I made my displeasure clear to Zod. I slammed him to the ground, threw him into the wall, and tossed him across the room. “YOU UTTER FAILURE!” I roared. “I thought having a Kryptonian would give me an edge, but you’re an utter failure! You allowed mere humans to best you! And you didn’t raise a finger to take the Foundation Element from Batman!”
“My Lord, this is but a temporary setback!” yelped Zod.
“That put us back by two years!” I roared. “Luthor! Continue punishing him, I grow fatigued.” Lex Luthor put on a pair of gloves with Kryptonite knuckles and dished out more pain onto Zod. I headed to my quarters and heard somebody being strangled. I put my ear to the door and heard Igura.
“You promised me that the Foundation Element would confirm the lead you had obtained and that it would be an easy heist, and what is the result?!” she snarled. “A lost Foundation Element! A lead lost! A Tarlaxian freed! And Megumi stronger and with more allies!”
“One thing…” choked out her hapless victim, Metalran, if my guess on the voice is right, “…you fail to realize…is that…!”
“ENOUGH PRATTLE!” screeched Igura as I heard her toss Metalran into a wall. “If I am to find Hiro’s soul, it will have to be through other means! I must deal with this matter myself!” She exited the room and ran into me. “Lord Vortech!” she gasped. “I didn’t…how much have you heard?”
“Enough,” I replied. “So, it was Metalran that gave you the tip that Hiro’s soul was back in your universe.”
“Even if that were true,” she muttered, “the trail is cold. If he was there, he’s long gone. I must continue the search through other means. Excuse me.” She left to search again.
“Good luck,” I bid.
“Another Foundation Element!” cheered X-PO as we returned. “Nice work! You guys have exceeded my expectations!”
“Yeah, that’s kind of my thing,” rasped Batman.
“I can’t believe you guys entered the Ghostbusters universe!” muttered Mr. Saunders. “The GOOD one!”
“For the last time, the 2016 one wasn’t bad!” protested Mrs. Saunders.
“Not this again!” wailed Emily.
“Let’s not do that garbage, okay?” pleaded Richard. “That’s as stupid as the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate.”
“So, what do you want to do next?” asked X-PO. “Maybe kick back? Have a cappuccino? See what’s on the DVR?”
“What we want to do next,” interjected Gandalf, “is rescue our compatriots and save the entire multiverse!”
“Wow, this guy’s more literal than I am,” muttered X-PO, “and I’m a robot! Okay, the next Foundation Element is located within a trans-reality pocket dimension.”
“What does that mean?” asked Batman. Chell then signed what X-PO meant.
“It means,” translated Tanisha, “it will be…weird.”
“Sure,” murmured Wyldstyle. “That’ll make a change. You see who I’ve been hanging out with? Weird’s not a problem for me.”
“You want weird?” countered Elphaba. “You should see Mr. Saunders’ nonsense!”
“It’s not nonsense!” protested Mr. Saunders. “Wait here, I need to show you guys something!” He disappeared.
“Mama, should I be frightened?” asked Emily.
“This IS your father we’re talking about,” gulped Mrs. Saunders. We waited a good ten minutes before Mr. Saunders came back. Oh, lord, I wish he didn’t! He was wearing a full-face mask with red compound eyes and wings behind them. The outfit consisted of his old army gear and an absurd American Flag design on the belt buckle!
“I am…KAMEN RIDER FRED! I have new socks!” announced Mr. Saunders. Cue the crickets. “Uh…guys?”
“What the hell are you dressed up as?!” yelped Richard.
“I’m Kamen Rider Fred!” replied Mr. Saunders.
“…I think I forgot to…brain…without a…something!” stammered Turretorg.
“My life is NOT gonna burn bright,” moaned Takeru. “It’s gonna fizzle out with a whimper of pain from what I’m seeing right now.”
“My eyes!” wailed Hongo.
“Daddy,” cried Emily, “you make me want to punch a bunny!”
“Not mine!” I protested.
“But, with my new powers of American Awesomeness,” continued Mr. Saunders, “I will fight crime, protect the innocent, work for world peace, and…!”
“FRED, YOU TAKE THAT STUPID COSTUME OFF RIGHT NOW,” roared Mrs. Saunders, “OR, I SWEAR TO GOD, I WILL TASE YOU IN YOUR JUNK!”
