March #38.5: The Nightmare's Wrath

*Pat and Kevin speed away, towards the city.*

Pat: Come on! If we're fast enough, we'll get there before the dragon!

Kevin: Right behind you!

*Dash catches up to them, carrying a still-paralyzed Twilight.*

Kevin: Glad to see you could make it!

Dash: Don't try to cheer me up. I'm still trying to take this all in.

Kevin: So, now that we know Twilight is actually Xaless... does that make you Dain Watokhan or... ?

Dash: I REALLY don't want to think about that right now. All I want to do is bash Esco's AAAAing ninja skull in!

Kevin: I don't think this... monster... is Esco. It's just like that time when Esco went all black and killed Metal. This isn't his aura I'm feeling.

Dash: Like it really matters! You saw what he did to Twilight! And Rarity! And our entire race, for that matter! He's the kind of guy who would slip drugs into my coffee when I wasn't looking!

Kevin: Look, that was all probably the work of the demon within him! If there's a possibility of him still being inside there somewhere, I will try my hardest to get him back!

Dash: I couldn't give two AAAAs if he was inside that thing or not. Regardless, we have to destroy it! Unless, of course, you don't mind living in a smoldering crater.

Kevin: But-

Pat: -Actually Kevin, I'll have to agree with her on that. We just can't risk the lives of innocents even if there was a way to get Esco back. We have to destroy it.

Kevin: *Defeated* All right...

*Twilight begins to snap out of her trance*

Kevin: Ah! Welcome back!

Twilight: ... Esco...

*Her sadness is overwhelming. Kevin awkwardly turns away from her and starts talking to Pat again*

Kevin: So, what's the plan? How are we going to take down the shadow demon?

Pat: To be honest, I have no idea.

Dash: How reassuring...

Kevin: All right, I can see Smashtopia now. What's that light up ahead?

Dash: Crap.

*The form of a black cloud comes into view, pulsating and distorting as numerous beams of light circle around and pierce through it. As they get closer, the cloud takes the form of an army of thousands of demons.*

Kevin: Oh dammit! Akkan must've opened a portal above the city! Even the Leukos aren't strong enough for that!

Pat: Dash, you and Twilight should lay low. There's no knowing how the Leukos will react to your presence. Me and Kevin will go on ahead.

Ike: You mean Kevin and I...

Pat: Get out of my head!

Dash: *sigh* Fine. But at the first sign of trouble, I'm going to come in there and start kicking some AAA.

*Pat and Kevin reach the battleground. Fortunately, they made it before the Nightmarish Horde cleaved through the heart of the city, but the Leukos are quickly being overwhelmed. Rubble of several former skyscrapers surround the battlefield as the Leukos warriors hack away at the dark wave with holy weapons passed down from times long passed. The ground is littered with craters from Demon and Leukos alike, and other warriors occasionally leave the action to take their fallen bretheren to the back lines. A man dressed in a smooth highly-reflective white armor appears before the two SPs and examines them closely.*

Leukos Warrior: Light-haired one. What are you doing here?

Pat: We've come to fight!

Leukos Warrior: It would be best if you did not get involved in this battle. This is between us Leukos and those Demons.

Kevin: This is as much our battle as it is yours! This is my home too, and I would do anything to protect it from the forces of evil!

Pat: Yeah... also, we're from the Stadium, and we've been tasked with-

Leukos Warrior: The Stadium? You mean the one the old Seraphis used to run? I remember my first taste of glory... *Looks back nostalgically on days long gone*

Pat: Yes, that Stadium.

Kevin: So, can we join you then?

Leukos Warrior: Hmm. If you are so willing to die, I will not stop you. I suggest you find the Seraphis and let him know you have come.

Pat: Thank you. Let's go, Kevin!

Kevin: Right!

*Back at the Stadium, the other SPs and Liussano stand opposing Akkan.*

Akkan: So, not even half the group remains. Tell me, what makes you so sure that you will be able to defeat me?

Metal: Well, I could play the montage of other villains saying that statement at me and then dying shortly after, but I'll call it the Killer Instinct to save you the wasted time.

Digi: Yeah! Ultra Combos everywhere!

Akkan: You seem to be very confident in your abilities. Perhaps a bit suicidal.

Metal: *Not listening* There was the time we killed God Kuja... the time Ael died... that time Evil Wolfman got blown up... the time we hugged a reality-eating supermonster to death...

Digi: Yeah! Er...what?

Akkan: Oh? Then tell me why, as a master of numerous realms, I have never seen you on any of my conquests. Surely, you've been to the likes of Djkal, Soraza, or Platon? Those were high-profile dimensions, all of which have since been claimed in the name of Negareijin.

Metal: I don't usually pay much attention to realms of darkness. They all blur together in my memory.

Akkan: Is that so? How about Wenzu?

Metal: That name is a bit funnier, but no.

Akkan: Senjuu?

Metal: Gesundheit.

Akkan: Kozara?

Metal: ...What did you just call me?

Akkan: ... Alsa?

*Digi shudders.*

Metal: Oh! That one. The recycling bin of worlds! Yeah. I wondered where some of that evil negativity that made my life so entertaining came from. Good work with that one.

Akkan: Huh.

Liussano: Enough of this! Let's kill this bastard!

Light Bear: Hear, hear. Let's get on with it, shall we?

