Episode One- Rise of the Snakes
Villagers ran around, screaming in terror and shutting themselves inside their houses. The four ninjas ran inside the entrance to Jamonacai Village, brandishing their weapons. A large shadow appeared on the mountain behind the village. It got smaller and closer as the figure belonging to the shadow came nearer. It got closer... and closer... until finally, a small boy walked out from behind the fountain saying, "It is I! Lloyd Garmadon!" Following him was a bored-looking girl dressed in yellow.
"I demand all the candy in town or else!" Lloyd yelled as he hopped onto the fountain. The girl sat down at the foot of the fountain and watched Lloyd. Her gaze, though, constantly shifted around, as if she was watching for suspicious characters. She wasn't nervous; she was merely alert.
"Lloyd Garmadon?" Jay said in disbelief. "I thought we were gonna face Lord Garmadon."
"It's his son," Cole explained. "Looks like he escaped his Boarding School for Bad Boys again! Could've been doing spinjitzu already..." Cole swung his arms around as he walked towards Lloyd and the girl.
"Give me your candy!" Lloyd shouted. "Or I'll release the Serpentine on you!"
The villagers started booing as Kai, Cole, Jay, and Zane walked towards the two. The girl spotted the ninjas and her eyes widened. She stood up quickly and clambered up the fountain until she was next to Lloyd. Her muscles stiffened. Lloyd took a can out of his pocket and unscrewed the lid. Little plastic snakes came popping out of the container, but they only angered the villagers further. They began throwing things at Lloyd. The girl picked a snake off the ground, then stared at it and shuddered.
"No way!" Lloyd shouted. "I asked for candy, not vegetables! I hate vegetables!"
"He's gonna have to do a lot better than using old bedtime stories," Kai said, picking up one of the toy snakes.
"The Serpentine are real, Kai," Zane said. "They are not something to joke about."
"Serpentine? Real?" Kai said. "We're talking about the ancient race of snake people who once ruled Ninjago and were supposedly locked underground."
"And sealed in five different tombs," Jay said, "to separate the tribes and ensure they don't unify and exact revenge upon those who put them there!"
"It was an old wives' tale," Kai argued, "to teach kids not to poke our noses where they don't belong. Don't you think it's a little suspicious no one's ever found one of their tombs?"
"That's because you'd be a fool to go looking for one!" Cole said as they got closer to Lloyd and the girl. "If there's anything I hate more than dragons, it's snakes."
The four picked Lloyd up. The girl's eyes widened, but she didn't say anything.
"Don't worry folks," Cole said as they carried the boy off. "We'll take care of this. Nothing to see here."
Lloyd struggled in their grips and shouted, "Bow down to me! Or suffer my wrath!" The girl just followed them, keeping her head down and not saying anything. She didn't even look up at the ninjas, just swept her eyes across the pattern of the stone ground.
"I'll give you 'til the count of three!" Lloyd yelled. "One... Two..."
"What are we supposed to do?" Kai asked. "Spank him?"
"Two and a half..."
"Waah! You just made me your nemesis!" Lloyd struggled from a flagpole on a roof of one of the villagers homes. The girl crouched near him, keeping a wary eye on the ninjas, who were laughing. "Mark my words!"
Zane flipped off his hood and walked to a small candy stand. He bought what was left on the table, then handed some of it to the other three ninjas.
"Next time, try paying for your candy," Cole said, grinning.
"Crime doesn't pay, muchacho," Kai said. "You can take that to the bank."
"Mmm." Jay teased Lloyd by eating some of his candy. "Cotton candy."
Lloyd growled and struggled while Kai addressed the girl.
"And you," he said. The girl stiffened and avoided his gaze. "Keep him out of trouble, okay?"
She nodded quickly and sat down on the roof.
Kai hopped onto his dragon, knocking a scroll out of his bag. The scroll fell to the ground and Zane, who was nearby, picked it up. Kai jumped back down and took it from him.
"I don't remember putting this here," Kai said.
"That's Sensei's bag," Zane remarked. "You must've accidentally took it in the rush."
Jay walked to them and said, "What is it?"
"It's a scroll, windbag." Kai frowned and unrolled it.
"I know it's a scroll," Jay said. "but what does it say? It's written in chicken-scratch."
"Not chicken-scratch." Zane pointed to the symbols on the paper. "The ancient language of our ancestors."
"Uh, can you read it?" Kai asked.
"I can try," Zane replied. He pointed to a specific symbol. "This one means 'prophecy'."
"Prophecy?" Jay echoed.
"It means it tells the future," Kai explained.
"'Course. Ha-ha! I knew that."
"One ninja," Zane translated, "will rise above the others, and become the Green Ninja. The ninja destined to defeat the Dark Lord."
"Ooh, look, a picture!" Jay said excitedly.
"Dark Lord? Hold on, you think they mean Lord Garmadon?" Kai asked. Then, he looked more closely at the picture. "Wait a minute... is that us?"
On the scroll was a picture of six ninjas. One was dressed in red, another in black, a third in blue, the fourth in white, the largest in green, and the last in yellow.
"But, who are the green and yellow ones?" Jay asked, pointing to the two pictures.
"I do not know." Even Zane looked confused. "I have never heard of either a green or a yellow ninja."
"Is anyone else thinking what I'm thinking?" Kai asked.
"Like how good I'm gonna look in green?" Jay grinned under his hood.
"Huh!" Kai frowned, the two extra ninjas in the picture forgotten. "Isn't it obvious I'm gonna be the Green Ninja?"
"The color obviously suits me!"
"Technically, I am the best," Zane broke in.
"Hey, everyone stop it!" Cole cried. He walked to the bickering ninjas. "Remember why Sensei brought us together in the first place. We're a team. We weren't meant to see this and probably for good reason." He took the scroll from Kai. "Come on. Let's head back home. We have training to do."
"It's about time," Jay said, walking to Wisp, his dragon, "I added some finesse to my routine."
"Well, I could use some exercise," Zane admitted as he climbed onto Shard, his dragon.
