Cybertron88 owns Leinda and Jeniffer, and Proximus and Adreastea.

Hunter belongs to Spectral.

Blueshock belongs to Kiumu Ro-Ku-Bee.

SilverStar, Ex, BlueSky, Dagger, Venom, the Professor, Flint, and any random characters you don’t recognize belong to me. The MAD-MAN



Ok this is dark. Very DARK! Lots of gore and death (no character deaths) and very vivid images. NOT for the squeamish. You have been warned.



  Riddles of Fate




Chapter 15


            SMX and Arcbeetle were in a dark moldy room somewhere. Neither spoke, neither one wanted to say anything about what had happened. It was delusional but to them not admitting it was real kept it a horrible nightmare.


            SMX felt something bite his hand; looking down he saw blood dripping from his glove. In his hand was Star’s medal; he had been griping it so hard that it cut into his hand through the glove. He relaxed his hand and let her blood covered medal fall to the battered table.


            He had come here planning to question her but then the…thing happened. He looked over at Arcbeetle for a moment and saw the image of a KBT mark one imposed over his red and gold armor. The mark one was barely standing, its arm was gone and the other hung limp.  Gaps and huge rents covered the side of his body without the arm. Oil pooled about its feet and even more came running out of it, and sparks raining down threatened to ignite the oil. But the eyes, one nothing more than an empty socket the other spread with hard gaping cracks, they burned deep with a passion that turned the shadow back. The snapping red glow was how he saw this but it was fading, it began to pulse like a failing heart, every beat weaker than the last.


            SMX pushed the image away when his phone rang, he answered it with trembling hands, “yes?” he managed to keep his emotions out of his voice but only just.


            “Come into the Medabot Corporation, the west board room. We don’t have time for secrecy, come in the main entrance.” SMX didn’t react until the phone was back in his pocket. Then he lifted his gold mask and dropped it beside Star’s blooded medal. With his head in his hands he simply sat without moving, wet spots appeared on the table and his mask. A single tear falling on Star’s medal clearing the blood enough to see the small carving of a cat ready to pounce.


            When the tears stopped he stood up and pulled his mask back on. He started to leave when he saw Star’s body beside the door. For some reason he couldn’t understand he went over to it and put the numbers from her parts and tinpet into his medawatch. Checking that her medal was in one of his pockets he left with Arcbeetle following him. And still Star’s body sat there broken and mangled but looking like a home someone meant to return to.




            Dr. Aki paced back and forth in a large boardroom, the long hardwood table slowly filling behind him. His thoughts twisted knots in his mind that refused to let anything behind it lose. His steps clicked on the tiled floor first one way then the other. He spent most his adult life preparing to deal with this should it happen again but he never expected it to happen quite like this.


            Behind him the chairs where almost full, not with scientists or politicians, not even some rich corporate men. Every chair held a child. He had never dreamed he would find so many that fit his needs and in some twist of fate they had all met each other on their own.


            His theory was crude and held no facts or even supporting evidence but it was the only thing he had. If he was wrong the world would end, and more blood would be on his hands. Every child in the room held something that set them aside from other children.


            Ikki, with a will stronger than most grown men and the understanding of what needed to be done. And often the refusal to do it because it could hurt, not himself but others. Metabee standing beside him in a mixed array of parts was currently the only medabot in the room who could summon and control the medaforce.


            Erika, the seemingly endless pit of questions and ambition. She hunted for knowledge and often found it by any means she deemed necessary. If her interests weren’t entirely on journalism Dr. Aki might fear her overthrowing the Medabot Corporation some day. Her intellect was astounding but was often overshadowed by her emotions. Brass was next to her in parts just like the ones being repaired down in the labs. A silent soft-spoken medabot that was fiercely loyal to her friends.


            Koji, the son of a rich father always quick to take insult but with a strong determination in himself and his beliefs. Determined to be the best at anything he trained himself and his medabot, Sumilidon, in most forms of martial arts, including the legendary shadow sword. Even now Sumilidon seemed an enigma to Aki, most of the time silent and reserved but in private enjoying a laugh or small conversation with fiends.


