Sunday, July 31, 2011

Insert Semi-Mythological Robo Name Here

"Oh, boy." Kate muttered as she looked over her beeping computer screen.

"Tash! We've got another one."

Tash leaned over to get a better look at the monitor. "Where at?" She asked quickly.

"The... Custom Robo fandom."

Tash sighed. "These fandoms are getting more obscure to me... I think I'm getting old."

She turned and poked her head into the main area of the library where most of the Society members were laying around. "Anyone know anything about the Custom Robo fandom?" She yelled.

One hand shot up.

Tash groaned. "Anyone besides the newbie who nuked an entire fandom?"

"Hey!" Ben protested indignantly. "It was only half a fandom, and besides, the damage got reversed when I left! Is that the ONLY thing people remember about me?"


Ben glared down at his muse. "You're not helping, Shirley."

The Cliche Stick shrugged. "Do I ever?"

Tash looked around helplessly a second longer, then sighed. "Fine. Ben, you go. She's currently at Midheart High."

Ben nodded. "Custom Robo Arena then, I'm on it."

He stood and turned to leave, Shirley next to him.

"Ben!" Tash called after him. "If at all possible, no nuking, please."

Ben nodded. "I'll do my best!"

Tash sighed.

"Midheart is doomed, isn't it?" Kate asked.

Tash nodded. "Pretty much..."


"So what's Custom Robo about anyway?" Shirley asked as Ben gathered up his equipment.

Ben shot his muse a look. "You've been watching me play my DS all this time, how do you not know?"

Shirley shrugged. "I just watched the battles, everything else bored me."

Ben adopted an announcer style voice. "And here you have it ladies and gentlemen, solid proof that video games do reduce attention spans."

"Oh, like yours is any better." Shirley scoffed.

"My what is?" Ben asked.

"Your attention span."

"Huh? Are we still talking about that?"

"Very funny," Shirley rolled her eyes. "Now what's this fandom all about?"

"Basically people beat the crap out of each other using 6-inch high robots in holographic battle arenas."

Shirley frowned. "That's it?"

"No," Ben said, rooting under a chair for his plothole generator. "This fandom is more obsessed with Custom Robo than the Yu-Gi-Oh! Fandoms are with Duel Monsters. Custom Robo's are much, much stronger than humans, so they get used for everything from construction to deep space exploration."


Ben nodded. "There's even this one guy who pretty much cheats on his wife with a Custom Robo!"

"Ok, now you're messing with me."

Ben grimaced. "Believe me, I wish I was."

He fired the plothole generator. "Let's go."


The last bell of the school day rang, releasing the students and commanders of Midheart High.

Many commanders couldn't wait until they got home and started Custom Robo matches right there on the school lawn.

Bella strode briskly out the door, the gentle wind stirring her emerald green hair and spotless green dress around her. As she passed, heads turned to gaze at her in wonder. No matter how much they saw her, the residents of Midheart just couldn't get over Bella.

After all, she was the greatest commander of all time.

Bella had transferred to Midheart High from out of nowhere and quickly awed all with her incredible skill at Custom Robo.

In under a month she had won the school championships, the district championships, the city championship and the world championship. If there was a championship at being a champion, chances are she would've been the champion at that too. Not only that, but she single handedly defeated the criminal syndicate Greybaum and their super Custom Robo, Hadron.

Of course, pro leagues and police orginizations were pleading for her to join their ranks, but she wisely chose to remain in school. After all, she was on the Honor Roll! Bella got straight A's and never broke the rules, she was easily favorite student.

In addition, thanks to her goddess-like looks, every male in Midheart had fallen for Bella, hard. But she gently rebuffed all potential suitors saying "Custom Robo comes first, I have to ensure that nobody falls victim to the same tragedies I did as a child." She never told anybody just what these tragedies were, however, and nobody asked.

Bella noticed Dennis, Midheart's resident dork, staggering under an insane load of video chips. Bella liked Dennis, simply because he was so easy. All she had to do was smile at him, and he would pretty much faint from the attention. She had to admit, he did have a sort of dorky charm about him though.

