Time Fixers: Nicktoons of the Future
Episode 9: Battle of the Bands
Plot: Darry pitches in a charity event sponsored by Jazz known as Battle of the Bands. To help his aunt, he recruits Buster learning the sponge actually has a good voice but refuses to sing due to a school incident years ago. So Darry takes in a talented singer and guitarist named Amber. As they prepare for their gig, Darry starts to fall for her, unaware that Amber is actually the ghost punk rocker, Ember! Due to an event caused by the original Nicktoons, Ember was brainwashed and reverted to her previous human life as a mellow teenager. But with her memories restored, she ploys to use Darry and Buster to brainwash a new generation of teens from Battle of the Bands.
The next day at Fenton Works, Darry, Buster, and Amber were once again gathered in the shed as they practiced for the concert. But this time, Amber had finally finished writing her song.
"You will remember my name!" Amber sang as she played her guitar. "Yeah! You will remember my name!"
After she finished, Darry and Buster clapped as Darry cheered, "That was gnarly! How did you come up with lyrics like that?"
"I don't know." Amber casually answered. "It just came to me."
"Oh man, we're gonna jam it out in the Battle of the Bands!" Darry said, reciting a drum roll. "You rock, Amber!"
"Just one question." Buster intervened. "What does the name 'Ember' mean anyway?"
"Oh, you'll see," Amber answered slyly, "But first, I think there's something missing for this rockin' band."
"Is it a band name?" Darry guessed.
"Nope," Amber shook her head and responded, "What our rockin' band needs is a rockin' electric guitar!"
Darry looked surprised until he pointed out. "Don't worry, Amber. You'll always belong in my band no matter what guitar you have."
"But don't you see, Darry?" Amber said, close to crying. "Tonight's the concert and I don't have the right guitar so I can be heard by everyone. If only there was a spare one lying around somewhere."
Darry's lip quivered until he gave in. "Alright! We'll find a guitar for you. It's pretty expensive to buy one, but I think I know where to find a good one."
Amber gasped in joy and hugged him. "You're the best, Darry! Thank you!" Darry blushed and returned the hug, not noticing the sly smirk on Amber's face.
In Neutron's lab, Darry and Buster escort Amber in through the Portal Machine. "Welcome to HQ!" Darry announced.
Amber looks at the strange gadgets in the lab when Darry hands her a green guitar with a neutron symbol. "Here it is. The Neutron Synchronized Mind Guitar. You already know how to play, but with this thing, you can sound even better!"
Amber stared at the instrument oddly. "It doesn't look like the kind of axe I'm used to."
"It doesn't hurt to try. Come on, try it."
Amber takes the instrument and strums a chord the Neutron Guitar. "Sorry, but I'm just not feeling it."
"Well, that's the only guitar I can find in HQ," Darry admitted. "That and Ember's guitar."
"Wait!" Amber shouted as her eyes widen by what she heard. "Say that again!"
"Ember's guitar," Darry repeated, "Which is here in the Hall of Villains."
Amber leans closer to Darry. "Think you can take me there?"
Darry blushed and darted his head away. "I would, but can't. Ever since Undergrowth almost took over HQ and the Desiree incident, Neutron has the place tightly secured. I can't go in and neither can Buster. Only an original Nicktoon has access in there."
"An original Nicktoon?" Amber questioned in disappointment.
"Yeah, like my dad, Neutron, Timmy Turner, Tak, and SpongeBob," Darry answered.
"Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!" a voice echoed in the lab, making Darry cringe.
"Speaking of which…" Darry, Buster, and Amber turn to see Junior running towards them with a mike.
"Hi guys!" Junior waved. "This is your last chance before tonight! If anything happens to Amber, no worries. I can take over if you like." He sang again: "Absorbent and yellow and porous is he. SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS! IF nautical nonsense is something you-"
"Will you cut it out!?" Amber screamed at Junior, having enough of his voice. "Either you're tone-deaf or there's something inside those holes of yours. Your voice sounds worse than a ghostly wail! If you think you're good enough for our band, you're wrong. You don't even deserve to be in a band cuz your singing STINKS!"
Junior sniffed a bit as his eyes began to water. "But-but Darry said my singing was good."
"Wrong again, small fry. Darry only said that so he wouldn't hurt your feelings. Everyone who thinks you're good lied."
Darry and Buster were in shock by what Amber was telling little Junior. After hearing everything, Junior blinked and tears fall down his cheeks as he began to cry. "WAAH!" he cried, bursting in tears as he ran out of the lab.
"Junior, wait!" Buster called out and went after him.
As Darry watched the two sponges leave, he daggered at Amber. "Why did you say that?"
Amber just scoffed, crossing her arms as she casually responded, "The runt had to know the truth sometime." she holds Darry's cheek, "But that doesn't matter. With my voice, we're gonna rock it at the concert."
