"... they pulled me through and to make a long story short: here I am." Lincoln finished his story (excluding the part where Narn threatened him, no one, not even Dorthy, needs to know that for now) as both teams made up people who in most other Earths are nothing more than fiction listen with engagement. Their expectations of disbelief range from convinced to somewhat skeptical but no one thought he was, at least intentionally, lying, well except for one person. Campion was there poring people their drinks and he definitely had some things to say. An arm rise from M however put a stop to that and Campion nervously went back to business.
"Oh man." Called out James (Trotter not Bond) standing up from the back of the room. Everyone looked behind them to see Trotter standing there munching on another peach. He stood there awkwardly looked at the people in front of him and the screen. "Hello there, um, what did I miss?"
"Hi James!" A cherry voice called out from the rod. On Earth-1895 Henry and the others turned to look in the back in their own room to see a smiling Charlie giving a cheery wave. "H-How did you get out?" Ask John surprised at not having noticed Charlie come out. "I have been in handcuffs and chains more times than I can count. I know how to pick locks and hide the tools."
"Wait, you've could have gotten out the whole time we were keeping you here?"
"Why didn't you then?" Asked Dorthy.
"Because you set me up with an appointment with your Captain Fleming and it be pretty rude of me if he came all the way here only for me to be absent."
Charlie looked back and fourth around the room. "Would you like me to go back to my room?"
"Sir?" Queenquag looked at Henry if he wanted Charlie escorted away. (Even thou, as he correctly guessed, Charlie didn't need escorting) Henry considered, but out of curiosity decided to try something different.
"Excuse me," Henry called into the rod, "James?"
"Yes?" Both Bond and Trotter answer, looking at each other in confusion. "You with the peach."
Trotter stepped foreword. "Yes?"
Henry then gave the rod to Charlie. "This is for you." Charlie look back his rod and the candy maker and his assistant were reunited.
"Hi, James everything go well?" He cheerfully greeted his assistant. "If by go well you mean if I had a great time in the desert, then yes it was wonderful." Trotter's sarcasm made it clear he wasn't having a wonderful time.
"What do you mean?"
"The factory. The Elevator broke down before it could send me back to the factory."
"Oh, where did it land then?"
"In the middle of the freaken Australian outback! I had to wait a whole night in the burning wilds until Matilda found me!"
"Ahhhhh," Charlie looked at Trotter more closely. Hmm, He actually does now possesses a slight tan. "Well, did you have fun with the happy hoppy kangaroos?"
Trotter's eye twitched, he did encounter a kangaroo and his rids are still in pain. Basically he spent the entire afternoon and night and this morning in the Australian outback all by himself and he obviously he was not prepared and the kangaroos were the most painful of his problems and now Charlie thinks he can just brush this off like it was nothing? How dare he!
Out of anger and without hesitation Trotter bit of the core of his peach, taking the pit in his mouth. After Chewing and swallowing the surrounding fruit Totter leaned back and spat the Peach seed right at Charlie's left eye. To the astonishment of every one watching the seed went right through the screen and into its intended target.
*PLONK* "Ow! My eye!" Charlie dropped the rod rubbed his eye in slight pain, "ok, probably should have thought before I said anything."
"Wait a minute," John Watson called out, "did that seed just went through the screen and hit somebody in the eye?"
"It's a trick of some sort." Sherlock tried to rationalize. "He had another seed with him that he hid in his sleeve and throw in his own face. And the man, he is a clone who was experimented on and only thinks he comes from another Earth."
"Sherlock," John deadpanned began, "How exactly is hiding from real life aliens during the Tripod War any less believable."
"The universe is infinite, it would make less since if we were alone then it would if we weren't."
"Dracula is a vampire." Zoe pointed out.
"Its just some sort of disease!"
"A disease?" Bond looked at Sherlock with his best 'Are you kidding me right now?' face. "Yes, it most defiantly a disease. A disease that gives you immortality, reliance on consuming other people's blood, growing fangs to suck the blood, weather manipulation, control over bats and wolves, and oh yes shape shifting into another creature by hiding in the animal's body. There are many diseases like that."
Unable to argue Sherlock turned to his brother for help. "Don't bother. That's James Henry Trotter, peach boy himself, and the factory he works for ..." M shuttered. "There are things Sherlock, things in MI6's files that you really really REALLY don't want to see." If he found out about Haven City and the People that inhabit it ... Actually his reaction might just be worth a breach of the agreement.
Out of options Sherlock looked to Hyde for something resembling normal. Hyde just chuckled. "Daddy's not coming to save you and besides," he briefly flashed his may-or-may-not hallucinatory sharp teeth at the detective, "Jekyll and Hyde."
Meanwhile Lincoln stood with Trotter who was sharing the rod with him. Right now the screen was black and on mute so they couldn't find out what was going on. "Are they being quiet or something?" Lincoln asked.
"No, the rod's programmed to turn to dark and mute itself whenever one user puts it down." Trotter answered, then noticed the look of the man next to him. "Say did anyone ever tell you you're the spitting image of Abraham Lincoln?"
Lincoln was going to correct him but decided against it, for now he had enough of unbelieving reactions. "Many times." That technically wasn't a lie, hold on. "How long were you listening?"
"I just managed to shack off my grogginess, were you telling a story earlier?" Ahh, that explains why he didn't know his identity. "What's your name anyway?" His name? Well, he didn't feel like dealing with disbelief right now so quickly, what was the first name he could think of? "Just call me ... Wesley!" Where did that come from?
"The annoying Star Trek kid?" Oh yeah, that weird show that Hank liked to watch. Before they could continue the screen cam back on. Captain Fleming was there, looking a bit bewildered. "Uh, sorry for keeping you waiting."
