Upping the Tempo
The ninja stood towering above the crowds, in a small area where the light and technical crew were standing, they were paying no attention to the warriors. They looked down and squinted their eyes to spot the incoming serpentine.
Just then, Jay hissed, “There! Third row to the left!”
Sure enough, when everyone looked, they could see a venomari skulking around between the rows.
Then, Cole whispered, “and over there, second row up top!”
There was another venomari, and also a fangpyre. Although, they weren’t trying to attack anyone.
“What are they up to?” Jay wondered out loud.
“Can’t wait around to find out” Kai commented. Just then, the entire arena went black.
Cole murmured, “Zane, Kai, take the top, Jay, you and I will take the bottom. Let’s move!”
The music began to play as the ninja began to dart around the rows. It was funky and warpy, just loud enough to drown out the punches they were throwing to knock out the snakes and move them out of sight. A yellow light pointed at the stage, shaped like a dome. A shadow figure, presumably behind the curtain, with a high ponytail, appeared in the spotlight. She had a violin in her hand and began to sway to the beat as she put her bow on the strings and started to play. For the first eight measures of the song, she stood in one place, moving her hips and grinding her toes into the floor. The ninja had finished rounding up the serpentine they found, then regrouped in the center of all the rows.
“See any more?” Zane asked, “It’s impossible that would be all of them!”
Kai looked around. Just then he saw more of them creeping up near the front of the stage: eight of them.
“There!” He announced, discreetly as she could.
Then, thinking alike they all sped forward to the front of the stage to eliminate the threat. Kai was getting slightly anxious as he was getting dangerously close to the stage, and close to being seen. As he took out two fangpyre, he couldn’t help but hear the music fading out. He froze, glancing over at the stage. At first, he thought it was because he, or one of the other ninja at been spotted. But then, the music began to pick again, a beat bouncing back and forth. He was about to breathe a sigh of relief until he realized he could hear slithering behind him. He whirled around, swiftly kicking the Venomari in the face, knocking him out cold. Then, he saw three more approaching him. The lighting had at this point been darkened across the audience, but he got the feeling that the music was going to drop soon, and things were gonna get crazy. He was going to pull out his sword of fire, but realized it would attract unwanted attention.
“Where’s Zane when you need him?” He wondered, anxiously searching for his companion.
He tightened his fists, readying himself for them.
Just then, he began to hear a voice, a eerily familiar one.
“Da, da, da, da, da, dah; da, da, da, da, da, dah; da, da, da, dah; da, da, da, da, da, ah.”
His line of sight was now the stage. He recognized that voice.
“No, it couldn’t be…” he thought.
His mind began to scramble as he was trying to split his attention to the snakes in front of him, and the voice singing on stage he was now playing intensive attention too. He threw a punch at one and missed. He back-flipped in order to avoid a roundhouse kick, but then got smacked in the face by something else. He was starting to get annoyed.
“Da, da, da, da, da, dah; da, da, da, da, da, dah; da, da, da, dah-”
Suddenly, the whole room went black. Neither the fire ninja, nor the serpentine could see anywhere. But it gave him time to listen closely.
“There’s no way! Tell me it’s not-!” He thought.
Then, he got his answer. The curtains suddenly dropped, and all lights were on.
“When the stars align.”
There, standing on the stage, dead in center, was none other than Kamara Silvernight.
As soon as the words left my mouth, I saw him. I froze. The band started playing the background instruments in my number, but I couldn’t move. I just stood in pale horror, frozen in place as she saw my sword-brother looking right at me! The lights started flashing rapidly in tune with the score. The entire crowd could see the fire ninja in plain view. The band saw him as well, and were thrown off a couple beats before awkwardly continuing to play as if nothing was wrong. Clumsily, I went back into the groove and started to play the violin again, darting my feet around, attempting to improvise, throwing my choreography out the window. We stared at each other for a long time. Why were the ninja here? Why were the serpentine here? Out of all the times to start trouble, why now? Kai also had many inquiries.
“Kamara’s in a band? Why didn’t she tell us? That’s what she left the Bounty for?”
Cole, Zane and Jay spotted them from above the entire scene.
“What!? THAT’S why she left!? Another secret she didn’t tell us!?” Jay cried.
“We can talk about that later! Kai is exposed, and everyone knows we’re here! Let’s go!” Cole exclaimed.
Meanwhile, the serpentine got the drop on Kai and kicked him in the back. He hurled onto the floor and scrambled back up. He pulled out his fire-sword and slashed through multiple of their basic metal blades. One Venomari attempted to spit hallucinogenic venom in his eyes, but Kai ducked just in time.
I was adjusted back to her scripted choreography, but I kept whirling around and darting across the stage, watching Kai between moves, aware that he was in trouble. I wanted to help, but what could she do without revealing her identity? Then, something even worse started to happen. Serpentine of all kinds were now appearing in between the crowds. I could see the rest of her sword-brothers fighting them, both on the upper levels, and below. The audience were watching them, not sure whether to run, or enjoy the show. Looking on the sides of the stage, she could also see them slither onto the stage, hissing hostile towards her. Then, I stopped her violin and took a step back. My friends slowed down the melody.
“Kamara! Get out of the way!” Odette screamed.
My eyes darted about the stage. Then, I stopped.
I glared at the serpents, then shouted at the band, “Don’t stop the music!”
“What!? Are you crazy!?” Hayden exclaimed.
“Just trust me!” Odette, Hayden, and Pence hesitated for a moment.
Then, they slowly picked up their instruments and began playing again. I put her violin up to her neck, resting her chin on the top.