But to Amber's surprise, Darry slaps her hand away. "You know, ever since the bowling alley, you aren't the same Amber I knew. And maybe, I don't wanna know this Amber at all, or join a band with her." He turns to the direction where Junior was. "Junior! Buster! Wait!" he ran out of the lab, leaving Amber.
Amber frowns with both hands on her waist. "Well, fine! Go ahead!" she yelled out at him. She ponders, wondering what to do now when the lab doors open and Jimmy walks in, reading a clipboard. Amber smirks, getting an idea.
In another room, Junior was wiping tears from his face as Buster tried to calm him down. "Hey, hey, it's okay, Junior."
"But I can't sing!" Junior said as he sobbed. "I can't join your band anymore because I stink!"
"Okay, maybe you do stink. You might not have a voice as good as Dad's, but that doesn't mean you can't have a musical talent." Junior sniffles, feeling a bit better, but can't stop crying.
Buster darts his eyes around the room and from side-to-side, seeing no one around. "Will you feel better if I sing to you? Like how I always sing to you every night." Junior wipes his eyes and nodded.
Buster looked again to make sure no one was here and sings: "Come with me to the land I love. It's not right here, down the street, or up above. It's down below in the deep blue sea…"
While Darry was walking down the halls to find Buster and Junior, he suddenly hears very graceful and beautiful singing that he had never heard before in his life.
"Where SpongeBob lives and the fun is always free..."
Darry follows where the voice was coming from in the next room. He peeks inside and silently gasped.
Buster sang to Junior, who feels a lot better as he claps to the beat. "Down, down, down, ah, we'll have lots of fun. You and me forever in the underwater sun..."
Junior cheers loudly and claps his hands repeatedly. "Sing it again! Sing it again!"
Buster smiled to see Junior happy again, but then his smile dropped when he heard another set of clapping. He turned to see Darry behind him, clapping his hands after hearing him sing.
"Darry!" Buster said in shock and sweats nervously. "Uh...how much did you hear?"
"Everything of course." Darry said excitedly. "That was gnarly! Why didn't you tell me you can sing like that?"
"It's no big deal." Buster said shyly as he put his hands in his pockets. "I'd never sing in some band or on stage anyway."
Darry looked confused. "Why not? Your voice sounds like an angelfish. You obviously have SpongeBob's raw musical talent! No offense," he whispered at Junior, then at Buster. "How come you don't wanna sing in public?"
Buster sighs and answers, "You REALLY wanna know why I can't show off my talent on stage?" Darry nodded in agreement. "Fine, it all started a long time ago in elementary…"
A flashback goes into Bikini Bottom a few years ago at Poseidon Elementary School in the school auditorium. Everyone who attended sat their seats and was chatting about before the show starts. SpongeBob, Sandy, and the kids were there to watch the performance. A neon light sign above the stage read "Bikini Bottom Talent Show." Then, the lights dim and the curtain opens, revealing a younger Buster wearing a cowboy attire, holding a small banjo, riding on top of a wooden horse with a western background behind him.
"I was really excited to sing on stage. I was ready to show off my talent and make my dad proud of me."
"Who...wants to race me!" the young Buster sang as he rocked back and forth on the wooden horse and played the banjo. "Better men than you have tried and failed! Who's the fool...that'll try and ace me?"
"It was all going well too. That is until IT happened..."
Suddenly, one of the stagehands that was pulling a rope on the catwalk suddenly lost grip of the rope and it caught around his ankle, pulling him up.
"I'll take off in a shot leaving you so far behind. And I'm saving you a spot right here at the finish-" Buster was singing until he stopped and noticed the stage hand fall down on the side of the stage, having lost his pants that was hanging on the rope, leaving him in his underwear.
Once Buster saw this, he smiled and began to chuckle, "Ha ha ha ha..." but his laughter suddenly began to grow louder, "Ha ha...Ha ah ah ah!" Buster suddenly covered his mouth to stop himself from laughing anymore, but saw the audience already laughing at him. He sat on the rocking horse with his mouth covered, feeling embarrassed and unable to continue any further.
The flashback ends with Junior laughing as well, "Ha ah ah ah! That part makes me laugh too."
Buster seemed annoyed, but finished explaining, "There, you see? That's why I can't sing in public."
Darry was surprised by this story. "So...you not only have your dad's singing talents...but you laugh like him too?"
"Don't you know how annoying and humiliating it was? If I mess up in public and laugh like that again, I'd die."
"Huh. I guess that's why you're so silent most of the time."
"That and many other reasons," Buster points out.
"But you'd be the perfect lead singer in my band." Darry pointed out. "If you sing like you did just now and play the guitar, you'll blow the competition away."
"What about your girlfriend, Amber?" Buster asked.
Darry blushed and angrily pointed out, "She's not my girlfriend."
"Speaking of her, where is she anyway?"
In the dark room of the Hall of Villains, it lights up and the door opens. Jimmy was the one who unlocked it, whose eyes looked hypnotized as if he was under a spell. Amber walks inside in proud triumph. "Thanks, baby pop," she said, leaving Jimmy standing in a hypnotic stance.