Metal: Awww, but I wanted to compare notes! Maybe he has missing postage stamps from no longer extant countries! Oh well. I guess blood will have to suffice. *Powers up his weapons*

Akkan: All right. Now, prepare yourself for...

*Akkan's skin continues to crack and splinter, releasing more smoke from within.*

Metal: I think he hit the self destruct switch by accident. Cover your eyes, his death might be a bit bloody. Or just imagine it's sweat. I hear that's popular in some countries.

Akkan: ... Heh. To think I've reached my limit in this form. Very well.

*Akkan begins to tear the skin from his body, ripping it off in large chunks until nothing is left but a vague humanesque form concealed by a thick mist, not unlike the dragon who is currently headed for Smashtopia at the moment.*

Metal: Is that the best you can do? I've fought Goombas with more deadliness than you!

Digi: Uhh Metal? I don't think you should be-

Metal: But I'm serious! Remember those ten Goombas that nearly killed us all?

Digi: Now isn't a good time to recount that freakish happening, Me--

Akkan: So you want me to go further? I can go further!

*Akkan grows to roughly four times his size. His body becomes skeleton-like, with large spiked protrusions sticking out of his shoulders, head, back, and calves.*

Metal: Huh. It's just like Seraphis Idiotos. I guess I can relive my glory yet again.

Akkan: I'm not surprised. He was tainted by my influence, after all.

Light Bear: You already told us of that!

Digi: This is even darker than the power Esco used when he killed Metal! What are we supposed to do about it?

Metal: Well, nothing difficult, really. Just give me your Digivice!

Digi: What for?

Metal: Do it for Wolfman!

Digi: Okay, but you better not break it. I didn't bring a second one with me. *gives Metal his Digivice*

Akkan: What's that? Some kind of trinket? It doesn't look particularly harmful. It's even a deep maroon! No one in their right mind believes maroon can be used to intimidate!

Metal: He is right, you know. It's usually mostly worthless. I've never even seen Digi use it, you know! Maybe it's just a happy meal toy.

*Digi just shoots a glance off to the sides*

Metal: But you know, even a plastic fork can be deadly in my hands, because...

*Metal opens up a hatch in his arm and plugs it in, turning his arm into a giant cannon-like attachment.*

Metal: All it takes is a little screwing with it and suddenly I can fire death ala mode out of it. Taste the rainbow, melon farmer!

*Metal shoots a multicolored beam straight into Akkan's chest, causing him to disintegrate within an instant.*

Metal: BAM! Chestshot! 2500 points to Metal Man!

Digi: There we go.

Liussano: Who... Who are you?

Metal: A serial killer who only targets monstrous supervillains. Nothing special.

Digi: Can I just have my Digivice back?

Metal: Here ya go! *Gives Digi a charred metallic husk*

Digi: ...that should be fixable...

Light Bear: Well, at least we got rid of that guy. Now we can go and-

*Akkan spontaneously rises from the ground, even larger than before.*

Akkan: Killing me is the same as sending me back to the Demon Realm. Which I just came from. I'm practically immortal!

Digi: Ohhh AAAA.

Metal: Huh. I should have told you to tell Panzer to stop haunting me while you were down there. Oh well. Tell her that next time I send you back down there, will ya?

Light Bear: *Dramatic facepalm*

*Seraphis Stratos unleashes another wave of Leukos Soldiers, larger and angrier than the previous wave. They continue to weave through the dark mass and swarm like a colony of bees after getting their hive set on fire. They hardly make a dent and fall out of the sky, one by one, until Stratos is forced to send out another wave.*

Kevin: They're getting their asses beat! We have to do something!

Pat: I'm way ahead of you.

*Pat has been charging up a massive attack for several minutes by this point.*

Kevin: Err, can we do something that won't blow us up?

Pat: Relax, this isn't a Self-Destruct. This is a move of my own creation.

Kevin: Ooh, does it have a name?

Pat: Not yet. All right, I'm almost ready...

Akkan: You do know this is pointless, don't you?

Metal: Just like a sphere.

Akkan: Enough, annoying metal imbecile! You shall be the first that I wipe from this realm!

Metal: Go ahead and try!

*Akkan morphs into an even more hideous demonic form, towering in size, with great darkness glowing around him, great red eyes, and wretched looking claws*

Digi: Uh... boss... he's going JRPG final boss on us... are you su--

Metal: *cheesily waves to Akkan* Hey! Hey you stupid thing! Attack me if you dare! You're about as scary as plum pudding!

Light Bear: B-but Plum pudding i--


*Akkan smashes Metal off to the side with a single great swipe.*

Liussano: It is as I feared. Underestimating the great demon will only end in pain. But it doesn't matter! I'm going to rip this AAAAer to pieces. For what he did to Master, and everyone else!

Digi: But what about Metal?

Light Bear: We don't have TIME to help him, simpleton! It is time we finished this!


Liussano: Not if I can help it!

*Liussano leaps up and massively punches Akkan in the face. One of the red eyes blinks and a vaguely explosion-like effect occurs. But Akkan... only laughs, as he flicks Liussano off his face like an insect.*

Liussano: Gah! *Barely catches himself and rolls on the ground a bit to get the darkness off of him*


Digi: Here, let me try!

