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Aquatic Avengers: Unite!


Jjs Goodman

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Synopsis: Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are brought out of retirement by a powerful threat to all superheroes and supervillains alike.

This will be my final SpongeBob related writing and entry in my Jjsverse. Coming this April.

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Chapter One: Glory Days

Many years ago:

The frigid country of Nordavia appears through a fierce snowstorm, and a quaint village unveils itself. There’s a spiritual and mystical atmosphere to the location. In the center of the village stands a strange statue of a mythical ice titan. Some of the villagers pray to it, as if they worship it as their god. Others place personal belongings on a plate at the bottom of the statue as a way to pay tribute to the entity. One curious villager known as Ragnar approaches the statue and gives it an almost envious, longing glare. He puts a stone in the plate to pay “respect,” a rather thoughtless gift compared to the others.

The villagers are going about their own business in ways most ordinary communities would, yet with their own special customs. Up above, a figure shoots across the sky, leaving a silver streak behind. This is Silver Saint, one of the sea’s most famous superheroes at the time. He’s known for a reckless persona as long as it gets results. He’s in pursuit of Jelly Master, a supervillain of the time who controls jellyfish with a device to commit heinous deeds. Jelly Master is flying in the sky on a horde of jellyfish, as Silver Saint is trying to shoot him down with silver fist blasts. Jelly Master commands his jellyfish to get in Silver Saint’s way, taking the attacks or swarming around to sting him. Silver Saint brushes them away and tackles Jelly Master, sending the two plummeting toward the village below. One villager sees them coming.

“Incoming above!” The villager shouted, pointing at the two coming closer towards them.

The villagers quickly get out of the way, as Silver Saint and Jelly Master both crash into the snowy ground, the impact causing piles of snow to fly everywhere. Some of the villagers walk closer to the crash site, looking at the two in surprise as if they’re aliens. Jelly Master scrambles to get out of the snow, being lifted out by jellyfish. Silver Saint emerges from the snow to follow after, but sees all the villagers staring at him, and stops to soak in the attention.

“It’s…a superhero?” A villager noted curiously, implying this is the first time many of them are seeing one up close.

Visible distaste appears across Ragnar’s face upon hearing that. Unlike the others, he was not fooled by Silver Saint’s charm. He’s repulsed by the hero’s ego, especially when the supervillain is the more pressing matter!

“A real blessed super being…here. The Titan would be honored…” The village elder spoke, possibly referring to their statue. He holds a staff to help him walk in the snow.

“I thought those were a myth!” Another villager scoffed, as Silver Saint gets up and brushes snow off his cape.

“I assure you citizens, I’m no myth! I’m the mighty Silver Saint, and I am going to bring this evil dirtbag to justice! Stand back!” Silver Saint boasted.

Silver Saint flies up, continuing his fight with Jelly Master. Silver Saint shields himself from an electric blast with his cape. Some of Jelly Master’s jellyfish get too cold and flee his presence, angering him.

“Get back, worthless vermin!” Jelly Master ranted.

With Jelly Master vulnerable, Silver Saint mightily punches in the face, sending him flying straight into a house, wrecking it and shocking the family inside. The elder is surprised and offended by this recklessness, expecting better from a superhero. Jelly Master squirms out and Silver Saint shoots many silver blasts at him. The attacks fly everywhere, hitting buildings and villagers, with no regard for their well being. Jelly Master adjusts the frequency on his device, summoning a swarm of ice jellyfish that bother the villagers. The swarm flies at Silver Saint, who counters with his silver fists. The fighting continues, as villagers try to avoid being caught in the crossfire, but it’s difficult. Ragnar is hit by falling debris, hurting his arm, as he yells in pain. Another village helps him out and bandages his arm, as Ragnar looks at Silver Saint angrily.

Silver Saint finds an opening and charges right at Jelly Master, knocking him off the jellyfish and dropping his device into the snow below, which breaks. The remaining jellyfish fly away. Silver Saint sends the two crashing straight into a museum, the impact so powerful the whole building is destroyed. Several artifacts important to the village’s culture are scattered everywhere. The villagers are offended by this act, as they scramble to retrieve the artifacts, but some are broken. Silver Saint emerges from the wreckage and falling snow, holding up a defeated Jelly Master. He’s thrown to the ground with handcuffs, as Silver Saint steps on him.

“You may hold the applause, civilians! All in a day’s work!” Silver Saint arrogantly boasted, expecting to be showered with praise.

No praise came, with the villagers looking at the two in anger. Ragnar struggles to walk on his strained leg.

“What’s the matter?” Silver Saint asked, confused by their silence.

“You have brought chaos to this peaceful sanctuary. I thank you for stopping the foe, but now I humbly request you please depart.” The elder said to him sternly.

“My sincerest apologies, but sometimes collateral is inevitable when saving people from evil doers. I promise to help rebuild…whatever this place’s name is. I’ll even get you medical supplies for free, though it’ll be hard as this place is in the middle of nowhere, no offense.” Silver Saint said dismissively and half-heartedly, angering the villagers further.

“You haven’t saved us, look at the destruction you’ve brought here!” Ragnar boldly interjected, , a sentiment many of the other villagers were sharing, but were too afraid to do so.

He looks around at several villagers that have either been mortally wounded or gravely injured from the battle, then to his own bandaged arm.

“Hey, watch your tone. You peasants should all be groveling at my knees!” Silver Saint arrogantly boasted, not understanding the effects of his actions.

“You are no hero nor god. Superheroes are frauds.” Ragnar proclaimed.

After saying that, a feeling of dread swept through his body, along with the other villagers. He had essentially insulted a “god.”

Silver Saint had enough of this and snapped, feeling his ego shattered. He moves forward and grabs Ragnar, shocking the villagers.

“Do you want to join that waste of space over there, asshole?” Silver Saint asked angrily, as he begins to crush Ragnar’s throat, who struggles to move his wounded arm.

“Please let him go. He’s cold, tired and angry, we all are. We’ve never seen a superhero battle, it’s a naturally reaction to those who have not seen this power. I apologize if we were out of line. We will gladly accept your help in rebuilding.” The elder tried to negotiate to de-escalate the situation.

Silver Saint relents and drops Ragnar, feeling almost ashamed of how out of line he’s acting. As Ragnar catches his breathe, he notices an ominous, glowing light from the snow. He digs into it and sees a froze dark blade. This is one of the museum artifacts that were scattered. He recognized this blade. It had been foretold in their folklore to grant the yielder the ultimate powers of ice, but with the price of a terrible curse. Ragnar looks at the cursed ice blade lying in the snow, contemplating using it against Silver Saint.

“No Ragnar, you can’t handle it!” The elder persuaded against after noticing.

However, Ragnar is furious at what Silver Saint had done to him and the village. The hate began to consume him, and the blade took note of that from the distance. As if not even in control by this point, Ragnar grabs the cursed ice blade. It begins to warp his soul, body and mind. His heart freezes solid. The elder is especially horrified by his transformation, knowing how the blade’s power truly works. Silver Saint and Jelly Master both look horrified at this, not sure what to do. The transformation finishes, as Ragnar has turned into a monstrous ice creature with paie blue eyes.

“…Ragnar?” Another villager asked worried.

“I’m now…Frostiles.” Frostiles spoke, dark frost emitting from his mouth and body.

“Look, I’m…sorry about the village, let’s put this behind us…okay? I’ll leave.” Silver Saint promised nervously, as he prepares to fly away.

Frostiles shoots an ice beam from his hand, stopping the hero in place. All but his head are frozen solid, as he struggles to break free. The elder tries to intervene but Frostiles pushes him aside, falling to the snow. Frostiles then stabs the ice blade right through Jelly Master on the ground, ending him. The villagers one by one run away from the scene. Frostiles marches to Silver Saint, staring him in the eyes.

“This isn’t a curse, it’s a gift. This is my vow. From this day on, all superheroes and supervillains…shall die.” Frostiles declared, as he decapitates Silver Saint with the blade.

To Frostiles, killing both a hero and villain was balance. He suddenly begins shooting ice spikes everywhere, unable to control his power. The villagers look at him as if he’s a monster, not the savior he wished to be seen as. He’s overwhelmed by the power and fears from the villagers, unsure what to do now. He runs off and disappears into a snowstorm. He needed to control and master these powers so he can destroy all super powered beings. He goes into hiding for a very long time, becoming nothing more than a ghost story passed throughout Nordavia. But someday, he would return, and those who witnessed this first hand, knew he would.

Present day, 2022:

Bikini Bottom has changed much in the past few years, expanding into an ever growing metropolis. One landmark the city is primarily known for nowadays is the headquarters of the International Justice League of Super Acquaintances, commonly abbreviated as the IJLSA. The building glowingly stands tall as a symbol of hope and protection for the entire sea. The IJLSA was originally founded by Mermaid Man and was bought out by millionaire Edgar Volk in 2018. Edgar started as a simple entrepreneur who rose his way through the system and is now one of the sea’s most influential figures. Under his leadership, the IJLSA had evolved beyond a superhero league, it’s become a powerful global brand. Superhero culture had grown massively over the years, reaching peak popularity. Comics, movies, shows, spin-offs of the shows, games and more had flooded the markets. Some critics worried the market risked over-saturation, but when asked about this in an interview, Edgar Volk told consumers not to worry. He promised that “as long as each product is high quality and unique, audiences will stick around.”

The current IJLSA lineup consisted of: Homesurfer, Blue Arrow, Miss Appear II, Emerald Enchantress and Riptide Rider. Homesurfer is seen as the current face of the team and the sea’s new Mermaid Man. He is beloved by the majority with a cult-like following, though some worry he’s building a toxic ego. Homesurfer’s most dedicated defenders would call blasphemy for instigating that, seeing him as pure and wholesome. Blue Arrow is a skilled archer swordfish known for his passive and relaxed demeanor. Miss Appear is the only remaining title from the original ILSA. The current incarnation is a girl named Anne who Sandy passed the torch onto. Anne had been an aspiring fan of the character for years and was honored to take the title. Emerald Enchantress is a talented, eccentric magician. Some speculate she’s attracted to Blue Arrow, though neither have confirmed nor denied this. Riptide Rider is a fierce biker known for taking initiative and going off on his own, but never at the expense of the team’s goals. All five were handpicked by Edgar’s board, including recommendations from Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. They had vouched to keep at least one title from the original lineup to respect the past, hence why Miss Appear remains. Edgar had consulted with them when he purchased the IJLSA on the company’s direction, who were okay with his vision. He provided the duo handsome checks for their services and they hadn’t been spoken since. The duo didn’t know much about the other heroes who are new to the scene, but hoped they would be fitting successors.

A plane flies over Bikini Bottom, as the passengers sit in bliss inside. Suddenly, five suspicious individuals get up from their seats and put on robber masks. They hold out baseball bats and crowbars, knowing they couldn’t get other weapons past security, showing a degree of craftiness from this band. Two air marshals try to stop them, but are overwhelmed and knocked out by the hijackers. Two of them grab the marshal’s guns, pointing them at the passengers.

“This is a robbery! Put your money in the bag and nobody gets hurt!” A hijacker declared, holding out a bag, as passengers nervously put money inside.

The other gun wielding hijacker bursts into the cockpit, pointing the gun at the pilots.

“No funny business. Change course to New Kelp.” The hijacker demanded, as the pilots reluctantly cooperate.

Suddenly, the plane shakes, as everyone on board feels it. The hijacker carefully walks out of the cockpit, but a blue arrow strikes the gun out of his hand. Blue Arrow stealthily runs up and punches him in the face. Blue Arrow goes inside the cockpit to make sure the pilots are okay, who are relieved to see him. The current IJLSA have arrived on the plane to rescue them, thanks to Homesurfer opening the top haul with his strength, and sealing it with a bubble so the passengers aren’t sucked out. The passengers cheer, knowing they’re saved. Homesurfer confronts the other gun wielding hijacker, who shoots, but Homesurfer uses his wave powers to change the bullet’s current, sending it safely into a wall. He grabs the hijacker, throwing him against the ceiling and back onto the floor. Miss Appear appears behind a hijacker, kicking him in the face and sending him against a seat. Emerald Enchantress uses her magic to turn a hijacker’s bat into an eel, making it jump at his face. She then turns the eel into a punch glove, punching the hijacker in the face, and she receives an applause from the passengers. Riptide Rider fights with the last hijacker, avoiding his crowbar, and throws motor oil onto his face, blinding him and falling. He wipes his face, and sees the cockpit nearby. He quickly throws his crowbar at the controls as a last ditch resort, damaging them. The plane begins to malfunction and spiral out of control, as the passengers panic.

“Don’t panic, I’ll get you to safety! Buckle in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!” Homesurfer promised, as he flies out.

Homesurfer flies below the plane’s belly and grabs onto it. He surfs on the water air, gently lowering the plane down to a runway at the Bikini Bottom Airport. All the plane passengers cheer for their saviors, wanting the IJLSA’s autographs. The hijackers are taken away by the police.

A press conference is later held by Edgar Volk about the successful rescue, with the current five IJLSA members by his side. He walks on stage, wearing a fancy business suit and glasses. Fans cheer and take photos of the heroes.

“We are pleased to confirm the rescue of flight 37 was a resounding success with no casualties. Once again the IJLSA has shown petty criminals everywhere you cannot hide from us.” Edgar announced. “Any questions?”

“Homesurfer, did you fear you’d drop the plane?” Perch Perkins inquired

“With my strength, you have nothing to fear!” Homesurfer replied, laughing at the question.

“Blue Arrow, how did you handle the hijackers?” Another reporter inquired.

“You know, I handled it like I always do, no big deal.” Blue Arrow replied casually.

“Miss Appear, did they even see you coming?” Another reporter inquired.

“Nope, I may as well have been a ghost!” Miss Appear replied.

“Emerald Enchantress, what magic tricks did you pull?” Another reporter inquired.

“First I turned their bat into an eel, then I made it punch him right in his stupid face!” Emerald Enchantress happily replied.

“Riptide Rider, would you have rode your bike onto the plane if you could?” Another reporter inquired.

“Yeah.” Riptide Rider replied.

But one question one may ask is: Where are Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy in all of this?

At Shady Shoals, Mermaid Man is seen sleeping in his bed. His alarm goes off, as he stretches in bed. He grabs his dentures sitting in a glass of water, and groggily tries to stand up, feeling his aching back. He grabs his cane which he now uses to walk. He takes his daily pills and looks depressed. He reminisces at several photos on his wall, showing him with the old IJLSA. He meets with Barnacle Boy down the hallway, who is looking more cheerful and healthier despite nearing the same age.. Both knew today is a very important day.

“Time for our monthly grocery shopping, young ward?” Mermaid Man asked.

“You bet’cha!” Barnacle Boy replied.

A flashy transition shows Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy at the Barg’N Mart, which had grown larger as a corporation over the years, also thanks to Edgar’s influence. The duo had a habit of going here every month to spend Edgar’s royalty checks on groceries, buying a surplus of items. They’re at an automated cash register, checking out their items. Due to the many items they’re checking out, a long, annoyed line has formed behind.

“Could you old coots go any slower!?” A customer complained.

“What’s that sonny? You want us to go lower? Not with these prices!” Mermaid Man replied to the customer, who sighs in annoyance as the machine keeps scanning the items.

They exit the store, heading to the Invisible Boatmobile in the parking lot, and try to fit the many grocery bags into the trunk.

“Mermaid Man, while I enjoy the monthly shopping spree, are you sure we need all this food?” Barnacle Boy asked, knowing the customers had legitimate complaints.

“Why yes, we need to be fueled and stay healthy! Besides lad, it beats eating the Shoal slop.” Mermaid Man said, letting out a hearty chuckle, to which Barnacle Boy can’t disagree.

They see an elderly Atomic Flounder riding in his motor wheelchair out of the store, who is still retired from villainy. He was one of the customers in line.

“Hey old timer, no hard feelings about the line?” Barnacle Boy joked.

“None taken, I know you two barnacle heads need anything to cling to for relevance. I know how it feels to be past the glory days in the changing times. Welcome to my life, gentlemen.” Atomic Flounder greeted to them, as he coughs and struggles to keep moving in his motor wheelchair.

Mermaid Man is visibly disturbed by this.

“Don’t let him get to you, old flounder probably doesn’t even know what day it is.” Barnacle Boy reassured.

Barnacle Boy drives the Invisible Boatmobile while Mermaid Man takes the passenger seat. Through the streets, they see several civilians cosplaying as the current IJLSA members. However, not one of them is dressed as the duo. This hurts Mermaid Man. Had their legacy already been forgotten? They pass by a billboard poster for Gil Hammerstein’s upcoming film about Homesurfer, titled Homesurfer: New Wave Order. Superhero merchandise and advertising is everywhere, yet none of it focused on the titular duo. Most civilians see them as “old news” and Homesurfer’s team is the new trend. Even Captain Magma, The Quickster, Elastic Waistband and Pyrite Panderer had become faded memories to the public. Mermaid Man wished to be part of this trend, but Barnacle Boy didn’t care and was personally happy to be out of the limelight. SpongeBob and friends had relinquished the titles years ago, moving on with their lives.  Mermaid Man took it more personally because the IJLSA was his baby, and now he’s far removed from its success. In addition, he’s getting up there in age and not sure how long he has left to live. He doesn’t want his legacy to be spending his remaining days rotting away in a retirement home with nothing to show. They see the IJLSA headquarters standing in the distance.

The duo returns to Shady Shoals, dining on a delicious lunch in the cafeteria using the groceries. The other residents look at them jealous, showing a sense of isolation even in this community. From there, their routine is: playing bingo, being checked on by doctors, and their afternoon nap. Nowadays, the duo are clearly going through the motions in a repetitive monotonous cycle. Mermaid Man returns to his room, but is not ready for his nap. He puts a worn out tape into the VCR and turns on the television. Playing on the television screen is an episode of The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Edgar had also acquired the rights to the show and preserved tapes of every episode as a memento for the duo. We see Mermaid Man’s perspective of watching it and only the audio is heard.

Mermaid Man, with his young associate Barnacle Boy, fights for all creatures who live in the sea, against the forces of evil.” The narrator said.

“Oh, no! The Raging Whirlpool!” Clam Head Candy Cad yelled in fear, as the sound of him being carried by the Raging Whirlpool is heard.

“Mermaid Man! Champion of the deep!” The narrator said, ending the episode, as the tape pops out and the screen goes black.

Mermaid Man is thankful he can relieve these memories and relaxes, now ready for his nap. Suddenly, a piercing sound goes through his hearing aids. This jolts him to action and wonder what’s causing it. He adjusts them to hear screams outside. He knocks on Barnacle Boy’s door in a hurry.

“Have you lost it? It’s our nap-“ Barnacle Boys answered groggily.

“We need to go, I sense EEEVVVILL is afoot!” Mermaid Man declared, trying to run as fast as his cane will allow him.

“Hold on there partner, I don’t think you’re in ac condition to fight anymore. Let the IJLSA handle it.” Barnacle Boy argued, but this gives him more incentive to act.

“That’s rue, but we need to show the world we aren’t has beens! We can still fight just as good!” Mermaid Man declared, as Barnacle Boy worries he’s letting what Atomic Flounder said get to him.

“Fine, but if this goes south, let the IJLSA handle it.” Barnacle Boy replied.

They head outside, seeing none other than Dirty Bubble in the distance, up to his old tricks. He’s upgraded himself with a protective glass shield around his body to protect from sharp objects, something he should’ve done long ago. He shoots miniature versions of himself into the streets to terrorize citizens, which exit from slots on his shield. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy confront the villain, though Mermaid Man struggles to stand.

“That’s enough, bubble! Be prepared to be defeated by the aquatic avengers again!” Mermaid Man said, ready to fight, but hurts his back and struggles to walk.

“Mwa ha ha! Oh, putting you two old coots out of your misery should be fun!” Dirty Bubble said, amused by Mermaid Man’s plight.

Mermaid Man throws a water ball at the shield, but it does nothing. Barnacle Boy tries to pierce it with his sulfur vision, but it reflects, striking a building. Dirty Bubble laughs at their futile attempts.

“I must say, I didn’t expect you two to be this inept! Pathetic! Out with the old, in with the new. Face it, you two are…washed up!” Dirty Bubble said, literally washing them away with a wave of dirty bubbles, as the two groan at the lame pun.

The two are on the ground in defeat, then hear a familiar voice.

“Looks like you old timers are in need of powerful allies!” Homesurfer said, helping them get up.

“We’ll handle this, get them to safety.” Blue Arrow promised, firing arrows at the incoming mini bubbles, popping them with ease.

Miss Appear gets the duo to a sidewalk out of the way. Now they can’t do anything but watch from the sidelines, a role they never expected to find themselves in.

“So cool to meet you in person again, and you get a front row seat to our victory! I’ll ask for your autographs after!” Miss Appear said to them, as she turns invisible and begins popping bubbles.

Homesurfer flies around, taunting the Dirty Bubble and luring him into a false sense of security. He spits muddy water, but Homesurfer washes it away. Riptide Rider shreds his bike across Dirty Bubble’s shield, weakening its power. Emerald Enchantress turns a wave of mini bubbles into projectiles and shoots them at the shield, damaging it further. Homesurfer delivers the coup de grâce by punching through a weak spot of the shield.

“Aw shrimp-“ Dirty Bubble said, as Homesurfer pops him.

The civilians cheer. Dirty Bubble is thwarted once again, only this time, the new IJLSA are the ones taking the glory instead of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. The duo can’t believe they failed to beat Dirty Bubble who they bested many times before without issue. They reminisce to when they met Dirty Bubble for the first time…

Young Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are seen responding to a call. Dirty Bubble has lifted the First Natural Bank inside of him with employees and civilians trapped inside. He lets out an evil laugh, then Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy appear.

“Golly Mermaid Man, that is the biggest and dirtiest bubble I’ve ever seen!” Barnacle Boy said.

“By the power of Neptune, we’ll give this bubble the best bath he’s ever seen!” Mermaid Man said, catching his attention.

“Who are you two supposed to be, and what’s with the hideous costumes?” Dirty Bubble asked.

“I’m Mermaid Man, champion of the deep! And that is my young ward, Barnacle Boy! Together we’re going to defeat you!” Mermaid Man declared, shooting a whirlpool blast, but Dirty Bubble dodges.

Barnacle Boy throws two water balls, hitting the bubble, but the bank bounces around inside, making the hostages slide everywhere. Dirty Bubble shoots a muddy water wave, but they douse it with their water powers.

“We need to pop him without destroying the bank, my sulfur vision is too risky.” Barnacle Boy thought over.

Mermaid Man has an idea. He uses his sea creature call to summon giant jellyfish, which create a bed beneath Dirty Bubble,

“What the heck are you doing? You think ugly jellyfish can stop me?” Dirty Bubble taunted, trying to move away, but the jellyfish keep following him below.

Barnacle Boy scans the sand with his sulfur vision for a sharp object, spotting a needle. Mermaid Man grabs it, flies up and and hurls it at the bubble.

“Watch the point!” Dirty Bubble cried, popping.

The bank falls onto the giant jellyfish bed, as they successfully lower it back to where it was. The hostages are relieved, getting out to thank the two. The dynamic duo are hailed as heroes by Bikini Bottom, a far cry from the outcome of their present day fight.

In the present, Homesurfer approaches the duo.

“Hey, it takes true bravery for veterans like you to still fight evil. But let us handle them, okay? I’d hate to see you go out like that.” Homesurfer said to them, unable to tell if he’s being condescending.

“Of course, we were nearby and heard the call. I’m honored you’re our successors in protecting the sea.” Barnacle Boy said, saluting, as does Mermaid Man.

The press arrives, and their eyes are all on the IJLSA, not even realizing the duo is there. The group signs autographs for the press and civilians. The IJLSA have saved people twice in a day, basking in the glory, while Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are stuck in a retirement home. Mermaid Man looks on jealously, wishing he still had their fame.

“Perhaps the sea is better off without us, young ward.” Mermaid Man solemnly said to Barnacle Boy, accepting his place in the changing times.

“We’ve had a long day, let’s get some rest.” Barnacle Boy replied, not sure how to comfort him.

They return to Shady Shoals again, feeling defeated and humiliated. They feared Atomic Flounder and Dirty Bubble were right: they’re past their prime and no longer needed. Maybe it was time to finally let go of the past and live their remaining lives the best they can. Mermaid Man is in his room alone, and grabs a different tape from the box. He puts it into the VCR, as it begins playing.

“Fighting a rogues gallery of villains like the Sinister Slug, the Atomic Flounder... and the dreaded Jumbo Shrimp! Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy unite!” The narrator said, with sound effects heard of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy beating up the villains, ending with the sound of their fists uniting together.

A tear falls down Mermaid Man’s cheek, as he knows as much as he wants it to happen, he will never relive the glory days.

Deep within the mountains of Nordavia, a raging snowstorm is seen. Footsteps ominously crash down a snowy path, who enters his old village. He had finally returned after all these years. It looked much different since he left. It’s smaller and most of the people he knew were long gone. Yet one familiar element remained: the ice entity’s statue in the center. Frostiles walks up to it and slashes at its legs with ice. The statue tips over, confusing the villagers who look at him in fear. Frostiles approaches the library to obtain knowledge.

“It’s time for the era of superheroes and supervillains…to end.” Frostiles ominously declared.

Notes/Trivia:

-Character Debuts: Homesurfer, Blue Arrow, Miss Appear II/Anne, Emerald Enchantress, Riptide Rider, Ragnar/Frostiles, Edgar Volk, Silver Saint (posthumous) and Jelly Master (posthumous)

-Area Debuts: Nordavia

-Flashback Timeline: Both are many years before the events of this miniseries, no specific timeframe

-Frostiles is loosely based on the character Freeze from Mermaid Man: The Brave and the Bold. Blue Arrow is a reinterpreted version of himself from Brave and The Bold. Emerald Enchantress and Riptide Rider are reboots of the characters Mrs. Magic and Rider.

-Nordavia is based on Scandinavian countries, particularly Norway.

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Chapter Two: Oversaturated

Several days pass after Dirty Bubble’s attack. The new IJLSA continue to do their jobs, while Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy continue their daily dull routines at Shady Shoals. Mermaid Man continues to feel a sense of loneliness and hopelessness, longingly looking out a window from his room.

The scene fade transitions to Edgar Volk in the back of a fancy limousine, staring out the window as it drives through the streets of Bikini Bottom. He stares through the window for a marvelous view of Bikini Bottom, seeing superhero advertising and Volk branding everywhere. He’s proud of how much the city has grown under his influence. Previously known for a chaotic reputation, he brought order and stability here. Many other locations across the sea were following in his footsteps as more superheroes rose to the call. He checks his phone for news. Fresh on the front page of SeaNN is a trending story about how Miss Appear successfully thwarted The Moth’s plot to steal Bass Vegas’s neon lights. He’s proud of the team’s work. The limousine comes to a stop outside of the IJLSA headquarters. The door is opened by Edgar’s personal aid Charon, who had been driving the limousine. Charon escorts him into the IJLSA building, recapping the outcomes of recent business deals and today’s schedule.

“The Ocean Protection Force has denied your proposal to use one hero in their services as a test. Shall we renegotiate, sir?” Charon inquired to Edgar.

“Yes, I understand they prefer independence, but I sense they don’t see the bigger picture of how heroes would benefit them. We need to be more persuasive, but not too forthcoming or we’ll turn them away for good. Start drafting a renegotiation as soon as possible.” Edgar diplomatically replied, which Charon notes.

Edgar believed superheroes in the armed forces was the next natural evolution for ensuing society’s safety, but the idea had received tons of pushback from politicians and military leaders. He understood the valid concerns of course, if the wrong unstable superhero abused their powers, it’d be disastrous. Deep down, Edgar truly wanted to help the world by controlling superheroes beyond serving as product advertisements, but the corporate interests conflict with that vision. You could say Edgar viewed himself as a hero in his own right.

“The Krusty Krab has requested once again to partner with the IJLSA for a meal promotion.” Charon continued, showing the papers to Edgar.

“Denied, I already see one loophole too many in that greedy crab’s demands. We’ve partnered with better civilized restaurants.” Edgar replied, not having a high opinion of the Krusty Krab.

“Your investor meeting is scheduled to start in exactly fifteen minutes.” Charon noted, as they head down the hallway toward an elevator.

They pass by several employees and other superheroes from across the sea. Even ones who aren’t part of the core IJLSA want to help them out in any way they can, so they visit the headquarters to exchange information or apply to become an official sanctioned ally. This helped the IJLSA grow as an idea beyond the five core members so anyone could be assist. However, there’s resentment from the IJLSA towards any heroes acting independently without becoming an official sanctioned ally. Homesurfer in particular views the independent heroes a jealous of their fame and disrespecting their work. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of the IJLSA?

Edgar and Charon enter the elevator and go up several floors. They pass by the IJLSA’s own meeting room, where the five heroes are inside for a briefing. Edgar and Charon enter the grandiose conference room and take their seats. In front of Edgar are papers including taking points, safe corporate responses and statistics for this meeting. Holo projections of investors, politicians, Gil Hammerstein and other important business figures appear at seats.

“It’s an honor to be here with you all. As usual, I’m sure we’ll walk away from this meeting optimistic about Volk’s future.” Edgar introduced.

“Let’s start with good news. We’re pleased to report stocks have increased by 49% over the past year. There’s been consistent growth thanks to the IJLSA and Barn’N Mart divisions.” One investor started.

“Indeed. Our estimates report the total net worth will exceed $300 billion by the end of the year.” Edgar said confidently, reading from his papers.

“Now for bad news. We’re sad to report that the recent Kelp Thing movie was the IJLSA Cinematic Universe’s first box office bomb, but realistically will not lose us much. It’s odd since the internet certainly seemed fascinated with it after all those “It’s Kelpin’ Time” jokes.” A studio executive said.

“Of course it was, nobody wanted to see a movie about him. There’s a reason we silently dumped it with little fanfare. Who told me to green-light that idea again?” Edgar asked to the room.

“Uhh…I did.” A producer present said.

“You’re demoted.” Edgar replied, and the producer is ashamed. “However, don’t let this small dent to our fortune concern you. Every company needs to take a few hits to thrive, no matter the size.”

“The Lighthouse Lass miniseries on Volk+ hasn’t been doing hot in viewership so far.” Another executive continued.

“Give it time. She’s still new to the superhero scene and needs to grow an audience.” Edgar reassured.

“There’s numerous upcoming content ideas some question the existence of. Are you sure we shouldn’t be worried about risk of over-saturation?” Another investor asked worried.

“Not every project is a guaranteed hit, but we provide a healthy diversity of choices for consumers and they’ll be appropriately spaced out to avoid fatigue. I promise you that people are still more than excited for superhero content.” Edgar replied confidently.

“Hi Mr. Volk, my question is about Homesurfer: New Wave Order: Due to his recent arrest, should we edit out Vance Miller’s role in post?” Gil Hammerstein asked.

“Downplay his involvement in marketing and don’t say anything. By the time the movie releases I’m sure his controversy will be old news.” Edgar commanded.

“The bill that will allow superheroes in military forces remains controversial at Aquaton. Too many risks and cost concerns. In my professional opinion it would be wise to drop the subject for now.” Senator Gregor Casterfel spoke.

“I respect the decision, but I hope we can make a better deal. There are more pressing matters to discuss today.” Edgar replied, trying to mask his annoyance.

