12Talmidhttps://community.lego.com/t5/Stories-of-LEGO-UNIVERSE/Servant-of-Darkness-Being-the-first-book-in-the-Stromling/td-p/2525720/page/29This is the sequel to The Search and Servant of Darkness
Availability: Full Circle can also be found here.
Author's Notes: This is the sequel to The Search and Servant of Darkness
Traversing the reaches of space, and time;
Four explorers, brought together in their search for a unique and precious element;
Together, they roamed the darkest corners of the universe;
Until one fateful day, they arrived at a most unusual world;
The fabled planet, Crux.
Detecting a powerful source of energy, the four explorers were jubilant! They had finally found what they were looking for.
They quickly descended upon an ancient temple, a relic of the mythical First Builders.
Inside was the Imagination Nexus, the long lost source of pure Imagination.
Duke Exeter, Hael Storm, Dr. Overbuild, and Baron Typhonus stared in awe at the pure blue beam of imagination, towering high into the night sky.
"This's amazing!" Hael exclaimed. "Who could 'ev built this?"
"It's a relic of the First Builders." Overbuild told him. "We have finally found what we were looking for."
"I wonder if the myths are true," Duke pondered, as he circled around the base of the Nexus. He began thinking of the grandest castle ever to exist in the universe. Unlike other times, he could almost imagine his castle right in front him, real.
While Hael began thinking of the greatest ship to sail the seas, Overbuild imagined something simple, a dog. Suddenly a robotic dog jumped out of the air into his arms. "It's true, Duke! Look at this!" he called out as the robotic wonder began licking his face tongue.
While Duke and Hael shared laughs stared in awe at Overbuild's creation, Typhonus remained silent on the other side of the Nexus. He respected his friends, but didn't need need to see them using Imagination for pleasure. It was an element able to grant the user of it immense power, and power was what Baron Typhonus wanted.
Power. But not just any power. Chaotic power.
The Darkitect was gone.
And so where Gallant Strong Cyclone, Kate, Cheerful Power Rover, and Krill Mathias.
Intrepid, or Intrepid Fusion Eclipse for long, painfully opened his eyes. Shards of glass lay all around him, and the remains of his embedded-with-glass seat of his Pencil Rocket pressed painfully into his back.
With his right arm, he brushed his hair out his face, and with his other tried to push himself up, nearly stabbing himself on some glass in the process. He managed to get up, and pulled himself out of the rocket.
The sun was peeking out of the ever-dark clouds that surrounded the Raven's Bluff property. Clutching his Bat Lord Shield and Staff, Intrepid grimaced as he limped towards a trio of non-smashed Nexus Force tanks. A few tired Rank 3s stood by them, offering mugs of Expressos and consumables to their fellow soldiers.
"Hey," Intrepid greeted them. "What happened? Where's Darky?"
A Sentinel turned to him. "He's gone, thankfully. We'd never be able to defeat him, though I'd love to try out my D-12I on him." the Sentinel remarked. "The name's Brocktree, by the way. Lord Brocktree for long." He stuck out his hand, which Intrepid shook weakly.
"Hey, Intrepid!" someone called. Intrepid turned to see Sergeant Ghost Mustache and Master Blade9 running towards him from near the launchpad.
The Bat Lord waved, and Sergeant and Blade nearly tumbled into him. "Whoa, guys." Intrepid warned as he steadied himself on one of the battered tanks. "I'm not invincible, you know."
"Have you seen Cyclone, or Rover?" Sergeant asked earnestly. "They disappeared not long ago, but Blade says he thinks they sprouted wings and went flying."
"Did not!" Blade shouted, and elbowed Sergeant, who let out a high-pitched shriek.
"Yow!!" Sergeant moaned. "I think I cracked a rib, and you just cracked it even more!"
"I didn't even nudge you hard." Blade said, rolling his eyes.
"Who're you looking for?" Brocktree asked, stepping forward.
"Who're you?" Sergeant asked the Sentinel while still rubbing his side.
"Lord Brocktree's the name, introducing myself's the game. Do I always have to do this?" Brocktree asked while sticking out his hand to Sergeant and Blade. "So, as I said before, who're we looking for?"
Intrepid told him, and Brocktree nodded. "Well then, when are we going?" the Sentinel asked.
"Now?" Intrepid suggested.
"Wait, hold on a second." Blade said, motioning with his hand to stop. "It may have been my imagination, but did any of you happen to notice Kate here with Cyclone or anybody?"
"Well, you seem to have a pretty big imagination." Sergeant said.
"No," Blade groaned. "Just answer my question."
"No." Sergeant replied.
"And no." Intrepid also said.
"Who?" Brocktree asked, a smirk appearing on his face.
"Whatever, let's just go." Blade said.
"Where?" Brocktree questioned, the smirk turning to a grin.
Blade screamed in exasperation.
Baron Typhonus, now known as the Darkitect, sat on his throne in his private chamber in his lair. Only the highest in his Maelstrom army knew of his lair's location, and even then they could only arrive via his summoning them.
His personal Stromling servant, Demonstrait, entered the chamber. "Master...." he rasped in his gravelly Stromling voice.
The Darkitect stared down at the Stromling by his feet, tiny in comparison to his massive form brought to him through his power over chaos. "Speak." he bellowed.
"I have news for the master." he announced. "Your excellency's army has annexed Sentinel Point Zeta from the weakly Nexus minifigures," he spat. "and the infinitely weak weaklings at Gnarled Forest are begin to crumble."
"If they are so 'infinitely weak' as you say, Demonstrait," the Baron said, "then I am surprised that the old fool Vargas the Tormented has taken so long to actually accomplish something against the Nexus fools. Perhaps the army at Gnarled Forest needs a new leader." He snickered. "Demonstrait, summon Admiral Flogmore and his bumbling fool Rawstew. Perhaps their more experience with the environment will prove them better than Vargas."
As Demonstrait turned to leave and carry out his master's orders, the Darkitect raised his hand, causing Demonstrait to fly back to his previous position by the Darkitect's feet. "You may as well send Kinga Hurl as well for some extra firepower." the Baron added, before changing the course of his telekinetic grip on Demonstrait and flinging the Stromling across the chamber.
The small convoy of Nexus Force soldiers, tanks, and flatbed trucks carrying grounded fighters slowly made its way to Nexus Tower. Sentinel Point Zeta had fallen, its walls torn down by the Apes, its defenders burnt by Dragons, and Point Zeta itself being infected by Maelstrom.
Hael Storm stood near the entrance to one of Nexus Tower's underground garages, helping the exhausted recruits into the tower. "Don't worry, lads, we'll take Point Zeta back and kick them Maelstrom behinds back to... to... wherever they came from!" he cheered. However, very few of the tired and traumatized recruits agreed with Hael's optimistic mood. It had been a terrible battle for the Nexus Force.
The other faction leaders weren't as cheerful about the situation. When Duke heard that his proud base had fallen, he went crazy.
"What??!!" he roared at the cowering Rank 1 Knight standing across the room from him. "Sentinel Point Zeta, fallen??!!" Duke had nearly grabbed the freaked-out Knight and tossed him out his window, but instead he had excused the Rank 1 from his office, staring at the wall behind his desk in an attempt to further hide his embarrassment, but most of all his seething anger.
Vanda and Overbuild were disturbed, but didn't go as nuts as Duke and definitely weren't as overly calm as Hael.
While the survivors of Sentinel Point Zeta finished evacuating to the tower, and the fighting grew even more intense as the Maelstrom grew more aggressive on all worlds, the Nexus Force was becoming more weak in the face of the Maelstrom threat.
The Nexus Force was losing, and Imagination was falling with it.
It was completely dark for Gallant Strong Cyclone when he opened his eyes. The darkness was so dark that he thought his eyes were still closed when he stared wildly around at the blackness. His eyes gradually adjusted to the darkness, and Cyclone could make out that he was in a cavern of some sort.
Cyclone propped himself up on one arm, grimacing with the pain. His whole body ached, as if he had fallen on the hard stone floor which he was lying upon now.
There weren't many other sounds in the room. The constant echoing sound of water dripping someplace far away was all he heard, until he tuned his ears to try and hear somethings closer. He just managed to hear the shallow breathing of someone next to him, but the darkness made it near impossible to see anything. Cyclone couldn't even see his hand when it was directly in front of his face.
Wherever he was, he had no idea. Cyclone leaned back into the wall, waiting for whoever was with him to wake up. In the mean time, he just sat back and waited.
At least the infrared stuff still works, Krill Mathias thought as he stared through his battered helmet around the wide hallway, holding a rifle. The dark corridor stretched on for a long time, but the infrared sensors in his helmet detected a warm stream of water farther ahead.
Gripping his rifle harder, Krill continued down the hall. The sound of dripping water grew louder as he progressed. Soon he was standing over the small stream, fed by falling water from the stalactites above. The water was cloudy, and had a purplish tinge to it. Krill placed his gloved hand under one of the stalactites, and a drop of water splashed onto it. It burned for a second, before being absorbed into his glove.
Interesting, he thought, before staring down two other hallways which now branched off the corridor. A light was at one end, while the other one was completely dark. Replacing his rifle with a Super Shot Wormholer, Krill went down the path to the right with the light at the end.
If Krill had happened to take another look at his gloved hand, he would have seen a purplish mist rising from it. And if he had also looked back at the stream, he would have also noticed a slimy creature pulling itself up out of the tiny waterway, and slithering silently after him.
"Come on!" Brocktree called back at the others before climbing over the top of one of Avant Garden's many rocky cliffs and disappearing over the other side.
Sergeant panted as he tightened his harness around his waist for the twelfth time that day, and straddled up the cliff side. "Excuse me Lord Brocktree sir, but we're not as capable as you as climbing up a cliff in five minutes straight!" he shouted up the cliff face. He pulled out a bottle of water, and just as he removed the cap and just barely got a drop out of it, a wire flew down from the top of the cliff and wrapped around his wrist.
With a yelp, Sergeant dropped the water bottle with surprise as the wire yanked back and pulled him up over the cliff where he landed in a heap in front of Lord Brocktree.
"Aren't you going to thank me?" Brocktree asked with mock disappointment. His frown was replaced by a grin instantly later, and without waiting for a response, Brocktree turned around and ran over the next hill, leaving Sergeant in the dust near the top of the cliff.
Blade reached an arm over the cliff and pulled himself up. "Hey," he said. "Where's Brocktree?"
"That way." Sergeant replied, pointing in the direction where Brocktree took off.
After Blade and Intrepid were completely over the cliff, they and Sergeant continued going and soon found Brocktree setting up a camp five hills later. The sun was setting, and Sergeant noted with disappointment that they hadn't gotten very far where they were headed, with most of their time spent climbing the cliff.
"Remind me," Sergeant said over a Handsome Mug filled to the brim with some imagination water. "Why are we sitting here in the middle of some hills on Avant Gardens?"
Brocktree shrugged, then said jokingly, "To drop you and Intrepid off here. You don't belong outside Avant Gardens."
Sergeant and Intrepid looked ready to jump at him, but Brocktree raised a hand. "I was only kidding!" he exclaimed.
Sergeant sighed. "Then how about the real reason?"
Brocktree waved his hand at him. "Later."
The sun disappeared over a hilly horizon, and soon night fell. Lying down in their sleeping bags, Brocktree was pointing out the different worlds in the Nimbus System to Sergeant and Intrepid, who being limited recruits, had yet to explore the whole of the Nimbus System.
"You see that bright star there?" Brocktree said, pointing to a brightly shining star in the Avant Gardens night sky. Intrepid and Sergeant nodded, and Brocktree told them, "It's Gnarled Forest. And that series of little dots there is the remains of the Venture Explorer. Nexus Tower's all the way over there." he said, swinging his arm to point at a speck near the horizon.
While Intrepid and Sergeant were awed by Brocktree's astronomy lesson, Blade was sitting by the remains of the campfire. The bright stars in the sky cast eerie lights over the hills, illuminating certain patches of ground. One bright patch washed over what appeared to be another camp up in a farther away hill. It was only for a second, but Blade was almost sure that there was someone there.
Someone Brocktree knew about, but wasn't telling them about. Yet.
"Bring me my lunch!" the Darkitect roared.
"Yessss, my master." Demonstrait bowed, and left the room in a cloud of purple. He reappeared with a bunch of Stromlings and Dark Ronin in chef's hats. They placed a tray with a Maelstrom Chicken on it and a bunch of Maelstromberry Punch in front of the Darkitect, which he enlarged.
"Mmmm, you're getting better." the Baron remarked as he sipped his Punch. "Now GET BACK TO WORK, KITCHEN CREW!!!"
Demonstrait snapped his fingers, and the chefs disappeared from the room. "What now pleases the master?" he drawled. (picture him sounding like that Verallo Eval guy from the Clown Wars)
The Darkitect finished gnawing on an oversized drumstick, then said to his slave, "Bring me the Orb of Sights."
"Yessss, master." Demonstrait snapped his fingers again, and a large spherical orb materialized in front of the Baron.
Typhonus stared quizzically at Demonstrait. "I see your skills are improving, but it pleases me better to see you actually work." He waved his hand over Demonstrait, and the Darkitect's personal servant was suddenly deprived of Maelstrom magic. "You'll need to earn them back." he boomed, before flicking the Stromling away with his finger.
After finishing the last of his punch and the chicken, the Darkitect stared into the orb. Instantly he was staring at the whole of the Nimbus System. He homed in on Nexus Tower to spy on what the pitiful leaders of the Nexus Weaklings were up to. Duke Exeter was going the usual, moping around in his private chambers reviewing battle plans and occasionally calling his commanders. 'There will be one less commander for Exeter to worry about,' Typhonus thought, and with his mind ordered an attack on Avant Gardens.
Next he spied on Hael. The Venture league commander was in his alcove in the Venture room, staring off into space with his giant telescope. 'Grander, but definitely not as powerful as the Orb of Sights.' the Darkitect thought greedily. 'I'll remind Demonstrait to seize that telescope for my collection. I wonder where ol' Hael Storm is staring at.'
He followed Hael's gaze to Gnarled Forest. The new commanders he'd posted on Gnarled Forest were doing a good job, with more pirate territory under the Maelstrom's control than ever. The Darkitect laughed, and took his gaze off the Orb of Sights. He had had enough sightseeing that day. With a maniacal laugh, he summoned a huge bed and took a nap in it.
The sun rose, and Blade opened his eyes. But he hadn't awoken because the sun was rising, but rather because Brocktree had just bashed two cymbals together above his head.
"AAAAAhhhhhHHHH!!!!" Blade screamed and covered his ears. Intrepid and Sergeant awoke as well, clutching their ears and grimacing.
Brocktree laughed. "Come on, guys. You really are a funny bunch."
Blade gritted his teeth and climbed out of his tangled sleeping bag.
Later that day, after finishing breakfast, Brocktree lead the three minifigures down the hill and then up another, and down again, and up again. As Blade had thought, Brocktree was leading them towards the other camp which he had noticed the night before. 'I wonder why he's bringing us there,' Blade thought, 'or what 'there' is.'
After scaling a rock wall and climbing yet another hill, Brocktree raised his hand. "Stop guys, we're here!" he announced.
"Huh?" Sergeant asked, staring around. "There's nothing here."
"No, look here." Intrepid said, rushing to some dark patches on the ground surrounded by a few scattered rocks. "There was a campfire here."
Sergeant laughed sarcastically. "So we're having a picnic?"
Then suddenly a patch of grass moved downwards an inch. Intrepid, Sergeant, and Blade all stared at the patch of grass as it shifted around, then popped up on a hinge. "A trap door." Intrepid stated.
"Ooooh." Sergeant said, rolling his eyes. "A trap door, how cool, Intrepid."
A guy in casual clothes popped out of the hole revealed by the trap door. "Hey Brock, what's up?" he greeted Lord Brocktree, when he noticed the other three standing around. "Oops." The minifig disappeared back into the hole and reappeared in a bunch of assorted Sentinel Gear. He wore a Rank 2 Samurai helmet, carried a Rank 3 Knight sword in his right hand, and a Space Ranger ray gun in his left hand. For armor he had the armor of a Rank 3 Knight, and he had a Samurai bow and a Powerjouster strapped to his back. A Space Ranger gun was in a holster on his right thigh.
"When I have guests, I have to wear my Supa Sentinel outfit." the minifig explained. He then glanced at Brocktree. "Brock man, why'd you not tell me I was having visitors?"
Brocktree shrugged. "Hey, I did. I'm a visitor, and I certainly told you I was coming."
The 'Supa Sentinel' sighed. "Not you, Brock. Them." he said, gesturing to Blade, Sergeant, and Intrepid. Then his face brightened. "Anyways, I'm Suave Able Cat, the Supa Sentinel." he told them.
"Intrepid Fusion Eclipse," Intrepid said, sticking out his hand, which Suave shook. "Level 38 Free To Play Bat Lord and awesome Survival Master."
"What?" Suave asked, his face blank having not understood anything Intrepid had just stated.
"Sergeant Ghost Mustache's the name, and being awesome's my game." Sergeant boasted with a grin.
Intrepid whispered into Suave's ear, "He always does that." Sergeant scowled.
"Well, look at you. You're boasting, Level 38 Free To Play Bat Lord and awesome Survival Master Intrepid." Sergeant mimicked.
"I'm Master Blade9," Blade told him. "You keep saying Supa Sentinel. Can you say Super?"
"Yeah, sure." Suave said. "Supa Sentinel."
Duke Exeter was NOT happy. He was pacing around in his office muttering curses to the Maelstrom who had infected his Sentinel Point Zeta when the Red Alert siren suddenly blasted throughout the tower. The Maelstorm were attacking.
Duke quickly put on his helmet before grabbing his sword and shield. The slimy, ugly, disgusting Maelstrom beasts had ruined his Point Zeta, and now they dare think of attacking his prized Duke Tower?!
'No,' Duke corrected himself. 'Not Duke Tower, Nexus Tower. I'm way too self-centered and selfish. Maybe my psychologist is right.'
After alerting all Sentinels in Duke Tower- er, Nexus Tower to every opening of the tower, Duke went off to organize the recruits of other factions. First off was the Venture League-ers. He might not be their faction leader, but he was still the main general in the army of the Nexus Force.
"Okay Venture League Archaeologists, Pirates, and Circus Clowns!!" Duke called. "The Maelstrom is attacking, and-" He was cut off by a tomato flying splat into his face. "Oomph," he wiped it off. "What was THAT for?"
A Rank 3 Daredevil carrying a Rutcarver stepped up to the Sentinel Faction Commander. "No one calls us Daredevils Circus Clowns." he said gruffly. "Not even the great, grand, glorious Emperor Exeter of Duke Tower." he said sarcastically.
"WHAT?!?!" Duke puffed up his chest and stared down at the Daredevil. "You dare defy Duke Exeter, leader of the Sentinel Faction!? Why you little-"
"Arrr, Sharpie! What te blown up bubble basher is going on her', arrr!" Hael Storm interrupted him, hopping down from his alcove. "Duke here's my friend and the Sent'nels arr our alleys in 'tis war!"
Duke nodded. "What he said, you Daredevil. Now, who dared you try and test my skills, a dirty old, as Hael would say, scallywag by the name of Vanda Darkflame?" Duke accused.
Hael shot him a look. "Now look was yer' just did, Duke! I thought I'as helping you out, an' you go and blaspheme Vanda! Now I got'a lecture YOU!"
"Seriously," Duke raised his hands. "I was only joking."
A Rank 1 Adventurer walked up to Hael and tugged at his shirtsleeve. "Uh, Admiral Storm?" he said hurriedly.
"'Admiral' Storm?" Duke chuckled.
