Episode 3: Star Fall
(Written by Darinas, with the assistance of IHComicsHQ)
(We open on a road, at night. Two people, a man and a woman, are walking. The woman is obviously concerned.)
Woman: I really don’t think we should be here.
Man: Aw come on! Don’t tell me you believe those stories!
Woman: Those aren’t stories, Karl! There have been disappearances around here. Girls, each time. Nobody knows what happened to them.
Man: Stop worrying! We are just walking! Trust me; we will back at home in no ti… Wait! Who’s that?
(Right in front of them is a girl kneeling on the middle of the road, turning her back on them)
Woman: It must be one of the girls. She looks hurt! (Rushes toward her to help).
Man: Camille, wait!
Woman (trying to talk to the kneeling girl): Are you alright?
(The girl shivers a little… then turns around, revealed an emaciated, zombified face with empty eyes. She rushes on the woman in a scream. The image cut to black.)
(We cut to the Rustbucket rolling a few miles away, still at night. Max is driving as usual, while the kids are busy to various tasks behind: Gwen reading a book, Julie playing a video game, and Ben trying to manipulate the Omnitrix. The Andromeda Five are in the backseat, arms crossed and clearly struggling to fit)
Gwen (giving Ben a quick state): Try to not destroy the Rustbucket by turning into a giant dinosaur or something.
Ben: Relax! I am just giving a look at all the holograms… (A hologram of a small, frog-like alien). What’s this one, Omnitrix?
Omnitrix: Galvan, from Galvan Prime. Smaller than average, but naturally skilled with machinery and inventions. Considered to be the smartest species in the Galaxy.
Ben: Doesn’t sound like it would be of much use in a fight…
Omnitrix: You would be surprised of how useful intelligence can be.
Ben: I guess so…
P’andor: When are you going to send us in a secured area, anyway? We have been travelling with you for days already!
Max: It’s not as easy as you might think. The Plumbers haven’t been active on this planet for years, now. Most alien hideouts still operational on this planet are private and difficult to access.
Gwen: Okay, seriously Grandpa, what’s with this whole Plumber thing? How does it come you know so much about aliens? Didn’t you tell you would explain?
Ben: I hate to admit it, but I actually agree with her for once. I have an alien watch stuck on my wrist. It’s a bit late for mystery.
(Max seems to think for a moment, then sighs and stops the Rustbucket)
Max: Fine, I will explain to you. But only what you need to know for now. (The three kids get closer to listen). Ben, Gwen, I always told you I was a Plumber. Truth is, I was… but not in the usual sense of the term.
Julie: Go on.
Max: “Plumber” is just a codename, and eventually a nickname we were given by some people. The group’s official appellation is “Galactic Enforcers”, and they are a sort of secret police in charge of ensuring security in the Galaxy.
Julie: And those…. “Plumbers” have been active on Earth?
Max: Indeed. I was one of the first Earth Plumbers.
Julie: But how does it come nobody knows about them? Why so much secret?
Max: Relationships between Earth Government and the Plumbers have always been a bit… difficult. Many government organizations on our planet believed we weren’t ready to learn about the existence of aliens, let alone allowing aliens to live openly amongst us. They feared panic. So in order to get the right to operate on Earth, the Galactic Enforcers had to sign an agreement about staying in the shadow. In addition to this, only very few alien agents were allowed to work on Earth; they had to create an entirely new division made mostly of humans. This is the division I was part of.
Ra’ad: Yes, I heard about that actually. You were created to deal with a Lenopan invasion, right?
Max: Indeed. Or “Sludgepuppies”, as we called them. We fought them for years. It almost felt strange when we finally made a truce and started dealing with new problems.
P’andor: But you said Plumbers had not been active on this planet for years. What happened?
Max: Vilgax happened. Toward the end of my career, he arrived on Earth for a black market affair. Our fight with him… didn’t end well. The damages were so major we had to disband the Earth Plumbers.
(Beat. Ben, Gwen and Julie look clearly shocked)
Gwen: Why did you never tell us all of this?
Max: As I said, the Plumbers and aliens’ existence was classified information on Earth. I am not supposed to reveal such information. I am making an exception now because you already know about aliens, and will need to know more in order to survive.