As she watched, their eyes met. Bella flashed Dennis a quick smile and he froze in his tracks, several video chips sliding out of his arms. Dennis jumped, and went to catch them, causing him to drop the rest to the sidewalk. Bella had to stifle a giggle. Dennis was just so simple to manipulate! Outwardly, she put on a face of concern as she hurried over to where Dennis was scrambling to pick up the white plastic chips.

"Oh no!" She exclaimed as she dropped to her knees next to the green t-shirt wearing teen. "Are you OK?"

Dennis flushed. "Y-yeah, I'm fine." He stuttered.

"Here, let me help you." Bella said, reaching for one of the video chips, letting her arm brush Dennis' as she did so.

Dennis nearly passed out from the contact. The most beautiful girl in the school, talking to him! He could barely believe it.

Bella pretended not to notice Dennis' reaction. "So what are all these video chips for?" She asked.

Dennis flushed an even deeper red, if that were possible. "I, uh, I was doing some research."

"Oh, on what?" Bella asked innocently.

"Well, I wanted to become a better commander, so I figured I should watch some battles to try to study up..."

Bella cocked her head to one side. "Why'd you want to become stronger?" She asked in the same tone of voice.

Dennis looked away, embarrassed. "It...well, it was because of you." He said quietly. "I was watching you battle and I just got inspired and I wanted to get better so..." He trailed off and shrugged his shoulders.

"Oh, Dennis, that's so sweet!" Bella cooed.

Dennis grinned weakly.

"Here," Bella handed him the rest of his video chips. "Why don't you meet me at the Robocenter later and I'll give you some tips?

"R-really?" Dennis could barely belive his luck.

Bella giggled, the sound nearly causing Dennis to melt into a puddle where he stood. "Shall we?" She asked, linking arms with Dennis. As they turned to go, a voice behind them stopped them dead in their tracks.

"So, we meet again, Buzz Lightyear, for the last time!"

"Oh, for the love of Yggdrasil!-We are nowhere near the Toy Story fandom or the Buzz Lightyear fandom!"

"Who cares? I've always wanted to say that!"

Both Bella and Dennis turned to see Ben arguing with Shirley.

"You again? What are you doing here?" Bella demanded.

"Duh, I'm here to bring you in!" Ben said, turning from his muse towards the Sue.

Bella gave a furtive glance towards the sky. Ben laughed.

"Don't worry, I'm under orders to try to avoid doing any nuking on this mission if at all possible. And another thing," He folded his arms. "I must say, I'm deeply dissapointed in you Bella."

Bella raised an eyebrow. "Oh, why is that?"

Ben groaned. "There gotta be at least a dozen of fairly attractive strong male commanders in this fandom, and you decide to go with Dennis? You've gotta be kidding me!"

"H-hey! That was uncalled for!" Dennis protested. "I was in last years Robo Cup, I'll have you know!"

"Yeah, because everyone else quit!" Shirley sniggered spitefully.

Dennis deflated a little at that. "Just who are you people anyway?" He demanded.

"He's a renegade commander, Dennis!" Bella exclaimed, thinking quickly."He's after me!"

"What?" Dennis moved in front of Bella, pulling his Mantis Robo Cube from his pocket.

Ben rolled his eyes. "Oh, give it up, small timer. I could take you down with a Standard weapon set!"

"Dennis, I'm the one he wants, let me handle him. No renegade commander is a match for my Athena." Bella said gently.

"Renegade comman-what?" Ben asked. That was when he noticed that Bella's Robo was activated and standing on her palm.

"Woah!" Dennis shouted. "Bella, how'd you get permission to use your Robo outside of an arena?"

"Have you forgotten?" Bella giggled. "I've got a Special Licence. So I've got permission to use my Robo wherever I like in order to capture illegal commanders... like this one here."

Ben looked around. "Where? I don't see any-" Then he noticed Bella's smirk and it dawned on him. "Oh..."


Shirley was in the Midheart Park at the moment, snacking on a Cedar limb she had broken off a nearby tree.

"GYEAAAAAAHHH!" Shirley just in time to see Ben sprinting past as if all the legions of hell were on his heels.

