Ok, here we are fellow readers, another story on the road to Pyro Lee 2: Nexus. For this chapter we will go over the Hank centered spin off story, Hiro's Journey.
Unlike the previous chapter where we had a run down of the Star Girl spin off in a episodic format, Hiro's Journey is a bit more streamlined thus being able to be put in to the usual abridged complete story format just like the Pyro Lee and Pyro Lost stories. For the record "Hiro" is refereed to as "Hank" through out the entire franchise, so we will call him Hank for consistency sake in this chapter.
Overall Series Synopsis
The story line of Hiro's Journey follows the titular protagonist, Hiro" Hank" Trevors, during the year in a half time frame between Pyro Lee and Pyro Lee 2 :Nexus. The story is split in to 3 major acts, with first act following Hank as he investigates the mass production of counterfeit source runes. The second act will focus on Hank's quest to uncover the legend of the 7 source orbs. While the third act serves at the conclusion.
We open with Hank reminiscing on the events leading up to him joining C.R.I.S.I.S with fellow agent, Zane"Surge" Turner Jr. After the events of Pyro Lee, Hank turned him self over to C.R.I.S.I.S in order to make good on his promise of making a difference in the world in memory of his late friend, Maria. After numerous tests and evaluations, C.R.I.S.I.S cleared him for active duty as a special agent. Normally, he is tasked to deal with solo covert operation pertaining to various enemy organizations such as Syndicate 9, but on some rare occasions he accompanies other C.R.I.S.I.S squads such as the newly reformed Radical Squad and Doom Watch. This is where he met Zane, a 35 year old agent of the C.R.I.S.I.S security outfit, Doom Watch, who was outfitted with advanced cybernetics after a massive riot at Platinum Command Penitentiary left him barely alive. After that incident the two became partners during the Uber narcotics crackdown.
Their current mission is an investigation with the Fine Edge Foundation to figure out the source of a man made virus that was exclusively targeting those with ESP abilities. Their investigation lead them to discovering the existence of remnants of the old Neo Bastion Division, now going by the name EX Bastion. Despite their best efforts to track down EX Bastion, they always seem to be one step ahead of the duo. After an accident leaving C.R.I.S.I.S Director, Wesley Solar the 3rd, adrift in space, the two catch wind of a possible traitor amongst the peace keeping organization. Their hunch is proven after Surge was almost dismantled when pursuing a possible suspect on board the main C.R.I.S.I.S Aerial Command Center. Things go from bad to worse as the main propulsion system fails, causing the ACC to lose altitude rapidly. Through the quick action of Surge and an electrically charged Lee Pierce, the ship safely landed with Hank apprehending one of the suspected traitors. Surge's " Reasonable interrogation" coupled with the aid of Amy's psychic abilities managed shake loose some info from the traitor but were interrupted by an assassin who snuck aboard the downed ACC. The assassin made his escape via jet ski with Hank and Surge giving chase by air on board the director's personal hover bike. Upon making it to land, the two managed to subdue the assassin, only for him to commit suicide through the use of a cyanide pill hidden in his mask. Though they didn't get much information, they do know that Syndicate 9 is in cahoots with EX Bastion and their experiments. The plot thickens as the unmasked assassin looked eerily like Hank, right down to the white hair and even his base genetics. Back to square 1, the situation with the Psy Kill virus take a turn for the worse as Amy's father becomes infected and the ESP community is in a state of panic over the string of death related to the virus. With all this plus C.R.I.S.I.S being possibly compromised overwhelms the C.R.I.S.I.S Deputy Director, Vari Sinclair. In order to kill two birds with one stone, she puts Hank and Surge on temporary suspension as a ruse in order for them to go under cover, root out the traitors, and collect vital information that can help them nail EX Bastion and Syndicate 9 once and for all. Surge was publicly branded as a renegade agent in order to throw off suspicion and keep things busy. Meanwhile, Hank took on the identity of a second Assassin that was apprehended by Psy Force Crystal of the Fine Edge Foundation with Lee serving as their inside man for C.R.I.S.I.S.
Surge drew most of the heat, as C.R.I.S.I.S forces relentlessly hunted him down. Meanwhile Lee with the help of Amy keep their ears to the ground on any suspicious behavior around C.R.I.S.I.S HQ. Hank, now as a double agent for Deputy Director Vari, managed to infiltrate various EX Bastion compounds world wide. Things were going swimmingly until Surge was finally caught. In his quest to keep C.R.I.S.I.S personal busy, he managed to compile a list of agents who are affiliated with Syndicate 9 and even other organizations such as the Cleaners and even Limbic Cortex. This caused quite the stur with in the peacekeeping organization as Lee and Amy could both verify and keep tabs on the suspected traitors with impunity due to their status. Now that all pieces were in place, it was time for Vari to smoke out the traitors. Phase 1 was for the C.R.I.S.I.S aerial fleet to launch a full scale assault on the EX Bastion compounds marked by Hank. This aided in Hank's escape, as prior to the massive assault, his cover was blown when he procured and synthesized a vaccine to the Psy Kill virus with the help of an Ex Bastion researcher named Serena. His intel also mentioned that all double agents under EX Bastion and Syndicate 9 with in C.R.I.S.I.S are armed with a watered down version of his source runes. If a particular frequency was played, it would cause the unstable chemical composition of the false runes to detonate.
