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Happy Halloween, Scribers! Thought I'd go ahead and whip up something for the season, a nice little story that is full of comedy, drama and romance cookies galore! This came from two thoughts I had; The Sonic Boom episode Eggheads, one of the very few that's actually watchable, and I wondered; "I wonder what would happen if it was Traveller's DNA in those cookies instead of Eggman's?" "Can I write a story that doesn't star Traveller or any variation of Sash Lilac from Freedom Planet?" I think I did alright with that in mind. So, get ready for a spooktacular screamfest! Minor Harsh Language Warning =====-----===== October 30. The day before the night of the month of the Hallow's Eve. A time for enjoying the warm tones and cold nights of Autumn, a time for to celebrate the supernatural...and mostly to dress up in garish outfits and eat enough sugar to turn your teeth to little black lumps. Not that The Trickster minded - it just meant he blended in better. The Trickster cackled with glee, rubbing his gloved hands as he stared directly at mirror in front of him. The dim lights of his underground bunker didn't exactly illuminate him much, but he still found the time to admire his...unusual clothing. He was...certainly an animal, one of the "Mobian" sub-types, oddly proportioned and quite lanky at that. His clothes could only be truly described as a jester's business suit, being a suit with sharper edges all in a bright yellow with brighter purple highlights and stripes on the torso and jacket arms, leading to a pair of purple shoes with yellow stripes and jester-like curls near the toes. He wore a bowtie, and a waistcoat, and a flower on his lapel, while his gloves were purple with yellow fingertips. Perhaps the most unusual was his head, clad in a massive yellow jester headpiece with a number of bell-toting spines spilling out of it in every direction and a domino mask that reduced his eyes to two blank white triangles. He looked deranged, a jester without a soul, which was in all honesty the idea. This soulless jester had just the thing to liven up the Witching Hour. With a clap of approval towards his appearance, he turned and bounded across his evil lair, the cluttered and poorly lit bunker that it was with its abandoned carnival structures, and towards the ramshackle kitchen he had put in a few months ago. There, in the oven, lay his biggest and most devious plan yet. Even now, as he merely stared at it in utter glee, he could only think of the multitude of carnage and collections of chaos he could create with just what was in there. As he cackled in his usual manner, he heard a thumping from above him that slowly got down to his level. It was his assistant, a young woman who called herself Giggles, bounding down the stairs in pure excitement. She was ecstatic, happily bouncing up and down and talking in her rather thick accent, "Ooh, Trickster! Is it time? Is it time yet?" "Now, now..." Trickster said back, his voice full of bravado but still hushed by the relative dark setting of the bunker, "Still have to wait, my fair Giggles. Proper madness takes time! But it ain't long now. Soon, I will have the PERFECT weapon! The ultimate gag! The very best way to destroy that hazardous hedgehog himself!" Giggles stopped bouncing around and focused, "You mean Mr. Sonic, Sir?" "Yessss..." Trickster growled, "That...pile of misery! No time to laugh like a proper comedian! Always catchphrases and thumbs-ups and smiling and 'Gotta Go Fast'! Not enough. We really have to make him LAUGH! That, and he must pay for destroying my precious evil lair circus! That stuff doesn't come cheap, you know!" There was a ding in the oven and the Trickster's wild grin returned, "OOH! It's ready!" "Joy! JOY!" Giggles jumped around again, her over-sized jester hat flopping around and showing brief flashes of her otherwise hidden eyes, "Let me see it! I wanna see it! Is it a gun? Explosive? SUPER Giggle Gas?!" "Nope! Even better!" The Trickster cackled as he put on some oven gloves. As he opened the oven door, there was a cloud of orange and black smoked that trickled out of the door and covered the floor in an eerie fog that almost howled with the amount of evil it unleashed. There was a groaning noise as the tray inside it was released, and the dim lights flickered even more. Giggles' bouncing increased in speed and tempo, her excitement reaching boiling point as she became anxious to see just what diabolical scheme her master had cooked up. Soon, the Trickster yet out a triumphant yell and thrust the tray in front of Giggles. "...Cookies?" Giggles asked quietly, staring dumbfounded at the tray of chocolate-chip cookies in front of her, "...Cookies?! You're gonna take over the world with COOKIES?!" "Not just any cookies!" Trickster said, holding one finger up as a pointer, "EVIL Cookies! Do you remember when we toured the multiverse to get some, uh, inspiration about what we were gonna do to Sonic? You remember that world where everyone was covered in bandages?" "It's not like I could forget it," Giggles mimed a gagging motion. "Yes, good point. Regardless, I visited the fat man's headquarters and saw an old failed plan of his. He had laced his cookies with his own DNA - his moustache hair, specifically, eew - and fed them to his own versions of Team Whatever. Upon consumption, they gained qualities of the fat man himself! His intellect, his goals, his skills, even his moustache!" "But he failed..." Giggles said, "Why're we doing it?" "Simple!" Trickster said again, revealing a jar of fur on his person, "The fat man failed because he used his OWN DNA as a template. Of course they worked against him. But I...I have the fur from a true warmonger! The devil himself!" He spoke in a low, tainted whisper, "War Master..." The two stared at each