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169 Pages

Class: Story
Status: Complete
Author: ZackaryX
Availability: Truths of the Universe: The Beginning can also be found here.
Author's Notes: This is the original version. A Rewrite will be released soon, January the 11th.

The Journey to the NexusEdit

Chapter 1.1Edit

The Hurricane soared through deep space, its luxurious inside keeping the passengers inside unaware of the meteor field they were passing through.

Ricaro Typhonus sat at a dining table, comfortably waiting for his food to arrive. The man sitting across from him spoke, in a clear, yet quiet voice.

"So, Baron. What brings you to Shaneea?"
Baron Typhonus 1

Baron Ricaro Typhonus

"I'm visiting an old colleague of mine," Typhonus replied. "His name is Overbuild. Perhaps you've heard of him? He's very well known among your type."

"Ah, yes. Doctor Arthur Overbuild." the man stated. "Built a rocket at the age of eleven, and then at age thirteen, invented the Thinking Cap, possibly the greatest creation ever."

"Yes, I need him to help me with something. Something that I can't tell you about. Sorry, Thomas."

Thomas Darkflame nodded. "You do keep many secrets. Oh, once again, thanks for giving my daughter a job. Vanda disappeared for about five years once she turned twelve. Now she's back, and you gave her a job the moment she asked."

"It's fine," Ricaro said. "I needed an assistant."

Thomas nodded. "Then I shall speak to you again later." The hologram of Thomas Darkflame faded out, leaving Ricaro alone at his table.

A waitress walked over, balancing a plate of Nuein rice, grilled meat, and a glass of water. "Your food, sir," the waitress said, taking note of his jeweled scepter. "Please enjoy your stay on the Hurricane."

Ricaro Typhonus took out a blue stud as a tip. "Here you are, and thank you, ma'am." The waitress smiled, nodded, and walked back towards the kitchen.

Chapter 1.2Edit

Ricaro sat in his room, pondering the things he and Thomas had talked about. It was all very confusing. He just wanted to-

"Hello, sir."

Ricaro jumped up at the voice, startled. "Vanda! Don't do that! You scared me!"

Vanda Darkflame, who had a strange knack for being able to sneak up on anyone unnoticed, was Ricaro's assistant. "I thought you called me," Vanda said. "I heard your voice."
Vanda Darkflame 1

Vanda Darkflame

"Ah, yes." Ricaro said, remembering. "We're about to get off at Shaneea. Grab your stuff!"

"Yes, sir."

"You don't have to be so formal! Call me Ricaro."



Ricaro stepped off the Hurricane into the Spaceport with a skip in his step, Vanda following behind less keenly.

"Welcome to Shaneea, Vanda! This is the home planet of Arthur Overbuild, an old friend of mine." Ricaro said cheerfully.

"Alright then." Vanda said quietly. "Where is he?"

"East. He's a professor at a college. All his students graduate with flying colors."

"I see."

They made their way to one of the flying automobiles floating around the Spaceship, and went inside. "Treniem college, please." Ricaro said.

Chapter 1.3Edit

Their ride arrived at Treniem University fifteen minutes later, and Vanda stepped out, taking in the big brick building, with glowing lines pulsing along some areas.

"Power cores." Typhonus explained. "Go ahead in, and ask for Doctor Overbuild."

Vanda nodded, and walked forward though the doors that slid open when their motion detectors sensed her. Several people around Vanda's age began streaming out of the classrooms, talking loudly to each other. Vanda made her way through the crowd, keeping to herself.

She walked into Doctor Overbuild's classroom, stepping around puddles of goo on the floor.

"Hello? I'm here for Doctor Overbuild."
Doctor Overbuild

Doctor Overbuild

A man wearing glowing goggles, with some sort of contraption strapped onto his back, appeared from behind a desk. "Don't move! It's right behind you!" he said.

A Shuriken flicked out of Vanda's pocket and flew behind her so quickly, it was as if she hadn't even touched it.

There was a loud thump, and Vanda turned around to see a six foot tall creature, covered in fur.

"Sorry," Overbuild said, standing up and brushing off his pants. "My latest experiment. I take it that was a Shuriken."

"You speak nothing of this."

"Alright then."

She plucked the Shuriken back out of the monster, poison slightly dripping off of it, and she quickly put it back in her pocket. "Baron Ricaro Typhonus awaits you outside."


Chapter 1.4Edit

Arthur's face brightened. "Oh, Ricaro! It's been so long since he's visited me."

"He said so." Vanda replied.

"Well, come on then! Let's go outside!"

Vanda nodded slightly, walking towards the door to hold it open for Arthur. Once they were outside, Ricaro shook Arthur's hand vigorously.

"It's good to see you again, Ricaro."

"Same to you. Invented anything else lately?"

"Nothing big. So, why'd you come?"

"Sit down. It's a long story."



Hael Storm loved what he did. He was a space pirate, flying in his ship, the Pathfinder, throughout space, pillaging and doing as much as he could to make sure rich people didn't stay rich.
Hael Storm

Hael Storm

Pathfinder flew away from an unmoving ship, now laden with expensive items. Hael smiled to himself. Fifty percent of this stuff would go towards donations, and the rest towards more stuff for him and his crew.

His first mate rushed in, holding a map. "Cap'n Storm! Grollen is two hours away. We'll be there in no time!"

"Thanks, Jim." Hael said back. "Then we drop all this stuff off."

Chapter 1.5Edit

Pathfinder's engine power dropped, and the ship dropped into the ocean of Grollen. Hael hopped out of front cockpit, his parrot perched on his shoulder. Jim followed right behind him, both making splashes as their boots hit the water.

Hael lashed out with his cutlass, scaring the venomous fish away from their waters. Jim handed him a chest full of gold, and he lugged it to the shores.

Hael stopped at the beach, and threw the chest into a small cabin on the edge. Then he stopped, at the small noise behind him.

"Alright, ye got me." he said in an exasperated voice. "You want yer gold back?"

"You've taken nothing from me."

Strange. The voice belonged to a girl. Hael didn't remember doing any girls wrong... except for-

"Listen, I already said I was sorry, Tallulah," Hael said with an exasperated note in his voice. "I'll get the stuff back to ye some time soon."

"Who?"

Wait. That wasn't Tallulah's voice. "Er... nevermind. So, who be ye?"

"The name's Vanda. You can turn around now, you know."

"Ah, yes. Course I can." Hael turned turned around to see a girl of about seventeen, leaning against the side of the shack.

"So, what do ye need me for?" Hael said calmly.

Chapter 1.6Edit

"I have a friend, a rich friend, who can clear your record. The rangers will have no reason to chase after you." Vanda said.

"What's the catch?"

"You help us find someone. A duke. Jake Exeter? You know where he is, correct?"

"Of course I do! I've been keepin' track o him for a long time. He's got enough money for me ter bye a whole nother ship. 'Course, I didn't exactly buy Pathfinder over there, but ye get the point."

"Yes. Yes, I do. Come with me. I'll take you to my rich friend."

"Can't wait ter see just how much money he's got on 'im!"

"And you will not steal from him."

"Darn!"



Arthur Overbuild's eye twitched when they left the small transporter to board the Pathfinder. His eye only twitched when something was calling to him.

"Hael! Do you have anything of importance on board your vessel?"

"I sincerely got no idea, buddy. Ye can check out the treasure room, just don't take anythin' out o it," Hael replied, while helping Ricaro get on board.

"Thank you, Hael."

Arthur found his way to the treasure room, his top right arm pulling open the door.

His eye twitched again.

He walked closer toward the center, pulling stuff out of the pile.

His eye twitched again.

Chapter 1.7Edit

Arthur reached for a small golden statue, pulling it aside as eye twitched twice. Underneath the statue lay a small golden square, looking like a piece of a map.

Arthur reached through the rest of the treasures, pulling the map out of the pile. It was faded, and it didn't look like it led through land. He recognized the names of several planets on the map.

Arthur squinted at it through his goggles.

"Find something ye like?"

He twisted around, startled, and saw Hael standing at the entrance to the treasure room.

"Yeah, I found another one just like that. It seemed like it was calling to me, so I kept 'er with me for safekeeping."

Arthur tilted his head. "Why didn't this one call to you?"

"No idea."

"I see." Arthur carefully folded the gold colored map, and placed it in his pocket. One of his other arms extended as a handshake for Hael.

Hael nodded, shaking his hand. "We be about to blast off. Ye ready to meet Exeter?"

"Of course.

Chapter 1.8Edit

Arthur Overbuild sat down in one of the comfortable chairs near the front of the Pathfinder, Ricaro Typhonus sitting to his left, and Vanda standing up behind them. Hael flicked the engines on, turning to face the others as the ship pulled itself out of the waters.

"So. I hope ye like me ship. She's the best I could find." Hael stated. grinning.

"Of course. Thank you so much for giving us a ride, Hael." Ricaro said.

"Hey, I don't want the police chasin' after me any more than ye do."

"Yes, of course not."

Pathfinder rose gradually out of the waters, pulling itself into the air, and then through the atmosphere, and finally into endless space.

"Interesting." Arthur said, squinting at a screen on the control center of Pathfinder.

"What?" Hael said, leaning in to get a better look.

"The settings are at three point eight for your engine fuel. Don't you think you should refill your engines?"

"Nah, why would I do that?"

"Um... exactly how far away is the duke?"

"A few hours."

"Maybe we can restock there, then." Arthur said, still looking a bit nervous.

Chapter 1.9Edit

Pathfinder took several hours to reach the floating rock which was their destination. In that time, Vanda had mysteriously disappeared, leaving Ricaro, Arthur, and Hael to themselves.

"So." Hael said, trying to make conversation. "When be your birthday?"

"Umm... why do you need to know?" Arthur said.

"No reason at all, mate."

"Ah. I see."

"What about you?" Hael said, turning to Ricaro.

"Exactly."

"What?"



Pathfinder shook as the ship touched the barren area of the planet, the landing legs sticking out from the bottom to hold up the pirate airship.

Vanda, sliding back into the main control room from one of the hallways, greeted Arthur and Hael each with a nod, and stood by Ricaro. Together, the four explorers walked out of their ship onto the Planet of the Guards, the home of the fabled Duke Exeter.

Grinning, Hael turned to Ricaro. "See? I got ye to Exeter. Told ye Pathfinder's a good enough ship."

That was when Pathfinder exploded behind them.

Chapter 2.0Edit

Vanda grabbed Ricaro and ran as fast as she could while lugging her stunned boss behind her. Hael and Arthur weren't faring as well, though.

Hael had jumped to the ground, covering Arthur to protect him from the explosion, while trying to dodge any incoming pieces of his infamous ship.

He didn't do so well.

A rather large piece of Pathfinder slammed into Hael's back, crushing part of his spine.



Arthur's trained robotic arms reacted instantly to the large chunk of flaming, red hot metal. Pushing it, with a fair amount of strain, off of Hael's back, the arms detached themselves from Arthur's back to let him crawl out from underneath the dangerous object while the arms held it up.

Carefully grabbing Hael by his waist, Arthur slowly started to inch his way towards safe ground, leaving his robotic arms behind.



Meanwhile, Vanda had pulled Ricaro to an area of the gigantic, rocky, barren mass that seemed safer to her eyes. Standing up after carefully setting Ricaro, who had already fainted, down on the ground, she turned around to see how Arthur and Hael were doing.

Obviously not well.

Vanda saw her other two companions struggling to get out from underneath a large piece of metal with the word Pathfinder written across the top of it.

As she looked closely, she noticed that it looked like Arthur was dragging Hael, and Hael's body looked a little twisted... Vanda gasped. She had seen this kind of injury before. His spine had been crushed. There was no fixing that. Hael Storm was crippled, and there was no way to fix it.

Chapter 2.1Edit

Arthur gave one last heave, and pulled Hael out from under the chunk of Pathfinder. Laying on the ground, Arthur knew he was about to black out from the shock of what had just happened. His eyes closed completely just after his robotic arms rocketed out from under the big piece of metal, and flew directly to him.



Vanda sprinted as fast as she could- perhaps faster- to the spot where Arthur had just collapsed beside the permanently injured Hael Storm. The metal that had crushed Hael's back suddenly started to move downwards, towards the rocky ground. Grabbing Hael, and motioning for the arms to get Arthur, they pulled both out. Fast. But not fast enough.

The metal slammed into the ground once they were about three feet away from it, and still running. The shock wave traveled through the ground, and a massive burst of collective energy sent the three explorers soaring forward.

Trained as she was, Vanda landed on her hands, somersaulting to break her fall. Arthur's robotic arms moved to catch him as fell. But Hael was still falling.

Chapter 2.2Edit

Ricaro stepped from out of nowhere, breaking Hael's fall smoothly. Unlike his normal good natured, humorous expression on his face, Ricaro wore a grim expression, his mouth tilted down in a deep frown.

"So this is our welcoming to the Planet of the Guards." Ricaro said quietly, setting Hael down on the ground.

Vanda, being the only other one still conscious, looked at Ricaro. "Mr. Typhonus? Is there... something wrong?"

"Other than the fact that someone tried to kill us? Of course not!" Ricaro snapped at Vanda, who shrunk back. This was not like Ricaro. Normally, he would be trying to keep everything under control. And he never yelled, especially not at her. Her father, Thomas Darkflame, had been best friends with Ricaro, and Ricaro normally treated his strangely mysterious and skilled assistant with respect and kindness.

"Sorry," Vanda murmured, not wanted to antagonize Ricaro further. "I just though that you seemed somehow... never mind."

Ricaro grunted in reply, concentrating on Hael's injury. "Looks like this one's been hurt," he said gruffly. "What's his name again?"

Vanda stared at him in surprise. He never forgot anyone's name, especially not the name of the space pirate who was essential in his quest for the Imagination Nexus. "Um... Hael Storm, sir."

Ricaro grunted. "And this one's Arthur Overbuild, am I correct?" Vanda tried hard to hide her amazement, but it was near impossible, even for one as highly trained as her in hiding emotions.

"Yes..." Something was definitely wrong with Baron Ricaro Typhonus. And she was going to find out what.

Chapter 2.3Edit

Arthur awoke the morning after the explosion of the Pathfinder, to find himself lying in a comfortable bed, with cloth and silk sheets. Standing up, Arthur stretched his muscles, and instantly regretted it. Pain shot through his arms, and he realized that his muscles were still worn from the day before.

Lying back down against the comfortable pillow, Arthur turned to see who was snoring gently in the bed next to him.

There lay Hael Storm, bandaged well, and obviously looked at by a master healer. Arthur winced as he remembered the crack coming from Hael's spine after the chunk of Pathfinder had fallen on them.

Turning to his left, he saw his old colleague, Ricaro Typhonus, sleeping silently on a bed. Arthur frowned, feeling that there was something slightly different about his good friend.

Shrugging, Arthur stood up from the comfortable bed and walked into the hall, yawning as he did so. Several knights walked past him, and he realized where they were.

They were in the Palace of Exeter, built by the ancestors of Duke Jake Exeter, home of the knights of the Planet of the Guards.

Smiling, he knew that they were exactly where Ricaro had wanted them to be.

He shuffled down the hall to the dining room, where he looked inside to see a bunch of knights laughing and eating. In the corner of the room sat a mysterious figure dressed in a red cloak with gold designs. Arthur recognized Vanda Darkflame immediately, and made to sit with her.

Vanda looked up as Arthur sat, smiling when she recognized the inventing scientist.

"I see you've managed to recover." she said with a grin.

"Yeah, sort of." Arthur replied, returning the grin. "What of Hael? Is there anyway to fix his spine?"

Vanda's grin faltered, and then vanished completely. "I'm afraid not," she said gloomily. "It's a permanent injury, and a crippling one. Hael won't be able to walk, swing his sword, or any physical movement other than moving his head."

Arthur frowned. "I thought as much. What about Ricaro? Is he injured in any way?"

Vanda hesitated, and then replied uncertainly. "No."

Arthur raised his eyebrows, but continued on with his questions. "And Exeter? Did you meet with him?"

Vanda's smile returned. "We're scheduled to meet him tonight!" Vanda stood up after this last statement, and paid the bar keeper two silver coins, then left.

Chapter 2.4Edit

Vanda stepped out into the halls of the Palace of Exeter, sticking to the shadows. She never liked to draw attention to herself, and there was a big chance that many of the knights would disapprove of a girl inside the home of the greatest knights known. But Vanda's mind was on other things, too. The conversation between herself and the Baron last night still stayed in her thoughts, making her shiver.

"Remember, Vanda, if it doesn't fit your political views, then get rid of it." Ricaro had repeated those words to Vanda last night, making sure she didn't forget them. Even if she desperately wanted to.

Vanda shook her head, and headed back to her dormitories.



It was late at night, Hael noticed. Very late. Looking to his left, he saw an empty bed. Same with the bed two beds to his left. Hael frowned. Where was everyone? He tried to get up to go find them, but found movement impossible.

Shaking, Hael attempted to go back to sleep. But a voice began softly whispering in his ear.

"Storm... we can heal your injuries... Storm... listen to us...."

Hael twisted head around, and saw some sort of creature standing at the window. It was crouched, feet on the windowsill, and it head was tilted. The details were impossible to make out in the light, but the eyes were glowing a deep red.

"Storm..." The voice hissed out again, startling Hael. He gulped, and spoke back to it.

"Er... alright."

A black parrot swooshed in from behind the creature on the windowsill, carrying something large and jeweled. The parrot landed on Hael's shoulder, dropping the jeweled cutlass on his stomach. Hael stared at the bird, and then moved to pick up the cutlass. "Wait..." Hael said. He could move!

He stared at the creature on the windowsill again, and the creature's head tilted a bit more.

"Now you... must pay... our price... for these... healing gifts we give... you, Storm."

"What price?" Hael said slowly.

"Your dedication... to our cause... and your promise... that you will never... betray us..."

"But I don't even know what your 'cause' is."

"Does that... matter? We... saved your life... you owe us..."

Hael grinned at the dark creature. "Ye should've done yer research. I'm a pirate!" He shouted the last word, jumping at the creature with the new jeweled cutlass in his hands and the parrot on his shoulder.

Chapter 2.5Edit

Vanda walked into the large, court-like room. Hundreds of seats were positioned around a huge, rectangular table, and knights were gradually trickling into the room to fill the seats. At the very end of the table sat a tall, blond knight, with several battle scars. A huge, glowing sword lay on the ground beside him, and a big shield on top of the blade.

"That's Duke Exeter," Arthur whispered to Vanda and Ricaro. "The owner of this palace, and perhaps the best warrior of his time." Ricaro nodded, and Vanda sort of nodded, seeming lost in her own world while she stared straight at Jake Exeter.
Duke exeter

Duke Jake Exeter

Exeter saw them and motioned them over. Vanda stumbled, and then hurried to catch up with the others as they made to sit beside Exeter. Vanda sat down beside of Arthur, who was beside Jake, who sat beside Ricaro. "So. You're the travelers, huh?" Jake said, a grin on his face as he studied them. When he noticed Vanda still staring at him, she quickly averted her eyes.

"Well, welc-"

Then the sound of a battle cry and a loud thump interrupted him.



Hael had yelled the traditional pirate battle cry, and sliced right through the creature. Unfortunately, it turned to dust, and his forward momentum carried him straight out of the window, seven stories high.

He hit the rocky, barren surface of the Planet of the Guards with a huge thump, and dust settled around his body.

"Ouch."

Hael stood up and dusted himself off, while several dislocated bones seemed to melt back into place. He grinned at the brand new black parrot. "Well, ye sure are handy."

Picking his cutlass back up, he started in the direction of the ship landing bay, acting like any pirate would after having his spine miraculously healed and surviving a seven story drop from a window.

Hael ran screaming like a maniac, shaking his cutlass in the air.

Chapter 2.6Edit

Jake Exeter was having a very weird day.

First of all, four strangers had suddenly appeared at his doorstep, asking if they could spend the night here.

"Like a sleepover!" The one with the goggles had said, smiling. "Except that we don't you!"

Then they had come to dine with him and his great knights, and youngest one of them, the girl, kept on staring at him.

Now, he was looking out of one his windows at a screaming, cutlass-shaking pirate running towards his ship landing bay, who had been mortally injured five minutes ago.

Shaking his head, he turned to the other three strangers. He had learned that their names were Jonah Hurricane, Austin Thesis, and Abigail Bright. "Is this guy with you?"

"Yep." Austin said, his strange robotic arms moving slightly. He smiled at him. "Perhaps you would like to assist us in catching him?"

Raising an eyebrow, Jake sighed. "He's heading towards the ship landing bay. That means he wants to leave, which I suspect mean you do too, which obviously means that you want me to come with you."

Austin nodded, still smiling. Jake sighed again. "Alright. I'll come with you. Josh! Take care of the Palace while I'm gone."

An older knight spun around and saluted to Jake. "Yes SIR!"



Someone grabbed Hael from behind. He spun around, trying to stab whoever was holding him back.

