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After 2 and a half long years of bitter warfare, the Nexus Force has finally cleansed the Nimbus System of the evil threat known as the Maelstrom and their un-master, Baron Typhonus. With Imagination saved, life quickly returned to normal. A little too quickly. Only ten years after the Crux Wars, the legends, heroes, and veterans of the war are forgotten. A failure of unacceptable odds in the face of the coming threat to all of minifigure kind....
Jay was like any average minifig living in the suburban towns lying a few miles out of Nimbus City, the #1 Place To Build In as voted in the Nexus News Channel. He was lanky, had brown hair, a smiling face, was very imaginative, liked building, and maybe a little worrisome. His hometown of Nimbus Grove was a calm city, though not all that up to date with the technology of the rest of the whole Nimbus area. Mail Transporters were used, but the old tradition of a paper route still somehow remained. And that's what Jay did. He delivered paper. Wearing his brown mail satchel over his shoulder, Jay sped across town on his green moped, stopping at every apartment complex to slip mail into each little mailbox stacked on the front lawn amidst lots of flowers. Simple, repetitive, and boring. The sky was brightening, and bored from his early morning mail runs, Jay wasn't paying too much attention to the pothole-pockmarked road of his last street. The front-wheel of his bike slid into a hole, and with a yelp Jay flew over the handlebars of his bike onto the road, his mail flying out of his bag too. Not able to catch it fast enough, a parcel slid past Jay's hands and smashed open, sending several lined papers fluttering around it. Jay grabbed those and organized them into a pile, which he began to stuff back into the parcel. Just as he was about to reseal the parcel, three shocking words from the top paper met his eyes. "OPERATION FIGDROID EXECUTE"
"Wut." Jay mouthed. He stood up, the parcel tucked his shoulder, and realized he was at a dead end. There were no houses left, and there was no address on the parcel's surface. 'May as well take it back to the post office.' he thought, and soon he was well on his way.
14 years prior "Yay, the Maelstrom is defeated!" Sandy Studs cheered as he danced around his Assembly science lab in Nimbus Station. "Woohoo!" Turning to face his mentor, the acclaimed Dr. Albert Overbuild, Studs exclaimed, "This is a joyous occasion, let's go build some fun!" Overbuild didn't answer, or move to suggest he had payed Studs any mind. It took quite a long eery space of silence for the latter to realize that Overbuild's attention was focused completely on the computer console in front of him. "Sir?" Sandy inquired, stepping over to Overbuild to peer over his shoulder at the screen. Overbuild finally looked away to clean his glasses, and Sandy asked, "What's building?" "The key to defending Imagination." Overbuild answered matter-of-factly. Sandy forced a laugh. "Uh, sir, the war is over, the Maelstrom is gone. Imagination is safe, chaos is defeated." "It's not that simple, Mr. Studs." Overbuild told him, turning his console off. "Chaos is not something that can just be defeated. It's an essence of nature, created by our mistakes. The Maelstrom was merely a force of chaos, but chaos itself is forever here."
"And when it is time, it will be harnessed again."
The door to the apartment where Jay lived opened, and Jay stepped silently into the front hall. The house was quiet, and convinced he was alone, Jay made his way towards the kitchen to grab a snack when his sister Katie stepped out from behind him and tapped him on the shoulder.
"AH!" Jay jumped five feet into the air, spun around, and landed on his feet. "Don't do that." he complained as Katie stifled giggles. "So, what's up with your paper route?" she asked, like she did every day. "Nothing interesting," Jay answered like he did every day. Then quietly he added, "Nothing of your concern anyway." "Then why are you holding a box under your shoulder?" Katie pointed out, and Jay did a mental facepalm. "Stromlings, this is supposed to be at the post office." Jay muttered. "It's a parcel with no address in it and all this weird stuff in it. I have no idea who it's for." Jay set the box on the table, and Katie lunged for it, rotating it upside down and revealing an address. "Ha!" she exclaimed. "Hey, this is our address!" As annoyed as he was by his sister, Jay couldn't help feeling a twinge of admiration at her way of finding things he had previously looked over, or in this case not looked at at all. "Then let's look at it."
"Yeah, I want to see all the weird stuff you said that was in it." Katie said, and tore the box open like a lawnmover to grass, much to Jay's dismay. Soon there were uneven cardboard strips everywhere, but the box's contents were more interesting.
