Imagination Gamer: Not bad for the first try, eh? Well, This one might (keyword: MIGHT) be shorter than the last one, but it does mention someone we all know. (Nudge! Nudge! Wink! Wink!) Enjoy the second chapter. Remember, this is the first story that I've ever typed. It's actually a miracle that I've worked up the nerve to actually attempt to share my stories in public! So, go easy on the flames!

Disclaimer: I don't own anything except my OCs, don't sue me! I'm far from being worth it!


Ben's Befuddling Behavior

After Ben finished tinkering with his chemistry set, he took out his case files to add in a form about a new patient that he ran into the other day. He had the young man write a form about his "issues".

This patient wrote in this form : (parenthesis is Ben's opinion on what he wrote.)

Name: Jak (That's a rare name these days, I've only run into one other Jack.)

Age: 17 (He doesn't look seventeen at all; he could easily pass for his early twenties.)

Eyes: Cerulean (He told me it was a lighter cerulean, but I can guess what did that!)

Hair: Yellow/Green (That's a rare color combination, I've only had one other patient who had that.)

Height: 5"8 (That's average; an inch off though.)

Weight: 175 lbs (Slightly overweight; muscle could be his only bulk though; skinny around the waist.)

Blood Pressure: 140 over 90 (Unusually high for age; could be Eco exposure.)

Heart Rate: 35 Beats a minute (Unusually low for blood pressure; could be very active.)

Condition: Severe Dark Eco exposure (Very rare to the point that I only had one other person with that in my career.)

Life Expectancy: 2-3 years (He could last longer due to certain abilities that I've seen him do over the news.)

Ben looked a bit upset at the patient's supposed life expectancy. But, he's lost a bunch of patients a lot earlier than that. So, he attempted to shake it off because the kid does have certain abilities that you don't usually see. The teen probably just doubts his own powers. Ben shouldn't be surprised because he experienced the same doubt a couple of years ago. He looked through it even more by turning the page to the symptoms of his condition.

Symptoms: Mood swings, increased aggression, angry outbursts, black outs, disturbed sleep, hot/cold flashes, growling, Dark Eco discharges, tunnel vision, transformations, headaches, sore bones, muscle spasms, dizziness, nausea, tiredness, lack of memory after moment of blacking out, veins glowing purple every now and again, hearing sinister voices, having no blood type, increased strength, increase in durability, increased speed, acting monstrous, and more that won't fit on this page. (Wow! That's quite a collection of complications there!)

As Ben looked over the many symptoms he was really glad that he's not in this guys' shoes. Or steel-soled combat boots in this man's case. Ben thought that this kid has more complications than him and all of his patients put together.

Ben decided that he had enough of looking through the kid's files and placed it in his filing cabinet of Terminal Cases. Ben silently prayed that this Jak person will survive this curse that he wouldn't even dare wish on his worst enemy.

Just as Ben was about to place the file in his filing cabinet he heard the loud feminine scream of his assistant which made him jump a mile and almost drop the file.

"Randall!" Ben screamed, "What's wrong?! What happened?!"

"HELP!" Randall shrieked, "IT"S GONNA EAT ME!"

"Of course." Ben grumbled before he filed the file and took his lab coat off as well as his gloves to fight the possible threat.

"HELP ME!" Randall shouted.

Ben sprinted into the stock room when the blood curdling screams suddenly turned into unnerving gurgling. He burst through the storage room door and saw, to his amusement, Randall being attacked by something that looks like a smaller version of a Spine Fish except it was purple, had black spikes, sharper teeth, soulless black eyes, and its fins were even covered in spikes. Poor Randall was getting spiked and finned by the tiny creature in the throat and he was taking it way too seriously.

"Randall, it's just a little one." Ben laughed, "It won't hurt you too bad."

Ben's words came on deaf ears because Randall was a bit mad at Ben for laughing at him.

"Don't just stand there laughing!" Randall yelled, "Get this thing off me! It might kill me in a nanosecond!"

