Kamen Rider Vortex Kamen Rider Vortex Chapters

Chapter 41

We arrived at Jurassic World and I was bouncing up and down like a little girl on Christmas. “Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs!” I giggled.

“Take it easy,” calmed Haitao. “You’re gonna gain hyper speed if you keep that up.”

“But…Dinosaurs!” I cheered. “And…park! And…Dinosaurs!”

“You already said ‘Dinosaurs’,” observed Michael.

“Because they’re awesome!” I called. “I wanted to be a paleontologist when I was a little girl!”

“And now, you’re studying current human anatomy,” muttered Mikhail.

“Come on, you can’t tell me you’re not excited to see Jurassic Park?!” I called.

“Jurassic Park, yes,” agreed Richard. “But, Jurassic World?” He pointed to the sign above the gate. It said, “Jurassic World”.

“Oh COME ON!!” I shouted. “One movie was enough!”

“Tell THAT to Hollywood,” muttered Richard. “Oh well, like life, the fandom will find a way.” I resorted to grumbling.

“Oh well, at least it can’t get any…uh oh…” I yelped. “Maybe that phrase doesn’t work in this universe!” Something then flew over the wall, nearly crushing us. We got out of the way, thank goodness. “Then again,” I sighed, “it’s probably a multiversal constant.” The object pushed itself up. It was Grimlock! “Well, I’ll be!” I chuckled.

“Dad’s favorite Transformer!” called Richard. “More so than Optimus!” Grimlock was in his T-Rex mode when he shook off the dirt.

“That not nice!” he shouted over the wall.

“Er, Mr. Grimlock,” I asked. “Who are you fighting?” Grimlock saw us.

“Not more!” he moaned.

“More?” I quizzed. “What’s going on?!”

“Me Grimlock not waste words!” boomed Grimlock.

“Er, I don’t like the sound of that,” gulped Michael. Grimlock transformed, leveling his gun at us! “I don’t like the look of it either!”

“Grimlock, wait!” I pleaded. “We’re not here to hurt you!”

“Funny, me not believe you!” roared Grimlock as he squeezed the trigger.

“Grimlock, stop!” called a voice. “They’re associates of mine!” The voice sounded familiar.

“You serious?!” roared Grimlock as he turned to his left. A brunette woman with wavy hair came up, sporting cold, yet lovely eyes, a pale blue dress with a slightly darker corset, and a golden seashell necklace.

“You again?!” I called.

“Hello, Dr. Saunders, Ms. Kuznetsov,” greeted the woman.

“You know crazy witch lady?” asked Grimlock.

“She was someone that I saved along with Irina,” I explained.

“What are you doing here, Ursula?” asked Irina.

“Vanessa, you mean,” corrected Ursula. “Here’s the thing, I made a deal with Ursula when I was young. I was afflicted with a disease that no one could cure at the time. No one WANTED to, as I didn’t conform to the ideal image a woman was supposed to be at the time, in 1427. So, I met a young girl who was recently banished from her kingdom. She was the first undersea dweller I met, a Cecaelia. She was cast aside because of her natural abilities with magic. I felt a kinship with her and so told her my story. She told me of the conditions of her banishment, being stripped of magic, and so needed someone who was cast out of society to regain her magic. I asked her how the process would be done. She said it needed the two outcasts to meld with each other, body and soul, and she had the means to do so.” She lightly touched on the shell. “With the Gold Nautilus, Ursula and I joined and became one. Two minds, one body that changes, one soul.”

“So, it’s like Split-personality, but the body changes with the personality?” I ventured.

“In a sense, yes,” shrugged Ursu…Vanessa. “Now, Miss Irina, if memory serves, you were about to deck Ursula in the face when Starscream trapped us.”

“That option remains in play,” hissed Irina.

“I would expect nothing less,” chuckled Vanessa with a wicked grin. “But, for now, I have a proposal.” She paused for dramatic effect. “Join me in defeating our shared enemies.”

“You have all sorts of power,” argued Livia. “Why ask for our help?”

“Because the enemies have something I lack that I’m sure you lot have,” replied Vanessa, “knowledge on a device called the Omnimatrix.”

