Date: July 4th
Therapist: Dr. Leonard Mortin
DR.MORTIN: So I'm...free to go? And my family, too?
OMEGA: Yep. You're done, dude.
DR.MORTIN: You're not Dr. Omega...but you're not the Coyote, either, are you?
OMEGA: Um, I'm sort of the Coyote. But Scrape must think I'm Dr. Omega, he' still trying to kill me.
DR.MORTIN: You know, I noticed that. I saw that he cut the brakes on your car and when that didn't work, he just ate the car.
OMEGA: Yeah, luckily, I wasn't in it at the time. Dr. Omega isn't coming back. At least, not for a long time.
DR.MORTIN: I had a feeling... You know, I have time for one last session. I'd kind of like to know how it all turned out. Whoever you are, can you at least tell me that?
OMEGA: Um, ok. Cool. So, we'd just defeated that punk, Dr. Destruction and the Outsider showed up and I was like “'Sup?” and then all of a sudden, we were surrounded by V'sori!
The chamber they stood in was immense and round. V'sori drones ringed them, at least three dozen of them. Dr. Omega checked the GPS built into his armor. Wherever they were, they were out of range of the V'sori satellite that controls the drones. Mainly because that satellite orbits Earth, which they were no longer on!
The drones were not their biggest problem, however. In front of them was a slightly raised dais. On that dais was Ch'thadra, the V'sori Overmind! Flanking the Overmind were two K'tharen\V'sori hybrids. They were nasty, muscled brutes sporting wicked fins on their heads and backs. Dr. Omega ran a quick systems check on his biometrics. He was worried he might be hallucinating. He thought he saw one of the vicious hybrids look over at Scrape and wink.
In any case, one of the most interesting things in the room that wasn't threatening his life were the carvings on the far wall. Identical in style to the carvings he photographed in the Temple of the Seven Seas, these pictures showed a man stealing the mental faculties of the Atlantean people. Ultimately, it shows the resulting swollen-headed monster failing to retain all of its power and being chased away by angry Atlanteans. Fair enough. It shed a little more light on the V'sori exodus from Earth and the giant monstrosity before them: Ch'thadra, the V'sori Overmind!
The Overmind looked like a V'sori, but with a massive cranium, expanded beyond all reason and pulsing with sick purple veins. The creatures' hands crackled with barely restrained psychic might and it's loathsome presence beat upon the edges of their minds. The creature spoke, “Ah, Dr. Omega. I sense that you have removed the nuisance that was Dr. Destruction for me. Thank you. But I'm afraid that your only reward will be death!”
“I'd be careful if I were you, Overmind. The cosmic collectors that I installed into my armor worked perfectly. I now wield a portion of the Outsider's power!”
The crackling claws of the Overmind twitched faster than ever, “Excellent! That will make the next stage of my plan even easier! You see, I've developed technology that lets me track a being by its psychic signature. When I drain the Outsider's power from your armor, it will allow me to quickly trace him...and then steal his limitless power fro myself!”
“I'm afraid my Omega Men and I can't allow that, Overmind. How long do you think this force shield I've detected around you can keep my clone sons out?”
“Long enough, Omega. Long enough to make sure the transfer is complete! As for your clone sons, do you refer to that bony brute and that heaving mass of flesh behind you? Bah!”
Dr. Omega turned to regard Scrape, his first clone son, “Oh, I don't know. Scrape can really grow on you.” Omega produced the growth ray of Dr. Devolution and turned it on Scrape. The disgusting villain grew in height until he towered over even the Overmind!
The Overmind looked somewhat distracted during this exchange. “I don't have time for this!” His blue brow furrowed as he concentrated. Suddenly, Warlord Gryphon appeared before the Omega Men, armed to the teeth! The Overmind sneered, “Gryphon, take care of this rabble!”
The V'sori Warlord looked around the chamber. “Alone?”
Ch'thadra sighed and once again brought his formidable psychic powers to bear, “Fine. You're so appreciative of these fools, here are the best allies you could hope for, then.”
With a brief flash of light, the Omega Men stood facing...themselves! Made of pure psychic power, Id Duplicates advanced on the villains! They had all of the villains powers and equipment and were every bit as blood-thirsty!
Warlord Gryphon drew his sword and pointed it at Dr. Omega. “Now I will have my revenge for you stealing my teleport tech on V Day, all those years ago.”
Dr. Omega put away the growth ray and flourished his cape. “Omega Men, victory over the V'sori is within our grasp. Show no mercy. Vertebreaker, the duplicate is not really you. Omega Men, DESTROY THEM!”
Dr. Omega then turned to his own Id Duplicate. “Listen, we both know how this goes. You don't like to fight any more than I do. And you're almost certainly going to give a long-winded speech before ordering the other duplicates around for a while. Can we just skip to the end and cut some kind of deal?”
