The first two episodes of Chaotic on television were "how many lame puns we can cram into a half hour" episodes. Really. They were. Anyway…

Onward and upward!

Welcome to Chaotic

Part III

"That's right, Newbie! And now…we fight!" Tom looked across the Drome and gasped. Real life Takinom laughed at him, her wings flared, her claws pointed at him, "Let's get Chaotic!"

The rotating Chaotic symbol started spinning faster and faster. A flare of white light blinded Tom and he threw his hands up. A cold wind snapped across his face and he cracked an eye open.

He was no longer standing in the Drome…he was standing on a field of snow with a near blizzard going on around him. Takinom—or SamShady, he wasn't sure what to call him…her?—was nowhere in sight.

"Okay…" He said in Maxxor's strong, deep voice, "It finally happened. I lost my mind." He shivered as another gust of wind pushed against his bare arms and legs, "Oh brrrr! It's cold! Even the ground is cold!" He lifted a foot and slid a little on the ice.

I can't control myself. He thought, nerves making his adrenaline pump, I'm not used to this body! There's so much power! I wonder if this is how Maxxor feels all the time? Tom shook his head, trying to get a hold of himself and lost his balance. His feet (Maxxor's feet?) shot out from underneath him and he slid down a hill, shot off a small cliff edge, and landed head first into a pile of snow. After a bit of struggling, he managed to get reoriented.

"Okaaayyy," He pushed himself out the snow bank, shaking the white flakes from Maxxor's spiky hair, "That was totally not cool. Good thing no one saw that."

Unbeknownst to Tom, pretty much everyone in the Port Court had seen it.

And they were all laughing at him.

Everyone laughed at newbies; they had no idea what was going on, they were hopeless in Drome matches, and they scared easily. And it was so much fun to watch their first matches in Chaotic

Yes, everyone laughed at newbies. Except if they were Morphers. Nobody laughed at Morphers.

But everyone was laughing at MajorTom.

Everyone except Kaz. He just groaned and slapped his forehead with his hand.

Back in "Glacier Planes", Tom was running for his life across the snow and ice. SamShady chased after him, fireballs exploding from Takinom's hands. Tom could feel their heat searing his back as he slid down an incline and started dodging between large, ice outcroppings.

"Coward!" Takinom's voice shrieked, bouncing around the ice, "Come out and fight!"

How do I do that!? Tom thought, mind racing. He peered around the ice pillar he was hiding behind. Takinom was nowhere in sight. He swallowed and, against his better judgment, dove out of cover and raced away through the ice structures.


He looked around again, breathing heavily. Where was she—he? And how was he supposed to fight? This was ridiculous.

Flames scorched across his back and he cried out in agony, slamming into the ice. He rolled around, trying to put out the fire the licked at him, and slipped down a hill, rolling head over heels to rest at the bottom. Panting, he glanced up and saw Takinom alight on the hilltop.

"Isn't Maxxor supposed to be the hero of the OverWorld, or something like that?" She raised a clawed hand and pushed her streaming black hair from her face.

"Uh…yeah." Tom got shakily to him feet. His back and arms were seared from the attack and his now green skin crackled as he moved. He automatically pushed the pain to the back of his mind and faced his opponent, "But I have no idea what I'm doing so this doesn't count."

"You're supposed to be fighting me, OverWorlder." SamShady turned Takinom's lips up in a sneer, "But you can't do that if you're too busy fighting yourself."

"Fighting my…what are—WHOA!" Tom ducked another fireball, "Watch it!"

"You watch it, MajorTom!" Takinom took wing again, "This match is mine!"

"Shut UP!" Tom leapt without thinking and grabbed at Takinom's beating wing. Thin membrane and hollow bone crunched underneath Maxxor's strong grip and Takinom howled. They both fell to the snow, wrestling with one another.

All Tom could see was the whiteness of the snow being tossed up in a storm around them and the writhing form of his foe. Hot liquid shot through his veins and stung his mind. He reacted without thinking, grabbing Takinom's head in his hands and smashing it against his own. She fell back, stunned, and he jumped away, heading down a slow decline.

How did I do that…? He wondered. The hotness was still coursing through him. He felt energized, empowered, like he could do anything in the world, Then why am I running away? He dug his feet into the snow and spun about, his back to a high wall of crystal ice.

