It was a bright sunny day in Bellwood. And with the lack of alien invasions, or clues to Argoth’s plans, Gwen had suggested they do something as a group in order to build team morale. Of course that’s easier said than done with a blue-furred alien as part of the group. Of course this isn’t a problem that a simple ID mask couldn’t fix.
“Are you sure is working?” Rook asked. With the mask on, he appeared to be an average human student with Asian heritage, a blue windbreaker, black t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. The Proto-tool has taken the appearance of a single strapped backpack.
“Don’t worry about it.” Kevin said, “I had to wear one a lot about a year ago. Trust me, no one will tell.”
“Of course if you use the Proto-tool at all it’ll shatter the holographic illusion.” Gwen added, “So…try to avoid that.”
“And stop scratching the mask.” Kevin also added seeing the image flicker out for a second.
“Sorry, just I am not used to it.” Rook apologized, “What exactly is this location anyway?”
“Don’t really know.” Ben said, “Some guy set it up. Just a sideshow attraction. You know, showing off some ‘unknown’ creatures that are just a bunch of smoke and mirrors.”
“Yeah, and just think what would happen if they figure out what is under their feet.” Kevin joked.
“I just don’t understand.” Rook said, “You deal with unseen things all the time, so we come here to relax by paying to see fake ones. It’s like you playing those fighting video games to de-stress after combat.”
“Don’t think about it so much Rook.” Ben said, “Just turn off your brain for a while man.”
“But it is impossible to turn off one’s own brain, even for a” Rook stopped talking when he noticed the looks from the rest of the group, “Figure of speech. Right, of course.”
The foursome entered the small building. Inside was a collection of the odd and bizarre. While some of it seemed like obvious fakes, others…where strangely real.
“So according to this, this is a genuine skull of a dragon.” Kevin said looking at a beaked skull.
“Defiantly looks like that map maker.” Ben said, “You don’t think this is him do you?”
“I doubt it.” Rook said, “I believe this is a forgery. A real Draconorite’s skeleton is more of like a glass. I believe this was crafted by someone who knew the shape the skeleton would take, but not the skeleton itself.”
“Well that’s good I guess. I mean, I expected to see fakes.” Ben said, the group moved on to something that claimed to be a Bigfoot footprint, but looked just like any footprint of Shocksquatch, “Man, another fake. I know I step deeper than this.”
“What about this?” Kevin asked, “Something they claim to be the legendary moth man.”
“Also known as me as Big Chill.” Ben said recognizing the picture. “I wonder if I can get royalties off this.”
“At least this isn’t alien.” Gwen said, “Just your standard two headed skeleton.” Rook tapped the secondary skull and it feel off like it was held on with chewing gum.
“Defiantly another fake though.” Rook said. The group continued to explore the group. And of course more fakes where found. Most of which were merely fake alien objects being passed off as real life rare objects of the unknown.
“You know, these aren’t bad jobs at being fakes. I mean, if we didn’t know aliens we might not know they were fake.” Gwen said.
“But that does bring something up.” Kevin said, “Why are they all alien? Normally these things are like a fur coat on a stuffed monkey calling it a Bigfoot. But this guy, he seems much more interested in getting fake aliens.”
“This thing is the worst fake of them all.” Ben said, “It’s just a big empty take of water.”
“My apologies.” A new voice said. He was an aging man, his hair starting to grey. He walked with a cane. “I am Charles Agnew. Owner of this establishment. I can guarantee you that I know nothing of any fakes. As for this, I do guarantee that inside that tank is a fully alive and real mermaid.”
“I find that hard to believe. Based on everything I have read, mermaids are nothing but fantasy.” Rook chimed in.
“Most people believe that.” Charles said, “But they are most certainly real. I have the proof here. Sadly, she is not what you might expect…” He subtly hit a hidden button on his cane, and a bright light came from behind them. When they turned around, they saw what appeared to be a Piscciss Volann thrashing around in the tank. Only its face was blunter, it’s fins where far longer and limper, and its body was defiantly female.
“See? The real thing. Sorry it’s not like how the stories show them.” Charles said.
“What was that flash?” Gwen asked, “You aren’t hurting her are you?”
“No, of course not. Now, if you don’t mind, I have other manners to address.”