“You mean the Omnitrix?!” I yelped. “Why should we fight Ben?!”

“Ben?” asked Vanessa. “No, a girl called Heather. She managed to extract the Omnitrix from Mr. Tennyson and threw him in an underground genetics lab, along with his grandfather, cousin, police partner, and villain turned friend.”

“Heather?” I quizzed, making sure I heard the name right.

“I don’t know much about her,” replied Vanessa. “In any case, she’s got allies, an unholy melding of flesh and metal, a humanoid squid, a talking jet, and your enemies, Shocker Rift, I believe.”

“Trying to find the Foundation Element, no doubt,” guessed Haitao.

“In any case, our past alliances, villain, hero, Dinobot, Maximal, they no longer matter,” declared Vanessa. “Not while the enemy is in control!” That was when the earth shook in a rhythm, like footsteps.

“Oh, Ursie! Grimmy!” boomed a deep, feminine voice. “Guess who’s the little chickadee who unlocked a Vaxasaurian!”

“Little chickadee?” repeated Richard. “Didn’t…no, she’s in prison, right?”

“You don’t think…” I guessed. That was when a female Vaxasaurian stomped through the trees. Vaxasaurians are a beige, humanoid, dinosaur-like species from the planet Terradino. They have four fingers on each hand with large grey nails, possess dinosaur tails and reach up to twelve feet. Females dress in caveman clothing and wear bones to attract mates. This Vaxasaurian had a black circle between her navel and bust with a green hourglass inside. Her eyes were green as she looked up at Grimlock, who was at least ten feet taller than her.

“Me no afraid of you!” roared Grimlock. “Me still bigger than you!!”

“Really now?” asked the Vaxasaurian in a hillbilly drawl. She then demonstrated a Vaxasaurian’s natural ability to grow up to five times its original height, in this case, sixty feet. She grinned evilly at us.

“…Me need to have Perceptor, Wheeljack, and Ratchet work on me Grimlock’s mouth/brain filter programs,” mumbled Grimlock.

“That won’t save you,” growled the hillbilly Vaxasaurian. “I’ll squash you and then squash that fat, rose obsessed freak! She never removed her impure, fat body from the planet and managed to get me…”

“In prison!” I shouted, realizing who the Vaxasaurian really was. “That’s where xenophobic murderers like you will always rot, Hillbilly Heather!” The Vaxasaurian looked at me and got angry.

“You!” she growled. She slapped down on the hourglass symbol and shrunk, changing shape into a muscular, bipedal, tailless tiger. Her front was white, as well as her muzzle, feet, and hands. She had four fingers on each hand with a large, black claw coming out of the wrist, pointing to the fingers. Her eyebrows were boned and black in the shape of anger. The symbol was still in between her navel and bust and she wore a leotard and black shorts. “rrrrRRRRRAAAAAYYYYYGGGE!” she roared.

“You mean Rath!” I roared back


“Henshin!” I announced. My team followed suit.

“HENSHINNING’S GOOD!” roared Heather. “RAYGE CAN HENSHIN ALL DAY!” Vanessa then fired energy blasts at Heather who shrugged it off. “THAT’S ANOTHER MISTAKE, URSULA THE SEA WITCH!” yelled Heather. “WHEN YOU SHOOT RAYGE, IT JUST MAKES RAYGE MAD!!”

“Bad kitty!” shouted a voice. A spear of black mist flew past Heather’s Appoplexian face. Everyone turned to see Death with nine others, just one young man among the other ladies. The young man and five young ladies were in grey sweaters with an ascot, each in a different color, and wore a really large skirt with petticoats reaching to the ankles that matched the colors of their ascots.

“WHO ARE YOU?!” bellowed Heather. “You wanna fight me?! LET’S GO!!”

“Believe me when I say,” grunted the orange skinned, armored woman, “you do not give credit to the Appoplexians. One of my spouses is one and he would call you a disgrace.”

“LET ME TELL YA SOMETHIN’, ORANGE MONGREL!” roared Heather. “RAYGE WILL TEAR YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND APART!!” She charged at the woman, who managed to hold her back with her pinky.

