- And we're back with Sponby Reloaded, a confusing mess from start to finish that has nonetheless pretty much become the backbone of my burgeoning fanfic verse. Lordgenome and Olympics are brought into it retroactively, it's a plot point in Sagacious and Eternity (more so in the latter), and various ideas within it have leaked over to my original fiction. Of my fanfic work so far, I think I like Olympics more, but Sponby's definitely second.
Last time (in the Olympics commentary) I said that I write fanfics for fun. It's not that I think fanfiction is inherently lesser when compared to original fiction, but I find that in fanfics, I can throw shit at the wall and see what sticks, while my original fiction tends to be a bit more meticulously planned. I've probably put as much effort into these fanfics as my later original work, so it's not a matter of quality, but they're just different styles.
Love Stroy, the Hans Von Hozel-style fic has two misspellings of "Spoony", aka The Spoony One. One is "Sponby" and the other is "Spoont". Like I said in Olympics, I'd seen "Suddenly, Sponby!" repeated a few times around after writing Love Stroy, so that's why I included him in Olympics (though Spoont gets some love later on). Sponby's introduction in Olympics was meant to be in the style of Thirty Hs, which is probably why I decided to write him as a larval (and eventually full-fledged) cosmic horror.
But that wasn't the original plan. After writing Love Stroy, I was going to write a follow-up starring "Sponby", a corrupted version of the Spoony One who was traveling through universes patterned after parodies of standard fic formats (hurt/comfort, revenge, fixer, etc). It would turn out that Sponby had been corrupted by being forced to slide through all of these different universes for an untold amount of time by The Guardian (from Ultima), and at the end of the story, Sponby would defeat The Guardian and basically become something similar to Azathoth.
Then I read Christian Humber Reloaded.
Now, Christian Humber Reloaded (I'll be referring to it as CHR from now on) is another really infamous badfic, though it's not nearly as well known as My Immortal. In some ways though, it's sort of the "male" equivalent to the "female" My Immortal; it's similarly nonsensical, but rather than focusing on romance and goffs, CHR is all about a ridiculously powerful Stu going through his favorite fictional universes and gaining their powers while completely usurping the roles of the actual heroes.
Other than that, the main difference between My Immortal and CHR is that, while My Immortal is in all likelihood a troll fic, CHR is almost certainly completely serious. And it's glorious. The sheer insanity is much more entertaining than a lot of published books I've read.
It's not on FF.net, so go ahead and look it up on Google. It's out there, and it even has a webcomic adaptation that adapts Part 1 (of 6) and makes it even better. I'll wait.
Sponby Reloaded is, in fact, an extended parody of CHR. It's not necessary to read CHR to understand Sponby (it's difficult to understand in its own right), but the overarching themes are similar, and a few of the characters from CHR appear in Sponby since I'm such a whore.
As soon as I read CHR, I knew that I had to do something with it. After finishing with Olympics, I decided to take the concept of "Sponby goes through alternate universes" and mix it up a bit, leading to this fic.
So that's the backstory behind this. On to the main event!
Part 1: The Sponby Experiment
- The first shout-out to CHR starts with these 'chapter titles', which are also used in said fic. I'll be pointing out most of the references to CHR as they come up, but unlike Olympics, I'll try to not point out too many of the references and jokes.
"Uh, what the hell?"
Spoony awoke in a small, featureless room. The walls were ostensibly white, but the dim lighting colored the walls a dingy yellow. He had no memory of how or why he came to be in this room - the last thing he could recall was driving home after going for a late night Taco Bell run.
The single door opened, and a familiar figure stepped into the room.
"Ehehehehehehe!" Doctor Insano cackled. "It is time, Spoony!"
"What the fuck? Who are you?" Spoony asked.
"Oh, I thought you would recognize your old friend, Doctor Insano!" Insano said, sounding somewhat disappointed.
"What? No, you're not Dr. Insano. He's just a stupid character in my stupid reviews!" Spoony said. "Listen, I don't know if you're just a crazy fan or whatever, but I would suggest letting me go before I call the cops."
- So, in this universe, The Spoony Experiment is a fictional webshow, and Black Lantern Spoony, Insano and the like don't actually exist. (Burton kinda does, but we'll get to that.) So the origin of Insano here is unknown, which sets up the twist at the very end of the fic. I knew how it was going to end as soon as I started writing Part 1, which is why I included mentions of Miles and Oreo's uncertain fates.
"So, you don't think I'm real, hmm?" Insano pondered. "Well, that will change soon enough. Come, Spoony: a new world of experimentation awaits!"
Two robots came into the room and restrained Spoony with cables. The robots dragged Spoony into a massive underground laboratory, and strapped him to an upright operating table.
The next few months were not fun for Spoony. Insano used him as a subject for the most depraved experiments imaginable: induced mutations, gene therapy, artificial and biological limb grafts, low-level psychic abilities...
By the end, Spoony barely qualified as human. A combination of life-support machines and a healing factor kept him alive, but only barely. Every second of his life was pain, and the only thing that kept him sane was one day knowing that he would escape and torture that son of a bitch.
- Like I said in Olympics, I'm a bit wary of doing anything too extreme to the quasi-real personalities that these fics star. I have no intention to offend anyone with these, but at the same time, mutating Spoony into a biotech abomination isn't exactly one of my prouder moments.
His salvation came one day when he heard an explosion in the house above. Insano had built his secret lab under Spoony's house, so whoever was up there was probably destroying his place.
A familiar figure in a purdy hat climbed down the ladder from the house above into the lab below.
"Okay, Doctor Insano! What have you done with Spoony?" Linkara demanded.
"Ehehehehe! Spoony is my newest test subject! Look at how much I've improved him!" Insano said while pointing at the biomechanical monstrosity that Spoony had become.
"Oh my... Insano, you've crossed the line this time!" Linkara yelled. He drew his magic gun and the Seventh Doctor's sonic screwdriver. Insano directed his robot hordes at Linkara, but Linkara killed them all with ease.
- But even though TSE isn't real, AT4W is, and Linkara is a savior of the universe with a spaceship... who still reviews comic books for a living. It might cause some problems in AT4W's continuity if Insano doesn't actually exist, but I'm willing to handwave that away as the fictional aspect, while Mechakara, Vyce and the Entity did actually exist (and the Insano that captured Mechakara and built Neutro was from another AU). Considering all of the universe-hopping we do later, it's probably best to just consider this as another AU.
"Ha! Not bad, Linkara! But there's more where that came from!" Insano got into his mecha suit with six arms and started firing away. Linkara deflected each shot with his sonic screwdriver.
"And I'm not dead just yet! White Zeo Ranger Power!" Linkara pulled out his zeonizer and transformed into the White Zeo Pimp. He placed the sonic screwdriver on his magic gun, combining the two weapons with his Zeo power: the resulting blast completely obliterated Insano's mech suit, though Insano himself was unharmed.
- Linkara combining his sonic screwdriver and magic gun is the second of many nods to CHR, where Vashblade (the protagonist of said fic) can combine his weapons into more powerful forms. I don't think we ever get an explanation why he can do this, so in Sponby, I handwaved it away as a function of his White Zeo Ranger form. Sponby himself gets to do this later on too, but there's a perfectly good explanation for that.
"Curses, foiled again!" Insano sweared. "Emergency temporal shift!" Insano pressed a button on his glasses and disappeared into the timestream.
"Damn it!" Linkara cursed. He pressed a button on his Zeonizer. "Nimue! Start tracking Insano."
"AFFIRMATIVE." Nimue said.
"My... my god, Spoony. What happened to you?" Linkara ran to Spoony.
"hrrrrhgheffffhgkl" Spoony sputtered. His ability to talk had long since been removed by Insano; the not-so-good doctor had gotten tired of being snarked at.
"...Spoony." Linkara shook his head. "I'm sorry, Spoony. All I can do is put you out of your misery."
"ATTENTION." Nimue's voice echoed in the empty lab. "IT MAY BE POSSIBLE TO COMBINE YOUR INTERNET REVIEWER MORPHER WITH TECHNOLOGY FROM COMICRON-1 TO RETURN SPOONY TO A HUMANOID FORM."
"Really?" Linkara was elated. "But a combination like that would be extremely unstable. And we have no idea what Insano did to him..."
"BUT IT WOULD SURELY BE A BETTER FATE THAN LEAVING HIM LIKE THIS."
"gghfhffdgddr" Spoony gurgled in agreement.
"Yeah, I guess so. Okay, let's do it." Nimue beamed the morpher and one of the replicators from Comicron-1 down into Insano's lab. Fortunately, Insano's technology was plug-and-play; Linkara went to work, installing the replicator and morpher into Spoony's life-support machines. He wired a couple of generators to the mess for good measure.
"Well, here goes." Linkara said. "I've modified the morpher to work on thought command. Just think 'it's morphin' time' and that should provide the energy necessary."
Spoony thought 'it's morphin' time' and the morpher did its work; it surrounded Spoony in an aura of pure energy, fusing what remained of his body to the various machines giving his life. Flesh and metal fused together far more masterfully than any human could ever accomplish, becoming something else entirely.
A minute later, Spoony emerged from the white cocoon, reborn. His body was still organic, and he looked exactly as he did before he had been kidnapped. But he felt far more powerful than before.
- If you think about it a bit (and I certainly have)... the biological and mechanical additions to Spoony give him enhanced abilities and psychic powers even in his civilian form, the morpher lets him transform into his shadow form, and the replicator gives him the ability to repair himself and break-down/replicate weapons and abilities on the fly. So, besides the shadowy nature of his alternate form, his abilities and nigh-invulnerability kinda make sense on their own, even without the explanation of Archetypes we get later.
"Hey, how are you doing, Spoony?" Linkara asked.
"...I'm not Spoony anymore." he said. "I'm not Noah Antwiler either. I don't even think I'm human anymore. I'm..."
"Sponby?" Linkara suggested.