“Well, that confirms this guy’s obsession with aliens.” Kevin said watching the Piscciss Volann calm down and swim back into hiding.
“Ben, excuse me, I do not know much about your planet yet, but is it normal for someone to be carrying that level of technology to this kind of place?” Rook asked pointing to a man standing near a door marked ‘private’. Inside his waistband, was some kind of blaster. Defiantly above Earth’s normal technology level.
“No, it’s not.” Ben said seriously. “Come to think of it, anyone see that guy move the whole time we were here?”
“You know, I don’t think he did.” Kevin said, “You think he’s some kind of undercover?”
“Doubt it.” Gwen said, “These things are almost never guarded like that. Something’s not right here.”
“I agree.” Rook said, “We should contact the Plumbers, have a formal investigation done.”
“That would take forever!” Ben protested, “I vote we run our own investigation.”
“I’m with Ben.” Kevin stated. “Something is defiantly off here. And it’s not like we have any real cause to have an investigation.”
“Even given that, how are we supposed to start? These normal humans don’t fall inside our jurisdiction. A true plumber investigation could probably find some way to investigate.” Rook pointed out.
“Guy showcases the weird.” Ben said, “And by weird I mean alien passing off as from Earth. I think I have an idea.”
The ideas as it was, were to disguise Rook as a new creature for the sideshow. The disguised required him to remove the ID mask. In addition, he had to have a fur coat died blue like his fur. To help make the disguise more convincing, the Proto-Tool was kept with Kevin.
“So…what exactly am I supposed to be?” Rook asked.
“Something called the Fiskerton Phantom, was in the news a pretty good time ago.” Ben answered, “It’s catlike, you’re catlike. It’s the perfect disguise plan.”
“Well, the perfect disguise would be a Revonnahgander. Since I am a Revonnahgander, not just Revonnahgander-like.”
“Stop talking, start growling.” Kevin said. “Gotta seem beast-like. Oh, and before anything else, this would probably come in handy.” Kevin produced a small toothpick-like piece of Taydenite. “Used to have a large crystal of it, but I had to sell most of it to repair my car…for the 400th time. Still got this small amount thought, keep it on me so I can at least armor up my fist.”
“How long have you been carrying that around?” Gwen asked.
“Ever since the deal with Diagon.” Kevin replied, “But that’s not really important. Figure Rook can use it to break out of whatever cell they keep him in.”
“Thank you. I promise to make sure not to lose it.” Rook said, “Now, how do we get me in there?”
“Leave that to us.” Kevin said.
The group ran into the tent. “Mr. Agnews! There’s some kind of weird freak thing outside!” Ben shouted.
“Yeah, if it was in here, I would pay any amount of money to see it.” Kevin said with one of the worst acting jobs ever, “But only if it was alive.” The idea seemed to click something inside the sideshow owner.
“You don’t say…” He said, “Show me.” Ben, Kevin, and Gwen lead the sideshow owner outside to fake Fiskerton Phantom.
“Um…rawr?” Rook did trying to make himself seem like a vicious monster.
“What is that thing?” Charles asked, “No matter, it’s a fresh exhibit.” He aimed his cane at in and pushed another button. A gunshot like sound rang through the air.
“What are you doing?” Ben asked startled.
“Relax boy, it’s just a tranquillizer dart.” He explained, “As your friend said, much more money in keeping him alive.”
“This…was…not part of the plan…” Rook said growing disoriented before collapsing.
“Huh, that almost sounded human.” Charles said, “No matter, I’m sorry but you three will have to leave. While we set up the new exhibit, the attraction is temporarily closed.”
“Yes, of course. We understand.” Ben said as the group left. “Alright, now we wait.”
Nightfall came, but the group never strayed far from the show. As the final lights shut off, they prepared to sneak in.
“Alright guys, show time.” Ben said hitting the Omnitrix. A flash and he was a chameleon-like alien. Dressed in a white spandex jumpsuit with a black line running down the back with black gloves and boots. “ChamAlien!”
“You know, shouting out the names doesn’t help when we’re trying to sneak in.” Kevin pointed out.
“Oh shut up.” ChamAlien spat back disappearing. “Now you guys just try not to get spotted.” Kevin and Gwen simply rolled their eyes.
