Location: United Kingdom
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: The Abyss Agenda
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: The Abyss Agenda
Disclaimer: I do not own Ben 10: Ultimate Alien or any of its concepts or characters. No profit is being made from this story.
Julie Yamamoto studied her opponent warily, shifting her balance slightly as she did so. She was alert but calm as she anticipated their next move, looking carefully for that one tiny movement that would give them away.
There! Her opponent struck but she was already responding. She swung her racket in a perfect arc that struck the incoming tennis ball and sent it flying away. Her opponent tried to hit it but missed and the ball sailed past her.
The match was over. Julie had won.
The people watching in the stands cheered happily. Julie smiled as she caught sight of Ben, wearing dark glasses and a hat so that he wouldn’t be recognized, cheering louder than anyone else. He waved to her and she waved back before turning to her opponent and shaking hands with her.
“Julie, you were awesome” Ben congratulated her when they were alone in the locker room.
“Thanks Ben” she replied warmly as she wiped her face with a towel. She put it down and kissed him on the cheek.
He beamed at her. “Want to go for smoothies?”
“Sure. I’ll just go and shower.”
“Okay.” Ben stood there for a moment and then realized exactly what she’d just said. “So I’ll go wait outside” he said awkwardly.
“That would probably be a good idea” Julie said with a giggle. “I’ll see you in a minute Ben.”
A short time later she emerged dressed in her usual white skirt, black t-shirt and pink sweatshirt. Ben grinned at her. “Ready to go?” he asked.
“I’m ready” she replied.
In a secret base in a remote corner of the galaxy two figures clad in brown hooded robes strode down a corridor. Neither spoke, the only sounds were their footfalls and the low humming of the lights.
Finally they came to an armoured door. One of them entered the password into the wall-mounted keypad and the door slid open with a faint hiss.
The room was sparse and utilitarian, with plain grey walls and floor, empty save for a plain desk and chairs. There was no decoration, nothing that would give an observer insight into the mind of the room’s occupant.
He looked up from the computer he was studying. Like them he wore a brown robe with a hood that concealed his face. He looked up as they entered. At the same time they removed their hoods.
Their skin was a pale, sickly yellow with red splotches and their faces were flat, with only two thin slits for nostrils. Each one had long, straggly grey hair. Black eyes glittered menacingly.
“Greetings Sardu, Marus. This had better be important.”
“Greetings Rirtu. Yes it is indeed. What we have uncovered is vital to our crusade.”
He handed over a disc. Rirtu gestured for them to sit as he entered the disc and accessed the report it contained. For several moments he sat in silence as he read the information on the screen before him.
“Remarkable” he said as he finished reading the intelligence report. “All this time we believed that the Ultimatrix, and the Omnitrix before it contained stored DNA samples. That alone would be impressive, but this? Actually creating an organic machine the size of a planet? Azmuth is even more of a genius than we realised.”
The other two nodded. It had taken a great deal of time and effort but they had finally managed to locate a machine used by the Galvan scientist in the creation of the artificial planet Primus (not that they had known that when they first found it). He had, of course, erased its database but they been able to retrieve enough information from it to learn of Primus’s existence and purpose.
“This is indeed a problem” said Rirtu. “We have always known that the Omnitrix and now the Ultimatrix is a threat to our goal. As long as it exists, any exterminated species can be re-created. That cannot be allowed. For the sake of our crusade it must be destroyed!”
Marus, nodded. “And yet now we know that the Ultimatrix is nothing more than a receiver. The true threat is the Codon Stream. If we destroy that the Ultimatrix will be useless. Unfortunately, since it was attacked by the warlord Vilgax, Azmuth has moved Primus to a new location and we have no idea where to begin searching.”
“Perhaps we do not need to” said Sardu.
He smiled. It was not a pleasant expression. Rather it was one filled with malice and cruelty. “I have a plan. We will use the Ultimatrix bearer himself to accomplish our goal.”
