The team surrounded a small building advertising itself as Max’s Plumbing and had a cartoonish version of Max. Batman and his family covered the main entrance with Ben, Royal, Shade, Optimus, and Arsha. Batman made several hand signals, but no one moved. “…I! Don’t! Know! What! That! Means!” hissed Robin.
“Three! Of! You! Go! Around! Back!” Batman whispered in return.
“Why doesn’t he just say that?” asked Optimus. He pointed to Shade and Royal. They followed him to the back of the store. Ben then entered the store and went into a bathroom with a single toilet and an out of order sign on it. He then carefully pulled the chain above his head. A hidden elevator then brought Ben down into the base. He stepped out of the elevator and quietly approached a computer. He keyed in several commands and arched an eyebrow.
“That…that’s not possible,” he muttered. He then made a call through the Omnitrix. “Er, guys, I don’t know how to tell you this, but…it’s empty.”
“There’s gotta be a mistake, Ben,” replied Royal. “Check and recheck.”
“I already did. There’s nothing!” The cell behind him then broke and Vilgax strode out.
“Well, well, well!” snarled Vilgax. “If it isn’t Ben Tennyson himself! Tell me, how are things going?”
“I take it the Rumble-Disc isn’t here?” guessed Ben as his hand hovered over the Omnitrix.
“Ah, so you know of their plan.”
“I WAS a part of it, until they abandoned me!”
“Well, once you’re back in your cell, we’ll be able to find them.”
“You won’t find them in time.”
“I’ve got Clockwork to help me find them!”
“You say that as if the Author doesn’t know of your aliens and doesn’t have contingencies in place for them. He most assuredly has plans in place for Chronosapien interference. Admit it, Tennyson. We need each other.”
“No way! I need to stop them, and you only want me dead so you can get the Omnitrix! I don’t see that as a good way for us to be allies!”
“I DON’T want the Omnitrix right now! I just want their heads on a platter!” Ben glared at his hated nemesis for a bit.
“Ben, this has to be the stupidest idea you’ve ever had!” snarled Ben’s Phury as everyone gathered around a console with Vilgax keying in commands. “You’re just gonna buddy up with the guy who’s been trying to kill you since you were ten all to stop a Rumble-Disc?! Ben, this is nuts!”
“It’s not the craziest thing I’ve done,” replied Ben.
“Besides, we need all the help we can get,” observed Megumi.
“And you guys expect him to be buddies?!” protested Phury.
“We’re anything but buddies,” assured Ben.
“Glad to know that,” rumbled Vilgax.
“…Yeah, sure, dismiss the Appoplexian’s concerns! That’s smart!” grumbled Phury.
“We’re not dismissing your concerns, Ma’am,” soothed Optimus. “Vilgax IS on a leash.”
“We’re getting closer to its location,” reported Vilgax. “Just a few more…NO!”
“What’s wrong?” asked Batman.
“IT’S GONE! THE RUMBLE-DISC IS GONE! THEY’RE EARLIER THAN THEY LET ON!”
“What?!” Megumi rushed to the computer. “…There’s a comms channel here! Private and untraceable!”
“Let’s see what the enemy has to say!” urged Optimus. Megumi opened the comms channel and the Author and his team appeared onscreen.
“I don’t believe I’ve met you in person lately, Metaltron,” growled Megumi.
“I had no reason to meet you at the moment,” replied Metaltron.
“Stop me if you’ve heard this one,” chuckled Nemesis. “There were two fellows on a secure channel. One says to the other-”
“Where’s the Rumble-Disc?!” demanded Optimus.
“You call that a punchline?!”
“You’ve got a Joker-level sense of humor and, like Batman here, I don’t share it.”
“But we’re linked, you and I! Like comedy and tragedy! Two sides, same coin!”
“The Rumble-Disc, Khan!” snarled Megumi. “Or I vow I will turn the smiles of you and your team upside-down!”
“Well, if it’s discs you want, you can forget it!” snarled Khan! “Unless you surrender Life and her Source, Bellwood will get severe Dark Energon poisoning! There’s no amount of Light Energon to counteract that!” The call ended and the computer console exploded. Vilgax roared in fury and smashed the console’s remains.
“I WAS THE ONE WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO CONQUER THIS WORLD!” he roared. His shoulders then drooped. “All is lost. He’s far too powerful to fight.” Sora looked around, then spotted another console. As he looked at it, he got an idea. He briefly thought about how it would fail, then he looked at the Blue Lantern ring. His face then slowly went from doubt to determination.
