As Vincal approaches us, he keeps his glowing blank white eyes fixed on me.
“The solution is simple. We cannot reintegrate if you are DEAD.”
“Yeah? And are you going to do everything I do? Protect the innocent? Save the world?”
“I will fight.”
Marley wreathes himself in golden flames, flying at Vincal.
But Vincal dodges imperceptibly fast.
Nivlac stands between me and Vincal, extending his ten black tendrils.
“Cal! Run! It’s YOU he wants!”
Vincal sends Nivlac flying with a punch.
“Just stand down. Let me kill you. We will both be free. You won’t have to be a hero. I won’t have to be bound by your flesh. Power is meant to be used.”
Alpha moves in next, swinging golden fists.
“Not ALL the time, man!”
But Vincal dodges every single blow.
“Power that is not being used is no power at all. Power is meant to be used.”
I bark out an order to the rest, because I can still do that, too.
Everyone obliges, moving in to attack Vincal.
But even with a dozen people attacking him at once, he still dodges every blow.
Okay, how the fuck did he use Mindless Mind on command like that? I can’t do that!
It requires a clear mind, and presumably, Vincal’s mind is exceptionally clear without all of your thoughts cluttering it.
Cal, Niv said to run!
I hate running, but it’s the only option right now.
“MAR!!! LET’S GO FIND NIV!!!”
Marley teleports over, extinguishing his flames and placing a hoof on my boot.
And teleports me away.
We appear a good few miles away, seeing a big pile of rubble, and ten black tendrils extending out of the pile, grabbing pieces and tossing them aside.
And we hear a muffled voice inside the pile.
“Fucking HATE cheap shots like that, swear to God. I hope Cal got out of there.”
We run over, trying to help Nivlac out. Marley lifts rocks with telekinesis, and I toss them away, my nano armor giving me a boost.
“I’m fine, Niv! The rest are stalling him.”
“Cal?!? This ain’t far away enough, buddy!”
I remove one rock, seeing a very concerned pale face like mine, but with blood red eyes and sharp yellow teeth.
“I know, but I was worried about you.”
“I’m touched, but it was still a stupid idea.”
Marley floats another rock away, and a pale hand sticks out of the hole.
I grab it, pulling Nivlac out.
“Also, we’re gonna need you alive to reintegrate, too.”
“We nu gutta way tu du dat.”
Nivlac retracts his tendrils.
“Well, Val’s smart. But we’ll probably need that doohickey the Gurus made. Call Vic, ask him if the other squad has found them yet.”
“Let’s get a bit further away, first. Mar?”
Me and Nivlac both place a hand on Marley.
Meanwhile, a few states away, the Gurus’ van and the Hungry Rider pull up to an airport runway gate, Belthasar riding shotgun again, to Melchior’s consternation.
A security guard immediately approaches them, walking up from the right.
“Hey, you can’t be h–”
Belthasar smiles smugly and waves his hand, and the guard suddenly starts grinning madly.
“Heh heh ha ha HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!”
The guard runs away, stripping his uniform off, leaving only his socks, shoes, and tighty whities on. Yes, really.
“Nicely done, B.”
“Thank you, G.”
“H.R., search those clothes for the keys.”
The Hungry Rider gets off his motorbike.
“Keys? We don’t need no stinking keys.”
He takes his helmet off, his skull bursting into black flames.
Then he tosses the helmet aside. He paid a soul for the ability to summon it to his hand at will.
And then he spews a stream of black fire to melt the gate.
Naturally, this draws attention from another security guard, who approaches the group while calling for backup.
This guard is a vampire, because they’re the people you want on the…
The Hungry Rider readies his chain, now with a nasty black curved blade on the end. Another successful transaction.
“Get over here.”
He swings the chain like a whip…
…impaling the security guard’s torso.
The Hungry Rider pulls the guard towards him, spitting black fire into his face.
“Can’t hog all the fun. Dark Demon!”
The back doors of the truck are kicked open, and the Dark Demon hops out, his hoverboard in hand.
“Hee hee! We’ll clear this place out, Gaspy! You guys pick our new ride!”
The Rider sees more guards approaching, and the alarms start blaring.
“It needs to be big enough for my bike to fit inside.”