“Pathetic,” grunted the woman. She flicked Heather’s forehead, sending her into the wall of Jurassic World. “You, a weakling that subscribes to racial purity, specifically white purity, dare challenge me? I am War, and it is diversity that makes my troops stronger!” The woman, War, drew a large sword and charged at Heather. Heather started glowing and slammed her claw into the ground, creating a shockwave that knocked War off her feet.

“War, get back!” whispered Death. “She’s carrying the Foundation Element of 8-3-N-1-0!”

“What?!” yelped War.

“The Omnitrix is a Foundation Element?!” I shouted.

“Power of that magnitude was never yours!” snarled War. She charged at Heather while getting a belt out. The buckle looked like a grey sphere with a sword of the same color halfway out. She put the belt on. “HENSHIN!” she bellowed. She slid the sword down so the guard rested on the sphere. Orange light filled the air, then faded as War’s Rider form decked Heather. The entire suit was orange armor with a black undersuit. The helmet was pointed with red eyes and a fearsome fanged teeth decal over where the mouth should be. Swords roughly the length of her lower leg were pointed towards her feet.

“War, NO!” warned the raven-haired girl in white petticoats. Too late. Kamen Rider War kicked but flew through the air as Heather dodged. Heather then grabbed War’s leg and flung her into us.

“All right, that’s it!” I hissed. “I’m declaring this Hillbilly Heather Hunting season!”

“I’M AFRAID IT’S ALREADY FATTY HUNTING SEASON!” roared Heather. She charged at me but missed as I dodged.

“Like I’m afraid of an amateur fighter like you!” I boasted. “It’s Appoplexian Hillbilly Heather hunting season!”

“FATTY SEASON!” roared Heather as she decked me. I recovered.

“Rayge season!” I argued as I kicked her stomach. She recovered.

“FATTY SEASON!” roared Heather. She slammed her fists on my head. I shook my head from the disorientation.

“Rayge Season!” I countered as I tripped her up. Rayge got up again and grabbed me by the throat.

“FATTY SEA…!” began Heather. War then kicked her in the back. I summoned my horse and converted it to flight mode. A plan was in my head. As I was lifting off, Heather recovered. “HEY! LET ME TELL YA SOMTHIN’, EMILY SAUNDERS, THE FATSO WHOSE MOTHER PUT ME IN PRISON! NOBODY GOES UNLESS RAYGE SAYS THEY CAN GO! ‘CAUSE RAYGE GOES BEFORE EVERYBODY! SO, NO GO, YO!” I went higher and Heather grabbed onto my vehicle. “IS THAT ALL YOU GOT?! ‘CAUSE RAYGE’S GOT TONS MORE! IN FACT, I SHOULD GIVE YOU SOME OF MINE, SO IT’LL BE A FAIR FIGHT! AND, AFTER THAT, EVERYTHING I GAVE YOU, I’M GONNA TAKE IT ALL BACK AND MAKE YOU LIKE IT!” I was over Jurassic World and made a nose dive for one of the streets. “CRASHING’S GOOD TOO! RAYGE CAN CRASH ALL DAY!” I did a barrel-roll, insert Star Fox meme here, and managed to get her off. “OH, AND NOW YOU’RE USING GRAVITY?! WELL, GIVE UP GRAVITY! YOU CAN’T BEAT RRRRAAAAYYYGGGE!” She hit the ground, hand first, and her claw was stuck in the pavement. I stuck around long enough to see her trying to pull the claw out. “LET ME TELL YA SOMETHIN’, PAVEMENT OF MAIN STREET! LET GO OF RAYGE’S CLAW!” I rejoined the others.

“It’ll be a while before she gets out somehow,” I figured.

“Then we need to go,” grunted War as she cancelled her transformation.

“We run away?!” wailed Grimlock.

“It’s not running away!” snarled War. “We’re consolidating our resources…further away from the battlefield.”

“My offer still stands,” called Vanessa. It took a few seconds to consider before a flash of green light came from the park.

“She must have transformed,” I guessed. “All right, we’re in, but Death and the others are coming with us.”

“You CAN be counted on to listen to reason,” praised Vanessa. “Grimlock, dear, if you please?” Grimlock called up their home base.

“Grimlock to base, requesting Ground-Bridge,” he demanded. “We have more people.” A swirling green vortex opened.