            Karin, Dr. Aki’s niece was almost like a daughter to him. She was so innocent that many thought her stupid but no one who saw her test scores could believe that. Her beauty and loving nature often had boys chasing her without her ever noticing. Her medabot, Neutranurse was everything her medafighter was but with a bit more courage. Both of them would stand before a gun if it meant saving their friends.


            Rintaro, the undersized boy that reminded Dr. Aki of himself with his never ending talking and unbound energy. He was the fastest of anyone gathered zipping around at full speed, doing everything in haste. He seemed not to care about anything but fun but wouldn’t let anyone end it with something ‘freaky’ as he called it. His main falling is his impatient desire to do something fun. His medabot was Kantaroth. A KBT mark three that was styled after Rintaro’s idol Henry Agato’s medabot. He fought as fast as Rintaro did anything, often delivering over whelming damage where an accurate strike would work. He was agitated because for once Rintato was silent and that wasn’t a good sign.


            Samantha, the self declared queen of everything. She was on a continuous ego trip but she occasionally looked past her own wants and did something for her friends. She had grace and class but her face was always in a snicker or full of hate as she screamed at someone. She was pale and kept tugging on her pigtails while her Medabot sat on the floor beside her. Peppercat had the most robattle experience except for Sumildadon; she was twirling her tail around in her claws.


            Spyke, a boy who was often scared of his own reflection. He was without a doubt the worst medafighter in all of Japan if not the world. But no matter how many times he was beat down he got up and tried again. Dr. Aki couldn’t help but think that if he trained as hard as he did with medaparts that Crosserdog’s monkey medal was actually designed for he could be incredible. Spyke was the only one in the room who wasn't pale or shaken, instead he seamed furious. Crosserdog stood next to him shifting his feet not understanding why Spyke was mad and probably thinking it was something he did.


            Sloan, the human stone. Never moving unless pushed too far but there for others to lean on. His skills where lacking but he never tried to be anything more than he was. An emotional and physical support for those around him and probably why Spyke and Samantha where his fiends. His medabot Totalizer was identical in every way and could easily be considered built to mimic Sloan.


            And there at the far end of the table by himself, Gorge. An unknown element but still Aki could see that something in him. Dr. Aki couldn’t decide what the boy was like. His face was smooth and open and made the impression that he was about to smile but whenever he did it was twisted into something like a grimace or scowl. Something traumatic had happened to him not too long ago but Dr. Aki had no time to help him. His medabot Flint was sitting next to him in another chair. The two of them were whispering to each other.  Gorge looked ready to cry and Flint kept slapping the table and snapping at his medafighter.


            After the darkness had passed Dr. Aki sent out helicopters and cars to find these kids. He had gone in his own helicopter to where Dagger had been, only to find him gone already. He shouldn’t have been surprised to find Ikki there, certain events tended to follow him. But finding him staring at Metabee’s medal and not even noticing the sobbing Erika that clung to him drove a fist in Aki’s stomach. Knowing exactly what they were going through he bundled them and Gorge onto his helicopter with their damaged medabots and flew them back here.


In a drawer in his private office he had files on all these kids, except Gorge, and countless more. Year after year he watched for kids with that something he couldn’t explain. In the best years he would find two or three, but none had been as strong as these kids gathered here before him. He watched every kid with that something seeing if it grew but far too often it would simply vanish before they entered their late teens.


            He knew only one who had kept that something after childhood; it had even begun to grow. But just in the last few years that something began appearing in people who had never shown any sign of it before. Ikki was the only one in the room who had had it when Dr. Aki first meet him. The others had picked it up like seeds spreading from Ikki. Again Gorge was the unknown element, had he always had it or did it come from somewhere else?


