The Power Stirs
Keefer: According to Eggman, the fleet was due to attack a week later. We tried to get ready as fast as we could. Edward came along as a favor from us. Naruto was sent by Lady Hokage, and even Rukia showed up. Beast Boy from the Titans came as well, for some reason. Soon, it was time to leave for what Beast Boy described as "the mother of all battles".
The whole group goes to the station and opens the World Port portal.
Keefer: Okay, we don't know what to expect there. Everyone ready?
Beast Boy: No worries, dude. You've got the Teen Titans' secret weapon with you!
Tatsuka: If you're their secret weapon, then Jump City's in trouble.
Naruto: Finally! A mission worthy of my skills. Look out, Hybrids! Naruto Uzumaki's on the case!
Edward: This isn't a game, you know. I just know some serious alchemy is involved in this.
Naruto: Aw, don't be so serious, shorty.
Edward: WHO ARE YOU CALLING TINY ENOUGH TO LIVE IN A BOTTLE CAP!?
Rukia: That's not what he said. Why couldn't I have been assigned with a better team?
The whole gang of brave fighters, plus Eggman, appear in the town's training course. Some of Daturnoc's defense forces have made this a base.
Tatsuka: Hey, this isn't the World Port. What happened?
Sonic: Maybe the portal got moved by these guys?
XS Captain: Hey! State your name and business! . . . Isn't that Dr. Eggman!?
Beast Boy: Yo, calm down! He's a prisoner. We're good guys!
XS Agent: Sir, I recognize most of these individuals from World Rumble. They are on our side.
XS Captain: My apologies, fighters. It's just that Silbius' forces have gotten more powerful than we were told at the briefing.
Dr. Eggman: Huh? He's already here?
They look up and recieve a shock. A huge, huge, HUGE fleet of ships is just over the city. Some are currently fighting with XS air forces. Among them is the giant black ship, the Seventh Sword.
Naruto: Hey! What gives, mustache? It's only been half a day! You said they wouldn't be ready for a week!
Dr. Eggman: Did Silbius feed me false information? The nerve! Doesn't he trust me!?
Rukia: This makes our job much harder. Excuse me, sir? What's the situation?
XS Captain: We've managed to push back the fleet for now, but we won't last. XS Inc. does dabble in everything, but we didn't expect our military division to actually be used. Their main target seems to be the World Port.
Edward: What do they want with the World Port?
Tatsuka: Whatever it is, that's where we need to go. Come on!
Halfway through the city, the group is once again surrounded by Silbius' forces. However, these enemies are suddenly taken out. This new fighter is the black hedgehog Ed fought before.
Edward: Hey . . . it's you!
Shadow: Well, didn't expect to see you here. This is quite a posse you've put together.
Tatsuka: Who is this guy?
Keefer: (Checks PT) Shadow the Hedgehog. The ultimate life form created by Professor Gerald Robotnik, 50 years ago on the Space Colony ARK. Now an agent for his world's military, GUN.
Dr. Eggman: Ah, Shadow. So wonderful to see you again. These hooligans have wrongfully imprisoned me. You and I are almost related, right? You were made by my grandfather, after all. So, how about-
Shadow: Don't bother. I already know you're working with Silbius.
Dr. Eggman: Oh . . .
Beast Boy: Yo, I've been wondering. I've been trying to turn into a hedgehog like Sonic, but I only get a regular old hedgehog. Any idea why, guys?
He is then miffed that no one is listening. Shadow checks a tracking device of his and takes out a glowing green jewel.
Edward: A Chaos Emerald!
Shadow: Yes. After that fight with you, I needed another emerald to use the tracker properly. The emeralds have the power to call one another. I followed Eggman's forces and found an emerald in his lab in the ruins.
Keefer: So that's where it went!
Shadow: We'd better get going. We have to get to the World Port before Silbius. (Proceeds)
Naruto: Is this guy all business or what?
In the area outside the World Port, a relatively small ship has made it past the defenses and passes over them. On its way, it drops a new model of Silbius robot, the SR-023 "War Hammer". It is built like a humanoid tank, but it falls.
Tatsuka: If that's the best they can do, we've already won.
Rukia: (Looks up) Don't celebrate yet! We've got company!
The entire fleet is directly above the city.
Shadow: It looks like all our defenses have fallen.
Keefer: I hope everyone in the city's been evacuated.
Then the whole place shakes.
Naruto: An earthquake!?
Beast Boy: Cool! I can become a cow and make a milkshake!
Naruto: Not funny!
In the unknown ship, the hooded man Quidus watches the scenes on the main moniter. Firma and Phantom are also present.
Firma: What's happening to the World Port?
Quidus: It seems Silbius has found the key to its true form.
