Epilogue

It was a beautiful afternoon at the planet Aproxas, an afternoon unlike the planet had seen in a long time. It was almost as if the powers that be had willed it to be so, setting a perfect mood for what was perhaps one of the most unique gatherings in all of creation. It had started as a Facebook Event for a small group originally, but it had grown out to be so much more. And now, at this celebration, a very diverse group of individuals had gathered.

Sam and Dean were there, with Sam serving drinks and Dean manning what was perhaps the largest grill in all of creation. Bobby was there too of course, sampling the whiskey and telling old war stories to those interested in listening, which were in particular Spider-Man, Batman, Naruto and Megatron. Sasuke was sitting at a table, discussing politics with Doctor Octopus while J Jonah Jameson was wandering around the party area, complaining about Spider-Man and President Obama to anyone who would stop to listen.
Meanwhile the crew of the USS Enterprise was sitting at a large table together, enjoying Dean’s cooking, except for Captain Picard, who was discussing ethics with Optimus prime. Loki meanwhile was found exchanging childhood stories with Mumm-Ra, while Odin was reading a newspaper and Thor was holding a drinking contest with Naga.
On one of the small wooden benches the Borg Queen was cuddling up to Ultron, who was doing his uttermost best not to be cuddled up to. Betty Ross and Bruce Banner sad on another bench and in turn did their best to get noticed cuddling as much as possible. Meanwhile Mumm-Ra was having some issues, after having used the bathroom and getting tangled up in some toilet paper, but fortunately Lord Voldemort was there to assist him in getting things separated again.

“Can you toss up some extra beef on the grill?” Ganon asked, walking up to Dean, wearing a pair of light purple shades, “I’m feeling extra hungry tonight.”

“No bacon for you?” Dean asked.

“I think I’ll skip.”

Ganon returned to his chair, sipping a soda while at the same Piccolo and Princess Zelda were exchanging gardening tips. Luke Skywalker meanwhile was making shish kebab with small pieces of meat and lightsaber-pricks, assisted by Lelouch who provided advice on how to best distribute the meat to create the perfect portions. Guy Gardner at the same time was seated on a table with Erza Scarlett and Lina Inverse, doing his best to impress them both while not noticing that the two ladies were only pretending to be listening to the Green Lantern, while they were otherwise occupied, fawning over each other in a most peculiar and unique way. At another table Man-at-Arms was judging an arm wrestling competition between Xelloss the Trickster Priest and Gaav the Demon Dragon King, which seemed to be tied… for now.

“Do you require help with cooking the meet?” Superman asked, approaching Dean after Ganon had left.

“Nah, I’m cool,” Dean said, “Besides, room for only one on this grill I’m afraid; else we’ll just end up being in each other’s way.”

“That’s okay,” Superman said, “I don’t need a grill, I can cook this meat myself… watch.” – and he began squinting his eyes, focusing on the meat. Then suddenly tiny red lasers shot out from them, scorching the meat and instantly turning it black as charcoal. “Oops. Guess I didn’t tone down enough yet.”

“Tell you what, pal,” Dean said, patting him on the back, “You go and get the majority vote for your cooking skills, and in the meantime I’ll continue behind the grill. Ok?”

Superman sighed softly and returned to his table, which was close to a TV that was being powered by Pikachu. “Anything on?” Superman asked Skeletor, who seemed to be watching with great interest.

“Boring crap, mostly,” Skeletor replied.

“You lied… didn’t you?”

Skeletor smirked. “Maybe.”

“You boys play nice now,” the Sorceress said, settling down on an empty chair and grabbing the remote control, “Besides, lady’s choice, wouldn’t you say? How about an episode of Power Rangers?”

“Nice,” Skeletor replied.

While they continued to amuse themselves with another rerun of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd teaming up against a better team of super powered teenagers, The Doctors meanwhile had gathered together with The Master and Lex Luthor at a larger table, discussing the greater and lesser periods of the 20th and 21st centuries. It was a heated debate, but the atmosphere was good. Generally speaking, it was a very nice party, as if all existing grudges of old had been erased for a day.

And as the sun slowly began to set over these partying heroes, at a hilltop nearby a single figure was watching it all, observing the party and pleased with the outcome this entire ordeal had gotten. Those partying below did not see him, for he chose to remain unseen, though perhaps those attuned to him could sense him, if they focused their minds enough. And he doubted that would happen anytime soon. For now, let them celebrate until the struggles of everyday life would start anew. Yes, Obi-Wan Kenobi was pleased.

“Stay in peace, my young friends,” he said, though they would not hear his words, “And May the Force be with you… always.”

“And may the stains in your pants always come out and the odds be forever in your favor,” the ghost of Deadpool said, having suddenly appeared next to Obi-Wan Kenobi.

“What? What are you doing here? Why didn’t you revive like the others?”

“I will in a minute,” Deadpool said, “Let me have my end credits moment here. Story’s over after all, got to make it look cool.”

“Wouldn’t you rather have it look cool with you eating the meat? All the meat?”

“Point taken,” Deadpool said, and his spirit disappeared. Moment later his living, cheerful body appeared at the party too, immediately going for the table where Dean was stacking the grilled meat.

“Stay well, friends, and live well,” Obi Wan said, and then his spirit faded away, just as the light of day with.

For now this tale was truly over.

THE END.

word count: over 50000.

Chapter 18 – The Weapon

Sam and Dean had no idea where the Doctor’s mysterious time machine was taking them. Perhaps to another galaxy far away, or another time period, in an attempt to give them time to come up with a plan against the Unraveler, perhaps somewhere safe, if there was such a place. What they did not expect was for the TARDIS to materialize in the middle of the largest library in the universe, a collection of books and knowledge both digital and written that literally spanned an entire planet. And yet they did.

“Where is this?” Dean asked, “We’re getting help from the galaxy book club?”

“Shut the door, idiots,” a familiar voice called out.

“Bobby?” Sam asked, “Is that you..?”

“Of course it is, idiot,” a grumpy middle aged man with a lumberjack vest and a short trimmed beard said, “Who’d you expect? Lucifer?”

“Not in a library,” Dean commented.

“We thought you were… dead,” Sam said carefully.

“Of course I am dead, what do you think this is?” Bobby grumbled, “This is the universal library, the collective consciousness of everyone, everything in creation. It shows up in many myths and legends, and shamans belief this is where the spirit travels when you’re dreaming. Of course this actual manifestation of a library is just how our little minds translate it.”

“So are we dead?” Dean asked.

“No, that crazy Doctor brought you here with his phone box. He came here before, you know, asking my help. He told me about his mission, said he might need a backup plan in case his quest failed. And guess what, I’m the backup plan.”

“A weapon,” Sam said, “Something to stop this creature with. That’s sort of what the Doctor said. He’s sending you to do research.”

Bobby nodded his head. “Yes. And the fact that you two are here now can only mean that the first plan has failed and the Unraveler is free. Balls.”

“So did you find anything, Bobby? A way to kill it?”

“A possible way,” Bobby said, “I found it days ago, but I’ve been cracking my skull over it ever since. The ingredients make no sense. Let alone how to get them.”

“What are they?”

“A brick from the Fourth Wall, dipped in the blood of the Last of the Time Lords.”

“I saw a bottle in the Doctor’s TARDIS,” Dean said, “It contained blood definitely. It was labeled. ‘convenient plot device, use when needed.'”

“Damn Time Lords and their advance knowledge of things,” Bobby grumbled, “But that still leaves us with a brick out of the fourth wall! Where the hell do we get that?”

“That would be my department!” a man dressed in a red ninja outfit said, “Deadpool’s the name, deux ex machina is my game!”

“What the hell? How did you get here?” Dean asked.

“Are you kidding?” Deadpool said, “I died so often, I know my way around this place by heart; but if you must know: I traveled here through a plot hole.”

“But why..?”

Deadpool shrugged. “Why else? To help wrap up this story of course. You need a brick from the fourth wall, then you need someone who can break the fourth wall. And trust me, young ones, no one has broken the Fourth Wall more often than good old Deadpool!”

“Good old Deadpool had better get a move on then,” Dean shouted, coming back out of the TARDIS carrying the bottle of blood, just before the TARDIS disappeared, “Mr. Uncreate is coming to this place, and I doubt he’ll be here to read universal porn!”

“He’s right, Deadpool,” Bobby said, “We need that brick fast, or all of this will be over.”

“Not yet,” Deadpool said, “This story won’t be over until 1800 more words have been written.”

And plop. Instantly a brick appeared, as if it had been written into the story solely for that purpose.

“Is this it?” Sam asked, picking up the brick, which almost seemed to be glowing faintly.

“Any more fourth wall and I’ll be sitting on the writer’s lap,” Deadpool said, “I’m not quite sure if either of us will like that.”

“Sounds like you’ve really got that fourth wall thing under control,” Dean replied, “Even I have no clue what you’re talking about.”

“We have that in common,” Deadpool said.

And then Deadpool faded away, without even a chance for a last witty remark or sneer. Behind him was the Unmaker, who had finally found his way to the Universal Library and seemed not very amused at the whole ordeal of having to chase the two Winchester Brothers across creation. “If there is ever a new reality after this one, I will do whatever I can to make it one without the two of you,” he said.

“That would be a loss,” Dean commented.

“Boys! No sticking around here!” Bobby shouted, suddenly pulling out a crossbow from god knows where and firing a bolt at the Omega. Not very effective, of course. “You two use that TARDIS and get out of here! NOW!”

“What about you?!”

“I’ll be fine, dammit! I’m already dead after all!”

“But soon you’ll be dead -and- non-existent!” Dean shouted.

“Then make a baby together and call it Bobby in my stead, you little whiners! Now GO!”

But before they could the TARDIS disappeared, leaving an empty spot where the time machine used to be. “What happened?” Sam shouted, “He didn’t touch it, did he?”

“I already unmade the original TARDIS that your friend the Doctor used,” the Omega explained, “It took a while for time to catch up on it, but eventually it should disappear from all of time and space; as it just did here.”

“Balls!” Bobby cursed, firing another crossbow bolt. The shot hit the Unmaker in the back, who simply turned around, giving the old hunter an unimpressed look. “Take a good look at my crossbow!” Bobby tried, “The next shot’s gonna be a special bolt! The only weapon in creation that can destroy you!”

The Omega smiled weakly. “There is no weapon in creation that can destroy me.”

“You sure about that?” Sam said, drawing the Unmaker’s attention away from Bobby again.

“Hey asshat!” Dean shouted, “Catch THIS!” -and he threw the brick, which had already been soaked in the Doctor’s blood. The Omega smirked, uttering a final “So this is true desperation, you’re resorting to bricks now..?” before he was struck by it, then felt its power beginning to affect him. And he realized he had made a mistake. “Dammit. At the last possible moment too… that is one convenient plot device!”

“Blood of the last of the Time Lords, soaked in a Brick out of the Fourth Wall,” Dean said, “Even I wouldn’t make up a crap combination like that. Choke on it, bitch!”

The Omega said nothing, instead simply sinking to his knees, breathing heavily. Breathing intensified.

“We did it!” Sam smiled, “We actually killed a force of nature, the uncreator..!”

“Nay,” the Omega gasped, “You think… A force like that can really be killed..? Nay…”

“Son of a bitch, still alive?” Dean cussed, ready to pick the brick up a second time.

“No, no… I am done for,” the Unmaker said, “But I am not destroyed. Creation, destruction… these are powers that always were, and always will be.”

“So… was this crap for nothing?” Bobby asked.

“You’ve found the one thing in all of existence and beyond…that could defeat me,” the Unmaker said, his body glowing weakly as it became slightly transparent, “All will be… as if I had never been here, as if nothing has ever happened. For your valor, reality will receive a new chance. A chance to do things right. Remember much this great event, and learn from it.”

“Rather hope the bad guys learn from it,” Bobby grumbled.

“So this crap…this unmaking, will it occur again?” Dean asked.

“That… is up to you.”

And then the Unmaker exploded, sending a shock-wave that washed over everything, over all worlds and all time periods, destroying everything, unraveling everything completely. And at the same time recreating it as it was, as it had been so long ago… before any ambition to revive Unmaking had come to be. However hidden deep within the minds of all mortal and immortal creature knowledge of this event remained. And they knew not to seek it out again. At least not in this time and reality. All was at peace once again.

word count: 49010/50000

Chapter 17 – The Gathering

The heroes who had spread out had gathered once again at Aproxas, though not all of them had made it back and some others had joined as well this time. The atmosphere was bleak, for they had had successes, but many more times had the enemy outsmarted them, up to a point where it was almost all over.

The final star had been destroyed and the last black hole had been created, showing them the way to where the Destroyer would re-enter this universe. The enemy had been prevented from taking The Power at Castle Greyskull, but they still held part of the Triforce, the might of the gods, which would most likely suffice for their goals. With that much at stake, everything seemed bleak at best.