"Yeah," Cole said. "I've gotta work on some new moves."
Shard, Wisp, and Rocky flapped their wings and flew off. Flame and Kai stayed behind for a moment.
"Could I be the Green Ninja?" Kai wondered aloud.
Far off on a snowy mountain, Lloyd grumbled and kicked a frozen pebble while he walked, the yellow-clad girl right behind him.
"L-Lloyd, where are we going?" The girl asked through chattering teeth.
"I don't know, Dawn," he said. "But, we're gonna get revenge on those dumb ninja."
The girl, Dawn, rolled her eyes and rubbed her cold arms.
"Don't even see why I'm following you," she muttered. "I'm only s'posed to keep an eye on you, like that red ninja said."
"Yeah, but you still hung out with me even before we went to Jamonacai Village," Lloyd pointed out.
"I hate it when ten-year-olds are right," Dawn mumbled as Lloyd went back to kicking his rock.
"Stupid ninja. I'll show them who they're dealing with."
His pebble suddenly flew too far and hit something metallic. Lloyd and Dawn looked up in surprise. They walked forward and both climbed over a small wall of snow. The boy dropped to the ground and moved some snow to try and find his pebble. Dawn looked farther past Lloyd and gasped. A large flat rock was in front of them. Etched into the stone was a snake's head. Lloyd then found a little golden lever by his elbow. He pushed it forward and the flat stone began to split down the middle. Green mist rose from the inside of the mountain. Lloyd stood up and immediately lost his balance. He slipped over the edge. Dawn tried to grab his cape, and succeeded, but he and the force of him falling was too heavy for her. She fell down the crevice along with him.
"Why can't you be normal!" Dawn screeched on the way down.
When they reached the bottom, the pair hit their heads on a pointed piece of ice and tumbled onto the frozen floor. Dawn groaned and stood up, then helped up Lloyd. The boy looked around while Dawn closed her eyes and tried not to shiver even more. The two were in an icy cavern complete with frozen stalactites and stalagmites. The sound of dripping water echoed in their ears.
"You are out of your mindssss to venture sssso far away from home, little onessss," a low, cold voice said from behind them.
Lloyd and Dawn turned around and saw a snake-like figure holding a golden staff. Dawn squeaked in fear. She was deathly terrified of snakes.
"Look into my eyessss," the figure said. "Give up your mind."
Red waves began pulsing from his eyes, lulling Dawn into an almost hypnotic trance. They backed up and the snake followed.
"I will control you." Lloyd cowered against a stalagmite and sank to the ground. Dawn just looked at the snake with horror-stricken eyes.
Then,the snake looked at the ice that had collected on the stalagmite behind the humans... and hypnotized himself. Lloyd stood up, looked at the ice, then laughed.
"No," he said. "I will control you from now on!"
"What shall you have ussss do, Master?" the snake asked, bowing.
"Us?" Dawn echoed, shaking her head and fighting off the trance. She and the boy at her side looked around.
More snakes appeared from the shadows, scaring the living daylights out of Dawn. Lloyd, however, seemed delighted.
"My own army of snakes!" he cried. "Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha!"
"So then we all agree," Jay said. "The prophecy states that one of us will become the Green Ninja and the issue will not rest until it is decided."
"May I suggest a tournament?" Zane asked. "Last man standing is the best."
"And will be declared the Green Ninja!" Kai exclaimed. "I love it!"
The boys pushed open the doors to the monastery and walked inside. Nya, Kai's sister, was busy running through the training court. She was doing great until she smacked into the flat side of an ax.
"Hey, Nya," Jay greeted the girl shyly as he leaned over her, his hood sitting on his brown hair. "Closer to beating your brother's speed record?"
He helped her up while she replied, "I'm getting there. Heard what happened in town. Just a false alarm?"
Kai walked to them and said, "Yeah. Uh, but we're gonna need the space. Sorry, sis."
Cole went to a closet on the side of the court and pulled out their kendo gear. He tossed each of the helmets to the others. Jay's helmet hit him on the side of his head.
"Two matches," Cole declared. "Then, the winners of each face off for the title. Armor's for our own protection." He raised his golden scythe. "Time to see what these babies can do!"
"Hey, Nya," Kai said to his sister when the ninjas were ready. "Wanna see me mop the floor with them?"
"No thanks," she replied. "I think I'll just visit Jamonacai Village. Knock yourselves out." And with that, she left for the village.
"Alright," Cole said. "First up, Kai versus Jay! Ninjaaaaa-Go!"
The two bowed to each other, then began the fight. They both fought wonderfully, but in the end, it was Kai who won.
"Next up," Kai announced, "Cole versus Zane! Ninjaaaaa-Go!"
Like Kai and Jay, Cole and Zane were great during the fight. And yet, Cole was victorious.
"For the prize and the title of best ninja," Jay said, bored. "Blah, blah, Ninja-Go."
Kai and Cole began, their golden weapons clashing and clanging. Cole swiped at Kai's head, then back-flipped a few feet. He slammed his scythe into the ground, creating a crack that knocked Kai into a wooden training post. Kai became angry and swiftly got up. He began crazily spinning around.
"It's too hot!" he cried, struggling with his sword.
"It's burning," Zane said.
"Fire!" Jay yelled.
Kai spun around and around until he dropped his sword, which caught on fire. The fire spread around and trapped Kai in a circle of flames. Jay and Zane flipped over the small wall of fire. Cole hastily tried putting the fire out by clanging his scythe on the flames. Kai ran around inside the tiny circle while Sensei Wu appeared, throwing open the doors and running outside. He picked up Zane's shuriken of ice and threw them in the air. He concentrated and the shuriken came together. They started generating ice and snow and flew around the courtyard, putting out the fire. They even doused the flames blazing brightly on Jay's rear. Then, the shuriken spun back to the Sensei and he caught them.
"What were you thinking?" Sensei Wu demanded.
"Uh," Jay began, "we were trying to figure who was the Green Ninja!" Zane whacked him sharply on his back. "Ow! Uh, did I say 'Green Ninja'? No, sorry." He cleared his throat. "What I... What I said was 'lean'- Ah..."