The group goes through more monotonous business talk, finishing the conference an hour later. Edgar heads to his office with Charon in tow, glad to be out of there. Edgar opens his alcohol cabinet and grabs a bottle with a fancy mustachioed man’s face on it, pouring himself a nice glass.

“Would you like any?” Edgar offered Charon, as he takes a sip.

“No thank you, sir.” Charon replied.

Edgar looks at a portrait of his father, who he knows would be proud to see his success. He was why he got into the entrepreneur business in the first place. Edgar then opens a drawer containing old superhero comics and memorabilia from his youth. This indicates he’s always had a fascination with superheroes and this position was a lifelong dream of his. But he looks out a window in a similar way to Mermaid Man, wondering if it’s worth the many moral sacrifices he’s had to make.

The IJLSA members are shown in their own meeting room, discussing their recent victories and events, along with speculating where evil may strike next. A large holo map of the sea world is shown on screen, with dotted green lights indicating areas they successfully saved and red lights indicating alerts.

“Miss Appear, excellent work on stopping The Moth’s scheme in Bass Vegas. That pesky bug may have had the lights, but you have the spotlight.” Homesurfer congratulated, flattering Miss Appear.

“I didn’t break a sweat. It’s satisfying helping people and seeing my name everywhere as a result.” Miss Appear said, unsure which part she preferred more.

“Emerald Enchantress and Blue Arrow, you did good together stopping Sinister Slug’s heist in Rock Bottom. Arrow, your aim was on point as usual, and Emerald, you put on quite a show.” Homesurfer said, as Blue Arrow rolls his eyes at the pun, while Emerald Enchantress laughs.

“Oh, I’d love to give an encore, darling!” Emerald Enchantress replied.

“You should’ve been a comedian instead of a hero.” Blue Arrow joked.

“Last but certainly not least, Riptide Rider, we worked well together saving that falling bus. Overall, great week of heroic deeds, team. As usual, keep up the good work. Alright, now does somebody want to take the floor?” Homesurfer asked, as Riptide Rider raises his hand.

“There’s a situation I’d like to address. I’ve been hearing through the biker community that the Brothers of Anarchy are up to something in Night City. I’d like to go investigate alone if I have approval. If it’s bigger than we think I’ll alert you.” Riptide Rider explained.

The Brothers of Anarchy are a notorious biker gang, originally active in the city of Giladelphia, but a defeat a few years back moved their operations to the seedy Night City. Night City is a famous city located in the state of Shell Jersey known for attracting many shady figures.

“You know you don’t need to ask us, cowboy rider.” Homesurfer replied, laughing and giving him the go, as does the rest of the team.

“If there’s any member we trust to do solo work, it’s you. I get so nervous trying to tackle bad guys alone, I don’t know how you’re calm about it.” Miss Appear said.

“Believing in the road ahead and breezing air makes it easer.” Riptide Rider said, giving her words of wisdom.

“My turn. I know this has been on our minds: How about the other day with Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy? It was almost sad to see them fail to beat Dirty Bubble. It’s like seeing your childhood celebrities at their lowest point.” Blue Arrow said pitifully.

“I thought they were holding back at first.” Emerald Enchantress replied.

Miss Appear is uncomfortable with this topic, recalling how she wanted their autographs but forgot to ask after they defeated Dirty Bubble. She felt as if she disrespected two legends.

“They heard the call and wanted to help in their own way. They tried and weren’t trying to undermine our work, it’s the thought that counts.” Miss Appear added, standing up for them.

“Miss Appear is correct. Let’s not drag them through the mud, their names deserve more respect. They’re old and obviously not as strong as they used to be. But without them, IJLSA wouldn’t be here today, none of us would. I’m sure they’ve accepted the sea is safe with us now.” Homesurfer said respectfully.

“My apologies, I meant no disrespect. I just wanted to check if they were doing okay.” Blue Arrow replied, as they move on to talking about other events.

“If we have nothing else to talk about, then this meeting is dismissed.” Homesurfer concluded.

Homesurfer stares out the window similarly to how Edgar and Mermaid Man did, thinking about what he said. Blue Arrow does target practice with the map. Emerald Enchantress does magic tricks to entertain herself. Miss Appear continues looking at news stories about her victory, but still feeling guilt. Riptide Rider heads off to investigate Night City.

The Moth is seen flying in the outskirts of Bikini Bottom, heading for an Every Villain Is Lemons, commonly abbreviated as EVIL, meeting. He’s in bad shape due to Miss Appear thwarting his latest scheme. He, along with other members of the old guard, had begun to question their worth as villains in today’s time. Most of their schemes were essentially old cliches you’d see in a Saturday morning cartoon. What are they even doing anymore? How did any of their so-called plots help with world domination in any way? He wondered if it’s time he pulled an Atomic Flounder and retired from villainy since he’s getting up there in age. As he continues his existential crisis, he feels a chilly breeze in the air. He looks around, wondering if someone is following.

“Who’s there? Miss Appear, have you come to humiliate me again?” The Moth asked nervously.

Silence. He assumes it’s nothing, so he carefully flies toward the meeting. Suddenly, he’s struck down by a sudden ice blast. His wings are frozen solid, rendering him unable to fly. He fires his laser gun at his unseen enemy, but misses. Another ice beam knocks the laser gun out of his hands, rendering it useless. Frostiles walks forward, and The Moth looks up in fear.

“…Who are you?” The Moth asked, knowing he’s doomed.

“The reaper.” Frostiles ominously spoke, a dark ice breath exhaling from his mouth, which makes The Moth suffocate to death.

Frostiles clips The Moth’s frozen wings off with his blade, taking them as trophies for proof of demise. He then walks toward the EVIL conference, seeing it as the perfect location to announce his presence to the villain underworld. The Moth’s lifeless body is left behind, rotting away like a pest.

The EVIL conference is shown to be happening inside an inconspicuous abandoned factory. The dimly lit meeting room acts as a dark mirror of the IJLSA’s. The attendees are: Man Ray, Dirty Bubble, Jumbo Shrimp, Sinister Slug, Kelp Thing, Magneticus, Poison Algae and Hydro Blob; the last three being newer villains. Magneticus wears dark blue armor and can manipulate metal. Poison Algae has black algae covering her body and could control plant life. Hydro Blob is a mutant blob of water that can take many forms. The three of them felt at odds with the elder EVIL leadership and out of place.

“Where’s Moth?” Sinister Slug asked, noticing his empty seat.

“His wings must be functioning at low capacity after Miss Appear’s beating.” Kelp Thing joked.

“Alright, it’s time to call this EVIL meeting to order. Let’s start with some tough love: You all suck as villains! I cannot believe how bad you are at this, I’m not feeling the commitment! Dirty Bubble, you literally had a shield and yet they still popped you!” Man Ray ranted, disappointed by everyone.

“I’m sorry, the shield was no match for Homesurfer. But…I did discover something interesting during that stunt. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy came out of their shells to try to stop me, and failed miserably! I should’ve caught it on video for you guys, it was hilariously embarrassing. But part of me almost felt sorry for the coots.” Dirty Bubble explained.

“Becoming washed up celebrities that everyone forgets about…I’d never wish that fate on even my worst foes.” Man Ray said solemnly.

“I’d rather be fighting them than the current heroes, it ain’t the same.” Jumbo Shrimp lamented, oddly missing the duo.

“Here here. There’s so many new heroes appearing everywhere, the market’s become over-saturated.” Sinister Slug replied, sharing the sentiment.

“The problem is we need more new blood in the sea’s villain gallery. Notice how newer villains such as I put up a stronger fight compared to you geezers.” Magneticus pompously boasted, which the old guard is offended by.

“Hey, respect your elders!” Dirty Bubble replied annoyed.

“I believe the bigger issue is the lack of female representation at EVIL.” Poison Algae scoffed, disliking how she’s the only woman here.

“Whoa there lady, let’s not get political.” Jumbo Shrimp warned.

“What’s political about that?” Poison Algae asked, about to fight him, but Man Ray intervenes.

“Let’s be smart and bring it off. This division is what the IJLSA wants!” Man Ray said.

Hydro Blob makes bubbling sounds, unable to speak, but seemingly agreeing.

“I can’t believe my movie bombed…” Kelp Thing said, changing the subject.

“That’s because nobody cares about you and they chose a terrible actor!” Dirty Bubble replied, to which Kelp Thing can’t disagree as the villains laugh at his expense.

“Now then, let’s get back on topic. In case you didn’t know, I am planning to open my own amusement park that will put Glove World to shame: Man Ray Land! I believe this would be a great business opportunity for all of us.” Man Ray said, showing blueprints and pointing to a model of it on the table.

“Yes, you have mentioned it many times.” Poison Algae snarked, implying this is a regular topic at their meetings.

The villains suddenly feel the room abruptly get colder.

“Who turned on the AC?” Sinister Slug asked, shivering.

Man Ray is about to investigate, when Frostiles casually walks into the room, confusing everyone.

“Who the heck are you?” Dirty Bubble asked.

“Call me Frostiles.” Frostiles introduced, dark ice breath exhaling from his mouth, creeping everyone out.

“I, uh, don’t see you on the member list. Would you like to register?” Man Ray asked, flipping through the list.

“Never heard of ya. You new in town?” Jumbo Shrimp asked.

“Now this is the type new blood I was talking about, although ice powers aren’t anything special.” Magneticus said, willing to give him a chance.

“You would find that ice is quite an under appreciated element. I have a gift to present EVIL.” Frostiles replied.

“Oh, you shouldn’t have!” Man Ray said, flattered.

Frostiles places The Moth’s frozen wings on the table. It takes the villains a few delayed moments to realize what became of The Moth, disgusting and scaring them.

“…Are you another new hero!?” Kelp Thing asked terrified.

“I’ve never known heroes to be killers!” Sinister Slug panicked.

“I’m neither a hero nor villain. I’m my own being who is going to bring order to this world by eliminating both sides.” Frostiles decreed, shooting ice everywhere at the villains.

The villains give a few half-hearted attacks in response, but are too scared to properly fight, so they run for it.

“That’s it, I quit! I’m going off to open Man Ray Land, toodles!” Man Ray said, running away from the factory as fast as possible.

Frostiles continues shooting ice around, destroying the meeting room. He did not care his prey fled since he enjoys the hunt. He only came here to announce himself and strike fear into their hearts. During the attack, some of Magneticus’s armor shattered off. Frostiles picks up the piece and smiles, getting an idea for the next stage of his plan. He disappears into a cloud of snow, leaving the factory a wreck in his wake.

At Shady Shoals, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are watching television together in the living room. Barnacle Boy flips through channels, coming across a news report talking about how the superhero military bill will be reevaluated. Mermaid Man is offended upon learning this, since it goes against his vision for the IJLSA’s original intent. He wanted superheroes to be free of police and military oversight, knowing they’d clash.

“How dare Edgar, he promised to respect my vision! I have half a mind to march down there and give that whippersnapper a piece of my mind! Never trust a businessman!” Mermaid Man ranted angrily, trying to get up, but Barnacle Boy stops him.

“Don’t, you know there’s no fighting it. We signed the contract.” Barnacle Boy reminded.

Mermaid Man sits back down and sighs, knowing he’s right. He then reminisces back to the day that gave him the idea for the IJLSA…

Long ago, the city of Giladelphia is shown, located in the state of Conchsylvania. A massive heist was just pulled off at an art museum. Police boats surround the museum and adjacent areas investigating the scene. The thieves made a getaway in an unmarked van, with the stolen art in the back. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy arrive at the scene, as most of the police give nasty looks.

“Rest assured officers, we’ll help apprehend these antsy art thieves!” Mermaid Man vowed, wanting to work together.

“We don’t need your help. Step aside, let the real adults handle it.” The police captain replied dismissively, who’s on the phone talking with the commissioner on how to handle the situation.

The police don’t trust the duo, seeing them as reckless vigilantes, and refusing to let them in the museum.

“While you’re busy touring the museum’s nice sights, those thieves are likely already out of the city by now!” Barnacle Boy argued, as the duo heads off to search the city.

A sympathetic officer approaches the duo before they go.

“I feel for ya. “Bureaucratic” tape at its finest. This may help in finding them.” The officer said, handing the duo a grainy photo of the getaway van, taken from a security camera.

“Thanks officer. What’s your name?” Mermaid Man asked.

“Clay.” Clay replied, shaking the heroes’ hands. “Good luck.”

The duo fly over police barricades, scouring the city. The van speeds down the streets. Mermaid Man throws a water ball at the wheels, making it swerve and crash. The thieves grab what artwork they can and run for it. Barnacle Boy stops one of them in their tracks, punching him in the face and safely grabbing the artwork. Mermaid Man makes two others dizzy with his whirlpool. The duo apprehend the remaining thieves with ease through flashy actions. They bring the artwork and captured thieves back to the museum, baffling the police. The duo are hailed as heroes for saving the day. Clay is proud they get the credit instead of Giadelphia PD. This day inspired Mermaid Man to invent the IJLSA so heroes had freedom from corrupt law enforcement.

Mermaid Man laments how his vision is no longer respected. Perhaps Homesurfer was right they needed to let the times move on without them. He’s about to head back to his room and sulk in VHS tapes again when he sees several photos at the reception wall, taking note of a particular one. This photo shows SpongeBob and Patrick playing bingo with the duo, posing for a group shot. He thinks back to how they inspired them to never give up. He remembers when they first met SpongeBob and Patrick all those years ago…

"What do you want?” Barnacle Boy asked annoyed to the two.

“Are you Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy?” SpongeBob asked.

Well, we used to be. But now we're retired.” Barnacle Boy replied, making SpongeBob and Patrick gasp.

“But you can't retire! There's evil afoot!” SpongeBob insisted.

This encounter inspired the two to fight evil again for a brief time. Had it not been for those two, they wouldn’t have thought back on their heroic deeds to begin with and remained mindless drones in a retirement home.

“I know how to get our spark back! To the pineapple, away!” Mermaid Man said, perplexing Barnacle Boy.

They arrive at Conch Street, getting out of the Invisible Boatmobile and seeing the three unique houses side by side. Squidward is outside his house trying to paint. 

“Hi there. Is SpongeBob home?” Barnacle Boy asked Squidward, annoying him.

“I’d be surprised if he wasn’t, big nose.” Squidward snarked, making Barnacle Boy sigh remembering this insult.

“Sonny, do you respect us as heroes?” Mermaid Man asked curiously.

“I don’t care about superheroes. I hate how the genre has destroyed true cinema!” Squidward ranted, angrily painting.

The duo awkwardly walk away, not wanting to be involved. They knock on SpongeBob’s door, who answers and is ecstatic to see them.

“Wow, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy at my front door without needing the Conch Signal! What brings you here?” SpongeBob asked, honored.

“Lad, do you think we’re useless?” Mermaid Man directly asked SpongeBob.

“Of course not! You two have helped inspire and improve so many people’s lives, including mine! Superheroes wouldn’t be thriving today without you.” SpongeBob replied optimistically.

“Unfortunately others think otherwise. We uh, didn’t put up the best show against Dirty Bubble the other day and Ernie’s been taking it real hard.” Barnacle Boy explained, using Mermaid Man’s real name for pathos.

“Every hero has their lowest point before they get back up and keep fighting! Your prime strength is still within you, you just need to get back into shape to unleash it!” SpongeBob encouraged, which resonates with Mermaid Man.

“But how do we do that?” Mermaid Man asked, feeling their flabby arms.

“Sandy is a karate master, maybe she can help?” SpongeBob suggested.

“That’s a great idea!” Mermaid Man replied.

Patrick approaches, seemingly not recognizing his heroes.

“Oh, nice Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy costumes.” Patrick said.

“And I thought our memories were getting bad.” Barnacle Boy joked to Mermaid Man, as they let out hearty laughs.

The duo visit Sandy's tree dome. She has lemonade sitting on her picnic table for the two, which they enjoy drinking.

“It’s an honor to have y’all visit me. I can’t even remember the last time we spoke.” Sandy said, unsure how to start the conversation.

“No problem, I know it’s been a while, lass. You were a worthy Miss Appear!” Mermaid Man replied.

“Aw shucks. I’m proud of how Anne’s continued the Miss Appear mantle. The successor pickings were tough but I’m glad we made the right choice.” Sandy thought.

“Yeah, she seems like a nice girl. We’re here because Mermaid Man is feeling worthless and weak as a hero I am too, to a degree. We couldn’t even beat Dirty Bubble.” Barnacle Boy explained.

“It sounds like y’all need a trainer to whip you into shape. You may be old, but I don’t think anyone’s untrainable with the right intuition. I’ve put up with SpongeBob, after all. I’ll do it.” Sandy agreed.

“Sounds like a deal! When do we start?” Barnacle Boy asked.

“Today!” Sandy replied, getting her training gear ready.

The trio enter the Mermalair from the secret couch and look around at the caves. All of their tech looks dusty and old since they haven’t been down here in years. They felt this is the perfect training spot to get into the spirit. Sandy sets up her training equipment and begins instructing the two, getting them started with simple punching bags.

Meanwhile, Riptide Rider is seen riding down a long highway, as Night City appears closer. He’s been on the road for a while, exhausted. He feels a chill in the air, similar to what The Moth felt earlier. Something did not feel right, so he makes his bike slowly come to a stop. He looks around at his surroundings carefully, wondering if an enemy followed him. Before he continues, he quickly swerves his bike, avoiding an ice blast that barely misses. Frostiles reveals himself and shoots several ice spikes. Riptide Rider tries to outrun them, but the spikes hit his tires. He goes flying off and sliding onto the road. Frostiles crushes what remains of the bike with ice spears. He tries to throw oil but slips on ice. Frostiles picks him up and impales the ice blade through Riptide Rider, who boldly accept his fate in his final moments.

“The IJLSA…will come for you.” Riptide Rider warned.

Frostiles smiles, because that’s his intent. He wants IJLSA to overreact in response seeking justice, harming their reputations. He drops Riptide Rider to the road, the life fading from his eyes. Frostiles successfully killed a member of the IJLSA. He knew this would cripple society’s morale and hope in heroes when it learns they’re not invincible. He plants the broken part of Magneticus’s armor at the scene, framing him. A tense close up on the piece of metal, with Frostiles heard marching off and disappearing into a snow cloud.

Notes/Trivia:

-Character Debuts: Charon, Gregor Casterfel, Magneticus, Poison Algae and Hydro Blob

-Deaths: The Moth and Riptide Rider

-Flashback Timeline: Many years before the events of the miniseries

-Magneticus and Hydro Blob are reinterpreted versions of Magnet Man and Water Guy from Mermaid Man: Brave and the Bold.

-Lighthouse Lass from the SpongeBob comics is referenced.

-The Ocean Protection Force from Storm Racers is mentioned.

-Clay from Most Wanted appears in the flashback.

-Irving from Most Wanted makes a cameo on Edgar’s alcohol bottle.

-The Brothers of Anarchy from Most Wanted are mentioned.

-Senator Gregor Casterfel is a descendant of Randolph Casterfel from Pirate Legends.

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Chapter Three: Night Crusaders

The scene shows a wide pan shot of the highway leading toward Night City; the buildings blends in with the night sky. A truck casually enters the view, driving down the highway as the driver listens to a catchy song. The headlights shine upon an eerie sight in the distance, as the driver looks closer, wondering what it is. He comes to a horrified, screeching halt when he sees Riptide Rider’s dead body and destroyed bike. He immediately calls the police who arrive at the scene. Upon realizing the victim’s an IJLSA member, they get in touch with Edgar. Edgar is sitting his office doing paperwork, his chair resembling that of the former Chief’s. He receives an emergency phone call from Night City PD, which he answers with haste.

“Hello, this is IJLSA CEO Edgar Volk speaking. What’s the emergency?” Edgar asked.

“I’m not sure the best way to say this but…” The officer began speaking.

We don't hear the rest of the conversation, but the more Edgar hears, his look quickly turns grim and carefully puts the phone down. He takes off his glasses, thinking the best way to approach this. He never thought this day would come. This is the IJLSA’s worst nightmare.

Edgar has called for an emergency meeting with the team. Charon and him stand before the team in their meeting room. They quietly wonder what’s going on. Edgar adjusts his tie, looking out the mirror at the night sky, hoping he worded this well enough. He then turns to face the table.

“There’s no easy way for me to tell you this, but it would be rude of me to withhold the information. I just received a report that…Riptide Rider was found dead on his way to Night City, presumably ambushed. I’m truly sorry for our loss.” Edgar announced.

The team is unable to properly respond at first, and then, their facial expressions convey all sorts of emotions: anger, despair and confusion. They never considered the possibility this day would come since they thought they were invincible. Now they’ve learned otherwise.

“No, he can’t be gone…” Miss Appear was the first to speak, trying to hold back tears.

“I’m gonna miss him so much. He was too good for this world.” Blue Arrow lamented.

“To think if one of us had been there with him, he could still be alive…” Emerald Enchantress said, feeling guilty.

“Don’t put that burden on yourself, we assumed he was fine riding solo and had no reason to doubt it this time.” Blue Arrow replied, comforting her.

Homesurfer doesn’t say a word as they continue to debate and vent their grief. He then breaks the room’s chatter with a speech he had been reciting in his mind, hoping it works.

“May I have your attention? It’s easy to let this tragedy bring your spirits down. I’m heartbroken too. He was like the brother I never had and our powers together could make an unstoppable force. But we must keep fighting, for it’s what he would’ve wanted. A hero may have fallen, but we’re getting back up in his place and will avenge his memory. His spirit still lives on in us. The IJLSA as an idea will always live on regardless of who’s on the team. We’ll bring whoever is responsible to justice through the proper means, we won’t let revenge consume us. This is how Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy would want us to respond.” Homesurfer spoke, motivating everyone in the room and earning him a round of applause. He invoked Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s names for extra pathos.

“Spoken like a true leader.” Edgar replied, proud.

“Thanks Homesurfer, I already feel somewhat better!” Emerald Enchantress replied eagerly.

“But…who could’ve done this?” Blue Arrow asked, refusing to believe any of their regular villains are capable.

“That we’re currently uncertain. I want you to go there and investigate, perhaps there’ll be a clue.” Edgar ordered.

“Most of our enemies are dastardly, but I can’t see them being killers. I believe whoever’s responsible could be new.” Miss Appear theorized.

“It’s also possible one of them got overly ambitious and offed an IJLSA member to up their cred, who knows.” Blue Arrow shrugged, open to any possibility.

“Let’s examine the scene before speculating. Should we inform the public?” Homesurfer asked Edgar.

“Not yet, it would hurt morale and risk interference. Night City PD has already promised their silence. If anyone asks, say Riptide Rider’s on an undercover mission and revealing the details would undermine it.” Edgar replied.

Homesurfer is unsure how to feel about this, because he believes every citizen should help them in wanting justice. However, he understands the sensitivity of the case and why it’s best kept under wraps for now.

“Fair point, we’ll keep our lips sealed for now.” Homesurfer agreed.

“The best performances are the ones your audience doesn’t see coming.” Emerald Enchantress added, subtly preparing herself to get even with whoever’s responsible.

“You know it!” Miss Appear agreed, ready to give the perpetrator a righteous beating.

“Alright team, we’re heading out. From now on, we stick together for every mission, no exceptions.” Homesurfer commanded, not wanting them to suffer Riptide Rider’s fate, which they understand.

The team leaves with haste. Edgar and Charon remain in the room, contemplating.

“Do you trust they won’t irrationally lash out?” Charon asked Edgar.

“I’d hope this meeting reigned their emotions in. It’s Homesurfer’s response I worry about.” Edger said cautiously, who secretly feared his power and influence if left unchecked.

The IJLSA arrive at the highway scene, which has been barricaded off by the police and labeled an active crime scene. Any ice Frostiles attacked with has long since melted. Riptide Rider’s body is in the back of an ambulance boat, covered by a blanket. The team looks at it morbidly, then taking a moment to pay respects to their fallen comrade.

“I’m sorry for your loss. It appears a sharp object was his fatal blow. Maybe a blade, but I can’t say for certain.” The coroner explained to the heroes.

“Thank you for your service. We’ll see what we can find.” Homesurfer said to the police and paramedics.

The team carefully examines the scene, checking the damaged motorcycle for any potential clues. Homesurfer then curiously looks at evidence marker #3 laying near the bike. The item is Magneticus’s metal armor piece that Frostiles left behind,.

“What’s this?” Homesurfer asked an officer, picking it up and analyzing it with his enhanced vision.

“We assumed it came off the bike.” The officer replied.

“That’s not from his bike. This appears to be from Magneticus’s armor, correct?” Homesurfer realized, showing it to the team.

“It is. He’s still new to the underworld and could’ve seized an opportunity to become infamous.” Blue Arrow hypothesized.

“I’m honestly not quite sure, they’re missing a clear link. I don’t think Riptide Rider and him ever fought one on one, why would he target him specifically?” Miss Appear doubted.

“Sometimes there’s no clear “why” in these monsters’ motivations.” Homesurfer countered.

“I’ve heard Magneticus is quite pompous and tired of the old villain guard. Arrow could be right, he decided to take initiative and do something drastic for attention. He controls metal, so he could’ve used any sharp metal object to…” Emerald Enchantress worked out, horrified by the thought.

This was enough proof to confirm their theory. As far as they knew, Magneticus is their culprit, which is exactly what Frostiles wanted.

“Riptide Rider said he was going to investigate the Brothers of Anarchy, and Magneticus frequents Night City. Maybe they’re working together and he saw something he shouldn’t have seen.” Blue Arrow suggested.

“I don’t see any other bike marks, but they could be in on it. We’ll question every biker we find. Still, this is a strong lead.” Homesurfer replied.

The police put out a wanted alert for Magneticus. IJLSA head for Night City, preparing to tear the entire place apart to get answers and find Magneticus.

Meanwhile, happening earlier in the day, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy continue training with Sandy in the Mermalair. The duo punch at the training bags several times, but grow tired fast. Mermaid Man struggles to keep his place, using his cane to help him stand.

“Sorry squirrel, I don’t move like I used to…” Mermaid Man said, exhausted.

“Can we get another glass of lemonade?” Barnacle Boy asked, already beat, disappointing Sandy.

“Come on y’all! I know you’re old but my grandpa can put up a better fight than this sorry display!” Sandy said encouraged, trying to motivate them.

Barnacle Boy keeps punching and reminisces back to several old memories about his surface life to motivate him. He has brief flashes of his childhood, showing his parents and being inspired by his father to become a sailor. He then recalls the day he first met Mermaid Man, showing him scrubbing barnacles off a boat’s bottom until he accidentally falls into the water. He begins to drown until Mermaid Man saves him and gives him the ability to breathe underwater. This day bonded the two together forever and started his heroic path. With this motivation, Barnacle Boy successfully delivers two powerful punches at the bag, sending it swinging around. Sandy and Mermaid Man both look at him impressed.

“I still got the magic punch. What’s that about your grandpa?” Barnacle Boy flexed.

“Now let’s see you do it, Mermaid Man. I know you can.” Sandy ordered him.

Mermaid Man takes a few moments to breathe in and out, relaxing himself. He swings his left fist, weakly striking the bag, but it doesn’t move at all. He then switches his cane to the left arm and tries to punch with his right fist, with the same result. He steps back, feels his back break and falls to the ground, dropping his cane. Barnacle Boy and Sandy step in to help him, but he gives a hand gesture to assure them he’s fine.

“Don’t worry, I can do this…” Mermaid Man reassured, struggling to get up.

“Are you sure? I’m not feeling the passion.” Sandy said both concerned and motivationally.

“Get up. You can do this, Ernie. You never gave up on me when I was down.” Barnacle Boy encouraged.

These words resonate with Mermaid Man, who reminisces to the day he nearly drowned just like Barnacle Boy, but was saved by mermaids who gave him these powers. He then thinks back to the day he allowed Edgar to buy the IJLSA, a vision that starts off happy but becomes bitter and angrier when he thinks about the superhero military bill. Feeling his vision has been disrespected by Edgar, Mermaid Man is now more than ever before motivated to fight again. Mermaid Man reaches for his cane and triumphantly stands up with it, surprising Barnacle Boy and Sandy. Mermaid Man walks forward, step by step using his cane. He then delivers a powerful water fist strike against the punching bag, knocking it off the handle and onto the floor. Sandy and Barnacle Boy are impressed.

“You crazy old coot, I knew you could do it!” Barnacle Boy said proudly, giving Mermaid Man a light pat on his back.

“Thanks pals, I needed the proper moderation…or is it motivation?” Mermaid Man said absentmindedly, chuckling.

“I’m glad we’re makin’ progress. I knew the power still rages like a fierce whirlpool inside y’all. But there’s still more work to do.” Sandy said, giving them time to prepare before they move on.

A montage passes showing them doing more training exercises such as: weight lifting, obstacle courses using the Mermalair’s features, target practice and pole balancing, The target practice in particular helped the duo with their water attacks and sulfur vision respectively. After that, Sandy knows the two have had enough for the day and looks at the time, realizing it's getting late.

“Alright, that’s enough for the day, you deserve a comfy nap. Rocky start, but you came back swingin’. We’ll continue tomorrow, preferably around noon if that works for your schedules.” Sandy said, packing her equipment.

“Yep, assuming we don’t accidentally doze off…” Mermaid Man replied sleepily, and Barnacle Boy stops him from dozing off with a slap.

“Thank you so much, Master Cheeks. We look forward to further training.” Barnacle Boy said, honored, and they head back up.

Sandy departs Shady Shoals, proud of their progress. As the duo head for their rooms, they hear a breaking news report on the living room television.

“This just in, we’ve heard reports that the IJLSA has been spotted in Night City roughing up the Brothers of Anarchy. We’re unsure what has caused this but we’re sure the bikers are up to good and deserve it. We’ll keep you updated.” The reporter spoke.

“What’s going on there?” Barnacle Boy wondered.

“Night City eh…haven’t been there in a long time.” Mermaid Man said, dazing off.

Mermaid Man reminisces back to when the IJLSA saved Night City in one of their earliest missions together…

Night City is shown in the past, smaller than it appears in the present. Civilians and boats pass through the streets, going about their business on a normal day. Suddenly, Jumbo Shrimp jumps off of a roof and lands on top of a truck, making the driver come to a stop and shocking civilians around. He’s new to the villain scene and Night City has a reputation of being the perfect spot for new villains to make their mark, an image that'd stick in the present.

“Hello Night City, allow me to introduce myself: I’m the Jumbo Shrimp, and I’m going to conquer you puny shrimps!” Jumbo Shrimp boasted.

He picks up the truck with his super strength, as the driver jumps out of the driver’s seat in a panic. He then tosses the truck right at the casino, destroying the entrance and rendering the security unconscious. Several civilians nearby make a run for it. Jumbo Shrimp walks toward casino, laughing to himself about how easy this will be.

“Halt, evil doer!” Mermaid Man’s voice cried out, confusing Jumbo Shrimp.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy were called for help, shown standing on top of the casino. They jump down in front of the villain, alongside several allies: The Quickster, Captain Magma, Elastic Waistband and Miss Appear, the original members of the IJLSA. Flashy intros are shown for each member.

“The Quickster... with the uncanny ability to run really... quick!” The Narrator spoke.

“Wanna see me run across the world in a split second twice?” The Quickster asked.

Captain Magma... get him angry and he's bound to erupt!” The Narrator continued.

“Krakatoa!” Captain Magma yelled, lava shooting out of his volcano hat.

“The Elastic Waistband... able to stretch his body into fantastic shapes and forms!” The Narrator continued.

