Well, my timing is officially le suck. Of course I start a massive Jay-centric story just before LEGO releases a canon-shattering Jay-centric season! XD

Ah, well, it'll be fun anyway!

Fair warning, this story's going to ramble. It's gotten beyond the point of denial: I like fluff, and I don't care if it's cheap. There will be romance and hugs and prank wars and teenage mayhem and gratuitous cuteness and more brotherly fluff than is healthy for human consumption.

Erralso blood violence, drug culture, character death, and several instances of amateur surgery sans anesthesia. Despite the rampant fluff, this is the most complex plot I've ever attempted, and there'll be dark elements to match. Just so y'all know ahead of time.

So. Onwards towards the inevitable trainwreck! :D

This is set . . . technically after Season 4, before Season 5. (There will be no Ghostie-Cole. Nope. None.)

Disclaimer: Ninjago and all its ilk belong to LEGO, not me.

Sept. 2

3:14 AM

The first alarm was a Klaxon.

It blared through the stillness of the night, roaring out the news that there was something to be panicked about. Soon it was joined by a chorus of every other kind of alarm imaginable; the scale-sliding howl of air raid sirens, the frantic chirp of smoke detectors, the wail of every kind of siren ever employed by police, fire, and emergency medical services, and the throaty whoop of the Star Trek red alert.

Anyone on the Bounty who hadn't jolted awake at the first alarm was awake soon enough after that.

"What's going on?!" yelped Cole drowsily, tumbling out of bed with a thump and a flourish of blankets. Jay and Kai, both having fallen out of the habit of top-bunk sleeping, forgot they couldn't just jump out of bed. Meanwhile Zane was getting out of bed in a very reasonable and efficient manner, but then Kai fell on him. The tangle on the floor was getting drastic.

"Guys?" Lloyd's voice barely cut through the maelstrom of alarms. "What's going—oof!"

He'd have made it to the door just fine if the others hadn't been in the way.

The bunkroom door slammed open. Nya, framed in a shaft of light from the hallway, started to speak and then slapped her forehead wearily as she took in the valiant struggle to get disentangled and upright. Deja vu. Only now there were five of them.

"There's an emergency!" she bellowed over the noise. "Get to the control room, stat!"

That said, she left them to their drowsy, bewildered efforts.

Soon enough, though, the five ninja had gathered in the control room, still in pajamas, sleepy-eyed, and with hair in disarray. They did their best to haul themselves into alertness as Nya, wrapped in a terrycloth robe, scurried about shutting off alarms. Incrementally the noise died down, until only a few fairly tolerable wailers were left. Nya ignored them, scruffing a hand through her hair and eyeing the outside display screen anxiously. There was a faint film of sleepiness over her eyes too, but somehow she was still functioning at full capacity.

"What's going on?" yawned Lloyd.

"An unknown, massive object has been detected in the planet's atmosphere," said Nya crisply, flicking switches and pulling levers. "It's descending fast. Trajectory indicates it came from beyond the atmosphere."

"You mean—from outer space? A UFO?!" There was considerable excitement.

"Well, it's definitely unidentified," said Nya. "It passed over Metalonia in a fireball about two minutes ago, and it's approaching us at a speed of about twenty-five thousand miles per hour."

"Oh my gosh!" Jay was wide awake now. "Aliens are coming in for a landing! Right here! Right now!"

"Not coming in for a landing," said Nya, shaking her head. "Crashing."


"The standard speed of atmospheric entry is only seventeen thousand five-hundred miles per hour," Zane volunteered. "It is experiencing uncontrolled descent."

"What if it hits us?!" yelped Jay.

"Very unlikely," said Zane. "However, based on the current trajectory—" he glanced at the shifting diagrams on the display screen "—it will pass about two miles overhead, and crash about five miles from our current location."

"That's right," said Nya approvingly. "It should hit open forest, luckily, but we still need to—ah! It's close enough to get a visual!" She typed a few commands eagerly, and the others crowded closer.

The night sky blinked onto the viewscreen, thick and black. In the middle of it, a tiny streak of orange flickered. Gradually it grew larger. The camera tracked it perfectly so it seemed to hang motionless in the sky, with blazing flames streaming from its front in a killer wind.

"It's only speeding up," fretted Nya, checking various scanners.