Hael glared at Duke, then answered the Rank 1, "Yes, what ails yer'?"
The Adventurer gulped, then pointed to Hael's giant telescope. "Is that a Stromling up there trying to steal your telescope?"
"WHAT?!" Hael shrieked, and turned to face the Stromling that heaved the giant telescope onto its shoulders, and hopped out the window.
Cheerful Power Rover screamed. It was infinitely dark, and spasms ran throughout his entire body. He tried to get up, but then someone poked his side. Rover yelped and would have continued to shriek if Cyclone hadn't grabbed him and said, "Shhhh, you wanna get us discovered wherever we are?"
"No!" Rover shouted, then Cyclone clamped a hand over the Buccaneer's mouth. Cyclone could just barely make out Rover's silhouette. After a few seconds of silence, Cyclone removed his hand from Rover's face.
Rover cleared his throat, then asked, "Where are we?" He sat himself up against the wall and stared off into the darkness.
"No idea." Cyclone replied. "Any idea who else is here with us?"
"That slug Krill Mathias, for sure." Rover spat.
"And?" Cyclone prompted.
"'And'?" Rover questioned. "Who else do you think is here?"
"Probably Kate," Cyclone surmised. "I remember she was there with us before we got sucked up into that Maelstorm vortex."
Rover's voice wavered. "Do you think we're Stromlings?" he asked, trembling.
"No," Cyclone answered. "I don't sound like a Stromling, and you don't sound like a Stromling. And I don't feel like a Stromling."
"Then why is there a scratchy sound when I move my left hand?" Rover asked.
"You're holding Hesevalints." Cyclone told him.
"So if Kate and Krill are here, where are they?" Cyclone asked his question.
A light flashed on, and Cyclone blinked in the sudden light. Rover was holding two flashlights, and handed one to Cyclone. "I'm in the Venture League," Rover explained. "It's mandatory to have flashlights." he said with a grin.
"Seriously?" Cyclone asked, his eyes adjusting to the glare of the flashlights.
"No, I'm kidding." Rover told him. "Let's have a look around."
Rover got up, and aimed his flashlight at the ceiling. The beam of light illuminated a bunch of purple bats with beady red eyes and sharp, black talons. They shifted under the glow of the light, and started screeching. The noise alerted the other bats, and soon hundreds of purple bats were swooping around, divebombing Rover and attacking his flashlight.
"Turn it off!" Cyclone shouted, turning his off.
Rover just waved his hands and ran around in circles, chased by bats. Then he tripped over something and went sprawling on the stone floor. The flashlight dropped and broke apart, spilling imagination batteries across the floor. Cyclone could hear them rolling away before the bats commenced another screeching attack. After divebombing Rover one last time, they went back to the positions at the top of the cavern.
But something was wrong. They weren't normal bats. By their glowing red eyes, sharp black talons, and purplish color, it was obvious to Cyclone and Rover they were Maelstrom infected bats.
"Owww...." moaned Rover as he cautiously got up while rubbing his head. "What did I trip over?"
Keeping it aimed at the ground, Cyclone switched his flashlight on. He moved the beam over to where Rover was, and grimaced when he saw what, or in this case, who Rover had tripped over.
It was the sleeping body of Kate.
Krill Mathias advanced quietly, before stopping to listen. There was the noise again. It was definitely the slithering sound he had heard from behind him earlier. The bounty hunter and elite assassin gripped his mini Wormholers. He turned around, and found himself face-to-face with an enormous one-eyed Maelstrom slug that raised itself up to be at his eye-level. A massive mouth lined with rows and rows and inwards facing teeth blew foul-smelling breath onto his damaged helmet, causing it to seep into his face.
Krill cringed, then fired his Wormholers straight into the slug's open mouth. The slug squealed, and slapped its long tail against the ground. The cavern shook, and Krill lost his balance, nearly toppling into the slug. He quickly reached down and pressed a button on his leg armor. Jet boosters opened up out of his bulky boots and he flew backwards away from the slug, firing his Wormholers as he went. The slug growled and slithered after him.
The skilled assassin continued to zoom backwards down the passageway. However, though skilled and experienced he was, Krill had seriously underestimated the ceiling height. With a bang, he banged into the roof of the cavern and nearly impaled himself on a bunch of sharp stalactites that resembled teeth. He fell down, expecting to crash into the floor, but instead landed on something soft and squishy.
Krill sat up painfully, and stared around. Water dripped down from all sides, but what made him most suspicious was the soft surface he was lying on. A blast of wind hit his back, and a growling sound from behind made the hairs on his arm rise.
Krill turned around and found himself staring down the dark throat of something. Realizing what was going on, he quickly threw a Big One down the throat and rolled off of the soft surface while avoided a row of sharp stalagmites. An instant later the roof of whatever he had been under fell down, and Krill stared at the head of a huge Maelstrom infected crocodile.
The Maelstrom crocodile glared at him evilly, but then the Big One exploded, imploding the crocodile and smashing it. It's bricks flew all around, but Krill had no time to celebrate. He turned to see the Maelstrom slug slithering towards him quickly, its mouth wide open and its long tongue sticking out, ready to pull him in and ingest him.
Krill attempted to use a similar tactic, and searched for another Big One. Finding none, Krill rummaged through his bag of gear some more until his hands closed around a Flash Bang.
The slug neared, and Krill tossed the Flash Bang as hard as he could at the slug. Sensing something approaching, the slug instinctively shot out its tongue and swallowed the Flash Bang. The slug stopped for a second, and then the Flash Bang exploded. The slug flopped to its side and writhed around, before smashing.
Krill took off his helmet and wiped the perspiration that had formed on his forehead. That was one terrible fight, and he was lucky to have survived it at all.
After scanning the area and finding no other Maelstrom monsters nearby, Krill sat down to rest.
Suave grinned. "Okay, here's what you guys will need." he said while holding up a map.
Sergeant took one look at the map in Suave's hand and snickered. "That's just a map of the Nimbus System, it's on everyone's map."
Suave rolled his eyes, then glanced at Brocktree for support. Brock stepped forward and explained, "Look closer. It's got more things charted to it, like nearby stars and the asteroid belt between the Nimbus Triangle."
"Hey, you're right!" Sergeant exclaimed. "What are these red dots you've drawn here?" he asked, pointing to a seemingly random red splotch located near Crux Prime.
"Oh, that." Suave said. "It's a hypothetical location of the Darkitect's hideout.
"How'd you figure the Darkitect is there?" Intrepid questioned.
Suave glanced again at Brocktree. "You see, Lord Brocktree here is probably one of the highest ranking people in the Nexus Force; he's sort of like a peer to the faction leaders themselves." Intrepid's jaw dropped.
"Wow," gasped the Bat Lord.
"I'm not finished," Suave continued, "By being so high up in the Nexus Force chain of command, he has access to all sorts of classified information, like for example unidentified and unexplained phenomena and sightings."
"I'll continue," said Brocktree. "So together, Suave and I are working together to create the best star map of the Nimbus System ever, and using all the info I found about the Darkitect and certain happenings that occur around the times that the Darkitect is seen, we've put down all the places where the Darkitect could be. Using this map, we could defeat the Darkitect in his own lair, and end this war."
"Double wow," exclaimed Blade.
Sergeant got up from the floor. "Wait a minute, why did you bring us here to tell us all about the Darkitect's lair?" he asked. "I thought we were looking for Cyclone and Rover."
"And Krill and Kate," Blade added.
Sergeant waved his hand at him. "Whatever, so what's going on?"
Brocktree guffawed. "Seriously, if the Darkitect flies into a big swirling purple Maelstrom portal, where do think he'd go? Chantey Shanty and have a party?" Brock said while giggling. "No way! The only place where he'd go would be his lair!"
"Which means," Blade surmised, before he said in horror, "that Cyclone, Kate, Rover, and Krill are in the Darkitect's lair!"
Across the Nimbus System, the Maelstrom Army was on the move. Hundreds of Dragons and Apes attacked Nexus Tower while Stromlings and minifigures battled.
Travel through space, and Gnarled Forest arrives. The world of pirates, stricken by war, and its pirate camps under relentless assaults by the Maelstrom.
Ever deeper comes Avant Gardens. Dragons roamed the skies while Apes and Spiderlings tormented those on the ground. The remains of the Paradox Refinery had been completely destroyed, the Paradox Caves completely under control of the Maelstrom, the Sentinel Base Camp in ruins, and the Monument turned into a battlestation, with guns and turrets covering every single area they could of the giant statue to protect against Dragons.
Back to Nexus Tower, outside at its eastern wall.
Duke unsheathed his sword and raised it high. "CHARGE!!!!!" he yelled, and a mass of Knights, Samurais, and Space Rangers tore out of a trench. Lead by Duke, the knights charged towards a Maelstrom catapult. They attacked it, whacking the few Stromlings surrounding it down while Duke hopped up to the control room of the massive catapult. He smashed the window with his shield and jabbed at the Stromling Invader in the cockpit, smashing it. He charged up his sword and brought it down into the catapult. A flash of light, and then it exploded. Duke leaped off the debris and brought down three approaching Ronin.
Meanwhile, Dr. Overbuild and his Assembly Faction recruits were holding the Maelstrom at bay on the Northern side of the tower, building turrets and floating gun platforms, summoning thwok creatures, and unleashing the power of creative Imagination on the Maelstrom Army.
On the other sides of the tower, the Venture League, minus Hael Storm who are crying about the loss of his telescope, fought the Maelstrom back with fast moving and heavy hitting Venture scouts. Vanda Darkflame lead the Paradox Faction on the southern side of the tower, confusing the Maelstrom with Paradox Mechs and summoned Spiderlings fighting for the Nexus Force.
Up on the higher levels of the tower, Assembly Engineers built large anti-aircraft guns to take down attacking Dragons. Airstrike jets also soared through the skies, dogfighting with Dragon Invaders and strafing the enemies on the ground. The Nexus Force was winning this battle.
Down on the ground, Demonstrait guided his dragon Torchblight through the skies, Hael's golden telescope dangling under the Dragon as it swooped around, avoiding blasts from Assembly anti-aircraft guns and stray Nexus Force jets.
"The Darkitect will be pleasssed with his new present," Demonstrait cackled, letting go of the reins to rub his hands together in glee. "I will certainly be promoted."
Dragon Flying Rule Number Fifteen: Never, and seriously NEVER, let go of the reins.
Without Demonstrait's guidance, Torchblight surged forward suddenly, knocking Demonstrait off his perch on the Dragon Invader's back and causing him to slide backwards until he was clutching Torchblight's spiked tail for dear life.
The Dragon Invader whipped around as fast as a bullet very low to the ground, weaving between laser blasts and Maelstrom tanks, until it turned so fast to avoid a cliff that Demonstrait let go and tumbled to the ground. The Stromling rolled on the ground until he came to a stop next to a battering ram. Demonstrait raised his head, and found himself face to face with five angry Sentinels.
"Let's get 'im!" one yelled, and they all charged at the defenseless Stromling.
But defenseless is a severe understatement. In a fit of awesomeness, the servant of the Darkitect raised his hands and unleashed a web of purple Maelstorm lightning at the Sentinels. Shrieking and groaning, the Nexus Forcers writhed around in the electrocuting lightning, until Demonstrait lowered his hands. The Sentinels fell to the ground and smashed, permanently.
'Time to get out of here and receive my rewards,' Demonstrait thought, before clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth. A few seconds later, a shadow loomed over the Stromling, and Torchblight reappeared next to Demonstrait. "You old fool of a Dragon," Demonstrait scolded as he mounted. He jerked on the reins, and the Dragon Invader took off. A purple portal leading to the Darkitect's lair appeared in front of it, and a second after the Dragon entered, the vortex vanished, unseen by the Nexus Force.
"Kate?" Cyclone called cautiously.
"Mmnhnophghwnngtuppp...." Kate moaned in her sleep.
Rover grimaced. "Ow, that hurt. You should be calling my name and asking me if I was okay." he said.
"Rover? Are you okay?" asked Cyclone.
Rover laughed. "Yeah, I'm fine. So what now?" Another flashlight beam turned on, illuminating Rover's face. "Venture Rule Two, always carry an extra extra flashlight."
"I want to join the Venture League," Cyclone moped. "But I feel obligated to officially join Paradox."
"Why?" questioned Rover as he opened his backpack and pulled out some consumables. "Since in another life of yours you joined Paradox, or since you like Vanda?"
"Yes, I mean- no, uh- STOP!!" Cyclone shouted, causing some bats to screech and flutter around.
Rover snickered, and handed Cyclone a Buttery Croissant. "Here, take." he said, before sipping a handsome mug filled with Imagination Coffee.
"Thanks," grumbled Cyclone, as he bit into the Buttery Croissant.
"So, what are you waiting for?" Rover asked.
"No idea?" answered Cyclone.
"Well I'm not waiting," Rover said as he put the rest of his consumables back in his backpack. He sheathed Hesevalints and pulled out a Heroic Force Blade. "I'm going to find that slug Krill."
Krill awoke to find his whole right arm covered in purple mist. "What the-" he said aloud, and grabbed at it with his other hand. The mist spread to his left arm.
'Great,' Krill thought. 'I'm being infected. By Maelstrom.'
Krill stood up, and looked around, searching for the thing that did this to him. There was nothing alive in sight, except for the scattered bricks of both the crocodile and slug. 'Good riddance,' Krill thought as he stepped by them. He continued heading down the way he came, until his infrared sensing helmet picked up a moving form up ahead. Krill gripped a rifle, and ran silently down the corridor. As he neared the form, he recognized it as that Nexus Force pirate guy. Cheerful Power Rover, his name was.
Apparently, Rover had noticed him too. "Is that you, you old slimy slug Krill Mathias?!" Rover called.
Krill grimaced, since when Rover mentioned 'slug', he recalled the nightmarish monster he had to do battle with. "And I'm assuming that's you, you risk-taking bumbling pirate who cares about nothing except achieving glory by barging into trouble head-on?" he shot back as he came to a stop next to the Buccaneer.
Rover seethed, but said nothing. There was a pause for a few seconds, then Rover said, "Where've you been, bounty-hunter? Talk about running into trouble head-on, since it looks like you've had a run-in with some Maelstrom." Rover stated, pointing to Krill's Maelstrom mist-surrounded arms. The mist on his right arm had spread up to his shoulder.
Rover pulled out what looked like a gun, then fired it at Krill. Krill raised his arm and prepared to whack Rover in self-defense when a cloud of foam suddenly sprayed from the gun all over Krill. "Hey!" Krill called out, but then when the foam-spray stopped, he noticed the Maelstrom mist was gone.
Rover put the foam gun back in his backpack and explained. "It's an imagination gun, meant to disinfect things that have been slightly infected by Maelstrom. But it's useless against completely infected stuff," Rover suddenly stared over Krill's shoulder, and a panicked look appeared on his face. "Like that huge Maelstrom infected frog behind you."
Suave and Brocktree were leading Blade, Sergeant, and Intrepid through a shortcut through the mountains over to the Launch Area, when suddenly a large shadow passed over the group.
"Wha-? What was that?" Sergeant asked, scanning the skies. He squinted his eyes as he stared up near the bright sun, when a dark shape seemed to pass by. "Is that a dragon?"
"Don't be silly," Blade called. "They're no dragons on Avant Gardens."
Five Nexus Force Jets, two trailing smoke, flew by overhead doing barrel rolls. A second later, another jet encompassed by a fireball trailed after them, before exploding with a loud boom.
Brocktree and Suave exchanged worried glances. "It's impossible for the Spiderlings and mechs to be able to target the airstrikes here." Suave pointed out. "Somethings wrong."
Then a loud roar filled the air. Brocktree's eyes widened and he dove over to Sergeant and Intrepid, tackling them and knocking them to the ground.
"What the-" Intrepid exclaimed, startled, when suddenly a jet of fire lit up the ground where he and Sergeant had been standing moments before. Sergeant's eyes widened in fear.
"It is a dragon!!!" Sergeant shouted, when the dragon landed and rotated its massive head to face him. Evil glinted in its eyes, and Sergeant screamed.
Brocktree stood up, and pulled out a long glistening sword. On the other side of the dragon, Blade and Suave unsheathed their swords, ready for battle. "It's Butterscorch!!" Brocktree exclaimed. He turned to Intrepid and Sergeant, and ordered, "Get outta here! We'll handle this!"
Brock turned and charged the Dragon Invader, swinging his sword. Butterscorch stood up on her hind legs and blowed a stream of flame at Brocktree. Brock dodged the fire and swiped at Butterscorch, chipping off one of her sharp talons. Butterscorch shrieked, and swept her tail at Brocktree. The experienced Sentinel leaped over her tail and swung his sword in a wide arc, driving the dragon backwards. He raised his sword to charge, when Butterscorch shot a surprise fireball, which caught Brocktree on his chest and flung him backwards.
Suave and Blade instantly rushed forwards. They slashed and swung at Butterscorch, fighting valiantly. The Dragon Invader fought back and soon had both Suave and Blade lying on the ground, unconscious.
Butterscorch turned to face Intrepid and Sergeant, who stood stricken with fear as the Dragon prepared to smash them.
Intrepid stepped forward, but Sergeant grabbed him. "You don't know what you're getting into!" Sergeant pleaded. "Don't do it!"
Intrepid turned to face his friend. "I have a friend who smashed Butterscorch solo, and I've been waiting to compete and show him I'm just as good, maybe better."
"No! Don't do his because of a dare with your friend!" Sergeant cried.
Intrepid grimaced. "That's not it, Sergeant Ghost Mustache." he said somberly as he placed his hands on Sergeants shoulders. "I'm doing this for my friends, and I suggest you help." Intrepid turned away from Sergeant and faced the Dragon Invader.
He yanked out his Bat Lord staff and raised it into the air with a battle cry. He put on his Bat helm and charged at Butterscorch with a shield slam ability and speed boost combined, allowing him to just barely duck under Butter's fire balls.
Intrepid spun around, slamming Butterscorch's stomach with his shield and quickly after stabbing at the Dragon Invader with his staff. Butterscorch let out a high pitched screech as the sharp bat-tipped staff pierced her scaly armor. The Dragon prepared to whack him with her claws when suddenly she gave out another shriek and turned around to face Sergeant, who was chopping his sword at Butter's tail.
"Take this you mean old Butterfly!!!" Sergeant yelled as he brought down his sword on Butterscorch's tail, slicing off the barbed tip of it. The Dragon Invader screamed, and kicked Sergeant away. The Avant Gardens recruit lay motionless on the ground.
Intrepid was fueled with anger. He attacked Butterscorch was newly found energy, but Butterscorch was waiting for this. Intrepid wasn't thinking about defense. She batted the Bat Lord away, and prepared for the final fireball that would smash her prey, when all of a sudden a female cry sounded through the air, and a minifigure fell on Butterscorch's head. With one stab, the recruit brought down a sword through the Dragon Invader's head. Butterscorch screeched, and threw the minifig off, before running away limply and taking flight, never looking back.
Intrepid glanced weakly at their savior before falling unconscious.
"He's coming to."
"Uhhhhhh......" Intrepid groaned. His eyelids popped open, and he was staring up into the face of another minifig. "Oh, it's you."
The minifigure's name was Shrill Failed Brick, a brown eyed, long flame-orange haired Avant Gardens recruit, and friend of Intrepid. She sighed, and asked, "Why do I always have to save your plastic skin, Fusion?" she said, calling him by his middle name. "And exactly WHY are there Dragons here on Avant Gardens? I thought they only lived on Forbidden Valley."
Intrepid sat up painfully. "Oh no, that was NOT a dragon from Forbidden Valley. It was the meanest dragon ever encountered by the Nexus Force, the legendary Butterscorch," he looked her straight in the eye, "and you had the honor of scaring the Butterfly away."
