Chapter 21: Museum Pieces
Remember that super special awesome note a few chapters back? Where I made fun of myself and the stereotypical fangirl? Someone thought that I liked Bevin- I don't- so I'm trying to clear this up. I was poking fun at what other people thought of fangirls by using myself as the fangirl. Does that clear it up?
At the Sewer Plant
A smartly dressed man was wheezing as he ran away from the crazy people after him. He was in some sort of turbine room-he had no idea where he was, really- and he gasped for air as he hid behind one of them.
The man thought he heard a footstep. Taking out a thin alien weapon out of his pocket, he shot a few blue lasers in the direction of the noise. His hiding place revealed, the man hid his two pronged silver weapon in his pocket and ran again.
A large blue laser shot at the man's head, knocking him to the ground. In a split second, the man took out his weapon and pulled off his ID mask, revealing his true DNAlien form. He ran again as more blue lasers shot at him, bouncing off the machines with a metallic ping.
The DNAlien then slipped on the water flooding the floor of the turbine room, sending him sprawling to the floor. His weapon flew out of his hands and slid ten feet away from him, far out of reach. The DNAlien stood up to get it, only to have another blue laser shoot it away.
The DNAlien surveyed the dark room, but couldn't see his attackers. He ran forward, making sure not to slip this time. He turned corners, going past strange looking pipes and more water on the floor. He kept running until he hit a dead end.
Red lights appeared behind the DNAlien; a truck was backing into him. Pink loops of energy grabbed his wrists, and he struggled to break free. He was sliding towards the back of the truck, which opened to reveal a swirling red portal. The DNAlien struggled even more, desperate to get away from this portal to Hell.
Too late; with a quick yank of the coils from some unseen force, the DNAlien dove headfirst into the portal, screaming as he was gone forever.
After the screaming stopped, two aliens came out of the darkness, each carrying a pole with a pink energy rope at the end. One was a female Kinecelaran wearing an olive green vest and black cargo pants. The other was a male Tetramand who seemed rather small for his age. He was wearing the same outfit as his partner, but he had four laser guns strapped to his back, while his partner had only had two strapped to her waist.
The young Tetramand smirked at the red Hell portal where the poor DNAlien met his end. "And another one bites the dust."
"Did you see the look on that DNAlien's face when he went into the cannon?" Manny Armstrong gloated as he drove the truck through Bellwood. "That was one freaked out…" The Tetramand stopped talking when his partner-in-crime refused to react.
"Helen," Manny teased as one of his four arms crept toward her. He began to poke her arm like an annoying little brother. "Come on, talk to me. Helen-"
"No!" Helen Wheels yelled at him, making him shirk back from the outburst. "What is with you?" Manny complained.
"Nothing is with me! I just wish…" Helen's eyes turned downcast. "I wish Pierce were here."
Manny immediately understood. "Yeah, I know me too."
"What do you mean? Your brother and I-"
"Argued over every mission," Helen interrupted him, glaring at him. "'Who's in charge? Let's do it this way. No, my plans better.'"
"Okay, we disagreed on a lot of things, but now that he's…" Helen looked away from Manny, her bottom lip trembling. Manny immediately swallowed whatever he was about to say and chose a different route. "I'm just doing what we agreed to do; fry every DNAlien we can find."
A beeping started, signaling there was alien activity nearby. "Where are they?" Manny asked. Helen looked at the glowing green dashboard where the map was. "There are three of them, and their back at the sewer plant."
Back at the Sewer Plant
Manny held up a wild locater in the air near the plant. "I can't get a lock on them," he griped. "Stupid machine!"
"Want me to try?"
"No!" Manny shushed Helen as the locator began to pick something up. On the blue grid screen, there showed three people through the building, though it only got their heat signatures instead of how they looked. The audio was scratchy, but it could pick up what they were saying.
"Are you sure you know where you're going with this, Sherlock?" the tallest one said. He sounded gruff for his age; maybe he was eighteen years old?
"How about you open your eyes instead of your mouth for once?" the second male asked back. He sounded young; maybe he was fourteen?
"Will you both be quiet?" said the female of the group. "There's probably a guard or something!" She sounded the most mature out of the trio.
"I swear there was an alien here," mused the younger male.
"Well, there's no sign of him now," said the female. The older male whistled. He was picking something up-maybe the weapon the DNAlien used earlier. "A new weapon for my collection," the older male said happily.
Manny put down the locator. "What'd he say?" Helen asked, since the audio had been really bad.
"Doesn't matter; let's dust him!"
Helen grabbed Manny's wrist before he could do anything stupid. "We can't! The eradicannon needs more time to recharge." She let go of her friend. "Maybe we should follow them. Maybe they'll lead us to a whole nest of DNAliens." Helen looked at Manny to see that he left to scale the building to attack the aliens.
"Dammit, Manny!" Helen swore under her breath as she used her Kinecelaran speed to catch up to him on the roof. Just as Manny was about to shoot at the aliens as they got into that cool Dodge Challenger, Helen appeared and snatched all four weapons out of Manny's hands.
"You never listen, do you?" Helen dropped the guns and glared at Manny.
"Their getting away!" he yelled at her.
"No, they aren't." Helen calmly shot a tracker at the back of the car from her wrist launcher, and watched as it latched itself onto the car.
Helen was watching an entry of Pierce's video journal just to hear his voice. Normally she would have respected her adoptive brother's privacy, but since he was no longer here…
"August 10th," began Pierce. He was dressed like his teammates, only his skin was tan and his back mullet had a white streak in the middle. Out of all three of them, Pierce had looked the most human save for the eight porcupine quills coming out of his face, three on each cheek and one above each eyebrow.
"We zapped another DNAlien," Pierce continued. "Third one this month." He showed off the amount on his fingers, revealing arms with larger porcupine quills attached to them. "Only something weird happened. We had the creep cornered. I had my energy lash wrapped around one arm. But just before Manny hooked his other one, the alien flashed a Plumber's badge. I figured it had to be fake, but…" Pierce trailed off for a moment.
"What if it was real? What if we were wrong about-" Helen didn't know what her brother was going to say next, because this was the part of the recording where Helen and Manny barged onto the roof where Pierce was, arguing.
"Helen, what is it with you? You're up here every night," Manny had said. Pierce just watched them for now. His little sister and friend didn't seem to notice him.
"Sometimes I just want to look at the stars," Helen answered back. "You know, just to wonder what's out there."
"Out there?" Manny yelled at her. "Out there is why we're all contaminated freaks! It's why we're kicking alien butt so no one else can go through what happened to us!"
Pierce, who had just been listening up until that point, gritted his teeth and frowned. "Would you two stop it?" he yelled at his teammates. "Every day it's the same fight! I can't babysit you forever, you know!" And then the recording stopped, leaving Helen to stare at a blank screen.
Helen put away her brother's video journal and just sat in the room full of stolen alien tech. Video screens bigger than Manny made up the walls, and thick black wires connected to keyboards so Manny and Helen could see alien activity from anywhere in the city.
The doors to the room slid open. "Come on," Manny ordered. "I wanna show you something." Helen followed Manny into the next room, which had a smaller screen and a few less wires, but still just as high tech.
"What is it?" Helen asked. "I fed the thermal scans from the sewage plant to one of Pierce's computers." Manny pressed a button on the computer and watched as the screen fizzled blue.
"Wow," Helen said sarcastically, clearly not impressed.
"Stupid machine!" Manny slammed his fist on the controls, actually making it work. The screen showed the thermal shots of the three aliens that had been at the plant earlier, the two males and lone female. A few seconds later, the screen showed the true forms of the creatures, revealing Ben, Kevin, and Gwen, looking normal.
"Those are aliens?" Helen asked. "They look human."
"They must be wearing ID masks," Manny explained. "I would have caught 'em if you hadn't stopped me!"
"They outnumbered us," Helen reasoned. "I stopped you from starting a fight we couldn't win."
"Pierce would have done it."
Something inside Helen snapped; a dam of emotions broke within her, and she chose the angry, hurt part of her to focus on. "No, he wouldn't! And don't you dare use him as an excuse! Pierce found all this alien crap and made it work! Pierce brought us together, and when Pierce was in charge, we were careful!" After that last part, Helen began to deflate, no longer angry and hurt, just… sad. "The one time we weren't…" And with that Helen turned away, trying to stop the tears that were threatening to break free.
Realizing his careless mistake, Manny said, "I'm sorry, okay? Tomorrow we'll track her signal and we'll take it slow." He put a few comforting hands on Helen's arms. "We'll be careful, just like Pierce would have wanted it."
Still kind of angry at her friend, Helen shook of his grasp and stalked out of the room. Manny took a moment to look sadly after her before turning to the screen where Ben's team still was. "But once we find them, we do things my way."
"So you only found one piece of alien tech?" Sam said over Gwen's phone- Ben had given her his cousin's number without asking again.
"Yes, but we did find footprints along with it," Gwen answered.
"Were there any traces of a fight?"
"Not that we could see."
"Bummer- wait, hold on." Sam must have put her hand over her phone, because Gwen couldn't make out what she was saying. After a bit, she came back on. "Evan wants to play with the weapon," Sam whispered. "Try to convince him that it's a bad idea."
"I do not want to play with it; I want to experiment with it!" Evan yelled over the phone.
"Either way, make sure Kevin hides it, okay?" Sam didn't wait for Gwen's answer. There were sounds of a scuffle over the line right before Sam cut the call.
As Gwen put her pink phone away, Ben asked, "What'd she say?"
"Evan wanted to see the weapon Kevin found and Sam wanted to keep him away from it," Gwen explained as best she could. "I think they started fighting over it."
"Can't blame him. It is a sweet laser." Kevin grinned triumphantly over his stolen prize, which was in the trunk of his car where all his other stolen prizes were.
"You have to steal everything you see, don't you?" Ben said, glaring at Kevin as he pulled up in front of a gas station.
"I only steal alien tech and nice things," Kevin said with his salesman smile.
Kevin's smile disappeared when a truck crashed into one of the gas pumps, tearing it off from the ground and finally crashing on the other side of the gas station. The truck began to blaze while the oil from the pump began to pool over the ground.
In a split second the heroes were out of the car. "If the gas hits that tanker, we're talking about a major bonfire!" Ben said the obvious.
"I got the driver!" Kevin said, running up to the front of the truck.
"And I got the truck! Gwen, give us cover!" Ben ordered as his cousin's hands glowed pink.
A crowd of people had gathered around the scene, and three teenagers immediately started yelling, "Why are you standing there? GET AWAY!" The crowd didn't move; they just stared at the fire and murmured about how awful it was. A certain Goth with a funny bang then yelled, "That tanker's gonna blow up and take you all with it!" Finally, people began to run away like good innocent bystanders.
Just in case, Gwen used her pretty pink mana to cut up a part of the asphalt road. She lifted it up and created a concrete barrier over the much smaller crowd, making them all scream in fear.
As Kevin ran towards the trucker, he slid his hand over the metal tank and absorbed it. "Why do I always get the easy job?" he said with a smirk as he threw open the driver's door. He grabbed the unconscious trucker and lifted him over his shoulder and began to run away. The oil from the pump had accumulated near the fire by now, and a tiny spark set the pool on fire.
Kevin, in a flash of quick thinking, veered to the right onto the road when he saw where the fire was spreading. He hit the ground and absorbed the concrete onto himself and the trucker, and Kevin braced himself as the gas station exploded.
Luckily for Ben's team, the only gas station attendant had closed up the store just minutes before the tanker collided with the gas pump.
"Your turn!" Kevin called to Ben, who slammed his palm on the Omnitrix. Big Chill rose through the air, his blue butterfly wings expanding.
Helen got there just in time to see Big Chill blow a large gust of wind onto the bonfire, turning everything to ice. Kevin let go of the driver and the metal slipped off of him.
"Nice job," Sam said, walking up to him.
"Couldn't you have gotten here faster?" he demanded to know.
"I didn't know this was going to happen, and by the time we got here, you've already taken care of it."
"Why are you here, anyway?"
"We got bored and decided to hit the town." Sam gestured to Carter and Evan, who were near Gwen. It looked like they were having the same conversation Kevin was having.
"Hey, freaks!" a voice called out to them. Kevin and Sam turned to see a young Tetramand lifting Kevin's car over his head. "Catch!" he threw the car at them.
"Not the car!" Kevin cried as Sam pulled him out of the way. "Kevin! Sam!" Carter called, only to have a Kinecelaran punch her in the face, making her see stars. "Carter!" Evan cried out, only to have the same alien punch him in the gut, making him taste blood where he bit his tongue.
Gwen, who was still there, tried to help them, only to have the Kinecelaran run in front of her. Gwen stopped, and the alien used her super speed to circle around her like a tornado. Gwen was slowly being lifted in the air, and the wind buffeted her body and threw her to and fro, making it hard for her to concentrate on her magic.
Suddenly the wind stopped, and Gwen was falling through the air, too disoriented to save herself. But Carter could; she willed some ice out of her hands and created a winding ice slide for Gwen, which safely led her to the ground.
Kevin, who had hit his head when Sam knocked him out of the way, got punched in the head again by the Tetramand. When Sam tried to stop him, he shot her with a laser, which sent her five feet away in an unconscious heap.
Helen used her super speed to catch up to Manny and his hostage. "Did you see that? They saved that guy!"
"Who cares?" Manny scoffed. "Two of them got hurt! Let's take them out!"
Helen looked back at the other aliens near the ice slide, one of them which turned back into his human form. "No, not until we talk." She used her super speed to pick up Sam and go back to the truck.
"Helen, wait!" Manny called after her, dragging Kevin by his shirt collar (he had unconsciously let go of his armor).
As Ben helped Gwen up, Carter asked, "Where's Kevin and Sam?"
They heard a retching sound; Evan had finished vomiting up water. He hugged his stomach as he stood up. "They're gone," he said in a raspy voice.
And a certain nondescript truck drove past them…
In Ben's Room
"…and what really pisses me off is that they took us out and we couldn't fight back," Evan said, clutching an ice pack to his stomach as he sat on Ben's bedroom floor. Carter had done her best to heal him, but she had never been good with bruises, so Evan would just have to suck it up.
"I know, we're the Pride, we're the Slayers pride and joy, we're supposed to be powerful even when we hold back, etc, etc," Carter said as she tried to heal her cheek. The Kinecelaran had left a pretty nasty cut when she punched Carter, and it had taken a while for her to clean up all the blood before she could start healing it.
"And you know what bugs me?" Ben said, pacing his room. "That alien was an XLR8. I used to be able to turn into that species, I can't just attack it!"
"None of this makes any sense!" Evan yelled out, throwing his head back like a drama queen.
"I know!" Ben said. He turned to Gwen, who had just been sitting on his bed, legs crossed like a monk. "Gwen, you can jump in at any time!"
"Shut up, doofus, I'm concentrating!" she scolded, her eyes glowing pink.
"What are you doing?" Carter asked from Ben's desk chair.
"I'm at one with the cosmic mana, feeling the energy of the universe flowing around and through me."
"Groovy," Ben joked, while Carter made a mental note to look up hippie lingo later.
"So, you can track Kevin and Sam with that?" Evan inquired hopefully.
"Wait, doesn't Sam have a Plumber's badge? Why don't you locate her with that?" Ben asked.
"We don't normally bring our Plumber's badges when we try to have fun," Carter explained. "Besides, even if she had it, there's a chance her kidnappers might have destroyed it. We can't track it then."
"Found them!" Gwen announced happily. She quickly got off Ben's bed. "Now we just have to rescue them."
"Oh, is that all?" Evan said gruffly as he slowly got off Ben's floor. He threw the ice pack to Carter. "Can you freeze that?"
Carter's glowing hand never left her face. "I'll try to later. How're you feeling?"
"I'm gonna seriously hurt in the morning, but I'll live. How's your face?"
Carter slid her hand off her cheek, revealing a pale pink line where the cut was supposed to be. "It'll fade. I'll see if I can get us a ride."
"WHAT WE'RE YOU THINKING?" Manny roared at Helen. They were at their secret base with their two hostages in a yellow circular prison hovering above the floor. They only had one of those ready, so Kevin and Sam were stuck together. Sam was still unconscious, so they couldn't plan anything anyway.
"We had them on the ropes! We could have nailed six monsters at once!" Manny paced around the room while Helen sat dejectedly in a chair.
"We're monsters?" Kevin scoffed. "That's rich coming from a Halloween reject like you."
Manny snarled and walked right up to the yellow energy prison, all up in Kevin's face. "Looks like the alien dirt bag wants another ass whooping!"
"Let me out of this bubble and we'll see what you got!"
"Will you both shut up?" Helen yelled at them. They both turned to her. "You sound like six-year-olds fighting on the playground!"
"I am not anything like him!" Manny and Kevin said in unison, showing everyone just how alike they were. They both snarled at each other again.
"Enough with all the testosterone!" someone yelled behind Kevin. It was a conscious Sam with dried blood flowing from her nostrils to her chin, like rust-colored rivers. When Manny hit her with that laser, it hit her square in the face, making blood pour out of it. Luckily for Sam, her constitution was much stronger than the average human, so she didn't get any broken bones from the blast. It still hurt though.
"Sam, you okay?" Kevin forgot about Manny and held Sam's face in his hands, which looked really pale than normal.
"My nose hurts like a bitch, my head is killing me, and I'm some douche bag's prisoner. How do you think I feel?"
"Like you can take on an army?" Kevin said hopefully.
Sam smirked. "And here I thought you had motor oil for brains. Now why are you arguing with the Tetramand?"
"You said it yourself; he's a douche bag."
"I am not!"
"Shut up douche bag!" Kevin and Manny immediately got in each other's faces again, snarling like animals fighting over territory. Manny suddenly put all four hands through the energy bubble and began pulling at the skin on Kevin's face, causing him pain and discomfort.
"Will you stop that?" Sam yelled at him, trying to set Manny's hands on fire, but she couldn't-she was in too much pain to concentrate.
"Manny, it's not an ID mask!" Helen said. Manny hesitantly took his hands off Kevin, who jerked away. "That's my face, you asshole!"
"Who cares? Let's just feed him to the eradicannon!"
"The eradi-what?" Kevin did not like the sound of that.
Manny smirked at him. "The eradicannon," he said slowly. "It's a disintegrator beam that turns scum like you into dust." He pointed to the truck which held the round laser-like machine, which created the red portal from Hell that ate DNAliens for breakfast.
Kevin smirked. "That's not a disintegrator, you idiot. That's a Null Void projector."
"A Null Void what now?" Manny did not like the sound of that.
"It's a mark one," Kevin noted. "Probably a museum piece; and you are a pinhead."
In a fit of rage, Manny took out his laser guns and shot at Kevin. The energy field protected him from the blasts, but the impact still hit him. Kevin fell back on top of Sam, unconscious. Sam scooted over to make some room for him-not that there was much- and said to Manny, "So he makes fun of you and you have a tantrum? Real mature, dumbass."
"I agree. Why did you do that?" Helen demanded to know.
"He was asking for it," Manny said simply as he sheathed his weapons. "Besides, he was getting on my nerves."
"Yeah, like a playground bully terrorizing his victims!"
Manny was about to yell at Sam before Helen stopped him. "What if you're wrong? What if they're not aliens?"
"You saw his powers."
"But you didn't see hers." Helen gestured to Sam. "For all we know, she's an innocent bystander."
"You heard how she talks about him. Their obviously connected to each other." Manny glared at Sam, who stuck her tongue out at him immaturely.
"I'll prove to you that their aliens," Manny said to Helen. He turned and grabbed Pierce's video journal.
"Be careful with that!" Helen said, freaking out.
"Relax," he reassured her, pressing the ON button. He brought up Pierce's incomplete list of the aliens they've fried over time.
"There's gotta be one like them in here!"
"Manny, listen to me." He looked at Helen. "That guy, whatever he is, has a Plumber's badge."
"There was something in Pierce's diary. One of the aliens we nailed last summer had one too."
"Big deal. If he has a badge than it's a fake, just like all his dirty alien freak friends."
"I'm right here!" They turned to Sam, who was looking pretty miffed about being called a freak.
"Why did you save that driver? Why did you stop that truck from exploding?" Helen asked her.
"Uh, 'cause we're the good guys!" Sam said exasperatedly. "If we'd let that thing alone, the truck would have exploded, incinerating the driver, and probably taking out hundreds of innocent people."
"Lies!" Manny pointed an accusing finger at her. "There's no way you can be a good guy!"
"Uh, yes I am!"
"No, you're not!" Manny roared. "You're just a DNAlien! And we'll do what we do with all aliens we take out."