Inside the freak show thing, Rook was finally able to escape and let his team inside. Producing the small Taydenite shard.
“Thank goodness for him only holding me inside a glass cell.” Rook said dragging it across the glass like a stylus. Once the circle was drawn a swift kick knocked the panel out and granted freedom to the plumber. A click unlocked the door and the unseen ChamAlien, and fully visible Gwen and Kevin.
“Sorry about that.” Kevin said, tossing Rook the Proto-Tool, “Mr. Ninja here felt he had to sneak his way in. Even though we were fully visible.”
“I do not understand, that alien form’s name is ChamAlien, not Mr. Ninja.” Rook said. A green flash and Ben was back to Ben.
“Dude, seriously, learn figure of speeches.” Ben said, “Before we go into the back, I want to talk with that mermaid. She seemed…upset.”
“Yeah, probably best to hear her story first.” Gwen responded.
“If she really is a Piscciss Volann, it is our job as plumbers to make sure she is okay.” Rook pointed out.
“Well…guess it couldn’t hurt.” Kevin said.
“Just please do not tap the tank. I was in a similar cage. Tapping produced a very loud noise.”
“Then how do I get her attention?” Ben asked ratherly loudly.
“I think we already have it.” Kevin said pointing behind Ben. The ‘mermaid’ was floating, clearly aware of their presence. But unlike earlier that day, she was not avoiding them, or staying hidden.
“I hesitate to ask but...you four, are you plumbers?” The Piscciss Volann asked.
“Yeah we are.” Ben said.
“Oh thank the waves.” She said, “I’ve been here praying for someone to recognize what I am.”
“What’s your name?” Gwen asked, “I’m Gwen, this is Ben, Kevin, and Rook.”
“My name is Merina, a former citizen of the planet Piscciss.” She said, “I’ve been on this planet for the past year, and held prisoner for the last four months.”
“Why did you not try to contact us?” Rook asked, “There has been a Plumber Base on this planet for a long time.”
“I’m never allowed out of this tank.” She said, “Besides, I haven’t had a need of the plumbers until a few months ago. That is when I was captured.”
“No offense but why don’t you just break out?” Ben asked. “I mean, I used to transform into your kind. I was strong, had sharp claws, and jaws that could tear into steel.”
“Transform? What do you mean?” The female fish alien asked.
“Long story.” Gwen said, “Please, continue.”
“I could escape easily. But in addition to there not being a single body of water near large enough for a proper home, he has this collar on me. It will shock me with but a touch of the button. But it is not just because of me. When I first came to Earth, I was just pregnant. Since then I have laid my eggs. Eggs that monster now keeps from me to insure my compliance.”
“Dude, that’s low.” Kevin said, “I mean, keeping children away from their parents? I’ve seen a lot of crud, but that takes the cake.”
“It gets worse.” The Piscciss Volann continued, “I know just where they are. I know, but I can’t do anything about it.”
“Where are they being kept?” Rook asked, “We will retrieve them, along with getting you out and somewhere safe.”
“Thank you.” She said, “He keeps them in his office, at the back of the building. I’ve spent every moment once the humans leave thinking what might be behind there, what he’s doing to them.”
“Fear not, as Plumbers it is our job to spread peace for all beings. We will retrieve your eggs and liberate you from this unlawful containment.” Rook said.
“Yeah, what he said.” Kevin added.
“Good luck, he never leaves his office unlocked, and it’s locked with a numerical code.”
“Nothing we haven’t dealt with before.” Gwen said. Rook took out the proto-tool and held it to the numerical lock.
“Well, think you can crack it?” Ben asked.
“I am sure I could, but this is fairly advanced, well beyond Earth’s technology standards. It will take me some time to figure out the combination.” Rook answered.
“Yeah, I think I have a quicker way.” Kevin said putting his hand on Rook’s shoulder, his body becoming coated in the material of the proto-tech armor. Kevin morphed his one hand into the makeshift blade running it through the control panel of the lock. With a swift tug, he pulled his arm out and kicked the door open. “And we’re in.”
“Uh Kevin, did it occur to you that the guy will notice his door being busted in?” Gwen asked.
“Would you rather be here all night?” Kevin asked back.
