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Steel Sponge

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Steel Sponge last won the day on September 24

Steel Sponge had the most liked content!

About Steel Sponge

  • Birthday 03/28/1995

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    The gnarliest stuff in the ocean

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    Male
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    He
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    Guess.
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Community Answers

  1. What do you love most about Kongo Bongo?
  2. Steel Sponge

    AJR

    It's funny to look back at how I went from respecting them for the one time they used a sample of my personal flagship cartoon to just being one of my most hated music acts in most recent memory once The Click happened. I've already exhausted every ounce of critique I've had towards AJR, so all I could say now is that I wonder how many more albums about how much growing up sucks they'll make until they actually mature as music artists.
  3. The playlist's length caps at 29 1/2 mins, so I barely clinched it with this one.
  4. From what I've heard, Widward is wiving wis west wife wight wow.
  5. R.I.P. Jim Morrison

    Died from a brick on through the other side of his head.

  6. can't wait for the nostalgia critic review of this
  7. "Steel started out as a member of tv.com who joined on September 11, 2007"

    15 years, oh my god

  8. 7. Strezz Alone Alone Together Alone with Me Nike was in a state of being suffocated in the vast oceanic depths without any force in her body to rise back up for air. That was until she saw a light that impelled her to reach towards it, and she saw what she feared she would view in these current affairs. Strezz’s parents were sailing towards the island on the required transport. They would be moving across the force field that the chaotic weather surrounded. Seeing Naja in the middle of the ocean along with Strezz in his Z-Storm armor, it also meant to her that his respective parents would be within range of Naja’s pursuit. Nike pushed herself towards reactivating Lightning Speed and zoomed across and in front of the transport’s line of sight. Nike then used her armor to lift the two parents out of the ship and flew them away from the island, away from the harbor, and back in front of their own abode within seconds. Dealing with an intense state of whiplash, Strezz’s parents were too stunned to reminisce what had now happened or who and what the armored individual was in front of them before it vanished from their sights. When the couple had the time to reassess their surroundings, they went back inside their home, to the confusion and as well as to the disappointment of Cassandra, Farley, and Leon to see that they had suddenly returned, but without Strezz. However, the two parents would take notice of a written note left for them that read “Will bring Strezz back soon.” Nike was reluctant to face Naja when she was out of his sights and could’ve kept herself hidden by distancing from Shellside Shores/Seaside Springs, but her only option was to come back to Strezz, as she swore she’d bring him back. Naja, being that he was in his most ancient form, was able to recognize the streaks that Nike’s Lightning Speed armor was emitting. Naja caught her like a fly and flicked her into the undergrowth that bordered around the shores of the island. “Anyone besides Z-Storm who dares to fight me will be killed in an instant!” Naja exclaimed. While Arthur was still too injured to move, clutching his Brave Bolt jacket draped across his upper body, Bruce, Monique, Shazza, Zowe, Marina, and Cam ran up to Nike to check on her. She got back up with no trouble, but was restrained by the group per Naja’s warning. In the arena that encompassed Strezz and Naja, the storm brewed with harsher rainfall around them. This is the enemy’s true power, Strezz right from the eyes of the Z-Storm armor. “Strezz!” Arthur called out. “Remember what I’ve told you about activating your armor’s ultimate technique!” “With the spirit of the jacket at your side now, you should manage to merge with it,” the Rainmaker’s words echoed from inside the battlefield. Strezz had heard them loud and clear and maintained his confidence when facing Naja, recalling the trauma that almost got him killed by Seymour. “So, it appears that Aegaeon is alive and well to protect your body, Z-Storm, or Evangelos as I should rather call you, since that’s the name of the boy who now possesses the armor,” Naja spoke. “Do you have a last say before your own life and the lives of those around you are fated by our final battle?” Strezz gave no response. “You still refuse to pipe up, huh?” Naja remarked. “No, I already know why. It’s that certain name of yours that’s intimidated you and I am indeed responsible for breaking you into silence. I thought I may have crushed your spirits hard enough, but here you are, bruised and bloodied, yet standing tall against me with your armor and Z-Storm’s very own entity. Well, if you care about your other name so much, then I’ll speak to you as so if you can finish me off. That will be your reward for killing me, while mine will be to possess your body. Maybe then I will be able to bypass the fountain’s invisible barrier against me, travel the cosmos, and wallow in all the power that I could’ve ever wanted. Now perish, Z-Storm.” This is it, Strezz thought. Everyone out there is depending on me, and what happens will be my responsibility. If I really am destined to face this guy as my true enemy, then I’ll just have to focus my mind on that. I’ll just have to save my thoughts on Seymour and this whole deceit for after this fight is over. My heart is pumping real fast. You may not think so, but you’re the one who’ll die, Naja! All the islanders present, including The Rainmaker, Hector, and the surviving reformed Thunder Troopers watched idly from the shore to witness the one and only match between Strezz/Z-Storm and Naja. Aegaeon, the spirit of the Z-Storm jacket, had already merged with the armor. It was the urgent time for Strezz to put the powers of Aegaeon combined with the Z-Storm armor to the test and conjured a Hydro Sphere with a higher range and intensity than before with amplification. It was at that moment that Strezz had also put Naja’s strength to the test, or more specifically, his agility. With that little warm-up alone, Naja dodged the attack in a flash. As Naja presented himself with a bare, slender body without a shell for him to bear, Strezz could fathom that there won’t be much swordplay between them and that in order to vanquish the malevolent beast would be to land a clean hit against the source of his fathomless power. Judging by the celestial body being that of a serpentine, Strezz reckoned that the way to take out Naja would be to slay it like a dragon. Strezz starting hurling Z-Storm’s attacking moves around like so to function at the speed of Naja’s evasion, keeping his mind focused on the target while amplifying the power of his attacks as potently and as quickly as he could manage with Aegaeon at his side. Without Seymour and Dark Strike acting as his shell, Naja could only use its own techniques and defenses against Strezz and since he has a spectral body, he could expand himself to be up to nine times the size of the Z-Storm armor, making dodging attacks and weakening the serpent’s immortality more of a challenge. Without a shield in his arsenal, Strezz mainly had Aegaeon’s spirit as his mode of defense. Even with the supplemented powers to make him fly almost as if he was as light as air, the boosters couldn’t carry Strezz/Z-Storm away from Naja’s target sight fast enough. Before Strezz could try to make a cut on Naja’s body with Z-Storm’s laser blade, he saw himself get slammed by Naja’s long serpent body, with Aegaeon’s protection preventing the armor from withstanding heavy damage. While Strezz continued to soldier on in the fight and maintain his focus, he continued to try and follow the pattern of Naja’s attacks to try and find an opening for him to strike at and increase the chances of evading him. While the battlefield had now Strezz in a terrain engulfed by an intense, electrical force field courtesy of Naja’s power source, Strezz figured that the battlefield was big enough for him to move around in although Naja’s target was close to the size of the arena itself. This was Strezz’s one option in consideration if he was going to moderate Naja’s focus in order to make Z-Storm’s attacks land on him. While Strezz used his boosters fly in an unconsistent pattern across the field, Naja retaliated by firing an electric beam of immense properties from his mouth in his direction, which Strezz also took difficulty avoiding due to its size. As Strezz continued to seek options while under the pressure of avoiding Naja’s attacks and studying his movements, he continued to sustain hits from his powers, ranging from his tail and body slams, the galvanic beams he fired from his mouth, the hundreds of lightning bolts he’d summon in the battlefield, and the raging whirlpools he conjures with his swift movements. Eventually, Strezz would push the limits of his amplified powers to see himself using the boosters as close as to the speed of Naja’s own rapid movements. With Strezz now being able to circumvent fast enough, he attained greater focus in his armor’s abilities, using that opportunity to then try and find an opening against the opponent. From what Strezz could already make out, the probability of him inflicting damage on Naja was very slim compared to the probability of the Z-Storm armor taking damage from his attacks. Pondering the situation, Strezz uses his observations of Naja’s range of attacking to find the weak spot that he seeks. Strezz reflects that if he tried attacking from above the head, he would be stricken by Naja’s electrical beam before launching an attack, then if he tried attacking while his back was turned, Naja would turn around quick to counter, then if he tried going from the sides, he would be whacked away by the force of Naja’s body, and then if he tried targeting the ends of that said body, the serpent would swing his tail with enough force to swat him. Of course, he already knew that it was hopeless if he targeted at the center, as the mouth of the beast would blast him with a laser beam and that the neck, his main target of landing the finishing blow, would be the main object that Naja would protect most and would be off-limits with the amount of power that he had. That was when Strezz noticed that his best shot at inflicting damage on Naja was at the nadir of where the spirit’s body laid, as fast and as close as he could get his armor in front of it, and all while underneath the mouth. While Strezz was aware that Naja could still summon a raging, twisting torrent from underneath the feet of his armor, Strezz still sought to employ this strategy. Whilst continuing to his employ his strategy of evading Naja with his armor’s boosters, Strezz saw himself in front of his target. Near the lower abdomen of Naja’s body, Strezz, in quick succession, drew out Z-Storm’s laser blade and managed to land a hit before the enemy could conjure a whirlpool. In an instant, Strezz conjured a Hydro Sphere mere seconds after landing his first hit. Naja resisted Strezz’s attack as he was quick to sense where he was being struck. Naja provoked by summoning multiple whirlpools, the ocean floor rocking and rising at the height where Strezz, in his Z-Storm armor, was situated. Knowing that Naja would activate his defenses, Strezz was already prompted to use his boosters to fly back above in act of escape before getting caught by the waves while steering clear of the