We see the vast emptiness of outer space, not a thing to be seen. Suddenly, a small brown UFO-like spaceship with grey-tinted windows whizzes past the screen, followed by a Plumber ship trailing a considerable distance behind it. There is a medium-sized hole at the top of the brown ship, with smoke coming out of it. The screen zooms into the Plumber ship to show a female Arachnichimp piloting the ship with a U-shaped steering wheel, while a male Detrovite and a male Maxatomar stand to her left and right, respectively. All three are dressed in standard Plumber suits.
[Male Detrovite]: Lal'Ek, how fast is this thing going?
[Female Arachnichimp/Lal'Ek]: Max speed.
[Male Detrovite]: And he's still ahead of us.
Lal'Ek presses two buttons on the tips of the steering wheel, causing the ship to firing out a large red blast of energy at the other one, which simply swerves to the left, avoiding it.
[Male Maxatomar]: Maybe we should ask for backup. We might be in over our heads.
[Lal'Ek]: No way. This is our first mission. We don't want to seem incompetent.
A beeping sound is heard. Lal'Ek and the Maxatomar turn to look at the male Detrovite.
[Male Detrovite]: Must be Magister Gilhil.
[Male Maxatomar]: Ask for backup.
[Male Maxatomar]: Yes.
[Male Detrovite]: (groans) Make up your minds.
Not wanting to extend the back-and-forth between herself and the Maxatomar, she sighs and waves her lower left hand dismissively.
[Lal'Ek]: Answer it.
The Detrovite takes out his Plumber badge from his pocket and taps it. A full-body hologram of Magister Gilhil appears on it. He has his hands tied behind his back.
[Male Detrovite]: Magister.
He shakily raises his right hand to salute Magister Gilhil.
[Magister Gilhil]: Wysaq, what took you so long?
[Male Detrovite/Wysaq]: N-Nothing, Magister.
Magister Gilhil stares at him for a few seconds, deadpan, and Wysaq smiles awkwardly as he puts his right hand down.
[Magister Gilhil]: Status report.
[Wysaq]: Still in pursuit, sir.
[Magister Gilhil]: You were supposed to capture him hours ago!
Wysaq lowers his hand so that it's positioned within Lal'Ek's field of view. She takes her eyes off the void of space in front of her to look at Magister Gilhil's hologram.
[Lal'Ek]: We- We know, sir. Psychobos has been much harder to capture than we first thought.
The ship begins to swerve to the right.
[Male Maxatomar]: Eyes on the roa- uh... space!
[Lal'Ek]: Oh, sorry.
She focuses on the view in front of her once again.
[Magister Gilhil]: (sighs in frustration) Would you like backup?
[Male Maxatomar]: Ye-
[Lal'Ek]: Wait, Magister, let me try something!
Wysaq brings his hand out of Lal'Ek's field of view and leans closer to the window, waiting to see what Lal'Ek has in mind. The Maxatomar does the same. Suddenly, the ship begins to slow down, before stopping completely in its tracks.
[Male Maxatomar]: Hey! What are you doing?!
Dr. Psychobos' ship slowly gets further and further away from the Plumber ship. Lal'Ek begins to look at the buttons on the ship's dashboard.
[Magister Gilhil]: What's going on?
[Male Maxatomar]: Yeah, why'd you stop? He's getting away!
[Lal'Ek]: I'll need all the power this ship has.
Adjusting the steering wheel a little, she presses a circular blue button labeled with alien symbols. The camera cuts to show a compartment opening up under the ship, firing a small missile straight ahead. The camera follows the missile as it hits the back of Dr. Psychobos' ship, wedging itself in it. The ship slows down, before stopping and falling. The camera pans downwards to show it falling towards Earth. We return to the Plumbers as their ship approaches Earth. They lean towards the window and look down to see Dr. Psychobos' ship falling to Earth. Magister Gilhil's hologram is still on Wysaq's Plumber badge.
[Magister Gilhil]: What's going on? I can't see anything.
[Lal'Ek]: Well, we have good news. I fired an EMP missile at Psychobos' ship and we've caught up to him. Bad news, his ship is plummeting to Earth's orbit as we speak.
Magister Gilhil shakes his head in disappointment.
[Magister Gilhil]: I'll contact the Plumbers on Earth and get them to help you. Get down there and report to the Mt. Rushmore base.
[Wysaq]: Mt. What-more?
Magister Gilhil paces in a circle, massaging his temples.
[Magister Gilhil]: I'll send you the coordinates. Magister Gilhil out.
His hologram disappears, accompanied by a beep.
[Male Maxatomar]: We were terrible.
