The search was fruitless. It was futile. It was a wild moose chase.
Rook grinded his teeth as he glared at the map before him. 3700... No, it was now 3742. 3742 local findings of Ben's DNA. And none of them were the actual Ben Tennyson.
Another report. 3743 findings of Ben's DNA. 3744. 3746. 3750...
None of them.
Rook grinded his teeth harder. He resisted the urge to hit the display with his fists. Violence would solve nothing right now. Magister Tennyson said it was not his fault. What was done, was done. As the Earth saying goes, there was no use crying over spilled milk.
"This is all my fault," Rook whispered to himself.
But guilt was soon replaced by anger. He wanted to throw Albedo into a cold cell. He wanted to punch Albedo's face in. He wanted to beat the living mucus out of the Galvan. He wanted to—
Rook's head perked up from the screen.
"Yes, Magister Tennyson?"
"Take a break. I'll monitor the reports."
"With all due respect, Magister—"
"I said, take a break."
"... Yes sir."
Rook reluctantly left the display and walked over to front of the Proto-TRUK. He plopped down onto the driver's seat, crossing his arms. He glared out the window. He glared at every single speck of red dust that flew across the window.
A particularly strong wind blew, and a small insect banged into the glass. When the wind had passed, the insect slowly, carefully got up. The wind blew again, but this time the insect could walk against it, scuttling across the glass and finally hopped off the vehicle.
The Revonnahgander sighed, releasing his arms and letting them hang by his sides. He leaned against his seat. This was not like him.
There was no need to worry. This was the legendary Ben Tennyson. Savior of the universe for "a million times, at least". The Omnitrix user was undisciplined but unarguably resourceful, adaptive, and crafty. Legends aside, Rook had witnessed firsthand the human's triumphs against many seemingly impossible odds. This time was no different.
He glanced over at Magister Tennyson. The old, but fighting fit man was hunched over the display, looking at the occasional holographic window that floated before him. If Ben's own grandfather can keep his focus, surely Rook can too.
"Cooled down yet?" Max Tennyson asked without turning away from the displays.
"Yes, sir. I apologize."
"Good. We are returning to HQ."
"Sir?" Rook asked in confusion.
"There's nothing we can do here. Until we get a more reliable report, we can monitor better from HQ."
Max Tennyson left the table and sat down on the passenger's seat. Rook did not want to return to Plumber's HQ, but he realized there was really nothing they could do. He started up the Proto-TRUK engine and began procedures to take off. In mere minutes they were miles away from the red desert of a planet. Rook kept his gaze straight ahead. He opened his mouth to speak, but quickly closed it back. A few seconds passed. He then slowly spoke.
"Magister Tennyson, I..."
"Ben will be fine. He's a smart kid," Max assured the alien. "He's probably throwing a witty remark at Albedo, right now. He's not the Ben 10 for nothing. And I didn't assign you as his partner for nothing."
That sparked something in Rook. Of course Max Tennyson was worried for his grandson, but the Magister was right. Ben was a superhero, and Rook his partner. He will find Ben and Ben will be fine.
There was no need to worry.