"Helloooooo? Anybody there? Got questions to ask here!"

Timmy tapped on the dinger bell on the staff desk in the Second District Hotel. With the group deciding to seek others who might help solve their dilemma, not to mention hope for any residents that were not under attack from those mysterious shadows, they decided going into the hotel may bear some fruit. But unfortunately, in spite of how the place looked well-kept and organized, not one person seemed to be in sight nor answering the incessant ringing of the bell.

"The doors are locked and nobody's answering." Spongebob gave a shrug to his friends after getting no answer from the blue door he knocked on. "Maybe no one's here either. Or maybe those monsters…"

"No fear of that." Danny said, coming out through the red door, intangible before returning to tangibility. "Just checked. No one's in any of these rooms. No sign of a fight or escape either. There were some locked treasure chests, though. Who just leaves those out in the open in real life?"

"Have you checked the staff room?" Timmy asked, still ringing that bell.

"Yeah. That's empty too." The ghost boy confirmed. "So you can stop ringing that bell."

"Thanks." The ten year old boy with buck teeth finally just held his wrist and shook his used hand. "Jeez, my hand is sore from that…"

All the while, Jimmy Neutron was currently conversing with Sora, having mostly brought him up to speed on the likes of a Syndicate taking over their worlds with Jimmy's Universe Portal Machine they copied. While Sora was still intrigued by the fact that they came from other worlds to fight together as a team, he ended up asking if they perchance had something to do with what happened to his world.

"No offense, Sora, really," Jimmy had to tell him honestly, "but while I don't doubt the Syndicate is capable of something that maniacal and insane, I haven't seen them using these shadows in order to accomplish their aims. Just robots, minions, and even 'ghosts' from Danny's world. Whatever these new monsters are, they're definitely new to us."

Crossing his arms, Sora sighed but still felt the desire to ask, "So you probably haven't heard of this guy in a cloak either?"

"Sorry, but no." Jimmy said, shaking his head. However, he then tapped his chin in consideration, "However, you did say you saw him a day before your world got invaded by those shadows, right?"

"Yeah." Sora nodded. "He said something about 'this world being connected' and 'tied to the darkness to be eclipsed'... it was really weird, and he was kind of arrogant about it too."

"Hm… then it's more than likely that whoever this cloaked figure is, he might have had something to do with it." The boy genius could not deny the factors were too close to be considered a mere coincidence. "The problem is, how could he have done it? From the sound of it, what happened to your world was clearly no small feat."

"I wish I knew." The more the wielder of the key thought about it, the more it depressed him inside. "At least then I'd have a clue about where I can find Riku and Kairi."

"Don't feel too bad about it, Sora." Spongebob went up to their new ally with a comforting smile on his face. "If you managed to make it here, then no doubt they made it here too. If not here, then somewhere else! You'll find them. I just know it!"

That actually brought a smile to Sora's face. Though the sea sponge looked odd, or perhaps it was in part because of his peculiar appearance, his sincere and apparently never-ending sense of optimism had made the spiky-haired teen more comfortable with his chances.

"Thanks, Spongebob. You're right." Sora told him. "Though we probably won't be having much luck finding them here. Maybe we should head back outside and–"

The group then heard the bell dinging, the sound by now making them cringe in annoyance.

"Timmy, you can seriously stop ringing it now." Jimmy told his buck-toothed friend.

"It's not me." Timmy gestured with his thumb back towards the desk.

There was Cosmo, in his 'fairy program' form, gladly ringing the bell with a wide smile on his face. He stopped when he saw everyone else was glaring at him. Well, except Sora. This was the first time he saw Cosmo as he really appeared. Wanda too, who was behind Cosmo with her hands on her hips.

"What?" Timmy's male 'fairy program' shrugged. "It's almost as fun as the buzzers on game shows!"

Then, to everyone's surprise, the staff desk's curtain opened a bit, showing a darkened room behind, and a whispering voice speaking from it, "Paintings are great… if you ever stay the night, be sure to hit the clock…"

And then the curtain closed, leaving everyone basically slack jawed. Timmy was the first to recover, looking at the desk in annoyance.

"Oh, sure, answer after the millionth time." He snarked. Then he looked at Danny and told him, "I thought you said you checked that room."

"I… I did." Danny blinked. "Nobody was in there when I looked."

"No vacancies." The voice whispered without turning the curtain.

"Oh come on!" Timmy groaned.

Deciding it was best for their sanity that they left this hotel, the quintet left the building and went back into the Second District. They looked to their left and up towards the next building that stood out the most. Made of white brick and appearing to be a combination of a factory and a clock tower. Oddly enough, the only way inside appeared to be a set of doors that they could reach by going further up the stairs.

"It feels odd seeing a place clearly meant to be the busiest area be so empty, even in spite of the monsters." Timmy observed as they went upstairs. "You'd think they would have prepared some kind of defense in case these shadows kept business from going."