other, watching each other in silent contemplation. Soon, Giggles got what that meant. War Master. One of the most powerful warmongers in the known universe. And Trickster had the ability to create a number of them...that he could control. She laughed evilly at the concept, which Trickster himself soon joined in on, and soon the two were rolling around their make-do lair, guffawing loudly and celebrating their imminent victory. This was it! This was what would put the two on the map forever! "You're a genius, Trickster!" Giggles, well, giggled as she calmed down, "How're we gonna get them to people?" "Don't worry about that, my little Gigglina," Trickster chuckled, "I know just the place...and just the time." ==== The Next Evening Lowell Highcastle's House, New Hirokku Outskirt's, October 31st, 7:01AM, 201X ==== "Come on, Kathy! We're gonna be late for the party!" "Alright, alright! Just give me a minute. The dress is stuck!" Nikolai sighed at his two companions as they argued through the door. It was Halloween at long last, the first he had experienced in quite a while, having always been busy around this time of year. And now that he finally had a gap in his schedule to be in the right universe, never mind have the time to go to this party in the first place, time was still being wasted to everyone's detriment. The party in question was a city-wide on, situated right slap bang in the middle of New Hirokku, which everyone was going to attend. Including these two...if they could get their act together. Lowell sighed and walked back across the one massive room that made up the majority of his house, leaping over the sofa and looking back at the TV. Lowell and Nikolai were already in character, each with costumes that were, for lack of a better word, ironic; Lowell had gone for the clothes of the man he hated most of all, wearing the blue jacket, black trousers and giant red scarf of the Traveller, his orange fur clashing quite badly with the colourful ensemble. Nikolai, on the other hand, had gone for the uniform of a Mobian soldier from the Second Surface War, all in rough-patch green and with helmet and (fake) M1A4 ThomSub to match. Nikolai sighed at the lack-of-taste towards his costume, but alas he wasn't the one to pick it. He tried to forget it, instead turning to Lowell as he watched TV. "Urgh..." Nikolai sighed, "Why did we promise to get each other our costumes?" "I dunno, I thought it'd be funny at the time," Lowell sighed, pawing at his scarf, "I buy your clothes, you buy Katherine's, she buys mine. For the record, I don't exactly appreciate what's happened." "Yes, yes..." Nikolai sighed, "You, uh...are you still watching that show? What is it, 'The Surgeon'?" "Yea," Lowell nodded, "It's pretty good. It's about this creature they call it a Time Lord, and he runs around the universe in his TARDIS with his companion, saving the day!" Nikolai stared at the TV, showing the eponymous Surgeon on the television. He seemed to look like a wolf in a funny suit and a bowtie with another person by his side. He was holding some sort of wand with an orange gem embedded in it while the sound of clanking was heard in the distance. "Hurry, Surgeon!" his companion shrieked, "Those boltbuckets are getting closer!" "Give me time!" he replied, "Just have to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!" "It, uh..." Nikolai cleared his throat, "It seems a bit cheesy, you know? Like the writing and directing seems to be poor but they are clearly giving it their all." "I know," Lowell said, turning the TV off and flipping over the sofa again so he was standing in front of Nikolai, "That's why I love it! Well that, and...well, he's the kind of guy that Master used to be, y'know? This sort of fun-loving adventure junkie. Just a bit of nostalgia...I guess." "But it is not real," Nikolai sighed, "It is just a show. Not like...him." "...Yeah..." Lowell went over all melancholic, "I suppose it WAS just too good to last, wasn't it? Not real...can't be real..." "Okay, I'm ready!" came Katherine's voice. The door latch clicked as it swung open and Katherine paraded herself into the room. As she sauntered gracefully before the two, she giggled at Lowell's jaw dropping until it hit the floor with a theoretical clunk. For there was Katherine, his wife, dressed in an elegant cyan blue dress with a white trim and stars across the lower half. It barely clung to her shoulders, with long sleeves that barely showed her hands poking through the ends, while she wore a silver tiara on her head. She turned to Lowell and winked, "Hey, Lowell. Like it?" "..." Lowell was speechless. He turned to Nikolai, "...You gave her Rosalina?" "Why not? I only found it fitting. Now come on. We should go, or we might miss the opening of the party. No-one arrives fashionably late around here..." Nikolai ensured he had everything he had on him, then turned and began walking out of the house and through the woods to the city hall. Katherine looked at Lowell's still shocked face, gave him a peck on the cheek, and then ushered the two out of the door as well. ==== Three Quarters of an Hour Later 201X Spooktacular Screamfest, City Hall, New Hirokku, October 31st, 7:46PM, 201X ==== The City Hall, the main foundations of the city itself, was already an impressive thing to look at even during its more mundane areas of operation. But now, with the relevant decor and lighting, it looked truly stunning. The inside was a large, cavernous room that stretched from one end of the plans it was built on to the other side, about the length of three lorries parked end-to-end (not even counting the rooms off to the side). The second floor was visible too, having a pathway that ran a ring around the bottom floor from above, with a grand and massive staircase covered in red carpet leading up to it. The walls were lined with engravings and