"Your fates all conclude in a bad ending." ~ Cronus, Ex-Aid.
Libera Me From Hell is the final episode of Tech 10: Star Spirit.
Napoleon woke up.
Everything seemed to be normal, all things considered. He had woken up a few minutes before his alarm went off, as usual, and a slight breeze drifted through the open windows, as usual. There was only one thing out of the ordinary.
He wasn't Napoleon.
"Well, that took long enough." He climbed out of bed and casually lit his arm ablaze, allowing red flames to burn away his flesh, exposing warped bone underneath. "I was beginning to get a bit impatient."
He walked over to one of the open windows and peered out at the neighborhood surrounding his house.
"I suppose I could burn all this to the ground right this second." He mused aloud. "On the other hand...I have a more interesting idea."
'Napoleon' casually stepped off the lift taking him down into Plumber Base UT1, arriving in the main area and silently grinning to himself.
"Hello, Napoleon." Alpha noted from where she stood at the monitors, acknowledging his presence without as much as turning around.
"Hello, Alpha." 'Napoleon' replied in a raspy voice.
Without missing a beat, 'Napoleon' casually created an arm cannon construct and blasted a hole through Alpha, shattering her Data Crystal and destroying the wall of computers behind her.
'Napoleon' stood in silence for a few moments before Herc, Pyros, Reaper, and Nova suddenly ran into the room from the hallway to the left.
"Yo, what's going on?!" Pyros demanded.
"Dad, what's-" Nova began moving towards 'Napoleon' before Herc suddenly grabbed her and pulled her back.
"That's not your father." Herc's eyes narrowed. "That's Kucorbian."
"What tipped you off, the skeleton arm?" Kucorbian laughed wryly. "It's been a while, hasn't it?"
"Won't be much longer, either." Herc shifted his arm into a massive laser shotgun and took aim at Kucorbian's head. "Nova, you should look away."
Before anyone could react, Herc fired, filling the room with a blinding light and a dull roar. Once everyone regained their vision, Kucorbian's headless body was laying still on the floor.
"Dude, what the hell?!" Pyros snapped.
"Believe it or not, that was Napoleon's last request to me." Herc shifted his arm back to normal. "He'd rather I kill him and Kucorbian instead of allowing Kucorbian to kill everyone else."
"Request or not, I don't think it was wise to do it at this particular moment." Reaper noted.
"Why no-" Herc cut himself off as he turned and caught sight of Nova, frozen in shock and staring in horror at the decapitated body of what used to be her father. "Oh...shit."
There were a few seconds of awkward silence as Herc tried to figure out what to say.
"...Sorry you had to see that." He eventually mumbled, still not very sure of his words.
"I knew this was going to happen sooner or later, but..." Nova choked out softly, falling to her knees as she did so. "I didn't...I didn't think..."
Nova stopped talking as she covered her mouth, trying desperately not to vomit. Herc tried to think of something else to say, but was interrupted as the body in front of them suddenly burst into red flames.
"Now what?!" Pyros yelled.
The flesh burnt off the body in a matter of seconds, leaving behind a warped skeleton that clearly wasn't human in nature. The robotic arm dissolved apart to reveal another skeletal arm underneath as the skeletal remains of the body slowly began to stand up with a malicious laugh. A skull suddenly sprouted from the vertebrae of the neck, quickly covering itself in an organ resembling a carved pumpkin with a red flame illuminating its insides.
"I hate to break it to you, but my soul has bonded with Swarm 1." Kucorbian sneered. "You can destroy my body all you want, but I'll just create another one over and over again."
"Nova, you need to get out of here and get Theo." Herc suddenly grabbed Nova and pulled her to her feet. "Swarm 1 is an inorganic object, so he should be able to destroy it with Bomb 2 Hell. We'll stay back and cover you."
"There's no time to talk about this right now, you have to get out of here!" Herc snapped.
Nova shakily nodded and took off for the elevator. Kucorbian attempt to shoot a ball of fire at her, but was intercepted by Herc, who had turned his arms into shields.
"You really think you can stand in my way?" Kucorbian laughed.
"No, but that's what healing powers are for." Herc retorted. "You're not getting out of this base alive."
Kucorbian's fiery glow increased in intensity as a grim smile came over his face.
"I was just about to say the same thing."
Theo walked out of school and took a deep breath that went unnoticed by the rest of his classmates rushing out of the building as fast as they could. Leaving school was always a messy ordeal thanks to the stampeding rage of high-schoolers, so he usually preferred to hang back and let the crowd disperse before getting too far from the building. After a few minutes, the crowd finally subsided, leaving him alone in front of the school. He began walking away, but was interrupted as Nova suddenly ran up to him seemingly from out of nowhere.
"Theo!" Nova choked out, panting heavily. "The base...my dad...Kucorbian...he-"
"Nova, calm down, I can't understand a thing you're saying!" Theo replied. "Here, hang on a second."
Season suddenly appeared next to Nova and pressed a hand against her forehead, sending a wave of calming energy flowing through her body. She gradually began breathing normally again, allowing her to be much more coherent.
