Act 1 – Welcome To Bugaria

Episode 4a - Taking Charge

Author Note: Another chapter is here! You can probably guess which Amphibia episode this one is based on :P

I hope everyone enjoys reading! This was a fun one to write!

He wasn't sure what could be considered chillier, his own body or Snakemouth Den itself. ...Probably himself.

It'd been only around a day or two since Leif had been freed, along with all the escapades that happened afterward. He'd never forget them, but it was nice to have a bit of quiet for a change. Aside from the occasional odd conversation or two, nothing really of note happened. Though, despite his short time with this group, he had a feeling that something was bound to happen again with them sooner or later.

Leif had only known them for as long as he'd woken up here, rescued by them. It was a very short time ago, but he'd already started to get a feeling for how they all were. Kabbu was nice and protective of bugs he liked, which was an endearing quality. Vi was loud and rambunctious, like any teenager he'd expect to be. And Anne... was still a mystery. He'd prefer it be left at that for now; after all they did have that big discussion a day ago.

Before too long, the group of four made it to a dark, more narrow area, where it quickly became apparent after the entered that it was too dark for any of them to see anything, the natural light of Snakemouth Den not able to reach this part of the cave.

"Oi, it's too dark, I can't see anything!" Vi yelled, apparently next to Leif due to where he heard her voice from. "Do we really have to go this way? What if something jumps us?!"

"If it were possible, I would also like to seek an alternate route." Kabbu said. "But this is the only way through. If only we had the light of a crystal to go by..."

"Oh! That gives me an idea!" Anne said, getting excited about whatever idea she had. Leif could hear her fumble a bit, and in a matter of moments, a light filled the area, the source of it being from a small, orange device with a screen on it that Anne held in her hand. The light was bright, forcing Leif to squint a bit and turn away. But it did work, illuminating the area ahead.

"Now it's too bright!" Vi complained, also having to shield herself.

"Get over it." Leif said, shutting down any further arguments from the bee. He'd rather there be a lot of light to help them than no light at all, after all. Thanks to their new light source, the group was easily and quickly able to make it out of the narrow area within only a few minutes, Anne trying to hurry them along a bit so they didn't dawdle.

Once they made it out, Anne tapped the screen on her device a few times, making the bright light disappear, as it was no longer needed. Leif had seen Anne use the device a few times before, and each time he did, he grew more and more curious, having never seen anything like it before in his life.

"What exactly is that?" Leif inquired, his curiosity getting the better of him as he sticked one of his arms partially out of his wings and pointed at Anne's device that she was holding. "How did you make it do that?" All of this was entirely new to him, he had to know.

"Oh, my phone?" Anne asked, holding up and pointing at the device she called her 'phone'. "I just used the flashlight feature on it, it's a pretty basic function." She explained. That... sounded simple enough. Leif tilted his head a little, wanting to know more.

"I must say, Anne, that device of yours looks quite complex from what I've seen of it." Kabbu said, sounding just as interested.

"Hey, what else can it do?" Vi asked, on the same page. "Well, I already know that it can take photos, but everything else I have to know!"

"Uhh..." Anne stared at her phone for a moment, apparently contemplating something. She hesitated, looking at the others for a moment before looking at her phone. Though a moment later, she appeared to brush that aside, a confident look now on her face. "Sure, why not. I'll show you some of the apps on my phone."

"Apps?" Leif asked, the word entirely new to him.

"Oh, that's just the name for all the stuff I can do on my phone." Anne clarified. Made sense.

Leif, Vi, and Kabbu stood around Anne, close enough so that they could all see what she was doing on her phone. Leif did notice the others shiver the slightest bit at being so close to him... oh well. He couldn't help it, and it's not like he knew why he was so persistently cold. It just felt... natural.

"So, this app is..." Anne went on to explain a few of the 'apps' to everyone, taking Leif out of his thoughts. She started with the 'calculator', which could be used to do pretty complex arithmetic. More complex than anything he'd done by hand. Next was the 'notes' app, which was used to jot stuff down for later. Also useful. Next was the 'camera', which was where the flashlight feature was. Kabbu and Vi were already apparently familiar with it, from Anne's earlier use of it with them.

"What about the other apps?" Leif asked, after Anne exited out of the camera. "It looks like there's a lot more of them." There were many more icons like the other ones Anne had tapped on, behind them a background he couldn't quite see fully.

"Oh, well..." Anne had a slightly disappointed tone in her voice. "Most of them don't work without an internet connection." To demonstrate, she tapped on an app with the icon of a cloud and sun. When it opened, the screen had a loading symbol for several seconds before switching to a frowny face along with text that read 'NO DATA'. "See?"

"Then it's settled!" Kabbu said with determination. "We'll find an internet connection! ...Er, how do we find one?"

"You need Wi-Fi for internet." Anne explained. "Is there any Wi-Fi anywhere in this world?"

"Why-what?" Vi asked, getting confused, leading Anne to sigh.

"Look, lemme just show you stuff that does work without Wi-Fi." Anne said, already starting to get impatient. She sifted through the apps for a few seconds, before coming across something that looked to be of interest. "Ooh! Here's a video of my cat Domino!"

Before Leif could ask any questions, a... 'video' as Anne called it started to play on her phone. He watched intently, Vi and Kabbu right beside him as the video displayed a small, furry creature licking itself, before it noticed the phone, proceeding to make a soft noise before lying on its back... and the video ended. Way too soon.

"We need that. Now." Leif said, already dead-set on wanting that 'cat.' "We can't help ourselves, it's too cute-" The image of Domino was burned into his brain, and he was already imagining himself cuddling and snuggling and petting the cute and absolutely irresistible creature.

"That is the most adorable thing I've ever seen." Kabbu said, a small tear coming out of his eye.

"Heh, I knew you guys would like her." Anne said. "She's got that fire and charm that nobody can resist." That much was true.