Shrill's eyes stuck out. "Wow, that's cool." she said at last.
"Seriously, I could have taken care of myself. It was just a Dragon Invader." Intrepid insisted as Shrill helped him up. Then he noticed two Paradox Space Marauders, a Rank 3 and a Rank 1, standing nearby. "Who're they??" he asked.
"I'm Stunt," said the Rank 3, walking over and sticking out his hand, which Intrepid shook. "From what I've heard, your name's Fusion, right?" Stunt asked.
"Um, no, it's Intrepid Fusion Eclipse, Intrepid for short." Intrepid corrected him.
"And I am Rare Spiffy Agent." said the Rank 1 Space Marauder.
After reviving Brocktree, Suave, Blade, and Sergeant, and a few more introductions from Shrill, Stunt, and Rare, the former four and Intrepid followed the latter three through the mountains in a direction for the Sentinel Base Camp. Along the way, Stunt supplied information on what was going on.
The news was not nice.
"You're telling me that Avant Gardens is right not under attack by Stromling, Ape, and DRAGON Invaders?!" Sergeant exclaimed. "Without us knowing it?!"
Stunt shrugged. "I thought you would have all realized that once Butterscorch attacked you guys. If we hadn't come around and rescued you, you would have been a quick snack for the dragon." he told them. Sergeant seethed with anger. "Avant Gardens is our home, we can't let it fall!" he proclaimed.
"For you guys, maybe. Nimbus Station is mine, and as long as nothing happens to it, I don't really care." Rare replied. Sergeant, Intrepid, and Shrill all shot him looks that made him regret what he said. "I didn't mean it, I apologize."
Shrill shook her head sadly, letting her orange hair fall around her face. "Once you see the battle that's raging on, you might change your mind about who owns Avant Gardens now."
She couldn't have been less wrong.
Krill and Rover ducked just in time as a long sticky tongue shot out of the giant Maelstrom amphibian's mouth.
"WHAT IS THAT THING?!" Krill shouted as he dodged its flailing tongue that followed him around the cavern.
"Like I said," Rover replied, spinning his sword around before whacking the creature a couple of times. "It's a Maelstrom Frog. And a big one. I thought they only lived in extremely Maelstrom infected areas, like Aura Mar."
"Well then this is one extremely Maelstrom infected place!" Krill shot back as the tongue wrapped around his waist, holding him tight. He quickly pressed a button on his armor, and razor blades shot out of it at the waist. The frog squealed, before retracting its tongue and barrelling away like there was no tomorrow.
Krill wiped away the frog slobber from his clothes, and replaced the Wormholer he had been holding back in his belt. "That was close,"
"Yeah," Rover said, shining Hesevalints. "I thought you were supposed to be invincible, Mr. Krill Man."
Krill shot him a dirty look, then stared around the cavern. "There are Maelstrom infected creatures, like those bats, wherever I look," Rover was saying. "So where are we anyway?"
The bounty hunter pulled out a rifle, and cautiously headed back down the way he had came from again.
"Where're you going?" Rover called.
Krill turned his head, and with a sly grin replied, "To find out WHERE we are, and if my hunch is correct, we're in a place no one civil would want to be in. And that place is home-sweet-home for the Darkitect."
"Masssster...." Demonstrait rasped as he bowed low before the Darkitect with Torchblight by his side.
"Rise, and speak, my servant." the Darktitect boomed.
Demonstrait rose. "I have what the master has requested." he stated, gesturing to Hael's golden telescope which dangled near Torchblight's feet.
"Good, good." the Darkitect said with a laugh. "Now get back to Crux and capture Nexus Tower for me." With a snap of his fingers, Demonstrait and Torchblight were back at Crux Prime, and the giant telescope sitting neatly inside a display case full of several other artifacts.
Intrepid stopped dead in his tracks a few feet away from the cliff's edge, staring down at one of the most horrendous sights an Avant Gardens recruit could ever imagine.
Sergeant ran up next to him, and then came to a stop too, his jaw dropped and a panicked look on his face. "No...." he whispered.
Down below them was the Sentinel Base Camp. The walls had been torn down, with its remains strewn across the ground and with purple splotches, suggesting a partial infection. Limited Avant Gardens recruits battled heroically against Maelstrom Dragon, Stromling, Mech, Ronin, Admiral, Ape, and Pirate invaders, but they were being smashed rapidly. The lack of imagination in the area due to the high concentration of Maelstrom made rebuilding in the camp near impossible, and minifigures either rebuilt far away near the monument, or remained permanently smashed forever. Butterscorch was down there as well, setting the ground ablaze and smashing minifigs by the hundreds.
"We've got to get down there and help them!" Intrepid called, and he was about to jump down when suddenly a hand clamped down on his mouth and pulled him down behind a rock.
"Shhhh!" a minifig said, before shooting down into the fray with an Exceptional Pea Shooter MK-2. Intrepid stared at him as the minifig shot down a few mechs, then ducked behind the rock to hide from the Maelstorm which would look up for him. There was another minifig up there too with them.
"Who're you?" Intrepid asked, once the guy had removed his hand from Intrepid's mouth.
The minifig turned to him, and said, "I'm Argon Dragon Udon, and this is my friend, Spakybob." he said, and the other minifig nodded. Argon sighed, and looked down at the Maelstorm attackers and smashing minifigs, shaking his head. "I can't believe what's going on, this is our home, and the Maelstorm are trying to destroy it."
"Well, that's what we're here for." Spakybob comforted him, patting Argon on the back. "Let's continue shooting, we might be able to thin out their ranks from up here."
Intrepid gaped at them. "Are you nuts? There's no way you'll be able to damage them by just shooting at them with a Pea Shooter," he said, waving his arm at the Invaders. "They're Maelstrom INVADERS, from Crux Prime, and even though I haven't had the chance to really fight them, I have friends who have, and they've said it's really hard to beat them, especially with a-"
"Okay, stop." Argon interrupted him. "We don't need you to tell us the terrible truth of the situation, but Spakybob and I are going to continue what we're doing, right Spaky?"
There was no answer from Spakybob, then someone screamed. Intrepid turned, and saw a Stromling Invader standing on their ledge next to them, with Spakybob in his arms. In a swift motion, the Stromling had jabbed a tube into Spakybob's neck, and Maelstrom pulsed through it into Spakybob's bloodstream. And in one fateful second, the former recruit had been infected.
Sergeant let out a battle cry, and before the Stromling Invader could infect anyone else, it was smashed by Sergeant's Elite Force Blade of Lightning.
"Save..... yourselves....." Spakybob the Stromling croaked, before turning and diving off the cliff. Argon tore his gaze away, and then the tears came.
"He was my friend." Argon cried.
Intrepid put his hand on his shoulder. "He did it to save us all, and we should be grateful for his sacrifice. We'll remember his heroic actions forever." Intrepid consoled him.
Argon nodded shakily, then agreed, "Yes, he will be remembered for all eternity."
"Then come on," Intrepid said, then jumped off the ledge. He landed on the ground next to Sergeant, Blade, Brocktree, Suave, Stunt, Rare, and Shrill. A few seconds later Argon jumped down next to them.
Brocktree lead them to behind the entrance to the Avant Gardens Survival simulation. "We need a plan," Brocktree stated. "We were lucky to survive Butterscorch before, and now she's here in addition to several more dragons and powerful Maelstrom creatures. If we don't have a course of action, then we wont be able to win this."
"I know what to do," said Suave. He pulled out his Space Ranger Ray Gun, and fired supersonic waves at the rock wall over where Butterscorch was standing as she smashed minifigures after minifgures. The sonic waves collided with the cliff, causing huge rocks to fall down and entrap the screaming Dragon Invader. The rocks covered up Butterscorch, and her tail which stuck out of the pile twitched one last time, before stopping and remaining unmoving for a long time. "Butter's down." Suave informed them, as the rest of them stared at the joyous minifigs who cheered at the falling of the terrible dragon. "Now what, Brock?"
Brock shrugged. "Let's finish 'em off." he said finally, and shouting battle cries, the valiant minifigs charged out from behind Survival, and fought for the freedom of Avant Gardens and all of its minifigures from the Maelstrom.
Shrill swung her sword, knocking down three Pirate Invaders and stunning an Ape. In one smooth stroke, the Pirates were smashed and the Ape was missing four hands, before it smashed as well. She ran up to Intrepid, and back-to-back, they waved their sword and staff respectively, knocking down the Stromlings who neared and keeping them at bay. The Invaders created a circle around them, and slowly moved in to infect, or smash, the two recruits.
Intrepid poked an Admiral with his staff, then sent a Ronin flying with a swing. "What I still don't understand is why we're even helping each other," Intrepid stated, slicing at a Stromling in the process. The Stromling jumped out of the way, and into another Stromling's blade, causing it to smash. "I thought we decided we would be enemies after 'The terrible day' a year ago." he said, wincing at the memory.
Shrill swiped a Pirate and sent it spinning into an Ape. "Yeah, but 'The terrible day' was your fault, anyway." she replied, before an Admiral fired its cannon at her. She ducked, and the anchor embedded itself in her Nexus Force helmet. She tore it off and threw it back at the Admiral before it could blow her up with its rings of doom, causing her bright orange hair to fly in the wind.
"I've got a new idea," Intrepid called, before swinging his staff in a wide arc, clearing an escape route. "Why don't we run away now, and talk later."
"Yeah, good idea." Shrill agreed, and they grabbed each other's arms and ran like the wind out of the Maelstrom circle and into Argon, who was holding his own against a horde of Dark Ronin.
"Hey-" he yelped before falling to the ground under the combined weight of Intrepid and Shrill. The Ronin moved in, and cornered them against the wall.
"Uhhh, back where we started." Shrill said.
"Yeah, we are." Intrepid agreed.
Argon stared at them weirdly. "What are you talking about?"
Suddenly all the Ronin smashed by a bunch of blasts from two Space Marauder blasters. Stunt and Rare ran over, kicking away the lifeless suits of armor that lay on the ground, and shooting at any Maelstrom that dared come near.
Then suddenly a huge screeching sound blasted through the air. Intrepid covered his ears, and stared into the Sentinel Caves to see Beck Strongheart standing there with a bunch of Sentinels and Shouty McBullhorn.
"I LOVE SHOUTING, EVEN THOUGH MY THROAT IS HOARSE!!!" Shouty screamed, the soundwaves emanating from his bullhorn blowing all the Stromlings away.
"Tell them that we're fighting back!" Beck told him.
"WHAT WAS THAT SONNY???!!!!" Shouty shouted, aiming his bullhorn at Beck's ear. "CAN'T HEAR YA BECK!!!!"
Beck shook violently, his eyes turning into spirals, before smashing from the soundwaves that blew into his head. He rebuilt a couple of seconds later deeper in the caves, and he ran over to rejoin his group. "Shouty McBullhorn, you put that noise maker down this instance!" Beck ordered. "Or else!" he growled, and his Sentinels surrounding Shouty with their swords and guns drawn.
"OH REALLY?!??!?!" Shouty yelled, and all the Sentinels blew away, including Beck. Annoyed, Beck through his sword and it stuck through Shouty's bullhorn, creating another massive screeching sound of epic proportions. All the Maelstrom smashed from the terribleness of the noise, and they didn't rebuild, being Maelstrom.
"Well," commented Argon as he stared at the sky which began to clear of Maelstrom clouds, "That was short."
"Kate," Cyclone called quietly as he nudged her sleeping form. "Kate! Wake up already!"
Giving up, Cyclone sighed and leaned back against the wall. It was so boring to have to sit in the dark with no one to talk too, and not knowing where you are, and not knowing anything that's going on. Cyclone stared up at the roof of the cavern, just barely making out the dark forms of the Maelstrom bats hanging there. He started counting them. One bat, two bats, three bats....
Then he stopped. Was someone screaming?
Cyclone turned, and saw Rover running in, screaming his head off.
"Rover!" Cyclone shouted at him. "What's going on?!"
"I KNOW WHERE WE ARE!!!!!!" Rover exclaimed, disturbing the bats.
"Okay, where?" said Cyclone.
"WE'RE IN THE DARKITECT'S LAIR!!!!!" Rover screamed.
"What?!" Cyclone asked, taking in what Rover had just said. "The Darkitect's lair?? Seriously?"
"Yes!" Rover told him. "There are Maelstrom bats up there, Mr. Krill got attacked by Maelstrom slugs, corcodiles, and frogs, and he nearly got infected by a Maelstrom stream!"
Cyclone hung his head, then looked up, saying with a twinge of panic in his voice, "Do you think the Darkitect knows we're here?"
"It's possible, but I sure hope that brick brain doesn't try anything sneaky." another voice said, and Krill stepped into the room. The bounty hunter held a flashlight, and making sure not to aim it upwards, shone it around the room. He stopped when he noticed Kate lying on the middle of floor. "Who's the girl?"
"Oh, that's Kate," Cyclone told him. "She's been lying there for.... a long time. Do you think she's alright?" he asked with concern.
"Well kid, there's one way to find out," Krill stated, and he threw a bucket of cold icy water over Kate's sleeping form. A second later, Kate was up and sputtering, splashing water everywhere.
"It worked," remarked Rover with a chuckle. "I'm beginning to like you, Mr. Knights Kingdom."
"Huh?" Cyclone asked, flabbergasted.
Rover waved his hand at him. "You wouldn't understand, right King Mathias?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Krill replied without any emotion, which caused Rover to laugh even harder. A few bats screeched, and flapped there wings before settling back into their sleeping positions.
"So," Cyclone said, turning to Kate. "You're finally awake. Need a recap?"
With Avant Gardens more or less back to normal, minus the Paradox Lab ruins and the walls of the Sentinel Base Camp, and the inclusion of giant megaphones at every strategic location on the small world, Lord Brocktree and Suave Able Cat went back to leading Blade, Intrepid, Sergeant, and Stunt, Rare, Argon, and Shrill who were tagging along, on their mission to find Darkitect Land.
After taking off from the Nimbus Station launchpad at the launch area, Brocktree told the others how to override their autopilots on their rockets. There were, however, some arguments with Sky Lane over whether Intrepid, Sergeant, Argon, and Shrill, being limited recruits, would be allowed to take off on the Nimbus Station launchpad. Finally, after much insisting from Brocktree, the four were allowed to take off.
"Okay Brock, so where are we headed now?" Rare asked over the inter-rocket communications device once they were travelling through space.
From inside his mix of a Sentinel and Pod rocket merged to make a Sentipod Rocket, Brocktree looked up from his copy of the special map he and Suave had made. "Well, we're going to first head towards a supposed location of the Darkitect's lair which is in the asteroid field near Forbidden Valley. Be on the lookout for 'landmarks', in this case, a bright blue star on the horizon. When you see it, turn 'eastwards', and we'll be headed in the right direction."
"Thanks for the directions, Mr. Global Positioning Unit." Blade joked. "Or should I call you Lord GPS?"
Brocktree laughed. "Just Brock is fine," he told them.
After several near collisions with asteroids, it was discovered that the Darkitect's lair was definitely NOT in the Forbidden Valley asteroid field. Not discouraged, Brocktree lead them to the next area, all the way near the Venture Explorer wreck, near the heart of the Maelstrom vortex. However, unlike how it was commonly believed by all minifigs, the Darkitect's lair was not inside the Maelstrom vortex.
After several more fruitless searches spanning several days, Intrepid yawned and said, "Okay, I'm tired. We're all tired. And we have not found the Darkitect yet or any traces of him. This is worthless, and we'll never find Cyclone and the rest of them!"
"But Fusion-man, we can't just give up now!" Shrill shrieked. "I don't even know why you're searching for the Darkitect, or who Cyclone is, but I'm still with you!" she offered.
"Thanks Shrill," Intrepid said, "It's a long story, and it's hard to explain, and I barely understand it myself. But they're our friends, so I owe it to them to help them."
After more flying, and finding all the places where the Darkitect's lair wasn't, Brocktree finally agreed to let them end their search for now and relax at Nimbus Station. Provided that Intrepid, Argon, Sergeant, and Shrill weren't kicked out by Nexus Commandos.
"Listen guys, I'm tired of just waiting here. We'd better find a way off this rock, and soon." Cyclone snapped. "We've been sitting here for days, and I'm not going to wait any longer to get infected by the Maelstrom again." he said as he stood up.
Krill stared at him. "Okay wise guy, so where do you expect to find a place out of here anyway?"
Cyclone looked at him hard. "If this is the Darkitect's lair, then how do you suppose he leaves? There's got to be a launch pad somewhere."
Rover snickered. "The Darkitect doesn't use rockets, right King Krill?"
Krill glared at the Buccaneer coldly. "Listen up, Cheerful Power Rocking-chair," he spat. "I've had to deal with your making fun of my name for the past two days and approximately five hours, and it's getting way more annoying than ever before. Unless you decide to quit it in the next ten seconds, you'll be sorrier than the sorriest sea clam at the bottom of the Gnarled Forest sea. Counting down, in ten, nine, eight-" he counted.
"Hey, sorry King Mathias!" Rover apologized with mock sincerity. "I thought the most invincible of all kings in the Knights Kingdom didn't care about jokes, unless it was your worst enemy, whatever his name was."
"-four, three, two-"
"Alright, I'll stop! I just wanted to be like the new King Jayko! He's supposed to be funny!" Rover protested.
"One." Krill finished, and he blasted a stink gun in Rover's face.
Rover turned pale, and a second later he collapsed from the stench of skunk spray combined with dirty socks, rotted fruit, burnt wormholer cartridges, and wet ashes from an ages old campfire.
"I've been waiting to use this ever since I started collected stinky stuff for it a few years back," Krill remarked as he replaced it back in one of his many holsters. "This here is my Funny-Pouch," he said, patting the general area which the Stink Gun was in. Cyclone looked over at him, and recognized five Party Poppers, a water squirting flower, and a sweat soaker pistol which contained acids that if touched, caused you to break out in multicolored sweat.
Cyclone glanced at Kate, and she picked up a water pitcher and poured it on Rover's face, reviving him. The Venture Buccaneer jerked into a sitting position, and holding his nose, screamed at Krill, "Well what did you do THAT for??"
Krill just said, "I hope that taught you enough of a lesson, Rocking-chair."
Rover looked ready to throttle him, but then he noticed Cyclone picking up his backpack and stepping out into the tunnels. "Hey, you're really serious about it?" Rover called.
"Yeah," Cyclone replied. "But if you want to come, you're welcome too."
After walking through the seemingly endless tunnel for over two hours, Cyclone, Rover, Kate, and Krill FINALLY arrived at the source of the light they had seen before.
The light was created by a bright purple artificial star that hovered near the roof of an immense cavern, filled with hundreds of thousands of Stromlings and Maelstrom creatures.
"Whoa," Cyclone exclaimed in awe at the Maelstrom city that stretched out ahead and below of them, since they were standing on an overlooking balcony.
"Double wow," Kate added, pointing to a large circular object near the opposite end of the chasm. "The Maelstrom have Ferris Wheels?"
Cyclone was about to say something, when they all suddenly heard rustling sounds from behind them. Like the sounds of someone heading the way they came. And from the low grunting sounds, it was most likely that whatever, or whoever, was coming up behind them was a Stromling.
Or many Stromlings.
"Come on!" Cyclone beckoned his friends as he leaped over the balcony railing. As he had suspected, the semi-circle shaped balcony was supported by at least one pillar. There were two. Gripping one of the rough stone cylinders, Cyclone quickly slid down into the shadows. "Hurry!" he called as Kate and Rover also climbed over and began sliding down. Last was Krill, but he didn't even use the pillars. He fired a cable from one of his many guns into the balcony and zoomed down to the ground that way, before releasing the cable's hold and having it clatter down back into its launcher.
