- Open to Herc and Napoleon getting on Herc's spaceship
- Napoleon asks why they have to go off-planet
- Herc says he's sick of waiting around for Napoleon to figure out Swarm 1 on his own and figures they should start actively looking for a solution
- Kucorbian sneaks on board while nobody is looking (but spoopily)
- Herc says they'll probably be back within a month
- Cut to one month later repeating the same shitty joke from Act 1
"Do you not remember how much pointless sidequesting we did?!" Napoleon threw his arms into the air. "That planet with the weird giant heads-"
"Which was your fault." Herculian pointed out.
"The optician thing where we got attacked by that gang-"
"Again, your fault."
"That thing at the Archives of Oberon with the really angsty kid where we got attacked by that gang again-"
"I can't even begin to fathom how you could pin that one on me."
"I'm not trying to pin anything on anyone, I'm just saying we did a whole bunch of stuff that got us all of nowhere! We could've just been sitting around on Earth for the past month and gotten about as far in figuring out what Swarm 1 is or where it came from or how it works or literally anything!"
"Well excuse me for actually trying to do something productive!" Herculian snapped. "You've done absolutely nothing to try and figure out how it works!"
"It's not like this thing comes with a user's manual!" Napoleon protested. "What am I supposed to do, say "Swarm 1 Guide Activate" and expect something to pop out of thin ai-"
Napoleon was interrupted by Swarm 1 suddenly swirling off to the side and creating a solid orange and purple robotic humanoid figure in a flash of purple light.
"Good afternoon." The robotic figure spoke in a feminine voice. "I am the Swarm 1 Guide Construct. How may I assist you today?"
Herculian and Napoleon stared at the new construct for a few seconds in awkward silence before turning to stare at each other.
"You could have done that..." Herculian's right eye began twitching. "THIS ENTIRE TIME?!"
"Hey, it's not like you thought of it either!"
"How may I assist you today?" The construct repeated in a slightly impatient tone.
- While they're arguing the ship suddenly makes a jump to the Anur System (because Kucorbian's being a cheeky bitch but that doesn't get spelled out yet)
- They crash-land on Anur Transyl and Kucorbian reveals himself like the flamboyant motherfucker he is
- The crowd of civilians flies into chaos and a Transylian gestures Napoleon and Herculian over to take shelter in his basement alongside some other citizens.
"Geez, thanks man." Napoleon heaved a sigh of relief. "That guy's a real pain in the-"
Napoleon turned around and cut himself off as he saw a crowd of civilians huddled up in the basement, all of them staring at him apprehensively.
"Uh..." Napoleon's face twisted in confusion. "What's with them?"
"You'll have to excuse them." The Transylian that had ushered Napoleon into the cellar replied. "The Anur System has only recently fallen under Plumber jurisdiction. We're still not used to outsiders."
"I'm guessing it doesn't help that Kucorbian hijacked my ship to get here." Herculian huffed.
"Not particularly, no."
"So why'd you help us?" Napoleon asked.
"We're skittish, not heartless." The Transylian huffed. "And at any rate, I personally happen to have quite an interest in outsiders and their culture. It's why I became a librarian here in the first place."
"This is a library?"
"Did all the books on the upper level really not tip you off?" Herculian snapped.
"I was a little distracted at the time, okay?!"
"More importantly, why is there a hidden bunker in the cellar of a library?" Herculian raised an eyebrow in suspicion. "Seems a little odd."
"It's a remnant from the Transylian Revolt." The librarian tapped against the marbled red and green stone wall of the cellar. "Solid bloodstone. Impervious to Vladat assault."
"So what's that pumpkin-head's deal, anyway?" Napoleon asked. "It seems like he has some history here."
"Lord Kucorbian is originally from the Anur System." The librarian explained. "He was banished to Earth some five thousand years ago. I never thought I'd see him with my own eyes."
"Hold up a second." Napoleon scratched the side of his head. "If he got banished to Earth five thousand years ago, how do you know about it? Are you guys like immortal or something?"
"...Does history class not exist on Earth?"
"It does, but they never talk about the cool stuff." Napoleon shrugged. "The heck did this guy do that he's part of your standard curriculum?"
"He committed genocide." The librarian narrowed his eyes.
"...Oh." Napoleon paused. "Okay, that's a pretty good reason."
"You think you could elaborate on that?" Herculian asked gruffly, leaning against the wall. "He seems dangerous, but not "wipe out a civilization" dangerous."
"Kucorbian was originally the High Lord of the Anima Devorantum."
"The what now?" Napoleon asked.
"Kucorbian's species." The librarian cleared his throat. "The Anima Devorantum were known for their ability to gain power from absorbing souls, but their reclusive nature meant they were never seen as a threat. Until Kucorbian, that is."
The librarian paused, rubbing the bridge of his nose and letting out a heavy sigh before continuing.
"Kucorbian, for reasons known only to him, turned on his people. They fought back, of course, but every new army they sent was simply a new batch of souls to make him stronger. Maybe if they had recognized what he was capable of sooner, they could have defeated him, but as it was...he slaughtered them like animals."
The tension in the room was palpable as Napoleon and Herculian waited for the librarian to continue.
"Trade with the Anima Devorantum was minimal at best, but when it ceased altogether, the Vladats became suspicious." The librarian further explained. "They sent a search party of Transylian slaves to investigate. None of them survived."
"Okay, there's that word again." Napoleon tilted his head to the side. "What's a Vladat?"
"Vampiric aliens that once enslaved the Transylians and ruled the Anur System. They've been extinct for centuries now."
