“Why do we need to bring the Kaze no Ninja here, big brother?”
“We need her to complete the puzzle. With Safrina and Nanba Ichi’s help, we can change the rules so that we can be together, without hiding or scavenging for food.”
“And how’re you going to do that?”
“Nanba Ichi is going to get a job, a huge huge job, and he’ll be able to change old laws and make new ones. No one will be able to tell us what to do, or how to live. You will be able to get that pink bedroom you wanted. You know, the one with the lacy veil and butterflies on the walls? You can have all of it!”
“I’m happy that you’re here big brother. I don’t have to have the pink bedroom.”
The prison was hours from the Yamiyo Caverns. By the time they arrived at the coordinates Jade gave them, it was late afternoon. The prison bordered the Blackwood Forest and the Dry Badlands. From a outside perspective, it looked like an extra large domed tent made of clay bricks. It was wrapped around by barb-wire fencing, and guards at every three feet. When the ninja drove up, Jade was waiting for them. She stood in her normal frosty composure. They disabled their vehicles and met up with her. Jade turned to the guard at the post next to the road and nodded to him. The guard nodded back, and flipped a switch. Slowly the gate began to open. The ninja were slightly unnerved by the cold faces everywhere they looked. As if she were reading their minds, Jade commented:
“Don’t be intimidated by them. They’re only doing their jobs.”
“Looking at us like we’re the criminals is part of their job?” Kai asked, a bit sarcastically.
Jade didn’t answer. Across the courtyard was barren. Aside from the cleanly cut grass, there wasn’t much to look at. When they followed Jade to the front doors of the prison, she turned around.
“I’m afraid you’re going to have to leave your weapons behind” she informed.
“What? These are the golden weapons, we’re supposed to protect them!” Cole insisted. Jade frowned.
“I’m sorry guys, it’s standard procedure.”
The ninja exchanged glanced before begrudgingly placing their weapons in a box with a high security lock. The guard overseeing the operation then closed the box.
“Also, your communication chips in your suits will automatically be disabled once you enter the facility” Jade added.
“Oh come on!” Kai groaned.
“It’s okay Kai. Just report back with what you find afterwards” he heard Kamara’s voice say, “I trust Jade.”
He couldn’t help but smile a little. She sounded so calm.
The front door slowly opened, and they went inside.
They went through a corridor, then another hallway which had multiple elevators, and agents coming in and out of them.
“This way” said Jade.
She led them to an elevator on the far right, and pressed the button. A blue screen appeared and beeped quietly. Jade leaned forward. There was a scanning motion, then another beeping sound as it examined her eye. Then, the elevator door opened.
“Wow, that’s so cool!” Jay exclaimed in awe.
Jade couldn’t help but chuckle.
“Just an average day in the life of an agent.”
The ninja bordered the elevator after Jade. The door closed, and they began to descend.
They stood in silence for a minute or two. Half the elevator was glass, but all they could see was the drabby brown stone wall. However, a bit further down, the wall disappeared, and they could see a small, slender room with bright lights. The ninja leaned down to see the bottom. There were a few small piles of miscellaneous equipment and more guards. In the middle of the room was a capsule, hissing steam every ten seconds.
“Is that-?” Jay began to ask.
Jade nodded. There was a couple more minutes of silence. Then, the elevator made it to the bottom of its route. The door opened, and the ninja slowly stepped out. Jade walked ahead of them. A man suddenly poked out from behind the capsule.
“Oh heh, hello!”
It was an older man with a lab coat and glasses.
“I was just making my routine check of the capsule. Making sure it was working like it should ‘n’ all.”
“Don’t worry, doctor. We won’t bother you. However, we do need the window slid open” Jade informed.
The man looked at her worried.
“Are you sure agent?” he asked nervously, “I mean, the man’s a little…”
“We’re ninja. We’re not easily frightened” Kai stated, a bit too harshly than he needed to.
“Well, okay. You know what to do if anything goes wrong, correct agent?”
“Yes sir, I do.”
The man got a stepladder propping up against the wall and brought it over to the capsule. He climbed onto the ladder and, with gloved hands, grabbed a handle on the left side and slowly pulled a sliding shade. It was a very large window, and the ninja could see plainly the person inside.