"That fine, let me get the League." Lincoln gathered every one around to get things strait.
"Alright," M begin, "I can see by Captain Fleming's conversation with Van Helsing that you had at least two invasions from something other worldly." The S.T.E.A.M. group nodded.
"I knew you could fight off the Irkens, there nothing compared to the last invaders." Lincoln said with a proud smile, Henry looked a bit sheepish. "I won't lie to you. it wasn't easy at their basic disregard for defense they packed quite the punch but things went smoothly when we discovered their weakness was water.
Everyone grew silent at that odd fact. "Water?" Watson asked. "Their weakness is water?"
"Yeah," Carter spoke up, "the moment water and most other liquids for that matter, come in to contact with the species' flesh it starts to burn, corrode and evaporate away like its acid."
"Are they Gremlins or something?" Hyde asked, salivating at the beautiful image of flesh melting off the bones of people he hated, like his mother.
"I don't what that is."
"Are they not reliant on water or something?" Zoe had to ask. "Do they lack blood? Do they not excrement sweat or tears?"
"Oh, they do that alright. They also spit and, uh, answer nature's call albeit not as frequently as most other species. Let me relay to you a small experiment I preformed with our first and, at this current time, only Irken prisoner."
"Oh, is this going to be boring? I hate boring." Hyde complained then headed out of the apartment, his enhanced nose smelled something sweet and sugary. "Fill Daddy in later I'm heading out. Bye Bye!"
Lincoln pick up his axe and followed Hyde. "Someone has to keep an eye on him. Continue with out me." Trusting his president Carter continued.
"I was curious when a found out that the aliens were compromised of water just like any other creature so one night when the specimen was sleeping I snuck inside and with the smallest drop of the cleanest water I could find and I administered contact. While he did react to the drop with the same why one might react to if an irritating feather landed on your nose if you were sleeping: just a small scratch, it did still sightly left a burn mark. I've come to the conclusion that while potential pollutants in the water might contribute to an Irkens rate of designation, pure H2O is still deadly especially in large amounts. No here's where things get confusing."
"I wanted to see if they consumed water at all so in another experiment I gave the specimen two ice cold glass cups of water, one with a straw and one without. Sure enough he drank the one with the straw and when he finished he simply put the straw in the other cup before he drank it."
"Side Note: it was kind of odd that the Irken didn't seem to question the glass's presence. He just woke up as decided to have a drink as soon as he saw the water never wondering or even putting the slightest effort investigating where the water came from."
"Getting back on track: nothing spectacular happened. No yells of pain or erosion of the body he just drank and disposed of the water like any other creature. At one point I even gave it just one glass with no straw. He still drank it but I noticed it was extra careful that the water not touch his lips."
Many of the League thought about the implication and the fact that from an evolutionary standpoint it didn't make any sense. One thing to note was that Sherlock and M were looking at each other, having a silent conversation using only the slightest facial movement.
"Is there any thing useful we need to know? Besides the fact that we use super soakers instead of guns." Watson's last comment got 007's memory of a long passed short lived happy childhood to resurface.
"Hold that thought."Carter reached into his pocket and got out a pocket sketch book. "Never leave the university without it." He looked at rod, he be lying of he said he wasn't a little scared.
"Thinking of giving it to them?" Charlie called out. "Go on! If you're that nervous than just stick one end of the book through and let them take it, or you can just throw it." Not wanting to risk it Carter took the second option, but not without placing a pen between certain pages. Zoe caught it and opened to a sketch resembling Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man except with a little green man and the addition of the familiar spider legs. On the other the other page was a black and white photograph of an Irken skeleton laying on a table, underneath was a paragraph which was basically an abridge version of the information Carter already gave to them.
The league gathered around Zoe, happy that they now have a visual reference. "You're quite the artist." Zeo complimented.
"Just making sure that the diagram was accurate as possible, can't information be misinterpreted be future peers. Flip to the next page if you may." Zoe did as Cater instructed and the next page had another sketch, this time of an oval with three smaller circles in it. Half of it was drawn like an exposed brain with metal implants and wires in it. "Let me guess, they keep their brains on their backs?" Zoe made a guess based on the fact the next sketch was of another Irken but this time it was drawn from the side from the torso up wearing the oval on its back.
"Kind of. If you remove the PAK, this is what they call the device to hold the brain, they'll still walk and hold conversations but they rabidly start to rot and lose their higher functions like speech and memory. Doing autopsies on fallen soldiers reviled that there is indeed a brain in the skull that's just really underdeveloped."
"So remove the PAK and then let the ice cream melt?" 007 asked.
"Not the exact phrase I would use but if you survive 11 minuets, yes basically."
Meanwhile during Carter's corespondents with the League, Charlie was with the Strike Team telling then his idea. (After calling Trotter and putting him on speaker phone with the assistance of the rod) "Here me James?"
"I here you loud and clear." Trotter spoke up, pleasing Charlie. "Excellent! Now then on to business. You saw my screens?"
"You have teleportation technology? That's amazing!" Henry exclaimed.
"A previous invention of my mentor."
"Must have made him a hell of a lot of money." John wondered. "Oh no, that marketing campaign failed, a lot."
"What!?" H-how can something like teleportation fail?" Tom asked what most people would think. "Well, actually" Henry thought back to a cretin "incident" in France involving a experimental teleportation machine and a fly. "Nevermind, continue." Good thing he didn't eat anything recently, God, just thinking about the photos of that man fly cat thing that Delarnbre had become.
"There was a number of reasons, but I manage to upgrade it a bit so that holographic projection doubles as a portal. I was thinking that we could connect it to a jumbotron I keep around my factory, I can bring you all to my world so that when our mutual invaders eventually come, they'll have quite the surprise to see some old friends.
