I really wanted to know what happens after the "War of the Worlds" finale, so I wrote out my own version of post-epic battle events, while completely ignoring season three. I'm trying to make use of the movie sneak peek and pictures and rumors, too. As in, Kevin's car, Ben's motorcycle, that warehouse, the zombies, and the leather. Elena is getting chopped though. I'm still pissed it wasn't Albedo.
Disclaimer: Ben 10: Alien Force and Alien Swarm © Cartoon Network and created by Man of Action. I'm just stealing the characters temporarily and sticking them in the midst of a zombie uprising.
By Minty Chinchilla
Chapter 1: Enter the Matrix
Max Tennyson was working on his new RV, adding secret compartments to the interior to hold the extra Plumbers' tech he couldn't fit into the exterior. Attempting to weld a good-sized missile launcher on the roof was 16-year-old Kevin Levin. Max was having Kevin install the larger weaponry to make up for the incident a few months previous when Kevin had stolen the Rustbucket II. Luckily for Max, Kevin specialized in intergalactic (and more often than not illegal) weapons for years and had experience installing tech into normal vehicles. It was a pity that the '76 Camaro did not survive the last battle at Los Soledad. Its successor, an '08 Challenger with the same green-and-black paint job, was parked in the warehouse where the two were working on the Rustbucket III.
Sorting out additional tech on the other side of the warehouse was an odd group of kids and teenagers. Cooper was taking apart and rebuilding pieces. A trio of mutants wearing green vests was testing out some of the more innocuous objects. Pierce was currently tangled up in a net Helen had shot at him while Manny was laughing. Alan was trying to avoid getting shot by another net, only managing to trip over a large box on the floor.
The door to the warehouse opened up, letting in sunlight and two people: a tall redhead and her shorter, smoothie-slurping cousin. Cooper lost control of the tech he was deconstructing, and a small explosion accompanied his happy "Gwen!" Gwen shook her head with a small smile and walked over to help put the fire out. Her cousin headed for the RV where his grandfather and best friend were working.
"Hey Grandpa, you need any help?"
"Sure, Ben. Could you grab my wrench? It's over on that crate." Max pointed at a toolbox with his free arm, the other occupied by a large hammer. Ben put his smoothie down next to the toolbox and grabbed the wrench. Max flipped the wrench's head off and shot a laser at the wall partition he was working on. "Thanks. I can handle the rest myself. Kevin might need help on the roof though. I can hear him thumping around up there."
Ben went around the back of the RV and climbed up the ladder to the roof, peeking over the edge as his head drew level with the top of the ladder. He almost fell off the ladder when he found himself eye-to-eye with a very angry-looking Kevin.
"This fucking launcher won't stay in one spot," Kevin growled. "You hold it up while I weld it in."
"Sure, Kevin. All you had to do was ask." Ben rolled his eyes at Kevin's grumping.
The hours passed as the motley crew of aliens and humans continued to work on the tech and RV. When night had fallen outside the warehouse, almost everyone had left to go home or to the newly finished Rustbucket III. Kevin and Ben were the only ones left, continuing to work on sorting out the remaining few pieces of alien tech. Kevin wanted to add some to his new car, much like he had to his old one.
"What's this thing?" Ben held up a small cube of metal with unfamiliar markings covering all but one face. Kevin took it from the 15-year-old superhero and flipped it around a few times, trying to make sense of the markings.
"Huh, I dunno. It looks like it's some kind of writing though. Nothing I've seen before." Kevin gave the cube back to Ben, letting him get a better look at the rounded, loopy symbols. Ben couldn't make sense of them either.
"Maybe Gwen or Grandpa Max will know what it is. I'll ask them later." Ben put the cube in his pocket and returned to the pile of more formidable tech.
"Ohhh, stoked!" Kevin help up a bluish-silver pouch, about the size of his head. He pulled the pouch open, and the opening swirled with a dark blue light. He put his hand in, then his arm, then his shoulder. Ben's eyes widened in panic at the sight.
"Where'd your arm go!?"
"It's a portable pocket dimension generator!" Kevin pulled his hand back out, and jumped up from the floor to go to his car. He opened up the trunk and began rummaging around inside. "It creates an infinite pocket dimension that can go anywhere, can't be seen, and can hold almost anything. This is fucking gold!"
Ben followed Kevin to the car and looked inside the trunk. Kevin was taking the various weapons and tech he had salvaged from his old car and putting them inside the pouch. His grin was maniacal as he shoved a huge scrap from his old car's bumper inside.
