Hey, Everyone! Here it is! The final battle! Earth's defenders, both human and monster, are fighting valiantly! But against an enemy such as this, it's only a matter of time before Earth falls! This is our planet's darkest hour! Enjoy!

Chapter 84

Astranova was anxious. She had convinced her uncle to let her stay close to the prisoners, to "keep them calm and cooperative". Serepticiously, she had informed them of the planned rescue attempt so they could be ready.

Now, she was tapped into the ship's security protocols, following the progress of the rescue team, as well as hiding them from the monitor feeds with her wrist holo-computer. As per the plan, the ship and crew were aware of the attack on the factories, keeping the focus there.

Veron had activated the automated defenses of the factories, which were now giving the ghosts of the sabotage team a hard time; but the factories were effectively shut-down until the threat could be dealt with.

Thus, Veron and the crew were almost entirely focused on the attacking ghost fleet and the internal chaos in the factories.

The rescue team was following the holographic schematic Elle Eedee was projecting, and taking out any centurion guards they came across quickly and quietly. As they were all unaware of this second security breach thanks to Astranova, they were caught by surprise and easily destroyed either by blasts from the MEGTAF soldiers or the powers of the monsters before they could react, let alone raise an alarm. At one point, a door hissed open right next to Joe, who quickly impaled his solid titanium fist through the chest of the centurion.

"I've come to check on the prisoners", Astranova told the centurion guards when she entered the hub of the detention level. "Let me pass."

"By your command", the bronze guard command centurion droned, activating the door to the required passage of cells. She eyed the centurions as she passed. Per standard protocol, the 'intruder alert' triggered by the attack in the factories prompted an automatic doubling of guards in the detention level. There was now an entire platoon of centurions that the rescuers would have to deal with. It only took one to sound an alert, so they would need to take them out fast when they arrived.

"Get ready", she told the monster and normie hostages as she checked the progress of the rescue team on her wrist computer. She would open the cells herself, but she couldn't do it unnoticed by the guards or the bridge-crew, not without help. "They're almost here."

xxXXxx

Back on Earth, Ghoulia was helping with the coordination of the military forces battling the aliens around the world from Groom Lake. Even the MEGTAF officers were astounded at how fast and analytical her mind was! She was easily handling all coordination with the monster forces involved in the many battles.

Meanwhile, Boodika and the Monster High Magickal Studies class/coven were in mystical contact with covens of witches, wizards, and other magick-users who were maintaining mystical "no-fly zones" over most of the major cities on the planet, forcing the invaders to rely entirely on ground-troops and tanks without support from the sky. On the ground, the normie and monster forces were holding their own well enough. And in places where kaijus had joined the fight, the invaders were being crushed with ease.

xxXXxx

"COME ABOUT!", Vandalla commanded. "PREPARE TO BROADSIDE! A BARREL OF RUM & COLA TO EVERY ONE OF YOU USELESS SEA-DOGS THAT TAKES OUT ONE A' THEIR GUN-TURRETS! FIRE!"

The ghost fleet was holding their own. They were keeping the outer defenses busy and causing a fair amount of surface damage to the baseship. But despite the spectral nature of the ships, they were taking some damage in return. Captain Vandalla Doubloons knew they did not have armaments strong enough to destroy the enemy baseship. She could only hope, for the sake of her fleet and her friends, that someone had a plan to finish off these invaders at some point. If not, then they were only delaying the inevitable.

xxXXxx

"This is it", Elle said. "This door leads to the main hub of the detention level. Astranova just flashed a message to me that there's a whole platoon of guards inside."

"Ok", Duncan said. "DJ and Elle; hack the door and open it as soon as Shadow Team 5 and those of us with ranged powers are in position to blast them all before they can trigger an alarm."

A few moments of positioning later, Duncan nodded to their tech-support. Elle and DJ needed only a few seconds to hack the door. It hissed open, the platoon of centurions turned to look. The pulse-rifles carried by the MEGTAF black-ops team all fired instantly, each felling a robot. Duncan and Heath each shot fire-balls, downing more as Abby froze one solid. Frankie blasted the bronze commander with a lightning bolt, causing him to seize up and collapse, while a titanium Joe rushed in to knock the head off the final mech.

