Author note: This story was written by me and LoveWildmuttPuppy. Title: Unexpected Darkness. Pairing: BenRook. Summary: When Ben gets hit by a nightmare ray that puts him into a nightmare he can’t wake up from, Rook, Gwen and Kevin must travel into Ben’s subconcious and find Ben so he can wake up. Only the nightmare is a lot darker than they expected from someone like Ben.
It had been three days since they twarted Zombozo’s plan of taking over Bellwood by attacking people with illusionary monsters of his own creation. The deranged clown had gotten a taste of his own medicine when Ben accidently transformed into Pesky Dust and put Zombozo to sleep. Using Kevin and Rook’s sugestions Ben controlled Zombozo’s dream slowly turning it into a manic-happy nightmare that scared all the new powers out of the clown. The illusionary monsters disapeared and Zombozo and his goons were escorted to cozy cells at Plumber HQ.
And it was now a week since Rook, Gwen and Kevin went inside Ben’s subconscious, and things still hadn’t returned to normal.
Ben was spending the night with Rook, in Rook’s apartment at Plumber HQ. He’d been doing that a lot more since the whole nightmare fiasco. The two were both fast asleep, that is un till Rook started tossing and turning which woke Ben up.
Omniverse was about accepting the past and moving forward.
If we look at the first few minutes of Omniverse, the series opened with Gwen and Kevin doing just that, leaving their heroic, night heroes’ lifestyle, running away from the darkness as day breaks and they say goodbye to Ben for something more “normal”, Gwen to just graduate college as she wanted and Kevin to stay with her and just live a normal, calm life. Yet even then their goals were not what they expected, Gwen’s college life lead her to become a superhero on her own right, meet the greatest wizard of all time, get her own secret base and finally defeating her own villain all while acting in a much more relaxed way than in the previous show.
Kevin meanwhile accepted his past and helped those whom he wronged thanks to the Rooters, to the point where he now has full control over the powers he was so restrained with, using small objects to absorb their materials and even using the Omnitrix’s power without losing his mind. His adventures in Omniverse not only lead to accepting his past but also to find a comfortable future, living off a car that’s basically a chunk of money. We see this further in the future when he now leads the Rooters, serving as a moral compass since he knows the good and bad the organization is capable of.
Rook himself moved forward a lot as well in that he became more accepting of Ben, of the strange human behaviors, of disregarding the rules of his culture and becoming more complete for it. He started off hating chili fries, and still did, but in meatball subs and Sandra’s cooking he found things even more delicious than his favorite meal, an understanding of human culture, and in that open-minded understanding he developed his combat skills to surpass his former teacher, the biggest threat from his static, closed culture.
Then there’s the setting itself: the city of Bellwood itself, completely separate from the alien district of Undertown and easily manipulated by the alien-hating news anchor, Harange, yet by the end humans and aliens happily go to Bellwood or Undertown, accepting each other, even if it is a background element it is a nice touch.
Ironically… err, or most likely purposely and very ronic, Ben’s villains are all about remaining static. From newest to oldest we got Maltruant, a powerful being from a race of creatures that can manipulate the flow of time, whose time manipulating powers lead him to remake this universe and change it to his image, when the means to his goals could lead him to make his own universe instead.
Mad Ben, an evil alternate universe Ben from a Mad Max inspired world, was not much more than a servant for Maltruant, barely autonomus, he only helps the villain in order to maintain his rule over the destroyed Bellwood, to keep things as they are no matter what he has to do, to the point where once Maltruant has no more use for this Ben, all he has left to do is continue carrying on the final order Maltruant gave him, despite it being meaningless now.
The Rooters, an organization of Men in Black styled Black Ops, act solely out of spite towards the galactic peacemaker organization they were combined into, they see a risk in Ben having the Omnitrix and rather than trust their new allies they simply prepare to assassinate the boy when the time is right, expecting him to remain with a boy’s mentality, which is how they thought Kevin would also remain, leading to him taking them by surprise and defeating them.
And then we got Albedo, a Galvan who is stuck in the form of Ben due to his own experimentation with the Omnitrix. Every single action he does is to have revenge on Ben, despite being able to get back to his original Galvan form this alien only acts upon what he sees were wrongdoings towards him, even digging up the Ultimate Alien forms from last season in order to try and defeat Ben. He is so far stuck in the past that when he finally defeats Azmuth and steals his brain he obtains enlightenment, sees the error of his ways… only for Ben to return that power to Azmuth and Albedo becomes utterly relieved and happy to no longer be enlightened and have his grudge back.
