January 17th - 9:46pm
Despite everything that was happening around him, Toiletnator was in a good mood. He had been given the task of being the link between the adults and the Kids Next Door. A dangerous mission indeed, but Father had said how much he depended on him. After all, he wasn't there to make nice. Being a spy was his main goal - gain the trust of the Kids Next Door. He couldn't wait to see their faces when they found out.
Why he had to be stationed in Camp Kidney, however, he did not know. Sure, Numbuh Three and Numbuh Four were just around the corner, but they weren't the only Kids Next Door operatives in the world. Then again, staking out the Sector V tree-house was probably too obvious. He knew that now, and it wasn't like he was going to repeat mistakes from the past. Whether the other three were going to spread out among the world was yet to be seen, but they couldn't stay in the tree-house forever.
He was thinking about this when he heard crying, sobs that seemed to echo throughout the entire camp. Concerned, he moved towards the source of the noise only to find a blonde girl hiding her head in her hands. She didn't look like she was younger than fifteen, so he assumed he was safe. Still, he couldn't help but wonder how a girl like her had ended up here in the first place. It wasn't exactly the safest place, after all, though from what he'd heard it was less contaminated compared to other areas in the Wilds.
The girl's head shot up as soon as he stepped on a twig, eyes narrowing at him, though the effect was lost with her puffy red eyes. "Who are you?"
"I'm," a dramatic pause, "the Toiletnator!"
She blinked at him then snorted. "What kind of name is that? Are you supposed to be some sort of superhero?"
"I'm a villain, actually."
The girl began laughing even harder, tears of laughter instead of sadness falling from her eyes. She calmed down soon enough, but not after hiccuping a few times. "You gotta be a pretty lame villain."
Toiletnator sighed. "I get that a lot."
The girl shrugged. "It's 'kay. Not like I could come up with any better. I'm May, by the way. Hey, did I just do that rhyming thing?"
Even if May looked like a teenager, Toiletnator couldn't help but wonder if she was one of those types that was a child at heart. If so, things could become tricky, but she didn't seem to be the obnoxious kind of child, not like the Kids Next Door. Maybe he could deal with her.
"What are you doing here anyway?" he asked, sitting on the opposite side of the picnic table she was propped up on. "It's kind of dangerous here. And why were you crying?" He knew he wasn't acting much like a villain, but if he had to pretend to be nice to others he may as well start with the girl right in front of him. Besides, he was curious.
May began bawling again as he mentioned her actions earlier. After a good minute or so, she finally managed to calm down enough to speak. "Well, there's this guy, my Ed-bear, and my sisters and I always show our affection to him and his friends, yeah? So, we went and did that a few days ago, but he ran away from me and went this way. Now I can't find h-h-him!" On the last word, high pitched squeals escaped her mouth, making Toiletnator cover his ears. This was going to be more difficult than he thought.
"Uh, you know there are places other than this camp, right? He probably went further into the wilderness," he tried to reason, hoping it worked.
It calmed her down slightly, but she was still sniffling into her hands. Toiletnator couldn't say it was very hygenic, but this was coming from a guy who transported himself via toilet bowl. He watched her as snot ran down her face, falling onto her hands. He made a face and took a roll of toilet paper from his pocket, handing it to her while making sure their hands didn't touch. She took the paper and blew her nose with a loud snorting noise.
"I'm lost. I don't know where I a-am," May sniffled. "What are you doing here, anyway?"
Toiletnator froze. It wasn't as if he could just tell her why he was there. His mission was a secret, after all. Then again, she didn't seem to know the Kids Next Door, so surely it wouldn't hurt to boast a little, right?
"Well, can you keep a secret?" he asked slyly, leaning forward.
May's mouth made an 'o' shape. "Yeah, yeah, what is it?" Well, at least she seemed eager.
"I'm a secret agent," he whispered, though it was more of a stage whisper than anything. He jumped back as soon as he said it, as if he didn't want to be caught or draw suspicion to himself. It was futile, of course, considering that there was no one else around, but he was in the moment.
May didn't seem to understand the impact of what he'd said, a dumb look on her face. Was that her normal face? It was certainly the one she wore the most around him. He actually got a kick out of that, thinking he was too smart for her. It would be a first.