"W-Wait, fire?" Kabbu asked, his tune changing.

"It's an expression!" Anne explained before things could get out of hand. "It just means she's extremely appealing!" Also very true. ...Leif was sure he could get his hands on her sooner or later.

"Hmm..." Vi pondered, grabbing the phone out of Anne's hands and examining it for a few moments. "I will..." She got her beemerang out, suddenly raising it above her head. "Set her free!" In a hurry, Anne grabbed the phone back out of Vi's hand right at the bee slammed her beemerang down onto the ground, intending on destroying the phone to somehow set Domino free. It probably wouldn't have worked, but it was worth a shot.

"Please don't ever do that again." Anne said, holding the phone close to her to protect it from any further harm. "Oh, wait! There is one more thing on here that I know works." Changing the subject, she scrolled on her phone, trying to find what she was looking for.

"Er, what is it?" Kabbu asked, wanting to know more.

"I have this streaming app that has like, episodes of all my favorite TV shows on it." Anne explained. "They're all available offline, so you can pretty much watch anything you want on here, even if you were stranded in an entirely different world!" She paused. "Oh wait."

Brushing it off, Anne opened the app and scrolled a little bit before suddenly stopping, her face turning into a look of confusion. And then... she screamed, surprising the others.

"Why are you screaming?" Vi yelled, almost to the point of screaming herself.

"Look!" Anne said, excitement plastered on her face as she turned the phone to them to show them what was onscreen.

"...What are we looking at?" Leif asked, a bit confusion. On the phone screen was a still image of the words "Suspicion Island", and in the background was some sort of island filled with trees, surrounded by a body of water. Just what was this?

"This is Suspicion Island." Anne answered, moving the phone out of the way and waving her hand for dramatic effect. "It's like my favorite show ever! I got the new season and I didn't even know it! It must've auto-downloaded before I got here or something." She rationalized.

"...Who is 'Auto'? Another friend of yours?" Kabbu asked.

"And how did you 'down load' them?" Vi added with a question of her own.

"No more questions." Anne shook her head. "Just watch this preview." She pressed play on her phone, making sure it was in view of the others as the video began playing.

"Previously on Suspicion Island..." A deep, masculine voice from the phone said over the still image onscreen. The scene cut to a jungle, where a group of humans were walking through, their clothing mostly tattered. Huh, this was incredibly new for Leif. Very unlike anything he'd seen before.

"I've got a lot of feelings about this place." One of the humans said, looking around as they continued walking around. Humans didn't have much variety in their species, did they? They mostly looked like more Annes, but he wasn't going to say that out loud. Maybe.

The scene cut to two of the humans facing each other; a close-up shot. "I feel like everyone on this island is suspicious, Peruvia." One of the humans said, a hand on the other's shoulder. "Except you!" In some sort of weird confession of love, the human moved his hand from Peruvia's shoulder to her cheek.

"But Randy..." Peruvia said as the camera cut to her, before she hesitantly moving her hand to the other human- Randy's hand and looking away. "I think you're suspicious!" She glared right at him, slapping his hand away in anger.

"NO!" Randy yelled in despair as the screen overdramatically zoomed in on him. An explosion suddenly appeared onscreen, startling Leif a bit, as it did to Kabbu and Vi too.

"Suspicion Island." The deep voice from before said once more, as the camera cut to Peruvia with a torch in some kind of cave. "If you don't stay suspicious, you won't stay alive." The scene zoomed out to reveal that the cave was full of skulls, and Peruvia's mouth was agape upon this realization. There were several more explosions onscreen before it cut back to the original still image, the video apparently over.

There was a short pause as everyone took in what they just saw.

"...I have no idea what I just watched." Vi said bluntly, before her tune changed completely. "And I loved it!" She threw her arms up in the air in excitement.

To tell the truth, Leif did... enjoy it. He wouldn't be opposed to watching more, the very sparse amount of context and mystery of it all did draw him in, wanting to know more. Although... "This does remind us a little of the way you treated us when you first found us, you know." He laughed a little.

"I take offense to that." Anne said, giving Leif a slight glare that only lasted a few seconds. "This show is completely different from what happened back then." Beat. "And besides, this show's got beautiful people doing dumb things while stuff explodes! It's literally perfect. ...And to prove it, we're going to watch an episode."

"Now hold on a minute." Kabbu butted in before anyone could say anything else. "Anne, I'm sure you have plenty of fun with your 'Suspicion Island' show, but we are on a mission right now, and we need to focus." ...Yeah, they were all still in Snakemouth Den. And it just dawned on Leif that they all had been standing in the same place for several minutes now.

"Aw come on!" Vi complained, pouting. "I can't get it out of my head, I have to watch more!"

"We don't have time!" Kabbu said, trying to hurry things along. "We've already spent multiple days here, and it'd be better if we get going before anything else happens to us."

"It'll just be one episode!" Anne argued, a whiny tone in her voice. "Only 22 minutes!" Kabbu still wasn't budging. "Please!" In desperation, Anne literally got down onto her hands and knees, a pleading look in her eyes as she stared up at Kabbu.

Kabbu stared back at her, trying to stay strong, but... "Okay! We can watch some." ...That was easy. Looks like Leif had a new trick up his sleeve. "But only one episode, please. I don't want us to spend too much more time here." There was a small frown on his face.

"Don't worry, it'll be over before you know it." Anne said, standing back up. "Now come on, it's time for us to get... suspicious..." With that overdramatic exclamation, Anne began to get everything set up, setting her backpack down in such a way that she could lean her phone against it so everyone could see the small screen. The four of them sat down and leaned against the cave wall, all scooting up close next to each other so they could all see the screen.

And with the promise of watching only one episode in everyone's mind, Anne pressed play.

An hour later, the gang was on their third episode, almost all of them very invested by now. Leif's eyes were practically glued to the screen; he really wanted to know what would happen next. Kabbu didn't look too impressed, though.