“Richard, you’re the biggest Transformers nut in our family,” I recalled. I had already admitted I was a fan of the G1 universe to the F.N.S, the original cartoon, the old Marvel comics, and Beast Wars, and it felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. “Maybe you spotted a Ground-Bridge in the early cartoon? Because I don’t remember either side having one.”

“No, the Ground-Bridge is a recent invention,” answered Richard. “Debuted in Transformer: Prime. I don’t know how G1 Grimlock got ahold of one.”

“We’ll worry about that later,” whispered Death. “Right now, we need to regroup and introduce ourselves.”

“If you could step this way,” offered Vanessa as she went through the vortex. Grimlock followed, then Death and her team, then I covered the retreat, in case Heather blind-sided us. After I stepped through, I was led to a large, underground bunker. The other Dinobots saw us and started asking questions.

“THAT IS ENOUGH!!” snarled a voice. A brown velociraptor stomped into view. “The absurdity of you Dinobots knows no bounds!” growled the dinosaur.

“Dinobot?” Richard and I both yelped. The velociraptor faced us.

“I take it YOU are from another universe,” guessed Dinobot. “Dinobot, MAXIMIZE!” Dinobot shifted to robot mode, complete with snarling blue face. “So, what brings you here?”

“We’re here to get something called the Foundation Element,” I answered. “An object unique to this universe that keeps it in the multiverse, thus keeping all of space-time in check.”

“I have not seen anyone else in my universe asking for such an object,” answered Dinobot.

“No, but, from what Vanessa’s told us, you’ve seen one in action, the Omnitrix,” I replied. “And it’s in the hands of a psycho that nearly killed me.”

“So, we have a common enemy,” mused Dinobot as he got out of my face. He was easily nine and a half feet. “And these are your friends?”

“Well, seven of them are,” I replied, “but I don’t know the rest.”

“Then, perhaps,” suggested Dinobot, “introductions are in order. I am Dinobot!” Vanessa slid into a large pool of water and turned back into Ursula.

“I am Ursula, and my human form is Vanessa,” she introduced.

“Me, Grimlock.”

“I’m Slag,” called the Triceratops.

“Call me Swoop,” declared a bot with folded Pteranodon wings.

“I’m Snarl,” called a bot with Stegosaurus plates on his back.

“I’m Sludge,” cheered a big-footed bot.

“I’m Emily Saunders, mission leader for my team,” I began.

“I’m Richard, Emily’s brother.”

“I am Haitao Lin.”

“I’m Livia Acqua.”

“Michael Archer, ladies and gentlemen,” Michael bowed.

“Irina Kuznetsov.”

“I’m her brother, Mikhail.”

“I am Death.” Everyone shied away from her. “I’m not here on THAT kind of business. No one’s dying right now.”

“I am War.”

“I’m Pestilence,” wheezed the green skinned woman.

“I’m Famine,” mumbled the bony, yellow haired woman as she stuffed her face.

“I am Lacey Thanatos,” introduced the raven-haired girl. “And, if things go well, Kamen Rider Apocalypse.” She adjusted her hair flower.

“Um…my name…is…Flora Nightly,” whispered a plump girl with white petticoats and ascot. She had blue hair and a pink rose on a green bow on the left side of her hair. It was obvious she was shy.

“I’m Charline Elmira,” cheered a muscular girl with brown, wavy hair and orange petticoats and an ascot.

“Call me Sophie Moore,” called a short girl with hair as white as Tonje’s, a black headband, and dark blue petticoats and ascot.

“I’m Amelia Kendall,” introduced a tall girl with lavender hair, a yellow circle on her forehead, and green petticoats and ascot.

“And I’m Brendan Patterson,” finished the boy. He had black hair, the same yellow forehead circle as Amelia, and yellow petticoats and ascot.

“What brings you here, Death?” asked Livia.

“I’ll let Lacey explain it,” replied Death. Lacey grinned.

“I’m here to take my final test to become Kamen Rider Apocalypse,” she declared. “I had to take written and practical tests from the Four Horsemen, I took the written bit of my final, now I have the practical bit to do.”

“So, you need to destroy a universe?” asked Ursula.