Phantom: Sorry, I don't do riddles. Try making some sense, okay?
Quidus: The World Port was not always what it is today. In the times before inter-world travel, it was the main castle of a powerful kingdom. This kingdom weilded incredible technology, and tried to create the first world ship. However, their leader had committed many sins, and was defeated. The disused technology was eventually converted to the World Port of today, and they decided to remodel the entire structure. Parts of it were even converted to data. However, if it ever becomes the world ship it was built to be, it will make that fleet look like a swarm of gnats.
Firma: I'm probably not going to get an answer, but . . . How do you know all this?
Quidus: I've done my homework.
Phantom: Oh, a wise guy.
The entire World Port has changed form. It is now a towering, high-tech castle. Seriously, this thing looks bigger than a skyscraper.
Edward: What happened? It looks like parts of the World Port were transmuted!
Keefer: Yeah, but not quite. It's like someone mixed alchemy with data-conversion and some other technology.
Sonic: Eggman, start talking. What's going on?
Dr. Eggman: This, I know a bit about. Silbius mentioned something about this World Port holding a secret from this world's past. I always thought it would be some magic mumbo-jumbo, but this structure is a scientist's dream come true!
Shadow: So this is what he meant?
Shadow: I have my own business to take care of. You'd better get to the top of this place. That's probably where the fleet will make first contact.
Beast Boy: Hey, no way! Don't tell me you're bailing on us!
Rukia: What's wrong? Afraid to go without him?
Beast Boy: Afraid? Pff, no way! I'm just, you know, concerned about our tactics and . . . stuff.
Tatsuka: Just don't get blasted, okay? Don't be late.
Shadow: Sonic, I think you've found your twin. (Leaves)
Edward: Is he always like that?
Sonic: Pretty much.
Keefer: Now, let's go check out this castle.
They enter what used to be the World Port lobby. It is now the huge entrance hall of this castle.
Edward: It's a castle, all right. But it's not exactly medieval.
Dr. Eggman: Interesting. The architecture closely resembles the culture of this world's past. Even in their medieval times, they were on the verge of highly advanced civilization!
Rukia: (Grabs her sword) You can study later. Hybrids are all over this place.
Naruto: Huh? But the fleet hasn't gotten here yet.
Beast Boy: Maybe these are scouts or something.
Tatsuka: Scouts, shmouts. Let's go get 'em!
At the very top of the castle (and trust me, that's a high place to be), the group finds what used to be a throne room. For some reason, there are various computer stations. Keefer accesses one.
Beast Boy: Do we really have time for that?
Keefer: We might be able to find something that can help . . . Whoa! It's another report on Project Trigger!
Tatsuka: Say what?
Eggman goes to a station as well.
Dr. Eggman: Strange, there's nothing over here. Perhaps it was only uploaded into that one system.
Edward: Maybe XS Inc. left it behind when they renovated the place.
We have begun research on Trigger. We have discovered that it seems to have a sort of "memory". As it interacts with worlds, it absorbs some essence of the people, places, and events of that world.
It uses this data to evolve in some way, though it doesn't seem to have a goal as far as we know.
Perhaps it is simply doing this unconsciously, like a single-celled organism absorbs food without thinking about it.
It seems fitting that the Anti-Existence should have a similar property. Thus, we have begun to research the "memory" of a sample of Trigger.
What we found amazed us. Trigger seems to almost transcend time. We found "memory" of things that haven't been for eons, and some that haven't seem to have come to be.
After eliminating this now dangerous sample, we have started work on our first prototype.
The group finishes reading.
Naruto: So this means . . . what?
Keefer: It means Trigger could have powers from every world it comes in contact with.
Dr. Eggman: I remember coming across data from this project while going through that lab in the Hidden Leaf Village. Does this mean Trigger is some sort of multi-dimensional living organism?
Edward: Meaning, it's alive?
Then the place shakes.
Beast Boy: (Looks out window) The fleet's bombing the place!
At this distraction, Silbius robots suddenly teleport in and surround everyone but Eggman. An image of Silbius appears on the station he works on.
Sonic: What the!?
Rukia: Was this a trap the whole time?
Dr. Eggman: (Laughs) So this was your plan, Silbius?
Silbius: Correct. I used your capture to my advantage. By luring them here while my forces are in full power, containing them is a simple matter.
Dr. Eggman: You could've told me about it.
Naruto: Agh! I'm gonna punch your lights out! I'll Rasengan your sorry butt into the sky!
Keefer: Hey . . . where's Tatsuka?
It seems Tatsuka has already gone somewhere else.
Dr. Eggman: Huh? Silbius, I do believe our trap has a glitch. (Works at computer) I've located him!
