|This tale has been told! It's done!|
|Story date||January 28, 2019 — February 4, 2019|
The Frozen One
Secret of the Shadow Ninjas
From the depths of the ocean, far from the surface, rises a challenging, newfound enemy. Taking Pop Cat hostage and convincing the Water Ninjas to join his cause, Falco and the rest of the ninja team must reunite to find this villain, rescue their fellow friend, and put a stop the their new adversary's big plans, before the continent succumbs to the Rising Tides.
The sound of dripping water echoed across the dojo as he entered. The place was completely empty. Even the green cushion the Sensei sat on was vacant. Pop Cat waddled across the waterlogged floor, looking around the dojo. He then stopped and waddled over to the box filled with water balloons and picked up a small object - his prized shell necklace, the only thing that provided any connection to his past, having washed up on beach around his neck while he was a chick.
Just as he put the object around his neck, he sensed the water around him rippling and turned around.
Pop Cat: Is someone there? Sensei? Is that you...?
The rippling subsequently stopped, and the water became calm and still. Pop Cat turned back and began waddling towards the exit.
Suddenly, the water rippled and bubbled, as if it were boiling. Pop Cat turned around to see the water converge at the center of the room, forming a growing lump. The mass of water then contracted and extended, materializing into the translucent form of a penguin.
Upon forming, the penguin looked directly at Pop Cat and gave him a watery smile. He raised his liquid flipper, and water swirled around it.
Pop Cat: Who are you? What do you want?
Water Penguin: Aquaticus! Master of the oceans. And as the tides rise, Antarctica itself.
Pop Cat summoned a ball of water in his flippers, ready to fight just as Aquaticus' watery flipper rushed like a waterfall towards him.
Chapter 1: Missing in Action
The sky was a clear blue, almost entirely devoid of clouds above the island of Club Penguin. Two penguins and a puffle passed by the Club Penguin University, heading for the Skate Park. A path stretched ahead of them, leading to a very long staircase.
One of the penguins, a fully-suited ninja with blonde hair was pointing out a building atop a mountain in the distance to the other penguin, who had red hair and lime green feathers. The puffle, which was bronze in colour, hopped along happily beside them.
Falco: ...that building over there is the Dojo. The waterfall is the dojo of the Water Ninjas, and the volcano is the Fire dojo.
Denise: Wait, the fire dojo is the volcano?
Falco: Yeah, that's it. It's literally built into the volcano.
Falco: We should go there right now. In fact, it's right up these stairs.
Denise: Allow me. Aero!
The bronze puffle next to them happily bounded over towards them. Suddenly, the wind picked up and a tornado of clouds formed around them, lifting the three off the ground.
Falco: Or yeah, we could just fly.
The three began ascending higher and faster, moving forwards through the air.
Falco directed Aero to land them at the top of the stairs, in the middle of the Dojo Courtyard.
A familiar penguin stood in the yard with his back turned to them, talking to a penguin in a water ninja suit, and a blue female penguin in an ice suit.
Denise: ...Ninja O'Dark?
The penguin turned around, surprised.
Ninja O'Dark: Oh! Hey, Denise. Didn't know you were visiting. Perfect timing too. You too, Hochstadt. By the way, this over here is Shoko, one of the snow ninjas.
The snow ninja, Shoko, waved at them in welcome.
Ninja O'Dark: And this over here is my brother, Frederick Box.
Frederick: Nice to meet you both.
Falco: What's going on? What did you mean by "perfect timing"?
Ninja O'Dark: Well, here.
Frederick passed his brother a small object. Ninja O'Dark held it up.
Ninja O'Dark: Recognize this?
Dangling from his flipper was a shiny purple and blue necklace, with a single blue clam shell attached to it.
Denise: Doesn't that belong to Pop Cat?
Ninja O'Dark: Exactly.
Frederick: Some of our Water Ninjas found it early in the morning on the floor of the water dojo. Nobody has seen Pop Cat since yesterday. And it's very unlike him to disappear without notice.
Falco: What if maybe he's just gone out for some fresh air? I mean, it can't be that bad, can it?
Ninja O'Dark: Psh, yeah, well that's what we all thought.
Shoko: Wait until you see the water dojo itself.
Falco: Oh no. Don't tell me something bad has happened.
The three followed the two brothers through the dojo, across the hanging bridge to the roaring waterfall. As soon as they entered, they were met with a scene of complete disorder.
The whole water dojo had been turned upside down. The box of water balloons had been overturned, its contents strewn over the floor. The Card Jitsu mats were displaced, and the statues of Water Ninjas were covered in balloon scraps.
Denise: What...? Who did this?
Falco: Maybe Pop Cat threw a fit of some sort?
Ninja O'Dark: That's what some of us thought but I mean, that doesn't exactly seem like him, does it?
Frederick: Sensei's rather worried. We're looking all around the island for him as we speak.
Denise: Well whatever happened to him, its probably not good.
Chapter 2: Undersea Menace
Pop Cat opened his eyes, and to his surprise found himself completely submerged underwater. As his eyes adjusted to his surroundings, he saw that he was in a small, dark underwater cave. He was facing what appeared to be the cave entrance, which revealed what must have been the ocean, which was a bright emerald green. If he had been someone else, he likely would've drowned long ago.
Pop Cat attempted to use his powers to propel himself towards the opening, but felt that something was pushing back his movements, like the current was somehow restraining him from controlling it. He tried to extend one of his flippers forwards, and found that there was some sort of bubble-like shield preventing his escape.
?????: Don't even bother trying!