3 seconds later a 6-inch high female toy robot came running after.

Shirley would've gone to help Ben, if she weren't on the verge of passing out from laughing so much.


Ben tore across the finely manicured lawns of the Hillside district, ignoring the protests and shouts of the overpaid lawn specialists. He glanced over his shoulder. Bella was still bearing down on him.

He grimaced. Normally a commander could only pilot a Custom Robo up to a maximum of 30 yards, but since Bella was a Sue, who knew how far she could pilot Athena.

Ben couldn't outrun it, he couldn't outfight it and he couldn't nuke it. That left only one weapon in his arsenal.

Sorry, Tash, he thought as he rounded on Bella. I may not be doing any nuking, but I've got a feeling you won't be liking this move either...

He thrust a palm towards Bella, roaring as he did so. "My coffeemakers are not controlled by Hoover Dam computers!"

Bella screeched to a halt, glancing nervously at the sky,

With a rumble, a massive floodgate rose from the ground behind Ben.

Bella's eyes widened.

Ben threw himself to one side as the floodgate opened and a torrent of dark liquid surged out, catching Bella's Robo in it's grasp and sweeping it away.

Ben picked himself up off the ground as Shirley trotted over and stuck a claw into the murky substance.

She licked a droplet off her claw. "Is this coffee?" She asked.

Ben nodded. "C'mon, let's book it, the only reason that worked is because I caught her off guard. She won't be stunned for long."

Shirley rolled her eyes. "Tell me about it. Just what were you thinking anyway? You're the one who told me Robo's were so much stronger than humans, and then you go and face Bella without any sort of weapon at all!"

"Bite me." Ben growled, before he realized what he'd said.


Ben winced. "...OK... that was a bad choice of words, wasn't it?" He asked weakly.

"Yeh ih wah." (Yes it was.) Shirley said around a mouthfull of skull.

Ben nodded. "Right ho." He noticed Athena stirring and turned and ran without further ado.


The Robocenter was closing for the night and the various commanders who had been training there were leaving for the night. Bella and Dennis were no exception.

"Are you, OK, Dennis?" Bella asked as they exited the door. "You look a little tired..." She put a hand to his forehead, causing Dennis to blush again at the contact.

"I'm OK." Dennis assured her. "Just a little tired from all that training, thanks again for helping me!"

"No problem." Bella said with a giggle that sent shivers down Dennis' spine.

"H-hey, you want me to walk you home?" Dennis asked, "What with that creep who attacked you earlier still on the loose?"

Bella smiled gently. "Thanks Dennis, but I'm fine. See you at school tomorrow!" She waved goodbye to Dennis and started to walk off.

As she took a shortcut through a dark alley, a shadowy figure emerged from the gloom.

"I'm back, baby!" It said in an obviously fake deep voice.

"Oh, for the love of-do you ever give up?" Bella demanded as Ben stepped into a pool of light.

Ben smirked. "Nope. And this time, I've got my own souped-up Robo." He held up a golden Robo Cube.

"So then," He struck his wanna-be gallant pose. "Shall we dance?"

Bella snarled and hurled Athena's cube and Ben followed suit. Coils of pale red energy rose around the two fighters as they started their dives. Both could feel their minds merging with their Robo's computers.

Athena morphed out of her cube a split second before it hit the ground, Bella tucked into a roll as she hit the pavement and came up running flat-out. That was when she noticed that the Robo Ben was piloting was golden with horns.

"Is that-"

"Hadron." Ben confirmed as he leapt into the air.

"How did you get Hadron?" Bella had stopped dead in shock.

"That's my secret, babe." Ben, still in mid-leap, leveled a Gun resembling a purple dragon's head at Bella.

"WYRM GUN!" He screamed, firing. A grey dragon spirit came wailing out and struck Bella head on.

She staggered as Ben landed, following up his assault with three missiles from his ARS-B02 Bomb cannon.
Bella leapt out of the way however, and suddenly vanished. Ben scanned his Robo's HUD. No sign of Bella, which could only mean one thing. He whirled just in time to find Bella standing behind him, firing her gun.
There was to time to think, and only just enough time to act.