There’s a reason he’s not simply driving to Nevada.
Gaspar nods, driving the van onto the runway, Belthasar opening the passenger side door so he can use his power to drive people insane on anyone who gets close.
Melchior’s still saving his power for later.
The Dark Demon takes to the air, charging two blood red energy energy blasts.
“Time to cut loose!”
He fires the blasts, vaporising five guards.
“I think one of them did the Wilhelm scream! Haha!”
When another guard charges the Hungry Rider from behind…
The motorbike plows into him from behind, driving itself.
“Sorry, does that hurt? It looks like it hurts.”
Back in Nevada, the ChaotiX tries to subdue Vincal, but they’re having difficulty even touching him.
Blueberry, his Blaukörper glowing gold, swings a big golden fist at Vincal.
But it misses.
“Stay stiww, asshowe!”
Erwin, Cecil, Chris and James combine their Omegas Busters’ powers, firing a huge rainbow-colored energy blast at Vincal.
He just smacks it up into the air.
Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Prometheus fly at Vincal from four directions, intending to grab his limbs.
He just teleports away from them.
And the four golden robots slam into each other.
Judy assumes her casting stance.
“Domis! Stand down, Vincal!”
“No. And don’t call me that.”
That spell does nothing to Vincal either.
“Well. Now we now that you don’t have a soul.”
“How about I force YOUR soul out of your body?”
“Really? Don’t you remember anything? Don’t you remember when Cal and I got married?”
Kirk launches himself at Vincal in ball form.
Vincal just kicks him away.
“My weaker half could have become so much stronger if he hadn’t wasted time with you.”
“See? You’re just an empty shell. A husk. Cal would never say that.”
There’s a flash of red and blue light that becomes purple, and as Vincal turns towards the light, he hears two young men’s voices speak in unison from it.
“Mileton in this bitch! Ayy!”
Or rather, rap in unison.
“What is that?”
“Orange 'do be legit! Ayy!”
“You’ve forgotten that too, have you?”
“You 'bout to get your wig split! Ayy!”
The light fades, revealing Mileton, smiling smugly as he finishes his verse.
“Vincal, you smell like shit. Ayyyyy~.”
He’s pretty fly for two white guys.
Me, Marley and Nivlac appear in the half-reconstructed Las Vegas, outside the new golden bar with a golem head.
We took a detour here, just in case Vincal got away and went after me. Taking turns blipping, teleporting and traveling through darkness, hoping that will throw him off.
And hoping the others are still alive.
We see Mal run up to us. He’s one of the builders from another world. Apparently, he’s the reincarnation of a God of Destruction.
“Cal! What’s going on? …And why are there two of you? The new one looks cool! I like the cut of your jib, New Cal!”
“Thanks! My name’s Nivlac. Call me Niv, EVERYONE does.”
“Dis am a wong stowy dat we nu haf time fow.”
I extract my phone from a pocket.
“We need to make a phone call real quick.”
At the airport, the Dark Demon carries his comrade’s motorbike into the largest plane on the runway, and Belthasar and Melchior hurriedly carry everything in their van into the plane.
It’s a luxury plane, privately owned by someone who was as rich as his soul tasted.
Perhaps he shouldn’t have landed to refuel at this airport.
Everyone else on the premises is either dead, or insane and trying to kill each other.
Don’t ask how.
In the cockpit, Gaspar, sitting in the copilot’s seat, installs the power detector from the van into the control panel.
“You’re sure you can do this, Rider?”
The Hungry Rider, sitting in the pilot’s seat, takes the wheel.
“Gaspar, look at me, look at me.”
Black flames spew out of the turbines.
“I can drive ANYTHING.”
The other two Gurus are startled by it, almost dropping one of the last pieces of cargo.
“Son of a–”
“Warn us before you do something like that!”
The streetlight-like device.
Gaspar sees the squad sent to find them arrive outside the melted gates, Victor on his phone.
“Damn it all! Korkea’s sent his friends after us! And Clockson’s here too! How did they find us without the drone? Dark Demon!”
The Dark Demon calls back from outside the cockpit. The door’s open.
“You want I should distract them? Hee hee!”
The Dark Demon jumps out of the plane, onto his hoverboard.
“Gladly! You guys go, I’ll catch up! Hahahahahahahaha!”
