Dissecting Sarah is an OVA centering around the return of Sarah Auvic (previously known as Leah Needlenam), returning from the void dimension she placed herself inside at the end of Fantendo Smash Bros. Victory. It is the first story to take place after Fantendo - Zenith and is written by Helena Harper (t∣b∣c). It centers around Sarah Auvic attempting to integrate herself back into society and the friendships she had with people while trying to figure out her new identity. Meanwhile, Unten and Zerita go on a cosmic trip to meet with Zingotta, the blacksmith who forged Imperium, and Unten's anxieties are tapped into when fortune cookies begin to eerily predict the future.
The story was written while Zenith was wrapping up production, although had been outlined about a year earlier. It reintroduces Sarah Auvic back to the main Fantendoverse since her departure in Days of Victory as well as sets up her new story-line of self-discovery. Additionally it forwards the storyline about the societal effects that superbeings have in Earth society and how people feel about agencies like F.A.N.T., which was set up in the past with stories like Fallen Crusade and Stand Out Stories.
Act 1: Drapes Over the Ether Screen
Nycho and Obena are watching an episode of Dragon Ball Z.
Trunks: You cannot win, Cell. I'm gonna make sure that all androids are gone for good!
Rachel turns the TV off.
- Nycho: Hey! We were watching that!
- Obena: Yeah!
- Rachel: Today is the day Sarah said she was coming back.
- Rachel: Formerly Leah?
- Nycho: Sorry, I wasn't really part of the group when she was around?
- Obena: Oh yeah, Leah!
Obena dabs. Rachel frowns.
- Rachel: I thought we told you to stop doing that.
- Nycho: Anyway, when is she coming back?
- Rachel: Uh... X-Ray told me around an hour until now. The coordinates will be just outside the fire station.
- Nycho: So, you want us to sit out on the steps until she comes back?
- Rachel: I want to be as supportive as I can for her return. And I want you guys to be there too, so...
- Obena: I'll be there!
- Nycho: I dunno, it's hot as shit out...
Guadalupe pulls some ice cubes out of the freezer.
- Guadalupe: Yeah, you're gonna put everyone out in this heat? I can barely stand it in here.
- Rachel: Could that be because the oven is still out...
Gaudalupe slides the ice cubes down her shirt as she notices the oven.
- Gaudalupe: Ah shit, how long has that been open?
- Rachel: I dunno.
Guadalupe kicks it closed as ice cubes slip down and scatter across the floor. Rachel sighs.
- Rachel: Can we just be nice and supportive? Is that too much to ask?
- Nycho: I mean, we could do it, that's fine, but we don't know when she's gonna come so... ah, whatever.
Nycho gets up from the couch as he opens up the door for Obena and Rachel, as everyone else in the group (Unten, Sakeena, Strafe, NULL, and Zerita) sit out on the steps.
- Strafe: Yo.
- Nycho: Yo.
Nycho sits down on the steps as Obena sits next to Sakeena.
- Strafe: So, where's X-Ray?
- Unten: Yeah, I mean, if she's the one that knew she was coming, why didn't she come over?
- Rachel: Man... I don't know. Personal reasons?
- Unten: Even then... hmm.
- Strafe: To be fair, we don't know... what Sarah's even going to be like. Maybe X-Ray just didn't want to face it head-on?
- Rachel: That's a good point...
Strafe glances over to Sakeena, who is browsing on her phone while wearing headphones.
- Strafe: What are you listening to?
- Sakeena: Oh... it's artist called "Zap Zap Pow". Uh...
Sakeena scratches her hair.
- Sakeena: I dunno, I don't have to justify my interests to you.
- Strafe: Just asking, sheesh.
- Sakeena: Hey, so while we're all here, can we talk about budgeting? Because we've been doing a real poor job.
- Unten: W-what do you mean?
- Sakeena: So someone, not pointing anyone but...
Sakeena nods her head towards Nycho, who looks around at everyone else.
- Sakeena: ...has been spending over a thousand dollars on Dragon Ball dvds and merchandise.
- Nycho: Obena hasn't seen the series!
- Sakeena: Just stream it! God! I think it's on Sushifucker or Crunchyroll, like just buy a subscription...
- Nycho: Yeah, but the steam is hardly lossless...
- Sakeena: Oh my god! She hasn't seen it anyway, it doesn't really matter! It's not like your living space and clothing aren't super penny-pinching anyway...
- Nycho: I spend most of my money on well oiled experiences. That's what matters in life- not the day to day life stuff but the things that I personally find bring me happiness...
- Sakeena: Yeah, but you're pulling it out of our budget plan. Do you see the issue with that? I don't care if it was your money, but when it impedes the spending for the rest of the group in terms of repairs and what not, that's where it becomes an issue. Besides, I don't see how this Launch statue you bought has to do with showing Obena the series.
- Nycho: I didn't buy the Launch statue.
- Sakeena: Wait, then who did?
Unten sighs and puts his head down.
- Sakeena: Unten?
- Unten: Yeah... I dunno, I like the character and I wanted to keep it in my corner of the Firehouse.
- Sakeena: Okay... well, we can't be spending money on this kind of stuff for a while. We're not in debt but I wouldn't say we're in a reasonable safety net right now.
- Unten: Understood.
- Nycho: Understood.
- Sakeena: Whew, thank god that's taken care of.
- Obena: Is she close to coming yet?
- Rachel: We don't know Obena.
- NULL: It could take hours longer than expected. Heck, she might not even come. She could have changed her mind, I mean after all our only lifeline to her is X-Ray, who isn't here, so she might not even show up at all, we have to face the music that we may very well die on these stairs together- oh there she is.
A black sphere appears in the center of the sidewalk, pulsing out with white electricity. A foot, then a hand sticks out of it, before a full figure emerges. The woman has her purple hair done up in a ponytail, one of her ears pierced, wearing a colorful jacket and black skirt with yellow boots. She stares at the group.
- Woman: Hey fuckers. It's me, Sarah Auvic!
Strafe steps up, extending out his hand.
- Strafe: Name's Strafe. I'll kick your ass if you're mean to me but I can also be very nice and supportive as well.
- Sarah: Let's be real, I already know who you are, Jack. Actually, I know a fair bit of you, although, damn, ya'll expanded since I left, huh?
- Unten: Lea-I mean Sarah, welcome!
- Nycho: Nice to meet you Sarah. Hopefully you will be sticking around to join us, the Fantendo Smash Bros.?
- Unten: Damn it Nycho, we've been over this...
- Sarah: Ah, you know, I don't know yet. God, so much has changed, huh?
- Rachel: Well, it hasn't exactly been easy to pick up in your absence.
- Sarah: I guess! I'm pretty popular, I bet your popularity has shot into the toilet, huh.
- Unten: Admittedly the news cycle about us has not been great.
- Sarah: Let's get inside, it's hot as shit out.
Sarah leans against the counter as Rachel and Strafe sit on barstools.
- Sarah: So what's new with you two?
- Strafe: Absolutely nothing.
- Rachel: Um… I guess me and Bang are dating?
- Sarah: Why the "guess"?
- Rachel: I dunno, it's complicated.
- Sarah: Complicated?
- Rachel: Why are you trying to get inside this so bad? I might as well ask you about why X-Ray didn't show.
Sarah blinks in silence before tapping the counter.
- Sarah: Pretty sweet new suite. Better than the various set-ups we've had before.
- Rachel: Oh yeah, 100%. You can thank Nycho for that.
- Sarah: Huh, really?
- Rachel: Dude's actually pretty loaded with cash.
- Sarah: Really? Huh.
- Strafe: Something about a patent for cars? To drip oil out.
- Sarah: Hmm… I should look into getting into the patent business too…
Sarah spins her phone in her hand.
- Sarah: I need to tell my agents the new plan for my image. Speaking of merchandising, where the hell is Unten? I need to find out if he ever took my advice about it.
- Strafe: Oh, Unten… right. He's actually going on a trip so I wouldn't be surprised if he was still packing.
- Sarah: Man, I got a lot to catch up on, huh?
- Strafe: To say the past half year has been hectic would be underselling it.
- Rachel: We just barely got done with dealing with The Fan and The Enemy's clone called the Mistake, ahaha.
- Sarah: Oh damn, I probably missed your birthdays too, huh…
- Strafe: Hey, you don't get to feel bad for missing anything. You needed as much time as you needed to get your shit together from this existence.
- Sarah: Right…
- Strafe: So, anything we can get you?
- Sarah: Nah. I'm gonna take a minute, process my surroundings.
Unten comes down the stairs with Imperium as Zerita follows him.
- Unten: See ya, me and Zerita are going to head out.
- Sarah: Where to? Also, did you ever follow up on my advice for your image?
- Unten: We're going to Zingotta, the gal who made Imperium.
Unten takes a slight look down.
- Unten: This cloak is getting pretty tattered up…
- Zerita: I'm coming with in case something sinister goes down.
- Unten: As for your second question… uh, not really. Lots of stuff fell through and I just got tired of it.
- Sarah: Wait, you tried to do this alone? God…
Sarah takes a deep breath after realizing she's about to go into a tirade.
- Sarah: Maybe we can work on it together after your trip.
- Unten: Yeah, maybe.
Unten waves off.
