So, I've been working on and off with this chapter for quite a while. I keep telling myself I need to type something, but I'm just to excited for other stories that I keep putting this off. I apologize. I'll try to get another chapter up as soon as I can.
Chapter 21: Born to Burn
Gill Grunt was not having a good day. He was awoken at an unnatural hour by Camo and his pranks, slipped down the stairs by Zap's slime trails, and had nearly fallen off the island because Trigger Happy couldn't stop his rolling boulder. The last one confused him greatly.
Despite all of Skylands conspiring against him, he had one thing to look forward to: breakfast. He may not pig out at the buffet table like Wrecking Ball, but he enjoyed the taste and filling that food brought each day, and it was enough to get him through any troubles that evil, or other Skylanders, may bring.
As Gill Grunt walked through the large building that was the cafeteria, he gave a glance around to see whoever else was awake. Since it was still early in the morning, there was only three other Skylanders. Stealth Elf sat at the far corner of the tent, preferring to eat alone, as always. Ghost Roaster, the new chef of the Skylanders, sat on the other side of the buffet table, serving varying foods that were ten times better than they were before. He also had a white chef's hat on, though many of the Skylanders wondered where he even got it in the first place.
Then, finally, there was-
"Hello, friend!" Drobot exclaimed happily with a wave of his paw, sitting in the exact center of the tent. Gill Grunt groaned, ignoring his shouts of welcome as he made his way over to the buffet table. Why did Drobot have to be awake twenty-four seven? It's like he tried everything he could to drive Gill Grunt insane.
"You're here early," Ghost Roaster noted with a wave of his spatula. "Though, why wouldn't you be? You'd miss out on my food!"
Gill Grunt couldn't help but smirk at that. To him, Ghost Roaster was the best addition to the Skylanders since Flameslinger. Because Ghost Roaster was a ghoul, he had no reason to sleep at all, along with Chop Chop, so he always hung out in the kitchen that was at the back of the cafeteria, making each meal delicious beyond anything else.
"What's on the menu?" Gill Grunt asked, looking around at the variety of breakfast foods.
"I'd suggest the scrambled eggs!" Drobot recommended from his seat, "They're quite egg-cellent today. Ha!"
Gill Grunt narrowed his eyes in annoyance as his head hung low. Sighing, he said to Ghost Roaster, "Give me anything but scrambled eggs, okay?"
"Burt bacon, coming right up!" Ghost Roaster shouted with glee, floating every which way to prepare the meal. In mere seconds, the meal was ready, and he gave the plate full of bacon to an eager Gill Grunt, who licked his lips as he smelt the aroma of the food.
He turned around, and nearly dropped his plate as the sudden appearance of Drobot who stood before him. "So where you going to eat?" he asked quickly, behaving like an overexcited dog.
"Far away from you, that's for sure," Gill Grunt grumbled, stepped past him.
"Ah, don't be so dramatic," Drobot said, following behind Gill Grunt.
Gill Grunt found a place to sit, but when he fell into his seat, Drobot slipped into the seat beside him. Gill Grunt furrowed his brow, not liking Drobot's insistence. "Do you mind?" He asked angrily.
"Nope, go ahead, you can eat," Drobot said, watching Gill Grunt with his yellow, mechanical eyes. Gill Grunt simply stared at him for a few seconds, seeing if he was actually serious. Couldn't he take a hint?
Picking up his plate, Gill Grunt scooted his chair a few feet away from Drobot. But Drobot simply moved his own chair to sit right beside him. Gill Grunt snatched his plate again, and ran to the opposite side of the cafeteria to get away from Drobot, but when he sat down again, he found Drobot was already seated across from.
"This is a fun game and all," Drobot said, pointing to the plate of bacon, "But aren't you going to eat?"
Gill Grunt facepalmed so hard that a loud slap resonated through the area, causing Ghost Roaster to look up from his cooking with a curious expression. "Oh, that's gotta hurt," Drobot said sympathetically, "Why did you do that to yourself, anyway?"
Gill Grunt glared daggers at Drobot; if he didn't know better, Drobot was acting like that on purpose. He couldn't be that dense, could he? Ghost Roaster floated over, his hat resting at his work station. "Hey, Drobot," he called out, gaining his attention, "Why don't you see what Stealth Elf is doing?"
"What!?" shouted Stealth Elf, looking over in disbelief.
"That's a good idea!" Drobot agreed with a nod before zipping over to Stealth Elf. When he was gone, Ghost Roaster turned back to a grateful Gill Grunt, who was digging into his food with happiness.
"You do know why he bugs you like that, right?" Ghost Roaster asked, with a raised eyebrow.