An identical smile appeared on Rirtu’s face. “I am listening.”
End of Part 1
Aug 15th, 2010 03:15 PM
Location: United Kingdom
“So there we were; me, Gwen and Kevin against about three dozen Forever Knights” said Ben as he drove his black and green car. “We were completely surrounded and it seemed hopeless when…”
“Let me guess, you Ben Tennyson, saviour of the universe, totally saved the day” said Julie with a fond smile.
“That’s right.” Ben’s grin widened. “I turned into Lodestar and magnetised their armour so that they all stuck together in one big ball.”
“Yeah. What can I say? I’m just that awesome.”
Julie laughed softly, amused by his egotism. Some girls might be put off by it but it was part of Ben and she loved every part of him, flaws and all. “Oh here we are” she said.
Ben pulled the car smoothly to a halt in the parking lot of Mr Smoothy. They got out and went up to the counter.
“I’ll have peanut butter seaweed” said Ben. “Julie?”
“Chocolate for me please” she replied.
“Coming right up” said the guy at the counter.
His true appearance concealed by an ID mask, Sardu fought off an urge to grin with glee as he fetched the drinks. Taking care to ensure that no-one saw him, he discreetly produced a small ampoule filled with colourless liquid from his pocket. He snapped off the neck and carefully poured it into Ben’s smoothy.
“Here you are” he said as he handed over the drinks with a broad smile.
“Thanks” said Ben as he and Julie went over to a table. Ben too a sip of his smoothy and frowned slightly.
“Is something wrong?” asked Julie.
“My smoothy tastes a little funny” he replied. “Kind of salty.”
That will be the preservative Sardu thought as he listened to their conversation. He waited a few moments until he was satisfied Ben had drank enough of the smoothy and then he again reached into his pocket and hit a button on a device, sending out a coded message.
A few moments later as Ben and Julie were walking across the parking lot both of them heard what sounded like jet engines.
A robot flew over the parking lot, unfolded six insect-like mechanical legs and touched down. It was made of dark grey metal and consisted of a saucer with a dome on top. Two yellow optic sensors glowed. A hatch opened on its underside and a laser cannon emerged. The robot fired red beams that blasted two cars, causing them to explode in a pair of fireballs.
“Julie, take cover. I’ll handle this” said Ben. He dropped his mostly empty smoothy cup, taking no notice as it rolled away, and began dialling the Ultimatrix.
“Be careful Ben” she replied.
He slammed his hand down and transformed in a flash of green light. “Swampfire!” he exclaimed.
As the plant-like alien ran forwards the robot swivelled and began firing lasers at him. He easily dodged and blasted it with two streams of flame. The robot reeled back slightly but stayed standing. Swampfire charged and followed his fire attack with a powerful punch that lifted the robot off the ground. It sailed backwards and crashed into the ground where it lay in a mangled heap with pieces breaking off of it.
Ben de-transformed. “Well that was easy” he said as he looked over the wreckage. “But then that’s hardly a surprise given who it was fighting.”
Julie smiled softly as she came up to him. She knew Ben could look after himself but a part of her couldn’t help worrying whenever he went into danger. She was always glad to see for herself that he was all right.
Just then Ben brought his hands up to his face as he sneezed loudly.
“Bless you” said Julie.
“Thanks” he replied as he wiped his nose. “I hope I’m not coming down with something. That could put a damper on the whole hero business.”
Neither of them noticed the grin on the counter guy’s face as he watched them. “You don’t know the half of it” he whispered.
In his laboratory, surrounded by high-tech equipment, Azmuth, the tiny Galvan scientist who had created the Ultimatrix and its predecessor the Omnitrix was entering the results of his latest experiment into a computer when a sudden beeping caught his attention.
An automated voice called out, “alert, alert. Codon Stream integrity has been compromised.”
