Rendered NULL is a OVA series that takes place after the events of Just Like Old Friends and takes place during the six month time gap between Fantendo Smash Bros. Victory and Fantendo - Zenith. The story was written by Helena Harper (t∣b∣c) and is the debut of The Shōri (Über, Tōsō Musuko, Kimi Lee, and Hinata Itō) and NULL in the Fantendoverse, even though the character pages for these characters have been around for quite a while.
When Unten and the team goes to Toyko to meet the Shōri, a mysterious new threat appears in the vicinity that seems outright unbeatable. Dealing with their own dysfunctionality on top of this, the two teams have to work together to put a stop to this new threat.
Unten Bluzen and his team (informally known as the "Fantendo Smash Bros.") head out to Toyko under request of Netnu, who wants the group to break out of their own apparent clique to meet more of the teams across the planet so that they are more prepared next time of a galaxy-sized crisis. As such, they meet the Shōri, a dysfunctional group that mirrors Unten, Strafe, Sakeena, and Rachel. While getting to know the group as well as how Japanese arcades work, the group finds themselves face to face with a new unstoppable threat known as NULL.
NULL puts up quite the challenge, requiring the two teams to work out any possible weakpoint and solution to defeat her, while the situation preys at much of the two teams' insecurities. Can they work together or will their lives be rendered null?
Episode 1: Shōri Enough
A airplane lands in a airport in Tokyo. Unten, Rachel, Strafe, Nycho, Obena, and Sakeena step out.
- Strafe: Who told us we had to fly all the over there?
Zerita and Sia step out of the plane.
- Sia: Jesus christ, Earth is like, super built around humans.
- Zerita: Netnu told us to meet him over there. Do you not remember?
- Strafe: I mean… I kind of do, but not really.
- Rachel: Just be glad it's not Noah. It's March, for crying out loud.
- Strafe: I suppose…
- Sakeena: Personally, I'm excited. Japan has all the cool stuff…
- Obena: I find it quite appealing already.
- Unten: You say that about everything.
- Zerita: Let's just get to the gates already.
Netnu sits outside of a shinto shrine. A orange fox-like creature steps outside, holding a mug.
- Fox Creature: Mmm… there's a really quality coffee machine they put in. Fancy a sip?
- Netnu: No thank you, Über.
Über sits down with Netnu.
- Über: Mmhm. So, when do you think they'll get here?
- Netnu: They're pretty good about getting to places… give them a moment.
- Über: So what are you now? A sorcerer or some shit?
- Netnu: Some skills I've learned from Major Arcana resemble that, yes.
- Über: Interesting.
A taxi pulls up to the shinto shrine, with Unten, Rachel, Obena, and Nycho exiting from it. Unten taps Imperium to free Sia, and Strafe, Zerita, and Sakeena exit out from another taxi that pulls up shortly later.
- Über: Ey, there's the guests.
- Netnu: Told ya.
- Unten: Hey Netnu! Who's this other guy…?
- Über: Name's Über. I landed here in Toyko… I'm a pretty big deal in these parts.
- Unten: ...ah. When did you land here…?
- Über: Sometime ago… I knew about you shortly after I landed here.
- Sakeena: Oh my god, is that Über?
- Über: I see I have a fan already.
- Sakeena: Hah… it's great to see you in the flesh, sir!
- Rachel: Why are we all the way out here, Netnu?
- Netnu: I think it's high time you guys broke out from the clique and met some other people, y'know? We're all supposed to protect the Earth together, and we should probably learn to work together in case something like The Threat happens again. Banding everyone together took way too much time.
- Unten: I mean, I get that, but what do we really have to worry about?
- Netnu: The Doomuli…
- Unten: We just faced two of them… they hardly seemed like much of a threat all things considered.
- Rachel: I don't think it's the time to get cocky, Unten.
Unten nods slowly, looking to Über.
- Unten: Alright Über, show us around.
Über nods and guides everyone inside the shinto shrine.
- Über: This our base of operations; we're employed by the Japanese SDF. This old temple is where we reside now, because we found our old base was too far away to respond adequately to cosmic threats.
A woman in black hair comes into the room making tea.
- Über: This is Hinata. She is my lover.
- Hinata: Mhm.
Hinata sits down and just sips her tea. Nycho leans into Unten.
- Nycho: (whispering) Doesn't this feel a bit eerily similar to us?
- Unten: (whispering back) I don't really see how.
A man in white hair and red sunglasses arrives through the door way, glancing at Strafe.
- White Hair Man: Über, who are these people?
- Strafe: I'm Strafe, we're uh… from the west, the United States…
- White Hair Man: Why in the hell do we have a bunch of Westerners here?
- Über: Tōsō, one of their friends figured we could be friends. Considering we barely heard about The Threat thing until it was way too late, I think this would be a good way to expand our circle.
- Tōsō: Expand our circle? I like that we're relatively secluded here, Über. Less trouble to deal with, to stress about… but you have your perfect little life here, huh… it's not enough for you…
A brown haired woman comes down the stairs, rubbing her eyes and putting on her glasses.
- Brown Hair Woman: Über, you're not yelling at Tōsō again, right?
- Über: I haven't yelled at him. Tōsō is the one yelling at me…
- Tōsō: Am not! Kimi, you know what happened!
- Kimi: Uhhh… hah...
Obena looks to Netnu.
- Obena: They seem kind of… troubled.
- Netnu: I had no idea they were like this… they seemed similar enough to your group that I thought…
- Unten: Hey uh, we're here too. Let's drop the petty arguments, okay?
- Über: Yes, my western counterpart is correct.
- Tōsō: Wouldn't want to embarrass ourselves in front of our guests, huh? I never asked for them!
Hinata walks between the two as they keep fighting, glancing at Unten's group.
- Hinata: They're gonna be like this for a while, why don't you set your bags down here and let's go do something actually fun.
- Sakeena: I be down for that!
- Obena: I love seeing different cultures, so please expose me to everything!
- Hinata: Fish chick, I ain't that kind of girl.
- Obena: Huh?
- Nycho: Misunderstanding. She thought you wanted to see her boobies.
- Obena: Oh…
- Hinata: Nah, I'll show you those if you want. I just ain't gonna give you a tour of Toyko. We're just gonna hang out at the arcades where I don't have to talk to any of you.
- Rachel: Fair enough.
- Hinata: Come on, Kimi, let's leave the two boys to their own feud.
- Kimi: Coming!
The group arrives at a Japanese arcade, where the group begins to split off. Kimi, Sakeena, Obena, and Nycho crowd around a Amatsuchi! machine while Unten, Strafe, Hinata, and Rachel crowd around a Pachinko machine Hinata is playing somewhat mindlessly. Sia and Zerita wander around aimlessly.
- Unten: So uh… that Über guy… I guess you know more about him considering that… you two are uh…
- Hinata: Banging body parts together? I guess. Truth be told, he's super fake in public, always crying to me about how lonely he feels, although I guess with the way we treat each other it's not that far-fetched to think that way.
- Rachel: Huh. Interesting.
- Strafe: What about that Toasto guy?
- Hinata: Tōsō. I don't really have any interest in him, but I'm pretty sure he wants me. Always going on about what a equal I am and how he'll fight for my honor and junk…
Hinata watches the balls for a moment before turning back to Unten.
- Hinata: Honestly, I went here because I thought we wouldn't have to talk about this junk.
- Unten: Sorry.
- Hinata: Meh… I guess it's not really something I can fault you for… new guys seem interesting, right? A break from your own dysfunctionality, right?
- Strafe: Believe me, if I wanted this to just be about that, I would go back to Noah.
- Hinata: Noah… that semi-secret city in Aeo?
- Strafe: That's the place… just desert and thieves.
- Hinata: Sounds interesting.
- Strafe: Not… really.
Hinata pulls down the lever again, watching as the Pachinko balls fall down the machine into a little pocket. Hinata picks them and starts shoving them into a top pocket, where they get loaded into a spring mechanism. Hinata tilts a lever to drop the balls.
- Unten: I really don't understand how this game works…
- Hinata: I mean, if the ball falls in the right hole, you win. You want to get the numbers you see on the screen.
- Rachel: Right but… what do you win?
- Hinata: More balls. Those come out into a seperate machine, where you give them to a staffer. Then they'll give you a small prize and you can go across the street to exchange at a pawn shop to exchange it for money.
- Unten: That just sounds like gambling with more steps.
- Hinata: Did I mention the pawn shop is owned by the owners of the arcade.
- Rachel: So… it is gambling?
- Hinata: Hey, at least I'm getting something out of it. I don't see the appeal of that Amatsuchi! machine.
Unten glances over to the Amatsuchi! machine, where Sakeena, Nycho, and Obena are watching Kimi play.
- Obena: So, how does this work?
- Kimi: The machine spits out cards at a seperate fee. They're random and they come in seven packs. I already have some cards, so I can enter a couple yen here and scan them in to play as the characters I have.
- Nycho: That's kind of neat… but what happens if you don't have any cards?
- Kimi: ...you pay the seperate fee for it to spit out cards. Then you play as whoever they give you.
- Nycho: …yeah, but what if you want to play as Amatsuchi?
- Kimi: You scan the Amatsuchi card.
- Nycho: But… what if I don't have the Amatsuchi card…?
- Kimi: Come on, you can't be this dense.
- Sakeena: He is.
- Kimi: Sigh… well you would have to keep paying for seven packs until you get Amatsuchi or whatever character you want.
- Nycho: Huh.
- Kimi: Anyway… I got sushi to shove so…
Kimi opens up her binder of Amatsuchi cards before the arcade starts to flicker. Zerita glances around worryingly, before the arcade goes completely dark.
- Kimi: Uh…
- Nycho: Damn, it's dark as hell in here! I'm gonna have to use my echolocation to get out of here.
Sakeena holds out her phone, using a flashlight app to look around.
- Sakeena: There you are, Obena. What are you doing on the floor?
- Obena: Someone shoved me down…
- Kimi: Well, that's the kind of panic you can expect at a arcade in Japan.
- Nycho: And a country-themed buffet in the west when the chocolate fountain has a bird in it.
- Kimi: Truly, the differences are only surface-level.
The group evacuates outside.
- Unten: I wonder what could have shut down the power, it's hardly raining…
- Rachel: I think… I think I see what's sapping the power.
Rachel points to a figure in the distance with electricity coursing towards them. Unten turns his head and reaches for his cloak.
- Unten: You guys know how to fight, right?
The group gives cautious nods as the figure gets closer.
Episode 2: Null and Void
The mysterious figure approaches, electricity sizzling in their hands. It appears to look like Unten, although it shifts itself to look like Sia in a instant.
- Kimi: Why is it shifting like that?
- Rachel: Must be a shape-shifter- we've dealt with our fair share of those right?
- Unten: Right…
The mysterious figure blasts electricity at the group, with the group jumping back, morphing into Hinata.
- Hinata: Egh, that's freaky.
Rachel raises her shield gauntlet up as the mysterious figure morphs into Zerita, running on all fours towards Rachel.
- Rachel: Ack! What even is this thing?
Rachel's projected shield suddenly shatters as one of the mysterious figure's claws pokes at it. Sakeena grabs her using some metal to pull her to safety.
- Rachel: Impossible… it's refracted light… how on Earth is there a opening to exploit and shatter like that?
- Unten: Is that… Red Energy?
The mysterious figure blasts Red Energy out from their palm, creating two boomerangs that whiz towards them. Kimi Lee creates two snow pillars that take the hit, dissipating both Red Energy boomerangs.
- Strafe: Does this person literally have every super power or what?
Strafe attempts to blast the mysterious figure with a blast of his light powers. The mysterious figure looks intensely at Strafe before shuddering as they procure a sword of light.
- Strafe: I guess they do.
The mysterious figure slashes towards Strafe, with Strafe barely being able to avoid their attack. Unten suddenly feels himself moving on his own, as if the blood in his body was being moved around before the mysterious figure slams their palm into his chest, causing him to fly up into the sky.
- Unten: Ahhh! What the?
Über and Tōsō run towards the fight, unleashing their dark and water-based energies at the dangerous stranger.
- Tōsō: What's going on? Is Hinata alright?
- Hinata: I'm fine, friend. This bastard showed up and they keep transforming into other people…
- Sia: Ah, watch out!
The mysterious figure transforms into Sia again, slamming the blade of light into the ground near Tōsō, who just narily avoids the attack. Tōsō blasts them with a dark energy attack before attempting to strike them with his katana, which is shot out of his hand with a water attack.
- Tōsō: Über?
- Über: That wasn't me!