"Thanks, but..." Nova fell onto the ground and began cradling her head in her hands. "Shit, I just can't believe this is happening."
"What's happening?" Theo knelt down next to her. "What's going on?"
"My dad got possessed by that Kucorbian...thing he was talking about." Nova replied, staring forward blankly. "Herc...shot his head off, but it...it didn't work. He thinks Bomb 2 Hell might be able to blow up Swarm 1 and kill him for good, but-"
"Wait a fuck, did you see your dad's head get blown off?" Theo asked in disbelief.
Nova's only response was a weak nod.
Theo sighed and stood up, activating the StarTrix.
"Alright, I'm going to go take care of this. You should go talk to my parents. They might know something about this we don't."
Theo moved to press down on the raised StarTrix dial, but stopped as Nova suddenly grabbed his wrist.
"Theo..." Nova shakily stood up and looked him in the eyes with a wholly uncharacteristic despaired expression. "I...I don't want to be alone right now."
Theo stared silently back at her. He eventually shifted his gaze towards the gauntlet resting on his arm, and then back towards Nova.
"...You don't have to be."
Kucorbian walked out of the burning rubble of the former Plumber base quite pleased with himself. He hadn't been entirely sure of his control over Swarm 1's power up until now, but being able to destroy an entire underground building and all of its inhabitants with a single charged blast swept those doubts away quite nicely.
Before he could get any further, a blue and silver humanoid alien slammed into the Earth in front of him, knocking him back a few feet thanks to the sudden change in air pressure.
"Kucorbian." Over Mt. Zion spoke with an echoing, authoritative voice. "I will return your existence to zero."
"Oh, I'm sure you will." Kucorbian scoffed. "I've had access to Napoleon's memories for the past twenty-five years, and if he recalls correctly, this is the form that odd fusion of the Theodore and Nova used to defeat Orion, which I can only assume means you are-"
"Technova." Over Mt. Zion confirmed. "No use going for the small guns."
"An amusing point, but it doesn't particularly matter what you use." Kucorbian replied. "Swarm 1's potential is infinite. I can counter anything you idiots decide to throw at me."
Over Mt. Zion shot a stream of silver Reset Fire at Kucorbian, who countered with a fiery blast of his own. The two energies clashed for a few moments before Kucorbian's fire abruptly overcame Over Mt. Zion's and crashed into them, sending them flying backwards. Before they could recover, Kucorbian was upon them, summoning a large broadsword and stabbing it through their abdomen. They stumbled back a few feet, reverting back to human with the sword still sticking out of their body.
"Agh, son of a bitch!" Technova snapped. "You're gonna regret that!"
"I'm not going to give you the chance to make me."
Kucorbian summoned an arm cannon and pointed it directly at Technova's face, preparing to fire. Before he could shoot, however, a large metallic arm reached out of a portal that suddenly appreared next to the cannon, knocking it aside and sending Kucorbian stumbling off a few feet to the side. Technova groaned and defused back into Theo and Nova, the sword previously lodged in their abdomen clattering to the ground.
The portal widened, shortly followed by Temportal and Moranna stepping through it. Temportal reverted back to Isaac, causing the portal to collapse in on itself. Isaac and Moranna quickly helped Theo and Nova up, looking them over to check for any injuries.
"Are you two okay?" Moranna asked.
"Yeah, but...what just happened?" Theo replied.
"I figured something was fucky when Napoleon didn't hit us up with his daily phone call to let us know he hadn't been taken over by an alien asshole yet." Isaac explained. "I used Fatemask to figure out what was going on and get here just in time."
"Since when do you have Fatemask?" Nova asked.
"I'm the one who brought the DNA sample here from the Steam timeline, you know." Isaac huffed. "Honestly, I need to tell you kids more about-"
Isaac was interrupted by Kucorbian abruptly slicing through his abdomen with a broadsword. Before anyone could react, Isaac's body was consumed in flames, disappearing altogether in just a few short seconds, SpecTrix and all.
"Did you really think I was going to sit back and let you people shoot the shit?" Kucorbian hissed. "I've been trapped in Eldridge's head for twenty-five years. You know something I realized?"
Moranna whipped out her gun, and managed to sink a few rounds into Kucorbian before he slashed at her the same way he had with Isaac, causing her to burn away within a few short seconds as well.
"Most of your enemies could have killed all of you almost instantly if they hadn't wasted their time talking and allowing you to talk."
Theo's shock at what had just happened swiftly turned into pure, unfiltered rage, resulting in him letting out a bloodcurdling warcry as Bomb 2 Hell manifested and began pummeling Kucorbian mercilessly. Chunks of Kucorbian's body were torn off and incinerated by the miniature explosions accompanying each punch, and as Kucorbian fell to the ground, Bomb 2 Hell switched to stomping on his body, crushing his bones until he was little more than a large smear of skeletal powder strewn across the ground.
