(True… Thank goodness for the things that stay constant though.)
(That actually doesn’t seem so true for me…)
Peter shot up out of his simulation pod in ACCU Room 236, shattering the glass as he sat upright. The numerous Franklin’s jumped back as the still screaming Peter tried to come to grips with his reality. All Peter could remember is that Douglas had told him these guys were bad so he jumped out of his pod and sprinted for the door. One of the Franklin’s picked up a rifle and started firing shots at Peter. He ducked and dodged out of the way of every single blast fired his way, finally making his way to the door. He slammed his hand on the button that opened the door, but as the door slid open his path was blocked by a large orange object. Peter flew back and slammed into the far wall, being held there by an invisible force. The large orange object levitated into the room.
“GOOD TO SEE YOU’RE AWAKE NOW, PETER. WE HAVE A FEW THINGS TO DISCUSS.”
“ANY UPDATES ON DOUGLAS?” the Kumquat asked the hologram of Franklin 7789.
“He has successfully made a second portal leap. We’re still getting a signal from his tracking device, but it’s growing fainter. The last time we were able to complete a successful scan, he was with someone else: female, presumably a time lord.”
“VERIFY THOSE QUARDINATES AND PREPARE DELTA SQUAD FOR IMMEDIATE DEPLOYMENT. WE CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE THAT LEAD.”
“It will be done,” confirmed Franklin 7789 as the hologram flickered off.
The giant levitating fruit turned back towards Peter, who was handcuffed and had a Franklin holding him at rifle point.
“THIS HARDLY SEEMS NECESSARY.”
“Excuse me, my lord?” inquired the Franklin.
“I BELIEVE PETER HAS GOTTEN MOST OF THE INITIAL SHOCK FROM HIS DREAMING OUT. HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO BEHAVE HIMSELF NOW. UN-CUFF HIM.”
A second Franklin, also holding a rifle, coaxed the first one on, indicating that he’d cover him. The first Franklin reluctantly lowered his weapon and unlocked Peter’s handcuffs. Peter rubbed his wrists and glared at the Franklin, who quickly raised his rifle again. Peter then turned his attention back towards the kumquat.
“DID YOU ENJOY YOUR DREAMING?”
“Spare me the small talk, I know you wouldn’t have woken me up unless you needed me.”
“I WAS MERELY TRYING TO BE POLITE. I DON’T THINK YOU’RE STUPID. BUT I ALSO HAVE TO WONDER HOW MUCH YOU ACTUALLY KNOW ABOUT THIS ALL THIS. OR EVEN YOUR OWN HISTORY, FOR THAT MATTER. WHO’S YOUR FAMILY? PETER… WHO ARE YOU?”
Completely disarmed, Peter stared beyond the kumquat. The room fell silent and remained that way for several minutes.
“PETER CLIFTON, CITIZEN OF EARTH AND PRESUMABLY AN EARTHLING UNTIL YOU START TO NOTICE A FEW INCONSISTENCIES IN THE STORY: LIKE HOW HIS STEP-MOTHER AND GRANDFATHER CAN’T AGREE ON A BIRTH YEAR, LET ALONE A BIRTH DAY OR THE NIGHT TERRORS AND FLASHBACKS WHERE LITTLE PETER SEES SKYSCRAPERS, SPACESHIPS, AND CELL PHONES. HE EXPERIENCES MEMORIES THAT AREN’T HIS AND MEMORIES THAT WERE SUPPOSED TO BE TAKEN FROM HIM IN A VAIN ATTEMPT TO PROTECT HIM. AND AFTER A BIT OF DIGGING THROUGH THE DEEPER FILES OF T.O.P.H.A.T, ONE MIGHT FIND THAT PETER WASN’T BORN IN 1080 ANNO DOMMINI, BUT RATHER ENGINIEERED AND CREATED IN STAR DATE 7,000,087,000 BY A DERANGED FORMER TYRANT WHO TRIED TO ENSLAVE THE EARTH (AND WHEN THAT FAILED, TRIED TO DESTROY THE UNIVERSE). YOU WERE A GENETIC/SPIRITUAL EXPERIMENT, IMPERFECT IN THE EYES OF YOUR CREATOR, SENT AWAY TO HIDE AMONGST THE HUMANS SO THAT SHE COULDN’T UNDO WHAT SHE HAD MADE AND RESTORE HER FULL POWER. AND WHEN THE HIGHER UPS THOUGHT THAT THE THREAT HAD BEEN NUETRALIZED, THEY TRIED TO TAKE YOUR MEMEORIES AND ASSIGNED YOU A FAMILY, WHERE YOU WOULD BE RAISED CATHOLIC AND BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS NO GREATER ADVENTURE IN LIFE THAN TO PLAY MUSIC IN A CITY OF SIX THOUSAND PEOPLE.”