The dangerous stranger runs past them, growling as they run through the streets of Toyko in a Zerita form. Unten nearly slams into the ground as Zerita catches him.
- Zerita: Jesus, what is this thing?
- Über: Well, whatever it is, it can't just run through Toyko.
- Unten: Yeah, no, we get it orange guy.
- Über: The name's Über. You could show me a bit more respect.
Netnu drops down from a building.
- Netnu: I highly suggest we drop the conversation, as this reckless viligante is on the loose right now and seems to be heading towards the shinto shrine.
- Über: Shinto shrine…? We live in a shinto shrine…
The group takes off running. Unten grabs for his Hyper Mode orb, but puts it back in his coat. They run to the shinto shrine, where they see Über generate a black orb of what seems to be infinite blackness.
- Unten: I remember seeing that kind of power before… void creation… just like that Querius guy from a while back.
- Tōsō: Out of the way nerd! Nobody's destroying this place!
Tōsō shoves Unten aside, attacking the stranger from behind. The stranger transforms into Tōsō and twists their head entirely backwards to face Tōsō, creating a separate pair of limbs to blast him with electrical and water attacks. Tōsō is hit with a water attack, tumbling down the stairs.
- Tōsō: Ack!
Hinata attempts to kick the stranger but is thrown out by a water attack and Kimi Lee attempts to block a electrical attack.
- Obena: What are we gonna do?
- Unten: Whatever we can…
Unten pulls out Imperium and it strikes forward as it extends it's length, slamming into the mysterious figure. The mysterious figure flinches but then sends a Inversion shockwave into Imperium, causing Unten to drop the sword as it takes into the sky.
- Obena: Let me try…
Obena pulls out her own sword, Sovereign, and blasts it at the stranger, who blasts back with a dark surge of power, blocking the attack. The void orb gets bigger, and Unten, looking at Tōsō who is getting up from the ground, pushes him aside as the void slams into the shinto shrine, taking it all.
- Tōsō: What are you doing, you damn nerd!?
Unten sighs as Imperium falls from the sky and slams into the street, with Unten going back to pick it up. Tōsō attempts to run towards the mysterious stranger but is too late as the mysterious stranger jumps into a portal and closes it.
- Tōsō: We could have stopped them if you didn't get in the way!
- Unten: You would have gotten yourself trapped and I don't know if we would have gotten you out.
- Tōsō: You don't know that!
Unten looks to Netnu.
- Über: Well great, now what?
- Netnu: This is just my suspicion, but I don't think this person is out for blood, but rather to destroy prominent bases of heroes. As such… the firehouse is probably next.
- Nycho: She ain't destroying that.
- Nentu: As such, the one thing I think that would be recommended is to get everyone back there to the firehouse so we can protect it.
- Hinata: So… stay over your place then.
- Unten: Yeah… kind of a inverse of what we were supposed to be doing here.
- Kimi: I suppose that won't be too bad.
- Tōsō: Well, let's go over there so if that snot-nosed shifter comes back... I'm gonna beat their ass.
- Nycho: Ay, as long as my firehouse is safe, that's good with me.
- Unten: I guess we better get going then…
The stranger warps into a lab room, shuddering a bit. A man in a red labcoat walks up to them.
- Man in Labcoat: Subject NULL seems to be responding well to the first mission…
The man stabs the stranger, Subject NULL, who at the moment resembles Tōsō with a syringe. Their appearance drops as they fall into a deep sleep.
- Man in Labcoat: And the sleep syringe seems to work fine. Good.
The man in the labcoat glances over the recorded data he has from the mission and smiles.
- Man in Labcoat: Good stuff, good stuff.
A woman in a lab coat walks up to him, glancing at NULL.
- Woman in Labcoat: You need to pick your shit up.
The woman holds NULL up, who has reverted into their "true" appearance and places them inside of a giant blue containment tube.
- Woman in Labcoat: How's the Silvally DNA holding up?
- Man in Labcoat: Pretty good. Scanning for powers turned out rather well, it doesn't seem like they'll burn out of them anytime soon.
- Woman in Labcoat: The chinese investors will be very happy then.
- Man in Labcoat: I think the only problem is positioning NULL as the leader… they aren't exactly talkative.
- Woman in Labcoat: Mmm… I'm sure someone can handle that if it becomes too much of a problem.
- Man in Labcoat: It's not like they're irreplaceable either.
Nycho opens the firehouse doors for the Shōri and the others.
- Rachel: Well… we're already back here, huh?
- Hinata: You live in a fire station?
- Unten: Oh no, this is just where we meet. Nycho was nice enough to buy out the firehouse for a couple months so we just… use the space to talk as a group. We live in the apartments nearby.
- Kimi: Rather spacious… you Americans need so much room, huh.
- Sia: Really, it's more just for my sake… I don't know how I would have been able to fit much more in your shrine…
- Über: Where do you suppose we'll sleep?
- Nycho: The place came with four bunk beds, so there's plenty of room for you four…
They hear a loud beeping from the kitchen as a woman opens up the microwave and pulls out a packet of shredded beef.
- Woman: Who the fuck are all these people, Nycho?
- Unten: ...what?
- Nycho: Oh shit, I forgot. Hi Guadalupe.
- Guadalupe: You sure do seem to forget a lot about me, huh.
Guadalupe slams the microwave shut.
- Guadalupe: Ah, what the hell, I can't stay mad at you.
- Rachel: Are you… cooking?
- Guadalupe: Yeah. You guys had nothing but like… a yogurt salad with raisins? And I asked "What is this white nonsense?" and threw it in the trash.
- Rachel: Oh…
Rachel glares at Unten.
- Rachel: You told me you were gonna eat that.
- Guadalupe: Anyway, I went to the grocery store to get some proper ingredients, but it looks like I'll have to go out to the store again if I'm gonna feed you all…
- Unten: That won't be necessary. Just uh… Über, Tōsō, Hinata, and Kimi are here to stay until we neutralize this shape shifting power copying thing and repair the shinto shrine.
- Guadalupe: Oh neat, I just have a broken toilet.
- Nycho: That didn't go the way I was expecting.
- Guadalupe: Yeahhh… I tried looking up tutorials on the interweb, but I ended up just shattering the porcelain.
- Strafe: This whole conversation is really not needed.
- Guadalupe: Yeah, you're probably right.
Guadalupe spreads out the meat from the bag on a flour tortilla.
- Rachel: Is this still adequate?
- Über: I suppose it'll have to work for now.
- Strafe: To be frank, I'm not sure how we're going to beat this thing. We don't seem to know of any kind of weaknesses for it to even exploit and I don't think any of us even grazed the thing…
- Rachel: Hrm… and the other thing too, is that I'm not sure if any of us have any DNA we can look at, see if there's a possible genetic opening to exploit…
- Hinata: Ya'll can deal with that.
- Obena: Wait, what do you mean-
- Hinata: I'm finished for now. It's already ninteen hundred hours and I'm exhausted.
- Über: Yeah…
- Tōsō: I'd get revenge on the twerp too if I didn't need to be here to protect this place.
- Strafe: I mean, you really don't-
- Tōsō: Silence!
- Kimi: Oh… well, you know… I should stay here too…
- Unten: So… it's back to our shoulders then.
- Über: Yup! Well… not for too long. But, yeha.
- Unten: Alright, we should probably figure out a plan.
- Netnu: This person seems to be going after prominent organizations of sorts that have heroes… I dunno WHY, but it seems very familiar to what that uh… terrorist group known as W.R.A.I.T.H was doing.
- Unten: W.R.A.I.T.H?
- Netnu: Jesus, do you guys talk to anybody aside from your own clique? It's all those F.A.N.T guys were talking about for a bit.
- Unten: Well, so they're going after prominent hero buildings? That would mean…
- Netnu: That's right… they would likely go after The Tiffts, The Misfits, F.A.N.T, us, probably more…
- Unten: So… we need to split up.
- Rachel: And we need to grab DNA. We know we're not likely to stop it, all things considered.
- Unten: Right…
Unten turns to Strafe.
- Unten: Alright, Strafe, Sia, and Rachel, you guys head to the Misfits base in New York.
- Obena: Me, Nycho and Sakeena can go to the Tifft Mansion...
- Unten: Uh… alright.
- Netnu: And that would put me, Unten, and Zerita at the F.A.N.T base.
- Rachel: Sounds good.
- Unten: Yeah… alright, let's go. Uh… hm…
- Netnu: It's fine, I have a limited degree of portal-casting. It's not as impressive, as say, a Herald's, but it should do the job okay.
- Guadalupe: You guys want something to eat before you go?
Guadalupe sets down a platter of soft tacos on the table. Unten shrugs.
- Unten: Suppose it couldn't hurt.
The man in the red labcoat is joined by the woman again as they walk down the hallway, with a big "CHELPRO" sign on the wall.
- Man in Labcoat: You got the notes right?
- Woman in Labcoat: Yes, of course I've got the notes. I don't see why I have to be more prepared than you when I get paid way less…
- Man in Labcoat: Stop!
The two stop in their tracks as an pair of gigantic Chinese men approach them. A Chinese woman in a wheelchair rolls in front of them.
- Chinese Woman: Hello.
- Woman in Labcoat: Hello! My name is Вероника, but you can just call me Veronika.
- Man in Labcoat: And I'm just Анатолий, ...Anatoly if you will.
- Chinese Woman: I'm just Zhenzhen, Zhen for short. I was told you had project NULL up and running?
- Veronika: Right this way.
Zhen, Veronika, and Anatoly enter inside the laboratory room, with NULL unconscious inside the test tube.
- Zhen: Tell me more about that thing.
- Anatoly: It's my creation-
- Veronika: Our creation. We created the body based off the android prototypes from fifteen year ago. While creating a biological creature based off the human framework was no doubt impressive…
- Anatoly: It was not enough to just stop there, especially with the advent of superheroes.
- Zhen: Right. The project was formed 15 years ago, but it went awry when our first subject… vanished from us. We tried replicating one of those heroes with your serum, but… something went wrong there too, didn't it?
- Anatoly: It had more to do with the US Law not allowing to us to contain these experiments without it coming under the jurisdiction of F.A.N.T.
- Zhen: Bah. F.A.N.T. Who needs those bastards?
- Veronika: So, when we began work on project NULL, we wanted to avoid that same mistake. But when we started to add powers… we suddenly realized we could pack a lot more into this creation given it was given the physical capacity of an adult, yet child-like enough to follow instructions.
- Zhen: I see. Poor thing can't read or write, can it?
- Veronika: Just gives it more time to focus on fighting, mam.
- Zhen: Bah, what use is it if it can't think for itself?
- Anatoly: Zhen, if I may be so bold, the NULL project has already brought down the Shōri base.
Zhen's eyes and ears perk up.
- Zhen: The Shōri, huh?
- Veronika: Now to be clear, it is only currently tasked to take out the bases of these heroes.
- Zhen: Well, you two are clearly idiots then.
- Anatoly: Zhen, mam, if-
- Veronika: It's a bad idea for several reasons right now.
- Zhen: Right, because we waited too long and there's too many that would instantly attack us.
- Anatoly: Ye-
- Zhen: Don't you think destroying just their bases would only catch more attention?
- Veronika: I'm not a master strategist, but we are keeping them alive in case Proposition 117 passes. In the meantime, this is the only way to-
- Zhen: If the whole thing is to push out our designer heroes, why would we risk putting out NULL if they're supposed to be one of them.
- Anatoly: She's a prototype.
Anatoly smirks as he shows her a blueprint on his tablet.
- Zhen: Ah… so build this one up as a unstoppable force that takes out all the world's heroes and then we drop the hero that saves everyone afterwards… supposing none of this leaks out, I can see it working…
- Veronika: It's been a idea at our old company A22 for a while. You remember Bombyx, yeah?
- Zhen: Ah… don't tell me you two were working at the Lion's Den...!
- Anatoly: The very same project. It's evolved. It's going to continue to evolve. When we make a matter of life and death a purchasable commodity… well, needless to say, that would be one hell of an empire to topple.
- Zhen: Well, it took me a bit, but I'm very impressed. Say, I suppose you couldn't show me some of NULL's power right now?
- Veronika: With pleasure.
Episode 3: It's In Your Code
Obena, Nycho, and Sakeena ring the doorbell. Rubelline appears at the door with a case of bed head.
- Rubelline: Oh hey, you three. Uh… is Rachel or… Bang here?
- Obena: Nope, just us three!
- Rubelline: Man… okay.
Rubelline opens the door as she sits down on the couch.
- Sakeena: You look tired, what's up?
- Rubelline: Oh… it's nothing uh, to do with depression or anything… Crow just kept me uh… up late very late and then Syande came after she left… it's been a long night for a good reason.