lightning bolts and laser beams Naja summoned afterward. Strezz returned to flying around the field with the armor’s boosters while trying to think of another way to damage Naja, seeing how he’s become aware of the weak spot he had found. Strezz was now focusing on a way of lowering Naja’s firm guard and saw as his next approach would require concentrating on using his boosters to evade while releasing Z-Storm’s attacks all at once. It would mean using up extra energy, but under this extreme pressure, he was still going to try. Strezz began by aiming at the tail end of Naja’s body, firing a Hydro Sphere at it before using his boosters to narrowly dodge the swift swinging of the serpent’s tail and as well as his subsequent electrical beam. Strezz then approached the backside and prepared a plasma cannon blast before zooming away just right as Naja turned around and fired up another electrical beam from his mouth. Naja concentrated on the pattern of which Strezz was attacking, summoning whirlpools and lightning bolts from every which spot he moved to and from. It was clear enough for Naja to surmise that Strezz was creating a diversion, as he could only fire away at him while resisting and deflecting Strezz’s attacks and focusing on his inconsistent pattern of assails. As he could tell, there were two specific spots Strezz did not aim for, which was his lower abdomen and his neck. Once as Naja detected a change in Strezz’s strategic battling, he glimpsed at him close to his neck, and then to his lower chest. As Naja conjured a whirlpool swift and strong enough to snag the Z-Storm armor. However, Strezz zoomed upwards and landed an upper-cut attack at the creature’s neck with his laser blade. It did not cut deep enough to vanquish Naja, but it was enough to weaken his defenses before Strezz could summon Donder and Blitzen he would recover. The spirits resembling the two seahorses, courtesy of Aegaeon’s power, were bigger in form than Strezz had achieved before. Wrapping the electrical reins that connected the two spirits around the serpent’s neck now, he delivered a powerful shock, successfully landing another hit before Naja regained composure in an instant and summoned one big swirling vortex at Z-Storm’s height. Strezz, with enough strength from Z-Storm’s boosters as he could manage, flew around the vortex to break through its force and barrier until he had freed himself from Naja’s attempt to trap him. Strezz continued to veer away from Naja’s assails with his armor’s boosters with Aegaeon’s support. While Naja’s durability and agility remained the same, Strezz saw as his pattern of attacking had changed. He was launching attacks at a rapider pace, but without focus on his defenses, which gave Strezz more opportunities for openings to hit. Strezz had no time to waste now to weaken Naja’s power by at any point possible. Strezz watched as he was now able to get more used to simultaneously attack and evade, let alone now at the similar rate as Naja could. He unleashed a swift slash from the serpent’s backside, before then releasing Hydro Spheres and firing his plasma cannons from above and underneath the serpent’s body, inflicting an intense static discharge against the tail end of Naja’s form with Donder and Blitzen, and as well as continuing to strike underneath Naja’s body with the laser blade whenever his guard was mostly down, all whilst the enemy fired his beams, summoned raging eddies & lightning bolts, and swiveled around aimlessly to proliferate the probability of damaging Z-Storm’s armor. However, the more that Strezz realized that Naja’s pattern of attacking was changing, so did the atmosphere that engulfed them. The clouds above were getting darker, the storm overhead growing more severe, the air getting thicker, the whirlpools invoked by Naja generating the same amount of strength as a category four hurricane, and the waves he produced growing with height and intensity. It wasn’t long before Strezz knew that Naja had become berserk. The environment Strezz saw himself in grew more dangerous than ever, and noticed that he was beginning to lose some energy to fight despite Aegaeon’s assistance, but he continued on with his strategy he had been using to undermine Naja’s defenses. However, as Naja’s aggression levels had raised, so did the amount damage he was inflicting on Strezz’s armor. Whenever Strezz tried to strike Naja anywhere with his laser blade, the rolling waves would sweep him faster than he could swing, resorting for him to attack from a higher point. However, a lot of Strezz’s attempts to strike were now being interrupted by Naja’s faster and fiercer movements. Strezz was seeing himself in a situation where he was forced to shift his strategy by relying on landing hits from a long-distance. He set aside his blade and focused on releasing Hydro Spheres, beams from his plasma cannon, and summoning Donder and Blitzen whether to attack or defend, all of which were being resisted more by the opponent. It was then that Strezz saw himself taking more hits from Naja after developing his strategy, whether it was from the swings from his tail, from the whacks of his body, from the blasts of his laser beams, and from the waves & eddies he was getting himself caught entrapped in. With the speed of his boosters slowing down alongside the rate of defending, attacking, and circumventing, Strezz already saw himself in a hopeless moment of imminent defeat as his energy was being drained more as the battle progressed, with his long-lasting perseverance being the one thing that kept Strezz trudging on. Naja continued to hold the higher ground, as he continued to beat Strezz’s armor around like a punching bag with every whack from his tail and dorsal that he was landing, with every galvanic beam he fired that hit, with every lightning bolt he’d summon that struck, and with every breaking wave and whirling vortex he captured him in, all while Strezz hurled his repeated long-range attacks with desperation, only for most of them to be endured. This went on until Strezz’s stamina was shattered when he was forced underwater by the serpent. As Strezz felt himself sinking further from the surface of the battlefield, the chaos had festered away. Naja then submerged into the oceanic depths, as if to land the finishing blow. Everyone from outside who could only survey their match watched as Strezz and Naja’s absences signaled the end of their long, strenuous fight. Concern filled their collective thoughts as they viewed the sudden calmness of the storm to assume that Strezz was defeated and he perished afterwards. Strezz floated down the ocean depths, motionless, as he saw Naja looking like he was going to nosh him up before remembering that he was contracted to let him possess him as a consequence for his loss. The circuits that kept his armor activated would shut down, and then it would all be over for him. He thought of the burden he was forced to carry in his hands as the successor to Z-Storm, who had failed to quell a centuries-long opposition that Naja had held onto. He thought about how he failed all of his companions as well who were all rooting for him, including the Thunder Troopers who were freed from the control the creature had implanted over them. Lastly, he thought about how he wasn’t even able to unlock Z-Storm’s ultimate technique that Arthur had talked to him about. That could be his one chance to overpower Naja, but he can’t even figure out how to activate it. …Stuck. He was stuck like this and all he could do now is see his own self die, Strezz thought. He didn’t have one last final say to his friends and fellow islanders who have been on his side up to this point, as he let Naja’s mention of his original name make him feel uptight and silence him. The sea had drowned out most of every sound that Strezz could hear before he could accept his fate. That was until he heard a cry loud enough to reach through his Z-Storm armor. “...STREZZ!” Nike exclaimed from the outside of the battle zone. While the rest of the group held her off from reactivating her Lightning Speed jacket, they all followed suit in crying out their desperate pleas to see Strezz pull through. “…Strezz!” Strezz’s acquaintances continued to call out his name, and as he saw himself right in front of Naja, with his mouth opened wide and ready to deal one final blow against him. Right there and then, and without realizing it, Strezz had unlocked the fullest potential of Z-Storm’s power. From underneath where Strezz drifted shone an immense pillar of light. Naja’s long body emerged from the water, before what was then shown – a laser blade impaling the creature from head to tail until finally, one whose form was almost as leviathan as Naja himself, Z-Storm, as a result of Strezz merging with Aegaeon, had materialized in the battlefield. Naja recovered in an instant as the split ends reattached, but he now realized that he had lost the high ground as Z-Storm’s movements out-sped his, swiping away at him with his laser blade while letting out a loud battle cry, breaking the silence Strezz had sustained. Z-Storm kept striking at the serpent with his blade in what was now an uncontested match between two ancients before Z-Storm felt a disturbance. Z-Storm saw as Naja’s spectral body was trying to go right through his head, causing the former to screech in pain from the possession. Over half of Naja’s body had already phased inside, but before he could succeed, Z-Storm used the remaining restraint that he had to grab the tail end of his opponent’s body and pull him all the way out. After tossing Naja around, Z-Storm resumed slashing the spirit around with his blade until he claimed victorious once as he made a clean hit across his neck. The islanders who watched the battle from the shore all moved away as they saw Naja’s head crashing onto the sand, his headless body sinking from afar before it disappeared. Z-Storm returned to the island and stood right between his acquaintances and the head of Naja. The storm overhead was beginning to calm as the severity of the rain reduced itself to drizzles and the waves festered. Just when it looked to be all over with the whole environment surrounding the group going quiet, Naja’s detached head spoke… “I suppose you have something to say to me now that you have managed to defeat a powerful adversary such as myself.” Z-Storm, of course, did not speak. “Still nothing, huh? After all these years, only to be killed by you, I would’ve expected a speech from you telling me that this was how it was meant to be – an evil spirit with nothing besides fury raging inside his mind and nothing to look forward to except despairing into the dark depths of hell. Well it doesn’t matter anyways if I can’t hear your demeaning words one last time. I have lost and all I can do is accept my loss. Farewell…Strezz Stormond.” With Naja’s last spoken words, his head disintegrated from the strike of a lightning bolt, scattering black particles until there was nothing. Strezz and his group looked up to the sky to see if the atmosphere had changed now that the enemy was gone and that was when they saw black clouds turning dark gray, and then light gray, and then they witnessed them beginning to roll away from the sky. “…Is it all over?” Arthur asked. “It’s over…” said Sal. “After all these years, Strezz has finally put a stop to this.” As the rain had stopped, Strezz and Aegaeon were unmerged from the armor, before the armor itself would deactivate, leaving Strezz in his weakened state, all while surrounded by his companions, most of them coming over to embrace and praise him. “I’m so glad you’re okay, mate,” said Shazza. “You did it, buddy!” Bruce remarked. “You sure showed him, we thought you’d be a goner!” Monique remarked. “Naja’s reign of terror is over…and it’s all thanks to you,” Arthur