"You were not supposed to see this," Wu sighed.
"But, Sensei," Kai said, "we wanna know. Which one of us is the chosen one?"
"None of you!" Sensei Wu turned around. "If you do not unlock your full potential."
"But, my sword, it was so bright!" Kai protested. "Is this what you meant by unlocking our Golden Weapons?"
"You are only at the beginning," Sensei Wu said. "And the road is long and winding. But, yes. This is what I meant. If this is what it must take for you to train, then so be it. But none of you are near the level of what it takes to be the Green Ninja."
In Jamonacai Village, Nya walked to a fruit stand. She was about to pick up a pear, but screams and yells reached her ears.
"What now?" she said, looking around.
"Take the candy!" a boy yelled as he pushed a wheelbarrow full of candy out of a house. A girl who looked around the ninjas' ages nervously followed him. "Take it all!"
Then, two snake-like things came out behind the girl, one holding a glittering staff. The girl shivered each time the snakes' tongues flicked out between their fangs. The four passed by a group of villagers. Nya saw red waves appear from one of the snake's eyes. The villagers' own eyes became a dark red and they moaned.
Nya crouched behind the fruit stand as the two snakes left the girl and boy. She heard one say, "Thissss makessss no ssssensssse, General. Raiding an entire town? For ssssweetssss?"
"You will do as I command," the larger of the two said firmly, turning around and jabbing the smaller in the chest. "Because I have the sssstaff!"
The boys trained with their weapons, each using them appropriately. Or... as appropriately as a boy could use something. Inside a room just outside the training court, Sensei Wu meditated in front of a burning pot of scented sticks. Smoke rose from the pot and showed the sensei an image. It showed Lloyd and a teenage girl walking through Jamonacai Village, followed by a group of snake people.
Sensei Wu burst out of the room and cried, "The Serpentine are back! Everyone in Jamonacai Village is in danger!"
"Calm down, Sensei," Cole said. "We were just there. It was some kid and this girl who say they're-"
"The Spiritsmoke does not lie!" Wu insisted. "An ancient evil has been released!"
"Nya's there right now!" Kai said.
"Nya?" Jay echoed.
The boys ran to the dragons' stables and set out to Jamonacai Village.
"Stay close," Kai warned. "Stay together."
"Would we do it any other way?" Cole questioned.
Lloyd and Dawn walked through the village. Lloyd was twitching and laughing crazily. Dawn was still hunched over in terror.
"Ha-ha-ha!" Lloyd yelled. "I'm never coming down from this sugar high!"
Suddenly, the four ninjas of Spinjitzu leaped down in front of the two.
"Sorry to bust your buzz, little Garmadon," Cole said. "But it's way past your bedtime!"
Dawn looked up, her fear suddenly forgotten. "Hey, am I invisible?"
"Hey!" Kai said. "You were supposed to keep the little brat out of trouble!"
Her shyness kicked in then and she looked back at the ground, making a whimpering noise.
"Get them!" Lloyd exclaimed, breaking the conversation.
The largest of the snakes rattled his tail and hissed, "Get them!"
"The Serpentine?" Kai gasped. "They're real?"
The Serpentine closed in around the boys.
"It's not just them we have to worry about," Cole said worriedly. Villagers had joined the Serpentine and were walking with them, moaning and mumbling. "The whole village has been hypnotized!"
Jay began swinging his nunchucks, until Zane stopped him and said, "Our weapons are unstable! We could do more harm than good!"
"That leaves us with RUUUUUUUN!" The ninjas dashed away.
They flipped and spun until they came behind a building. They slid along the wall and ducked behind a wheelbarrow.
"Nya?" Kai said as his sister suddenly jumped in front of the wheelbarrow.
"You're okay!" Jay said in relief.
"Barely," she said. "They've hypnotized everyone in town!"
"Mind control," Jay said. "How is this possible?"
"When you hear them rattle their tails," Nya warned, "don't look them in the eyes! That's how they get you."
"Well what are we supposed to do?" Jay demanded, raising his arms in emphasis. "We can't use our weapons and now we gotta fight with our eyes closed? Perfect."
"The snake with the staff is the general," Nya stated. "He's the one in charge. If we can get the staff from him, it holds the anti-venom. If we get that, we can save everyone!"
"Look guys," Kai sighed. "Forget about the whole Green Ninja thing. Let's make Sensei proud. The four of us. We're a team."
"Now you're talkin'!" Cole grinned.
"And Nya," Jay said to the girl, "you can be our honorary member."
"Gee," Nya said sarcastically, "Thanks."
They jumped onto the roofs and picked their ways back to Lloyd, Dawn, and the Serpentine. Kai jumped down first and was immediately targeted by two snakes.
"You wanna play?" Kai asked, turning around. "How 'bout a little Spinjitzu? Ninjaaaaa-Go!"
He spun into a mini-tornado of orange flames and moved towards the snakes. He suddenly whirled out of control and smacked into a wall, then fell down on the ground.
"Okay, we're really out of shape," Jay said from the roofs.
Kai stood up quickly and thrust up his arms, whacking two Serpentine in the nose.
"Hah!" Lloyd yelled over his shoulder. "Consider this a warning, ninja!"
Dawn just shook her head and kept behind the troublemaker as Zane threw down his shuriken. Ice formed around the shuriken and Lloyd's wheelbarrow of candy bumped into them, tipping the wheelbarrow over. Lloyd fell on top of it, while Dawn didn't stop in time and ran smack into him.
"Ninjaaaaa-Go!" Zane yelled. He spun into a tornado of ice and sped down the roof and beside the two.
"Sensei was right," he said. "Never put off until tomorrow what can be done today. We should've dealt with you the first time around."
"Retreat!" Lloyd shouted as he struggled up.
"Retreat!" The snake general yelled.
The Serpentine began to run out of the village. Cole jumped down from the roof and hit the general in the face with his feet. The snake dropped his staff and it landed in the snow.