Rubelline smiles softly.
- Sakeena: Multiple relationships, huh?
- Rubelline: Haha, yeah. You get that?
- Sakeena: Well… it's not exactly like that… more like just a bunch of dates with the explicit "no-strings" attached promise, I guess.
Rubelline nods her head as she fills up a glass cup with water from the fridge.
- Rubelline: Oh wait, what brings you here?
- Nycho: We're trying to predict the movements of a very powerful villain of sorts.
- Obena: One look and they just copy your powers! They copy your appearance too!
Rubelline takes a sip of water.
- Rubelline: ...so are they coming here?
Sakeena puts a hand on Rubelline's shoulder.
- Sakeena: I'm going to keep it real with you Ruby… probably not.
- Rubelline: Oh, why?
- Sakeena: The general vibe I was getting, and I'm just assuming everyone was on the same page, is that they were putting the big heavy hitters at the F.A.N.T base- Unten, Netnu, and Zerita…
- Rubelline: Mmm… are those really the big heavy hitters? I got the impression Sakeena, Obena, and Strafe were the most powerful… then again, I don't know much about Netnu.
- Sakeena: I'm flattered… but come on, my ability is entirely dependent on whether metal's around. And Obena has… just the 3D print ability mostly.
Obena prints out a small plastic boat with her antenna.
- Rubelline: Yeah… but Zerita just has those claws.
- Sakeena: She has a metal arm from Chelsea, those things are high quality. I can tell from just the metal.
- Rubelline: Unten…?
- Sakeena: Imperium. Plus… they all have Hyper Mode orbs.
- Rubelline: Wait, Zerita has a Hyper Mode orb?
- Sakeena: Well… she does keep losing it.
- Rubelline: Well… feel free to just relax here, I don't got much going on today…
- Nycho: Trying to think of a new team name since people hate the one I came up with. Let's see… we got Unten, Netnu, Sia, Zerita, Mioda, Strafe, Obena, Sakeena, Rachel, myself, I guess Inner Imperium…
Rubelline grabs a box of Mana Loops from the pantry and then a jug of milk from the fridge.
- Nycho: ...we should call ourselves the Undo-able Unten Eleven!
- Sakeena: Do you just think words can go in any order you desire, Nycho? What happens if we get more members?
- Nycho: I'm just throwing ideas out there.
Unten, Netnu, and Zerita arrive at the site of the F.A.N.T base. Blank walks up to them, clearly exhausted.
- Unten: Oh hey, Blank.
- Blank: What are a bunch of you doing here? Is this about the shape-shifter threat? Do you really think we'd be incapable of stopping something like that?
- Unten: We figured you could have the extra help, considering we actually fought against the thing.
- Blank: Ugh… okay. You can stay outside the property but you can't go in. I'll give you a proper operative to watch you because I'm not in the mood to babysit.
Blank flashes her badge at the door and walks inside.
- Zerita: Sheesh, what's up with her?
- Unten: I dunno.
- Netnu: I suppose she has a point though… if the shapeshifter was going to attack here, it would probably be the last place for her to go. The place is swarming with operatives.
- Unten: Yeah… but not all them are equipped to take on something like that shapeshifter, right?
- Zerita: We got our asses beat last time, I don't really think we should be pretending we could take them on.
- Unten: We just need the DNA. That's pretty easy, all things considered...
Strafe, Rachel, and Sia stand outside the Misfits base. Strafe folds his arms as Birnstone comes out. Melissa Dust watches out of a window, glancing at Strafe and Rachel.
- Birnstone: Hey… uh, can we help you guys out? It's a pretty regular day… actually, why are you here?
Melissa Dust phases through the door.
- Melissa Dust: It's because they're in trouble. About the only time we ever meet seems to be when they drag us into their messes.
- Rachel: Well… hey…
- Strafe: I mean, it's technically true but still…
- Birnstone: W-what's the trouble this time?
- Strafe: Uhh… well, we predicted that a strange being that can take on forms and powers of others may stop by here to destroy your base.
- Birnstone: And… why is that?
- Rachel: Political, perhaps? We're… not really sure. And… we don't know if we can actually fight it off but we do want to get it's some of it's DNA.
Melissa Dust brings a bunch of Cyrilians to her hand.
- Melissa Dust: I think she's trying to say that she thinks it's out to destroy "hero" bases.
Melissa lightly laughs.
- Melissa Dust: I'm flattered that whoever this is still thinks we're heroes.
Guadalupe sets down a platter of burritos for the Shōri members.
- Tōsō: What are these?
- Guadalupe: Burritos. It's what I make all damn day at my job and I'm good at it, so eat it.
Tōsō pokes gently at the burrito with his fork as Über and Hinata dig in with their forks and knives. Kimi just kind of looks at it.
- Kimi: I don't think I'm hungry.
- Guadalupe: I made you this nice meal and you abandon it. Well, you can leave it or take it… either way this is getting eaten.
- Hinata: How about you, Guadalupe? Have you eaten?
- Guadalupe: I ate earlier.
- Hinata: Ah.
- Kimi: Yeah… I'll skip out.
Tōsō unpeels the burrito slowly.
- Guadalupe: Half of you are crazy.
- Tōsō: What is all this green stuff?
- Guadalupe: It's guacamole. All you rich people talk about is how cultured you are, yet you won't dip outside your own for a bite or two…
Tōsō angrily bites into it, chewing for a moment.
- Tōsō: It's... okay.
Tōsō gives her a scornful look as he keeps eating.
- Guadalupe: There we go!
Guadalupe puts her two hands together.
- Über: Well, I'm stuffed.
- Hinata: I wonder what's going on with Kimi…
- Guadalupe: Yeah, that girl looks starved to hell…
- Hinata: Guess I'll check it out.
- Tōsō: I suppose it wouldn't be a bad idea to tag along…
- Hinata: I'm pretty sure you're part of her problem.
Hinata gets up.
- Tōsō: Do you know what the hell that means?
- Guadalupe: You're the picky eater, you tell me.
Blank arrives with an male F.A.N.T agent.
- Blank: This is Nate. He'll be watching you three while I figure out the location of the shape-shifting threat.
- Nate: Hey, I'm Nate. Nice to meet you three, especially you, Unten! You can just call me Nate, or if you're feeling up to it, Normal Nate, because that's what I am!
- Zerita: How do we get this nerd to stop talking?
- Unten: Zerita…
Zerita throws her hands up.
- Nate: ...and my squad number is 617, and I got all kinds of neat friends in there. Mind if I tell you one of my adventures to pass the time?
- Blank: Yeah, you go tell em Nate, I'll be back in the building.
Nate nods and looks at the trio. Blank enters back into the F.A.N.T building.
- Nate: So here I was, out here with Mittsy and Pikko out in the middle of a massive desert island in the Bermuda-
Unten watches as a van approaches in the distance. Zerita and Netnu perk up from leaning against the wall.
- Unten: Do you see that?
- Netnu: Huh. Yeah.
Zerita sniffs the air.
- Zerita: I was picking up the scent of something earlier and I foolishly dismissed it but…
- Netnu: Is someone here?
- Zerita: If so… then they're directly above us.
- Nate: ...and so we took back that crown from the skeleton's throne but…
Suddenly a woman in an orange scarf and translucent skin jumps down, striking Netu and throwing a ninja star at Nate, attaching his coat to the wall.
- Nate: That's Ethereal!
Nate attempts to contact F.A.N.T but Ethereal throws a kunai at his phone. Nate freezes up on the spot as Netnu pulls back with a gash on his torso.
- Netnu: Guh…
- Zerita: Netnu, get back while you still can!
- Netnu: N-no. I need to endure…
Netnu staggers as he casts a orb that goes near Ethereal before bursting into exploding white particles. Ethereal jumps back and kicks off the wall, slashing at one of Netnu's ears with a small dagger. Unten pulls out the Hyper Mode orb.
- Unten: This isn't NULL, but I don't think we're going to last much longer if we don't seriously fight back…
Unten transforms into Hyper Form Unten, gritting his teeth as his palms have smoke come off them.
- Zerita: Woah… is that normal?
- Hyper Form Unten: I used it a little too much this week- it's fine.
- Zerita: I swear, it's like you're addicted to the damn thing…
Hyper Form Unten slams into Ethereal with an electrical uppercut, causing her to fall back on the side walk, her knees having black opaque bruises across them.
- Ethereal: Oh, so one of you can fight after all!
Ethereal charges forward as Hyper Form Unten punches back with an electrical hit, his hand getting jabbed with a knife. Hyper Form Unten winces in pain as he looks at his bleeding palm, before Ethereal follows up with a kick to the face. Zerita runs off, looking at the ceiling of the outside building as she does. Netnu stands near Nate, badly hurt as he watches Hyper Form Unten battle Ethereal.
- Ethereal: I wasn't expecting these kinds of visitors to our latest bombing site, but well, you just had to show up and ruin everything, huh?
- Hyper Form Unten: What are you… some kind of terrorist?
Hyper Form Unten shoots electricity, which Ethereal elegantly dodges and jumps in the air to kick Hyper Form Unten right in the face, but he jabs his claws into her leg. She howls in pain, stabbing Hyper Form Unten's hand to free herself. Both are looking kind of bloody.
- Ethereal: I should have pulled the bomb trigger earlier… you're all part of the same entity, aren't you?
- Hyper Form Unten: What the hell are you talking about?
- Ethereal: F.A.N.T. You're all ordered around by a single governmental entity, aren't you? Rolled back by the United States to kill anyone that doesn't comply. The ant man… Gray Demon… hell, I thought they killed you.
- Hyper Form Unten: I don't…
Hyper Form Unten huffs out of exhaustion as Ethereal spits out some blood, looking at him with a fierce glare in her eyes.
- Ethereal: Yeah, you don't get it. I should have pulled the trigger earlier and escaped with the explosion warmth peeling at my skin. But at this point…
Ethereal slides a small black device from her orange belt.
- Ethereal: I'd be willing to die for the freedoms they've stripped away.
Ethereal pushes the red button on the device, closing her eyes as she sighs out of exhaustion. Hyper Form Unten looks around in confusion.
- Hyper Form Unten: Nothing's happening.
Ethereal stands around quizzically, before Zerita enters with a bunch bomb devices, all with their wires snapped.
- Zerita: It was easy enough to see where you planted them, the hard part was deciding what wires needed to be cut, because there was no way in hell I could have found a site to place them away from harm.
Blank opens the front door, kicking Ethereal to the ground as she puts cuffs around her hands.
- Blank: I would have come sooner, but I wasn't even aware up until about 40 seconds ago.
Blank glances at Hyper Form Unten, Nate, and Netnu as she pulls Ethereal up, who attempts to kick her.
- Blank: I suppose we couldn't have done it without you… good work.
Hyper Form Unten gives a clawed thumbs up as they lay on the ground exhausted, reverting back into normal Unten form. Netnu just sputters.
- Netnu: I did nothing but stand there and watch…
Netnu growls, his hands shaking.
- Netnu: All that time training and I'm still outclassed by Unten like on Zeon?
Everyone is too busy with other matters to pay attention to him. But a spark grew inside Netnu that day...
Rachel and Strafe pet Firball on the head and body as Sia slouches against the wall. Melissa Dust stands outside with them, leaning against the wall.
- Melissa Dust: So, you guys are still going?
- Strafe: ...what do you mean?
- Melissa Dust: Like… as a group.
- Rachel: I mean, it's not the same group it was when we started…
- Strafe: I mean, in a lot of ways Leah's "passing" kind of doesn't feel real to me- mostly because it was like, 80% metaphor but she's still gone and I don't think she'll be the same person when… or if she comes back.
- Sia: Hey, at least your friend isn't actually dead. Boare on the other hand…
Sia sighs just thinking about it.
- Sia: I had a lot to say to him that I'll never get to now.
- Melissa Dust: God. Well, you didn't have to make this about death, I just, wanted to see how the group was holding up.
- Rachel: It's… uh... stable.
Melissa Dust closes her eyes.
- Melissa Dust: You know when this shape shifter is going to show up?
- Rachel: Nada.
- Melissa Dust: I mean, what are we expecting…? For them to just teleport in front of us or something?
Strafe takes a moment to ponder before spotting a second Firball in the distance.
- Strafe: Hey uh… do you have two Firballs or…
The second Firball growls as it suddenly turns into Strafe, a dark dagger jutting out from it's palm, nearly nicking Strafe's forehead. Strafe kicks NULL in the chest, causing it to fall back.
- Rachel: So, that's what we should be expecting, then!
