Battle Royale Round Two

It has been nearly two years since the infamous Battle Royale. Polygon Man wanted to take revenge on all those who’ve become mascots or quite popular in their own right. So, he captured 15 gods and forced them into battles with one another. This created rivalries among those gods. But in the end, Polygon Man was defeated… by all of them in many different battles. Those who won were even granted a special “All-Stars Power”, which they still hold to this day. In the pantheon, they are referred to as “All-Stars”.Come August 2014, and Polygon Man has announced his desire… for revenge! But what is his revenge anyway? Well, we’re about to hear the story, told by Lightning Farron, the leader of the Gods who aspire revenge on Polygon Man for his forced battles.

The list of characters appearing in the tale are here.

Warning: Contains spoilers from “The Friendship Asylum” and “Vienna Burning”.


August 28, 2014
Somewhere deep beneath the House of Mentalism, beneath even the meeting place of the Council of Shadows, was a waiting room. By all outward appearances, it was a perfectly ordinary waiting room, albeit one decorated by someone with an undue fondness for large fake ferns and golf-related magazines. The sole distinguishing feature of the place was a mass of large purple polyhedrons scattered haphazardly about like so many children’s blocks.
A young woman dressed like a nurse appeared in the room and, in a voice far too deep for her appearance, said “He’ll see you now.”The mass of blocks began to levitate and assembled themselves into the shape of a large, floating head. “Excellent,” Polygon Man said, his face twisted into an impatient and imperious frown. “I’ve certainly been kept waiting long enough.”
The nurse grinned, just wide enough to indicate that she couldn’t possibly be human. A slight shiver passed through the floating shapes comprising the newly ascended God of Intercontinuity Crossovers, and his expression went blank. So, thought Polygon Man, it seems the rumors of this one’s… peculiarities… had some merit after all.
“Right this way, sir,” the nurse said as she turned and walked down a long, straight, featureless hallway. Polygon Man floated behind her, silently wondering whether this hallway had been there when he’d first arrived. And why the door at the end of it didn’t seem to be getting any closer.As the pair advanced, their surroundings began to shift. The walls turned white, then black, and then a muted shade of greyish mauve. The temperature began to swing wildly from boiling heat to freezing cold and back again. Polygon Man could even have sworn that he heard the muffled sound of screaming coming from behind the walls.
The nurse, too, began to shift. Her arms seemed to shrink into her body, while her fingers extended, then ripped themselves apart as inky black tentacles burst free of the skin. Her head began to spin, completing two full rotations before popping off like the cap of a bottle. Her legs audibly snapped as the bones bent, stretched, and broke until one leg faced backwards and the other extended so far that her knee was touching the ground. Blood spattered the walls and disappeared, as though the place itself was absorbing the fluid.
A few more minutes, he thought as his eyes darted about, frantically scanning for anything he could use as a point of reference, trying not to let his fear show. A few more minutes and then you’ll never have to come back here ever again.
After an unquantifiable period of time, she — or perhaps it; after all, it was always so hard to tell when it came to these sorts of eldritch horrors — stopped and turned to face Polygon Man. “We’re here,” it said. Polygon Man started and looked around. They were still no closer to the end of the hallway, and no doors had appeared on the walls. He spun around to try and see how far he’d floated since the waiting room, only to be greeted by a seemingly endless black void that the hallway faded into not three feet from his nose. Before he could turn again and face the creature, he felt its tentacles begin to grab his individual shapes.
No, he thought, No! This wasn’t the deal! Polygon Man tried to float away, but the very force that held him together now bound him to the bits in the grip of the tentacled abomination.
“Foolish creatures,” the nurse-thing growled quietly. “Always, thou fleest the consequences of thy course.” Polygon Man’s eyes widened and his struggles intensified as he realized that he was being pulled towards the thing. He swiveled around the parts of himself that remained free, and started to scream when he saw that a maw was opening up where the nurse’s head had been. “Come to me, child,” said the nurse-thing’s voice, “and I shall render unto thee exactly what thou hast sought.”But Polygon Man didn’t hear any of this. His screaming didn’t stop until the last of his components had been pulled through the maw.
The god’s parts landed in a heap on the floor of a chamber constructed entirely of glowing purple crystals and intricate clockwork. As he reassembled himself, he noticed that the crystals seemed to be constantly growing into each other, with the room never retaining quite the same shape as a result. He saw one impossibly large crystal in particular seemed to grow abnormally fast, until, to his horror, he realized that it was also growing scales. And a face. And a forked tongue.
“SO.” The crystal snake spoke with such power that the former mascot was very nearly blasted back into a pile. “YOU ARE THE WHELP WHO DARED REQUEST MY SERVICE?”Despite his lack of a throat, Polygon Man managed to gulp anyway. “I apologize for my impudence, Lord—““SPEAK NOT MY NAME!” bellowed the snake as it charged towards the new god, coming to an abrupt halt inches from his right eye. Mostly because that was the only part still in place – the rest of him had been plastered against an adjacent wall by the force of the shout. More calmly, the snake continued, “ONE NEVER KNOWS WHO MAY HEAR. THERE ARE BEINGS WHOSE EYES AND EARS MAY REACH EVEN THIS CHAMBER, AND I WOULD HAVE MY INVOLVEMENT IN THIS KEPT AS HIDDEN AS POSSIBLE.
”For what seemed like the fiftieth time that day, Polygon Man pieced himself back together, making a point to stay several yards away from his host. “I-I-I apologize for that as well, my lord,” he said, abandoning any attempts at maintaining his composure. “You see, I was told you were one of the most glorious, powerful beings in the pantheon, and so when I started on my hunt for —“OUT WITH IT!” snarled the snake.
Polygon Man shrieked, and then continued as rapidly as he was able to form the words. “Power,” he cried, “I need power!” He flinched, awaiting another reprimand from the being. When none came, he resumed his speech. “I spent decades forgotten, languishing in history’s dustbin as a failed advertisement, of all things. Even when I ascended, it’s because I got lucky, and it’s temporary – I’m told many are eagerly awaiting my predecessor’s return.
“I’m in here because people know me again,” he said, “but they know me as a laughing stock. I want to fix that, my lord. I want to carve my name on my seat in blood so that none may doubt I have earned a place that befits the power I can bring to bear.” He paused, then quietly said, “I want things to change.
”The snake smiled – or rather, rearranged its bones into something that loosely resembled a smile. “HMM,” said the being. “YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION.” It began to coil itself around Polygon Man. “AND, SHOULD I DEIGN TO GRANT YOUR REQUEST, WHAT WOULD I GET IN RETURN?”Polygon Man flinched, but he’d been prepared for the question this time. “I was told,” he said, “that the upheaval itself would be suitable compensation, my lord.
”Now the snake was chuckling, and Polygon Man began to shift into a decidedly paler shade of blue than usual. “WELL,” said the snake, “YOU’VE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK, IT SEEMS.” Suddenly, a massive purple crystal broke through the floor between the two figures. The crystal was easily twice the width of the Polygon Man, and twice again as high. As the light bounced off it, Polygon Man could get glimpses through the surface. And inside was—“Is that what I think it is?” he asked, any remaining traces of his usual bombastic demeanor long gone. The snake simply nodded. “How – when –““NEVER ASK ME HOW,” said the snake. “AS FOR THE WHEN: I ACQUIRED THIS THE MOMENT I BECAME AWARE OF YOUR AMBITIONS. THE ONLY THING THIS MEETING WAS TO DECIDE WAS WHETHER I WOULD GIVE IT TO YOU…” The snake paused, flicking its tongue in and out, “OR FEED YOU TO IT. AND MY DECISION IS MADE.”
Polygon Man began to tremble again. “And what is that decision?”
The snake grinned again as the surrounding room shattered, leaving Polygon Man, the crystal, and the snake floating in a void once more. Out of the blackness, a familiar landscape began to emerge. Familiar purple geometry exploded into existence, and Polygon Man began to relax. It seemed he was alone with his prize, free from his nightmarish benefactor. He looked again at the crystal and began to laugh. He’d been given another chance, and this time, there was no power in the pantheon that could stand in his way.

Part 1: Sora vs. Lightning

September 4, 2014
Lightning has not been in this pantheon as a goddess for long, but as she took her place as the “Goddess With a Mission from God”, she saw a light. It looked like an ordinary light, but it was suspicious. Lightning drew out her blade and walked into the light. If she could defeat Orphan and Bhunivelze, then surely, she could beat whatever villain was drawing her into this light.
Within a flash, Lightning was there: the Battle Royale. “Where the hell, am I?“, she said, as she looked around what appeared to be another dimension. The place was all purple. The floor was purple, the mountains were purple, and even the sky was purple. EVERYTHING was purple. Lightning just approached one of the mountains, and with her blade, she smashed it into tiny pieces! But it just fixed itself. Lightning just stood there, stunned.
She began to walk off in the hopes of finding out answers to this riddle. But just as she started to walk off, Lightning saw someone in the distance. Surely, that person looked suspicious, as he wore an armor that seemingly blended into the atmosphere. But as she approached him, memories came back into her head… memories of her time with the sanctum. “Did I travel back in time?“, Lightning wondered. “Did the sanctum send this soldier to finish me off?“. She didn’t even get a chance to ask the person’s name. As Lightning approached him, there was only one sentence she could think of saying.
“Did the sanctum send you to assassinate me!?” The figure turned to Lightning. She was finally able to get a clear view of his face, if only his nose and mouth, as his helmet obscured his eyes. But then again, the figure was quite short. The figure was holding a sword in his right hand, but it looked like a “key”? But still, Lightning knew that this person was not to be taken lightly. He looked capable of fighting, just like Lightning herself.
“Sanctum? What are you talking about?” The figure looked confused. He just looked at Lightning, with worry in his now visible eyes. The young man was clearly not a member of the sanctum, but Lightning was still suspicious. His armor appeared to signal that he may be from this world, despite the lights on it being cyan rather than purple. Lightning didn’t know what to think of this apparent alien. Sure, his facelooked human, but could he be capable of changing his face? Some aliens are known to do this.
Lightning wanted to ask this figure a lot of questions, like where she was or who he is. But just looking at him started to make her feel strange. Anger, hatred, rage. All of that started to appear in her mind. A voice tells Lightning to kill this figure. But why? What if this kid was innocent? What if he was captured by aliens, too? The figure started to look at Lightning in anger, too. It was like someone was trying to get them to fight. Were they in some kind of gladiator?Suddenly, Lightning felt the urge to fight. She tried to resist the urge, but it was too powerful. This young man was the same. Their blades clashed, as they both struggled to get the anger and hatred out of their minds. There was nothing they could do. The fight continued. As they continued to clash, a purple face suddenly appeared in front of them.
“Fight for your chance to return to the real world! Fight for victory!”That face. Was he the one who’s forcing the soldier and Lightning to fight? Lightning wanted to stop this battle and strike the face, but the anger was still in her head. That’s when she realized that this person she’s fighting was just an innocent young man who, like herself, was tricked by the face into entering a light. The face was controlling them with hatred. As they continued to clash, Lightning had to figure out a way to strike the face and free them both from the control.
Lightning knew that this young man uses his key-sword-thing as a melee-weapon, but can still cast orbs of light at her. She had to trick him into attacking the face. But how? The face was so high up, and without Odin by her side, Lightning could not jump that high anymore. Then, she remembered: the mountains! As the young man prepared to strike again, Lightning temporary took control of her free will, and slashed one of the mountains in half. Quickly, she jumped onto it’s top before it remerged with the bottom. Then, Lightning leaped right onto the back of the face. She was surprised that he took no notice of her and tried to regain control of her body.
The young man, as Lightning expected, summoned another orb of light from his weapon. He aimed it at her. Lightning watched as the orb flew right towards her way. She dodged it, which caused the face to take a direct hit from the orb. This stunned him long enough for her to stab him in the back. The young man and Lightning were freed from his control. The Battle Royale would be cancelled… for now.
A light then appeared again. The young man and Lightning walked into it. They then found ourselves back at the pantheon, in the House of Prophecy. The man was now freed from that armor. But Lightning was stunned to see who he was. It was Sora of the House of Nature. He’s got a reputation for being friends with many gods, and Vanille even befriended him. Sora was glad to be out of the Battle Royale. But he was hurt in an explosion two months ago, and was on crutches, according to April O’Neil.
“Hey. Sorry about that clash. Guess Polygon Man wanted some action tonight. Well, I better report this to Carmelita in case we’re not the first victims.” Polygon Man. Was that the mysterious face who forced Sora and Lightning to fight? Well, regardless, Lightning was not going to forgive him for those past fifteen minutes of wasted time. She just returned to her temple, putting all that in the back of her mind. Lightning had hoped to never see Polygon Man again…

Part 2: Crash Bandicoot vs. Spyro the Dragon

Riku stepped out of the Cable Car connecting the mountain topped House of Prophecy with the rest of the Pantheon, and stretched. He was glad the business with the Pantheonic Rebellion was over, and that Sora was finally out of the GUAG Medical Division, having been servely wounded in a fire and spending several weeks recovering from burn wounds and a leg amputation. Riku was about to see if there was anything he could do to help the remaining clean-up operation. Suddenly, he saw Sora, aided by crutches as his leg was still healing and adjusting to a recently implanted prosthetic leg, walk past him.