"Well, okay then."
"Continuing on," The librarian said. "More search parties were sent after the first one never returned. Eventually, the Vladats had to investigate for themselves. That's when they found Kucorbian and realized what had occurred."
"And that was when they banished him?"
"That was when they began trying." The librarian tapped his foot nervously. "Many lives were lost in the ensuing battle, but through the combined forces of every remaining species in the Anur System, they were able to kill him."
"Sounds like they didn't do a very good job of that." Herculian scoffed.
"Unfortunately, Kucorbian's soul is immortal." The librarian explained. "If his body is destroyed, he can simply take over another body and make it his own."
"That explains how he was able to come back after I exploded him." Napoleon noted thoughtfully. "So I didn't screw that up!"
"What?" The librarian looked confused.
"Ignore him." Herculian said. "Keep going."
"...Alright then." The librarian blinked. "Anyway, unable to permanently kill Kucorbian, the Vladats banished him to a backwater planet where he would be hunted by the primitive inhabitants for the rest of his days, however long that may be."
"Earth." Napoleon nodded.
"Precisely. The Vladats sent an entourage of various Anur species to Earth along with Kucorbian to make sure he was kept in line. Unfortunately, their plan for Kucorbian's fate backfired, and from what I understand, Kucorbian capitalized on his abilities among the humans whereas his intended jailers were confused with mildly similar Earth legends and hunted down as such."
"I guess that explains Earth's anachronistic view of their own legends." Herculian grumbled. "Modern Earth monsters are more similar to Anur species than their original goddamn counterparts."
"Yes, from what I've read, the Anur species' presence on Earth did influence their culture a fair amount." The librarian nodded. "Even Kucorbian himself was likely responsible for influencing the legend of an infamous mythical horseman."
"Paul Revere, of course..." Napoleon mumbled.
"...What-" The librarian began, only for Herculian to gesture to him to stop talking.
"You're not going to get a satisfactory answer." Herculian stated flatly. "Nobody ever does."
"Alright, I think I got all that, but I still have one last question." Napoleon said.
"Which would be...?"
"Why does Kucorbian wear a pumpkin over his head?" Napoleon gestured to his own head to accentuate his point.
"It's not a real 'pumpkin', but I suppose that's the closest Earth nomenclature." The librarian replied. "All Anima Devorantum wore them before they were killed off by Kucorbian. There's very little information on the subject, but from what I've been able to gather, the mythology surrounding the 'pumpkins' is similar to the old Earth tradition of covering your mouth when you yawn to prevent your soul from escaping. Legend has it that seeing a Devorantum's true face gives the observer the power to tear their soul from their bodies, or something similar to that. As I said, scant information."
"Hardcore." Napoleon whistled. "Welp, thanks for the info, librarian dude! I'm off to kick Kucorbian's ass."
Napoleon turned and began crawling up the ladder leading out of the cellar.
"Wait a minute, have you not listened to a word I just said?!" The librarian yelled. "He'll rip out your soul!"
"Don't worry about it!" Napoleon turned to give the librarian a thumbs up. "I beat him before, and I'll do it again!"
"You...beat him before?" The librarian asked in disbelief.
"Apparently so." Herculian sighed. "I wasn't there, so I can't confirm it, but I don't think he's lying."
"You guys just sit tight!" Napoleon grinned. "I'll be back in a jiggy!"
Napoleon completed his ascent up the ladder, leaving the cellar and its very confused inhabitants behind.
"A...jiggy?" The librarian questioned.
"Jiffy." Herculian let out a deep sigh of frustration. "He meant 'jiffy'."
The skeletal warlord turned around to see Napoleon standing on the other side of the square, assuming a rather dramatic fighting stance.
"Well, look who it is." Kucorbian chuckled. "The Earth brat who brought me back to my home system. I'd thank you for that, but I really don't have the patience."
"You snuck on board, you jerk!" Napoleon snapped. "And we weren't even going to the Anur System before you hijacked the ship! Stop acting like this is my fault somehow!"
"If you don't like what I'm saying, you're free to try shutting me up." Kucorbian taunted. "But be warned, I've absorbed a good number of new souls while you were running away, so I'm a bit more powerful than I was in our last encounter."
"Don't screw with me!" Napoleon yelled. "If you absorbed so many souls, where are the bodies, huh? You're bluffing!"
"You really are an idiot." Kucorbian smirked. "I can create normal fire in addition to my Hellfire. It's a bit of a pain, so I wouldn't ordinarily use it, but it's a rather convenient way of clearing out a pile of corpses."
"A pile of..." Napoleon's eyes widened. "How many people did you kill?!"
"I stopped keeping track at some point." Kucorbian replied. "You're free to try estimating a number for yourself, though. Each corpse leaves an average scorch mark of a few feet in length and about a foot in width. Look around the square and tell me what you see."
Napoleon looked down at the cobblestone of the once-crowded area, his blood running cold as he realized the ground of the entire square was scorched a charcoal black.
"What do you think?" The expression on Kucorbian's pumpkin took on a malevolent grin. "Not bad for someone who's been out of practice for a few centuries, wouldn't you say?"
Napoleon's only response to this was an enraged yell as he began running at Kucorbian, who scoffed and began running towards Napoleon as well. The two met in the center of the square, each punching the other square in the face and knocking each other back a few feet. Napoleon spat out some blood and summoned a broadsword construct, charging at Kucorbian with the intent to slice him in half like in their last encounter. Kucorbian instantly recognized the attack and stepped off to the side just as Napoleon brought the sword down at his head.
