Me and my group had arrived in Main Street USA. Given that we were in an area where cartoons and people worked together, I felt no reason to hide. Alesandro looked around, a little on edge. “Alesandro, relax,” I urged. “We’re safe right now.”
“It’s not us I’m worried about, Michael,” replied Alesandro. “It’s Shocker Rift. What if they recruited the villains from here?”
“Then we kick their asses,” grunted War. “I don’t see an issue here.”
“With respect, it’s more than that,” replied Charline. “What if the villains find your Source?”
“Now THAT is a reasonable concern,” I conceded. “Kit-10, scan the area. See if you can find the Source.”
“I’ve been doing that since we got here,” reported Kit-10. “Haven’t been able to find it yet.”
“Then how do we get to it?” asked Hiroki.
“We need to get to a place with sensors Kit-10 can hook up to,” figured Irina.
“So where shall we find this place?” asked Gandalf.
“The best way to do that,” Discornia declared, “is to ask a policeman.”
“A guardsman,” I translated for Gandalf. We found a policeman. “Excuse me, Officer,” I called. “Where could one go to find advanced technology?”
“All the weird stuff’s at the castle right now,” replied the officer as he pointed with both fingers. Just then, an explosion occurred at the castle and someone flew out carrying something.
“Kit-10, did you get a good look at the flying thing?!” I quizzed.
“Well, the person himself, yes, but not the object he was carrying off,” replied Kit-10. “The person goes under the alias ‘Green Goblin’, real name: Norman Osborn.”
“Why would the Goblin attack Disney Castle?” pondered Hiroki.
“Hold on, we may get answers,” called Kit-10. “It looks like Spider-Man is swinging into action. He just knocked the Goblin off his glider and managed to get him into a dumpster. The Goblin’s dropped whatever he was carrying off and…it’s just vanished in midair.”
“Teleport?” I asked.
“The flash surrounding it sure made me think so,” confirmed Kit-10.
“Maybe we should talk to Spider-Man and the Goblin,” suggested Charline.
“Good idea,” I agreed. “Let’s go!” We headed off to the ally the Goblin landed in to see that he was already out of the dumpster and webbed to a wall while Spider-Man was questioning him.
“So, again,” muttered Spider-Man in a disbelieving tone, “Mrs. Doom kidnapped you, then her husband strapped you to your glider, programmed it to attack Disney Castle, programmed your suit to grab X, then you were compelled to fly back to Latveria with X.”
“Well, it doesn’t sound believable when you say it like THAT!” hissed the Green Goblin.
“One glaring flaw in your alibi makes it unbelievable,” replied Spider-Man, “you’re wearing your old suit! The gloves and boots don’t exactly have computers! How could they grab anything against your will?!”
“Excuse me, are we interrupting?” I called as we approached.
“Just a fat lie,” replied Spider-Man. Iron Man then flew towards us with Mickey Mouse on his back.
“Anything?” asked Mickey.
“That depends,” replied Spider-Man. “If a lie is something, then yeah.”
“Good thing you installed that retrieval teleporter on X,” praised Iron Man.
“Thanks, Dad!” bid Spider-Man. We then ALL looked at Spider-Man in stark confusion. “…Why is everyone staring at me?” asked Spider-Man.
“You just called Iron Man ‘Dad’,” replied Irina. “You said ‘Thanks, Dad’.”
“What? No, I didn’t!” denied Spider-Man.
“Spider-Man, do you see me as a father figure?” asked Iron Man.
“No, if anything,” answered Spider-Man, “I see you as a bother figure because you’re always bothering me!”
“Boy!” snapped Gandalf. “Show your father more respect!”
“I didn’t call him ‘Dad’!” insisted Spider-Man.
“No, Spidey, it’s okay,” replied Iron Man. “I take it as a compliment.”
“It’s all right,” supplied Kit-10. “I once called Pup-X5 ‘Dad’ once, and we’re about to tie the knot.”