As fast as his small legs could go, Azmuth ran over to a nearby monitor and activated it. An image appeared on screen showing the inside of the volcano-like DNA processing plant.
At first he saw nothing amiss. But then as he watched something began to happen to the glowing green rivers that made up the Codon Stream. The brilliant glow faded and the vibrant green colour of the rivers dimmed to a dull grey-black. The effect spread outwards through the rivers like a wave.
Azmuth stared at the screen in horror. “No” he breathed.
End of Part 2
Aug 15th, 2010 03:17 PM
Location: United Kingdom
|Author's Note: This part of the plotline borrows some elements from the fanfic "Ben 10 AF Gone Too Far" by CrystalQuirt available on www.fanfiction.net (specifically that of Julie looking after a sick Ben while everyone else is away).
I have not outright plagerised anything and although there are some similarities, my story is different in many ways.
I apologise if anyone is offended; I simply couldn't come up with another reason for everyone else to be absent.
The following day found Ben, Gwen and Kevin facing off against Ssserpent. The snake-like humanoid had again escaped imprisonment and was attacking a park when the three of them showed up to confront him.
Ben wasn’t particularly worried even though he had been sneezing and sniffling all day leaving his nose red and sore. He also had a sore throat and a mild headache. Despite all that he was certain he could handle this, no problem. Gwen had advised him to stay at home and rest, pointing out how being sick tended to affect his alien forms, but Ben had insisted on coming too.
After all I’m the saviour of the universe he thought. Even if I’m sick I can handle a loser like this guy.
“Okay it’s ACHOO! It’s hero time!”
He dialled the Ultimatrix and transformed. “Fourarms!”
But the voice that spoke wasn’t Fourarms’ usual voice. It was high-pitched and shrill. That wasn’t the only thing different about him however.
Gwen and Kevin stared in shock at the form that had emerged from Ben’s transformation. It looked like some twisted parody of Fourarms. The Tetramand’s muscular physique was gone, replaced by a withered, emaciated frame with his skin stretched tightly across his bones. His arms were stunted and misshapen while his teeth were black and crooked.
Fourarms looked down at his hands in disbelief. “What’s going on?”
Their enemy took the opportunity to spit a stream of venom at him. Fourarms managed to dodge it but in doing so he toppled over. He tried to get up but his limbs felt weak and unresponsive.
Ssserpent uttered a low hissing laugh. “Pity. You don’t look like much of a snack now.”
He extended his arm snakes to bite Fourarms, but Gwen blocked them with an energy shield. Kevin meanwhile, had picked up and absorbed a pair of large stones, turning his arms into rock. He seized Ssserpent’s arms and yanked hard.
With an alarmed cry he was pulled forwards and Kevin landed a solid haymaker to his jaw. Kevin threw a rapid series of alternating lefts and rights which his opponent did his best to dodge. Ssserpent tried to spit venom into his face, but Kevin had learned from their last fight and ducked under it. Finally Gwen used a pair of energy beams to pin Ssserpent in place long enough for Kevin to land a final knockout blow.
Satisfied that his opponent was out cold Kevin reverted to normal and wiped his brow before turning back to Fourarms and Gwen. He winced as he saw again just how bad Fourarms looked.
“Okay Tennyson, that just looks… Uh.”
“Thanks a bunch Kevin” he replied in the same shrill voice.
“Are you okay Ben?” asked Gwen, her eyes full of concern.
Ben de-transformed and shakily stood up. “I’m ACHOO! I’m not sure. I mean I know getting sick makes my powers go kind of weird but it’s never been anything like that.” He shivered and pressed a hand to his forehead. “Ah! Now my headache is way worse.”
Gwen frowned. “Come on let’s get you home.”
Ben’s illness had come at a very bad time. His parents were out of town for the week leaving him home alone, and Gwen and Kevin were leaving Bellwood that afternoon to help Grandpa Max give the “Plumbers Helpers” some field training and experience. Since Ben was in no shape to come along as well it was decided to leave him at home.
