• Published 9th Jul 2014
  • 9,282 Views, 256 Comments

Ten Against One - DJSkywalker

Ben had a bad life on Earth, with ten others sharing his mind. Then, one day he was sent to a far away land and the voices stopped. He thought he was free, but they only became stronger. This is their story.

  • ...

One among Many

I awoke the next morning feeling more refreshed than ever. It was nice being able to wake up again; after millennia of being unable to move, you miss the little things in life. I actually felt like today was gonna be a great day. Then, I got smacked in the head… several times. I face planted on the bed, getting up a few seconds later, rubbing my aching head. I turned around to find several strange objects behind me. I saw a gold coin, a diamond, some length of chain, and an hourglass. I picked one up, specifically the diamond, and examined it. It didn’t look all that special, save for the fact that it came out of nowhere.

“Now, where did you come from?” I asked aloud. In all honesty, I never expected a response.

“Probably from other Universes, Ben.”

“GAH!” I yelled at the sudden appearance of something else in my room. This also happened to cause me to fall off the bed and faceplant the floor. Interesting fact, the palace floors taste like wood… weird. I remove my face from the floor to find myself looking at a large, human-like shadow seemingly looking at me. “Wh-who or what are you?” I asked, a little freaked out.

“My name is Umbra Shadow-Walker, System Administrator of the Multiverse, Rank: Assistant CEO of Branch 445903 Beta. Serial Number: 11092748357 Alpha Delta Z. I am a living manifestation of the space between Universes, colloquially called a ‘living shadow’. So...the question is, Ben, what are you going to do with those Tokens?”

“Tokens? What?” I look back to the bed and point at the objects. “You mean the things that hit me in the head?”

“Yes. They are...how should I say...calling cards for other Humans...Displaced in Equestrias not your own. Using them, one is able to call upon the respective Token owner for aid.”

I blinked, trying to process that. “Wait, so I’m not the only shmuck that got sent to Equestria? Well an Equestria? Is this the kind of thing Voiceless was trying to show me?” I said the last part more to myself than anything, but I think he still heard me.

“Most likely, Ben. Though, your Voiceless doesn’t quite Understand all the full implications of it, now does he? Tell me, has he ever told you that you could make your own Token to travel to other Universes?”

I couldn’t help it, but I deadpanned. “Really? You are seriously asking me if a guy named ‘Voiceless’ spoke to me?”

“You know full well what I meant, Ben; do not test me. I’m not in the best of moods today; my boss has put me on a very tight schedule, and I’d appreciate if you didn’t make this more difficult than it has to be.”

I put up my hands defensively. “Woah, woah, ok. Don’t flip out on me, you’re gonna harsh me out. I don’t like that. Sorry, but yeah I get what you’re saying. And no, Voiceless rarely ever shows me more than images of the Multiverse, most of which kinda just flew over my head. But, really, what’s got you in such a tight knot? You act like you’re in the middle of a war or something.”

“One: My boss has given me the task of fixing the fucked up coding of no less than thirty local Universe clusters. Two: I am in the middle of a stressful, petty war between two beings from across the Equestrian Cluster. Now can we move on? I’m on a schedule.”

“Um, okay, but I’m not exactly sure as to why you’re here. And I’m sorry you’re so stressed, if there was any way I could help, I’ll gladly lend you a hand.”

“Hmm...well, that coincides nicely with my next point. Ahem. Ben 10; you have been selected to ally with Auric Fulcrum in the War of Understanding. Your enemy will be Makuta Teridax, Lord of Darkness. Are you a bad enough dude to save a Universe?”

I blinked. “Woah, that’s heavy. I did offer, though, so I guess I’m in. I’ve been out of comission for a few millennia, but I’m raring to go. I don’t speak for the other guys, but I don’t think they have a choice if I agree.”

“Ah, that’s right; you have those other voices in your head. No, they don’t really have a choice; but, if you agree, I can guarantee them temporary bodies if they aid you. I think they’ll agree to those conditions, don’t you think?”

