Chapter 5: What Are Small Humans Made Of?

Despite the pleasant breeze touching her exposed skin like a gentle caress and most of her friends enjoying themselves, Gwen couldn't find it in her to smile. All the humans were clad in swimwear on the beach: Julie wore a pink one piece swimsuit, Gwen was wearing a white bikini, and Kevin was clad in blue swim trunks. Meta Knight was currently supervising Julie as she worked to teach Kirby to swim. For the infant Star Warrior, Julie had gotten a white and pink inner tube and blue diving goggles. Sword Knight and Blade Knight were more focused on honing their swordsmanship.

"Let's settle this Tennyson!" Kevin challenged as he absorbed stone.

Chuckling, Ben, as Brainstorm, suavely replied, "My dear Kevin, your nigh-gladitorial bellicosity has once again outpaced your ratio sensitive processes!"

Confused by the loquaciousness of the Cerebrocrustacean's answer, Kevin simply said, "I don't know what you just, but...CANNONBALL!" Jumping into the water, the heavy-as-stone Kevin unleashed a massive wave that hurtled towards the super intelligent crab. Skittering in panic for but a few moments, Brainstorm quickly opened up his brain and launched an electric bolt at the wave, turning the water to nothing but steam.

Seeing Kevin remerge from the water, Brainstorm smugly stated, "Attempting to short me out, are we? Before you would cause such an involuntary cognitive discharge, my intense electromagnetic storms would vaporize you! To wit!" At this, Brainstorm concentrated lightning and fired at Kevin, sending him flying behind Gwen. "As a coder, and at the risk of reducing this lake to nothing but hydrogen and oxygen, I admit..."

When Ben turned to normal, revealing his green swimming trunks he finished, "...that I wasn't even trying hard!"

"That was you not trying hard?" Julie said as she helped fix the askew goggles on her son's face. "I wouldn't want to see what would happen if you were."

Chuckling at Ben's admission, Kevin conceded, "Okay, you got me that time! Live and learn, right Gwen?"

Seeing that Gwen hadn't even found it in her to get the rest of their meal out of the picnic basket, Ben figured, "She's still missing Grandpa," A frown forming across his face, he admitted, "So am I, to an extent."

"But she was fine in the car when we got here," Kevin wondered.

"It's my fault. I thought that if we went here, it would lighten things up," Ben sadly replied.

"This is Grandpa Max's secret fishing rock. He used to come out here all the time when he wasn't traveling," Gwen explained as she held a small stone.

"Away on Plumber business, you mean," Kevin figured.

"We didn't know back then. When I was 5, he brought me here and I caught a teeny-tiny little fish. He wanted me to release it, but I put up a big fuss. It was my fish, you know? Grandpa finally convinced me to come back when it was bigger," Gwen continued as she threw the stone into the lake. "Guess I never had an easy time letting go."

"You're being too hard on yourself, you two," Meta Knight said as he reappeared behind them, accompanied by his apprentices, Kirby, and Julie. "Letting the dead go is never an easy task. I have lost many a good friend, and those I consider to be family. It never gets easy to let the dead go, whether it's the first time or the hundredth."

"And Ben, you shouldn't blame yourself for trying to make things better for you two. I know Grandpa Max's death hit you hard, and it's not wrong to try and help each other," Julie reassured her boyfriend.

"Poyo!" Kirby replied as he jumped to hug his father.

However, something quickly caught Blade Knight's attention. "Oi, all o' ya! Look over there!" With everyone looking to a tree on the opposite side, they saw a figure clad in a blue robe putting a unique flower by the tree. Its 5 petals were yellow with a pink outline and massive light-pink filaments grew out of the center.

"You know, for a secret place, this place sure gets a lotta traffic," Sword Knight wondered.

"Did you ever see a flower like that, Ben?" Julie asked.

Going for the direct approach, Kevin quickly called out, "Hey! You in the cloak!" As the octet ran to the figure, she chuckled as she ran behind a tree. A flash of pink light shone as they neared the tree. Once they reached, they found that no one was there but them.

"Who was that woman? She just vanished!" Gwen asked in confusion.

"Teleporter, perhaps," Kevin answered.

"Look at this," Julie gestured to a section the tree engraved with "Max + Verdona" surrounded by a heart. "Max and Verdona? Who's Verdona?"

Pinching his nose, Ben realized, "I know that name somewhere, but I can't remember why."

"The strange thing is that I am having similar thoughts myself," Meta Knight admitted. "Verdona rings a bell somewhere, but I don't know where."

Picking up the flower, Gwen figured, "Let's find her and ask. I should be able to track her with this" Her eyes glowing pink, mana enveloped the flower. When nothing happened, Gwen tried again, only for the flower to wilt. "I really thought I had that move down!"

Looking down, Julie saw numerous flowers similar to what Gwen was holding. "Huh. That's not the first flower she's left here."

"So what do we do now?" Kevin asked. "We can't just wait for her to come back!"

Hearing this, Ben decided to act on an opposite train of thought to his old enemy.


Two Nights Later

"This is crazy. She didn't show yesterday and she's not gonna show tonight!" Kevin complained as he, Ben, Gwen, and Kirby waited for the woman to appear.

"Humor me," Gwen replied.

Sighing, Kevin heard a clicking noise and saw the source: Kirby rhythmically fiddling with the door lock mechanism. Seeing this, Kevin glared at the oblivious Kirby, while Ben silently gestured for him to hold his tongue, gently tapping the pink puffball's head. A few seconds later, though, Kirby decided to continue his actions in clicking the door lock.

"Do I look like I'm-" Kevin said before feeling the glare from Gwen, clearly not happy that Kevin would threaten a baby.

"You guys!" Hearing this, all involved parties halted their actions. "I have to find a bathroom."

"Lotsa trees around," Kevin replied.

"Real debonair, Kevin," Ben snarked in disapproval of Kevin's lowbrow humor.

Getting out, Gwen said, "There was a gas station a couple miles back."

"I'll drive you," Kevin offered seriously.

"No. Keep watch. I'll be right back," Gwen instructed.

As Gwen left, Kirby went back to clicking the door. Growling, Kevin went for the infant Star Warrior before Ben quickly scooped him and kept Kevin from him.

"POYO! POYO!" Kirby suddenly said as he looked out the window.

"Kirby? Is that-?" Ben realized as he saw the figure again.

As the woman picked up the wilted flower and began to make it glow with energy, Kevin quickly asked, "Alright, start talkin'! How do you know Max Tennyson?"

"POYO!" Kirby mimicked as Kevin removed the figure's hood, revealing her to be an old woman with white hair and blue eyes.

Smirking, the old woman answered, "What rotten kids." Her palm holding a disk of energy, she readied herself for a fight. "Go away." A massive pink explosion sent the three flying. Floating, the woman quickly flew away while they still spat out more dirt. Quickly pulling out the Warp Star for Kirby, Ben also readied the Omnitrix, turning into Jetray to give chase.