13 Years Prior
It was Sandy Studs' appointed task to watch over Overbuild's prototype key to defending Imagination. It was a project that only the both of them had knowledge of. Total time spent on the project; eleven months to a year. And now it was online, under Sandy's watch. But it wouldn't be ready for about 16 years.
Sandy sighed as his thoughts extended to Overbuild. He was completely devoted to his project and was already planning on putting together another 'key'. Not as a spare, but as just 'another one'.
"I wonder what all this stuff means." Katie asked as she looked through paper after paper. Most of them looked like highly experimental weapons schematics and battle plans, while the first one still screamed out in all caps "OPERATION FIGDROID EXECUTE".
Underneath those three letters was written a weird sentence.
"The time has come! The Mail Storm is making its way back! It is time to Assemble our Venturous Sentinel Paradoxes. I am on my way to the Hail Storm for the Flame of Dark; you will go to the Exit.
Answer the call, save Imagination! - Overbuild"
Jay was leafing through his own pile of papers. But he couldn't make any sense of it. He eyed the first page he had seen only an hour before and took a mental photograph of the mystery message displayed across its face. Then he took a look at his watch.
"Only half an hour and its time for school, Katie." he announced. "Let's get a move on."
Katie groaned and they began putting everything back in the box. After making it look sealed they left it at the front door, and after putting on their backpacks made their way out of the apartment to the bus stop. On the way there, Jay thought of an idea.
"Meet me at the school library at recess." Jay said, remembering the most important lines of the first page. "We're going to do some research."
Seated in front of one of the many computer consoles adorning the transparent tables in the library, Jay typed on the holographic keyboard projected before him "operation figdroid", then pressed enter.
Immediately results filled the screen, ranging from ads for Built-it-yourself Nindroids to a vacation hotel called "Operation Fig". Jay glanced at Katie who was leaning on the table at his side. "Hopeless...." she muttered.
Deciding to try something else, Jay typed in "assemble venturous sentinel paradoxes". He got a message "Did you mean Assembly, Venture, Sentinel, Paradox?" and he clicked yes. Then an image of a strange blue pointy thing that looked a bit like a disproportionate compass came up, with the description "The Nexus Force logo circa 2010-2012".
"The Nexus Force?" Katie repeated, raising her eyebrows. "Seems fairly recent, only from about 14 years ago. How come we've never heard of it?" Jay clicked a link for an encyclopedia entry for "The Nexus Force", within which was written,
"The Nexus Force was a militia of minifigures devoted to the protection of Imagination from the Maelstrom following the Crux Incident of October 26th, 2010." as the first line. Jay read a bit more of the first paragraph, and most of his questions were answered. It finished like this. "Following the victory over the Maelstrom at Crux Prime, the Nexus Force quickly disbanded to prevent a civil war from breaking out among its factions, the Sentinels, Assembly, Venture, and Paradox."
The post-recess bell went off, so the rest of the day progressed normally for Jay and Katie; until they got home. Upon opening the front door, they were greeted by the only other person living in the apartment, their disorderly dad, - long sand colored hair, unshaven face and all - who was standing in front of an open suitcase tossing stuff into it. "Hey kiddies," he said, not even glancing at them. "Pack your bags, we're going to Avant City." "We're WHAT?!" Jay exclaimed. Almost never did they ever go anywhere all together as a family, and never anywhere outside the Nimbus Planetoid. He exchanged a confused glance with Katie, but her facial expression and the way she dragged him to their bedrooms told him to not bother about it and go along for now. They'd get answers soon enough. Once behind the closed door of Katie's VERY PINK room, did Jay's mouth fall open and he started spiling out questions, even though he knew Katie wouldn't have the answers. "Why are we going off-planet? Where is Avant Ciy anyway? Why are we even going anywhere?" "Maybe it's because of the mysterious letter from that guy called Overbuild, who's message told us, or just Dad, to 'go to the Exit'." "That's actually something interesting to research about." Jay suggested. "Where's your I-Brick?" "Here," Katie said, moving a bunch of books on a large bookshelf aside and reaching behind, pulling out a very shiny PINK I-Brick v.15.
