Ah, Bikini Bottom. A paradise on the ocean floor. Home to many undersea creatures living their lives in peace and tranquility. And among these fine fishfolk, there is Bikini Bottom's most well-known resident, finest chef for the most popular restaurant in all the city, and perhaps the happiest walking, talking sea sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.
Our favorite yellow sponge had just gotten himself out of bed and ready for the day, having brushed his teeth after eating a healthy bowl of bran flakes. Putting on his white shirt, his scarlet-red tie, black leather shoes with white shoelaces, white socks with blue and red stripes, and brown rectangular pants with a black belt, Spongebob happily went out the front door of his pineapple home to greet his favorite pet snail.
"Good morning, Gary~!" Spongebob greeted his mollusk with a wide smile on his square, yellow face. "What are we gonna do today?"
"Meow." Gary replied.
"Great idea!" Spongebob loved how smart his pet was. "Let's visit Patri–"
But before he could move on to see his best friend in the whole wide ocean, Spongebob stopped when he heard the sound of a speaker coming on.
"Huh? What's this?" He turned to see the source of the sound. "Gee, I don't remember a gate being built on the road recently…"
Indeed, a sight most unfamiliar to Bikini Bottom's #1 fry cook met his eyes. Before a crowd of fish looking at this large peculiar metal gate in confusion, they all stared at the megaphone installed up high into it as an unpleasantly familiar voice spoke from it.
"Citizens of Bikini Bottom," the voice addressed the group, "may I have your attention please?"
"Plankton? Did he build this gate?" Spongebob recognized the voice all too well. "I wonder what's going on…"
"Meow." Gary concurred.
Sheldon J. Plankton. Owner of the Chum Bucket and longtime rival of Spongebob's boss, Eugene Krabs, owner of the Krusty Krab. His entire goal in life was to steal the Krabby Patty Secret Formula, that which was the key to the restaurant's success, use it to beat Mr. Krabs in the restaurant business, and (depending on which plan it was) take over the world. Not necessarily in that order sometimes, but Spongebob knew him perfectly. All of Bikini Bottom did. And not for anything good.
"From now on, I, Plankton, and the Syndicate, will rule Bikini Bottom." Plankton's voice announced, adding an evil laugh for good measure. As if hearing the tired groans and annoyed moans from the gathered citizens, he added, "But I'm fair. I listen to the little people. Those who don't want me to rule, raise your hand."
At that, the citizens raised their hands all at once.
"Hm. Unanimous vote, eh?" The Chum Bucket's CEO apparently observed. "Well, your voices have been heard… and so, I've chosen to ignore them and rule anyway. Isn't tyranny great? Heh heh heh… GET THEM!"
And with that shout, everyone else was shocked to see two large, dome-like tanks treading towards the gathered civilians, piloted by green gremlin-like creatures, with vacuum-like muzzles protruding from the front and mounted cannons on the top. The fishfolk had tried to run away, but the suction of those vacuums was too powerful and they were sucked right inside! Fearing for himself and his darling pet, Spongebob quickly grabbed Gary and ran towards his house, tip-toeing to the back so they wouldn't be seen.
"Plankton can't do that to people!" Spongebob voiced his shock and dismay, only growing more anxious when he gasped in realization of something else. "Oh no! If Plankton's in charge, he'll steal the Krabby Patty Secret Formula and shut down the Krusty Krab!"
"Meow." Gary reminded him.
"Oh, and take over the world too, right." Spongebob held his square head in despair. "This is much worse than the time Plankton let loose an army of robots on the entire city! What do we do?"
Just then, as if in answering his question, a green, swirling portal appeared before Spongebob, taking the fry cook by surprise. And emerging from that portal came out… a robot!
"AHHHHHHH!" Spongebob's eyes bugged out and he jumped in mid-air, screaming in fright before getting on his knees. "Don't eat me! I swear, I didn't mean anything when I said this was worse than robots invading the city! Wait, that actually sounds bad out loud, I mean–! Gah, please spare us, Mr. Robot sir!"
"Meow." His pet snail tapped his arm with a closed eye.
