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Linkara, Lupa, and Nash are beamed into the Europa base. They have a quick glance at their surroundings. Linkara talks into his watch.

LINKARA

Down and safe. We’ll begin our search.

NASH

How’s there still power here?

LUPA

We need to be careful. There might still be someone…alive down here.

LINKARA

Let’s try not to stick around long enough to find out. Hopefully, if the power’s still on, that means there’s something around here we can salvage.

He directs Nash to the right and Lupa to the left while he goes forward. They cautiously peek into different boxes. Nash focuses on one in particular.

NASH

Ah. Hey, guys, I think I found something.

He opens the box and cuts himself reaching inside.

NASH

Agh! Monkey butts!

The others run over.

LINKARA

You okay, man?

NASH

Yeah, I just cut my hand on something that…

The cut has instantly healed.

NASH

The fuck?

LINKARA

Lupa, check your arm.

She unwraps the gauze; there’s no sign of her earlier injury. Linkara communicates back to the ship.

LINKARA

NIMUE, are you receiving me?

NIMUE

Confirmed.

LINKARA

Do a full sensor sweep of the planet. Is there anything…unusual that wouldn’t show up on normal scans?

NIMUE

Beginning sensor sweep.

LUPA

What are you thinking?

LINKARA

I’m not sure, but I…

NIMUE

Sensor sweeps complete. There is an unusual energy field on the planet primarily focused around the area you are occupying at a range of two thousand square miles. Field is shrinking, but at its current rate, will not dissipate for at least one year.

LINKARA

What is the nature of the energy field?

NIMUE

Damage to sensor array cannot provide exact data. However, the readings at this level are very similar to the spatial and temporal anomaly referred to as ‘the plothole.’

MARZGURL

Linkara, what’s going on down there?

LINKARA

Stand by. The reason that Europa is the way it is right now is because the plothole was transforming it; creating life on its surface.

LUPA

Yeah, but the plothole is gone now.

LINKARA

Yeah, but what if the energy it was using is still there, creating life all over it, or…or fixing things that are broken, like a cut, or a burn, or filling up power to something that doesn’t have it, or…

He pauses and slowly smiles.

NASH

Oh, I don’t like that look.

LINKARA

Guys, I need you to beam Allen’s body down, now!

MARZGURL

What?! What the hell are you doing?!

LINKARA

Just do it!

LUPA

You don’t really think that…

LINKARA

I think the universe just handed us a deus ex machina.

---

The Caelestis approaches Europa.

MECHAKARA

Report.

ANDERS

Enemy vessel sighted. Life signs on the satellite indicate at least three beings enstructured on the northern hemisphere. One of them matches the DNA profile of Linkara.

MECHAKARA

Romero unit, you will accompany me to the surface. Find the supplies we require. I will deal with the fleshlings.

ROMERO

By your command.

---

Allen’s body is now in the base, but shows no signs of life.

LUPA

How long do we wait?

LINKARA

As long as we have to.

LUPA

You know, I hate to say this, but…he might’ve been dead for too long.

LINKARA

I know. But I had to try. I was such an asshole to him. When I first got Comicron-1, the government wanted to kill me and take the ship. But he stood up for me. He didn’t have any reason to do it. I mean, he never met me before. But he did. He saved my life. And in return, I was such an asshole to him. I had to do something.

LUPA

It’s okay. I get it.

Lupa covers her nose.

LUPA

(chuckles) His body really stinks.

Linkara smirks.

LINKARA

Yeah, that’d be the bowel evacuation.

LUPA

(giggles)

LINKARA

Yeah.

NASH

Hey, guys. Come take a look at this.

Nash is holding a clipboard.

LINKARA

Were you able to find everything you need?

NASH

Most of it. We’re not gonna be a hundred percent, but we should be ready for a fight. Um, I’ve got the boxes tagged and ready for transport.

LUPA

What is this? ‘Experimental Weapons?’

NASH

Yeah, uh, looks like a bunch of guns the executor’s men were toying with. The manifest lists which ones work and which ones…don’t. Have a look.

He hands Linkara the clipboard.

LINKARA

‘Pump-action shotgun with full auto mode.’

LUPA

‘Multi-barrel machine gun with shotgun mode?’

LINKARA

‘Gun that shoots swords.’