“I’m a giraffe!” Elastic Waistband said, trying his best to stretch into one.

“And Miss Appear... now you see her... now you don’t.” The Narrator continued.

“Bet you didn’t see that coming!” Miss Appear said.

“Together, they form the International Justice League of Super Acquaintances.” The Narrator finished.

“I don’t care how many fancy costumed dorks there are, I’ll pulverize you!” Jumbo Shrimp boasted.

Jumbo Shrimp throws his fist at Miss Appear, who disappears and reappears behind him. She gives him several punches to the face, knocking him back. Before he can respond, The Quickster runs laps around him, making him dizzy. Elastic Waistband stretches into a slingshot using two lamp posts, grabbing Jumbo Shrimp and shooting him into the air. Captain Magma then shoots magma at him, scalding his back. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy fly up and deliver a final blow together, sending Jumbo Shrimp flying into a dump truck. The IJLSA are praised by the city for saving the day, some dubbing them as “Night Crusaders.” Mermaid Man is proud his idea paid off into a great team.

Shifting to Night City in the present, several Brothers of Anarchy members are outside a flashy bar, drinking and acting rowdy. Suddenly, a hooded black and blue superhero emerges from the shadows. This independent hero is known as Dark Ice, who became one to oppose the shark mafia in Bikini Bottom many years ago. He chose the moniker because he tends to operate best during chilly nights. Recently, Dark Ice moved his heroics out of Bikini Bottom and into Night City where he felt he’s needed more. He also wanted to get away from the IJLSA’s influence, not liking how they operate. He grew a network of reliable contacts and was well versed in the goings ons of the city by now.

“Not him again!” One biker complained, about to run.

“I’m not here to quarrel, I want information. The IJLSA is hunting Magneticus and the Brothers. What did you do?” Dark Ice asked them, who had heard from his contact in the Night City PD.

The bikers are bewildered and look at him as if he spoke a foreign language.

“We didn’t do nothing! We’ve never even exchanged more than a word with that magnet guy.” Another biker insisted.

“Well for some reason, the IJLSA thinks you did and they’re tearing this city apart in response. I suggest you sort it out.” Dark Ice suggested, as they hear sirens and superhero action echoing in the distance.

The bikers panic and ride off. Magneticus is seen in his secret lair beneath the casino. He’s experimenting with mechanical gadgets, when the elevator opens to show a female casino employee working for him.

“Uh sir, there’s word upstairs you apparently killed Riptide Rider.” The employee reported.

“What? I’ve never even interacted with the guy.” Magneticus flatly responded.

“There’s also claims you worked with the Brothers of Anarchy and Big Moe is not happy. He’s here to see you.” The employee continued.

Magneticus thinks it over, sensing Frostiles framed him. However, he didn’t want that psychopath to steal the glory. Magneticus lets his ego and narcissism overcome him, seeing potential in this lie. 

“You know what…I did it. I killed Riptide Rider. I’ll handle this.” Magneticus proudly stated, deciding to pompously take credit to boost his reputation.

The employee is confused, but Magneticus heads into the elevator.

In the casino, many seedy and regular characters are enjoying their games. Big Moe and many bikers are looking around angrily for Magneticus. Big Moe is a green lobster who’s the leader of the Brothers of Anarchy, and one of the most feared names in Night City. Magneticus walks down the center path expecting the red carpet treatment.

“I killed Riptide Rider! I’m the hero slayer” Magneticus boldly proclaimed, confusing several casino patrons.

“You idiot! Why did you claim we’re working together!? Now the IJLSA’s going to destroy this city for revenge! My men are being hunted and the cops have raided a stash house, we’re screwed thanks to you!” Big Moe scolded.

“Cool your jets, this is a huge business opportunity for us. Low level thugs like you could use a genius villain to strengthen your capabilities.” Magneticus boasted.

“We ain’t stupid enough to go against supes. We ain’t your puppets neither and if you don’t clear this up, we’ll even the field by offing a villain.” Big Moe threatened, as his bikers show weapons.

Magneticus lifts several slot machines into the air with his powers, hurling them at the bikers. Before Big Moe can attack, several knives float around him, pulled off the bikers. He surrenders.

“Now you’ll do what I say. As a supervillain, I’m going to show you puny bikers how to take over this city for real.” Magneticus decreed.

Knowing they’re no match, Big Moe agrees to lend his bikers to Magneticus’ ridiculous plan. Bikers fill the streets, ready to foolishly fight the IJLSA.

Dark Ice is on a rooftop monitoring the casino, when the IJLSA appear behind him. They followed reluctant leads from bikers to here. He turns around, taking note of how Riptide Rider isn’t present.

“You must be Dark Ice. I’ve heard of your exploits as this city’s night crusader, an impressive resume.” Homesurfer casually greeted.

“What brings you here?” Dark Ice asked.

“We don’t have approval to divulge details yet, sorry, it’s a serious mission.” Emerald Enchantress replied.

“We’d appreciate any help though.” Miss Appear added.

“He’s not a registered ally.” Blue Arrow realized, looking with contempt.

“Easy, perhaps he never got the memo. Would you like to become an official registered ally and aid us?” Homesurfer offered.

“I prefer working alone without mandates, nothing personal. But I’ll share anything I’ve heard from my contacts.” Dark Ice offered, offending Homesurfer who feels now more than ever everyone should help the IJLSA.

“I’m afraid you’re in our way, time’s of the essence.” Homesurfer replied, quickly changing his tune and signaling him to leave.

Miss Appear is uncomfortable with treating another hero this way but knows they have more pressing matters. Not wanting to get into a fight, especially knowing he’d be outmatched, Dark Ice drops it and walks away. He dislikes the egotism, corporatism and celebrity worship surrounding the current iJLSA. He didn’t want to become a registered ally due to the strict regulations and lack of creative freedom it’d bring. This is another way in which Mermaid Man’s original IJLSA vision has been warped. It was never designed to divide heroes on membership status, but unite them. He deduced that Riptide Rider is dead due to his absence and their body language, but doesn’t believe Magneticus is responsible, so he goes off to investigate further.

The IJLSA appear outside the casino, seeing a sharply dressed old man exit.

“Hello true believers!” The elderly man greeted and goes on his way.

The area's immediately swarmed by bikers, as the IJLSA fights through the horde. Some bikers hold out magnet guns Magneticus gave them and fire, shooting particle beams. The heroes take notice of Magneticus on the casino roof, who’s enjoying the chaos.

“Pity what became of your friend, but you’ll join him in the great beyond!” Magneticus threatened.

The heroes are angry, but don’t let his taunts distract them. The bikers and heroes try to avoid incoming boats, which honk and accidentally hit bikers. Homesurfer swims alongside two bikers, laser beaming one and making the engine explode. He avoids a particle blast from the other biker, and knocks them off with a wave, sending the bike smashing into a store window. Emerald Enchantress turns a biker’s wheels into stone, stopping momentum and hurling the biker off into a dumpster. She strikes another biker down with a magic blast. Miss Appear disappears between two incoming bikers, causing them to crash into each other. One of them sneakily tries to get up and attack, but she punches him in the face. Blue Arrow fires explosive arrows, destroying one biker’s engine and striking another’s magnet gun out of their hands. Blue Arrow jumps on and kicks the biker off, commandeering it. He drives the bike near Big Moe, firing arrows, who fires back with his gun. During the fighting, the heroes have also been trying to avoid metal objects Magneticus throws with his powers. A lamp post and mailbox fly toward Blue Arrow, who jumps off the bike just in time. Miss Appear dodges a dumpster with her stealth, and hits an incoming biker.

Magneticus is disappointed by the bikers and levitates himself off the roof. He lifts crashed bikes and hurls them. Homesurfer lasers through some, splitting them in half. Emerald Enchantress levitates them and hurls them back at Magneticus, making him lose control of other objects. Homesurfer rides a wave current right into Magneticus, sending him smashing against the flashing casino sign and electrocuting his armor, disabling it. Homesurfer brutally punches Magneticus in the face several times, but stops himself when he realizes they need him alive. Homesurfer would truly like to kill him right there, but knows against his better judgment not to. Magneticus is captured by the IJLSA to be brought in for questioning. Big Moe and his remaining bikers scram, getting faraway.

“Something about this still doesn’t feel right. He’s too eager to take credit. Are we sure he’s our guy?” Miss Appear questioned.

“You know what they say: If it looks like a duck…” Blue Arrow replied.

Homesurfer’s in deep thought. While the evidence points satisfyingly enough to Magneticus, he does question his capabilities after their battle.

“She’s onto something, I don’t think Magneticus and mere bikers did it without help. This goes deeper than we thought.” Homesurfer theorized, which isn’t what Miss Appear had in mind.

“We need hard facts first. Let’s see how he does in interrogation.” Emerald Enchantress said.

A fleeing biker speeds down the streets, when a spike flattens their wheels. Dark Ice ambushes the biker and hangs them from a lamppost with ire, who spins around nervously.

“Who truly killed Riptide Rider? I know it wasn’t you and Magneticus.” Dark Ice questioned, staring him directly in the face.

“I don’t know, I swear! We only pretended to be his goons since he threatened us! I’ve heard whispers that The Moth apparently got whacked earlier as well, but obviously the media doesn’t care if a villain dies…” The biker confessed.

This revelation only further puzzled Dark Ice. Were The Moth and Riptide Rider killed by the same person? Dark Ice drops the biker and heads off into the night, satisfied with that information for now. He looks out at smoke rising from the city and debris everywhere, realizing this chaos is what the real perpetuator wanted.

The next day, Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Sandy continue training in the Mermalair.

“Let’s try basic combat now.” Sandy instructed, getting into fighting stances.

They practice karate moves with Sandy, who counters their attacks well, but they eventually put up a good fight as time persists. They later take a break, as Barnacle Boy turns on the Mermalair’s central computer screen, surprised to see it still functions. He flips through the channels and comes across Homesurfer holding a surprise press conference.

“Homesurfer, can you tell us about last night’s events in Night City?” The reporter asked.

Homesurfer decided to go against Edgar’s wishes and publicly announce Riptide Rider’s death, unable to resist basking in the glory.

“Yes, I have a major announcement everyone worldwide needs to hear. I’m sure many of you are wondering why Night City was in chaos. It’s a tragedy for me to announce that beloved IJLSA member Riptide Rider was murdered by the villain Magneticus in cold blood, with assistance from the notorious Brothers of Anarchy. He’s thankfully been detained, but our grief does not end there. We fear they had help. Various villains and gangs are plotting to take us out as we speak. We need everyone’s help in preventing this. Together we’ll make sure this never happens again!” Homesurfer declared, as various civilians across different countries see the news, shocked and motivated by his speech.

Edgar is watching on his phone, which Charon also hears.

“Oh dear.” Charon bluntly said, who leaves the room to give him space.

Edgar quietly puts his phone down, not saying anything. He’s unhappy Homesurfer went behind his back and now he’ll have to damage control this situation. This fear-mongering will have serious unintended consequences.

Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Sandy were watching this on the Mermalair screen, shocked. They couldn’t believe an IJLSA member had fallen at the hands of evil. This was the final spark they needed to get back into action. They look to Sandy, who nods.

“You’re ready.” Sandy approved, proud.

The dynamic duo walks over to their weapons library. They’re ready to prove they’re not washed up has beens and can still help the world.

In Nordavia, a flashback is shown to several days prior. Continuing from chapter one’s ending, Frostiles exits the library. The villagers look at him scared, staying out of his way. Frostiles holds several books, the covers now icy due to his touch. He teleports away through a blizzard. Once they realize the coast is clear, a villager rushes to the current elder’s house to report this. He frantically knocks on the door and the elder answers, a man named Leif.

“What’s the problem?” Leif asked.

“Elder Leif, you’ll never believe it but…Frostiles was here. It’s really him.” The villager reported.

“Are you sure?” Leif asked, as the villager takes him outside.

Leif is the descendant of the elder who witnessed the birth of Frostiles. Leif had big shoes to fill, but hoped he made his father proud. Now his leadership skills are about to be put to the test. Frostiles became a boogeyman through the local folklore for decades, though Leif didn’t put much stock he put into the tales. Turns out there’s truth to some legends after all. Leif goes outside, observing the fallen titan statue and seeing the ice which struck its legs. He realizes it’s true, as much as he didn’t want it to be: Frostiles is real and back.

“Don’t panic, I’ll handle it. Tell everyone to lock their house doors and closely watch their children.” Leif ordered to villagers around, who nod in respect of his authority.

Leif goes back inside his house and looks through old belongings his father left behind, finding several old papers. They contain information about four mysterious titans and contacting the IJLSA for help should Frostiles ever return. Leif gets his passport and leaves Nordavia for the first time in his life. A plane leaves Nordavia and heads for Bikini Bottom. Flash forward to the present and the plane has finally landed, with Leif boarding off. Leif exits the airport and begins searching for the IJLSA headquarters.

Notes/Trivia:

-Character Debuts: Leif and Big Moe

-Area Debuts: Night City

-Flashback Timeline: After the first two Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy flashbacks, still years before this miniseries

-Dark Ice from Storm Racers appears.

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Chapter Four: Fun and Games

Reef Cinema is shown, with movie goers inside having a fun time watching films. A showing for Emerald Enchantress in the Multiverse of Wackiness is particularly active, with audience members cheering out at certain cameos. Many in the crowd are wearing Riptide Rider merchandise to honor his memory. As the clapping sounds fade, one last clap keeps going. Audience members look at him annoyed, asking him to stop. The figure then evilly laughs, jumping up and revealing himself to be Kelp Thing. Kelp Thing then holds out a remote, revealing it’s a bomb detonator.

“Hey, that’s the "It’s Kelpin’ Time" guy!” One audience member said absentmindedly.

“Nobody move! I’m Kelp Thing, one of the greatest villains of all time! Somewhere in this theater I’ve planted a bomb and it goes boom the moment I press this nifty button! This is my revenge on you uncultured jerks for not seeing my movie!” Kelp Thing ranted, as the audience gasps in response.

He presses the remote, but nothing happens. The audience laughs at how pathetic he is.

“This is why nobody saw your movie dude!” Another audience member said, making Kelp Thing angry.

The actual bomb is revealed to have been inside a popcorn machine, but someone pulled it out in time and disarmed it. The person is revealed to be Coral Lad, a younger superhero who’s a registered IJLSA ally. He wears a coral outfit with light orange coloring. He’s known for attending many movies and signing autographs for any viewers that happen to catch him.

“That’s enough of your intermission, Kelp Thing! This is for making me work off duty!” Coral Lad cried out.

Before Kelp Thing can run, Coral Lad delivers a comic style punch to his face. Coral Lad then wraps him in a coral net, tripping him to the floor with ease, going down without a fight.

“Starting to think I should’ve opened a park like Man Ray did…” Kelp Thing sighed in defeat.

Coral Lad receives a standing ovation from the audience. He drags Kelp Thing out of the theater as the audience resumes the viewing. They exit Reef Cinema and Coral Lad uses his powers to form a levitating platform of coral. They board it and it makes course for the police station in the distance, when suddenly, they feel a haunting chill in the air. Coral Lad makes the platform come to a stop and carefully looks around.

“What’s the matter? Is your inferior coral out of fuel? This is why kelp is superior!” Kelp Thing boasted, but Coral Lad kicks him in the face.

An ice shard strikes the platform, splitting it apart. Both Coral Lad and Kelp Thing fall to the sand below. A frosty mist fills the area, clouding their vision. Kelp Thing struggles to move, still tied up in the coral net. Coral Lad gets up and using the platform remains, throws coral shaped stars at his attacker through the mist, but they vanish. Coral Lad tries to reach Kelp Thing, when he sees his silhouette being picked up by Frostiles’ silhouette.

“Who’s there!?” Coral Lad called out, his voice muffled due to the harsh cold.

Kelp Thing cries out as Frostiles slices his body in half with his ice sword. Coral Lad looks horrified and tries to throw coral remains at the Frostiles, who brushes them aside with ice beams. Coral Lad charges forward, but Frostiles disappears and reemerges behind.

“Pity your youth was wasted serving a cult.” Frostiles ominously said, who strikes his sword.

Coral Lad counters with a coral sword, but it’s no match for the ice sword and quickly shatters. Frostiles knocks Coral Lad to the ground and freezes him in place. Frostiles approaches Coral Lad with his ice blade, and slashes forward. The scene cuts away so we don't see his fatal blow. Once again, two more super power beings on opposing sides had fallen at the same time. To Frostiles, this was true “balance” and “justice.” He disappears in another snowstorm, leaving Coral Lad and Kelp Thing’s remains behind, standing out in the coral graveyard. A bulletin board is seen nearby promoting the grand opening of Man Ray Land, dubbed “the greatest place in the sea!”

At the IJLSA headquarters, Homesurfer is sitting in Edgar’s office, who's adjusting his suit in preparation for Riptide Rider’s funeral. He had been called in due to his press conference. No words have been spoken between the two yet, but they know how the other is feeling. Homesurfer decides to finally break the silence.

“I know you’re angry I went behind your back. I’m truly sorry for that, I let my aspirations eclipse what’s best business wise. However, I felt it was in everyone’s best interests to know. It would’ve gotten out eventually and sometimes you need to nip something in the bud before it becomes a problem.” Homesurfer spoke, trying to justify his actions.

“I understand your perspective. I would’ve allowed you to address this had it been vetted through me first and given more time to breathe. My main issue with your declaration is it’s going to induce mass hysteria, which is why I wanted to control the information as smoothly and carefully as possible. I can hopefully calm down the press down, but I worry about the rising sentiment this could cause. It could radicalize more villains which is the last thing we want.” Edgar retorted, which Homesurfer does understand.

“I’ll never do this again without your permission. I’ll accept whatever punishment you see fit.” Homesurfer replied, acting humble to make peace.

Edgar is impressed by how maturely Homesurfer has handled this, so he decides to go easy on him.

“It took true maturity and self-reflection for you to admit your faults. You brought in his killer, so the scales balance out. For now, I’ll let you off with a stern warning.” Edgar replied acceptingly, though Homesurfer isn’t sure if there’s a hidden catch to this.

“Thank you sir. Magneticus remains safely in our custody and we’ll interrogate him after the funeral. One more thing: Has there been any discussion with your board about replacing his spot?” Homesurfer wondered.

“Not yet, it would be tasteless to do so at this moment in time. Getting this funeral done is our current priority.” Edgar replied, to which Homesurfer actually agrees.

Edgar, Charon, the IJLSA, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are seen attending Riptide Rider’s outdoors funeral. It’s a major event with many reporters present, including Perch Perkins. Many of Riptide Rider’s friends and family are also present. His parents are grieving the hardest of anyone there. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy look longingly at his coffin, still wondering how this could’ve happened. A reconstruction of his iconic motorbike sits next to the coffin. Edgar and the IJLSA each say speeches honoring Riptide Rider’s memory. Homesurfer goes last, concluding the event with his closing words. As he reaches the end, he stares at the crowd and hesitates for a few moments, feeling a mix of sadness and guilt. He breathes in and out, giving himself the courage to finish.

“He was a great teammate, hero and a true friend. In the end, what else can I say about him that hasn’t already been said? A great void has been left on the team, but nobody can ever truly replace him. As long as the idea of the IJLSA…no, not just us, superheroes as a whole lives on, he’ll never be forgotten. Keep on riding in the great beyond, Ryan.” Homesurfer concluded, using his real name for pathos and earning himself a standing ovation.

The funeral ends, as everyone gets up to pay their respects, talk to each other, or enjoy the food. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy approach the IJLSA and Edgar.

“I’m sorry for your loss. Even though I didn’t know him personally, I know he was a worthy hero. May Neptune bless his soul.” Mermaid Man said, offering condolence and shaking their hands.

Barnacle Boy and a speech therapist helped coach Mermaid Man before going to the funeral so he didn’t embarrass himself. He’s glad it paid off.

“Great work on the speeches. The fact he passed before us coots…what a cruel world.” Barnacle Boy said, trying to bring levity to the atmosphere.

“Hey buddy, leave the morbid jokes to me.” Blue Arrow joked.

“We’re honored by your presence. It means a lot to us. I know it’s been quite some time since we’ve met.” Edgar friendly said to the duo.

Mermaid Man would confront Edgar about his recent business practices but knows this is not the appropriate time or place.

“We’ll always pay our respects to a fallen hero.” Mermaid Man replied.

“It must have been tough for you two to come here given the subject matter. I’m sure you lost several heroes in the line of duty and I deeply apologize if that triggered any PTSD in you.” Homesurfer said.

“Actually no, none of our team members died in battle, they simply passed from natural causes. But thanks for the concern.” Barnacle Boy replied.

Homesurfer doesn’t like being wrong on anything, but doesn’t respond and puts on his smile.

“It’s sweet you grandpas took time out of your retirement schedule to be here with us in our grieving. No hard feelings about last week, you put up a great fight!” Emerald Enchantress said enthusiastically, with the duo unable to tell how sincere she’s being.

“Hey, I’m sorry I didn’t get your autographs last time, but we can do that now if you want.” Miss Appear awkwardly apologized to the duo.

“Sure thing, lass!” Mermaid Man replied.

“Don’t worry about it, we probably forgot you wanted them with our memories.” Barnacle Boy joked.

Miss Appear holds up an Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy comic book for them to sign, surprising the two to see people still care about their work.

“Issue 44, now that’s a classic. Good choice.” Barnacle Boy replied, eagerly signing it.

“Keep that comic in safe condition, I’m pretty sure they don’t sell it anymore.” Mermaid Man noted to her, who’s honored to have their signatures.

“Thank you so much I was a huge fan of the IJLSA and your work growing up.” Miss Appear replied, with touches the two’s hearts given how worthless they felt lately.

“Easy there, don’t fangirl too hard and weird them out.” Blue Arrow joked.

Miss Appear is honored to have their signatures. She feels less guilty now about forgetting their autographs last week and how the IJLSA talked about them behind their backs. Mermaid Man and Miss Appear talk about some of their favorite episodes and comics. Blue Arrow casually strikes up banter with Barnacle Boy, with the two surprisingly getting along. Emerald Enchantress performs magic tricks for attendees, who are impressed. Ryan’s parents then approach Homesurfer, shaking his hand and honored by his presence.

“Thank you for the kind words about our boy. You’re a truly inspirational leader and I’m glad you’re the sea’s champion.” Ryan’s mother said.

“You’re welcome. There’s so much I could’ve kept saying, but sometimes less is more. I could’ve talked about the monster responsible, but he isn’t worth the attention. He remains in our custody.” Homesurfer replied.

“I hope he pays dearly for his crimes. We feared this day could come at any point when fighting evil, but not this soon. He knew the risks but…it still doesn’t feel real that he’s gone. I guess being a hero isn’t all fun and games.” Ryan’s father said grimly.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get nervous at any point. But I suppress that fear and keep fighting, because it’s what Ryan would’ve wanted.” Homesurfer encouraged, moving the parents.

The parents thank Homesurfer again for his words, hugging him. While hugging them, he gives a blank stare, still feeling guilty inside knowing how he’s manipulated their son’s death for his own personal gain. One by one people begin to depart the area. Charon drives Edgar away in the limo. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy get into the Invisible Boatmobile, impatiently waiting in a line of boats trying to leave the area.

“Glad to be out of such a dreary place. You know, Blue Arrow wasn’t too bad once I got to know him.” Barnacle Boy casually said.

“I still don’t know about that Homesurfer fellow, but I’m glad the new Miss Appear believes in us.” Mermaid Man replied, feeling respected again.

“Real smooth of him assume he knows what makes us tick.” Barnacle Boy added.

The IJLSA get inside their Seabreeze Submarine, which flies back to the headquarters. Inside contains several weapons and a command deck. Homesurfer looks out a window at the city below, seeing many citizens wearing Riptide Rider merchandise and protesting for violence towards all villains. Homesurfer now sees what Edgar meant by causing hysteria, but tries to push this aside.

“Who’s ready to question a metallic menace?” Homesurfer asked to the team to get his mind off that.

Magneticus is detained in an interrogation room, devoid of his armor so he can’t use his powers. His wrists are cuffed to a table. He’s visibly annoyed, wondering if this charade is worth it, but wants to toy with the IJLSA for some fun. Two guards are seen outside the room, who open the door for the IJLSA. The four enter, giving Magneticus bitter and nasty facial looks. Magneticus tries not to look at them but has his own annoyed expression. He can tell they’ll attack him at any moment if he pushes their buttons. The team places a Dr. Kelp can on the table, giving him something to drink. Blue Arrow then opens it and sips half the drink out of spite, placing it back on the table.

“Careful, he’ll throw that in your face!” Emerald Enchantress joked, as the two laugh.

“Thanks for your kind patronage.” Magneticus replied sarcastically.

“I’ll break the ice: You have no idea how much everyone outside these walls hates you right now.” Blue Arrow said.

“I’ll sign their autographs when I get out.” Magneticus replied snidely.

“Bold to think you’re leaving here, buster.” Emerald Enchantess replied.

“Answer us honestly and maybe you’ll walk out of this room with functional legs. Did you actually kill Riptide Rider?” Homesurfer inquired.

“Yeah, guilty as charged.” Magneticus taunted.

“Do you think it’s fun and games to mess with us, wise guy?” Homesurfer asked threateningly.

“Yeah.” Magneticus replied, smirking.

Homesurfer walks forward, picks Magneticus up by the neck and stares at him menacingly.

“Easy, we need him alive.” Miss Appear reminded, and Homesurfer lowers him back into his seat.

“My apologies, you’re right. We can’t break the rules no matter how much the person may deserve it. Without rules, we’re no better than animals like him.” Homesurfer said courageously.

“Was anyone else involved?” Blue Arrow asked.

“Only the Brothers of Anarchy and my associates.” Magneticus replied.

“Where exactly did you kill him?” Emerald Enchantress asked suspiciously.

Magneticus hesitates, realizing he didn’t think this far ahead. He’s debating telling them the truth, but his ego refuses to give Frostiles any attention.

“Near Night City. Didn’t know this would be a test.” Magneticus replied, taking a lucky guess.

“How did you kill him?” Miss Appear asked suspiciously.

Magneticus knows he can’t gaslight a response to this question.

“I’ll take a lawyer.” Magneticus replied smugly, wanting to end this interrogation.

“Do we have to respect that request?” Blue Arrow asked.

“I’m afraid it’s the rules.” Emerald Enchantress replied.

“We’ll get you a lawyer, but not without our parting gift.” Homesurfer agreed, showing a smug grin.

Homesurfer locks himself in the room with Magnetic and roughs him up. The three other IJLSA members back away, not looking. Homesurfer casually exits the room, as Magneticus is shown inside with many bruises. He then begins drinking what’s left of the Dr. Kelp.

“So what are we thinking now? For a guy who seemed eager to take credit, he’s acting awfully dodgy about details now.” Blue Arrow said, now having doubts.

“He’s trying to toy with us and muddy the waters.” Homesurfer said, refusing to believe they have the wrong guy in custody.

“I’m split. On one hand, it could be an elaborate mind game, but on the other hand…I sensed he was genuinely clueless in his responses.” Emerald Enchantress replied, unsure.

“I don’t think it’s him, but regardless he’s a criminal so if we can’t prove this, we have a dozen other reasons to put him behind bars.” Miss Appear said.

“I believe he’s allied with someone that he’s afraid to reveal the identity of. But who?” Homesurfer wondered, ironic in how off the mark he is.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy return to Shady Shoals. As they walk through the living room, a commercial comes on the television for Man Ray Land. Pictures of the park appear, but are clearly photoshopped images of Glove World with Man Ray’s face over the logos.

“It is I, the great and powerful Man Ray! I know what you’re thinking: isn’t that the nefarious supervillain who’s the arch nemesis of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy? I was, but I promise you, I’m not that guy anymore! I’ve turned over a new leaf and become a kind benevolent theme park owner! Come on down to Man Ray Land today, the greatest place in the sea!” Man Ray said on the commercial, who’s wearing a ringmaster outfit.

“That’s a money laundering scheme.” Barnacle Boy said.

“Yep, there’s EVIL afoot at that so-called park! This is the perfect chance for us to get back in action!” Mermaid Man said eagerly.

Mermaid Man reminisces to the day they first met Man Ray…

A past version of Bikini Bottom is shown, panning to downtown. Citizens are walking around the developing city, as the Sea Needle is seen under construction in the distance. Suddenly, Man Ray flies in with two drones and holding his laser gun, firing his laser gun rapidly everywhere, as civilians panic.

“Mwa ha ha, bow to your new overlord, Bikini Bottom! I’m the great and powerful Man Ray!” Man Ray boasted, caring his name into a building with his laser gun.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy both appear in the street, getting civilians to safety.

“Who are you fools supposed to be?” Man Ray asked, noticing them.

“I’m Mermaid Man and that’s my young ward, Barnacle Boy. We’re the defenders of the deep who are going to stop you, fiend!” Mermaid Man boasted.

Mermaid Man sends a raging whirlpool, knocking Man Ray down and wrecks one of the drones. Barnacle Boy destroys the other drone with his sulfur vision.

“Not bad for bloated costume wearing bottom feeders, but this isn’t over!” Man Ray boasted.

Man Ray flies away and sees the under construction Sea Needle in the distance.

“What a waste of construction! I’ll turn this skyscraper into my evil domicile!” Man Ray boasted, flying to it.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy give chase, climbing up the unfinished Sea Needle and trying not to disrupt the construction. Man Ray fires lasers at them, as one strikes a platform Barnacle Boy is walking on. He nearly falls, but Mermaid Man helps him to safety.

“Thanks, partner.” Barnacle Boy said.

The duo fly up, as Barnacle Boy distracts Man Ray, making him fire laser, but it misses. Mermaid Man throws the Mermarang right to his face, making him drop the laser gun below. The duo then strike with a double whirlpool attack, sending Man Ray flying off the Sea Needle and landing on a construction crane below.

“Ow.” Man Ray moaned, and is apprehended by police.

The duo are hailed as heroes. Man Ray gives them an annoyed look as he’s being taken away.

“You have made a powerful enemy, mark my words! I’ll free myself from these shackles and get my revenge!” Man Ray vowed, furiously ranting to the duo.

“Yeah yeah.” A cop said, putting him in the back of his car and driving off.

The duo continue to receive standing ovations from the city.

Mermaid Man thinks fighting their original villain will be a great way to show they're still heroes. Barnacle Boy knows what he’s thinking and agrees, since they know the IJLSA will be busy interrogating Magneticus. Maybe they could get info out of him about this supposed villain uprising Homesurfer talked about. They first get their necessary weapons from the Mermalair and then get into the Invisible Boatmobile, driving off to Man Ray Land.

The duo reach the entrance to Man Ray Land, which has been built over the former Industrial Park. They look up at a large, pompous neon flashing sign, showing Man Ray in his ringmaster outfit. Around them are shoddily designed “rides”, cheap food stands and poorly made carnival games. Several electric lights burn out and fall down near the two. Remnants of radioactive waste from the Industrial Park can also be seen in certain ground spots.

“Well it’s about what I’d expect from Man Ray.” Barnacle Boy deadpanned.

Meanwhile, Leif gets out of a taxi and approaches the IJLSA headquarters. He appears inside the heroes’ meeting room, who had requested an emergency audience with them.

“It’s an honor to be here with you legendary warriors. I’m Leif, elder of the Frostheim village in Nordavia.” Leif introduced.

“Never been to Nordavia before, very faraway from here, but I know it has quite a rich history.” Homesurfer humbly replied.