As soon as they had handed Ssserpent over to the Plumbers and gotten Ben home Gwen called Julie.
“Hi Julie, it’s Gwen.”
“Hi Gwen, what’s up?”
“Well Ben’s gotten sick and his parents are out of town. Kevin and I have to leave town for a couple of days too, so I wondered if you could come over and watch over him.”
“Sure I’d be glad to. I’ll have to ask my parents but I’m sure they’ll be okay with it.”
Julie made sure to arrive well before Gwen and Kevin left so that Gwen could tell her where to find everything. That way she wouldn’t need to spend time calling Gwen to find out.
“Thanks again Julie” said Gwen as she got into Kevin’s car. “I’ll bet just having you here will make Ben feel a lot better.”
“Yeah” Kevin agreed. He smirked. “Hey maybe if you put on a nurse’s outfit Ben would… UNF!”
He was cut off by Gwen elbowing him in the ribs, hard. “Sorry” Gwen said to her friend.
“It’s okay” Julie said with a smile. “And don’t worry, I’ll look after Ben.”
Once they had left she went to check on Ben. His room was as usual a complete mess, with clothes, comic books and Sumo Slammers action figures lying scattered everywhere. Ben lay in bed with his eyes shut but she saw right away that he wasn’t sleeping. Hearing her enter he opened his eyes.
“Hi Julie” he said faintly.
“Hi Ben” she replied with a gentle smile.
She sat down on the edge of the bed and pressed her palm to his forehead. His skin was alarmingly hot.
“Ben you’re burning up. Hold on I’ll get a thermometer.”
Julie left and returned a moment later. She put a bowl and cloth on the nightstand and then carefully placed the thermometer under his tongue, waited for a few moments and then checked the reading. It showed a temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
Poor Ben she thought as she dipped the cloth into the bowl of water and lightly dabbed it across his face. Ben smiled, enjoying her ministrations.
“Does it hurt anywhere?” she asked.
“My head, my stomach, my throat…”
“Okay, where doesn’t it hurt?”
“Nowhere” he replied with a miserable groan. “My whole body feels like a pulled muscle.”
“Why don’t I make you some soup?” she offered.
“Yes please.” He coughed a few times and lay back on the bed. “Normally I’d ask for chilli fries, but right now I think they’d finish me off.”
“Wow, you really are sick” she said, trying to cheer him up.
He managed a weak chuckle. She softly kissed his forehead and then stood up. “I’ll just be downstairs. Call if you need anything.”
A short time later Julie was back with a steaming bowl of soup. She hoped it would sooth his sore throat while being light on his stomach.
She walked in and put the bowl of soup down. Before she could ask if he wanted any Ben broke into a sudden coughing fit so intense he doubled over.
Finally the coughing ceased but he immediately began to shake. Alarmed, Julie took his temperature again as soon as the shaking subsided and found that it had gone up to 104 degrees.
“Ben I’m really worried now. I think you should see a doctor.”
He looked as if he was about to protest but then he winced as a bolt of pain shot through his skull. “Maybe you’re right.”
Just then there was a sudden burst of light that forced them to shield their eyes. Ben was reaching for the Ultimatrix when the light vanished leaving a familiar figure in its place.
End of Part 3
Aug 17th, 2010 09:29 PM
Location: United Kingdom
Ben squinted. “Azmuth?”
The tiny Galvan nodded. Not wasting time with pleasantries he said “There is an urgent matter we must discuss.”
“Mr. Azmuth, no offence but Ben’s really sick” said Julie. “He needs to see a doctor.”
“I am aware of Ben’s condition” he replied. “And primitive human medical science has no way to help him. That is why I am here”
“What do you mean?” Ben asked. He gritted his teeth as his headache flared up again.
“This is no normal illness” said Azmuth. “You’ve been infected with a genetically engineered retrovirus.”
