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Part ???: Party Time

A multi-colored rift opened, and out of it fell five anthromorphs. Schnee abruptly fell and hurt her head in the process. "Ugh... gosh-darned bunny freak," she muttered. She looked around the area - it looked a lot like a concert hall, with blue walls and blue and white lights. There were black tables organized around the room, but despite its casual appearance, it gave off a dark aura.

"-tear off your head and make you into bunny rabbit flambe!" Sneer had landed a bit away from Schnee and had finished her threat. She landed flat on her back and had twisted into an upright sitting position, rubbing her back with her left hand. "Uh... where the heck are we?"

Vendeta uses his psychokinesis to steady himself as he falls out of the portal.“It honestly looks a bit like Kryte,” He said. “If they get a hold of the Chronosabre...”

Lena, however, fell flat on her face. She got up groaning, muttering some German to herself.

Elias flopped on his face as well. "Ow! Ng... that hurt...."

"—t's going on?" said Tranq, as he fell out of the portal. Like Lena and Elias, he fell on his front; however, since he had his shield extended in front of him, he fell on that, making an extremely loud clanging noise as the shield hit the floor.

Elias stood up slowly, groaning. "I'm going to have a headache later..."

Suddenly, a beautiful sound came from the stage. It sounded like piano playing - very skilled piano playing at that. A pillar rose from the center of the stage, and it carried a three-tailed cat with a brown bowlcut hair style with bangs, scratched-out ears and blue, silky clothing beautifully playing "Ode to Joy." When she saw finished, she hopped off the pillar and took a bow.

"Hello, everyone! My name is Scratch, and I'll be the one who's challenging you today! Now, everyone, I'll give you guys separate categories, and you'll have to decide how to solve my puzzle! If you don't... you die!" Scratch bubbly said with a wink.

She pointed to Vendeta. "Hey, you," she said, another smaller pillar rising from the stage, carrying a violin. "Before you start, here are some beginning questions. First, when was 'A Mozart Melody' first played?" You could hear a clock ticking in the background.

Tranq pulled himself into a standing position, quietly moved over to Elias, and whispered, "Hey, do you think there's any chance that we can reason with her and try to find some way not to die if we get our answers wrong?"

"I do not think so," Elias whispered back. Then he grinned maliciously. "I have an idea. If we get an answer wrong, then maybe we should ask her a question of our own before she can kill us. If she gets it wrong, then we'll have beaten her at her own game!"

Tranq nodded slightly. "Makes sense," he whispered.

Elias looked at Tranq and gave him a genuine smile. "Thank you."

How do I answer a question if I haven’t been on Earth for a decade? Vendeta thinks to himself. “I don’t know” he says, his hands glowing “1806 or something?”

"You're pretty close, dude," Sneer answered him before snarling at Scratch. " 'A Mozart Melody' is usually referred to as 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', which was first published in 1761. I'm not sure when it was first played though, sorry."

Scratch smiled, ecstatic someone knew something about music. "Ooh~ We got a special genius over here! A round of applause, please!" She took a remote from behind her and pushed a button, causing there to be a laugh track in the background. "Oops, wrong one." She pressed it again, this time with applause and a party hat falling on Sneer's head.

Scratch continued to grin as she glared at Vendeta with a deathly face. "You don't appreciate music all that much, do you? Well, guess what?!" She pressed a white button on the remote, causing a "Dunce" hat to fall on Vedeta, and as it landed on him, he was surrounded by a blue, power-limiting barrier. "Now, wait for your punishment."

Elias just frowned. "What's the matter with her?"

Schnee facepalmed. Ooh, this isn't looking all too good, she thought. We're all gonna be in trouble if we don't figure out a way to-

Her thoughts were interrupted when Scratch looked at her next. "Okay, you, white hedgehog with upward spikes and weird costume! I'd like you to play the 'H' key for me, if you would." The piano's pillar lowered, and Schnee flinched as she walked up to the stage.

Okay, I'm much more of a hella great singer than a pianist, so lemme see... if this key is G... oh well. What do I have to lose besides my life? Schnee slowly pressed the white key that was after the first G, and a party hat fell on her head, streamers raining down.

Scratch scratched her scratchy spot on her chin, impressed. "Ooh, this is new. I thought You'd get a Dunce hat for sure." Scratch shrugged as she pointed to where Sneer was. "Go over there, Snowflake. You get to live another day!" Schnee, knowing that it wouldn't be wise to try and challenge her, simply jumped over to Sneer.

"This cat girl is insane," she whispered. "Any ideas for taking her? I'm not nearly as powerful as my allies, so I guess we'll have to use our brains for this one." Schnee rubbed her temples, annoyed. "I wonder what the rest of the group is even doing right now. They're probably destroying rock monsters with a new form right now."

(Schnee had no idea. -Max)

Scratch then faced Tranq. "Hey, shield penguin-hedgehog thingy! Sing the lyrics of... hmm... which song..." Scratch was distracted as Schnee twirled her staff around and charged at her. Scratch quickly spin-kicked Schnee back to Sneer with an energy-charged leg, not even batting an eye. "Oh! 'Call Me Maybe' by Carly Rae Jepsen! If you can sing eight lines, you'll pass! Oh, this'll be fun!" Scratch pressed a yellow button on the remote, and popcorn rose from a pillar which Scratch stuck her tongue at. "Ugh, salt? I wanted butter, stupid thing!" Scratch pressed the button again, and a stick of butter fell on her head. "...Whatever."

Sneer looked up at the party hat on her head and shrugged. "Well, at least we're safe." She looked over at Vendeta. "I'm kinda scared for him though. Don't try anything stupid." She then pulled the party hat, trying to get it off. "Ugh, what is it with these things? Last time I wore one was at my sister's birthday party, and I couldn't get it off for anything!"

Elias frowned again. He had to think of something fast. If Tranq got this wrong, they would surely die. "What kind of music related question would stump her? Hm..."

Vendeta glances up at the hat It's not to bad, actually he thinks Better than the old Guardian gear... He then remembers the conversation from earlier about asking her a question. He looks over at Elias. "Come over here." He says "I have an idea."

Elias walked over. "Yes?"

"We need to find a question about music she wouldn't know, right?" Vendeta says "Do you think she'd know about music from outer space?"

Meanwhile, Tranq was trying to figure out if his challenge was doable, since he wasn't a very good singer. However, as he ran the song through his head, he remembered that there was a fairly tuneless part near the beginning, which was, coincidentally, eight lines. After taking a few seconds to remember the words, he turned to Scratch and said, "OK, let me try." He moved his shield to his back, cleared his throat, and sang:

"I threw a wish in the well

Don't ask me I'll never tell

I looked at you as it fell

And now you're in my way

I trade my soul for a wish

Pennies and dimes for a kiss

I wasn't looking for this

But now you're in my way"

Tranq abruptly stopped singing and asked cautiously, "Did I pass?"

"I doubt it," Elias told Vendeta. "If Tranq doesn't get this right, we have to be ready to stump this lady good."