Lord Kumquat gave Peter a few minutes to digest all of this. He hoped that Peter would say something, but no such luck.
“THAT THREAT THAT WAS THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN LOCKED AWAY SO LONG AGO IS BACK AND I’M GIVING YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE DOWN KRISTEN. YOU CAN HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO STAND BEFORE HER AND ASK ALL THOSE QUESTIONS YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK YOUR MOM, BEFORE WE TAKE HER POWERS FOR GOOD. ALL THOSE RETCHED, UGLY THOUGHTS THAT ABANDONMENT PUTS IN YOU: YOU CAN FINALLY THROW AT HER-“
“Even if I were interested,” snarled Peter, “why would I ever trust you?”
“THIS IS ABOUT SOMETHING THAT DOUGLAS SAID, ISN’T IT? PETER, I ASSURE YOU, T.O.P.H.A.T HAS BEEN SPREADING LIES ABOUT US FOR YEARS. ANY THREAT TO THEIR ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY IS ATTACKED WITH THE KIND OF FEROCITY THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE RESERVED FOR INTER-GALACTIC THREATS. FOR BILLIONS OF YEARS, THEY’VE HELPED PROP UP THE FIRST-BORN LINEAGE WITHIN TIME LORD SOCIETY AND DELT HALF-MEASURES TO EVERY MAJOR ISSUE WE’VE FACED. BUT WHEN OUR FACTION STARTS GETTING RESULTS, SUDDENLY THEY HAVE TO SEND IN SPIES AND FIND A WAY TO UNDERMINE US. PETER, WE WANT THE SAME THING: WE BOTH WANT TO STOP KRISTEN. THE A.C.C.U HAS THE ONLY MEANS OF KEEPING KIRSTEN FROM EVER TAKING OVER AGAIN.”
Peter and Lord Kumquat just stared at each other for a minute. Then Peter took another look around the room, observing all the guards.
“I don’t suppose you can spare enough Franklins to force my hand in this matter.”
“I SUPPOSE NOT. ESPECIALLY NOT WITH YOU SLOWLY STARTING TO DISCOVER YOUR OWN POWERS.”
“Why would you-“ started an exasperated Franklin.
“SILENCE,” Lord Kumquat ordered sternly.
“So, that leaves me with a choice,” examined Peter, “as to whether or not I help you. And I choose **not** to side with the shady secret organization.”
There was an uncomfortable silence.
“FOLLOW ME, PETER.”
Peter was lifted off the ground and then slammed violently against the ground. The clicking of 12 Franklins raising their guns echoed within the room.
“WE CAN’T WASTE RESOURCES TRANSPORTING A STUBBORN OX ONTO A BATTLEFIELD, BUT WE HAVE PLENTY OF GUARDS TO MOVE YOU INTO THE NEXT ROOM WHETHER YOU WANT TO OR NOT. I SUGGEST YOU DON’T MAKE THIS ANY MORE DIFFICULT THAN IT ALREADY IS.”
Peter slowly rose to his feet, nose bloodied, and raised his hands above his head. He followed the levitating kumquat out the door. The trip to the room that Lord Kumquat was referring to was brief. They arrived to see several lab coat-clad Franklins surrounding a glass enclosure that had been partially draped in a curtain.
“I REALLY HOPED THAT IT WOULDN’T COME TO THIS PETER. YOU HAVE SO MUCH POTENTIAL FOR GREATNESS, IF YOU WOULD ONLY SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE. NOW, IF YOU TAKE NO OTHER LESSONS AWAY FROM TODAY, I HOPE YOU REMEMBER THIS: WHEN RECRUITING, ALWAYS HAVE MORE THAN ONE KIND OF LEVERAGE PREPARED. AND WITH THAT SAID, I HAVE SOMEONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO MEET YOU. PULL THE CURTAIN!”
The curtain dropped to reveal….
The llama stood in an enclosure visually similar to the horse stall he had back home.
“What did you do to him!?”