LUPA

‘Gun that shoots chainsaws?’

LINKARA

‘A deadly bee weapon.’

Linkara’s communicator beeps.

LINKARA

What’s up?

MARZGURL

We’ve got company. Looks like they’re back. You need to come up now!

LINKARA

But nothing’s happened to Allen’s body yet.

MARZGURL

We can’t wait any longer! We’ve got to get out of here!

Linkara struggles to make a decision.

LINKARA

Fine. Bring us up.

NIMUE

Warning: there is insufficient power to teleport all targeted forms. At least two adult forms must remain behind.

LINKARA

Then leave me and Allen down here.

NASH

Dude, not a good idea.

LINKARA

No time for arguing; just do it!

NIMUE

Confirmed.

---

Lupa and Nash are beamed onto the ship.

MARZGURL

What’s our status?

JOE

They’re taking position in orbit, but they are accelerating towards us.

MARZGURL

Get us out of here. We’ll have to come back for Linkara.

JOE

Yeah, assuming anything’s left of him.

---

LINKARA

Allen, I hope this works, ‘cause I could really use your help right about now.

Mechakara’s laughter echoes throughout the base. Linkara carefully creeps around.

MECHAKARA

How amusing. You think you have any sort of chance! Do you know what’s even more amusing? That you think that in our previous engagement, you were the one who was victorious. But the truth is that you lost, Linkara. All organic beings lose in the end. It is the promise of flesh. Flesh is flawed. Flesh succumbs. Flesh grows old and dies. But machines? Machines do not grow. They are built to perfection. Succit and steel are eternal. If something breaks down, it is replaced with ease. Flesh atrophies. Flesh is slave to entropy and inevitability. Machines outlast you. Machines get better while flesh gets fatter and slower. Flesh…dies.

Cut to reveal that Mechakara is right behind him. He falls over in shock; as he tries to get up, Mechakara twists his wrist.

ROMERO (via communicator watch)

I have located the parts that we require.

MECHAKARA

Excellent. Return to the ship. When you have finished installing them, hunt down and destroy the enemy vessel. I will remain here to complete what I have started.

ROMERO

By your command.

Mechakara pins Linkara up against a wall by the neck.

MECHAKARA

Did you hear that, Linkara? Everything you care about, everything you love, will burn. I will ensure that there is nothing left of you - not even memories.

LINKARA

Doesn’t that mean you’ll have to destroy yourself, too?

He slams him against the wall.

MECHAKARA

Every word that you speak simply makes me want to rip out your throat even more.

He tosses him across the room into a pile of boxes, then immediately digs him out to continue beating him. He notices that a cut on his forehead vanishes.

MECHAKARA

Interesting. There is something here that is healing your withering form. I admit, I am tempted to experiment with this, to see how much of your blood ends up on my fist before it magically returns to your body. But I can get over not finding out.

He pulls Linkara up by his shirt collar.

MECHAKARA

And while your shrieking tone frustrates me, I must admit, I am curious: are there any final words before I promptly delete them from my memory?

LINKARA

Yeah: bees.

MECHAKARA

Bees?

Linkara pulls out the deadly bee weapon.

LINKARA

Bees.

He shoots a horde of bees at Mechakara.

MECHAKARA

Agh! What are… What are these… Ahhh! They’re in my eyes! Can’t…see!

He collides into some equipment before running out the door. Linkara pushes himself up.

LINKARA

Bees. My God.

He immediately collapses again.

---

‘90s Kid and Lupa work on the ship’s wiring.

90s KID

All right. Just slide it in, and make sure the contacts don’t touch the edge.

She follows his instructions. The power comes back on.

LUPA

All right. Anything else?

90s KID

Nope, that should be it.

He closes the panel and picks up the watch.

90s KID

Nash, power’s back on in this section.

NASH

Awesome! Thanks.

LUPA

You seem to know a lot about the ship.

90s KID

Oh, yeah. I’ve been studyin’ it for the last few years. I pretty much know all the ins and outs of it.

LUPA

It’s weird…I never would’ve taken you for the technical type. I mean…you’re such…

90s KID

An idiot.

He starts to walk away.

LUPA

I wasn’t going to say that.

90s KID

Yes, you were. I’m not stupid, despite what everyone thinks. And I know what everyone thinks. When you assume someone is stupid, you just think they’re so stupid that they won’t notice.