“Hardly,” assured Lacey. “I’m supposed to show how much control I have over my powers.”

“And why are your classmates here?” asked Dinobot.

“After an…incident,” began Brendan, I noticed he was careful with how he phrased it, “the five of us became heralds of the apocalypse.”

“Basically, we warn people their world will end,” explained Amelia.

“And help the Horsemen fight those who want to hurt the multiverse,” said Flora, quietly.

“A little micromanagement,” I mused.

“But, enough about us,” called Lacey. “What brings Dinobot and his namesakes here?”

“Ursula too, for that matter,” I mused. “I thought you would be back in your universe.”

“I didn’t wake up in my universe,” explained Ursula. “I was in Vortech’s grip, a prisoner, away in a dungeon. The Dinobots and Dinobot were there with me. They tried to get me to spill on where my universe’s Foundation Element was.”

“Me too,” supplied Grimlock. “But me didn’t know what Foundation Element even was until Emily explained it.”

“Same with me, but Vortech didn’t believe us,” continued Ursula. “Eventually, we escaped by following Igura here and are trying to get ourselves back.” I started mulling over what Ursula said.

“All right, it seems we can solve all our problems here,” I resolved. “My people have the tech needed to get you guys home and we have a Foundation Element vault. We also have knowledge of our enemies. If you guys help us get the Omnitrix and Ben and his team back, along with this universe’s Foundation Element, we can get you guys home. Deal?”

“Usually, I’M the one who makes deals,” mused Ursula, “but, we’re pressed for time. Deal.”

“Sounds good to me,” whispered Death, “but, do you mind if my team and I joined you on Vorton?”

“Don’t mind at all,” I replied. “I’m sure Megumi would love the help.”

“You have deal with Dinobots,” rumbled Grimlock.

“All right!” I cheered.

“And my services are at your disposal,” answered Dinobot.

“All right, we need to find a way into the park as that’s where the enemy seems to be concentrating itself. Most likely, the Foundation Element is there,” I guessed. “I have some ideas of a plan, but it’ll take timing, cooperation, and it’s extremely dangerous when we carry them out.” The Dinobots started smiling. “Everybody else in?” I asked.

“Let’s do it!” cheered Richard.

“Nothing we can’t handle,” boasted Lacey.

“I shall prove to our enemies what happens when a Sea Witch is trifled with!” snarled Ursula.

“Then let’s get to work,” I declared “First off, we share info. I’ll start with the Omnitrix. As you can tell, the Omnitrix is a device that can turn you into any alien life-form. The life-forms are all arranged in playlists of ten. As of now, the Omnitrix has 1,000,912 aliens. 99 are unlocked, 70 have been named, and the original holder, Ben Tennyson, has transformed into 62. You saw what a Vaxasaurian can do, but you need knowledge on that tiger alien, the Appoplexian. Richard, take over.”

“Appoplexians,” supplied Richard, “are powerful, argumentative, and extremely aggressive. Their brains are hard-wired for anger. They believe any problem can be solved by hitting it. The traditional greeting of an Appoplexian is to engage in a wrestling match to establish who’s dominant.”

“Sound like Me Grimlock’s kind of people!” cheered Grimlock.

“They also have Sludge’s level of dimness,” replied Richard.

“…Would you repeat that?!” snarled Sludge. He was cleaning his gun.

“Of course not, I’m sorry I said it,” said Richard, hurriedly.

“I should hope so,” muttered Sludge.

“The Omnitrix has the ability to scan and analyze new DNA,” warned Richard, “so, Cybertronians should watch themselves.”

“Wait, whoa, whoa, whoa,” I stopped. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Oh, yeah,” realized Richard. He didn’t tell me earlier when I pretended not to like the Transformers. “Cybertronians have something call CNA, Cyber-nucleic acid.”

“…And that’s their genetic code?!” I yelped. “They have base pairs like us that determine traits?!”

“Yeah,” confirmed Richard.

“I confess, I’m amazed you didn’t know,” rasped Dinobot.

“When was this revealed?!” I asked.

“Same series as the Ground-Bridge,” explained Richard.

