I don't own Ben 10 or any of the characters therein. This Fanfic is for entertainment purposes only. NONPROFIT YOU READ ME!

Chapter 6

Sleeping peacefully, Ben Tennyson was reluctantly woken from his slumber by the sting of the morning's chill brushing against his bare skin.

Eyes remaining clamped shut in a bid to return to back to sleep, the brown haired teen blindly moved his hand about his surroundings, instinctively searching for something to cover up with.

As he blindly searched fumbling his hand about him, it was then that the fog of sleep slowly began to lift, clearing from his mind like a rising veil to allow the memories of the preceding night to swiftly come ushering back like the torrents of a mighty tidal wave.

Instinctively the semi sleeping teen hero winced with regret as what could easily be described as the best – and equally worst – night of his life flashed before his closed eyes in a mad rampant whirlwind of carnal imagery.

Exhaling a heavy sigh as the bittersweet memories began to settle, Ben quickly decided on abandoning his tired sightless search for any form of covering. While Eris had been accommodating enough to provide his cell with some bedding to better enjoy their little tryst, all he could feel beneath him now was the familiar chilled touch of cobblestone floor, the comfy trappings having apparently also gone 'poof' along with his clothes.

Feeling the Ultimatrix still strapped to his wrist, Ben exhaled a small sigh of relief, glad to find that the device hadn't also gone bye-bye. At the very least now he didn't feel totally naked.

Wondering if perhaps luck might have had just a little more to offer, Ben curiously pressed the button to activate the device's transformation display, hoping that it had finished completing its recharge.

Unfortunately, while he still had the Ultimatrix he was not that lucky. "Recharge in progress," the device announced, much to his regret. "Please standby."

With any hope of making a fast getaway still out of reach, the young cold hero simply exhaled another sigh, deciding to just bear out his impending frostbite and try to get some more sleep, he was going to die soon anyway, so catching cold was by far the least of his worries. Besides, if he was lucky enough maybe some good old frostbite actually might help numb some of the pain.

As he curled up into a more fetal position in an attempt to stay warm, he tried his best to ignore the chill razing against his skin by diverting his attention to more soothing distractions from outside his cell, which fortunately, there was quite an abundance to be found, if one listened hard enough.

Trying to relax, Ben listened with growing contentment to the gentle lull of birds merrily chirping from their nests outside to greet the morning with almost joyful abandon, the distant lulling rustle of tall grass calmly swaying in the wind, and – just a little closer to home – the endearing petit snores of a certain powered down mini galvanic mechamorph sleeping in the guardroom just outside his small prison cell.

Despite his bleak situation, Ben couldn't help but smile as his mind slowly began drifting back into the haze of much needed slumber, thinking of his small friend. When he did finally wake up, he would have to remember to ask Alexa if she would look after Ship when he was gone, seeing as the two seemed to get along so swimmingly. He only wished that Ship didn't have to lose another partner, remembering how torn up the little guy had been when they had found out Julie had died.

Exhaling a somewhat content sigh, Ben then fully resigned himself to the full welcoming embrace of slumber as his mind drifted further from consciousness.

However this was short lived, as it was at that moment he was slightly jarred from his sleep by the sudden soft touch of a woman's hand reaching out and grasping his bare shoulder before quickly pulling him into a warm embrace.

A soft throaty purr was then exhaled as arms gently wrapped around him, pulling in his very naked body into the warm, and equally naked, embrace of a woman. Feeling hot soft velvety skin press against him, Ben – now very much awake – was at a complete loss of what to do in this situation. He had never done this sort of thing before – waking up next to someone he didn't even know that is. Yes, he had 'done the deed' to put it politely, but it had always been with a girl he really cared about, like Julie, and that one time after her death with Eunice. Although, technically that had been alien pheromone spores, so that last one didn't really count, especially considering she was dating Elena at the time.

Hoping that the goddess of chaos had remained with him out of the goodness of her heart, Ben gulped nervously as he slowly returned the gesture, resulting in another contented purr as he cautiously wrapped his arms around her peacefully slumbering form.

As one of her legs wandered outward, gently draping itself over his exposed backside as she pulled him in even closer, Ben desperately searched his mind for some answer of just what he was supposed to do here.

Presently he was laying on the floor, in the arms of a very naked woman, a very HOT very naked woman, of whom he had just shared a night of meaningless sex with – albeit by any definition, a night of great meaningless sex with – and with the exception of a few less than honorable notions, and was drawing a complete blank of what to do. Stupid brain!

After a long panicked moment's pause, and with no better ideas springing to mind, Ben decided on just playing it cool. After all, what was there to be worried about? They were both consenting adults, it wasn't like neither of them had been forced to do anything they hadn't wanted to do, right? …well, at least she hadn't anyway.

"Never would have guessed the goddess of chaos for a cuddler," he at last hazarded with a chuckle to his sleeping companion.

"Whhhu?" came a muddled unconscious reply.

Mentally he slapped himself upside the head. 'Never would have guessed the goddess of chaos was a cuddler'? That had been the best he had come up with on the spot? Lame!

Dreading the mocking expression that would no doubt be found on the goddess' face for such a dumb line, he winced slightly at the sudden exposure to the morning's light as he slowly opened his eyes, only to be quickly met with the most horrifying of shocks. Instead of Eris' long jet black raven tresses, Ben had been met with the heart stopping sight of a mane of scarlet red hair lazily draping over his companions features, veiling them from sight.

Emerald eyes instantly growing wide with both terror and recognition, Ben fearfully gave an audible gulp as he hesitantly reached for his companion's face, his hand fearfully trembling like a leaf in the wind as he delicately brushed away the woman's red hair to reveal the slumbering face of Artemis' sister, Alexa.

With dread welling up throughout his very core, all he could only stare in stupefied wide-eyed shock. Unfortunately, his newfound bad situation instantly became even worse as it was then at that moment that that said red headed amazon in his arms chose to reawaken.

Slowly Alexa's eyelids fluttered open, and upon instantly realizing she was neither alone nor clothed, her green eyes were quick to meet with his, at first staring in confusion, and then rapidly in startled panic.

It was at that moment, all time seemed to freeze over as each stared at the other in a pregnant pause suddenly charged and primed to explode as both remained frozen the others' arms, each petrified.

This strange bizarre moment however, was soon to be a fleeting one as Alexa began to return to her senses, albeit ever so slowly. Frantically, her mouth opened and closed, sputtering and stammering in mute silence as she frantically struggled in panic to find any semblance of her voice, while Ben for his part, could only match and return her alarmed gaze.

As the redheaded amazon struggled in confusion to speak, so too was Ben also desperately searching for his voice, frantically searching for some words – any words – that could explain any of this.

Finally finding none to offer, all Ben could do was break the silence between them, only able to speak the thing came to mind, his groaning voice but a mere shadow of a whisper. "Oh, this just sooo cannot be good."


Jarred by the sudden outburst, instantly both Ben and Alexa snapped their heads towards the nearby door to find to their combined dismay Alexa's older sister Artemis, looking none too pleased, or to put it another way, very VERY pissed.

As the naked duo stared in dread at the very enraged redheaded amazon, glaring in raw abhorrent rage at the scene before her, more so at Ben than Alexa, the fear slowly washed away from the young man's face to be replaced by a more deadpan expression. "Knew it," he deadpanned, somehow less than surprised.

Artemis for her part, was livid beyond all words, beyond all reason even, as she stared in growing fury at the pair in each others' arms, her mind a raging torrent of possibilities to explain this horrendous tableau before her. Needless to say, none of them favored Ben much, if at all, and the longer she stared the more incensed she became until Artemis felt as though she were going to explode.

With an ominous calmness that sent chills down the spines of both Ben and Alexa, Artemis reached for the hilt of her sword, grasping it tightly as she slowly pulled it free from its sheath, allowing its polished blade to glint almost hungrily in the morning's light shining in behind her as she slowly turning her gaze on the one who had forced himself on her sister.

Paling of almost all color, Ben gulped fearfully under her searing gaze as he slowly removed himself from Alexa's hold slowly, fearing that the slightest movement would result in imminent 'bye-bye Ben'.

With her blade remaining firmly clutched in hand, Artemis's gaze remained fixed on the young green eyed man as she slowly stepped towards them, almost moving like predator closing in for the kill. "The queen has requested me to escort you this morning, so you may be best prepared for you sentence before her and the gods," she said with slow intent purpose, every word coldly dripping with venomous acid, the likes of which rang every alarm in Ben's instincts to flee, flee fast, and flee NOW! A long grim pause seemed to stretch out between them before enraged sword wielding redheaded amazon continued, her tone even more venomous and menacing than before. "However in light of this, I say… forget the queen, and the gods! YOU! DIE! NOW!"

And with that final primal roar of murderous declaration, Artemis immediately reared back her sword and in a single swift fluid motion murderous intent, violently sending it spearing downward to skewer through his vile heart and forever remove his sickening blight upon their people once and for all.

At this point a lesser man would have likely been dead by now, fortunately a lesser man Ben was not. Between the words 'die' and 'now', and with lightning fast reflexes that would have given Fasttrack a run for his money, Ben had already dove out of the sword's impaling path, resulting in a loud clang of tempered amazon steel meeting stone floor.

Swiftly rebounding in a corner, Ben was quick to scrambled back to his feet in time to block the razor sharp blade of Artemis' sword from separating his head from his shoulders with the steel of the Ultimatrix, much to the redheaded amazon's surprise. While the alien device bound to his left forearm was still inoperable, its indestructible structure still made for a halfway decent shield in a pinch.

Artemis however, was left undaunted. Again and again she fiercely brandished her blade, hacking and slashing at him with unyielding rage, determined to rid the world of his despicable life once and for all only to be matched blow for blow as Ben staved off the enraged redhead's attacks with the alien device.

As the sword and the device again clashed, this time locking the two weapons in deadly embrace while pushing him back against the wall, Artemis delivered a finishing blow by mightily launching her right knee between his legs. The result: devastating, as one would expect.

Exhaling an agonized groan as the most unspeakable of agonies ruptured through his very soul, Ben instantly collapsed to the ground, his whole body trembling with the very purest of pain as he desperately clutched his wounded anatomy.

Watching in morbid satisfaction as he moaned in agony in agony at her feet, Artemis swiftly raised her sword, ready to finish what she had started.

"Sister no!" Alexa shouted as she grabbed her sister's arm, at last jumping into the fray.

That was as far as Alexa got before Artemis angrily pushed her away, knocking her to the ground, recoiling from her very touch as she glared accusingly at the redhead. She had no clue what had transpired here, but it was certainly apparent that her sister bore no sign of rape, a fact which only fueled her anger all the more. All that was certain, was that Ben Tennyson was to blame. "You be silent sister!" she hissed with a snarl, glaring daggers at her sister. "I shall deal with you when I am finished with him!" Returning her attention back on Ben as he lied haplessly at her feet, she slowly raised her sword, the blade readily awaiting to taste his blood. "Any last words, man!"

Through tortured tears streaming from his eyes, Ben nodded as he did his utmost to stave off the throbbing pain coursing throughout his very being. "Y-yeah…" he gurgled, suppressing the bile threatening to rise from his stomach. "So… not… cool…!"

"Artemis please!" Alexa begged, pleading for her sister to see reason.

Before Artemis could react, a green beam of energy suddenly impacted into her with the raw force of a wrecking ball, sending her crashing into the nearest wall.

As Artemis peeled away from the wall with a groan, and collapsed to the ground in an unconscious heap all eyes turned to see a black and green Tetramand neutron concussor in the doorway, a small plume of smoke billowing out from the large barrel. "SHIP!" it snarled as it quickly morphed back into a certain lovable mini mechamorph.

As the pain from Artemis' last blow slowly began to recede, Ben quickly staggered to his feet, leaning against the wall for support as his breathing gradually began to steady itself. "And you've been where now!?" Ben gasped anxiously. "I mean not that I'm not grateful for the assist buddy, but you couldn't have shown up before she decided to juice my kiwis!?"

Ship merely rolled his eye, not really seeing what all the fuss was about. After all, could he help it if he was a heavy sleeper? "Ship ship," he replied with an apathetic shrug, it wasn't as though Ben had had worse.

"You're concern for my wellbeing is overwhelming," Ben retorted somewhat sourly, shaking his head. "Remind me again why exactly you're my sidekick?"

"Ship ship ship ship ship ship?" the mini mechamorph countered sarcastically.

"Oh, there is no way I'm going into this again!" Ben jokingly exclaimed in mock defiance before pointing to the device around his arm. "Ultimatrix equals hero, buddy. If-so-facto; sooo not the sidekick!"

Odds were this playful little banter would have passed back and forth between the duo for some time, as it was one of the pair's favorite 'arguments', but it was then that a hand reached out and tightly seized his shoulder, resulting in a fearful 'eep!' from the young hero. "I don't suppose there's a good explanation for any of this," queried Alexa in a low foreboding tone ominously laced with false cheerfulness.

Exhaling an understandably anxious titter, Ben gulped as he slowly turned to face the red headed woman. "Well, er… um, you see… uh…" he began, drawing an absolute blank, well a blank of anything sounding sane anyway.

Finally, after a long pause Ben at last simply relented with a heavy sigh, knowing he had nothing. "You know what? No, no I do not. Please don't kill me."