“Hey, Sora!” Riku called out. Sora stopped before heading over to Riku.

“What’s wrong Sora?” Riku asked. “Has something happened?”“Yeah.” Sora answered. “I had just returned to my temple and minding my own business, when a purple light surrounded me. I was taken to a realm where everything was purple. Lightning was there too, and a voice in my head made me fight her. She broke me free of the spell by attacking a big purple head.”

“Polygon Man’s up to something.” Riku said.“Polygon Man? Who’s that?” Sora asked.“He was the mastermind behind the Battle Royale a few years back.” Riku explained. “Many of the Sony entities were forced to fight for his amusement. In fact, we were supposed to compete as well.”

“We were? Why didn’t we?”“We didn’t compete because it was during our Mark of Mastery exam. It looks like Polygon Man is up for Round 2, but this time, he isn’t going to send out invitations. Now that he’s among our ranks as well, he can force people to compete.”

“That’s terrible!” Sora shouted angrily. “I was looking for Carmelita to tell her what had happened so that she could issue a warning.”

“Good idea. I’ll come with you. Besides, Black Jack said that you shouldn’t walk too much.” Riku said, and took a few steps before Sora walked past him.

In his temple, Polygon Man was fuming.

“That foolish boy has ruined my fun! He just had to escape and talk about what happened, didn’t he? Now, everyone’s keeping an eye out. At least that woman has kept to herself since.”

The floating head bobbed back and forth as he mumbled to himself.

“I need to get strong warriors to fight for me, but they’ll know I’m coming now and try to fight back. I can’t get that woman again, and besides, she tried to resist my control. I could go to the Disgraces… NO!” Polygon Man shouted the last word suddenly, before lowering his volume again. “I’m not that desperate.”

He was in silent contemplation for a few minutes, before another outburst was prompted.

“Of course! The Pantheon may know what I plan to do, but I’m a Greater God. I could bring people from outside the Pantheon! They won’t know who I am, and I’ve got the two perfect candidates in mind!”

Laughter echoed throughout the room as Polygon Man’s latest plot commenced.

The Dragon Kingdom was suffering an unusually strong rainstorm, and Spyro was sick of it.

“When will this rain stop? It’s been going on for days!” He moaned. “I think another visit to Dragon Shores is in order. The portal isn’t far from here, and I could do with a break.” Spyro charged towards the portal, but as he neared it, the image of Dragon Shores transformed into a purple void.

“What the?” Spyro gasped, but he was too close to the portal now. He wouldn’t be able to stop in time for the momentum of his charge to stop him from going through the portal.

“I guess I’ll be having another adventure instead.” Spyro sighed. “At least it doesn’t look like it’s raining there.”

Crash Bandicoot was lounging on the beach of N. Sanity Island, as he tended to do whenever Dr Cortex wasn’t scheming to take over the world. Heroes need their sleep, after all. The sun was quite bright today, bright enough that shutting his eyes wasn’t enough for Crash to keep the sunlight out. He got up to search for his friend Aku Aku. Perhaps the mask would be kind enough to let Crash wear him for a bit. Crash found Aku Aku outside the house Crash and his bandicoot siblings called home. Aku Aku was investigating what looked like a power crystal.

“This crystal is different to the other ones we’ve seen in the past. This one’s more purple than pink, and I sense a power from it that I am unfamiliar with. I’m sure Coco could examine this crystal for us.”

Crash thought this was a very good idea, as Coco was the smartest person he knew. She would know what the crystal was for sure. Crash reached for the crystal, intending to take it to Coco’s laboratory to show her.

“No Crash, don’t! We don’t know if it’s safe!” Aku Aku shouted a warning, but Crash didn’t listen and grabbed the crystal. Suddenly, both he and Aku Aku vanished in a purple light.

Crash and Aku Aku found themselves in a purple void. It seemed to stretch for miles. Purple, purple everywhere. Aku Aku looked around. “Where are we? This doesn’t look like anywhere from the islands… Wait, is that Spyro over there? Maybe he will know where this is.”

The two went over to Spyro, who was looking around with a slightly concerned look on his face. His mood immediately brightened upon seeing the other two. “Hi Crash! I haven’t seen you in years!” Spyro greeted Crash enthusiastically before turning to Aku Aku. “You too, Aku Aku. Do you know where we are?”

“No.” Aku Aku furrowed his brow. “In fact, we were going to ask you the same thing. We were brought here by a purple crystal, so we’re probably in the world the crystal originated from, but where is that world?”

“Allow me to answer that question.” Polygon Man appeared before the group. “This is my playground, and you will fight each other.”

Neither side moved to approach the other. Crash folded his arms and shook his head.

“Crash isn’t fighting.” Aku Aku explained.

“I’m not either.” Spyro added. “These guys are my friends.”

Polygon Man laughed. “How cute. You assume you have a choice in the matter!” Polygon Man stared at the two combatants and focused his eyes, as if he were deep in concentration. Crash scratched his head as he didn’t feel any different. While Crash was distracted, Spyro charged into him and knocked him over.

“Ow!” Crash squealed as Aku Aku started shouting at Spyro.

“How could you do such a thing to a friend?” Aku Aku didn’t get to say any more before having to dodge Spyro’s flame breath.

“Yes, yes! This is perfect! Exactly what I want to see!” Polygon Man shouted over the battle. Crash was jumping over Spyro’s attacks because he didn’t want to hurt his friend. He got Aku Aku’s attention and pointed at Polygon Man.“Yes, it does seem that he is controlling Spyro somehow. Why would he only control one of you?” Aku Aku pondered. “Does he want you to hurt each other with one of you aware of their actions?”

“Actually, I tried to control both of them, but there’s nothing in Crash’s head for me to control because he’s so stupid.” Polygon Man explained. “Having said that, I don’t mind one bit how this has turned out. I could break Crash’s spirit, as well as his body!”

Crash was very angry now. He yanked Aku Aku out of the air, jumped onto Spyro’s back and slammed the mask down on the dragon’s face. “What? This cannot be! My control isn’t getting through any more!” Polygon Man panicked.

“From one talking head to another, it seems underestimating Crash Bandicoot was a mistake on your part.” Aku Aku said, before using his magic to surround Spyro in a golden aura. Spyro could now fly freely and shoot his Superflame. Crash controlled Spyro’s flight path as Spyro peppered Polygon Man with fireballs.

“Gah! You haven’t seen the last of me!” Polygon Man shouted as he vanished. The purple void vanished, and Crash, Spyro and Aku Aku now found themselves in an area resembling a nature reserve. They could see all sorts of animals and climates around them. Crash took Aku Aku off Spyro’s face. As soon as he was himself again, Spyro apologised.

“I’m so sorry about that. Did I hurt you?”

Crash shook his head.

“No, it’ll take more than that to put Crash down.” Aku Aku said. “Well done, Crash. I’m very proud of you for coming up with a way to save Spyro and stop that head. Now we need to stop him for good so that he can’t do this again to anyone else.”

“Where are we now?” Spyro asked. “I don’t recognize this place either, but at least it’s more welcoming than that purple place.” A red quadrupedal creature approached the trio. Crash couldn’t tell whether it was a feline or canine and was thinking about this when the creature spoke.

“You are in the Pantheon. Specifically, this area is the Bestiary. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Nanaki, but I am also known as Red XIII. You may refer to me by either of these names.” Nanaki noticed the puzzlement on Crash’s face. “Are you surprised that I can talk?”

“No, that’s not it.” Aku Aku said. “Crash is wondering if you can talk because of a scientist named Dr. Cortex.”

“I am not familiar with that name.” Nanaki said. “I was experimented upon by Professor Hojo. Perhaps the two are acquaintances? Anyway, I heard you mention a purple place. This is of great concern to us. We should find you a place to stay.” Nanaki led the group to the temples where they would be staying in the Pantheon.

Part 3: Master Hand

After being tricked into fighting Sora by Polygon Man, Lightning set about her work in the Fallen with renewed vigour. She was so busy that she almost didn’t hear her communicator ringing.

“Light, where are you?” Hope’s voice came out from the other end. “I’ve been trying to contact you for weeks!”“I’m fine.” Lightning replied. “I’m in the Pantheon now.”

“The Pantheon? Is this something to do with your duties as the Saviour?” Hope wondered. “Maybe that has something to do with why I wasn’t able to contact you or pick up your readings. It’s fortunate that I’m able to now, as I’m picking up a large amount of Chaos near your location. You should check it out before it grows worse.”

“Will do.”

Hope’s scanner led Lightning to a seemingly abandoned temple. She could see nothing but blackness inside. Cautiously, Lightning slowly took a step inside, and was surprised to find herself warped to what seemed to be a platform in the center of a colourful space-like dimension. Lightning heard a laugh boom from behind her.

“Who is it? Show yourself!” Lightning demanded as she readied her weapon. A gloved hand materialised, accompanied with more laughter.

“Master Hand? This is where you’ve been?”

“He must be the source of the Chaos. I’ve got a translator that will tell me what Master Hand says, so that I can get the message across to you.” Hope said

“Good.” Lightning replied. “I don’t speak laughter.”

“No, I didn’t think so, Light.” Hope commented to himself, a joke at the expense of his serious, cynical friend. Master Hand laughed once more, this time for a longer period of time, indicating that he was telling his story.

“He used to be the God of Intercontinuity Crossovers in the House of Theatre.” Hope translated. “I have no idea what he’s talking about, Light…”

“I do.” Lightning interrupted. “Keep going.”

“During the events of the third Super Smash Bros. tournament, Master Hand was attacked by Tabuu, and was severely weakened as a result. He gave up his position and came to the Fallen, with his old position going to Polygon Man until he recovered. Now that he has recovered, Polygon Man refuses to let Master Hand return, despite the fourth Super Smash Bros. tournament taking place.”

“Polygon Man is involved? He’s the one who made me fight Sora!” Lightning said.

“Master Hand knows how powerful you are, Light, so he’s asking if you would get rid of Polygon Man so that he can leave the Fallen.” Hope finished.

Lightning didn’t take long to make her decision. “I’ll do it. I don’t want Chaos spreading to the Pantheon, and the head made things personal by coming after me.”

“I thought you’d say that, Light. I know by now that you don’t get along with authority figures.” Hope laughed.

“I’ll get help first. I’m sure I can count on Sora, and it would be worth a shot asking the competitors of Polygon Man’s first tournament if they want revenge. I’ll need all the backup I can get, because if Polygon Man’s smart, he’ll have gotten help of his own.”

Polygon Man was having a conversation with another god in the purple void that was his temple.

“I have been humiliated twice now in my attempts at continuing my Battle Royale, so before I continue, I’ve decided to build an army. I can capture people, but they tend to fight back and resist and it’s really rather inconvenient, which is where you come in, my purple clad friend. Loving the purple, by the way.”

“I can tell.” The other god commented sarcastically.

“If you incapacitate them, then bring them to me, I can make them my minions while they’re weakened and therefore can’t fight back, and if you do it one at a time, then there won’t be anyone else to snap them out of it.” Polygon Man then growled in frustration. He was still upset that Lightning and Crash Bandicoot had been able to resist his mind control.

“What’s in it for me if I do this for you?” The other god asked.

“All-Star Power.” Polygon Man answered. “This energy source grants incredible power, which you can use to do anything your heart desires. You in?”

“Yes. I will do anything if it means saving Yeul.” The other god turned to leave for his first victim.

“Good!” Polygon Man called out. “Now, do not fail me, Caius Ballad.”

By this point, Sora and Riku were in the House of Justice, speaking with Carmelita about what Polygon Man did to the former.

“Forcing gods into illegal gladiators, especially soon after what happened to the House of Friendship!? That Polygon Man will pay for this!” Carmelita roared.

Suddenly, another purple light appears, calling out for Riku. Sora knew what it was, and warned Riku to not look in it. But then, the light grew stronger. Riku fell into a trance and walked right into it. Sora tried to save his friend by racing up to him, but his injuries caused him to fall over. And even if Sora was okay, it was too late. Riku was taken to Polygon Man’s Battle Royale.