“Guys, we should focus here.” Ben said, already inside the office, “Come see this.” Inside his office was a series of pictures of aliens, unknown pictures, articles of famous fakes, so many things.
“What is all this?” Kevin asked.
“It appears to be…research.” Rook said, “This is not an office, it is where he produces his fakes.”
“No this is an office alright.” Gwen said looking through papers, “Financial and staffing records. He probably keeps the faking stuff in his office so only he sees it.”
“Jackpot!” Kevin said removing the top off a crate. Inside was a series of transparent tubes filled with red spheres the size of golf balls. “I’m willing to bet that these are the eggs for Merina.”
“AGNEW!” A voice shouted, followed by a series of fast approaching footsteps.
“Someone’s coming!” Ben yelled quietly, “Come on, we gotta hide.”
“Easy for the guy with the device containing the invisible alien!” Kevin said, “What are we supposed to do?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll draw his attention with ChamAlien while camouflaged.” Ben said activating the Omnitrix, “That should give you guys time to get back to Merina with the crate of her eggs.” He pushed down on the omnitrix. A green flash filled the air. When it cleared, in place of Ben was a small grey, frog like alien in a black jumpsuit with a white stripe down it’s chest and arms.
“Grey Matter? Really?” Kevin asked, “You know small doesn’t mean invisible right?”
“Yes Kevin, I know that.” Grey Matter said. “But this isn’t horrible. I can still evade detection and give you guys a chance to return Merina’s eggs to her. Now, for the best chance, I’ll need a lift up into the vents. Rook, would you mind?”
“I can’t think of a reason not to.” Rook said picking the Galvan up and holding him to the vent cover, which the small alien easily squeezed through. “Okay, now you guys start collecting the egg containers, I’ll distract him.”
“Be careful Ben.” Gwen said. Grey Matter gave a quick nod and disappeared into the vent system. A bit into the system he saw the man who was angrily walking towards the office. He had short brown hair, tanned skin, and a goatee.
“Melville.” Grey Matter said squinting his eyes. “Should have guessed you were behind this. Now…what can I use…” Grey Matter gave a quick survey of the area. His Galvan brain took in each thing. “Gotcha.” He jumped down, landing on the two headed skeleton Gwen had knocked a head off of earlier.
Of course Grey Matter was smart enough to know which of the skulls would come off easily. So that was the skull he aimed for. Almost instantly after hitting the skull, the hunk of artificial bone snapped off and fell too. Melville turned around at the noise. All he saw was the detached fake skull.
“Stupid piece of cheap junk.” Melville said turning back around only for a banner to fall down on him. As Grey Matter began to hop to the next object to use again the poacher, an alarm began to sound. Seeing no easy way to hide or escape, he grabbed onto Melville’s leg as he threw the banner off and ran to the office.
Inside the office Grey Matter let out a silent sigh of relief seeing that the rest of his team was gone. Sadly, the crate was still there, but much closer to the door. Agnew came rushing in a minute or two later.
“What happened?” Agnew asked, “Melville, did you try to steal something again?”
“Quiet old man.” Melville said, “I came here looking for the cause of that siren too. Looks like someone tried to make off with our prize pig’s eggs.”
“Speaking of which. You really haven’t been providing to the full potential you promised me.” Agnew said, “I mean, yes, the so called mermaid has earned a lot of interest. But I’ve had to fill my show with fakes.”
“Hey, it’s not easy to get these things. I’ve spent years looking. It’s not my fault these things are masters of hiding.”
“Not to mention that fake Fiskerton Phantom those kids tried to make me think was real escaped.” Agnew said, “I’m sure the two events are not isolated. The last thing I need is law enforcement coming down on me.”
“What makes you think they will?” Melville asked.
“Because you idiot, all they had to do was see that I have payment to a poacher and it’s over for me. Especially since that thing isn’t legal either!” Agnew shouted, “We’ll have to terminate her. I’ll her stuffed, at least then I can still show off the corpse.”
Grey Matter gasped at this. Surprisingly this was heard. “Melville, it would see that you have a little stow away on your ankle.”
“Oh crud.” Grey Matter said letting go and beginning to run.
“What are you waiting for Melville? I pay you to collect me things, so collect!”
