Hey guys! Sorry to anybody who thought the last chapter was the final one. That wasn't my intension. I'm not that cruel. XD WAITING OVER A YEAR TO POST THE NEXT PART PROBBALY DIDN'T HELP DURRRR. You are free to sick Nova on my internet-self. (giant sweatdrop)
Aaaaand here we are! The last chapter! It feels so nice to get something done, but at the same time, I had a lot of fun with this and it's kind of sad to see it over. Oh well, I guess I could sequel sometime if it bugs me that much (thoughts? Yes? No?). But first, I have some other SRMTHG fic that needs done. XD After this, I really wanna get some focus back onto Journey of the Heart, finish the shorter fics like Firestorm, and get ready to start on what I plan to be an epic SRMTHG fanfic of epic.
Speaking of you guys, THANK YOU. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the incredible amount of support this fic has gotten. So many reviews, and even some fanart here and there. I'm amazed how much people were willing to have faith in this little fic that wasn't the most original idea in the world and didn't know what genre it wanted to be (It's crack! No, it's Antauri!Angst! No, it's spova!). Seeing people enjoy what I make, especially when I'm having so much fun creating it and really being myself with it, is wonderful motivation. I probably couldn't have done this without it. I still can't believe this thing is at almost 100 reviews. Just... wow. Thank you. To everybody who reviewed... no, to everybody who read... heck, to everybody who put up with how long the updates took...
But enough babble. I've left you guys waiting long enough. And now, for the exciting conclusion!
"There, everyone is in perfect condition," Gibson declared as he and Otto finished repairing the team. While no major injuries had remained after switching everybody back (Nova's leg not counted), there had been some small errors left by all the chaos.
Nova was the first to be repaired, and Sprx volunteered to be next. She was had returned to sitting on a cot the med bay, her leg having gotten a bit jolted by the madness. She wasn't there for long before the door whooshed open and the red monkey stepped into the room.
"What? Gibson didn't find something wrong with you, did he?"
"Nah, I'm good. Hey, what would you think about a sign-up form for the training room?"
"What?" Nova raised an eye-ridge. "Why? Do you think we need one?"
"Well..." Sprx rubbed the back of his head. "I kind wound up bugging Antauri recently, cause I like to train in the morning, but somebody was already using the training room, but only because somebody else had taken their normal time and... that place can get to be a big mess when people want to train by themselves, huh?"
"Oh, that's just whining. You're not gonna be in Antauri's room that long you know. Not with how much Otto likes to fix things once he gets the material to."
"Well... I've also sometimes taken the training room up for longer than I should... and..."
Nova's eyes widened in surprised, but she quickly composed herself and smirked. Sprx cringed. "Wait, Sprx, are you of all people suggesting that the team needs to communicate better? You learned a big lesson from this, didn't you?"
"What?! I-I was already thinking of it a while ago!"
"Sure you were." Nova's smirk grew into a grin.
Sprx sighed. "Yeah, you're right. I did."
"Well? My idea?"
Nova pretended to ponder for a moment, stroking a nonexistent beard. "...Yeah, I'd second that."
Back in repairs, Antauri was last to be seen. Otto had done what he could, though he was still learning the workings of Antauri's mechanical form. Some of the minor tweaks had to be done by the silver monkey himself. Gibson remained with him to supervise in case anything went wrong.
Even for Gibson, the silence was getting uncomfortable, and something felt off about Antauri ever sense everyone had returned to the robot. "My friend, are you all right?"
"Yes, thank you Gibson."
Antauri's own response failed him. It wasn't like him to be so short. "Are you sure?" Gibson asked.
Antauri stopped working, focussing on his friend. "My apologies Gibson. I am still becoming reacquainted with this robotic body."
"...Is it really that different?" Gibson immediately winced at his own question. "I'm sorry Antauri, that was insensitive of-"
"It is," Antauri replied. "However," he smiled, "it's a small price to continue spending these days with my family, especially in comparison to having my spirit trapped within the Dark One egg."
Gibson didn't dare laugh at the comparison, unsure if Antauri had been trying to crack a joke. Besides, there was something more important at the moment. "You know, that same family is here for you."
Antauri blinked. "Yes, I'm aware of that."
"With all due respect Antauri, sometimes I'm not sure you are," Gibson continued. "I think... I think all of us are rather different from one another, even if it's not a physical trait for most of us. We all feel alone at times, but you said yourself we're a family, right Antauri?"
Antauri looked to the ground for a moment, contemplating Gibson's way of putting the situation. Sometimes somebody needed to remind him how simple some things really were. Apparently even Gibson had a better grasp on that than he did at times. Maybe he'd learned that being stuck to Sprx.
Antauri looked to his friend and smiled. Gibson returned the gesture.
Like the conversations other team members were having, Otto and Chiro's chat in the command room was very serious business.
"Ha! First place! And high score too!"
"What?! When did you even pass me?!"
"Way back at that road that was all spinny! Man, Chiro, you really need to work on your turns!"
"Like you can talk about driving! You lodged Foot Cruiser 5 into the side of a cliff, remember?"
"That's totally different!"
And so, with new lessons learned and lots of sappy smiles... oh forget it, nothing else interesting is gonna happen with these guys today. They went home and fixed their robot, okay? You all just want to know what horrible things the writer did to Sakko and Mandarin anyway.
"Wonderful! I'm no longer stuck attached to you!" Mandarin cheered, so ecstatic he did a spin subconsciously.
Sakko's skirt caught in a spin was only more creepy than normal.
"I am still in this hideous form you has-been!" Sakko gripped.
"Like I am pleased to remain in... whatever you call this! But it is a start! Now I can lead properly and we can actually get this problem solved!"
"You lead? We were perfectly fine with me leading before you started complaining! I am fully taking the position as leader from now on, and there is nothing you can do about-"
"I can burn your skirt and belly shirt in a blaze."
"...You wouldn't. You'd be totally nude!"
"Unlike you, most simians are used to that!"
"Which is why you're covered in weapons?"
"Those do not count!"
"How don't they?!"
"Because they aren't useless!"
"Skirts are not useless! They are breezy and comfortable!"
While Sakko and Mandarin's fall back to the ground hadn't taken them very far from the barren cave mouths our heroes had adventured into, they were not the only remaining lifeforms when you took the entire planet into consideration. Likewise, the caves spanned much farther than any of them had seen that day. As Gibson had noted before, the Gucrorein Caves of Jadis 5 created a labyrinth under the entirety of the planet, causing the earlier chain reaction to engulf it entirely.
On the other side of Jadis 5, in the planet's lone city, dawn was at hand. Eager citizens began to rise from their beds for the day. Soon after, the rest of the citizens would be awake whether they wanted to be or not.
Why, you ask?
"Hey Chiro? Did you just hear echos of a ton of people screaming in confusion?"
"Huh? No. Maybe it was in the game? Kinda hard to hear some stuff with this spacesuit on."
"Oh. Yeah, that makes sense... Ha! First again!"