11Reminalhttps://community.lego.com/t5/Stories-of-LEGO-UNIVERSE/The-Catastrophic-Chronicles-Rewritten/m-p/3600265#M106109A rewrite of my first story.
Availability: The Catastrophic Chronicles can also be found here.
Author's Notes: A rewrite of my first story.
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Reminal, proud member of what had been the Paradox faction, looked out over the ruins of Nexus Tower and sighed heavily. It had been seven months now, seven long months since the Maelstrom had overrun Nexus Tower, seven hard months of living off scavenged morsels and leftover food, seven torturous months of running and hiding. They were the only minifigures left—Reminal, Drew, and Glitter—that hadn't been rescued. After the Nexus's last stand, they had sent out a search-and-rescue team to find all the minifigures and take them to a place called the ImaginArk, in hopes of raising a new army to overtake to Maelstrom. Needless to say, they had missed Reminal, Drew, and Glitter—and now, we start our story.
Reminal trudged along the ruins, sighing heavily as she tried to ignite her Rank 3 blaster. she had been trying the same thing for a few hours now—Drew had been doing the same with his crossbow, and Glitter with her sword. "Where do you think we are?" Drew wondered aloud, looking around. "Crux Prime, in the ruins of Nexus Tower." Reminal said, still trying to shoot her blaster. "No, but where exactly?" Drew persisted. "Well, if you need to know...," Reminal said, looking at her watch. "We're at 48 degrees 17 minutes north, 32 degrees 6 minutes west." Drew and Glitter stared at her. "How did you--" Drew said, confused. Reminal showed him her watch. Along with a regular clock face and date, there was a compass in the middle and a small circle of numbers around the outer edge that changed as they walked. Drew whistled. "Wish I had something like that." he said, looking in dismay at his crossbow as a loud 'twang' resounded through the still air as his string broke. He groaned. "I guess that comes from having the Faction with the least tech knowledge." Reminal said nothing, knowing that there was really no reason too. Instead she just kept on walking. In a few minutes, the colossal ruins thinned out and soon there was nothing left but the occasional pebble that had bounced aside when the mighty collision had happened. The ground changed from rough to smooth, and from Drew's exploring knowledge, he knew that they were now on the edge of Aura Mar.
Reminal and the others paused as their feet hit the cold, smooth stone, hesitating as they remembered that Crux Prime still had Invaders crawling around on its rocky surface. Then they took a step backwards as they realized that, with the corruption of nearly 90% of the Nexus, there was a lot worse than Invaders out here. Glitter squealed as a rustling sounded from behind a nearby rock. Reminal tensed her muscles and pulled out her Elite Javelin; one of her only weapons that still worked. A Stromling Invader rounded the corner, and Glitter screamed. Reminal sighed, poked the Stromling twice, and kept on walking. Glitter stopped abruptly for breath, then turned and followed her, breathing hard. After they had gone about half a mile, Reminal noticed something. "Doesn't it seem... quiet, to you?" she asked hesitantly, half turning her head, "Well, there's never any birdsong or anything here." Glitter said thoughtfully. "No, that's not it." Reminal said, listening more closely. She stopped walking. Glitter made another suggestion. "A suspicious lack of chatter from Drew?" Reminal blinked. "Yes." she said, spinning around and sprinting back on her tracks. A few minutes later, they reach the edge of the ruins. "Hello? Drew?!" Glitter hollered, cupping her hands to her mouth. Drew was not there.
"Hellooooo?!" Glitter called again. "Dre-ewwww!!" Silence. "Yodelodelayleehoooooo!!" she yelled tunelessly. Reminal hushed her. "Glitter, be quiet. It's no use calling for something we know isn't there. Let's go look for him." Glitter turned and reluctantly followed her away from the ruins, looking back wistfully. Reminal and Glitter traced, retraced, and re-retraced their tracks to no avail. Drew was simply gone. "Helloo, Drew?!" Glitter yelled again in a singsong voice. "Helloooo?" Glitter said again. Reminal hushed her as she heard a rustling from behind a nearby rock. "Shush." she said, creeping around the rock carefully. Nothing was there, save a wisp of black thread stuck on a twig. Reminal picked it up and put it in her pocket. "What'd you find?" Glitter asked, looking closely. "Nothing interesting," Reminal said, secretly fingering the thread. "Nothing at all." A twig snapped from behind them, and Reminal spun around quick enough to see a flash of purple before whatever it was ducked behind another rock. Reminal crept closer, Glitter following curiously. As they neared the rock, Reminal leaped behind to find… Drew. "Er, sorry… I wandered off for a few seconds to look at something I saw." he said sheepishly. "Here, you look. Maybe you can make sense of it. I sure can't" Despite her annoyance at Drew's sudden disappearance, Reminal couldn't help herself. She moved closer to see a small red metal egg with a black propulsion device on the end. Reminal recognized it immediately. "This is a Space Marauder bomb," she realized. "But what is it doing here? And who left it?" "Well, there were some strange sounds earlier. Maybe it was that." Glitter said, remembering the thread and the purple flash. Reminal froze. "Drew, those weren't you?" she said. Drew had neither purple nor black on his clothes. Another flash of purple dove from one rack to another and Reminal got up quickly and ran over, pulling out her javelin. A voice rang out from behind the rock the thing had ducked behind. "I won't hurt you! Please don't smash me!" It was the voice of someone like them.