“Oh, come on!” protested Mr. Saunders. “I have a mask and belt and everything!”
“CHANGE! NOW!” everyone roared. Mr. Saunders slumped and walked off in a somber tone.
“Now that THAT’S burned into my skull,” I muttered. “Takeru, I believe this is goodbye.”
“Bye, everyone!” bid Takeru. “Oh, before I forget, do you guys know these?” “These” were studs.
“That’s 150,000,” counted Vortoranii. “2,154,000 studs in total.” Emily then slapped her forehead.
“I forgot to add our 358,000 studs from our excursion to Jurassic World!” she wailed.
“Come on!” I cried.
“Sorry!” replied Emily.
“Now we’re at 2,512,000 studs!” muttered Vortoranii. “This is absurd!”
“Are studs valuable?” asked Takeru.
“They were when the Vortonians existed,” replied X-PO. “I would stick to your currency though. Studs probably aren’t legal tender in your universe. Speaking of, your ride’s here.” A rift opened for him.
“Goodbye!” called Takeru. He went through. Hiroki then released his breath.
“Something you want to share with us?” I asked.
“I didn’t want to say this in front of Takeru,” explained Hiroki, “but I didn’t like the TV show based on his adventures.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because there was so much wasted potential!” ranted Hiroki. “On top of that, Takeru’s allies were trying too hard to be funny! I just…felt disappointed. He’s the second Rider that disappointed me.”
“Who’s the first?” asked Okaa-san.
“With all due respect, ZX (pronounce Zecross),” answered Hiroki. “Again, they didn’t expand on the story enough! The whole movie he starred in could have easily been an entire TV series!”
“I suppose so,” conceded Okaa-san.
“So, how does a PKE meter work?” I asked, changing the subject.
“When it’s on,” explains Richard as he turned it on, “these arms rise up and start flashing to indicate that there’s some form of psychokinetic activity. It functions as a ghost radar. Once it finds something, it beeps at a certain pace until it finds or loses something. If it loses something, the arms go lower, the flashing slows down, and the beeping goes at a slower rate. Gaining something is indicated by the opposite actions.” Then, it happened. The arms raised and started flashing.
“…Seriously?!” gulped Wyldstyle.
“Suits on,” I recommended.
“Rider…” began Hongo.
“Henshin!” we announced.
“I heard a Henshin!” called Mr. Saunders as he came back in his usual clothes. He saw us. “What’s going on?”
“We’ve got a ghost, Daddy,” said Touché. Mr. Saunders then dropped the lovable idiot act and assumed his army colonel persona.
“What’s our move here?” he requested.
“We find this thing,” I replied. “Richard, take point.”
“On it,” he confirmed. He led us around the room and stopped when the arms went higher and flashed more rapidly at the West Door. He scanned down the hall both ways. We followed him to his right. We went down it until we stopped at an armory.
“Better have those that can use weapons to grab them,” suggested Arch.
“Agreed,” I replied. “Those that can fight, grab a weapon.” The fighters did so as we left. The PKE meter went nuts as we faced the end of the hall. There was a transmat at the other end and the robot that killed Heather was at the other end, fiddling with it. The fighters then returned. “Stay close!” I whispered. “No one move yet!” The robot carried out its work. It then put down the tools it was using and hovered back a bit to admire its handiwork. “ATTACK!” I ordered. The robot turned and saw us. It pulled a gun on us and fired. We fired back. “Try not to damage its head!” I called.
“What about it damaging ours?!” protested Mr. Babineaux. The robot then engaged the transmat and vanished in blue light.
“Kämpfer!” I ordered. “Find out where he went!”
“Hey, what’s going on down there?” asked Max’s voice over the comms. “Something beamed onto the Executor and…” static then drowned out Max’s transmission.
“Max?” I tried. “Mr. Tennyson!”
“That robot must have severed communications somehow,” guessed Sengoku.
“Maybe with Team 10,” I argued, “but Vader’s up there as well.” I opened a communications channel with Vader. “Lord Vader, have you gotten eyes on a stowaway on your ship?” I was greeted with static. “Vader? Darth Vader! ANAKIN!”
“Er, doesn’t go by that name,” reminded Claw.