"Do you honestly believe I would fall for the same attack twice?! Kucorbian crowed, punching Napoleon in the gut and knocking the wind out of him. "Useless!"
Kucorbian grabbed Napoleon by the arm and flipped him over, smashing him into the cobblestone face-first. He grinned and backed away, preparing a blast of his soul-stealing fire to finish the job. Fully expecting Napoleon to have been knocked out cold by his last move, he was caught a tad off-guard as Napoleon suddenly muttered something about transforming right before his body suddenly glowed a bright white and morphed into a large blue shark-like alien with black markings.
Napoleon's new form pulled itself up off the ground and turned to face Kucorbian with a toothy grin that revealed several rows of sharp triangular teeth. Kucorbian reflexively shot off a blast of Hellfire, which was swiftly countered by the shark alien opening their own mouth and shooting out a blast of water. The two blasts collided and cancelled each other out with a hiss of steam.
"Since when can you transform into...whatever that is supposed to be?!" Kucorbian snapped.
"Since whenever I want!" Napoleon smugly replied. "And for the record, I call this guy Sharktank."
"It doesn't matter what you call it!" Kucorbian snapped. "In a few moments, it will be little more than ground meat!"
Kucorbian lunged forward and tried raking his sharpened fingers across Sharktank's skin, only for Sharktank to sidestep him and clamp down on his body with his large jaws. Sharktank flung Kucorbian around like a ragdoll, cracking a few of his bones in the process, then shot him out of his mouth with a blast of highly pressurized water. Kucorbian hit the ground hard, skidding across the cobblestone a good few meters before stopping.
"What's wrong, Kucorbian?!" Napoleon taunted. "Didn't you say something about turning me into ground meat?"
Kucorbian wordlessly pulled himself off the ground and gave Napoleon a blank look before suddenly bursting out into maniacal laughter.
"Oh, you're good." Kucorbian chuckled. "I'm going to have fun tearing you apart."
"You know, I was just about to say the same thing!"
The two charged at each other again. Sharktank brought his scythe-like fins down towards Kucorbian as soon as he was within reach, but Kucorbian slid under the attack and grabbed Sharktank's tail, using the momentum of his slide to plant his feet in the ground and hurl Sharktank over onto his back. Before Sharktank got a chance to fire off another water blast, Kucorbian stomped down on his chest and ripped off his right arm, driving the scythe end through his stomach. Sharktank roared in pain and knocked Kucorbian away, a white glow surrounding him as he reverted back into human form.
"What the hell was that?!" Napoleon yelled.
"Survival of the fittest, child!" Kucorbian laughed. "I've lived among you humans for five thousand years! Even if you transform into something alien, you still think like a human, and humans are ridiculously predictable!"
"Predictable?!" Napoleon snapped. "Of all the things you could call me, nobody calls me predictable!"
Napoleon summoned a massive broadsword wreathed in purple flames and charged at Kucorbian with an infuriated battle cry. Kucorbian's only response was a slight smirk.
"Nobody calls you predictable, you say?"
Napoleon swung his broadsword down at Kucorbian's head, but Kucorbian, seemingly anticipating the move, knocked the blade of the sword away from his head and firmly grabbed it.
"I have to admit I find that surprising."
Kucorbian crushed the part of the broadsword he was holding as if he were crushing a soda can.
"Because you, Napoleon Eldridge, are one of the most sadly predictable opponents I have ever met."
Napoleon dissipated the sword and tried to punch Kucorbian in the face. Kucorbian quickly grabbed Napoleon's fist with his right hand, firmly clutching it in his grip.
"You use the same strategies and make the same mistakes over and over just like everyone else, but unlike most people, you don’t seem to accept the fact that you're only average at best."
Kucorbian kneed Napoleon in the gut, knocking the wind out of him. Napoleon almost fell to the ground, but was kept up by Kucorbian's grip on his hand.
"You want so badly to be something special without putting in the work that you flat-out reject reality instead of trying to improve yourself."
Kucorbian let go of Napoleon's fist and punched him in the head, firmly knocking him over.
"Your powers don't make you special, they just make you lucky. You didn't earn them. You just so happened to come across them."
Kucorbian grabbed Napoleon by the neck and lifted him into the air.
"I've met thousands of people exactly as delusional as you, and I don't remember a single name out of the lot. Nobody does. Your kind don't deserve a place in history."
Kucorbian leaned back, starting to wind up for a massive throw.
"Now perish like the rest."
Kucorbian heaved Napoleon as if he was throwing a human javelin, hurling him through the air with incredible force. Napoleon's limp body smashed through several stone buildings before finally landing in an alleyway somewhere away from the square. Kucorbian spared a small smile for his handiwork before regaining a more serious expression.
"Now..." Kucorbian began walking towards the buildings in front of him. "To find those villagers."
Napoleon's sight went blurry as he desperately tried to stay conscious. His body felt like it had been run through a meat grinder, and all things considered, probably didn't look much better than that. He tried to move his legs, but a sharp burst of new pain let him know that they weren't facing the right way for him to do that at the moment. His attempts to get Swarm 1 to do something, anything to get him out of this situation were ultimately fruitless as he was unable to work up enough focus to command the nanomachines surrounding him.
As much as he hated to admit it, he was completely screwed.
"Of all those who have ever encountered the Swarm, you have the least right to believe that."
Napoleon managed to wrench his eyes open long enough to find an odd man wearing a white suit with purple accents standing aside him as if he had appeared from thin air. The man looked off into the distance as if to half-heartedly search for something on the horizon he knew would not be there.