Ben’s eyes widened. That didn’t sound good. He started to say something but another coughing fit overcame him. Julie rubbed his back gently and whispered soothing words into his ear. When it subsided Azmuth resumed speaking.
“The problem is far more serious than you suspect. The virus has contaminated the Codon Stream.”
“But… how?” Ben asked.
“From what I’ve determined, when you used the Ultimatrix the DNA you used to transform became infected. The virus then spread to the Codon Stream when the DNA was returned.”
A look of understanding came to Ben’s eyes. “That’s why when I tried to go Fourarms he was all scrawny and weak.”
“Precisely” said Azmuth. “Even now the virus is re-writing and corrupting the DNA of every species within the Codon Stream. I calculate that within five hours the genetic damage will become irreparable.”
“But then the Ultimatrix won’t work anymore!”
“Not only that Ben” he said grimly. “Your own DNA is also being corrupted. By that time you will be dead.”
Ben’s jaw dropped and Julie covered her mouth in horror.
“Can you help him?” Julie asked with a pleading look in her brown eyes.
“I can treat the symptoms” he replied. “But I need a pure sample to create an antidote.”
“What do you mean a pure sample?” Ben asked.
“The virus bonds to the genetic material of whatever host organism it infects” he explained. “I need a sample of pure viral RNA without any host organism DNA present.”
“RNA?” Ben repeated in confusion.
“Ribonucleic acid” said Julie helpfully. “It’s similar to DNA but with just a single strand rather than two and you know, ribose instead of deoxyribose.”
“That is correct” said Azmuth, looking mildly impressed. “But anyway as I said, I need a pure sample. Do either of you have any idea how Ben was first infected?”
“I think I know” said Ben. “My smoothy last night tasted weird. And I started sneezing almost right after I drank it.”
“That seems to be the most likely source of infection” replied Azmuth. “However it still leaves the problem of how to acquire a sample.”
“Wait, Ben dropped his smoothy cup” said Julie. “I’ll go to Mr. Smoothy and see if I can find it.”
“I’ll go with you” said Ben. He tried to sit up but fell back down as a wave of nausea passed over him accompanied by a feeling of a metal band tightening around his head.
“Ben you’re sick” she said gently. “You need to rest.”
“She’s correct Ben” Azmuth agreed. “Any kind of exertion will cause your condition to further deteriorate.”
“Don’t worry Ben, I’ll be careful” she promised. She gave him a light kiss on the forehead and stood up. “Please do what you can for him Mr. Azmuth.”
“I will” he replied.
Outside the sun was just starting to set as Julie got on her motor scooter and started the engine. As she drove to Mr. Smoothy Azmuth’s words kept repeating in her head;
“By that time you will be dead.”
She wasn’t stupid. She was well aware of the risks Ben took in fighting evil and of the consequences should he fail. But hearing it spoken aloud like that had rattled her. As she drove he started to imagine the worst possible scenarios.
What if she couldn’t find the dropped cup? What if it didn’t have any smoothy, and therefore virus, left? What if Azmuth couldn’t develop a cure? What if…?
She pushed the thoughts away. Stop it she thought angrily to herself. This is not what Ben needs right now. I need to stay calm and concentrate on helping him.
Her mind cleared and her focus renewed she focused on driving her scooter as fast as she could. Fortunately there wasn’t much traffic at this hour and she soon arrived at her destination.
Julie parked her scooter and looked around. Mr. Smoothy was closed and there was no one there besides her. Good, that would make her search easier. The robot that had attacked them was gone although the parking lot was still littered with a few odd pieces of metal lying scattered around.
“Okay” she said aloud as she walked across the parking lot. “Ben and I were standing here when the robot attacked. Ben dropped his smoothy cup to transform so it probably rolled this way.”
Thankfully it was still light enough that she could see clearly as she carefully looked around for the dropped cup. After only a few moments she caught sight of something.