Two people came out from behind the rock. One had brown hair and black garments, which explained the black thread, and the other was clad in full Space Marauder, which explained the purple flash. "Who are you?" asked Reminal suspiciously. The one with brown hair answered her boldly. "Who are you?" he said with equal suspicion. Reminal sighed, but told the boy and his companion their names. "I'm Reminal, this is my sister Glitter, and this here is--" "I'm Drew." Drew interrupted. Reminal rolled her eyes, but continued anyways. "And you are...?" she asked, looking over the two figures in front of them. "I'm Jediliam," the tall brown boy said. "And this is... well, I'm not exactly sure. He'll tell you, I guess." The person in Space Marauder gear removed their helmet and tucked it under their arm. "Hey," he said. "I'm Slightly." Reminal stifled a chuckle. "Slightly who?" she said, wondering about the name. "Slightly HydroAnt." he said, completely straight faced. Glitter burst out laughing behind them and fell to the ground, rolling in the dust. Everyone turned and stared at her. A minute passed, with Glitter rolling on the ground and cracking up, and everyone still staring. "Sorry," she said when she finally recovered. Reminal turned, expecting to see Slightly's eyes filled with tears, but he just shrugged as she looked at him. "Happens every time," he said, turning away. After a minute, everyone turned and followed him off into the wasteland.
The motley group continued until nightfall, silently agreeing that attempting to escape to Nimbus Station was probably the safest course. No words were spoken along the way, as all the members of the group also knew that if they did speak, the chance that a Maelstrom creature would hear them and come looking for them was high. You couldn't see them, but the Invaders were there. "Where do you think we should camp?" Jediliam asked, scanning the barren land for any sheltered. Reminal walked a few paces towards him and joined him in his hunt. Both looked for a while without spotting anything, then Reminal saw something shining on the ground a few hundred feet away. "Come on," Reminal said, running towards the object. "Wait! We don't know if it's safe!" Slightly said, then, as Reminal ignored him, ran after her. Reminal was waiting for them when they came. She was shaking slightly and holding a backpack in her hands. Inside it was some food and a green gun. "What is it?" Glitter asked, walking closer. Then she tripped and fell hard. "Hey! Who did that?!" she demanded. But no one's attention was on her. Instead, everyone was looking at a bundle of white clothes on the ground. Drew, who had been silent the whole time, picked up a piece of clothing and instantly identified it. "A chef's hat…," he said, realizing what had happened. "This is all that's left of…?" he trailed off, letting the words sit in the air. "Yes, Drew." Reminal said with a shaky breath, "This is all that's left of Heimlich Stewblaster." Glitter walked over, determined not to trip on anything, but nevertheless tripped again. "Who? What??" she said, confused, then saw a pile of slightly purple bricks on the ground. "Guys… look at this," she said, getting up and rubbing her hip. "Here's… well, that pack's not all that's left of him." Slightly walked over and examined the bricks with an expert's touch. Then a scared expression crept its way over his face. "Run!" he shouted, hurling the bricks as far as he could. Even as they flew, they formed themselves into a recognizable shape. A Maelstrom Poisoner Chief, formerly Heimlich Stewblaster, poured a vial of liquid on the ground—it looked like a Notion Potion, only purple—and raised ten more of his kind. He yelled a single discordant note, and the Poisoners gathered around him and charged. Slightly attempted to fire his blaster, but to no avail. The Poisoners were upon them before they could blink.