"It can't be, Vivica." Chad, yet another character Leif had grown fond of said. He and Vivica stood on a cliff, cornered by two pterodactyls, having nowhere else to go. "These pterodactyls are clones of..." Chad paused, gasping out loud. "My dead brother!"

Anne, Leif, and Vi all gasped out loud at this shocking revelation, their eyes bloodshot from staring at the small screen for so long. "No way!" Anne said, voicing the sheer amount of disbelief that came from this event. Who would've guessed that remnants of humans could be left behind in other species?

Next to them, Kabbu sighed, rolling his eye before continuing to dully watch.

Then, in an even more shocking twist, one of the pterodactyls swooped down, grabbing Vivica and taking off with her before Chad could do anything, only able to reach out with his arm before he let out a cry of anguish. Leif was very antsy, anticipating what would happen next, and then...

"Will these beautiful teens ever make it off the island?" The video abruptly cut to an end screen as a generic narrator began talking. "Find out next time on-"

Anne reached out to the phone, pressing pause on the episode, cutting off the audio. "And that's enough for tonight." She grabbed her phone, before turning the screen off.

"What? Come on!" Vi complained, starting to shake Anne in order to try and get her to play more, but the girl wouldn't budge.

"This is it. The torture has begun." Leif said, his mind already filling with theories on how the next episode could go, which he had to watch as soon as possible. Sure, he was exaggerating a little, but still... he'd never seen any form of entertainment before that was this... enriching. How much of this stuff was there?

"Listen guys," Anne began, lowering her voice and leaning over to Vi and Leif. "I'd love to watch more, but Kabbu would get mad, so we probably should stop. Plus, you gotta pace yourself with this stuff." ...While disappointing, that did make some sense.

"I can still hear you." Kabbu said, and the three turned to face him. His arms were crossed, but he didn't look angry. A little miffed, but probably not to the point where he'd scream at them. ...As if Kabbu would do that, anyway.

"Before you say anything, let me speak." Kabbu continued, right before Leif was about to make some sort of quip. Darn, missed opportunity. "Anne, I will admit that your phone is useful for certain situations, as you've demonstrated a few times before. Besides that... distraction, is the best way to put it."

Vi let out a gasp, an idea coming to mind. "You think that if Anne had her internet, we'd be able to watch more videos?"

"Then we'd be able to waste more time." Leif said, a smirk forming on his face.

"...That isn't helping." Kabbu replied, shaking his head a bit. It didn't help, but it was an idea.

"Look, I know this can have a lot of... stuff that gets me very easily distracted," Anne said, referring to her phone. "But I don't know what I'd do without this thing." She held up her phone, looking at her reflection in the black screen. "It has so much information and so many memories on it, I have to make sure it stays safe." Anne smiled softly, looking away from the phone...

Before she yawned, stretching out her arms, in the process ruining the moment. "Man, I'm tired."

"Us too." Leif said, blinking a few times before yawning himself, only now realizing just how sleepy he was. His body felt a bit heavy, and curling up into a ball and closing his eyes sounded very nice right now. Was he really that tired?

"Oh please, I'm not..." Vi began, but she couldn't help herself, and let out a short but slightly high-pitched yawn. "...Oi, really?"

"Perhaps we should rest?" Kabbu asked. "We've had a long day today, after all. However, we do have to wake up extra early tomorrow, to make up for the lost time today."

And with that, the four of them called it a night, deciding to take a rest to be ready to face the trials tomorrow morning. Before Anne went to sleep, she set her phone down next to her backpack, the screen facing up. Of the four of them, Leif was the last to fall asleep, despite how tired he felt. But, before too much time could pass, Leif found his mind wandering, getting foggier as he drifted off.

A while after everyone else was asleep, someone's eyes opened, having pretended to sleep this whole time. The figure quietly got up, silently walking over to Anne's phone. They grabbed it, swiftly moving away from the others a bit as to not wake them. Once they were sure they were out of range, they found the next episode of Suspicion Island and pushed play.

Leif was the first to wake up the next morning, feeling pretty well-rested. This was his second night in a row sleeping on the floor of a cave, and while an actual bed would be vastly preferable, this wasn't too bad. It wasn't too long before the others woke up, Kabbu being the last of them.

"Do we have time to watch some Suspicion Island?" Vi asked immediately, barely awake.

"Hm..." Anne thought for a moment, before shrugging. "Sure, we can squeeze an episode in real quick to help us wake up. Lemme just get my phone..." She stood up, walking over to her phone.

He was still very out of it, so it barely registered in Leif's mind when Anne's phone screen was facing the ground as she picked it up. ...Was it like that last night? Meh. Anne walked back over to the others, sitting down in between Leif and Vi.

She turned on her phone, a preview screen for Suspicion Island showing up. She was about to click to play the next episode, but the screen suddenly shifted to a blinking image of what looked like some kind of red battery, but it was nearly empty.

"Wait, what?" Anne exclaimed, putting her hands on her head in nervousness.

"Is something wrong?" Kabbu asked, the first one to react. Leif was a little worried, cause Anne never mentioned something like that happening on her phone before. Vi frowned, likely because it was interfering with her watching Suspicion Island.

"My battery is low." Anne answered. The phone screen went back to normal, and Anne's brows furrowed, trying to figure this out. "But it was fine last night when I turned it off!" She scrolled to the right, pulling up the list of episodes. "Watched?" There was a red line under the thumbnail for each episode, which Anne had explained last night that it was to keep track of where in the episode you were.

Anne scrolled down, seeing that every single episode in the season was the same way. "Who watched all these episodes and used up all the-" The screen flashed with the same warning from before, but the battery was much emptier this time, only a tiny sliver appearing onscreen.

At this point Anne started to panic, repeatedly saying "No" over and over as she desperately tapped the screen, but it was all for naught, proven when the screen switched to a face with two Xs for eyes and a tongue partially sticking out... before moments later, the screen faded to complete black. A look of absolute horror was etched across Anne's face as she stared at the phone for several seconds, before slowly looking back up, as if in disbelief. "It's gone." She whispered.

