Sonic GeneX - The Series: Countdown to Doomsday
Episode 1 - Eggman Returns
Note: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA and
Sonic Team. You knew that, right?
GeneX and related fanchars are (c) 2BIT (TheGreatGator), the author.
Previously on Sonic GeneX - The Series...
Razor, still recovering from his time as Sagittarius, joined Guard in a mission to save the Robians still missing after Eggman's conquest of the world the previous year.
Gemini and Copter started a training group for the holders of the Chaos Relics, under Astra's guidance. Lospecter showed up and used his Chaos Key to separate Dark Copter from Copter, all to prove some sort of sick point. After Lospecter and Dark Copter fled, Punchy and Rainbow returned from their honeymoon with a surprise; a new daughter, Aurora!
Now, resuming the countdown to doomsday...
Sonic sped up the steps to the cliff that proceded Tails' Workshop in the Mystic Ruins. He was a hedgehog on a mission today, and he'd heard this was where the Chaos Relic training group had met today. Sure enough, Tails, Blaze and Punchy were there equipped with their relics. Shade and Knuckles had shown up, too. And to help with training, along with Gemini was Copter, Astra, Timothy and even Illusi! "I don't think I've ever seen this cliff so crowded!" Sonic remarked. Knuckles scratched the Chaos Claws against each other with a grouchy look. "The only way I'd agree to this is if I could keep Angel Island in sight!" he huffed. "What a workaholic..." Timothy sighed. Sonic clapped his hands loudly to get everyone's attention. "Right! I'm leadin' the charge against Eggman to get our Robian friends back! Who wants to come along!? Tails?" he asked, figuring he'd rally an army to his cause. Gemini scratched her head, and Illusi sent a Wrongo up to obnoxiously tell Sonic "No." He looked stunned. "You're all gonna leave me hanging?!" he babbled. Tails sighed. "I already promised I'd train today. And, uh... I don't trust all these guys around my workshop by themselves..." he whispered. "This is about me, isn't it?" Copter grumbled. "I can't run off to battle willy-nilly, Sonic. I've got my daughter to think about now." Punchy sighed. "Say what??" Sonic gasped. "Sorry... I'm sure you'll be fine without us. It's just...their training has barely begun..." Gemini stated. Copter shrugged and pulled the Hurricane remote out of his pocket. "Don't say I never gave you anything, Sonic. Yo, Hoover! Lend Sonic the plane! Or you're out on the curb!" he said through the remote's communicator. "Yer kiddin' me! You wanna use Eggman's plane agin' Eggman! That's a dirty trick, dagnabit!" Hoover complained, "Graaah, fine, but he better not scratch 'er up!" Sonic shrugged after listening to this. "Well, it's something. Don't worry about me, either. We got Bucky and Guard and Team Chaotix. We're good. I just trust you guys a lot more than Bucky is all..." he chuckled softly. Illusi shrugged. "Your interests are aligned. You have no reason to fear anything from Bucky." he said. "He did build the machine that took Sonic's speed a couple years back..." Copter shrugged. "Boy, I've missed a lot here..." Blaze murmured, "I need a pen pal in this world or something..." Sonic chuckled and started to speed on his way. "Happy training, guys! See ya later!" he smirked as he zoomed off!