Reminal quickly pulled out her Spike Hammer as the Poisoners set themselves upon them, whacking a few back to buy the others some time. "Put on all of your best non-Faction gear!!" she yelled urgently, putting on her Bat Lord Shield and shield-bashing a few of the poisoners back. The team quickly obeyed, and soon staves were poking, scythes slashing, and in the case of Glitter, ten-foot-long pole arms sweeping their way through the Poisoners. Jediliam poked one in the eye with his fist by accident, and it exploded in a cloud of violet fog, which drifted away on the breeze. "Poke them in the eyes!" he yelled, rapidly dispatching another with a javelin thrown to him by Reminal. "It's the weak spot!" He threw the javelin back to Reminal, only to have it intercepted by Glitter's Little Friend, which was rapidly attracting the Poisoners and the group's weapons alike. A Notion Potion flew through the air towards the razor-sharp blade, and he lunged for it before it smashed, only to see a hand reach it before his. Reminal winked at him, then uncorked the potion and emptied it into her Spark Thrower. Jediliam grinned as he caught her idea and winked back. Reminal's finger tightened on the trigger and the Notion Potion was sprayed rapidly out the front along with red-hot sparks. The Poisoners screamed in agony and rapidly dissolved, dropping more Notion Potions which Jediliam caught as they flew to Glitter. He tossed one to Slightly, who was finishing off the remaining Poisoners. Slightly smiled gratefully and poured it onto his arm, which was rapidly turning purple. His arm healed quickly, then glowed bright blue. He punched the remaining Poisoners with a roundhouse punch before his arm turned back to normal again, then picked up the Notion Potions and tossed them to Reminal, who loaded them into her Thrower. Reminal noticed something a second before the rest did. "Where'd the Stewblaster go?" she asked no one in particular, turning around and looking for him. "Up here, my sweeeetie…," a voice hissed. Drew jumped as he heard it. It sounded as if ten voices were speaking as one, some high and some low, all speaking right after of right before the others. Reminal heard it too, and looked around carefully, before looking straight up. Heimlich was clinging to the ceiling on all fours, his head turned completely around. He leaped off the ceiling, and Reminal barely had time to jump away before he hit the ground where she had been. "Yes, yessss, right heeeere my sweet…," the disjointed voice said again. This time it didn't even seem to come from Heimlich's direction. Reminal spun around to see… nothing. The voice sounded from above again. "You cannot defeeeeat mee, ruuuuntssss…," the voice said. The group slowly formed their way into a tight circle, turning slowly. "Where are you? Stop hiding and fight like the… well, evil Maelstrom being… you are!!" Glitter yelled, correcting herself before she could say 'man'. The voice laughed, a sound like the roaring of fire mixed with a strange sound that Reminal identified as, strangely, hands banging discordantly on an out-of-tune piano. "Over here… here… here… heeeerrrre…," the voice said, moving quickly. "Here… here… here…." The group clenched tighter as the voice circled them. "There! Drew shouted, pointing diagonally upward. "Oooh, you caught meeee…," the voice howled, flickering in and out of visibility. "The onnne in greeeen is veeerry sharrrrp, yesss…."
Glitter backed up, then shrieked as she bumped into something. She turned around to see Heimlich hanging lazily from an outcropping that hung over the group. "Help!!" she screamed. Reminal turned around and sprayed Heimlich full-on before he could retreat. He screamed briefly as his skin melted, then reformed. "Why did you do that to yooour Unnncle Heeeimlich?!" he pouted angrily, painfully stalking his way to a safe distance from the hateful Spark Thrower, "Why?!" Reminal noticed that his voice wasn't disjointed anymore. Instead, it sounded more like the Heimlich Stewblaster of old. This gave her an idea. "Notion Potion," she whispered to Slightly. He rummaged around in her backpack as she kept Heimlich talking. "But, why shouldn't we? You scared my sister," she said with an equal amount of hurt in her voice. "You scared all of us." Slightly tapped her shoulder to let her know he had found the Potion. "Now pour it in his pack," she said quietly, reviewing her idea in her head. Slightly tapped her again, more quickly that time, to let her know he had finished this task too. Reminal gave him a thumbs-up behind her back and grasped the pack tightly. "But… you didn't have to huuuurt mee!!" he whined, clawing at his burnt face. "We're sorry we hurt you," Reminal lied through gritted teeth. Heimlich was getting annoying now. "So we've prepared a peace offering." She held up the Notion Potion-doused bag of food. "We want to give you your old stuff back. Heimlich looked surprised. "First the brave girl is mean, theeen nice to meeee? Why?" he asked himself, extending a cautious hand to take the bag. Reminal handed it to him, careful to keep her hand from touching his. He cackled in glee. "Heimlich has his stuff back!!" he yelped, putting his hand in and rummaging around. He howled in pain and pulled his hand back out—or what had once been his hand. In its place was a smoking stump. "What trickeeery is thiiisss?!" he demanded, nursing his injured hand. Reminal took advantage of this pause to spray him with her Spark Thrower. Heimlich yelped in sudden surprise and pain, retreating along the ceiling of the cave. She felt a hand in her backpack, and half-turned to see Jediliam pulling out her Big One. He grinned briefly at her, then hurled it towards Heimlich. Reminal, Slightly, and Jediliam, who were the only ones facing the explosion, covered their eyes with their hands as a bright flash of light, enough to blind them, erupted out from the ceiling along with an inferno of blue, red, and purple flame. Once the fire had died down, everyone turned to see nothing where Heimlich had been but a deep crater and a lingering fog.