“Whatever you say…boss.” Melville said practically spitting out the last word chasing the Galvan. The large size difference made it pretty easy for Melville to close the distance between them. The Omnitrix chimed and Grey Matter transformed back into Ben, causing Melville to trip over him.
“You! Your that punk kid that blew my attempts at stealing those Kraken eggs!” Melville said recognizing Ben, “You cost me a big pay day kid.”
“Yeah…about that…” Ben said backing up seeing Melville reach for a pistol-like gun. Defiantly some kind of blaster.
“I don’t know how you pulled off that weird switch, but I’m betting that Agnew would pay top dollar to show that off.”
“Listen, I’m not going to apologize for screwing up your poaching mission.” Ben said noticing the Omnitrix fully recharged, “As for how the transformation works, how about I show you.” Quickly Ben hit the Omnitrix again. This time the human transformed into a large muscular Sasquatch like alien with blue and white fur, a grey face and fingers, green eyes and black pupils. A pair of black and white pants held the Omnitrix symbol on his waist.
“Shocksquatch?” He asked seeming surprised by his own transformation. “Hey, I can roll with this eh.” The yeti-like alien slammed his fists together causing a large current to flow through is body making his hair stand on end.
“What is the world is that?” Melville asked surprised seeing the electric alien.
“Oh you don’t know? Good for me.” Shocksquatch said winding up and throwing a punch. Melville raised his hands to his face in defense, only to see that the fist stopped right in front of his face. But a powerful volt of lightning fired off of the fist and into Melville, knocking him both back and out.
“Ben where are you?” Gwen’s voice said from the omnitrix symbol on his waist.
“Oh sorry Gwen, got a little distracted dealing with Melville eh.”
“Melville? He’s part of this…why am I not surprised?”
“By the way, where are you three? The eggs are still there.”
“We apologize Ben.” Rook clearly took over the channel now, “As soon as we got near the door an alarm went off. We had to abandon the eggs and escape. We suggest you do to. The last thing we need is you being captured and put on display.”
“Alright, I’ll be out soon.” Shocksquatch said making a mad sprint for the nearest door.
Back outside the sideshow building, the trio of Gwen, Kevin, and Rook waited, only to be startled by a loud crash with a boom of thunder as Shocksquatch came tearing through the main door before growing green and shifting back to Ben.
“Really Ben?” Gwen asked, “Was that the best way to get out?”
“Well given what I overheard as Grey Matter, I didn’t really have time to be sneaky. Or the best alien to sneak with.”
“Yeah we saw that.” Kevin said, “Still though, I think blasting your way out was a pretty bad idea.” Kevin added.
“With all due respect Mr. Levin, you used a similar method to get in.” Rook said.
“Guys, we have a problem.” Ben said, “He’s figured out someone knows he shouldn’t have Merina, he’s going to stuff her.”
“What?” Gwen asked shocked.
“Dude…” Kevin said.
“Yeah, that’s why we need to go in there, and bring this guy’s thing down.” Ben said.
“I must agree.” Rook said, “But wouldn’t tearing down the building prove dangerous to Merina and her eggs?” The three humans glared at the single Revonnahgander, “Oh, figure of speech. Right.”
“Okay, so anyone have any plan other than just rushing in there and tearing everything apart?” Gwen asked.
“Babe, I don’t know if we have time to come up with a better one.” Kevin said flatly.
“You’re right.” She said, “I guess it’s just a head long charge then. Just would feel better if we know what we were up against.”
“Didn’t look like much aside from Agnew and Melville.”
“Who is this Melville you keep mentioning?” Rook asked, “From Gwen’s reaction, it would seem as though you know him.”
“Yeah I’m kind of drawing a blank here too.” Kevin added.
“We meet him back when we were 10.” Gwen explained, “He’s a poacher who was trying to steal and sell Kraken eggs.”
“By the way, he remembers us.” Ben said, “Pretty sure he wants us dead.”
“Great…” Gwen complained.
“Relax, dude’s nothing compared to Humungousaur.” Ben said, “We’ll go in, bust out Merina, grab her eggs, and bust out.” Ben raised his hand and slammed it down on the Omnitrix and in a flash, he was a large orange dinosaur.
“Alright! It gave me the guy I wanted!” Humungousaur said.