Gill Grunt sighed, putting a half eaten piece of bacon back on his plate, "Yeah, I do…"
"Good, could you fill me in? I'm clueless," Ghost Roaster admitted with a sheepish smile. Gill Grunt shrugged as he continued eating as he spoke.
"From what I learned from Spyro, he didn't have many friends when he was growing up," he explained, "He was too focused on tech stuff. Now that he has a group of friends, he takes it a bit too far. I think even Trigger Happy gets irritated, though I can't tell because, well, its Trigger Happy."
Ghost Roaster nodded in understanding, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "So… Why don't you tell him?"
"I can hardly even tell what's going on in that little Gremlin's mind," Gill Grunt admitted, stuffing another piece of bacon in his mouth.
"No, no," Ghost Roaster said, shaking his head, rolling his eyes. "I mean tell Drobot."
"Oh," Gill Grunt said in surprise, "Well… I can't just tell him. It'd crush his heart."
"Ah, ha!" Ghost Roaster exclaimed, raising a finger into the air as if he had caught someone red handed. "So you do care for him!"
"I never said that," Gill Grunt said stubbornly, facing away from him while crossing his arms. "And I never freakin' will!"
"That's a bit harsh, don't you think?"
Gill Grunt rolled his eyes with a scowl, "Well, you haven't been around very long."
Looking over at Drobot, Ghost Roaster could see him chatting non-stop with Stealth Elf. He was out of synch with the others, but in his opinion, he seemed like a good guy. He shrugged, "Maybe you're right. I'm only a ghoul after all."
At that moment, a large and distant explosion shook the earth, causing the tables and chairs to rattle, food flying off the tables. Stealth Elf shoved Drobot out of the way, with little remorse, and bolted out of the tent before anyone even realized that there was business to attend to.
"The food!" Ghost Roaster screamed, clenching his head in horror as the once delectable meals fell to the floor in a jumbled and ruined mess.
"Glad you have your priorities straight," Gill Grunt muttered sarcastically, jumping out of his chair, his Harpoon Gun already in his hands. "Come on, let's get going."
Reluctantly, Ghost Roaster followed Gill Grunt out of the tent, with Drobot just behind him as well. As soon as they were in the fields, they noticed the large amount of Skylanders already gathered around Eon Tower. As the group approached to merge with the chatty crowd, Master Eon strolled out of the building and onto the deck, looking greatly disturbed.
"Settle down, now," he instructed, and the noise was stopped almost immediately. "I'm sure you are all wondering about the recent tremor. From what I can tell, it is an eruption from Mount Boyizitbig."
"What kind of place is that!?" Gill Grunt whispered to himself.
"It's a large volcano on the outskirts of Skylands," Drobot informed, standing beside him.
"Who asked you?" Gill Grunt shot out harshly.
"You did, friend," Drobot replied, the grin on his face showing that he had missed the insult.
Groaning, Gill Grunt dropped the subject and focused on the speech Eon was still giving.
"Many lava monsters have emerged from that location," Eon had went on, "and are terrorizing all of Skylands. You each will be part of a team of three. Defend Skylands!"
A bellowing cheer of agreement was shouted by the Skylanders as Spyro quickly took command.
"Alright, listen up," he ordered, gaining everyone's attention, "I'll be assigning the teams. Sonic Boom, Terrafin, and Drill Sergeant, you'll cover Unicorn Peak."
As Spyro continued commanding the Skylanders, Gill Grunt was talking animatedly with Ghost Roster. "Did you hear? We'll be fighting lava monsters! This'll be a piece of cake with this baby."
He brought up his harpoon, petting it fondly. "I'm just excited because this will be my first mission!" Ghost Roaster said, practically jumping up and down.
"Oh yeah, that's right," Gill Grunt said, rubbing his chin. "My piece of advice, just cover your teammates backs, and everything'll be fine."
"Last team," Spyro announced, "Gill Grunt, Ghost Roaster..." - Gill Grunt nudged him with his elbow - "and Drobot."
Gill Grunt's face fell quickly, his jaw wide open in shock. "Hey we're partners!" Drobot said, grinning widely. "Let's get this done, team!"
"This is going to be a long day..." Gill Grunt concluded with a somber expression.
In a flash of white, Gill Grunt, Ghost Roaster, and Drobot appeared on an island that was dominated by Mount Boyizitbig. Curiously, there wasn't any lava flowing from the top, there was only the large billowing smoke from the summit that indicated that there was an eruption recently.
"So this is where we're patrolling, eh?" Ghost Roaster said, glancing around the area. "Not so bad, we might even run into some of those lava monsters."
