Volume Two, Season Two
By Cole Bezotte and Elias Sheumaker
Note from the authors: The song "Darkest Part" by Red deeply inspired us for this gigantic adventure and conflict. We planned this for months; now we can finally put this into action! Enjoy!
Marcus Kane ran through heavy fields on a dark and stormy night. Beside him stood his split-personality Needles, also known as Sweet Tooth. Their unity seemed to have caused a short-circuit in Marcus' brain as he began to go slightly insane.
"Where am I?" Marcus spoke up.
"How did I get back here?" Needles replied as he looked around. "This looks like…"
"This looks like a nightmare. I've seen this monster before…"
"…In my own reflection." Needles and Marcus stood beside each other as they looked up to see a tall tower with an evil-looking clown head atop it. This was to be their next ultimate weapon of destruction: Tower Tooth.
"Who are you?" Marcus said as he turned to face Needles.
"Oh, come on!" Needles replied. "Don't be naïve!"
"Don't you drive, Sweet Tooth!"
"I'm…a little bit more than that. I'm YOU, you moron!"
"I don't know why, but I believe you."
"Hey! Have I ever lied to me?"
"What is this? Is this a dream? It feels like I've been here before."
"I HAVE. Well… WE have. WHATEVER!"
"What is this place?" Marcus continued as he turned back to face Tower Tooth. "Why are we here? What is that thing?"
"Too many questions…" Needles replied. "I think the best thing to do is climb inside and look around."
(Now that we are done with the dramatic flashbacks, let's go back to our story.)
Kat led Pupuru back to the mansion of the League of Heroes; it was still heavily storming that night, with lightning constantly flashing. Thunder roared after every five seconds as the heavy rain pelted upon Kat and Pupuru.
Once they arrived at the front porch, they suddenly saw a man come out from around the corner. "Marcus!" Pupuru spoke up as she approached him. "You've experienced the same thing before, have you?"
"Of course," Marcus replied. "All this…could be my fault…"
"It isn't. No one can blame you for anything. Ratchet formed that split-personality himself."
"I know he did, but there's nothing I can really do to control it."
Kat came in: "But isn't there someone who knows everything about twisting minds? Surely Needles is an expert at making someone cause conflict with himself."
"If there's anyone who will stop him…" Marcus replied, "…it's me. I created that monster, and I shall go and take him down…FOREVER!"
"But what about Ratchet?" Pupuru continued. "We can't leave him a victim of himself."
"You're one of his best friends," Marcus replied to her. "You must go and help him."
"I will… But I'm afraid…"
"Don't be afraid; the real Ratchet is depending on you…"
Back at the center of the suburbs, Marcus paced back and forth, waiting for his opponent to arrive and accept his challenge. After waiting for about five minutes, he thought Needles had decline the offer. But Needles soon came, driving the one thing that was seen in Pupuru's nightmare: Tower Tooth.
"I have come as you requested!" Needles spoke up as he stepped out of the giant vehicle. "It took me forever to escape the asylum and follow you here."
Marcus was very eager to defeat the one enemy he used to fear. Now was his big chance to do what he had promised. He charged forward with a ready fist, firing it at his sworn enemy. But Needles saw this coming; he stepped out of the way and pushed Marcus down to the ground.
"You big baby!" Needles said. "If that's the only way you think you can stop me, it's completely hopeless! You're putty!"
"Call me what you will…" Marcus replied as he quickly got back up to his feet, "…but I won't give up! I will stop at nothing to make you finally DEAD!"
Needles began to attack back with his fists as well. Both identities of Marcus Kane, the true one and the evil one, pushed punches against each other, struggling to gain the upper hand because of their almost equal strength.
Meanwhile, Kat guided Pupuru to where Ratchet might have been hiding. Her hunch was absolutely correct; she soon found Ratchet, in his full rage, charging right at Pupuru. She had to act quickly; she used her gravitational powers to push him away before he could lay his Omniwrench upon her.
Ratchet's demonic anger controlled him to get back up and attempt to attack again. Kat was about to defend Pupuru again, but Pupuru objected and pleaded her to stop. "Don't do it again!" she begged. "Let me go to him!"
"Why?" Kat replied. "You'll get killed!"
"Let me reason with him! Just keep him still and let me get to him!" As fast as she could, Pupuru ran towards Ratchet and stopped him in his tracks right before he was about to throw his wrench a second time.
"Ratchet!" Pupuru exclaimed. "Please stop this madness! This is not you! I know there is still good in you and I want to see it! PLEASE, Ratchet! I love you!" Pupuru broke down into tears as she heavily embraced Ratchet.
Ratchet was not moved at all; only the good side of him understood what Pupuru said. But because his split-personality had taken over his body, there was nothing he could do but cry out inside. Pupuru's tears fell to the ground right at Ratchet's feet.
But suddenly, Pupuru began to hear a strange sizzling sound from below. She looked down and saw that her fallen tears were boiling and sizzling hard, causing smoke to rise up. Such energy from the split-personality was using the tears to create a new life form.
At that same time, Marcus and Needles were still battling each other to the death. Each fighter was desperate to get rid of the other once and for all. But the more Marcus tried, the more tired he became. His exhaustion weakened him so much that he stopped pushing his punches; he bent, almost falling clean onto the pavement. But before he knew it, Needles stuck at his head and knocked him out unconscious. But it was not over; Needles thought he had successfully killed Marcus.
Back at the other end of town, Kat watched as a white light suddenly begin to emit around Ratchet and Pupuru. They soon became completely engulfed in it, and were wiped away from the face of the earth. "What happened to them?" Kat thought desperately. "Are they gone forever?"