The rescue team swarmed inside. Two MEGTAF soldiers stayed just inside to secure the door.

DJ and Elle led the others over to one of the secured doors across the hub. They hacked and opened this one just as easily. DJ grinned. Obsidious must not have thought anyone would be crazy enough to attempt anything like this on his own ship, or else he'd have tighter security. Once the door opened, they saw Astranova part way down the corridor.

"Thank the stars you're here!", she breathed, then gestured to either side of the hall. "Everyone is in these six cells."

"OK, Elle, lets get these open!", DJ grinned. Within a few minutes, all the hostages were free.

"Oh, Duncan!", Nefera gushed, about to throw herself at the Kaiju Prince. "I knew you would come for me! I could just kiss you!"

"Don't even think about it, Nefera!", Clawdeen growled menacingly.

"Deuce!", Cleo cried happily as she rushed into the arms of her love and crushed her lips to his.

"Very brave of you to take part in our rescue, Mr. Gorgon", Ramses smiled. "But I suppose I should expect no less from the son of Perseus."

"Kenny!", Frankie cried with concern when she saw the vertical cut on his left cheek. She ran to him with her med-kit. "Are you all right? What happened?"

"I'm ok, Frankie", he said sheepishly, wincing as she gently began treating the cut. "Just a few bumps, scratches, and bruises."

"You are too modest, my boy", Ramses said. "He valiantly tried to defend us alongside my guards when the robots came. Were he not so quick, the crystal bayonet would have impaled his head, rather than causing a mere scratch when he saved Cleo from that mechanical heathen. I had not thought normies capable of such courage."

"He's right, Kenny", Margaret said proudly. "You were quite the hero."

"Dude", Deuce smiled, offering a fist-bump. "Thanks for saving my ghoul."

"You'll need stitches eventually", Frankie said after cleaning and dressing the cut. "But I think you'll be ok, Sweetie."

"Thanks, Babe", he smiled, kissing her.

Frankie treated a few more minor injuries among the prisoners, then they were ready to move. They all headed back to the hub and the exit. They were almost out when the bronze commander began to slowly reboot from the zap he got from Frankie.

"Intruder Alert! Prisoners escaping!", he droned and pressed a button on the console, activating an alert klaxon! Deuce spun and quickly decapitated him with his sword. Elle ran over to the console and deactivated the klaxon. Glancing at the panel quickly, she flipped a switch.

"System Malfunction. Condition normal", she droned in a voice modulation similar to the centurions.

"Bridge to Detention", the deeper drone of a command centurion droned through the comm. "What happened? What is your status?"

"Our systems had a momentary surge, which triggered the alert", Elle droned. "The problem has been corrected. Condition normal and status: secure. How are you?"

Everyone cringed. If they were lucky, Elle's slip wouldn't be noti…

"What is you operating number? And where is you command centurion?"

Barnes grunted in frustration as he blasted the console. "It was a boring conversation anyway. Let's move before we have company! Back to the hanger!"

"No!", Astranova interjected. "The bridge-crew will respond to this breach by sealing the hangers! I'm jamming all the security monitors on several levels, including this one. There's another way out that I'm sure neither my uncle nor his centurions will consider. Follow me!"

xxXXxx

"Commander Veron, communcations with the detention level have been cut off after suspicious activity and contact", the gold command centurion droned deeply. "And security monitors are not functioning on surrounding levels and sections."

"We must assume the prisoners have escaped. Lock down the hangers and order all security centurions to the blacked-out areas", Veron ordered.

"By your command."

xxXXxx

In the factories, the spread-out ghosts had their hands full with the automated defense systems. Wall-mounted blasters were firing randomly at them. At the same time, mechanical capture-claws whipped about on the ends of long tendrils.

"I can't breach the firewalls of these defense systems!", Technus yelled in dismay. No technology had ever resisted his powers before! "I can't turn them off!"

"Keep trying, Technus!", Danny yelled. "We might get lucky!"

"Don't bark orders at me, child!", the techno-ghost hissed. "You may be King, but I know what I'm doing!"