“Guys, jump on that!” urged Spider-Man. “A robot with psycho-sexual issues!”
“Counselling dealt with that problem quickly,” Hiroki replied, “but you calling Iron Man ‘Daddy’…”
“Hey, ‘Daddy’ is NOT on the table here!” hissed Spider-Man.
“But, you DID call him ‘Dad’, Spider-man,” continued the Green Goblin, making us remember him.
“You, shut up!” snapped Spider-Man. “You’ve done nothing but lie since I webbed you up!”
“All right, all right, I WAS lying about Doctor Doom and his wife forcing me to take X,” admitted the Goblin. “They offered me dibs on studying it for our alliance. The ‘Dad’ thing, however? That happened.”
“AHA!” cheered Spider-Man. “He admitted his alibi was a lie! It was a trap! All part of my master plan!”
“Good work,” praised Iron Man, “son.” Spider-Man just sighed.
“That’s not gonna go away any time soon,” he muttered.
“So, what IS X?” I inquired.
“You wanna see?” offered Mickey.
“If it’s not too inconvenient,” I replied.
“We COULD use a fresh perspective,” mused Mickey. “Come with us.”
“I’ll take Gobby to jail,” declared Iron Man as he slung the Green Goblin’s cocoon over his shoulder and took off.
“I guess…I’ll just go back on patrol,” sighed Spider-Man. Just then, his phone rang. He looked at the number. “Oh no, Aunt May! I’m late!” he yelped. He pulled his mask up as far as his mouth and started talking to his Aunt while swinging on the rooftops. “Hi, Aunt May!” he began. “Sorry! I got into a scrape with the Green Goblin…” His voice finally faded away as he swung home.
“Follow me, please,” directed Mickey as he led us to the castle.
“Er, hello?” called War. “My Source?”
“The sensors at the castle should help me find it,” replied Kit-10. “In the meantime, the Castle awaits. Spit-spot!”
“…Did…you just quote Mary Poppins at me?” quizzed a confused War as she followed us. We were granted access to the castle and escorted to the main science bay where Dr. Banner was working with Professor Ludwig Von Drake.
“Professor…” began Mickey before he was interrupted by a an explosion that knocked Dr. Banner backwards and made him turn into the Hulk. The Hulk then hit a wall and massaged his head.
“…Ow,” he grunted. Professor Von Drake turned to us, smoking from being so near the explosion.
“May I help you with something?” he asked weakly.
“These people are here to see X and use our sensors to find some source,” explained Mickey.
“The ‘S’ is capital,” grunted War, “like Discworld’s Assassins.”
“Very well,” declared Professor Von Drake. “Dr. Banner, could you show the one needing the sensors to the necessary workstation?”
“Fine,” grunted the Hulk. Kit-10 followed the Hulk out of the room.
“Everyone else, follow me, please,” directed Professor Von Drake. He led us to a room that had a door on the other end and a workstation with a monitor near the door. “Now, to see if the cameras work,” muttered Professor Von Drake. He fiddled with the monitor before groaning in frustration.
“Mind if I take a peek?” offered Irina.
“Wear these,” directed Mickey as he tossed her a pair of heavy gloves. “The last person who touched it with his bare hands turned into ashes.”
“Got it,” replied Irina as she put the gloves on. The door opened to allow her access to X’s chamber. Once it shut, Professor Von Drake managed to switch the audio on. “Privet,” (Hello) greeted Irina. “Menya zovut Irina. Kak vas zovut?” (My name is Irina. What’s your name?)
“Ex,” was the reply. The tone…sounded hauntingly familiar.
“…Lights,” requested Irina.
“What?” asked Professor Von Drake.
“Lights!” repeated Irina. Professor Von Drake then keyed in a command.
“The lights SHOULD be on,” reported the Professor.
“They are,” replied Irina, “but now I wish they weren’t. It’s a Dalek. Shocker Rift casing, Drone Class if the color scheme is anything to go by.”
“Not what I wanted to hear,” I groaned.
