“And that’s all!” declared Haruna as she rolled up her tape measure. “Now, are you sure about eyeshadow? You haven’t had much practice.”
“One of my classmates, Lilly, is teaching me how to apply it,” explained Megumi.
“All right then,” declared Haruna. “Lilly will be an excellent teacher, I’m sure. Now, about disbanding the F.N.S…”
“Okay, I haven’t even made the announcement!” snapped Megumi. “Who told you?!”
“Scorpainia did,” answered Haruna. “Most of Vorton are wondering if you’re going to go through with it. Megumi, I must advise against it.”
“All right, I’m going to make an announcement right now!” hissed Megumi as she hit the general announcement button on her comms system. “Minna-san, it’s come to my attention that people have heard that I’m debating whether or not the F.N.S should disband. That’s all it is right now, a debate I am making with myself. I assure you, once I make my decision, you will ALL be informed. Until then, all speculation will be kept to a minimum and be made privately. That is all.” She switched off the comms and sighed.
“I beg you,” advised Haruna, “consider what you’re doing.”
“That’s what I intend to do,” replied Megumi. Haruna then left the room, leaving Megumi to debate again. She sat in her room for a minute before her door chimed. “Come in,” she bid. Emily entered. “Emily-chan, what can I do for you?” asked Megumi.
“No,” snarled Emily.
“…No what?” inquired Megumi.
“No disbanding!” elaborated Emily.
“That’s not your decision to make,” sighed Megumi.
“It is when my friends are concerned!” argued Emily.
“I assure you, I’m taking all factors into consideration,” answered Megumi.
“I somehow doubt that!” hissed Emily. The door chimed again.
“Come in,” called Megumi. Emmanuel came in, looking rather annoyed.
“I didn’t hear that over the comms!” he hissed.
“I’m afraid you did,” countered Megumi. “I feel like, after X-PO’s trial, I don’t have much choice.”
“This isn’t disbanding, this is surrendering!” snarled Emmanuel.
“Well, when you turn on someone, you pay,” sighed Megumi.
“Wait a minute, I want to make sure I heard that right!” snapped Emily. “That doesn’t sound like the Megumi Hishikawa I know! You know, the one who was so betrayed by X-PO’s using us for his own ends and didn’t exactly argue with the jury when they declared him guilty!”
“Well, I guess I underestimated how much it stung my conscience!” argued Megumi.
“Did you now?” rasped a voice, causing everyone to yelp and whirl around to see Batman removing himself from the shadows.
“Could you not?!” protested Emmanuel.
“From what I’ve observed from you,” continued Batman, “you’ve been that harsh on any wrongdoing. Hiroki making Tanisha face GLaDOS alone, Mikhail’s quest for vengeance, Hiro, they all needed to be corrected because, as a leader, you feel a responsibility to tell everyone about your values and believe them to be good. Well, on this particular value of leaving your friends, I’m sorry to report that you’re in slim company!”
“…If I do disband the F.N.S, I’ll try and visit Wayne Manor,” replied Megumi.
“How long has this whole thing even been on your mind?” asked Emmanuel.
“Since X-PO was found guilty,” answered Megumi.
“How’d Richard react?” quizzed Emily.
“I was going to tell him about it when he got home before the Convergence took him,” sighed Megumi.
“You haven’t even told your husband?!” protested Emily.
“What would YOU tell him?!” argued Megumi. “Besides, this is MY problem! What can he possibly do?!”
“Help you fight against any evil!” snapped Emmanuel. “That’s what he promised you at the altar!”
“Well, maybe I want to face this evil on my own!” argued Megumi.
“I suppose I’ll have to stick with just MY universe!” rasped Batman.
“Your world needs you,” replied Megumi. “They need a good commander like you.”
“You did well at commanding once I smoothed out your rough edges,” countered Batman. Megumi then snorted in laughter. “What’s so funny?!” hissed Batman.
“I thought YOU did well once I smoothed out YOUR rough edges,” giggled Megumi. Her door chimed again. “Come in,” she bid. Rusty then came in.
“Am I disturbing anything?’ she asked.
“Stick around, you can help me cry in my drink,” entreated Megumi.