"Relax, Hael! It's me!"

Noticing Vanda, he stopped trying to cut her to pieces, and saw Arthur, Ricaro, and some knight behind her.

"Jake Exeter has agreed to come with us! Oh, and Jake, we gave you fake names. I'm Vanda Darkflame, assistant to Baron Ricaro Typhonus- that's him- and Austin Thesis is really Dr. Arthur Overbuild. This pirate is Hael Storm."

Jake nodded, not at all surprised by the fake names. They hadn't really fit them, especially not Abigail. "Well, come on. We've only got one extra ship we can use. The Venture Koi."

Chapter 2.7Edit

The Venture Koi shot through space, towards a black market planet. The five explorers were hoping to pay someone to give them the location of the Imagination Nexus.

"So, Hael," Arthur said. "How on earth did you get your back fixed?!"

"Oh, a bit of this and that." Hael said, not wanting to tell anyone about his weakness.

Arthur noticed a pedestal, near the front of the Venture Koi. On the pedestal, a golden square, which looked like a piece of a map, stood opposite a silver square, with an arrow head intricately designed onto it.

Narrowing his eyes, Arthur looked closer at the golden square. It seemed somehow... familiar. Arthur shrugged, and turned back to Hael.

"Ah, so, you don't want to tell us, then?" Vanda said.

"Yeah, pretty much." Hael stated with a grin. Jake punched him on the shoulder, and stood to fix the navigation course. The neon lights of the Venture Koi started, the lights flickered, and the intercom switched on. Ragged breathing came through, and a voice began to speak.

"The Cause of... the Dark... will not tolerate... betrayal..."

Arthur stared at the intercom, and turned to look at Hael as he heard an intake of breath behind him. Hael was stunned. "Hael? What is it?"

"The... the voice! I've... er... never mind."

The lights flickered again, and then stayed off. The front viewing area closed, throwing the ship into pitch blackness.

"We... obey the... Cause of... the Dark... give us... his healing... gifts..."

Red light flashed, and the explorers saw some sort of demonic silhouette of a creature through the window. It's head was tilted to the side, and the black silhouette seemed to be about to enter the ship itself.

"The Cause... of the... Dark... gives you... one last... chance..."

Hael glanced around at the others in the now fading red light. The other three explorers were staring at the silhouette, frightened expressions on their faces.

But were was Ricaro?

Hael grimaced, and started to shout at the silhouette. "Leave us, ye demon! Ye have no business here!" The head of the silhouette snapped to face Hael's directions, and the bone chilling voice rang out again.

"You have... been warned... the Cause of... the Dark... now curses... you..."

A huge bang rocked the ship, and the lights came back on. Baron Typhonus was sitting in one of the chairs at the front of Venture Koi, watching the front viewing area as the shields rose to allow the light of the stars to enter.

Chapter 2.8Edit

Duke Exeter whistled as he piloted the ship through an asteroid field, trying hard to not get frustrated. The navigation system of the Venture Koi had stopped working after the incident with the strange creature three days ago, and Jake was trying to find some sort of civilization.

He wasn't doing too well with this.

Ricaro was in his rooms, as usual, poring over books on darkness and chaos.

Vanda stood in the training area, cutting down cardboard targets with her katana and shuriken. A cutout of a dangerous space villain popped up behind her, and suddenly wished it hadn't, as half of it fell to the floor.

Arthur was in his rooms, reading through book after book on psychological theory and the magazine Inventor's Weekly, which he happened to be one of the main contributors to the magazine's articles.

Hael was looking through the treasure room, trying to take his mind off of the mysterious creature they had all seen several days ago. The same one that had healed him. And now, they were lost. It didn't seem like much of a coincidence.

Hael put his hand into his pocket, rubbing the golden piece of map he always took with him for some comfort. The cool metal felt good against his hand, and he took it out of his pocket.

The map instantly tried to fly out of his hands.

Holding on to it tightly, Hael was pulled forward. He tried to dig his shoes into the floor to stop himself, but he was fighting a losing battle.



Arthur had just finished the thirty eighth edition of Inventor's Weekly when he felt something move in his pocket. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the now struggling piece of map that he had found on the Pathfinder. Frowning, Arthur let go of it to see what would happen. The piece instantly zipped underneath the door, heading for the front of Venture Koi. Arthur stood up, knocking his chair over, and followed the map as fast as he could.

Chapter 2.9Edit

Arthur and Hael both bumped into each other, Arthur running after his square of the map, and Hael making slow progress with his. The two pieces of the map both turned, and started to head down the hallway.

Hael nodded to Arthur. "Strange day today, isn't it?" Arthur nodded back with a smile, and rushed after the golden square.

Hael began whistling an old pirate tune while being slowly dragged down the hallway.



Hearing all the commotion in the hallway, Ricaro stepped out of his room, and was almost run over by Arthur. Taking a few steps back, Ricaro watched as Arthur said a hurried apology and ran past him. Ricaro started after him. After all, this could be something important. And Ricaro wasn't one to miss important things.



Jake turned around when he heard the pounding footsteps behind him, and he saw Arthur chasing something on the floor, with Ricaro following him further down the hallway.

The thing on floor jumped- yes, it jumped- up onto the pedestal and linked itself with the other golden piece of map. Arthur gasped. "That's where I've seen that before!" he said, surprised. He realized that there was still a piece of the map missing, and he turned around to see Hael slowly turn a corner, still whistling.

Ricaro, grasping the urgency of the situation, handled it the best he could.

"HURRY UP, PIRATE!" he screamed at the top of his lungs.

Vanda, hearing only the muffled yelling, thought he was calling her, and ran out into the corridor, accidentally bumping into Hael. Hael tripped, letting go of the map, and him and Vanda fell in a pile, while the golden square rocketed towards the pedestal.

Vanda got up instantly, and ran towards the three other explorers around the pedestal. Hael took his time, meaning that he staggered a bit before running like Vanda.
Creating the Map

Creating the Golden Map

Gathered around the pedestal, all five explorers stared at the map as Hael's section linked with it.

A bright flash of white blinded them all, as the map emanated a hugely bright light. Ricaro recovered first, and was the first to notice that the map had rotated on the pedestal. The arrow in the front now pointed to the Venture Koi's right. Ricaro started to grin, and stroke his jeweled staff.

"We're almost there," he said quietly, speaking to himself. "Almost to the Nexus."

Chapter 3.0Edit

Venture Koi flew out of hyperspace, and the map once again started turning, until the arrow pointed the direction they were going in.

Jake smiled. "We're getting closer, everyone!"

Hael starting whooping, and Arthur cheered.

"Yes!" Arthur exclaimed. "I can't wait to see the Nexus!"

Jake piloted the ship past a brilliant star, looking stone gray, but with green energy wisps all over it.

Hael felt a sudden tension from his sword hand and shoulder. Narrowing his eyes, the green star seemed to be rotating constantly...

"LEAVE!"
Venture Koi 1

The Venture Koi

"AHHH!"

Hael jumped back from the window, screaming.

Looking around, his heart still racing, Hael saw everyone staring at him with weird expressions on their faces. Jake was the first to speak. "Um... what was that all about?"

Hael stared back at them. "Ye mean... ye didn't hear that?"

Arthur and Jake exchanged looks. "Hear... what?" Arthur said patiently.

"That voice!" Hael said, panicking slightly. "It was all deep, and it was creepy said LEAVE!"

Arthur and Jake both jumped back when Hael yelled leave, and exchanged another look. "Maybe it was just your imagination playing tricks on you?" Jake suggested.

Hael sighed. "Nevermind. Yeah, that probably be what happened."

Just then, the map lit up again, and pointed straight at a cube-shaped planet, lying a little bit away from the green star.

"Planet Crux!" Arthur exclaimed. "The Nexus must be there!"

Chapter 3.1Edit

Venture Koi landed smoothly on Planet Crux, just outside of a roofed shrine. The shrine was dark gray on the bottom, and the bottom was lined with stone statues of cloaked men. A long flight of stairs led to the entrance to the shrine, where another cloaked statue stood guard, with a gleaming light blue cylinder dominating the area behind him. The roof of the shrine, like the walls, was light gray.

"The Imagination Nexus." Ricaro said in a hushed voice. "We made it."

Ricaro walked down onto the surface of Planet Crux, with Arthur closely following him. Hael stood behind Arthur, and behind him was Jake.

Vanda, trained to be emotionless, had opted to stay behind with the ship, also as surprise backup if anything happened. It was logically the right thing to do.

Ricaro slowly made his way up the stairs to the Nexus Shrine, staring at the cloaked figure and the Nexus behind it.

"Stop."

The voice rang out clear and loud. The four explorers stopped in their tracks, and looked around. That was when they saw the figure at the top of the stairs had moved, and his skin had started glowing blue.

"Stop, by order of the First Builder, Guardians, and Mythran."

Ricaro looked at the figure strangely. "What is your name?"

The figure head snapped down to stare at Ricaro. "I am called Bobaximilucarusetdeotry."

Arthur raised an eyebrow.

"Well, Bobaximilucarusetdeotry, we are looking for the Imagination Nexus. Will you allow us passage?"

Bobaximilucarusetdeotry looked down at them. "You must follow the First Builder's code. No chaos. Orderly." Ricaro's eye seemed to twitch at this, but he continued. "Of course. Thank you, Bobaximilucarusetdeotry."

As they began to walk up the stairs, Arthur asked Bobaximilucarusetdeotry. "Hey, is it alright if I just call you Bob?"

Chapter 3.2Edit

"Of course," the newly named Bob said. "Where are my manners? My appearance as a Guardian must be frightening to you. Here, I will change my form to one more suitable to your kind."

A blue swirling mist overtook the Guardian, and swished around him. As it began to fade away, the four explorers saw a smiling face, beaming at them. Bob was wearing a red shirt, and blue pants. He had no hair, and his presence was strangely comforting.
Bob 1

Bob the Guardian

"Welcome to Nexus Shrine!" Bob said brightly. "I will accompany you inside."

"Nice shirt." Hael said, nodding at the bright red shirt. "It's very... normal, I guess."

"Thank you. I got the design off of another explorer who came here." Bob replied. "Once I started moving, he thought all the statues were possessed or something, and ran off, screaming."

Jake looked around. "Well, aren't all the other statues Guardians, like you?" he asked, puzzled.

"No," Bob said sadly. "I am the last Guardian."

"Oh. I'm sorry." Jake said, looking down at his shoes."

Arthur nodded, moving to stand in front of the entrance. "To the Nexus. For the Imagination to build anything we could ever dream of and more.

Hael, grinning, stepped up beside Arthur. "For all the riches and gold any pirate could ever dream of."

Jake, his face set in determination, stood beside Hael. "For the greatest purpose in an Exeter's life, helping all who are in need."

Ricaro slowly walked up beside Arthur, his old colleague, and spoke last. "To end the quest and dream of my life. To the Nexus!"

Chapter 3.3Edit

Inside the thoughts of Baron Ricaro Typhonu

"My whole life... I have searched for the Imagination Nexus. I knew that it was made of pure imagination, able to let you create anything. Anything at all. The possibilities were endless."

"Or so you thought."

"You again."

"Yes. This Guardian, he has put a limit on the Nexus. No chaos... this means boundary ends somewhere. You spent your entire life trying to find the Imagination Nexus. I think you deserve to make what you want."

"You're right..."

"Think chaos... keep it in your head. Do not let go of chaos."

"Yes..."

~Nexus Shrine~

The four explorers surrounded the Imagination Nexus, staring into the brightly lit blue cylinder. Bob stood guard at the door, as he was used to the amazing site that people would spend their entire lives trying to get to.
Too the Nexus

The Nexus

Hael looked at the Nexus, as if he was trying to see through it to the very center. A picture began to form in his mind... something he had always wanted, ever since his mother and father had told him the stories about the pirates of old.

The faint outline of a boat, flying the Jolly Rodger, began to appear in front of Hael's concentrating face. {C}{C {C Jake reached to touch the Nexus, laying his hand on the concentrated imagination. A flurry of bright sparks flew out from beneath his hand, and began to form a miniature castle, much like the Palace of Exeter, yet even grander. A curved gateway, with loyal guards at the front, began to appear.

Arthur, ever so curious, noticed these outline. Thinking the best he could of a dog, a robotic, much like one he had built four years ago, he pushed the image into the Nexus. About five seconds later, a dog, exactly like the one that had been in his head, hopped out, its tail already wagging.

Ricaro, noticing how Arthur had brought his creation to life, concentrated hos best on an image of pure chaos, something uneven, insubordinate, something... chaotic.

In front of Ricaro face, his eyes closed tight in concentration, the Dark Spider began to appear.

Chapter 3.4Edit

Arthur, being the first one done with his creation, opened his eyes to see Ricaro push the chaotic entity directly into the Imagination Nexus. Ricaro's eyes flew open, now completely black, and he chuckled darkly.
Baron Typhonus 2

Baron Typhonus

Arthur gasped, and the a dark purple color began to slowly spread across the light blue of the Nexus. Staggering backwards, he watched as a dark purple, giant leg appeared and crushed the ground in front of him.

Jake, still concentrating on his castle, jerked his hand away from the cool touch of the Nexus as the feeling grew burning hot. His eyes now open, he saw dark purple spreading quickly across the Nexus, corrupting the Imagination. What looked like a dark purple, giant spider leg came crashing down in front of him, the rest of it lost within the Nexus.

Hael was less fortunate than the other two. As the masthead on his pirate ship began to form, he started to feel like something was wrong. He opened his eyes just in time to see another purple leg catch him in the stomach, sending him flying into the wall of Nexus Shrine.

The Dark Spider walked slowly out of the now corrupted bottom of the Nexus, and stood in front of Jake and Arthur, looking straight down at them.

"Arise, my creation! Obey me!"
Dark Spider

The Dark Spider

Arthur swiveled around to see Ricaro, with his hands spread out, looking up at the top of the Dark Spider. The Spider snapped its head around to stare at Ricaro, and swiftly walked towards him. Now laughing, Ricaro walked slowly towards his chaotic creation- and yelled in surprise when its leg pushed him down onto the ground.

All the black was now gone from his eyes. As Jake and Arthur watched, Arthur swore he saw some sort of mist fly out of Ricaro and away from Nexus Shrine.

The Dark Spider dragged Ricaro jerkily back into the now halfway corrupted Nexus, and disappeared into it, with the wide eyed Baron staring out at Arthur and Jake.

That was when the ceiling started to creak, and Arthur looked up. The purple had reached the top of the Nexus, at the reinforced ceiling of the Shrine. The Chaotic Nexus was now pushing strongly against the ceiling.

Another creak sounded, and Arthur knew that the ceiling was about to explode. Remembering what had happened that last time something big had exploded like that, he quickly typed something into his messenger pod, hit send, and stood beside Jake.

"The Nexus is being destroyed. What do we do, Arthur?" Jake said, fear in his voice.

"We stop it."

Chapter 3.5Edit

Vanda was relaxing inside the Venture Koi, sitting back near the control panel, when the emergency light began blinking.

Jerking forward from her half-sleep, Vanda moved groggily towards the message receiver, reading a message from, as the computer said, Doctor Arthur Overbuild.

FLY THE SHIP OUT. NOW!

Startled, Vanda became fully awake, and stared at the ominous message from Arthur. This wasn't good. Apparently, something had gone wrong with the expedition into Nexus Shrine.

Vanda began to fight with herself. If she obeyed orders, she would be leaving her friends behind to danger and possible death. If she disobeyed orders? She might not be any help to them at all, and they would all be killed. Biting her lip and thinking hard, Vanda made her decision.



The excess energy from the Chaos Nexus began to fly out of the giant purple cylinder in the form of dark purple lightning bolts. One hit the ground near Jake's feet, and it shattered, leaving a small crater.

The roof creaked once more, and Jake, realizing that the bolts were deadly, starting batting away any that came near the pair with his blade.

"How do we stop the Nexus?!" he hollered at Arthur, blocking a bolt with his shield.

Arthur gritted his teeth. "We just need it to blast through the roof. Wait for it..."
The Nexus

Half-corrupted Imagination Nexus

Suddenly, the roof exploded, sending debris and such flying everywhere. The built up power of the Chaos Nexus blasted upwards, and several bricks fell down on the ground.

Arthur immediately began to use a bit of imagination that he had harvested from the old Nexus to build a plug from it, while his robotic dog barked behind him.

Watching the Nexus shoot upwards, Jake stared in awe as lightning moved fast through the air. Plowing through the only obstacle in its way.

The Venture Koi.

Chapter 3.6Edit

"Arthur," Jake said calmly, looking up. "Is the Venture Koi supposed to be landed outside the Shrine?"

Arthur glanced at him. "No. I told Vanda to fly it off the planet."

Jake replied, still deathly calm. "Look up."

Arthur did, and gasped. "No one could survive a fall from that height." he said, staring up at the far up pieces of the Venture Koi. The ship seemed to be taking forever to fall, due to how high up it was.

The pieces of the Venture Koi started to land around them, crushing the floor of the Shrine. Arthur, remembering what he was supposed to be doing, began gripping the pieces with the Imagination again, pulling them together into a plug.

Jake saw it first. A huge lightning bolt, traveling down the side of the Nexus, headed straight for Arthur.

He threw himself in front of Arthur, his years of training acting on his instinct. The lightning bolt divided itself into three. One knocked Jake's shield out of his hands, sending it flying into the wall. Another hit his blade, making it fall and stab into the ground. The third hit Jake himself.

Jake didn't know what was going on. He felt like he was being ripped apart, liking the Chaos was deliberately tearing him into pieces. Then everything went black.



Arthur watched as Jake was smashed, and pulled the final piece of the plug onto it. Pushing the plug into the Nexus, he ran to Jake's side, using more Imagination to go with a crazy idea he had.

Arthur quickly rebuilt Jake's broken body, and as Jake came to, he stared at Arthur in wonder.

"How-" he began to ask, but Arthur cut him off.

"I put Imagination inside of you. As long as there's a tiny bit of Imagination inside you, it will heal any wound. But," Arthur did some quick calculations in his head. "If the wound is left unattended for more than five minutes, and there's no Imagination in your body, it will be irreversible. Also, it will only heal permanent and fatal wounds. Battle scars won't be healed."

Jake nodded, still trying to process the information.

Suddenly, a crack started to appear beneath their feet, glowing dark purple. Arthur gasped and backed away from it, Jake doing the same.

Crack started to spread out from the Nexus, and Planet Crux started to shake.

Then... it exploded.

Chapter 3.7Edit

Everything was white. That was all Jake saw, completely white. Then something big and hard whacked him square in the face, and he was seeing other colors again. More specifically, he saw Arthur dangling off the side of a cliff.

Still wincing from the chunk of Crux that had hit him, Jake started to make his way towards Arthur. But someone else got there first.

Hael, having been woken by the loud noises, rushed to Arthur's side, grabbing his left hand. Pulling upwards, he motioned for Jake to grab Arthur's other hands.

Jake nodded, and halfheartedly grabbed Arthur's hand, still feeling dizzy. They both tugged, and Arthur came sprawling onto the rock they were standing on.

"Whew!" Arthur said, breathing heavily. "That was quite an explosion!"

"Yeah, it was." Jake said back. He was starting to regain most of his consciousness.

"So, the entire planet... exploded? How?" Hael asked in disbelief. "It was pretty big."

"Oh, I'll explain later." Arthur said with a wave of his hand.

Jake was now fully awake. "Wait! What about Vanda?"

Arthur hung his head. "She's most likely...."

"I'm most likely what?"

Arthur spun around to see seventeen year old Vanda Darkflame standing about five feet away from them, grinning broadly.

"Vanda!" Jake exclaimed. "How did you survive?"

"Arthur told me to get the ship off the planet. So, I set to autopilot, and told it to get off the planet. I followed orders, right?" Vanda's grin grew even wider.

Arthur nodded, starting to smile. "And it's a good thing you did, too!"

Hael still had no idea what they were talking about, as he had been unconscious most of the time. "Um..."

"We'll explain later," Jake and Vanda said, at the same time.

"But... what about the Nexus?" Hael said, with a hint of worry in his voice. "It's gone now!"

Arthur's smile grew even wider. "Look!" he cried, pointing at something under a rock. He picked it up, and it started to glow. A beam shot straight out of Arthur's hands, shooting upwards. The other three gathered around Arthur.

"This is the last of the Imagination Nexus. It needs protecting." Arthur said. "And we're the ones who will do it."

His dog barked agreement, wagging it's tail.


End of Book One


Journey to the Nexus: CastEdit

Baron Ricaro Typhonus

Thomas Darkflame

Vanda Darkflame

Doctor Arthur Overbuild

Hael Storm

Pathfinder's First Mate Jim

Duke Jake Exeter

Second in Command to Duke Exeter, Josh


Paradox SecedingEdit

PrologueEdit

NUY (New Universe Year) 1

Padricum


Padricum was a bright, glowing green star, floating just off the coast of the Crux Asteroid Field. In a way, Padricum was the Bermuda Triangle of deep space. Most travelers who came by it were never seen again, and the few who flew in and out again were in no state to tell anyone about the star.