“What’s going on here?” asked an old voice. We all tried to locate the voice’s source. “Down here!” it called. I looked down to see some sort of tiny, grey, humanoid, frog-like creature with big eyes and dressed in green robes. It had some sort of grey extensions on its head and liver spots.
“Azmuth!” called Touché.
“You know him?” I asked.
“He’s the guy who created the Omnitrix,” answered Guard. “Also, the smartest being, in his words, in three (possibly five) galaxies.”
“Even people from other universes can remember it?” croaked Azmuth. “Why can’t Ben?”
“What are you doing here on Vorton?” I asked. “How did you get here?”
“Some lady calling herself a doctor dragged me into her impossible box and brought me here,” replied Azmuth. “She said she knew why I lost contact with my Omnitrix and where my Ultimatrix rig vanished.”
“THE Doctor,” I corrected. “She’s THE Doctor, a Gallifreyan, a Time-Lord, er, Lady, er…whatever.”
“In any case, she’s onboard a warship called the Executor,” continued Azmuth. “Trying to take care of the communications breakdown, no doubt.”
“We need to get up there!” I declared. “There’s a killer robot on the loose!”
“So, get us up there!” insisted Climb. I was confused by her question, then remembered.
“Dai Super Charge!” I announced. My armor bulked, then the bulk flew off as I made a rift beneath us. We ended up on the Executor’s bridge, with Vader trying to speak to the Doctor. She was wearing a lighter coat and pants with suspenders over a black shirt with a rainbow across her front. She was using her tool-kit as well as a new Sonic Screwdriver at some sort of console.
“Madam, it would be wise to…!” protested Vader.
“I’ll take it from here, Lord Vader,” I announced. Vader and the Doctor looked up to see me.
“How did you get on board?” asked the Doctor.
“Easy when you’re Vortex,” I replied. “Did you find any intruder?”
“Yes, that robot from Jurassic World,” answered the Doctor. “The one you talked about.”
“So, he DID end up here,” I mused. “He’s making our newest Foundation Element go haywire.” Guard held up the PKE meter. It was beeping again, but steadily.
“That way,” remarked Guard.
“Lead on,” I directed. Vader, some stormtroopers, and the Doctor joined us. We headed down the corridors for a bit until the blast doors closed.
“Open the blast doors! OPEN THE BLAST DOORS!” ordered a Stormtrooper as a trio of them tried to get the door open.
“Er, guys,” called Ben’s voice over the comms, “what’s going on?”
“Ghost possessing a robot,” I replied. “Can Gwen find out where it’s going?”
“Sadly, no,” answered Gwen. “If it’s a ghost, there’s no mana to track.”
“It’s possessing a robot?” asked Max. “We should be able to track via the electric charge it uses to move. Ben, can you use Grey Matter to find him?”
“Easy enough for the little guy with the mega brain,” boasted Ben. I heard a sound that indicated the Omnitrix was changing Ben. “UPGRADE!” shouted Ben’s normal voice in a robotic undertone. “Oh, COME ON!”
“Ben, what did I say about banging on my Omnitrix?” snapped Azmuth.
“Azmuth?!” called Upgrade. “I didn’t push down on the core THAT hard! Anyways, I can work with this. There’s a computer terminal here.” Ben went silent for a while, then spoke again. “He’s trying to gain access to Engineering,” reported Upgrade. “Uh oh, he found me! He’s…typing a message. He can’t speak, so he wants me to read his message aloud. He can hear us.”
“Let’s hear it,” I directed.
“And, I quote, ‘Relinquish access to Engineering or I detonate this ship like an atom bomb!’” relayed Upgrade.
“I don’t respond well to threats,” hissed Vader.
“‘Your intimidation factor does not work on me, Sith Lord,’” replied Upgrade. “Er…that’s the…”
“I know who spoke, thank you,” dismissed Vader. “Intruder, I can cause undue pain to your body from here. Cease your operations at once.”
“‘Considering that I currently have the body of PO-Lambda 2279,’” relayed Upgrade, “‘I see no reason to be afraid.’”
“‘PO-Lambda?’” I asked. X-PO then came in.
“I heard the whole thing on the way here,” he answered. “So, the ghost has PO-Lambda?”
“What does the name mean?” I asked.
“Well, what do the letters in my name stand for?” asked X-PO.
“Experimental Portal Opera…that thing’s another you?!” I realized.