“I know who truly killed your friend. This may sound hard to believe but please hear me out. In Nordavia, there’s a folklore story about “Frostiles.” He was once an ordinary villager that let his hate consume him and transform him into a twisted monster of ice. He vowed he’d someday return to wipe out all super powered beings.” Leif explained.

“So…what you’re saying is: our guy is still out there and we have the wrong guy in custody?” Blue Arrow said rhetorically.

“Correct.” Leif bluntly replied.

“Hm, I’ve heard a lot of stories in my travels but never anything about Frostiles.” Homesurfer doubted.

“Do you have any physical evidence to back up these claims?” Emerald Enchantress asked.

Leif feels embarrassed, knowing he doesn’t have much.

“I have documents my father left behind, word of mouth from my villagers who’d never lie to me, and suspicious ice damage to a sacred statues.” Leif replied, spreading the papers on the table.

“Could’ve been from a regular snowstorm, no?” Homesurfer countered.

“I know my village better than anyone, it wasn’t from a simple snowstorm.” Leif replied, offending Homesurfer.

The team reads the papers, but isn’t sure what to make of them. Leif can tell some aren’t taking his claims seriously, but Miss Appear is fascinated by the papers, believing him.

“Well, that’ll be all for now. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, we’ll look into it.” Homesurfer replied dismissively.

Leif sadly exits the headquarters holding his papers, getting back in the taxi. It seems like the organization had changed since his father’s time. He’ll try to find someone else that’ll take his claims seriously.

“So here’s our suspects: a guy who controls metal and a snowman from a story.” Blue Arrow flatly said.

“I don’t believe in ghost stories. Send Magneticus to prison so we can move on from this.” Homesurfer ordered.

The rest of the team isn’t so sure, wondering if Leif’s story has merit. They know it’s not worth debating at the moment though.

At Man Ray Land, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy walk forward. One single attendee is there, who is disappointed by the games.

“This sucks, I want a refund!” The attendee complained, which summons Man Ray from out of a tent.

“Why you ungrateful-“ Man Ray was saying, as the attendee begins to depart.

They throw a ball at Man Ray’s face, angering him. Before Man Ray can attack, he’s started to see Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy standing before him.

“Your show stops here, fiend!” Mermaid Man said, pointing his cane in defiance.

“This should be fun. Dirty Bubble told me how you failed to beat him, so I get a chance to humiliate you! I’m afraid you won’t beat me with a mere tickle belt this time!” Man Ray said ecstatically, wanting to fight them again.

“Don’t get arrogant.” Barnacle Boy replied, throwing a water ball right at Man Ray’s hat, knocking it off.

The duo get into Sandy’s fighting stances. Man Ray lifts his cane, and opens the bottom to reveal it’s actually a gun. He opens fire, as the duo ducks, avoiding laser blasts which pop several balloons. Mermaid Man and Man Ray clash their canes, as Mermaid Man gains the upper hand and knocks it out of his hand. Barnacle Boy punches him using Sandy’s techniques. Man Ray jumps out of the way, standing on a tent.

“Not bad, but I have new tricks up my sleeve too!” Man Ray. bragged.

He then activates a device. A roller coaster car goes out of control, flying off the tracks and heads straight for the duo. They dodge in time, as it goes exploding into the skee ball game.

“Curses, I could’ve timed that better.” Man Ray conceded.

Man Ray makes a run for it, heading into the hall of mirrors. The duo give chase, similarly to how they went after Man Ray in the flashback. They go through a dark, dimly hit hallway, looking at their reflections in the mirrors running across the wall. They see Man Ray’s face everywhere, but unable to tell where he is.

“What are you two coots doing? You should’ve stayed in retirement!” Man Ray taunted.

Mermaid Man delivers an aquatic punch right through a mirror, shattering glass to the floor. Barnacle Boy breaks another mirror in search.

“Beating me won’t bring your glory days back. No lives, no family. Admit your truth: being a hero is all you have left in your remaining husks of lives.” Man Ray taunted.

The duo know deep down he’s not wrong but refuse to let him mess with their heads.

“I expected you to be more excited about our return Ray, since you haven’t stood any chance against these newfangled heroes!” Mermaid Man taunted back, angering Man Ray.

This causes him to give away his position, as Mermaid Man sees and throws the Mermarang at his face. Barnacle Boy then kicks him, sending him smashing into a mirror. The duo look over him.

“What do you know about the plot to slay heroes?” Barnacle Boy asked, confusing Man Ray.

"The heck are you blabbing about?” Man Ray replied back, brushing shards off of him.

He then activates another device, causing a statue in the park center to move. The statue reveals itself to be a mech robot, which bursts into the hall, destroying the remaining mirrors. Man Ray flies into the mech and pilots. It starts to rampage through the park, opening fire at Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.

“Just die already!” Man Ray yelled, having enough of the duo after decades of this feud.

“Whoa Man Ray, simmer down!” Mermaid Man yelled.

He’s about to be hit by a blast, but Barnacle Boy pushes him out of the way just in time. He helps him up.

“Thanks partner.” Mermaid Man said, and they look at the mech, ready to finish this fight.

Much like everything else in the park, the mech is faulty, as many bolts begin coming apart. The duo send a combined whirlpool attack, lifting it into the air and ripping it apart piece by piece. They send the remains crashing into the carousel. The mech begins sinking into the radioactive waste, melting. Man Ray hits the eject button, as the cockpit sends him flying away.

“Maybe I’ll try real estate next…” Man Ray sighed, as the pod strands him in the desert.

Man Ray Land collapses around the duo.

“I think we did great!” Mermaid Man said proudly

“Strange he didn’t seem to know anything about Riptide Rider though…” Barnacle Boy said, getting curious, and they head back.

Charon approaches Edgar in his office, holding his phone.

“We have rather unfortunate news. Coral Lad has been found dead alongside Kelp Thing.” Charon reported.

The IJLSA all get alerts about this too, horrified.

“I guess Magneticus isn’t our hero killer.” Blue Arrow realized, closing his eyes with an annoyed expression.

“Or his followers have been radicalized.” Homesurfer said, refusing to believe Leif.

They’re not happy at all, whatever the truth is.

Homesurfer is in the bathroom looking at a mirror, unsure what to do. He refused to believe they could’ve been so easily duped. Is this still Magneticus’s doing or is the Frostiles tale true after all? An employee walks in, when suddenly Homesurfer begins angrily smashing against the bathroom mirror and yelling out his frustrations.

“…I see you need alone time.” The employee said awkwardly, leaving Homesurfer to keep raging in the bathroom.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are in the Mermalair, relaxing after their successful day.

“I’m glad we still can fight back! Thank you Mrs. Cheeks for your training!” Mermaid Man said, stretching his body.

Barnacle Boy is on the Mermalair computer, reading into reports about Riptide Rider’s death and Magneticus’s history.

“Something about Riptide Rider’s death doesn’t feel right. I don’t think Magneticus was capable of doing it.” Barnacle Boy doubted.

“I can confirm Magneticus isn’t responsible.” Dark Ice spoke, startling the two and nearly giving them heart attacks.

Dark Ice steps out of the shadows, with the duo confused how he got in here.

“How did you get in here!?” Barnacle Boy asked bewildered.

“I visited Shady Shoals looking for you, you left your couch open.” Dark Ice explained.

“Oh right.” Barnacle Boy replied, realizing they should close that.

“Who are you?” Mermaid Man asked.

“I’m Dark Ice. I used to be a hero here, but now I protect Night City. There’s information you two would like to hear.” Dark Ice offered.

“Why are you visiting us and not the IJLSA?” Barnacle Boy asked curiously.

“I don’t trust them. If I had to wager, you’re likely aren’t fans of what they’ve done to the organization either.” Dark Ice replied.

“You got that right sonny! Tell us your information.” Mermaid Man replied.

“My only lead is a villain with ice powers is responsible. Couldn’t get a name. Whoever it is, they’ve also killed The Moth.” Dark Ice explained.

“An ice villain, eh? We haven’t faced one since Bittercold Barracuda, but he passed away years ago.” Barnacle Boy recalled.

“Lucky for you, I know someone who has experience with an ice villain…” Dark Ice said, intriguing the two to learn more.

Notes/Trivia:

-Character Debuts: Coral Lad

-Deaths: Kelp Thing and Coral Lad

-Area Debuts: Man Ray Land

-Flashback Timeline: Before the first three Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy flashbacks

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Chapter Five: The Mighty Fall

Dark Ice continues talking with Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy in the Mermalair.

“I know another independent hero named Mighty Max who may be able to help. Years ago he faced off against an ice supervillain, maybe it’s them. They must have planted evidence that tricked the IJLSA into believing Magneticus is responsible.” Dark Ice explained.

“I’ve heard of him before. Where can we find him?” Barnacle Boy asked.

“In Posidonia, flash this symbol in the sky and he’ll come. I’d get tickets as soon as possible.” Dark Ice suggested, handing them Mighty Max’s logo crest.

“Ah Posidonia, the last time we went there was nice. Uh…why did we go there again?” Mermaid Man asked, trying to remember.

“It was for that convention, gramps!” Barnacle Boy reminded.

“Oh yeah! Very nice place, gong there will be better than being stuck here.” Mermaid Man replied.

“You’re sure you want us to go investigate this?” Barnacle Boy asked Dark Ice.

“Yes, I don’t think the IJLSA will take this lead seriously when they captured who they believe is responsible. Better to leave it to the old guard who I know will get it right.” Dark Ice replied.

“That means a lot from a stranger we just met today.” Mermaid Man replied, feeling honored another person respects his legacy.

An alert flashes on the computer about Coral Lad and Kelp Thing’s deaths, shocking the three.

“Not another…” Dark Ice said, wishing he had acted faster.

“Another brave hero has fallen…my heart can’t take it. How is this possible?” Mermaid Man asked in disbelief.

“That poor boy. Something about this feels off: Why would a villain kill another villain?” Barnacle Boy asked.

“Of that I’m unsure. Perhaps they want to wipe out the competition?” Dark Ice theorized.

“Whatever’s going on, we promise we’ll uncover the truth.” Barnacle Boy promised.

“For as long as we live, we refuse to let this evildoer kill anymore heroes or villains. Even they do not deserve such a cruel ending.” Mermaid Man said triumphantly.

“Good luck. I’ll keep knocking heads and see if I can find any traces of this mystery villain.” Dark Ice replied, as he disappears into the shadows.

The duo pack their belongings, including weapons they may use, and order a ticket for Posidonia.

The IJLSA are at the morgue overseeing Coral Lad’s body, laid neatly on the table. Kelp Thing’s body in comparison is disrespected and laid poorly on his table.

“He was a nice kid and great ally. His sacrifice will not be in vein.” Homesurfer vowed, paying respects to Coral Lad.

“I remember when meeting him during the premiere of my first movie. Nobody deserves to die that young.” Emerald Enchantress said mournfully.

“Here’s what’s really boggling my mind: Why would the perp kill both a hero and villain?” Blue Arrow wondered.

“Leif did say this supposed Frostiles targets any super powered being…” Miss Appear realized.

“This clearly has radicalized followers written all over it. When they see one hero fall, they think they’ll make the rest of us go down too. Edgar was right I shouldn’t have been quick to do that announcement.” Homesurfer argued.

The rest of the team is getting increasingly frustrated at Homesurfer’s refusal to entertain the Frostiles theory at all. The coroner approaches the team.

“I’m sorry for another loss. From what we’ve deduced, it appears both met their fatal blows by a sharp blade. Strangely, we’ve also found traces of frostbite.” The coroner explained, shocking the four.

“…Could it be, does Mr. Leif’s story have merit?” Emerald Enchantress wondered.

Homesurfer still refuses to believe the story of Frostiles could possibly be real, for it wrecks his perfect superhero fantasy world and doesn’t want to publicly admit they got the wrong guy.

“Hold on a minute, let’s not jump to conclusions, there’s any number of reasons their bodies could have extreme cold on them. What do you think, in your professional opinion?” Homesurfer asked to the coroner.

“It’s abnormal given the environment they were reportedly found in had moderate weather.” The coroner noted.

“Hm, doesn’t immediately mean ice monster.” Homesurfer countered.

“Why are you in such denial over this?” Miss Appear confronted.

“Frostiles could literally walk right in front of him and he’d still be in denial.” Blue Arrow joked.

“Because we need cold hard facts, we can’t fear-monger speculation to the masses!” Homesurfer replied.

“But didn’t you do that with your unprompted conference?” Emerald Enchantress awkward reminded, and then gets scared realizing she spoke out against the leader. “Sorry, that was out of line.”

“No, you’re right Enchantress, calling out my hypocrisy is a valid critique. Look, we already apprehended one guy that possibly didn’t actually do it. I don’t want us to end up chasing a myth for another potentially wrong guy.” Homesurfer said, trying to be diplomatic.

“I understand that. But when the clues are lined up, sometimes it’s worth investigating, don’t you think? It’s better than doing nothing and letting more of our friends die.” Miss Appear persuaded.

“You make a fair point, may as well follow any road with our limited options at this moment in time. Alright, let’s seriously investigate this elusive Frostiles. Stick together, we’re going to question every villain, fiend and crook we can find for leads.” Homesurfer ordered.

“I’m sure someone will squeal if they’ve seen him.” Blue Arrow said eagerly, cracking his knuckles.

The team heads off, finally on common ground.

Meanwhile, at the Bikini Bottom Prison, Magneticus is seen in the cafeteria, eating lunch by himself. All the other inmates are looking at him with a mix of fear and respect for what he supposedly did. The prison guards give him hateful looks and dead eye stares. Unfortunately for him, they did not look at his “hero killer” status very kindly. Magneticus eats his lunch with everyone on both sides of the law carefully eyeing him. He finishes his lunch and tries to leave the cafeteria, when he’s cornered by several guards who prevent him from moving forward.

“Get out of my way.” Magneticus demanded.

“Hero killer.” Another guard said scornfully.

The guard then brandishes his baton and his face has a vengeful look. Before Magneticus knows it, the baton strikes him in the forehead and his body collapses to the floor. The other guards begin brutally beating him with their batons, as he tries to resist the blows and cries out in pain. The other inmates casually walk away from the scene. Magneticus realizes now he’s let this lie gone on too long.

Magneticus is later sitting in his cell, wearing bandages and recovering from his injuries.

“Hey magnet man, try bending the cells to get out!”  An inmate from an adjacent cell taunted, as other inmates laugh at him.

Magneticus tries to lay in his bed and drown out the taunting from the inmates. He’s regretting ever taking credit for Riptide Rider’s death and needs to clear his name. A guard approaches his cell, aneche braces for the worst.

“Here to hit me with your fancy stick too?” Magneticus asked.

“I’d certainly like to, scum. You have a visitor.” The guard replied, making Magneticus curious on who this could possibly be.

Magneticus is taken by the guard into the visiting room. He sits down and sees his visitor through the glass: It’s Frostiles but as his normal Ragnar self, using it as a disguise. His eyes are ice blue. He’s holding the phone, ready to talk.

“…It’s you. You’re here to taunt me too?” Magneticus realized, picking up the phone.

“Oh, how the mighty fall. This was nothing personal, I truly could’ve used any other villain. But after sensing your anguish and longing for fame, I knew you were perfect patsy. I thank you for serving as my unwitting pawn.” Frostiles taunted.

“I refuse to be your mere pawn! I swear, if I get out of here, I’m coming for you!” Magneticus threatened.

Magneticus begins angrily smashing the phone against the table several times. Frostiles hangs up the phone, as guards restrain Magneticus, calming him down.

“You won’t be getting out of here. Farewell.” Frostiles said ominously, about to leave.

He exhales a dark ice breath, which goes through the walls separating the visitors from prisoners. The breath hovers over Magneticus’ face, who coughs, but doesn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary. He is taken away by the guard back to his cell, while Frostiles leaves the prison with a wicked grin.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are seen walking through the Bikini Bottom Airport carrying their luggage. They board their plane for Posidonia and calmly get into their seats. The plane takes off into the skies, as the two look at Bikini Bottom becoming a spec below them from the window.

“Up, up…and away!” Mermaid Man said, enjoying the aerial view.

“There better not be any hijackers on board because they’d regret messing with us now.” Barnacle Boy said.

The duo relax in their seat as the plane keeps flying across the sea blue sky. Mermaid Man begins napping and reminisces to when they visited Posidonia before for a comic convention…

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are seen inside a comic book store at the Posidonia Fields Mall. They’re sitting at a table, ready to sign autographs for eager fans. The calendar on the wall notes that it’s July 2014. They sign autographs and merchandise for a few fans, surprised the attendance is lower than they expected. The other attendees are not paying them any attention at all, checking out the comics. Barnacle Boy impatiently taps his pen on the table several times, waiting for any other fans to show up, while Mermaid Man starts to look sad.

“Slow day, huh.” Barnacle Boy said awkwardly, trying to cheer him up.

“Hey lads, want our autographs?” Mermaid Man asked to the other attendees, who give them awkward looks or ignore them.

Mermaid Man looks over toward the comics for purchase, noticing The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy series isn’t front and center anymore. Series about newer heroes such as Mighty Max are more popular now instead, which are being purchased by the other attendees. This served as an early symbol to the duo that they were being pushed away from the spotlight and society is moving on without them.

“Guess people don’t appreciate the classics like they used to…” Mermaid Man sighed.

“Don’t worry about it, people’s interests change over time, especially as the hero pool grows larger. I’m sure there’s still loyal fans out there, old and new. Quite frankly I’m surprised we stayed as relevant as long as we did.” Barnacle Boy reassured.

“You have a point, lad. We had a good run in the spotlight, it’s time for the new generation to shine.” Mermaid Man accepted.

As the duo contemplate their legacies, a group of four girls approach the table. The duo looks up from the table to see one of the girls is wearing a Miss Appear costume, surprising them. There’s still dedicated fans out there after all.

“Hi Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, I’m Audrey. Been a huge fan of you for years. It’s such an honor to meet you in person! How do you like my cosplay?” Audrey introduced excitedly, having wanted to meet the duo for a long while.

“Nice costume. Did you make it yourself?” Barnacle Boy asked, noticing it’s different than other ones he’s seen over the years.

“Yeah, I did with help from my parents! It wasn’t easy but I’m glad it paid off. Can you sign issue 25 for me? It’s one of my favorite issues.” Audrey asked, placing it on the table.

“Of course, that’s a great issue, lass!” Mermaid Man said, as the duo sign the comic.

“Do you girls want autographs?” Barnacle Boy asked to Audrey’s friends.

“Oh, these are my friends Madison, Tori and Cynthia. They’re not comic nerds like me, sorry.” Audrey introduced, as the three are neutral or uncaring to this meeting.

“Whatever.” Cynthia said while on her phone, not paying attention.

“Uh, hi.” Madison said awkwardly.

“Eh, at least I can add superheroes to the list of celebrities I've met.” Tori shrugged.

“What’s your favorite episodes and issues?” Audrey asked.

“Careful not to overwhelm them with your nerd knowledge.” Tori teased.

“Off the top of my head, Issues 5, 16, 44 and 50 are my all time favorites. As for episodes, 4, 17, 27 and 42.” Barnacle Boy answered, while Mermaid Man tries to remember his answers.

“Uhh…I don’t recall specific numbers, sorry Audrey, my memory ain’t what it used to be. But the storyline where we stopped Man Ray from using the Infinity Anchor is my favorite!” Mermaid Man answered.

“All great answers! Thanks so much.” Audrey said, and has Cynthia take a photo of her posing with the duo.

“Before you depart, I don’t know why, but for some reason…I think you four would make great heroes.” Mermaid Man said, surprising them.

“You really think so?” Audrey asked, not sure if she’d have what it takes.

“I don’t think I’d be capable of doing the heroic things you guys have done.” Madison replied modestly.

“Certainly don’t count on Cynthia to do the work.” Tori joked, and Cynthia hits her.

“Some of the best heroes I’ve known were the most unexpected ones. If you just believe, anyone can do it!” Mermaid Man encouraged.

“If I could control water like you two, that’d be really cool.” Tori wondered.

“Thanks for the words of wisdom. Well, see ya.” Audrey said, feeling inspired by this encounter.

She waves farewell and the group heads off. The dup later exit the mall to see pouring rain outside. They carefully make a run for their bus waiting nearby. As the bus drives off, the duo looks out the window and thinks about. It’s reminded them that they can still inspire people anywhere when they least expect it.

In the present, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s plane lands in Posidonia. Poisdonia is part of a united kingdom consisting of three countries: Posidonia, Ottelia and Ludwigia. The duo take a bus similar to the one in the flashback, which strolls through the capital city Posidonia Fields. They enjoy the sights and buildings, impressed at how the place has evolved since they last visited. They see a castle under construction in the distance. Mermaid Man starts to doze off, but Barnacle Boy wakes him up.

“Don’t fall asleep on me yet partner, we need to find Max fast before more heroes fall.” Barnacle Boy reminded, as he looks at Mighty Max’s crest, hoping this villain doesn’t come for him next.

“Of course, sorry Kyle. Where do you think would be a good spot to signal him?” Mermaid Man wondered, observing the sights.

“Up there.” Barnacle Boy said, seeing a tall clock tower nearby.

The bus stops for the duo and they get off. They walk into the clock tower and begin ascending it via elevator.

Sinister Slug is seen inside an obscure tavern. Several shady patrons are playing pool and having a good time, while he sits alone to himself. He has trash on his suit, thrown at him by protesters who believe he was involved in the recent hero slayings. The IJLSA then enters, as the other shady characters begin moving out of the way one by one, leaving a pathway toward Sinister Slug. Blue Arrow points an arrow at his head, who turns around and sees the IJLSA standing before him.

“Joy. Didn’t you and your girlfriend humiliate me enough, Arrow? Look guys, I’ve been through a lot, can we save this fight for another day? I’m telling ya, I had nothing to do with these hero slayings. You think I like having random nobodies on the street call me a hero killer?” Sinister Slug begged, as Emerald Enchantress is embarrassed about being called Blue Arrow’s girlfriend.

“We’re not here to fight and we know you’re not responsible for these deaths, we want information.” Miss Appear requested.

“If it gets you to leave me alone, fine. What do you want to know?” Sinister Slug asked.

“Have you heard of someone called Frostiles?” Homesurfer asked.

Upon hearing that name, Sinister Slug pauses and shivers.

“…Can’t say that I have. New villain in town?” Sinister Slug acted naively out of fear.

“I know you’re lying, tell us what you know!” Homeurfer demanded, throwing his drink against the wall, and the glass shattering.

Sinister Slug tries to squirm away, but Homesurfer grabs him. He punches Sinister Slug in the face multiple times, making the team uncomfortable.

“Fine, I’ll talk! This is all I know: I know of Frostiles, but not much about him. I personally saw him. The other day, he interrupted our EVIL meeting and attacked. Before he did, he presented The Moth’s detached wings like a psycho. I can’t believe he went out like that…” Sinister Slug explained, feeling pity for his fallen comrade.

Homesurfer freezes upon hearing this.

“…He’s real. Are you sure this is who you saw?” Homesurfer asked.

“I swear, this isn't a coordinated lie. I know you don’t have much reason to trust me, but I don’t like this guy either. I wouldn’t wish this fate on my worst enemy.” Sinister Slug said sincerely.

“Thank you for being honest. Here’s a gift to repay the favor.” Emerald Enchantress said, using her powers to give him a free new drink, to which he can’t complain.

Just as the team begins to depart, they get alerts on their phones that another hero has fallen. This time it was Shell Gal, who was found at Goo Lagoon. She was another registered IJLSA ally who viewed Miss Appear and Emerald Enchantress as mentor figures, so this loss hits them hard. The IJLSA immediately hurries off.

At the Bikini Bottom Prison, Magneticus sits in his cell, angry at how his villain career has quickly spiraled. He suddenly feels the room around him turn icy cold, which is at odds with how warm the prison actually is to everyone else. He begins panicking and wonder if he’s losing his mind. He sees flashes of Frostiles in his cell, and he yells out in fear. He then feels his body begin to shut down and collapses to the floor. The guards find Magneticus dead, whose face has turned a frozen blue.

In Posidonia, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy reach the top balcony of the clock tower. They enjoy the view of the city from above. Barnacle Boy places Mighty Max’s crest on a stone railing and then holds out a reflection ray. He shoots it at the crest, which shines Mighty Max’s logo in the sky. They wait around for a few moments, when Mighty Max suddenly lands onto the balcony, wearing his orange and white suit.

“Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, here!? Hi, I’m Maxwell, been a huge fan of your endeavors ever since I was a kid. You’re huge inspirations to my career!” Mighty Max geeked out, shaking their hands.

“Always nice to meet another eager fan!” Mermaid Man said, happy the duo inspired another person.

“Thanks, we’re here because we need your help. I’m sure you’ve heard lately about the superhero deaths.” Barnacle Boy explained.

“Yes I have, utterly heartbreaking. I knew something was off about Magneticus being the alleged culprit. There’s chatter that the IJLSA’s been covering it up and don’t want to admit they made a mistake. Do you have any idea who’s responsible?” Mighty Max asked.

“All we know is someone who uses ice is responsible. We heard you have a history of fighting off against an ice supervillain, which is why we came to you.” Barnacle Boy said to Max.

“That I do, but she’s out of commission now. Whoever’s responsible must be someone new. Sorry I can’t provide any help.” Mighty Max explained.

“Drat, so we came all this way for a dead end?” Mermaid Man said, sighing.

“I wouldn’t say that, since you’re here, you could actually help me with something. I’ve heard reports Hydro Blob was spotted in Ottelia, but I have no idea what it’s up to. If you still have the fight, you could join me. It’d be an honor to fight by your side!” Mighty Max offered.

“Not familiar with Hydro Blob, but I know it’s a newer villain. We’ll gladly help.” Barnacle Boy replied.

“You’d be surprised at the fighting spirit that still courses through our veins! Looks like you’ve gone from fighting ice to fighting water.” Mermaid Man noted, as Mighty Max chuckles at that.

“Just keep this under the radar as the IJLSA wouldn’t be happy to learn you’re working with an independent hero.” Mighty Max said.

“Diving heroes based on registration status…I made the IJLSA to unite heroes!” Mermaid Man said annoyed.

“I knew you two weren’t happy with how the IJLSA has disrespected your vision either!” Mighty Max said happily.

“You’re not the only one.” Barnacle Boy replied.

At an Ottelia lake, several tourists take photos of the nice view. The water begins to bubble and shake violently. Hydro Blob rises from the lake, taking the form of a loch ness monster after absorbing special minerals in the water. It begins firing water blasts from its mouth, which burn into the ground. The tourists run as Hydro Blob crawls out of the lake, heading for a city in the distance. Many onlookers see the aquatic beast from the distance and panic, making a run for it. Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Mighty Max reach the lake, shocked at how large Hydro Blob is now.

“I don’t recall him being this large…” Mighty Max said.

Mighty Max pushes the two out of the way from an incoming acidic water blast. Mighty Max flies forward and punches at Hydro Blob’s monstrous head, then avoids another attack. Barnacle Boy shoots his sulfur vision across Hydro Blob’s aquatic body, but the body is unharmed. Mighty Max throws heat discs into the beast’s body, which burn and make the water boil. Smoke starts coming off of the body, and liquid leaks, making Hydro Blob shrink a bit, but it expels the discs from its body.

“Ah, so we have to hit it from the inside.” Barnacle Boy realized.

Hydro Blob swings its tail, as Mighty Max lifts the two up, getting them out of the way in time. Mermaid Man summons several sea urchins to distract the beast, who jump over the body and poke through it. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy together begin to control the water within Hydro Blob’s body, making it roar furiously. Mighty Max throws more heat discs through a whirlpool into the body, causing its body to pop. Hydro Blob shrinks and reverts back to a puddle. Embarrassed by the defeat, it flees the area.

“Thanks for the help, defenders of the deep!” Mighty Max said.

“What if this ice villain comes for you?” Barnacle Boy asked.

“Appreciate the concern, but I’ll be fine.” Mighty Max boasted, showing his heat discs.

The three are praised for saving the day and the press arrives to interview them.

Frostiles, still in his Ragnar form, approaches the IJLSA headquarters. Although he could attack them right there, he had other plans, seeing a golden opportunity here and knowing he’d be outmatched. He’s in the meeting room.

“Hello, I’m Ragnar, a friend of Leif’s. He wants me to deliver an important message.” Frostiles lied.

“We owe him a sincere apology for not believing him. We now know Frostiles is real.” Homesurfer said.

“I’m sure he’ll peacefully accept it. We have very unfortunate news. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy may be going behind your backs with unofficial allies, possibly manipulated by Frostiles as we speak.” Frostiles lied.

“That doesn’t sound like them, how is that possible?” Miss Appear doubted.

He switches the television channel to a news report about Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Mighty Max saving Ottelia from Hydro Blob. The team is taken aback by this given they promised they’d retire.

“Maybe they got eager again and wanted to help out. I’m not seeing how that means they’re pawns of Frostiles.” Blue Arrow said confused.

“I agree, while I don’t approve working with unregistered allies, I doubt they know about those rules.” Homesurfer replied.

“According to legend, Frostiles can twist a hero's willpower. It’s possible he brainwashed them in an attempt to kill Hydro Blob, not save the day. Using heroes to attack other heroes would explain how they’re going down easily.” Frostiles lied, subtly taunting them.

"The footage looks like a normal heroic act to me." Miss Appear said.

“I’m not sure, but we saw what happened when we previously ignored Nordavia lore...” Emerald Enchantress said worried, sensing something is off with her magical intuition.

Frostiles reads their reactions and tells Homesurfer is the one who’s most conflicted about this, which was his goal. Manipulating him was easier than he thought.

“Do what you will with this knowledge, but should you see abnormal behavior…you’ll know why.” Frostiles said as he leaves.

On the way out, he smiles his wicked grin. The team debates the theory, with most accepting it’s a stretch, but Homesurfer is unsure. Are his idols brainwashed? It’d explain their odd behavior lately. Interrupting his thoughts, a news report comes on about Magneticus’ death in prison. Edgar had been watching this conversation through a security camera and finds these claims worrying, fearing how Homesurfer may respond. He then calls somebody. Later at night, Charon enters his office.

“He’s here, sir.” Charon said.

A stranger enters the room, but one Edgar’s familiar with. The person casually takes a seat on the couch and places their boots on the glass table, much to Edgar’s annoyance.

“Hello Butcher. It’s been a while." Edgar greeted to Butcher.

“Ello boss. What do ya need from me this time? Plant incriminating evidence on a business rival? Blackmail on a politician?” Butcher asked, alluding to amoral tasks he’s performed for Edgar before.

“I want you to track Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, follow their every move.” Edgar ordered, confusing Butcher.

“Wanting me to mess with supes? That’s above my pay grade.” Butcher replied, surprised.

“You’re the only one I can trust. There are unconfirmed concerns they may be conspiring with an enemy. Should this claim be true…take them out. It’d be more humane for a third party to do it than another hero, which would be awful for business. If you pull this off, this is the last favor you’ll ever owe me. I’ll give you enough money for a peaceful isolated life.” Edgar offered, not happy about this suggestion, but wants to protect the company.

“Wow, sacrificing the IJLSA’s founders to avoid a media frenzy and more importantly, my freedom.” Butcher said, taking this in.

“Believe me, this is far from my only sacrifice.” Edgar said bitterly.

“And what is it exactly that you sacrifice?” Butcher asked curiously.