"Sadly I don't think we'll be needing their services anytime soon regardless." The boy genius observed. "Not to mention you'd be hard pressed to find a shopkeep owning a weapon in public areas."

"Yeah, that'd probably hurt business more than the shadows." the ghostly superhero agreed.

"Oh, that would hardly stop Mr. Krabs." Spongebob waved that off. "He'd keep the Krusty Krab open whether it was raining or snowing, all the while fighting bare-clawed to not spend too much in keeping those nasty shadows at bay!"

"Mr. Krabs?" Sora asked at the mention of that name.

"Oh, he's my boss at the restaurant I work at back home." The fry cook answered his new friend before sighing with nostalgia, "Ah, the Krusty Krab. Home of the world-famous Krabby Patty. I tell you, it's the best eatery in the universe!"

"Isn't a Krabby Patty basically a burger?" Danny couldn't help but ask.

But that made Spongebob gasp dramatically and jump on his chest to get up in his face for the trouble.

"It is NOT just a burger, Mr. Phantom!" the sponge poked him in the nose. "The Krabby Patty is an absolute treasure to the people of Bikini Bottom! To the point that its secret formula would be kept under heavy lock and key under the watchful eye of Eugene Krabs. It is so important to everyone under the sea that Plankton would do whatever it took to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula, whether it would be disguising himself, super science, civil disobedience, or even–"

"Teaming up with other villains to take over the world?" The halfa finished for him.

"Exactly!" Spongebob then jumped off of Danny and stood proudly next to Sora. "And so, I, Spongebob Squarepants, swear to you, Sora, as well as the rest of you guys, that I will show you the wondrous splendor that is the Krabby Patty, or I am not the #1 fry cook under the sea!"

"Uhhhh… sure, that sounds great, Spongebob. Thanks." Sora nervously chuckled at Spongebob's zeal for his job.

"Hey guys, you coming up or what?" Timmy called from the door as Jimmy already went inside.

"Oh, coming!" Sora called after. Though when Spongebob moved ahead, he whispered to Danny, "Spongebob sure loves his job, doesn't he?"

"Yeah. Rare to find someone who does." Danny whispered back. "Anyhow, chances are once we go in, there's bound to be trouble."

"What makes you say that?" the new member asked.

"Just a gut feeling that comes with being a superhero. Not a great feeling either."

"Why are these shadows still coming?!" Spongebob's voice shouted from inside the building, getting Sora and Danny's attention. "Danny, Sora! Some help here, guys!"

With that, Danny and Sora rushed inside, pushing the door as hard as they could. There they saw their three friends fighting against numerous shadows, taking out a group of three. However, right afterward, a group of four spawned from the floor! Sora pulled out his key and Danny's fists glowed as they joined their friends in fighting the monsters off. They fought wave after wave after wave… until eventually, and Jimmy actually managed to count them all in the meantime, they defeated 40 shadows in total. Afterward the whole team was taking the opportunity to catch their breath.

Well, the whole team except for the resident of Retroville, who was busy picking up the orbs the defeated enemies left behind. He couldn't help but notice a third occasionally appeared when the monsters were destroyed. Dark blue balls adorned in intricate yellow embroiderings. Not to mention red balls with silver embroidery.

"Hmmm…" Jimmy collected the balls and opened them, but unfortunately sighed as he took out the items inside. "Just some crafting materials that I can't make heads or tails of and standard medicinal items, it appears. A bit primitive in nature, too. You'd think this world would have developed more modern medicine by now."

"What do you mean?" Sora couldn't help but ask as he walked over to Jimmy. "Aren't those potions? Those should be handy to have. We had them back home, too."

"Perhaps, but 'potions' have been rather archaic in our worlds for a long time. Not to mention it's unlikely the side effects of these concoctions have been properly tested." The boy genius replied. "Back in medieval times, while the pursuit of medical science was, and still is, a noble pursuit, they didn't have the proper materials and resources to create perfectly serviceable medicine until they got better technology."

"They seem to work fine to me." Sora shrugged. "I never felt anything bad when I drank them. Works great with training bruises. Taste could be better though."

"Doesn't all medicine need better taste?" Timmy concurred with Sora. Then he took the time to look around the place, saying, "Also, what's up with this place? This feels a little… what's the word?"

"Cartoonish?" Wanda offered a suggestion, looking at a machine looking as though it had a face on it.

"Colorful?" Cosmo also suggested, noting the larger assortment of colors within the room than there were outside in the town proper.

"I'd say it's low on power." Danny noted the slow movements of the turning gears, not to mention the inactive clock stuck on 12:00. "Maybe all this tech is meant to do something?"

"Well whatever it is, I unfortunately haven't brought the tools necessary to discover what for." Jimmy inspected the clock after putting the materials away in his backpack. "That's a shame. Figuring out how the technology here works would've made a whole day in itself for me!"

"Who knew this place could have so many wonders in the first half hour of us being here?" Spongebob smiled at the idea himself. "Other worlds sure are amazing!"