“…You’re wrong, Vilgax.”
“What did you say?!” snarled Vilgax.
“I said you’re wrong!” Megumi arched an eyebrow. This wasn’t like her nephew. “All is NOT lost! I’m willing to bet that the channel can still be traced! We just need to use another console!”
“What good will tracing the channel do?!” demanded Vilgax.
“It means we’ll know where the Rumble-Disc is going, and we can get inside it before it causes damage!”
“It IS easily breached,” mused Phury. “A couple strikes at the service hatch up top will get us inside.” She sharpened her claws against one another.
“And if we fail to damage it sufficiently enough, Way Big can toss it out of here!”
“He’s right!” agreed Ben. “Straight into the sun!”
“Hopefully with EVERYONE out,” remarked Batman.
“The Rumble-Disc automatically teleports its occupants to safety,” replied Phury. She looked at the perplexed looks. “…Well, given our lifestyle, we kind of want our soldiers to stay alive as long as possible!”
“That’s true,” recalled Ben. “Appoplexians value all forms of life, right down to the infants.”
“See? Even Ben knows how we work!”
“Only because he accidentally unlocked Rath and was stuck as him when transporting the Tiffin to Pantophage,” remarked Optimus. Ben twitched.
“You see? All is not lost!” declared Sora. He then pulled out the Blue Lantern Ring. “This ring stands for one simple creed; all will be well! In this hour, I say that is the one truth we ALL fight for, even you, Vilgax!”
“Even if we do track it,” grunted Vilgax, “how do you expect us to get up there?”
“Several of us can fly and carry others with us,” replied Sora. “In a few seconds, so will I! We WILL get through this!” Just then, the ring flew out of Sora’s hand before hovering in front of him.
“Sora Hishikawa Elizondo of Beyond City,” said a voice. “You have the ability to instill great hope. Welcome to the Blue Lantern Corps.” Sora opened his right hand and splayed his fingers. The ring then fitted itself onto Sora’s ring finger. A blue lantern then appeared. Sora took the handle and put his ring to the back of the lantern.
“In fearful day,
In raging night,
With strong hearts full our souls ignite
When all seems lost in the War of Light,
Look to the stars, FOR HOPE SHINES BRIGHT!” invoked Sora. With the Blue Lantern Oath taken, blue light surrounded him. The light died and Sora’s robes were replaced with a set of blue armor with the Blue Lantern symbol on his chest and the kanji for “Nozomi”, the Japanese word for wishes or hope, was emblazoned under the lantern symbol. He wore a blue eye mask with white lenses over his eyes.
“…My nephew, a Blue Lantern,” sighed Megumi happily as tears came down her eyes. “I’m so proud!”
“Ben, see if one of your aliens can track the Rumble-Disc!” urged Sora.
“On it!” replied Ben as he activated the Omnitrix’s selection screen. “Gray Matter will have that thing on radar lickety-split!” He then slid the faceplate back and revealed the core. He slammed it down and a black ooze flowed over him. His chest then became green as green circuit lines appeared. A green ring then served as his eye as the Omnitrix’s symbol appeared on his chest. “UPGRADE!” His voice sounded like it was his own with a robotic undertone to it. The top of the eye then depressed to make a semi-circle with the flat side on top. His head then stretched to the Omnitrix symbol. “Confused about which alien comes from Galvan Prime, hm?” he asked. “Oh well, I can make this work.” Upgrade put his hand onto the computer console and melted, then flowed onto the console and made it black with green circuit lines and added a few extra bits to it. “All right, tracking the comms channel now and…got it! The Rumble-Disc is headed towards Bellwood’s Nuclear Power Plant!”
“Has the Author lost it?!” yelped Phury. “That’s a recipe for disaster! If it crashes into the power plant, the engine core will not only deploy the gas, it’ll make a nuclear explosion that will propagate the gas across the entire United States and Canada!”
“I’ve got control of our new subspace tunnel generator,” reported Upgrade.
“But the boom it makes!” protested Phury.
“We’re a little pressed for time! Everyone, cover your ears!” Everyone did as Upgrade suggested and a portal opened with a boom!
“ARGH! BOOM TUBE!” wailed Robin. Upgrade then pulled himself off the console and it reverted back to its natural state.
“Minna, ikuze!” called Megumi. “CHARGE!” Everyone dashed into the subspace tunnel and it shut behind them.