Coleiosis Productions presents…
Volume Two, Season Five
LifeWar Episode Two
The Burden Upon Your Neck
Produced with power and pride by a group of wild and wacky friends:
Cole (Best Man) Bezotte
Sofie (Sparkling) Spangenberg
Forrest (Everloving) Eaton
Alexandra (Genial) Gemini
Needle (Killing) Kirby (eh, sorry about that)
Halloween is near, isn't it? It's time we turn the scary meter up a notch, but not too much. You will be in for a big surprise when you see the surprise villain at the end. But don't skip all the way there, because you've got to read the rest of this masterpiece.
I'm infected with you
Pull the plug already
Tell me before I go
That you're infected with me.
The Burden Upon your Neck
To those who were wondering how Tiny Tiger's strength increased in our previous caper, the answer is provided right here. Before heading for the boat dock to sabotage the League of Heroes, Dr. Neo Cortex had a brilliant idea to make up for their defeat from last time. He still had plenty of his scientific potions as what was salvaged from the Time Cube, before it was stolen by Alex Gemini; and so he found this as the perfect opportunity to improve whatever the League of Villains was lacking.
For Tiny Tiger, he created a formula that could increase his strength and double what was once a mere feat. Now he had the strength to lift even the heaviest boulders with only his fingers. Then, for former agent Stone, Dr. Cortex enhanced his hearing ability so he can hear the fall of the tiniest leaf as it touched the ground. Through this, Stone could hear the slightest movement from all directions; it gave him the thought that he could hear a Lombax's tail move ever so quietly.
Cortex had something special for Frank "the Tank" McCutcheon (aka No-Face): for him, his potion was to give him a "radar sense" in his mind. This was to block out Frank's blindness and help him "see" things internally through infrared vision. That way, he would no longer have to reach out his hands to touch and feels things; he would know that it is there already.
Captain Slag and Rusty Pete did not need a potion to drink, due to the fact that they cannot drink in general anyway. Instead, they were given upgrade hacks to their mainframe systems, which they were very satisfied with. Captain Slag was given the ability to activate a cloaking device so he would never be seen in entering a bank. Also the device would jam whatever security camera he was nearby so he can steal the money he coveted with ease. Rusty Pete's new system could aid the captain with his new super-magnet, which could attract any kind of coin towards him. The first attempt worked, as Slag snatched all the cash along with Pete collecting all the coins that came his way.
"I have not yet created a formula each for Nefarious, his butler, and N. Gin," Cortex confessed. "But that will come in due time. In the meantime, I have recently received a request from Nitrus Brio for him to join our ranks. I must say I almost want to refuse his request because of our defeat with our mutant potion. Since then, Crash Bandicoot has become more of an enemy to me than ever! Perhaps I should find fiends from other foreign realms—the ones who have boiling hatred within them…"
Later that day, Dr. Cortex sent an invitation to Dr. Eggman himself; the letter sent from Los Angeles all the way to Brooklyn. Thanks to Cortex's "speed-mail" system, the message only took about an hour to reach its destination. And when Eggman read the letter, he seemed not entirely amused at the offer due to the fact that villains such as Needles had always double-crossed him.
"Can you believe this?" Eggman asked out loud to his robots and assistants. "Do we really need any more super geniuses to group together again? I don't think I can even get along with Dr. Wily!"
(To those who are not fans of Mega Man, the mentioned scientist is as bad as Eggman, but quite different.)
"No one would ever agree to team up with you if you're the same every day," Cubot replied.
"Perhaps you're right. I'm just not so tyrannical like I used to be, when Sonic and his Freedom Fighters fought to take back Mobius' kingdom. I don't know entirely if I will accept this offer…"
We will have to leave this horde of hideous haters for now; our attention must now turn to the protagonist of this tale. The Lombax known as Donna had recently reached her destination through the awesome power of the Time Cube. Her choice of time had been possibly poor due to her temptation of reaching the past and changing things the way she wanted it to be.
She at first desired to travel to the final moments of her two loving parents, but there was something else that that she wanted to see first. A memory of her childhood struck her mind and gave her the idea to land the Time Cube in her old bedroom. It was nighttime when she arrived, and in bed she found her younger self, sleeping deeply and unaware of anything that went on. The present-day Donna also had an idea to go see the family that cared for her; but before she could make a move, she suddenly heard a loud thump from the nearby closet of her room.
"I remember now!" she thought silently. "That bad dream I had about pool sharks! This younger form of me is bound to wake up any minute now. But…wait a minute! If my closet was empty the next day, then who-?"
Her question was answered right away when the closet door slowly opened, revealing the source of that sound. "It's just like when a child is frightened of something in her closet, eh?" spoke a deep voice from in there. "I'll see to it that it happens to you again."
"Why are you here, you freak?" Donna demanded. "And how did you get here anyway?"
"Don't tell me you've never heard of Back to the Future," the threatening voice of Needles replied as the clown walked out of the blackened corner. "I've made some major modifications to my ice cream truck, using power from my trusty computer MELVIN (My Evil-Loving Villainous Intelligence Network) and some special upgrades Calypso gave me recently. And boy was it a blast traveling here to the past."
(Calypso, aka William Sparks, has been a very mysterious character in our fanfiction timeline. We'll see more of the mystery in future episodes.)
"I've heard enough stories of you, you menace!" Donna exclaimed. "You just won't rest until you've completely ruined someone's life! And as far as I'm concerned, you've already ruined MINE!"
"Good to know!" Needles replied. "I've always been that nightmare that rages on through everyone's heads. And as for yours, it's about to come right off after you take one last look at that kid in the bed. My first home was Pupuru's dream, my second was an asylum; but my next home will be yours! I will be the man who hides in your closet, under your bed, in your MIND! You will never be too far away from me…not even in death!"
"I hate you! I wish you'd just shut up already and die right here and now!"
"That's pretty rare of anyone to say that…especially a Lombax. I can already sense such burning hatred within you—the same hatred that I have towards my worst enemies. But you're missing the point—you just can't kill me, little chick! You can never kill me…not as long as the spirit of evil roams within me. I am immortal! And you will soon be nothing but the puny tadpole you once were!"
With her fists clenched very tightly, Donna felt the need to launch one full punch upon the ugly, evil face of the one who stood right before her. But suddenly, a better idea came to her mind; right next to her was her old desk where she used to repair and fix any wrecked contraptions. Quickly and without any further hesitation, she reached for a flathead screwdriver and hurled it at Needles with pinpoint accuracy. It struck his right eye, causing excruciating pain upon his face. With a wail, the fiend fell with his back landing upon the floor, cringing in pain.
"I lost my power!" he shouted. "Now I know—Ratchet must have defeated me enough…to prove me as an outcast! I've already been a public menace for so long now, no one will quit at taking me down!"
Donna watched as the villain disappeared from sight, returning to the haunted vehicle from whence he came. Recovering from fear and exhaustion, and with a tear forming in her left eye, she turned to see her younger self, still sleeping softly. "I must say that freak was a good example of a pool shark," she thought silently. "I hope I can rest easy now. But I will admit, I really shouldn't be here. If Christa was here right now and she saw me, she wouldn't believe a word I say. I should do the right thing and return the Time Cube to its rightful owner."
And returned it she did, to Ratchet later that night. After Donna left the past, her younger form suddenly woke up from her horrible dream with a shriek. Christa had heard that noise and came to Donna's room, seeing what was going on in there. "What happened in here?" she spoke. "Is everything alright?"
"No…" young Donna whimpered in reply. "It was a dream—a pool shark threatened to be stuck with me forever! I had to fight him off, so I threw a harpoon at his eye. It hurt him so much, he swam away from me. His scream was the last thing I heard…"
"Well don't be scared now… Nothing like that would ever happen to you here in the real world. I promise you're safe…"
"I hope that makes me feel better throughout the rest of the night. I'm tired again already…"
"Then you should get some sleep now. You'll wake up to a bright morning before you know it. But I wonder… What was that thumping noise?"
"That must have been how the dream started… The shark landed hard upon the boat dock with a thump, and that's how it met me…"
"Finally!" Ratchet exclaimed excitedly, entering the main chamber of the Time Cube. "What have you been doing with this thing?"
"I'm very sorry, Ratchet…" Donna apologized in reply, standing at the control console. "I did it for my own desires. I stole it after Alex bailed out with Aku Aku and Crash. But now that you have it back, what's your plan?"
"I'll be heading to the next location where the missing Lombaxes may be. I'm hoping they get inspired by the idea of the Time Cube so they can do it themselves sometime. I'll gather as many as I can and travel with them to the Great Clock, where we'll create many more Time Cubes!"
"I'm afraid that will never happen!" shouted a loud, mechanical voice from the next room. "The Lombaxes shall be extinct once more!"
Ratchet and Donna quickly turned to see what was coming their way. But they almost broke down into laughter once they found the source of that voice: a Dalek was standing right in front of them.
(You fans of Doctor Who are in for a big treat!)
"Are you kidding?" Ratchet laughed. "A Dalek comes to threaten us with his built-in plunger? Give me a break!"
"This is no laughing matter, Ratchet!" the Dalek replied. "I have returned to carry out the task I started a long time ago!"
"What are you gonna do? Exterminate me to death? This is your saddest attempt yet, you crappy villains!"
"Must I remove this shell to reveal the face of your true nemesis?" With those words said, the Dalek's upper shell opened, revealing an ugly, twisted face that bore black burns. Many of his teeth were missing, others were broken in half, others had survived the impact of what had turned him into this.
"Don't lie to me!" Ratchet exclaimed in fear. "You're dead! There's no way you could have survived our last battle!"
"But perhaps I should tell the tale of how I broke free from death! Soon, the whole universe will tremble at my name once again: Emperor Percival Tachyon!"
How is Emperor Tachyon still alive? And what of the rest of the villains? All this will be revealed in the next episode. Until then, keep your Omniwrench polished, and keep your scalp on fire.