A voice echoed through Pop Cat's head, like someone was talking to him over a phone. Suddenly, thousands of tiny bubbles coalesced together from all directions, forming the smiling face of a penguin, the same one Pop Cat had seen at the dojo.
Pop Cat tried to talk, but his words only came out in the form of bubbles. The penguin had spoken to Pop Cat using telepathy, something that Pop Cat heard the citizens of his old underwater home town were able to do while submerged, though this was an ability limited to those who were of the Marinian penguin species.
Being a Marinian himself, Pop Cat tried sending a mind message.
Pop Cat: Where have you taken me, Auqaticus?
Aquaticus: Well it should be obvious to you by now, shouldn't it. You are a Marinian too, are you not?
Pop Cat was suddenly pulled forwards by the bubble shield, closer to the cave opening. Through it, he could see the ruins of numerous ancient pillars, columns, and buildings. They were all overgrown with sea life, mostly red glowing coral and seemed to have been incorporated into a reef of its own.
He then noticed a broken statue of a penguin to his right, but was still able to distinguish a very familiar shell necklace around the penguin's neck.
Pop Cat: No... this isn't...?
Auqaticus: As you may have noticed, this is Bubbleopia, Pop Cat. Or at least... what's left of the place.
Pop Cat: How... how did you find this place...?
Aquaticus: If I hadn't been trapped in the Pectopshere for so long I would've been able to return sooner and stop the ones who destroyed this place. But none of that happened! All thanks to those accursed Senseis.
Pop Cat: You're saying you used to live here?
Aquaticus: I did. But I knew very well that our home was vulnerable! That it would eventually fall to anyone who was strong enough to take it. Which is why when I learned about Card-Jitsu, I trained as much as possible to become stronger. When I tried to convince the ruling Sensei at the time that he should help us, he denied my offer!
Pop Cat: Well why would he just agree to help you out of all people?
Aquaticus: Our entire kingdom needed help! I confronted him about his stubbornness and he turned me permanently into a puddle of water! I was trapped, seemingly forever, by the Pectosphere's power. It was only until that recent escapade of yours that I was freed. The Pectosphere briefly shifted control, allowing me to return to try and find home. But of course, I was not only right, but also too late. Bubbleopia had long since fallen.
Pop Cat: ...and then what?
Aquaticus: I then I learned that you, the last surviving Marinian and the prince of Bubbleopia had survived. But you had given yourself up to the care of the Sensei!
Pop Cat: He had nothing to do with any of this.
Aquaticus: But his predecessors did! And in any case, he'll still pay for what they did. By the time I'm done, the continent will be underwater, completely decimated to make way for a New Bubbleopia. One that'll be strong enough to survive!
Pop Cat: And what exactly is my place in the plan?
Aquaticus: Oh, you'll be my personal battery.
Suddenly, the bubbles around Pop Cat swirled into a spiral-like formation. Small groups of bubbles circled Pop Cat's arms, creating ring-like formations. Suddenly, Pop Cat's arms began to feel cold.
Aquaticus: Being transformed into a Pectospheric being meant I was able to pick up a few water abilities, including stealing the strength of other water ninjas for myself. Once I conquer the continent, all water ninjas will have succumbed!
Pop Cat tried to wrestle with the bubbles, but they wouldn't let him budge. He began to feel weak, tired, and increasingly helpless.
Aquaticus: And don't worry about your wise old master. I'll have a special surprise headed his way. You know, as a thanks for what he did to me.
As Pop Cat floated there in the water, alone and far from anyone that could help him, he concentrated on extending his telepathic reach as far as he possibly could, and attempted to get a message across.
Chapter 3: Sentient Puddles
Having failed to locate or figure out Pop Cat's location, Falco had returned home for the night to rest. That night Falco had weird and rather unusual dreams, which was considered perfectly normal for him.
As he began experiencing nightmares of being chased in a row boat by a ghost ship of ghastly pirates, his boat suddenly capsized, and he sunk at an alarming speed towards the ocean floor.
His dream suddenly warped and shifted, and Falco found himself standing on the dark ocean floor of a murky green sea. Glowing red corals surrounded him from all sides, shimmering faintly. Standing in front of Falco was none other than Pop Cat.
Pop Cat: Falco!
Falco tried to speak, but he couldn't seem to articulate any words.
Pop Cat: This isn't just a dream. This is real!
Again, Falco attempted to talk, only to have his ability to speak constricted.
Pop Cat looked around frantically.
Pop Cat: I can't keep up this mind message for long from this far away... He might be able to hear me, but I don't know for sure...
Falco tried to ask who, but Pop Cat couldn't seem to hear him.
Pop Cat: I'm trapped deep under the ocean, in the ruins of Bubbleopia. You need to wake up and tell the others. Tell them to come find me. You have to stop Aquaticus! He's already sent something headed Sensei's way—
Suddenly, Pop Cat's image began to rapidly fade and his voice turned echoey as Falco desperately tried to interact with him.
Pop Cat: There's not much time! Find me!
Falco suddenly awoke abruptly in his bed, confused and left with a minor headache.
Falco stood on top of the Dojo's roof, scanning his surroundings. As soon as he saw three figures climbing up the stairs to the dojo, he leapt down silently and ignited his flipper, bathing the courtyard in an orange glow.
The three figures were a confused Denise, her puffle Aero, and a tired Ninja O'Dark.
Ninja O'Dark: Hey, what's the deal? Why did you call us up here at this time of the night—?
Falco: It was Pop Cat! I saw him... in my dreams... he was talking to me!
Ninja O'Dark: In your dreams? You cannot be serious...
Falco: But it wasn't just a normal dream! He said it was some sort of mind message that he was sending.