On one of the shelves, she sees the purple electric guitar that she reaches up for and takes off the shelf, holding it with a smirk. She straps her guitar around her torso and turns the knob. Soon, the guitar glows green as does Amber's eyes. She strums a note, sending a sonic wave that breaks the glass domes in the hall. "Oh yeah! I'm back, baby!" she grinned.
Amber walks out of the hallway with her new guitar. Jimmy closes the door, but is still under Amber's spell. "I don't want you to wake up so you can tell everyone who I really am. So, just walk around or whatever."
The hypnotized Jimmy obeyed and walked away. Amber smiles and runs off, but she stops when she finds Darry and Buster around the corner. "Where were you?" Darry asked frantically. "When we came to the lab, you were gone. We thought you got lost."
"Don't worry, I'm fine." Amber answered with a grin. "I was just prepping up for the competition tonight." then she frowned sadly. "Not to mention, I was feeling a little guilty about hurting the little sponge's feelings."
Darry notices her sad face and smiles. "That's alright. Buster made things all better, right?" Buster nodded and Darry looks at his watch. "But we got two hours to prepare for the Battle of the Bands! We gotta go now!" He changes to ghost form and grabs Buster and Amber as he flies away and phased through the ceiling and HQ.
Tonight was the big night. Many gathered at the bleachers outside Casper High for the Battle of the Bands. There was a stage consisting of instruments for the band members to play, spotlights, and triple large screens on top for audiences to see from afar. Back stage, Jazz was checking if the participating bands were present, but no sign of her nephew or his band. She looked at her watch when Darry phased from the ground with Buster and Amber in his arms.
"Okay, we're here!" he told his aunt Jazz.
"It's about time." Jazz said as she checked her clipboard. "Have you guys got everything you need?"
"Yeah," Amber answered, holding her guitar. "We got EVERYTHING we need..." She peeks through the curtains to find a very large audience full of teens and young adults. Amber smirks as she mutters, "Everything right here…"
In HQ, Tommy, Tammy, and SpongeTron just arrived several minutes ago. Tammy blinked her eyes in bafflement. "How long do you think he's been like this?" she asked her brother as the three of them look blankly at the still-hypnotized Jimmy.
Tommy shrugs and responds, "I dunno. Maybe a couple of minutes."
As they continue staring at Jimmy, Danny walks in. "There you guys are! We gotta head to the concert before the good seats are-" but Danny notices Jimmy and waves his hand in front of his face. "Jimmy?"
"We're not sure how to snap him out of it." SpongeTron pointed out. "Or how he ended up like that."
The door slides open and Junior walks in. "Oh, hey fellas!" Junior waved. "Are you on your way to the concert?"
"Totally!" Tommy agreed when Poof pops out of nowhere wearing a hip-hop get-up.
"Word!" Poof said, putting on a pair of sunglasses.
"Oh, good news, Junior. I was able to fix your broken tape recorder!" SpongeTron takes out Junior's tape recorder, looking brand new.
"Lemme see! Lemme see!" Junior shouted excitedly as he pushed the 'play' button.
"Goofy Goofy Goober Goober YEEEAAAAAHHHH!"
Junior's voice shouted through the tape recorder which nearly broke the sound barrier. Everyone covered their ears from the loud terrible singing- including Jimmy, who seemed to finally snap out of whatever hypnotized trance he was in.
"What's that horrible sound?" he asked aloud. "It's like someone's scratching their nails on a chalkboard." But he looks at Junior and recognizes the voice from the recorder. "Uh…I mean…what joyful music is being played here? It sounds like a choir of-"
"You don't have to lie anymore," Junior pointed out, now feeling glum. "I know my singing's terrible."
"Oh...alright then." Jimmy said, now looking confused. "So...what are we all doing here?"
"We're all going to Darry and Buster's Battle of the Bands concert, remember?" Tammy answered.
"Until we saw you standing here like a zombie." Tommy finished.
"Yeah, what happened to you back there?" Danny asked him.
"Well, I was heading toward my lab when I saw one of Darry's band mates," Jimmy recalled, "I heard an eerie yet stunning voice and then I blacked out. That is until I heard Junior's appalling voice."
"Buster doesn't sing." SpongeTron pointed out. "Who else would be able to do that by singing?"
Meanwhile, the Battle of the Bands started with the finish of the first band. Everyone applauded and Jazz enters the stage. "Again, that was Single Arrow. Up next is Mother Goose and the Omelets." The crowd cheered as the next band plays.
Darry peeks out from behind the curtain. "Aw come on! That has to be the worst band name ever! But their music is pretty good..." He gulps, starting to sweat. "I can't believe we're dead last because we arrived late."
"Oh relax, Darry." Amber said calmly. "Everyone knows the best is always saved for last."
"I just hope we come up with a better band name than that."
"No problem! I've already got the name and new outfits." Then, Amber places two black T-shirts on the boys, places a purple hat with blue flames on Darry's head, and replaces Buster's hat with a blue fiery wig.