“WE REPLACED HIS VOICE WITH THE VOICE OF WORLD RENOWNED VOICE ACTOR PATRICK WARBURTON.”
“HE DID KRONK FROM EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE, JOE FROM FAMILY GUY, KEN FROM THE BEE MOVIE, HE WAS ON SEINFELD FOR A WHILE-“
“Oh, okay. Yeah, I thought I recognized that voice.”
“🅱️eter. Don’t worry about me 🅱️eter, I’m actually enjoying this quite a bit.”
“Yeah, this doesn’t really seem like much a very threatening gesture. How is this supposed to get me to your side?”
“WELL, **I NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD BE SO SIMPLE. BUT I FOUND A WAY… I FOUND A WAAAAAAAAY**.”
Right on queue, one of the Franklins sitting behind the main control panel flipped a switch. A familiar guitar riff started up.
“Is this the Drake And Josh theme song?” asked Peter.
“Again, I’m pretty on board with this,” said Carlos, “this is quite nostalgic.”
“How is this nostalgic for you? You don’t even know what a TV show is, how would you have watched Drake And Josh?”
“I always thought it’d be too crazy but,” Carlos sang along, “I found a way, I found a waaaaaaaay!”
“Seriously, where are you going with this?”
“WELL, CLEARLY **IT’S GONNA TAKE SOME TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME TO REALIIIIIIIIIZE**… HOW AWFUL THIS IS.”
“Good one, m’lord,” said one of the Franklin’s behind the control board.
“THANK YOU 1114. NOW FIRE UP THE ACCELERATOR!”
Suddenly, Carlos’s body began to remove rapidly. The slightest movements on his body flickered and a nauseating speed.
“What are you doing?”
“FAST FORWARDING. IN JUST A FEW MOMENTS, CARLOS WILL HAVE DONE NOTHING BUT LISTEN TO THAT SONG FOR A YEAR STRAIGHT.”
Carlos’s body began to slow down again. His fur was matted and covered in sweat. His eyes were bloodshot and his teeth were gritted. He let out a scream and only then did one of the Franklins the song.
“You have to get me out of here, 🅱️eter! They didn’t even play the full version, it was the 30-second TV opening edit! I’M LOSING IT, BETER!”
“I’m sorry, buddy,” Peter said, with concern in his voice, “I’m not going to help a deranged lunatic get his hands on a power source like Kristen.”
“DERANGED LUNATIC? SEEMS A BIT HARSH PETER. **IF YOU LOOK INSIDE I’M SURE YOU’LL FIND**-“
Carlos shrieks and smacks his head against the glass.
“THAT MY PLAN IS WHAT’S BEST FOR EVERYONE. I’VE BEEN COMPLETELY REASONABLE WITH YOU, THE FACT THAT IT’S EVEN COME TO THIS IS ABSURD. WHY CAN’T WE LEARN TO TRUST EACH OTHER? I DON’T WANT TO CONSTANTLY BE **OVER YOUR SHOULDER**-“
“I want to die!” screamed Carlos.
“You’re not going to break me. I’m not going to be a pawn in your scheme.”
“BREAK YOU? OH NO, PETER, I DON’T WANT TO BREAK YOU. I WOULD NEVER WANT TO BREAK YOU. IN FACT, DON’T **YOU KNOW THAT I’LL ALWAYS BE PICKING YOU UP WHEN YOU’RE DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWN**-“
“Death can’t come soon enough!”
“Hey, boss,” said a Franklin, standing with his back to his control panel, clearly setting up for a bad gag, “where’d my workstation go?”
“**JUST TURN AROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUND**”
“Oooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhh,” grooved the entire room full of Franklins, as Carlos screams out.
“Carlos, look, buddy, I know this is painful, but I know you can hold out. We used to do stuff like this all the time.”
“A year’s worth of it? I don’t think so. I can’t take this anymore, 🅱️eter.”
“I know, it’s a bit much, but you’ve gotta hold out. I mean, if this is the worst torture that they can come up with-“
“TORTURE? OH, MY DEAR NAÏVE BOY. THIS ISN’T TORTURE, THIS IS A TUESDAY NIGHT. WE WERE JUST HAVING SOME FUN.”
Lord Kumquat drew in close to Peter.
