttered away, not wanting to take his time and watch history replay itself. He knew that he would have to make his move soon, and he didn't have much time.
Luckily, the forces of space and time were with him. Around him, things slowed down, allowing Rover to blur up the cliff, and then to his vantage point.
Once up there, time resumed itself, and Rover narrowed his eyes as he focused on the scene before him. He watched as the damaged Mechling with Sergeant's Elite Force Blade of Lighting sticking out of it clanked over to him, Intrepid, Sergeant, and Blade. It aimed its cannon, and prepared to fire.
Rover double-jumped down, and as he had sort of expected, time slowed down, allowing him to land softly in the moat, which wasn't filled with water at the time.
Slooooooooooooooooooooowly, the Mechling fired, with a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery long, slowed down, and stretche out firing noise. But it didn't keep going, and the ball of energy stopped in mid-air, just inches from the Mechling's cannon's barrel.
A hand clamped down on Rover's shoulder, and he froze. Slowly he turned around, and came face to face.....
.....with Mester Sword.
What happened next came as a surprise.
"I think you've made enough changes in history for a lifetime, Cheerful Power Rover." Mester Sword spoke.
Rover was shocked, so startled he was unable to speak. He had never heard Mester speak, and this was a first. Yet even though he had never heard Mester say anything, his voice was oddly familiar, giving Rover such a sense of deja vu that his head hurt.
"Think about it, Rover." Mester continued. "Think of everything that will be changed if you proceed with your plan." Though his face was obscured with his helmet, and eyes with his visor, Rover felt as if Mester's eyes were locked on his own. The hairs on the back of his neck rose so much they pretty much threatened to go skydiving. Rover gulped. He wasn't finished. "You would create more paradoxes, more parallel universes would be created, history would split. And the effects on us people. On the Nexus Force. On the Maelstrom. On your friends. On you...."
Mester paused, and finally concluded, "On me."
Rover finally got the urge to speak, and narrowed his eyebrows. "Take off your helmet." he muttered.
Mester seemed startled, but didn't flinch. "I knew it would come to this sometime," he mumbled softly, and raised his hands to his head. His black gloved hands closed around the edges of his helmet, gripping it securely. And then slowly, he raised the helm up.
An unshaven chin, and the edges of matted down, sweaty, long black hair were revealed at first. Rover felt like cringing, as thoughts of recognition whirled around his head. But he couldn't place it.
Mester continued to take off his helmet, and then just yanked it off entirely, throwing it to the ground beside him.
This time Rover did cringe. In shock, surprise, and recognition of whom he stood in front of. While different in many ways, longer hair, unshaved face, and being 10 years older, it was obvious to Rover whom the face he was gaping at belonged too.
"Blade...." Rover whispered hoarsely.
Master Blade, formerly known as Mester Sword, nodded. "Yes, it is I."
"How...." Rover croaked. Now even more thoughts were swirling through his head. Blade.... was dead. What he had been about to do before Mester- er, Blade, had stepped in, was SAVE Blade from death. And he was already alive??? Then his mission was already completed???
"Rover," Blade started, as if he could read his old friend's thoughts, "it's not what you think. The Blade you came to rescue is me, but from 10 years ago. I'm someone else, a completely different man."
Rover choked out, "In other words...."
Blade nodded at him gravely. "My home is here, the future. I'm not going back. But I'd sacrifice everything, I mean it, for you to give me the life we all should have had." Comfortingly, Blade put his hand on Rover's shoulder. "It's your choice Rover, and I trust you'll choose wisely."
Blade lowered his hand, and Rover finally blurted out something that had been bugging his mind ever since he had discovered Mester Sword was Master Blade. "How are you..... not dead?"
Blade sighed. "It's a long story, and I'll summarize for you." he said. "Travelling through time is a powerful ability, and for a short time after completing the traveling part, the traveler is still.... 'charged'. That's the after-effects of time travelling. Certain changes in the space around the traveler during that period can result in.... more travelling."
"You were sent back to the present!" Rover exclaimed.