Part 4: Captured

Dante leaned back in his chair and sighed. He was bored. There hadn’t been much to do in the way of demon hunting recently, and the phone was silent. Now that he found himself with some free time, he wasn’t sure what to do with it. “I guess I could polish Ebony and Ivory, since I haven’t done that in a while.” Dante said to himself. “But first, I think I’ll have dinner.”

Dante stood up and went to get the pizza he had ordered from the House of Food earlier. He sat down again, put his booted feet up on the desk and the pizza box in his lap, and ate a slice. “Oh, that’s really good.” Dante muttered to himself. He wouldn’t have noticed the visitor enter his office if it weren’t for the bell ringing as the door was opened. The visitor was dressed in some kind of purple tribal outfit, with a fearsome looking sword by his side. Dante looked up from his dinner.

“I assume you’re not a customer, since you look like the kind of guy who can look after himself. Bathroom’s in the back.” Dante gestured lazily towards the back of the room before going back to his food.

“I am not here to use your facilities.” The man glowered at Dante. He already disliked the tone of his cocky young man, which made the visitor think about why he was here and smile. He was going to enjoy this.

“My name is Caius Ballad. My master has promised me his aid if I help him in return.”

“Oh, so you are a customer?” Dante sat up and leaned forward. “You’re delegating to me, huh? What’s the job?” Caius did not respond. Instead, he raised his sword and struck it down against the desk. Dante was just quick enough to push himself away from the desk without being sliced in half. Thank goodness he had a swivel chair.

“I regret that I will have to decline your offer of work.” Dante quipped. “I don’t take kindly to people trying to kill me. I’m sure you can understand.”

“My master wants my help in raising an army, and you will be a part of it, regardless of your wishes.” Caius swung his sword again. Dante readied his own sword, Rebellion, and parried. He noted that Caius’ weapon was surprisingly strong, despite its intricate appearance suggesting a decorational blade, as opposed to a practical one.

“I’ll admit, you must be pretty good to make that sword work. I mean, it looks like the sort of thing you’d put above the fireplace, and that it would break as soon as you hit something with it.” Dante commented.

“Please cease your mockery!” Caius shouted and raised his hand. A purple aura emanated from his hand before he shot a ball of purple flame, setting the office aflame.

“Seriously?” Dante complained. “What is it with me and weirdos? Do I have some kind of weirdo magnet inside me that attracts weirdos? Anyway, I’m going to find out where you live, and I’m sending you the repair bill.”

Caius folded his arms, and turned to the side in a huff. “In that case, I will refuse to pay.” He pouted. Dante smiled. This was exactly what he had been hoping for. He drew Ebony and Ivory and shot Caius twice, once in the head, once in the body. He fell over, a look of surprise registering on his face.

“Well, that was surprisingly easy. Now, who do I ask about…” Dante never got to finish that sentence, as he was struck in the back with another ball of purple flame, rendering him unconscious.

A pair of golden wings and a halo briefly appeared around Caius as he got back up. “Disappointing. I expected better from a supposed demon hunter like yourself.” Caius mocked the unconscious Dante before picking him up and hoisting him over his shoulder. Polygon Man would be most pleased.

“Hello, what’s this?” Cole MacGrath was surprised to find a Blast Core in the Pantheon, of all places. Since he was a god now, he had access to all of his powers as a Conduit, so he didn’t really need it. Nevertheless, he was curious. He decided to take the Blast Core. It was better that he show it to Cosmos than leave it for someone else to find. Perhaps the GUAG would have some use for it. As he turned to return to his temple, his path was blocked by a cloud of purple and black smoke rising up from the floor. An elderly man stepped out. He walked towards Cole, his head hunched forward like a vulture and his hands clasped behind his back.

“I don’t believe that we have met before. I sense great power from you. Great potential.” The man extended his hand, inviting Cole to shake. He declined.

“Master Xehanort, I presume? I’ll be honest and say I’m not the trusting type. The last old guy I met turned into a 50 foot maggot and tried to kill me. Oh, and the whole great power routine? That’s not helping.”

“You do not wish to reach your full potential? A pity.” Xehanort sighed. He saw the Blast Core in Cole’s hands. “What’s that you have there?” Xehanort asked, gesturing towards the Blast Core.

“Exactly the sort of thing I want to keep people like you away from.”

“I sense an imbalance within you, Cole.” Xehanort said. “Too much light. Yet there is the potential for darkness there. Take it to heart and expand it. Make the most of your power!”

“Nope, not interested.” Cole turned to leave.

“In that case, you will surrender that artifact to me!” Xehanort’s keyblade materialised in his hand. Cole put down the Blast Core and took his amp off his back. Cole ran towards Xehanort, firing bolts of lightning from one hand while holding his amp in the other. Xehanort deflected the bolts with his keyblade, but made no moves otherwise. Cole’s amp swung through the air, but its target disappeared, the amp hitting only darkness. Xehanort re-appeared behind Cole, next to where the Blast Core had been left.

“Too slow.” He mocked.

“I hope those are your winter clothes.” Cole taunted, as he conjured a flurry of snowflakes around Xehanort, before shooting them with a bolt of lightning. Cole tentatively approached the flash-frozen Xehanort to get the Blast Core back. When Cole looked away, the ice cracked and shattered. As Cole turned in surprise, Xehanort smashed his keyblade into Cole’s stomach. Cole doubled over in pain, giving Xehanort the chance to snatch the Blast Core out his Cole’s hand and attack again, this time targeting the back of Cole’s head to knock him out. “How foolish of you. You should never turn your back on a foe until you are certain that they have been defeated.”

“I have captured Dante, master.” Caius unceremoniously dumped Dante’s body in front of Polygon Man, then kneeled.

“Excellent work, Caius!” Polygon Man said. “I’m up to three now. You, Dante and Riku,” Polygon Man gestured over to Riku, who was standing guard next to Polygon Man, Keyblade at the ready, and now completely purple. Polygon Man had converted Riku into a Minion, and has plans to use the Keyblade Master for his upcoming plot. “Say, would either of you know if Dante has ever worn purple?” Polygon Man asked. He didn’t get an answer. Caius did not know, and he noticed that Riku didn’t seem to be paying attention, as his eyes had a glazed look to them that suggested Polygon Man was controlling him.

“Never mind. Who shall I recruit next? I could go after Spyro again. The mind control worked until that meddling marsupial got involved. He was purple too, so that was pretty cool. Then again, Sora couldn’t resist either, and he’s stronger.” Riku stood to attention and turned his weapon towards Polygon Man.

“What have you done to Sora?” He shouted, and Polygon Man could see that anger was bringing focus to Riku’s eyes. The mind control was wearing off, so Polygon Man had to act fast.“Sora? No! I didn’t say Sora at all!” Polygon Man shouted theatrically. Hopefully, his overacting would calm Riku down. “Sora is totally cool and I wouldn’t do anything to him because he’s my pal! I actually said Toro. I’ll go after Toro next.”

“Okay then.” Riku calmed down and his eyes lost focus again. Polygon Man breathed a sigh of relief, then Riku started asking questions. “Wait a minute. Is Toro in the Pantheon? Who’s Toro?”

“How about Cole MacGrath?” Master Xehanort said as he emerged from a corridor of darkness.“Who goes there?” Riku moved in front of Polygon Man to defend him, weapon at the ready. Their disagreement had clearly been forgotten.

“Put that toy away, child.” Xehanort growled. “I come to propose an alliance, Polygon Man. I want to be a part of your plan, and I will help you achieve it in return. This may be of use to you.” Xehanort showed Polygon Man the Blast Core.

“Ooh, shiny shiny shiny!” Polygon Man swallowed the Blast Core whole. Suddenly, he started to shudder. A bright light started to emanate from Polygon Man’s mouth and eyes before fading again. “I’ve never felt so much power! With this, the All-Stars will be nothing to me! I could take over the whole Pantheon! Bwahahaha!”“That power…” Caius was in awe at the display. “That’s just what I need to save Yeul. Master, please remember our bargain.”

“Eh, maybe later.” Polygon Man shrugged, or whatever passes as shrugging for a floating head. Maybe he would give Caius what he wanted, just to shut him up, but not right now. He still had work to do.

“I also have a method of achieving the obedience of your minions.” Xehanort said. He turned to Caius. “Go to the House of Nature and bring Cole MacGrath back here.”

Caius growled quietly to himself, but did as he was told and left.

“In the meantime, I will give a demonstration, Polygon Man. The procedure involves forcibly removing the Darkness from a person’s Heart in order to stop their good emotions from getting in the way. I did this to a young man named Ventus once, and I must admit it worked quite well.”Polygon Man was practically drooling in anticipation. “Yes, Xehanort. Do it! Soon, I’ll have my very own Dante!”

Carmelita was getting calls of (even more) mysterious behavior from all over the pantheon. Many of them were about how a few gods have been forced into battles with each other, and some even reported strange purple lights outside their temples.

Sora was very sad that Polygon Man took Riku. “I’ll save you, cast or no cast!”, he thought, looking at the cast on his right leg’s knee, covering up the top of his prosthetic leg, as he has not told anyone outside his close friends about the amputation. According to Riku, it took Black Jack two hours to stop the leg from bleeding. Sora knew that he needs to see Black Jack again tomorrow for another minor operation on his knee, but is allowed to postpone it for up to three days should he end up in more mischief. Carmelita got the news of two new deities in the House of Beasts.

“Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon? Did Polygon Man bring them here?” Carmelita said.

“Maybe I should speak with them. Besides, that Polygon Man is going to be sorry he ever messed with Riku and I! He’d better not go after Kairi… or else!” Sora said. He was getting very revengeful, which got Carmelita worried, considering Sora’s behavior was very identical to Ratchet’s when the latter was betrayed by Captain Qwark. Sora just leaves the House of Justice and begins to head for the House of Beasts.

“Whatever you do, Sora, don’t make the same mistake Ratchet did.”

On his way over, Sora gets a summons from House of Combat to take part in a meeting with many gods who took part in the original Battle Royale, plus Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Lightning. Remembering the calls that Carmelita got earlier, Sora began to rush to the meeting as fast as his damaged leg and crutches could allow him.