Denise: Well, did he say anything else to you?
Falco: Yeah, he said there's this guys called "Aquaticus" who caused all of this. And that he's being held captive underwater at this place called Bubbleopia and getting his powers drained out.
Ninja O'Dark: This all seems a little hard to believe. What if it's just a dream?
Falco: Not only that, but he said Aquaticus already sent something in our direction right now, this very minute. He said that he was specifically targeting Sensei.
Denise: And what exactly is it?
Falco: He didn't say. He said he couldn't hold the connection of the mind message for long or something like that.
Aero suddenly started jumping around next to Denise. The ninjas turned to him and noticed a stream of water climbing up the stairs.
Ninja O'Dark: Hey, when did that get there?
Denise: Don't know. It hasn't rained recently has it?
Falco: No, it hasn't. I was here for the entire past hour, I would've seen if someone went past here. And I don't think water is supposed to move like that, either.
Before any of them could question it any further, the trail of water suddenly converged into a large puddle in front of them. The puddle then bubbled, splashed, and a penguin made entirely of water then rose from the puddle. The penguin appeared to be wearing a water ninja's helmet and had two swords attached to his back.
The watery warrior then looked around at the three ninjas and then withdrew his weapons.
Falco: I think that's what Pop Cat meant about a "surprise".
The ninja looked directly at Falco and charged forwards with his weapons drawn, swiping at Falco. Falco leapt forwards over the ninja, doing a flip in the process, and landed on his two feet.
Ninja O'Dark drew out his hot sauce nunchaku, spinning it rapidly, and blasted the water penguin with flames. A loud hissing was heard, and the penguin receded back into a puddle.
Ninja O'Dark: Piece of cake.
Falco: Don't say that.
The puddle splashed again, and the penguin reformed, completely unaffected.
Denise: I've got it.
Just as the penguin drew his weapons again, Denise cast a powerful gust of wind his way, forcing him back. She then made several movements with her flippers, wrapping the water penguin in a vortex of wind, compressing him into a ball of water. She then spread her flippers apart, breaking the vortex in an explosion of air and dissolving the ball into droplets of mist.
They waited several seconds, all of them on edge in case he reformed. Nothing happened.
Falco: That worked?
Ninja O'Dark: Looks like it.
Falco: How come Ninja O'Dark's attack didn't work?
Denise: I think it's like a Card-Jitsu thing. You tried to use flames on him, but he was made of water. Kind of like how water is always able to beat fire.
Aero started hopping up and down again. A puddle had appeared under their feet.
Falco: Hey, when did this get here-?
The puddle exploded with water. Falco slipped backwards while Ninja O'Dark leapt upwards and climbed onto the roof of the Dojo. A watery flipper rose out of the puddle and swept Denise off of her feet. Another flipper rose to grab Aero before he could defend Denise. The masked head of another ninja made entirely out of water rose from the puddle.
Falco struggled to get up as the penguin rose fully only to push him down again.
Falco: Don't let him get to the dojo! Their main target is Sensei—
The penguin then made a fist with his flipper and punched Falco a number of times before Falco recovered quick enough to dodge him. Ninja O'Dark took the opportunity to blast the water penguin in the back, who separated again, but reformed just as quickly.
Denise tried to assist Falco, but the penguin melted into a puddle and tripped her up again.
????: QUICK! All of you get off the floor!
Denise was the quickest to oblige and leapt out of the puddle onto a branch. Falco jumped onto the roof with Ninja O'Dark while Aero summoned a tornado to lift himself up.
As soon as they were all off the ground, a penguin rushed in and blasted the puddle of water with a shower of frosty white mist. When the mist had cleared, the entire Dojo Courtyard floor was frosted over. The puddle had turned into ice, and the water ninja within it, who must have been in the middle of re-forming into penguin form, was completely frozen with his arms outstretched.
The other four ninjas stared at the newcomer, who was a blue penguin in a snow ninja suit.
????: There you have it. A nice new ice skating rink with an equally excellent ice statue. What do you guys think?
Denise: Wait... haven't we seen you before?
Falco: Yeah... you're the snow ninja we saw earlier today—
Ninja O'Dark: Shoko? What are you doing here?
Shoko: Saving you, of course. You guys looked like you needed help.
Ninja O'Dark grumbled.
Ninja O'Dark: We were handling it just fine.
Shoko: I thought I'd try and do a last minute search of the mountains. Obviously, didn't find him there.
Denise: Well in any case, we think we might know where he is.
Falco: Or at the very least, some clues.
Shoko: You do? Where?
Ninja O'Dark: Apparently he might be stranded under some place called... what was it called again, Bubblantis or something—?
Falco: He said we didn't have much time, and that his captor is already scheming a dangerous plan. And it's called Bubblopia.
Ninja O'Dark: Yeah yeah, whatever, same thing.
Shoko: And you know all this how?
Falco: Telepathic dream. Kind of a long story explaining the details, but we know now it's definitely not any old dream as shown by these two water guys that attacked us.
Denise: Pop Cat forewarned us that they were coming.
Shoko: Okay... so how do we find him?
Denise: I've never heard of such a place called Bubblopia... I could check with the Air Ninjas' archives, though. Do we have any other clues to lead us there besides a name and a necklace?
Falco: Well, from my years of doing explorer work, we could also use the other things I saw in that dream. There was glowing reddish coral and the water was green.
Denise: That could work. We could look up known species of coral and clams that produce the shell used for the necklace.
Shoko: Cool. I'll talk to Sensei and see if he has something.
Falco: So I guess we can find a place to meet tomorrow morning? We need to move quickly considering how little time he said we had.