"...What's gone?" Leif cautiously asked. Whatever happened to her phone must've been bad for her to react this way.

"Everything!" Anne yelled. "Pictures! Texts! That video of my cat!" That got Leif's eyes to snap wide open. No... the cat... "There's no way to even charge the phone cause there's no outlets anywhere here, so now all my memories from home are gone!"

Anne curled up a bit, bringing her knees close to her chest as she grabbed her hair, starting to hyperventilate. Leif frowned, a little taken aback by this. ...He hadn't expected the phone to be that big of a deal, but when she explained it, he could empathize with her.

Vi was the first to try and comfort Anne, strangely enough before Kabbu did. Vi tentatively reached an arm out, a frown on her face. "Uh... there there-"

Without warning, Anne suddenly slapped Vi's hand away, causing the bee to recoil back a bit. "Oh, was it you?!" Anne questioned, turning to Vi and pointing an accusing finger at her.

"W-What? No! I didn't watch anything!" Vi was quick to defend herself. "I-It... It must've been Kabbu!" She turned and pointed at him, trying to rush to pin the blame on someone else.

That got the beetle's attention, as he jumped a little from where he was sitting. "What?" He asked, sounding genuinely shocked.

"I heard you get up in the middle of the night!" Vi stood up, confident in her own accusation, even though she had nothing but her own word to go on. "Very suspicious."

Kabbu sat there for a few seconds, as if nervous, before he stood up too. "I had to pee!" He defended himself. "Everyone has to pee sometimes! A-And besides, you know that if you heard me get up, then you were awake too!" He sure diverted that fast.

"Don't change the subject." Vi glared daggers at Kabbu. Right after saying this, she paused, as if something else came to mind. "Hold on." She turned around. "What about... Leif?!"

He should've expected this, to be honest. "We have zero motive to do any of this." Leif said, even as Vi pointed an accusatory finger at him. Anne also gave him a shifty look, clearly not believing him in the slightest. Sure, Leif really wanted to watch more Suspicion Island, but he also desperately needed that sleep last night. Still, that alone probably wasn't going to be enough to convince anyone he wasn't guilty. Although...

"But you two do." Leif continued, standing up. "After all, Vi, teenagers do tend to stay up late at night, like you yourself admitted." At hearing this, Vi stopped where she was. "And Kabbu, you could've purposefully ran down the battery so nobody could be distracted from the mission."

"No, I'd never do something like that!" Kabbu argued. True, he likely wouldn't, but Leif had to do something to deflect unnecessary suspicion off of him.

And before Leif could make a counter-argument, Anne groaned in frustration at all the bickering going on. "Enough!" She yelled, standing up and getting everyone's attention. "If none of you are going to admit to it, the least you could do is help me fix my phone!" To emphasize her point, she waved the dead phone around in her hand.

"Right, that should be our first priority for now." Kabbu said. It was fair enough; getting the phone working again would probably yield more results than randomly guessing who broke it in the first place. "So, how are we supposed to bring the phone back to life?"

"We need power. Electricity!" Anne answered. To this, she was met with silence. "You know, zap zap? Please tell me you guys have electricity here."

"Uhhhh..." Vi started to say, sounding incredibly hesitant. "I think there might be..." She paused, before frowning. "You know what. Never mind." Well, that was sudden.

"This cave is full of secrets, could there be something ahead?" Leif suggested. He had zero idea if this was the case, but it was something to start with.

And it worked, because Anne's expression shifted from angry to hopeful. "Of course! Yeah, this place is so huge, there's bound to be something in here that could help with my phone. It should be a piece of cake for the four of us." She snapped her fingers, trying to pep up the others.

"I agree! As far as I'm concerned, this gang can get through anything." Kabbu replied brightly.

"Oh, really?" Vi said, her tone filled with suspicion. Oh no. "Because that's just what Chad Vanderblad said." She paused, before pointing highly accusing fingers at Kabbu. "Right before he was stabbed in the back by a backstabber on Suspicion Island!"

Frustrated with the constant accusations, Kabbu slapped her hands down, but she put one of them back up a second later, still pointing at him. "Quit pointing that finger!" Kabbu said, slapping her hand down multiple times as she kept putting it back up. "I told you I didn't do anything!"

"Both of you are acting like children." Leif said, snickering a little. Kabbu stopped slapping Vi's hand away, now realizing what he was doing.

"Oh, that's big talk for someone who was probably the backstabber." Vi accused. "Besides, I know for sure I wouldn't stab Chad in the back. But one of you two would." Vi looked at Kabbu and then Leif.

"Okay, can you three please get a grip?" Anne asked, stopping another argument from starting. "Don't forget that you're all... suspicious. Just look at you."

Between the three bugs, Leif was trying to not start audibly groaning at how stupid this all was; and at this point he was starting to have grounded suspicions on who the perpetrator was. Vi had the most overly contemplative look on her face, as if trying to think of her next wild claim to make. And Kabbu stood still, silently looking between Leif, Vi, and Anne.

"The sooner we move, the sooner we can get my memories back on my phone." Anne added, walking over and putting on her backpack, feeling over a part of it briefly before turning her head to the others. "Now come on, guys."

The others did follow her as she started walking, but not before Leif, Kabbu, and Vi all started to exchange suspicious looks with each other. For Leif, this only meant that he was giving them slight glares, but still, it wasn't as nearly as over-the-top as Vi's expression or as comical as Kabbu's. But if there was any consolation to this, they were starting to at last make more progress through Snakemouth Den.

After several minutes of walking without too much happening, with only the occasional monster or two to obstruct their path, it was understandable that things would start to get a bit boring. Leif was just walking along, going over in his head yet again who he thought the culprit was, becoming more and more sure of himself each time he thought about it. He wasn't 100% certain, but he had a good feeling about it.