The older Doctor, the First Doctor, took center stage this time, but he did not need to ask for silence; the silence was already there and it was devastating there. “My friends, companions, you’ve all fought hard and gave it your all against a powerful enemy,” he began, “But tonight we face our darkest hour, and the universe faces it with us. Our enemy is on the brink of succeeding in their goal, in bringing the Unmaker back into our universe. And when they do, all will be lost.”

“Then why are we standing here, gathering once again,” Commander Riker, First Officer of the USS Enterprise asked, “They need to create those black holes in order to create the perfect setting for them to carry out their final plan, right? Should’t we be out there stopping them?!”

“We have no further locations of any remaining targets they will hit,” the First Doctor answered, “And at those locations that we did know about we failed to stop the enemy. They either beat us to it, overwhelmed us with superior firepower or simple outsmarted us. And now they stand on the brink of completing their goal.”

“Then what do we do from here?” Sam Winchester asked, “I doubt you called us back here to throw in the towel. There must be some sort of plan, right..?”

The Doctor nodded.

“Well? What is it?” Dean Winchester asked.

“We’ve mapped every sun collapsed by these fiends, every black hole created, and the temporal gravity flows that were created as a result of it, updating this information with every new incident. Based on this we concluded two things: that our enemy needs to create only two more black holes to finalize their process, and second: that we can determine with a fair certainty where the conjunction of these black holes will be, in other words: where they are planning to bring this Unmaker into our universe. We know the time period, we need only find the right system and planet where this will take place.”

“Then what are we waiting for,” Riker shouted, “Get us there and we’ll scout as much of the galaxy as needed. We will find them!”

“No need for that!” the Doctor with the long brown coat interrupted, his voice extra loud, “We already found them.”

“When we realized the situation and the only option we had, we contacted a man from Earth with a broad technological skill,” the Doctor said, “From before the period Ultron devastated the world. This man, Tony Stark, was very willing to help, and using Gallifreyan technology he designed a series of probe that could quickly explore whole sectors of space, reporting and charting any suspicious ship movements and energy signatures. Long story short: we found them.”

“And now what?” Captain Picard asked.

“Now… we take the fight to them!”

* * *

It was a splendid yet terrifying sight the USS Enterprise witnessed as they dropped out of warp: ahead of them lay the planet, a dead and sinister world with a dark and almost black surface. Orbiting it was the huge sphere they had encountered long before, the enemy’s time ship, and the dark space itself was filled with enemy battle ships in various configurations, though the great majority of them were Cyberman and Borg vessels.
As soon as the Enterprise had appeared did the front portion of the enemy fleet open fire, firing laser blasts and missiles. The Enterprise was hit and destroyed immediately… and then appeared again a second time, dropping out of warp and opening fire, destroying and disabling the front ships before they could recharge and fire again.

“Status report,” Picard asked.

“80 percent of the enemy’s advance guard has been disabled or destroyed,” Worf reported, “The remaining vessels are preparing to return fire but will need some time to recharge their strongest weapons.”

“It seems like our holographic decoy was most effective, Captain,” First Officer Riker complimented, “A fine display of Time Lord technology.”

“Pity that trick works only once,” the Doctor said. It was the same Doctor that had accompanied them the precious time, the one with the short trimmed black hair and leather jacket who looked like a rocker, “It’s going to be rough from here.”

“Then by all means let us proceed quickly and get out of here,” Picard said resolutely, “Helmsman, plot a course towards that huge battle star. Mr Worf, prepare to fire the entire photon torpedo battery, on my mark.”

They watched the screen which showed pieces of debris as well as enemy weapons fire, and further ahead of that, past waves of enemy vessels there was the huge battle star as well as the dark planet which seemed quiet and barren, as if no sinister acts were taking place there. Several energy blasts his the Enterprise, but practically all power had been rerouted to the protective shields and the weapons platform. The shields held. For now.

“In range of the enemy battle station,” Data reported, “Scanners have detected the sphere’s secondary energy grid and temporal guidance systems.”

“Drop shields and reroute all available power to all working weapons,” Captain Picard commanded, “Hit them with everything we’ve got, fire at will”

“Firing weapons,” Worf confirmed.

Moments later the dark galaxy and even the black planet’s surface were illuminated by the massive explosions on the enemy’s time ship, explosions enhanced by a chain reaction of explosions that followed shortly after. “Direct hit, both enemy systems are completely offline,” Data reported, “Resulting chain reactions have shorted out thirty percent of the station’s weapons capability and reduced available power to 10%. Weapons shall require an extended repair time, estimate unknown how long it will take for them to restore power.”

“Let’s pray it’s long enough,” Riker said.

And then a massive blast shook the entire ship, knocking people over and sending them flying across the bridge. Control consoles spit out sparks as they shorted out, and for a moment the lights went out on the bridge as well, before power was restored. “Report,” Captain Picard asked, crawling back to his feet and into his chair.

“Three Dalek saucers have emerged behind us and opened fire, Sir,” Worf reported, “Shields have been disabled, getting damage reports from all decks. Enemy vessels are preparing to fire again.”

“Can we raise shields in time?” Riker asked.

“No, two more minutes until we can restore power to the shields.”

“Very well,” Picard said firmly, “We managed to cripple their battle station and throw their fleet into disarray. I’d say that more than suffices for a distraction, wouldn’t you?”

“Above and beyond expectations, as usual,” Riker smiled.

“Absolutely fantastic!” the Doctor complimented.

“Very well then. Let us evacuate to our escape pod.”

* * *

While the USS Enterprise engaged in battle overhead, three TARDISes materialized on the dark planet surface below. Normally they would have been met with resistance, perhaps even blown up while materializing, but right now the time machines and its occupants could arrive unhindered, protected by the distraction Captain Picard and his crew were creating above. All Doctors as well as their remaining allies emerged, stepping out on the dark surface which was suddenly illuminated by the bright explosions caused by the attack of the USS Enterprise on the enemy’s massive TARDIS. “Quite the fireworks,” He-Man said, gazing up.

“In days past, fireworks were often used to honor the brave men who had fallen,” one of the Doctors said, “Now it is the brave men who are creating these fireworks. A brave stand indeed.”

And then another brilliant explosion filled the sky further away, illuminating the planet like a small sun. And it was gone. And, they knew, so was the USS Enterprise.

“Which direction now?” a restored Optimus Prime asked, “Doctor, were you able to make a scan of the planet in time?”

“I did,” the twelfth and grey haired Doctor said, pointing, “That direction. There is a shrine or a base of sorts there. But we need to hurry. They’ve collapsed the final star system and thus created the final black hole. They will soon begin the ritual to bring the Unraveler into this world!”

They headed in the direction the Doctor had indicated and the heavy resistance they encountered shortly later was proof enough that they were headed in the right direction. A large dome shaped building loomed up in the distance, as black as the rest of the planet, though its metallic surface reflected the light of the stars and spaceships above, illuminating it against the horizon.
The battle was heavy and resistance fierce, but the collective heroes were no push-overs either, with power houses such as He-Man, Optimus Prime, Erza Scarlett, Luke Skywalker and many more who had joined the fray. Not everybody made it. Batman was injured and lagged behind, though he was still alive, and Spider-Man was slain by the energy blast of a Dalek. But finally they reached the entrance of the temple, dispatching the final guards placed at the entrance, a pair of renegade Decepticons. And then they were inside.

“Where to now?” Erza asked, “Where are they?”

“That way,” the Doctor with the long brown coat said, pointing his sonic screwdriver device down a hallway, “Massive readings from that area. And increasing in power fast!”

They rushed down the hallway, following the Doctor’s lead, and strangely enough meeting no resistance at all as they went on. Finally they reached the inner sanctum of the massive building, a huge dome-shaped hall with a large plateau in the middle, surrounded by a canyon that was deeper than the eye could see, with the only access to that plateau being three walk paths. And in the middle of the plateau their enemies stood and waited next to a stone angel. “Welcome at last, Doctors and companions!” Lex Luthor shouted from the far side of the canyon, standing on the edge of the plateau, “So good of you to finally arrive, I was looking forward to meeting you all!”

“I guess we should not be surprised to see a corrupt maniac like you involved, Luthor,” Batman said, stepping into the room last, limping because of his leg injury, “What role did you play in this? And what did they promise you?”

“I am nothing more than a humble adviser in this, Batman,” Luthor smiled, “Bringing people together, proposing strategy. Kind of like these kind Doctors have been doing. And as for my payment… I was offered the Earth, initially, but I settled for Planet Oa, home of the Green Lanterns.”

“As if!” Guy Gardner blurted out, “What would scum like you possibly want with the home of the protectors of the galaxy!”

“Nothing in its current state, Lantern,” Luthor smiled, “But once the universe has been remade… well, the new lantern will make a formidable force of peacekeepers, you can be sure. Peace through tyranny has a nice ring to it.”

“I know, right?” a large metallic robot similar to Optimus Prime smiled.

“Megatron,” Optimus Prime said, recognising his old adversary, “So you survived?”

“You really think that pitiful Sorceress could defeat the leader of the Decepticons so easily?” Megatron smirked, “She only succeeded in casting me into another galaxy because I allowed it; I knew The Master would be there to pick me up so I could strike at our home planet Cybertron when no one is expecting it, bringing with me a new army.”

“You conquered Cybertron?”

Megatron’s smirk widened. “I crushed and eradicated Cybertron. I will rule it in the next reality; in this one it can be a tomb of the dead!”

“You monster!” Optimus shouted, firing an energy blast with his rifle. However the energy blast curved as it approached the center plateau, then turned away from Megatron completely, spinning three quarters around the room before impacting in the wall just above the group of heroes.

“Careful, Optimus,” Megatron smirked, “I’m standing in the center of a gravity well that spans both time and space here. Fire energy weapons and there’s no telling what might happen.”

“A risk I’m willing to take, Megatron.”

“As much as I enjoy your little chatting, allow me to interrupt your little dialogue by informing you that you are too late,” the Master said, holding in the base of his hand the piece of the Triforce that Mumm-Ra had obtained earlier during his trip to Hyrule, “We’ve been ready to bring the Unmaker into this world for nearly an hour now. The only reason why we’ve waited is for you to arrive, so he can erase you first.”

“The stone angel,” the raggedy Doctor said, “I thought it would’ve been a Weeping Angel, an ancient time predator that turns to stone when looked at… but it’s something else, isn’t it?”

“As if those time assassins can be controlled,” the Master said, “No, this is the shape your destroyer has decided to take. He has been a shadow for so long, but his body manifested itself in full as soon as the final sun collapsed, perfecting the flow of time and space. All that is needed now is to give him the power to awake from his slumber.”

“The Triforce,” Link said.

“The Triforce,” the Master said, planting the glowing triangle object against the stone angel’s chest. Immediately the holy object was absorbed and stone turned to flesh at once, sending a shock-wave of sheer power through the room, similar to the effect of exposing one self to static electricity. “Welcome, Omega of the universe,” The Master greeted.

“I have returned,” the creature replied with a dark and hollow voice, “So many time has passed since my disappearance, this I sense. The universe has expanded greatly, reality thrives better than ever before. But all things must end, and I shall do my part in this.”

“Then strike out, my friend,” Luthor said, “Behold the lowly mortals across the chasm that try to stop you. Crush them first, so that we may proceed unopposed.”

“There is not much logic in your request,” The Omega replied, “I can already sense everything about these mortals. And like you they pose no threat to me or my task. There would be no logic in erasing them first, nor would there be any logic in heeding my request.”

“What is this nonsense?” Mumm-Ra spat, “Why is he not eradicating them? This creature should be pure chaos, why does it try to follow a path of logic here?”

“You tell me, Mumm-Ra,” the Master said, suddenly growing wary, “Did you really bring back the Triforce of Power?”

“I… brought back a part of the Triforce,” Mumm-Ra said, stepping back, realizing the current situation might well be his fault, “I… am not sure which aspect it was.”

“Zelda did,” Link said, “You needed the Triforce of Power for your plans… but what you stole was the Triforce of Wisdom. How will your plan fare now, eh?”

“You idiot!” Megatron shouted at Mumm-Ra, and even went as far as to aim the cannon mounted to his arm at him, “You might have just cost us our victory!”

“Not per se, Megatron,” Lex Luthor smiled, “Omega, heed these mortals well. They have tried to thwart us at every turn, and they are the only ones who currently know about your resurrection. While others might have the power to stop or hinder you, they are unaware of your revival, thus you can dispose of them at any given time. However these lowly mortals before you, they know… they could pass the word of your return to those that -could- pose a threat to you; or just as bad, they could investigate, try and find ways to stop you before you can complete your goal.”