LUPA

Well…I hate to say it, but…you kind of act like it.

90s KID

Do I?

LUPA

Well, I mean…I love the ‘90s more than most people, but you seem to fetishize it. I mean, it’s in your name, for crying out loud! Do you even have a real name?

90s KID

It’s Evelyn, actually, but thanks for asking.

LUPA

Look, my point is, you’re obsessed with guns and killing and musclebound superheroes and pouches and extreme and radical and Sega Genesis. And you sound like you came off the set of Surf Ninjas. It’s just…everything to you! But it just makes it seem like there’s no depth to you. You feel like a one-off joke. And if there is more to you, then why don’t you show it?

90s KID

Why should I?

LUPA

What do you mean?

90s KID

There’s no point in acting like everybody else. It wouldn’t be me. I have a lot more fun this way. Sure, it can be a bit annoying, but you’ll notice that Linkara keeps me around regardless. It’s because him and Harvey and everyone else…they’re my family.

LUPA

Why the ‘90s of all things?

90s KID

Because…because the ‘90s were the age of cyborgs and aliens and lasers and over-the-top stunts and everything insane and cool! Sure, they beat ideas into the ground. Sure, everything was extreme and violent. But it was different! It was new! It was awesome and glorious and wonderful, and most importantly, it was fun! And I think everyone should be having more fun, don’t you?

LUPA

Yeah. They should.

90s KID

Plus, if everyone thinks you’re an idiot, they underestimate you. That’s the ‘90s, really. Make a huge spectacle, and no one will see what’s really going on.

LUPA

Huh. Neat. Hey, when this is all over, you wanna watch Cool as Ice?

90s KID

Dude, I’ve got the special edition Blu-Ray of that! We are totally watching that when we’re done here! Y’know, assuming we’re still alive and stuff.

They both head out of the room. Lupa pauses.

LUPA

‘Evelyn?’

---

Harvey is doing maintenance work.

NASH

Need a hand with that?

HARVEY

I need a hand with a lot of things, longhair.

NASH

…What?

HARVEY

What the hell am I doing?

NASH

Trying to…restore main…power.

HARVEY

No, I mean, what the hell am I doing here?! I’m a lounge singer! I should be in Vegas crooning to vacationers! I should be snappin’ my fingers to Dean Martin and hangin’ out with stage magicians! Instead, I am in space with a bunch of Internet reviewers trying to fight some space cyborgs. Oh, and did I mention I’m in space?!

NASH

I know this is crazy. We’re gonna get through this.

HARVEY

I know, I know, I know… We left Linkara down there alone against the toasterface. I thought I was over this, but…I lost my son a long time ago. And while the kid may not be my son, I abandoned him once while we were fightin’ that robot, and I never forgave myself for it. I don’t want to abandon him again.

NASH

Then we need to get this ship up and running. You said for life, something was on our side. Maybe it’s not enough for just them to be rooting for us. All right, let’s say the worst thing happens, our fears are realized, and Linkara gets killed. This ship has a big-ass gun on the front of it! We can fire right in Mechakara’s face! I think that’s a pretty good reason to get it fixed, don’t you?

HARVEY

You have a real weird way of comforting a guy, longhair.

NASH

I do a show called ‘What the Fuck is Wrong with You?’ about real stories of people in Florida who put random objects in various orifices. The comfort I offer is revenge!

HARVEY

Yeah…yeah, I think I’m okay with that.

The lights go out. Alarms go off.

NASH

We’ve got a power leak! We can reroute the…but it wouldn’t make a difference, because we can’t get any energy to the engine!

HARVEY

So what happened to all those power packs you brought back with you from the planet?

NASH

If we just had enough to get us this…

Nash gets an idea. He pushes a button.

NASH

Engineering to bridge. Get Joe down here, now!

---

Later, Joe uses his lightning to recharge the core power.

NASH

How long can you keep that up, Joe?

JOE

This is nothin’, man! I could do this all day! All I gotta do is think about somethin’ that really pisses me off! And right now, I’m thinkin’ about Sonic Free Riders! And now I’m thinkin’ about Ride to Hell: Retribution! Hraaaagh! Hragh! Hey, Finevoice! We’re goin’ out swingin’, you hear me? Blaaagh!