“Let’s up the tempo!” I announced.
I ran my bow on the strings again. I started to dance again, this time, with more intense and sharp moves. I whirled around, almost sparking my spinjitzu, but instead, threw out my legs in huge kicks. The air currents suddenly picked up around the room. Huge flashes of wind jettisoned from my direction and swept the serpentine off their feet.
“I’m NOT going to let them ruin this! For my friends, OR my sword-brothers!”
I inched forward towards Kai, who was struggling with the outnumbering of the snakes. I swiped my foot forward, and as I did, I let out a WHOOSH of air. Like bowling pins, all the serpentines were knocked to the ground. Kai got up, and whirled around to address her.
“Kamara! What the heck are you doing here!?” he exclaimed.
“Do you really think I have time to explain to you right now?” I snapped.
I looked behind him. Without even turning around, Kai threw his fist and punched an awakening serpentine out.
“Well, you need time to explain this to me sometime!” Kai lashed back.
I groaned irritably. “Look, let’s take care of the serpentine first, and then, I’ll tell you!”
Kai’s sword inflamed. I couldn’t see it, but I could tell he was smiling under his hood, something I hadn’t noticed before. I smiled back, but more of a nervous smile.
“Sounds good to me!”
Then, I back flipped to the center of the stage
Throwing my violin into the air, I flew across the stage as the lights dimmed for a few split moments. I punched three different serpentine in the face before grabbing the violin again. I looked around, locating the rest of the ninja. I saw Cole, Jay, and Zane spread out across the arena.
Then, I shouted, “Go, ninja, go!”
Despite the roar of screaming fans, they all could hear me. When all eyes were on me, I winked. If the ninja were going to discover her secret now, she was going to make this the best performance yet!
As Pence slammed his sticks on the drums and percussion, I threw kicks and knocked more serpentine on the structure sides and out cold. I watched my sword-brothers as they unsheathed their golden weapons and began beating down the rest of the snakes. However, I kept seeing more approach the stage. It was strange. If the serpentine didn’t know who I was, why were they so bent on attacking her and her friends? A ransom perhaps? But if that was the case, then why Live and Love? Live and Love had no large influence other than my home town! I had to snap out of my thoughts as I saw less and less in the layered rows of seats and more and more approaching the stage. I looked around. None of the ninja were to be seen. Where did they go? I summoned the air currents to come closer towards me, and created a barrier. All of the snakes who tried to reach the stage had a increasingly difficult trek. However, they still inched closer. I took a step back.
“Uh, Kamara? What’s happening? Where are the ninja!?” Odette squealed.
I frantically looked around.
“I don’t know!” I cried, “I don’t know! Just keep playing!”
“Surely they wouldn’t abandon me because I didn’t tell them about the concert! That would be too cruel, even for them…right!?” I thought.
Anguish and fear began to fill inside of me. But I still kept playing the violin, hoping and praying that I could hold them back.
Then, Pence snapped, “You know what? Screw this! I’m not holding this concert over my own life!”
He rose up from his drum set and started to leave.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
I whirled around.
There, was a hypnobrai, along with the constrictai, creeping up behind them. Live and Love began to curl up together in a ball. The hypnobrai widened its red, dilated eyes.
“Look into my eyessssss” It coaxed.
Odette shouted in terror as they averted their eyes from its gaze.
“No! Don’t touch them!”
The lights went out, and I took the advantage. I summoned her windblade, and slashed through the dark. I could hear the oomfs and grunts of my scaly opponents. But then, I could feel someone punch me right in the stomach. I heaved and promptly dropped my Windblade. I was now blind in the dark as I fell onto her knees. I could hear hissing and laughing. I looked around, frantic as my eyes couldn’t adjust to the darkness.
“Hayden!? Pence!? Odette!?” I cried.
Just then, the lights flashed back on. I looked up in shock to see four familiar figures in front of her, all with their weapons gleaming in the illumination. I gasped.
“Guys!” she cried.
It was the four ninja. They hadn’t abandoned me.
The red ninja looked over his shoulder and assured, “You’re going to be okay.”
I pulled myself up and turned around to examine her friends. Hayden, Pence, and Odette uncurled themselves, and slowly looked up. They all sighed in relief when they saw the heroes of Ninjago had come to save them. I was even more surprised. None of them had ever spoken to her in a tone that way, especially Kai. The earth ninja stepped forward.
“Wanna go for a spin?” he asked.
The snakes took a step back, uneasily, but still held their ground.
“Too bad, you’re getting it anyway!”
The four warriors turned into elemental tornados and spread out, scooping the remaining serpentine, and rapidly carrying them outside where police cars had just begun to arrive. There was a moment of silence. Live and Love’s audience were dead quiet, as if holding their breath for the intensity of this performance they did NOT expect!
Then, gathering up her confidence, I turned around, and said, “Come on guys, let’s finish strong! We can do this!”
Slowly, my friends stood up. They looked at each other.
Then Odette responded, “Yeah! Let’s do this!”
Then, they all ran back to their instruments, settled themselves in, and started to play again. Even though I was tired, I had a newfound energy that allowed me to turn the final two minutes out performance into a smash hit. As Pence smashed his sticks against the symbols one last time, I whirled around, spread my legs wide into the splits on the stage floor, and raised my hands and violin into the air.
The crowd roared with delight. They clapped and cheered, standing up from their seats, and giving them happy applause. Live and Love took deep breaths, all sighing in relief that they managed to salvage their performance. However, we would have to cut their act short this time, as neither of the members had any energy left to keep up.