Ben just kept snickering as he gently stroked the creatures' spine which made it purr like a cat and retract its spikes into its body. Ben picked it up and continued stroking its back talking to it like it's a baby which it most likely is due to its size.

"It's okay, it's okay." Ben cooed, "I won't let that klutz harm you anymore."

Randall stared at the spectacle like he's never seen this before. That is most likely true because Ben usually wrestles creatures into their cages while retaining pretty concerning injures that Ben often calls flesh wounds. But, treating them like regular animals is new to him.

"Uhh, Ben?" Randall asked.

It came on deaf ears as he gently placed the Dark Spine Fish in a barred, precursor steel tank and stroked it one last time before sealing it.

"Benny?!" Randall asked a bit louder as Ben picked up a kitten that was exposed to Dark Eco and lived.

"Yes, Randall?" Ben answered as he was petting the creature without his gloves which was also weird to Randall.

"Umm, a-are you feeling alright?" Randall stammered.

"Of course." Ben told him, "Why wouldn't I be?"

"Uhh, erm, ahh, n-nevermind, Benny." Randall faltered, "G-go back to doing... whatever."

Ben just shrugged and muttered something incoherent in Dark Demon. But, it sounded like, "What's gotten into him?"

"Uhh, B-B-Ben..." Randall stumbled in fright from the sound of the growls.

"Hmm?" Ben muttered as he placed the kitten on a testing table and took a sample of its blood for testing.

"I-I-I k-know you c-can speak in y-your family's language..."

Ben nodded slowly as he slid the tube of blood into his testing rack a bit too hard for comfort. He even looked annoyed because he knew what Randall was going to say for the millionth time in the last two years that he's known him.

"...and y-you know th-that creeps me out..." Randall stumbled as Ben looked even more annoyed, "...So, c-can you try t-to not do that..."

Ben interrupted him while gently placing the kitten in a cage and locking the door by saying, "Alright, before I hear your complaint of the day about my ability to speak my natural language..." he inhaled sharply before retorting, "You know what? Lets break down my retort this time. Now, you know very well that damn near all of my family consists of Humanoid Dark Makers, right?"

"Right." Randy grumbled.

"Also, that my... kind is the worst you would ever come across." Ben retorted as he approached Randall threateningly.

"Yes." Randall sighed in annoyance; not even noticing Ben was approaching him.

"And I was actually born with Dark powers which is so rare that it makes Eco Ore look common!" Ben growled as he circled Randall slowly.

"Yes, Ben." Randall gulped when he noticed Ben's behavior and feared the worst.

"AND that I've actually lost control before and slipped up a few times!" Ben snarled, losing it a bit.

"Yeah" Randall whimpered; fingering his communicator to speed dial for 'the expert'.

"AND I'm easily offended by your petty complaints about my family!" Ben howled, really losing control.

"y-yes B-Ben." Randall answered; taking out the communicator slowly and flipping it open.

"AND THAT I COULD EASILY LUNGE AT YOU AND KILL YOU RIGHT ON THE SPOT!" Ben roared at Randall, half gone with anger and eyes black as night.

"I get it, Ben." Randall answered a little too calm for comfort, "Now, if you don't calm down right this second I will not hesitate to call HER!"

When Ben heard that and saw Randall holding the communicator threateningly, he calmed down so fast and used every calming method he learned in Anger Management so effectively that Randall barely had time to press the number for Ben's' old friend before Ben snatched it from him.

"I'm alright, Randy." Ben sighed looking back to normal, "I just slipped up a bit."

"Are you sure?" Randall asked.

"Yes, Randall." Ben answered quickly, "There's no need to call in the cavalry!"

"Alright." Randall droned slowly from suspicion, "I won't call her."

"Besides," Ben recalled, "she told me that she has to patrol the Sewers and the last thing she wants is the Metal Heads to know her position."

"The Sewers?!" Randall yelled in shock.