"Yeah, Riku would love seeing all this." Sora agreed with him there.

"You know, I don't think we actually asked what your friends were like." The sponge turned to his new friend at that. "Why don't you tell us about them? Surely that would make finding them a bit easier."

"Oh, right!" Sora realized that himself. "Honestly, they'd love meeting you guys. First, let me start with Riku…"

So Sora got to explaining about his childhood friends. Riku, his best friend, a boy about a year older than him with pale skin, bright blue-green eyes, and silver hair. He was pretty muscular, so he should be pretty easy to notice on sight, the boy holding the key mentioned. The two grew up together, but oftentimes they also played off each other as rivals, having sparring matches with wooden swords with each other, but Riku won more often than not. Sora felt a bit proud talking about the times he did win.

Then there was Kairi, his female friend. Sora ignored the gagging gesture Jimmy was making, though he did appreciate Timmy rolling his eyes at the boy genius. Kairi was pretty with auburn hair, slightly pale skin, blue eyes, and a notable necklace with a silver bead. She was also pretty sassy when something called for it.

"Yeah, there's always gotta be a sassy girl in a friend group, huh?" Danny couldn't help but chuckle at that. "I got this friend, Sam Manson, who's a goth, but she's also a vegan and an animal activist. Between me and Tucker, she's definitely got most of the sass covered."

"Is that really a thing for girls in a friend group?" Sora asked in curiosity.

"Must be. Otherwise, I wouldn't know what to tell you." The ghost boy replied.

Just then, everyone heard the sound of a portal suddenly coming into existence, and the whole group saw it in the center of the room. Coming out of that portal was none other than Goddard, Jimmy's metal canine companion, with a happy bark aimed at his creator. Jimmy was glad to see his dog, of course, but he also just saw Goddard had opened a portal no doubt back to Retroville!

"Goddard!" Jimmy tried telling his greatest creation. "Wait! Before you do anything! Keep that portal open! We'll need to get back home as soon as–!"

But before Jimmy could finish, the portal started coming undone, as it were, and ended up dissipating out of existence, leaving Goddard tilting his head back to where he came from with questioning whine.

"...Possible." Jimmy finished with a sigh.

"Well, at least the portal still functions back there, if that's any comfort, Jimmy." Spongebob tried looking on the bright side for the boy genius.

"Wooooow!"

The group looked towards Sora, who was busy bending down to get a closer look at Goddard, who was looking back at him curiously, but also not minding the pets to his metal head he was getting.

"An actual robot dog?" Sora felt tempted to try and rub the belly… key word being try. "This is awesome! Who made you, little guy?"

"That would be me. Honestly, my greatest invention in all my life." Jimmy walked forward and at least patted Goddard on his back. "This is my dog, Goddard. Goddard, this is Sora. We're helping him out while we're stuck here."

Goddard barked in response, giving Sora some licks with his tongue. Sora couldn't help but laugh a bit at the licks. Felt so dog-like, too.

"Looks like you're gonna be stuck with us for a bit, Goddard." Jimmy told his pet. "But perhaps things will actually be easier with you around. We're trying to find materials to use so my Portable UPM will be functioning properly again. But we're also dealing with monsters we haven't seen before, so whenever we confront them, you stay back and analyze them for better and easier ways to defeat them. Got it, boy?"

The mechanical canine nodded his head, wagging his metal tail. With another companion at their side, the five went out the other set of doors and came out back into the Second District. Or at the very least, a very cramped spot with a ladder currently set on the back. Clearly meant to be set up later. The only other way down was just over the edge and back to the ground level after a drop, or back the way they came to potentially fight through more waves of those shadows again. And clearly, none of them wanted more of that.

"Okay, normally jumping off a ledge would have bad results. But, fortunately for us, we have ways of getting down." Jimmy looked over to his companions. "Goddard, if you may?"

Goddard barked and began using his ears as propellers to hover into the air, letting Jimmy grab a hold on one of his legs before heading downward to the ground level. Once he made it, he called back up to his companions, "Okay, Danny, you bring Timmy and Spongebob down. Then you can head back up and get Sora."

"No need!"

Sora's voice surprised the whole group as the boy then just jumped off the ledge and fell to the ground… landing perfectly on his feet without any resulting soreness in his legs. Looking at the amazed looks he was being given, along with a humorous, literally dropped jaw from Goddard, Sora scratched his spiky head with a chuckle.

"Back home, we have this obstacle course that Riku and I raced each other on often, and we also practiced jumping from tree to tree near the end of the course," he explained. "Our legs are pretty strong; not that I'm bragging or anything."

"Sounds like you'd do great at Phys Ed." Danny commented as he floated down with Timmy and Spongebob holding on.

"You'd think so?" Sora wondered that as he had his hands on the back of his head. "Riku always excelled at that more than I did."

"Alright, reckless stunts aside," Jimmy eyed Sora while placing Goddard's jaw back in place, "we need to keep moving. Let's head inside here this time."