"We could fit the whole car in here! Even the Rustbucket!" Kevin zipped the pouch back up and put it in the trunk. Ben was still astounded he had managed to empty out the entire thing, while still keeping all of the stuff in the trunk.
Kevin locked the trunk up, then hit the button to open the garage door. As he climbed into the driver's seat, he asked if Ben wanted a ride home. Ben sat quietly in the passenger seat, the whole ride enjoying Kevin's geeking out over the weapons he and Max had found that day. When the green-eyed boy went to bed, he fell asleep immediately, failing to notice the faint purple glow coming from the cube he had found earlier.
"Hey Gwen? Yeah, I've got a question for you. You any good with languages?" Ben held his phone to his ear with one hand and the cube in his other, staring at the glyphs covering its sides. "Umm, sort of. Kevin and I found this weird cube thing in the pile of alien tech. It's covered in all these weird symbols; we figured it was some kind of writing. I already called Grandpa Max, but he couldn't help since his Plumbers' badge did all the translating for him and he never needed to learn any alien languages. What? Oh, well, I guess it's kind of loopy and curvy… No, all the symbols aren't connected though, not like you said. All right, I'll call Kevin to give you a ride over here so you can look at it yourself."
Ben hung up then dialed Kevin's number. Kevin refused to give his number out to anyone other than Ben, so Gwen didn't have it and she couldn't call for a ride herself.
"Kevin? Could you go pick up Gwen and bring her over to my house? She's gonna take a look at the cube we found. I dunno, she might be able to help, and if not… what? No! Just go and get her already, would you?"
Ben flopped back onto his bed, dropping his phone onto the carpet below. He continued to stare at the cube, until a quick glance brought the Omnitrix to his attention. 'I wonder if it could do anything? I don't have Master Control anymore, but it might respond this one time.' Ben held the cube over the Omnitrix.
"Hey, Omnitrix. Can you translate this?" Ben wasn't expecting a response, but he started when the Omnitrix beeped and replied.
"Negative. Unknown writing system." Ben stared at the watch. 'Well, that's weird. Over a million DNA samples and it can't match a species to this stuff?'
Ben heard the doorbell ring. He got up and ran to the front door, opening it to reveal a miffed Gwen and a smirking Kevin.
"Geez, I would have thought you'd just let yourself in, Kevin."
"Yeah, well, Gwen wouldn't let me do my usual thing." Kevin's smirk grew wider as he stepped into the living room. "You gonna show her the cube?"
Ben nodded in response and pulled out the cube from his pocket. He handed it to Gwen who sat down on the couch and propped her elbows up on her knees. She squinted at the symbols, tracing them with her fingers.
"Ben, give me something to write with, would you?" Once she had a pen and paper, Gwen copied out the cube's symbols. Ben sat on the couch next to her and Kevin leaned against the wall until he was bored and left the living room to raid the fridge. Kevin came back with two cans of soda, and handed one to Ben while slurping his own.
"Got anything yet?" Kevin was impatient. His soda was running low, and Ben's parents only had the weird organic kind that tasted funny.
"No, not really. It's strange. I can feel some kind of energy inside of the cube, but I can't tell if it has to do with the writing or if there's anything alive inside. Maybe if I tried something else…" Gwen's eyes glowed pink and she focused a small amount of mana into the cube. The cube absorbed the energy and the glyphs began to pulse a bright purple light.
"Whoa. That did something." Kevin eyed the cube as the light dimmed to a steady glow.
"Yeah," Ben said. "But what?"
Gwen shrugged and put the cube down on the coffee table. The trio stared at the cube, wondering what it did, when the Omnitrix gave a sudden beep.
"Genetic anomaly detected."
"Uh-oh. It hasn't done that for a while." Ben prodded the Omnitrix, and the face lit up a holographic map of Bellwood. Little red dots were clustered in one corner of the map, none of them moving. "What kind of genetic damage is happening at the cemetery? It couldn't have to do with the cube, could it?"
"I dunno, but we're gonna go find out," Kevin said.
Kevin fished in his pockets for his car keys and Gwen lead the way out of the house. Just before leaving, Ben turned back and grabbed the cube, just in case.
Kevin drove to the cemetery, Gwen in the backseat and Ben in the front, all three keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. But when they got to the cemetery, nothing seemed out of place. Rows of standard headstones and memorial plaques lined the grounds, a few typical creepy trees, but nothing that would be a real "genetic anomaly." Ben looked at the map on the Omnitrix again, but this time, the dots were gone.