“Yeah great Ben.” Kevin said, “Now, less talking, more bust outing.” Kevin armored up off the various stones on the ground and charged in, followed shortly after by the rest of the group.
“Ugh guys, problem.” Gwen said, “Merina isn’t in the tank.” Gwen pointed to the now drained dry tank.
“There is no way they moved that fast.” Humungousaur said.
“I am afraid they have” Rook said, scanning the area with the Proto-Tool. “I am not seeing anything in the area resembling a living life form. Wait…they are still in the wider area. I believe they are loading things into a truck of some kind.”
“Which direction?” Humungousaur asked.
“That way.” Rook answered, “If we worry, we should be able to cut them off before” Rook was cut off by the sound of smashing walls as Humungousaur tore through the walls. “Ben appears to be taking this very personally.”
“Well as I said, we have a history with the guy.” Gwen said, “Come on, we better catch up before Ben does something stupid.”
At the back of the building, the large dinosaur alien smashed through the final wall. In addition to Melville and Agnew, a series of Melville’s men where helping load a smaller tank containing Merina inside in a larger truck. “Alright, let the Ripjaws go!”
“What in the world is that thing?” Melville asked scared.
“Does it matter? Shoot it!” Agnew ordered as the other men raised their rifles and began to fire.
“Is that all you guys got?” Humungousaur asked holding his arms in front of him in defense, “Come on, I can take this all night!”
“Ben!” Gwen said before quickly raising a shield of mana to block the ricochets coming off the Vaxasaurian’s scales.
“Dude I thought you said that it was just Melville and Agnew!” Kevin yelled.
“I said it didn’t seem to be anyone else.” Humungousaur retorted.
“Should have known you punks would have shown up.” Agnew said, “When you tried to pass off that alien there as the Fiskerton Phantom, I figured you would prove to be problems.”
“You knew I was an alien?” Rook asked shocked.
“You think that most of these things are almost all aliens under different names is a coincidence?” Agnew asked, “Of course I know there are aliens out there! But most people don’t. So I fake some things of what people don’t know, label it what they do, and pocket their money.”
“So what’s the freak here for?” Humungousaur asked.
“Hey watch it.” Melville spat.
“My useless partner here is supposed to provide me with real rare objects and animals. But he was only able to grab me that fish.” Agnew raised his hand, the guards stopped firing. “But how about we make a deal? Your shapeshifting…could make quite a good amount of money together. So how about this, I let the fish go, and we enter a little arrangement.”
“Hmmm…how should I put this…” The large dinosaur said tapping his chin. He then quickly took a step forward and twisted, his tail sweeping across the ground and knocking the henchmen away, “How’s THAT for an answer?”
“I think it is quite a good one.” Rook said aiming the Proto-Tool at the two standing criminals, “Now, under Galactic Law regarding the imprisonment and transportation of off world visitors, I place both of you under arrest.”
“Sorry buddy, me and prisons don’t get along to well.” Melville said opening fire with the remaining rounds in his blaster before jumping into the truck.
“Rook, you take care of Melville. Kevin, get Merina out of the tank. Gwen you and me are stopping Agnew.” Humungousaur ordered.
“Don’t recall you being in charge but good plan.” Gwen commented. She charged up her Mana while Kevin and Rook broke off to the truck. Gwen fired off a few orbs but where deflected by Agnew’s cane.
“Nice try girl. But alien junk isn’t just in my exhibit. My cane is a multi-purpose tool and weapon.” He gloated before pulling it like a sword and sheath, revealing a blade-like length that began to spark with electricity, “More than capable of subduing anything on this planet.”
Meanwhile, Kevin and Rook reached the tank that held Merina. “Do no worry miss, we will have it open in no time. I understand you do like the air, but”
“But I’ll live.” She said flatly cutting the rookie plumber off. Rook nodded, adjusting the proto-tool into a blow torch like function. Since the glass was extra durable, the cutting was slow. A round beside his head forced him to stop. They turned around, Melville had a new blaster, much more rifle-like one. With an evil grin, the poacher opened fire, with Kevin and Rook jumping behind wheel wells as an attempt at cover.
“Rook, I can get her out of that tank a lot faster than you can. Mind giving us some cover?” Kevin asked.