The man had thick cheekbones. He had long, dark purple hair and eyebrows straight as an arrow. He was wearing a long white gown, similar to those worn by patients at a hospital. By the way his hair was uncombed and overgrown, and the fact what he was wearing almost looked like a straight jacket made him look like a mental patient from an insane asylum. But that wasn’t what unnerved those who looked upon him. Even in his frozen sleep state, he was smiling. As if he knew exactly what was going on outside his capsule. He looked completely confident, and strong.
“Okay, I kind of get what you mean doctor” said Jay, “He’s…really creepy!”
Cole turned to Jade.
“You said that he had similar traits to the Kurai Kodomo. What did you mean by that?” he asked.
“He was this prison’s first…well prisoner. Back when the S.P.F. was founded, around two hundred years ago, almost all the magical elements from the ancient times were gone. However, there were one or two that caused trouble. Harden was one of them. Not much is known about him, other than when he was first discovered he was wearing a certain kind of robe that suggested he was of some religious group, though we don’t know who. He approached Ninjago City and publicly proclaimed that he was going to rule it, and would destroy anyone who got in his way. Well, a few did, and you know what happened?”
“He willingly submitted to the law and was put away quietly?” Kai asked, doubtfully.
“He killed almost fifty people” Jade answered, “By some kind of black magic.”
“Black magic is strictly forbidden in Ninjago” Zane added, “It is still written in its laws, even today.”
“Well this guy wasn’t very good at obeying it. The S.P.F. somehow managed to catch him and force him into this cryo-stasis capsule, cutting him off completely of everything around him so he wouldn’t escape, and wouldn’t hurt anyone else.”
“I wonder where Sensei Wu was that whole time…” Kai wondered out loud.
Jade shrugged. “That’s something only he would know.”
Just then, something beeped and vibrated. Jade glanced at her watch.
“I’m needed elsewhere” she stated, “Someone will escort you out momentarily.”
“W-wait, you’re leaving?” Cole asked.
“Sorry, this is important. I’ll catch you guys later.”
And without another word, Jade quickly entered in the elevator and started back up. The ninja looked at each other.
“That was odd” Jay commented.
What the ninja didn’t know, was that there was a level above the room where Harden was being held. It was the room that held the controls. The elevator opened, and Jade stepped out into a hallway made of steel, with a metal door on the other side. Jade pressed a button and a scanner came out of the wall. Jade pressed her hand on the scanner, as well as leaned her face into it. Once again, it scanned her eye. Then, the door opened. The control room was sleek and black, with the only illumination was the colored buttons and computer screens, and the window overlooking the room. Jade was shocked to find it empty except for one man.
The man looked up.
“Agent Silverknight” he greeted.
He was standing over the controls, rather than was sitting in the chair right next to him.
“Where’s everyone else?” Jade asked. “They left early. I told them I’d take over until the next shift” Dr. Jeston replied.
He sounded cold, and unfeeling.
“That’s funny, because no one is allowed to leave early. There must always be at least five people including guards in here at all times.”
Jade put her hands behind her back, and pressed a button on her watch. Something was wrong.
“I see your cousin has a birthday today” she probed.
It was another code that would dictate how this situation was going to get. The man didn’t answer. He began rapidly pushing buttons. Jade suddenly picked up speed and kicked the man in the back of the head. The man flinched slightly, but didn’t fall. He froze for a moment. Suddenly, he whirled around and punched Jade in the face, sending her sprawling to the ground. The man pressed a series of buttons and the alarms suddenly sounded.
“Lockdown mode is engaged. Lockdown mode is engaged” a robotic voice read.
The man physically warped and dramatically changed shape. Sure enough it wasn’t Dr. Jeston. It was a masked man with a coat and aussie hat. Shifter. Jade pressed another button on her watch.
“We have an intruder! Repeat, we have an intrud-!”
Suddenly a small object flew through the air and struck Jade in the stomach! She cried and fell to her knees. The man ran swiftly to the door and opened it back up. He silently slipped through, and locked the door behind him.
“LOCKDOWN MODE IS ENGAGED. LOCKDOWN MODE IS ENGAGED.”
Alarms blared through the room. The ninja looked around.
“That doesn’t sound good!” Kai exclaimed.