“WE MAY HAVE GOT OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT, BUT THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH. I’VE PRESENTED YOU WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO FULFIL YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE, TO STRIKE DOWN THE ONE WHO’S ABANDONED YOU AND THREATENS TO DESTROY EVERYTHING YOU KNOW AND LOVE. I SAW SOMETHING IN YOU PETER. I SAW FIRE, I SAW GRIT. I SAW RAW, UNTAMED POWER, JUST WAITING TO BE AIMED AT INJUSTICE AND EVIL. IF YOU COULD ONLY SEE WHAT IS POSSIBLE, WHAT YOU COULD BE MOLDED INTO. YOU’RE GOING TO SPIT IN THE FACE OF AN OPPORTUNITY LIKE THIS BECAUSE A DISGRUNTLED SECRET AGENT TOLD YOU THAT WE’RE EVIL?”
“Douglas said that someone named Valdra Muinthel was going to use my essence to power a doomsday device,” said Peter, staring at the floor and suddenly questioning what he knows, “that’s all he said.”
“THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, I PROMISE YOU. PETER… IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO W A K E_U P.”
Peter looked up at the kumquat.
“What did you say?”
An invisible hand wiped away the last of the blood from Peter’s nose. Even though Lord Kumquat didn’t really have a face, the two shared a glance.
“PETER, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. CARLOS AND HIS COW FRIEND WILL BE WELL TAKEN CARE OF HERE, BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW ELSE TO PERSUADE YOU. T.O.P.H.A.T HAS ALREADY BEEN COMPROMISED, WHO KNOWS WHAT OTHER FACTIONS WITHIN THE TIME LORD COMMUNITY WILL FALL IF KRISTEN GETS HER WAY. SOON SHE WILL GROW TOO POWERFUL TO STOP AND ONCE SHE DOES SHE WILL DESTROY EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE THAT YOU HOLD DEAR. YOU ARE TOO IMPORTANT TO THIS MISSION FOR ME TO LEAVE ON THE SIDELINES. WILL YOU HELP ME?”
Peter stared back at him.
“You’ll have a lot of questions to answer when we get back.”
“But we have a galaxy to save. I’m in.”
“EXCELLENT,” said Lord Kumquat, before turning back to one of the panels and pulling up a hologram of a Franklin in stealth armor.
“FRANKLIN AB42, IS YOUR SQUAD READY FOR IMMEDIATE DEPARTURE?”
“Locked and loaded sir. We’re 15 Franklins strong and have the specialty extraction gear that you requested.”
No, Lord Kumquat telepathically told one of the Franklins at the control panel for Carlos’s cell, that won’t be necessary for now.
A mechanical tentacle with a needle at the end had been hovering inches above Carlos’s back. The tentacle quickly retracted before Carlos or Peter could notice.
Keep “Protocol Bee” on the short-cuts menu, the kumquat transmitted to the Franklin, be ready to begin broadcast cameras if I call for it.
“VERY GOOD AB42,” Lord Kumquat said back into the hologram, “WE’LL MEET YOU AT THE SHIP IN 15 MINUTES. WE JUST NEED TO PICK UP PETER’S ARMOR.”
“Be careful out there, 🅱️eter,” said Carlos.
“You take care of yourself too buddy,” Peter said back, “Once this is all said and done, we can finally get back to doing music again.”
“Honestly, I could use a little break from music for a while.”
“Completely understandable. See you soon, bud.”
Peter followed Lord Kumquat down the hallway and into the elevator.
“You’re going to fix his voice when this is all done, right?”
The two descended towards the armory and the hangar, as Peter mentally prepared himself mentally to confront his kinda-sorta-but-not-really Mom.
(Is this the story thread now? I want to add)
(Yes. It is a continuation of the old one sense it was getting long. Are you caught up?)
(Yeah I am)
LAST TIME ON ONCE UPON A TIME:
“My side!?!? Wait let me check,” Kristen lifted the lower corner of her shirt, her butterfly was gone, the curse,,,, had been lifted. ” My curse, I am not cursed anymore. My powers will finally return and I can fulfill my plan! The world will be mine, and my love will be mine.”
“I could be yours” The phantom said broken hearted.
“You could never be mine” Kristen said, ” I must be in recovery mode right now, thats why my powers aren’t working. But how is my curse lifted the only one who can lift it is Chris, or someone like Chris, who… oh no Phantom, I know where we are, we are in a simulator, by the ACCU.”