Deep inside the core of Padricum, a safe spot from the deadly gasses the green mist around emanated, a man stood up. Addressing the creatures around he began to speak, his deep voice reverberating around the core. {C "You," he said, pointing at one of the creatures. "You did infect the pirate, correct?"

The creature nodded eagerly, rushing forward in hope of some sort of reward.

The man, still hidden in the shadows, opened his hand, and a bolt of lightning sizzled out of it, striking the creature in its midsection. Slowly it starting to crumble, and fall to the ground.

The man opened his eyes, and bright red light was flung upon the other creatures. They all shrunk back, several crawling away in fear.

"Good," he whispered. "Very good."


NUY 3

Nimbus Station


Legodude was going through Xeno Blueblade's aisles, searching for something good among the others weapons and gear.

He pushed aside a dark red dagger, and his eyes fell upon a dark blue shield. It was wide, built to protect any knight from most angles. Legodude picked up the shield, testing its weight. He experimentally held it in front of him, and the shield almost dropped to the ground.

"Heavy," Legodude muttered. "But it's probably just right for him."

After all, the shield was not for himself. It was a birthday present for his brother.

Duke Jake Exeter.

Chapter 1.1Edit

NUY 3

Nimbus Station


Loop stood in the middle of Nimbus Plaza, talking to one of his friends. It was hard to hear over the conversations and arguments between other people on the grassy circle, but Loop was used to it.

"So, Fred," Loop said, addressing his friend. "I got this yesterday." He pulled one of Captain Jack's Cutlasses out of his backpack. The cutlasses were among the elite weapons, and Jack only gave one of his cutlasses to those worthy.

"Whoa," Fred whispered, leaning in for a closer look at the shining blade. "You must've killed a whole lot of Admirals."

Loop nodded in agreement, stuffing the cutlass back into his pack. "Looks like you're rank three now, huh?"

"Yep!" Fred said, grinning and showing him his brand new Sorcerer Hat.

"Nice," Loop stated, nodding his approval. "I only have the Space Marauder gear."

A door opened behind Loop, and he turned around to see a Sentinel walked out of Xeno Blueblade's shop. Fred frowned. "I swear, I've seen his face before."

"Isn't he Duke Exeter's brother?" Loop asked, trying to remember where he had seen the Sentinel.

"Yeah I think so," Fred said, satisfied. "Hey, isn't tomorrow Exeter's birthday?"

"Oh, yeah, it is!" Loop exclaimed. "I think there's a party on the Monument. Let's go see how much of the decorations they've put up by now."

Fred nodded, and they turned to leave Nimbus Plaza, when they ran into a rank three Engineer.

"Oh! Hi, Fusion!" Loop said eagerly. "We were going to check out the decorations on the monument."

Fusion smiled back. "I was just there. It looks great!"

"Good," Fred said. "Let's go see it for ourselves, then."

Chapter 1.2Edit

NUY 3

Avant Gardens


Lobster stood on the Monument, his Engineer wrench gleaming in the sunlight as he used it to hammer one of the decorations into the side of the huge stone statue. All Engineer's were required to help the maintenance workers with the decorations for Duke Jake Exeter's birthday, as they were fantastic with building.
The Monument

The Monument

Lobster pounded the nail one last time, and started to climb down the ladder, when a purple streak shot right over his head.

The green streak landed on a rock jutting out of the side, and as the purple flames began to die away, Lobster recognized his good friend, Dash. Dash was a daredevil, and he took his job very seriously. If his stunts didn't give him a big enough adrenaline rush, then he would jump off something really big while one fire. Like the Monument.

"Dash!" Lobster exclaimed. "You almost threw me off the ladder!"

Dash shrugged. "But I didn't, so it's no big deal, right?" He grinned at his friend as he said this, pocketing the extinguisher he had used to put out the purple flames.

Lobster sighed, annoyed as always by his friend's recklessness. "Just, try not to come so close to people's heads when you're jumping off the Monument, all right?"

Dash shrugged again. "Hey, it's not my fault if they get in the way."

Lobster shook his head, and climbed down the rest of the ladder, looking up at the banner he had hung. "Does it look good?" he asked Dash, putting his wrench in his belt.

Squinting, Dash looked up at banner, reading the words 'Happy Birthday Duke!'

"It's great," he declared. "But can we set it on fire? It'll look cooler that way."

Lobster sighed, smiling. "Sorry, but it's paper. It'll burn up and fall to the ground."

"Aw, man!"

Chapter 1.3Edit

NUY 3

Forbidden Valley


Metru Nui stood with his back against the wall in Calvary Hill, slicing his rank three Sorcerer wand at the group of Maelstrom Horsemen positioned in front of him. He knew he was trapped, and that normally, the Horsemen would deal him a fatal blow, killing him off forever. But Doctor Arthur Overbuild had changed that, with the help of Bob, a minifigure that all Nexus Force recruits had met aboard the Venture Explorer. Arthur had Bob inject Imagination into one of the recruit's veins. That way, Imagination pulsed through the recruit's body with every heart-beat. If a fatal blow was dealt to the recruit, the Imagination would heal them, and transport them to a place near where Arthur had programmed the ground to attract all forms of Imagination.

Metru chanted a spell, and held out his orb. A blast of dark energy pulsed out of the orb, and the Horsemen were thrown backwards. But more came to take their place.

Exhausted, Metru gathered his remaining imagination into one point of his body, concentrating it all on the Horsemen. Then, with an all too familiar explosive sound, he let go of it all at the same time.

Maelstrom energy swirled out around him, overloading the Horsemen bodies with Maelstrom. Several exploded, fading into small wisps. But there were still more, and Metru was too tired to perform the Last Blast again, a Sorcerer's last resort.

The circle of purple energy started to regroup, pulling Imagination out of the ground, and gravitating back towards Metru's body. The Imagination pumped back into his veins, and Metru smiled weakly at the feeling. Of course, more Imagination didn't make him any less tired. Only specialized healing equipment and food, and sleep, of course, could do that. Metru collapsed to the ground, panting heavily.

A shadow fell over him, and he looked up to see a giant, blue creature, scratching red lines through the air. The creatures leaped into the fray of Horsemen, leaving it's master behind to tend to Metru.

Seeing the Assembly Summoner, Metru sighed in relief, and then blacked out.

Chapter 1.4Edit

NUY 3

Forbidden Valley


Metru came to, lying on a rock sticking out of Brickmaster Clang's marsh in the Great Tree. The sounds of gongs being banged and ninja yelling battle cries seemed distant as he tried to wake up.
The Great Tree

The Great Tree

Shaking himself fully awake, Metru pushed himself off of the rock and stepped into the wet marsh, feeling the water seep into his Sorcerer boots.

"Brickmaster Clang?" Metru said slowly, still getting used to the feel of the marsh, and still tired. "Where did the Summoner who rescued me go?"

Clang looked down at him from atop his rock, and looked back up, staring into the distance.

After thirty seconds of waiting for Clang to reply, Metru opened his mouth to speak again, only to be shushed by Clang.

"Patience is a virtue, young one." Clang stated, still staring in the direction of Mantis Rock. "Do well to learn it." Metru nodded, and sat down on one of the rocks. Clang spoke again.

"The one you called a Summoner, I believe, went to seek audience with Numb Chuck. He has not come down as of yet, so I shall assume he is still up at the top of the tree."

Metru sprang up from the rock, and, nodding his thanks to Brickmaster Clang, he ran to the lift.

Watching Imagination spark from a recruit's hands as he created the lift, Metru waited patiently to meet the Summoner. After all, it is always polite to say thank you.

The lift formed fully with a burst of Imagination, and him and the other recruit jumped on. The other recruit, a rank three Engineer, stuck out his hand.

"Hi!" he said. "I'm Fusion!"

Metru shook his hand quickly. "I'm Metru. Metru Nui."

Fusion grinned. "Not many people keep the old custom of last names here."

Metru waved away the statement with his hand. "I guess that makes me unique, huh?"

Fusion and Metru smiled as the lift started to move upwards.

Chapter 1.5Edit

NUY 3

Forbidden Valley


Numb Chuck heard the lift being built down near the bottom of the tree with his acutely trained ears. Snapping his head up from the holographic map he and the Summoner in front of him where intently studying, he hurriedly whispered to him.

"Agent Four!" he said, quiet as he could. Four looked up at him, confusion furrowing his brow.

"What?" he asked. "Recruits on their way up?"

Numb Chuck quickly nodded, and Four's eyes widened. He quickly stuffed the holographic map projector into his pack, swinging it onto his back so as to look inconspicuous. Chuck scrabbled for his pointers and notes strewn out across the wooden platform, throwing them into the dragon's head he hung from a tree limb just as the heads of the recruits began to appear over the edge.

"Hello!" the Engineer called out cheerily to Agent Four. "What's up, Four?"

Four shrugged. "Nothing much. What about you, Fusion? You got a new friend?"

Fusion nodded turning to Metru, who stood beside him. "Metru, this is Four. He's the guy who saved you from all those Horsemen. Four, this Metru Nui."

Four lifted an eyebrow in amusement. "So he still has a last name, does he?"

Metru blushed, and shuffled his feet. "Uh... thanks," he murmured. Then he looked up, grinning sheepishly. "I'll try not to fight that many Horsemen again."

Four shrugged. "Hey, the worst they can do is rip open your pack. And even then, only a few coins will fall out." Metru nodded, smiling. It seemed that everytime someone was smashed, as they called dying in the New Universe, the enemies always managed to rip open the money pouch of their pack.

Four hopped onto the lift to take the ride down. He called out to Numb Chuck behind him.

"See ya, Chuck!"

"Bye. Hey, tell Shader to send up some more recruits! We need to smash more dragons!"

Four nodded, and decided to take the faster way down, jumping off of the lift and towards the branches of the Great Tree.

Chapter 1.6Edit

NUY 3

Mythran Hideout


The fabled Mythran, the elites of the Nexus Force and peacekeepers between the four faction, needed a place to relax, where they wouldn't be constantly begged for autographs or an audience with the faction leaders that appointed them. The head of the Mythran, and the last of the Guardians, stood up to speak.

"Hello, my fellow Mythran!" Bob called out into the crowd, waving at several people before continuing. "Tonight, we are gathered for a very special occasion! Tomorrow is the birthday of the greatest warrior among us! I give you.... Duke Exeter!"

Cheers erupted from the crowd as Jake Exeter stepped onto the podium with Bob, and cleared his throat twice before grabbing the microphone.

"Uh... hey, everyone!" he said, grinning. "Tomorrow, I'll be turning twenty-five! Yes, I know, I'm a bit young to be one of the greatest warriors our people have ever seen, but hey! Look at my younger brother!"

Jake waved up one of the Sentinels from the crowd, who stepped onto the podium.

"Legodude here joined a year ago, when he was just seventeen!" Jake said into the microphone, his arm around Legodude's shoulder. "Yeah, I know, Legodude is a pretty strange name," The crowd erupted into laughter at this. Jake quieted them with his hand, smiling brightly. "But, it was mom and dad's choice, not mine!"

"Now, Legodude here is one the Sentinels. And if I could have the Sentinels join me in our motto, please!"

Bunches of Knights and Samurai stood, all waving their swords above their heads. Jake opened his mouth to begin the first verse of the song, when the door to the Mythran Hideout burst open.

Standing in the doorway was Vanda Darkflame, completely soaked, covered in bits of seaweed, and looking very angry.

Chapter 1.7Edit

NUY 3

Mythran Hideout


Vanda walked down the aisle briskly, approaching the podium where Jake and Legodude stood. Legodude instinctively flinched as her withering gaze passed over him, coming to rest on Jake.

"Jake," Vanda said through gritted teeth. "Can I have a word with you?"

Jake hesitated, then nodded. "Uh, sure. Right this way, then." He gestured towards a shack on the edge of the hideout, used to hold unused weapons and specialty Mythran equipment.

Vanda stomped her way towards the shack, her boots squelching as they hit the ground. Jake walked behind her, shrugging as the others in the crowd gave him quizzical looks.

Opening the door for Vanda, Jake walked in after her, lightly shutting the door. The moment the door was closed, Vanda glared at Jake.

"What?" he said innocently.

"This has to stop," Vanda said, pulling a piece of seaweed out of her hair. "I was at the pirates' camp, and a bunch of Hael's Daredevils dumped a bucket of seawater on my head!"

"Why would they do that?" Jake asked, though in his gut, he knew exactly why.

"Because of these stupid faction wars!" Vanda exclaimed, though still keeping her voice low. "A bunch of recruits are calling Paradox spies! They think we're in league with the Maelstrom! They've started attacking any Paradox member they say, with pranks and violence alike. The majority of them are Sentinels and Venture League, though."

Jake sighed. "What do you want me to do about it? They won't stop accusing you just because I say you guys are innocent."

Vanda's eyes narrowed into a glare. "You could at least try. It could help, you know."

"I'm sorry, Vanda," Jake said, shrugging helplessly. "But I don't think there's anything I can do about it."

Vanda eyes narrowed even more, and her hand came to rest on the doorknob of the shack. "Fine."

Bursting out of the shack, Vanda walked back into the hideout. "Paradox meeting at the Refinery. All Paradox, meet at the Refinery. Now."

Several recruits stood up from the crowd, and followed Vanda out of the hideout. Jake shook his head.

"What have I done?"

Chapter 1.8Edit

NUY 3

Forbidden Valley


Vanda looked around at the huge group assembled in front of her. Lots were down in the solo Horseman's area, as there was nowhere near enough room to fit all of the Paradox agents in front of the refinery.

The entire area was filled with recruits, packed from where Boris Toobsox stood, yelling out invites for a foot race, up to where the great Brick Fury was stationed, taking down wave after wave of Horsemen and Ronin. And yet still, Vanda wasn't sure that all the Paradox agents were there.

She clambered up onto the stadium, where Echs Ray normally stood, and looked around at the huge gathering. They quieted almost instantaneously, each and every one staring up at the fabled faction leader before them. Vanda took a deep breath, and began to speak into a microphone that a technician had set up.

"Hello, fellow Paradox members," she said, her voice loud and clear. "For the better part of the past year, fights have been breaking out in the streets. Why? Because the other factions disagree with our path. Because the others of the Nexus Force called us spies, called us traitors, called us... Maelstrom."

A collective gasp went throughout the crowd at the mention of the horrible insult. To call one part of the Maelstrom was equivalent to telling them you wanted to kill them.

"I have gathered you hear today to talk to you about the solution to this persistent problem. So far, we have tried ignoring the oncoming pranks and attacks. This did not work."

Several agents, all on crutches or stilts, or with bandages of some sort, nodded their heads.

"We have tried fighting back. They simply called in more of their anti-Paradox friends."

"And last of all, I tried taking our problem to the other faction leaders, to ask them for help to stop this." Vanda paused, then continued. "They refused to help."

Another gasp swept the crowd, and outraged shouting began, most directed at Jake, Hael, and Arthur, though they weren't there. Vanda quieted the large group with her hands.

"There is only one solution left," Vanda said, slowly sliding one of her katanas out of its sheath. The katana came out of the leather, and Vanda sliced it towards the ground.

"We will secede from the Nexus Force!"

Chapter 1.9Edit

NUY 3

Forbidden Valley


A shocked silence greeted Vanda Darkflame's words. Vanda pulled her hand away from the blade, leaving it standing up, in the rock.

She stared around at the assembled group of Sorcerers, Space Marauders, and ninjas from the Great Tree, waiting to see which recruit would agree first.

A sorcerer near the front made up his mind, and clambered onto the stadium. He turned around, and began to speak nervously.

"Hi, everyone. I am Metru Nui, and.... I..."

Metru looked around, at Vanda, watching him patiently, and the rest of a quarter of the Nexus Force, staring straight at him.

"I agree with Vanda!" he quickly blurted out. "I mean, what other way is there to stop these faction wars than to make us not a faction? If we aren't in the Nexus Force, they can't call us spies! I say, we follow Vanda, and leave the Nexus Force!"

The crowd stayed silent for several more seconds. Then the cheering started.

All of Paradox started cheering and yelling support for Metru and Vanda. All of Paradox was yelling their agreement, their willingness to leave the Nexus Force and live off on their own.

Several Space Marauder and Sorcerers started to climb up onto the stadium, and they swamped Vanda and Metru, lifting them up on their shoulders. They were lifted into the crowd, being carried throughout the mass of Paradox and towards the center of the huge group.

Vanda grinned at Metru.

"Taking down the Nexus Force should be a snap."

Chapter 2.0Edit

NUY 3

Nimbus Station


Dash was standing in Nimbus Plaza, talking to his friends. He flipped his flare guns above his head, a habit of his, and caught them behind his back, still talking.

"Mister Cobra?"

Dash turned around, seeing a girl with Hael Storm's personal logo on her suit.

"Yeah?" he asked, flipping his flare guns again.

"I'm Hael Storm's personal assistant. He said he wanted to see you."

Dash looked back at his friends, making sure they had heard this. He grinned at them, then turned back to the assistant.

"Okay. Where is he?"

"Follow me."

Dash began to trail behind the assistant, waving to his friends as he did.

He was led to the Race Place, buzzing with energy as racing fanatics flew all over the place, buying and trading cars, and, most of all, racing.

The assistant led him through the crowd, trying to stay discreet, and behind the racing shop, flashing a card at Ludwig Clutchburn. Clutchburn nodded, and quietly pulled a lever.

A small hole opened up in the trees behind the shop, just big enough to let a person crawl through. The assistant waved Dash through.

Dash crawled through the small hole, noticing that the trees weren't completely real. On this side, they looked robotic, like someone had built them to keep people out.

He shrugged, and, seeing a path, took it. the path winded and twisted through the trees. Dash peeked through the robotic trees, and saw Nimbus Plaza, with tons of people grouped around the grassy area.

Grinning, Dash pulled out his flare gun. Aiming carefully, he rested his finger on the trigger, and...

The flare slammed into an Engineer's chest, throwing him backwards. Dash quickly ducked behind a tree, smiling after that prank.

Chapter 2.1Edit

NUY 3

Nimbus Station


Dash crawled down the path, heading towards the end and trying not to be seen. It curved again, and Dash decided that it was safe to stand. He did so, brushing off his pants from the dirt on the path.

Hearing voices, Dash slowly walked around another curve in the path, and into the Mythran Hideout.

His mouth fell open slightly at the huge group of fabled Mythran, all mingling and talking, just like what recruits did in Nimbus Plaza.

"Hey!"

Dash turned to see a Mythran, looking at him and smiling.

"Are you Dash Cobra?" the Mythran asked.

Dash nodded, still awed by the presence of the Mythran.

"Good," the Mythran continued. "I'm Elementron. I heard Hael wanted to see you, right?"

Regaining his composure, Dash nodded again. "Yeah, his personal assistant told me to come here.

Elementron smiled at Dash. "Of course. He's over there."

He pointed at a green building, with bits of brown on it. Dash waved, and made his way toward Hael Storm. Pushing open the glass door, Dash stepped into a room full of people, most carrying treasure. He smiled, and asked one of the people in the crowd which way Hael Storm was.

"That way!" the man shouted over the noise of the crowd, pointing towards a door. Dash nodded, and walked towards the door.

He took a deep breath. He was about to meet his faction leader, the creator of the great Venture League Explorers, the infamous space pirate, Hael Storm.

Bracing himself, he knocked on the door, and stepped back as it opened slowly.

Chapter 2.2Edit

NUY 3

Mythran Hideout


The door creaked open, and Dash stepped in, searching around the room for his faction leader. Flocks of parrots soared through four windows near the top of the tall room, and the walls were plastered with maps and bearings, indicating spots in oceans, on land, and many other places.

A parrot squawked, and Dash jumped as a chair positioned in front of a telescope swiveled around. Sitting in the chair was Hael Storm, his grizzly hair coming down to his epaulets, black parrot on his shoulder, and a jeweled cutlass and plain dagger in his hands.

"Hey, thar, matey! I got meself a little job I wanted someone ter do fer me, an' I thought one of me Daredevils would be perfect!"

Dash smiled hesitantly. "Uh... yeah."

Hael grinned at him. "Oh, come on. Don't be so shy! This be a very important job, so ye can't be messing it up, ye got me?"

Dash nodded quickly, accidentally dropping a Flare Gun. He bent to pick it up, shoving it into his belt. "So, uh, what is this job?" Dash asked tentatively, noticing the shining surface of several treasure chests stuck into a corner of the room, as if they were waiting to be opened.

Hael, noticing the way he was looking, quickly pressed a button on his chair, and a wall slid out to block the chests from view.

Dash, his mind churning with questions, looked away from the away, facing Hael again.

"Well," Hael began. "Ye know how Paradox left the Nexus Force a few days ago? An' how they closed off Forbidden Valley?"

