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Color Clash

Chapter Text

“…So, you got it?”
“Understood.”
“Don’t die, failed abortion.”
***
Grizzly mind and limp body, you search and search around. No one is here, you tell yourself. You can't hear anything, that's why you pulled that conclusion. Why is no sound coming out? You scream and scream at the top of your lungs. No sound comes out. A fat tear runs down your face. You are stuck here forever.
***
Running wasn’t really exhausting for the agent, she was used to either A), running for her life, B), running in the morning for exercising or C), just basically training. She was a capable woman, she could easily either outrun someone or snap their neck. Cap'n Cuttlefish trusted her for stealth, timed or hard missions, mainly because of her speed and cold bloodedness. Agent Four was more of a “rush to the objective as quick as possible with the major possibility of dying” kind of gal. That’s mainly why she wasn’t chosen for that mission. Anyway, music in her ears, she was running through a shrouding mist. She didn’t really know that part of the village, so getting around was a bit harder. Only the moon was shining that night, and no lampposts were to be found. Still running, she looked to her left and to her horror, a car was going full speed towards her. Her reflexes being slow that day, she let out a small squeak and tried to get out of the way. The driver thankfully stopped before hitting the poor squid.
“Hey, what the bloody hell you doin’ out here in the middle o' the road?” The man said.
“Oh, I can ask the same question! What were you doing driving at literally 200 per hour on a 50 road?” She snapped back.
He let out a ‘tch', got back to his car and drove off.
“Bitch.” The inkling whispered to herself.
Continuing her travel, she slowly saw the sun rising. She lost time arguing with that man. Hotheaded, people would call her. Not wanting to deal with anyone’s shit she would correct. Finally, she thought. Inkopolis Square was before her eyes. Heading right to the shady alley, she encountered a dark and shady metro. Well, I guess there’s no turning back now.
***
After a minute of recollecting herself, she jumped over the gate. The stairs were pretty old, since they crumbled under her feet. Ignoring that, she continued her travel. All of her senses were awake now, her ears perked up and twitching at the smallest of sounds, her blind eyes in the darkness shifting around the room, her body prepared for either a scare of a fight and her legs ready to run. Running her free hand on the wall, she guided herself. After about five minutes, her ear twitched. She heard a loud bang, like something hard was being hit. She stopped walking, breathing and blinking, just not to make a sound. A gibberish of words echoed through her head. Silence. She rushed to the room where the sound was heard. A dim light was open, but flickering. She was lucky, her headset has lights in it so she can see kind of close to herself. But, that wasn’t enough to illuminate the whole room. Tip toeing herself to the back, her senses were even more sharp. Her breath was slow and steady, that’s what she was taught to do. It made less sound than if you were panting. Getting closer to the end of the room, she saw a dim pink light fading in and out. Curiosity killed the cat, as they say. She decided to investigate. Getting even closer, with the light she had, she could tell a body was laying on the floor. According to her science teacher, “only octolings and sanitization marks glow in the dark.”, she mentally pated herself on the back for keeping that information. She picked up the body, kind of scared of being jumpscared by it waking up and killing her. Yes, she had an octoling phobia, but she had a reason for it. Still walking aimlessly, she found a metro, just waiting for passengers. This was their chance.

Chapter Text

The Agent entered the train with the Octoling in their arms. Come to think of it, with a little more light, the cephalopod was actually kind of peaceful. Y’know, considering they were bashed over the head. Laying down the Octo on a bench, the squid's ears perked up. A door was opening. A strange, giggly tube with legs just crawled over their direction.

“What the fuck do you want?” Said the agent in a snarky tone.
“No need to swear. I am your conductor, C.Q Cumber. Please take this C.Q-80 and protect it with your life, it is the only thing that can help you get to the surface. Speaking of surface, have you met our telephone?”
“Nope, is he important?”
“Actually, yes. I assume that Octoling’s is number 10,008? Yes, that’s correct. She has the bracelets. You are test subject number 10,009.”
“No, I’m Agent 3 from the Squidbeak Splatoon. Why the fuck are we even here anyway?”
“Squidbeak Splatoon? Is that a little literature club? Never heard of it.”
Oh that son of a bitch- “Watch what you fucking say, talking sea slug. You’re not one to talk.”
“Anyway, I see that your friend over there is… asleep.”
“She’s not my fucking friend and she got literally hit over the head by some random dude. She’s been unconscious ever since.”
The slug took a breath, and resumed. “And may I ask you why are you here in the first place?” He said patiently.
“Drug, cephalopod trafficking and abuse were reported in the Octarian facility. I was here to investigate.” She simply said.
A voice suddenly emerged. “Nothing’s wrong here. Ask your little Octo friend over there!”
“Shut up, dumbass! Urgh… is there at least a way to get out?”
The mysterious voice spoke up again. “ Wake up that Octoling’s and we’ll see…” He snickered.
“Go fuck yourselves.” She sighed. “I need a break…”
“You better prepare for what’s coming next, then.” The sea cucumber whispered.
“And what does that mean? I’m gonna get fucking abused the hell out of my body?” The agent snapped back almost instantly.
“Oh, you’ll see.”
“SHUT THE FUCK UP, FACE ME LIKE A MAN AND EXPLAIN YOURSELF.” She was at the stage of screaming at that point.
“Look, if I say what that is, I’ll get fired and executed. I’d rather not.”
“Leave me the fuck alone.” She responded simply.