murals in gold and silver, and the floor was a chequerboard of marble and lined with lights around the borders. On either side of the staircase were two large tables covered with food and drink of every type and shape and size, while plastic ghosts and ghouls hung from the bottom of the second floor. Orange and black tinsel lined the banisters and the light was an eerie dim yellow light, resulting in a room that just SCREAMED Halloween. "Greetings!" came a somewhat meek female voice from above. Everyone in the hall, including Lowell and friends, looked up to see someone at the top of the stairs. It was Becky, replacement MasterSelf ever since Master had gone rogue so long ago, dressed in the baggy green jumper and flatcap that were otherwise natural to her, a look of nervousness on her face. Clearly, she had yet to fully adjust to the rigours and the stresses of being a MasterSelf. She spoke up again, "H-Hello...and welcome to the, uh, the 2016 Spooktacular Screamfest..." she stopped as she could feel the others just stare at her, "Y-yeah, a bad name, I-I know. Anyway, uh, don't forget to have a good time, I hope you enjoy yourselves as best as you can, and, uh..." she jumped and pointed to one of the tables. On it was something even Lowell hadn't seen; a massive plate of bat and ghost-shaped cookies, rising as high as Nikolai if the plate was on the floor, "Oh yes! Don't forget these cookies. We just found them on the doorstop. An anonymous donation, apparently. So...enjoy. T-Time for music!" Sure enough, the music started up, belting out some classic tunes from back in the day, and the others began to sing and dance along to it. Becky sighed, shivering a bit, then walked down the steps towards the three who were still in the doorway. She took Lowell's hand and shook it as the commotion increased to a feverish volume, "Lowell. Uh..." "Yeah, I know," Lowell sighed, "We picked each others' costumes. We thought it's be more interesting that way." "I'm..." Katherine sighed, taking off her jacket and showing the Rosalina dress underneath it, "I am so sorry. I didn't know you'd be here and-" "N-No, it's okay..." Becky sighed too, "I just miss him, that's all. Well, miss the guy he used to be. I don't really like...what he became." "He didn't get better..." Lowell shrugged, "SO. I suppose it's time we mingled with the crowd, did a bit of dancing, perhaps eat some of those cookies. It's not like there's not much to go 'round!" "O-Of course not!" Becky chirped, "So please, go and 'mingle'. And have fun!" Lowell and Katherine turned to each other and smiled lovingly. They took each others' hands and began to rush towards the middle of the hall, towards the area marked as a dance hall, ready to strut their stuff. Nikolai sighed, instead deciding to just wander around the hall to see what the others had decided to dress themselves up as. That would, at the very least, be interesting, and would get him closer to the food table - and that giant pile of cookies. They sure were going fast, he noticed, with people picking each one off in seconds and often going back for a second. It seemed that they were quite tasty...or addictive, Nikolai didn't know. He tended not to trust anonymous gifts like this. Regardless, he went ahead and clomped his way through the hall, slinking around dancing partygoers or sometimes just barging right through them. The most noticeable group he saw was no other than the members of Team Sonic. Specifically Sonic himself, who had done little but remove his sleeves, paint his fur a much darker shade and was wearing some facepaint and contacts. Next to him was Tails, who had seemingly covered herself in a number of bandages and belts and bandoleers. She was looking at Sonic with a bemused smirk on her face. "You..." Tails stifled back a chuckle, "You went as HIM. One of the worst creepypastas known on the planet." "Well, it WAS Sonic.exe..." Sonic sighed, "And I needed a costume like, super fast! That's what I'm good at, anyway! You went as your Boomiverse self!" "Well..." Tails looked a bit embarrassed, "Yeah, I kinda ran out of time, too. But I'm proud of it, for what it is. What about Kate, then?" Both of them turned to their clone-echidna friend, Katie-Ka. She had not even bothered with a costume, instead wearing her standard white shirt, puffy jacket, black trousers and white boots. She spoke in her odd, almost certainly mechanical way, "I still do not understand why we must cover ourselves in these fear-inducing costumes in the first place. I have taken the time to research this pastime in the MOPA databases and it appears to be a holiday that is designed to honour the dead. Why must we dress up and go around to other houses begging for confectionery?" "...Fun?" Tails tried, shrugging alongside it, "Not every holiday follows what it was originally set out to do. I mean look at Christmas!" "Oh, don't get me started, fox boy..." came another voice, "What avarice, am I right?" Sonic gasped and turned around to see a very familiar figure behind him. It was Thorn, or rather whatever remained of Amy Rose, pink fur now a pale ruby with time and a distinct lack of care. She was wearing some clothes from someone Sonic knew all too well, with a light blue shirt and shorts, similar boots with yellow soles and similar gloves with yellow cuffs. She had to purple strands clipped to her hair to simulate tendrils and some jewels clipped to either side of her head. Sonic jumped. "Thorn!" he said, "Didn't expect to see you here..." "Didn't think so," Thorn sighed, "So, hedgehog. It's been a while. I was just wondering, y'know, how you've been." "Good, I..." Sonic sighed, "Look, Ames. I'm...I'm just-" "Sorry? For what you did to me?" Thorn asked. Sonic nodded and she smirked in response, "Oh, you are a silly hedgehog, aren't you? That was years ago. I'm over it