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The Caelestis is dormant after escaping.

MECHAKARA

Finally! Turn the ship around! We must continue the attack.

ROMERO

Unfortunately, that is not possible.

MECHAKARA

Why not? We must attack and kill Linkara! I will not allow myself to be defeated again!

ROMERO

The energy of the artifact is almost completely drained.

MECHAKARA

What?!

ROMERO

The power of the artifact has been almost completely used up - first by your resurrection, and then by trying to maintain the energy demands of this upgraded vessel. It is too much for the artifact alone. It is recharging, but slowly. I had to disconnect several systems from it in order for recovery to begin.

MECHAKARA

And I assume that the ship’s original power systems will be insufficient to the task after the upgrades.

ROMERO

No, they are not sufficient.

Mechakara scowls as he considers his options.

MECHAKARA

From what I recall, some magic can take on energy from another source in order to replenish itself. Your life form may have another use, fleshling.

---

Comicron-1 continues drifting in space.

POLLO

From the looks of it, their power suddenly went dead.

JOE

Can they recover from that?

LINKARA

Mechakara was able to turn a science vessel into a warship in only a few hours. He’ll find a way.

NASH

Yeah, well, we have our own power problems. We got hurt bad.

Nash checks his smartphone for a progress report.

NASH

Uh, let’s see… We’re down to emergency batteries, which isn’t enough to get us back to Earth in any less than six months. But, uh, hey! If we have another space battle, we won’t have to worry about that…because then we won’t have enough power for air.

MARZGURL

Can we repair the engines?

NASH

Okay, the good news is, the engines can be fixed. Actually, pretty easily. Everything’s modular back there. I can swap out just about anything with a Phillips head.

SNOB

So what’s the bad news?

NASH

You remember all the shooting? Yeah, the cargo bay with the replacements got blowed (sic) up. Uh…trying to figure out a way to jury rig something with what we’ve got left, but it’s gonna take a while.

MARZGURL

All right, we need options. Everyone just start throwing out ideas. Anything at all.

JOE

What about the debris field? If they could use parts out there for their ship, couldn’t we?

LUPA

Yeah, but if Mechakara comes looking for us, that’ll be the first place that he looks. And there’s no guarantee that any of the parts out there are gonna work.

SNOB

(sighs) Doesn’t this ship have escape pods or fighters or some bullshit?

LINKARA

There is a scout ship, the Vigilant, in the hanger bay. It is a way out of here in a pinch.

SNOB

So let’s go!

JOE

But wait! If we did that, we’d be leaving Comicron-1 to Mechakara, and I don’t think any of us here wanna see him get that much more powerful.

SNOB

Fuck that plan, then.

LUPA

What about Europa?

NASH

What about Europa?

LUPA

Well, when we fought the executor, Europa was being transformed into an Earth-like world. He set up a base there. There might be some supplies that we can salvage.

The intercom turns on.

90s KID

Plus there could be lots of guuuuns down there!

Lupa facepalms.

MARZGURL

It’s the best plan we have. How long will it take to get there?

NASH

With the engines like they are…uh, two hours? I’m gonna need to take a closer look to be certain.

MARZGURL

(sighs) It’s been a long day, and we’re tired. When we know how long it’s going to be, we should all sleep in ship. And when we’re awake, we should probably try and help fix the ship.

SNOB

You realize I have no fucking clue how to fix a spaceship, right?

NASH

Then…make something to eat. Or drink. Preferably with a lot of caffeine.

Nash leaves. Snob, Lupa, and Joe follow.

SNOB

I guess Crystal Pepsi is out…

JOE

Would you even know how to make Crystal Pepsi from scratch?

SNOB

Oh, yeah. I keep like, several bottles of it…in my pants.

Snob grins like a psycho.

MARZGURL

What the hell was that back there?

LINKARA

What do you mean?

MARZGURL

You froze. I have never seen you freeze like that. What the hell was that?!

LINKARA

…I dunno.

MARZGURL

Yes you do! You just don’t wanna tell me!

Linkara gets up out of his seat.

MARZGURL

Look, if something’s going on, you need to tell me. You can’t expect us to follow you if you don’t trust us!

LINKARA

I didn’t ask you guys to come along! You volunteered!

MARZGURL

You’re damn right we volunteered! We heard people were in trouble and we wanted to help!

LINKARA

You put yourselves at risk!

