Under the cover of darkness amidst flickering streetlights, the young Kevin looked furtively from side to side as he skulked about, clutching something under his arm as though it were contraband; it was wide, flat, and covered in rags, the cloth he managed to purchase from the store with his accumulated allowance he managed to collect from the old man driving the RV.

The stench of the garbage reached his nose, the source from the leaking bags of refuse and the dumpster beside him. Kevin waved his nose.

"Uggh, seriously, why here?" Kevin muttered as he dropped his package amidst the bags of garbage.

He was glad that he made a false credit card account back when he was still on the run with the help of some guys he knew back in New York.

Kevin looked around, seeing no one was looking still. He sighed in relief as he walked out of the alley, humming with delight.

However, a hand grabbed the scruff of his shirt and pulled him towards a very angry and familiar face, eyes glaring right into his.

"Oh." Kevin smiled unwittingly at the adult stuck in the body of an annoying ten year old.

"What were you doing?" Garou asked Kevin with an accusing glare.

"Uh, throwing away your scraps?" Kevin asked.

"Why didn't you put it into the garbage bag then?" Garou asked.

"Because… it's too big?"

"I cut it down into little pieces for a reason."

Kevin started to sweat a little as he raised his hands up in mock surrender.

"I've noticed that this is a pattern for you. I know I agreed to throw away the unwanted scraps of my collection, which I admit still confounds me that I want one in the first place, but still, you should've done this when it was your turn to take out the trash. I followed you the other day and saw strange men taking away the thing you had before. The only reason I didn't come to confront you earlier was to make sure that the others didn't suspect you. So tell me, what. Were. You. Doing?"

Kevin had dun goofed. He slowly veered his eyes away from the martial artist's piercing gaze.

"...Alright, alright. But… promise me you won't get mad. I swear this is supposed to be harmless, dude."

"What did you do?" Garou demanded.

"Promise. I just wanted to check something out by chance… and then it might have started getting out of hand."

Garou squinted at Kevin. He looked around, seeing no one around him.

"Alright. But first, answer my question."

"Okay, okay, but promise me you won't tell… besides, it should be good for us."

Garou released Kevin's collar as Kevin exhaled in relief.

"Alright, remember the time you posed as some random dude in a tournament?"

"I took his wolf mask and left him somewhere, don't remember where, but yes, I hid my face and won the tournament prize money"

"Yeah, that's an awesome story. Anyways, follow me. Better that I show you this."

Garou quirked a brow as he followed the boy down the dark streets. After a few turns, they arrived at a library, one still open at this time.

Kevin pulled open the glass double doors, Garou following him as the air turned sterile, clean like the polished interior of the place of learning.

Garou waited as Kevin took out his library card and registered for the public computer.

"Look, I can't do this on Gwen's laptop, and buying one out of the blue will add oil to the fire, so I use the public libraries and other places to do this."

Since there was no line, Kevin sat down in the computer seat, logging on and clicking onto the internet explorer. He began to type in a site, logging on as Garou quirked a brow.

" ?" Garou read the site name.

"Yeah, I often use this to sell stuff in New York. Anyways, look at this."

Garou leaned closer to the screen as Kevin clicked onto his purchase and sale history. Garou widened his eyes upon seeing the numbers.

"$,7009?!"

Conversion of dollars to yen meant that it was more than 70900 yen, a large sum of money especially for a single purchase.

"Yeah, and this ain't even the good stuff. I know how angsty Gwen and the old man gets when others do this, so I decided to play it safe a little. Got myself quite a pretty good streak going, and it's on fire."

"How much do you have now?"

"$43,077. And this is from selling your scrap metal."

Kevin clicked the product of alien scrap metal, the one from the alien Drones. The description popped up, saying that it was metal from an alien drone that got destroyed, a very succinct synopsis tagged alongside the picture of a drone Kevin clipped from an online newspaper.

"Who the hell are the buyers?"

"Buyer, singular. Some guy called ChosenOne1, and man, is he rich."

"And you're making money from selling my loot?" Garou pointed out with a sharp undertone.

"Hey, hey, I get it, but I was going to break the ice, eventually. And I'm not sure how you'll react to this sort of thing since you're, uh, chill now."

In a way, Kevin was not wrong.

Garou did steal, dine and dash, and terrorized a private organization founded to protect the world from monsters.

"Alright, you have a point, but I will not repeat myself. Is this safe?"

As in, it would not bite them back later down the line. The men Garou saw were wearing strange masks and in medieval attire, metal greaves and all.

"Uh, so far, so good. I mean, they're paying top dollar for useless scrap. I mean, I know a thing or two about salvage. It won't get crazy unless we sell the important parts."

"And those might be?"

"The circuits and software, the things that make the machines work. I don't know jack about alien tech, so I don't touch that stuff without having the green light."

Garou tapped his chin in thought.

On one hand, this was considered dangerous territory, though it wasn't something that he wouldn't touch if during his Hero Hunter days.

"So… been wanting to ask you this, but was kinda scared that you'll drop me into the mantle. You want a piece of this business venture?" Kevin asked with a hopeful smile. "I mean, you did do most of the work, after all."

On one hand, Garou could not deny the prospect of having a personal allowance. On the other hand, it was new territory for him… well, other than stealing someone's identity for the sake of money.

"Thinking about it, I don't see what's wrong with it if we're smart about it. Although I'm not a tech expert."

"Don't tell me we're involving you-know-who?" Kevin frowned a little.

"Knowing her so far, she might disagree with everything you're doing…"

"So?" Kevin quirked a brow.

"At the first sign of trouble, we're dropping this. Her aliens could help cover our tracks."

"Wait, we're actually doing this?"

"Some part of me wants to for some reason. For now, I want to see where this goes. We might learn something new along the way… and knowing the Tennysons' luck, there will definitely be trouble coming our way, regardless of our choices."

"That's… an interesting way of saying we're screwed with trouble no matter what."

"Yeah, and we have a track record of keeping incidents to a minimum…"

The two sat there, ruminating on the life they now lived, on the road, encountering every aspect of danger along the way and so forth.

"Another reason is that I realized that I'm outside my comfort zone." Garou admitted.

"What do you mean?" Kevin asked.

"I am more used to… beating villains and killing monsters than dealing with… people. As in general."

"Oh."

Now that Kevin thought about it, Garou never spoke of any stories dealing with human villains… other than that one time he barged into the Hero Association to beat up all of the criminals just to make a grand entrance.

"I don't know how villains here work, other than the occasional ones from the TV shows and manga. The ones hiding in the shadows I have never learned to deal with… this might be a good chance to gain some experience on that, though…"

"...So, we're gonna do it?" Kevin asked.

"Either way, we have to be prepared for the worst. That, and I think we're burning through the old man's pocket money with my questionable need for food."

"Awesome!"

The two struck a Faustian pact as Kevin offered a fist. The other boy stared at it, stealing glances at Kevin's expectant smile, then bumped his fist against Kevin's.


The Salem Museum of Witchcraft was an odd place.

To Garou, there was no such thing as magic, only espers and psychic powers. While monsters and the supernatural did exist, Garou had never heard of or encountered a genuine mage other than that one A-Class hero with gimmicky abilities.

The room looked bleak under the shroud of night, gloom with little lighting around the museum. Miscellania of dubious origins were scattered around in display for the visual entertainment of tourists, like that tiki-like mask hanging by a rope from the ceiling.

"Why did we come here again?" Kevin asked, the extent of his boredom starting to build up slightly. After seeing aliens up close and personal, magic did not seem all that believable to the youth.

"It was on the old man's schedule…" Garou answered when he returned.

An incredibly old woman was serving as the building's tour guide, giving each visitor a run down of some supposedly mystical artifacts. Gwen seemed incredibly interested in the topic, but for Kevin, he would rather blow some stuff up again. Or… well… do anything else really.

"And behind this impenetrable glass is the recently discovered, and the only known existing copy of the Archamada Book of Spells." The wrinkled museum employee addressed, pointing to a large purple book with gold plating. On the cover, there was a peculiar yellow symbol that resembled a one-eyed deer of sorts, antlers and all.

"It contains rituals and witchcraft from the late 1600's."

The old crone attempted to further explain, but was cut off by Gwen repeating what she just said word by word. She looked over at the 10-year-old in displeasure, raising one gray eyebrow.

"Maybe you should work here, dear." The guide rudely deadpanned, walking over towards another exhibit. Gwen just frowned at her glumly, not exactly pleased with the sarcasm.

"Geez. Did she wake up on the wrong side of her coffin?" Kevin joked, emphasizing the tour guide's mummy-like appearance as she lectured on.

"Who cares? I just want to get this over with. It's not like something exciting would pop up out of nowhere." Garou rolled his eyes, openly tempting fate.

As if fate answered his call, the entire museum started to rumble back and forth. All weight vanished, no, shifted as it inversed. All in the room pulled skyward, loose objects of the museum and the people themselves floated up to the ceiling, screams of panic flailed around the room as confusion set in.

"Something tells me this isn't on the tour." Max stammered in confusion as he observed the other unfortunate civilians. He caught sight of Garou on the ceiling, although he was standing upside down unlike the others.

"...What?" Garou looked at Max, as if he wasn't oppressed by the eldritch force uplifting those in the room.

"Way to use a jinx, dude! Totally awesome!" Kevin shouted with excitement, flashing a double-thumbs up at Garou from the ceiling.

With abrupt intrusion, a stream of dark red smoke oozed out of the museum's diamond-shaped window, taking the form of a sinister middle-aged man. He wore a black-red tunic with a hood cloaked over his head, revealing a pale face similar in appearance to human skulls. A brown necklace filled with uniquely carved spheres was encircled around his neck, each orb radiating an unforeseen power. He held a strange staff in his right fist, its wooden tip carved to resemble the skull of a deceased raven.

"The Archamada Book of Spells. All of its power shall soon be mine!" The demonic-looking warlock boomed in an echoed voice, his black cape mysteriously flowing without the need of wind. One of the orbs attached to his necklace glowed a bright orange, creating a large explosion that shattered the ancient tome's glass container.

Looking down from the ceiling, Garou inspected the man for a moment.

Something about him reminded him of the Esper Sisters, like Tatsumaki, but there was a different feel to it. The way the air swirled under that man's wake moved was more… mechanical than natural. For one, he was affected by the unknown force. There was something akin to psychic energy, but it wasn't directly affecting him, else he would've resisted it.

The skull-faced man, his yellow eyes narrowed in concentration, levitated the Archamada Book of Spells into his hands using a haze of red. When the book was finally in his grasp, he raised his wooden staff up to the ceiling with little care. The open maw of the raven-like tip glowed yellow, reverting the room's lost gravity back to normal. However, he didn't care what happened to the helpless civilians once they fell down.

Gwen, springing into action, activated the Omnitrix in mid-air and selected an alien. She transformed into XLR8 and speedily dashed to the ground, tying down a tarp, so Max, Garou, Kevin, and the others could slide to safety. Well, she already knew that Garou would be fine, but better to be safe than sorry.

"Everyone out. You too, grandpa." XLR8 commanded, her visor sliding up to reveal her reptilian face. The startled tourists listened to the Kineceleran's orders without argument, each one bolting towards the museum's exit in one big clamorous group.

"Be careful, you three. We don't know what tricks he's got up his sleeve." Grandpa Max warned concernedly, departing from the battlefield right afterwards.

Gwen peered at Max's back cautiously before turning towards the mysterious sorcerer with squinted green eyes.