Shoko: Think I could tag along? If there's more of those water guys where you're going, I could help with that.
Ninja O'Dark: No no, I think we can do this just fine—
Denise: Sure, you can come.
Falco: Yeah, the more the merrier.
Ninja O'Dark grumbled and crossed his flippers.
Ninja O'Dark: Well, I'm going to bed.
Chapter 4: Master of the Ocean
Around half a day later, Falco, along with the other three ninjas and one puffle stood aboard a large passenger ship. The weather seemed gloomy, while the sea rocked the ship from side to side as the waves pushed it around.
Thunder boomed from the dark, indigo-coloured clouds in the sky just as a few droplets of rain fell.
Shoko: I really don't like this, it's making me seasick.
Ninja O'Dark: Yeah, well I hate the ocean too. Always did. And I think it hates us back.
Falco stood outdoors, near the edge of the ship's railing, observing the weather. Aero stood near to him, looking rather anxious about their current situation. Denise stood nearby while Shoko and Ninja O'Dark stayed seated behind them.
Denise: We should be headed straight for Seacast where we can change to get a submarine to the Emperorlands. From there, we should be able to find someone who can take us to Bubblopia. From Falco's description of the red coral, Pop Cat's necklace, and what we could find, Bubblopia is most likely located south-west of the Emperorlands in the Rufous Coral Reef, which is deep underwater. We should be arriving at Seacast in around an hour or so.
Shoko: Well it doesn't really look like we'll be getting there on time at this rate.
Falco: Wasn't it perfectly just an hour ago?
Denise: I thought so too. I don't think even the ship's crew could've predicted the weather would sour this quickly. Otherwise, it wouldn't have even started sailing.
Ninja O'Dark: It sure does feel fishy. From the freak waves to the colour of the clouds.
Falco rubbed his flippers together slightly, producing sparks.
Falco: I doubt storms just drop on us like this.
Denise: Must be elemental imbalance.
Shoko: But... that means—
Yet another wave crashed against the side of the ship. For a brief moment, Falco thought he saw the menacing face of a penguin in the waves. Aero apparently noticed too, as he suddenly leapt back and started hopping around, clearly terrified.
Falco: Yeah. You know exactly what that means.
The wind picked up as Denise made several movements before raising her flippers, creating a barrier of wind. She did this just in time, as a powerful wave suddenly erupted below and around them, shaking the ship violently and splashing water onto the ship. Several other passengers on board the ship screamed from their various locations.
Ninja O'Dark leapt up from his seat and whipped out his fire nunchaku. Shoko warily got up, still dizzy from seasickness. She pulled out two glowing purple ice shurikens.
The rogue wave didn't seem to affect the ship much, but the seawater that had splashed on board had left puddles which were bubbling profusely. They both exploded in showers and spawned Four water warriors, the same kind of translucent liquid penguins the ninjas had fought earlier. All at the same time, the warrioers drew out their weapons as the other ninjas charged.
Falco bounced off of the side of the wall, and using it this as momentum, propelled himself forwards towards one of the warriors. He set his flipper alight and punched right through the warrior, who exploded in a cloud of steam and melted into a puddle. Aero jumped up from behind him and blasted the puddle of water overboard, scattering it into droplets.
Ninja O'Dark ducked and dodged a warrior as it tried to hit him with a sword made of liquid. Ninja O'Dark pummeled and struck the warrior with his nunchaku several times, attempting to dissolve him with blasts of heat, but the warrior simply became a puddle, reformed each time.
Eventually, while in puddle form, the warrior slipped under Ninja O'Dark and created a fist to strike upwards, hitting the ninja's leg as he flew through the air, mid-leap. He collapsed back onto the deck just as Denise shepherded the puddle back into penguin form using the wind while Shoko throwing her two shurikens under it. The water penguin froze into a statue and fell to the ground as the floor underneath became ice, and shattered into ice crystals.
All five members then took on the remaining two warriors, with Ninja O'Dark and Falco parrying and eluding their moves while Aero, Denise and Shoko vanquished them, froze them, or threw them overboard. Shoko leaned over the rail and hastily turned around.
Shoko: I don't know if you can start hallucinating from being seasick... but I think there might be more of them. Climbing up the side of the ship.
As the other four rushed to see for themselves, there were indeed several more warriors at the bottom. Literally standing on top of waves fast enough to keep up with the ship, the water penguins stared back up at the ninjas. Without warning, a large splash of water launched five of them into the air and onto the ship.
Falco turned around just to see another four land on the deck on the opposite side of the ship. Several bystanders who were present quickly fled from the scene.
Shoko spun her ice shurikens and suddenly touched them to the floor. The entire deck froze from the point of the shurikens, getting completely coated in a thin layer of ice. Many of the invading penguins were frozen, but some were smart enough to jump up before the ice could catch them. In addition, another wave of warriors were propelled by the waves onto the ship.
Falco: Not good... not good at all...
Shoko: I hate to say it but I think they're learning. I can't keep pulling the ice floor trick.
Ninja O'Dark: Guys!? A little help!
Falco and the others turned to Ninja O'Dark, who was projecting flames with his nunchaku at a group of five water warriors, who had surrounded him and were all inching closer without much difficulty at all.
Aero summoned a tornado and threw it at the group, scattering them like skittle pins. Another monster-sized wave rocked the boat again, careening the entire vessel to one side. The ninjas struggled to stay balanced, and Ninja O'Dark suddenly slid from his position towards the other end of the boat, slipped all over the ice on the floor, and nearly fell overboard before he caught the railing just in time.
Several warriors around the ship took the opportunity to climb aboard using the wave.
Falco: O'Dark! Wait there!