MARZGURL

Oh, come on! We’ve faced danger before!

LINKARA

Ha! What have you guys faced off against? A micronation? Some pissed off sorcerer who got beaten by a Planeteer? An Emperor Palpatine ripoff?! You guys haven’t seen anything! I’m the expert here!

MARZGURL

Oh, so this is an ego thing? You think you’re better than us?!

LINKARA

No, of course I don’t! But I know how dangerous it is! You guys don't! You…you don’t know what it is to fight something that truly, truly wants you dead! You…you’ve never had your head slammed repeatedly into a wall until it’s covered in your own blood! You guys don’t know what it’s like to collapse on the ground, thinking that you did something horrible, only for it to be some monster messing with your head! You…you guys have never stared into the face of an angry god as it laughs at how small you are, and then you stare right back at it and make it blink!

MARZGURL

And then you froze!

Linkara is speechless.

LINKARA

…Yeah. I did.

He collapses onto the desk and into his chair.

MARZGURL

Are you okay?

LINKARA

Yeah. I…no. I always thought I was.

MARZGURL

I don’t understand.

LINKARA

I always thought I was okay with how my life is, but…but then, this morning…

MARZGURL

Stop talking. Just breathe.

LINKARA

No. No, no. I-I have to say this. This morning, it all just…hit me. The sheer weight of it collapsed on top of me. Every battle I’ve fought, every shot and stab and punch and kick and burn and bruise, all just…flashed before my eyes! I sat down to review a comic like I normally do, but…I couldn’t think of anything but fighting.

MARZGURL

PTSD?

LINKARA

No, I don’t think so. I-It’s more like…an epiphany. Is this it? I feel like I’m just waiting to die. Like I have nothing to look forward to except fight after fight after fight!

MARZGURL

But then what was that back there?

LINKARA

When Mechakara was about to fire…I was ready. I was ready for it to end. And then it didn’t. And I didn’t know how to feel about that. I’m pretty damn sure I don’t want to die, but…well… (sighs) Here we are, having this conversation because I screwed up something awful. You all could’ve died because of me. And Allen did die. We’re all in danger. I should never have let you guys come along.

Marzgurl kneels down to his level.

MARZGURL

Maybe not, but we’re here.

LINKARA

Take the scout ship back to Earth. I’ll deal with Mechakara.

MARZGURL

Don’t you dare! You made a mistake. A big one. But it wasn’t letting us come with you. What would you have done if I hadn’t spoken up and fired on them? You’d have froze again, and you’d probably be dead right now. We knew the dangers! That didn’t matter! People needed our help! Right now, you need our help. We’re your friends, and we’re in this together. We’re gonna make it through this together. Don’t patronize us like we don’t know what we’re doing. We’re here to help, and that’s what we’re gonna do. Now, I don’t know what to say about the issues you’ve been having lately, but…we’re all tired. Maybe you moreso than the rest of us, but we’re here to help you if you’ll let us help. You think you can still lead us?

LINKARA

Yeah.

MARZGURL

Good. You said you trusted me with command, and I’ll tell you right back, I trust you to do the same thing. We all do. Please, don’t let our trust be misplaced. Now go get some rest. I’ll take first watch.

LINKARA

But I…

MARZGURL

Do it! Now!

Linkara reluctantly gets up and leaves.

---

The Caelestis slowly recharges. Logan falls to the ground, his energy evidently having been sapped. Mechakara places a Post-It Note on his chest that says ‘Fix this’.

MECHAKARA

Prepare to alter course. We must find Linkara.

ROMERO

That course of action does not seem logical.

MECHAKARA

I know it doesn’t seem logical, but I know that pasty, fat sack of meat and juices. I know him of old. Above all else, he is one to survive. He is my enemy, and I will not know satisfaction until he is dead!

ANDERS

And we are prepared to follow your commands. However, there is an additional problem.

MECHAKARA

Elaborate.

ANDERS

Draining the energy of the biological life unit has only partially recharged the artifact’s power, and it will be insufficient to allow the vessel through the remaining battle for very long. And you have a finite supply of biological units from which to drain energy from (sic).

MECHAKARA

You are, unfortunately, correct. What course of action do you recommend?

ANDERS

The memories of this biological unit recall a base on the Jovian satellite Europa. It may contain power cells we can use to supplement the artifact’s power until it needs to be called upon.

Mechakara nods.