Rachel activates her Hyper Mode orb, transforming into Hyper Form Rachel. NULL screeches as it tries to transform into Rachel, although is only able to transform into her base form to it's own confusion.
- Strafe: Woah, is that a weakness?
- Rachel: It might just be a momentary blessing.
Firball yaps furiously at NULL. Melissa Dust picks him up and puts him inside as she gathers Cyrilians in front of her to create a shield.
- Melissa Dust: Considering what this thing is capable of, I don't think it's the best idea for me to fight it if I can protect the base instead...
Birnstone zips outside, shooting lava at NULL.
- Birnstone: Take this, you shapeshifting fiend!
NULL copies her form, transforming into Birnstone as it shoots a roaring blast of lava back, charring the Cyrilian wall.
- Melissa Dust: Ack!
- Hyper Form Rachel: I'll protect you, Melissa!
Strafe pulls out his Hyper Mode Orb and activates it, becoming Hyper Form Strafe.
- Hyper Form Strafe: Me and Sia will take the offense!
Sia swings her Palm Cutter blade, nicking NULL's side. NULL transforms into Sia, taking a side step to avoid a blade swing from Hyper Form Strafe.
- Sia: Wounded the damn thing, but then it copied me…
NULL spits out lava as it jumps around, trying to get to a side that isn't protected from the Cyriallan wall. Hyper Form Rachel jumps as NULL attempts to create a orb made of light to destroy the base. NULL backs out of frustration.
- Hyper Form Rachel: Hah, it's getting annoyed!
NULL screeches, transforming it's legs into Sia's and it's top half being Kimi Lee's as it attempts to ice the floor under Hyper Form Rachel. Hyper Form Rachel begins to slide but suddenly a blue katana slices her cheek. NULL quickly heals it, growling as they look at a woman with brilliant blue hair.
- Melissa Dust: Katana!
Katana merely smiles as they jump down, hacking one of NULL's legs off.
- Katana: Ey fucko, you picked the wrong base to fuck with, you understand me?
Hyper Form Rachel glances at Hyper Form Strafe, looking nervous as NULL suddenly shoots a light ball at Katana, who parries it. Katana slices off another leg.
- Katana: You better run off if you know what's best for you.
- Birnstone: Why is it glowing…?
- Katana: Uh…
Hyper Form Rachel suddenly springs into action, grabbing her and speeding away from the base as NULL's body heats up. Hyper Form Rachel barely has time to drop them off before it begins to get lava hot, and then suddenly an explosion goes off. A huge ball of light travels across the ground, Hyper Form Rachel barely keeps away with the growing flare before it suddenly goes white and expands almost the whole way to the base. Melissa Dust screams.
- Melissa Dust: GAHHHHHHH!!!!
The screen goes white.
- Sia: Are… we alive?
Hyper Form Rachel coughs. Some of the Misfits base has been damage, but it seems fixable. In a giant crater, the body of NULL lies face down, the back of her jumpsuit inscribed with her name.
- Hyper Form Rachel: (reading) ...NULL?
NULL hisses weakly.
Hyper Form Rachel goes down the crater, inserting a syringe into her as she takes her DNA. NULL gets up weakly as Hyper Form Rachel wheels away. NULL suddenly looks at a opening portal and jumps inside. Hyper Form Rachel pants.
- Hyper Form Rachel: I got it. NULL DNA, I guess.
- Hyper Form Strafe: Jesus, you look like shit.
Hyper Form Rachel looks at her broken equipment.
- Hyper Form Rachel: Eh, it'll get fixed.
Hyper Form Rachel reverts back to her normal form as Hyper Form Strafe reverts back as well. Rachel bags the syringe.
- Melissa Dust: You gonna find out what that thing was?
- Katana: That thing was crazy… it just kept healing itself.
- Rachel: I think we just got our first glance at it's true form.
Rachel hangs her head down.
- Rachel: I'm ashamed to say I felt sorry for it.
Episode 4: A Doctor's Visit
Unten wraps his hand in bandages as Netnu lays on the couch with bandages over his torso and ear. Both are back in the firehouse, with Zerita taking a nap in one of the eight beds up stairs. Nycho, Obena, Sakeena, and Rubelline enter the firehouse through the front door.
- Unten: Hey, you're back! Did you fight NULL?
- Sakeena: Didn't you get the text?
- Unten: My hands are uh… tied.
- Nycho: No, they're covered in bandages.
- Unten: Ya'll never let me have anything.
- Rubelline: So, this is the firehouse, huh?
- Nycho: I like to call it the Fantendo: Firehouse, but the patent office says that name is invalid.
- Rubelline: Fantendo Firehouse, huh? That's got a nice ring to it.
- Sakeena: Huh, yeah.
- Unten: So… I mean, what did you guys do then?
- Obena: Oh man, we had so much fun! Rubelline invited over Syande and we did some wine pong with her hot older sister.
- Rubelline: Haha… yeah.
- Unten: Ah… it's a shame I wasn't there to see it.
Über and the other Shōri members enter in with groceries in their hands.
- Über: Hey, you guys are back!
- Unten: You guys went shopping?
- Hinata: Yeah, Guadalupe made us some burritos and she's looking to have some nachos made for dinner tonight.
- Guadalupe: Yeah, I gave up trying to even make a proper meal with your growing and shrinking party of people.
- Unten: Huh. Well, those ought to be good.
- Guadalupe: With the stuff I got? Ranch Flakes, Squeeze, Strawberry Salsa… I could not believe some of the imported stuff from the Lifts they had over there. I just had to try some of it myself. I tell you, that's about the only decent thing that came out of that whole Threat situation.
- Nycho: That was a Fantendo Smash Bros. victory, and you know it!
- Guadalupe: See, now that you've started hanging out with these guys, I don't get your jokes anymore.
- Netnu: (grunting) Honestly, it's not just you.
- Sakeena: Ooo… Squeeze?
- Guadalupe: Yeah, the good Squeeze too.
Tōsō sits on the free couch in the room, scoffing.
- Guadalupe: Aw hell no. You don't get to sit and scoff when you carried a single bag, meanwhile shaky Kimi over there was hauling like 8 in your absence.
- Kimi: I'm f-fine, really.
- Guadalupe: I haven't seen you eat since we got here!
- Hinata: Huh, you're right.
- Kimi: I am n-not going to get any thinner if I d-don't eat… or just t-throw it up.
Kimi gags for a second on the thought. Sakeena glances around for a bit.
- Sakeena: She's doing this for someone, I know it.
- Obena: Huh?
- Sakeena: Kimi, can you meet me in the bathroom?
- Kimi: Sure…
NULL returns, grunting weakly inside the CHELPRO lab as Veronika and Anatoly put her back in the glass tube. Zhen frowns.
- Veronika: Well… that wasn't supposed to happen.
- Zhen: I see you have a long way to go.
- Anatoly: It's merely because she's untrained in those abilities-
- Zhen: Do you think we have the time? You're lucky nobody else is in deep as you are into this business because if there was another company, we'd cut ties right now.
Anatoly gets up before just sitting back down. Zhen leaves the room.
- Veronika: It's those damn guys we fought earlier… we were informed that all the hero groups were very much disorganized, yet that tall girl alien, that green haired man, and that black haired woman were at both sites…
- Anatoly: You think so?
- Veronika: I'm pretty sure it's those three that were part of that large group NULL encountered in Japan.
- Anatoly: Well, we can't do anything about it NOW. 24 hours after Solar Flare, remember?
- Veronika: Right… damn thing loves using it when it could have just handled it on it's own, huh?
- Anatoly: And we can't use the androids because those aren't really ready for combat.
- Veronika: I guess we just… wait it out.
Anatoly nods. Veronika gets up from her chair.
- Veronika: I'll be going home in that case, then.
- Anatoly: Yeah, I'll be going too.
Sakeena and Kimi go inside the firehouse bathroom, with Sakeena locking the door behind them.
- Sakeena: Don't destroy yourself over Tōsō.
- Kimi: You knew?
- Sakeena: What, you don't think I would have caught on to how you act around him?
- Kimi: Am I that obvious?
- Sakeena: Nah, it's just me and you are cut from the same kind of cloth.
- Kimi: We look literally nothing alike.
- Sakeena: It's not what we look like, it's what we are that makes us the same! My main point was that I pined for Strafe in the same way and even though he was uh… nicer than Tōsō, I still was projecting a lot and it did crush me a lot that he didn't want to be together like that.
- Kimi: I mean, yeah, I know I'm projecting, but I want him to notice me, I want to be the person he wants-
Sakeena takes a deep sigh as she places her hand over Kimi's palm.
- Sakeena: You aren't going to be happy that way, I can guarantee that.
Kimi takes a long sigh.
- Kimi: ...because your group is so perfect? We don't have to do the same things you guys did, you know.
- Sakeena: I'm just speaking from experience.
Kimi watches as Sakeena opens up the door and steps out. She takes a look in the mirror and goes back out.
Unten is eating from a plate of nacho chips, talking with Nycho. Guadalupe sits nearby, eating from her own plate as she watches the group in the firehouse eat.
- Unten: So… wait, where are Strafe, Rachel, and Sia? We didn't fight NULL… so either they did or we were… unfortunately incorrect with who else to cover.
- Nycho: You really need to carry a phone on you, buddy.
- Unten: Did they text or something?
- Nycho: They said they got the DNA and that they're fine. They're heading to the hospital to get it tested.
- Unten: Whew.
- Netnu: I wonder what doctor they could possibly going to if well… Leah isn't around, so to speak.
- Unten: Yeah…
- Sakeena: Probably Lucille Graves.
- Unten: Lucille? Graves?
- Sakeena: Yeah. She's the new doctor who took up residence there.
Kimi walks in, looking around.
- Kimi: Where are the plates?
- Guadalupe: They're right over here.
- Kimi: Ah, thank you.
Kimi takes up a plate of chips and sits down next to Sakeena. Sakeena smiles.
Rachel, Strafe, and Sia walk inside the hospital. They're amazed at how clean it looks.
- Rachel: Wow, X-Ray did a great job cleaning this place!
- Strafe: Yeah, no hazardous beer glass shards or anything, I'm amazed.
- Sia: You two realize that she hasn't visited here since we got back from beating the Threat, right?
- Rachel: Oh… right. Huh.
- Sia: You also know that there's a new doctor here too, right?
Rachel is taken aback by this information.
- Rachel: Really? Who?
A black haired woman walks in, glancing at the three.
- Black Haired Woman: The name is Lucille Graves. You can call me Dr. Graves, LG, whatever. I suspect you're in here for a check-up? All three of you look like… excuse my language, shit.
- Rachel: Nah, we were here to see what uh… you could figure out from this sample of DNA we got.
- Lucille: Lady, I'm not a superhuman doctor. I do normal doctor stuff. I have no idea what the previous tenant was doing but I threw out a bunch of her unnecessary shit, like all those cow hearts? The weird thing is that I heard snarling and moaning from the dumpster later the same day, but I didn't check on that because I ain't a weird freak.
- Strafe: Where's the scar from…?
- Lucille: I was attacked by a sword with an eyeball.
- Rachel and Strafe: (simultaneously) A Louise!
- Lucille: Please leave.
- Rachel: No no, hang on. If you can't help us, then do you know someone who can? We REALLY need this looked at.
- Lucille: I suppose I can redirect you to someone I came across. She might be a bit crazy, I don't think that's exactly a negative for you three. Let's see here...
Lucille glances through her rolladeck of names.
- Strafe: ...rolladeck? Even my shitty flip phone has a contact list.
- Lucille: I don't use cell phones. I have a phone, of course, but it's in my office.
Lucille pulls out a card.
- Lucille: There she is. That's Dr. Noise for ya.
- Rachel: That's… way out in The Lifts.
- Lucille: Suffice to say, the world of medical doctors isn't actually as exciting as the previous tenant may have led you on to believe.
- Strafe: Mm…
- Lucille: Anyway, I'll be back in my office while you three figure that out.
- Strafe: Wait, one last question.
- Lucille: Yes?
- Strafe: You're gay, right?
- Lucille: I mean, yes, but what kind of question is that? Are you gay?
- Strafe: Bi curious, but mostly straight.
- Lucille: Ugh. Was the previous tenant gay or something?
- Strafe: Yeah.
- Lucille: Figures.
- Sia: Huh, I guess we're all kind of bi.
- Lucille: Speaking of bi, bye!
Unten clears his plate and puts it in the sink. He looks at the time.
- Unten: Well, we don't know when NULL's going to strike again, but with Rachel, Strafe, and Sia on the case, I think we'll be fine…
- Sakeena: It is really late.
