(Chapter Twenty-seven. One thing after another conspire to keep me from writing, huh? Well, better late than never, huh?
There's a scene near the end of this that I've been working on since more or less the beginning. It's as good as I can get it. Enjoy!)
All about Sonic City, the gravitational effects of the Moon's impending impact made themselves known:
Buildings collapsed under their own weight.
Tsunamis swept the oceans from the lunar forces.
Cracks opened up down the Möbius's mantle, magma bubbling up and sweeping down the empty streets.
In their shelter, Mace and Demi-Na held hands and smiled at each other, Hawking watching over them and the rest of their class.
Lupe held her children, Marcos and Maria, close to her heart.
What Have I Been Doing Up To Now?
Charmy's jaw dropped. "Awesome... That Giga Drill Overdrive blast just took out half the Zoah..."
"C'mon, guys!" bellowed Knuckles, his King Knuckles disconnecting from the Moon Probe Gizoid and firing off its levi-sphere, the other Great Freedom Fighter Gizoids blasting off in his wake. "We can't let Tails and Shadow hog all the glory!"
"Yeah!" shouted Sally, Vector, Mighty, Espio, Big, Bark, Lobo, and Ari in agreement.
King Knuckles blasted past the remaining Zoah, weaving in and out in a zigzagging path to the other end of the swarm of Zoah, before its echidna pilot let loose a war cry and fired off blasts of Spiral Power from the cannon where its right hand was.
Acorn Cannon swerved this way and that, firing off Spiral Bombers from its upgraded cannon. Eliastriker followed it back-to-back, so that they covered each other from sneak attacks.
Espionaj activated a newly installed cloaking device that, in the pitch-black of space, made it a lethally unseen foe for the Zoah.
Double Bruiser blasted ruthlessly at the Zoah.
Vector Prime blasted Spiral Power beams from the base of the microphone it held, and from the fingertips of its opposite hand.
O'Donnell fired energy from the missile cannons mounted inside its shoulders.
Mighty Fists picked Zoah off with its twin pistols.
Freedom Emerl pulled off its shades with one hand, and its winged levi-pack with the other...
Tails and Shadow shouted, "DOUBLE BOOMERANG... SPIRAL!"
Freedom Emerl hurled both makeshift boomerangs through the cloud of Zoah. Bright orange explosions trailed them as the shades and levi-pack looped out almost to the surface of the Moon. All told, the Double Boomerang Spiral destroyed about a quarter of the small Zoah. And with the half that were destroyed by Giga Drill Overdrive, and the attacks of the Great Freedom Fighters' Gizoid brigade...
"Wow... look at all the Zoah that Mr. Knuckles and the others took out in their first space battle!" Frances commented from her Fremerald.
An orange echidna girl appeared in her eye.
"All the smaller Zoah have been virtually exterminated," said Shade from her Fremerald, Nocturne.
In the living quarters of the Blue Typhoon, Elias was almost tearful with joy.
"Tails... Knuckles... Big! Bark! Lobo!" He wiped his eyes. "I knew it...! You guys made it after all..."
A slender, warm hand rested on his, and Meg gave him a relieved smile.
"Good thing, isn't this?" she said.
Marine was slack-jawed. "Awesome..."
And then Eliastriker and Acorn Cannon wheeled past, blasting at some Zoah stragglers.
"Wha—...? Sally's back? And... that's my Eliastriker! Who the hell's piloting it?"
Meg and Marine gave each other befuddled glances...
And laughed. Alexis joined in too.
"Everyone from the Great Freedom Fighters are out there pickin' blues and takin' names, mates!" Marine called out to those refugees who could not see out the window. Murmurs of hope reached her; she could even see a couple smiles breaking out.
Meg patted her daughter's hair tenderly. "See? Even Alexis can tell..."
Outside, Buzz Buzz and Cheese had backed themselves into a corner, a Zoah Carrier on either side...
And a Spiral Shield Bomber each penetrated the Zoah's AT Fields and detonated them.
"Charmy! Cream! Pay attention!" snapped a stern but playful voice.
Charmy and Cream turned...
Eliastriker and Acorn Cannon.
"Eliastriker...? And... Sally?" Charmy was stunned.