"What, what the fuck is that?" Sponby asked.
"I dunno, Phelan came up with it or something." Linkara shrugged.
- I never really made it clear, but the intention was to make Sponby into sort of an organic cyborg of sorts. His body is synthetically-made but still living, and he's given a whole host of new abilities that make it clear that he's not really a run-of-the-mill human anymore. I had Linkara suggest the name "Sponby" as something Phelous came up with, as Phelous was one of the people who quoted "Suddenly Sponby!".
"Whatever, I guess it works." Sponby said. "Thanks for rescuing me and all that, man."
"Any time." Linkara said. "Uh, sorry. I uh, kinda destroyed your house a bit. It's still standing and all that, but..."
"It's okay, I'll fix it." Sponby said. "By the way, what happened to Miles?"
"He..." Linkara looked uncomfortable. "He disappeared just after you did. Nobody knows what happened to him."
- Though I did eventually resolve Miles' fate, I don't think I ever said what happened to Oreo. Uh, she just ran off and got adopted by some other family in Arizona.
"...I see." Sponby bowed his head. "I appreciate everything you've done for me, but I need to be alone."
"Okay. Call me if you need anything." Linkara teleported away. Sponby sat alone in the ruins of Insano's lab. In just a few short months, his life had changed irrecovably. His body had been twisted, and then reborn into something... else, his house was mostly destroyed, his brother was missing, and he hadn't done a review in months. His fans were gonna be pissed.
- "Noob Quest" is a reference to how the oft-parodied beginner quest in RPGs where the heroes take out rats in a basement. I'm not a huge tabletop RPG player (I've played a few Pathfinder and Exalted campaigns, but that's about it), but I tried to include a bunch of little nods to tabletop game memes and such because I know the real Spoony's a big fan.
A month passed. Though Sponby's house was in ruins, Insano's lab was still mostly intact; Sponby had cleared out a part of the lab and made a small living area in it. Living in there brought back some painful memories for Sponby, but he had gotten used to it.
One night, while Sponby was editing a review, he heard something scurrying around the lab. He grabbed a flashlight and looked around the ruins, but he couldn't find anything. Still he heard scurrying; there was definitely more than one of them, whatever they were.
Sponby went back to editing, ignoring the scurrying sounds. If only he still had Oreo... he wasn't sure what had happened to his dog, either. Sponby had looked around the ruins of his place, but he couldn't even find her skeleton or anything; his best guess (and hope) was that she escaped before shit went down.
Sponby kept editing his review. He didn't have to sleep anymore, so he figured he might as well do something productive. He could still eat and drink, though he didn't have to.
Something brushed up against his leg. Sponby looked down, and saw a nasty-looking mutant rat staring back at him with lifeless eyes. It sunk its teeth into Sponby's leg, and he cried out in pain. Sponby swatted at it with his arm, but it dug its teeth deeper into his flesh.
"Argh, god damnit!" Spoony yelled. This activated his new ability: his body shifted into a viscous, inky-black fluid of some sort. The rat tried to escape from his body, but it was stuck. Eventually, it gave up and let itself become absorbed, disappearing completely. Sponby felt the rat's power added to his own.
- Sponby's "shadow form" initially existed as a way for me to resolve something in CHR. Vashblade in that fic was able to gain new powers by "training" or just by gaining them via deus ex machina, really without rhyme or reason. So in Sponby, I decided to give Sponby the ability to absorb the bodies of his fallen enemies, gaining their powers like an even more unholy Kirby.
More mutant rats approached him, growling. Sponby simply thought about getting rid of them, and to his surprise, tendrils of shadowy energy shot from his body and attacked the rats. Each tendril latched itself to a rat and dragged them into his body, and he absorbed them as well.
Sponby got enough experience to level up! He decided to take a level in Wizard, though he only got a single first-level spell slot. He meditated for eight hours, and decided to prepare Sleep.
- The "experience" thing is something I never really bring up again, but Sponby does indeed keep gaining XP throughout his adventures. Though since he mostly gains power by absorbing enemies, it kind of pales in comparison.
It was the middle of the night. Sponby was feeling hungry for some reason; it might be a psychosomatic thing, or maybe he was genuinely hungry. But he didn't have any actual food, so he decided to go to Denny's.
- The scene in Denny's is mostly because I found it amusing to have Sponby go into Denny's and use his tendrils to consume all of the food.
He went to Denny's, and he ordered a bacon and eggs. While waiting for his order, he noticed that the guy at the next table was the Prince of his failed Vampire: The Requiem LARP.
"Hey, you!" the Prince said. "You're that noob who ragequit my Vampire LARP that one time. And you're the Leaping Wizards guy too!"
"Yeah, I used to be a pretty big dumbass." Sponby said.
"You still are! I watch your videos, and they just keep getting worse. You suck, Spoony!" the Prince said.
"Okay, that's just unnecessary." Sponby said. "And the name's Sponby."
"I don't care who you are, you're gonna pay for being such a bitch!" The Prince tried to Dominate Sponby, but Sponby made his save. Sponby then casted Sleep, putting everyone in the Denny's to sleep for 3d4 turns. Sponby shifted to his shadow form again, and shot shadowy tendrils at all of the food in the restaurant; he absorbed all of it into himself, regaining his single spell slot. Sponby decided to prepare Charm Person.
Just before the Prince woke up, Sponby Charmed him.
"Ugh, sorry man." the Prince said. "I just feel asleep there for a minute."
"It's okay." Sponby said. "Now, you were going to apologize to me, right?"
"Yeah, sorry." the Prince said. "I was acting pretty immature. Let's let bygones be bygones, okay?"
"works for me. Sponby said. He shook the hand of the Prince, and, his hunger satiated, he left the Denny's.
Sponby returned to his house. On the way there, he tried using his shadow powers in the dark; though he could create shadow tendrils, their range was limited. Sponby seemed to need some light to use his powers.
- This fact never really comes up again, though it does foreshadow his weakness to light-based magic later on.
Once Sponby got back home, he wandered around Insano's lab. He found a few devices that were still in good shape; he used his shadow powers on one of them, absorbing them into his being. Sponby had no idea what that device was meant to do, but instinctively, he knew it was only stored away. Sponby reached into his black body and pulled out the device from hammerspace.
"This is so exploitable." Sponby remarked.
- Like I said earlier, his hammerspace ability was originally a function of the matter replicator from Comicron One, but then we learn that most Greater Archetypes can do something like that naturally. Let's chalk it up to him being artificial and not quite understanding how his Akasha works yet.
Sponby palsmaed at one of the walls, destroying it and revealing another part of the lab beyond it. More mutant rats jumped out at him, but he simply absorbed them into himself. Unfortunately, he still needed a lot of experience to reach second level.
Sponby explored the lost wing of Insano's lab, finding even more fantastical technology. Where the hell did he get all of this stuff? Did he make it himself? And how was he able to afford it all? Then again, maybe he sold some of his stuff to get more money for more science, which he would sell for more money...
In the back of the lab was a Stargate. Sponby pressed a button on a nearby panel, activating the Stargate - but it was different than usual. The event horizon was red instead of blue, and it was glassy and smooth. Beside it was a smooth white gun, which Sponby absorbed into himself; it was tied to this gate, and it would allow him to use it from anywhere. But where did this Stargate lead? Taking a chance, Sponby stepped through the red portal...
- So Insano managed to build a Stargate that links different universes, controlled by an Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device. I don't know how, he just did. Again, it's another nod to CHR, where Vashblade would just fall into portals randomly; I gave Sponby the ability to summon them on command, but not to control their destination, for roughly the same effect without the random portal-falling-into thing.
Sponby appeared in a somewhat antiquated-looking small town. The people milling about suddenly had something to do, and they all ran back to their houses.
"What, where the hell is this?" Sponby wondered aloud. Actually, it looked vaguely familiar... Sponby was sure he'd seen this place before, but where?
As he was taking in his surroundings, a girly-looking dark-haired man strolled up to Sponby.
"Hey buddy, how's it going?" the man said.
"Who the hell are you?" Sponby asked.
"Name's Laguna. Laguna Loire." The man reached out to Sponby.
"Oh fuck no." Sponby realized where he was: Winhill, from the world of Final Fantasy VIII. Leave it to a mad scientist to invent a stargate that leads to worlds based on shitty video games.
"Sorry? You okay there, bud?" Laguna asked, somewhat confused.
"I'm going to stop this right here." Sponby shifted into his shadow form.
"Wait, what? You're some kinda monster!" Laguna grabbed his machine gun from nowhere and shot at Sponby, but the bullets had no effect. Desperate, he tried using his EX Burst to damage Sponby, but his body absorbed every blow, only increasing Sponby's power.
"My turn." Sponby cast another Sleep spell, but Laguna was curiously immune. So he tried attacking him with shadow tendrils, but a Protect spell deflected the attacks.
"Oh, the fairies!" Laguna said in surprise. "Okay buddy, you're going down now!" Laguna cast a Firaga spell, which actually did a bit of damage to Sponby.
"Wait, fairies?" Sponby wondered. 'Fortunately', his review of the game had made him intimately familiar with the game; he thought back, remembering that when the players took control of Laguna and friends, they would mention hearing 'fairies'. Which meant...
"You're tough! But I'm tougher!" Laguna shouted, throwing a grenade at Sponby; as usual, Sponby simply absorbed the blast.
"No, I'm going to stop this here and now! Fuck time paradoxes, you're dead Laguna!" Sponby yelled. He ran at Laguna; the Protect spell created an invisible barrier around Laguna, but Sponby's amorphous body surrounded the barrier, breaking it with ease. Before long, Laguna was no more.
Due to pime taradoxes and shit, Sponby was thrown into the 'present', where the main game takes place. Fortunately, he ended up right near Squall and his friends.
- When I first started writing Sponby, this scene with the FFVIII characters was one of my first ideas for a chapter. I used it pretty early, mostly because it wouldn't be satisfying for him to come back after Part 3 or whatever and kill them by simply existing.