"Actually," Drobot put in, as Gill Grunt suppressed a groan, "because of how big the eruption was, there is little chance we would run into any lava monsters, as they would have been shot a lot further away."
"So..." Ghost Roaster drawled, looking a bit confused. "No fighting?"
Gill Grunt sighed, "No fighting."
"Then why were we sent here in the first place?" Ghost Roaster asked, scratching the top of his head.
"We are here to investigate the initial origin of the monstrosities of magma that are currently plaguing the land of Skylands," Drobot answered. A long silence followed, with Ghost Roaster staring blankly at him. He then turned towards Gill Grunt with the same stare, and Gill caught on to his gesture.
"We need to check out the volcano because this is where the lava monsters came from," he simplified while rolling his eyes.
"Ohhhh," Ghost Roaster said, his eyes lighting up in realization before he faced Drobot again. "Why didn't you just say that?"
"I thought I did," Drobot admitted, looking deep in thought, "Did I speak another language?"
"Anyway," Gill Grunt emphasised, gaining their attention, "We should have a look around, see what we can find."
The others nodded at his suggestion, and the three set off to walk beside the volcano. It was incredibly boring for them. The knowledge that they would probably never run into anything here had made them falter in their vigilance, making them droop slightly. After only five minutes, Ghost Roaster shouted, "I can't take it anymore! If nothing happens on my first mission, I'm going to explode!"
"Technically, that can't happen," Drobot said, his head low in boredom, "But I see your point. We need a bit of action to invigorate our bodies."
"Quit your long-worded whining," Gill Grunt snapped, "You think I want to be stuck here with you!"
"W-What do you mean by that?" Drobot asked slowly, stopping in his tracks as a deep frown came to his face. Both Ghost Roaster and Gill Grunt's eyes widened, He had crossed the line. "Are you saying… You don't want me around?"
Gill Grunt winced, thinking furiously for something to say. "Well, yeah, kind of. I mean, you sort of… get on my nerves."
"I thought we were friends!" Drobot shouted, though there was a hint of a sob in his words. "I thought you were saying all that as a joke!"
"Well, it was true," Gill Grunt said awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck. Drobot didn't say anything else as he gazed at him, completely stunned. Then, while grounding his teeth, Drobot took flight, leaving the two by themselves.
"Whoa, wait! Drobot!" Ghost Roaster called, waving his hands frantically. "We can't be separated!"
'I didn't think he would take it so badly,' Gill Grunt thought, feeling depressed for driving away a friend.
"Now what do we do?" Ghost Roaster asked as he looked back at Gill Grunt, a worried expression on his face. Gill Grunt knew he had messed up, and the only way to make it up was to apologize to Drobot. With resolve, he turned to Ghost Roaster, who was nervously playing with his hands.
"We're going to find him," Gill Grunt said with a nod.
"Hello!" said a creature that was made up of lava suddenly come into view cheerfully.
"Gah! Lava monster!" Gill Grunt yelled, shooting water with his Harpoon Gun at the creature who yelped and jumped back from the attack.
"Wh- I was only trying to be friendly, you oaf!" the creature growled angrily. Using his hands he threw blobs of lava at Gill Grunt and Ghost Roaster. Thinking quickly, Gill Grunt raised his weapon and shot water at the incoming lava. They turned to stone and fell to the floor, breaking apart upon impact.
The creature then barfed up lava at the two Skylanders. Not able to shoot it with water, Gill Grunt dived to the side, leaving Ghost Roaster to become transparent. However, the attack landed on him anyway, covering him in lava.
"Hot! Hot! Hot!" Ghost Roaster cried, running to and fro to cool himself off.
"Hold still!" Gill Grunt ordered, and when Ghost Roaster complied, he doused him in water. Unfortunately, this solidified the lava, causing it to encase Ghost Roaster in a thick layer of rock. Only his mouth was untouched.
"Uh, you alright?" Gill Grunt asked hesitantly, eyeing the creature cautiously who was covering his mouth in a suppressed laugh.
"Just dandy," Ghost Roaster said back, "How's your day?"
"Why didn't your transparent ability work?" Gill Grunt inquired, tapping the rock.
"I think it only works for physical attacks," Ghost Roaster mused, "Elemental attacks still affect me."
Gill Grunt continued tapping the stone. "Will you cut that outrequested, "I feel like a fish in a tank."
Before Gill Grunt could say another word, the creature burst out laughing, falling to the ground as he clutched his stomach. "Oh, man, that's hilarious!" the creature bellowed in between bouts of laughter, "You guys are too much!"