*Digi runs up... his fist glows, and he makes a fire punch. It hits Akkan squarely in the shin... ...and deals no damage.*


Digi: ...But... but. You're supposed to take damage!

Light Bear: Digi, do you have any other attacks than that one?

Digi: Yes, but I'd rather not use them...

Light Bear: Why not?

Digi: They were forced on me... they aren't my style... *Holds up glowing light sword*

*Akkan stares at the sword, vaguely backing away from it*

Light Bear: You idiot! Can't you see he's weak to it?! Swing that thing at him!

Digi: FINE. *turns to Akkan*

Light Bear: *with rage and immense hatred building on his face* Hurry! This is worse than losing Nick back in Placeton! I swear, we must have been standing here for several weeks to a month just thinking about what to do about this! JUST GET THIS OVER WITH!

*Digi Stabs Akkan in the shin with the sword; Akkan shrieks horribly... ...then laughs as the wound clears itself and heals instantly.*


Light Bear: Oh, for-

Digi: What? But that was the only thing we have that you're weak against!

Liussano: No... Master... we have failed you! We cannot even damage the demonic monstrosity that blasphemes your name, your honor, and even your very soul!


*Akkan powers up*


*Pat launches his attack with no name, causing a spiraling energy beam to rip straight through the thicket, creating a noticable gap in their ranks. The disintegrated units are quickly replaced as demons continue to spill out of the portal.*

Kevin: Please tell me that wasn't your ultimate attack.

Pat: Okay, it wasn't my ultimate attack.

Kevin: ...

Pat: I'm starting to have regrets now.

Kevin: We can't just run away! We have to stand our ground even if we-

*Pat is long gone*

Kevin: ...Dammit. *Also flees*

*The demons continue to grow stronger as Seraphis Stratos realizes he's starting to run out of fighters...*

Seraphis Stratos: This cannot be! I refuse to succumb to these monstrosities, even if I have to ask for more outside help!

*A demon destroys a Leukos nearby, the blood splattering Seraphis' face*

Seraphis Stratos: No... we must fight this battle alone. I do not wish for any other man to suffer our ultimate curse! Ophanis!

Ophanis: Yes, my Seraphis?

Seraphis Stratos: Prepare the Violet Death Weaponry.

Ophanis: Violet Death? But that has never been used on-

Seraphis Stratos: One single drop of the poison from a Death Violet is enough to kill even the strongest Leukos man! We must try anything to hold off the invaders!

Ophanis: ... Yes, my Seraphis. *Flies away*

*Akkan now stands, undefeated.*



*Metal walks in, with pieces of the stands stuck to him.*


Metal: You know, you talk like everything else I've destroyed. Gods. Demons. Weird, angry Horse-men. Evil Casino Mongers. Solid Snake.

*Metal takes out his pistol and aims at Akkan*

Metal: But you don't even have half a chaos emerald on any of them. You hardly have any reason to be here, and your attempt to 'conquer' this world is laughable.

Akkan: WHAT?

Metal: The Leukos don't rule this world. In fact, neither do those Pony-things. In fact, none of them do.

*The camera zooms in on Metal's visor.*

Metal: I DO.


Metal: I'm the interloper who takes your hundreds of years of history... and kicks its AAA straight to the moon! WING FORTRESS, ATTACK!

Akkan: !?

*A large flying propeller-powered B-17 Stratofortress-based space ship crashes in, smashing part of the Stadium in the process. It then violently crashes into Akkan's massive face, and keeps on going, raining shrapnel and explosions before it eventually flies away, bouncing around haphazardly through the air like some sort of detached object no longer effected by normal gravity. Akkan falls over, as Metal then charges up his pistol.*

Metal: Learn rule number one of being the bad guy! NEVER LISTEN TO SPEECHES GIVEN BY THE HEROES.


*Akkan gets up and smashes the entire area Metal is in with enough force to cause a massive explosion and crater.*

Digi: So... you guys think he survived that?

Liussano: No... no one could... not even master...


Digi: Someone's going to have to give Light Bear a chill pill...


*Metal can be seen, holding on to Akkan's fist.*

Metal: Like a bad plot hole that doesn't go away, I'm here to stay! *Is holding a bizarre sword of light, and stabbing Akkan in the fist over and over again*


Metal: My sword is the Sword of Light! Once again, Digi tried to emulate me and nearly failed, though, because I *STAB* ACTUALLY *STAB* LIKE USING *STAB* MINE!

Digi: *Facepalms* Why won't he just leave me alone... you'd think I'd attacked his 'Questers' or something...

Light Bear: But aren't you a Quester?

Digi: No, that is another Ian...

Light Bear: *Vein appears on his forehead* Wait, but you were just talking about... I could've sworn you... How can you... Who is... what... THERE ARE TWO DIGIS!?

Digi: Uh...I only learned this a short time ago myself. There's one for each realm. I'm the one for the Stadium, you see, and...

*Light Bear flips out and beats Digi with his cane, KOing him*


Liussano: *Backs away, whispering to himself* Clearly, the cyborg has a crew without honor or sanity on his side...

*Meanwhile, Akkan tries to pry Metal off his hand*


Metal: Almost only counts in horseshoes and Parcheesi, you dunce! *Stab stab* You're nowhere NEAR winning!


Metal: Then what is it?