The angel creature paused, pondering Luthor’s words. “Yes, I see the wisdom in your words,” he finally said, “They are no danger now, but they are a large potential threat in that way. Very well, I shall wipe them out.”

With that he leapt across the chasm and in the middle of the heroes, grabbing Batman by the arm. Batman opened his mouth to scream but no words came out, as his body became transparent and faded out of existence. The angel continue its assault, grabbing those that were closest, who suffered the same fate. Then, when half the heroes were gone, he spun around to look at those at the plateau again: “I thank you for your assistance in bringing me back here.”

“Your thanks are appreciated,” The Master said, “But our gratitude can be shown by providing us the worlds and lives we desire in the next reality.”

“Then you will have to make due with my gratitude,” the Omega said, “For I do not create, I only unmake, and I will not permit you to create any new existence, either with my help or without.”

“There’s a shocker,” Guy Gardner said.

“Given your desires, I will remove you from reality as well together with these other opponents,” the Omega announced to The Master and his group, “Like them you are a danger for my mission, and I estimate you will try to stop me or influence me when I do not meet your desires. Goodbye.” – and then he made a single hand gesture and the entire plateau and all those on it were gone, erased from existence with a single gesture, leaving only a black void that lead deep inside the planet.

“Crap, now what do we do?” Dean asked, “Run? We’ll never make it to those time machines.”

“Indeed you will not,” the Omega said, “Now, close your eyes, and I shall end you all, together with this planet. Then my great mission will begin.”

He raised his hand to strike, but before he could a whizzing sound filled the room as another TARDIS materialized. Out stepped Captain Picard and his crew, who immediately fired their phasor blasters at their adversary. The Omega shielded himself against the blasts in a reflex move, even though the laser blasts did not affect him. “Quickly!” the Ninth Doctor exclaimed, “Inside the TARDIS!”

“There really is no point in resisting, Doctor,” the Omega said, “You of all beings in this universe should know that.”

“There’s always a point in resisting if the alternative is oblivion,” the Doctor said, “I will not permit you to harm these companions of mine, or this universe! It is protected!”

“But very poorly, sadly,” the angel said, suddenly moving so fast he seemed to almost disappear. Then he was next to the First Doctor, grabbing him. The older Doctor’s eyes widened, but he said nothing… then faded away. “But do not feel bad. This cycle has repeated itself untold times, and never once was anyone able to stop me, or even delay me. And like so many times before your reality will come to an end.”

The second and third Doctors disappeared as well; the first Doctor was the one at the beginning, their predecessor in a way, and now that he no longer existed, they faded away as well. “Hurry!” the Ninth Doctor said, pushing Sam and Dean inside the TARDIS: “This thing is a monster, so we need monster hunters to stop it! Hurry and leave before my TARDIS disappears as well!”

“But where do we go? What do we do?” Sam asked, the TARDIS doors still open, “It’s hopeless!”

“Every enemy can be slain,” the Doctor said, “Go now. A friend is waiting. Pray he has a solution!”

And then the TARDIS doors slammed shut and the device began to move, already preprogrammed with its destination, and it disappeared, shifting to another space and time, or perhaps even another part of reality. The others remained behind, at the mercy of a creature that would show them none.

(word count: 47598/50000)

Chapter 16 – By the Power of Eternia

The Kingdom of Eternia had been at war with the forces of the evil warlord Keldor for as long as Man-at-Arms, Eternia’s Weapons Master, could remember; it had been when he was still a young knight, and it still was now, two decennia later, though Keldor had changed his name to Skeletor, following an unfortunate mystic incident. Yet things had been oddly peaceful as of late. Usually Skeletor tried one ploy or another on an almost monthly basis, and yet now there had been no incidents for almost half a year. Man-at-Arms sometimes wondered if Skeletor had perhaps disappeared or perished, but every scout sent to investigate did not return. So something was still out there.

And then it happened. A strange whizzing and groaning sound broke the silence, and Man-at-Arms saw dust blowing up from within the courtyard, not because a wind was picking up, but because something was materializing there! “Summon the Masters!” he shouted to the guards that were with him as he ran down into the courtyard below, “We’re under attack!”

Man-At-Arms pulled a small cylinder from the belt on his side, which almost miraculously expanded, forming a large and sturdy looking mace. In front of him two similar objects materialized, large blue boxes with the label ‘Police Public Call Box’ on them. He stopped, and lowered his mace just a bit, though he remained on guard. If this was an invasion, it was a very odd one. Several soldiers arrived, along with some of the Masters, the guardians of Eternia, but Man-At-Arms gestured for them to wait as well.

“Why are we waiting, Man-at-Arms?” one of them, an odd looking figure with an extendable neck asked.

“Because it may not be an attack after all,” Man-at-Arms said, “Would you mount an attack by appearing in the middle of your enemies forces like that? I wouldn’t. And if I did, I would only do so if I was already certain of my victory; both seem good reasons to keep some distance.”

Both doors opened simultaneously and an odd group of people stepped out. Out of the left box there first stepped a man with odd clothes and raggedy hair, followed by a young blonde man with white robes, a masked man who dressed like a bat, and a tiny yellow rodent. Out of the second box there stepped an elderly man, his white hair combed back, dressed in a tight black outfit, followed by a red-haired woman in armor, a red-haired masked man dressed in black and green and a green skinned alien looking warrior with two oddly cute antennae. “We come in peace,” the raggedy man said, waving his hands oddly, “Howdie! Hello!”

“Then advance no further,” Man-at-Arms said, “You’ve just invaded the royal palace of Eternia. I will not permit you to make a single more step until I am sure that you pose no danger to his majesty the king.”

“I’ll take it from here,” the older man said, stepping past his associate, “Apologies for the rude and unexpected entrance, young man; I agree we could have been more subtle, but time was a bit of the essence. And it saves us the trouble of asking you to gather your armies.”

“Gather our armies? What for?”

“To march on Castle Greyskull, of course,” the older man said.

That answer immediately set off all sorts of alarm bells in Man-at-Arms’ head. Castle Greyskull had been the target of Skeletor’s attacks for many year. It’s where a great Power lay hidden, one that could protect the world for all days to come, or that could be devastating in the hands of a conqueror. Had a new contender to take this prize appeared? Or had this odd group perhaps done away with Skeletor first, explaining the silence; either way, it could mean bad news. Involuntarily Man-at-Arms had clutched the mace in his hand more tightly. “What do you wish to do with Castle Greyskull?” he asked, dreading the answer.

“Why nothing, my boy. But we know people who have plans for it, bad plans. And we cannot allow them to succeed, hm?”

The grip on the mace released just a bit. “Tell me more,” Man-at-Arms asked, “You do not seek Castle Greyskull for yourselves then, but who does. Is it Skeletor? Are you fighting him too?”

“Patience my boy. The one you call Skeletor is among them, but he’s not in charge here. He’s not the one seeking The Power.”

“Then who is?”

“It’s not as much a person as more of an alliance,” the raggedy man said, “An alliance of villains even, including the one you know as Skeletor. They all want something, something they’ll go at great lengths to get at, even if it means tearing apart reality itself. And this… Power, it may just be a tool to help them achieve that.”

“You’re not making any sense,” Man-at-Arms said, “I believe you are on our side, you got that much, but what is this alliance?”

“Le us rewind to the beginning,” the older man said, “In the end everything can be brought back to two primal forces: creation and destruction. Now imagine if these forces grow so much and are concentrated so much, that they take solid form. Sentient form.”

“Like gods.”

“Beyond gods, my boy,” the old man continued, “Even gods can be created and destroyed; no, just the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. These beings once existed but were scattered, no longer in our reality. Now imagine if one of these beings were to return; imagine if it were to be Destruction.”

“Nothing could stop a being like that,” Man-at-Arms realized.

“Exactly. And this is what Skeletor and his new allies are trying to do: to create a situation where this being is brought into this world, to destroy everything. They think they can control it, use it to uncreate reality and recreate it as they see fit, a reality where their heart’s desires are fulfilled. They are deluded, of course, but their evil does not stop them from trying.”

“If that is their goal, then we shall stop them,” a large and broad muscled man said, stepping up into the courtyard as well, “I hope you have not just come to warn us but will join us as well? It sounds like we could use the assistance, friends!”

“He-Man!” Man-at-Arms blurted, recognizing his companion, “Good of you to be here.”

“Perhaps introductions are in order indeed, how rude of us,” the old man smiled, “I am called The Doctor, as is my associate here. The ones behind us are Luke Skywalker the Jedi Knight, Pikachu the Pokémon, The Batman, Erza Scarlett a mage of Fairy Tail, Guy Gardner of the Green Lantern Corps and Piccolo from the planet Namek.”

“A pleasure to meet you,” Man-at-Arms said, “I am the weapons master of Eternia, Man-at-Arms, and this is our champion and protector, He-Man.”

“Any further introductions will have to wait,” He-Man suggested, “You said our enemies are moving against Castle Greyskull; I just got word from the Sorceress who lives there, shortly before coming here; the castle is already under attack!”

“Then there is no time to waste,” Man-at-Arms said resolutely, “Let’s go to Castle Greyskull immediately!”

The group departed immediately, assisted by some of Eternia’s soldiers. And yet only a small battalion of soldiers was sent; Man-at-Arms did not want to risk this being an elaborate ruse to attack the King’s castle, and left a good amount of soldier behind, convinced that he, He-Man and this odd bunch of heroes would be enough to keep their enemy at bay; even the Masters stayed behind, yet on stand by, ready to leap in whenever assistance was needed.
They arrived to find Castle Greyskull under attack, as He-Man had predicted. The enemy forces seemed comprised of a mixture of science and magic, and were laying it on hard on Castle Greyskull, which was protected by a strong energy barrier, which was visibly weakening. “There’s Skeletor,” Man-at-Arms pointed out, gesturing at a man in blue, his face nothing more than a skull, “Looks like he’s leading a battalion of spell casters to weaken the barrier.”

“That man over there is even more dangerous,” the raggedy Doctor said, “There, the one in the back. He’s called The Master, and while he’s not the mastermind of this whole evil plan, I’m pretty sure he’s the strategist behind this attack. If he is, then we can expect the worst.”

“Then we cut off the head and work from there,” Piccolo said, touching his forehead briefly to gather his power, then stretching his arm, pointing two fingers at the Master: “Special Beam Cannon!” – a spiraling energy blast shot from Piccolo’s hand and towards the Master, who glanced sideways upon seeing the energy blast but did not dodge or defend himself. Instead he simply smiled. And then, just before the blast hit it disappeared completely as if it had never been there. And so did Piccolo. The surprised Namek had just enough time to utter a surprised “What the..?!” before he faded out completely.

“What just happened?” He-Man asked, “Did The Master do that?”

“I doubt that, my lad,” the older Doctor said, “There was no sign of any attack, not did anyone move… but the Master, he smiled… he knew. And it was as if… as if the Namek was simply erased from history, as if he never existed here.”

“Something must have happened to him in his past,” the raggedy Doctor said, “Did he perish there? Did they intervene in his past? But the paradox..”

“Can be contained,” the older Doctor said, “How is not important now; what matters is that it happened, and that those over there are involved. What’s important is that we stop them before they breach that barrier.”

“But now they know we’re here,” Luke Skywalker said, “They’re coming for us.”

“Pika pi!” Pikachu said.

“Exactly,” said the older Doctor, “Then we fight. They are strong but so are we. And we have the heroes of Eternia on our side.”

“It doesn’t matter, we came here to drive them off anyway,” He-Man said with determination in his voice, “The only difference is the element of surprise; let’s go! For Eternia!” – and then he charged towards the enemy army, determined to keep Castle Greyskull and his homeland safe.

He-Man immediately went for the group of sorcerers where Skeleton was; he knew his arch enemy, and he knew he could best him, and at the same time he also knew how dangerous he was; it was the best match up. Skeletor smirked when he noticed the approaching He-Man and left his group of sorcerers to do their thing, he himself stepping out to confront his ancient enemy. “He-Man!” he shouted out, “So good of you to come here! Just in time to see Castle Greyskull fall at last!”

“You’re a fool if you think you can win this time, Skeletor,” He-Man said, bringing down his sword, which was blocked by Skeletor’s skeleton staff, “And you’re an even bigger fool if you think you can trust these so-called allies of yours.”

“There are no trust issues here, He-Man,” Skeletor smirked, firing an energy blast from his staff, which He-Man dodged easily, “And no worries about failure either.”

Meanwhile Guy Gardner had encountered the pale wizard known as Lord Voldemort, who was hurling all manner of spells at him, trying to take him down in one shot. But Guy Garder’s willpower protected him as much as his combat skills did, yet every attack he returned Voldemort could counter easily. For now they were equally matched.