This led in to Vari's second phase of the plan. Using the intercom system and the detonation frequency Hank gave her, hundreds of Syndicate and Ex Bastion double agents were found among them world wide. Those who were not out right killed by the detonation of their false runes were apprehended. Everything was going according to plan, but Syndicate 9 was not with out a trump card. The emission of an ear piercing frequency from various audio sources around the world resulted in almost everyone standing perfectly still as if time has stopped around them. This was the Syndicate's ace in the hole, sleeper agents, not only embedded in C.R.I.S.I.S but in many organizations and cities all over the world. Hank tries to a cut the signal from the intercom but its too late as the affected agents are ordered to begin laughing to verify their control. World was ablaze with the laughter of billions, and with one more command the laughing sleeper agents are ordered to terminate anyone who is not laughing with them. Every agent in the room including Vari turns their gaze to Lee, Hank, Surge and began to attack. Those most of the laughing sleepers were attacking the downed traitors, the others begin to lurch and dash towards the trio. Their situation of fight or flight was already chosen for them, as any agent they knock out would just been killed by the hoard of laughing sleepers. As the trio made their way through the C.R.I.S.I.S HQ while dodging any and all laughing agents, Lee attempts to contact Amy but it appears that she is dealing with her own problem as a result from the trigger frequency over in Choto City. Though she cant help them physically she informs them that ESP users and those linked with them telepathically are unaffected by the sleeper frequency. Lucky for them, Psy Force Card of the Fine Edge Foundation was stationed at the C.R.I.S.I.S HQ. Meeting up with the team, they soon find themselves overrun by the nearly endless hoard of laughing sleepers. Salvation came in the form of Director Solar, clad in his flying suit of power armor. Stunning wave after wave of laughing sleepers, he works along side Psy Force Card in order to suppress the hoard. Director Solar informs the trio that the signal is being broadcast from dozens C.R.I.S.I.S ACCs world wide. While the Psy Force handles things on the streets, its up to Hank,Surge and Lee to take out those emitter ACCs. Director Solar gives them access to the Hot Spur, an experimental jet developed by Solar Tech Inc designed for heavy combat. Launching from the C.R.I.S.I.S HQ, the 3 take out the ACCs while dealing with more cloned assassins along the way. Managing to take out the ACCs and shut down the laughing sleepers, Surge decides its time for them to take the fight right to the Syndicate's Door step. Lee of course was excited about all this, but is sent home instead via Orbital Recovery Bubble. This was more or less a suicide mission for the duo, Lee may be powerful but he was still a kid at the end of the day in the eyes of Surge and Hank.
The two touch down on the roof top of the Syndicate's HQ located in Hong Kong. The high rise seems strangely quite as Surge jacks in to the security system.Looking down at the indoor plaza, Hank was greeted with the sight of unconscious bodies littering the bottom floor, with a few on the other floors as well. This was a byproduct of them shutting down the signal. Following intel they procured, Hank and Surge make their way to the hidden board room via a special elevator. Finding the room empty the two are attacked by a grotesque creature with multiple faces on its body. This creature was the slurry remains of the clone assassins Hank was part of during his time undercover. Unsure on how and why the creature was here, the duo managed to destroy the monster through the use of Surge's overclock mode.
In the end ,the day was saved and the people of the world return to their busy normal lives as the TV shows its reruns and the radio continues to play its worn out tunes. Hank, Lee, Amy and Zane were commended for their service to C.R.I.S.I.S. Lee was understandably upset with the two as they ditched him before the final confrontation with Syndicate 9, but he does understand why they did it. As for Syndicate 9, they poetically met their end at the hands of their long time nemisis, Victor Powers and his organization ,Limbic Cortex . ( Star Girl Season 2:Cortex War Arc). However, though EX Bastion may have been dealt a damaging blow, they are hardly down and out as they plot their next sinister scheme while performing their deadly experiments. Hank knows this is far from over as his investigation revealed that EX Bastion knows more about the Source runes then meets the eye.
Nearly a year after the fall of Syndicate 9, Hank and Surge continued to hound EX Bastion all over the world while taking down every bio weapon that comes their way. In this time, the duo became a entire task force known as Task Force Zeal. With Surge becoming the head of the task force, Hank served as more or less an off and on member, often taking on solo covert ops missions. Granted he left his loaner demeanor in the past, Hank still enjoys the solitude of his missions.