As Katie scrolled through the same encyclopedia page on the Nexus Force they had seen earlier, Jay scanned for information that could reveal the identity of the "Hail Storm", "Flame of Dark", "the Exit", and "Overbuild". Finding Overbuild was easy. The second paragraph was about how the Nexus Force was split into four subdivisions, the front line soldier "Sentinels" lead by a Duke Exeter, the hard-hitting "Venture" lead bya Hael Storm, the engineering "Assembly" lead by the obvious Dr. Overbuild, and the "Paradox" group which was kind of a mix of all, but with much more devious means of warfare, lead by a Vanda Darkflame. "Look," Katie said, pointing at each name. "Flame of Dark is like a Dark Flame, which in this case is the Paradox person. Hail Storm is just a mispelling of the name Hael Storm, and Exeter sounds like Exit." "Interesting, but why is Overbuild going to the leaders of a now defunct military? And what does Dad have to do with this?" Jay asked. "I have absolutely no idea," Katie replied. "So, don't ask me?"
"Fine." Jay agreed. "So, let's start packing. Maybe we'll figure out a bit more at this Avant City."
The Nimbus planetoid and the Avant planetoid were actually very close to each other within the Crux System, relatively. Travel between the two by a Rocketbus took only about 10 minutes. Private rockets could get there in only 3 minutes. And this is not counting launching preparations, which took about 20 minutes. So in the end, any, all, and every Rocketbus trip is boring. Jay, Katie, and their dad had a row of seats near the middle - the perfect location to be inconspicuous, Jay noted. A second later he felt silly. There was no reason they would need to be inconspicuous anyway, right? No other minifigures aboard the Rocketbus payed anymore attention to them as they would to other random minifigures. Except for the guy in the black top hat at the back. Through the corner of his eye, Jay watched the top hat guy sitting at the back with a newspaper in front of him. He had mirrored sunglasses on, a black suit, and a red shirt. Even though he was wearing reflective sunglasses, Jay could tell he had his eyes on them. And when he focused on the sunglasses, he could even see right through them into the top hat guy's purple eyes.... Jay slouched into his seat and looked to face the wall, which showed nothing but space as black as the top hat guy's top hat and some far away stars. Whatever had just happened was weird. Unless he had just imagined it, there was a guy in a top hat with purple eyes and mirrored sunglasses who was watching them, and Jay all of a sudden could look through sunglasses. "Whatever," he thought, and a few seconds after he let his eyes focus on the wall in front of him, he realized he was staring into space.
Jay blinked, and he was staring at a blank wall again. First he thought a guy in a top hat was staring at him. Then he thought he could see through glasses as if they weren't there. And finally he thought he was looking through a wall into space. With a sigh, Jay slumped deeper into his chair and relaxed, but then he remembered they had already been flying through space for around 10 minutes already, which meant the Avant planetoid was coming up. And it was very close.
14 years ago it had been called Avant Gardens. But now that name was reserved for only a certain location of the grassy world. What was once long endless plains surrounded by a body of water which flowed off into space was now towns and cities. And in the center of them all was the true "Avant Gardens", bordered by trees since grown twice as high and rocky cliffs that remained rocky cliffs. "Alright kids," their dad briefed them, "I'll be in a meeting over there," - he pointed to a large, sparkling, green and purple building - "so you can stick around out here. If you need help, just call." Then he left. Katie eyed the building, taking in its conflicting color scheme, its slightly blue-tinted glass windows, and all the satellites, antennas, huge cylinder smoke-stack thingy, and radio equipment at the flat roof of the building. "This building reminds me of Barney the Dinosaur. Let's climb on these rocks, I want to get a look at the roof." Jay gave Katie a boost onto the lowest rock which was still kind of larger than an average minifigure, and from there Katie continued until she could get a clear look at the building's roof. Just behind the short wall that ran around the roof were rows of mountings with tripods attached. Just tripods, nothing was on them. But something could have been on them a long time ago. They looked like the type of tripod that would hold a weapon of some sort. The Barney the Dinosaur building was once a Nexus Force military base, or lab.
After Jay made his way up to his sister's vantage point, Katie pointed towards a large tree with a long limb that extended just until the roof of the Nexus Force building. "You're not suggesting we climb across that," Jay started. Katie shrugged. "Hey, I want to check the roof. It's not like we can just waltz inside from the first floor and then walk unnoticed up the stairs to the roof."
"But what's so interesting about the roof?" Jay continued. Katie's answer was to open her I-Brick and take a picture of the Nexus Force building. A second later, a popup box identifying the building along with some information appeared, saying,
"Paradox Museum Formerly known as the Nexus Force Paradox Research Facility until its transformation into a museum in January, 2026." "That was only last month," Katie explained. "And it looks like they left or stored some stuff on the roof." "Or in the basement." Jay said. "I don't see any easy way into the basement," Katie told him. "If you do, tell me."