Quick as lightning, Ben bent over backwards at the waist, Matrix-style and the shot from Bella went flying over his head.

Ben looked at Bella from where he was still bent over. "That was awesome!" He shouted, still hopped up on adrenaline.

Bella shrugged. "Yeah, but you've left yourself wide open." She grinned evilly.

Ben paled. "You wouldn't dare..."

Bella blasted him squarely between the legs with her Bomb.

Ben was sent flying. He was just getting into the first verse of "You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings" when the alley wall cut him short.

Ben fell to the ground moaning, grabbing his crotch. "Y-you got me right in the CPU..." He groaned as Bella landed next to him.

"Oh, give me a break!" Bella snorted. "You're in a Robo, you don't have any nuts!"

"Oh... yeah." Ben leapt to his feet.

Shirley snickered from her hiding place in the shadows as she watched the unfolding battles. "So many ways I could've taken that..."

Ben and Bella began to circle each other warily, what little light there was glinting off Ben's golden Robo.
Ben took the opportunity to study Bella's Robo. Athena resembled the love child of Luna, an Aerial Beauty model, and the Ray Mk III, a Shining Fighter and the former world champions Robo of choice.

"Where did you get Hadron?" Bella demanded again. "I destroyed that thing when I took down the Greybaum syndicate!"

Ben grinned, the smile looked even more evil on the demonic-looking Robo.

"Not telling!" He said mockingly.

Bella snarled in a rage and deployed her Pod. Three green hovering remote explosives shot from her backpack and wailed towards Ben.

Ben lept back and started to backpedal quickly, but not quickly enough. One of the Pods latched on to his chest, impeding his movement.

"What are these?" He demanded.

"Those are Medusa, my Pod. See, when they're deployed, they seek out my enemy and latch on, waiting for the rest of their comrades before they explode." Bella said. "Oh, and by the way, they slow you down too."

By now one of the other two Pods had jumped on Ben's back. When Ben turned, trying to get it off, the third Pod latched on and all three exploded, sending him flying and taking a massive chunk out of his Robo's energy.

Ben shook his head, trying to clear the fuzziness from it while still in mid-air, when a blast from Bella's gun caught him and slammed him into the alley wall.

Ben shook his head as he climbed to his feet. "I oughta be getting my pilots licence soon what with all the flying I've been doing." He muttered.

He noticed his Robo's energy was getting dangerously low. He was going to have to finish this quickly.
Bella appeared in front of him from out of nowhere and fired her Gun, but Ben was already on the move. His Robo glowed red as it Charged forward, temporarily becoming invulnerable. He struck Bella with a devastating uppercut, sending her skywards.

Bella was stunned from the blow as she sailed through the air, but Ben's voice snapped her out of her haze.
"You know, this is probably the most over-used cliche in the society, but I've always wanted to do this!" Ben grinned at Bella from where he was flying next to her.


Hadron's golden foot collided with Athena's green head, slamming her into the ground several feet below and driving her head a few inches into the pavement, scratching the helmet and chipping it badly.

"I know Tash said no nuking." Ben said, landing next to Bella, who looked up at him blearily. "But this is just too good an opportunity to resist!"

He leveled a ridculously large purple tube mounted on his left arm at Bella. She paled. "Is that-?"

"DEVA BOMB!" Ben screamed, firing.

A massive purple and yellow warhead slid out of the opening. But Ben had outsmarted himself. Normally the Deva Bomb traveled at a crawl, but since Ben was so close, the effect was instantaneous. A massive yellow and green explosion roiled out, catching both Ben and Bella in it's embrace and sweeping them and the rest of their Robo's energy away.

Bella gasped in pain as her mind was forcefully expelled from her Robo.

"Where... did... you get those parts?" She demanded, short of breath. "Those parts... were so powerful... they're illegal, they would've required... massive amounts of mental... energy to use them!"

Ben looked pale too, but he smirked as held up his now-empty flask of his own heavily sugared iced tea.

"This stuff," he explained. "Gives you an incredible boost of energy."

"But Ben," Shirley said, emerging from the shadows of the alley from where they'd been watching the battle. "Don't you suffer a huge energy crash right afterwards?"