"If you want a book so badly, try the library." Gwen openly mocked, her visor shifting back down in preparation for combat. The pale-skinned thief looked as if the girl was a minor nuisance, instinctively activating one of the other five artifacts in his possession.

"Berdi Mordo Nata!" The man chanted powerfully in an unknown language, fire sprouting out of the mouth of his staff.

From Garou's side, he only saw something akin to spells firing at XLR8. Flames snaking towards the tarp, consuming it as it flew towards the speedy Gwen, shrapnel of faceted garnets fired from his staff, and when she tried to speed towards the old man, the man used something akin to a flashbang grenade, exploding from his staff and blinding Gwen in her sprint.

"Aghh!" She covered her eyes as she tumbled past the mage and into a wall.

The man, known as Hex, did not know who the unknown being was, but he did not care. One spellblast to her head should do the trick. As he mulled in his thoughts, he ignored the approaching boy behind him. He did not notice the boy approaching him from behind.


"I do not know if I should take your word for it, Vilgax. You have the infamy of… ten legends behind you. Like leaving a pool of blood behind a gruesome crime scene with the stench still clinging to you."

On the screen of Vilgax's Warship was the face of a collector. His name was Slix Vigma, the master of the Megacruiser, a ship designed to… acquire apex specimens for the entertainment of the galaxy.

Usually, without their consent.

"I don't care what you think, worm! Just get that nuisance out of there, so I can take what's rightfully mine!" Vilgax snapped vilely, having no such patience for Vigma's attempt at barter. The only obstacle standing in the way between him and galactic conquest was an idiotic human with brown hair.

Slix Vigma tapped his fingers together in thought.

"Knowing you, you might board my ship and incur incalculable damage just to take control of my vessel. I can already envision it under the system's star. Very well, I will perform as you ask, but I do require reparation… and insurance. Would you spare some of your resources so I could… inspect the human in question in a safe environment? After all, this is a mutual deal, and neither of us wanted to trade problems to either side."

Vilgax growled to himself, wishing that he could just blast Vigma's Megacruiser to smithereens and be done with this pointless conversation. However, getting that dreaded boy out of the picture was integral to his plans.

"Very well. I'll lend you some of my drones. This is the only chance you'll get, so make it worth my while, Vigma!" Vilgax spat reluctantly, teleporting some of his more advanced robots over to Slix Vigma's ship.

"To be fair, you are the one that came to me. I do have the equipment to solve both our problems, which is why we are even conversing in this manner. But moving on, I need a clean path towards the specimen in question. Inform me when you need him gone." Vigma then cut himself off, his image turning static and then blank red.

On his throne, Vilgax slammed a fist on one of the buttons closest to him. A holographic image of a grinning boy with brown hair and green eyes was projected. His blood boiled just looking at that smug look.

A gruff chuckle interrupted Vilgax in the shadows at the corner of his eyes.

"You have a comment for me, Sunder?" Vilgax asked with threatening tones.

"You honestly expect me to believe that pipsqueak is what you're so shook up about? He's a human. I don't need to say anymore about the species." Sunder grunted in disbelief, his red and black eyes narrowed amusedly. He was a musclebound alien with gray skin and a long flowing mane of white hair. He wore a black and red uniform with gloves of the same color.

Growling, Vilgax pressed a button, as various video footages of the boy facing the human that his drones bonded with before. The hologram showed the boy in the female human's many eyes.

The gray alien watched as one of the screens turned to static. Then another. It continued on as the pace of static arising rose exponentially, the last sight being the boy throwing metal scrap or just breaking them with his hands. There was even footage of how the boy appeared from one place than another so fast that one would mistake it as a glitch.

"Do you still question me?" Vilgax questioned Sunder, the gray alien, as the bounty hunter watched how the boy promised to take one of the drone's arms one second, and then ripped an arm off the second.

"[Is he the one who humiliated my brother?!]" A series of deep warbles and clicks questioned aggressively. The owner of this voice was a well-toned alien decked out in magenta armor, wearing a faceplate of the same color with two triangular slits where the eyes would be.

"Humiliated? Most likely. Brutalized? Absolutely." Vilgax succinctly summarized. He also read the report on Sixsix's state, how he bled from almost every orifice.

The armored alien converted his clawed arms into massive cannons, angered by the information. Each blaster lit up with red energy.

"So, what do you want us to do?" Sunder smirked in growing interest. He pulled out a metallic axe also glowing with the same red material.

Vilgax turned to Sunder, his tentacles swaying under the draft wind of his growing ire.

"Your job is simple. Draw the boy out. He must be removed from the equation before we can capture the wielder of the Omnitrix."


"I still can't believe you looted him."

Gwen pouted at Garou who was holding the raven skull staff he pilfered from the skull mage.

"What? You're not interested in how the guy could use something like Magic?" Garou remarked as he waved the skull staff back and forth before Gwen athwart him.

"That's exactly the point I'm trying to make! We have no idea how it works! You could accidentally… I don't know… blow up a city block or something!" Gwen complained frustratedly, swaying her arms about for emphasis of what she was implying.

It was a few days after Garou crushed the mage, through the gates of his dignity down below. They went to the amusement park afterwards, gave Garou his first experience being in a park, and then proceeded towards Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Although they did encounter some random creep along the way in Chinatown when Garou demanded they stop for some Asian cuisine.

"Stop being so uptight, princess. You have to admit, it looks pretty cool." Kevin chimed in, admiring the staff's intricate craftsmanship from top to bottom.

"Not like I'm stealing anything from anyone important." Garou pointed out.

"I'm pretty sure an evil wizard counts as one." Gwen retorted.

"He is just as important as the homeless bug man."

"Don't remind me of that guy, he gives me the creeps." Gwen remarked irritably, thinking back to the Clancy guy that tried to destroy a city's nuclear reactor. She didn't expect him to have a nervous breakdown when Garou carelessly obliterated all of his 'family', but it happened. It was the first time they saw Garou's immaculate display of his martial defense, not allowing even a single bug enter his guard. They dropped their jaws when he said he could even deflect bullets the same way.

"Let me guess, you took something from that person as well?"

Garou rummaged a hand in his pocket before he took out a glass jar, placing it on the table. The two leaned closer to the jar, seeing the black spider isolated in the glass. Gwen immediately jumped when the spider jumped at her, colliding against the glass.

"Don't you dare let it escape! I'm not looking forward to being bitten anytime soon." Gwen squirmed nervously, cringing at the sight of the black widow's red hourglass symbol.

Garou snickered as he placed the jar back down on the table.

"Relax, the jar is somewhat hermetic, minus a few breathing holes in the lid."

"Are you going to feed it?" Kevin asked, poking at the jar.

"Don't know… I never kept pets around before."

"Speaking of trophies, wanna continue trying to make that laser?" Kevin asked, changing the subject.

They encountered more robots the past few days, giving Garou the chance to collect more circuitry and parts from the free real estate.

"Ugh, this again? Can't you just let that go? Grandpa already said no like a hundred times." Gwen sighed in annoyance, brushing some of her orange hair in agitation.

"I gotta do some things before I finally leave this body." Garou reminded them of his temporary stay here.

He wasn't Gwen's cousin. He was a foreigner wanting to return home.

"You mean if you leave Ben's body." Gwen corrected matter-of-factly since they still had no idea how this predicament occurred in the first place.

"Hey, you can't be sure if I can leave in the first place. I might as well make sure I can leave without regret."

"You would regret not making a dangerous weapon that can blow things up?" Gwen deadpanned, her eyebrows furrowed in disapproval.

"You don't get many opportunities to do stuff like this, even where I'm from. So yeah, I want to try some new things without regret." Garou's lips grew wide as he set the staff aside on the seat.

"I'm with you on that one. Come on, let's do this thing. We've been putting it off for too long." Kevin smirked, rubbing his hands together in anticipation.

Gwen only pouted as the two proceeded to scurry towards the back, where much trash piled since Garou started his collecting spree.

Garou and Kevin started sorting out the components, determining what to use as the chassis and as the software.

"Say, you got a torch welder?" Kevin asked as Garou started screwing some of the components together, the ones that seemed to fit, the scope, the barrel, and what he assumed to be the power cell.

"We don't have one." Gwen pointed out. This was an RV meant for travel, not warfare. Plus, after what happened a few days, Kevin should stay away from anything fire-related for the time being.

Garou finished recreating half of the laser blaster of the floating disk robots.

"Damn, dude, you're fast. How'd you manage to stick the pieces together?" Kevin asked.

"I screwed the pieces in with my fingers." He mentioned.

"You couldn't use a screwdriver like a normal person?" Gwen pointed out, frowning at Garou disappointedly.

"Some of it looks weird." Garou held up a screw. Instead of a narrow slit, it had a triangular aperture indented. "And I am pretty sure alien parts do not equal human parts."

"Good point." Gwen begrudgingly agreed, starting to hate when Garou was right. "Just don't take too long designing this... thing."

"Almost done already." Garou said, showing off his science project. It did not bear the same armor as before, showing the naked components within. It was narrow and long, having the same design as blasters from the robots, but much more… bare. There were some parts missing as well, leaving much room for concern.

"That's a disaster waiting to happen." Gwen sighed heavily, pinching the bridge of her nose. She wasn't even surprised that he could screw the parts in with his bare hands. The boy beat up a Petrosapien with his bare hands for lord's sake.

"Eh, I can handle it." Garou's smile grew wider. "I just need something to act as the trigger. Kevin's working on it though."

Gwen peered at Kevin doubtfully, her eyebrows furrowed in suspicion.

"Don't look at me like that! I know what I'm doing." Kevin harrumphed in slight offense.

Kevin was busy picking apart Rojo's robot arm, her tentacles, the claw Garou collected from Kraab, and a few other things with a… petrosapien finger.

"We told you not to use any more alien powers, Kevin." Gwen reminded concernedly, unsure of how his mental state would be affected by future transformations.

"I know, I know. But hey, it's just a finger. I can manage that much at least." Kevin rolled his eyes, confident over his control over his abilities, as he sliced over the outer hull of Kraab's arm.

"Which part looks like the trigger?" Garou asked, looking at the internal circuitry. He saw the convex lens acting as the photon amplifier, some orange circuitry glowing yellow lines, and a few other things Garou could not make out. Garou wanted to collect a few from the one known as Sixsix, but Tetrax collected him before he could. He had to make do with the arms and legs he ripped from the Kraab guy.

Kevin inspected the internal circuitry for a moment. "The question is which one is the contactor and the switch? It kinda sucks that they're all robotic, no trigger and all that. I am surprised you could make out the barrel of the gun."

"I have a good memory of stuff. I can copy moves and techniques from others at first glance, you know?"

"Oh yeah. You still didn't teach me how the hell you can do that."

"You'll need a good sense. It's not something that can simply be taught, but we'll see."

Gwen, seeing the trouble Garou and Kevin were having with the foreign technology, took matters into her own hands. She popped up the Omnitrix's dial and pressed, transforming into Grey Matter.

"Your pitiful minds are truly a sight to behold. This project needs a woman's touch. Or, more precisely, a Galvan's." Gwen chastised in a squeaky voice, hopping towards the disheveled pieces of machinery.

Both boys turned to the little grey frog, each holding their respective parts. Kevin only soured with pursed lips while Garou slightly glowered.

"Hey, and take the fun out of it? I'd like to see you try without turning into a smartass." Kevin dared the smart midget.