Scratch laughed, pressed a button on her remote, and streamers fell on Tranq. "Heh heh, nice." She then pointed at Elias. "You! You're next! Do eight more lines, stat! I'll try to fix this darned thing," she said, rapidly pressing buttons on the remote.

"Er, all right. No promises it'll sound good." Elias took a deep breath and started.

"Your stare was holding

Ripped jeans

Skin was showing

Hot night

Wind was blowing

Where you think you're going baby?

Hey I just met you

And this is crazy."

"Eight lines, even though that next stanza is incomplete," Elias pointed out. "Now... for you. You asked us musical questions. You had us do challenges. Perhaps we should challenge you next. With a question. What do you think? You game?"

Scratch was laughing at first, but when Elias asked his question, she frowned. "Erm.... Just wondering, oh dear Grandmaster... is that your final answer?" Scratch raised one of her fingers, retracted its claws, and was prepared to push a button on the remote.

"But here's my number...

so call me maybe...

It's hard to look right...

at you, baby...

but here's my number...

so call me maybe..."

Sneer cringed as she softly sang the last stanzas of the chorus, and she sighed once she finished. Her face turned slightly red, and she pulled again at the party hat. "You better have a good question for her, echidna."

"That's where Mr. Vendeta comes in," Elias said. "You said something about space music? Ask her about that."

(Yeah, this part is probably gonna be very tricky... - Julia)

Vendeta asked, “Scratch, what planet is the composer of Corellia’s 10th symphony from?”

Scratch continued to ignore them. "I said politely, is that your final answer?" Scratch was looking happy at first, but now, all her face showed to the group was immense disappointment and disgust as she glared at Vendeta. "YOU! YOU ALREADY HAD YOUR CHANCE SO BE QUIET! I don't need you telling the others incorrect things, now~"

"He wasn't answering you, moron. He was asking you a question," Sneer grunted with disdain. "Sheesh, why did we get stuck with a mutant cat anyway? I'd take bunny britches any day over her."

"Yes, it's my final answer!" Elias snarled, suddenly very angry. "Maybe if we get out of this alive, I should go to the most deserted place in the universe and become an old hermit or something! Then I won't have to deal with crap like this ever again!"

Then he took a breath and continued more calmly. "You may have an advantage, but know this, lady: I have been recording this whole incident with my cybernetic arm." Elias pointed to a button on his arm as he spoke. "Kill any of us, and this goes viral. And you're going to have to explain to Luna just how much of a coward you are. How you wouldn't answer one piddly little question. She may never trust you with such an important assignment again. Is that what you want? Hm? Is it?!"

Scratch looked immensely disappointed as she sadly pushed a white button on her remote. A "Dunce" hat fell on Elias' head, and a power-limiting barrier was surrounding him also. "I'm very saddened by your lack of comprehension, Mister Tantrum. That rant is not included in the song. You should pay closer attention," she said, fiddling with her claws. "Besides, Luna wanted me to kill you all right away. I'm having mercy on you, I shouldn't have to answer a measly question." She was about to ask Lena a question, but she stopped. "I suppose you can all have a recess," she said again, pointing to a door on the left.

Schnee grumbled. Like hell I'm gonna follow this loser's orders anymore. Schnee grabbed her staff and prepared to lunge at Scratch again, but she realized that a recess would be a good time to form a plan. Faking a cheery tone, she said to the group, "Yeah, guys! Let's go have a break! Wouldn't wanna make Miss Scratch mad now, do we?"

Sneer scoffed and started muttering under her breath. "Who cares about making her mad? If she's ticked I couldn't care either way. Although it would give us a chance to figure out how to get out of here or stump her." She faked a grin and placed her left arm around Schnee. "Great idea! I bet Grandmaster and the shield kid are tired from singing anyhow! And all these questions make my brain hurt."

Elias tapped the button on his arm as they spoke. It transmitted a signal carrying the recording of the entire conversation they had with Scratch. "Pfft! Mister Tantrum indeed. Her loss. I wasn't bluffing. She is stubborn, more so than a mule." He ripped the Dunce hat off his head and sighed as he tossed it to the side. "Hell, she is even more unstable than I am... and Cooper thought I was insane. Ha!" He glanced over at Sneer and Schnee and said, "Your fake optimism will not get us anywhere."

Tranq turned to the others and said in a somewhat soothing tone, "All right, calm down, everyone. No matter how mad we may be at Scratch here, I think we all want to go to recess right now, so let's do that, and then we can explode there." Tranq then started heading towards the door that Scratch had motioned to.

(Question: is everyone going to recess? Because last I saw, both Elias and Vendeta are in forcefields. - Julia)

(Well, the forcefields only hinder their powers, so they should still be able to move around, right? -Reens)

(I would imagine so. -Wiki)

(Thanks. Sorry I got confused. - Julia)

Elias nodded silently and followed Tranq. Vendeta followed them as well.

Lena sighed and started to follow the three.

The room that the group walked into was colorful and loud. Pop music with annoyingly catchy tunes was playing on what looked like a deformed radio. It was a large room, with cyan-colored walls, anime posters splattered across the area, and a bunch of chairs.

Schnee sat down in one of them, annoyed but still trying to be helpful. Hm... it's always the headstrong people who find the solution that allows everyone to succeed, right? Schnee sighed. "This sucks. This sucks a lot. We got some mutant fox who's taunting us, and we need to grab her neck and-ARGHH!!"

"Hey, hey, there's no need to shout," Sneer sighed, rubbing one ear. "She's a cat... not a fox. And can you not shout so loud? I'm half deaf in one ear and I don't wanna go deaf in the other one!"

Elias rubbed the side of his head as well. "Now I'm half deaf too..."

While the others were speaking, Tranq sat down in one of the chairs and looked around the room, observing the decorations. He winced when Schnee screamed, but stopped himself from speaking. "I did say that I expected people to explode here," he thought.

Schnee started pacing back and forth, having calmed down a bit. Se scratched her chin, confused. Hmm... Maybe I should give Scratch a taste of her own medicine... Schnee jumped a 180, facing the group members again. "Okay, guys, we need ideas. My first one - Scratch doesn't seem to have a lot of patience for fools, so annoy her! Even if you're asked a question, answer it like a brat. At least, that's my idea." Schnee then shrugged.

Sneer rolled her eyes. "Is that it? That's all you got? You just wanna annoy the crap out of her some more, so she'll get even more ticked than she already is at us? It's not just bad answers and dunce hats here. She did say she could kill us cause Luna wants her to. Maybe instead of just annoying her, we appeal to her conscience whilst annoying her."

Meanwhile Elias walked over to the deformed radio that was playing tunes and smashed it with his fist. "I've had enough of music for one hour... and that's a first."

Then he walked back over to the group and sat down. "How do you propose we go about this?"

Tranq remained silent, thinking about what the group should do next.

“How about we see what she does next and then come up with a plan?” Vendeta suggested.

"Well, there are only two solutions - get on her good side like Miss Rainbow over here while making her confused, potentially making her give out to our side, or..." Schnee pumped her fists to her abdomen. "We could get her mad, making her reckless, and giving us a chance to escape this place."