"JETRAY!" The Aerophibian announced. "Hey, Kirby! Open wide!" Seeing his father's eyes glowing, Kirby readily inhaled the neuroshock beams, undergoing a familiar transformation.


Laser Kirby Transformation

Once Kirby swallowed, there was soon the appearance of a black targeting reticle that fixated itself on Kirby's left eye. Glowing red, a high tech monocle soon built itself on said eye. Afterwards, the metal extended itself to cover Kirby's other eye, leading the right side to be more reminiscent of a visor. Afterwards, after glowing red, a powerful laser shot of the monocle, the force knocking the entire headpiece to the top of Kirby's head.


"Alright, Laser Kirby! Not a bad choice Tennyson!" Kevin admitted as he absorbed the metal of his car. As Laser Kirby and Jetray gave chase across the lake, the old woman took notice.

"Oh, a chase! I haven't had a good one in ages!" she playfully said. Hearing this, Kirby put his headpiece on, sending forth a flurry of red lasers to hit the agile target. Seeing this, she effortlessly dodged every single laser fired by the pink puffball. Seeing his son's strategy, Jetray decided to help by quickly turning in the opposite direction, away from Kirby. Putting much effort into his flight, a massive sonic boom followed him as he tried to cut her off.

"HA!" Jetray bragged as he flew in front of her, only for the woman to quickly swerve towards the shore. Anticipating this, Jetray looked to Kirby. "NOW, KIRBY! FIRE WITH ME!" At this, Jetray unleashed a powerful neuroshock blast from his tail and Kirby fired a mighty laser from his monocle at the woman. With this, a massive explosion engulfed her.

Flying backwards while chuckling, the old woman soon ran into Kevin, surprising her as she found herself in Kevin's strong grip. "Answers, lady. We're done. Playing."

"Not until I put my toys away, sweetie," the woman cheekily replied, summoning tendrils that grabbed Kevin's wrists and waist. With barely any effort, Kevin was sent hurtling to Jetray and Kirby, and while they swiftly dodged the attack, Kevin was sent skipping like a stone across the water.

Flying towards the woman, Jetray asked, "Who are you?" Smirking again, the woman began to generate pink energy around Jetray's tail, causing the Aerophibian to try to fire at it to remove it. However, the neruoshock beams instead caused the strange energy to swell like a balloon, and like an overinflated balloon, it eventually burst. A massive explosion followed, sending Jetray crashing to the rocks. Or rather into Kevin, causing a big splash down. At this, Jetray turned back to Ben, with Kirby quickly trying to fly towards his adoptive father.

Having the advantage, the woman decried, "This little world would be a lot more tolerable without troublemaking imps like you getting in my way!" At this, two disks of energy formed in her palms.

"Yeah? Show us what you got!" Kevin challenged. Hearing this, the woman got ready to fire, only to look up and see the sky becoming a true pitch black.

"VERDONA! KNOW MY POWER!" Two yellow eyes gleamed in the darkness. "I do not care what you are doing here, old friend, but you are not harming so much as a hair on the grandson of the brave Maxwell Tennyson as long as I am here!" Galaxia quickly glowed with a bright flame, and the swing forced the newly named Verdona to defend herself. Sparks flying across a barrier of energy, Kevin saw that Meta Knight had come to their aid and frankly, Kevin was more than grateful to have the veteran Star Warrior here.

For once, the old woman showed an expression of legitimate shock. "Meta Knight?! Is that really you? And did you say, 'Max's grandson'?"

"No. It is Garlude back from the ruins of the Incursean home world. Of course it is me! And yes, that is Ben Tennyson, grandson of Max Tennyson" Meta Knight replied.

"Meta Knight, how do you know this woman?" Gwen's voice interjected. Having just arrived, she just saw an old woman fighting against Meta Knight.

"Verdona, mayhap it would be better to discuss this matter with Gwen's family, since she does share your aptitude for mana," Meta Knight diplomatically suggested. Without a care, Meta Knight casually revealed, "So to does Ben, but his ember weakens with disuse, so try not to get to upset with his inability to fire energy like his cousin," Hearing that was a surprise to Gwen and Kevin, with Ben just about to wake up.

"My head feels so heavy," Ben groggily stated. Seeing Gwen and Kevin's wide-eyed expression, Ben asked, "Why is everyone staring at me like I've grown two heads and a third eye on each of them?"

"Apparently, you have some potential to be like me Ben, strange as that sounds," Gwen briefly explained.

"What?! But I've never used any of those spells like you! I've always used the Omnitrix" Ben said in complete shock.

"Just a minute before we go, Meta Knight," Verdona intervened. "You don't mind if I do a quick check on these two, do you?"

"If it will convince you that I jest not, then very well," Meta Knight conceded. "Do what you must,"

"This won't hurt a bit. Each of you has to give me your hand and I'll check for a certain spark," Verdona explained. Hearing this, the two cousins held their hand; Gwen held Verdona's left hand, and Ben held her right. "Hmmm, yes I see. Gwen really does have the Spark, while Ben...yeah. Like Meta Knight said, he does have a partial Spark, but disuse has definitely made it weak. Nothing a trip home couldn't fix, though!"

"A spark? What are you talking about?" Ben asked in confusion. In a flash of pink light, all involved parties ended up teleporting away.


A call from Kevin later, and Julie and Meta Knight's apprentices had been brought to speed, and all involved parties had taken their place in Gwen's grand house. While Verdona wished to bring in Carl, Ben's father, Ben told her that he'd kept his powers with the Omnitrix a secret and asked to make sure they weren't alerted now. Despite being upset at the opportunity to reconnect with her other son, Verdona decided to agree to Ben's wishes.

"Dad?" Gwen began. "We need to talk." Gwen's father, Frank Tennyson, had thin brown hair and glasses. His attire consisted of a smart polo shirt with a burgundy sweatshirt covering it and tan trousers.

"In your room? I'm honored," He responded. "When was the last time you let me in here?"

Closing the door, Gwen began the stressful situation of admitting her heroic-filled past. "I've been keeping a big secret from you." Seeing his frown, she opened a drawer, filled with numerous tomes of magic and artifacts. "Magic powers."

"So you're what?" Frank joked."A wizard in training? Come on, Gwen. There's no such thing!"

"But...there's more." Gwen continued. "You ready?" Activating her powers, the violet light flooded her darkened room. The sphere in her hand extended, swirling around her father and closing the draw.

Literally floored by his daughter's powers, Frank felt himself needing to sit on the bed."That's a big secret."

Biting the bullet, Gwen dropped the main reason she called him. "I met Grandma Verdona today."

Hearing that, Frank finally began talking. "I was afraid this day would come. But you never showed any signs of developing powers. Your mother and I thought you were in the clear."

"Magic runs in the family?" Gwen asked, surprised at this. "I knew it!" She exclaimed with joy.

"Honey, there really is no such thing as magic," Frank countered before revealing, "You and Ben have an alien grandma."

Shocked by this, Gwen found herself sitting by her father's side. "Okay, I'm overloading with questions! First of all, though, Meta Knight, you and Julie can stop listening in from the outside."