"Your situation is rather grim, I will admit, but not entirely hopeless." The man continued. "The Swarm is a device with infinite potential. Being the host of the Swarm means you will always have the tools you need to save yourself, assuming you can use them." The man looked down at Napoleon with an almost disinterested expression. "But it seems you've given up on the idea."
Napoleon tried to reply with a scathing remark that probably wasn't quite as clever as he thought it was, but was unable to muster up the energy.
"I have no means of nor interest in helping those who will not help themselves, but I do have a rather vested interest in keeping the Swarm out of the wrong hands." The man noted. "I can't say you're the right hands, necessarily, but your heart is in the right place. Figuratively speaking. Speaking literally, it's about two inches to the left of its optimal position. You should fix that."
Napoleon could only muster up the energy to shoot the man a frustrated glare.
"You seem perturbed. Not that I particularly care."
Napoleon's left eye began twitching.
"It's a shame, really. I had high expectations for someone able to handle the Swarm, but I suppose that was unrealistic of me."
Napoleon silently clenched his fist.
"You are just a child, after all." The man turned away from Napoleon. "An arrogant, overconfident child that does nothing but get himself in over his head, and when push comes to shove, drops the ball like a sack of bricks. You may not be evil or anything, but even then, I can hardly imagine the Swarm happening upon a worse host."
"Would...you...shut up?!" Napoleon snapped, a sudden fire rising in his veins that seemed to override the burning pain. "I'm fighting an evil overlord who killed off an entire planet and I just got knocked through a fucking building! My bones are about ninety percent chunks and mush right now! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!"
The man turned to look at Napoleon with a blank expression.
Something snapped inside Napoleon that swapped out his intense pain with the feeling of pure rage. Unable to process anything other than the desire to stand up and punch this pretentious stranger right in his stupid face, Napoleon proceeded to attempt just that. He flew to his feet and whirled around only to find himself facing nothing but thin air. The sound of someone clearing their throat behind him prompted him to turn around again, where he found the man standing with his arms crossed.
"Well, that certainly took long enough." The man said, pretending to check a nonexistent watch.
"What are you talking about now?!" Napoleon yelled. "These stupid mind games are really getting on my nerves and wait a second how am I standing up?"
"It's like I said." The man replied. "The Swarm will always provide you with what you need. You were just lacking proper motivation."
Napoleon looked himself over and found Swarm 1's various nanobots buzzing around his skin, repairing the last of the damaged tissue caused by his recent trip through a solid structure.
"Wait, so you're telling me that if I get really angry, it helps me use Swarm 1 better?"
"It will provide you with a unique boost of energy, yes, but not for the reason you're-"
"You think I could use that kind of boost to beat Kucorbian?"
"Yes, but it's not a viable long-term-"
"Alright, thanks, ominous suit guy that appeared out of nowhere!" Napoleon ran off before the man could finish his sentence. "Talk to you later!"
"...I have to rely on that idiot to protect the Swarm." The man muttered to himself in a contemplative manner. "What a mess this is turning out to be."
Herc paced back and forth in the shelter as the citizens of the village watched him curiously. After a few minutes, he eventually grumbled and began climbing up the ladder leading out of the basement.
"Hold on a moment!" The librarian exclaimed. "You're going out too?!"
"I kind of have to." Herculian replied. "I kind of need that idiot alive."
"You mean the human?"
"Wouldn't he come back to the shelter if things got too dangerous for him to handle?"
"Maybe if he wasn't a moron." He grumbled. "As it is, he keeps fighting for people he doesn't even know no matter how likely it is that he'll get himself killed. He's too stupid to give up, so I have to get out there and save his ass half the time."
"At any rate, I'm off." Herculian continued climbing up the ladder. "Next time you see me, I'll either be dead or angry. Probably both."
Kurcorbian turned around only to get a blast of energy directly to the face, knocking him backwards a few feet. Upon regaining his balance, he spotted Napoleon facing him again, this time with a still-smoking arm cannon aimed directly at him.
“How the hell...” Kucorbian began in disbelief. “I knocked you through a building! Humans don’t just get up and walk away from that!”
“Maybe most humans don’t, but I’m not most humans!” Napoleon yelled back. “Like I said before, I’m Napoleon Eldridge!”
“Yes, we’ve gone over this already.” Kucorbian snarled. “We’ve also gone over how you’re a worthless piece of trash who’s only here by chance!”
Kucorbian charged at Napoleon, charging up a whirlwind of red flames around his fists. Right as he reached his opponent and wound up to throw a punch, an icon appeared in front of Napoleon and slammed backwards into his body, transforming him into a large, beetle-like alien with a metal shell and large horns jutting from his elbows and forehead. Napoleon’s new form blocked Kucorbian’s punch by grabbing his fist and abruptly rolling up into a metal ball, crushing Kucorbian within his body.
Before Kucorbian even had a chance to process what was going on, Napoleon spun around in place, peeling out for a good few seconds before uncurling and using the momentum to toss Kucorbian through the wall of a nearby building.
“You know, as much I hate to admit it, you’ve kinda got a point.” Napoleon said.
A particularly sharp stone was suddenly launched towards Napoleon from within the broken wall, ripping a hole through his body and reverting him to human in a burst of white light. This was followed up by Kucorbian lunging out of the wall and breathing a wall of flames towards Napoleon, consuming his body in fire. Kucorbian smirked at his handiwork for a few moments until Napoleon walked out of the flames, covering his body with a large, round shield and being left none the worst for wear.