“A Lambda class Portal Operator Robot,” confirmed X-PO. “A more advanced version of me. 2278 was the last of the class sold before Vorton went the way it is. 2279 was finished in terms of physical build, but never got on the shelves because the A.I wasn’t ready yet.”
“You say that as if your type of robot was meant to be sold as if it were a TV set,” I mused.
“No, sold like TV antennas,” corrected X-PO. “The Gateways were the TV sets. The Vortonians simply viewed other universes for entertainment and only interfered when authorized to do so.”
“But, an entire species…” I muttered.
“It’s more like a contract between PO Robot and Owner,” replied X-PO. “We PO Robots have to go through an extensive interview process as well as our potential owners. There has to be compatibility between the two, otherwise, there’s no real respect.”
“So, it’s not slavery to you?” I quizzed.
“Not really,” replied X-PO. “I mean, yes, there ARE wackos who would use a PO Robot for evil gains, Vortech is a prime example, but, for the most part, we’re good judges of character.”
“I see,” I muttered.
“You’re not worried about abusing my abilities, are you?” asked X-PO.
“…That worry extends to everyone,” I murmured. Everyone stared.
“I will admit,” answered Claw, “I did NOT expect that from calm, collected Megumi Hishikawa.”
“Sorry,” I replied, “it’s just that I know what being taken advantage of looks like and I worry about that. I’m the daughter of a creature that did that.”
“Now, stop that!” snapped Okaa-san. “I don’t want to hear you use that kind of talk. You are NOT that monster.”
“Okaa-san’s right,” agreed Sengoku. “If you did take advantage of anyone, the F.N.S wouldn’t be here.”
“You helped us when we needed it,” reminded Guard. “That’s why we said you should be Queen. We know, deep down, you’ll be there for us. And, rest assured, we’ll be there for you.”
“I don’t normally make friends,” rasped Batman, “but the F.N.S has helped me in more ways than you could imagine.”
“This whole adventure, hell-raising though it is,” assured Ichigō, “is exciting. I wouldn’t get anywhere without you.”
“Thanks, everyone,” I answered, smiling under my helmet. Then, the ship lurched! “Ben, what on Earth was that?!” I called.
“The intruder went past the firewalls I set up!” answered Upgrade. The blast doors then opened to reveal Team 10. There was a black computer terminal with green circuit lines and the Omnitrix symbol.
“Can you get the Doctor, Rusty, and Kämpfer to engineering?” I asked. “They may need to fix whatever damage the intruder caused.” A mound of the colors that currently make up the terminal with a green circle rose up. The circle acted as the eye.
“It’s gonna be tricky, but I can manage,” replied Upgrade. “Rusty’s on the other end of the ship.”
“Rusty, this is Megumi,” I called over the Comms.
“Awaiting commands!” reported Rusty.
“Ben’s going to open a path to Engineering for you,” I explained. “Kämpfer and the Doctor will meet you there. You need to fix whatever damage the intruder caused.”
“I obey!” obliged Rusty.
“Let me go with them,” suggested Azmuth. “They need a genius.”
“Sure, like they need you going on about how you’re the smartest being in 12 galaxies,” snapped Upgrade as the eye changed shape to show irritation.
“Three, arguably five, galaxies,” corrected Touché. “Why is that so difficult for you to remember?!”
“Whatever,” dismissed Upgrade.
“Besides, the more geniuses, the merrier,” I continued. “Be careful, Azmuth.”
“Of course,” assured Azmuth. The Doctor let Azmuth onto her shoulder and she and Kämpfer took off.
“Vader, Brigadier, Guard, Ben, with me. We’re gonna try and regain control of the ship from the bridge,” I directed.
“Not a good idea,” countered Upgrade as the black and green circuit color melted off, formed a puddle, and then a figure rose from the puddle made of the stuff, but had a green front with green underarms and black circuit lines. This was Upgrade in his original Galvanic Mechamorph state. The Omnitrix symbol was on his chest. “The intruder is on his way to the bridge,” reported Upgrade. “He’ll try and stop us.”
“Then you and Vader keep him off of me and Guard’s back,” I replied.
“He’s not on the main bridge,” reported Vader. “I can sense him going to the backup bridge. We need to get down there quickly.”