"Go ahead," Cole said as he bent down to pick it up. "Give me a reason."
The general slithered quickly away.
"Look into my eyessss," A cold, high-pitched voice said. Cole looked up. "I control you."
"You... control me," Cole mumbled. He was lured into a snake's trap, and his eyes turned scarlet. He then snapped out of the trance when Nya shouted, "Cole!"
She ran to the snake, then jumped up and kicked him in his face. Cole and the snake walked away in opposite directions.
"You have the anti-venom!" Nya cried.
Cole looked at the staff. "By golly, you're right!"
"Quick!" she said. "The fountain!"
"Good idea!" Cole ran to the fountain in the center of the village and stuck the staff in the water. Pale blue mist poured out of the water and flowed over the villagers, causing them to come back to reality.
Kai walked to Sensei Wu, who had arrived in the confusion. "We're sorry, Sensei. If we'd dealt with Lloyd and the girl before they became a problem, none of this would've been necessary."
"Even lessons learned the hard way are lessons learned," the sensei replied. "A great evil has been released. I fear troubling times will come. This is only the beginning."
"Then, we will train," Zane said, as he and the other two walked over. "And we will be ready for the Serpentine."
"It may not be Lord Garmadon," Cole said, "but that doesn't mean we won't bring our A-game."
"Help us train. Help us realize our potential." Kai placed a hand on Sensei Wu's arm.
"Yeah," Jay said. "Teach us the secrets behind the weapons of Spinjitzu."
"There is much to teach," Wu said as they walked back to the dragons. "We must go back to the monastery."
Nya sighed. "When am I gonna get my own dragon?"
"Patience, Nya. Your time will come."
"Candy," Lloyd moaned. "I need candy!"
Dawn wrapped her yellow jacket tighter around her arms and glanced warily at the Hypnobrai. She still hated snakes. She shivered and tried to soothe Lloyd, though her mind was on something else.
"The boy and girl set ussss free," Slithraa said.
"They are children!" Skales insisted. "They are not one of us!"
Slithraa pushed Skales away in anger. "I may not have the sssstaff, but I am sssstill your general! Sssstand down!"
Skales walked away and was met by Mezmo.
"You coward," Mezmo hissed. "We all know he issss under Lloyd'ssss sssspell. You are second-in-command and still you do nothing?"
"Now was not the time," Skales murmured. "I still hold the key to destroy the ninja. And when I do that, everyone will ssssee it is I who should be in control!"
Episode Two- Home
"My turn! Ah, my turn!"
"Okay, you want a little more? Take this!"
"Yeah, how 'bout a little of this!"
"Monkey-bar to the head!"
Sensei Wu opened the doors to the training court and was surprised to find the boys practicing. But, although they were all training, Zane seemed to be acting differently. He stood, then started flipping around the courtyard. He took Cole's scythe and broke a plank dummy, then cried, "Ninjaaaaa-Go!" and began spinning around.
He somehow managed to freeze everything.
"This roof isn't big enough for the four of us," Kai grumbled.
"Correction," Cole said. "This roof isn't big enough for him."
"It's like he's in his own world." Jay frowned. Then, he directed his next words at Zane. "I bet he can't even hear us!"
Sensei Wu walked over to the three boys while Zane began throwing his shuriken around.
"Sensei, Zane's..." Kai paused to find the right words. "...weird."
"What is weird?" Sensei Wu asked. "Someone who is different, or someone who is different than you?"
"No, Sensei," Cole said. "He's 'weird, weird'."
Cole was in the bathroom, reading a newspaper. Then, Zane walked in and began combing his hair.
"Do you mind?" Cole yelled.
Jay, Nya, and Zane were watching a movie. Jay and Nya were crying and sniffling.
Zane, however, was laughing. His friends turned to him with confused expressions.
Kai opened the fridge door, only to find it empty, with a note stuck to the back.
'I'm sorry,' It read in Zane's handwriting. 'I consumed the last of the deli meat. Cheese?'
The sensei and ninjas watched as Zane bowed to a plank dummy, only for it to whack him on the head.
"We like the guy," Kai assured Sensei Wu. "He's really smart. He's just... a little off sometimes."
"Zane is a brother. And brothers are often different," Wu said. "I should know."
Outside the monastery, a mailman was walking tiredly up the mountain it was on. He wiped the sweat off his brow and continued walking. When he reached the top, he took off his bag and rang the doorbell, which produced a gonging sound.
"Mail!" Kai, Jay, and Cole shouted.
They answered the door and the man gave them their mail.
"Hah... let's see," he said. "A letter from Jay's parents... Kai has a fan letter... Oh! Something from Cole's father..."
"What, no package?" Cole said. "I'm expecting something from Creatures, Beasts, and Beyond!"
"No, nothing from... ah... Ah-hah! Here it is!"
"Ha! Rocky's gonna love this!"
Jay and Kai opened their letters. Jay looked up from the paper and noticed Zane walking around, a bit slumped over.
"Hey, Zane," he said, "how come you never hear anything from your parents?"
"I don't remember my parents," Zane replied. "I've been an orphan all of my life."
Kai and Jay exchanged looks.
"You mean you never had a home?" Kai asked.
Zane shook his head sadly.
"The monastery is your home now," Sensei Wu told him.
Zane just turned around and walked away and the sensei watched him leave.
At the dragon stables, Cole was opening his package.
"Liver and toads, Rocky!" Cole said, taking a dead toad out of the box. "Your favorite!"
He threw the animal to the panting dragon, who snapped it up and ate it in a few short seconds.
"I can't believe you hypnotizzzzed one of the ninja!" Rattla said excitedly. "Does the general know?"
"Of course not!" Skales said impatiently. "He's been put under the control of Lloyd! And I plan to use it for my besssst interesssst."
Rattla looked behind Skales and walked away. Skales turned to see Slithraa.
"Everyone works while you two sssslack!" Slithraa hissed. "As my second-in-command, I expect more from you, SSSSkales!"
"Yessss, General!" Skales bowed.