"Well, I don't see any easy way onto the roof either." Jay countered. "Seriously, you actually want us to climb on an unstable tree branch suspended high above the ground and then jump the last two feet onto a concrete roof lined with lots of sharp stuff used to hold weapons." "Awww, where's your sense or adventure Jay?" Katie whined. "Besides, you don't have to come with me." Then she reached up and hoisted herself onto the branch, then began pulling herself along the branch towards the Paradox Research Facility. With a sigh, Jay pulled himself onto the branch and followed her.
The roof of the Paradox Research Facility was covered in old equipment, most of it junky, rusty, and broken. There were some diamonds in the rough though, but Jay wasn't interested in them, and he couldn't see what Katie saw in them either. "WHY ARE WE HERE?!" Jay screamed. "Now that I think of it," Katie admitted, "I don't really know. I kind of just had a feeling...." "Whatever," Jay interrupted her. "Now how do we get off this roof?" The tree branch they had used to get to the roof was several feet above them, and piling sharp equipment up to make a mound to step on would not be recommended. Katie quickly ran to a metal door imbedded in the roof and tugged at it, but it was locked. Jay thought of an idea. "How about we build something to break through the door?"
"It's metal." Katie burst his bubble. "Besides, that'll take too long and it'll make too much noise. I've got a better idea." All around the roof were gray tarpulins that covered piles of 'more important' machinary, and Katie grabbed one and accidentally kicked the object underneath it, a shiny orange machine shaped vaguely like a minifig. In its right hand was what looked like some kind of ray gun, and in its left hand was.... nothing. It was a mech. A red light on its 'head' turned on, and awestruck, Jay and Katie watched the mech unfold over a period of ten long seconds. "PRDX-4 0NL1N3; PRDX-4 1N1T14L1Z1NG 5Y5T3M CH3CK; PRDX-4 F1N15H3D 5Y5T3M CH3CK; PRDX-4 1N1T14L1Z1NG 2012 P4R4D0X R0B0T D3F3N53 PR0GR4M;" the mech, having introduced itself as PRDX-4, monotoned in its gravelly computery voice.
PRDX-4 then rotated around to face Jay and Katie, its red eye focusing on their faces. "1N1T14L1Z1NG 2012 F4C3 R3C0GN1T10N CH3CK; F4C3 R3C0GN1T10N CH3CK NULL; PR3P4R3 T0 D13 M43LSTR0M SL1M3;" With that, it leveled its ray gun at them and began rapid-firing blue balls of some destructive force at them.
Jay and Katie scrambled at blinding speed behind a pile of junk, just missing the blue balls of destruction, which streaked past them. PRDX-4's voice grated across the roof as he clanked his way towards their hiding place. "D13 M43LSTR0M SL1M3; SURR3ND3R TH0UGH Y0U W1LL B3 PUN15H3D 31TH3R W4Y;" "WHAT DO WE DO?!" Jay shrieked. "We're stuck up here on a roof with a stupid mech bent on punshing us!! And why are you holding a gray tarp?!" "That's the plan." Katie said, and as PRDX-4's footsteps became louder, she gripped two corners of the tarp. Jay, getting the idea, gripped the other corners, and together they flung it into the air. The strong Avant Gardens wind instantly picked up the tarp, and it threatened to rip itself from their hands and go airborne. "And now we jump!" Katie yelled, and just as PRDX-4 rounded the corner to their location, they ran towards the edge of the roof. And jumped off
12 years before.... As they had planned, Sandy was standing at a warehouse at a desolate Avant Grove property, awaiting Overbuild as part of their annual yearly status report. The waiting part though, wasn't planned. It's not that he was uncomfortable, the night wasn't all that cold, but Sandy would have preferred to be in the warehouse - actually, he cared more about having the 'keys to defending Imagination' in the warehouse, as opposed to the open air of the small rocky chunk known as an Avant Grove property. The thing was, he couldn't get into the warehouse, not without the card pass to open the magnetically locked doors which he believed Overbuild had. And where was Overbuild?! With a sigh, Sandy leaned his back onto the steel walls of the warehouse and slouched a bit, which caused his feet to slip, sending a couple rocks flying and causing him to fall splat to the ground. Carefully he picked himself up, and noticed a flat rectangular object sticking out from under the rocks he had misplaced. It was a card pass.