For every weapon that Danny or the others blasted, another took it's place! Fright Knight and Johnny 13's shadow were able to take out several tendrils at a time, but more regenerated. On the plus side, the internal battle was still causing enough damage to the factories to keep them off-line, so the invading forces weren't getting any reinforcements. They were all beginning to tire; not even full ghosts have unlimited endurance.

A cry of pain and fear reached Danny's ears that made his half-human/half-ectoplasmic blood run cold.

"Dani!", he shouted, about to race to her through a wide-open field of fire.

"No, My Liege!", Fright Knight said, his ghost-nightmare horse rearing beneath him. "You are needed here! I shall go to the Princess!"

With that, the Fright Knight rode to the far end of the next factory-line, where Dani had gone with Chase Rider to cripple it. He found them pinned down behind some machinery; Chase valiantly firing ghost bullets at high speed, trying to defend them. Dani was crouched behind him, gripping her shoulder in pain. Even Stampede was kicking ghost horse-shoes at the wall-weapons and clawed tendrils as best he could.

Fright Knight charged in, slashing away multiple tendrils with one swipe as he dismounted on the fly. He and his horse joined the children behind the wrecked machines, his sword slashing the tendrils almost as fast as they regenerated. His horse breathed flames at both tendrils and wall-blasters.

"You fight valiantly, boy", he said to Chase. "Your courage is worthy of a knight! How is the Princess?"

"She took a blast to the shoulder tryin' to protect me", he said sheepishly. "She saw it comin' while I was blastin' somethin' else, knocked me aside. I feel awful ab….."

"Forget about it, Chase", she said through clenched teeth. "Give me a minute, and I'll be up and ready to fight."

"You have the courage of your father, Princess", Fright Knight said, his smile hidden by his dark helmet.

xxXXxx

After they mowed through several squads of centurions at different points along the way, Astranova led them to a particular hallway in a section two levels down from detention.

"Escape-pods?", Cleo inquired.

"Yes", Astranova said. "All of us should be able to fit in these ten pods. They will take us all safely down to the planet's surface."

"But we'll be sitting scarabs for all the guns out there!", Nefera griped.

"No, the ship's core programming prevents the weapon systems from firing on escape pods", Astranova reassured her. "It's—how do you say?—'hard-wired' that way. The bridge will know they've launched, but won't be able to do anything about it."

"What about your blocking the security feeds?", Duncan asked.

"It will clear up as soon as I'm no longer on the baseship."

"Why didn't they lock these down along with the hangers?", Barnes asked.

"This may be a military ship, but it's based on the Psion exploration/colonization city-ship", she replied. "So easy-access to the escape-pods is 'hard-wired' as well."

"Ok, everyone load up and launch", Clawdeen told everyone. "Duncan and I will keep watch and be right behind you on the last pod."

All but the last pod was filled and launched in short-order.

"Is that everyone?", Duncan asked as the last of the rescuers and former prisoners entered the last pod.

"Yup!", Clawdeen smiled as she embraced her love. "We did it, Hot-Stuff! We saved everyone!"

"Good! I love you, Clawdeen", he smiled, and kissed her deeply with sweet passion. He poured all his love into that kiss, and she melted into his embrace. Then he pushed her into the pod with Astranova and the last of the others and sealed the door!

"Duncan!", Clawdeen shouted at him on the other side of the round window in the double-door. "What the hell do you think you're doing, you magnificent idiot?!"

"I'm ending this", he said. "I'm gonna blow this ship to kingdom come. See you when I get home."

With that, he pressed the pod's launch-button.

"I LOVE YOU, DUNCAN!", she shouted tearfully as the pod dropped away toward the planet below. Clawdeen turned and sobbed into Frankie's shoulder, Margaret and Kenny joining in to hug her compassionately.

"Not vorry, Clawdeen", Abby told her encouragingly. "Duncan is strong. He vill succeed and come home to give you huggink and kissink."

"I hope so", the Alpha werewolf whispered tearfully, looking back toward the baseship through the pod's window. "Because if he dies, I'll kill 'im."

Duncan watched through the window as the pod carrying his true love dropped away, his clawed hand on the glass. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He knew he probably would not make it home to Clawdeen. He let his breath out slowly, clenching his fist just as slowly. When he opened his eyes, they were burning with emerald fire. He took off at full speed.