It shows a camera image of Tatsuka on a castle tower. He is glaring at the fleet.
Tatsuka continues to glare at the hundreds of ships. The nearby security camera projects Keefer's voice.
Keefer: Tatsuka, what are you doing!?
Tatsuka: I'm taking this fleet down.
Keefer: What!? Tatsuka . . . that's a fleet! A FLEET! A bazillion heavily-armed world ships! You can't take on that!
Tatsuka: Yeah, I can. I'm saying I'll do it, so I'll do it. It's always been that way.
Keefer: You idiot! Get back in-
Tatsuka draws his swords and slices the camera. Then he turns to the fleet.
Tatsuka: Hey, Silbius! I know you can hear me with your high-tech ships and all! I told you, this is my town!
Silbius activates the PA system.
Silbius: Do you realize whom you're defying? My fleet makes the likes of you look like a flea.
Tatsuka: Oh yeah, I'm quaking in my shoes. My tail's quivering with fear. Listen, cape guy, if you were so tough, you wouldn't be hiding behind your tankers! I'm telling you again. Take your tin cans and beat it!
Silbius: Or what?
Tatsuka grins, smelling a fight. He runs across the towers, gaining momentum, then jumps clear off the castle toward the nearest ship.
Keefer: What's he doing?
Edward: Is he seriously taking on that fleet? The smallest ship is a hundred times his size!
Naruto: Wouldn't you say that size doesn't matter, shorty?
Edward: Yeah, you're right. And . . . WHO ARE YOU CALLING TOO SMALL TO TO WEAR A SIZE 1!?
Dr. Eggman: He's wasting his time. I designed those force shields around the ships myself! There's no way some jumped-up speedy guy is going to-
He sees a ship blow up and shuts up.
Rukia: Shouldn't we help him?
Keefer: These robots will fry us if we try anything now. Besides, I think this is Tatsuka's fight.
After blowing up almost half the fleet, Tatsuka stops at one of the larger battleships. Silbius has stepped onto the deck. He draws a rather long katana and readies himself.
Tatsuka: What's all this about? Are you just trying to take over worlds? Or is this some kind of game?
Silbius: A game? I suppose if it were, I'd be the player with the advantage. And you'd be the oblivious pawn just waiting to be knocked off the board.
Tatsuka: Tough talk for some whimp.
Silbius: Oh, I believe you have misunderstood. I'm not hiding in my ships, behind my armies. I'm simply letting them take care of work that's too tedious for me to bother with. I could fight through those sorry defenses and take this city with nothing but my blade, but where's the fun in that? You, however . . . You're the one hiding.
Tatsuka: What's that supposed to mean? You must need glasses. I'm right here, where I could get blasted by some cannon, aren't I?
Silbius: And if you are defeated, your allies will save you. You depend on others weaker than yourself. You hide behind your friends. In this sense, I am the better.
Tatsuka: Oh yeah? Quit yapping and start fighting!
At the spur of the moment, he gains a new power. His swords are replaced with two, huge blades. One looks like a giant fang, the Tetsusaiga. The other has no guard, and the hilt is wrapped in white cloth, the Zangetsu. He fights Silbius, who does prove as stong as he says. During the fight, he displays powerful moves, such as a spell called Flare and the power to slow time, Chaos Control. Soon, the fight reaches a stalemate.
Tatsuka: Hey, where's all that strength you supposedly have? This is way better than a sleeping pill, you know.
Silbius: It seems my full power hasn't been awakened yet. Very well, I'll have to treat you to the next best thing.
He jumps to the bridge of this ship and does something on the terminal. The whole ship suddenly brims with energy. Tatsuka is blown clean off. He uses his swords to break his fall by impaling some buildings, then lands on a rooftop.
The city streets have been damaged from the attack. The ship Tatsuka was just on continues to glow. As he watches, and as his friends watch from the castle, the ship changes form. It becomes some sort of reptile monster with wings rather than arms. That's right, a dragon.
Tatsuka: Yeesh! That's not a good look for you!
Silbius: This form doesn't utilize all of my true power, but it should do.
Tatsuka: Whoa. You can still talk? Wait . . . You're not inside that thing, are you?
Silbius: My own design. I have merged with this vessel as it changed into this powerful creature. Even if it falls, I can always escape. You say I hide behind my armies and ships, but don't be fooled. You are still fighting my own power!
Tatsuka has a little trouble with this thing, the DV-Wyvern. A more accurate description would be that he gets completely owned. After failing to land many hits, one of its attacks blows him into a building. He is about to lose his stamina completely. Then, he has some strange feeling.
Tatsuka: Hey . . . what . . .
Silbius: What's wrong? You're not jumping back up with your usual bravado. You pitiful weakling. I am the stronger one. I always have been!