“I may have a way,” answered Upgrade. He slapped the Omnitrix symbol and changed shape in a green light. He looked like a stereotypical ghost with one eye on a track and chains on his neck and arms. “GHOSTFREAK!” he announced in a harsh whisper. “I was hoping for Big Chill, but this will do. Which deck?”
“Deck 2, 10 floors below,” answered Vader. Ghostfreak then got me, Vader, and Guard close together and phased us all through the floor. We went down 10 levels before arriving at the backup bridge.
“Okay, that was weird!” I shuddered The intruder then arrived and Ghostfreak and Vader started fighting it. The intruder pulled out his gun and fired while Vader tried to crush its armor with the Force. It didn’t go well as the intruder wiggled out of his grasp and fired on Vader’s control panel. He started having trouble breathing. I went to fix it while Ghostfreak charged at the intruder, intending to knock the ghost in the machine out. The intruder wasn’t having it as he dodged Ghostfreak numerous times.
“All right, this song and dance is making me very angry!” hissed Ghostfreak. “It just makes want to unleash my ever-growing…” he slapped the Omnitrix symbol as he changed into “rrrrrRRRAAAATTHHH!” he said. The robot then shot Rath’s wrestling shorts. They burned up as Rath ran around, slapping on the fire. It died and revealed his crotch. It was covered in fur, but Rath seemed to get madder. “You…you burned up my pants!” He then roared and slammed the robot onto the floor and punched it a lot. “LET ME TELL YA SOMETHIN’, GHOST POSSESSING A ROBOT! YOU CAN BURN ME! YOU CAN BURN MY HOUSE! YOU CAN BURN THE THINGS I STAND FOR! YOU CAN EVEN BURN MY FEELINGS, IF I HAD ANY! BUT NO ONE, AND I MEAN NO ONE, BURNS AN APPOPLEXIAN OF HIS HIGHLY ADVANCED SENSE OF SHAME!” He was about to slam both fists down when the intruder caught them and tossed him aside. “KARATE’S GOOD!” roared Rath. “RATH’S GONNA CALL YOU KARATE-BOT, KARATE BOT!” The ship lurched again and Rath crashed onto the intruder.
“Backup bridge to engineering, what’s going on?!” I called.
“There’s a radiation leak!” replied the Doctor’s voice. “One of the engine batteries ruptured! It’s contained, but we can’t get in to plug up the leak!”
“Vader, how bad is the radiation in the batteries?” I asked.
“It’s enough to kill anyone, even beings like me, in 10 minutes,” explained Vader.
“Oh boy,” I sighed. “Try to find another way to plug up the leak and filter out the radiation, Doctor. I’m still locked on trying to get the ship under control.”
“On it!” called the Doctor.
“Sir, now really,” snarled the Brigadier to the intruder. “Can’t we just get connected?” He extended a probe and jammed it into the PO Robot’s head. The intruder didn’t like that, so he sent electricity down the probe and shocked the Brigadier.
“Alistair!” I called.
“I’m fine,” assured the Brigadier, “though, I think my systems are damaged. We need more power, like, more power than Rath has!” Rath got an idea.
“LET ME TELL YA SOMETHIN’ SIR BRIGADIER ALISTAIR GORDON LETHBRIDGE-STEWART, FOUNDING CYBERMAN OF THE UNITED NEBULAR INTELLIGENCE TASK-FORCE, THAT’S A GREAT IDEA! THERE’S A TIME TO GO HERO, AND THERE’S A TIME TO GO ULTIMATE!” Rath turned the Ultimatrix rig key and slapped the Omnitrix symbol down. He got bigger, his fur went a darker shade of orange, he gained claws on each finger and another claw on each wrist, and his mane looked a lot like Wolverine from Marvel Comics. He had a vest that looked like it had green cat’s eyes and new pants. “ULTIMATE RATH!” he roared. He then looked himself over. “Cool! Wait, I’m keeping a level head? That’s all I ask for when I turn into Rath!”
“I guess Evolved Appoplexians get a cooler head in millions of years of worse case scenarios,” I mused.
“Nice!” cheered Ultimate Rath. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to kick a ghost in a robot’s rear!” Ultimate Rath then charged on all fours at the intruder. He leapt onto him and decked him. The intruder’s robot body sparked and went offline. “That was for Rath’s pants!” roared Ultimate Rath. The Omnitrix symbol then started flashing red. “And this is a perfect time to power down,” chuckled Ultimate Rath, “now that the threat is over.” The Omnitrix beeped and then Ultimate Rath shrunk down to Rath, then went back to Ben.