During his time off within his virtual world, Hank received a message that made him shutter. It was a new voice message from a old friend from long ago, Maria Trevors. As explained back in Chapter 11, Maria Trevors was the former handler of Hank back during his time with the Critical 4 under the Neo Bastion super solder program. However, she was killed in the events of Pyro Adventure due to a Bio Bomb set off by C.R.I.S.I.S to cleanse the city of escaped bio weapons from Bastion Pharmaceuticals. For him to hear her voice almost 4 years after her death was impossible. However, the impossible was made true after a quick trip to the C.R.I.S.I.S R&D division confirmed that this was a literal recording from Maria. However, the message was made from her C.R.I.S.I.S communicator which is in C.R.I.S.I.S storage after they were decommissioned back in the 90s. On top of that, Maria left C.R.I.S.I.S back in the year 2000. The question that was on the mind of Hank and the R&D researchers was, " How could Hank have received a voiced message from a deactivated communicator of an agent who was terminated back in 2000 , let alone presumed dead 2 years afterwards ?". Activating the com tracker, they discover that there are exactly 2 signals coming from communicators tied to the bio metrics of Maria. One coming from the one the R&D have in their possession, while the other one was coming from a location in New Mexico.
Hank along with some Task Force Zeal operatives headed out to investigate this anomaly under the orders of Director Solar. Landing the small town of Grass City, the team find the location to be quite peculiar as the streets of the small town appear rather quite. The team traced the signal to a motel room down the street from their current position. As soon as they storm the room, the signal disappears only for them to find an empty room. The entire room goes dead silent as Hank looks around him. He can see his friends frozen in place, almost as if they were suspended in time. Before he could think Hank is suddenly greeted by an elderly man in a lab coat holding a glowing orb with the same makings as the Takaion Rune his brother ,Kazuma, had. Coming face to face with the old man in the parking lot of the motel, he instantly recognized him as Dr. Hiroshi Katz, the late director of the Bastion Pharmaceutical Super Solder Program aka Neo Bastion. He was presumed dead in 1992 after a deadly auto accident, but some how here he was, alive and well holding a strange orb.
Dr.Katz explains to Hank that the sphere called the Source Orb, a powerful ancient artifact from he found in Egypt. This particular orb is called the Krono(Time) Orb, a more powerful version of the Tachyon Rune. With it, Dr. Katz was able to stop time in his general area. The only reason Hank is able to move with in Katz's frozen world is due to the 4 Source runes currently in his possession. The runes are man made extension of the Orbs that can be found all over the world. Granted Hank is the only one with runes that are considered pure , while the others he found are inferior and unstable copies of the pure ones. Getting right down to business, Dr.Katz tasks Hank with finding the other Source Orbs that are scattered all over the world, with their combined power they can help free Dr.Katz from his current situation. Due to his interaction with the Krono Orb before the moment of his accident, he was unanchored from time itself. This was the main power of the orb, as it can manipulate tachyon particles to a higher degree then that of the smaller rune version. This allows him to fully stop time for a limited time instead of slowing it down like the rune. The orb also allowed for a form of pseudo time travel, this unanchoring allowed Dr.Katz to travel back and forward along his own personal time line prior too and after his suppose death. However, without the power of the other orbs, he would be unable to reanchor himself to time unless he lets go of the orb, then it would send him back to the moment of his death seconds prior to him touching the orb. This poses quite the problem to Dr. Katz as he is now unbound from time, unable to see future and interact with the past. Though he is unable to contact people in the past, he is able to unanchor other people from points in time for a brief moment, granted they would have no memory of the unanchoring event after reanchoring.
Hank was reluctant to help Dr. Katz as the two have no real connection. Dr. Katz expected this as he mentioned how he was able to lure him here in the first place. Unanchoring a younger Maria, Dr. Katz instructed her to send the message to Hank's virtual world. It explained alot as the voice messages sounded like her but more unfamiliar with the person she was sending the me ssage to. Dr. Katz elaborates that once the remaining 6 source orbs have been collected, he will be able to reanchor him self to time, sending him to the current present day. However, this is not limited other people as well. With all 7 , Dr. Katz can bring Maria from her final moments to the present day. But for now, hes trapped as a phantom, detached from the world, doomed to wander the earth as time passes by him. It's up to Hank to collect the other 6 if he is to get the chance to save Maria,repay her for her sacrifice all those years ago, and to make it up to her for forgetting his promise to her. The flow of time finally resumes as the small town becomes lively again and Dr.Katz vanishes from view. The team heads back to base now with one additional unseen passenger.
Returning to base, Hank talks with Glen Groban, the head of C.R.I.S.I.S R&D, about the Source Orbs. Unfortunately most of their data is relegated to the Source Runes. Four of the runes are composed of clear quartz, perfectly cut in the form of a trapezoidal prism with strange markings on each to signify their connection to spiritual based elements. Terra (Earth),Aqua(Water),Pyro (Fire), and Aero (Wind). The shards of the broken Tachyon(Time) and Void(Space) runes are different however. Based on their own observations and that of Neo Bastion, the Tachyon and Void source runes were in the shape of triangular prisms and comprised of an unknown type of crystal, bursting with spatial and temporal energy. Though neither organization had access to the Tachyon rune, the Void rune was documented in great detail as it was used by Kazuma during his time with the Neo Bastion Super Solder program. Though they were man made, the ones that Hank owned were considered to be pure versions, as the others found on the double agents back in Act 1 were faulty and comprised of basic minerals and polymers. Due to their mass produced nature, the fakes were susceptible to a plethora of defects that could prove harmful to their users. Coming to a dead end in their search for answers, Hank remembers what Dr. Katz told him, about how he found the Krono Source Orb in Egypt. Granted this was a far fetch, it was the best lead they had.