Each of the students found themselves with their own teacher as training began. As much as Gemini would like to train them herself, she just didn't feel like she could handle it. Since Astra once held a Chaos Tailband herself, she saw to Tails' training. "Remember, it's not Chaos, but Creation energy. When you know that, you can think about how to focus better. Let the life force flow around you...through you...and feel it in your tail." she said, watching the tail that was wearing a band sway back and forth as Tails sat cross-legged. He blushed in embarrasment at how she was watching him in this silly meditative position. "I-I'm trying... Ahh, I wish you wouldn't stare at my tails..." he babbled. He took a deep breath, and as he focused, he suddenly vanished from view! "I'm not staring, Tails...I can't see you." Astra smiled. Tails looked around, and then at his hand. "Yaaah!! Where'd I go!?" he gasped, breaking his focus and turning visible again! "That's a good start. You might have been destined for the tailbands after all." Astra smiled as Tails chuckled softly, a bit proud of himself. "Show off..." Copter muttered, watching. Meanwhile, Gemini was trying to work with Shade. Her magic had crafted dummy targets for Shade to attack with the Chaos Gauntlets. Punching the air in the direction of these dummies, glass replicas of Eggman's robots, Shade fired energy blasts from her fists at them which easily shattered each target. "I seem to have these things pretty well figured out. Why couldn't I go with Sonic?" she grumbled. Gemini's ears drooped. "Ahh... Sorry... But no one through history has ever fully mastered the Chaos Relics, as far as we know. The untapped power you're carrying could be dangerous if we don't understand it." she explained weakly. Shade crossed her arms. "Why don't you just hold up a sign that says 'I have no clue what I'm doing?'" she huffed. "That's fair..." Gemini sighed, and then used her magic to form replicas of buzzbombers. "How about we try you on moving targets, then?" she asked. Meanwhile, Copter had gone to coach Knuckles. "Okay, Red, I had a tailband glued to my tail for years so listen up!" he began. "Oh, so you think you're better than me?! Then tell me how to remove these claws, smart guy!" Knuckles retorted. Copter rolled his eyes. "Maybe they're stuck on your hands because you haven't figured out how to control them, so maybe you should PAY ATTENTION!" he snapped. "As if you have a clue!" Knuckles growled. "C-copter!! Fighting with the student isn't helping!" Gemini shouted. "Oh, so it's my fault?" Copter grumbled. "Anyone wanna trade partners?" Knuckles asked, getting no response.
The others had moved down the steps to give them more room on the cliff. Blaze stood at the foot of the steps, the Chaos Crown upon her head. Timothy the fawn stood before her with an awkward expression. "I know it's weird, your teacher being younger than you and all... But I did see the crown in action in the past." he said. Blaze sighed in frustration. "See anything that would help with my particular problem?" she asked. To demonstrate, she tapped into the power, causing nearby flowers to bloom and grow...only for her flames to start cinging their petals. Timothy chuckled softly. "That, uh... That's an interesting problem. Can't you turn off your flames?" he asked. Blaze gave him a slight glare. "What do you think?" she asked. Timothy shrugged. "Well, maybe we need to figure a way..." he murmured. Blaze sighed and nodded. "Keen grasp of the obvious, at least..." she murmured. Nearby, Illusi had set up an obstacle course of illusions for Punchy to race through with the Chaos Boots. Hurdles, fire pits, and angry-looking Wrongos were among the obstacles. Punchy stood at the start of the course with a grouchy look. "Why Illusi? I should've traded with Knuckles and got Copter instead... Not that he could teach me anything. The boots are just about speed, what's to learn?" he grumbled. "Control, Dark One. You need to learn control." Illusi shouted. "It's not polite to eavesdrop on a soliloquy!" Punchy snapped. Illusi smirked. "Are you afraid of my course?" he teased. "...Yes..." Punchy mumbled. However, he started running through it, jumping over the hurdles and trying to evade the oncoming Wrongos... Of course, Illusi had them electrocute Punchy for good measure. "Ow! Yaah! I hate you, Mousy!" he yelled. "Being married to Rainbow is rubbing off on you, Dark One! You're picking up her habits!" he teased. Punchy changed course and charged at Illusi, aiming to tackle and pin him. Of course, he ran right through an illusion of Illusi and crashed into a wall. And of course, his tail was on fire due to the fire pits. "Yaaaahh!! Son...of...a...!!" he shouted, running in circles until the fire went out. "The fire was an illusion, silly." Illusi teased. "Still hurts..." Punchy groaned. "You could have avoided it if you were used to such speeds." Illusi pointed out. "Har har har..." Punchy scoffed. "You could be faster than Sonic with the boots. You just need to master them." Illusi added. "Not sure we're meant to go faster than Sonic..." Punchy sighed.