He was never a great student, but he did have a photographic memory for pictures. He was heading to the power-core, and woe to any centurions that stand in his way!

xxXXxx

"By your command."

Obsidious rotated his command chair away from the screens displaying the battles outside and planet-side to look down at Veron.

"Speak."

"A team of humans and monsters somehow infiltrated the ship and freed the prisoners almost entirely undetected. Moments ago, ten escape pods were launched from the bay closest to the detention level."

"The prisoners are of no consequence", Obsidious said. "Once the intruders in the factories and the fleet outside are dealt with, the resistance below will be crushed in short order. I observed a squadron of our fighters destroying a so-called 'kaiju' only moments ago."

"True, Supreme Commander Obsidious", Veron replied. "However, I must remind you that the rescue team could only have succeeded in their task so efficiently and without detection with the aid of someone aboard this ship."

"Astranova, my 'beloved' niece", the Psion hissed. "Again, it is of no consequence. She will be returned to me sooner or later."

"However", Veron continued uncertainly, "moments after the ten pods were launched, the interference with our security monitors cleared. It seems there is a single monster still on board."

"What?! Show me!"

He turned back to his screens and a few now displayed a red-orange, winged, reptilian individual going through the ship at a rather impressive rate; and he was cutting down centurions with ease without even stopping! Obsidious growled as he rose to his full ten-foot height. He recognized Duncan from the night he arrived and captured his niece! He remembered watching this boy easily destroy a third of his escort singlehandedly with a combination of skill, strength, and—literally—firepower!

"It looks as though he has a specific destination in mind", Obsidious observed.

"From what we can determine, he appears to be heading for the ship's power-core", Veron stated.

"Graaaugh!", the warlord growled. This ship was powerful enough to survive virtually anythingexcept the destruction of it's own power-reactor. If it overloaded, it would explode and take the whole ship with it! Even if it or the surrounding systems were destroyed without exploding, the ship could be crippled permanently!

"Shall I send all remaining centurions to protect the core?", Veron inquired.

"No. In an open space like the power-core chamber, this boy would only them cut down like insects, and he would reach the core anyway", Obsidious levitated down from his command chair. "I will deal with this impudent monster myself! Order our centurions to delay him in the passageways until I reach the core!"

"By your command."

xxXXxx

Duncan would not be deterred from his goal. He was occasionally slowed when the numbers of centurions in his path became so dense as to crowd the corridors. Blast of flames. Punch. Kick. Claw swipes. Fire-balls. He was agile enough to weave through them as he fought. The rifle blasts that he was unable to completely dodge stung painfully, and he had collected many small cuts and scratches from their crystal bayonets. Still, they all fell before his fury. And then…..the corridors were clear.

Sensing something amiss, he slowed his pace slightly, keeping his senses sharp for a trap or ambush. By the time he was just outside the power-core chamber, all his minor wounds nearly healed, still nothing. No further resistance. Something was up. They way they had been throwing everything at him before they had to have figured out where he was going! Nothing. Not even an operations drone. Was it possible he had scrapped the last of their forces? No, they were probably waiting for him on the other side of that door; an entire legion, armed to the teeth…uh, electronic voice modulators. No matter. They would have to be careful not to damage the core as they fought, leaving him free to scrap them then deal with the core.

He no longer had DJ and Elle to hack the doors, so he closed his eyes. He was already fully transformed, but now he used the techniques Jinafire had taught him to focus his chi and tap deeper into his kaiju blood, his inner fire, for strength. He opened his eyes and growled as he forced his claws into the seam between the sliding doors and in a burst of increased strength, he forced them open! The mechanisms shorted as they failed to withstand the onslaught of the Kaiju Prince. He roared as he entered in a Dragon-Fist 'ready' stance, a fire-ball in his throat, prepared to take on an army!

Nothing. The chamber was empty, aside from the thrumming of the core itself and the machinery that regulated it. He stayed on high alert as he stalked into the chamber, his senses taking in everything around him. The strict, regimented corridors gave way to the curvy, chaotic appearing wide twists and turns in the chamber, the ceiling cavernously high and shrouded in shadows, as were other areas in the open—yet cluttered—chamber. Deep in the center, he saw the wide space holding the huge, spherical power-core reactor. Indecipherable lights glowed or flashed green or white everywhere in synch with the hum of the machines.