As Julie opened the door, Meta Knight chuckled as he said, "I believe the term you humans say in situations like this is 'busted', is it not?"

Seeing Frank shocked at Meta Knight's appearance, Julie hastily explained, "He's an aquaintance of Verdona if you gotta know. And she's actually downstairs, having a bit of time with our...little friend."

"So, who's she? Ben's girlfriend" Frank asked in confusion at the new girl.

"She's Ben's friend, and they're dating for now," Gwen explained, her friend quickly turning a shade of scarlet. "And yeah, here's the thing. My grandma, who we never knew, wants something from me and Ben, but we don't know what."

"Well then, let's ask her," Frank simply said.


Indeed, much to Gwen's mother's Natalie's disdain, Verdona and Kirby were getting incredibly well, leaving Kevin and Ben slightly left out. Sword Knight and Blade Knight, on the other hand simply sat on another couch watching the action unfold.

"Well Ben, you may not have as much of a spark as Gwen, but I'm certainly not going to complain about getting an adorable great-grandson from you," Verdona joked. Ben certainly felt happy about that, scoring brownie points from his powerful grandma.

"POYO!" Kirby happily said as he rode down an energy slide onto the couch. "POYO! POYO!" The little puffball cried.

"Of course, my dear! Anything for my first great grandson!" Verdona happily obliged his request.

"Verdona really fell for Kirby, quickly, didn't she?" Kevin joked as she lifted Kirby for another slide. At that moment, Frank, Meta Knight

"We're here now, Grandma! So what..." Gwen began before hearing Julie gasp.

"...ARE YOU DOING WITH KIRBY?!" Julie shouted in concern. Hearing this, Verdona lost her concentration and made the slide disappear, leading Kirby to fall onto the table, knocking a glass from the table and breaking it.

"And you wonder why I get frustrated when you come here, Verdona," Natalie huffed, seeing the broken glass. She had red hair like Gwen, as well as dark blue eyes, black eyebrows, thick eyelashes, and bags under her eyes. Her mid length hair was combed back, and her attire consisted of a white blouse with a green vest and a dark grey skirt with high-heeled shoes of the same color. For accessories, she had golden earrings and a necklace with a golden buckle.

"KIRBY!" Julie and Ben cried as they ran to their son in concern. Thankfully, Kirby didn't look that much worse for wear, and in a matter of seconds, he turned up at them with his trademark smile.

"POYO!"

"Oh, thank God," Ben breathed out in relief. Seeing the broken glass on the floor, Verdona quickly worked to repair it. With little effort, the glass fragments fit together like a 3D jigsaw puzzle before all the cracks vanished as if the glass never broke at all.

"That's amazing!" Ben and Gwen cried in tandem.

"You think that's something, wait until I tell you more!" Verdona proudly said. "Natalie, how about you get us some tea?" Glaring at her mother-in-law, Natalie nonetheless complied.


A few minutes later, cookies and tea were set. Kirby, the baby he was, was more than happy to enjoy the gooey goodness of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

"It's been a while since we saw you, Mom," Frank began as he poured tea for his mother.

"I suppose...in human time," Verdona said as she enjoyed the tea. "Ben, Gwen, I'm an Anodite from planet Anodyne."

"Anodite? I don't think I've ever had something like that in the Omnitrix," Ben wondered.

"So what is an Anodite?" Gwen asked.

"They're powerful beings capable of manipulating great power. Free spirits with powers that can seem beyond comprehension," Meta Knight answered.

"Ah, so like you to take away someone's thunder, Meta Knight," Verdona joked. "You sure you're not going to lighten up with some cookies?" Seeing Meta Knight shake his head in denial, she decided to continue. "Now we don't often interfere in the affairs of plain folk like the rest of you. However, I fell deeply in love with Max Tennyson,"

"And then ditched him?" Kevin snorted, thinking back to his own family. Ben, enjoying a cookie, quickly elbowed his former rival in the chest in anger.

"No! It's just after the kids were grown and out of the house, I needed to reconnect with my Anodite heritage. Max was busy saving the universe with the Plumbers," Verdona explained.

"But dad thought you didn't know about part of his life," Frank wondered.

"Yes. He didn't want me to worry. The sweet man he was," Verdona mused. After taking a nice sip of tea, she put it down as she continued. "We had many good years together, but we grew apart."

"The funny thing about Max hiding his Plumber life was that you almost became someone similar, right Verdona," Meta Knight said, a hint of venom in his voice.

Shocked, Verdona conceded. "Yes. Meta Knight is part of a similar organization to the Plumbers, the Star Warriors, dedicated to protecting the universe from all manner of horrific, eldritch monsters that threaten the realm. We met somewhere in the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way, and he offered to make me part of the Star Warriors."

"Indeed. Your powers could have helped us greatly in the fight against our enemies, or even helping us locate survivors," Meta Knight continued, venom dripping out.

Clearing his throat, Ben decided to prevent things from getting too out of hand. "So what drew you to Max in the first place, Grandma? And if he was so good, what made you drift apart?"

"Well Ben, even someone with as much mana as your grandfather is still just a physical being," Verdona answered.

"Mana? What's that?" Julie asked. Deciding to play around a little, Verdona pointed at her and generated pink energy around her mouth. All of a sudden, the energy turned into tape and shut her. Gasping, Ben tried to remove the tape, but to no avail.

"It's life energy. An energy that surrounds all living things. Us Anodites are capable of commanding it in powerful ways, allowing us to do all manner of miracles: healing the gravely ill, restoring objects to their former self, even resurrecting the deceased with an equivalent exchange of life energy from another source," Verdona revealed. The sheer magnitude of the power caused the two cousins to gasp in shock.

"So why are you here now? Really?" Kevin asked.

"Max's death was news that spread across the galaxy, and even reached my home planet Anodyne. That's why I came down here to remember the good times we shared," Verdona sadly answered. A smile broke across her face as she looked to her grandchildren. "Who knew that there were two budding Anodites amongst you? Gwendolyn. Benjamin. You'll be amazed at what the two of you can do. Allow me to teach you the power of life energy." With a blink, she removed the tape around Julie's face.

Having her question answered, Julie simply replied, "Oh."

"I do want to learn, Grandma!" Gwen said, her thirst for knowledge driving her.

"Same here! Where do we start?" Ben asked, equally curious.

Holding one hand from each of her grandkids, Verdona answered, "On Anodyne. Stop living this humdrum life and come home with me. Join the real party!"

"Leave? You mean, leave this place? Where my family is and my friends as well?" Ben realized.

"Yeah. This is all so...wow. This is too huge!" Gwen continued. "Mom? Dad? What do I do?"

"I don't know. You're both getting an opportunity I never had," Frank answered.

"We always hoped you'd take after my side of the family," Natalie countered, glaring at Verdona who did likewise. "But we want you to be happy."

"We won't stand in your way, Gwen," Her father reassured her. "And don't worry Ben, I'll explain to your folks as well if you go either. Carl should help break the ice with your mother."

"You won't?" The two cousins asked simultaneously.

"Then it's settled! Come on, you two!" Like a leopard, Verdona pounced at the opportunity. However, the two cousins were overwhelmed and ran upstairs.

"We'll handle this," Meta Knight reassured as everyone who wasn't a human adult or Anodite followed the cousins.

"Oh. Such serious children," Verdona remarked, earning another angry look from her daughter-in-law.


"I knew I would find you both here," Meta Knight mused as he saw Ben and Gwen sitting on the roof. The two were left reeling from the bombshells they had been given. "I figured you'd want some company if you don't mind." Looking behind them, the cousins saw Kirby, Julie, Kevin, and the Knights arriving.

"I guess the Omnitrix wasn't the only thing making us different from the rest of everyone in high school," Ben replied.

"Yeah, same here. This was definitely not how I expected the day to go," Gwen agreed.

"Ben, you know we'd be in serious trouble if you're not around, right? We have to deal with not just the Highbreed, but Nightmare too," Julie pointed out.

"I know. We've been recruiting Plumber's kids before we had Meta Knight and the others, so you'd still have plenty to help you out if we go," Ben figured.

"But we'd be gone a long time, Ben," Gwen pointed out.

"Maybe forever," Kevin wistfully said.

Hearing this, Kirby let out a sad, "Poyo?", crushed at the idea of growing up without his daddy. Seeing Kirby having tears building in his eyes, Ben quickly looked to his son and scratched his head to comfort him.

"I'm no expert on fatherhood, but I don't think it's healthy for a child to grow up without a dad in their lives," Sword Knight said.

"Still, two Anodites could do a lot for us with their command over mana," Blade Knight pointed out.

"Good points from the both of you, but ultimately, we need to let them decide what to do," Meta Knight said.

"So what do you think, Kirby? Should I find out more about who I am?" Ben asked.

Hugging his father, Kirby began to shed tears, trying to keep his father from leaving him and mommy. "POYO!"

"Alright, I get it," Ben answered. Holding his son in his arms, he gently assured the Star Warrior, "But even if I leave, I'm always going to have you with me no matter what."

"Kevin, what do you think? Should I go with Verdona?" Gwen asked.

"No, why would you think about it? I want you around!" Kevin angrily answered. "The whole thing's lame, being forced to choose between us or her, who hasn't been around for long! It was your Grandpa who stuck with you two, not her!"

Hearing that she was still wanted and his honest opinion, Gwen quickly pecked Kevin on the cheek. Running down, she hardly noticed Julie giggling at how lovestruck Kevin was acting and Ben's smile.

"LAME!" She heard Kevin repeat.

'She wasn't there, that's true. It was Grandpa who helped me and Gwen against Vilgax, Ghostfreak, Kevin, and the Forever Knights, not Verdona. Where was Verdona when Grandpa was hospitalized by Rojo and her gang? Where was she when I thought I was turning into a Yenaldooshi? WHERE WAS SHE WHEN ZOMBOZO TRIED TO STEAL GWEN'S HAPPINESS? If she really cared so much about us, why didn't she talk to us when we were kids?' Ben realized, seeing Kevin's point. Power like Gwen's was tempting, but why would he spend his life with someone who barely knew him? That thought stirred anger in him, and bile began to build, overtaking the curiosity of finding out more about his past and his people.


As a disco ball lit the room in a multitude of colors, rock music was blaring.

"Shag Carpeting! Max's favorite band. How is it that the most backwards creatures can make the best music?" Verdona noted as she danced.

Seeing what happened, Natalie told her husband, "Don't you complain about my aunt ever again!"

"Cheer up kiddo. You didn't have the Spark, unlike your daughter and nephew! There was nothing I could teach you!" Verdona playfully countered.

"You taught me a lot, Mom. You and Dad both," Frank said back.

"Oh, you! You know what I'm talking about! I even came back when the grandkids were born. I thought Ben didn't have the Spark, but I guess Gwen's Spark, fresh in my mind, clouded my mind. I didn't realize he had a Spark until today! Well, more like an Ember of the Anodites, but you know what I mean," Verdona answered.

"Mom, if you can give Gwen and Ben an opportunity that me and Carl can't, we won't hold you back," Frank said. That was the moment Ben and Gwen came down.

"Grandma. First, let me say that me and Ben really do appreciate the offer," Gwen began.

"Yeah, but I think we'll settle for being gifted humans. We have friends and family here, and it'd be hard for us to leave for too long," Ben continued.

A confused look on her face, Verdona snapped her fingers and made the disco ball vanish. "You two don't even know what you really are. Kiddos, your place is in Anodyne among our kind. Let me show you!" In a burst of pink light, Verdona changed drastically. The light was so bright that the rest of the group, coming down the stairs, were completely blinded. Her skin and clothing was discarded like, well, clothing. In Verdona's place was a pure purple being. Her hair was no longer grey but a long tendril of pink energy. "See? Just a disguise! This is what it means to be an Anodite!"

"So that's why she looks so good!" Natalie said, looking at her mother-in-law's true form.

"Mature Anodites are pure energy! We draw life from the mana around us!" Verdona continued.

"Alright, I gotta admit. That's actually kind of awesome," Julie replied, earning stares from Kevin.

"You two are just too young to make up your own minds! Let me help you both. I'll destroy your bodies and free the Anodites inside! It'll be fun, and you two will be able think far more clearly" Verdona continued.

"That was your game?! Destroy the bodies of your own grandchildren?!" Kevin answered in complete horror.

"You can't be serious! Do you have any idea how dangerous that could be?" Meta Knight angrily asked.

"I am serious, Meta Knight! And how will they know if they like something if they don't try it!"

"Are you tellin' us you're goin' to ignore your grandkids' words just 'cause they don't fit your desires?" Sword Knight asked.

"They said no! Can't you respect that?" Blade Knight asked.

"Don't bother. Verdona, I believe you and I are due another dance!" Meta Knight angrily answered.

"Indeed, MK!" At this, she blasted him, Kirby, Sword Knight, Blade Knight, Kevin, and Julie out the house.

"GUYS!" Ben asked in concern for his friends as he and Gwen ran out.

Giggling, Verdona floated out as she readied another mana blast. "Now this is what I call a party!" Firing at her grandchildren, the mana blast hit and resulted in a massive explosion. Thankfully, Gwen was able to shield all of them simultaneously. All except for Meta Knight, who teleported behind the Anodite and slashed her in the back. At this, Verdona attempted to slap him with her prehensile hair, but he quickly dodged. Time enough for Gwen to form mana platforms and attempt to through mana at her grandmother, but unlike her attempt with Meta Knight, she managed to slap her mana away.

"Gwen, stay back!" Kevin instructed as she prepared another attack.

"You too, Ben!" Blade Knight continued as Ben readied the Omnitrix for another transformation.

"Hit the road Kevin!" Ben ordered.

"What?" Looking down, he realized what Ben meant. "Ohhh!" Absorbing the stone, Kevin felt stronger, and began hurling stones at Verdona, who flinched from the attack. And that was enough time for Ben to turn into another alien form. This time, he resembled a blue-furred monkey with arachnid features. He had four green eyes and four arms with three fingers each, alongside a tail with two stripes near the tip. The Omnitrix lay on his dark blue chest.

"SPIDERMONKEY!" Ben announced.

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Codon Stream Entry: Spidermonkey

Species: Arachnichimp

Home World: Aranhascimmia

Aranhascimmia is a world that can be described as a jungle gone wild. Trees that make the Empire State Building look like small huts cover the surface. On the ground, a wide variety of life forms inhabit the bottom, and these are ravenous predators were adapted to the near pitch darkness that result from the coverage of the trees. As a result, the Arachnichimp race adapted to life in the trees. Their environment ordained for a heavy need for agility, and their hands have evolved pads similar to those of geckos, allowing them to stick to surfaces easily. Their prehensile tails allow them to unleash webs strong as steel and incredibly sticky, making them useful either to blind predators or catch food more easily, whether it be food far from grasp or the rather large insects of their homeworld.

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"Hold on, Gwen! I'm coming!" Spidermonkey declared. Indeed, Verdona, despite Kevin's skill at rock launching, was making a beeline for Gwen, who had erected a barrier of mana. Despite this, Verdona's hair soon began to tear through it, nearly hitting Gwen had Spidermonkey not used a tail webline to keep him behind her.

"Come on, Gwen! Let's show grandma what we can do! OOK OOK!" Spidermonkey declared. Even now, Verdona was still getting rocks in her face courtesy of Kevin. However, Verdona soon had enough and wrapped Kevin in her hair.

"Oh grandma!" Gwen said in a sing-song voice.

"What big trouble you're in!" Spidermonkey finished as the two cousins used a makeshift slingshot of web to launch a massive ball of mana at Verdona. A mana shot might not have done much if it was on its own, but now, it was like being on the receiving end of a massive cannonball, and it sent Verdona flying back. With Gwen held by Spidermonkey's lower arms, their combined agility gave them an advantage over the sole Anodite, and soon, Gwen's martial art training kicked in, literally. Two kicks from Gwen were enough to stun her, and Spidermonkey quickly wrapped her in webbing.

"That should keep her in place!" Spidermonkey declared. At this, Meta Knight's apprentices, Kevin, and Julie ran up to her. Looking at her state, though, something felt off.

"This doesn't seem right," Sword Knight wondered.

"Yeah, I'm feelin' kinda uncomfortable," Blade Knight continued.

It was Kevin who solidified things as he held a massive slab of stone. "Dude! I don't think I can pound your grandma!"

"Don't worry too much. OOK OOK! We're just teaching her to mind her mana!" Spidermonkey joked.

Laughing at her grandson's humor, Verdona complimented, "Good one, kiddo!"

"Not really," Julie snarked. However, a blast of mana caused the webbing to disappear in an explosion, and the tennis player ended up flying, not as durable as the rest.

"JULIE!" The Arachnichimp cried in concern, running as she sent flying into a tree.

"POYO!" Kirby agreed, following his father. In a moment, the tennis player was sent hurtling across the ground into a tree. Groaning, Julie limply stood up.

"Julie, come on!" Spidermonkey cried in concern. "Get up! Get up!" Unfortunately, Julie wasn't able to stand up, and soon collapsed unconscious.

"P-poyo..." Kirby sadly said, looking at his mother. Looking at the sad expression on his son's face, his unconscious girlfriend, the fact his wishes weren't respected, and the memories of all he, Gwen and Max suffered while Verdona was gone began to boil over.

Soon, though, something did begin to happen. The Omnitrix began to glow pink instead of green, with it saying, "Unknown energy accumulating within host body. Returning to normal to prevent overloading Omnitrix." In a flash of pink light, Ben turned back into his original self with one major difference: his eyes were similar to his cousin when using mana.

"VERDONA! WHERE WERE YOU?!" Ben answered with his voice having a distinctive echo in it. At this, mana began to form around his forearms and hands. The mana around his hands took a similar shape to Gwen's own, but Gwen noted something: his mana discs had serrated edges, making them resemble saw blades instead of frisbees.

"What do you mean?" Verdona asked in genuine confusion. "Where was I?"

"Where were you when we needed you? You didn't come for birthdays, our first days of each grade, or anything like that! Where we you when we really needed you? Did you know that Max was in the hospital because of a biker gang attack?!" Ben angrily asked as he readied to throw his mana saws.

"What?! That's news to me!" Verdona honestly answered. She never heard of that, and woe if that gang was still kicking!

"So you also didn't know that I thought I was becoming a werewolf without any control, or that Gwen could've lost her life against a clown?!" Ben continued as he hurled the saws. At this, Verdona was forced to dodge, and the saw blades quickly lodged themselves in the wall, and soon Ben angrily began to leap, forming the mana around his arms into a wicked trio of wrist-mounted blades on each hand. Angrily slashing, Verdona was given little time to dodge, shocked beyond belief that she neglected her grandkids' health. "That monster of a clownish freak would have drained of her mana, in his words, LIKE A SPONGE IN A POOL PARTY! She looked like she had aged 50 years in that time, still trying to laugh. Did you bother lifting a finger to help us then?" Even when Verdona elected to set up a shield, it did very little good, as Ben's claws simply tore through it a piece of paper.

"I know Ben gets mad, but this feels like something else," Kevin commented as he looked at Ben.

"It's his Anodite side. His novice skill in using mana combined with his strong emotions is causing his own anger to drastically increase and overwhelm him, and if we can't calm him down or get him to focus on something else, he may end up losing his own humanity!" Meta Knight explained. Indeed, Ben's anger was shocking to everyone.

"Were you aware of any of this, Grandmother?!" Ben angrily asked, managing to slice off part of Verdona's hair. At this, Verdona quickly restrained his arms, but Ben's anger led him to continue to attempt to struggle.

Noticing the hair, Gwen got an idea for how to draw Ben's attention. A father would hopefully notice if something happened to his son, after all. "Kirby, quick! Suck up that mana!"

"Poyo?" Kirby asked, looking away from Julie's unconscious form. Once he saw it, Kirby realized and ran towards it. Once again, Kirby sucked in and the tendril of mana quickly found itself sucked in, leading Kirby to transform into a brand new form. Thankfully, it did seem to do the job, as Ben's anger quickly dissipated as he noticed what happened, attracting his and Verdona's attention, causing her to let him go.


ESP Kirby Transformation

Once Kirby swallowed, Kirby quickly began to charge up a massive green energy ball, hunching over and shutting his eyes. At the moment the orb reached max size, he turned the orb into a blue cap with a red bill. Putting it on and tilting the bill to his right, Kirby nodded before he quickly waved one arm in an S motion, causing small sparks of psychic energy to follow the pattern.


"Whoa! What's that one?" Ben asked, his anger slowly leaving him. Realizing what he'd said, he looked away from Verdona in shame.

"That is ESP Kirby. A master of psychokinetic abilities, such as telekinesis!" Meta Knight revealed.

"Well now. The party seems to have at least picked up a little!" Verdona said as she tried to push away her guilty feelings of abandoning her children.

"POKYO!" Kirby said as he concentrated energy into a purple ball. Filled with electricity, it was sent hurtling towards Verdona before erupting into a massive electrical explosion. Seeing that Verdona was reeling, Kirby concetrated a smaller ball of energy as he jumped. Sending the energy ball into himself, Kirby ended becoming an electrical cannonball that slammed into Verdona.

"What was I saying to her? She just wanted to mourn her husband and I had to wreck it," Ben sadly said as he realized what he'd told his grandmother.

"It's not your fault. Seeing all that happen, your emotions just got the better of you, and your Anodite side overhwelmed you. It's something that gets better with practice," Meta Knight said to reassure Ben. At that moment, smoky wisps of mana began surrounding everyone and converging on Verdona.

"What's going on?" Gwen asked.

"She's drawing mana from every non-sentient living thing around her! The trees and grass!" Meta Knight explained. With that, all the wounds inflicted on her were gone.

"I'm really enjoying this!" Verdona continued. At this, her hair slammed on Kevin's slab and began to push him into the ground. Soon, he ended up part of the slab.

"I should get out more...but now, onto the business of taking my grandson with me," Verdona began before noticing something. At this, she cried out, "What in the galaxy?!" Following the Anodite's line of sight, they noticed that Julie had gotten up, but her posture had changed. Instead of standing straight, she almost seemed like a puppet without any strings, her arms limply hanging below her. Everyone noticed that in her right hand, fire seemed to burn around it, while her left one was coated in ice. Finally, her eyes glowed with lightning.

"Bonjam...and goodbye, harmer of my loved ones!" Julie's voice said, sounding like three talking at once. At that, Meta Knight and Verdona's eyes both widened.

"Bonjam? That's not a term I've heard before," Gwen wondered. At this, Julie stood up suddenly, unleashing a torrent of fire at Verdona, who quickly erected a shield of mana to protect herself.

"Did...did Julie just develop powers?" Ben wondered in complete shock. She showed no indications of having these powers before, so it had to be a recent development.

"Maybe it's more like latent powers. Exposure to mana could've done that," Gwen pondered.

"Well, she's not Heatblast, Brainstorm, or Big Chill, so that crosses Plumber's kid from the list," Kevin answered. Still, Julie continued to attack Verdona. She soon began retaliating with a burst of water from her mouth and once Verdona was surrounded, she froze it, trapping Vedona in an ice sphere. However, a few seconds later, and Verdona made the ice sphere explode. That led to Julie quickly unleashing lightning bolts from her fingertips, zapping the Anodite in her tracks. Within a few seconds, though, Verdona was able to withstand it enough to quickly attack back with another wave of mana. Undaunted, Julie continued her onslaught, pulling massive boulders from the ground around her and hurling them at Verdona. The master Anodite quickly managed to shatter the boulders into rubble and decided to send them back at the tennis player. As protection, Julie surrounded herself in a sphere of wind, releasing the pieces in every direction. Reflexively, Verdona sent a wave of mana to disintegrate what little rubble remained, but also striking Julie. At that, Julie's posture returned to normal, as did her mind. However, her powers did not dissipate, and she was shocked.

"What the-?! How am I controlling fire?!" Julie asked in complete and utter shock.

"So does the term 'Jambastion' mean anything to you?" Verdona questioned, deciding to confirm a theory.

"What? No. What are you talking about?" Julie replied in confusion. At this the flames in her palms vanished without leaving a mark on her clothes or skin. Collapsing to her knees in shock, Meta Knight's apprentices soon worked to soothe her flustered nerves, as did Kirby.

"Hmmm. I see. Well in the meanwhile, I have two stubborn children to deal with," Verdona continued as she wrapped Ben and Gwen in her hair."No need for tantrums, you two. It'll all be over in a second, and Ben, I promise to not leave you two ever again." As she carried them to the roof, she took on a more gentle tone. "Ben, I really do apologize. I should have checked with you two more often, and had I known you, Max, and Gwen were in trouble, I promise you that I would have come back here in a heartbeat to help you two."

"Grandma, I'm sorry for what I said. I just-" Ben apologized.

"Don't be. The first time mana is used like that always ends up with one emotion running wild. And considering that you saw your girlfriend attacked and your son crying, plus that internal resentment, I don't blame you for being mad at me like that," Verdona gently reassured her grandson.

"It's sweet of you to say that Grandma, but could you listen to us, please?" Gwen asked. In a far less aggressive mood than before, Verdona let her grandkids go.

"We're not going, Grandma," Gwen and Ben agreed.

"I love having powers, but I like my life here more," Gwen began.

"I like fighting monsters and saving the world," Ben continued.

"Anodites help tons of people. Scads! You could both use your powers any way you want after you've mastered them. Gwen might take 60 years, while Ben needs 70 years," Verdona argued.

"It's more than that, though. I like swimming and school and breaking boards with my hands and running and feeling tired afterwards and...kissing boys." Gwen confessed.

"Same here. I have soccer, Sumo Slammers, video games, and now I have a son I'm learning to have. Plus a girl I'm happy with. She knows my secret and doesn't care one whit of it," Ben agreed. "Didn't you have a similar experience with Grandpa?"

Looking back on those times, Verdona sadly remembered, "Aww, I was just a kid having my fun." Perking up, she argued. "Trust me, you two. Grown up parties are so much better."

"Admit it, Grandma, you miss those times. More than that, you miss Max. It's what brought us to his fishing place," Gwen countered.

"Max should have been like us. He had a spark all his own! An adventurer! A troublemaker! Just like your friend..." Looking at Kevin, the ex-prisoner's name escaped her. "Curtis."

"Kevin." He replied back.

"Energy beings talking here!" Verdona said.

"No. You're an energy being. We're just kids." Ben answered back.

"Perhaps I forgot what that life is like," Verdona realized. Still trying to keep her grandkids with her, she decided to try one more time to convince them. "Still, what I'm offering you two is better. Think of how many more powers you'll have!"

"I like my powers, but I love my friends and family," Gwen answered.

"I didn't even know I had these powers in the first place. Even if I had them earlier, though, I'd still choose my friends and family over power any day," Ben agreed.

"We're not going with you, Grandma," the cousins concluded concurrently.

Finally seeing she wouldn't win, Verdona conceded. "No. I don't believe either of you are." Frank and Natalie, who had been watching the whole exchange, smiled, seeing their daughter and nephew elect to stay instead of leave. Carrying the two down gingerly, Verdona decided to fix the mess caused by the fight. "Well, it's been a wild little shindig!" Snapping her fingers, everything had been restored to normal, as if there hadn't been a fight in the first place. "But mama's got to go!"

"How did you do that?" Ben wondered, seeing how it seemed nothing had changed.

"You two could come with me and find out," Verdona jokingly explained.

"Yeah...or not," Gwen answered back.

"Had to try," Verdona answered. "Goodbye, all. And Julie?" Hearing her name, Julie snapped to attention, wondering what was next. "Your first instinct upon unlocking such raw elemental power is to stick up for your boyfriend? That's what a grandmother likes to see! You're all right!"

"Heh. Honestly same to you. Hopefully Ben can give me some lessons in controlling them, since he has aliens that let him do that," Julie answered back.

"And as for you Kirby? Sorry you had to see daddy and his grandma fight. I promise when I come next time, I'll have some candy from another planet just for you!" Verdona said as she kneeled to the level of her great grandson.

"POYO!" Kirby happily said as he tackled his great-grandmother in a hug.

"Don't forget to have some fun you two! I'll be dropping in every now and again to check on your progress!" Verdona instructed.

"Oh joy," Natalie said in exasperation. As Verdona flew upward, she became more like a streak of purple light shooting into the heavens. Looking at their feet, the cousins found flowers similar to the one Verdona had placed at the tree with the heart Verdona and Max carved out.

"Come on. Ben and I know where this goes," Within a few moments, all except Meta Knight had arrived at Max's fishing spot. The two cousins placed their flowers down as all involved parties were there to pay the respects to Max Tennyson, whose bravery would be continued in his grandkids.


Unknown to the rest of them, while Kirby and the others payed their respects to Grandpa Max, Meta Knight made a request. Standing on the roof of Gwen's house once again, he awaited Verdona's arrival. His wonder of her arrival ceased when a purple light shown, and Verdona reappeared, once again in her human disguise.

"Well, I'm here. I guess we're going to be talking about...that?" Verdona began. "The fact that it seems that Ben is dating the future High Priestess of the Jambastion cult? Destined to bring Void Termina to devastate the universe or at least the planet?"

"Yes. Before you ask, no. I never knew that Void Termina had designs for this planet, of that you can be certain," Meta Knight began.

"I know that, you dummy! I didn't blame you for that at all! But we do know what that means, right?" Verdona replied.

"Yes. I know Void Termina is an ever-present threat, but right now, I don't think it's wise to reveal the existence of that accursed religion to Julie just yet," Meta Knight figured.

"Why not? You know what they can do, or have you forgotten how many planets they've devastated to bring him forth," Verdona argued.

"I am not unaware of their capabilities. Many Star Warriors fell to him before attempting to keep him from reawakening. However, Ben and his friends already have more on their plate right now. They're aware of Nightmare and his lackeys, and that is a threat that will be ever constant throughout Kirby's life, especially as of now. With the Highbreed, they are the ones who took Grandpa Max's life, so they're the more personally and immediate threat. At least with him, we have the mercy that there is eighteen months time before they are ready to strike," Meta Knight explained.

"True. But still, I think I'll come a bit more frequently. I don't exactly plan on letting him turning his blade on the world my husband died to protect. I'm going to be training Gwen, Ben, and Julie every month if that's alright with you. Just know that I may give some details about Julie's past in the process if I have to," Verdona figured.

"That is understandable. Very well, you can tell Julie and the others of the Jambastion cult if you need to, but don't tell them about Void Termina just yet. Once the Highbreed are dealt with, we will both discuss that cult together," Meta Knight finalized.

"Yeah, and do you still hold a grudge for how little I helped back then?" Verdona asked, a look of shame covering her face.

Sighing, Meta Knight admitted, "To an extent, I did. I have wondered how many lives could have been saved if you had been there helping us against Nightmare, whether it was fighting or finding survivors. But anyone is free to choose how they live their lives. You didn't want to fight for all your life, and honestly, there are times myself when I wonder if I could have simply lived my life as a humble farmer. So no, I don't hold a grudge now."

Hearing this, Verdona smiled. "Thank you." In a flash of pink light, Verdona vanished again.

"I can only hope that the Jambastion cult is unaware of this, but I fear that my hope is for nothing," Meta Knight mused before he left, flying through the air like a bat.


"AAAGH!" Cried out a loud voice in a jolt of pain. This came from a rather tall man whose eyes glowed yellow under the darkness under his attire. This consisted of a white robe that had golden trims with ancient symbols printed on them, a white hood that covered his head that also had gold trims with ancient symbols printed on them. On the front of his hood was a dark periwinkle symbol consisting of a heart with two bat-like wings, an eye within the heart, and two jagged horns. He also wore a white veil that covered the majority of his face.

"Master Hyness!" Came the voice of one of his three most trusted servants. She had long blue hair that was parted to the right alongside a pair of hair loops, and atop it was a dark purple beret with the same emblem on her master's hood, albeit colored blue. Her skin was rather pale, and she had two blue markings running from her eyes that were the same color. She wore a long, v-style collarette outlined in blue, and on the collarette were two purple hearts interlocked by a golden chain. She also wore a black dress with a blue underside. This dress also partially covered her face in a similar manner to a veil, and that area on her face was black and white with orange buttons on it, similar to some snowman/penguin hybrid. She wore thick fur gloves with blue hearts on the cuffs. Finally, she wore navy blue leggings and thick fur boots with similar hearts on the toe areas. "I heard you screaming in pain! Are you alright?"

"It...it is alright, my dear. But such pain is good!" Hyness reassured his servant.

"How? You have been meditating for months on end for the past few years. You still haven't told us why!" His servant said as she began to have mist form around her hands, generating a small amount of ice to cool her master's feverish head.

"Francisca, my dear. You remember what I needed you and your comrades for 15 years ago? The seed you three planted has grown strong, and I have monitored her progress ever since. Not even the traitor trying to run from us has impeded her progress" Hyness explained.

"You mean..." Francisca realized.

"Yes! Glory unto Dark Matter, our future High Priestess's powers have come to bear their fruit, and she has used them for the first time!" Hyness revealed. At this, Francisca realized what was next.

"Do you mean that our goal shall be achieved?" Francisca wondered, a smile forming under her dress.

"Yes! In time, we will call forth Void Termina, and claim this planet as ours before we spread the message of Dark Matter beyond the stars!" Hyness chanted. However, he suddenly felt weakness as his knees buckled. Seeing this, Francisca quickly caught her master before he could get hurt.

"Master. You have been meditating and barely eating for the past few days. Perhaps you should take some time to have some meals and sleep?" Francisca asked in concern.

"Yes. Perhaps. But alert your sisters. They too should learn of our High Priestess's power birth," Hyness conceded as he went to the bed in his room. Nodding at this, Francisca left the room to talk to her adoptive sisters.


"HIYAA!" Cried out another voice. As more training dummies fell to her burning blade, a short girl doused the flames surrounding her body, revealing herself. She had spiky red hair with a pair of pigtails on the side. Similar to her sister, she wore a dark purple beret, but her emblem was red. Her skin was also far darker, and she had red eyes that had red markings curving up from the top of them. She wore similar attire to Francisca, albeit colored red instead of blue, even with the penguin/snowman design veil. She wore a pair of red gauntlets that did not cover the underside of her hands, and each pad also had a red heart design on their cuffs. Finally, her legs were bare and revealing quite a bit of muscle, and for footwear, she wore thick black shin-high boots that had red hearts on the toes.

"Well done Flamberge," called out a more genial voice. This came from a taller girl with blonde hair done in an ojou style, albeit with two strands styled like insect antennae. Her general style was the same as her sisters. Unlike them, though, her dress was outlined in yellow, and her yellow eyes had markings on the bottom with them curving upwards. Her legs were covered in thigh-high white stockings and covered in black knee boots that had yellow hearts on the toes, and her arms simply had forearm guards with no hand protection.

"Heh. You know me well enough sis. Gotta be strong for Void Termina when he arrives. Especially after he left us," Flamberge said with venom in her voice.

"Will you not linger on him? He forsook our values from us years before. We just need to remember that it is better for us to look to Void Termina's arrival," her sister noted. She would have continued had Francisca not barged in.

"Bonjam...my sisters," Francisca said as she panted.

"Ah, Francisca. I figured your pale face would be spent lodged in a book or somethin'!" Flamberge smugly stated.

"Knowledge is power, you uncultured oaf! It's obvious you need such a mighty blade to make up for a distinct lack of brain," Francisca cooly retorted.

"Hey, at least the flaming blade can garner respect along with a cannon! Your wimpy axe and soda gun are scary only to trees and people trying to watch their weight!" Flamberge angrily stated.

"Why would I need to scare with my weapons when I can freeze foes to make them watch helplessly as I hold their lives in my hands?" Francisca said in frustration.

"ENOUGH!" the third sister stepped in before things could get uglier, lightning sparking from her eyes. "We are the Three Mage Sisters and we are best when we work together, not destroy each other!" Seeing her sisters falling in line, she cleared her throat. "Now. Francisca, I believe you were trying to say something earlier."

"Thank you, Zan Partizanne. I was going to bring good tidings before Miss Lava Brain interrupted," Flamberge bristled at the unsbutle jab. "The powers of the High Priestess have awoken. Void Termina harkens ever closer!" Francisca explained.

Gasping in joy, Zan Partizanne replied, "Is this so? Then it seems our plans are coming true! Dark Matter will return!"

"HEHE, yeah!" Flamberge agreed with no hint of sarcasm or frustration. "Our prayers and sacrifices have not gone unanswered!"

"Not quite," Francisca said. "Her powers have awoken, but it will take eighteen months for her powers to truly be ready for her to be our true High Priestess."

"Hey. We've been waitin' for this moment far too long. That time's gonna pass before ya know it," Flamberge countered.

"True. But you know that when I lead the operation that brings the High Priestess, Father Hyness will see me as his favorite!" Francisca boasted.

"You? A leader? You couldn't guide ants to a picnic!" Flamberge said. "Clearly, it'll be me who becomes the apple of his eye!"

"Oh please. You couldn't lead a parade without it blowing up in your face!" Francisca fired back.

"Insolent ice queen!" Flamberge angrily screamed.

"Hot headed idiot!" Francisca retorted.

"RAAAAGH!" At this, Flamberge screamed in anger, tearing a massive chunk of stone from the ground while setting it alight with her pyrokinesis, launching it like a flaming meteor at Francisca, who quickly responded by forming a massive wall of water that proceeded to freeze into ice. At the collision of the two, a massive explosion of steam erupted from between the two of them.

"Must we go through this with every little thing?" Zan Partizanne huffed in frustration, face-palming. Calling forth her own powers, the other sisters were shocked to obedience as lightning struck the both of them. Just to be certain they wouldn't do anything else, she quickly surrounded them both in a cyclone that tossed them around, leaving them dizzy, but ultimtately no worse for wear "Still, the emergence of the High Priestess's powers is a major development. Continue honing your skills and make sure that we're ready for the big day."

"Bonjam," the fire and ice duo replied as they respectfully bowed.

With this, the three sisters repeated their creed. "Bring Void Termina! Hail Dark Matter!"


Voice Cast

Kevin Levin - Greg Cipes

Brainstorm - Dee Bradley Baker

Ben Tennyson - Yuri Lowenthal

Julie Yamamoto - Vyvan Pham

Gwen Tennyson - Ashley Johnson

Meta Knight - Eric Stuart

Blade Knight - Eric Stuart

Sword Knight - Eric Stuart

Kirby - Makiko Ohmoto

Verdona - Juliet Landau

Jetray - Dee Bradley Baker

Frank Tennyson - George Newbern

Natalie Tennyson - Juliet Landau

Spidermonkey - Dee Bradley Baker

Omnitrix- Yuri Lowenthal

Hyness - John DiMaggio

Francisca - Mae Whitman

Flamberge - Erika Harlacher

Zan Partizanne - Shanelle Workman


Author's Note:

Whew! Man, it's been some time since I went back to good ol' Kirby! I think you can already see where the Earthbound influence for ESP Kirby is. So yeah, I do want to make one thing apparent. Ben may have a glimmer of the Spark of the Anodites, but that doesn't mean he'll be using magic, and the same will also apply for the Ben in Ben 10: Reincario. The Ember of the Anodites just means that he has more of an intuitive aptitude for magic than Albedo would, and while he may eventually use magic as Ben 10,000, he'll never be as capable a magician as Gwen is. At this point, mana is more akin to an adrenaline rush for him: he has to be in fight-or-flight mode for him to be able to use mana, and it will also turn him back to normal if he is alien form. He'd need to be in an alien form that specializes in mana or magic, such as Terraspin, to match her strength temporarily. As for Ben's mana powers? I based them partially on a combination of Metal Man's Metal Blades and the claws of Wolverine.

And for another zinger, yes. Yes, I have given Julie genuine superpowers, and given her a connection to the Jambastion Religion, and you should see where the influence for each General comes from. I'll give a hint: The Tribe of Thirteen Thieves. Additionally, Flamberge and Zan Partizanne have been granted power over earth and wind respectively, so each general commands 2 elements each: Francisca is ice and water, Flamberge is fire and earth, and Zan Partizanne is electricity and wind. Hyness, though, I decided base on Brother Blood from Teen Titans. Just to be clear, the Three Mage Sisters will be humans, so they don't have the same "floating limbs" thing they had in Kirby: Star Allies. Does Julie's new powers mean Ship will not be included? No. He will be present, but I have other plans for that Galvanic Mechamorph.


Next Time: Going, Going, GOAN!

Magolor, still trying determine a method to defeat Kirby for Nightmare, realizes a critical weakness of Kirby: his appetite. Deciding to lure Kirby into a trap, Magolor sends the culinary champion monsters Monsieur Goan and Fryclops to win Kirby through his stomach. Giving Kirby a tasty yet addictive tornedeu, Kirby finds himself struggling when another monster is sent to destroy him: the mighty Red Viper. Will Ben and Julie be able to control Kirby's hunger, or will Monsieur Goan and Fryclops be serving Kirby pie a la mode with the help of Red Viper?