Part 5: Plan of Action

Lightning had her back against a wall in the House of Combat, waiting for the All-Stars to arrive. She had tracked down the competitors of Polygon Man’s first Battle Royale, and asked them to meet with her, along with the newcomers of Round 2. She was feeling good about occupying herself and coming up with some sort of progress, but she was concerned about some of the team members she would be working with. Given the circumstances under which they had met previously, she wondered if the All-Stars would be willing to work together. Then there was the small matter of getting Kratos and Zeus in a room together without them trying to kill each other, a prospect she was not looking forward to. While it would be up to her to keep them civil, at least there were plenty of other fighters around in the event that the two came to blows. That was part of the reason Lightning had chosen the House of Combat as a venue, in addition to having plenty of room.
The group soon filtered in, and looking on them together gave the impression of an eclectic, ragtag group. The likes of the ruthless, hardened Needles Kane and Raiden provided quite a contrast to the more innocent seeming Sackboy and Parappa. Lightning almost forgot for a moment that they had all fought each other as part of the first Battle Royale, and that they had their own adventures in their home worlds. Sora was one of the last to arrive. Lightning couldn’t help but notice that the boy had a sad, exhausted look on his face. She had heard that he was usually very upbeat and optimistic, almost to the point of annoyance for some of the more stoic gods, so to see him like this did not bode well. Lightning cleared her throat before she began to speak.
“I see that most of us are here, but before I begin, who’s missing?”
“Dante is absent.” Nariko said. “If he were here, he would have tried to ask me out on a date by now.”
“Cole MacGrath isn’t here either.” Nathan Drake added. “Last I saw him, he asked for my help decoding a map to find a Blast Core.”
“Polygon Man has Riku.” Sora said. “A purple portal appeared, like the one I went into, then Riku went into a trance and walked towards it. I tried to break him out of it, but I just couldn’t.” The boy was visibly upset, and his voice started to break ever so slightly as he finished.
“I’m sorry about your friend.” Spyro sympathised. Crash Bandicoot nodded in agreement, and Sackboy cuddled up to Sora’s arm.
“Don’t worry, Sora. We’re going to get Riku. We gotta believe!” Parappa shouted encouragingly, which seemed to do the trick, as the spark that was normally in Sora’s eyes returned. “Thanks, guys. It’s good to know that I’ve got friends with me.”
“I know what it’s like to have someone close taken away as well.” Lightning said, “Which is why we need to stop Polygon Man before he can do this to anyone else. If he has Riku, then we can assume he’s responsible for the disappearances of Cole and Dante as well.”
“Wait a moment.” Zeus spoke. “I fear that Kratos will also be with Polygon Man, for he is not in this room.”
Some of the All-Stars gasped in horror, Sackboy made a face as if he was going to cry and Sir Daniel bolted for the door to make his escape. Colonel Radec stood in his way, pistol aimed at Dan’s skull.
“I would have thought a fellow soldier would know that desertion is punishable by death.” Radec sneered.
“I don’t care, I’m already dead!” Dan mumbled frantically.
“Kratos is against us?” Daxter screeched. “May as well kill myself now, save him some time! Game over, man!”
“Calm down, Dax!” Jak moaned. “You’re screaming in my ear!”
“You’ve survived him once, you can do it again.” Isaac Clarke said. “Believe me, I know a thing or two about survival.”
Ratchet and Clank surveyed the scene with bemused expressions on their faces. “Does your chest compartment have any popcorn inside?” Ratchet asked. Clank pulled out two small buckets of popcorn. “As a matter of fact, I do.” He giggled. A puff of smoke signalled Sly Cooper’s appearance next to them with another popcorn bucket. “The House of Theater has the best popcorn.”
“You buy that? It’s so expensive there!” Ratchet commented.
“I never said anything about buying it.” Sly tutted, shaking his cane as a reminder of his livelihood.
“That seems awfully petty for you. I thought you were more ambitious than that.” Clank chuckled.
Heihachi Mishima laughed heartily at the chaos that had broken out. “These are no warriors. My relatives may be fools and nuisances, but at least they aren’t cowards!”
“ZEUS!” That one word stopped everyone in their tracks, except for Sir Daniel, who was knocked aside as the door slammed open to reveal Kratos.
“You will not see the end of this day, Zeus!” Kratos sprinted towards Zeus, Blades of Exile at the ready.
Zeus stayed where he was. “Now is not the time for this, Kratos. We face another foe, and we need your help to defeat him.”
“I have been used as a pawn so many times in the past! Why would this instance be any different?”Aku Aku left Crash’s side and approached Kratos. “I understand that you are reluctant, but accepting help is not a sign of weakness. None of us have anything material to gain from this. Therefore, nobody here has any reason to betray you.” Kratos glared at the mask, pointing towards Zeus.
“Allow me to rephrase that. Nobody here has any reason to betray you over this specific matter.”
The group was silent for a few tense seconds. Finally, Kratos sighed.“Very well, I will battle Polygon Man.” Lightning opened her mouth, but Kratos cut her off before she could say anything.“However, I will be battling him on my terms. Do not consider me a part of your group.” On that note, Kratos turned and left. As aggravating as he was to deal with, Lightning was grateful that he had not been captured by Polygon Man as was first thought.
Now that Kratos’ distraction was over, Lightning addressed the group again.“If we’re going to defeat Polygon Man, we need a plan. Since he has some experience with strategy, I’m going to hand this over to Radec.” Lightning sat down while Radec took her place.
“I propose that we split into two groups. One group will be assigned to battle Polygon Man himself. The other group’s task is to find Cole, Dante and Riku and save them. Once you have rescued them, you are to visit Master Hand and bring him to Polygon Man. If all goes well, the first group will have sufficiently weakened Polygon Man by then.”
“We’re gonna kill Polygon Man, right? I’ve been looking forward to this.” Needles butted in. He was fidgeting in his seat, barely restraining his murderous impulses. Nathan Drake leaned over to Heihachi.
“Do you mind if we switch seats? This guy is scaring me.” Heihachi humphed derisively.
“I’ll take that as a request to join the Polygon Man group, Needles. Now, don’t interrupt me again, or you won’t live to regret it.” Radec hissed and watched Needles squirm in his seat for a moment. This time, his squirming wasn’t caused by the anticipation of bloodshed.
“Does anyone else have a preference?” Radec asked.
“I want to save Riku.” Sora said. “He helped me before, now it’s time for me to return the favour.”
“I’ll join the rescue effort.” Raiden said. “They’ll probably have some kind of security, but my blade will be able to cut right through it.”
“I will go as well.” Nariko added. “I am eager to see the look on Dante’s face when I’m the one who arrives to save him.”
Once he was convinced the volunteering had finished, Radec spoke again.
“It is better to have a small team for a covert operation such as yours, so that group will be enough for you. The three of you can look after yourselves, after all. In that case, everyone else will be battling Polygon Man. With our numbers, we will hopefully be able to overwhelm him. Does anyone have anything further to add?”
“I mentioned earlier that Cole was looking for a Blast Core the last time I saw him.” Drake said. “What if he found it, and now that he’s been captured, Polygon Man has it?”
“Then Polygon Man will be exponentially more powerful than the last time we faced him.” Radec said. “We need to be cautious.”
“Maybe we could use it to our advantage somehow?” Isaac suggested. “I haven’t encountered a Blast Core before, but I am an engineer. If I could get a hold of it…”
“Leave that to me.” Sly said. “I did some recon on the way here, and it seems that someone called Caius Ballad may be involved.”
“Caius Ballad?” Lightning stood up, her normally calm nature rattled briefly with surprise, before she regained her composure. “I encountered him in my own world before coming here. He is extremely powerful, and he can regenerate after a battle, so avoid him if at all possible. Why would he be working for someone else, though? That doesn’t seem like him.”
“Maybe he’s after Polygon Man’s All-Star Power?” Ratchet suggested. “When we beat Polygon Man last time, we got some of his power.”
“That sounds likely.” Lightning said. “I get the feeling that I know exactly what Caius would do with that power. He almost destroyed my world to get what he wanted, so we cannot let him do it again. If we stop Polygon Man, Caius won’t get his power. I think we’re done here, so rest up for today and get yourselves ready. Tomorrow, we’re fighting Polygon Man.”
“Tomorrow!? But I’ve got an operation on my leg!” Sora just blurted out. “But if it means saving Riku, then I guess Dr. Black Jack can wait for a few days. He did give me permission to postpone for up to three days. I’ll just have to let him know on my way back.”

Part 6: Send in the Clones

September 5, 2014

“Are you sure you can keep up, Sora?” Raiden called behind him. He had noticed that Sora still had a slight limp, which meant that Raiden and Nariko had to walk to accommodate him. If Sora had not been injured, the trio would have arrived at their destination in no time, between Sora’s Flowmotion, Raiden’s Ninja Run and Nariko’s natural agility.

“Yes, I’ll be okay. I’m not going to ignore Riku when he needs to be saved. He would do the same to me, even if he was hurt.”

“Very well, as long as you don’t hurt yourself.” Nariko said. “You’ll need to be careful that you don’t injure your leg further.” Raiden made a signal for the other two to stop, as he had seen someone up ahead. Sora looked past Raiden and was in shock when he recognised who it was.

“Riku!” He shouted. Sora then started to run in Riku’s direction, with his hurt leg making him look like he was about to lose balance at any moment.

Riku turned to see the source of the noise before running from Sora. Raiden and Nariko were in pursuit, though Raiden did let out a short growl of frustration first. He was annoyed at Sora for costing them the element of surprise, and if Sora weren’t a child, perhaps his recklessness would have prompted Raiden to make an unwelcome personality transformation into Jack the Ripper. Riku held out his hand before him to create a Corridor of Darkness for him to escape through, but it didn’t stick around for long. He hadn’t been using that technique much since he stopped working with Maleficent, and he was out of practice. Riku vanished through the portal, but only Sora was close enough to follow him through before it disappeared.

“Should we go look for Sora?” Nariko asked.

“No. The kid can look after himself.” Raiden meant that phrase in both the sense that Sora was competent, and the sense that Raiden was in no hurry to help him after his little stunt. “We need to find Cole and Dante first because we don’t know what shape they’ll be in.”

“They’ll likely be in Polygon Man’s temple. With any luck, that’s where Riku’s portal went to. Besides,” Nariko added with a smile “With Sora gone, we don’t need to go slow for his sake anymore.”

“Race you there.” Raiden said before sprinting off towards the House of Theater.

“And then I said, “You don’t look a day over ten thousand!” Then she swore at me.” Dante and Cole’s jailer laughed at his own story, which he was telling them for the seventeenth time that day. For their part, the captives weren’t nearly as enthralled.

“Tell us the one about how Heihachi grabbed your head and tossed you away, Donte.”

“Shut up, poser! And my name’s Dante, the Demon Killer!” Other Dante shouted.

“I’m not the one who shops at Hot Topic, pal.” Dante lay down in his cell, with his head resting against the wall. “If you’ll excuse me, winding you up is getting old, so I’m going to catch up on my beauty sleep.”

“You’re so edgy, you should come with a health warning. Wear safety gloves around this person, or you’ll cut yourself!” Cole said.

“Thanks! You’re right I’m edgy. In fact, I was born with the gift of edginess.” Other Dante said, having apparently not realised that Cole was making fun of him.

Dante opened his eyes just long enough to say “Now grow to be purple and despise me forever!”

“Is that from something?” Other Dante asked, but before he could get an answer, he was knocked down by a thrown shield hitting him in the back.

“I don’t know why that would be lying around here, but I’m not complaining.” Nariko said, as she signalled to Raiden. His visor came down and Blade Mode was switched on to determine the ideal points at which to slice the bars keeping Dante and Cole in their cell. Other Dante got up and, upon seeing his captives escaping, started to complain.“Not cool, you guys. Not cool!”

“What, and locking us in this cell in the first place was cool?” Dante retorted.

“Yeah. Darkness is cool, and you weren’t using it, so Xehanort took it out of you and made me. Once Polygon Man has won, Xehanort’s going to make more of us too.”

“Xehanort’s involved?” Nariko said in shock. She, Raiden and Cole prepared to fight, but Dante blocked them. “Thanks, but no thanks. I’m still tired from the whole Darkness-forcibly-ripped-out thing, but I’ve got this. Dainty here’s a cocky pushover.”

Other Dante swung his arms in anticipation. “I’m looking forward to this. I’ll prove to you that I’m the best Dante!” With that, Other Dante swung his sword. Dante stepped back to avoid the first hit, parried two more attacks with his own weapon, and slid on his knees, leaning backwards to avoid a horizontal swing. Dante noticed that Other Dante’s last attack had put him slightly off balance.

“Is that sword a bit heavy for you, Darrell?” Dante taunted.

“Shut up!” Other Dante snapped and drew his pistols. Not to be outdone, Dante pulled out Ebony and Ivory and started firing them. Every single one of Dante’s and Other Dante’s bullets met each other in mid-air, falling to the floor where they made contact. Other Dante paused for a moment. “Okay, I gotta admit, that was pretty cool.”

“I know, right?” Dante agreed, before jumping to avoid the axe that was rolling along the ground towards him, courtesy of Other Dante.“I thought I had you there!”

“Tell you what.” Dante said. “I will let you have one free shot at me.”

Other Dante hesitated. “What’s the catch?”

“I’m not going to block or dodge your next attack. If I survive, I might counter, but we’ll see what happens.”

Other Dante thought to himself for a moment. “That free hit is awfully tempting, but I still don’t trust you, so I’ll make sure you can’t get me back, even if you wanted to!”

All colour faded out of the room as Other Dante used the Devil Trigger. Only Other Dante had colour, as his coat was now blood red and his hair white. He slid along the floor with his sword outstretched, running right through Dante, who had been frozen to the spot by Other Dante’s Devil Trigger.

“When you look like that, you could pass for my little brother.” Dante joked, the sword sticking out of him failing to shut him up.

“What? But how?” Other Dante spluttered.

“My turn.” Dante said, and he gripped tightly to the sword that had impaled him. Other Dante was too frightened to let go as he watched Dante transform before his eyes. Dante’s skin turned jet black, four black wings sprouted out of his back, blades extended from his arms and two curved horns grew from the sides of his head. Majin Dante pulled Other Dante’s sword out of his body and threw it aside, with Other Dante still holding on in terror. He collided with the wall, then got on his knees and begged for mercy. “I give up, you win! Please don’t kill me!”

Dante transformed back to normal. “Now say you’re sorry for imprisoning me and Cole.”

“I’m sorry!”

“Apology accepted.” Dante slapped Other Dante on the back. “You could do with some training. How about a rematch once you’ve toughened up a bit?”

“Deal.” Other Dante offered his hand, which Dante shook.

“Remind me never to spill Dante’s drink.” Raiden joked to Nariko.

“Could the Heavenly Sword defeat such a powerful being?” Nariko pondered.

“I hate to spoil the moment, but the other Dante said Xehanort created him from the Darkness in Dante’s heart. What if there’s another me too?” Cole asked.

“Speak of the devil and he shall appear.” A voice came from outside the room, followed by a barrage of lightning bolts that headed straight for Other Dante.

“Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.” Evil Cole mocked. “You have the power of Darkness on your side, but you waste it on making friends with the guy you should have killed?”

