Megumi had come out of the shower and changed into a bathrobe. She was still doing some soul-searching about disbanding the F.N.S. She sat at her desk and ran her hands over her face, trying to get her thoughts together. Right now, her first priority was getting her friends back and getting everyone home. She sighed, as she had been doing during her shower. She just stared off into space, not really paying attention to anything…until she saw a folded piece of paper with her name written in fancy font and colored gold with black lines. She opened it and noticed trim around the contents of the paper colored in red, blue, purple, pink, and green. Five roses broke up the contents in a circle. Going clock wise, the roses were pink, blue, green, purple, and red. A circle rested in the center of the roses, divided into five and each segment colored the same as the roses. Megumi read the paper aloud to herself. “‘Megumi Hishikawa. You are cordially invited to participate in the 590,492nd Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale, graciously hosted by the Chizaran Princesses. Declare (with no doubts in your mind) your acceptance and details will be made clear. Congratulations and, should you accept, welcome!’” Confusion crossed her features, causing her to blink. She then pressed a button on her desk. “Scorpainia, could you get War here? I need to talk to both of you about something.”
An hour later, Megumi heard a knock on her door. “Come in,” she bid. War and Scorpainia then stepped in.
“Megumi, I am a very busy Anthropomorphic Personification,” grunted War. “I’m trying to gauge how strong Jandro is for a Vampire. What can be so important that…?” she trailed off. Scorpainia looked at the object causing her to trail off.
“I got a letter recently,” replied Megumi as she turned the paper to show its contents to the two. “Have you two heard about…”
“THE VERSE VS. VERSE RUMBLE ROYALE!!” cheered War and Scorpainia.
“…This is real?” asked Megumi.
“Of course, it’s real!” confirmed War. “I’m surprised you didn’t get the invitation sooner! What are they on, 500,000?”
“590,492, according to the invitation,” corrected Megumi. Scorpainia whistled in astonishment.
“The first race in the multiverse really IS outside of all versions of space-time,” she remarked.
“Could one of you fill in the gaps?” asked Megumi. “I have no earthly idea what any of this means.”
“You don’t?!” yelped Scorpainia. “That surprises me even more!”
“True, not every reality watches it,” mused War, “but with Richard liking a good sports game on tv, I would think…”
“WHAT IS ALL THIS?!” snapped Megumi.
“Why not ask the hostesses of this whole thing?” offered War. “Simply hold your invitation and ask for the history of this event.” Megumi rolled her eyes, but complied.
“I want the history of the Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale!” she called. She then yelped in surprise as five lights, going from red, to blue, to pink, to green, and to purple, appeared, then shaped themselves into the Five Women. All five curtsied before introducing themselves.
“I am Rojenthi, the Red Princess of Chizara, and the war-time leader,” began the woman in red.
“I am Azuliterii, the Blue Princess of Chizara, and the technological leader,” continued the woman in blue.
“I am Rosadera, the Pink Princess of Chizara, and the peace-time leader,” introduced the woman in pink.
“I am Verdutha, the Green Princess of Chizara, and the environmental leader,” called the woman in green.
“And I am Moradelia, the Purple Princess of Chizara, and the history leader,” finished the woman in purple.
“Moradelia shall explain the history of this great event and I will supply the rules behind this,” explained Rojenthi.
“When the first universe was born, we, the Chizarans, were born with it,” lectured Moradelia. “Over time, we discovered the secret to godhood. We obtained and still hold everything, powers of a god, immortality, mastery of space and time, worshippers, everything. Unfortunately, we inherited the curse of the gods. We cannot die, nor can we receive injury of any kind. Because we do not have the same gift of mortality as you do, we became bored. That is when Rojenthi discovered that there are other realities that can merge with each other, so she came up with a way for us to admit ignorance in one respect: the interactions of other universes and their representative species. We then developed a tournament and named it the Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale.”
“We invite fighters from many different realities,” continued Rojenthi, “and have them fight over a magnificent prize while broadcasting the whole event to any reality that can see it.”
“So, wait, it’s a sporting event?” asked Megumi.
“Yes,” confirmed Rojenthi. “We have interviews, bets on the fighters, speculations, everything one associates with a sporting event.”
“Er, quick question,” interjected War. “Why are you using your lofty voices?” The five Princesses then noticed War and Scorpainia. Rojenthi made a big, fat smile and charged towards War, tackling her into a hug.