Takinom shot over the hill, saw him, and started firing flicking balls of fire. Tom dodged, raised his arms, and took aim. Power surged through him, bursting from some area around his heart, and blasted up Maxxor's muscular arms.

"Pebble Storm!" He felt the earth through the layers of ice and snow, trembling beneath his bare feet, obeying him. The ground erupted underneath Takinom and a cascade of black rocks shot up at her. She swerved and smirked at him.

"Finally getting it, are we?" She mocked, "What's wrong, can't do any better than pebbles!?"

"You want better…?" Tom felt the energy pouring from his heart again and raised his fists over his head, "Take this! Rock Wave!" He slammed his hands down into the snow. The energy shot out of him and rippled through the ground. Sharp points of frozen earth and ice rocketed across the ground and slammed into Takinom, sending her spiraling backwards. She crashed through a wall of ice and vanished from view. Tom straightened up, grinning.

"Best. Game. Ever." He said and took off at a run, heading for the spot where Takinom had crashed through the wall at.

A cavern stretched out before him, its inside painted blue with the sunlight streaming through the thick walls of ice. He crept forward carefully, eyes narrowed as he searched around for his fallen opponent.

"Looking for me!? Torrent of Flames!" A wall of orange and red and yellow roared up at him.

Tom shouted wordlessly and flung himself out of the way. The flames chased him, roaring like a living beast, and licked at his heels. Tom rounded into a tunnel and cringed backwards as the flames soared past and died out as they slammed into a wall.

"Playing hide-and-seek, MajorTom?" He heard Takinom's voice echo off the ice, "What's wrong, run out of pebbles?"

Tom bristled and flew around the corner, striking out with a fist. Takinom grabbed his wrist and lifted him into the air, throwing him over her shoulder so that he slammed painfully to the ground.

"You can do better than that!"

"Do you ever stop talking!?" Tom shot upright with his arms and kicked outward with his feet. He caught Takinom in the chest and sent her hurtling backwards once more. There was a ringing crash as she blasted through another wall of ice. Tom gave chase. The hole Takinom had blasted through led outside but when Tom stepped into the snow she was nowhere to be seen.

"Where aaarrrreeee yooouuuu?" Tom called out and Maxxor's deep voice rang across Glacier Plain.


Something slammed into him from behind and sent him rolling head over heels down a hill. He sailed off a cliff face and found himself tumbling through space, screaming at the top of his lungs. Sparks of thought flitted through his mind, memories that weren't his.

I'm going to die! He thought, flailing around, I'm going to die and I'm freaking out so bad I'm hallucinating!

A picture blazed across his mind's eye. The cliff he'd just went over, the ice wall he was passing, and…

Maxxor's large green hand shot out and his fingers curled around an outcropping of ice. Tom swung back and forth for a while, panting, his terror fading. He gulped, swallowed, and took a deep breath to calm himself.

How did I know this was here? He remembered the memory that hadn't been his, It was…Maxxor's! He knew this was here! Just like he knows…that this isn't just an icey outcropping! A skeletal face, gigantic and monsterous, grinned at him from behind a thick sheet of ice.

"You wanna draw this out?" Takinom was suddenly circling overhead, fireballs hissing and spitting in her hands as flakes of snow hit them.

Tom didn't answer, just swung himself up onto the horn of the skeleton beyond the ice and balanced himself there. Then he brought his hands up and tapped into the power sitting in his heart,

"Vine Snare!" The skin on his palms split with all the pain of a paper cut and writhing green vines shot out from his hands. Takinom screeched as they closed around her, pinning her wings to her sides. Tom yanked backwards and Takinom hurlted towards the end of the horn.

At the exact moment of impact, there was a sound like tearing paper and breaking glass and a flare of blue-white light.

Tom found himself back in the Drome, still as Maxxor, looking across the room at Takinom was lying on her stomach on the floor. Even as he watch, her wings shrank in to her back, her hair shortened, glasses grew out of her face, and after a few seconds it was SamShady who was lying on the floor. He groaned as he got up, pushing his hair out of his face. He glared at Tom. Tom winced, feeling his bones melt and his muscles strain as he reverted back to his own body. He suddenly felt…weak. All that power…gone.

"You got lucky." Sam spat and stalked out of the Drome. Tom grinned at Sam's retreating back and headed for the shaft of white light that had opened up behind him, snatching his Scanner off the stand as he went. Kaz was waiting for him outside the Drome.