At this, Alexa could only stare at Ben, having expected something, anything to explain himself. She had expected lies, stories and wild justifications, not nothing at all. Even more perplexing was the fact she could tell he was being sincere, which meant either he was an exceptionally skilled liar or knew about as much as she did. "You swear you don't know anything?" she asked making sure.

Fighting with every ounce of willpower he had to maintain eye contact with the naked redhead, Ben simply nodded, guessing that looking down would probably be a bad move on his part. "About as much as I do any other day," he answered with a nervous chuckle, deciding it best to err on the side of caution and not mention his little adventure with Eris. If the amazons weren't too keen on the subject of Ares, he doubted the subject of him sexing it up with the war god's daughter would have gone over real well.

A long pause passed between the two, Ben waiting in fearful anxiety, and Alexa studying Ben's features with the scrutiny of a microscope.

Finally after what seemed like a lifetime of endless waiting for the young hero, Alexa released her grip on her shoulder, her decision at last made, much to Ben's nervous chagrin. "Very well Ben Tennyson, I will give you the benefit of the doubt… for the moment anyway."

Ben, to his credit could only stare at her in disbelief. "Seriously!?" he exclaimed, having expected to be feeling some serious hurt at this point. "You mean you actually bought that!?"

"Was there any reason I shouldn't have?" she dubiously inquired, cocking a more than interested eyebrow towards his response.

"Nononono," he quickly answered, flashing the woman a sheepishly fearful grin while mentally kicking himself for having such a big mouth. "Still no explanation that makes sense here."

Once again Alexa remained silent as she once again studied his features, before finally just shaking her head on the conclusion that Ben's mouth spoke faster than his brain could think. "You are a strange man, Ben Tennyson," she sighed as she walked into the guardroom in search of her clothes, which much to her relief, were waiting for her on the bench.

Ben shrugged. "Meh, just so long as I'm a live one," he replied with relieved sigh, earning him another shake of the head and a chuckle from Alexa.

It was at that moment that a low pained groan sounded from a certain other redheaded amazon lying unconscious a mere few feet away. "…Tennyson…!" came a low growl as she began to stir, earning a fearful glance from said Tennyson.

"And speaking of which…" he gulped, quickly making his exit into the guardroom where Alexa was busying herself with the task of redressing herself. As much as he wanted to try and talk this out, considering Artemis seemed hell bent on being in a less than talking mood/sharpening her sword with his intestines, he opted for the safer of his available options, namely getting the hell out of there! "Hey Alexa, if it's all the same to you, I'm going to make a quick jailbreak for it and make some space between me and your sister. You know, before she can wear my skin as an overcoat! Word of advice, you might want to do the same." He then glanced down at his little mechamorph friend, who merely stared back in bewilderment, confused as to what was going on. "You especially, little buddy. See you guys later!"

And with that, and great speed and no hesitation, Ben was already out the door, tearing across the landscape and out of sight before the half clothed amazon even had the chance to object. He regretted bailing like this and leaving them to deal with Alexa's sister, but if experience had taught him anything, it was that when it came to the redheaded amazon, better them than him.

As they watched Ben disappear into the nearby forest, Ship couldn't help but glance up at Alexa as she finished redressing, wondering why everyone was acting so strange. While he may not have fully understood the finer points of human behavior, this particular morning could easily have been classified as 'odd', even to someone as naïve and oblivious as himself.

Blankly, he turned and tilted his head up at Alexa as the redheaded amazon at last finished redressing in her armor, curious as to why her cheeks were now shaded with a crimson hue. If his memory of human idiosyncrasies was accurate, that particular action usually was a sign of embarrassment, which begged the question; what had happened for his new friend to be embarrassed?

Could it have been because of the duos lack of clothes?

Admittedly he didn't fully comprehend the concept of clothing himself, being a Galvanic Mechamorph and all, but for reasons he would probably never fully understand, humans wore them frequently, though why exactly he would never be able to understand. It involved something to do with something else called 'style', yet another bizarre concept alien to him.

Surely it couldn't have been because of Alexa's appearance, if his data on human anatomy served correctly, he was more than certain she would have been considered extremely beautiful… well, by human standards anyway.

In the end, after coming to the same 404 error conclusion over and over again, he simply shrugged it off, deciding it best he just didn't want to know. Humans, just why did they always have to be so weird?

He then turned to Alexa concerned. "Ship ship ship ship?" he asked.

Looking down to her small friend and his big eye looking up at her worried, Alexa couldn't help but smile the adoring of smiles as she scooped him up in her arms, affectionately nuzzling his head. "I'm alright Ship," she replied as she petted his head, eliciting a content purr from the mini mechamorph. "Though I'm afraid the same may not be said for Ben shortly, once my sister wakes up that is."

As if on cue, it was then that Alexa's sharp ears quickly detecting a low groan accompanied by the sharp sound of edged steel scraping against cobblestone behind her.

With a nervous gulp, Alexa slowly turned and peered into the cell to see her not so unconscious sister slowly staggering to her feet, her face twisted into a snarl of seething rage as she struggled to maintain her balance.

Meekly peering into the cell from behind the small prison's main doorframe, Alexa knew that if did not do something quickly then this was a situation that would very swiftly spiral out of control. Too bad she had absolutely no idea just what that something was.

"Ship ship ship ship ship?" Ship nervously asked, eyeing Artemis warily.

Admittedly Alexa supposed she could try reasoning with her sister…

"TENNYSON!" suddenly came an ear piercing scream from within the depths of the cell.

…But then again perhaps not. Artemis did not seem to be in a very reasoning mood.

"Ship, for the moment perhaps it would be best if we follow Ben Tennyson's example and 'make some space' between ourselves and my sister," she suggested, slowly backing away from the entrance as her sister slowly staggered her way towards the door. "Preferably as fast as all possible."

"Ship," he replied anxiously, wholeheartedly nodding in agreement.

In a flash, instantly the mini mechamorph swelled and expanded, quickly wrapping himself around Alexa's body as he transformed himself into his armor form.

Once the transformation had been completed, Alexa's new attire quickly sprouting it's wings, and with the swift roar of jet engines, swiftly sent the combined duo rocketing up into the sky.

Now soaring high over Themyscira, Alexa swiftly altered their trajectory, rocketing towards the palace and the Queen as fast as Ship could carry them.

While Alexa would have preferred to stay and try and calm her sister down herself rather than flee for help, given that last expression on her sister's face, it was clear to see she had made the wiser choice. Besides, she knew when Artemis was this mad, it was probably best to approach her sister with a little extra help… like a battalion.

BEN 10. BEN 10. BEN 10.

"Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch." Ben gingerly whined as he haphazardly stumbled through the lush woods, cutting through the surrounding greenery as best he could.

During his hasty departure from his tiny prison, Ben had wisely opted to take the road less traveled – the forest being the most obvious choice – instead of the actual road nearby, the idea being to better escape a certain redheaded amazon likely already on his tail. This however – as he was already rapidly learning – was proving to be a bit of mistake.

At the moment Ben was in midst of learning a highly valuable lesson, the lesson being; never run through the woods without shoes, or, more to the point, never do it naked! Especially when there was an abundance of burs and pricker bushes!

Once again yelping as a stray burr somehow latched itself onto a particularly sensitive area south of the border, Ben grunted in frustration as he quickly pulled the offending object from his person and swiftly tossed it far to the wayside, more than happy to be rid of it.

Frustrated, he then paused from his painstaking drudgery – emphasis on pain – and exhaled a heavy sigh as he turned his gaze downward to the alien device bound to his wrist, glaring at it in contempt. "You know what, I blame you for this!" he exclaimed, breathing out another aggravated sigh. "I mean you just had to have an Anodite form, didn't you!? And you just had to give me the right guy too, you couldn't have glitched up and given me any other guy like you do like nearly all the time!? Nooooooo! That would have been too easy, wouldn't it?! Well I hope at least you're happy! We're in the middle of some alternate reality, marooned on the literal definition of 'No Mans' Land' – the non porn version I might add, and even as I speak, probably being hunted down by one immensely pissed off Barbie the Barbarian!"

His rant unsurprisingly met only with silence on the Ultimatrix's part, Ben massaged his temples as he tried taking a few calming breaths to steadying his nerves. "I'm having an argument with an overgrown wristwatch, and what's even worse I think I'm losing," he exhaled, shaking his head in disbelief. "Oh and let's not forget the whole talking to myself/Ultimatrix thing, cause that's just all kinds of real healthy."

Taking the opportunity for a quick respite, the young hero breathed another discontented sigh as he leaned against the nearest tree and brushed away some small debris from the soles of his feet, taking the moment to get his bearings and perhaps decide on a direction to take, preferably one with sidewalks if at all possible, oh and clothes, definitely clothes.

Much to his great chagrin however, Ben was greeted only with the same sight as he looked around. "Hmm, let's see… forest, forest and… yep, more forest. So basically, a lot of forest," he mused with a roll of his eyes. "I guess I'll go with option number two: Forest. 'Cause you just know that's so much more different than choices one and three." He paused as he yet again exhaled another sigh. "…and still talking to myself. Real nice. Real healthy Ben."

With his path chosen – the one sans the pricker bushes – the young green eyed once again continued on his way through the woods, hoping that he might come across a path or something while he tried to figure out what to do from here. After all he had pretty much just made a prison break, which in turn meant a search party would soon be in the works – if it wasn't already, which basically meant getting out of the woods quickly would probably be a good thing. Unlike guys such as Wildvine, Spidermonkey or Wildmutt, as regular old Ben Tennyson he was less than at home in the woods, and given that he was on the Amazons' home turf it would probably be best for his health to locate some kind of civilization quick. At least in a more urban setting he might be able to hide, not to mention get some clothes. Of course while all that was all well and good, that might be a bit of a trick, given that – in addition to the naked factor – he was pretty sure he was now completely lost.

After several minutes of slow trudging through dense greenery, Ben once again stopped to gather his bearings. Quickly scanning his surroundings, the young man was relieved to find that – at the very least – he wasn't seeing anything familiar, which meant that he wasn't walking in circles… yet anyway.

Deciding that aimless wandering was getting him nowhere, Ben sat down on a nearby boulder to better ponder on some other way to navigate himself out of there.

As he contemplate on any kind of solution, he couldn't help but crack a small smile in spite of his miserable situation, the woods vaguely reminding him of that starry summer night which now seemed to feel almost like a lifetime ago.

He couldn't help but chuckle at the memory of Gwen's freaked out face back when he'd first gone alien, just classic.

Ben smiled as he remembered that summer. He'd learned a lot that year; that Gwen wasn't such a dweeb, how cool his Grandpa really was, how to use his aliens, and most importantly what it really meant to be a hero when the watch had gone into self destruct mode.

That last memory sent a chill down his spine, the scream of Gwen being taken by the Wildvines still so fresh in his ears almost as though it had happened just now. It had been then, in that horrifying moment, that he had come to understand the true weight of his responsibility for bearing the Omnitrix's awesome power. Fortunately Gwen had survived, and for that he was grateful the experience had only been a lesson learned, not one hard learned.

As he reflected back on those first few summer months, Ben's mind then wandered to the smaller things he had learned from his grandpa – well the stuff he'd more of less paid attention to anyway, stupid ten year old short attention span. Fishing with a pole instead of Rip Jaws… how to tie knots for pitching tents… chocolate covered grasshoppers were actually kind of tasty… fried octopus eyes weren't… holograms could be used to hide destroyed national monuments…

Smiling fondly as he recalled back on better days which now seemed so long ago, it was then that he was snapped out of his nostalgic reverie by the faint sounds of giggling and laughter.

With an intrigued arched eyebrow, Ben quickly rose back to his feet and cautiously followed after the gleeful sounds. Where there was laughter that meant there were people, which also meant there might also be clothes, a way back to the city, and beyond that a boat to get off this screw-loose island.

Vigilantly he took great care with every step as he approached the source of the mirthful sounds, watching his every step like a cat sneaking in on its prey as he stealthily stayed to the densest of foliage, cautiously trying not to be seen. Unfortunately, where there was laughter on this island also meant there were amazons, which – if Artemis was any kind of indication – meant they would be less than thrilled to see him.

Quickly noting the sounds of cascading water intermingled with the sounds of laughter, and noticing the excess moisture in the air and on the surrounding plants, it was easy for Ben to guess he was likely nearing a waterfall which in turn allowed him to breathe a somewhat relieved sigh. The noise of the waterfall would better mask his presence and allow him to move about more freely, without the risk of his presence being heard.

Quietly, the young bearer of the Ultimatrix slowly crept his way behind a large tree extending from the edge of a ridge, and then in a daring moment, peeked from behind his hiding spot as he cautiously turned his gaze downward, only for his green eyes to instantly bulge wide and his mouth to fall open as he gawked at the sight below.

Beneath the ridge was a small crystalline lagoon, fed by several small cascading waterfall curtains that flowed in over the stone face of a nearby overlooking ridge. Truly, it was a sight that any artist on earth or beyond would have wept to behold, however it was not the beauty of this small solitary cove that earned Ben's wide eyed stares.

Laughing, frolicking, and lying about the beaches of the oasis' sandy shores, and swimming in its waters, were a multitude of the amazons, virtually all of them naked, wearing nothing but what they had been born with.