It didn't look like anyone else was faring any better than he was. Getting bored herself, Anne instinctively pulled her phone out of her pocket, trying to turn it on only to remember that it was dead, leading her to groan before facepalming. Kabbu gave her a brief look of concern, frowning and briefly glancing at her phone.

Leading the pack, Vi stopped for a moment to yawn, stretching her arms out as much as she could. Hm... Vi sure seemed to be tired. Then again, maybe sleeping in a place like this could do that to you.

"Aw, I feel bad for her." Kabbu said, saddened. "She looks really tired." He then looked at Anne. "Maybe if we'd gotten to sleep earlier..."

Anne raised an eyebrow. "What, was that supposed to be like, a hint or something?" She asked, completely mis-interpreting what Kabbu said.

Vi stopped once again and turned around, having heard the whole conversation. "You two talking about anything interesting?" Vi questioned, her arms crossed.

"No, we weren't!" Kabbu denied, shaking his hands furiously in a panic. "I promise, I was just concerned about you! That's all!"

Vi's eyes lowered, not believing any of it for even a second. "Suuuure..."

To be quite frank, Leif was completely beyond tired of this. Sure, the fighting and bickering between everyone was funny at first, but by now it was getting old and grating to listen to. He needed to put a stop to it soon before something worse happened, that was for sure.

"Psst, Anne." Leif said, motioning with one of his hands for her to come over. By now he had a very solid idea of who was behind this, so if he could just have a few moments to say it, he should be good.

Anne groaned in exasperation, rolling her eyes. She must've been tired of this too. "Excuse me, guys." She said, walking past Vi and Kabbu over to Leif. "Sup?"

Leif stole a glance at Kabbu and Vi before addressing Anne, his voice low. "Listen Anne, we want to help you. We've been watching carefully this whole time and we think we know who did this." He paused for a moment to wait for her response.

"Oh no you don't!" Vi yelled, suddenly running over. ...A response that would never come, apparently. "You're trying to Chad her into trusting you!" Oh, here we go.

"That's what we're doing now?" Leif questioned, his voice laced with sarcasm. His eyes were narrowed; he was completely exhausted by all of this and wasn't going to put up with it anymore. "By that very same logic, you're trying to Vivica Anne into not trusting us." He knew the show very well; Leif knew exactly what references to make.

"Oh, and look at Kabbu, trying to Randy his way out of this." Vi said, turning to the green beetle.

"I don't even know what that means!" Kabbu said, caught off guard. He raised his arms into the air for a few moments in exasperation, completely dumbfounded. "Vi, at this point you're just accusing everyone randomly!"

"Oh, is that what I'm doing?" Vi asked, sarcasm filling her words; clearly taking offense to what he said.

"Oh no." Leif said, a part of him realizing what was about to happen.

"Then I guess I'll just..." Vi said, purposefully slowing down her words, before spinning around and pointing at Anne. "Say that you did it! It was you who killed your phone!" Yep, exactly what Leif had expected.

"What?!" Anne yelled, completely flabbergasted. "What the heck are you talking about?" She had the most incredulous look on her face, and Leif could relate. "Why would I do that to my own phone?!" Anne held up her phone and pointed at it, trying to get the point across.

"I dunno, maybe you wanted to hog everything for yourself!" Vi answered. "After all, you knew that your phone battery would die eventually, so you woke up in the middle of the night and watched all the episodes before anyone else could!" ...That could reasonably happen to be honest, but the logic was still incredibly faulty.

"Are you serious? You're making literally no sense right now!" Anne argued, her voice cracking a little. "There's no reason I'd ever do that! Heck, I was the one who even showed you Suspicion Island in the first place!"

"Oh, so you have a better explanation?" Vi asked, trying to back Anne into a corner with all of her interrogating. Anne stammered, trying to come up with something to counter Vi's arguments. She opened her mouth in confidence and raised a finger as if to triumphantly say something, but stopped with a frown, unable to come up with anything.

...Yeah, this was going nowhere. Just another distraction from who the real culprit behind this was. "We're getting tired of this." Leif cut in, drawing attention to himself. "Vi, if you thought about it for just one second, you'd realize that it doesn't make any sense for Anne to have killed her own phone."

"Thank you!" Anne said in exasperation, thankful for someone finally defending her.

Vi gave Leif a look, about to say something until the moth raised a hand from his cloak, causing her to pause. "Let us speak." His tone was firm, looking down slightly at her. Vi closed her mouth, only replying with a nod. "Finally. So, there is a good reason why we think Anne wasn't the one who used up all the battery."

"What is it?" Kabbu asked, genuinely curious.

Leif paused for just a moment. He didn't think much of it before, but now... "Last night, when Anne set her phone down before she went to sleep. The screen for it was facing up." He strained his memory, trying to remember exactly what happened when he woke up. "But this morning, it was facing down."

"Whoa, I didn't even realize that!" Anne said with a gasp. "Wow, that's really good attention to detail, dude."

Leif smiled a little. "Right. If you were trying to be careful about making sure nobody could find out it was you, then you wouldn't have made such a careless mistake. And your reaction just now also confirms it; you had nothing to do with what happened to your phone last night."

Anne's face lit up with a bright smile, having been put in the clear. Heh, Leif thought was pretty fun. Finding clues and contradictions, pointing out the lies... it was exhilarating. And with that detour out of the way, now he could finally focus on pointing out the real culprit, which-

"It's awfully convenient for you to suddenly remember that, Leif." Vi said, her eyes narrowed. "Maybe it's so you could cover your tracks just like Vivica did in episode three!"

Beat. Oh no. She seriously did not just say that, did she? Leif stared at her; his face unmoving. "Did... did you just call us a Vivica?" He asked calmly, awaiting her response.

Vi had a taunting look plastered onto her, getting up in Leif's face. "Maaaaaybe~" She answered, in the most sickeningly sweet tone possible.