We see the main room of the headquarters, with human Plumbers walking around, some of them in pairs or groups. The camera zooms towards the main computer, where a brown-haired Max in his late 30's is monitoring it. Suddenly, the computer beeps, with the words 'Incoming Call' in red flashing on screen. Max presses a few keys on the keyboard, and the screen goes blank for a while before showing Magister Gilhil. Max salutes him with his right hand.
[Magister Gilhil]: Agent Tennyson.
Both of them lower their hands.
[Max]: What's the occasion, sir?
[Magister Gilhil]: I need your help.
[Max]: And here I thought you were checking in on your favorite protege.
[Magister Gilhil, smiling]: Don't flatter yourself, kid.
Max smiles back, and Magister Gilhil returns to a serious expression.
[Magister Gilhil]: There's a ship belonging to one Dr. Psychobos that's about to crash somewhere on your planet, hopefully somewhere near your location. One of my squads was supposed to capture him hours ago, but they failed. (shakes his head) You know rookies. Anyway, I want you to get someone to patch him up when he lands- uh, crashes, then send him to the Null Void.
[Max]: Will do, sir.
[Magister Gilhil]: Oh, and I'm sending my squad down there, too.
[Max]: Understood, sir.
The call ends as Magister Gilhil disappears from the screen. The scene skips ahead several minutes later, outside the back entrance Mt. Rushmore, as Max and two other male human Plumbers with a stretcher by their side, stand around, looking at the sky. A loud whirring sound is heard as the Plumber ship from earlier descends from the sky. Four metal support beams emerge from the bottom of the ship as it lands. A ramp comes down from the ship. Lal'Ek walks down from the ship, followed by Wyzaq and the male Maxatomar, standing at either side of an unconscious, energy-cuffed Dr. Psychobos, who has marks and scars on his head and claws. Likely due to being injured, his right claw is bent unnaturally. Lal'Ek takes out her badge from her pocket and holds it up, showing it to Max and the other Plumbers, before putting it back.
[Lal'Ek]: Hi, I'm Lal'Ek. (points at her teammates) These are Wysaq and Purzen.
She extends her upper right hand for Max to shake, which he does. He breaks away from the handshake and scans Dr. Psychobos from top to bottom.
[Max]: This is the alien you had trouble capturing?
[Wysaq]: He's more threatening than he looks, trust me.
Wysaq and Purzen walk towards the stretcher and gently place Dr. Psychobos on it.
[Max]: He's hurt. Come on, let's get him to the infirmary. (smiles) In the meantime, I can cook something up for you before you head back home.
[Purzen]: Good, I'm starving.
He turns around, leading everyone into the headquarters. A while later, we see an elevator on one of the lower levels in the headquarters; a narrow hallway with pale red walls. The elevator doors slide open with a ding, and the two human Plumbers from earlier carry the stretcher out of it. They continue walking down the hall with the stretcher, before stopping outside a door with a sign that says 'Infirmary'.
[Plumber 1]: Servantis, open up!
The door opens to reveal a young tall and pale-skinned Caucasian man with a pointed beard, wearing a standard Plumber suit. He looks at Dr. Psychobos's unconscious body, focusing on his twisted arm.
He steps aside, allowing the Plumbers to haul the stretcher into the room. The room is medium-sized, with three single beds against the wall, with wooden end tables filling the spaces between them. There are two cabinets opposite the beds, along with a medical table between them. Putting the stretcher next to the bed closest to the door, the two Plumbers carefully lift Dr. Psychobos off of it and lay him down on the bed.
[Plumber 2]: How long do you think it'll take to fix him up?
[Servantis]: About two- (grunts and holds his hands to his head) Agh!
[Plumber 2]: Whoa, easy there. You alright?
[Servantis]: I suppose it's just been a long day.
[Plumber 1]: We could get one of the other medics to step in for you. We don't want you to overexert yourself.
Servantis waves his right hand dismissively.
[Servantis]: Nonsense, gentlemen. I'm perfectly capable of handling this. (pauses) Two hours.
Both Plumbers nod and walk out the door. Servantis walks towards the door and rears his head, watching them walk away. He closes the door and turns around, looking at his left hand, which shakes violently. He then ignores it, exhaling sharply before approaching Dr. Psychobos.
[Servantis]: (in his head) What a specimen.
Servantis walks out of view of the camera, as it focuses on Dr. Psychobos. The scene transitions into a montage to show the events of the next few minutes. We see Dr. Psychobos in the exact same spot he was earlier, except his right claw is completely missing, with a blue glow where his shoulder joint would be. The camera pans across the room to show Servantis standing at the medical table. Dr. Psychobos' missing claw is floating in a cylindrical tube containing a dark green liquid, also glowing at the end. Servantis is looking through a black microscope. The montage ends and the scene fades to show Servantis still at the table, holding a syringe containing a light red liquid, cracking a smile.