O'Dark: I don't know how long I can!
Denise: Wait! What if we allow ourselves to go overboard?
Shoko: What!? Why?
Denise: Because then the warriors and the waves will leave the ship alone. If we stay here, its likely going to sink with all the other passengers on it. And once we're underwater, I might be able to get us to Bubblantis faster. Me and Aero can help us slow our falls into the sea.
Falco: It's a risky Plan B, but it's probably our only option. And Denise is right, this ship is going to sink with everyone on it before we even reach Seacast.
Shoko: I—well... alright, let's do this then.
Aero nodded in agreement.
Falco turned to Ninja O'Dark.
Falco: O'Dark! Let go! Fall into the ocean!
Ninja O'Dark: WHAT!? Why!?
Falco: Just trust me! We have a plan!
Ninja O'Dark took a terrified look at the ocean and the warriors below him and back.
Ninja O'Dark: O—o—okay...I—I'll do it!
He closed his eyes and released his grip on the railing, falling past the water warriors. Aero leapt up and summoned a tornado under Ninja O'Dark, slowing his fall just as he entered the ocean.
Falco, Denise and Shoko then jumped off their side of the ship. Just before the hit the sea, Falco felt a powerful gust of wind slow their descent before they splashed under.
Pop Cat, was still floating in his bubble prison weak due to his powers being drained when Aquaticus appeared in front of him.
Aquaticus: The tides are already turning in my favour, Pop Cat. Sooner or later, I might even control water itself! You of all people should be happy. I'll be rebuilding Bubblopia from the ground up.
Pop Cat said nothing.
Aquaticus: It seems like my surprise gift for Sensei wasn't received. At all... and the perpetrators are headed this way.
At that statement, Pop Cat raised his head slightly.
Aquaticus: But no matter! I'll be right here waiting for them. And by then, you'll be too weak to warn them.
Aquaticus cackled as his image faded away, with Pop Cat still powerless to stop him.
As soon as he was underwater, Falco noticed that he was quickly being pulled sideways, along with Shoko and Ninja O'Dark, who was struggling to remain calm. Denise and Aero both had bubbles forming around them, and seemed to be pulling them together. As soon as all the ninjas were within a few feet, a whirlpool-like funnel opened above them, surrounding them entirely and forming an air bubble. As the bubble was closing, Falco realized he could breathe normally again.
Ninja O'Dark: What... what's happening?
Denise: Me and Aero created a bubble for us. We should be safe now. And be able to breathe.
Shoko: Oh, this is cool... but weird too...
Falco pulled out a plastic bag containing a small tablet-like device. He opened the bag and turned on the device.
Falco: Good thing I pocketed this. I figured since we'd be fighting someone with water powers, I'd keep any electronics safe.
The device projected a holographic map of what appeared to be the entire continent. It then zoomed in to the area between the Emperorlands and the Culldrome Isles. A blue dot appeared, as well as a dotted line stretching towards the top left of the map.
Falco: Alright Denise, start moving us forwards. I'll keep checking the map to make sure we're going the right way.
Denise and Aero obliged, and the bubble shook slightly before gradually pushing forwards.
Around half an hour later, glowing reddish coral began appearing all over the seabed as the ninjas cruised across the underwater floor in their protective bubble. The sea grew darker as they descended into the emerald-green waters of the ocean, with the red coral glowing brighter.
Shoko: Looks like anything familiar to you, Falco?
Falco: Yeah. Yeah, this definitely looks like the place. I have feeling we'll be seeing him soon.
Denise: It seems really quiet. I can't feel or sense much air movement.
Ninja O'Dark: Probably not a good thing. At all.
Falco: Well, I guess we'll have to be on guard as best we can, then. The water guy's definitely down here somewhere too.
Denise: Hold on. Aero, push us down.
Aero spun around, creating a spiral of bubbles above them. After a moment or two, they shot downwards into a rocky pit. They slowed down as the reached the floor, finding themselves in near-complete darkness. Now, they were very far under the sea, far from the sunlight of the surface. The only light sources around them were the glowing red coral, which provided an usually substantial amount of light.
In all of the green and reddish gloom, Falco noticed a penguin floating near the entrance of a cave some few dozen or so feet away from them.
Falco: There! Pop Cat's there!
Shoko: He can't hear us, can he?
Denise: No. This bubble is completely soundproof. I might be able to send some sound from here his way, but that would be at the cost of our own air supply.
Ninja O'Dark: This seems too easy. Too fishy if you ask me.
Shoko: Yeah. Air's thick with the scent of a trap. Or the water, rather.
Falco: What choice exactly do we have, though?
Denise: Maybe Aero and I can move him towards us, rather than us having to go to him. There seems to be air bubbles around him, I might be able to.
Falco: Go for it, then.
Denise reached out with both of her flippers. Aero closed his eyes, seemingly in concentration. The bubbles swirling around Pop Cat seemed to jiggle slightly.
Denise: I can't...I can't seem to...
Denise waved her arms several times, trying to get the bubbles to move, not to much avail.
Ninja O'Dark: What? What is it?
Aero seemed to be struggling to free Pop Cat as well.
Denise: Something...like the ocean's...stopping me from–
?????: You can't. Don't bother!
A voice spoke through the ninjas' minds, and also seemingly resonated from the water all around them.
Falco: I take it that you're Aquaticus?
?????: Well, yes. That would be me.
Thousands of tiny bubbles suddenly swirled around them into being, forming the giant head of a smiling penguin in front of them.
Ninja O'Dark: Hey! Release Pop Cat!
Aquaticus: It was nice of you to come this far just to see me. But...