            Dr. Aki realized that his feet had stopped and made himself begin pacing again. He was avoiding the issues by thinking over irrelevant information. Dagger had just brought back the darkness that had nearly swallowed the world. The ten days of darkness had terrified the world and nearly sent civilization into ruin. And now Dagger had called up that same power, if only for a moment, and it feed every spore of fear in peoples hearts.


            Dr. Aki had to stop Dagger and give the world his death to soothe their fears. No, he didn’t have to stop Dagger, these children did. He would have them face the worst fear of every man and woman from every corner of the earth. There was no choice, they were the only ones who could stop him. The boy who had defeated the medabot responsible for the first days of darkness had that something; anyone else who had tried failed and died. And if these kids fell they would die too.


            Dr. Aki dropped into the chair at the head of the table and rubbed at his temples. Why do things like this always happen so that the only saviors were those that should be the ones being protected? His head was killing him and could only get worse.


            The door slid open and SMX walked into the room followed by Arkbeetle and a scientist with a cloth wrapped bundle. The scientist was trying to tell SMX something but he said right over his objections, “I don’t care what it takes just fix it up until it is like the newest model. And don’t just try giving me a new one with a paint job I will know if you do and you will regret it.” the scientist mumbled something before bowing and scurrying out.


            SMX pushed Flint from his chair and ignored the varying expressions around the room. If they had been worried before now they were on the verge of panic. Every pair of eyes darted form Aki to SMX and back, wondering why they where here with two of the most famous people they had ever heard of.


            Dr. Aki stood up regretting that he couldn’t just look the way he felt, like a tired scared old man. “You all know what happened today.” Every face that had been pale was now ashen as he went on, “the Darkness, just like what had happened ten years ago during the Ten Days of Darkness, has happened again. This time it lasted only moments but the medabot that caused it is still out there. It could happen again and if it does it could spread across the globe and consume everything.”


            Spyke leapt to his feet with his face red in anger, “You want us to go kill it! You want us to go out and fight a monster that will drain or very soils from us if we fail! And you are just going to sit back and watch as every one of us falls over lifeless before the same thing happens to you and the rest of the world! I don’t care I’m not going anywhere near that thing! I heard what it did, my family showed me the graves of my grandfather and grandmother and told me that when they where put in the ground they where noting but an empty husk. NOT ME!”


            Aki was expecting different things from them all but never this rage from Spyke. And he currently never thought Spyke would figure it out before he even started explaining. Spyke walked down the table towards the door, every head following him with shocked expressions. Crosserdog hurried along after him looking like he had been kicked.


            As Spyke reached SMX’s chair SMX reached out and caught his arm, “Sit down Spyke. You will listen to every word before you are given the choice to help or not.” Spyke tried pulling away but SMX’s grip was tight, leaving a bruise on his arm. “Go sit down Spyke.” Spyke took another step towards the door after SMX had let go but then went back to his seat, still looking angry.


            Dr. Aki cleared his throat to pull everyone’s attention back to him. “Yes I was going to ask you to help but first I must tell you everything. The medaforce is an incredible power in all medabots but few can summon it at all and only rare medals with any consistency. Few people understand that every medaforce aura is a different focus of the medaforce. A different color can do different things to the medabot using it but when attacking it is just a blast of power.”


            Aki slid back down into his chair, normally he would enjoy how every eye followed his movements and every ear turned to hear his words but today there wasn’t joy in anything. “Green auras heal damage and restore energy while red strengthens armor and endurance. Every aura has a different effect and there are more auras than colors in the rainbow.”


            Koji raised his hand above his head like asking a question in school, “Dr. what dose this have to do with, with the Darkness?”


            Dr. Aki rubbed his temples again but SMX spoke first, “The darkness is the medaforce. A black aura that pulls energy from everything and gives it to the medabot. It pulls energy from other medabots, the ground, the air, people. It even pulls the light from the air. Every drop of power is absorbed and given to the medabot, increasing the power of its medaparts exponentially and without limit. The medabot can draw in energy from everything in the shadow of its aura. But the shadow grows larger the longer the medabot holds the medaforce. And the longer it holds the medaforce the faster it drains energy.”