[Servantis]: (in his head) Third time's the charm.
He holds the syringe to his neck, taking a deep breath. The camera focuses on his face tensing up as he injects the syringe into his neck. He pulls it out and holds it in front of his face, checking to see that it's empty, which it is. He puts the syringe down, and his smile fades as he begins to grunt. He holds grips the edges of the table with force, before letting go and turning around, falling to his knees and putting his hands on his head, grunting even louder. The scene shifts to a few minutes later, to the headquarters' elevator on the same floor. It opens with a ding, and a tall elderly Chinese-American man with a black eyes and a full beard steps out of it, followed by Max, Lal'Ek, Wysaq, Purzen, and a 20-something African-American man. They walk down the hallway.
[Max]: He should be just about done by now, Magister.
They reach the infirmary and the Magister/Chinese-American man loudly knocks on the door twice.
He slowly opens the door, walking in. He stops right at the doorway, startled at something on the ground.
The camera shows what the Magister sees; Servantis lying on his front on the ground, unconscious. As he looks around, he notices that Dr. Psychobos' right claw is missing.
He runs into the room and walks towards Servantis, crouching down. The other Plumbers follow suit, observing the room. Max walks around the unnamed Magister and towards the medical table, grabbing the empty syringe that Servantis set down and eyeing it closely, before looking at Dr. Psychobos' claw in the tube.
The Magister reaches out with his right hand and grabs the syringe. The other Plumbers in the room gather around Servantis.
[Purzen]: This... doesn't look good.
[Lal'Ek]: For him or for us?
[Purzen]: Could go either way, honestly.
The unnamed Magister turns Servantis on his back and sees that his right arm and head are now colored purple. The Magister grunts in anger and shakes Servantis' shoulders.
[Magister]: Wake up!
Servantis opens his eyes (now colored completely red and shaped differently) and bolts up, taking in the situation before him as well as the Magister's angry expression.
[Magister]: What. Did. You. Do?
Servantis sighs, standing up just as the Magister does. Everyone backs away a few steps to give him some breathing room.
[Servantis]: I was dying and I did what I had to to cure myself.
The Magister points at Dr. Psychobos.
[Magister]: That is another living being, not a toy to experiment on! Let's not even get into the fact that he's not even supposed to be here! (looks at Lal'Ek, Wysaq and Purzen) These three were supposed to apprehend that criminal hours ago! Are you out of your mind?
Servantis scoffs softly.
[Servantis]: Quite the opposite, Magister Chang. My plan was a success! I now know things I only dreamed of knowing. It's very... liberating.
[African-American Plumber]: You could have just told us you were ill. We would've found a way to help. You wouldn't have had to resort to this.
[Servantis]: Oh, it's no problem, Adriel, really. Nothing you could've come up with would've worked.
Adriel steps back and looks to the side, hurt by Servantis' remark.
[Magister Chang]: Servantis, you are under arrest for unlawfully experimenting on another being. You're fired and you're going to the Null Void effective immediately.
[Max]: Sir, shouldn't he be given a fair trial?
[Magister Chang]: No. He broke our trust. He deserves to be thrown into that cesspool. (grunts) And to think I admired your skills. If only I knew you were using them for things like this.
Adriel raises a finger, about to speak.
[Adriel]: Sir, I strongly think-
[Magister Chang]: I strongly think you should shut up and bring me the Null Void Projector before I assign you to the graveyard shift.
[Adriel]: Y-Yes, sir.
He runs towards the door and opens it, exiting the room.
Magister Chang glares at Wysaq, who clears his throat and looks at the ground, embarassed. Magister Chang then gives a Servantis a cold stare.
[Magister Chang]: Try anything and you'll regret it.
[Servantis]: Why, I wouldn't dream of it. My skills are wasted here. I see that now.
[Purzen]: You're crazy if you actually want to be trapped in the Null Void.
[Lal'Ek]: Or... you know, just crazy, period.
A beeping sound is heard, and everyone looks at the source; Wysaq, who takes out his Plumber badge.
[Wysaq]: Magister Prior Gilhil.
He looks at everyone in the room, as if to ask for permission to answer the call.
[Magister Chang]: Go ahead.
Wysaq taps on his badge, and a full-body hologram of Magister Gilhil appears on it.
[Wysaq]: H-Hello, Magister.
[Magister Gilhil]: Status report?
[Wysaq]: Ah, well... that's kinda... uh, complicated. The medic who was assigned to patch Psychobos up experimented on him, and...
He turns his badge around to show Servantis to Magister Gilhil, whose eyes widen.
[Magister Gilhil]: Let me speak to the Magister in charge.
Wysaq hands his badge over to Magister Chang.