“Okay, now that THAT bomb’s been dropped,” I muttered. “Time to teach you about the Omnitrix’s current user. Heather is an old bully from way back. She views everyone that isn’t someone like her has impure genetics. She found me as an easy target and made fun of and hit me whenever she got a chance. My parents, friends, brother, and I tried everything, but the school system wouldn’t deliver justice. I was near enough to commit suicide and I was about to write a note when I heard the door open. I deleted the note to see Mom looking frustrated. She’s a member of the Fredericksburg Police and was investigating a crime. Judging by the face, I’d say it wasn’t going well. A string of burglaries and attacks on citizens was rampant all over Fredericksburg. Some victims died while the ones that didn’t were blinded by someone in stealth gear. When she showed me an image, the shape looked familiar. ‘Did you get a DNA match on anyone?’ I asked her.

“‘I tried, but we couldn’t find anyone,’ replied Mom. ‘Why?’

“‘The body type looks a lot like a classmate,’ I answered. ‘We’re doing a DNA swab thing at school tomorrow. Can you guys do anything on them?’

“‘Well, given that the scientists have to give us the data on the DNA,’ replied Mom, ‘we should.’

“‘It may be that I’m wrong, but I think the person you’re after goes to my school,’ I guessed. Mom seemed to consider this. The next day, Heather was surprised to see me. I grinned sweetly as we went to science class. We did the whole cotton swab thing and went on with our lives. Later, at night, the perp came in through my bedroom window. It came up to my desk where ‘I’ sat. The perp then stabbed ‘me’ in the back of my head. The perp then lifted the mask to make her final mistake. It was Heather.

“‘Fatty, you REALLY should have let your depression take over,’ she sighed. ‘It would have made things easy for both of us. You’re dead, so I can explain easily. You come from a long line of mongrels. I, on the other hand, am pure. That’s why my victims are hurt or killed. So many people badger on and on and on about diversity making us stronger when that is a fat lie! Fatter than you were! Diversity just gobbles up pure ideals and tries to mix them! It destroys perfect civilizations!’

“‘It brings new wisdom and new culture!’ I roared, making Heather gasp. ‘It makes a better civilization!’

“‘What in the name of…?’ yelped Heather. ‘How?! I skewered you like a sow from the pen, ready for barbeque!’

“‘You Backwoods Blunder!’ I insulted. ‘We’re not playing chess! We’re playing poker!’ The lights came on to reveal the large doll she thought was me. The police and I came into the room. ‘And I was bluffing!’ I finished.

“‘Heather Richards, you’re under arrest!’ roared an officer.

“‘The newspaper had your disguised image from when you robbed Hyperion Espresso!’ I declared. ‘The body shape looked familiar, but I needed to be sure.’

“‘So, you convinced your mother to get a copy of the results of the DNA swab test!’ hissed Heather.

“‘Ding! Ding! Ding!’ I confirmed. ‘But, the police had no idea you held to out of date ideals like ‘racial purity.’ Honestly, I’m surprised you’re NOT the result of inbreeding.’

“‘I’ll see you in Hell, mongrel!’ promised Heather. ‘I’ll be found innocent!’ The thing is, she was wrong. She was guilty as Hell and sentenced to ten years in prison.” Everybody was wide-eyed when I finished my story.

“I was with my old Robotics club at the time she was arrested!” yelped Richard. “Why didn’t you tell me you were that close to committing suicide?! Or Mom and Dad, for that matter!”

“I asked them not to tell you,” I replied. “And, at the time, I didn’t want you to worry about me. In hindsight, I made a mistake.”

“A big, fat one!” agreed Richard. “Still, now I know what the events were that got Heather locked up. Now, we need to figure out how she got out.”

“Before that,” I switched gears, “Dinobot, Dinobots, do you have any idea about the talking jet?”

“No, but Ursula claims to see it,” replied Dinobot.

“Ursula, can you describe it?” I asked.

“It was white with red and blue and had purple symbols on the wings,” answered Ursula. She made an image of the Decepticon logo. “It spoke in a screechy voice too,” continued Ursula.

“Him again?!” I snapped.

“First, he invades my mind, and now this?!” snarled Irina.

“You know him?” asked Dinobot.

“It’s a he?” quizzed Ursula.