Edgar contemplates this question for a few moments, one that clearly had been on his mind for a while.

“Calm. Kindness. Kinship. Love. I’ve forgone all chance at inner peace. I’ve made my mind a sunless sea. I share my dreams with ghosts. I wake up every day to an equation I wrote 4 years ago for which there’s only one conclusion: I’ll never please everybody. My ego, my unwillingness to yield, my eagerness to evolve superheroes, they’ve set me on a path from which there is no escape. I yearned to be a savior against injustice without contemplating the cost and by the time I looked down there was no longer any ground beneath my feet. What is my sacrifice? I’m condemned to use the tools of our enemy to defeat them. I burn my decency for someone else’s future! I burn my life to make a utopia I know I’ll never see! And the ego that started this business will never have a mirror or an audience or the light of gratitude. So what do I sacrifice Everything!” Edgar ranted, angered by how much of his morals he’s compromised for corporate interests.

Butcher and Charon are both stunned by this reflection, not having any words.

“Well…I’ll get right on the job.” Butcher said, preparing to track the duo.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy return to Shady Shoals, exhausted after their trip. Upon walking inside, they see Leif standing in there, who has been patiently waiting.

“Hello Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, name’s Leif. We have a lot to discuss.” Leif introduced, making them curious.

Notes/Trivia:

-Character Debuts: Butcher

-Deaths: Magneticus and Shell Gal (mentioned)

-Flashback Timeline: July 2014, over a year before the first season of Mystic Guardians and decades after the other flashbacks

-Mighty Max, Madison, Audrey, Tori and Cynthia from Mystic Guardians appear.

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Chapter Six: Search and Destroy

Leif explains everything about Frostiles to Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. They discuss the revelations over a nice cup of tea in the lounge.

“So to recap: our real enemy is a folklore figure called Frostiles, who was originally a normal villager, and he hates all super powered beings. You tried warning the IJLSA but they didn’t take this seriously. Got it.” Barnacle Boy summarized, overwhelmed by the information.

“Good, I kept your attention. According to whispers, the villager was always a selfish opportunist who hated our culture. One day, an old hero went out of line and wrecked the village. The villager stepped forward in protest, pretending to care about everyone, and grabbed a cursed blade that transformed him into Frostiles. This blade’s power only works on someone whose heart was already corrupted with hatred. He desperately wants to be seen as a savior and bring a “neutral order” to the world, but he’s so consumed by his ego he fails to see he is the evil one.” Leif continued.

“Do you know this villager’s name?” Barnacle Boy asked curiously.

“No, my father refused to speak his name in any of these texts, as if he were a forbidden word. I understand he did not want to dignify their old identity anymore, Frostiles destroyed whatever left of their old self. I believe he’s been wiping out these heroes and villains so far as a warm up. The next phase of the plan will be to search and destroy the Super Titans.” Leif continued troubled.

“The what?” Mermaid Man asked.

“The Super Titans are four divine legendary beings that are said to be the source of all superhero powers in the sea, including your very own. They are located in the following countries: Hydroko, Grecial, Nalabar and Nordavia. Nordavia’s is essentially worshipped as our god. If Frostiles destroys them, the effects would be catastrophic to the whole world’s ecosystem, at least that’s what my father wrote. I know it’s a lot to take in and may be hard to believe. Before my people saw Frostiles with their own eyes I wouldn’t have believed this myself. But it’s very much real.” Leif explained, showing them maps with locations of each titan’s supposed resting spot.

“We believe you and are glad you came to us. I hope the IJLSA will come around and help us out too in protecting the titans. I guess we’re going on a mythical creature hunt.” Barnacle Boy replied.

“I must warn you, it’s said when the titans wake up, they will challenge you to prove you’re worthy of their power. The titans are said to be huge and supremely powerful creatures, they won’t be easy battles. Are you sure you’re in the condition to handle them?” Leif warned.

“Don’t worry lad, we’re still in decent fighting shape and I doubt they’re larger than past mighty beasts we’ve tussled with.” Mermaid Man said.

“I think we can handle this, our fight against Hydro Blob demonstrated we can still take on larger enemies.” Barnacle Boy said half-confidently, admittedly unsure what they’re getting into with these titans.

“Good luck, aquatic avengers. You may be our only hope to save the balance of superheroes and supervillains alike.” Leif said hopefully, who leaves the notes for them and leaves.

“Where should we go first?” Barnacle Boy asked, wanting Mermaid Man to lead the charge.

“Hmm…if my geography is right, Hydroko is the farthest away, so we’ll go there first! This “Frostiles" won’t see it coming.” Mermaid Man said, thinking he’s a genius with this idea.

“Makes enough sense to me. Ready to save the world, partner?” Barnacle Boy asked heroically.

“Always am!” Mermaid Man replied heroically, as they clash their fists together and unite their rings.

The duo enters the Mermalair, gathering essentially every weapon on their wall, knowing they’ll need them against these titans and Frostiles.

Outside Shady Shoals, Butcher is seen in an unsuspecting vehicle. Sitting by him in the passenger seat is his trusted pet worm Hughie, chewing on a toy. Butcher looks through binoculars, eyeing Leif as he walks out of the building. Butcher had planted a bug in Shady Shoals before the duo returned, so he had been listening to their entire conversation and relaying it to Edgar.

“You get all that? Very fascinating.” Butcher asked to Edgar through a bluetooth headset.

“Loud and clear. The IJLSA will be briefed with this knowledge.” Edgar replied.

“I know I’ve performed a lot of daring feats at your behest, but uh, do you really think I’m capable of taking out two superheroes? I mean, it’s Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, they’re literal legends.” Butcher asked, admittedly unsure.

“This is only in the scenario the duo are working against our interests, which I doubt is the case at the moment. But in the rare scenario they are, yes, I believe you are capable. You saved my life from a supervillain, this is no different.” Edgar replied, alluding to their history together.

“I’ll take your endorsement to my dear heart. I’ll follow the coots to Hydroko and let ya know how it goes.” Butcher said, starting his boat’s ignition.

The duo get into the Invisible Boatmobile and head off for the airport, as Butcher steadily tails them behind.

Edgar is holding a press conference outside the IJLSA headquarters to address the continued hero killings.

“We are aware about the continued rise of hero deaths, including valuable allies such as Coral Lad and Shell Gal, who will be dearly missed. It appears Magneticus falsely took credit for Riptide Rider’s death to boost his reputation, and his gamble ended in his own demise. We deeply apologize to everyone for jumping the gun, but we were working off of limited information. We all make mistakes. We won’t let you live in fear from this threat. Rest assured, the IJLSA is going to bring the right person responsible to justice. No more heroes will fall!” Edgar promised, receiving thunderous applause, with many impressed the IJLSA is willing to admit they made a mistake.

“Do you have any clues on who’s responsible?” A reporter asked.

“We now know who's responsible, but I’d prefer to not say publicly for safety reasons and so nothing intervenes in the IJLSA’s investigation. If you have any tips, you can gladly submit them to our hotline.” Edgar answered, not wanting to give Frostiles the attention he seeks.

“Is it true the perpetrator is targeting supervillains as well? Kelp Thing and Magneticus both died in unclear circumstances and The Moth is missing.” Another reporter asked.

“I cannot comment on speculation.” Edgar replied dismissively, as he didn’t want to complicate this by trying to sympathize with villains, which would be awful for business.

The IJLSA are in their meeting room watching a recording of Leif’s conversation with Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Miss Appear is uncomfortable about them spying on civilians without their consent.

“I’m not seeing anything suspicious about Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy here, they’re committed to taking down Frostiles.” Miss Appear said, further doubting Ragnar’s claim.

“Regardless, they’re still working without our consent and we need to make sure they don’t undermine our efforts. Anyways, so four ancient creatures are the source of our powers? News to me. It’s amazing how much lore about us has been hidden away in Nordavia…” Homesurfer said curiously, feeling embarrassed again he didn’t know something.

“That’s what we get for turning away Leif.” Blue Arrow snarked, and Homesurfer gives him an annoyed look.

“That lore helps us a lot, now we know Frostiles will inevitably appear at any of those locations. Perfect chance to ambush him.” Emerald Enchantress replied.

“I know we previously agreed not to split up, but I’m thinking that if Frostiles is going after all four, and there’s four of us, we should be there to protect each titan, right? Basic math.” Blue Arrow proposed.

“I don’t know, splitting up when he’s hunting us would be playing right into his hands.” Homesurfer argued.

“There’s many heroes and villains he’s after, the probability of when he’ll come for us is unclear, but we should make a move now before that happens.” Blue Arrow argued.

“There’s no telling which titan he’ll go after first, so it makes sense we cover all our bases. Plus, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy can’t do this alone. Even if they’re acting without our permission, we never abandon any hero.” Miss Appear countered.

“I just don’t want any of us to end up like Riptide Rider.” Homesurfer said worried, genuinely fearing Frostiles can defeat him.

“If he comes after me, I’ll be sure to melt him.” Blue Arrow said boldly, holding an explosive arrow.

“I’m scared too, even if I don’t show it through my bubbly demeanor. But that’s what Frostiles wants, we can’t let his fear control our destinies.” Emerald Enchantress argued, and Homesurfer relents.

“Alright, you all make valid points. We can divide and conquer, but be smart about it. Keep your communicators close by at all times if Frostiles attacks. If an ally is nearby, ask for their help. I’ll call first dibs on Nordavia.” Homesurfer ordered.

“I’ll go to Hydroko.” Blue Arrow volunteered immediately, as if he had unfinished business there.

“I’ll take Grecial, the history there has always fascinated me.” Emerald Enchantress volunteered.

“I don’t mind Nalabar. It’s a shame what a rough image that country has thanks to its lineage of dictators.” Miss Appear replied thoughtfully.

“It’s settled then. Best of luck team. I know we can do this.” Homesurfer said.

They unite their fists together, but the impact lacks the soul Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s pose has. They get into the Seabreeze Submarine, which flies off into the sky. They gather all heat related weapons they can find. Blue Arrow, Emerald Enchantress and Miss Appear get into miniature cruisers which detach from the main submarine, and head off for their destinations. Homesurfer makes course in the Seabreeze for Nordavia.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are on a plane for Hydroko, relaxing. Butcher is seen as a passenger several rows behind the duo, covering his face with a magazine. Hughie is in the seat next to him, still chewing on a toy. Barnacle Boy reads through the notes Leif left, and finds a page about Hydroko’s titan named “Gigantus.” It shows a sketch of a tall, large whale creature with armor and words underneath saying it represents strength. Barnacle Boy is somewhat nervous upon seeing this, not sure how they’d stand a chance against a creature of that size. They’ve never faced any enemy like this before.

“Mermaid Man, are you sure we’re ready to fight literal ancient gods?” Barnacle Boy asked, confused at how he’s so calm.

“I’ve learned to not let an enemy’s size scare me, lad. We’ve faced many threats over the years that it's the least of my worries. All of our friends are in danger and we’ll do whatever it takes to protect them because that’s what we do.” Mermaid Man encouraged triumphantly.

“Wow, didn’t expect you to still have that wisdom at your age.” Barnacle Boy said, genuinely amazed and shocked.

Mermaid Man reminisces back to a time when the IJLSA had to face off against a large enemy, one the team felt they weren’t prepared for…

The old IJLSA are seen searching through the Kelp Forest. They’ve heard tips that Reflecto has a secret lair hidden somewhere deep in the forest, and he’s about to unleash a doomsday weapon. The six make their way through the thick jungle and come through a clearing. Captain Magma takes a quick break by sitting on a log.

“It’s too hot out here, and I’m not saying that because of my hat.” Captain Magma said, feeling exhausted.

“Don’t get lazy now Captain, we still have ways to go!” Miss Appear encouraged.

“Yeah, I’m constantly sweating at my pace, but you don’t see me stopping like a quitter!” Quickster boasted, annoying Captain Magma who reluctantly gets up.

The team goes down a secluded path and sees a large swamp lake up ahead.

“Reflecto’s base is supposedly across that path of swamp muck.” Mermaid Man noted.

As they approach the swamp lake, Mermaid Man senses something lurking and gestures for the team to stop. A giant shadow swims around in the lake, making the team uneasy. A jellyfish flies across the lake, when a giant brown frogfish jumps up and consumes it, shocking the team. It descends back into the lake and waits to pounce again.

“Golly, that’s one of the biggest frogfish I’ve seen, and I haven’t seen many!” Barnacle Boy said, surprised.

“We’re not ready to face a monster of that size!” Elastic Waistband protested.

“Hmph, a little magma will send the beast fleeing, not sure what has you scared.” Captain Magma said unafraid.

“Weren’t you just ready to take a nap because it’s hot earlier? Not sure if you’d be able to keep up.” Miss Appear snarked.

“Alright then, if you’re so confident, then turn invisible and sneak past it!” Captain Magma challenged.

“No worries, I’ll be over that lake before the monster knows what hit him.” Quickster boasted.

“But how will the rest of us get across?” Elastic Waistband asked.

“Of course Quickster takes the easy shortcut.” Captain Magma scoffed.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Quickster asked confrontationally.

The team bickers amongst themselves about their abilities, with Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy off to the side as spectators. They aren’t happy the team’s synergy and harmony has been disrupted.

“Enough of this squabbling! This division is exactly what our villains want! It doesn’t matter the size of our enemy, we’ll fight because that’s what heroes do!” Mermaid Man intervened, encouraging them.

They self-reflect and realize how idiotic this argument is.

“You’re right, we can’t let stupid debates divide us. We’re sorry, Mermaid Man.” Quickster apologized.

“I’m sorry for slacking off, Miss Appear.” Captain Magma apologized.

“I understand how you feel, the heat’s bothering me too, but I keep pushing forward.” Miss Appear admitted.

“Now, let’s work together like a team and outsmart that frogfish!” Barnacle Boy added, rallying them together.

The team begins slowly jumping across lily pads. The frogfish rises from the water like a behemoth, overlooking the team. It’s daunting, but they let their fears subside and are ready to make it past the beast. They fire several attacks to distract it, and keep frantically jumping across one lily pad to another. Mermaid Man tries to calm the beast with his animal senses, but its willpower is too resistant. The frogfish begins chasing them, making the lily pads sink into the lake. Elastic Waistband stretches and swings from kelp vines, barely dodging the frogfish’s mouth. As he swings, Elastic Waistband grabs onto Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy, Captain Magma and Miss Appear with his stretchy powers. He then grabs onto Quickster, who dashes at light-speed across the rest of the lake, carrying the team with him. The frogfish chases after, diving in and out of the water. A giant shipwreck is seen up ahead, and Quickster quickly turns in time. The frogfish crashes into the shipwreck and sinks back into the swamp. The IJLSA makes it to land and sees Reflecto’s lair up ahead. They take a moment to let what they did sink in and cheer.

“Amazing job team! See what you can accomplish when you put your differences aside?” Mermaid Man said, proud they turned this mission around.

“I’m sorry for saying your powers are a shortcut, without them we would’ve been toast.” Captain Magma apologized to Quickster.

“Once I was in my zone, I felt no fear!” Elastic Waistband said excited.

They enter Reflecto’s lair. Reflecto is seen inside wearing a scientist outfit with mirrors attached. He’s controlling a giant laser beam, and turns to see the IJLSA.

“Greetings IJLSA, you’re right on cue to see me fire my Reflectinator! When I push this button, it will reflect a beam off the ocean surface and trap everyone inside of its reflection!” Reflecto boasted.

He presses the button, but nothing happens. During his boast, Quickster had already unplugged his weapon, who is seen spinning the cord around in a hand and whistling smugly.

“Oh.” Reflecto said awkwardly.

The team attacks him with fancy comic book effects, and he is defeated. The six members unite their fists together heroically. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are happy to see the team has grown stronger together after this experience, proving no obstacle no matter how large can tear them apart.

Barnacle Boy looks out the plane window, seeing the wide glistening ocean beneath them. From the rumbling waves, a giant green leviathan serpent emerges and looks directly at him with its majestic eye. Barnacle Boy jumps in his seat and shakes Mermaid Man’s arm, waking him up.

“Look at that!” Barnacle Boy gestured.

Mermaid Man looks out the window confused, since the beast is gone by now.

“See what?” Mermaid Man asked.

“Never mind.” Barnacle Boy replied, shrugging.

He didn’t know why, but Barnacle Boy felt that somehow, that legendary creature gave him the confidence he needed that everything would be okay and that they can challenge these titans.

Their plane lands in Hydroko, as they get off and make haste. Butcher covertly follows them, trying to make it through the crowd. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy admire the sights, but don’t it distract them. They get onto a subway train, heading for a town closest to their destination. Butcher barely makes it on board in time, appearing several cars down.

“How are two geezers faster than me?” Butcher wondered, taking a seat with Hughie.

“Sir, no pets are allowed on board.” An employee warned to Butcher.

Hughie ferociously growls at the employee, who backs away. The train eventually reaches the town, as the duo gets off. Butcher tries to follow, but he loses them in a crowd, so he takes another route. The duo makes their way into a shadier part of the town. Several suspicious figures begin to follow them. As the duo try to leave the town, they are stopped from progressing by the suspicious figures, who brandish knives. The duo immediately recognizes these are yakuza grunts.

“This part of town isn’t for the elderly…especially two washed up superheroes!” A grunt threatened.

“We’ll show you washed up, sonny!” Mermaid Man countered, getting into a fighting stance.

The grunts begin attacking the duo, who send water attacks back, blasting two grunts away. Suddenly, a few arrows are fired into the area, releasing smoke bombs and obscuring the grunts’ vision. Several more arrows take out the grunts, and the rest duck. Blue Arrow jumps into the scene, taking Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s side. The grunts look at Blue Arrow furiously.

“Whoa, what are you doing here?“ Barnacle Boy asked, while he punches a grunt.

“Consider me your guardian angel.” Blue Arrow answered, firing several more arrows at the grunts.

“These rabble-rousers are no problems or us, but we appreciate the assistance!” Mermaid Man replied, striking a grunt in the head with his cane, knocking them out.

“Blue Arrow, you have some nerve showing your face here again!” Another grunt said angrily, alluding to a past together.

Barnacle Boy throws a grunt against a boatmobile, smashing the windshield. One higher ranked grunt pulls out a sword and slashes it at Blue Arrow, who strikes his bow against the sword. He wraps his bow around it, and then punches the grunt in the face. He knocks the sword out of his hand and then ties him to an arrow. He fires the arrow at a building sign, making the grunt hang from it. Mermaid Man then holds out the Orb of Confusion and flicks the switch, messing with the minds of a few grunts. The trio takes out the remaining grunts with ease.

“Not bad, you geezers really still have it.” Blue Arrow said, impressed and steps on a grunt.

“You were pretty great too, you lived up to your stories. So again I ask, what are you doing here? Oh right, you’re probably not happy we’re doing this without being official allies or whatever.” Barnacle Boy said.

“Yeah, but you’re our founders, so I don’t care much about that. The main reason I’m here is we know about your titan hunt. We should be on the same page, not working against each other. I’ll help you fight this titan.” Blue Arrow explained.

“That’s great! As I wanted from its inception, the IJLSA needs to unite heroes, not divide them.” Mermaid Man said happily.

“Also, some friend of Leif’s named Ragnar came to our headquarters and suggested you’ve been brainwashed by Frostiles. I didn’t believe it myself, but it probably has Homesurfer spooked.” Blue Arrow informed, baffling the duo.

“That’s nonsense, my mind is an impenetrable fortress!” Mermaid Man replied.

“That’s odd…he didn’t mention any friend when he spoke to us. It sounded like he came to Bikini Bottom alone.” Barnacle Boy said, perplexed.

Blue Arrow visibly freezes upon hearing that. He wondered if Ragnar had been Frostiles toying with them.

“Forget about it. Believe me, I know no villain could manipulate you. We’ve been getting hoax tips, so maybe it was another one of those.” Blue Arrow said, not wanting to worry them or think that they had Frostiles in their base.

“This “Ragnar” may have been concerned and looking out for us. No matter the case, you know you can trust us.” Mermaid Man insisted.

“It’s impressive you’ve made it this far by walking, but I’m sure your ancient legs could use a rest. I have a ride that can take you where you need to be.” Blue Arrow offered.

“Sure thing, friend.” Barnacle Boy replied, fully accepting Blue Arrow as an ally.

They get into his submarine cruiser nearby, and he pilots it off toward their destination. They fly through an ancient valley filled with cherry blossom trees, admiring the view. While on their path, they have a casual conversation.

“So…are you and Emerald Enchantress really a thing?” Barnacle Boy asked.

“No comment.” Blue Arrow replied, to which Barnacle Boy shrugs, knowing it’s not his business.

“Sorry about our performance against Dirty Bubble, we were out of it, but now we’re back swinging.” Mermaid Man said.

“I knew you two still had in it you. Nobody’s ever had a perfect action streak. There’s been times where I question my worth as a teammate when all I do is fire fancy arrows. I don’t control the sea, turn invisible or use any magic trick possible.” Blue Arrow said, somewhat envious.

“I can attest from experience it doesn’t matter what your power is, every hero contributes something of worth in their own special way. I’m sure the team knows that.” Mermaid Man said passionately, imparting his words of wisdom.

Blue Arrow is touched by this, as it means a lot to hear from the IJLSA’s founder.

“What’s your syndicate history or is that personal?” Barnacle Boy asked Blue Arrow, wondering what the yakuza grunt was referring to.

“When I was young and naive, I did work for them I’m not proud of. I’ve put that life behind me and only serve the side of good now. I’ve never told anyone else on the team this. I know you’ll look at me differently.” Blue Arrow admitted.

“You’re still a hero to me, son. It doesn’t matter what path you took to get here, the point is you’re on the right side now. I believe anyone can change.” Mermaid Man said inspirationally, making Blue Arrow happy he could admit this to somebody.

“I appreciate it. Being a hero isn’t exactly what my folks had in mind for me either, they were expecting a painter or actor. But I’m sure they’ll come around when they see the good I’ve done.” Blue Arrow said hopefully.

The trio reach their destination, seeing a large shrine on top of the hill.

“Are you sure you’re ready for this at your age?” Blue Arrow asked concerned.

“We came this far lad, no point in turning back now.” Mermaid Man said confidently, and Barnacle Boy nods in agreement.

They approach the shrine, noticing a pattern of ancient blue symbols covering it.

“Alright, so do we just stand here and wait for the titan to appear?” Blue Arrow asked.

Barnacle Boy reads through the notes, and sees several specific patterns are highlighted, however they are too high for the duo to reach.

“If I’m interpreting this right, if you hit these spots with your arrows, it’ll awaken the titan.” Barnacle Boy said.

Blue Arrow fires his arrows, which the duo then infuse with their water powers. The arrows strike the spots. The shrine glows and the ground shakes as if multiple earthquakes occurred at once. Gigantus emerges from the shrine, standing tall. A cinematic shot of Gigantus overlooking the three heroes. Butcher and several nearby townsfolk see the titan from a safe distance. The townsfolk take photos of it in awe.

“Wow.” Butcher said, not having other words, and records for Edgar..

“I…didn’t think it’d be that big.” Blue Arrow said worried, not having ever faced something of this caliber before.

“Believe in your abilities, we can do this!” Mermaid Man encouraged.

Gigantus slowly slams its metallic hand down, as the trio runs in separate directions. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy cast an aquatic shield around the area, but the hand smashes through it. The hand smashes onto the ground, causing the trio to fall, but they get up undeterred. Blue Arrow fires explosive arrows at Gigantus, who swats them away with the other hand. The duo send water attacks at the resting hand, which only do scratches, and Gigantus lifts it up. The trio keep circling around Gigantus, desperately trying to avoid footsteps and punches.

Barnacle Boy fires the Cosmic Ray, which reflects off the armor into a pillar, making it glow. Noticing this, Blue Arrow shoots a metal reflection arrow at the pillar, carrying the energy and bouncing off onto the others. The rest of the pillars begin glowing. The duo then feel a powerful energy from this, which surges through their bodies, giving them power boosts. They tap into their full potential, as a blue aura glows around them, allowing them to fly again.

“You didn’t tell me you could do that!” Blue Arrow yelled, impressed, as he climbs a cliff to get better aims.

“I didn’t know we could! I feel young again!” Mermaid Man said, happily flying and avoiding Gigantus’ hook punch.

“It’s been so long since we’ve flown, I hope I still have the hang of this!” Barnacle Boy said, flying though the air and scalding Gigantus’ armor with his sulfur vision.

Mermaid Man fires multiple aqua fist punches at Gigantus, who then punches him back, sending him into a mountain. Mermaid Man is unharmed due to the aura and flies back to fight. Blue Arrow fires several smoke bomb arrows, obscuring Gigantus' view, allowing the duo to deliver an onslaught. The trio continue their pattern of attacks and start to overwhelm it. Gigantus lets out a roar, as spots on its armor open up. Blue laser beams come out, as the duo fly through them and keep attacking. Blue Arrow fires more explosive arrows into the armor spots, which destroy a few of the lasers. The duo send a powerful combined water punch alongside Blue Arrow’s explosive arrows, knocking Gigantus back. The trio have worn Gigantus down enough to where it accepts defeat. It stops attacking and raises its hands.

“I think we’re done here, boys!” Mermaid Man said confidently, exhausted.

The duo float back down, with their power surge fading away. They breath in and out, as Blue Arrow helps them stand.

“It was fun while it lasted.” Mermaid Man said, already missing flying.

Recognizing their worth, Gigantus gifts Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Blue Arrow some of its powers, making their bodies glow. Gigantus then glows and turns back into the shrine, as if nothing happened.

“Cool.” Blue Arrow said, feeling accomplished and stronger than he previously thought.

“I have no more fears. Bring on the remaining titans, I say!” Barnacle Boy said confidently.

Blue Arrow shakes the duo's hands, glad they’ve made amends and worked together well.

“It’s an honor to help you two, and you even helped me learn a few things about myself. I’ll keep an eye out around here for Frostiles.” Blue Arrow said proudly.

Blue Arrow transports the duo to the airport in his submarine cruiser, then go their separate ways. Blue Arrow then takes a peaceful stroll through the valley.

“I told you you’d like Blue Arrow if you got to know him.” Barnacle Boy said to Mermaid Man, referencing their funeral conversation.

Frostiles is hiding on a mountain nearby and laughs, reading one of the books he took from the Nordavia library. He wanted them to weaken the titan. He shoots an ice spike through Gigantus’ shattered armor, piercing its body. Before Gigantus transforms back into the shrine, an ominous icy glow begins to cover its body…

Notes/Trivia:

-Character Debuts: Gigantus and Hughie

-Flashback Timeline: After the flashback in chapter three

-The country of Hydroko was first featured in Storm Racers.

-Treasure from Pirate Legends makes a cameo as the giant leviathan serpent Barnacle Boy sees in the ocean, still alive in present day.

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Chapter Seven: Fight or Flight

Man Ray and Dirty Bubble are at the abandoned factory where EVIL conducted its meetings. Man Ray tries to get the lights working again to no avail and sighs.

“Sorry Man Ray Land didn’t work out.” Dirty Bubble said.

“It’s okay, it was probably a dumb idea anyways, especially when I spent most of my budget on the advertisement. So why are we here again? You said it’s urgent.” Man Ray asked, confused.

“Er…have you been paying attention to the news recently?” Dirty Bubble asked concerned.

“No! We’ve known each for decades now, you know I don’t trust them. What’s going on?” Man Ray asked.

“Well there’s a maniac on the loose who’s been killing both heroes AND villains. According to chatter around the block, it’s that new Frostiles guy who attacked us recently. The Moth, Kelp Thing and now Magneticus are in the dirt thanks to him.” Dirty Bubble revealed.

“That’s what the old coots were blabbering about…” Man Ray realized, remembering what Barnacle Boy asked him during their fight.

“That’s why I’ve brought us here, we can safely camp out until this drama blows over. I’ve brought snacks and board games. I’m sure the IJLSA will stop him. I know I can’t believe I just said that.” Dirty Bubble said awkwardly, showing the food and board games on a table.

“But…he knows where this place is! We’re sitting ducks!” Man Ray panicked, about to run.

“Whoa, hold on, it’s not safe out there either. He could appear anywhere and get ya! Look at it this way: there’s a lot of places he could be and he already attacked this place, so the probability of him returning here is very low. Maybe.” Dirty Bubble said, trying to look on the bright side.

Man Ray nervously points his laser gun at the door in fear, awaiting Frostiles to appear at any moment.

Elsewhere, Mighty Max and Dark Ice are patrolling Night City, now working together. After connecting Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to the case, they felt it’s only right two independent heroes work together to cover more ground. They’ve heard of Frostiles’ name through sources and whispers, so they’re trying to prevent more heroes and villains from being killed by him. They arrive at an alley where the frozen body of superhero Courageous Crustacean lays, yet another Frostiles victim and registered IJLSA ally.

“We’re too late again…” Dark Ice said, horrified.

“Frostiles is one slippery winter ghost. How does he keep finding everybody?” Mighty Max wondered.

“A source of mine mentioned he first appeared at EVIL’s lair. Let’s find where that is, maybe we can lure him there.” Dark Ice suggested.

“I can help ya with that.” Big Moe spoke.

He appears out of the shadows on his motorbike with two other bikers, surprising the two.

“We’re not here to fight.” Mighty Max promised.

“Nor are we. I know where their lair is thanks to a birdie, I’ve been keeping tabs after magnet head’s “genius” stunt in case another one of ‘em tries to pull that on us.” Big Moe said scornfully.

“Why did you go along with Magneticus’ ruse?” Dark Ice asked.

“I didn’t want to, but he kinda threatened us. It’s water under the bridge now though with him dead in prison. Can’t say I felt bad.” Big Moe replied, shrugging.

“Not even villains deserve the fate Frostiles bestows upon them.” Mighty Max said, looking at Courageous Crustacean’s body with dread.

“That’s who’s been responsible for all this chaos, huh? Only reason I’m helping you two is because this is causing stress for us common thugs too. Half the population thinks we’re hero killers, and depending how this guy defines a supervillain, maybe he’ll come for us too. I’d like to return to the normal status quo.” Big Moe replied, offering a truce.

Meanwhile, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s plane is approaching Grecian. Butcher and Hughie are several seats behind them again. He calls Edgar on his bluetooth headset.

“Did you see all that, mate? Those titans aren’t fairy tales after all. The geezers put up a noble fight at their age.” Butcher recapped.

“I’ve seen, fascinating.” Edgar replied.

“Man of many words. I also heard Mermaid Man blabbing in his sleep about how you betrayed his vision over a military bill and ally registration. I didn’t quite catch all the details, but figured I’d let you know.” Butcher added.

“Thank you. Good work, keep tailing them.” Edgar replied, ending the call, and Butcher resumes reading his magazine.

Edgar is shown in his office clearly taken aback by this. He never intentionally intended to betray Mermaid Man’s vision, but it’s also something that he didn’t express to him or cover in the fine print. He didn’t want to be his enemy and truly respected his impact on superheroes. Given how quickly superheroes are falling to Frostiles, Edgar contemplates and accepts the military wouldn’t be as helpful as he thought. Edgar receives an alert about Courageous Crustacean’s demise, angering him. He grabs another alcohol bottle from his cabinet and begins pouring, stressed out by everything lately. He puts out an alert at all official registered IJLSA allies about Frostiles, wanting to keep them in the loop and to prevent more losses. No need for military integration when you have all the heroes you need globally, even ones tat aren’t registered allies. He didn’t care about that status anymore and lets all the allies know they’re allowed to help. He knew now’s the time for all heroes to unite.