            Every word was sharp and hammered in by the slight tremble of his words. “How do you know that?” Every head snapped around to the youngest person there, Gorge. “Everyone knows that when the days of darkness ended almost every thing inside the area was dead. Its energy drained like being turned to stone, the only things alive were the strongest and heartiest people and a handful of medabots. Most of those that lived came out mad or went mad soon after. How do you know how that happened?”


            The room was silent except shifting feet and taping fingers. Dr. Aki wished SMX had let him tell them that, it would have saved so many questions. “Answer him. You started telling them so tell them everything that happened.”


            SMX’s fingers tightened on the table edge and everyone knew there was a frown behind that mask. “Fine.” He removed his gloves and scarf folding them and putting them on the table. Putting his boots up on the table he leaned back, “I was there at the beginning of the ten days of darkness. I was there for the world robattle tournament; I got to meet some of my heroes. It was during the semi finals when the Darkness suddenly swept over everything.”


            His grip slipped in blood that had begun seeping from a cheap bandage on his hand. He pulled a handkerchief from his sleeve and held it tight in his fist. “Everyone thought that maybe the power had failed but when somebody shouted that it was black outside too hell broke free. Everyone tried running but spent most of the time crashing into things or trampling people who fell.”


            “From there things got worse. People’s medabots tried saving them but only started fights in the dark. Fighting medabots hit people and medabots alike, not knowing what it was they where attacking until they struck. Blind shooting took lives of not just others but the very lives they where trying to protect.” SMX’s voice had dropped down to the low voice of someone remembering a bad dream.


            “Eventually someone noticed that they could see a medabot in the dark. Everyone crowded around it thinking they had found a source of light but instead as soon as they touched it they collapsed without any energy. The medabot didn’t understand what was going on it grabbed its medafighter, begging that she help him. She screamed as it pulled every ounce of energy from her, it stared into her eyes as she ceased to live, not die but ceased to live, and then held onto her until she fell apart turning to dust. All within seconds. Everybody saw whatever touched the medabot and they simply thought it had stepped away when it disappeared and tried crowding closer but when they saw the woman as she went limp in its arms and turn to dust they froze. Not wanting to touch it but not wanting to go into the darkness.”


            The handkerchief had soaked up his blood and began to drip again. It was so much blood for a small cut but only his listeners saw it, and felt every drop as if it was the blood that had been spilt long ago. “The medabot lost it mind as it watched its medafighter die from its touch. It could see everything in the black, it knew the blackness was there but it couldn’t see it. It screamed out ‘DARK! Give me the DARK!’ then it attacked. It was like no other medabot ever made. A powerhouse of fast moving armor that had weapons of every kind and power hidden under its armor. It tore the blind crowds apart with lasers and high caliber slugs and shredded anyone near it with blades and claws or jets of flame. Not seeing what it was killing only made the horrors worse as my mind tried creating images to match the gruesome sounds and smells.”


            The small trail of blood began to run down the table slope and splattered down to the ground. “The slick smell of oil hiding under the coppery bite of blood, the gut churning smell of offal crawling into your nose and across your brain. The sound of flesh vaporizing and tearing, metal shattering and sparks crackling. Hundreds of screams growing loader as they tried to flee from death in the dark.”


            Even Dr. Aki was pale. He had never asked for all the information. He never realized just how strong SMX must have been to survive that. SMX went on not realizing what he was doing to his audience, “I was so scared I couldn’t move. Arcbeetle grabbed me and dragged me away. Somehow we managed to get out of the arena but we were still in the dark and couldn’t see which way to go. We spent a long time trying to find our way out of the shadow but it didn’t matter how far we walked we just couldn’t reach the edge.”


            His fist with the handkerchief slammed down on the table sending blood spurting everywhere. He finally noticed the blood on his hand and all over the table, “Sorry, it is just a bad memory.” He saw the looks of fear on everyone’s faces and must have just remembered he was speaking to children. “Maybe I should jump to the end.”