(As Max is talking to them, we get a sight outside the Rustbucket, showing shadows are approaching the vehicle.)
Gwen: Grandpa, I… (She is cut short when the Rustbucket suddenly start shaking)
Bivalvan: What was that?
Galapagus: An attack from Vilgax, maybe?
Max: I think he would go for something less subtle than that. Just let me see… (He gets up and goes to open the door. Nothing seems to be outside.) Is there anyone out there?
(Suddenly, a zombie girl jumps out of the dark and tries to bite Max. Max reacts quickly and kicks the creature in the guts, sending her flying away. Several more zombie girls emerge from the shadow, but Max closes the door before they can do anything)
Ben: Grandpa? What was that?
Max: I have no idea… but my instinct tells me we should not stick here to find out. (He tries to start the rustbucket and leave, but it shakes again).
Julie: Seriously, what’s happening?
Max: You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.
Ben: Grandpa, we already met aliens and some kind of crazy knight organization who tried to dissect me! I think we would pretty much believe anything at this point!
Max: Well, there are zombie girls outside.
Gwen: … I don’t believe that.
Max: It doesn’t matter. You don’t need to believe it; I will just take you to… (As he tries to start the Rustbucket, it starts moving again, stronger this time, causing them to all fall on the side)
Julie: How do they do this?
Max: They are probably numerous. A better question would be: why do they do this?
Gwen (looking by the window): O my God… I think I have the answer.
(We get an outside shot, revealing the Rustbucket is being pushed toward the edge of the cliff. It eventually ends up reaching it, and fall. Everyone inside the vehicle screams of terror)
Gwen: BEN! DO SOMETHING!
Ben (turning the dial): I am trying!
Gwen: WE DON’T HAVE TIME! (She rushes on Ben, causing him to push the dial by accident. He turns into Gravattack)
Gravattack: Aw man! I was trying to get Big Chill!
Gwen: YOU HAVE GRAVITY POWERS, YOU MORON!
Gravattack: O, right! Stupid me! (He quickly uses his abilities to stop the Rustbucket from falling, then have it safely land on the ground)
(We cut back to inside, where everyone sigh in relief)
Gravattack: Well, that was close… (The light suddenly shut down. Short silence) Eeeeeh… I didn’t do it.
(We cut to outside a few minutes later, where Max is inspecting the Rustbucket’s motors)
Ben: What’s happening, grandpa?
Max: The battery has been damaged. But that’s not what broke it. It’s empty. It’s like… the electricity inside had been drained.
Julie: Sooooo are we supposed to think the zombie girls did it?
Ben: But I thought zombies ate brains.
Gwen: That’s in movies, dweeb!
Julie: Well, to be fair, that would still make more sense than them draining electricity.
Gwen : True…
Ben : Sooooo what do we do ? We can’t stay there doing nothing!
Max: We will have to. I need to stay here to fix the Rustbucket.
Julie: Maybe we could go look for help…
Max: Don’t even think about it! I am not letting you go alone with those creatures around!
Ben: Well, I do have the Omnitrix, I should be able to pass through them…
Max: And what if it runs out of energy?
Gwen: Then let us go with him to ensure he doesn’t do anything stupid!
Max (hesitates for a few minutes, then sight): Fine. But be careful. The three of you.
(the camera step back, revealing the group is being watch from what looks like a crystal ball. In front of the crystal ball, a man in the shadow is watching, zombie girls sitting next to him)
Man in the Shadow: Mhm…. Interesting…
(We cut to later; Gwen, Ben and Julie are walking in the forest, looking for help)
Ben: What do you think those things were? Something from that Vilgax guy?
Julie: I don’t know. Zombies never really sounded very “alien” to me.
Gwen: Also, I think we have seen at this point there are things just as weird as aliens in this world. But really, right now we should just focus on finding help.
(As they advance, they notice a light in front of them)
Julie: A house?
Gwen: Maybe. Let’s get closer.
(Eventually, the get out of the forest and arrive in front of a large, imposing mansion. The light was coming from its windows)
Gwen: Well, guess we did find help after all. If there is light, then someone has to be there.