"Did you see that!?" Tom cried, racing up to his best friend, "Did you see!? I was Maxxor! And I used attacks! And I—!"

"Totally coded SamShady!" Kaz interjected, "That was an awesome first match, Tom!" The two boys high-fived one another, laughing, "Come on, let's head back to the Port Court. We'll take the long way."

Kaz led Tom up a flight of stairs to a platform where other players were sitting in chairs or talking with one another, waiting for the monorail car to come around. Kaz walked past that and onto an elevated sidewalk that ran along side the track for a while before veering off in another direction, arching over the moving sidewalks below and stretching off to the Port courts upper leveled balconies.

"All this time…" Tom murmured as they stepped off the path and onto one of the balconies. He leaned against the railing looking out across Chaotic, "All your crazy stories…all of it's true…" He looked around at Kaz who was leaning his back against the railing, elbows propped on it with his back to the scenic view, "I could stay here forever."

"Mm-hm." Kaz nodded, smiling.

"Oh my gosh!" Tom's sudden out burst made Kaz jump, slip, and fall to the ground, "M-my parents! When they realize I'm missing they'll freak!"

"Easy, Tom!" Kaz got to his feet, dusting himself off, "You're still at home, probably juuusssttt starting to wake up. Nothing to worry about."

"Okay, maybe you are still crazy." Tom scowled, "How can I be here and still at home?"

"I'm not crazy." Kaz made a face, "So quit calling me that!"

"Alright, alright, I'm sorry. You're not crazy."

Kaz huffed but the frown on his face vanished, "At first, there's just you—physically and mentally. But once you activate your Transport Code a wormhole opens up in your mind and creates a Code version of you." He tapped Tom's chest, "Which is here. So while your real self is at home doing chores and homework, you have what people call your Chaotic-self here having the time your life."

"So how do I get myself to go back home? I mean, back to my earth self…or whatever."

"With your Scanner." Kaz pointed to the blue device that was still in Tom's hand, "You press this button here," He pointed to the Chaotic symbol at the top, "And back on Earth your real self's Code Scanner starts blinking. When they press the same button, you leave Chaotic and get sent back to Earth as a string of memory codes. See? Easy as pie."

"Glad you understand it 'cause it's giving me a headache." Tom grumbled. But he held up his Scanner and hit the button on the top. Nothing happened. He frowned and hit it again. And again. And again, "Tch, Kaz—!"

"Calm down." Kaz took Tom's Scanner from him, turned it over in his hands, and handed it back, "Your Scanner's working fine. The reason nothing's happening is just because your Earth-self isn't answering their Code Scanner." Kaz set off again, heading around the outside of the balcony, and Tom followed him, "See, what happens is that when you port to Chaotic your online deck gets locked."

"Why?" Tom watched another Battle Drome pass by as they walked down a sloped path and into the shade of a marble pavilion.

"Because your Chaotic-self has control of your deck." Kaz chuckled, walking out from underneath the pavilion and heading around the side of Port Court buildings, "A lot of new players freak out because they think they're Scanner's broken. I was nearly hysterical when it happened to me!"

"Was that the day you wanted to skip school because your Scanner wasn't working?"

"Yeah." Kaz responded sheepishly.

Tom laughed at the memory, "Knowing me, I'd probably get mad at you and chuck it in the trash." Kaz stopped walking and Tom bumped into him, "Kaz, what the heck?"

"Tom, if you trashed you Scanner back on Earth," Kaz turned around, looking worried, "Then you can't ever port out! You'll be stuck here in Chaotic forever!"

"Well that can't be too bad." Tom reasoned, "I mean, there's food and I'd never go to school and I could play Chaotic all day—."

"You don't understand, Tom!" Kaz grabbed his shoulders, "You have to port back! I've seen what happens to players who get stuck here!"

"What!? What happens to them!?"

"They just…fade away." Kaz was pale and Tom felt sick to his stomach, "No one's really sure what happens but…but they just sort of go all ghost-like and then vanish."

"And…their real-selves?"

"I've never seen it but I've heard rumors. I…I heard they go crazy."

"Kaz, you gotta get me home!" Tom panicked, "I can't fade away! I can't go crazy!" He ran a hand through his hair agitatedly, "What're we going to do!?" He turned back the way they had come, running up the sloped path to the balcony.