            When no one responded he nodded to himself and put his feet back on the ground. “After a few days that seemed like one long black streak we ran into the medabot. It had been attacked several times by someone somewhere. Its armor was cracked and missing big chunks in places. Most of it weapons were missing or broken and its parts were barely running at all. While we watched it coming down towards us a voice came from the darkness. ‘This is the Japanese military surrender and you will not be harmed. Resist and you will be destroyed.’ The medabot Screamed ‘DARKNESS TAKE AWAY THE LIGHT!’ and a laser folded out of its arm. A giant concussion tore at the air and the medabot exploded for a moment breaking the darkness nearby. Tanks, real live tanks, dozens of them had all come into the shadow to find out what it was and try to end it.”


            The brief light was painful to my eyes but was gone so fast I’m not sure it was really there. The darkness swallowed everything again and the medabot was still there, showing itself only because it was the source of the darkness. Its head was gone but it still kept moving. Another cannon shot, but no light this time, and a hole appeared in the medabots chest. It fell to the ground and I thought maybe it was over but then it stood again. A hole through its chest and floating there in the center of its chest was a medal. It was black I don’t know if it was made black or if it had turned black but it was.” He reached under his collar and dug around. He pulled out a fine sliver chain that he lifted over his head, keeping his hand over what was hanging on it.


            He didn’t look at it as he tossed it all the way to the center of the long table. An all black medal. Its gem was gone and the chain threaded through the hole where it had been. Dr. Aki stood up and walked down the table and picked it up, “I always thought you might have this. I just could not prove it and you refused to say what happened to it.” he walked back to his chair, leaving the medal there on the table between them all. “Go on with your story.”


            The kids’ eyes willingly turned away from the black medal and towards SMX. “I don’t know what it did but there was a flash of the same dark light that lit the medabot. It lasted long enough for me to see the tanks collapse like they had been made of lose sand. I don’t know what I was thinking but suddenly I was tossing rocks or anything I could grip at the medabot.”


            He pushed at his mask as if trying to rub his eyes, “It was blind now and that was probably the only reason I wasn’t destroyed immediately. A missile rack appeared in its leg and fired, the missiles scattering everywhere. One of them landed near me and sent me flying. When I looked up again I saw Arcbeetle, I actually saw him. He was surrounded by a fierce red glow that shoved against the darkness.”


            “The medabot turned towards him as if it could see again and the missiles fired again. The red light disappeared and I called out for Arcbeetle and the light reappeared again. His right side was gone, blown apart but he was still standing. His glow pushed against the Darkness but it was a loosing fight. Just as the last of the red light was about to vanish I passed out.” SMX pulled the handkerchief away from his hand and dropped it on the table when he saw he wasn’t bleeding anymore.


            He looked down the length of the table at Dr Aki. “I awoke and the sun was just beginning to rise. Arcbeetle was beside me, unable to move but still functioning. The medabot was gone except for the medal, I took it. We had traveled what felt like hundreds of miles while trying to escape the shadow. We had spent ten days crisscrossing the city and ended up only eleven miles from where we started.”


            “Dude! You’re the Mystery Medafighter! And that means he is Metalbeetle.” Even if more subdued than normal Rintaro was just as hyper as always.


            SMX turned his head to Rintaro and shook his head ready to deny his statement.


            Dr. Aki interrupted, “Yes. He is.”


            Every head snapped towards him and jaws fell, SMX looked ready to explode. SMX tried to stand but the rush of suppressed memories and blood loss made him fall back to his seat. He settled for pointing a blood stained finger at Aki, “If you plan on telling my secrets you will have to share yours. The few I know could condemn you to life in prison if not a death sentence.”


            Dr. Aki simply leaned back in his chair and raised his steepled fingers in front of him. “All right no secrets.” He looked back at SMX, “NO secrets.” SMX’s finger drooped as he saw his own plan backfire. Dr. Aki ignored him and spoke to the kids, “Its time you all choose if you want to help us. We can’t tell you any more until you decide. Its up to each of you, and your medabots, this is their choice as much as yours.”