(They walk to the door, and Gwen rings the bell. After a moment of silence, the door opens)
(The person opening them turns out to be a young, good-looking, blonde man dressed rather elegantly. He looks only slightly older than them, barely more than seventeen).
Ben: Eeeeh… hello, sir! Sorry to bother you, but… we had a vehicle accident a few miles, and we need help…
(The man looks at them for a moment, silently. Then, he suddenly smiles to them and moves aside to let them enter)
Man: Of course! Please, enter.
(As the trio disappears in the house, the camera step back, revealing the zombie girls are approaching the mansion and watching them from the bushes)
(Meanwhile, inside the house, the three characters go to sit in a living room, where their host serves them a drink)
Man: I am sorry, water is the only suitable drink I have for you. I hope you don’t mind.
Gwen: It’s fine, mister…?
Man: Mourningstar. Micheal Morningstar, but you can call me Mike. I am not that older than you, after all.
Julie: Morningstar? That’s… quite an unusual name.
Mike: Yes, I get told that a lot. What can I say? It’s not like I chose my name.
Julie: Of course… I apologize. That was rude of me.
Mike: Don’t be, young lady. But that reminds me: I do not even know your names?
Gwen: O, that’s right, sorry; my name is Gwen Tennyson; the boy is my cousin Ben, and this is his girlfriend, Julie Yamamoto.
Mike (smiling): Gwen? What a lovely name…
(Gwen blushes a little at the comment. Ben seems indifferent, but Julie gives Mourningstar a slightly suspicious look. Suddenly, however, the whole room blackouts)
Ben: Okaaaaaaaay… what just happened?
(Mike light a candle, providing the group light again)
Mike: Something must have happened to the power.
(We cut to outside, where the four characters are checking the power. They are shocked to find out the cables have been damaged)
Mike: Strange… it looks like something bit off the cables.
Ben: A bit like the zombie… (Julie put her hand on his mouth before he can end the sentence) Mhhm!
Mike: The zombies?
Julie (trying to look innocent): Nothing! Don’t mind him; he watched too much horror movies lastly!
Mike: O, I see… well, I can’t really blame him; I watch them all the time as well. (Looks at the cables again) Hm…. I am sorry, but everything is damaged. I fear you won’t be able to use the phone tonight.
Mike: See, the line has been damaged as well; and we are too far away for cellphones to work.
Ben: But we left our grandfather outside! He will get worried!
Mike: I am really sorry, but I can’t do much to help. All I can offer is allow you to stay for the night; then tomorrow, we will go to help your grandfather.
Gwen (interrupting Ben): Fine, we accept your invitation.
Mike: Good… follow me. I will show you your rooms.
(As they are walking, Ben gets next to Gwen)
Ben (whispering): Are you out of your mind? Why would you…
Gwen: Look toward the wood.
(Ben gives a close look; he notices silhouettes moving)
Ben: The Zombie Girls?!
Gwen: Exactly. I bet they are the ones who cut the power.
Ben: But why aren’t they attacking?
Gwen: I have no idea, but we won’t survive the night if we try to get back to Grandpa. Best stay at his home just to be safe.
Ben: Well…. (Sigh) I guess you are right. Hope Max isn’t too worried…
(As the group is getting back to the mansion, we cut back to the Rustbucket, where Max brings a plate full of worms on a table where the Andromeda Five are sitting)
Max: Here is dinner: worm salad!
Bivalvan (completely sincere): Looks delicious. (The five of them start eating)
Ra’ad: You are a fantastic cook for a human, Magister Tennyson… no offense intended.
Max: None taken! I just wish the kids were as appreciating of it as you are.
Galapagus: They aren’t?
(flashback from the first day where they left, where Ben, Julie and Gwen are sitting on the grass for a break)
Max: Dinner, kids!
Ben: … Oh, no.
Julie: What? Aren’t you hungry?
Gwen: Trust me; you won’t be when you will see what Grandpa cooks.
Julie: Aw come on! It can’t be THAT horrible…
Max: Tonight, termite stew!
Julie (with a horrified expression): I stand corrected.
(End of the flashback)
Max: … No, not really.
Ra’ad: Everyone is a critic, I guess.
Max: Talking about them, I hope they are alright. I expected them to come back sooner.