Leukos Soldier: My Seraphis! These weapons are unable to harm our foes! they seem to be- YEARGH!! *Dies*

Seraphis Stratos: *Standing at the last free spot, his few remaining soldiers dying around him* No... it can't be... there's no one left! The demons have won!


*The Draconian Wraith that came from Esco arrives at the city, and begins ripping buildings to pieces, as the last of the Leukos are overwhelmed by demons.*


Metal: *Is now standing on Akkan's arm, pointing at his eye with the sword* All I see is a bunch of hoopla thrown together for no reason, Akky-Wakky!


*Twilight and Dash watch the destruction from afar, as they are reunited with the fleeing Pat and Kevin.*

Twilight: The last of them has fallen...

Dash: Good riddance.

Twilight: Dash!

Dash: *looks at Twilight, her face a blank mask of frowning seriousness before she sighs deeply and takes a on a sad, almost pleading look, as if her previous anger has begun to exhaust her* Twi...look it's...hard for me to break this to you, but...we don't have a lot of options right now. It's kill or be killed.

Twilight: *looks down, at the ground, feeling defeated* this our lives? Just...endless pointless death?

Kevin: I feel so ashamed... I could do nothing to help Esco.

*Pat just about loses it*

Pat: FOR THE LAST TIME, Kevin! Esco IS DEAD! D-E-A-D! DEAD!! You're so far in denial right now, you're making a black hole of doubt, and soon everything else will get sucked in and then EVERYTHING WILL GO TO AAAA!! Don't you get it!? We are the ONLY ones who stand between our enemies and the city. We must DESTROY this dragon! That is, unless you enjoy watching more people die.

Dash: *raises an eyebrow, trying to think of something to calm Kevin and Pat down, but then suddenly notices something wrong with Twilight, beginning to stare at the unicorn in intense concern*

Twilight: *clutches her head, closing her eyes, wracked with despair, before the despair turns to rage, her eyelids shoot open and her mouth follows* Everyone shut up! If we fight amongst ourselves, who will be left to save the Realm?

Pat: Well, I don't see YOU coming up with anything...

Dash: *rises to her hind legs, crosses her arms/forelegs, looking serious and determined* Pat, easy. I've got an idea, but I'm gonna need Twi's heart and mind at least somewhat intact for it.

Pat: Dash, for the love of Veegee, how is that in any way reasonable!?

Dash: *smirks playfully returning to all fours* worries. I got this.

Pat: *stands silent for a moment...then waves a hand and sighs* All right. Just don't make me regret listening to you.

Dash: Kevin, you keep an eye on her too, 'kay buddy? I could use a wingman for this.

Kevin: Um...aye aye! *gives a determined salute*

Dash: *walks up to Twilight, looking gently into her eyes* All right, Twilight...just relax...and think. Think back to...a memory of Esco. the most important one you can think of.

Twilight: Well...the last time this happened, I was in despair over the fall of the Stadium, of my own mistakes making things worse... Yet there was something else, drifting within the inner chaos.

Kevin: Hope?

Twilight: I don't know. But thinking about that, after today's revelations... Maybe there's some way I can contact Esco through my subconscious.

Dash: Why don't you just use telepathy? That seems to be your go-to for talking to others.

Twilight: I'm afraid telepathy won't work here. I'm not even sure if Esco is alive, let alone conscious.

Pat: So what does this mean? You're just going to will your way into Esco's mind somehow?

Twilight: I may not be able to do it myself, but there's someone I know who can...

*Esco's mind. Esco is in a black field of darkness, staring, as his new form rips buildings to shreds.*

Esco: I deserve all of this. Because of my failure, everyone must die... because everything I did was worthless...

*A phantom appears.*

Esco: I have nothing else to live for. This destruction is what I deserve.

???: Esco...

Esco: No. Go away. There is nothing I can do now.

???: Esco.

Esco: I'm here... This is my eternal prison. Let me suffer in peace.

???: Esco!

Esco: What is it? Can't you see that I am trying to-

*Esco stops dead- he sees the translucent form of Xaless.*


Xaless: Esco... you have only failed to consider the other options you can do.

Esco: But I can do nothing! Akkan has total control over me and everyone else!

Xaless: It is-

Esco: And you are dead! And anyone else I love is dead! I have NOTHING!

Xaless: You have the power to stop the nightmare.

Esco: No I don't! I fail at everything I try! Go... go away! You're only making this worse!

Xaless: No. Here...

*Xaless touches Esco's forehead. He tries to fight it off, but eventually stops.*

Esco: What is this... people being happy? The universe not being destroyed? What madness is this?

Xaless: This is what can happen. You have to make it real, however.

Esco: I can't do anything!

Xaless: Have you even tried?

Esco: I...

*Esco's draconic wraith form halts for a moment mid-building smash. It turns and looks to a demon, and goes to smash that instead. To his surprise.... it is smashed.*

Esco: I... I can control this form?

*Esco walks down a street, taking out more of the Horde.*

Esco: ...Then so be it. Xaless may be gone, but I will not let myself fall to the darkness. I can use its own tools against it.

*Esco begins destroying more and more demons, eventually nearing Stratos.*

Seraphis Stratos: All is lost... I can no longer see the light. *Closes his eyes* My death is immenent.

*He suddenly opens his eyes as his would-be killer is crushed under Esco's foot.*

Seraphis Stratos: No... what is that? Impossible!