” Well I can sense my powers working, but I won’t leave you Kristen, I can-” suddenly the Phantom fainted. Behind him stood Mason, with a frying pan, he had knocked out the phantom, Kye and Josiah were free also. Kye had worked off the necklace and shapeshifted. Which means the simulator only is restricting Kristens powers.
“Stay back Kristen, we don’t want to hurt you and you can’t do anything to us without your powers,” said Josiah.
ALSO LAST TIME:):
We find out that Kumpuat was torturing Carlos with bad tv music for a year, and that Robecca was in a cell somewhere and they had Kristen.
“What? Where am I?” Kye sat up, confused, cold and hungry. Her hands tied together and to a chain attached to the stone wall. She was in some sort of cell. Not much lighting. There was a small window which was just a hole in the wall with some bars. Then Across the room from her was a wooden door with a small latch flap to look through. A lot of use that was to her. Next to her was a wooden stool. The walls floor and ceiling were all stone. She tried shapeshifting but again that stupid purple necklace was on her. this time she couldn’t get it off. She was alone and sad, where had Josiah gone? Where was Mason? Last she knew they were with her.
All of the sudden she heard singing. Loud long notes.
“PAAAASSSTT THE POINT OF NOOOO RETURRN!! ”
“SHUT UP PHANTOM!”
It was Phantom and Mason! Kye was relieved to hear them! She wasn’t quite alone.
“Mason!! Are you there? It’s me Kye! How did we get here and where is here?”
“I am not sure yet, I sure miss everyone. This is getting ridiculous, ” Mason said sighing. ” All I want is to be corrected when I make a grammar error, all I want is to hear someone make a pun again, all I want is meatloaf.” Kye could here Mason grunt.
“Wait Someone is coming be still.”Kye said.
Someone jumped in the room, It was Ryan,”Did someone call for a pun?”
Josiah came in,”Its grammatical error not grammar error.”
Dawn,”Sorry I didn’t bring meatloaf.”
Brooke” Hey hey look who we found!!”
(Full story here! In order with the retconned bits removed 😀
Kye’s face broke into a smile. “Hey guys! How are you?” Kye said warmly.
“Pretty good!” replied Brooke. “I mean, we’re all together now, right?” She looked around and started taking a head count.
Josiah had already taken a head count and stated, “Other than Peter and his animal friends, yes.”
“Who’s he?” Dawn pointed to the Phantom.
“I AM THE PHAAAAANTOOOOOM” cried the Phantom.
Mason rolled his eyes. “PLEASE STOP!” he cried, “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE. HE JUST SINGS ALL THE TIME”
Kye rubbed her head. “How did we get here?”
“OMIGOODNESS! WE FORGOT TO UNCHAIN HER!” Dawn nearly screamed.
“…you chained me?” Kye asked, bewildered as Brooke knelt by Kye’s side and began working on the chains.
“Oops that came out wrong. I can be extremely oblivious sometimes and I didn’t notice the chains until now.” Dawn shook her head. “I really am a menace to society sometimes.”
Brooke ended up removing the purple necklace and passing it to Mason. “Here hold onto this for a hot second,” she said.
Josiah turned and gave a penetrating look at Mason. “So, what did Kristen want? How exactly did we end up here, you with the Phantom (who’s clearly with Kristen), and Kye chained with that necklace around her neck?”
Mason sighed deeply.
“Kristen didn’t actually want us for some reason…I have zero ideas why…and so she sent us back to the old new HQ.”
“That doesn’t make sense. Why would she set Kye free without taking her essence?” Dawn automatically replied.
Kye shapeshifted into a mouse and left her chains behind. “Maybe she hopes to bring in bigger bait?” she squeaked. “Or maybe there is a penalty for holding all those essences…”
“They say there are consequences in dabbling in dark magic such as essence-stealing.” Josiah conceded. Regardless, he sized Mason up one more time. “If someone offered me a way to get my essence back…I’d find it very hard to say no.”
(Oh my gosh I love it!!!)
(I’m confused, how did I get back to the group after Kristen teleported me, also where is Kristen… I just need some slight clearing up about the whereabouts of everyone… I think:
Peter, Carlos, Robecca – With Kumquat
Me, Brooke, Dawn, Kristen, Kye, Josiah, Manalive, Phantom, Douglas, [Ryan?] – In TOPHAT base?
Chris – Unaccounted for after revamp
I just need someone to fact check me)
(I think it’s in the middle of a rescue operation.)
