PlayStation All-Stars III

Rise of the Reaper

By Cole Bezotte and Needle Kirby

Introduction

I just had the nerve to come back.

On Saturday, December 27, 2014, I had successfully posted the sequel to what was supposed to be the finale of the cancelled longest-running PSASBR fanfiction series.

Was that too long of a sentence? Sorry.

The day after I posted the story "Shattered Innocence", I had beaten the game "Ratchet Deadlocked", which hardly had a story. It was basically a series of gladiator events Ratchet must go through in order to free himself and rescue all the other captive heroes. That game is the last we ever see of Sasha Phyronix, which really sucks because she is a very good character. That's why I brought her back in my stories.

Anyway, as I was saying, after playing that game, an idea suddenly smacked me on the head. After seeing the messages of those heroes who were freed from the Dreadzone, I was inspired for something. One of those heroes included Hydro-Girl; after seeing her, I thought that I may wanted to write a story about the planet Aquatos, where she lives. And yet, I'm always tempted to use a Twisted Metal character as a villain (an evil Twisted Metal character). But I could not think of whom to use at first.

I thought that Ratchet, Pupuru, and Hydro-Girl would be the main heroes. For the villain, I at first thought of the mythical Count Dracula, whom I used in the cancelled series for seasons five, six, and seven. But I thought that if I used Dracula, my story would not be horrific like the previous story "Shattered Innocence". Then I settled on the one legend whom David Jaffe messed with: the Grim Reaper.

That's right! David Jaffe, the creator of the Twisted Metal franchise, had taken the Grim Reaper in 1994 and turned him into a motorcycle-driving, flesh-eating, and child-threatening monster. Nobody likes the 2012 rendition of Mr. Grimm, yet the 2001 version was the most threatening. Not because he steals souls, but because he eats actual human flesh (shown off-screen). That's when I thought: "What if he were to eat ALIEN flesh?"

If there's anything that would threaten aliens, it would be the 2001 version of Mr. Grimm from Twisted Metal: Black. He is the main villain here in this story. As for any other new characters, only Hydro-Girl joins the fight (and possibly the team). And also, something from the cancelled series makes a surprise return.

I hope you all like this new serial adventure of the League of Heroes! Enjoy!

Chapter One: The Funeral of Billy Ray Stillwell

(Note from the author: Sorry I ended our previous story so suddenly. It's time that a proper funeral was arranged for Billy Ray, the villain from last time.)

At Midtown's nearest cemetery, Billy Ray Stillwell had been buried underneath the gravestone that held his name. Ratchet, Pupuru, Nathan Drake, Sly Cooper, and some others had buried him after the battle that took place recently. And as for Billy's truck, Junkyard Dog, it was sent to the Zorko Bros. Scrap and Salvage junkyard, where it was destroyed.

"That's it," Ratchet thought as rain began to sprinkle down onto him. "No more being a coward! If I want to get rid of any troubles, I'll have to face them like a man! I'll fight them just as I fight physical beings! That's a promise! And yet, I still can't forget about letting poor Billy die. Even though he is responsible for my mother's death, he shall be forgiven."

Later that day, the gang got into their vehicles and drove back to Los Angeles, where the rest of the League of Heroes was waiting. It had been a tough battle, and everyone needed their rest. Yet Ratchet still wanted to say something about this tragic event.

"Shouldn't I say a few words on his behalf?" Ratchet asked Nathan as he hopped into one of the cars brought.

Nathan tried to think about what to say about this. He then spoke: "He was once a redneck farmer for corn, and…" Nathan could not think of anything else.

"I just don't get it at all!" Ratchet said. "Is there so much to this psychotic mind study that we don't know of?"

"Looks like we'll be researching on psychology when we get back," Nathan replied. "Perhaps it will help us understand the patients at Blackfield Asylum more accurately."

And speaking of the Blackfield Asylum, someone new took Billy's place. All the way back at Los Angeles, at the Blackfield Asylum, a new criminal had been arrested and taken to Billy's former prison cell. Two guards stood outside the cell, chatting with each other and not being interested in what the prisoner was thinking.

Sitting against the wall of the cell was a man in a tattered military uniform, also wearing a cracked skull as a helmet. He stared down at his lunch, imagining it to be what he dreams of eating sometime in his life: alien flesh.