[Magister Chang]: Magister Gilhil, Magister Chang. Sorry for the hold-up. I sincerely had no idea Servantis was capable of doing this.
[Magister Gilhil]: I find it difficult to believe that you didn't suspect anything about your subordinate before today.
[Magister Chang]: He was careful.
[Magister Gilhil]: Then why would he choose now to be reckless?
[Max]: You may be on to something, Magister Gilhil. Notice how the door was unlocked when we came in?
Magister Chang turns to look at Servantis.
[Magister Chang]: What are you playing at?
Servantis merely smirks. The door opens and Adriel comes running in with a Null Void Projector, not bothering to close the door. He walks up to Magister Chang and hands him the Null Void Projector.
[Magister Gilhil]: Arrest him and take him in for questioning.
He hands Wysaq's badge back to him and raises his right arm, aiming the Null Void Projector at Servantis. Everyone else steps back, towards the left back corner of the room.
[Magister Gilhil]: I'm warning you. Don't send him to the Null Void. Not yet. We need to be smart about this.
[Magister Chang]: No, whatever he's trying to pull is a trick. He wants us to think he has something planned in the Null Void so we won't send him there, but he'll escape the second we lead him out of the room. I can't have that.
Magister Chang presses the trigger, firing out a red portal behind Servantis. He simply stands still, smiling, and is sucked into the portal within seconds. The portal slowly shrinks, before disappearing altogether.
[Magister Gilhil]: Are you dense? I specifically told you to take him in for questioning! Now, we don't know what he was really up to.
Magister Chang hands the Null Void Projector to Adriel and yanks Wysaq's badge away from him, looking at Magister Gilhil's hologram in the eye.
[Magister Chang]: That's hypocritical, considering you told us to send Psychobos to the Null Void after tending to his injuries.
[Magister Gilhil]: He already got a fair trial and still went against interstellar law. The Galactic Court gave us the okay to send him to the Null Void.
Magister Chang stays silent for a few seconds, defeated.
[Magister Chang]: I'm the Magister of this base and this planet. Sending him to the Null Void got rid of a disobedient subordinate and a possible future threat and that's all that matters.
[Magister Gilhil]: You want to compare ranks? (scoffs) I'm the Magister of this sector, Chang. Dozens of planets under my watch, including yours. I'm your boss, no matter how detached you are from the rest of the galaxy's Plumbers. You just disobeyed a direct order. You're lucky I have more important things to do right now than deal with you. Get someone competent to see to Psychobos and send him to the Null Void when he regains consciousness. Magister Gilhil out.
Magister Chang carelessly throws the badge to the ground and walks towards the door. Wysaq bends over to pick it up.
[Magister Chang]: (grumbles softly) Filthy alien.
Having heard that, Lal'Ek glares at him, upset.
[Lal'Ek]: Got a problem with aliens?
Magister Chang stops at the doorway, but doesn't turn around.
[Magister Chang]: Only when they get in my way.
[Max]: What's going on? What did he say?
[Lal'Ek, keeping her gaze on Magister Chang]: 'Filthy alien'.
[Adriel]: You didn't have a problem with Servantis experimenting on Psychobos, even though you said all that stuff about him being another living being. You were mad at him just because he disobeyed you!
[Max]: Sir, are you... okay?
Magister Chang closes his eyes and grits his teeth.
[Magister Chang]: Graveyard shift, Tennyson and Albright.
Max walks up behind him and puts his right hand on Magister Chang's left shoulder.
[Max]: Sir, we're just worried about you.
Magister Chang turns his head slightly to face Max.
[Magister Chang, gritting his teeth]: Graveyard shift.
He yanks his shoulder from Max's hand and walks away. Everyone left in the room looks at each other, at a loss for words.
We see a forest with various types of trees dotting the area. There is hardly any light around as it is almost the middle of the night. The camera zooms in and we see Adriel in a Plumber suit, with a belt on his waist with many pockets as well as a few hooks, with one of them holding a standard Plumber blaster. There is a tracker on his left wrist and a jetpack on his back. He is leaning against a tree, carrying a small grey box in his right hand. A loud whirring sound is heard and Adriel looks up, noticing a medium-sized silver spaceship with large wings descending from above. His eyes follow the spaceship as it lands on a few trees a few feet away from him, crushing them. Support beams come down from the ship, followed by a ramp. A younger-looking Bubble Helmet walks down it, carrying Otto in his left hand and a grey Null Void Projector in his right hand.
[Adriel, running towards the ship]: Otto?
[Otto]: Why, of course.
[Adriel]: I was beginning to think you wouldn't show.
[Otto]: You must forgive me. It's not every day a Plumber wants to buy alien tech, especially not something as valuable as a Null Void Projector. I almost thought this was a set-up.
[Adriel]: It's not, trust me. If this was a set-up. you'd be surrounded and your ship would be seized.