Barnacle Boy reads through Leif’s father’s notes about Grecian’s titan named “Skyvern.” The sketch depicts a large sea dragon with armor and words underneath saying it represents flight.

“Hopefully the shrine gives us that power boost again, because obviously we need flight to take this beast on.” Barnacle Boy said.

“The power must be earned, you can’t remake the same lucky magic trick again.” Mermaid Man said wisely.

“You always chose the strangest times for your mantras.” Barnacle Boys coffee.

The plane lands and the duo take a stroll through a Grecian city, admiring the architecture and culture. They pass by several advertisements depicting one of the country’s star superheroes Athena, promoting the upcoming season of her Volk+ show. Butcher once again tries to follow them, as Hughie follows their scent. The duo passes by a fancy restaurant.

“I’m sure hungry after these long flights. What do you say?” Mermaid Man asked, feeling his stomach growl.

“I suppose one stop wouldn’t hurt. I could go for a nice meal too.”  Barnacle Boy replied.

“To the restaurant, away!” Mermaid Man declared.

The duo decide to take a quick lunch break and dine at the fancy restaurant. The waiter asks for their order, and Mermaid Man takes a while to decide. They both order pasta meals which are eventually brought out. As they eat their meals, Barnacle Boy looks across the room and sees Butcher at a table. This puts him on edge, remembering seeing him on both of their flights, and wonders if he’s following them.

“Do you remember seeing that guy on our flights?” Barnacle Boy asked Mermaid Man, pointing to Butcher.

“Nope, I barely recall most faces nowadays.” Mermaid Man responded absentmindedly.

“Why did I expect anything else? Just keep an eye in case he’s bad news, something’s off about him.” Barnacle Boy sighed.

Butcher wonders if they’re onto him, so he acts casual. The duo finish their lunch and leave, but Butcher waits a little longer this time to follow them to avoid further suspicion.

“How did you like your food? I thought it was lovely.” Mermaid Man asked Barnacle Boy.

“I’ve had better, but serviceable.” Barnacle Boy replied.

As the duo make their way down the street for the bus stop, they hear sirens go off. They see Poison Algae with a group of five bandits robbing a high class jewelry store. A cop approaches, but Poison Algae controls several nearby flowers, making them grab onto the cop and send him flying away. The duo arrives at the scene, confronting her team.

“The dynamic duo is here, out of retirement? What fun luck for me. Careful not to break your bones. You darlings are out of your league taking me on, but it’ll be cute to see you try.” Poison Algae taunted.

“You best believe we’re back madame, and this pair of old coots have learned a few new tricks.” Mermaid Man warned.

“You must be Poison Algae, a pleasure to meet you. New villain, old villain, doesn’t matter to us, we’re still defenders of the deep. Is your goal to rule the seas with plants?” Barnacle Boy asked sarcastically.

“No, that’s tired and obvious! I don’t exactly align with EVIL’s world domination vision anymore, it’s boring. I want to be the queen-pin of jewel distribution with a powerful, diverse crew that will protect me from Frostiles.” Poison Algae bragged, snapping her fingers.

Poison Algae makes vines rise up and strikes them around. Mermaid Man whacks them with his cane. Barnacle Boy burns through one of the vines with his sulfur vision, making Poison Algae flinch. The duo both send water blasts at two bandits, knocking them out. The remaining three make runs for it with their jewels. Mermaid Man throws a water ball at one, knocking them out. Before the duo can attack the other two, Poison Algae strikes more vines from behind, which grab onto them tight. They struggle to break free and Barnacle Boy is unable to use his sulfur vision because it is recharging.

“You should’ve stayed in retirement! You better hope Frostiles doesn’t get you!” Poison Algae laughed, but the duo refuse to let his name scare them.

The vines then suddenly turn into hoses, confusing Poison Algae. Emerald Enchantress floats into the scene and punches her right in the face.

“No way, I refuse to let a circus clown and two crusty old heroes defeat me!” Poison Algae said annoyed.

“Are you two alright?” Emerald Enchantress asked the duo, as her hands glow green.

“Never been better, excellent timing. Looks like we’re getting a bonding adventure with each IJLSA member.” Barnacle Boy responded joyfully.

“I’ll be fine. There’s still a few thieves on the run with treasure.” Mermaid Man noted.

“Gotcha covered.” Emerald Enchantress assured, spotting one running down a sidewalk.

She floats into the air and chases after. She then turns a coin on the ground into a banana, causing the bandit to slip and fall. She levitates the jewel bag out of her hands. The last bandit tries to run down an alley, but Butcher stops him in his tracks.

“‘Ello mate, lovely afternoon, innit?” Butcher casually said.

Hughie growls and barks at the bandit, who nervously tries to run for it. Butcher lets Hughie off the leash, who jumps after the bandit and begins mauling him. Butcher then discreetly throws the bandit and the jewel bag near the fight scene, and walks out of sight.

Poison Algae strikes another vine at Emerald Enchantress, who blocks it with a green magic shield. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy carefully avoid and counter more vine attacks using Sandy’s karate moves, while Emerald Enchantress keeps annoying her with magical transformations. The trio are able to defeat Poison Algae, who is taken away by the authorities along with her bandits. The jewels are safely returned to the store.

“Please lock me somewhere secure. Alright, Enchantress definitely respectfully moved up on my arch nemesis list, guess she’s more than a circus clown.” Poison Algae said, admittedly impressed by her talent.

“Thanks for the help, miss magic.” Mermaid Man said, giving applause for her stunts.

“I assure you, despite whatever you may have heard, we’re definitely not brainwashed.” Barnacle Boy said.

“No worries, I trust you. I didn’t really believe that claim either. I sensed something was off about that Ragnar guy, as if he was using magic himself…” Emerald Enchantress said curiously.

“That’s really been boggling my mind because Leif insisted he came alone.” Mermaid Man said curiously.

“I hate to say this, but I’m thinking perhaps you got toyed with by Frostiles in disguise.” Barnacle Boy theorized, and Emerald Enchantress nervously wonders if that’s the case.

“It makes sense, he wanted to undermine the search and put us against each other. Oh boy though, Homesurfer would freak if he learned our enemy was literally in our home. For now, let’s move forward. I’ll take you to the next titan and help out, least I can do for you legends.” Emerald Enchantress offered.

“Given how strong the first one was, we’ll definitely need and appreciate your help. Hopefully you’re also lax on working with technical unregistered allies.” Barnacle Boy responded.

“You’re our founders and I don’t care about that when everyone’s in danger. We need to unite together to stop Frostiles, silly labels shouldn’t distract us from a global threat.” Emerald Enchantress said boldly, a sentiment the duo concurs with.

The duo get into Emerald Enchantress’ cruiser like they did with Blue Arrow, and it flies off.

“I love these newfangled transportation services.” Mermaid Man said, enjoying the ride and looking out the window.

As the cruiser heads for their destination, Mermaid Man reminisces to when the IJLSA went on a globetrotting adventure to stop another jewel obsessed villain…

The old IJLSA are seen outside a temple in the Mu Continent. They’ve received word that Catfishtress, a burglar villain, is after a powerful valuable jewel deep inside.

“I’ve never been this faraway from Bikini Bottom before.” Miss Appear said, admiring the locale.

“I know Catfishtress is a crafty one, but there’s no way she’s made it through all those traps, right?” Elastic Waistband doubted.

“She’s made it through many alleged tough to crack security systems, so don’t underestimate her.” Mermaid Man warned.

The team heads inside the temple, treading with caution. Few torches dimly light the dark path ahead. They go further down the hallway, when Captain Magma accidentally steps on a tile.

“My bad.” Captain Magma apologized, sighing.

Spears begin shooting from wall to wall across the hallway. Quickster immediately speeds across without harm and presses another tile which stops the spears.

“Didn’t break a sweat. Wanna see me do it again?” Quickster bragged.

They go through several rooms, each with their own unique trap. The first one has blades buzzing from each wall, and there are several tiles with symbols plastered around the room. Elastic Waistband uses his stretchy powers to press all the necessary tiles to disable the blades. The second room is a dead end with an ice ceiling, and quicksand starts to pour, but Captain Magma melts through the ceiling. They go up into the third room, which has several laser beams shooting across the room. Miss Appear turns invisible, successfully maneuvering through and turning them off. After that, they reach the central chamber, where a green jewel is resting on a pedestal. Catfishtress is carefully approaches, about to steal it.

“Not so fast, thief!” Mermaid Man shouted, startling her.

“How did you already make it here?” Barnacle Boy asked, surprised.

“Ha, those traps were child’s play! Now come to mama!” Catfishtress scoffed.

Catfishtress grabs the jewel, which causes the temple to shake and begin collapsing as a failsafe. The IJLSA charge for her while the temple continues to rumble. Catfishtress cracks her whip and strikes it, similar to how Poison Algae strikes her vines. The six combine their powers to beat Catfishtress and take the jewel back from her. They escape the collapsing temple with Catfishtress in their custody, who hisses. The rest of the temple sinks into the sand, as the Mu residents look at this in shock and confusion.

“No worries, we have your artifact right here. I suggest storing it in a more secure place where she can’t find it.” Mermaid Man said to a resident, handing him the jewel.

“Why would you not keep such a valuable beauty!?” Cafishtress asked, flabbergasted.

“Because it has no worth to us, and sometimes, the real treasure is the journey with friends!” Mermaid Man said heroically, as the Mu residents cheer.

At EVIL’s abandoned factory, Man Ray and Dirty Bubble are asleep. Someone is seen outside the meeting room door, with only their shadow shown. They hear the door rattling and jump awake, startled. Man Ray’s fight or flight kicks in, and he immediately fires two shots through the door.

“Ha, take that, sucker!” Man Ray yelled, as he and Dirty Bubble run for it.

It’s revealed that the person at the door wasn’t actually Frostiles, but Atomic Flounder. He’s fallen out of his mobile chair and lays on the floor, with a wound on his shoulder thanks to the blasts. He had come to check if anybody was here after hearing about the villain deaths and was worried for his acquaintances.

In Grecian, the submarine cruiser continues flying toward the destination.

“Since we had quality bonding time with Blue Arrow, it’s your turn. Anything you wanna break the ice with?” Barnacle Boy asked Emerald Enchantress.

“I’m sorry we didn’t take Leif’s claims seriously at first. Magneticus taking credit for Ryan clouded our judgment, but I should’ve known he wasn’t capable. Only a complete monster would be capable of these atrocities. I can’t believe my magic didn’t catch onto Frostiles’ disguise either, how could we be so naive?” Emerald Enchantress lamented.

“Don’t worry lass, all heroes make mistakes. We made so many back in the day I can’t even remember them all now. Without learning from those mistakes, you’ll never grow as a hero.” Mermaid Man said wisely.

“You’re right, these little mistakes shouldn’t define or taint IJLSA’s work. It’s like when I first started practicing magic, it’s trial and error.” Emerald Enchantress replied, feeling better.

“How do you honestly feel about the team? No need to be scared about us telling anyone since we’re not involved anymore.” Barnacle Boy promised, curious to hear how she feels about Homesurfer.

“…Sometimes I feel like I have to wear a mask on the job, and not a heroic one. I want to be wacky and silly, but Homesurfer doesn’t really like it when I do that as he wants the IJLSA to be serious. It makes me feel ashamed when I do silly magic tricks, but I enjoy them.” Emerald Enchantress lamented, airing her anxiety.

“Never feel ashamed by expressing who you truly are. Everyone makes what they want out of being a hero, even if that means having fun! Embrace your quirks and goofiness, lass.” Mermaid Man encouraged, and she is genuinely touched by those words.

“So what’s the deal between you and Blue Arrow?” Barnacle Boy asked, not expecting a different response from how he answered.

“I’m not sure what you mean. I didn’t know we had a deal.” Emerald Enchantress responded, leaving it unclear if she’s messing with him.

They get closer to their destination, seeing an ancient hill path with unique architecture along the way. The shrine rests at the very top of the hill, nearing the heavens. The cruiser lands and the trio make their way for the shrine up the hill. Emerald Enchantress takes a moment to admire the sights and looks at the ruins in awe.

“Wow, these must date back to the 11th century…” Emerald Enchantress geeked out.

“Didn’t know you were a history buff.” Barnacle Boy said.

“It’s good to see today’s youth remembers the past so we don’t repeat the same mistakes.” Mermaid Man said, impressed.

The trio reaches the shrine, noticing this one has green symbols covering it. Barnacle Boy looks through the notes, which indicate in order to unleash Skyvern, you need to solve a slider puzzle on the front.

“I don’t think we can move those pieces with our powers.” Barnacle Boy doubted.

“I’ll handle it.” Emerald Enchantress volunteered, as she stretches, preparing herself.

Emerald Enchantress uses her magic powers to levitate each piece, locking each into place.  She successfully assembles the puzzle, forming a cloud. The shrine glows and the ground shakes. Skyvern emerges from the shrine and swirls around in the sky above. A cinematic shot of Skyvern overlooking the three heroes. Skyvern lets out a loud, screeching roar and spreads its metallic wings. Cannons open up from its body, which begin firing missiles. Emerald Enchantress casts a magic shield around the trio, protecting them from the incoming missile barrage. The shield breaks and they run around the field while Skyvern hovers over.

“Alright, that power boost would be welcome right about now.” Barnacle Boy said, noticing the pillars.

He shoots the Cosmic Ray at them, hoping this activates their power boost again, but it does not work this time.

“Like I warned you lad, you can’t rely on the same trick.” Mermaid Man reminded.

“Yeah, I see that now. I welcome the challenge.” Barnacle Boy responded, shrugging.

“What are you trying to do?” Emerald Enchantress asked.

“Those pillars gave us super forms of some kind which is the only way we stood a chance against the first titan. Not sure how to activate these ones.” Barnacle Boy explained.

“Maybe my magic can, I sense their intense power.” Emerald Enchantress suggested, taking initiative.

Emerald Enchantress concentrates and casts a powerful spell which make the pillars glow green. The trio feel a powerful energy surge and their bodies start glowing green as well.

“Nice work, this is like consuming a powerful protein shake!” Mermaid Man said, getting pumped.

“Wow, I’ve never felt a power like this before!” Emerald Enchantress said excitedly, as she floats into the air using her levitation spell.

The trio flies into the sky to face Skyvern. Skyvern lets out a roar, as it begins to fly around the country skies. The trio look down at Grecian from above, not letting the height scare them. Butcher and several civilians spot this from a distance, looking in awe and horror. Butcher once again records the fight for Edgar.

“I see it, but I still can’t believe it.” Butcher said.

Using Gigantus’ strength, Mermaid Man kicks an incoming missile back at Skyvern’s body. Skyvern strikes a claw forward at Mermaid Man, but a green barrier blocks it, thanks to Emerald Enchantress’ help. Skyvern swings its tail around, striking Barnacle Boy and sending him flying to the ground. He is protected by the magic energy.

“For a beast that just woke up, it sure is feisty.” Barnacle Boy noted, as he flies back up to the aerial fight.

Skyvern trikes to strike its other claw at Emerald Enchantress, but she makes duplicates of herself, confusing it. The trio unleash multiple attacks while imploding or dodging missiles. They fire a combined magical water blast, sending Skyvern smashing straight into an ancient pillar. Skyvern is being worn down, so green lasers begin to shoot out of its body. The trio fly through the laser field like rockets and avoid more missiles. Emerald Enchantress makes several green mirror shields appear across the sky, which reflect the lasers back and destroy them. The trio send a combined barrage of aqua punches and various green spell attacks at Skyvern, wearing it down to where it accepts defeat. It stops flying and attacking, lowering itself. Recognizing their worth, Skyvern gifts Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Emerald Enchantress some of its power, making their bodies glow.

Meanwhile, Mighty Max and Dark Ice, after following Big Moe’s tip, reach EVIL’s abandoned factory. They carefully tread down the dark hallway, and stop when they see Atomic Flounder on the floor outside the meeting room.

“Ow, why I oughta…” Atomic Flounder rants to himself.

“Easy there.” Mighty Max said, as the two help him back into his mobile chair.

“Why thank you sonnies, I never expected heroes to help a former villain.” Atomic Flounder replied surprised.

“Why are you here?” Dark Ice asked.

“I heard from the news that a maniac is hunting villains, so I wanted to check in to see if anybody’s here. But I guess I spooked whoever was inside and got shot for it.” Atomic Flounder explained, mildly annoyed.

“Will you be okay?” Mighty Max asked, tending to his shoulder would.

“I’ve survived worse, but…thanks for the concern, sonny.” Atomic Flounder replied, surprised by their care.

“We came here to see if the culprit would strike here, but it appears we’ve hit a dead end.” Dark Ice lamented.

As the three leave the factory, they feel an ominous chill in the air. Frostiles appears without warning and immediately shoots ice beams at them, but Mighty Max throws several heat discs, making them collide.

“Odd, I didn’t sense you two…” Frostiles said curiously to Mighty Max and Dark Ice, who don’t understand what he means.

Atomic Flounder tries to shoot an atomic ray from his mouth, but he’s too old. Frostiles throws an ice attack which knocks him out of his chair. Atomic Flounder looks up terrified.

“Leave him be, he’s just an old guy! He’s not even a villain anymore!” Mighty Max protested, surprised he’s sticking up for him.

“Doesn’t matter, once a villain, always a villain.” Frostiles replied.

Frostiles picks Atomic Flounder up and freezes him solid. He then shatters his body, making ice remains fall to the sand. Dark Ice and Mighty Max are both horrified, then attack Frostiles to the best of their ability. Frostiles throws several ice spikes, as one of them pierces through Dark Ice’s leg. Mighty Max throws several heat discs at Frostiles, which burn through his ice skin and smoke rises.

“Not so tough are you now?” Mighty Max said, seeing Frostiles feel actual pain.

This allows the two to get in a few hits on Frostiles, but he blows them back with an icy gust. Frostiles teleports away, not having time for this fight and knowing the next titan awaits his presence.

Mighty Max helps patch Dark Ice’s wound, who's recovering.

“I’ll be fine, but can’t say the same for flounder. Poor guy, even if we were on opposing sides, he didn’t deserve that.” Dark Ice said, looking at the ice shards.

“What did he mean he didn’t sense us?” Dark Ice wondered, as Mighty Max ponders.

“…Because we don’t have actual super powers, we’re only guys in costumes. I fly using a jetpack, not actual flight powers. That’s how he keeps finding everybody…” Mighty Max realized.

“What about Riptide Rider?” Dark Ice asked, confused.

“He had enhanced speed senses along with a super powered bike. I’m a nerd, I know. Somehow using dark magic he’s able to sense where any hero or villain is, no matter how faraway.” Mighty Max explained.

“At least he can’t detect us but everyone else is not so fortunate. All heroes need to come together now to stop this menace.” Dark Ice said determined, willing to put aside his gripes with the current IJLSA, because he realizes the bigger threat.

In Grecian, the trio are taking heavy breaths and celebrating their victory. Their powers go away, but thanks to Skyvern’s power, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy have a moderate amount of flight in them again.

“Thank you great sky titan for restoring our flight.” Mermaid Man said gratefully, as he floats up for a bit.

“We’re halfway there, just two titans to go.” Barnacle Boy said optimistically.

“That was awesome! We’ve never done anything that crazy before. Thanks so much, you two showed me what it’s like to really be a hero again and not part of a brand. I can fly you to Nalabar if you want.” Emerald Enchantress offered.

“We appreciate the kindness, but we’ll be fine. We don’t want to burden you and distract from  your position.” Mermaid Man replied.

“Plus the exercise is good for our calves and energy.” Barnacle Boy added.

Emerald Enchantress transports them back to the airport in the cruiser. Before they deapart, she shakes their hands, honored to have worked with the legendary duo. She waves farewell to them. She returns to the shrine to watch over it and continues to admire the historic sights around. Before Skyvern turns back into the shrine, Frostiles shoots another ice spike into Skyvern’s body, making the same ominous icy glow cover its body.

Notes/Trivia:

-Character Debuts: Skyvern

-Area Debuts: Grecian

-Deaths: Atomic Flounder and Courageous Crustacean (mentioned)

-Flashback Timeline: After the flashback in chapter six

-Mu is from the DS version of Atlantis SquarePantis.

-Catfishtress is from the SpongeBob comics.

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Chapter Eight: Justice and Mercy

Frostiles is recovering from his injuries on a Nordavia mountain, absorbing the snow around. This heals his burnt spots, as he takes a deep breath in. He then reads one of the books he took from the library and concentrates. He spiritually ascends and pictures himself on an astral plane, with silhouettes of the Super Titans at each corner. He then sees flashes of where every hero and villain is across the sea at this moment in time, connected by the spiritual plane due to their super powers. He sees Homesurfer flying through Nordavia, Blue Arrow at Hydroko’s shire, Emerald Enchantress at Grecian’s shrine, Man Ray and Dirty Bubble on the run, and Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Miss Appear in Nalabar. While he could strike the divided IJLSA members, he wants to give them a false sense of hope while his virus infects the titans.

“The era of super powered beings is nearing its sunset.” Frostiles ominously declared, trying to taunt the titans.

He then sees a vision of the villain Sportz Dude terrorizing the Bikini Bottom Gym. Sportz Dude is viewed as a D-list laughingstock to other villains and they refused his membership into EVIL.

“Bow to me, fools, for I’m the king of anything sports associated! I’m claiming this gym as my kingdom! This will prove I can fight this villain killer and EVIL will finally accept me into their membership!” Sportz Dude boasted and laughed, longing for other villains’ acceptance.

The gym patrons immediately laugh and throw equipment at him, knocking him down. Sportz Dude gets back up infuriated and uses his actual power to duplicate sports balls and shoot them everywhere.

“You will respect me!” Sportz Dude demanded.

Frostiles teleports outside the gym, making several passerby immediately run away terrified. Pan shot as Frostiles casually walks into the gym, but we do not see the inside. Ice attacks begin firing away, reflecting through the gym’s windows. Civilians inside panic, as a frosty mist encases the gym, preventing anyone from leaving. Frostiles and Sportz Dude are heard talking to each other.

“Wait, the other villains don’t take me seriously, that means I should get a pass, right!?” Sportz Dude cowardly begged.

“Joke or not, you still have a power that must be eradicated from the world. However, I’ll give you the death that the scales of justice and mercy see fit.” Frostiles said terrifyingly.

The gym becomes dead silent after Frostiles’ fatal blow. He teleports away, leaving a frozen gym behind in his wake with the civilians trapped inside. During the fighting, several civilians were injured, acting as an ironic dark mirror to Silver Saint and Jelly Master’s battle long ago. In the end, Frostiles is no better than the people he despises when it comes to collateral damage.

Mighty Max and Dark Ice later arrive at the aftermath of Frostiles’ assault on the Bikini Bottom Gym, looking on at the frozen building. Mighty Max uses his heat discs to begin melting the ice, allowing the trapped civilians inside to finally escape. Dark Ice and Mighty Max begin tending to the injured civilians, who thank them for their aid. A few asks for their autographs, but they politely decline, not wanting fame to distract them from their mission.

“How do we outsmart a guy that knows where every super powered being will be?” Mighty Max pondered.

“Let’s reach out to IJLSA allies for help in preparing for his every move. We need to stand united regardless of her ideals of how superheroes should operate.” Dark Ice said triumphantly.

“Agreed. I’d ask Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy for help but I’ve heard they’re on a globetrotting adventure to discover how to defeat Frostiles. I wish them the best, as they may be our only hope.” Mighty Max pleaded.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s plane lands in Nalabar. Barnacle Boy looks through Leif’s father’s notes about the next titan. It’s named “Knighyura”, depicting a giant crab with metallic armor. It’s holding a sword and shield with both claws. The notes say it represents agility.

“Agile with that hunky armor? Well everything written’s been true so far…” Barnacle Boy shrugged.

“With weapons like those, it will take more than flight to take this beast on.” Mermaid Man noted.

“Hopefully our next hero team up is Miss Appear, because Homesurfer would be…a lot to handle right now.” Barnacle Boy said.

“I see the good in everyone, I’m sure we can reach an impasse with him too. He just needs the right guidance from elders to improve his leadership skills.” Mermaid Man said optimistically.

The duo’s plane lands, as they leave the airport. Butcher carefully tails them again, but taking extra care to blend into crowds so he’s not spotted. Barnacle Boy briefly stops and looks around for him, but doesn’t spot him, so they move forward. The duo walk through the bustling city. Nalabar had a history of being ruled by dictators, hurting the wellbeing of the civilians and living conditions. Following the collapse of the previous regime a few years back, the people took over to steer the country toward a hopeful, prosperous new era. Mermaid Man admires the local art and architecture, pleased to see how it flourished through the country’s troubling times. As he told Emerald Enchantress, history should never be forgotten. They see a beautiful fountains standing in the center, with rainbow colored water pouring out of it. A plaque rests on the stone, talking about how the fountain is dedicated to those who sacrificed their lives for a better future.

“Wonder how they got the water like that.” Mermaid Man pondered, fascinated.

“Must have used a unique dye mix.” Barnacle Boy suggested, also fascinated.

“Kyle, I wonder how history would remember us when we pass on.” Mermaid Man wondered, letting how Edgar is running IJLSA weigh on his mind again.

“Not particularly in the mood for a morbid conversation, sorry. But if I had to wager, I’m sure we’d be honored and never forgotten. Doesn’t matter if one guy tries to erase you from IJLSA’s history, you’ll live on in the hearts and minds of everyone else.” Barnacle Boy responded.

“You’re right, lad. We don’t need worldwide fame, I’ve been too caught up in it. We’ve touched the hearts of many like SpongeBob, his friends, all the people we’ve saved, and the current IJLSA. That’s what matters most.” Mermaid Man said hopefully.

“Like you told me before, actions speak louder than words.” Barnacle Boy noted.

Mermaid Man keeps staring at the rainbow water and then puts his head under a rush of water, letting it flow through his face. Barnacle Boy looks at him wondering if he’s lost it. While doing so, he has more flashes of his past. He then envisions a statue honoring the duo in a futuristic Bikini Bottom, long after they’ve passed.

“Everything’s going to be okay.” Mermaid Man said, smiling and at peace, as if he’s been purified.

“What did that water do to you?” Barnacle Boy wondered.

Barnacle Boy shrugs and puts his head under as well. He experiences flashes of his past and has his own vision of the future, seeing the same one. He comes out of the water if he’s been purified too.

“I oddly feel calmer too. Want to make a wish?” Barnacle Boy suggested, holding out a doubloon.

The two then flip doubloons into the fountain and make their wishes. Several civilians nearby recognize the duo, cheering them on and wanting to take a photo with them. The duo happily oblige, posing for photos with excited Nalabarans. They are happy to see people still care about them amidst the current influx of superheroes.

As Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy keep exploring the city, Miss Appear is also seen walking around the same city, looking for the duo. She knew about their adventures with Blue Arrow and Emerald Enchantress, and figured they’d be here any moment. Suddenly, several armed shady characters march into the area, scaring the civilians. These are members of the criminal syndicate Obsidian Axe. While Nalabar has been seeing recovery now that it’s freed from a dictatorship, the remnants of this criminal group still occasionally threatens to disrupt peace. The gang begins stealing food and supplies from the markets, angering the merchants. One grunt prevents a family from purchasing foods, standing in the way and intimidating them.

“Leave them alone!” Miss Appear said defiantly, standing in the way and protecting the family.

“Who are you, missy?” One grunt asked.

“I’m Miss Appear. Now you see me, now you don’t.” Miss Appear boasted proudly, as she turns invisible, confusing him.

She then punches him in the face while invisible. He tries to shoot his gun, but she kicks it out of his hand and punches him again, knocking him down to the ground. The family cheers for Miss Appear. The other Obsidian Axe grunts hone in on her, when Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy rush to her aid.

“Hope we’re not too late for the fun! Time for our next bonding adventure!” Barnacle Boy said, standing by her side.

“Working with Miss Appear, just like the good old days!” Mermaid Man reminisced.

“Fighting evil side by side with you two, this is a lifelong dream come true! I’ll take the ones over there!” Miss Appear happily geeked out.

Mermaid Man swings his cane at one grunt’s legs, knocking them off balance. Barnacle Boy grabs another grunt by the hand and makes him punch him in the face, then sends him away with a water blast. Miss Appear turns invisible, making the grunt miss their punch. She reappears behind and punches the grunt in the face, knocking him down to the ground hard. Barnacle Boy shoots his sulfur vision at a grunt’s gun, melting it. He then punches him in the face, knocking him down. Mermaid Man is confronted by two grunts, so he throws the Mermarang at one and grabs the other’s gun out of their hand with his cane. Miss Appear helps him knock out both. Barnacle Boy jumps and floats into the air using Skyvern’s power, avoiding gunshots. He sends an aqua wave down at the grunts, washing them away. Mermaid Man also lightly floats into the air, hovering over grunts, and knocking them down with aqua fists. He takes a moment to readjust himself after landing, knowing he can’t fly too much like he used to. Butcher is seen on a rooftop closely, with a sniper pointing at the area. He shoots at a grunt sneaking behind Mermaid Man, incapacitating him, as the trio wonder where the blast came from. Hughie then runs wild and attacks several incoming grunts from another direction. He viciously drags them into an alley, as they let out terrified screams. Miss Appear beats up three remaining grunts by herself.

All of the grunts are scattered on the ground defeated. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy sweep up all the defeated grunts into a whirlpool, twirling them around. They are sent flying faraway from the city, as the civilians cheer for the heroes.

“I knew you two still had it, that was incredible!” Miss Appear said, excited they did that together.

“Once again, it appears Miss Cheeks made the right call picking you as the current Miss Appear.” Mermaid Man said.

“I assume you’re on the same page about the titans at this stage, we have its location.” Barnacle Boy said, showing the map.

“Indeed, I’ll take you there. I never believed for one second you two were trying to backstab the IJLSA. The IJLSA shouldn’t control every single hero’s actions anyways.” Miss Appear replied.

“I hate to tell you this, but we believe that “Ragnar” guy was actually Frostiles messing with you. We don’t fault you for it though, you had no way of knowing and we all make mistakes.” Barnacle Boy revealed, unnerving Miss Appear.

“That makes sense, but I won’t dwell on it. If Homesurfer knew the enemy was staring him right in the face, oh boy.” Miss Appear responded.

As the trio begins walking off, Barnacle Boy spots Butcher again. He now knows whoever this guy is, he’s following them. Maybe he’s an assassin. No way does he appear in the same three countries by pure coincidence.

“Alright, whoever that fellow is, he’s definitely stalking us. My hero instinct is 100% sure.” Barnacle Boy insisted.

Barnacle Boy walks over to Butcher, making him nervous. Mermaid Man and Miss Appear are confused but follow suit. Butcher looks worried seeing Barnacle Boy get closer, as he pretends to be casual by reading his phone.

“Who are you?” Barnacle Boy asked confrontationally.

“Just a tourist. Hey, I recognize you, you’re Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Miss Appear! Pleasure to meet ya! Can I get your autographs?” Butcher kindly feigned.

“You’ll have to do better than that, pal. Who do you work for. Are you an assassin?” Barnacle Boy asked suspiciously.

“Whoa, calm down mate. What seems to be the issue?” Butcher asked, feigning innocence.

Hughie begins growling, but Butcher tries to calm him down.

“Easy fido, I promise we mean no harm. The young ward is just curious about your owner.” Mermaid Man said, trying to soothe the situation.