“Just so you know,” I criticized, “we were shaking like Jell-O when you fought as Ultimate Rath.”
“Sorry, I never used Ultimate Rath before,” answered Ben with a sheepish grin. The Comms then beeped.
“Go ahead,” I called.
“The leak has been sealed,” reported the Doctor.
“All right!” I cheered. “How did you guys do it?”
“We didn’t,” answered Azmuth. “Rusty did. Manually. In the infected zone.”
“…But…the radiation…” I stammered.
“Megumi, you need to get to Engineering, NOW!” called Kämpfer. A worst case scenario entered my mind.
“Guys, MOVE!” I shouted. We ran to Engineering. When we entered, there was a transparent wall with us on one side and Rusty on the other. The Brigadier and I rushed to the wall, but Lukas and the Doctor held us back.
“Get out of the way, Doctor!” demanded the Brigadier.
“You can’t go in!” argued the Doctor.
“But, the radiation! He’ll die!” cried the Brigadier.
“Brigadier! Sir! ALISTAIR!” snapped the Doctor. The Brigadier and I stopped struggling. “He’s already too far gone.” They released us, allowing us to walk over to the infected zone. Rusty wasn’t twitching as much. His dome swiveled slowly as the eye was getting dimmer. He then rotated his body slowly.
“Let…me…see…you…” he croaked. “The…real…you…” Rusty’s casing then opened, slowly. His real self was looking a sickly brown as his eye was opened slowly. I cancelled my transformation as the Brigadier opened his helmet. “Do…not…grieve,” said Rusty weakly. “I did…what was…needed.”
“Rusty, there was a plethora of droids!” I cried, tears coming down my face. “They didn’t have organic components!”
“They…did not…have…the needed…skill…” wheezed Rusty. One of his tentacles touched the glass. The Brigadier put his hand up to it. “Alistair…” he continued, “I…hope…this…banishes…any doubt…you held…about…me…”
“Any doubt I had was banished ages ago, old chap,” mumbled the Brigadier. “You’ve become more than a Dalek. You’ve become my friend.” There was a few seconds silence.
“I…am in…pain…” reported. Rusty. I moved to speak, but Rusty cut me off. “This…is fine. …I…will die…so you…may live. …But…before…I die…I’m glad…I met…you…”
“Rusty, we can help!” I wailed.
“No…you…cannot…” countered Rusty. “…I…die…for a good…cause. …The needs…of the many…outweigh…the needs…of the few…as Spock…would…put it. …Good…bye…my friends.” Rusty’s real eye closed, his true limbs drooped as well as his shell’s limbs, and his eyestalk stopped glowing once it went down. Rusty, the friendly Dalek…was dead.
The Brigadier retrieved Rusty’s last wish from a backup computer in his shell. Rusty wanted his real body to be taken out of the shell and fired into a star, to symbolize his rebirth from normal Dalek soldier to our friend. When the radiation levels were acceptable, we got Rusty out and decontaminated his body. We preserved him for a while so we could set up his funeral. It took place in the Gateway room and we all wore dark clothing. Batman had gotten out of his Bat suit and put on normal funeral clothes, putting on the persona of Bruce Wayne. He even dropped the raspy voice he uses as Batman. The Brigadier had his armor painted black. Someone knocked on my door. “Yes?” I asked, a little shaky as Okaa-san laced me up.
“Megumi, dear, it’s time,” whispered Death.
“On my way,” I mumbled. Okaa-san followed me, her hand on my shoulder to reassure me. Soon, we arrived. A track with a little coffin on our end and the controls behind the coffin rested. It was open casket, so we could see Rusty’s real self. Two of his tentacles were resting as a corpse’s hands would, clasped together, and his eye was closed. I took my place at the controls. Okaa-san was behind me as well as Hiroki. Hongo and Wyldstyle were on my left while Bruce and Gandalf were on my right. “Minna-san,” I began, “today, we gather to honor the death of a friend, Rusty the Dalek. Before an encounter with his people’s greatest enemy, the Doctor, Rusty’s ship was attacked and destroyed. He survived, but with damage. That damage allowed him to see a star being born and see what a beautiful thing life is. During an encounter with the Doctor, he joined the humans and made a name for himself. Over time, he became friends with Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Then, both he and the newly-christened Brigadier joined us and became our allies, helping us when needed. He gave his life so we may continue the fight against Lord Vortech. I, for one, will fight in his name, as I know you all will. I must say, out of all the souls I met in the multiverse, his was the most…diverse.” I nodded to Mr. Saunders.