"What if we tried both?" Elias suggested. "If getting on her good side doesn't work, then we have a back up- annoying her to her boiling point. Besides, she could be a potential ally... despite her insanity."

"I vote for Elias' plan," said Tranq, looking up at the rest of the group.

Lena took a short moment to think, then shrugged. "I am villing to try anything," she said in her somewhat thick accent.

Schnee shrugged. "Looks like a nearly unanimous decision." She then faced the door. "Should we wait until she calls us, or...?"

"Look, I don't care either way, so just do whatever you want," Sneer said with a huff. "If she goes along, fine. If not, fine."

"What's your problem?" Elias asked, suddenly annoyed.

Sneer looked at him. "My problem? Oh, I don't have any problem with your plan, Mr. High-and-Mighty! I'm just saying that in the long run, one villain fighting with us isn't much compared to the eleven, twelve with Xophtre, villains that want to take over all of our dimensions and enslave us for the rest of our lives! Unlike you, I have nothing to worry about! I already lost my sister and my home, so now I have nothing left! You have something to fight for. All I have... is guilt..."

"Please." Vendeta said "We've met in the past. I've seen you. You have a job, at least. You think you have nothing? You couldn't hold a candle to what I've lost, to the guilt I feel. And I'm still here and fighting. I'm not ranting about it like some kind of child. I'm carrying out my duty. I'm still helping the universe. You could do so much more but you're bogged down by your belief your life will always be a pile of ****. Well, here's some news for you: it doesn't have to be."

"Yeah, we met in the past, before my entire dimension was wiped out," Sneer corrected him bitterly. She grit her teeth together and sighed. "I got somebody killed... cause I'm a piece of crap... and all I've done since I've got here is whine and complain... and compare myself to others." She slumped in a chair near Tranq and laid her head on the table.

"Well, I've been a bit whiny myself lately," Elias admitted. "So welcome to the club. Besides... think about it. Luna can manipulate space-time, right? Maybe if we can survive this... we can capture her and make her bring your family back. I don't know if it's actually possible. But I've seen plenty of strange things over the years. Weirder things have happened in the universe."

Ugh... isn't she the girl that wasted Scarlet's time? Schnee growled at Sneer. "Hey, we've all lost something, I can tell. You're nothing special, so let's go with the echidna with the cool hair's plan. And listen closely, hedgehog. You're not going to do anything that will disrupt it, because if you do, we're all doomed. After we save the world, then you can go back to moaning! You can &%#*ing kill yourself right now, you think I care? I'm not all for the loss of a companion, but if you're only going to look out for yourself, you can go and be all buddy-buddy with Mutant Fox. If I lose my friends because some brat had a prolonged emo stage, you'll see what happens." Schnee then faced her group and started talking in her normal voice. "Okay, guys, Operation Suck It Up Until She Gets Really Out Of Control is a go!"

"Lot's of cursing today... not that I care." Elias frowned as he thought, then shrugged. "Right, lady. So... do we just barge on in there or do we wait until she calls us?"

Tranq raised his hand. "Wait, what's the plan again? I think there might have been some change in plans when I wasn't paying attention."

Elias sighed heavily, annoyed again. He was having a very hard time controlling his emotions right now. He really wanted to bash all of them until they begged for mercy. "Here's our plan: when we go in there, we try to get on what's-her-name's good side. If that fails, then we annoy the crap out of her while trying to find a way to escape."

Sneer raised her head off the table slightly. "Sounds great," she said deadpan, not wanting to fight with Schnee anymore. "I vote for just barging in there. We've wasted too much time already."

Oh hey, now everyone's agreed to the plan, so... "I think we have a unanimous decision now," said Tranq. "Let's do this, team!" he said, smiling.

Elias nodded silently. "I hate my life."

Schnee smiled as she led the group out the door. In the hall, Tina and Scratch were talking, with Scratch having a lot to say. "So, Revenge Rabbit comes up to my world and kills my entire race, the stupid hypocrite. I was happy with my family, and she takes it all away!"

Tina crossed her arms and shook her head. "Mmm-mm-mm. People are unbelievable. White is only with Luna so that when she's almost at her strongest, he steals the scepter from her to make her feel powerless. White and I go way back, so of course I'm joining."

Scratch giggled. "Aw~ Young love! When are you two gonna get married?" The kitsune said teasingly. Tina was about to answer, but she jerked her head to the heroes and Scratch regained her composure. Tina waved at the heroes, flew away, and left Scratch to deal with them.

Scratch's face was no-nonsense, but with a little sprinkle of joy underneath. "Everyone, now your mission is to have a dance competition... everyone except you." Scratch pointed at Lena. "You'll be playing the violin, since I missed you last time."

Schnee cursed underneath her breath. Darn it! Singing is my strong suit, but I suck at dancing!

Elias frowned. Dancing? He stunk at that too.

Tranq smiled. I'm good at this, he thought. This shouldn't be too hard...

"Uh, so, what kind of dancing are we doing, exactly?" Sneer asked, crossing her arms. "Do we pick or do you pick?"

Scratch smiled. "I do for each one of you. And you, blue hedgehog... are doing ballet."

Sneer's ears drooped. "Uh... ballet? Like, which type of ballet? Or, really, which ballet? I mean, there are so many different kinds to do. And, well, there are so many different stories that can be told through ballet! Like, do you want Swan Lake type ballet? Or the Red Shoes type ballet? Or the Nutcracker type ballet? There's the Classical ballet. Romantic ballet. Neoclassical ballet. Contemporary ballet. French method. Vaganova method. Cecchetti method. Bournonville method. Balanchine method. Royal Academy of Dance!" She paused and scratched her head. "... And I don't own a tutu."

Scratch scoffed, waving Sneer down. "You really think I'd ask a question I don't know the answer to? I'd like you to do a Vaganova Balachine mixture with the overall tune to be classical ballet." Popcorn fell from the ceiling, into Scratch's lap.

"Fine," Sneer said with a fake smile. "I'll just have to do it barefoot then." She took off her shoes and socks, leaving her feet bare. "I don't own any ballet slippers or a tutu, so this'll have to do. I'm a little rusty, so bear with me, okay?" She took a deep breath and sighed, standing on her toes. "Just let me know when I should start."

Scratch pressed a button on the remote, and ballad music started playing. "Begin."

Sneer took a slightly shaky bow before beginning. She then started of with a graceful leap and pirouette. She danced right with the music, taking the beats and keeping in time with them. Even though she hadn't danced in years, she felt herself oddly enjoying it, and not like she was fighting for her life with an insane mutated cat.

Scratch looked excited and bored simultaneously. "Oh, I was just hoping you'd mess up! My RozBots sure would like to have you along with the telekinetic and the echidna!" Scratch sighed. "Oh well, you pass." She then looked to Lena. "You! Think of an improv rap right now!"

Lena furrowed her eyebrows. "But you vanted me to play violin. Now you vant me to rap for you? Or do I have to do both?" She grew slightly frustrated, waiting for Scratch to answer her.