And with that, Leif was done. He was able to tolerate the constant bickering over a dumb phone, he was able to handle everyone pointing fingers at each other, he was able to be patient when nobody would let him speak. But nobody, and he really meant nobody, would call him a Vivica and get away with it.

Which was why, with seemingly no other provocation, Leif tackled Vi to the ground. The bee momentarily had a look of shock on her face; and when the two of them hit the ground, they quickly devolved into full-on fight, wrestling each other on the ground.

"Vi, Leif, no!" Kabbu yelled, putting his hands on his head in horror as he watched the scene unfold. "Stop fighting!" He yelled. He looked at the two before him, shaking a little.

Leif didn't listen to him, the overwhelming urge to fight overpowering the effect any words would have on him. Vi managed to push him away from her, the bee stepping back a bit and standing up. She swung her beemerang at him, Leif barely turning out of the way.

The beemerang barely touched his fluff as it swung by, and Leif retaliated by quickly gathering up some of the intense coldness inside of him to summon a small ice ball. He threw it at her (not too hard) and she ducked out of the way, the ball hitting the floor behind her and bouncing a few times. Vi's beemerang flew back to her, and she caught it, not wasting a second before she let out a scream, charging at Leif, crashing into him and bringing the fight to the ground once again.

Anne had to jump out of the way when the ice ball nearly hit her legs, not wanting to get hit by it. Once she was safe, she groaned out loud in frustration, taking off her backpack and setting it on the ground before walking over to the two fighting bugs. "Hey, cut it out you guys! Seriously!" She said as she kneeled down, trying to get their attention.

In the chaos of the fight, Vi accidentally kicked Anne in the face, causing her to let out a cry of pain. Leif's eyes snapped open at this, both him and Vi stopping their brawl to see Anne right there, rubbing her cheek in pain.

"Oops, sorry Anne!" Vi apologized, feeling bad.

"Are you alright?" Leif added. Shoot, he didn't want to hurt Anne! The whole point of this fight was to get back at Vi for her insult, not... this.

Anne stared at them blankly for a few moments, before pulling up the sleeves on her school shirt. Then, with a sudden battle cry, Anne leapt forward. For a split second, Leif didn't know how to react to this, but this entire thing had already derailed itself so much by now that he honestly didn't care anymore, and the fight started up once more, now with Anne added to the mix.

"Anne, no!" Kabbu yelled, filled with even more horror and shock than before. "Stop fighting!" He ran over to the brawling trio, trying to intervene or do something to stop the three of them from hurting each other anymore than they already had.

Despite his attempts, there was nothing he could do. Kabbu stood there, shaking as he watched Anne pull on one of Leif's wings, while Leif had Vi trapped in a headlock, while Vi also was wildly swinging her beemerang, trying to hit anything she could. If nothing was done, the fighting would continue for who knows how long.

Kabbu stammered, trying to think of something, and then...

"IT WAS ME!" Kabbu yelled, his confession echoing through the cave walls. Anne, Vi, and Leif all stopped in their tracks, frozen where they were. ...Looks like Leif was right, after all. If he knew this was going to get Kabbu to admit to it

"What did you just say?" Vi asked as Leif let go of him, Leif also seeing that Anne released his wing from her grasp.

"Do you mean..." Anne said, pointing at Kabbu, her eyes widening a little.

"That's right, Anne." Kabbu said, his face and tone filled with so much anguish. "I watched all the episodes while you were sleeping!" He looked down at his hands, closing them partly but not all the way. "Every. Single. One!" His breathing was short, anxiety filling him all over.

"But I thought you hated Suspicion Island?" Anne stood up, raising an eyebrow as she held her phone in her hand. "You said it was just a mindless distraction! And that we shouldn't waste time watching it!" He did say that, but... hm. Leif stood up, Vi doing the same a few moments later as she stored her beemerang away.

"I thought the same way at first!" Kabbu desperately explained. "But after that last episode..." He closed his eye. "I was hooked."

Kabbu remembered back to last night as he began spilling everything that happened to the others. He'd tried his best to sleep, but even after keeping his eyes shut for over half an hour, he found it impossible. It wasn't because of the rough floor of the cave; he'd slept through much worse.

His mind began wandering, thinking about what he'd seen on that small screen. Yes, it did take up a lot of time to watch it all, but... that last scene. When Vivica was taken away, he felt so sorry for her, wanting to do anything he could to rescue her. But it was just a show on a small screen, there was nothing he could do.

But then what would happen to her? The episode ended on that scene, so he had absolutely zero idea. It ate away at him as he tossed as turned, trying to find some kind of peace and sleep. But he couldn't. Not knowing... all the possibilities running through his head... Kabbu was desperate.

And there was only one way to find out the truth about Vivica's fate.

Making sure to be as absolutely quiet as possible, Kabbu got up, scanning the area for Anne's phone. He tip-toed over to it, before gingerly picking it up. He looked back at the others, making sure they were still asleep. The loud noise of the phone was sure to wake them up, so he'd have to go somewhere else.

"Wh-huh?" Vi's voice suddenly rang out. Kabbu gasped, hiding the phone behind him as he attempted to duck down behind the backpack. He internally cursed his large size right then, as it made it impossible for him to be completely hidden.

Thankfully, Vi was only just half-asleep, and she turned a little before resuming her rest. Kabbu breathed a sigh of relief, standing back up before quickly walking away. He made sure he was far enough away from the others before sitting down, turning on the phone. It was already on the correct app, which was a relief. He didn't want to have to go searching for it, after all.

Kabbu promised himself he'd watch just one episode, and that'd be it. Just to satiate his mind so he'd know what the fates of the beloved characters onscreen were.

And he promised himself that he'd watch only one more, when the episode ended on yet another cliffhanger. And again, and again...