The group looked towards the nearby white door in the wall of the building. Something like a condominium, clearly built into the shop they were in. It was a finely made door at that, with yellow handles and blue stained glass windows built into it.

"Are you sure about this one, Jimmy?" Spongebob asked, unsure about this door. "I get why we were looking into a hotel earlier, but it looks like this might be somebody's home. We might be trespassing."

"Elementary, my dear Squarepants," the boy genius began to flex his intuition. "Due to the empty streets here in this district, along with the empty rooms in the hotel…"

"Save for the staff room with the weird desk manager apparently." Timmy interjected.

"The empty rooms in the hotel," Jimmy continued, "along with the emptiness of that 'Gizmo Shop' as I shall thus dub it, it is only a simple logical conclusion that whatever we find behind this door will be bereft of people as well. At worst, we'll be facing more of those shadows again."

"True, I wouldn't want to be around any of those things if I were a normal person." The halfa had to admit, as simple as it was, it did make sense.

"Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt…" Spongebob still felt a bit unsure, but then he saw Sora just going towards the door and pushing it open.

"Don't worry, Spongebob." Sora told him as he went inside. "What's the worst that could happen?"

"Famous last words…" Danny sighed at that.

The band of heroes went inside, barely hearing the sounds of another set of doors closing as they entered. Inside, they found themselves in a very nice room with an orange sofa, a blue coffeetape with a green top, a lovely purple carpet designed with a red square outline with a donut-shaped path of dirty yellow with paw prints clearly acting as decoration. There was also a desk with an old time radio, books placed here and there atop and within the shelves, not to mention on the floor beside it, a chair beside the desk, a metal music stand sitting next to a large violin while its bow sat right next to it. And in the corner of the room was a piano with some sheet music prepared, along with a metronome sitting atop it.

"Well, it looks like somebody does live here…" Jimmy admitted. "Might be a music enthusiast. I'll give them credit for the tried and true method of sketching ideas and having the rejects thrown in the trash bin, albeit haphazardly."

Then the group heard a light growl and turned to their left, seeing something they didn't expect… at least, as opposed to the oddities they had found so far when landing in this world. A full-grown Dalmatian wearing a red collar round its neck, growling at the group and standing protectively in front of a female adult Dalmatian wearing a blue collar, perhaps its mate.

"Woah! Nice puppy! Niiiice puppy!" Sora held his arms up to try and placate the growling dog. "No need to get angry! We didn't know anyone was here, honest!"

"Pretty sure he's not interested in listening, Sora." Danny told him, though he was also trying to placate the apparent pet.

"You know, I spoke dog once." Timmy couldn't help but say, getting odd looks from Danny and Sora. "Don't ask. It's a long story, and the dog was a jerk anyway."

Goddard stepped out in front of the group and began barking at the Dalmatian. This prompted the other dog to bark back, and the two began barking at each other, as if in communication. Along the way, the male seemed to calm down and sit back on his hindquarters, close to its mate. The group could only watch as Goddard began barking with the two other dogs, the three having a conversation.

"Phew." Spongebob wiped his brow. "Guess it's a good thing Goddard appeared when he did. Maybe he can help clear the air for us."

Eventually, the conversation seemed to wind down as the Dalmatians just looked somber, softly whining. Goddard seemed to whine sympathetically before walking back over to the humans and sponge. He then revealed the screen compartment, and words began to type themselves out.

"Goddard must have the summarized conversation here for us." Jimmy knelt down to read. "Pongo and Perdita, the Dalmatians, have lost their puppies along with their pet humans, and so they're here with nowhere to go. They've fortunately been taken care of by the people here in Traverse Town, especially this guy named Leon."

"Well there's a new name we hadn't gotten since coming here." Wanda noted. "Perhaps if we find this Leon, we might figure out more about this town and where we can go from there."

"Actually, I'm more curious about something else." Cosmo said. "I know I'm not exactly the brightest crayon in the player, but is the number of puppies right?"

"Number of puppies?" Sora asked. "What could possibly be weird about–"

One number reading later…

"Ninety-nine dalmatian puppies missing?!" Spongebob exclaimed in shock as they read that part of the message repeatedly, just to see if they read that correctly. "Ninety-nine puppies?! Wow, Pongo and Perdita sure have been practicing their multiplication tables."

"What are they, rabbits or dogs?" Danny was having trouble believing that number himself.

"And scattered throughout the worlds?" Timmy also had his hands up in the air. "It would take forever to find them! Of all the times to not have magic!"

"This isn't possible. No way this is even feasible." Jimmy was just in denial by now. "On average, a litter of puppies measures up to 5-6 at most! I mean, sure, rottweilers have set the record for 18 puppies, but even so! 99 is impossible!"

Sora couldn't help but watch as his four current companions all freaked out over this brand of surprising information. Sure, he was surprised by the number of puppies as well, but he wasn't sure that was something to freak out over. Still, he couldn't help but sympathize with poor Pongo and Perdita. Separated from their children… it couldn't help but make him think about how he ended up leaving his mother behind. He really should have thought about that before he went out in a rush for the raft.