“I doubt that any of them could refuse an offer like that, but that is something that’ll probably be discussed while I’m sleeping next. You see, they can’t hear anything I do, not since they were given forms, nor can we communicate mentally, except when asleep.” I tapped my noggin a few times. “It gets pretty messed up in here. Though, those bodies better be temporary; I don’t want any of them running free longer than they should.”

Umbra seemed to smirk a little. “Alright then. Now, we need you to make yourself a Token, I’ll deliver it to Auric later. Simply focus your power on an object of your choosing, and add a message to it. If you need assistance, I can just program one into existence for you.”

Hmm, I started tapping a finger on my chin in thought. From the sound of things, this object not only was needed to contact me, but also let others know that others existed out there. I needed something that represented who I was. My eyes widened and I snapped my fingers. “Got it!” I said and began to scroll through the Omnitrix. “I learned this trick a while back,” I explained as I tapped in a few commands. “Press that there, pull this one here, and scratch that one down, and… ta da!” The Omnitrix began to emit a green glow above the face-plate and a Plumber Badge assembled itself from the light. I snatched the newly created badge and displayed it to Umbra. “One instant distress beacon!”

“Great. Now focus your power into it and add a message. Hurry, Princess Twilight is going to wake up soon.”

“Uh, okay. Let’s see. Thinking, thinking, thinking... Ah! Got it!” I cleared my throat and spoke with the greatest confidence I had in a few thousand years. “This is the great Ben 10, bringer of peace and hero to all! Simply tap this token three times and I shall come to your aid and bring peace to your land!” I smiled at Umbra. “How was that?”

“Corny and ostentatious to the extreme. But, I suppose it’s not any worse than the others. Hand it over.”

I tossed the badge over to Umbra who caught it one fell swoop, disappearing into his form. “There’s something I wanted to ask of you. Who are these others whose tokens I received anyway?”

“Well, the Diamond Token is from Kat Shifter, a Gravity Manipulator. The Coin is Auric’s, use that if you need to contact him. The Chain is Ghost Rider’s, and the Hourglass is Michael Faraday’s. I suspect that other tokens will one day make their way over to you as well.”

“Okay, they sound pretty cool, especially if there’s a Ghost Rider out there. This is so cool! I haven’t had this much fun since I taught Tia and Lulu how to troll!”

“Quite. Well, Princess Twilight is awake, as are Spike and...Nyx? Oh my, it’s a variant of that Universe. Interesting. And you say you taught Celestia and Luna to troll? My oh my… I should teach mine to, maybe they’ll loosen up some.”

“Definitely helped them out, then again that was my job. By the way, you get around a lot right? Did you ever pick up anything cool?”

“Actually, yes. Give me a moment, I always have time to make a profit. Here we go! Welcome to Umbra’s Endless Artifacts!”

With that, Umbra somehow materialized an entire shop made of shadows, somehow fitting it inside the room. “Awesome!” I said while looking over the seemingly endless toys and gadgets. “Wait, ‘profit’? You mean this stuff is for sale?!”

“Right, I didn’t mention that I was also part of the Interdimensional Shopkeeper’s Guild, did I? Well, I’ll give you a discount, since you look like you don’t have much of worth on you at the moment. Speaking of valuables, do you have anything of worth stashed anywhere? Sentimental and/or monetary, of course. I deal in both.”

I blanched and started to swat my pockets. “Oh please still be… yes!” I reached into my left back pocket and pulled out a large bag of bits. “Sweet! Tia’s enchantment still works!” I showed the bag to Umbra. “You take bits?”

“Bits work...so would those diamonds that your Petrosapien form fires off...have you unlocked that one yet?”

“You mean Diamond Head? Yeah, got him after three hundred years, give or take. That’s one breakfast conversation that I don’t think we want repeated, even though it was… several times.” I started to swipe through the Omnitrix, looking for the form. “I really wish I figured out the master control on this thing. Bet it was that stupid chip that weird guy gave me that kept me from figuring out the code. Damn him.”

“Weird guy? Creepy merchant guy, ran a prop shop at a convention?”

“Comic Con,” I filled in absentmindedly. Then I stopped flipping through the watch and stared at Umbra in shock. “How did you know?”