Pikachu and Batman on the other hand teamed up against a villain known as Doctor Doom and a wizard called Jafar. Doctor Doom possessed a deadly combination of science and magic, and Jafar too had some dangerous sorcery up his sleeve. On the other hand Pikachu and Batman only had their wits, tech skills and Pikachu’s electric attacks; it seemed like an uneven match, yet Batman and Pikachu’s speed kept the battle even.

The other heroes had engaged with enemies as well, leaving The two Doctors and Man-At-Arms to deal with The Master and the one villain that had remained at his side, the wizard Mumm-Ra. “Doctor!” the Master smiled, “So good of you to come here. Both of you. And what a lovely entourage you brought.”

“This ends here, Master,” the raggedy Doctor threatened, “I won’t let you and your fellows harm the universe anymore.”

“Harm it, Doctor? We’re going to recreate it, make it better than it was before.”

“There’s nothing wrong with the universe,” the Doctor repeated, “Its only flaw is that people like you are in it, trying to diminish it.”

The Master smirked. “Now that’s just harsh, Doctor.”

“So it really is you, Koschei,” the older Doctor said, “How much you’ve changed.”

“You wouldn’t know the half of it, Doctor” the Master replied, “But how kind of you to come here. Taking care of you here and now means taking care of thirteen nuisances at once. It’d be like an instant victory.”

“Is that who you’ve become then?” the older Doctor asked, “Is it?”

“It is not,” the Master replied, “I still like you, Doctor, and one day I will convince you that we are the same – if not in this universe, then in the next. I hope you will join me now, else you will join me then.”

“No!” both Doctors said simultaneously.

“I was afraid you would say that, my old friend,” The Master said.

“This is a pointless debate, and you know it,” Mumm-Ra interrupted, “Allow me, Mumm-Ra to take care of these insects, and your hands shall be not stained with the blood of a friend. Mumm-Ra shall grasp victory for our alliance.”

“Mumm-Ra shall do no such thing,” The Master said, “The Doctor is a competent foe, but I will not allow you to snuff out his flame here. No, instead focus on his allies, who are the immediate threat. And instead ensure our access to Castle Greyskull, Mumm-Ra. Coordinate the efforts of the wizards now that Skeletor has stepped out to fight.”

“Very well,” Mumm-Ra said, “I shall hasten myself to the battle in his stead.”

“Hasten?” the raggedy Doctor chuckled, “Apologies, Mumm-Ra, but you look old and decayed, hardly one to hasten to battle.”

Mumm-Ra smirked. “Is that so, whelp? Do you think the master of evil would truly be so frail and weak?” – and then he spread his bony arms wide, beginning a transformation chant: “Ancient spirits of Evil, transformed this decayed form… into Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living!” – and transform he did. It happened in seconds, but the bandages were torn and his body grew in size and strength, and where the pale mummified wizard had stood, there now was Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living, a powerful muscled warrior and user of magic.

“Impressive,” the raggedy Doctor complimented.

And then Mumm-Ra took flight, crossing the battlefield in seconds and landing with the sorcerers who were still assaulting the mystic barrier. “Why has this barrier not been breached yet? What is taking you so long?”

“The barrier is strong, lord Mumm-Ra,” one of the wizards apologized, “Wearing it down takes time, but we sense that the barrier has weakened. If we weaken it like this for ten minutes more, it should collapse.”

“You really are a miserable lot,” Mumm-Ra said, “Have you looked at this battle? We are evenly matched at this moment. That means we are keeping our enemies at bay for now, but at the same time they could just as easily break through and focus on you lot, burning you to a crisp… like THIS!” – and he stretched his hand out at the wizard, who spontaneously combusted and was reduced to ashes in seconds. “And we can’t have that, can we?”

“But Lord Mumm-Ra,” a second sorcerer said, “He spoke the truth; we need more time to wear the barrier down. And weakening our number won’t…-”

“Sometimes draining gives you only so much of a result,” he said, stretching the palm of his hand towards the group of mages, drawing their magic and life force from them, weakening them, though he left them alive, absorbing their power into his own, “And you have to try a different approach to get what you want.”

“Lord Mumm-Ra..?”

“You can continue to try and siphon away at the strength of that which is opposing you,” he continued, raising his hand and collecting the energy he had stolen into a ball of energy above his head, “Or you can break through with one last thrust and claim your prize!” -and he hurled the ball of energy at Castle Greyskull with all his might. The combined bolt of magic and life force crashed into the invisible mystic barrier, and the result was overwhelming: the barrier flickered and resisted a while longer, trying to absorb the power, then failed and collapsed. The remnant of the energy blast shattered as well into smaller blasts, which catapulted into the walls of Castle Greyskull, causing several explosions that blew pieces of the wall to pieces. It was enough to silence the battlefield for the time being. “And now the castle is ours,” Mumm-Ra smirked.

“Incredible!” He-Man gasped, “They actually broke through.”

“As I hoped they would,” Skeletor grinned, then suddenly withdrew and thrust back his staff, hitting He-Man in the stomach hard and unexpected, not enough to hurt him, but enough to knock him over. “Now, you remember our little talk about betrayal and the questions you asked?”

“What..?”

“You’re right, there are some trust issues,” Skeletor smirked, “Only I am not the one who’s getting betrayed…” – and then he was gone, just like that, so fast that He-Man could not determine if he’d teleported or simply ran off using magic. It didn’t matter, now that Castle Greyskull’s defenses had been breached it was obvious where he was headed.

* * *

Deep inside Castle Greyskull the powerful woman known as The Sorceress sat on her throne, waiting for what was to come. Through her mirror had she watched the battle as it unfolded and only a short while ago she had felt the tremors that shook the castle when the wizard Mumm-Ra breached the mystic barrier as well as the castle walls. Even now she could sense the enemy making its way in. There were traps for those that did not know their way, but she knew it would only delay them, not stop them. It would be only a matter of time before they reached her.

She also knew that they would not be the first. “Greetings, Keldor. I was expecting you.”

“You caught me sneaking in then with your little mirror?” Skeletor said, stepping out from the shadows, “And here I was thinking I had cloaked myself so well from friends and foes alike. Most impressive, Sorceress.”

“Do not diminish yourself, Skeletor, your concealment was perfect, I did not notice you until you were inside this room. However I knew this day would come.”

“Ah… premonitions then?”

“When I first became the Sorceress, I had three visions in my dreams. The first was your fall as Keldor and your rise as Skeletor. The second was the rise of He-Man and your greatest defeat. The third was the meeting we have now, and my end.”

“You saw your own end, yet you made no effort to warn He-Man?” Skeletor asked, “Are you that much of a believer in fate? Foolish child.”

“No matter what influence I use, how much I try to change it, the outcome will always be the same,” the Sorceress said, “Though some details may be different, the outcome will be that I fall here today. And the Castle Greyskull will be destroyed.”

“Then you are a fool!” Skeletor shouted, firing a bolt of energy directly at her with his staff, “Embrace your fate then, Sorceress! And perish!”

Just then a tall figure stepped out from the shadows between the Sorceress and Skeletor, intercepting the energy blast which exploded against his metallic skin. The energy of the blast illuminated the room, showing the figure of the newcomer briefly, a tall robot, towering above them both. For a moment there was silence, Skeletor too was too stumped to move.

“I saw my end, and I knew you would be here no matter what,” the Sorceress continued, rising and stepping down from her throne, “But by no means will I resign in my fate. You’ve brought these outsiders here with the promise of a doom greater than you could cause on your own, and so I too have made preparations.”

“I see,” Skeletor said, standing upright to take in his opponent, instead of attacking first, “Some details may be different indeed; not the small ones either. Very crafty, Sorceress.”

“Meet Optimus Prime,” the Sorceress introduced, “A highly intelligent robotic life form from the planet Cybertron. When I told him of my peril, he was willing to offer his assistance. In exchange for peace on his homeworld.”

“Quite a price,” Skeleton laughed, “Given the fact that you have been struggling to create peace here on Eternia for so many years!”

“And yet she succeeded,” Optimus Prime interrupted, his voice booming through the empty halls of Castle Greyskull, “She banished the leader of our enemies, the Decepticons, and as a result their ranks fell apart and a once mighty army was reduced to mere rabble. Peace soon followed.”

“And in return, Optimus Prime followed me here to assist me in my darkest hour,” the Sorceress concluded.

“As if a big metal man can stop me!” Skeletor shouted, firing another energy blast. Optimus Prime pulled back, then punched, hitting the energy blast with his fist and scattering the blast completely with no harm to himself, save for some burn marks on his hand.

“All life deserves to exist,” Optimus Prime warned, pulling out a large rifle which to Skeletor was more like a massive cannon, “And if your reality is not to your liking, then strive to improve yourselves instead of finding an easy way out. Back to where you came from, Skeletor!” – and he fired, shooting a massive energy blast from the riffle, which Skeletor was barely able to dodge. The blast impacted in the wall behind him, nearly completely obliterating it.

“All life no matter how rotten?” Skeletor sneered, firing a bright ball of energy which floated up in front of Optimus, then exploded with bright light, blinding the huge robot for a moment, “Would you permit me to exist as well, Prime?” he added, firing another energy blast which shattered the base of a massive column. The column began to tumble and collapsed forward, straight at Optimus Prime. The robot, alerted by the sound, turned around and tried to catch it, to push it aside, but it was too heavy and the huge chunks of stone threw him to the ground, half covering him. The huge rifle lay just out of reach, so Optimus had no way of freeing himself quickly. “Would you grant mercy to those who wouldn’t?” Skeletor asked, now directly in front of Optimus, aiming his ram staff at the robot’s head to deliver the final blow. “I sure wouldn’t.”

His final blow was prevented when the Sorceress suddenly attacked him, shooting several bolts of energy at him. Skeletor sensed the attack coming and leapt backwards, away from Optimus Prime, dodging the attack. He immediately targeted his new opponent, shooting back several blasts of black energy. The sorceress tried to dodge, tried to deflect a few, but eventually one attack hit, sending her flying backwards and onto the cold floor. She did not get up again. “For someone who’s supposed to be protecting an almighty power, you are fairly weak in magic,” Skeletor sneered, walking past her, “But you did your duty well for so many years. Now allow me to relieve you of it.”

“You can’t…” she gasped.

“Watch me,” Skeletor sniggered, advancing to a huge glowing sphere behind where the sorceress had fallen, one swirling with mists and energy, “The Power of the ancients, the power to rule the cosmos, it shall be mine at last.”

“Ours, you mean to say, Skeletor?” Mumm-Ra corrected, suddenly in the doorway as well, “I heard that wrong, did I not?”

“Why, Mumm-Ra, I did not expect to see you here so soon,” Skeletor grinned, “It seems I overestimated the traps placed in Castle Greyskull just a tiny bit.”

“From the looks of things it seems we overestimated your loyalty to the cause, Skeletor,” Mumm-Ra retorted, “I knew I sensed something rotten.”

“Why, whatever are you talking about? I am after all the Skeleton, and you are the rotting mummy here.”

“I warn you, Skeletor, do not play games with us, with me…” Mumm-Ra said, taking a step forward, his eyes glowing ominously, “We need that power to release the one who will break reality. You would get Eternia, and you would help us obtain The Power for our goals. That is what we agreed upon!”

Even though a skull could display only so much emotion, Skeletor’s face couldn’t have looked more devious at that exact moment. “I lied,” he replied, then fired an energy blast at the ceiling, collapsing it and completely blocking the way, shutting Mumm-Ra and those with him outside, with Skeletor, the Sorceress and Optimus Prime the only ones on the other side. “I always lie,” Skeletor smirked.

And then his body was pierced by a blast of sizzling hot energy. It would have been enough to kill any man instantly, but Skeletor was not any man and remained standing. “What… how..?” he uttered as he turned around, clutching his chest, although there was nothing to clutch.

“Did you think you were discussing your treachery with me?” Mumm-Ra said, stepping up from behind the orb which held The Power, “Ever since ‘I heard that wrong’ have you been talking to a cheap clone conjured by magic instead of to Mumm-Ra.”

“A ploy to buy time,” Skeletor realized, “To sneak past me undetected. You knew I was going to betray you.”

“From the start,” Mumm-Ra smirked, “The Master and our other allies were more trusting in your word than I was. You see, Skeletor; I -am- evil, so I know evil and deceit when I see it.”

“I see…” Skeletor said, his staff dropping from his hand while he struggled to remain standing, “Then… the only pleasure I will get from this, from my demise, will be knowing that you won’t be obtaining The Power either, Mumm-Ra…”

“What are you talking about, whelp?”

Skeletor tried to answer, but the breath failed him. Sinking to one knee, he finally summoned the strength: “The Sorceress… she has been spying… on us. Have you not.. figured out what she used…?”