“Good news, the Dalek is damaged,” continued Irina. “Better news, it’s unarmed. A perfect opportunity to destroy it.”
“What?! NO!” protested Professor Von Drake.
“Professor, with all due respect,” countered Gandalf, “that is not your decision to make.”
“Proceed with the Dalek’s destruction,” I directed.
“Spasibo,” (Thank you) bid Irina.
“Vortex Driver!” announced her belt.
“Henshin!” called Irina. The machinery of the wardrobe could be heard as it attached her armor to her. Professor Von Drake quickly opened the door to try and stop her but she was already in her Rider persona, Kamen Rider Climb. Professor Von Drake and Mickey tried to hold her back as I tried to get them out of the way. During our struggle, however, we all failed to notice a particle of light from Climb’s wardrobe land on the Dalek. It enveloped the killer and reactivated a few systems. We all stopped struggling when we heard it gurgle.
“Rift…particle…extrapolated,” it croaked. “Beginning…casing…regeneration!” It then started moving!
“EVERYONE OUT!” I shouted. We all managed to get out and seal the room.
“Why are you so panicked?” asked Professor Von Drake. “The lock has 387,420,489 possible combinations. It can’t get out.”
“That may be a drone Dalek, but it’s still a genius,” I argued. “It can calculate a trillion combinations in ten seconds flat!”
“It’s over ten seconds right now,” observed War.
“…You’re right, it should be attacking us by now,” I realized.
“It’s unarmed, remember?” reminded Climb.
“That plunger can crush a man’s skull!” I replied.
“A slow death, too slow for a Dalek,” countered Climb.
“Why do you talk about that ‘Dalek’ as if it is a bad guy?!” snapped Professor Von Drake.
“Since they aren’t native to your universe and since I’m the expert on their native universe, I’ll explain,” I began. “The Daleks are an alien race originally a humanoid race called the Kaleds. The Kaleds were at war with the Thals, embroiled in a nuclear war over control of their mutual home planet of Skaro. To try and break the thousand year deadlock, the Kaled Chief Scientist, Davros, accelerated the mutations of his species into their ‘Ultimate’ state. What he created, he placed in a metal war machine. Cue the Dalek Empire, spanning across time and space in more ways than one. Because of their liberal use of time travel, the Dalek Empire threatens to collapse under the weight of its own paradoxes.”
“…You mean…” gulped Mickey.
“That thing has something alive inside,” confirmed Alesandro.
“We have had one too many dealings with the Daleks,” muttered Gandalf.
“Well, it’s unarmed, as you say,” mused Professor Von Drake. “Perhaps we can reason with it?”
“Reason with it?” repeated Hiroki. “Professor, you DON’T reason with a Dalek. They can’t be reasoned with.”
“Nonsense,” dismissed the Professor. ‘Everything wants something!”
“Who is one of your more brilliant colleagues?” I asked.
“Shuri of Wakanda,” answered the Professor.
“And Wakanda’s population is?” quizzed War.
“6,000,000,” replied the Professor.
“All dead,” declared Charline. “If the Dalek gets out, it will kill every Wakandan. Man, woman, child, it makes little difference to the Dalek.”
“Why would it WANT to kill innocent people?!” snapped the Professor, still not believing us.
“Because we’re genetically inferior,” explained Discornia. “The Daleks hold the belief that they are the purest life-forms in existence. Any other life-form is an abomination that must be, as they so eloquently put it, exterminated. It’s the ultimate racial cleanser and now it’s loose!” The door then hissed as it opened to reveal the Dalek.
“Weapons!” I called as those of us who didn’t transform into our Rider personas readied our belts.
“Parlay!” barked the Dalek.
“…Pardon?” I quizzed.
“I invoke the right of Parlay!” replied the Dalek.
“…ARE YOU KIDDING?!” I shouted.
“Like you would know what Parlay means!” taunted Alesandro.
“I do!” barked the Dalek. “Neither side has a clear advantage!”