The doors slid open, and Sandy stepped into the dark warehouse. Sensors detected his movements and the lights clicked on, illuminating the room. After getting the 'keys to defending imagination' inside the room and sliding the doors shut, Sandy set himself up at a console. Tapping the keys turned on a scanner next to the computer monitor, and a box popped up requested him to scan the key card. Done. The desktop appeared with a single icon, a video file labeled Urgent appeared. Sandy double-clicked on it, and a video showing Overbuild in front of a drab gray background appeared. He spoke. "My calculations were off," Overbuild began. "Way off. The Maelstrom are going to return much earlier than I anticipated, Operation Figdroid will not be ready. We must rebuild the Nexus Force. Not now, but soon. Await the next time I contact you, it could be in a few days, or many years. But wait for me." The video ended, and the file auto-deleted itself.
Avant Gardens Whatever air resistance they expected the tarp to give them didn't seem to be working, because as far as Jay was concerned, they were falling. Fast. Two seconds later they impacted and ended up sprawled on the ground face-first, with the tarp sailing away to entangle itself in some trees. "Ugh," Jay grumbled, picking himself up and helping Katie get to her feet. He took a few staggering steps, but then an explosion just to their left sent dirt flying into them. Jay whirled around and saw PRDX-4 standing at the edge of the Paradox Lab's roof, preparing to fire again.
"AH NOT AGAIN." Jay screamed and together they ran from the Paradox Lab as quickly as possible, explosions of dirt and grime rocking the ground just missing them. After half a minute of running, the explosions stopped because they were out of PRDX-4's range. Then they realized something interesting, fascinating, and scary. "How did we just jump off a four story building," Katie said slowly, "and survive?"
It didn't take long for the security team at the Paradox Museum to disable PRDX-4 and upload updated 2026 programs into him, and as far as they knew or cared, his activation was a malfunction in his central core while it was doing a timely scheduled systems check. Meanwhile, Jay and Katie were back at the rocks, speculating about their misadventure on the roof of the Paradox Lab. "Really, the tarp was hardly creating any air resistance for us." Jay insisted. "I doubt it would have been any different if we jumped without it. "You could go back and check," Katie suggested, holding up her I-Brick. "I could time you, and you'd make two jumps." "No way," Jay said quickly. "So what now? Maybe you could explain that 'feeling' you had to go onto the roof anyway?" "Huh, that's an interesting question bro." Katie told him, then stood silently in thought for a few seconds. "It was like there was something drawing me there, as if the answer to a question would be there. But I don't know what that question is." Jay raised his eyebrows. "Okay, that's weird. So, what now?" "Well, we still don't know what Figdroids are, or what Dad has to do with this Overbuild guy and this Exeter guy." Katie suggested.
Jay thought of something. "Maybe we can get some answers inside the Paradox place." he said. "Instead of the roof." he added quietly. Katie groaned. "Seriously?" "Seriously, it's a museum." Jay urged. "What's so conspicuous about walking into a museum?" "Museums are boring." Katie grumbled, but she followed Jay as he climbed down from the rocks and headed towards the shiny doors. The lobby of the museum was empty. And boring. There were a few glass tables with holopictures and plastic flowers with stiff-seated couches arranged around them, which were also boring. Beyond the lobby was a white hallway lined with doors with a tiled floor that squeaked under Jay's sneakers. At the end it split into a T, with an elevator in the center.
That's when they heard voices and squeaky footsteps coming from the split hallway. From behind, Katie grabbed Jay's shirt collar and yanked him and herself into a closet, keeping the door open a crack. Two seconds later, six minifigures walked by. A bald guy in goggles, a determined looking guy with yellow hair, an unshaven disheveled brown haired guy, a lady in purple, a guy hiding behind a white space helmet, and a younger (compared to his companions) guy with black hair who looked bored. Their conversation bounced around the hallway and entered the closet, filling Jay's and Katie's ears with.... gibberish. "The first step is getting the Nexus Force back together," Goggles was saying. "Then we must move on to our primary priorities. Getting a battalion of Elite Nexus Troopers with Valiants at the Imagination Nexus in Nexus City is critical. That, Permitted Valley, Smooth Forest, Nimbus City, Avant City, and the Venture Museum will be the Maelstrom's prime targets." "And I thought ya had an idea that didn't require us to get completely mobilized like this, Doc." Unshaven Guy grumbled. "It's been 12 years since this system has seen militants, nobodys' gonna be ready." "Imma ready!!" the bored guy announced. "Shut up, no one asked you to speak." Blonde Guy snapped. "Hael has a point, what happened to your awesome plan?"