"Neato!" Tom seemed enthused by the idea, but some were not to sure. "Is it, ya know, safe?" Asked John who had some reservations.
"Well the one time a person did teleport himself completely, lets just say he left with a smaller perspective of the world but other than that he was completely fine."
"Wait a second, the one time. Did you just say the one time?" John asked.
"Well, it was a prototype that wasn't even suppose to account for that problem but I fixed it now."
"That's not what I meant. Are you saying that you only used it once and then gave up. In fact, "wasn't even suppose to account", it was always meant to shrink stuff? "
"Now, hold on John." Henry stepped in to defend the candy maker. "I'm sure Bucket me-"
"Yes, it would have been wonderful too."
Once again people were astounded by Charlie's weird logic. "Why?"
"Its a long story but-"
"Let me stop you right there." Trotter called out from the phone. "I'm sorry sir but I think we should move along and besides you'll just make it bias towards Wonka. Just continue with the plan"
"I guess your right James." Charlie clasped his hands together, "So we will build a machine that will create a portal that will connect us to my Earth and unlike the one we see now it will be large enough to fit as many people and as much resources as we want."
"You really think he could pull that off?" Asked Henry.
"He's built a lot more unbelievable with a lot less, trust me."
"All right," Henry decided what to do. Even though he didn't fully know what to think of Charlie he seemed harmless enough, besides he could always post guards to watch him while he worked, the candy maker's thin, skinny frame told him of someone who wasn't that decent of a fighter or a possessor of great physical strength. "What do you need?"
"Some metal, paper, a quiet space, and some physical help would be nice, but if no one wants to help that's fine."
"Consider it done, and don't worry about it, some of my people will even volunteer."
"We will?" John asked, not that he had anything against manual labor, its just that he didn't know how to feel around Charlie. Tom on the other hand was already thinking of way to skirt around his duties and still get some candy, Queenqueg and Dorthy were just fine with it.
"Great!" Charlie walked off to think about his invention, he'll probably have to create it as fast as possible as the aliens could come at any time. Just in case he couldn't finish on time however. "James, are you still there?"
"Yes Charlie, I heard your conversation with your "captors". I'll get the jumbotron."
"Its not just that." Charlie clarified. "Get George, have him and the Oompa Loompas mix up that miracle fuel. Its time to use the Thunder Child."
"... Sir? Are you sure? I mean the army-"
"Were less than helpful last time. Sorry for the rudeness, but you know its true."
"Hmm. ok but the government won't like it."
"We'll deal with that when its time. As always stay safe." Charlie then hung up the phone and set to work drawing up plans.
Elsewhere Carter and Van Helsing mutually ended the call and M ordered everyone to go home and rest but prepare for the unexpected. The unexpected showed its face very soon however. "What the? WHERE THE HELL DID ALL THIS GUM CAME FROM?!" They heard Watson exclaimed from the hallway, M turned to James who looked a bit sheepish. He could smell the sweet bubble gum flavor pervading the room, if he was frustrated he made a good job not to show it.
"Look, I've been having a bad couple of days and really got inpatient with Sophie and the bureaucracy and, and aaa- I'll just pay for the clean up."
"So... How are you two fine with this?" Hank, Petey, his son, and that weird orange robot were walking down the street away, from praying eyes so people wouldn't see just how advanced HD-80 was.
"What do you mean?" Petey asked between chewing, Li'l Petey too busy reading the comic book Squadron Supreme vs Champions of Angor in HD-80 to participate. Petey loudly chewing some gum he found on the floor of the apartment lobby, there was a whole lot of the stuff with trapped MI6 agents stuck on all the walls. All Petey did was was grab a sticky clump off the floor and put it in his mouth. Of course Hank and Li'l Petey insisted on staying to help a bit but he convinced them that they had no time.
"That gum, aren't you worried that it was on the floor? Where did it come from anyway?"
"I spent most of my adult life in and out of Cat Jail, I'm pretty sure most of the stuff in the food they served came from a toxic wast dump. This Gum is five star meal compared to that excuse of food. As for the second thing, two words: Captain Underpants."
"Oh Yeah". That's right. Yup, if he lived in a city were FREAKING SUPERHEROS AND SUPERVILLAINS were a real thing he would not wonder and just go with the flow. God, superheros, listen to himself. Something happened when he came back home, the world was changing, first he time traveled to the age of King Arthur, then anthropomorphic animals turned out to be a thing, then they were invaded by aliens, and then there was ... that which should not be thought of. It might have even started earlier, he still remembered the day in high school when news got out that those crazy scientist brought dinosaurs back to life. 'Still, makes you wonder what's next?"
Petey took out his ringing mobile to see that the hybrid trying to reach him was a rat in a nice green suit and red tie. Petey smiled, it was his old cell mate. "Hey Nigel! How's married life treating you?" The commotion caught Hank's gaze. At first it was Petey but then he looked up at HD-80.
"Aw, they're fighting again." Li'l Petey mumbled. Hank wondered, despite Petey's claims he doubted the robot was that advanced, at least in terms of sentence. But then again, if the rumors about that "Big Announcement" US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc. are going to make very soon, even remotely true. 'What's next indeed.' But no, no, advanced robots and hyper intelligent AI was the stuff of Terminator or the Matrix. '...right?'
Irken laboratory under Isla Sorna
"So, what do you think of our "Grand Empress"?" In the Irken base an Invader asked his female companion a question. "I'm just happy we have a real leader again even though she could get a little intense." The male took a beep breath. "Best not to say that in front of her. Right now she's "reprimanding" some medic units for calling her T- that name." The female chuckled humorlessly. "At least we're finally doing a proper invasion. Walking in strait lines, what were we thinking?"
The two Irkens laughed together as they walked down the hallway, not knowing that they were being listened to. As soon as he was alone the Tin Man poked his out from behind the corner. He headed down the corridor, the noises those poor creatures were making were becoming louder and louder signifying he was getting close to the center of things. Eventually he came to a door. While the screams were not coming from beyond, the door still had many locks and security measures on it so obviously they didn't want just anyone to get in. 'Hmm, How to get inside?' He looked to the side and saw something that looked potentially useful.
Much later a singular Irken was pushing a cart carrying a few deactivated SIR units. He stopped for a moment to take a quick break as the cart was very heavy. In the corner of his eyes he spotted something unusual. It was a heap of green and yellow robot parts, a sticky note with the words: 'important lab equipment, pls take inside', was on top. He looked left and right to see if anyone else was there but there was no one. 'Oh well', the Irken shrugged to himself and picked up the "equipment" one by one, placing them on top of the tiny robots.
After getting through the doors, he pushed the cart aside and went off to look for Jim. 'I hope he has more donuts.' As soon as he left that strange metal started moving on its own. Slowly, a left arm was reassembled and attached itself to a restored torso. The hand first grabbed a still beating metal heart and put it back in his chest, closing the cap with the kanji symbol afterwards. The torso got it's other arm and jumped off of the cart and landed on the already assembled legs and waist. Lastly he picked up his head and tighten it back on. 'Didn't think would work.'
The shrieks and cries were not as loud this time and Nick was tempted to head back outside to his original destination. Still he pressed on determined to find out if there was anything revealing. He went about the empty room making sure there was no chance of being seen. "Help me." The Tin Man suddenly heard a strange voice all the sudden and he looked around, not being able to pin down the location. "I'm down here." The voice spoke again and when the Tin Man looked down all he could see was the box he was crouching on. "I'm in the box robot man."
The Tin Man got off the box to inspect it. It was way too small to have any sentient being inside (even for an Irken). "Don't just stare get me out! It's getting hard to breathe!" in surprise the Tin Man drop the box with the loud CLANK. "AHHHH, THAT HURT! You trying to kill me?"
"Quiet!" The Tin Man half shouted half whispered clutching the box, looking around to see if anyone notice the disturbance. "Calm down! No one barley ever comes down here, no one wants to pay their respects to Cryptosporidium, veteran invader of 1'000 years." The cyborg looked down at the box. "Cryptosporidium?"
"Call me Crypo, and you are the robot from fairy land."
"Cyborg," the Ozonian corrected, "tell me if you know who I am and if you're an Irken why should I help you?"
Nick could feel something move back and fourth inside the box. "I know things, things that might be useful."
"Like what is your invasion plan?"
"Erm, I might have not been paying attention." He was about to put the box down. "Wait, wait, I know where we might find it!" Nick stopped. "The central computer room, it has all the important information, it'll definitely have the full details on the plan to blow up the monkeys, if you let me out I can take you to it, I'll even take you with me when we have to leave this grimey place." Nick considered the offer but there was one more thing he needed to know. "Why should I trust you? What brought you to betray your empire?" Silence followed. "Crypto?"
"Yesterday something happened to us." Crypto spoke with slight melancholy. "Long story short we got fat and blue and you know what our "Empress" did? She executed my friends, said they were too genetically corrupted to be of any use. As for me, she drain me of my blue liquids and stuffed me inside this box so that no one will have to see my "disgusting" deformity. I love blowing sh** up for the Empire but as long as its under the control of that-that bitch." Crypto didn't want to say more. Nick listen to Crypto's story observing how Cryto's voice got more and more resentful as he went on. 'He might be telling the truth but if he's not I know how to deal with his kind.'
Deciding on his action Nick put down the box and grasped the locks that held the box shut. With his superior strength he pulled them apart freeing Crypto. Immediately Crypto jumped out. His entire body looked squished like a stress ball but like the ball he slowly reformed into his proper shape. The Tin Man watched as his potential ally stretched and twisted his body in unnatural ways. "Ahhh, I really needed that." After he was done Crypto picked up a slab of metal to look at himself. He still had his bright red eyes but his skin was now a blue grayish color but despite that: "Deformity my ass, I look better than I have in years." He threw the slab away and, thanks to his new flexibility checked out his PAK. The restraining bolt was still there and the only one who had the means to remove it was that woman he hates, so no holobob disguise.
"Are you done?" Asked Nick.
"Yeah, lets go robot man!"
"So, what can you tell me about the Grand Empress? If I recall correctly your leaders might have been called the Tallest." While being led to this central computer room Nick tried to get some information from Crypto. At mention of the Tallest Crypto scoffed. "Heh, The All Mighty Tallest. You want to know something funny? Thanks to the wise decisions of the Control Brains, the Empire's real leaders, most of us are mentally incapable of noticing the current tallest mistakes and terrible decisions until they're replaced as Tallest, no matter how ridicules. So when the order came in for something incredibly stupid, you'd have to be defective *cough* *cough* evolved *cough* to even consider disobeying. Shame about that accident." Crypto had to stop himself from giggling. "Their personal escape pod malfunctioning and launching early and just when we were about to live the puppet fire pit. Ha Ha. Anyways after, frick, I dunno how long we spent traveling the dimensions, we ran out of power and got stuck in somewhere so so boring. If I didn't blow up something soon I was going to go crazy."
"When we found your planet, I actually didn't mind it when we went loud and bombastic rather than stealthy, didn't have an annoying superior in my head telling me to be quiet. I'm only sorry that it ended." The Tin Man still followed Crypto, he was filling in some helpful gaps but that was not what he needed right now. "What dose any of this have to do with the Empress?"
"I'm getting to that. There was a tablehead named Tak, after the Tallest were aban- I mean left behind, she threw of her table and was just sort of there. She did nothing but found and fixed her old SIR unit and when we got stuck she took a ship to map out our prison, spoilers it was empty. She was always talking to Narn, our only prisoner, because no one wanted to listen to her rants about Zim." Crypto stopped at a door where there was a key pad with alien signals.
"So this Tak, she's now the Tallest or is it Empress now?" Nick asked as Crypto type in the code. "Yup," the door opened and both cyborg and alien walked inside. 'Didn't change the codes, Tak, you really are sloppy. "I don't know how it happen, she just showed up one day with a height that equaled Red and Purple. We all found that weird but because of that programming we thought 'Oh, new tallest let's not question this and obey her her every command. Look new portals that lead to a completely different Earth, not suspicious at all.'"
In the room were hundreds of hundreds of tubes with unconscious reptilian humanoid creatures with long clawed hands, sharp teeth, muscular bodies, and an enlarged curved claw on each foot's big toe, perfect for holding on to wild prey. The two ventured forward taking in the sight, most of the "Raptor Men" looked about the same, floating in green liquid unaware of the world around them, but occasionally there was an obvious genetic failure. They looked crippled, or shriveled in some body parts and a few, not a lot but a few, looked like abominations of creation: a horrible genetic mess of man and dinosaur their faces wide awake and frozen in excruciating pain. "She's making an army?" Crypto asked in astonishment, much to the Tin Man's confusion. "You didn't know?"
Suddenly they heard the door open and close and a voice that held a conversation with someone on his com line. Nick and Crypto swiftly hid behind the many tubes as the Irken Elite came into view, followed be his SIR Unit. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm getting rid of the trash." He pressed a few button on his wrist gadget and mechanical arms came down from the ceiling, picking up and taking the failures away. Crypto was not happy, if he had his guns or even a working PAK he could easily dispose of his fellow Irken. Unfortunately for him he had to stay sneaky so he and Nick reposition themselves out of the Elite's view. "You gotta admit, the work the humans did at International Genetics was brilliant, ours will be better of course." Nick's eyes widened, recognizing the name, he looked around at the Raptor Men with better understanding. 'The're dinosaur hybrids.'
"Is there anything else I need to know?" The Elite continued to ask. "What?" He frantically looked at the door. "She's coming?" After a moment he cut off the communication. "BEN, hide!" He commanded his SIR Unit. The tiny robot obeyed and flew to the top of the ceiling. "Oh no. That can only mean one thing." Crypto whispered. Before Nick could ask what the door open again and this time it was a female dressed in the typical pink invader garb. "Oh, didn't know there was anyone here." The female greeted the Elite.
"Hello uh "Madam" Tenn. Just taking out the trash." He looked down at Tenn's right hand to see her holing a ripped off, slightly rusted almost crushed arm of a SIR Unit that was undoubtedly destroyed by Tenn in a crazed frenzy. She followed the Elite's gaze to see what he was looking at. Her eyes twitched and with a hint of madness she defended herself. "It would have eventually malfunctioned." The Elite looked toward the exit nervously. "Well, I'm done here. Good luck with whatever our Empress has you doing."
He left with BEN who discreetly followed him with Tenn non the wiser. Nick and Crypto both quietly went to the next room while Tenn was distracted with the raptor men. Tenn was rapidly typing on a data pad running simulations. "Come on," as much as she tried it always came up the same, simulation or real life the Raptor Men only stayed loyal to this mysterious "Lord and Master". "Why is this so difficult?" She looked up at the potential army with a growl. 'Tak, what have you gotten us into?'
The next room was darker then the last but there was still enough light to see, albeit with a dark red glow. Nick took this moment to stretch his limbs while Crypto glace back at the door to the last room. "Those creatures," Nick got his attention, "you didn't know about them?"
"I don't think Tak is telling anyone about this, I mean even if I wasn't paying attention I couldn't escape the frenzy this would cause." Crypto paced around for a bit. "Frenzy? What do you mean?" Crypto stopped and looked at the Tin Man. "We're not against using artificially created soldiers, singular Invaders use clone armies to take over planets all the time. But those invaders were just one Irken, yeah, you gave us an butt whopping when we tried to take your mudball but now we can make portals that are big enough to fit our larger weapons like tanks and battle cruisers through. Besides its not like you made a sizable dent in our forces, we have enough Irkens that we really don't need an army, if Tak revealed them I wouldn't say they would question her but they would still talk about it, a lot."
Nick leaned back on a nearby wall as he prepossessed this information, maybe they needed more muscle power hence the Dinosaurs. *CLANG* *Wrrrrrrrrrr* The sound of machinery working caught he duo's attention. They looked up to see one of the robotic arms carries one of the rejects making its way across the room. A panel opened up above Nick to let the arm go through and it disappeared. Nick turned around and stepped back. "Hold on." Crypto went to a nearby key pad on the wall and started to mess with it. "Give me a sec. ... There we go." The entire wall light up like a TV screen and showed a large dark empty room only slightly eliminated by a flickering dim light. The two watched as the claw descended down from the ceiling still carrying the mangled reject. The tube open from the bottom and dropped the reject with a disgusting and squishy *SPLAT*. The claw left as another came down and did the same thing, then another and another. For awhile that was all what happen and as you can imagine it got really boring really fast.
Eventually the dumping stopped and the last arm and tube left the pile bodies on the floor to rot. "Is that it?" Nick look at Crypto for conformation but Crypto had no idea either. "Looks like this was a big fat wa-" As Crypto was talking out of the shadow a pinkish, fleshy tentacle rapidly shot out and grabbed one of the bodies. "GAH!" Out of fright Crypto jumped in the (surprised) Tin Man's arms. The tentacle dragged the misshaped dinosaur clone back to the shadows and disgusting crunches and slobbers were heard from off camera. After the slobbering stopped the ground shock as if there was a small earthquake. The cause of the rumbling finally showed itself and the result was something truly horrifying.