The entire group laughed, and, in Glitter's case, rolled around on the ground, as Jediliam told his fourth more-silly-than-spooky story. It had been a day since the Stewblaster incident, and yesterday the group had tiredly set up camp after fighting Heimlich for nearly an hour. The next day, they had packed up and set off in the what they though was the direction of Nimbus Station, after realizing that the Launchpad in Nexus Station was, obviously, no longer accessible. Right now, they were sitting in a makeshift shelter made of wrecked pieces of the Venture Koi. After a miserable night yesterday, the group had been determined not to sleep out I the open again. And so they hadn't. After working all day, they had managed to construct a little hut out of the light red metal pieces. Purely by luck, they had also found several crates with blankets inside, some of which they were using for beds; and crates full of food and drink. Glitter bonked her head on the side of her crate as she got up from laughing, then fell back down as she did so. "Ow," her muffled voice sounded from inside. "Ow." Reminal couldn't help it. She laughed, for one of the first times in nearly eight months standing. It felt good to find something to laugh at, as if a part of her that had been previously broken had healed. Jediliam, who was sitting in the same crate as her, stared at her for a while, looked back and forth from Glitter and Reminal, started to chuckle, then broke out laughing as well. Drew and Slightly, after a slight pause, joined in as well, leaving Glitter to stare indignantly at all of them. But, being the happy and bubbly person she was, she soon added to the general mirth floating happily in the little red hut. Once they had recovered, Jediliam continued on with his stories, but found it hard to concentrate, because every time one of the group made eye contact with Glitter they cracked up. Eventually he gave up trying to tell his stories and simply sat and watched the whole fiasco. Jediliam had proved himself to be strong, funny, and a good friend in that past days since they had met him, almost the opposite of Slightly, who was as well strong, but silent and, true to his name, 'slightly' drawn back. Despite differences in personality, the two got along well with each other and the rest of the team. A few minutes later, the group got over the whole Glitter incident and listened to Jediliam's stories again. The one he was currently telling seemed to be about the ghost of a boy who, strangely, strangled himself in his hammock. "The ghost crept sloooowly closer, closer to the terrified park goers, howling, 'Whoooo spun the hammock? Whoooo?'" Glitter went into hystericals and fell over backwards. "Are you quite finished?" Jediliam said after a minute or two, imitating the voice of a stern teacher. This made Glitter laugh harder. "No one else is laughing, Glitter." Slightly said, sighing. This made her stop. "What fun is laughter if no one joins in?" she pouted, getting up and crossing her arms. Reminal stifled a laugh and gestured for Jediliam to continue. "Go ahead." Jediliam rolled his eyes and Glitter went into another fit of random laughter. "Maybe Slightly can try a story now. We'll see how he does." "Well… I really don't…" Slightly stammered, then, seeing the disappointed looks on everyone's faces, continued. "Oh, all right. So. Once there was a little girl who lived in a house with her parents. They lived a full and happy life, until one day everything changed." "The little girl was up in the attic one day, rummaging around and looking delightedly at her mother's old dolls, when she opened a black chest. And what was in it, but old clothes. You see, the house wasn't haunted or anything." "Then a package came in the mail the next day, and the mother, seeing what it was—a present for the little girl—asked the father to take it up to the attic." "The house may have not been haunted—but, along the way, an evil and chaotic spirit had seeped into the box, hoping to cause as much terror and grief as possible that day. And now he was being carried up the attic stairs by the little girl's father." Reminal blinked as he finished these last words, as if a distant memory had been stirred up, then gestured for Slightly to continue. He acknowledged the brief movement, nodded once, then continued. "And what was the father to do when the box became hundreds of times heavier? All he could do was drop it in surprise. And, of course, what came out of the box when it broke? None other but the spirit." Reminal's brows furrowed into a frown. "Not funny," Reminal said, turning her head and bedding down. "Not funny at all." Glitter followed her movement, not even sparing any words for Slightly. "Goodnight, Drew, Glitter, Jed…," Reminal said, trailing off at Slightly's name. Everyone else followed their example, yawning and falling off to sleep, leaving Slightly to wonder, alone, 'What did I say? Was it something I said?'