"I know, Randy," Ben chuckled, "makes me wonder which commander she pissed off... again."

"Erol?" Randy guessed.

"Who do you think!" Ben yelled, "He's the only commander I know that is cruel enough to do that to his own men!"

"Which commander isn't cruel enough to do that to their men?!" Randall shouted.

"That's a very valid point there." Ben answered, "Now, let's get back to work."

"Right." Randall grumbled as another Krimzon Guard ship came in with more creatures, but due to Randall's injury, Ben has to do his secret stocking until the Green Eco heals Randall's wound.

Randall was getting more and more thrown off by Ben's gentleness to the subjects to the point that he was starting to question Ben's sanity.

"What the hell did he put in his Cheerios this morning?" Randall muttered.

After Randall recovered from his injury a few hours later, Ben's behavior got even more strange that it made the new patients' behavior look Elfan.

When Randall was finished stocking in the more exotic creatures and the next ship load was yet to arrive, he decided to check up on Ben to see if his odd behavior blew over.

"Okay Randy. Don't be too concerned about Ben's health." He told himself, "he's probably just sitting there, grumbling in his native tongue, playing with his chemistry set, and acting like a kid in a candy store when he discovers a new monster."

When Randall snuck in the lab he was shocked to see him reading something that is not chemistry related, Dark Eco related, or even medical related. What made it even more strange is that Ben was holding a pencil he usually uses for taking notes. But, he's not using it to take frantic notes this time. He was using this pencil to write in what looks like a dark green composition book. Randall thought that Ben had officially lost his mind and has officially threw him completely off!

"BEN!" Randall screamed loud enough to wake someone in a coma, "What in the name of the Precursors are you reading?!"

"Huh?" Ben answered, "Oh, I'm just reading something my friend wrote..."

"You know how she hates having her things touched without permission!" Randall yelled, "She's just like you in more than a few ways. She's just not as severe when it comes to 'codes of conduct' which I like her for that!"

"I know she hates having her things touched." Ben retorted, "But, I thought I'd proofread her works for her because she plans to publish them once the Underground topples the Baron which, to be honest, they'll most likely fail at without any sort of special help."

"Yeah." Randall shot back, "But, still, she will notice someone touched her works and guess who's gonna get third degree burns!"

"Not me because she would never hurt anyone that badly." Ben shot back at Randall.

"How do you know that?!" Randall screamed, "You experimented on her which changed her ways from a sweet, yet cocky, young girl into a vicious, cold, calculating, monstrous woman!"

"No, those mistakes didn't!" Ben shot back, "I know her a lot better than you do! She may look cold, hard, and calculating on the outside! But, on the inside, she has a heart of gold and she's still the eleven year old child I used to know!"

"Yeah, right!" Randall barked, "You're the one who experimented on her with Dark Eco which took her innocence away!"

That shut Ben up right there because what Randall pointed out has a lot of truth to it. Dark Eco tends to steal innocence and sanity away which made him reflect on the number of times his sanity slipped and fear for his own for the first time in two years.


Flashback: A Month Before the Colleagues Deaths

Ben was in the labs walking to those who are in charge of the new 'guest' of the fortress. He wants to talk about giving her the royal 'treatment' because she wasn't making much progress in transforming at all. One of the scientists, who was fairly tall, saw him and immediately greeted him.

"Dr. Darkens!" he shouted, "What brings you here?" Ben, who was nearly ten, looked throughly displeased with their progress on the prisoner.

"I'm here on the account of DWP #45." Ben stated with venom in his voice, "It's not making much progress at all."

"W-we're doing the best we can." A short, nervous scientist answered, "W-we're just trying to keep her alive."

"Well," Ben barked, "your BEST isn't GOOD ENOUGH!"

"Listen, Mr. I'm-The-Lead-Scientist-On-This-Train-Wreak-So-I-Can-Do-Whatever-I-Please-and-Get-Away-With-It," The gruff one growled, "we need to keep this one alive because it has a lot of potential and I heard a little birdie tell me that it can channel Eco."