“Would it matter?” Mumm-Ra replied growing impatient, “We have won already.”

“She used… That…” Skeletor said, pointing to some place behind Mumm-Ra. The evil sorcerer, by instinct, turned around to look at what Skeletor had been pointing at. And was then confronted with his own reflection, his true rotten appearance, in the bright shining glass of the Sorceress’ mirror. Mumm-Ra shrieked, for his reflection was his weakness, and immediately his mighty form decayed back into the mummified sorcerer he had been before, then was catapulted through the air and through one of the windows, landing back outside where he crouched away, his weakened form now expelled by the powerful goodness radiating from Castle Greyskull.

“You tricked him,” the Sorceress knew, “You would rather trick him than letting him have this castle and its power.”

“One last trick…” Skeletor smirked, his body heavy, as was his breathing, “But so… did you; you did not sent Optimus Prime… to stop me… but to delay me… so that Mumm-Ra would… catch up.. you knew I would… betray him…!”

“All evil knows is betrayal, Skeletor,” He-Man said, stepping inside now, with the two Doctors accompanying him, “You could have had it all, had you trusted your allies.”

“Spare me… lecture…” Skeletor groaned, then collapsed. And truly did not get up again.

“What about the battle?” the Sorceress asked.

“The enemy knows the battle is lost,” He-Man said, “They have begun a chaotic retreat; I picked up these two chit-chatting with The Master, who did not seem too pleased. He got away though.”

“The Master is very good at escaping,” the Doctor said, “But this is not over yet. Castle Greyskull is secure, and our enemy will never gain advantage here anymore, but they are creative as they are desperate. I fear we are approaching their endgame.”

“Then what now, Doctor?” the Sorceress asked.

“We regroup once again at Aproxas and determine where our enemies will perform the ritual to bring the Unmaker into this world,” the raggedy Doctor said, “It isn’t set yet, but with only one or two black holes remaining, we should be able to determine an approximately location in time and space, at least we’ll get the time right, and the location… well, up to a few billion light years, maybe…”

“That’s okay, my boy,” the older Doctor said, “With that much information, the enemy themselves will reveal their final location to us. Or do you think they’d leave such an important location undefended at this time, hm?”

“Ah,” the raggedy Doctor realized, “I get it. The enemy will give themselves away… communication signals, ship movements… even with that much space left for us to explore, it should be easy to determine the patterns, right?”

The Doctor smiled. “Of course.”

“I will accompany you,” He-Man said resolutely, “Skeletor is beaten, but this threat is greater than anything else. As a champion of good and life I must assist!”

“Then go,” the Sorceress said, “Eternia shall be safe for now, as long as you do not fail. And good luck to you all.”

And so they left, regrouping and returning to the two TARDISes. They had come a long way, but the road ahead would lead to their greatest confrontation yet. And the outcome was all but certain.

(word count: 44168/50000)

Skeletor.

Skeletor.

Chapter 15 – Battle against the Demon Dragon King

The game played out exactly as they had anticipated. The Mazoku that had escaped fled as fast as he could, wanting to make sure that any pursuers would be lost or would simply give up on chasing him. He traveled west for a good two hours, then stopped in what was a small abandoned hunter’s village. The group had not traveled closer yet, but it was as good as certain that this was where Gaav was hiding. Their suspicions were confirmed later on by Xelloss. Even though he was a Mazoku himself and not to be trusted, Xelloss was of a different faction and thus the the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend logic played out here. Xelloss could easily shift into the astral plane and travel closer, investigating the going on in the village, and later on indeed confirmed the presence of the Demon Dragon King Gaav there.

And so came the next logical question, as asked by Naga: “Now what?”

“Now we storm the lair of our enemy and smite them like they were never smitten before!” Thor said, holding his hammer high aloft, “I for one look forward to battle!”

“So very surprised about that,” Xelloss grinned, then pulled out a little smartphone, holding it up as he took a picture of himself: “Selfie!”

“Charging in there is a bit like suicide,” Naga said, “There’s a lot of strong Mazoku in there. But also a lot of small fry to deal with that can still do some damage in these huge numbers.”

“I agree,” the Doctor said, “We’ll need subtlety. Either we take out Gaav directly so that his army scatters, or we find a way to disperse the army.”

“We could search for a binding spell,” Sam suggested, “That should take care of the weaker ones at least.”

“Yeah, but only until one of the larger ones finds a way to break the seal,” Dean protested, “Tricky.”

“Then we divide and conquer our foes after all?” Thor suggested again.

“Perhaps,” the Doctor said, “But we need a way to get closer subtly; no rash actions just yet.”

“Like Miss Lina is doing?” Xelloss grinned.

“…pledge myself to conquer all the foes who stand..”

“Lina?” Naga squeaked, “Is that… are you casting..?!”

And indeed she was. “Dragon Slave!” Lina shouted, unleashing the destructive energy she had gathered and hurling it directly into the center of the tiny village. What followed was a massive explosion of magic and fire with the effect of a small nuclear bomb that burned away the entire village and part of the surrounding village, leaving a smoldering crater.

“So much for subtle,” Dean grumbled sarcastically.

“Incredible,” Sam gasped, staring at the smoking crater, “Did that take care of them all?”

“Gaav wouldn’t fall because of that,” Xelloss said, smiling, “Any I suspect some of the stronger Mazoku has survived as well, though not all unscathed. But it should have taken care of the small fry at least. Oh, and of the element of surprise as well.”

Just then the rubble inside the crater began to move, and suddenly a shout was heard as a massive human figure stood upright out of the rubble, clutching his fist as he rose. He word a long yellow trench-coat and had long fiery red hair, yet his figure and face both radiated pure badass-ness. “And there’s the man himself,” Lina said, “Hope I didn’t disrupt his beauty sleep.”
More movement could be seen in the crater below and various other Mazoku in different shapes and sizes arose, some bleeding an odd ooze, others seemingly bruised and several not injured at all. There weren’t hat many monsters left, but certainly more than enough to give them a good deal of trouble.

“A Dragon Slave?!” Gaav shouted, loud enough for them all to hear, “That’s quite a way to make an entrance, Miss Lina Inverse! Why don’t you lot come down here, so I can show you how to cause some REAL destruction!”

“Well, well,” Xelloss replied, stepping up beside Lina, smirking as usual, “Some real destruction, Demon Dragon King? Does that mean you’re finally going to trip over your own shoelaces?”

“Xelloss,” Gaav spat, “I should’ve known you would be involved in this as well; what’s the matter? Is Zelas losing too many of her pets and has she sent our her little boy scout to go fetch?”

“Don’t speak so casually of the Beast Master, Gaav. It’s not your place.”

“What are you going to do,” Gaav grinned, “A little priest like you is no match for me. You never was, never will be. You are the one who should know your place, Xelloss!”

“I know,” Xelloss grinned, “That’s why I’m going to pick off your little minions one by one, starting with the ones that served under Zelas but defected; in the meantime, I’ve arranged for a suitable playmate for you. What better than to deal with one of Shabranigdo’s strongest disciples than by sending out an actual god?”

“Me?” Thor asked, puzzled, “You, a demon, think it in your place to call upon the God of Thunder to do your bidding?”

“I was hoping you’d do it voluntarily,” Xelloss said, smiling, “I’ve measured your strength as we were traveling. Gaav and you are closely matched. Wouldn’t you want to see who is the stronger one?”

“Measure my strength?” Thor repeated, “How?”

“It’s a gift all we Mazoku share,” Xelloss explained, “Everyone and everything in the universe is made of the same universal energy, however the energy within sentient individuals is differently and stronger; we Mazoku can sense this energy and thus measure it. And the energy of you two is very much the same in strength.”

“Verily,” Thor grinned, swinging his hammer and stepping into the crater, approaching Gaav, “Then let us find out which one of us is truly stronger. I look forward to a good battle!”

“And so the fires are lit,” the Doctor said, “Shall we join the fray as well?”

“You don’t look like much of a fighter,” Naga commented, “And isn’t the Doctor supposed to be the healer of the team?”

“I am usually not one of fighting but of words,” the Doctor said, “But this incarnation of me has seen and done so much. Trust me, you will be surprised.”

“Time to run interference, Sammy,” Dean Winchester said, “These Mazoku are here on the physical plane only partially, most of their body resides in another plane of existence; let’s see if we can disrupt their presence here, eh?”

“With you, Dean,” Sammy said, and they rushed off to find the high ground and prepare some sort of spell.

“Shall we?” Naga cheered.

“It’s what we do,” Lina replied, “Let’s go.”

“I’ll show you who’s the better demon slayer here!” Naga said cheerfully and ran off into the crater laughing, hurling ice magic left and right. Lina face-palmed, then followed suit as well.

The battle was hard and chaotic. Lina and Naga focused on the stronger Mazoku that were left, using a wide variety of shamanistic, fire-based and ice spells to keep them on their toes. One Mazoku in particular was giving them a hard time, a being composed entirely of shadow that seemed able to dodge most of their magic with ease, but it because less of a threat when it movements were restricted by Sam and Dean Winchester who had used some sort of binding spell on it. Meanwhile Xelloss was doing exactly what he had said, backstabbing the stronger Mazoku and taking them out with one or two very effective blows.

“Looks like your men are struggling,” Thor said, standing face to face with Gaav himself, “Shouldn’t you be a good general and organize them? Help them regroup?”

“I never asked to be a general,” Gaav replied, “And they can take care of themselves once they get used to your allies’ attacks. That’s when the tide will turn. I’ll lead by example and show them how to crush an opponent personally instead!”

“Big words,” Thor grinned, “Then have at thee, villain!”

“Who are you calling a villain?!” Gaav shouted, bringing down his massive sword with one hand, which Thor was barely able to block, “You, from your petty viewpoint? What do you even know about me?!”

“I know you’re amassing an army of monsters!” Thor shouted back, swinging his hammer down at Gaav this time, who in turn parried, “I know you’re a being born from chaos with a goal to eradicate existence! I know you’re siding with those that seek to unmake the universe! How it that not evil?!”

“I only seek to end existence so it can be recreated without strife!” Gaav shouted, bringing his sword down so hard that it forced Thor to his knees, “Do you even know the history of this world, Thunderer?! We Mazoku exist solely to destroy! To bring this world back to nothingness! Years ago I was fused with a human soul and it has broadened my perspective, I no longer strife for this, I want to end this pointless cycle that was created at the beginning of all… and what better way than to start over again! From the beginning!”

“And how is that not wrong?” Thor shouted, “If you want to right wrongs, try fixing them, not erasing the world’s mistakes!” – he then raised his hammer high, summoning a thunderstorm above them. A single lightning blast came down, caught by his hammer before he flung it at Gaav. The Demon Dragon King blocked it, but was pushed backward a few feet because of it, “I will not permit this, monster!”

Meanwhile Xelloss had run into some trouble of his own, ensnared by a pair of twin Mazoku who had ambushed him as he took out one of their brethren. One of them was holding him with the tentacles he had for arms, the other was advancing with swords for arms. “So the Beast Master did not approve of us leaving?” one of them said, “She should’ve left us alone. Perhaps your death will convince her of that, Xelloss.”

“Doubt it,” Xelloss grinned, “I very much doubt it.”

“You doubt Zelas would call off the hunt for us when we kill you?”

“No,” Xelloss said, smirking slyly as he suddenly broke free, dodging the blade which pierced the other Mazoku, “I very much doubt you could kill me.”

“Bastard!” the wounded Mazoku growled, just before Xelloss drove his staff through him, silencing him permanently. “Nothing personal, just need to make an example out of you two” Xelloss grinned, “Okay, maybe a bit personal, as I’ve always found you two quite annoying.”

“Looks like your little buddies are giving up quite a show,” a Mazoku that was facing off against Lina Inverse grinned. He was made of stone and dirt, and it made it difficult to use fire spells on them, “They’re actually keeping us on the ropes.”

“It’s an unusual team, not one I’d choose, but they get the job done,” Lina said with a sly smile, “But shouldn’t you be focusing on your opponent instead?”

“Why,” the Mazoku grinned, “Your fire spells are hardly affecting me, and your shaman spells take too long to cast. This battle is mine to win.” and then something distracted him again, he looked up to the edge of the crater, “But those otherworldly human friends of yours are quite annoying. Their spells are slowing us, hurting us. And now they’re trying to restrain me. You’ll have to excuse me, Miss Inverse.”

“Don’t you dare..!”

But he dared and was already gone, suddenly moving ridiculously fast despite his bulky body. He dashed up the crater towards where Dean and Sam where hiding and practicing their spells. Then, just as he reached the edge his body was enveloped in ice and shattered. “Never let your guard down with me, monster!” Naga giggled, then ran off back down to join the battle again.

