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Classical zone, challenge arena
"Your continued efforts to defend her make you likely to be next, boy" Brother Marcus said flatly to Rex. "It would also explain your efforts to make others upset with you" the space marine added.
"I don't think Rex is one of the fakes" Silanea said, pointing her arm to Makoto and quickly adding, "I vote for her too." Silanea then returned her attention to the discussion. "It's just that Rex is nothing if not loyal, sometimes to a fault, and he... Struggles a bit with intellectual problems" the lamia continued.
"That is the most polite way I've ever heard someone call someone else a dumbass" John spoke up, letting out a short laugh, then pointed at Makoto. "I vote for her" the trooper added simply. Hartwig and Blue followed suit.
"Well, it was a good show you put on, I must admit!" Sir Redring said to Makoto, in a genuine tone of good sportsmanship. "Hat's off to you, madam!" the octopode continued, literally removing his hat for a short bow before putting it back and adding, "though I must now vote for you as well!"
"That brings the number of votes on Makoto higher than the remaining votes, so the round is ended. Unfortunately, she still was not the last fake" Miss Tairee said, turning to Makoto.
Colosseum Arena—-> Colosseum Stands, Rabbit Form
Makoto scratched the back of her head at Sir Redring's odd compliment.
"Well, I did the best that I could, at least..." she said. "The rest of this challenge won't be easy though." She also lost her form and color as she melted into orange goo, and then blurred and disappeared fron the arena. A brown and white rabbit appeared in the stands close to Kelsey, Tent, and Eight-Four. Makoto shook herself out and blinked a few time, disoriented from both her change of position and the new flood of memories. And then she stood up on her hind legs to see the arena better. It was very...emotionally conflicting to think about what just happened, so she decided to focus on the challenge for now.
"Rex!" she called, trying to get his attention. "Don't let the clones tear you apart, keep working together!" she yelled. "Pay attention to who else she was touching!"
Two, Somehow Not Happy About This, Arena
Rex did not want to believe that Makoto could possibly be a fake. Neither did Two, at first. She could not begin to comprehend just how badly Rex was going to be taking it. Trust issues... Even the fake herself seemed to not believe that he would go this far for her. Then, the kiss from earlier was just a ploy, something to win him over with. And Two called it "romantic". Something turned in her, and it was shame.
"No." She refused to let Lewis go for the time being, intent on rubbing the worry away. "Not until you feel better." From this view, she had no line of sight on the situation, but she has heard Yuna's questions of last chance, followed by a calm and resigned refusal of the fake Makoto. "...that's the least I can do."
She was feeling frustrated with her inability to actually help solving these problems. Yes, being able to finally defeat all the doppels and then punch some sense in their second opponent would be mighty therapeutic, but they had to reach that point. Her vote wasn't even needed this time. Soon, the fake Makoto was gone, but the real one called out with the information. Two looked up, still holding a Pink Fred Jones. Did it count if she touched her instead?
Was there a possibility that she could not know she was a fake? Now that was a scary thought. "I, um, I don't think Rex is fake either." She nodded after Silanea explained her reasoning as to why. For the record, she didn't like his snapping at Caboose - who was only trying to help - but she understood that the stress of the situation was catching up with him.
...wait. "Caboose... do you remember the alien from the invasion day, the one I was wrestling with? Do you remember what gun it used?"
And another one bites the dust! Caboose wasn't even sure what was going on with that one, but it was nice that Makoto was really peaceful about it. Much more accepting about the whole thing than Rex, at least. Still, there was apparently more fakes. Who could they even be? The soldier glanced around at everyone inquisitively.
His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the real Makoto in the stands yelling some advice. Who she had touched? Why would... oh yeah, that was a thing that was important. Why hadn't anyone made a big deal about trying to remember it again?
It was a good thing that he didn't need to rely on himself to remember these things! Caboose pulled his pet/gun towards his face and began to make a request. "Hey Freckles, who touched Makoto? You remembered a lot of stuff so you remember this too, right?"
The weapon took a few moments to respond. "Affirmative," it said finally, somehow sounding uncertain despite the mechanically emotionless tone.
A few seconds passed where the gun didn't say anything. "Well... um, this was the part where you were supposed to tell me, Freckles," he awkwardly reminded his weapon.
"Makoto has been touched by Rex and Two."
"OK, but who did she touch?" the soldier asked, starting to get a bit impatient at how the weapon seemed to be dancing around something.
"Makoto has touched Kelsey and Captain Caboose..." the weapon finally said.
