Another original chapter!
… I bet you all thought I forgot about this story, didn't you?
Mount Justice, July 30, 10:30 EDT
"C'mere, Ship!" Ben called.
"Time to get you some practice boy!"
The small alien whined and jumped up in Megan's arms, making the Martian girl laugh and hug it tight.
"I don't think he wants to," she chuckled.
"Well too bad for him," Ben replied, with an amused roll of his eyes.
He walked over to Miss Martian and reached out to take Ship over from her. Just as he came within arm's length of the alien girl, his watch lit up and a yellow beam passed over her. The Martian tensed in surprise, but stood stock still until the beam had passed.
"New DNA sample required," the mechanical voice of the Omnimatrix spoke.
Before anyway could say anything, Superboy was next to Ben and threw the brunette against a wall.
"What the hell did that thing just do?" he asked angrily.
Ben groaned and got up again, rubbing the back of his head as he glared at Superman's clone.
"That was my horrible Beam of Doom," he replied sarcastically.
"Beware! Miss M will now turn into my evil minion and together we will take over Earth. What do you think it did? It scanned her DNA, didn't you hear it saying anything, mister super-hearing?!"
Superboy growled and balled his fists, ready to pound into Ben. The brunette tensed immediately and reached with his right hand to the Omnitrix, ready to activate it if the other teen were to attack.
"Calm down, both of you!" Aqualad ordered loudly.
"It is of no use to fight between ourselves."
"Yeah, fine," Ben muttered, relaxing again without taking his eyes away from Superboy.
Superboy gave a huff of annoyance and turned away. He stomped out of the room without saying another word. The rest of the group all watched him go with frowns but none tried to stop him.
"Ship?" the little alien Mechamorph asked curiously.
"Nah, it's fine," Ben replied with a shrug.
"What did your watch do exactly anyway ?" Kid Flash asked.
"I recall it scanned my DNA that first day as well," Aqualad remembered.
"What does it mean when it does that?"
"It means I can change into your species," Ben replied shrugging.
"Or should be able to at least. Azmuth still hasn't given me the Master Control."
"So… you can now become an Atlantean and a Martian?" Robin asked.
"They're added into the database, but I can't access them yet," Ben told him.
"I don't know exactly how it works, but sometimes, another alien gets unlocked. When I unlock the Atlantean or the Martian, I'll be able to transform into them, but just not yet."
"Cool!" Kid Flash cheered.
"Yeah, buddy, not as cool as Upgrade, I know," Ben chuckled, patting Ship on the head.
Miss Martian blinked at Ben and squealed.
"You can really understand him?" she asked.
"Can you teach me? I want to talk to him too! He's so cute!"
"It took me years to learn it," Ben muttered.
"My ex could understand him basically on instinct though."
Both Ben and Ship sighed sadly, and Robin and Kid looked away guilty. Aqualad frowned at this, but he supposed that whatever was going on there, it was something personal. It wasn't his place to interfere in the personal business of his teammates anyway.
"How about we get some training in?" Robin suggested smiling.
"Good idea!" Ben agreed with a grin.
"You mind if I use Ship instead of the Omnitrix?"
"Huh? What can he do that your alien watch can't?" Kid Flash asked curiously.
"You'll see," was the cryptic reply.
Ben and Robin walked into the fighting ring together with Ship following after them. As they faced each other, Robin gave a cocky grin and held his hand out, crooking his fingers upwards in a dare towards Ben to attack. Ben grinned and looked over to Ship.
"Ship!" he called grinning.
The group watched in shock as Ship jumped up and wrapped his expanding body around the brunette teenage hero. The alien pet quickly morphed into a robot suit with a green visor through which Ben grinned widely at Robin.
"Ready?" he asked.
"Show me what you got, alien boy!" Boy Wonder chuckled.
The two boys charged each other, both grinning in excitement. They both wanted to find out just how good the other was, as they were still a very new team. Even though Ben had been living in their universe as a hero for the past 4 years, his abilities were still mostly shrouded in mystery. After all, he barely ever used any aliens besides 10, which had been the reason to his hero name.
Ben swung, but Robin ducked just in time and the fist simply went over his head. The Boy Wonder tried to swipe Ben's legs from under him, but the brunette barely even staggered. That robot suit really was tough.
"Ship!" the suit called out and stuck out his tongue at Robin.
"That's just freaky," Kid Flash commented to Aqualad and Miss Martian.
Ben kicked towards Robin, ignoring his audience, but Robin jumped up this time and landed on his shoulder. As he pushed off and landed behind Ben, the brunette actually did stagger, but he regained his balance in time to turn around and catch Robin's foot when he tried for a roundhouse kick. He swung the younger teen hero away and approached.