muttered. “That was an awesome battle! You put up an amazing fight back there!” Kiyoko remarked. “You should know how thankful we are to have you. You’ve stopped that evil spirit, and you saved our lives in the process too,” said Cam. “I still wish we could’ve been able to save Zack, though.” “Yeah, you are our hero, Strezz!” Marina commented. “We may have all helped out, but we owe a lot to you Strezz,” said Zowe. “Yeah, it doesn’t matter that you were Z-Storm, you will always be Strezz to us,” Nike added. Before Strezz could try and say something, he could feel the after effects of merging with Z-Storm’s spirit happening. His mouth spilled a substantial amount of blood and then he promptly blacked out. …When Strezz woke up, he was back inside Sal’s hut, where some of his companions were checking to see if he’s still alive until he opened his eyes back up. He awoke to scuffs and bruises on his body, bloodstains on his clothes and as well on the Z-Storm jacket, and with breathing problems as a result of the blood he had lost all day. It was now the day after he and his group took down Seymour, his establishment, and the mastermind behind it all. “Good, he’s still alive…” Nike murmured. Right after he woke up, Strezz nabbed his plush polar bear backpack and took a look outside the hut to glimpse a sight that he’d never seen since he was stranded – the sun shining, on a mostly clear sky, all across the island. Out on the shore, he could see some of his folks making preparations and building their own transport to leave Seaside Springs/Shellside Shores and return to their respective homes after all the time they’ve spent together, with assistance from Captain Tide. On one side of the beach, he saw Zowe and Cam giving Zack a proper burial. Focusing his eyes back on the shore, Strezz saw what appeared to the Rainmaker removing the articles of clothing that had been concealing his identity. “Shazza…Sal…and you too, Strezz, there is something that I should show you.” When The Rainmaker got the attention of the three, Shazza and Sal exchanged surprised looks while Strezz remained expressionless. “Sophocles…I thought that you’d be gone forever,” said Sal, embracing the person who turned out be his long lost friend. Shazza followed suit. “You were the Rainmaker all this time, but why, mate?” Shazza asked. “It’s a long explanation to give,” The Rainmaker/Sophocles responded. “Just like I’ve taken responsibility for my loss against Seymour and Naja, I take full responsibility for my unexplained absence. Now that my oath has been fulfilled, I can show my face again.” “What oath? Where have you been all this time anyway, besides watching over Strezz and Shazza as somebody else?” Sal inquired. “Once again, it’s a long tale to tell,” Sophocles answered. “So…what are we going to do with all the jackets that we’ve recovered?” Shazza asked. “The ones that are still tainted by evil spirits will have to be exorcised, that is if we can find someone in that sort of profession,” Sophocles explained. “Can I keep the jacket that I have?” Kiyoko asked, referring to the Chameleon Twist jacket she was holding on to. “No, and it’s best that you don’t put it on now either,” Sophocles continued. “I don’t know exactly what to do with these jackets, and this is the part of reason why I needed to talk to Strezz. Now that Naja is gone, the jacket has fulfilled its purpose, but I think he should decide what to do with it.” “You have a point, I don’t know what to do with the jewel after finding out that it contained powers that I don’t need now,” Shazza added. “I’ve been having second thoughts though since Marina did give this to me. All I know is that after we leave this island, I’m going back to the Great Barrier Reef. I still need to find out if I have any family left there, even if my curiosity about it was what got me trapped in this place for a couple years.” “Yeah, we all may as well be going our separate ways,” said Sal. “Seaside Springs has always been my home, so I’m staying here. What about you Sophocles, will you be leaving?” “I’ll be staying here too,” Sophocles responded. “I need to make up for lost time anyway. …So Strezz, I know you just recovered enough from your fight with Naja to move around, but have you decided yet on what to do with the Z-Storm jacket, now that you don’t need it anymore?” Strezz still didn’t give an answer. However, after giving himself time to survey the island, there was one inquiry he chose to speak of – “Where’s Arthur?” “Nike used her Lightning Speed jacket to take Arthur across the island to put him in a hospital close to your home. He’s sustained severe injuries from yesterday, but he did tell us that he’d wanted to see and speak with you after he recovered,” Sophocles explained. “Strezz, are you feeling okay? You look glum,” Shazza questioned. “I think it’s just that he’s still in pain,” Monique suggested. “He’s done a whole lot of fighting after all.” “Why shouldn’t he be happy? We’re all going home,” Bruce inquired. Strezz, once again, didn’t say anything. He turned around and saw the foliage that bordered the beach and he silently started walking his way through the wilds. While Sal, Captain Tide, and Seymour’s former associates sans Nike stayed put, Strezz’s acquaintances didn’t hesitant to follow after him, all unsure of why he was behaving in such a mysterious way. “Mate, we can tell that something is bothering you,” said Shazza. “Where are you going anyway?” Bruce asked. “You’ve wanted to go back home ever since we’ve all got stuck together.” “Yeah, what are you doing?” Monique questioned. “This isn’t like you.” “Strezz…” Zowe spoke up. “You may think we haven’t noticed, but you have been feeling different since yesterday. Look, I know you, and I know you should feel proud for taking down that creature, I know how much it must hurt to know that one of us didn’t survive in the end, and I know something horrible must have happened to you while we were fighting our own battles. So what happened? What we all want to know is why won’t you talk to us?” “It’s because…I don’t want to talk right now!” Strezz spoke. Strezz’s words broke the group into silence. “Well, you’re speaking up right now, so spill,” said Zowe. “What’s all this about, is it about Seymour, is it about any of us, is it about you-?” Before any of the other islanders could speak, Strezz, without warning, activated his Z-Storm armor and pointed his laser blade at Zowe, who was standing right in front of him and the sword now. Strezz’s other companions looked overhead to see white and gray clouds forming from the south. Everyone except Sophocles looked at him in disarray. “If you are going to be that way, then fine. We just don’t understand what’s gotten into you,” Zowe responded, who continued to look at Strezz with an undeterred yet concerned expression on her face, “or if Seymour or whoever has gotten into your head. Tell us what’s wrong and we won’t judge you for being stubborn when you’ve just saved all of our skins. Before you do anything to me, though, let me tell you one thing – I didn’t get myself marooned here, get duped by some spy to prevent me from being close to your side when you were facing that Seymour character, and get myself pummeled from facing my past demons head-on, just so I could see you turn your back on us and point your weapons at me. Please… just tell us what’s going on.” Strezz listened to Zowe’s fretful tone and stopped. Still inside the Z-Storm armor, Strezz knelt and deactivated the laser blade. The flurry of emotions running through Strezz’s mind had then caused for the armor to turn off. The sky, however, was still growing overcast. Everyone saw Strezz as he continued to kneel and gaze at the soil beneath him with a look of utter disillusionment. “I don’t know…who I am anymore,” Strezz muttered, “or what my purpose is. Z-Storm…Evan…Strezz, who am I, really? Has my life been meaning to lead up to all this? Being set up to get trapped on this island, being burdened to fight against someone powerful with a suit of armor inside of a jacket, having to take the responsibility that all the other past Z-Storms couldn’t, finding out that my one true enemy has been a robot being controlled by a powerful entity this whole time, and putting my own life on the line and risked getting killed just to make it back home…I don’t understand why I’m like this! “I can tell that these past events have been heavy to take in,” Sophocles spoke. “I should tell you, however, that it wasn’t fate that you would choose to wield Z-Storm’s powers.” “That’s so easy to say for someone who decided to abandon the world in need and make Z-Storm someone else’s responsibility because he couldn’t handle the danger that “Seymour” posed!” Strezz shot back. “I still showed support and provided advice in the sidelines when it came to you and Shazza,” Sophocles argued. “Perhaps I’ve been foolish or selfish with what I did. I do mean well when I say that I take full responsibility for clearing my name. You don’t need to feel upset now that Naja is gone.” With no other way to respond to Sophocles, Strezz bit his tongue once again. “Listen, I’ve met your family, and you may not see them the same way that I do, but I know that they’ve been worried about you and miss you very much,” Nike spoke. “Ever since I found out this whole operation Naja was setting up was a façade, I’ve made it my personal goal to ensure that you come back home to them, and I don’t want my good deeds for you to go in vain.” “It’s true…” Strezz uttered. “I did want to go home…but now I just want to disappear.” Strezz continued his own path across the wilds while his acquaintances continued to try and stop him. They all stopped when they reached a particular fountain. “You have to stop, Strezz!” Sophocles advised. “The power of that fountain portal may not stable, whatever it is you do with it.” “Hey, what’s going on with the weather?” Cam addressed, referring to the now-overcast sky above. “There shouldn’t be another storm when Strezz killed that evil spirit.” After Cam acknowledged the abnormal weather, the rest of the group look overhead and saw as a storm was brewing. However, the Z-Storm jacket didn’t turn on, as showers weren’t prompted by the appearance of the storm. What followed were strong gale-force winds. Then, without warning, a typhoon materialized at the center of the fountain, and it was pulling Strezz right into it. While Strezz’s group held back and witnessed the anomaly right in front of them, Zowe trekked herself through the winds and grabbed a hold of Strezz’s hand. While the typhoon continued to pull Strezz down the fountain, his body was half-way covered. After struggling to pull Strezz’s body out, Zowe and him were both engulfed by the typhoon and disappeared. Afterwards, so did the typhoon, resulting in the storm overhead to subside. With the locale around them going silent, Strezz’s group looked with befuddlement and sadness, for they were unsure how it happened. Nike was quick to react by bringing herself down to her knees. “Strezz…Zowe…where did they go?” Marina asked. “Could they still be alive?” “There’s no telling for sure,” Sophocles spoke. “The fountain holds mysteries, as do the multiple universes contained in it. I wouldn’t want to say they’re gone, but we don’t know for sure if they’ll return…” “Enough of this island lore nonsense!” Nike uttered. “Someone has to go in there and bring them back!” “If you’re daring enough, I’d advise you to interact with the fountain at your own risk,” Sophocles continued. “There’s a chance that you won’t end up in the same universe as Strezz and Zowe, wherever they may be now.” Nike went quiet for a long moment before turning her back to view the surrounding overgrowth, making her way back to the shores. “I need some time for myself…” Nike muttered. Little time passed