*He looks up just in time to see Esco killing another demon*

Seraphis Stratos: A demon that attacks... other demons?

Twilight: BLUGHUGH- *Breathes in deeply, finding herself wet and on her back... she quickly pulls herself up* What happened?

Pat: You were out cold, so Kevin, um...took drastic measures. With a bucket. But good to have you back.

Kevin: Twi! Esco! Is he-

Twilight: I'm... not sure how I did it, but I... or, well... part of me... was with him. Knew just what to say. I think whoever it was...whoever I was... pushed Esco in the right direction.

Kevin: *Does a fist pump* All right! See Pat? It's always darkest before th-

Pat: -I understand what you're getting at Kevin, but we're not exactly finished with this war yet.

Dash: I dunno Pat. Things... they seem a lot different now. The world doesn't look as... AAAAty, somehow, as it did a few minutes ago, ya know?

Pat: No Dash, I don't know, but I'll roll with whatever your strategy is, since I'm not really in a position to bargain, now, am I?

Dash: Heh... *Smirks at Pat again*

Pat: I don't like being caught in a corner like this, but I'll fight with you loons to my last breath, got that?

Kevin: Yep.

Dash: Crystal clear...

Akkan: *Trying to Crush Metal. He fails, throwing Metal aside* Fine. I can't just smash you after all.

Metal: Of course you can't!

Akkan: But a new forbidden technique will do the job much better.

Metal: Huh?

Akkan: *Glows evilly, his powers engulfing the area* CORRUPTION WAVE!

*Light Bear and Metal fall to their knees, as the evil energy eats at their souls*

Akkan: Soon, you shall all die! And my plan shall be complete.

Light Bear: Ngh... stereotypical plan... stupid motivation... the cliches... hurt more... than the corruption... GRRRRRR....

Metal: No! I can't lose to YOU! You aren't even a God!

*Another wave of darkness appears. A crimson demoness appears besides the super-powered Akkan*

Akkan: Ah. Here to watch my success, Demonness?

Demonness: No.

Akkan: Well, I was just about to destroy those worthless White Lands and make this place just like home. I thought you might approve.

Demonness: To the contrary. I've had no interest in your schemes.

Akkan: Don't get in my way. I will kill you and send you to a place worse than hell if I have to.

Demonness: Oh. Just like you told them?

*Celestia, Luna, and Discord appear besides her, before assuming the forms of the three Monochrome Dragons.*

Akkan: What is the meaning of this? You can't possibly-


Faustus: We were never on your side. I'm Faustus, and they are your generals... and we've been planning to kill you for a long time.

Akkan: Go ahead and try!

*Faustus goes to cast a magical attack, but Akkan laughs. He holds up his evil, demonic-encrusted hand, and suddenly the energy begins killing the three generals and Faustus.*

Akkan: Did you not think I would suspect potential betrayal in anyone I knew? NO! I will not be undone by some comedically simple backstab!

Light Bear: ... Can... die peacefully... knowing that stereotype was... averted... *Passes out, in the darkness*

Digi: *Is already KO'd. The darkness is slowly killing him.*

Metal: *... Begins shambling towards Akkan.*

Akkan: Even in your agony, you still think you can overwhelm me? Hmph!

*Akkan moves his gaze towards the city.*

Akkan: That worthless Esco broke my hold. If he thinks he can use his personal demon for his own benefit, he is mistaken! He too, shall feel the wrath of the Nightmare!

Seraphis Stratos: *Standing besides Esco* I don't believe it... a Leukos and a demon, the only ones left, fighting off the Nightmare!

Esco: I wouldn't have predicted it either, but we have no choice.

*Suddenly, Esco seizes up and expells a massive amount of energy into the aether. The draconic wraith is displaced by a slightly larger than human-sized fleshy black dragon.*

Esco: Well, this sucks.

*A portal opens up, and the Corruption wave begins to kill the two as well*

Seraphis Stratos: URGH!

Esco: ARGH!

Akkan: So simple minded, to think that betrayal was never on my mind! I was ready to kill EVERYONE if need be!

*The entire world starts to slip into darkness*

Akkan: And now my plan comes to fruition. All of you were too stupid to ever see this coming!

*Metal stands before Akkan*

Akkan: What are YOU doing up here? You can't possibly do anything! You... you should be DEAD!

Metal: That's what everyone tells me.

*Metal glows with chaos energy, then floats up to face Akkan.*

Akkan: What ARE you? *Engulfs Metal with the Forbidden Technique... but finds no soul.*

*Metal begins laughing madly, with an echoing laugh that bounces off all the buildings and everywhere.*

Metal: Long ago, I abandoned my mortal form and became a Traveler. You may destroy as many mortals as you want, as well as your own beings. But you cannot consume me. I have no soul!

*Metal points at Akkan's face*

Metal: I have killed over a hundred beings like you... without help from pitiful underworld beings betraying them, either.

Akkan: Fie! I will rip you apart the hard way!

*Akkan swipes a massive claw at Metal, only to be hit by an explosion so massive, the claw grows a huge hole in it.*

Akkan: WHAT?

Metal: You knocked out all of the other people that might object.

*Liussano, however, is actually hidden, watching this, unbenownst to Metal.*

Metal: With them all out cold, I don't need to pretend to be mortal anymore.