"Huh?" Squall said dully. "Who're you?"
"Wait, that's the guy that killed Laguna!" Selphie screeched. She drew her nunchaku and rushed Sponby, but he threw her aside.
"My beef is with you, Emo Git!" Sponby said, pointing at Squall.
"I don't know you." Squall said. He summoned Ifrit, scorching the entire area with unholy flame. Sponby was hurt slightly, but he regenerated the damage in no time.
Sponby fired several shadow tendrils at Squall; Squall managed to cut through a few with his gunblade, but he was overwhelmed in little time. Sponby absorbed not only Squall, but the magic and Guardian Forces junctioned to him.
"No, fuck Junctioning." Sponby said. Instead, he drew directly on the powers of the GFs themselves, firing huge bursts of multi-elemental magical energy and reducing the area to ash. Selphie and Quistis inexplicably survived, but they too were absorbed in short order.
Sponby reflected on his new powers. Sure, GFs and Junctioning were stupid concepts, but he couldn't complain about having access to magic and summons.
"You know... I can absorb new powers, and I have access to the entire multiverse." Sponby said aloud. "Fuck reviews! I'm gonna hunt down Insano and get my revenge!" Sponby created another portal and stepped into it.
- Sponby never really loses sight of his main goal of getting revenge on Insano, even though the fight with the GMF takes up most of the story. But I'm going to assume that he does keep searching for Insano all that time, but as we establish later, he's very well-hidden, so it just really does take that long for Sponby to find him.
Sponby appeared in a castle somewhere.
"Who art thou?" the guard asked in butchered olde Englysh.
"I'm Sponby, motherfucker!" Sponby said as he roasted the guard to a crisp with a fire spell. And, not one to waste a good dead body, Sponby absorbed the dead guard.
"So, where the hell am I?" Sponby wondered. He looked around, but it just looked like a generic fantasy castle.
He wandered through it, killing guards along the way. None of them were a challenge, so he unfortunately didn't get any XP for it. But once he came upon the throne room, he realized where he was...
"I do not know who thou art, but would thou kindly GET THE HELL OUT OF MY CASTLE!" Lord British said, blasting Sponby with fire and lightning.
- "Would thou kindly GET THE HELL OUT OF MY CASTLE!" is another favorite line of mine. Lord British in canon is supposed to be a wise and kindly king, but considering all of the morally-ambiguous stuff he does (like banishing people to the Serpent Isles and establishing a state religion), there's enough room to repaint him as a despot without it being totally OOC.
"Really, that's all you've got? You're the all-powerful Lord British?" Sponby snarked.
"Thou art a fool!" Lord British opened a gate to the Elemental Plane of Jesters, and an infinite number of exploding jesters poured out of the gate, all of them spouting bad jokes and riddles.
"Fucking Chuckles, you're all gonna die!" Sponby tried to close the gate with his magic, but it would stay open as long as Lord British was alive. The exploding jesters were taking a toll on the castle, but the nigh invulnerability of both combatants meant it was little more than a nuisance.
"Give it up, Sponby!" Lord British yelled. "Thou cannot defeat me! I have NPC invulnerability!"
"But I've got the one thing that can defeat NPC invulnerability: the Lord British Postulate!" Sponby said. He shaped parts of his body into a glass sword, a commemorative plaque and a loaf of poisoned bread, and threw all three objects at the king.
- Sponby's aim is so good that he can throw a loaf of bread in such a way that it can either choke a man to death, or he can eat it - but it's poisoned, so he dies anyways. Sponby's all about the illusion of choice.
"No, my three weaknesses!" Lord British said as the glass sword shattered against his torso, the plaque hit him in the head and he involuntarily ate the loaf of bread. With Lord British's death, the gate closed, though the last of the exploding jesters reduced the castle to its foundations.
"Well, might as well put that body to good use." Sponby grabbed and absorbed Lord British's body, gaining his healing powers and nigh-invulnerability.
VIRTUES PART 2
The Avatar and his companions came across the ruins of Castle Britannia.
"My god, what's happened here?" the Avatar wondered.
"Something destroyed the entire castle!" Dupre stated.
"Thank you for that, Dupre." the Avatar snarked. "So where the hell is Lord British? My evil sword is telling me to kill him and set fire to his corpse."
"For the last time, Avatar, your sword is just a sword!" Iolo said. "It doesn't talk!"
"But it does! We put a demon into it!" the Avatar said. Shamino pulled Iolo aside.
"Listen, Iolo. We're almost done with destroying the Fellowship. Once we're done with that, we'll lock the Avatar up, but until then... let's just play along with his delusions." Shamino whispered.
"Do you want me to restrict your rations to that blood bread again?" Shamino threatened.
"No, I'll be good." Iolo whimpered.
"SUDDENLY SPONBY, BITCHES!" Sponby lept from the rubble, firing spells of all sorts at the group. Shamino and Dupre died instantly, but Iolo barely survived; the Avatar, of course, was unharmed.
"What? Who the hell are you?" The Avatar pointed his evil sword at Sponby, firing a huge bolt of lightning. Sponby absorbed the bolt, redirected it and reduced Iolo to a smouldering corpse.
"This being has great power! He will be my new master!" the Black Sword said, floating over to Sponby. Sponby took the sword and absorbed it into him, killing the demon but keeping his power.
Sponby fired shadow tendrils at the Avatar, but a mysterious barrier of light protected him, burning the tendrils. Sponby hissed in pain.
"SPONBY. YOU WILL NOT HARM THIS BEING." The Avatar said in a voice obviously not his own. The Avatar retaliated by firing tendrils of light from his aura, burning several holes in Sponby's shadow form. Sponby, giving in to the pain, junctioned all of his GFs to himself, letting them absorb the Avatar's blows.
Sponby healed himself with Lord British's powers, while the Avatar wailed on him with light. Sponby tried casting Reflect and Shell on himself, but the Avatar pierced right through them. Sponby started playing with his powers; he junctioned the Black Sword's power directly to himself via the GFs, upgrading his shadow form by becoming part-demon as well.
But, unsurprisingly, becoming a part-demon part-shadow being only increased his vulnerability to the Avatar's light tendrils. He was taking so much damage that even Lord British's powers were insufficient.
- During the fight with the Avatar, Sponby gains the power of the Black Sword, but never really uses it again. This is yet another not to CHR, where Vashblade's ever-increasing list of powers means that he just completely forgets some of them exist. And it's not totally about how I did the exact same thing, nope, not at all.
Finally, Sponby gave up. He collapsed to the ground, returning to his base form. The Avatar stopped his assault.
"BE WARNED, SPONBY... I WILL ALWAYS BE WATCHING." The Avatar disappeared in a flash of light. Licking his wounds, Sponby opened another portal and returned home.
- The second half of Part 1 is another nod to my love of mecha anime, as indicated by the title of this chapter. The part with Neutro refers to AT4W and I'll explain the last bit with Exodus when we get to it, but the middle part with GaoGaiGar probably doesn't make any sense unless you've watched the show. To be fair, CHR had a lot of that too.
Sponby had spent the last two months recovering from the Avatar's attacks. Even with Lord British's powers and Cure spells, Sponby's shadow form still hadn't fully recovered.
Not only that, but the attack made Sponby realize his weaknesses. Regular sunlight didn't seem to affect him, but light-based and positive-energy-based magic was a major weakness; not only that, but most of his abilities could be disabled by a basic anti-magic field or spell. He did have some non-magical trinkets, but if he was serious about finding and killing Insano, he needed to adapt.
Sponby cast a fireball at a random wall, unveiling another hidden wing of the lab. This one, however, was far different than anything he'd seen so far: unlike the other wings, which were places of experimentation, this was an armory.
Weapons of all shapes, sizes and effects lined the walls. But the most striking weapon of them all was in the back: a gigantic robotic head, twice as tall as a human, and presumably the head of an even bigger mecha.
"Neutro." Sponby said. Insano had built two versions of Neutro before; this must be Mark III. Its head alone had vulcan cannons, eye lasers, machine guns and RPGs; presumably, the rest of the robot was as well-equipped. If this thing was unleashed on the outside world...
The eyes of the massive mechanical man flashed red, and Sponby had to shift into his shadow form to absorb the wave of dakka headed toward him. Neutro took a step forward, shaking the entire lab and knocking most of the guns off their shelves.
Sponby fired a bunch of spells at Neutro, but all of them dissipated just before hitting it.
"Anti-magic field generator. Damn it." Sponby's shadow body absorbed another wave of missiles and lasers. Then again, if Insano was planning on using it to fight Linkara, installing an anti-magic field was quite clever of him. Sponby grabbed several of the weapons on the floor, firing them at Neutro in rapid succession, but none of them seemed to have an effect either.
Neutro's massive arm ripped through the floor of the lab, grabbing Sponby in its iron grip. Three more arms decimated the rest of the lab, and Neutro itself rose to the surface.
- It seems like people and robots with multiple arms is another recurring theme throughout my fics. Not sure why.
A panel on Neutro's chest opened. Sponby tried to squeeze out of Neutro's hand, but the anti-magic field disabled most of the properties of his shadow form, including the amorphousness. Neutro threw Spoony into the compartment in his chest, and the panel closed tightly.
Neutro generated an even stronger anti-magic field within the compartment, causing Sponby pain just by staying in his shadow form; as soon as he shifted back to his normal form, thirty or more needles pierced several parts of his body.
"Fuck!" Sponby yelled. The anti-magic field disappeared, and Sponby shifted back to his shadow form; unfortunately, the needles were still stuck in his body, draining his energy to fuel Neutro. Did Insano design this on purpose? Was converting Sponby to a shadow being his plan all along? Or is it just a coincidence?
- Spoiler: It's not a coincidence. Which either means that Insano was going to steal one of Comicron One's replicators and a morpher to convert Spoony into an Archetype, or he just planned on sticking biotech monstrosity Spoony into Neutro.