"Can you tell what it is?" asked Cole, squinting. "It just looks like a ball of fire to me. How do we know it's not just a fancy asteroid?"

"We don't have the best scanners here on the Bounty, but I'm definitely picking up some kind of unknown element making up that object," said Nya. "The readings are confirmed by the skytracker center in Metalonia, and they also got to observe its behavior on entering the atmosphere. It's definitely hollow."

"I can't believe this!" Jay was beside himself.

"What is going on here?" Sensei Wu appeared in the doorway, leaning a little more heavily than usual on his staff. Late-night arousals did not suit him.

"Aliens are crash-landing five miles from here!" crowed Jay, trading ecstatic grins with Lloyd. "This is like the most epic sci-fi movie ever! But it's real!"

"We don't know that it's actually an alien spacecraft," said Cole, ever the voice of reason. "It could just be a Ninjagian satellite that dropped out of orbit or something."

"Stop spoiling the party!" snorted Jay. "You heard Nya—unknown element! Where there's unknown elements, there's gotta be aliens!"

"And the aliens are going to die pretty spectacularly once they hit the ground," said Kai. He didn't mean to be macabre, but he couldn't help it; early AM hours tended to unlock his darker half.

Jay and Lloyd both sobered up rapidly.

"But come on, they're gonna survive, right?" said Lloyd. "They always do, in the movies!"

"This ain't the movies," said Kai bluntly, folding his arms.


"Guys!" Nya's voice broke through the impending quarrel. "It's approaching us now!"

Everyone fell dead silent. For a second there was nothing. Then Zane stiffened. The others strained their ears all the harder, knowing that they would soon be picking up what Zane's keen Nindroid senses registered first.

And then, there it was: a soft, faint rumble, like a distant murmur of thunder. Only instead of dying away, it kept building and building, rising to a full thunderstorm roar—

—And suddenly the lights went out. Pitch dark.

There were yelps and hollers and some stumbling around, muffled by the still-rising thunder of the out-of-control space object. The scream of slicing air joined the din, the crackle of electrical discharge and fire, louder, louder—everyone fell silent and still as the monstrous noise passed directly overhead, sounding like it was a mere two feet above the roof instead of two miles. The floorboards quivered beneath them, and a faint orange glow glinted against the windowsills.

The light faded. The noise started to die away. An instant later there was a blinding flash of searing yellow light, dead silent, turning the night briefly into day. Everyone gasped.

It was twenty-five seconds later that the sound—and the shockwave—hit them. The Bounty wasn't supposed to be able to perform sumersaults, but in that moment it seemed to do its very best to try. There was a crunch of felling trees and a lurching impact as the massive ship lost control and hit the ground; everyone was thrown to the floor and tossed against the back wall of the control room in a tangle of limbs and startled cries.

A few seconds more. The silence and darkness returned.

"Is everyone okay?" asked Cole, just a little shaky. Nobody was about to judge him; the affirmations coming back were shaky too.

For a moment it seemed everyone was accounted for—then suddenly Lloyd asked, "Wait! What about Zane?"

There was no answer. They began to fumble about in the dark, trying not to poke each other in the eye or crash into each other. Suddenly Jay gave an "oof!", and there was a sound of someone hitting the floor.


" . . . I-I think I found him," came the terrified response.

A few minutes later the Bounty's backup generator finally deigned to start working, and the lights flickered dimly back on. Zane's anxious teammates were greeted by the sight of a very unconscious Nindroid.

"What happened?" asked Cole, eyes wide. "Did he get hurt when the ship crashed?"

"No," whispered Jay suddenly. "Earlier! The power outage!"

"When the ship passed overhead, it knocked out everything electronic," Kai picked up the thread. "Including Zane!"

"But the lights came back on," said Nya. No further comparison was needed.

"Zane?" Lloyd shook the Nindroid's shoulder gently. "Wake up, buddy. Come on, wake up."

A terrifying moment during which there was no response. Nobody breathed.

Then, without warning, Zane twitched. He shuddered all over, his eyes flickering hesitantly open as the others all sighed in relief. "Powering . . . up . . . " Zane's voice was a little slower than usual, his eyes still shuttering lazily open and closed. They were a misty pale-blue, barely glowing.