*Metal's time device glows, and fields begin to tear at Akkan, as a sort of series of black holes in time begin to rip at him.*

Metal: I'm going to enjoy this. You know. This is my party location, where I rest, and hang out, and have fights that don't really matter. You, however, have personally delayed my party by TWO MONTHS.

*Akkan burns with blue fire, his demonic visage starting to form cracks like a broken pot*

Akkan: You will not prosper, Chaos Being! You are bound by rules just like all beings of darkness!

Metal: Of course. I made sure that I could come here first.

*Metal flicks a wrist, as a diagonal slash rips through Akkan as if a skyscraper-sized sword of chaos had torn through him*

Metal: You didn't, so no Time Authority will stop me from making you into dust. Better yet, your evil powers made the Hands also fall to the ground, so they will never know what power I can truly wield.

Akkan: You hide this... but why? *His voice gets fainter as he begins to fall apart* You are as treacherous as me! Feel it... the darkness has to be filling your heart for having sat on your powers so long!

*Metal idly opens his chestplate, revealing... he has no heart. He smirks dementedly.*

Metal: Darkness cannot corrupt me. I have no heart to lose. I already became a being of pure chaos. However, unlike the others, I have not lost my true self. You, on the other hand, are like all the others who lose their true selves... blind, and unable to see the road for the paving stones!

*Metal idly gestures, ripping out stands from the Stadium and pelting Akkan in the face with them, one at a time, causing him to bleed darkness*

Metal: This world's ancient history became IRRELEVANT once I visited! You and your worthless LEUKOS FOES are DUST PARTICLES to me! My foes could EAT YOU FOR BREAKFAST. Have you SEEN Autumnus? Garrick? They would gladly EAT YOUR SOUL AND DANCE ON YOUR GRAVE.

*Metal floats up and slaps Akkan hard enough for him to fall sideways into a parking garage*

Metal: This is your ultimate reward for toying in the affairs of a Godslaying Abomination's Stadium and BREAKING THE RULES. I cannot USE these powers unless the rules have been broken.

*Metal would point to his watch*


*Metal then shoots Akkan as he groans on the ground, unable to speak anymore. BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM.*


*Metal would then hold out both hands.*

Metal: I will be nice, and let your Nightmare plague this realm for a while longer. BUT NO MORE. BEGONE! FOREVER. I WILL NOT BE SO NICE TO THE NEXT ONE WHO WISHES TO BECOME LIKE YOU!

*A massive rip in reality explodes around Akkan. He makes some sort of garbled remark, before he is mercilessly removed from all of reality, leaving an afterimage as if he had been burnt out with an energy equivalent to being smashed by an entire sun.*

*Metal's glow goes away.*

Metal: ...Where am I? Why am I in the air? Oh AAAA--

*Metal clangs to the ground, KO'd.*

*The Darkness slowly fades, as Akkan's portals phase out of existance. The Monochrome Dragons and Faustus leave before anyone else wakes up. Slowly, Esco and Stratos wake up, and the Nightmare, after having been momentarily stunned, continues attacking.*

Esco: I have no clue what just happened.

Seraphis Stratos: Nor do I... let us kill these blackened denizens before they take any more of the city!

*Enter Pat and Kevin*

Seraphis Stratos: So you have returned. Why must you persist in my people's troubles? This is no place for one such as yourself to persist.

Kevin: It felt wrong to just abandon you like that. I want nothing more than to help bring your people back from oblivion. That, and I kinda live right over there.

*Kevin points to a high-rise located uncomfortably close to the battleground.*

Pat: Plus, we have a Stadium to save!

Kevin: Oh Pat, by the way.

Pat: What?

Kevin: I freakin' told you I was right! Now hand it over.

Pat: *Sigh*... *Pulls out a small handful of coins and passes them to Kevin*

Esco: Huh?

Kevin: We made bets based off of whether or not our plan would work. Seeing as you're back... *looks Esco's new form over, slightly intimidated* ... for the most part anyway, I'd say we did good enough.

*A few gargoyles and Behemoths slowly surround the group*

Seraphis Stratos: Perhaps we should cease our discussions and commence with the slaughter.


Dash: *Walks over to Twilight* I think we've still got some things to talk about.

Twilight: *tilts her head, confused*

Dash: Esco's home...our home...this "demon realm," the dragon legends...something's been happening, something bigger than you and me, bigger than Equestria, bigger than Revanda itself. If you were able to get through to Esco like that, then-

Twilight: Dash, we...we can't just jump to conclusions-

Dash: I can't think of a better time to be jumping to conclusions, Twi. We need to do something now...because there's...been so much hidden from us, that's been right under our noses. I used to think there was nothing truly magical, nothing truly special about know Twi, I really hate being wrong most of the time...but I right now I don't really care...I'm glad I was wrong about you did...made me...realize that he's...part of a family we lost...that we need to get back together.

Twilight: I...know what...know what you mean, somehow, but I don't know what we can-

Dash: There will be time later. I'm sure of it.

Twilight: Right!

Dash: Here we go!

Pat: *Smacks an impish creature silly with a trout* That's twenty-seven!

Kevin: *Blasts a line of shadowy beasts into oblivion with a chain of lightning* Thirty-nine.