Dash nodded, feeling slightly guilty about helping with the prank on Vanda Darkflame now.

"We need someone ter infiltrate it. I need ye to get in there, an' find out what Paradox be up to. I never trusted them."

Dash nodded again, accepting the task from his faction leader.

"Good. Then get out there, an' go an' do it!"

Chapter 2.3Edit

NUY 3

Forbidden Valley


The rocket soared down, hardly making any noise, as it was built to be stealthy. Touching the barren rock of Forbidden Valley, the secrecy air vehicle compressed itself into Dash's pack, folding down to fit.

Dash fell to the ground, landing lightly in his Daredevil boots. Pulling out his flareguns, he cautiously moved behind a rock, watching for any sign of Paradox or ninjas.

A slight noise issued from behind him, and he snapped his head around to stare behind him.

Nothing.

He shook his head, blaming the noise on his imagination and nervousness. He dived behind the next rock, staring around for anyone else yet again. After all, he was in direct enemy territory. If he gave himself away in any way, he would be caught. Possibly killed, if Paradox had found a way to take the imagination out of one's system.

Breathing deeply, Dash sprinted out of his cover, jumping into the air and landing smoothly on one of the floating rocks. The rock shook slightly, but it held.

Balancing on the gravity defying stone, Dash leaped to another, still trying to stay silent. The rock swayed once again, and Dash dropped to his stomach, trying to stay on the rock.

Slowly crawling to the edge, Dash jumped off onto the next rock. That was when he heard the ninja yell.

"Hey!"

Chapter 2.4Edit

NUY 3

Forbidden Valley


The shuriken's spinning blades passed right in front of Dash's eyes, and they widened as he ducked. Jumping to the ledge, Dash whipped out his flare guns and blasted another shuriken right out of the air.

Dash grinned at the ninja, then burst into flames, flying through the wall in the cliff face. The ninja stared after him.

Shaking himself, the ninja raised the alarm.

"Intruder! Enemy intruder!"

Dash looked back over his shoulder as the flames began to subside to see several silhouettes of ninjas perched on top of the gate. They all jumped down, surrounding him.

Dash crouched into a fighting position, motioning for them to bring it on.

The ninjas all squatted, and leaped!

Dash whipped out his extinguisher, as all Daredevils carry them for extreme stunts, and blasted the ninjas above him. Their vision impaired temporarily, they didn't see Dash run out towards Kenjin the Wise's favorite spot to stand.

Kenjin, hearing approaching feet, opened his mouth to speak.

"Knowledge is-"
Kenjin the Wise

Kenjin the Wise

Dash threw a punch at side of the old man's head, trying to knock him out with one hit.

Kenjin's hand flew up, catching Dash's fist and twisting it sideways. He looked at him with a fake expression of hurt.

"You did not let me finish my quote!"

Dash winced as Kenjin pushed his wrist upwards. He tried to punch with his other hand, but Kenjin ducked and kicked from the ground, sweeping his legs out from underneath him and still holding his fist.

Dash fell to the ground, his arm still being held up by Kenjin.

"Knowledge is nothing if you do not know it," Kenjin stated. Now satisfied, he let go of Dash, and delivered a quick jab to a nerve point on his neck, knocking him out cold.

Chapter 2.5Edit

NUY 3

Forbidden Valley


Dash awoke inside metal walls, with irons bars surrounding him. The cage was quite large, big enough to hold just over two hundred people.

He stood, rubbing the back of his neck where Kenjin the Wise had hit him. Stretching out his arms and legs, he got a good look at the area around him, taking in the cold steel walls and red Paradox symbols plastered on the walls. He knew that there was only one modern building in Forbidden Valley.

He was inside the Paradox Refinery.

"Ah. So you're awake now."

Dash twisted around to see several other people in the cage with him. The one who had spoken grinned wearily at him.

"Welcome to Paradox prison," he said, motioning for Dash to sit with them. "I'm Daniel, this is Jonathan, and that's Grace."

The other two nodded at Dash.

"I'm Dash," he replied, looking around at them. They all wore black clothing. Daniel had dark brown hair, Grace blond, and Jonathan black. "How did you guys get in here?"

Daniel, who was obviously in charge, did the talking. "We're a special task force for Duke Exeter. We sneak around and attack from behind. So we were supposed to infiltrate Forbidden Valley.

"Well, we ran into some ninjas, and we had a pretty drawn out battle. It seemed we were evenly matched, but then the ninjas forced us off the edge.

"Somehow, Darkflame had changed the concentration of Imagination to-"

"Wait," Dash interrupted. "What's the concentration of Imagination?"

"Whenever we're killed, the Imagination heals us. Yet, we could be in the middle of a battle, and as it can't heal us fully, Overbuild created the Imagination concentration centers," Jonathan explained. "Whenever you die, the Imagination in you body is pulled towards the huge concentration of Imagination in that spot, making you heal in that safe spot."

"Oh. Continue."

"Well, Darkflame took every bit of concentrated Imagination in Forbidden Valley and put it here. So if anyone dies in Forbidden Valley, they come here."

Chapter 2.6Edit

NUY 3

Nimbus Station


Agent Four stood with his friends, other Assembly members. They were all talking quietly, wondering what Paradox would do next.

A communicator beeped in Agent Four's pocket, and he took it out, glancing at his friends, Fusion, Lobster, Sparks, Smart, and Smirk.

"Um... I have to go," Agent Four said. "I have stuff in... Avant Gardens."

The others looked at him quizzically, not understanding.

"What do you mean?" Lobster asked.

"Just, uh... stuff."

Fusion shrugged. "Well, see you later."

"Bye, guys!" Four yelled over his shoulder as he began speaking rapidly into the communicator.



Legodude stood on a Chanty Shanty, created himself, training with a few of his Sentinel friends.

He back-flipped as Cassius jabbed his sword at him, and then sliced at Coopa. Coopa blocked Legodude's blow on the flat of his blade, then twisted the wooden practice sword, throwing Legodude's balance off.

Cassius rolled underneath Coopa's outstretched blade, jabbing upwards to keep his sword from coming down on him, and kicked out with his leg, tripping Coopa.

Coopa fell down, landing on top of Legodude, as Cassius sprang to his feet, grinning at the other two.

"Well, I think I won this round!" Cassius stated cheerfully. He bent down to help Legodude and Coopa up, throwing his sword to the side.

Legodude reluncantly agreed. "Yes, you were... very good."

"You need to teach me that!" Coopa exclaimed, still boggled from his excellent performance. Cassius grinned at him.

"Sorry, but that's what gives me an edge. I don't you to have my edge, as my edge works for me, and your edge would work for you, but not me, and it-"

Legodude stopped him. "We get it."

"Oh. Sorry."

Legodude's phone rang in his pocket, and he answered, sitting down on a bench.

"What is it?" Coopa asked when his eyes widened.

Legodude hung up, and turned to the other two, shocked.

"Paradox is invading!"

Chapter 2.7Edit

NUY 3

Nimbus Station


The launch pad to Forbidden Valley was surrounded by league after league of Knights. Summoners were inter-spaced inside the huge group of knights, their first defense, ready to summon the biggest creatures they could to push back Paradox.

Samurai stood on the tops of the cliffs, where they were safe from attack and could pick off the Paradox from a distance with their bows. The Daredevils all lay hidden in the brush and up with the Samurai, ready to jump the enemy when they came. Their flareguns were held at the ready, yet still hidden with the rest of their blending green suits.

The Buccaneers and Engineers both stood on the ground below the launch pad, ready to fire with their pistols and build machines to take out Paradox from a long distance range.

The battle field was laid out strategically to be in the favor of the Nexus Force. When Paradox came through on their rockets, they would be shot at by Samurai, Buccaneers, and Daredevils, majorly weakening their defenses. Then, once they tried to move forward, they would be blocked by the group of Knights, shields and swords at the ready. The Knights would pretend to be surprised by their forces, and give ground.

Once Paradox passed the brush, however, the Knights would stop giving ground and charge forward, taking the enemy by surprise. The Daredevils would ambush them from behind, leaving them with nowhere to go on the confined ramp, and being rapidly attacked from all directions. Inevitably, Paradox would surrender.

Or at least, that was Duke Jake's plan.

Arthur frowned down at the map of Nimbus Station, it's intricate drawings and battle movements condensed into the area of the Forbidden Valley launch pad.

"It's a brilliant strategy, Jake," he began. "But... Vanda was always the best strategist. Don't you think she'll be, I don't know, expecting this?"

Jake shook his head. "Of course she's expecting it. But she has no other option, as far as I can see. If she just stops her invasion, then we can all fly in there and attack. There's no way for them to win!"

Arthur looked at Hael, who shrugged. "Alright." Arthur said, smiling wearily.

That was when they heard the shout from one of the watch guards.

"Sir! The first enemy rocket is flying in!"

Chapter 2.8Edit

NUY 3

Nimbus Station


Jake pushed through the crowd of Knights and Summoners, making his way to the front, where the launch pad was. The roar of the incoming rocket's engines became increasingly louder as the vessel drew nearer, smoothly pulling up to land.

Parting two more Knights, Jake came to stand a few feet away from the launch pad, with the rocket slowly pulling down onto it. The wind blew black his hair, and leaves spiraled around as the vehicle slowly came to vertical halt.

Jake stood, watching impassively as the pilot climbed out of the rocket, leaving on his helmet. The pilot turned to face Jake as the rocket compressed itself into his pack.

Drawing his sword, Jake pointed it at the pilot, the ever constant wind blowing his hair and making him seem very threatening indeed.

The pilot's head cocked to one side, and then, surprisingly, he collapsed to the ground, lying in a heap. Jake raised an eyebrow, and knelt beside the fallen figure, pulling off his helmet to see what was wrong with him.

Underneath the helmet was a metallic sphere, with a display of numbers counting down from three.

Jake's eyes widened, dropping the bomb onto the ground as it exploded with subsonic force, smashing all recruits within its wide range. Jake slammed against a wall, protected by his huge armor, though his Knights were not.

As he collapsed on the ground in front of the wall, he watched as over half of his force of Knights, and almost all of the Daredevils were smashed, the huge concentration of Imagination in Forbidden Valley, which had grown larger, forcing them to rebuild within the large cage.

Then Jake blacked out.



Meanwhile, in the middle of Nimbus Plaza, a small sphere, glowing purple, began to form, whirring and spinning in a frenzy, and growing larger. Lobster turned around at the noise, with several other Buccaneers and Engineers, wondering what was making the strange sound.

The sphere suddenly expanded, filling Nimbus Plaza instantly with dark purple light. Then it compacted on itself, disappearing and leaving a frightening sight in its place.

Paradox's battle force.

Chapter 2.9Edit

NUY 3

Nimbus Station


Ninjas rushed forward, dealing out massive amounts of shuriken to the surprised crowd of Engineers and Buccaneers. Blasts from the wands and blasters of Space Marauders and Sorcerers struck the group at the bottom of the cliff, jolting them into action.

Sparks tried to start building his personal fortress, but was interrupted by an energy grenade landing in the base of the fortress. The fortress was torn apart in the explosion, and Sparks went flying back.

The ninjas reached the small group, slicing their katanas and expertly dodging the majority of the return blows. Fusion managed to slam one in the stomach with his wrench, but he was quickly in battle with another.

Lobster fell back as a ninja kicked his rib, then deflected a blow from the ninja's katana with his remote. The katana bit into the remote, and Lobster grimaced at the now ruined remote.

Smart and Smirk stood back to back, fending off ninjas from every direction, and being hit by the occasional blast from a Space Marauder or Sorcerer. Smirk turned to block a katana, and watched as a cluster of energy grenades flew towards them.

Smart looked up and caught the grenades full in the face, taking the full force of the explosion as he was smashed. Smirk simply flew backwards, slamming into a wall and groaning.



Arthur shook Jake awake in their tent, his eyes worried.

"Jake!" he exclaimed. "Oh, good, you're awake! Paradox somehow teleported, and now they're attacking from behind! The ramp is too clogged for the Knights to get down and help in the battle!"

"Wha- what?" Jake said, rubbing his head where it had hit the wall.

Hael sighed. "Jake, Paradox be winning."

"What!?"

"We can't get yer Knights down to help, injured as they be, and Vanda had the element of surprise," Hael told Jake. "Ye gotta admit, Jake, she be pretty good with strategy."

Jake grimaced. "We have to retreat. How many men do we have left?"

"About half of what we had." Arthur answered, doing the calculations in his head.

Jake sighed. "Give the order. We're retreating to Avant Gardens."

Chapter 3.0Edit

NUY 3

Nimbus Station


Loop pulled out his rocket launcher, aiming for one of the Buccaneers, and fired, letting both missiles soar towards the unlucky Venture League member. Grinning, he reloaded, and shot a Daredevil trying to jump down into the battle. The Daredevil's smashed pieces scattered across the battlefield as Jake's order spread through the ranks, and they started to retreat.

Fred and Metru both used Dark Thunder, their orbs blasting the enemy forces away with pulses of dark magic. Metru gathered his Imagination into his core and used the Last Blast spell, fully restoring the Imagination flowing through their veins.

Fred grinned his thanks at Metru, and summoned Chaotic energy, breathing it out in a swirling, purple inferno. The Nexus Force recruits that were still standing stubbornly were hit by the Maelstrom, and badly hurt.

The Engineers and Buccaneers pulled back, following the Knights, Daredevils, Samurai, and Summoners that had gone before them.

Loop shouted a battle cry, and threw one last cluster of energy grenades at the retreating group, smashing several of them.

Vanda stepped to the front, bearing only one battle scar on her left cheek. She smiled at the Nexus Force, and waved cheerfully, as if saying goodbye to a friend who simply had to go home for the night.



Cassius wiped his brow, sweating, and stuffed his bow back into his pack. He turned to talk to Legodude, to his left, but Legodude had gone somewhere else in the crowd. In his place was a man wearing a helmet. Cassius frowned. The helmet looked familiar...

Cassius gasped, and yelled out to the crowd. "BOMBS!"

The 'man' exploded, smashing Cassius and most recruits within its range. Another bomb exploded somewhere near the front of the crowd, and another behind the first one.

The explosions wiped out most of their remaining force, leaving about four recruits of each specialty.

Vanda smiled behind them.

"Confusion and trickery," she said, to no one in particular. "It's our element."

Chapter 3.1Edit

NUY 3

Avant Gardens


The Nexus Force regrouped in the launch area, putting away their rockets and collapsing to the ground. Sky Lane waved at them halfheartedly from the bench, as she had nothing to do. The Nexus Force wasn't accepting recruits in the middle of a crisis.

Jake looked around at his tired and small group of defenders, wincing as he realized that Paradox could overwhelm them just with sheer numbers, even without Vanda's brilliant strategies. Frowning as he noticed something strange, Jake turned to Hael.

"Hael? Where's Arthur?" Jake asked worriedly.

Hael looked up from his sitting position and grimaced. "I be sorry to tell ye, but he was smashed by one of the bombs."

Jake's face fell even more, and he sat down beside Hael with his face in his hands.

Hael clapped him on the back. "Maybe it be time to surrender," he said hesitantly. "After all, they do have more men then we be able to take on."

Jake looked at him, slightly glaring. "Give up? Never!"

"I think you should."

Jake turned at the new voice, ready to reprimand one of his troops, when he saw one single Space Marauder, standing beside a smashed pile of bricks of bricks that used to be Sky Lane.

"I really think you should." Loop stated in a distorted voice. He took off his helmet, revealing his infected head. He grinned with the sharp fangs of a stromling, as he fired his launcher at the group.

Jake stared at the Space Marauder. "Paradox must have been overrun by the Maelstrom in Forbidden Valley!" he exclaimed to Hael. But then he grinned. "Maelstrom is easier to kill."

Loop cocked his head to one side, still grinning. "You would think that, would you?"

Pointing his sword forward to signal a charge, Jake yelled out a battle cry, running forward. The rest of the Nexus Force ran with him, heading towards the ramp up to the monument.

Just then, a huge wave of Maelstrom creatures poured from the tops of the rocks and the ramp, covering the land in front of them completely in purple and black.

Chapter 3.2Edit

NUY 3

Avant Gardens


Jake stepped back, his head swimming. He was confused. So many things made no sense at all!

Vanda could've held back the Maelstrom in Forbidden Valley easily. She was great with strategy. And since when could stromlings talk?!

The battle cry of the rest of the Nexus Force was a dull roar in his ears, seeming to come from miles away. Jake felt as if he was deep underwater, struggling to swim back up, as he heard the noises of those from the surface.

The huge explosion jolted him out of his reverie, and his head snapped up in the direction of the noise, staring to the sky and gasping in horror as he realized what had happen.

Gnarled Forest had just exploded.

The Nexus Force fell silent, the shock stunning them. Hael stared up at the sky in disbelief, searching for the planet he had spent so much time on.

The explosion of Forbidden Valley shocked them out of their stunned positions.

"They're blowing up the Universe!" a panicking minifigure screamed, racing for the launch pad nearest to him. A blast from a dragon shattered the minifigure, his pieced scattering.

Jake looked up at the group of Maelstrom, ready to meet them. They were trapped. About to be blown up in a massacre, or be killed by the huge cloud of Maelstrom. It was their choice of which way they wanted to die.

Jake looked up at Vanda, now standing at the front of the Maelstrom. Nimbus Station shattered into bits with a deafening noise, and he yelled over the aftershock.

"Why?!" Vanda simply grinned. She waved at Jake cheerfully, and sat down, waiting for the incoming explosion.

Jake gritted his teeth, and yelled another battle cry, moving forward as fast as he could.

His motion was stopped by the explosion of Avant Gardens, completely destroying the minifigures and stromlings alike.

Baron Typhonus had finally succeeded in destroying the Nexus Force.

EpilogueEdit

NUY 3

Mythran Hideout


Jake jerked awake from his nightmare, sitting straight up in bed. Sweating and panting, he slowly recovered from the bad dream.

He reached for the remote, turning on the early morning news, and getting out of bed to get breakfast. In the Nexus Force, you had to wake early every morning.

As he drained his cup of coffee, he watched the local weather reports, being given in Nimbus Square. Behind the weatherman, a small crowd started to gather around a Paradox member, and Jake could hear arguments coming from the group. Something about one faction or another being better than some other faction.

Jake sighed. "I should put a stop to these faction wars," he said to himself. "They're starting to get to me."


NUY 3

Padricum


A creature ran through the dark, twisted caves of Padricum, hurrying to reach it's master. The master didn't like it when he was late, even if it was with bad news.

Panting, the creature raced into the main room, skidding to a halt several feet in front of the throne.

"Master!" it croaked. "The warrior knight has issued a punishment on faction wars! The Nexus Force is drawing together!"

The figure hidden in the shadows turned his head to look at the servant, and a small grin could be seen on his face.

"This is good."

The creature, confused, bowed low to the floor before talking again. "But... I thought you wished to destroy them."

"Of course I do," said the Demon King, his grin still evident. "But first, I want them to destroy Ricaro. Then we will have full reign."

The Demon King began cackling maniacally, laughing at his insane genius that was coming forth. Everything was going according to plan. And soon, everything would be destroyed.


End of Book Two


Paradox Seceding: CastEdit

  • Legodude, Male Knight
  • Loop, Male Space Marauder
  • Fred, Male Sorcerer
  • Fusion, Male Engineer
  • Lobster, Male Engineer
  • Dash, Male Daredevil
  • Metru Nui, Male Sorcerer
  • Brickmaster Clang
  • Numb Chuck
  • Agent Four, Male Summoner
  • Bob
  • Duke Jake Exeter
  • Vanda Darkflame
  • Boris Toobsox
  • Brick Fury
  • Hael Storm's Personal Assistant
  • Ludwig Clutchburn
  • Elementron
  • Hael Storm
  • Kenjin the Wise
  • Daniel, Sentinel Task Force Member
  • Jonathan, Sentinel Task Force Member
  • Grace, Sentinel Task Force Member
  • Sparks, Male Engineer
  • Smart, Male Engineer
  • Smirk, Male Engineer
  • Cassius, Male Knight
  • Coopa, Male Knight
  • Doctor Arthur Overbuild
  • Sky Lane
  • The Demon King

The Fall of TyphonusEdit

PrologueEdit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Padricum: Green Dwarf Star


The Demon King sat in his throne inside the core of Padricum, a star floating off the edge of the Crux Asteroid Field. He watched screens, his superior technology and vast knowledge of dark magic combined to make him one of the most powerful beings in the entire dimension. Of course, for now, he could do nothing with all that power. At least, not until he had accomplished his current goal, eradicating the pest known as Ricaro Typhonus. That had been proving very difficult, though, as since he couldn't do it, he needed to get someone else to kill the man for him. So he had done his best to try and make people hate Typhonus, to make him no longer a liked man. This also seemed impossible, as Ricaro happened to be a very friendly man, who enjoyed meeting new people and seeing old friends.