Galapagus: I know how you feel. One of my sisters was killed when I was captured. Aggregor sucked te energy right out of her… I still feel guilty for indirectly causing this. (notices Max’s look) Sorry, I didn’t mean to…
Max: No, it’s alright. I appreciate the understanding.
Bivalvan: Here is an idea: what if we helped you repair your vehicle after dinner? With our powers, it should be easier. That way, you will be able to find the kids and we will be on our way!
Galapagus: Great idea!
Andreas: Andreas like that!
Ra’ad: Well, if this can help us get away, I won’t deny my help.
P’andor: …. Fine, fine, I will help.
Max: Thank you all. Let’s finish dinner first, then we will get to repairing the Rustbucket!
(We cut back to the mansion, where Mike is guiding the three heroes through a corridor)
Mike (to Ben and Julie): I apologize for asking such a personal question, but Gwen told me you two were in a relationship. Does this mean you will share the same room?
Ben and Julie (together, blushing): What?! No, no!
Julie: I will be fine with sleeping in the same room than Gwen.
Mike: Very well. Then follow me. (He brings them to a room with two beds) You girls can get there and make yourself comfortable. I will show Ben his own room.
Gwen: Thank you! See you tomorrow!
(As she closes the door, Ben and Mike start walking again)
Ben: Sooo you live there alone?
Mike: Mhm? Oh, no, of course! I have my… staff to help me take care of the mansion. They are not there tonight however; it’s their vacation day.
Ben: I see…
Mike: You know, Ben, your cousin and your girlfriend are charming young ladies. Polite, intelligent… beautiful…
Ben (uncomfortable): You… think so? You barely know them…
Mike: Trust me. I am good with those things. (They arrive in front of a door) Well, here is your room. I trust you will find it suitable. Good night.
Ben: Good night. And thanks. (He enters the room).
(We cut back to the girls’ room, where Gwen and Julie are longing on their beds)
Gwen: Really nice from Mike to let us stay there for the night.
Julie: Yes, he is quite the gentleman.
Gwen: And quite handsome, too.
Julie: What? Wait, don’t tell me… (Teasingly) You’ve got a crush on him?
Gwen (blushing): Aw come on! Are you going to tell me you don’t find him attractive too?
Julie (seems to hesitate, but then blushes too): Yes. He is.
(The two start laughing, but then stop. With a sigh, Gwen gets back to laying down on her bed)
Gwen: You know, I feel a bit guilty about sleeping in a comfortable home when Max probably is worrying about us. As shame we are out of range for cellphones.
Julie: Don’t worry. Your grandfather is quite good of his own, and he has five super-powered aliens to protect him, remember? I am sure he will be fine. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he came to look for us.
Gwen: That’s the point. I would like him to know we are safe. He has done so much for us, I hate causing more troubles to him.
Julie: Is that why you are constantly arguing with Ben? Because you are afraid he will cause more troubles for him?
Gwen (sigh): Oh, don’t even get me started with him! I kinda admire you for having the patience to stand him! How do you do that?
Julie (shrugging): Who know? Maybe I know a side of him that you never got to see… or maybe boys just make more efforts when they are with their girlfriends?
Gwen (laughing): Or maybe it’s just me never getting along with any of my cousins. I used to argue with Lucy and Sunny too.
Gwen: My other cousins. Haven’t seen them for a while, however. Ben is the only one I live close to, and even him I had never seen him that much until now.
Julie: So that’s why I saw you so little…
Gwen: Which reminds me, how long have you been dating Ben? He never told me…
Julie: Well, I have known for around two years, but we didn’t actually get together until… let me remember…. Six month ago.
Gwen: SIX MONTH? I am even more impressed. Seriously, how did you do that?
Julie: I won’t pretend it was easy, but we managed to make it work!
(The two get to sleep. After a few minutes, Gwen gets back on her feet.)
Julie (half-sleeping): Gwen? Is something wrong?
Gwen: Nothing, don’t worry. I just need to drink. I will be back in a few minutes.
(Gwen gets out of the room)
Gwen: So, now, where is the kitchen?