“Every last Displaced in every Equestria that I’ve met so far has told me of the same guy. Different appearance each time, but always described as a creepy merchant. Besides, I met him too...and he’s in the Interdimensional Shopkeeper’s Guild...punched him out as soon as I learned that he was in the Guild too; bastard made me spend half my cash on a shitty wooden mask that made me what I am...Half my goddamn cash. I only had two hundred on me!”

“Huh, weird. I bought a microchip off him for a buck. That’s what sent me here. If you see him again, tell him thanks from Ben 10. Though it sucked at first, coming here is the best thing to ever happen to me.”

“Will do, by the way...you want that Master Control? Also...here, have this, I think it’s called a ProtoTool...I get the feeling you might like it.”

I honestly felt like drooling. “A real ProtoTool?! No way! How much?! And thanks for the offer, but I think I would rather just keep messing with the watch until I get it to work; got me some of my best forms in doing so. Plus it kept my little sisters on their hooves,” I said with a little chuckle at those memories.

“Just like Auric, never taking the easy way. Tch. Heroes and their stupid nobility...Well, I got a hint for you: Konami code with the buttons, switch A and B for left and right turns respectively, Select and Start with popping the faceplate up and down respectively. I’m not going to tell you what it does, though. It could be a new form, it could be the Master Control...I’ll leave you to find out. And the ProtoTool is, with your discount, thirty bits. With taxes, that comes to thirty three bits. Would you like a receipt?”

“Nah,” I said while pouring the bits into his shadowy hand. “Good thing some of this is my own. Don’t want to alert my sisters that I’m alive, yet.”

“Had a falling out, did you? Don’t worry, plenty of Displaced have had the same problem. Auric was one of them. Just make sure you get all the facts before you do anything stupid...and explain your position thoroughly too...by the way, what exactly happened?”

“They walked in on a mistransform and saw Rath in my room,” I shrugged. “They thought he killed me so they blasted us into stone. Not their fault, I would have probably done the same thing if that happened to one of them.”

“Tsssss...Ouch...Yeah, just go explain things to them, I saw your little freak out yesterday...If you want, I’ll come with you for support...and maybe protection.”

I rubbed the back of my head and had on a forlorn look. “I don’t know Umbra. I never could bring myself to tell them about the voices. I mean, how are they suppose to take that their big brother has voices inside his head that take on alien forms and go on rampages? I don’t want to put them through that; not that I really wanted to make them think I was dead either, but… that one I couldn’t help with.”

“Let me give you two important pieces of information; one: the Princesses have had over a thousand years to mature...well, maybe not in Luna’s case...they should be capable of handling it. Two: maybe you don’t want to put them through any sort of drastic revelations about yourself, but sometimes you just need to tell someone about your problems. Besides, it was just a simple misunderstanding followed by hasty action due to a lack of information...information that you failed to provide, might I add.”

“Jeez,” I said with a roll of my eyes. “You act as if I’m mad at them or something.”

“...Just tell them you twit, they can handle it.”

“Maybe you’re right,” I said with a sigh. “It has been nearly four thousand years, maybe they have finally grown up a little more. But I should probably take it slow, maybe just start with finding out a little more on what I missed. I should probably get to know where I’m staying too, ya know, since I’m stuck here at this castle.”

“...Information upload authorized; Proceeding with upload. Warning, this may be painful for the next 3.14159 seconds. Brace yourself.

“Wait, what?!”

And then my world was blinding pain for the next 3.14159 seconds as the highlights of just over four thousand years of history were forcefully crammed into my head. I may or may not have screamed like a little girl. After the flashing lights came to an end within my head, I slumped against my bed for support. Groggily, I looked back to Umbra. “What in the gods’ names just happened?”

The asshat just smirked and said, “Well, you did mention something about catching up on what you missed.”

“Did not mean all at once! Now it’s like I have a continuous looping blur in my head of history that I don’t completely understand! I bet it would take Hum, BS, and Voiceless days to finally Understand all that!”

“Well excuuuuuuse me, Princess.If you're going to be such a baby about it–” Umbra snapped his fingers, “–Then there, one seamless, perfect, instantaneous integration of four thousand years of history. Better?”