"Tom, where're you going?"

"This is your fault, Kaz!" Tom rounded on his friend, pointing an accusing finger, "If I go crazy, it's your fault! I should never have listened to you! You and your nutcase stories!"

"Hey!" Kaz snapped back angrily, pushing his glasses up his nose, "Don't blame me because you were stupid enough to trash your Scanner! And I'm not a nutcase!"

"You are too!"

"You take that back!" Kaz squared off against Tom, eyes blazing.

"Why should I!?" Tom retorted hotly, "You can't take me back!"

"Okay, okay!" Kaz stepped back, holding up his hands submissively, "Fighting isn't getting us anywhere." He turned around and walked to the railing, tapping his fingers on it thoughtfully. Tom stood back, watching him.

"What should we do?"

"Alright, here's the plan." Kaz said seriously as he turned back around, "I'll just port home," He moved his hands to the left, "Go over to your house," He waved his hands forward and Tom raised an eyebrow, "And talk to you about this whole thing. And if you threw out your Scanner…we'll find."

"Sound good. Except for the part about where you talk to me."

"Why? What's wrong with that?"

"I thought you were mentally unstable! Insane!" Kaz's cheeks colored slightly but he kept a straight face, "There's no way the me on Earth is going to believe you!"

"Ah, but that's the beauty of it!" Kaz smiled wickedly, "You tell me a secret—something that nobody else knows! That way when I port home, I can tell it to you there and you'll believe me!"

"A…secret…I don't really have any—."

"Sure you do." Kaz nudged him in the side, "It has to be something you've never told anyone! Ever!"

"Weeeelll," Tom fiddled with the edge of his shirt and then said in a low voice, "There was this one summer where I went to camp and I thought I'd—."

"Signed up for basketball but got ballet instead, yeah." Kaz waved a hand dismissively through the air, "Come on, that's lame. Everyone knows that one. Tell me something juicy."

Tom turned red and looked at the white tile beneath his bare feet. There was one but he wasn't really sure it was something he should share. Then again, it was either a secret or going crazy. He swallowed and beckoned Kaz with a single finger. Kaz leaned forward and Tom whispered in his ear,

"I made out with Courtney Doxxin in the girl's locker room at the middle school last year. She swore us to secrecy and neither of us has ever told a soul."

Kaz sputtered in surprise and backpedaled, mouth hanging open. He recovered quickly, though, and pulled out his Code Scanner, "Okay, I'll just go back home and tell…that to your Earth-self and you'll be back before you know it." His finger hovered over the button, "Eh…uhm…what was it like?"

"Kaz!" Tom said, his face flushing again.

"Oh, yeah, right, sorry!" Kaz hit the button. His entire form became a mass of glowing letters and numbers and dissolved upward, spiraling into the misty sky. All of this happened in less than a second.

Tom hung his head, walking over to lean against the railing. His cheeks were pink, "I thought he'd forgotten about that mix up with ballet that summer…"

"Hey there," Tom spun around at the sound of an unfamiliar voice, "Nice match. You kicked SamShady off his high horse."

"Who—?" Tom began but the taller, obviously older boy cut him off.

"Klayborne Rogers. But everyone calls me Klay."

If anyone says anything about the battle I'm going to sick a pack of rabid, fuzzy, pink bunny slippers on them. My rewrite. I'll do as I very well please.

On the other hand…

Yay! Klay's finally shown up! I've actually been looking forward to writing him! He's such an interesting character; so manipulative with just a touch of darkness. Krystella certainly adds to that darkness. Alas, she is not here yet. Soon but not yet.

I also had my bit of fun. Since we never find out what Tom's big secret actually was, I thought I'd just go right ahead and make one up on the spot. I think it was a pretty good one too, if I do say so myself. If anyone else had any theories as to what it was, I'd like to hear them! I am interested in the secret life of Thomas Majors!

Oh geez, that didn't sound right.

Not that anything's sounding right at this moment in time. It's almost one in the morning and I just spent the better half of two hours playing Chaotic against my brother. He beat me. Again. Shaaaaaammmmmeeee.

Aaaaaanyway, I'll stop rambling and let you guys get on with the story.

Thanks for reading and for the people who've been reviewing and faving this story! It means a lot! Thanks you guys!