[Otto]: Good to know. (clears throat) So, what made you want to dabble in the art of trading tech?
[Adriel]: Circumstances. I need to go to the Null Void.
[Otto]: Ah, yes, about that... Normally, I would simply make the trade and be on my merry way, but in this case, I'd like to offer you some advice. Keep your Taydens and leave. Forget about going into that place.
[Bubble Helmet]: It's not worth your Taydens, time or sanity. A puny human like you would get eaten as soon as you step into the Null Void, even with all your fancy weapons. No offense, puny human.
[Adriel]: Is it really as terrible as people say it is?
[Otto]: My boy, it's much, much worse.
[Adriel]: Still, there's something I need to take care of. Someone I need to see.
[Otto]: Oh, well. We tried. It was nice knowing you.
Bubble Helmet looks down at Otto, who nods. He hands Adriel the Projector, and Adriel gives him the black box. Holding the box in his right hand, Bubble Helmet looks down and flicks the box open with his thumb, revealing it to be full of Taydens.
[Adriel]: What? Don't trust me?
Bubble Helmet closes the box and looks up, facing Adriel.
[Bubble Helmet]: Just needed to be sure. Then again, a con knows a con. You don't look anything like one.
Adriel frowns, slightly angry.
[Adriel]: Good thing I have a conscience, then.
Bubble Helmet scoffs and rolls his eyes.
[Bubble Helmet]: Spare me the goody two-shoes shtick.
Adriel opens his mouth to speak, but is interrupted by Otto.
[Otto]: Solid state! Well, we'll be on our way now. Goodbye, my boy!
[Bubble Helmet]: You're gonna die.
[Otto]: On the fairly nonexistent chance that you manage to get out, much less survive, I look forward to doing business with you again someday.
Adriel nods and Bubble Helmet turns around and walks up the ship's ramp, now holding Otto with both of his hands. He walks into the ship and out of view as its ramp and support beams retract. It powers up with a whirring sound and rises into the sky. Adriel watches intently as it gets higher and further away, disappearing from his view. Adriel looks away from the ship and focuses on the Null Void Projector in his hand. He grips it tightly, exhales sharply and holds his arm out, with the Projector at eye level. He presses the trigger and a red portal forms.
[Adriel, in his head]: Here goes nothing.
He sprints and jumps into the portal. The camera lingers on it for a few seconds as it shrinks before disappearing.
We get a fast panning shot of the Null Void as the camera moves to the right before it stops on a large rock platform. A red portal opens and Adriel steps through it. It closes behind him as he looks at his surroundings; rock platforms galore with no sign of life in sight. He latches the Null Void Projector to his belt.
[Adriel, in his head]: More desolate than I thought it'd be.
He runs towards the edge of the platform and jumps off. He keeps falling for a few seconds, before his jetpack activates and slows his descent. He flies upwards, struggling to keep his balance in the air. He passes the platform he was on earlier, rising higher. He then flies forward, passing many rock platforms. Suddenly, he hears a screeching sound. Startled, he frantically looks around for the source of the sound. A shadow begins to cast over him, before he looks up and sees a Null Guardian flying right at him from above.
He moves out of the way and unlatches his blaster from his belt. As the Null Guardian dives towards where Adriel just was, Adriel fires out a few blasts at the Null Guardian, who ignores the blasts and heads towards him. He turns around and flies upwards, but suddenly gets stuck. His jetpack sputters out flame as Adriel tries his hardest to fly. He looks down and sees one of the Null Guardian's tentacles around his left leg.
[Adriel]: Oh, come on!
The Null Guardian grabs the blaster from Adriel's hand with another tentacle, before throwing it down the endless void.
He looks down at the view below him, gulping.
[Adriel]: It's a long way down.
He opens a small pocket on his belt and takes out a small Sound Wave Grenade, a silver and red dart-shaped object. The Null Guardian tries to use its free tentacle to grab the Sound Wave Grenade, but Adriel lifts it above his head and throws it right above the Null Guardian's teeth. It emits a loud whirring sound, causing the Null Guardian to let go of Adriel's leg and writhe in pain, screeching loudly. Adriel looks at the Null Guardian sympathetically, before turning around and flying off at top speed. He turns his head slightly to look at the Null Guardian one last time. He then faces what's in front of him. As he flies past many rock platforms, he notices more aliens on them. One of them, a blue Havok Beast, growls at Adriel, with the latter ignoring him, shifting to the left slightly to distance himself from the platforms. A gargly male voice suddenly breaks the silence.
[Male Voice]: Human!
The camera rises to show an orange humanoid alien with one green eye and two wings landing on Adriel from above. His jetpack flutters as he flies out of control. The alien grabs Adriel by his right arm and rises into the air at a high speed.