"Is the 'little birdie' that imbecile Erol?!" Ben demanded.

"NO!" The gruff scientist yelled.

Ben persuaded him by giving him the 'Evil Eyes' that'll convince anyone to give him what he wants and it worked after nearly 10 seconds.

"Yes." The gruff one grunted.

"That's what I thought!" Ben snarled, "Just for that, I'm going to let Erol know that you let #45 listen to music and cause a food riot... AGAIN!"

"But, Darkens!" The gruff one whined, "I didn't know she'd try to do that from listening to a bit of music!"

"You should've seen in its records that it's easily influenced by a simple song!" Ben growled, "As for #45's lack of progress, double its doses, now."

"But..." The tall one tried to say.

"Now!" Ben yelled.

"But..." The short one tried to reason.

"Now!" Ben shouted.

"But..." The gruff one tried to tell him.

"Now!" Ben screamed.

"But..." They all tried.

"NOOOOOOOOW!" Ben roared loud enough for the entire city to hear and to scare every scientist to double the doses on subject #45.

"Jeez, and he says Erol's an imbecile." The tall one whispered as he accidentally turned the knobs that, not only doubles the doses, he quadrupled the doses by mistake!

Several Weeks Later in The Testing Room:

Ben was watching subject #45 battle several other 'normal' prisoners and they all were easily killed by her. But, there were several 'disappointments' to her progress as stated in Ben's report:

(Scale 1-100)

Willingness to kill: 60
(Still has trouble killing civilians; no trouble with Dark Warriors; little trouble with creatures.)

Power: 80
(Precision needs some work; strength needs tapped into; speed is perfect; has many abilities; could be a huge threat to society.)

Intelligence: 100
(Can work out complex problems in her head in an instant; plans every move in seconds; knows her history really well; stellar at math; well rehearsed in terms of English; can speak several hundred different languages; constantly tests cage for weaknesses; capable of extremely complex thoughts.)

Obedience: 25
(Doesn't listen; attention span of a Yakow; very rebellious; disrespectful towards guards; hates scientists with a passion; has sworn to kill the Baron; won't follow orders; caused 10 riots; insults others; tortures the guards with annoying songs; no sense of propriety.)

Agility: 90
(Can move really fast; really quick reflexes; can do acrobatic feats almost effortlessly; has been shown to be a bit clumsy at times; can do flips, twists, rolls, anything in the air.)

Flexibility: 100
(Can twist herself into a lot of odd contortions; helps with the acrobatics; can do contortions in the height of her jump; can do the matrix to avoid bullets.)

Discipline: 10
(Never follows orders; tortures the guards with annoying songs; tries to show that she has her "own ways" of making others listen; likes to do things her way that would work out better; no kind of torture phases her at all; has a very strong will and sense of self; may never make a good soldier; hates authority figures with a passion.)

Spirit: 60
(Dances like a nut; loves to sing; enjoys music; makes music with various objects; makes really rude jokes; has a very powerful belly laugh that seems to be contagious; has had bouts of sadness that lasted for days; been in constant depression; insults guards for fun; plays games of all kinds; feels lonely at times; tries to make friends with almost anyone to try to feel more at home; loves to read, write, draw, and create things with her powers.)

Signs of Change: 40
(Had fits of angry rages before; tries to show others whose boss; gets into violent fights; tries to start trouble; very territorial as expected; physique has change drastically; skill, flexibility, agility, reflexes, strength, senses, power, and speed has increased to inhuman and dangerous levels; anger has increased as expected; has growled, snarled, ran on all fours, and acted like a monster many times; no signs of physical change into Dark Demon.)

Signed: Benjamin David Arthur Darkens

"This is starting to get annoying." Ben grumbled as he finished his 92nd report on subject #45, "If that thing doesn't show any sign of change I'm going to have to terminate the project and many months of research is going down the drain!" He shouted as he slammed his clipboard on the dashboard in anger.