“OH MY GOD, MEGUMI’S FRIENDS WITH TWO PREVIOUS CHAMPIONS!” cheered Rojenthi.
“War and Scorpainia,” chuckled Rosadera. “A pleasure to see you again.”
“You know these ladies?” asked Megumi.
“We used to be contestants in the Verse Vs. Verse…the 3V2R, if you want to save time,” explained War once Rojenthi released her. “I won the 309,001st and Scorpainia won… I forget, which one did you win?”
“The 327,000th,” revealed Scorpainia.
“Why would you want to participate?” quizzed Megumi.
“Because the prizes are too much to pass up on!” replied War.
“What ARE the prizes?” asked Megumi.
“We’re still hammering out what First place will be,” interjected Rojenthi. “Second and Third, we’ve settled that millennia ago. But, we want our fighters to fight at their best, so we keep them a secret, but not First place. We’ll tell you when you’ve made your decision, I promise you.”
“How long do I have to decide?” quizzed Megumi.
“You have until you meet with Arsha Royana and Optimus Prime, the other two competitors,” replied Rosadera. “We shall meet again.” The Chizaran Princesses then departed in the same flashes of light.
“Congratulations!” praised Scorpainia. “This will be a supreme victory!”
“I haven’t decided yet,” countered Megumi.
“I would advise you to decide soon,” remarked War. “This is a great honor.”
“…I suppose,” sighed Megumi.
Megumi toured Vorton by herself. She wanted to be alone for a while. After walking around, she sat at the observation lounge and stared at the stars. She sighed again, as she had been doing for a while now. She faintly registered heels against the floor, dismissing it until she saw something in the window’s reflection. It looked like a rose with pearls floating in the air. She whirled around to see that it was Jandro’s hairpiece. “I apologize if my lack of reflection disturbed you,” offered Jandro. “May I?” he indicated that he wanted to sit. Megumi nodded and he sat down. He then observed something. “…Emmanuel removed the shock factor of seeing a man dressing as a woman,” he guessed.
“He removed a good chunk of it,” replied Megumi. “Living at After Academy for five years took care of the rest. I’ve yet to see any Vampire students.”
“Tell me, have you heard of Vampires that sparkle in the daylight?” asked Jandro, looking a little concerned.
“There’s an entire franchise around the concept,” answered Megumi. Jandro shuddered.
“In my world, we don’t do that!” he finally got out. “However, neither do we fry in sunlight. That’s long been cured and is usually reserved as a death sentence.”
“I see,” mumbled Megumi.
“…You look like you have a lot on your mind,” observed Jandro.
“I’m considering disbanding my group,” explained Megumi. “Tell me, have you ever thought about a group breakup?
“…I’m not sure the ‘breakup’ I’m thinking of should even be considered that,” sighed Jandro.
“I think I remember Malnar giving me cryptic remarks that you can argue against breaking up the F.N.S and leaving Vorton alone,” mused Megumi.
“Probably referencing my status as the last of a Great Vampire Clan,” replied Jandro.
“…Last of a Great Vampire Clan?” repeated Megumi.
“During the First Age of Unity,” began Jandro, “my clan, the Grelnak clan, had allowed people like me to come out. All sorts of rights now celebrated in my world’s modern age and it was my clan that started it all…at the cost of everyone.”
“…You’re the only member of the Grelnak clan alive?” realized Megumi.
“And I have no way to return home, not since I left my clan’s lands,” sighed Jandro. “With no sense of community, you never feel like you belong. I tell you now, disbanding your group will rob every one of their sense of community and Vorton will feel like a strange place instead of home.”
“But there’s nothing new going on,” argued Megumi. “What use is there for us to stay?” Just then, a klaxon blared. “Now what?!” snarled Megumi. She then got up. “Excuse me,” she bid as she headed to the Gateway Room. Rusty explained the situation.
“Sensors detected a small craft and have deemed it to be of Shocker Rift design,” she reported. “The weapons started firing automatically. The pilot’s trying to contact us.”
“Someone we know?” asked Megumi.
“A Transformer of Beast Wars,” answered Rusty. “The Predacon, Tarantulas.”
“He’s with Shocker Rift?” muttered Megumi. “On screen.” Tarantulas’ Transmetal body was sitting in a pilot’s chair, rocked by weapons fire.
“Megumi, I must protest this treatment!” he spluttered. “It’s making me feel unwelcome! Besides, don’t you need more information on how to locate your allies or about Shocker Rift’s current internal instability?!”