as the remaining islanders returned to the shores. Strezz’s companions, alongside the former Thunder Troopers, were settled on one wide raft with a sail attached to it. Sophocles and Sal approached them before they could all say their bittersweet goodbyes to Seaside Springs. “You’re leaving now?” Sophocles asked. “I’d hate to bring the bad news to my parents about my brother Matt, to Zack’s parents about his death, and to Strezz and Zowe’s folks about their unexplained disappearances, but we can’t keep our own families waiting,” said Cam. “Nike, are you coming with us?” Shazza asked towards her. “I’m staying…” Nike responded. “I don’t have any place to go right now.” “Well, I hope you figure out what your new place in the world will be soon,” Shazza replied. “At least my mates Sophocles and Sal will keep you company if you continue to stay on the island.” “We can all go back home now, and that’s what matters,” Captain Tide remarked. “Yeah…goodbye,” Nike finished as she, Sophocles, and Sal watched as the now-former islanders drifted away across the sea on their raft. This ends the story of the castaways. The families of Bruce, Monique, and Marina were met with good news to see their children alive and well, and with a long story to tell. However, Cam’s parents were met with both good and bad news to see that their youngest son had returned, but the elder one has not, with Cam having to explain what happened, and when he also had to explain to Zack’s parents about what had happened to their son, their disapproval of him had quickly turned to grief and devastation. The news of Strezz’s friends had grabbed attention of the Stormonds and the Resniks, only to realize that their respective missing child had not returned. Captain Tide returned to work out at sea. He kept a captain’s log of his observances over the months he had been stranded, and so he quite a story to tell to his crewmates. Without a home to turn to, the surviving former Thunder Troopers were admitted to a homeless shelter, sans Hectors, who was placed in a mental care facility as his loyalty to the now-demolished Seymour persisting. Meanwhile, after Shazza returned from the island, she had already started her maiden voyage back to the Great Barrier Reef, Arthur was still hospitalized from the injuries he sustained from the long and arduous battle, courtesy of Nike and her Lightning Speed powers, who had brought him into a facility close by the Stormond household, and Kiyoko, as she had no specific place to turn to, remained a wanderer. …As for Strezz and Zowe… When Strezz regained consciousness, he saw himself in front of the background of a white void. Zowe was nowhere to be seen, but he knew that before the typhoon took him, she was holding right onto him. “Zowe!” Strezz called out. He tried again, with more force in his voice, “ZOWE!” There was still no answer. While trying to gather his thoughts on where he was now, Strezz noticed something materialize right before his eyes. He saw himself inside one of the last few places he had ever been before he first saw the Z-Storm jacket, and his two friends Bruce and Monique were there too. “Bruce! Mo! I thought I’d never see you both again…” said Strezz. However, they didn’t seem to listen to him. “I can’t believe this, the Steel 200 sank last night, No one knows whoever or whatever caused this crime,” Strezz heard Bruce say. Strezz remembered this moment very well, but not in this same way. “Yeah, and I’m not seeing how I care….” Strezz heard Monique say. “Me neither, but let’s face it, do any of you have any spectacular plans for our summer vacation?” “Bruce” continued. “Hey, you two, tell me what’s going on!” Strezz called out. Once he spoke up, Strezz witnessed his two friends turning his heads to face him with peculiar, dirty looks. “Who said that? Who are you?” “Bruce” questioned. “You are no one,” “Monique” uttered. Before Strezz could try to speak with them, he saw Bruce, Monique, and the encompassing backdrop all disintegrate into dust, leaving Strezz by himself once again in the white void until something else materialized in an instant. Now Strezz saw himself in the background of the Seaside Springs Island, back when it was still occupied by Seymour…or Naja rather. What the jacket wearing sea sponge then saw was Shazza. “Technically, I was a former Z-Storm, but let’s just say the magnificent flying technique I tried was all practice,” “Shazza” spoke. Now this moment, Strezz didn’t seem to have any memory of. “Shazza, I need help,” Strezz said as he approached the replica. “I was a beginner like you, but I retired from Z-Storm’s tasks,” “Shazza” responded. “What are you talking about!?” Strezz exclaimed. “Don’t you even recognize me?” “Shazza” turned around to face Strezz and uttered, “I’m afraid I don’t. Are you Z-Storm?” The effect was the same from when Strezz tried talking to the figments of Bruce and Monique as Shazza and as well as the island both disintegrated. Every other moment that Strezz was being led up to now was one brief step into memory lane after another, seeing objects familiar to him enlivened while everything else looked like it was all in suspended animation, except that these memories didn’t match the personal experiences he possessed. He had also tried talking to Kiyoko, Marina, Cam, and Zack, the latter in which was no longer alive. He also stumbled across figments of the Thunder Troopers he had fought and two particular characters that he had never known who went by the names of Dallas and Marissa. Up to this point, Strezz now realizes that he was brought into a world that was nothing like his own. However, it all still begged the question of why these illusions revolved around him, and where Zowe had gone. Before Strezz could try to make sense out of his current state of affairs, he was now standing in front of a figment of Arthur. Despite his awareness of what was transpiring, he wanted for him to be the real Arthur somehow. “Arthur!” Strezz exclaimed as he approached him. “I’m still trying to figure out where I am and what’s going on, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I’ve felt for the way I considered you as if you were a traitor!” “I know. Is there anything you want me to do?” “Arthur” asked. “You seem to be the real thing. All I could ask of you is if you could forgive me,” Strezz responded. “But I just got here,” said “Arthur.” “Yes, and we’re going to find ourselves a way out of this place together, although I still need to find Zowe.” “Okay, but that depends…I can’t tell, and I don’t think keeping a secret can help with it.” “What…?” “I don’t know who you are, but I do know that I’m not real…” Arthur uttered before he disintegrated like everyone else. “No! What even is real then?” Strezz questioned. “Am I the only living person here? What’s going on? Somebody answer me!” The background surrounding Strezz changed once again and he now saw what he feared would happen happened. He was in the middle of a field. There stood a train on the tracks adjacent to where he stood, all while he was in front of Seymour in his Dark Strike armor. No... Strezz thought. Please, anyone but him! ”You obviously have no idea, however, the name is Seymour,” his figment greeted, “and don’t wear it out either!” I’m here for my revenge; I know you’re the next possession of Z-Storm’s natural abilities!” “I don’t want to fight you!” Strezz responded. “Besides, you aren’t even real, you should be dead!” “Hmmm, someone had the possession of Z-Storm, but that doesn’t matter anymore, ‘cause I have the feeling you’re next, and you’re the right guy for me to take revenge on,” “Seymour” continued. Strezz prepared for the worst as Seymour fired his weapons against his target. To Strezz’s surprise, however, he didn’t feel anything and Seymour’s body moved around like he got hit by his opponent’s attacks despite Strezz not activating Z-Storm, let alone touching him, all of which only raised more questions about what was happening. “You may not listen to me, but I thought I should make myself loud and clear,” Strezz was saying. “I don’t understand anything that’s going on and I deserve to know. What kind of simulation is this, what does this all have to do with me, and where is Zowe? I am not Z-Storm, and I don’t go by any other name. I am Strezz, Strezz Stormond!” Strezz gave a look of desperation after he finished speaking. The world around him and “Seymour” had now grown quiet. Just when Strezz thought he was going to deal with the same thing that happened from every other illusion he witnessed, “Seymour” ceased fire. “You claim that you are Stezz, but my internal data does not correspond to the Strezz that I recognize,” “Seymour” spoke. “What does that mean, that there’s another version of me that I don’t know of?” Strezz asked. Of all the people he managed to get his words through, he didn’t think he’d be able to have something resembling a conversation with his past enemy. “All that I can tell you now is that all the answers that you seek are approaching you…” “Seymour” finished. Like before, Seymour and the background that encompassed him and Strezz disintegrated and transformed into another location. Strezz now saw a black silhouette taking shape before being revealed into the image of Zowe. “Zowe!” Strezz called out. Unlike the other figments he tried to talk to, Zowe responded to the sound of his voice in an instant. Seeing how she seemed to recognize him too suggested that she was the real thing. “Strezz…is that you?” Zowe asked. “Are you real?” Strezz inquired as he approached her. “Why wouldn’t I be?” Zowe replied. “What I like to know is what this place is and what we’re even doing here.” “I was thinking the same exact thing. By the way, I noticed that you were looking at something. What was it anyway?” “Well, for some odd reason, I just stumbled across my own double…” “And speaking of special operations, can I have a code name?” The illusion of Zowe asked. “Can my purse have a code name?” “Okay then, Zowe, your codename is….Psychotic Woman because I like calling you that, you’re the back-up, you find Bruce and Monique when Shazza is in danger,” the figment of Cam said. “Strezz…was I ever really like this?” Zowe suddenly asked him. “That’s not the Zowe that I know and ended up in this predicament with,” Strezz reassured. “Come on, after learning what you’ve dealt with while I was battling Seymour, you’re the strongest person that I know.” “Thanks for telling me that,” Zowe replied. “I still wish I could find a way out of here, or at least know what’s going on.” It was then that the stimulation Strezz and Zowe just witnessed disintegrated. What they didn’t notice though was the entire area now being shrouded in mist while a tall, armored figure stood right behind them. “The answer you’re looking for is standing right behind you,” the mysterious voice from the shroud spoke. The obscured image was then revealed to be that of Z-Storm. Strezz and Zowe gazed at it in surprise once they heard the voice. “Okay, is this place making my imagination run wild or am I really looking at another Z-Storm?” Zowe questioned. “I am very much real,” the voice from the Z-Storm armor continued. “Even though I am your double, Strezz, I should explain to you and your friend what this place is. This is the pocket dimension that I’ve been trapped in for seven years! At least that’s what I think how much time has passed. My body hasn’t aged a bit since time doesn’t move in this dimension, and there is no use trying to keep track of it. My point is that I have been stranded here for a long time, longer than when I was on that island.” “Yeah, I still don’t read you,” Zowe remarked. “Sorry miss, I’ve meant to only have a heart to heart with this version of Strezz,” the voice from the armor spoke before he then formed a black pit underneath Zowe’s