“You don’t have a gunstick, we have weapons to pierce your hide,” I argued. “I’d say WE have the advantage!”
“My shielding is online!” replied the Dalek. “I can cancel out any attacks, be they melee or ranged! When you tire, my shield will be down. Once you regain your strength and resume the assault, my shield will be restored and the cycle begins again!” I then sighed.
“Stalemate, then,” I muttered. “All right, we’ll hear you out.”
“Michael!” snapped Irina, remembering when she was put into a coma on Skaro.
“I don’t like it any more than you do,” I replied. I then turned to the Dalek. “Proceed.”
“You are looking for War’s Source and the Tarlaxian Scout ship!” began the Dalek. A statement rather than a question.
“Correct,” I answered.
“Both are believed to have been taken to the Eastern-European country of Latveria!” reported the Dalek. “Doctor Doom and his wife, Maleficent, intend to dissect the Tarlaxians within 103,984.8 rels!”
“…How long is a rel?” asked the Professor.
“Three Earth seconds!” answered the Dalek. Professor Von Drake then started calculating, first multiplying 103,984.8 by three, then dividing that answer by sixty, then dividing by sixty again to get 86.654 hours.
“These ‘Tarlaxians’,” he reported, “have three days, fourteen hours, 39 minutes, and fourteen seconds before they’re taken apart!”
“Latveria is also in possession of my weapon!” barked the Dalek.
“So, we go talk to Doctor Doom,” I guessed, “and convince him not to dissect the Tarlaxians while you grab your gunstick and then we’ll fight over the Source?”
“Correct!” replied the Dalek.
“…Done,” I answered.
“Not done!” barked War.
“Done,” countered Irina.
“The Daleks put you into a coma!” snapped War.
“It was Davros who put me into a coma,” argued Irina.
“Because that makes it SO much better!” growled War.
“We need the Source,” I countered. “Dalek, we agree to your terms.”
“Very well!” barked the Dalek. “We will proceed immediately! Immediately!” I called up Kit-10.
“Kit-10, there’s a change of plans,” I began. “Meet us in the hangar. We’re taking X to Latveria. Keep your stun blaster trained on it as X is a Dalek Drone.”
“…And why, pray tell, are we taking a Dalek to Latveria?” quizzed Kit-10.
“Its weapon, the Source, and the Tarlaxian Scout ship are located there,” I explained. “We have a truce until the Dalek is rearmed, then we proceed to fight over the Source.”
“A rather shaky truce,” muttered Kit-10. “On my way.” She ended the call.
“The hangar’s this way,” directed Mickey. He led us all through the castle to the hangar.
“While we’re walking, I have a question,” called Alesandro. “Did Maleficent REALLY marry Doctor Doom?”
“She did,” replied Mickey. “I wasn’t invited. Then again, it was a villains-only wedding. Iago DID get me footage of the…”
“SILENCE!” barked the Dalek.
“You’re not in a position to give orders!” I snapped as I advanced on the Dalek.
“KEEP AWAY!” yelped the Dalek as it reversed.
“I knew it,” I hissed, “you’re scared without your precious gunstick.”
“Can we please?!” snapped Mickey. “We’re here.” We had entered the hangar, united with Kit-10, and boarded an aircraft with Mickey’s usual symbol on it. We boarded the vessel and sat down in various seats while Mickey took the pilot’s seat and Professor Von Drake took the Copilot’s seat. The Dalek just stood there, twitching all the while. “Could somebody strap X in?” called Mickey.
“That is not required!” barked the Dalek. “I will remain on the floor if we encounter turbulence!”
“How do you know?!” I snapped as I fastened safety straps onto Kit-10.
“…I am Dalek Drone 8872345!” declared the Dalek.
“You’re a murderous b*****d that feels only hatred,” I hissed as we strapped in.
“All flight checks complete,” called Professor Von Drake. “We’re cleared for departure!”
“Off we go!” cheered Mickey as he fired up the engines. The hangar doors opened and we took off, making a beeline towards Latveria.