Tatsuka's sight goes black.
Tatsuka: What's going on . . . is something inside me? Is it that fox? . . . No . . . it's different . . .
?????: No, not different. It's you.
Tatsuka: Huh . . . ?
Just as DV-Wyvern prepares the finishing energy blast, a gigantic power blows it back. The parts of the building surrounding Tatsuka are obliterated. He is awake, but he doesn't seem himself. The chaotic power around him starts to shroud him, and when it clears, he has changed. His tail is larger and split into nine again, but the power is much more sinister than the fox's. His hair has turned gold and is blown upward with power. The Twilight Bracelet has become visible and grown. The Zangetsu has changed into a thin, black katana with a chain at its hilt. The Tetsusaiga has turned the color of a starry sky. Two other huge swords levitate next to him. One looks like a dark key, the other it a seriously long katana, Darkside and Masamune. He has grown huge wings, one white and one black, both looking like some monstrous bird's wings. A symbol that resembles a bird seen from afar appears on his forehead. Half his face is covered in a Hollow mask. The eye not hidden in this mask doesn't seem to be Tatsuka's.
Silbius: What!? That's . . . That just isn't possible!
Everyone in the throne room can't turn their eyes away from the large moniter.
Dr. Eggman: What in the world is that!? What's going on?
Naruto: Is it that power like the Nine-Tailed Fox?
Rukia: No, it feels different. Is one of those swords a zanpakuto? And is that half a Hollow mask?
Sonic: It looks like when I use the seven Chaos Emeralds all together, but with a lot more stuff!
Edward: Is he even Tatsuka anymore?
Keefer: What's that supposed to mean!?
Beast Boy: Well . . . Dude, did you see the look he had? It looked like when I'm playing a prank on Cyborg, only scarier.
Dr. Eggman: I'm definitely seeing a difference in his wavelength patterns. Some part of his consciousness has become more active.
Keefer: But he's still Tatsuka . . . right?
The DV-Wyvern is wasted, and Silbius ditches it. Unfortunately, he's not that much more successful in his normal form. He compares to this new Tatsuka like a BB gun compares to a tank. When Silbius can no longer fight, his opponent readies some finishing move.
Silbius: No! Get control! You'll destroy this world!
A distance away, Shadow approaches at high speed, loading some sort of dart into his rifle.
Shadow: Now let's see if what he said was true.
He shoots the dart directly at whatever Tatsuka's become. He suddenly loses control over his power.
?????: No! I just got here!
Tatsuka: Shut up and get lost!
A bit of Tatsuka's real self appears before the whole area is blown up.
The group watches the scene. That explosion blew up part of the city.
Keefer: Tatsuka! Hey! Where'd he go!?
Edward: Keefer . . . I think he's . . .
Rukia: Whatever power that was, his body wasn't ready for it. It overwhelmed him and . . .
Beast Boy: . . . Did Silbius, you know, bite the dust?
Dr. Eggman: He was rather close to the explosion. (Checks computer) Hmm? We're getting some sort of message.
He opens the channel, and it shows Silbius.
Silbius: Hello, all worlds. If you are hearing this message, then I must appear to be gone. Well, sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not. My body may have been destroyed, but that is not my end. I am a data being, as few people know, and I have been equipped with a useful little restart program. I will be reconfigured, and will return shortly. And a word of caution to my forces; Tatsuka is the same. Expect us both to return someday.
Dr. Eggman: Ha! You made a mistake, Silbius! Restart program or no, you can't do anything if I delete what remains of you. And then I'll run things myself!
Before he can push a button, one of the robots aims its gun at him.
Dr. Eggman: Eh?
Silbius: It has been about 5 seconds or so, and I assume someone has tried to delete my remaining data by now. However, you will find that my robots remain loyal to me. So, you may hold the fort for me until my return. (Message ends)
Naruto: So Tatsuka is alive! Sort of.
Keefer: All right. In that case, no need to stay here.
Dr. Eggman: Hold it! You aren't going anywhere!
Keefer: Watch me!
He shoots down all the robots in a couple seconds, and they all hightail it outta there.
Keefer: No idea how, but we managed to escape the city. Daturnoc is under Silbius' control now, and he isn't even here anymore. Everyone went back to their worlds. The world council decided to close all public routes to delay invasion, so we won't be able to contact each other for a while. I don't think Silbius' fleet is moving anytime soon, so we have time. I hope. I went back to Harka Canyon, the safest place I could think of. There was still so much I didn't understand. Silbius. Trigger. XS Inc.'s involvement. But for now, I think I'll just wait for Tatsuka to come back. It shouldn't take long. He's always been fast.
To be continued . . .