"I'm only doing the smartest option possible. You two imbeciles were going to blow yourselves up eventually." Gwen stated matter-of-factly, yawning as if Garou and Kevin weren't making any points of merit so far.

"I'll survive." Garou pointed out.

"Yes, I know, but working with a Recyclable Micro Energy Generator unsupervised could result in the destruction of this vehicle." Grey Matter replied as she looked at the internal circuitry, the capacitors and inductors.

"Where is… ah, here's the current magnetic relay switch." Gwen said as she took out a component from the shoulder point of the claw arm.

Kevin and Garou watched as the tiny Gwen picked out more parts from the collection of scrap Garou scavenged from the remains of his victims over the days. After a full ten minutes, the two looked at the jury-rigged rifle made from the parts of attack robots, the mechanical claw of a bounty hunter, and the arm of a cyberized Rojo - a full combination of orange, dark red, and garnet purple.

"That looks… um…" Kevin trailed off, trying to think of the proper words to describe this weird piece of advanced weaponry.

"I know how it looks, Kevin." Grey Matter quipped. "Do you even have any idea how hard it is to make a functional particle blaster from scraps? You're all lucky that the dimwit 'Hero Hunter' scavenged enough parts to make it functional."

"This dimwit can beat you faster than the speed of light." Garou grit his teeth as veins already bulged under his skin.

"Beat me, sure. Think faster? Hardly." Gwen laughed haughtily, closing her green eyes in amusement.

Both boys only glared at the smug alien, presenting her proud invention of Garou's junk collection. The colors mixed slightly well, although the shape looked a bit rotund, a bit too much mass, not slim like either of them imagined how a laser rifle should be.

"...just turn back so we don't have to endure your ego." Garou demanded.

"Trust me, my dear Garou. I'm not the only one here with an inflated ego." Gwen mused cryptically, touching the hourglass symbol on her chest. With this action, she transformed back into her original form.

"Huh, when did you figure that out?" Kevin wondered interestedly, scratching the back of his head.

"Uh…by accident." Gwen admitted in embarrassment, playing with her fingers a little bit with a goofy grin.

They've never seen her turn back to normal manually before. They didn't know that she could.

"Not only that, I call hacks. I am pretty sure you have no idea what a Recyclable Micro Energy Generator is before you turned into that thing." Garou pointed out, and his finger at Gwen.

"Hey, those are the perks of being able to transform into any alien." Gwen shrugged nonchalantly.

"I still call hacks." Garou's left eye twitched.

"Okay, so maybe I should take this laser gun I made and-"

"Fine, fine! Alright, we get it." Garou and Kevin simmered down as Gwen stood before them, arms crossed and with a glorious smug look on her face.

"...so what does the gun do? Is it stronger?" Kevin asked, wanting to move onto the next subject.

"I could have told you if I was still Grey Matter. But, you wanted me to transform back, so… can't help. Sorry." Gwen smirked, wagging her finger condescendingly.

The two shared a unanimous angst.

"You can be really bossy at times, you know that?" Kevin grumbled aloud.

"Would you have me any other way?" Gwen questioned with a lighthearted giggle. Kevin just slumped his shoulders and pouted.

"So… Here comes the big question." Garou looked up, now holding the gun in his hand. "Who should call dibs on this thing?"

"Do we always have to call dibs on everything? Gwen has her Omnitrix, I have the hoverboard, so you should probably have the gun." Kevin gathered fairly, pointing to Garou as if he were the obvious choice.

"That is my hoverboard! I am the one who defeated the previous owner, so I think I have more than enough ownership staked into this." Gwen pointed out, one hand on her hips while tapping her foot on the floor.

"Suuure it is." Kevin claimed sarcastically, his eyes holding a mischievous gleam. Gwen growled lowly, phantom static electricity flying between her and Kevin's eyes.

"Eh, let's test this thing in Rapid City the next time we see any robots!" Garou suggested as he raised his gun skyward.

"Don't even think about it." Max called out from the driver's seat while his eyes still remained on the road. "It is better if you just apprehend the criminals the old fashioned way. I think a child capable of incapacitating criminals unarmed is better than one in possession of a highly dangerous firearm."

"Ah." Garou started to get it. Questions would be aroused if they saw a child using a gun in combat… well, the more annoying kind. Ones that would involve the cops.

"Better do what grandpa says, Garou." Gwen giggled mockingly, looking at him in an 'I-told-you-so' manner.

Both boys grumbled as they approached their next destination, Rapid City, the town near Mount Rushmore.


In the Chimerian Hammer's upper deck, Vilgax was making final preparations for his small-scale invasion of planet Earth. After spending weeks trapped in a small healing chamber, the Chimera Sui Generis warlord was marginally back to full strength. However, much to his chagrin, the explosion from that blasted space-cruiser left him more machine than squid in certain aspects.

Aside from his extended height, Vilgax had black armor that covered his upper body and legs. He also possessed sharp, dark red shoulder-pads that were almost hexagonal in terms of shape. Red veins coiled around his green skin, originating from a breathing mask built over his six tentacles. His shrunken red eyes narrowed into slits, gazing down at the Omnitrix's designated location with absolute vitrial.

"At last, the Omnitrix will be in my possession." Vilgax mused with a content growl, clenching his clawed hand. The alien dictator tilted his head to the side, inspecting Sevenseven and Sunder expectantly.

"Follow my instructions to the letter. The girl is mine and mine alone. Understand?" Vilgax commanded fiercely, his voice raised slightly to emphasize his seriousness.

"Tsk. Whatever. As long as I get my pay." Sunder scoffed, his teeth clenched in an impatient frown.

Sevenseven observed the planet they were fast approaching, unimpressed by its bland appearance in comparison to his own.

"[Keep the money, Sunder. All I want is to make that brat suffer for as long as possible. Nice and slow.]" Sevenseven darkly proclaimed, vengeance for Sixsix being the only thought on his mind.

"Works for me." Sunder smirked amusedly, personally not wanting to get involved with petty squabbles.

"Whatever you desire, know that I will richly reward you if you succeed. Now, prepare for landing. We are descending from orbit." Vilgax ordered as his robotic servants already commanded the ship to enter the Earth's atmosphere. They were descending above the United States of America, their destination South Dakota.

Sunder readied his trademark axe, its red laser glowing to life with sheer power. Sevenseven made similar preparations, all of his cannons activated to their maximum capacity.

Vilgax took one last glance at Earth, his eyes narrowed once more in contempt.

"Run while you can, child. I will find you." Vilgax hissed spitefully, the Omnitrix's green glow accentuated in his sinister mindscape.


"Why did you collect another contraband this time? From a felon, no less?"

Along the way, the four came across a hijacked van from the federal reserves, two thugs holding a hostage inside.

Gwen swiftly defeated the thugs on camera, saving the day after calling dibs. However, what she did not know, Garou had… looted their gear. Literally. A pair of high-tech goggles and an experimental tesla rifle.

"Don't tell me you're not interested in how they get their… is the tech the right word?" Garou asked.

"Yeah, it is!" Kevin shouted back from his side on the table, looking at the parts of the dismantled electric tesla rifle neatly assembled in rows for inspection.

"...Alright, that does warrant some concern from my part, but that's not the point! You already have the laser gun you wanted! What more do you need!?" Gwen shouted back at the man in her cousin's body with her hands on her hips.

"More tech?"

"Why do you need more tech!?"

"...Because I feel a compulsive need to for some reason?" Garou explained.

Gwen stared at him for a moment before her narrowed eyes shot wide with realization.

"Oh. My. Gosh." Gwen's lips curved into a sudden smile.

"What?" Garou asked.

"Ben's rubbing off on you!" Gwen laughed at Garou's expense, clutching her sides in pure amusement.

"Eh?" Garou looked at Kevin as he looked back, both staring at each other in confusion.

"...rubbing off? Wait, no… ohh. No no no no no no." Garou was starting to get it.

The unusual urges, the desire to collect… the inexplicable desire to jump in and save the day, not the kind that he was used to for the latter, it was more childish and much more impulsive.

"Oh god, get me out of this body! I want out!" Garou jumped to his feet, now looking over himself with a new level of fear. "I do not want to become a whiny brat!"

Gwen chortled uncontrollably, loving the fact that Garou was finally in a surprisingly vulnerable state.

"Cheer up, Garou! Just accept the fact that you'll be buying Sumo Slammer cards in no time."

"I refuse! I prefer to kill Fat men with my own hands than to watch them jiggle! In fact, I would rather beat the crap out of this Ben if I had the chance!" Garou pointed his finger at Gwen, his eyes now bloodshot with rage.

His outburst made Gwen break down into more laughter as she clutched her stomach with a laughing smile. Kevin snorted a leak of his laughter while Max warmly chuckled at his overreaction.

"Ahahahaha… hah. Well, on the bright side, you can at least take out your anger on J.T. and Cash from now on." Gwen jokingly advised, knowing how much torment they gave Ben during the school year.

"I don't know who those two are, but they sound disappointing," Gaoru mentioned.

"You know, Ben's bullies? The one's he dealt with at… oh I just realized something. What if you're still in Ben's body when the summer ends?" Gwen asked in a more serious tone, thinking of two subjects that Garou would struggle to handle.

The matter of 'what if Garou couldn't leave by the end of this' and 'what should they do if he stays'.

"...I do not know." He shook his head, now starting to realize the dilemma here. A somber pause took over the atmosphere, leaving a still awkward silence as the four descended into deep thought.

"Being stuck in this body for too long might cause issues… which is why I wanted to leave," Garou admitted.

"...You'll have to go to school again." Gwen pointed out truthfully.

"School?" He stared at Gwen, oblivious of Ben's daily obligations.

"Yeah, the fifth grade. Ben barely passed last semester." Gwen reminded him about Ben's young age in relation to his own.

"Or you could do the smart thing and skip like me." Kevin suggested offhandedly, looking back on his own checkered past with the American educational system.

Gwen's left eye twitched at the mention of skipping school. Back home, Garou did drop out of school, but not for the same reason that Kevin did. It was for himself mostly… and considering his quick-wit and impressive perception, he could very well pass school with flying colors.

"He will do no such thing! This is still my cousin's body, you know?!" Gwen reprimanded, her inner straight-A-student rearing its ugly head.

"Do you even have a reason for skipping anyways?! You dropped out early because you wanted to become the best! You already are right now, so don't even think about dropping!"

Garou looked at Gwen surprised by her strong insistence. He had never thought back on his education after dropping out, but he did not regret a single thing after that day… should he return? The thought of staying was starting to weigh on his mind.

"But, it's boring. I already know more than school could ever teach me. Garou's probably the same way." Kevin admitted from personal experience, his skills as a mechanic are already comparable to most professionals at this point.

"He only knows about fighting, gutting monsters with his bare hands, and probably every martial art there is in his world. I am pretty sure he has more than enough time to learn more from the American education system." Gwen pointed out with a strict tone.

"Why though? Aliens are much more interesting than Earth history could ever be. There's not really a point. Especially for someone from an alternate universe like Garou here." Kevin argued, this summer's extraterrestrial activity already trumping anything native to their homeworld.

"So? He can do that after finishing his studies. In fact, he might be able to boost my cousin's grades to a whole new level if he wanted." Gwen persisted, believing that her aunt and uncle would be pleased by these positive results above all else.

Garou tapped his chin in thought, ruminating on his choice to return to school or abandon it.