Pat: Dammit! *Whaps another serpent across the face*

Seraphis Stratos: The air has thinned considerably. Victory is near! *Creates a pulse of light that wipes out several demons surrounding him*

Esco: *Blasts a wave of monsters with a breath of green flames* Once this is over with, what then?

Kevin: Well, I think- *Ducks under a swipe from a jagged claw* -We should go follow that black cloud! *Strikes the attacker in the floating ribs*

Pat: Black cloud? I didn't see a- GAH! *Gets sucker-punched*

Seraphis Stratos: There is another army? I have grown tired of this! *Fires a precision strike at the damned humanoid currently harassing Pat, peircing its skull*

Kevin: I don't think that's it. The energy Esco shed earlier consolidated and floated away somewhere.

Seraphis Stratos: I was unaware this dragon had a name. I apologize for the informality... Esco? That sounds familiar...

Kevin: Yeah, that's because-

Esco: -It's a popular name.

Seraphis Stratos: Hmm. *Scans the surroundings* The darkness has been vanquished. The city stands triumphant. Yet the Leukos...

*Seraphis Stratos bows his head and slowly starts to drift away.*

Seraphis Stratos: ... The Leukos have lost.

Pat: Wait! Where are you going?

Seraphis Stratos: My people have been greviously wounded from the conflict. We must rebuild, if we are to get our home back.

Esco: We just killed the demon horde! The war has ended!

Seraphis Stratos: You are mistaken, dragon. The war cannot end until we wipe out your kind and restore our White Lands. I'm sorry it has to be this way, but we have no other choice. If we fail to recuperate, they will strike first and exterminate us.

Esco: Seraphis, times have changed significantly since your last war. The ones who invaded your homeland are not the same as those who currently reside there. I've been there myself, and they are a peaceful race. Furthermore, they have also changed physically. Gone are the days that dragons roamed, corrupting everything they touched. They have since taken on the form of...

*Enter Dash*

Esco: ... ponies.

Dash: Guys! We need you to come back to the Stadium. NOW.

*Seraphis Stratos swoops down to get a closer look at Dash*

Dash: Uhh, what's going on?

Seraphis Stratos: I find this hard to believe. It is unlikely that such an innocent little filly came from such ravenous beasts.

Kevin: Hold on, Dash. These guys are locked in a heated discussion.

Dash: There's no time to hold on! This is important! We have to leave right away!

Pat: Come on, Kevin. Let's just leave them here. They can catch up later.

Kevin: All right...

*Pat, Kevin, and Dash set off for the Stadium*

Seraphis Stratos: If this is some kind of draconic trickery, I will not be fooled so easily!

Esco: It took me some time to comprehend this, but it is true. Even the old Seraphis was fixated on their destruction, to the point of obsession. He stole a great amount of light energy from them, turning him insane. He had become so drunk with power, that he threatened to destroy the very thing he wanted to protect all along. He was going to reduce the White Lands to a smoldering crater of nonexistance.

Seraphis Stratos: No... That does not sound like the Seraphis I knew!

Esco: He had been tainted by an ultimate evil. He became just another one of the demons' pawns. The one who calls himself Metal Man... was the one who ultimately ended him.

*Seraphis Stratos remains silent for a good while.*

Seraphis Stratos: Please, leave me alone. I need some time to take in these new revelations. I must think things over before I make my decision. *Begins to float away again*

Esco: Before you go on another crusade, think about this for a moment. With the slaying of these demons we fought today, a peace has been restored to Revanda. Why continue to live a life of hatred if there is no longer a reason to hate?

Seraphis Stratos: ... Escomanivero Deisedarah. I remember now. To think you were one of them this entire time...

*Seraphis Stratos vanishes amongst the labyrinth of buildings on the horizon.*

Esco: ... It's called a curse.

*Esco lifts off the ground with his great wings, and follows the others back to the stadium.*

*The Stadium Grounds. Pat, Kevin, and Dash have just arrived, to see all of the other SPs unconscious, and a familiar figure floating above them.*

Pat: Is that-

Kevin: Esco!?

"Esco": You could call me that.

Twilight: Everyone stay back! This is NOT Esco! Not even a fragment! This is an embodiment of pure hatred!

Kevin: So, you must be Esco's Nightmare. The one responsible for all of his suffering.

"Esco": Heheheh... He was already defeated after losing his Xaless. He brought the suffering on himself. I was only there to *ahem* "push" him in the right direction.

Pat: Twilight, try to wake up the others. I have a feeling we're going to have another epic battle.

Dash: Perfect. *gets into a fighting stance*

Liussano: No.

Pat: !?

Kevin: Wait, but I-

Liussano: As the last remaining Kazan, I feel it is my duty alone to avenge my fallen allies. *Looks straight into the demon's eyes with his amber gaze as he draws his sword*

Kevin: ... Understood.

"Esco": You are a fool, to face me all alone. Nothing can prepare you for the Hell I'm about to unleash!

*Liussano suddenly appears behind the Nightmare.*

Liussano: Think again.


*Liussano stabs the demon through the chest, with a sickening FLSSSHHHT.*

Liussano: Deathblow.

"Esco": Ugh... I'm not going to fall... so... easily...

Liussano: You are weak. You failed to displace Esco like the forbidden technique intended. If it wasn't for his own self-loathing, Esco probably could've driven you out himself.

"Esco": Ghhh... hakkk...