"Gary, stay close to me!" Spongebob told his favorite pet. "I'll keep you safe from this… hey, wait a minute…"
Now that Spongebob got a good look at this robot, he could tell this definitely didn't look like anything Plankton would have made. A mostly silver, robotic not-quite-a-seadog possessing a plasma globe cranium, filled with ionized noble gasses in the form of plasma, not that Spongebob knew what any of that meant. It had a mechanical tongue and a yellow snout. It had two ears, acting as propellers that kept it afloat, which were made of metal. It also had a small pointy tail. The eyes were even small headlights. The canine-like machine then landed on the ground with its yellow, metal paws and its front body-plate where its purple, tube-like neck opened from the lower end to reveal a screen underneath. The sea sponge looked at this screen in curiosity as an image came into view from the fading static.
Once the static faded in full, Spongebob saw a most peculiar being looking at him. Not a fish, certainly not a squirrel… wait, he recognized how he looked! Back during Squidward's big concert, there were these really ugly-looking fish cheering them all on and waving candles! What did Sandy say they were? 'Humans'? Anyhow, this human looked ten years old, possessing a disproportionately large forehead, fair skin, and a large head of hair done up in a swirly cowlick. He appeared to be wearing a t-shirt sporting an atom on the center of it. Those straps around his arms seemed to indicate he was wearing a backpack.
"Hello Spongebob," the boy greeted him, "we haven't met, but believe me, I'm your friend."
"Oh, well, that's kind of you to say," Spongebob smiled at that, "but perhaps we should get to know each other first before that?"
"Listen," the boy was focused, "Plankton has joined forces with villains from other worlds, and with their help, he's taking over Bikini Bottom!"
Okay, now this had to be a dream, the yellow sea sponge hoped it was. Robot dogs? Other worlds? What was next?
"C'mon, Spongebob! Wake up!" He patted the sides of his head. "Oh, I must've had too much ice cream last night! I knew I should have gone with Krabby Patties instead for that Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy marathon!"
"Sorry Spongebob, but this really isn't a dream." The boy apologized. "I've been gathering information about your world and I know you've dealt with Plankton before. Please, Spongebob, we need your help!"
Spongebob carefully considered his options. Either he went with the strange robot dog to meet this human claiming to be from another world through the portal, or stay…
"Anyone else care to defy me?" He heard Plankton's voice from the megaphone.
And let Plankton do as he pleased, potentially running the Krusty Krab out of business and taking over the world? Spongebob, knowing what he had to do, stood up with a renewed zeal in his step.
"Okay," he decided, "I'll do what I can to help."
"Follow my dog, Goddard, and he will lead you to me." The boy told Spongebob with a smile, glad he accepted. "I'll be able to tell you more when you get to my lab. See you soon!"
With that, the communications turned off and the dog, Goddard, closed the panel before turning around and flying into the portal. Spongebob looked to his faithful companion, knowing this was an important mission he was about to undertake. Perhaps the most important one yet.
"Gary, stand guard and don't let them in!" Spongebob Squarepants told Gary. "I'll be back soon!"
"Meow." Gary understood, watching his Papa Bob walk into the portal, seeing it dissipate.
The mollusk then carefully went back to the front door of his Master's pineapple home, turning the hand wheel with one of his eyes before going inside. But, hearing some scrunching, Gary looked around for any sign of those tanks having discovered him. But… nothing appeared to be there. Gary didn't plan on staying outside much longer, so he went inside and closed the door, locking it behind him. Good thing too. If he stayed out there much longer, he'd have been set upon by something much more menacing…
Spongebob flew through a vast swirling void of green, shouting all the way as he made his way towards an unknown destination. All he could think of was hoping everyone back home was safe. But of course, it turned out he didn't have to think that long, before he was immediately falling out of a portal and landing face-first onto the ground, notably an unfamiliar floor, with a squish. He then got up a-okay, finding that robotic dog just hovering right next to him. He took a look at his surroundings, seeing a rather spacious, cavernous area with inventions and tech as far as he could see. He oohed and ahhed as he looked at everything… and only barely noticed that he was slightly drying up.
"I'm Jimmy Neutron." He heard the familiar voice of that boy he was talking with earlier. "Welcome to my lab."
Spongebob saw the boy, Jimmy Neutron, along with two other humans, approaching him but both looking different from Jimmy. Without the green over the first boy's person, Spongebob saw Jimmy's eyes were blue, the hair was brown, the shirt was red and the atom was yellow. He also wore denim blue jeans and a pair of gray and white Converse-style sneakers. The backpack Jimmy wore also appeared to be a military green.
"This is amazing!" The other boy looking about Jimmy's age exclaimed as he looked over Spongebob. "He's a giant block of cheese!"