The fake, Dr. Nomega, pulled out a stripped-down plasma rifle. “Sorry, Omega. I don't play by the same rules you do. Die!” Without any more of a speech than that, he shot Dr. Omega. Dr. Omega's armor turned aside the plasma, but not his shock at the abrupt exchange.
The Omega Men clashed with their opposite numbers all around the chambers. The Huntsman whooped with glee. Finally, a prey worth hunting: himself! UPS dispatched his doppelganger so quickly that he was also able to lay into the ring of drones in the chamber. Angela was in the same situation and sliced into several drones with her vibro-sword, leaving very few.
Scrape pummeled his double mercilessly, aided by one of the V'sori\K'tharen hybrids that was guarding the Overmind. Apparently, they had formed a fast friendship...and possibly much more from the looks of it. Dr. Omega turned away from that scene as the Id duplicate Scrape toppled to the ground.
Warlord Gryphon had run afoul of the Huntsman and lay on the floor of the chamber in a pool of his own blood. So much for that vendetta. Dr. Omega teleported closer to his Id double.
Omega produced his own plasma gun and shot his duplicate dead. He noticed that the Huntsman had done in his enemy and he and R3X were battering at the force shield of the Overmind. It seemed to be distracting the Overmind from...something. His eyes rolled back and forth in their sockets and he grew more and more agitated.
“Huntsman, you are making great progress but please call off your attack on the shield. We're going to need it in a moment.” Dr. Omega teleported over to the corpse of his psychic duplicate. A few quick checks confirmed that it was his perfect physical double in every way, including the construction of his armor!
Dr. Omega removed the chest plate of the duplicates' armor and made some quick adjustments, entering a code he and he alone knew. The armor started emitting a steady beeping noise. He glanced up at the Overmind. “That's a nice energy shield, Ch'thadra. I bet it could keep out any human teleport tech. Too bad for you that my armor incorporates V'sori tech. Dr. Omega depressed a stud on his dead double's armor and the corpse teleported onto the dais next to the Overmind. “Even worse for you that I use a small nuclear reactor to power my armor! Omega Men, fall back!”
The Overmind was more than merely distracted now. Its' hands stiffened in shock and its' face contorted in horror as the beeping from the armor reached a fever pitch. The armor exploded and a small star flared briefly to life next to the V'sori Overmind.
Ch'thadra's shield did not hold. It could not contain the blast, but certainly mitigated it. Unfortunately, at the time of the blast, Four Star had been valiantly hammering away at the shield. When the explosion breached the shield, he was vaporized.
In the aftermath of the detonation, there was an eerie silence. Scrape was the first one back on his “feet”. He reached down and pulled up the hybrid who had been fighting at his side, Ch'thadra's bodyguard. “Everybody, this is Ralph. We're in love.”
The other Omega Men rose and dusted themselves off. A few of them nodded politely to Ralph. Dr. Omega cleared his throat. “Well-”
His victory speech was cut short by the roof being torn off! Outside the chamber, a 40-foot tall drone held the broken pieces of the domes ceiling and tossed them aside. This drone was slightly golden in color and its face was a perfect copy of the face of Ch'thadra! The metal giant clambered into the massive chamber.
Dr. Omega snapped his metal fingers. “Of course! He said something about a transfer. He must have been uploading his psyche into that metal monstrosity. But between the attacks and the explosion, he couldn't have finished. I've seen this attempted before and sometimes it comes out...wrong.”
As if on cue, the Ch'thadra drone waved its' arms in the air “Raaagh! Noonoo! Boopy!”
“Oh boy” muttered the Huntsman.
The Overdrone hammered at the walls and floor to little effect, its metal fists and vibroblade crushing masonry, but never catching an Omega Man. Dr. Omega looked at the Omega Men and shrugged, “The nuclear blast must have created a disastrous amount of feedback during the process. I guess we should...do something.”
Scrape lumbered forward, “I got this. HEY! Big Guy! Over here!” Scrape was waving a large rucksack at the flailing Overdrone. The babbling metal menace seemed to grow excited at the prospect of a gift and snatched the large bag from Scrape immediately.
Scraped waved to get its' attention again, “It's for you. It smells good!”
The Overdrone held the bag up to its face. That's when all of the satchel charges, dynamite, C4 and fusion grenades in the bag went off. The resulting explosion punched a hole through the drone's head like a giant apple-corer. It teetered for a moment then fell to the ground with a reverberating crash!
The Overmind was dead. All over V'sor and on Earth, across the galaxy, V'sori under his direct mental control woke up. Their minds were their own again! Outside, the Omega Men could hear chaos in the streets as the V'sori became a free people for the first time in decades.
The Coyote pointed at his Id duplicate standing next to him. “Hey guys, I know this is a big deal and really cool and all, but...this thing is still here. The Overmind is dead but this Id clone thing he made is still...me. What do we do with it?”
Dr. Omega waved a hand at him, “Yes, you may keep it. We have bigger issues to address now. Now, if only that psionic tracking circuitry is built into Ch'thadra's new body...ah-ha! Here it is.” Dr. Omega was reaching inside the drone, connecting cables and leads to his own armor, specifically the collector vanes with which he'd siphoned a small amount of the Outsider's power. “I'll be right back.” He depressed a switch and vanished.