Sally's face appeared in Charmy and Cream's eyes. She was smiling brightly. "Any more daydreaming out of you two, and you're gonna go stand out in the hall!"
Cheese put a hand to where its mouth would be and giggled in Cream's voice. "You sound just like a school teacher."
"But... who's in Eliastriker?" Charmy asked. "Isn't Mr. Elias in the Blue Typhoon?"
Ari's face appeared next to Sally's. He held Eliastriker's controls. "I'm borrowing this thing from Elias for now. We need as many Gizoid pilots as we can get out there."
"Roger!" Cream said, turning to the battle again.
"Alright! Fremerald Squadron, form up on me and Cream!" Charmy said, regaining his stance as captain. He brought up Buzz Buzz's Spiral Rifle. "Don't let the old-timers show us up!"
"Roger!" said Frances and Shade, flying in behind Charmy and Cream.
Blaze was stunned by one development after the other. First, they had to leave behind more than half the population of Sonic City and the surrounding provinces in order to escape into space. Then, the Zoah appeared, revealing a trap waiting up there for them. Then, the Spiral Power started falling as despair washed over the passengers of the Blue Typhoon. Then, Freedom Emerl showed up and single-handedly halved the aggressors' forces, bringing the Great Freedom Fighters with it. And, then...
"Spiral Power is recovering!" she called out to the bridge, the spiral-shaped gauge on the main screen beginning to fill in from empty black to energized white.
Blaze may have been stunned, but Silver was absolutely shell-shocked by all the preceding shocks of the day.
Especially by this latest development.
Is that... because of them? Silver thought as he watched the Spiral Power gauge climb. Is that... the power of hope? If it is... then, what have I been doing up to now? What have I been doing all this time?
He narrowed his brow in determination.
"Direct all energy to the Spiral Shields!" he ordered. "Protect this ship, no matter what!"
"Roger!" Blaze responded.
"Go to..." said the Darkoak Head stiffly. "Go to the Moon... That is... my..." He then trailed off. And repeated his statement in the exact same robotic syntax.
"What...?" Ash said, distracted from his workstation.
"Is he... unlocking new data?" Silver pondered, before shaking his head lightly. "No... In his case, he's recalling old memories."
Then Rotor, who had been following the growth of the Spiral Power gauge since Freedom Emerl arrived on the battlefield, spoke up.
"Well, that looks about good for the you-know-what..." He faced Cobar. "Wouldn't you say so?"
Rotor tuned his microphone to Freedom Emerl.
"Tails! It's time to show off Blue Typhoon's big secret! Bring on the old you-know-what!"
Out in space, Freedom Emerl had just caught its shades and levi-pack and reconnected them, and Tails was feeling the adrenaline rush of battle rather intensely. Any reasonable suspicion that the Anti-Spiral were monitoring their communications did not cross his mind.
"You mean combine with it?" he said without thinking.
At once, a sudden change came over the few remaining Zoah: three or four Zoah Carriers, a dozen regular-sized Zoah, and the two giant Zoah.
Helen blanched. "I'm picking up huge energy readings from the two giant Zoah!"
At once, the pyramid-headed Zoah's energy Cores glowed like blue suns...
And the Zoah blasted itself apart, its fragments flying rapidly at the Blue Typhoon, tearing through whatever Fremerald or regular-sized Zoah that got in the way. Swarming around the Star Meta-Gizoid, the fragments reconstituted with its central Core enclosing the Blue Typhoon, and blue electricity crackled violently across its form.
Several control panels on Blue Typhoon's bridge erupted in sparks and smoke, causing those who operated them to leap back in alarm.
The Darkoak Head sparkled with electricity, groaning in pain, before going limp and slouching against the inside of the glass jar it was in.
"Darkoak!" Silver cried.
Out in space...
"Blue Typhoon!" Tails shouted, turning Freedom Emerl to the starship. "We're coming!"
Then the other giant Zoah - the one with two broad horns - had split in two at the waist and floated above and below Freedom Emerl in the time it took to notice Blue Typhoon's trouble.
"Aww crap!" Tails yelled, just as the jumbo Zoah came back together around Freedom Emerl, assaulting it with cold-blue lightning. Tails and Shadow screamed in pain.
Alexis was bawling inconsolably.