It didn't matter. With some effort, Sponby absorbed the needles, reversing the energy flow. With a sudden influx of energy, Sponby's body expanded to fill the compartment, eventually spreading to the rest of Neutro and absorbing the robot completely.
A few minutes later, Sponby returned to his normal size and form. Neutro was gone, completely absorbed into him. He felt the titanic being dwelling within him, only a few seconds away from being recalled at any time. Not only that, but Sponby could junction any of Neutro's weapons to himself, calling them up in an instant. They would serve as an effective weapon against any being immune to magic.
But even Neutro was still tied to his shadow form, which could still be disabled by an anti-magic field. Sponby still needed to find a way around that, either by becoming immune, or simply by integrating them into his normal form. Or both, preferably. It was time to head back out into the wide, wide multiverse, and search for even more power.
- This sequence with GaoGaiGar was originally going to be with The Big O (the mecha series, not the other thing) instead, but I ended up going with the former because I didn't like how the latter turned out.
Sponby appeared in an industrial-looking area. He couldn't control where his portals ended up, but he was pretty sure he'd be able to some day. Until then, he just had to take whatever he got.
Almost immediately, he realized where he was: Japan. How did he realize this? Well, the two giant robots fighting each other was a good indicator. One of them was black, and had a lion motif; the other was about twice the size, and it looked somewhat organic.
The lion robot wasn't doing very well; it was missing a wing and most of its helmet. The bigger robot fired a red laser at the lion robot.
"PROTECT SHADE!" The lion robot raised its left arm, creating an energy barrier that deflected the laser back at the bigger robot. But it just shrugged it off.
Sponby wasn't sure why these robots were fighting, but he wanted in. He shifted to his shadow form, and in barely a few seconds, he had taken on the size, shape and weaponry of Neutro . But he was still in his shadow form, as it offered more defense than any metal could ever hope to provide.
Sponby fired an impressive array of missiles, lasers, grenades and spells at the bigger robot; most of the attacks were deflected, and the ones that did do actual damage were negated by the robot's healing factor.
"Shit, is that thing another Primeval?" Sponby heard a transmission from the lion robot. Oddly enough, Sponby understood it perfectly while still knowing it was spoken in Japanese. Neutro must have a universal translator aboard.
"What the hell is a Primeval?" Sponby asked.
"That!" The lion robot fired its forearm at the bigger robot, though it once again had no effect. Sponby ran toward the bigger robot and fired a number of shadow tendrils, but the 'Primeval' responded with a number of wire-like organic tentacles, intercepting every one of Sponby's tendrils.
"Thanks for the distraction! Come on, Goldy!" The lion robot jumped into the air, returning a few seconds later with a gigantic golden hammer. With a mighty shout of "GOLDION HAMMER!", the lion robot dropped the hammer on the Primeval, converting all but a glowing pinkish-purple core into light.
Without even thinking, Sponby absorbed the core. He could feel its consciousness struggling within him; unlike everything else he had absorbed thus far, this thing too could absorb things, and it was trying to take Sponby as its new vessel. Sponby placed several spells on it, lessening its influence, but it wouldn't give up so easily.
But unfortunately, the Primeval core managed to resist some of Sponby's spells, taking control of his body. Sponby managed to split himself off from the main body, though the Primeval took all of his abilities.
"What did you do!" the lion robot, or more accurately its pilot, exclaimed. "You've just made it stronger!"
"How the hell was I supposed to know?" Sponby shouted back. "You should've told me not to do that!"
"Whatever. Ready for another strike, Goldy?"
"You betcha!" The hammer wriggled in the lion robot's grip. They struck the Primeval again, but it generated an extremely powerful barrier, deflecting the hammer blow. The lion robot staggered back.
"As usual, GaoGaiGar isn't up to the task." A gigantic white robot, about twice the size of the lion robot, appeared out of nowhere. "Allow me to take care of this."
"King J-Der!" the lion robot yelled. "I can handle this! Get out of the way!"
"Back off." The white robot fired a bunch of lasers at the lion robot, taking out its left arm and left leg. The white robot then turned to the Primeval, which was slowly getting bigger and bigger, and fired more lasers at it, but it just shrugged them off.
Sponby wasn't going to stand by in this. The lion robot was damaged, but Sponby still had his absorption powers... He ran to the disabled robot and attached himself to it, beginning the absorption process.
"Hey, what are you doing?" the pilot of the lion robot said.
"Get that thing off of us!" a second voice, coming from the hammer, said. A third voice, sounding like a lion's roar, agreed with them.
"Fuck that, Imma make you my bitches!" Sponby said as his body fully absorbed GaoGaiGar, Goldymarg and Guy himself. Sponby shifted his mass around, making a slightly smaller but fully-repaired Shadow GaoGaiGar.
Sponby quickly realized that the power source behind these mecha far surpassed what he expected. The GS-Ride, and the G-Stones that powered it, could generate tons of energy in a ridiculously short amout of time; the mechas were limited due to using such cumbersome bodies, but Sponby was far more efficient.
Sponby got to work with his new powers. He grew to twice the size of the white robot, dwarfing even the Primeval. He fired multiple Broken Magnums at the Primeval, but it only absorbed them, adding to its mass.
Plan B, then. Sponby recreated a scaled-up Goldion Hammer, funneling vast amounts of G-Stone energy into it. The G-Stones were slightly anathemic to Sponby's shadow form, but he could bear it: unfortunately, the Primeval could too, absorbing the energy and growing even more. The Primeval wasn't even bothering attacking anymore; it knew it could just take Sponby's attacks and gain energy from them.
"Hey you! White guy. Got any ideas?" Sponby asked.
"You damn fool. You've doomed us all!" Soldat-J, the pilot of the white robot King J-Der, replied. "This Primeval has outstripped even my power!"
"Then you won't mind if I borrow yours for a bit!" Sponby's tendrils shot out at King J-Der, absorbing it into himself. And then, a curious reaction occurred; the J-Jewel, the power source of King J-Der, and the G-Stone, the power source of GaoGaiGar, unleashed their respective hyper modes, increasing Sponby's power exponentially.
Not only that, but one of the passengers onboard King J-Der was specially designed to counteract the Primevals; among other powers, he could purify their cores, removing their personalities.
"Alright, let's start combining powers! Goldion J-Quath, bitches!" Sponby fired a huge burst of energy, in the shape of a golden phoenix; the Primeval absorbed some of it, but the rest burned away over half of its body. Before it could begin to regenerate...
"J-Hell and Heaven!" Sponby clasped his hands together; wings of flame erupted from Sponby's back, and a cyclone of green electromagnetic energy immobilized the Primeval. Propelled by pure energy, Sponby flew at the Primeval, ripping out its core and reabsorbing his body. He used one of his many new powers to purify the Primeval core, absorbing the pure Z-Crystal and gaining its power too.
Well, that was fruitful. Sponby returned to his normal size and activated the portal device again, stepping into another world.
GIANT ROBOT FIGHT
- If you're one of the few people that have read both Sponby and The Eternity Dodecatrilogy, you'll notice that the "Giant Robot Fight" bit here and the first chapter of the latter are quite similar. This is because they're both based on the same source material, which is a crappy fangame I once did.
In one of the communities I used to belong to, we held a contest to make the worst game possible. My entry was called "Giant Robot Fight", and the first chapter of Eternity is pretty much an exact transcript of the game. Here, it's slightly modified by Sponby's arrival, but Dad the magic-using tiger, Disco Megatron and Exodus are all part of the original story.
"Dad! Dad! There's an army of giant robots headed this way!" a kid decked out in armor said to his father.
"Do not worry, Son! I've built a giant robot of my own for just such an occasion!" the father said.
"But you're a tiger. How did you build a robot without opposable thumbs?"
"Don't worry about that! Come, let us go!" The son, named Son, and his father, named Dad, descended to the basement of their small house. But unbeknownst to Son, deep within the earth lied a great and terrible weapon: the super robot Daikaijin XX! Not only was its body made of Daikaite, the strongest alloy known to man, but its weapons could devastate the planet if left unchecked! It could take on armies of gods, and win! Because it was the great Daikaijin XX
"God, that narrator is hammy." Son said. Well, excuse me, princess!
Daikaijin began its bloody war by killing an entire squadron of Daleks. Their Exterminatus beams were no match for the mighty Daikaijin's Daikaite armor!
"Hahaha, not bad! But you are still men within that suit!" A time-space portal opened, and Megatron stepped out.
"Megatron!" Dad exclaimed. "Him and his Decepticons were the ones who turned me into a tiger."
"What? Why would we do that?" Megatron wondered. "Must have been an AU version of me. Regardless! I have been honoured with new powers from my great master. Behold! I am no longer mere Megatron!"
"Galvatron?" Son said.
"No! I am... Disco Megatron!" The battlefield transformed into a giant dance floor, complete with disco music in the background. Disco Megatron himself started flashing multiple colors.
"You may be the Lord of Disco, but we are the Ultimate Robot Daikaijin XX!" Daikaijin shifted into its Super Mode, gaining a healthy gold glow. Son engaged Disco Megatron in melee combat, while Dad started flinging spells from on top of Daikaijin's head.
"Curses! You may have defeated me for now, but I will return stronger!" Disco Megatron opened another portal and slipped through it. But the portal stayed open, and Sponby stepped through it.
Sponby surveyed his surroundings; there were hundreds of crushed Daleks on a giant dance floor for some reason. A shoddy-looking mecha was standing in the middle of the floor, and there was a tiger standing atop it.
"Am I high?" Sponby wondered.
"You! Who are you?" the tiger shouted. But before further inqueries could be made, every single Power Ranger and all of their Megazords all came out of nowhere lightning fast and swarmed the mighty Daikaijin Z.
- The name of Son and Dad's robot keeps changing because I forgot it a couple of times, and I just kept it in because I thought it was funny. As we established in Olympics, I tend to drastically overestimate how funny my 'jokes' are.