After a momentary bout of guilt, Sora snapped himself out of it before kneeling to the two Dalmatians and gently petting their heads.

"Don't worry," he told them. "I'm not sure how, but I'll do my best to find them all for you. You can count on that."

Goddard just barked at the Dalmatians, as if translating what Sora said to them. In response, Pongo just licked Sora's hand and let out a woof in response. The boy looked over to Goddard who turned to him as well, revealing his computer screen which read but a single sentence.

"Thank you."

With a smile on his face, Sora again patted Goddard on the head. He then got up and faced his newfound friends.

"Okay, guys, I know where we can go next." He got their attention at that. "We should head back to the First District. Someone I know there, Cid, should help us find this Leon person."

"Hey, great idea, Sora!" Spongebob liked the sound of that. "It's good to have people you know whom to ask when you have problems! I do that with my best friend Patrick often!"

"Two leads are better than one at this point." Jimmy decided to just try and ignore his earlier crisis and focus on this important information. "Alright Sora, this time, you lead the way. The First District is behind those large gates from where we first met, right?"

"That's right." the bearer of the key nodded. "We shouldn't have too much trouble. The First District seems like the safest place to be at right now."

"Well here's hoping you're right there." Danny hoped. "With how many shadows we're dealing with here, I think we can use some kind of break."

Bidding farewell to Pongo and Perdita, Sora and his friends left the home and went on their way back to where they first met, mashing through more shadows along the way. Indeed, they made it to the large doors and Sora led the way in pushing through them. He had a smile on his face, expecting a safe way to this Cid. However…

"Here too?!" he exclaimed as he took out his key and swatted more of the shadows when they appeared before them.

"So much for this district being safe, huh?" Timmy snarked as he flung stars at others.

"I swear, this place was full of people before I came into the Second District!" Sora replied. "What happened?"

"Try not to get distracted by what could have happened!" Jimmy told him, blasting away a bunch of shadows with his Tornado Blaster. "Now, where's this Cid supposed to be?"

"He's in the building in front of us." Sora answered. "We just have to go around it to get into the front door of the accessory shop he runs."

"Sounds like a short enough trip." Danny blasted through more of the monsters. "C'mon, we're not getting much done just fighting these things!"

With that, dispensing with fighting at this point, the group ran down the steps of the district to make it around the building before them. As they did, going past the shadows, they got a good look at the first district as a whole. Supposedly a peaceful area, two light posts standing tall in a wide plaza, a funny mailbox with a goofy mouth sticking out a tongue acting as the mail slot, a humble restaurant with lit candles on the tables, an item shop near that restaurant, a large set of gates at the far end with a sign reading 'See you again!' right above it, another set of gates to their left apparently boarded up, and of course… the doors to the accessory shop.

"Hurry, get in before more shadows show up!" Jimmy fortunately blasted the last of the shadows when he said that.

Sora pushed the doors open and the others followed him inside. The inside of the accessory shop, from what they observed, had a glass case filled with glistening bracelets, armlets, necklaces, and other accessories, a fireplace built with red and purple stone and a stone chimney built into it, a green shop's desk and another case having a shining crystal inside it, glass windows with more accessories inside; it was also decorated with little trees and a hand-made night sky with stars and a crescent moon. There was even a similar window with a silver crown. There was also a black sofa along with a long black footrest.

"Oh, it's you, kid. Welcome back." A gruff voice greeted them. "I take it you found your friends already? Though none seem to match what you described before."

Standing behind the desk was a man who looked about 42. He had short blonde hair on his head, along with a pair of goggles. His eyes were blue, he had some stubble on his chin, and he had a toothpick in his mouth. He had on a wooden rectangular pendant around his neck secured by rope. He wore a white T-shirt with two buttons descending from the neck. His baggy pants were blue and had a very wide, orange waistband with thin, vertical stripes on it, and the man wore them rather high, with the waistband coming up to just under his ribcage. He also wore gray socks and black shoes.

"Sorry, Cid. No luck yet." Sora told the man as he came down the steps. "But these guys are from other worlds, too. They're apparently stuck here because an invention of theirs has some bugs and needs to get fixed so they can get back."

"Eh?" The man raised a brow. "You mean they didn't come here with a ship?"

"You can get here with a ship?" Timmy blinked.

"Well yeah, that, or…" Cid shook his head before he finished. "Eh, never mind that part. So kid, mind makin' introductions?"

"Oh yeah." Sora moved out of the way. "In order, this is Jimmy Neutron, his dog Goddard, Danny Phantom, Timmy Turner, and Spongebob Squarepants. I met them while I was over in the Second District."

"Pleasure to meet you, sir." Jimmy held out his hand to shake Cid's. "Sora told us you could help us out."