"Don't cry, baby, don't cry," cooed Meg, sounding more confident than she felt. "Everything will be alright, so don't be upset." She cast a short but sharp glare out the window.
Elias addressed the people, who seemed to becoming restless with fear, "Don't panic, everyone! It'll take more than this to destroy the Blue Typhoon! My comrades will protect us..."
Alexis's wailing stopped, but tears still spilled down her cheeks as she put a thumb in her mouth.
On the bridge, Silver was beside himself with fear.
"The Blue Typhoon... can't take much more of this...!" he growled.
Tails's face appeared on the main screen.
"Silver! Don't give up!" Tails scolded. "We've always pulled through at the last second! Just like when we stole the Great Freedom! And when we took Greengate! We've always held on and snatched victory at the very last second!"
Silver averted his eyes to the crackling blue lightning outside the bridge.
"Well, it was always like that for you, but..."
"Now, now. No need to complain, Silver," said Rotor brightly, typing away at his console.
"Rotor?" Silver asked the walrus. "What are you...?"
"Don't you remember, Silver? The Blue Typhoon is a giant Gizoid, just like Greengate was!"
Inside the Syrax Zoah, Freedom Emerl clenched its fists, green flames bursting around it as Tails let out a war cry.
"That's right! We snatch victory from the jaws of defeat! And that's what we'll keep doing... AS MANY TIMES AS IT TAKES!"
The Spiral Power gauge inside Emerl's cockpit went beyond white to green, the computer screens all over the inside of Emerl's cranium going pure green.
Down below in Freedom, the same was happening with Shadow's computer screens. A weary smirk crossed Shadow's face.
"I swear, it's never a dull moment with you around!"
At once, Freedom Emerl's legs fused together, and a Giga Drill emerged over its legs as Tails and Shadow bellowed with fighting spirit. The levi-pack on Freedom Emerl's back spun around, and torrents of Spiral Power blasted from it against the inner wall of the Syrax Zoah's Core.
With a roar of fury from Tails, Shadow, and Kukku, Freedom Emerl burst out of the giant Zoah's containment field, trailing tendrils of blue electricity that dragged the Zoah behind it as Freedom Emerl made for a collision with Blue Typhoon inside the Haniman Zoah.
"LET'S GO, BLUE TYPHOON!" Tails bellowed.
"Mr. Tails...?" Cream said slowly, stopping in her tracks.
"Does he intend to ram them?" Shade asked.
King Knuckles began to shake its fist emphatically. "C'mon, move it, move it, move it, clear a path!"
The Gizoids and Fremeralds darted aside of Freedom Emerl's Giga Drill, the hero king of Gizoids wiping out the few remaining Zoah.
In a flash of green light that momentarily darkened everything else, Freedom Emerl made contact with the yellow tip of Blue Typhoon, the drill impacting deeply into it, fissures running down the metal of Blue Typhoon's hull.
"Is this... how it combines with Freedom Emerl?" Silver asked exasperatedly.
"We're receiving a massive influx of Spiral Power!" Blaze called out.
Chris gasped. He'd seen this all before:
With the birth of Great Freedom Emerl.
"Ensuring the integrity of the living quarters!" he said, grinning as he made this possible at his terminal.
"And adjusting shipboard gravity to match transformation!" Rotor added, and moments later, a slight wave passed over everyone on the bridge.
And Rotor spoke into his microphone again:
"Okay, Tails! We're good to go! Hit it!"
And the Blue Typhoon glowed like an emerald in the sun.
The turbines on either side of the main engine rotated around, before an entire white forearm and clenched fist - yellow, with blue fingers - emerged from each.
The front bow of the Blue Typhoon, splitting in two down its length, rotated around so that formed the lower half of a great body half the size of Sonic City hundreds of miles below, the main turbine in the middle of its back.
The 'legs' developed segments, the blue strip becoming an ankle joint, the yellow tip becoming feet.
The runway the size of an airfield which had been attached to the front of the Blue Typhoon detached, the metal plates rearranging themselves into a face almost identical to Emerl, but with four crests sprouting from its 'third eye'.
It settled itself over the bridge of the Blue Typhoon, locking down with a clank unheard in outer space. The main bridge of the Blue Typhoon glinted like a diamond in its third eye.