The Doctor meanwhile was not engaging any of the Mazoku at all, yet walked through the battlefield, ignoring the ongoing battles and stepping straight towards Gaav, who had just fought to a standstill and saw him approaching. Thor waited, seeing as Gaav’s interest has shifted to the Doctor, waiting to see how this would play out. “The Demon Dragon King, I presume?” the Doctor asked.

“And you are the one that is here to stop me, the ringleader so to say,” Gaav said, “The Master told me about you, Doctor. He told me about what kind of person you are, and how you shun violence and the abuse of power. He warned me to stay vigilant, but to be honest you sound less strong than he made you believe. In fact, I find you weak.”

“There is strength in weakness,” the Doctor said, “But both you and the Master have made a crucial mistake in your thinking and assumptions.”

“Oh? And that is?”

“You’re talking about my other incarnations. I am the one they all forgot, the one that almost burned our home and that fought the Daleks for hundreds of years. I am not entirely like them,” and with that the Doctor pulled out a small spherical device, hurling it at Gaav’s feet. Immediately the device activated, sending out a jolt to the direct surrounding area. The Doctor and Thor both seemed unaffected, but Gaav immediately sank to his knees, screaming in pain. “I heard you Mazoku lot exist on the astral plane and that that’s where most of your bodies are,” the Doctor said, “This device attacks creatures on another plane of existence. It was originally created by a race who thought they were dealing with ‘ghosts’ but were actually creatures from another existence. But with some modifications it would work just as well here. I don’t have time for dialogue and reasoning, Gaav. This device will destroy your astral body completely, simple as that.”

“And they call me the monster…” Gaav said, showing an amused grin as he looked up at the Doctor defiantly. The Doctor did not answer.

And then Gaav’s body flared up and disintegrated completely, the ruin of his astral body affecting his body in the real world as well, which could no longer be sustained. “No time at all…” the Doctor repeated softly, picking up the device again and turning it off.

“That’s a most impressive something,” Xelloss said, stepping towards the Doctor, “Even though he had gone rogue, even though he was merged with a human body, Gaav was still one of Shabranigdo’s strongest generals, one of the strongest Mazoku in existence. To think such a tiny device could defeat him so easily… Amazing.”

The Doctor said nothing, but tossed the device at Xelloss’ feet, who stopped immediately, his eyes widening in shock: “What? Why..?!”

“Because I know what you are and what you can do,” the Doctor said, “And I know you can’t be trusted, not in this alliance, and not ever.” -and then he pressed the button and activated the device, and almost instantly Xelloss’ body was blown away as well. “Sorry,” the Doctor said, though there was no one to say sorry to.

The remaining Mazoku scattered and fled; they would not be able to return to their former masters, but by now they had realized that staying here would be suicide as well. The Doctor’s companions gathered around him, glad the battle was over, but somewhat taken aback by the Doctor’s methods. “We should be going now,” the Doctor said.

“I will not be going with you,” Lina said, “I’m sorry, Doctor. Xelloss was a weirdo and a Mazoku, but he did not deserve this fate; not here, out of the blue.”

“I do not blame you for that, Miss Inverse,” the Doctor said, “I would not have come along either when in your shoes. I hope we restored some peace to your world, but the remainder of our battle lies elsewhere.”

“Aye,” Thor said, “And I hope it will remain a true battle that time, and not one of trickery like this one.”

“Trust me, Thor, there will be plenty of real battles to come.

And so the battle against the Mazoku army had ended; the enemy had been dealt a severe blow, but certainly not a fatal one. In turn the Doctor and his allies had been dealt a blow as well, their confidence in each other shaken up a bit by the War Doctor’s actions. Lina and Naga returned to their journeys while the Doctor and his group returned to their TARDIS, returning back to their companions. They had struck a victory, but the greatest battle still lay ahead.

(word count: 39129/50000)

Chapter 14 – What’s more destructive than a Dragon Slave inside a porcelain shop?

‘The Pickled Jellyfish’ was a small restaurant that was known far and wide in the area for its seafood delicacies. Many a traveler or adventurer with some coin in their pockets made sure to visit the restaurant while they were in town and every day the restaurant manager was swamped with requests of young men and women who were looking for a job at the Jellyfish.

George had been a waiter at the Pickled Jellyfish for over five years now and was more than happy with his job. There were ups and there were down, and most of those downs consisted of difficult customers giving him and the crew a hard time, but he could deal with those – for customers came and went, and an annoying customer would probably not return anyway. But today was different, for this customer was something else and getting on his nerves, though he wasn’t sure why, perhaps it was her attitude or her cheerful demeanor, but she simply got to him. Little did he know this was only the beginning of a long and disastrous day.

There were two of them, though he doubted they were master and apprentice. In fact they were more like sisters, cheering and eating and bickering as only siblings could, or very weird friends. One of them stood out physically, a tall young lady with long dark blue hair. But what stood out most of her was the combination of what she was wearing (which wasn’t much, it was armor, though it looked more like a bikini.. so it could not possibly offer much protection) and the size of her breasts, which was larger than any other restaurant patron he had seen. The other was less notable, a young redhead that was small in both length and cup size, but she in turn stood out with her attitude and loud mouth; and even though she was friendly, that loud attitude was getting on his nerves.

“Could I get another order of pickled jellyfish!” the redhead exclaimed, probably for the fourth time; that was the positive aspects about these two: they could eat well enough, more than a platoon of veteran soldiers. And it looked like they could afford it too, “Flambé, please!”

“LINA INVERSE!” a burly man suddenly shouted from the door opening of the restaurant, stepping inside and towards the two, “I’ve been looking for you!” – so that’s what her name was, at least. And then he froze, for he remembered the name well. The sorceress of destruction, the one dragons stepped over, the destroyer of whole towns. THAT Lina Inverse.

“SOME GUY!” Lina yelled back, “Looks, mister, I have no idea who you are, but I’m in the middle of having dinner right about now. Whatever it is, I’m sure it can wait.”

“I’m afraid it can not, miss Inverse,” the main said, standing at the edge of her table, “I insist you listen to me right now.”

“And I insist that I finish my dinner first,” Lina replied, “Now go sit in the corner or something and wait for me to finish. You’re pissing me off.”

And then the burly man flipped the table with one hand, tossing all the food on the floor and over the taller female companion, who squeaked awkwardly.

And then Lina rose up and punched him so hard that he flew backwards, crashing straight through a table and landing against a wall. “Fireball!” she shouted, and a ball of fire burst from her hand, engulfing the poor man and blowing up a good portion of the wall, sending the man toppling outside. This demon girl truly lived up to her name.

It looked like the girl wasn’t done there. Lina Inverse stomped towards the hole in the wall and stepped outside, her face like thunder, closely followed by the large-breasted lady, who had now brushed the food remains off her body but still seemed vaguely amused by the whole situation. “What’s the big idea with introducing yourself like that?” she blurted, “You really must have some kind of death wish!”

“But it seems I did get your attention,” the main said, remarkably unhurt, and remarkably quick on his feet again, “Food always has been a weakness of yours, hasn’t it, Lina Inverse?”

“You’re looking mighty healthy,” Lina said, her angry expression slowly growing into a sly grin, “Most ordinary folk will be out for a couple of days after taking a blast like that; but you’re no ordinary folk, are you?”

The man had an almost unnatural grin on his face and a peculiar body stance as his body began to glow with an ominous red light. “Nothing escapes your notice, does it, Miss Lina Inverse?” he said, sniggering, “That’s why you hit me with your fireball spell? Because you knew I could take it?”

“No, because you pissed me off.”

“Lina? I don’t think he’s human,” the taller woman said.

“Good deduction, Naga,” Lina answered with sarcasm, “The disguise is good, as always, but this one’s definitely Mazoku. A demon monster.”

“A child would have guessed that by now,” the main said, transforming into a monstrous form, a bull with four arms and glowing yellow eyes, “But knowing will not save you from destruction, girl!”

“Naga! Bind him!”

The taller lady called Naga cackled with an insidious laughter, then rolled up her long sleeves. “With pleasure! Demona Crystal!” – and a burst of water and cold shot down from the ground surrounding the monstrous bull, instantly enveloping him in a firm block of cold ice. “One Bullcicle, coming up!” Naga said, and she laughed again.

“Good,” Lina grinned, “This one’s pissed me off too much; I’m not letting him get off so easily by just blowing him up – we’re going to dump this block of ice in the deepest river we can find.”

And then the ice began to crack and finally burst open as the demon bull used raw strength to break himself free. “Aren’t you grossly underestimating me, Lina Inverse?!”

Lina smirked. “Aren’t -you- underestimating -me-?” she replied, “You really think a simple binding spell is all I’m going to use on you?”

“You don’t mean…”

Lina nodded, and began casting one of her deadliest spells: “Power beyond twilight, and crimson blood that flows…” – it was the start of the Dragon Slave, a terribly powerful spell that drew power from the Demon Lord himself and created an explosion large enough to level a city, or a dragon. It was more than enough to deal with a demon.

“You can’t be serious!” the Mazoku shouted, “A Dragon Slave? We’re in the middle of a city!”

“It’s a gift the citizens would gladly make to be rid of you!” Lina said, interrupting her spell, then continued casting.

“NO WE WOULD’T!” the citizens shouted, then ran for cover.

A small sphere of crimson energy appeared between Lina’s hands, a gathering of the energy she needed for the spell, which was now almost complete. And then, just as she was about to finish, someone placed a hand on hers, covering it and interrupting the spell. “Don’t,” he said, an old man with a short beard and grey hair, dressed in long boots and a leather coat, a worn expression on his face, “That kind of power is not needed here.”

“Are you out of your mind?!” Lina shouted.

The old man smiled. “A little.”

“Thank you very much, old man!” the Mazoku grinned, charging towards them, “As a reward I’ll let you watch while I tear the rest of this village apart! You will be last!”

“Here it comes! Cast another spell!” Naga shouted.

“No time!” Lina shouted back, “You do it!”

“No time!” Naga shouted back again, “It’ll get us!”

“This way then, ladies. Follow me!” the old man shouted and he ran. The Mazoku was almost upon them, so Lina and Naga had no chance but to follow suit – the thing had the upper hand, and they needed some distance and time to cast a new spell. And so they ran.
The old man’s flight pattern was almost erratic, running from building to building and through alleyways and finally back to the main street where they had originally started running. And the Mazoku was still behind them, closing in, raising its four arms to grab the closest of them, which happened to be Naga.

And then suddenly it stopped, freezing in place, unable to move: “What? What?!”

“What happened?” Naga asked, just as puzzled as the Mazoku was.

A pair of men stepped out into the open, a small rough looking young man in a leather jacket and a taller one with somewhat rough hair. “Binding spell,” the taller one said, “Works on pretty much every type of demon. He’s helpless in there.”

“Oh really?” Lina grinned, “He can’t get out?”

“And his power is sealed,” the old man said, “These two youngsters I’ve been traveling with have some interesting tricks up their sleeves.”

“That they do!” a broad shouldered man with long blonde hair said, stepping out as well, “They have the true spirit of adventure within them, I would love to welcome to Walhalla one day when their mortal bodies die!”

“Which is a long time away, I hope,” the man with the leather jacket protested.

“Who are you guys anyway?” Naga asked.

“Travelers on a special mission,” the old man said, “These two men who helped you are Sam and Dean Winchesters, two hunters of monsters and all things supernatural. I’m called The Doctor and the tall one calls himself Thor, God of Thunder.”

“Modest is he?”

“But so true,” Naga said, fawning over Thor.

“Are you going to let me out?” the bull monster growled, “This is embarrassing, you know!”

“Can’t you bind his mouth as well?” Naga complained.

“So thanks for helping out at least,” Lina said, “Though you did interrupt my spell! We could have handled it!”

“Perhaps, but I’m sure the citizens would prepare their city intact,” Sam Winchester retorted, “Are you always this violent?”

“She prefers the term ‘flamboyant,” Naga corrected.

“What do you guys want here anyway?” Lina asked, ignoring Sam’s remarks and Naga’s comment.

“We’re here to stop an ancient evil that threatens our world as well as yours,” The Doctor said, “Tell me, Miss Inverse, do you believe in other worlds?”

“I do,” Lina replied, “I’ve met visitors from other worlds before, even seen monsters from other worlds. Everybody knows about the four worlds created by the Lord of Nightmares. But how do you know my name?”

“The four worlds you speak of, they are special indeed, created by the same powerful entity,” the Doctor said, “But make no mistake, the universe is vast and infinite and there are many different realities. Far more worlds out there than those created by the Lord of Nightmares. But to answer your question: I am a Time Lord, I travel through time and space, and this gives me plenty of time to study those I wish to meet, to get to know them better.”

“You were spying on me?!” Lina blurted out, interpreting it wrongly.