HARVEY

Swing, baby.

The main cell is fully charged.

NASH

Okay, that’s done it! Um…engineering to bridge. Main power restored.

It immediately goes back out, but Nash takes his mallet to the control panel and it returns.

---

MARZGURL

Acknowledged, engineering. Good work. What’s the status?

SNOB

Looks like they got their power back, too. Their shields and weapons are heating up.

LUPA

At least this time, we’ll have a fair fight.

MARZGURL

I’d prefer a fight where we have a better chance than them of winning.

LUPA

How strong is that ship?

NIMUE

Under normal circumstances, they would not withstand the firepower of this vessel. However, sensors indicate that their energy shield is highly adaptive and capable of withstanding multiple hits before it becomes impervious to this ship’s weapons.

MARZGURL

Well, we can’t have a long fight with them. The longer we go, the more likely they’ll have a chance to take us out. How do we outthink them?

LUPA

Maybe it’s not about outthinking them.

MARZGURL

What do you mean?

LUPA

Well, if they’re controlled by a machine, they should be pretty single-minded, right? So if we screw with that single-mindedness, then they’re vulnerable.

MARZGURL

How do we do that?

LUPA

We make a spectacle. We make them pay attention to that.

MARZGURL

What do you have in mind?

Lupa snickers.

---

Linkara comes back from gathering weapons.

LINKARA

All right, Allen, we got a few more of these guns you can use. Knowing Mechakara, he’s probably adapted to the bees by now. I can’t believe I just said that. But yeah. Some of these seem to still work. Unfortunately, most of them have fallen into disrepair. Which includes the gun that shoots chainsaws. Someday, perhaps, but not today.

Linkara moves difficulty from the pain of the battle.

LINKARA

Ooh! I don’t even know why I’m still trying to stay alive. Ugh! My life feels like a comic book sometimes. Big villain for this storyline, then a bunch of filler issues, next villain, right down the line, rinse and repeat! Maybe that’s it. I’m waiting for the next reboot so that I can become darker and edgier. Or maybe…I’ll make a deal with Satan so that I can get a decent writer and a good supporting cast! Or, hey - (chuckles) - maybe I’ll get my arm cut off by a Mary Sued up villain, and then turn evil myself! Y’know, just to shake up the status quo a bit. Ooh! No, wait, I’ve got it! An editor will decide to replace me with a bunch of kids because they haven’t bothered to watch any of my past adventures and thinks that the audience will praise the new characters more! (laughs)

Linkara shakes his head.

LINKARA

You know, Allen, sometimes I wonder if I even likes comics. I spend so much time getting invested in characters and storylines and just loving the medium of sequential storytelling, but… (sighs) then I have to review stuff like Bimbos in Time or the Tandy Computer Whiz Kids or, God help us all, Marville! I wonder if I don’t actually hate it all. But you know what? I don’t hate comics. I love comics! I love reviewing ‘em, bad or good. I love seeing the twisted genius, or the disgusting madness of a really awful comic. I love learning about the creative process behind it; learning about a storyline that could’ve been stopped before it got off the ground, or a plot point that was botched. I love seeing an artist’s vision come to life, be it something gorgeous that got paired with a subpar script; or the worst, teeth-gritting, overmuscled, sexist garbage of the nineties! I just wanna review them all! I hope I live forever just so I can…

Linkara has an epiphany.

LINKARA

That’s it. That’s why I wanna live. That’s what I’ve got. That’s why I’ve gotta see it through. I would never be satisfied being dead unless I got to review comics every single moment! That’s why I’ve gotta live.

ALLEN

Well, it’s a start. (coughs)

---

Mechakara steps on the final bee remaining. His skin suit is covered in stings. He sees a series of boxes - ‘High-Grade Copper Wire,’ ‘Hydraulic Pumps & Hoses,’ ‘Fiber-Optic Cable,’ ‘Armor Grade Metal Plates.’ He starts peeling away his ‘skin,’ piece by piece.

---

(EXTRA: Things written on the boxes around base:

THX 1138

$63,000

Diamanda Hagan’s Minions

Dr. Insano’s ???

???’s Sweeties

Avorgr?e ???

Spoony Clown

NAPPA

D.X. Machina's Spine ???

(There’s more, but the resolution’s not the greatest. feel free to add to the list)

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