So when a huge group of over a thousand warriors seeking only to destroy the Demon King's enemy, so that they could save their pitiful icon, the tiny things they called 'Imagination,' the Demon King was overjoyed. And now, after seven long years of waiting for the Nexus Force to gather their forces together and build up enough power to destroy Typhonus, he felt the time was near. The time was coming for Ricaro to finally die.

It was almost time for the fall of Typhonus.



Vanda Darkflame ran down the halls of Nexus Tower, built three years ago on the hugely Maelstrom infected planet, Crux Prime. The huge fortress, protecting the very core of Imagination, now the only piece of the Imagination Nexus that was left, spanned across one hundred and sixty nine levels, reaching past the clouds and into the upper layer Crux Prime scientifically impossible atmosphere.

Vanda, though, was only interested in the experiment that the Sentinels were beginning on a Maelstrom infected brick without asking for her consent. Well, technically, they had asked for her consent, but she had denied it, knowing full well what would happen.

She shook her head, sighing at Duke Jake Exeter's stubbornness.

Chapter 1.0Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Nexus Tower: Nexus Force Headquarters


Vanda jumped into an elevator, pushing the button for the ninety-eighth floor. This was where Paradox ran most of their experiments on Maelstrom infected bricks and other Maelstrom infected objects, constantly trying to find a substance that would suck the chaos out of the Maelstrom, changing it back to Imagination again. Of course, they had not found a cure yet, and so they still searched. Jake, though, was trying something Vanda hadn't tried, though Vanda hadn't done this for a reason. Jake was going to try to pump pure Imagination into a Maelstrom infected brick, as he hoped that this would cure it, thinking, like most other minifigures, that Maelstrom and Imagination were scientific opposites.

But Paradox had done the equations, studied the Maelstrom for seven whole years. It was common knowledge among the scientists that mixing a large amount of Imagination with even a tiny bit of Maelstrom would only end disastrously. The Sentinels, though, believed in attacking the enemy head on, going with the simplest answer they could find. Even if that answer could end up corrupting the last bit of the Nexus they had left.

The elevator doors slid apart smoothly, allowing Vanda to exit onto the ninety eighth floor, then closed again behind her. Vanda raced to the left, constantly cursing herself in her mind for not explaining to Jake what would happen. But, like most other Paradox members, when speaking to any other minifigure, she simply assumed that they saw the obvious, too. It was basic to her. Why not everyone else?

She finally reached the doors to the experimental room. In bright red and yellow, a warning sign was painted onto the metallic door, reading 'Danger! Large Amounts of Maelstrom Concentration. Authorized Personnel Only!' Well, Vanda was one of the most authorized minifigures in the entire Nexus Force. She showed her identification card to the scanner, and waited as the red light ran up and down the piece of plastic, making sure that she was who she said she was.

The doors slid open with a hiss, allowing Vanda to enter the Paradox experiment area, only to find that Jake's experiment had already begun.

Chapter 1.1Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Nexus Tower: Nexus Force Headquarters


"Jake!"

Vanda's voice rang out loud and clear among the hustle of the scientists, as they were familiar with their faction leader and her regular visits and checkups on the Maelstromic experiments. Jake recognized her voice, though, because they had been good friends for seven years now. Around three years ago, Jake had gotten over his mistrust towards Vanda and simply accepted the fact that she had a secretive nature. After all, you can't change who someone is just to please yourself.

Jake still flinched at the sound of Vanda's voice. He had tried to keep this experiment secret, as he knew Vanda would be furious is he went through with it. Alas, no one could keep a secret from Vanda Darkflame. It was like she was every, listening to everything anyone said.

He turned around, keeping a big smile on his face, to see Vanda's piecing glare. His smile faltered.

"Vanda! Um... what are you doing here?"

Vanda raised her eyebrows putting her hands on her hips and tapping the metallic floor with her foot. "It's my laboratory," she said, watching Jake wince as she emphasized the word my. "I kind of have a right to be here. Not that I could say the same for you..." She left the sentence hanging, pointedly accusing Jake of using her lab and equipment without her permission.

Jake sighed. "How can you be so sure about Imagination? What if it is the cure?"

Vanda shook her head, walked around him, and pulled the switch, turning off the experiment. "Come with me, Jake," she said. "I'll show you the answer to your question."

Jake shrugged at a scientist who looked at him questioningly, and followed Vanda out of the laboratory.

Chapter 1.2Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Gnarled Forest: Piece of Planet Crux


Ackeron whooped with exileration as he jumped from tree to tree, while a horde of stromling pirates and Admirals followed along underneath the branches. An anchor latched onto the branch he had just been standing on, and a cannon blast severed the branch from the tree, and it fell to the ground. Being a Daredevil, Ackeron didn't care that he had just had a really close call. All he knew was that he was having a ton of fun.

He pulled out a walkie talkie, backflipping, spinning around in midair, firing off several shots with his flareguns, and continuing across the trees back in the direction he came from, all in one move. He spoke into the walkie talkie, his grin evident in his voice to his teammates. "Now that was one epic move, wasn't it, guys?"

The Samurai hiding within the forests, waiting to ambush the distracted group of stromlings, answered his teammate in a hushed voice. "Yes, yes it was. Now quit talking," Turbo said, obviously annoyed that he wasn't getting any of the action at the moment. "You might reveal my position."

Expert, the strategist and planner for their group, replied to Turbo's statement with his usual scientific answers. "No, he won't. Stromlings don't have sentient thought. They're following Ackeron, and they won't stop until he leaves, or he's dead. The stromlings won't go towards any noises from Diamond, unless he angers them."

They were a three person team, still looking for a good enough fourth member. They hadn't found a person that they wanted to join their team, who also wanted to join them. It would be preferable for the new teammate to be a member of Assembly, as then they would have a member from each and every faction. But they would take who they could get.

Chapter 1.3Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Gnarled Forest: Piece of Planet Crux


Expert rotated around in his chair, inside the team rocket, which he had hovering about half a mile above Gnarled Forest. Through the cameras positioned on the rocket, he could survey the team's situation from a safe point. He was never much of a fighter. When Expert had joined Paradox, he hadn't chosen a faction kit that was available. Instead, he had applied to be a scientist. This was where he got the funds to buy a team rocket. Expert, Ackeron, and Turbo were already good friends, so Expert decided to stop studying the Maelstrom in Nexus Tower, and create a team with his friends so that he could study the Maelstrom in action. And while he watched the stromlings' tactics, he devised strategies to destroy them. For now, though, he watched as his current strategy began to unfold.

Turbo awaited Expert's signal, which he would hear through the walkie talkie attached to his belt. Once he heard Expert tell him to attack, he would know Ackeron had gotten the group of stromlings into position. Then he would attack from the trees, taking on the stromlings from behind, and angering them. Then, while they were distracted and attacking the Samurai, Ackeron would jump down and fire from behind.

They usually found their own little spot somewhere deep in the forest, and carry out Expert's strategy. While he didn't always explain everything that he wanted them to do, they trusted Expert, as he was able to see everything, while they could only see what was in front of them.

Expert whirled around to watch Ackeron jump down onto the spot Expert had described earlier. He grinned. Expert loved the moment when his strategy showed its brilliance.

"Now!"

Chapter 1.4Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Crux Prime: Piece of Planet Crux


Nuckal was the Overseer of the Skeleton Miners, the one who made sure everything went according to plan. He kept things in control, screaming at Miners and Engineers to get to work, and making sure the Watcher and Pit Bosses were doing a good job of keeping a lookout. His job was to make sure everything ran smoothly in the Maelstrom
Nuckal

Nuckal, Skeleton Overseer

Ore Mining Operations. JoeyJo's job was to make sure that Nuckal did a bad job at his job. There's a job for everyone in the Mines, isn't there?

Joey was quite good at his job.

His Spinjitsu hood covered most of his face, hiding all but his eyes. The gray color blended into the bleak rock cliffs of Crux Prime, hiding Joey from the eyes of the Watchers, high up in their towers, searching the landscape for any sign of intruders. Joey had once made the mistake of a head on attack. He didn't do that again.

Gripping his rank three Space Marauder launcher harder, he aimed it up at Nuckal as he prowled back and forth, putting down his Staff so he could steady the launcher. Of course, it was obvious that the launcher wouldn't do much damage. It was simply a distraction, to draw the Overseer's attention away from everything else. He wouldn't find Joey, of course, as he would slip away the moment the rockets were fired. Nuckal, lacking common sense, would inspect the area, to angry at whoever was pestering him to notice his men being attacked behind him.

Joey grinned underneath his mask. This was what he lived for, when their team destroyed every single Skeleton building in the mines, all in one swift attack. It would take them weeks to build it back, and then the team would attack again, if no one else tried first.

Still grinning, Joey pulled the trigger, at the same moment picking up his staff and backflipping away into the shadows.

Chapter 1.5Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Crux Prime: Piece of Planet Crux


Nuckal jumped as the red rockets slammed into his back, narrowing his eyes and spinning around to stare in the direction the weapons were blasted from. "Who's there?" he called out in his strangely high pitched screech, walking towards the shadows underneath the cliffs. He hefted his ax onto his shoulder, walking straight into the shadows, with no suspicion of a trap whatsoever.

Behind his back, Hammer, Max, and Rebel all jumped off of the cliffs they were hiding on, deploying bombs and using Spinjitsu to destroy the skeletons all around them.

Joey stepped out behind Nuckal and tapped him on the back. Nuckal spun around, furious, and got whacked in the face with a wooden staff that seemed to hurt a whole lot more than most wooden staffs normally wood. Nuckal shook his head, clearing his vision, and saw in front of him... nothing.

Max climbed up a Skeleton Watchtower, jumping into the platform at the top. He smiled at the Watchmen, pulling out his Spinjitsu Staff and deftly spun around, slicing the staff in a neat arc across the Skeletons' midsections. They split in half, gaping while the fell completely to pieces, smashing. Max then sliced the staff across the base of the platform, destroying the support legs. The Watchtower fell. "One down!" Max crowed to his teammates, basking in the victory as he landed smoothly on the ground.

Hammer flew up the drill support beams, climbing to the top, where he quickly spun around with a blast of Imagination. The drill spun out of the ground, and Hammer quickly flipped down, stabbing the drill with his staff as he went, and planting a bomb on the supports. He walked towards the next Watchtower as behind him, the drill station exploded.

Rebel held back the flow of enemies, stopping them from stopping his teammates. "Hurry up!" he yelled out to his friends as he sliced his Staff across a Miner's foot. "I can't hold them off forever!"

Chapter 1.6Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Nimbus Station: Piece of Planet Crux


Jackson was a hardcore, completely loyal, kill-for-his-faction kinda guy. He was the Assembly member who practically worshiped Doctor Overbuild, the person who had a poster of his faction leader, covered in smaller posters of his faction leader, posted up on the wall.

In short, Jackson was a very dedicated Assembly member.

When he was small, around seven years ago, the time the Nexus Force was created, he heard about it from his parents. Of course, little five-year-old Jackson know what the heck a 'force' was, much less a Nexus. But the name stuck in his head, and that's what counts. So, when he was seven, he understood the Nexus Force a bit better, and learned about Assembly. Then, after learning about it, he became obsessed with it. Everyday, he tried to come up with a brand new creation, something innovative. If he was creative enough, he might be let into the Nexus Force before he was sixteen! Well, when the Nexus Force saw on his resume that he had built almost as many random things as Doctor Overbuild, they basically invited him into the Force at the age of eleven. Now he's twelve, and he never regretted joining Assembly, not one bit.

Lovingly polishing his rank three Engineer Wrench, Jackson was sitting on a wooden bench, one of the many around Nimbus Plaza. His helmet protected his head from the heat, as today was a very hot day indeed, and the ventilation system built into all faction gear kept the rest of him cool.

He looked up at a small cough to see his old friend, Voltaic. Grinning underneath his helmet, the Knight sat beside Jackson.

"Man, you really get into the whole cleaning thing, don't you?" he said, punching Jackson on the shoulder.

"Hey, it's my gear," Jackson replied, nudging Voltaic with his shoulder. "I gotta keep it clean."

Voltaic clapped him on the back, grinning, and then completely disappeared.

Chapter 1.7Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Nimbus Station: Piece of Planet Crux


Voltaic rematerialized with a small 'pop,' the grin still evident on his face.

"What the brick was that?!" Jackson exclaimed, startled by his friends sudden disappearance.

"Haven't you heard?" said Voltaic, a look of surprise on his face. "It's the new Sentinel stealth equipment. We decided that we could do to learn a bit from the ninjas, so we installed stealth abilities into our armor."

Jackson shook his head. Everyone wanted to be a ninja nowadays. People had stopped wearing their faction gear, and starting bearing the colors Ninjago all over the place. There was nothing wrong with Ninjago, of course, but Jackson still thought people should have more faction pride. The Monastery, while full of dangerous enemies and quiet places to study, didn't hold the old nostalgia of visiting Forbidden Valley, or the feeling of excitement when being chased by Admirals all over Gnarled Forest.

Matty clunked down on the bench next to his two friends, startling them out of their conversation. He was drenched in sweat, and he held his Space Marauder Helm to the side, to allow himself to breath. His jacket, lined with Kevlar and fused with Maelstrom was unzipped. His shoulderpads were in in his backpack. All in all, he was trying to cool down.

"Whew!" Matty exclaimed, pulling out his backpack and fishing through it for a Big Fountain Soda. "They're really putting us to work with those Crux Prime missions!"

"I think they're easy."

This time they all jumped, hearing the voice of Cyclone right behind them.

Cyclone jumped over the bench, turning in midair, and landed in a criss-cross sitting formation. He grinned at the others. Matty glared back at him.

"That's just because your gear isn't huge and stuffy! They need to install air conditioning in this stuff."

Voltaic nodded. "In the bright Gnarled Forest sun, my metal armor kinda hurts when superheated. You, on the other hand, Cyclone, have a bunch of cloths, and a meditating hat. That's not stuffy at all! I mean, come on! A meditating hat!"

Cyclone shrugged. "I take what I get."

Chapter 1.8Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Forbidden Valley: Piece of Planet Crux


A Dark Ronin shattered, falling to pieces as Butcher, a proud Engineer, cut straight through it with his Serratorizer. The Maelstrom infected katana fell to ground with a clang as Butcher cut straight through another enemy.

Gameking was having the time of his life, fighting off Horsemen and Ronin at Calvary Hill. He blasted a Horseman, and the shot landed perfectly, blasting the Ronin off of his skeletal horse. Grinning, Gameking slid down the rock face he was on top of, kicking the fallen Horseman as he landed near it.

Butcher and Gameking high-fived each other, whooping as the spun around each other to cut down another wave.

A shadowy figure, clinging to the cliff face above them, watched and waited for the perfect moment to strike, his Shinobi training kicking in. Cobra was a dedicated Paradox member. He called himself 'The Paradox Extraordinaire,' though he was rarely seen battling.

Cobra nodded to the figure next to him, the signal that it was time to help out their teammates. A device he carried with him had sensed a large incoming surge of Maelstrom, and Cobra was ready to take them on.

He launched himself off the cliff face, landing near the three portals side-by-side. The figure he had nodded to followed behind him, their gear burning with purple fire as the flew across the open area.

"Butcher! Gameking! Up here!"

Butcher turned, and saluted to Cobra with one Serratorizer, while cutting through a Ronin's armor with the other. "Coming!"

Gameking backflipped away from his current combatant, activating his jetpack mid-flip and rocketing up to the three door. "Here!"

Cobra nodded. "Get ready to send the order to the satellites. We'll need that space beam." Gameking nodded, and began typing on his wrist device, ready to call down the giant laser. Cobra tensed himself, readying his double blades to summon the bolts of lightning Shinobi were known so well for. Butcher planted his robots, readying their lasers and attacks.

The ground rumbled, and Cobra turned to the Daredevil. "Go ahead."

Tons of Horsemen broke through the portals, almost instantly being attacked by each team member.

And Charm, the Daredevil, started singing.

Chapter 1.9Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Forbidden Valley: Piece of Planet Crux


Every Horseman and every Ronin turned to stare in the direction of Charm, completely hypnotized by her singing. There was more to this than the fact that she was just a really good singer, though. Charm had a gift. Her voice can charm those who hear it, hence the name Charm. This was also why her teammates wore earplugs when they battled.

Charm struck a high G, and Butcher struck the underside of a Horseman's horse, shattering the stunned Maelstromic creature. He went down still gaping towards the singing Daredevil.

Cobra wielded his blades like extensions of his arms, performing swift, precise movements. To an onlooker, it would almost look as if the Shinobi was dancing to the tune of Charm's singing.

Gameking followed behind Cobra and Butcher into the mass of Maelstrom, blasting any enemies within range that weren't taken down by the two close combat warriors. Charm began to sway towards her left, taking small steps toward the edge of the cliff, and the Horsemen followed.

"Chaos shall not strive..."

Cobra sliced his blade straight through a Dark Ronin's midsection.

"We'll leave none left alive..."

Butcher began building his fortress, laying it out around him.

"Soon our power you shall know..."

Gameking launched his missiles out, obliterating several entranced Ronin.

"When o'er the edge of the cliff you go..."

At the last note of the song, each and every Stromling within hearing range of Charm's voice practically dived off the cliff, the power of Charm's singing overriding there thoughts, making them wish more than anything that they could jump right off that cliff over there...

"That's enough, Charm," Cobra stated, sheathing his blades on his back. He took out the earplugs. "New song today, huh?"

She shrugged. "Yeah. I gotta keep a variety."

Gameking ripped off his helmet, his face covered in sweat. "I would compliment your song," he said, breathing heavily. "But I didn't hear a single word of it."

Butcher opened his mouth to add something to the conversation, but he was interrupted.

A loud rumbling noise began, shaking Forbidden Valley underneath their feet. Cracks began to form on the ground.

And out of the portals on Calvary Hill came spilling more Horsemen than the team had ever seen in their lives.

Chapter 2.0Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Unknown


"Ah, welcome back, old friend. How was your day?"

"The same as usual, thank you. I enjoy helping the Nexus Force."

"So you've said."

"What about your day?"

"I just sat here and got blamed for all the mistakes of the Nexus Force. That's basically all."

"You do realize that you are an icon to the Nexus Force. Every recruit knows your name. If you died, they would all leave."

"Yes, I know. I don't enjoy my popularity."

"Ah, how we laugh and joke!"

"Ah, how I wish you'd choke!"

"How funny, you're a poet now, too."

"More of a philosopher, John."

"No one calls me John anymore, and you know that."

"No one calls me by my real name anymore, either. Your point?"

"John is not my true name."

"Oh, but it is. Changing your face only changes the way others see you. How do you see yourself, me friend?"

"As an immortal."

"You'll die eventually."

"You'll die first."

"What more do I have to live for? I control a huge organization already, and I already fulfilled my lifelong dream. Death is welcome to come to me."

"But at what costs? Your death could mean the rise of the great evil around us."

"John! You're back!"

"Not for long. He'll soon be back in control. But still. You say death is welcome. But at what costs, at whose hands? Could you bear to be killed by one of your own friends, turned against you by him?"

"You refer to him as a separate person. We both know he is a part of you."

"I don't like to acknowledge that fact."

"I should hope not."

"I should know not."

Chapter 2.1Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Nexus Tower: Nexus Force Headquarters


Vanda and Jake were sitting in a dark room, all the lights turned off. Vanda had borrowed Arthur Overbuild's mechanical dog, Glo, and right now, the eyes of the small dog were broadcasting light signals to the screen on the wall, replaying a video from its memory. In fact, the video Vanda had Glo playing was the first one ever stored in its hard drive.

Both Vanda and Jake sat down, and Vanda spoke to Glo, using the voice recognition ability Arthur had installed around two years ago. "Play video file one," she said. Then she turned to Jake. "Watch this closely. Paradox scientists have studied this video for seven years. It is, perhaps, our best source of Maelstrom information."

Jake nodded, and then the video began.

It felt as if Jake was inside the video itself. The only difference from this was that there was no sound.

Color faded into the screen, slowly forming the shape of Arthur Overbuild, smiling down at the dog. Behind him was the Imagination Nexus, before the corruption. The shining light blue made Jake remember what it had been like when he went in there. That was when he started to feel sorry for Vanda. She hadn't been able to see the Nexus in person. She had probably watched this video hundreds or thousands of times, but Jake could tell that what she really wanted was to see the whole Nexus. Not just the portion in Nexus Tower.

Arthur turned to his right, and frowned. Glo looked in that direction, too, trying to see what his master saw. There stood Ricaro Typhonus, his eyes completely black, and his mouth an evil grin. A small purple blur appeared in front of his head, and following Arthur's example of what he had done with Glo, Ricaro pushed the blur into the Nexus.

Vanda froze the video there.

"Sorry," she apologized. "The stuff that happens after this..."

Jake nodded. "I know. I was there."

"I wasn't."

An awkward silence followed.

"So," Jake said after a few moments. "What was it about this video that was supposed to tell me that Imagination is not the cure for Maelstrom?"