He gasped in horror because it pressed a bunch of buttons which activated the ceiling turrents and they started to fire upon the subject. It was extremely displeased by the surprise and it used its amazing flexibility, agility, and strength to take them out. Ben managed to deactivate them just as the subject took out half of them.

"What the hell?!" the subject screamed, "I thought we were doing that next month! Are you TRYING to kill me?! IS THAT IT?! IS IT?!"

The subject's retort came in on deaf ears because Ben was so mad at himself for doing that because the turrent incident obviously pissed off the subject which will throw the schedule off by two months. Also, the destruction of the turrents will really put a crimp in the Baron's war fund. Little did Ben realize that someone was behind him the whole time trying not to laugh.

"DAMMIT, DAMMIT, DAMMIT, DAMMIT!' Ben shouted angrily, "This spike in anger is going to throw everything off! This little brat is going to pay for destroying those turrents! They're suppost to keep prisoners in and those turrents don't come cheap at all! The Baron is going to murder me for this!"

Ben was so angry by his clumsy mistake that he lost his shortening temper. He put his fist through a wall which was made of metal with concrete in the center. A scientist came in to see what all the noise was about. But, Ben ended up punching him so hard that he is likely to have broken a lot more than the guy's ribs! Ben realized what he was doing and quickly tried to calm himself before he kills someone! He managed to get a grip on his rage by taking deep breaths and slowly counting to ten. He had to do that before his anger reaches its peak or the worst of him will come out and everyone will be in danger!

The mysterious shadow picked that moment to step out and it revealed a man who just passed his prime. He was fairly tall with graying brownish black hair, long ears like everyone else in this world, pale skin, long fingers, and blackish fingernails. He was wearing a long white lab coat, black pants, black combat boots, purple goggles with a black lens, a necklace that looks like a Dark Eco crystal imbedded in a Precursor metal lining that had an ancient dialect written around the lining, a golden wedding ring on his middle finger that seemed to be constantly cleaned, and he was wearing black sunglasses like a police officer would.

"Something troubling you, brother?" the man asked in a strong English voice that seemed as smooth as silk.

"I'm not going to lose it again if that's what you're assuming John!" Ben growled inhumanly.

"It sounds as though you are going to take leave of your senses again." John assumed, "I think you should give into it and let go. After all, you cannot hide what's inside, Dark freak."

Ben growled at him and shouted, "I HATE being called that! I'm not going to lose it again! I'm never going to let innocent people die by my hands again!"

He was taking long, deep breaths to calm himself down. He counted to ten as his inhales almost had his lungs burst and counted to ten again as his exhales was about to leave him breathless. His sense of reason finally returned and saw what he did to the poor man. He helped the poor scientist up and called the infirmary to immediately take the man to the sick bay which they did in less than ten minutes. It just leaves him and John who was fairly annoyed by his younger brother.

"Why do you resist the change?" John demanded, "It'll be fruitless by the time your powers fully manifest theirselves."

"Until then," Ben retorted, "I'm going to enjoy my days being a normal Elfan whether you tolerate it or not!"

John just scoffed at him and teased, "At least I accepted my fate, unlike you, weakling!"

Ben snorted with amusement and shot back, "You're calling me a weakling?! At least I accepted that one of my relatives has departed. Yet, you're still looking for your six-year-old son without even realizing that you're on a wild goose chase for a child who isn't even among the living anymore!"

"HE IS NOT DEAD!" John roared sounding like a vicious monster, "HE'S STILL ALIVE! HE'S A SMART BOY! HE CAN'T BE STUPID ENOUGH TO DIE LIKE THAT! I CAN STILL FEEL HIS ENERGY!"