And not a moment to late, as they all watched from the shadows below, they saw three Hammerlings step onto the balcony and stare down at them. They would have noticed them if Krill hadn't slipped an invisibility cloak over them. From under the cloak, they could see the Hammerlings staring about, but they couldn't see them.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the Hammerlings turned and left. Cyclone sighed with relief, and turned to his friends. "That was close." he murmured.
"Well, if it wasn't for your quick thinking, this would have played out very differently," Kate told him. "Nice work."
"Thanks," Cyclone replied. He looked up and noticed what appeared to be a billboard. "Hey, what's this?" He reached up to pull off what appeared to be a map stuck on with a thumbtack, but Rover grabbed it first.
"Hey, my map!" Rover said to him indignantly. "You can get your own over there!" he stated, pointing to a pile of maps nearby.
A pile of maps next to a vendor stall with a Stromling Ape Invader in it.
And that Stromling Ape Invader was none other than Roo Morg.
Cyclone held his breath, afraid that they had given themselves away to the named Stromling Ape. But Roo Morg didn't make any movements, other than to scratch his back with one of his many hands.
"Don't worry, Cyclone." Krill reassured him. "This isn't only an invisibility cloak, but it also blocks all sound from inside it. They wont here a thing. Besides, to them, we look like a rock. And oh yeah, that's not Roo Morg. It's his even less intelligent brother, Bigga Urgh."
"Oh," Cyclone said. "Well, that's good."
Rover bent over the map and began scanning it quickly with his eyes. "Aha!" he announced suddenly. "The way outta here is thataway!" he said, pointing to a very distant hallway all the way on the other side of the Maelstrom city.
"Great," Kate stated with dismay. "How's a moving rock supposed to get all the way across Maelstrom land without being seen?"
Krill turned, and noticed a small stream similar to the one that he had encountered earlier in the passageway. It was clouded with purple Maelstrom mist, and a hint of a smile crept across the bounty hunter's face. "You know guys," he said, "I think I have a solution to that problem."
"And it is?" asked Rover.
The Buccaneer got his answer a few minutes later, when Krill threw back the cloak to reveal all four of them, with Maelstrom mist covering each of their arms.
"Are you sure this is a safe idea?" asked Cyclone as he stared at his partially Maelstrom infected arms. He throat began to feel scratchy, and the pitch of his voice began to get deeper. Talking started to become a little harder.
Like how you are as a Stromling.
Rover seemed intrigued at the fact that he could be Maelstrom infected but still a minifig at the same time. Cyclone had explained to him that it was probably something like how Wisp Lee was, but he didn't understand how the old Paradox Scientist managed to stay a minifigure for how many years he had been standing at that same old post by the Paradox Lab.
Kate seemed particularly distressed about the idea of having to go through being infected by Maelstrom. She mentioned something about imagination sparks, but that was all Cyclone could get out of her.
"Why?" he asked. "Scared that there will be three of you?"
"No!" she responded, a little forcefully. In a quieter voice, Kate muttered, "That would be impossible anyway."
Cyclone didn't ask anything more about it, he just concentrated on not catching any attention as he and the rest of them walked through the packed crowd of Stromlings, Dark Ronin, Apes, Pirates, Admirals, and even a few Dragons.
A couple of minutes later, they had just passed by a Maelstorm library, when Cyclone noticed the mist had spread to his shoulders and chest. "Oh boy," he murmured, watching the mist spread so intently, that he didn't notice that he had stumbled into a rushing crowd of Stromlings that were heading into a museum. Cyclone turned and tried to fight the crowd to get back, but he couldn't budge. Soon he was in the museum itself.
Cyclone gasped as he stared at a portrait of a Stromling striking down a minifig at Avant Gardens, and at another one of a massive Darkitect kicking down Nexus Tower as it fell down upon the faction leaders. The Maelstrom sure knew how to create anti-Nexus Force propaganda. As the partially infected minifig was pushed farther along with the crowd, Cyclone noticed a Stromling in guard uniform. A holstered double-barrel Maelstrom gun was holstered at his side, and the Stromling had a haughty attitude, bossing around other Stromlings and kicking at Dark Ronin.
Cyclone tried resisting, but the crowd pushed until he was right next to the guard Stromling. The Stromling took one look at him, and snapped, "Only complete Stromlings allowed beyond this point. In fact, there is a law prohibiting partial Stromlings from even being in this city."
The Stromling pulled out his gun, and aimed at Cyclone's heart. "After this, you'll be a Stromling completely under the great grand and glorious Darkitect's control," it spat. "Prepare to be infected."
Cyclone ducked and rammed his full body weight into the Stromling's stomach, and the Maelstrom beam flew harmlessly over him. The guard lurched and teetered on his platform, but Cyclone gave him no time to react. He quickly disarmed the guard and silenced him with a blow to the jaw.
The other Stromlings stared as Cyclone stood up. "Continue on," he shouted as he waved his way through them towards the door. "He was being mean anyway, right guys?" he pointed out, before escaping the museum. He stood, panting outside, when Rover, Kate, and Krill ran over to him.
"You okay?" Rover asked. "I saw you get stuck in there, but we couldn't get in."
"And I couldn't get out," Cyclone told him. "I'm okay now, but there are guards after me. We'd better hurry."
Suddenly a loud roar filled the air, and a Dragon flew in through a large hole high up on one of the walls. Cyclone watched in horror as Torchblight, an elite dragon invader, flew around the cavern, with four prisoners held in a net hanging from the dragon's underside.
And those four prisoners were Duke Exeter, Dr. Overbuild, Hael Storm, and Vanda Darkflame.
Fake Chapter 23Edit
"I can't believe it!" Rover shouted. "That's my faction leader you got there! I'll get ya, dragon!"
"Actually," said a voice from above the dragon. "I did this all. And now I will corrupt you."
Torchblight descended, revealing a minifig in plain blue overalls and a red hat as its rider. A bubble above the minifig's head revealed his name, thedude7500. Cyclone paled.
"IT'S HIM!!!" Cyclone screamed. "He's the guy who was mean to my friend Talmid!"
"Huh?" Rover asked. "Who's Talmid?"
"I AM TALMID!!!" a booming voice yelled, and the roof blew off. Then an orange laser beam blasted into Torchblight and disintegrated the Dragon Invader, and unfortunately the faction leaders as well. A huge white spaceship fell in through the hole, and then a bunch of guys in 26th Century Star Fleet officer uniforms materialized next to the stunned thedude7500.
"I'm Fleet Captain Talmid," the guy at the front of the group said, pulling out a phaser from his holster. "And you, dude0057the, are under arrest in the name of the Minuteman Division, part of Star Fleet and the United Federation of Planets."
"Never," growled thedude7500. "You is notin to do with lu."
Fleet Captain Talmid stepped back, shocked. "How dare you!"
"Hey," Intrepid spoke up. "You're me."
Cyclone turned to him. "How'd you get here? Last I saw you where at Raven's Bluff!"
"Yeah, but a Mythran brought me here." Intrepid said, gesturing to a bright blue transparent Bob next to him.
"I am Oceanbella," said the Mythran. "It has come to my attention that two alternate versions of one minifig exist, which is impossible, so I have to disintegrate one of you." she said to Intrepid and Flt. Captain Talmid.
"WHAT??" Talmid shrieked. He slapped a combadge shaped like a star that adorned his shirt over the left side of his chest. "Fleet Captian to USS Talmidon, beam us up!"
"Sorry, to much Maelstrom." came the reply through his combadge. "We can't beam you up."
Talmid sighed. "Besides, I have some unfinished business." He pressed a button on his phaser, then blasted thedude7500 with it, sending him flying through space and time, where he landed in the SpongeBob forum of the Lego.com messageboards.
"What am I doing here?!" thedude7500 shrieked as a giant pink star fish and a giant yellow sponge started attacking him.
"Hello!" said the PINK star fish. "Welcome to the Spongebob forum! NOW GET OUT, MEANIE!!!"
They kicked thedude7500 over to the MLN forum, where Echo found him. "Hi! Hi!" echoed Echo.
"AAH!" thedude7500 screamed. "Flying talking rock!"
"No, I'm a flying talking head! Head!" protested Echo.
thedude7500 kicked Echo away. "AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaHHHH!!!!" screamed Echo. "AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaHHHH!!!!"
Then suddenly thedude7500 turned red, and his form grew very round. A stem popped out of his head, and in less than ten point three seconds, he had turned into a Crimson Apple Masterpiece, which Echo came back to and promptly started munching on.
Wait, can talking flying rocks even eat??
"Hey, I told you I'm not a talking flying rock. Rock." Echo growled at messageboard Talmid who is currently writing this right now.
"Oh sorry Echo." I wrote. "Now you'd better get back to helping the Rank zeros on MLN. And thanks for the mysterious purple brick too. Z'ya, Echo!"
"Bye!" said Echo, and he flew away. "Bye!"
I sighed and using my magical writing powers, picked up thedude7500 the Crimson Apple Masterpiece, and chucked it to the Lego Duple store run by the weird rabbit and giraffe. After taking a few pieces of thedude7500 to sell, they sent it flying to Lego Friends land where the chilling all-those-wonderful-girls who are the Lego Friends made tasty Apple Pie from.
Demonstrait smirked as he guided his dragon through the immense caverns of the Darkitect's lair. Nexus Tower was in ruins, and he had captured his prizes. The faction leaders themselves, now to become slaves of the Darkitect forever.
Smiling with contempt, Demonstrait thought back to how the battle at Nexus Tower had gone, just a few hours before.
At first, the battle had been going well for the Nexus Force. But only after they had pressed forwards and were at quite a distance from the tower, did they realize they had fallen into a trap.
Dragons had descended from behind them, cutting off any way to the tower. In the rising panic, the Nexus Force allowed itself to be swarmed with the Maelstrom, and the brave Sentinel, Assembly, Venture, and Paradox fighters were smashed. A Maelstrom blast struck the tower, and explosions rocked it from inside.
The tower became nothing more than a burnt out shell of what once was the greatest achievement of all minifig kind.
In the confusion, Duke Exeter, Dr. Overbuild, Hael Storm, and Vanda Darkflame were captured by the Maelstrom and brought to where they were now, the Darkitect's lair, hidden in the darkest corner of the universe.
"I still can't believe it actually happened," Lord Brocktree said softly.
Standing outside what once was Nexus Tower on the surface of Crux Prime, Brocktree, Suave, Stunt, Rare, Argon, Shrill, Blade, Intrepid, and Sergeant stood in the deserted site of one of the greatest battlefields in history. The battle that determined whether the Nexus Force would stand, or fall.
"Nexus Tower's destroyed, and all these brave fighters along with it." Suave said, shaking his head sadly.
The group had just taken off from Nimbus Station when they had received a distress signal emanating from Nexus Tower. The call had ended as abruptly as it had begun, making them suspect that they were the only ones to had heard it.
And from what they saw now, apparently they had thought the truth.
Brocktree sadly turned and walked over to a charred launchpad, placing his rocket onto it.
"Where are you going?" Intrepid called.
Brocktree rotated his head to face them, and said strongly, "I must serve my duty to you, to the Nexus Force, and to all minifigures. With the faction leaders either missing, or dead, it is my job to lead the Nexus Force to its next battle." he told them. "Suave, continue where I have left off, and help these minifigures find their friends." Brock took one last look at them, before saying, "Good luck," and launching off into space.
No one spoke for a long time, until Rare turned to the others and asked, "What now?"
"No! That's MY faction leader you've got there, Stromling sludge!!" Rover shouted, and he ran over to a nearby dragon. Before Cyclone could stop him, Rover was up in the air chasing Torchblight throughout the cavern, and finally into one of the tunnels.
"Rover!!" Cyclone and Kate both shouted, but the Buccaneer was gone.
Krill put his hands on their shoulders, and spoke. "He's doing what he feels is right, which is his duty to his faction." he stated. "Let him go, and we will follow." Krill said, turning to face a couple of Stromling guards who were pointing and making their way towards them. "Actually, let me rephrase. We ARE following."
Cyclone noticed the guards, and quickly grabbed Kate's arm and ran. Krill lead them through the streets towards the side of the cavern, and they began scaling the cliff face. Luckily, Stromlings aren't able to climb well with a huge sword replacing their left hands. Or so they thought.
Kate looked down and let out a small shriek. The Stromling guards were following, at a fast pace too. The gap between them was narrowing, and then the worst had to happen. Kate slipped on a ledge, and began to fall.
Krill aimed his gun and fired a grappling wire. The suction tip of the wire connected and kept Kate from falling to the ground below. The bounty hunter pressed a button, and his boots magnetically attached themselves to the rock face, which strangely was highly magnetic. Heaving, he held Kate up until she was steady, then he fired a couple of rounds at the Stromling guards with his rifle. Two smashed.
Cyclone reached the entrance to the tunnel Rover went through first. He pulled himself onto the ledge and helped Kate up. Staring down, he noticed Krill swinging his rifle at the Stromlings that were less than a foot away from him. One Stromling grabbed at him, and held onto his boot. Krill brought his rifle down on the Stromling's head, and it let go, plummeting to the ground. Then another one slashed at his leg, and there was a flash of red. Krill aimed a pistol, but the Stromling knocked it away. Cyclone noted with dismay that the Stromling that Krill was fighting currently with was the one he had knocked out earlier.
The Stromling growled, and slashed wildly at Krill's exposed chest. Krill fumbled around with his belt, and pulled out a water gun. He aimed it at the Stromling's face and fired. The bossy Stromling Guard screeched and reached for his face, which proved to be the worst move that Stromling had, did, and would ever make in his entire life. A few seconds later, the Stromling was lying on the ground, unmoving.
"Krill?" Cyclone called down. "You okay?"
"I'm fine," Krill shouted up as he clutched at his injured leg. His boots were soaked in blood, and Cyclone could tell Krill certainly was NOT fine. "Just carry on without me, I'll be up there soon."
Cyclone nodded, and together, he and Kate turned away from the ledge and entered the dark tunnel. The two original minifigs, who started this whole adventure together, were now on their own. Once again.
Gallant Strong Cyclone and Kate stood in the entrance of the tunnel, two brave minifigures alone together in a dangerous world.
After a few seconds of silence, Cyclone broke it. "Come on, we've got to find Rover, before something bad happens." he urged. Together, they broke out into a run, charging through the tunnel, running like the wind.
After a full ten minutes of non-stop running, panting, Kate turned her head to Cyclone and asked, "Remind.... me. How.... did.... we get.... here.... in the first.... place?"
"Well, it started.... on that deserted.... Raven's Bluff.... property world." Cyclone replied, also panting, but not as heavily. "When the Darkitect.... created that.... wormhole vortex thing.... we all got sucked into it.... and it brought us here."
Kate was silent for a few seconds, then stopped running. Cyclone slowed down and walked back to be with her. "You know," she said, catching her breath, "Before I came to Raven's Bluff to rescue you guys, I payed a visit to Vanda Darkflame again."
"After you ran away from us at Avant Gardens," Cyclone added.
Kate rolled her eyes. "Well, what did you expect me to do? Let myself be smashed continuously by constantly being nearby to my own self?" she said sarcastically.
"What was going on there anyway?" asked Cyclone. "What did cause you to smash like that all of a sudden?"
Kate shrugged. "As Vanda explained, since I have a very VERY strong imagination spark, being in contact with another being with an equally strong imagination spark causes it to be damaged, and thus cause me to smash." Then she sighed, and said sadly, "I mean, 'had' a strong imagination spark. According to Vanda, since my imagination spark is damaged, I am actually losing it. And another contact with the other me, or something else that will damage it will cause it to be destroyed all together, so-"
Cyclone didn't give her a chance to continue. Quickly he pulled out a notion potion and spilled all of its contents on Kate. "Hey-" she protested, but the imagination from the potion did what Cyclone was hoping for, and the Maelstrom mist encompassing her arms vanished.
"Can't take any chances under these circumstances, Kate." Cyclone told her as he washed off his own Maelstrom mist as well. It felt better to not have the Maelstrom fog scratching at him, and the feeling in his neck disappeared as well. "If I understand correctly what you said, then having this Maelstrom stuff on you is having a worse effect then we would have expected, and having it wear down your imagination spark would mean that in the case of you smashing, you wont rebuild. Ever again."
Kate nodded. "Yeah, I know. In case you didn't notice, I wasn't very for having to put this stuff on me, but I'd rather deal with never being allowed to smash more than keeping you guys trapped here in Maelstrom Metropolis." she told him.
Cyclone smiled at her. "I appreciate it, Kate," he said, "But maybe you can tell us of your thoughts to, rather than keeping it all to yourself."
Kate smiled back. "I'll take it into consideration," she said mischievously, and shortly after they were both running again down the tunnel.
When they reached the end, the sight they beheld was not what they had expected.
"According to these logs and information we have collected," Suave said as he poked around with a broken computer bank retrieved from Nexus Tower's ruins, "A massive anomaly appeared a few minutes after the distress signal was sent."
The group minus Lord Brocktree were still hanging out outside the tower, or what was left of it.
"Wow," Suave exclaimed. "Look at this. Wait, actually don't, or you'll block my view. It says that after the anomaly was picked up, it stopped a few seconds later, and the Maelstrom scanners on the ground floor suddenly only picked up faint traces of Maelstrom." He looked up, and said, "Sounds like the anomaly was another vortex, and it sucked up the Maelstorm army and brought them back to the Darkitect's lair."
"Good thinking, Suave," Stunt complimented him. "Now what?"
"What we're doing now, is trying to find what coordinates the vortex was leading to." Suave said, picking up a scanning device and walking over to a seemingly random area. "According to this information, I can pinpoint exactly which location the portal opened up in. And if I launch a burst of tachyon particles at that area," Suave said as he pressed a button on his scanning device, which in fact was way more than a scanning device. Before Suave could finish, a bright purple vortex suddenly opened above Suave's head.
"Oh my gosh," Argon gasped. Intrepid, Shrill, Sergeant, Blade, Rare, and Stunt all watched as Suave was lifted off the ground by the immense force of the Maelstorm vortex.
"Guys, GUYS!!" Suave called jubilantly. "This is it!! We're almost finished!! Everyone in!! Yahoo!!!" he cheered before being sucked into the vortex all together.
"Come on!" Blade called as his jumped into the air, allowing the vortex to pull him in as well. "We've got to rescue Cyclone, Kate and Rover! Let's go!"
Following suit, the rest of them all ran over and dove into the portal. With a crackling sound, they went through, and then the vortex closed.
"Ugh, where.... are.... we...." Shrill moaned. She leaned over threw up, before opening her eyes and staring around the dark cavern they were in. She sat up, and noticed Suave's face being illuminated by the dim light of a laptop screen.
"Yes, Brock. We've made it," Suave was saying. He had a headset with a microphone on, and Shrill could tell he was talking to Lord Brocktree. "I'm sending the coordinates of the Darkitect's hideout to you now. Yes, assemble whatever troops the Nexus Force currently has, and get over here. Yes. In the meantime, we'll be looking for their friends. Uh huh. Yeah, once they wake up." he said with a laugh. Then Suave turned and noticed Shrill standing there, staring at him. "Oh, Shrill's awake. Well, see you then, Brock. Good luck, thanks Brock." He closed the lid of his laptop, and then said to Shrill, "Anything I can do for you?"
"Well, help me get Fusion-dude and the rest of them to awaken," she said matter-of-factly.
"Okay then," Suave said, getting up and walking over to the sleeping forms of Blade, Sergeant, Argon, Rare, and Stunt. "How about the old water splashing technique, then?"
"Rover!" Kate shrieked.