Unable to help himself as he stared at the sight, a smile quickly pulled on his lips as he exhaled he hadn't even been away he'd been holding. "Well now, my day just got a whole lot better," he observed with an ecstatic chuckle. "Can you say 'jackpot'?"

Suffice it to say, Ben could have easily stayed in that spot for the better part of a lifetime, unfortunately it was then he heard a faint snap of a twig breaking behind him. Quickly catching the glint of polished metal as he glanced over his shoulder, Ben quickly threw himself to the side, narrowly missing the razor's edge of Artemis' sword as it was fiercely plunged into the earth. "Just had to say it, didn't I?" he groaned aloud, springing to his feet to face a certain enraged redhead as she ripped her sword out of the ground.

Eyes blazing with a fury like she had never before known, Artemis viciously lunged towards him, violently slashing her sword to cleave his head from his neck. "Filthy wretched bastard!" she raged, as he again dove out of the blade's path. "When I am finished with you the tortures of Hades shall seem like a reprieve!"

Dodging for cover from the cleaving fury of her sword yet again, Ben frantically scrambled to get as much distance between her and him as possible. "Duly noted, and by the way, seriously again with the 'wretched'?" he quipped, his demeanor still strangely intact despite the circumstances. "I mean really, what's up with all the 'wretched' talk? It's almost like the word of the day with you people."

His words only seeming to further fuel her anger, Artemis charged him wildly, savagely swinging her sword like the warrior possessed she had become, only for it to once again miss its intended target as he continued to semi-skillfully evade the blade, and instead cleave its way through the trunk of the tree.

As the tree quickly toppled and mightily came crashing to the ground, Artemis again lunged for Ben eager for her sword to spill his blood, and as much of it as possible. "I am going to cut your arms and legs from your body, then rip out your innards and feed them to the pigs!" she roared as he ducked another attack. "But not before I shove my arm so far down your throat I can rip off your manhood from the inside out!"

At that Ben was forced to arch a disturbed eyebrow at the enraged amazon as his face paled. "Ooooo-kaaaay… firstly there is not an 'EW!' big enough to respond to that mental image," he retorted, wincing at the imagery of her statement as he once again quickly jumped out from the path of her blade. "And secondly, and for the record, you know we really have got to stop meeting like this. People are going to talk."

For the briefest of moments Artemis gave sudden pause, ceasing in her murderous onslaught against the young green eyed teen to stare at him, lost in a stupor of sudden blinding rage. Unfortunately for a certain green eyed teen such moments were fleeting.

If Artemis hadn't been mad before, she was certainly mad now. A fact that was more than evident for the brown haired hero in the flaring of her features. "First you dare defile my sister, and now you have sheer audacity to insinuate-?!I am going to SKIN! YOU! ALIVE!"

And with that, Artemis leapt towards Ben, her sword readily and eagerly poised to sever him in half.

"Wow, did I so call the skin thing."

BEN 10. BEN 10. BEN 10.

Slowly lowering herself into the warm crystalline waters, Persephone breathed a sigh of contentment, closing her eyes peacefully as she basked in the sensation of her delicate porcelain skin tingling by the churning of the nearby waterfall.

Sadly however, the calming waters did very little to quell the pains of loss and yearning gnawing away at the core of her soul.

Listening to the laughter of her sisters' frivolities, the sounds of their jubilance being nothing more than heart wrenching peels of mockery upon her ears, the blonde amazon suppressed the impulse for an angry scowl to cross her features and reveal the falsehood of the happy smile she now wore.

Opening her eyes, she looked down at her reflection in the water, and find only the face of a stranger, or rather a face of someone not since seen in thousands of years.

Unconsciously, her hand tentatively wandered its way to her cheek as she stared at her reflection, touching the skin where once the scar that had been so deeply engraved into her flesh, only reaffirming that her eyes did not belie what they saw; the face of a stupid naïve fool that had long since died away. A face she now despised with all her heart.

Unable to stomach the sight of her own reflection another moment longer, Persephone once again closed her eyes as she dipped deeper into the water, submerging until it had almost reached her nose as she recalled back on simpler times, times when she had adamantly and so stupidly trusted in the Amazonian way.

It had seemed so long ago, yet at the same time as she looked back on it all, only felt as though it were the mere passing of a few minutes.

Part of her resisted the fleeting urge to chuckle as she recalled just how infantile and foolhardy she had once been back in the days of Themyscira's infancy.

It all seemed so pure and innocent then, when she and her sisters had first walked upon the shores of their new home, a paradise for them to thrive in peace where not even time itself could lay claim to them.

She remembered the days much like this one, where she and her sister's would frolic like children amidst the fields and streams with utter abandon as they reveled in their newfound tranquility, a time where she might have been called innocent, the stains of bloodshed long since dissolved from her hands. But in the end for her paradise had been nothing but a mere illusion.

As time had worn on, their people had thrived, flourishing in their new paradise home to quickly rise from mere primitive huts to forge their mighty city, Persephone slowly had began to experience an emptiness in her, a longing for something that eluded her grasp, and as time continued on with its march the emptiness only grew, and with it the realization of the truth; they had not been blessed, but cursed.

Her sisters hadn't been able to see it, still blinded by the veil of deceit that Themyscira truly was, but she had.

Yes, unlike her naïve amazon sisters, Persephone had slowly come to see the truth; Themyscira was not the paradise they had been promised, it was nothing but a gilded cage. Here there was no chance for true betterment, only the slow stale degradation of complacency, where the Amazons could never grow and change with the rest of the world as they should have… as SHE should have!

And so too with this newfound understanding, came the realization of what she had been yearning for all this time… a life of family, of children, and perhaps even – if he were deemed worthy – a husband. All of which had been denied her.

It had been for this reason she had come to foster a deep hatred of the gods, and in time – as they bestowed Hippolyta with the gift of a child to claim her own – the queen, and then even the Amazons themselves, and without a doubt so too more than likely it had been for this reason that Ares had taken interest in her.

In spite of herself, the false smile she now wore quickly faded away to one of genuine happiness as she thought of her beloved god of war.

Ares… the very thought of his name instantly made her long for the gentle caress of his lips against hers, what would have been the culmination of a century's courtship, and yet another pleasure she had again been denied.

It was for these reasons that she found the sight of her restored face so disgusting. What once had been a visage that her beloved had so passionately admired for its character of strength, had been returned back to the face of the fool she had once been, by no less than the man who had slain Ares.

Behind her perfect false smile, Persephone's teeth clenched in rage at the very thought of Ares' killer; Ben Tennyson. It was because of him that she now so hated her sight of her face so, the face of the proud amazon she had once so foolishly been. Even now as she glanced into the waters she could see that person's perfect eyes gazing back at her in mockery of the person she had become, and always reminding her of her heartbreaking loss, ultimately scarring her more deeply than any blade ever could.

Even adding further insult to injury, was that she couldn't help but reflect on just how greatly Ares would have applauded the sheer poetry of such cruel irony.

Beneath the water, a dark grin then briefly pulled at her lips, also knowing just how he would have applauded the irony that not only would Persephone be granted her revenge, but it would be under the order of Hera herself, the very one who ordered his imprisonment of mortality on Themyscira.

And oh, just how sweet her revenge would be. The very thought of the bloody vengeance she would soon wreak upon her beloved's murderer caused her to all but salivate while a tingle of pure dark delight prickled her skin, eliciting a quiet malevolent giggle from her throat.

While the blonde amazon then merrily pondered to her ever growing delight the many tortures she planned to slowly end Ben Tennyson's life with, she failed to notice a certain princess of the amazons swimming up to her.

"Good morning Persephone," Diana greeted with a warm smile, playfully splashing the blonde with a giggle, quickly snapping the blonde out of her reverie.

Once again opened her eyes, and Finding Diana floating before her, Persephone couldn't help but greet the raven haired young woman with a truly genuine smile. "Good morning to you to my princess," she replied, with a laugh returning the juvenile act in kind. "I'm glad to see that recent events have not hampered your childishness."

Happily returning the laugh, Diana shook her head. "I prefer to think of it as having a sense of humor Persephone."

"Yes… a childish sense of humor," the blonde retorted with a snort.

With another laugh, Diana could only begrudgingly concede her point, to which Persephone couldn't help but join in with her princess' laughter. While it was true the blonde amazon hatefully resented Hippolyta for being blessed with child by the gods when she so unfairly had not, she could not hold the same regard for Diana. While to the others Diana was their dear little sister, since she had first held Hippolyta's tiny beautiful baby in her arms, princess Diana had instantly become the closest thing Persephone had ever had to a daughter of her own, and to this very day, loved her as any mother could, cherishing each and every moment they spent together.

As said surrogate daughter swam to her side, Persephone greeted her with a warm smile. "I am glad to see the new day has softened your spirits," she chuckled. "I had not seen you in such a foul mood since your first horse riding lesson."

A brief pouting scowl crossed Diana lips while her brow furrowed at the memory of said incident. "Must we dredge up the past Persephone?" asked Diana with a mild groan.

"Yes, yes we must," Persephone teased with a laugh. "Especially the more entertaining moments."

Diana scowled sourly at the memory. "I fail to see just what was so entertaining about that particular moment."

Again Persephone laughed. "That was only because you were the one thrown from the horse my princess. To this day I still laugh at the tantrum you threw."

"One can hardly fault a child for being upset for such a thing," the Themyscirian princess defended.

"Yes, especially since the mare felt it best to throw you into that cart of manure," Persephone laughed as she burst into a fit of hysterical giggling. "Of course that paled in comparison to the sight of you chasing after that poor mare, screaming for its head."

While Persephone gleefully continued in her hysterics, Diana visibly grimaced at the memory while heavily blushing in humiliation, still greatly mortified by the memory which was easily one the most embarrassing moments of her life. "It should have known better than to cross the princess of the Amazons," Diana defended sheepishly.

"Yes, I believe you expressed that point greatly, until Queen Hippolyta intervened that is," Persephone chuckled. "What exactly was your punishment for such behavior again, two months of stable duty?"

"…Four. By myself," Diana confessed in sour embarrassment.

"Most bitterly too I might note," observed the blonde, detecting the less than subtle hint of bitterness in her words. "Though if memory serves correctly I believe it was you who demanded the wildest and most willful horse. Something about 'no creature being too great for the princess of Themyscira to surmount'."

Diana groaned in humiliation as she slunk deeper into the waters, the memories of the numerous prideful follies of her childhood churning in her mind like a bad headache. "Was I really so arrogant?"

Teasingly, Persephone couldn't help but playfully arch an eyebrow. "'Was' my princess?"

Diana returned her blonde sister's teasing gaze with a pouting scowl. "I am in no way that spoiled child anymore Persephone," she exclaimed in mock outrage.

"So you say my princess, but all evidence to the contrary might suggest otherwise," Persephone teased.

"And what evidence might that be?" Diana jovially demanded.

"I believe your latest tantrum involving our newest prisoner would be a prime example," Persephone retorted with a chuckle.

Reminded of her last encounter with Ben Tennyson, the smile gracing Diana's face instantly eroded away into a loathsome scowl, his very memory evoking great anger. "He should be grateful a 'tantrum' is all that he received from me!" she practically shouted in outrage.

As a strained moment of silence passed between the two while the Amazonian princess angrily stared off into space, Persephone quietly exhaled a depressed sigh, recognizing she had just inadvertently ruined the mood and ended their playful repartee.

It wasn't until several moments later that Persephone again spoke, breaking their shared silence. "What troubles you about him my princess?"

Diana sighed, not sure where to even begin. "I honestly wish I knew," she answered uncertainly. "He is without question the most obnoxious..! Loathsome…! Irritating…! INFURIATING…! IMPERTINANT…!" Hastily Diana took quick pause from her reply turning tirade and took a cleansing breath, trying her utmost to not let her anger deteriorate her composure. "Forgive me Persephone. I am afraid my spirits have not softened as much as I would prefer since my last encounter with Ben Tennyson. Honestly, I can barely fathom how you were able to stand guard over him without separating his head from his shoulders just to silence him."

Oh just how little the princess truly knew, the blonde beside the princess couldn't help but darkly reflect.

"I will admit the thought had crossed my mind," Persephone truthfully confessed. "Gods know that the silence alone surely would be reason enough for such action."

Diana chuckled at that, and once again a pause passed between the two, this time one of humored reflection as they both recalled Ben Tennyson's seemingly unyielding obnoxious idiocies. Which for, if nothing else, was reason enough he should be an enemy of all Amazon kind, if only to just shut him up.

The humored moment between them however, seemed to erode away, matching the solemn expression that had slowly formed over Diana's face while she thought of Ben Tennyson, or more specifically his fate. Even now she was still plagued with doubts about him.

Noting the somber change in her surrogate daughter's features, Persephone waited patiently for Diana to speak what it was that was troubling her so.

At last, after a few more moments of silence between them the princess spoke. "Persephone… you have killed before right?"

"I think you know the answer to that Diana," Persephone replied, with a slight chuckle. "Now please my princess, just speak what is troubling you."

"Sorry," she apologized sheepishly. "What I suppose I mean to say is, what is it like to kill an enemy, or rather what I mean is how did it feel? I mean really feel."

Persephone arched an eyebrow at the princess, curious as to why she would ask something like that. "I think that would be a question better suited between you and your mother," she at last answered.