Freedom Emerl flew in through this face before the hatches where its mouth and nose should be closed, finding itself in a cockpit identical to that inside Freedom's, but large enough for Freedom Emerl to sit in as though it were not larger than life.
As Freedom Emerl sat in the pilot's seat, Tails and Shadow noticed a lack of butterfly controls for Freedom Emerl to control this Star Meta-Gizoid. As though waiting for this, a circular port emerged in front of the seat, a red light gleaming next to it. Spiral-shaped grooves ran down to its core.
A Giga Drill emerged from Freedom Emerl's right fist.
"Giga Drill... SPIN START!" yelled Tails, driving the Giga Core Drill into the port, glowing-green fissures appearing all over the console.
Even so, the red light turned green, the Giga Core Drill snapped into place and produced a Spiral Power gauge where Freedom Emerl's fist once connected to it...
And the Star Meta-Gizoid's empty black eyes gleamed with the emerald light of life.
Then it pointed to the heavens with its right hand.
"Smashing through both karma and fate!" Tails shouted.
"The screams of life echo through the galaxy!" Shadow continued.
Together, as the newborn Gizoid the size of half of Sonic City down below on Möbius clashed its fists together, Tails and Shadow bellowed for all to hear:
"TYPHOON FREEDOM EMERL!"
Typhoon Freedom Emerl
Tails and Shadow let out another war cry, this one longer and more powerful...
And the two giant Zoah - which had made contact with the collision and combining of their two prisoners - shattered into black blocky cubes in a double flash of blue and green light.
In the bridge of Typhoon Freedom Emerl, Silver was speechless.
"What in the...?"
Well, almost speechless.
"What the heck is that...?" Knuckles asked, his neck craning at how damn big that thing was.
"They transformed something that big?" Frances asked.
"Nice find there, Rotor," Tails said brightly. "We can always count on you for tech help!" He then turned his gaze upon the fragmentary remains of the two giant Zoah. They were not moving, not even in the gravity of two large celestial objects on either side, nor were they detonating, as they should have.
The fragments suddenly whipped away, flying towards the Moon, forming up just in front of it, coalescing into an even larger single Zoah with four thin horns and a glowing-blue visor, the two black rings that looped their opposing shoulders now settling on either shoulder.
"So, they can combine, too, huh?" Tails said casually.
Typhoon Freedom Emerl cricked its own neck.
The Zoah behemoth began to float towards the Star Meta-Gizoid.
Typhoon Freedom Emerl brought up its fists. "Bring it!" Tails shouted.
Green energy burst about it, concentrating on its left fist.
"Typhoon Freedom Emerl... FULL POWER!"
The final Zoah brought up its right fist, colliding with Typhoon Freedom Emerl's, a burst of blue-green light bringing a bright flash of day down to the surface.
"Let's do it, Shadow!" Tails yelled.
"Suits me fine!" Shadow replied.
Typhoon Freedom Emerl rapidly unclenched and reclenched its fist, holding the digital mecha in place.
The Star Meta-Gizoid clenched its right fist, helical emerald power swirling around it...
"Take this!" Tails bellowed. "Space-time Shattering...!"
"Burst Spinning...!" Shadow continued.
The fist connected!
"PUNCH!" shouted Tails and Shadow.
The final Zoah was sent flying beyond the sphere of the Moon, spinning wildly down a drill-shaped tunnel forged from the Burst Spinning Punch's contact.
And when it reached the drill's tip...
It hit nothing.
And broke through it.
Far beyond the hole in nothing, the light of the final Zoah's explosion shined through a large, cracked hole.
Every jaw in outer space dropped.
"Is that... Tails's power?" Charmy said.
Sally appeared in his eye. "Yeah. Tails always unleashes awesome power at the very last second."
Cream appeared in his other eye, brushing her hair out of her left eye. "That seems to be the case, Miss Sally..."
Silver's eyes were popping at the shimmering hole in the middle of nothing where the final Zoah had met its end. "What is that hole?"
Rotor picked up his jaw and peered at his computer's read-out. "It looks like a hole in the fabric of time and space. Tails sent it flying to the far end of the space-time continuum."
Blaze's eyes widened. "Amazing..."
Cobar smiled, "This is the awakening of Spiral Power, isn't it?"
Rotor nodded at Cobar.
