That's an optimistic title.
SOLmaster: Probably more traps. =P Thanks for reading!
TweenisodeOrange: At least this time it hasn't been month. :D Thanks for reviewing!
Guest: And I should like to see this poll, but sadly, you seem to be posting a guest review. :) Anyway, thanks for the review!
Zim'sMostLoyalServant: I was always gonna tie them all together. Like the Avengers, y'know, but with much lower production values. :D Thanks very much!
Chapter Three: Fall
The Man in the White Suit stepped onto the podium. Newspaper photographers in the audience began to take pictures, but he didn't even react to the bright flashes. He simply took his place behind the microphone and began to speak.
"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your time."
Jimmy and Spongebob ran into the entrance hall, finding Vlad alone. He was looking at the door, his shoulders hunched. It looked almost as if he regretted something.
Hearing his uninvited guests, he straightened up and turned around.
"You're too late," he sniffed, "He's already out there."
"So?" snapped Jimmy, "We'll just wreck his speech. Easy!"
"It's not that simple," growled Vlad, "For one, you'd have to get through me to do that. And besides..."
He glanced to the door again, a dark glare on his face.
"He's already won."
"Some of you, I have already met, already spoken to. They probably don't remember me, but I told them that there would come a time when I required their assistance..."
Jazz was sitting in front of the VOX screen, looking bored. Suddenly, the screen started flashing.
A surge of energy has been detected, right in the middle of Amity Park.
"That can't be good..."
"In the past few days, I've run announcements on the major television channels throughout the world – chances are, you saw one, although I doubt you'd recall it."
"Wait, what do you mean a trap?" demanded Tucker, "Like an ambush or something?"
"Worse," replied the robot, "He's been planning this for centuries! Mom did research on him, that's why he came for us..."
"Robots have moms?" Sandy whispered to Tucker.
"He has this...what'd mom call it...mimetic phrase, he could use to control people's thoughts," explained the robot, "A sentence he can say to implant something in their heads."
There will come a time when I need assistance. Until then – forget you saw me.
Danny and Sam were standing on the roof of the building, watching the Man, when Danny's eyes widened.
"Wait a minute, I remember him now," he realised, "He said something to me before he gave me to the Shadowed One..."
"...yeah, me too, after the fight with Aragon," nodded Sam, "How'd we forget that?"
"Forget you saw me..." whispered Danny.
"Now, the time has come. The time for me to reveal why I am here, the time to change the course of history..."
"What do you mean he's already won?" snapped Spongebob, "He's just outside the door, right? We can just steal the microphone!"
"But he's already broadcasted his message," warned Vlad, "Right into the tiny little brains of the general public! They're already conditioned; he just needs to give the order!"
"What?" demanded Jimmy.
"He's just one phrase away from victory, James," snarled Vlad, "You don't stand a chance."
"The time has come to call upon the assistance I required, the favour I asked..."
"He's broadcasted that sentence through everything," finished the robot, "Radios, TV, the Internet, even books, over all the worlds he could reach!"
"Including Bikini Bottom," nodded Sandy.
"...and Retroville," added Tucker, "But if that's true, and he's making a speech right now..."
"He can control the world with one word," whispered the robot.
One word, heard around the world.
One word, told to a crowd of hundreds in front of Amity Park City Hall.
One word, locally translated, to every television set on the Earth.
One word, filtered into every computer screen at the moment it was said.
One word, slipped into every book, hidden among the words until the time was right.
One word, across the planet...
The Man in the White Suit seemed to explode into pure darkness, forcing open the door to City Hall.
Jimmy and Spongebob watched in horror as it spread across the crowd. As it did, their eyes turned black, their skin paled, and they shifted to stand at attention.
The very bricks and masonry of the nearby buildings seemed to turn dirtier, more forlorn, weeds and vines sifting through them. The sky clouded over, and the world turned dark.
Jimmy grabbed his recaller and shouted into it.
"Danny! Get outta there!"
"Danny! Danny, pick up!"
Danny and Sam stood at attention on the roof of the building. Their skin was pale, their eyes black.
They had submitted.
"...uh, no-one said anything about this," gulped the Dirty Bubble.
He and ManRay were pinned by Dani, while Timmy was aiming the Starflinger at a downed Ember. All parties had stopped fighting, and were looking at the sky in awed shock.
"We're doomed," gulped Timmy.
The energy pulse on the VOX screen exploded.
Jazz jumped back as a loud beeping filled the air, and the display began to turn red. Flashing lights appeared over every major city on Earth and began to spread.
"That's...really not good," she gulped.
Tucker, Sandy and the robot stared out the window as Retroville changed before their eyes. The road outside became cracked and full of potholes. The trees shrivelled up and died.
"He actually did it," gasped Sandy, "That varmint actually did it."
Tucker nodded, and turned to the robot.
"By the way, we never got your name."
London. Moscow. Tokyo. New York. Cairo. Sydney. Brasilia. Leeds.
Everywhere on Earth, legions of ordinary people stopped what they were doing and stood to attention. The skies turned dark, the buildings become rundown. Trees died, water became a murky brown. The whole world changed in an instant.
Then, as one, they said three words.
"We will obey."
Well, this is bad...