Cheerful Power Rover, Rank 3 Venture League Buccaneer, hung upside down in a spiky cage, as a Stromling Pirate Invader. He was infected, and the one who had done it stood over him.
A Stromling sat saddled on the Dragon Torchblight behind the cage. "Welcome, you two brave minifigures." the Stromling rasped. "I am Demonstrait, elite servant of the Darkitect, and your worst nightmare."
Demonstrait raised a staff which glowed purple. A pink diamond was adorned atop of it, the color of the Invaders of Crux Prime. The gem began to glow brighter, and lightning began shooting from it.
"RUN!!" Cyclone yelled. He pushed Kate to the side and dove out of the way before a purple blast of Maelstrom lightning struck the ground where they had been standing previously. A crack appeared in the ground and a chasm opened, widening quickly and separating Cyclone and Kate from each other.
Demonstrait cackled, but then a frown appeared on his Stromling face. "I sense the power of the Maelstrom inside of you," he said. After a few seconds, he made up his mind, and spat, "But you are traitors to the master Darkitect. Prepare to be destroyed."
As more Maelstrom lightning rained down on, Cyclone thought back to when he and Kate were in a space battle with Rover, shortly after they had first met each other as enemies. He had summoned lightning similar to the ones that Demonstrait was flinging on them. And Demonstrait was using a stick.
As something to guide the lightning away from him. When Cyclone had first summoned lightning, it had originated from him and he had gotten a searing pain from the lightning. Even though he was no longer Maelstrom infected, he might be able to try again, and this time do it right.
Cyclone ducked and rolled into a somersault, avoiding the lightning just barely. He quickly got up and ran behind a pillar of stone. Behind it were a few wooden sticks. Quickly, Cyclone picked one up and began concentrating on the thought of lightning striking down Demonstrait.
It was working. Cyclone could feel the power building up, but this time not inside of him, but rather inside of the stick. Then it vanished. Hurriedly, he raised the stick high, and the desired effect happened. Blue imagination lightning shot from it and connected with the Straight Demon. Screeching, the Stromling fell from his beast to the ground, his staff landing on the ground next to him and shattering to a million pieces.
"No!" Demonstrait shouted, and he crawled over to the staff's remains in a vain attempt to piece them back together. Cyclone ran over to him, and struck him with the stick. Demonstrait fell from the blow, but then turned to Cyclone and screamed. The Stromling grabbed the stick and bit into it, shattering it. Pulling out a dagger, Demonstrait slashed at Cyclone like a madman, which he was, being a slave of the Darkitect.
Quickly Cyclone pulled a Heroic Force Blade from his backpack and swung at Demonstrait. The Stromling's dagger just sliced through it, and the Force Blade fell to pieces on the ground. Cyclone gaped at the blade-less hilt he was holding, but he had to act quickly. Demonstrait swung his invincible dagger at his head, and Cyclone barely managed to duck in time.
Cyclone tried firing some rounds from his Pneumatic Drill of Blasting at Demonstrait, but the elite Stromling just deflected them with lightning-fast swings of his dagger. The short battle would have ended poorly for Cyclone, if the tip of a sword hadn't suddenly appeared sticking out of the side of Demonstrait that Cyclone could see. He gasped as the sword disappeared and Demonstrait fell to the ground to see Kate standing there, holding an Improved Longsword, it's golden tip dripping with black.
"I've never killed anyone," Kate whispered.
Cyclone put his hand on her shoulder. "He deserved it. Now come on, we've got to rescue Rover."
When they tried running over to Rover's cage, Torchblight lumbered over and blocked their way. The dragon roared, blasting fire at Cyclone and Kate. They weren't going to be rescueing Rover easily.
Without anything to guide his lightning powers with, Cyclone opted against electrocuting himself again. Quickly he dove to the side, just barely missing the fireball that smashed into the ground. It quickly dissipated, but the ground was scorched, and Torchblight was ready to try burning him a second time.
The only way out of this was to fight their way out. Cyclone quickly grabbed the first weapon he could get his hands on. He pulled it out, and realized he was holding a Powerjouster which Blade must have given to him sometime before. Gripping the weapon, Cyclone swung the valiant and slashed through the scaly armor protecting Torchblight's stomach. The dragon screeched, and Cyclone swung again, this time slicing off the sharp talons on the dragon's left hand.
Torchblight struck with its other claws, catching Cyclone off guard and knocking him off balance. The dragon turned its attention completely over to Cyclone, giving Kate the ability to slip by and open up Rover's cage. Rover the Stromling Pirate Invader jumped out, and doing what Stromling Pirate Invaders do, began attacking her.
"Rover!" Kate squealed, dodging a swipe from Rover's talons. She jumped out of the way of another slash, and quickly pulled out a thirst quencher from her backpack. She splashed it on the Pirate Stromling, and Rover growled. He took a few seconds to wipe the imagination off, before growling again menacingly and cornering Kate into a corner.
Kate quickly dug around and pulled out a Steampunk rocket, which blasted Rover backwards and to the side. The rocket continued flying for a few seconds before coming down with a crash and exploding.
Kate didn't give Rover any time to respond. She ran over and quickly built two handcuffs that stuck out of the ground, trapping Rover to the floor. Then built another cage around him. Time to help Cyclone.
Torchblight blew another fireball. Cyclone realized there was no time to run, so he raised the Powerjouster, which ended up taking the brunt of the hit. The force of the collision sent the Powerjouster flying to side, where Kate picked it up, and causing Cyclone to fly backwards and crash into the wall with a thud.
Kate examined the Powerjouster with dismay. It was burnt crisp and its color had quickly worn off, and its edges had turned blunt too. She frowned as it crumbled to ashes in her hands. All that was left was the hilt. Frustrated, she threw the useless thing at the wall. And now there was nothing she could do to try and save her friend.
Suddenly a shot rang out. Torchblight suddenly jerked upright, and then with a thud flopped to the ground, unmoving.
Cyclone got up from the ground, and followed Kate's gaze to the entrance of the cavern. Krill Mathias stood there, lowering a still-smoking rifle. But he wasn't alone. Flanking him on either side were Blade and another Sentinel, and behind him were two Space Marauders, two Avant Gardens recruits, and the two familiar faces of Intrepid and Sergeant.
Cyclone's voice cracked, and emotionally he croaked, "You're here."
In the rush of hugs and cheers that instantly followed, nobody noticed Demonstrait weakly get up from the floor and run into the next tunnel.
"Master," Demonstrait croaked as he knelt before the Darkitect. "The minifigures have come, and there is nothing I can do to stop it."
The massive form of the Darkitect turned around on his rotating throne. "And you think that I do not know of it?" he questioned. "I have with me the Orb of Sights, used to view anything at my bidding. And I was thinking of giving you a promotion regarding your recent deeds," he rumbled, gesturing to the faction leaders who stood unconscious in stasis tubes arranged in the Baron's massive display case, "But your foolishness has gotten in the way once again."
"Allow me to redeem myself, masssster...." Demonstrait wailed. "They are right outside, but they are only eleven in numbers, if I am allowed a Ronin horde-"
"You have already lost any ability to redeem yourself, you bumbling fool of a Stromling!" the Darkitect roared. "And now you will be replaced, by my new servant."
A door opened, and a familiar face entered the room. Spakybob, Argon's old friend, now Spakybob the Stromling, personal slave of the Darkitect.
"Welcome Spakybob, my new personal slave." the Darkitect cackled. "However, Demonstrait, I am not a complete tyrant, and I will allow you to redeem yourself to the level of personal slave to Spakybob." Another door opened, and a horde of Ronin Invaders entered through it. "Here are your Ronin, and go defeat the enemy."
After Demonstrait left, the Darkitect laughed at the suicide mission he had just sent Demonstrait into. Through the Orb of Sights, he could see quite well that there wasn't only eleven Nexus Forcers out there, but rather, an entire army. And when they defeated Demonstrait and came to challenge him, he would crush them all.
"Anyone call for reinforcements?" a familiar voice called, and a bunch of Nexus Forcers suddenly entered the room. Lord Brocktree entered shortly after, Verminbane clutched in his hand, with nearly the entirety of the rest of the Nexus Force behind him.
"Lord Brocktree," a Rank 3 Daredevil said, running up to him. "We have conquered the Maelstrom city, and quarantined the Maelstrom inside it for later disinfection."
"Good, Brave." Brock complimented him. "You deserve a promotion for your great service not only to me, but to all the Nexus Force."
"Thank you sir," Brave the Daredevil said gratefully.
"Wait," Kate whispered to Cyclone. "If the whole Nexus Force is here, then does that mean you-know-who is here?"
"Who-" Cyclone asked, but then he realized what Kate meant. "Oh, um, I'm not sure. Most likely, yeah, I guess."
"Oh no." Kate hung her head. "Well, now you know, no matter what, don't even think of trying to get us near each other again, got it?"
"Yep," said Cyclone.
"Good," Kate replied.
After disinfecting Rover and freeing him from the prison Kate had built around him, the hundreds of minifigures led by Brocktree continued down the tunnel that Demonstrait had left through, with Suave, Stunt, Rare, Blade, Krill, Argon, Shrill, Intrepid, Sergeant, Kate, Rover, and Cyclone near the front.
The tunnel was narrow, and many of the fighters were packed and only a few were able to get through at a time. They had only gone a meters when a bunch of Dark Ronin Invaders suddenly fell on them.
Two Dark Ronin landed atop an Assembly Summoner, tackling him to the ground. The Summoner had no time to scream before one of the Ronin jabbed its sword into the Assembly's stomach. The Summoner saw no more.
"Duck!!" someone called, and Cyclone instinctively ducked as the Daredevil Brave double jumped over him, blue flames erupting, as he pulled out a Rutcarver and rode it through the Ronin, knocking the ones to the sides away and crushing the ones unfortunate enough to get in his path. Until a hand grabbed the engine of the one-wheeled motorcycle and infected it with Maelstrom energy.
And that hand belonged to Demonstrait.
"What!?" Cyclone exclaimed. "I thought we smashed him!"
"Then let's get 'im!" Rover shouted, and he charged Demonstrait waving Hesevalints. The two exchanged deadly strikes with their swords, but from the beginning of their duel, it was easily noticeable that Rover had the upper hand.
The surprise attack from the Ronin had knocked out several of the tightly packed Nexus Forcers trapped like sardines in the tunnel. Amidst fallen suits of armor and minifigures, other recruits were scattered around battling with Ronin.
Blade swung his knight sword and felled one of the Invaders he was dealing with. When his sword caught fast in the Ronin's armor and wouldn't come out, and with a Ronin approaching fast on his left, Blade bashed its invisible face with his shield, knocking it back.
A rank 1 Space Ranger ran by screaming, with five angry Ronin Invaders chasing it. For some unknown reason, Space Rangers made Maelstrom very angry. Forgetting his Ronin, Blade wrenched his sword from the stubborn armor and charged the other Ronin chasing the Ranger. He felled three and struck down another, but one managed to leap away from Blade and bring down the Space Ranger with a strike to the side. By the time Blade wiped it out, the Space Ranger had smashed.
Rover gritted his teeth as he used up lots of his force trying to angle his blade away. Demonstrait was pushing his full weight against Hesevalints with his Maelstrom sword, and Rover was losing strength rapidly. But the Buccaneer was full of surprises. A pistol slipped out of Rover's left sleeve, and in a quick motion, he blasted the Stromling backwards into a wall. He stepped over to his fallen foe, and preparing to fire the pistol one last time, he muttered, "This is your end, Stromling."
Demonstrait kicked, and the pistol flew from Rover's hand, misfiring and blowing a hole in the ceiling. Spinning his sword, Rover stabbed it down into Demonstrait's form, and all was silenced for the torturous servant of darkness.
The Ronin were vanquished a short while later, but several Rank 1s and 2s didn't make it. Brocktree assigned commanders to the small pockets of minifigures that remained. Intrepid was joyous at being promoted to commander over a few Rank 1s, but also over Argon, Shrill, and an annoyed Sergeant.
"How come HE always gets positions over me?" Sergeant whined.
"Relax," Argon said, patting his shoulder. "From what I've seen, he's a good soldier, and a good commander." He turned and looked at a Rank 1 Sorcerer, Knight, and Inventor that were also under Intrepid's command, who were fidgeting nervously under their gear at the thought of having a limited recruit as their commanding officer. "I wonder what they're thinking right now."
Sergeant sighed, and awaited orders from his Bat Lord commander after Brock gave the order to march ahead further into the Darkitect's realm.
The Darkitect laughed, pure evil encompassing it. He looked up from the Orb of Sights. "They dare come to me?" he bellowed, before breaking into another fit of horrendous giggles. "I shall enjoy crushing them, don't you think, my new servant of darkness? Hehehe, darkness, like me!"
"Yes, my master." Spakybob said darkly. Unlike Demonstrait, Spakybob had a less raspy and more clear voice, something the Darkitect had given him after he had decided a raspy voice is one of the things that made him hate his previous slave so much. "Those imagination fools will realize their mistakes in waging war with you in the first place." he monotoned.
"Yes, yes, Spakybob." the Darkitect cackled, "You are way better than that fool of a Stromling Demonstrait could ever become." showing no emotion over his betrayal to Demonstrait.
The Nexus Force's march through the cavern continued uneventful. Courageously, they walked on to the final confrontation between good and evil, the Imagination and Maelstrom, the Nexus Force and the Darkitect.
"This is it, kid," Krill said, giving Cyclone a pat on the head. "I've been waiting for this moment since that piece of Maelstrom sludge betrayed us all at Raven's Bluff. Cover for me, will ya?" he charged ahead, silently, and soon disappeared from view. Cyclone thought he saw the assassin climbing up the wall and into a ventilation shaft, but he couldn't have been sure.
A massive door soon loomed up over them.
"Why is this door so familiar?" Suave whispered to Brock.
Brocktree cocked his head, and stared at the door and doorway from different angles. "There are these strange symbols which feel familiar, but I can't parse it." he said, rubbing his hand over some strange characters that adorned the doorway.
Stunt and Rare stepped near to the door with an armada of other Space Marauders, all brandishing Wormholers except for Rare, who carried two Rocket Launchers instead, being a Rank 1. They aimed their guns at the door, and a few Ventures drove a battering ram up behind them. Lord Brocktree gave the signal, and the battering ram swung.
Log and door collided in a cloud of dust. The door fell forwards, and the Space Marauders charged through, aiming their weapons around the room. The dust cleared, and Brocktree and the rest of the Nexus Force entered....
…. into one of the greatest chambers in the entire Universe.
A relic of the First Builders.
The Temple of Imagination.
With the Darkitect, in his massive form, seated on a massive throne built over it.
"Well, well, well," the Darkitect cackled, crossing his arms. "It is no surprise that the fool Demonstrait didn't stop you."
Lord Brocktree stepped forward, and unsheathed Verminbane. "Stand down, Baron Typhonus, and we will make this quick."
"Oh really," the Darkitect said coolly. "You think you are in any position to give orders to me?"
Undeterred, Brock waved his hand, and the Space Marauders circled around the edge of the room, all aiming at the Darkitect. "So you wish to do this the hard way." he replied equally cold.
The Darkitect arose, a smile of pure evil plastered upon his skeletal face. "I will enjoy crushing you." he bellowed, and he swung his staff. A blast of strong wind smashed Stunt, Rare, and the other Space Marauders into the wall. They fell to the ground, dazed, their wormholers clattering to the floor, while all around the room, the dark cavities in the walls lit up. Ghostly beings of pure Maelstrom floated out, and hundreds of moaning purple tinted apparitions soared around the chamber.
"Dark Mythrans!" a Sentinel cried out, and panic rushed through the Nexus Force as the mythical creatures known as Dark Mythrans began spawning several clones of the fallen Butterscorch throughout the room. The Dragon Invaders roared jets of fire, setting the columns that supported the chamber ablaze.
The Darkitect aimed his staff directly at Brocktree. Swinging his cape, he roared, "You dare attack the Master of Chaos!"
A bolt of Maelstrom lightning shot from his staff, headed straight for Lord Brocktree. Minifigs all around the general ran, and the lightning smashed into Brock. A massive bright light of epic proportions illuminated the room, and it slowly died down, revealing Brock standing strong, Verminbane raised, with one edge slightly charred from where the lightning had struck.
"You're going to need to try a different tactic." Brocktree stated boldly, his sword aimed at the Baron's heart.
The Darkitect laughed, and charged towards them. Brocktree tried swinging his sword, but he was kicked aside. Amidst laughs of pure evil, the Darkitect trampled through the Nexus Force, crushing those in his way and kicking others into the walls with bone-shattering force.
Lord Brocktree tried rising from where he lay against the wall of the chamber. Suave, Blade, Cyclone, Kate, Rover, Shrill, Argon, Intrepid, and Sergeant ran over to him and helped him into a sitting position.
"Are you all right?" asked Suave alarmed. "Brock, you've gotta be hearing me. You have to be okay!"
Brocktree moaned and opened his eyes slowly. "I'm okay...." he groaned between gasps of breath that exited his pale face. "I think I broke some ribs...."
Blade whipped out a scanning device and waved it over Brock's torso. Blade frowned harder, and his mouth formed a thin line. "You've got several fractures in your ribcage, general."
Two recruits carrying a stretcher ran over. "Sir, sir," one called, "are you all right?!"
Blade shot a look at them. "Just get him to safety, that's your first priority." As the recruits loaded Brock on the stretcher, he said, "He's got several fractures in his ribcage."
Cyclone shook his head sadly. "This whole operation was a failure. The Darkitect is gone, this place is in ruins, and the Nexus Force is crumbling." he added, taking a peak at the groaning survivors of the Nexus Force who lay in the tunnel the Baron had escaped through.
Argon tugged on Suave's shirtsleeve, and he looked up from where he had been staring at the floor. "Uh, sir?" he mumbled.
"Yes, Argon?" Suave asked.
Argon gulped. "I think we have a bigger problem than a missing Darkitect."
The group turned and stared at the ghastly sight of the army of hundreds of Butterscorches and horde after horde of Dark Mythrans who stood before them, evil and hate burning in their eyes.
Suave, Blade, Rover, Argon, Shrill, Intrepid, Sergeant, Kate, and Cyclone raised their swords. They knew they stood no chance against the power of a Mythran, even more so with thousands of Dark Mythrans and hundreds of Butterscorch clones. It dawned on Cyclone that it was these Dark Mythrans who constantly respawned the fallen Maelstrom enemies on every world, unlike minifigures who (99% of the time) automatically rebuilt themselves with imagination. It angered Cyclone to know that the power of these evil beings stretched all the way across the Nimbus System. These monsters were playing with the Nexus Force!
A wall of blue fire tore through the Dark Mythran horde. Butterscorch and her five hundred clones screeched in agony and smashed, not into bricks, but into tiny particles of dust which fell to the ground. The Dark Mythrans evaporated in low pitched moans, and the wall of flame dissipated, revealing a normal-looking Rank 3 Assembly Engineer.
"Whoa," Sergeant gasped.
"How- did- you-" Argon stuttered.
"Hi, I'm TheGuy." the Engineer said, sticking out his hand. "TheGuy1 for full."
Argon shook it, then exclaimed, "I'm ArgonDragonUdon, Talmid's, Thingguy2's, and now YOUR greatest fan!!!"
The other members of the group exchanged looks of confusion. "Wha-?" Intrepid stammered. Sergeant looked flabbergasted.
Shrill poked Intrepid's side. "Who's Talmid?" she asked. "Know him, Fusion-Dude?"
"Nope," Intrepid replied, shaking his head, "But the name sounds veeery eeeeerily familiar...."
Shrill rolled her eyes. "I thought you knew everyone," she mumbled.