This boy looking about Jimmy's age wore a pink hat that matched his pink shirt, blue pants and shoes that seemed indistinguishable from his pants. His brown hair appeared to point forward at all times. He also had blue eyes and a large pair of buck teeth.
"Timmy, Spongebob is a sponge from a place called Bikini Bottom." Jimmy told the boy who spoke, apparently having known him longer from what Spongebob noticed.
"Still an odd place to call an undersea city if you ask me." The other human, taller than the three of them, pointed out.
Clearly the older of the three boys, 14 years old more than likely, this one had hair similar to Timmy's, but it was white as snow. His eyes were glowing green, a shadow was cast over his skin, and a slight white aura surrounded his body. He wore a black jumpsuit with white boots, collar, belt and gloves. On his chest, like a superhero logo, a white "D" with three ghost trails on its stem and the negative space inside it forming a "P," stood proud.
"Oh, that reminds me!" Jimmy just realized something before reaching into his backpack and pulling out a blue aerosol can. "My Neutronic Moisture Sealant will keep you moist outside of water."
Spongebob, happy to hear that, allowed Jimmy to start spraying the sealant over his spongy person. Sure enough, Spongebob could feel himself getting back to his regular hydrated self!
"This is the strangest morning I've had since… well, last Tuesday." Spongebob admitted. "Oh, and that invention is great, Jimmy! I gotta tell ya, I know someone who'd be interested in knowing all about it."
"Wow, he can talk?" The superhero-figure asked, impressed.
"Of course he can, Danny." Jimmy Neutron, the apparent boy genius, confirmed this. "Where Spongebob comes from, all sea creatures can talk. Speaking of which, Spongebob, we need to bring you up to speed on what's happening."
Jimmy then walked over to his large main computer with the other three following him. Getting in his chair, he tapped away on his keyboard. Spongebob looked up at the computer and he saw a screensaver of a neutron onscreen before it flickered off.
"This all started with my latest invention," Jimmy Neutron began, "the Universe Portal Machine, or UPM for short. It's a device that lets us travel to other worlds."
"Not exactly the most creative name there, Jimmy." Timmy couldn't help but comment.
"It fits the purpose just fine! Not like I could think of other names with what happened next." Jimmy defended himself on that. "Anyway, Professor Calamitous, one of my arch enemies, has somehow gained access to my project plans and created a copy of my machine."
Spongebob saw an image of this Professor Calamitous appear on screen, alongside blueprints to the aforementioned portal device. Professor Calamitous appeared to be a tiny, near-sighted old man wearing a lab coat, long black gloves, and eyeglasses. Calamitous had gray hair and a mustache. The blueprints made Spongebob look at Jimmy's device in question. Hexagonal in shape, keeping the portal steady with six satellite-dishes forming the warp gate.
"I've been tracking Calamitous' portals and he's been visiting your worlds. He's found an ally in each world and they've teamed up to form a Syndicate." Jimmy continued, as the screen showed three more individuals appearing alongside Calamitous.
Spongebob recognized Plankton just fine. A tiny deep green planktonic copepod who could fit in the palm of one's hand. He had some stubby appendages and one yellow eye with a red iris and a white highlight. He had two long, skinny antennae with four small green spikes sticking out along them. He also had one black thick eyebrow, but had no ears or nose.
The figure Timmy seemed to be blowing a raspberry at was a tall adult with a hunch-back, ears which seemed attached to his neck, crooked teeth and a generally nerdy appearance. Black and short scraggly hair, glasses, a white shirt with a black tie, long black pants and cheap, black dress shoes. Spongebob could tell he was like some form of evil teacher.
Then there was that figure Danny was glaring at, and he appeared to be, in Spongebob's opinion, the scariest of the bunch. Like a blue-skinned vampire with pupiless red eyes, sharp canines more akin to fangs, black hair styled into a pair of horns forming a u shape, and a black goatee. He wore a mostly white outfit consisting of white trousers and a white long-sleeved shirt with black gloves and boots. His shirt was connected via a black belt and stemmed up to his neck. There was a black collar on his shirt like Danny's, although it did not extend up the neck. Finally, he accessorized with a high collar cape connected around his neck that had a white exterior and a red interior lining. His hand appeared to have a green glow around it.
"He must have some sort of master plan that they can all benefit from." Jimmy continued, showing images of this Syndicate's deeds, be it sending robots through Jimmy's world, dozens of jellyfish captured in Spongebob's, a massive, golden palace with a rainbow forming from it in Timmy's, and Danny's villain stealing energy from a similar portal in his own. Jimmy further explained, "They've combined their powers to create an army of Syndicate Troops and are stealing energy from each of our worlds. We don't know why they're stealing this energy, but whatever it's for won't be good."