Hank and Glen land in Egypt with Dr.Katz feeding Hank information about the dig site and temple of where he found the Source Orb. Arriving at the dig site, the two found it to be under Ex Bastion occupation. While Glen opted to call for back up, their surveying was cut short as they were spotted by Ex Bastion solders. The two made their way inside with Hank taking care of the solders in their way. Despite the fact that the Orb was discovered almost 14 years ago, Ex Bastion seem to have continued their research and excavation of the temple, turning it in to a hidden base. Glen, not to partial towards combat, uses a personal stealth field prototype to stay out of sight while Hank used his espionage sneaks his way through the hidden temple base. The two managed to make their way to the central laboratory where they received more information on the existence of the Source Orbs. From their findings, it appears that EX-Bastion was already in possession of a second source orb, that being the Agni(Fire) Orb. This would explain the abundance of low quality Pyro Source runes found on the double agents back in Act 1. Following the directions, they make their way deeper in to the laboratory until the come across they a large chamber with markings on the wall.
Using the data they acquired, Glen explains that the Source Orbs are powerful magical artifacts infused with aspects of reality. The markings state that the orbs came from space sometime during its early creation and were later found by various cultures. Each of them have a temple dedicated to them located all over the world. However the 7th orb, known as the infintus orb was still unable to be found. For centuries many bloody wars were raged over the these orbs in order to collect them. It was believed was that if all 6 were collected the 7th would reveal it self. According to the data, the orbs are unable to be held by normal humans but their limitless power is able to be channeled in to other artifacts safely bestowing the orbs attributes. This would explain the strange armor that Kazuma was wearing during the events of Pyro Lee, it was a conduit to channel the Source Runes. Both the Source Runes and the Source orbs they are attracted to each other almost like magnets, thus making their search for the others a bit easier. Kazuma had the right idea of trying to collect them, but was unaware of the orbs. His mistake was that he assumed that he would achieve the infintus rune as well, however there was no rune made of it as humanity never found the Source Orb of it. The data from the lab also told of weapons used to harness the power of the Source Orbs for safe use, these were called Crystal Armaments. There were only two listings of these armaments in the EX Bastion database. The Savior Armor, which was stated as missing since 1992, and the Harbinger Sword, which was located deeper in the base along side the Agni Source Orb.
Sneaking past security, the two managed to get their hands on the Harbinger Sword. Based on Ex-Bastion's scientific findings, the blades is made crystal just like that of the source orbs and was found within this very tomb. More test on this sword are pending but it appears to have an almost magnetic like attraction to the Agni Orb. Due to its power, its impossible for the orb to be touched people unless through the use of telekinesis. Unfortunately, neither Hank nor Glen are psychics, but they did have a back up plan. As stated, the sword can be used as a conduit for the orbs power allowing it to transfer the full energy in to the blade itself. Lucky for Hank and Glen, the two manages to break in just before EX-Bastion began the test. Tapping the orb with the blade, the red orb melded in to the blade turning it scarlet red. Now the Harbinger sword had attribute of fire, similar to when Hank uses his Pyro Source Rune. With the blade in tow, the duo attempted to sneak out of the facility, but was stopped by the Head Researcher, Dr. Griffin. Furious at their transgression, Griffin unleashed another experiment of his to destroy the intruders. A massive shape shifting creature made of obsidian beings to chased the duo through out the facility, all while security tried to hunt them down. This stone creature was another artifact found with in the temple, it was designed to protect the source orb. Apparently Ex-Bastion found away around this and made the stone golem as their own personal attack dog, they later found another guardian and discovered their ability to merge with one another. This led to them dubbing the newly merges golems, Obsidian Iridium, or just Obsidian I. Almost to the entrance, Glen puts out an emergency call to C.R.I.S.I.S while Hank battled the merged guardian out in the open. With C.R.I.S.I.S inbound, Hank made quick work of Obsidian thanks to the powered up Harbinger Sword . Using the fire powered sword, Hank made his grand exit with Glen as C.R.I.S.I.S forces descend upon the temple base.
Back at C.R.I.S.I.S HQ, the R&D department feverishly ponder the newly found artifact and date Glen extracted from the base. It appears that now that the sword and the Agni Orb became one, the other orbs have become active all over the world. Now the race was on between Ex-Bastion and Task Force Zeal to collect the orbs. Though the main C.R.I.S.I.S forces would help in the raids on their bases world wide, it was up Zeal to get the orbs. They start with going after the easiest possible one, the Celestial(Space) Orb located on the Moon. Space travel was a non issue for C.R.I.S.I.S as they have access to tons of space shuttles ready for deployment. However upon arriving on the moon, the orb proved to be quite the hand full to deal with, as it was consistency warped in and out of moon creators. Upon merging the orb with the blade, Hank finds him self warped to a random location on Earth.