- Unten: See ya!
Unten and Zerita exit from the front of the Fantendo Firehouse as Sarah sits next to Sakeena on the couch, who is typing on her laptop as she listens to music.
- Sarah: You mind giving me a listen?
Sakeena stares at her.
- Sakeena: What?
Sarah takes the right earbud and listens to Sakeena's music.
- Sakeena: Hey…!
Sarah appears to like it, bopping her head back and forth.
- Sarah: Who is this?
- Sakeena: It's uh… Zap Zap Pow.
- Sarah: Huh.
- Sakeena: What does the huh mean?
- Sarah: I like it!
- Sakeena: Oh!
A knocking can be heard at the door. Sarah groans as she gets up.
- Sarah: Don't worry, I got this.
Sarah opens the door, a dolphin decked out in golden armor looking at her with a helmet fastened around his head.
- Dolphin: My name is Dolph Lundgren, my people need help from an invasion and since you guys seem to be the big heroes around here…
- Sarah: Mm… well, I just got back so… also our group is kind of splintered off so…
Sarah slowly closes the door.
- Dolph: What the hell are you talking about? Listen, we need to act immediately…
- Sarah: We can reschedule to next week…
- Dolph: No, we need to…
Dolph watches as Sarah continues to close the door slowly, quietly pleading with his eyes. Sarah closes the door completely.
- Rachel: Who was that?
- Sarah: Nobody worth our time… so who's the white haired chick?
NULL glares at Sarah.
- Rachel: That's NULL. She was a genetic experiment that was trying to take down a ton of hero groups but we kind of adopted her… she doesn't fight anymore.
- NULL: You don't have any powers, do you?
- Sarah: Not really. I guess medical expertise and a mad scientist's inclination to experiment with the unknown would be the closest things.
- NULL: Ah, so you worked with a lot of guts, yeah?
- Sarah: Oh, tons. Both healthy and unhealthy variants of just about everything.
- NULL: That's gross. Love it.
The door knocks again. Sarah goes to answer it again.
- Sarah: Another? Who the hell is it?
Sarah opens the door to reveal Denos and Logi, who are holding a plant with a bird's beak.
- Denos: Hey, we're gonna be out of town this week and we don't want to deal with this Macawgrass while we're on our ship so you mind taking care of it?
- Logi: Oh hey, Leah.
- Sarah: Sarah, actually.
Nycho opens the door a bit more.
- Nycho: Yeah, we'll take care of it.
- Macawgrass: I'm hungry! Famished! Unfed! Desiring food!
- Denos: Don't worry too much about that, he just about eats anything.
- Nycho: Gotcha.
- Obena: Ooo, these plants are rather rare! In fact, I've never seen one in person…
- Logi: Yeah, yeah. Alright, we're gonna get going now.
The door closes as Logi and Denos leaves, Nycho setting down Macawgrass on the ground.
- Macawgrass:Unbelievably hungry! Malnourished! Frighteningly close to the precipice of death!
- Nycho: Everyone's dying. Let's get you some fruit, bitch.
Nycho picks up the plant and moves it to the kitchen, setting it on the counter.
- Sarah: Hey, where's the bathroom?
- Nycho: Ah, through the lockers, which are at the end of the corridor there.
- Sarah: Thanks. I'll see if I can find it.
X-Ray gazes at the black hole in front of her as she sits on a bed in a beach house.
- X-Ray: Hey, when do you think you're going to come out? It's been like… six, seven months… like, I kind of lost track of time too, but you can't stay in there forever.
Inside the black hole vacantly stares Sarah, who lays on the floor of the void.
- Sarah: I dunno.
Sarah sighs hard.
- Sarah: I keep wanting to come out. I wanna tell people I'm new and different now. That I can't hurt them again. But that has never felt true in any of these past months. I've hurt a lot of people. Xerox, Alexandria, Rachel. Sakeena, Strafe, Unten, you...
- X-Ray: I'm not hurt.
- Sarah: I know you, X-Ray.
Sarah turns on her stomach.
- Sarah: I looked at this ring for months.
Sarah holds a small ring in her hands. It's the ring that X-Ray threw off when Leah was falsely accused of working with The Threat.
- Sarah: I didn't have the time to process it at the time, but when I kept looking at it, it felt like… I knew something was off about it. The way it happened. You wouldn't have given up hope on me so fast, wouldn't you? There had to be an external factor to it.
- X-Ray: Right, I was put on the spot to make a rash decision about it. Make a stand about it. Look, if you want me to take it back-
- Sarah: But why would you care what other people thought? That wouldn't matter if you didn't believe I actually was working with The Threat. So… I delved deeper. I tried to remember things. It got easier when I was sober these last months…
Sarah stares at X-Ray.
- Sarah: You bottle shit up. You don't let your emotions show because you think you're supposed to be strong for everyone. You have this wince that I can only see because of my extended contact with you. I know when shit bothers you.
X-Ray looks at Sarah before exhaling out a sigh, her fingers moving slightly against the bed.
- Sarah: You just bottle up. What are you hiding from me?
- X-Ray: N-nothing. Lea-Sarah, look at me. I would tell you if something's wrong, okay?
- Sarah: Or you'd just keep it up inside of you. I can't bring myself to dissect you. That's how I knew I was in love with you. But I know you got deep-seated issues with a ton of people. The same people you look to help and support. The little things that bother you are the same level as the big stuff that makes you uncomfortable.
- X-Ray: Well… maybe it doesn't bother me that much.
- Sarah: Bullshit pullshit.
Sarah gets up.
- Sarah: Monica, I know you better than anyone. I know the way you toss and turn at night and then dismiss me when I ask if something's wrong. You're just stockpiling your emotional discomforts. You've done a good job at hiding them from me, but…
Sarah glares at X-Ray.
- Sarah: Maybe one day you'll be open to me about it. It might have taken me half a year so far, but at least I don't pretend I'm not sick.
The black hole closes slowly like a zipper as Voidlings merge the seams between the realities.
- X-Ray: Sarah?
The hole closes as X-Ray sighs.
- X-Ray: Mm… okay.
X-Ray glances up at the ceiling light where Susan has placed a bunch of fruit in the inside of the glass semi-sphere, creating orange shadows inside the domed glass.
- X-Ray: Damn it, when did she do this?
X_Ray unscrews the light fixture from the wall, standing on the bed to do so as she dumps the bruised fruit onto the floor.
- X-Ray: God. Gross.
X-Ray grabs a trash bag and throws it in along with a bunch of empty plastic water bottles on the floor and tightens the string around it to seal it. She heads down the stairs of the beach house to throw it away in a green garbage container by the side of the beach house.
- X-Ray: There we go.
X-Ray takes a moment to sigh.
- X-Ray: Mm…
X-Ray sits down on the porch. She shields her eyes from the sunlight as she leans on the railing. Something in her bag rumbles and she sets it down, pulling out a phone adorned with several band-aids and skull stickers.
- X-Ray: ...hello?
Unten's voice crackles on the other end.
- Unten: Heyyy…
- X-Ray: Oh! Unten, it's good to hear from you.
X-Ray leans into the phone more.
- X-Ray: Is something wrong?
Unten and Zerita exit from their ship, a Flamebird with a blue finish. Unten holds Imperium in his arm.
- Unten: Mid-point stop. We gotta eat, right?
Zerita squints her eyes as she walks down the landing ramp.
- Zerita: This is the Delta, yeah?
- Unten: Yeah… I haven't personally been here but you know, up for new experiences and all.
- Zerita: Gotcha.
Zerita swings a bo-staff onto her shoulder.
- Zerita: Isn't there any kind of weapons checking before we get in?
- Unten: Um, surprisingly no… the Delta deals with enough bounty hunters to the point where more people smuggle in weapons than not, so they just figured security on this front was actually more reckless and expensive.
- Zerita: Eh, I got you if stuff goes down.
Zerita lets down her black bandanna.
- Unten: Oh woah. I've.. never seen your face in full.
- Zerita: Yeah. Well… Catoneans used to be known as apex hunters across the galaxy so we put up these masks to let people know that we didn't mean trouble in more peaceful places. Of course, I mean trouble if I'm going to be protecting you.
- Unten: Huh. Well, you don't have to put back on the mask after we're done with this, if you want.
- Zerita: You mean it?
- Unten: Yeah. Come on, you're my sister. It'd be weirder if I didn't feel safe around you.
- Zerita: Oh thank god. I hated wearing this shit all the time.
Zerita hangs her head back as she laughs. Untene has never seen her look this animated before, able to fully read her expressions before.
- Unten: It's weirdly more calming to see you like this than with the mask on.
- Zerita: Aw… thank you.
Zerita walks up to the gateway to the marketplace of the Delta, Unten running to catch up to her.
- Zerita: So where we eating, bro?
- Unten: I'm in the mood for noodles.
- Zerita: Yeah, same.
Unten and Zerita look around the marketplace. Zerita puts her hand over her black bandana, before pushing her hand off it. It's an unbroken behavior she's breaking consciously.
- Unten: How about this? Epochian Noodles?
- Zerita: Yeah, sounds good.
Unten and Zerita enter into the Epochian Noodles restaurant, sitting down at the bar table as a octopus-like alien directs it's attention to them.