“Technically, it’s prince, and don’t use Link on me! I don’t know how old you are, but boy don’t be startin’ nothin’ with me! Wait a second!” I put my hands up defensively and took a deep, calming breath. “Woo, sorry about that. Rath channeled through for a moment. Hate it when that happens. Sorry for snappin’ at ya man, totally not cool.”

“I’m a pretty chill guy, so no harm done. So, you gonna tell the Princesses now?”

“Well, based on some of this history you gave me, that still kinda hard to go through (it’s a lot to dump on a guy at one time), there’s some holiday called Nightmare Night coming up soon. Apparently, Luna is supposed to be coming to town that day, should be the perfect chance to show her that I’m alive. Hope I don’t make her cry, Lulu has always been a little sensitive.”

Umbra sighed a bit and shook his head. “Well, I’ll leave it to you, then. But...I’m fairly certain that she will cry, females usually tend to cry a lot when they see someone they thought lost, in my experience, at least.”

I slumped a little. “I was afraid of that. This is not going to be fun at all. Man, haven’t been this depressed since I failed to find my only living relative back on Earth.”

“Cheer up, at least you get a second chance to be with your sisters, right? I hear absence is good for the soul...or was that absinthe?”

I snorted at his joke, even if it was bad. “You’re a pretty good guy, Umbra. Thanks for everything, and I’m gonna make this ProtoTool work to the best. I just hope that I can be of help after all this, I’ve let too many down before, so I can’t do it anymore. Heh, that rhymed.”

“Hey, any help is good help...just don’t make too many stupid jokes...Auric and I have that covered already. By the way… Princess Twilight is outside the door, she was attracted to your girly screams of pain...and your unintelligible gibbering. Should I let her in?”

“First off, do you want me to let out Rath?” I threatened with my hand over the Omnitrix. “Second, I think I’ll just ignore her for now. She can wait until we’re done; it’s rude to not give your full attention to a guest.”

“Well said. Also, I doubt any of your Voices other than Voiceless could do even the slightest bit of harm to me...and I very much doubt that you want to destroy your landlady’s castle over a perceived slight to your manly pride.”

I blinked and put my hand down. “Curse you Umbra. Curse you and your logic!”

Umbra smirked again...and then it fell abruptly as his face took on a look of horror. “Wait...oh shit!”

“What?! Wassa matter?”

“Something I had hoped I’d never do. I’ve developed a physical tic...just like Auric and Teridax…”

“Let me guess, they never stop nodding?” I noticed that Voiceless did that a lot, so it doesn't surprise me.

“Yep. And now I can’t seem to stop smirking...I don’t understand, this didn’t happen before...I wonder why it’s happened now?”

I shrugged. “Maybe it’s only because of certain people you meet. Maybe it means a sign of friendship,” I said with a knowing look and extended out my hand.

Taking it, Umbra replied, “I highly doubt that, Teridax doesn’t like me at all...That aside, Time is of the essence, so I’ll leave now. Either I or Auric shall contact you when the final battle is about to occur. Until then, train and train well. Make sure all of your voices Understand the situation, lest I be forced to delete them from existence. Until next time, Ben.”

And with a sound that can only be described as Vworple, Umbra disappeared in a swirl of shadow and a harsh crackle of multicolored lightning.

I blinked away the bright spots, but turned my head towards a knocking at my door.

“Ben? Ben are you alright?”

“I’m just fine, Twilight. I, uh, slipped in the bathroom is all.” Not my smartest lie, true, but I highly doubt she would have believed that an interuniversal shadow being just gave me a weapon that could turn into anything.

“Alright then. Be careful next time. Oh, and breakfast is ready down stairs when you’re ready.”

“Than you!” I heard her hoof steps moving away and I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding. I looked down at my new weapon and pressed a few buttons, which, to my surprise, shrunk the blaster-like weapon down to the size and shape of an old-fashioned PDA. I smiled at the conviency and stowed it away in my front pocket for safe-keeping. I smiled and got up from the bed, heading for the door, ready for my first breakfast in years. Only one small problem… why is the door locked?

Author's Note:

First crossover for this story! Thanks to Jsyrin and his story So... That Happened. Something interesting this way comes next time (and Nyx will definitely be there, for real this time!)