Landing in a jungle located in South America, Hank felt the blade tugging, almost as if it was directing him towards the next orb. Hank puts out a call to Zeal as he makes his way through the jungle. During his trek Hank received word that a small Zeal team was dispatched to the site of the Kon(Wind) Orb in order to secure it from EX Bastion. Though he was a few hours out, he made it to the Zeal base camp by nightfall. However, what he hoped was a welcoming party turned to shock as he finds the camp destroyed and the entrance to the mountain temple opened. Hank rushed inside only to find the Kon Orb missing , with Obsidian I and EX Bastion Solders were battling the temple's Jade Guardian. Using the new weapon he found when exploring the deeper depths of the temple, a single crystal arrow called the Whisperer , he assist the Jade Guardian by taking down the solders. However the jade guardian was defeated and taken by Obsidian I. Hoping to catch up with Griffin and Obsidian I, Hank used the power of the Celestial Orb to warp closer to them. This unfortunately warped him high above the mountain temple, leading him to plummet to the ground below. In his panic he uses the Celestial Orb again begging to take him home.
He got his wish as he warped right in to C.R.I.S.I.S HQ slamming directly in to his vita vat pod. Though he would heal, his pod was severely damaged, but at least he managed to get back. While the pod was being repaired Hank was forced to just drink the vita vat cocktail to maintain himself. Fully healed after a few hours, Glen updated the team on the current situation as they head to Australia. Arriving at the location of the Bana(Earth) Orb, they find that location's Zeal team defending them selves against both Ex Bastion forces and a extremely large black,white and green creature. This was a mixture of both Obsidian I and the kidnapped Jade Guardian. Dubbed Obsidian J by Dr. Griffin riding on its shoulder, Hank and his Zeal team hit the ground running to back up the defending agents. Hank went after Obsidian J and Dr. Griffin while the others deal the Ex Bastion solders. Standing at over 30 feet tall, Hank unitized both the Harbinger and Whisperer to least slow down the golem while he and the Zeal squad retreat in to the underground temple. With the numerous proximity mines littering the field this this bought the Zeal team and Hank some time to find the Bana Orb while back up is on its way. Making their way through the temple, the team came across numerous mechanical creatures and traps that continuously impeded their progress while also splitting the team up. Hank found him self separated from the main group, but managed to circumvent the many dangers of the temple thanks to his procurement of a crystal hammer called the Breaker. Smashing his way through, he managed to reunite the remaining agents and make his way to the inner chamber where the Bana Orb resides. Before he can merge the orb, it was suddenly snatched away from its pedestal by the telekinetic Dr.Griffin. This awakened the guardians of the temple,a gold scorpion and a silver spider. Hank chased the Doctor through the upper parts of the temple via a rudimentary mine cart. Upon entering a large clearing, he runs in to an even larger Obsidian J. This is due to it absorbing the gold and silver guardian. Now dubbed Obsidian S, Hank with the aid of the remaining agents battled the 50 foot tall humanoid arachnid ,all while trying to grab the orb from Dr. Griffin. Using the Breaker infused with the Agni Orb, Hank smashed Obsidian S with enough force to cave in the mine shaft. While the agents made it out alright ,Hank used the power of the Celestial orb to catch up to Griffin in mid air. With a swift punch to the jaw, Griffin lost his psychic grip on the orb as all three plummet to the ground. Hank tries to use the Whisperer arrow to touch the Kona Orb and merger it, but it was knocked away by Griffin. Using the celestial warp to get back to common ground, Hank is blinded and disoriented by a flash grenade placed on him by Dr.Griffin during their scuffle. Though he recovered fast, it was not fast enough as he was then grabbed by a restored Obsidian S. Hank is forced to deal with the massive amalgamated guardian once again while Griffin flies off with the prize. The battle was hard fought but back up arrived in the nick of time, hammering Obsidian S with everything they got. Obsidian S retreats as they cart Hank back to the medical lab.
After a few hours of recuperation, Hank cant help but notice himself looking a bit older then usual. He's been away from the vita vat pod for quite some time, and the supplements only keep his healing up to an extent. He can still feel is body ache due to ageing as per his life as a clone. Seeing this is a problem for later, he and Zeal team head off to the final source orb location, Sri Lanka. This time they would be accompanied by Psy Force Fortune of the Fine Edge Foundation. With their assistance, and a crystal shield named the Defender, Hank managed to traverse the flooded ruins, obtain the Varuna(water) Source Orb with general ease. The battle between Hank and the temple's guardian proved also rather easy due to his expanded arsenal. Securing the sapphire guardian, the team sets course back to C.R.I.S.I.S HQ. However, in route they were suddenly attacked by Obsidian S and Dr. Griffin, now brandishing a set of crystal gauntlets and greaves. While Hank and Task Force Zeal was off chasing the orbs, EX Bastion decided to work in the background, going over their established sites with a fine tooth comb. This led them to the site where they found the Agni Orb, and thus obtaining a set of crystal armaments similar to the ones Hank found in the other temples. Though Hank procured the Celestial Orb on the Moon, a closer look found that the whole moon served as its temple, leading to their procurement of the crystal greaves. With the team carrier jet grasped firmly in the hands of Obsidian S, Hank and Psy Force Fortune descended on to the massive multi colored golem and its creator.