"Giving in?" he asked cockily.
"Not likely," Robin snorted.
He grabbed a smoke bomb from his belt and threw it at Ben. His vision was obscured by the smoke, giving Robin the perfect opportunity to disappear from his sight. Ben growled in annoyance and looked around himself in search of his opponent, only to be hit in the back.
Ben jumped to the side and turned to face Robin, only to find the Boy Wonder long gone again. A throwing star imbedded itself into Ben's shoulder. Though he couldn't feel the sting of it himself thanks to the suit, Ship did and he could feel his pet's anger boiling at the attack. Ship was done playing nice and took over control.
They were prepared for Robin's next surprise attack and were able to fight him off with their teamwork. Robin was thrown to the floor with the force of the hit. When he wanted to get up again, he found a few dozen red dots aimed at his face and chest and he tensed.
"… What?" he asked shocked.
He looked up at Ben, finding he was aiming several very deadly looking weaponry protruding from the suit at him. His eyes widened and for a moment, he wondered if the other would actually kill him.
"You pissed off Ship, sorry," Ben chuckled apologetically.
"This is kind of a shared control kind of thing, so… but I won't let him do anything bad. If he really wants to shoot, we'll only use the non-lethal ones."
"I feel a lot better, thanks," Robin sneered tensely.
"But it would be a lot better if you stopped pointing those at me."
"Does that mean you admit defeat?" Ben asked teasingly.
Robin sighed deeply and nodded his head reluctantly. Ben grinned in victory and relaxed. Ship transformed back into himself and jumped to the side, straight in to Black Canary's arms. Ben and Robin walked up to each other and shook hands, both grinning widely.
"Nice fight!" Robin complimented.
"Absolutely! I wouldn't have beat you in a fair fight," Ben agreed.
"You know it at least," the Boy Wonder teased before walking up to Black Canary and Batman.
"Do you got a mission for us?" Aqualad asked the dark knight hopefully.
"Yes," Batman agreed.
"But since it will be your first mission as a team, Black Canary will come with you to supervise.."
"A babysit? C'mon! We can do it on our own!" Kid complained.
"Like how you can follow orders?" Batman asked, glaring at the redhead.
Kid Flash shrunk back a bit as he recalled the earlier mission and smiled sheepishly.
"What kind of mission?" Miss Martian asked curiously.
"Recon," Batman replied.
"About an hour ago, the Central Bank of Coast City was not just robbed, but completely emptied."
Ben's eyes widened and he took a step forward. Most eyes were drawn to him almost immediately.
"What happened?" the brunette asked quickly.
"I only stopped a robbery two days ago!"
"This time, something else was involved," Batman said seriously.
He pressed a button on the large computer and brought up a picture of a large, empty hall. For a moment, the team was confused to what it meant, but then Ben recognized the room.
"That's the lobby of the Bank!" he announced shocked.
"What the hell happened to it? Where are the desks?"
"Stolen," Black Canary told them.
"Along with all the employees and clients."
"Someone robbed the bank and not only stole the money, but also the furniture and the people in it?" Kid Flash asked incredulously.
"Who does something like that?!"
"That's what you are about to find out," Batman told them.
"If you can, take the criminals into custody, but if Black Canary thinks you are in over your heads, she will call for back-up."
The stern hero looked at them with his famous Bat-glare and crossed his arms over his chest.
"You will listen to her," he stressed.
. . . . .
Coast City, 7:15 PDT
Ship touched down 45 minutes after leaving Mount Justice at the parking lot of the Central Bank of Coast City. Several police cars were already at the scene and so were many onlookers and reporters.
The team of young heroes and their supervisor exited the ship before the Galvanic Mechamorph transformed back into its original form, earning gasps of shock from the crowd before it jumped in Miss Martian's arms to whom he had grown fond of in the short time since they met.
"Black Canary," the police sheriff greeted calmly.
"And Ben 10. Sorry to see your hard work has gone to waste."
The brunette gave a small smile and a wave.
"No problem, Steve," he replied shrugging.
"Let's just catch whoever did this and call it a day already. I barely had any sleep last night."
The officer gave a small grin and led the group of young heroes and their watcher inside without acknowledging any of the other teenagers. Kid Flash of course noticed it first and frowned as he started walking next to Ben and Robin.
"And what are we? Invisible?" he muttered upset.
"My town, remember?" Ben chuckled.
"I bet if we were sent on a mission in Gotham they'd turn to Robin first."
"Yeah, well, that doesn't give them a reason to ignore us," Kid pointed out sulkily.
"We are here to do our job, not to be recognized," Aqualad chided.
"Yeah, yeah," Kid Flash waved him off with a roll of his eyes.
Aqualad frowned a bit, but didn't comment while Ben, Robin and Miss Martian all chuckled. Superboy was extremely quiet from his spot in the back of the group. In fact, he seemed to be brooding ever since his spat with Ben.
"Let's just finish the mission and then we can argue about who's more popular," Robin snickered.
"I bet I'll win!" Ben laughed teasingly.
"Yeah? Wouldn't be so sure Alien Boy!" Kid laughed.
Their banter fell quiet as they stared at the empty space inside the bank. Nothing had been left behind, as if someone just decided to erase the whole thing and only let the outer walls of the building behind. Ben frowned and looked around himself while Robin pulled out some Bat tech and started scanning the place.
"Nothing special on the radars," the Boy Wonder announced.
"Alright, so someone walked in here and just took the money, the furniture, the freaking lights and the people without being seen?" Kid questioned.
"Seems like it. Hey, Miss M! You sense anything?"
The green skinned girl closed her eyes in concentration and rubbed her temples. After a few moments, she opened her eyes again and looked at the others.
"It's weak, but I do feel something in the middle of the room…" she told them a bit uncertain.
Ben nodded in thanks and walked over, planning to just look around and see if he could find something unusual. When he walked into the exact middle of the room, however, his Omnitrix started making noise. Startled, Ben lifted the alien watch to his face.
"Wormhole residue detected," it spoke in its metallic voice.
The others all walked over as well, all very curious. Even Black Canary, who had been talking with the police officer in the back walked over. Ben blinked a bit in confusion.
"Alright, uh, Omnitrix, a full scan of the area please," he told the watch.
A pale green light flashed over the entire room before returning back into the Omnitrix.
"13 lifeforms detected," the watch said.
Kid quickly turned around and counted how many people were in the room. Once he was done, he frowned a bit before looking over at Ship. The redhead looked back at his friends with a grin and a nod, meaning there were indeed 13 living beings in the room.
"Anything else?" Ben pressed.
"Use of Galvan technology detected," it said this time.
Ben scowled and looked over to the others. Kid Flash and Robin glanced at each other, both well aware that it should be impossible for any technology of another universe to leak into theirs without help. Ben used Galvan technology, and they knew he lived with a Galvan, but they also knew there was no way Ben's mentor could have anything to do with this.
"Ok," Kid Flash spoke up slightly annoyed.
"No matter how interesting it is to see your alien watch in action, but maybe we could get some useful information, like, I don't know, who did all this?"
Ben smirked and activated the Omnitrix. With one bright smirk in the young speedster's direction, he slammed the dial and transformed in a bright green light. In his place now stood a large, bulky robot made of copper. His belly was made of green glass with the Omnitrix symbol on it, showing the cogwheels inside and on top of his head was a big winding key.
"Wow," was all Kid said at the sight of the large alien.
"And what does this one do? Read the time?" Superboy asked sarcastically.
"Manipulate time, to be exact," Clockwork replied.
He raised his hands out in front of him and the winding key on his head started spinning, inside a soft, green light, they could see people standing in the Bank, everything was as it was supposed to be, until some of them suddenly looked up, seemingly panicked, towards the front door.
That was where Ben aimed his time beam next. To everyone's shock, they could see the Joker and Harley Quinn walking into the room, both grinning and holding large guns. They started shouting things at the people who all reacted by throwing their hands up in the air. When one person tried to go for the alarm, Harley shot them with the big gun, and the man disappeared in a bright flash. Both she and Joker seemed to be in complete shock for all of five seconds before they started grinning and shooting around randomly. Everything they hit disappeared in that same flash, until there was nothing, or no one, left. Ben lowered his arms and returned back to his human form.
"Well, that explains something," he muttered.
"Big question now is: who gave the Joker Galvan Tech?"
"Ben 10! Batman wants you back at base ASAP," Black Canary called out.
"He wants to talk to you about the developments of this mission. The rest of the Team will stay here with me to continue working on it. Contact me when you can join us again."
Ben sighed and nodded as he activated the Omnitrix.
"If I can join again," he muttered bitterly before turning into Jetray.
. . . . .
Mount Justice, 12:00 EDT
Batman hadn't said a word yet since Ben was forced to return to base. He had just told Ben to sit down and then left him in a room that looked an awful lot like a police interrogation room. Ben guessed Batman, or some other Leaguers were hidden behind the dark glass, observing the possible traitor. Ben wasn't an idiot, he knew that's what he was there for. They thought he had given the Joker Galvan Tech.
"I didn't do it!" he called out annoyed.
No answer came. Ben huffed annoyed and crossed his arms, pouting sulkily at the mirror glass as he continued waiting. This was why he disliked Batman: the stupid mind games he always played.