“Yes!” she exclaimed in delight and relief as she saw a cup lying in a shallow depression in the asphalt. Furthermore she could see it still had some smoothy left in it and from the colour it was the one Ben had ordered.
But as she started to reach for it an arm suddenly closed around her neck from behind her while a hand seized her wrist.
“What do we have here?” Sardu snarled.
End of Part 4
Aug 20th, 2010 09:11 PM
Location: United Kingdom
Fighting off a surge of panic, Julie stomped down on his foot. The momentary distraction made him loosen his grip enough for her to slam her elbow into his stomach. She broke free as air exploded from his lungs and he doubled over, gasping for breath.
Julie looked around desperately for a weapon of some kind. Her gaze fell upon a length of metal that had clearly been part of one of the robot’s legs. She picked it up just as Sardu straightened up and drew a vicious-looking dagger. Julie stood ready, gripping her makeshift weapon as it were a tennis racket.
He angrily slashed at her but she dodged the blow. He struck again, and again she dodged it. Snarling, he jabbed the blade at her. This time not only did Julie sidestep the attack, she swung the piece of wreckage down hard at his wrist. The blow numbed his fingers and the dagger clattered as it hit the ground. She followed this with a blow to his stomach. Sardu hadn’t completely recovered his breath from the first time she’d hit him there and the impact staggered him. Finally Julie swung the metal bar and hit the side of his head. He went down hard.
As he lay groaning softly in pain she snatched up the smoothy cup and ran back to her scooter. She sprang onto it, buckled on her helmet and sped away.
Hold on Ben she thought as she increased her speed still further.
“Uggh” Ben groaned again as he lay back and tried to rest.
“Be quiet” Azmuth snapped. “This is delicate work even for one of my brilliance.”
The tiny scientist was currently fiddling with an elaborate set of chemistry apparatus he had assembled. Ben tried to glare at him and was only partially successful.
“Okay Azmuth, I know you’re a genius but I think you’re bedside manner is lacking something. Like, I don’t know, maybe a bedside manner!”
Azmuth turned to look at him “Perhaps you need another dose of medication” he said with a sinister glint in his eyes.
“No, no, that’s fine really” Ben said at once as he remembered the foul-tasting liquids the old Galvan had forced him to swallow. They had helped ease his symptoms slightly but he shuddered at the thought of having to drink any of those again.
Just then the door opened and Julie rushed in. “Ben, Mr. Azmuth, I found it” she exclaimed as she handed the cup over to Azmuth.
Ben grinned. “All right Julie!”
Azmuth nodded. “Good work” he said before drawing a device and pointing it at the cup. A beam of red light played over the remaining traces of smoothy. “Ah yes. This beverage contains a pure viral sample. Now I can prepare an antidote.”
Julie smiled in relief. “Ben, you’re going to be okay!”
He smiled at her thankfully.
Just a few minutes later Azmuth turned to them. “The antidote is ready” he said, no small measure of pride in his voice.
“Great” said Ben as he sat up. “I just hope it doesn’t taste as bad as those medicines.”
“You won’t need to worry about that Ben” he replied. “The antidote needs to be injected directly into the bloodstream.”
“Wha, what?” Ben’s eyes widened as the tiny scientist held up a syringe almost as big as he was.
Julie sighed. “Don’t tell me you’re afraid of needles?”
“But, but look at that thing!”
“Ben, you have to try and relax…”
“Relax! How can I possibly relax?”
“Because it will hurt far worse if you don’t” Azmuth replied.
“Its okay” said Julie calmly. “Here, hold my hand” she said as she took Ben’s hand in a firm but gentle grip. “Look at me Ben” she said as she lightly ran her fingertips over his hand
He did so and was able to calm himself as he looked into her eyes. Azmuth quickly delivered the injection. “There, done.”
Ben and Julie let go of each other’s hands. Julie studied her hand and shook it lightly. “Okay I think I can still play tennis” she said.