The battle for the remaining orbs began as Task Force Zeal and Psychic Force Fortune dealt with Obsidian S,while Hank squared off with Dr. Griffin. Griffin had the mobility advantage due his crystal gauntlets and greaves also being charged by the collected Orbs in the other weapons, due to this trait, Griffin had just as much power as Hank plus the unique abilities that the gauntlets and greaves provided with each Source Orb . Things seemed grim, but Hank was more versatile as he utilized his arsenal of weapons to get the upper hand despite his body beginning to slow down. Enraged and injured, Dr. Griffin commands Obsidian S to absorb the Sapphire temple guardian. Hank was too late to stop Obsidian S as it consumes the whole jet in to its massive body. Collapsing and reforming, Obsidian S was now bigger then ever before with features similar to that of the sapphire guardian. Dr. Griffin in a state of euphoric madness renames the now 40 foot guardian to Obsidian Omega and orders it to destroy Hank. The remaining agents try to best to assist Hank, as they combine the use of ESP and technology to hinder the colossal Obsidian Omega. More back up arrived with Glen in tow to assist. This was just the aid Hank needed as he uses the data from Glen to attack its weak points. One by one, Hank destroyed the mechanical devices that bent the Guardian to the will of Dr. Griffin. This resulted in Obsidian Omega finally breaking free from the Griffin's control and absorbing its master in to itself, crushing him in the process. The towering titan of obsidian, iridium, jade, gold, silver and sapphire remains motionless for a moment before it looked down at Hank. Many times Hank has defeated this Guardian, and each time it mutters one word before collapsing in to the materials that made it. With a deep bellow of the word "Worthy", the 40 foot tall guardian collapses in a mound of materials as the remaining two source orbs glowed brightly in the heap of stone and precious metals.The exhausted Hank shifts through the pile as he finds both the Kon and Bana Source Orbs along side Dr. Griffin's Crystal Armaments. Hank shakes the remains of Dr. Griffin out the gauntlets as he picks up both orbs. Both fuse in to the gauntlets as everyone begins to clap and cheer at their long earn victory.
Suddenly the sounds of multiple hands clapping turned to only one pair of hands. Hank can see everyone frozen in time around him as he turns to see Dr. Katz clapping and clad in crystal body armor. He congratulates Hank on a job well done, and now that all the Orbs including his was assembled within the crystal armaments, the Infinity Orb would be revealed. Hank felt a bit uneasy about all this as he questions where did Dr. Katz get the armor from. His quandary is put on hold as his surroundings turned completely blank. With a quick flash of light, an orb with an odd marking appears before the two men. Dr. Katz gestured for Hank to do the honors since he had the gauntlets. Reaching out and grabbing the orb, both Hank and Dr. Katz were bombarded with the knowledge of the universe and beyond. Its almost overwhelming as Hank tossed off the gauntlets and his weapons. This knowledge was too much for him to handle, but he can see that Dr. Katz is still experiencing the effects of the infinity orb.
The knowledge filled Dr.Katz as his nose bled and tears trickled from his eyes. He dropped to his knees claiming that he can see it all, how everything was connected and that all his questions about the universe has been answered. The creations of psychics, the destruction of the dinosaurs, the rise and fall of civilizations on earth and beyond, he now knew everything. However, its then realized he learned about more then he should as his expression turns from elation to dread. Dr.Katz exclaimed that he can see beyond the veal of reality now, that he can see the multiverse, and most importantly the Prime Universe. He can see the words being typed in to a document on a website. Words retelling the events of everything that has happen. He can see through the eyes of the Prime, the creator of his universe. He was looking through the eyes of God. Katz snaps back to his sense in disbelief, absolutely horrified about the fact that everything in his life, that everything that has happen to him, his years being trapped outside of time, watching the world slowly march onward with out him for almost 14 years, was all just fiction. Now full of resentment Katz rants and raves over the fact that it was not fair, he lived his life, he married the woman of his dreams and became the greatest researcher in his field. Granted his actions were some what dubious at times, to know that his entire life leading up to this point was just the product of a 20 something year old recreation center janitor, it was just appalling, and he refused to stand for it. His enraged scowl turns to a twisted grin as he realizes that he doesn't have to stand for it, and now he has the power to do something about it.
Hank was understandably concerned by that statement, but his mind is focused on something else as he demands that Dr. Katz holds up his end of the deal. Dr.Katz smugly made good on his promise seeing it as a way to test his new power. With a snap of his fingers, Maria appeared before Hank, still as injured as the last time he saw her(Hank's ending in Pyro Adventure). Maria is both confused and in pain as she looks frantically around her, but when her eyes lock with Hank's she was suddenly at a lost for words. Before her stood Hank, older then then the one she locked in the pod but she could feel that it was the same super solder she supervised. Hank is too at a lost for words as the woman who gave him a second chance at life was right there face to face with him. He was overwhelmed with excitement to see her again, but also guilt over the fact that he almost forgot his promise to her. Before either can say a word, the two embrace, sharing a long hug. Neither of them could believe this was real, but in the end it was, he saved her just like how she saved him all those years ago. Maria feels a sudden needle jab in the arm as she reels back in shock. It just so happen that Hank held on to the cure to the mutant infection, granted he seen it as a way of remembering her, now he was able to finally give it to her. He chuckles joking that "Now they're even" as the two begin to laugh in each other's arms with tears steaming from Maira's eyes. Hank is so excited as he tries to get Maria up to speed about everything that happened up to this point, while she had questions about the future. He ecstatically cant wait to show her to his friends and all the cool stuff that he did to his virtual world, not to mention the many stories of his adventures after he emerged from the time locked pod. Especially the one about him participating in the Calypso Battle Royal.