“Present…ARMS!” he barked. Everybody raised a weapon in salute. I then pressed a button on the controls and Rusty’s coffin moved. It went slowly to allow us to say goodbye. Soon, it left the rail from Vorton and floated to one of the stars, where his body was consumed to make new fuel for that star. Rusty was returned to cosmic shores.
“I will not say ‘do not weep’,” said Gandalf softly, “for not all tears are an evil.” As we departed, Emily and Okaa-san joined me in my quarters. We sat on my bed. At that point, I let myself cry uncontrollably. I was embraced by Emily and sobbed as she held my trembling frame. Okaa-san held us both. We all wept for Rusty. Emily then saw something and directed me to look on my dresser. Azmuth was standing there.
“I am…sorry you’re going through this,” he whispered. “From what you said, Rusty had evolved beyond the hatred that was bred into his species.” I sniffed before answering.
“Yes,” I mumbled. “Personally, I think he would have been a worthy host of the Omnitrix.”
“Very much so,” agreed Azmuth.
“Azmuth,” called Emily as she dried her eyes, “as long you’re here, I have a question.”
“Go ahead,” replied Azmuth.
“Ben had the Omnitrix taken from him when he was in Jurassic World,” recalled Emily. “After it got itself off the thief, I was its new host for a while. When I had it, I couldn’t access my belt’s powers or suit. Could the Omnitrix have blocked that somehow?”
“I’m not sure,” answered Azmuth. “The Omnitrix never did that before. I’ll look into it when I get back.”
“Okay,” I mumbled. Azmuth departed.
“Do you need anything?” asked Emily.
“I just need to be alone for a bit,” I whimpered.
“Okay,” sighed Emily. She and Okaa-san left as I laid on the bed. For the first time, I felt my own mortality, and the mortality of my friends. I laid still for a while.
“…Rusty,” sang a woman’s voice.
“AUGH!” I screamed in surprise as I tumbled off my bed.
“AUGH!” screamed the woman.
“AUGH!” I screamed as I picked myself up.
“AUGH!” screamed the woman.
“AUGH!” I screamed.
“AUGH!” screamed the woman.
“…AUGH!” I screamed.
“AUGH!” screamed the woman. “WHY ARE WE SCREAMING ‘AUGH’ OVER AND OVER?!”
“DOCTOR, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!” I shouted.
“Rusty never got a good tribute song!” replied the Doctor.
“Get the hell out of my room and let me grieve in peace!” I snarled, the anger I thought I had gotten over was coming back.
“Rusty needs a song!” protested the Doctor. “He needs to be immortalized somehow!”
“I heard screaming!” whispered a voice. It was Death.
“I was screaming at the Doctor,” I replied. “Doctor, if I let you sing a tribute to Rusty, will you let me be?!”
“Of course,” assured the Doctor. I sat down, and the Doctor sang to the tune of Amazing Grace.
How great was he,
That saved people
I never thought,
I would find heart,
But, a heart, I see,
The Doctor finished. “Wasn’t that lovely?” she asked. I just glared at her. “My work is done.” The Doctor entered the TARDIS and departed.
“I should go, as well,” whispered Death.
“Death, wait,” I called.
“Hm?” hummed Death.
“I know that you and the Apocalypse Riders will see him,” I began, “but, do you think we mortals will see him again?”
“He IS dead,” whispered Death, “and no one can cure it, so…”
“But, is there hope?” I asked.
“There never was,” whispered Death, “just a fool’s hope.”
“…I guess,” I sighed.
“I’ll let you be,” whispered Death. “We shall meet again, before the end.”
“…Bye…” I mumbled. Death left and I got ready for bed. We had already had dinner, so I just brushed my teeth, put on my nightgown, and got into bed. “…Goodbye, Rusty,” I mumbled. “Thank you.”