MECHAKARA

I concur with your assessment. In addition, Linkara may be heading there as well. His ship is damaged and in need of repair. Alter course immediately!

---

Harvey is attempting to sleep; Nash is wide awake.

NASH

Harvey?

HARVEY

Hm?

NASH

Are you asleep?

HARVEY

No. Not really. Then again, who could sleep at a time like this?

NASH

Well…two people come to mind.

In front of them, Angry Joe is sound asleep, hugging Bear in one arm.

HARVEY

What’s on your mind, longhair?

NASH

…We almost died today.

HARVEY

But we didn’t. Focus on that.

NASH

Yeah, but…we did. We almost did. We almost really…died. And I’m not okay with that.

HARVEY

No one is. Not really, anyway. No one truly wants to die. I think that people just want their pain and their fear or whatever it is to just stop.

NASH

Do you believe in God?

HARVEY

...How do you mean?

NASH

You know…God. Guy up in the sky, all-white beard, created the universe…God. Do you believe, like, there’s something for us after we die?

Harvey ponders the question.

HARVEY

No. No, I don’t.

NASH

Oh…

HARVEY

I lost someone once. Someone I loved. It’s really hard to believe in that kind of thing after something like that.

NASH

Huh.

HARVEY

But on the other hand…I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff since I put in my chip with the kid. Stuff that makes me think that, even if there ain’t a god, there is somethin’ better for us all out there.

NASH

Something waiting for us?

HARVEY

Exactly. I’ve gotta hold on to that, at least. Someone, or something, is on our side, and we owe it to them to keep on living.

Nash thinks about what’s been said.

HARVEY

Does that help?

NASH

Yeah. Thanks, Harvey.

HARVEY

Any time.

Harvey tries to go back to sleep.

NASH

Ever worry you’re gonna let them down?

HARVEY

All the damn time.

NASH

Well…I guess we better make sure we don’t. Let’s get some sleep.

Nash finally tries to sleep.

JOE

Hey, I don’t really care whether we die or not…just so long as we go out swingin’.

HARVEY

You know it, guys. You know it.

---

Snob is fooling around with the ship’s controls. MarzGurl struggles to stay awake.

SNOB

I’m honestly terrified to touch any of this. I mean, how impossible is it to make a spaceship with a joystick?

MARZGURL

Look, why don’t you go get some rest? Pollo’s gonna be along to replace you in a minute anyway.

SNOB

Thanks. I need to work on my review for Turkish Debbie Does Dallas anyway for when we get back.

Snob leaves.

MARZGURL

Review a… (laughs) Reviewing things! Seriously!

She suddenly finds a mug of coffee next to her and picks it up.

POLLO

I figured you might need this.

MARZGURL

Thanks. I…

She goes to take a drink, but stops.

MARZGURL

Wait, how did you bring this to me if your arms don’t work?

POLLO

A question I myself have asked. You should probably get some rest.

MARZGURL

(sighs) Can’t. Everyone else needs more sleep than me.

MarzGurl takes a sip.

POLLO

You’re lying, but I’m sure they appreciate the thought. I’ll wake everyone up if something happens.

MarzGurl nods and goes to leave the room.

MARZGURL

We shouldn’t be doing this.

POLLO

I beg your pardon?

MARZGURL

I said, we shouldn’t be doing this! We shouldn’t be out here in space right now. We shouldn’t be fighting some murder-hungry robot. We shouldn’t be fighting anybody! We’re critics! We review things! We should be critiquing plotlines, not being part of them!

Pollo doesn’t answer.

MARZGURL

(sighs) You’re right. I’m…tired. I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have yelled.

POLLO

No need to apologize. You’ve had a long day.

MARZGURL

Wake me at the first sign of trouble.

POLLO

Understood. It is fascinating to me, though.

MARZGURL

What is?

POLLO

Well, you still plan on reviewing things when we return to Earth, yes?

MARZGURL

Yeah, if we return to Earth.

POLLO

So this is something extra. Something in addition to. Why must it be the story or the review? Why is one or the other preferable to both?

MARZGURL

Because…because it’s weird. And I didn’t want it. And it’s like, everything is being interrupted for the sake of…this!

POLLO

Perhaps. But why have you not left yet, then? The scout ship stands ready. You can enter and all of us will be here, and no one will think you were ready for it. (this line probably isn't right please correct it)

MARZGURL

Because my friends are in trouble, and they need my help. When people need my help, I’m going to be there for them.