"Not to worry, we can handle this!" Son and Dad went to work, but they were quickly overwhelmed.
"Pah! Losers." Sponby transformed into his giant shadow form, an amalgamation of Neutro, GaoGaiGar, King J-Der, Optimus Prime and the Shining Gundam (he'd made some other stops on the way). He utterly dwarfed the remaining Megazords, even the really big ones.
All of the Megazords started charging up their finishing moves, but Sponby destroyed them in a single attack. He absorbed the remains, as well as the remaining Rangers, giving him even more power to draw from. It wasn't much, compared to his already considerable abilities, but every bit helped.
"Who are you?" Dad asked again.
"I am Sponby." Sponby said because his name was Sponby.
"Well, there's more giant robots on the way. Wanna help us fight them?" Dad asked.
"Really? 'Help'? Maybe more like 'do everything for us because we suck'." Sponby laughed. "Just sit back and let Uncle Sponby take care of everything."
"No way! Don't you know what this is? This is the invincible Daikaijin XD!" Son boasted.
"Yeah, whatever." Sponby flicked Daikaijin away with no effort. It wasn't even worth absorbing.
Sponby took care of the rest of the robots with ease; none of them were much of a threat.
...Until Disco Megatron reappeared.
"Seriously? Disco Megatron? What a pansy." Sponby said.
"You won't be laughing once I'm done with you!" Disco Megatron used his Disco Attack, which involved blasting "Stayin' Alive" at 500 decibels. The sonic attack demolished most of the countryside, but Sponby covered his ears, shielding him from the attack.
Disco Megatron then transformed intop his altmode, a psychedelic gazebo. For the first time in his new career, Sponby was slightly afraid; being an avid tabletop player, he knew firsthand the dangers of the gazebo.
Sponby used his own transformation powers to shift into an even deadlier form: Pun-Pun, the 1st-level kobold with divine powers. Unfortunately, even with all of his power, he could only maintain the Pun-Pun form for a few seconds; but he made good use of that time, shifting and locking Disco Megatron into his humanoid form. Spon-Pun then put on his robe and wizard hat, amplifying his magical power enough to cast a wide-range Ultima Disintegration Ray, destroying most of Disco Megatron's body.
- Both the gazebo and Pun-Pun are references to old DnD stories, but I won't spoil them for you. Go look them up instead. Also, the Pun-Pun transformation is one that Sponby never uses again, though probably because his base state becomes more powerful than that later on.
"No! I will not be defeated by you! Master, I call upon you!" Disco Megatron's body faded into the void, replaced with an omunous black sky. A massive red figure descended from the sky.
"BEHOLD AND DESPAIR, MORTAL! I AM EXODUS, GOD OF EVIL!" the demon announced.
"Really? Exodus? Hahahaha!" Sponby said, shifting back into his normal form. "Hold on a minute, let me get my magical punchcards."
"I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED SO EASILY THIS TIME!" Exodus said. He raised his arm, summoning deadly floors and grass. Sponby created a powerful Protect spell around himself, though this was only a temporary solution; the grass would break it soon.
"Well, let's see. I've got plenty of power sources in me; let's see what happens when I combine them all? I just hope my body can take it." And so, Sponby started combining powers: GFs, the Black Sword, Lord British's healing and durability magic, Insano's tech, the GS-Ride and Jewel Generator systems and the power sources of the other robots he absorbed, all of the Ranger powers and the Millenium Items that he picked up in a weird world where card games determined the fate of the world.
By doing so, Sponby reached a level of power that qualified him as a Type II Kardashev civilization - that is, having a level of power roughly equivalent to the Sun's output over its lifetime. Cosmically-speaking, it wasn't a whole lot, but it was certainly more powerful than Exodus.
- In retrospect, unless there was a huge time skip between the end of 'Desire' and the beginning of 'Giant Robot Fight', there's no way Sponby would qualify as a Type II civilization on his own. At best, he'd be close to a Type I.
"WHAT IS THIS? HOW COuLD A MORTAL BEING HAVE SO MUCH POWER!" Exodus said in fear.
"Ha! I've become far more than a mortal being!" Mega Sponby boasted. The amount of energy surging within his body annihilated all of the grass and floors in the area. "I'm Sponby, and I'm the most powerful reviewer in the universe! Screw you Linkara, I'm top dog now!"
"HA! LET'S SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO TO ME, REVIEWER!" Exodus said. He created a powerful shield of darkness around himself. "MY DEFENSE IS PERFECT! YOUR MEAGER POWER CANNOT HOPE TO SCRATCH IT!"
"Right, right. Well, I've learned a few tricks too. And I've come up with a technique of my own for once! SWAT TECHNIQUE LEVEL 1: STELLAR FLASHBANG!"
- The "[thing] TECHNIQUE LEVEL [x]" nomenclature for Sponby's special attacks was just kind of spur-of-the-moment. Most of them are references to The Spoony Experiment in some fashion, though others (like the Wave-Motion Gun) are just random references sprinkled in for flavor.
Sponby unleashed all of his power in a single burst, not only piercing Exodus' shield but doing massive damage to his weak point as well. Naturally, Sponby blinded himself with the burst, but he managed to absorb most of the backlash back into his body, only taking minor damage.
A few minutes later (once Sponby's vision returned), Sponby walked over to the remains of Exodus. It was still alive, though barely.
"Ha ha ha..." Exodus laughed. "You fool. You think you're powerful. But there are beings so powerful that they dwarf most gods... and many of them know of you!"
"Really? I'm flattered." Sponby said.
"Fool! My masters only let you live because it amuses them! BUt be warned, grow too powerful, and they will eliminate you without any effort!"
"Yeah, I doubt that. And stop calling me a fool."
"...You're standing in my spot, worm." Exodus spat at Sponby's feet.
"Oh that is IT!" Sponby absorbed the remains of Exodus' body. He had to invoke Arma's power to subdue Exodus' personality, but it was defiant to the end, calling Sponby a number of names that English doesn't have equivalents for. But, like the rest of his powers, Exodus' power was added to Sponby's own, and any last traces of its personality were thrown to the ether.
Chapter 2: Aliens, Cowboys and Bugs, Oh My!
- Back to CHR for a moment. Vashblade does in fact have several points where he's badly injured and has to heal up, but said healing periods almost always occur offscreen. Sponby has a few of those later, but this was an intentional aversion of that: here, he's badly weakened by the fight with Exodus, but he still has enough energy to pal around with some insect dudes.
Unfortunately, even though he wasn't injured by his own attack, Sponby was still pretty weak. The battle had pretty much destroyed everything on this planet, and his home had been pretty much wrecked by Neutro. Sponby activated his portal device and stepped into it, hoping to appear in a place where he could recuperate.
Sponby appeared on a dark purple landmass of some sort. Almost immediately, a pack of large insect-like creatures attacked him. Sponby absorbed them all, using them to restore some of his energy.
Sponby expanded his shadow form, taking the form of a basic house. Once it was fully formed, Sponby seperated himself from the house, which solidified into metal. It was basic, but it would do. Sponby wasn't sure how he knew he could form houses of his shadow form, but hey, it worked.
For the first time in over a year, Sponby slept. His scent attracted more insects, but none of them were able to get into his house. Sponby slept soundly... until one particular insect ripped the door off of the house.
"Huh? What the-" Sponby said as a cockroach-like being stood above him. He was taller than the other members of his species, his exoskeleton had a lustrous shine, and he was wearing an ornate crown and red cape.
"So, you are the legendary Sponby! Allow me to greet you. I am Damocles, King of the Equinox." The insect king bowed to Sponby.
- Speaking of insect dudes, the Equinox tribe is a concept that started off in my original works. (For those who read Sagacious, the Gzirthins are the original idea, and the Equinoxes are sort of a substitute for them.) The main idea is of a group of sapient insects that are heroic, even though they have vastly different morality than humans. Insects (and reptiles to a lesser degree) are almost always villainous, and I wanted to invert that in my terrible fic.
"Okay, is this a dream or hallucination or something?" Sponby wondered.
"No. We are the Equinox, the species native to this world. Your defeat of the Exodus that supressed us has allowed us to grow, and we have you to thank for that." Damocles snapped his fingers, and three insects wielding swords ran forward and bowed in front of Sponby.
- I don't know if it's clear or not, but King Damocles' use of "the Exodus that supressed us" here is meant to hint that there's more than one Exodus out there, thanks to the wide wide multiverse. Foreshadowing: it's either too obvious or too subtle when I use it.
"Seriously man, this is fucking weird." Sponby said.
"Yes, I understand. You must be extremely tired. Allow my royal guards to protect you from the barbarian tribes as you recuperate."
"Well, you're a king, don't you have a palace or something?"
"I am afraid not. The barbarian attacks are constant, and we are unable to settle down and build dwellings for ourselves." Despite not having anything remotely looking like a human shape, Sponby could tell that Damocles was sad.
"Well that sucks. Let me guess, once I've recovered, you want me to kill all of the barbarians, right?"
"Oh!" Damocles looked surprised. "No, I would not wish unjust death upon my brethren. But if you would be willing to protect us for a short time, we would be eternally grateful." Damocles himself bowed to Sponby.
A tribe of loyal insect people? That might come in handy some day.
"Okay, sure." Sponby said. "Just let me sleep this off."
"Yes, of course. We will protect you with our lives." The rest of the insects left Sponby's house; all together, there was probably only about 100 of them. Damocles drew a scepter from a gash in his body, waved it around and created a barrier around Sponby's house, while the other insects set up a simple camp around the house.
Some time later, Sponby woke up. He felt much better, though still not at full power. But if those barbarians were all as weak as the ones he absorbed, it shouldn't be a problem to defend Damocles and his ilk for a few weeks or whatever.
"Ah, Great-Lord Sponby!" Damocles said. "How do you feel?"