"Are you okay?" asked Cole, tilting his head worriedly at Zane's blank expression. "What's wrong?"

"I'm fine. Systems coming back online," slurred Zane. "But I see . . . static . . . "

An uneasy silence.

"For a minute there I thought you were going to say 'dead people'," said Jay, his tone hovering between anxiety and humor.

"Those too."


Zane gave a soft chuckle, rubbing at one eye.

"No, I am fine. It's clearing. It must have been an aftereffect of the power outage. I . . . seem to have passed out rather abruptly, didn't I?"

"That weird thing in the sky just knocked out everything!" said Kai, helping Zane to his feet. "I don't think an asteroid can do that."

"No way," agreed Jay. "Totally aliens. We've gotta go find that thing! Those aliens could be angry!"

"We can't go now," said Cole.

"Are you kidding me?" Jay put his hands on his hips. "A power-killing alien spaceship crashlands a few miles from here, and you want to hang around till morning to check it out?!"

"Do you feel like stumbling around in the night getting stalked by angry aliens?" retorted Cole. "Besides, we'd never be able to find it in the dark."

"Plus it would be much too hot for you guys to approach it," added Nya, going back to the control panel and channeling some of the auxiliary power to some sensors. Abruptly the main power clicked back on, brightening the lights.

"It's going to be too hot to touch for quite a few hours," continued Kai's sister, typing rapidly. "Best bet is to wait until morning at least. If there even are any passengers on that thing, they'll probably be in shock from the landing and won't be moving around for quite a bit anyway."

"But not dead, right?" asked Lloyd, trying and failing to sound casual. He was a hopeless softy when it came to the little critters of nature, and aliens apparently counted as little critters of that sort.

"Hopefully not," said Nya, not sounding convinced. "But I can't say for sure. That was quite an explosion . . . "

"Yeah . . . it was . . . "

"Hey." Kai, relenting, put a hand on Lloyd's shoulder. "If they can build a spaceship that can stand outer space and travel who-knows-how far, I'm sure they could also build it to handle a bit of a rough landing. The little monsters'll be fine."

Lloyd smiled gratefully. Meanwhile Nya completed a few scans.

"There don't seem to be any spreading fires . . . no detectable radiation coming from that direction either. Looks like it's safe for now."

"Then it's settled," said Jay, rubbing his hands eagerly. "First thing tomorrow, we head out to find that spaceship and say hi to some extraterrestrials!"

"Great," said Cole. "Can't wait. Until then, I'm going back to bed."

"You're not serious!"

"Hey, you guys can sit up and play backgammon if you'd rather. If we can't do anything, I'd just as soon be in bed, myself."

In the end they all went to bed; they were too excited to just hang around killing time. Naturally, though, they were also much, much too excited to sleep.

"What do you think they'll look like?" Lloyd pushed himself up on his elbows.

"Oh, you know the drill. Little short green guys with antennae," said Kai. "Big heads, big black eyes, shiny silver underpants."

The others, high on adrenaline, found this funnier than was strictly merited.

"Aww, come on, be more creative!" chided Jay once the laughter had died away. "I bet they look like spaghetti and meatballs."

"Or trees! Walking trees."

"Teeny-tiny hamsters with pink hair ribbons!"

"Biker Mice from Mars!"

"Tiny Trobbit people!"

"Tiny what people?"

"You don't even wanna know."

"What do you think, Cole?" Jay asked the only ninja who hadn't spoken up yet.

No reply.

"Oh, you can not be asleep," scoffed Jay. "Cole?"

Still getting no reply, he swung his head down over the edge of his bunk to check. He was rewarded with a pillow square in the face.

"High-tech chickens in wigs," said Cole smugly.

The rest of the night was spent theorizing about aliens and hurling the occasional pillow.

A/N: Well, that's a start! I'm attempting to be relatively accurate with this story, and this chapter was one of the most research-heavy to write. I wound up researching the normal speed of reentry, the speed of sound, and even various alarm sirens. There are some very cool videos on YouTube; apparently there are actually serious siren enthusiasts out there. Yeah.

So, drop a review if you're interested! Not sure when the next chapter will be; I have a lot pre-written, but I write slowly and I don't want the updates to catch up to me. A week at the very soonest, I guess?