Liussano: But don't worry, I'll be sure to make room for you in my personal sanctum of misery, where you will suffer for eternity. Goodbye, demon. We will meet many more times. I hope you look forward to it!

*The demon sublimates into a fine red mist. Liussano cleans his blade, then sheaths it.*

Liussano: I must go back to the other realm now. May our paths cross again in the future.

Kevin: Wait! There's so many things I still have to ask you!

Liussano: Let me guess: Esco told you the story about the mayonnaise jar?

Kevin: Yeah.

Liussano: That didn't really happen.

Kevin: Aww!

Liussano: It was actually a jar of jelly.

*Liussano sinks into the earth, which fades from its charred black color back to a healthier brown.*

Pat: It looks like that's it then. The end of an era?

Kevin: The end of a long hiatus, more like it.

Dash: You know, all this fourth wall breakage can't be good for the plot...

*A few hours later, all the SPs are gathered together, waiting for Metal to awaken. Esco takes time to gather his thoughts outside, in the cool night air. The front door opens and Twilight comes out and sits beside him.*

Twilight: So, what happened to the body?

Esco: Well, Liussano pulverized it. I don't think it's very likely that I'll get my body back anytime soon. *Sighs* It looks like I'm stuck like this.

Twilight: It's not all bad. You're no longer cursed.

Esco: There's other problems that have arisen in its wake. I'm no longer protected by the demon's powers. If I die again, it will be final. To make things worse, I can't use any manipulative powers at all. I'm even less of an asset now...

Twilight: You need to learn to stop being so hard on yourself.

Esco: I know, but sometimes I just...

*Dr. Mario appears from nowhere*

Dr. Mario: I-a hear the sound of dead bodies! Is it-a time for one of-a my patented wallet-inspections? Free life comes attached! Yaha! I'll-a make you better than alive, minus your wallet!

Esco: I did, but I don't think-

Dr. Mario: What? You-a think I can't do it? I-a made Metal alive after he was torn to-a shreds by YOU! I-a can revive you too! You DO remember-a that, right?

Esco: Yeah... So what? Are you going to grow me a new body somehow?

Dr. Mario: Oh, of-a course! I-a always do that! You-a never know...

Esco: Great, so when can I-

Dr. Mario: But-a, it-a has the same curse you-a had, so I have to decontaminate it like-a I did Aribar. That-a takes a while!

Esco: And how long will that take?

Dr. Mario: Uh... how-a long is a Season now?

Kevin: *From offscreen* 24 matches!

Dr. Mario: Ah! Well, then, you might-a be lucky and get it back by the end of this-a one!

Esco: Damn. Well, at least I'll have it eventually. Thanks for the help anyway.

Dr. Mario: Not-a problem, when vast profit is-a involved. Just-a don't forget to pay... I have my-a ways of ensuring I get paid! *leaves*

Esco: I guess I can learn how to manage.

Twilight: ...

Esco: Hmm? Why the sudden silence?

Twilight: Oh! N-nothing... You just remind me a little about Spike is all.

Esco: *Smirks* That's one more thing we have in common...

*Metal is out cold, in the sick bay. Dr. Mario's machines have once again begun to heal him.*

*But he's been left unattended.*

*A mysterious figure walks in...*

???: Yes. That's it. No one pay attention. This should be easy.

*??? affixes a device to Metal.*

???: I'll teach that twerp to get some backbone. His 'esteemed leader' turning on him ought to do the trick.

*Dr. Mario stumbles in*

Dr. Mario: Hey! No-a looting patients! That's-a my job!

*The strange cloaked figure looks at Dr. Mario.*

???: I assure you, I took nothing from him.

Dr. Mario: I'll-a be the judge of that!

*Dr. Mario flings a syringe at the mysterious person, who ducks aside, but his cloak tears and reveals a pink corner... of a suit?*

Dr. Mario: Wait-a minute... you're-a--

???: No one. If you even remotely interfere with my plans... you WILL die.

*The man vanishes into thin air*

Dr. Mario: Haha! Like I'm-a afraid of death! No one would ever think to kill-a me! I'm the one, the only, Doctor-a Mario! Not even-a Stanley could take my place!

*Dr. Mario looks over Metal.*

Dr. Mario: Hmmm... he-a didn't take anything. Oh well! *Walks off*

*After Dr. Mario walks off... Metal wakes up, strange energy arcing in his eyes.*

Metal: Mmmf... must... kill... D....

*The scene fades.*


Kevin: Well, it's getting really late. I should probably go back home and make sure my roommate's all right...

???: Don't leave yet. There is something I need to discuss with you.

*Kevin turns around and sees a battered Light Bear*

Kevin: Light? What is it? You look-

Light Bear: -like Hell warmed over? It's been a rough day for all of us.

*Light Bear spits out a tooth to prove his point*

Light Bear: Don't worry, it'll grow back. Recently, I've witnessed numerous accounts of fourth wall breakage, and it appears to increase dramatically in frequency whenever you're around.

Kevin: What about it?

Light Bear: Something is about to occur. Something immense. I want you to come with me, so that we may prepare for when that time comes accordingly.

Kevin: All right. Is this just our secret?

Light Bear: No, there are two others who know of this. In fact, we will be meeting them shortly...

*Light Bear leads Kevin down the hallway, and they disappear from view around a dark corner.*