(She starts walking around in the corridors. As she is wandering, she hears a noise, like if someone was prowling behind her. She gives a look, but no one is here. A bit suspicious, she keeps going anyway. Eventually, she arrives in front of a large, black door)
Gwen: Maybe it’s here. Well… I hope I am not doing a mistake. (She opens the door)
(Behind the door stands a small chest in wood, with golden decorations. On the wall behind, a family tree is stick to the wall, featuring the portrait of various people)
Gwen: What is this…
Mike: Lovely Gwen?
Gwen (Gasping, then turning around): Mike! I am sorry, I didn’t mean…
Mike: It’s alright. You did no harm, and I know you didn’t intend to.
Gwen (relived): Good. (She gives the room a new look) I take it this is your family tree.
Mike: Indeed. Our family has quite a history. See, here? (Shows a black and white picture of an old man at the top of the tree) This is my great-great-grandfather, Carl Morningstar. Back in his day, he was rumored to be a wizard, can you believe it?
Gwen (giving a closer look): His wife isn’t on it?
Mike: No. She left him after giving birth to his son. Or died in couch; it isn’t very clear.
Gwen: It’s strange; aside from your great-great-grandfather, all the following ancestors on the tree look a lot like you.
Mike: Yes, I noticed. Strange, isn’t it?
Gwen: What about the chest? Does it contain something important?
Mike: I assume so.
Gwen: You mean you don’t know?
Mike: This chest used to belong to my great-great-grandfather. He used to say it contained something important. But neither me, nor any of my ancestors who came after me ever managed to open it.
Gwen: Really? Have you tried, I don’t know, breaking it open?
Mike: Yes. But much to my surprise, this chest is tougher than stone.
Gwen: Curious. I wonder what matter…. (She tries to touch it; suddenly, the chest vibrates to her contact, producing a pink light) Hey!
Mike (Gasp of shock): What did you just do?
Gwen: Nothing! I just… touched it. I am sorry…
Mike: It’s alright. Actually, could you please do it again?
Gwen: Huh? Well… sure, why not… (She touches the chest a second time; again, the chest vibrate with a pink light)
Mike: Fascinating… it had never done this before…
Gwen: I assure you, I have no idea how I do that.
Mike: I…. need to think alone for a few minutes. What were you looking for, exactly?
Gwen: Huh? Eee…. Water, actually.
Mike: Kitchen is the third door on the right. Help yourself. Now, I apologize, but I really need to go back to my room.
Gwen: … Fine. Thank you.
(We cut to Mike Morningstar in his room, watching a picture he is holding in his hand. Said picture portrays a man looking a lot like him, only slightly older. We then have a flashback of a younger Mike Morningstar walking around the house with the man of the picture)
Man: Stop wasting my time, Michael. I already told you I wouldn’t help you build your power. When I was your age, I had to teach myself. You should do the same.
Young Mike: But father…
Man: I SAID ENOUGH! (Punches Mike in the face, causing him to fall on the grass) You are pathetic, Micheal. I feel ashamed to call you my son. You are not worthy of my legacy.
Young Mike: What did you expect to happen? You never did anything to help me!
Man: I shouldn’t have to! You should be able to grow stronger of your own, and the last thing I want is to help my own offspring to eventually become stronger than me.
Young Mike (furious) Oh, yeah? Well it doesn’t matter! I will still be stronger than you one day! With or without your help!
Man (chuckling): Oh, really? I would really like to see that happen…
(End of the flashback. We are back to Mike, who suddenly angrily throws the picture on the floor)
Mike: You will see, you old bastard. Trust me, you will see…
(He gets on his feet and leaves the room)
(We cut back to the girls’ room, where Julie is now completely asleep. Gwen, on the other hand, is still awake, lost her thought. Suddenly, someone knocks at the door. She gets on her feet and opens to find Mike, looking concerned)
Gwen: Mike? Is there a problem?
Mike: I am sorry, to awaken you again, but… I might need a favor from you, if you don’t mind.
Gwen: Well… depends on what it is.
Mike: The chest.
(We cut back to the room where the chest was. Mike and Gwen are once again together in front of it)
Gwen: Soooo, you want me to touch it again?
Mike: Yes, please. But keep your hand on it for longer this time.
Gwen: Fine, as you want… (She touches the chest again. The glow appears, but this time, it seems to intensify as she keeps touching)
Gwen: You…. Know what’s happening?