(I don’t know exactly how you got back either…two things may have happened:
1- You denied Kristen’s request
2- You accepted her request
Either way, Kristen sent you all away from the island (magic) and kept Kye chained and sent everyone else to the old TOPHAT. Remember, for some reason you all need to be together for one of her plans to operate.
Anyway, regardless of what you said, you look like the bad guy. You must either redeem yourself or fall to your doom. I gave you vague dialogue that can be twisted in either direction. You sighed because if you answer truthfully, they will think you accepted the request, and that’s how they were freed. Alternatively, if you did take the request, you sighed because you remember what the price of freedom is.
I have no idea what happened to Chris, or Kristen for that matter.)
( sorry I was confused and I don’t know why I moved them to the TOPHAT home base I was going explain in my next segment. I could do that later today. What offer was to mason? He was with Kye and Josiah on the Phantoms boat and knocked Phantom out remember? Haha frying pans who knew right?)
(Ya’ll got any more of them E N T R I E S ?)
(I’m sure you’ll see one or two next week, when we’ve finished the Aux Cable Holiday Special: Fan Edition. Otherwise, be pleasantly surprised if you see anything.)
(In this final week, we’re each recording our own answers to the question ““If money and logistics were no object, what would you get Ryan, Matthew, & Angie for Christmas, and why?” and sending the audio file to Franklin at AuxCableFans@gmail.com by Thursday. You’re welcome to send one in while you’re waiting for an entry to be posted.)
“If I had a legitimate chance to get all of my essence back, I would’ve taken it by now and there’s not a thing you could do about it,” asserted Mason, eyes locked in a duel with Josiah’s.
An icy silence descended upon the room.
“You think I haven’t already figured out how Brooke and Douglas transported here? What’s in that box he’s been carrying around?” Mason continued, “I could grab the Power Bracelet and teleport back to Kristen before you knew what happened. If I believed for a second that Kristen would deliver on her offer, there isn’t a single one of you that I wouldn’t walk through to get make life back.”
“Mason-” Dawn began.
“I spent an eternity underground, without a soul, without an identity. You could live a thousand lifetimes and not even begin to scrape the surface of the gaping emptiness that Brooke, Dawn and I have stared into every day. And I denied a clear-cut solution to my problem because I recognize a deal with the devil when I see one.”
Josiah took a step back; Mason took a step forward and continued.
“Maybe I’m not a good guy anymore, you know, maybe she took that from me too. But I know for a fact that the only way I’m getting my essence back is by force. And all the time that we waste on this double-agent nonsense brings us that much closer to Kristen possibly unleashing another apocalypse.”
Mason took a step back and scanned the concerned faces of his friends. A simple ‘No, I’m not going to betray you guys,’ probably would have sufficed. Frustration and exasperation had overcome him and he needed a release.
A familiar yellow glow lit up Mason’s peripheral vision and he felt Dawn put a hand on his shoulder.
“It’s okay Mason, I still trust you.” Dawn said gently as she shot an icy glare at Josiah. “We need to stick together. Kristen has a plan, and we need to figure out what it is and stop her before it’s put in motion. And SOMEONE needs to have solid grounds for making an accusation.”
“I didn’t make an accusation.” Josiah defended. “I was just wonder-“
Manalive interrupted “This sounds like a terribly interesting conversation, but perhaps there’s a place, that’s not Eldest infested, where we would be safer, hmm?”
“You’re right.” Josiah conceded cutting his gaze between Douglas and Mason as escape portal opened. “I think I know what I needed.”
The glow of the portal pulsed as it finished opening, and they all stepped through, back to TOPHAT HQ.
“It looks like I’m a little behind. Who’s this?” Josiah said referring to Douglas.
“He’s Douglas.” Manalive said “He has a device that lets us jump between dimensions. And apparently it’s…” something Dawned on Manalive, but Josiah didn’t let him finish.
“I see. Well, I would like to have a word with him.” Noticing Manalive’s CPSD kicking in, he continued, “Perhaps you should come as well.”
They went to the meeting room. Josiah looking sadly at all the empty seats.
“I believe you had an inquiry.” Douglas asked.
“Yes. Do know any of us?” Josiah asked.
“I do.” Douglas went on to tell his attempt to escape with Peter, and how he and Brooke met up with Dawn’s group.
Josiah sat down in one of the chairs. “You know about all of us, but this is your first time letting any of us know about you?”
“That would be correct.”
“Thanks a bunch. You’d better get back to whatever you need to do.”