- Rubelline: I suppose I ought to be going, but I think I'll stick around close by. I don't… really sleep during this time. Maybe me and Syande can go get some ice cream and walk around the neighborhood… would she even like that? I dunno… should I go for it?
- Tōsō: As long as you stay out of here, I'm fine.
- Über: Yeah… I think with the four of us here we'll be able to provide a decent line of offense against that NULL character.
- Unten: Okay, who's NULL?
- Hinata: Seriously Unten, you should check your phone. Rachel texted a bunch of information hours ago.
- Unten: ...I left it at home.
- Hinata: Well, we think we got information about the shapeshifter's true form. It looked like a woman with a jumpsuit on, and on the back of the jumpsuit, the name NULL was inscribed on it.
- Unten: Huh, fascinating. Anyway, I'll be going.
- Tōsō: About time, jeez.
The group splits off for the night, heading to sleep.
Strafe, Rachel, and Sia groan as they walk around for a bit on the streets outside the hospital?
- Strafe: Well, how are we going to get into the Lifts? Valerie said that they don't like people just teleporting in and out of there, and I can only imagine that they don't like it even more now…
- Rachel: Well, we just need to find the chain, right?
- Sia: Chain? The hell are you guys talking about?
- Rachel: The Zaxinian Lifts is like… a mini universe held within our own. Because our mad doctor that Dr. Graves gave us the card to is in the Lifts, we need to go there. Getting in would be easy if we knew where a chain that could take us to the Lifts was.
- Strafe: I know that one of the chains is attached to a planet called Sompli, but uh, that's a bit far away…
- Rachel: Is… is there even one attached to Earth? I feel like if there was it'd be absolutely covered in Distortion Mist…
- Strafe: Well, the food is getting down here somehow.
- Sia: Well… didn't Sakeena go out of town with her girlfriend not too long ago to the Lifts with her Hisplit girlfriend?
- Rachel: YO…. that's a really good point. Good keen thinking!
Rachel pulls out her phone and calls Sakeena. Sakeena pulls her phone out of her pocket as she pauses typing. Sia smiles.
- Sakeena: Hey, uh, what do you want? I thought you were going to the hospital.
- Rachel: We already did. The doctor isn't… one of THOSE doctors, apparently.
- Sakeena: Huh. So, are we out of luck?
- Rachel: Well, Graves did give us a doctor that would work, but they're way out in the Lifts.
- Sakeena: Damn, ever since Leah left it seems like we became way less independent.
- Rachel: So… do you know where the chain is for the Lifts? You and that girl were out of town up there not too long ago, right?
- Sakeena: That's like… way out to Washington, Oregon. By the coast. It's kind of well hidden…
- Rachel: That's perfect. Thanks, Sakeena.
Sakeena lays back in her chair.
- Sakeena: You… do remember the name of the girl I was dating, right?
- Rachel: I don't have time to do this, Sakeena.
- Sakeena: I'm not hanging up until you tell me what her name was.
- Rachel: Uh… it was like, a car thing. Cadilliaca?
- Sakeena: Diesellia!
- Rachel: Oh… right. Well, see you later.
- Sakeena: Bye! Love you.
- Rachel: Love you too.
- Strafe: So, where we dropping?
- Rachel: It's 2020, Strafe. Anyway… it's all the way out in Washington… Oregon.
- Strafe: That's like… four hours away.
- Rachel: Well, luckily for you, I have a friend who can get us there much faster.
Ethereal sits in her cell as Blank and Normal Nate come to look on her.
- Ethereal: Why did you bother to patch me up?
- Blank: Listen, we're not cruel. There has to be laws for powered individuals to protect the innocent, we cannot-
- Ethereal: You could have just left me licking my wounds.
- Nate: Well, that would be gross.
Blank sighs as she just stares at the containment glass.
- Blank: Anyway, you're being put inside our most secure sector. You're not in Seattle anymore. And no… I'm not telling you where you actually are.
- Ethereal: Somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, right?
- Blank: Nate will be here to tend to you.
- Ethereal: Wait, come back!
Blank leaves through the elevator as Nate sits down on a chair.
- Nate: I haven't gotten injuries this bad since my nana's chicken farm. I'll tell you all about it!
Ethereal pounds on the glass as the elevator doors close.
Rachel waits by a street corner with Strafe and Sia. A woman is sitting on the ground with a cardboard sign.
- Strafe: You said this person would be here in 15 minutes… it's been 20.
- Rachel: Trust me, they wouldn't want to disappoint me.
The woman glances at them.
- Woman: Hey, you guys are those guys that always hang out with Unten, right?
- Rachel: Oh god, is that what was smelling like an ash-tray earlier?
- Woman: Eh, I got flammable skin. I got a jig that pays like 30 cents for people to light up their cigarettes on my bare back during their break at that nearby Virusburger.
- Strafe: 30 cents? You can get way more out of that.
- Woman: Hah… I screw it up anyway, so I don't think I can really afford to make them spend more…
The woman bites her hand for a moment before glancing at the three.
- Woman: Name's Leelith Nuuda by the way.
- Sia: Hey, Leelith.
- Leelith: So… uh… do you guys think you'd be interested in maybe exchanging some cash? I mean, I'd do pretty much anything you'd want me to do-
- Sia: I mean, I'm curious, but we have to go real soon.
- Strafe: I dunno about that.
- Rachel: She'll be here!
Suddenly, a truck swerves into the side walk, running over Leelith as Bang Crimson gets out.
- Bang Crimson: I'm here!
Bang Crimson looks at Leelith, who gets out from under the truck with a tire mark over her torso.
- Bang Crimson: Ah shit, Leelith, did I get ya?
- Leelith: Yeah… but I'm a demon so I'll be okay…
- Rachel: See, she's here.
- Bang Crimson: Yeah, I got the motorcycles you wanted. This is by the shore, yeah? We can make it pretty quickly. I'll take one bike, and you can take the other bike.
- Rachel: Awesome.
Sia tilts her head.
- Sia: Well… I hope it can support my height.
- Rachel: I mean, it'll look goofy, but you can probably make it!
Rachel looks at the van.
- Rachel: What are you gonna do about the van?
- Bang Crimson: It's a rental. I'll just get Jenny to take it back.
- Rachel: Oh right, I forgot we had an assistant. Funny, I think she's from the Lifts too.
- Bang Crimson: Ayup, kicked out from Valerie's security job after R. Vogue got in so many times under her watch.
- Rachel: Heh… I think I'd probably do a just as an equally terrible job.
- Bang Crimson: I think I'd be worried about upsetting my bombshell boss.
- Leelith: R. Vogue is that bat chick, right?
- Strafe: Yeah. She uh, helped us, actually, in stealing the User Crystals back from The Threat.
- Rachel: We should really be going. Who's going to be on which bike?
- Strafe: I guess I'll be going with you. Sia can go with Bang. Is there any objections to that?
- Sia: Nah.
- Strafe: Alright then!
Leelith watches as the four take off on the motorcycles. She looks disappointingly in a empty paint bucket full of quarters and opens up a can of green paint, eating out of it sloppily.
- Leelith: Man, that looks fun…
Ethereal is still in her cell, glancing at the three FANT agents that are talking to her. Nate's there along with two of his Squadron 617 friends, an Arbelian and a green clad woman in some kind of ninja baseball player get up.
- Ethereal: You know, when WRAITH finds out where I am, you know they'll break in, right?
- Nate: Oh yeah. However, with this being a incredibly secure facility, I don't think they'll make it to your containment cell. I mean, there are multiple security systems at almost every point of every entry and if they try to make their own, they would have to go through a layer of Sentelenium thicker than a bowl of oatmeal.
- Ethereal: That's… not a thing people say, but okay.
- Green Ninja Baseball Woman: You'll have to excuse Nate for some odd things he does… he might be totally powerless… we think, anyway, but he does act a little unusual.
- Ethereal: Heh. What's your names, you two?
- Green Ninja Baseball Woman: ...why do you want to know?
- Ethereal: Well, if I'm going to stay here as long as you intend me to, I might as well get to know you three.
- Green Ninja Baseball Woman: Alright… well, I'm Mittsy. Get it? I got a big green baseball mitt for a hand. The Arbelian over there is Pikko.
- Pikko: Heyo!
- Mittsy: I get the feeling you're mostly confused about our actual principles.
- Ethereal: Oh, I know them well enough.
- Pikko: Oh good! No refresher then.
- Mittsy: Mm. I think it would be wasted on her anyway. She seems like the kind of dull, dense blowhards that WRAITH likes to employ.
Ethereal leans against the wall, clearly offended by her comment.
- Nate: Oh hey, almost forgot about lunch! What would you like? We kind of just serve anything really, we figure almost everyone here is nearing death row so you know, all meals are your last.
- Ethereal: A cheeseburger would be nice.
Rachel and Strafe are using a motorcycle over the water while Bang Crimson and Sia are using the other motorcycle to drive across the water using the embedded Red Energy processing cores that turn the water into makeshift roads.
- Rachel: That R.Vogue conversation reminded me… you seemed kind of defensive about not being a thief in your past.
- Strafe: So… Noah is where I'm from, right? And you know about the Thieves Guild, right? That's how… everyone had to kind of live in that kind of world. I mean, just about everyone has some kind of mark from when they were caught red handed. I don't think I fully realized it was bad until I ended up stealing bread from some kids and just stumbling across them later absolutely hungry…
- Rachel: Huh.
- Strafe: I mean, the guilt alone was enough to make me stop but by then I had a lot of stolen shit and I just… got overwhelmed I guess, thinking about all the stuff I took from people. I mean, sure, I bet some of it was stolen to begin with but… ehh.
- Rachel: Nah, I get you. I just find it kind of interesting. Did you ever tell anyone about this?
- Strafe: Nobody asked. I honestly preferred if nobody did, but hey, we've been friends for a while, yeah?
- Rachel: Yeah…
Strafe takes a deep breath.
- Strafe: So… what's up with you and Bang?
Rachel glances at him.
- Rachel: What do you mean, what's up with me and Bang?
- Strafe: Come on, you're telling me that you're spending all this extended time with her and you're not dating?
- Rachel: Mm. Has it been that long for people to start to catch on?
- Strafe: I guess. You two are actually dating?
- Rachel: Yeah… it's complicated.
Strafe silently looks at the passing water before looking back to Rachel.
- Strafe: You're kind of worried it won't last long, huh.
- Rachel: I know it won't. Figured I would stay kind of quiet about it. I kind of like the allure of a secret relationship.
- Strafe: Well, I'm the only one who knows, then.
- Rachel: Nah, Unten knows too.
- Strafe: Heh. Why did you tell him?
- Rachel: I dunno… we talk about these kinds of things because he was interested in me and I guess when you open yourself up like that to me, I feel like I can entrust you with anything.
- Strafe: How much closer to the chain?
- Rachel: About thirty minutes.
Strafe nods again.
Über gets ready to go bed as Kimi and Tōsō are already fast asleep in the bunk beds. Guadalupe appears to be asleep as well on the couch. Über watches as Hinata comes into the room with a white bathrobe.
- Über: Oh nice, where did you find that?
- Hinata: It was just kind of hanging on a hook… to be frank, I haven't even taken a shower yet.
- Über: Oh… huh, that's kind of what I was waiting for.
- Hinata: Sorry to keep you waiting then… have you taken a shower yet?
- Über: Nah… that's what I was waiting for. I wanted to go after you.
- Hinata: God, I can be kind of silly sometimes. You know what, let's just go in together.
- Über: Heh. Alright then…
Hinata teasingly pulls back on the bathrobe as she heads to the shower room, Über following after her.
Rachel, Strafe, Sia, and Bang Crimson finish climbing up the chain to the Lifts, arriving at the front gates. Ike is by standby with Fandraxono playing his lyre nearby.
- Strafe: Is this the Zaxinian Lifts?
- Ike: Ayup, that it is. Gonna need to determine whether you'll be a danger though.
- Strafe: Oh shit, I didn't know this was gonna be a test.
- Ike: Nah, I just take a look at you.
Ike stares very hard at the four, Sia shifting uncomfortably. Ike hangs his head back.
- Ike: Alright, you're good to go. Except the twink with the green hair.
Strafe points to himself, a bit confused.
- Ike: Yeah, you! I need to talk to you.
- Rachel: Uh oh, I hope it wasn't the thieving crap.
Strafe walks towards Ike, nervous as hell.
- Ike: Here's my number in case you want to just teleport here or… if you have other desires. I can tell the climb up here really did a number on you just from all the sweat on ya.
- Strafe: Oh… thanks.
Ike hands Strafe a card with his phone number on it. Strafe pockets it as he heads back to the group.