Wait! In that shadowed place just ahead to the right…..he knew that blood/fire-red glow anywhere!

"The Heart of Fire!", he breathed, in a mixture of confusion and relief.

"Is that what this trinket is called?", a now familiar, and hated voice asked. Duncan snarled as Obsidious Blackstar levitated into view from the shadow.

"How dare you wear so sacred an object as if it were a….a damned trophy!", the kaiju prince growled, seeing the Heart of Fire, the single greatest artifact of his father's race, his race….hanging on a chain around this invading warlord's neck!

"Why not? It is useless for anything else", the alien sneered. "The vast power within it cannot be tapped."

"Not by an alien invader", Duncan spit venomously.

"It matters not", Obsidious chuckled malevolently. "You will not get past me. The ghost fleet outside is weakening. And it won't be long before your friends in the factories are dealt with. Then the assembly lines will begin to rapidly produce more centurions, ships, and weapons. All resistance on the planet below will be crushed shortly thereafter. However, you will not be alive to see my victory."

Obsidious Blackstar then fired a blast from his right hand, and then his left. Duncan dodged desperately, as his foe kept trying to blast him the same way he had killed his friends before. He took wing and flew into the shadows near the ceiling, dodging blasts all the way.

"Pathetic monster!", Blackstar sneered. "For one so powerful, you lack even the courage of that living rag-doll!"

Duncan seethed at this mention of HooDude, but kept his cool and stayed hidden. If he simply charged in, Obsidious would kill him with a blast of cosmic energy, just like he had to his friends. He needed a plan if he was going to defeat this bastard and destroy this ship!

xxXXxx

President Bernside and his squadrons continued to fight as best they could, but their losses were increasing. They had held out, and the opposing forces no longer appeared endless, having been thinned to sporadic squadrons. The president could only assume that the sabotage team had been successful in stopping the aliens' factories. But if they started producing reinforcements, the Earth was doomed.

All over the planet it was the same; heavy losses to what had originally appeared infinite alien forces opposing the defenders. But the losses to the defenders were mounting. Losses of pilots, soldiers, police, and monsters. Even the kaijus were beginning to tire or suffer wounds against this mechanized alien onslaught. Morantix, an insect kaiju resembling a dragonfly with the stinger of a hornet and the claws of a scorpion, had actually been killed after destroying several squadrons of alien fighter-ships when the remaining fighters all converged and concentrated their fire on him. Their blasters shredded his wings first, grounding him, then they simply strafed him to death.

xxXXxx

"Come out, little reptile", Obsidious jeered, as he looked about at all the shadowed areas, trying to see Duncan. "All things must die sooner or later. Why not make it easy on yourself? I shall be merciful and quick."

"Not today, Obsidious!", Duncan shouted as he flew out of the shadows and body-checked the surprised, ten-foot alien; knocking him down! He flew away just as quickly, doing cork-screws and barrel-rolls in the air to avoid the Psion's energy blasts as he got back to his feet. Duncan disappeared into the shadows again to loop around for another pass, this time coming in low from the side and sweeping his opponent's legs out from under him! Obsidious growled with rage as he again had to pick himself up off the floor, trying to blast the artfully dodging winged monster!

'He's too strong and resilient', Duncan thought to himself, as he turned high in the air to gain speed and power as he decided to risk a direct attack. 'This worked on Astoroth. Maybe it will take out Obsidious!'

Duncan turned himself into a flying drill-bit, shooting fire-balls from his mouth to hopefully hurt or distract Osidious as he came at him at blurring speed!

Obsidious yelled angrily as he was struck by the fire-balls just before Duncan slammed into him. They tumbled briefly, as the raging Psion got a firm grip on the boy and slammed him to his back on the floor. Then he got his hands around Duncan's neck.

"I will crush you with my bare hands!", Obsidious hissed as he choked Duncan. The kaiju prince could do nothing but claw ineffectually at the arms holding him, as anything more vital on the alien was out of his reach. The alien was stronger than him, and had reach and leverage in his favor. "Die, monster!"

xxXXxx

"Cap'n!"

Vandalla turned to the skeletal crewman who had addressed her. "Aye, matey?"