"Pretty good." Sponby said. Great-Lord? Now that was a title. "So, do you have a place picked out for your castle or something?"
"There is a hill to the northeast of here, controlled by barbarians. We wish to make our castle there."
"Can do. Let's go." Sponby got up and reabsorbed his house. The rest of the insects cheered as he and Damocles led the charge to Fevrier Hill.
Almost immediately, they were set upon by a group of barbarians. Unlike the predominately red and gold colouring of Damocles' people, these barbarians were green with blue and cyan highlights. Sponby shifted into his shadow form, but Damocles stopped him.
"Please, Great-Lord Sponby! Allow me to try and reason with them." Damocles stepped up to the leader of the barbarians, who was bigger than the rest.
"Ah, the so-called 'King' Damocles." the barbarian leader mocked. "No kingdom, and barely a hundred Equinoxes as subjects."
"I am working on building my kingdom. If you lead me pass now, I will reward you by allowing you to settle within my borders."
"Hah!" The barbarian leader spat some sort of acid at Damocles' feet. "An empty promise. I will take your crown and become the true King!"
"No, you will not." Damocles' royal guards stepped up, but Sponby absorbed half of them in one shot.
"What? What abberation is that?" the barbarian asked. The rest of his warriors either backed away, or simply ran.
"This is the Great-Lord Sponby that freed us!" Damocles boasted.
"What? The legendary Sponby would team with such a weak force. Then he does not deserve his title!" The barbarian charged at Damocles, but Sponby absorbed him.
"...King Damocles! All hail the King of the Equinox!" The rest of the barbarians bowed to Sponby and Damocles.
"Thank you, my brothers. We will all work for a better future!" The insects all cheered.
"So what's with the different colours?" Sponby asked as they marched toward Fevrier Hill.
"It is not unlike your uniforms." one of the former barbarians said. "We wear the colours of our leaders to show alleigance." Before his eyes, the green-and-blue barbarians all switched their colours to match the rest of Damocles' subjects, though they kept the cyan highlights at some points.
"Long in the past, all Equinoxes were of one colour." Damocles said. "But the coming of the Exodus split us into many warring factions. Leaders rose up among them, and their subjects took their colours."
"Well that sounds vaguely racist." Sponby said.
- Again, the use of the color-changes to show alleigance and the story of them all being one color was meant to be something that came off as very morally strange to Sponby (and presumably the readers), but it was just meant to show that they were different than the humans, but not necessarily evil.
"Our values and virtues are different than yours." Damocles said.
"Whatever. So did you just decide to name yourself King of the whatevers?"
"Yes. With the end of the Exodus' reign, we had the opportunity to reunite our peoples. I will admit that my King title is self-appointed, but everyone has chosen to call me by that title."
"King Damocles!" A scout ran up to the King. "Sir, we have just spotted a massive force seated upon Fevrier Hill!"
"I see. Prepare for battle!" The insects all cheered as they all drew weapons, even the common folk.
"You know, I could just go ahead and kill them all." Sponby suggested.
"Yes, but it is important to my people that they are directly involved in the battle." Damocles said. "And, if it is not too presumptuous, could I possibly ask that you hold back until my people are in need of help?"
"Sure, I guess."
The forces of King Damocles charged up Fevrier Hill, facing heavy resistance all the way. But King Damocles' kingly magic protected and powered-up his people, making them almost unstoppable.
But the leader of the barbarians, named Diomedes, had tricks up his sleeve as well. His own kingly power weakened Damocles', while his presence swayed some of the more weak-willed Equinoxes to his side.
- In a lot of stories where there's an insect-based race, it's almost always led by a hive queen of some sort. In Sponby, I decided to go with a king as a ruler instead just to mix it up a bit. Plus, real life hive queens don't really have much authority, they're mostly just there to make more kids.
That's where Sponby stepped in. He created a sword from his shadow form and engaged Diomedes in direct combat.
"Not shabby!" Diomedes said. "You truly are the legendary Sponby. But I am no mere tool of the God! My will is my own, and I cannot be defeated!"
"Yeah, you can." Sponby's sword turned into a chainsaw, which he used to cut Diomedes in half. Upon his death, the barbarians immediately swayed to King Damocles' side, ending the battle.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Castle Fevrier was complete. It had only taken three weeks to build; the Equinoxes secreted a substance that was harder than steel when dry, which they used to construct a magnificent castle.
- I never really go into the details of Equinox physiology or reproduction, but that's mostly because it doesn't really matter in the big picture. But I do know that some species of ants can build structures by using their own bodies, but since the Equinoxes are sapient, they're less expendable, so they use special spit instead.
"So, you are going?" King Damocles asked. Though only a few barbarian tribes had attacked in the intervening weeks, Sponby's presence and reputation had demoralized and driven away all but one of them; the one tribe that was foolish enough to attack were quickly defeated.
"Yes. I have to find someone." Sponby said.
"I see. Well, you are always welcome here; we have built a room for you, and it will always be open."
"Thanks." Sponby pulled out his portal device and set his "home" button to open here. Then he opened a portal, but before he could once again wander the multiverse, another being stepped through it: the Avatar.
"What? You!" Sponby shouted.
"We meet again, Sponby. I am the Avatar." The Avatar drew his sword and shield.
"No, you're not. You're being possessed by something, I can see it. So, why don't you just give up the facade and show me what you really are?"
"So you have grown powerful enough to see through my glamour. Very well, I will show you what I truly am."
The Avatar shifted into a form reminiscent of Sponby's own shadow form, but instead of Sponby's inky blackness, this being was made of dazzling light. Sponby recognized it as the same as the aura that had surrounded the Avatar when they fought before.
"My name is Spoont." the being said. "You are my shadow, my dark counterpart."
"Oh, of course you're an alternate version of me." Sponby said. "Let me guess, you're powered by light and love and kittens and all that good stuff."
- And we come to the proper introduction of Spoont, who is, if you'll recall, the other misspelling of Spoony's name used in Love Stroy. Naturally, his powers are light-based as opposed to Sponby's darkness, and his backstory is similar but different to Sponby's.
"Correct." Spoont said. "Professor Madeness took me, a dying soldier, and transformed me into a beacon against the darkness of my world. Though she died against that same darkness, I persevered, eventually ridding my world of darkness and returning it to the light. Since then, I've wandered the multiverse, liberating worlds that need a hero..."
- Professor Madeness is meant to be a female counterpart of Doctor Insano. She reappears briefly in Eternity and TGWTG Rangers, but I never really got a chance to make her an actual character. One of these days, perhaps.
"Thanks for the exposition." Sponby said.
"I've been watching you ever since we met in Britannia. You're growing more and more powerful... too powerful. I'm here to eliminate you before you become a threat to the multiverse."
"Well, someone read the Evil Overlord List."
"Yes, your snarkiness is present as usual. Now, you have two choices: I can remove your powers and you can go back to your normal life, or I can reduce you to quantum strings right here and now."
"Ha! Go ahead and try." Sponby started to power up, but to his surprise, Spoont was doing the same; his power sources were different, but he too had absorbed people and artifacts from throughout the multiverse.
Sponby started off by firing a Broken Magnum, but Spoont's light tendrils shot it down. Sponby raised a barrier, deflecting Spoont's tendrils, but Spoont broke the barrier with a burst of energy.
Sponby engaged the GS-Ride and Jewel Generator, kicking him into overdrive; he outspeeded Spoont, assaulting him from all sides with all sorts of melee weapons. As he suspected, Spoont was weak to Sponby's darkness abilities, just as Sponby was weak to Spoont's light. Now that they were more evenly matched, he could use that to his advantage.
But Spoont wasn't finished powering up either. With a flash of orange light, he started running circles around Sponby, firing missiles and lasers and the like at Sponby. Sponby responded by shooting shadow tendrils at Spoont, who countered with light tendrils; the two tendrils burned each other, but neither of them gave up.
"Ha! I'll show you who's more powerful." King Damocles, witnessing the epic battle in his throne room, decided to step in. He used his kingly magic to give a huge power boost to Sponby, though it was barely enough to match Spoont.
"Got any more power?" Sponby asked.
"There is another option. I know a special technique that should match well with your own natural abilities..." Damocles grabbed his scepter, chanted words in an alien language and transformed into pure energy.
The former Damocles entered Sponby's body, and a miraculous transformation took place: Sponby transformed into a giant dark dragon, which ate Spoont whole. Spoont unleashed all of his light power within Sponby's stomach, but Sponby's more considerable dark power neutralized all of it. Sponby then finished with...
- So the fusion of a bug king and a darkling results in a dragon. Why? Because dragons are awesome. I have no other excuse.
"I HEARD THAT TECHNIQUE LEVEL 2: PHANTASMAGORIC BREATH!" Sponby threw up the weakened Spoont, then blasted him with a burst of multicoloured energy breath. The sheer power of the breath ripped a hole in Castle Fevrier's roof, and sending whatever remained of Spoont into the atmosphere.
Damocles seperated from Sponby's body, returning Sponby to his normal human form. That breath technique, while not as strong as the Stellar Flashbang, still took a lot out of him.
"Thanks." Sponby said.
"Of course!" Damocles said. "But I have to warn you, don't rely on me being able to use that technique again. I can only perform it once in a lifetime."
"Do you think that that... Spoont character will return?"
"Knowing his type... probably." Sponby said. "I killed him dead, but I've seen resurrections from less."
"I see. I wish you luck in your journey, Sponby."
Sponby opened another portal and stepped through it.
- This next section with Cowboy Jeff Bridges in a quasi-Minecraft western world is pretty blatant filler. Part 2 was a bit short when I finished, so I added this in afterwards. That said, I still do like it.
Sponby woke up in a dusty desert. A man on a horse rode past him.
"Hey, stranger. Need a lift?" he asked.
"Yeah." Sponby climbed onto the horse.
"So what're you doing all the way out here, stranger?"
"Long story." Sponby said. "Where are we headed?"