"Certain variables failed to add up the way I had planned and so my project wont be usable until at least 6 years." Goggles explained. "But it doesn't matter, the only way we can sucessfully repulse and subsequently counterattack a new Maelstrom incursion will require an organized guiding force - us."
"That was years ago." Purple Lady stated. "And remember what it turned into? Le Duke of Awesome turned victory into a faction war." Blonde Guy's face turned angry red for a second, then he said coolly to Goggles, "She can live in her delusion, but I'm not leading a military alongside her." That's when Jay realized they were the faction leaders.
Only a few seconds later and the group of important veterans was gone. Jay exploded the second Katie swung the closet door open and they tumbled out. "THOSE WERE THE LEADERS OF THE NEXUS FORCE!!!" Jay exploded. "You think I don't know that?" Katie said. "But remember, the Nexus Force had four leaders. That group was six. Interesting." "So who are the other two?" Jay asked. "That I don't know, but I think I know what the 'Doc's', as in 'Overbuild's' plan was." Katie answered. "Operation Figdroid." they both said.
It was Katie's idea to explore the basement of the Paradox Lab, so after hitching a ride on a service elevator, they found themselves in the dark base of the Paradox Lab. It was mostly just boxes, desks, and tables littered with more boxes, parts, bricks, machinary, scientific equipment, and other old junk. Katie pointed towards a door at the far end of the basement, and Jay followed her through it into a pitch-black room. Jay reached for a light switch, and finding it, he switched it on. Some old ceiling lamps buzzed to life, revealing the room to be an small storage room filled with file cabinets. Quickly Katie was on her knees in front of a drawer labelled 'F'. "Look in 'O'," she stated, and Jay pulled open a drawer with O on it, then began leafing through faded yellow binders. His fingers found a few Overbuilds, Obelisks, Ostriches, and then into Operation. "Found it!" Jay announced, and pulled out a binder labelled "Operation Figdroid". "Found what?" said a voice, and then the guy with black hair stepped into the room.
He did not look happy.
"Who and what are you doing here?" the guy exclaimed, stepping into the room and pulling out a communications device. He had, as stated before, black hair, a slight beard, and looked to be in his mid twenties. Immediately, Jay and Katie dashed past the guy with the black hair. On the way past, Jay grabbed the communications device, and Katie slipped her foot around the guy with the black hair's ankle, tripping him, though a paper slipped from Jay's grasp and floated to the ground. In the time it took for the paper to hit the ground, Jay and Katie were gone, and the guy with the black hair was picking himself up from the ground grumbling. The second he got to his feet, the paper flittered past his face. On reflex, he grabbed it. It contained two color pictures, and at the top was written "Operation Figdroid". He sucked in his breath in shock, but quickly stuffed the paper into his jeans pocket and gained his composure. "Fusion Dude," he muttered, as he picked up a gray bullhorn, that was in fact not a bullhorn, but a stun-gun. "Time to get back to work."
Panting, Jay and Katie sprinted through the doors of the Paradox Lab and kept running.
"What's gotten to us?!" Jay yelled. "We jump off a roof, eavesdrop on a conversation between military officials, break into a locked storage room, and steal important documents ON A PROJECT WE DON'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT!!" "It's your fault, you started it!" Katie retorted. "What- how?!" Jay snapped. "By becoming a mailman!" Katie answered, but then a sound like tires spinning on pavement filled their ears, and a split-second later they were being levitated into the air by blue rings that moved slowly past them, emitting from the barrel of a bullhorn behind them in the hands of the guy with the black hair. Caught in the air, Jay and Katie craned their necks to glare at their captor. "Who are you?!" Katie spat. "I could ask the same," their captor said with a smirk, "But I'll be nice. I'm Intrepid Fusion Eclipse, and you are?"
Jay was at a loss for what to do, but Katie took over. "How about you let us down first?" she challenged. "Fine with me," Intrepid agreed, and turned the stun gun off. Big mistake for Intrepid Fusion Eclipse, because a split second after he released the trigger his head was snapped to the side from the force of a roundhouse kick to his jaw. Intrepid recovered quickly, but surprisingly Jay and Katie had vanished. Not really a problem, since he knew Avant Gardens like the back of his hand. They wouldn't get far.