Argon was bubbling with excitement. "How'd you do that?!" he shouted.
"You might not believe me," TheGuy answered with a smirk, "But I'm half-Mythran. And by being half-Mythran, I am like a normal minifig, but with Mythran powers-"
Suddenly someone struck TheGuy from behind. Their savior gasped and fell to the ground at Argon's feet, revealing a scene extremely terrible, so terrible, it not only was terrible, but horrendous.
"Spakybob-" Argon gasped too. "No-"
Spakybob the Elite Stromling Invader grabbed Argon and threw him against the wall with a thud. Rover and Blade unsheathed their swords and charged the Stromling, but just as they got near him, he grabbed their throats and raised the two choking recruits into the air.
Shrill threw a Basic Dagger at the Stromling and it embedded itself into his chest armor, felling Spakybob to his knees, and releasing Rover and Blade from his grasp. They fell and crumpled to the ground, unconscious.
Not wanting to give him a chance to recover, Suave, Cyclone, Intrepid, and Sergeant charged over to Spakybob and whacked him repeatedly with their swords, while Kate and Shrill ran over to check on Argon. They found him lying against the wall, sobbing.
"Spakybob was my best friend," Argon cried. "He sacrificed himself for us, but now he's trapped under the Maelstrom like this."
A growling sound took Kate, Shrill, and Argon's attention away from Spakybob. Apparently there were still lots of Maelstrom creatures in the throne room, and a horde of Stromling Admiral Invaders stood by them, arring viciously. The lead one raised its cannon straight at Kate, and fired. An anchor blasted towards her, with rings of doom right behind it.
There was a sudden flash of blue, and the anchor embedded itself in another minifig, the lethal rings of doom following, powerful enough to knock the life out of anyone. Kate realized she was still alive, and quickly took the chance to charge into the horde of Admirals, slashing and hacking with her sword until each Admiral was felled. Panting, she plopped down and wiped beads of sweat from her forehead. Then she remembered how she had survived.
"Are you okay?" she called, and looked over at the brave minifigure who had taken the shot for her. And then, Kate quickly paled as she realized with shock the identity of her saviour.
Meanwhile, Spakybob viciously spun the blunt edge of a Broadsider with the intent of hurting his foes as much as possible before ending their lives, hitting Suave in his face and knocking him back. A blow to the jaw knocked the Sentinel out cold, leaving the inexperienced fighters Cyclone, Intrepid, and Sergeant in the way of a mad Stromling Invader. A kick sent Intrepid flying backwards, but the Bat Lord transformed his momentum into a backflip, landing feet-first on the ground. Intrepid shook a little from the force, but he regained his balance.
"That all you can do?" Intrepid taunted, and he rushed at Spakybob with a shield-slam. The Stromling Invader pushed Sergeant and Cyclone aside and stuck out his foot, tripping Intrepid and sprawling him on the ground.
Sergeant was next. A slash from the Stromling's left-hand blade and Sergeant jumped to the side, straight into the path of the Broadsider. The limited recruit was whacked aside, and he lay on the ground unmoving. Cyclone was last.
Seeing all his friends go down just like that left a scar running through him emotionally. Out of control and in a fit of anger, Cyclone attacked the Stromling Invader viciously. Spakybob took several massive unexpected blows before attempting to fight back. A punch threw the angry recruit to the ground, but Cyclone got up less than a second later. He swung his sword in an arc, and the blunt edge smacked into the side of Spaky's head. Dazed, the Stromling Invader made little attempt to block the slash that went through his right arm.
Growling, the one armed Stromling swiped its left-hand blade, the tip of it slicing through the skin of Cyclone leg. Cyclone screamed in agony as Maelstrom poison swept through his wound, and he fell to the ground. His sword clattered to the floor, and Spakybob prepared to end Cyclone's life in a final strike.
A laser blast fired, and Spakybob fell.
Suave slowly rose from the ground, and patted one of his holsters. It was empty, his Space Ranger gun was missing. He turned, and saw Argon standing there, Suave's smoking Space Ranger gun in his hands aimed ahead of him at the spot above where Spakybob lay.
"I had too," Argon gasped, tears streaming from his eyes. "He would have killed us all."
Suave placed his hand on Argon's shoulder, while Cyclone, Rover, Blade, TheGuy1, Intrepid, and Sergeant recovered and stood up. Farther away, Stunt and Rare recovered as well. But then someone else cried out, and Cyclone turned to its source.
A massive pang struck Cyclone's chest. Kate sat against the wall, her hair falling down around her face. She was crying, and a familiar looking Sentinel Samurai was held unmoving in her arms.
Kate looked up at Cyclone, here eyes glistening with tears, and Cyclone realized with horror the identification of the Samurai.
It was Kate's alternate ego. Dead.
The Darkitect barrelled through the long hallways that crisscrossed through the underground caverns of the large chunk of Crux Prime that held the Temple of Imagination. It was interesting how the Nexus Force had only yet found the legendary relic once again. A pity they would never be able to explore it completely, like their predecessors, Duke Exeter, Hael Storm, and Dr. Overbuild. And Baron Typhonus.
"That name means nothing to me no longer," the Darkitect seethed in his mind as he arrived where he was headed for. A large chamber with a pedestal in its center. The Darkitect entered, and as soon as he did, his form shrunk back down to the size of a normal minifigure. The transformation completed, the Darkitect raised his head, and under his top hat was the face of Baron Typhonus, one of the original four explorers of Crux.
"You are a failure, Baron Typhonus." a voice roared from the direction of the pedestal. A dark spherical orb sat upon it. A red skeletal face appeared on its glass border, and Typhonus stared into it.
"Why have you brought me here?" the Baron wept. "You know I regret my actions against my friends, but you keep reinstating control over me and mutating my form into a monstrous, beast that does terrible things I would never do!" he wailed, burying his face in his hands.
The orb clouded, and a shadow poured out of it. It swirled around the Baron like a parasite, and then the front of it lifted up, revealing the red face.
"Perhaps you wish for me to finally end your suffering," the shadow cackled.
The Baron looked up, and in a fit of defiance grabbed the orb and through it as hard as he could with as much force he could muster. The glass sphere soared through the air, and instead of crashing into the wall and exploding into a million pieces, it went through a random basketball hoop that stuck out of the far wall alongside of a bunch of old treasures which stood on small shelves. "Three points!" a mechanical voice droned.
The shadow stretched its long tail and caught the orb. Slowly, the being of shadow retreated back into the orb. A second later, it shot out again into the Baron's chest. With a scream, Baron Typhonus's face changed again, and his form grew back to its previous size.
In a fit of evil laughter, the Darkitect turned around and headed back through the hallway.
While Cyclone, Intrepid, Sergeant, Blade, and Rover stared in shock at Kate and her dead alternate-ego, Argon, Shrill, Suave, Stunt, and Rare exchanged glances at each other. Unlike the others, they did not know the full story.
"Who is it?" Shrill whispered to Suave.
Suave shook his head. "I don't know, but we'd better not intrude." He glanced around, and noticed a bunch of stasis tubes that lined the far wall near a large shelf filled with important artifacts and treasures, annd Hael Storm's golden telescope. He narrowed his eyes and focused on the occupants of the stasis tubes, and when he recognized their inhabitants, he reeled back in shock.
"The faction leaders." he gasped. Suave quickly ran over to the tubes, with Stunt, Rare, Argon and Shrill on his heels.
Back to Cyclone and the others.
Cyclone broke the silence, and he croaked, "Everything is probably ruined now. I'm so sorry."
Even Rover, Blade, Sergeant, and Intrepid hadn't yet heard the very full story. "What do you mean?" Sergeant asked. "Can't you continue living on normally without her?"
Kate shook her head sadly. "You haven't heard yet, but I'm losing my imagination spark."
"What!?" they shouted.
"You tell them," she said quietly to Cyclone.
Quickly Cyclone related the parts about Kate's imagination spark to his companions, who listened wide-eyed and cast worried looks in Kate's direction, and as he was finishing, Suave walked over, supporting Duke Exeter who on his arm. Behind him, Argon and Shrill helped Hael Storm and Dr. Overbuild, while Stunt and Rare accompanied Vanda Darkflame.
"Admiral Storm!" exclaimed Rover, "You're all right!"
"Yarr', that numbskull of a Baron!" Hael cawed. "Stole me Golden Telescope he did, and tryed to steal me too!"
Duke looked up. "Where's the Darkitect anyway?" he asked, looking around. "Oh nexus, what happened here?!" he said in alarm as he took notice of the hundreds of injured and dead minifigures littered across the ground.
"He did this all," Blade mumbled softly.
"And speaking of the Darkitect," Rover spoke up. "Where's Krill?"
Glancing up from the tracking scope of his rifle, Krill observed his current surroundings as he half-crouched and ran lightly through the low-ceiling ventilation shaft. Maelstorm fog blown in the same direction as him by a fan some thousand feet back was all that illuminated the dark passageway.
While the battle in the Darkitect's throne room had raged on, Krill had fired a tracking dart into the Baron. He had his doubts that the Nexus Force would be able to stop the Baron, and apparently he had been right. However, he still had his hopes up that the Darkitect would be felled, and if that would have been the case, he had opted against firing radiation darts into the Baron as well. That had been a mistake.
Grimly, his mouth set in a thin line, Krill stopped at a junction. Doing a mental calculation and reconsulting the tracking scope, he continued on straight.
Krill stared into the tracker once again, and realized he was very near the Darkitect. A ventilation window was nearby, and Krill set the barrel of his rifle through the blinds.
It was pitch black in whatever room the Darkitect was hiding in. Using the tracking scope, he attempted to swing his rifle in the direction of tracking dart, but there wasn't enough space.
There was another option. Krill gripped an enhanced version of a Basic Dagger, and after some silent cutting, removed the window. A hole just large enough for him to step through replaced it, and Krill cautiously climbed through it.
A small maintenance ledge was under the sill. Krill stood carefully over it, sliding his foot around to mark where the fence-less balcony ended. There were only a few more centimeters of space, much less than any normal assassin would be comfortable with, especially with a long window sill pressing into one's back, threatening to push that person down to the ground far below, never to rise again.
The tracking dart was clear in the infrared vision of his rifle now. He loaded a radiation dart into the barrel, and fingered the trigger. The Darkitect was about to fall, and leave Krill Mathias victorious.
It all happened very quickly. A massive explosion lit up the room, sending out shockwaves which knocked Krill off the ledge. He had previously made the safety precaution of firing a suction cable into the ledge, and now Krill was dangling perilously far above the ground, and far below the ledge. It would be a tough climb back up, but with the wire beginning to stretch, and the rifle not being the most durable, the laws of physics decided Krill's fate for him.
The barrel of the rifle snapped off, taking the cable with it. Krill fell, landing with a resounding crack on the ground. But it hadn't been his bones which broke from the fall, but rather his armor which mysteriously kept coming back even after it was smashed some countless times, which smashed apart, sending its pieces across the room.
"Owww...." Krill groaned as he sat up, wincing in pain. It had been a trap, and somehow the Darkitect had removed the dart and placed it on a bomb, which had exploded, and caused all this.
But that was just stage one. A loud cackle sounded from behind him, and before he knew it, Krill was staring up at the heel of the Darkitect's massive boot. It came down a moment later, and Krill closed his eyes, preparing for the end.
Krill Mathias smashed, and the Darkitect's boot slammed into the ground, causing a mini-earthquake and sending stalactites crashing to the floor.
The experienced bounty-hunter and assassin rebuilt silently nearby, his pieces coming back together with tiny clicks. One of the most important lessons to learn is how to do a self-inflicted smash, which normally resulted in you rebuilding nearby, since you're not really dead. It did have its downsides, however. A slight destabilizing of one's imagination spark for a few moments. But that happened every time someone smashes, so it is best NOT to smash yourself repeatedly over and over again.
The Darkitect looked up, sensing the faintest trace of imagination at work. He turned, and his eyes bore holes through Krill, who stood by the wall of the cavern.
The Darktect growled, and charged at Krill, raising his staff which began to summon Maelstrom lightning. Krill dove to the side, and the Baron barrelled into the wall. His staff released the power it had conjured, sending electricity bolts across the room. Krill somersaulted under one and jumped out of it over another. He hid behind a large pillar and equipped a rocket launcher. He turned around, and from behind the pillar aimed for his target, but then the pillar was lifted from the ground, knocking the bounty-hunter off balance.
Krill looked up and realized the pillar had been just one leg of a massive table, which the Darkitect was now lifting up. The Baron flipped the table to be upside-down, with its flat edge towards Krill, and dropped it down at him.
Krill blasted a hole in the ground with the rocket launcher some feet away and quickly dove in to avoid being crushed. The flat stone surface of the table fell down upon the entrance just after he made it, sealing him in.
Krill prepared for the inevitable time when the Darkitect would lift the table and attempt to finish him off. A deathly silence followed, and Krill began to feel anxious. He shifted around in constricted space the hole provided, and waited for hours. The hard stone surface never lifted up, and Krill opted against blowing himself to pieces from firing a rocket at it in such close range.
Soon Krill began to find it hard to breath, as his limited air supply in the hole began to dwindle. It was only then that Krill Mathias realized the deadly truth to the situation.
The Darkitect was leaving him there to suffocate; a slow and painful death. He was leaving him to die.
After making sure all of the brave injured fighters who were still alive were brought off to safety, Rover, Blade, Sergeant, Intrepid, Suave, Stunt, Rare, Shrill, Argon, and TheGuy stood at the front of a small group of minifigures who were still able to fight. Cyclone and Kate had stayed behind in the now Maelstrom-less Maelstrom City, where a couple of medics had set up a temporary base and hospital for those who were injured.
Suave stood at the head of the group, and he turned around to face the few remaining fighters in the crumbling Nexus Force. "Alright, listen up, courageous minifigures! Today we stand strong, in a desolate land, bringing the fight to the heart of evil itself! We are messengers of good, representatives of Imagination! We are fighters for the freedom from all evil! WE ARE THE NEXUS FORCE!!!"
Suave's little speech resulted in several cheers from the minifigs. Under Suave's lead, they all marched in the path the Darkitect had taken in his flight from the throne room.
Rover ran up to Suave, and handed him a tracking device. "What's this for?" Suave asked, looking up from the datapad.
Rover shrugged. "Well, Old King Krill went off, probably in pursuit of the Darkitect. I figured we might as well follow him."
"How'd you get his coordinates anyway?" Suave still questioned. "I thought bounty-hunter's didn't like to be followed."
Rover smirked. "He gave these stuff out when we arrived at the Maelstrom City," he told him, showing another similar datapad. "In case we got lost from each other."
Suave looked back at the coordinates. "Why isn't he moving? These coordinates are remaining the same."
"Maybe he smashed," Rover suggested, "and his coordinates thingy survived. Anyhow, the Darkitect has to be nearby, since he probably anticipates our arrival. Or its a trap."
Suave shuddered, and stared back at the hopeful minifigs who followed his lead through the underground tunnels. If he was leading them to their deaths, Suave just hoped their sacrifices wouldn't be in vain.
The slow bleeping that the tracking device made began to pick up speed as they neared Krill's location. Suave and Rover broke out into a run, climbing over rocks and finally entering through a massive doorway into a large room. The tracking device stopped bleeping and gave a final bloop, signalling they had arrived at Krill's coordinates.
"Where is he?" Suave whispered to Rover. The Buccaneer shrugged, and stared out into the darkness. Blade walked up, and slipped a Miner's Helm on.
"Hang on," Blade said, looking around the room with his infrared light. "I think I see him," he notified them after a couple of seconds. "Yeah, I do. He's..... under the ground?"
"Yeah, we all are, Blade." Rover said, rolling his eyes.
Blade raised his visor, and glared at Rover. "No, what I mean is under THIS ground." he told him, scuffing his feet on the stone floor.
"And what would he be doing there?" Rover taunted, but then Blade ran ahead a couple of yards, stopping in front of a large, dark object silhouetted in front of a nearly as dark background.
Rover and Suave went up to him. "What is it?" Suave asked.
Blade rubbed his hand over the tall edge of whatever it was, then looked around at four tall pillars that stretched up not nearly as high as the extremely tall ceiling. "I don't know, but whatever it is, Krill is underneath."
A massive laugh rumbled through the room, and then massive lanterns that hung on each wall flicked on throughout the cavern, illuminating it, and revealing the Darkitect in his massive form of evil, standing over them.
Blade squinted his eyes in the bright glare, and just barely noticed the Darkitect barrelling towards them. He couldn't see, so it was Rover who saved him.
The Buccaneer's having tackled Blade sent them both tumbling to the side, out of the Darkitect's path and right above the location of Krill's hole. Krill gave his side of the Darkitect's massive table and thump, a rather strong thump which caused Rover to bounce a little.
"Hey Krill, you down there?" Rover called, while Blade stood up to chase after the Darkitect. "Can't you cut your way out?"
"No room," came the muffled reply, and Rover unsheathed a Hesevalints. He jabbed the edge of the sword into the table, and its tip poked through, just inches from Krill's head. Grunting, Rover sliced around in a circular shape, and completed a hole. The round wood portion of the table fell down, and Krill gave another muffled, "Ow."
Rover grinned, and pulled Krill out. "You're not in the best shape," Rover observed. "Why don't you stay here while I go kill the Darkitect for you?"
Krill snarled, and stood up quickly, pulling a Big One from his belt. He threw it at the Darkitect, who was chasing Suave around the room.
Suave ducked and rolled in a somersault, narrowly missing the Big One as it arced through the air and smashed to the ground straight in front of the Darkitect. Dust flew to the air and a massive hole as created in the ground, which the Darkitect fell into.
"Take this!" Krill screamed, and he unleashed the power of two Firecracker-firing Wormholers on the fallen Darkitect.
The Baron began to stand, but was heavily hindered by the several Firecrackers that exploded around him. Blade lobbed a Flash Bang at him, and the Darkitect was sent crashing back to the ground.
TheGuy quickly built a bunch of Imagination chains around the Darkitect's hands and feet, imprisoning him to the ground. The Darkitect laughed and the chains exploded, allowing him to get back up.
"You gotta be kidding me!" Intrepid screamed, while Argon, Sergeant, and Shrill all joined in. "You gotta be kidding me!!!" they all shrieked.
Blade detonated another Flash Bang, felling the Darkitect again. Quickly the rest of the Nexus Force recruits pounced on the Baron, whacking at him with their swords.
Stunt and Rare jumped onto a ledge, and began unleashing bombs down on the Darkitect. The blasts didn't harm any of the minifigures in the vicinity of the blasts, but the Darkitect sure was.
With a tremendous moan, the Darkitect exploded.
Suave shielded his eyes from the blast. It was unbelievable. The Darkitect had just EXPLODED, not like smashing into a bunch of bricks, but in a shower of sparks, flames and debris.
A couple of minifigs started cheering, but Suave knew better. He stared into the rising flames, and noticed a shadow rising from the ashes. A shadow with eyes.
The shadow opened its mouth, and let out a chilling scream. Then it spoke. "I AM THE TRUE MAELSTROM." it roared. "THE DARKITECT WAS MERELY A PUPPET IN MY ACT, AND NOW HE HAS FAILED FOR THE LAST TIME."
Not giving the shadow any chance to continue, Suave fired a bunch of supersonic waves at it.
Well, shadows can't really be harmed. The walls behind the shadow exploded, causing huge chunks of rock to fall which unfortunately buried a few minifigures.
The shadow gave an eerie cackle, and swung around the room, knocking minifigures off their feet and creating huge cracks in the floor. It was unbeatable.
Krill ducked under the shadow's tail as it swept over him, and rolled to the side to avoid a chunk of rock that fell from the ceiling. Krill turned and noticed a glass sphere, clouded with purple and white mist. It was directly under the path of the falling rocks, and quickly Krill reached out and grabbed it, before the rocks crashed to the ground.