A collection of small oily tentacles rose from the floor that gave birth to little mutants. The group fought the mutants, while Other Dante got up from the lightning bolts and helped out.

“Scorched skin, ragged clothes, tattoos. Wow, you’re even edgier than I am!” Other Dante said with a laugh. “Did you escape from the 90s?” Other Dante was rewarded for his defiance with Evil Cole’s amp to his face. Other Dante was knocked to the ground, giving Evil Cole the opportunity to reach for Other Dante and leech away his Darkness. Raiden, Nariko, Dante and Cole defeated the mutants, but they were too late to save Other Dante. He faded away as Evil Cole laughed in triumph and started to grow. “The Beast has arrived!”

Cole looked in horror at the monster that towered above him. “The Beast is here too? Was Empire City not enough?”

“I am not the Beast you once fought.” The Beast said. “I am what you have the potential to become. You have great power as a Conduit, and you choose to use it to help others. Yet others fear and hate you despite that. Why bother helping them, when you could rule over them? I am part of your heart, I represent what you want.”

The Beast shot a fireball from its hand, which Cole dived aside to avoid. It aimed another attack towards Raiden, Nariko and Dante, but its focus remained on Cole. Cole was disturbed to hear his own voice coming back at him saying such things. “My powers put me in a position to improve other people’s lives. I could be selfish if I wanted to. Hell, I’ve lost enough in my life that maybe a little selfishness would be justified, but that isn’t who I want to be.”

“We are still one and the same.” The Beast continued. “You are not as selfless as you think. My existence is proof of that. If you refuse to acknowledge this, perhaps the deaths of your friends will convince you.”

Jets of flame shot towards Raiden, Dante and Nariko, who were occupied dodging fireballs from the Beast’s other hand. Cole had to act fast. A series of ice crystals erupted from the floor in front of the trio, holding back the fire for the second or two necessary for them to get out of the way.

“Is it too late to ask Eren Jaeger for help?” Dante joked.

“We don’t need him. Nariko, come here.” Cole said. “I have an idea.” Nariko went to Cole, only for him to pick her up using his Kinetic Pulse, and before she could protest, throw her at the Beast’s head. Nariko grappled onto the Beast’s face and started hacking at it before he caught her and took her off his face. The Beast raised his arm, preparing to smash Nariko against the ground, but he didn’t get the chance and started screaming in pain, as Raiden had used Blade Mode to cut off the Beast’s arm.

“I wonder if Doktor will give me anything for this arm.” Raiden said.

While the Beast was distracted, Dante slid along the floor between the Beast’s legs while playing his weaponised guitar Nevan. The bats summoned by Dante’s rocking nibbled at the Beast’s legs, bringing it to its knees. Finally, Cole conjured up an Ionic Vortex.

“Forecast for today, you’re going back in my heart where you belong.” Cole steered the tornado towards the severed arm, using it to knock down the Beast. The Ionic Vortex pinned down the Beast, meaning that it could not escape the following Ionic Storm. The defeated Beast faded into darkness, which poured back into Cole and Dante. Their hearts were whole once again.

“You know that song that goes “Where do broken hearts go when they find their way home?” I now appreciate it so much more.” Dante said. He and Cole laughed at the joke, while Nariko and Raiden discussed what to do next.

“We’ve found Dante and Cole, but we’ve lost Sora. Should we leave and get Master Hand, or go look for Sora and Riku?” Nariko asked.

“I think we should stay here, because we were supposed to be looking after Sora. Dante and Cole can stay with us too, in case Polygon Man tries to recapture them.” Raiden replied. “I’ll contact Blade Wolf via Codec. He can tell Master Hand to come for Polygon Man. And I’ll let Lightning know the situation, too.”

“Very well.” Nariko said. “I just hope it is not too late for Sora. He isn’t in the best condition right now. He’s hurt and emotional. What if he gets himself hurt, or does something he’ll regret?”

Lightning was waiting for news regarding the mission with the rescue party. Most of the other gods she recruited were about to strike Polygon Man and weaken him. As she was about to join them, a purple light shone in front of her. Inside were two purple statues made of crystal; both resembled teenage boys, with one having spiky hair, and the other having short hair. The one with spiky-hair was on his back, and his face had a terrified expression; the other one was on his knees, and looked as if he had been forced to surrender. It didn’t take Lightning very long to figure out the identities of the victims.

“So, Caius turned Riku into crystal? And… Sora, too?”

The light disappeared before her eyes. Lightning was in a severe state of shock, and recalled when Serah was turned into crystal long ago. Raiden then got back in contact with Lightning with his news.

“We have rescued Dante and Cole, but Sora has disappeared into a black portal.” Raiden informed her.

“I’ve located Sora, and he needs our urgent help. Caius has turned him and Riku into crystal!” Lightning replied.

Part 7: Pride Before a Fall

Ten minutes before Part 6

Polygon Man watched as Riku left. He had suspected that a group would try to rescue Cole and Dante, and so had sent the boy as bait to distract them. He turned to Master Xehanort. “Everything is going according to plan so far. Riku will lure out a few of the All-Stars. Caius is preparing to attack more of them. Cole and Dante are locked up. Soon, none will resist me!”

“Should I remain here to create more soldiers for you?” Xehanort asked.

“That would be useful.” Polygon Man thought. “However, there are still a fair few All-Stars left. I think you’re powerful enough to thin their numbers a little more.”

“Do you have anyone in mind?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. The Olympian Zeus participated in the first Battle Royale, and I’m sure he will be part of the group trying to stop me. That misguided fool proclaims himself King of the Gods!” Polygon Man laughed. “I mock him, but I must concede that he is powerful despite his arrogance. Eliminate him before he can aid the others.”

Zeus was returning from a visit to the House of Love. He felt rather tense knowing that he was set to face such a powerful adversary as that false god, Polygon Man, and the touch of a woman was just what he needed to relax. Without warning, he found himself shrouded in a veil of darkness. Zeus gasped, but the sensation was over as soon as it had arrived. Zeus found himself in a desolate wasteland that stretched for miles. Scattered all over were peculiar weapons embedded in the ground. Could this be the site of a Spartan battle? No, Spartans didn’t have weapons like these. Come to think of it, these weapons reminded Zeus of that key Jak’s friend Sora used. Had he ever been to this place?An old man appeared from a portal in front of Zeus. He had a key of his own.

“Are you the one who brought me here?” Zeus asked.

“Indeed.” Xehanort answered. “This is the Keyblade Graveyard. You may be wondering why I brought you here. Here, I once tried to remake the world in my image, but I was thwarted. Today, this will be the site of your demise, symbolic of the death of the old regime, and the rise of Polygon Man!”

“Fool!” Zeus shouted. “You would think yourself capable of defeating a god? Of creating a new world? You are but a mortal with delusions of grandeur, wishing to do as the Titans did. There is a reason that the Gods rule over mortals, and those who question that order will be struck down as the Titans were!”

A bolt of lightning came down from the heavens to appear in Zeus’ hand, before being thrown at Xehanort. Xehanort vanished into darkness, before reappearing where he had previously stood. Another lightning bolt yielded the same result, so Zeus decided to advance. With a wave of his hand, Xehanort rose the ground he was stood on skyward. Zeus snorted derisively. Height would not stop him! He vanished, and reappeared before Xehanort in a flash of static electricity. Xehanort was momentarily blinded, giving Zeus an opportunity to grab him and lift him up by the throat. Before Zeus could summon another bolt of lightning, Xehanort raised his hand and fired a ball of darkness into Zeus’ face at point blank range. Zeus screamed in pain, dropping Xehanort.

“Only Kratos has caused me to feel pain like this before. You will pay for your insolence!” Zeus bellowed, and leapt down from the raised rock. Xehanort chuckled in the belief that his foe was retreating, but he soon stopped laughing when Zeus returned, having grown to the size of a giant. With a smash of his arm, Zeus brought Xehanort’s perch toppling down. Zeus slammed his oversized fists into the ground over and over, until the surrounding area was so much rubble. However, Zeus was too unfocused in his rage, and Xehanort easily evaded the lumbering assault with more teleportation. Zeus’ assault had loosened the keyblades from the earth, allowing Xehanort to control them and form a whirling tornado of keyblades. Zeus swatted at the keyblades, but they were too fast, and their movements too unpredictable. On the few occasions he did strike them, they simply reformed and continued to attack him. Eventually, they inflicted too much damage for Zeus to sustain his giant form, and he shrunk back down to his regular size, defeated.

Xehanort stood above Zeus, looking down at the fallen god on his knees before him. “Thus Olympus falls. The gods fade from history and into myth. This world no longer has need of you.”

Xehanort raised his keyblade to bring it down and finish Zeus, but the attack never came, as he was distracted by a cry of “Orange lightning!”

Zeus watched as a small orange thing flew through the air and latched onto Xehanort’s face. Since he had one hand on his keyblade, Xehanort was having trouble removing the creature.

“Daxter?” Zeus said, as he looked at the scene in front of him. Xehanort was too occupied wrestling with Daxter to notice the Blades of Athena until he had been impaled upon them. Daxter leapt off Xehanort’s face as Kratos catapulted himself forward into the old man, knocking him several feet away. Zeus saw Jak arrive on his hover board, providing covering fire until he got off the board and offered Zeus a hand to get up.

“I am very grateful for your help, Jak. You too, Daxter.”

“Don’t mention it. You would have done the same for me.” Jak said. Zeus turned to Kratos.“Even you are here in my time of need Kratos. I must admit, I’m flattered.” Zeus offered a handshake, which Kratos coldly rejected.

“Do not mistake my aid for compassion, Zeus. I only fight by your side because this sorcerer would deny me my revenge.” A hint of anger crept into Zeus’ eyes.

“It’s Kratos, just take what you can get!” Daxter said.

“Dax is right, this isn’t the time for you to fight.” Jak added. “Xehanort is still here.”

While Zeus was distracted by the new arrivals, Xehanort had taken the opportunity to cast Curaga on himself to remove the injuries Kratos had inflicted upon him.

“A three-on-one fight is hardly fair.” Xehanort said. “How about one of you switch sides?” Xehanort’s hand was enveloped in darkness, and a wave of his hand brought Jak to his knees.

“Jak!” Daxter shouted. “Fight it, Jak!”

“I… can’t…” Jak said through the pain, but he continued to spasm until his transformation into Dark Jak was complete.

“The darkness in your heart makes you a natural ally to me, Jak.” Xehanort said. “I now want you to turn against your friends. Sever the bonds of friendship for more strength than you could imagine!” Dark Jak flailed his arms around to strike at his former allies.

“Do not even think about harming Jak, Kratos! He is not himself!” Zeus warned. Fortunately, Kratos obeyed, and Dark Jak’s swipes were repelled by the Golden Fleece. While Dark Jak was occupied with trying to penetrate the defence of the Golden Fleece, Daxter climbed up onto Zeus’ shoulder.

“I’ve got an idea about how to get Jak back to normal and beat Baldy over there.” Daxter said. “I want you to get a camera, because this is gonna be good!” Daxter leapt off Zeus’ shoulder onto Dark Jak’s and turned his head to look at Xehanort. “Hey, Jak, you see that guy over there?” Daxter asked.

“Yeah, what about him?”

“IT’S PRAXIS!” Daxter screamed, before adding, “so, he’s old, bald, not dead anymore and lost a load of weight, but I know Praxis when I see him!”

“Praxis? I’m gonna kill Praxis!” Dark Jak yelled, and in a single bound, jumped right in front of Xehanort. He was too shocked to react before Dark Jak grabbed him and smashed him into the ground repeatedly, stopping when Xehanort was barely conscious.

“Puny god!” Daxter shouted. “You know Jak, I’ve always wanted to say that.”

Xehanort looked up to see Kratos running towards him, with the Blade of Olympus at the ready. “Hades awaits!” Kratos called out. With the last of his strength, Xehanort created a Corridor of Darkness around himself, vanishing into it seconds before Kratos reached him and slashed the blade, cutting only through darkness.

With Xehanort gone from the scene, his corrupting influence disappeared and Jak returned to normal. “I’m really sorry for attacking you all.”

“Think nothing of it.” Zeus said. “But wait! How did you know I was here?”

“We were going to come get you ready to join the rest of the group, but I saw you disappear and the portal vanished before we got to you, so we looked around the domains of the people from Sora’s world who use those portals. I found Kratos while we were looking for you.” Jak explained.

“Yes, and now that I have found you Zeus, it is time we settled this once and for all!”As father and son prepare for battle, Daxter rolled his eyes. “Oh boy, here we go again!” A Black Portal then opens up, but no one came through, much to Jak’s relief.

“Looks like Lea has opened up another portal. Let’s return and report this battle to Lightning.” Jak said. “We will just have to worry about these two later.”