Slithraa turned around and began to slither away, but Skales said, "General, you know I am most loyal to you, but I must question thissss childish agenda! The ninja have sssstolen our staff, yet you insssstruct your army to build this playhousssse for Lloyd and Dawn? Snakes don't belong in treessss."
"You know better than to question my judgement, SSSSkales!" Slithraa said. "I'll pretend you didn't ask!"
The two Hypnobrai looked down. Lloyd and Dawn were standing on one of the lower platforms. Lloyd was waving and Dawn was staring out at the forest, a distant look in her eyes.
"If we plan to rule Ninjago from here, this elevator needs to have a trap door!" Lloyd yelled. "I want more booby traps!"
"As you wish, young Garmadon!" Slithraa bowed and gestured for Skales to start working on it.
"As you wish... General." Skales bowed as well and walked away.
"Oh, I love it when it's Zane's night to cook!" Jay smiled.
"Hey, I didn't hear any complaints about my duck chowder last night!" Cole said.
"That's because it glued our mouths shut," Kai pointed out. "You really thought Jay was speechless all throughout dinner."
"Yeah." Jay crossed his arms. "Please don't make that again."
"Dinner is served."
Zane set down their dinner and looked around the table. He was wearing a pink, flowered apron. Everyone's faces changed expressions rapidly before they burst out laughing.
"What's so funny?" Zane asked.
"Zane!" Nya laughed. "You're wearing a... Well, even I wouldn't wear that!
Zane walked to another end of the table. "You laugh because I take steps to ensure I am clean after cooking?"
"No," Kai assured him. "We laughed because you came out wearing that ridiculous outfit!"
"I guess we don't share the same sense of humor," Zane said.
"Well, how 'bout this?" Cole picked up a plate from the table and mushed it in Kai's face.
Everyone except Zane started laughing again and Sensei Wu got up from his seat and walked to Cole and Kai.
"How could you not find that funny?" Cole asked as Wu set a bowl upside-down on his black hair.
"Waah!" Cole's face grew shocked. The bowl's contents dripped down his face.
"Now you are brothers." Sensei Wu put his hands on Zane's and Cole's shoulders and walked back to his seat.
Laughter rang around the table once again. They began throwing food around the table.
Zane stripped off his apron and placed it in the garbage can outside the monastery. He looked up at the stars, thinking. Then, a falcon's cry broke his thoughts. He turned to a tree near him. The falcon was sitting on one of the branches, looking directly at him. Zane tilted his head, and the falcon copied him. Zane shook his head, unsure if it had really done so. He looked back at the bird, only to see it shake its head as well.
He gaped at the bird, then smiled, flapped his arms and stepped up and down. It once again followed his movements exactly. Zane watched it for a moment before it hopped along the branch and took off. Zane looked inside the monastery for a second then followed the falcon and began to run down the mountain.
The bird led Zane through a forest, stopping every now and then to make sure he was following. Zane paused for a moment, then kept running, only to stop again and gasp. A brightly lit house-like building was in the process of being built in a tree. Normal at first, then he took a closer look. The Serpentine were the ones working on it.
"If I see one girl besides Dawn in here," Lloyd said from his perch atop a board of wood, "I'm gonna go ballistic."
Farther up in the tree, the girl who had been with Lloyd in Jamonacai Village, who Zane assumed to be Dawn, since she was the only girl and Lloyd hadn't gone ballistic, was gazing at the forest. In his direction. Her eyes swept across the trees, coming to rest on Zane. She had spotted him. But, she only gave a faint smile and waved. He raised his arm and waved back.
Then, the falcon cried again and Zane looked up. It motioned for him to go back and tell his friends.
"Thank you, my mysterious friend," Zane said to it.
The next day, Zane led Cole, Jay, and Kai through the forest, in the direction of the large tree house. Zane paused and looked around
"How d'you think Zane knows where he's going?" Kai wondered aloud as they caught up with the white ninja.
"So, tell us again how you stumbled upon Lloyd's secret headquarters?" Kai asked Zane.
"I followed a bird," he replied.
"Why did you follow a bird?" Jay looked confused.
"Because it danced," was the answer.
"Oh. Okay. Was it a cuckoo bird?"
Cole, Jay, and Kai started laughing while Zane looked at them, confused.
"Of course not. Everyone knows cuckoo birds are not indigenous to these forests."
Zane began running again. The others shrugged and followed him. As soon as they reached the clearing where the Serpentine were, they heard Lloyd shout, "No, bigger! Come on, we don't have all day! It's not time for a lunch break!"
"Holy canolie," Cole said. "Frosty was right!"
"We can't let that brat, the girl, and those snakes get a foothold on Ninjago," Kai said. "We gotta destroy that thing before it becomes operational."
"I do not think Dawn is helping Lloyd to destroy Ninjago," Zane murmured.
"Who?" Jay asked.
"Dawn. The girl." Zane looked up at the tree and pointed out a girl dressed in yellow high up in the tree house. "See? She is not helping the Serpentine with construction and she even avoids them."
"Whatever," Cole said. "Alright guys, what do we do?"
"It looks like the entire place is being supported by those three trees." Kai pointed to three large trees on different sides of the tree house. "Once those are severed, the whole place is gonna fall like a house of cards."
"But why would one make a house of cards?" Zane asked. "Such construction would be careless."
"Oh brother," Kai sighed.
"Travel in shadows, boys," Cole said. He flipped towards the tree house and the others followed suit.
Kai flipped out from behind a tree, then took out his sword and sliced a rope, flinging himself onto the tree house.
Cole grabbed onto the wood at the bottom of an elevator and clung to it as two Serpentine were raised up to the tree house.
Jay and Zane were climbing up a tree. Jay landed on a branch and almost lost his balance, but Zane grabbed his wrist and hauled him up.
All four ninjas peered through the walls as Dawn and Lloyd walked around a corner.
"It's almost finished," Lloyd laughed.
"What is building this going to accomplish?" Dawn asked. Her blond hair was up in a ponytail and it swayed slightly in the breeze.