"I suppose," Diana replied.

"Then why ask me?" Persephone posed curiously.

Diana was silent once again. "I don't know," she at last answered with a sigh. "It is just that mother believes that you will not spare Ben Tennyson's life when he faces you today…"

"She believes correctly," Persephone firmly replied. "Am I right to assume he's the reason for such questions?"

Diana nodded hesitantly. "Yes… he is," she sighed begrudgingly. "It is just that despite his unending obnoxiousness, I still cannot help but feel the smallest niggling of doubt as to whether or not he deserv-"


Instantly something suddenly came crashing down into the water, sending a giant torrential surge of water splashing in all directions, drenching all other unfortunate bystanders while those closest were swept under by the sudden deluge of a small tidal wave.

Being among those in the later party, Diana sputtered and coughed the water from her lungs as she frantically swam back to the surface.

As she swiftly pulled her drenched hair from her eyes and instinctively surveyed the area, it was then that Ben Tennyson suddenly burst up from the shallow edge of the small lagoon as he scrambled to the shore, coughing in sputtering in much the same fashion.

As with every other amazon present, Diana's eyes widened as she stared in dumbstruck silence as he turned, awkwardly meeting her sapphire blue eyes with his emerald greens with a sheepishly awkward apologetic grin as her cheeks quickly hued a blush of deep crimson red.

Glancing about and quickly feeling the stares of the many eyes upon him, Ben followed their stares downwards, and upon realizing just what they were all looking at, he immediately gave a startled yelp, speedily covering himself as best he could with his hands. "Laaaaadiiiiiiiieeees…" he sheepishly greeted with a nervous yet somehow still flirtatious gulp.

Noting the cold glaring scowls returned by the comment, Ben gave a fearful gulp as he slowly backed away from the water, guessing they just might not construe his presence all that well. Although to his credit, when he'd jumped Ben had only two choices at the time; sliced to bits by the not-so-sane enraged redhead with the big ass sword, or suicidal jump into spring of very naked ladies. And now, as the awkward silence continued to prolong, and he stared in growing silent dread at the many nude women before him, Ben couldn't help but give brief pause, unable to help but frankly lament to himself just how much this was the worst and best jailbreak ever!

Finally after what seemed like an eternity of charged silence, Ben at last decided to just throw caution to the wind. "Aw what the heck," he sighed, deciding to just cut to the chase. "I'm just going to say it. Can anyone spare me a pair of pants? It's getting a little drafty out here this morning."

Less than to his surprise, his question was only met with the deafeningly silent cold glares of the amazons, the shock of his sudden presence having already rapidly waned in favor for the hostility clearly evident in their glowering eyes.

Ignoring the numerous angry fixed stares, Ben merely gave a dismissive shrug and carried on. "Okay forget the pants," he said. "Anybody got an extra one of those toga type things?"

Again his question was met only with frosty silent glares.

"Perhaps a beach blanket maybe?"

Frosty silent glares.

"An unused towel perchance?"

Silent glares.

"Possibly a spare serviette?"


"Yeesh, tough crowd. Seriously ladies, a little charitable protection of my modesty would be real great right now, I refer you to the aforementioned draft."

Realizing the general kindness of strangers was not in the cards that morning, Ben instead decided on trying to make the best of the awkward moment and get in a few quips as he turned his attention to a certain pair of amazons, greeting them with a quick wave, much to the risk of his exposure. "Hey Persephone, hi princess, it's me Ben… Ben Tennyson, you know, the 'miserable cowardly wretch' slash not so silent chewy nougat center man slash guy still presently feeling one serious draft. So… how you doing today?" he practically crowed with the faintest whisper of a lecherous grin. "Good day for a swim right? Sorry for suddenly dropping by like this. Nice boobies by the way."

While Persephone merely returned his seemingly unending obnoxiousness with a cold hateful scowl, Diana's eyes suddenly widened and her face burned redder than a tomato as the raven haired princess immediately covered her exposed chest and plunged herself deeper into the water to hide herself while her onlooker daringly cast her a cheeky wink.

"Seriously though," he continued on with a chuckle, his fun now had. "About that serviet-?"


Eyes wide, Ben's gaze immediately dropped downward to the spear now suddenly sticking out from between his legs, deeply imbedded in the tree behind him, having missed his most cherished of appendages by no more than a mere half inch. "Aw COME ON!" he exclaimed in protest. "Who the hell takes a spear swimming!?"

It was then that the assembled amazons, having quickly snapped out of their stupor, quickly went for their cast aside clothier on the shores, or more accurately their weapons with them, causing Ben's eyes to grow wide in panic.

Nervously, he took a cautious step backward, readying to make a hasty retreat. "…and that would be my answer," he quipped with a gulp, staring in stunned disbelief at the sight of nearly every amazon now brandished a lethal weapon "And I'm also thinking my cue to exit."

Just then as he turned to make a break for it, a feral scream cut through the air as something suddenly came crashing down into the spring's waters, a notably redheaded and extremely pissed off something brandishing a big ass sword.

"Correction; that would be my cue to exit," he amended with another gulp, quickly paling as Artemis rose up from the waters and slowly charged to the shore, struggling against the water's impeding inertia. "Well I hate to cut and run – or to just be cut period – so I'm just going to skip to the run part. Bye bye now."

And without further adieu and so much as another moment's hesitation, Ben quickly took the given cue, rapidly spinning around on his heel and broke into a dead run, fleeing the scene as fast as his legs could carry him, leaving behind in his wake one stunned red faced princess, a vengeful bloodthirsty blonde, several armed amazons in the midst of redressing themselves to give chase, and one heavily armed and extremely livid redhead already in hot pursuit after him.

Needless to say, so far things were not promising to make this one of Ben's better mornings.

BEN 10. BEN 10. BEN 10.

Hippolyta's brow furrowed as she stared silently upon Alexa standing before her, clad in the mechanically armor of the small alien creature named Ship as she reflecting upon the story just relayed to her by her redheaded sister.

It had been an otherwise peaceful morning as all typically were on Themyscira, as Hippolyta had been greatly enjoying her breakfast with Phillipus while the two had jovially conversed amongst themselves in the Queen's garden, discussing matters widely varying from matters such as the preparations for seasonal harvesting to just laughing as they recalled varying misfortunes that had befallen the queen's daughter in her childhood. The latter always being a favorite subject between the two and a never ending source for Diana, should the princess happen to be present.

Today however, such traditions had been cut short as the combined duo of Alexa and Ship had shattered the usual morning tranquility as the two had so abruptly come crashing into their midst from above, before both had anxiously relayed the news of Ben Tennyson escape.

Reflecting particularly on the details of Ben and Alexa's inexplicable 'closeness' described to her, Hippolyta's eyes flared darkly while Alexa in turn fidgeted nervously, undoubtedly fearing the worst from what such a story just might imply.

Alexa however needn't have worried so. Unlike her daughter, Hippolyta was not one to jump so easily to such conclusions. It was clear to her from Alexa's body language and confusion that the redheaded amazon was not at fault in this instance. Ben Tennyson however, well as of yet that remained to be seen. Gods knew he certainly seemed capable of committing something so monumentally stupid. But whatever the case, one thing remained clear, Ben Tennyson needed to be found and returned back into custody immediately, before things spiraled any further out of hand than they already head.

After a long moment of pondering, Hippolyta at last spoke. "Phillipus, prepare the guard immediately to search the island for Ben Tennyson and Artemis," she instructed. "I want them both found and brought before me, unharmed. And I want that last fact to be made perfectly clear when you relay my orders to the guards. Unfortunately I fear there will be many amidst our sisters who share in Artemis' sentiments for his recent actions."

"Understood my queen," replied the captain of the guard with a respective bow.

"As for you Alexa," she continued, turning to address the redhead. "You and your…" She paused briefly, trying to think of the best word to describe the mini Mechamorph presently cladding her sister. "…'companion' will assist Phillipus and the search party in finding, and if necessary, detaining either the prisoner or your sister. I am certain small Ship's abilities to will be a boon while searching the island."

"We will not fail you Queen Hippolyta," Alexa avowed.

"Ship ship ship ship," the mini mechamorph happily agreed, graciously thanking the queen.

As she smiled, finding the alien creature's childlike words to be overly endearing, not just plain adorable, it was then that they heard a distant cry, which from the sound of it was coming from the streets of the nearby city.


The three women blankly gazed off into the distance from whence the sudden cry had came, each completely at a loss as to how to even respond, save for the quiet mortified groan from Ship, who to his unending chagrin found it to be just another typical day.

After a brief moment of listening to the faint sounds of ensuing commotion, Hippolyta exhaled a sigh as she shook her head and rose to her feet, suddenly deciding it best that she accompany her sisters. "At the very least we may console ourselves in the knowledge that you both will not have to search far," she added as they made their way out of the garden, only able to guess what manner of madness was ensuing as Alexa and Phillipus could only slowly nod in agreement.

BEN 10. BEN 10. BEN 10.

Running for his life, Ben madly sprinted through the paved streets of the amazon city, leaping over carts, stands, and the occasional horse as he raced wildly with near XLR8 level speeds past several startled amazons.

Darting into a narrow alleyway, he just narrowly avoid the salvo of arrows suddenly barraging the main streets from above, fired from the bows of the small makeshift posse of extremely irate amazons quickly closing in from behind.

At the moment Ben couldn't help but be was grateful for his presently more confined urban surroundings. While slightly cramped, the more closed quarters of the alleyways at least made it more difficult to shoot things at him, not to mention limit his pursuers' numbers, which allowed him to focus more on the task quite literally at hand as he ran. "Come on…! Come on…!" he begged in growing panic as rounded another corner, repeatedly pressing the activation switch to the Ultimatrix again in desperation. "Work already!"

"Recharge in progress," came the device's monotone reply to his ever growing chagrin. "Please standby."

Hearing the approaching clamor of his pursuers not far behind Ben frantically continued pressing the button again and again in panic, ignoring the reply. "I got that the first twenty times! What I need here is less chitchat and a lot more hero smack."

"Recharge in progress," it repeated, deaf to his desperate pleas. "Please standby."

"Come on just give me somebody, anybody!" he begged as a stray arrow narrowly grazed his left shoulder, urging him on even faster. "Seriously anybody at all would be a good thing right now. I'm not picky, anybody at all. Fasttrack, Jetray, Crashhopper, Spidermonkey, Terraspin, Timbre Wolf, AmpFibian, Toepick…" In spite of his situation, at that last suggestion the young hero instinctively gave an audible shudder, visibly blanching with revulsion, utterly repulsed by the very thought. "…okay, maybe not Toepick. But anybody else seriously wouldn't kill me right about now! In fact they would pretty much do kind of the opposite! So would you please cut me a little slack, preferable before the barbarian Barbie squad back there gets the chance to!?"

"Recharge in progress. Please standby."


Rounding another corner, Ben quickly came to a screeching sudden halt, barely stopping himself from crashing full on into the stone wall of a dead end.

As he quickly turned to make a quick escape, he stopped short as his emerald eyes quickly spotted the shadows of his fast approaching pursuers looming at the opposite end of the alleyway.

"I think he went down her sisters," a voice exclaimed..

"Good," came the chilling voice of the Artemis, his most relentless of pursuers. "There's nowhere for that filthy wretch to run now. It's a dead end."

"With emphasis on 'dead'," he gulped to himself, wincing somewhat at the irony as he began frantically searching his surroundings for some form of salvation.

Unfortunately, his only ray of hope was the faintest shambles of an idea as he took note of the especially narrow alley walls around him. It was an idea that would have worked easily had he been Spidermonkey, but as plain old Ben was just plain stupid. Still, it was the only idea he had.

Without a moment's hesitation he acted, leaping to the wall at his right with all his might, jumping as high as his legs could take him and then no sooner had his hands and feet made contact with the wall, he immediately rebounded off of it, catapulting himself at the other wall.

Quickly repeating this action over and over again, he quickly made his ascent up the alley walls until at last he snagged the edge of ledge with his arms and pulled himself up, frantically scrambling his way onto the building's roof and out of sight, just mere milliseconds before Artemis and the accompanying lynch mob burst onto the scene.

Artemis and the amazons stared at the empty blind alley, confused and perplexed.

Finding no trace of the wretched man, the sword wielding redhead's eyes immediately flared in pure fury. "Where the hell is he?!" she screamed to the heavens, before turning her enraged glare on her sisters.

"I… I… I…" the amazon who had spotted take this turn blankly stammered to Artemis, completely at a loss.

With a agitated huff Artemis shook her head and angrily shoved her way past her sisters. "Just find him!" she growled at them menacingly. "I want his head on a pike for what he did to Alexa!"

A heated murmur of agreement quickly spread amongst the other amazons as they followed after their sister, in search of the escaped prisoner.

Waiting patiently as he listened to his pursuers speedily exit the alley below, Ben remained deathly silent on the rooftop, neither moving so much as a muscle nor even breathing a single breath as he waited until he was sure they had gone.

After about a minute of waiting, the young hero at last silently exhaled and began breathing again, or rather, panting again, this time in relief. His feet may have been bleeding, his chest might have felt ready to collapse in on itself, and he was certain his heart was about to explode, but for pretty much the first time since crashing on this crazy ass greek rock he was safe – well, for the moment at least.