Mike: Sort of. Apparently, there is a power inside of you that makes the chest react. You have the potential to open it. You just lack the knowledge to do it.
Gwen: Then, I don’t know what else I can… (Mike touch her hand) Oh! (She blushes)
Mike: I do have that knowledge. But I cannot do it without you. Will you help me? Shall we open this chest together?
(There is a moment of silence. Then Gwen nods)
Gwen: Yes... I will help you.
Mike (smiling): Good. (A golden aura starts appearing around both of them)
(We cut back to Ben’s room, where someone enters inside the room. Ben is still sleeping as a figure approach his bed. The Omnitrix suddenly lights up)
Omnitrix: Ben? Unknown presence detected. (Silence) Ben? (Still silence) I recommend awakening right now. (Ben still doesn’t answer) Emergency procedure activated. (Green electricity escapes from the Omnitrix and shocks Ben)
Ben: OUCH! What was that? (He raises his head and notices the figure, which turns out to be a zombie girl) …. Nevermind. (He jumps on the side of the bed, barely escaping the Zombie Girl’s graps. As he gets back on his feet, he activates the Omnitrix’s dial) Any alien would do right now! (Pushes the dial)
(New green flash of light. Inside, Ben’s body shrinks to have its original size, his skin turns dark blue, and he grows blue fur. His arms dismantle to split in tour, resulting in four for them. His eyes turns black, and a second, smaller set of them grows above them; He grows a tail, his nose fuses with his mouth to create a simian face with fangs. Finally, his clothes convert into a green-and-black harness with the Omnitrix symbol on his shoulder.)
Ben: SPIDER-MONKEY! Gosh, I need to stop doing that… (Looking back at the Zombie Girl) Now, let’s deal with this one…
(Spider-Monkey jumps toward the Zombie girl and punches her; she fly across the room and ends on the wall. He the raises his tails and shoots a web at her, sticking her on the wall)
Spider-Monkey: Done. Now, let’s find out how…. (A screams is heard from the next room) JULIE! (He runs out of the room and jumps to the girls’ room)
(When he arrives, he finds Julie being attacked by a Zombie Girl… and trying to chase her away by swinging a lamp at her. She actually manages to keep her at reasonable distance with it.)
Julie(seeing Spider-Monkey): Ben? Is that you?
Spider-Monkey: It’s me! Don’t worry! (Shoots web at the zombie girl, sticking her to another wall. He then gets on the grounds and turns back to Ben)
Ben: Are you alright?
Julie: I am now. How did those things get inside?
Ben: No idea. Where is Gwen?
Julie: I don’t know either. She went outside to find a drink before I fell asleep. I don’t remember anything after this.
Ben: Damn it! I hope nothing happened to her or Mike!
Julie: Only one way to find out; let’s go and find them! (They run outside the room)
(We cut back to the Rustbucket, where Max has started repairing the battery with the help of the Andromeda Five. They manage to fix it using P’andor’s heat as a soldering iron.)
Max: Here. Now, if only we had the electricity to recharge it…
Ra’ad: If you would allow me… (Touches the battery. Electricity comes out of his tentacle and enters the battery) should be alright now.
Max: Thank you.
Ra’ad: You are welcome.
Max: Now, let’s see… (Gets back in the Rustbucker and turns the key. The vehicle’s engine start growling) It works! Come inside, everybody; we are going to find the kids!
(We cut back to the Mansion, where Julie and Ben are still running in the corridors. More zombie girls show up, but Ben just transforms into Swampfire and pushes them aside.)
Swampfire: Damn it! Where are they?
Julie: They can’t be that far! (Notices a light) Hey, look! There is something here!
(The two run toward the light…. And find Mike Morningstar shining a golden glow, holding in his arm a zombified, half-unconscious Gwen)
Mike (nonchalantly letting Gwen fall on the ground): Ah, you are there. I guess it was too optimistic from me to think the girls could handle you. (to Ben) And I see you have other forms than this gravity-manipulating creature…
Swampfire: You knew…?!
Mike: For course I did. I had been scrying you since you start approaching my home. Did you think it was a coincidence if you happened to be blocked so close by?
Swampfire: What did you do to my cousin?