- Sia: Did you just get Ike's number?
- Strafe: Hah… I guess so.
The group enters the front doors and glances at the portals connected to drawbridges.
- Sia: Oh jeez, don't look down.
- Strafe: Where would Noise be?
- Rachel: Uh…
Rachel glances at the card.
- Rachel: Hisplit.
- Bang Crimson: Oh… Hisplit. Goddamn it, of course they would go to the most dangerous parts of the Lifts.
- Sia: Oh, you know about Hisplit? Can you help us navigate it?
- Bang Crimson: I mean, I guess. It won't be too bad if we're just passing through, but… god, the place just reeks real bad.
- Rachel: When did you go to the Lifts?
- Bang Crimson: It was a thing before we met, I was racing there. Come on, let's just get this through…
Bang walks across the drawbridge to the portal heading to Hisplit, with everyone following after her.
A blue haired doctor taps against the counter, bored.
- Blue Haired Doctor: Hey, Yama?
A green haired nurse perks her head up from the ground, dropping the Legos she's been using to build with. This is Yama Velvetrot.
- Yama: Yes, Noise?
The blue haired nurse, named Noise Lindemulder, sighs for a moment.
- Noise: Can you get me another coffee, black?
- Yama: Yes mam!
Yama runs off as Noise sits back in her chair, utterly exhausted. She taps impatiently for Yama to come back. Noise claws at her eyes a bit, growling a bit.
- Noise: God… my eyes are all kinds of scratchy.
Noise hangs her head back as she holds her eyes open, dropping eye drops into them, blinking hard after each successive drop. She finishes and the door opens up to reveal Rachel, Sia, Strafe, and Bang Crimson.
- Noise: Oh, interesting. I don't really have anyone on a wait list.
- Rachel: Haha… we're actually quite fine, we just want you to look at a DNA sample we took.
- Noise: Oh jeez, you came all the way for me? I'm flattered, but I'm easily the worst person to entrust with this.
- Rachel: We really didn't have much of a choice.
- Noise: Mmm… you sound desperate.
- Rachel: We just want you to look at a DNA sample and determine if there's a weakness on the genetic level we can exploit. Don't… don't make it weird.
Noise grunts as she gets up from the desk, Yama coming in with her coffee. Noise sips it as she holds up the bag with the syringe.
- Noise: Well, I can take a look at it.
Noise sips more of her coffee as she turns it around.
- Noise: You did a really shitty job trying to secure this. Really, a fucking plastic bag with a syringe full of blood? You were practically begging for the tip to penetrate the bag and inject you with it's fluid. God, I'm sorry, I didn't mean for that to come across as dirty.
- Strafe: I mean, it was kind of a quick job.
- Noise: Yeah, but seriously, bad idea to have it like that. I'll take it in the back and perform some tests. Yama, can you keep them company?
- Yama: Yep!
Yama folds her arms as Noise goes to the back with the bag, shaking her head. Rachel, Sia, Strafe, and Bang take their seats.
- Yama: So, what's going on with you four?
The room stays silent as the group kind of lean back in exhaustion. Yama taps her knees.
Episode 5: NULL More Fighting
Anatoly is riding the train through the city of Omsk in Russia. He is reading the newspaper, glancing at the cover story of two attacks happening at once, with both being averted by Unten's team.
- Anatoly: Mm.
Anatoly glances at the attack at F.A.N.T, spotting Ethereal's name in there.
- Anatoly: Hmm!
Anatoly rubs his chin as the train stops, closing the newspaper and carrying it in his hand as he heads inside a sandwich shop, ordering a sandwich from the shopkeeper and getting it open face, with cheddar cheese laid across with two bologna slices and a layer of pesto paste across it.
- Anatoly: Mmm…
Anatoly bites into it after cutting it up with his fork and knife, grinning as he gives a thumbs up to the shopkeeper. He departs quickly after finishing his meal, taking it to the streets as he walks to the CHELPRO building.
- Anatoly: Ah, fuck. Where's my key card?
Veronika strolls up, tapping her key card as the door opens. She is carrying a cat in her left arm.
- Anatoly: Veronika, you can't bring the damn cat into the building!
Veronika slyly grins as Anatoly quickly follows her inside.
- Veronika: I got you in, didn't I?
Veronika throws his key card to Anatoly, who just furls his brow as he holds the card.
- Anatoly: You need to take this more seriously, which means no more cats.
- Veronika: I thought you liked Cake. Meow!
Veronika makes Cake raise her paw as the cat meows quietly.
- Anatoly: D-damn it, fine. But only for today. Today is important and that means you have to just hold her or at least keep her in visible sight line.
- Veronika: I can barely take my eye off this darling anyway…
Veronika rubs Cake's head of fur.
- Anatoly: Give her to me.
Veronika hands Cake to Anatoly, who holds the cat up proudly.
- Anatoly: What an absolute unit!
Bang Crimson looks to Rachel and mouths something to her as Yama shows her puppet off to Strafe and Sia. Rachel nods and the two take off to the bathroom. Strafe watches them go off, slightly curious but just turns his attention back to Yama.
- Yama: Now see, this Bandy. She's my partner when I have to talk to kids.
- Sia: What kind of kids would go to a greenhouse to get medicated?
- Yama: Oh sweet summer child… this is the Lifts.
Sia can't find a way to refute that.
- Strafe: So uh… does the heavy atmosphere kind of scare you?
- Yama: What heavy atmosphere? It's a sphere of glass and there's so many pretty flowers!
- Bandy: Who could hate it here? Especially with that fine Noise girl around?
- Yama: Bandy! That's naughty.
Sia glances at Strafe, who kind of just shrugs.
- Strafe: Why are you acting like we haven't met weirder people…
Sia can't find a answer to that.
- Sia: Well, it was nice to meet you, Yama and… Bandy. Do you know how Noise is doing? It's been a couple hours...
Just then, Noise comes back in with the test results.
- Noise: Hey, where did the two girls go?
- Strafe: Uh… I don't know.
- Noise: Well, whatever, you can probably pass this onto them.
Noise hands Strafe the result papers in a manilla envelope with dried blood sprayed across it. Strafe thumbs through it.
- Strafe: Okay, I don't know what any of this means.
- Noise: I wasn't able to find much aside from the DNA actually reacting to a bunch of things that it was close to, altering it's chemical make up to resemble it and creating new genes. However, the genes actually rewrote themselves when it copied over 100 instances. So, there is a set limit as to how much it can copy before those cellular memories are gone. Probably too complicated for a brain like yours-
- Strafe: Actually, no, I'm following you.
- Noise: Oh good. So, really, there's not a uh, real exploitable weakness as it'll basically overwrite itself to attack and defend however needed. However, in one of my tests, I actually did manage to disrupt the process with a very quick jab when it was trying to copy something, which caused it to pause before it healed from the attack. Off hand attacks that are sudden and unexpected when it's focusing on mimicry may be the key to victory here.
- Strafe: Huh. That's… not much, actually.
- Noise: Listen, it's all I got in the time I'm actually bothering with this. It's a very powerful thing I got on my hands here, but I can't really make much sense of it at the moment. I can't find any way to replicate it fully, which is… interesting, to say the least. Now, you're going to be paying me for my research, right?
Rachel and Bang exit from the bathroom, their hair a mess. Rachel parts down her hair as she looks at Noise.
- Rachel: Oh! You're back!
- Strafe: She's paying.
- Rachel: Wha-
Unten gets up, blinking slowly. He gets out of bed, heading to the kitchen where he's suddenly aware of Netnu's presence, who's sitting there, just looking at him.
- Unten: Netnu?
- Netnu: Morning, Unten.
- Unten: What… are you doing here at like, 6 in the morning?
- Netnu: Well, to be frank, I'm pretty sure we're next. I think that Quartz may be our best bet to defeating NULL.
- Unten: So… just call her up.
- Netnu: She's going to want to see you.
- Unten: No, she's not.
- Netnu: Listen, I've been trying to get into contact with her for ages. She is torn up about what happened.
- Unten: I gotta confront it, huh.
- Netnu: Transporting over will be easy. The hard part will be up to you.
Unten takes a deep long sigh.
- Unten: Okay, but can I eat first?
Netnu nods as Unten pulls out Mana Loops from the cupboard.
- Netnu: Really, Mana Loops? Okay…
Unten groans. What's gotten into Netnu lately?
Strafe, Rachel, Sia, and Bang Crimson are teleported by Ike, who also teleports the motorcycles back.
- Strafe: Wow, that Ike guy was nice. Glad we can call him up to go to the Lifts and stuff.
- Bang Crimson: You know he's doing that because he thinks you're hot, right?
- Strafe: Wait… he's gay? Huh.
- Sia: Yeah… well… we're back. Holy shit, is it seven already?
- Rachel: Fucking feels like it. I dunno when NULL will show up… but I feel like taking a long nap.
- Bang Crimson: Yeah…
Rachel gives the peace sign, heading off with Bang Crimson back to Rachel's apartment as Strafe and Sia hold the report Noise gave them.
- Strafe: Well, I guess it's up to us to report back.
- Sia: Should be easy enough.
- Strafe: I think you're forgetting we're the group with Nycho and Obena.
- Sia: God damn it, you're right.
Strafe and Sia enter the Fantendo Firehouse, all of it's residents still sleeping.
- Strafe: On second thought, maybe we should get some sleep.
- Sia: Way ahead of you…
Sia is curled up on the floor, lulling her eyes as she falls asleep, her tails going limp as she enters sleep.
- Strafe: Suppose I'll just take a bed up stairs…
Strafe climbs up the fire pole as opposed to just taking the stairs, leaving the report on the table near the couch, where Guadalupe is sleeping.
- Strafe: Whew…
Strafe walks past the sleeping Shōri members and finds an empty bed to rest in.
Unten and Netnu land in a snowy field.
- Unten: Oh god, you didn't tell me we were going to be wading through snow.
- Netnu: Well… get used to it.
Unten grunts as he walks through the snow.
- Netnu: Quartz!
The air is silent. Slowly, something emerges from the snow, shaking the snow off itself. It's Quartz in her Second Form.
- Unten: Hey.
Unten shifts uncomfortably. Quartz slowly is coming to consciousness, not really sure what's going on.
- Quartz: Hang on, I need to regress to my first form.
Unten nods. Quartz walks over to a rocky wall, grunting as she regresses back to her first form. She shakes her head.
- Quartz: Three months, huh?
- Unten: I figured I'd try to give you your space…
- Quartz: I mean, partially I did want that. But like… for a week… or two. Not three months.
- Unten: You seemed pretty distressed.
Quartz sighs as she heads over to the cold lake, dipping her head in and grabbing a fish with her teeth. She chomps on it, killing it instantly as it flops dead.
- Quartz: Well, yeah. I dunno. I would have liked to see you until now, where I'm pretty sure you need me for something… so spit it out.
- Unten: There's a shape-shifting, power copying villain that's attacking bases called NULL. We found a weakness in that it can't copy Hyper Forms, and so, we figured Second Form might help since that's kind of a similar thing…
Quartz snaps the fish's head off and spits it onto the snow. She starts chewing down on the fish.
- Quartz: Alright, I'll come. I gotta tell what's going on to the others, but I'll be there.
Netnu opens up a portal.
- Netnu: Alright, we'll come back later to pick you up.
Quartz gives the peace sign as she heads off to a cave, with Unten getting inside the portal.
Obena gets up, stretching her limbs as she goes to fill up a pitcher of water. Kimi Lee is awake as well, creating ice cubes using her power, offering them to Obena.
- Obena: Oh! Thank you!
- Kimi: No problem. Where's Nycho?
- Obena: Oh… he's still asleep. I still sleep and wake up like an ambassador, haha.
- Kimi: Ambassador? What do you mean?
- Obena: Oh, I used to be an ambassador for the planet Zezune. Uh… it is no more.
- Kimi: Oh! What happened?
Obena just sips her water. Tōsō walks in.
- Tōsō: Are we going to kick that NULL thing's ass or not?
- Kimi: Chill out. It's 8' o clock.
- Tōsō: I'm so sick of this firehouse already.
- Obena: Aw, why? I think it's cool…
- Tōsō: I dislike the floor texturing… it's like a solid granite or something… and the beds here give me some back pain. Plus… I can hear all your noise in this kitchen.
- Obena: Aw, sorry for being so loud.
- Obena: Well, on the bright side, we can have breakfast as friends!
- Tōsō: I don't know how you could mistake me as a friend.
- Obena: Boy… you really like to be gruff and agressive to everyone, huh?