Nodding, Blade continued. "Yeah, about four years after the 'present'. When I got there, I was suffering from the more extreme after-effects of time travel, AKA, Time Sickness." Blade eyed Rover nervously, and Rover realized his arm was pulsing again. "Something tells me you're experiencing a degree of it too."
Rover sucked in his breath, and Blade added quickly, "It'll pass, but only if you wait it out. Anyways, back to my story," he told him. "I learned of Lord Brocktree's death, and that you'd never returned. Confused and on my own, I lived through this terrible history, until now." he finished.
"I see...." Rover said softly, and asked another question. "What are some effects of Time Sickness?"
Blade shrugged. "Sight of the near future, departicleization, death."
Rover groaned, and nodded. "So, I guess I'd better act, or NOT act." he stated.
Blade stepped back, and time slowly began to resume. "You'll have a few seconds to make your choice."
Shakily, Rover turned away from future Blade, and faced the past Blade again. The Mechling's big ball of chaotic energy was streaking towards their younger selves, but in slow motion. If he was going to do it, he would have to do it now.
Sloooooooowly younger Blade stepped in front of the others. Rover prepared to jump, knock Blade over, and spare him from an explosive launch into a turmoilous life.
But something held him back. Rover felt a lump form in his throat, and he came to the realization. If he changed time and stopped the younger Blade from being exploded, the man known as Mester Sword would cease to exist.
Rover swallowed, and the lump disappeared. This was his choice, for him to decide.
Closing his eyes, and after taking in a deep breath and holding it for a few seconds, Rover exhaled. Then he jumped.
Faster than everything else around him, so that he was moving faster than anyone in normal time could see, Rover streaked through the air. Nearly missing the slow-moving energy projectile, Rover hit young Blade in the side. At the same time, something rustled in his backpack, and Rover rotated his head around.
"Nexus," he muttered, as the Inventor Armor slipped out of his backpack, and directly into the glowing big ball of destructive energy.
In a flash, Blade entered Rover's perception of time. Making contact with Blade caused a ripple in space and time around the two. For them, time took a lurch forwards, and behind them, the Inventor Armor exploded.
Time resumed its slow crawl, and Rover and Blade hit the ground of the moat hard.
Rover quickly jumped to his feet, whirled around, and stared, open mouthed, at the frozen bright blue explosion of the Inventor Armor. Then he unwillingly smirked, as it mimicked the explosion that had engulfed Blade and would have sent him into the living nightmare of a life Mester Sword had gone through.
Then Rover's stomach did a somersault. Mester....
Looking under the bridge, and over to where Mester Sword had stood earlier, there was no sight of him.
He was gone.
Rover staggered over to where Mester Sword had stood mere moments before. He was really gone, vanished, never to be seen or heard from again.
He had ceased to exist.
The weight of what he had just done hit Rover like a semi barreling down upon a defenseless crate. Rover nearly broke apart under the stress, and sank to his knees.
Ow. His knee hit something.
Rover opened his eyes, and his heart jumped. In front of him was Mester's fallen helm.
Someone tapped Rover on the shoulder, and the Buccaneer looked up, startled.
"Rover," Blade asked, standing over him. "Can you explain to me what in the name of the Nexus Force is going on?"
Rover glanced up, and felt his stomach do a flip flop as he noticed the frozen, stricken expressions of this time's Intrepid, Sergeant, and.... him, as they stared fixedly at the bright white cloud of explosion.....
....which consumed the Inventor Armor. And the only known way back to past-Crux, to Intrepid, Sergeant, Raptor, and Dica..... and to the present.
Hoping that Blade wouldn't look up, Rover stammered, "I'll explain later, Blade. But right now...." he held up the Rank 12 Sentinel Knight Helm, and slipped it on. Mester's gear was futuristic, and obviously he had used it to follow Rover through time. If his hunch was correct, then this helmet could bring them back to Crux Prime....
A bright orange heads-up-display appeared through the visor. A prompt message popped up, stating, "Equip Knight Gear to proceed to Telepathic Commands".