            “Sure. I need to pay him back for two sucker punches now” Medabee was back to his obnoxious self already. And Ikki simply nodded, his face was still very pale.


            “The Screws are in.” Samantha had gathered the gang around her and they all where nodding, even Spyke who looked angrier than ever.


            “It wont be so bad this time, he cant face all of us.” Koji began running his hand across Sumilidon’s head, petting his medabot without realizing it. Sumilidon nodded both to agree and to dislodge the embarrassing action.


            Karin was trying to get farther away from the drying blood on the table, “if I can help people I’ll go.” Neutranurse stepped between her medafighter and the table as she nodded vigorously, purposely blocking her from the blood.


            “DUDE we get to save the world! How cool is that!” Rintaro was jumping on his chair while Kantaroth struck ridiculous muscle man poses behind him.


            “We wouldn’t miss this exclusive if you locked us up.” Erika was hugging Brass tight but her eyes where still puffy from crying earlier.


            All their eyes turned toward Gorge as he slumped in his chair. He didn’t seem to deal well with everything happening so far. He looked at each of them in turn, searching for something. “I’m in.” Gorge sat up so fast that he fell from his chair. Flint had agreed without seeing what he was going to do. Flint helped him to his feet, “I don’t have a choice. I treated him like an ass. I need to do this if only because I treated him wrong.”


            Gorge flopped back into his chair, “I guess I have the same reasons. But he started it. I’m in but I don’t have to like it.”


            “What is your story anyhow? What exactly are you doing here? The rest of us all know each other but I haven’t even seen you before this.” Samantha was as quick as always when it came to alienating someone.


            Gorge scratched his head looking very uncomfortable, “I was or thought I was Xetreame’s medafighter but then he turns out to be this Dagger and shouting about his friend.”


            “Wait a minute you were this thing’s medafighter? What the hells the matter with you? Didn’t you see anything strange with it?” Spyke was adamant about Dagger not being a medabot and nobody wanted to argue with him.


            “I wasn’t thinking about anything when I activated him. I spent most of my cash on his parts so I bought the medal from a pawn shop.” Dr. Aki sat up bolt strait in his chair then sat back as SMX looked at him. Gorge went on, being the only one who didn’t see the doctor’s reaction. “After I activated him he jumped out the window and bolted. When the Select Corps found him for me I put in a restraint chip and treated him like a mutt.”


            Flint leaned against Gorge’s chair; “You did the same to me. Just don’t think I’m going to take it anymore. You are going to need a kick in the ass again and I plan to have my foot ready.” This actually managed a few chuckles despite the rather unpleasant, ok just outright disturbing conversation.


            “Do you know where Dagger might be going? Do any of you know?” Dr Aki’s question stopped the laughter before it could combine with stress into hysterics.


            George shook his head for a moment then snapped his fingers, “there where these two medabots at the dojo that acted like they knew him. I don’t remember their names but they where modified. One was a KWG with a three bladed sword and the other was a CAT with a sword and a bow.”


            “Proximus and Adreastea. That was their names.” Flint was looking across the table at Nutranurse while he spoke. His eyes left her long enough to give Gorge a hard look, “You should have known that. We have been working at that dojo for days and those two were the only ones who would fight me after you made me totally trash every other medabot that worked there.” His eyes drifted back to Nutranurse as Gorge flushed and gave an embarrassed smile.


            “Gorge you certainly are a vindictive little guy aren’t you.” Gorge jumped to his feet ready with a comeback for Erika but Flint kicked him the moment his butt left his chair. Gorge hoped around a bit before sitting down without saying anything. He split a glare between Erika and Flint, trying to decide who was worth his anger.


            ‘Beep’, Dr Aki pressed in intercom built into the table. “Miss Caviar could you send a car over to the dojo where the incident occurred earlier? Ask for the medabots called Proximus and Adreastea. Insist that they come back here immediately.”