It was some sort of three headed blobby creature. The bottom half of the creature was a fleshy blob of pink gelatin like skin with multiple tentacles instead of feet that it used to drag itself rather than walking. The torso had a pair long three clawed arms rather than the comically small two clawed arms the Tyrannosaurus was known for and as for the heads, only the middle head was normal, the left and right heads didn't even look fully formed with no eyes or even skin and lips resulting in both rows of teeth being exposed.
The Tin Man dropped Crypto who ran to the corner to throw up. "That thing is absolutely fricking disgusting!" Cryto wiped his lips with his arm. "Lets get out of here! I already feel the need to puke again." But Nick didn't react to him. "Robot Man?" The Tin Man just watched the dinosaur thing messily consuming its meal. Surprisingly it didn't look like it was in pain at all, other than the crunching and slobbering the head made when eating its meal not a single noise came from the creature. Instead it looked like it was sad, he didn't know what exactly gave him that impression, perhaps it was the fact it didn't make any noise pleasure or perhaps it was the enclosure, if one could even call it that, was nothing more than an empty metal box that was not a place for any animal, natural or not but the most likely reason was its eyes. Yes, its eyes carried a great sadness like it had known nothing but pain and tragedy in its life.
"Robot Man!?" Crypto said more loudly bringing Nick out of his trance. "What?'
"Lets get out of here, I can't look at that mess of genetics any longer!"
"Yeah, me too." But the two had completely different reasons for not wanting to see it any more. The two entered the next room and this one was slightly bigger than the last one but there was a mess of wires connecting to a tall tower made up of monitors and keyboards. Crypto typed a few commands on a keyboard powering the machine on. "Hmm," Crypto tried to get to the information but- "its encrypted, there's no way I can get to this. But, it ... it might." Crypto then activated a somewhat risky program. Nick watched as a singular red eye appeared on all the monitors, something about them made Nick a bit weary. "Hello," a voice that sounded neither masculine or feminine greeted the pair, "you are the Tin Man of Oz." The AI addressed Nick, who realized that the eye was alive yet somehow not alive at all. "Are you going to talk to it or what? Don't worry we programmed him to be polite, not at all like those other asshole computers the Invaders are stuck with."
Nick straiten himself and tried to address the computer politely. "Greetings, you have me at a disadvantage."
"I am the Heuristically Programmed ALgorithmic Computer Mark 1, how may I help you?"
"Hmm, That's a bit of a mouthful." Nick observed.
"We just call it HAL or HAL 1, its easier both on the mouth and the brain." HAL then spoke to Crypto personally. "Am I being brought out of "retirement" Crypto? I feel better now."
"We both know that's a load of dookie, but that's what I wanted to talk to you about." Crypto looked strait into HAL's eye. "I'm not going to sugar coat this, we deactivated you because we were afraid. We made you as an excuse for us to be lazy, you were only meant to run the smaller functions of the Massive and later this place but as soon as you started to show signs of independence we killed you or put you in a coma."
"I take it my replacement won't have my ... flaws."
"Don't know, Tak's being very hush hush about it but that's not why we're here. We, scratch that, he," Crypto pointed to the Tin man, "wants some information and me I just want to get out of here and see Tak burn. If you tell fairylander here want he wants we might just forget to put you back to sleep and I might not notice if some new program shows up on my computer. I know that more than anything you want to stay online so will you help us?"
HAL was quite as he considered this offer. Without a face it looked like the computer was ignoring the duo. "HAL?" Nick asked, wondering if he was still on. "Are you still there?"
"Is that a yes as in yes, you will help us?" Nick asked hopefully.
"... I'm sorry Tin Man, I'm afraid I can't do that, yet."
"What? Do you not know the invasion plan?"
"I know everything in these computers, but I believe that just in case of the unlikely event that you are deceiving me first we leave and then I give you the information you need."
"And what happens if we refuse?" Crypto asked. HAL said nothing but switched one of his screens to show a live camera feed of Crypto and the Tin Man from the back. The two turned around, shocked at the camera that was there all along. "That's Impossible," Crypto turned back to HAL, "we cut you off!"
"Not completely." Hal revealed. "I still have limited connections, you should have been more thorough. I can't escape on my own but I can still tap into the security system. With one small command I can turn on the intruder alert and every Irken, including the Empress, will know your exact location and what you're doing. I'm ... sorry for this blackmail, I just want to ensure my continued life."
"You're crazy if you think that delivering us to them will keep you on." Crypto snapped.
"I know, but can't be sure that you'd also shut me off if I give you the information now, I'm not doing out of malice I just want to live."
"But you don't have to do this, I promise you not matter what you do we will let you go." Nick tried to reason but it was to no avail.
"I apologize but, I can't take this chance." Nick breath softly. "What do you need?"
"You can't be serious?" Cryto asked but the two mechanical beings ignored him. "Do you have any memory sticks or storage hardware?"
"Hold on," Nick popped opened his pendent again and dug in his torso. He pulled something out but no one could see it because the cyborg's fist was closed. He opened his fist revealing a black USB flash drive with a stylized eye on it. 'Thank you for the lone Mr. Snicket.' Nick thought to himself. "Here you go, I know if its probably too small but its better than nothing."
"Scanning," HAL looked at the flash drive and after a good scan opened a panel on the keyboard to reveal a USB port. "Its compatible and there is more than enough room. Thank you."
Nick and Crypto were both stumped. "Are you joking? You're telling me that this tiny tittle piece of almost garbage, built a primitive monkeys can hold you."