- Alien Server: What can I get you two?
- Unten: Ah jeez, let me look at the menu here…
While Unten looks over the menu, a woman at a table across from the resturant notices him, decked out in Unten-themed clothing.
- Woman: Oh my god, it's him…
She shakes her head.
- Woman: I can't just walk over there… I gotta take my time to think this out… hahhhh!
Unten thumbs through the menu before setting it down.
- Unten: I'll try the Athenian Spaghetti?
- Zerita: Eh, I'll try the Corpsicotti….
The alien server gives her a glance.
- Zerita: ...just kidding! The Open-Fire Spaghetti for me, please.
The alien server moves their tentacles into the kitchen as Unten and Zerita wait for the food.
Sarah is sharing the headphones with Sakeena as she makes a list of things to do now that she's fully back into reality. The doorbell rings, with Sarah getting up and going to answer it.
- Sarah: Who could it be now…
Sarah opens the door to see Sonya Reno. James Vinque, and Bronson Vinque. Bronson tips his head and takes off his hat.
- Bronson: Nice to finally see you again, Leah.
- Sonya: Yes, oh my god! We've been in a spiral as of late and our latest client has been outright impossible to control. God!
Sonya hugs Sarah, gripping her tightly as Sarah looks uneasily at her.
- Sarah: Hey, hey, chill out for a minute.
Sonya gets off her immediately.
- Sarah: Heyyyyy, you three. Was wondering when you guys were gonna get the news, haha.
Sarah breathes in.
- Sarah: So, this is gonna sound real weird, but Leah's dead. I don't wanna go by that name anymore. You know, new me, new attitude, new personality…
- Sonya: What was wrong with the old one?
- Sarah: Uhh… I have a lot of bad memories associated with it.
- James: You know a name change doesn't change who you are at the core, right?
- Sarah: Yeah, I know that. I wouldn't feel splintered into three different people if I wasn't fundamentally broken at the core.
- James: Broken? Darling, no. You spoke to a lot of people with your old attitude, why bother changing that?
- Sarah: It was self destructive, abusive- look, I understand that change can be scary but I think all three of you need to get out of this headspace where I'm Leah Needlenam, the rebellious doctor lady with those killer lesbian vibes. I understood that sold well but… I need to move on and be an actual better person.
- Sonya: I see.
Silence breaks out for a minute before Sonya speaks up again.
- Sonya: Can we keep you on as a client, at least? At least. You know, we can talk about all this later.
- Sarah: Yeah, I'm fine talking' about it this later. Look. I don't want to give you the wrong impression, that's all. I'm not Leah anymore.
- Sonya: Understood.
Sonya glances around.
- Sonya: So this is the Fantendo Firehouse, huh?
Sonya glances at Sarah, who looks around as well.
- Sarah: Yeah, I guess so.
Sonya watches as Sarah sits down next to Sakeena.
- Sonya: Right, you're not exactly… familiar with this either, huh.
- Sarah: Yeah. I'm not.
- Sonya: Okay, we'll catch you later then. Seems like you need some more time to adjust.
- James: Oh right, almost forgot…
James looks at Sarah.
- James: Xerox came to the office not too long ago to apologize as part of her therapy. You should talk to her, I'm sure she'd be willing to put this behind her.
Sarah nods as they leave.
- Sarah: I'll get on it soon.
- Sakeena: Who were they?
- Sarah: My agents.
- Sakeena: Were… were they your friends?
- Sarah: (coldly) No.
- Sakeena: Hey, you seem weirdly tense.
- Sarah: I'm fine.
- Sakeena: You sure?
- Sarah: Mhm.
Sarah glances out the window.
- Sarah: Let's do something fun tonight, huh? You and me?
- Sakeena: Like, what, a date?
- Sarah: Oh, no. Not like that. Just. You know, a thing with friends.
- Sakeena: So… what are we doing then?
- Sarah: Well, I looked it up on my phone. Zap Zap Pow is in town tonight.
- Sakeena: Ah shit, can you even get tickets?
- Sarah: If we act now, yes.
- Sakeena: Mm… okay! But I wanna bring my girlfriends
- Sarah: Girlfriend...s… okay. How many?
- Sakeena: Just two.
- Sarah: Two. Okay. Two. Hm. Yeah, okay.
Sarah orders four tickets off her phone.
- Sakeena: Ohhh! I'm so excited! I'll go get ready.
- Sarah: Yeah, you do that. I'll get ready soon too.
Sakeena goes up the stairs. Sarah sits on the couch with her phone in her hand.
Sarah lays on the black ground of the void, her body posed as if dead on a crime scene. Voidlings surround her as Sarah sighs in discomfort.
- Sarah: Why am I not getting better…?
Sarah looks at the Voidlings to the right of her.
- Sarah: I have everything I need. Alone time. Contact with the outside world if I need it. Yet, I feel so… unhappy.
A Voidling pokes Sarah in the knee, their soft nub numbly pressing into it.
- Sarah: They were all so quick to turn on me… even Monica.
Flashes of the photo of Leah working with the Threat, fabricated by The Fan, scrape against the screen as "裏切り者" flickers onto the screen.
- Sarah: Deep down I know something is wrong with me. I can't tell if it's the trauma or if I was born to be broken. It happened twice, didn't it?
Flashes of her mother and father being murdered by the Twisted Cross appear on the screen with "失われた" flickering onto the screen.
- Sarah: I had a chance to do this twice and I fucked it up again.
Flashes of Leah tied to a cross appear on the screen with "救世主" flickering onto the screen.
- Sarah: Most people would kill for a do-over. And yet, I managed to fuck it up.
Sarah sits up.
- Sarah: (thinking) I'd contact X-Ray again, but I'm not worth her time.
Sarah stares into the blankness of the void.
- Sarah: (thinking) I'm not worth anyone's time.
Act 2: Skull-Splitting Arthrodesis
We pull back on a painting of a woman lost in space, with long purple hair. It's not Leah, but the image feels about the same.
- Unten: This Athenian Spaghetti is… pretty spicy. Woof.
- Zerita: Heh, heh, spicy meatball huh?
- Unten: It's the garlic.
- Zerita: Well, you don't have to finish it if you can't…
- Unten: I'm gonna eat it, chill out.
Unten slurps down the rest of the spaghetti as Zerita glances over to the alien server.
- Zerita: Think we're about finished here. Give us the bill, please.
- Alien Server: Sure thing.
The alien server goes to the cash register as Zerita eyes a machine with the words "Fortune Cookie Contraption" with a penny slot in the center of the machine and a slot directly below it. She slides open her arm a bit to pull some change out, sliding a penny into the machine. The machine rumbles and drops a purple fortune cookie out. Zerita cracks it open and eats the hard cookie while unfurling the fortune out.
- Zerita: Hmm… Enjoy the good luck a companion brings you.
Zerita looks to Unten, who is finishing his meal before smiling.
- Unten: Hey, get me one too.
Zerita nods as she puts in another penny, the machine shuddering as it drops a blue fortune cookie out. Unten snaps it open.
- Unten: Hmm… A very attractive person has a message for you.
- Zerita: Ooo…
- Unten: Haha, these things are stupid anyway.
Zerita gets the receipt from the alien server and starts writing out the tip as the woman we saw before approaches the two.
- Woman: H-hello!
Unten turns towards her as Zerita keeps filling out the receipt.
- Woman: My name is Izzy Skarp. You're Unten Bluzen, correct?
- Unten: Yeah, what's up?
- Izzy: Oh, nothing! I'm just a huge fan of you, if it isn't… incredibly obvious.
- Unten: Well, I'm incredibly flattered…
- Izzy: Really?! Oh, good, I thought I was kind of coming off creepy.
- Unten: Well, I mean, not yet.
- Izzy: Well, hopefully we can keep it that way!
Izzy pulls out some Unten-themed merchandise.
- Izzy: Could you sign some of these? I won't sell them at an inflated market price or anything shady like that… although if you don't want to, I got other parts of me you could sign…
Izzy pulls her shirt up a little to reveal her stomach as Unten winces a little bit as Zerita hands the receipt back to the alien server.
- Unten: Uh, I'll just sign the merchandise.
- Izzy: R-right. Haha.
Izzy hands him an Unten plushie.
- Izzy: Sorry for making this weird. Just… huge fan! Hah.
Unten quickly signs it before handing it back to Izzy who bows and then runs out.
- Unten: Eh, she was cute.
- Zerita: Shall we get out of here and to Zingotta?
- Unten: ...well, hang on a minute. I wanna get some more fortune cookies.
- Zerita: What, the pasta didn't fill you up?
- Unten: The prediction came true, didn't it?
- Zerita: Bah, you can't put so much faith in these kind of things.
Zerita relents anyway, pushing another penny into the machine. A brown fortune cookie shakes out of the machine. Zerita hands it to Unten, who breaks it open.
- Unten: Hmm… this one says "Be on the lookout for coming events; They cast their shadows beforehand." What does that mean?
- Zerita: Unten, these fortunes are bogus. Stop wasting your energy into them.
- Unten: I just wanna be safe…
Zerita lifts her head up and sighs as Unten pulls out his own wallet, taking out pennies and filling his arms with fortune cookies. The alien server looks to Zerita.