"In here, you lose track of time," the man thought to himself. "Hours melt into days, and so on. After so much time in solitary, I should be getting better. But in my heart, I know there is no cure either for me or the girl. Everyone at first thought that Pupuru was crazy when she told about her dream, but I was the first to believe her. When she told of the one known as Mr. Grimm, it gave me such a tremendous idea to BE whom she used to fear. From now on, I shall be known as Mr. Grimm here in the real world. Like Ratchet made Pupuru's dream come true in the good way, I shall do the same in the BAD way. It will also make me hungry for something I've never eaten all my life: alien flesh. It's funny; I've never had Lombax before."

(Note from the author: Remember, what happened in the cancelled series is all a dream. If you have not read any of the other stories, go back and do it now.)

In the cell next to Mr. Grimm, the former FBI agent Stone brooded about his defeat. "That fool Billy thought that Ratchet could help him!" Stone thought silently to himself. "Then he definitely went off the deep end! Grimm here looks as though he's on more than just a mission. If he wants to eat Ratchet as his greatest feast, then so be it! He shall be my new assassin, and I know just what to do now."

Mr. Grimm looked up at the ceiling and sniffed the air. Suddenly a clue came to his mind that this cell was not only Billy's, but also the former Dark Knight's (remember the Dark Knight turned into his true self as Marcus Kane). "Strange…" Grimm thought. "I smell the toxic aroma of Gargoyles."

The two guards standing by Grimm's cell both looked at Stone's evil smirk. They thought that something was not right here. "Looks like he's up to no good," one of the guards said. "Remind me to shut him up later."

The next morning, Ratchet and the others arrived at the mansion of the League of Heroes, in which it still stood tall in the suburbs.

As Ratchet and his friends walked inside, all the other members of the League of Heroes were so excited to see them back home safely. But one person in particular seemed to be acting very strange.

Ratchet turned to see Sasha Phyronix slowly walking towards him. She looked very upset and excited both at the same time, which seemed very awkward for Ratchet. "Uh, Sasha?" Ratchet spoke to her. "Are you okay? You seem to be acting very weird."

"Where the heck were you?!" Sasha replied distraughtly. "I was worried sick about you! I thought you were dead! That freaky farmer was hunting you down like no one's business, and…and…!"

"It's alright, Sasha! Billy is DEAD now! I'm still alive! Everything's just fine!"

"I thought my father would never allow you to marry me someday. I thought you had REALLY turned coward!"

"Who said we were going to wed? I haven't yet decided on my TRUE girlfriend. And I suppose it will take me a long time until I actually reach a decision. I just don't want you or Talwyn to be upset."

"Thanks for calming me down, Ratchet," Sasha replied calmly. "It's nice to see you've come back home safely."

"Home…" That word rang through Ratchet's mind like the loud ringing of a bell. "Now that's a word I've never heard in a long time," he thought quietly. "Perhaps it's telling me I'm doing something wrong. Maybe… I've been treating everyone unfairly. I'll have to discuss this with Pupuru some other time."

Several hours later, back at the Blackfield Asylum, the two guards who stood by Mr. Grimm's cell were both killed by a very sharp weapon. Agent Shepherd came to investigate the scene and noticed that Grimm's cell was completely empty.

"I don't know who caused this…" Shepherd said to Carl Roberts, who was taking notes about the scene, "…but I'm not waiting around to find out! If you find any more corpses, I want them examined immediately."

As Carl dashed off down the hallway, Shepherd turned left and saw a nasty surprise. "It can't be!" he thought as he looked deep into Stone's empty cell. "Stone has disappeared! Perhaps HE is the cause of all this! I knew that dirty traitor couldn't be trusted!"

Shepherd's suspicions were correct; for outside the asylum, two escaped prisoners drove a motorcycle with a sidecar attached. Grimm piloted the vehicle while Stone sat in the sidecar, thinking ambitiously about their master plan. "This will never fail!" he exclaimed triumphantly. "We shall be the masters of Earth!"

Suddenly, Mr. Grimm stopped the motorcycle at a dead end. What Stone had exclaimed upset him. "Masters of Earth?!" Grimm said. "That sounds too predictable! It's what every cartoony villain says! ANYONE would catch us in our act if they heard our vow, whether it be a strong hero or a random citizen. Why not do something that no one would get the clue of?"

"Do you want alien flesh for dinner or not?" Stone replied.

"I DO! Let's just not be too predictable. Let's just say… let's unleash the beasts!"

"I think I know what you're saying. Head to junkyard quickly, and we'll see if we can reuse the Dark Knight's secret formula to recreate the Gargoyles."

The two villains drove into the night, going all the way out of the downtown area, past the suburbs, through the fields, and into the Zorko Bros. Scrap and Salvage. They looked around and saw that most of the Gargoyle corpses had been burned by Shepherd's SWAT unit (from our previous story).