John was gasping for air after yelling all that in one breath. It made Ben realize he went a bit too far in insulting this man. He shouldn't be insulting him like that because he helped him with his "issues" before and he should respect John for that despite the fact he teases him over everything. He saw John take out his wallet, open it, and took out a photo of a child who looks a lot like Ben except this child is only six. John also took off his sunglasses which revealed his whites were black as night, the color of his eyes are a blood-red, and the center of his eyes are snake-like. It scared Ben slightly because John never took off his sunglasses and he always wondered why. Now, Ben knows why his brother always wore them.

"John, I'm sorry." Ben whispered, "That was uncalled for."

"That's okay, Ben." John choked with tears that are as red as blood, "I guess I just need to let it go."

John put the picture in his wallet as he choked that out.

"Just go keep searching for him." Ben told him, "I need to file this report."

Ben picked up the clipboard as he said that.

"Alright," John agreed in a recovered tone as he put his wallet back in his back pocket, "I wish you luck in your research."

Ben just smiled and nodded at his brother's crude remark due to his lack of luck in his research.

John decided to reveal the prisoner's secret and told Ben in an unsettling tone, "You might want to try to be more gentle to the subject. She's just a child after all."

John put his sunglasses on as he walked away from a disturbed Ben. Just as John was about to close the hatch he decided to upset Ben even more to get back at him for insulting his search for his son.

"You heard me correctly." John smiled evilly, "Also, you just stole her innocence and her sanity away with those experiments. I'm sorry to say that you owe that girl a childhood!"

John closed the hatch and locked it. Poor Ben was so disturbed that he dropped his clipboard and his pen again with his eyes wide with surprise and his jaw dropped. He held that shocked position for nearly two minutes before he struggled to summon the will to speak.

"Sh-sh-sh-she's just a... child?" Ben croaked in shock.

After Ben found the will to move, he quickly filed the report in his filing cabinent. He ran as fast as his barely developed powers would allow to get to the lab so he can look up subject #45's information.

'She's just a child?!' Ben thought frantically, 'That's INSANE, OUTRAGEOUS, AND ILLEGAL TO BOOT!'

Ben ran into the vacant lab and sat down on his personal computer. He looked up data on the prisoners of the Dark Warrior Program and found an overwhelming number of prisoners. So, Ben decided to narrow it down by looking up the subjects that are still alive and still found an overwhelming number of prisoners. Ben groaned in annoyance and narrowed down his search as best as he could by looking up those who has shown no sign of change and found this:

Subject #12:alive

Subject #15:deceased

Subject #25:deceased

Subject #30:alive

Subject #35:alive

Subject #40:alive

Subject #43:deceased

Subject #45: alive

Subject #50: deceased

Ben's heart skipped a beat from excitement. He clicked on subject #45 and saw this:

Subject #45

Name: Classified

Height: Previously: 4"11; Currently: 5"6

Weight: Previously: 90lbs; Currently: 110lbs

Gender: Female

Hair: Bright red with vague yellow-green roots

Eyes: Previously: emerald-green; Currently: forest green

Skin: Previously: dusty tan; Currently: tarnish pallor

Age: N/A

Status: Alive

Prison Time: 3 months; 21 days; 3 hours; 45 minutes

Progress: No sign of transformation

DE Doses: 40 gallons a day

Ben was shocked beyond belief at the doses the subject is getting. He told them to double the doses of Dark Eco not quadruple it! He got over it because it's been a few weeks and the subject is still alive. So, he's not going to complain about the doses. He was frustrated by the fact that the information has shown no name or age. But, he had an idea to figure out her age by using his knowledge from medical school.

"Let's see," Ben calculated, "she was four-foot eleven and she was ninety pounds. So, that places her age at around... hmm."

Ben moved his fingers around, lip spoke rapidly, and was mentally doing calculus in his head. The result he came up with shocked him so bad he almost blacked out in a rage.

"Between the ages of eight and ten?!" Ben thought aloud.