Just then, the elevator door opened. It was Jade. She stepped out.
“Sorry about that guys” she said, in a odd tone, “It’ll be over soon.”
“What’s going on Jade?” Cole asked, sternly.
“The capsule is defrosting. He will soon be free” Jade replied.
“What? Why the heck is that a good thing!?” Jay cried.
Then, Jade sneered. Suddenly, she began to change form, warping from and almond-eyed, black haired woman, to a figure in a mask.
“Shifter!” they all exclaimed at once.
“Nice to see you again, ninja.”
Suddenly, a black sheet of metal was lowering over the elevator.
“Oh no you don’t!” Cole exclaimed, quickly realizing what it was.
He ran over and put it hands underneath the metal and began heaving it back upwards. However, it was pushing against him. He grunted. The rest of the ninja were going to try and help him, but Shifter was suddenly throwing razor sharp stars at them. Zane grabbed a case that was lying on the floor and jumped in front of Cole before he could be pelted with them. Jay roundhouse kicked Shifter, causing him to drop his remaining stars. Shifter didn’t make a sound. He simply straightened, and punched Jay in the phase. Jay sprawled onto the ground, slamming into a metal container. Kai jumped on top of Shifter and attempted to strangle him, but Shifter heaved backwards, and flipped Kai onto his back on the hard floor.
“Agh, it would’ve been great if we had our weapons!” Jay groaned, recovering from the blow and standing back up.
“Zane! Help me with this!” Cole hissed to his sword-brother. Zane quickly put his hands underneath the shield cover and attempted to assist him, but it was no use. The two promptly retracted their hands before they could get smashed and the door slammed on the ground with a loud thump!
“Great! Now we’re stuck in here!” He growled.
“Let’s hope Jade is fixing the problem” said Zane.
Jade grunted as she quickly pulled the star out of her stomach. She began to hastily bleed all over her clothes. She clutched it as she stood up. As she was doing this, the door in which locked her in was being blow torched by a security crew on the other side. When it was finished, they burst inside. There were two medics, five guards, and a man in a suit.
“Commander Powl, what the heck is going on!?” Jade exclaimed as the medics were attending to her wound.
“Someone broke through security in an attempt to break Harden out” said the suited man.
“I know that!” Jade snapped, “How in Ninjago did he managed to slip through? I told you that on of the Kurai Kodomo could change shape!”
“Don’t get short with me, Silverknight!” Powl growled, “We’re fine anyway. The blast doors are closed. He’ll never get out, and neither will Harden.”
“The ninja. Are freakin’ in there!” Jade gritted through her teeth.
“She’s right sir!” cried one of the guards.
Powl marched over the window and looked down. Sure enough, he saw the color-coded ninja fighting the Dark Child below.
“Then they’ll have to be sacrificed for the good of Ninjago.”
Jade suddenly sat up at the word “sacrifice” then shouted, “NO!”
One of the guards suddenly shot fire from their fingertips and lit the room on fire.
“EVERYONE OUT!!!” Jade shouted.
The other guards pulled Powl promptly out of the room. Jade scowled. The guard smirked.
“Hello Jade” she said.
It was Safrina. Jade suddenly pulled out a pistol and shot her in the shoulder! Safrina shrieked in agony and fury. Jade could’ve dashed out at that moment, but she remained in place, watching her enemy’s movements. She couldn’t leave Safrina in the control room alone, not if Jade had a chance to lift the blast doors. Safrina regained composure. She was no longer smiling.
“You meddling-! Civilian-!” she grunted.
It was Jade’s turn to be smirking.
“No, I’m an ally, of the ninja.”
Safrina was about to lash out her fury, when the guards who had remained in the hallway shot at Safrina. This time, Safrina managed to melt the bullets before they hit her. Now oblivious to Jade, she ran out of the room, preparing to dish out vengeance. Jade ran over to the controls and attempted to override the lockdown protocol. Then, she glanced over at the ninja and Shifter fighting down below. The ninja were giving it their all to try and take Shifter down, but while it appeared that Shifter was bloodthirsty before, he seemed to now be casually avoiding their punches. Something was off again. Then she quickly realized what was going on. He was buying time; and Jade had no way of warning them.