Mike: No much, actually. I just… asked her help. And she gave it to me. Of course, I neglected to explain to her the cost.
Swampfire: YOU BASTARD!
(Swampfire tries to punch him, but Mike easily blocks his fist, then uses his other hand to generate a blast of golden light in his chest, sending him away. Swampfire falls on the ground and turns back into Ben. As he tries to get back on his feet, zombie girls arrive and grasp both him and Julie)
Mike: Make sure to keep him from reaching his watch again.
Ben: Those things are working with you?!
Mike: Working with me? I created them! These are all the girls I found tasty enough to feed on their life forces. Men usually die when I am done with them, but women… well, they become these, and keep serving me. My personal charm, I guess. They come in handy to collect more energy for me. Or lure people into coming to me… like I did with you.
Julie: Who are you? And why are you doing this?
Mike (getting his face closer to hers): Why? For many reason, Julie dear, most of which you wouldn’t understand. (Standing up again) But I admit, your arrival brought to me more than I expected. I intended to just use you as more snack for the following days. And instead, thanks to the lovely Gwen, I will be able to do so, so much more! (He walks to the chest) See this? It belonged to my father. According to him, it contains a powerful magic artifact from a place he called Ledger Domain.
Mike (mockingly): What, are you going to tell me you don’t believe in magic when your watch can turn you into monsters? (Serious again) My father left this artifact behind in this chest, with a powerful spell to prevent me from opening it. He said I wasn’t worthy of such power.
Ben (sarcastically): I really wonder why.
Mike: For years, I have been trying to open this chest. And for years, I have failed. But your cousin… has something different in her. Something in her energy made the chest react. She had the potential to open it, but not the knowledge. So, naturally, all I had to do was… “convince” her to give me her energy, allowing me to open the chest myself!
Ben: So that’s how you accomplish everything in your life? By stealing from other people? No wonder your father thought you didn’t deserve it!
Mike: Give me a break. He did the same. EVERYBODY does the same. In this world, the only way you can go up is by taking from others! But enough talk. Since you helped me, I guess a reward is in order; I will let you witness my success before I drain you from your life forces as well.
Julie: You are insane!
Mike: Yes, I get that a lot. Not that it will matter much, soon.
(Mike stands in front of the chest and raises his hands. A golden aura appears around him again, and eventually, the chest opens, revealing a small, round object with strange symbols graved on it)
Mike: Finally… it’s mine! (He grasps the object and stares at it like it was a treasure) After all those years… (raising his head to the roof) I finally got my hand on it, you old bastard! And there is nothing you can do about it!
(At this moment, Julie uses manage to kick the zombie girl holding her in the leg, making her lose her balance. This allows the young Japanese girl to free herself, rush toward Ben and help him free himself. As soon as his hand his free, Ben reaches the Omnitrix and pushes the dial. In a flash of green light, he transforms into XLR8)
XLR8: Alright, now, Mike, now you will give me back my cousin, or…
Mike: Or what? You think you can intimidate me with your pathetic shape-shifting powers?
XLR8: We will find that out right now! (instantly blows away the zombie girls and proceeds to tackle Mike at high speed. As the two are getting far behind, Julie goes to Gwen)
Julie: Gwen! Can you hear me? (Gwen produces an incomprehensible sound) It’s alright, we will get you back…
(Meanwhile, XLR8 starts delivering a rain of high-speed hits on Mike. Mike, however, doesn’t seem to be affected. After shrugging off the hits for a while, he blast XLR8 away with another attack of gold energy)
Mike: You are still learning how to use your powers, I can see it in your moves; Had you been more experienced, you could have easily dodged this. Unfortunately for you, I have spent years practicing my magic, and I have this artifact to boost my power. Nothing you can do will stop me.
XLR8: Oh, yeah? (pushes the Omnitrix. XLR8 disappears to be replaced by Gravattack)
Gravattack: Tries fighting gravity! (starts increasing gravity around Mike. The young man fall on his knees, clearly struggling to get up)
Mike: I… don’t…. need to! (the artifact he is holding suddenly starts glowing, and he shoot another beam of golden light, which hits Gravattack right in the stomach. The alien backs down, clearly in pain)
Omnitrix: Sir, one of your vital points has been hit. I suggest a return to your original form to ensure survival.