Glancing over his shoulder as he pondered his next move from here, he stared over the ledge down at the narrow blind alley below; amazed he had actually managed to scale its walls as he had. "I… cannot… believe… that actually… worked," he gasped in exhaustion, trying to catch his breath. Fortunately it did not take him long. Going more than five minutes without cracking a joke was all but painful for him. "Thank you so much Super Mario," he said shaking his head, still barely able to believe he'd done it. "Clearly my days lost playing your many games have apparently been time well spent."

"Well should you live to see this 'Super Mario' again you should be sure to thank him."

Immediately Ben froze.

As his face immediately paled of all color, slowly he turned around to find a certain raven haired princess of the amazons floating overhead, now clad in a white silk tunic as she looking down on him, arms crossed and a scowling icy glare.

To his credit Ben sat there, gazing in awe for a prolonged moment of stunned silence, unable to do much else than beheld the graceful ethereal beauty of the wingless angel floating before him, absolutely transfixed with the awe best compared to that of a once blind man gazing upon the beauty of the rising dawn for the first time. Or – from the way she was staring at him – perhaps more accurately just with the dread of a deer in the headlights of oncoming semi-truck.

Whatever the case Ben at came out of his spellbind revelry as he at last found his voice again. "Quick question; can all of you fly?" he questioned frankly. "'Cause if so, I'm really going to need to rethink my escape plan."

Diana's scowl only darkened as she glared down at him. "Have you no shame!?" she seethed, glaring in disdain at his nakedness.

Ben glanced downwards at said nakedness, and after a brief moment gave a dismissive shrug. "Hmmm, shame… shame… Ummm… nope, not really."

"I should have realized," she said with disgust. "Men must truly be the vile brazen wretches my sisters forewarned me. To so wantonly parade yourself around in such blatant impious fashion…"

"'Impious'?" he parroted in some amusement. "Geez, what do you do, carry around a thesaurus?" He then shook his head already weary of the conversation. "Look princess, it's been fun seeing you, especially the parts of you I'm not seeing right now. But I'm kind of in the midst of a jailbreak gone horribly horribly wrong, which means I've got to go now. So bye-bye, y'all come back now, you hear?"

Angrily Diana gritted her teeth in a snarl, heatedly intensifying her glare. "Listen you miserable wretc-!"

"No you listen!" he angrily snapped as he jumped to his feet, startling her, his waning patience having finally come to an end. While normally he took most misfortunes life never failed to send his way with his usual easygoing grain of salt, he did in fact have a limit, and as of this moment, had officially reached it. "I'm fed the hell up with this crap! Yeah, that's right, I said it!" He then sent the floating princess a pissed off glare of his own. "You got a problem with me being all exposed and fully poseable? Well excuuuuuuuse ME your highness! I can't help but notice that despite your objections to it, you haven't exactly snagged me something to cover up with! Oh, and just for the record, there's been no 'parading' on my part. In case you didn't noticed I was being chased by a crazed up redhead with a freakin' broadsword, which doesn't exactly give a guy much chance to stop and smell the roses, never mind clothe the loins, does it?! Now either beat the ever loving hell out of me, or try and take me in, or leave me be. Whatever, I don't care anymore, but I'll be damned if I'm going take so much as a second more of this sexist anti-man 'wretch' crap! And yes, I freaking said it again! Crap! Crappety! Crap! Crap! Crap! So in conclusion; screw you, and Happy Hanukkah!"

With his frustrations at last been vented, Ben inhaled a gasp as he reclaimed the air lost by his tirade, glad to finally get that off his chest.

Eyes wide Diana stared at the young man in a loss, stunned. However this was short lived, as Diana's shock was quick to fade as her face began to burn crimson red with anger and her eyes quick to narrow back into an enraged glare, one even more livid than before, and one he fully recognized from general past experience.

As Diana tightly clenched her right hand into a fist and slowly reared it backwards readily, Ben closed his eyes and swallowed a hard gulp.


BEN 10. BEN 10. BEN 10.

"Well?!" Artemis demanded, glaring at the returning trio of amazons who had just returned from scouting one of the nearby temples.

The three amazons each shook their heads. "No sign of him," the leader of the scouting party replied with sigh.

As a murmur of bewilderment quickly swept through the ranks of the assembled amazon horde, Artemis angrily launched her fist into the nearest stone wall. "Dammit!" she roared, ignoring the ensuing pain from her fist as she removed it from the dent in the stone wall. "Where the hell is he?! He couldn't have just vanished into thin air!"

Once again, the murmur quickly swept throughout the ranks of the makeshift search party, each of them at a loss.

They had been hot on his trail, no more than the mere turn of a corner from trapping him like the wretched vermin he truly was, when suddenly, without explanation he had simply vanished without a trace.

For over five minutes, the assembled horde had searched every nearby building and turned the marketplace upside down, quite literally in fact as one could see by the overturned stands and carts of fruit, meats, vegetables, clothes and curios strewn about the street.

As yet another scouting party returned to the main group, Artemis coldly greeted them with a restrained angry glare, silently demanding they tell her news contrary to that already visible on their faces.

"No sign of him in the bathhouse," the leader of the returned search party quickly informed their redheaded sister.

Grinding her clenched teeth, Artemis' face reddened with rage as she exhaled an infuriated snarl, immediately prompting her sisters to warily retreat a few steps back, lest they inadvertently find themselves on the receiving end of her fury.

What little patience she had finally at an end, Artemis ripped her sword from its sheath as she walked to the center of the street so as to be clearly visible for all seen or unseen. "Enough of these cat and mouse games!" she roared aloud, the thunder of her words carrying for miles. "Show yourself NOW Ben Tennyson! If you have any kind of honor in you you will face me for what you have done to my sister! Show yourself NOW, and I will ensure my sword make your death a quick one!"

A long stretch of silence quickly followed in the wake of the redheaded amazon's proclamation as a hush fell over the other amazons, each waiting with baited breath to see if the escaped prisoner truly would reveal himself.

It was until the passing of several moments that the silence was broken. "As tempting an offer that might be Artemis, I imagine one can hardly fault him for not accepting," a familiar voice timely quipped from behind the assembled amazon posse.

All amazons present quickly turned, and the crowd swiftly parted to reveal the Queen, and standing by her side, Phillipus, and armored in the living metal garb of her small alien companion, Artemis' sister Alexa. And behind them, a small squad of armed guards.

With all eyes and ears now on her, the raven haired ruler of the amazons stepped forward as she approached the redheaded ringleader of the lynch mob. "Tell me something Artemis, exactly what in the name of Hera is it you think you are doing!?" she demanded, expertly restraining her anger as she glared at the armed redhead.

"Seeking my sister's retribution my Queen-" Artemis began.

"Be silent Artemis, lest you wish to dig your grave deeper!" snapped Hippolyta, cutting the redhead off, clearly in no mood for mincing words. "That was a rhetorical question." She then turned her glowering gaze on Artemis' mob of compatriots, each visibly flinching under the cold stare. She then gestured to the surrounding debris strewn about the streets. "And one that could be asked of all of you as well."

Shamefaced, the mob of amazons fought the urge to look away from the captain of the guard, fearing what breaking eye contact from their queen might wreak.

Artemis however was not so fearful of their leader. "My queen, with all due respect, we are just in our actions," she said with a restrained snarl. "You would have me, or any of us to act no less against one who has defiled one of our own? That miserable wretch will pay my sword with his blood for defiling Alexa!"

"Excuse me sister, but as the one allegedly 'defiled' I think that would be my decision to make, not yours," Alexa began as Ship retracted the visor and helmet from her head, allowing her to better address her sister. "One which I should add, be made with an informed calm mind."

Artemis stared at her sister incredulous. "Calm mind!? Calm mind!?" she exclaimed. "He raped you!"

"That has yet to be seen Artemis," Alexa pointed out. "All that is known is that I awoke next to him. Beyond that it seems his only crime has been fleeing from you. A crime, I might add, I can hardly fault him, given your present disposition."

"Ship ship, ship ship ship," Ship quickly chimed in.

"Yes yes Ship, and killing Ares," Alexa quickly acknowledged with an agreeing sigh.

"Have you taken all leave of your senses Alexa!?" Artemis angrily exclaimed in disbelief. "The evidence of his actions are as clear as day." She then scowled a glare of suspicion towards the suit of living mechamorph armor presently garbing her sister. "Or maybe perhaps, you fail to see that because you are being blinded by that monstrosity you clothe yourself in."

Without warning, the barrel of a plasma cannon was suddenly formed over Alexa's right arm and pointed at Artemis' face. "Watch what you say of my friend sister, lest I forget myself," Alexa cautioned with a low growl as she lowered her arm and retracted the weapon.

"Enough of this!" Hippolyta commanded, immediately causing the two redheads to snap to attention as she cast both of them matching scowls of disapproval. "I will have no infighting amongst my sisters. At the moment we have much more pressing matters to attend to, namely finding and recapturing the prisoner before his prolonged absence run the risk of bringing down Hera's wrath upon us all. And when I say 'recaptured' I also mean unharmed." She then cast a foreboding glare on all assembled amazons with particular emphasis on Artemis. "Is that understood?"

Begrudgingly, a low almost inaudible murmur swept through the crowd, the memory of their thrashing at the hands of the Rath creature still very fresh and very much lingering in many of their minds. However this was quickly stifled by a cold glare from the queen.

Silence once again restored and all attention commanded on her, the amazonian queen opened her mouth to begin issuing instruction.

However, she was never given the chance. Before Hippolyta could even so much as utter as syllable she was suddenly cut off by the frantic cry from above. "INCOMING!"

All eyes were immediately turned skyward in time to see the naked form of Ben Tennyson plummeting out of the sky and crashing into their midst, slamming into the paved street with the full force of a wrecking ball.

As the dust from the impact quickly began to settle, and Ben slowly rose from the him shaped dent he had left in the street, all eyes present stared in stunned disbelief, amazed that he was still alive from such an impact.

Apparently the amazons weren't the only ones amazed either. "I'm alive?" Ben stated in disbelief while he staggered about trying to stay upright. Quickly he double checked this surprising fact by speedily patting himself over. He had just been nailed in the jaw with a punch which easily could stopped runaway freight train cold, launching him into the stratosphere – or as close as possible, considering he'd come crashing face first into some kind of invisible barrier, which traveling at near mach two speeds had not felt fun – and finally had taken a haphazard skydive without a parachute, also not fun. Needless to say he wasn't sure how he was still breathing, let alone without so much as a single scratch on him, but whatever the case, Ben – ecstatic by the revelation – joyously fell to his knees and thrust fist up to the sky in triumph. "I'M ALIVE! Don't know how or care but STILL ALIVE!"

"Ahem," coughed Phillipus, drawing his attention to notice the battalion of amazons surrounding him.

Quickly talking stalk of his surroundings, or more accurately the surroundings surrounding him, Ben exhaled a weak chuckle and flashed them a sheepish grin as he quickly rose to his feet. "Um hi," he greeted, once again covering himself in embarrassment.

"Hello," Hippolyta greeted simply, resisting the urge to smirk, unable to help but find the humor of his unfortunate situation.

After a long, tense, and extremely awkward silence, it was finally and unsurprisingly broken by Ben. "Okay I'm just going to say it. It's exactly what it looks like," he stated dumbly, unable to think of much else. "Well that, and whatever you do, do not wish little miss She-Ra princess of power a Happy Hanukkah. Because she has one seriously mean uppercut going on."

As many of her sisters blinked and looked to one another in confusion, not having the faintest clue what he was talking about, the queen merely suppressed a smile, guessing he was referring to her daughter. "I will take that into advisement," she replied.

"Gee I'm fine by the way your highness," he said in mock annoyance, feigning a hurt pout. "Thank you so much for asking. Good thing the ground broke my fall, though oddly enough not every bone in my body. I don't suppose anyone can offer any insight on that maybe?"

As his words received numerous scowls from the crowd, Hippolyta merely remained impassive while Phillipus secretly restraining the impulse to crack a smile and chuckle, beginning to take a liking to the boy.

"Meh, whatever. I survived, so why nitpick it?" he continued with a dismissive shrug, seeing as his question would likely go unanswered. "Still, you got to give princess hissy fit some credit. That punch had some sweet hang time on it, not to mention distance. I mean I must have been up there for five minutes, easy. But again, meh. Does anyone here know where my pants are?"

"How about we offer an exchange?" proposed Hippolyta. "Some garments to cover yourself with, in exchange for your unconditional surrender."

"Don't the clothes kind of make a condition?" Ben couldn't help but ask. "Doesn't exactly make it all that unconditional, does it?"

"Amusing," she deadpanned with a wry smirk. "But nevertheless Ben Tennyson, the offer still stands. Though not much longer if you continue to try my patience."

"Hmmm, surrender and get clothes, or make a break for it," he mused aloud, weighing his options. "Yeeeeah… the thing about that is-"

Immediately Ben bolted for the nearest opening in the crowd, the action clearly being the conclusion to his rebuttal. Unfortunately for Ben, he was forced to stop short, his blocked by several amazons with numerous pointy things.

On instinct alone, he once again quickly slapped down the dial of the Ultimatrix.

"Recharge in progress," it announced. "Please standby."

Ben exhaled a heavy groan, shaking his head and raising his hands in defeat as the tips of several spearheads were pressed against his skin. "So, that offer on the clothes still good?" he asked sheepishly, unable to do much else.