            The intercom clicked off and Aki sat back in his chair again, “So that explains some questions. However I will want to question you more later Gorge.” He stood up and walked over to the wide windows. Pulling the blinds open a bit he looked out over the city, “I guess it’s time to tell my part of this story. It is very long and I will need to trim a lot off or we would be here well into the night.”


            Dr. Aki didn’t move from the window despite his back hurting, “Dagger was my medabot.” He waited for a reaction but it never came so he went on. “He was my first and only medabot. I got his parts and tinpet from one of the ruins that can be found in every corner of the world. The medal was something I had found when I was too young to know what it was.”


            “Why did you have to dig up the medaparts? Couldn’t you just go down to the store and buy a set?” Sloan wasn’t very quick on the uptake but Aki doubted that any of them would know this already but he had hoped.


            “They didn’t mass produce medabots when Dr. Aki was a kid. All the medabots back then where ones found in repairable condition or built by craftsmen that used the ancient parts as a blueprint.” This was a surprise coming from Ikki of all people. “No one had discovered how to copy a medal yet so it would have been a waste of time to make so many medabots when only a handful of medals were found. And children found and took most of those. Medabots where mostly a curiosity or fashion statement. They never became truly popular until Professor Hushi successfully cloned the first medal. It was a mermaid medal he named Carmine and is currently in a museum in England.” He must have finally saw the looks he was getting because he scratched his head, “I started studying anything I could find about medabots when Dr. Aki told me he would teach me what he knew. you can find most this stuff anywhere online.”


            Aki let his smile stay for a moment, liking that his pupil had taken initiative before wiping his face. “Anyhow me and Dagger spent much of our time building medaparts or fighting, it wasn’t called robattling then. Eventually we got in a fight with a gang that liked to use several dozen medabots in a fight, we only survived because Dagger summoned the medaforce.”


            Aki turned back to the table, his face shadowed by the window behind him, “At one point one of our experiments went wrong, very wrong. It could have destroyed every medabot on earth and kill hundreds of people along the way if Dagger and I hadn't stopped it. It doesn’t matter what it was it is gone now and only I know how it was made.” He edited his sentence in his head, ‘only Dagger and I know how it was made.’


            He went over to his chair again and sank into the soft padding, “I was fifteen when Dagger’s medal was damaged. He had charged into a collapsing cave to save my girlfriend and her medabot. Later I took the pieces to Professor Hushi and asked him to help me repair Dagger’s medal. He refused. He said he would teach me what he knew and show me how to make a new medal but he wouldn’t help me fix Dagger’s medal. He said it was like playing Frankenstein. I didn’t listen to him and as soon as I thought I knew enough I tried to fix Dagger’s medal. I used a compound called medabond. It is a metal related to the polymer used in making the gold that medals are made from.”


            Aki took a deep breath, “Before I could activate him Professor Hushi found me out. He confiscated Dagger’s medal and chased me out saying that I wouldn’t play god near him. A few days later I went back to get Dagger’s medal and found the lab in ashes. Everything was gone. And I thought Dagger lost.”


            “A few days ago Henry from down at the twenty-four hour hopmart sent me a picture of a medal that had been repaired with medabond. I couldn’t think of anyone using medabond after it was discovered how susceptible it was to high-level energy surges. It was a bit much to hope for but I sent Space Medafighter X out to find him and bring him back in before he could damage himself attempting to use the medaforce.” Aki pressed his fingers under his glasses to rub his eyes. “He got in a fight with Dagger and Dagger used the medaforce. All my simulations said that that would have wiped his memories clear but it appears that that isn’t the case. However he isn’t acting like the Dagger I remember so we could have a totally new medabot with some of Dagger’s memories or perhaps Dagger is slowly recovering his memories. Either way I have no idea how he would react to me. The last time he saw me I was a teenager who had just got a second date. Now I’m an old man who spends his time plotting to save the world with the help of a guy in spandex and a group of kids.” His joke simply fell on the floor.