“I thought I’d return this,” explained Rusty as she pulled out a bottle of lotion.
“Oh, there’s no need!” assured Megumi. “If you like it…”
“Oh, it’s wonderful,” praised Rusty.
“Then keep it!” replied Megumi.
“How can you be chatting about lotion at a time like this?!” protested Emily. The door chimed again.
“Do you have any plans for the future?” asked Rusty.
“Come in!” Megumi called to the door. “I haven’t figured that out yet, maybe Richard COULD help me in that regard.” Turretorg then came into the room as she was answering Rusty.
“I just came to wish you the best if you DO disband the F.N.S,” he explained.
“Well, that’s chaotic,” muttered Rusty.
“Pardon?” asked Turretorg.
“Chaotic is a polite way of saying it,” Megumi replied to Rusty, leaving Turretorg at sea.
“Turretorg, if YOU were Megumi,” interjected Emily, “would you be seeking help from your spouse?”
“I just came to wish you good fortune,” Turretorg told Megumi.
“Thank you, Commander Turretorg,” replied Megumi.
“Seek help about what?” Turretorg then asked Emily.
“Never mind!” snapped Emily. “If Megumi doesn’t care, why should we?”
“Does your mother about all this?” asked Turretorg.
“Did you get any advice?” quizzed Rusty.
“I DO care! Yes, she does! Yes, I did!” Megumi answered Emily, Turretorg, and Rusty. “Look, I really need to think about this!”
“You said she doesn’t care; you mean about disbanding?” asked Turretorg. The door chimed again.
“By all means, come on in!” groaned Megumi.
“She did well leading us; I say we should stick together!” snarled Emmanuel.
“And I say, she could use a little support from her friends!” continued Emily.
“Yes, of course,” replied Turretorg, “but if she’s decided…”
“Er, excuse me?” called the person that entered. It was Hongo.
“Hongo-san, come in!” bid Megumi.
“I didn’t mean to intrude,” stammered Hongo, “I, er…”
“Don’t worry, Hongo,” assured Turretorg, “it’s all been said.”
“I have a lot more to say, thank you, Turretorg!” snarled Emily.
“Look, I could come back,” offered Hongo.
“Emily, Emmanuel, Batman, leave her alone!” snapped Rusty. “This is Megumi’s decision! …Unless you want me to talk to everyone?”
“I knew what I was doing! I knew the risks!” argued Megumi.
“That’s not what she asked,” rasped Batman.
“Forgive me for interrupting,” called Hongo, “but I would like to say, if we DO split up, it’s been a pleasure working with you.” The door chimed again.
“Come in!” groaned Megumi.
“Will someone please explain this conversation to me?!” called Turretorg.
“A PARTY!” cheered Mickey Mouse’s voice. “I always wondered what would happen if you decided to disband us!”
“It’s not a party!” snarled Emmanuel.
“Voila!” called Mickey as he produced a small bottle.
“What’s that?” asked Rusty.
“A bottle of my favorite wine,” guessed Megumi. “That’s very thoughtful of you, Mickey.”
“Kind of small,” snarked Batman.
“I was thinking it would be a smaller gathering,” replied Mickey. “Just a chat amongst friends, crying on each other’s shoulders, and then a fond farewell. You’d be surprised how people like something like that.”
“Is this a joke?!” protested Megumi. “Did you guys plan this?!”
“Nobody could have planned this!” argued Turretorg. The door chimed once more.
“By all means!” snapped Megumi. “We’re open for business! Come on in! Join the…” her voice trailed off as a woman in an After Academy’s Woman’s outfit with green petticoats came in. “Lilly!” gasped Megumi.
“Er, am I interrupting?” asked the new arrival, Lilly. “It’s just that…” she produced a small bottle of eyeshadow, “you asked me to teach you how to…”
“Yes, yes, I did!” assured Megumi. “Lilly, please, have a seat! And the rest of you, OUT!” She shoved everyone else out of the room and then shut the door.
“…If this is a bad time…” gulped Lilly.
“It isn’t, I promise,” urged Megumi. “Now, how does one apply eyeshadow?”