When there was yet another cliffhanger, Kabbu did want to watch another, but by this point it was incredibly difficult to keep his eye open; sleep trying so hard to claim him so he could get the rest he needed. Still, just one more... but to his confusion, there was no next episode for him to select. The button was gone.

...Oh. It took him a few seconds, but in his half-asleep state, Kabbu realized it. He watched through the rest of the season, before everyone else did! ...How much time had passed? Kabbu's eye shot open, not wanting to be caught awake with the phone. No, he had to hide this. He couldn't tell a single bug what he'd done; lest he face the great shame from his friends for completely going against what he'd told them earlier.

So, as quietly and quickly as he possibly could, Kabbu went back to where the others were, setting the phone by Anne's backpack without looking to see if it was in the same place as it was earlier, before curling back into his spot and attempting to sleep, despite the guilt weighing over him.

Guilt that would only get worse as he'd later realize the unforeseen consequences of what he'd done.

"...And that's everything." Kabbu said, his long explanation coming to a close. He took several deep breaths as the others stared at him.

To be quite honest, that was a much more in-depth explanation than Leif was expecting, but it was on par with about what he was expecting, give or take a few details. Still, that didn't take away the fact that he was right, even if he'd gotten a confession through... unconventional means. He gave a simple nod in confirmation, so Kabbu knew that he understood.

"Unbelievable..." Anne said, completely transfixed on the tale Kabbu had spun for them. She clutched her phone a bit tighter.

"This is a better twist than any of the ones on Suspicion Island!" Vi exclaimed.

At this, Kabbu's expression changed to that of deep regret, his eye lowering as he fidgeted with his hands a bit. From his body language alone, it was clear that there was immense guilt racking through him, especially as he shook a few times, and not from the cold. "Anne, I'm really sorry!" Kabbu apologized, throwing his arms outward.

"Dude, it's alr-" Anne tried to begin, taking a step forward, before being interrupted.

"I had no idea that your phone had a limited battery life, and even if it didn't, I still shouldn't have snuck off and watched the rest on my own, and it was very, very entertaining to watch, but that's absolutely NO excuse for my actions, and-"

"Kabbu!" Anne firmly stated, snapping Kabbu out of his apologetic rant. He stared straight at her, his breathing short. "Look, it's okay! I'm not mad at you, I swear." Anne took a few more steps toward him, standing a few feet away and giving a frown of her own. "I'll admit that I should've said something about the battery before all this happened. But still, it's not that big of a deal. At the end of the day, it's just a phone."

Despite Anne's words, Kabbu remained standing there, his eye a bit wider than usual. He slowly shook his head. "I'm sorry Anne, but... that's not good enough for me. I have to find a way to turn on your phone!" He stamped his foot in determination. Wow, he was dedicated. ...Maybe a bit too dedicated, perhaps.

Anne's frown grew to confusion as Kabbu scanned the room. Leif was a bit confused too; did Kabbu really think he'd find something here that would charge Anne's phone? A bit desperate, much?

Besides, there wasn't anything here other than normal cave stuff, like the rocks, vines, the glowing yellow crystal- Oh no. Leif's eyes laid upon it only moments after Kabbu did, and before he could warn Kabbu to stop whatever he was about to try and do, the beetle was already making his move.

"...Anne, your phone just needs power, right?" Kabbu asked in clarification, his tone innocent.

Anne shrugged. "Yeah, that's pretty much it. But I don't see how-" Out of the blue, Kabbu reached for the phone, ripping it out of her hand. "Hey!" He kept it out of her reach, his goal clear and set in stone as he ran off, speeding away from her. "What are you-" It finally registered to Anne what Kabbu was going to do, her expression quickly shifting from confusion to fear. "NoooooOOOOO-"

"Kabbu, stop!" Leif demanded, trying his best in the few seconds he had to stop Kabbu. Unfortunately, the beetle was way too fast for him, side-stepping Leif before the moth could even react. Vi gave Leif an incredulous look right at the same time that Anne caught up to the two of them, all three of them coming to the same, terrifying conclusion.

Despite Kabbu already being halfway to the yellow crystal, the other three chased after him, yelling at him in an attempt to get him to stop. Their attempts were futile, and within seconds, Kabbu reached the large crystal, just barely managing to stop in time.

He looked at the phone in his hand, and then at the crystal in front of him, bathing his body in a sickly yellow glow. It didn't take a genius to figure out what he was going to do next, which was why Anne skidded to a stop, holding her arms out to stop Leif and Vi from going any further. At the same time, Kabbu closed his eye, gripping the phone sideways in both hands before slamming it into the crystal, piercing through it entirely.

Time appeared to slow to a crawl, a deafening explosion rocking the cave the moment Anne's phone pierced the crystal. Before anyone could say anything, the shockwave of the explosion caused Kabbu to go flying backward toward the wall, still gripping the phone in one of his hands. The shockwave also forced Anne, Vi, and Leif to the ground, shielding their eyes from the strangely colorful explosion, a mix of purple and pink filling their vision.

It took half a minute, but Vi was the first one to open her eyes. "...Is everything alright?" She was clearly frightened; a very understandable feeling right now. Leif and Anne opened their eyes as Vi nervously looked around, before she gasped out of the blue. "Kabbu!"

Anne and Leif gasped as well, turning to where Vi was looking, the bee already standing up. Kabbu was sitting at the wall where he'd landed, the wall having a sizeable crack in it from the impact. After they got their bearings, the three of them didn't waste any time before running to Kabbu again, this time out of concern and not desperation.

"Are you alright?" Were the first words out of Anne's mouth as soon as they reached Kabbu. Thankfully, he was awake, his chest rising and falling as he took deep breaths, very shaken from what'd just happened.

Kabbu looked up at the three of them, nodding in confirmation. "I'm... alright. I think." He winced a little, re-adjusting his leg due to apparent pain. "...I might be bruised up in a few places. B-But it's nothing to worry about! I'll be fine in a day or two."