"You won't be laughing when you're nothing but a statue!" Gill Grunt declared, pointing his weapon at the creature. Seeing the gesture of aggression, the creature quickly got to his feet, getting into a combat stance.
"Yeah! Get him, Gill Grunt!" Ghost Roaster said, "Give him a left, and a right, and another left!"
As Gill Grunt dodged another glob a lava thrown by the creature, he glared at the frozen Ghost Roaster. "Not helping!" he stated, jumping back to avoid another attack. Gill Grunt put some distance between himself and the creature and shot harpoon after harpoon at him. It did some damage, but it annoyed the creature more than anything.
"Stop it!" the creature roared, charging straight for him. Gill Grunt shot into the air with the help of his water jetpacks, and was about to land behind the creature. The creature saw this, and his lower half instantly became a pool of lava, his head and torso still intact. Gill Grunt panicked as his landing zone was suddenly covered in magma, and veered off course. He crashed landed beside Ghost Roaster, giving a low groan from the pain.
"Didja get him?" Ghost Roaster asked anxiously, causing Gill Grunt to slam his head against the ground.
Drobot flew back to the ground when he felt like he was far enough away from Gill Grunt. He still couldn't believe that his friend would say stuff like that, even if it took Drobot this long to figure it out. It was devastating, and extremely mean. Drobot fell to the ground, wishing that he didn't need to return to the person he thought was a friend.
When he thought about it, a lot of the Skylanders acted the same way around him. Condensinding, sarcastic, and even down right mean! There was still a handful of people who treated him politely, but it meant little to him compared to the grand scale of things. He couldn't believe he hadn't noticed it before.
"What's a dragon to do?" he moped pitifully, his head hanging low. But then it perked up again as a thought drifted through his mind.
'I'm a Skylander!' He thought, puffing out his chest. 'And Skylanders don't run away from their troubles, they face them head on!'
Taking a deep breath and releasing it, Drobot looked around to regain his bearings. Though, it was rather pointless as the environment was the same when he was with the others. He needed to find them, and deal with his problem. They still had a mission to complete. With a nod to himself, Drobot took off again, heading back the way he came.
When Drobot flew back to where his friends were, he was startled to find them engaged in battle. Or at least Gill Grunt was, Ghost Roaster was stuck in a rocky cocoon. Gill Grunt was fighting off a lava monster, dodging left and right as he tried to find an opening.
Drobot knew they needed his help, and with extreme vigor, dived towards them. With his lasers, he shot at Ghost Roaster's prison, crumbling the stone enough for him to burst out in a rocky explosion.
As he stretched his body, he said, "Yeah, that feels way better."
Then, he changed into a giant, glowing head, and charged at the lava monster. He was already caught off guard from the sudden appearance of Drobot, and wasn't prepared for Ghost Roaster's attack. He took it full force, tumbling back slightly. Drobot followed by launching sharpened gears at him, making the lava monster nearly fall down. And all of it was a distraction for Gill Grunt to charge up his Harpoon Gun, replacing the harpoon with a large and dangerous anchor.
With a smug grin on his face, Gill Grunt shot the anchor which hit the lava monster square in the face. He fell with a thud, stars circling his head, and Gill Grunt fist pumped. "Nice work team," he complimented, and Drobot landed beside him. Gill Grunt frowned a bit at his appearance, but not from annoyance. "Hey, Drobot. I'm sorry for saying all those things about you."
"Don't worry about it," Drobot waved off with a gentle smile. "I think I should be sorry for being such a bother all this time."
"Aww," Ghost Roaster said, floating over to them and throwing his arms around each Skylander. "Look at you guys."
Gill Grunt cleared his throat awkwardly, "Don't make this weird, Ghost."
As Ghost Roaster laughed, the lava monster stirred from his beating, sitting up and rubbing his head. "Did anyone get the number on that air balloon?" he slurred.
Drobot quickly went over to him, and growled at him. "Don't move, buddy."
The lava monster shook off his dizziness, and glared at Drobot, standing back on his feet, "The name's Eruptor. And why the heck did you guys attack me?"
Gill Grunt scoffed, "Cause you're a lava monster from the volcano!"
"And you just assumed that I would be a monster?" Eruptor said, crossing his arms with narrowed eyes.
"Your kind is attacking villages and towns!" Drobot shot back, "They're hurting people!"
Eruptor was taken aback by that information, gazing at the three with wide eyes. Then, he tapped his chin with his hand. "It must be the atmosphere," he mumbled.
The three Skylanders looked at him oddly. "Come again?" they coursed.