“Would someone explain to me what just happened?!” Turretorg called to Emily as they made their way to the medical ward.
“A fine friend YOU are!” snapped Emily. “After she freed you from Vortech’s control! You shouldn’t be allowing her to disband us!”
“Look, that’s HER decision and it sounds like she hasn’t even made it yet!” argued Turretorg. “Real friends support others, no matter the decision!” He then stormed off.
“…Question MY friendship with her, will you?!” snarled Emily.
“Things seem to be crumbling around you!” cackled a certain Predacon’s voice.
“Bite me, Spider!” snapped Emily.
“Anger ill suits a lovely rose,” replied Tarantulas.
“You only see the bloom, not the thorns that come with it,” dismissed Emily. “Look, are you here for a check-up or are you here to waste a doctor’s time?”
“I heard a rumor that someone is trying to mine the area surrounding Vorton,” explained Tarantulas. “Now, it looks like Megumi needs some time alone, so…”
“GO TELL HER, YOU EIGHT-LEGGED, INTELLECTUAL DWARF!” shouted Emily as she dashed off towards the command center, leaving Tarantulas to stand there and stare in disbelief.
“………YOU HAVE A LOT OF NERVE CALLING A GENIUS LIKE ME STUPID YOU OVERSIZED, MAMMALIAN…!” His speech then devolved to angry spluttering.
“Sometimes, geniuses can be stupid,” chuckled a voice. Tarantulas whirled around to see Jandro folding his arms and laughing to himself.
“Out of my way, Sissy Boy!” snapped Tarantulas as he shoved Jandro aside to Megumi’s room.
“Yes, thank you SO much for reminding me why my clan was exterminated in the first place!” snarled the Vampire.
“And, there we go!” cheered Lilly as Megumi successfully put on eyeshadow. “You’ve done well, my student.” The door then chimed.
“Now what?!” sighed Megumi. “Come in!” Tarantulas then walked in. “Tarantulas, what can I do for you?”
“I’ve heard a rumor that someone is laying down self-replicating mines around Vorton,” explained Tarantulas.
“Mines?!” gulped Lilly.
“Nothing that would affect Gateway travel, I assure you,” interjected Megumi. “It’s just a measure to prevent us from using our ships or getting reinforcements from Tarlax. We have a way for bringing the mines down all at once before they have a chance to replicate. I believe Dell’s going to begin testing it right away.
“A mine-field around Vorton?” asked Verdutha as Rojenthi reported her observations. “Who’d do something so vile?”
“Caan, if you can believe it,” answered Rojenthi. “He’s still going on and on about Vortech having survived the collapse of the Rift Loop.”
“Not even a demi-god like Vortech can survive the collapse of a Rift Loop!” argued Verdutha.
“Caan is not one who listens,” reminded Rojenthi.
“All because he can see into the future?” guessed Verdutha. Rojenthi nodded. “I swear,” grumbled Verdutha, “a person gets that kind of power and suddenly they think they know everything!”
“Never mind about him,” soothed Rojenthi. “What about the preliminary round you presided over?”
“Emperor Mechanoterror is a worthy participant,” replied Verdutha, her mood brightening.
“What about his opponent?” asked Rojenthi. “The artist…something Dalek? Seriously, why is a human using a Dalek as his online name?”
“In any event, he’s not participating,” sighed Verdutha. “Pity, I rather liked his graphic novel. Oh well, he’s decided to train for next time.”
“Oh dear,” sighed Rojenthi. “I can only imagine his disappointment. Still, good to know he’s one of those that will try again.”
“And your preliminary round?” asked Verdutha.
“Neither Slam Dunk nor Sprayer are acceptable,” replied Rojenthi.
“That’s unfortunate,” sighed Verdutha. “I was hoping we’d have another Transformer involved.” Just then, Rosadera, Azuliterii, and Moradelia appeared.
“Buncho is making a return!” reported Moradelia.
“We also have Kaiser and Mr. Flufferkins participating,” continued Azuliterii.
“And Southern Belle is returning!” cheered Rosadera.
“Splendid!” praised Verdutha. “Two returning crowd favorites! The fans will love this!”