"Cap'n Youngblood and several others are reporting heavy damage to their vessels, Cap'n", he told her. "They be not crippled yet, but can't last much longer. They want to know your orders?"

Vandalla pondered what to do. There had been cheers through the fleet when they saw the escape-pods launch and drop toward Earth, but there had been no word from the ghostly sabotage team. Although the lack of newly manufactured forces pouring from the baseship was proof of their success; the fact they had not yet returned spoke volumes. Either they had run into trouble, or there was no way to permanently cripple the factories and it was only a matter of time before they were overwhelmed by the enemy.

The fleet was weakening, but they had to do something. There was only one thing left that she could think of, and it would proably do nothing more than buy more time for their allies down on the planet.

"Send word to all ships in the fleet: Prepare to ram!"

"Aye-Aye, Cap'n", the skeleton gulped.

xxXXxx

"First, those three young fools", Obsidious sneered. "Then that hairy giant. And now, you. It's a pity you monsters die so easily, or I might have a sense of satisfaction now!"

Duncan kept struggling, even as he was on the verge of blacking out. He managed to get his right foot up against the alien's chest just as his flailing hands grabbed the handles of the Heart of Fire.

The blood-red glow flared into bright, golden light, surprising Obsidious and loosening his grip! Duncan used his leg to shove Obsidious away from him, snapping the chain around his neck!

(cue song by Stan Bush)

You got the touch!

Duncan stood, holding the Heart of Fire, bathed in it's golden light. He felt power beyond anything he'd ever known surge within him. He gained more muscle mass and his armor became more dense as his shirt and coat shredded from the stress. His claws, spikes, wings, and forearm ridges all got bigger and more prominent, and horn-like spikes grew from his elbows as if they were extensions of his forearms. Finally, a powerful tail; much like his father's, burst through the back of his black cargo-pants!

"Arise, Crown Prince Duncan", a deep voice that he knew well, despite having heard it only twice in his life, rumbled from the ether into his mind.

"Primalus!", he breathed in awe.

You got the power!

Yeah!

"NO!", Obsidious shouted, as he realized that this boy had not only accessed the vast power in the artifact—something that not all of his advanced technology had been able to do—but he was actually absorbing it and becoming more powerful! He fired several bolts of energy at Duncan, only for them to dissipate in contact with the power of the Heart.

"This is the end for you, Obsidious!", Duncan snarled as he dropped the still brightly shining artifact of his ancestors to charge at the alien warlord. He slammed a right-hook into Obsidious' face, then a left into his abdomen; both strikes causing painful if minor fractures to the Psion's crystalline flesh.

After all is said and done, you've never walked, you've never run

Duncan then grabbed Obsidious by his belt and throat, lifted him over his head, and threw him like a spear into the power-core. The screaming Psion warlord smashed right through the outer casing to find himself in the raging energy that powered the entire ship! His race may absorb ambient cosmic radiation for sustenance, but this was far beyond that ability! Obsidious screamed in agony.

You're a winner!

Got the moves, you know the street. Break the rules, take the heat!

You're nobody's fool!

"Now, light our darkest hour!", Duncan said as he lifted the Heart and pulled the silver handles, causing the segmented orb to split apart down the middle, releasing the full power of the gem. Of it's own volition, the fiery gem entered Duncan's chest, causing him to exclaim in surprise as it merged with his own fiery heart. The power was unbelievable! And it was his now, a part of him forever! He looked at the hole in the core made by Obsidious' forcible entry, and breathed…..not much fire as a stream of superheated, explosive plasma!

You're at your best, when the going gets rough!

You've been put to the test, but it's never enough!

You got the touch, you got the power!

Such a massive influx of energy exceeded the limits of the core! Systems all over the ship began to overload and explode! The computer-core tried to compensate, and failed miserably as it too overloaded and exploded spectacularly!

When all hell's breakin' loose, you'll be right in the eye of the storm!

Planet-side, the mechanized forces suddenly just…stopped. Fighter-craft crashed and exploded, tanks shut-down and exploded, and centurions suddenly froze and collapsed like puppets with cut strings!

You got the heart, you got the motion!