“You just left out something kinda important, and that pissed me off a bit.”
Kurcorbian growled in fury and attempted to charge Napoleon again, only to be interrupted by Napoleon reaching an arm cannon around the shield and shooting him several times, stopping him in place.
“I might be here by chance...”
Napoleon drew back his right arm and thrust it into the center of his shield, combining the two constructs and bending the shield into a crude cone shape. The bent shield flashed with a purple light and shed some of the nanomachines making up its structure, refining itself into a massive drill.
“But I’m kicking your ass by choice!”
Napoleon pulled the trigger inside the cannon portion of the new construct, launching it off his hand and sending it rocketing towards Kucorbian, who was forced to try blocking the drill with his bare hands. After a few seconds of grappling with the rapidly-rotating projectile, he managed to toss it off the side, only to immediately need to block a vicious sword strike from Napoleon. Kucorbian tossed Napoleon off of himself, sending his opponent flying back a good few meters.
“I am getting exceedingly tired of this tired back-and-forth routine!” Kucorbian hissed.
“Then why not just give up and make both of our lives easier?”
“Give up...?” Kurcorbian’s eyes began twitching. “What right do YOU, a shitty human BRAT, have to tell ME, LORD KUCORBIAN, to GIVE UP?! Do you have any idea how many people I’ve killed, how many lives I’ve destroyed, how many SOULS I’ve BURNED, just to get here?!”
“I can ballpark it, and honestly, man?” Napoleon replied. “Kind of a dick move.”
“A dick move?” Kucorbian appeared genuinely confused before suddenly bursting out into laughter. “Oh, I get it! You still don’t really understand the gravity of the situation!”
“You’ve only seen me so far as an opponent for you to overcome, an obstacle with a backstory, am I correct?”
“Well, there we go~!” Kucorbian clapped his hands together sardonically. “I could tell you about everything I’ve done all day, and it wouldn’t make a difference! As far as you’re concerned, it’s just background noise! Justification to fight me!”
“Well, that and all of the charred ashes of people you just killed.” Napoleon pointed out.
“Oh, for all you know, anyone could have smudged some black stuff on the town square and I just took credit for it.” Kucorbian chuckled. “You’ve never actually seen me kill anyone.”
“Where are you going with this?” Napoleon asked warily.
“Hold on just a moment.”
Kucorbian breathed out a wall of flames in front of himself, obscuring him from view. Napoleon assumed a defensive position, ready for him to leap out from behind the flames. After a few moments of nothing happening, Napoleon began to wonder what was taking Kucorbian so long, before he heard a high-pitched scream of terror come from behind the wall of flames.
Napoleon’s eyes widened and he summoned another shield construct, holding it in front of him as he charged through the flames. Right as he exited the fire, Kucorbian tossed a fireball at him, forcing him to stop in his tracks. He looked up to find Kucorbian holding an adolescent Transylian in the air by her neck with one arm while aiming his flame-covered free hand at Napoleon.
“You know what’s funny?” Kucorbian said. “That house you tossed me into still had civilians hiding in it. I would have found them eventually, but thanks for helping me cut to the chase, so to speak.”
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” Napoleon yelled.
“That’s sort of a stupid question, isn’t it?”
Kucorbian drew back his flaming arm as if he was going to fire something at Napoleon, but instead swung it towards his hostage, effortlessly punching a hole through her abdomen. Purple, singed blood splattered across the area as Kucorbian tossed the body to the ground and lit it on fire, burning it into nothing but a pile of ashes within seconds. Napoleon stood frozen in shock as Kucorbian began laughing at his horrified expression.
“You have the greatest reactions, you know that?” Kucorbian mocked, the fire in his head flaring up as he prepared one last burst of flames. “At any rate, I think I got my point across, so I can send you off now.”
Kucorbian began moving in towards Napoleon, but was driven back by a sudden storm of bullets that punched several holes through the soft pumpkin-like flesh surrounding his head.
“Alright, what idiot thought that was a good idea?!” Kucorbian screamed furiously, looking around the street for the source of fire.
Just as he spotted a quick gleam of light in one of the houses across the street, a round, fist-size device with a blinking light on the front rolled to a stop near his feet. His eyes widened right as the explosive went off, knocking him into a nearby streetlight and creating an obscuring cloud of smoke. By the time the smoke cleared, Napoleon was nowhere to be seen.
“I see how it is.” Kucorbian narrowed his eyes. “But I know as well as you do you won’t stay hidden for long.”
“Herc, there are still people down there! We have to save them!”
Napoleon and Herculian crouched inside the attic of an abandoned Transylian household. Long-undisturbed dust and cobwebs had been kicked up by their sudden entrance as Herculian had tossed Napoleon into the space.
“First of all, no we do not, and secondly, we’re hiding out here so you don’t get yourself killed!” Herculian hissed, grabbing Napoleon by the arm as he tried to move towards the entrance. “You can’t beat Kucorbian for good! He’s immortal!”
“I don’t care!” Napoleon snapped, wrenching his arm away from Herculian. “I’ll figure something out!”
“Like hell you will!” Herculian snapped back. “What makes you think you stand any chance against him?!”
“I have Swarm 1, don’t I?” Napoleon replied. “I can just...I don’t know, make an immortality-removing machine or something!”
“That is not how Swarm 1 works!”
“How do you know? You don’t know!”
“Neither do you!”
“Yeah, well...” Napoleon struggled to come up with a good reply before snapping his fingers in realization. “Swarm 1 guide, can I get some help?”