Shadow Arcangel was flying towards Scrap Brain Zone. After months of searching, Team Chaotix had determined that Dr. Eggman was holed up here, in his original base of operations. As the ship neared the base, it did seem to be back in operation, the old booby traps back in working order and new robots and threats prepared to stop intruders. Fortunately, Sonic was here with a group of allies. He was outside the ship, standing on the wing of the Hurricane while Heather the phoenix was piloting. "Sonic... It's hard to see while you're standing there, actually..." she said awkwardly. "Huh... Tails never complains." Sonic shrugged. Guard the gargoyle was flying next to the plane, scythe in hand and ready for a fight. "Grrr... Mia's in there... I know it!" he grunted. "Easy, Garen! Let's approach with caution..." Heather said nervously. Aboard the Arcangel, Razor the porcupine, Bill the hedgehog and Team Chaotix were looking out from the control room. "This base is a polluted nightmare..." Espio muttered. "The sky is gray and yucky!" Charmy observed. "I staked this place out. Eggman's definitely here." Vector said. Vortex was at the ship's controls, and looked at them grouchily. "Would you sssstop crowding the window? I have to find a place to land. Then I'll be joining my massster in the laboratory." he hissed. "You ain't comin? I thought your brother was in there!" Bill grumbled. "That'sss why Zipp and Talon are going with you. Talon'sss been training, he won't be usssselessss... In theory." Vortex scoffed. "Less useless than you!" Talon shouted from behind him. Zipp chuckled. "Yeah, what are you and the boss making MORE Experiments for, anyway? Sixteen not a round enough number or somethin?" he teased. "You can asssk massster yourssself. Let me land thissss thing!" Vortex hissed. Razor sighed. "Well, least I can be here for Mia...and Bob." he mumbled, "Sorry I wasn't here sooner, guys. I'll do my best to atone..." he whispered. Of course, Bucky was in the lab, prepping his tools for the creation of new experiments. "Now, what should Seventeen be? ...These may be my very last Experiments... I should make them strong children that can bear the burdens... of what's to come..." he said with a sigh, glancing at a framed picture of Hope the raven before returning to his work. The Arcangel soon landed just outside of Scrap Brain Zone. Eggman had surely detected them. They'd have to fight their way to rescue their friends!
"Alert! Alert!" the Base Alarm System blared as Eggman scrambled to rally his troops. "Can't they let me have my 0.01% of the world in peace?!" he growled. "Actually, boss, by my calculations, you only possess..." Orbot started saying before the doctor threw a wrench at him. "No one cares! I'll make those geeks think twice about coming in here... Send out the Robians! Give them some of my own personal mean machines to play with!" he commanded with a wide smirk. Orbot rolled away to relay the command, while Eggman turned his attention to a familiar Egg Pawn and Gizoid duo in the room. "Jolt! Freeze! End sleep mode!" he commanded. Jolt's eyes flickered on, and he let out a robotic yawn. "I was having the most lovely dream... Aw, we're still in this dump." he grumbled, "There isn't even internet access in here!" he complained. Freeze was silent, looking around as though this was the first time he'd seen this base. "Well, I'm sorry, the internet hadn't caught on yet when I built this base and... Wait, you're not allowed online! Shut up and listen to me! Sonic and his annoying friends are here! Defend the base! Chop chop!" Eggman ordered. "Acknowledged... They will know true pain as I chill them to their bones..." Freeze stated. "On my way, boss! Gotta say though, the tree house was more modern!" Jolt babbled. "It was a tree FORT!" Eggman shouted as the robots headed on their way. "Blast it, where's Metal Sonic? Where did I put that pile of junk? I still haven't finished unpacking... I hate that hedgehog..." he grumbled, moustache drooping.
In the meantime, Sonic sped into the base, evading buzz saws and flamethrowers as he went! Bill and Razor were trying to catch up to him, but they were far outdistanced in no time. "Ahh... Why ain't I stayin' on the ship? ...Oh yeah, it's creepy as heck." Bill mumbled. "Well, maybe you should keep to the back, Bill. We can't rescue Bob if we're busy saving you." Razor panted. Espio emerged from the shadows beside them. "Maybe he should help Charmy and Vector. They have something important to bring in here... Something a bit heavy. Myself, I'll be clearing a path for it!" he stated, charging swiftly forward with the agility of a ninja. Bill shrugged and scratched his head. "Somethin' heavy...? Like what?" he wondered.