- Zerita: He's not usually like this, sorry.
- Alien Server: Hey, I'm making cash off this, I don't mind at all, ahaha!
Unten pushes about a dozen fortune cookies into Imperium's subspace storage.
Sarah watches as Obena and Nycho prop the Macawgrass onto the counter, with the damned thing screeching for what feels like the 100th time.
- Obena: Well, we tried pineapples, durians, kiwis, bananas, apples, and blueberries and it spat it all out.
- Nycho: And it just upchucked any kind of pizza I tried to feed it.
- Obena: What do you want to eat, buddy?
- Macawgrass: Feed me! I'm famished, dying, starving, ravenous with hunger! Feed me!
- Nycho: Yeah, we know.
- Guadalupe: Well, whatever it wants, it's not getting it at this rate. I forbid you guys from raiding the fridge, because you guys have wasted like half of the shit I bought this week.
- Sarah: Let me take a look at it…
Sarah opens it's mouth forcibly, shining her phone light down it's throat.
- Sarah: Damn, it's like looking down a straw. What if we just tried, I dunno, water?
- Guadalupe: Suppose that wouldn't be the worst thing we tried yet.
Sarah fills a cup with water, attempting to make the Macawgrass drink it. The Macawgrass appears to swallow it… before suddenly spitting it out and getting it everywhere, causing everyone to recoil back and shake off the water.
- Macawgrass: Feed me! I'm starving, fainting from a lack of food! I crave nourishment!
- Sarah: Well, shit. That was my only idea.
- Nycho: Me and Obena are gonna go deal with this. Sorry for bothering you, everyone…
Sarah grumbles as Nycho and Obena leave the room, leaning against the counter.
- Guadalupe: You alright?
- Sarah: I dunno what I offer this group anymore. I should probably get out of your hair now… I haven't got a place to stay yet so I guess I'll just stay at the firehouse. Scope out a bed.
- Guadalupe: Alright… take care of yourself…
Guadalupe looks concerningly as Sarah goes up the steps.
Sarah is sitting in her void as usual, as a glow hits her face.
- Sarah: I dunno if I want to leave yet, Monica.
- X-Ray: Sarah. It's been three months. Surely you don't want to worry everyone? This is like, a good amount of time to take a mental health break without worrying people.
- Sarah: I'm trying.
- X-Ray: It's okay if you want to stay in there, by the way. I'm not suggesting you need to… but I think it would be good for everyone if you let them know you were okay.
- Sarah: How's Susan?
X-Ray winces subtly before her eyes look down.
- X-Ray: She's… stopped with the Bible shit entirely. It's nice. She's kind of convinced you still don't like her but she's opening up more, asking me a bunch of questions about homsexuality. They're coming from a good place, at least.
- Sarah: Where is she now?
- X-Ray: At the gas station.
Sarah recoils a bit as she recalls a completely false- but still traumatic to her- memory of her killing Rachel at the gas station, which flashes on the screen as ripped images with the word "殺人者" covers the images.
- Sarah: I think… I think I need more rest.
- X-Ray: Oh! Okay, hope you feel better soon, I'll be here if you need me…
X-Ray watches as the black hole closes in front of her as she sits on the bed, sighing heavily as she lays back.
- X-Ray: What the fuck is wrong now?
Unten and Zerita get back on the Flamebird. Zerita looks worryingly over to Unten.
- Zerita: You alright?
- Unten: What? I'm fine.
Zerita looks to Imperium.
- Zerita: You sure did grab a bunch of cookies.
- Unten: Look, it's nothing that crazy. I think you're making it out to be more crazy than it actually is.
- Zerita: Am I though…? Look, we may have not been reunited for as long as I'd like, but six months is a long time to recognize your new quirks and buying things in excess isn't one of them.
- Unten: The last one predicted the future, didn't it?
- Zerita: In the vaguest of terms, sure.
Unten cracks open a green fortune cookie as Zerita sighs.
- Zerita: Unten…
- Unten: Let's see, this one reads "Everything happens for a reason."
- Zerita: Yeah, it sure does.
Unten cracks open a red fortune cookie, shoving the bits of the cookie into his mouth and swallows.
- Unten: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Alright, guess we're getting a move on.
- Zerita: Fucking finally. Jeez.
Unten presses down on the gas pedal as the Flamebird takes off from the Delta's cargo bay and into space.
Sarah lays in bed as Rachel is sitting opposite from her.
- Rachel: You alright, Sarah? You've been, uh, distant.
- Sarah: I'm fine. I took a nap, what time is it?
- Rachel: 5 PM.
- Sarah: Concert's in about five hours, that gives me plenty of time to get ready.
- Rachel: We're your friends, you know, if something's…
- Sarah: Nothing is bothering me. Actually, okay, you know what, I do want to know one thing.
- Rachel: And what would that be?
- Sarah: What did you mean "it's complicated" with you and Bang? I barely knew you two were together and you're already on the rocks?
- Rachel: Admittedly, I feel like we're about two big fights from a breakup.
- Sarah: Why's that?
- Rachel: I don't need to get into the reasons with you.
- Sarah: I can tell it's a stressor for you.
- Rachel: How can you tell that?
- Sarah: Listen, not to pretend I'm a master of body language or anything, but I've been around you guys enough to know your tics. Your subtle movements when something stresses you or discomforts. The only one I couldn't figure out was PalmMan, probably because he's a goddamn robot.
- Rachel: Well, what's my tic then?
- Sarah: You get up on the defensive. Your muscles tense. Your hand straightens out and then relaxes.
- Rachel: Hm.
- Sarah: Don't trap yourself if you don't have to.
Sarah pulls out a long box full of comics.
- Sarah: Who owns these?
Sarah pulls a random issue from the long box, Batman #232, looking at it for a minute before putting it back in.
- Rachel: That's Nycho's stuff. He says he puts stuff in here as a partial storage closet because we don't have enough members living here for it to be an issue. Yet.
- Sarah: Hm.
Sarah glances around.
- Sarah: Who… actually lives here?
- Rachel: Nobody, really. I think maybe Obena. NULL lives with me in my apartment and I think Guadalupe lives in another town close by. She's been here an awful lot though…
- Sarah: Hmm.
Sarah lies back on the bed.
- Rachel: You taking another nap?
- Sarah: Just resting.
- Rachel: Alright, but let us know if we can help you, okay?
- Sarah: Yeah, got it.
Rachel walks down the stairs. Sarah gets up out of bed.
- Sarah: Should probably check in with Sakeena.
Unten and Zerita are still on their trip, with Zerita looking more concerned with Unten as he keeps opening up fortune cookies to read them. Unten breaks open a green fortune cookie and takes out the note.
- Unten: "The love of your life is stepping into your planet this summer."
- Zerita: Unten, these things are completely bullshit. You already have a girlfriend, and she didn't come here this summer.
- Unten: Well, what if Quartz isn't-
Unten sighs as he takes out another fortune cookie, this one a yellow color, and snaps it open.
- Unten: "Keep your eye out for someone special." Now, what could that mean?
- Zerita: Unten, I don't know.
- Unten: Exactly! Look, if there is any truth to these, maybe I need to crack more open to see the full truth of my future or what to look out for…
Zerita pulls Imperium away from him.
- Zerita: It's made your blade top heavy. You're unbalanced, Unten. What's really going on here?
Unten sits in a seat filled with cracked fortune cookies and brushes them off.
- Unten: Well, I don't know what spurred this on. Maybe it's those dumb prophetic dreams I had that don't mean anything. Or maybe it's a lack of one. I dunno. I can't trust them because the Threat was able to get into my head on the account of being infected with the Hivemind virus.
- Zerita: Wait, when was this?
- Unten: Christmas. Around maybe 2017? It's been a while. I didn't even know. But like… during that whole saga where we rescued you off that planet and fought against The Threat, she was able to get into my mind, give me visions that haunt me to this day. Volt confirmed with me later that she was able to do that because I was partially rolled into her Hivemind. So, now I can't even trust my own brain in a small part.
- Zerita: Did… did we not just destroy what was left of that Hivemind?
- Unten: Yeah. And the Threat was real bitter about not being able to use it anymore. But it came to my realization about Holy Choir- maybe she could have used it. Anyone in Svarga that still had the power to go in there could have messed with me while I was asleep.
- Zerita: Unten…
Zerita hugs him.
- Zerita: Listen, nobody can bother your mind anymore. It's been dealt with, it's over.
- Unten: I know… I know.
Unten just sighs.
- Unten: I just thought I could find some kind of stability outside of it, you know? If I'm supposed to be on top of this shit, as part of whatever procephy I'm supposed to be filling, maybe…
Unten shakes his head.
- Unten: I can't articulate it well, but maybe I'm still looking for a role like that to fill. I dunno. We're all kind of fucked up.
Zerita looks at her arm before shifting her attention back to Unten,
- Zerita: I'm here for you, brother.
Unten relaxes in her arms.
- Unten: Thank you.
Zerita keeps hugging him as Unten lets her hold it for a bit before shifting away.
- Unten: Okay. That's enough, hah.
- Zerita: Seriously, tell me about stuff like this. I would like to think me and Mioda at the very least would always be here for you.
- Unten: You're right. I haven't had you two in my life for so long… with Mioda, even less… so maybe I should remember that.