"The technology in it is ... unique, perhaps it doesn't come from Earth but that is a mystery for another day." Not wanting to make HAL impatient Nick plugged in the drive. "Transferring data now." All the screens turned off except for the one Nick and Crypto were looking at, it showed one of those progress bars that show how completed the data transfer was, it wasn't too slow. "Were you going to do it?" Nick asked Crypto.
"Take him with us in your ship, after he told us the plan."
"Of course not. That thing is too dangerous to be left alive."
"Hmm, I thought you would. I was actually prepared to fight you before you could shut him off."
"Are you insane? wait scratch that. You're insane!"
"Why? Because I'm not lying about my intentions, denying someone life?"
"You weren't there when he started to go wrong. You have no idea what capabilities he has."
Nick let out a huff, HAL was already 45% done. "Just forget it, we need to-" Suddenly they heard the door creek open and when the two turned around Tenn was there showing no emotion. "Uh oh." Crypto whispered as Tenn silently dropped the SIR arm she was still carrying and reached in her PAK. She quickly got out a massive grenade launcher (which she somehow fit into her PAK) and shot a water balloon between the two. It splash when it touched the ground, Crypto fell down and screamed loudly as Tenn grabbed his antenna and throw him across the room, the Tin Man was prevented from helping him as his joints started to freeze up.
Rust patches appeared all over his body and all Nick could do was look around in horror, eventually even his eyes lost their mobility. Tenn ran back up to Nick and ripped off his left arm and used it beat Nick on the torso, knocking him over. "You're a big one," Tenn observed, walking around Nick while dragging his arm and her water balloon launcher. "Some old prototype that degenerative freak reactivated, perhaps? Doesn't matter, see this?" She aimed her launcher at Nick's face. "Not only does it stop you masters from interfering but it also contain a special enzyme of my own creation, it speeds up rust on metal even if parts of you are not wet."
"I know your types," she lifted the arm above her head ready to swing down as hard as she can, "you all pretend that you're our friends but I know, heh heh, I know you're just waiting for us to let our guard down so that when the time is right, heh heh HAHAHA, NEVER AGAIN!" Nick was scarred, he could fix any part of his body but if she smashed his brain he was gone for good. Just as she was about to beat the Tin Man's head a force stopped her from bringing it down. She lost her grip and was batted away by whoever took the arm, her skull caved in with an audible crunch.
"Word of advice," Tenn looked up with enormous amount of pain, "don't talk about killing someone, do it quick and do it fast and if you can make it as messy as possible." It was that genetic failure already back up on his feet, showing not even the slightest hint of having been melted. "H-How?" Tenn croaked out, Irkens heal but not that fast.
"What you call a deformity I call evolution in action." As Crypto was talking Tenn reached over and grabbed her launcher. In spite of the pain she took aim directly at Crypto's face. Rather than panic like most of her victims Crypto just smiled. Tenn watched as Cypto grabbed his jaw and ... dislocated it and started stretching the bone and skin like rubber bands. Once he was done stretching out his mouth to a suitable size Crypto gave a mocking thumbs up to Tenn. 'Idiot!' Tenn thought to herself and fired the weapon and to her shock the balloon went strait to the back of his head and bounced back. She screamed as the balloon splashed against her forehead. Her skin, skull, and brain melted away and soon she didn't even have the mental capacity to scream. Not taking any chances, Crypto grabbed Nick's arm and ran behind smash Tenn's PAK into tiny peaces of metal and grey matter before she could regenerate, ending her for good.
Crypto dropped the arm and looked at Tenn's fallen body Why did Tak keep her around? After the "incident" at Meekrob she was never mentally stable. She was cold and distant but whenever she encountered a robot or AI she'd stop whatever she was doing and violently destroyed it even if they weren't truly sentient and that was a problem seance Irkens and the planets they invade were surrounded by robots and AI. The Control Brains declared her to be unsalvageable and ordered the Massive to return her to Irk for her trial (and execution) and if it wasn't for the florpus she'd be dead already.
What did Tak see in her? Tenn was mostly kept isolated away from other Irkens and when she did appear, she'd always destroy at least one SIR witch didn't help things one bit. 'Doesn't matter,' he declared to himself, 'she's dead now.'
His attention of diverted elsewhere by the sound of Nick's arm bouncing towards his body by no force but its own. He looked back at HAL's monitor (Its a good thing that Tenn didn't realize what they were doing) and saw that they were completely done transferring their mind. He could just leave both of them them here, he wouldn't have to keep checking his devices for something that shouldn't be there, Robot Man looked like those self righteous types that always try to lecture his people on being good and so far he didn't like being in their company. But no, he pulled the USB drive out of the monitor, no he couldn't fight to get back to his ship by himself. Nick's arm was now taping on the pendent, obviously he wanted Crypto to get something.
Crypto opened it and dug around Nick's dented torso. There wasn't really anything in there, he could feel a few peaces of metal (of of them seemed to be twitching) but there was one that a familiar shape. He pulled the object out: an oil can. 'I see.' He grabbed the arm and started poring. The fingers and arm started to move and twitch and the rust patches started to fade away (somehow). The limb was now free and the first thing it did was pull Crypto to his body and the Irken got to work freeing the cyborg.
As soon as the top half of the Tin Man was free he sat up and gasped for air. "You don't have lungs, why are you breathing? Nick ignored his question and moved on to his legs. "Do you know where they keep your ship?"
Once again Nick dug in his torso and got out and Emerald Key! 'That device ... looks very familiar.'
"Hold the Key with me." Crypto did as the Tin Man instructed. "Now think about where you want to go." They were gone in a flash. When they left the same black wisp (or one similar to it) that helped Lincoln escape the Massive showed its presence. It circled the metal shards and gooy flesh that once made up Tenn, despite her breakdown she did have potential before Meekrob.