"Having a headquarters in the middle of the forest is a great idea!" Lloyd said. "Nobody knows we're here!"
"I wouldn't be so sure of that," she muttered under her breath. She glanced in the direction of the ninjas, apparently finding them.
"Soon," her friend went on, "my fortress will be complete. You!" He yelled at one of the Serpentine. It turned. "Hold up that sign!"
It complied, holding up a sign that said-
Dawn seemed to take offense at the 'no girls' part. Lloyd pulled a lever. The floor under the snake gave way and it fell to the ground below, screaming the whole way down.
"Booby trap!" Lloyd yelled down the hole in the floor.
The ninjas jumped up through the wooden beams and boards and leaped through the doorway at the top of the tree house. Kai climbed to the very top while Cole, Jay, and Zane ran along the three ropes connecting the tree house to the supporting trees.
"Ninjaaaaa-Go!" Jay spun into his tornado of blue lightning and severed the first rope.
"Ninjaaaaa-Go!" Zane whirled into his ice tornado and sliced the second rope.
The tree house began to fall apart. Boards and ropes crumbled and snapped. Debris fell everywhere. A few stories down, Lloyd looked up and spotted Kai through the wooden beams of the higher levels. "I said no ninja! Attack!"
"Everyone!" Skales yelled. "Retreat!"
"Cole!" Kai shouted. "Wait 'til we're off the tree house! Then cut the line!
Cole nodded and Skales looked up at the sound of Kai's voice. He recognized Cole as the ninja he had hypnotized at Jamonacai Village.
"You," he cried, capturing Cole's attention, "will obey my every command!"
Cole's eyes turned a deep shade of red. He bowed to Skales and said, "I will obey your every command."
Dawn shrieked as one of the Hypnobrai fell onto her, knocking her to the ground. She threw it off in a fit of terror, then immediately decided on something she had been thinking about for the past week, ever since Lloyd's rampage on Jamonacai Village. She would go to the ninja and see if they would take her in. Ma had always wanted her to do something great, anyway. Might as well start now. Lloyd could take care of himself; he had done that before she'd met him.
Dawn didn't like snakes. It was a known fact. Ever since she had seen her first snake do the unthinkable (At least, it was unthinkable for an eight-year-old), killing a mouse by strangling it, and then having the audacity to eat it, Dawn had hated and feared snakes. Even now, when she was sixteen, she was scared of them. It had even seemed like her fear had escalated over the years. But now, Dawn guessed, from the way the ninja were acting, they wanted to rid Ninjago of the Serpentine. And Dawn completely and wholeheartedly wanted to help them. She could certainly help. A week of living with humanoid snakes that argued and brawled every five seconds had gotten her a tiny knowledge of fighting.
Dawn swept her hair behind her ears and took off for the top of the tree house, where she could clearly see the red ninja.
"Where's Cole?" Jay asked frantically as he and Zane jumped to the tree house roof. A yellow thing ran up the stairs behind, but he barely even glanced at it. He had more pressing matters to deal with.
"Oh, this whole place is coming down!" Kai yelled.
"Hyah!" With a flourish of his scythe, Cole leaped down from his perch on the tree and landed on the roof. "No one goes anywhere unless they deal with me!"
He advanced threateningly on Kai, Jay, and Zane who stepped back. Kai bumped into something and sharply spun around. The girl from Jamonacai Village, and the same one Zane had pointed out just ten minutes ago, was standing behind him, a mixture of fear and bravery on her slightly tanned face. Dawn, Kai remembered what Zane had called her.
"What are you doing here?" he demanded.
"Helping you!" she replied. "I know what happened to your friend!"
"Then, tell us!" Zane urged. "What's gotten into him?"
"It's the Hypnobrai!" she responded hurriedly. "He's been hypnotized by their second-in-command, Skales!"
"Yeah, well, he'd better snap out of it quick!" Jay yelled. "Because this whole place looks like it's about to go down!"
"Don't go!" Lloyd begged Skales. "We have to protect my tree house fortress! And Dawn is missing!"
"Your tree housssse? The puny girl?" Skales hissed. "It'ssss about we did... thissss!"
"What?" Lloyd only had time to say that one word before Skales pulled a lever and the floor under Lloyd disappeared, forcing the boy to fall into a cage a few yards under him.
He heard the stinging ring of Serpentine laughter in his ears as he fell.
"Okay, now, come on," Jay said nervously. "Friends don't hit friends."
Cole promptly thrust his leg up, kicking Jay in the face.
"Ow! Oooh, okay, okay, I'm going to ignore that."
Cole then began jumping around the tiny platform, swinging his scythe around. He yelled and struck a board next to Kai's feet, knocking the wooden plank off.
"What are we supposed to do?" Kai asked, dodging Cole's hits. "If I use my sword, this place'll go up in flames faster than a tinderbox!"
"isn't the anti-venom in the staff?" Zane queried.
"Yeah, but you guys took it from their general!" Dawn said impatiently.
Cole suddenly got in a blow to her stomach, knocking her back. She landed on the pole-like corner of the roof, slid down it, and lay there for a moment, dazed. Then, the wood broke and she fell. Zane lunged out and grabbed her by the feet. He swung her back up, saying, "Jay, use your lightning! Try to shock him out of his trance!"
Jay obeyed and took out his nunchucks. He began swinging them around. "Oh, sorry, Cole! This is gonna hurt you a lot more than it's gonna hurt me!"
He sent a concentrated ball of electricity at Cole, who fell back and let go of hid scythe. The four hesitated as Cole struggled to get back up. Then, the black ninja opened and his eyes. They were just as red as before. Cole got up and rapidly ran to Jay. He picked him up by his shirt and threw him over the edge.
Two cries of "Jaaaay!" were heard, as well as a third of "Blue ninjaaaa!"
Said blue ninja, however, grabbed onto a dangling rope and swung on it. He landed on the outside of the broken tree house and declared, "That is a serious safety hazard!"
Cole turned sharply and ran back up the last rope holding up the tree house. He raised his scythe, about to swing.