His child like excitement suddenly turned to shock as he sees Maria fading away before his very eyes. He pulled her in close to himself as the fading suddenly stops. Its revealed that this was the work of Dr. Katz, as he approaches them he explains that in order for him to reset the universe, he would have to tie up a loose end first. Though he keep true to his deal with Hank, Katz recently came to realization that removing Maria from time as caused chronoflux to occur, thus preventing him from setting everything in the universe back to zero. Hank was confused by this,wondering " Why would Dr. Katz want to reset the universe?" , Katz answers this by explaining that their universe is nothing more then an illusion, that their lives are but the creation of a child with an overactive imagination. In order to unbound this universe from the Prime, and make him self the all powerful, he must first eliminate 2 cosmic forces that stand in his way. The Pyro Force and the Nexus force. These must be removed in order to make this universe of theirs truly independent from the control of The Prime. Hank and Maria look on seeing this as nothing more then insane ramblings, but they are aware that a guy like that with power that immense can be a serious problem. Katz ordered Hank to unhand the woman so as he may return her to her own time, however when she touches one of the crystal armaments its interferes with him being able to sending her back and finally as he puts it, " Liberate the universe". Hank hands Maria the Whisperer arrow and stand in front of her .Drawing his sword and shield , Hank exclaims that there was no way in any universe he would let that happen. Katz scoffs at Hank's insolence towards his creator, even more so as the trigger words that were implanted with in Hank was removed by C.R.I.S.I.S when the brought him on board. Katz sighed as he put on the discarded crystal gauntlet, claiming that nothing mattered anymore and that he will deal with both of them.
Hank charged at Dr. Katz but his armor and ranged attacks continued to kept him at bay. Hank felt sluggish as he reaches for his vita vat supplements, however Katz was already aware of his reliance of the goo, blasting the case and badly damaging Hanks leg. Hank can feel his desperation growing now that hes on borrowed time until his body gives out. He attempts to get to his feet as he can see Maria all alone before the mad doctor. His body feels loose as his reaches out towards Katz, as suddenly his arm extended and deformed in to a long mass of tendrils, flesh, teeth and bone. He flailed his arm in a frenzy as he begin to lose his mind more. Katz bombarded him with more attacks leading to Hank fully transforming in to his a hulking ape like beast form with more tendrils of gore sprouting from its body. Katz was perplexed by this transformation while Maria, already familiar with this form, ran for cover. Rampage mode Hank relentlessly assaulted Katz, while failing to dodge the creature. Getting fed up with this, Katz used the power of the Krono orb to reset Hank. Since he transformed , Hank discarded the crystal weapons he was using, thus leaving him exposed to Katz's time based attacks. His intent was to revert Hank back to his embryonic state, finally ending him. However, thinking quickly Maria tossed the Defender crystal shield at the head of Dr Katz while jabbing Hank in the arm with the Whisperer crystal arrow. As the shield returned to Maria via the use of the Kon Orb, she shields Hank from an oncoming attack. Slamming the shield to the ground , raised a temporary barrier between the two and Dr. Katz. Hank's body luckily reset his prime,giving more time to put a stop to Katz. Maria jokes that now he owes her one, maybe over dinner, as she hands him the Harbinger.
The two smile at one another as Hank gets back on his feet with Maria dispelling the barrier by picking up the shield. Hank and Maria stare down Dr Katz as both parties charge at each other. Hank and Maria do their best to deal as much damage to Katz only to realize that as long as that crystal armor of his is infused with the power of the Krono orb, he can heal his self indefinitely. Maria notices that one of the discarded crystal greaves were shattered during their fight, and this gave her an idea as she smashed the other one with the crystal hammer. Suddenly one of the source orbs ejected itself from the chest plate of Katz's crystal armor. Reaching out for it, he frantically retreats to reinsert it back in to his armor. Meanwhile, Maria gives Hank an update on her new discovery. The Crystal Weapons can damage one another,and when destroyed it ejects one of the Source orbs, as they all share the power. While Katz was still distracted by this new development, Hank and Maria smashed both the crystal shield and crystal arrow, releasing two more orbs from the armor. Katz bewilderingly tried to destroy Hank and Maria with what power he has left. Switching weapons on the fly side by side, Hank and Maria unleashed a barrage of attacks in order to break Katz's crystal armaments. They managed to break both of the crystal gauntlets and heavily damage the armor. With one more push, they drove the harbinger sword deep in to the chest plate of the armor and followed it up with the hammer driving it deeper like a nail. Both the crystal armor and sword shattered as the Krono orb and Infinity orb were ejected.