“I gotta call back later, Cal. We’ve got a thing. I know, you’ve got a thing too.”
As Victor leads his squad to the Gurus’ stolen plane, he hangs up, putting his phone away, seeing the Dark Demon flying towards them.
“Hee hee! Looking to catch a flight, boys? Hee hee hee! Wait a minute! I know you, Scar Boy! You’ve sent a lot of people Down There, y’know! Tch tch tch. Such a naughty boy! Hee hee!”
Victor draws a gun.
“How about I send you to meet Oblivion?”
“Nu fink dat Victow nu wiww du it.”
“Nice grill, shitrat! What, were you gonna bite my ankles? Hahahahahahahaha!”
Konba steps up, cracking his knuckles.
“Were you planning to stall all of us by yourself?”
“I’m an Omega Class and a demon, so yes! Hee hee!”
Henry and Carmilla laugh.
“Please, pal! Being a demon just makes you easier to kill!”
“An if we bite yu, it am eben ee-zee-yuw.”
“You’ll just chip a tooth on my armor! HAHAHAHA!!!”
Jack says nothing, because he’s not here anymore.
Or so it seems.
He slipped a certain set of grey gloves and shoes on before moving out to pursue the Gurus, and brought a cloaking device.
Guess where he is now.
Go on, guess.
The Dark Demon pops a wrist blade.
“Enough talk! Have at you! HAHAHAHAHA!!!”
And he charges.
Mileton, having turned to electricity, swings at Vincal, but even at the speed of lightning, the gestalt entity still can’t hit Vincal.
Vincal swings back, launching Mileton over the horizon and forcing him back to flesh.
Blueberry turns one of his Blaukörper’s hands into a minigun, pointing it at Vincal.
“HIT DA DEKK!!!”
He unleashes glowing golden rounds upon his enemy, but Vincal marches towards him, dodging so quickly that it looks like the bullets are simply passing through him.
“When will you idiots learn that YOU. CAN’T. HIT. ME?”
“Wen wiww yu weawn dat yu nu can win?”
“I win when there is no longer anything holding me back from using my power. When there is no longer any threat of my power being constrained again. Power is meant to be used.”
“An wiww yu be happeh den? Wen yu am fwee tu fite aww yu wan, wiww yu be happeh?”
“I don’t understand the question.”
Judy teleports over.
“Blueberry, he can’t even comprehend happiness! Haven’t you seen that he doesn’t understand anything that isn’t about fighting?”
“Stop talking. I must fight. I must eliminate all distractions. I must fight. Power is meant to be used.”
Kirk steps up, radiating calmness.
“So you’re just a weapon, is that it?”
“Who are you?”
“You don’t remember? I’m Kirk. Kirk Stahlberg. I used to be Projekt Schatten. And I’ve got bad news for you.”
Kirk removes the golden rings on his wrists.
He already removed the ones on his ankles.
The power limiters clatter as they hit the hard ground, and Kirk chuckles.
“I’ve been holding back.”
Wreathing himself in black and red flames, Kirk gestures for the others to back away.
“Herr Vincal… let me show you who I am.”
Without further ado, Kirk attacks.
As the Hungry Rider prepares for takeoff, Gaspar walks out of the cockpit, seeing Melchior carrying two bags of popcorn onto the plane.
“Leave those! We need to move now!”
“We’ve got enough popped corn! Belthasar, is everything else loaded?”
Belthasar sits on a couch, curiously opening a minifridge full of expensive alcohol.
“Everything except the truck itself, the rest of the popped corn and some boxes of those milky dud things.”
“Good enough! One more thing before we take off.”
Gaspar looks up at a random part of the ceiling.
“If you value your sanity, Clockson, show yourself now.”
Jack uncloaks, revealing himself clinging to the ceiling.
Did you guess “in the plane”? If so, go treat yourself to a cookie.
“Sorry, guys. But you’re on the No Fly List too.”
“Belthasar? Take his mind.”
As Belthasar prepares to do that, time stops, and Jack gets down from the ceiling, drawing Hour Hand.
“You know, I could just run him through like this. Or…”
Jack points his free hand towards the frozen Belthasar.
