“Shut it down! Shut it down!” shouted Batman as we arrived on Vorton. Rusty closed the portal.
“A ‘please’ would be nice,” snarked X-PO. No one dignified that with a response. “Relax, it’s already shut down. What’s the problem?”
“No problem,” panted Wyldstyle as she handed off the Diamond Scarab. “Nothing. No. Unless you count LORD VORTECH BEING THERE?!”
“I certainly would!” declared Gandalf.
“Vortech was there?!” yelped Tanisha as my team and I cancelled our transformations.
“Yeah, I noticed he was around,” muttered X-PO.
“…Pardon?” I hissed as venom tinged my voice.
“What?” asked X-PO. “Look, do you guys really think he wouldn’t try to settle this himself after his minions failed him?”
“You didn’t think to tell us that, why!?” I asked.
“We can dismantle him later,” stopped Elphaba. “Take it from someone who was a bad guy once, getting your hands dirty means a master-plan’s in the works.”
“Elphaba’s right,” replied Batman. “Vortech’s up to something. We need to rescue our friends now.”
“Indeed,” concurred Gandalf.
“We can’t exactly do that,” reminded Emily, “until we map out Foundation Prime’s location.
“Well,” replied X-PO, “here’s how you make a map where I’m from. I’ll use the Foundation Elements to calculate the dimensional coordinates of Foundation Prime.”
“How long will that take?” I asked.
“That’s the bad news,” winced X-PO. “It’s gonna be two days.”
“WE DON’T HAVE THAT LONG!” shouted Wyldstyle.
“Actually, we probably have longer,” replied Sheela. We all turned to her. “Think about it, why would Vortech want to let a Foundation Element slip through his fingers? He wants us to feel some victory before he strikes.”
“That,” supplied the Brigadier, “or he’s waiting for us.”
“In either case,” finished Lukas, “he’s going to wait as long as we do.”
“Which means,” I realized, “he wants us to witness his victory. Well, we’re not going to let him win. I want everyone to take the two days needed to prepare for the fight. The Vortex and Apocalypse Riders need to be there to beat him anyways. Once we have the coordinates, I’ll get us there.”
“Not going through the Gateway?” asked X-PO.
“We can’t afford to do so,” I replied. “Vortech may use it to get here and take the Foundation Elements we have. I’ll get us there.”
“This is it, then,” mumbled Okaa-san’s voice. She and Lacey came in. Lacey was in a new dress Mom had made for her. “My baby girl,” said Okaa-san, her voice quivering in sadness and fear.
“Okaa-san, I’ll come back,” I promised. “We’ll ALL come back. I promise on my honor as the reigning monarch of the Feudal Nerd Society, we WILL come back, and we WILL come back victorious!”
“We’re gonna hold you to that,” replied Mr. Archer. “It’s not just your life or your brother’s life at stake, but ALL our children’s’ lives.”
“Trust me, their lives will be handled with great care,” I assured.
“…All right,” said Mr. Archer.
“Well now,” mused Emily, “on to some questions. What dimension did you go to?”
“Scooby Doo’s world,” I replied.
“SCOOBY DOO?!” yelped Emily. “AW MAN! I would have died to go there!”
“And I managed to do a bit of burglary on Vortech’s person,” I continued. I pulled the bag out. “And we’ve got more studs here,” I pulled out the bag from the fountain.
“The amount you stole from Vortech,” counted Vortoranii, “was 100,000. And that bag has 745,000. Now we have 4,246,000.”
“Is that good?” asked Wataru.
“It’s enough to buy your own universe,” replied Vortoranii, “just not enough left over to start an economy with.”
“…Our own universe?” I said, intrigued. “We may need to look into that when this is over.”
“Oh boy, Megumi’s thinking on godhood!” teased Richard.
“Am not!” I protested. “I’m fine with being a queen!”
“I don’t know,” chuckled Lacey, “being a god has its perks.”
“All hail Megumi the Eternal!” teased Lukas.
“Oh shut up!” I laughed.
“Okay, enough,” called Okaa-san. The teasing broke up and Wataru snickered.
“You guys are ridiculous,” he observed.
“That’s part of our charm,” I replied. “Will you be staying with us?”
“I cannot,” answered Wataru. “The Fangires are coming back for some odd reason. But, I will join you in the final battle.”
“Maybe you can gather the other Riders we’ve encountered,” requested Hongo.
“Who are they?” asked Wataru.
“Here,” called Lukas as he handed a pen and paper to Wataru.
“We met Wizard,” I began in the order we met them, “Bravo, Fourze, Den-O, OOO, W, Brave, Kabuto, Amazon, Ghost, Ex-Aid, Para-DX, Poppy, Drive, Gaim, Build over there,” I pointed out Sento as he worked with Rusty on the Gateway, “and now you.”
“Got it!” affirmed Wataru.
“Tell everyone,” instructed Hongo, “to meet at Arakawa Nature Park when the call comes out.”
“Arakawa Nature Park, right,” confirmed Wataru. “Sayonara, minna-san!” The Gateway opened for him and he headed home.
“Right,” I declared. “Let’s get started!”
I arrived back on Foundation Prime to see Igura leaning against a wall. “I don’t see anything in your hands,” she observed.
“Lost the Diamond Scarab to the Vortex Riders and Kiva,” I replied. “As of right now, I am in urgent need of good news. Tell me you have something of value.”
“Something,” answered Igura, “and someone.” She stepped aside to reveal a man I had hired gather Foundation Elements for me on this adventure!
“Hiro?!” I asked.
“And I bear a gift for you,” answered Hiro as he produced an over-sized key. “The Foundation Element of D-1-5-N-3-Y. And I have something else as well.”
“Do tell,” I invited.
“Look there,” replied Hiro as he pointed to a screen. I did so, a little disappointed at what I saw.
“Dimensional coordinates?” I muttered.
“VORTON’s dimensional coordinates,” Hiro explained. “The main base of operations for our enemies.”
“Vorton?” I asked. “I thought I had left it a lifeless rock in space.”
“Evidently, X-PO had a hand in restoring the life-support systems,” replied Hiro.
“And you didn’t get any of THEIR Foundation Elements?” asked Igura.
“They harassed me for too long,” explained Hiro. “I had little time to make my escape. On top of that, X-PO didn’t remember Foundation Prime’s coordinates.
“Hence why you were in D-1-5-N-3-Y,” realized Igura.
“It matters not,” I assured. “Let’s see, X-PO is most likely using the Foundation Elements they have to calculate Foundation Prime’s coordinates. Let me see, they have Chen’s staff, the cake, the Palantír, the PKE meter, the game token, and the Diamond Scarab. More than enough to find us. It will take two days for him, so we will prepare for them to siege us while YOU, Hiro, will take THEIR Elements once they are inside the base!”
“Understood,” said Hiro, grinning manically.
“Are you sure?” I asked young Flora.
“Positive, Your Majesty,” replied Flora as she fiddled with her now purple ascot. “Lacey herself told us.”
“With the Vortex Riders mustering,” muttered Brendan, “Tarlax needs to be ready.” I had considered his words.
“Miss Kendall,” I asked Amelia, “how goes the new project you and Sludgiona are working on?”
“Not well,” sighed Amelia. “They’re too unstable. If we gave them to the Vortex Riders now, they would explode at the first opportunity.”
“I am NOT giving them bombs to put on their waists!” I snarled. “We’ll have to proceed without the project. Miss Moore, tell the Horsemen we’re training for the final fight. Miss Elmira, put my warriors through some drills.”
“Got it!” called Sophie as she headed back to After Academy in a swish of blue petticoats.
“On my way,” answered Charline as she headed to the camp. We may be monstrous, but the Tarlaxians will not let the multiverse fall! I, Queen Empress Scorpainia, rightful ruler of the children of Tarlax, disciple of the Four Horsemen we Tarlaxians worship, swear this!
Lacey and Flora had informed me of what’s going on in their respective locations. The Heralds were a bit miffed that they weren’t inducted into the F.N.S but conceded that they hadn’t interacted with Megumi all that much. So, it begins. The final stretch of this war is approaching us. I pray my allies, no, my FRIENDS, can save their loved ones. I smoothed out my dress as I walked towards the selectively-permeable wall leading to my balcony. There was a slight tingle as I passed through it and I was greeted with a clear night. I hoped it was a good omen. This war has proven to be rather long. War was busy training her troops in the courtyard below. I had hoped for a peaceful solution with Vortech, hoping he’d never find Foundation Prime, but it was a vain hope. Even I, Death herself, can make mistakes on an incalculable magnitude.