"What does the 'E' stand for?" Buster asked, pointing at his shirt.
"It stands for 'Ember' which is short for 'Remember us after we play'." Amber explained serenely. "But...if you guys don't like the name..."
"No way!" Darry quickly shouted. "I totally think it's gnarly. It kinda gives a vague and mysterious vibe to us." Buster just stood there and sighed in annoyance as his wig slipped down over his eyes.
In HQ, everyone was viewing the security cameras to see who placed a spell on Jimmy and they were shocked to see who it was. "Amber?!" Tammy shouted as they see through the monitor, Amber singing to Jimmy and hypnotizing him.
"It was her?" Tommy said in the surprise tone as his sister. "But why would she turn Jimmy into a zombie? What would she use him for?"
In the monitors, Jimmy leads Amber to the hallway and places his hand on a scanner next to the door. This caught Jimmy's eye, "Hold on, she's using me to get into the Hall of Villains. But what would she want there?"
"It does contain every artifact you guys ever took from all your archenemies." SpongeTron pointed out. "Maybe this will give us some kind of clue as to what she's up to."
After Amber walked into the Hall of Villain, they later see her come back out, but was now holding Ember's guitar in her hands. They gasped in horror. "Ember's guitar? Why the heck would she want that?" Tommy asked.
"Wait a sec. Her singing puts people under a trance... she plays guitar... and she's competing in the Battle of the Bands..." Danny places them together and figures it out. "Darry and Buster are in danger. 'Amber' is really Ember!"
Everyone gasped in shock when they hear this. "No wonder she said my singing was bad!" Junior realized in shock.
"Yeah, let's go with that..."
Tommy and Tammy look disgusted. "Ew..."
"So you're saying Darry is in love with Ember?!" Tammy asked, sticking her tongue. "She has to be like more than twenty years older than him!"
"And she's an evil mind-controlling spirit from another dimension." Tommy added, looking disturbed as well. "And Darry's still in love with her."
"Now hold on, Dan. Let's not jump to conclusions," Jimmy said uncertain. "Didn't we get rid of Ember years ago?"
"What happened to Ember?" Tammy asked.
"It started twenty years ago when I was still Darry's age," Danny retold.
Another flashback begins where we see 14-year-old Danny chasing after Ember, who was flying on her guitar. He fires ecto-blasts which Ember avoids. Danny speaks into his headset, "Got the gadget ready, Neutron?"
On the rooftop, Tak watches the two ghosts through binoculars as Timmy hands Jimmy some tools to adjust a blue backpack SpongeBob was holding. "The Maddie Modulator is all set," Jimmy said on the walkie-talkie.
"Are you sure this will work?" Timmy asked in a skeptical tone.
"Positive." Jimmy said confidently. "If my calculations are correct, then the outcome should have-"
"They're coming!" Tak called out as he watched through the binoculars.
Danny flew towards the rooftop where the others are until struck by one of Ember's chords, and he crashes onto the ground. Tak and Timmy rush over to help him up.
Ember floats towards them with a glowing hand, preparing another sonic chord. "You got any last requests?" she asked and strums a sonic wave towards them.
"Actually, we do," Jimmy smirks and pushes a button. Then, two silver plates appear from SpongeBob's backpack and counter back with two pairs of sonic waves.
As the two energy waves collide with each other, it sets off another large wave, hitting Ember as she screams in pain. Danny protects everyone with a ghost shield. As Danny's shield faded, the Nicktoons look down the roof to see Ember nowhere in sight, only her guitar remaining.
"We were able to counteract Ember's music, but we haven't heard from her since," Danny concluded to the kids.
As the flashback ended, Jimmy continued from where Danny left off, "We thought that we had finally finished her off or that she had moved on and was residing somewhere in the Ghost Zone. But we took the source of her power and kept it hidden in case she ever came back."
"But if Ember is really back, that means she regained the source of her powers," Tammy understood and realized, "Meaning you're right! Darry, Buster, and everyone else are really in danger!"
Back at the Battle of the Bands, the second-to-last band finished and exited the stage. "Guess that's it, folks!" Jazz announced. The crowd groaned in disappointment. "But don't worry because we have ONE more band to finish off with!" The crowd cheered again. "Not only that, but we managed to collect enough money for those new lockers. Now let me introduce..."
As Jazz does her speech, Amber opens the curtains a slight and closes it to turn to her band mates. "Are you guys ready to rock?" she asked.
Buster gave a thumbs up, but Darry turned his head away. "Uh yeah. Of course we're ready... Right?"
"Dar, don't tell me you're getting cold feet already?" Amber scolded, crossing her arms and tapping her foot impatiently.
"No! Of course not!" Darry answered in a shaky tone as his forehead sweats. "What makes you say that?" but then he drops one of his drumsticks on the ground and it rolls away. "Whoops..."
"Come on, Fenton! We got to get the audience all fired up!" Amber encouraged, holding Darry by the arms.