- Kimi: (adoringly) Mmm… yeah, he sure is…
Nycho walks in, opening up the fridge to get some milk.
- Nycho: Girl, you got some problems.
- Obena: Oh hey, Nycho!
- Nycho: I wanted to see what all the commotion was. Turns out, it was just Tōsō talking out of his mouth again.
- Tōsō: ...what else am I supposed to do with it?
- Nycho: You can do plenty of things with your mouth. Especially with how big yours is.
- Obena: Hand me the milk when you're done, will you?
Nycho gives a thumb up as he grabs a bowl from the cupboard.
Anatoly taps the glass that NULL is contained within.
- Anatoly: What's the status report for NULL? How many hours left?
- Veronika: I mean, it's going to be at least 11 hours.
- Anatoly: Is there a way we can jump start them?
- Veronika: Jeez, you're eager.
- Anatoly: Better than doing nothing right now.
- Veronika: Well, I suppose there's a way, but it's a bit risky… if NULL's body doesn't react well to it, their body will likely explode.
NULL squirms in the tube. They do not like the sound of this.
- Anatoly: I suppose that's the limit of the human spirit.
- Veronika: I'll look into it. I'll see what I can do, brother.
Netnu, Quartz, and Wormgar exit from a portal in front of the Fantendo Firehouse.
- Netnu: I really don't get why he had to come along.
- Quartz: Wormgar?
- Wormgar: Me?
- Netnu: Literally who else could I be talking about?
- Quartz: I dunno. You didn't say his name so it was hard to tell who you were talking about…
- Netnu: I really don't see how this is confusing for either of you two.
- Quartz: Whatever.
Quartz opens up the doors.
- Quartz: You're all staying in a firehouse?
- Netnu: Some people are sleeping back in their apartments. It's just a general meeting spot, although I'm not a big fan of that...
- Quartz: I think it's kind of cool, to be honest.
- Wormgar: Yeah, you guys should paint it blue.
Netnu grumbles to himself.
- Wormgar: What? Is that a bad suggestion? I mean, the Fantendo Smash Bros. are themed with blue right? Because of Unten, right?
- Netnu: I'm not really that involved with this group.
Wormgar shrugs as he goes inside the firehouse. Rubelline is laying on the couch, texting on her phone.
- Rubelline: Oh hi, Netnu, Quartz, and uh…
- Wormgar: It's Wormgar.
- Rubelline: Nice to meet you, Wormgar!
Strafe walks down stairs.
- Strafe: Oh hey, are we getting up?
- Tōsō: I've been up since 8.
- Strafe: Does he always brag about these kinds of things?
- Rubelline: I dunno. Say, isn't NULL expected to come around like, 8 PM? We got plenty of time.
- Strafe: Well, I need to talk to Rachel and Unten for a stategy.
- Rubelline: Oh, when's Rachel supposed to come here?
- Strafe: Last I saw she was going to her apartment, so I dunno.
- Rubelline: Well, I'm gonna nap, wake me up if she comes. Like… comes to the firehouse.
Rubelline closes her eyes as her breathing slows.
- Strafe: (whispering to himself) Does she have a thing for red heads now?
Unten enters the door.
- Netnu: Late enough.
Unten scratches the back of his head.
- Unten: I mean, I had to make up for sleep…
- Quartz: It's fine.
Quartz sits down on the table.
- Unten: This is a hell of a turn out.
Rachel enters the front door of the firehouse with Bang Crimson.
- Rachel: I'm here!
- Unten: Good!
- Strafe: Now we can formulate a plan.
Veronika comes in with a glowing red vial. Anatoly turns around as NULL whimpers inside the glass tube.
- Veronika: I think I got the jump-start.
- Anatoly: Good, let's inject it in.
- Veronika: Alright, well, we gotta raise the glass.
Anatoly presses a switch, raising the glass. NULL looks incredibly uneasy as Veronika moves towards her.
- Veronika: We just need you to take this, okay?
- NULL: NO!
NULL growls and bites Veronika's hand, which remains a firm grip on the needle. Veronika slaps NULL's head and moves the needle into her other hand, injecting it straight into her neck. NULL howls in pain as her tubes slowly begin to produce white glowing energy again.
- Veronika: What in the fuck…
Veronika shakes her hand as the bite marks appear visible and deep.
- Anatoly: It appears to have worked.
- Veronika: Yeah, but my fucking hand…
Veronika whimpers as Anatoly opens up the portal, NULL jumping into it knowing she doesn't have another choice.
Unten, Strafe, and Rachel talk at the table as Sakeena walks around. The gang's all here, along with Quartz, Wormgar, Rubelline, and Bang Crimson.
- Sakeena: Isn't NULL coming at 11?
- Kimi: I mean, you can't be too prepared…
Sakeena looks out the window.
- Sakeena: Aww… it's raining…
A green portal opens and NULL drops down on the ground, hissing in the rain.
- Sakeena: Wait, that's NULL!
- Unten: What?!
- Rachel: Oh god, okay!
Rachel, Unten, and Strafe go outside, the rain dripping down as they face against NULL.
- Unten: Alright, let's do this!
Strafe nods as Quartz and Rubelline follow outside. Strafe and Rachel transform into their Hyper Mode forms as Quartz and Rubelline run towards the fight.
- Quartz: We're coming too!
Unten grabs Imperium as he jumps towards NULL, transforming into his Hyper Mode as he squeezes the orb. Smoke shoots out from his hands and feet as he transforms. NULL snarls as they form a dark tendril to grab him, which is cut by a arrow by Hyper Mode Strafe.
- Hyper Form Unten: Thanks, Strafe!
Hyper Form Strafe points to Hyper Form Rachel, who revs towards NULL with her wheel-bound feet.
- Hyper Form Rachel: Hiyah!
Hyper Form Rachel extends both feet out, kicking NULL in the face. NULL goes to counteract, but is blasted with Red Energy from Rubelline. Quartz howls, transforming into Second Form Quartz as she chases after NULL. Rubelline unleases her Red Spirit form, transforming into Red Spririt Rubelline.
- Hyper Form Unten: I think we got her…
NULL grunts as their body transforms, taking everyone aback. NULL outstretches their palm, glowing with blue energy over their body as they transform into Second Form NULL.
- Second Form Quartz: I thought they couldn't copy transformations?
- Hyper Form Unten: I guess because Hyper Mode requires an orb, it couldn't be copied but…
Second Form NULL slams Hyper Form Unten with a diamond shape of light energy, which sends him flying into the brick wall of the firehouse. Second Form Quartz howls as she attempts to slash Second Form NULL with her burning claws, but is slashed instead by Second Form NULL's own burning claws.
- Second Form Quartz: Gah…
Second Form Quartz kneels over as she begins to bleed a bit on her left side, grunting. Second Form NULL looks at Red Spirit Rubelline, her hair beginning to turn red and go up right as her claws buzz with Red Energy.
- Hyper Form Rachel: Oh fuck, this is really bad.
- Hyper Form Strafe: I mean, maybe it's not anymore powerful than a Hyper Mode?
A red energy beams just barely grazes Hyper Form Rachel and Hyper Form Strafe as they jump out of the way, with Red Spirit Second Form NULL laughing.
- Red Spirit Second Form NULL: This is too much...
Hyper Form Strafe looks to Hyper Form Rachel.
- Hyper Form Strafe: She can talk?
- Hyper Form Rachel: I mean… I dunno, I guess she can…
- Red Spirit Rubelline: I'm gonna try and create a Red Energy bomb of sorts, you gotta distract her-
- Hyper Form Rachel: What the hell is that going to do? She might just absorb it. We don't have anyone with Blue Energy, do we?
Everyone shakes their head. Red Spirit Second Form NULL steps forward as suddenly Unten gets up, opening up his palm.
- Hyper Form Strafe: Unten, don't! It's raining!
Netnu walks out of the building as Hyper Form Unten charges up his hand with electricity. Red Spirit Second Form NULL, distracted by Netnu, attempts to copy him but is hit with an electrifying blast that shocks and damages Hyper Form Unten and Red Spirit Second Form NULL in the process.
- Hyper Form Unten: GAHHH!!!
Red Spirit Second Form NULL howls in pain, their body starting to destablize as it pauses in pain. Red Energy sparks off her.
- Red Spirit Second Form NULL: No… Agh….
Hyper Form Strafe shoots an light arrow at Red Spirit Second Form NULL, who just grunts. Hyper Form Rachel watches as Red Spirit Second Form NULL screams in pain.
- Red Spirit Second Form NULL: No… more…
Red Energy is unleashed in waves as Red Spirit Second Form NULL forms Red Energy wings. Netnu can't stand by any longer, attempting to shoot at her with a laser ball attack.
- Netnu: You won't be escaping again!
The laser ball causes Red Spirit Second Form NULL to fall back onto the black asphalt, grunting as Netnu gets closer, his flamethrower expelling out flames.
- Netnu: Time to snuff you out…
Red Spirit Second Form NULL shoots a sharp Red Energy wave into Netnu's stomach, blasting him back as a large gash appears across his stomach. Netnu grunts as he passes out, almost looking like he's in disbelief.
- Red Spirit Second Form NULL: NO MORE!
The firehouse door becomes frozen behind a wall as Red Spirit Second Form NULL shoots at it with a blast of Kimi's ice powers. The group inside watches from inside.
- Obena: It looks pretty dangerous out there…
- Tōsō: I could have taken them!
- Über: Should have come out earlier then...
Red Spirit Second Form NULL whimpers as they puts their hands on her head, they whole body lighting up.
- Hyper Form Rachel: Why does… she keep saying that…?
Hyper Form Rachel, now understanding what NULL looks like when she undergoes Solar Flare, rushes over. Red Spirit Second Form NULL slams her away with a push, getting even brighter.
- Red Spirit Second Form NULL: NO MORE POWER!
Hyper Form Rachel's eyes light up. She takes off her equipment.
- Hyper Form Strafe: What are you doing?
Hyper Form Rachel just gives him a quick glance and then walks up to Red Spirit Second Form NULL, who is slowly dimming as she watches Rachel walk towards her.
- Hyper Form Rachel: See? I don't have any powers. Try and copy me…
Red Spirit Second Form NULL blinks as she tries to copy Hyper Form Rachel. Hyper Form Rachel crouches close to her.
- Hyper Form Rachel: All this Hyper Mode Orb does is give me a bunch of goofy equipment and a bunch of paranoia.
Hyper Form Rachel deactivates her Hyper Mode, appearing as just Rachel. Red Spirit Second Form NULL watches her in amazement.
- Red Spirit Second Form NULL: No power?
- Rachel: No power.
Red Spirit Second Form NULL deactivates their own power-ups, breathing slowly in exahustion.
- Rachel: You probably don't even know us… probably some lab experiment…
NULL nods slowly.
- Rachel: Well, if they try to take you back, we'll just deal with them.
NULL looks at Rachel hopefully, who hugs them. NULL smiles softly.
- NULL: No more…
- Hyper Form Strafe: Wait… we're not seriously taking her in, are we?
Rachel gives him a mean look as Rubelline depowers out of Red Spirit.
- Rachel: Rubelline, help me carry her in.
Episode 6: Rebuilding NULL
Anatoly and Veronika just stare at the screen in disbelief.
- Anatoly: Can we teleport them out of there?
- Veronika: I'm honestly not sure we can, willingly.
- Anatoly: Well, what about force?
- Veronika: We don't really have anything aside from the androids, who are not ready.
Anatoly slams on the table, causing Cake to scurry out.
- Anatoly: FUCK!
Anatoly shouts before suddenly and quickly calming down.
- Anatoly: Well, whatever. She was merely a prototype for something better… which we'll be moving onto earlier than expected.
Anatoly goes to a cupboard filled with blueprints. Veronika picks up Cake and pets the cat's head. Anatoly comes back.
- Anatoly: Project DELUXE begins.
Rachel and Bang Crimson glance at NULL in Rachel's apartment.
- Bang Crimson: So… you're going to keep them here? I really don't think that's the best idea…
- Rachel: Bang… she needs to go somewhere. I'm not sure the firehouse is the best spot.
- Bang Crimson: Mm.
- NULL: B-Bang?
- Rachel: Yes, this is uh, my friend, Bang Crimson. She doesn't exactly have powers of her own either.
- Bang Crimson: Well, if you're serious about this, I expect you to take care of everything.
- Rachel: Yeah, don't worry. I mean, come on, we're not married yet.
- Bang Crimson: (surprised) Have you been thinking about that?
- Rachel: No… wrong phrasing, I guess.
Bang Crimson purrs quietly.
- Rachel: Seriously!