"Oh..." Ben's smile slid from his face. "...yeah." His eye's rolled up in his head and he collapsed, snoring.

Bella laughed triumphantly. She may've been weakened, but at least she was the one still standing.

"You're mine, you little freak!" She hissed, moving towards Ben's prone form.

"Stop right there!" A harsh voice said. A fourth figure emerged from the shadows. He was dressed in a long purple jacket and his hair was a dark red. On his shoulder was a purple robot that looked reminiscent of the Ray Mk II, the former world champions first Robo.

"I know you!" Shirley said. "You're that one AI hologram with free will!"

"Free will?" Bella hissed, staring at the Robo on his shoulder. "Does that mean you can dive and pilot a Robo?"

The hologram nodded, it's Robo leveling it's Laser Ripple Gun at Bella. "I'd suggest you leave this guy alone. I don't know who or what either of you are, and I don't care. So why don't you beat it before I change my mind."

Bella growled menacingly. "Tell your owner this isn't over yet!" She hissed at Shirley as she opened a plot-hole.

"I am not his pet!" Shirley screeched, but it was too late. Bella had vanished into another Fandom.

"Urgg..." Ben began to stir. The hologram deactivated his Robo and walked over to Ben, helping him up.

"Are you OK?" The AI program asked.

Ben nodded, rubbing his forehead. "I'm totally wasted though. Where's Bella?"

"She got away." Shirley said shortly, still obviously miffed at being called Ben's pet.

"Figures." Ben grunted as he hauled himself to his feet.

"Here's Hadron back, by the way." He said, handing it to the hologram. The hologram nodded it's thanks and tucked the Robo Cube away.

"And now he should revert back to normal?" The program asked. Ben nodded. "Now that Bella's left, he should."

The hologram nodded, turned and walked away.

Ben turned, and firing his gun, opened a plot-hole of his own. "Let's go, Shirley."

"I am not a pet!" Shirley yelled, causing Ben to jump.

"Easy, girl." He said. "I never said you were."

Shirley scratched her head with a claw as she stepped through the plothole into the Library Arcanium. "So let me get this straight." She said. "That computer thingy was so obsessed with the hero of that game, that he based his own appearance off of him?"

Ben nodded. "Pretty much. So when I told him that Bella's presence was preventing the hero from becoming as strong as he could be, he readily agreed to help out and since he turned himself into a dark version of the hero, he was loaded with illegal Robo parts."

Shirley shook her head. "That has got to be the weirdest fandom I've ever visited, and I've been to the Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged world."

"I told you that place was beyond obsessed with Custom Robo." Ben laughed, then he noticed that Shirley was ticking something off on her claws.

"Um, what're you doing?" He asked nervously.

Shirley looked at Ben out of the corner of her eye. "Oh, just counting the number of times you used cliches."
Ben paled. "Heh, heh." He laughed weakly. "You mean-?"

Shirley leered, and flexed her claws. "Yep."

"GYEEAAAHH!" Ben turned and ran, dodging between rows and random stacks of books, Shirley close on his heels, barreling down the aisles and knocking shelves and mounds of books over.

Ben glanced over his shoulder. She's gaining on me! He thought desperately.

Suddenly, he spun in midstride facing Shirley as he flew backwards. He thrust a palm, fingers curled towards the muse. "My coffeemakers are not controlled by Hoover Dam computers!"

He flew between the rising floodgates just as they closed then re-opened, releasing a flood of coffee, knocking Shirley back.

Ben laughed wildly in exhilaration as he landed on his back. Then, a boot landed next to his head.

Ben looked up from where he was lying on his back to see Adrian standing over him, looking very pissed.
"What's up, Doc?" Ben asked.

"Do you know what you just did?" Adrian asked quietly.

"Um, I just stopped Shirley from perforating me?" Ben offered,

Adrain shook his head. "You just released several dozen gallons of coffee into a very crowded portion of the Library. A Library filled with books." His voice was still quiet, dangerously so.

"Oh," Ben paled again. "Out of the frying pan, into the fire, eh?"

"Indeed." Adrian said as he popped a fireball.

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