Sneer paused, putting her socks and shoes back on, before joining with the others. "Well, at least I passed. What the heck is a RozBot?" she asked, tugging at her ear.

"Something we don't want to have to deal with," said Tranq, then mentally facepalmed. "Sorry for the obviousness. Whatever they are, I'll try to make sure that they don' whatever unpleasant things they inevitably do." Tranq looked sheepish. "That was completely useless, wasn't it?"

Lena shook her head. “No... yes?” She thought for a moment. “Erm, I mean yes.”

Scratch looked frustrated when she realized that she'd contradicted herself. "Do both! Violin the piece 'Can-Can,' then rap about how you feel! Yeah!" Scratch regained her cool.

Elias walked over to Schnee and whispered, "So... how do we proceed with the plan? Because no one has done anything so far but comply with Scratch's orders and I'm not exactly the best at appealing to one's... better qualities. Plus I'm not very keen on being turned into fried Echidna."

Schnee growled. "Hey, you thought of the plan and I'm fixing it?! SMH, bruh! Anyway, she looks frustrated. Act like I was never here, okay?" Schnee then turned around and dashed to the side, deeper into the concert hall.

Elias let out a growl of his own. "I'm good at making plans," he muttered to himself, "not executing them!"

Lena groaned in annoyance. "So ein Mist! I don't know how to play the violin, much less the Can Can song..."

Just like that, Scratch lost her cool again, hissing with annoyance. "Just play anything, then!"

Lena sighed. "Vell, then. Hand me a violin." Scratch pressed a button, and the violin was sprung to Lena.

Lena grabbed the violin and started to play an off note mess. She then, on the top of her head, improvised a rap to go along with the "tune" she was playing.

I miss the old Lena, straight from the go Lena

Chopping up bots Lena, shopping at Big Lots Lena

I hate the new Lena, the bad mood Lena

The always rude Lena, drunk watching Fox News Lena

Lena stopped, cringing from the ridiculous rap she came up with.

Scratch sniffed, a tear coming from her eye. "That.... that was beautiful. Now, you may join your companions." Lena sighed in relief, walking back to the group.

Elias crossed his arms, still in a foul mood. And the rap did not help at all. "Whatever, lady." He stepped forward slightly and cleared his throat. This wouldn't be easy. "So... why are you doing this? Why are you working for Luna?"

Under her breath, Sneer growled in impatience. 'You really think just straight-up asking her is gonna do anything? What about the plan that you came up with, huh?! Or did you suddenly just forget all about it? Some Grandmaster you are, going off of a plan you created.' She stared daggers into the echidna's back. 'And where'd the other chick go?'

Elias glanced over at Sneer, as though he knew what she was thinking. He was half tempted to throw some insult at her, but decided not to. He looked back at Scratch. "I mean, Luna doesn't seem like the... generous type. That one brown hedgehog seems to work for her, and yet he's got a shock collar around his neck. Aren't you worried about the same thing happening to you, once you've outlived your... usefulness?" He was beginning to think he just made an idiotic move on his part. "Ngg... why do I even bother?"

Scratch was quiet for a bit, ignoring them, when she began to speak. "....Luna's a megalomaniac. She's crazy, insane, and a lunatic. I hate her guts, and I want to claw her entrails out as much as you all do. But she killed all of my people. Completely erased them all. I was the exception. She said that if I do her bidding for this, she'll bring them back. As much as I hate to say it, it looks like I'm a bad-"

Scratch was interrupted when two people above her, a white blur and a grey blur, fell from the ceiling. Scratch was crashed by them, and her remote fell off the stage, near the heroes. From the crash, Schnee, Tina and Scratch emerged, the first two going at each other.

"How can you be White's sister and be so reckless?!" Tina yelled at Schnee, though Schnee was chuckling, aggravating her. "What?!"

"You have something on your shirt," Schnee said. Tina looked downwards, and Schnee quickly got her staff out and hit Tina, knocking Tina's face into the ground. She then jumped off the stage and pressed a cyan button on the remote, fortunately freeing Vendeta and Elias from their fields. "Let's take this fight back, guys!"

"Well, at least someone's ready for action," Sneer said with a laugh. "C'mere, ya little cat freak!" She formed two fireballs and lunged in Scratch's direction. "No more ballet for you!"

"WAIT!" yelled Tranq, running after Sneer and trying to overtake her before she could reach Scratch. "Please don't attack Scratch unless she starts attacking us first, because right now, she's trying to help us, so she's on our side until further notice!"

Sneer paused, looking at Tranq. "And how exactly do you know she isn't just gonna betray us all in the next few seconds? She certainly didn't lift a finger to help us while she was making us do all those silly little contests before. What makes you think she's just gonna change her mind?"

"Well, she was just giving us all of this helpful information, but...let's check," said Tranq, stopping as well. He turned towards Scratch and said, "Hey, Scratch, if you're going to help us, step away from the console. I believe that you have it in you to help us, but we can't really trust you while you're standing next to that console which could, supposedly, kill us, so if you don't step away from the console in a few seconds, I don't think I can stop anyone from trying to hit you. So, are you with us?"

Elias watched the scene a moment, confused. Then he produced a spear of ice in his hands. "Okay, change of plans I guess. Probably a good thing anyway.."

Scratch didn't see Sneer's fireballs attack coming until the last second, and thinking she was going to be attacked, released a burst of fiery blue energy in the form of an explosion. When the smoke cleared, Scratch was seemingly paralyzed, seemingly not wanting to attack Sneer. "No matter how much I want Luna to die, you guys have to die first! Sorry only slightly sorry~" Scratch lunged at Sneer, a light-blue aura following her as she charged with her claws out.

Tina, seeing Scratch start retaliating, took out a gun and aimed it at Elias. "You're a Grandmaster, aren't you? It would be really disappointing if you got defeated by me, a bat with a gun. You should be at White's level, at least." Tina fired five bullets at Elias before flying into the air above him and flying downwards, trying to crash into him.

Elias quickly dodged. "That the best you can do?"

Schnee smiled, loving that the battle was starting, when she picked up the remote. She saw a red button. Ooh, I wanna see what this thing does! she thought before pushing it. Suddenly, three modified Gizoids (a purple one with fists, a red one with swords for arms, and a green one with cannons for arms) rose from the ground, the purple one going for Tranq, the green one going to attack Vendeta, and the red one charging at Schnee.

Schnee cursed and twirled her staff before changing it to Blade Mode, causing a short blade to pop out of the side. Schnee then spin-dashed at the Gizoid, but with its blade-arm it slapped her into a wall.

Tranq shrugged. "Okay..." he said. "Your loss, Scratch." Noticing the purple Gizoid coming at him, he tried to dodge around it, heading towards Scratch. I can't let the others get to her first, he thought. They'd probably kill her, which would be bad, especially since she could be useful...and besides, all we need to do is keep her away from the console.

Sneer took the brunt of Scratch's lunge, pushing against her with all she had and blunting Scratch's claws with her robotic arm. "I always thought kitties were afraid of water, not fire," she quipped with a smirk, starting to heat up her hands. "And what's with the hesitation? Do you like me or something?"