Part 8: Riku vs Caius

Sora raced after Riku as fast as he could, ignoring Raiden and Nariko behind him. He had to save his friend from Polygon Man, and here was his chance. Riku created a portal and vanished through it, but Sora was close enough to make it through just before the portal vanished. Sora took a moment to catch his breath and steady himself, since his injured leg was aching in protest from the sudden pressure he’d put on it.

“I’ve been here before.” Sora said as he looked around the purple void, and even at himself to see if he was back in his computer world armor that Polygon Man forced him to wear during his clash with Lightning. He wasn’t. He then made to approach Riku, Keyblade ready at his side. “Polygon Man controlled me before, but Lightning helped me break free. Now I’m going to do the same to you Riku!”

Riku leapt into the air and brought his Way to the Dawn Keyblade down above Sora’s head. Sora noticed early enough to block, but the impact still moved Sora slightly.

“Don’t you see Sora? I’d gone soft. Polygon Man helped me realise that, and under him, I can fully utilise the strength I already have.” Riku said.

“That isn’t you talking! The real you would never say something like that!” Sora pleaded.

“The only way you’ll get me to stop is to beat me. So give it your best shot Sora!” Riku taunted.

Sora sighed and held his lucky charm to his chest for strength. “I guess I have no choice. If that’s what it takes, then I will get my friend back!”

Sora lunged towards Riku with his Keyblade outstretched, but since the lower half of his right leg was now a prosthetic that he had gotten only recently, he wasn’t able to fight at his best, with each movement more laboured and telegraphed than usual. Riku had no trouble parrying Sora’s attacks, and could see the growing desperation in his opponent’s eyes as they clashed. The surrounding area turned darker as Riku rose into the air slightly. Sora could only gasp in horror as he knew what was coming next, but was powerless to prevent it. Sora screamed as Riku teleported all over, assaulting him from all directions, before leaping back to the ground and unleashing a shockwave of darkness that knocked Sora on his back.

“Riku, please. Snap out of it.” Sora whimpered.

Riku stood over his victim, ready to take him to Polygon Man for another re-education session. Maybe it would stick this time. “Giving up already? Come on Sora. I thought you were stronger than that.” he gloated.

“I’m begging you!” Sora could barely make out Riku through his tears. Riku looked right into the broken, crying boy’s eyes, and it was then Riku felt a sensation as if someone had just tipped a bucket of cold water all over him. His clouded mind emptied and Riku found that all he wanted to do was help Sora. He extended an arm to help him up. Riku saw a momentary glimpse of happiness in Sora’s face, but it was soon replaced by a sickening crunch, a cry of agony and a blinding light.

When the light subsided, Riku saw Caius standing in front of him, with a large crystal where Sora was.“Sora!” Riku shouted.“You should be ashamed of yourself, Riku.” Caius said. “You want to be there for your friends, you want to help them, but whenever you act, all you do is hurt them. Your actions made Sora suffer great despair at the betrayal of his friend. His fate is all your fault.”

Riku fell to his knees in surrender. “I’m sorry Sora. Please forgive me.”

Lightning and the All-Stars had reached the void where the crystals containing Riku and Sora were imprisoned. Many were left in shock; some even in anger. Ratchet, who remembered the curse that was placed on the crystalized duo that crippled one of them a couple of months back, even pointed his RYNO V at them, ready to smash the crystals and free them. Clank told him that this isn’t a wise idea, considering Balthier ended up killing one crystalized entity in a similar matter before.

Lightning looked at the crystals. She was now more determined to stop Polygon Man than ever. “That’s it. We have to stop Polygon Man now, before anyone else gets hurt.”

“But not everyone is back yet.” Parappa said. “Raiden and Nariko aren’t here, and neither are Jak or Zeus.”

“We cannot wait any longer.” Radec said. “Raiden and Nariko are with Cole and Dante, who may not be in any condition to fight after their rescue, and we’ll just have to go without Jak and Zeus.”Lightning crouched down to Parappa’s height. “Parappa, I want you to stay here and guard Sora and Riku just in case one of Polygon Man’s minions tries to finish them off.”

“You can count on me!” Parappa said.“You have my sword!” Sir Dan volunteered himself as well. “And my bow. And my axe. And my hammer. And my club. And my…”

“Yes, yes, we get the idea.” Radec cut Dan off. He suspected that Dan was choosing to stay behind out of cowardice, but didn’t care enough to push the issue. Lightning lead her group of All-Stars away to face Polygon Man, leaving Parappa and Sir Dan with the crystals.“What could have done this to them? They’re supposed to be really powerful.” Parappa asked.

“I don’t know.” Dan replied. “Maybe if I had Zarok’s spellbook, there could be something in there to undo this process, but the spellbook was lost.”

Parappa got to work trying to wedge his skateboard into a crack and levering the crystals open. A portal appeared in the room, and Jak and Daxter leapt out. “Kratos and Zeus aren’t coming, they’re too busy fighting each other… Wait, where is everyone?” Jak said.

“Lightning just left with everyone else to fight Polygon Man. We’re on guard duty.” Parappa explained.

“What are you guarding?” Daxter asked. Parappa and Dan stepped aside to reveal the crystals.

“Sora!” Jak shouted. “We have to get him and Riku back to normal.”

“Maybe you can do that if you survive me.” A menacing voice came from the shadows, followed shortly afterwards by its owner emerging from the shadows.“We’ve got this one.” Jak pulled out his Peacemaker and fired at Caius. He placed his fearsome sword in the ground, and watched as the blast went into the eye on the sword, reflecting it back towards Jak and hitting him in the chest.

“We haven’t got this one!” Daxter screamed as Jak fell.Dan moved to take on Caius in a swordfight. He fared better, with his unpredictable movements putting Caius at a disadvantage and leaving him attacking thin air on a few occasions, or being blocked by Dan’s shield.

“I never would have taken you for such a competent warrior.” Caius remarked.

“They don’t call me the Hero of Gallowmere for nothing.” Dan bragged, before bringing his sword down towards Caius, who blocked it and caught Dan’s sword in one of the grooves of Caius’ sword.

Caius pushed towards Dan, but this was just as Dan had hoped. When Caius was right in Dan’s face, Dan used his free hand to shoot Caius with a bolt of lightning. Caius was sent flying backwards, but he was back up almost immediately.

“You survived the lightning bolt? I’m impressed. I guess I’ll have to use my secret weapon.”

Daxter gasped. “You don’t mean…”

“Oh, but I do.” Dan produced a chicken drumstick from inside his suit of armour.

Caius watched the scene before him bewildered. “I can’t understand your mumbling. What’s going on?”

“I’m going to count to three. One…”

Jak noticed what was happening as he was getting back up. “Oh wow, this must be serious if Dan is using the chicken drumstick.”

“This guy is gonna be toast!” Daxter cheered. “Well, chicken actually, but you know what I mean!”

“Two… Two and a half…”

“You’re bluffing.” Caius tried to appear unimpressed, but a slight hint of fear crept into his voice. If it was the skeletal knight alone, he could pass it off as a goofy scheme, but seeing the other two react with awe planted a seed of doubt in his mind.

“Three!” Dan cried as he threw the chicken drumstick in the air. Everyone watched as it fell to the floor, and continued to watch as it lay on the floor.“Oh no.” Dan sighed. “I must have left the magic chicken drumsticks in my other suit of armour!”

“Enough of this!” Caius swung his sword and hit Sir Dan with all of his might, causing him to fall to pieces. He marched towards Parappa, still trying to break open the crystals as Jak and Daxter ran about collecting Dan’s bones and putting him back together.

“I’ve gotta stay positive.” Parappa panicked. “I can do this. I can free you before Caius gets me. I just have to stay strong for my friends.”

Caius had reached the crystals. “Any last words before I put you down?” he asked.

“Yeah.” Parappa replied. “I gotta believe!”Light poured from the small holes Parappa had wedged open, and the hole grew larger as cracks spread across the crystals. Eventually, the crystals were covered in cracks.

“Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind!” Recalling his training with Chop Chop Master Onion, Parappa shouted bombarded the crystals with his karate blows. The barrage caused the weakened crystals to shatter, freeing Sora and Riku.

“How could this be?” Caius gasped. “I saw both of you lose all hope.”

“That’s true.” Sora admitted “However, we heard Parappa from inside the crystals trying to get us out, and we heard Jak and Sir Dan protecting him. Friends stick up for each other, and we gained a new hope from that.” Sora got up, only to immediately fall down again as soon as he put weight on his broken leg.

“Parappa, please help Sora away from here. This is my fight.” Parappa dragged Sora aside as Riku prepared his Way to the Dawn to face Caius.

“When will you realise that there is nothing that you can do to help anyone? It’s futile, so give up!”

A ball of darkness formed around Caius and grew to swallow him. It then floated into the air before disappearing and revealing that Caius had transformed into Chaos Bahamut.

“I used to work for someone who turned into a dragon for a party trick. It didn’t work out for her.” Riku’s reminiscing was stopped when the bahamut lunged towards Riku to slash at him with its claws. Riku attacked from behind, but the dragon’s hard scales meant it barely felt the attack and swatted Riku away as it turned around, then fired a volley of energy balls before Riku could recover.

“Why are you doing this?” Riku asked.

“I am immortal and must watch over the person who matters most to me, Yeul, for all eternity, but no matter what I do, she dies and is reincarnated, forcing her to suffer again. Polygon Man promised to give me All-Star Power, which I would use to change things.” Caius explained.

“Would she value the extent you’ve gone to in order to save her? Did Yeul have any say in the matter when you decided to work for Polygon Man?” Riku asked. “I know how you feel. I once did terrible things in order to protect someone close to me as well. I forgot about my good intentions and became more and more selfish, until Sora showed me the error of my ways. We may have rescued Kairi, but I’m still atoning for what I did to save her.”

Riku had intended to calm Caius down, but he had the opposite effect instead.“Oh, you saved Kairi, so it’s all right then, isn’t it? She didn’t die in your arms. Yeul has suffered that fate countless times, and my sorrow never gets any any easier to bear! If I can’t save Yeul, all I can do is ensure that others suffer the way I do!” The enraged Chaos Bahamut charged up his ultimate attack, Mega Flare. The searing hot energy engulfed the area Riku had been standing, leaving only scorch marks on the floor. Caius’ satisfaction at a job well done lasted until he heard Sir Dan’s gibberish somewhere to his side.

“The Hero of Gallowmere has saved another upstanding citizen!”

“Thanks, Dan. Without your Daring Dash, I’d be a goner.”

“Infernal skeleton! I will make you crumble into dust!” Caius roared before turning to face Riku and Sir Dan. However, as he tried, he felt himself becoming awfully stiff. He didn’t normally have to put this much effort into his Chaos Bahamut form.

“Well, whaddya know? We have got this one after all!” Daxter smirked.

“The Mass Inverter can’t hold him for long. Get him now Riku!” Jak shouted.

Riku didn’t waste the opportunity. He threw his Keyblade towards Chaos Bahamut, hitting him in the chest. The Keyblade’s magic sealed away the energy Caius was using to maintain his bahamut form, causing him to return to normal.

Riku changed his Keyblade back to its sword form as he approached the defeated Caius. “You mean to kill me?” Caius asked.

“No.” Riku replied. “You may have done terrible things, but you were doing it for the sake of someone else. That is proof to me that there is still a little bit of light deep down in your heart. Don’t lose sight of it. Don’t forget that there is still good in you.” Riku offered his hand to help Caius up. Caius moved his hand towards Riku’s.

“Your deluded platitudes are meaningless to me.”Before Riku could react, Caius moved his hand away from Riku’s outstretched hand towards his other hand, grabbing it and forcing Riku to plunge his Keyblade into Caius’ own chest.

“No!” Riku shouted as Caius faded away.

“You did it! I knew you could beat him!” Parappa ran over to congratulate Riku, before seeing that he wasn’t entirely happy. “What’s wrong?”

“I saw a lot of myself in Caius, or who I used to be at least. If Sora hadn’t knocked some sense into me back then, I’d have probably ended up like him. It just scares me that if Sora had tried to help me later than he did, I may have been too far gone to listen.”

“Cheer up Riku!” Sora called over from where he was. “It’s no use worrying about the past. You changed when you saw that you were going astray, and that’s all that matters. I know you tried to help Caius, but if he wasn’t willing to listen, there was nothing more you could do. Besides, he said that he was immortal, which means he’ll come back sooner or later. Maybe when he does, he’ll think about what you said and try to change then.”