The large bubble enclosing the ninjas suddenly shuddered.
Aquaticus: I don't think I'll be releasing anyone today.
Denise: Guys! The bubble!
Denise and Aero, who still seemed to be failing to try and free Pop Cat were now frantically trying to protect the group's bubble.
Denise: It's breaking!
Aquaticus: How about we all settle this on a more fairer battlefield?
Chapter 5: Familiar Shores
Falco: Quick! We need to free Pop Cat before the bubble can-
Their protective bubble sphere split open. A loud explosion of air followed, which sounded oddly like a large balloon popping. Water immediately filled the space, and the ninjas were suddenly underwater.
Aquaticus: A shame. If only you knew how doomed you would've been before coming.
Falco swam towards Pop Cat and started swirling his flippers. He knew his fire powers were effectively useless against water, but he had to try and free his friend.
Falco mustered the strength to summon a wildfire's worth of flames, and projected them in the direction of the bubble-like columns that led to Pop Cat's flippers. Thousands of boiling-hot water bubbles spurted from his flippers, right in the direction of Pop Cat.
Aquaticus: I don't think so!
The bubbles suddenly stopped in their tracks, and zoomed backwards in the direction of their creator. Just before they hit Falco, Denise appeared in front of him and parted the bubbles with several arm movements. Aero swam upwards from behind her and transformed the bubbles into a whirlpool, sending it cartwheeling towards Aquaticus' face.
Aquaticus dispersed into even more bubbles upon being hit by the whirlpool, but reformed almost instantly. Shoko brought out her icicle shurikens and began freezing the ocean around her, pushing large shards of ice towards Aquaticus, who once again dematerialized and reformed. Ninja O'Dark grabbed both ends of his fire nunchaku and blasted their contents towards Pop Cat's restraints.
Aquaticus' face suddenly appeared in front of the hot sauce from the bubbles, and suddenly a vortex of bubbles surrounded the stream of spicy condiment, dissipating it into harmless steam. Ninja O'Dark was then thrown back towards a rocky wall and subsequently trapped by more bubbles. Falco and Shoko promptly had the same thing done to them, with the current suddenly acting against them and caging them.
Denise and Aero, meanwhile, struggled to keep disobeying the ocean.
Aquaticus: The entire ocean around me is mine! It's useless to stand against me! Useless! All you had to do was not interfere, though clearly you've proven to be incapable of doing that, as evidenced by intercepting my plans repeatedly.
The entire water seemed to shift towards the surface. Falco, Shoko and Ninja O'Dark all levitated upwards in the water, still bound by their bubble prison. Denise and Aero were also lifted through the water, their desperate attempts to control the bubbles around them being kept in check as the ocean pushed back.
Aquaticus: Instead, we're going to go back to where it all started. Then we're going to show everyone exactly what it is that I can do. And you'll all have Pop Cat to thank for giving me my strength!
Pop Cat floated out of his cave, the bubbles pushing him right next to Aquaticus. He slowly gazed at the ninjas, looking rather disorientated.
Pop Cat: Sorry. Couldn't...warn...
Without warning, all of them shot upwards towards the sky, being sucked into a giant whirlpool. As the sunlight from the surface grew closer the whirlpool of ninjas and water transformed into a waterspout, expanding above the surface and moving at an exhilarating speed to the side.
Ninja: Sensei, what's that?
Sensei: What is it, young grasshopper? I-oh. Oh dear...
The ninjas at the dojo in Club Penguin paused from their Card-Jitsu practice and waddled out into the courtyard. The day had become overcast, and the ninjas had gotten a perfect view of a colossal penguin made of water approach the shores of the cove.
The waves around the entire island crashed violently against the shores as nearby penguins panicked and fled. Ninjas and samurai made of water rose from the waves, climbing onto the shores and chasing down the penguins.
Just then, a voice entered the minds of the ninjas, speaking in an echoey voice.
Aquaticus: Sensei! I know you're on this island! Show yourself!
Ninja: What are we going to do, Sensei?
Sensei: Call all the other ninjas to help. I will see if I can put an end to this.
In what would be the chest of the now massive Aquaticus, Falco and the other ninjas were still being swayed around by the water, though they were now trapped in a watery air pocket. Denise and Aero seemed to have given up on fighting the water and looked tired.
Shoko: Okay...at least we're home, so that solves that. What now!?
Falco: Alright, I think I have a plan!
Ninja O'Dark: Well, hurry up then! We don't have the time, here!
A huge wave under them suddenly swept several surfer penguins off of their boards, rolling over them and crashing onto the shores of Club Penguin Island. A helicopter labelled with the emblem of the EPF flew closeby to them, and were promptly knocked out of working order as a tall plume of water suddenly burst from the ocean to tackle them, sending them falling into the ocean.
Falco: Denise, Aero, you're going to have to make one final attempt to get us out. We're actually out of the ocean now, so there shouldn't be much of a problem. See if you can summon a tornado above us. We're close to the clouds, so it should be easier.
Falco looked under them. The sea was several dozen feet below them.
Falco: Hopefully that will distract Aquaticus long enough for us to escape. Me and Ninja O'Dark can both use our fire powers to propel us out of here. We know we can't go in the ocean, so maybe Shoko can help break our fall with snow as we aim to hit the island.
Ninja O'Dark: Sounds...unusual...but hey, we're low on options and it might just be crazy enough to work.
Denise: Okay, then. Aero!
Denise raised her flippers to the sky. Lightning suddenly sparked in the clouds as thunder rumbled and the clouds grew dark, thick, and stormy. Before long, a torrent of clouds came down quickly in a large funnel, engulfing Aquaticus' head and shoulders.