[Alien]: It's been so long since I've had a decent human. You're a little too skinny for my tastes, but you'll have to do.
[Adriel]: I'm nobody's meal, ugly.
With his free hand, he opens one of the pockets on his belt and grabs a small spherical device with many small holes and a red button on it. He closes his eyes, holds his arm out and presses the button. Grey smoke seeps out through the holes, blinding the alien.
[Alien]: Hey! I can't...
Gripping Adriel even tighter, the alien awkwardly flies towards a large rock platform, landing on his front and throwing Adriel in front of him, causing him to release the device from his hand. The alien rubs his eye, groaning. Adriel gets up and, just as he's about to lift off the ground, the alien grabs his right leg, causing him to trip and fall. The alien rises to his feet and dangles him above the edge of the platform upside down.
[Alien]: I usually like to eat humans off the bone, but you're more of a pest than I expected. I might just let gravity do all the work and turn you into mash.
Adriel tries to reach for his belt with his right hand, but the alien grabs his wrist.
[Alien]: You sure like your fancy gadgets.
Still holding Adriel by the leg, the alien uses his free hand to rip a chunk of his jetpack from his back, causing sparks to fly. The alien throws the jetpack chunk over the ledge, then tears Adriel's belt, throwing it, as well as the weapons attached to it, away as well.
[Adriel, squirming]: The Null Void Projector! I needed that!
He tries to throw some punches at the alien, who moves his head to avoid them.
[Alien]: (scoffs) Pathetic.
He squeezes Adriel's leg, producing some cracking sounds.
[Adriel]: (loudly) AAAAAH!
He breathes heavily, trying to draw his focus away from the pain. The alien grins devilishly as he lets go of Adriel's leg, causing him to fall into the void below. We see through his eyes as he passes many rock platforms on his way down. He keeps opening and closing his eyes as his breathing slows down. His vision begins to become blurry as he starts to lose consciousness. He sees what seems to be a large lake of brown water coming into view. Suddenly, a grey blur arrives from the left side of the screen, picking Adriel up. He closes his eyes for a few seconds. When he opens his eyes again, he sees a purple humanoid figure in front of him.
[Purple Figure]: Just hold on.
Adriel closes his eyes, groaning in pain. The screen turns black for a few seconds. When Adriel opens his eyes again, he is looking at a bluish-grey ceiling. He turns to the side to see the purple figure from earlier sitting by the bed on a chair. He has red eyes and is wearing a black armored suit. He has a pincer for a left hand. The camera returns to normal view as Adriel sits up, looking around. There is a white blanket over his lower body. He is in a small room with a single bed in the middle, with four grey walls surrounding him. There is an end table next to the bed, and a door opposite the bed that blends in with the walls.
[Adriel]: Where am I?
He squints as he studies the figure closely, before his eyes widen.
[Servantis, grinning]: It's been some time, Adriel. I'm impressed that you still recognize me.
[Adriel]: You look the same, mostly. You're just crabbier. (pauses) Physically, I mean.
[Servantis]: It took some time for the mutation to take full effect. I may look less appealing, but I'm still alive, and that's all that matters.
[Adriel, holding his left hand to his head]: What happened? I remember being attacked by some... orange alien. He threw me down the void and I guess I must've lost consciousness. Next thing I knew, well...
He gestures at the room with both of his hands before putting them down.
[Servantis]: Fortunately, I was out for air when I heard your screams. I saved you and brought you here. Unfortunately, your leg is broken, so I'd suggest remaining here for the next few days. Try not to move too much. This begs the question, however... what exactly are you doing in the Null Void in the first place?
[Adriel]: Well, I was planning on getting you out of here. I had a Null Void Projector on me, but the alien from earlier got rid of it.
Servantis' eyes widen, before they narrow again and he looks to the side.
[Servantis]: I- I appreciate the offer, but I don't want to get out of the Null Void. I'm perfectly fine staying here.
[Servantis]: I meant what I said when that fool Chang fired me. My skills were wasted on Earth. I've been a lot more productive here. Besides, even if you did have the Projector, you wouldn't be able to get out. Think about it. The Null Void is supposed to be a prison. Once you're in, you're not usually meant to get out.
[Adriel, hanging his head]: I spent the last year or so trading Taydens just so I could get in here to get you out. Really stinks to know that I got conned. (shakes head) Guess I'm stuck here.
Servantis turns to face him.
[Servantis]: Does Chang know you're here?
[Adriel, raising his head]: He was fired not long after you were.
Servantis smirks, clearly pleased.
[Adriel]: Anyway, I saved up my vacation days so I could come here, but I guess it doesn't really matter now that I'm stranded here.
He looks around the room, a bit confused.