Leif sighed, and shook his head. "Kabbu, we hope you realize what you just did was very incredibly stupid."

"Yeah!" Vi agreed. "You got all of us scared half to death, so THANKS! ...But I'm glad you're alright."

Kabbu closed his eye, shame filling him as he gripped Anne's phone just a bit tighter. "Both of you are right." With a deep breath, he re-opened his eye, staring down at the ground. "Anne..." He held up the phone to her, unable to face her now. "Here. I'm sorry about all this. Please, take your phone."

Anne reached down, grabbing her phone out of Kabbu's hand. "It's okay, I know you didn't mean to run down the battery on my phone, but we'll find another way to..." Anne's speech slowed as she looked at her phone, a look of bewilderment on her face. "...Charge it?! What the heck?"

"What's going on?" Leif asked, confused. Did something else happen to Anne's phone?

"Oh no, I screwed it up more, didn't I?" Kabbu asked in anguish, burying his face in his hands.

"Nononono!" Anne was quick to correct him, turning her phone screen to show Kabbu. "You actually charged it up! ...Somehow! All the way to 10,000%! ...Somehow." After Kabbu had a look, he was bewildered as well, and then Anne showed Vi and Leif.

True to her word, the phone was working just as it was before. The battery icon at the top right of the screen was completely filled in, and the number next to it read 10,000%, just as she said. "Huh." Leif commented.

"Whoa, I didn't know percentages could go that high!" Vi exclaimed, stars in her eyes.

"Yeah, me neither..." Anne said, her excitement turning to nervousness. ...Were phone percentages not supposed to go that high?

"Congrats, Kabbu! Your recklessness turned out to help us after all!" Vi said, a smile on her face.

And yet, this brought a frown to Kabbu, subconsciously shrinking down a bit. "But I still caused this whole thing in the first place." He was finally able to look up at Anne, glancing away from her for a moment while rubbing his shoulder in apprehension. "...And I hope you can forgive me."

"Dude, you just took an explosion head-on to charge my phone. I think you're more than forgiven." Anne explained, a smile on her face. With that reassurance, Anne offered a hand out to Kabbu; the beetle staring at it for a moment before reaching his hand up to Anne's. She grasped his hand, helping pull Kabbu up to his feet, albeit a bit unsteadily.

"Thank you." Kabbu said, wincing a little from pain that'd hopefully wear off soon.

"No problem, dude." Anne replied. Without warning, she pulled Kabbu into a hug; another way of expressing that yes, things were indeed okay between the two of them.

"Ah!" Kabbu suddenly cried out. "Anne, I appreciate the gesture, but I'm still bruised up right now!" He spoke quickly, but didn't break away because he didn't want to be rude.

"Oh, sorry!" Anne apologized, backing away in haste. A few seconds passed, and then she abruptly started laughing, Kabbu joining her moments later, the absurdity of the entire situation catching up to them.

Vi smiled as she watched what unfolded before her. "You know Leif, I'm really glad I didn't push you off a cliff like I was planning."

"...Us too." Leif replied, knowing that he'd likely never do that. At least the entire phone situation was completely done with.

Anne was the first one to stop laughing, wiping a tear from her eye. She checked her phone, her smile turning to a frown as she saw the battery percentage again. "How the heck was my phone even able to get up to 10,000% anyway? Last I checked, phone percentages only go up to 100%."

"Perhaps it had something to do with the crystal?" Leif pondered. The crystal had a lot of energy, and the phone appeared to have absorbed a fair amount of it.

"Yeah..." Anne bit her lip. "But that still begs the question of how the crystal was even compatible with..." She paused, noticing the way Kabbu was still looking at her, a smile on his face. "...Hm."

"Um, guys?" Vi said, getting everyone else's attention. She pointed at something that nobody else had noticed yet; the yellow crystal. Or rather, what remained of the yellow crystal.

Due to everything else happening, nobody else really took the time to look at the yellow crystal in the aftermath of what'd happened. But now, it was clear to see what damage Kabbu's actions had done. The top half of the crystal was non-existent, tiny pieces of it presumably scattered throughout the cave. A weird sort of liquid spilled out of the crystal, pouring onto the ground. Thankfully it'd be easy to maneuver around it, but still.

"...Yikes." Vi added after getting another look at it. "You think anyone's going to notice?"

"We're in a cave that nobody else has gotten this far in for a long time, Vi." Leif deadpanned.

"Fair point." Vi answered, getting the message. Nobody aside from the four here would know about... this.

"Yeesh, what are those crystals made out of, anyway?" Anne asked, raising an eyebrow. "Is my phone gonna do weird things now that it's been injected with some sort of crystal juice? Or what if-"

"Anne." Leif said, interrupting her. "We'd appreciate it if you didn't get too deep in your conspiracy theories. We... don't want a repeat of what just happened."

"Okay, you win." Anne sighed, pocketing her phone. "My phone's working, so I'll just leave it at that." Surely, it was just a happy coincidence that this of all things got Anne's phone to turn again. An incredibly lucky coincidence, but one all the same.

"Well then!" Kabbu called out, readiness in his tone. "I suppose that now that all of this has been taken care of, we should get a move on! Don't want to keep that artifact waiting!"

"Yeah, as much as I'd love to watch more Suspicion Island, I think we should finish the mission first." Vi agreed, smiling. "I wanna get that reward, after all!"

"Mhm, let's go, team!" Kabbu said, already leading the way, despite his injuries. "And if I don't talk to someone about the rest of the season soon, I'm going to explode!" He threw his arms up in the air. "I mean, that part where the island itself is revealed to actually be-"

"No!" Vi yelled, trying to drown out Kabbu.

"Shhhh!" Leif harshly spat, not wanting any more information before he got a chance to watch it himself.

"Dude, spoilers!" Anne added, having the same feelings as Leif. More Suspicion Island would come sooner or later, they all just had to be patient about it.