"Sorry. It's just... It doesn't feel right for some reason," Darry explained, looking very unsure. "What if the crowd doesn't like us? Maybe we should have practiced more... Maybe we-" Darry was interrupted when Amber plants a kiss on his lips.
As Buster sees this, his eyes widen in shock and he covers his eyes and walks out of view. After a while, Amber lets him go and Darry blushed madly after receiving his first kiss from his crush. "Wa...was that real?" he asked as he stared at Amber in shock.
"Yes," Amber nodded and socks Darry a friendly punch. "Now let's get 'em."
Darry smiles dreamily, enjoying his first actual kiss. "S-Sure..." Amber walks to the stage with her guitar and Buster follows, pulling Darry, who was distracted by the previous sudden moment.
"Now let's give a hand for our last band for tonight in the Battle of the Bands!" Jazz concluded.
The curtains open, revealing Amber on guitar, Buster on bass, and Darry on drums. "Good evening, Amity Park!" Amber yelled on the mike. "Are you ready to rock!?" Everyone responded with a wild frenzy of excitement. "Good, cuz it's gonna be your last," she said silently and shouts on the mike, "Hit it!"
Darry started pounding music on his drums, and afterwards, Buster starts strumming the bass. After the music starts getting more upbeat, Ember strums a loud note on her guitar and sings, "Yeah! Ohh-ooohhh!"
The crowd cheers loudly, liking the start of his song as Amber continues, "It was, it was September. Wind blows, the dead leaves fall... To you, I did surrender. Two weeks, you didn't call."
Buster smiles, enjoying his bass playing, as Darry still has the ditzy smile on his face while he drums.
"Your life goes on without me. My life, a losing game. But you should, you should not doubt me! You will remember my name..." Then, Amber strikes a chord and gets the crowd going with the chorus. "Ohh Ember! You will remember! Ember! One thing remains..."
The audience goes wild with the music. Amber smirks, continuing her song: "Ohh Ember! So warm and tender! You will remember my-"
"STOP!"Amber stops singing, turning to the intruder who interrupted her song. Buster turns around as well and Jazz sees who intervened with the show and gasped. It was Danny Phantom. "It's been a while, Amber..." he said in a serious tone, "Or should I say, Ember!"
Darry was surprised to see his father interrupt his show while Amber just growled in anger, "So you've come back to gatecrash my show, huh dipstick?"
"That's right." Danny answered. "I figured it out. Been a while, hasn't it?"
"You mean after you destroyed my last big concert and turned me into a normal pathetic human with nothing left? HOW COULD I FORGET?!" Amber yelled at the top of her lungs, but then calmly added, "But now that I remember everything, I'm making a big comeback, and it's thanks to your son that I'm getting it all back."
Danny's hands glow green as he prepares to fire an ecto-beam, but Amber strums a note on her guitar that sends a wave of energy out of her guitar which knocks Danny away.
"Dad!" Darry shouted as he stood up from his drumset. Suddenly, two pairs of hands grab him by the arms and pull him back. As he falls on the ground, he looks up to see the twins and SpongeTron. "Guys? What are you doing here? What's going on?"
"Darry! Amber has been using you and Buster all along!" Tammy explained to him.
"And your 'girlfriend' is actually one of your dad's foes, Ember!" Tommy added.
Darry blinked his eyes and looked at Amber as blue fire swirls around her and converts her back to her true self, punk rocker Ember McClain. "Amber was Ember all along?" Darry realized, but smiles affectingly. "I never knew she had the hots for me."
But he was suddenly slapped across the face by Tammy who shouted, "Snap out of it, Dar! If we don't do something, she's gonna use her music to control everyone."
Darry turns as Amber, now Ember, battles his father. He narrows his eyes and turns into Darry Phantom. "Nicktoons Go!" he called out.
The crowd watches as Danny and Ember continue fighting and colliding with each other. Ember strikes another energy wave that knocks Danny into the drumset. Ember lands on the stage to finish him off, until a cymbal crashes into her face. Danny jumps out, spinning two drumsticks like nun-chucks.
Ember's fists glow with green energy as her fiery ponytail burns high like flames. Suddenly, Darry lands in front of her, holding the microphone stand like a weapon. "What are you doing?" Ember asked angrily.
"Protecting my dad, duh!" Darry spat cynically.
Ember strums another energy wave. Buster gasps and ran off, dropping his bass. He jumps in front of Darry when the wave hits him, knocking him off stage. "Buster!" Darry cried, but quickly holds up the mike before Ember can chop him with her axe.
The microphone splits in two, but Darry blasts Ember with his blue ecto-beams. Ember is blasted away until she strums more notes, releasing more energy waves. Darry creates a ghostly shield to deflect the attacks and jumps to kick Ember's guitar out of the way. Ember and Darry hold hands and start pushing themselves toward each other. Darry appears to have the advantage. "Can't do anything without your guitar."
"Won't have to," Ember smirked as the crowd cheers loudly.