Aquaticus: What... who!?
Falco charged up all of his fire energy, and put his flippers behind him.
Falco: Alright, O'Dark. Activate when I say so. Everyone grab on to us!
All the ninjas put a flipper on Falco and Ninja O'Dark while Shoko grabbed onto Pop Cat with her other flipper.
Ninja O'Dark squeezed down hard on both of his fire nunchaku bottles while Falco blasted out flames. As soon as they had projected their flames, they all shot right out of Aquaticus' chest, their watery restraints breaking immediately as they fell towards the Forest.
Shoko flicked both of her ice shurikens ahead of them, spawning a bridge for them just in time for them to tumble down it.
Ninja O'Dark: We're alive!
Pop Cat: ...Yeah. We are.
Falco: You alright, Pop Cat? You seemed kinda stuck back there.
Pop Cat: Yeah, I feel much stronger now. And I think Aquaticus has lost his power source.
Pop Cat gestured to Aquaticus, who was now swaying and wobbling slightly like gelatin. He seemed incredibly furious that they had escaped, and was looking around, as if trying to find where they went.
Pop Cat: Without my energy to feed his strength, he's going to lose control. And I think I've been restored with all the power he took from me.
Pop Cat put his flippers together. A ball of water formed quickly.
Pop Cat: I think it's time we go end this.
The ninjas ran across the island, passing numerous confused penguins and arrived at the Docks, where Aquaticus had moved away to. Several ninjas were present, including Ninja O'Dark's brother, Frederick, and Sensei. They were all attacking the water warriors, with Sensei freezing one with ice before Frederick crushed him with the head of a water hammer, shattering him into ice shards.
Frederick: Hey! Where have you guys been?
Ninja O'Dark: Uh, rescuing Pop Cat. That and another thing.
Sensei: Excellent work, ninjas. Now, however, we have another issue.
Falco: Yeah, we noticed. That's the other thing we've been working on.
Denise: The huge water penguin's name is Aquaticus. He's some sort of living water penguin?
Pop Cat: He was a Marinian, a former citizen of my home. He's here because he wants revenge for being turned into water by a previous Sensei.
Sensei: I see...
Frederick: Well, how do we stop him?
Shoko: Ice. He can't control frozen water. Any freezes, he loses his control over it.
Shoko demonstrated by throwing a shuriken over her shoulder. Just as a water warrior was about to sneakily attack her from behind, the shuriken hit the warrior, turning him into an ice statue.
Ninja O'Dark: So if we freeze Aquaticus himself...?
Denise: That should be able to stop him. We just need to draw him out somehow and get him on his own.
Shoko: I'll go find all the snow ninjas.
Falco: Yeah, you go do that. We'll stall this guy for as long as possible.
Pop Cat raised his flippers and made several fast movements. Several water warriors shuddered and lost their shape, becoming puddles. They suddenly re-formed into penguins with watery hoodies, shell necklaces and heads of spiky hair. They then turned around and started attacking their former allies, breaking apart frozen water warriors and battling other ones.
Ninja O'Dark: Whoa. Okay...
Aquaticus, who was still struggling to maintain his huge size and couldn't seem to do anything with it, swung his giant water flipper towards the surface, seemingly to crush the ninjas from above.
Falco: Look out!
All other ninjas jumped out of the way just as Falco blasted flames at Aquaticus' flipper, slowing it down and stopping it mid-fall. Steam billowed and hissed from the clash of water and fire, though Falco was quickly losing the battle, staggering backwards slightly and struggling to keep his balance.
Aquaticus: You're not going to win this one!
Falco: You're right...I won't.
Pop Cat leapt forwards and swung his flippers to his right. Several water ninjas did the same. Aquaticus' giant water flipper was suddenly detached from his body with the ninjas separating it into numerous balls of water.
The colossal Aquaticus suddenly trembled and his facial features disappeared, his eyes and beak becoming water as his body became a massive wave, stretching towards the clouds.
Ninja O'Dark: Alright...so he can do that, too...
The tidal wave loomed over them, speeding faster and faster towards the Dock, ready to completely destroy the ninjas. Frederick, Pop Cat, Sensei and the other water ninjas all shot water from their flippers, attaching to the wave and allowing them to attempt controlling it.
Pop Cat: Get ready. This whole island is about to get soaked.
The wave made landfall with a loud crash and equally strong shock wave. Falco, Ninja O'Dark and the other non-water ninjas leapt away from the coast as the water crashed all around them. It hit what seemed to be an invisible barrier created by the water ninjas' attempts at controlling it, slowing down incredibly before getting to them.
Just as the wave began to subside, several torrents of water shot out and hit several water ninjas, circling them and transforming into lasso-like restraints. Sensei and Pop Cat noticed this, and dodged two torrents headed straight for them.
Aquaticus: I already had incredible strength wielding the absorbed power of just one water ninja. Imagine what I can do with FIVE!
Pop Cat: We need to release them.
The water warriors, including the ones that Pop Cat took control of, were still fighting each other. They became puddles and slid over to rejoin the ocean.
Aquaticus then reformed from the sea, now 60 feet tall. He raised his flippers, causing the ocean to suddenly start rising. The huge wave began to push forwards onto the island, engulfing the Dock. Denise and Aero, still exhausted, tried to force the wind to push back, though this had little to no effect.
The sky began to storm again, the Pectosphere clearly upset by the imbalance of elements.
Aquaticus launched his right flipper forward, which extended like an elastic band. The remaining free ninjas scattered as the ground shook with the force of several tons of water, Aquaticus' extended flipper leaving a small depression in the ground. Sensei began scaling Aquaticus' forearm, creating pads of ice in front of him to jump to. As soon as Sensei reached Aquaticus' elbow, the giant noticed him.