Ben’s face fell as he thought about how hard he’d gripped it. “Sorry Julie.”
She laughed. “I’m kidding Ben, its fine.”
Ben chuckled. “Okay.” He turned to Azmuth. “So how long until I’m up and about?” he asked.
“The antidote should take effect within just a few minutes” he replied.
Just then all of them heard a car pull up outside. Julie looked out of the window and froze. “Uh oh.”
“What’s up?” Ben asked.
“When I went to get your smoothy cup this alien attacked me. He’s…”
“You were attacked!” Ben exclaimed. “Julie, are you okay?”
“I’m fine” she replied. “But that alien just parked outside.”
“Quickly Ben, transform” said Azmuth. “You must enter the antidote into the Codon Stream at once.”
Ben slapped his hand down and transformed. “Spidermonkey” he said in a faint voice.
Azmuth and Julie both winced as they saw him. His blue fur was almost entirely missing and his skin was a dull grey with numerous black spots covering it. Like Fourarms had been he was scrawny, with limbs as thin as twigs.
“Now change back.”
Ben did so and Julie smiled at him. “I think the colour’s coming back to your face.”
“Yeah, I do feel a little better” Ben agreed.
Before anyone could say anything further they heard the sound of an explosion from downstairs.
Sardu got out of the car, briefly congratulating himself for learning how to drive the human vehicle long ago in order to better blend in. That did little to ease the burning fury he felt at himself.
One human girl without powers beat me he seethed. If the others hear of this I’ll never live it down!
That wasn’t what really made him angry however. The real reason for his anger was that he knew the only reason why the girl would want the cup; to get a sample of the virus from the remaining dregs so that a cure could be prepared for Tennyson.
Why didn’t I destroy that cup when I had the chance? Better still why didn’t I just kill Tennyson in his weakened state? Sardu berated himself. If an antidote is given to him he can transmit it to Primus just as the virus was transmitted.
He drew a blaster pistol, aimed it at the door and fired. A red energy bolt blasted the door into fragments and he stepped in.
End of Part 5
Aug 23rd, 2010 11:06 PM
Location: United Kingdom
“I’ve got to stop him” said Ben firmly. He began to dial the Ultimatrix again.
“Use caution, Ben” Azmuth advised. “The antidote has only just been administered so none of your forms will be at full strength.”
“He’s right Ben” Julie agreed.
“Okay I got it” he replied before transforming again. “Jetray!”
Aside from being paler than normal, the Aerophibian looked to be in good shape. He flew out of the room and down the stairs just as Sardu was starting to make his way up.
Jetray tackled him head-on, propelling them both back out of the exploded door and onto the front lawn. Sardu dropped to the grass and rolled away as Jetray soared up into the air.
Turning around, the manta-like alien fired neuro-shock blasts from his tail. Right away he saw that his blasts were weaker and slower than usual. His opponent dodged them and returned fire with his blaster pistol. Normally he could have easily evaded them but his speed and reflexes were still dulled. The first energy bolt missed, but the second scored a glancing hit that sent him into a tailspin. He managed to land on his feet but a third shot hit him directly and he fell onto his back. Dazed he looked over at Sardu to see him pointing the blaster at his head.
Before he could pull the trigger, a glass tube flew through the air and hit the barrel of his pistol. The tube broke and splashed clear liquid over the blaster barrel which immediately started to hiss and smoke as the liquid ate into it.
Sardu angrily hurled the ruined weapon away and looked up to see Julie standing in the doorway with a determined look on her face. In one hand she was holding several test tubes from Azmuth’s chemistry equipment. Her other hand held another tube ready to be thrown.
Jetray fired a neuro-shock blast from his eyes, hitting his enemy in the torso. Sardu stumbled back as Jetray stood up, transformed into Swampfire and hurled a handful of seeds at Sardu’s feet. The seeds immediately sprouted into green vines that wrapped around him and immobilised him.