"That depends," replied the queen. "Do you surrender?"

Ben remained silent as he weighed his options, this time for real which so far were as such; none. Either he gave up now or got skewered, which needless to say, were not his favorite choices.

Frantically his mind raced, desperate to come up with some kind of outside the box option to get his naked hide out of this latest mess. Unfortunately, all ideas he had were all hero based, as regular old Ben he had nothing, less than nothing even.

Mentally he groused over the fact that his watch still refused to work as it continually seemed to mock him over and over again as it claimed to be recharging, and yet he couldn't help but notice it still seemed to have enough power to use the universal translator function…

No sooner had that last thought entered his mind, than the young green eyed hero mentally slapped himself upside the head as he was struck with realization, unable to believe how he could be so stupid. Gwen had been so right, he really was a doofus!

"Okay okay, I give," he finally answered as he calmly lowered his hands. "I'm done, no more running and pointy things alright?"

Unable to help but notice a sudden crafty glint in the young man's emerald eyes, Hippolyta grew wary. "…really?" she dubiously inquired, nonchalantly reaching for the handle of her sheathed sword.

It was then that an almost wicked grin formed over Ben's face. "No, not really," he replied before suddenly raising alien device up to his chest. "Ultimatrix, command function override. Code Ten."

"Override accepted," the device instantly replied. "Voice command activated."

Before Ben could continue, from out of the sky Diana came crashing down in front of him, delivering a mighty backhand that sent him sprawling to the ground.

As he quickly bounced back onto his feet, his wrists were suddenly seized and in a single swift fluid motion, were pulled back behind him as he was swiftly forced to his knees. "Enough!" she snarled. "Whatever you are scheming, it ends now!"

"Wanna bet?" he grunted, struggling to break free from her iron grip. "Ultimatrix, reroute auxiliary power from translator to primary function. Command code: Zero. Zero. Zero. Power. Ten."

"Command code accepted," came the devices reply.

Quickly Ben shot out his right leg, sending the soul of his foot sweeping in under the princess' legs, knocking her off her feet.

Frantically Ben tried to scramble away as fast he could, but was stopped short as the fallen princess seized him by his ankle.

Before the young hero could react, Diana was back on her feet and he was suddenly sent airborne, only to quickly come crashing down on a market place fruit stand.

As the assembled crowd respectfully parted ways for their princess, Ben exhaled a groan as he staggered up from what was left of the fruit stand. "Okay that's it! No more Mr. Nice Hero!" he snarled, brushing away the numerous pieces of crushed fruit splattered all over his person. Quickly, he activated the watch's holographic display, a big grin quickly spread itself over his face, instantly recognizing the image of his To'kustar form. "Oh, now this is going to be sweet! Let's see how well you people can smack around Way Big!"

As she swiftly made approach towards him, she stopped in her tracks and arched a puzzled eyebrow. "{What did you say?}"

"…and you can't understand a word I'm saying," he surmised, quickly remembering he'd just shut off the watch's translator. "Well that's just going to take all the fun out of the hero bad guy banter. Oh well, at least on the plus side I can't make you any madder, right?"

"{I may not be able to understand you, and you may not be able to understand me, but let us see if you can understand this!}" snarled Diana, lunging for Ben.

Narrowly, Ben ducked out of the path of her first and slapped down the dial of the Ultimatrix.

Instantly, in an all but blinding flash of green light, Ben was transformed. "Way Big!" the newly transformed alien bellowed as the amazons could only stare at the smirking alien in bewildered confusion.

The smirk worn on the alien hero's face however, was speedily wiped away as he then suddenly noticed something very amiss. Instead of towering over his raven haired attacker and her comrades, they were towering over him.

Frantically the small alien instantly looked himself over, only to quickly discover to his alarm that instead of Way Big, the alien device had instead transformed him into a small yellow, green eyed insect-like alien with four legs and the crest of the Ultimatrix proudly displayed on his chest, its insignia a white hourglass over a circle of grey. "What the-? Who the heck is this!?" the diminutive alien exclaimed in alarm. "Stupid Ultimatrix, you had to give me a new guy now? I needed Way Big, and this guy's as close to not Way Big as it gets! I mean seriously, what am I supposed to do with this alien? Cute them to death!?"

With a huff of frustration, the tiny yellow alien immediately bolted in under Diana's legs and made a break for it, running as fast as his little legs could carry him. "{Don't even think about it!}" she snarled, quickly jumping back into his path and readily breaking into a defensive stance, wondering just what kind of insidious creature had he become this time. "{It's over, there is no escape!}"

Quickly, the small four legged green eyed alien insectoid backed away from the princess as his green eyes anxiously searched his surroundings, only to find to none.

"Oh, so not good," he gulped in panic, fearfully backing up into a wall as Diana was quickly joined by Hippolyta, Phillipus and Artemis as the trio menacingly drew closer. "Make that four whole different flavors of 'oh, so of not good'!"

"{I suggest you heed princess Diana Ben Tennyson,}" Alexa advised, before then chuckling. "{Even if it seems as though you can't understand us.}"

Artemis, being in a far less patient mood, instantly lunged for the diminutive yellow alien, only to have him scream in panic and frantically leap out of her grasp and land on the side of wall, sticking to it with his legs like a spider.

"Whoa, I can walk on walls!?" he exclaimed ecstatically, staring down at his feet in dumbfounded amazement. "Sweet! That's a little bit more like it!"

Without wasting so much as another second's hesitation, the small bug-like alien rapidly skittered his way up the side of the building, fleeing from his pursuers below.

"{Get back here!}" screamed Artemis. "{There is nowhere to run you wretched little parasite!}"

"I don't know what you just said," the small alien laughed over his shoulder. "But somehow I just know the word 'wretch' is in there somewhere. So fat chan-!"

His retort was suddenly silenced as a fist came crashing into the wall, missing him by mere inches.

"{Going somewhere?}" inquired a floating Diana with a threatening scowl as she pulled her hand from the gaping hole her fist had left.

"Nothing's ever easy with you, is it?" the diminutive alien hero retorted flatly.

Acting quickly as the flying raven haired princess took another swing at him, the small alien immediately sprang from the wall, leaping onto the princess, and narrowly dodged her swatting hands as he speedily skittering to safety on her back and sank the tips his tiny legs in deep, latching onto her for dear life and eliciting a pained yelp from his sapphire eyed victim. "Whew," he exhaled in exhaustion as the enraged raven haired princess madly tried to rip him from her person. "You know, say what you want about this guy, he may be small but he's wilyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!"

Without warning Diana suddenly tore off upward into the upper stratosphere at near mach six speeds, wildling bolting and bucking about like some crazed speed barrier breaking humming bird, trying to shake loose the accursed hapless parasite currently screaming for his life on her back.

Finally, after one last eruption sudden of speed, the flying princess instantly veered into an impossible mid air hairpin turn which mightily flung the small yellow alien insectoid from his perch high and up into the sky.

Climbing higher and higher into the air, time seemed to come to a standstill for a brief fleeting moment as the small alien's airborne ascension quickly began to slow, until at last finally coming to a stop, providing the tiny insectoid alien a long enough moment to just briefly catch sight of his present altitude. "It's official," he groused with a weary sigh. "Worst. Day. Ever!"

And on that last note, the now familiar feeling of gravity began to take hold, allowing the small extraterrestrial to quick exhale a terrified shriek as the laws of physics so cruelly brought him plummeting to his certain doom. It seemed his 'wily' had just met Diana's 'roadrunner'.

As he fell faster and faster, the small alien quickly ceased his frantic screaming and tried getting a hold of himself, desperately trying to think of a way out of this unfortunate predicament.

His mind raced as the small alien hero immediately began setting his small brain to the task of trying to think of what this newest form could do. Every alien he'd unlocked had had a power of some kind, it was just a matter of figuring it out.

And that being said, he nervously gulped as he took note of the rapidly approaching ground, wondering just why it was exactly that 'figuring it out' always had to be on a time crunch? Big emphasis on 'crunch', although considering he was a bug, maybe 'splat' would have been a better choice of words.

With the immanent matter of said 'splat' rapidly approaching, the small yellow alien quickly shook his head and focused. When changing into someone new, the young hero had always found it best to run on instinct and simply just 'let out the alien within'. Yes, it sounded lame. But hey, whatever works right?

"Come on, think Tennyson!" he said anxiously as the ground drew ever closer, growing understandably more and more nervous. "This little guy's got to be good for something besides smearing the sidewalk!"

As he closed his eyes and attempted to delve deep into his alien mind, his eyes immediately snapped open as he then suddenly felt it, a baser impulse at the back of his mind pleading to be let loose.

"Okay new guy, let's see what great awesome super power you got going for you," he said as again noted with a gulp just how little space was left between him and the ground.

With no more than mere meters from the ground, he quickly tapped into the strange urge compelling him. Quickly following the impulse, the small yellow insect-like alien swiftly opened his serrated mandibles, and with a mighty rasping deep throated hack, puked out a large green glob of mucosal slime.

As the emerald green goop quickly solidified into a perfect sphere beneath him, the small alien hero could only stare in pure silence at the green ball of slime beneath him; his great awesome super power apparently. "You have got to be kidding me," he at last deadpanned after a long silent pause.

With no more than mere feet from the ground, and with little other choices to be had, once again he heeded the form's instincts, and he immediately seized the newly formed ball with his legs and latched on for dear life, praying to whatever higher power that may have been listening for a miracle – or at the very least a soft landing.

Strangely enough, his prayers were answered.

No sooner had the small sphere made impact, then without warning it immediately bounced off the ground and back into the air like a super ball, carrying with it the diminutive alien attached along for the ride, wildly bouncing off just about every surface in sight before finally came to a stop.

"Ooooooh…" he groaned nauseously as his yellow exoskeleton greened slightly from the wild ride, woozily trying to maintain his balance. "Well I so want to hurl right now." His eyes turned downward to the green ball beneath him. "Not sure if that's a good thing."

"He's over here!" a voice suddenly shouted behind him.

Immediately he turned to see Artemis madly running towards him, her sword ever at the ready.

Eyes quickly growing wide in panic, the small alien's legs quickly sprang into action and made a break for it. Unfortunately he had forgotten he was still on his ball, and as one might have guessed quickly all but lost his balance and therein all control of direction, sending him randomly rolling about the area while frantically skittered atop the ball, just desperately trying to not fall off.

Quickly surrounding him, many of the amazons couldn't help but cock confused eyebrows as they watched the puzzling display, wondering just what it was he was trying to do.

"A little help here!" he cried desperately to the surrounding amazons as he frantically skittered his small legs about on top of the bowl, attempting to gain some kind of control as the ball went rolling about.

"{Surrender now Ben Tennyson!}" advised Diana as she floated down to join her sisters and mother. "{As you can see there is nowhere left for you to flee!}"

"Still can't understand you!" the small alien reminded as he continued to roll about out of control. "Which I guess kind of makes the whole cry for help thing a little redundant huh? As was that… and that… and that… and that… and-"

As he continued to prattle on, while rolling about atop the green ball, Diana glared at the small alien, thinking it to somehow be even more blatant mockery.

Growing even more irate as she watched him randomly roll about on the ball, her patience at last gave way to impulse and she flew at him with a drawn fist, eager to finally to put an end to this chase. "{Your idiocy ends now, Ben Tennyson!}" she growled. "{We finish this NOW!}"

Eyes wide with panic, the small alien immediately sprang from his ball and just barely evaded out from the path of her punch. "Whoa!" he exclaimed as he landed back on top of the spinning ball. "Do you mind? A little busy rolling out of control here!"

With a snarl Diana swiftly turned and launched another punch at the rolling yellow insect, only for her blow to again be dodged, causing her to launch blow after blow which again and again were evaded by her tiny quarry. "{Will just stop and hold still?!}" she demanded as she continued launching punch after punch at the evasive creature in utter futility.

"I've heard about rolling with the punches before, but this is just taking it too far," he groused as he somehow managed to swiftly veer the spinning ball away from Diana's attacks. "And by the way, still no clue what you're saying! Though from the context – not to mention the 'let's squash mini me' theme you seem to have got going – I'm thinking 'no'."

Fueled by his incomprehensible chatter undoubtedly mocking her, Diana's eyes flared angrily. "{Will! You! Just! SHUT UP!}" she roared as she mightily launched an earth shattering kick at the yellow alien, eliciting a frantic scream from the small yellow recipient as the blow came rocketing towards him.

"{Hold daughter!}" Hippolyta quickly ordered, causing Diana to immediately freeze in mid kick, allowing her target to instinctively flee for his life.

"What she said!" he quickly cried in panic over his shoulder as he speedily rolled the ball away from his raven haired assailant, his terror apparently having quickly allowed him to gain at least some mastery over the green ball. At the moment he had no idea what was going on, but judging from the instant loss of eminent impact from the princess, he wasn't going to complain. "And feel free to take your time for whatever all that's about. I'm in no rush here!"

Angry, Diana turned to her mother to protest but held her tongue as she immediately caught sight of the stern foreboding glare the queen cast her.