When the stun gun had turned off, Jay had used the backwash of energy to propel himself over Intrepid and latch onto a pipe that ran up alongside the length of the Paradox Lab, while Katie had tried something a little more on the offensive side, and with Intrepid on the ground she had grabbed onto Jay's foot and pulled herself up to his perch, where they stayed silently until Intrepid was gone. A hundred seconds later, Katie broke the ambient noise of birds chirping. "Let's take a look at those files," she said, and Jay handed her the folder which he still had with him. Katie pulled a stack of papers out and gave Jay the first half of them, and then she dived into her half. Surprisingly, it wasn't too hard to remain on a pipe with just his feet, so Jay picked up the first paper and read into the first paragraph. It seemed to be the schematics for "Figdroids", written out in words instead of in a blueprint picture. There was Unit 1 called J and Unit 2 called KT. "Read that out loud," Katie said.
"What?" Jay turned to see that Katie was looking over his shoulder. "Just do it." she instructed. Jay turned back to the paper. "Okay.... Unit 1; S# 2359PM300112; J; Unit 2; S# 2400AM310112; KT- what- oh...." His blood froze. His heart pounded in his ear, and Jay and Katie shared a look of confusion, contempt, and trepidation. It was Katie who spoke. "We are the Figdroids."
Both siblings stared at each other in shocked silence, until Jay managed to squeak out, "Does that mean we're.... robots?" "Most likely...." Katie said slowly. "but I'm surprised we didn't realize this before. It explains how we were able to jump off a tall building and not get hurt, and most of the other wacky things we pulled off today...." "And it probably explains why my feet have been sticking to this pole for so long." Jay stated. "Maybe you've got magnets in your feet," Katie suggested. Jay shuddered. "Be quiet." Katie was quiet for two seconds, then spoke up again. "I wonder who else knows about us. The Overbuild person, obviously. That Intrepid Fusion Eclipse guy, probably. Dad?" Jay shifted nervously. "I never thought of that. Now I feel betrayed." "Don't sweat it, how 'bout we just move on?" Katie said. "I mean, we've lived normally all our lives, it wont be any different now that we've discovered something special about ourselves. It might even be kind of fun. I'll have to read through all of this stuff." she gestured to the papers in hers and Jay's hands. "Good for you," Jay told her. "But it's been a long day, at least for me." He stared at the setting sun in the distance and the pink and orangey clouds that surrounded it as it cast a final afternoon glow across Avant Gardens. "I just want to go home." "Yeah sure, fine."
Soon they were sitting in the puny backseats of a sporty car called a "ZL1" after its engine that their Dad had rented as he drove them to a vacation hotel in Avant City. "So kiddies, what have you been up to today?" their Dad said through a grin. "Did you get to see the monument? Or the caves?" "Actually, we kind of stuck around the museum," Katie answered. It wasn't a lie, since Jay had in fact been stuck to the outside of the museum. Jay wasn't listening. Instead, he was staring out the window at the star-littered sky. When suddenly a bright trail of fire lit up the night, and its source. It was a giant pencil.
Jay blinked, and saw that it actually wasn't a giant flying pencil.
It was a rocket styled to look like a giant flying pencil. Using the skill he had already found to look through objects, Jay had no trouble keeping track of the Pencil Rocket as it flew overhead and did a barrel roll. Then Jay stifled a gasp as he noticed who its pilot was. It was Intrepid Fusion Eclipse.
Their current Avant City hotel room was kind of on the large side compared to average hotel room. There was the main room which was actually a living room/kitchen/dining room, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. So it actually wasn't a hotel room. It was an apartment with shiny window shades and a few pieces of comfy furniture. Boring. The room which Katie and Jay shared was no less boring than the rest of the 'apartment'. And from all the reading they did of the file on the Figroids project - them - and internet encyclopedia research Katie did from her I-Brick, both concluded that they were originally.... built as something that had to do with defending the Imagination core in the center of Nexus City, though back then it was referred to as the Imagination Nexus in Nexus Tower. And the thing they were supposed to defend it from was called the Maelstrom. And addng the puzzlepiece of the secret meeting between veterans they had heard back at the Paradox Lab, the 'Maelstrom' would be coming back earlier than 'Overbuild' had predicted, so the Figdroids - them - wouldn't be needed. "So.... what's up with us now?" Jay said slowly. "We were *shiver* created for something that was expected to be happening some time a long time from now, but that something wont be happening a long time from now, so what's going to happen to us?" Katie was about to give a speculative answer, when suddenly the large window overlookng a balcony at the outside wall of the room, did something that normal windows just don't do.
It shattered. Enter Intrepid Fusion Eclipse.