While Sonic was working his way deep into the base, searching for Eggman to take him out of commission, the others were running interference and searching for the Robians. Razor caught up to Guard and Heather inside one of the imposing buildings, and there the three of them were stopped by a massive four-legged Egg Walker, not unlike the one that attacked Station Square years ago. "Grrraahh! Eggman! You dare come after us directly?!" Guard snarled, clutching his scythe. "Uhhh... That's not Eggman." Razor murmured with a gulp. In the cockpit, Eggman's cruelty became more apparent. A Robian was operating the walker, and not just any Robian. "Grah... Mia!!" Guard gasped. "Look out, Garen!" Heather shouted, diving into him to move him out of the way as the walker fired a laser beam directly at him! Guard appeared shaken by this...to save Mia, he had to fight her? It was a cruel joke. Razor fired some shots at the Egg Walker, but as was typical, Eggman's mech was bulletproof. "How is it a curled-up hedgehog can break these things but not bullets?" he groaned as he ran for cover. Heather stood up and tossed balls of fire into the air, which struck bombs the walker was sprinkling down on them. "Garen... We knew this was a possibility. We can't be afraid. You gotta get Mia out of that machine so we can wreck it!" she told him. Guard looked at her and nodded. He placed a hand over his heart. "Rrr... It appears sentiment has clouded my judgement... The boss would be furious, but..." a light smile crossed his face as he looked up at the approaching walker, "That my android brain can feel sentiment... feels like a victory to me. Rrrr..." he said, spreading his wings and taking to the air, rising faster than the laser could strike him! "...That's right, Garen. Your heart will set you free..." Heather whispered, rushing over to help Razor as the walker turned towards him, hurling bombs! Guard flapped towards the cockpit, only to find Mia lifting up a laser gun and shooting at him! "Graaa! Stop it, Mia!" he shouted, blocking with the blade of his scythe! "Intruders! I will...destroy you... for the Eggman Empire!" she declared in a robotic voice, sweeping the walker's laser beam up and down and nearly hitting Guard! He was about to seize the Robian when he heard a pained scream behind him. "Grr... Heather??" he gasped, looking back to see her collapsed in Razor's arms. He sped towards them. "Don't touch her! She may burst into flames!" he warned Razor. If he had to defend his friends AND get at Mia, this would be quite difficult. How could they save Mia?
Vector and Bill were wheeling the Mega Wispon towards Scrap Brain Zone while Charmy supervised and Talon and Zipp stuck around for tactical support. Rotor had left the de-robotisizing Mega Wispon on Shadow Arcangel after the last battle with Eggman, considering Crash was one of the missing Robians and Bucky did help build the massive de-robotisizer. As they wheeled the Wispon close to the base, however, Jolt and Freeze approached them. "Oooh, big gun! Tell ya what, give it to me and I'll let you guys live!" Jolt snickered. "We use the term 'live' loosely, though." Freeze said bluntly. Vector jumped out from behind the Mega-Wispon and growled. "Half-pint robots? Leave this to me!" he grinned. "Aaaah!! Vector, this dang thing's too heavy fer me!!" Bill grunted, able only to keep the Mega-Wispon from rolling backwards and unable to move it forward. Zipp twirled a pistol and let out a hum. "C'mon, lemme handle it..." he chuckled. "Uh, Zipp? We got more company!" Talon pointed. Along with Jolt and Freeze, Crash was approaching them, riding on top of one of Eggman's rhinotank robots and looking ready to fight! "I've got no qualms about shootin' ya, Crash!" Zipp shouted. "Dude, the whole point is to save him!" Talon groaned, flying ahead to get to Crash first. If he could hold him still, they could de-robotisize him! Meanwhile, Vector stumbled back from the combination of electric and freezing attacks from the two "half-pint" robots. "Ughhh, why'd Espio have to run ahead and ditch us?" he groaned. "Want my help?" Charmy chuckled. "You little brat! Why are you just flitting up there watching, anyway!?" Vector shouted. "Teehee, I'm the supervisor!" Charmy giggled. "Supervise THIS!" Jolt shouted, flying after Charmy with his jetpack and punching at him with a sparking fist! Charmy twirled backwards and stuck out his tongue. "Too slow! Now yer gonna get stung!" he taunted, zooming at Jolt and bashing him with his stinger, sending the Egg Pawn stumbling back in midair! "You little runt! I'm gonna zap you like... Like a bug zapper! Because you're a bug!" he yelled. "They get it, Jolt." Freeze grumbled, turning his attention to Vector. The crocodile charged his way, so Freeze pointed at the floor and froze a path of ice, causing the croc to slip and slide right past him! "You're a buffoon. I'll just dismantle that device and take my leave of you." Freeze grumbled. Vector leapt back at him and held the Gizoid tightly. "Grah!! I'm not done with you yet! Ever wrestle a crocodile!?" he shouted. They'd have to pull out all the stops to protect the Mega Wispon if they wanted a shot at saving the Robians!