Vanda rubbed her hands together. Time for a scientific explanation. "Well, you see, the Imagination Nexus in made up of every thought that has every existed in every minifigure's head. This is why it's endless. And Ricaro only put one pure, Chaotic thought into the Nexus. This one thought spread, like a virus. Think of Imagination like a human, and Chaos like a virus. The Nexus had no immune system within itself, no guard against corruption. Imagination can't fight Chaos. So when a single Chaotic thought entered the Nexus, it spreads like an instant virus," Vanda paused for a breath. "Maelstrom is not the opposite of Imagination; Maelstrom is a mixture of Imagination and Chaos. This is why Stromlings spawn endlessly. The Imagination allows the Baron to create, and the Chaos allows him to do whatever he wants with the power. If he mixed Imagination with Maelstrom, the Chaos would simply grow to match the size of Imagination, corrupting it, and only making the Maelstrom grow. We fight Maelstrom with Imagination because the Stromlings are encased inside a body, and if you make the Maelstrom grow, it overrides the encasing, and the Stromling explodes. You see?"

Jake scratched his head while Vanda sucked in her second breath of air in three minutes. "Uhh..."

Chapter 2.2Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Nexus Tower: Nexus Force Headquarters


Vanda and Jake walked out of the screening room together, with Jake still trying to get his mind around the scientific explanation of Maelstrom and Imagination that Vanda had given him. Of course, it was a completely brand new concept that had just been introduced to him, so, to be fair, he was taking the new information quite well.

Vanda closed the door behind them, and that was when it started. Nexus Tower began to shake. The entire thing just began rumbling. Vanda and Jake were shaken around, completely taken by surprise, and thrown down onto the floor, their eyes wide. Several scientists walking around them fell to the ground, too. Most slammed into the walls.

Nexus Tower was tilting, almost as if it were falling over.

Vanda stood shakily. Something was wrong. This wasn't one of the normal Crux Prime earthquakes. This was much bigger. Almost as if the whole tower was being…

She gasped at her own theory. Could it be true? Only one way to find out.

Glancing back at Jake, still lying on the floor, she ran for the elevator, pressing the button for the ground floor. She would just look out a window to prove her theory, but during a lockdown all windows were closed. So were all the doors, but those could be overridden. So could the elevator, but not by the same means.

Impatiently, Vanda pulled out one her katana, its chaotic entities glowing dark purple, and jammed it up through the top of the elevator. If her theory was correct, she didn't have any time to waste at all. She drew a circle through the slowly moving elevator's ceiling, and hopped through the newly made hole, pulling herself onto the elevator roof.

Then she crouched. She gathered her inner-chi, something her old mentor had once taught her. Her energy gathered within a point of her choosing, the arm, for this instance, and then… was released.

Vanda's arm was glowing blue as she jumped, quickly making a vertical slice. The energy went out through her sword, slicing in a circle all around her. It cut through each of the ropes holding up the elevator shaft, letting the elevator drop into a free-fall.

She pulled herself in, against the G-force, making an X position on the wall, so as to able to watch the rapidly decreasing number on the floor counter.

It was at fifty, no, forty, and now it was thirty, and then it was twenty, and ten, and-

Vanda pulled in her limbs at the last moment, scrunching herself up into a ball small enough to just fly right through the hole. She flew a few feet in the air, the elevator crashing with a huge grating noise behind her. Vanda whipped out both her katana, sticking them into both sides of the shaft when she started to fall. Her descent slowed gradually, until she stopped a few feet above the disfigured elevator. She pulled her katana out of the wall, and walked through as the elevator opened to allow an old lady to enter. Vanda nodded to the lady and walked past, heading for the door.

"Vanda Darkflame? More like vandalistic Darkflame," the old lady muttered, looking around the elevator.

Vanda quickly ran her card through the access pad to the door, and it opened, revealing exactly what she had feared.

Outside the door, instead of the rocky Crux Prime terrain, was deep space.

Chapter 2.3Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Gnarled Forest: Piece of Planet Crux


"Now!"

Turbo jumped out of the tree cover, drawing his Samurai katana in one quick motion. He sliced it right through a stromling pirate right in front of him, still in the middle of his leap, and the stromling simply exploded, the Maelstrom energy within it dissipating. He landed smoothly, only slightly thrown off by the pirate in his way, and began cutting slices in the infected bodies all around him. Ackeron stayed in his tree, watching as all the stromlings turns to fight Turbo.

Up in orbit, Expert frowned at his screens. There were a few things going awry with his plan. Only one the others would completely understand, though. "Hey guys," Expert said into the mike, his worry evident. "You've got company."

"Good company or bad?" Ackeron asked, letting Turbo concentrate on doing his best to smash the pirates.

"Both."

Ackeron sighed and shook his head. Everything always had to be so complicated. "Any ID on the good company?"

"A Summoner. Scanners say that body shape indicates he's male. Hold on, lemme see if I can pull up some files..."

Ackeron waited, watching Turbo calmly block and slice.

"Okay, I got a match. No official name here, it just says 'good enough.' What does that mean? Good enough for what?"

"No idea. Get on with it."

"Kay, well, he's pretty experienced. A lot of recognition, pretty well known among the ranks. And... doesn't have a team. I sense a possible new team member."

"A possible one," Turbo spoke, still diverting most of his concentration to the current battle. "We might hate him."

"It says he's pretty friendly."

"And I say we'll see for ourselves. Now, what did you mean when you said there would be bad company, too?"

Expert glanced back at his screens, rechecking the calculations. "Well, according to this, there's been a slow-moving surge of chaotic energy, spreading out from a central point somewhere in between Forbidden Valley and Crux Prime. It'll hit Gnarled Forest in a few minutes, so I... wait, what?"

"What do you mean, what?" Ackeron asked, and finally decided to help Turbo. He threw himself into the fray, still talking to Expert.

"The surge just hit Forbidden Valley first, and... well, it completely disappeared. It's just... gone."

Chapter 2.4Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Gnarled Forest: Piece of Planet Crux


Ackeron paused in mid-leap, taking in Expert's words. The pause, though, nearly sent the whole plan spinning out of control. He stopped trying to follow through with his whole jump, instead focusing on the strange fact that a whole planet had just disappeared, and accidentally landed right in the center of the straggle, missing his original target. Unfortunately, this miss cost him quite a lot.

Turbo had turned off his mike before Expert had told them about Forbidden Valley, just after he said the words ‘Maelstrom surge,' so as to concentrate. He sliced his glowing Samurai katana right through an already injured pirate, and the Maelstrom overloaded inside the Stromling, exploding the shell. Strangely enough, Turbo felt resistance on the other side of the Stromling, where his sword had just hit. Weird. Almost as if he had whacked an actual person.

The Samurai dismissed the thought from his head, and continued moving on, slicing through pirates and Admirals, destroying their bodies. He didn't bother to check what the thing behind the pirate was. He didn't see that his sword had stuck right in the side of Ackeron's chest, making a deep wound.

Expert saw it, though, and frowned. Strange; Ackeron's life readings were saying he was dying, but he wasn't smashed. Expert ran through the readings, and checked the satellite surveillance of the battle. Ackeron was lying there, his eyes wide, in a slowly growing pool of blood, while Turbo furiously smashed the chaotic enemies surrounding them, slashing, stabbing, slicing. And… the Summoner!

Expert quickly swirled around in his chair, turning to look at another one of the cams. There! The Summoner again. Expert quickly became more interested in him, and used a code to hack into the files. There it was, a name!

Scrolling down, Expert looked through the in-depth files. The recruit's name was Good Venson. Quite a strange first name, but it was a name, and that was what Expert was looking for.


Good E. Venson hurried through the forest. He had heard the noises of what sounded like an intense battle from this direction; so naturally, he ran that way to help out.

The trees flashed past, part blur, part clear brown right in front of him. As usual, the woods in Gnarled Forest were quite humid, due to the surrounding sea, and the majority of the time, recruits in the forest wore pirate-like clothes, which were much less clunky and hot than the faction gear. Good, though, preferred to stick inside his Summoner gear, which he did.

Finally, Good reached the edge of the clearing all the noise was coming from. He jumped in, his staff out, as there was still the noise of clashing swords and shrieking stromlings.

Right when he broke in the tree line and saw the scene laid out in front of him, the ground beneath him completely erupted in purple.


In his ship, Expert looked around at his map, knowing what he would see.

"Guys," Expert said into the microphone. "I think the Maelstrom surge just hit our planet."

On the map, every single other planet had disappeared, and each star constellation had changed. Gnarled Forest had been teleported away from the Nimbus System.

Chapter 2.5Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Crux Prime: Piece of Planet Crux


Joey heard Rebel's cry for help, and quickly moved to answer, simply stabbing Nuckal right through his back. Nuckal collapsed into several pieces, and Joey jumped out of the shadows, slicing at the nearest skeleton. Hammer and Max were already working at more watchtowers, and Rebel stood alone, inside a Watchtower. Gritting his teeth, Joey quickly began the art of Spinjitsu, turning his body into a spinning blur of color. He sped towards the skeletons gathering around Rebel's watchtower, crowding the area.

He reached the base of the Watchtower, and sliced out with his staff, releasing a shockwave of energy, blowing back several skeletons and destroying one of the Watchtower legs. Above him, Rebel whooped, and whacked the top of one of the legs with his staff. Joey saluted at his teammate, and began to cut through the waves of skeletons, quickly killing them off.

That was when the Maelstrom Surge hit their planet, cutting off Nexus Tower and moving Crux Prime.

The ground started to shake violently, cracks opening along the rocky surface of Crux Prime. Maelstrom ore began to ooze out, as if the planet was bleeding purple blood. The skeletons had stopped moving to watch, some of them gleefully scooping up the ore. One of the cracks opened wider, and expanded right underneath several of the skeletons. The skeletons fell, and were slowly dissolved by the acidic content inside of the ore.

Max winced. It was hard to feel sorry for a skeleton, but it must be pretty gruesome to be killed again, this time by practical acid. Oh well. They were supposed to be dead anyways. Max got over his remorse, and kicked a skeleton in the back, chuckling at the humorous high-pitched scream it made as it fell into a crack.

Hammer saw Max using the earthquake to their advantage, and followed suit, shooting a skeleton who was standing a bit close to the crack with his pistol. The skeleton fell into the acid, and both Max and Hammer laughed at the scream.

Rebel frowned, and jumped down from the Watchtower, as it was shaking too much to not fall down eventually. He stood next to Joey.

"What's going on?" he asked, his voice sounding shaky over the earthquake. Yet, strangely, things seemed calmer than before during the earthquake.

"I have no idea," Joey mused. "It seems to be a form of a Maelstrom surge. Those normally happen here."

"I know."

"Well, I'd say this is probably just a big one. So… let's run."

Rebel nodded. "Hammer! Max! We're leaving! Now!"

They turned, and Max shrugged. They both came to join the group, and they quickly made their way away from the entrance skeletons.

As they made to jump onto the floating rocks of Aura Mar, a loud blast of air stopped them, and large purple talons landed, cracking the rocks leading out to Aura Mar.

The Maelstrom dragon roared at the team, barring their way out.

Chapter 2.6Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Crux Prime: Piece of Planet Crux


The four teammates reacted almost instantly to the dragon's arrival. Immediately, Hammer had out his pistol, and had backed off a bit, firing repeatedly and occasionally using the Imaginative power to let loose a flying shark. Rebel had drawn his greatsword from its sheath, slicing the dragon at the same time with the draw. Joey had pulled out his blaster, and had already let loose two blasts into the dragons stomach. Max dropped the pieces to his Personal Fortress, and was already building by the time the dragon started to react to the others' attacks.

The dragon, though it was the one that had originally attacked, was caught in confusion, sparks and flames all around it. Bullets began pounding it rapidly, and it roared, unable to see the ones it had been trying to ambush through the smoke of the weapon fire.

The small team of four had turn the area into what looked like an intense battleground in less than five seconds, and they had been the ones in the ambush.

The dragon let whipped its tail back and forth, trying to sweep away some of the unseen attackers. Rebel, being a knight, jumped over the tail, and then delivered an upward blow to the dragon's ankle.

Hammer cocked his pistol, and fired the weapon, aiming with one eye open. The gun made a ‘click' noise. Hammer frowned, and looked inside of it.

He cursed, and tossed the useless weapon to the side. He would get it later. It wouldn't work when it was out of bullets, and it would only hinder his movements. Instead, he whipped out his cutlass, racing up to take the same approach as Rebel.

Behind him, a crack widened, and the pistol fell inside, spiraling downwards.

Joey continued shooting the dragon with the energetic pulses from his blaster, using the technology in his helmet to aim for the vital points. Unfortunately, the smoke created confusion for the recruits, too. Some of shots missed the beast by a long shot, and he realized this wasn't exactly the most efficient way to battle a dragon. He stuffed the blaster into his sack, and pulled out his Wormholer, a mix of a chainsaw and a machine gun. The saw glowed purple with Maelstrom, and the bullets would constantly regenerate in the middle of a Maelstrom battlefield, seeing as how it would suck up the Maelstrom in the air, and then convert it to bullets.

Joey slung up the giant machine, and held it with both hands, letting it hang from hands. He pulled the trigger, and began to let out a battle cry, slowing moving the Wormholer in a sideways arc.

Just then, Max's Personal Fortress fell to pieces, and the dragon's tail whacked him.

Chapter 2.7Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Ninjago Monastery: Headquarters of the Spinjitsu Ninja


Matty, Jackson, Voltaic, and Cyclone had all made their way from Nimbus Station to the newest established world in the Nimbus System, the Ninjago Monastery. All of them had achieved a level of Spinjitsu that enabled them to wield the Sword of Fire, which, though there was only supposed to be one of them, it seemed like everyone had.</span>

"Dude," Cyclone said, raising his eyebrow. "Why does everyone have every Golden Weapon? Aren't they, like, one-of-a-kind?"

"Apparently not." Voltaic said, his voice laced with amusement.

The clouds above them raced along quickly, almost as if they were trying to beat each other to some unknown destination. The grass of the monastery practically glowed green, radiating out cleanliness, and the walls enclosing the central area and separating it from each elemental section were shined so brightly, you could see yourself in the wood. The whole area basically screamed ‘be peaceful.' Anyone trying otherwise would be heavily contradicting his or her mind. In fact, one stubborn boy has tried so hard to make his mind at unrest while meditating in this room and staying completely still at the same time. The contradictions of his mind, the environment, and his movement, or non-movement, resulted in, as witnesses said, ‘spontaneous combustion.'

At the end of the monastery opposite from the giant, heavily barred iron gate stood Sensei Wu, ever so peaceful, and, as usual, holding his wooden staff of Spinjitsu. He wore his usual Japanese conical white hat, and white robes, fashioned after the meditation robes worn by the ancient Samurai, and, of course, Japanese Emperor.

Cyclone, of course, was more in tune to Wu's wise sayings and metaphors than the others; he was a trained Shinobi, and in the way of a ninja, you had to learn about ancient sayings, or there would be no way you could understand the way every single other ninja usually talked. People think Shinobi speak in metaphors because of their large reservoirs of wisdom, but that's only half of it. The other half is that they know the metaphors confuse people. And when people are confused, they don't want to talk to you. Basically, instead of having to make up some sort of complicated code, the Shinobi just found a way for everyone to not want to be around them. Easy privacy.

So Cyclone began a conversation with Sensei Wu.

Matty sighed. Metaphors made ninja take longer in a conversation. They would take fifteen minutes to talk about the mysterious way the stems of leaves curve when interacted with the peaceful thoughts of a yellow Martian dragon, or something like that, when all that they were trying to say was ‘Hi, how are you?'

When Matty overheard the words ‘yellow Martian dragon,' he raised his eyebrow. Apparently ninja do talk about that.

Jackson sat down on one of the wooden steps around Sensei Wu's platform, and pulled out one of his Serratorizers, beginning to sharp the saw blade. "We all know they'll be talking for at least an hour and a half; let's make ourselves comfortable."

Voltaic and Matty nodded. Jackson wasn't exaggerating; they knew from experience. So they all sat down.

Then the ever-present Maelstrom surge hit the Ninjago Monastery, and everything started to fall apart.

Chapter 2.8Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Ninjago Monastery: Headquarters of the Spinjitsu Ninja


Voltaic's eyes widened as the ground began to shake violently. He barely had time to think before he was thrown off his seat on the wooden steps of Sensei Wu's platform, and into the wall blocking off the rest of the Monastery from the Ice Dojo. His head started to ache, and as he fell off the wall, the last thing his dazed mind took in before he passed out was the glowing purple chasm opening up beneath him.



The Monastery had turned into a world of confusion. Even the Skeletons, with their simple minds, (well, technically, no minds at all), were stunned by what was happening, The earth shook beneath their feet, and Cyclone, back in the Ninjago Monastery, had simply fell over due to the violence of the surge. Matty, still sitting beside Jackson, was thrown backwards, and his head was dashed against the wall. Blood instantaneously leapt to the wound.

But Jackson, sharpening his Serratorizer, had been expecting it the least. His body had been shaken, and his hand flew open in surprise, the deadly saw blade flying out behind him.

Where it made contact with Sensei Wu's stomach.

And then, just as suddenly as it had started, the Maelstrom surge just… stopped.

All that was just described happened within the timespan of around four seconds.

Cyclone quickly stood up, brushing himself off. Then his mouth fell at the scene around him. Voltaic was gone, presumably fallen into one of the many cracks around them. Matty was unconscious, with a head wound and possible concussion. And Jackson looked like he was in shock, staring at…

Sensei Wu.

Cyclone suddenly saw that which his brain had been trying to deny was there since he had stood up. Wu lay on the wooden platform, a neat slice in his stomach cut open by the Serratorizer. One of the serrated edges clung to his skin at the end, the handle dangling off and hitting the floor. Sensei Wu's eyes looked glassy, staring up at nothing.

"No…" Cyclone whispered.

He then realized that Wu's mouth appeared to be forming words. Cyclone quickly rushed over.

"Don't try and talk, Sensei. The wound isn't too deep. We can heal it. You won't die, I promise!" Even as he said the words, he knew they weren't true, and tears started to form in his eyes. The blade was too sharp, and while the serrated edges would have stopped it, as they did, after the way Jackson took care of his weapon, the edges were too late.

Wu knew this too, after years of training. Something resembling a painful smile appeared on his face, more of a grimace than anything. He reached up, and grabbed Cyclone's head, and pulled his ear to his mouth, whispering in a raspy voice that basically said that he was in pain.

"Boy…. you've been good… now… tell Vanda…. to find the… Baying Wolf…."

Sensei Wu took one last shuddering breath, and Cyclone felt the air on his face. Then Wu let it out gently. His hands fell from Cyclone's face, and his glassed over eyes closed. His face had a smile on it, and Cyclone's tears began to run freely.

Sensei Wu was dead.

Chapter 2.9Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Forbidden Valley: Piece of Planet Crux


Charm stared in disbelief at the amount of Maelstrom Horsemen standing there, the undead horses snorting at her and tossing their heads, while the riders sat in silence, each one pointing his spear at the four recruits standing in front of them, their dark silhouettes blending in with the ever-night sky of Forbidden Valley, creating an illusion as to make it seems like the Horsemen shadows, or possibly statues.

Then they began to move.

"Run!" Cobra shouted, his voice panicked. The others had had Cobra as their team leader for quite a while now, and he had never panicked before, not even during the time that they had accidentally messed up Wenn Wuzzit's time machine and were fighting, instead of the Four Riders of the Maelstrom, the Twenty-Four Riders of the Maelstrom.

Charm still swore that Wenn had seemed disappointed when they walked out of the time machine, still alive. Almost as if he had tried to kill them on purpose.

Anyway, where were we? Ah, yes.

Charm ran, panicking. She heard Gameking right behind her heels, and Butcher was about a foot ahead of her. The hooves of the chaotic horses clattered on the cold stone steps, making an ominous sound that broke through the near complete silence that had followed the Maelstrom surge.

Cobra was already at the lantern, smashing it apart with his katana so that he could build the pieces together to form an Imagination trampoline.

"Faster!" Gameking yelled. His voice cracked, and it would have been comical, if not for the fact that Charm knew that they were all panicking equally.

Cobra quickly clicked the shattered lantern together to form the trampoline, and stood beside it. Typical. The leader always leaves last.

Butcher dived for the trampoline, shooting himself upward to the cliff edge. Gameking, at the back of the line, threw a plasma grenade behind him, not even bothering to look back and see if it hit one of the Horsemen. He simply kept running. For those of you who want to know, it actually did happen to hit a group of Horsemen, and to tell the truth, it's probably the reason that most of the team made it out of Calvary Hill alive.

Charm and Gameking reached the trampoline at basically the same time, and they both flew up into the air, sprawling out beside Butcher.

Cobra, now satisfied, spun around, throwing off a Shuriken into the cloud of Horsemen and landing on the platform at the same time. The Imagination energy pushed upwards on his feet, and he began to fly upwards. But then he felt a sudden jerk, and he was about to be pulled back down into the waiting crowd of murderous Maelstrom, when he slammed both his katana into the rock wall, holding himself up.