“I could fire webbing down his throat. Turn his entire respiratory system into a useless chunk of tissue. I could. But I won’t. Because I’m not like you, Gaspar.”
“I’ve been hoping that I’d get to meet you, Dr. Jackson Albert Clockson. Yes, I know who you are. I know that you live in a place called Filly-del-feeyah, with four fluffies. Magnum, Nebula, Johnny and Lucas, they’re called? I know about your powers, your scientific accomplishments, and your short-lived feud with one Christian Ellis. How much do you know about me? I’ve been studying you, Jackson. You’re a fascinating man. There were no others with powers like mine in my homeland.”
“So who trained you?”
“I am self-taught.”
And Jack grins.
“Oh, that’s a shame. You know who trained me? Lu-Tze, of the History Monks. Well, he’s not officially a History Monk. On paper, he’s ostensibly just a sweeper… but you’d be surprised by where you can go when you’re holding a broom, and what you can learn by cleaning classrooms. He once altered the course of his world’s history by righting a tortoise that was stuck on its back, sabotaging a lever and sweeping dung into a pile at exactly the right place and time. And by doing so, he prevented a century of holy war. He’s the only known master of déjà fu. That is the man who trained me. And you think you can beat me? At my own game? Because you got lucky a couple of times? You’re just a stupid old man who’s lived his entire life in a rut! You never had the motivation to improve yourself! You got lazy, just like the rest of your empire! Lazing in the sun while the normos had to put actual effort in, just to survive!”
“I suppose that you have a point. Will you not share the teachings of your master with me? I would, in return, share the secrets of Ad Laun Dyz’s superior technology with you. Together, we could achieve so much.”
“So far, all you’ve really achieved is a pile of corpses, and any idiot with a gun can do that. You think I’ll work with someone who has innocent people killed?”
“People? They are but Earthbound Ones, Jackson. They are beneath men such as you and I. They’re just filthy beasts. Not really human.”
“You see that shit right there? That’s why Ad Laun Dyz fell, Gaspar! You morons just assumed that everyone else would roll over and die so you can have what you want, you didn’t expect them to fight back, and you didn’t think you could lose!”
“But we’ve learned from our mistakes, Jackson. Oh, Melchior?”
A hand grabs Jack’s shoulder.
And the wrist of that hand is wearing something that looks like a temporal stabilizer.
Jack falls to his knees, suddenly feeling weak.
And Gaspar chuckles.
“Who do you think invented the chronal equaliser in our Emperor’s armor, Jackson? I did. If you’re wondering why Belthasar isn’t wearing one too, that was deliberate. To trick you into thinking you were safe in stopped time. We prepared for you, idiot. Unstop time now or Melchior will drain all of your life force. Yes, that’s what he can do.”
“I’m not afraid to die.”
“Oh, that’s right. You can rewind time when you die, can’t you? Well, that just means we’ll be doing this for a while. Very impressive trick, by the way. I’m sure that I can figure out how to do it if I watch you die enough times. How many deaths will be enough to drive you to madness? Let’s find out. Should have just accepted my offer, Clockson. Melchior? As slowly and painfully as possible, please.”
Jack drives Hour Hand through Melchior’s foot, pinning him to the floor.
“See that, Melchior? If you weren’t an asshole, that wouldn’t have worked.”
Jack pulls his wakizashi out and gets back up.
“GAAAAH!!! IT’S EVEN WORSE ON THE WAY OUT!!!”
Melchior hops away, clutching his bleeding foot.
And Jack laughs, sheathing his sword, switching the grey wall-crawling gloves for his Power Gloves, and walking over to the streetlight, which is currently on another couch.
“I only came here to get this, you know.”
As Jack grabs the streetlight with one hand, Gaspar scowls.
“You leave that there, Ja–”
Jack uses his free hand to web Gaspar’s feet to the floor, and to web his mouth shut.
“That batch of webbing will dissolve in one hour. See you later, Gaspar.”
And Jack makes his way out of the plane with his prize.
As he reaches the door, he turns to Gaspar.