Sensei: Indeed. Me.
The ice pads Sensei created suddenly sunk, and more warriors arose from the water in Aquaticus' arm, ready to attack Sensei. The old master leapt into the air and blasted them with a torrent of snow, freezing both the warriors and Aquaticus' arm. While the warriors easily froze, Aquaticus' arm was still too large to be completely frozen. The sky rumbled with thunder again, turning a deep shade of blue.
A shower of rain began to fall, but this time, it was only raining above Sensei. The individual raindrops made odd movements through the air, coalescing together to form blobs of water before shooting towards Sensei. Sensei made several shields of water and ice, parrying and evading them, using every Card-Jitsu card he had available in his pocket, all while making his way towards Aquaticus' shoulder.
Pop Cat, meanwhile, who was still down on the ground with Falco, Denise and Aero, took to making the water slow down. Though he was making some progress, the water instead stopped moving across and began rising in height.
Sensei made one final jump into the air, escaping the rain and freezing Aquaticus' entire head with a chilly wave of purple ice beams. As he landed on top of Aquaticus' confused looking face, the rain suddenly moved to swirl around him once more. As Sensei dashed out to escape, the raindrops suddenly solidified in front of him, creating a barrier of water. Sensei splashed through, but left with much less momentum than he originally had. Aquaticus' arm separated into individual tendrils of water, all wrapping around Sensei as he fell.
Aquaticus: That was a nice try. A shame it didn't work!
Sensei tried to freeze them, but one of the watery arms forced Sensei's flippers sideways, making them aim away from Aqauticus. Aquaticus summoned several more watery arms from the sea, which encased and wrapped around Falco, Denise, Ninja O'Dark and Aero. Pop Cat was still fighting the waves and forcing the watery arms attempting to trap him backwards, though he was quickly losing the battle.
Aquaticus: Your powers will be very useful to me, Sensei. Consider it repayment for all those years of non-existence your predecessor condemned me to!
Thunder rumbled once more, and the sky began to shift colour to a light greenish-blue. The rain stopped and snow began to fall.
Shoko: HEY! Water guy! Try control this!
Shoko jumped through the air and landed next to Pop Cat. Behind her were several dozen snow ninjas, several of whom were performing the special snow dance.
The several arms around the trapped ninjas were suddenly turned to ice as the snow ninjas catapulted snowballs and fired streams of ice. Falco threw flames to melt the ice trapping him and the other ninjas, allowing them to drop down.
No matter how many streams, walls or cascades of water Aquaticus threw, the snow ninjas easily froze them, all cooperating and working together. Shoko made a sheet of ice over the ocean, leapt on top of it, and began spreading it all around Aquaticus. Soon, Aquaticus was surrounded completely in a wall of ice, with the ninjas freezing any water around him.
Before long, they started climbing up Aquaticus, freezing his entire body.
Aquaticus: NO! No! You can't!
He tried to swipe at the ice, breaking it open, but the ninjas only froze it over again. Three ninjas took to freezing Aquaticus' arms, preventing him from attacking them. Just before they could freeze his head, Aquaticus' head transformed into a mass of water and fired itself off of what used to be his body.
The mass of water landed on the dock, and Aquaticus reformed, but this time as a much smaller, penguin-sized version. He looked down and examined his form.
Aquaticus: I...I'm small again!
Shoko: And hopefully you're going to stay that way.
Aquaticus: What are you-no! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Shoko pointed her shuriken at Aquaticus and transformed him into ice, with Aquaticus struggling to try and escape. Before long, he was yet another frozen statue of a penguin.
Pop Cat, who was still somehow holding the tidal wave, threw it backwards towards the ocean. The wave crashed into the giant frozen and headless body left behind by Aquaticus, destroying it completely along with all the ice on the ocean. Several ninjas cheered and sighed in relief. The water ninjas seemed to be tired, Sensei especially.
Ninja O'Dark: We did it! We actually did it!
Shoko: Guess ice isn't so useless after all, huh? Admit it.
Ninja O'Dark: *sigh*...Fine. You helped.
Sensei: Yet another enemy's plans thwarted. Well done, all of you.
Denise: So, what's to be done with Aquaticus now?
Falco: We should probably put him somewhere safe. Somewhere away from water.
Shoko: Preferably cold, too. I think I know a place.
Ninja O'Dark: I could help.
Denise: Same here. Come on, Aero.
Shoko, Ninja O'Dark and the other ninjas lifted the statue of Aquaticus while Denise and Aero created a small vortex underneath it, helping to support.
Sensei turned to Falco and Pop Cat.
Sensei: Tell me... how did this... "Aquaticus"... come about?
Pop Cat: The Pectosphere. He said that he was trapped in it by a previous Sensei. He returned as a water-like being when the Pectosphere temporarily lost control and "reset". All thanks to the incident with Crimson from a few months back.
Falco: Probably had something to do with the shift in power.
Sensei: I understand.
Sensei looked rather concerned.
Sensei: This is most worrying.
Falco: Do you think more people like him will surface? You know, considering how many people have connections to the Pectosphere. As well as how much history it has.
Sensei: If that is the case, then I fear it is most likely. Aquaticus only confirms what I had suspected ever since Crimson fled. There will be...others...out there. Others seeking to exploit the Pectosphere's vulnerability, or have already done so during the reset. The elements will most definitely be out of balance, considering the events that have just happened.
Pop Cat: What must we do, Sensei?
Sensei: All I ask from you is that you remain ready.