Julie ran up to Ben as he de-transformed. He swayed unsteadily on his feet and she supported him. “Are you okay Ben?”
“Yeah I’m okay” he replied as he recovered and stood more firmly. “Thanks for your help.”
“You’re welcome” she said with a fond smile.
Ben turned to Sardu and glared at him. “Okay talk. Why did you infect me with that virus?”
Sardu glared hatefully at them but then his face twisted into a fiendish smile. He tested the vine binding his left arm, finding it weaker than the others. With a firm tug he snapped it.
Ben moved in front of Julie and raised a hand over the Ultimatrix, fully expecting him to draw another weapon. Instead he produced a small white pill.
Azmuth came running up. “Stop him!” he shouted. But it was too late.
Sardu bit down on the pill and sneered at them just before he slumped lifelessly. As they watched his skin turned coal black and his body dissolved into ash. Within a few seconds all that was left of him were his clothes.
Ben looked down at the Galvan scientist. “Okay Azmuth, did you know that guy?”
The three of them were now in the living room. Ben and Julie sat together on the settee while Azmuth stood on the table in front of them.
“He was a member of Abyss” he replied grimly. “It’s a fanatical cult that believes the universe and everything in it is somehow fundamentally flawed. They believe that it must be completely destroyed so that a better universe can replace it.”
And there was a time when I would have agreed with them he thought darkly as he recalled his first meeting with Ben Tennyson and how he had been willing to let the universe be destroyed. Ben had changed him then, had renewed his faith in the inhabitants of the cosmos and he was deeply grateful to him for it.
Not that he’d ever admit it of course.
“That’s why they wanted the Codon Stream destroyed” he said aloud. “It can be used to re-create any species that has been wiped out. Abyss considers it to be an obstacle to their goal.”
“You knew this” said Julie in disbelief.
“I suspected it” he replied. “I didn’t know for sure until I saw that cult member.”
“So, what now?” Ben wondered. “If that guy was part of a cult then won’t his buddies be looking to finish the job?”
“I will notify the Plumbers and they will begin a crackdown on Abyss” he replied. “In the meantime you needn’t worry too much. Now that this plan failed they won’t try it again. Nonetheless you should stay alert.”
“Now I must return to Primus. I need to make some improvements to ensure this won’t happen again.”
“Thank you for saving Ben Mr. Azmuth” said Julie warmly.
“Yeah thanks Azmuth” Ben agreed.
He started to say how he’d only helped them to save the Codon Stream but he hesitated. Finally he said simply “you’re welcome” before teleporting away.
“I’d better call Gwen and Kevin to let them know I’m okay” said Ben.
He started to reach for the phone but then hesitated. “So what’ll you do now that I’m all better?”
She shrugged. “Well my parents already gave me permission to stay over for tonight, so I guess I’ll stay.” She smiled as she added “if it’s okay with you.”
“It’s totally okay” Ben said immediately. His expression then turned sheepish as he realised maybe he’d said it a little ‘too’ eagerly. Julie giggled softly.
“Thanks again Julie” Ben said; his voice completely serious now. “You really saved me today, twice. First when you got that smoothy cup, and then when you stopped that guy before he shot me. You’re one of the bravest people I know and there isn’t any girl I’d rather be with.”
“Oh Ben” she said softly, touched by his words. She leaned forwards and gave him a light but affectionate kiss.
Light years away, Marus once again stood before Rirtu as he delivered a report to his superior.
“Sardu failed” he said coldly. “Not only does the Codon Stream remain but now the Plumbers are moving against us.”
Rirtu nodded. “We will have to go further into hiding” he said. “But this is only a setback, nothing more.”
He dismissed Marus and settled back into his chair to think. For now they would have to focus their efforts on survival, but he had no intention of forgetting about Ben Tennyson, not at all.
Aug 24th, 2010 04:40 PM
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