After he left (Not without stirring up dust). Manalive spoke to Josiah. “i noticed something that Mason said.”
“Yes, I did too. I’m not sure what to think about it.” As they began down the dark hallway toward the rest of the group, Josiah added, “And don’t forget to capitalize your I’s.”
Peter felt a swirl of emotions as he walked down the stairwell. Anger, fear, curiosity. How was he supposed to feel when confronting the closest thing to “family” he had?
He ran his hand down the railing. No, Carlos was the closest thing to family he had. He was patchwork quilt of various TimeLord essence, and everyone wanted something from him. TOPHAT, or what was left of it, wanted to stop Kristen, Kristen wanted to destroy the world, and this…Kumquat…wanted to “stop Kristen” but may or may not be entirely trustworthy. Peter reached the bottom of the stairs, and Kumquat led him the rest of the way.
Kumquat opened the door to Kristen’s chamber and drifted up through the ceiling. Peter looked at the comatose woman before him, and then fell into a dead faint.
The woman glared at the members of the assembled TOPHAT. (insert spell for paralysis here)!! She threw down the jars in her hand. Bright balls of light exploded out and paralyzed each of the present members. She teleported to each of the members and withdrew some of light from them, and then captured the twin balls of light that were ricocheting around the room.
The woman worked in a lab, with a peculiar work companion. The essences screamed, cried as the companion worked on them according to her wishes. Bit by bit, the essences were forced together, melded into a single creature. A creature ethereal, but pinned down. The woman drew some of her own blood, and they gave the creature physical form. They molded it to mimic the woman’s lost love, to be the ideal. The creature shrieked, a horrifying wail as it became anchored in the three-dimensional world. The spectral cries shifted into more human sounds of terror. “Chris” lay bound on a table, gasping for breath.
“It is finished”
The woman wailed, her anguish striking the glass walls and shattered them. Her strange companion huddled in a corner.
“It’s not him!!! Chris, where are you?”
“Chris” blinked. Who on earth was this person and why was she carrying on so? He moved his fingers. So many emotions and memories were roiling within. “Chris” reached out to the instruments used to create, and experimentally tapped them together. The sounds they made relaxed him, allowed him to breathe more freely. “Chris” began to play a song of confusion, of curiosity, of wonder.
The woman looked at the thing she created, and anger surged within her. “You…are a mockery of everything I love.” She grabbed a snow globe and wielded it threateningly.
“Chris” continued to play, completely unaware of what was happening.
The woman threw the snowglobe at “Chris” and he was falling, falling, falling, falling.
“Well child, do you have a name?”
“Botheration, you don’t have one of those? Well, I’ll call you Peter. A good, solid name.” The old crochety woman hobbled along.
“What should I call you?” Peter asked.
“Hmm, don’t mind that. I’m going to give you a nice set of memories now. It isn’t every day someone around your age shows up, and I’m going to need some help.”
Kristen grabbed Mason’s neck and teleported a short distance away. Taking a deep breath, she whispered “expergiscimini” and Mason’s eyes shot open. “There, isn’t that better?” Kristen murmured softly.
Mason stiffened immediately. “Oh come now, my old friend, need for alarm,” Kristen rebuked.
Mason’s jaw dropped. “NO NEED FOR ALARM? JUST PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1 IS ON THE LOOSE, NO NEED FOR ALARM.”
Kristen laughed, slightly condescending. “AHAHAHA. Oh Mason, Mason, you were always SO dramatic some times. You know, it’s recently become quite apparent to me that something happened to me in the Power Bracelet. I’m not sure if you suffered the same effect because, well…”
Kristen reached into her heart and pulled out a glowing orb. The orb seemed to gravitate towards Mason. “Ah ah ah,” tsked Kristen as she captured the orb again, “The essence always recognizes its owner, doesn’t it? But enough about that. I need your help. When I got out of that horrible Bracelet, something became dreadfully apparent. The Bracelet absorbed of my essence. And while I have a few essences that aren’t my own,” Kristen pulled out the orb and rolled it between her fingers, “That doesn’t replace MY essence. So I’ll offer you a deal. You find the Power Bracelet and fetch it for me, and I’ll return your essence. What do you say?” Mason stared back at Kristen, still dazed and nauseous from his transportation. Neither of them noticed the slight reflection of a camera lens coming from inside the bushes.