"Don't be such a science nerd." Timmy dismissed Jimmy's concerns as the boy genius turned the screen back to its original screensaver. "If you think about it, this is actually pretty cool. It's just like one of my games!"
Just then, appearing just near Timmy in pink clouds, both having the words 'POOF!' labeled over them somehow, were two peculiar beings. One was male with green hair like Timmy and Danny, green eyes, and wearing a white shirt with a black tie and black pants and shoes. But he also had two little fly wings on his back and a small golden crown floating just above his head. The woman next to him had wavy pink hair and pink eyes, and she wore a yellow shirt matching her yellow earrings, black pants and shoes, and also had fly-wings on her back and a golden crown floating above her head. Both of them had black wands tipped with gold stars in their hands.
"Now Timmy, this is a lot more serious than one of your video games." the woman told him sternly. "We lost our powers because of this Syndicate, and we won't be able to do anything until they're stopped."
"Yeah, Timmy." the man concurred. "Right now, this wand is just a glorified back scratcher!"
The man then proceeded to actually scratch his back with his wand.
"Well, at least I can use it to get the parts I can't normally reach," he admitted, a pleased smile on his face.
"Um… who are they?" Spongebob asked, looking at the two.
"Oh, that's Cosmo and Wanda. They're my–" Timmy was about to say more before he, and the two he just introduced, ended up realizing a potential, life-changing blunder they just made, "my, uh, um–!"
"They're Timmy's fairy programs. Lifelike, aren't they?" Jimmy ended up explaining to Spongebob, which caused the trio to let out a breath of relief. "And besides that, they're right, Timmy. We must work together to stop the Syndicate. I know you've each defeated these guys individually; that's why I've brought you all here. If we combine our knowledge, we can beat them."
"All I'm saying is it's exciting to work as a team and save the day!" Timmy replied.
"Well, now that the entire team is assembled," Danny decided to chip in there, "I think it's time we get started."
"Okay," Jimmy concurred, "since we don't know where Calamitous's secret laboratory is, our only leads lie in each of your worlds. To begin with, let's stop them from draining the energy!"
"Where should we start?" Spongebob asked, ready to begin as well.
"How about Amity Park?" Danny suggested.
"Setting the coordinates for Amity Park." Jimmy went up to the warp gate and set a specific code. "We should appear in Danny's high school and be able to work from there."
"Then let's go!" Spongebob eagerly ran towards the portal.
"Hold on! You guys are going on a dangerous adventure here." Wanda told them all, making Spongebob freeze in place. "You have to make sure you're armed and ready before you head in."
"Oh, I can handle that easily!" The fry cook then pulled out a pair of red foam gloves and placed them over his hands. "Make way for the master of Kah-rah-tay!"
"Got ghost powers. I'm good here." Danny turned intangible for a second to prove his point.
"And it's a good thing I have my Tornado Blaster on hand." Timmy held out a red blaster-like device outfitted with a large turbine inside. "With it, I can shoot out powerful blasts of wind at the Syndicate's goons."
"And I… uh…" It was then Timmy found he had no weapons on his person. "Um… er, guys? Weapon, please?"
"At least we got enough power for this one!" Cosmo said, with both 'fairy programs' holding up their wands. They glowed with a bit of light and sparkle before being covered in a 'POOF!' cloud.
Timmy then found himself wearing a pink backpack with Wanda's face on the back, while in hand was a green ranged weapon with Cosmo's face on the side.
"The Star Flinger should help you out, Timmy." Wanda said. "Though we can't do anything of value, making sure you defend yourself is still what we're here for."
"Now if only we could collect these stars and actually get a free wish like in our games." Cosmo lamented with a sigh.
"Any idea what they're talking about with their 'games'?" Spongebob whispered to Danny.
"Beats me. I have no idea what kind of crazy stuff goes on in their world." Danny admitted.
"Alright, everything is set." Jimmy confirmed to everyone as they faced the warp gate. "Next stop: Casper High!"
And with that, the group all jumped into the portal one after the other, ready to take on the Syndicate and rescue their worlds. But right when they were gone, none of them noticed the UPM spark just a tiny bit, making Goddard look at the portal with a worried whine…
The quartet of heroes exited the portal, watching it dissipate behind them. However, when they looked at their surroundings, they immediately found something was very off.