Only now, Mr. Grimm had the chance to reform the horrid species of monsters.

Mr. Grimm parked the motorcycle at what was once the Dark Knight's personal shed. He and Stone quietly crept into the abandoned shed and turned on their flashlights. At first, all they could see were cobwebs and many tarantulas. They had to search thoroughly until they found the one thing they desired. They had found a torn book lying upon a crafting table, coated in dust.

Mr. Grimm picked up the book and wiped the dust from its cover. It was the book Marcus had created when he was the Dark Knight, writing the formulas on how to create his army of Gargoyles. "This is just what we need," Grimm said as he showed the book to Stone.

"Perfect!" Stone replied. "Now that we have what we need, we shall have an army of the most hideous creatures alive! The Gargoyles shall be reborn!"

The next morning was a very beautiful day; a day perfect enough to go to the nearby beach.

(Note from the author: The beach was first used in the cancelled series. Now I can use it again for a different circumstance.)

Ratchet walked along with Pupuru while the others took their cars to drive to there faster. Ratchet wanted to walk with Pupuru mainly because he had something very important to discuss about with her.

Along the way, Ratchet sighed heavily and spoke up: "I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I thought that maybe I can do you a big favor. It must be a very long time since you've last been at your hometown, and I was thinking maybe…" Ratchet sighed again, then continued to ask the big question: "How would you like to go back home?"

"Are you serious?" Pupuru replied, shocked. "Why would you want to send me back?"

"I'm beginning to think that making this team is a big mistake. I practically snatched everyone from their true homes and forced them to here in Los Angeles. I don't think anyone was on board with this idea."

"But Ratchet, you don't know for sure what everyone else is thinking. To us, it's a blessing to be a great, big team of strong heroes. It was a blessing for you to bring me here with you. I thought I was to be imprisoned forever until you came to take me in. Face it, Ratchet: we're all glad to be here as a team. We're really happy about this."

"But don't you miss your friends Puni and Etanya? I'm sure they're worried sick about you."

"They already know how Agent Stone arrested me, and they know I'm here. I can visit that town once in a great while; but for now, I'm sticking with you till the end."

"That actually makes me feel a little better."

When Ratchet arrived at the beach with Pupuru, he found someone sitting on a motorcycle nearby. Grimm had finally met up with Ratchet, and now was his chance to strike.

Mr. Grimm slowly reached into his back pocket and pulled out what seemed to be a very sharp scythe. But before he could throw it, Ratchet already caught sight of him.

"Don't think I don't know what you're doing!" Ratchet called to him as he pulled out his Omniwrench. "I'm already prepared for you! And if that IS you, Mr. Grimm, how did you escape from the dream?"

"I didn't come from the dream," Mr. Grimm replied. "I made myself the villain that you already know; I decided to follow in his footsteps. But now, I want to see if you are juicy enough for me."

Mr. Grimm quickly threw the scythe at Ratchet, hoping to stab it into his head. Ratchet was quick enough to hit the scythe in mid-air with his wrench. But right when he touched it, it exploded violently at his face; it was actually an explosive with a scythe shell. Flames began to touch him all over as he caught on fire. Groaning, he quickly dropped down to the ground and rolled down the sandy ground. Pupuru ran over to him, took off her cape, and laid it down upon him, distinguishing the flames.

"You may have been lucky, Ratchet," Mr. Grimm silently thought. "But it's not over yet. This was merely a test to see if you truly are juicy enough for me. Since I roasted and toasted you with that secret weapon of mine, now I know you definitely are good enough for eating. You are completely vulnerable! I'll be back for you, Ratchet! I don't want you to keep me starving for very long!" With that, he drove away on his motorcycle.

Ratchet cooled himself off in the beach's waters; steam rose from where his burns once stung. "Are you okay, Ratchet?" Pupuru asked her as she wrung out her cape.

"Well…" Ratchet replied, "…I have learned one lesson: never dive into a fireplace. If that character thinks he can overtake us, we should fight back at him and show him his wrong doing!"

"IF we know of his plan. We don't know what he's up to yet."

"And I'm afraid that might take a while."

Later, Mr. Grimm arrived back at the junkyard, where he reunited with Stone. Stone in the meantime was continuously stirring the formula that created the Gargoyles. Soon, many vicious creatures began to walk clear out of the giant mixing pot, one after another. But the more strength Stone put into the stirring, the nastier each Gargoyle looked.