“Surely not in the shower, not much to see there,” Naga taunted. It earned her a bump on the head from Lina’s fist.

“Not directly,” the Doctor said, “The information I gathered was indirectly, rumors of your exploits, tales of your deeds, memoires from your future self. Things that are common knowledge in the future… your future.”

“It still sounds a bit.. awkward,” Lina replied.

“You’ll get used to awkward, trust me,” Dean said.

“Aye!” Thor the thunder god added.

“You were talking about an ancient evil,” Lina continued, “But you don’t mean the Lord of Nightmares, right? Something… beyond that?” -it was a difficult thing for her to grasp, for the very notion would shake everything their world’s belief system was based on. To think there was something beyond the Sea of Chaos that had created all and would one day devour all.

“Indeed,” the Doctor continued, “Though in a way it is the same as your struggle. Your world was created from chaos and is held in balance by those who would uphold it and fight for life and creation, and those who would destroy everything and return the world to nothingness, like the Mazoku before you.”

“Glad you still remember me,” the Mazoku growled, showing an amused grin, despite his predicament.

“What do we do with the Mazoku?” Naga asked, “He’s kinda cute… Can I keep him as a pet?”

“Later, Naga,” Lina grumbled.

“There is a group out there who seeks to resurrect an ancient force of destruction into this world,” the Doctor continued, “To call it evil would be too blunt perhaps, but it exists solely to uncreate. Once it is unleashed, it will be the end of everything.”

“Not a good thing,” Dean added.

“I also discovered our enemy has an influence in this world here,” The Doctor continued, “They’ve enlisted one of the Mazoku race to do their business, though we’re not sure yet what that business is and what they’re up to -only that it involves your world.”

“Quite a secret,” a purple haired priest with a long staff said, smirking and suddenly appearing out of nowhere.

“Xelloss!” Lina exclaimed, “So you’re the one aiding this.. enemy!?”

“Of course not,” Xelloss grinned, “Well, not that I know of at least; I’m just here because I was up for a chat.”

“I find that a bit hard to believe,” Lina said, glaring at him.

“Okay… and I found the time traveler interesting.”

“And you must be Xelloss, the trickster priest, and servant of the Beast Master,” the Doctor said, looking at the strange priest with strange interest. Then his vision darkened a bit, though only Xelloss noticed it for they made direct eye contact: “History and the memoires of Miss Inverse also mentioned a lot about you, Trickster, and about the role you’ll play in things to come.”

“I’m sure they were all lovely,” Xelloss said, his demeanor unchanged, even though he had noticed the Doctor’s glare, “Can’t help a good Mazoku for trying after all.”

“So where do we go from here?” Thor asked, “Instead of talking, let us take this battle to our enemies. Do we know where we can find them? who their ally here is?”

“We do,” the Doctor said, “I managed to find out at least that much. Our enemies is one of the top ranking Mazoku of this world, and that will make our battle rather difficult. We’ll be going up against no other than the Demon Dragon himself.”

“Gaav?” Lina blurted out, “That’s impossible! He’s dead, I saw him be killed!”

“Our enemies can travel through both space and time just as we do,” the Doctor said, “And they possess other forbidden technology as well; bringing back an opponent from your past into your future is no difficult feat for them.”

“So what is his plan?” Lina asked, “Last time I checked the Demon Dragon King wanted to kill me to save the world; I wouldn’t go as far as to call him a good guy, see all the wanting to kill me crap, but he isn’t a total asshole either.”

“We’re not sure yet,” The Doctor replied, “His movements are well hidden, and do not show up in history either, which I suspect is the influence of Time Lord technology. All we know is that there are a lot of Mazoku involved, a lot of movement is seen.”

“He’s gathering an army,” Xelloss said unexpectedly, remarkably serious, “As you know the Mazoku are ruled by the Demon Lord Shabranigdo, who had five subordinates, of which Gaav used to be one; he’s drawing away Mazoku from the other demon generals that serve under Shabranigdo, especially from the late Lord Hellmaster, who was killed by Miss Inverse here. He’s obviously amassing his own army. The Beastmaster, my lovely chief, discovered this and sent me to investigate. But I thought tagging along with you lot would yield the same result in the end, and is way more fun.”

“So you’re basically admitting to being a spy and serving your own interests only and still want to tag along with us?” Sam concluded.

“It’s what I do,” Xelloss grinned, “And you seem like a boy who’s been with demons before… right?”

“How did you..?” Sam began to ask.

“Secret!”

“He does that a lot,” Lina grumbled, “Don’t bother asking him more, getting Xelloss to spill his secrets is like trying to get a skeleton to spill his urine.”

“Kinky!” Xelloss grinned.

“So where is Gaav gathering his groupies?” Lina asked, “I still have a score to settle with that trenchcoat geezer.”

“There is a village north of here,” Thor said, “The Doctor has discovered that the gathering of the demon kin is strongest there. We suspect our enemy to be located there.”

“What about normal villagers? Are they still there?” Naga asked.

“Nay.”

“We think this bozo here is one of the Demon Dragon King’s lot,” Dean said, pointing at the trapped Mazoku behind him, “Probably sent here to kill you, or at least distract you enough to keep you from traveling north too soon.”

“Ruining her dinner would distract her, yes,” Naga commented.

“I would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those pesky kids,” the Mazoku grumbled, still struggling in his spiritual trap, “Now release me or be done with me. You may have discovered the Lord Gaav’s location, but he’ll be ready for us!”

“You think?” Sam said, unexpectedly flaring up and stepping towards the Mazoku, “You really think he can defeat us? Do you have any idea of who we are?”

“Careful, Sammy…” Dean warned.

“You are human, and that makes you weak,” the Mazoku grinned, “Best stay away from me, little man; when I get ouf of here, I’ll kill you first.”

“That so?” Sam said, flaring up more and stepping closer, “You are hardly in any position to make threats” – but as he stepped forward, his feet accidentally swiped over the floor, brushing out a small part of the symbol that was on the ground, and thus breaking the circle. Sam did not notice, but the Mazoku did, though he did not move right away.

“Sam! Watch out!” Dean shouted, noticing it as well.

And then the Mazoku struck, swinging his massive clawed arm and trying to slash Sam Winchester open. The hunter responded by instinct and jumped backwards, the slash cutting up some of his clothes but not breaking skin. “Only human!” the Mazoku cried again, “And I will be back for you personally!” – and then he ran, bolting off out of the village and into the forest.

“You..! You let him get away?!” Lina blurted, “He’s going to alert Gaav!”

“Is he really?” Sam grinned, suddenly not angry anymore.

“Of course he is!” Naga cried out, “You saw he fast he fled! He’s going to get reinforcements, enough to take us on!”

“Yes, he is,” Dean smiled.

“But he… you said Gaav was amassing his army in a town to the north,” Lina said, “Yet he fled to the west.”

“Exactly,” Sam said, “Doctor, is your tracer working?”

“Like a charm,” the Doctor said, watching a bleeping light on a small device he was carrying, “This Mazoku will lead us straight to Gaav.”

“So you had no idea where Gaav was hiding,” Lina concluded, “The confession about a village to the north… just a ruse, to make the Mazoku think you had it all figured out, so that he was sure he would not be followed. So that he was convinced his master is still safe, and that he has the upper hand.”

“Exactly,” Sam confirmed, “He’ll run straight home to where Gaav is amassing his forces. And when he does, we’ll be able to track him and find out as well. And then we can really let loose.”

“Very crafty,” Xelloss complimented with an unusually broad grin, “I like you lot already, an amusing group to travel with after all. Shall we get going then?”

“Who’s to say you’ll be tagging along, demon?” Dean glared.

“If you don’t trust me, wouldn’t it be better to keep me in sight?” Xelloss smiled, “Besides, if you’re going up against Gaav, and with the army he’s gathering, you can expect some strong Mazoku in his forces. You’ll need to extra muscle, and I’m serving directly under the Beast Master, one of the Demon Lord’s generals, and not just because of my pretty face.”

“He’s right,” Lina said, “I don’t trust him, which is why I want him in my sights; and he definitely has the power to take on Gaav. We can use him; but kill him if he as much as moves suspiciously.”

“And here I thought we had something special going on,” Xelloss grinned.

“You’re allowed to come with us, even though you’re an ass,” Dean said, “Special enough?”

Xelloss said nothing.

“There we go then,” the Doctor said, “A Time Lord, a pair of sorceresses, hunters and a demon, and a god. Quite a team.”

“More destructive than a Dragon Slave in a porcelain cabinet,” Xelloss giggled.

(word count: 36353/50000)

Lina Inverse casting her Dragon Slave.

Lina Inverse casting her Dragon Slave.

Chapter 13 – The Fallen Earth

“How much longer until we arrive at Earth?” Spider-Man asked, impatiently.

“It doesn’t matter, because we will arrive at the same moment in time no matter how long our trip takes,” the Doctor replied, “But I understand your impatience.”

“It is my home,” Spider-Man simply said.

“In a way, it also is mine.”

“Earth has been a home to many,” a red haired woman in armor said, “While I am not from this world, I understand your sentiment. That is why we will fight, and why we will free it.”

“If there’s still anything left to fight for,” Spider-Man replied pessimistically, “You heard what.. that other Doctor said. A billion voices silenced, most likely dead. Someone is committing genocide out there, not just conquest.”

“Either way,” we will stop it,” the Doctor said, it was the slightly geeky Doctor with the long brown coat that had collected Sasuke, “They will learn that this planet is protected!”

“And what a fine job we do at it,” Spider-Man sighed.

And then the TARDIS suddenly fell quiet. “We have arrived,” the Doctor said, “Let’s see what’s going on. but careful, we’re not sure what’s out there yet.”

“I’m through with careful,” Spider-Man said, pushing open the TARDIS doors, “I’d say we go out with guns blazing… if we had guns.”

Spider-Man froze after he had opened the door and stepped outside; the city was in ruins, with buildings still smoking or on fire, but that was not what has gotten his attention. Standing there, waiting and ready for him, was none other than the deadly mechanoid Ultron. “Spider-Man,” Ultron said, “When my sensors detected a powerful temporal disturbance I had expected a foe on the level of Kang the Conqueror, not a meager superhero from New York.”

“Yeah, well, I had expected Captain America in a tutu,” Spider-Man retorted, “Dreams get shattered, Metallo.”

“I’ve shattered more than just dreams, Spider-Man,” Ultron taunted, “Welcome to what’s left of your world. Welcome to the new Age of Ultron.”

“Hello and goodbye, you monster!” Spider-Man shouted, leaping forward, using his lightning reflexes to dodge an energy blast fired by Ultron. He then kicked the robot full in the chest, sending Ultron flying and crashing into a wall. The robot staggered for a moment, then collapsed forward. “Weaker than I remembered,” Spider-Man commented.

“Just as cocky as I remembered,” Ultron said, slowly rising back to his feet again, “I’ve slain your heroes, devastated your world… and you think a simple kick will bring me down?”

“I wouldn’t have complained if it did,” Spider-Man said, firing some of his web fluid, which entangled Ultron, but only for a short moment; the machine used its strength to break the webbing and tear itself free.

“Will you let me have a shot at this one,” the lady with red hair said, stepping past Spider-Man and drawing a sword.

“Ladies first,” Spider-Man replied, “Go ahead, Erza.”

“Inconceivable,” Ultron spoke, “A warrior with a plain sword? Are you not underestimating me massively?”

“Are you?” Erza replied, and her body transformed, her armor becoming one of blue and yellow, her sword transforming into a spear. Ultron replied by firing an energy blast, which Erza split in two with a cleave of her staff. “Energy attacks are useless against the Lightning Emperor Armor.”

“Only if you can counter them all!” another Ultron shouted, suddenly appearing on her side and firing another energy blast. Erza again swung her staff, this time deflecting the energy blast, which impacted directly with the first Ultron, blowing apart the top half of its body. “Crafty,” Ultron complimented.

“You talk too much,” Erza said and her armor transformed again, this time disappeared and made room for a Japanese looking outfit, her spear becoming a sword again. Suddenly she was fast as lightning and next to the remaining Ultron bot, slicing the thing in two, despite Ultron’s enhanced alloy. “For a superior being, that’s a mighty big weakness.”

“Looks like we now know what attacked Earth,” Spider-Man said, “Ultron has done so before. He’s bad news.”

“It looks like he did quite a number on your world as well,” the Doctor said, observing the burning city, “This is beyond forgiving.”

“Even a single death is already beyond forgiving,” Erza said, sheathing her sword as her armor reverted back to the one she had originally worn, “Spider-Man, you seem familiar with his foe. What can you tell us about him?”