"Goldstown. Little mining settlement. They'll be able to fix you up."
They rode for about two hours. The cowboy's name was Jeff Bridges, but despite some amateur theatre work in his youth, he wasn't an actor. Sponby wasn't sure if he was on Earth or not, though he knew that, despite what he'd seen in countless sci-fi movies, the evolution of identical beings with identical languages on different planets was extremely unlikely.
Hell, he wasn't even sure if Jeff was speaking English or not; his universal translator seemed to be permanently on regardless of his form, and he couldn't tell if he was speaking a different language or not. Not that he minded, but he'd definitely have to research this later on.
"Okay, we're here." Jeff and Sponby dismounted from the horse (it had no name), and entered the small town of Goldstown. It was built almost right next to a mountain, and several well-used mine entrances were carved into the mountain face. Sponby wasn't sure if that was such a good idea, but whatever.
"You've gotta be thirsty. Come on, we'll hit up the tavern for a drink." Jeff and Sponby walked into the tavern. Sponby didn't have any money on him, but he figured he could put it on Jeff's tab and pay him back later.
"Hey there, burly folks. How're you doing today?" the bartender asked. The tavern looked pretty shady; everyone was quietly playing games of chance and smoking up a storm.
"Not bad. Get me and my friend the strongest swill you got." Jeff said, slapping a small gold nugget on the counter.
"Aye, here you go." The bartender gave them two beers. Sponby took a sip and almost spit it out; it was warm. But then again, why was he expecting a cold beer? Refrigerators hadn't been invented yet.
"Not bad, mate." Jeff said, draining the last of his beer. "Gimme another one!"
"Aye." Sponby sipped his beer thoughtfully. This was... really odd, to say the least.
One of the rough cowboys, along with a wench, got up and walked over to them.
"Haven't seen your faces before. You two queer?" he asked with the tact expected of a cowboy.
"And if we are?" Jeff asked.
"Dude, I'm totally not." Sponby said.
"Oh really?" the wench said. "Look at 'im! He's scrawny and white! He's probably one of those city folk who spends all their time readin and gettin screwed in the backside!"
"I AM NOT GAY!" Sponby leapt up and socked the wench in the face. "Not that there's anything wrong with being gay, but I'm not about to put up with your shit!"
"Ey, you hit my sister!" The cowboy grabbed a chair and bashed it over Sponby's head.
"Bitch please!" Sponby grabbed the cowboy and piledriver'd him, knocking him out. This riled up the rest of the cowboys, starting an all-out barroom blitz.
Sponby and Jeff quietly escaped the chaos.
"Damn, I didn't even get to finish my beer." Jeff looked a bit disappointed.
"Uh, sorry. I didn't expect that to happen."
"S'alright. I've been involved in plenty of brawls in my time." Jeff flipped up his eyepatch, and Sponby stared into the empty eye socket. "Lost my eye to a bastard in Jules. Course, I killed him right after and tried putting one of his eyes in here, but it didn't work."
"No kidding. So, what now?"
"Well, I came here to get some more gold. I make a pretty tidy profit findin gold in exhausted mines. Wanna come with?"
Jeff stole some pickaxes and torches from the local goods-n-trades shop, and he and Sponby descended into the dark mines. He lit a torch, but seemingly only for Sponby's benefit; he could navigate through the darkness just as easily as in the light.
Sponby knew that his shadow form was all but useless in the dark, though he had plenty of other weapons, and it's not like he expected to meet any monsters down here. Then again...
Of course, he just jinxed it. Sponby held up his torch, coming face to face with a green monster with a hideous face.
"GET DOWN!" Jeff and Sponby hit the dirt, and the green creature exploded, leaving a crater in the rock. Fortunately, Sponby wasn't hurt too badly: unfortunately, Jeff was close to death.
"Damn it!" Sponby cursed. He tried picking up Jeff, but he spat blood all over his body as soon as Sponby kneeled down.
"Ah... sorry, Sponby. I wish... we could... have been friends..." Jeff passed on to that great Game Over screen in the sky.
Oddly, the mineshaft was illuminated. Sponby looked down the crater and saw a wooden treasure chest, protected by a cage of some sort; as soon as Sponby looked at it, zombies started magically spawning around the cage.
"Wonderful. I don't even fucking like Minecraft." Sponby complained. He threw a lit torch into the hole, burning the zombies; he followed shortly after, destroying the cage with a photon-power beam.
DUH NUH NUH NUH DUH NUH NUH NUH DUH NUH NUH NUH DUH NUH NUH NUH DA NA NA NA DA NA NA NA DA NA NA NA DA NA NA NA ...
You got a golden apple, three strings, some cocoa beans, a bushel of wheat and three smelted bars of iron!
"What? Whatever, this shit is useless." But he absorbed it anyways. He absorbed the chest, too, as well as the last flaming zombie.
Sponby leapt out of the dungeon and returned to the entrance of the mine... where an angry mob was waiting.
"He's the one!" one of them cried.
"Yeah, he's the one that hit me!" the wench from before said. Rather than torches and pitchforks, this mob was mostly equipped with guns. Sponby considered running back into the mines, but then he realized that he was pretty much invincible.
"Your weapons can't harm me. Just let me go and I won't bug you again." Sponby shouted.
"Shoot him!" They all shot him, and just as he suspected, the bullets had no effect.
- You win three cool points if you get this reference. That being said, it's a result of the dub; he wasn't explicitly immune to their weapons in the original Japanese, which is why he dodges their weapons anyways. Did I ever mention that I'm a huge trivia nerd?
"He's a witch! Kill him!" The mob charged him. He leapt over them and kept running; he didn't particularly want to open a portal and have these fools follow him through it. The mob chased after him, but the ground started to shake; cracks formed all across the mountain, and a gigantic Creeper burst from the mountain. Immediately, it exploded, scattering the pieces of the mountain across a huge area.
- AKA: Attack of the Fifty-Foot Whatever
Sponby survived, naturally, though he had to slip through cracks in several layers of rocks. The Giga Creeper still stood, preparing another explosion.
Sponby whipped out a BFG and fired a plasma shot at the Creeper, ripping a hole in it. Its hiss deafened him, and it exploded again, scattering more debris and sending Sponby flying.
Sponby got up again, healing himself. He ran towards the Giga Creeper, but his approach was blocked by more regular-sized Creepers. Sponby grabbed them with shadow tendrils and whipped them at the Giga Creeper, but most of its spawn exploded in midair, dealing little damage.
Sponby fired another BFG shot, but he missed. The Giga Creeper exploded again, but Sponby shielded himself this time, negating the brunt of the boom. Sponby fired several tendrils at the Giga Creeper, latching on to it and pulling himself toward it; but several smaller-than-average Creepers appeared from the Giga Creeper's skin and started destroying the tendrils.
To compensate, Sponby fired even more tendrils, only to be greeted by even more small Creepers. The Giga Creeper exploded once again, knocking Sponby to the ground and stunning him.
Okay, so this approach isn't working. Sponby needed to be... bigger. He transformed into his Mecha Sponby form, taking traits from the many giant robots he'd absorbed. The Creeper kaiju started spitting blocks of TNT at Sponby, which detonated on impact; the sheer amount of explosions did damage Sponby a bit.
"Hell! And! Heaven!" Sponby clasped his fists together, creating a tunnel of electromagnetic energy around both of them; the Giga Creeper struggled, but it was stuck. Sponby flew at the Giga Creeper, ripping out or outright disintegrating several of its explosive sacs; but, since it was big, it had a lot more than that.
The Giga Creeper tried to explode again, but the EM energy was still screwing it up. Sponby raised his arms and hit the Giga Creeper with a Breast Fire (snicker), killing it for good. Sponby absorbed the remains, gaining its explosive powers.
Well, this world was done. Sponby somehow knew that there's more of those things out there, just waiting to rise up and destroy everything... too bad for them. Sponby returned to normal size and opened a portal, heading into parts unknown.
"See ya later, Jeff Bridges."
- And as expected of a filler chapter, Sponby fights the Giga Creeper and gains the power to explode, but he never really uses it again. I guess technically he does explode himself in Part 4, but that could be any of the self-destruct systems from the giant robots he'd absorbed by that point.
Sponby sat perfectly still on a flat, rocky plain. Surrounding him were six grapefruit-sized, perfectly round stones; a seventh, unshaped one was in his hands. He carefully shaved atoms off of the stone in his hand, shaping it into a perfect sphere as well.
He'd learned this technique from a race of green slug men he'd run into. Only a few of them knew the specific technique, but Sponby... liberated the knowledge from them.
The seventh stone was done. Sponby infused some of his power in each stone, then chanted the spell that turned them into glassy orange balls. But even that wasn't enough; he'd need a lot of energy to actually give birth to the being that would eventually inhabit these balls.
The planet Sponby was on was much like Earth in its early days: a tumultuous place with little atmosphere to speak of. But, like Earth, it possessed the intrinsic ability to produce life. At this point in its development, the only life on this planet was simple chains of self-replicating molecules.
Perhaps someday, this planet would produce a species that would bring peace to life everywhere...
...but it would have to be in another universe.
Sponby chanted another set of words, drawing the entire planet's intrinsic life energy into himself. Even with his abilities, the sheer amount of power was overwhelming; he barely had enough time to infuse the glassy spheres with as much of the energy as he could.
He shaped the rest of the energy into a gigantic draconic being. He used the energy in the glassy spheres to give life and intelligence to the dragon, binding the dragon to the balls, and the balls to the dragon.
"I HAVE AWAKENED." the dragon announced.
- Dragon Balls. This bit ends up not being too important right away (especially since the wish backfires on him, as we'll see shortly), but it ends up being pretty important in the grand scheme of things, both in Sponby and later on in Eternity.
"I am your master, Dragon." Sponby said. "You will use your power to grant the wishes of anyone who collects these seven spheres and invokes your name."