Little did Kat know that Ratchet and Pupuru were transported to Marcus' mind. But each subject stood a long distance from each other in a large, blank, white scene. Pupuru still faced the evil Ratchet, but the good Ratchet finally appeared, standing in front of an evil Pupuru. Each good version stood too far away from each other, being forced to stare at the red-tinted evil versions of their friends.
"Ratchet…" Pupuru whimpered, tears still streaming down her cheeks. "Is this how you are going to live from now on? All my life, you have NEVER given up on me! But now, you finally have for the first time! I thought that we would be friends forever! Instead, I have the world's most wonderful Lombax as my enemy! I don't want you to be like this!"
Ratchet spoke to the evil Pupuru, thinking that she was the real person: "I have failed you, Pupuru! I have failed you! When I first found out about you, I was more than willing to take you as a great friend! But now, it seems the tables have turned for me! What happened to the girl that I once knew?! What has happened to her?! Am I to remain a madman forever?!"
Suddenly, the evil versions began to look very sad and pitiful. They came forward and embraced their opposite selves heavily, seeming to beg for forgiveness.
"THERE'S the Ratchet that I know," Pupuru said as he hugged the evil Ratchet. "Maybe this IS not all your fault. I know Needles can create evil beings; so if we're going to stop him, we'll stop him together."
"I never wanted to hurt you," Ratchet said to the evil Pupuru. "All this time, you were like my daughter. I'll never forget the many times you've rescued me in desperate situations. You really are a great help, and I'll never forget that."
They continued to hug each other, that is until the most surprising moment.
(Note from the authors: ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?)
The evil versions suddenly drew out daggers and stabbed their victims in the back. They only pretended to be sad to create a distraction; the real Ratchet and Pupuru were not prepared for this. Blood began to ooze from their bodies as they stumbled and fell to the ground. The evil versions escaped out of Marcus' head, leaving their victims alone in that blank scene.
Ratchet lied on the ground as he turned his head to look ahead of himself. He saw the real Pupuru lying there helpless and on the verge of death. With every bit of remaining strength within him, Ratchet crawled over to Pupuru and held onto her very tightly. Pupuru felt Ratchet's soft touch and struggled to open her eyes to see the face she would always remember.
"Ratchet…" Pupuru whispered weakly. "This…cannot be the end… I don't want it to be…"
"I never wanted this to be the end either, Pupuru…" Ratchet replied. "I'm sorry I never told you, Pupuru…"
"What did you not…tell me…?"
"There are many things…in this world that…we cannot handle…ourselves. There will always be…an obstacle that we need to overcome. Death now seems to be…our final obstacle. If we are to die…we will die together…"
"Why does it have to end this way…?" Pupuru whimpered, her tears mixing with her blood. "I never got to say goodbye…to all my friends…"
"But they will still fight for us. They will always…remember us…"
The loyal hearts of the two heroes began to slow down and fail. Two brave friends lied on the floor next to each other, nearing ever so closer to death… closer… closer…
Marcus finally woke up from his blow, slowly opening his eyes to see Needles standing with the evil versions of Ratchet and Pupuru. He had seen what had happened to the real Ratchet and Pupuru, which made him very infuriated. He quickly got back up to his feet and ran over to lash out at his sworn enemy.
Needles did not expect to feel such awesome wrath from the man who created him. The blow was so powerful that it knocked him down to the ground. The evil Pupuru turned and was ready to attack, but Marcus quickly grabbed her by the wrist and squeezed very hard to break her hand. He did the same thing to the other hand, breaking that one as well.
The evil Ratchet attempted to run and flee in secret, but he was soon caught by Kat. She used her scarf to hold him by the throat; the more she tugged, the more it choked him. He decided to no longer fight it and to let her win so she would not strangle him anymore.
Needles got up and quickly ran back to Tower Tooth. He hopped inside and sped away from the suburbs, declaring the battle as only the next step to his secret plan.
Marcus still had the power to bring the real Ratchet and Pupuru back to the real world; they were not stuck there forever. Once Marcus brought them out into the open, they would be saved from the death that came so close to them.
Ratchet and Pupuru began to fully materialize in front of Marcus and Kat, breathing normally. Their hearts pumped their blood, giving them the will to live. Ratchet got back up to his feet, able to stand again and fight. But Pupuru was still weak; she could hardly move and speak after so much tension.
"We won't let Needles get away this time!" Ratchet declared. "Marcus, you and I are going after him. Kat, you in the meantime will take Pupuru back to the mansion. Make sure she is healed fully before she gets involved in any battle whatsoever."
"But what about you, Ratchet?" Marcus replied. "You don't look good yourself."
"I'll be fine; it's just a flesh wound."
"MORE than that! You were stabbed full in the back!"
"I'm sure I can fight again. But if you still disagree, I'll go see Dr. Nefarious and get myself together again."
"You'll have to strategize everything," Kat said as she held the unconscious Pupuru in her hands. "I hear that Needles is issuing you to a contest."
"I should have known!" Marcus replied. "Needles is bringing back up the Twisted Metal contest! If he wants a battle, we'll give him one!"
"Then let's not waste a minute!" Ratchet continued. "Let's get going!"
WHAT A MASTERPIECE THIS IS! NOW WE'VE GOT A TWISTED METAL CONTEST TO LOOK FORWARD TO, WHERE THE DRIVERS ARE INSANE, THE EXPLOSIONS APOCALYPTIC, AND THE WEAPONS HARDCORE! NASTY! BUT WE PROMISE YOU, THIS WILL BE THE BEST TWISTED METAL BATTLE EVER! UNTIL THEN, SEE YOU SOON!
We'd like to thank Red for inspiring us to write this awesome story! Also, thanks to Lee Bezotte for the support!