Author's Note: What can I say? I have an idea, I have to write it. Plus I wanted to get a story out that the main focus wasn't romance (though there will be Gwevin in this story. I haven't chosen who Ben will be paired with yet, we'll wait and see. Julie will probably be in here at some point, but I haven't decided if they'll be romantically linked yet)

"You're not going to be able to master it."

Ben stared at Azmuth, trying to make sense of what the Galvin was saying. Obviously, this concerned the Omnitrix, but what would stop him from mastering it? There was only one more set of ten aliens for him to collect and master the usage of.

"Not fully, anyways, which may mean that you should just give it back now..." Azmuth crossed his arms, staring up at Ben from the kitchen table.

"Why wouldn't I be able to master it?" Ben demanded. "I've gotten almost the full million aliens. ...Is this because I couldn't control Alien X back when I was fifteen?"

"No," Azmuth admitted, "That one was a bad idea. Probably shouldn't have put him in there in the first place...not something a human should be trying to use. Takes too much intelligence to get Bellicus and Serena to get what you want them to do. No, you have to turn into each alien once, at least. It's a fail safe on the device. If you don't master every alien, and before this year is out, then the Omnitrix will choose a new master."

"Why this year?"

"I guess I'm fond of the number ten. How long will it be before you've had the Omnitrix for ten years?"

"A few more months...."

"Exactly. I gave you ten years to figure out everything, unlock everything. But after that, the Omnitrix will decide you aren't worthy. It'll find someone else, and there's always the chance that person won't be as capable as you've shown yourself to be. Smarter, maybe, but not as good hearted."

Ben chose to ignore the comment towards his intelligence, instead studying the Omnitrix carefully. "But why? Why do you think I won't be able to master the last ten?"

"Because," Azmuth sighed, "One of those aliens that will be in that set...would be able to overtake you."

"What do you mean?"

"Your grandmother...she was an Anodite, correct?" Azmuth did not wait for confirmation. He was already aware that he was right. "Anodites are powerful beings...it's possible that some of your abilities for the Omnitrix came from that power, but you have to actually set an Anodite as an option for the Omnitrix."

"So? I've seen Gwen use those powers enough to understand how it works....Grandma, too..."

Azmuth shook his head. "That's not what I mean. What I mean is, because of the power of Anodites and you already having that blood, if you were to choose that alien form, the power could overtake you. You wouldn't be able to change back. Your body might be permanently destroyed..."

There was silence for a moment. Then Ben tried for something "Grandma tried to destroy Gwen's body once...she said she'd learn to make a new body."

"In 70 years, and your grandmother was already taking into account that Gwen knew how to use her powers to some degree. For you it would be even longer. You wouldn't go directly to an energy being state. You might even explode into particles.."

"...explode?" Ben asked, gulping.

Azmuth nodded. "There aren't many male Anodites. It's a power that tends to be more feminine. A lot of the males get too cocky and make themselves explode. Or else they just can't master the power...and explode."

"...Great. So..I could explode. That's..." Ben ran a hand through his hair, ruffling it up a bit. "That's just great..."

"Well, it's not quite as bad as it sounds. It looks more like you're dissolving into dust. But from what I hear, it is a most painful process."

"Is there any way I can master the Omnitrix without having an Anodite alien in it?"

Azmuth, once more, shook his head. "No, Ben. Either find a way to master it so that it doesn't drive you crazy or ...worse. Or else lose the Omnitrix forever."

"...Those are the only options?"

"Yes."

"...Then I guess I'm going to have to try. No matter what ..." Ben gulped, "Could happen..." With that, he left the room.

Azmuth paced back and forth on the coffee table. "That kid's both enfuriating and impressive," He decided out loud. Then, more softly, he added "I hope he finds a way."