"C'mon you guys! You can't actually believe that I had anything to do with this, right?" he tried again.
"I mean, I know how it looks, I swear I do! But you know me better than that, right? I'd never betray the team! Ask anyone. Robin, Kid. You can even read my mind if you really need to!"
Again, no answer came at all, and Ben groaned in frustration. He wasn't the kind of guy that could just sit still like this and wait until everything was cleared. He needed to be out there and catch whoever was behind all this dammit!
Eventually, the door slid open and Batman entered, followed by Superman. Ben scowled at the grave expressions both of the Leaguers were wearing, and he knew he wasn't in the clear yet.
"You can go," Batman started.
"Great!" Ben exclaimed, jumping up from his seat.
"-But, we'll put you on suspension from any hero business, and you'll stay with the Kents until we know we can trust you."
"Oh, come on!" Ben cried out annoyed.
"It won't be so bad," Superman told him smiling.
"Come on, we'll stop by your home to pick up e few things and then I'll introduce you to my parents."
"Can't wait," Ben muttered bitterly.
"Don't worry so much, Ben. My parents are great people."
. . . . .
Coast City, 9:05 PDT
"I'll wait out here. Be back quickly," Superman told him.
Ben nodded reluctantly and walked into the house. Just one glance around told him that he was once again all on his own, making him sigh. He loved his grandmother dearly, but she wasn't fit to raise anyone. She loved her freedom too much, and she always found something more interesting to do than being with Ben, especially this last year. Ben could barely even remember when the last time was he'd talked to her.
Azmuth was gone more and more lately too, traveling along with Paradox, or spending time on Oa, helping out the Green Lantern Corps with his inventions. Sure, he saved the world, and other than Verdona, he still had time for Ben, but it would be nice if he was around a bit more too. At least Ben could still go to Hall when loneliness hit him too hard… if he wasn't on a mission off planet at least.
"This sucks," Ben muttered as he walked into his room.
"I find it rather amusing, really," a much too familiar voice replied.
Ben's eyes widened, and he lifted his Omnitrix arm, ready to activate as he watched Albedo warily. How the hell did he get here?! Did he still remember Ben?
"Don't look so confused, Ben. I can feel my own brain cells dying just looking at you," Albedo sneered.
"You know the answers to your own questions already, don't you? Just think. I know even you can do that much."
Ben scowled in confusion, but then his eyes widened in realization.
"The Vortex," he whispered wide-eyed.
Albedo's smirk widened into a large, predatory grin and he sat up on Ben's bed, where he had been casually lying until now.
"Some people here must hate you so, so much if they were willing to rip through reality and bring me over," the albino said.
"With all my memories intact, and some very nice accessories."
Ben felt like someone just kicked him in the stomach when he saw the Ultimatrix sitting on Albedo's wrist. Albedo laughed when he saw the look of shock and horror on the brunette's face and he stood up, approaching Ben slowly.
"They got me here when I was at my peak, but with every single memory up to the point the world was destroyed," Albedo told him, stopping right in front of him.
"I can do the same. I can do more than that. If I want to, I can bring Vilgax back, at the peak of his strength, and wearing the Omnitrix."
His grin stretched even further and he leaned in until his lips were next to Ben's ear.
"I can bring over Kevin Eleven thousand."
That was all Ben needed to jump back into action and he roughly pushed Albedo back.
"Then I'll just have to stop you before you can!" he growled angrily.
"And who are you going to bring for that?" Albedo laughed.
"Your hero friends? How will they feel about your 'evil twin'? How are you going to explain where I came from when the only ones they know of that can even travel between the universes is your family."
Ben wanted to open his mouth to reply, but Albedo held up his hand to stop him.
"If you want to say anything about the Martian and his mind reading, don't bother," he said in a bored tone.
"I have a strong mind, I could make him see anything I wanted him to. Like how you are a traitor and tried to use me to win their trust."
"What do you want from me, Albedo," Ben asked softly, glaring at the albino hatefully.
Albedo just laughed and walked towards the window.
"You'll hear it when it's time," Albedo told him.
"Be ready, because I won't give you the chance to fight me."
. . . . .
"What took so long?" Superman asked Ben as he walked back out of the house, a bag slung over his shoulder.
"Couldn't find my I-pod," Ben muttered.
"Alright," Superman replied smiling.
"Ready when you are."
Ben turned the dials on his watch and pressed down, turning into Jetray.
A bit of an abrupt ending maybe, but what happens further isn't important for the plot so I'll just touch up on it in the next chapter before we move forward again.
Also, my sincerest apologies for not having updated sooner but I might be finally getting the hang of the fandoms again. Still a Potterhead first and foremost.