“His name is Starscream,” I replied. “He’s the second-in-command of the Decepticons, Grimlock’s enemies.”

“And enemies of Autobots,” growled Grimlock.

“But, how does Starscream have a body again?!” asked Dinobot.

“For those who don’t know,” supplied Richard, “a recreated form of Megatron vaporized him, but his spark, soul and heart of a Transformer, is a mutant one. It can’t fade away, so he comes off as a ghost.”

“A robot ghost?” muttered Lacey. “Now I’ve heard everything!”

“And there’s a humanoid squid and unholy fusion of flesh and steel,” reported Ursula.

“We can name both of them,” whispered Death. “They were both on watch after the events in their native universes. The squid is one that Ben Tennyson faced numerous times since he was ten years old.”

“Not Vilgax!” I moaned.

“The Ruler of Vilgaxia, himself,” confirmed Death.

“That doesn’t add up,” muttered Richard.

“Why?” asked Michael.

“Vilgax wants the Omnitrix,” I explained, helping Richard. “So, why would he let Heather have it?”

“To fulfill his end of his alliance with the…how did Ursula put it…unholy fusion of flesh and steel,” wheezed Pestilence. “I can put a name to him, for Dinobot flew to Prehistoric Earth on the same ship with him.”

“One of my former Predacon colleagues?” asked Dinobot.

“Much worse,” wheezed Pestilence. “He hates organic life, took a famous Decepticon’s name, and turned into what fans called an evil Barney the Dinosaur.”

“Evil…Barney…no! No, it can’t be!” I gulped.

“Oh, but it is, yeeesss!” wheezed Pestilence.

“Megatron?! Impossible!!” snarled Dinobot.

“Another one?!” wailed Grimlock.

“The way you guys are talking,” I sighed, “it sounds like he became a techno-organic Transformer.”

“He did, and he hates that form,” grunted War.

“I picked up a conversation between him and Vilgax,” called Charline. “It was for a recon assignment for War.”

“She passed with top marks, as usual,” grunted War as she grinned with pride.

“Thank you,” reciprocated Charline. “It was in a universe that was a barren wasteland. Megatron had gotten the Omnitrix first. He transformed in a glowy, purple aura from beast to bot and got the Omnitrix to his left wrist. It expanded to fit around a wrist his size. ‘Yes!’ he cheered. ‘I have control over a Foundation Element! And, with it, I can escape this wretched, misshapen form!’ This Omnitrix is the one that was used in Ben 10: Omniverse, a square watch design with a holographic selection ring. Megatron started scrolling through the aliens and his smile dropped with each passing alien. ‘There’s no Cybertronian form in here!’ he snarled. ‘All the other lists are locked! I’m still stuck in this hideous frame!’

“‘Technical difficulties?’ asked a voice. Vilgax then stomped into view.

“‘Not really,’ dismissed Megatron as he regained his composure. ‘It has come to my attention that Cybertronian genetic material is not in the Omnitrix’s database. I cannot use this wretched form as it’s hardly pure machine. Once I scan a pure Cybertronian, I’m cured.’

“‘Not an easy task,’ mused Vilgax. ‘Admit it, Megatron. We need Heather, we need Shocker Rift and its associates, and, more importantly, we need each other.’

“‘No, I NEED the Omnitrix to cure me of this fleshy form,’ argued Megatron. ‘You, on the other hand, WANT it to defeat this ‘Ben Tennyson’. That’s a bad basis for an alliance.’

“‘I no longer need THE Omnitrix,’ declared Vilgax. ‘Not when one is being made for me. I have enough clout to make one for you with pure Cybertronian CNA.’

“‘And, in exchange?’ asked Megatron.

“‘I require your technology,’ demanded Vilgax. ‘A powerful weapon as the Omnitrix for your most powerful Cybertronian weapon.’ Megatron stared for a while, then started laughing.

“‘That’s it?’ he chuckled. ‘You have gall, Vilgax. I admire gall, yeeesss! We have a bargain!’ At that point, I decided to withdraw and report.” Charline’s news sunk in.

“What’s our move here?” asked Livia. It took a while, but I came up with a plan.

“All right,” I declared, “here’s what we’ll do…”

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