Katz was enraged as he clutched the Infinity orb. The power is too much for a human to bear as his body began to break down in multicolored light. He began to rant about how this power belongs to him and how their feeble childish minds couldn't comprehends what he was trying to do for the universe, for their universe. Their all puppets on strings, and this orb was going to be the knife that would cut them free, free from the control of Prime. He screams that he cant and wont accept this as he explodes in wave rainbow light. Hank and Maria breath a sigh of relief as they tiredly smile at one another, but the day is not won yet as above them floated the remains of Dr. katz, the infinity orb was fused to his chest and the other orbs circled around him. His shouts turn to whispers as he hold steadfast to his belief that he will save the universe. The Pyro Force and Nexus Force must be purged from this universe, and once he succeeds, he will go to other universes and purify them as well until he reaches the Prime Universe. The forces are a virus that plagues the multiverse, and he will be its cure, but first is the matter of those two. Katz from upon high rained down multi colored energy upon them. Trying their best to avoid the onslaught ,Hank took some serious critical hits when protecting Maria. She realized that at this point this is an uphill battle, Hank cant protect her and fight Katz at the same time. Letting go of the hammer she began to fade, Hank looked at her in horror but she explains to him that this was going to be inevitable. As she fades more, she tells Hank that this is his way will to them even, her last request is for him to take down Dr. Katz once and for all.
She tells Hank to go him, with Hank standing tall and shooting her his signature thumbs up. Maria cant help but laugh a little as she always found that kind of lame, but at the same time kind of reassuring about the fact that Hank, even after all this time, still never changed. Hank looked up and shouted to get the attention of Katz, who was destroying the landscape looking for them. Due to time still being suspended all the damages the environment sustained just floated around them. This gave Hank an advantage as he used his agility to dodge Katz's oncoming attacks while getting progressively closer. After a few swings of the hammer he managed to break the Krono orb, shattering the crystal hammer during the landing. Due to one of the orbs being destroyed, the Infinity orb faded away from the body of Dr. Katz as the flow of time resumed. The remains of Dr. Katz laid motion less but tears can be seen from his eyes, with out the Krono orb, he would fade back the moment right before his deadly car accident, he saw everything, he could have saved the universe and reshaped it in to something better, but now his knowledge will be lost to time. In that last moment before he lost the power of the infinity orb, he could see through the eyes of Prime one more time. He could see the writing about his inevitable loss. He just wanted to be free, he thought that if he had the power of a god he can make his own rules in his own universe, he didn't want to play Prime's game. But in the end , he was doomed from the beginning, the game was rigged ever since he first laid his hands on that Krono Orb. His body faded and in a blink of an eye, he was behind the wheel of his car, as the oncoming headlights of the truck made impact.
Meanwhile, Hank struggled to get up as the flow of time around him resumed, Maria ran to him as the two embrace. Katz was defeated and the universe was safe once again, but Maria was still fading away. Hank cant help but lement about not being able to stop this, being unable to save her again, but Maria stopped him as she put her hand on his cheek. She was just happy to have one more adventure with him. She knows her time is up as they look out at the sunset. As their eyes lock, Maria leans in and whispers something in his ear. Hank looks shocked at first but then the two cant help but break out in to laughter. The laughter of two turns in to one as only Hank remained.
In due time, C.R.I.S.I.S rounded up the remaining source orbs, shattered crystal armaments and the remains of Obsidian Omega for further research. Task Force Zeal was commended for their work with more funding towards future operations. Hank was awarded the Medal of Heroism from Director Solar, with Surge gaining the rank of Department Commander. Head Researcher, Glen Gorbin and the rest of the R&D department are in full gear trying as the research more uses for the source orbs, with one of their most prominent break through being instantaneous teleportation.After saving the ACC, Lee discovered that his powers are not just relegated to fire, as exposure to the other source runes Hank let him borrow resulted in his latent abilities over water, wind, and earth becoming unlocked to him as well as electricity . Ex-Bastion is still on the lose but their days are as good as numbered due to the massive amount of intel acquired on them. They may have gone under ground, but now its only a matter of time until C.R.I.S.I.S wipes them out.
With his vita vat pod finally restored, Hank delves back in to his virtual world. Things seem relatively the same, a few updates here and there. Looking around his home he notices something pinned to his refrigerator. Normally, he knew every photo on it but one he didn't recognize. It was a picture of him and Maria after the events of the Bastion Pharmaceutical new years hostage situation. On the back was just 2 words, " Thanks Hank". This was the first and only time she called him by his new name. Hank smiles as he puts it in a picture frame on his desk before booting up Cosmoscape on his computer.
Oh boy, well that wraps up Hank's spin off story. I'm sorry if this took longer then usual to post but life happens I guess. However, you wont have to wait long as we one more complete story before we hit the big one. In the next chapter we look in to the smallest story within Universe 37, Pyro Adventures. See you soon- Prime