He quickly covered his mouth and looked around to make sure no one heard him scream that. No one seemed to have heard him shout that shocking age and no one seems to be around. So, in a fit of righteous anger, he hacked into the database and posted her true age for all who may look into the subject's information to see. Ben quickly logged off, got up, and walked away in enough anger to frighten a Metal Head to try to have a "talk" with Erol.

Later at Erol's Quarters:

Ben stomped up to Erol with his face contorted in a rage that's enough to scare anyone or anything. Well, anyone except Erol who's seen far worse looks from the prisoners, the civilians, even from his own men.

"ERRRRROOOOOOLLLLLL!" Ben shrieked, "THAT GIRL IS ONLY A CHILD?!"

"Yes, she is a child." Erol answered, "But, she has so much raw power that it's too great an opportunity to pass up!"

"But, a child?!" Ben pointed out, "Even my family is not THAT damn cruel!"

"Oh really?" Erol sneered, "Says the doctor who drove a child to become a monster!"

"I wasn't informed of her age because SOMEONE refused to tell me before you put me in charge of her!" Ben shouted.

"I couldn't tell you of her age because..." Erol began.

"You thought I wouldn't take charge because she was too young?" Ben guessed furiously.

"NO!" Erol shouted, "She refused to give me her age. Much less giving me her own name."

"Bull shit!" Ben screamed, "You expect me to believe that malarkey?!"

"It's true!" Erol shouted taking out a recorder, "Listen to this."

He pressed the "Play" button and revealed that the girl rudely refused to tell her name and age and tossed a few insults that made Ben snicker. The recording went like this:

Erol: "Okay, what is your name?"

Girl: "Like hell I'll tell you that, you lap-dog!"

Erol: "You must tell the fortress your name because your description is not in any of our records."

Girl: "Trust me, the less you know about me, the better, carrot top!"

Erol: "Actually, the more I know about you, the better for everyone's health!"

Girl: "Speaking of health, you really need to eat something! I mean, sheesh! Look at you! You're so skinny, the next big wind could blow you away!"

The guards laughed and snickered at the girl's insult.

Erol: "Shut up! Alright, I'll just call you Nothing! How do you like that!

Girl: "Better than you AND your two-bit knowledge of how to talk to a young woman properly!"

Erol growls at the girl in anger and the guards laugh at Erol.

Erol: "SHUT UP OR I'LL ORDER YOU ALL UNDER ARREST AND PLACED IN THE DWP!"

The guards all quiet down for fear of that threat becoming reality.

Girl: "Wow, and everyone says I'VE got a short fuse. But, you? Whew, YOU take the cake!"

Erol: "Shut up! Now, at least tell me how old you are.

Girl: "Hmm, I'm not really sure. 17? Nah! 20? No. Oh gee, I really don't know because it's so hard to keep track of the number of years it's been."

Erol: "Tell me how old you are or else!"

Girl: "Or else what?"

Erol: "Or else I'll give you a reason to be afraid!"

Girl: "Ooh! I'm SO scared! You know what is actually frightening?

Erol: "What?!"

Girl: "That fright-wig you call hair! And that get-up of yours! Let me guess, you're going for a career in figure skating?!"

The guards laugh hysterically and Erol screams in rage.

Erol: "THAT DOES IT!"

There is a loud stabbing noise and the Girl screams in pain as the recording's sound became static and shut down. Erol saw Ben snickering and he looked at him really hard.

"It's not funny!" Erol shouted, "I just wasn't wearing my armor!"

"No, it's not funny!" Ben giggled, "It's hilarious!"

"THAT'S ENOUGH OR I'LL HAVE THE BARON TOSS YOU IN THE WASTELAND!"

That threat made Ben stop laughing so quick that it was almost amazing.

"Okay, okay." Ben assured, "There's no need to do that, Erol. Besides, you'd never do that to me because I'm the best lead scientist you've got since Tym vanished."

"Yeah," Erol mumbled, "You're right about that."

"So," Ben started, "are you going to release that poor child?"