“I’ve seen you in Hydroko, Grecian and now here. Why do you keep following us?” Barnacle Boy asked confrontationally.

“I’m a big fan of sightseeing and superheroes. It’s a small world with many coincidences.” Butcher lied, putting on his best happy face.

“That’s no coincidence. That mysterious gunshot earlier was from you, wasn’t it?” Miss Appear realized, believing Barnacle Boy.

“I’m being paid to follow you, okay! It’s nothing personal but I owe a favor and it’s a handsome payment.” Butcher confessed under pressure.

“Let me guess, Edgar ordered you? Scared we were plotting against him?” Barnacle Boy assumed.

“…I cannot confirm or deny.” Butcher responded awkwardly.

“Well stop it! We’re fine and most definitely not brainwashed! Blue Arrow, Emerald Enchantress and now Miss Appear can vouch for that.” Barnacle Boy insisted.

“Yeah, they’re not doing anything suspicious. They’ve found the titans like they said they would and each of us is protecting them. Edgar, if you’re listening to this, please don’t send people to spy on us without our consent.” Miss Appear proclaimed, standing up to him.

“I’ll be sure to relay that to him…theoretically if I was working for him, of course.” Butcher awkwardly responded.

“Nice talk. Wasn’t so hard now, was it?” Barnacle Boy replied.

The trio leave Butcher behind and head for the submarine cruiser. From a muted distance behind, Butcher calls Edgar on his bluetooth headset, explaining the situation. Edgar is not happy on the other end.

“Okay, in my defense, we did kind of have a whole conversation about how I’ve never followed superheroes before and may not have been properly equipped for this assignment!” Butcher argued with Edgar on the other end.

The trio heads for the submarine cruiser, going through a savannah path. While they walk, Miss Appear contemplates telling the duo something.

“Lovely sights.” Mermaid Man said, sightseeing.

“Yeah, this is truly a beautiful country. I’m glad it’s doing its best to pave a better future.” Miss Appear said.

“It’s interesting when you think about how Hydroko, Grecian, Nalabar and Nordavia are the origins of all super powers, yet none of them have anything in common. The world works in mysterious ways like that sometimes.” Barnacle Boy mused.

As they get closer to the cruiser, Miss Appear decides to reveal what she’s wanted to say.

“There’s something I’ve been wanting to tell you. I’m not sure if you’d remember it, but I owe my life to you two.” Miss Appear revealed, surprising them.

“What do you mean?” Barnacle Boy asked confused.

“Many years ago, you attended a certain girl’s birthday party after saving her and her family.” Miss Appear alluded.

Mermaid Man thinks and reminisces back to this day…

One quaint day in 2008, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are taking a joy ride in the Invisible Boatmobile.

“It’s nice to get out of Shady Shoals once in a while and absorb the fresh air.” Barnacle Boy said calmly.

They go over a bridge. As they keep driving, Barnacle Boy immediately slams on the brakes when they see a scary sight ahead. A car crash occurred, and one of the cars is dangling over the bridge ledge. A girl and her parents are inside. The other driver in the crash is okay, outside of their vehicle and waving for help.

“We have to help them!” Mermaid Man declared, jumping out of the vehicle.

“I agree, but easy old timer, don’t give yourself a stroke.” Barnacle Boy warned.

“No matter how old we are, we’ll always do what’s right!” Mermaid Man said, as they unite their fists together.

They carefully rush toward the scene, and try grabbing onto the car. The family looks back surprised.

“It’s Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, here to save us!” The father said ecstatically.

Mermaid Man nearly gives out his back while trying to pull it up. Mermaid Man then uses his animal powers to summon nearby jellyfish, which flock together and push up the front. With their help, the car is safely brought back onto the road. The family gets out of the vehicle, shaking the duo’s hands.

“Thank you so much for saving our girl Anne! You’re real heroes!” The mother said happily.

“But now my 10th birthday is ruined!” Anne said sadly.

“Sweetie, this is better than any present we could give you.” The father said.

“Today’s your birthday? Happy birthday, Anne.” Barnacle Boy said.

“Your birthday isn’t ruined lass, because we’re going to help give you the best one ever!” Mermaid Man decreed.

“Yippie!” Anne cheered.

“I have one request: Can you bring Miss Appear there? She’s Anne’s favorite hero.” The mother requested.

“Of course, she’ll be delighted to join.” Barnacle Boy promised.

Anne’s birthday party is held at Bunny Buns, as her energetic friends enjoy the games and food. Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and the original Miss Appear, now elderly, are there as special guests.

“There I was, at the mercy of my arch nemesis Invisible Isopod. He created a device that jammed my suit's cloaking abilities, preventing me from turning invisible. But I wouldn’t let that stop me, because using my reflexes, I was able to defeat him!” Miss Appear explained to the kids.

“Wow! When I grow up, I want to be like you!” Anne said, impressed.

“I think you’d be a worthy Miss Appear someday.” Miss Appear said to Anne, who is inspired by these words.

Anne continues to have a great birthday party with three superheroes. This day is what inspired her to eventually take up the Miss Appear mantle.

“…That girl was you.” Mermaid Man realized.

“Wow, really is a small world.” Barnacle Boy realized.

“You two inspired me to become a hero after that. Had you not been there to save us from that one wrong turn, I’d never be here.” Miss Appear revealed.

“We’re honored we had such an impact on you, lass.” Mermaid Man replied tearfully.

Miss Appear is happy to hear that and get it off her mind. They get inside the submarine cruiser, which flies toward its destination.

“How do you feel about the state of the IJLSA?” Barnacle Boy asked Miss Appear.

“I get along with everyone mostly fine, but Homesurfer has an annoying desire to be right about everything which is partly what derailed us from investigating Frostiles. I don’t want to entirely throw him under the bus though, I know he’s under a lot of pressure and expectations.” Miss Appear lamented.

“Criticism should be encouraged or there’s no team. I made mistakes as a leader too, and I would’ve never learned if my teammates hadn’t corrected me. Stand up for what you believe in.” Mermaid Man wisely said.

Miss Appear feels more confident about making her voice heard and standing up to actions she disagrees with.

“Are you ready to face this titan?” Mermaid Man asked.

“I’m not sure if my powers will be of much use against it, but I’ll do my best for you.” Miss Appear responded.

“I’m sure your powers will find a way to help us in ways you may not anticipate. We wouldn’t have stood a chance against the first two titans without Arrow and Enchantress’ assistance.” Barnacle Boy said.

They come upon a volcanic plain ahead, which is where the shrine rests. The view blends into the night sky.

“Captain Magma would’ve loved this heat.” Mermaid Man said, missing him.

The trio reaches the shrine, noticing this one has purple symbols covering it. Barnacle Boy looks through the notes, which indicate in order to unleash Knighyura, you need to press certain tiles around the shrine in a set time without being spotted by a security system resting at the top. The security system is a crab statue with glowing purple eyes, as it spins around, carefully examining the area.

“This looks like a job for me!” Miss Appear said confidently.

Miss Appear gets to it, turning invisible and running around the shrine, pressing the necessary tiles. The crab statue is unable to spot her due to the cloak, but senses someone’s pressing tiles and is panicking to find who’s responsible. She successfully presses the last one, and turns visible again just in time. The duo are pleased with her skill. The shrine glows and the ground shakes just like the previous two did. Knighyura emerges from the shrine and uses its four crustacean legs to move around the area at intense speed. A cinematic shot of Knighyura overlooking the three heroes. Knighyura lets out a loud roar and holds up its shield, which has saw blades spinning around it.

“Oh my.” Miss Appear said, gulping.

From the distance, several traveling civilians and Butcher see the massive crab, looking in awe and terror. Hughie trembles at the size of the beast. This time, Butcher does not record for Edgar, who made it clear in their call he’s seen enough and his operation is compromised.

“Biggest crab I ever did see. Go get ‘em.” Butcher said impressed and cheering on the trio.

Knighyura throws the shield towards the trio, as the duo try to fly out of the way and Miss Appear turns invisible. The shield barely misses them, as it flies back into Knighyura’s claw like a boomerang.

“So how exactly did you stand a chance against the other two?” Miss Appear asked in disbelief, as they feel the ground shakes from Knighyura’s movements.

“These pillars grant a legendary power boost, but I’m not sure how to activate this set.” Barnacle Boy explained, noticing a set of pillars in a peculiar circle.

Miss Appear notices another crab statue on top of a pillar, similar to the shrine. This gives her an idea, as she waves her hands in front of it, and it awakens. It begins shooting a laser around the pillar circle, as she turns invisible to avoid it. The laser hits all of the pillars, making them glow. The trio feel a powerful energy surge and their bodies start glowing purple.

“I’m so much faster!” Miss Appear said, as she turns invisible and then reappears in a different part of the field thanks to a speed boost.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy fly up, staring down the mighty beast. It slashes its sword, but the two dodge it. They send a whirlpool wave, but Knighyura swerves around the field fast using its legs, avoiding the attack.

“This one’s faster than the other two.” Barnacle Boy noted.

Miss Appear disappears, avoiding one of its footsteps. She reappears on top of the shield and throws multiple bombs right at its face, annoying it. It tries to shake her off by spinning again, but Miss Appear teleports away again, reappearing down below. Knighyura then strikes its sword at Mermaid Man, who blocks it using Gigantus’ strength and is knocked back. Barnacle Boy sends several tidal blasts at Knighyura. Knighyura throws the saw shield again right at Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Channeling Gigantus’s strength, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy together punch the shield back, and Miss Appear teleports on top of it, riding it in awe. It goes gashing into Knighyura’s armor, taking many hits, and Miss Appear throws more bombs. Knighyura begins to wear down, and begins shooting purple lasers out of its armor like the previous two. Miss Appear uses her invisibility to jump through the lasers unscathed. She throws bombs back at the lasers, destroying them. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy both pull the large sword out of Knighyura’s claw using their water powers and swing it back, knocking the saw shield out of its grip. The trio send a combined barrage of aqua punches and bombs at Knighyura, wearing it down to where it accepts defeat. Recognizing their worth, Knighyura gifts Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Miss Appear some of its power, making their bodies glow. They return to the ground.

“That was amazing! If that’s the only time we work together, it was worth it. Glad I keep my speed boost too so Quickster's legacy lives on too.” Miss Appear said ecstatically, catching her breath.

“One titan to go, hopefully our hearts don’t give out by then.” Barnacle Boy joked morbidly.

“Your skills are on par with the original Miss Appear. You’re worthy of continuing her legacy, Anne.” Mermaid Man said to her, proud.

Miss Appear transports them back to the airport in the cruiser. Before they depart, she shakes their hands, honored to have worked with the legendary duo. She waves farewell to them. She returns to the shrine to watch over it and admires the sights around. Before Knighyura turns back into the shrine, Frostiles shoots another ice spike into Knighyura’s body, making the same ominous icy glow cover its body.

Meanwhile, Mighty Max and Dark Ice are outside the IJLSA headquarters, seeing a gathering of hero allies who are deliberating what to do about Frostiles. Two of the heroes present are Lighthouse Lass and Athena. The duo gain their attention, looking on curiously.

“Everyone, please listen. I know we’re not official allies and you may resent us for that. But it’s time we put aside our differences of who’s an ally and who’s not. We’ve seen firsthand the wrath Frostiles can bring upon us, and if we stand against him together, we can defeat him.” Mighty Max spoke, rallying them together.

“Hear, hear!” One hero cheered, as others follow suit.

As the group of heroes come together, a mystic teleportation noise is heard behind. Frostiles shoots an ice blast at the group of allies, but Mighty Max senses it in time and blocks it with his heat discs. Mighty Max and Dark Ice stand in front of the united allies, taking a stand against him. Frostiles is annoyed to see this duo interfering with him again, caught off guard since he can’t sense them.

“I know you think you can beat me, but if super powered beings had no chance, what makes you think mere people in costumes can defeat me?” Frostiles taunted.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m a true superhero or not, I’m fighting because it’s the right thing to do.” Mighty Max proclaimed, flying upward and throwing another heat disc, but Frostiles slashes at it with his sword.

Dark Ice, Mighty Max and all the other allies present bombard Frostiles with attacks, trying to overwhelm him. Frostiles counters them with his blade and ice attacks, creating a chaotic battlefield. Onlooking civilians all scram from the premises. Edgar and Charon look at the ensuing battle from a window above, worried for the allies. Lighthouse Lass flashes a light at Frostiles, which burns his skin and makes him flinch. Dark Ice punches at him and throws spikes, but Frostiles blasts him away.

Frostiles creates several ice barriers in the area, separating the allies and confusing them. He sends an ice beam at Lighthouse Lass, freezing her body, and approaches for the kill. Seeing she’s in danger, Dark Ice jumps in the way to protect her. Frostiles stabs his ice blade right through Dark Ice, who accepts his fate and falls to the ground. Frostiles looks stunned and annoyed, as this is not a “real hero” in his perspective. Mighty Max’s heat discs going flying right into Frostiles’ body, burning him again and he cries out in pain. They explode, sending him onto the ground weakened. The ice barriers melt, as the allies surround him. Frostiles has had enough of this and musters up his remaining strength to teleport away again in a mystic frost.

“We put up a good fight together, but…poor guy gave his life to save me.” Lighthouse Lass lamented, looking at Dark Ice.

“He went out like a true hero. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy would be proud.” Mighty Max said emotionally.

Dark Ice lays dead on the ground, but at peace knowing he saved the others. Mighty Max and the other IJLSA allies take a moment of silence to salute him for his noble sacrifice.

Notes/Trivia:

-Character Debuts: Knighyura and Sportz Dude

-Deaths: Dark Ice and Sportz Dude

-Flashback Timeline: 2008, years after the other flashbacks but before chapter five’s

-Sportz Dude was a reimagined version of Sports Master from Brave and the Bold.

-Nalabar is a country first seen in Pirate Legends.

-The Obsidian Axe were first mentioned in Most Wanted.

-Invisible Isopod from the SpongeBob comics is referenced.

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Chapter Nine: Last Day

Frostiles is in Nordavia, absorbing the snow to recover from his wounds again. He did not view Mighty Max as a major threat despite this, convincing himself he only got lucky due to his fire tool advantage. As he heals with the snow, he reminisces to what he did in the years after his transformation…

After killing both Jelly Master and Silver Saint, Frostiles fled Frostheim village, wandering into the snowy unknown. His body keeps malfunctioning and he uncontrollably shoots ice everywhere. He flees deep into the mountains, with the snowstorm following his path like a dark weather cloud. He keeps walking for a long while, still unable to control his ice powers, until he eventually stumbles upon the Nordavia titan’s shrine. He angrily curses at it, blaming it for his suffering. He reminisces to his childhood, showing his parents worshiping the village’s statue of the deity. They, along with the rest of the village, were convinced superheroes were saviors of the world who deserved their respect. From his warped perspective, he despised hearing about how amazing superheroes were every day, although how much the village worshipped heroes is exaggerated to fit his narrative. He viewed the village as if he’s trapped in a cult. As he grew older, he came to hate and envy the power of superheroes, feeling he deserved the fame more. He shoots several ice spears at the shrine, which does nothing. He then sees a brief vision flash of the titan looking at him angrily, and he falls to the snow. His ice blade glows, making noises as if it’s telling Frostiles something. He understands now what he must do if he’s to wipe out all superheroes and supervillains. He walks away from the shrine, back into the snowstorm.

Frostiles finds an obscure glacial cavern deep in the mountains. He freezes the entrance solid and creates an ice barrier around the exterior to make sure nobody else can enter. He had concealed himself inside the cavern, having peace and quiet to focus. Frostiles goes into hibernation for a long time. During his time encased in this ice sphere, he trains and masters his powers. Flashes of him practicing various ice attacks and getting better at performing them. He strikes the ice blade at ice sculptures he created, mastering how to use that weapon as well. He survives throughout the years by only consuming snow and water, the latter of which he finds from exploring deep within the cavern. One day, a pair of explorers try to break through the ice seal with their tools. Sensing their disruption, Frostiles performs several ice attacks which scares the duo away.

Flash forward to the present time, Frostiles awakens from meditation and shatters the ice seal around the cavern, freeing him. The blade told him he was finally ready to enact his plan after so many years. He marches toward Frostheim village, segueing into where chapter one ends.

Frostiles is fully healed and envisions himself on the astral plane again. He sees Homesurfer still in Nordavia, while Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s plane is approaching. He smiles and sees his infection hurting the three titans, while only the last one remains. He points his blade at it.

“The idea of superheroes and supervillains is about to become a passing memory in the distant future.” Frostiles decreed, preparing the final stage of his plan.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are seen on their plane heading for Nordavia, their last destination. Barnacle Boy looks over Leif’s father notes on their last titan, named “Supricus.” It’s a large metal dolphin with legs and a cannon coming out of its blowhole. The notes indicate it represents “power” and acts as an amalgamation the other titans.

“Not what I expected, but I’m sure we can handle this one too once we know what we’re doing.” Barnacle Boy said.

“Even at the end of the journey, never get overconfident. It’s funny to think that during all of this, we still haven’t even met this elusive Frostiles.” Mermaid Man realized.

“He prefers the crafty long game, it seems. When we land in Nordavia, you know our partner this time is going to be Homesurfer. No idea how that’s gonna go down.” Barnacle Boy said, slightly worried.

“I assumed the worst about the new IJLSA but once we got to actually know them, they were not what we expected at all. I believe Homesurfer is the same. Never judge a book by its cover.” Mermaid Man responded wisely.

“If you say so.” Barnacle Boy shrugged, hoping the optimism pays off.

“How cold is it gonna be in this country?” Mermaid Man asked, changing subject.

“Very, but don’t worry, I brought jackets.” Barnacle Boy assured, looking at their suitcases.

Barnacle Boy looks around, spotting Butcher with Hughie in a seat together again. He gets up from his seat and walks through the aisle, approaching them. Butcher tries not to pay him mind as he reads a watch magazine.

“Which one should I get?” Butcher asked Hughie, who doesn’t seem impressed by the showcase.

“Oh joy, you’re still following us.” Barnacle Boy sarcastically said.

“No worries, I’m done stalking ya. I’m only here because these flights ain’t cheap. I know there’s no need for me to be your, but who knows, maybe I could end up helping you when you least expect it. Think of me like your guardian angel.” Butcher offered.

“We appreciate the offer, but I think we’ll be fine if you saw us in action against those beasts.” Barnacle Boy replied.

“That I did, and yes, I think you’ll be fine seeing your displays. But to say “I think” still has a certain gesture of uncertainty, doesn’t it? Anyway, I’d like your opinion: which watch should I get?” Butcher wondered, showing him the magazine.

“Go with your heart.” Barnacle Boy replied; Butcher ponders.

Barnacle Boy returns to his seat and sees Mermaid Man in deep thought.

“Lad, I want to ask you something: Am I selfish for caring so much about our legacy?” Mermaid Man asked introspectively.

“I don’t think you’re selfish for worrying about the future. I mean, we’re old and only have so much time left. It’s natural to think about death and all that good stuff.” Barnacle Boy responded the best way he could think.

“I only cared about how we’d be remembered in the future and not how the rest of the world would be affected. I was so obsessed with worrying people didn’t respect us anymore, but that’s not what being a superhero is about. Being selfless is one of the most important lessons a hero learns. Seeing heroes and villains on the brink of extinction has made me realize how blinded and afraid I was.” Mermaid Man reflected.

“You’re choosing a random time to get deep. When you’re a hero that’s saved the world countless times, it’s hard not to get an egotistical feeling here and there. I’d be lying if I didn’t feel that way sometimes. At least we can self-reflect and admit it unlike others.” Barnacle Boy replied to brighten the mood.

“Thank you so much, young ward. I saw the future in that Nalabar fountain, and now I know everything will be okay regardless of how we’re remembered. I’m not afraid anymore. That’s why I know we’ll stop Frostiles.” Mermaid Man declared eagerly, and Barnacle Boy is proud of him for coming to that realization.

Edgar is in his office, looking over paperwork. He begins rewriting their guidelines and policies to reflect Mermaid Man’s vision better. Charon helps him examine it.

“Sir, are you sure about this? The investors and shareholders would have many questions and breathe down your neck.” Charon inquired.

“Yes. It’s time I stop caring about what everyone else who’s never faced real combat in their lives wants. Instead we need to focus on what the team feels is best for the IJLSA’s future. If the investors get angry, so be it. I’m not afraid. I’ll take responsibility and deal with them.” Edgar admitted, caring more about what Mermaid Man and the team thinks.

“Understood, I respect your decision. The IJLSA is about to prosper in a new era.” Charon responded, proud of his boss, as he organizes the papers.

Edgar begins striking out many parts of their policies pertaining to IJLSA’s ally program. He knew this system was superfluous and alienating. He changes the wording to be a more open, free for all system where as long as anybody is doing heroic deeds, they are considered a friend of the IJLSA. Next, he signs a decree to cut back on superhero content, preferring for a “less is more” approach from here onward. Lastly, he officially shreds any of his plans for the superheroes working with the military, preferring them to be independent. Despite how much he pushed for it at first, he’s now relieved it’s no longer on his mind. He had already called off Butcher from the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy stalking, knowing that too was pointless now. He felt he had wronged the dynamic duo and went too far by asking Butcher to stalk them. What was he thinking? Of course they were helping save the world. He partly viewed these guideline changes as his way of making it up to them. Edgar then stands up and looks out the window. Contrast to his other times doing this, he actually smiles for the first time. He then looks at the photo of his father, who he hopes would be proud.

Man Ray and Dirty Bubble are seen in a diner in another state faraway from Bikini Bottom, wearing unsubtle disguises. They read over their menus.

“What would you two gentlemen like to order?” The waitress asked, approaching their table.

“Since dirt’s not on the menu, I’ll have French toast!” Dirty Bubble requested.

“Freshly baked hotcakes!” Man Ray requested.

The waitress writes them down on a tablet and heads off. As they wait for their meals, the duo keeps looking around worried if Frostiles is near.

“Do you think we’re safe out here? He can still track our movements.” Dirty Bubble asked concerned, continuing to look around paranoid at every patron in the diner, wondering if one is Frostiles in disguise.

“If he wanted us dead, he would’ve already found us. There’s a lot of fish in the sea and I’m sure the IJLSA are more important targets for him.” Man Ray hoped.

“Do you think we really shot him and not another villain that was trying to hide?” Dirty Bubble wondered.

“You’re too paranoid, leave that all in the past. We’re looking forward, not backward.  On that note, I’ve been thinking. We’ve been at this together for a long time…maybe it’s time to retire from villainy for good. Are we any better than the old coots by continuing to cling to the past?” Man Ray pondered.

“You have a point. Our schemes are so stale and played out anyways. I can only want people to eat dirt so many times.” Dirty Bubble accepted, sighing.

“Maybe we can retire to a peaceful resort, it’s better than being stuck in a retirement home.” Man Ray mused.

They eat their meals and contemplate their futures, seemingly accepting it’s time to retire from villainy.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s plane lands in Nordavia, the beautiful snow calmly falling around. The duo get out wearing jackets and head off. Butcher shrugs and casually follows along, with the duo not minding. Butcher and Hughie are wearing parkas. They approach Frostheim village. Supricus’ statue rests in the center again, having been repaired. They see civilians going about their business and children playing in the snow. Leif welcomes the duo into the village, who had returned home during their adventure.

“Welcome to Frostheim, aquatic avengers. I take it you’ve secured the other three titans.” Leif greeted.

“Yes we have chief, and we must thank your father, because we never would’ve done it without his guidance.” Barnacle Boy said, returning the notes on the first three titans.

“Those puzzles were especially tricky and devious.” Mermaid Man added.

“You’re most welcome. Feel free to rest up at our warm inn if the cold is too much.” Leif offered.

“We appreciate the offer, but we politely decline, because we never rest when the world’s in danger.” Mermaid Man proudly replied.

“May as well get this last titan over with sooner than later.” Barnacle Boy added.

“I wish you safe travels and best of luck against Supricus, brave heroes. I know you can save everyone.” Leif encouraged.

The duo head out into the frozen tundra beyond and follow a path. Mermaid Man gently guides his cane through the snow to walk. Butcher approaches Leif.

“Here, watch him for me.” Butcher demanded, handing Hughie’s leash to Leif.

“Uh…sure.” Leif responded awkwardly, as Butcher heads off to the tundra.

Hughie stares at Leif, who takes him inside his house for warmth and food.

Homesurfer flies through the tundra in the Seabreeze Submarine, looking for the shrine. The windshield wipers clear snow out of his view. He sees the shrine in the middle of a mountain range below and marks the spot on the holo map. Before he goes down to secure it, several thumps are heard knocking against the submarine. He lowers the submarine down and gets out, looking to see if there’s an engine failure. Suddenly, he sees a figure approaching from the distance, and is on edge. Frostiles reveals himself, slashing his blade against the snowy ground.

“…You’re Frostiles! I won’t let you kill another hero!” Homesurfer realized.

Homesurfer shoots lasers straight at him, but Frostiles raises ice in his way, which takes the blast for him. He then rises several icicles into the air and strikes them at Homesurfer with his blade, who destroys them with current blasts. Frostiles is merely toying with him and has no intent to kill him yet. Homesurfer shoots more lasers, but they clash with Frostiles’ blade.  He clashes into Frostiles, sending him sliding across the snow and striking him with another laser blast. Frostiles is admittedly impressed by his strength, but knows it won’t be enough. As Homesurfer flies around, Frostiles quickly sends an ice blast at him that he’s unable to avoid in time, knocking him down into the snow. Frostiles approaches, the snow crackling and echoing from his footsteps as Homesurfer tries to gain his senses.

“I expected more from the alleged greatest hero in the sea. No matter, unlike the others, you are of better use to me alive than dead.” Frostiles taunted.

“Wait…that voice…” Homesurfer realized, recognizing it as Ragnar’s.

Before he gets up, Frostiles blows a pile of cursed snow dust at Homesurfer’s face, making him delirious. It warps his mind, convincing him Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy have been brainwashed and are plotting to destroy the last titan. If he kills the duo, then he can use Homesurfer to activate the last shrine for him and remain his pawn to kill other super powered beings. Regardless of the outcome, he’s a sadist who will enjoy however this plays out.

“Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are approaching the last titan any moment with the intent to destroy it.” Frostiles manipulated, showing a vision of where the duo are in Nordavia.

“…I must stop Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.” Homesurfer said brainwashed, as he flies off to confront them, and Frostiles teleports.

As the duo keep going down the snowy path, they see something flying above and encroaching closer. Homesurfer lands on his two feet ahead of them, and stares them down menacingly.

“Hey Homesurfer, glad you found us. Ready to face the titan?” Barnacle Boy asked casually.

Homesurfer gives them a nasty look, making them wonder what they did wrong.

“No, because I know you are my true enemy! I won’t let you destroy the titan!” Homesurfer protested angrily, shooting lasers from his eyes at both.

They rush out of the way using Knighyura’s speed, seeing the lasers burn across the snow.

“Not how I expected this encounter to go…” Barnacle Boy said concerned.

“He must be under Frostiles’ control.” Mermaid Man deduced, looking at his eyes.

“You’re desperate for the spotlight again, that’s why you’ve been backstabbing the IJLSA!” Homesurfer rambled, dashing forward and punching Mermaid Man.

Homesurfer channels a mighty tidal wave blast, crashing it at the duo. The duo counter with their own tidal wave blast, as they collide together. Homesurfer then shoots laser beams, and Barnacle Boy counters with his sulfur vision. They collide together, trying to push the other blast back. While distracted, Mermaid Man flicks the Orb of Confusion, hoping it will cancel out the spell, but it sadly doesn’t work. Homesurfer breaks out of the trance and punches Mermaid Man, sending him into the snow. Mermaid Man gets up, but refuses to fight back.

“Are you trying to get yourself killed!?” Barnacle Boy asked.

“This is what Frostiles wants, and I refuse to play into his games anymore. Homesurfer is still in there, I don’t want to. Hurt him.” Mermaid Man boldly said, opening his arms for embrace.

“Your tricks won’t fool me!” Homesurfer yelled,

Barnacle Boy summons several ice jellyfish to attack him, but Homesurfer washes them away. He then flies up and prepares a powerful attack to strike Mermaid Man with, who is still standing in place, refusing to fight. Butcher is seen on a cliff nearby, with his sniper rested and pointed at the hero fight going on.

“This ain’t looking good.” Butcher observed concerned.

Butcher loads a stun bullet into his gun and aims it, aligning the scope to Homesurfer. Butcher sighs, knowing Edgar will kill him for doing this, but knows it’s the right thing to do. Butcher fires. Homesurfer is about to release a powerful water typhoon, when he gasps, feeling something strike him. The bullet struck him in the back. Homesurfer falls out of the sky, crashing into the snow. The duo rush over to check on him, wondering what happened. They look into the distance, sensing it was Butcher who saved them. Butcher gives a wink through his scope.

“Guardian angel.” Barnacle Boy echoed in disbelief.

Homesurfer struggles to get up at first, feeling the paralysis kick in. He is no longer under the spell and comes to his senses. He has a moment of clarity, asking himself: what am I doing? He looks up at the heroes ashamed.

“What have I done? I allowed myself to be manipulated by Frostiles, I belittled my teammates, attacked our founders and ignored the obvious signs. I’m so sorry for everything. I’m a failure of a hero, not worthy to lead the IJLSA. I’ve failed my parents too, who truly had high hopes for me as a hero. I’m no better than our enemies, I should resign now.” Homesurfer ranted depressed, beginning to cry.

“Don’t resign, the world still needs heroes like you. You may be flawed, but without addressing those flaws, you’ll never do better, which I know you can. Your teammates expressed concerns to us that you’ve ignored their advice and let your ego get the best of you. One of the first IJLSA lessons is there’s no team without teamwork. I know evil and you’re not evil, Homesurfer. But the ego that’s consumed you needs to be left behind…starting now.” Mermaid Man said firmly, pointing his cane for emphasis.

“Everyone makes mistakes. All you can do now is strive to be a better leader. It’s not too late.” Barnacle Boy added.

Inspired by the duo’s words of wisdom, Homesurfer triumphantly gets up from the snow.

“You’re right. Frostiles is still out there, and we need to stop that monster.” Homesurfer declared.

The duo extend their hands, which he grabs and shakes. They embrace for a heartwarming hug. They’re finally ready to unite. From afar, Frostiles looks at the outcome mildly displeased, but it’s not an issue, as he’s going to get what he wants. The duo help pick the stun bullet out of Homesurfer’s back and heal the wound.

“Where did this even come from?” Homesurfer asked curiously.

“Let’s just say we have acquaintances in high places.” Mermaid Man replied.

Homesurfer takes the duo to the last shrine in the Seabreeze Submarine. They look out the windows at the snowfall. The duo look at the gadgetry and advanced technology inside impressed.

“Nice contraption you got here, though it’s no Invisible Boatmobile.” Mermaid Man said.

“Oh, it has a cloaking function too. Specifically inspired by your iconic vehicle.” Homesurfer said, turning it on and making the submarine invisible.

“Glad you did your homework.” Barnacle Boy replied.

“I must admit, I’ve been consumed by an ego too. Lately I had been terrified about how we’d be remembered in the future and that nobody respected us anymore, but it was a selfish thing to dwell on. That was why we tried to fight Dirty Bubble when we were unprepared. We don’t need to hog the spotlight and prove we’re still great heroes.” Mermaid Man admitted to Homesurfer.