"Guys! Look Ember McClain has returned and she's better than ever!" one fan said.
"Ember! Ember! Ember!" the audience chanted repeatedly.
Darry gasped as Ember's ponytail burns higher, rising toward the sky. Ember starts pushing Darry, making him kneel on one of his knees. "You're too late, Big Daddy!" Ember called to Danny. "My song has already got the audience chanting and soon I'll be able to regain all my powers to place the whole world under my spell and make them all my slaves!"
Then, she blasts Darry with a pink ecto-beam. Darry slides and falls on the stage, reverting to human form. He painfully gets up as Ember retrieves her guitar. "Sorry bum, you're cute, but any friend or family of my enemy is an enemy of mine."
But as Ember is about to strike her guitar to finish Darry off, a blue energy wave comes from behind the stage and pushes Ember out of the way. Ember gets up to see who intervened and who saved Darry. The curtains open revealing Buster, holding Jimmy's Synchronized Mind Guitar that's plugged to a large amp.
"Buster?" Darry asked slightly confused. "When did Neutron's instrument do that?" Buster shrugs in response and cranks the dial on the amp to 11. Buster strikes another chord, releasing another energy wave.
Ember jumps out of the way and smirks. "Well, well, well. Looks like we have a guitar face-off."
Buster glares and marches toward her with a determined look on his face. Ember laughs and strums a note on her guitar that sends a wave of pink energy at Buster. Buster does the same and sends a wave of blue energy toward the Ember. Both blasts collide with each other, making a huge blast, but the crowd continues chanting Ember's name.
Her ponytail flares up again and she fires another blast at her opponent. Buster strums another blast from his guitar again, only this time, Ember's attack got through his defense and knocked him down. Darry gasped and ran toward his friend to see if he's alright.
Danny and the others watched the commotion on stage from behind the curtains. "Ember's too powerful to defeat with the crowd chanting."
"We need to stop them." SpongeTron said. "But how?"
"Well, obviously the crowd is under the influence of Ember's music," Tammy theorizes, "Like Jimmy was before. Let's think, what was the one thing that was able to break her spell off him?"
Suddenly, Junior pops up between the twins, surprising them. "Hi guys!" he waved.
"Junior, I thought we told you to stay put in HQ," Jimmy reminded. "Coming here is too dangerous."
Junior sighs in remorse and begins to walk away. "I'm sorry."
"No wait!" Danny halted. He turns to see a bunch of wires and cables connecting to the sound system and peeks his head at the stage to see the large screens and speakers. Danny smirks and kneels down to Junior. "Junior, how would you like to sing in front of MILLIONS of people?"
Junior's eyes brighten largely. "Really?" but then he frowns in confusion. "But you said I was terrible."
"Yes, you are." Danny admitted. "But tonight, you get to save the day with your singing that'll make everyone happy."
"REALLY?!" Junior asked with stars in his eyes.
Tommy, Tammy, Poof, and SpongeTron look at each other uneasily. "Really?" they asked also.
"You sure there's no other way?" Jimmy whispered to Danny in an unsettling tone.
Danny rolled his eyes. "Stop whining and hack into the sound system. We're gonna need all the feedback cuz Junior's gonna be a hit on the show."
Buster was knocked back again by a blast from Ember as he drops his guitar. Darry Phantom got in front of him and blocked him from Ember's path. But Ember shouted, "Do you hear that? With them chanting my name, I'm unstoppable!"
"So you were using us this whole time?" Darry asked furiously, "The band practices, the movies, the Chinese restaurant, the bowling alley... it was all a fraud for me to like you so you can ploy us in your evil schemes? Was that kiss a scheme too?"
Hearing these things, Ember frowns with a strange look of sympathy. "The Amber you knew was actually my previous life from when I was alive. When your father managed to reverse my brainwashing, the waves affected me into thinking I was that same human with dreams of being a rock star." Then, Ember grins deviously. "But since the Skulker incident, the small fry broke my brainwashing with his horrible singing. Hate to break it to you, but the Amber you knew is long gone." Hearing this, Darry's eyes widen in surprise, and then gets a hurt look as he bows his head.
Ember turns and walks to the front of the stage with a new mike, preparing to play her guitar, "Now to begin a new generation of teenage rebellion!" Ember starts to sing, but the mike wasn't able to echo her voice. She taps the mike to see if it's working. "What the?" she wondered when she, Buster, and Darry hear static coming from the large screens above.
The screens instantly adjust to a background coming from backstage. Danny Phantom is in front of a camera that's filming live. "Is this on?" Danny asked from the screen and smiles. "Sorry to interrupt this broadcast, but we have a special surprise for everyone in the Battle of the Bands. Now let me introduce one of the first-and probably last-singing sensations under the sea..." Danny walks out of the camera's view to show Junior with a Krusty Krab hat, a plastic spatula, and a microphone. "SpongeBob Jr.!"