“You know what, you might be right. Thanks Sora.” Suddenly, Sora begins to moan in pain from his leg. Just before he was crystalized, Caius had stomped his foot onto the boy’s knee, breaking it further, and causing damage to the prosthetic leg. Sora didn’t even realize this at first, due to his cast, and his focus on Riku’s battle. But now that he’s relaxed, he’s able to feel this pain. Riku rushes to Sora’s side and investigates his now blooded leg, which had been All-Star energy minutes prior. “Sora’s leg is broken really badly. He needs medical attention right away!” Riku said. “Jak, can we have a ride on your Zoomer?” Parappa said.

“Sure thing.” Jak said. “There isn’t enough room for everyone though. Who doesn’t mind walking?” Everyone started to laugh out of relief, as this problem was quite mundane compared to what they’d been dealing with earlier.

Part 9: Polygon Man’s Last Stand

Lightning’s group stood at the entrance to Polygon Man’s temple, ready to do battle.

“This is it. It’s to defeat Polygon Man.” Lightning announced to the rest of the group. “Most of you have fought him before, so you may know what to expect. I want you to put that experience to use and do the best you can. Some of our group aren’t here because they were fighting their own battles, so the rest of you will have to give it your all.”

“However, there is the matter of the Blast Core to consider.” Radec pointed out. “Polygon Man may have used it and gained new abilities since our last encounter. Not to mention that there may be other forces we are as yet unaware of. Polygon Man would be a fool to leave himself undefended. Be on your guard.”

For his part, Polygon Man wasn’t particularly surprised to see the group before him. “Oh there you are. I was just wondering when you’d show up. I was just starting to think I might be able to get my hair done before you arrived.”

“This ends now, Polygon Man.” Lightning said. “We are not your playthings. We control our own fate!”

“You’re not my playthings?” Polygon Man gasped theatrically. “Well, that’s a shame. It’s a good thing I’ve got my polygon minions on hand then.

”With that, a swarm of polygons appeared and swirled around the room, forming themselves into purple copies of the All-Stars, as well as their absent comrades. A few of the veteran All-Stars were taken by surprise.

“There were only three last time!” Isaac Clarke said.

“I’ve been training since last time, you see.” Polygon Man said. “It’s been a real blast, if I do say so myself.”

“As in Blast Core? Oh crap.” Nathan Drake moaned.“I don’t care how many there are, bring ‘em on! It’s more things for me to kill!” Needles Kane was the first to go on the offensive, running into the polygons with undiluted glee, dropping a mine to blow up a polygon Fat Princess while hacking into a polygon Big Daddy with his machete.

“It’s as we feared. Polygon Man has used the Blast Core to increase his strength.” Radec said, stopping to shoot at his polygon counterpart. “Ratchet, Cooper, get that Blast Core back! Mishima, protect them!”

“On it.” Sly replied, with Ratchet and Heihachi nodding to indicate that they had also heard.

Heihachi cleared a route to Polygon Man through his minions using his fearsome martial arts skills. His blows were powerful to make the polygons shatter upon contact.

“Is this the best you have to offer? Kuma could do this blindfolded!” Heihachi laughed derisively as Ratchet readied his biggest weapon.

“Hey, Polygon Man, you wanna know what we’re going to do to you?” Sly asked. “If you don’t, we’re telling you anyway.”

“Rip ya a new one.” Ratchet pulled the trigger. A stream poured out of the RYNO, blowing into Polygon Man and creating multiple holes in his head.

“I do love it when you come up with one-liners like that, Ratchet.” Clank said. “You’re almost as good as I am on Secret Agent Clank.”

“Yeah well, maybe if they hadn’t made me comic relief on that show…”

“I can see the Blast Core!” Sly sprinted towards the nearest hole, but before he’d taken even a few steps, the holes had been repaired.“No way!”

“That was very rude! You need to be punished!” Polygon Man fired lasers from his eyes towards Sly and Heihachi. Heihachi was hit and knocked down, but Sly proved to be too agile.

“You’re an even worse shot than Carmelita when she’s trying to shoot me!” Sly taunted, only to yelp in surprise as the floor rose up around him, trapping him in a polygon prison.

“Maybe next time, you should resist the temptation to run your mouth and just run.” Polygon Man mocked, before turning to Ratchet. “As for you, I’ve got a very special surprise for you.”

“Is it Doctor Nefarious?” Ratchet sighed.

“Wrong! It is Doctor Nefarious!”

“Long time no see, Ratchet!” Dr Nefarious shouted as he flew into the fray using his jetboots.

“How did I know you would show up here sooner or later?” Ratchet asked in exasperation.

“Well, I was contacted by Polygon Man over here, who asked if I would like to help him with a little conquest. I didn’t have anything in my diary, so here I am!”

Clank started to giggle. Ratchet had to work to keep a straight face himself. “You have a diary? We’ll be sure to tell everyone that the big scary overlord keeps a diary. Do you go to sleep with a stuffed War Grok as well?”

“AAAAAAAARRRRR…” Doctor Nefarious started to scream before his anger caused him to freeze up, allowing Ratchet, Clank and Polygon Man to listen to the latest adventures of Lance and Janice.“I’m afraid that I have not been entirely truthful with you Lance.” “What is it, Janice?” “I’m actually your evil twin brother Engelbert in disguise, seducing you so that you will be driven to madness! I want our parents’ inheritance to myself!” “Really? In that case, I’m not actually Lance, I’m an intergalactic agent in disguise, investigating you for insurance fraud!”

This show got really stupid after the episode where Lance jumped over a pit of Tyhrranoids on a Hoverboard.” Ratchet remarked before hitting Doctor Nefarious with his wrench.

“…RRRRRRRGGGGHHH!” Doctor Nefarious unfroze after the whack, slapping the RYNO out of Ratchet’s hand in the process.“I was listening to that!” Polygon Man whined. Ratchet looked in the direction of the RYNO.

“Don’t even think about it!” Nefarious threw a shockwave bomb that fried the RYNO’s circuits, making it useless. “You do realise that I have plenty of other weapons right?” Ratchet asked.

“Of course I do! I think I’d know my arch-nemesis well enough for that by now! However, that was your biggest gun, and you don’t have anything else that’s big enough for the Biobliterator!”

A large sphere appeared in the sky, and Nefarious vanished aboard with a cry of “Beam me up, Lawrence!”“Do you want to use the Biobliterator on Ratchet first, sir?” Lawrence the Butler asked. “Yes, roboticise that loathsome squishie! Oh, and by the way, thank you for taking an interest in my work Lawrence, it really means a lot to me.” Nefarious replied. Lawrence just made a snarky face to himself. “I can feign interest for the sake of a few bolts at the end of the month, sir.

”The Biobliterator fired its laser at Ratchet, but Clank’s modifications were able to get Ratchet away from the beam. However, it hits the polygon Sora, who was sneaking up on him, transforming it into metal.

“Interesting.” Polygon Man said. “Nefarious! Use your machine on my other polygons!”The Biobliterator started to shoot its beams over the battlefield, transforming Polygon Man’s polygon army. The upgraded polygons started to overwhelm the All-Stars.

“Ow!” Crash Bandicoot winced as he spun into a metal Kat, hurting himself and failing to blow her away.

Needles frowned as his chainsaw broke while cutting through a metal Emmett Graves, a polygon facsimile of the Rift Energy flowing out of the wound.

Even Lightning was having trouble, being in a two-on-one fight against a newly armoured metal Toro and metal Spike. Her damaged blade was not strong enough to cut through the metal armour, and her opponents were small and fast. Eventually, the metal Spike got cocky.

“You’ll never win!” It gloated, with the young boy’s voice being distorted both by the polygons and the metal. Lightning had an idea.

“If you hadn’t stopped, maybe you’d have a point.” Lightning used her magic to call down a thunderbolt on the fake boy’s head. The metal Toro leapt away from its partner, who was shaking about as the electric current went through its body, causing it to shut down.

“Sackboy, Spyro, come here! I have an idea.” Lightning called out. The two came to her side. “The metal polygons are weak to electricity. Sackboy, can you come up with something to drench them in water?” Sackboy nodded to show that he’d understood. “Spyro, I want you to help Sackboy get around quickly and soak them all. I’ll handle the rest.” Sackboy hopped onto Spyro’s back summoned up a water hose from his Popit.

“Hold on, little guy. This ride could be bumpy.” With that, Spyro started to charge around the battlefield at a speed he normally reserved for speedway runs, while Sackboy sprayed his hose over the polygons.The loss of his partner had made the metal Toro very angry indeed. In fact, he channelled his rage into a murderous force. He charged towards Lightning, ready to kill her… but he never got to her, as Heihachi had recovered, caught Toro from behind and had him in a hold.

“You’ll never achieve your dream if you remain a weakling. You are an embarrassment!” Heihachi mocked. The cat flailed around, trying to break free of Heihachi’s grip. He failed to make it in time, as Sackboy and Spyro came back and soaked metal Toro, who hissed in protest. Nathan Drake, who was holding back the polygons with lots of rolling barrels, saw this from the corner and of eye and quipped “Aw, Kitty got wet.”

Heihachi tossed the wet cat away into the crowd of mechanical minions.

“Thundaga!” Lightning cried, and another lightning bolt struck the cat. The water carried the electricity over to the other polygons in the vicinity, vaporising them too.

“I warned you, Polygon Man. We make our own fate!” Lightning shouted.

Though he would never admit it, Polygon Man was ever so slightly impressed by the display of teamwork that had cut down his mechanical minions. He couldn’t roboticise any more polygons, since the All-Stars had figured out their weakness, and he had learned from his last encounter with them not to repeat his mistakes. “Nefarious! Does your machine have any other surprises?”

“Do I look like I’m incapable, Polygon Man? Of course it does!” Nefarious shouted back indignantly. “Begin the transformation!”

“You are incapable of looking after yourself though, sir. It’s why I have to do your laundry.” Lawrence commented. This ticked Nefarious off a bit. “NOW, Lawrence!”

The Biobliterator split into four segments, which moved away from the core and formed four limbs. The robot fired a barrage of missiles from its body towards the All-Stars.

Radec used his expert marksman skills to shoot down rockets that were headed his way, but though he got most of them, there were too many for him to get them all.“I am ready to give my life in war for the glory of Helghan!”

“Not today.” Isaac Clarke came between Radec and the remaining missiles, which he caught using his stasis module to hold the rockets in place before destroying them with the plasma cutter.

“That war machine must be disabled at all costs!” Radec ordered. “Leave it to me.” Isaac said. “As an engineer I’m good at taking things apart as well as putting them together. Just keep those rockets off me and tell Needles to get the van ready.”

Isaac flew up towards the robot in his jetboots, rockets exploding around him thanks to covering fire from Radec’s assault rifle, Ratchet’s Construct-O-Pistol, Crash’s Fruit Bazooka and Eddy’s Golden Gun, which was in the possession of Nathan Drake, despite the name indicating otherwise. Isaac reached the Biobliterator safely and used his Plasma Cutter to start cutting along the joints of one arm.

“He’s sabotaging us!” Nefarious pushed Lawrence away from the Biobliterator’s controls and moved the robot’s other arm to crush Isaac, however it missed him and instead knocked off the weakened arm.

“Augh! Now look what you’ve done Lawrence! This wouldn’t be happening if you hadn’t let me push you away!”

Lawrence opened his mouth to respond, but changed his mind, as he could not wrap his brain around the lengths his master was going to in order to avoid blaming himself for the disaster.

Three more thuds signalled the Biobliterator’s other limbs falling to the ground, and Nefarious was too busy throwing a temper tantrum to stop Isaac from entering the cockpit. “The giant robot you have here is pretty impressive. It’s almost a shame I have to turn it into scrap metal. Come here Doctor. There’s something I want you to see down here.” Nefarious approached Isaac to see what he was referring to. Needles Kane waved up to them, with the Sweet Tooth van parked next to him. He got into the van, then after a few seconds, the clown head on the van’s roof shot up towards the Biobliterator’s open cockpit.

“I’ve gotta dash now, but you feel free to stay here. You won’t want to miss the fireworks.” Isaac said as he used his stasis again to freeze Doctor Nefarious and Lawrence in place, quickly fired off one last volley of rockets, and jumped out as the clown head went into the Biobliterator and destroyed what was left of it.

“I’ll get you for this, you meddlesome squishie!” Nefarious screamed as he and Lawrence shot away into the sky.Isaac landed near the prison holding Sly in place, turning around just in time to see the rockets he’d launched destroy the prison, releasing Sly. “I’d almost made myself comfortable in there.” Sly remarked, stretching himself now that he had more space again. “Anyway, help me go for the Blast Core again.”

“Not so fast!” The floor ahead of Polygon Man quaked before a number of polygon spikes erupted upwards, barring further progress.“Not a problem for me.” Isaac fired the Plasma Cutter again, but Polygon Man called forth a polygon shield to protect himself. The shield was broken, but the polygons reformed themselves in no time.