The vaguely feminine humanoid construct representing Swarm 1 appeared in the attic beside Napoleon, turning to look at him directly.
“What would you like to know?”
“Can I make something to remove Kucorbian’s immortality?” Napoleon asked eagerly.
“Potentially.” Swarm 1 replied.
“Ha! I knew it!”
“However,” Swarm 1 continued. “The power necessary to perform that task, while not even a fraction of the Swarm’s total power, far outweighs what any physical body can handle. If you attempted this function, your body would be destroyed and I would be lost once more.”
“...Well, dang.” Napoleon scratched his head. “Any way I can get like...a metaphysical body or something along those lines?”
“Yes, but you would lose control of the Swarm.” Swarm 1 replied. “Your mind would be overwritten by my built-in protocol.”
“The protocol to destroy worlds.”
Napoleon and Herculian shared a glance before staring back at the Swarm 1 construct.
“The protocol to destroy worlds.” The Swarm repeated, this time a bit louder.
“No, I mean...why is that built into you?”
“And why the hell would it override the host when they try using one of those bodies?” Herculian asked.
“That information is not available to me at this time.” Swarm 1 noted. “Would you like to set a reminder to notify you if I receive this information in the future?”
Swarm 1 nodded, and there was a small beep followed by an awkward silence.
“...Well, I guess I’m out of luck on the whole ‘taking away Kucorbian’s immortality’ thing.” Napoleon huffed. “Still, I gotta do something to stop him, even if it’s just until he gets a new body.”
“Again, no, you don’t.” Herculian groaned. “What the hell is your problem?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why do you insist on endangering yourself, and by extent, my job, just to help humans and alien you don’t even know?!”
Napoleon opened his mouth to reply, but appeared to reconsider and looked away from Herculian.
“Oh, for the love of...” Herculian grumbled. “Does this have anything to do with why you’re out on the streets?”
“Well, no matter what, I gotta go save those people!” Napoleon stood up, completely brushing off Herculian’s question. “Yo, Swarm 1?”
“Yes?” The construct answered.
“As long as I might be getting myself killed out there, I oughta at least make a formal introduction.” Napoleon reached out his hand towards the construct. “Name’s Napoleon Eldridge, though you probably already know that by now.”
The Swarm construct stared at him silently for a moment before mimicking him and putting out its own hand towards his.
“I am Swarm Unit 01, Official Designation: Not Applicable.”
“Your name is ‘Not Applicable’?” Napoleon asked.
“No. I mean I was not assigned an official designation despite being programmed to receive one at a certain point.”
“Okay, gotcha.” Napoleon grabbed the construct’s outstretched hand and shook it firmly before giving it a fist bump, all of which the construct itself seemed incredibly confused by. “We’re fighting together here, so let’s be pals!”
“Goddammit, not this again.” Herculian groaned. “You can’t just ‘be pals’ or ‘make friends” with a weapon of mass destruction!”
“She isn’t just a weapon of mass destruction!” Napoleon protested. “She’s a friend who just so happens to be a weapon of mass destruction!”
“The hell are you-wait, what do you mean ‘she’?”
“I dunno, just seems like a ‘she’ to me.”
“I find the pronoun quite suitable.” Swarm 1 interjected, turning her focus from Herculian back to Napoleon. “And I would be happy to be your comrade, although I don’t fully understand what that entails.”
“Basically just what we’ve been doing except we talk more since I know you can talk now.”
“Alright, let’s go kick Kucorbian’s ass!” Napoleon turned from Swarm 1 and started heading towards the entrance to the attic.
“Not a chance!” Herculian quickly blocked Napoleon’s path, shifting his arms into large, impassable walls. “I’m putting my foot down here, Napoleon!”
Napoleon groaned and scratched the back of his head.
“Geez, you’re just like my parents.” He said wearily. “Well, I guess it can’t be helped.”
“Finally.” Herculian sighed. “Now, let’s sit down and figure out a way we can get to the ship without Kucorbian-”
Herculian cut himself off as Napoleon suddenly flung himself backwards towards the attic’s only window, crashing through it and falling towards the street below.
“What the hell are you doing?!” Herculian yelled, rushing over to the broken window.
A purple icon with a golden star symbol in the center appeared behind Napoleon, transforming him as he fell through it. He hit the ground as Sludgehammer, standing up and flashing the infuriated Herculian a peace sign.
“Sorry, man!” Napoleon yelled up at Herculian. “Like I said, it can’t be helped!”
“Oh, you son of a bitch!” Herculian shouted as Sludgehammer began running down the street. “If you get out of this alive, I’m going to kill you!”
“Sounds good, see ya later!”
As Napoleon ran, a small screen with an audio display appeared in the corner of his vision.
“Pardon the intrusion, but are you sure about this?” Swarm 1 asked. “Your vitals indicate you may still be in the early stages of an acute stress reaction and have yet to process the situation.”
“We’ll worry about details and hypotheticals later!” Napoleon replied. “Right now, I need to beat Kucorbian, and fast!”
“Talking to yourself, are you?”
Sludgehammer looked up just in time to deflect a burst of flame shot right at his head. Kucorbian leaped down from the roof of a nearby building and stood up a few meters away from Napoleon.
“I figured you wouldn’t leave the area, but I must admit, quite literally running towards your demise is surprising behavior even for you.” Kucorbian taunted. “Although it really shouldn’t be, I suppose.”
“Damn right it shouldn’t!” Napoleon pointed accusatorily at Kucorbian. “You’ve got me seriously pissed off!”