"Eh, depends on the help he's talkin' about." Cid shook Jimmy's hand. "I gotta say, this is the first I've heard about travelin' to other worlds without a ship. Whatcha got that lets you do that?"

"Well, to summarize, it's an invention of my own design." The boy genius explained, taking out his Portable UPM and placing it on the desk. "This is a portable version meant for return trips, but the Universe Portal Machine is a device that allows us to travel to other worlds via a warp gate. We were meant to go to a different world because we had something important to take care of, but instead we ended up appearing here instead. And I would have used this in order to return home so I could fix the issue, but unfortunately the Portable UPM is experiencing bugs as well and we're having trouble finding the materials we need in order to fix it."

Cid was busy staring at the Portable UPM through Jimmy's whole run of exposition, fiddling with his toothpick as he looked it over from head to toe. It looked so simple, a calculator with wires attached to it, like something a kid made – said kid standing right before him -, and yet the device itself looked like it was actually made and not just items stuck together with tape. He also took note of Jimmy's dog. Clearly built by hand and with more advanced tech than what he had on his desk, but it was clear there was more to this boy than his enlarged forehead.

"Hey kid." Cid spoke to Jimmy. "Did you seriously make a warp device from a calculator?"

"Well, when you're a boy genius," Jimmy felt his ego being stroked and felt the need to brag, "you'd be surprised just what you can make with anything you can find after some inventive thoughts."

"Yeah, and be incredibly modest while you're at it." Timmy rolled his eyes, making Jimmy grunt in turn.

"Hmmmm…" Cid held the Portable UPM in hand as he kept inspecting it. "Y'know Jim, this thing doesn't look half bad. Tell ya what. I work mostly with rocket science, but somethin' like this? I bet I can fix it easily with the materials I got. Might even improve it too."

"That's a bold thing to claim, but you really mean it?" Jimmy Neutron asked.

"Sure, why not?" The shopkeep replied. "That said, we'll have to work out the price once it's finished. Somethin' like this, I doubt it'll be cheap."

"But sir, we don't have that kind of money at the moment…" Spongebob told him with a frown. "All we got right now is probably close to pocket change."

"Clearly I don't mean you have to pay right now." Cid amended. "With the way things are goin', you'll probably have enough by the time I'm done… and that probably will take a while from my guess."

"Sounds fair… I think." Danny wasn't sure if the way they were going about with money was going to pan out, but so far the man was reasonable. But they had other things to worry about as well. "Anyway, Sora also said that you could probably tell us something. You wouldn't happen to know a guy named Leon, would you?"

"Oh, you guys are lookin' for Leon, too?" Cid recognized that name for sure. "Two other weirdos were lookin' for him earlier. Most I can tell you is what I told them. He's probably out patrolling the other districts."

"Could you tell us what he looks like?" Timmy asked next.

"He's about 25." Cid answered. "He's got long brown hair, wears black gloves, black, zipper-lined shoes, a silver Griever necklace, and a white undershirt. He's also got a black jacket with short sleeves and red wings on the back along with red Grievers on the shoulders. He's got three brown belts on his left forearm and has three buckles on his right thigh. His black pants have a vertical zipper going down the side of each leg. Leon wears two brown belts and two black ones around his hips, all of which are quite loose except for one, a black one worn properly around his waist. But you'll definitely recognize him by his blue eyes and a distinct scar along the bridge of his nose."

"As opposed to everything else about him?" Danny snarked.

"Thanks Cid!" Sora was grateful for the information at least. "We'll try looking for him next."

"Wish you luck. And keep your chin up. You'll find your friends." Cid told Sora. "Just take another look around."

"Will do!" Sora waved goodbye as he then made his way out.

"We'll hopefully see you as soon as you handle the Portable UPM." Jimmy added as he and the others followed.

Cid watched them go out of the store, taking his toothpick out of his mouth and musing to himself, "You sure know how to get odd folks lookin' for ya, Leon."

Sora, Spongebob, Danny, Timmy, Jimmy, and Goddard gathered outside the door, talking with each other about their current plans for what they had to do next.

"So now that we got a description for this Leon," Jimmy recapped as Goddard printed an illustrated version of Cid's description of Leon from his mouth, allowing his owner to rip it out with ease, "all we have to do now is find him, while in the meantime waiting for Cid to attempt to fix my Portable UPM."

"Attempt to fix?" Sora asked. "What, you don't think he could?"

"I'm not going to lie to you, Sora," the boy genius told him, "considering the level of engineering it took to create a smaller version of the Universe Portal Machine on my part, I have my doubts that Cid could manage to do it."

"But didn't Professor Calamitous steal the plans for your machine and create his own?" Spongebob reminded him. "Who's to say that Cid can't fix up your calculator thingy?"

"That's different!" Jimmy rebutted. "Calamitous is a maniacal genius practically on my level, habit of not finishing things aside. Cid, all the while, is just a rocket scientist if we can honestly take his word for it. The most he'll run with is no doubt conjecture and theories at best."

"Again, modest." Timmy snarked, making Jimmy grumble.