"Huh? Where are we?" Jimmy looked around in confusion. "I set the machine to take us to Danny's school. I must've made a miscalculation."
"Yeah, this… definitely isn't Amity Park." Danny concurred, looking at the stone ground beneath their feet. "If anything this is more… colorful, in comparison."
"Oooh, I like the look of that hat store over there!" Spongebob noticed a store nearby where a man was waving his hat in the air, as part of the shop's sign. "The 'Suits & Dresses'... Do you think they accept sand dollars?"
"Something tells me we're not in any of our worlds." Timmy of course stated what was off.
The world they were in, underneath a starlit sky, appeared similar to a Victorian-age town in terms of design and layout. Wooden houses and shops adorning red roofs, clumped together with the likes of hotels and even what appeared to be other districts separated by doors, numerous alleyways, an inactive fountain with a lovely mural of flowers behind it… it honestly looked like a calm, quaint place to live. The problem was none of the four knew what place this was. This was not a good start towards their adventure to save their worlds.
Spongebob looked up to the sky to take in the perfect view of all the stars… but then something made his pupils shrink and his smile drop.
"Um, guys?" He softly asked. "Is it bad if a star suddenly disappears?"
"Spongebob, stars don't 'disappear'." Jimmy explained to his newest companion. "At the end of their life cycle, stars simply go supernova, taking an entire galaxy with it in a massive explosion. It's a fascinating process I've yet to observe, now that you mention it. See, supernovas can happen as a result of two events: the sudden re-ignition of nuclear fusion in a degenerate star such as a white dwarf, or the sudden gravitational collapse of a massive star's core. If the first factor happens, then–"
"How about explaining why they're just blinking out instead?" Danny gently nudged Jimmy and pointed upward, making the boy genius look up with them.
And Jimmy was indeed shocked to see what they had seen. Above them, in that very starlit sky, a star suddenly blinked so brightly before disappearing like it was never even there. No sign of a supernova to be found.
"So, Jimmy… not to actually put a downer on my own thoughts on this being cool," Timmy said, "but do you think the Syndicate might have something to do with that?"
"I… no, I'm quite sure it's not the Syndicate here. I mean, how could it be?" Jimmy's sense of logic and reason was suddenly being affronted right after landing in this unfamiliar world. "It makes no sense! A star can't possibly just 'go out' just like that!"
"This day just keeps getting stranger…" Spongebob scratched his head.
"Okay, how about we think about that later?" Danny suggested, hoping to calm things down. "Right now, we're in a world that none of us know about, but that should be easily fixed. We just need to get back to Jimmy's lab so he can probably set in the right coordinates this time."
"Ah yes, that's a good point. Thanks Danny." Jimmy was feeling a bit silly for not remembering something so simple. Pulling out a calculator outfitted with circuitry and wire from his backpack, he began pressing the buttons, saying, "It's a good thing I have also made a Portable UPM so we can travel from other worlds back to Retroville. Just a simple passcode to return home and–"
But in spite of Jimmy's efforts, the device didn't create a new portal. If anything it just appeared to spark and fizzle as smoke came out of it. All four of them stared at the device before they all looked at each other with somewhat worried expressions on their faces.
"It didn't work." Spongebob stated the obvious.
"Okay… so we're apparently stuck here until Jimmy gets his portal thingy fixed." The average kid no one understood said. "Now what do we do?"
"Probably the only thing we really can do at this point." The boy genius sighed as he put his device away, disappointed by this circumstance himself. "We will have to get our bearings. Figure out what world we're in and see if there's anything we can use to fix my Portable UPM. From there, it should be a simple process of gathering materials and using them accordingly, so long as nothing complicated happens."
"Run! Ruuuuuuun! It's coming for us all!"
As everyone heard that panicked cry, Danny couldn't help but snark, "You were saying?"
The four heroes watched as an adult man was running for his life as he came out of the nearby alley. The man appeared to have neatly groomed brown hair, a white shirt with green designs just under the sleeves, a blue vest with three silver buttons and brown belt around the waist, baggy brown pants, white socks, and black dress shoes. His face was clearly one of panic as he nearly tripped several times while running, not wanting to look behind himself. He didn't even pay heed to the four that were ahead of him, just running past them in his bid to escape any potential pursuers.
"The darkness is here!" They heard the man cry out as they watched him make for one of the staircases leading up towards the higher level of the town. "Run before it claims you too!"