"Don't be alarmed," Intrepid said quickly, acting as if he had NOT just smashed through a window. "First off, I need to talk to you." Katie folded her arms. "And what makes you think we should we trust you?" "Look, I'm not going to go unleash the epic power of a bullhorn on you," Intrepid stated, but eyeing Katie he added, "but I don't take lightly to violence either." "Just what do you want?" Jay demanded. "You can't just smash into our apartment and order us to speak with you. Besides, it's not like we're going to be doing anything when this 'maelstrom' comes- oops." Katie clamped her hand across Jay's face, but Intrepid just laughed. "Ah, good, so you've already discovered who you really are. That's half an hour of explaining, whining, and shock shaved off." He reached behind him into an invisible bacpack, rummaged around a bit, and removed a sheet of paper, which he folded into a paper airplane and then promptly launched it at Jay. Jay unfolded it, and found himself staring at two mugshots of his and Katie's faces in black and white, with their J and KT technical designations written under each respective picture. "Old news," Katie snapped, since Jay couldn't answer. "Now get on with it." "Challenge accepted." Intrepid declared. "I know you were eavesdropping on the Nexus Force leaders' conversations, because I am awesome, but they shouldn't have been speaking so loudly anyway. I prefer quietness and silence over the loud noise known as a conversation. But anyways, Dr. Overbuild isn't one who fights. He'll say what his three comrades want to hear. Which means he'll say you are not needed because 'you are not ready' because you're not old enough, hehehe, which means you are actually needed much more." Jay pried his sister's hand off his mouth and said slowly, "So what do WE have to do?" Intrepid pointed out the window, and replied, "Follow me."
It turned out that just outside the field of view from the - broken - window was a metal stairwell that led up and down the side of the building, with down being the ground floor, and up being the roof. Up was also the direction Intrepid leading them.
The roof itself was extremely high above the ground with a four feet tall wall at its edges, which spanned the whole expanse of concrete that made up the roof. No chimneys, no air conditioning fans, and no water towers crowned it. Even with no illumination form the dark night sky, it was obvious that it was all boring gray concrete.
"And why the roof?" Jay questioned with raised eyebrows. "Well," Intrepid explained, "it's a large open area with lots of privacy. No one will see us from below, no one goes flying this late, and any sound we make will never get through all this concrete." "Why?"
Intrepid grinned. "To get you familiar with what you're really capable of." With that, he launched into a backflip and landed several feet back. "Now you try!" he called. Jay and Katie began several failed attempts at doing backflips, and ten seconds later Intrepid yelled, "Enough! Let's try something else." He produced five boxes and a shiny green marble, which he dropped into one. Then he shuffled them around and rearranged them in all sorts of ways before announcing, "Which box is th marble in?" Jay concentrated on each box, and before long found himself staring at the marble through the box's walls. He was about to answer, but got ninjad by Katie. "That one." she pointed at the same box which Jay was going to answer. "Nice." Intrepid remarked. Then with a smirk, he stated, "After a few more of these 'simple' objectives, let's switch to something more, how should I say this, intensive...."
After a few more easy assignments in which Jay and Katie learned how to double-jump, magnetically stick to walls, hack into computer systems (which is actually very complicated), and activate 'speed-mode', though Intrepid calls it a speedhack. "Alright," Intrepid instructed. "We're moving onto the more 'intensive' challenges. To put it simply, what you have to do is defeat me." Within seconds he was suddenly wearing his full Bat Lord gear; staff, shield, helmet, special abilities, and all. Jay gulped as Intrepid handed both him and Katie Elite Longswords, Dragon Shields, and Breastplates of Armored Inspiration. "I used to have only one of each of these." Intrepid told them. "They used to be my best gear, before I got these." He patted his Bat Lord shirt. "Uh, used to be?" Jay asked worriedly. Intrepid grinned. "Listen, if you think this is an unfair match, it is, to ME. There are two of you, there's one of me, you've got all your special stuff like speedhacks, and I'm a bit rusty since I haven't been in any active combat for years." "So how about we get on with this already?" Katie stated, impatient. "That's the spirit!" Intrepid cheered, and then did spun around and activated is Bat Lord Helmet speed ability. With a sound like tires spinning, Intrepid was quickly all the way at the opposite end of the roof. Jay and Katie assumed a defensive stance, awaiting Intrepid's next move. Which didn't come. "Are we supposed to attack him?" Katie whispered. "Don't ask me, you're the expert on stuff like his," Jay complained. "Alright then, I've decided." Katie told him. "Let's do this." The instant she and Jay let down their defensive guard, Intrepid attacked.