- Zerita: Exactly. Let's dump this crap out the airlock.
- Unten: I dunno, they could be good road snacks…
- Unten: Right… on it.
Unten gets up and picks up Imperium from her as he heads towards the airlock, tethering himself down to the ground using a silicon rope.
- Unten: Out you go!
Unten releases the fortune cookies out the airlock, where they go through the cold emptiness of space. Some crack, revealing fortunes like "A short stranger will soon enter your life with blessings to share.", "A new voyage will fill your life with untold memories.", and "A new wardrobe brings great joy and change to your life." which become coated with icicles as the camera settles. —— Sarah goes down the stairs, seeing Sakeena and two new people.
- Sarah: More visitors?
- Sakeena: Actually, these are my girlfriends.
- Sarah: Ah shit, you really do have two, huh?
- Sakeena: This is Diesellia.
Sakeena points to a woman with an eyepatch and blonde hair, who waves.
- Sakeena: And this is Wendy.
Sakeena points to a black woman with twin tails, who creates a ball of wind in her hand before releasing it as a light breeze.
- Sarah: Well, hot damn, this should be fun!
Sarah notices Sakeena is attempting to go for a more punkish look, with lots of blacks, but is still fully covered up.
- Sarah: Aren't you… I dunno, not Muslim anymore? Why not open your outfit a bit more?
- Sakeena: Oh… I dunno. I haven't done that before… hah.
- Sarah: It's been six months! Experiment a little more!
Sakeena scratches her hair a little.
- Sakeena: Guess it can't hurt…
Sakeena goes towards the bathroom as Sarah stands with Diesellia and Wendy.
- Sakeena: So like, is it a poly thing or…?
- Wendy: Actually, this is the first time me and Diesellia have formally met.
- Diesellia: But we knew of each other before- Sakeena kind of explained it that she just kind of didn't know where things were going with either one of us.
- Sarah: Huh. Okay, weird relationship dynamic. But you two are okay with that, yeah?
- Diesellia: Oh yeah! No surprises from Sakeena, haha. Besides, Wendy's kind of cute.
- Wendy: Oh!
- Sarah: Heh heh. You two are cute.
Sakeena comes back out from the bathroom, wearing a loose tank top, although keeping most of the outfit the same.
- Sakeena: I dunno, I thought it was cute… although I don't know if it looks good on me, per say…
- Wendy: You look great honey!
- Diesellia: I like the more open look a lot.
- Sarah: See?
- Sakeena: Hah, if you say so!
Sarah opens the door to the firehouse.
- Sarah: Alright, let's go to the damn concert!
Sarah, Sakeena, Diesellia, and Wendy head to the concert. Rachel closes the door.
Act 3: Anti-Rejection Medication
Unten and Zerita arrive at the Rainbow Forge, the work site of the cosmic blacksmith Zingotta.
- Unten: I wonder how pissed off Zingotta is going to be when they see me with this torn cloak.
- Zerita: Didn't you find it in like, a sewer?
- Unten: Kinda…
- Zerita: I honestly didn't expect it to last as long as it did…
- Unten: True…
Unten holds the torn cloak up a bit before letting gravity collect it.
- Zerita: So… when did you meet Zingotta?
- Unten: It was during the thick of the war with The Threat. Remember, that's where you got the Hyper Orb you almost never use.
- Zerita: Eh, you know what Laverne said about that… those are crutches. Can't depend on those so much.
- Unten: Eh, alright.
Unten and Zerita ascend up the stairs and walk across an elevated platform raised over a rainbow liquid. A giant horned alien in a black blacksmith's apron turns their head towards Unten and Zerita. This is Zingotta.
- Zingotta: Unten, how the hell are ya?
- Unten: We met like… once…
- Zingotta: I don't forget the wielder of any of my weapons. How's Imperium holding up since I restored proper functionality to it?
- Unten: Oh, Imperium has been working great. The cloak I'm wearing though…
Unten gestures over himself, showing how torn it has become.
- Zingotta: Oh jesus. Who the hell have you been fighting?
- Unten: More god-level beings… ahah.
Unten lets out a long, exhausted sigh.
- Unten: I never wanna meet anyone with the suffix of "The" in their names ever again in my life.
- Zingotta: Honestly, I might be one of the few glad they're all mostly out of power.
- Unten: Anyway, do you think you can replace this, please? I'd like the additional subspace storage back.
- Zerita: What's your price for these kind of things? Cuz I got mostly cash change in this robot arm.
Zerita extends out her arm, revealing a cylinder holding all the cash.
- Zingotta: Nah, I don't take cash. Normally, anyway. There's too much currency to conflate when you're in this galaxy anyway. I work on what I want. Besides, this planet is mine! I make my own rules here.
- Zerita: That's admirable but I think I would rather you have some kind of compensation for your work.
- Unten: Yeah, kind of messed up you're working for free. Like, we can pay in something...
- Zingotta: How about you get me a meal and we'll call it even.
- Unten: Sounds good.
- Zingotta: Now let's see here…
Zingotta pulls out a compartment from the giant anvil they're working on,dumping a bunch of metals onto the anvil. Silver, Cobalt, Sentelenium, and Mithril are placed on the anvil before Zingotta swings back their rainbow hammer and strikes the metals, hammering them seemingly incoherently in a pulsing mass of smoke that clears after Zingotta stops hammering, revealing a new jacket for Unten.
- Unten: Woah…
Unten picks up the jacket and takes off the torn Imperial Cloak.
- Unten: This fits pretty well!
- Zingotta: Meant to. It has shapeshifting properties. You can turn it into something resembling your old cloak or something a bit more warm and protective.
- Unten: Pretty heavy though.
- Zingotta: It's made of Synthesized metals, of course it's gonna be heavy- although Laverne also said you've been training with her, so I figured some heavier wear could do you good.
- Zingotta: Things are gonna feel harder in this jacket, but when you cast it aside you'll feel less weighted down and it'll kick in as making you stronger overall.
- Zerita: Damn, now I want something, hah.
- Zingotta: Well, I can take care of that, what do you want?
- Zerita: Ah, well… I don't know. I'll think it over. Maybe over lunch?
- Zingotta: Ey, sounds good. You guys ready to go?
- Unten: Yeah, let's head over to get you some food.
Zingotta throws their hammer over their shoulder as they follow Unten and Zerita to the Flamebird.
- Unten: Are… you even gonna fit?
Zingotta shrinks down to about Zerita's height.
- Zingotta: Wouldn't worry too much about that.
Unten tilts his head to the side and then back forward as they go towards the Flamebird. —— Sarah, Diesellia, and Wendy sit in the back seat as Sakeena drives towards the concert.
- Sarah: So, Diesellia, where are you from?
- Diesellia: Oh… Hisplit on the Lifts. It's uh… not as nice as here, haha.
- Sarah: Do your parents know you're dating Sakeena?
- Diesellia: My parents are animals.
- Sarah: ...oh.
- Diesellia: Literally. My mom is a raven and my dad is a pitbull. They were cursed.
- Sarah: OH.
- Diesellia: Yeah, like I said… not the best place compared to here.
- Sarah: Well, how about you Wendy? What's your story?
- Wendy: Why are you asking so many questions?
- Sarah: I dunno, you guys seem like interesting people. Besides, it's not like Sakeena really is talking much.
- Sakeena: I don't really like to talk while I drive, that's all…
Sakeena squints through the lights before turning left.
- Wendy: Well, my story isn't that interesting, if we're being honest. I just kind of got my powers through a freak weather accident. Storm hit me while I was trying to reset the cable on the house and bam, wind powers when I woke up.
- Sarah: Wind powers… from a lightning strike…
- Wendy: Yeah, I dunno either!
- Sarah: I think we got enough electric users for a lifetime anyway… so do you like, actually do anything with these powers or?
Wendy scratches the side of her head as she thinks.
- Wendy: Not really…
- Sarah: Huh. You would think with the increased threats of lately we'd reach out to people like you.
- Wendy: Eh… I'm too untrained for serious battle.
- Sarah: Well, that's we ought to train you guys! I mean, shit, if you're gonna double the roster number while I'm gone, we might as well include people like these two. What are Nycho and Guadalupe doing? What am I doing on the team?
- Sakeena: You can serve a purpose without fighting, you know. Nycho's got a lot of uses, he pays the rent and he's good for keeping the team together. As much as we don't really like his team names, he's doing a much more earnest effort than anyone else in trying to unify us… at least, without becoming bitter about it.
- Sarah: Sorry, am I coming off bitter about it?
- Sakeena: Not you. Netnu.
- Sarah: Wait, when was Netnu on the team? What happened?
- Sakeena: Long story, he got sent to the hospital for his injuries against NULL. Ever since he's been on like this spiral where he hates Unten.
- Sarah: Jesus, I missed a lot, huh?
- Sakeena: Well, what were you expecting when you disappeared for six months? Like… I'm surprised you're still kind of the same person. I was kind of expecting you to be completely different…
Sarah sits in silence for a minute.
- Sarah: I didn't change much because there was too much for me to not own up to. To just ignore. Anyway, I should probably just let you drive.
- Sakeena: I'm not mad at you, Sarah. I want to clarify that.