- Bang Crimson: Alright then…
Bang Crimson kisses Rachel's cheek and heads to the door.
- Bang Crimson: Well, if you find the time, you can head to my garage and we can do a bit of racing there… or if you're up for it, we can do-
- Rachel: Got it.
Rachel rubs NULL's hair.
- Rachel: See ya, Bang.
Rachel and Bang Crimson point their fingers like guns and make a shooting sound as they go their seperate ways.
Unten grunts as he's looked by Dr. Graves.
- Dr. Graves: Well, that's a pretty nasty shock across your back, but I got it taken care of. Should heal in about three days. Do you know how this happened.
- Unten: Yeah… it's uh, because I shot lightning during the storm.
- Dr. Graves: Well… don't do that.
- Dr. Graves: I'm serious. You could have seriously damaged yourself bad.
Unten nods again and starts crying.
- Dr. Graves: God, why are you crying?
- Unten: This is the first time I've gotten a diagnosis that didn't have someone calling me fat or some variant of blue bear…
Dr. Graves just sighs.
- Dr. Graves: As for you, Netnu, that's a nasty gash. That's gonna need to take at least a week to heal, and I wouldn't do any kind of activity for at least a month.
- Netnu: Mhm. That's the last time you'll be seeing something like that on me. I think I know what I have to do.
Dr. Graves just rolls her eyes.
Strafe hears knocking on the firehouse door. He goes to answer it.
- Strafe: Ello?
Chelsea waves her hand.
- Strafe: Chelsea!
- Chelsea: Yeah! I heard from Nycho he wanted to set up a teleportation network, so I'll be doing that…
Chelsea lugs in a suitcase.
- Strafe: Wait, Nycho told you to do what?
- Chelsea: A teleportation network. A set of machines to connect you to the Shōri and Bluecarrot Farm and whoever you get permission to create a linked teleportation machine. I've already set up those two machines up, so it's a matter of creating one here.
- Strafe: I'm sorry, but when did he or you have the time to set something up?
Nycho slides down the fire pole to pop down on the ground floor.
- Nycho: Ey, you don't know everything about me. Hell, I thought your name was Snake two months ago.
- Strafe: That's a very different thing.
- Nycho: Netnu was right, we need to establish stronger relationships with the other groups. I talked to Chelsea about it, and she took into consideration that the big problem is distance. So I'm closing the distance.
Tōsō walks in.
- Tōsō: Wait, you said a teleporter to the Shōri base, right?
- Chelsea: Yeah! Just finished setting that one up.
Tōsō runs into the teleporter, with Chelsea following him inside. Tōsō looks around, just seeing rubble.
- Tōsō: Wait… where's the base?
- Chelsea: Hah… I'm in the middle of rebuilding it. It won't be ready for two more weeks.
Tōsō folds his arms and just sighs.
- Tōsō: Two more weeks of this… I'm not sure I can take it anymore.
Tōsō walks back through the teleporter.
Sakeena walks into Unten's hospital room.
- Unten: Sakeena!
- Sakeena: Hey!
- Unten: It's good to see you… how are you?
- Sakeena: Bi and getting by!
- Unten: Yeah, same.
Unten takes a deep breath.
- Unten: Do you know where Quartz went? She got scraped pretty bad…
- Sakeena: I dunno, she and Wormgar were gone shortly before you woke up. She did give me this slip…
Unten takes a white, ripped up piece of paper with the phrase "000.0 AM".
- Unten: That's a radio station…
- Sakeena: Maybe it broadcasts directly to Zero?
- Unten: Yeah, that makes sense… I'll contact her when I get that figured out.
- Sakeena: Oh! Logi and Denos are coming too.
- Unten: Oh, when?
The hospital door is kicked open by Denos, with Logi floating into the room.
- Logi: Right now!
- Denos: Damn, you got scraped up pretty bad, huh?
- Unten: It's no motorcycle accident.
- Logi: Man, you should see our friend Laverne Echo about maybe training to become stronger, because you've been kind of weak for a while, pal.
- Denos: Yeah…
Unten ponders for a moment.
- Unten: Laverne Echo?
- Logi: Oh yeah. Old friend, lives in a spaceship at the end of the universe.
- Unten: I suppose it can't hurt.
- Logi: Just check in with us when you're up for that. I'm sure she'd take you in.
- Unten: Got it…
Unten closes his eyes for a moment. Logi and Denos make their leave.
- Sakeena: You want me to stick around for a bit?
- Unten: Yeah, that would be nice.
Sakeena sets down a chair and looks at Unten.
- Sakeena: Things kind of got weird after you were put on medical notice.
- Unten: Oh?
- Sakeena: Yeah, uh… I guess Rachel is adopting NULL? We're going to be part of a teleportation network with the Shōri and Bluecarrot… the Shōri are staying for a couple more weeks until their base gets fixed.
- Unten: Eh, that's fine.
- Sakeena: ...I can grab lunch if you want?
- Unten: See if Guadalupe can make me a burrito?
- Sakeena: I'll see about that, yeah! You stay right there.
Unten nods as Sakeena leaves.
- Unten: I mean… where else would I go, I'm bedridden.
At the W.R.A.I.T.H base, Kathy Knives paces back and forth. RIP just grunts as he's sharpening up his claws.
- Kelly Knives: I miss her so much…
- RIP: Well, that's what happens when you get dumb and get caught by FANT. I'm sure she'll be fine. She's a smart girl.
- Kelly Knives: She hasn't come back yet though… I suppose some kind of rescue is in order?
- RIP: I mean, I guess.
- Kelly Knives: We're gonna need someone who's really skilled with sneaking around though…
- RIP: That was Ethereal.
- Kelly Knives: I'll do some research…
Bobby Benderson pipes up from the back of the room.
- Bobby: Actually, no need. I already found someone that might work.
- Kelly Knives: Oh? Name?
- Bobby: R. Vogue? That doesn't sound at all like a real name…
- RIP: Okay, none of our names are real.
- Bobby: AHEM.
- RIP: You know Bobby's dead, right? You're basically just posing as a dead man.
- Bobby: It's a real name, regardless…
- RIP: Whatever, try and get into contact with her if you must. I'm taking a cat nap.
Rachel and NULL are watching Netflix off Rachel's laptop. Rachel hears a knock on the door.
- Rachel: Hm?
Rachel opens it to see Hinata.
- Hinata: Hey.
- Rachel: Oh, hi! Wasn't expecting you…
Hinata nods and sits down on the opposite couch, looking at NULL.
- Hinata: Well, I'll be damned, that is NULL.
- Rachel: Haha…. yeah, it's been interesting.
- Hinata: Well, that's not what I was here to talk about. I wanted to talk to you about… well, you.
- Rachel: Oh, okay…
- Hinata: I mean, Kimi talked with Sakeena earlier and I went, hm, who am I mostly like? And I came to the realization it was you and I just want to know… how come you seem fairly stable?
- Rachel: What do you mean…?
- Hinata: I mean, you left your family too, didn't you?
- Rachel: I mean, I wouldn't call it leaving… just got out of there as soon as I could. Took a job, took any excuse to stay out of their house.
- Hinata: They kicked me out.
- Rachel: Ah…
Rachel glances at NULL and then back at Hinata.
- Rachel: I mean, I'm going to be honest, I'm really not well put together at all. I hide big secrets from my friends and like… I make big stances but I barely follow them that much…
Rachel scratches her head.
- Rachel: I mean, shit, I've been wanting a kid forever, but I never found anyone that I was ever really happy with. I'm… not really happy, contrary to popular belief.
- Hinata: That explains NULL, then.
- Rachel: I mean, someone has to watch over her.
Rachel briefly looks at NULL, giving her a bunch of wafer cookies while she talks with Hinata.
- Rachel: I mean, you got Über, don't you?
- Hinata: I thought I said I didn't want to talk about this junk.
- Rachel: Right… but like, he does make you happy, right?
- Hinata: Not really…
- Hinata: I thought you figured we weren't really, earlier.
- Rachel: Maybe it's just projection from my end then.
- Hinata: How could I be happy with him? He's fucking miserable most of the time and just… fucking fake as hell. You got any beer on you?
- Rachel: Nah…
- Hinata: Man, it might have been nice to pop off a cap or two and talk about it.
- Rachel: Eh, sorry.
- Hinata: I wish I was happier. But… as the group stands right now, we're all kind of locked into these things that don't make us happy but we have nothing else.
- Rachel: I guess that's why I seem more put together… I care about everyone in the group.
- Hinata: Even Nycho?
- Rachel: I mean, he's a dork, but he's nice.
- Hinata: Well, I better get going. See you tommorow or whenever, I guess.
- Rachel: I'd be willing to talk to you more if you want.
- Hinata: That'd be kind of nice.
Hinata goes for the door and Rachel starts playing the movie again with NULL.
- NULL: Movie…!
- Rachel: Yup… boy, I gotta start expanding your vocab.
- Rendered NULL is a attempt to finally give older characters that never had a appearance of their own in the New Fantendoverse proper despite being listed as part of it for years. The following characters make their first debut here:
- Unten's palms smoke when he transforms into Hyper Form, being possible foreshadowing for a upcoming Nega Mode transformation.
- Normal Nate's F.A.N.T squadron, 617, has the recurring "17" motif from Exotoro's works.
- Mittsy, a new character introduced in this story, is based off the designs of the main characters of Ninja Baseball Batmen.
- Pikko, a new character also introduced in this story, is the same species as future character Prin, who appears in the story after this. Due to development history, Prin was concepted first and Pikko was designed second.
- The new FANT squadron, Squad 617, was introduced to have a team for Unten's group to interact with on a more causal basis, as the main FANT group constantly interacting with them seemed kind of too convenient.
- Ethereal mentions wanting a cheeseburger as her meal of choice when in the highly secure FANT prison. This is actually a reference to a tape in Metal Gear Solid V, which goes on about for 12 minutes about the irony of an Najavo Code Talker wanting a hamburger. Since Ethereal is so against F.A.N.T, an American organization, the connection just felt like a natural fit.
References to Other Works
- Amatsuchi! - This Lapis property has made a couple references in the Fantendoverse proper, but it reappears here as part of the branding for a Dragon Ball Heroes/Injustice Arcade-styled arcade machine. Kimi apparently has a binder full of Amatsuchi! cards.
- Days of Victory - Netnu mentions the events of this story as the reason why he wants them to meet The Shōri.
- Lucille mentions throwing out cow hearts when she took over Leah's hospital, later hearing something growl and moan in the same dumpster where she threw out the cow hearts. Due to Crow eating one of the cow hearts in Days of Victory, it's likely that the source of the noise she heard was actually Crow eating the remains.
- Later, Lucille mentions she was attacked by a creature that Strafe and Rachel identify as a Louise, one of the enemies seen throughout Fantendo Smash Bros. Victory.
- R. Vogue's role in Days of Victory is mentioned as well as Strafe's off-hand line about not being a thief in the story is expanded upon. Additionally, Rachel and Bang Crimson's romantic relationship began here, with Unten already knowing about it being acknowledged.
- Undo-able: Unten Eleven - This non-canon game is referenced when Nycho tries to come up with another name for their team, continuing the trend of forced title drops.
- Misfits - Deadeye - Melissa Dust's line about not being seen as heroes is a reference to this story, which also takes place before this one in the current timeline.
- Ethereal mentions the following "victims" of F.A.N.T, which were all taken from previous stories:
- Agents of A.N.T - "ant man" is a reference to the antagonist of this episode. This is also the only work that Exotoro has written with a heavy focus on F.A.N.T, with other appearances mainly being crossovers where they play a much more diminished role.
- Fantendo - Gaiden: Legacy - Gray Demon, who was the main antagonist of this game.
- Agents of F.A.N.T - "hell, I thought they killed you" is a reference to Beta Unten, the antagonist of this episode.
- Underground (2014) - During Netnu's realization that Unten is still stronger than him, he mentions his time on Zeon- this is the first time Netnu was beaten by Unten and why he took on the name of Netnu. As such, this is him realizing he has yet to surpass the Beorn that beat him before and took his sense of honor.
- Blood of Prometheus: Volume 1 - Sompli, the planet that Mara and Plato use to get to the Lifts, is mentioned.
- Just Like Old Friends - Sakeena's Hisplit girlfriend from this story is mentioned and her name is revealed to be Diesellia.
- The Coffin Year - The motorcycles that Rachel and Bang ride across to get to the chain for the Zaxinian Lifts are the same motorcycles Rachel used to get to Hawaii in The Coffin Year.
- Crash - Unten mentions his injury is "no motorcycle accident", as a reference to Rachel's dire life or death situation from this episode of Fantendo Now.