“Nobody respecting you? That’s insane, of course people still respect you. It took true strength for you to not fight me. Ever since I first took up this role, I had been scared I’d never be able to follow in your footsteps.” Homesurfer admitted.

“Trust me, it will get easier. Take it one step at a time.” Mermaid Man encouraged.

“Are you ready to face the titan? Not sure if the team has kept you in touch about how these operate.” Barnacle Boy asked.

“I have the idea. It’s now or never.” Homesurfer responded, ready.

The trio reaches the shrine, noticing this one has snow and red symbols covering it. Barnacle Boy looks through the notes, which indicate in order to unleash Supricus, you need to successfully avoid a barrage of energy blasts and de-activate them in a time limit.

“I’ll do it.” Homesurfer volunteered.

“Agreed, you’ll fly better than us. Knock ‘em out.” Mermaid Man encouraged.

Homesurfer presses a certain peculiar tile, making the shrine shake. Many of the tiles around the shrine open up to reveal cannons, which begin firing the energy blasts. The switch to deactivate them is in an electric cage on top of the shrine. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy hide behind a rock to avoid the blasts. Homesurfer flies around, doing his best to avoid the incoming energy blasts. He is able to outspend them and changes the water currents to guide them into the snow. He deflects several blasts back at the electric cage, destroying it. He then flies to the top of the shrine, avoiding more blasts and presses the glowing tile switch which deactivates the cannons.

“Impressive work, you really know how to go with the flow.” Barnacle Boy complimented.

The shrine glows and the ground shakes just like the previous three did. Supricus emerges from the shrine. A cinematic shot of Spurious overlooking the three heroes. Frostiles observes this from a nearby mountain, pleased. Supricus lets out a loud roar and opens its blowhole, revealing a cannon from it. Supricus fires a large red power beam from it, as Homesurfer quickly grabs Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, flying them out of the beam’s path. The beam explodes into a mountain, causing an avalanche in the distance. Many red orbs also appear across the field, acting as obstacles. Homesurfer shoots a laser at one for a test, and it explodes, so now they know to avoid them.

“Alright, now what do we do?” Homesurfer asked for guidance, perplexed and nervous.

“There’s a puzzle we need to do in order to activate the power of those pillars, which will give us the necessary strength to fight that thing.” Barnacle Boy explained.

He looks at the power boost pillars which are frozen solid, wondering how to activate this set. Homesurfer thinks and gets an idea. He catches a few of the red orbs in a water current, gently guiding them toward the pillars. Homesurfer creates a whirlpool, swirling the orbs around the pillars. The heat from the orbs melts the pillars and they begin to glow. The duo are impressed.

“Excellent work! The way you guided those orbs without exploding was masterful.” Mermaid Man applauded

The trio feel a powerful energy surge and their bodies start glowing red.

“Whoa, I’ve never felt a sensation like this before…” Homesurfer said, feeling the boost in power.

The trio fly through the sky, trying to avoid the red orbs. Barnacle Boy accidentally hits one, which knocks him back, but he resumes to the same pace in no time thanks to Wyvern’s flight power. Homesurfer shoots his power boosted laser eyes at two orbs in his way, making them explode. As they fly toward Supricus, it begins to charge up another energy blast. Homesurfer carries several of the orbs in a current and hurls them at Supricus, exploding and hurting it. The trio quickly send several tidal blasts, and fly out of the way from the energy blast. The blast explodes into the snowy ground, making a crater. The trio guide more of the orbs in currents, sending them exploding into Supricus. Barnacle Boy and Homesurfer send combined sulfur and laser beams, striking through Supricus’ armor. Supricus begins to wear down, and begins shooting red lasers out of its armor like the previous three. Its legs are revealed to be jets, which gently lift the beast into the air. The legs fold up and take the shape of wings, making it fly.

“Just when I thought we’d seen everything…” Mermaid Man said, bewildered by this beast.

The trio intensely maneuver through the barrage of orbs and laser beams. Supriscus is preparing another blast, when Mermaid Man counters with raging whirlpools, which changes the trajectory of the cannon. Homesurfer fires multiple laser blasts through the armor spots, destroying the laser field. The trio send a combined barrage of aqua attacks and bombs at Supricus, wearing it down to where it accepts defeat. Recognizing their worth, Supricus gifts Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Homesurfer some of its power, making their bodies glow. They return to the snowy ground. Frostiles then takes the opportunity to shoot his last ice spike into Supricus before it goes back to the shrine.

“That was out of this world. I’m honored to have worked by your side and redeemed myself in your eyes.” Homesurfer said.

“I’m proud, son. You’ll make a worthy successor to our legacy. I trust the new generation of heroes under your leadership.” Mermaid Man said, finally giving Homesurfer his seal of approval.

“Your laser eyes gives my sulfur vision a run for its money.” Barnacle Boy said, impressed.

“Thank you so much. Now what do we do?” Homesurfer asked.

“We find this Frostiles and show him a piece of our minds with our newfound strength!” Mermaid Man declared.

“With pleasure.” Frostiles spoke through the wind, startling them.

Frostiles then jumps down and walks forward, interrupting their heartfelt moment.

“Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, it’s an honor to finally meet you face to face.” Frostiles taunted, slowly inching closer.

“So you’re the wicked Frostiles responsible for all this chaos. It’s with a heavy heart we must say we’ve protected all the titans, so good luck getting to them.” Barnacle Boy bragged.

Frostiles lets out a wicked laugh, knowing everything is going according to plan.

“They are not as safe as you think.” Frostiles teased.

“I’m not falling for anymore of your tricks. Your reign of terror ends here Frostiles, and it ends now!” Homesurfer triumphantly defied, standing by the duo’s side.

“Bold words, but…you’re too late.” Frostiles responded coldly.

Frostiles then casts a wicked smug grin. Suddenly, Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Homesurfer all fall to the snowy ground in pain, feeling their powers being drained away. They’re unable to fight or move. The four shrines are frozen solid in black ice. Blue Arrow, Emerald Enchantress and Miss Appear look at their respective shrines, wondering what’s going on, when they feel their powers being drained as well. Many of the IJLSA allies across the sea fall to the ground in pain as well.

“Welcome to the last day of super powered beings!” Frostiles decreed ominously.

Notes/Trivia:

-Character Debuts: Supricus

-Flashback Timeline: Right after Frostiles’ origin flashback in chapter one

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Chapter Ten: Unite

We open on a flashback to younger versions of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy in the Mermalair for the first time. They have just finished building it with the help of allies and undersea creatures. They look around impressed at the technology and infrastructure. Barnacle Boy flicks a switch, turning all of the lights on, illuminating the lair.

“With state of the art modern technology lining this cavern, we’ll be able to respond to emergencies in no time.” Mermaid Man noted, turning the main computer on.

“We picked the right spot. It’s safe and sound underground, none of our enemies will ever find it.” Barnacle Boy added.

“Unless you count the legends of cave dwellers but I’d like to hope they leave this place alone.” Mermaid Man said.

The duo continue setting up the lair by unboxing materials and moving them in place, installing their security system, and stocking their wall of weapons with valuable items from their adventures thus far. The duo take a break from organizing things and eat lunch in the lair’s break room. As Barnacle Boy eats his lunch, something comes on his mind and seems to sour his appetite.

“Hey, can we talk?” Barnacle Boy asked.

“Of course lad, just not with your mouth full.” Mermaid Man responded.

“It’s rather serious and morbid but here goes. When we’re fighting evil, I can’t lie, it’s kind of scary knowing one of us could fall. The possibility of death haunts me.” Barnacle Boy expressed.

“Certainly not the conversation I expected us to have today.” Mermaid Man joked, trying to lighten the mood.

“Sorry to dour the mood.” Barnacle Boy apologized.

“No need to apologize, it’s great to express these thoughts with your companions instead of hiding them. The thought passes my mind too. But I let it pass and keep fighting because regardless of how tomorrow looks, I know the world needs us now.” Mermaid Man inspired.

“Good mantra to have, captain. One other thing I wonder about is how we’d like to be remembered should that unfortunate event ever come to pass. What’s written on someone’s gravestone can retroactively define their entire life. If the day comes…I’d want mine to say “Trusted Sailor.” What would you want your gravestone to say?” Barnacle Boy inquired introspectively.

Mermaid Man ponders it over for a bit. He could go the easy route and say “Hero”, but he didn’t want something so simple to define his life. He eventually decides on the perfect descriptor.

“True Friend. That’s what I want on my gravestone.” Mermaid Man decided.

“Good choice.” Barnacle Boy replied, impressed.

The duo finish their lunch and continue to set up the Mermalair, enjoying their time.

The four titans awaken from their shrines again, mostly frozen in place and roaring in pain, trying to figure out what’s wrong. Heroes and villains across the sea glow in pain, feeling their power being drained away thanks to Frostiles’ infection. Poison Algae has escaped from her Grecian prison, but as she’s running, grows weaker and stops in her tracks. In their faraway state, Man Ray and Dirty Bubble collapse on the street.

“What’s happening to us!?” Dirty Bubble panicked.

In Downtown Bikini Bottom, Mighty Max looks around at the IJLSA allies in pain, wondering what’s causing their suffering.

“I can’t use my light!” Lighthouse Lass cried.

Mighty Max tries to aid them, but this is beyond his scope. He realizes Frostiles must have corrupted the source of all super powers, hence why this sickness is not hurting him.

“Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, I know wherever you are, you’ll save them all.” Mighty Max pleaded.

In Nordavia, Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Homesurfer continue to glow in pain, while Frostiles stands over them laughing. The trio try to summon energy to fight back, but their attacks all fizzle out. Frostiles freezes the trio solid, leaving only their heads unfrozen similarly to Silver Saint. He approaches them, slicing his blade through the snow. Homesurfer tries to shoot lasers from his eyes, but can’t.

“The coup de grâce. Seeing how “legendary” you three are, I’ll grant you an honorable demise. Any last words, bold heroes?” Frostiles asked tauntingly as he sharpens his blade; his ego has decided to draw this out, making a special exception for these three.

“I see now…you wanted us to find the titans, and then you infected them with your dark magic. Clever, I’ll give you that.” Homesurfer realized.

“It wasn’t too hard to exploit the naivety of your organization when you let ego and fame blind you. I must admit, in their prime, the duo would’ve found out about me sooner than you did. What a pathetic successor you are. It’s a shame the IJLSA caused the demise of all superheroes, what an ironic tale to be told in history.” Frostiles bragged, but Homesurfer tries not to let his words hurt him.

“It’s not their fault. Anyone can make a mistake when fighting pure evil.” Mermaid Man weakly defied, as Homesurfer is touched he’s standing up for him.

“As you warned to us before, don’t be so overconfident that you’ve won.” Barnacle Boy weakly added.

“You pathetic old men, you can barely speak! But I understand why you’re desperate to fight despite the odds. This is all you have. There’s only Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, the legendary superheroes. No actual human beings with any personality or lives left. That’s why your kind are frauds. On a dime, society will soon forget about you for the next shiny hero, which they already have for Homesurfer. Oh yes, I saw the bitterness and jealousy in you. I don’t blame you one bit with how they pushed you aside. That’s why I want to kill the idea of anything “super” forever, and in a way, it can help spare you the pain of being forgotten.” Frostiles spoke, trying to get under their skin, but they refuse to let him.

“That’s where you’re wrong. We will always live on in people’s minds and hearts. The idea of superheroes will never die.” Mermaid Man defied.

“I almost respect your delusions. Farewell.” Frostiles replied coldly.

Frostiles swings his blade, when two gun shots are faintly heard. Two heat bullets strike Frostiles in the back, burning through him. Butcher’s gun scope is then shown from a zoom out.

“Twice in a day, I deserve to have my pay doubled for this.” Butcher boasted.

The bullets make Frostiles lose focus of his power, causing the super infection to subside for the time being. The IJLSA, heroes and villains briefly regain their composure, wondering if everything’s okay now. While Frostiles is hurt, the ice prisons around the trio weaken, and they try to break out. The trio’s bodies begin to glow red, tapping into Supricus’ power while they can. They break open the ice prisons, shocking Frostiles and knocking him back onto the snowy ground. He quickly tries to remove the bullets from his body, infuriated at this interference.

“While his infection is weakened, I’ll get my team to check on each titan. Team, listen to me, we don’t have much time. Frostiles infected each titan with something, look for possible wound spots.” Homesurfer ordered to them via communicator.

“Roger that. Glad you’re okay.” Blue Arrow responded.

“Hopefully my magic can counter his, I’ll try my best.” Emerald Enchantress responded.

“We’ll see if my titan cooperates.” Miss Appear responded.

“I’ll try to heal Supricus. Can you handle him?” Homesurfer asked.

“With pleasure.” Mermaid Man and Barnacle Both replied at once, cracking their knuckles.

Homesurfer flies off to help Supricus, while the duo rush toward Frostiles. Frostiles teleports behind them and attacks with an ice gust, knocking them down.

“It amuses me how much you continue to cling onto this role when society doesn’t care about you anymore. Why fight for a world that will eventually leave you behind?” Frostiles inquired, walking closer.

“If the world chooses to ignore us…then we will fight like we always have.” Mermaid Man said determined, slowly getting up from the snow.

The duo flash all four titans’ energy interchangeably, indicating they still have enough to use for now. Mermaid Man uses the power boost to send an aqua punch at Frostiles, sending him to the ground again. Frostiles gets back up and clashes his blade against Mermaid Man’s cane. Barnacle Boy shoots his enhanced sulfur vision while they duel, burning Frostiles’ arm. The duo continue to fight Frostiles the best they can.

A quad shot showing the IJLSA members in their respective locations. Blue Arrow scales up the cliffs, and sees the wounded spot in Gigantus’ armor. Blue Arrow loads his lucky arrow, doused with a local healing herb, and loads it into his bow. He carefully points it, takes a deep breath, and fires the arrow into Gigantus’ wounded spot. It slowly begins to work and Gigantus comes to its senses. Emerald Enchantress levitates into the air and walks across Skyvern’s body, who doesn’t even seem to feel her. She sees the wounded armor spot and casts a healing pulse on it, concentrating deeply. The spot fades away much to her surprise and Skyvern regains its senses. Miss Appear disappears and teleports onto a cliff close to Knighyura. She sees the wound and ponders how to heal it. She then throws a bomb at a lava spot below, which explodes and releases a lava blast. The lava strikes the wound, burning the infection, and Knighyura comes to its senses. Homesurfer flies straight to Supricus, seeing the wound He fires lasers at the spot, which burns the infection and heals the spot. Supricus comes to its senses. The titans do not return to their shrines yet, sensing immediate danger.

“Gigantus is secure, thank my lucky arrow.” Blue Arrow reported through the communicator.

“Skyvern is fine, looks like Frostiles’ magic isn’t so powerful after all.” Emerald Enchantress reported.

“Knighyura appears alright, hopefully everyone else’s powers are okay now.” Miss Appear responded.

“Good work team. I’ll help Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy finish off Frostiles, keep me posted.” Homesurfer responded.

Frostiles throws several chunks of ice at the duo. Mermaid Man channels Gigantus’ strength to smash through one, then uses Knighyura’s speed to maneuver through more. Barnacle Boy channels Skyvern’s flight to fly over them, and then uses Supricus’ power to strike Frostiles with multiple aqua fists. Homesurfer returns to the duo’s fight, shooting lasers straight at Frostiles, but he dodges. Frostiles shoots several icicle shards back at the trio, who smash through them with their enhanced power. The trio send a combined tidal wave right at him, but he freezes it solid, pointing right at his face. Barnacle Boy destroys it with his sulfur vision, sending all the shards at Frostiles, who strikes at them with his blade. While distracted by those, the trio send a combined boosted whirlpool attack, knocking Frostiles against a mountain wall.

“Had enough yet? We’re feeling recharged and can do this all day.” Barnacle Boy bragged.

Frostiles is tired of this and decides to activate the final stage of his plan. He then holds up his blade, which glows a dark aura. It knocks the trio back, and are unable to walk through its powerful energy field.

“What’s he doing!?” Homesurfer asked, trying his best to break through.

Frostiles had stolen some of the titans’ power through the astral plane when he infected them, storing it in his blade. Bursts of blue, green, purple and red energy shoot into the sky, colliding together. The energy is icy and corrupted due to Frostiles infecting them. Frostiles absorbs a large collection of snow nearby. He shoots a blast from his blade at the four blasts, which combine together to form a giant ominous ice comet. He falls back after doing this, since this used up most of his energy. Leif and the Frostheim villagers look up at the ice comet, wondering what’s going on.

“Oh no…this is the final stage.” Leif realized.

The comet leaves Nordavia and shoots through the sky, leaving an icy trail path behind it. Civilians in many countries across the sea spot the comet shooting through the sky, wondering what it means.

“Once the comet strikes Bikini Bottom, the grand superhero hub, it will eradicate all super powered filth from the sea. I’ll be far out of reach when it strikes.” Frostiles boasted psychotically.

“In my day, they would call that a genocide. You’re the most cold hearted villain I’ve ever faced.” Mermaid Man realized.

“You call it genocide, I consider it order. It brings me no joy, but it must be done for the greater good. For entrees, heroes and villains fought in an endless cycle of chaos, and I’m going to break the wheel. I’m a true visionary who will bring balance to this world once your kind is gone.” Frostiles boasted.

Homesurfer then laughs at this, confusing Frostiles and then duo.

“What’s so amusing?” Frostiles inquired.

“…You really think you’re a visionary wanting to wipe out both sides? No…you can’t truly be that stupid. You’re a coward who believes in nothing! You hide behind a false vision of “a necessary neutrality” but you’re no better than any common villain, you know it deep down. Sure, some of us heroes may be flawed, but wanting to kill all of us because of a few flawed ones is petty. You may have your fancy ice powers, but without them, you’re weak and spineless. It’s evident from your “operate from the shadows” plan that you’re weak. If you were such a powerful killer, why did you hide constantly? I can’t believe I wasted so much time these past few weeks chasing nothing but a scared loser. For our biggest nemesis yet…you’re a disappointment.” Homesurfer ranted boldly, impressing Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.

Frostiles is frozen by Homesurfer’s rant, at a loss for words on how to respond. This stung deep. Had his master plan been pointless all along? While still processing his words, Homesurfer then punches him right in the face, knocking the blade out of his hand. He’s exhausted due to the energy he used to summon the comet and is slower on the draw. Homesurfer quickly grabs the blade and using Supricus’s power boost, melts it with his laser eyes. A dark essence fades into the air. Frostiles panics and tries to perform ice attacks, but nothing works since the blade is gone. The trio send multiple attacks, keeping him down onto the ground and he’s unable to get up.

“See? Without that blade, you have nothing.” Homesurfer stated.

“You may have the honor, lad.” Mermaid Man approved to Homesurfer, giving a knowing look.

Homesurfer stands over Frostiles and looks at him with fierce anger, thinking of Riptide Rider. He lets the anger subside, not wanting it to control him. He grabs Frostiles’ chest, crushing it in with his fist, and hearing the ice crack. He then burns through it with his laser eyes, slowly melting his body and smoke coming off. As Frostiles’ life fades before his eyes, he hallucinates Silver Saint and Jelly Master standing in front of him. They aren’t looking at him with anger or amusement, but looks that ask: “Was this worth it?” Frostiles has no response. The remains of his body melts away into the snow, and a dark essence fades away into the air. The duo don’t judge him for taking a life, knowing it had to be done.

“I hope he finds peace, wherever he ends up.” Mermaid Man calmly said without malice. Even after everything, Mermaid Man didn’t have it in his heart to hate Frostiles, because he refuses to give him the pleasure even in death.

“I hate to spoil the mood, but we still have the comet to deal with.” Barnacle Boy warned, noticing it’s still on course for Bikini Bottom.

“Edgar, tell the mayor to evacuate Bikini Bottom immediately. A comet is heading right for it. We’re doing what we can, but prepare for the worst.” Homesurfer immediately warned on the communicator.

“On it.” Edgar replied with haste, as he calls the mayor from his office.

In Bikini Bottom, Mighty Max and the IJLSA allies look at the incoming comet.

“What do we do?” One hero panicked.

“I don’t know. My heat discs wouldn’t be nearly enough to destroy that comet. If we combine all of our strength, maybe we have a chance, but even then, it’s a long shot.” Mighty Max speculated nervously.

“Even with our combined strength, I don’t think it’d be enough.” Athena worried.

“Maybe not, but with our help, you have a chance!” Dirty Bubble spoke, surprising the heroes.

Man Ray, Dirty Bubble, Sinister Slug, Jumbo Shrimp, Poison Algae, Hydro Blob and various minor villains appear, standing across the group of heroes. Instead of fighting however, Man Ray raises a white flag, signaling a truce.

“You want to work together?” Mighty Max asked, surprised.

“Frostiles’ plan is threatening all of us. We can go back to being enemies tomorrow, but today, as much as it pains me to say, let’s band together to stop him!” Man Ray offered.

The heroes and villains reluctantly unite together, combining all of their energy to attack the ice comet, which is getting closer. Several heroes and villains help people evacuate the city. The civilians are reluctant to trust the villains at first, but the heroes insist it’s okay. Mighty Max gets who he can to safety and is praised by the civilians for his work.

As a thanks for saving them, the titans award the IJLSA members more of their powers. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy then feel their bodies glow gold, giving them the most powerful boost yet. The strength, flight, agility and power boosts flow through their bodies at once.

“Whoa, you’ve really earned the titans’ respect.” Homesurfer said, impressed.

The duo feel the titans speak to them through the cosmic plane. They want them to stop the comet.

“We’ve heard the call and know what we must do.” Mermaid Man said determined, looking up at the sky.

“We hopefully won’t be long. I think you should stay here and make sure the nearby villagers are safe.” Barnacle Boy said to Homesurfer, who nods.

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy unite their fists together, clashing the rings.

“I’m honored I get to see that iconic pose once in my life.” Homesurfer said nostalgically.

The duo fly off into the atmosphere in their super charged forms, seeing the ice comet in the distance. Supricus and Skyvern fly by the duo’s side, giving honorable looks.

“It feels great to be fighting by the same side with them this time.” Barnacle Boy said.

Gigantus and Knighyura look above from their spots on the ground. They begin preparing attacks to fire at the comet.

Homesurfer lands in Frostheim village, noticing ice shards falling everywhere from the comet’s streak. He uses his laser vision to burn it all and help the villagers to safety, a stark contrast from how Silver Saint was callous towards them ages ago. Unlike Frostiles, Homesurfer broke the cycle. Leif thanks him for the help.

“Is there anything we can do for you?” Leif asked Homesurfer.

“Seeing the village safe is good enough for me,” Homesurfer responded warmly.

Homesurfer contacts his team again, telling them to look out for falling ice shards in their locations. Blue Arrow, Emerald Enchantress and Miss Appear get to work, destroying the shards and helping civilians out of harm’s way.

The duo fly closer to the comet. Mermaid Man looks down at Bikini Bottom below, taking one last look at it. He has a nervous look on his face but lets it simmer, knowing what he must do. They fly in front of the comet’s trajectory, ready to face their last behemoth and trial.

“Are you ready?” Mermaid Man asked Barnacle Boy.

“Now or never.” Barnacle Boy replied.

They dodge out of the way from combined hero and villain attacks below, which strike the comet. The heroes and villains notice the duo glowing in the sky.

“Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy will save us!” Lighthouse Lass cheered.

“Destroy that comet, you old coots!” Jumbo Shrimp cheered.

Several evacuating civilians take pictures and videos of the spectacle. Mighty Max looks proudly at them from a bridge. The duo begin striking all sorts of water attacks and combos at the comet. Skyvern fires its missiles, Supricus fires an energy blast, Knighyura throws its blade shield and Gigantus throws a seismic punch. The comet starts to crack, but still isn’t enough to slow it down.

“…It’s too late, isn’t it?” Barnacle Boy feared.

“No, we’ve come this far, I refuse to believe this is the end!” Mermaid Man defied.

Mermaid Man looks at Skyvern and Supricus, who display knowing expressions. MermaidMan realizes what he must do, so he grabs Barnacle Boy.

“What are you doing?” Barnacle Boy asked, confused.

“Goodbye, Kyle. I have to be the one to finish this. I’ll see you again, I promise.” Mermaid Man tearfully said to Barnacle Boy.

Using enhanced strength, Mermaid Man pushes Barnacle Boy safely away from the scene, sending him flying. He lands near Supricus’s shrine in Nordavia. Homesurfer helps him up, wondering what happened. Mermaid Man uses all of his boosted power to strike the comet alongside the titans’ attacks. The comet explodes, taking Mermaid Man with it in the blast. Everyone across the sea sees the comet’s destruction and cheers. The heroes and villains across Bikini Bottom celebrate, and work together to clear the falling ice shards. Mighty Max has a grim look, knowing Mermaid Man likely sacrificed himself. He salutes him. Barnacle Boy and Homesurfer look up at the explosion from the distance, seeing Mermaid Man is nowhere in sight. They take a moment of silence to process what happened.

“…He saved us all.” Homesurfer realized, unable to believe he’s gone.

Barnacle Boy is at a loss for words, unable to process what transpired. Homesurfer comforts him, as the two mourn Mermaid Man’s sacrifice. Barnacle Boy wishes he had more time with his trusted partner. Butcher mourns with them from afar.

“He was a true hero.” Butcher said, saluting him.

The titans look at the explosive view from their respective locations. Mermaid Man’s borrowed energy returns to the titans, who take pity on him for his sacrifice. They will never forget the team’s hard work. They turn back into their shrines to rest for good this time.

Edgar is seen outside the IJLSA headquarters with the team and Charon on a podium. He is holding a press conference once again, and the news he’s about to deliver brings him no pleasure. Everyone’s faces on stage are a mix of sadness and peace.

“The mass superhero and villain slayings are over, you can all finally rest. The one responsible for these heinous acts was named Frostiles, a wicked being with no heart that almost destroyed this entire city. We are happy to report that he has been taken out of the picture thanks to the combined efforts of the IJLSA and their founders, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Unfortunately, Mermaid Man gave his life in the process of saving us from the comet. He will be dearly missed. You can rest safe knowing this menace has been brought to justice, which is what Mermaid Man would want.” Edgar said tearfully.

The crowd gives him a standing ovation. He declines to answer any questions at this moment.

Days later, Mermaid Man’s funeral is held in a park. The scene is packed and Barnacle Boy preferred to keep press to a minimum, not wanting to make a huge spectacle out of it. Some of the people in attendance are: Homesurfer, Blue Arrow, Miss Appear, Emerald Enchantress, Mighty Max, Lighthouse Lass, Edgar, Charon, Butcher, SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy and Mr. Krabs. Man Ray and Dirty Bubble are also secretly in attendance wearing disguises. Even his greatest foes came to pay respects, showing how the almost cataclysmic event united both sides together, just for a little bit. Dark Ice, Coral Lad, Shell Gal and Courageous Crustacean are also honored during the ceremony. The IJLSA, Edgar, SpongeBob, Sandy and Barnacle Boy are notable speakers during the service, with Barnacle Boy finishing it off.

After the service, Barnacle Boy and Homesurfer look at Mermaid Man’s gravestone. “True Friend” is displayed on the gravestone, just as he wanted.

“I hope he’s having fun up in the great beyond.” Barnacle Boy said warmly.

“I’m sure he’s looking down, happy to see we’re okay.” Homesurfer said to cheer him up.

“Will you take me home?” Barnacle Boy asked.

“Of course.” Homesurfer replied, escorting him back.

After the funeral, life goes on. Bikini Bottom continues to serve as the metropolis for superheroes, however, the commercialization of them slightly goes down due to Edgar’s changes. The villains went back to their ways, but there was an unspoken respect between the sides after these events. Mighty Max joins the IJLSA, replacing Riptide Rider’s spot. After hearing about how he helped unite heroes together in spite of their differences, the team felt he was the perfect candidate. He manages to fit in well despite his earlier apprehensions. Homesurfer becomes a better hero and a lot less egotistical, inspired by the duo’s words. He also listens to his team’s thoughts and feelings more often, adjusting plans accordingly. Barnacle Boy decides to live out his remaining days in peace, putting the hero career behind him for good. He knows Mermaid Man would’ve wanted this. He’s approached by several movie studios asking for his permission to make a movie about the duo’s mission against Frostiles, but he rejects every single one. He does not want his partner’s memory and sacrifice to be exploited for media entertainment. Edgar pays Butcher a fortune for his work, and is now free from his service. Butcher takes Hughie to a tropical resort, relaxing. Man Ray and Dirty Bubble both permanently retire from villainy, opening a circus in their new home. Leif and the Frostheim villagers continue living in peace, no longer afraid of Frostiles. At some point, statues of Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy and Homesurfer are built near Supricus’, honoring them for what they did.

The IJLSA are shown in the Mermalair. They’ve decided to use it as their new base of operations, paying tribute to Mermaid Man. They begin renovating it to accommodate their needs and changing society, but still keep the spirit in tact to honor the duo’s vision and legacy.

“I like it better than a business building.” Blue Arrow approved.

“After years of seeing it only through pages and screen, it’s surreal to actually set foot in here.” Mighty Max said, geeking out.

“There’s certainly more room for me to practice my tricks.” Emerald Enchantress said, impressed.

“Brings everything full circle in a nice way. This is a museum of IJLSA history.” Miss Appear said happily.

Homesurfer looks at a picture of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy resting on the main computer. He gently picks it up and puts it in the middle of the meeting table. That way, the duo will never be forgotten and serve as a symbol of inspiration.

“Goodbye forever, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.” Homesurfer said honorably with closure, and the team prepares for their next mission.

The End

Notes/Trivia:

-Deaths: Mermaid Man and Frostiles

-Flashback Timeline: After Man Ray and Dirty Bubble’s flashbacks, before the IJLSA debut

In Loving Memory of Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway

Overall, I'm very satisfied with how this turned out and felt it shows how far I've come as a writer. I'm content having this be my last entry in the Jjsverse, SpongeBob work, and major writing in general. Maybe someday I'll share something completely original if a great idea strikes, but for now, I'm good leaving my SBC writing career off here. I'd also like to extend a special thanks to terminoob, wherever he is now, for giving me the kick to improve my writing long ago, and teenj for giving me to push to see this one through. It's been real, space cowboys.

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I have to say, for your final work, you went out on the highest of notes. This show encapsulated exactly why I love you as a writer. With every work you do, you're always reaching for the stars in a way that feels very much within the confines of what you do best. Action, adventure, heart, all words that can describe anything you've done from Storm Racers to Aquatic Avengers.

For this work in particular, I could see all the best parts of the influences you took to make this thrilling new corner of the Jjsverse. The Boys is obviously one of the influences, and I appreciate the way you kept the spirit from that but twisted it into something slightly more lighthearted and hopeful. That signature Jjsverse heroism greatly balanced the darkness out.

I enjoyed all the characters, the old, the remixed, and the legacies from Jjsverse-past. I squealeddddd when Mighty Max showed up on the scene, as that was a character that I definitely wanted in the mix for this. I didn't expect him to have such a meaty role like he did, so I enjoyed getting to spend an extended amount of time with him, possibly more than we got on Mystic Guardians.

Thank you for allowing us to go on one last ride through the Jjsverse, a world that I find hard to believe began over a decade ago. Since then, that world has not only expanded, but you've also expanded as a writer, and it's been a joy to watch how much. Perhaps your writing career here on SBC has come to an end, but I don't believe this is the last thing I'll ever read from you. I'll be anxiously anticipating the next time I get the privilege of being mesmerized by your words. 

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