“Oh, by the way: I think it would be for the best if you guys just gave up on going home. Just take the L. Because you’re already wearing Cal’s patience thin, and if it runs out… you’re gonna die. Don’t believe me? Ask Vanessa Valentine. Oh wait. You can’t. Because Cal punched her head off. But keep this shit up, you’ll be able to ask her. Cal and I killed your Emperor. We can definitely kill you. We don’t want to kill you. But if we have to, if it’s the only way to stop you, then we will kill you. So just fold, okay? Your lives depend on it.”
With that, Jack exits the plane.
Eventually, time starts flowing again.
Belthasar finishes his attempt to drive Jack insane, which obviously fails, because Jack isn’t here anymore.
Then he turns to Gaspar, now futilely trying to pull the webbing off his face, without it tearing his beard off too.
“Gaspar, what happened?!?”
Gaspar stops pulling, just pointing at the mass covering his mouth with a weary expression.
“Oh. Right. We need a solvent, I think.”
I appear with Nivlac and Marley in Texas, seeing more badlands. We’re giving Vincal the runaround while trying to plan our next move.
“Ah, the Lone Star State. Hey, isn’t Mike from Texas?”
“You know that General Lucas thinks that calling him Mike is too crazy.”
“Yeah, but he isn’t HERE right now.”
“Too-shay, heddad. Su nao wut, daddeh?”
“Well, I need to stay away from Vincal until we’ve got a way to subdue him. So I think we should go help Vic’s squad for now. Deedee’s fighting them, and he’s alone.”
“What about that demon hunter? Isn’t HE with Vic’s squad?”
“Oh, he’s there. He’s setting something up.”
The Dark Demon flies at Victor, gouging his face with a wrist blade.
“Oh, great! Like I needed another scar!”
“Hee hee! You need another face, ugly!”
Konba, in Super Saingan form, punches the Demon off his hoverboard.
“So whose face is under that helmet?”
“Let’s get a look at that mug.”
As the Dark Demon rolls over onto his front, Henry pulls his helmet off, revealing a bald head that looks nothing like Scott’s, with a square jaw and burning eyes.
Scott had a rather weak chin, and grew a beard hoping it would obscure that.
Carmilla waddles up, looking the Demon in the stolen eyes.
As Carmilla is punched away, Henry scowls.
“Oh, you’re gonna pay for that.”
He sprouts a pair of bat-like wings, flying after Carmilla.
And leaving the helmet behind.
The Dark Demon gets back up, putting his helmet back on.
Victor presses the barrel of his gun against the back of the Demon’s head.
“Silver bullets, tipped with adamantium. You’re not the first demonic Omega Class we’ve dealt with.”
Scarface waddles up, giving the Demon a literal million dollar smile.
“Make a fukkin moov. Scawface dawe yu.”
“Hee hee hee! How about this one?”
The Dark Demon forms an energy blast in his hand.
Then he squeezes it.
The resulting explosion blows Victor and Scarface to bits, and the Demon leaps out of the explosion unscathed.
He sees a plane taking off, spewing black fire.
“Welp, looks like my buddies got away! Hee hee!”
Konba strolls up, holding the hoverboard.
“But you can’t fly without this, can you? So you’re staying right here.”
“…You don’t know what I am, do you.”
Two big, red, leathery bat-like wings break through the armor.
“My name isn’t just hyper-bowl now, stupid! I’M A LITERAL FUCKING DEMON!!! HAHAHAHA!!!”
“It’s pronounced hyperbole, you demonic dolt! I can fly too, you know!”
The Dark Demon wreathes himself in hellfire.
“Yeah… but do you REALLY want to go after me ALONE? Hahahahahahahaha! I’ll see you later, you orange fleshbag faggot! AHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!”
Suddenly, a motorcycle ramps off a nearby building, and someone backflips off it in midair.
The white-haired demon hunter in red.
Halfway to the ground, upside down, the hunter aims his guns at the Dark Demon: one black, one white.
But the Dark Demon is unharmed.
“Those bullets didn’t look like adamantium to ME. Hee hee.”
The hunter makes a perfect three point landing.
“My soul is saying it wants to stop you.”
“Buddy, get real! This isn’t YOUR fight to win!”
“Hello again, Deedee.”
The Dark Demon turns to the trio of newcomers.
Calvin, Nivlac and Marley.
Who were you expecting? Larry, Curly and Moe?
“It’s HIS fight to win. Hello… Caaaaal… hee hee…”