feet. Strezz came to her side as she began to sink down. “Hang on, Zowe! I’ve got you!” Strezz affirmed. “I’m sorry…” Zowe muttered. “You’re going to have to let me go.” Strezz exchanged a distressed look. “If I do that, then I might never see you again!” Strezz replied. “She’ll be fine, no pain can ever be dealt in this universe anyway,” the voice from the Z-Storm armor assured. “If I end up someplace else, I trust that you’d be able to find me,” Zowe continued. “This is not the right time for me to admit this either, but after I saw you lose control of yourself and threaten me before we ended up here together, I don’t think we could work as a couple…for the time being. I know how much you care about me, so we could still at least be friends.” A small streak of tears came down Strezz’s face after seeing himself being let down by his friend. He still wasn’t sure to believe if the Z-Storm in front of him won’t do any harm to Zowe, but after thinking hard about it, he let go of Zowe’s fin. “I understand…” Strezz said and watched as Zowe disappeared through the black pit until it vanished. He turned to the unmoving Z-Storm armor and demanded, “What did you do to her!?” “It’s nothing serious. I sent her back to her own dimension,” the voice confessed. “Well, I want to go back home too!” Strezz shot back. “So did I, but a mysterious force has been preventing me from doing so.” The voice replied. “From what I’ve been told ever since I first wound up here, she had stopped time in my own universe. Even now that I’ve managed to lure you in here, I can never understand the reasoning behind that. What I really don’t understand is why there exists another version of me, and why his universe would still be rotating…” Seaside Springs was shown once again, with Nike continuing to stare at the horizon while the sun was beginning to set down. That was when Sophocles decided to approach her. “I see you’re still feeling down about what happened to Strezz,” Sophocles spoke as he sat down on the shore next to Nike. “Why wouldn’t I?” Nike responded. “After realizing that I’ve been manipulated by Naja and his false organization and implanted with fake memories, I’ve been meaning to redeem myself by bringing Strezz back home. I wrote his family a notice proving my vow. “Don’t give on him, thank Nike later.” Now I don’t have any thanks to give.” “I understand why you’re upset,” Sophocles replied. “If Strezz turned out to be the one who would take down Naja once and for all, then I still believe that he may return.” “Sophocles…do you know how all this happened, like how Z-Storm first came to existence?” Nike uttered. “I want to know.” “I am a descendant of the first to wield Z-Storm’s powers, so I am obliged to tell…” For the next hour or so, Sophocles spun a yarn to Nike about the ancient origins of Z-Storm, and how it came to be. He started by talking about how eons ago, the island known as Seaside Springs used to be full of live and was settled in the Mediterranean before its population was reduced, before all but one of the fountains were extracted, and before the island drifted off towards where it laid now as a result of the central fountain’s power, which went by the name of The Fountain of Unity. The fountain contained energy that was described to have been associated to the concept of the multiverse. As a result, Seaside Springs had access to cutting-edge technology from travels citizens have made from the worlds that the fountain had generated. However, the downside to the fountain’s power was that it allowed dangerous creatures to enter the island without warning. When these incidents became frequent, the monarch laid out strategies for the royal guards to control, with each creature being categorized based on the level of threat they posed. The high authority had considered shutting down the fountain’s volatile power, but the council decided against interfering with it, as its power was too valuable to cease. The royal guards continued to handle fighting off the creatures whenever they showed up. It wasn’t until Naja appeared from the fountain and brought upon a severe storm that the entire island would be dealing with a serious threat, who in which went from being described a category seven all the way up to a category eleven threat when the immortal being claimed several upon several innocent lives. With nothing in their arsenal to stop the beast, this resulted into the monarch calling upon a cobbler named Fargo Zafeiriou, requesting him to craft a suit of armor with their weapons to overpower the spirit. Fargo was quick to refuse a request so needy, being aware that the materials required to create such armor were expensive and scarce, and reaffirmed that he only possessed experience in tailoring and cobbling. However, Fargo showed great concern for his fellow citizens and was pressured to find a way to defeat Naja as the body count increased. He took the plunge into one of the fountain’s portals and found himself in a world unlike his own. With his talent for mending and crafting clothing combined with his acquired knowledge of electronics and weaponry, Fargo would then develop the idea of creating a jacket that would form a suit of armor with gadgets from willpower, from the touch of rainwater, and as well as from the presence of a storm. However, he didn’t stop at just making one. He made tens more armor-concealed jackets for the royal guards as means of accruing the island’s defense against Naja. During his travels, he also came across serpent spirits that were similar to Naja, and that was when he met Aegaeon and asked for him to lend his powers to the weapon he intended to use to suppress Naja. When Fargo returned, he came back as an armored chevalier. After bestowing the rest of his creations to what remained of the monarch’s defenses during his quest, the battle against Naja would take place. Naja proved to be a powerful adversary when Fargo would end up alone to face him. Fargo saw himself at the end of his line until he tried to use what remained of his energy and determination to fight to merge with Aegaeon into Z-Storm. With a significant boost of power, Fargo was able to overpower Naja. Instead of killing the spirit, however, Fargo had Naja concealed inside of a jacket. Before conceding, Naja swore to Fargo that one day he will have his vengeance fulfilled against whoever bore the Z-Storm armor. Fargo would then intend to destroy the jacket he confined the spirit inside of, but his powerful resistance prevented anyone from doing so, resulting in the royals to guard it, in hopes that no one would be unfortunate enough to wear it until they found a way of destroying the spirit forever. The high authority would continue to keep the peace of Seaside Springs against creatures thanks to Fargo’s inventions. As Fargo’s time in the world would pass by, he would pass the torch to another willing protector, and this would continue for the next several generations until the Dark Strike jacket would end up falling into someone’s fins. From there, Nike came to a full understanding of what happened next, with the Fountain of Unity’s power causing for the island drift away from the Mediterranean and to fill the wilds with a variety of exotic creatures, and then for Naja to resurface as Seymour, kill her original creator, and invade the island, prompting for Sophocles to uphold the responsibility of being Z-Storm while she was forced into Vandyke’s custody. And the rest was history. “Wow, so this has all been going on for that long?” Nike asked. “Precisely,” Sophocles confirmed. “The most proper thing to do now is to shut down the Fountain of Unity and exorcise the evil spirits that are still contained in the jackets we retrieved, but that will require some time, now with the current Z-Storm bearer missing.” While Sophocles and Nike resumed glancing at the view from the shore, they sighted Brave Bolt’s armor zooming through until it landed on the shore and unveiled a limping Arthur. “Arthur, what are you doing here?” Nike asked. “You should be recovering right now!” “I know…” Arthur groaned. “I came back as fast as I could carry myself because I have important news to share. It’s about Strezz…and Zowe…and something about another Z-Storm?” “Tell us what happened!” Nike demanded. “Zowe suddenly showed up in front of the hospital room I was staying in and…she told me that Stezz is…he’s still alive, although he was in…another universe,” Arthur explained. “She told me everything she knew before she went back to her own home.” “Well, what are we waiting for? We have to tell Strezz’s folks that he’s still alive!” Nike said. “That’s the spirit,” said Sophocles. “I suppose the three of us should all pay his family a visit. It is going to be hard for just one of us to explain things to them.” The Stormond family was gathered by the table, with nothing except Strezz on their minds since hearing the news about his friends returning despite him still being missing. Leon finally spoke “Is big bro coming back?” “We don’t know,” said Diana. “He couldn’t be gone when we’ve hearing from all those friends of his of how he’s helped them leave the island.” “What happened on your trip to rescue Strezz?” Cassandra asked. “You both were so motivated to bring him back and then all of a sudden, you’re back home without him.” “I’m not sure about how that happened either,” Trevor responded. “One moment, we were out in a stormy sea and after a bout of whiplash, we were back here with another note claiming to be from ‘L.S.’ that it will bring our son back later.” “How long does later have to be?” Farley questioned. “I hope he’s not…dead…” “He can’t be, or least we hope he isn’t,” Diana reassured. “All I want to know is what happened to our son that got him and his folks stranded on that island for months, what that strange man who called himself Vandyke came to us for, why Strezz still hasn’t returned, and why Z-Storm is connected to all of this,” said Trevor. “There’s something about this whole story that we don’t know. I wish there was something that could line up all these pieces together.” As fate would have it, the Stormonds then heard a knock from their door. When the parents opened it, they saw Arthur by himself. “Hello, you must be Strezz’s mom and dad, I’m Arthur,” he greeted. “Arthur…?” Diana asked, taking a gaze at the Brave Bolt jacket that was adorned around his abdomen (and around the gauze covering it). She could already tell from his polite disposition that he appears to be a trustworthy person. “You were that child from CORE-al that created that android…” “You mean Seymour,” Arthur responded. “It’s a long story to tell.” “How did you know we live here?” Diana asked. “I didn’t, but this girl knew,” as Arthur acknowledged Nike, he moved to the left from the doorway to show Sophocles with Nike, who were both right behind him. “I remember you, you’re…” Diana was saying towards the android wearing the Lightning Speed jacket. “Nike and Arthur have some information to share regarding Strezz and his whereabouts,” Sophocles spoke. “As do I, for I am the former bearer of the same Z-Storm jacket that has protected your son.” Back in the pocket dimension where Strezz and his supposed double remained, the former was confronted by the mysterious being after he had transported Zowe away. Strezz gazed upon the Z-Storm armor as he awaited answers. “Why did you bring me here, and who is ‘she’ anyway?” Strezz inquired. “I figured that I could be able to return to my own world if I brought back my duplicate by force and got rid of him,” the voice responded. “That way, I think I’d be able to co-exist again. Of course, in this realm, you can’t inflict pain, so I’ll just have to take our planned fight somewhere else.” “Go on and show yourself,” Strezz demanded, “No matter what you say you are, you’re an imposter!” “Don’t