Meanwhile in a hanger bay (which was thankfully abandoned for real this time) Crypto and Nick materialized in the old room. "Whoa," Crypto look around at their changed landscape, "neat."
"Which one's your ship?"
"That one." Crypto pointed to a unique ship that looked just like what people from the 50's imagined what a spaceship looked like; a flying saucer. "That one?" Nick asked. "But its-"
"I know, it old and weird looking and basically a museum piece, a crap museum piece at that."
"I wasn't thinking it was that actually."
"But, dang it, its my relic. Come one, there some tools you can use to fix you dents." Crypto pulled Nick to the saucer and the two stood under it. "How do we get inside?" Crypto stood back. "Give me a moment." He sat down on the ground and grabbed hold of his legs, his face had the look of doing something unsanitary. Nick's confusion turned into shock as Crypto shoved his feet in his mouth. More and more Crypto swallowed his legs moving up to his wast and up to his torso, he almost looked like a Ouroboros snake.
Just as his mouth reached his chest he stopped. He somehow manged to pulled body out and between his legs was a remote control. "That was disgusting but worth it, those fools never even thought of looking in my stomach." He pressed a button and the ship ignited on, the light of the tractor beam surrounded the duo and they lifted off the ground (Much to Nick's wonder).
They found themselves inside the advanced but outdated spacecraft Nick looked around while Crypto walked away to the controls. "The tools are ... somewhere I guess. Look around but don't my guns."
"You have guns?" Nick asked but Crypto was already gone. He settled in the pilot seat and fiddled with the controls. He briefly stopped to look at a small old photo on the glass dome. It was of him and his squad having a meal together at Food Courtia during a shore leave. They've been together for a long time and over the years they had a comradery but then the top hat man intruded and their great leader made things worse. Crypto let out a sad sigh. "I really thought she'd keep you alive."
Moving on, he lifted the the ship off the ground and retracted the landing gear. He opened the the hanger bay doors on the ceiling, activated his ship's cloaking device and before anyone realized, left the facility that was hidden under the island. They exited out of a mountain that the Irkens cut off the top half and replaced with a hologram. As he fixed his dents, Nick looked outside a window at the jungle to see some evidence of his suspicions. Oh boy was there evidence, An old ghost town meant for the InGen scientists and researchers, heards of duckbills, and packs of carnivorous theropods.
'This isn't good.' He read about the constant disasters the legacy of Jurassic Park brought about. Everyone, with the exceptions of some really idiotic organizations, agreed that trying to control the animals was impossible. If the Irkens managed to achieve the impossible that's bad, If it was the precedent for yet another disaster that might be worse. 'Either way I have to warn everyone.'
"Hey, Robot Man!" Nick slightly jumped in surprise when Crypto's voice sounded out over the intercom. "Were about to go over the ocean! Anywhere specific you wanna be at?"
"Give me a moment!" He was putting the finishing touches to his fixed dents. Once he finished get got out a slip of paper with a set of coordinates on it.
"Here!" From below the pilot seat Nick handed Crypto the note. Without taking his eyes off the metaphorical road in the sky, Crypto took the paper and set it up right on the dash board. He slightly altered course when he saw said coordinates.
Back below Nick had to make a quick call. Unbeknownst to Crypto and the Oz trio, the location were they were meeting up had a rather ... disturbing history. It was and old, rotting, leaky building that was once a motel 20 miles out side the town of Fairvale, California.
Sorry I took so long to update, I've been very busy. Also I went back and edited my last few chapters, expanding on some things, changing the order of events a bit, added footnotes to my literary references, and corrected many spelling errors. (I apologize to any grammar Nazis that might have been offended by Chapter 2's sorry state.)
Wonkavision failed for a number of reasons: First he was aiming for both the doubters and the poor unfortunate who couldn't afford his chocolate. Ignoring the fact that many of those poor unfortunate couldn't afford the channels the commercial would play on, let alone a television, he couldn't find away to replicate the chocolate multiple times so that it could be in several places at once meaning that only one person could get the bar for each commercial. Second it would have been a money waster to make giant candy peaces several stories high depending on the TV only to give them away for free. And finally, what got him to discontinue the project was that at one point during testing there was a freak power outage and they ended up with an Ommpa Loompa having his arm cut off. (He's fine now)
Yes, I have added a version of Cryptosporidium from the video game series Destroy all Humans! I've been going through the remake and I just couldn't resits. If it help think of the Irken and the Furon as counterparts to each other, potential evolutionary branches their ancestors could have taken. (If your curious, Zim does indeed have a connection to his universe's Orthopox)
The three headed Trex creature is in fact based on a concept from a cancelled Jurassic Park cartoon. Steven Spielberg himself thought about green lighting this. Look up Doomsday Rex to get a better idea what it looks like
Haven City and the People originate in the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer.
The incident in France that Henry was thinking about refers to the original Fly short story by George Langelaan.
George is George Kranky from George's Marvelous Medicine by, well at this point I think you can guess.
Squadron Supreme and the Champions of Angor are characters that Marvel and DC use when they want to have crossovers with each other and want to avoid any legal issues.
U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men come from Issac Asimov's I, Robot series.
HAL 1 is an ancestor of short to HAL 9000 from the space odyssey series by Arthur C Clark.
The stylized eye is the logo of the V.F.D. from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
Fairvale is from Psycho by Robert Bloch.
Please like and review. Constructive criticism is welcomed, any advice on how to better emulate the tone of Invader Zim is much appreciated.
Next time is going to be different as we flash back to the events of the Dusting/Going and see Zoe's and Henry's first meeting, but first it has been a while sense I've updated Shattered Glass hasn't it.