"{Amazons, sheath your weapons,}" Hippolyta then ordered. "{Our quarry has been contained. There is further no need to continue to bear arms this day. Clearly he realizes the folly of his attempts to flee from the gods' judgment.}" She glanced towards the small alien, still embroiled with the difficult task of mastering his newfound form. "{And besides, it is plain to see he has little control over this strange form of his. Isn't that right, Ben Tennyson?}"

Immediately the small alien came to a screeching halt. "You talking to me now?" he asked as he turned to the queen, having distinctly heard his name being spoken. His eyes than suddenly went wide as he snapped his gaze downwards to the now motionless ball beneath him. "Did I just stop? Sweet!" He then began rolling the green ball, masterfully directing its course. "Hey, I think I finally got the hang of this guy. HA! In your face Ultimatrix!"

As her sisters obediently – albeit yet begrudgingly – began disarming themselves of their weapons, Hippolyta arched a somewhat deadpan eyebrow as she watched the small insect like creature roll about on his ball, laughing in merriment, having seemed to at last gained some semblance of control of his newfound abilities. "{Are you quite finished Ben Tennyson?}" she asked. "{Or should I recount my orders to my sisters?}"

Upon hearing his name spoken once again, the small rolling alien hero immediately came to a screeching halt and leapt off the green sphere, greatly relieved to at last have his feet once again on solid ground again. "Seriously, are you talking to me or what?" he asked, still having no clue what the queen was saying. It was then that he noticed the sudden absence of sharp pointy things being raised or aimed towards his general person, quickly eliciting a smug vertical grin over his serrated mouth, realizing they were willing to discuss a peaceful surrender, most likely his, but still there was no need to act like he knew that. It wasn't like they could understand anything he said anyway. "Well well well, it looks like someone has finally figured out just how out of their league they are," he jokingly couldn't help but smugly gloat. "And since I'm such a nice guy, I think I'll be merciful and spare you all the humiliation of another alien themed thrashing, providing of course little miss princess power-trip decides to kiss and make up. Big emphasis on the kiss part by the wa–"

Before the tiny alien could finish his thought, without warning the green ball behind him suddenly detonated in a massive explosion, sending the small yellow alien rocketing forward like a bullet fired from a gun, and sending him plowing straight into the queen, crashing into her with full force of a freight train, and knocking her right to the ground.

As the explosion's green haze slowly began to clear, the diminutive alien – now tarnished by the soot of standing at ground zero – began to coughing heavily out some of the smoke as he rose to his feet. "Ouch," he groaned. "Note to self; balls explode."

Just then an all too familiar sound chime of alarm sounded as the crest on his chest began flashing bright red, heralding an ensuing bright crimson flash of light as the alien was instantly transformed back to his regular human, and once again very naked – self.

"Stupid watch," he groaned, glaring at the alien device bound to his wrist. "It was because I was winning, wasn't it?"

"Of that I would not be so sure if I were you Ben Tennyson," came a familiar voice from very nearby.

To his ever growing dismay the young hero's eyes went wide as he instantly snapped his gaze downward, only find to himself staring into the piercing sapphire blue eyes of queen Hippolyta glaring angrily back at him, and it was also about then he took noticed of the firm and very female body lying under his even more very naked male body. "This is where I die now, right?" he fearfully whimpered.

"That would depend on just how soon you get off me," she advised frankly, her features ominously foreboding.

Ben was about to quickly comply with the queen's advice, however he stopped short as it was then that Ultimatrix's began to glow a neon green. "Alert! Insufficient reserve power to reactivate primary function," the device announced. "Beginning transfer of remaining reserve power back to universal translator function." The dial then began to blink as it carried through with its announced task. "Transfer complete. Universal translator function now restored."

As the surrounding haze of green smoke began to clear, Ben stared at the watch, then at the queen, then at the watch again and then once again at the queen as the wheels in his head began spinning rapidly. It took a moment, but then at last Ben's green eyes went wide as instant realization dawned on him. "…wait a second," he slowly began as he stared down at the queen. "YOU MEAN YOU CAN SPEAK ENGL-!?"


Before Ben had the chance to react, the hair on his head was immediately seized by the hand of the Hippolyta's enraged daughter, violently ripping his naked form up off her mother.

"Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!" he frantically exclaimed as Diana dragged him away by his hair.

Just barely resisting the impulse of ripping him limb from wretched limb from seeing him lying naked atop her mother, Diana's sapphire eyes, now blazing with the raging fires of raw seething hatred, immediately flared with newfound levels of rage, fueled by the very sound of his voice, and with his hair still ever tightly grasped in her fist, the furious amazonian princess gave a sharp yank, viciously hoisting the hapless young man up to face her eye to glaring eye.

"OW!" he yelped, madly struggling in vain to break free from her grasp. "Hair pulling, princess!? Really!?"

Diana then saw red. Immediately she pulled back her fist, preparing to punch a hole in his head. "BE! QUIET!" she thundered as she unleashed a blow powerful enough to reduce a mountain to rubble.

A gasp of horror was heard by the Hippolyta as Diana's fist went rocketing through Ben's head, fearing what consequences would be wrought by the gods upon them for the boy's untimely death.

However, the queen's dismay was short lived, turning instead to shock. Instead of blood, brains and bits of bone erupting out of Ben's skull as one might expect, Diana's fist seemed to harmlessly pass through his him as though it were the hand of a ghost.

It was then that Ben's body seemed to evaporate in a wisp of violet haze, vanishing from existence like a fog being spread to the winds.

As the amazons could only stare in sheer bewilderment at the sight, Hippolyra's eyes quickly narrowed as she then heard the faint sound of amused laughter being softly carried on the winds.

It had been a long time, Hippolyta easily recognized the laughter's owner being someone that the Amazons had been fortunate enough not to cross paths with for millennia. Someone who the very thought of sent a haunting chill running down her spine. Eris.

BEN 10. BEN 10. BEN 10.

Ben quickly dropped out of the air like a rock, hitting the water with a mighty splash.

For several seconds he lay there beneath the shallow waves, lying motionless while pondering on whether or not getting up versus drowning would be worth his while. Judging from the way his morning had been shaping up so far, he sincerely doubted it.

Against his better judgment, he begrudgingly rose up from under the waves and back unto his feet, already dreading just what terrors this screw loose reality had waiting in store for him.

Wading his way to the nearby shore, the young hero looked around and quickly took note of his new surroundings, finding he was now standing on the shoreline of a lake surrounded by forest.

"Lake Hera," a familiar voice supplied helpfully."That's where we are right now, in case you're wondering."

With a grimace, Ben slowly turned to see the raven haired goddess of chaos Eris, leisurely sitting beneath the shade of willow tree, an amused smirk tauntingly ever present on her lips as she gazed upon him with a chuckle.

"You…" he all but growled with restrained annoyance.

"'You'?" she couldn't help but wryly parrot with an amused chuckle, feigning a pout. "Is that all you really have to say to me lover, 'you'?" Like smoke in the wind she then seemed to instantly wisp into plumes of violet vapor, quickly blowing over behind Ben where she rematerialized, her soft grey arms affectionately entwined around his shoulders while her lips sensually loomed near his ear. "Oh you're so cruel Ben, I think I might actually even be a little hurt." She then gave an absolutely wicked smile. "I kind of like it."

Restraining the impulse to cringe as she then playfully stuck her tongue into his ear, the green eyed teen merely exhaled a tired sigh, really not in the mood for Eris' – for lack of a better word – 'antics'. "Eris," he began slowly, choosing his words carefully. "Not that I'm not grateful for the save from 'princesses gone riled', but is there any particular reason for my sudden lack of personal space?"

"You mean besides the obvious?" she sensually purred as her fingers hungrily trailed their way over his chest. "Maybe I just wanted to give the condemned one last hour – or should I say hours – of grace. After last night you can hardly blame me."

"Yeah, that's not happening," he deadpanned as he quickly removed her hands from his person and stepped away. "Once was bad enough."

For a brief passing moment Eris could only stare at the young green eyed teen in sheer disbelief. "Excuse me?" she demanded as her scarlet and golden eyes began to glow, incensed.

Ben sighed. "Look Eris, last night was a mistake," he replied. "Don't get me wrong, I'm going to be looking back on it fondly, it's just I don't like doing… well, whatever the hell you want to call last night, unless it's with someone I feel a special connection with. You know what I mean?"

Eris's ruby red eyes narrowed as cast him a cold gaze. "Did you just give me the 'it's not you, it's me' speech?" she demanded in disbelief.

"…Huh, I guess I did," he realized before giving an uncaring shrug. "Would you have preferred 'not now, I have a headache'? Which for the record, I am nursing here – among many other major aching body parts."

To Ben's surprise Eris' scowl broke away as she broke into gales of laughter. "'Headache'… wow," she at last said shaking her head. "I never thought I'd ever hear that excuse from a guy. I'm not sure whether to be offended or just impressed." She then gave a flippant wave of her hand. "Oh what the Tartarus, I'm in a good mood so I'll just be the latter. Honestly, I haven't had this much fun in millennia, all because of not-so-little mortal you."

"Gee, so glad I could entertain," he groused, casting the goddess of chaos an irate glare.

"And entertain you have," she happily replied. "Especially that look you had on your face when you woke up to that little Amazon, 'LOL' as the mortals say these days."

"Yeah, I figured you were behind that," he sighed, shaking his head. "Do I even want to know what was up with that by the way?"

"Oh that? Just a little revenge for killing Ares," she snickered. "Plus I thought it would be funny."

"Oh it was a real riot," he groused sarcastically.

Eris couldn't help but smirk. "Oh it was," she giggled. "Though I didn't expect that little bug thing you turned into, not that it wasn't fun to watch mind you. Especially that part where you tackled Hippolyta, for a moment I honestly thought Princess Diana was going to tear you limb from limb, absolutely priceless."

"Well I'm glad at least you enjoyed that!" he snapped bitterly. "Me: not so much."

Finding the scowl on his face positively endearing, Eris couldn't help but smirk as she playfully wisped her way behind him, sensually pressing her breasts against his back while salaciously wrapping her arms around him, much to his chagrin. "Oh, don't be like that Ben," she whispered hotly into his ear. "It was all only in fun – admittedly more mine than yours – but still in fun. Well, that and that whole 'Ares' thing, but that was more about the principle of thing than anything else."

Remembering the vague gruesome image of Rath's claw separating Ares' head from his body, Ben couldn't help but shudder, his scowl quickly fading away to a much more solemn expression. "Ares… right," he said, once again grimacing at the memory. "I'm really sorry about that by the way Eris, really sorry. I know he was your Dad and-"

Breaking from her usual sly smirk with a warm smile, Eris quickly silenced her lover by placing her index finger upon his lips as she slowly separated herself from Ben. "It's sweet of you to say that Ben, but spare me your apologies," she replied with a dismissive wave of her hand. "I can assure you that you owe me none Ben. Ares was my 'father' yes, but strictly in the biological sense alone. He was a monster by any definition of the word, and an even worse parent. You'll find that as far as I'm concerned, there's no love lost by me from his passing, quite the reverse actually, hence last night."

Ben could only blink in confusion as he stared into Eris' ruby red eyes. "Wait," he began, unsure if he understood her meaning. "You mean you got it on with me last night because-"

"You killed him," she finished, a salacious smirk crossing her lips. "Got it in one lover."

The young hero could only stare at the raven haired goddess of chaos in sheer bewilderment. "Oookaaaay… I'm not even sure how to even begin to describe just how messed up that is," he at last replied, unable to think of much else to say.

Eris only shrugged indifferently. "What can I say Ben, I'm a goddess with daddy issues," she admitted with a shrug and chuckle. "Lots and lots and lots of daddy issues. Fortunately for you, they're all in your favor."

"So I'm beginning to see," he deadpanned. "Speaking of which, where are my clothes?! In case you haven't noticed it's drafty out here!"

"And yet it hasn't seemed to have any ill effect on you," she said, smiling slyly as she cast a salacious glance downwards. "No none at all. Bravo by the way."

Immediately Ben covered himself under Eris' gleeful predatory stare. "Clothes Eris?!"

"Oh please Ben, I'm just having a little fun," she teased, playfully pinching his cheek. "Besides why can't you just stay this way. Believe me when I say you've got nothing to be ashamed o-"


"Oh very well," she exhaled with a reluctant sigh, begrudgingly giving a quick wave of her hand, immediately causing the naked teen to be enveloped in a veil of violet mist before it then quickly evaporated out of existence, leaving behind a now fully clothed Ben, once again garbed in his jeans, sneakers, black T-shirt, and all but trademarked green leather jacket. "There, happy?"

"I believe I was wearing underwear Eris," he sighed in exasperation, noting the lack of the aforementioned apparel from his person.

With a maliciously sly smirk, once again the raven haired goddess once again gave another wave of her hand. "Done."

Immediately Ben's features turned irritably sour. "Men's underwear Eris!" he snapped.

"Hmph! Spoilsport," she pouted, restoring his boxers back to him with another wave of her hand. "There, happy now?"

"Very," he replied somewhat more cordially. "Thanks by the way."

"I suppose you're welcome," she replied. "Though I still preferred you in your more natural look. To quote the mortal expression 'yowza'!"

"Don't even think about it, Eris," he scowled forebodingly. "Unless you want to see just else my watch can do."

At this Eris couldn't help but laugh. "Oh please Ben, don't even try that with me," she chuckled. "Even if that little toy of yours was working, there's nothing it could turn you into that could affect me. Last I checked goddess beats alien."