Nova ran over to Theo and tried telling him something, but the ringing in his ears and overall disassociation from reality made it impossible for him to tell what she was saying. He gradually began to calm down, a process that was abruptly interrupted by a ball of burning energy carving its way through Nova's heart, killing her instantly. Time seemed to slow down as he turned his gaze to see Kucorbian standing right in front of him, with an arm cannon aimed directly at his forehead.
"You were so angry that you forgot to turn Swarm 1 into a bomb, and now you're going to die because of it." Kucorbian gloated. "Have fun with that thought in the next life."
With that, Kucorbian fired.
As the burning shot carved a hole through Theo's head, the world suddenly turned gray as time slowed to a halt. A strange man in an odd orange striped suit appeared, unseen by those frozen in time.
"...Well, this is certainly a mess." The Jester mumbled, thinking carefully about the current situation. "On the one hand, I don't like the idea of leaving things like this, but on the other hand, if I intervened too much in trying to fix it, the big man upstairs would get really cross."
"Sounds like you have quite the dilemma."
The Jester turned to see Divara sitting cross-legged on a nearby barrel.
"If you could call it a 'dilemma', granted." Divara continued. "We both know you aren't going to do anything."
"And what makes you so sure of that?"
"You said it yourself, you've got restrictions thanks to 'the big man upstairs'. I don't have those restrictions, but since the kid's done his job as a guinea pig, he's just gonna get in the way if I rescue him."
"True, though I have to imagine very few people wouldn't try to get in the way of what you're doing." The Jester replied dryly. "I understand your desire for nonexistence, but I have to object to dragging everyone and everything else along with you."
"It's not as if I like doing this!" Divara snapped. "If there was anything else that worked, I'd do that, but since there isn't, I can't!"
The Jester stayed silent for a few moments.
"I suppose you have a point, in a way." He sighed, adjusting his top hat. "I'm no stranger to causing trouble myself. I'm supposed to act as the universe's filtering system to make sure nobody gets infinite power and goes crazy, and in the end, someone ended up using my infinite power to kill all of my friends. It's the most depressing kind of ironic."
"Yeah, gotta say, not the biggest fan of that." Divara said. "Kucorbian might end up actually being a problem for the Entity."
"That's the real dilemma then, isn't it?" The Jester said. "Do I let this blatant misuse of my power stand, or do I destroy the one thing that could stop the end of existence itself?"
"You love this world." Divara spat. "That's hardly a dilemma at all."
"Correct." The Jester turned to Divara and grinned. "It was a rhetorical question. I already know my choice."
The Jester reached into his chest where his heart would be, and pulled out a small, rotating set of three gray rings orbiting around each other in slow motion.
"This is my real form." The Jester explained. "Very few people get to see it, so consider yourself lucky."
"...You're showing me this...why?" Divara asked.
"Not sure." The Jester shrugged. "I suppose I just wanted someone to see me before I went."
"What are you-"
The Jester suddenly clenched his hand into a fist, crushing the gray rings. His body began fading away as time started flicking back into motion. Divara stared at him in utter disbelief.
"What are you doing?!" Divara demanded. "Is this some kind of trick?!"
"No tricks, I'm afraid." The Jester shook his head. "I'm just removing myself, and by extension, my power, from the multiverse."
"Isn't that the opposite of what you want do do?!" Divara snapped. "You're just making it impossible for anyone to stop the Entity!"
"That's true, very true." The Jester nodded. "Of course, that's the point."
"Oh come on, don't tell me you haven't noticed." The Jester gestured at everything around them with his fading arms. "Time and space are incomplete. Something's gone terribly wrong, and it will continue to go terribly wrong in an eternal cycle until the perfect bump is found."
"What are you talking about?!"
"You'll see." The Jester grinned. "Or not. Probably the latter, considering that's the point. Farewell!"
With those last few words, the Jester's body faded away entirely as time restarted. The purple flames encircling Kucorbian's body abruptly dropped in intensity and changed to their natural deep crimson color. Theo's body hit the ground, though he was already dead before impact. Divara vanished as soon as she regained her wits, leaving the site of carnage and mayhem behind her.
Rozalio moved one last stack of books to the side and took a deep breath. He hadn't gained much progress in sorting his collection, mostly thanks to the fact that eternal life with no commitments makes it fairly easy to procrastinate on personal projects. He paused to think about what section of his library he should start on next, but was shortly interrupted by the long, deep sound of a bell ringing.
He immediately left his desk to investigate the odd noise. His castle's bells had been damaged in an electricity magic experiment a few hundred years back and he had never gotten around to fixing them, leaving the sudden chiming he was hearing now rather suspicious.
After a bit of looking around, he eventually identified that the sound was originating from behind a bookshelf in his study. He pulled out a certain book, opening up the secret room behind the bookshelf, and stepped inside to find the Celestial Clock ringing with all its hands pointed in separate directions.
"That's odd..." He mumbled, picking up the Celestial Clock to examine it. "I've never seen it do this before."
Before he could question it further, a horrifically deep, all-encompassing tearing sound that seemed to come from all directions at once began pulsing around him. The last thing he (or anyone, for that matter) saw was the Celestial Clock's rim suddenly light up with a single word repeated over and over.