“Yes, I believe that can be arranged.” Rook said activating a shield from the Proto-Tool and leaping out from his cover to start absorbing the shots.
“Don’t worry, you’ll be out of here in no time.” Kevin comforted the Piscciss Volann before pressing his hand against the tank as he began to become covered in a very light crystal-like layer appeared over him. He clenched his fists as one morphed into a mace while the other morphed into a large hammer.
Kevin swung his limbs, cracks spreading across the glass like a spider’s web. “Okay…one more should do it.” Kevin said. With one last powerful swing, he broke open the tank, causing the entirety of the water to flood by, knocking over both Rook and Melville in its wake along with Kevin.
Melville was the first back on his feet, readying his blaster again. “Better make these shots count, I hurt the capture too much, we won’t be able to stuff her.”
“I do not believe that will be a problem.” Rook said grabbing the proto-tool, returned to the standard form. A grabbling hook fired from the barrel, whizzing so close to Melville’s head he could hear it whistle past his ear.
“Hah! Missed blue boy!”
“That is true, only if you where my intended target.” Rook said with a grin. Beginning to recoil the hook, no firmly imbedded elsewhere. Rook was pulled along the soaked truck floor like a slip in slide. Just before the Revonnahgander hit the edge of the truck he gave a quick kick with one leg, forcing him into a spin. This, combined with the pull of the grabble, resulted in a powerful kick to Melville’s temple, forcing him to the ground.
Rook landed firmly on his feet, pulled free the grapple, and pointed the barrel of the Proto-Tool directly at Melville, “Now I believe is the time you surrender.”
“Dude that was awesome!” A soaked Kevin said excitedly.
“Yes, as Ben would say my moves had a sweet, sugary flavor.” Rook responded pulling out a pair of handcuffs and placed them on the poacher.
“That’s not how the phrase goes dude.” Kevin said before he heard a coughing, reminding him of the fish alien caught in the air. “Merina! Are you okay?” Kevin asked.
“As I said, I’ll live.” Merina said, struggling to stand, “My eggs…they’re all I care about.”
“Wait, I believe I have an idea.” Rook said, “Gwen! Do you know knowledge of water magic?”
Gwen was forced to turn her attention from the battle, which she was having a harder than normal time staying in. She didn’t need to ask why when she saw Merina out of the tank. “Ben, they got Merina out of the tank. I think I can help keep her hydrated but I have to stay with them.”
“Go ahead.” Humungousaur said, “I can take this guy.” He swatted with his tail, but Agnew easily dodged, “Man, this guy is nimble for an old guy.”
Gwen ran up to the side of the fish alien. “Merina, I’m going to use a spell on you. So don’t resist. It’ll help you breath.”
“Do it.” She responded. Gwen took a deep breath and raised one hand forming a half bowl around Merina’s head before raising the other hand to the air. “Aquata Risa Spackwata!” Gwen commanded. The water around from the spilt tank and shot into the air. Gwen focused the burst into an arc, filling the bowl around Merina’s head before closing it.
“Thank you.” She said.
“Good plan Gwen.” Kevin said, “Same to you Rook. Now, do you know where they are keeping your eggs?”
“No, they were loaded separate from me. I don’t know where they are…” The moment of sorrow was cut off by a green flash, Ben was back to being Ben.
“Ben!” The three yelled.
“Guys, I have to focus on keeping the water held around Merina’s head.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll take him.” Kevin said, “Come on Rook!”
“Right behind you.”
“Well boy, seems your little shapeshifting trick wore off.” Angew said, “Shame we have to do this the hard way…” He raised the Taser sword but was never able to bring it down. The reinforced glass hand of Kevin Ethan Levin met his face followed by a bolo launched from the proto-tool.
“Are you okay Ben?” Rook asked mounting the proto-tool back on his shoulder.
“Yeah I’m fine. You guys know I could have totally taken that guy right?”
“Yeah, I’m sure.” Kevin mocked. A sharp cry rang out as Merina fell to the ground, electricity jumping around her.
“She still has the collar on!” Rook shouted. Agnew had managed to free his sword and cut open the bindings. The whole time holding a button on the cane head, activating the collar.
“I really have to recalibrate the containment functions…” Rook said seeing the man cut himself free.