"Don't be so sure on that one," he replied smugly. "You would be surprised."

Noting the confidence in his voice, Eris couldn't help but arch an intrigued eyebrow. "Oh, so big bad Ben 10 has something in his little watch that could take me on does he?" she chuckled as she wisped up against him, seductively pressing her chest against his. "And he has the sheer audacity to actually threaten me with it?" She then exhaled an amused laugh as ran her fingers across his back, missing the feel of his bare skin verses green leather. "Perchance could it be this mortal before me doth speaketh the truth? Oh, thou art so definitely cute!"

"Personal space Eris," he said, pointing out the uncomfortable sudden lack of distance between them. "Something I'd like to have back now."

Eris only grinned wickedly as she playfully moved her face in close to his, their lips barely touching, much to his ever-growing chagrin. "Nice though, isn't it?"

"Seriously Eris, starting to get all kinds of awkward," he said, hoping she didn't try to grope him in the wrong place while she was pressed against him, lest she she'd get the wrong impression. He was only human after all.

"Oh fine, have it your way," the raven haired goddess begrudgingly sighed, halfheartedly pulling herself from him. "You can be so boring sometimes, you know that right?"

Ben gave a sheepish shrug. "Well you'd be the first person to ever say that," he replied. "But then again I guess it's kind of hard to match fun times with a goddess of chaos."

"And you'd be right," she chuckled proudly. "Although maybe not so much on your part, if you just learned to play your cards right that is."

"Say 'huh' now?" he replied, confused.

"Just throwing it out there," she replied with a shrug. "Just think about it for a second Ben. I could take you away from here, and we could have some real fun. Just you, me, the world, and all points beyond all at our fingertips, and all the chaos there is to be had from now till eternity's end if you want."

"You're joking, right?" he chuckled uncertainly.

"Oh not even a little bit," she replied earnestly. "In case you haven't picked up on it Ben, I happen to like you."

"You like me," he repeated, not sure if had heard right.

"That's right," she replied, a wickedly mischievous grin pulling at her lips. "I like you."

For the longest moment Ben only stared at the ruby eyed goddess. "Seriously," he at last replied, staring at her skeptically. "May I ask why?"

"Ugh, why do the cute ones always have to be so difficult?" she huffed, mildly annoyed. "Fine if you must know, among my many reasons first of all I think you're cute… definitely amusing…" With a sultry gleam in her eyes she paused to hungrily eye him over. "… well 'proportioned'… you killed Ares – which I cannot stress how much I wanted to do, but couldn't. Again I refer you to the daddy issues – and lastly – and possibly most importantly – you brought chaos to Themyscira and those silly little amazons, lots and lots of glorious chaos, and it's been a real treat to watch let me tell you."

Ben blinked as he could only stare at Eris, stunned… and slightly disturbed. "Wow…" he finally said after a prolonged moment of silence. "That's… that's just… 'wow'."

"I get that all the time," she chuckled, choosing to be flattered. "Though not nearly as much as you'd think. Which to be honest is even more disturbing. Mortals, go figure right?"

"I'm sticking with 'wow'," he retorted.

"So…?" she pressed, curious for his answer while offering her hand to take. "What do you think Ben? Want to come with and see what there is to see?"

"Pass," he quickly answered.

"Gee, no need not to answer so quickly," Eris retorted, actually surprised. "May I at least ask why?"

"To be honest?" he asked.

Eris nodded. "Please."

"Well it's not like I'm not flattered," he began cautiously, hoping not to offend her. "And it's not that I don't think you're not gorgeous just to be clear, it's just that you seem like the kind of girl who only sticks with something until she gets bored with it, and I'm guessing that includes boyfriends. And at the risk of sudden death you're at least nine kinds of fruit-loops. No offense."

"Meh, guilty," she admitted with a shrug, unashamed. "And no offense taken by the way."

"So you're not mad?" he asked, surprised.

"Ben, I like you," she chuckled, shaking her head at his naiveté. "You bring chaos, killed my old man, and are a great lay – for a mortal. You're basically everything I want in a guy, like I said I like you but I don't 'stalker' like you. I'm nowhere near that predictable."

Ben couldn't help but inwardly grimace at that last part, not even wanting to know what she meant. "So then… we're cool?" he asked.

"For now," she replied with an impish smile.

"Why do I get the feeling you have something planned for me," he gulped, noting the roguish gleam of an idea forming in her ruby eyes.

"'Plan' me? Oh Ben, you wound me," she replied, feigning offence. "I'm the goddess of chaos lover. I don't do things like 'plan'. I am the instigator of change and the creator of confusion and disharmony. There's no real rhyme or reason to who I am or what I do. I simply just 'am' and 'do', no more no less." She then smiled slyly. "I will admit I do have a few ideas for you, if things work out today that is. But for now that ball is in your court."

"'Creator of confusion and disharmony'?" Ben parroted, arching an eyebrow.

"Nice, right?" she replied proudly. "Came up with it just now on the spot. But enough about me, we really need to get to the part where we talk about what I came to see you about last night." She grinned almost sheepishly. "I kind of… forgot. You know, with 'everything'."

With a deviously sly grin curving her lips Eris then leaned in close and then discretely whispered something into his ear. The likes of which instantly caused his eyes to go wide in fearful shock as she pulled away to take in his reaction. "You cannot be serious," he stated after a long moment of stunned silence.

"Usually not so much," she replied, smiling craftily. "But for this one instance, consider me very serious. Now then I should probably be going now. But before I do…" Quickly, Eris extended her hand, allowing violet mist to wisp over her palm before quickly dissipated to reveal the shimmering item the goddess had conjured. With a smile Eris then placed the newly created item into Ben's hand. "Here take this… for your health."

Ben couldn't help but gaze down at the gleaming object placed in his palm in trepidation, recalling his basic knowledge of Greek mythology. "A golden apple?" he stated, nervously maintaining his gaze on the shimmering metallic fruit. "Should I be concerned? If memory serves right, you giving these out isn't exactly a good thing."

Eris merely shrugged. "What can I say Ben, it's a trademark. Zeus has his thunderbolts, Poseidon has his trident and sinking ship movies, I've got metal fruit."

"So what am I supposed to do with it?" he nervously asked.

"It's fruit Ben, you eat it," she said, stating the obvious. "Go ahead. Their actually quite tasty, and on the plus side it'll rejuvenate your mind and body and heal all you injuries. Which, let's face it you've got a few, no matter how much divine intervention I used to keep you alive."

Ben couldn't help but arch a surprised eyebrow at the grey skinned goddess, supposing that that did make more sense than anything. Just how else could he explain surviving his ill fated sky high swan dive, not to mention the punch that had sent him into it if not for a little chaotic divine intervention?

Returning his focus back to the present, Ben paused as he hesitantly eyed the golden fruit in his hand, wondering whether he should eat it or not. Admittedly she was a little nuts, but then again as he thought about it she hadn't lied to him yet so he supposed he had no reason not to trust her. And besides, what with his mad streaking spree over half the island he hadn't exactly found the time to get breakfast yet had he. Finally he just shrugged, and quickly dug into the fruit devouring it, residing to go with his gut, or rather just feed it.

"So…" Eris began, smiling knowingly. "How was it?"

No sooner had the words left her mouth then Ben suddenly felt a charge swell throughout his body, and before he knew it, suddenly felt more energized and rested than he had ever felt in his life. "Well ignoring the fact I somehow just ate solid gold I think I'd have go with 'whoa'," he said in surprise. "And I mean 'whoa' as in you ought to bottle it and cash-in. Heck, make T-shirts for it."

"Thanks Ben," she chuckled. "I'm glad you liked it, I did make it myself after all. Can I cook or what?"

"Or what," Ben whole heartedly agreed with a smile. "Thanks Eris, it was just what the goddess ordered."

Smiling Eris nodded as her body slowly wisped away into vaporous trail of violet miasma. "Well farewell for now Ben," Eris said, bidding him goodbye as she took her leave on the winds. "I hope to see you again. Oh and Ben, before I forget; head's up."

As the goddess of chaos finally dissipated from the boundaries of the mortal realm, Ben arched a puzzled eyebrow. "Head's up?" he repeated, confused.

Before Ben was given the chance to further ponder Eris' final parting words, without warning something suddenly came crashing down out of the sky, mightily impacting the ground behind him.

Startled, Ben swiftly whirled around only to helplessly meet the seething gaze of a pair sapphire blue eyes belonging to a certain visibly less-than-pleased – if not extremely pissed – Amazonian princess. "Oh," he realized quickly, now suddenly all too aware.

As he was about to greet the raven haired amazon with some traditional hero/bad guy banter, Diana beat him to the punch, literally.

Before Ben had so much as the chance to utter a single word the princess' fist mightily made impact with his jaw, instantly sending him flying out over the lake, where the sheer momentum of the blow sent him bouncing off its surface several times like a skipping stone, before he finally he slowed and gravity took effect, bringing him plunging into its watery depths, out cold.

At last victorious, and with a more than satisfied smirk of gratification pulling at her lips, Diana then flew out over the lake to fish him out of the water and deliver him back to face the punishment for his crimes.

Quickly gliding over the waters to his motionless body, she then seized him by his collar and hoisted him into her arms.

However, as Diana rose up into the air, she paused momentarily as she glanced over her shoulder, eyes narrowing with suspicion as she scanned the surrounding area. For the briefest of moments, she could have sworn she thought she had heard the faint sounds of hysterical laughter echoing softly over the winds. But after a moment of finding nothing however, she merely shrugged and quickly flew off into the distance, deciding it to be just her imagination. It was turning out to be a trying day after all.

As she quickly flew back to the palace with her prisoner securely in hand, Diana couldn't help but notice he had somehow retrieved his missing clothes. Where he had gotten them, she didn't know nor did she want to know. She was merely grateful in the fact he had, as it made carrying him back so much more bearable. It was bad enough seeing him naked, let alone him seeing her naked, actually holding him… ugh, she shuddered in disgust at the very thought.

As the city quickly came into sight, it was then that Ben began to uncomfortably stir in her arms, wrapping his own around her waist. "Aw come on Gwen, I don't want to go to Mr. Smoothies," he grumbled discontentedly as he slept. "They're so… yucka. No, you're a girl!"

Scowling, Diana shook her head as she only flew faster. "Amazing," she muttered in disbelief. Even when he was asleep he was still obnoxious.

Author's notes.

On a sane note, I'd like to ask for a moment of silence as I dedicate this chapter to my best friend 'B'. Who after months of pain, finally passed away on April 22, 2013.

Rest in peace B, you may have only lived to be 16 but you made every moment count. You will be dearly missed my friend.

(Beginning Moment of Silence)

(Ending Moment of Silence)

Well, now that the depressing parts over with, I digress to the crazy! (What? He's dead. We all saw it coming. I've had time to cope.)

Greetings and salutations ficfans! Tis I, Codecrash! Once again risen from the depths of anonymity to bestow unto you the unending madness that is my mind! Hope you enjoyed it!

First off I'd like to give a shout out to a couple of my favorite Ben 10 crossover writers Bigby the Big Bad Wolf, sandman7734, and The Writer with No Name, and say unto you UPDATE ALREADY! Waiting for months on end for a new chapter is MY shtick thank you very much.

Next up I'd like to answer a question poised asking (and I paraphrase)'which incarnation of Eris did I base her appearance on'?

The answer loyal reader; my version of Eris is based off of the character Eris from Dreamworks' Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. (A truly underrated film whose era of artistic styling has been tossed to the wayside for the era of (gack!) computer animation. God I missed hand drawn animated movies, it's becoming a true lost art.)

As for her personality, well I'd thought I'd have fun with the character and throw in my own little brand of crazy. That's right ficfans! Codecrash Crazy (tm), now available in a fanfic near you! (Codecrash Crazy is not a legal recognized brand sold in America, Canada, Eastern Europe, Japan, the planet Earth or the Third dimension. Use of Codecrash Crazy will may result in mental instability, paranoia, multiple personalities, time travel, and/or kickass fanfiction. Do not take Codecrash Crazy if you are pregnant, sick, healthy, between the ages 0 to infinity, or are sane or insane.) Codecrash Crazy, making the world a more interesting place one word at a time.

Lastly, I want to give a final shout out to Scarecrow'sMainFan for his review on chapter 5. Specifically the part summarizing Artemis' thoughts at the end which goes as follows; Ahem, 'Men are Evil! But Ben may not be. But he's a man! So he must be evil! Except maybe he's isn't. Men are all evil… except Ben who may or may not be evil. Boy I sure like to fight Rath. OMG Someone is having SEX!'

Naturally you can see why this bit made me laugh! Well played dude, well played.

Please read and (positively and/or constructively) review. Seriously, the more reviews we writers get, the more encouraged we are to work on the next chapter. And I do so love reading each and every one, except for the negative ones which get me all depressed which in turn slows down the whole process. Those who wish to point out spelling errors and missing words may pm me if they wish. As I've often stated I suck at editing, so there are bound to be a couple of them.

Oh, and as shameless promotional plug, feel free to read my somewhat recently updated chapter 5 of Ben 10: Past Tense and Beyond, you know for those of you who may have missed it.

Codecrash out.

Love, peace and chicken grease.{[]}