She was sitting in the dark, alone and ignorant. The only thing that she heard was the Octoling’s slow breathing. She had set the other on her lap so she’d be comfortable. The Agent soon fell asleep to the constant and stable breathing of the other.


***
Tubes, green tubes

Her family

Her memories

All gone.
***

A confused and scared Octoling woke up the poor exhausted Agent. Her companion was on the floor, gasping, her big gray eyes opened at their maximum. Tears were beginning to form in her eyes.

"Oh cod, um… Hi !”(She waved)”I” (she pointed herself)”am Agent Three!” (She made a 3 with her fingers).” Don’t be scared of me, I’m nice!”(She pointed herself and did a thumbs up).


The Octoling gave her a confused glare. Oh cod, how was she supposed to communicate? Her face flushed in green. Her cephalopod friend had calmed down, and now had a stable breathing pattern.


“OK, so, what am I gonna do with you?” The Inkling murmured to herself.


Suddenly, a deep voice emerged from a speaker nearby. “Oh, so she’s awake, is she?” He laughed. “You’re now both entering the first test. Fake Plastic Station now awaits you.” He pauses for a while, inhales and continues. “Good luck, 10,008 and 10,009. Don’t fail this test, I’d be deeply, deeply, deeply disappointed in you…”


“What is his problem?” The agent asked, stunned.

The Octoling shrugged. So she could understand after all.
When the train stopped, they both got out, walking in a cage-like square. They went on a pedestal and it took the agent ‘s hero-shot and replaced it with a generic splattershot. After that, the cephalopod just went through the tourniquet with ease, like she did it before. The squid did the same, following the other’s footsteps.
Going in the stage, she noticed a few things, like how it was all plastic. (Probably why they called it Fake Plastic Station). Syringes and UV bags were stuck in the plastic trees. The air was filled with humidity, and we could barely see the sky and the path with all the fog. They still marched forward. While they did that, the older cephalopod tried to talk.


“Hey so, number 10,008 is a bit of a mouthfull, so can I just call you Eight? Hey, why the hell not, join the new Squidbeak Splatoon?” She proposed.
The Octoling only nodded. “So, Agent Eight it is! Geez it feels- Watch out!”
“Seek and destroy.” A really pale Octoling jumped in front of the two agents. With a jerk of her arm, the Inkling put her limb in front of Agent Eight in a protective manner. She then rushed on her foe, and immediately splatted her. Waves of enemies came and kept coming. Exhausted, they finally finished the tests and received a small eraser-like toy.


“What the hell even is that?” The Inking asked.
“This is a Mem cake. Your memories are repressed in those cakes and once eating them, you regain certain memories. I cannot guarantee only good memories, so be alarmed for that. Also, in some cases, it will give predictions to the future, so don’t be scared of that.” The slug simply answered.
“Hm?” The Octoling let out a whimper of a sound. Looks like she already ate it. Suddenly, she collapsed into the squid’s arms, clamping her hands on her head.
“Yeah, that happens too.” The cucumber said in a nonchalant voice.
A small gasp escaped Eight’s mouth. “What?” The Inkling asked in a concerned tone.
She pointed herself, the other agent and her hero-shot. “What? What is it? Ugh, here. Type what you want to say and it’ll translate it to me.
“We will fight each other almost to death in the near future.”

Chapter Text

"What?!” The Inkling screamed in shock. “Why would we fight? Did you see anything?”
The Octoling shook her head. “Damn… Now that we know it, let’s avoid it.”
“Ok, enough cuddles. The train will go in shutdown mode. Everything is locked and impenetrable, if you need help, press the button over there. Goodnight, ladies. Be safe.” C.Q. Cumber broke the heavy silence.
“Sure, we’ll let you know if there’s anything wrong.” The Inkling agreed.
They both settled down to sleep, Agent 8 resting her head on the squid’s lap, not wanting to separate. Exhaustion washing over them, sleep took them fast enough.