A raw red light outside drew Helen's eyes.
And went white.
She stammered, turning her wheelchair to face the bridge.
SPIRAL LIFEFORM ANNIHILATION SYSTEM ENDANGERED
SPIRAL POWER OF INHABITANTS OF NEIGHBOURING PLANET GREATER THAN ANTICIPATED
INITIATE EMERGENCY TRANSFORMATION
The entire surface of the Moon, if any light could have illuminated it sufficiently, went the same rubbery-black texture as the Zoah and Messenger Cosmo's skin, the rims of each crater on its surface glowing blood-red.
The Moon expanded outwards, sprouting arms and legs, morphing into an ebony humanoid figure half the size of Möbius. Its head bore no face, only a single ruby in the middle of its head, with two horns like a demon king, and its chest bore only a pair of purple orbs over a pair of leering purple eyes, between which were five nostrils which marked the end of the face, a prominent prow like a knife lancing out and then pointing back at its faceless head. It bore enormous drills with blood-glowing grooves on its shoulders, and smaller ones on its knees. Its left drill bore straight lines, and its right bore spiraling lines.
"Impossible!" shrieked Silver. "The Moon... was a gigantic Gizoid, too?"
Transcendent Anti-Spiral Dreadnought Gizoid
"What the hell is this?" Knuckles breathed.
"I can't believe it!" Sally gasped.
All about the surface of the Hell Huenlonix, red pinpricks of light lit up, and in about five seconds, it became clear what it was:
Laser blasts! Thousands of them!
All aimed at the Great Freedom Fighters!
"Oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap OH CRAP OH CRAP OH CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP!" Knuckles said, King Knuckles flailing wildly.
"Everyone, dodge it!" Charmy yelled.
But Typhoon Freedom Emerl's Giga Drill blocked the blasts.
"Is everyone okay?" Tails asked.
"Somehow!" Sally replied.
Typhoon Freedom Emerl's Super Spiral gauge red-lined, and it deflected the Hell Huenlonix's energy beams into the ever-narrowing space between it and Möbius.
"Don't give up!" Tails shouted. "It's just big, that's all!"
Tails turned to face forward again... just in time to see Hell Huenlonix's fist clench around him and the Typhoon Freedom Emerl, like a bug.
"TAILS!" shrieked Cream, fearful for the lives of Tails and the other half-million people on board the Typhoon Freedom Emerl.
Green light glowed through the gaps in Hell Huenlonix's fingers...
And Typhoon Freedom Emerl emerged unscathed through a hole it drilled through Hell Huenlonix's palm.
"Like I'll let you take me out that easily!"
Tails's gaze drifted to the Hell Huenlonix's other arm, and...
"He's trying to punch Möbius!" Tails cried, watching as the Hell Huenlonix sluggishly brought its right fist around and attempted to drive it into Möbius's atmosphere. Already it was beginning to heat up and flame from atmospheric entry. "Like hell you'll get away with it!"
"Chao!" growled Kukku as Typhoon Freedom Emerl crossed the gap between Hell Huenlonix's hands.
Forcing the Typhoon Giga Drill deep into the crack between the middle and ring fingers of Hell Huenlonix's right hand, Tails let out a rage-filled scream as the Super Spiral engine in Typhoon Freedom Emerl's heart reached its peak.
And even that wasn't enough.
The Darkoak Head bio-computer did reactivate through that influx of Spiral Power, though.
"The Super Spiral Engine is overheating!" shouted Ash. "It won't last much longer!"
"We're gonna fall to pieces!" squawked Bean, clutching his chair in a panic.
Silver clutched the pedestal on which the Darkoak Head was set.
And the Darkoak Head was smiling.
"Ahh, now that is my flagship." Then his expression darkened. "But I did not enable the Hellship's Hell Huenlonix configuration. The Anti-Spiral must have incorporated a dummy program to activate it when they installed the Spiral Lifeform Annihilation System. I will now forcefully enter into Hell Huenlonix's computer core and lock them out."
"What? What are you saying, Darkoak?" Silver asked.
The pilots of Freedom Emerl heard that.
"Darkoak?" Tails and Shadow gasped, their respective hearts stopping for an instant.
Rotor smiled up at the two shocked faces on the main screen. "Don't worry, guys. It's just a bio-computer created from his cells. It's not like we completely brought him back to life."