Outside, Vandalla was about to give the order to ram to all the ships of the ghost fleet, when she and all the others saw multiple explosions going off all through the baseship!

You know that when things get too tough, you got the Touch!

In the factories, the ghosts were still fighting for their un-lives and were now losing ground fast. Danny and a few others were suddenly pinned to the wall by clawed tendrils. They were finished. But then the tendrils, wall-blasters, and factory lines themselves began to all explode in a chain reaction!

You never bend, you never break! You seem to know just what it takes

"Dani! Chase!", Danny called as he saw them galloping toward him on Stampede alongside the Fright Knight.

"Dad!"

"King Phantom! What's going on?", Chase asked worriedly.

"No time to answer that now! Let's get outta here!", Danny replied. The gathered ghosts galloped or flew back the way they'd come when they entered with as much speed as they could muster.

You're a fighter!

"Look!", Dani cried as she pointed to something approaching.

It's in the blood, it's in the will! It's in the mighty hands of steel

The ghosts stopped to look and saw Duncan flying toward them, his huge wings pumping majestically as he kept ahead of the chain-reaction of destruction.

When you're standin' you're ground!

And you never get hit, when your back's to the wall!

"This whole place is gonna blow any minute!", he told them as he reached their position. "Let's go home!"

Gonna fight to the end, and you're takin' it all!

"Somehow I knew it would be you who saved us all, my friend!", Danny smirked as they all followed Duncan.

You got the touch, you got the power!

When all hell's breakin' loose, you'll be right in the eye of the storm!

They finally saw the large viewport window they had phased through to enter up ahead. Duncan wasn't stopping! He again turned himself in a high-speed flying drill-bit of death and took a deep breath just before he punched right through it with the ghosts right behind him!

You got the heart, you got the motion!

You know that when things get too tough, you got the Touch!

Deep inside the overloading power-core, Obsidious was still alive as he was being agonizingly disintegrated by the out of control energies.

"NOOOO! MY DESTINY!", he screamed, just before the core itself finally exploded, rending his body completely apart at the molecular level. His final thoughts were of wondering how could such primitive beings have brought him to this?

You fighting fire with fire!

You know you got the touch!

Vandalla had seen them escape through her spy-glass and brought her ship in to pick them up, just as the entire baseship exploded in a blinding, fiery blast of energy and debris.

You're at your best, when the going gets rough!

You've been put to the test, but it's never enough!

"Great timing, Captain", Danny said as he and the other ghosts boarded the Salty Spectre.

"Tweren't nothin' your Majesty!", the ghost-pirate girl smiled. "I was 'appy ta be of service. But 'ow didja manage to destroy that oversized wind-up toy?"

"It wasn't us", Danny smiled. "It was Duncan. Wait…"

"Where is Duncan?", Dani cried.

You got the touch!

You got the power!

Yeah!

The blast and shockwave, which'd had little effect on the intangible ghosts, had knocked Duncan into Earth's gravity. His friends on the Salty Spectre saw him, but there was nothing they could do; none of the ghost ships were close enough or fast enough to catch him.

Duncan tucked into 'cannonball' position, wrapped his wings and tail around himself and prayed to the Mother Goddess that he would survive re-entry. If he could make it to the lower-atmoshere, he knew he could slow his descent before impact.

Below on the planet surface, not far from Monster High, Clawdeen and the others had exited the escape pods. They looked up to see what appeared to be a meteor-shower to end all meteor-showers. Clawdeen knew what it meant.

"He did it", she whispered. "He actually did it. And he did get out before it blew….I can feel it."

"Look!", DJ yelled, pointing to a 'meteor' coming down at a strange angle, different from the rest.

"What is it, DJ?", Clawdeen asked, knowing his cybernetic vision had greater range than hers.

"That's Duncan!", he said with a mixture of awe and concern. "Comin' inhot!"

Clawdeen ran with all the speed she could manage, tapping the deep reservoir of her power as the Alpha, following Duncan's flight-path as best she could!

Duncan felt as if he'd been baked well-done by the time he began to cool, indicating he'd reached the lower-atmosphere. He spread his wings and extended his tail and spread his arms and legs wide to slow his descent. It wouldn't be enough, so he switched tactics. He angled to turn his fall into a long, fast glide to give himself more distance to slow down. He aimed for the ocean.