"No, Cole, don't!"
"No! No, Cole, no!"
Suddenly, the sweet music of a flute reached all of their ears. Cole hesitated for a moment, hearing the flute. He closed his eyes and shook his head. When he opened his eyes again, they were back to their normal black. "Wha...? Where am I? What are we doing?"
Dawn swayed slightly to the soft tune and looked up. An old man and a teenage girl with black hair were riding a dragon towards them. Three weeks ago, if she had seen that, she would've freaked out for a good half hour before passing out and not waking up again for another two months. Now, after seeing walking, talking snakes, ninjas, and crazed, hypnotized villagers, she was able to watch it with her heart rate only quickening a little.
"We're gettin' outta here," the black-haired girl shouted down, "'Cause this whole place is coming down!" With that, Cole leaped from his ledge and landed right behind her.
Jay, Kai, and Zane followed suit. Dawn hesitated. What if they didn't want her to come along? What if they didn't care what happened to her? But, a sharp tug on her wrist and a smile from the blue ninja, who had quickly come back onto the roof from his seat on the dragon, was all that convinced her to jump on the dragon with them. The tree house crumbled as soon as her feet left the wood.
She landed in the back and wrapped her arms around whoever was in front of her. Dawn looked back and saw Lloyd in a cage, being carried by a few of the Hypnobrai. He stretched out his hand, as if trying to reach her and yelled something she couldn't hear. She fished a little piece of candy out of her pocket and threw it down. Miraculously, it landed in his outstretched palm. Dawn gave him a warm smile and hoped he would understand. The old man suddenly yelled something to the dragon, who flapped his wings harder and flew faster to wherever they were headed then.
The first time Dawn had ever seen the monastery. And it was in flames. Tongues of fire licked at the aged wood of the once-grand building, destroying it to ash.
"We're too late!" Kai shouted. "Those snakes!"
Below them, the three dragons who had been left behind roared and struggled in their stables.
Cole spotted his dragon. "Rocky!"
Flame, Kai's dragon touched down and everyone quickly got off. Cole hurried to his dragon. He pushed down on a lever and released them.
Kai looked up at the exposed inner wood of the monastery and pulled down his hood.
"Our home," he said.
"Shard!" Zane called to his dragon. "Put this out!"
Shard flew around the blazing structure and breathed ice and snow onto the flames.
"The training equipment," Zane murmured when Shard had completed his task. "Gone."
"Our video games!" Jay cried hysterically. "Gone!"
"They stole back their staff." Sensei Wu looked around, a tinge of anger in his voice.
"What do we do now?" Cole narrowed his eyes. Rocky put his head closer to the ground and rubbed his muzzle against Cole's cheek. The black ninja sadly stroked Rocky's nose.
Dawn just stared around in infuriated awe. The Hypnobrai had done this? She knew they were evil, but this just made her want to walk up to Slithraa and strangle him.
Kai picked up a badly burnt chunk of brick and easily crushed it.
"If you hadn't followed that silly bird, none of this would've happened!" he accused Zane.
"Kai," Sensei Wu warned.
"No!" Jay stomped up to Zane. "Sensei, he's right! Because of you, my high score's been deleted!"
"This is a teaching moment." Zane glanced down. "We must learn from this."
"A teaching moment?" Cole seemed outraged. He put his face directly in front of Zane's. "What's wrong with you? Don't you get it? Everything is gone!"
"Enough!" Sensei Wu ordered. Everyone, including Dawn, turned to him. "We are all at fault. Zane is your brother. Apologize at once."
Kai, Cole, and Jay lowered their heads in shame. They turned around.
"I'm sorry, Zane," Kai mumbled. "I-"
He broke off. Zane wasn't there. Everyone turned to the sky. Instead, he was flying away on Shard.
The Hypnobrai led Lloyd, who was now in chains, down an icy corridor.
"Do something, General," Lloyd whispered to Slithraa. "You-Your're still under my command, right?"
Slithraa looked at the boy for a moment, then cried, "Enough! I am the general! You will return my staff at once!"
Skales looked at the staff and hissed, "No."
Muttering and mumbling broke out among the Hypnobrai.
"You dare challenge my command?" Slithraa demanded.
"Slitherpit... Slitherpit..." The Hypnobrai began chanting. "Slitherpit! Slitherpit!"
Skales smiled and nodded. "I guess we'll have to fight for it. In... the Slitherpit!"
Almost everyone began cheering. Lloyd just frowned.
One of the Hypnobrai took the staff from Skales and carried it to a ledge above the others. Lloyd, who was now tied to a stalagmite, sighed and sat down. He took the piece of candy out of his pocket and looked at it. Carved into the candy was a 'D', for Dawn's family's last name, which was ironically 'Duskset'. When he had first met Dawn, a month ago, he only hung around her family's slightly famous candy shop. Then, Lloyd had gotten to know her better when she started coming out of the shop to give him leftover candy and talk with him. It had become a kind of awkward teenager-and-kid friendship. Lloyd then looked to his side and noticed a scroll of paper sticking out. He stood and reached out for it, only coming a few inches short.
He glanced at the fight, in which Skales seemed to be winning, and tried again, still coming up short. If Dawn were here, he thought. She'd get it for me... I wonder what it is? He reached and stretched his arm. Just when he thought he'd never be able to get it, his fingers brushed up against the paper, and he grabbed it, tucking it into his back pocket.
"Go, General, go!" He cupped his untied hand around his mouth and shouted encouragement.
Slithraa's tail began rattling and red waves pulsed from his eyes. Skales looked taken aback. He spun around and kicked Slithraa in the face. He then threw a series of blows at the general, only to have them blocked. Suddenly, his entire body began to sway. He wriggled and moved. And he lunged, sharply kicked Slithraa in the chest, and bounced back. The general collapsed onto the ice floor.
"He used fang-kwon-do!" One of the crowd said in awe.
"Get up!" Lloyd yelled. "Get up!"
The general raised his head, then lowered it again.
"We have a winner!"