"A secret agent?" May asked, and Toiletnator winced at how loud she was being. There may not have been other people there, but the clearing echoed. If anyone from Mount Blackhead was on patrol they might hear her. "What for? Come on, tell me! Please, please, please!"
As she begged him, obnoxious voice entering his ears, he sighed. This was going to take a while.
January 18th - 1:09am
"You made a deal with death and interrupted me when I'm sleeping?!"
Juniper Lee ignored Monroe as he continued to whine and complain, gathering various items and shoving them in her backpack. She had bumped into Fusion monsters near the entrance to Orchid Bay, just another incentive to not return, but she had to. Her brothers and dog were here, as were her friends and grandmother. She couldn't just leave without saying anything.
Her grandmother had given her permission to reveal her position of Te Xuan Ze to others as the situation was out of her hands. These weren't mythical creatures or monsters she were fighting. These were aliens, beings from another planet different to their own. They weren't under her jurisdiction and didn't have to listen to her, but she could still do something. Her abilities were still with her, so that was something, and that along with her knowledge of magic would be of good use. Or, at least she hoped so. Dexter seemed to think so, anyway.
"Where are you even going, anyway?" Monroe continued. "Why not just stay here?"
June had considered that option. In the beginning she hadn't wished to fight in the war. Her abilities were meant for magic, not aliens. However, she had spoken with her grandmother who had told her a little investigation wouldn't hurt. If there was magic involved then she would want to know about it, and it was always better to be safe than sorry.
"I think the question should be where aren't I going, actually," she said, tip-toeing around so she didn't wake up Ray Ray, who was fast asleep on the couch. The two of them may have grown older, but he was still her younger brother. He may have argued about being a teenager, saying that he was "so mature", but she didn't know if she wanted to get him involved. She knew he would want to be, but it would probably be unsafe.
"And you're not even taking me or your brother." Why couldn't Monroe have just stayed asleep? "That's treachery, I tell you."
June was five seconds away from strangling the magic dog, but she resisted. Just. "I never said you weren't coming. I'm going to need your knowledge. It's Ray Ray I'm worried about taking."
"Just the kid?" Monroe scoffed, leaning his head on his paws. "He's gonna be angry if you don't take him, you know."
"His safety is more important."
As if hearing their conversation, Ray Ray woke up, rubbing his eyes slowly. June silently cursed herself for speaking so loudly, though in her mind it was mainly Monroe's fault. He had started it, after all.
"What's going on?" Ray Ray asked, yawning in the middle of his sentence.
June was about to make up an excuse, but Monroe seized his chance. "This lass is going to go investigating extra terrestrial life without you."
That gained Ray Ray's attention. He jumped up, almost knocking over the lamp with his legs. "You're gonna do what?! I thought you were going to have nothing to do with that alien thing."
"Even though she helped out at Hero's Hollow without me knowing," Monroe grumbled.
It was true that June had escaped Orchid Bay without her family and Monroe's knowledge. Her watch had signaled to her that there was trouble afoot, but when it tried to lead her out of Orchid Bay, she'd had to change her plans a little. She had known that the Grim Reaper was having a holiday here, or at least had been trying to when the aliens invaded. He was a special case when it came to magic and was able to grant her the ability to be free of Orchid Bay with the use of the Veil. It was a stretch, and she would have to return every few months or so for the spell to be renewed, but it was worth it.
After the deal had been made, the two of them had sped off to Hero's Hollow, the place June's watch had told her to be. It was almost unheard of for the signal to reach anywhere but Orchid Bay, so she had thought this had to be some sort of magic war or something. What she ended up with was aliens, aliens, and more aliens. Since Dexter had never given her a real job at their meeting previously, she had exempted herself from the war and had been about to turn back when she was forced into the crowd of soldiers.
Once she was there she had decided to help in any way she could. It was only right.
"That was a special circumstance and you know it, Monroe," she said, zipping her bag up. "I didn't mean to get involved."
"Then why are you getting involved now?" Ray Ray asked. "And without me!"
June rolled her eyes. "Because Ah-Mah told me to. Or, at least she told me it would be good to investigate in case there's magic somewhere in all this craziness. The reason I'm going without you is because I want you to be safe. You may know about magic, but aliens are different."