Krill was not only experienced, but he was also quite knowledgeable in the secrets of Crux Prime's past. Dark Mythrans were evil beings, their entire essence made up of corrupted imagination. They were, however, trapped in "Mythran Orbs" by the good Mythrans, done in an attempt to keep them from plaguing the planet any longer. The effect, however, was the exact opposite. Despite being trapped in the Orbs, the Dark Mythrans were able to harness their power and escape, taking up home in the underground caverns below the Imagination Temple. But when Crux Prime exploded, they were once again restricted, this time to just the world which housed the Imagination Temple.
And the only Dark Mythran who had survived the first battle against the Darkitect was spared, because IT was the Darkitect. It was the monster that controlled Baron Typhonus and made him into the Darkitect.
And now the Darkitect was gone, leaving only this shadow of a Dark Mythran left.
Krill quickly realized what he had to do. The Mythran Orb he held in hands was what supplied the Dark Mythran its power. The Dark Mythran would have to reenter the Orb for a recharge, and when that happened, he would have to destroy it.
Problem was, the Dark Mythran had enough strength to go on for a loooong time. It wasn't going to stop it's rampage anytime soon.
The Dark Mythran lashed out against the wall, and the ledge which Stunt and Rare stood upon collapsed, dropping them both to the ground and knocking them out cold.
Krill thought of an idea. He would have to wear down the Dark Mythran's strength. But it wouldn't be easy....
"Hey Ugly!" Krill called out, waving his arms and jumping up and down. "Come and get me!" he taunted.
The Dark Mythran swirled around, knocking down Blade, Rover, Suave, and a bunch of other recruits. It stared straight at Krill, hate burning in its crimson eyes.
"Yeah, you!" shouted Krill, reaching behind his back for a rocket launcher. "Come on, Stinky! I'm all yours!"
The Dark Mythran surged towards him, and Krill fired at the ceiling. Huge boulders collapsed upon the shadow, entrapping it in a stony tomb.
The rocks exploded out in all directions, exactly what Krill had been hoping for. The shadow probably used up a lot of its strength in making that move, and Krill was ready to continue doing it for as long as he could until the Dark Mythran went back into the Orb.
Krill jumped to the side, and the Dark Mythran collided straight on with the wall behind him. More boulders fell, and the shadow sent them flying again. As Krill dodged its attacks, he noticed that it was getting sluggish. His plan was working.
The Dark Mythran lunged at him one final time, and Krill double-jumped over it as it collided angrily into the corner. Krill sprinted towards the Mythran Orb, which lay on the ground next to the fallen rocks. He quickly hid behind a boulder, and watched as the shadow unsquished itself and launched itself back into the Orb.
"DIE!!!!!" Krill screamed, and sent a Big One crashing into the sphere. There was a massive explosion, and when the bright light dissipated, the Mythran Orb was still there, with the Dark Mythran floating next to it.
"YOU REALLY THINK YOU CAN DO THAT?" the shadow taunted, and with a whip of its tail sent Krill flying into the wall. It continued to batter him around, leaving the Orb unprotected.
As Krill collided with the wall again and again, he realized his mistake. If the shadow was inhabiting the Orb, the Mythran Orb would become indestructible. It had to be destroyed without the Dark Mythran in it!
The problem was, Krill wouldn't be able to destroy it any time soon. The Dark Mythran was taking its own sweet time in making sure Krill wouldn't rise again after it was finished. Someone else had to do it, and then deplete the shadow's strength.
Meanwhile, Suave helped Rover to his feet. "We've got to do something!" Rover shouted as he watched the shadow mercilessly torture Krill.
Blade dropped his shoulders helplessly. "What can we do?" he moaned.
Rover watched Krill intently. He was pointing rapidly at the Mythran Orb, which lay next to a rock.
"I know what to do," Rover said with a grin, and sent a Firecracker spinning at the Orb.
The Mythran Orb shattered, and the Dark Mythran turned around quickly to face Rover. It's eyes burned with anger, and Rover gulped.
Then a whirlwind descended from the sky, and it consumed the shadow. There was a massive flash of light, and with the link to its power gone, the Dark Mythran was destroyed entirely.
The battle was over. And so was the war.
Fake Chapter 42Edit
Kate doubled over in pain, gasping for breath.
"You okay?" Cyclone asked, alarmed, but then he noticed a cloaked man in dark robes standing behind her, a mean looking sword in his hands.
"tis s a gramr sord" thedude7500 said evilly.
"Ooooh, the pain." Kate moaned, as she was de-grammar-ified.
aaaaaaah wats hapeningg cyclne screemd i donoit hurt kate screamd bak hahahahahahblowde thedude7500 now i ca rul teh wold hahahahahahahaha nawo mi mision s cmplete buy an hi dissssspered
"Augh! What was that!" Cyclone shouted as the world around him returned to normal.
"I don't know," Kate groaned. "But it really REALLY hurts."
The war was over.
All across the universe, minifigures and the now disinfected Stromlings celebrated the end of the Maelstrom together. The largest party was taking place at Red Blocks, where several recruits played a very long victory musical with their instruments on the stage for the rest of the Nexus Force. The rule prohibiting Limited Recruits from exploring the rest of the Nimbus System was abolished, so Intrepid, Sergeant, Shrill, and Argon had invited all their friends from Avant Gardens over. Currently they were all seated around a large table with an extra large "Risk a Brick" board on it, fighting viciously for control of the Universe.
"Haha!" Argon chortled, taking The Great Tree over from one of Intrepid's friends, and securing all of the 2-D Forbidden Valley. "Emperor Argon, the invincible!" he proclaimed, passing his dies over to Intrepid.
"If you're so invincible," Intrepid stated, rolling quadruple sixes on the four dies, "Then how come the Intrepid-Shrill-Hurricane Alliance just wiped you out of the battle for Nimbus Station?" he taunted, taking out Argon's last stand in Brick Annex and preparing to duke it out with Sergeant.
Argon's cheeks reddened, and he looked down at his feet.
"Heh," Intrepid smirked, taking Nimbus Plaza and securing the Nexus Tower launchpad. Then he whispered to his friend Hurricane, "Reinforce the portal to Crux Prime."
Hurricane nodded, and awaited his turn.
One of Sergeant's friends, Flaming Red Dorito, had the next turn. In a few swift moves, he had almost secured Nexus Tower, and was preparing to battle with a couple of Shrill's defenders near the portal to Crux Prime. He ran out of troops at the last minute, since Shrill managed to hold out for a few vital moves, costing him his ability to defend himself from Hurricane, who reinforced Shrill's exhausted defenders and taking most of Nexus Tower back for the Intrepid-Shrill-Hurricane Alliance.
"That's it I quit!" Argon screamed when Sergeant stormed Forbidden Valley. He stood up, and bumped into Rover.
Rover took one look at the game, and his jaw dropped. "No way am I playing that." he exclaimed, and ran off.
Meanwhile, at the same time as the Intrepid-Shrill-Hurricane Alliance and the Sergeant-Dorito Alliance split up Argon's territories, Cyclone and Kate sat in the back row of the bleachers stands that overlooked the Red Blocks stage, occasionally watching minifigures run around joyously, playing, dancing, and celebrating, but mostly just staring up at the sky. Their chairs were tilted back, and Cyclone and Kate had their feet propped up on the seats in front of them.
"Beautiful night, huh?" Cyclone commented, staring up at the stars sprawled above in the night sky.
"Yeah," Kate agreed. It was a beautiful night, the sky mostly clear with only a few thin wisps of clouds rolling lazily across the heavens. "I can see Gnarled Forest, all the way over there," she said, pointing towards the East.
Cyclone looked, and watched the world of Gnarled Forest as it reflected bright light from the sun, which hid over the horizon. "It shouldn't be called Gnarled Forest anymore," Cyclone decided, "since there's no Maelstrom there anymore. How about Grand Forest?"
Kate shook her head. "That doesn't sound nice, how about Glorious Forest?"
Cyclone shrugged. "Too glorious." he replied.
Kate grinned, and watched fireworks-launching rockets streak across the sky. Bright flashes from the fireworks illuminated the ground, in short instances pushing away the shadows that blanketed the dark woods.
Kate leaned forwards suddenly, her chair legs screeching as they made contact with the ground.
"What's the matter?" Cyclone asked, concerned. "You okay, Kate?"
Kate didn't answer, and Cyclone noticed she was trembling. "Kate?" he repeated. "Are you okay?"
Kate slowly rotated her head to face him. "I don't feel too good," she mumbled. Then she doubled over, gasping for breath. "She's here." she stammered, panic raising her voice.
"Who?" Cyclone asked, alarmed, but then he seemed to read her thoughts, and became panicky too. "But- how- that's impossible! She died, we all saw her!"
Kate groaned, and collapsed on the ground. Cyclone turned, and saw another Kate quickly making her way up the steps. His heart pounded in his chest, and he looked over at his friend's limp body.
"Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!" he screamed in a cry of pure anguish.
Fake Chapter 43Edit
Then suddenly Kate stood back up. "IMAH ZOMBIE!!!!!" she screamed at him.
"AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Cyclone screamed back, and he fainted.
Fake Chapter 44Edit
"Who put the 'THE END' there?" asked Rover.
"No idea," replied Blade.
Then Intrepid gasped. "AAAUUGH!!!!! IT'S HIM!!!"
"Who's him?" Rover questioned, watching a cloaked figure gliding towards them.
"this is notin to do wit lu" said thedude7500.
"Alas!" said a new voice. "The evil Lord Dude7500 and his general Lord Vladek have arrived! We must vanquish them!" Then three horses charged by, with Sir Talmid, Sir Lukas, and Sir Thingguy astride them. The Knights of the Old Speech had come.
Alter-Kate buried her face in her hands, and slumped forwards on the bench. She sat next to Cyclone, sobbing, in the hospital waiting room. Real-Kate had been immediately brought to the emergency room, and the last Cyclone had seen of Kate was her being quickly rolled off on a mobile hospital bed by doctors, completely attached to life-support systems.
"I didn't know," alter-Kate moaned, tears escaping from under her palms. "I had to make sure she was alive, and now-" she broke off as a new round of tears escaped.
Cyclone put his arm around her shoulders, and tried comforting her. "I'm sure she'll be okay," he lied, since in reality his brain was mashed up with a jumble of confused thoughts, all saying, "Kate's gonna die aaaaaaahhh!!!"
Then the entrance door burst open, and Rover, Blade, Intrepid, and Sergeant ran in.
"We got here- as fast as- possible-" Blade gasped, clutching his chest inhaling deeply.
Rover, Intrepid, and Sergeant nodded, equally exhausted. "Yeah," Rover said. "When we heard- wait, what-" he interrupted himself when he noticed the other Kate seated there. Without her Samurai gear on, she and Kate were exact duplicates. There would be no way to tell them apart if they stood side-by-side, which would actually be impossible due to the circumstances.
"This, well, is the other Kate." Cyclone explained.
"WHAT?" Rover, Blade, Intrepid, and Sergeant exclaimed.
Intrepid gaped. "But- how did you- you died-" he stammered. "How did you survive-?"
Alter-Kate lowered her hands and looked up at them. "I don't know!" she shouted exasperatedly after a few seconds of silence. Then she buried her face in her hands again and continued crying.
Cyclone gave his friends a worried look, and they sat down, just as worried as he was about Kate. Only time would tell their friend's fate.
When Nexus Tower was destroyed, the Nexus Force's HQ was destroyed as well. But that didn't stop the faction leaders from setting up temporary base in Nimbus Station. Duke, Overbuild, Hael, and Vanda sat seated around their meeting table to discuss the future of the Nexus Force, when Lord Brocktree barged into the room.
"You can always knock," Duke said, rolling his eyes.
Brock ignored him. "Ms. Darkflame, Nimbus Hospital would like to see you." he informed the Paradox leader.
Vanda stood up. "Sorry guys, but you continue on without me, I'll catch up later." she told her three companions.
"Ye sure, Vanda?" Hael questioned as Brocktree lead Vanda from the room. "This could be pretty emportant to the future 'ev Paradox ye know!" he insisted.
Vanda waved her hand at him, and left the room. Hael slumped in his seat.
Outside the Nexus Force HQ, Vanda sped up her walking speed to catch up with Brocktree, who was taking long strides in the direction of Nimbus Hospital.
"Mind telling me the reason you very urgently pulled me out of my meeting back there?" Vanda asked, half-running next to Brocktree.
Brocktree turned his head to her. "The urgency is because one of your acquaintances is in a life-and-death situation right now." He gulped. "And she also happens to be a friend of my friends.... I thought you might be of assistance with something like this."
Already the thoughts in Vanda's head were spinning around. She tried piecing together the information Brocktree had just stated, but he was giving it to her in small snippets. "Brocktree," she questioned. "Who is this person you are talking about?"
"A girl named Kate," Brock responded.
"I see," Vanda mumbled, and her mouth became a thin line.
"Well," muttered Vanda, viewing a scanner she held as she paced around the hospital waiting room, "it appears my original thoughts on this matter were way off...."
Brocktree raised his head from where he was seated with Cyclone, Alter-Kate, Rover, Blade, Intrepid, and Sergeant. "What have you discovered, Vanda?" he asked.
Vanda looked up from her scanner. "It appears," she said, staring at Alter-Kate, "that the reason Kate is losing her imagination spark is-"
"WHO ME?!" shrieked Alter-Kate.
Vanda facepalmed. "Not you, the other Kate."
"Yikes," Alter-Kate rolled her eyes.
"Anyways," Vanda continued, "When this Kate and the other Kate are in the near vicinity, this Kate's imagination spark sucks up the other Kate's strength, and that is why the Kate in the emergency room is like she is now."
Alter-Kate screamed and tore off the bench and out the door into the night.
"This is too freaky," Sergeant said.
"Yeah," Rover agreed, and then pointed out, "but that explains how the Kate who just ran away survived ten Admiral anchors and one hundred rings of doom! During that time, she was invincible."
"I WANNA BE INVINCIBLE!" wailed Blade.
Cyclone, Vanda, Intrepid, Brocktree, Sergeant, and Rover facepalmed.
Then the door leading to the main hallway swung open, and a nurse stuck her head out. "Kate would like to see you,"
"YAY!" they all except for Blade exclaimed, since he was still sobbing about being invincible. "I always get killed by dragons!" he wailed. "And then I lose my precious coins so I can't buy more rare stuff!"
Cyclone and Rover plugged their ears, and along with the rest of them, followed the nurse as she briskly led them down a series of twisting side hallways and doors and stairs.
"You can get lost in here," Sergeant said.
After another minute of seemingly wandering the halls aimlessly, the nurse turned around and admitted, "Okay, we're lost."
"Really?" asked Intrepid, and he gestured to a door labelled emergency room.
The self-centered nurse suddenly had a change of attitude. Breaking out into a huge fake smile, she exclaimed, "Oh, I was just fooling with you! I always knew where we were, haha!"
Sergeant spun his finger in a circular motion around the side of his head, and Intrepid cracked up. Then they entered the room, and saw Kate sitting up in a bed, attached to a seemingly infinite amount of tubes which lead to a big gray life support box sitting in a corner.
Kate's face was pale, and her eyes shone with terror. When she noticed Cyclone and other's standing there, she relaxed slightly, but it was already quite clear what had happened.
The damage had already been done.
Cyclone sucked in his breath. "Kate...." he whispered.
As if she was reading his thoughts, Kate answered, "Oh, I'm okay."
Cyclone sighed in relief.
"How're you feeling?" Blade asked.
Kate stared at him. "Didn't I already answer that?" she said, perplexed.
No one noticed Vanda slip out of the room. As she left, and after walking for 5 minutes back to the Nexus Force HQ, Vanda had decided to leave their reunion to themselves, since in the meantime, she had work to do.
And when she entered the HQ, she didn't go through the door that lead to the meeting between the other faction leaders. She went through a different door, a door simply labelled, "Lab".
Suave Able Cat entered and looked around, before taking notice of Vanda seated at the computer station, pounding rapidly at her keyboard.
Suave gulped. "You asked for me, Ms. Darkflame?"
Vanda turned around and faced him. "I know you're Lord Brocktree's assistant, and I was hoping you'd be able to assist me with some.... calculations, while Brock is out with his friends. I wouldn't want to spoil the celebration."
"Erm, okay." Suave answered.
Vanda slid out a chair from under the table, and gestured for Suave to come over. "Have a seat," she offered, and Suave took it. "This might take a while...."
A few hours later,
"I got it!" Vanda screamed, standing up quickly and knocking her chair over.
"What?" Suave asked, looking up at the Paradox Faction leader as she started doing a jig. "What is it?"
Vanda suddenly stopped her victory dance, and gripped the table edge to keep from toppling over. Bubbling with excitement, she warbled, "I know how to get both Kates near each other again in order to join them back together!" she exclaimed.
Suave just nodded, but didn't understand a thing she just said. "Uh huh...." he mumbled. "And how is it done?"
Vanda grinned. "One has to be in a low state of consciousness," she told him.
Suave still didn't get most of what she was saying, but he understood enough to ask an intelligent question, "You mean like, asleep?"
Or knocked out cold from the force of hundreds of rings of doom fired by a horde of Stromling Admirals?
When Vanda came barging back into the hospital room, with Suave trailing behind, the doctor guys had decided that they could disconnect Kate from all the stuff she was on, and now Cyclone and Rover were helping Kate steady herself as she stood up.
"I've got it!" Vanda announced, waving a white sheet of paper with cursive scribbled all over it in Rover's face. The Buccaneer grabbed it, and passed it on to Cyclone, who in turn gave it to Kate to read.
"Are you kidding me??" Kate shrieked, but in excitement.
"Nope," Vanda assured her.
Rover tilted his head to the side and looked over Vanda quizzically. "You know something?" he said. "You're not acting like the Paradox Faction Leader right now, Vanda Flamy."
Vanda glanced at him. "So?" she mouthed, and Rover burst out laughing.
"You NEVER, and I mean it, NEVER, let anyone get away with calling you Vanda Flamy!" he chortled. "Are you an imposter?"
If Vanda had been in a trance, she had just broken out of it. "Wha-?" she mumbled, and then jumped at Rover, katanas drawn.
"Eep!" Rover ducked, and Vanda's katanas embedded themselves in the wall behind him. He somersaulted beneath her legs and jumped up on the other side, before sprinting out of the room.
"Nice getaway," Blade commented.
Vanda plucked her katanas out of the wall and resheathed them, before turning back to Kate. "I think Dr. Overbuild has something that should keep your imagination spark steady for the next time you're in close proximity with your double, which will inevitably happen sometime soon."
Kate nodded. "And what would that be?" she asked.
"I know!" Blade shouted. "An Imaginite pack?"
"Something like that," Vanda told him.
Kate's eyebrows scrunched up in thought. "Wait," she said. "Speaking of, er, the other me, where is she?"
"Hey, you're right." Cyclone agreed. "She left not too long ago."
Vanda facepalmed. "Go assemble a search team." she mumbled to Lord Brocktree, who has been standing silently in the corner. Brock nodded, and headed for the door. But something, or someone, stopped him.
"Hey," another voice said, and Rover stuck his head in. "Can we come too?"
"What are you doing back here?" Vanda grumbled.
Rover stepped completely into the room and shrugged. "I was listening in, and thought we would be of assistance. And Kate," he turned to her, "If I understand correctly was this imagination supplier thingy is, you can come too."
Kate beamed. "I'd like to," she told them.
"Then it's settled." Vanda stated. "Now to get that 'imagination supplier thingy' from Dr. Overbuild."