"What's up with that guy?" Spongebob watched him with concern.
"Something must have got him spooked." Timmy figured. "What's this about darkness anyway?"
"We better go after him." The ghost superhero could see the best course of action at the moment. "If we manage to calm him down, he could probably explain what this place is."
They all nodded in agreement before making their way towards the panicking man. As they went up the steps, they weren't aware of someone coming in through the large doors at the same time. But by the time the quartet made it past the Suits & Dresses shop, they saw the man end up tripping and landing on his back, expression full of fear… and that was when the four saw something shocking.
A light emitted from the man's chest and a red, glowing heart flew out. The man just sat there, frozen as he suddenly vanished into darkness. The heart itself was taken into a dark mist of black and purple, being consumed into the shadows. The mist then in of itself turned into a creature the likes of which the four had never seen. Looking like a twisted parody of a knight, it wore black, silver trimmed shoes that end in spiral toes, silver wristbands, and a silver knight's helm decorated with two angular, eye-like spirals on the front and a yellow stripe at the base of the curled silver plume. It possessed fierce blue and red-tipped claws, and it appeared ominous with a shadowed face with bright yellow eyes and toothy maw. It wore a bluish-black bodysuit bearing an emblem of a black heart crossed with red thorns, and purple inverted emblems trimmed in gold on the knees. It seemed to fidget in place after being born before flipping forward and disappearing into the darkness it was spawned from.
The four world-travelers looked on at this event in total shock. This was nothing like they expected to happen, much less felt they were ready to see.
"D-D-D-Did you see that?" Spongebob shook in his shoes. "That man just… vanished! And that monster took his place!"
"That definitely isn't normal…" Timmy shivered from the sight as well.
"What was that thing…?" Danny felt his eyes trembling. No ghost he ever faced did anything like that.
"Wait, more importantly, who's that?" Jimmy noticed someone rushing to where the man disappeared.
A boy about Danny's age with blue eyes and brown, spiky hair. He wore a red jumpsuit with puffy shorts and a zipper that ran down the entire front. He wore a black and white jacket over top, large yellow shoes, white fingerless gloves with yellow and blue straps holding on a silver circle plate, a blue belt with chains hanging off, and a silver crown necklace. All in all, definitely not an attire that seemed too in place with this world, even with how little they have seen of it.
But then, the boy got surrounded by more peculiar monsters, emerging like shadows from the ground. They all had a round, spherical head with circular, glowing yellow eyes. They also had two long, twisted antennae sprouting out of the top of each of their heads. Each of their hands had three clawed fingers, and their feet were large and lacked any discernible digits. The boy then pulled out a most peculiar weapon to defend himself against them. A sword-sized classic skeleton key approximately 3.5' long with a long silver keychain and a peculiar mouse-like emblem on the end of the keychain. The blade and teeth of the odd weapon were silver, the rainguard was blue, and the guard was bright gold. The teeth of the key formed the outline of a crown which matched the crown charm the boy wore.
"Is that a giant key he's holding?" Timmy looked at the weapon. "That's odd even by our standards."
"He can't possibly take those things on by himself!" The fry cook was already fretting in place. "Come on, guys! We gotta help him!"
"Doesn't look like we have much choice anyhow." The boy genius saw a few of the creatures looking in their direction. "On your toes, guys!"
The quartet found themselves faced with their first battle in a whole new world, against an unfamiliar enemy, assisting an unknown boy. Despite their eerie, ant-like appearance, the biggest threat these creatures seemed to hold against them were their numbers. Sure, they could jump high with lunges, then sink into the ground to avoid being hurt, but sadly for them, these monsters didn't have much. As such, they fell prey to an easy few combos each. Spongebob's karate gloves and Danny's ecto-charged fists took them down up close, and the stars flung by Timmy's Star Flinger and the wind from Jimmy's Tornado Blaster did them in just as quickly. In no time at all, these shadows dissipated into dark mist, leaving behind little balls of green and balls colored blue and yellow.
"Huh, wonder what all this is for?" Spongebob picked up some of the odd balls on the ground. "The green balls make me feel better, but somehow I feel… richer getting these other ones."
"Perhaps these yellow and blue orbs are what count for currency in this world." Jimmy hypothesized. "You did ask earlier if that hat store took sand dollars."
"Would be interesting to figure out what we could get with these." Danny Phantom agreed as he took some of the orbs as well. "But maybe materials for your super-calculator would be more important."