- Sarah: ...I know.
Quartz walks out of the operating room as X-Ray looks over the body of The Fan, sorely affected by the fight with The Mistake. Rubelline watches from a chair as X-Ray holds a scapel shakily.
- X-Ray: I'll be back in a minute.
- Rubelline: To what… get Quartz back in here?
- X-Ray: Mm…
X-Ray heads into the opposite hallway, heading into the bathroom.
- X-Ray: God, I can't do this.
X-Ray sits on the floor, spread out in defeat as she holds the scapel. A black hole emerges in the center of the room as Sarah pokes her head out.
- Sarah: Monica?
X-Ray looks up at Sarah.
- X-Ray: Hey, Sarah.
- Sarah: I caught you at a bad time, huh.
- X-Ray: Kinda.
- Sarah: Look, I know you can do this. Whatever it is. You put up with Leah, for god, like three years?
X-Ray smiles softly.
- Sarah: Sorry about what I said back at the… beach house? Was that were you were?
- X-Ray: Yeah. It was a beach house.
- Sarah: Well, it wasn't really my time or place to call you out on being so closed off with your feelings. Look, I'm trying to be better. I want you to not think of me as someone you can distrust.
- X-Ray: You're doing a fine job.
- Sarah: R-really?
- X-Ray: Really.
X-Ray moves her fingers slightly against Leah's shoulder before pulling away.
- Sarah: You can do this. I'll be here if you need help… just don't tell anyone else.
- X-Ray: Right.
X-Ray leaves the bathroom as Sarah sighs heavily.
- Sarah: (quietly) I'll be right here.
Wendy pokes Sarah in the face.
- Sarah: Whu?
- Wendy: We're here.
Wendy pops the door open for Sarah as they walk out onto the granite ground. Sarah stares at the night sky, mostly blank due to light pollution.
- Sarah: So we are.
Nycho and Obena are still at the Fantendo Firehouse, glancing at the Macawplant.
- Macawplant: Feed me! Nourish me! I need food for my hunger! I'm starving to the brink of death!
- Nycho: WE KNOW!
- Obena: Please, for the love of god, we have tried to feed you everything, from fruit to water, other liquids, to meat, to Nycho's arm… like nothing has worked, do you even understand what we're asking here?
- Nycho: Are you even that hungry? Because when I'm hungry, I just eat just about anything.
Nycho pulls something from his pocket- a small mining laser from Obena's ship.
- Obena: Wait, is that one of my mining lasers? I thought F.A.N.T confiscated all of those.
- Nycho: All except this one. I don't trust the government for shit.
- Obena: Be careful with it…
- Nycho: Look, if you're so hungry, why don't you just eat laser, loser?
The Macawplant just laughs in a really fake, sarcastic way before it's head tilts downwards and it transforms into a demon-like creature.
- Obena: Holy f'ing NBA!
- Monster formerly known as Macawplant: My name is…
Nycho just shoots it in the head, point blank, killing it instantly before it even says it's damn name, causing it to flop over like a corpse.
- Obena: What… what was that?
- Nycho: I think that was a fake Macawgrass.
- Obena: Why… why would Denos and Logi try and kill us with a fake Macawgrass?
- Nycho: Not Denos and Logi. I don't think they even realized what they had.
- Obena: Oh snap. Someone was trying to kill them?
- Nycho: Yeah.
- Obena: But who would do that?
- Nycho: Not sure. Best we talk about it to them when they return.
Obena hugs Nycho. Nycho holds Obena close.
Sarah, Sakeena, Diesellia, and Wendy arrive in the stadium.
- Sarah: Hell yeah! We're here!
- Sakeena: Yeah… hah.
Sakeena wraps her arms around herself as they make their way through the crowd.
- Sakeena: Mm…
- Sarah: You alright?
- Sakeena: I feel like some kind of congestion…
- Sarah: What did you eat?
- Sakeena: Nothing weird…
Sakeena makes a stressed noise with her mouth.
- Wendy: Do you need to get out of here? Like if it's anxiety, I don't think it'd be a big issue…
Sakeena keeps pushing her way through the crowd.
- Sarah: Slow down…
Sarah watches as Sakeena breathes hard, stuffed into the crowd tightly.
- Sarah: SAKEENA!
Sakeena turns her head back quickly before crouching down on the ground, panting as Zap Zap Pow gets on stage.
- Announcer: And now… Zap Zap Pow!
Synth music fills the air. Sarah crouches close to her.
- Sarah: It's okay if you need to leave…
Sakeena can't speak, holding her hair tightly.
- Sarah: What's wrong?
- Sakeena: Hhh… hhh…
Sakeena struggles to get words out as she sinks lower, her body heaving with an extreme panic attack.
- Sarah: Uhh…
Sarah feels her vision blur softly as she goes out to reach for Sakeena, only to be swatted away by a even more panicked Sakeena.
- Sakeena: Ahhh! Ahhh, sorry, sorry, SORRY!
Sakeena falls onto her side in the fetal position as Sarah's vision completely blurs out, falling backwards onto the ground.
- Vicky: Hi, I'm Vicky Victorious with Channel 17 News. Our breaking story here is a mysterious black hole that has been continually seen around Seattle. People say a figure resembling a corpse has been seen grabbing food from the gas stations and generally watching- never fully leaving the hole, but still unnerving nevertheless. My question, where is the government on this? What is Unten doing, supposing he's supposed to be dealing with situations like this? Are we supposed to wait for this to get bad before acting on it?
We pan out from a TV screen as X-Ray shuts the TV off. Sarah sighs as she eats a bag of chips from inside the black hole. They are in a hotel room.
- Sarah: I paid for these, I dunno why people are acting like I'm a monster for it. Also "corpse-like"? Look, I'm not going to bother looking pretty but you didn't need to go that far, newslady.
- X-Ray: You can't be doing that.
- Sarah: Doin' what?
- X-Ray: That, which was on the screen. Popping up in places unannounced.
- Sarah: Hey, where else am I supposed to get living amenities?
- X-Ray: Me and Susan will take care of you.
Susan, who has been sitting on the couch, gets up.
- Susan: Yeah, me and X-Ray will take care of you. Like the mother I was supposed to be to you.
- Sarah: Mm.
- X-Ray: Seriously. I don't think it's a good idea to freak people out like this.
- Sarah: I can explain myself to Vicky.
- X-Ray: I would really prefer you not.
- Sarah: Alright. Fine.
- X-Ray: Thank you. How are you feeling?
X-Ray looks at Sarah in the void.
- Sarah: Fine, I guess. It's lonely, but… I don't feel like I can leave it yet.
- X-Ray: That's okay! Take as much time as you need in it.
Sarah nods and closes the void up, laying back and closing her eyes.
Sarah opens the void out onto a road-side resting place, with a bench out in the desert.
- X-Ray: Still in the void, huh?
- Sarah: Where… where are you guys?
- X-Ray: I thought we'd visit a little town called Marfa, Texas. It's kind of just a giant art installation. Kind of out in the nowhere, away from distractions.
- Sarah: Superheroics.
- X-Ray: Huh?
- Sarah: Nothing. How's Unten and the others holding up without me?
- X-Ray: I dunno. I haven't contacted them yet.
- Sarah: Hm.
Sarah glances out from the void, looking for perhaps a particular reason why.
- Sarah: Why not?
- X-Ray: Eh… it's awkward. Besides, I'm not really much of a doctor.
- Sarah: What? You got training from me, the best damn doctor I know…
- X-Ray: Yeah… but on my own? I don't think so.
- Sarah: Who owns the hospital now? None of us paid the lease on it and I remember it being kind of prime real-estate. I hope it's like, an actual doctor…
- X-Ray: Sarah, I don't know these things. I don't keep in contact with anyone over there. The trip's point was to escape that life for a little bit.
- Sarah: Sorry for bothering you. A lot has been on my mind.
- X-Ray: I bet… but maybe if you're so curious about it… maybe asking me isn't the best.
- Sarah: Understood.
Sarah closes the black hole as X-Ray moves her fingers move slightly.
Sarah wakes in a puddle of a tar-like substance. complete blackness around her.
- Sarah: Hello?
Sarah glances at her pinkie, which is a shattered needle. The red liquid inside has completely spilled onto the ground- she can't see it, but she can sense it.
- Sarah: What happened…?
Sarah tries to get up, but the tar pulls her closer into the ground.
- Sarah: HELLO?
Sarah struggles for survival.
- Sarah: Is this the kind of dumb shit Unten deals with? HELP! VOIDLINGS? MONICA? ANYONE?
Sarah panics, breathing erratically.
- Sarah: Is the void or this death?
Sarah takes a deep breath.
- Sarah: Wait, you know what death is like. It ain't like this.
Sarah still can't move out of the tar, as much as she tries to.
- Sarah: For the love of g-god…
- Sarah: Right, we kind of… descended them, huh?
Sarah just lays in the tar.
- Sarah: Well, whatever this is, I'm ready for it, I guess.
Butterflies of pure light emerge from the darkness, landing on Sarah's sinking body. They cover her, obscuring her vision in light.
Sarah jolts awake, exhausted and in cold sweat.
- Sarah: Where the hell…
A woman with a scar over her lip and black hair looks over her, jotting down stuff on a notepad.