Gravattack: Fine… (In a green flash, he turns back to normal)
Ben: How did you…
Mike: … know how to reach your vital point? I didn’t. I have to thank this (touches his artifact). See, this thing was said to bear luck to his owner. Literally; whenever I uses this, I can modify the law of probability so that my next action will end in my favor. Of course, I need to power it with my energy, but it is most definitely worth it. Now, where were we…. Oh, right. (grasps Ben) You lost.
Ben: Not… yet! (pushes the Omnitrix. In a new green flash, he turns into Big Chill and phase through Mike, evading his grasp and freezing him. Mike, however, easily breaks through the ice)
Mike: You think some ice can stop me?!
Big Chill: Damn, what can stop this guy?
Omnitrix: Forgive me, but your successive transformations are causing me to run out. I fear you have only fifteen seconds left before you turn back to normal.
Big Chill: Understood. (He rushes again and phases a second time through Mike. Once again, Mike gets frozen, but easily breaks out of the ice)
Mike: Aren’t you listening? This trick won’t work on… wait! (Looks at his hands) Where is….?
Big Chill: Looking for this? (raises his own hand, revealing the artifact in it)
Mike: What?!! Give me back that! You cannot even use it anyway! Only a true mage can.
Big Chill: O, I don’t intend to use it… (flies to Julie and Gwen. As he arrives close to them, he turns back to human and places the artifact on Gwen)
Ben: Here, take this, cousin…
Mike (furious): WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
Ben (defiantly): You said you had to put energy inside the artifact to make it work… you used Gwen’s energy, right? And if that energy can be taken, maybe it can be given back…
(Gwen gets swallowed in a pink glow. When it ceases, she is back on her feets, looking slightly less zombified)
Mike (rushing on her): Give it back! This is my inheritance. It’s MINE! MIIIIIIIIINE!
(As is about to reach her, she raises her arm and grabs him by the throat. New flash of pink light)
(When finally the light stops, Gwen is back to normal, while Mike has lost all glows, leaving him with greyish skin and hair)
Mike: What have you done…?
Gwen: I recovered what you took away from me.
Ben (jumping on Gwen to hug her): Gwen! You are back!
(Gwen looks puzzled at first, but eventually she smiles and hugs him back)
(Mike looks at them in rage, then notices the zombie girls standing around them)
Mike: What are you all waiting for? Don’t stand here like that! Get them and give me your energy!
(The Zombie Girls starts moving, but not to follow his orders; instead, they all step in his direction, their hands raised)
Mike: What? Wait, what are you doing? No! (As they all get on him) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!
(Finally the girls step back, revealing they are all back to normal. Mike is laying in the middle, still alive, but clearly exhausted, weak and with a disfigured, zombified face)
Gwen: … Come on. We have nothing else to do here.
(The three heroes and the former zombie girls leave the mansion)
(As they get outside, the Rustbucket arrives)
Max: Kids! Are you alright?
Gwen: We are fine, grandpa. But we have plenty of girls here who might need our help to get back to their respective homes.
Max (looks at the girls, puzzled): What happened? Where do they come from?
Gwen: Long story. We will explain to you on the road.
Ben: By the way, Gwen, sorry to ask but… are you sure you want to keep that thing you took from Mike? I would have thought you would rather not keep anything from this event…
Gwen (looking at the artifact in her hand): Yes, I am sure. I am curious about it. Plus, we don’t want Mike to keep it and use it to some bad end, do we?
Ben: Good point.
(As they are talking, the artifact starts glowing again…)
(We cut to another place, where a man is sitting in lotus position, apparently meditating. The man is wearing a black cape and hood with red motifs on it, black trousers, and his shirtless torso reveals a pale skin with tattoos on his arm. His face is covered by a white make-up that makes it look like a skull. Suddenly, his eyes open, as if he had just felt something)
Man: It happened. It finally happened… (Shouting) CHARMCASTER!
Female voice: Yes, uncle?
Man: Pack your belongings! We are leaving!
Female voice: What?! Why, uncle? What happened?
Man: A Charm of Bezel has been revealed. And I must find it!
(End of the episode)