“Getting desperate, are we?” Lightning taunted. “You can’t hide behind your shields forever.”

“As a matter of fact, I can.” Polygon Man retorted. “Have you forgotten that this is my realm? There are polygons everywhere. You can tear them down as much as you like, but I’ll just reform them. I’d like to see you try taking that away from me.”

“It’s your funeral.” Lightning raised her gunblade and the area around Polygon Man lost its colour and grew slower. “What is this?!” Polygon Man demanded.

“I call this Overclock. Let’s see how your regeneration holds up when time is slowed down for you.”

“Everyone, open fire!” Radec cried, and a barrage of bullets, lasers, explosives and fireballs destroyed the spikes and shields protecting Polygon Man.

“Crash, get spinning.” Lightning ordered. Crash nodded and started to spin towards the polygons, which floated in the air as they slowly reformed into their original shapes. However, Crash’s spinning sent the polygons flying everywhere.

“Stop that!” Polygon Man cried. “I need those for protection!”

“At last, a clear shot. Farewell, scum!” Radec pulled out his stA5X Arc Cannon and fired. The green laser tore a large hole in Polygon Man’s lower jaw, through which the Blast Core could be seen.

“Third time’s the charm.” Sly made another run for the Blast Core, and thanks to the slowed time and Crash’s spinning, he succeeded. Once the Blast Core was in Sly’s hands, Lightning returned time to its proper flow.

“Your key advantage over us is gone, and all your minions are defeated. Face it, Polygon Man. You’re beaten.” Lightning said.

“Have you forgotten that maybe I am the rightful owner of this position?” Polygon Man asked. “The Court of the Gods won’t look kindly on you for this.”

“You’re not the rightful owner.” Lightning corrected. “I’ve found the true ruler and have been in contact with him. In fact, he should be getting here right about now.” As if on cue, booming laughter echoed around the area.

“Master Hand!” Polygon Man gasped. “I uh, what are you doing here? I was just keeping your throne warm, is all!”

Suddenly, a swarm of Shadow Bugs started to fly out of Master Hand, covering it. When the bugs were gone, an orb was floating in the air where Master Hand used to be. Polygon Man laughed. “You saw fit not to challenge me and destroy yourself, I see. A wise decision!”

“How about I keep you occupied instead?” Lightning leapt in the air and soared towards Polygon Man, cutting at him numerous times with her gunblade. To finish, she knocked him into the air, jumped up after him and knocked him back down again. “There. That should have bought enough time for Master Core.” Lightning said.

“Master Core? You mean he didn’t destroy himself?” Polygon Man asked.

“No.” Lightning answered. “In fact, he’s been charging up his ultimate attack.”

“Erm… Master Core, Is there any chance at all that we could rule together?” Master Core laughed derisively in response.

“No.” Lightning translated as Master Core finished gathering energy. The energy was then unleashed in a massive wave that destroyed Polygon Man utterly.

“You haven’t seen the last of me!” He managed to shout before being fully disintegrated.

“I’m glad that’s over.” Lightning breathed a sigh of relief. “Thanks to all of you for helping. You did great, and so did the others who fought their own battles.”

Her communicator started to bleep.“You did it Light.” Hope said from the other end of the connection. “I can see the Chaos levels where you are going down.”

“I think Master Core may have used them to get things back to normal. I’ve already gotten the news that Master Xehanort and Caius have been defeated, and Sora and Riku are free from their crystal sleep.” The news caused Lightning to smile. She was glad that everything is okay again, and that PaRappa and Sir Dan were able to free and protect the crystalized All-Stars.

Another laugh came from behind Lightning. Master Hand had returned, and he sounded much happier than when Lightning first met him.

“Master Hand is also very grateful for getting his position back for him.” Hope translated. “He also asks what’ll happen to Polygon Man.”

“I doubt we’ll be seeing him again any time soon after that last attack, but once he recovers, I’ll make a case for him to be sent to the Fallen. That way, I’ll be able to keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn’t try anything again. Besides, I’m sure he’ll be in big trouble after bringing Crash and Spyro to the Pantheon without permission from the Court of the Gods, multiple acts of brainwashing and ordering the abduction of Cole and Dante.” Lightning replied.

“Lightning, look at this! You’re missing the fun!” Nathan Drake called over. Lightning turned around to see that her fellow All-Stars had started to celebrate their victory, as Crash, Sackboy and Needles were having a dance battle, with everyone else clapping along.

“I won’t keep you any longer, Light.” Hope said. “You’ve earned a break. Hope out.” The communicator switched itself off, and Lightning went to join the fun.

Sora, Riku, Jak, and Daxter got the news over the Zoomer’s communicator as they rushed to the medical division. Ratchet and Clank were sending the feedback to the un-present comrades about the victory, insisting that everyone should know.Sora was the first to see the feedback. “We did it!” He shouted, holding his Kingdom Key Keyblade in the air in celebration despite being in a lot of pain from his leg. The others were confused at first, but then they saw the feed.

“We sure did!” Daxter replied. “No more creepy lights in our temples spying on us now.”

Raiden and his group got the news, as well. At this point, they were trying to find a way to bring Kratos and Zeus out of the Keyblade Graveyard before Master Xehanort could strike again. “We’ve won, guys! Polygon Man is history!” Dante shouted! Raiden turned around, and saw the feed.

“And what of Sora?” Raiden replied. “Has he and Riku been recovered?

“Clank says that the two are safe, and are now on their way to the medical division.” Dante replied.


September 7, 2014

“Carmelita, we’ve got something for you.” Sly Cooper, accompanied by Nathan Drake and Cole MacGrath approached Carmelita as she was at her post.

“What is it, Ringtail? Do you want me to chase you all over the Pantheon while your bodyguards here watch and laugh?”

“No, no, nothing like that!” Nathan Drake said. “This is actually important.” “We’ve got something for you.” Cole said, as Sly handed over the Blast Core.“ Sly Cooper handing over his loot? I never thought I’d see the day!” Carmelita laughed before stopping herself suddenly. “Wait. What’s the catch?” She asked.

“We want you to take this to the Treasures and lock it up there.” Sly explained. “I knew it!” Carmelita shouted. “You give me this, then you follow me to the vault, and steal everything in there while I open the doors for you! Is that it? Well, you’ll have to be smarter than that if you want to trick me!”

“This isn’t a trick.” Cole explained. “This was the source of Polygon Man’s power, and it’s too risky for anyone else to be allowed to use it.”

“I’ve seen first-hand what it could do, and I’m going to pass on this treasure too.” Drake added.

“Well, alright then.” Carmelita said. “I’ll take it to the Treasures for you, but if I see even one hair from any of you on my way there, you’re getting shocked! This pistol packs a paralyzing punch!”

“Don’t test her guys, she’s serious.” Sly warned the other two.

“You’re concerned about us? I was thinking you were going to mess with her!” Drake said.

September 8, 2014

Caius was disappointed to find that he had revived in his temple after impaling himself upon Riku’s Way to the Dawn Keyblade. It seems the boy wasn’t worthy enough to break Caius’ curse, and not even the magic of the Keyblade could unlock it. His thinking was stopped by a letter he saw nearby. Curious, Caius read the letter, and he frowned as he continued to read.

“Dear Caius Ballad,I’m still mad at you for destroying my office. The repair work is almost done, but I’m told that due to how much damage there was, it’s not going to come cheap. Having said that, I guess I should thank you for capturing me so that the darkness in my heart could be ripped out, because the other Dante was a pretty decent guy once I got to know him, though I would have liked our meeting to be under better, non-darkness-ripped-out-of-me circumstances.I met Riku the other day. I told him what had happened to my office, and he then told me that you broke his friend Sora’s leg, and that Sora has had to go to the hospital to get his leg repaired. This gave me an idea.I’m writing this letter to tell you that not only are you going to pay for the repairs to my office, you are also going to pay’s Sora’s medical bills, so this is your warning to go looking down the back of the sofa for money. If you refuse to pay, then Riku and I have agreed that we will come to you and collect ourselves.”

Sincerely, Dante.

September 10, 2014

Raiden had just finished his training when he heard the sound of clapping. “Who’s there?” He turned around with his blade at the ready, but put it away upon seeing who the wheelchair-bounded visitor was. “Oh it’s you Sora. How are things?”

“They’re fine. I’m glad that everyone else was able to stop Polygon Man. I don’t really care that I’m in a wheelchair, since it’s only until my leg gets better, and it is my own fault for over-exerting myself. Besides, even if I did care, you would be one of the last people I’d complain to.”

Raiden chuckled at this. “You’re right about that.”

“I came here because I wanted to apologise for running off the way I did when I was with you and Nariko. It was stupid and reckless of me, and I should have let you help me.”

“Don’t worry about it. You saw your friend under Polygon Man’s control. You’re far from the only person who would have reacted the way you did. In fact, I’ve done my share of stupid things myself.”

“Thanks, Raiden.” Sora said. “I better go meet up with Dr. Black Jack for the next operation now, but before I go, could I ask you something?”

“What is it?”

“I was watching you cut really precisely and I was very impressed by it. Once I’m fully healed, could you train me to be as precise as you?”

“Of course, but you better listen to me this time.” Raiden answered.“Don’t worry, I will.” Sora laughed. “As long as your lessons don’t involve a brainwashed Riku, that is.” As the wheelchair-bounded Kearbearer left for the House of Health and Diseases, he stops for a minute to look at a white bracelet on his left wrist. A colorful stone was attached to it. “It seems like it happened only yesterday that I saw this stone, but I know I saw it before, but when?”

“I simply must ask you sir, why is it that every time your evil plans are foiled, we both end up stranded on an asteroid?”

“I don’t know Lawrence, but it happens, alright!” Doctor Nefarious shouted. “Besides, this one wasn’t even my plan! I was helping someone else’s evil plan! Just think about it as an occupational hazard or something.”

“Oh goodie, that makes me feel so much better about myself. It’s times like this that I regret not working harder at school.” Lawrence sighed, then got out a pen and a crossword puzzle. “This has happened enough times now that I come prepared. Would you like to help me?”

“Oh fine, whatever. It’s not like there’s anything else to do on this rock.”

“This is a tough one.” Lawrence said. “Fourteen across, five letter word. The clue is “These combine to form hadrons.” Any ideas?”


Spyro the Dragon was finally free to wonder around the pantheon, now given permission to stay as a proper god. “This place is crazy, I gotta say.” He thought to himself. “I mean, come on! Are there any dragons here that are not evil?”

Of course, he didn’t view the pantheon to be terrible. After all, there were a lot of friendly gods around. Some were even glad of the existence of a good dragon in this pantheon, considering most of the other dragons here happened to be evil. A few in the House of Sports, having heard of his reputation, even offered to work with him to open up speedways in each house.“You know what. I think I’ll stay here for the time being.”

“So, what is going to happen now?” Hope was again speaking with Lightning in her temple. The dance battle was over, and the All-Stars are just going about their business.

“Both Crash and Spyro are now in properly, and Sora’s knee is being operated on. Other than this, all I can say is everyone is okay. There’s been no sign of Polygon Man, however.” Lightning replied. She was glad that this whole mess is over, and is now resuming her post in The Fallen to help the entities within find redemption.

“I hear that Master Hand is looking to begin another Super Smash tournament very soon, but this one will be abiding the laws of the pantheon.” Hope informed Lightning. “So, what do you plan on doing now, Light?”

“Well, Halloween is near. I might help everyone prepare the decorations for it.” Lightning replied.

“Well, good luck with that.” Hope said.

Lawrence remained in the middle of his crossword puzzle, with Doctor Nefarious aiding him in reluctance. “Okay, now we’re at twenty-one down, ten letter word beginning with the letter “M”. The clue is “A fairy who can turn into a dragon.” So, any ideas?”

“Gah, this one is too simple. It’s Maleficent!!” Doctor Nefarious shouted in frustration! “What squishie was responsible for this crossword, anyway? First, there was “Qwark”, then there was “Asylum”, and then we got “Vienna”! I HATE this crossword”.

A black portal then opened up in front of the two, calling out their names. “It’s about time Xehanort decided to free us from this asteroid!” Nefarious shouted in delight. But Lawrence wasn’t so sure if they should go through.

“Sir, there is a possibility that Axel might’ve opened the portal, so that he could arrest us. Are you sure you are willing to take the risk?” Lawrence had a point there, but Nefarious chose to ignore this.“I don’t care! I’d rather be in jail than having to put up with crosswords for the next century or two.” Nefarious shouted. “So, we’re taking this portal right now before whoever brought it up changes their mind! COME ON!”Lawrence just sighted, and puts his crossword away. “If you insist, sir. At least I know what crosswords to get for the next time we’re stranded.”