"I cannot believe how successful we are in this!" Stone exclaimed in triumph. "I can FEEL such power!"

Mr. Grimm ignored Stone and turned to face those Gargoyles that were already produced. "Monsters and former slaves of the Dark Knight!" he began to announce in a loud tone. "As your new leader, I now bring you all back to the land of the living! Unlike our traitor, I guarantee you all the alien flesh you can devour! If you want it, you shall have it! But you must save something for me: one male Lombax. If you find him, you must bring him to me alive as my heart's desire and prize! Now… WHO'S HUNGRY?!"

The Gargoyles roared and screeched loudly as they gnashed their razor-sharp teeth and beat their chests hard. They were very eager to eat the flesh that they can imagine. "Perfect…" Mr. Grimm silently thought to himself. "When I get my hands on that Lombax, it will be the end of his pitiful family! Billy Ray had already killed his mother, so I shall finish the job! Also, I'll give Stone his just reward…after he's served his purpose!"

Later that evening, Ratchet called an emergency meeting with the League of Heroes. He had received news from FBI spies about Mr. Grimm's plan to send his new Gargoyles everywhere. Now was Ratchet's chance to inform his friends about this and stop the crime once and for all.

But he seemed a bit uneasy; he may be on a special mission, but he did not want to let everyone down this time. He was afraid that things would end up like last time when he ran from Billy Ray. "Wait a minute!" he thought right when Billy came to his mind. "Now I remember what I said at his funeral! If I have problems like these, I should face it like a man! I should not be such a coward, so I must face this as calmly as I can."

Everyone came to the dining room to listen to what Ratchet had to say. But before he could say anything, an urgent message came to his comlink. He activated it to see who was contacting him, but he received a nasty surprise when he saw who it was. He never thought that Mr. Grimm would call him at such a time. Ratchet pressed the button to allow the message to play:

"Greetings, Ratchet! You've probably noticed by now that my new Gargoyles have struck out at last. As far as my readings show, the Gargoyles have hit every known realm that you know, including the homes of your petty friends. But I have one question for you; I know you are in league with the long-dead Dreadzone, so I want to make you this offer. Here in Aquatos, I have with me the once mighty hero Hydro-Girl. If you dare attack me, she will be next on my menu of main courses. But if you peacefully surrender to me, it will be YOU as the meal instead of her. You can either save yourself or her. If you want to surrender, then meet me at Veldin. The choice is yours, Ratchet."

The transmission ended right there, leaving Ratchet's pressure at a high level. All those planets, including where he grew up, were in terrible danger. All he was doing was standing right there in fear; something had to be done. "Don't be a coward!" he then thought. "I must face this enemy bravely! I must fight for what is right!"

"Listen closely!" Ratchet announced. "This is what we are going to do: Sasha, you go to Marcadia and protect your father. Angela, you will head to the Oboro Forest; there, you will meet Puni and Etanya, and make sure to kill whatever Gargoyle that lives. Kat and Raven, you both will go to Aquatos and free Hydro-Girl while I distract Mr. Grimm. I will take Pupuru with me to Veldin; we'll distract Mr. Grimm there long enough for you to free Hydro-Girl. That way, he won't eat her."

"But what about YOU?" Pupuru interrupted. "I don't want YOU to get eaten. If we're saving Hydro-Girl, who will save YOU?"

Ratchet looked down at Pupuru and sighed. "That is for fate to decide," he said to her. "That's why I need you with me. We're going to a place that I had left for so long."

After all arrangements were made, everyone grabbed their weapons and supplies and left the mansion. Each hero went to whatever place he or she was assigned to; no matter where it would lead, there would always be a group of Gargoyles keeping many townspeople in peril. It was the heroes' duty to free those troubled people from whatever danger that Mr. Grimm used.

When Sasha arrived at Marcadia a few minutes later, she already saw a threatening Gargoyle invasion outside her father's presidential building. She was desperate to rescue her father before he was massacred. Quickly, after landing near the building, she took out her laser pistol and began to fire rapidly at whatever Gargoyle was in sight. Finally, after tiring herself out so quickly with the fighting, she cleared the way to her father's office. Once she opened the door, she found him unharmed; the mission was complete for her, but not for everyone else. There was still work to do; there was soon to be a secret weapon to unleash upon Mr. Grimm at Veldin.

THE NEXT CHAPTER IS SOON TO COME! WE SHALL SEE ANGELA'S MISSION TO THE OBORO FOREST AND THE SURPRISE COMING OF A FAMILIAR FIGURE! UNTIL THEN, SEE YOU SOON!