This whole scene was actually on a live feed on SpongeTron's camcorder backstage, connected to the sound system Jimmy and Tammy have plugged in. Junior taps on the mike to see it's working and clears his throat. "I'd like to dedicate this song to my favoritest brother in the whole world...Buster!"
Buster listens on this with a smile, but realizes what's about to happen and plugs his ears. Junior looks at the camera where Danny gave a thumb up, gesturing him to sing. Junior does: "Krabby patty song! Krabby song, song, SONG! Krabby patty song! Patty SOOONG!"
The crowd continued chanting Ember's name excitedly, but once they hear Junior's terrible singing, they immediately stop chanting and frown in surprise.
"LALALA! Krabby patty SONG! Krabby patty song! Krabby SOOOOOOONG!"
"What?!" Ember shouted in horror. "NO! Stop, you little-"
But she is shot by another of Buster's blue energy waves thanks to the Neutron guitar. With the crowd no longer chanting her name, her fiery pony tail disappears. "No, NOO! Not again!" she crawled, yelling to the crowd. "You know who I am! Tell me who you love! Tell me my name! SAY MY NAME!" But the crowd remained oblivious to who she was.
A shadow approaches and Ember turns to see Darry holding up the Fenton Thermos. "Show's over, Ember," Darry spat in a still irate tone. "And we are through. I think it's time you find another boyfriend back in the Ghost Zone!" He points the Fenton Thermos at Ember, but just as he was about to push the button, another energy wave knocks Darry off his feet as he drops the Thermos.
Ember looks up to see Skulker in the sky. Ember just crosses her arms and frowns in disappointment. "What took you so long?"
"Sorry," Skulker apologizes, but smiles, "It's good to see you again, Ember, now that you're back to your old self." He aims and shoots a claw on stage with a cable attached to his arm.
Ember smirks and hops on top of the claw which releases the stage. "Sayonara, dipstick!" she waved off. Darry gets up to see Ember holding onto the cable with Skulker flying higher into the night sky. Darry growls and grabs the Thermos to suck both ghosts inside. But he froze, watching Ember for a moment. He frowns and puts down the Thermos, letting the two ghosts escape.
Darry stands there silently until Danny flies over to him and asks, "Darry, are you alright?"
"Yeah," Darry answered in a dour tone, "I'm fine I guess."
Before they could say anything else, SpongeTron ran over to them and said, "Guys? We have a tiny problem."
They wondered what it could be, but then they hear Junior still singing loudly and terribly into the microphone, "Krabby song song SONG! LALALA SONG!"
The audience began to get fed up with hearing Junior's awful singing, and one person shouted, "Boooo!"
On the screen, Junior continued singing until Jazz covered his mouth. "That was unexpected, but let's give a hand for Junior!" Jazz called out, but the audience didn't clap.
Junior beamed, getting an idea and ran toward the stage to grab the mike. "And how about another song from Darry and Buster?" Then a spotlight shone on Darry Fenton and Buster SquarePants as they stood together, surprised at what was going on.
"You never got a chance to finish your song," Jazz agreed with Junior's idea.
"Too bad you don't have your lead vocalist and guitarist to steal the crowd," Tommy recalls.
"That's right..." Darry said in disappointment as he sighed. But then, he brightened up as he recalled something. "Although...we do have one..."
Buster's eyes widen in realization and he starts to back away from the stage until Darry grabs him. "Come on, Buster! It's time to face your fear and sing to the crowd. Whatdoya say?" Buster gritted his teeth and shook his head.
"Please Buster?" Junior pleaded with big eyes. "You got the bestest voice."
"He's right," Darry nodded, "So what if you have your dad's laugh, it doesn't mean you have to be like him-which you aren't. But Buster, you GOTTA do it! Do it for the crowd, do it for your brother, do it for the band!" Buster looks at him and Junior, but still uncertain of singing in public. Then Darry adds, "If you sing tonight, I'll let you pick the name of our band." Buster still looked uncertain about facing his childhood fear, but pondered it over and wondered what choice he should make.
Sooner or later, Darry beats on his drums. "Alright! Is everyone ready to rock out tonight!?" the audience with Danny, Jazz, Jimmy, Tommy, Tammy, Poof, and SpongeTron holding Junior on his lap, cheered wildly. "I'm Darry Fenton and with me on guitar and vocals is Buster SquarePants!"
Everyone cheers loudly, hoping this will be a good finish for the Battle of the Bands. "With the duo together we are... POISON BLOWFISH!" Darry yelled out their band name. Then, the audience froze, hearing the strange band name. "It was his idea, not mine. Let's jam it up!"
Darry starts tapping a beat on his drums continuously until Buster plays a tune on his guitar. As Buster watches the crowd, he still appears nervous, but looks at Junior who smiles and waves at him. He gulps and begins singing: "Maybe I'm just a kid, maybe I just don't fit in. I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready to go now."
Buster becomes comfortable singing again as his friends and the spectators cheer loudly for Buster's voice and his guitar playing. "I don't wanna go to school, but I don't get to make the rules. Too early, too early, too early, too early in the morning."