"Portable UPM." Jimmy corrected.
"Better yet, what were we worried about there?" Timmy asked. "Those things weren't all that tough. We got rid of them easily!"
"Timmy, please remember not to get a swelled head." Wanda told him.
"Yeah Timmy, having a swelled head hurts! Like a reaaaaaally bad headache." Cosmo concurred with his wife… but not for the same reason.
"Um, excuse me?"
The four then brought their attention towards the boy they were helping earlier. Still holding that enormous key in hand, he appeared to be staring at them with a mix of confusion and intrigue.
"Oh, right." Danny blinked in recollection. "Almost forgot. Hey, you okay there, pal? It looked like you really needed help with those things, so we just figured we'd pitch in."
"Yeah. Thanks, I really appreciate it." the other teenager nodded in gratitude. "I wasn't expecting to run into those shadows again so soon after dropping into this world."
"Shadows? Wait, 'this world'?" Jimmy noted certain words and phrasing the boy used. "So you're saying you're not from this one?"
"No, I'm not." The boy shook his head. "I take it you guys aren't either?"
"Kind of obvious, don't you think?" Timmy raised a brow there.
"Oh no need for that, Timmy! He looks friendly enough." Spongebob replied to the average kid before walking up to the boy and holding out one yellow hand. "Hi! My name is Spongebob Squarepants, of Bikini Bottom! What's your name?"
Glad to meet someone friendly in this new world, the boy took the sea sponge's hand and shook it.
"My name's Sora." The boy introduced himself. "I'm from a place called Destiny Islands."
"Wow, sounds really relaxing!" Spongebob liked the sound of that name.
The other three boys looked at each other, pondering if they should join in. With a shrug, Danny went forward after Spongebob.
"Name's Danny. Danny Phantom." Danny shook Sora's hand next. "Ghostly super-teen of Amity Park. I also go by Inviso-Bill, but please, Danny Phantom would be better in this case. Trust me."
"I think I'd prefer that, Danny." Sora sheepishly chuckled, not wanting to laugh at 'Inviso-Bill'.
"Timmy Turner, average kid who no one understands from Dimmsdale." The buck-toothed boy came next to shake the other teenager's hand while showing off his backpack and weapon, surprising Sora with the faces greeting him with smiles. "And this is Cosmo and Wanda, they're my, uh…"
"Fairy programs. No need to be reserved about saying that, Timmy." Jimmy finished for Timmy as he walked up last to introduce himself. "And I'm Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius of Retroville."
"Nice to meet you guys." Sora told them with a nod. "So, what brought all of you guys to Traverse Town? You all lost too?"
"So Traverse Town is the name of this place?" Jimmy Neutron noted before answering, "And yes, in a manner of speaking. You see, Sora, we were actually supposed to appear in another world entirely. However, the warp gate malfunctioned and we can't go back to fix it until we get my Portable Universe Portal Machine fixed. In order to do that, we'll need to scrounge up the right materials in order to remove the bugs."
"Universe Portal Machine…?" Sora tilted his head at that.
"No offense, Jimmy, but this might require a bit of exposition again." Danny told Jimmy on that one.
"Yes, I believe it might…" The Boy Genius considered that. "Although… hm, excuse us a minute, will you, Sora?"
With that, Jimmy got Timmy and Danny to huddle with him to converse in private, with Jimmy ushering Spongebob to join in. The sea sponge looked over to the key-wielder with a shrug before joining in with squeaky steps. Sora, all the while, couldn't help but look curious, wondering just what they were talking about.
"Surely there's no reason not to explain it all to him, right?" Spongebob asked. "He's probably just as lost as we are right now."
"Maybe, but he also doesn't look as skilled at dealing with supervillains as we are." Danny pointed out. "He might have something to fight with, but he doesn't exactly scream 'skilled' with it. We could end up pulling him into trouble."
"But that weapon looks super cool!" Timmy argued. "Bet you with anything, he could pull some real interesting tricks with it. Besides, he'd have us helping him out. That's not an issue, right?"
"Timmy, us being able to help him isn't the issue. It's just that this is a matter that might be too big for him to handle. Not to mention we only just met him." Jimmy rebutted. "And if he happens to be lost too, then we could end up just keeping him from returning to his own world."
"So why don't we help each other out?"
The four all jumped as they saw Sora had somehow joined their huddle without them noticing.