"By the way, Garou. School lasts like nine months. With little breaks in between." Kevin whispered to the ponderous Hero Hunter, warning him a second time before it was too late.

There was the instance of school Garou remembered. Only bitter memories of a failed system that did nothing to protect the hearts of the children, only the bias of an ideal lifestyle with their moral compass absent. Only pain and suffering of his failure to move on, his only impression of school was injustice and unfairness that it brought on a level that shouldn't be allowed for the safety of the children's moral compass and upbringing.

But even so…

"...I'll give it a go first. To refresh the memory lane on a school life at least." Garou did not have an excuse to reject it either way, especially since it was almost as if he was living a second life in a sense. He would see what school here had to offer for him first then cast his judgement.

"Your funeral, dude. I can't complain." Kevin shrugged in defeat.

"You are going back to school, too." Max chimed from the driver's seat. "Don't even think about running away.

"Ha! You can't tell me what to do!" Kevin threatened with an accusatory point.

"No. But I can tell the stranger in my grandson what to do. He would drag you back to school, won't you, Garou?" Max asked with a hearty smile, starting to get used to Garou's presence.

"Plus, your mom will be around too. Don't forget that." Gwen chimed in, thinking that some much-needed parental guidance would be for Kevin's own good.

"Wha…" Kevin looked up from his disassembled weapon to Gwen and then Max with distraught. "Whoa whoa whoa, Garou, my friend… you wouldn't do that, would you?"

Garou looked at Kevin for a moment, seeing his awkward smile as sweat started to pour. His lips slowly curled into a wicked smile.

"Sure. Why not? Could use the opportunity to drill more practice sessions into you," Garou smiled.

"Traitor! I thought you were on my side?!" Kevin gasped in disbelief, slamming a fist on the table in exaggerated betrayal.

"I have to keep an eye on you, you know? Can't have you explode with alien powers like last time." Garou pointed out. "And what the hell will you do with all that free time? I know what I'll do, but you?"

Kevin's face of betrayal dropped.

"Uh… Well, I usually just overloaded ATM machines for extra cash and spent time in the arcade. Or high-jacked people's cars." Kevin stammered uncomfortably, smirking somewhat at the memory of his late night joyrides.

Garou and Gwen stared at Kevin, unsure how to react to his life of thievery.

"Yeah, no." Gwen slammed her foot down.

"Oh come on! School in New York is miserable!" Kevin whined childishly.

There was only strictness and uniform, and nothing else in Kevin's school life.

"Then why don't you transfer to Bellwood with Garou?" Max calmly brought up. "I can try discussing it with your mother and stepfather once the summer ends."

Kevin looked at Gwen and Garou confusedly, curious to know if the old man could actually do that.

"Y-you can do that?" Kevin weakly inquired. Max looked back at him with a caring smile.

"Sure. If your parents don't have a problem with it." Max pondered with care, keeping his eyes focused on the wheel.

"Huh… then that's settled. You know, I am curious to know how the school would react to this Ben now that I think about it? How will we explain his current condition?" Gwen pointed out.

Garou had no previous memories of the school. He would fit in like a dog in a herd of horses.

"Puberty?" Kevin guessed off the top of his head.

"...pretend I'm amnesiac?" Garou shrugged.

"I wouldn't be in the same school as you two, so it will be something to think about." Gwen plainly revealed, adding that problem to the list of stuff to deal with in relation to Garou.

"...well." Garou and Kevin looked at each other, then shrugged.

"Eh, we'll handle it."

All of a sudden, a large explosion shook the Rust Bucket uncontrollably. Gwen, Kevin, and Garou were slightly thrown off balance, various items from the table and shelves falling off from the parts of the dismantled tesla rifle to the canned food in the cabinet above.

"All hands on deck!" Kevin shouted as his face planted straight into the Rust Bucket's window. Grunting in slight discomfort, Kevin's brown orbs widened at the sight of 20 or so Vilgax drones hovering around the RV like super-sized moths to a flame. In the background, giant drones crashed into the ground and quickly took form, glaring maliciously at the Rust Bucket.

"Uh, g-guys. We've got company." Kevin gulped, ducking for cover before a stray laser beam pierced through the window and hit him in the face as more lasers pierced the vehicle, massacring the insides with the fridge and cupboards eviscerated by the drones' attacks.

Gwen jumped out of the way as well, her eyes shrunken in pure horror.

Regaining balance, Garou merely smacked the beam away before it hit him while his eyes glued to the smoldering ruins of the fridge. They burned down their rations while he was about to refill his stomach.

"Oh, they made this personal." Silent rage burned within like a raging fire.

There was still a week's worth left in that fridge and the machines blew it all up to smithereens in one fell swoop. They will join the graveyard of machines on this very day now, becoming one with the rustic sea with their brethren.

Garou whipped his head towards the machines, already leaping outside the Rust Bucket and engaging the horde in combat.

Kevin and Gwen heard explosions and grinding metal as the sound of falling metal rained down around them.

They slowly peeked out from one of the laser holes in the RV, they did not see the brown-haired boy. No, al they saw was the falling limbs and the viscera of robot gore, titans torn in half, head ripped from their circuits, the mechanical invaders on the side of the victims as panic ensued among their ranks, one drone attempting to raise a arm only to have that arm fall off without warning.

"Oh, man, he is doing work out there." Kevin commented as a severed head of a mechanical drone fell in front of them, the crimson lens slowly losing power before they lost their light.

"That means he's taking all the fun for himself!" Gwen smiled competitively, selecting one of the aliens from her Omnitrix. She transformed into Upgrade, her one green eye narrowed dangerously.

"Time to see what they think about fighting their own kind." Upgrade directed her attention to the broken glass, spotting one of the drones still floating about in preparation to attack. She converted herself into a gelatinous mass and pounced on it, becoming one with the drone body and soul. This ability, like with Rojo, enhanced the robot's technological capabilities and converted its color scheme into Upgrade's green-black. She then floated out of the Rust Bucket, shooting a beam of green energy at her "comrades".

Outside the Rust Bucket, Garou ripped through a giant machine, one that walked on four legs, landing through the chassis and holding its pulsing core. Spotting a hovering drone, he tossed the round orb at the drone, watching it explode in a display of fireworks as he blinked onto the next giant robot, bisecting it from head to toe in two clean halves.

It only took a second before it split apart, falling left and right simultaneously. Yet there were still more and more of the robots as Garou narrowed his eyes in a dangerous gleam, standing atop a pile of robot corpses already beneath his feet.

"Impressive display, brat." The gruff voice of Sunder complimented from above. He was riding on a black hovercraft of sorts, his red boots positioned on symmetrically divided wings.

"But, I've seen and dealt with much worse." Sunder revealed, grasping his technologically advanced axe in both hands. Next to him, Sevenseven appeared to be utilizing his jetpack, hovering in place with crossed arms. The eyepieces of his faceplate glowed a vibrant red at the sight of Garou.

"[Well, Vilgax wasn't lying about you being formidable. But your strange powers won't work against us.]" Sevenseven scoffed in his native tongue, transforming his gauntlets into full-blown cannons once more.

"I am going to reduce you two into broken wrecks. My day is ruined, and I am hungry. So either leave or die painfully, I don't care which." Garou warned as his clenched his fingers with an intense glare at the bounty hunters.

"Interesting proposal." Sunder scoffed with little concern, grinning from ear to ear in anticipation. "But here's my counteroffer."

He activated his glider and charged Garou, preparing to slash the 'boy' with his axe.

"[This is for Sixsix!]" Sevenseven shouted unintelligibly, firing a speedy barrage of multiple lasers at Garou from far away.

The combination would've decimated a normal human, each shot capable of incapacitating the average human, and the axe could tear through flesh and bone with ease. The axes of Sunder could cut through almost any metal used in the galaxy, robots, armored ships, or otherwise.

However, Garou was not a simple human. With a deep breath and forged focus, surrounding himself in light blue trailing streams, Garou blocked and deflected the beams with his bare hands. He could have dodged and pounced on the rider, but he needed to protect the Rust Bucket from further damage.

With each projectile, Garou met it with the palms of his hands, each shot rebounding from his skin at the direction of his intent. Some of the shots were redirected to Sunder, surprising the infamous bounty hunter as he tried to slow down when he saw the red photons caroming towards him.

"Woah!" Sunder yelped, briskly maneuvering his glider away from each laser. He then glared at the boy for a moment before looking at Sevenseven.

"Stop firing your blasters, Sotoraggian! He's bouncing your shots to me!" Sunder informed darkly, starting to get more frustrated with Sevenseven's trigger-happy behavior.

Surprise dousing rage, Sevenseven garbled as he lowered his guns, "[What? Impossible! Now I see how the boy took down my brother… but what is he? Kinecelaran?]"

"Of course not, idiot! Ol' Squidbeard told us he's human." Sunder grunted irritably, rolling his red eyes.

Sevenseven stared at the boy, who was meeting his eyes with a murderous glare. "[There is no such thing as a human that could deflect blaster fire unarmed. Whatever the case, it's time for the second plan.]" He clicked in rage, but suppressed his ire for now, letting his professionalism take the wheels for the sake of victory.

"This time. Follow my lead." Sunder suggested without room for argument, readying his axe for a second blow. He then zoomed towards Garou's general direction, attempting to slice his neck at breakneck speeds. While Sunder flew on one side, Sevenseven positioned himself in the other and took out a red laser sword from the back of his armor. He also sliced near the same point of Garou's body, leaving less room to counterattack.

The blades were near the boy's still neck. They were confident it will bite his flesh and bleed his life. From their professional experience, anyone with their weapons so close to their neck at that point could not escape certain death.

However, the moment they touched the bare skin at minimum, they did not feel their weapons digging into solid flesh. In fact, their hands feel sore for some reason. Once Sunder and Sevenseven bypassed their target, they looked at their respective hands. They did not see their weapons. Their weapons were replaced by broken hands.

"I have no weaknesses."

Garou said as he held an axe in one hand and a laser sword in the other. The next second, blood spewed from both bounty hunters, Sunder fell from his glider coughing blood as Sevensever experienced multiple system breaches as indentations riddled his armor.

"I have fought monsters far stronger than you pitiful insects. What makes you think this is any different?" Garou asked as he looked back at the two fallen bounty hunters, expecting to see pain and despair.

However, he only caught a glint of a smirk from Sunder's lips.

"Hahaha! G-gotta hand it to you, boy, you've surprised me." Sunder chuckled weakly, wiping some stray blood off of his chin. Sevenseven's armor began to fail, sparks flying from his bludgeoned armor.

"[D-damn it. This pain… is unreal. I-is... is this what happened to Sixsix?]" Sevenseven groaned painfully in muffled clicks, static fading in and out of his red visor.

"Y-You see… kahf!" Sunder coughed as he wheezed, feeling some parts of his circulatory system not working for a moment.

"What? I was testing to see which points of your body represent your vitals. I think I struck something like your jugular and liver," Garou surmised.

"A-as I was saying... we weren't sent here to fight you…" Sunder laughed evilly, glaring his swollen eyes at Garou.

"Oh? Then what for?"

"To distract you…"

"Hm?" Eyes sharpening to full focus, Garou whipped his attention to his surroundings. However, to his surprise, and the surprise of his fellows', a red beam instantly descended from the heavens and bathed Garou in scarlet red. Sunder smirked until he saw Sevenseven's blade hurling towards him from within the red beam, almost escaping the red dome to hit the spot between his eyes.

But at the last moment, it disappeared along with the current wielder. The boy was finally removed from the equation, leaving the others vulnerable to the master.

"...Huh." Sunder tapped the spot between his eyes. He could still feel the burn of Sevenseven's laser sword on his skin, narrowly avoiding death by just a split centimeter.

"Uhhhh… what just happened?" Kevin wondered from inside the Rust Bucket, catching a glimpse of Garou disappearing in a beam of light. Gwen, still bonded with the body of a Vilgax drone using Upgrade, was also shocked by this unforeseeable anomaly.

"Ahaha… haha… well, guess our job's kinda finished… but…" Sunder slowly got up, pushing himself up a little.

"[N-no. I-I… I-I still have a score to settle with the other two children. Go if you wish.]" Sevenseven struggled to growl out, recalling the mention of an Osmosian child involved in his brother's fall.

"Fat chance… we can ask Squidbeard to extend our contracts. Does it look like we can even get up and fight like this?" Sunder spat his blood out his system as he rubbed the rest of his fluids from his lips.

"[P-possibly. I-I...I-I may have a backup recovery system in my armor. Enough for both of us.]" Sevenseven thought, slowly pressing a button near his magenta armor's chestplate. It began to steadily heal the bounty hunter of his energies, an action which Sevenseven shared with Sunder using a gray tube. He roughly inserted it into Sunder's neck, letting the same healing properties affect him as well. It stung a bit, but the self-proclaimed Retriever's wounds were worse off in a sense.

"Aight, then let's do this. I doubt the other two are as scary." Sunder slowly reached for his other axe as Kevin and Upgrade realized that they were now alone. Alone to deal with danger without the former Hero Hunter to save them.

"Oh crap." Kevin immediately rushed to reach for the blaster they made, taking the jury-rigged contraband and aimed it at Severseven.

"Hey, isn't that… Kraab's chassis?" Sunder asked, recognizing the orange metal.

"[Feh who cares? I never really liked that tool in the first place.]" Sevenseven scoffed, readjusting the position of his clawed knuckles.

"Hope this works!" Kevin grit his teeth and pulled the trigger.

A gigantic red laser was released from the hybrid-weapon, producing cracks all over the unprofessionally designed cannon. The recoil sent falling backwards into the Rustbucket, his hands prominently burned by the resulting beam. Sunder and Sevenseven, not expecting such a highly-propelled blast, were unable to dodge in time.

The explosion knocked them dozens of feet away from the Rust Bucket as they unceremoniously crashed into the pavement without any ample time to cushion their respective descents. Sunder's face smacked against the road, broken teeth scattered all over the place as he rolled over a few times. His glider malfunctioned due to his inexplicable departure, crashing near its owner as it shattered to pieces upon impact. Sevenseven also faced similar injuries, his jetpack completely caved in as he collided into the road backfirst.

"Woah," Kevin gaped, looking down at his and Garou's blown up weapon. "That did a lot more damage than I thought it would." He cringed slightly at the sight of Sevenseven's and Sunder's mangled bodies, noticing that they probably weren't getting up anytime soon.

"We need to leave." Upgrade, still taking control of the disc drone, descended into the window.

"I've just received a command signal from the mothership. It told me that… he is coming."

Kevin looked up at Gwen, a bit confused by her statement. "W-Who's coming?"

"...the one that sent out those robots from day one. He's coming right now." Gwen replied, jumping back into the RV as Upgrade's true form. The drone fell apart upon departure as Gwen turned herself back into a human by touching the hourglass.

Max, hearing their conversation from the driver's seat, narrowed his eyes in immense worry. Not only because of Garou's abrupt departure, but also due to the fact that he knew exactly who Gwen was talking about.

"Gwen, Kevin. Hold onto something." Max seriously warned, looking into the rearview mirror with a stern gaze. Gwen and Kevin looked at each other for a second, wondering what the elder Tennyson was planning to do.

"Where could we go? Those robots will keep following us no matter what. And we don't have protection this time!" Kevin pointed out frantically, still unsure if those two bounty hunters were completely defeated or not.

Max pressed some buttons on the Rust Bucket's dashboard, extending its bumper outward. It whirred to life with blue thrusters despite the laser damage the RV suffered, the speed of the entire RV starting to pick up ever so slightly.

"We're going to Mount Rushmore." Grandpa Max stated, pressing his foot down on the accelerator. Instantly, the Rust Bucket's speed accelerated ten fold, rushing past all sorts of traffic in an unforeseen blur.

"Waaaaaaaah!" Gwen and Kevin screamed in unison, clutching onto their seats for dear life. Maybe the Rust Bucket wasn't as old fashioned as it seemed.

Meanwhile, as the Rust Bucket sped away from the chasing Vilgax drones, Sunder and Sevenseven moaned in pain. They attempted to get up, but for some reason, their bodies refused to move.

"This sucks…" Sunder sighed heavily, gasping for breath as he massaged his aching jaw.

"[I blame you.]" Sevenseven grunted, all functions in his suit practically rendered useless and immobile.

"At least I still get paid." Sunder remarked with little care, already having the credits transported to his bank account beforehand.


Cheers screamed from all directions in echoes, wires and crumpled bronze littered the floor. Surrounded by faces from many extraterrestrial niches, Garou stood above the robotic corpse of the gladiator, holding the giant blade he ripped from the arm as he looked up at the screen.

He did not know what just happened.

It was the first time that advanced tech managed to outwit him spectacularly… and place him in a disadvantage, alone in alien territory with no familiarity with his surroundings.

"Welcome to the Megacruiser, esteemed guest." The screens surrounded him, six all around, five turquoise eyes of the oval shaped head staring at him from each screen.

Copper green surrounded Garou from all sides, the same robots around him, aiming their blasters at his being.

"I hope you do behave. For this… glorious arena is now your home."

Garou glared at the screen.

There was at least someone there that he could force the answers out. He just needed a way to get to him.


The Rust Bucket barreled through the sound barrier on the mountain road, charged by alien tech powering the hidden mechanisms within. The scenery ran past the riders as they watched the trees flee from one side to the other through the windowpane until it ended into an open clearing.

Gwen and Kevin looked at each other, confused by the sudden boost in horsepower before they turned to Max who was driving with a hidden purpose.

"I-Is there something you're not telling us, grandpa?" Gwen managed to question, still nervously hanging onto her seat.

"Yeah, since when can the Rust Bucket go this fast?!" Kevin gaped, both impressed and highly confused by this hunk of junk's immense speed.

Max remained silent for a moment or two, his focus completely attached to getting his only granddaughter and Kevin to safety. He sighed, darting his piercing eyes over to the curious duo.

"You'll find out everything once we get there. For now, my top priority is getting you and the Omnitrix away from Vilgax." Max explained with the utmost sincerity, flashbacks of said alien tyrant fading in and out of his subconscious mind.

"Wait, what about Garou? Are we just gonna leave him… wherever he is?" Kevin asked.

"His predicament is a bit more complicated. We'll worry about him later. Besides, I am pretty sure he can handle himself just fine." Max supposed, having full confidence in Garou's abilities.

"But…" Kevin and Gwen suddenly felt a sense of vulnerability. It was the first time they were alone without the unstoppable juggernaut dealing with their problems faster than the speed of light.

They were unsure how they would fare without him a little. The enemy had managed to abduct him by surprise which spoke magnitudes on their threat level.

"Just trust me. It will all work out. I promise." Max attempted to sooth, attempting to make the Rust Bucket move a bit faster without hitting oncoming traffic. However, the three did not expect to see smoke clouds billowing from the nearby city. There seemed to be more drones than they expected and this time, these ones were trying to attack innocent bystanders.

"Oh man…" Kevin uttered at the rising smog polluting the skies.

Immediately, Gwen grabbed a remote and turned on the TV, seeing an emergency news broadcast showing the devastation rampaging around the peaceful city. A gigantic wrecking ball filled to the brim with black spikes was rolling around, ricocheting off of buildings and blowing up entire gas stations. As it closed in on the camera, static was all that could be seen on the television screen.

"I'm going out there." Gwen made her mind as she primed her Omnitrix.

"No! I won't let you go out there alone. It's too dangerous!" Max shouted authoritatively, his eyes widened in abject disapproval.

"Who said she'll go alone?" Kevin asked as he held one of the other Tesla rifles Garou looted from the felons, priming an electrical discharge from the prongs.

"You two don't know what you're dealing with. Vilgax… is not someone you want to mess with." Max darkly proclaimed, his concerns heightening by the second.

Gwen paused for a second to think but nodded at Kevin anyway.

They knew that Max was hiding something, but they did not have time to ask. There were more important matters at stake.

"I can do this, grandpa. It's your turn to trust me and Kevin this time." Gwen argued confidently, activating the Omnitrix once again. Gwen transformed into a massive blue bug with dark green arms and a dark blue face. Her stomach was lean somewhat, but the back of this alien's body was another story entirely.

It possessed a large green egg sack with a large needle-like appendage protruding from the very tip. Along with four green legs, Gwen also grew four eyes on the side of her head while the Omnitrix symbol took up most of the face. To top it all off, she also possessed massive butterfly-esk wings that flashed multiple colors at first glance but glowed a translucent green altogether.

"Hop on, Kevin," Gwen ordered with a more soothing, yet nasally voice. Before Kevin could take one step, a massive aroma clouded his senses. The scent was unbearable, causing the poor boy to instinctively pinch his nose.

"Gah! You reek, Gwen!" Kevin gagged, waving a hand in front of his face as begrudgingly got on.

"I call it Stinkfly for a reason, you know." Gwen snickered amusedly at Kevin's unrestrained revulsion. The 11-year-old delinquent begrudgingly placed himself on top of Stinkfly's back, clutching her sides like he would on an everyday motorcycle.

"Let's fly!" Gwen announced determinedly, darting out of the Rust Bucket's broken window in a blur of speed. As she quickly flapped her wings towards Rapid City, Max grimaced considerably.

"Come back alive, Gwen. Please." Max whispered to himself, his stern expression contorting into one of desperation. He proceeded driving towards the path leading to Mount Rushmore, hoping that he wouldn't be too late if the "fight" called for his intervention.


The city was in ruins, like hell on earth before the two arrived at the city. The destruction was extensive, spreading far from the center in miles as smoldering piles of buildings and craters mottled the land while the instigators continued to rampage in the name of chaos.

Kevin nearly whistled at the sight, now looking at his primitive electric gun and comparing his arsenal.

"You know, I think we should've made some more laser guns. You know, for this occasion." Kevin mused awkwardly.

"I don't think any lasers would prepare us for this." Gwen replied, shifting her insectoid eyes towards Kevin's.

"Yeah… if Garou were here, he would've had a lot of fun collecting scrap." Kevin chuckles.

"Yeah, if only Garou was here…" Gwen muttered to herself, feeling a bit scared of the situation they were inadvertently thrust into as they already started to miss him. She closed her eyes in hopes that Garou was alright before shaking her head a bit to focus on landing.

They were on their own this time. The damage wouldn't even reach this point usually. They realized that they relied on Garou a bit too much to resolve the dangerous situations.

"Well, he's not here…" Kevin threw his rifle away, letting it drop to the floor. "I think it's time to show the creeps the fruits of our labor. It's time for us to take the spotlight this time!"

"Right!" Gwen proclaimed, clenching her clawed hand in battle-hardened readiness.

The two found their courage to face the danger waiting for them in the city, wrought with enemies on all sides. Stinkfly landed inside an alleyway, letting Kevin hop off before they resumed going to danger's door. However, when they emerged from the alleyway, they found the robots surrounding them from that exit point, hovering obliquely with their lens aimed at Stinkfly and her only. They were waiting for them and tracking their every move somehow.

Kevin slowly retreated away from the crossfire as he furiously mused how he should contribute to the battle.

"You guys need a new paint job." Gwen remarked brazenly, spitting a large slime ball at some of the drones. When the robots were about to fire their lasers, Gwen's slime attack covered their cannons and blew them up from the inside. The resulting series of explosions through their fellow drones' flight patterns, causing them to spin around in a frantic manner.

Seeing that the robots were distracted somewhat, Gwen flew off the ground and stabbed each of them with her egg sac's needle-like attachment. They were pierced straight down the center, each one short-circuiting in a simultaneous shockwave of static electricity. Pleased with her work, Stinkfly floated in place and smirked toothily.

"Stinkfly: 1, Alien Death Robots: 0." Stinkfly boasted, holding a peace sign to signify her victory.

"...showoff." Kevin grumbled as he walked back towards Stinkfly, all of his plans and worry flushed down the drain.

"What? You jealous?" Gwen stated cockily, sneering at the boy in amusement.

"You know that I don't have a watch that is literally the ultimate weapon of the universe, you know?" Kevin reminded, swearing that Gwen's ego was growing day by day.

However, the two forgot one big problem that they still haven't dealt with. Said problem was directly heading for them, inciting a wave of carnage and destruction as it rolled to the alley way.

"Oh shoot!" Gwen gasped in terror, grabbing Kevin with her long arms as she speedily flew away from the red wrecking ball. It collided with the enclosed space, completely eviscerating the nearby building in various pieces of shrapnel and debris.

"How the heck are we going to beat that?!" Kevin gulped, pointing to the red sphere of spikes as it slowly came to a gradual halt. Surprisingly, the otherworldly sphere seemed to hear the boy's cries, developing a mind of its own. It rapidly spun around before leaping off of the concrete, aiming to slam into the levitating Stinkfly.

"That's not fair!" Gwen whined in shock, trying to maneuver past the round machine as it flew towards them. She managed to dodge somewhat, but one of her wings was slashed to pieces by a stray spike.

Gwen convulsed in pain, starting to lose her ability to fly. She struggled to flap her uninjured wing, but her and Kevin's combined weight was simply too much to bear. They quickly descended towards the ground, Gwen trying her best not to make the impact too painful.

"AHhhhhhhhhhh!" Kevin fell off before Gwen crashed into the pavement, rolling over his shoulder as he groaned in pain. "That's gonna leave a mark…" He hissed as he picked himself up, pulling himself up as he struggled to calm his nerves.

'If only I had more power…' Kevin's thoughts strayed to how he absorbed the Omnitrix by chance. It was the only time he could ever feel useful, but the cost for his sanity made him hesitant. Even so, he needed to do something at least. Struggling with the sense of helplessness, Kevin turned to Gwen, only to widen his eyes at the sight.

The metallic sphere decreased its momentum in order to land on the top of a proximate skyscraper, clumps of concrete flying all over the place. Seemingly noticing the injured Gwen and Kevin, it leapt off the tower once more. It safely crashed into the road closest to the two kids, stopping in place as if scanning their every move. It then shot out an electrical lasso at the helpless Stinkfly, sending her flying into a wall.

"Oof!" Stinkfly grunted, the electric rope tightly securing her wings, arms, and legs all in one. She struggled to break free, but nothing seemed to budge. Since she was an insect, the trap's energy would simply burn her like a bug zapper.

The sphere, ignoring Kevin, rolled closer to Gwen's captured form. It stood in place before popping open in a large cloud of steam, letting out a high-pitched hissing noise as it did so. The sphere was now a gray capsule of sorts, having a door embedded in its centermost point. This door opened like a pair of revolving doors, revealing the hunched over silhouette of a mysterious figure. He narrowed his slit red eyes, crawling out of the compartment to reveal the towering form of Vilgax.

"You and your irritating guardian have cost me too much of my time and patience." The figure's tone was a visceral growl, each word laced with violence and ambition.

"Guardian?" Gwen asked in confusion, weakly peering at Kevin for any sort of answer. The eleven-year-old couldn't respond, too transfixed by Vilgax's imposing presence.

"The boy that obliterates my forces every time. Now that he is leaving the solar system, I am finally free to take what is rightfully mine."

Gwen's eyes widened in recognition, a glare of pure hatred beginning to form.

"What did you do to him?!" Gwen growled lowly, her struggle to escape enhanced tenfold.

His red eyes narrowed into slits, his tentacles flicking as if reflecting his mirth.

"Hehehehehehe. By now, Slix Vigma had leashed him for his pointless Gladiator Arena. He is now in a Megacruiser, a giant warship that can travel across star systems. He is now far, far away from home, further out of reach."

Gwen clenched her teeth angrily, desperately trying to break free of the trap's firm grip. However, her skin began to burn everytime she dared to move a muscle.

"Stop it, Gwen! You'll hurt yourself!" Kevin screamed, concerned for Gwen's safety more than usual.

"I-I don't care! I-I… need to make this jerk pay!" Gwen cried out, whimpering slightly as black smoke trailed from her singed skin.

"Gwen? The great wielder of the Omnitrix has a mere child's name? How pathetic!" Vilgax fumed, outraged by where his most lauded possession had ended up. He took massive steps towards Gwen, undeterred by Kevin's objections and willingness to attack.

"If you want her, you'll have to go-" Kevin was smacked in the face by Vilgax's large claw, slamming him into another part of the city.

"KEVIN!" Gwen shrieked in horror, taking sight of Kevin's face hitting the road a few too many times.

"No one stands in my way, boy. Remember that once I lay claim to this worthless planet." Vilgax grunted maliciously, marching towards Gwen as if nothing of merit took place.

Gwen struggled in her chains, wanting to break out of her bindings and tear the alien to shreds with her claws. However, to her dismay, her Omnitrix dial was already blinking red, indicating her limit.

"No, not now. Please!" Gwen panicked, her worst fears coming to fruition. Sadly, Gwen was helpless to prevent the Omnitrix from changing her back into a human.

"A child? For the Omnitrix to fall on the hands of an immature brat. You don't deserve this watch, little girl. Remember that when everyone you know and love is slaughtered using the very weapon you foolishly claim to be yours." Vilgax snarled hatefully, outstretching one of his claws in an attempt to grab the Omnitrix.

As Gwen flailed in her confines, both arms grabbing at the electric bindings, she heard another voice entering the conversation.

"Yeah. But first, let me use it to kick your butt God Slayer style."

"Eh?" Looking at her left, she saw Kevin, bruised and bloodied, but still standing strong as he grabbed her Omnitrix. He had the eyes of a Kineceleran and the striped tail indicative of that same species as well.

"Sorry for this. Mind lending me some of your watch juice?" Kevin requested with a hint of cockiness.

"Just do it!" Gwen shrieked, noticing that Vilgax was ready to make a counterattack.

"Hang on to your pants!" Kevin warned, placing an open palm on the Omnitrix. The watch blinked red and green in rapid succession, a series of blue electricity shifting all around his entire body. He screamed in indescribable pain, every single bodily function shifting into something completely alien by human standards. Kevin grew massive in size, his left arm mutating into a Pyronite's while the right became a Petrosapiens.

The arms of Wildmutt jutted out from his torso, much more bulky in comparison to Gwen's own transformation. His skin was dark red like Four Arms, the tail of XLR8 also swaying near his backside. Kevin grew wings reminiscent of a male Stinkfly as well, the skin of Upgrade oozing down below as makeshift shoulderpads. Lastly, Kevin possessed the bulbous green eyes of Grey Matter on one side of his face and two yellow Tetramand-like pupils. His mouth was also extremely sharp, able to morph into the fanged maw of Ripjaws.

Silence fell between them. The three were astonished, Kevin included at his unexpected transformation.

"AHhhhhh… ohhhh… I feel…" Kevin looked at himself for a moment, taking in the result of his actions. "Well, I knew I'm gonna regret it, but not like this."

"W-what?! What is this?! This is impossible! No human child is capable of this!" Vilgax choked, taking a step back from momentary shock.

At least he felt strong. Kevin could worry about changing back later on, but for now, he had an alien to beat up Garou style.

"W-what are you?!" Vilgax screeched, his red eyes narrowed into small slits, pointing an accusatory claw at the Osmosian.

"You can call me… Kevin 11!" Kevin slammed four of his arms together, smiling with confidence. "And I am gonna kick your butt to the stratosphere!"

Newfound fury surged within Vilgax as he clenched his claws with frustration at the thought of the watch being denied to him. Again!

"It doesn't matter who or what you are, boy! The Omnitrix will be mine and mine alone!" Vilgax powerfully screamed , rushing towards the heavily mutated Osmosian.

"In your dreams, Squidface!" Kevin said as he spread his senses over his body using Garou's training. He could feel XLR8 in his legs, Heatblast in one arm, and Zirconia in the other. Right now, he needed to act while feeling for his current strength.

So he shot out Heatblast's fire in one arm and shards of taydenite with the other before he charged with the speed of XLR8, using his Zirconia arm as his battering ram.

However, Vilgax was unharmed by the fireblast, charging through it without injury. The taydenite shards pushed him back a little though, leaving the tyrant open for a speedy uppercut from Kevin.

"Grrgh! You dare harm me?!" Vilgax roared irritably, clenching one of Kevin's own Vulpimancer arms with full force.

"Yep!" Kevin leapt and locked Vilgax's arms with both his legs, clutching his arm in an armhold he saw Garou do with Four Arms in a sparring session before.

"Graaagh! Unhand me, brat!" Vilgax growled, trying to break out of the alien mutant's death grip.

"Garou did this with Four Arms before! He broke it with his tiny body." Kevin flashed a grin with Ripjaw's fangs. "Guess how much hurt you're in if I put all my weight into this arm?"

Kevin latched all four of his arms onto Vilgax's limb and threw all of his heavyweight back as he pulled with all of his might.

"Gaaaaaaagh!" Vilgax seethed with pain, his temper breaking little by little. He shook his entire body in an attempt to loosen Kevin's hold, having more difficulty than he once anticipated. This made him all the more furious.

Kevin secured a foothold with Vilgax's shoulder, one on his neck and the other on the armpit, then with his leg muscles he pulled, trying to tear out Vilgax's arm from the socket.

"AHHHHHHHH!" Vilgax could feel some of his muscles threatening to snap. It got worse when Kevin formed a Taydenite dagger and started stabbing his arm. The discoloration was starting to show.

"ENOUGH!" Vilgax shouted, the brown cylinders jutting out from his arms sinking deeper into the skin. This enhanced his strength exponentially, allowing for Vilgax to smash Kevin into the ground beneath their feet in a sudden chokehold.

"Agh?! Damn it! Know what, I'll eat this!" Kevin then opened his mouth and chomped on the wrist, trying to bite it off.

"Grrrrgh! Stubborn child!" Vilgax seethed irritably, preparing his first for punching Kevin in the face repeatedly.

"Not stubborn enough, it seems!" Kevin opened his Heatblast arm to unleash a flamethrower at the alien's face with the intent of turning him into calamari.

Vilgax seemed mildly annoyed by this move, the fire simply dissipating as if nothing happened.

"Here's this!" Kevin then released his fangs to spit his explosive goo at Vilgax, watching it explode point-blank when it made contact with the leftover sparks, injuring him this time. If fire won't work, then maybe explosions could.

"Gaah! Lepidopterran slime?!" Vilgax growled, trying to rip the goop off of his tentacle-covered face with his free arm. It fused to his breathing mask like hot glue, only able to be ripped piece by piece.

"Hah! It worked!" Kevin then proceeded to start kicking Vilgax's face and shoulder with XLR8's speed to hasten the ripping of Vilgax's arms. This time, Vilgax felt one of his muscle fibers torn from the strain.

"No! I won't surrender to some worthless human!" Vilgax persisted in his fight, ripping out all of the remaining slime and slamming a fist into Kevin's stomach. This hit him into the ground, leaving the mutant wide open for Vilgax's next move.

Making sure his arm was completely free and secure enough, Vilgax picked up Kevin's entire body and tossed him away. The mutated alien-hybrid bounced off of the pavement like a stone skipping across the pond, much to his chagrin.

Gwen, still stuck in Vilgax's trap, peered over at Kevin's flung body in worry. She peered at the Omnitrix, noticing that it was fully recharged as a result of Kevin's absorbent power surge. However, she had no idea how to reach it without shocking herself.

"Think Gwen! Think! Kevin needs you." Gwen murmured to herself frantically, surveying the surrounding area for any ideas. The blue voltage of the static chains glowed vibrantly, shining in her distressed pupils. She breathed out a sigh, wondering if she had to resort to something dangerous.

"Ok. It will only hurt for a second… hopefully." Gwen gulped, moving one hand towards the other slowly and surely. The closer she got to reaching her wrist, the more intense each shock became. Gwen bravely trudged through though, managing to grasp the watch's dial with burned sleeves.

"Gaaaaaah! J-just… J-just a little more!" Gwen wailed in immense pain, managing to weakly slam on the dial. The confined girl had no time to select a specific alien, so she hoped that it was useful. Her entire body inflated like a giant balloon, blue-black orbs covering both her back and arms. She sported light blue skin and purple lips, along with small black claws. This alien also had curved blue eyes covered by black markings.

"Whoa… new alien? Huh." Gwen looked at herself, surprised to have another alien, but also irritated because she had no idea what her abilities are now.

"Noo!" Vilgax returned his focus to Gwen, one arm limper than the other, as he charged towards Tennyson with a vengeful fury.

"Uhhhhhh, do something!" Gwen told herself, flailing her fat arms around in fear. Suddenly, as if on impulse, Gwen coiled into a large ball the moment Vilgax slammed his talon into her back hide.

"What?!"

To both's surprise, Gwen's armored hide did not buckle under Vilgax's might, instead, the force knocked Gwen through the wall behind her, freeing her from her restraints.

It didn't end there. Gwen started to bounce all over the place, caroming from wall to floor and wall until she spun around a few times before ricocheting back to Vilgax, smashing right into his face.

"Graaagh!"

Vilgax exclaimed sorely, the impact of Gwen's rebound sending him flying. He crashed into a distant building, leaving an impressionable hole of broken bricks in response. Gwen bounced back to where she originally was, uncoiling to reveal her original form. She was astounded by this alien's new abilities, already having a good idea of what she wanted to name it.

"Ooooh I like this one. I'll call her… Cannonbolt." Cannonbolt proudly announced, her puffed-up hands placed on her round hips.

Kevin 11 returned to the scene with XLR8's speed, rubbing his stomach with his lower Wildmutt arms, "Ugh, I feel queasy…"

He looked as if a bomb exploded in his stomach. That much was obvious to Gwen, but still, she could not chastise his courage for trying to rip out one of Vilgax's arms Garou-style. Kevin looked a bit freaky though.

"Agh, gonna feel that in the morning," Kevin groaned as he vomited more of Stinkfly goop with a few coughs. He wiped his mouth with his Heatblast arm as he turned to Gwen.

"Whoa, new alien?" Kevin asked as he looked at Gwen's new form from head to toe.

"Yeah. I unlocked it somehow. Pretty cool, huh?" Gwen stated informantly, raising an eyebrow with a pleased smirk on her bulbous face.

Kevin darted his widened three eyes from Gwen to the area where Vilgax was sent flying by Cannonbolt's ball form. He breathed out a sigh, holding out his four arms in disbelief.

"Why didn't the dumb watch do that when I was absorbing it?!" Kevin gaped irritably, thinking that Cannonbolt's abilities would be useful in his already heavy arsenal of alien DNA.

"Uhh, I think having ten of what I had before is kinda enough already." Cannonbolt pointed at Kevin's current appearance.

"Not when you're going up against that freak." Kevin scowled, pointing to Vilgax as he helped himself out of the pile of rubble.

"GRAHHHHHHHH!" With a vicious roar, he sprinted towards them like an ox on steroids.

"Any ideas?" Gwen asked, confident of their victory.

"Yeah, I got his right arm. I'm gonna go for the other arm and see if I can rip it off. You?" Kevin asked back. He slammed all four of his misshapen hands together, cracking his knuckles in anticipation.

"Gonna put a dent in Squidward's face while you hold him down. Sounds good?" Gwen replied, crouching down to reveal her blue shelled back.

"On it." Kevin gave her a Zirconia thumbs-up as he flapped his Stinkfly wings and hauled his bulky weight in his flight.

"You worms! I won't be denied again by children!" Vilgax roared with twice the fury than before.

"You will this time, freak!" Kevin shouted back.

Both juggernauts clashed towards each other and made their moves. Vilgax started by jumping over Kevin and grabbing his Ripjaw antenna with his good arm.

"Agh!" Kevin grunted as Vilgax killed his momentum by his little lamp thing before Vilgax slammed him with an overhead throw, burying his body facedown in the concrete.

"Incoming!" Gwen shouted, launching herself into Vilgax's back with a high velocity spin. The intergalactic tyrant convulsed forward from the unexpected attack, loosening his grip on Kevin's head by just a bit. Gwen then ricocheted back to her original position before Vilgax could react properly.

"Grrrrgh! That won't work for long, girl!" Vilgax hissed dangerously, glaring at Cannonbolt's retreated form with deep focus. Gwen squirmed in response to Vilgax's murderous glare, rolling towards another position to attack from.

"Ugggh, that hurt." Kevin groaned as he fought to get up, but Vilgax turned around before he could. With two raised fists, Vilgax slammed Kevin back into the ground, his injured right arm screaming in pain from the effort.

"Agh! Insect! You dare injure the mighty Vilgax?" Vilgax was furious. His arm was bruised in discoloration, an mottling unhealthy purple over his putrid green complexion.

Gwen then propelled herself from another corner of the city, aiming to injure Vilgax's weakened arm even further. However, before Gwen could even bounce back from his scaly skin, Vilgax stopped Cannonbolt's shell in mid-air with his free arm!

"Huh? What just happened?" Gwen asked herself from within the shell, confused by why Cannonbolt's forward momentum was suddenly put to an abrupt halt.

"The same trick won't work twice, girl!" Vilgax lifted Cannonbolt with his good arm and slammed Gwen onto Kevin's back, cratering the surroundings and the air with a sonic explosion of force. Lifting Cannonbolt in one arm again, Vilgax hammered Kevin deeper into the crater he dug with his face.

"Ah!" Kevin grunted painfully, his eyes beginning to flutter closed from exhaustion.

"You!" He slammed Kevin. "Miserable!" He slammed Kevin harder with Cannonbolt. "Cretin!" With one last swing, he smashed Kevin into the crater so hard, another crater dug itself inside the crater they are in, smashing a wave of dust and dirt that obscured the area for a split second.

Once Vilgax was satisfied, he huffed through his gas mask, exerting more energy than he liked just to crush the fool beneath his feet.

"Now," Vilgax raised up Cannonbolt's coiled body, holding both hands on each side of the shell. "You will reveal the Omnitrix's symbol to me… or else!"

Vilgax utilized the immense strength of his one good arm to press down on Cannonbolt's shell, his hand gradually leaving a deeper imprint in the skin as he did so. Gwen began to feel an indescribable amount of pain, her entire body shaking uncontrollably.

"Ahhhhhhh!" Gwen screamed helplessly, feeling as if she was being crushed little by little.

As Vilgax continued squeezing the meat out of the shell, he felt something grabbing his ankle. There was only one other miscreant present.

"You are resilient for a bug!" Stopping his hand, he flung his head to see the mutant already on his feet, smirking despite having blood spilling from his lips and nose.

"I come from tough stock, tough guy. Also, eat this. Ptuey!" Kevin spat out more of his Stinkfly goop at Vilgax in his face. Vilgax's only free hand was holding down his prize while his other was too damaged to react in time. He tried to block it, but he was a second too slow. The fact that he spent so much of his energy beating him down with one arm did not help as well.

"Nooo! Not this again!" Vilgax seethed furiously, dropping Gwen's round form due to the instant loss of support. Gwen, as Cannonbolt, limply fell to the floor and began hyperventilating from shock. Various cracks and impressions were scattered all across her shell, the damage of Vilgax's torture method still taking effect.

"Unhand me!" Vilgax then started kicking Kevin's face again and again, but he spent most of his stamina trying to beat Kevin into the dirt and squeezing the Omnitrix from the girl. At Vilgax's fourth kick, Kevin caught Vilgax's ankle with his mouth and he clenched, biting into his flesh with his Ripjaw teeth.

"Ahhhhh! You dare?!" Vilgax hissed.

"Oh, I dare." Kevin snarked with his mouth full as he outstretched his Heatblast arm and set fire at Vilgax, watching as the sparks made contact with the volatile goop.

"And here's something extra!" Through the Zirconia hand that is still holding his ankle, Kevin used Upgrade's power to shock Vilgax, channeling electrical currents through his armor and frying his internal cybernetics under his muscles.

"GAAAAAAHHH!" Vilgax cried out, the electricity spreading to the very breathing mask keeping him alive. The red tubes attached to his armor snapped off one after the other, eviscerated by Kevin's shock therapy. Vilgax's screams were then silenced, replaced by a raspy series of wheezing desperately searching for air to breathe in.

It was just when Kevin expended the last of his energy, now out of juice as he released Vilgax from his arm and jaw. Vilgaxed stumbled back and away from Kevin and Gwen, gasping for air on his fallen knees.

"Ugh… well… this is my stop." Kevin joked. He was proud of himself for managing to bring down the supervillain and saving Gwen from his clutches.

"Y-you… y-you … believe this is the last… of me? Think… again, fools!" Vilgax struggled to breathe out, weakly pressing a button on the side of his chestplate. The button rapidly flashed red, sending out a high-frequency signal to the orbiting Chimerian Hammer.

Out of nowhere, tens of Vilgax drones varying in shape and size descended from the skies. They all hovered together in a swarm of sorts, each blurring to life with red energy. Kevin's eyes widened, absolutely horrified by the sight.

"You… may have… bested me… but… I am with an army. While… you… are tired… as my army finishes you all, I… will have the last laugh… when I mount your head on my wall… and wear the Omnitrix from her corpse…"

Kevin's attention shifted over to Gwen's delirious state, knowing full well that she would be transformed back into a human soon enough. He glared at the approaching army of mobile robots and then tried to drag himself with his Vulpimancer arms to Gwen, ready to protect her if need be.

"K-kevin… stop…" Gwen stuttered with half-closed eyes, struggling to bend her injured back over to look at him.

"I… can't… Ack!" Still dragging himself, Kevin coughed out blood, purple blood from his throat. "Even… I know… that we can't stop. If we stop, we'll all die… anyways."

"Garou… wouldn't… want to see us force ourselves like this…" Gwen muttered, her breathing becoming more shallow in a futile attempt to argue.

Kevin, as if disagreeing, pushed himself to his feet with great effort. "No… he would… see us on our feet… even in our dying breaths." He said as he weakly stumbled towards Gwen with trembling knees, standing between the fallen Cannonbolt and the army of robots before them.

"Hahahahaah! It's… too… late! T-the Omnitrix… will be mine… to claim in no time." Vilgax laughed sinisterly, now unable to move to his heavily dismantled armor and breathing apparatus.

As if to rebuke him, several drones and robot soldiers exploded from several flashes of zipping lasers from up the road, reducing them to smoking scraps.

"Not when I'm here, Vilgax!" A familiar voice yelled in the distance inside a familiar vehicle.

The three remaining souls turned their heads towards the source, seeing the Rust Bucket, armed with high-tech gear and lasers rushing towards them at maximum speed, bolstered by the thrusters behind the worn-down vehicle.

"T-Tennyson… No!" Vilgax coughed out vitriolically, his red slits narrowed in recognition.

"Eh?" Kevin stared at the Rust Bucket dumbfoundedly, watching it fire blue lasers at the robots around them as the drones started firing back.

"Keep your toys away from my granddaughter!" Grandpa Max growled seriously, rearranging the position of his RV's cannons. In a flash, gigantic blue beams fired at the distant swarm of drones, completely annihilating them in an expansive series of small explosions.

Gwen watched as the hourglass symbol on her forehead blinked, flashing red before reverting her back to human form.

"Owww. I guess some of Cannonbolt's injuries carried over..." Gwen winced, rubbing her incredibly sore back and stomach area. She then observed the current confrontation up above, astounded by how the Rust Bucket could suddenly fly now.

"G-grandpa?" Gwen wondered in immense confusion, raising an eyebrow. Her shock was slightly heightened once the Rust Bucket converted back into a land vehicle and crashed straight into Vilgax's limp form with full force!

"Aaarrrgh!" Vilgax yelped, his cybernetic legs pinned by the Rust Bucket's additional weight.

"Oooooh! That's gotta hurt!" Kevin remarked, extremely delighted by the fact that Vilgax was practically crushed by the Rust Bucket's front wheels.

Max then parked the advanced RV and stormed out with an infuriated expression on his grizzled face. He held a large cannon in both of his hands, positioning it near the stomach area.

Gwen and Kevin glanced at each other in absolute disbelief, their jaws practically dropped to the floor from sheer awe.

"G-grandpa! Where… when… how…" Gwen struggled to place her thoughts into proper sentences, unable to comprehend what was going on right now.

"I'll explain it to the two of you when Garou gets back. For now, I have a score to settle with this monster." Max replied in understanding before charging up his weapon, aiming for Vilgax's head.

In one final attempt, Vilgax pressed another button on his chest, sending a high-frequency signal towards his ship. A measure he had never thought he would resort to.

"Don't move, Tennyson! If you dare harm me once more, my warship… will rain catastrophe upon this pitiful city! Not even… I can stop the Chimera Hammer once it unleashes its full power!"

The bottom of the garnet-colored warship hovering in the skies glowed two rows of glowing dots. Those were the warship's lasers, primed with the firepower designed to sink other highly advanced warships, and they were aimed at the city below them.

"You coward!" Max grit his teeth with frustration. Not even he has the firepower to take down a warship of that size.

"Ha ha ha… haha… huh?"

However, above the Chimerian Hammer, another cruiser appeared above it as it exited tachyon hyperjump. It overshadowed Vilgax's ship with its size alone like an adult standing above a toddler. Vilgax widened his eyes upon recognizing whose ship it belonged to.

"Slix… Vigma? Why… is he…"

To everyone's shock, it started firing at Vilgax's warship, blasting lasers and missiles down on the Chimera Hammer in a preemptive strike.

"What?!" Vilgax widened his eyes.

Max, Kevin and Gwen were equally confused as to why another warship arrived to destroy Vilgax's own. They watched as the rear of the Chimera Hammer exploded, losing its means of flight as it quickly descended obliquely into the mountains.

They had no words to explain the sudden arrival of the ship or why it arrived to their rescue.

"...what just happened?" Kevin asked, unsure why an even bigger ship arrived to save them.

"Slix Vigma, you dare… betray me?! I swear that… I will…"

Rays of crimson spotlight shined from the larger warship beside them. On reflex, Max aimed his laser cannon at the light, ready to fire whatever that might appear.

However, what materialized from the light shocked all of them, even Vilgax when he saw them. A large unfamiliar alien and a boy sitting atop of him, holding a long, thin sword in one hand and a disc-like contraption on the other.

"Yo. Sorry for being out for so long. What'd I miss?" Garou asked, from atop the shoulder of a giant alien.

The giant alien had yellow eyes surrounded by dark orange, two horns growing below his chin, sharp teeth-like lips, a strap around his torso, grey metallic pants with black lower legs, and a very muscular orange body. He has a large mace in place of his left hand with a cybernetic implant covering his left shoulder and pectoral.

The most glaring part of him was that, strapped to his chest, was the decapitated remains of a thin robot. The robot was legless, ending in a tail-like appendage. It had long arms with incredibly long claws that are also hidden under its robe.

"Slix… Vigma…" Vilgax uttered upon seeing the remains of the former owner of the Megacruiser. Looking at the thing in the boy's hand, he realized that it was Vigma's severed head.

"""G-Garou?!""" Gwen, Max, and Kevin questioned in unison, their pupils widened from reactionary surprise.

"Impossible…" Vilgax growled lowly to himself, wrongfully assuming that Vigma could neutralize this human nuisance for good.

Gwen, caught up in both happiness and outrage, stomped over to Garou with clenched teeth. Tears nearly fell from her eyes as she struggled to find the right words for his return.

"W-where were you?! W-who is that?!" Gwen fumed curiously, pointing to the giant warrior Garou was currently sitting on.

"I've been away for a while. Had to finish some stuff on my end. Meet Technorg, the champion of the Megacruiser." Garou introduced as he hopped down from his shoulder.

"Former champion, master." Technorg corrected before he kneeled before Garou with fidelity.

Gwen and Kevin stopped their train of thought upon hearing an unexpected word from the warrior.

"Master?" Gwen deadpanned awkwardly, looking at Garou expectantly for a good explanation.

"He defeated me in the arena in fair combat and spared my life. He has led us and the other gladiators towards freedom and taken Slix Vigma's head as his prize. My life now belongs to him." Technorg humbly explained with great reverence as Garou walked up to Gwen with a gloating smile.

All of their worries that the former villain would be forever lost to the stars was utterly wasted. He had taken his time probably collecting souvenirs and other things that involved violence and destruction of private property.

"Great. And here I thought we lost you, but it turns out you got a servant." Kevin grumbled, gesturing to his monstrous form with multiple crossed arms.

Garou looked at the other large figure.

"Wait, is that you, Kevin?" Garou asked, pointing his sword at him. The weapon in Garou's hand was as thin as a katana, fit for his size. They could not see the blade behind the sheath. The sheath was very high tech, metallic with orange circuit lines glowing, light traveling across it.

"Yeah. Needed a power boost from the Omnitrix again. This time, it was a pretty big one, to say the least." Kevin explained, almost disappointed in himself for resorting to such a desperate tactic.

"Hahahaha! Well, it depends. If you can master your power in return, you don't have to worry about anything." Garou raised the head of the former owner of the Megacruiser and the katana in his other hand.

"So, you're not going to ask how I got this sword and this head?" Garou waved them in front of their eyes as if showing off.

"Well, maybe." Gwen was curious why he was holding an oversized disc-shaped head of a robot.

"This guy used to control a slave-gladiator arena. He kidnapped many warriors from other worlds to force into sport. I am keeping his head as a trophy. As for the sword, you have no idea how large this guy's collection was." Garou waved the head of Slix Vigma up and down triumphantly.

Gwen smiled at seeing Garou back, just as goofy as ever. A half a day without him and she already missed him and his collectivist nature.

"Gross as ever I see, huh?" Gwen giggled weakly, shaking her head as if she didn't expect anything else.

"The sword or the head?" Garou asked.

"You know what I meant." Gwen harrumphed, placing both hands on her hips in annoyance.

"Anyways, old man." Garou turned to Max, his lips smiling at his widest. "Can I keep the Megacruiser?" Garou pointed up at the massive starship hovering above them.

Gwen and Kevin looked up, imagining travel with a giant spaceship hovering above them. Gwen could imagine the problems that would arrive from it. Kevin only thought how awesome it would be to have a giant alien ship all to their own.

"Do you even have to ask?" Max sighed in disapproval, glancing over at the boy absentmindedly, knowing the problems having a giant spaceship of that size in orbit could bring.

"Awwww..." Kevin grunted with disappointment.

"Hah, still worth a shot." Garou rolled his eyes, disappointed that he didn't get to keep himself a megacruiser.

"Technorg." Garou turned around, now talking to his subordinate.

"I will hand this ship to you along with your freedom. I entrust you with the very prison that held you for so long, to do as you wish." Garou ordered with authority, gesturing to the ship above.

"Master, I thank you for your generosity. One day, I swear I will repay the favor." Technorg nodded in approval, kneeling down as a sign of deep respect.

Rising back to his feet, the gladiatorial champion turned his back as the same crimson light engulfed him and him alone. Like with Garou, he vanished, disappearing in the blink of an eye.

With that, the gigantic spaceship zoomed away into hyperspace, leaving Earth's skies as the sun shined on those in Rapid City once more.

"Huh, wonder what would have happened if I met him," Kevin asked, scratching the back of his head curiously. For some reason, a sound of cracking knuckles entered his subconscious just looking at the Detrovite warrior.

"Hmmm, not sure. Anyways, where was I… oh right." Garou looked at the limping form of Vilgax, who was trying to crawl away from the scene wheezing but couldn't lift the Rust Bucket from his body.

"Who is that guy?" He asked, aiming Vigma's head at Vilgax's pitiful form.

"That's Vilgax. The guy who behind all those robots and bounty hunters from before." Gwen informed darkly, glaring at the warlord as if he were a disgusting bug waiting to be squashed.

"I'm calling dibs on taking whatever he has before beating him up," Garou immediately said.

Hearing this, Vilgax turned to Garou and wheezed threateningly, "You… wouldn't… dare."

Gwen, Kevin, and even Max slowly smirked at Garou's desire to collect. Max could no longer use the Rust Bucket's limited carrying capacity as an excuse anymore now that he revealed the Rust Bucket's secret. He just hoped that Garou would be lenient on his RV at least.

"There's his arm, if you want it. I loosened it for you." Kevin mocked playfully, offering Vilgax's heavily bludgeoned appendage.

"Nooo! I… will…"

Before Vilgax could finish his sentence, he felt something grab his wounded right arm. Looking at the source, he saw the child pulling his arm out with one hand while the other raised his sword, the katana blade shining glinting blindingly under the sun.

When did the child appear so close to him?

"Good enough. I wonder if it tastes like squid."

Vilgax widened his eyes at the statement. Before he could utter another scream, Garou dropped his sword.