now. Besides, think I like the new more a lot more than whatever that pink brat was supposed to be. I hear you've hooked up with Blaze now." "Frost, it's Frost now..." Sonic said, "I uh...thanks." "You're welcome," Thorn smiled again, "Now come on. That dance floor's got a spot with all our names on it!" "Got it!" Tails said, "Let me just get some of those cookies before they go!" Tails turned and dashed towards the table, almost bumping into Nikolai on the way. She apologised and continued on her way, while Nikolai just sighed and continued on his own route towards the table. He saw a lot more of his friends along the way; Silver was dressed up as a cyborg...well to be fair he sort of WAS a cyborg after War Master attacked him. Next to Silver was the same Frost Sonic had mentioned a mere minute ago, dressed up as a certain ice queen and having a polite conversation. No kissing or hugging, as one would expect with other Silvers and Blazes in the multiverse, just...talking. Like friends. The two were interrupted, however, when they heard a number of cheers behind them. It appeared that Katherine and Thorn had gotten into a rather unusual dancing competition. Nikolai watched the two duel from a safe distance - Kath tended to turn into a monster when she got going - and smiled in an amused manner; he didn't know she could breakdance that well. No wonder her love life with Lowell got a tad...kinky. Finally, he made it to the food table, eyeing its contents with a few good looks. Most of the food was not entirely to his liking, stuff he would tolerate but nothing he truly craved. Only one thing really caught his interest, that being the plate of cookies on the other side of the table. There were not that many left, even by this point, and Nikolai reached out to grab one of the very last. It was an otherwise average cookie, roughly cut into the shape of a ghost and decorated with white icing and what seemed to be sprinkles across the lower half. Nikolai had been willing to dig into one before, but a closer look at it revealed something rather off about them. The shape was fine, and the smell was fine, but the cookies themselves looked...furry. Like, there was fur baked directly into them and each one let off steam that turned a worrying black when meeting the air proper. Nikolai's face dropped as a feeling of shock overtook him; were the cookies tainted? What would they do those who had already consumed them?! Nikolai was suddenly jabbed in the back and he grunted in shock, turning to see who had done so; it was a black-furred hedgehog with messy quills and large, square glasses, wearing a black shirt and trousers combo with a red tie and...braces, for whatever reason. She was eating a cupcake that had a ghost sloppily painted on it, and she turned to Nikolai, "Oh, hey puddin'. Sorry 'bout that, I wasn't looking. Anything the matter? I ain't seen a paler man since I last watched a man freeze to death!" Nikolai's face looked a bit blank at this...unusual statement, but he grabbed this woman by the arms, "Who are you?" The woman grinned, "The name's Gina, friend. Something the matter?" "Gina..." Nikolai's voice had a tone of a warning, "Something is terribly wrong. These cookies that everyone have been eating appear to have been tainted! I fear someone has tried to poison us!" "Hehehehehehe..." Gina giggled, "Oh no, not poison, Sheila. Not as fun that way. Oh no! Our work is more subtle than that..." Nikolai had no time to question this before an explosion rocked the entire room. Dust and debris rained down on the party-goers, who yelped in shock and cowered behind whatever they could find, while Nikolai was thrown to the floor. As he got up, aching and bruised, he heard what could only be described as brickwalled circus music playing through tinny speakers. Pink and yellow floodlights rained down through the brand new hole in the ceiling and a large flying machine slowly sunk through the hole until it was near the top of the stairs. To Nikolai's shock, it was The Trickster, in his gaudy outfit and jester hat and cackling smile. "Greetings!" Trickster crowed as "Gina" rushed up to meet him on-stage, "Behold the majesty of The Trickster! And his lovely assistant, Giggles!" "Ooh, thank you!" Giggles said, "Now then! We're taking over this show now!" "Trickster!" Sonic yelled as he approached the stairs, "Honestly, of all the places! I mean if fits ya quite well, but here?! You got no shame, you know that right?" "I try my best, hedgehog..." Trickster grinned, "I think a little revenge is in order for drowning my lair under three tons of maple syrup! How DARE you abuse my tendency to just have noodle implements lying around like that! But don't worry. My latest plan is so devious, so EVIL, even you will be swayed by it." "Don't try it, Punhead!" Lowell growled, "Like we're gonna be swayed by your ways!" "Yeah," Katherine said, "I bet-" and she stopped. She cried out in pain, grabbing her stomach as she fell to her knees. Lowell went silent and quickly rushed over to Katherine, looking over her and trying to very best to determine what was wrong. Nikolai angrily grabbed one of the cookies and stormed to the front of the stairs as well, barking in The Trickster's general direction, "What did you do to them?!" Trickster turned to Nikolai, "Excuse me?" "The cookies!" Nikolai shouted, thrusting the cookies into the air, "There is no way you had nothing to do with these! What did you put in them? Poison? Chaos Energy? Raisins?!" "Oh, no no no, Nicky..." Trickster smugly said, "I'm not that boring. It's just that I picked up a few things from a friend of mine in another universe. Turns out, with a spoonful of sugar and a lot of transformative compounds that so enrich this world of ours, you can drop any old fur into a batch of cookies and anyone who eats them will...ooh, I dare not spoil it! Pay