Arriving near the center of the base, Sonic stopped short as a shot was fired his way. It struck near his feet, just missing him, and caused the floor to grow an extra layer of metal. "Blast it! That was my last shot with this portable robotisizing pistol! The one time that blue pest stops moving, I miss him!" Eggman groaned as Sonic looked in the direction of his voice. He'd erected a laser barrier to protect himself, and was standing at a control panel. "Well, there's more than one way to skin a blue rat!" he smirked, grabbing a couple joysticks as a pair of dome-shaped laser cannons emerged from the ceiling! Sonic chuckled softly. "So, upgraded to two? Really think that'll be enough?" he taunted, speeding out of the way as the lasers fired wide beams down at him! "I've upgraded their power source! They won't burn up like previous models! And I'm bound to hit you eventually!" Eggman cackled, twisting the joysticks around and moving the cannons to chase the hedgehog! Sonic nimbly dodged one beam and then weaved to avoid the next one. "I can do this all day, Eggy! Ha ha!" Sonic taunted. "How about all night?" Eggman smirked, a second barrier sealing Sonic into the room at that point! "Think you can stay awake, old man?" Sonic chuckled, zipping between the lasers again and again. "Grrr... Maybe I should've used three cannons..." Eggman grumbled, "Plan B!" he smirked, pressing a button. Hatches in the floor opened, carrying Robians into the room! Sonic noticed Bill's brother Bob among them. "Eggman! What do you think you're doing?!" Sonic stammered, noticing that the Robians weren't moving. Eggman smirked. "Target practice. If I can't hit you, I need to brush up on the old skills!" he sneered, aiming the two turrets at separate Robians across the room. Sonic's eyes widened as he saw the lasers charging up. He sped across the room at incredible speed, pulling each Robian out of the way before Eggman could blast them! "Missed again... How about these two?" he snickered. "Eggman! Stop it and fight me fair, you coward!" Sonic shouted. Eggman chuckled. "You know who calls people cowards, Sonic? The losers! I would know, I've been calling you a coward behind your back for years." As Eggman cackled, Sonic rushed to pull the Robians to safety again. "Oh, minions, stop letting Sonic save you... Hold that hedgehog still for me instead, okay?" Eggman ordered. Sonic appeared trapped. It was either surrender or let the Robians go down with him. What could be done?
At that moment, Vector hurled Freeze into Jolt, who shot off intense sparks in retaliation! "Take cover! He's a regular thunder cloud!" Vector shouted as he and Charmy ducked behind the Mega Wispon! "Wait! Don't draw the attack here!" Bill stammered. The electric discharge struck the Wispon hard, leaving smoke rising from it. "Hah! We win!" Jolt cackled. "I think I broke my gravity stabilizer..." Freeze groaned, falling limply to the floor. Vector groaned. "You worked on this Bucky... Why didn't ya make it shock-proof!?" he shouted, banging on the Mega-Wispon angrily. As if in reaction to his strike, and with help from the extra jolt of power, the Wispon fired off a massive discharge of energy! The beam covered a wide, far-reaching area, and as Talon and Zipp were wrestling with the robotic Crash, the beam washed over him, and he was restored to flesh! "Ugh, ow!! Wh-what the heck, Zipp?! Talon??" he grunted, feeling the griffin holding him in a choke-hold. "Don't let go! It's a trick!" Zipp smirked. Jolt picked up Freeze and slunk away. "Boss is gonna fry us..." he whined. As Guard lifted Mia free of the Egg Walker's cockpit at last, the beam hit, and she looked up at him with her own eyes. "G-guard?? Yaaa!! Wh-what the??" she gasped. "Grrr!! Hold on!" Guard cried as Heather was burning up the walker with her flames to finish it off! Deeper within the base, the beam even reached Sonic, and the Robians around him were suddenly cured as Eggman pounded his control panel in fury. "No!! How?! Why!?" he cried. Behind him, Alpha jumped around happily in the beam. "I'm a real boy!! Yay!!" he giggled. "No, you're not. You can't de-robotisize a robot!" Eggman shouted, too aggravated to ignore Alpha's stupidity. "Aww, I'm not a real boy, either?" Cubot asked sadly. "NO!!" Eggman yelled. The doctor then heard explosions behind him, and realized Sonic had wrecked his cannons