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Kids Next Door Operation: DUSK

Delightful

Unveils

Shadowy

Katastrophe


Falling…

I blinked, then looked down. Then, I screamed.

I was falling. Falling into the dark abyss.

I couldn't move. I was immobilized, my hands and legs frozen into place.

"Help!" I shrieked, trying my hardest to move, but it was no use. I was stuck, falling.

Suddenly, right before my eyes, my life played out like a movie. But in each segment, there was a time of darkness, a time where I felt no happiness. A time where...

Where I felt one with the shadows.

Then, it faded, and I was back to falling. Sprawled out, I felt vulnerable as the darkness engulfed me.

"Somebody help me!"


"Ashley? ASHLEY!"

"AH!" A sandy blonde girl gasped, sitting up in her bed at lightning speed. Beads of sweat trickled down the sides of her head, and her hair was curiously out of place for a Delightful child.

A blonde haired boy with a bowl cut looked at her, concerned. "Are you OK? You were sweating and screaming for help."

"Y-yes…" Ashley Uno murmured, combing her hair back into place with her fingers. She still couldn't forget the way the darkness flooded into every crevice of her mind and being. The darkness had felt tangible, and then felt like gas, and at one point it had felt like… like she was part of the darkness. "I just had a nightmare…"

Olivia – or Ogie, the brown haired girl – was in the process of intricately braiding her hair and spraying it with hairspray so that it would stay up. What, you thought her hair floated magically? Well, excuuuse me! "What was it about?"

"Well…" Ashley was interrupted by a loud snore on their left. The children all looked towards their left – or, in Bruce and Ogie's case, their right – and nearly sweat dropped as they watched David sleep face down on his pillow, snoring loudly. "Someone should really get a plug for that guy."

On the right side of the bed, Lenny was rousing, yawning. "Funny, I thought Bruce was the heavy sleeper."

"Dead right you are." Bruce boasted proudly. "I could sleep through a hurricane!"

Ogie rolled her eyes. "You could sleep through a whole unorthodox universe merging involving two girls who liked you."

"He could sleep through the end of the world and wouldn't know it." Lenny deadpanned, switching on the lampshade on his side of the bed. "That's our Bruce for you."

The aforementioned blonde blushed in embarrassment. "It's not fair that you guys can tease me! You guys have embarrassing stuff about yourselves too! Like Ashley's-"

"Bruce!" Ashley whacked him with her pillow. "There are kids reading this story!"

HEY! STOP BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL!

"Yes, Mika." Ogie muttered, being the only one who heard the author.

Lenny looked at her. "Who's Mika?"

"No one." She replied quickly. "Now, Ashley, what exactly happened in your dream?"

Ashley gulped uneasily. She wasn't too comfortable with explaining what happened in her dreams, or nightmares. "Well, you see…"


Cleveland, Virginia, 2034 (Let's just assume that the KND and the DCFCTL are 12 in 2011.)

"RABBIT EARS!"

9 year old Panini Drilovsky giggled mischievously as she nimbly darted amongst other KND operatives on the Moonbase. She clutched a red Rainbow Monkey in her arms, obviously snatched from someone. Her ebony hair – shaped like a certain pink bunny's ears – bobbed in the air as she passed Harry Gilligan, one of Hoagie and Abby's triplets.

"What the-" He was cut short as another blur zoomed past him. His tan skin felt singed as he felt the blazing hot blur chase after Panini. He winced, tugging on his blue hat.

Harry's mirror image, Artie, shook his head, his dreadlocks shaking under his red hat. "Only a fool would-"

"-piss off Cheren." Their triplet sister Haylee finished, blinking her baby blues behind a pair of yellow goggles. "Then again, that's Panini for you." Her aviator's hat was lopsided as she hopped towards the next broken SCAMPER. "She also forgot our supposed meeting."

Indeed, it was the current Supreme Leader, Cheren Uno, who was chasing the giggling Drilovsky. He was practically a ball of fire as he blazed past operatives, startling them. He had only just rounded the corner when he nearly bumped into his older sister, Aurora.

Aurora had been simply minding her own business, of course, sipping some cocoa and whistling a {insert future star name} tune. Of course, Cheren just had to nearly run into her. Her cocoa had spilled all over her orange tank top, and now it was ruined.

"CHEREN!" Aurora screamed, making all the operatives nearby wince. Although she was the daughter of Nigel and Rachel Uno, she sure did have Fanny's ability to scream really loudly.

Somewhere on the Whizbee deck, Panini's older brother, Francis, was playing Whizbee with Mason Dimalanta, Leanne Grayson, Dillon York and Sheila Frantic. The raccoon girl was cheating by flying up with her tail, but otherwise it was a pretty normal game.