attention to the beautiful sniper who even now is feeling a dark energy course through her already blackened veins!" Almost on cue, and amongst Trickster's cackles, Katherine got to her knees and screamed as a dark blue flash of power enveloped her body, knocking Lowell back. The dust vanished as quickly as it had come about, and Katherine was still standing in the middle, but as a very different person. She was back in her own clothes, a red shirt with black overalls and a similar cap, but now she was also wearing a massive red scarf around her face, a vicious sneer across her blackened and demonic eyes. In her hands seemed to be a billy club of some kind, which had been engraved with lava-like cracks that glowed a powerful purple. Lowell's heart sunk as he realised where he had seen that scarf before. "...You...you turned her into Traveller?!" Lowell's jaw dropped. "Well that WASN'T quite what I was going for..." Trickster hummed, "It was supposed to be War Master. But this is great nonetheless! A brand new warmonger, complete with powers and the weapon with the squiggles...and ALL under my control!" "K-Katherine, speak to me!" Lowell pleaded. Katherine turned to him, a painful scowl visible in her eyes. She spoke in a growling whisper, "What do you want? Are you...trying to get in my way? Not wise, friendo. I've gotta find a way to redeem myself, see. And I'm not letting some goody two-shoes get in the way of that..." "Katherine no!" Lowell yelled as he narrowly dodged a roundhouse kick from the amalgamate, "Katherine NO!" "Katherine YES!" Giggles yelled too, "It's working perfectly! A little self-loathing, a bit of politeness, wittering on about redemption and a LOT of violence. Just what we wanted! And think of it, that was only one of those cookies. Imagine what would happen if you consumed...more of them?" The entire room went deadly silent and Nikolai's stomach dropped. He had been lucky, he hadn't eaten one of those cookies, but everyone else? Even now, as he looked around at the calm before the storm, the various guests were now experiencing stomach pains and had looks of sheer terror on their faces. Then, one by one to the sound of Trickster's cacophonous cackling, they burst into the same bolt of light as Katherine, each turning to a warped and scarf-bearing mockery of themselves. Lowell dropped the cookie he was going to eat in sheer horror and backed up away from the one closest to him, until he was back-to-back with Nikolai. The two spun around as they transformed around them, digging out various glowing and engraved weapons and eyeing each other with a sense of bitterness and pent-up anger. "Oh, look at them, Giggles!" Trickster giggled, digging a remote control out of his jacket and mashing some of the buttons on it, "My own private army of warmongers. I think I'll call them...the TravellerSelves. Now, my minions! ATTACK!" "Look at them..." one of them growled. "Just the sort of scum that plagues our worlds so foul..." Sonic spoke up, tugging at the large red scarf that was now wrapped around his face, "So many of them all over the multiverse." "Not fit for the air they breath," Thorn said, "Perhaps we should do them a favour. Save the world and the multiverse from them." "I mean it's only another two of millions..." Tails was next, aiming an engraved arm cannon at the two of them, "We'll be doing the multiverse a favour." "And maybe..." Katherine spoke up last, "Maybe we'll get our redemption." "This is madness on an unthought of scale!" Nikolai gasped, "He has created an army of Travellers!" "All of my worst nightmares at once..." Lowell gulped, "So, w-what're we gonna do? Fight them off? Reverse the process?" "No..." Nikolai turned to look at Lowell and grabbed his arm, "...We are going to run to the bathrooms like two small children." Lowell could only get out a, "Wait, wh-" before Nikolai tightened his grip on his arm and rushed towards the bathrooms near the west end of the building, barrelling through whoever he could to reach them. Finally, as the TravellerSelves closed in around them, Nikolai and Lowell bolted into the bathrooms and slammed the door shut in front of them. They almost immediately bulged out as the TravellerSelves on the other side attempted to break down the door, and both men had to hold it back with every ounce of their strength. "This door isn't gonna hold, Nikolai!" Lowell cried out, "Got any ideas?" "I do. Give me some time!" Nikolai said quickly, digging into his costume's inner pockets. He pulled out a gun-like device and fired it at the door, sending a piece of metal into it and shutting it tight. The two sighed and relaxed on the other side of the door, "There we go. That should hold...for a while." "A boltgun?!" Lowell asked incredulously, "Where did you get THAT from?!" "It was part of the costume," Nikolai shrugged, "I just edited it a bit so it could actually fire bolts. It is still a weak bolt, so that door will only hold for so long. Which is good. I do not want to bolt ourselves in like that. We must go back out there." "Why?!" Lowell asked, "Those jokers wanna kill us! And Katherine...I..." "Look, I know," Nikolai grabbed Lowell by the shoulders, "But we do not have the time to grovel in such a manner. We both know that Trickster will wait around for us and convert us too. After that, there is no telling exactly what he could do with what he has! We do not want him to have an army of super-strong and super-strong Travellers, do we?!" "...No, you're right," Lowell sighed, "He can't have that. So, got a plan? Do we have any weapons? As in, proper weapons?" "No, we left them back at the house," Nikolai said bluntly, "Had to. The only weapons we really have include this boltgun and the fake gun on my back. And my ice powers WOULD work if I had any Cryo Energy to work with. We will not be able to fight them