Scratch growled at Sneer, not liking for the pyrokinetic was making the process much more frustrating than it needed to be. When she noticed Sneer stalling, she was about to attempt to scratch her in the mouth, but then she saw Tranq coming after her. She gracefully leaped over Sneer and Tranq while flipping, over to where the purple Gizoid was before landing with her back towards them. She quickly turned around, charged a large orb of cyan fire in her palms and fired it at the duo.

Tranq noticed Sneer's change in position and turned around just fast enough to see the orb of cyan fire coming at him. Caught unprepared, he tried to move to a defensive position so that he could block it with his shield. Instead, he accidentally tripped over Sneer while moving, knocking him to the floor on top of her (and, coincidentally, moving them both out of the path of the orb of fire).

As Scratch is so focused on Tranq and Sneer, Vendeta fires several psychdarts at Scratch.

"Look, I'm grateful for the save and all, but I'm not giving out free piggy-back rides, so could you get off of me, please?" Sneer grumbled from under Tranq, trying to shift her position.

Vendeta's projectiles were cancelled out by green blasts of energy that were fired by the green Gizoid. It them raised its left arm into the air and fired more green blasts upwards, but before they could hit the ceiling, they all homed in on Vendeta.

Scratch burst into laughter when she saw Tranq trip over Sneer, not even caring that they avoided her attack. "Oh man, that's hilarious! You guys are rich!" Scratch started crying tears of joy and doubled over, waiting for them to get up. "Whew, that's funny. How about you guys make the next attack, since you put me in such a good mood?"

Tranq, who was having a bit of a hard time processing everything that was going on, finally got a grip on all of it and said, "Sorry, Sneer; thanks, Scratch; and—" he turned to Sneer and (while sliding off of her) whispered, "I'm trying to knock out and capture Scratch here, not kill her, especially because she has all of this useful information. Got that?"

Vendeta catches the homing missiles with his psychokinesis.

"Do you really think Luna is going to keep her promise?" Elias asked Scratch as he bashed Tina.

Sneer stood up and dusted herself off, getting back into a fighting stance. "I'll just soften her up for you first, then. If there's anything I'm against it's killing without reasonable cause. Just try not to get fried, okay?" After whispering this to Tranq, she readied two more fireballs and charged at Scratch, hands outstretched. "I'm turning up the heat now!"

Tina was knocked back into the air by Elias' attack, twisting around before charging forward and trying to kick Elias in his cheek right before she crashed into him. "Hey, Grandmaster! How come you're fighting against us? If you were with us, Luna could show you and Manchester mercy!"

Scratch was done laughing when she heard what Elias said. "Oh, I'm sorry if it's a crime to have-" She was just finishing her sentence when Sneer made her attack, allowing Sneer to make a clean blow on Scratch's cheek. Scratch was sent back a few feet, backflipped multiple times to get a slight range advantage, and raised her left hand into the air, where her hand started glowing cyan. Suddenly, Sneer was surrounded by light-blue orbs, and one by one, they fired themselves at her.

Seeing Vendeta being occupied with the missiles, the green Gizioid fired multiple bullets at the hedgehog rapidly, the bullets being covered by plasma.

Tranq, noticing Sneer's situation, decided to try re-enacting the accidental dodge from earlier, just with a few modifications. He grabbed Sneer's legs, trying to pull her away from the orbs while holding up his shield between where she was going to be and where the orbs were. If his plan succeeded, the orbs would have to go through his shield while trying to reach Sneer, and thus would (he hoped) be dissipated.

"Whoa!" Sneer yelped as she was pulled away, and was about to yell at Tranq again when she noticed the energy orbs. She grunted and fired a few orbs of her own back at Scratch, this time at a hotter temperature than before. Looking down at Tranq around her legs, she smirked. "I owe you one, kiddo. Or two, as the case may be."

Tranq smiled. "Thanks," he said, letting go of Sneer's legs.

Scratch saw the attack coming and jumped over them, charging her claws and fists with her own spiritual energy before dashing at the duo. "Jokes aren't as funny the second time, Shield Boy!" Before she could make her attack, the purple Gizoid dashed in front of her and was going to try to punch Sneer in the face. Scratch, not liking having been interrupted, put two fingers in front of her and the Gizoid exploded in a burst of energy.

Scratch didn't say anything for five seconds before smiling happily. "Now that we haven't any more distractions, let's start the fun again! And you, cute boy-" Scratch pointed at Tranq. "Stop tripping, you're not a seven-year-old anymore." She started to run towards them again, aiming a barrage of kicks to Sneer's face.

Schnee came out of the wall she was slapped into, annoyed that her blue jacket had a tear in it. She then jumped high in the air, twirled her staff, and slashed downwards, almost missing the red Gizoid but stabbing its leg. She took out her staff, thinking that she had won, but it slashed at her hair, cutting two centimeters of it off. Quickly rotating its arms in a circular motion, it turned its arms into drills and fired them at Schnee. Schnee ducked, and the drills flew under her into the wall behind her.

Sneer blinked as the purple Gizoid blew up in front of her, then held up her arms in order to block Scratch's kicks. Since Tranq had moved to a safer position, Sneer decided to counter with some swift karate kicks of her own. One of Scratch's kicks connected to Sneer's jaw, and she grunted in pain before rubbing it. "Oh, that was a mistake," she growled lowly, readying an Angry Inferno.

Vendeta moves the missiles round to block the bullets, destroying both of them in the process.

Tranq, perplexed by all of the bizarre and rapid events unfolding in front of him, decided to stand to the side and watch until he was needed.

Elias growled. "Like hell she would!" He grabbed Tina by the arms and threw her towards the wall. "Besides, even us Grandmasters live by a code of honour. Now go bother somebody else, rodent!" With that, he suddenly leapt at Scratch and tried to kick at her face. "A shame we have to be enemies. You might have made an excellent ally."

Tranq abruptly realized what was going on. Noticing Sneer and Elias distracting Scratch from the front, he dodged around behind Scratch and attempted to hit her in the back with his shield. If his attack and his allies' attacks worked exactly as he predicted, Scratch would be knocked out fairly painlessly.

Scratch easily dodged Elias' reckless attempt by backflipping into the air gracefully, trying to have Elias charge into Sneer's Angry Inferno. From there, she landed on Tranq's head with one foot, and she jumped off him. "You all are fairly reckless, y'know. Whatever, it only means more fun for me~ I'm looking forward to having my relatives back~"

(Julia? Maybe you should slightly change the wording of your actions, because it kind of sounds like you're autohitting, which I know you're not trying to do, just saying. - Max)

(Oh, okay. Sorry. I'll try to fix it. Let me know if there's any more problems. -Julia)

Tina was thrown into the wall, breaking it and causing it to crumble in dirt, dust, and other material. Tina, getting annoyed, reloaded her gun and fired five bullets at the back of Elias' head.

Elias dodged, and rolled behind a nearby console. "This is getting ridiculous."