The soldier didn't seem to react to that. "Well that wasn't so hard, was it?" the man admonished his weapon. "But that doesn't make any sense... We already know that Rex and Two are real... Are you sure?"
"If you are sure than you are sure!" he conceded. So then that piece of advice didn't tell them much, huh?
Two seemed to be asking him questions now, which was kind of silly because of course they were both real. But they were friends so he'd humor her! Unfortunately, he didn't actually remember the answer to the question. "Um... huh, I can't remember. Weird. Try something else!" was his only response. There was a small hint of confusion in his voice when he admitted he didn't know what had happened.
Edited by pillowmantis on Nov 8th 2018 at 11:08:04 AM
Ben watched as Makoto, or the fake alien pretending to be her, started melting away and...
Ben's eyes widened.
"That's it! They're aliens! C'mon, Omnitrix, don't fail me now!" In a flurry of movement without much thought, Ben rushed to grab the Omnitrix and moved towards the gathered crowd of people.
First, because Caboose spoke up (and he happened to be nearby), Ben slammed the Omnitrix against Caboose's armor with a clang, watching and listening for a response.
Edited by AllHailThrall on Nov 8th 2018 at 12:33:07 PM
Two, Upset, Arena
"It was a gun that fired strange insects, like wasps. They've stung me thoroughly. Had it not been for my powers, I would have been done for." Two replied as she slowly left Lewis, turning to face Caboose.
"You would remember. It was the first time I've seen you look upset. Genuinely despairing. It was strange. Even through the veil of my life fleeting away from my body, I could tell this shook you to the very core." The bluenette looked upset, though more at herself than at Caboose - if he was the real deal. "You wouldn't forget it so easily... unless you were never there to begin with."
First Makoto, now Caboose... at this point, Two wasn't sure who else was going to be a fake. This challenge was tiring and upsetting, but she had to see it through for Yuna's sake. Even if this Yuna here was a doppelganger, the real Yuna was still out there, and she had to fight for her, to see this to the end. "I vote for Caboose." This solemn declaration was somewhat ruined by Ben just suddenly slamming his watch into the red-clad trooper, as if in epiphany. Now Two only felt sheepish, and a little stupid, scratching the back of her head awkwardly.
Here was hoping she didn't just make a fool out of herself in front of everyone.
Colosseum — Ready for the worst
Rex stood immobile looking at nothing in particular. The fake Makoto had broken the news to the group and Rex honestly didn't know what to say. He didn't even move his hands from place once the copy let go of then. How had he missed something so obvious? He had looked at the answer straight in the eye and ignored it because it had a familiar face. How long had he been fooled for? A few hours leading up to the challenge? The entire day? Longer than that? Could he even tell the difference?
Makoto had trusted him to help out but when it came down to actually do that, he screwed up so badly people thought he was part of the challenge. To say nothing of having practically cheated on her.
Caboose's words simply bounced off of Rex. He was physically still there but he might as well have left the arena given the lack of response.
That is, until a voice called his name from the stands. A voice he knew very well. As much as processing things before doing something stupid again felt like a priority in his mind, Rex had to go set things right and apologize for everything he had done. Thanks to his wings, he flew up towards Makoto to get a closer look.
"Makoto? Is that really...?" Of course it was. Her copy was gone, the challenge—as least as far as Rex was concerned—was over. Another fake would just be overkill.
"Are you okay? Did they hurt you?" he could barely look at her in the eyes after everything that had happened. The sooner he addressed the elephant in the room, the sooner he could go back to having a reputation that could rival OFB.
"...I'm really s-sorry"
Sarah's eyes widened at the size of the library, looking up to see it just continue far above her head. Coming back to reality, she focused on the male that had addressed her. "I guess?" She asked, a little confused. "My armour and weapons have become toys after all. My voice seems to have got higher as well." She stated to him.
Following his hand, Sarah took a look at the TV screen he was pointing at. She gasped when she saw the toyish SPARTAN armour. However, this looked to be a Gen 1 CQB variant. She was gob-smacked to figure out that another SPARTAN had been pulled into this charlie-foxtrot of a world.
"Do you know how I can get to that place?" She asked him, pointing to the Colosseum that was on the TV. "I'd like to take a closer look at what's going on there."
Colosseum Stands, Rabbit—- It's Okay
She was a little taken aback by Rex actually flying up to meet her, but she tuned out the sound the best she could and focused on what he was saying. The rest of the group seemed fairly on track right now…
“It's me,” she said. “No, I'm not injured, just...very confused. I'm not sure what happened after the challenge started until I ended up here, but I do remember everything the changeling said and did.” And now he was apologizing? “Rex… I understand why you did it. It's alright, I promise.” He really did think it was her, so no wonder he lashed out that hard. “We just need to finish the challenge up, okay? We still have to get to the second part, and then we can fight together.” And take out some of the frustration of being used as a tool to manipulate others...
Well, that sure was a lot of doppelgangers and drama! Just watching teens being...teens makes him feel a little for Hanzo. Was he really like that when he was young? Anyway, Ben is doing something with...Caboose was it? And Rex...
"If you are worried about kissing a clone, do not be. It technically was the one to kiss you. Although you should not let emotions cloud your mind like that in a situation like this."
He tried to console the teen. Keyword: Tried.
"Uh, Ben? What are you doing?” Rean asked, watching Ben hit Caboose with his watch.
Then Two pointed out that Caboose couldn't answer a question about something that happened a few days ago, and that he was probably a fake. Rean thought back to something caboose said earlier that day.
"It happened because she was helping others too much instead of herself. And I really wish she'd stop doing that because it's making me more sad each time she does that."
Even if it was filtered through Caboose's usual demeanor, the way he made that statement back then made it clear he was genuinely worried. So how could he forget a similar event so easily?
“...I’m voting for Caboose too. “ Rean said. A small part of him hoped Caboose wasn’t a fake, but they needed to move forward already.
Colosseum — Capgras syndrome
"No, it's not alright!" Rex snapped "You said you wanted to prove yourself in front of everyone and I ruined that"
Makoto's comments made what little confidence Rex had vanish. He had barely stopped to consider what this experience must have been like from her perspective. She was stuck as a witness, unable to even complain or intervene in any way. That kiss must have been hell for her... as Genji so helpfully reminded them both. It was hard to tell if he was a clone or not because Rex didn't know him but, whatever his actual plan was, he wasn't helping all that much.
Rex wasn't done apologizing though. He wanted to explain exactly why he had done what he had done, even if it didn't save him from the guilt of his actions.
"She manipulated me and I let her because I... I really thought she was you. I should have noticed something was up, I'm sorry. I was an awful boyfriend"
Even then, part of him still was too worried about Makoto's identity possibly being usurped again. He didn't like mistrusting her after pulling that little trick. But then again that's what had gotten him into this mess in the first place.
"...it's really you, right?"
"I think it might be him as well" Silanea added in, after Two explained her reasoning to vote for Caboose. "I remember Caboose not being afraid of or put off by the shadows of my guilt at all. He didn't think they were 'spooky'; he wanted to be friends with them" the lamia continued, then looked over towards Rex and muttered, "however first I should see to Rex..."
Slithering over to where Rex was hovering above the ground, Silanea looked up at Rex and Makoto. "Rex, it's alright, it was just a part of the challenge" Silanea said, trying to reassure him.
Meanwhile, as soon as Ben touched the omnitrix to Caboose's armor, the omnitrix turned yellow and beeped.
"Huh? What just happened? What does that mean?" Blue asked, looking curiously at the omnitrix.
"Well it's in that part of the city, I think" the man said, pointing to the door to the classical era zone. At the same time, the Sarah Kerrigan Miss Tairee had walked over.
"The shifting of the city could prevent you from reaching there quickly however" the Sarah Kerrigan Miss Tairee spoke up to Sarah. "Given your apparent urgency to get there, I can provide you with teleportation straight there" the mind reader added.
Edited by FirockFinion on Nov 8th 2018 at 6:32:58 AM
"Ah, thanks." Sarah said to the man, thanking him. Just as she was about to leave, she was collared by someone else. "City shifting, huh? Well, it did take me an awful lot longer to get here than I thought it would. I suppose it would be much more convenient and quicker if you gave me said teleport."
Sliding her helmet back on her head, she clipped the chin strap in place. "Whenever you're ready." She said, letting her know that she was ready.
Caboose didn't understand. Why was Two betraying him here? Didn't they trust each other? He wasn't fake after all, so it made no sense that he'd be voted for. "But... huh?" he said, sounding completely lost. What was going on? Ben touched him for some reason but that wasn't important because Rean had betrayed him too!
"Guys! Come on... what are you doing?" the soldier cried out, feeling like things just weren't making sense anymore. "I didn't..." Even the snake lady was against him now... what were they all thinking? The kid's watch flashed yellow also. Everything was so weird. "Freckles? Why are they doing this?"
The gun stayed silent for a few seconds. After lightly rapping his fist on the weapon it finally piped up. "You are not my Captain."
"What? Of course I am! Captain Caboose, your friend!" he claimed, sounding like he was desperately clinging to this lie.
"You are a changeling." Cold hard statement, with no room for argument.
Still for a few moments, unmoving, the soldier thought. "I'm... I am? So I wasn't just forgetting things?" he thought aloud. "Oh my god! That explains everything! So that's why I knew what to say when Makoto touched me and why I don't remember any of you even though you are my friends! That's way better, I thought something was wrong with me!" Oddly enough, he sounded very relieved. He approached Yuna quickly.
"I am so sorry, I didn't know. I... I guess I should know what you're really doing all this for but I don't, but I really hope you make it!" he told the young hero happily. It was like a huge burden off his shoulder with how he talked. "I mean, you have really good friends so I bet you'll do fine. And you have the real me too so there's no way you'll mess up!"
Finally he turned to Ms. Tairee. "It was fun, playing this game with my friends. I don't want to keep them waiting any more, though. I'll vote for me."
Ben grinned as the tell-tale beep of the Omnitrix sounded through the colosseum. He held up his watch and grinned.
"Just as I thought!" he exclaimed, looking at the watch and seeing an amorphous-looking alien on the dial. "Well, guys... it means...."
He pressed the face of the button. There was a flash of green light. In the span of a millisecond, Ben's form started to lose cohesion and color, and he drooped into a semi-solid puddle on the ground. The liquid raised up from the ground into a vaguely humanoid shape◊, shiny and orange-yellow with green eyes and the Omnitrix prominently showing on its "chest". When the green light faded, Ben was now in the form of a Changeling, except humanoid.
"...we've found our Changeling. It's you!" he exclaimed dramatically pointing at Caboose. "I vote for you!" When Caboose instead showed relief and took being revealed in stride, it blew the wind out of Ben's sails.
"Aren't you supposed to be upset at being found out?" he asked, sounding incredulous and putting his "hands" on his "hips". Upon looking around at the rest of the gathered individuals, he indeed got a weird vibe from Caboose that he couldn't place, which firmly cemented him in his mind as a changeling. However, he also got the same weird vibe from someone else in the arena.
He pointed at Miss Tairee dramatically.
"And it looks like you're not the only Changeling left in this arena!" he shouted, pointing at the librarian.
Edited by AllHailThrall on Nov 8th 2018 at 8:47:31 AM
Colosseum Stands, Rabbit Form—-> A Rough Start
Did Rex really think he ruined the whole challenge for her? That wasn't how she saw things at all. Genji chimed in by saying that Rex hadn't initiated that kiss anyway, so it wasn't like he'd been trying to "cheat".
"Genji's right, it was an accident and she took advantage of you. Why would I be upset at you for that? You are not an awful boyfriend just because you believed in me. I admit that if I didn't ask the right questions, I would have probably fallen for the same trick..." He was still shaken up by her being replaced, and so she sighed and decided to answer one of the questions her clone had failed.
"When we first met, you hit on me and I threatened to punch you for it, remember that?" she said, slightly embarrassed. She turned to look at the rest of the arena as Ben's watch reacted to Caboose, and then people began to vote for him. Ben turned into one of the changelings and dramatically declared that Caboose was in fact one of them, though it seemed like Caboose hadn't even realized it until now. Odd... "Come on, now go vote so we can finish this up, okay?" she said to Rex, with the same fire in her eyes from before they entered the Arena.
"I... um... I guess?" the fake soldier said to Ben awkwardly. "But I thought I was going crazy so I think this is better!" He sounded genuinely relieved about the whole thing.
He looked at Ben again. "Wait... huh, couldn't you have done that earlier?" he asked, not realizing that the answer was definitely a yes. He even pointed out Ms. Tairee, which explained why Caboose had a strange feeling about her this whole time. "Yeah... huh that would've made things quick."
Edited by pillowmantis on Nov 8th 2018 at 8:50:36 AM
So Caboose was the changeling. Yet he didn't know he was the changeling...that is rather strange. Maybe it was a trick, or maybe the changeling copied Caboose's (lack) of a mature and healthy mind.
"I vote for Caboose. Do not be ashamed of losing, you took your loss with honor and were the smartest among the other Changelings...I think, maybe Caboose's mind is just so complex in it's simplicity that it dominated your mind...Or I am just overthinking things."
He said to the Caboose Doppelganger. Now for the next part of the challenge.
Edited by Pandemonius_Panda on Nov 8th 2018 at 5:55:48 AM
Sarah blurred, then vanished.
"Oh neat!" Blue commented, then thought for a moment. "... You could have done this the whole time?" the terrarian then asked, though it wasn't in a very judgemental tone.
"Or it is a very elaborate trick" Brother Marcus said in a stern tone. "These beings are apparently shape shifters; Ben could be one of them, putting on a very elaborate ploy, to make Caboose out to be guilty in his stead" the space marine explained.
Then he turned his helmet, to look directly at Ben. "However, given the rules of this game, and that we've already voted out a few of the fakes, it does not matter. Mistakenly voting out one real person will not have us fail immediately at this point. So, we vote out Caboose, then if it turns out he's real, or not the last fake, we vote out Ben" Brother Marcus continued, still sternly, though not angry. "I vote for Caboose" the space marine then stated, pointing to Caboose.
The 'Miss Tairee' had her form shift slightly, becoming a woman with a bland, unnaturally formless face and a sort of orange suit. "Yes, I am not Miss Tairee. It does not matter though; I am not part of the challenge" the changeling woman pointed out, given that she had no place on the score screen.
Meanwhile, up in the audience seating, there was a blur in one of the empty spaces as Sarah appeared, close to the separated seating area where the voted out contestants were. Neither Eight Four, Kelsey, or Trent noticed her sudden arrival yet though, as they were still focused on the arena.
Sarah was teleported into the stands of the coliseum. Down in the main area, she could she several figures talking to each other. To her right was several more, separated from the rest. Scratching her head in confusion, she made her way closer to those separated from the main group. "Hey. Anyone got any idea what's going on?" She asked them. "I've just arrived here and am quite confused at the sight before me." She sat down in a seat nearer to them, that way she could have a better conversation with them, rather than having to shout from all the way in her original position.
Apparently, smacking aliens with his watch was how Ben gained new alien forms...and as it turned out, Caboose was, in fact a fake. This was news to even Fake Caboose, who had to be told by his gun that he was a Changeling.
Rean chuckled. Even when he's a fake, Caboose is still Caboose.
Some of the others suspected it might be a trick, seeing as it took this long for Ben to remember he could do that. Rean shrugged. "Since Caboose's gun is talking like it's not a changeling too, I'm guessing they can't quite clone items properly. Something like Ben's watch is probably really difficult to replicate."
Edited by stargirl93 on Nov 8th 2018 at 9:29:05 AM
"We're competing for a wish from the guy running the place" Kelsey said, glancing over at Sarah. "Nice armor" the mailwoman turned young girl added in a half joking, half sort of annoyed tone, since she herself was in a similar boat.
When Eight Four looked over, he tilted his head a bit and stared, but said nothing.
"Seriously? More things?" said Rick, sighing and running a hand through his hair. "This entire thing is making me relive some shit that I was really better off not reliving. You know I got sepsis when that bastard ripped off my - sorry, let me correct myself, when I had to rip off my own arm?!"
"Look, Rick, w-we're almost done, so-"
"Don't 'look Rick' me, Morty!"
Morty sighed and turned his attention to Rean as he put forth a theory. "Huh. Rick, make us a portal, will you?"
Rick rolled his eyes and rummaged for the glowing green device somewhere in his labcoat, a portal flickering to life at the other end of the coliseum.
"Okay, well, at least he's not a fake..."
"My stump was turning green, Morty! Green!"
Edited by Locoman on Nov 8th 2018 at 10:15:33 AM
Colosseum — "Go get 'em, tiger"
In Makoto's eyes, Rex wasn't guilty. He had just been used by someone really clever and was yet another victim of the challenge. She even claimed she would have fallen for the same trick if their places were reversed. "You would?" She was probably just saying that to sound nice. She was smart and nice enough to not immediately start doubting everyone and ignoring logic once things got tough. In fact her attitude was probably too forgiving. It was the kind of thing Rex needed—no, wanted—to hear right now. He subconsciously still wanted to interrogate her further and make sure everything checked out but he allowed himself to shut that part of his brain up for the moment. She knew about their first meeting, so if this was a trick, it was at least a more elaborate one.
"You did. I never thought it would actually work in the long run" his eyes started to tear up. This really wasn't the time for that kind of thing so he quickly tried to save face by rubbing his face with his arm, letting his jacket's sleeve take care of the rest. The smoke starting to come out of his turbines was a lot harder to hide, however. Things weren't over just yet and Makoto knew that very well. She encouraged him to end things quickly so they could be together again.
"I... I will" he turned to look back at the scoreboard and decided to place his vote on whoever the group had decided was a fake. He had missed quite a few interesting developments to actually judge the situation but things seemed to make sense that way "I'm voting for Caboose"
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