you already get it?” The voice continued before the Z-Storm was turned off, revealing amongst the mists…Strezz Stormond (albeit with differences in his own physical appearance). “I’m the original you. Why else would I seek to get rid of you?” Strezz looked at the figure that he now fully knew was his double with disillusionment. “We both can’t agree who the inferior version is, but now you know the truth,” the proclaimed original Strezz continued, “and now I can settle this score.” Before Strezz could activate his Z-Storm armor and prepare for the worst that was to come, he noticed a black pit forming beneath him and slumped with his arms holding on to the floor of the white void. However, this occurrence caught Strezz’s double by surprise. From the bottom of the hole that caught Strezz, an abnormal glow emitted. “What’s this?” The original Strezz questioned. “She can’t be doing this when I just got my duplicate within my grasp!” “So this is not your doing?” Strezz asked back. “Well, if it’s going to be that way, then I’ll have to bid you farewell,” the original Strezz said before uttering his last words before Strezz completely descended. “The next time we meet face to face, we shall battle until there’s only one of us.” Strezz watched as he descended down a world that was now surrounded by a black void. He took a look at himself as his body was emitting a glow before he reached the ground. Right in front of him was the appearance of a girl wearing a hood, who otherwise looked like she had been waiting to meet him. “Hello Strezz Stormond,” she spoke. “I’m Gaia and I have something for you to do. So listen up and listen real hard…” Later, within the calm wilds of Seaside Spring, Hector’s now-abandoned animal companion, Burden, gazed around the area before the spontaneous presence of the Z-Storm jacket drifting along the wind caught its attention. THE STORY CONTINUES… ---------------------------------------------------------------- NOTES/TRIVIA:
  9. 7. Huina (Crossroads) To Koamalu’s own surprise, he was back in the dreamscape with the familiar voice yet unfamiliar being. While most of the blurs still haven’t faded out, Koamalu was beginning to make out an image of the individual beside him. “Hello again, I have something more to share with you,” the voice spoke. “But why am I back here...when Enakai’s dimension is supposed to interfere with it?” Koamalu asked. “It seems that you have stepped out of the dimension,” the voice responded. “I don’t see any other reason than that.” “Well, if I’m back outside of that cave, then I need to wake up right now and regroup with SpongeBob before the Lava King notices me and I’m made into a statue!” Koamalu said in a panicked tone. “Can you at least talk with me like you’re not made of stone? Unless you’re awakened or an interloper enters into our connection, nothing is stopping us from communicating.” Listening to the advice from the voice, Koamalu keeps his composure before hearing what she needed to say. “I can’t survey what happens in the conscious world while in the world of dreams, so I can’t tell you where you are or how you are, but I can at least tell you that our connection would be lost if your life gave out.” “So, even though I’m not in Enakai’s dimension right now…I’m not dead?” As the body was still blurred to Koamalu when he asked the question, the voice answered him with a reassuring tone in its voice. “Is this all you needed to tell me?” “No. You may not believe me now, but Enakai truly is not your real family as he’s taken you under his care for his own personal needs. He’s secluded you in his own material world where our powers couldn’t intersect because of a foretelling about you in which he believed that the multiverse would plunge into chaos because of your curiosity.” “What does that mean?” “If you haven’t noticed yet Koamalu, this journey of self-discovery that you’ve been paving and as well as your own personality have both been defined by your strong sense of curiosity. It’s because of a vision of the future that Enakai saw that discouraged your curious mind.” “But what if the dreadful future that he saw is happening right now? His world, the Lava King’s world, SpongeBob’s world – all of them have merged because I was brought to the very world that…Enakai himself transported me to. Oh, none of this is making sense!” “Who knows? Enakai could be wrong. You’d never know until you face him head-on.” “What about my family, then? I still need to know whether or not I did have one.” “That’s why I’ve been telling you to ask Enakai these questions since he very much knows, and you’re better off knowing about the truth he’s been hiding from him, and not from me, since I don’t want to take any responsibility for how you may feel.” “If what you’re saying is that the truth will hurt more than I could ever think it could, then I should thank you for warning me. Whatever it may be, I think I can handle what Enakai will say, even if I had trusted him for so long.” “Life is not without crossroads, Koamalu. The decisions you make will always be yours and yours alone. If you worry about the future, you’re falling into Enakai’s own trap.” “Yeah, I guess I understand that. I need to wake back up, go back to Enakai’s dimension, and return to SpongeBob before he gets himself into serious trouble. He must be looking all over the cave right now for me and doesn’t realize that I somehow left. Although, there’s one more thing I need to ask you – your name, and what kind of person you are.” “If you wish to know, despite that the lives of you and your friend may be in grave danger, I’ll be blunt. I am-“ Just like that, Koamalu was cut off from his connection once again as he was awakened. What he saw in front of him, when looking around, was the star-coated sky with the still-growing blackhole in the center, some more Bikini Bottom citizens turned to statues, Bikini Bottom citizens with torches, with Mr. Krabs, Sandy, and Larry being amongst the crowd, and then of course there was Patrick. He looked neither angry nor satisfied, but he had the expression that told him that he’s been waiting for him to get up…and that he somehow was involved in dragging him out of Enakai’s cave. Koamalu could also make the assumption that a day had passed during the merged worlds from when he was in Enakai’s dimension. “Oh good, you’re awake now,” Patrick spoke. “What’s going on?” Koamalu asked with bewilderment. “How did I even get back here?” “We’ve tried to trust ye, but we have no choice but to use you as a sacrifice for the Lava King,” Mr. Krabs explained. “It was my idea!” Patrick added. Koamalu, who was lying down on the sand, pulled his body upwards and picked himself up. He was trying to shuffle away while the Bikini Bottomites citizens crowded closer to him. “Ever since you and SpongeBob have gone away, I’ve been piled up with extra work around the kitchen!” Mr. Krabs said. “You’ve brought us bad luck since you stepped foot on our world!” “I’m sorry dude, and I know that we’ve sparked a little bit of a friendship,” Larry was saying, “but it’s for your own good. We’ve collectively decided on this.” “I didn’t agree to this,” Sandy chimed in. “This critter is still a valuable asset to fixing Bikini Bottom back to the way it was, so I would’ve done things rationally…and scientifically, even if he’s part of the reason why I was forced to cease my research .” “How did you even find me and drag me out of such a dangerous place?” Koamalu asked directly towards Patrick, “and why didn’t you take SpongeBob? If you were there, you’d know that I was with him the whole time!” “Dangerous? I saw no danger,” Patrick responded. “Besides, the Lava King only told me to bring you to him. He promised me he would also bring me back SpongeBob right here once I did.” “That is right, he’s brought me what I’ve asked,” the Lava King uttered as he slid straight towards Koamalu, prompting for the island inhabitants to step back from his direction. He turned to Patrick and then said, “As for the pink starfish, I could reward you, but I’m afraid that I’ve…changed my mind. This is still the territory that I have claimed for myself, so I still make the rules here.” “What?” Patrick said in an astonished tone. “That’s not fair!” “I knew I was right to ask someone as dumb as you for this request,” Lava King jeered. “You were so disobedient with me before, but I’m surprised I managed to talk you into bringing me this scrawny fellow who’s supposed to suppress what I’ve worked to build. While I’ll deal with the sponge later, I might as well put him to the rest right now and make him into another one of my statues, since he has been rejecting me from the first day that I’ve conquered.” The Lava King then shot magma from his otherwise molten arms. Koamalu countered the attack by using his powers to conjure a metal shield large enough to repel it. “Oh, so you have been learning,” the Lava King remarked towards Koamalu. While he still had the chance, he retreated back inside Enakai’s cavern and therefore avoiding the Lava King’s punishment. Before he knew Koamalu had escaped, the Lava King tried to stop him by releasing more spurts of magma. The internal anger that he felt from losing his target made him flare up and release more molten lava from his body until he tried to calm himself down. “So, is there anyone else who’d like to be another one of my statues, or are you all now convinced in pledging your loyalty to me?” the Lava King demanded, but all the island inhabitants who’ve watched the frenzy were motionless and gave no response. “Is nobody going to answer? Fine, if that’s how it’s going to be, then you’ll all receive your punishment tomorrow since the dragon has burned me out. You can either show your loyalty to me before then, or you can send your last prayers.” The Lava King made his usual exit by sinking into the floor and giving the unaffected island inhabitants hot feet before he dissolved completely. A day has passed and more of the Bikini Bottomites who defied the Lava King have met their fate by being turned to stone. Patrick, Sandy, Mr. Krabs, and Larry, saw themselves congregated together, having accepted their imminent outcomes. “You know Patrick, I’ve always thought that you were stupid, but this is your dang fault,” Sandy spoke. “Because of your selfishness, things have escalated further.” “Well, SpongeBob couldn’t spare any time to hang out with me because he’s always with that guy…whatever his name is!” Patrick responded. “I knew I should’ve gone in that cave for SpongeBob instead.” “Is this what this is all about?” Sandy asked. “You were around when Neptune and Amphitrite showed up to entrust SpongeBob and the little critter into using their powers to try and restore Bikini Bottom, so it’s not his fault that SpongeBob got hog-tied into this.” “Why should I understand what SpongeBob sees in that guy whose name my head can’t even pronounce?” Patrick argued. “He just came here out of nowhere and messed things up!” “Let’s not hold this all against the little guy,” Larry chimed in. “If Sally Acorn’s invention hadn’t brought the Lava King and that other eel dude into our world, we wouldn’t be in this terrible situation.” “Oh, so now y’all are blaming this on me?” Sandy shot back. “I never suspected that my invention would cause any of this, but I still took responsibility into my own two tinkering hands. That’s why I’ve been trying to fix this mess myself! Also, I don’t know how many more times I have to remind y’all about this, my name is Sandy Cheeks!” “You’ve been spending time all your time alone doing all this confusing science stuff, so what do you know about what I’ve had to go through?” Patrick continued towards Sandy. “What’s that supposed to mean?” Sandy asked. “Did y’all think that I had nothing better to do than hang around with you…Preston?” “Who’s