Ray Ray crossed his arms. "They're not that different. Besides, if magic's involved then I can help."
She had to admit, the boy had a point. In the past few years, Ray Ray had been studying magic quite a lot. Of course, like most boys his age studying wasn't the ideal way for him to spend his time, so it was really bits and pieces here and there. Even so, it had paid off, and he had quite the mountain of knowledge in that brain of his. If magic really had something to do with this Fuse or whatever his name was, Ray Ray would be a big help.
"Alright, fine," June sighed. "You can come. Just don't go provoking any aliens, okay? For now we're setting out to research stuff, not fight stuff. There is a difference."
Ray Ray saluted and followed June as she walked out of her bedroom door. Her parents and Dennis were asleep and she didn't want to wake them, so she made sure to tread quietly, whispering at Ray Ray and Monroe to do the same. It was her agility that really got her down the stairs and to the door, opening it without a hitch. She was about to step outside when she saw the boy on her doorstep, finger centimeters away from the doorbell with a blank look on his face.
Shutting the door quickly behind her, Juniper breathed, "Marcus! What are you doing here? Do you know what time it is?" Her tone wasn't harsh, only curious. "Wait, don't tell me. Jody and Ophelia told you, didn't they?"
The only people she had told about her powers were Jody and Ophelia, never really having the chance to tell anyone else. In the past twenty-four hours she had gone through endless questions about the magic world. The Veil had been lifted and now everyone was seeing mythical creatures. It was exhausting to see people screaming from all the creatures they could suddenly see around. As much as she had wanted her friends to know why she was always MIA, having people constantly running from perfectly harmless people - er, species - was getting annoying.
"Guilty as charged," Marcus admitted, scuffing his feet along the pavement. "I had a feeling you would be awake for some reason so I came by, but I didn't expect you to be heading out. Oh, by the way, Roger also knows. He's probably gonna go all fanboy on you when you see him next."
Cue the nervous laughter. "Great. Well, I'm heading out to do some research and see if there's any magic involved in this alien thing."
"Can I come with?" Marcus asked. "I mean, I couldn't sleep anyway. This alien stuff is freaky."
"Why not? I could do with some company," June said, shrugging her shoulders and heading to where her bike had been tossed in the front yard.
Ray Ray gave a look of offense. "Hey, what are we? A bacon side dish?"
"Mm, bacon," Monroe said to himself as he plopped himself down into the bike's front basket. "I could do with some of that right now."
Marcus jumped backwards, almost knocking over his own bike. "Your dog can talk?"
Oh, right, that. June had almost forgotten that Monroe couldn't be understood by anyone other tan her, Ah Mah, or Ray Ray. "Uh, yeah. He's always been able to do that, but only seers of magic could tell. Now that the Veil's been lifted everyone can hear what he says. Poor humanity. Life was better when he just barked for a living."
"Hey, I take offense to that! I don't even make a living, you know."
June and Marcus only looked at each other and laughed as Ray Ray began peddling down the street. The younger boy went only a few meters before calling back, "Where are we going, exactly?" It made June laugh at just how similar he was to his eight year old self.
Before she could tell him they were starting at the elves that lived under the cinema, she caught sight of a familiar pink dog running her way. She recognized him from the meeting at dexLabs, but like her he hadn't been given a proper job. It made her wonder why he was even there in the first place, unless he was like Monroe and could speak. That would make for some interesting conversation at the very least.
"Is this a friend of yours?" Marcus asked, eyeing the pink dog as it ran around her yard.
"No, this one's new," June said, abandoning her bike to go over to the dog. "Though I don't think he's from Orchid Bay. I saw him at the meeting at dexLabs, but I don't know why he was there."
The dog, without warning, jumped into her arms while barking. He wriggled around as she asked, "Who are you."
"C-Courage!" the dog seemed to bark out. "Come w-with me! Hurry!"
The three humans and their dog exchanged confused looks. Courage jumped out of June's arms and tugged on her jeans, signalling for her to follow him. She supposed she had no choice but to do so. Maybe she would find out something of use.