off, but we CAN run AROUND them and get to Trickster. If we can at least grab his controller, we can stop him from attacking us and perhaps find a way to get these people back to normal. One can only hope the effects are temporary." "Got it. We'll flash the guns, just in case. Might be enough to get them to stand down until we rush it. Can I have the boltgun?" Nikolai nodded and gave the device to Lowell, unshouldering his fake submachine gun, "Thank you. Right...ready? ...Yeah, me neither. Three, two..." Nikolai took the lead, delivering a powerful kick to the door, sending it straight off his hinges. Both he and Lowell rushed back into the room and flashed their weapons, shouting out, "ONE...oh sh*t." === "Oh, you two are so precious!" Trickster giggled as he looked down on the battered bodies of Lowell and Nikolai, both barely conscious and being held in place by Giggles and Sonic respectively, "Did you REALLY think you could even run past a number of this guy? You two shmoes can barely handle ONE of him! That's what I love about Halloween! Treats and Trickery..." "Well, what now?" Lowell sighed, "What're you gonna do? Make us like them?" "Tempted..." Trickster sighed, "I've only got one of these things left. You people really are greedy, you know that, right? No fun in THAT whatsoever. But I know what IS fun. You, Lowell, one of my greater enemies alongside that meddlesome blue hedgehog. You of ALL of us here deserve to see yourself alone, with everyone you know and love wanting to kill you. Oh hedgehog!" Sonic responded, grabbing Nikolai's jaw and forcing it open, "Oh, Nikolai. You smart little ruski, you. You figured out there was something wrong with the cookies! I mean, really? Fur in the cookies, did no-one notice that? Now THAT'S funny! Anyway, I think you deserve a treat for being so...smart. Bottoms up!" Lowell could only watch in horror (and slow motion) as Trickster wound up to throw the cookie. He turned to Giggles, "Never liked punching women, but...sorry," and elbowed Giggles in the face to escape her grip. He dashed towards Nikolai, tearing off the scarf around his face, watching as the cookie was thrown and inched ever closer towards Nikolai's forced-open jaw. Lowell dived mouth first in front of it, yelling, "NOOOOOOOOOO!"...and swallowed the cookie whole. He collapsed to the floor, groaning in pain from both the impact and the effects of the cookie, as the flash of light began to overtake him too. "Lowell no!" Nikolai thrashed around, eventually throwing Sonic over his shoulder and punching him unconscious, running towards the fallen Lowell, "You fool! Why did you do that?!" "Because..." Lowell sighed as the light enveloped him, "'Cause I'm awesome..." The lights faded and Lowell stood up. Much to Nikolai's horror, he too was in his old beige trenchcoat and wearing a deep red scarf around his face. He spoke again, now in a more menacing and "edgy" tone, "And because...sometimes people just have to be put in their place..." "OOH, how ironic!" Trickster guffawed as the TravellerSelves closed in on Nikolai, "How poetic! The guy who tracked down such a killer is now the very thing he swore to destroy! How I love it so! Looks like SOMEONE is all alone now. Better make it a full circle...oh TravellerSelves? Destroy him!" "Yeah, yeah, whatever you say," Lowell sighed, brandishing an engraved sledgehammer, "C'mere, a**hole..." Nikolai's heart skipped several beats as the various TravellerSelves all began to approach him, every one with red scarves and angry sneers and about a million glowing and engraved weapons, their militaristic clomping almost in-tune with the Trickster's endless laughing. With no weapons, no powers and no idea to escape, Nikolai could do nothing but keep a straight face as they slowly surrounded him. The zombie-like muttering of the TravellerSelves was music to Trickster's ears, his own cackling voice along with them, making him rather unaware of the otherworldly grating sound that was behind him, increasing in pitch and volume. In fact he only noticed what was happening when a finger was tapping on his shoulder. "Excuse me, do you think I could distract you for a second or two?" The Trickster could only get a blurry glance at the man in front of him before a massive shock struck him in the neck and floored him. He groaned, pained and unable to move, as the attacker walked past him, small rod with glowing orange gem in it in tow. The TravellerSelves stopped advancing on Nikolai and turned to see who this new person was. Nikolai's jaw, even by the sheer confusion of this evening, hit the floor with who it was. It was some sort of dark-furred wolf, wearing a blue and black headband, an off-looking dinner suit with bowtie, brown leather gloves, one sneaker and one dress shoe. His hair was wild, a look of total dishevelment to his being, and someone who was very familiar indeed, "...Is that The Surgeon?!" "Hello everyone!" the wolf yelled out triumphantly, raising his hands into the air as if celebrating his entrance, "Distracting Question. Gets 'em every time!" "...How?!" Nikolai cried out, "You are a person from a television show! You should not exist!" "Well I certainly won't with that attitude," Surgeon shrugged, "Don't worry, I know about that show. It's...alright. Got my nose wrong, though," he grimaced, then walked over to the floored Trickster, grabbing the remote from his person, "Don't mind me, I was just planning to spend some Halloween cheer with my companion, but then I saw like a million of this one Warmonger and I thought 'oh dear'. So, what is this? Chaos Energy infused DNA-patching. Oh dear indeed. Looks like someone..." he turned to look at Trickster, "Tried to play god! Don't worry! This should reverse the process..." "WAIT!" Trickster shouted, but alas it was too late. The Surgeon had brought his Sonic Screwdriver up to