“Ultron is a robot created here on Earth,” Spider-Man explained, “Originally he was part of a peacekeeping program to help protect this world, but he decided mankind needed to be regulated and went rogue. He has the ability to create copies of himself with the right resources… though copies is not the right word, because the copy becomes the original as well. And he keeps improving himself, learning from his failures and rebuilding himself to become the perfect weapon. We thought him destroyed completely, but looks like someone or something brought him back.”

“Our enemies, no doubt,” the Doctor said, “They have nothing to gain from conquering Earth, but it would delay us and get rid of some potential enemies. Ultron is being used as a puppet soldier here. Though a very powerful one.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Spider-Man replied, “We’ll find him and stop him. Ultron may be able to recreate himself, but he needs a control base that serves as the center of this massive destructive hive mind. If we can find that, and destroy it, we can stop Ultron.”

“I’d wager that would be a nice place to start,” Erza said and pointed. There, beyond the devastated buildings of the city lay one building that was unscathed, a large dome structure that seemed more modern than anything else in the area. “If it’s not the main base, at least it should hold information. A good place to start.”

“Let’s go then,” the Doctor said, “We’ll commandeer a vehicle and will try and get a bit closer to that thing.”

“Shouldn’t we bring the other along as well?” Erza asked, “He’s still inside your TARDIS.”

“Nah, not yet,” the Doctor replied, “He’s our secret weapon. What good is bringing out a secret weapon before it’s needed?”

There was no protest against that. They found a car and the Doctor used his sonic screwdriver to get it working again. And so they departed, avoiding any major roads and driving towards the massive structure. After they had left the city and were getting close to it did they leave the car, such a vehicle would be detected easier by Ultron’s defenses than a few men on foot.

“How do we get inside?” Erza asked as they were close enough to the fortified building, “There don’t seem to be any entrances; not unguarded anyway.”

“We combine our talents,” the Doctor said, “Spider-Man, up there, about thirty feet up is an opening, a balcony of sorts. Can you get all three of us up there?”

“Easy as cake,” Spider-Man replied, then fired a string of webbing and launched himself up there using that. He then fired two more bolts at Erza and the Doctor, then pulled them both in with his amazing strength, like reeling in fish. “Now what’s next?”

“Next!” the Doctor said, pulling out his sonic screwdriver and aiming it at the door, “We use this poorly guarded entrance to get inside. Ultron’s technology may be superior to Earth’s but it’s nowhere near as good as Time Lord technology. Voila!”

“Then what is my part in this?” Erza asked.

“You take care of them,” the Doctor said, pushing the door open and gesturing at two large robotic sentinels that came stomping towards them.

“I thought you said this entrance was unguarded!” Spider-Man shouted while Erza charged the two sentinels.

“I said poorly guarded, not unguarded. There’s a difference! This is that difference!”

Erza had nothing to add to their short discussion except her swordsmanship and magic, which she used in excellent combination to take the sentinel robots down before they could mount a proper attack or even sound the alert. “No more enemies in this corridor,” she said.

“Of course not,” the Doctor said, “This passageway is high up, unreachable and unimportant. Plus Ultron is arrogant, a classic textbook villain, even though he might consider himself superior to those. Arrogance leads to mistakes.”

“Best heed your own words, Doctor,” Erza said, “No offense, but you’re not exactly Mr. Modest yourself.”

“Now there’s a comment that should’ve been coming from me,” Spider-Man said.

“Right, right, right,” the Doctor replied, not at all thrilled by the way their small talk was going, “Very well, we need to move on anyway -save the world while there’s something left to save. Let’s go, Ultron’s inner sanctum can’t be that far away!”

They rushed further and deeper into the citadel, avoiding the sentries posted by Ultron and only fighting when they had no choice. Their goal wasn’t to defeat every enemy they encountered, there were far too much for that, both inside the citadel and without, no their goal was to find the center of Ultron’s control sphere and disrupt it, give the world a fighting chance against this monster.

Finally they reached a hallway so massive that it was almost impossible to conceive. “This is massive,” Erza said, “It’s hard to imagine such an enormous room fitting inside this citadel. And yet is does. In fact, we’ve been walking so long, it seems we could’ve crossed the entire citadel three times already. How is that possible?”

“One would almost call it bigger on the inside,” Spider-Man added, looking over his shoulder at the Doctor.

“Time Lord technology after all,” the Doctor replied, his face grim, “It looks like Ultron is getting some powerful help indeed; no doubt this is The Master’s influence. That madman’s evil knows no limits!”

“Then let’s put a limiter on it, shall we?” Spider-Man said, “You reckon it would ruin Ultron’s plans a bit if we started wrecking things here?”

“It certainly would,” the Doctor said, “Trigger the wrong switch here and you’ll start a fusion reaction that will take out half the planet. That will certainly throw a wrench in his plans of conquest.”

“Then how do we stop Ultron?” Erza asked, “We’ve come all this way, we can’t back down now.”

“But you certainly can,” Ultron’s voice said as he walked into the room through its main entrance, “I wasn’t aware of your attack skills before and underestimated you during our first encounter. But here in this inner sanctum of mine I can and will allow no leniency. You will meet your demise here, Spider-Man, Doctor, Erza Scarlett.”

“I’d rather risk blowing up half the planet,” Spider-Man said, “But we’ll do this your way, Doc. We’ll run interference while you carry out your plan.”

“Sounds good enough for me!” Erza shouted, shifting back into her lightning armor and swinging her spear high as she attacked, “Let’s go!”

“You do have a plan, right?” Spider-Man asked, slightly worried.

“I have the basics of some scraps of a plan,” the Doctor replied, examining the room they were in, “It’s forming, it’s forming… slowly…”

“Good enough,” Spider-Man replied and leapt away, joining Erza in her fight against Ultron by binding it with his webbing, slowing it down long enough to give Erza opportunity to drive her spear through its head, tearing it off in the process.

Several more Ultron robots marched in through the main entrance and immediately opened fire. Erza quickly shifted armor again, this time changing into a dark blue colored armor with a large shield, which was able to block the attacks. “Any progress on that plan yet, Doctor?!” Spider-Man shouted.

“Getting there!” the Doctor shouted, “If this is Time Lord dimensional technology, the only power source strong enough to maintain it is a singularity. I’m thinking of using the enemy’s own plans against them!”

“Meaning?!” Erza shouted.

“A black hole!” the Doctor shouted back, “That’s what must be powering this base. I think I can override the equipment with enough time. Make it collapse in on itself, and take this base with it!”

“That’s the plan?” Spider-Man said while one of the Ultron robots tried to grab him, “You’re worried about taking out part of the planet and you want to unleash a black hole here? How is that better?!”

“Because it will be collapsing,” the Doctor said, “The only damage will be done to this base and perhaps a part of the surroundings. But not even the city! Given our options, well… we have none!”

“Do it, Doctor,” Erza shouted, “I have faith in you!”

“So do I,” Spider-Man said, “But we’ll never be able to hold them off long enough! Where’s your secret weapon, Doc?!”

“Already on his way,” the Doctor said, dodging energy blast as he rushed across the room to one of the consoles, “In fact he should be arriving about.. now!”

A blue and red flash dashed in through the main entrance, knocking over the Ultron robots that were still entering. Though Spider-Man could not see what happened something struck the Ultron that was grabbing him, hurling it across the room. Then the blurry speedster stopped to reveal a man in a red and blue outfit with a bright S on his chest. “Finally someone to outdo my wardrobe,” Spider-Man commented.

“Not a moment too soon, Superman,” The Doctor said, “I’ll need three minutes to reconfigure the equipment here. Can you buy us that much time?”

“Easily,” Superman said, “If the extent of their power is energy blasts and strength in numbers, you have nothing to fear.”

“Ultron is more dangerous than that,” Spider-Man warned, “You seem formidable; but never let your guard down.”

Meanwhile the Ultron robots had regrouped in two groups, re-assessing the situation and preparing for a new assault. “Superman,” one of them repeated, “I do not find any information of you in my data-banks. That means you have not come from this world, correct?”

“I am from Earth,” Superman said, “I was raised here; just not this Earth. But you are right, machine, my home world, now destroyed, lies in deep space.”

“This information is not needed,” Ultron replied, “Where you were born does not matter. Where you will die is relevant. And the answer to that is already known.”

“And you think you can best me?” Superman said, stepping toward the first group of robots, “You are just being used! A puppet on strings!”

“There are no strings on me,” Ultron replied, and the robots all attacked. What followed was a wild fray, a combat where no one held back, of deadly laser blasts, heat vision, swords and spears and superhuman spider strength. The Ultron robots were beaten but with every fallen robot the Ultron army became stronger. The fight remained evenly matched. “Enough of these small things,” Ultron said, and suddenly a hatch in the floor began to slide open and another Ultron robot emerged… or rather the top half of its body appeared, for it was too large to fit through completely. It punched, and though Superman tried to stop the punch from hitting him, he was still sent flying. “I am prepared for anything.” Ultron threatened.

“Just one more minute!” the Doctor shouted, “Keep him busy for one more minute!”

“Doctor!” the giant Ultron said, turning towards him, ignoring the others that attacked him, “You however are in my data banks. A meddler, a time traveler, a creative man. You are the largest threat to my reign, the only threat in this room. It makes sense that I eliminate the brain first, does it not?” – And his mouth began to glow again, a prelude to Ultron firing his mouth laser again. The Doctor kept working but knew he would never make it in time, that the energy blast would consume him whole without even a chance to regenerate. “Goodbye, Doctor,” Ultron said, almost respectfully, and fired his mouth laser. And then almost out of nowhere Superman was there again, blocking the energy blast, no, punching it, so that it backfired. The energy blast exploded inside the giant Ultron’s mouth, causing it to lose balance and topple backwards, tearing apart part of the flooring and dragging several of the smaller Ultron robots down with it.

“Done it!” the Doctor shouted, and all around him the building started shaking and creaking, as if it was coming apart at the seams. And in a moment it probably would. “We have to get out of here! This black hole is going to consume this entire base within minutes!”

“Only one problem – they’re not letting us,” Erza replied as they were driven back together, surrounded by the Ultron robots. Superman landed as well, trying to protect his allies from the mechanoids, “We’re trapped.”

“You have disrupted my plans very severely, Doctor,” Ultron said, “You and your friends both. I will not permit you to leave this place. I have you surrounded, you will not escape without casualties; and in a few moments you will join the void with me.”

Ultron.

Ultron.

“I do not think so,” the Doctor answered, raising the key to his TARDIS high, “You see, we were bound by the need for stealth before, so we couldn’t really waltz in here.. but right now the need for that is gone, and I can go all-out.”

“Your TARDIS..!” Ultron realized.

“Bingo,” the Doctor replied with a grin, “Move a bit closer together, people. Our ride is coming.” – and just as they moved together, the TARDIS began to materialize around them and they were suddenly inside it. Outside the Ultron robots had already realized what was happening and were firing energy blasts at their enemies, but it was too late, and the energy blasts exploded against the TARDIS exterior, which could take much greater damage than that. Then it dematerialised again.

“Quickly,” one of the Ultrons shouted, “Shut down the singularity reactor before it..-” but it was already too late. The Doctor’s handiwork reached it apex and the singularity reactor went out of control, erupting to pieces as the entire base and all Ultron robots inside it were consumed in the idiotic massive gravitational force of the black hole within. Within seconds the whole base was consumed.
Outside the TARDIS materialized at the edge of the city and everybody got out, just in time to see the citadel crumble and collapse in on itself. A swirling vortex of debris was sucked up in the air as well as the black hole began to affect its surroundings as well, and for a well the group stared at an eerie blackness, a hole in the sky unlike any other. And then the black hole collapsed and the dirt settled down. Ultron’s base of operations was no more.

“Is it over?” Erza asked.

“Not yet,” Spider-Man replied, “But without this base, Ultron is no longer invincible. He is confused, and he can no longer create new copies of himself. At least not until he builds a new base, which will take time. If the remaining heroes of the Earth unite now, we can beat him.”

“I will stay and help,” Superman said, “See if we can hasten the process a little. It pains me to see Earth in this state, and I will do my best to help set things right.”

“I will contact my other selves,” the Doctor said, “Ask them to find more heroes that are a match for Ultron’s powers and bring them here. Ultron may have defeated most of this world’s heroes, so we’ll bring new ones to help.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” Spider-Man said, “For what you’ve done so far and what you’re offering to do. I hope we can set things right again.”

“We will,” the Doctor said as he and Erza boarded the TARDIS, “And we’ll find the ones pulling the strings and bring them to justice as well. This is not over yet.”

“Good luck on your journey then, Doctor,” Superman said, “You’re up against an enemy just as dangerous as Ultron. You’ll need all the luck you can get.”

The Doctor nodded and closed the TARDIS door behind him. And once again the familiar blue box began to fade and disappeared, traveling throughout time and space towards its next destination.

(word count: 32799/50000)