Tranq, who had been kicked to roughly where Scratch was before, put up his shield just in time to block Sneer's Angry Inferno and to avoid getting kicked in the face by Elias. However, the sudden impact of the two attacks caused Tranq to wobble and ultimately fall on Sneer. "Sorry Sneer!" he yelled as the two of them fell to the ground.

"Oof!" Sneer grunted, gently pushing Tranq off of her. "For a crazy mutant cat, she has a point," she mentioned. "We need a better plan of attack. I'll distract her some more while you try to gather everyone else up for a regrouping, okay?"

Tranq got up, looking a bit disoriented. "Sure..." he said, looking around for Vendeta, Lena, and Schnee. "So, Elias, are you staying with me while I gather everyone else, or are you staying here with her while I gather up everyone else? Because apparently, I'm leaving to get everyone else. Oh wait, there's Vendeta, bye," and Tranq ran off towards where Vendeta was.

"Never mind," Elias muttered. 

Vendeta floats over to Tranq. "I can hear you, you know. This room isn't that big."

"Oh, right," said Tranq, pulling himself up sharply to avoid banging into Vendeta. "I guess I'll just call the other two now." He then ran back to where Elias and Sneer were, calling, "Hey, Lena and...white hedgehog with upward spikes, we need you over here!"

"Schnee," Elias said. "I think her name is Schnee."

Tranq nodded and said, "OK, so...Lena and...Schnee, we need you over here!"

As the heroes started to regroup, so did the antagonists. Scratch beckoned for the two Gizoids to come to her, and they did. "You two, switch from Neutral Attack to Lethal Attack Mode. If they get past us, Luna will erase us," she said to the Gizoids, whose eyes immediately turned white when she was finished with her sentence. "Now, you two, go for the white hedgehog with droopy quills and the cute boy in a team assualt. Don't hold anything back, or I will destroy you before Luna does." Tina then landed near them.

"Scratch, you okay? You have multiple opponents that are attacking you - I have some medicine, I could get some of those mystified bandages Luna gave us and cover up your battle scars." Tina seemed completely genuine, like she actually cared for Scratch's well-being.

Scratch replied by giving Tina a hug. "Your soul is too heroic to be in this group," she whispered before letting Tina go. "But I'm afraid you won't get to heal my boo-boos now. You can tend to my wounds after we have our enemies wrapped up." And with that, the kitsune, bat, and robots got in battle stances.

Schnee saw her group reform once the Gizoid left, and ran to them, waving her hand in the air rapidly. "Hey guys! What's the plan? I honestly can't freestyle like this for much longer."

Tranq tried frantically to think of something good, but instead drew a blank. "Ummm..." he said. "Plan part 1: I defend you while you guys think of a plan. Somebody has to be smarter than I am."

"I'd yell at you for not having a plan, but I don't have one either," Lena stated.

"I say take out the bots first, cause she's using them for attack power. Once we get them taken care of we can take out the bat. Once she's out of the way we focus all we've got on Scratch and knock her out. I don't really know how good of a plan this is, but if anyone has any other suggestions I'm open to them," Sneer suggested, placing her finger under her chin. "I ain't a miracle worker."

"Sounds good to me," Elias replied.

"He is right," The German lynx replied in agreement.

"Yep, good plan," said Tranq.

"Well, then?" Vendeta said. "What are we waiting for?"

Tranq looked around at the group. "I think that we're waiting for someone who's good at attacking to make the first move," he said. "So not me."

Elias sighed, then looked at Sneer. "On the count of three, we both attack?"

Sneer looked at him back and gave him a thumbs-up. "Let's do it."

"Okay. One... two... three!"

Elias leapt towards the blaster robot, intending to rip off a panel on its side, but before he could get close enough to do so, it turned its arms into cannons and fired a large beam of green energy at the Grandmaster. If anyone bothered to sense it, its energy would've seemed particularly strange, though familiar.

Vendeta, meanwhile, flew at the blade-bot and created a Force Blade to run it through, which the robot blocked (though the attack cut into its swords). As a counter, the Gizoid started Spin Dashing while having its arms out, causing the attack to also have blades. Vendeta flew over the spin dash, keeping his blade facing dowanward to cut the Gizoid in two.

Sneer also started running towards the Gizoids, but a beeping on her scanner caused her to pause. "This is... weird," she said to herself, forming a fireball in her other hand. "The energy I'm picking up... it's reading as Chaos energy, but the frequency is wrong." Sneer then fired the ball at the Gizoid, hoping to take it out in order to get a better look.

Elias nodded in agreement as he dodged the beam. "They must be using a corrupted form of Chaos Energy. I've heard of such things."

Tranq stood to the side, keeping an eye out for opportunities where it would be useful to have him involved in the fight.

The ball of fire thrown by Sneer was kicked through the roof by Tina, though she injured her foot doing so. After jumping on one leg for a couple of seconds, Tina growled and flew over to Sneer, attempting to kick Reens' Moebius counterpart in the stomach.

Scratch jumped over the six fighters, over to Tranq, Lena and Schnee. Schnee, looking at her teammates, tried to form a plan. "Shield boy - what's your name - you look like a good defense provider. Lynx girl, what do you have in your moveset?" Strangely, Scratch simply stood in front of the trio, not even looking like she was going to attack them. Schnee didn't notice and hurried through her sentences.

Tranq was so confused by everything going on that he was unable to act until Schnee finished speaking. Then, realizing what she had said to him, he said, "My name's Tranq, and yes, I'd like to think that I'm good at def—wait—" Tranq, noticing Tina's attack on Sneer, cut himself off and tried to jump in between them. However, he jumped too late, causing him sail behind Tina, landing on the other side of them from the rest of his group. "Not such a good idea," he muttered.

Schnee, holding in a chuckle, walked over to Tranq and put her hand out, smiling. "It really wasn't, Tranq," she joked before looking at Scratch. For Schnee, it was creepy how she was just...staring at them. The kitsune's silky blue robe just danced with the little wind there was, and her orange eyes and bowl-cut that covered most of her forehead just freaked Schnee out. "Guys, we should attack soon," she said.

Elias launched a spear of ice at the robot that fired at him.

The Gizoid jumped over the spear and started firing shots of corrupted Chaos Energy rapidly at the Grandmaster, aiming for his stomach. If it hit Elias five times, it would then release a large beam of energy once again.

Some of the blasts hit Elias, stunning him. He quickly crouched down to avoid the rest, clutching his abdomen in pain. He formed another spear in his hand, but it was much weaker than the last. He launched it at the Gizoid.

The Gizoid was hit by the ice spear, and it tore his shoulder off. A bit damaged, the Gizoid fired a large green ball of energy at Elias, trying to finish him off.

Elias quickly dodged behind cover. "Damn robots."

Tranq grabbed Schnee's hand and pulled himself up. "Thanks, Schnee," he said. "And I'll attack the robots as soon as there's a point in me doing so."

Lena sighed, realizing that her bows and arrows were not with her. "Oh, verdammt. I am nothing vithout my bow," she moaned.