"Disgusting," said Shadow simply.
"It was necessary," Silver said shakily. "We needed his information."
"That voice... Is that you, Shadow?" replied the Darkoak Head, with a paternal air that Shadow had never heard from the living Helix King. "It is alright. I must admit, this is a rather fascinating experience."
"It certainly sounds like you've changed, Helix King," said Shadow with a ghost of a smile.
"Really? I suppose I have," replied the bio-computer. "Maybe it is because I have been released from the yoke of my flesh."
"Get on with it!" Rotor said, a note of panic very evident in his tone. "Are you gonna hack it or not?"
"It is worth a try," said the Darkoak Head.
Suddenly, the Head began convulsing violently, before once again slumping against the inside of the glass dome.
On another plane of existence, the Lucus Darkoak Head entered digital space with an epic battle cry.
Back on the Typhoon Freedom Emerl's bridge...
The main screen showed a blocky, digital version of Lucus Darkoak standing on a grid, looking back and forth to search for the Hell Huenlonix's main computer core. A chat window which opened up next to the digital Darkoak read:
"The Lucus Darkoak Head has begun hacking the enemy unit," said Helen.
And then the spectacle began.
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D4RK04KH34D: UR Ph1r3wAlL 12 FA1L uR f1r3W4ll 15 F41l J00R PH1r3w4LL 1s pH41L j00r F1r3w4ll 12 pH41L uR ph1R3W4Ll 12 pH41L J00r f1REwalL 1s Fa1L Ur pH1r3w4LL 12 Ph41L uR F1R3W4ll 12 F41l Ur ph1R3wAlL 1s F4iL ur PH1r3w4Ll 12 Ph41l j00r firew4Ll 12 ph41L!¡!¡!one!¡!¡!¡1¡!¡!eleven¡!¡!
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H3775H1PHAX0RED: (╬ ಠ益ಠ)
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H3775H1PHAX0RED: YOUR KEY IS OUT OF BULLETS
H3775H1PHAX0RED: CEASE AND DESIST
D4RK04KH34D: N0 U
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H3775H1PHAX0RED: NO CAN BRAIN TODAY. WANT CHEEZBURGER (ﾟ∀ﾟ)
D4RK04KH34D: 4 W1nn3R 12 m3H
H3775H1PHAX0RED: F U
D4RK04KH34D: k7Hx841 (^-^)V
The Darkoak Head drowsily rose up again.
"Hacking of enemy unit Hell Huenlonix complete," it said. Indeed, the Hell Huenlonix had stopped moving. "Its weapon and thruster systems are now disabled and locked out by a 1337-character-long password. It will not keep the Anti-Spiral's systems out forever, but for at least five minutes, it will be safe to approach."
Computer images of a digital Hell Huenlonix appeared on every computer screen on the Typhoon Freedom Emerl.
Including inside Emerl's cockpit.
"What's this?" Tails asked.
The computer image zoomed in through the torso of the Hell Huenlonix, following a tube that led from its middle nostril into a circular chamber in the core of the titan.
At the back, was a large drill-shaped indentation.
"Insert your source of Spiral Power here," said the Darkoak Head. "When you do, the Moon will come under your control."
"I can... control something that big?" Tails asked.
The Darkoak Head appeared in the corner of his eye.
"Of course you can," it said. "That is my ultimate weapon, the Hell Huenlonix."
Shadow appeared over the Darkoak Head.
"Interesting, fox boy," he said. "This is what you do best: stealing enemy Gizoids. Let's do it!"
The Lucus Darkoak Head appeared over Shadow this time...
And it looked fierce, and determined.
"That is where you are wrong, Shadow. We are not stealing an enemy mecha. We are taking back... Spiral life's guardian deity!"
To be continued...
Next Episode Preview
Now, Möbiankind is left with one option if it is to survive:
The subjugation and enslavement of a god.
No. There is one more option.
And that is...
Next time on Tengen Toppa Freedom Emerl: "This Is My Final Duty".
(9 July 2011 NOTE: The Hax0rz scene was updated to feature actual leetspeak. I would advise searching for a L33t Translator on Google (type in 'l33t translator' and hit I'm Feeling Lucky. That's where I got it done).)