January 18th - 6:33am
Finn wrapped his newly bought jacket around him even though he was sure it couldn't become any tighter. The air was cold, and while many would expect him to be used to it due to regular visits to the Ice Kingdom, it was different here. The atmosphere was different than in Ooo, though he couldn't put his finger on the reason as to why that was. It just seemed so much stranger, more foreign, despite that this was the same world he lived in, only thousands of years before. Even thinking about it made him feel weird.
If Jake was experiencing the same feelings as him, he wasn't showing it. He was speaking quietly to Lady as they walked down the pathways of the Wilds without a care in the world. Then again, Jake was always the more laid back out of the two of them, and the cold probably wasn't even bothering him. He was a magical dog with magical fur, after all, so it probably kept him at the correct temperature quite well.
Princess Bubblegum had called the residents of Ooo to a meeting in the middle of the wilderness. Why she did so was still a mystery to Finn as she had been incredibly vague over the NanoCom. All he knew was that she had something important to talk about and that she needed everyone possible to attend, even those like the Ice King. Not everyone was able to make it, however, as Flame Princess was assisting with the aftermath of Hero's Hollow and Beemo was doing something at Sector V. It was Finn's job to fill them in later.
The place they were scheduled to meet was the Pimpleback Mountains, a dark area if Finn said so himself. Princess Bubblegum was already waiting beside one of the cabins on the top of the mountain, the Ice King and Gunter already there with her, and LSP was talking on her phone to someone on the other side of the mountain. Knowing her it probably wasn't a terribly important conversation, but trying to get her off her phone was like trying to mount and ride a bear.
"Oh, Finn, Jake, Lady!" Bubblegum said when she saw them, a beam on her face. She also looked relieved, which made sense considering the Ice King had been her only real company for a while. "Nice to see you here. We're only waiting on Marceline now."
"I'm right here, Bonnie."
Finn looked behind him to see the vampire girl in all her glory, guitar and sunhat at the ready. She drifted over so she was standing right beside him. "I have a meeting with the Grim Reaper, so let's make this quick."
Bubblegum gave that face, the one she always made when Marceline said something. A sort of exasperated but content look. "Alright, alright. We're just waiting for LSP to finish her phone call." She raised her voice on the last few words, directing them at LSP who seemed to get the message.
"Ugh, Princess, I have to go. TTYL." LSP hung up and floated over to where the rest of them were gathered, a scowl prominent on her face. "Come on, I don't have all day."
Finn was sure that LSP really did have all day, but he kept quiet. He was too tired to argue, having spent most of his night fighting monsters away from various areas of Downtown. He hadn't complained, though. Being a hero was what he did, no matter what time of day, and it did help somewhat that there were so many other capable people around. He hadn't realized that the past was full of so many different people.
Bubblegum coughed as everyone looked at her. "It has come to my attention that helping out with this war may not be the most ideal plan."
Finn almost choked, though his mouth was too dry to make that possible. "What?! But that's not right, PB. We agreed to help and so we should help."
"I was completely willing to help as well, but that was before a theory came to mind." When no one said anything, the princess continued. "What if this is the Great Mushroom War? What if we help change the outcome, even just a little bit, and we cease to exist thousands of years from now? We may never be able to return to our home."
While Lady spoke in rapid Korean and the Ice King let out a string of questions, Finn sunk into his own thoughts. A part of him, a tiny yet loud part of him, wondered if that was really a bad thing. This was a time when humans were the main species on Earth. This was a golden opportunity to learn how they lived, how they spent their time, what they had created before and during the great Mushroom War (if this was, in fact, that exact war), and most importantly how they interacted with each other. He could carry conversations with a magical dog, candy people, and a vampire any day, but he knew next to nothing about his own kind.
He saw Jake eye him suspiciously, but his best friend didn't have the chance to say anything as Bubblegum said, "Please, just consider it. I need to get back to my people, and we all have people back in Ooo we want to see." She sighed. "Please."
The meeting dispersed, but Finn wasn't as eager to slay monsters anymore. He had a decision to make. He just didn't know what the right option was.
Bam, new chapter. I can't say I'm incredibly proud of this one, but I hope you enjoy it regardless! Thank you for reading.