That is, until Aurora screamed.

Francis had been about to toss the Whizbee when Aurora had screamed, so, as if on instinct, he dropped the saucer and ran towards her, forgetting all about the name. He swore under his breath as he heard Panini's high pitched Irish giggle ringing in the air, and ran past everyone else.

"'Ey, you 'ol drongo!" Sheila yelled, waving her hands before realizing that it was hopeless. "Mates, oi'm guessin' our game o' Whizbee's ovah. Sorry!"

Mason slouched. "Aww! That Francis always abandons our games whenever Aurora's involved!"

"Yeah… I kinda noticed…" Leanne hissed through her teeth. Her shadow, Ash, rose up, prodding Leanne with a shadowy finger. The brunette pushed her away, and Ash frowned, her white shadow smile turning upside down.

Dillon looked at the others. They all looked so gloomy, but he wasn't really affected. He was just the judge, referee and scoreboard, after all. "Hey, why don't we play something else? Maybe we can invite Haruka or Lee, or both, since they're so attached to each other and all…"

"I'll find Lee!" Mason answered automatically.

"Haru's moine!" Sheila chirruped. Together, the two poisonbenders ran off towards the SCAMPERs, possibly looking for a fixed one to take to Earth to look for the two.


-With Francis and Aurora-

"What happened?" Francis asked, dismayed.

Aurora nearly seethed. "Cheren and Panini happened. They just whizzed past me, poof! My cocoa's wasted and I've ruined my tank top."

"I'll go after them." Francis offered, but Aurora shook her head. "They'll turn up. Then I'll unleash my wrath."


-With Panini and Cheren-

"GIVE IT BACK!" Cheren yelled angrily. The operatives running around felt really sorry for Panini, but the others were simply amused. Panini was the only one brave and tactful enough to piss off the Supreme Leader, and the only one easily forgiven because she was his best friend.

Panini stopped abruptly, holding out the toy. "OK."

Cheren blinked, his flames dying down. It wasn't like Panini to just give up something she stole from him. There was something wrong. "… Is there a catch?"

"No, not this time." Panini crossed her heart. "Ah just forgot that ah'm supposed to meet Haylee at the SCAMPERs to talk about her time machine."

Cheren looked interested. "A time machine?"

"Yeah." Panini blinked innocently. "Want to come, almighty Supreme Leader? Unless yer too busy…?"

Cheren chided her, "That's HEAVENLY Supreme Leader to you, Rabbit Ears. And yeah, I'll come."

"YAY! Ah heard that Lee and Leanne's cousins are s'posed to be at Moonbase too!" Panini said, thinking about the glass-eyed girl and the helmet-headed boy, Denny and Lulu.

Cheren rolled his eyes. "OK, if that information is really necessary. Now come on, I want to see this 'time machine'."

-A few minutes later-

"… So that's how the time machine works!" Haylee explained proudly. "I call it the TRAVELER!"

Denny Whitby, Lenny and Olivia's son, asked, "Um, what does TRAVELER mean?"

"Eheh… I haven't figured it out yet…" Haylee sweatdropped before switching back to excited mode. "All right, let's try it out!"

Lee looked uncertain as he swept back his blonde hair. His shadow, Damien, looked a bit creeped out as Ash sidled up to him and started cooing like a dove. Leanne rolled her eyes as she tugged on Ash's 'sleeve', making her slink back into place. Damien relaxed just as Lee asked, "But what date, Hayl?"

"Maybe… oh, I know!" Haylee dove into the time machine, setting up dials and stuff. "How about when our parents were itty bitty babies?"

Harry shook his head, disagreeing. "No! Let's see when they were cruddy teenagers and they were all mushy about each other!"

"EW!" Lulu Whitby wrinkled her nose before sidling up to Kirie Beatles, who patted her head silently, no words escaping her lips.

Artie coughed. "Not to be rude or anything, but I would like to see our parents as twelve year olds before decommissioning."

"BABIES!"

"TEENAGERS!"

"PRE-TEENS!"

"LOOK OUT!" The rest of their audience – except for Kirie - screamed as the triplets accidentally switched on the portal with a certain button. (Honestly, who puts an AUTOMATIC START AND SET DATE button on a time machine? I mean, come on.) The portal started working, swirling with green light, and then, it sucked all of the kids in, leaving no one behind.

Then, when it had finished its job, it sat, abandoned, behind a really old SCAMPER. All energy was gone from it, and it looked like any old rusty thing, sitting there in front of dust.

All that was left of the children was Cheren's red Rainbow Monkey.