[Adriel]: Speaking of 'here', you didn't answer my original question. Where exactly am I?
The camera shows a close-up of Servantis' face as he smiles. We are then shown an exterior shot of where Adriel is; a cluster of buildings surrounded by a circular blue wall on a large asteroid with a pointy end.
[Servantis, off-screen]: Welcome to one of the few Incarcecon branches in the Null Void.
We see Adriel a few minutes later on a hoverchair, a device similar to a wheelchair but without wheels, next to Servantis as they are strolling around a large open area in the prison, where many prisoners wearing grey collars are standing in groups, talking to each other. Adriel's right leg is covered in a white cast and he is wearing a light blue T-shirt and black pants. Robot guards are also standing around, holding blasters. Servantis lowers his head to look at Adriel.
[Servantis]: Is the hoverchair comfortable enough?
[Adriel]: Oh, yeah, it's fine.
[Servantis]: It'll help speed up your recovery.
[Adriel]: Hey, that's great! Thanks! Thanks for the extra clothes, too.
[Servantis]: What are friends for?
Adriel and Servantis stop walking/hovering, taking some time to watch the prisoners from afar.
[Adriel]: They don't seem to be bothered by my presence. I thought humans were a delicacy among aliens.
[Servantis, turning his head to face Adriel]: Not all aliens consider us- I mean, you, food. There's also the fact that, for all intents and purposes, I more or less run the place. If they want to get to you, they'll have to get by me.
[Adriel]: You run this place? Wait, more importantly, you don't consider yourself human?
Servantis tilts his upwards and puts a finger to his chin.
[Servantis]: Well, I suppose I still am part human biologically, but I haven't thought of myself as one since, well...
He holds up his pincer, opening and closing it.
[Servantis]: Thanks to my mutation, I know things that most humans don't. I feel like a completely different person.
Servantis ponders for a moment, staring at the group of prisoners in front of him.
[Servantis]: Follow me.
He walks towards the group of prisoners. Adriel looks at him for a few seconds before following him from behind. As Servantis walks through the crowd, a few prisoners move aside to make way for him. Servantis stops moving and looks around him. He focuses on a female Lepidopterran wearing a dark blue suit engaging in a conversation with a Dagger Alien.
[Servantis]: Slifec, to me.
The Lepidopterran/Slifec turns around and walks towards Servantis. The camera is positioned in front of her as she walks towards Servantis, revealing that her wings are grey and shaped differently, similar to that of a Null Guardian's. Adriel catches up to Servantis just as Slifec does. Servantis gestures at Slifec.
[Servantis]: Adriel, this is Slifec, a Lepidopterran. I believe you've dealt with her kind before.
[Servantis]: Slifec here was born without wings. When I discovered this place and took over, I put my knowledge to good use and combined her DNA with that of a Null Guardian's. Observe.
Slifec flaps her wings and hovers a few inches off the ground. Adriel looks at her, smiling. Slifec lands.
[Servantis]: That'll be all, Slifec.
Slifec nods, bows, and walks off. Servantis bends down and puts a hand on Adriel's shoulder.
[Servantis]: You see, I believe that combining DNA would help cure diseases or eliminate weaknesses. Is Hayley Jimenez still around?
[Adriel]: The one who keeps covering up because she's cold? The one who's always stuck doing the graveyard shift?
[Servantis]: Yes, except she was never cold. She's half-Opticoid. She covers up to hide her extra eyes.
[Adriel, eyes widening]: That... explains a lot. (pauses) Wait, wait. You're telling me an Opticoid and a human... (shudders)
Servantis removes his hand from Adriel's shoulder and straightens his posture.
[Servantis]: It was an experiment to see what a natural hybrid between the two species would be like.
[Adriel]: That's messed up on so many levels.
[Servantis]: Be that as it may, my point is that, as an Opticoid hybrid, Hayley has 360-degree vision. If she didn't cover up all the time, she'd be able to see everything around her, giving her an edge over any other regular human.
[Adriel]: I'm guessing she's keeping it a secret so she doesn't get ridiculed for having eyes all over her body.
[Servantis]: Precisely. You know how hostile some people can be towards aliens. Anyway, that's not the only example of alien DNA eliminating human weakness. In theory, combining human DNA with that of a Methanosian would allow said hybrid to regenerate from any attack. On a less important scale, combining human DNA and Merlinisapien DNA would enable them to hide zits or pimples.
[Adriel]: Well, that's interesting and all, but I have a question. How do you know so much about aliens? I don't remember you treating that many aliens when you were a Plumber medic.
[Servantis]: Oh, I had to learn about as many species as possible in case I had to treat their injuries.