Instantly Rover knew what to do. "Blade," he started, taking the helmet off. "Put this on."
"Explain something first, Rover." Blade stated, folding his arms defiantly.
The pleading look in Rover's face must have caused something to click in Blade's mind. "Please, Blade," Rover said nervously, "just trust me this time."
Blade sighed, and took the helm from Rover's hands. "Alright, fine Rover." he muttered, putting on the helmet.
Whatever happened next, Rover couldn't see, since he wasn't wearing the gear. But whatever did happen, it startled Blade. "Whoa, what the- how- this is amazing-!"
Rover grinned to himself. "Blade, try the Telepathic Commands."
"Uh huh-" Blade stammered, and sucked in his breath. "This stuff- distortion wave, attack dummy spawn x10- time travel-"
"Yes, time travel," Rover interrupted him. "You've got to trust me here, Blade, but select that, and set the date and location to a day after Crux exploded, at Crux Prime."
"Rover- I don't understand-" Blade stuttered.
"Blade," Rover cut him off again. "Just do it."
Instantly Blade grabbed Rover's arm, and in a blinding flash of dazzling light and energy, both Rover and Blade, Buccaneer and Knight, were sent blasting through space and time. Destination: Crux Prime, the Past.
Arriving at Crux Prime and picking up Intrepid, Sergeant, Raptor, and Dica was easy. The return to the present day easier. But as for where Dica and Raptor fit in, that is another story.
As promised, Rover told Blade everything, with Intrepid and Sergeant to help fill in the gaps.
Back in the old apartment where Rover and Blade used to stay with Cyclone and Kate, things were almost back to normal.
Time: 2:53 AM EST Location: Earth
In a dark laboratory, down several hallways from a central hub in an underground base deep underneath the surface of Bavaria, two scientists stared open mouthed in front of a laptop screen, awed and intrigued by the data they viewed ahead of them.
One, a short, maybe overweight scientist with a stubby beard, sat on a rotating chair, clicking away at the mouse and rapidly tapping his fingers into the keyboard, pulling in more information, which he and his skinnier, clean-faced, standing partner sucked in. Both wore long, white lab coats.
"This is.... just purely amazing," the standing scientist exclaimed.
"Yes, Algernon." the fat scientist, a lazy man by the name of Grant agreed. "I never thought-"
The door burst inwards next to them with a slam, knocking both scientists' thoughts from the data on the laptop screen.
A tall, lean figure stepped in. "Algernon, Grant, you're dismissed." he ordered them quietly, but while his voice was soft, it carried an edge of power which threatened to explode.
Algernon and Grant exchanged looks, but didn't need to decide to stay or leave, as while the newcomer's attire was unofficial, consisting of a black bomber jacket and jeans of the same color, his rank badge over the left side of his chest was high enough for the two sillies to know that they should not make this difficult.
Uncomfortably, they trudged out of the room, and the man in black shut the door behind them, locking it with a sharp sounding click.
Stepping into the light, the man was actually not all that old, probably around 20. His hair was long, but long forwards, stretching over his face in long strands, probably accomplished with over nine thousand pounds of hair gel, yet he still had enough fitness and strength to conquest that immense weight.
A dyed yellow streak extended farther than the rest over his face, which had dark, piercing eyes and a clamped jaw, looking ready to pounce into a conversation of epic doom for whoever he was talking too.
Taking a glance at a few small, clouded over, specimen tubes placed on a table at the far side of the dark room, the man took a seat where Grant had been earlier. The light from the laptop's screen illuminated more of his features, and a small strip over his rank badge with a name on it written in sloppy cursive.
The name was this:
THE END TO BE CONTINUED
Written by: Talmid
Created by: Talmid
Ideas by: Talmid SamLoopLoop And others whom I have forgotten to mention
Special thanks to: Thingguy2 Lukey3449 DGamerUniverse Seton1234 Alpha_Cheesewheel Waros32 EthanWS Legoboy0829 SamLoopLoop Firelash02 Demonstrait The Knights of the Old Speech The LEGO Company The LEGO Moderators And others whom I have forgotten to mention