Attea, princess of a galactic empire that’s overtaking several planets, is interesting in that she changed the most between Ultimate Alien and Omniverse, she is a smarter, more tactical while her dad continues to invade planets in his predetermined way, which allows Ben and Rook to stop him on many occasions so when their storyline ends it turns out that Attea had planned ahead for her father’s decisions in a scheme to overtake the empire as he’s become complacent and unable to think in new ways to rule.
And shorter list of villains that show this: Dr Psychobos, evil crustacean scientist, always develops for someone else instead of working his own designs like Azmuth, Khypher, intergalactic hunter, is the most dangerous because he keeps changing his plans, adapting and improving, Dr Animo keeps going at his theme with animals and never succeeds, random rogues just seem to accept that whatever income they score will just go to schemes to make money and ultimately end up in jail. Oh and Billy is a kid that stayed a kid because of hating Ben.
Finally VILGAX, intergalactic space emperor and the main antagonist of the original series, in one of his encounters in Omniverse he had a fairly odd line: “I have waited a lifetime to get this device!” which… didn’t seem very well thought out since it appeared that he’s been after the Omnitrix for five, six years tops, yet in the final episode we find out that 211 years before the start of the series, when he was a young soldier, actually met Ben and, most importantly, saw the power of the Omnitrix even before it was invented, completely awestruck with the ability to change race according to the situation and fight with abilities your opponent cannot deal with gave him the lust for power that defined him, and cursed him because for the rest of his life he would seek that power, no matter what he obtains, no matter what he conquers he is unable to move forward because his only real objective is the Omnitrix he saw that one day 211 years back.
And, of course, we got Ben moving forward.
The very first arc this show has is about Ben having to come to terms with having a new partner, slowly starting to like him, mostly because they have to spend so much time together. We get a villain from the past that traumatized Ben and an alien that Ben became addicted to, culminating in Ben forgiving himself for mast mistakes and moving forward. Little things are here in this arc as well, such as Ben having to realize he messed up romantically and got dumped, getting a new love interest and, crucially, restarting the universe with the annihiolagrgh (yeah okay i can’t spell it either, Ben’s right, it’s hard!) and Alien X, all which are slow (glacial slow) realizations that his people skills are bad, and progressing slightly on them.
More and more things from his past start attacking him, none nearly as traumatizing as Malware and he kept pressing forward, defeating the foes with new methods, locking into Bullfrag to do stealth, wailing on Albedo until he unlocks Atomix to further be like his future self, his idea of a hero becoming more selfless little by little while very slowly working on being a more accepting person.
The show makes a point about acceptance and making new relationships, how Rook is well loved by all, how Sandra gets the most dangerous alien in the universe as her pal, how Bellwood accepts aliens, how the Anur System is in danger because they don’t accept other forms of life, how it was Ester’s duty to make her race accept their new home, and, ultimately, Ben starting to accept Skurd, and in that, in his act of moving forward as a person, he ensured the alien species of his Omnitrix would form a part in the universe and exist for him to be a hero. Accepting Kai’s remarks as true, little by little, to the end that leads to a married life with a big family.
Ben at the end of Omniverse still has a lot to learn, has to become much more accepting, specially to alien culture, yet his final words, taking an intergalactic roadtrip and the future we see where he married Kai, who loves studying alien cultures, tells us he will mature, become accepting and be happy for that.
Interesting thing is that the alternate universe Ben that didn’t have powers kept talking about how he wanted to move from Bellwood, something Ben never expressed any desire to do, even after going across the United States after the first series, that Ben was tired of the stability, he wanted new experiences while the regular Ben had to deal with the events of Ultimate Alien to keep him distracted, but now, much like that alternate Ben, he has grown tired of stability, he wants to experience new things, to live a life away from an anchored home and discover all kinds of experiences and cultures like in the roadtrip that changed his life when he was Ten, truly Ben is a person who will only become better by moving forward.
In the end, many aspects of the show were about moving forward, with several others adding that one must accept their past first, and in doing so we have a dynamic series in which characters develop, in which the time travel the franchise is known for give us hints at how far characters can go when they’re given a push and an ending that promises they will continue to move and change and inspire those around them as well.
Thank you to everyone who helped me decide if I should post this short based on the Winter Soldier.
Here’s what you need to know for this short. Seven years ago Ben sacrificed himself to save earth and evryone thought he died, but Psychobos found him. For five years Psychobos tortured Ben forgot all about his past, Psyhobos trained Ben to become the Midnight Soldier and eventually kill Azmuth. Two years ago Psychobos had Ben attack Earth and Rook found Ben. Lots of stuff happen between then and now. This Short takes place after all of that.
Feel free to ask if there’s anything else about this AU that you need to know.