[Adriel, waving his hands]: Okay, okay, but what exactly do you plan to do here? All I've gotten from you so far is non-answers. What does combining alien DNA really have to do with you and why'd you do it to yourself? I know curing yourself wasn't just it. Why'd you pick Cerebro-whatever DNA in particular?
[Servantis]: Now that I've been fired, I suppose it doesn't really matter if you know.
Adriel raises an eyebrow. Servantis looks to his left, then to his right, suddenly conscious about his surroundings.
[Servantis]: Come with me.
The scene cuts to an establishing shot of a tall dark blue tower overlooking the entire facility a few minutes later. We see a light blue flash of light moving up it at a high speed. The camera then shows the crow's nest at the top of the tower, with an elevator at the back of it. Its doors open with a ding and Adriel hovers out with his hoverchair, followed by Servantis. Both of them make their way to the ledge as the elevator doors close. Servantis rests his arms over the ledge, looking at the facility from above.
[Servantis]: I had an ulterior motive for joining the Plumbers.
[Adriel]: To experiment on aliens.
Servantis avoids Adriel's gaze, a guilty look plastered on his face.
[Servantis]: Not for the sake of it, mind you. I wanted to know as much as I could about all the different species out there. At first, it was like a game to me. All I wanted to do was to read through the ALDB or study the physiologies of the alien scum the other Plumbers would often bring to headquarters, but the more I read about their abilities or witnessed them firsthand, I realized the potential they had for helping people, including myself. One day, the Plumbers brought a Cerebrocrustacean to base.
[Adriel]: I already know what happens next. I was there, remember?
Servantis shakes his head.
[Servantis]: It wasn't Psychobos. This happened before you joined the Plumbers.
Adriel raises an eyebrow, but continues listening to Servantis intently.
[Servantis]: At that point, I didn't know what a Cerebrocrustacean was, so I did some research and I had the most brilliant idea to combine my DNA with that of a Cerebrocrustacean to give me the increased brainpower to conduct my experiments with minimal mistakes. I even planned to leave the Plumbers after that, because I would no longer need them. I admit, I was reckless. It cost me my a great deal. The Cerebrocrustacean DNA did not properly merge with my human DNA, and I started going haywire, as one would describe it. My cells were degenerating. I didn't realize it until sometime later. By then, a few years had passed and I was running out of time. So, I explored the extranet and I found someone who was tracking down a Cerebrocrustacean.
Adriel's neutral expression switches to a surprised one as he blinks in disbelief.
[Adriel]: Those alien Plumbers who came down that day... you're talking about one of them, aren't you?
Servantis looks at Adriel from the corner of his eye, nodding.
[Servantis]: Lal'Ek was willing to go against Plumber code for a few Taydens. The rest of the story should be common knowledge to you.
He turns to face Adriel, who looks ahead in deep thought.
[Adriel]: Sorry, I'm still trying to process this. Back up a bit. If she only needed the money, why did she go through the trouble of becoming a Plumber? Why not take the easy route and become a tech dealer or something?
[Servantis]: You'd be surprised how corrupt some Plumbers can be. Lal'Ek joined the Plumbers for the sole purpose of going against code and earning Taydens like she did with Psychobos.
[Adriel]: She... She shouldn't have gotten away with it. I- I get that you needed her for Psychobos, but... I don't know, I guess it just disappoints me that corrupt people like her get to stay Plumbers without being dealt with, but at the same time, I understand that some people have to break the rules when the situation calls for it.
[Servantis]: Like you.
[Adriel, defensively]: That's different. The only reason I did it was to get here so I could get you out. Still, you wouldn't even be here if you didn't experiment on yourself in the first place.
Servantis puts a hand on Adriel's shoulder.
[Servantis]: I know my reasons may be shaky and my plan may seem far-fetched now, but trust me, Adriel, everything will be better in the end. The end justifies the means.
Adriel lets out a long sigh.
[Adriel]: I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, at least for now, if only because you're my friend. If you were anyone else, I'd put a stop to this.
[Servantis]: That's all I ask.
[Adriel]: So, uh, since I'm stuck here for the rest of my life, what do you guys do here for fun?
[Servantis]: Who said you were stuck here for the rest of your life?
[Adriel]: You told me that people aren't meant to get out.
[Servantis]: Ah, but that doesn't mean they can't. This facility has a room with a Null Void transporter. Once you get better, I can send you back.
Adriel beams as he puts his right hand on his chest, sighing in relief.
We get an elevated view of a small room built inside a cave with a light blue floor. The walls are made of rock with a light blue substance dotting it. There is a large circular platform in the middle of the room that takes up a lot of space. Robot guards stand around the platform, blasters in hand.
- Max Tennyson
- Magister Prior Gilhil
- Magister Chang
- Adriel Albright
- Adriel Albright
- Dr. Psychobos
- Bubble Helmet