the remote and zapped it with whatever energies powered it. The remote shorted out and emitted smoke, leaving the TravellerSelves staring blankly into space. They slowly turned to glower at each other as Trickster got to his feet, "You...you fool! Don't you know what happens when Warmongers are not controlled?!" "Oh, I know," Surgeon said, juggling the remote in his hands, "I've run into the guy myself over the years. He tends to be a bit violent, a bit petty, a bit self-loathing. Bit like every other Warmonger, really. In the same way that they tend to turn on each other with little...provocation..." he trailed off, staring at the TravellerSelves and back at the remote, "...Oops." What followed could only be described as total anarchy, as the TravellerSelves almost instantly began to fight among each other, swinging weapons and throwing punches and kicking and scratching and all sorts of violence alongside. They were changing targets at random, attacking one then another and back to the first in a blink of an eye. Nikolai himself could only fight back as the chaos ensued, darting around, between and even through through the fighters, swinging his own punches with all the force of a cannonball towards anyone who tried to attack him. The Surgeon, on the other hand, had panicked from his actions and rushed behind him. At the back of the room, a fair distance from the stairs, was a white cylinder with angled platforms on the bottom and top of it, with a single door on its front and a broken white light on the very top of it - TIME AND RELATIVE DIMENSIONS IN SPACE was inscribed on the upper platform, and for whatever reason had a phone installed just to the right of the door. He rushed to the side of this TARDIS, grabbing the phone and quickly pouring some words into it; "Janic, that didn't go to plan! Boot up the DNA Reset Wave, quickly!" "On it!" came the female voice on the other end of the phone. Even now, the TARDIS was beginning to hum with power, rings of electricity circling the outside of it as the wave charged. In the meanwhile, Surgeon turned to dash back across the upper platform (stopping to tase Trickster again to keep him floored) and surfed down the banister, knocking off some of the decor on the way, before leaping and landing just behind another one of Nikolai's barrelling punches. He dug out his Sonic Screwdriver again and the four prongs that seemed to hold the gem in place pointed forward with a faint crackling of electricity coursing around the tip. "WELL!" Surgeon shouted, barely dodging another overhead punch and tasing the TravellerSelf into submission, "This didn't work out quite as I hoped..." "I can only hope you have another plan to get us out of this mess!" Nikolai shouted, throwing one of the attacking TravellerSelves over his shoulder and barely missing Surgeon in the process, "I cannot take them all on!" "You won't have to!" Surgeon yelled, tasing another three of the attackers, "I've been through this scenario before! Last time it was MY fur that ended up in the cookies. Embarrassing. Anyway, I installed something into my TARDIS, some sort of wave-creating device. It removes any and all foreign DNA it can find and resets it to its original state. Should-WOAH!" he ducked to avoid a TravellerSelf being thrown towards him, which Nikolai batted away. He got up, "Should turn them back to normal! Brace yourself!" For the next two minutes, the two could only move like blurs as the fight continued, only increasing in rage and escalating in sheer chaos. Nikolai could only repeat what he was doing, ducking and dodging the various attacks and punching those who dared to approach him, while the Surgeon simply continued to tase as many as he could with his Screwdriver. Even with the best of their abilities, however, it was clear something needed to be done - and quickly. While the two minutes went slowly and without mercy, they finally properly elapsed and a wheezing groan escaped the bowels of the TARDIS. A wave formed around the light atop the machine and it fired, spreading down the stairs and straight through the crowds below. Nikolai and Surgeon instinctively hit the floor as the wave passed, watching as the TravellerSelves were affected by the wave and properly collapsed, one after the other. The scarves around each of their necks began to glow and eventually fragmented, lifting off their unconscious bodies and flying into the air as small glowing particles, and before long every member of the group were in their standard clothes but otherwise back to normal. Nikolai sighed and got to his feet, followed by the Surgeon, who did similar. "No!" Trickster yelled above them, stomping and tamtrumming, "No no NO! How DARE you destroy my project? I was doing so well...think of it! I could've had an army of super-strong warmongers. I could have taken over the city, the country, the planet, the UNIVERSE, THE MULTIVERSE ITSEL-" Trickster could not continue his ramblings as there was a cracking sound. Something had hit him quite hard in the back of the head, and his expression fell just as fast as his rapidly unconscious body. Standing over him was yet another new person, who had seemingly stumbled out of the TARDIS and swung rather hard with her cricket bat, flooring him instantly. It was a female hedgehog, purple in fur colour with her quills in a ponytail, wearing a red jumper and black trousers. She set her cracked cricket bat down and put her hands on her hips, staring at the two below her. The Surgeon flashed a bizarre sort of smile, "Can I just say? I sort of disapprove, Janic." Janic just flashed a coy smile, "Honestly, Surgeon. Where do we find these people?" === It took about five or so minutes but eventually the whole room was in perhaps not PERFECT but certainly a much better working order. The roof had been patched up, but would have to be