He looked down.

A Maelstrom Horseman had managed to lodge its spear in Cobra's shirt, where it had gotten stuck in the Kevlar infused within it.

Cobra sighed. Everything just had to be complicated.

Chapter 3.0Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Unknown


"So…. how was your day?"

"Same as yesterday. I sat here and thought of ways to make you change your mind."

"That's not going to happen."

"Is it? Don't you remember, John? Look at these old newspapers I found. Look at the headlines, and tell me things weren't good back then. ‘Professor John Voltage Hired to help Development of Coming Amusement Park.' ‘Professor Voltage, PhD, Invents the very First Time Machine.' You loved that park, John. Why'd you give it all up?"

"Was there really a reason not to, old friend? People think extra-terrestrials are the things that are different than us; basically, extra-terrestrials are things with a differentiating basic genetic makeup. But deep in everyone's consciousness, though they don't realize it, they treat many humans as extra-terrestrials. Being ‘alien' has nothing to do with genetic makeup; no, it's all about wisdom, brainpower. There were many wise people back in our old home, and they grew to be famous. But they weren't treated as normal people. No, they were alien. Look at Gandhi. They almost worshipped him. But he wasn't exactly the sort of person you would ‘hang out with.' People like me, we're wiser. We are smart enough to hide our wisdom."

"You're only telling yourself that because it's your excuse for being unloved at school. Because you weren't the popular kid when you were little. But look at how successful you are now! Is more power really necessary?"

"You've guessed the reason why I came here."

"That depends on what you mean by here."

"Here, as in, all of here."

"Then, I suppose I have a theory."

"Go on."

"You came here for the Truths, didn't you? The Truths of the Universe? You just want more power, I can tell."

"Bravo."

"John, the Truths are too powerful. Wars were fought over this things, wars the size galaxies, and then they managed to cover up wars that huge, to hide them, using the Truths. Do you really think that you can control something of that magnitude?"

"In my current state? No. But once I have it, I believe it will make itself available to me. Imagine, all that power. If I'm not disintegrated instantly, I will be powerful enough to contain it."

"Think, John. What if you are disintegrated first?"

"That's a risk I am more than willing to take."

Chapter 3.1Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Forbidden Valley: Piece of Planet Crux


Cobra grunted, trying to shake the spear loose from his clothes. Embedded inside the Kevlar and Maelstrom infusions, the spear was stuck. It couldn't get through the shirt to hurt Cobra, yes, but it could hold down.

"Guys…" Cobra managed to get out, fighting against the silent rider's spear, pulling him down. One of his katana started to slip, and he performed a little jump, pulling himself back up.

Butcher poked his head over. Cobra was just within reach, hanging from rock wall, clutching his katana. Butcher winced when he saw the spear stuck in the Shinobi's shirt, knowing about how all Paradox armor was infused with Kevlar and Maelstrom.

"What's going on?" Cobra heard Gameking's exhausted voice.

"Nothing I can't handle," Butcher called back. "I'll tell you when you're needed."

Cobra heard Gameking mutter something indistinct, but he was pretty sure he didn't want to hear it.

"Okay, Cobra, my Serratorizers are sharper than that spear. I should be able to cut you loose. Okay?"

Cobra nodded, without speaking. That meant ‘hurry up.'

Butcher leaned over the edge. "Don't move around too much," Butcher warned Cobra. "I don't want to cut you."

Cobra rolled his eyes. He would have yelled at Butcher for wasting time stating the obvious, but he was saving his energy for something else. More specifically, holding on.

Butcher reach down, and pulled the switch on his Serratorizer. The blade whirred into action, and he quickly sawed through the back of Cobra's shirt.

"Oh, brick!" Butcher cursed. "Wide tipped spear. It lodged itself in both your sleeves, too. I think I'll have to cut your whole shirt off."

Cobra nodded quickly. By now, the Maelstrom Horsemen were simply waiting expectantly for Cobra to run out of energy and let go.

Butcher breathed out a sigh of nervousness, and pulled out his other Serratorizer. He slowly turned that one on, and reached down, started to carefully run the blades down Cobra's shirt. If he hit his arms, it could make a deep cut.

He slowly moved the Serratorizer downwards. Butcher was about halfway down Cobra's sleeve now.

Below, the Horsemen were starting to get restless. Their victim was taking too long to come. Why?

"And… done!" Butcher cried out in triumph, pulling his Serratorizers back up. Cobra's shirt fell to the ground in pieces, and the Horsemen, still trying to pull downwards, accidentally pulled the spear into its own undead horse. Chaos broke out.

Butcher reached down and pulled Cobra up, hefting him over the rock face. Cobra collapsed on the ground beside the others.

"Cobra! Oh, thank goodness, I was starting to get worried…" Charm's sentence faded away as she saw Cobra lying on the ground, practically asleep, and wearing no shirt.

She blushed.

Chapter 3.2Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Nexus Tower: Nexus Force Headquarters


After Vanda had brought the information to Jake about how Crux Prime had disappeared, he had taken the soldiers course. Tell everyone that everything is just fine, and let the smart people figure things out. In other words, he stuck Vanda and Arthur Overbuild in a room to work out what happened.

"So," Arthur began, a pencil behind his ear and his goggles twinkling. "How did Glo do with the screening?"

"Just fine," Vanda replied. "I got to watch you guys think I was dead again."

Arthur smiled at that. "Ah, those were good times. Let's get to work then, shall we?"

"Well, yeah."

"So, here." Arthur slid a piece of paper across the table, with a pencil. "Let's make a list of the possibilities."

Vanda picked up the pencil. "Possibility one is the obvious one: Crux Prime disappeared."

"But the star systems are completely different here. It's more likely that Nexus Tower disappeared, and we went with it."

"Alright, I'll cross out the possibility," Vanda said, reaching for the pencil.

"Yet, at the same time, there's a chance that both Crux Prime and Nexus Tower were somehow teleported away from their sectors in space. So don't cross that out."

Vanda sighed.

"Another possibility, while not as likely, is that space moved, taking chunks of Crux Prime with it, because of their Imaginative Universal Origins," Arthur continued. "Or space moved and took Nexus Tower with it, because of its artificial building structures. Basically because it's man-made."

"You know that's really not very likely," Vanda said scribbling while she talked. "It could be some sort of migration of a microscopic creature, moving us without us being able to see them."

"But then why are the Tower and Crux Prime separated?"

"Uh…"

"This could all be a dream."

"Arthur, this all feels very real to me."

"That's exactly what you would tell yourself in a dream."

"I'm pretty sure we are not dreaming."

"It's a possibility."

Vanda gave a frustrated sigh. "Arthur, if we are dreaming, then none of this really matters, so it wouldn't matter that we write it down."

"Jake told us to list all the possibilities."

"I think he meant all the ones that matter."

"That's not what he said."

"FINE!" Vanda exclaimed, aggravated. She aggressively scribbled down the word ‘dream' on the paper. The pencil snapped in her hand.

Arthur gave a little smirk.

Chapter 3.3Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Nexus Tower: Nexus Force Headquarters


Vanda and Arthur sat in the Sentinel war room beside Hael Storm. Hael had his usual black parrot, jeweled cutlass, and a silver knife in his left hand. And, of course, his black pirate hat. Vanda's eye was twitching, and she seemed to be smoldering, ignoring Arthur. She was quite young, only twenty-five, so Arthur understood it if she threw a tantrum. Which was what he had said to her earlier, to which she had replied calmly: "I am NOT throwing a tantrum! BE QUIET!"

After this outburst, the war room had become awkwardly silent as they waited for Jake to finish his speech outside in the Core room. Hael had scooted his seat further from Vanda. After all, Hael owed a few of his ‘battle scars' to Vanda being in a bad mood when she had anything that resembled a weapon in her hands. That scratch on his face? That came from when Vanda had been cutting up a piece of steak after losing a battle against one of her own warriors, named Yonder. Hael had asked her pass the salt, and she had sliced his eye. She said sorry, but to Hael, it sounded more like she was grumbling about bad digestion than apologizing for cutting a man's face open with a steak knife.

Loud applause erupted from the Core room, and Jake walked inside the war room with a dreamy look on his face.

"How was the speech?" Arthur asked. "From the look on your face, it seems it went well."

"Oh, the speech? I dunno. All I know is that I got that Tweenbangle girl's number."

Vanda huffed. It seemed that her bad mood had deepened.

Jake raised an eyebrow, and looked at Arthur. Arthur just winked at him mysteriously. He sat next to Hael, whispering in his ear. "What's up with her?"

Hael gave Jake a weird look. "Ye mean, what's up with ‘er now, o' before ye came into the room?"

Jake shook his head. "Never mind. Kay, what did you two find out, Arthur and Vanda?"

Vanda ripped the list out of her pocket held it out towards Jake. Jake looked at her. "Are you mad at me?"

"I have two deadly swords strapped to my back. Take the piece of paper."

Jake winced, and took the paper. He scanned it. "Dream?" he asked, looking up at the two.

"His. Idea." Vanda said through gritted teeth, as if the very mention of the word dream annoyed her.

Jake shrugged. "Well, you guys did a good job. This is a nice list. I, uh, guess this meeting's over."

Vanda stood up, knocking her chair over. Giving Jake one last glare, she stomped out of the war room, her boots ringing down the hallway. Jake looked towards Hael.

Hael shrugged. "I could never figure girls out, either, mate."

Jake sighed, and left the room too.

"So, Overbuild… how's yer mutt?" Hael said. Then he saw that Arthur had fallen asleep, probably quite a while ago. He raised his eyebrow.

"Well, that was an interesting meeting."

Chapter 3.4Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Gnarled Forest: Piece of Planet Crux


The ground beneath Good E. Venson as he was jumping into the clearing that Ackeron and Turbo were battling in had completely erupted into purple in the middle of his jump. Deep cracks suddenly opened in the surface of Gnarled Forest, and Maelstrom creatures poured out, crawling knot the surface of the planet, glowing a deadly purple. And Good had just enough luck to happen to have his jump end on the shoulders of an ape climbing out of the crevice.

The ape roared, mostly because it was startled, but also because it was annoyed. It had just been created! Couldn't it at least be given a few seconds to look at its surroundings? Ugh, Nexus Force recruits these days.

Good rocked back and forth, hanging on tightly to the shoulders of the giant, glowing, purple ape. Its roars rung in his ears, and he just barely managed to grab his staff. Then he began to whack the ape as hard as he could.

Turbo saw the newcomer jump into the clearing, and land neatly on the ape's head. "He's good," Turbo murmured to himself. "How did he plan all that out?"

A Stromling Pirate jumped on him from behind, and he paused his pondering thoughts for more pressing matters.

Spinning in a complete circle, he fell to the ground, pulling off a backflip in the middle of the spin. To someone observing, it might have looked like he was breakdancing. But it was effective.

The stromling went flying off, and hit the ape the Summoner was riding square in the face, allowing him to deliver a final blow.


"Thanks!" Good yelled to the Samurai. The Samurai nodded, and then put something in his ear, adjusting it. Then he tilted his head, like he was listening to something.

His eyes went wide. "Follow me!"

The Samurai jumped through the crowd of Maelstrom, and the confused Good quickly ran after him. As he caught up to the Samurai, he saw that he was now carrying a limp Daredevil over his shoulder.

Together, they ran out of the clearing, taking refuge in the trees. Good climbed a tree, and let down a rope he had with him, as he was always prepared. The Samurai tied the rope around the Daredevil, and they lifted him up together.


"His name is Good E. Venson," Turbo heard in his ear. "Very experienced."

Turbo nodded. Good saw the motion.

"What's your name? And who's he?" Good asked, motioning to Ackeron.

"I'm Turbo, and this is Ackeron," Turbo replied. "But I think you might want to plug your ears."

"Why?" Good was confused. "And why aren't we still fighting? We just got started."

"It's called Operation Bombard. Just plug your ears."

This confused Good even more. That barely answered his question. But he complied, and covered his ears anyways.


Up above Gnarled Forest, Expert sat in his chair, watching the cams and listening to the conversation going between Good and Turbo.

Once he was sure both recruits had their ears plugged, Expert turned his chair to face the red button. In white letters on the button was the word BOMBARD.

Expert took a deep breath.

And he pressed the button.

Chapter 3.5Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Gnarled Forest: Piece of Planet Crux


The Maelstrom standing on the expansive ground of Gnarled Forest had no idea what was going on. The annoying Nexus Force recruits had engaged them in battle, and then they left. But more Maelstrom friends had come! Yay!


Expert's ship, high above the surface, already had the shells aimed towards the surface. BOMBARD would destroy a lot of trees, but it was necessary at the moment. Ackeron needed help.

The cannons powered up, and began launching the shells at high speed.


Back down on the surface, the Maelstrom stood there, confused. An Admiral, one who had been dueling with the Samurai before, looked into the sky. Maybe Nexus Force members were able to fly? But the Admiral had no such luck. No yummy Nexus Force Recruits, only giant metal explosive shells.

The first shell slammed into the ground, and a shockwave travelled out from the shell, sounding almost as if some sort of creature was screaming at a very intense level. The chaotic creatures went into panic, falling to the ground. The second shell slammed into the very Admiral that had been looking up before. He exploded into bits, and his hook flew out and slammed into a Stromling pirate, killing it.

The shrapnel from the shell flew out along with the sound waves, completely destroying a majority of the stromlings out there. Many were too overwhelmed with the pain of the screeching noise that exploded into the Maelstromic gas.


Good was trying his best to keep his fingers in his ears. The screeching sounded horribly loud, even through his Summoner gloves. Another shell crashed into the ground, the shrapnel splitting apart several trees.

Unfortunately, some of these trees were quite near to Turbo, Good, and Ackeron.

The loud groan of the trees falling apart was unheard to the three, and the trees themselves were just out of their vision.

Turbo turned his head, looking around, and then he saw the trees. Three of them were falling over in their direction. His eyes widened.

He nudged Good with his shoulder, and Good looked his way. He saw the trees beginning to fall towards them, and he understood. He nodded, then glanced down at Ackeron.

The injured Daredevil was using all his energy to plug his ears; there was no way he could make a jump.

Turbo knew this too. He looked up at the sky. Communication was hard, and his plan was complex, so there was no way to let Good know what it was.

A shell fell down from the sky, and Turbo saw his chance. He quickly shoved Good off the tree, and grabbed Ackeron, jumping down after them.

Good's eyes widened in surprise, and he grasped for something to hold onto as he fell.

Which meant he was no longer plugging his ears.

The shell slammed into the ground, and blasted the three backwards, flying out with the horrible screeching.

Chapter 3.6Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Crux Prime: Piece of Planet Crux


Max slammed into one of the many rock walls surrounding the area. The sting of the dragons tail had bit right through Max's Engineer armor, cutting into his skin. Most didn't know of the poisonous properties of the tail of a dragon, as they were either instantly smashed or their armor was strong enough to last against it. Unfortunately, neither of those applied to Max at the moment; it had been a while since he had taken care of his armor.

A stone protruding from the cliff face pushed through his damaged armor and into his spine, forcing him to arch his back. He fell to the ground, poisoned and in a massive amount of pain.

Hammer his fallen teammate, and rushed to his side. Behind him, Rebel ducked underneath the dragon and struck with his greatsword, hitting one of the few vital points a Maelstrom dragon has. The creature let out a final roar, and slumped to the ground, dissolving and leaving a treasure chest in its place. Joey looked at it for a second… but left it, hurrying to Max behind Rebel.

Hammer looked up from checking through Max's injuries. "We need to get him somewhere safe." Hammer said. He sounded grave.

Joey nodded. They quickly jumped across to the rocks of Aura Mar, with the Dragon no longer blocking their way.

The majority of the Maelstrom stayed below the floating stones. They were able to avoid Roo Morg, and all the dragons seemed to have mysteriously disappeared.

Rebel stopped for a second while the others ran ahead, and looked around. He narrowed his eyes. Things seemed much too quiet. And he had the feeling that someone was watching him…

"Rebel?"

Rebel spun around to see Joey watching him.

"C'mon."

Taking a breath, Rebel nodded. He jumped to the stone, and they quickly caught up with Hammer, carrying Max.

"His armor is heavy," Hammer panted. "It should've stopped that tail."

"It's heavy, not durable." Joey replied. "Let's see if anyone's at Sentinel Point Zeta. Rebel, take Max."

Hammer nodded, and shouldered Max over to Rebel. Rebel hefted Max up higher on his back, and leaped to solid ground. The others followed behind him.

They turned the corner around the wall and saw Sentinel Point Zeta completely Maelstrom free.

"Weird," Joey muttered. "Keep moving!"

They raced across the field, with Joey worrying that they walking right into a trap the whole way. But as they got closer, they saw a huge mass of minifigures sitting, standing, lying, or whatever else any of them were doing, all on the two rocky outlooks at the top of Sentinel Point Zeta.

The group jumped up onto the area, looking around.

"What's going on?" Rebel said, bewildered, as he set Max down on the floor.

"The Maelstrom surge was quick but deadly. It drove us all back here."

They spun around to see Bronson Jarls answering Rebel's question with a grim look on his face.

"Sentinel Point Zeta is the last stand."

Chapter 3.7Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Crux Prime: Piece of Planet Crux


"What do you mean, the last stand?" Hammer exclaimed, staring at Bronson Jarls. "There's literally no Maelstrom here. Except Roo Morg, but we could easily take him."

Jarls shook his head. "The Maelstrom pulled back, but not because they were loosing. It was because they were winning."

"Huh?" Rebel said, confused.

Joey understood strategy, though. "They're nervous," he said, speaking out. Everyone turned to face him, and a grim smile came over Jarls' face. "They can sense that this war is coming to an end, but they know that the only way to end this is if one of us is destroyed. They want to prolong it, increase their chances of being able to wipe us out before they actually try to destroy us."

"Very good," Jarls said. "We suspect that this is what the Maelstrom surge was for too. If they're in isolation, gaining energy, so are we. So they break us all up, then go into isolation, while we're in chaotic confusion and separated from any form of help."

"There's just one problem," a voice spoke up from behind them. They turned to see an injured minifigure sitting on the ground, with a heavy scar over his eye. "The Maelstrom doesn't do strategy; it's chaos, no order."

Joey raised an eye. "Who are you?"

"John V. Wuzzit, brother to Wenn Wuzzit. I joined the Force because my brother was here too. I've never been as smart as him, and I'm starting to think fighting isn't exactly my thing." He motioned to his injuries, grinning.

"I didn't know Wenn had a brother," Jarls said, frowning. "Oh well. Thanks for the input, John."

John frowned. "Let's stick with formal terms. Call me Professor Voltage."

"Okay… thanks for your input, Professor Voltage." Jarls turned around and rolled his eyes. He motioned towards Joey, Rebel, and Hammer. "You three, come with me, I'll show you around. Your friend will be taken care of by the infirmary guards."

They looked back and saw men picking up the unconscious body of Max, and carrying him towards a cave that had been dug into the side of the walls.

"See, we're suspecting that the Maelstrom is going to attack at some point. So we're preparing ourselves, rejuvenating our defenses, setting up supplies, all the like. Look over there."

At the front of Point Zeta, there was about a dozens Engineers building extra turrets, and a dozen others adding various upgrades to the turrets that were already there. The same amount of Engineers stood to the side, resting. They had a good system: half the Engineers work while the other half rest, then they switch them out.

"If you look up at the top, you'll notice that the launchpad is gone."

Indeed, the way to Nexus Tower was indeed gone. And strangely enough, the view of Nexus Tower was gone too.

"We tore it down because it wasn't working anymore, we needed the room for training, and we needed the parts for extra defensive measures."

Joey had already suspected that they had cleared the area for training and practice. It seemed like the obvious thing to do.

"And over there," Jarls pointed at two caves, side by side. "Those are the sleeping quarters and the infirmary. Well, now you know the place. Good luck in it."

"Thanks," Hammer said, still taking it in. "So we live here now?"

"Yeah, pretty much."

Hammer sighed. "I'm guessing there's no cable here."

"Nope."

"Darn."

Chapter 3.8Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Ninjago Monastery: Headquarters of the Spinjitsu Ninja


Cyclone sat silently, holding Sensei Wu's non-moving body. Half of his mind was racing through possible explanations for why Wu lay there, seemingly dead. All explanation except what he knew really happened. The other half of his mind was denying every excuse, telling him to face reality. The latter half finally took over, and he let the lifeless body of the minifigure drop to the ground. Then he kneeled back down at, no longer mourning, but now examining.

"Why didn't he rebuild?" Cyclone murmured softly. "I'll have to tell the others to stay away from any danger at all; one smash will kill you."

He stood up once more, and saluted down to what was left of Sensei Wu. He felt a feeling of calm come over him, and he went to check the others.

Jackson had fainted, Matty had a concussion, and Voltaic was nowhere to be seen. Great.