As Blade had thought, the 'Imagination Supplier Thingy' as Rover dubbed it was actually quite similar to an Imaginite Pack. Except it was smaller, less bulky, and the Imagination Crystals that jutted out of it were colored light blue, and pulsed to the rhythm of Kate's heartbeat.
According to Vanda, the Imagination Supplier Thingy should be strong enough to keep Kate's imagination spark stable for at most five minutes in the case of an encounter with her double. But since the group was splitting up into 4 groups of 3, the chance that Cyclone, Kate, and Rover, who were going together, would be the team to find the other Kate was only 1 out of 4.
And the reason why Vanda wasn't accompanying them was because the other faction leaders had decided to wait for her, and they had been sitting in the meeting room for like, three hours by now. And they were not very patient.
"See ya!" Sergeant called from over another hill, before he, Intrepid, and Blade went off to search for alter-Kate at Brick Annex. Cyclone waved, and then he, Kate, and Rover parted with the other six.
Cyclone and Kate began climbing up another hill, until Kate stuck her arm out in front of Cyclone, stopping him. "Where's Rover?" she asked.
Cyclone rolled his eyes, and they both turned around, to see Rover fumbling with some stuff in his backpack. He pulled out three jetpacks, and walked over to them grinning. "Here," he said, "These should make searching a little easier."
Cyclone slipped his arms through the straps and put the jetpack in position, while Rover, who already had his on, flew up into the air. Kate however, just looked at hers.
"I don't think this'll fit," she told them, biting her lip. The Imagination Supplier Thingy wasn't overly big, but still took up too much space to fit a jetpack over it.
Rover sighed, and fell back down to the ground. He took Kate's jetpack back from her, and then slipped his arm around Kate's.
"We're not doing what I think we are-" Cyclone stammered.
Rover glared at him. "Well what do you wanna do?" he challenged.
Cyclone slumped his shoulders, and slid his arm around Kate's other arm. Then they slowly hovered into the air, lifting Kate up with them.
"Ow," she protested. "Isn't there something else we can do?"
"Just deal with it," Rover groaned, and the trio flew off towards Red Blocks.
The Nimbus Station Raceplace wasn't overly busy, with most minifigs celebrating at Red Blocks and Nimbus Plaza. And since most minifigs, including the guards, were partying, temporary guards were put in their place. And in this case, a new Sentinel Guard called G. Ray Hound was placed as guard of the Raceplace. And guarding an empty raceplace with no one there is boring. Too boring the normally active Sentinel Knight called G. Ray Hound.
Ray leaned back against the outer wall of the track and looking up at the stars. A few Airstrike fighters were flying around setting off fireworks. Ray had always wished he could pilot one of those Airstrikes, with their seemingly infinite payload of bombs for dropping on Maelstrom.... Maelstrom which didn't exist anymore.
A couple of stones rolled down the nearby hill and came to a rest by Ray's feet. With a sigh, Ray kicked one of them off into the distance, watching it soar into the forest, before stepping away from the wall and looking up into the sky again.
The explosion from a nearby firework disguised the noise of more stones rattling down the path, and Ray was too obsessed with the fireworks to take notice of the shadow that fell over him. A second later, he felt something sharp poke into his back.
Ray gasped, and looked down. The tip of a blade was sticking out of his armor which protected his chest. Panic began to course through him, and with it immense pain.
In a muffled cry of agony, G. Ray Hound smashed.
With the guard gone, there was no one to notice a lone figure step back into the shadows.
"My arms are tired," Kate groaned. "Can we land now?"
"Fine," Rover consented. He and Cyclone slowly touched down on the ground, and when they did, Rover's jetpack shorted out.
The Buccaneer screamed and threw his smoking jetpack to the ground. "You're too heavy," he complained.
Kate glared at him. "Hey-"
Cyclone jumped in between them. "Stop, let's just get a move on, okay?" he stated.
Rover and Kate glanced at each other. "Yeah," Rover agreed. "Let's go."
The three continued walking for a few more minutes, until something started beeping.
"What-?" Cyclone stuttered, confused. He turned around, and saw a yellow light blinking on the Imagination Supplier Thingy.
Kate stopped, and Rover stepped over to it. He and Cyclone watched as the yellow light stopped blinking and beeping, and an orange light next to it started blinking/beeping faster.
"What?" Kate asked, craning her neck to look over it.
"I think it's some sort of proximity sensor," Rover surmised. "I was right, look here." He pointed to some words written with a permanent marker above the array of flashing lights, which said, 'Proxmity Sensor'.
"'Proxmity' Sensor?" Cyclone questioned, raising an eyebrow.
"It's not my fault Overbuild doesn't know how to spell," Rover told him.
"Wait, if it's a proximity sensor, then that means my double is nearby!" Kate said.
"Yeah, very nearby," Rover bit his lip as the orange light turned off and an even faster blinking red light next to it turned on.
"Red alert?" Cyclone suggested, leaning forward onto Rover for a closer look.
Kate fidgeted slightly, and Cyclone and Rover both fell over.
"Ow," Cyclone's voice was muffled since his face was buried in mud from some rain that morning.
"Oh, sorry," Kate apologized, turning around and looking down at them. She waited a few seconds. Why weren't they getting up already?
Then she felt a change in atmosphere. Everything was quiet, and still. Too still. She looked upwards, and noticed a flock of birds. Unmoving. In mid-flight.
Kate blinked. What? Had time stopped?
The beeping had stopped, and Kate sensed the presence of someone behind her. The hairs on the back of her neck prickled upwards, and she turned around. Kate gulped, since standing there was her double, sword drawn, and in full Rank 3 Sentinel Samurai Gear in two-tone Blue and Black. But what was really scary about her, was the way her normally green eyes shown red.
And then she attacked.
"Are you kidding me??" Kate shrieked, and quickly ducked under the Samuraizer that slashed where her head had been a split second before. She dove to the side, and forgetting that there was a brick wall there, smashed into it.
"Ow," Kate moaned, and managed to move out of the path of three arrows that imbedded themselves in the part of the wall next to her.
This didn't make sense. But the feeling of self-defense overcame Kate's need for answers. She pulled a Heroic Force Blade from her backpack, and swung it at her double as she rushed towards her.
The edges of the swords locked against each other with a high pitched squeal. Kate looked up at her own face, and gritted her teeth as her double pushed her full weight against her sword, building up force, and power.
There was a bright flash of light where the swords had locked together, and both Kates were flung away from it.
Kate groaned, and stood up. Then she noticed the state her Force Blade was in. "What's going on??" Kate mouthed as watched her sword ripple with electricity. She looked over at her double, who's Samuraizer was also rippling with energy.
Apparently, the fight was still going on. Alter-Kate raised her Samuraizer and charged. Kate parried the attack with her force blade, but the swords were still hyper-charged with whatever power they had, and with another bright flash of light, Kate and her double were sent flying away from each other. Kate slammed into a loosely built rock wall, and the poorly positioned rocks fell down on her.
As her arm was crushed under the rockslide, Kate made a mental note NOT to lock swords with her again. Then, with a strength she didn't realize she had, Kate wrenched her arm out from under the rocks, knocking them to the side.
Kate gaped at her arm, which was unscathed, but then realized her double was already charging at her from behind. Kate stepped to the side, but not fast enough. The edge of the Samuraizer grazed her right shoulder. Rippling energy surged around her wound, and screaming from the pain, Kate slumped to the ground.
Standing over her, alter-Kate was preparing for another strike. Painfully Kate rolled to the side, and the Samuraizer slashed down on the Imagination Supplier Thingy, which started beeping crazily before turning off from the hyper-powered rippling energy it inherited from the Samuraizer.
"Uh oh," Kate mumbled as her vision started clouding over. She tried blinking, but found even that simple motion required lots of strength. Strength which she was losing rapidly.
Kate subconsciously made note of the sword's blade about to descend upon her, and in a final move of defense, Kate weakly thrust the force blade she somehow still held in her hand upwards. There was a noise, like a scream, and then darkness.
Kate just lay there, waiting for the infinite blackness to melt away to show.... what? The place where dead minifigs go? Heaven?
Kate opened her eyes, and realized that she still in Nimbus Station, lying on the ground and staring up at the stars.
She sat up, and rubbed her eyes. Had it been a dream? One glance to the side, and Kate paled in realization. It had NOT been a dream. "What have I done?" she whispered, taking in the scene of her double, dead, with the hilt of her Force Blade sticking out of her Samurai armor.
Kate started hyperventilating. She had actually done it. She had killed her double! She had killed herself!
But then the question that had arisen earlier was resurrected. Why had her double attacked her?
And another question. Why was that flock of birds still frozen in mid-flight?
"Let's see," Kate thought aloud. "Time froze when my double came over and started attacking me. We built up some sort of energy, maybe energy powerful enough to stop time. And it all happened only when she came.... but she's dead now...."
Or was she?
Kate gulped, and crawled over to her alternate self. She placed her finger on her double's neck, and realized her skin was warm. And there was a pulse too.
Kate reeled back in shock. How was this possible? She had a sword pierced through her!
A rattling sound snapped Kate out of her thoughts, and she watched in amazement and horror at the same time as the Force Blade MOVED. It was sliding out!
Kate shut her eyes and covered her ears in fear. It was too crazy! How was it happening?!
The sword popped completely out, and Kate dared to open her eyes, half-scared that there might be an angry zombie standing there, ready to haunt her for the rest of her life. Kate risked a peek at her double, and noted with relief that she was unscathed. There wasn't even a wound!
Kate recalled Vanda saying something that if either her or her double were in a state of unconsciousness, then she would be able to survive in proximity to her double. But why was she invulnerable to a sword?
Maybe.... just maybe, the way how Kate lost her strength when her double was nearby, the opposite happened to her double. Her double absorbed her own strength!* Now Kate knew how she had survived getting blasted by hundreds of rings of doom! She was invincible!
And then Kate also realized what the Imagination Supplier Thingy did. It supplied her with the strength that her double was taking from her. This realization made Kate dread the event in which her double awoke.
Then the previous question that had been resurrected earlier came back to mind. Why had her own self attacked her?
Another thought popped into her mind, but this time Kate didn't ignore it. Enough crazy things had been happening that day, why would this one be no different?
Something that every member of the Nexus Force is required to carry around at all times is a Maelstrom Scanner. Basically it's a device that scans for Maelstrom. And Kate was going to do just that.
Kate bit her lip as the results came in. There was a high concentration of Maelstrom nearby, and from what the scanner told her, it was coming from her double.
She was Maelstrom infected.
And the red eyes had been the telltale factor the whole time.
But how had THAT happened? The Maelstrom was gone, unless....
Kate shook her head to try and clear her mind. Thoughts were swirling through it, but the one that stood out most prominently was that she had to get time flowing again, and warn the Nexus Force that the Maelstrom was back.
And how was she going to get to flow again for her? Maybe she was stuck here, all alone in her own little time hollow, with only an evil twin to accompany her....
….unless the source of her time-stopping energy was smashed.... and in this case, her other self....
Kate couldn't believe what she had to do. She had to smash her double, her own self! It was unbelievable. She couldn't do it!
"But I have too," she whispered. She clenched her fists, her fingernails digging into her palms. It was the only way, but just in case....
A few minutes later, Kate had gone over any other possible ways to get out of the time hollow. And those other possibilities were nonexistent. It was the only way out. And the only way she could survive.
But how could she even hurt her double? She was invincible, anyway. Maybe in her current state, she might be able to smash her....
The thought made Kate's head ache. Biting her lip in determination, Kate reached for the Heroic Force Blade that lay on the ground next to her. She had to do it, before she changed her mind. And before her double awoke. But killing someone in their sleep, it wasn't right.
"Many things aren't right!" a voice inside her head said. Kate recognized that as something she had told Cyclone shortly after they had met. Back then, Cyclone was the one who made followed along, always uncertain, with her taking the lead. Now it was the other way around. How much they had changed....
Well now it's time to take the lead again, Kate decided determinedly. She raised the Force Blade, she swung hard and gave her double a good whack.
The sword bounced off, and nothing happened. What?
Kate started whacking her double repeatedly with the sword, but nothing was happening! She was stuck in the time hollow forever! And she wasn't going to try setting her Maelstrom infected double free by committing suicide. No way.
Kate was close to giving up, but determination won over. Gripping the sword tightly, she swung with all the strength she could muster.
And then her double's eyes shot open. "No wait-" she called, but it was too late, and this time it worked.
A bunch of things happened in the split second that followed. Kate's double smashed, time began flowing again, and the most unexpected occurrence was the essence that made up the alternate Kate entering real Kate, joining them both together once again.
Then it was over.
This mud was the ickiest, gooiest, but most importantly most disgusting mud Cyclone had ever had the honor of having to faceplant himself in.
Cyclone groaned and pushed himself out of the mud. It had to be his face that landed in the small puddle of icky gooey disgusting mud. He tried wiping his face off with his sleeve, but decided against it when he realized he was just smearing it all over the place.
He turned, and saw Rover doing pushups in a puddle that matched his height in length, so his entire front was covered in icky gooey disgusting mud. Disgusting mud on two disgusted minifigures.
Rover actually wasn't doing pushups, by the way. He was trying to lift himself out of the mud but was failing epicly since it was more slimy and slippery than sticky. Either way, it was still disgusting.
Cyclone stuck out his hand and helped pull Rover to his feet. "You okay Rover?" he asked.
"No," the Buccaneer replied, looking down at his soiled clothing. "I hate getting dirty," he muttered.
"I thought Ventures liked getting dirty," Cyclone stated.
Rover glared. "That's a stereotype, like how noobs say that Paradox are spies for the Maelstrom. Just cause we like going on adventures in even the yuckiest places ever, it doesn't we like getting dirty, and we DON'T like getting dirty. 99.9% of Ventures don't really care, but 0.1% hates getting dirty like being infected with Maelstrom."
"And you're that 0.1%?" Cyclone surmised.
"Yep." Rover told him.
"I didn't know that there were only 1000 Ventures," Cyclone thought aloud.
Rover sighed loudly.
Someone tapped Cyclone on the shoulder. Cyclone turned, and saw Kate standing there. But something was different....
"Kate," Cyclone said, "Where's your Imagination Supplier Thingy?"
Kate looked confused for a second, before showing recognition. "Oh, that. It broke a few minutes ago."
Cyclone raised his eyebrows. "Seriously? A few minutes ago Rover and I were flying you around over Nimbus Station, and even though it was working like, a second ago, you're saying it's broken? Sometimes I just don't understand you."
Kate just grinned. "Wait till you hear this," she said, and proceeded to tell them all she had been through for what had been for her, the past hour.
"....and then we joined back together, and you finished doing pushups in the mud." she finished.
Cyclone and Rover just sat there with their jaws wide open. "Wow." was all Cyclone could manage to say.
"But that's not all," Kate stated. "I think the Maelstrom is back, and we've got to get all the minifigures to prepare to continue fighting."
"But how-" Rover stammered. "I mean- I saw the Darkitect explode- and I destroyed the Dark Mythran, AKA the Maelstrom itself."
"I know," Kate said grimly. "But somehow, I don't know, they're still out there. And I don't think they'll waste any time in getting their revenge."
"Then we'd better go," Rover stood up, and fished out two more working jetpacks to replace his and one for Kate. "This'll get us there faster."
"Let's do this," Kate said determinedly, and the three flew off into the night sky.
When Cyclone, Rover, and Kate got back to the Nexus Force HQ, they barged into the meeting room, interrupting the faction leaders important meeting on the future of the Nexus Force, and pretty much decided it for them. They were taking no chances with the Maelstrom's return.
Duke ran up to a console, and discovered that several signals from Avant Gardens, Gnarled Forest, Forbidden Valley, and the makeshift outpost on Crux Prime that the Maelstrom was back and were launching deadly attacks on the few minifigs that were there.
Duke's mouth was a thin line. "Engage Red Alert throughout the planet, and assemble immediate transport of recruits back to the front lines. Asap." he said into the console after contacting the Nimbus Station shipyards. Transport ships would be waiting for the recruits for when they went back to the battlefields.
"What about us?" Kate asked while Duke, Overbuild, and Hael began giving out orders via the consoles.
Vanda turned to them, and lead the three into a dark room. She turned on a light, and closed the door. When Cyclone, Rover, and Kate had first arrived, she had only heard small snippets of what had gone on. "Tell me what happened out there," she instructed them.
"Okay," Kate said, and again related the events, this time to Vanda.
When she finished, Vanda just nodded. "So all our work here regarding you guys is over," she told them. She shook her head. "It's a shame the Imagination Supplier Thingy got smashed, but hey, it's not the end of the world."
She got up to leave, and Cyclone, Rover, and Kate followed, but then she stopped in the doorway. "I think there's something you should have," Vanda stated. She opened a closet, and took out a bundle of Rank 3 Sentinel Samurai Gear. "This is for you, Kate," she told her. Then she reached in, and took out a bundle of Rank 3 Paradox Space Marauder Gear. "And this is for you, Cyclone," she said to him. "And Rover, go check out the Animal Care center, I think there'll be something there for you."
"Okay," Rover left, leaving Cyclone and Kate with Vanda.
Vanda put her hands on their shoulders. "Both of you, use this gear to work together and fight back the Maelstrom. I have to say it, you two are some of the finest recruits I've ever seen." she told them. "Now go, and good luck." Vanda left.
"Wow," Cyclone said as he equipped his Space Marauder Gear. He equipped the Wormholer, and revved its chainsaw a few times. "This is so cool," he whispered.
Kate slashed her Samuraizer around a couple of times. "This feels REALLY powerful," she said in amazement. She swung it at a large (empty) metal box, and it smashed into bricks. "I hope Vanda doesn't get me for that," she giggled.
Then the door swung open again, and Rover burst in. "You won't believe who's back!" he yelled, and a monkey jumped over his shoulder. "George Zozo the First!" he announced proudly. "My first and only monkey!"
"He has a full name?" Cyclone asked, taking off his helmet so he could view George Zozo the Monkey normally and not in X-ray vision. George climbed up onto Kate's backpack and started grabbing any consumable he could get his four hands on and stuffing them into his small mouth.
"Hey-" Kate protested, but she gave up, letting George feast.
"That's not nice," Rover shook his head disapprovingly. "Get over you little chimp," he ordered, and George hopped off Kate and trotted over to his master respectively.
"Nice monkey," Cyclone commented.
The door banged open again, and then a Bat Lord ran in. He took off his helmet and practically shouted in their faces. "WHERE WERE YOU GUYS?!!!" Intrepid Fusion Eclipse screamed. Then he noticed George sitting there. "Oh, wait till Sergeant sees this!" he chortled, and he ran back out. A second later, he was back, dragging Sergeant in.
"Hey, stop-" Sergeant yelped, kicking and punching at Intrepid, but then he also took noticed of George. "Ooo, I like Monkeys."
"zi like monkeys. " Rover mimicked.*
Cyclone rolled his eyes. "Whatever, CAN WE GO FIGHT NOW??"
Shortly after, the friends met up at the launchpad to Avant Gardens, where a large transport ship was docked. There, Gallant Strong Cyclone, Kate, Cheerful Power Rover, Master Blade9, Sergeant Ghost Mustache, Intrepid Fusion Eclise, Lord Brocktree, Suave Able Cat, Shrill Failed Brick, Argon Dragon Udon, Stunt, and Rare Spiffy Agent met up. The twelve recruits, all friends in a large world, went off to continue with fate. Everything was back to normal, with the exception of slightly more powerful Maelstrom enemies, the lack of a Darkitect, the lack of a Nexus Tower, and the unlimited-ness of Limited Recruits.
The Universe had returned to its former state, a way that we all are familiar with. A Universe known by only one name: