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Caboose listened silently as Hercules explained his reasoning, his opaque visor revealing nothing of what he thought about this. Finally, after the demigod finished speaking, the sim trooper responded. "Huh... Must have missed that," Caboose finally said, referring to the stabbing and the man who approached Ms. Tairee. He was a very oblivious soldier. "I guess it's kind of strange, but he is a strange guy so I don't know if that really means anything."
As if to help promote the idea of Cent being weird, his response to the question of what he knew about Cent started with the strangest fact of all. "Well, I know he is actually a bird," the sim trooper told Herc with complete sincerity. "And he has a sword and really loves Two a lot. And he likes to make Two's face red. That isn't too hard, though, since she blushes whenever he says anything." He paused for a second, trying to think of anything else. "And that is everything I know!"
"Do you really think he isn't real? I mean, I think I could tell if the person who I was talking to was not the person I was talking to," he concluded, sounding pretty sure of himself. "Oh wait, I know! I can ask him what Three is doing, and then I will know that without having to call her." He seemed to have gotten sidetracked.
Random Building-Washington Washing Off
Agent Washington groaned in annoyance at all the blood which had gotten on him. Some guy was hiding out in the house that the soldier entered, and Washington had to kill him. Unfortunately, because he didn't want to waste ammo unless absolutely necessary, he had been forced to use a knife. Now he was stained with blood.
While he understood that Caboose would probably not even notice, the same couldn't be guaranteed of the people around him. And, since the former freelancer's current plan was to get close and surprise attack, he needed every advantage he could get to blend in. Soaking a rag in water, Washington began wiping away the obvious bloodstains. He didn't have time to do it perfectly, but all he needed was to get rid of what had gotten on the yellow parts of his armor.
After the task was complete, Washington sighed, got up, grabbed the assorted kitchen knives he had looted from here, and headed back out into the city. Soon enough they'd find Caboose.
Wildvine looked a little confused as Louie explained who the girl was.
"So she was your friend?" Ben asked. "Then why was she showing up with all of your bad guys? How can your friend be your bad guy? You two don't hate each other..." he said, stopping his walk as he noticed Louie stop.
"What's wrong with Ace?" he asked quietly.
The Miss Tairee copy seemed more surprised about the sudden hug than the earlier slap, then she smiled and rubbed Cole's head a bit. "Oh Cole, I'm the last person you need to worry about here. I knew when this project was starting that people would be aiming their anger at me; so I made it so that pain doesn't hurt for me" the Miss Tairee copy said, overall fairly blase about the experience.
"... I don't know. That's just how he's been since I met back up with him last night" Louie muttered, turning to Ben. "Whatever happened, it really got to him. That's why I wanted to know" the trainer said, then sighed, and put his hands behind his head.
"Bad guys? That was yesterday's thing?" Louie thought aloud, glancing up at the sky and clearly thinking back through his life. "I've never really had a, 'bad guy'. Some gym leaders were tough, but Kaylie's probably been my toughest opponent; like I said, we're friends, but also rivals. I guess that counted" the trainer pondered, starting to walk along again.
Wildvine looked uncomfortable.
"I think... Kaylie's Christmas tree lizard... killed Ace back there," Wildvine explained. "I guess that must've cut pretty deep and Ace is still... having to go through being killed by his friend," he said. "If my friend tried to kill me then... well, I dunno what I'd do. C'mon, let's try not to think about that too much and get back to the library. Everyone's fine now."
Indeed, soon Wildvine and Louie came up to the doors of the library, being given some strange and rather hostile looks by some of the people they were passing by. It seemed like they wanted to attack and kill the two but were repelled by Wildvine's strange appearance.
It was not a moment too soon that Ben moved into the library when the watch started beeping loudly, followed by a red flash as Ben returned to his normal form.
"C'mon, Louie, the rest of your Pokemon are in here!" Ben insisted. He turned towards the waiting Pokemon.
"Guys, Louie's here and—" he started to say, noticing the man in the bubble while Cole was beside himself.
"What the heck happened in here?" Ben asked, with a tone of voice that suggested he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to know.
The Library — Place your bets
With Ren outside the library, there was very little stopping anyone from taking him down. Rex wanted to do it so badly, not just to protect Makoto and avoid her the trouble of defeating a close friend, but also because he just wanted to wipe that grin off his face. Of course, she was worried—maybe rightly so—about what Ren could have up his sleeve. Rex was caught a little off guard by her concern but he finally answered with his usual confidence.
"Relax, Makoto" he squeezed her hand back and finally pulled away while gesturing her to lay down again. "Not dying is kind of my thing"
And then he walked to one of the revolving doors.
"It's still not nice. But I'm glad it didn't really hurt you." He leaned against her a moment, looking back towards the others, watching as Rex started after Ren, and he tilted his head, before pulling away to run in that direction. "I am only going to watch out the window, Arcade!" he called to his father as he went, knowing what it would look like otherwise, and sure enough he just ran to the window next to that door to look out.
"...Good luck," Makoto said, watching Rex go. She wasn't about to go back to sleep yet, not while this was going on. If it went badly, she wasn't about to let him be killed, even if she had to drag him back inside for healing. She stayed in place as Cole ran over for a better viewpoint. The library windows were safe from being broken, right?
"Oh, so we're really doing this?" Joker asked as Rex walked out of the only safe area in the city. "I thought she'd convince you not to. Fine then..." He stopped spinning the knife in his hand and held it in a reverse grip. "Just don't take this too personally. I don't have to kill you." He dashed away from Rex, though he kept close to the library's window as he created some space between them, and then he touched his mask.
"Arsene!" Blue flames formed a red and black creature resembling a well dressed demon, complete with a burning mask and the sound of rattling chains. ◊ His Persona hovered closely behind him. "Let's see what he can do," he said to Arsene. "Tetrakarn..." A strange, glowing sphere of energy formed around Joker, and he drew his automatic pistol to fire a few test shots at Rex.
Edited by ScorpioRat on Jul 15th 2019 at 8:54:00 AM
Library / Militia channel
"What? Greetchy killed Ace? But, how? Ace has type advantage; it's no contest" Louie said in a confused tone as he walked with Ben into the library. Soon enough the other five pokemon swamped over to him, and Louie quickly gave each of them pets and such. "Hey guys! Sorry about yesterday; I've got Ace with me here" the trainer told them, holding up the pokeball.
"I heard you guys had a fight with Kaylie's team yesterday?" Louie asked them, and each of the pokemon gave some kind of nod, except for Nimbus, who looked confused.
Meanwhile, the Miss Tairee copy looked at Ben with an expression of ever so mild confusion. "Isn't it obvious? This man broke the rules, so he's being punished" the Miss Tairee copy said, with a simple motion to the bubbled Alexander.
"So, Ben; we have a plan today?" Louie wondered, still petting a couple of the pokemon.
Elsewhere in the lobby, there was the quick pattering of paws on the carpet, and Fastanook stopped over at the edge near Cole, watching the fight just starting outside. "Wait, he seriously decided to go fight alone?" Fastanook asked incredulously to nobody in particular, then grabbed his walkie talkie. "This is Fastanook at the library; Rex just went outside and started fighting with some magic kid" Fastanook reported into the walkie talkie.
"By himself?" Wells' voice said, parroting Fastanook's own sentiment. "Greg, is the Thunder Child ready?" the lieutenant's voice asked.
"We were just about to lift off, sir" Greg's voice responded.
"Good, secure the library perimeter; and give Rex a hand too, I suppose" Wells' voice ordered, in a somewhat joking tone.
"Yes sir" Greg's voice answered.
Inside the sound was fairly muffled, but outside, the jet-like engines of the Thunder Child were much more audible. Illuminated sails were rising into view just above the library, as the ship started to float up from the roof.
Ellen (Library) - WAIT WHAT
Made me better. That was what she had said. She had made me better. No matter how I looked at it, this was not merely about bringing me back to life; otherwise I would still be in pain. That pain had been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. No, I hadn't just been brought back to life. Something else had happened.
The building's walls were made of blue glass, but maybe it would still show my face if I went to check. I ran over there and started to tear out the bandages around my face and limbs. They were all bloodied anyway, so I'd have to change them for new ones if everything was still the same. So I pulled them all out, and I looked into the glass.
There was nothing on my face. No rashes, no bleeding, no patches of cracked red skin. Just blue veins running under pale white skin. The same happened with my arms and legs; there was no swelling, no itching, no pain when I walked... nothing. Like my illness had never existed.
Was I cured? Would all of it come back? What would I do if it did? I had no medicine or bandages, nothing to help me stay healthy...
Insert grumbling stomach noises here
...or to eat. With all that had been happening, I'd forgotten to get myself some food. Maybe if I looked around I'd find something...
There was a black cat watching from outside. It didn't look like it wanted to come in, so I didn't pay any more attention to it.
Caboose then told Herc what he knew about Cent, apparently he was a....bird? "Okay, not the weirdest thing I've heard but I am forgetting this is the City, anything can happen." Herc said to himself very briefly and judging by the fact that Caboose kept on saying that Two blushed whenever Cent was around her, it could only mean that she was very close with him and was much more than just friends at least what Herc could understand about them. But why go for all the trouble of trying to find Two when she wasn't even-
"Oh my gosh! I've got it! Caboose I know why this Cent wants to find Two! It's not because he wants to reunite with her, he wants to kill her!" Hercules then cried finally reaching his conclusion on the matter. "The wife stabbing her husband, Cent suddenly showing up looking for Two. It all fits now." Herc then turned to face Caboose with a very concerned expression on his face as he started to ponder on what he had just learnt.
"Remember yesterday when our arch enemies were coming after us and outside was a dangerous place to walk alone?" Herc then asked after he processed the information. "I have a hunch and if it's correct we are both in danger today so is everyone else for that matter. Instead of people who we would consider enemies coming after us, today's theme is copies of our friends wanting to kill us. Or at least people we know we have a strong bond with."
Herc had finally found his answer, this information was much too vital to be kept between him and Caboose, they needed to tell anybody present about this. He then quickly asked Caboose: "Do you know anybody from your world who you have a strong bond with? Or you know get along with?"
Ben smiled at Louie as he was suddenly swamped by his Pokemon, giving him hugs and generally expressing their love for their trainer.
It was definitely sweet.
He raised an eyebrow at the bubbled man, then looked back towards Louie.
"I dunno what today's all about," Ben pointed out. "Miss Tairee won't tell me. And I haven't seen anything too weird aside from a crazy lady and some knight who rescued her," Ben continued.
Edited by AllHailThrall on Jul 16th 2019 at 1:32:32 PM
"And being passive aggressive about it isn't going to change the fact that I'm not allowed to tell you" one of the Miss Tairee copies commented in Ben's general direction.
Suddenly, Lil' Sunny started chirping frantically and worriedly, while motioning at the cut on Louie's arm.
"Huh? Oh, it's alright Lil' Sunny; I'm fine" Louie said with a smile, then looked to Ben with a slightly incredulous look. "Well, we're not going to let a little problem like that stop us from helping out, right Ben?" the trainer asked rhetorically, then stood and walked over to the desks.
"Hey, can I have that magic bag with the throwing potions again? And make sure all my pokemon are healed up, please" Louie requested to one of the Miss Tairee copies.
Lil' Sunny let out a couple of insistent chirps.
"Oh, and me too" Louie added.
"Yes, just one moment" the Miss Tairee copy with the healing device said, and shot the healing beam over Louie, his pokemon, and the pokeball containing Ace, getting them all healed up. One of the other Miss Tairee copies was typing, and shortly there was a blur on the desk in front of Louie as another bag of holding appeared.
"Alright, thanks" Louie told her, giving a short bow. Then he took the bag and walked back over to Ben and his pokemon. "Well then, I'm ready" the trainer commented.
"We're being hunted by copies of friends and family, apparently," Garrett said distractedly to Ben. He was watching Caboose with a thoughtful expression.
Edited by Korodzik on Jul 17th 2019 at 10:34:37 AM
"Well, I never actually saw my enemy," Caboose told Hercules, focusing on the wrong part of what he was saying. "Yeah, no one I hated was anywhere near me yesterday! That's kind of weird, huh?" His brain then caught up with the other things that the demigod was saying. "I don't really get what you are saying, but if Cent wants to hurt Two then I do not think it will work well because he is supposed to be weaker than her." Still, Two had shown a talent for getting killed against all odds. "We need to help her!"
The question Herc had for him gave the soldier pause. "...There are a lot of people!" he answered after a moment, not realizing that the hero wanted to know who might attack him today. "Like there is my best friend in the whole wide world, Church! But there is also Agent Washington! And everyone else on Red and Blue team! Also Andersmith and I really get along. Oh, and then there is the other Church! I have a lot of friends!" He sounded very proud about that. He really liked his friends, after all.
Approaching the Library
Washington, formerly known as David, was making his way to what he knew to be the most central building of this dimension. With several looted knives hidden away in various places in his armor, not to mention his normal battle rifle and magnum, he was as ready as he could hope to be before starting his attempt on his teammate's life. Considering the track record freelancers had with fighting the reds and blues, though, he was not feeling very good about his odds.
Caboose had survived far worse threats than him.
Getting closer to the library, Washington noticed a fight beginning between one of his kind and a normal city resident. That was none of his business, though. Better to focus on his mission than get involved in someone else's.
He began circling around, so that he could enter the library at a point far away from the conflict.
Ben shot a look at Miss Tairee and blew her a raspberry before looking towards Garrett as the thief addressed the boy hero.
"Copies of friends and family?" Ben asked. "Y'know, the Writer really has a bad sense of humor. Could he even be more evil? I mean, he could, but he's topped himself now," Ben replied, sighing angrily. "Whatever. We need to get out there and help people. There's gotta be a bunch of evil crazy clones out there putting people in danger anyway."
"Is-is there a doctor in the house?" asked Morty as he pushed his way past a few other scared-looking people and hustled Rick's abnormally pale form into a table. "Or-or... Miss Tairee, can you-" he took a breath and backed up "-Rick broke his leg or something yesterday and he's... well..."
Rick slumped over on the table and moaned by way of explanation.
Outside the library — No items, Final Destination
Ren seemed a bit surprised that Rex had actually followed him outside. Be it out of arrogance that Rex presented no threat to him or because Makoto was his priority target, the phantom thief urged him not to take things personally.
"Makoto isn't my nanny. And I'm doing her a favor, she wouldn't enjoy messing up your face" ready to fight. "Me personally? I think this is a golden opportunity"
In any other circumstance, punching Ren would just be uncalled for and a dick move. He seemed like a pretty nice guy that had helped Makoto out more than once—that his presence didn't help Rex's self-esteem couldn't outweigh that. But in this case, it was actively encouraged that someone took him down before the day was over. And no other people were apparently willing to attack the phantom thief and his... bird butler?
Yes, this would be easy.
Ren started things easy with a few shots from his pistol. Rex answered by building his shield and tanking the hits. He usually didn't get shot at but it was pretty much nothing anyway. Of course Ren had probably more in store for him but if he was anything like Makoto, that kind of power burned pretty fast through the body. The strategy of being a turtle and waiting out his opponent wasn't particularly flashy but it was very tempting for Rex if only because it would make him look like he planned it all along and no one could complain about him solving things with brute force.
"You are gonna need a bigger round. I already tested this baby against Anat"
If only the militia didn't join in to ruin the fun and prove Rex wrong about the no one showing up thing. As if he needed backup. After his reassurance to Makoto this just made him seem like a coward, and this meant more than simply beating a stupid challenge.
"Guys, let me handle this" he tried to signal the Thunder Child, forming a "T" with his hands "Please, a giant ship is a bit much just for one guy"
"You've fought Makoto before? How interesting..." Joker said, lowering his gun as he watched the bullets hit the energy shield. This was meant to be a fight to the death, but he was grinning anyway, as if Rex being a worthy opponent just excited him. "You've got more than just those metal wings, then. Let's see if I can pull the rest of your tricks out"- He was interrupted by the Thunder Child's jets kicking in, and he looked up to watch as a flying ship came into view. His expression darkened in an instant, and he holstered his gun. The slight shimmer around his body showed that his own shield was still in place. "Ah...friends of yours, I'm guessing?" Arsene scoffed at the ship, reclining slightly as he hovered a few feet above the ground
"What an absurd vehicle. Do sky pirates hold no honor for a gentleman's duel?" Red and black flames ignited in between Arsene's fingers. "Should we teach them a lesson for meddling?" If they got any lower, Joker could use the library as a grapple point and possibly board the vessel. That might be fun.
"Maybe we will."
Makoto hadn't expected Fastanook to call the militia down on Ren, which meant that there wasn't much of a chance for her to convince him not to. And their airship was stationed right above the library too, so they didn't waste time mobilizing.
"...He's not going to like this at all," she said, even more wary than before. Ren already had issues with authority, and having law enforcement trying to take him down would encourage him to act more extreme just to defy them. Maybe even kill more people, in this case. She reluctantly got up and joined Cole by the window.
Edited by ScorpioRat on Jul 17th 2019 at 11:01:01 AM
Cole watched, grimacing a bit as Ren shot his weapon at Rex, and Rex just put up a shield of some sort to deflect. He wasn't sure if any of this strategy was a good idea, but then again if Rex was actually trying to use a strategy, that was at least an improvement on his usual methods.
Fastanook was nearby, and Cole looked over as he seemed to call for the militia to get involved. The boy grimaced a little, but said nothing, looking up to Makoto as she came to join him in watching what was going on. "...it will be all right," he said, reaching out to take hold of her hand. "Rex is strangely good at not dying when he does stupid things."
Library / militia channel
"Friends and family?" Louie parroted, looking a bit concerned. "All my closest friends are right here" the trainer added, motioning to his group of pokemon, "I hope that doesn't mean copies of any of them..."
At the central desks, the Miss Tairee with the healing device looked over at Morty and gave a nod. "Very well" the Miss Tairee copy said simply, then fired the green beam over Rick. Almost instantly, all his wounds would be healed, and any bits he was missing would grow back.
... He would also be completely sobered, given how Miss Tairee's device worked.
Meanwhile, there was a bit of confusion on the militia channel. "Uh, what is Rex doing?" Greg's voice asked.
"I think he's signaling you to wait" Fastanook replied, still watching from inside.
"What? Why would he want that?" Well's voice asked over the channel.
"Maybe we have it wrong, and that's not actually a day enemy? Could be Rex and this guy are having like a duel?" Greg's voice guessed uncertainly.
"Or maybe he's got a plan?" Fastanook suggested.
"You think Rex has a plan?" Wells' voice pointed out, then he sighed in exasperation. "Alright, fine, but remember your priority is holding the library perimeter. If whoever Rex is fighting is one of our foes, or anyone else tries to take advantage of the situation to assault that zone, then you are to engage. Understood?" the lieutenant's voice ordered.
"Yes sir, understood" Greg's voice responded.
The Thunder Child was holding position, but did turn in place a bit. Two of her starboard side guns focused their aim on Joker and Arsene respectively, but held their fire.
Edited by FirockFinion on Jul 18th 2019 at 1:39:15 PM
Two Cents, Where Plans Don't Go Well
The rude man has been contained rather easily. Frankly, the librarian was being too easy on him, if Cent had anything to say about it. Of course, house rules were house rules, and so he resorted to merely a condescending smile sent Mr. Important, letting him stew in his rage. "Well, we're merely guests. Let the host dispense her justice first. If you're in need to dispense of him, please, use me as you wish." Here he bowed ever so slightly towards the particular Miss Tairee that imprisoned Julius.
And then a familiar presence appeared in the library, thus putting his plans of taking Two to a private place for a little chat into the trash bin. Ah... he figured not even she would just blindly follow him should he ask her to go outside, and even if he could convince her to do so, her friends were smart enough to tell the theme of the day easily enough. Between this and other "nemeses" showing up and admitting to their status, Cent's mission was indeed all but failed.
But was that a bad thing, really? He might have been a pitiful copy of the real deal, but he was still Cent. Her presence was ever a pleasure. He remained silent for a time, watching as Two made her way inside the library with the others, making a beeline for the red-eyed girl. "Makoto, Cole!" She called with a sweet smile, approaching her and the child in a silly hat but not too abruptly, giving her time to take notice. "Good to see you. How are you two doing?"
It seemed she and the others had just missed the duel between Rex and Ren.
Gon was now approaching the outskirts of the library when he felt something was wrong.
But he turned around and saw
The woman nodded when she heard his name.
“What are doing here?”
“That’s why I was trying to look for a familiar face...”
Ben sighed, raising an eyebrow and putting his hands on his hips.
"I hope so too. Maybe we should come up with a way to make sure that we can always tell whose is who if we have to fight clones of your Pokemon," Ben explained.
He thought for a moment, then turned towards the nearest Miss Tairee clone.
"Hey, Miss Tairee, could you conjure up some kind of headband or bandanna or something? Six of them?" he asked, trying to think of some easy form of identification. "With some kind of pattern or icon or something that isn't from Louie's world. So there's no way that the clone can get their hands on them."
"I won't need to make use of you in any context" the Miss Tairee copy said to Cent, maintaining her neutral tone despite the implied derision.
Then she turned her attention back to Ben and Louie. "Ben, that's still a bit too broad; you'll have to be more specific" the Miss Tairee copy reminded him in a more polite tone.
"How about the omnitrix thing?" Louie suggested, pointing to Ben's arm. "Make them like, black with that symbol on them in green" the trainer added.
"Alright. Any material or other requests about them?" the Miss Tairee copy answered with a nod.
"Uh, something that wouldn't feel rough or itchy I guess" Louie responded with a slight shrug.
"Very well. Here you are" the Miss Tairee copy replied, and there was a blur nearby the boys as a handful of silk headbands appeared there.
"Cool, thanks" Louie said, in more of an afterthought, as he grabbed some of the headbands. He tied one around his arm, then got to attaching one to each of his pokemon that were out. He paused in thought as he looked to the pokeball containing Ace. "Uh, wait, are these flammable? Could I get one that isn't, for Ace?" the trainer then requested, thinking ahead.
"Certainly" the Miss Tairee copy responded, and then one more headband appeared with a blur.
Ben smiled as Miss Tairee obliged, handing Louie the headbands. He watched Louie attach the headbands to his Pokemon.
"Good choice of pattern," Ben said, looking at the green hourglass-shaped icons on the headbands. "The Omnitrix does look cool and pretty unique. There's no way those clones of your Pokemon are gonna be wearing anything half as cool as those!" he insisted. "Now let's go see if we can't go out there and—" he started to say, when he heard the sound of the Thunder Child moving from off the library and down one of the sides.
He looked towards the sound, seeing something happening outside the building. The windows weren't entirely clear, though, so it was hard to make out. Ben ran towards the windows, pressing his face onto the glass to see. Sure enough, he saw Rex going toe to toe with a classy-looking individual with some kind of pointy monster hovering behind him.
He looked at the Omnitrix, wincing a little bit and seeing the red glow.
"C'mon, stupid watch!" Ben grunted angrily, trying to adjust it and listening to it beep at him in denial. He looked towards the nearest Miss Tairee.
"Is there a way to turn off the cooldown?" Ben asked her. "So I don't have to wait every single time I need to go hero? People are in trouble and this thing just doesn't wanna cooperate!" He tried activating it a few more times and the Omnitrix continued to beep at him.
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