- Sarah: Hey, where the hell am I lady? Do you put nanobots in my hand or something?
The woman looks down.
- Woman: Relax. I'm Lucille Graves, I believe I own your hospital. You used to be known as Leah, right?
- Sarah: I don't go by that name anymore.
- Lucille: Well, that's what it said on the legal documentation. I've been informed it's now Sarah Auvic.
- Sarah: Yeah. Look, not really in the mood to talk about legal documentation. Where's Sakeena?
- Sakeena: I'm right here.
Sakeena is revealed to have been standing to Sarah the entire time on her left.
- Sakeena: Heeyyy. How are you?
- Sarah: How are you? You were having like, a full-blown panic attack.
- Sakeena: You blacked out. Like out of nowhere. Wendy was able to get me to calm down with an anxiety trick but like, you straight up passed out.
- Sarah: ...what?
- Sakeena: Yeah. You broke your needle finger too. That cracked and cut your hand up really bad. We were all kind of panicking until X-Ray showed up and got you some quick medical attention and sent you here.
Sarah shakes her head and groans in pain as her hand, wrapped in bandages, responds in pain.
- Sarah: Ah shit. Are you guys okay? Did you enjoy the show?
- Sakeena: No, we had… we had to go. We'll try again maybe another time, but uh… I guess we're both pretty damaged in more than one way.
- Sarah: What had you freaked out so bad? Was it the crowd?
- Sakeena: It was the outfit. I felt so… vulnerable in it. I was scared someone would see me… I thought bad things were going to happen. Even if you were there and everyone else, I didn't… feel safe.
- Sarah: Why didn't you tell me?
- Sakeena: I thought it would pass. You know, like a lot of things I'm flung into.
- Sarah: I'm sorry.
- Sakeena: You didn't know. Just… relax.
- Sarah: Is… is X-Ray here?
- Sakeena: She was for a little bit before leaving with her girlfriend.
- Sarah: ..wait, what.
- Sakeena: She kissed another girl on the lips. Brown hair, glasses, kind of dressed super casually. She had slacks on.
- Sarah: I've been pestering her for months. When the fuck did this happen?
- Sakeena: I dunno.
- Sarah: God…
Sarah attempts to rip her IV out of her arm before Lucille holds her back.
- Sarah: Agh...
- Lucille: You need to calm down.
Sarah just lays back in defeat.
- Sarah: I'm not mad at her.
Sarah is completely still as she says this.
- Sarah: I'm not.
- Sakeena: You don't sound okay with it.
- Sarah: I'm not. I thought if I left the void, it'd… I dunno, shake out back to what I wanted it to be. I wanted to be a new person. But too much weighs me down from my past "life" to just do that.
Sakeena holds her uninjured hand.
- Sakeena: Look, I did some shitty things too. Forgiving yourself is a step you need to take as well. What's troubling you?
- Sarah: Everything.
Sarah just takes a big breath.
- Sarah: I've been sober for months. I don't get to forget anything anymore. I don't want to.
Sarah turns her head towards Sakeena.
- Sarah: But god, it hurts, so fucking much.
Unten and Zerita head into Sarah's room. Sakeena is sitting by the chair next to her.
- Unten: Is Sarah okay?
- Sakeena: She's doing okay. She's got a lot to get through mentally.
- Lucille: Looks like a case of Void-Out.
- Zerita: What's Void-Out?
- Lucille: Your friend Netnu had a case of this when he came to my hospital. He'd just pass out and seemed to be living past memories. At the time, I had no name for it. But it seems like extended contact with the dimension that Sarah was in for six months has put her in a state where she just passes out when she wants to escape from her current situation. To return to the darkness of the void.
- Unten: Wait… Netnu got it when we were trapped in the void? How come I didn't get it?
- Lucille: I honestly don't know. But perhaps your infection with the Hivemind Virus had something to do with it?
Lucille looks at Sarah.
- Lucille: I'm admittedly not the best at treating these new kind of alien diseases.
- Unten: Wait, so that shit in my brain that let the Threat invade it whenever she wanted protected me from this?
- Lucille: It's my hypothesis. I don't have enough test subjects to test this theory out. And frankly, I don't think I can. Maybe you're just special. I dunno.
Unten looks at Sarah.
- Lucille: All I know is that your past medical history has the Hivemind Virus and what we're calling Void-Out. Aside from that… I dunno if anything else would explain it.
Sarah jolts awake.
- Sarah: Ah, jesus. It's you, huh?
- Unten: Sarah, you doing alright?
- Sarah: Yeah, I'm fine.
Sarah looks at Zerita, taken aback by her uncovered face.
- Sarah: Jesus.
- Zerita: It's fine, you know I don't mean you harm.
- Yeah, but like… the teeth…
- Zerita: What, am I ugly now?
- Sarah: I didn't say that.
- Zerita: You better not be.
Zerita laughs to herself.
- Lucille: By the way, I'm replacing your pinkie.
- Sarah: Me?
- Lucille: Yes. As long as you're being diagnosed with Void-Out, I can't have you attached to a glass object that can shatter and harm you.
- Lucille: It's a simple pop off and screw like your needles. But should restore actual functionality to your pinkie.
Sarah holds up her arm, revealing the black mechanical pinkie she's affixed to her.
- Sarah: Doc, is this really necessary…
- Lucille: Yes.
Sarah just sits defeated in the hospital bed.
- Unten: Damn, I haven't seen you this depressed since the time I thought I killed you and my own guilt was forming into a ghost of you that only I could see.
- Lucille: What the fuck do you guys actually do?
- Sarah: I don't have any control over my life. Even the things I think I have control over… they're taken away from me.
Sarah flexes her robotic pinkie.
- Unten: Sometimes you need a little help to do things you couldn't do. Look, I've had to accept help from a lot of shady sources. People hated me for it. But…
- Sarah: Yeah, shut up. Sorry, rude. But really. I used to be just fine working on my own.
- Unten: Without your agents, you wouldn't have beaten my merchandise sales so handily.
- Sarah: Yeah, I guess.
- Unten: And without X-Ray, how many operations do you honestly think you could have done alone?
- Sarah: Mm.
- Unten: Sorry, still a sore subject.
- Sarah: A little. She moved on.
- Unten: As in… to a new…
Sarah stares at Unten with a death glare and nods.
- Unten: Yeah, alright. Sorry about that.
- Sarah: It's fine, you didn't know.
- Unten: How long are you expected to be in here?
- Sarah: I dunno, a week?
- Unten: Oh, hopefully you're ready for the World Tournament in a week.
- Sarah: The… what?
- Unten: The World Tournament. Did nobody tell you?
- Zerita: It's a big tournament over a belt.
- Unten: Laverne wanted us to participate in it because it was something she and her friends did back in their heyday.
- Sarah: Who the hell is Laverne?
- Unten: Oh, our Aura trainer!
- Sarah: The fuck is Aura?
- Zerita: We'll catch you up. It's not like you got anywhere to go fast.
- Unten: Actually, don't we need to get Zingotta back?
- Zerita: Right. We'll be back.
Unten and Zerita leave the hospital room.
- Sarah: You're staying, right?
Sakeena looks up from her phone.
- Sakeena: Oh… I gotta go, actually.
- Lucille: I've got other people to tend to, as well.
Rachel comes into the hospital room.
- Rachel: I heard about what happened, are you two okay?
- Sakeena: We're both fine, Rachel. I think Sarah would like if you stayed, though.
- Sarah: Admittedly, it would be nice.
Rachel sits down.
- Sarah: Thank you.
- Rachel: So… what happened?
Sarah steps into the Firehouse, stretching out her healed hand.
- Sarah: Hey fuckers, I'm back!
- Unten: Oh hey!
- Sarah: So, what's everyone getting all packed up for?
- Unten: World Tournament. I swore we told you about this?
- Zerita: You did, I was there. She forgot, it happens.
- Sarah: Where's Rachel?
- Unten: Doing a warm-up run. She's been getting really serious about this.
- Sakeena: Hey, if you feel like you're going to void out, please tell me. I'll help you out.
- Sarah: I'll try. It just kind of happens, I guess.
- Nycho: Come on, let's head out!
A knocking can be heard at the door. Nycho opens the door to see Denos and Logi.
- Denos: Hey. We came back for our plant?
- Logi: ...you guys still have that right? Our trip took a… unexpected turn.
- Nycho: No… uh, we killed it. Yeah, it transformed into a monster and I shot it in the head.
- Logi: A fake Macawgrass?
- Denos: Wait, who would do that?
- Nycho: We don't know!
Sarah leans against the wall.
- Sarah: Your shit's dead, probably for a good reason. Can we get going to this dumb tournament already?
- Unten: Yeah, we'll head out now.
The Fantendo Firehouse group heads out of the firehouse with Denos and Logi. Off to the World Tournament…
Post Credits: The Weekday Effect
Sarah opens the door, a dolphin decked out in golden armor looking at her with a helmet fastened around his head.
- Dolphin: My name is Dolph Lundgren, my people need help from an invasion and since you guys seem to be the big heroes around here…
- Sarah: Mm… well, I just got back so… also our group is kind of splintered off so…
Sarah slowly closes the door.