Preston? At least I know my own name!” As Sandy, Patrick, and Larry continued to bicker, Mr. Krabs exclaimed, “Silence! All this fighting is getting us nowhere!” “Well, what can we do now?” Sandy responded. “You’re the one that forced me to stop doing my work!” “Yes, and that’s why I think you should all pin this down on me,” Mr. Krabs continued. “I got roped into doing contract work with the Lava King so I wouldn’t end up a statue like Squidward, and I had to keep that as me own little, burdened secret up until now. It’s also because I tried to maintain me trust with him that I became his enforcer. I’m really the most selfish person here.” “That explains everything,” Sandy replied, “so why don’t we all agree that this Lava King ruined everything for us?” “What about SpongeBob replacing me as his best friend?” Patrick argued. “What about your invention?” Larry argued. “What about me?” Mr. Krabs argued. At that moment, the row of heads of the Mirage Tiki People emitted a white glow to indicate their sentience. “No, one of you said it right before,” one of the voices of the Tikis spoke. “It is unwise to deflect blame on someone else and to put every ounce of pity on yourself. It does appear that you’ve all made some mistakes since the dimensions merged and it’s best to admit to those mistakes, what they may be.” “What did I do?” Larry asked. “I’ve been supporting SpongeBob and the other guy for their quest and didn’t do anything wrong the past several days.” “That sounds exactly like the tone someone would have when they did something they regretted,” Sandy remarked. “Okay, so I admit that maybe I’ve been trying to make myself seem cooler when SpongeBob and that sea dragon got lent powers by Neptune and Amphitrite to be in-charge of such an important job,” Larry confessed, “so I’ve tried to put myself in this position where I could be able to be viewed just as rewarding, since I was being nice enough to help the two of them out. I was also trying to impress you, Sadie- I mean Sandy, because it’s been a long time since we’ve done anything together and I thought that you stopped caring about me when I realized how much more focused you were on doing all this science stuff.” “Sandy Cheeks,” another voice from the Tikis spoke, “is there something you have to say?” “I have to admit, I’ve been so darn worked up, that I’ve been secluding myself from everyone, including SpongeBob,” Sandy confessed. “I know I’ve been spending most of my time in Bikini Bottom doing all kinds of sports, but that was when I wasn’t so worried about having to make a successful invention each year. Science has always been another passion of mine, and I thought that people would appreciate and remember me more if I shared my brilliant inventions with them, but now I realize that because I’ve been spending so much time by myself, it feels like even everyone’s forgotten my name. When the worlds collided, I gave myself the golden opportunity to try and be this savior that Bikini Bottom needed in these hardships, so I pushed myself into inventing a solution. I didn’t believe in hope or faith while I have tried to prove that science could work such a miracle. I didn’t want to have to put all my trust in SpongeBob and that critter from another world, but now I have no other choice than to trust them.” “I might as well be the next to confess,” said Mr. Krabs. “I’ve been caring more about keeping meself alive than helping everyone else when I made that deal with the Lava King. I may have been able to admit that I was wrong for that all I did while I was still trying to keep me secret, but the hardest thing for me to admit is that I’ve acted like a real tightwad before towards SpongeBob and Squidward. They are me employees after all, and as a boss, I have to treat them like so, and I’ve used me experience from managing the Krusty Krab to earn the Lava King’s trust, and I failed to help others in the process. SpongeBob is the most selfless soul in Bikini Bottom, so I guess it is no wonder our highnesses trusted him with their powers, so I owe that yellow feller a lot. We should all just admit we were all selfish in our own ways and wait until the Lava King gives us our punishment. All we can do now is hope for the best from SpongeBob and his other shipmate.” Patrick was still reluctant to speak of his wrongs. “Patrick, would you now be willing to confess to your own mistakes?” One of the voices of the Mirage Tiki People uttered. “No way, that guy who’s been following SpongeBob around is the one who should be apologizing,” Patrick contended. “We’re not asking for you to understand, but you should at least listen when we tell you that Koamalu has been taking responsibility for the crisis,” one of the Tikis said. “It so also happens that Koamalu is one of SpongeBob’s biggest priorities right now. If Koamalu was to suddenly have his life taken away, how do you think your friend SpongeBob would feel, and how would that make you feel?” For once during his time on the merged world, based on the question provided to him, Patrick thought hard. “So, what you’re saying is…I was being a bad friend to SpongeBob?” Patrick questioned. “I guess I’ll admit that I was so mean to him and to um…um…Koala Lou? It’s just…I never thought that I should’ve listened to SpongeBob because I’ve always been used to him listening to everything that I say. You know what, whoever that voice is in my head, you’re right, I should go and apologize to SpongeBob and Cocoa Malleus right now!” In act of confidence, Patrick went through the entrance to Enakai’s dimension, leaving the other three alone. “Patrick!” Sandy, Mr. Krabs, and Larry called out. “He’s a goner,” Mr. Krabs remarked. “So are we, though,” Larry added. “Koamalu…so that’s his name, huh? I’ll remember that for when he and SpongeBob restore Bikini Bottom.” “Just like you’ll remember my name next time,” Sandy quipped towards the lobster. Larry chuckled and replied, “I won’t forget about you, Sandy.” “You’re right though, I’m putting a lot of my faith in SpongeBob and Koamalu,” Sandy replied. “I hope SpongeBob and that Koamalu kid can put up a good fight against that no-good Lava King,” Mr. Krabs remarked. Back inside Enakai’s dimension, Koamalu was looking all around the labyrinth for SpongeBob and vice versa. They used their respective powers to ward off the creatures lurking in the caverns until the duo were eventually together again after bumping into one another. “SpongeBob, are you okay?” Koamalu asked. “Of course I am!” SpongeBob responded in his most reassuring tone. “Where have you been? The one moment I take my eyes off you, you just disappeared!” Koamalu, not wanting to bring up Patrick to him, replied to the sea sponge while scratching the back of his head, “I think I just came back outside while…sleepwalking, but I have some important news to share with you.” “What’s that?” “It’s not good news though. More people on the island are turning into statues, the blackhole in the sky is growing more in size, and…I just escaped from the Lava King when he was about to make me into another one of his stone statues.” “Is that all?” “I’ve also been learning more about Enakai, and how he’s been controlling my life because of some vision of the future that he saw, in which it involved me, and I’m going to get to the bottom of things right now! If I could defend myself from the Lava King, then I’m sure I’ll be okay talking to Enakai.” Suddenly, the structure of the cave shifted all around SpongeBob and Koamalu, preceded by a strong magnitude. The tremor warped the two immense power-bearers right in front of the unagi himself. Koamalu faced Enakai with a sense of pride and courage. Having seen the unagi up close for the first time, SpongeBob was too intimidated to move as close as his sea dragon friend already had. “I sensed your presence for a while, Koamalu,” Enakai spoke. “Before I could start answering these burning questions you have, I insist you reiterate to me what you’ve been told about our bond.”
  10. 6. Ohana (Family) After a long night of slaying lava creatures alongside his partner, SpongeBob, Koamalu was in another deep slumber. Each night his dreaming was becoming more lucid, although he’s been experiencing the same dream as before where he saw himself in a vibrant background with a variety of different flashing colors and the sound of a voice unfamiliar to him, but with different fragments of his memories being revealed to him. Things still appeared to be a blur to the sleeping sea dragon. While we can now remember the voice calling to him, he still couldn’t make out the face of this character that he’s been communicating with. “It’s so nice to be speaking with you again, Koamalu.” The voice spoke, feminine in tone. “But I still don’t know who you are and why I’ve been hearing your voice…” Koamalu said. “I’ve been telling you, this will all make more sense the more that we meet,” the voice continued. “I only have the power to enter your dreams and provide you more lost memories about yourself a few at a time. Now tell me, Koamalu, what do you see?” Mental images of Enakai began to fill Koamalu’s mind and so he responded to the voice after a brief silence, “I see Enakai again. He’s been in my life for the longest time, but I’ve been thinking that’s been hiding something from me as well, and I need to know what it is that he’s hiding from me.” “I wouldn’t get your head wrapped too much around that. I do have one question to ask, though. What does Enakai mean to you?” The voice inquired. “He’s the one person that I know that I’ve considered as family. I trust him because there’s no else that I know to trust until I met other people like SpongeBob. Although, after regaining memories about myself, and they all had little to do with Enakai…my mind’s been in a blur.” “I understand how you feel. Have ever thought about where you really came from.” Koamalu thought hard on that question for a moment and responded with a firm “No.” “Have you ever thought about where Enakai came from?” “I’ve been realizing that he’s from a world that’s different from my own. Where I come from is something that I’d really want to know, and why we became family.” “I’m sure you’ll find out those answers by talking to him if you can reach the pocket dimension that he houses in. I won’t be able to lend some more information to you there since time doesn’t move in those realms, and I should warn you about how Enakai’s dimension disregards the passage of time since time can still move freely where you are now.” “Can you at least tell me more about Enakai now before I enter his dimension?” “You and your friend are pursuing the Lava King, who came from the past, correct? Enakai exists from the future. These two are connected to you because-“ Before Koamalu could be able to hear the rest of the explanation, he reappeared inside Sandy’s lodging with SpongeBob after a rude awakening from Mr. Krabs, who was outside the hut, yelling for him, SpongeBob, and Sandy to step out. “Come on out and get to work, all of you slackers!” Mr. Krabs exclaimed. “SpongeBob, Sandy, and…the other feller, whatshisname, the Lava King needs ye!” “What’s going on? It must be very important,” the half-asleep SpongeBob said. Sandy walked out of her hut to approach Mr. Krabs with cracks in her eyes, and fired back at him, saying, “Well, I’m not coming out! I’m in the middle of reaching a scientific breakthrough!” “I don’t care, the Lava King needs ye to help build this island in his image,” Mr. Krabs replied. “It’s his orders, so you’ll have to do what he says.” “Since when did you care about that good-for-nothing tyrant?” Sandy asked. “I ain’t postponing my work to follow his rules!” “You don’t want to turn into stone do ye? Well, neither would I, so get your captain’s quarters out of here and quit worrying about your fancy science