An Imperial Sparrow Droid (Model C3-8) broadcast live footage of the conversation to the bridge of The Paramount. Several Franklin’s were hard at work at the navigational devices.
“ZOOM AND ENHANCE,” Lord Kumquat ordered. Etc. etc.
Lord Kumquat has a flashback to when he was watching the deal between Kristen and Mason through the computer monitors on his ship…
“Where would I…” Mason gulped, “Where would I even find the Bracelet?”
“You’re a resourceful boy, I’m sure you’ll figure it out,” cooed Kristen.
“And even- guh… ooouug… even if I could get it… how can I be sure that you’ll honor your end of the baragin?”
“You can’t. But it doesn’t look like you have too many options, now do you?”
“W- … wha-“ Mason was promptly interrupted by his breakfast rocketing back up his esophagus and onto Kristen’s shoes. Kristen shrieked and leapt back, franticly trying to shake Mason’s vomit off of her feet. Mason continued to throw up for a super uncomfortable amount of time, shaking and retching, before finally catching his breath. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve and got to his feet.
“YOU DISGUSTINGLY LITTLE-“
“It’s your own fault for sending us through so many portals in such a small amount of time.”
“That wasn’t my… forget this. I’m going to go wash my shoes, YOU are going to get me my Bracelet.”
“You’re just leaving?”
“You can’t just leave us, that’s going to immediately out me as a traitor.”
“That sounds like your problem,” Kristen said, waving her hand. Mason flew backwards, through another portal, and he landed back with the others. Kristen kicked off her shoes and socks, dangled them at a safe distance in front of her and quietly chanted “Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew!” as she stepped through a portal of her own.
The camera feed cut out and the various Franklins turned to look back at the Kumquat, awaiting orders.
“It would seem that we have another piece of potential bait on the table,” came a gruff voice from behind Lord Kumquat, “if it should be necessary.”
“It won’t,” said the Kumquat, not turning around, “the boy will do just fine. Besides, I hardly think the Mistress needs more to worry about.”
Out of the shadows steps another Franklin, sporting an eye-patch, greying hair, and a greying beard. The other Franklins knew to leave; even those piloting hit autopilot and made their way to the exits.
“I’m sure she has time between posing for paintings to lend a hand in capturing the largest threat to our universe.”
“I appreciate your input, 57, but let’s at least make the bad guys do their own dirty work rather than tossing an item of ultimate power right at their feet.”
The old Franklin shrugged. “That’s why you’re the boss.”
“Is your Extraction Team assembled?” asked the Kumquat, now turned around.
“Ready as ever.”
“This will be our most dangerous catch yet. Not only because of who it is, but where it is. While we won’t be sharing realms, Earth is an anchor to many including the Mistresses land. If something goes wrong it could have ramifications in her world as well.”
“Which could possibly benefit us…”
A security camera exploded just behind Franklin 57, causing him to flinch a bit.
“I will not have you speaking such treason. Drop those thoughts.”
“She may be paying the bills, but every Franklin on this ship knows that you’re the boss. Just say the word.”
“ENOUGH” the Kumquat said, firmly.
A long, uncomfortable silence followed.
“Return to your men. ‘Ready as ever’ won’t be ready enough for Kristen. Prepare for the fight of your lives. And do try to not get yourself killed.”
“Aye-aye sir!” Franklin 57 said with a smile. The two nodded at each other and the old Franklin left the room.
Lord Kumquat snapped back to reality (opp, there goes gravity). Peter laid before him unconscious, having fainted at the sight of the synthetic android meant to replicate Kristen (for practice purposes). The boys upstairs did a pretty good job on it.
The levitating fruit sighed. They only had 9 hours until they arrived at Earth. In that time, he would have to teach this kid enough about his powers to not get obliterated by one of the most powerful magic users in the galaxy. What could possibly go wrong?
“Expergiscimini” he said, kneeling over Peter’s body.
(The revival has begun…)
(I forgot to include the fact that Franklin 57 has a thick Austrailian accent)
(So should we proceed as if he does have a thick Australian accent or does if it not matter if it isn’t actually written into the story?
Really appreciated the use of the bold text, btw. The ability to format now can make longer portions of the story easier to read.)
( I am a little confused as to the whole where was Mason thing, I realize I accidentally put him in the boat and that messed some things up, so is the segment that Kumquat just submitted right before he gets put on the boat? And then when she puts him quote”with the others” when he hits the phantom with a frying pan?)
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