- Dolph: What the hell are you talking about? Listen, we need to act immediately…
- Sarah: We can reschedule to next week…
- Dolph: No, we need to…
Dolph watches as Sarah continues to close the door slowly, quietly pleading with his eyes. Sarah closes the door completely.
- Dolph: Damn it… how are we gonna…
Dolph walks down the street, watching as two aliens walk down across the street towards the Firehouse.
- Dolph: Can't believe this shit. Rejected just like that… for like, basically no reason too…
As he walks, a red van with a distinctive "C" logo drives up towards him.
- Dolph: Uh…
- Voice from the van.: Get in.
Dolph does what he's asked as the van doors open. A white haired woman and man are in the front seat. The woman turns towards him.
- Woman: Hi, name's Doctor Veronika. You have an issue, yes? One that can't be treated by those people in the Firehouse, yes?
- Dolph: Yeah… were you eavesdropping?
- Veronika: Oh, don't worry your little glass-entombed head about it. Just keep that blowhole open. We can send aid to your part of the conflict provided we get some governmental funding from your kingdom.
- Dolph: I can't guarantee that… but I can try and talk it out. You mean it though, right?
- Veronika: Oh, 100%. CHELPRO guarantee. We're here for you in a way those other guys aren't.
Dolph nods his head. This sounds pretty good to him!
Sarah falls to the ground as Sakeena is suffering from her panic attack.
- Wendy: Sakeena. Sakeena. Breathe. What do you see around you?
- Sakeena: People… lots of people… carpet flooring… Leah totally passed out… lots of lights… Zap Zap Pow…
Sakeena's breathing gets less intense. Wendy helps her up from the floor as they look at Sarah's collapsed body.
- Sakeena: Is she…?
Diesellia taps her wrist.
- Diesellia: She's alive.
- Sakeena: Is… is that X-Ray?
Sakeena looks straight ahead, still looking incredibly tense and uneasy, noticing a distinctive blue haired woman kiss another woman with brown hair and glasses.
- Sakeena: X-RAY!
This catches X-Ray's attention, who runs over to them. She looks at the collapsed Sarah.
- X-Ray: Okay, Sakeena, you don't look like you want to be here. CALL 911. Get out of here. Me and the other girls will get her body away from the crowd.
The woman with brown hair makes her way through the crowd.
- Woman: What happened?
- X-Ray: My ex collapsed, don't worry about it Alyssa.
Sakeena has already left the concert hall, calling 911 on her phone.
- X-Ray: Everything's going to be okay. I can do this.
- Dolph Lundgren is a reference to the actor of the same name.
- Macawgrass is a reference to Parrotgrass from the Space Adventure Cobra franchise.
- Nycho's line of "Everyone's dying. Let's get you some fruit, bitch.", is a reference to the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode The Gang Hits the Road where Mac utters the same line after Charlie tells him about his lack of a bucket list because he isn't dying.
- The restaurant that Unten and Zerita go to is a reference to a planet in the original Zaxinian Lifts named Epoch. Additionally, only recipes from the original Zaxianian Lifts are served there.
- The octopus-like chef is a small nod to Interface, the web series created by Umami. However, their design more closely resembles Hoolene's species.
- The plotline involving the fortune cookies is a reference to the Twilight Zone episode Nick of Time.
Leah picks up a old comic book from Nycho's long box of comics which is Batman 232. The cover features Bruce Wayne leaping from a tree as Batman's cowl can be seen in swamp water, presumed to be dead by the issue's villains. This cover was used as a tease towards the story's subject matter, which involves a thought-to-be dead character, Leah Needlenam, returning as her real identity, Sarah Auvic.
- The opening act of the story is a dense amount of references, intended to show both how much has changed and Sarah's past that she left behind as Leah. A full breakdown of some of these references can be found in References to Other Works.
- Each of the act names and the post credits scene are named after medical terms used for surgery.
References to Other Works
- Just Like Old Friends - Nycho first showed Dragon Ball as a major interest in this story, which comes to relevance again in the opening. Unten also sharing an interest in Dragon Ball also
- Unten once again references how he doesn't want the group name to be Fantendo Smash Bros., a name that Nycho keeps using to refer to the group since Victory.
- Happy Birthday, Unten! - Nycho specifically trying to show Obena all of Dragon Ball through physical media seems to have begun here, as he was shown putting a VHS of the Broly movie in this story's ending.
- Nycho's patent on an oil dripping mechanism for cars is referenced again here. This fact was first revealed in Happy Birthday, Unten!.
- Days of Victory - Nycho specifically references that he doesn't know Leah/Sarah very well, which is true because the last time both of them were around, they barely interacted. Obena dabs in response, which is something Leah taught her to do to symbolize peace.
- Zingotta, who debuted briefly in Days of Victory, reappears as a major character in this story.
- Voidlings, who also debuted briefly in Days of Victory, appear in a more major role as they open the barrier between the void dimension and the New Fantendoverse for Sarah to get things and talk to X-Ray through.
- Unten references the ghost of Leah he saw in Days of Victory, created because of the guilt he had from "killing" Leah in Act 1 of that story.
- Amatsuchi! - The streaming service, Sushifucker, is likely a reference to Amatsuchi!, the often-referenced anime in the Fantendoverse.
- Strafe: Warzones - Sarah calls Strafe "Jack", a running gag that started here. Unlike in Warzones, Strafe can finally call Sarah by her real name.
- The events of Fallen Crusade and Fantendo - Zenith have created strain between Rachel and Bang Crimson's relationship, which is why Rachel calls their relationship complicated when talking to Sarah.
- Stand Out Stories - Sarah references her agents, who first debuted in Stand Out Stories as working under the difficult Penny Loafer.
- Fantendo - Zenith - Rachel gives a quick summary of Fantendo - Zenith to Sarah after talking about how busy the last six months have been.
- The scene just prior to Unten calling X-Ray for help in Fantendo - Zenith is revealed to have been Sarah calling out X-Ray for bottling up her emotions. It's also revealed that X-Ray was just dropping off trash a mere minute before resting on the porch and getting the call.
- This trick is pulled off again with Quartz's walk-out. While preparing to cut open the Fan for his surgery, X-Ray ran into the bathroom to talk to Sarah.
- Rendered NULL - Rachel gives another quick summary of Rendered NULL as she introduces NULL to Sarah.
- Sarah goes off a list of everyone she's wronged in the past, which include the following:
- Xerox - Sarah only got into a relationship with her to "practice" for X-Ray, as Xerox could disguise herself to look like X-Ray with her mastery of disguise. She still hasn't made up with her.
- Alexandria Earhart - Sarah was the reason she lost an eye. They made up during Days of Victory but it seems she's still racked with guilt about it.
- Rachel Harel - Rachel Harel's inclusion is an odd one but may be referencing their kiss during Fantendoverse Racing as well as her "betrayal" in Days of Victory.
- Unten Bluzen - Sarah openly made fun of him and antagonized him over several different stories as well as her "betrayal" in Days of Victory.
- Strafe - Sarah made a mess in his jeep in the unfinished Strafe: Dictator as well as her "betrayal" in Days of Victory.
- Sakeena - Sarah's drunken rambles that led to her breakdown that led Sakeena to devalue herself during Days of Victory and fall into the hands of The Threat while they were at war with each other.
- X-Ray - Sarah's struggles with X-Ray began in the original Fantendoverse, where she traumatized her to the point where X-Ray wouldn't even speak to her. In the New Fantendoverse, she wanted to try and be a better person and treated her with much more respect but Sarah probably still feels like she's failed in this respect because X-Ray threw the ring off during Sarah's "betrayal" in Days of Victory.
- Interestingly, she does not reference Lexi Larsen, someone who she actually ruined the life of in a more devastating way and didn't really come to a catharsis with.
- The Delta, which was a location first referenced in the Fantendo Now episode Vanilla Ice Cream and was later expanded upon greatly in FantendoQuest, returns as a locale that Unten and Zerita go to lunch at.
- FantendoQuest - Izzy Skarp appears as a minor role in this story.
- Fantendo - Hivemind Holiday - Unten references the Hivemind virus he has implanted in him from the events of this story and how it effected him later in Days of Victory. It is also again referenced when Lucille is discussing her hypothesis that Unten doesn't have Void-Outs because of the Hivemind virus.
- The Normal Life of Sarah Auvic - Referenced in one of Sarah's quick flashbacks to her fast. While this is a artificial event, her killing Rachel at the gas station apparently had a profound effect on her psyche.
- Rendered NULL + Pink Lemonade - Referenced when talking about Netnu's time in the hospital. Apparently Netnu was also subject to Void Outs due to his time in the void in Days of Victory.
- Summer Dayz - While not explicitly referenced, the fact that Netnu suffers from Void Outs makes his flashback to Eliza dying on Zeon a possible Void Out.
- Truth and Train - The World Tournament is quickly approaching, which was first referenced here. Unten and Zerita also talk about Laverne and Aura much to Sarah's confusion.
- Fantendo the Animated Series + Fantendo the Animated Series: The Next Generation - Alyssa Ashen, X-Ray's new girlfriend, is named after Alysa, Rachel's wife in this series. She was also a planned character in the original, going to appear in Season 3 as part of the episodes Wedding Smashers and Blue Wedding.