“I do have a talent for that.” Kucorbian chuckled. “Do you finally take me seriously now, or do I need to go through even more people to get the point across?”
“Unfortunately for you, I got the point.” Napoleon growled. “No more screwing around! This ends here and now!”
“Somehow I doubt that, but go ahead.” Kucorbian threw out his arms to the side. “Take your best shot!”
Sludgehammer let out a battle cry as he charge Kucorbian, who simply side-stepped the heavy alien’s attack and punched a hole into his abdomen through his back, causing a pressurized chemical mixture to come bursting out of Sludgehammer’s body.
Napoleon reverted back to human and turned around just in time for Kucorbian to grab him by the throat and shove him against a wall.
“Good lord, you’re gullible when you’re angry.” Kucorbian said, tightening his grip around Napoleon’s windpipe. “Makes you even more useless than usual.”
Napoleon struggled, attempting to wrench himself away from Kucorbian’s grasp, but his grip was too strong. Kucorbian grinned, fully enjoying the sight of his flailing opponent. After a few seconds, however, Kucorbian noticed Napoleon’s neck becoming increasingly hot to the touch.
Napoleon’s skin suddenly became searing hot, forcing Kucorbian to toss him aside with a pained grunt. Napoleon coughed a couple times as he pulled himself to his feet, massaging his neck.
“I have had it...” Napoleon choked out furiously, giving Kucorbian an unparalleled death glare. “Up to here...with your bullshit.”
“And what exactly do you plan to do about it?” Kucorbian chuckled.
As if in response to this, Napoleon clenched his fists and threw his arms out to the side, beginning to yell as if he were attempting to move a particularly large object.
“Well, that’s...different.” Kucorbian spoke, thoroughly confused.
Napoleon continued screaming loudly as Kucorbian stared at him in an awkward silence, not entirely sure what to make of what was happening in front of him.
“Uh...” Kucorbian cleared his throat. “Is this some sort of intimidation tactic I’m unaware of? If so, it’s not working.”
Napoleon continued yelling.
“Seriously, it isn’t.”
“Alright, stopping it myself!”
Kucorbian lobbed a fireball at Napoleon, who suddenly stopped yelling and narrowed his eyes, dodging to the side as his body became engulfed in a red aura. The heat of the passing fireball appeared to ignite the aura, causing it to burst into equally red flames.
“Surprise Punch!” Napoleon yelled.
Kucorbian was interrupted by Napoleon moving towards him at inhuman speeds and punching him square in the face, knocking him a few feet to the side.
“It’s not a ‘Surprise Punch’ if you call your attack!” Kucorbian snapped.
“Still worked, didn’t it?!”
With one last indistinct yell, Napoleon’s body itself burst into a combination of red and gold flames, obscuring him from view. After a moment, the flames died down to reveal Napoleon standing unharmed, wearing a new black outfit with red and gold accents and flame-like detailing. His hair, now a golden-orange gradient, flickered on his head as if it were aflame, casting a golden light across the area.
“This is...unexpected.” Kucorbian grunted. “But don’t think you’ll win just because of a fancy new outfit!”
“I won’t.” Napoleon replied calmly, his voice underlined by a crackling sound reminiscent of burning wood. “I’m going to win because you pissed me off.”
Napoleon lunged towards Kucorbian, once again moving at unnatural speeds. Kucorbian managed to dodge the attack by a few centimeters, and wasted no time in bringing his fist towards Napoleon’s back in an attempt to mimic what he had done to Sludgehammer moments before. This time, however, Napoleon whirled around and caught the attempted punch, countering with a kick that sent Kucorbian flying into the air.
As Kucorbian fell back to the ground, Napoleon summoned a massive bat construct and slammed it into his opponent’s falling body, sending him flying a good few dozen meters away. Kucorbian barely had time to get up before having to swiftly block Napoleon’s next punch, which came from seemingly nowhere as Napoleon suddenly appeared next to him.
“What the hell?!” Kucorbian choked out. “Where are you getting all this power from?!”
“I have no idea!” Napoleon yelled. “I just listened to the guy in the suit and I guess it worked out okay!”
Kucorbian was interrupted as Napoleon whirled around and chucked him back down the street towards the square where their fight had started, darting after him at high speed. The man in the white suit stepped out of a nearby alleyway, gone unnoticed by both Napoleon and Kucorbian.
“That is...not what I was talking about.” He muttered before beginning to fade away. “I’ll have to have a talk with him later.”
Meanwhile, Kucorbian was pulling himself to his feet in the center of the square with a groan. He looked around, trying to spot Napoleon, but came up an enemy short.
“I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOUR GAMES, CHILD!” Kucorbian screamed furiously, the fire rising from his head flaring up considerably. “FACE ME AND DIE LIKE A MAN!”
Kucorbian whipped his head upwards, only to find Napoleon having leaped into the air from a rooftop near the edge of the square. He tensed up in preparation for Napoleon rocketing towards him to land an attack, and so was mildly surprised when Napoleon stayed hovering in one place and created a conveyor belt-like construct around his right arm.
Before Kucorbian could figure out what his opponent was trying to do, Napoleon punched his right arm forward, launching the end of the conveyor belt towards him. Kucorbian had no time to do anything but block the attack with his forearms, which worked okay until the conveyor belt suddenly sprouted spikes reminiscent of a saw. The belt began rotating at high speed, slashing away at Kucorbian’s arms until the spikes eventually lodged themselves within the hardened bone, jamming the belt’s movement.