Clawdeen ran, maintaining full speed despite her burning lungs and legs. She suddenly realized she was headed for Gloom Beach!

"Aw, man! This is gonna hurt!", Duncan said to himself as he crashed through several palm trees, deeply skimmed a sand-dune, then plowed into the surf! He finally stopped about a hundred yards out. He surfaced and spit water, his breathing labored from the exertion. He swam to shore. Clawdeen arrived just as he was dragging himself onto the sand.

"Duncan! Thank the Great Mother you're alright!", she cried as reached him. She grabbed his head and kissed him fiercely on the lips. Then she slapped him, none to gently either! "DON'T YOU EVER SCARE ME LIKE THAT AGAIN! What the hell were you thinkin'?!"

"Sorry! I'll tell you as soon as the other four of you go away", he smiled weakly. "One angry Clawdeen is more than enough!"

"Very funny, you magnificent idiot!", she couldn't help but smile. "Haven't you learned by now that bad stuff happens to you whenever you leave me behind and do something reckless?!"

"I wasn't being reckless this time!", he said, but her deadpan look told him she wasn't buying it. "Ok, maybe a little. But it was a calculated risk. We all knew the only way to really end this would be to destroy the baseship. I just figured the only way would be by blowing the power-core."

"Fine. But why trick me and send me away? I could've helped you!"

"Weeeelllll….that's where I calculated", he said, thinking quickly, trying to find the right words. "I figured even if I succeeded that there was a chance I might not escape in time. I have no problem risking my own life, but yours? I couldn't risk you dying, at any odds. I love you too much."

"That's sweet, Duncan", she smiled sweetly…..then put two clawed fingers under his chin and tilted his head up. "But we're life-mates. From now on, we calculate risks together, got it, Hot-Stuff?"

"Uhm….yes, dear", he squeaked with a crooked smile, making her grin and kiss him passionately again.

"That's a good boy", she smirked. Then she really noticed. "Um, Sweetie? I like the new muscles, but since when do you have a tail?"

"It's a long story", he chuckled.

xxXXxx

In a remote canyon, a single escape pod opened. Veron stepped out, followed by a small cadre of centurions and a gold command centurion. Veron had calculated that there was a chance that the monster would defeat or get past his master and destroy the core; and thereby the ship. So as a precaution, Veron was able to separate himself from the primary computer along with these few centurions and slave them to his own program. His master was no doubt dead, but now Veron himself could rebuild the mechanized forces and take this planet.

"Greetings, Veron."

The thinking machine whirled at hearing his name. Lord Stoker stepped into view with a sinister smirk on his face.

"Who are you and what do you want of me, vampire?"

"My collegues and I vould like a vord vith you", he grinned. Revolta, Remus Darkclaw, Argost, Vlad Plasmius, Zombozo, and Moanica D'Kay appeared beside him.

"And what logical reason would I have to listen?", Veron said. "What could a mere six monsters possibly have to offer me?"

"Offer?!", Remus growled snidely, then chuckled. "We're not here to offer you anything, robot."

"And there aren't six of us", Revolta laughed evilly. "There are seven."

"What do you mean there are sev….?", then he heard, or rather felt a deep rumbling behind him and his centurions. He turned…..to see the massive form of a kaiju staring down at him, as if he and his centurions were no more than insects. If Veron were capable of fear, he would've been terrified!

"You and your master nearly ruined my carefully laid plans when you came to this planet, Veron", the giant growled. "As it is, your little invasion brought humans and monsters together against a common foe, which will make my plans more difficult and complicated now! Your fool of a master already paid the price for his hubris. Now, you will join him!"

The last thing Veron saw and heard was an earth-shattering roar and a huge foot coming down on him.

xxXXxx

Author's notes: I confess, this chapter was heavily inspired by the final battle in the animated, 1986 'Transformers' movie. I also included an easter egg for sci-fi fans! The kaiju Morantix was inspired by 'Megaguirus', who fought Godzilla in the movie "Godzilla vs Megaguirus".

Just one or two more chapters to wrap things up, and my first story here will be complete!

Long reviews are welcome as always! I'm also open to suggestions to include in the sequels!

xxXXxx