“Poor kids, forgetting that she had that. Now, here’s how things are going to work.” Agnew demanded, controlling the situation, “You’re going to help me load her back into the truck. Then you’re going to come with me. Otherwise, we’re all going to have fried fish.”
“Hey Ben…the Omnitrix ready for another round?” Kevin asked quietly.
“Yeah. Don’t worry, I know just the alien for this.” Ben said dialing up an alien, “Hey Agnew, different deal. You let go of the sword, get that collar off Merina, tell us where her eggs are. Otherwise, we have to handle things a bit more violently.”
“Hmmm…I think we’ll be handling this my way.” Agnew commented.
“I was hoping you’d say that.” Ben smirked. “Oh, what’s this I hear? Sounds like a little Feedback!” Ben smashed on the Omnitrix, but instead of the electrical alien, he shifted into a specter like form, lines rushing across his body, spines off his elbows, and a single green eye staring from under the skin.
“Ghostfreak?” Gwen asked, a bit of panic in her voice, “Ben what were you thinking?”
“Don’t blame me, it gave me this thing!” Ghostfreak said.
“Ben…something does not look right with Agnew.” Rook pointed out. Agnew was shaking on his feet, blood rushed from his face.
“You’re right, he looks like he’s seen a ghost…FREAK!” The ghost shouted floating up close to his foe, the powers of intangibility making the swinging sword useless.
“You know, I don’t remember seeing any ghost photos in there.” Kevin said, “Usually those are pretty common.”
“What’s the matter, are you afraid of ghosts?” Ghostfreak asked passing through Agnew, “Then you’re really going to be afraid of what I have under this sheet.” His fingers sunk into a line of the skin, and he opened it like a cloth, exposing numerous tentacles of black and white. Agnew fell back, dropping the sword and letting go of the button.
“Stop it! Stop it!” He cried out, “Please, leave me be foul specter!”
“Her eggs. Tell me where her eggs are!” Ghost freak said closing the cloth-like skin, “Or you get the full show, not just the sneak preview.”
“Under the truck, individual tanks!” Agnew shouted, instantly folding. “Now please, leave me alone!”
“Rook, call in someone to take him away.” Ghostfreak said, “I’ll start grabbing Merina’s eggs.”
Later that evening…
The omnitrix ultimately shifted Ghostfreak back to Ben, but not until after the other plumbers came, taking Agnew, Melville, and the guards into custody. Along with transferring Merina’s eggs into a container more suited for transport. Magister Patelliday came from the ship holding a collar, much bulker than the one the plumbers removed from Merina.
“Knew I had an extra laying around.” Patelliday said, “This little doohickey will cycle some water through your gills. Won’t last more than an hour, but will sustain you until we get you and your eggs situated in Undertown.”
“Thank you. I’m glade there are places for our kind to live properly on this planet.” Merina said nodding at Gwen who let the spell fall as the former ‘mermaid’ quickly put on the device. She turned to the four who had managed to help her, “Thank you. I had almost given up on anyone saving me. I thought I would be Agnew’s show shrimp for the rest of my days.”
“It was our pleasure and duty to help.” Rook said, “We are glad there was an open place in Undertown for one who needs such specific confinements.”
“I do hope you’ll come to visit after my eggs hatch.” She said, “If they could be half the heroes you are...but I should be going. I have a lot of work to do.” With some more final goodbyes, Merina and the container holding her eggs disappeared onto a plumber transport ship which shortly took itself into the sky.
“Bummer our day off turned into a mission.” Kevin said.
“Eh, wasn’t so bad. Kind of liked busting Melville again.” Ben said as the group began to walk back to their cars.
“Personally I agree with Kevin.” Rook said, “I can see why a day of relaxation becoming a duty would become, as you say, a total buzz slayer.”
“Close.” Ben said, “Remind me to teach you some Earth slang. Be a nice change from all those boring history books you’re always reading.”
“It would not hurt you to learn some of your planet’s history Ben.” Rook said getting into Ben’s car as Gwen goes to Kevin’s.
“I know all I need to.” Ben said, “Don’t need you sounding like my teachers.” Ben started the engine, “But, thanks. For saving my butt back there. Wasn’t too sure of you at first but…I think we’ll make a good team. You, me, Kevin and Gwen.”
“Yes, I believe we will.”