"Whoa, nelly!" Sneer said, sliding over to avoid Tina's kick. "You're not the only one playing soccer here, am I right?" She manifested three fireballs and kicked each one in succession. "Sorry about your toes getting toasty." She looked over at Lena and jerked her head as if to say, "C'mere."

Lena, while still reluctant about fighting without her primary weapon, sighed. She ran up to Sneer. "Vat? Vat iz it?" She tried her best, but her German accent thickened because of her anxiety.

Before Sneer could answer, Tina flew over the duo and was about to try to kick them.... but Schnee spin dashed into the bat at full speed knocking her away. She landed on her hands, and with a flip, Schnee was on her feet, smiling. "You're welcome."

Vendeta walks over and throws several Force Blades at Scratch. "That's enough from you." Scratch jumped back, dodged the Force Blades, before recoiling off a wall and blasting her self past Vendeta, looking like she was aiming for someone else as she furiously sprinted.

Sneer shook her head and sighed before turning to Lena. "You need a weapon, right? Can your gloves hold fire?"

Lena thought for a moment, looking at her gloves. "Ja... I think so."

"Cool, just stand back a bit." Sneer concentrated and created a bow and quiver of arrows out of fire, then carefully handed them to Lena. "If you need more ammo just tell me, okay?" She smirked and gave a thumbs-up to Schnee.

Schnee smiled. "Well, someone's attitude sure has changed. Don't worry about me, though-" Schnee's grin grew and she lowered her eyelids. "'Ammo' is my middle-" Schnee didn't finish, mainly because Scratch had found her target. She ran up to Schnee and performed a flying kick to the face, causing Schnee to spin around in circles. When Schnee stopped and tried to regain her balance, Scratch grabbed her by the collar and threw her into a table.

"That one's for Tina!" Scratch yelled before sprinting towards the white hedgehog again. Schnee grunted and got up, dazed but able to fight. She twirled around her staff and was prepared to whack Scratch with it, but the kitsune leaped low and rapidly performed kicks to Schnee's face. Schnee was knocked back again before turning her staff into its gun mode and firing plasma bullets at Scratch (which the kitsune slid under). Scratch slipped right before Schnee, rose up and delivered a powerful punch to the gut, knocking some of the saliva out of the white hedgehog. Mercilessly, Scratch put a cyan orb to Schnee's chest and fired it, blasting her into the wall.

Sneer looked over at Schnee and winced. That definitely had to hurt. She turned back to Lena and gave her some more fiery arrows before leaping to Scratch and landing a series of punches full in her face. "And that's for Schnee!" she countered. She then threw a fireball into her chest, then grinned as it exploded.

Lena took out some arrows and her bow. She launched some arrows toward Scratch, hoping that they would successfully hit her.

Scratch was knocked up into the air as a result of the explosion, but when it came to Lena's arrows, she fired cyan lasers at them, cancelling them out. Scratch then landed on her feet and lunged at Lena, trying to grab the German lynx by the neck.

Quickly thinking, Lena rolled out of the way. She attempted to fire more arrows at Scratch. The arrows hit one of Scratch's tails, causing the kitsune to yelp out in pain. Seething, Scratch turned around and fired two blue orbs at Lena that would explode once they got near her. Before they could hit Lena, however, Tranq had noticed his opportunity to act and dodged in between the orbs and Lena, blocking them with his shield.

Lena smiled at Tranq. "Danke- I mean, thank you. Vell, you know what I mean either vay," Lena said. She then grabbed her last set of arrows, causing Tranq to promptly scoot out of the way to avoid being in between Lena and her target. Before Lena could fire her arrows, Scratch lunged at her, trying to punch the weapon out of her hand.

"Oh no you don't!" Sneer lunged also, crashing directly into Scratch. She transformed her robotic arm into her plasma cannon, then hit Scratch square in the jaw with it. "Once you have a clear shot, take it!" Sneer shouted to Lena, struggling with her. Lena saw that Scratch was vulnerable, and fired her last set of arrows at her. Scratch was struck in the back and yelped, now on all fours and panting.

Before anyone could finish her off, however, Tina came from behind and tried to kick Sneer in the back. The blade-wielding Gizoid was now free, seeing how Vendeta had abandoned his post, and tried to slash at Lena's arm. Lena managed to dodge the Gizoid's attack. However, she could not attack herself, for she had used all of her arrows and had no powers, unlike most of the others. The Gizoid continued to attempt to assault her and tried to spike Lena in the head.

Tranq couldn't keep track of who was fighting whom or where he could help, but he did notice one thing: that Scratch was in a vulnerable position. Dodging behind Scratch, he attempted to hit her in the back with his shield, which would knock her out fairly painlessly if his attack connected. He succeeded - Scratch's body went limp and she fell on her stomach, now unconscious.

Lena grabbed the Gizoid's arm, trying to prevent it from hurting her. She then noticed that Tranq has knocked out Scratch and smiled. With its other arm, the Gizoid tried to chop Lena in the side and sweep kick her afterwards. Tranq, suddenly realizing what was going on, tried to hit the Gizoid (the one attacking Lena) with his shield, but clumsily rebounded and was sent flying a few feet away. As a result of this, the robot succeeded, leaving the lynx vunerable, while Tranq pulled himself into an upright position, trying to figure out what to do next.

Then, a green bullet flew through its head, and the Gizoid fell backwards. Schnee walked up to Lena, staff out, and put her hand out for her to grab. "Yeesh! That was tight! You're a pretty good shot, y'know that?" Lena took Schnee's hand. "Thanks."

Tina's kick connected to Sneer's back, and she cried out in pain, falling flat. She grunted in pain and tried to get up, but she slumped back down to her knees. "That's a pretty nasty kick you've got there, Tina," she commented, trying to brush it off. Her back really hurt now; anyone could see she was having a hard time getting up.

Schnee glared at Tina, turned her staff into a bracelet and simply sashayed over to her with a sassy look on her face. Tina saw Schnee approaching and was prepared to dodge a bullet, but Schnee simply raised her hand and slapped Tina right across the cheek. Tina was taken by surprise, bu with a glare back at the youngest Ainekas, she slapped her back. Then, Schnee tried to knee Tina in the stomach, but she hovered up and kicked Schnee in the face, blinding the hedgehog for a few seconds.

Lena walked to Sneer and saw that her back was hurt. The lynx offered to help her up.

As Tina kicks Schnee, Vendeta flies over and Force Palms the bat in the back. Tina was sent flying forward, about to hit Tranq due to not being able to control her path. Tranq instinctively raised his shield to block; then, thinking better of it, he lowered it, dodged, and tried to hit Tina with it to knock her back to Vendeta. Tranq's attack also hit, and like a ping-pong ball, Tina was sent back to Vendeta.

"Thanks, Lena," Sneer grunted, getting up with her help. "Sheesh... I wouldn't think a kick like that would hurt so much, you know? And here I was thinking... never mind, it's not important. Once we take out Tina we can find a way of getting out of here." Lena nodded. "Vell, hopefully, at least," she replied to Sneer.

Vendeta uses another Force Palm on Tina, sending her flying back at Tranq. Tranq, looking very uncomfortable, hit Tina back at Vendeta. "Is there anything that we can do to stop this makeshift game of catch?" he said. "Can you put her down and knock her out at the same time?"