"I WILL OBEY." The dragon's eyes flashed red. "WHAT IS YOUR WISH, MASTER?"
Sponby could wish for a lot of things. He could bring Doctor Insano to this place, to exact his revenge... he could wish for invincibility, ultimate power, an ultimate weapon. The dragon's power did have limits, but given the huge amount of power that had gone into its creation, its limits were quite high indeed.
While he was thinking about his wish, a massive laser tore a huge hole in the earth behind him. Sponby looked up and saw a huge spaceship hovering in the sky, with several smaller ones flying around it.
"What the hell?" Sponby wondered. He was about to fly up to see what was going on, but a bunch of people materialized on the surface in front of him.
The group, numbering around 50 or so, appeared to be generic mechanical grunts. They started firing lasers at Sponby, but he shrugged off the blasts. He absorbed a few of them and blasted the others with his various powers.
"Stop!" a female voice ordered. The robots all beamed up, leaving a single person behind: a ten-foot-tall cyborg woman with four arms and bright pink hair, dressed in some sort of glowing power armour.
"...Anime Borg?" Sponby guessed.
"I am Archetype, general of the Great Machine Force, Jetscrand division. You are the entity known as Sponby, correct?"
- It was around here that I codified the concept of the Archetypes, as a whole race of beings that could absorb powers from others. Sponby and Spoont are of course Archetypes, as is the general of the GMF that appears here. The difference is that Miss Archetype as I've dubbed her lacks an elemental form; instead, though she never really uses it, the so-called Lesser Archetypes have to modify their physical bodies to gain additional abilities. But as proven later on (both with Miss Archetype and Kunoichi), it's possible for Lesser Archetypes to gain elemental forms.
"Yeah, I am. And why are you here?"
"I have come for that." She pointed at the dragon. "Hey, dragon! I wish for Sponby to be confined in an impenetrable cage!"
"YOUR WISH IS GRANTED." A black cage appeared around Sponby. The dragon disappeared, and the seven balls flew off in random directions.
"Bridge! This is Archetype." the woman spoke into her wrist. "I have captured the quarry. Beam us both up, and while you're at it, find and capture those balls."
- The Great Machine Force is kind of my version of Chaos from CHR; the ever-present enemy that's defeated countless times, but never really goes away. Even when Sponby absorbs it all, a few of their ships end up in Sagacious. There's really no reason that they should pay attention to the sorting algorithm of evil, besides just being dumb, but if they killed Sponby off right here, there wouldn't be a story.
Archetype and several soldiers were standing guard around Sponby's cage, which was in the cargo hold of a ship. The cage negated all of Sponby's shadow-form-based powers.
"Hmm." Archetype looked into the cage. "You're a human, huh? Can't say I've ever seen one."
"Well, you look pretty human to me. Except for the four arms, and the hair, and the height."
"Oh, do I?" She laughed. "It's skin-deep at best. Believe me, we're completely different biologically."
"Whatever. So, why the hell did you capture me?"
"Oh, orders." Archetype pressed a button on her wrist, and a hologram of a starship appeared. "See this? This is the Super Exadian, one of the most powerful ships in the entire Great Machine Force. The captain who brings you to the Heart of Machines gets this ship. It's nothing personal."
- The Super Exadian (and the later Exceliator) are both corruptions of the Excellion, the main ship from Gunbuster. When I first wrote the fic, I'd just seen Gunbuster for the first time, which meant I had to include some bits of it in Sponby. I originally intended for Sponby and Spoont to team up here and fight off Gunbuster itself, but I changed that to an alternate Exodus to fulfill the foreshadowing from Damocles.
"Okay, and what's the Great Machine Force?"
"You're kind of dumb, aren't you? I'll say it slowly for you: it's a force of machines that's great. We exist to stop hotshot little people like you from declaring yourselves gods and subjugating everything you can. We're a pretty big deal to everyone who isn't from a backwater little planet like Humanville."
"Wh- Humanville, what? My home planet's called Earth."
"That's a dumb name. Anyways, I got no idea what they want with you, but it's not my job to know." Archetype walked over to the transporter pad. "Keep an eye on him. If he escapes, let me know." She teleported away, leaving the mechanical footsoldiers standing silently around the cage.
Sponby tried reaching through the cage, but an invisible field stopped him. He tried shifting into his shadow form again, but he got zapped by lightning. And none of the gadgets in his pocket worked at all.
But at the same time, he didn't think letting himself get to this 'Heart of Machines' place was a good idea. Hmm... Ah! Sponby used his oft-forgotten psychic powers, the only actual power he had in his normal form, to tap into the footsoldiers. They had organic brains, which Sponby took control of. There was no door in the cage, but the footsoldiers' lasers cut through the bars, allowing Sponby to slip through.
Sponby switched to his shadow form, absorbing the footsoldiers. He also tried absorbing the cage, but his shadow tendrils wouldn't stick to the cage, so he gave up.
Sponby stepped onto the transporter pad.
"Take me to the bridge." he said. He felt himself being ripped apart at the subatomic level, and rearranged atom by atom somewhere else on the ship. It wasn't painful, but it certainly wasn't pleasant.
"You!" More footsoldiers fired lasers at him, but he shrugged them off as always. Feeling a bit creative, he conjured up a minigun with effectively infinite ammo and let it rip. The robots were ripped apart, but fortunately the starship's hull was thick enough to resist it.
Sponby ran forward into the bridge, a massive glass dome with floating consoles all over the place. Most of the various crewmen were distinctly non-human; there were some robots, an amorphous blob thing, a couple of plant-like beings, and more. The most human was Archetype herself, but she didn't look happy.
"Damn it, he escaped!" She grabbed a bunch of grenade-like devices and threw them at Sponby; on detonation, the grenades created a force field around Sponby, but he broke through them easily. The crewmen drew various weapons.
- The 'incap grenades' (incap is short for incapacitation) basically create force fields around their target, allowing them to be captured and transported with ease. Naturally, Sponby's too powerful to be contained, so he breaks out easily. I never use incap grenades again, though I would very much like to somewhere down the road.
"No, stop you idiots!" Archetype screamed. "We need him alive!"
"Okay, listen up." Sponby said. "Now, I could leave here at any time, but I don't like being insulted. So, what you're all going to do, is let me absorb her, and I'll leave the rest of you alone. Okay?"
The crewmen looked at each other, muttering in various alien languages.
"You idiots!" Archetype screamed. "Throw your incap grenades at him! Stop him at all costs!" A few of them tried non-lethally stopping Sponby, but he broke through everything they threw at him. He power-walked toward her.
Sponby fired a single shadow tendril at Archetype, but she blocked it by drawing a lightsaber and burning it. She followed up by drawing three more lightsabers.
"Lightsabers. Pfff." Sponby fired more shadow tendrils, but Archetype managed to block almost all of them, to Sponby's great surprise. A brave plant-man rushed Sponby from behind, but he only ended up being absorbed into Sponby's body.
Archetype rushed at Sponby, apparently trying to cleave him into little pieces, but he collapsed into a puddle of black goo. She tried stabbing it with her lightsabers, but the puddle jumped and attached to her legs, engulfing her in an instant.
"No! No, Emergency Teleport!" Archetype disappeared from within Sponby's body. He returned to humanoid shape, only to realize that the rest of the crew was gone as well. He looked outside; apparently, he was in one of the smaller ships, as he was looking straight at the huge ship he saw before. He couldn't tell exactly how big it was, except that it was... well, big.
Sponby floated up to one of the consoles, but he had no idea how to pilot this thing. A massive laser fired from the main ship hit Sponby's ship; the shields held, but based on the reaction of the console, it couldn't take another hit.
Sponby had no choice. He remembered the piece of the Z-Crystal within him; he drew on its power, increasing his absorption abilities exponentially. He jammed his hand into the console, and tendrils of darkness and organic wires spewed from it shortly after.
It only took a minute for Sponby to absorb the entire ship. Even the small ship was at least the size of a city; that big ship was at least twenty or thirty times as large as just one of the small ships, but Sponby didn't think he'd be able to absorb it right now.
The main ship fired another barrage of lasers at the Sponbyship, but he raised the shields, enhanced by his various powers, and redirected the laser. He started firing weapons of all kinds at the main ship, but its shields were just as strong as Sponby's.
"...Who the hell are you?" Sponby received a transmission from the main ship. He recognized the voice as...
"Exodus?" Spondy asked.
"I am Captain Exodus of the flagship Midgigard. Who are you?"
"But I killed you!" Sponby shouted.
"Ah! You're Sponby, aren't you? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Yes, you killed an Exodus... but there is more than one of us throughout the wide, wide multiverse!" Exodus laughed. "Now, surrender yourself to us before we direct our full power upon you!"
"Yeah, good luck with that." Sponby started up the rest of his power sources, reaching his full potential. He reconfigured the ship's shape into a gigantic cannon.
"What? Stop this at once!" Exodus commanded.
"YAMATO TECHNIQUE LEVEL 4: WAVE MOTION BUSTER!" Sponby funneled all of his power into the cannon, firing an absolutely massive beam of white energy at the flagship. The Midgigard's shields did manage to absorb most of the blast, but what it didn't absorb resulted in massive structural damage. Most of the other smaller ships were caught in the blast, utterly annihilating all but one of them.
- Again, I kind of mangled "Wave-Motion Buster". It's supposed to be "Wave-Motion Gun", the signature attack of the space battleship Yamato. Not sure how I got confused.
"Damn it! Retreat! Be warned, Sponby: the Great Machine Force will not forget this!" The remaining ships teleported away.
Sponby sit, alone, hovering over a dead planet. He had made a powerful enemy; he had put all of his power into that attack, and it didn't even destroy that flagship. And there were more powerful flagships, and likely a lot more.
Sponby had to become more powerful. Or he could, you know, just hand himself over to the Heart of Machines, but fuck that. No, he had to get more powerful.
Sponby opened a portal and headed through it.