Cyclone sighed. No need to wake anyone. He laid the two down and began digging a hole in the dirt in front of the Golden Dragon Statue, building the grave where Sensei Wu would lie.


Voltaic opened his eyes. He was lying face down at the bottom of a chasm, the walls glowing purple all around him. He slowly sat up, groaning with the pain of it.

"This is one weird Maelstrom chasm," he muttered. "There's no Maelstrom."

He turned around, trying to see if there were any enemies behind him, in front of him, or otherwise. Naturally, there was nothing.

Voltaic quickly drew his Greatsword and latched his shield onto his arm. He had a watched feeling, but he couldn't see the watcher.

Anxiously, he started walking forward, easing his way towards the wall closest to him. Maybe there would be some sort of way out of here there.

His footsteps echoed throughout the chasm, but yet still, nothing came, nothing else made any noise. How far from the surface had he fallen?

Quickly, he reached the glowing purple wall, and, taking a deep breath, laid his palm flat out on the surface. He quickly withdrew it. The Maelstrom was burning hot.

A print that looked much like Voltaic's hand was left in the wall, smoking from the heat. Suddenly, the palm print dissolved into the wall.

Voltaic stared at it. Then glared at it. Then sat on the ground. And waited. He had no idea what for; he simply sat there and waited.


High above Voltaic, Cyclone continued to dig in front of the Golden Dragon. He failed to see or hear the figure climbing out of the Maelstrom chasm behind him, wearing gear akin to a Rank Three Knights.

The figure stood up and brushed itself off. Cyclone heard the movement, and spun around.

"Voltaic?" he asked, nervous. "Is that you?"

The figure nodded. Cyclone sighed in relief.

Then the figure charged.

Chapter 3.9Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Ninjago Monastery: Headquarters of the Spinjitsu Ninja


Taken by surprise, Cyclone was throne backwards by the force of the figure's shield slamming into him. He flew across the Monastery and tumbled in the grass before sliding to a halt and wearily looking upwards.

Now that the creature was out of the shadows, Cyclone could see it more easily. It looked almost exactly like a Rank Three Knight, except everything blue was now purple, it was glowing purple, some of the armor was ripped and you could see a skeleton underneath, and it was purely emanating chaos.

It held up a glowing purple sword and pointed it at Cyclone, tilting its head.

"Voltaic?" Cyclone said hesitantly. "Is that… you?"

The creature nodded again. Then it charged. Again.

Cyclone quickly sidestepped. "You're not Voltaic, are you?"

The creature nodded, and charged. Cyclone ducked underneath its outstretched arm, slicing upwards with his katana. The sharpened blade cut clean through the corrupted armor, and the Stromling's arm fell to the ground.

Flipping upright, Cyclone spun around to see the Stromlings growling at its new stump.

He grinned. Now it was time to finish this fight.

Cyclone drew a portion of Imagination from his body, and mentally spread it throughout his body, until he was glowing. The blue glow quickly turned purple, and the purple gas absorbed the molecules making up his body.

Then the gas shot forward, releasing Cyclone about a foot away from the Stromlings. He flew out and cut clean through the creature, landing on the other side while it exploded behind him.

All this happened in about one second.

Cyclone frowned. Normally after performing the Shinobi Rush, he was exhilarated. But this time, he just felt… weird.

He brushed himself off, and picked his shovel back up, continuing to dig.


Voltaic saw the walls around him shudder, seeming to pulse. Almost as if they were alive.

He frowned at them. What was it with those walls that made him so nervous?

They pulsated again, giving off a faint breathing noise. This place seemed alive… Could that be possible? Maelstrom chasms… alive?

He shook his head.

"I'm scaring myself," he murmured, standing up. "Time to look for a way out."

Chapter 4.0Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Unknown


"You've gone among them now, have you John? Pretending to be one of their injured? This seems like a coward's move."

"Not a coward's move. This is a coward's game. All the brave recruits down there? They'll never be players. They have no idea what's really going on."

"If they did, do you think they'd be down there?"

"That depends. What do you say is really going on?"

"A petty feud between two old friends."

"I don't see how a war of this size is petty."

"I meant me and you."

"Did you, now?"

"When did it happen?"

"When did what happen?"

"When did you go bad all of a sudden? I used to know you as the nice old man who helped out at my favorite amusement park. You were always nice to everyone. But then…"

"I've always been liked this."

"No, you haven't! I've known for years, and this is not you. You are different. There is another, greater man inside. You built great inventions, brought amazing things from all sorts of time periods!"

"You don't get it! My meddling with time is what completely destroyed the area! I wanted to get out of there!"

"No you didn't. Something else wanted you to get out of there. The question is what…"

"You think I'm possessed!?"

"Either that or you're a complete, utter mastermind. Which I doubt."

"I don't doubt the fact that I am a mastermind."

"And I don't doubt the fact that you're not. The compromise would be right in the middle, so at half of a mastermind. Masterminds have wit, as they're smart. So, this makes you a half-wit."

"Must you turn everything against me?

"I'll stop when you're no longer turning on me."

"I have stopped. I'm not turning; I've turned."

"Then turn back, would you?"

"I've almost reached my goal, and you want me to turn back? Just how crazy have gone, cooped up in here all day?"

"I was already crazy. I think I'm a bit more sane than usual."

"The Truths will make me strong."

"One who is able to turn his back from something like the Truths doesn't need the strength it will give. He would obviously be strong enough to do what he knows is right."

"Doing what's hard and doing what's right aren't always the same thing."

"Most of the time, they are."

Chapter 4.1Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Forbidden Valley: Piece of Planet Crux


After taking a quick break, Cobra, Charm, Gameking, and Butcher all began to make their way down. Gameking had managed to find an extra shirt for Cobra to wear in his backpack, and Cobra had quickly pulled it on. It wasn't as protective as his Shinobi gear, but they were trying to avoid Maelstrom. They needed to find out what was going on first.

Scrambling across the rocks and tree roots spread all throughout the home world of the ninja, the group of four hurriedly made their way to the Great Tree, standing tall at crossroads of Forbidden Valley, the point where you could choose your path. The Great Tree was a marker and a symbol to the Nexus Force everywhere. Many wondered, though, what would happen to the tree once the Nexus Force was gone. It was magnificent, one of nature's works of art.

For now, though, there was no time to think of the future. They needed to ask questions about the present.

The area seemed quite empty. The wind howled loudly as usual, which is something that tends to happen when you are as high above the ground as you always are in Forbidden Valley.

Cobra stepped onto the large spiral etched into the Great Tree, heading upwards. Charm followed behind him. Gameking and Butcher, though, stayed behind. They had never liked ninja much, or anything to do with them, and right now the Great Tree was just creepy.

"We'll stay behind and guard the entrance!" Butcher called out. Gameking frantically nodded behind him.

Charm chuckled. "Okay! Sure."

Cobra looked at her. "Even your laughing sounds musical."

She raised an eyebrow. "Are you saying I should stop laughing?"

"Maybe. What if I am?"

The two stared at each other, then burst out laughing.

Charm punched Cobra on the shoulder, still laughing. Cobra's laugh died away as he rubbed the pain off his shoulder.

The two made their way up to the top of the Great Tree, where they found it… Deserted.


Gameking sat down, staring up at the sky, while Butcher stood, looking into the distance for any friends, or any enemies.

"It's quiet," Gameking muttered. "Really, really quiet…"

"Hush." Butcher said quickly.

"Oh, sure, let's make it more quiet."

"Shh!! What's that noise?"

Gameking stood up closing his eyes and listening with Butcher.

Then he heard it. A faint whistling noise, off in the distance. Almost as if someone was whistling a merry tune. Except there was only one note in the sequence… and it was getting gradually louder.

The whistling slowly turned into a dull roar, and Gameking and Butcher turned to stare at each other. They both looked up at the same time.

Far up, in the distant sky, a large spacecraft, much larger than the Great Tree, was hurtling down through the atmosphere.

Heading straight for the Great Tree.

Chapter 4.2Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Forbidden Valley: Piece of Planet Crux


Charm frowned at the pool where Brickmaster Clang always stood. Even his panda rock had disappeared, leaving nothing alive, or even anything that looked like life. Besides the Great Tree, of course. That was alive.

The area stood restless, leaves being blown across the ground, helpless in the gusts of wind pushing them around.

Cobra closed his eyes. "What's that noise?"

Charm narrowed her eyes, focusing on her hearing.

She heard Butcher and Gameking yelling.

The two that had been standing guard ran around the corner, having climbed up the spiral. Their eyes were wide, and frightened expressions on both of their faces.

"We need to get out. Now!" Butcher exclaimed.

"What's going on?" Cobra asked, now alarmed by their strange behavior.

"The Great Tree; it's about to be destroyed!"

Cobra's eyes widened. As a Shinobi, the Great Tree meant a lot to him; it was an icon to all ninja.

He quickly pulled out both his katana and ran to the base of the tree that branched of and created Numb Chuck's lookout. The anvil had gone with everything else, and there was no real way up.

He stabbed his katana right into the base of the tree, and began to climb upwards.

"What are you doing!?" Gameking shouted up at him.

"Getting some stuff." Cobra said curtly, through gritted teeth. He continued to climb.

"You're crazy!"

Cobra stayed silent, using his energy to climb. Then he thought better of that, and looked downwards.

"Grab what you can carry from the area of the masters. Quickly!" Cobra yelled down at them, then continued climbing as fast as he could.

"What the…" Butcher said, confused.

Charm had known Cobra for longer, though. "The Great Tree means a lot to him, as he's a ninja. He wants to get as much stuff as he can from it."

"Why are we going along?" Gameking asked.

"Because he's stubborn, and our team leader," Charm replied. "And I think we owe him this, considering the number of times he's saved our lives."

Gameking sighed, and Butcher nodded. The three ran off in three different directions, headed for the masters' areas.

Cobra continued to climb, using all his energy, until he reached the top of the branch. Looking upwards, he saw the ship, now on fire, much closer than before. The noise was almost deafening.

The very top of the tree was eerie, deserted. Numb Chuck had left behind his dragon's head, still in the branches above the platform. Cobra took a deep breath, and looked over the side to see everyone else down on the walkways, holding various items formerly owned by the masters. He nodded to them.

Turning around, he took one last look at the Great Tree. The peaceful majesty of this work of nature had forever entranced Cobra. Now he was saying goodbye.

He knelt down, placing his fingers on a branch. He closed his eyes.

"Goodbye…" he whispered.

Right then, the ship slammed into the base of the Great Tree.

Chapter 4.3Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Nexus Tower: Nexus Force Headquarters


Jake had been clear on what to do in order to reunite the Nimbus System. Obviously, the Maelstrom Surge had caused this phenomenon. So Jake was sending a team of four Nexus Force members through the Maelstrom Orb using new Paradox teleportation technology, to confront Baron Typhonus, and see if there was anything going on in the area. It was dangerous, but needed stealth. So a maximum of four was what Jake had decided.

They would send one from each faction, all of them volunteers.

From the Venture League, Hael Storm, leader of the Venture League, would be going. He would be leading the expedition, as an acclaimed explorer, and the best in the Nexus Force. Jake had stated himself that for a mission this dangerous, only the best could go. Hael's resourcefulness and experience would allow him to lead the team towards victory, whatever way necessary.

From the Sentinels, they would send Legodude Exeter, brother to Jake Exeter. His lack of real-world experience would allow him to keep an open mind, and help with many of the puzzles and riddles they might run into on the trip. His brother had trained him, and seeing as Jake was the leader of the Sentinels, this meant highly advanced skill with the blade.

From the Assembly, Gwen Octavius, a close friend of Arthur Overbuild's. A very close friend. Her skills as a Technopath, along with her technological companion, Mech, would allow her to help them against any possible technology Typhonus could throw at them.

From the Paradox, Vanda Darkflame, leader of the Paradox would join the expedition. Her skill with the blade and with the wit would be an amazing advantage in any battle, and while she did keep many secrets, this aspect of her personality would allow her to be able to separate herself from the group, physically or mentally, and look inside, to see if their strategies are correct.


Vanda was walking down the hallway on floor one hundred sixty-three of Nexus Tower. This was the vault floor, where all the items, money, and other various things were stored. All the other members of the expedition were grouped together in the core room already, and Jake had sent Vanda to get Hael, which they knew was on floor one hundred sixty-three.

A faint screeching noise erupted from down the hall, and Vanda heard several loud thumps. She raised an eyebrow, and ran around the corner, turning into a hallway with a large, ten-foot tall vault door at the end, with the large number thirteen painted in gold on it. Hael Storm was standing there, studying the door.

Vanda walked up behind him, silent as usual. The banged loudly again, and a grin crept onto Hael's face. "Finally got ‘er," he muttered.

The screeching started up again, muffled by the steel door.

"Uh… Hael?" Vanda said, trying to get Hael's attention.

He jumped, startled. "Ye scared me thar, Vanda. Whew."

"What the brick is that thing?" she said, motioning towards the door.

Hael shrugged. "Just somethin' that's been botherin' me fer quite a while now. Now, what is it ye wanted?"

"Uh… we're going through the Maelstrom Orb in half an hour. Jake wants you in the core room."

"Oh. A'right, then. Let's get goin'."

Vanda nodded, and they walked away from the vault door. Another thump, following by screeching, came from behind them.

"By the way," Hael said. "That vault door is three foot thick steel, and completely soundproof."

Vanda stared at his back while he walked away. Another loud thump shocked her out of her unbelief, and she ran after Hael, getting away from vault thirteen.

Chapter 4.4Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Nexus Tower: Nexus Force Headquarters


They were all gathered together in the core room, Imagination flowing throughout their bodies as the giant Nexus in the middle of the room dispersed the creative energy all around. Jake and Arthur, the only two faction leaders that would actually be staying behind in Nexus Tower, sat beside each other on the steps leading up to the glass that encompassed the Imagination Nexus. Hael, Vanda, Gwen, and Legodude stood in a semicircle in front of them, waiting for instructions.

"Everyone here now?" Jake asked.

"All present and accounted for, sir," Hael said, grinning as he emphasized the ‘sir.' Jake raised his eyebrow, and then continued.

"Well, you'll all be going through the Maelstrom Orb using some new Paradox tech that one of Vanda's scientists invented."

Vanda smiled to herself.

"From there, keeping low, you'll move towards the Maelstrom Core itself, infiltrate, find out what the brick Typhonus is up to, and if you can, stop him. Got it?"

All four members of the team nodded.

It was time to enter the Maelstrom Orb.


The four stood in front of the Orb. The room had been cleared of all people, and the only one not behind the observance glass yet was Jake.

"Okay, you will be basically be pulled into the orb. We have no idea what will happen after that, so… just relax," Jake instructed them. "And try not to die. I don't think you can rebuild in the Maelstrom Core."

Gwen looked at him, and raised her eyebrow. "Comforting information."

"Just the truth, nothing less."

Vanda looked up at Jake. He looked back, and his expression slightly softened. "Just come back alive, guys. Okay?"

Vanda smiled. "I promise."

Legodude punched Jake on the shoulder. "I'll be back soon," he said to his brother. "Don't worry!"

Gwen shrugged. "I don't see anything wrong with coming back alive. Sure. I'll do it."

Hael spat on his hand, and held it out to Jake. A little hesitantly, Jake shook it, Hael grinning at him.

"Thar, we've got a deal! We'll all come back alive, and if we don't… well…"

Jake grimaced, then turned around, hopping into the glass observation area. "Good luck."

The four turned around, facing the Orb. It's swirls of purple spiraled around, nearly hypnotizing in their manner.

One of the scientists behind the glass took a deep breath, and then flipped the switch.

The Orb quickly heated up, the swirls seeming as if they were thrashing around inside of it. The four stood their ground, unfazed.

Then the Orb exploded.

Pieces of glass flew around the room, stopping in midair to form a makeshift sphere around the original Orb. The prophetic Maelstrom energy swept over the four, blinding them.

The energy condensed, and the glass was pulled back, until it was just an orb again.

The four were gone.

Chapter 4.5Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Gnarled Forest: Piece of Planet Crux


Good, Turbo, and Ackeron splashed into the water behind them, sending ripples spreading out in every direction. Good's arms were flailing, and his eyes were wide, likely from sound concussion.

They slowly sank to the bottom, Good still too shocked to move, and Turbo trying to swim upwards while pulling Ackeron.

Ackeron's open wound was slowly turning the water red, and Turbo was struggling to pull him up, his need for air growing.

Suddenly, something moved out of the corner of his eye. He twisted around, staring at what he had already guessed would be there.

A shark.

He froze, trying to make as little movement as possible. Yet it was already too late; the blood alone was already attracting the shark; Turbo doubted it really cared about movement at the moment.

The shark began quickly swimming towards them, yet Turbo noticed it was moving awkwardly… like a shark with a limp…

Realization hit him, and he grinned. Or grinned the best he could while drowning.

He pulled a medallion out of his pocket, emblazoned with the Nexus Force symbol. Pushing through the water, he positioned himself in front of Ackeron, looking up to see that Good had luckily floated to the top of the water.

Turbo thrust the medallion in front of the shark, flipping a switch on the back as he did so. The Nexus Force emblem on the front lit up with a bright, imagination blue color. A ray of light burst out, distorted at first by the water, but then solidifying. The ray blasted into the shark, quickly going up and down the length of the shark. A beep sounded from the medallion, and the words "Analyzing complete. Thank you for your time." were too distorted to really be understood, yet Turbo remembered exactly how the medallion worked.

The shark had nearly reached the place were they were by that time, and Turbo winced, thinking about the possibility that maybe his theory was wrong.

Suddenly the shark disappeared in a burst of energy, propelling Turbo and Ackeron up towards the surface. Turbo managed to grab Good on the way up, and as he flew through the air, dragging both his incapacitated teammates along behind him, he sucked in as much air as he could, enjoying having his oxygen back.

Then they landed in a heap on the ground.

Chapter 4.6Edit

New Universe Year Seven

Location- Gnarled Forest: Piece of Planet Crux


Turbo lay on the ground, heaving breath after breath, still trying to get more air into his system. Ackeron lay uncomfortably, his eyes wide and blank, still bleeding out onto the ground. Good was staring into the sky, still in shock from the sound wave.

Picking the medallion back up, Turbo managed a half-hearted smile at the fact that he chosen to keep it.

Two years ago, when the Glitchman had been ravaging the country, all Nexus Force members were issued one of these special medallions. They were made to capture land sharks, an annoying sabotage done by the Glitchman, which made sharks able to swim through land.

The medallion would analyze the shark, and if it was a land shark, it would be transported to a holding tank in Nexus Tower. Normally it was done from land, so there wasn't much of a problem if it wasn't a land shark and didn't disappear. It couldn't attack you.

The majority of the land sharks had all been caught. It was amazing that some were still around. And very lucky for Turbo.

He stuck the medallion in his pocket, and turned over to see how everyone was doing. Ackeron needing medical attention? Check. Good possibly deaf? Check.

Turbo sighed, pushing himself off the ground. Then he heard a noise behind him, and he spun around, his Samurai katana out of its sheath immediately.

"Who's there?"

"It's just me, Turbo," Expert said as he stepped out of the bushes. "Didn't you get my message?"

Staring in surprise, Turbo shook his head. "You came off your ship."

"Yeah, I know. That's what my message was about. Operation BOMBARD took too much energy, and the ship was losing oxygen, so I had to come down. I'm stuck with you guys. So what happened to Ackeron? And why are you guys all wet? And why is Good's head throbbing? You can put your sword away now. Oh, I brought a first aid kit, we could probably use that on Ackeron."

Turbo blinked. "You came off your ship."

Expert looked up, stopping his murmuring. "Yes, Turbo. My feet are no longer planted on the deck of our spaceship. Please, get over it."

Turbo nodded, shaking his head. They didn't have time for this. "I think I accidentally stabbed Ackeron. We were hit by a shockwave from the BOMBARD, and flung into the water. Good forgot to plug his ears." He sheathed his sword.

Expert nodded as each of his questions were answered, not even looing at Turbo when he said he stabbed Ackeron.

"Okay, okay. Grab the first aid kit. I need to get to work."

Author's AfterwordEdit

This story was going along great, really. But as I wrote more and more, I found that the format didn't fit me, and I couldn't keep up with the pace I was setting for myself. My chapters were coming slower and slower and slower, and at times I wouldn't post anything for months.

In early January, I finally decided that I couldn't keep up with this any longer. Yet I couldn't bear to let go of this story completely; it was my first story here, and actually one of the first stories here. I was looking over The Journey to the Nexus when I realized I was finding several mistakes that I would've liked to change, and several points where I really wished I'd added more. So I decided to rewrite the entire story.

I gave myself six months to get a head start, so this time, I won't get behind on the story. But this version, the original, will always be here, as a memory. This is what started it. And the rewrite will be what finishes it.

Signing out on this story. Goodbye.

ƵαɕkαɤɣЖ Faction coin paradox Paradox Extraordinaire

G. A. Nightstalker

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