The judge handed Skales back the staff, and the snake's body began to change. Slithraa's did the same. Skales' legs disappeared and were replaced with a tail, while Slithraa did the complete opposite.
Cheers of "Skales!" rang around the room.
"You will be loyal to me, now!" Skales said to Slithraa.
"I... will do as you command, Slithraa said reluctantly.
"You!" Skales turned to Lloyd. "Leave and never return!"
The remaining ninja, Dawn, Nya, and Sensei Wu were now on a nearby mountain. Wisp, Rocky, and Flame wear huddled together only feet away.
The group of six were all holding sticks with burning food on them over a fire.
"Wh-what are we eating again?" Kai asked.
"Mudnewt," Dawn said thickly.
"Not bad for something that lives underground," Cole muttered.
"Wha...!" Jay threw his stick down and spat a mouthful of mudnewt bone into his hand. He tossed the bone into a can. "Yeah! New high sc-score!"
"So..." Dawn twirled her stick around her hand. "Let me see if I got your names right... Cole?" She pointed to the black ninja, who nodded. "Kai?" The red ninja gave her a half smile. "Jay?"
"The one an-and only."
"Nya?" The black-haired girl smiled and nodded. "Sensei Wu?" The old man closed his eyes and nodded as well. "And there's Flame, Wisp, and Rocky..." The three dragons snorted. " And the ninja who left on Shard was Zane?"
"Yeah," Cole sighed.
"So..." Dawn said again. She turned to Sensei Wu. "Sensei, why was I allowed to stay?"
"I..." Wu opened his eyes. "I sense you may be beneficial to us in the near future. And, do you have anywhere else to stay?"
Dawn hesitated. Her home was still hers. She could still live there, but Ma and Dad had enough to deal with trying to handle the two pairs of triplets, the quadruplets, and the twins.
"I do..." She locked eyes with the sensei. "But I feel it will help that house if I stay with you. I can send a letter to my Ma and tell her this. I have a feeling she won't mind, after sixteen years of her telling me I was 'destined for greatness' or some other crap like that."
Sensei Wu smiled. "Then it is decided."
The boys looked uncomfortable at having another girl on the team, but they didn't say anything.
"Remember," Wu said. "We must be thankful for what we have."
"What do we have?" Cole asked. "Our home is gone."
"Y'know," Kai spoke up, "I don't miss our home. What I really miss is Zane."
"Yeah," Jay sighed. "I miss Zane!"
"He seemed like a nice guy," Dawn murmured.
"He was," Cole said from his seat next to her.
"Zane?" Nya was the one to speak this time.
"Yeah!" Jay looked astonished. "Zane! Y'know, white ninja? The smart, strange one?"
"No!" Nya pointed to behind Sensei Wu. "Zane!"
Everyone turned and saw that Zane was indeed there, walking towards the group.
"Zane!" The boys cried in unison.
The group gathered in a semicircle around him.
"We're so sorry for everything we said" Jay said. "We're a team, and that means we're all responsible!"
"You don't need to apologize to me." Zane smiled.
"But, what about all those awful things we said?" Kai asked. "Isn't that why you left?"
"Of course not. I saw the falcon again, and I followed him."
"That's our Zane," Cole said.
Everyone, except Dawn, hugged the white ninja. Then, they released him. Dawn drifted to the back of the group, but Zane held out his arms and said to her, "You are part of our team now, right?"
Dawn smiled. She wrapped her arms around him and quickly hugged him. * She then walked back next to Nya, who said, "We're happy to have you back."
"Why? Is it my turn to make dinner?"
They laughed, and even Dawn giggled.
"Yes, Zane." Sensei Wu smiled gratefully. "We would love for you to make dinner."
"But I already made it." Zane turned around. "Come, I want to show you what I have found. I think you will all be pleased."
"I can't explain it," Zane said, stopping and turning to face the team. "But, I feel a strange connection with the falcon. I think he's trying to help show us the path we need to take."
Then, he led them around a corner. Sitting on the sand just a hundred or two yards away was a large ship, with a wooden dragon head on the front.
"Our new home."
His friends gasped at the magnificent sight.
"Do I smell pie?" Jay asked eagerly.
"Cobblerberry," Zane informed him. "Oh, and I made myrtleberry. And apple!"
Jay sniffed deeply and sighed. Then, he, Kai, Cole, Dawn, and Nya ran to the ship, yelling and shouting happily. Zane and Sensei Wu stayed behind.
"I am proud of you, Zane," Sensei Wu said. "One day, I promise. We will find your family."
"But... I've already found them."
"I feel there's more to you than meets the eye. There's something special about you, Zane."
"Sensei, will I become the Green Ninja?"
"It's too early to tell. And you may have more competition, soon. But, if it's in your path, you'll know. Come, now. It would be a shame to let them eat all that pie."
And Sensei Wu and Zane began walking to the ship.
Laughter filled the dining room. All of the team were throwing food around and having a good time. Even Dawn seemed to be enjoying herself. The first time since the first set of identical kids had been born in her home. She looked around the table, at her new teammates, and wondered, just for a moment, Maybe they're my family. Maybe we could all be friends. Maybe, for once, I can do something great.
Unknown to any of the seven at the table, Lloyd was watching them, a map clutched in his hand and a hurt look on his face. He sighed, turned around, and began to walk away.
A/N: Oh... my.. *dies* 9,963 words. THAT'S how long this chapter was. I figured putting two episodes together would make it longer but, I didn't expect this! And, it took me most of the week to finish up! Hopefully, I'll have this as an excuse for not having the next chapter up in another week! XD So, what do you think of Dawn? Is she too perfect? Is she too plain? And what about the actual story? Was that okay? I'm kinda nervous, posting this, but I hope you'll all accept this story.
Oh... and that little thing, the *, I added... here's an explanation-
*shifts uncomfortably* I seriously considered deleting this part. I wanted Dawn to feel kinda welcome with the ninjas, but not entirely, so I thought about having Zane offer her hug, and that freakin' came along. I hope it was still okay.