The group woke up early the next morning and continued on their journey to Nimbus Station. No words were wasted between any of them; they simply rose, ate, and hiked. About what they hoped was halfway to the edge of the planet chunk, Reminal spoke the first word of the day, "I'm sorry, Slightly," she said, scuffing her feet. "About last night, I mean. I shouldn't have reacted like that." Slightly sounded equally embarrassed, even though he still wasn't sure what he'd done. "I'm sorry I told a story like that." he said, adjusting his full backpack on his shoulders. "I should have known something like that would happen." Reminal sighed. "S'okay," she said, sounding tired. "Let's just get over it. It hurts to think about way back... then." Jediliam interrupted their conversation with a sudden yell. "Guys, I can see Nimbus!! And there's the edge!" Drew, who probably had the keenest eyes of the group, scanned the horizon and soon verified what Jediliam had seen. "That's definitely Nimbus," he said, shading his eyes. "And without a doubt, the edge. Let's go!" Reminal and the group followed him as he sprinted towards the edge. Within five minutes, they had reached the precipice. And in no way were they prepared for what they saw next. Creeping up the sheer cliff towards them was a Spider Queen glowing with pure Maelstrom—obviously an Invader—and her army of Spiderlings. If Reminal had hung from the cliff by her hands, she could have touched the Queen with her feet. "Oh my--" Jediliam said, cut off in mid-curse by the hissing of a hundred or more angry Spiderlings. They ran.
The sound of hundreds of feet skittering across the rough rock towards them put Reminal's stomach on edge. Her legs were tiring, and the group was faring no better, in the exception of Glitter, who, being a Sentinel, had more endurance than the rest. But even she could not hold out much longer. Glitter, though a fast runner because of the aforementioned endurance was at the back of the group. And so, when she tripped on a rock, no one noticed that she was gone until it was too late—specifically, a few minutes later when they were all cornered at the edge of Caldera Mar. "Where's Glitter?!" asked Drew frantically, looking around and then down. He covered his eyes and turned around slowly as vertigo kicked in. Only to have an eager Spiderling bump into him and send him hurtling down the sheer edge. "Drew!" Reminal yelled, panic evident in her voice as she rushed to the edge and looked down. Drew was not dead. In fact, he was quite the opposite. As a Venture Leaguer, he was having the time of his life. After falling, he had landed on a Horseman, smashed the 'man' part of 'Horseman', and was now riding the horse part wildly, like a horse tamer breaking in a wild mustang. The skeletal mare bucked and kicked wildly, but Drew was determined not to let go. Finally the horse tired and neighed wearily in defeat. Drew whooped in elation, then hopped down. The horse bolted, galloping over to the other side of the canyon where it shook it fear. Reminal laughed, expecting to see Drew smiling, but as he turned towards her, his face was filled with fear. He pointed behind her shoulder. A Spiderling was staring her straight in the face. Seconds later, the Spiderling was smashed. "Watch it!" slightly yelled, half angry and half concerned. Reminal nodded and looked for any weak spot in the wall of Spiderlings. Seeing there were none, she turned and jumped. Jed turned around in surprise, expecting to see her remains scattered on the ground below. But Reminal was standing safely on the next floating platform. "Come on!!" she yelled, beckoning. "Drew can take care of himself, and we'll rescue Glitter later. Out priority now is US." Jediliam nodded; he couldn't argue with that. So he tapped Slightly on the shoulder to notify him and leaped. Slightly turned and jumped just as the Spiderlings overwhelmed them, flooding over the edge and making awkward splatting sounds on the canyon floor below. Those after the first few ranks learned from their predecessors and jumped at the edge, landing on the platform the group was on and making it wobble precariously. Or, to be more precise, WAS on. They had jumped from the platform they were on seconds before the Spiderlings, and were now halfway across Caldera Mar. The Spiderlings hissed and followed eagerly, the Spider Queen's long strides accidentally smashing a few of them as she walked easily across the canyon. Reminal saw Drew ahead of them, climbing up the opposite wall. He waved encouragingly. Only a few more meters until relative safety. Five... four... three... two...! An especially long stride from the Queen cut them off and the Spiderlings were on them before they could blink.