“…Cease fire,” ordered Megumi. “I want to hear him out.” Rusty arched an eyebrow.
“…I obey,” she muttered before shutting off the weapons. Tarantulas mopped his metallic brow.
“That’s better,” he sighed.
“You mentioned an instability within Shocker Rift,” recalled Megumi.
“Indeed,” confirmed Tarantulas. “The Daleks are becoming more and more angry at being enslaved to life-forms they consider inferior and Emperor Davros is looking into solutions to escape Shocker Rift. We all know that, when they do escape, the Daleks will start their bloodiest campaign and will most likely tear the multiverse asunder!”
“Does this mean you’ve turned your back on Shocker Rift?” asked Megumi.
“It means,” elaborated Tarantulas, “that, as my universe would be under fire as well, I need to find the ones best suited to repair any damage!”
“In other words, you figured that staying with Shocker Rift will only cause you more harm than good,” replied Megumi, “and decided to get out while the getting’s good.”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” muttered Tarantulas. Megumi considered, then decided.
“Clear him for Airlock 3,” she commanded.
“This IS Tarantulas!” protested Rusty. “You know, the one who made Shelob into a Predacon?!”
“Exactly, but we need whatever information we can get,” replied Megumi. “Let him onboard.” Rusty sighed before assigning Tarantulas a flight path. “Rusty, do you mind getting Batman to authenticate whatever data Tarantulas brings and could you have Emily help you scan his processor for the truth?” asked Megumi.
“…Delighted,” answered Rusty with a grin.
“Not that I don’t appreciate the concern for my well-being,” hissed Tarantulas as Emily and Rusty set up equipment, “but I MUST speak to Megumi. Besides, I’m not sure as I feel comfortable with being in the same room with someone that threatened to shove raw Energon into my Spark five years ago.”
“This will only take a moment,” dismissed Emily.
“What is the meaning of this, Ms. Saunders?” asked Tarantulas.
“Mental screening,” answered Emily in a terse manner, “and it’s Mrs. Williams to you! Or Dr. Williams if you prefer.”
“I assure you; I’m not lying about what’s going on in Shocker Rift!” spluttered Tarantulas.
“Then you don’t object to me checking as you clearly have nothing to hide,” snarked Emily.
“I find this whole thing offensive!” snarled Tarantulas.
“And I find YOU offensive!” growled Emily. “Now, will you just willingly allow me access to your processor or do I have to have the Brigadier hold you down while I force my way in?!” Tarantulas and Emily glared at one another before the gem on his forehead opened to allow her access.
“She may refuse,” mused Moradelia.
“She may,” conceded Rosadera.
“I don’t think she will,” argued Rojenthi.
“Oh?” quizzed Azuliterii.
“She is simply in a rut,” explained Rojenthi. “She loves trying something different and seeing something new. This tournament will reignite her passion for exploring other possibilities.”
“She feels as if she’s explored everything,” realized Verdutha. “She’s becoming as bored as we were.”
“Well, this will change her mind,” declared Rosadera.
“Three…years!” hissed a blonde woman. “…Three years! Three years, I’ve been stuck in my former prison! Three years, I haven’t exterminated anyone! Three years of absolutely nothing and I’m still in my old cage!”
“It’s all part of bringing Vortech down for good, Metaltron,” remarked her compatriot, a humanoid cyclops with tentacles for hair.
“I thought he’d do something by now!” griped the woman, the former last of the Daleks stuck looking like Rose Tyler, Metaltron. “Instead, we’ve been playing the waiting game for too long!” Just then, the console beeped. “Please, Caan, tell me that’s something!”
“Just an ally reporting nothing,” replied the last of the Cult of Skaro, Caan. Metaltron roared and threw a table across the room. “Yes, acting childish will get results faster,” sighed Caan.
“I’m going topside!” roared Metaltron.
“Stay where you are!” barked Caan. “Keep a lid on your killing instinct!”
“I’ve done nothing since this all started!” argued Metaltron. “Every cell in this twisted frame is still screaming ‘exterminate, annihilate, destroy’! I must obey that impulse!”
“I said no!” roared Caan. “We cannot expose ourselves by killing anyone! That will attract the Doctor’s attention and I’m not willing to risk it! Besides, she’s busy with a reconnaissance Dalek at this point in time!”
“Then what can we do?!” wailed Metaltron.
“We wait until our allies are exposed,” replied Caan. “That will happen soon.” Metaltron roared again before storming off to Van Statten’s old office.