"Listen, I don't know what you guys are looking for, sure," he admitted, "but at the same time, I think that I can help you out. You see, I'm looking for my friends, Riku and Kairi. We got separated from each other when our world… well, before I dropped here. And since you guys are stuck here looking for parts, maybe we can look for both at the same time?"
"Well…" Jimmy still didn't feel sure about it.
"I don't know about you guys, but I personally vote for having Sora join in!" Spongebob of course was all for it. "And if we're going to help him find his friends, that means we get to make new friends too!"
"I mean, he at least has a good reason for wanting our help." Timmy was on board with Spongebob. "What's the harm in helping him?"
"I suppose we can give him a shot. Maybe help him out if things get too dicey…" Danny figured.
As such, the deciding vote had to come from the one who brought them all together. Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, pondered the pros and cons of allowing Sora into their group, at least for now. While the cons included them not knowing Sora all too well and them not having information on what he had dealt with, the fact that Sora could possibly fight against these new creatures that they hadn't seen before could prove beneficial, at least to help them research this threat. Not to mention, if they were currently in the same predicament…
After mulling it over, the boy with the large forehead said to Sora, "Alright, Sora, you can come along. At the same time, there's much to tell you about what we're supposed to do. It involves all the worlds we're from and how we'll have to save them."
"Save them?" Sora asked. "From what?"
"Well, it all started back when I made my latest invention…"
From there, the quartet and their new fifth member began walking along as Jimmy brought Sora up to speed on what was going on, unaware that their journey had only just gotten bigger.
Vlad Plasmius. The ghost identity of one Vlad Masters. The most powerful member of the Syndicate and the only one with legitimate powers. At the moment, Amity Park was all but his, and he already was ruling a castle where Casper High once stood. His accursed longtime and unaware nemesis Jack Fenton and his beloved and beautiful Maddie Fenton were dazed and kept as potential hostages for when young Daniel would try and battle against him… and there was the rub. Danny Phantom, the son of his desired Maddie and that ignoramus Jack, had yet to appear. How very out of character…
"Hm… I could have sworn that Danny would be here right now with his new friends." Vlad stroked his goatee in thought. "What could possibly be the holdup? Well, not that I'm complaining. This has given me plenty of time to absorb more energy from the Ghost Zone for our ultimate plan, but still, it's a matter of principle that the hero would come in to try and save the day. It's not like him to just not make it. I even had a grand speech prepared and everything!"
Vlad blinked when he said that out loud.
"...Wow, come to think of it, I do have a lot of time on my hands now that I'm on top, don't I?" He asked himself under his breath.
"Lord Plasmius! We have taken a prisoner!"
And of course, there were the minions. All of them freakish creatures made specifically to serve the Syndicate thanks to their combined knowledge. Perfect for the job… just about incompetent for everything else. Vlad couldn't help but sigh as he pinched his temples in imminent frustration.
"For the last time, boys," Vlad could just picture this incident like it happened before, "ghost rats are not any legitimate threat."
"It's not ghost rats this time, sir!" he could hear them from the other side of his throne room's door. All of them basically had the same voice. "It's a human, not like any we've seen before!"
That got the rich supervillain to raise a brow in curiosity. A human, not like any they've seen?
"And what makes you say that?" he had to be sure this wasn't going to be another waste of time.
"She's from none of the four worlds, Lord Plasmius!" he heard, getting interested. "She's a complete unknown!"
"...Alright, I might as well see." He thus snapped his fingers. "Bring her in."
The gates to his throne room opened, and two minions, one green, one orange, both wearing black and gray armored gear on their bodies, dragged in a girl by her thin arms, bringing her before their master. Vlad took a good look at this girl. A young teenager to be sure. She wore an odd, yellow dress with overall straps and a large pocket on the chest. She had sandals on her feet and a loose, blue-beaded bracelet on her left wrist. Her brown hair was styled into one large curl on the back of her head and two more on either side. Her thighs were also rather… distracting, but Vlad had eyes on another woman entirely, not to mention he wasn't into children. Even villains had standards.
That being said, she definitely didn't resemble how anyone in the Syndicate, much less anyone from their worlds, did.
"I'll be darned…" Vlad noted. Though this girl didn't appear all that special, it was clear her existence did bring up several questions that could have interesting answers. "Well done, boys. For once, you have brought something that might make our plans much more interesting…~"
Whoever this girl was didn't matter. Where she came from, however– that would set things into motion further than the Syndicate had ever planned.