            SMX drummed his finger on the table then winced as his scab pulled. “It sounds like your leaving something out. Something we need to know but your afraid will scare us.”


            Dr. Aki slumped in his chair, too tired to act strong anymore, “You were always one to see what I didn’t want to say.” He straightened up in his chair and looked at everyone. “Dagger can use the medaforce.” He waved away the forming ‘duhs’ “No I mean he can use it. I don’t know how he learned to do it but sometime during our bout of ‘lets go save the world’ he somehow started using different medaforce auras. He isn’t very strong in the medaforce, downright miniscule compared to Metabee or even Arkbeetle here but he can shift between the different auras and use the effects they give him so that he could stand both of you on your heads.”


            Spyke slammed his fist down on the table making everyone jump, “You knew that that monster could call on the darkness and you let it live.”


            Dr Aki glared at him but Spyke didn’t back down, “Spyke the ten days of darkness was the first ever use of the black medaforce. I thought Dagger gone long before that and when he showed up again I was too busy trying to get my best friend back to think of what he had never done before. I should have thought of it but I didn’t. Now it is too late and we have to capture him and give the world proof of his destruction before anyone makes a preemptive strike.”


            “Now control yourself Spyke.” Spyke crossed his arms and leaned back not looking very much in control. Aki went on after making sure he wouldn’t be interrupted again, “Dagger isn’t the most skilled fighter in the world but he has never lost to anyone twice, much like Metabee and Arkbeetle in that regard. He has a long list of self-taught skills for different situations. He has enough knowledge to build or repair any medapart with the simplest of tools. And finally, in his memory is every software upgrade we had made together, if his memory isn’t corrupted. Some of which could make him difficult to stop to anyone without those upgrades. I don’t think he would use those particular upgrades but even without those he has more than enough to best every one of your medabots in every conceivable way.”


            “Why not just give us these super upgrades? Then we could walk all over him and bring him in before he could even use the medaforce.” Koji seemed to be taking this far too simply but he would learn it wasn’t so simple soon enough.


            “I wont give you the ‘super’ upgrades. I can’t risk them getting into the wrong hands. I will however give you all enough upgrades that you should be able capture him without harm to anyone. At least if he isn’t using the ‘super’ upgrades himself. The problem is that he could be using any number of upgrades and we don’t know when he started running them.” Aki was already deciding what upgrades to give to whom.


            “Why not just load up our medabots with all the hardware parts you have. Then while he is still using his nanos to upgrade we can get him.” Ikki just lost the point he scored earlier.


            Dr. Aki thumbed his temples again, wondering how many pain killers it would take to soften his headache and if he could survive the overdose. “Most of the upgrades we made together were software upgrades because it was work too fine for any tool we had. Even if I set up the nano grade assembly line to make the parts it would take just as long as the software and you would have no transition period. It would be like trying to fly a super sonic fighter when all you have ever driven was a go-cart. And then there is the fact that most of you can only handle one or two upgrades of this power. Metabee and Arkbeetle might handle four or five but they have better medals. Dagger could run them all. He helped me make them and I made them with his system in mind. I didn’t realize until I started the Medabot Corporation that those upgrades were attuned to his medal energy.”


            George spoke up as Dr Aki massaged his head, “Why can’t you just change the energy signature so it matches our medabots?”


            Aki’s head was ready to burst, “I can’t.  I wrote his energy into the very structure of the code. I would have to rebuild the code for each of your medabots. It would take me days just to do a single upgrade for one of you. Because I used his energy in the code it is like I made the code with Dagger’s DNA. It is compatible with other medabots but it works best with a matching energy. The closer the energy is the better it would work.”


            Just then there was a knocking at the door. Security guards carried in Proximus and Adreastea, each one tied hands and feet with steel cords. The guards dumped them on the table and left them there struggling to get free. The scientist SMX talked to earlier slipped in and sat the bundle beside SMX and left. Dr. Aki put his head in his hands and said, “I hate when nothing works the way it should.”




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