And finally, after nearly two years of updating, I'm uploading the final chapter to this story – the epilogue. I'm pretty sure you all want to find out the ending to this, so I'm just gonna stop talking (typing?) and let you read it. ;)
After the events at the Krusty Krab, Plankton's body was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was quickly pronounced dead on arrival. Naturally, something as exciting as a restaurant shootout was not going to be easily ignored by the media. Once the story began to break out in Bikini Bottom and areas outside it, it became the biggest news story of the week – by the time news of Plankton being a serial killer was leaked, it circulated like wildfire, and became the biggest story of the month. Bikini Bottom as a whole was swept into a media frenzy, as reporters came in droves from all corners of the ocean, desperate to know what was going on.
Taking note of Patrick's accusations against the newly-deceased Plankton, the Bikini Bottom Police Force opened up an investigation into him and examined the Chum Bucket. With the starfish by their side, the investigation team deployed to the Chum Bucket explored the restaurant's extensive underground corridors and ultimately came upon a grisly discovery – a freezer containing the flesh of fish. Although Patrick recoiled at the sight and stench of the flesh again, he explained to the team that the remains belonged to those that had gone missing in the town over the years. If Plankton had been alive now, it would have been enough evidence to send him to prison for life.
As the investigation into Plankton continued, allegations against the corruption of the Bikini Bottom Police Force finally came to light. Along with evidence by SpongeBob and Sandy (who recounted their time when they reported Patrick's disappearance to the officer), there was enough controversy to warrant a complete shakeup as to how the department was run – major suspects in the allegations were fired, and new standards were set in place. There were other multiple cases where the force failed badly, but Plankton's case was the main catalyst – how did they fail to suspect a likely culprit who had already committed multiple crimes (predominantly theft) in the past? It was a difficult question to answer, but the shakeups brought the residents of Bikini Bottom hope that the local law enforcement would do their job better – even if it was just a tiny ray of it. During this time, the investigation team in the Chum Bucket also recovered the remains of Karen, breaking Patrick's heart further.
Three weeks later, Plankton's body was released from the Bikini Bottom coroner, and a funeral was immediately arranged. However, since the amoeba had no relatives (aside from thousands of hillbilly plankton that he had little to no contact with), the funeral was planned by the Bikini Bottom council. It was a simple, quick funeral – he was buried in a very tiny, basic coffin, in an equally-tiny grave with a small, simple headstone stating his name and lifespan. It was expected that little to nobody would turn up to the burial, but it turned out not to be the case – SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, Sandy Cheeks, Eugene Krabs, Squidward Tentacles, and the families of those who went missing (and were no doubt killed by Plankton) appeared to watch the burial.
The group of five had arrived first, so they had the best view of the burial. The crowd behind them stayed silent, trying to watch what was going on. The weather was bleak outside, as it was trying to rain, creating an atmosphere of sadness and anger. Once the undertakers had finished burying Plankton completely, the crowd began to drift away – but the sponge, the squirrel, the starfish, the cephalopod and the crab stayed for a while longer.
The darkest emotions were whirling around the group as they continued to stare at Plankton's grave. Finally, Mr. Krabs spoke:
"I hope you're happy, Plankton," he started, with venom in his tone. "You've managed to escape justice through death. But I bet you're in Davy Jones' Locker right now." All five of them continued to stare angrily at the grave – it might not have usually been like them to act that way, but all of them had been through so much. They would never be the same people they were before ever again.
Knowing that they had stayed for long enough, the group decided to leave the graveyard. As they slowly stepped away, SpongeBob had a sudden realisation he had to tell.
"Sandy?" he began.
"Yeah, SpongeBob?" she replied.
"Do you think karma got Plankton in the end?" SpongeBob had never been the most philosophical person in the world, but he couldn't get the thought of karma out of his head – the amoeba had killed so many people, but in the end, he was killed himself. It almost seemed like a fitting punishment.
Sandy thought about SpongeBob's question. Even if she had not thought about karma before, she was probably believing in it now the sponge had mentioned it. Taking a breath, she replied, "Yeah. Maybe karma did manage to catch up with him."
SpongeBob nodded his head, acknowledging the answer. It was starting to rain properly, so the group began to walk faster towards the exit. Taking one last look at Plankton's grave before they left, a sudden gust of wind pierced SpongeBob's ears, and for a brief moment, he thought he heard Plankton's maniacal laughter. However, it disappeared just as quickly as he heard it. As the group left the graveyard, it began to rain normally, leaving the last resting place of possibly the worst murderer Bikini Bottom had ever seen at mercy to the weather.
And as the wind properly picked up, Plankton's laughter from beyond echoed across the town, shivering those that heard it...
...And that's a wrap, folks! I would like to give a huge thank you to everyone who has reviewed, favourited and followed this story – especially those who have been following it since the very beginning. Seriously, thank you all so much. This was my first huge fanfic project, and at one point, I was worried that I would never actually finish it. I'm really glad I didn't give up and disappoint you all.
Now, what's next in store, you're probably asking me. I do have plenty of other SpongeBob stories I want to tell, but right now, I want to try and start work on stories for other fandoms. But don't lose hope, though – I will write another SpongeBob story one day.
See y'all later! :D
Sincerely, Third Kind.