painted at a later date, the decor was put back up and the table of food was once again upright and restocked, only now without the massive plate of cookies. The various party-members were scattered around the room, returned to normal and quite confused as to what had exactly happened. Nikolai and The Surgeon, Janic included, had done their best to help them along, providing water and explanations as to what happened. Even Becky, who had also been converted during the attack, was back to normal and was now helping the rest as best as she could. Thankfully, Surgeon noted, none of them really remembered anything after the flash of light and physically they were perfectly healthy. In fact, some of them were now healthier than they used to be, which confused Nikolai greatly. Regardless, he stood with Surgeon and Janic at the top of the stairs looking down at the group below. "Urgh..." Sonic groaned, "I feel like someone hit me in the head with Amy's Piko Piko Hammer." "The old one, I hope," Thorn said in response, "My new hammer's pressure-powered. A hit from that one would turn your noggin into a complete paste." "...Eew," Sonic groaned again. "Well..." Lowell sighed, some distance away and rubbing the sick Katherine's back, "I...I'm sorry, Kath. I didn't know this was going to happen, I-" "No, no, it's okay..." Katherine sighed happily, standing up and wrapping her arms around her husband, "I still had a great time up 'till then. I suppose you could say that was an experience. It was...odd, that form. The sheer anger and violence in it. It was quite, uh, exhilarating. Savage. But it felt so good." "Yeah, but Nikolai got rid of the last of the cookies," Lowell rubbed the back of his head, "So hopefully this won't happen again...right?" "Well..." Katherine smirked, opening the palm of her hand, "I've got another one. Good thing we reinforced our bed, eh?" Lowell's face fell into one of fear, "Oh no." "Uh, are those two always like that?" Surgeon asked quizzically, "They seem...experimental." "As I said," Nikolai groaned, "Animals. But they are my friends, and I owe a lot to them. I can only wish I could deal more pain to that infernal Trickster for what he did!" "Well, I'm sure you knocked out ENOUGH of his teeth," Janic mentioned off-handedly. "Yes," Surgeon said too, "And now that we've put him and his little friend outside, tied up and with a note saying 'Arrest Me'. No way the police 'round here can miss that, is there? The TravellerSelves as we know them shouldn't come back - no memory of what happened means no way for the Traveller part to return. Mind can't dig up something it doesn't know is there. And, uh..." He turned to Janic, "Sorry, Janic. I just wanted to show you a proper Halloween party after quite some time exploring the galaxy, but...well. Sort of turned into another adventure, didn't it?" "Just the way we like it," Janic reminded, "Why say that? We gonna leave?" "I was planning on it..." Surgeon shrugged, "There's not much else for us here. We showed up, we stopped another attempt to save the world, we'll move on to stop the next attempt. Unless you have any suggestions, Mr Pentreko?" "I do," Nikolai shrugged alongside him, "Look, I am...I am sorry for not thinking you were real. You see-" "Don't worry, I know," Surgeon shrugged, "It's just that some people heard of my exploits in the past and decided to make a TV show out of them. A very cheesy one at that. Oh well, can't be helped." "Well, I think the best way to make it up is to help to get this party back on track. After all, the night is still young. Who says you need to finish your night here? What about your cylinder? Does it have, for example, a disco box in it?" "...Well..." The Surgeon turned to Janic and grinned, turning and dashing into the TARDIS again. A few seconds elapsed within the room, then the TARDIS began to float upwards without making a sound. It soundlessly glided through the air until it was nearly touching the ceiling in the middle of the room. Suddenly, many panels in the cylinder opened up and disco lights flooded out of them, bathing the room in both bright lights and loud music. The crowd below looked upon the sight with awe, then began to cheer and dance alongside the music, wildly and vividly in ways even Nikolai had never seen before. He turned to Janic, "How is he doing this?!" "Dance-Centric Neuron Field!" Janic smiled, beginning to dance alongside the others, "Temporarily gives you MUCH better dancing skills while the music is going! Perhaps, Mr Pentreko, you would like to dance?" "...Well I DID come to have a good time!" Nikolai chuckled, "Come on, let us go!" As the two jumped down the stairs, he quickly turned to Janic again, "Oh yes, I do believe it makes sense to thank this Surgeon for his work, no?" "Good point," Janic mused, speaking into a gadget on her wrist, "He says thanks, Surgeon!" "Tell him he's welcome!" Surgeon called out happily, dancing his own bizarre jig from within the TARDIS, disco lights blaring inside the normally-verdant console room and even the Time Rotor on the console itself was flashing a number of colours. Putting on some DJ headphones, Surgeon grabbed a desk microphone from somewhere on the console and smashed a button elsewhere on it, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to a party revived! This is DJ TimeLord speaking, and I'm ready to spit out some classics from any time period! Or heck, even classics from another world! Get ready for the night of your life! And Happy Halloween!" With that, he cranked a lever on the TARDIS console, changing the music track to something more intense, and sent the party screaming into the night. The End =====-----===== Ref Images: Lowell, Nikolai, Katherine: http://fav.me/d9sl86l The Trickster: http://fav.me/d60oo2l The Surgeon: http://fav.me/dajr4v2 DeviantART Link: http://fav.me/damz5yr