POLLO

Of course you are. Because despite our unique circumstances, the things that we encounter are not oddities. They are not interruptions. We all have our own storylines - each of us the protagonist in our own tale. If it was not Mechakara that we encountered, your life would eventually be ‘interrupted’, as you say, by something else. A loved one in need elsewhere, an obstacle appearing along the way, or an enemy in a different form would disrupt your existence. You will always encounter people who won’t like you, who use you, who don’t appreciate what you’re trying to do with yourself, and sometimes they will defeat you. But most of the time, you overcome them. This is just another chapter of our lives - a weird dangerous, and unhappy one, but turn the page. The story does not end with us, but together, we’ll make it to a happy ending.

MARZGURL

You know, I never took you to be an optimist.

POLLO

On the contrary - I’m a realist. It’s just reality is not usually as bad as it is so often perceived to be. Although it likely will be if you don’t get some rest.

MARZGURL

Right. Thanks.

MarzGurl leaves.

POLLO

I mean, if I were an optimist, I’d actually believe that someday I was going to get working arms.

---

Comicron-1 looms over Europa.

LINKARA

Any signs of life down there?

JOE

Plenty, but if you’re talkin’ about human life, nothin’ specific

MARZGURL

The sensors were damaged in the attack. We can’t tell how accurate they’re going to be in this state.

LINKARA

Right. NIMUE, are the teleporters working?

NIMUE

Teleportation systems are functional, but are a considerable drain on power when in use.

MARZGURL

Could we take the scout ship down?

LINKARA

Yeah, but if Mechakara shows up again, it’ll take too long to get it back up here. And it’ll be an easy target for his weapons. We’ll risk the teleporter, but we’ll only use it to go down there, get the parts we need, and then come back up again.

He turns on the intercom.

LINKARA

Nash, do you have a list of parts we need?

NASH

Uh, yeah. Just training my fill-in for while I’m down there.

SNOB (off-screen)

Hey, what’s this thing do?

The thing explodes.

SNOB

(coughs) Jesus fuck! That was awesome! I’m gonna do that again!

LINKARA

Uh, is everything all right down there?

NASH

…Yeah, I’m sure it’s fine.

LINKARA

All right, then get yourself ready for teleport. Lupa, you’re with me.

JOE

Wait, I should go, too. I’ve got a few things that I’d like to show anybody who made me down.

Joe charges his lightning powers.

LINKARA

I know, dude, but you’re still the best guy up here for weapons in case Mechakara shows up again.

MARZGURL

Then shouldn’t I go in place of you? I thought a captain’s place was with his ship.

LINKARA

It is. But if Mechakara does show up again, it might help you guys if I’m down there instead of up here. Might turn the tension away from the ship. Lupa, you ready?

MarzGurl walks away.

LUPA

I guess, but shouldn’t I have a gun or something?

‘90s Kid runs in with a gun in each hands.

90s KID

Got ya covered, dudes!

Lupa facepalms.

LUPA

What fresh Hell is this?

90s KID

All right. We got ourselves some nicely modded designs here. Twenty shot clips, armor piercing rounds, and no jamming. They pull a little to the right, so make sure to compensate!

He hands her a gun.

LUPA

And these work?

90s KID

Yep! Tested ‘em out in the cargo bays. Was only able to get about…twenty feet at a time. After that, you’re gonna have to rely on aim.

Linkara is up and wearing a trenchcoat.

LINKARA

Good work, dude. Give the other one to Nash. I’ve got my magic gun, so I’m good.

LUPA

You made these from scratch?

90s KID

Yep! Modified some existing pistols we already had in storage. Mind you, I wanted to add like, six rotating gatling guns and a belt feed, but we’re on a time crunch and all, so…not my most radical work, sadly.

LINKARA

It’s fine. Get the other one to Nash, and try to make sure Cinema Snob doesn’t blow up my ship.

90s KID

Rock on!

‘90s Kid leaves.

LUPA

How can he just build guns from scratch?

LINKARA

Oh, that’s nothing. He handles the general maintenance of the ship and my arsenal. Dude has a knack for anything mechanical or electronic.

He hands her a communicator watch from his coat pocket, also putting on his own.

LUPA

Huh.

LINKARA

All right, let’s head down. Everyone, keep in touch with us.

Joe and MarzGurl shake their heads as the group heads out.

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