Coleiosis Productions presents…

PlayStation All-Stars

Volume Two, Season Five

LifeWar Episode Three

When the Mind Fades

Brought to you once again by our merry madmen of fandom…

Cole Bezotte, writer

Sofie Spangenberg, plotter

Forrest Eaton, editor

Needle Kirby, interpreter

Gene Ocelot, makeup artist

And finally, kibitzing by the whole blamed bullpen

Prologue

This is how it feels when I ignore the words you spoke to me

This is how I break apart when I keep running away from you

This is who I get when I don't know myself anymore

This is what I choose when it's all left up to me

When the Mind Fades

"I still refuse to believe it!" Ratchet spoke in frustration, facing the one he had battled before in the past. "You can't still be alive!"

"Ah, but luck was around the corner for me…" Emperor Percival Tachyon replied, his voiced weakened with his mixed and damaged face. "Before I had faced my demise, someone had the heart to save me from my bitter end. And if was to mention his very name, your hunger to kill me would be stronger than ever. Let's just say he was quite the notorious killer."

"And so I was glad to do it!" boomed a voice from the next room. "After all, I want a Lombax to face its worst fear before he dies!"

"YOU!" Ratchet shouted as he saw Needles approach the main control console of the Time Cube. "Why did you do it?!"

"Didn't you just hear me?" Needles replied rudely, pointing his machete at Ratchet. "All these years, I've hated you deep down inside. And if I can't kill Pupuru with you in the way, then you'll have to be my target for now. And as for YOU…!" He turned to face Donna, threatening her for a new reason. "I'll see to it you won't relive what you did to me recently! I will have so much fun gutting you!"

"You just want us to die, you meathead…!" Donna retorted in reply. "It's getting really tiring for me."

"That's just the way things have to be, girly! I can't wait to see what your blood looks like…"

"That's quite enough!" Tachyon interrupted. "Can I please move on to the main point?"

"What do you want from us?" Ratchet spoke to the emperor. "Are you here to finish the promise you started before?"

"More than that, my friend…" Tachyon answered in reply. "I know that you are still searching for the remains of your race; I know that they have spread across the universe! That fills me with even more anger and hatred, as I now embark on this new quest of mine to kill the rest that live! But first, I will need to revive the tyranny of those who had proven themselves the cruelest to the universe!"

"I think I can already guess those whom you mention…"

"You SHOULD be, you fool! I have heard of the villainy of Gleeman Vox, the once-powerful Chairman Drek, and the man who calls himself Calypso… They will all soon prepare themselves for the battle that shall bring you to your final demise! This I swear!"

"But what are YOU going to do? You're simply a puppet in a Dalek's armor, fool! You look powerless!"

"You shall regret those words, Lombax! Needles, show him of his wrongdoings! He shall pay for this!"

"Finally!" Needles exclaimed loudly. "A time for me to cast another illusion! You better prepare yourself for this one, Ratchet! You'll feel nothing after this!" With those words said, he thrusted his right hand at Ratchet's neck and held it very tightly. "Prepare to be put down!" he shouted in his large ear. Once the villain let go, poor Ratchet felt completely numb; nowhere in his body did he feel anything functioning. He could not move at all—all he could do was watch in horror as Needles walked towards him with a small, slender pin.

First, the fiend poked at Ratchet's chest; the Lombax felt himself drift back a few inches. In this horrible illusion, the hero who swore freedom has become a captive of Needles' evil antics. Ratchet was a balloon, inflated to full normal size before meeting its end. Pinching the needle, the clown raised it, ready to land it upon the victim; and after only one second, all that was heard was a loud pop.

When everything cleared, everyone looked down at the floor to see Ratchet, lying unconscious and completely immobile. Donna took a closer look to see that Needles' pin had actually pierced the poor Lombax's chest, causing it to bleed. In the point of view of the devilish clown, it was a mark of success coming to him. "Now that that's done…" Needles hissed, "…it's your turn to feel it!"

Donna refused to let the fiend cast an illusion upon her; she held Needles' hand back, and with her free hand, she delivered a blow upon his ugly face, almost like the last time they encountered. But it only made the clown madder than ever, eager to wipe this species off the face of the galaxy like never before. "Okay, then…!" Needles hissed, placing his thick hands upon Donna's neck. "I guess you receive the more brutal punishment!"

Donna's eyes blurred, making it harder to see what was happening. The dirty white color of Needles' ugly clown mask engulfed her vision, placing her in a white background that she did not recognize. Once her vision finally cleared, she saw before her a figure that seemed not so familiar at first. A female Lombax, a bit taller than Donna, one who bore a soft smile at the sight of the one she knew.

"Who—who are you…?" Donna spoke to the figure.

"Someone you've never met your whole life…" the other replied.

"And someone you'll never see ever again!" boomed the voice of Needles. His figure appeared, driving a knife through the Lombax's back, killing her instantly.

"What are you doing?!" Donna demanded in a panic.

"Something that's happened many years ago…" Needles threatened in reply. "What a shame it is that you don't even know your own mother…" After those words were spoken, Donna suddenly felt her heart tear to pieces. Her eyes blurred from the tears that formed; all she could do was stand there, hardly breathing, as she heard the laughter of the embodiment of evil that stood before her.

"That monster!" Donna thought in her mixed emotions of fear, anger, and sadness. "He will pay!"

Suddenly, after her next blink, she saw Needles stand right in front of her, ever so closer to her. Then, with one great lunge of a knife, the devil ended the illusion. And once everything cleared, he found Donna lying lifelessly on the floor as blood dripped from a sizzling burn she had suddenly received.

"I did it!" Needles thought aloud in excitement. "I finally did it! I killed those filthy Lombaxes! They're dead! Boys and girls, I am so proud of myself! This is strong enough to make a grown man cry, but not THIS one! Eh, wait a second… What's THIS?!" He took a closer look at Donna's chest to see the burn.

"You are too much of a fool to think that you would hog all the credit to yourself!" Tachyon's voice spoke behind him. "I merely wanted you to injure them so they would fear our powers! I want to be the one who erases the Lombax race from the universe…not a simple man!"

"You idiot!" Needles shouted as he rushed towards the emperor with his machete. "You stole my victory from me! I wanted to kill them! I…HATE…YOU!" As he shouted those words, he choked Tachyon by squeezing his throat as hard as he could, draining all the air out of his lungs. To finish him off, the clown jabbed his deadly blade through the has-been's neck, putting the tyrant's life at an end.

Needles' anger consumed him ever more, his desire taken from him. Though Donna was killed by a laser beam from Tachyon's control panel, Ratchet finally met his end at the hands of the deadliest man who ever lived. Or did he?

Behind the villain was a soft sound of a Lombax's tail dragging along the ground. Needles turned around to see Ratchet limping towards the motionless body of Donna. "How are you still alive?" he spoke to him.

"You've never heard of iron will, have you?" Ratchet replied, pressing his hand against his bleeding chest. "It'll take more than a needle to kill a good person. But as for this one, you've totally gone and done it! This is why I HATE YOU SO MUCH! All you ever care about is ruining people's lives and killing innocent beings! You only love yourself! And for the first time, it seems as if evil has finally won…"

"I didn't kill her… It would be better if I did, though. And yet, something inside tells me that I'll no longer have a worst nemesis if I succeed way too soon."

"You've been hunting me and my friends down for years now. And now you've killed the wrong person. Come on, Donna. Do me a favor and please don't be dead. You've been my pal for a long time now, and I don't want you to fade out now. Please breathe, Donna! I am begging you!"

Needles heard a tremble in Ratchet's voice, knowing that fear was increasing within him even more. Ratchet began to beat upon Donna's chest, forcing her to open her eyes and breathe once again. "Donna, please!" Ratchet continued to shout, as tears streamed down his face. "Get back up! I beg you! You have to live again! I don't want you do die now! GET UP!"

Ratchet started to settle his fists. Nothing was working. His sobbing continued to overtake his chance to revive the one who trembled. But suddenly, he saw two gloved hands beat down upon Donna's chest. He looked up and saw that Needles was there to help him.

"Are you serious?" Ratchet whimpered.

"I'm only doing this for a good reason!" Needles replied. "I want it to be ME who kills her off! Not some crappy laser beam! When we revive her, I'll be doing my part again!"

"I'll see to it that it happens…" Ratchet silently thought, "…in a PIG'S EYE…"

Both worst foes began to put all their effort into saving the one who was once lonesome, who was once an outcast to Earth, who became loved and hated by those who surrounded her life. The new friends she had made on Earth were the ones who she hung with the most, the ones who brought tears of joy to her, the ones who warmed her heart as she had found her new home here with the League of Heroes.

"Please come back!" Ratchet begged. "We love you so! We don't want to say good-bye to you too soon! I want you to live! I want you to live!"

"Get back up!" Needles shouted. "Don't be a weakling! Just get up! Just feel that fire in your soul!"

One second, silence.

Two seconds, a cough.

Three seconds, two eyes yanked open.

Donna quickly sat up, coughing out the remaining blood in her throat. In a fit of excitement, Ratchet swiftly embraced his arms around his friend, welcoming her back to the land of the living. The dawn of a new day had risen, warming the hearts of those relieved to see their good friend alive again.

"Thank you…" Ratchet whimpered, his voice still trembling. "It's so good to see you again…"

"Ratchet?" Donna replied, tears forming in her eyes. "It's you! You saved me! You and…him? What for?"

"I wanted to take credit for your demise…" Needles replied. "But never before have I revived one who was once dead. My job is to kill, not bring back to life. So can I please finish what I promised?"

"Apparently you can't…" Ratchet said to him, standing back up. "You killed a villain and saved a hero. Are you really starting to become a good person?"

"I shouldn't be! I still hate you with all my guts! If I wanted to, I could slice both your heads off with one swipe of my blade!"

"What a big dummy you are!" Donna taunted as she got back to her feet. "It's okay now to say again that we really hate you…"

His blood boiling rapidly, Needles once again fell into a fit of rage. But then he suddenly stopped and stood completely still for a second. Then, with a smile beneath his mask, he replied: "Let me show you two how much I…hate YOU!" He ran out of the Time Cube as quick as a fox, and within two seconds, he drove his ice cream truck inside the main chamber at full speed.

"Well, I guess things are back to normal now!" Ratchet said as he and Donna ran as quickly as they could, avoiding the power of the deadly truck.

"I still won't rest until you're all dead!" Needles shouted loudly over the chaos. "And I'll do it MY way!"

Epilogue

This is how it looks when I am standing on the edge

This is where I lose myself when I finally hit the ground

This is how it hurts when I pretend I don't feel any pain

This is how I disappear when I throw myself away

"So what do you think guys?" spoke the excited Cole Bezotte. "Is this adequate for an epic tale?"

"As always…" replied the amazed Sofie Spangenberg, "…I'll add this to my favorites list. Any story that contains my OC is a favorite of mine."

"It's pretty neat," commented the grateful Forrest Eaton. "Although, I think you need to tone down Needles' violent talk. It's getting a bit out of hand."

"I'll do just that," Cole replied. "Golly! If only this was a series put on YouTube… We'd be getting millions of subscribers right off the bat! But of course we don't have the proper things to put it all together. However, I can think of an audio library series for those who are blind. If they can't read, they can at least HEAR the action being spoken to them."

"It's a good idea… We just haven't gotten a female voice yet!"

"You're right! Who should voice the gentle Pupuru, or Donna? What's up with that?"

"How long do you think it will take to make this audio series?" Sofie continued.

"That my friend will have to wait," Cole answered in reply. "I'll have to finish the other stories I had planned. There's a lot more coming for this LifeWar series! Verily, we have spoken!"