This is just a bit of... I really don't know what this is, speculation, I guess? But anyhow, please don't sue me or anything, I know the episode isn't officially out yet, but it's on youtube right now, you wanna watch it, it's there. If you haven't already, this story will make very little sense to you. Anyhow, enjoy :)

Sleeping, after everything the city had just been through, all the friends and family they had lost to the inky blackness, seemed like a ridiculous idea. But after everyone had settled down and accepted their fate, the adrenaline had worn off, both the ninja and the townspeople on board the Bounty decided to curl up where they could, on deck, on the control room floor, even in the kitchen, leaving Zane and PIXAL, androids who could simply recharge their batteries later, to patrol the ship and keep it in the air.

The ninja had decided to be kind to the townsfolk and let the old people and the young children double up on their beds while they slept in the control room, surrounded by the blinking lights and soft beeps that reminded them that everything was OK.

Well, most of them slept. Some of them dozed fitfully, tossing and turning and banging their head on nearby tables, and then suddenly jerking awake in a panicked sweat.

And, of course, by some of them, is meant Cole.

The black ninja came awake with a gasp, and for a split second, was stuck in that suspended state between waking and sleeping in which one thinks they are dead. When he realised that he was OK, and that it was just a nightmare, he let out a sigh, rolled over onto his stomach and came face to face with Jay.

"Gaah!" Cole jumped, still on edge from his nightmare. Jay let out a sigh and rolled over. Cole, realising that he was still asleep, managed to shift himself upwards into a sitting position. Only when he was leaning his back against the hard wooden wall, did he realise his hands were still shaking.

The coldness, he could feel it, climbing up his body, latching on, never to let go...

Cole tried to steady his shaking hands, his racing pulse, his unnaturally fast breathing. Just a nightmare, he thought to himself. Just a bad dream.

Or was it?

Was it possible that a small part of that horrible inky blackness was still latched onto his soul. He felt it, something was different, like there was something cold sitting inside him. Cole shuddered. At times like this, the thing he really needed was cake. Or any kind of junk food really. But there wasn't really any on board. Hmm, what else?

A hug from his dad, no, that hadn't happened since he was little.

His mum...

No. He was not bringing his mind there. No way.

Cole curled up against the wall, trying to stop himself from shaking. He just didn't understand it, what that thing was, what it did, why it made him feel like it did...

He gave a little cry of exaspheration and struck his head against the wall. Hard. A small burst of pain shot through his skull, but nothing more.

Hmm, maybe he could go out onto the deck. Look out across the murky city and the shining sky. That ought to cheer him up.

Well, anything was better than this cramped cabin anyway.

Cole shifted himself uneasily to his feet, the leg that had been grabbed first by the darkness, stumbling a little before his sleepy feet caught onto the fact that he was walking now. It took him so long to actually wake up the rest of his body that he accidentally tripped over Jay. Cole held his breath, but his friend simply muttered something about penguin tridents and went back to sleep.

The black ninja sighed and crept out of the room, quickly heading over to the front of the ship, doing his best not to disturb any sleeping townsfolk. He leaned against the dragon's head at the front of the ship and sat down on the side of the boat. Zane and PIXAl were probably somewhere below deck and everyone else was sleeping. He had the night to himself. Just a brief moment of peace.

Cole sighed. He just had tonight, then tomorrow, everything really would kick off.

It was always like that, when you were a ninja. Every moment of your life, you were fighting for other people, surrounded by other people who were also fighting... you never really had much time to yourself, could never take a breather.

Well not tonight. Tonight he could just sit here and try to forget about all the horrible things that the darkness had caused and what may be lurking within.

Tonight was all he had.