"Of course. I just wanted to soften her up first." Vendeta replied. As Tina flies back to him, he catches her with his psychokinesis and throws her into the ceiling before bombarding her with PsychDarts for good measure. Tina was thrown into the ceiling, but she flew away before Vendeta could hit her with the PsychDarts. She then flew over to Scratch and slumped the kitsune over her shoulder.

"Looks like you guys won. Luna isn't going to happy about this..." Tina pressed a button on her watch, showing a holographic image of Luna (who appeared to be making a stadium). "Hey, Luna, I think we have our first winners," Tina said.

Luna rolled her eyes. "I'm unimpressed, but at the same time unsurprised. I'll open the portal for the group." On cue, a multicolored rift appeared above Tina's head, and she flew up into it with Scratch. However, this portal did not suck anything or anybody in. Tina popped her head out. "If you guys wanna leave, come through here."

Tranq looked at Tina, confused. "Are you kidding me?" he said. "Your friend said that we had to die before she'd stop fighting us. Now you tell us that we're supposed to follow you. How can we trust that you're not going to just kill us all the moment we walk through the portal?"

Tina shrugged. "I mean, I'm sure Luna would be happy if I just left you guys he-"

Everyone could hear Luna yell, "NO I WOULD NOT! GET THEM UP HERE, TINA!"

Tina shuddered. "Yeesh... anyway, come."

Lena wasn't hesitant to enter the portal at all. She let out a little sigh. "I'm going in. Even if I could stay here, I don't think I'd find a way out, so I'm going into that portal..."

Tranq looked at Lena with dismay. "No, Lena, we all need to stay here!" he said. "Even if we'll never find a way out of here, if we go in there, we'll almost certainly die, and if we stay here, we only might die, but it's less of a chance than if we go in there, and we need to stay as a group! We're stronger together! Didn't you see how we could take out Tina as a team, but by herself, Sneer couldn't do it? We need everyone here! We need you here! You're important!"

Schnee smiled at Tranq. "Okay, honey, that's sweet and all, but we're going to have to trust Tina if we're going to defeat Luna. We're supposed to be steering the ship, not being an anchor." Schnee walked up to Tina, put her hand up for Tina to pull, and was carried through the portal.

"Besides," Vendeta said, "we can't do much here." Vendeta follows Schnee and Tina through the portal.

Tranq tried to grab Vendeta before he could go through the portal. "Vendeta," he said, "there is something that we can do here! We can survive! Can't you see that you're all walking into a death trap? You're trusting our lives to the very people who want us dead! We can't do this, or we'll die!"

Vendeta casually shrugs off Tranq's attempted grab. "It's only a trap if you don't see it coming," he said. Vendeta then continues into the portal.

Lena turned towards Tranq. "They are both right. Besides, if we were to stay here, we'd just die anyway. Perhaps Luna would give us a quicker death."

Tranq sighed. "You don't get it, do you?" he said. "We're not necessarily going to die here! You have no idea where we are! You're acting like we're in a void that we can't step into and thus can't leave this room, and so since there's nothing of use in this room, we'll just starve to death if we stay here! I don't know where we are, either, but I know that we can't go through that portal, or we'll get killed, and that we have a chance, however small, of surviving here! If you want to go through that portal, you can,! I can't let you go through that portal and die! You're a sentient being! You're all just..." Tranq took a second to breathe. "Go through the portal if you want. But you have to know—no, everyone who's still in this room has to know: there's a chance to survive here, and you're just consigning yourself to dying if you go through the portal! So please, somebody stay with me here!" Tranq breathed heavily, his irises flickering yellow. "Anybody? Can anybody see this?"

Lena felt some slight reluctance, but didn't change her mind about going into the rift. "Look, I'm sorry. But this is my choice. You made yours..."

Tranq hung his head. "Yeah, it's your choice," he said, then sadly continued, "Bye, Lena," as the lynx entered the portal. Then, remembering that Sneer and Elias still hadn't decided where they were going, he brightened slightly and said, "So, Sneer, Elias, are you staying here?"

Sneer looked to Elias, then looked to Tranq, and sighed, leaning down to his level. "Look, kiddo. Even if I wanted to leave here there's no chance in hell or high water I would leave you by yourself. You're a good kid, you have spunk. I don't trust Luna for a second-" she paused, glaring at the portal - "and besides, my back still hurts. I'm gonna need the rest. You don't need to give a whole speech to convince me, kay?"

Tranq smiled gratefully at Sneer. "Thanks, Sneer," he said. "Elias, are you staying here?"

Elias, rubbing his abdomen in pain, replied, "Yes, I suppose so." He winced slightly as he sat down on the floor. "I'm gonna be feeling this for a while."

"Thanks, Elias," said Tranq, now looking a bit happier than before. "Well, I guess if we're staying here, I'll go look around for a way out." He then walked off, saying under his breath, "There has to be some way out of here..."

After Tranq left, Sneer sat down next to Elias, then sighed. "If only my 'sister' were here," she said with a shake of her head and using her fingers as quotation marks. "She could heal us in a jiffy, but she's in her own world right now, so asking her is out of the question."

"Why do you say 'sister' like that?" Elias asked, turning his head towards her.

"She's not actually my sister. Since I'm a Moebian, she's my Anti counterpart, though we are very similar, so I call her a 'sister'," Sneer explained, drumming her fingers on the floor. "There are a lot of things different about us. You would be annoyed with her at first if you met her."

"Ah, I see," Elias replied. He looked down at his feet. "What's her name, anyway?"

Sneer's quills bristled slightly. "Her name is Reens. Essentially I am supposed to be the opposite of her in every way. But as I said before, we have some similarities as well." She gave Elias a glare. "Why? Are you interested in her? I only mentioned her because of her healing abilities."

"I don't really care who she is," Elias replied. "I just thought I met someone like her once. Obviously she's not the person I'm thinking of. The girl I met had a different name. I don't remember what- it was so long ago."

Her quills flattening, Sneer tried stretching upwards before getting up off the floor. "Well, if we're going to be staying here, we'll have to leave eventually to catch up to the rest of the group. Not right away, mind you. If we could just find that remote crazy cat lady left behind and figure out how to use it..."

Elias held up a small remote by its antenna. "This remote, perhaps...?"

"Uh... yeah. How the heck did you find that so quickly?" Sneer asked, her brow furrowed. "Anyway, I doubt that bunny psychopath is gonna let us stay in here for much longer." Seeing Tranq approaching, she called out, "Tranq, are you sure you want to stay longer? Elias has the remote," she asked, turning to Elias.

Elias stood up, still holding the remote. "I found it on the floor, just sitting there. A bit dented, but still intact."

Tranq, looking surprised, said, "Wow! I couldn't find any way out, but if you guys have the remote, I guess we can finally get out of here! Thanks, Elias!"

Tranq, Elias and Sneer had all challenged fate and decided to make their own path. Will they doubt their choice, or will they charge on through? All will be revealed.... next.

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