project!” “Oh, I know how it is, huh. The Lava King suddenly decided to make you the boss of all of us, but I’m more worried about not being able to find a solution to this problem than I am about turning into stone!” As Sandy continued to protest, Mr. Krabs dragged away from the hut by the tail with his pinchers. “Hey, let me go! Don’t forget, I know karate!” SpongeBob and Koamalu saw the commotion between the two creatures as they stepped out of the hut. “Golly, Mr. Krabs isn’t acting like himself,” SpongeBob remarked. “What about Sandy?” Koamalu asked. “I know Sandy can get aggressive sometimes, but it’s clear that she’s been overworking herself, so she could use some time away from her science,” SpongeBob replied. It wasn’t long until Sandy used her karate skills to flip Mr. Krabs over before he touched down onto the ground. While the crustacean was too stunned to get up, Sandy walked over to SpongeBob and said, “SpongeBob, the Lava King is pushing us to do his dirty work, but somehow, Mr. Krabs is involved with this scheme of his, so now I’m unable to continue inventing a solution to this space-time disruption! King Neptune gave you and that other critter some sort of powers, so surely you can use that to do something about all this!” “We’re trying Sandy, but we aren’t quite at the point where we can fix this problem,” SpongeBob responded. “It’s that we just need some more time is all.” “Well, can’t you see that we’re running out of time!?” Sandy argued. “That hole in the sky is going to keep expanding until it wipes us out!” “I must go back…to sleep…I need to know more….about Enakai…” Koamalu said drowsily, his head slumping against SpongeBob’s. “We’ll have to talk about this later, Sandy,” SpongeBob finished before pulling Koamalu straight towards the cafeteria hut. “Just give us a few days and we might be able to bring Bikini Bottom back to the way it was.” SpongeBob and Koamalu started their usual daily shift in serving soup to the other inhabitants. However, Koamalu was dozing off more and more during these work shifts, so SpongeBob had to push a little effort into making him look like he’s working whenever the Lava King was around to survey them. Taking notice of the news about the Lava King tightening up his rules, the Bikini Bottom citizens looked unhappier when SpongeBob gave each of them their helpings for the day, Sandy especially. “I know you’re mad, but you need a break from the science for once,” said SpongeBob. When he presented the squirrel with her bowl of soup, she chugged it down her throat in less than 10 seconds. “How can I relax when the darn Lava King is going to even prevent me from continuing my work?” Sandy responded. “I’ve been committed to figuring out a solution, and so far, I haven’t gotten close!” “That’s why you got to trust me and Koamalu, Sandy Squirrel,” SpongeBob replied. “It’s ‘Cheeks’,” the squirrel corrected with a stern tone. “Yes, right, my apologies. I’ve been hard at work too, so I haven’t been thinking certain things straight. Look, I know you may not take a liking towards him, but Koamalu is going to be the key towards bringing us back to Bikini Bottom.” When SpongeBob saw the ground beneath him get warm, he stood on the counter until the lava subsided, signaling the end of his and Koamalu’s shift. The burning hot sensation of the floor beneath the sleeping sea dragon woke him up. “You can go back to your work now that the Lava King is off the clock for now.” As he returned to the kitchen, he said to Koamalu, “Our shift is done, good work there, buddy!” “Don’t mention it, lad,” Mr. Krabs chimed in. “I’ve been dealing with this for a while now.” “I was referring to Koamalu, Mr. Krabs,” SpongeBob clarified. “Don’t think I didn’t notice that feller sleeping on the job,” Mr. Krabs replied. “I could’ve notified the Lava King about him if it weren’t for the two of ye sticking together, being fated to save Bikini Bottom and all.” “I wouldn’t allow for Koamalu to become a statue when he’s important to this mission that I’ve been trusted with. Besides, you’ve been behaving differently, from when I saw you yelling at Sandy and the others to do some work for the Lava King. I sure hope he hasn’t done anything to Patrick.” “Oh no, I haven’t noticed anybody else turning into statues. This is all part of me own job in ensuring that everyone is safe.” Mr. Krabs lied, as he abstained from mentioning what happened to Plankton earlier. SpongeBob and Koamalu both gave Mr. Krabs a look of skepticism. SpongeBob breaks the awkward silence by then saying to Mr. Krabs, “Okay, I trust you. We’ll see you later, okay? Koamalu and I will be off to do some more Totem God stuff.” As SpongeBob and Koamalu exited the cafeteria hut, they were confronted by Patrick, who wore a frantic and exasperated look on his face. “Oh Patrick, it’s good to see that you’re still alive and well,” said SpongeBob. “How come you don’t you want to play with me anymore, SpongeBob!?” Patrick exclaimed. “Come on! Let’s do something together right now! You can’t just replace me as your best friend with this…weird guy.” “I would never replace you as a best friend,” SpongeBob reassured. “I’m just really tied up right now, so I was just leaving with Koamalu to go and-“ “Why is it you always want to hang around with him all of a sudden?” Patrick inquired. He turned around to look at Koamalu in the eye. He began to speak directly towards the sea dragon while his anger built up. “You, this is your fault, all of it! If you hadn’t showed up, I wouldn’t be losing my best friend and be told to do something that I can’t do by some giant volcano! I may not understand a lot of things, and I may not understand you or know who you are, but I think I understand that you don’t belong here! So why don’t you just get out of here…you….you big dummy!?” Patrick’s harsh words stunned both Koamalu and as well as SpongeBob, Patrick’s own self-proclaimed best friend. SpongeBob broke the silence and said to Koamalu, “I’m so sorry about Patrick. I can try to reason with him-“ “No, it’s fine,” Koamalu interrupted in a quiet yet sincere tone. “Patrick is right. I don’t belong in this world, since I’m not from here.” Before he continued to speak, he turned his head for a moment to view the cave in the distance that he recognized as the dimension where Enakai resided in. He looked back and then said, “I take responsibility for what happen to your own world. Enakai is my responsibility too, so…I think I’m better off facing him by myself.” Without warning, SpongeBob saw as Koamalu tapped over to the cave and went through it. “No, wait!” SpongeBob called out. “...Thanks a lot Patrick. I have to go and get him out now.” “So? He most likely would’ve been lost there anyway,” Patrick heckled. “Now that he’s not here, I do can whatever I want with you now, right?” “Our world is in peril and all you care about is yourself!” SpongeBob snapped, as he was about to unleash a part of the powers against him. “Do you realize what you just did to Koamalu? If you could just let us help, then maybe we can have fun together like we usually do, but now is not the time!” When he finished speaking, he used his powers without restraint to freeze Patrick, covering him in a wall of ice. Some of the Bikini Bottom citizens who have observed this quarrel crowded up and looked at SpongeBob with discontent. SpongeBob realized his mistake and immediately conjured heat to thaw out Patrick from his state and ran up to the cave entrance housing Enakai’s dimension before Patrick could say something. When SpongeBob entered Enakai’s cove, it was like a labyrinth inside, so in a cosmic sort of sense, he figured that Patrick was right in assuming that Koamalu would get lost in place like this, much like he is now. Small serpent-like creatures that resembled Enakai’s image, akin to the Lava King’s creatures, emerged in front of SpongeBob, prompting for the sea sponge to conjure whirlwind magic to ward them off every few times they showed up to guard the domain. After what felt like hours having passed to him, SpongeBob would find Koamalu, who was curled up and sitting around idly half-asleep. “I found you, Koamalu, and you’re unharmed! Do you have any idea how much of a relief it was for me to find you?” “But what if Enakai found you already?” Koamalu questioned. “No, I thought you went looking for him.” SpongeBob replied. “Of course I did, I was just resting.” Koamalu replied. “I’m still sorry about Patrick. I rushed over to you here because I had a squabble with him, and I ended up using the powers lend to me without control, so…I guess we’re even. We’re both fugitives for the time being, huh?” Though Koamalu was too tired to be conversing with SpongeBob, talking to him had made him feel better about himself. “I know this is a weird question to ask, but since we’ve known each other for a while, I’ve been wondering if you have any family, if you remember having any family.” “I don’t think so. I would’ve called Enakai family if I still didn’t know much of him, but now that I am learning more about him, I’m trying to not to think about it. He’s keeping some things from me, I can tell. ” “That’s a shame. Maybe you’ll remember sooner than later.” Both Koamalu and SpongeBob began to sleep within in their little cubicle. Koamalu remember the voice’s warnings about the rules of Enakai’s dimension as he hasn’t been able to see himself return to his realm of dreams while keeping his eyes shut. He couldn’t forget his very previous meeting with the said voice, from when he napped during his shift, although it was very brief. “You do have family, Koamalu, though you were taken from it. I could tell you more, but I don’t think you’d be able to handle the truth hidden about yourself just yet. From what I can tell you, the Lava King and Enakai are connected to you because they both wanted to raise you in their own way and of course, Enakai was able to take custody of you. While the Lava King is an entity from the past and Enakai from the future, you could say that I’m in-between those lanes. I am a Totem God just like you, whereas I categorize myself as a dream weaver. I’ve talked with you before, but it seems that Enakai had wiped out most of it and I was blocked off from accessing your dreamscape until the worlds collided. Before you return to the real world, I needed to let you know that I would’ve taken you in as my family and raised you with love and care if neither Enakai nor the Lava King interfered…” Back outside the cave entrance, the island was close to going dusk. Patrick was still beside the cave waiting for SpongeBob to come back, and he stood there until he was confronted by the Lava King. “I couldn’t help but notice that you may be…missing someone who is important to you,” the Lava King spoke. “How do you know?” Patrick questioned. “Just a guess,” the Lava King replied, although lying. “Say, I could be turning you into a statue right now, but I figured I could spare you if you agree to do one…very easy job for me.” “What kind of job are you talking about?” “Bring me Koamalu and only Koamalu. I’ll be willing to return the favor by bringing your sponge friend back from Enakai’s dimension as well.” Patrick wasn’t smart enough to understand anything that the Lava King was saying, but he agreed to the offer without much hesitation.
  11. I believe in the Boogeyman.

  12. Copyrights can expire, but trademarks can last forever, so even if once Mickey belongs to everyone, Disney could still survive on the trademarks they own of their mascot anyway. (But of course, that still does raise my own question on why they extended the general copyright term up to 95 years if I don't believe they'll suffer a big loss after the term ends).
  13. Yeah, this is a thing that is happening. Take it for what you will.
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