"Lava creatures are easily angered," Eruptor explained, "We just had a huge argument in the volcano, which caused the eruption. Or at least, I think it's what caused the eruption. Oh, and we're kind of hard to understand."
Ghost Roaster raised a brow skeptically, "But we can understand you just fine."
"That's the thing," Eruptor said with a shrug, "this atmosphere is really calm, and I don't feel as aggressive."
"Interesting," Drobot muttered, tilting his head as he examined Eruptor. "It must be a respiratory dysfunction that developed exponentially to suit the environment that is natural to all other life forms."
Eruptor looked to Gill Grunt and Ghost Roaster, blinking slowly in confusion. Ghost Roaster saw his bewilderment, and shrugged. "I think he said something about lungs," he assumed, looking just as lost, "and maybe how to breath underwater."
Gill Grunt rolled his eyes, "He said that Eruptor must have different type of lungs that fit the places we live in."
"Ohhhh," Eruptor and Ghost Roaster said together, making Drobot look between them.
"Didn't I say that?" he asked, causing Gill Grunt to chuckle good heartedly.
"Not exactly," he admitted, "But I'll explain later. Right now, we need to figure out what to do with Eruptor here."
"Why doesn't he become a Skylander?!" Ghost Roaster exclaimed.
"Uh, no," Drobot replied frankly, getting a snicker out of Gill Grunt. "There are certain parameters that a Skylander must fill, and we know nothing about him."
"You can just ask," Eruptor grumbled, "And is hating evil any consolation? Whatever this Skylanders thing is?"
"It's defending people who can't defend themselves," Gill Grunt summed up, "Basically."
"And why do you want to become one anyway?" Drobot asked.
Eruptor shrugged, "Sounds like fun."
The three stared at him for a few seconds before Ghost Roaster spoke up with a grin, "Can't argue with logic like that!"
"Yes you can," Drobot deadpanned before addressing Eruptor, "And we would have to have Spyro approve of it, if he doesn't attack you on sight."
"Why would he…?" Eruptor began to ask before his face lit up in realization. "Oh, right. Monsters attacking people and stuff."
"Yeah," Gill Grunt said, scratching the back of his head. "No offense."
"None taken," Eruptor waved off, "Let's just get me recruited now."
Gill Grunt nodded, and they all gathered around. "Take us home, Master Eon," he said, and the four were whisked away in a flash of white smoke.
When the group reappeared on the Portal of Power, they were startled to see a large force of Skylanders on the deck, and were even more surprised when they suddenly turned their weapons on them. "Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Gill Grunt shouted hastily, waving off the weapons. "He's friendly."
The Skylanders looked at each other oddly, and Gill Grunt elaborated, explaining everything that had happened since they arrived at Mount Boyizitbig. Excluding the little incident with Drobot, of course. When he finished, Sypro walked up to Eruptor.
"So, you want to be a Skylander?" he questioned.
"Yeah, sure, why not?" Eruptor replied promptly, "Got nothing better to do in this new-"
He was cut off by a tickling in his nose, as he was about to sneeze. Gill Grunt seeing it before anyone else shouted, "Uh-oh, hit the deck!"
Just as everyone got far enough away, Eruptor sneezed, his bottom half melting into a lava pool on top of the Portal of Power. When the coast was clear, Drobot walked up to Eruptor, and then faced Gill Grunt who had arrived a second later. "Now that's what I call a 'Hot Spot'."
Gill Grunt could not facepalm fast enough.
Eruptor chuckled nervously, "Sorry about that."
He reformed back to his old self and saw, to his astonishment, that the Portal of Power was unharmed. Drobot saw his expression and stepped forward to explain, clearing his throat. "Since this is a Portal of Power, it has certain attributes that allow it to ignore attacks," he explained rather simply.
"Now I can understand you!" Eruptor laughed, jumping off the Portal. Drobot made to speak, but stopped himself short, shaking his head in exasperation.
Gill Grunt turned back to Spyro, who was one of the few to approach the group again and asked, "So can he join or what?"
Spyro still looked unsure, as he tilted his head looking Eruptor over. "We would have to test him, like with Drobot."
"Hey, we can vouch for him!" Ghost Roaster put in, waving his hands. "He would have kicked our butt if Drobot hadn't come back."
"Come back from what?" Spyro asked as he looked at Drobot, who was rubbing the back of his neck in embarrassment.
"It's a long story," he summed up, "I'll tell you later. Right now, we have a Skylander who needs to be recruited."
I think the ending is where I started to trail off, but I hope you enjoyed. I don't think I would be officially back, but I think I'm starting to get back into it, little by little.