Darry smiles excitedly to see everything going so well as he continues drumming. "Everybody, everybody, everybody. Everybody has to do something they don't want to do. Everybody, everybody, everybody. Everybody has to do something, oh why's that true?"
The audience goes crazy for the band. "Apparently, SpongeBob's talent does run in the family." Tammy said to Tommy as he whistled loudly.
Darry chuckles until Buster points the mike at him. His eyes widen when he realizes that Buster wants him to sing the next part. "Oh no, I don't have a voice as good as yours." But Buster just raised a skeptical eyebrow and got closer to him with the mike. He sighs. "Fine."
Darry points the microphone towards him and sings the next verse: "Maybe I'm not so big, maybe I just don't fit in. I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready for more now. And I don't wanna go to bed. There's so much going on in my head. Not tired, not tired, not tired, not tired right now."
Buster smiles and grabs the mike to continue the chorus: "Everybody, everybody, everybody. Everybody has to something they don't want to do. Everybody, everybody, everybody. Everybody has to do something, oh what's that true?"
The crowd continued to cheer. "Everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody," Buster sang and plays a melody on his guitar.
Darry plays the beat on his drums as he sings the next part, "Everybody, everybody, everybody,"
Buster scoots over to Darry with the mike as they both sang: "Everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody."
Buster hops off and sings again on the mike toward the stage: "Everybody, everybody, everybody. Everybody has to do something. To have some fun."
He gets an idea and runs toward the stage where the gang is. He points the mike toward them, gesturing them to sing the next part. Junior sings along: "Na, na, na, na! Na, na, na, na, na, na, na!"
The gang understood and began to sing with him: "Na, na, na, na! Na, na, na, na, na, na, na!"
All of the audience continued to sing along as Buster hops up and down jamming on his guitar and Darry plays hard on his drumset. "Na, na, na, na! Na, na, na, na, na, na, na! Na, na, na, na! Na, na, na, na, na, na, na!"
"Everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody," Buster and Darry sang together, "Everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody."
Buster then gestures the audience to sing again. "Everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody."
"Everybody, everyone, somebody, anybody has to grow up. To have some fun!" Buster finished with a hard rocking guitar solo getting the audience cheering as loud as they can.
Buster continues his guitar until a string breaks, making Buster slam the guitar on the ground like an axe repeatedly. Darry continues to bang his drums so hard he pounds and breaks them all. The duo stops, having destroyed both their instruments to the audience's silence. They stare quietly at the crowd looking at them. Suddenly, Buster laughs, "Ha ah ah ah ah!" but quickly covers his mouth and looks at what the crowd has to say.
What he didn't expect is the whole audience going crazy for their performance and finish. Buster stood there in complete shock until Darry walks over and grabs his hand, holding it up in the air as the two took a bow.
An hour later after the audience was clearing out of the field, Darry and Buster met up with their friends, who were praising them for their performance. "That was amazing!" Junior shouted in excitement as he hugged Darry and Buster. "You were awesome! That was the bestest concert I ever seen! You should do it again!"
"Sorry Junior, but the show's over." Darry replied. "Besides, we don't have our instruments anymore."
"Either way, you two were perfect." Jazz told them. "It's thanks to you that we made more than enough money to buy new lockers for the school."
"And who knew Mr. Silent over here could actually sing?" Tommy said as he elbowed Buster playfully.
"And best of all," Tammy said happily. "We stopped Ember from taking over the world- Oops." she covers her mouth and glances at Darry. Hearing her name, Darry frowns disappointedly.
SpongeTron notices this and asks, "You feeling okay, Dar?"
Darry sighs and answers, "I don't know. I guess I just miss Amber."
"You do remember she's actually Ember: the evil mind-controlling spirit who tried to kill us all?" Tommy pointed out until he was punched in the arm by Tammy.
"I know it's hard to accept, Darry." Danny said as he held Darry's shoulder. "And it may take a while for you to get over it. But there will come a time when you meet someone you like even more. Speaking of which, you and me are gonna have an important talk later."
But then, Junior started jumping up again as he waved his hand to Jazz. "Can I be in the next concert again? Huh? Can I? Please?"
"Uh..." Jazz stammered until she looked at her watch. "Whoops, sorry. I gotta get started on cashing in the money. Bye!"
Jazz quickly left, but Junior was confused by this until Darry asked Buster, "So Buster, now that you conquered your fear of singing on stage, does this mean you'll talk more?"
But Buster held his hand up as he frowned. "Don't push it." he dully said before walking away.
Darry was confused by Buster's usual anti-social behavior until he suddenly heard, "Best day EVEEEEER! BEST DAY EVEEEER!" Darry covered his ears as Junior twirled around as he sung into a microphone, "It's the BEST DAAAY EVEEEEER!"
Some things will change and some things will stay the same. I hope you all enjoyed this story as well and leave a review. The next story "Virus Breakdown" will be posted soon.