Light streaked past his eyes at an incredible rate, stars forming long contrails one after another until they formed a wall of light that filled all of his vision. It threatened to overwhelm his senses, pushing in on senses that he did not even know he had. And then, as quickly as it had began, it was over and the Outsider was there, standing before him.
They stood in a vast expanse of blackness, unbroken by any stars or light of any kind. The Outsider was turned mostly away from him and appeared lost in thought. Dr. Omega didn't know if clearing his throat was an adequate gesture for getting the attention of a space god. He followed up with a question, “Where are we?”
“Between”, was the only response the Outsider gave.
Dr. Omega plowed on. This was his only chance to wrap things up, after all. “I have destroyed the V'sori Overmind. He was hatching a plot to attack you personally and steal your power. I killed him. So, you know, he can't do that now.”
The Outsider laughed. “Dr. Omega, you amuse me so very much.”
“I'm not complaining or anything and I'm thrilled we get along so great, but do you have any idea how often you say that? Just an observation. But on to business! I was hoping you could...grant me another boon.”
“Oh? And what would you ask of me?”
“Well, I kicked Ch'thadra's ass and all, but that means that the Omega Men are stranded on V'sor. I'm staying there, but can you send the rest of them back? And maybe while you're at it, put the pieces of your battleworld back where you found them? It may seem unlikely, but eventually, someone is going to notice that Denver is missing.”
“Hmmmm...yes, maybe I can do that. But what will happen then? What of Star City?”
“The Omega Men will keep an eye on it. I'm going to ask Coyote to impersonate me every now and then, to keep the rabble in line.”
“And my children? What of the Proteans?”
“You know, I've been thinking about that. Supervillains...superheroes, humans with powers...we have Proteans in our ancestry, don't we? Since Tunguska?”
“Very perceptive, Dr. Omega. What will become of my children on Earth?”
“They will have a safe haven in Star City for as long as they want. That's...that's what you built Star City for in the first place, isn't it?”
“Goodbye, Dr. Omega. Something tells me that we will meet again some day.”
“Well, I can har-”
Dr. Omega appeared back in the ruined throne room of Ch'thadra. Based on the surprised expressions of his Omega Men, he must have only been gone moments. “The Outsider has agreed to send us all back to Earth. Prepare yourselves. Coyote, a word in private.”
The Outsider did not wait much longer to send the Omega Men (and Ralph) back to Earth. Dr. Omega watched them blink out of the room and sighed, looking for an exit from the large building. Someone would need to lead the V'sori. Under his leadership, the aliens might actually keep their empire. They would just need to make it less...overtly oppressive.
And he sure as hell didn't want to go back to Earth. Meanstreak would be furious that he took her superpowers away. Lucky would hear about Four Star and swear bloody vengeance on Dr. Omega, as if it were his fault. And Scrape was growing into a chip off the ol' block. Omega had discovered evidence of several plots to assassinate him, all around the mansion. All grown up, it made him proud.
Still, he was better off on V'sor. He would miss Earth, but he'd be safer here, able to do more good. For now, it was a necessary evil.
Dr. Omega found the exit. He brushed the rubble from his purple cape and threw the doors open wide. He strode out into the V'sori night to greet his people...
Back on Earth, the Omega Men settled into peace as disastrously as they prosecuted war.
UPS opened a Japanese\Russian Fusion restaurant (with real fusion!) with Crab Imperial. The Huntsman provided meat from “various sources” for the city's most exotic sushi. The Champion spring rolls were almost as popular as the shark fin soup.
The Coyote befriended his Id clone, whom he dubbed “Bitch Coyote”. He convinced BC to take on impersonating Dr. Omega full time. This suits Scrape just fine. With each assassination attempt, he gets closer to fulfilling his destiny, or so he thinks. Ralph finds his bloodlust endearing and is hoping that Scrape will want to start a family of his own after he's killed his father.
The Coyote himself tracked his “personalities” back, with the help of Dr. Mortin, to find that he is in fact an 11-year-old boy named Ryan. He decided that this is really boring and returned to the K'tharen water park, to live out his days as Ky'el the K'tharen.
Vertebreaker is completely fooled by the Dr. Omega imposter. He still lives at the Omega Mansion, content with his lot in life. Periodically, the vagrants from the worst sections of Star City report trouble from V'sori or K'tharen holdouts, and he and Stretchy head into town to help out. (they consider it defending their tag-team champion status)
Angela was last seen clutching her katana and Doctor Who DVDs and hitch-hiking west.
Dr. Mortin was in fact released, as was his family. They are all more or less intact after several years with the Omega Men. Mortin has moved to the Midwest, where he hopes to never see another supervillain for as long as lives.
"I am forced to believe you guilty of impertinence, impiety, disregard and impudicity."