"No," Erol scoffed, "she's a danger to society now. She's no longer that 'sweet', 'innocent', little girl that she used to be. But, a monster that won't hesitate to kill you as soon as she looks at you!"

"Humph!" Ben scorned, "Yeah, because of what you do to them that turns them from highly respected people to complete Eco monsters!"

"Ben!" Erol screamed, "My answer is final! We are keeping the girl here because she can help us win this war!"

"Huh!" Ben muttered, "Maybe if we actually TRY to train our men maybe we wouldn't have to pump innocent people full of Dark Eco to turn them into corpses."

"Guards!" Erol screamed as his men ran in, "Get this piece of garbage out of here!"

"You heard him, men." Ben laughed pointing at Erol, "Get this piece of garbage out of here!"

"OUT, OUT, OUT, OUT, OOOOOUUUUUUUUUT!" Erol roared as they dragged a laughing Ben out of Erol's quarters.


Ben snapped out of his flashback when Randall started snapping his fingers in front of Ben's face.

"Huh?" Ben mumbled, "What, what, what, what, what?"

"You alright?" Randall asked, "You zoned out for a moment there."

"Yeah, I'm fine." Ben muttered, "I was just having a flashback."

"You've been having these flashbacks a lot lately." Randall pointed out, "Are you sure you're alright?"

"Yeah, yeah, Randy." Ben answered a bit too quick for comfort, "I'll be okay, I just need to find something constructive to do."

"Or destructive." Randall joked which earned him a hard look from his employer.

Ben continued to proofread the girl's works, much to Randall's chagrin. Randall continued to stock in the new truck of creatures that came in just after he got Ben out of la la land. These creatures are new which did nothing to change Ben's odd mood. When Randall accidentally spilled Ben's chemicals all over his clean floors he didn't even scream at Randall for being such an uncoordinated imbecile. Ben just told him in a calm manner to grab a mop and clean it up. Randall did so with contempt because he's never seen his friend act this way before. Later, Ben was just sitting there daydreaming and leaving his chemicals untouched. Randall decided to intervene and find out what the heck is going on with him.

"Ben?" Randall asked, but he got no response.

"Ben?" Randall questioned with no answer.

"Benny!?" Randall asked while trying to shake him which earned him no words out of Ben's mouth.

"Benny!" Randall shouted silently while shaking his shoulder almost violently. Ben didn't even stir from his torpid state.

"BENJAMIN DAVID ARTHUR DARKENS!" Randall screamed at the top of his lungs, "BLINK OR SOMETHING WILL YOU?! YOU'RE SCARING ME!"

Ben was still out of it for some reason and Randall decided to use the 'Wake Up Call' upon him. He grabbed a syringe, filled it with Dark Eco that came directly from a lake, and injected it into Ben's neck. The effects were almost instantaneous upon him. He leapt up out of his dormant state screaming with Dark Eco bolts leaping out of him. He fell on the floor and was jolting violently for a bit before the bolts vanished and he recovered. But, he was beyond ticked off at his idiot assistant!

"Randolph Damian Elwyn!" Ben screamed with his accent really slipping, "Confound it! What in blazes are you trying to do?! MURDER ME?!"

Ben managed to control his anger and not kill his friend. But, Randall still looked a bit subdued because Ben dropped the full-name-bomb which usually shuts him up for days. But, it was only temporary this time because he has questions for Ben about his behavior. He was just having trouble summing up the courage to ask his Dark friend these questions because he's never complained about his friend's behavior before. In Ben's case, the less often the better for everyone's heath. But, Ben's behavior is getting a little out of hand to the point that he either needs professional help or a talk with an old friend.


Imagination Gamer: Will Randall toughen up and ask his friend these important questions or will he let Ben's behavior persist? Let's hope so because usually when Ben doesn't act like himself something's gone wrong which usually sounds serious. P.S. I'm going to be updating already published chapters a lot because there are some things in my story that doesn't rub me the right way if you get what I meant. So, you might want to stop by often if you like my story at all.