"Maybe it was a fluke? Or something temporary that fixed itself?" Ben continued to fool around with the Omnitrix, trying to get the red dots to come back.
"Maybe the cube did something to make the Omnitrix think there was something out here?" Gwen turned to look at a few headstones, but nothing on them or around them seemed unusual. "Sorry. I guess my mana triggered something in the cube."
Ben merely nodded his head and turned to go back to the car. They headed to the trailer park where Grandpa Max had set up camp with the Plumbers' Kids. They found Cooper and Alan outside, with a barbecue. It looked like Cooper had built it and Alan was lighting the charcoals with his hand. Cooper smiled a goofy grin when he saw Gwen and Alan took Ben and Kevin inside to find Max. Max was sitting at the built-in dining table with Pierce, looking over plans to some kind of project for the "Max Force" as Manny had called them.
"Hey Grandpa. Could you help us out? Gwen did something to the cube and now the Omnitrix is acting funny." Ben handed the cube to Max, who looked at it.
"Was it glowing like this before?" He poked at some of the symbols.
"Not before Gwen got a hold of it." Kevin glared at the cube as though it had done him a personal wrong.
"What about the Omnitrix? How is it acting funny?"
"It said the entire cemetery was filled with genetic anomalies, but when we got there to check it out, nothing was wrong and the Omnitrix stopped detecting them. Now we're not sure if there's something wrong there or not."
"Hmm… this is strange. How about we set up this plan Pierce and I thought up in Kevin's warehouse? It might be able to help you guys out."
A few hours, some multiple trips back and forth in Kevin's car, and an astounding amount of cursing later, a corner of the warehouse was set up into some sort of data center. Multiple monitors, a few odd Plumbers' tech computers, and a mile of extension cords hummed with electricity and information.
"Wow." Gwen stared at the monitors in awe. "There are satellite images of cities all over the globe! That's Hong Kong, and that's Madrid, and that's London, and that's Buenos Aires… how'd you get all this Grandpa?"
"Well, pumpkin, the Plumbers used to have satellites monitoring all the major cities in the world, looking out for alien activity, but they stopped using them after Earth's quadrant was disbanded. With the Highbreed invasion, the Plumbers have been reinstated. You remember that?" Max pointed at Gwen. "You got your badge then. The satellites have been recently activated again, and I tapped into the feeds with some old equipment."
Pierce, Helen, and Cooper were running specified scans over Bellwood. Helen pointed at her screen, which displayed a birds' eye view of the cemetery.
"It doesn't look like anything's going on down there. But the thermal scans are picking up abnormal traces of heat below ground. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary. Dead bodies release nitrogen and methane gasses as they decompose, and the gas could be heating up under pressure or in the heat from sunlight."
"So there's no aliens in the cemetery?" Kevin nodded at the screens.
"Nope," Pierce interjected. "It doesn't look like it. Just a bunch of dead bodies and some flowers."
"We'll keep scanning for a few hours more, just in case," Max concluded. "If nothing shows up, we'll continue with the main project Pierce and I came up with to keep an eye out for alien activity elsewhere."
The Plumbers' Kids and Max began setting up a more streamlined system for their worldwide alien watch, and Ben and Kevin kept their eyes on the cemetery and Bellwood. Gwen and Alan skipped out to get food for everyone.
"Hey, Kev, what the heck is that?" Ben pointed at a moving lump of heat on the thermal scan of the cemetery. Night had fallen in the hours since the team had begun their "Cemetery Survey" as Cooper had called it, and infrared was the only way to see if anything was changing. "It was there before, just getting warmer, and now it's moving."
As Kevin watched the screen with Ben, more of the orange-yellow lumps began to move. They couldn't tell what was happening from above, so Kevin pulled up an additional screen on another monitor, with a view from an angle. The lumps were coming up from the ground, digging their way out of the graves and slowly marching towards to cemetery's entrance gate.
"I've never seen anything like 'em, Ben." Kevin looked directly into his friend's green eyes, his own dark ones betraying the fear his face was hiding. This was something completely different from anything they had ever faced before.
A/N: Oh no, I'm writing a multi-chaptered fic? Well, actually, I wrote this months ago. I'm finally getting around to posting it is all. Stay tuned for actual zombie action!
And yes, I did steal Kevin's last line from the first Alien Swarm trailer. It worked.
Tell me what you think? My current collection of opinions on this thing is kind of... biased in favor of the zombie concept. Because zombies are awesome.