"They'll come at you out of nowhere."

That unrecognizable voice interrupting their conversation made the group turn to their left, bracing themselves for a confrontation.

"Who are you?" Sora asked, holding his key.

"And they'll keep on coming at you," a man emerged from behind the side of the accessory shop, standing across from them and pointed directly towards Sora… or rather, the weapon in his hand, "as long as you continue to wield the Keyblade."

"Keyblade?" Danny looked to Sora's weapon, the aptly named Keyblade. "Wow. And we made fun of 'Universe Portal Machine'. Jimmy, we owe you an apology."

"Not now, Danny." Jimmy was focusing on this new figure, then looking at the printout in his hand.

"But why?" The man seemed to wonder, holding a gloved hand to his temple. "Why would it choose a kid like you?"

"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?" Sora took offense to that, seeing this guy was probably no friend of theirs.

"Never mind." the man shook his head. "And you guys… whoever you are, you don't know just how much danger you're putting yourselves in by sticking with him."

"Right, as opposed to the angsty brooder who looks like he has a chip on his shoulder." Danny crossed his arms. "Sorry pal, but despite what you might think, we're well acquainted with danger."

"As much as we'd rather not, honestly…" Spongebob admitted.

"C'mon, Spongebob!" Timmy said to the fry cook. "This is the part where you try to sound cool!"

"Oh! Right! Um, cool, cool…" Spongebob tried coming up with something cool. What did he come up with? "Glasses?"

"Well, at least you tried." Wanda's face gently told Spongebob.

"Oof. Swing and a miss." Cosmo's facial expression, on the other hand, winced. Wanda's eyes narrowed at him for that.

"Hold on, fellows. There's no need for things to get tense here." Jimmy of course held his hands up to keep a fight from breaking out. Then, facing the new arrival, he inquired, "You must be Leon, aren't you?"

"Huh?" Jimmy's friends all froze at that.

At that, the other figure, completely matching the description, Leon himself, had also loosened up a bit, if his posture was any indication.

"You've heard of me?" He asked, his tone betraying a slight surprise.

"Honestly, we happened upon your name by sheer luck." Jimmy Neutron told him. "When Sora came up with the idea to ask Cid about it, he gave us a description matching you with surprising accuracy."

"Hey, now that you mention it…" Timmy noted the jacket. "Yeah, he really does wear that jacket."

"And he really does have that many belts!" Spongebob noted as well.

"And the edgy scar." Danny snarked about it.

Leon began rubbing his temples. Good grief. When did this end up becoming a roast? At least this would probably make things a bit easier.

"Gotta admit, they kinda got you pegged, Leon."

Everyone looked to see someone popping up from behind Leon. A sixteen year-old girl with short, black hair and wearing a metal headband with two green tassels. She wore a yellow scarf, a green tube top two blue belts holding it up, tan short-shorts with another loose, blue belt around her waist, white socks that reached about mid-thigh, orange shoes, and mesh sleeves on her arms that disappeared into orange, fingerless gloves with black bands constricting the ends.

"Don't you start." Leon's eyes were closed, just knowing the girl was grinning toothily. "Looks like things are worse than we thought. A lot worse."

"Probably worse than either of us might be thinking of, I'll bet." Jimmy concurred. "Listen, do you think there's a place where we can exchange information? This is clearly going to concern everybody here."

"...Very well." Leon apparently couldn't see how refusing the boy who figured out who he was would do him or anybody else good. "We got a room in the hotel over in the Second District. It's the brown door with the number 2 over it."

"Seriously?" Timmy groaned at this. "I swear, that hotel just gets worse…"

—-

"And you're certain that this girl is from a world not from one of ours?" Professor Finbarr Calamitous, founder of the Syndicate and arch enemy of Jimmy Neutron, asked as he was currently communicating with Vlad Plasmius via his central computer screen in his evil lair. "If that's the case, then how did she even… um… uh…"

"Appear here?" Vlad finished for him, clearly used to the scientist's unfortunate habit.

"Yes, that's it! Appear there." Calamitous confirmed, getting out of his chair and pacing with his gloved hands behind his back. "We're the only ones who have a duplicate of Neutron's Universe Portal Machine. Unless one of his other enemies managed to do it, and that's far from likely, that still doesn't explain who this young teenager is or where she… erm… um… came from."

"Well as much as I find what the minions consider information to be incredibly dubious, and that's me being as kind as I possibly can to the idiots," Danny's arch nemesis said, "shockingly one idea they have in regards to her origins that even remotely sounds plausible is that something else unrelated to us had taken her from her own world only to land her in mine. As such, Calamitous, we might have to consider that we might not be the only ones outside of our hated enemies having the ability to travel between worlds, and with another means of doing so."

"Unfortunately, Plasmius," Calamitous replied to his super-powered ally, "while that might sound intriguing, we simply do not have sufficient evidence to actually… um… uhmmm…"

But before Vlad could finish Calamitous' sentence, the professor saw an incoming message appearing on his screen.

"Oh, hold that thought. Getting another call." Calamitous got back in his chair and brought the message on screen, seeing a pair of antennae. "Plankton, your camera is a little, um… uh…"

"Off-focus, I'm aware." Sheldon J. Plankton finished, annoyed. Then he shouted to the side, "Karen! Adjust the camera so it's focused on all of me!"

"It's as low as it can get, Plankton." a rather monotone, digitized female voice replied to him. "I told you to get those books."

"Ugggh…" Plankton groaned. "Give us a minute."

Plankton's screen immediately changed to an image bearing resemblance to a 'We're experiencing technical difficulties' sign, but with Plankton's face in the center. Techno music seemed to play in the background. Calamitous tapped his finger on the arm of his chair as he waited. What was this song called again, he wondered. 'Electric Zoo'?

Finally, the screen went back to a straight camera feed, and there was Plankton in full, standing on a set of books.

"Sorry about that." Plankton apologized, glaring at something offscreen with his one eye. "Some people apparently don't know how to make added adjustment modifications."

"Don't blame me. You just didn't want to use the books since you think they make you look silly in front of your new evil compatriots." Karen rebutted.

"Oh shush!" Plankton waved her off and looked back to the screen. "Look, something happened over here recently, and it's urgent that you know since this probably concerns all four of us… speaking of which, where's Crocker?"

"Probably busy creating his 'perfect' mech suit, so I last heard him claim." Vlad said on his screen. "That, or just going through one of his episodes again."

"You mean with those three certain words?"

"Yes. That."

"And what news is it that you have to, erm… Ah…" Calamitous knew what the word was. He JUST knew it.

"Bring?" Plankton finished for him.

"Yes, that! Bring! What news is it you have to bring, Plankton?" Oh, if only those classes didn't require constant payment. But Calamitous was fortunate those classes were helping. Hopefully.

"Well, here I was, just enjoying my rule over Bikini Bottom while making sure Jellyfish Harvester production proceeds as planned." Plankton began explaining. "Then, popping right into my lair, practically drowning, was a human!"

"A human, you say?" Vlad noted that part. "And let me guess. They didn't look like anybody from our worlds?"

"Yes, exactly! I–" Plankton blinked. "Wait, how did you know that?"

"The same thing had happened on my end, recently." Vlad answered. Then to their leader, he said, "See, Calamitous? It appears this is not just a one-time incident."

"Hmmmm… How curious…" Finbarr Calamitous could see this was definitely unprecedented. "Plankton, tell me. What does this human in your world look like?"

"Well, seeing as we managed to save him from drowning and put him in a container with enough oxygen for him to last," Plankton answered, "He's a teenager, he's got orange hair and an enormous coif, as well as baggy yellow pants that close up halfway down his lower legs. Each leg of these pants has a large, gray, "X"-shaped strap with blue tips on them. He's got on a yellow tank-top with black lining, green sandals, blue wristbands, brown eyes (I had Karen check out that part since I didn't want to get close to the loudmouth brat), and stud earrings. He's also got this ball he just throws around like it's supposed to do something about his current situation."

"It's called a Blitzball, man!" an accented, young voice shouted to Plankton.

"I don't know what Blitzball even is, and I bet it's an overrated sport!" Plankton shouted back. He then cleared his throat and said to the camera, "Excuse me, I better put the boy on silent."

And with that, Plankton's camera feed turned itself off.

"...Just throwing this out there, the day I take Madeline as my bride, it's going to be a much healthier relationship than what Plankton has with his computer wife." Vlad put it out there like it was a normal conversation topic.

"Right, of course you do." Calamitous humored Vlad's delusions. Best not to question them when he's a useful ally. Even if he was enough of a looney to have actual holographic AIs based on the woman he wanted but couldn't have.

"But surely you understand now, correct?" Plasmius looked serious once more. "Something is happening outside our worlds, and we're not responsible for it. I'll let you know perchance I find out more from the girl once she wakes up."

And with that, Vlad Plasmius signed off as well. Finbarr Calamitous was left with his own thoughts, pondering and pondering just what possibly could be happening in the universe out of their sight and influence. Humans outside of the four worlds, appearing randomly in theirs for unknown reasons. Well, there was only to figure this conundrum out.

"Computer," the scientist got to work, typing away as he voiced his command, "search for any recent world-warping events outside our four worlds."

"One result found." the computer stated.

"Already?" His glasses momentarily went upwards as he blinked in surprise. "Well, that was rather, erm… quick. Show camera feed."

"Showing feed at present."

The professor's computer revealed a most marvelous sight to behold. Vast waterfalls that, instead of flowing down, rose upward. Mystical platforms that appeared to float in the air. Even large bubbles. Now this intrigued the founder of the Syndicate already. But then he noticed a figure in particular that he had not seen before, yet felt positively entranced by. A figure of utmost grace and dignity.

A figure with black, draconic horns on her head…