“Didn’t think this through, did you?!” Kucorbian jeered.
“Sorry Kucorbian, but right now, I think that’s my line.”
Napoleon’s body began glowing a flaming red as golden fire billowed out from his head in large plumes. His right leg became surrounded in flames, and the belt extending from his arm began emitting a high-pitched whirring noise. Kucorbian’s eyes widened as he realized what was about to happen.
“DON’T YOU DARE!”
Napoleon’s only response was an emboldened grin.
The belt began moving at high speed, tearing through Kucorbian's arm and sending Napoleon rocketing towards Kucorbian, flaming leg extended at an angle. Napoleon's foot slammed into Kucorbian's chest, sending fiery cracks exploding through his opponent's ribs.
"HOW?!" Kucorbian screamed. "HOW DID YOU GET THIS POWERFUL?!"
"There's one simple answer to that, Kucorbian."
Kucorbian's body could no longer take the immense pressure being exerted on it and collapsed underneath the force of the strike, sending Napoleon rocketing through him and skidding to a halt on the ground behind him. The conveyer belt dissolved into nothingness as Napoleon adjusted his shades in preparation to deliver his extremely overthought one-liner.
"You pissed me off."
Napoleon stood up, expecting an explosion to sound from behind him at any moment, only to suddenly be grabbed from behind and whirled around to face Kucorbian, whose body was little more than a shambling mess of shredded bone at this point.
"Don't act like this is over, Eldridge!" Kucorbian hissed, several chunks of his body falling off as he did so. "All I need to do is possess a new body, and you'll be back to square one!"
"I'll figure something out." Napoleon glowered at Kucorbian. "One way or another, your reign of terror ends with me."
"Tough talk from someone like you!" Kucorbian cackled, grabbing Napoleon by the collar and dragging him closer. "You're still fighting on borrowed power!"
"And you're fighting on stolen power." Napoleon pointed out, punching Kucorbian away from him. "Now hurry up and explode already."
"Listen here you little-"
Kucorbian's body abruptly exploded, sending shards of singed bone flying everywhere. Napoleon casually summoned a shield to block the shards flying towards him and dismissed it as soon as the storm of debris had ended.
Napoleon turned to find Herculian stomping towards him with an infuriated expression.
"Hang on Herculian, there's something I gotta do real quick."
Napoleon summoned a fan and blew away the smoke surrounding the spot Kucorbian had exploded, revealing a glowing red orb hovering a few feet in the air. The orb tried dashing away, only to find itself suddenly caught in a strange jar with a sealed lid.
"The hell is that?" Herculian asked as he walked up to Napoleon.
"Kucorbian's soul, I'm guessing." Napoleon replied. "I figured if that kind of jar could hold something like Swarm 1, it could probably hold Kucorbian too."
"Didn't you break the Swarm 1 jar just by falling on top of it?"
"Just don't fall on top of the Kucorbian jar and we'll be good to go." Napoleon gave a thumbs-up, prompting a groan from Herculian.
"Okay, second question." Herculian continued. "Why do you look like the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve had a crack baby?"
"New form." Napoleon replied, flexing his biceps as if to punctuate this statement. "Pretty cool, right? I think I'll call it Burst."
"Stop flexing you idiot, you didn't actually gain any muscle mass." Herculian snapped. "And you're sure this 'new form' doesn't have any harmful side effects?"
"Pretty sure." Napoleon replied. "Why do you ask?"
"For one thing, you're literally on fire."
"Oh, that's just aesthetic fire. It doesn't do anything."
"So you're fine?"
"Yep. Feeling spick and span as usua-"
It was at this point that the flames surrounding Napoleon's body died out and blood exploded out of ruptured veins all over his body. He fell over backwards, unconscious before he even hit the ground. Herculian stared at him for a few seconds, trying to figure out what to say about this. He eventually decided on a simplistic yet effective turn of phrase.
"...God dammit, Napoleon."
- The citizens of Anur Transyl celebrate the capture of Kucorbian and mourn the loss of the librarian.
- Napoleon and Herculian say their goodbyes and return to Herculian's ship.
- While Swarm 1 fixes the ship, Suit Guy reappears and tells Napoleon not to get too ahead of himself since the ZENTURI™ are coming
- Napoleon asks what the fucc those are and Suit Guy explains a bit before suddenly fizzly dizzlying and saying he's spent too much time here before vanishing like a lil bitch
- Herc and Napoleon go back to Earth for now at the behest of Napoleon's constant bitching and rest for a few weeks when suddenly BAZINGO a Zenturi appears!
- Napoleon gets the FUCC beaten out of him again before going BURSTO
- BURSTO Napoleon gets the FUCC beaten out of him
- Napoleon defeats it using a SUPER GIGA BIGGA TRIGGA NIGGA BURSTO THRUSTO GIGA DRILLBAT BREAKAH™ like in the mango and calls it a lil bitch
- The Zenturi respawns back at base and tells its commanders that it got beaten like a lil bitch
- Commander Zenturi makes evil plans like a lil bitch and act ends with zoomout to reveal their base is APOCALYPSE EARTH DUNDUNDUN (ZIMBABWE!)
- Maybe some foreshadowing with either Kucorbian or Napoleon losing some grip on Swarm 1 idk fuck it
- weren't the Obsidian Death supposed to be in Not Applicable
- they started out as NA villains but just kinda got transferred over to Tech 10
- they never contributed much to NA anyways I guess so fuck it they can stay out
- FUCKING NORMIES GET OUT OF MY SHITTY FANFICTION MOVIE REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE