Disclaimer: I don't own Ben 10.
Ch1: Gone and Young.
The moment he heard the loud crash come from down stairs Ben jolted awake. When he heard his mom cry out the teenager jumped out of bed and began rushing downstairs to the livingroom, his hand already working the Omnitrix dial.
He was going for Humongesaur or Rath, but the teenager knew he'd probably end up with Upchuck or Echo Echo, but that didn't matter. Ben wouldn't even need one of his bigger aliens to deal with whichever bad guy thought himself big enough to break into the Tennyson household.
However the sight that greeted him once he entered the livingroom made Ben freeze up, his hands falling to his sides in helpless abandon. "What the..."
The sight was painfully familiar.
Not because it was something he'd seen many times, but because it was something he had worried about often.
His dad was backed into a corner, Khyber's lap dog- cat- thing... Khyber's Panuncian, growling menacing in front of him.
And his mom... Sandra Tennyson was being held up by her arm, by the huntsman himself. Khyber was aiming his large advanced gun at her head. "Ben!" The woman cried when she saw her son.
Upon spotting the teenage hero Khyber smirked a little and lifted Sandra up higher, causing the blonde woman to let out a high-pitched whimper.
"Sandra!" Carl cried attempting to take a step forward but stopping when the Panuncian let out a low growl in warning. Swallowing nervously Carl took a step a back and glared at Khyber from his place in the corner. "Let her go, you beast!"
"You heard the man Khyber!" Ben yelled and he looked at Omnitrix. There had to be an alien that didn't have a natural predator, right?
Or maybe Jet-Ray?
An alien he hadn't used in a while, yes that had to do it!
Oh man, he was so bad at this... Ben hadn't handled it well when Zombozo targeted his parents a year ago and the teenager had a feeling he wasn't doing so good now either. Not if the jelly like feeling in his legs meant anything.
He looked away from the Omnitrix when Khyber chuckled.
"Yes pick an alien, after that pick who you'll save. Your mother, or your father." Khyber said sounding far too amused for Ben's liking. "If you attack my pet I'll be forced to end your mother's life, if you attack me then my pet will not hesitate to rip your father to pieces."
Gritting his teeth in frustration Ben forced himself to look away from his mother's panicked face and his father's frightened expression, so he could glare Khyber. "What's the matter Khyber?" He asked, his tone challenging.
Khyber's pride was his weakness. Maybe if Ben could keep him talking...
"Can't catch me in a real hunt?"
"I'm not here for the thrill of the hunt."
Ben just stared the huntsman dumbly. "If you're not here to hunt me down, then why all..." He made a vague gesture around the room. "this?"
"I have a deal with an acquaintance." Khyber answered. "Deliver you to him, the nemetrix shall be updated a long with my other hunting equipment." He said in that hushed tone of us. "Once you've dealt with my acquaintance we shall continue our hunt... prey."
"...Glad you trust my ability to escape your acquaintance." Ben replied raising an eyebrow. "But let me repeat my question, dude." Ben said crossing his arms and trying to look like he had the situation under control. "What the heck is this?!"
Okay, so maybe waving his arms up didn't exactly create the image of control, but he was grasping a straws here!
Ben's eyes widened when Khyber lifted his mother up higher and put his large finger on the trigger of the gun.
"I know that you're not the smartest of your kind." Khyber said, putting the gun against the side of Sandra's head. "But even you must be familiar with the term 'leverage'."
That made sense.
Ben took a deep breath to keep himself calm. "What do you want, Khyber?"
"You surrender yourself to me and I will release your parents."
Immediately Ben's parents started protesting.
"Don't do it Ben!" Sandra nearly screeched. "Get away from this guy!"
"We'll be fine, son!" Carl really wasn't much of liar.
Ben ignored them. "You'll let them go, unharmed?" If he was gonna do this he needed to be sure his mom and dad would be safe.
Khyber nodded, not saying anything else.
Fists clenched tight enough for his nails to dig deep into his palms, Ben glared at the ground, trying to drown out the sound of his parents' calling out to him and the Panuncian's growls, as he considered his options.
Really, he only had two options. He either went with Khyber or risked his parents' lives and those really weren't great options.
And even Khyber expected him to escape the enemy... Plus he didn't doubt that his parents would contact grandpa Max who along with Rook and the rest of the Plumbers would come and help, so...
Finally the teenager looked up, a determined look on his face. "Fine." He said, not a trace of hesitation to be detected in his voice.
He didn't get a chance to say anything else. The moment the word left his lips Khyber aimed his gun at him and fired it.
50.000 volt went through his system and the last than Ben heard before he blacked out were his mother's frantic screams as she called out his name over, and over and over again.
He wasn't sure how much time had passed since then, but when Ben woke he kept his eyes closed. Who ever was holding him captive didn't need to know he was awake just yet.
The first thing he became aware of was that he felt sore all over. The second thing was that he couldn't move his arms or legs which seemed to be chained to a metal table with metal clasps.
"No need to pretend, Tennyson." A voice coming from his left said. An awfully familiar voice. "I know you're awake."
Emerald eyes flew open. Ben's eyes narrowed when he saw the white-haired, red-eyed version of himself standing at the head of the metal table he was forced on.
Albedo met his gaze. "Fast as always, Ben." He smirked briefly, before returning his attention to the Omnitrix which he was adjusting, the inner code that is. The setting only Azmuth ever touched and adjusted. Bluckic and Driba weren't even allowed to work on the Omnitrix's inner code
The fact that one of his most dangerous enemies was now doing exactly that made Ben's skin crawl.
"Dude," Ben grunted trying to move away, but it was no use, the bonds were too tight. "How are you free again. Forget that, how do you look like sixteen-year-old me again?"
Albedo didn't even look away from Ben's wrist. "I had a lot time to learn about some of the Omnitrix's lesser known functions, while in prison Ben." His tone casual, as if he was talking to Ben about the weather or about the scores of a soccer match. "And after that escaping my cell was child's play. After all nothing can stop the great Galvin mind."
Ben rolled his eyes. He knew he had a lot of pride and was arrogant, but the people who complained so much about him needed to meet his enemies. "And you're working together with Khyber again. Kinda unoriginal."
"The huntsman already proved to be useful." Albedo replied. "He captured you, did he not?" The human turned galvin said pressing a tiny button with his tool and snapping the Omnitrix shut again.
Ben grit his teeth, recalling the events that led to his capture. Just remembering the looks on his parents' faces was enough to make Ben boil with rage.
The young hero opened his mouth, an insult already on his lips, but halted when the Omnitrix started letting out a series high-pitched beeps. "What-" He stopped talking.
Something was wrong.
Or more like, something felt wrong.
A tingling feeling spread from his wrist and went through his entire body. It was kinda similar to the feeling he got seconds before transforming into one of his aliens, only now it was drawn out and it felt different. Similar but different.
"What did you do?!" Ben cried starting to get nervous. This didn't feel right. "What-!" He cut of by a bright green light that came from the Omnitrix and soon completely surrounded Ben.
Once the light faded Ben found himself temporarily blind and he felt... Off? On edge, nervous?
He blinked several times before he could see again, when he sight fully returned he saw that Albedo had moved to stand at the end of the metal table, and that Albedo was... Taller.
Albedo looked bigger, that smirk seemed so much scarier from this angle and Ben wasn't sure why he suddenly felt so much more vulnerable than he had seconds ago.
Ben's emerald eyes widened. That wasn't his voice! That couldn't be his voice!
He had heard that voice before of course. On his parents' and grandpa Max's home videos. But he didn't sound like that. Not anymore. Not since he was littl-
"Like I said." Albedo spoke up and Ben's head shot up to look at him. "I learned a lot about the Omnitrix's lesser known functions." Albedo informed Ben. He walked away, exiting the room only to return a moment later, a mirror in his hand.
"I'm stuck with the hormones and weaknesses of the teenage version of you." Albedo said, his tone dark as he glared down at Ben who subconsciously tried to squirm away from him.
The white-haired teenager held up the mirror so Ben could see his reflection.
Ben gasped when he saw himself.
"In return I made sure you have the emotional dependency and weaknesses of your five-year-old self." Albedo sneered. "And now that you're just a little kid." A dark look came to Albedo's face as he stepped closer to the table.
"The two of us are going to, as you humans say, have a little quality time."