while he was distracted. "Thing is, Eggman, I didn't come in here alone." he smirked. Eggman growled and started stomping away. "This base is a monument to my past failures. I'm putting it into self-destruct mode. And leaving you trapped in there. Farewell, Sonic!" he grumbled as he fled the scene, followed by Alpha, Cubot and Orbot. "Ahh! How we gon' get out, Sonic?" Bob asked. Guard and Razor soon arrived at the barrier blocking their exit. "Guard, your android eyes see a power source?" Razor asked. Grunting, Guard pointed to a spot in the wall, and Razor shot it, causing the barrier to short-circuit! "There's our exit! Everyone, run like me!" Sonic said, leading the way as he, Guard and Razor took the hostages to safety! They managed to escape just in time to watch the base burst into flames, and then the freed hostages made their way onto the Arcangel. "Bob! Bro, yer a sight for sore eyes! I had to work a dang weddin' by myself!" Bill chuckled, hugging his brother. Crash stepped onto the Arcangel with a sigh. "How long?" he asked. "Ten years!" Zipp teased. "Zipp! ...It was maybe a bit over one year." Talon stated. Crash growled softly. "Eggman will pay for this..." he huffed. Mia walked onto the ship hand in hand with Guard. "Heather told me you never stopped looking for me. Didn't know ya cared so much, haha. You're secretly a big softy..." she smirked, making him blush. Heather watched them from behind with a small smile, but an uncertain sigh. At any rate, it was time to go. Sonic smirked as he hopped into the Hurricane to pilot it back to Copter. "See ya next time, Eggman... Hope that's it for the robotisizer..." he said to himself.
Copter and Knuckles continued to get along quite poorly during their so-called training. "Are you even trying to focus? You couldn't even scratch paper with this attitude!" Copter snapped as Knuckles failed to chop through a log that was set up for practice, getting the claws stuck midway through. "Are the claws even supposed to be able to slice like this?? We know nothing about their abilities and you have the gall to snap at me!? You have the GALL?!" Knuckles yelled, violently wresting the claws from the log and turning on Copter. There was an aura of darkness around him. "You try living with these damn things stuck to your hands for months!! You know what?! I'll target practice on YOU!!" he roared, slashing in Copter's direction as the fox scrambled to get out of the way! "Whoa! Hey! Knux!! Cool it! The curse of the claws are gettin' to ya! You don't wanna do this!! I- uhh- I'm fairly sure you don't wanna do this!!" he shouted, rushing toward Gemini and Shade as Knuckles was wildly slashing at him! "Wait, don't bring your crazy over here!" Shade protested, raising the gauntlets to block as Copter hid behind her. Knuckles leapt into the air and raised a claw, planning to propel himself downward at Copter forcefully... However, he simply hung in midair instead, his arm swinging from his clawed hand! "Yaaah!! What in the hell!?" he shouted, dangling in midair as though stuck on something. Gemini, Copter and Shade looked up at him in surprise. His claw was piercing the very air itself... Using it as a sort of anchor to keep him in the air. "Knuckles... I think you've discovered a previously unknown power of the Chaos Claws!" Gemini shouted excitedly. Knuckles groaned, still dangling in the air. "Great... How do I get down?" he grumbled. "Maybe you should chill up there a while. The curse of the claws is making you crazier." Copter stated. "Crazier!? I'm not crazy, you take that back!!" Knuckles shouted, flailing his other fist in the air as though trying to fight Copter. Shade sighed. "What's this curse?" she asked. Gemini glanced at Astra as she and Tails approached. "Thousands of years ago, when the Lost Ones were born, Luna the Wolf was forcibly transformed into Loscream." Astra explained, "She was wearing the Chaos Claws as she transformed. We managed to save the Claws, but not without them being corrupted..." Tails flew up to Knuckles and examined the stuck claw. "Hmmm... I'll try to get ya down, don't worry Knuckles." he said. "Hurry... My arm's gettin' tired..." he groaned. Gemini looked at him with concern. "Astra... I want to break the curse of the Chaos Claws." she stated. They weren't sure how to do it, but they knew... the curse had to be broken...
To be continued...