***


“AYO?! ANYONE THERE?” A sudden high-pitched female voice screamed.
“Agent Three, reporting for duty. Who is this?” The Inkling stumbled to get the walkie-talkie.
“Jesus, finally! I was screaming for a good 10 minutes… Anyway, we’re Off The Hook! You surely know us if you ever went to Inkopolis Square. I’m Pearl, a.k.a Mc-Princess! And this is Marina!” They switched voices. “Yep, a.k.a Dj_Hyperfresh! We found this old walkie-talkie in Mount Nantaï and we were curious, so we called you!”
“Interesting… Well, I’m Agent Three of the New Squidbeak Splatoon. Also with Agent Eight, the Octo who can’t speak and lost her memories. We’re stuck in an underground facility were there is drug trafficking, cephalopod abuse and cloning. I went to investigate under the orders of my boss and found Agent 8, knocked out cold. Gonna help her escape and get to the Surface. Apparently, we have to pass multiple hard tests set by Kamabo inc. If you can help, that’d be great.”
“Y’know what? I could probably hack the system! Kamabo, you say?” Marina hummed. “Oh yes, I see it now! Hacking into the system… Ah! There we go! You… You two are so far down underground… I’ll, I’ll help you the best I can! I can cheat and give you money and pass tests without actually doing them!”
“Nice! Way to go, Rina!” Pearl exclaimed.
“I told you not to call me that. Anyway, the train is in shutdown mode, I believe? Wait until the morning and call us, we’ll help with the missions! Off The Hook out!” The old phone screeched, then shut down.


***


Finishing the Bounce With Me Station, they returned in the train. Opening the Map on her CQ-80, they each selected their next zone: Roll Out Station and Maverick Station, both special weapon stations. Each going to their respective station, they said goodbye to each other. The idols separated in two, Marina with Agent Eight and Pearl with Agent Three.


“All right! Go quick, it’s a timed challenge, so hurry up! The Baller can jump, so climb on the walls. Don’t care about those superfluous enemies! Run straight passed them, don’t care!” Pearl screamed in the microphone.
“Alright, alright! Don’t shout, it breaks my ears!” The agent screamed at her turn.


Pearl continued to be the hype woman of the mission. Some time later, they reunited and went to two other tests: Wassup 8-Ball Station and Bumpin’ 8-Ball Station. Agent Three found the test very easy and relaxing, but Eight on the other hand… hated it. One line down, 7 more to go. Poppin' Fresh Station was their next destination. Agent Three offered she do it, since she was a sniper main. The test consisted of riding the rails and popping the balloons along them. Easy peasy, done within minutes. At this rate, they’re going to get out in no time. After a few tests passed, from B-03 to B-08, they discovered what was a Thang. The mysterious telephone congratulated them for finding it. Agent Three found it made in an odd shape, but didn’t say a word. Line C also had a mouth full of hard tests, like the Move It Move It Station, where they discovered that when failing a test, a FUCKING BOMB EXPLODED ON AGENT EIGHT'S BACK. Agent Three freaked out when that happened. Three only gets splatted, but Agent Eight has the most damage. Three apologized to her Octo friend afterwards, but she brushed it off like it was nothing. Another Thang was found there. With now two pieces, the contraption looked even more suspicious. Still, the squid bit her tongue.


***


Next up was Cratebuster Station. Seems easy, just fling ink around and break all the boxes. But, for the sake of being a bitch, that talking Sea slug decided to only allow Three to do it. Something you might not know about her: she absolutely sucks at playing with a brush. She couldn’t win a single Turf War to save her life. Hell, she already slapped herself with it once! Eight only watched, getting blown up at every single moment. Three panicked and asked Marina to cheat and make her pass the test, to at least give Eight a break for being blown up every single minute. At that point, they just decided to sleep.

Chapter Text

“Attention all passengers, be aware of your surroundings. The train stopped and is under attack. Proceed with caution.” C..Q had said in the speaker.

“Huh..?” The Inkling woke up, still half asleep somehow. “Oh, shit! Quick, under the bench!”
They both hid under the bench in their squid and Octo forms. He was right, they both heard banging, screeching and screaming outside of the train. Insane Octolings on the loose. Not new to me. Suddenly, one Octoling literally dug her way in with her claws and fell inside the train. Many followed after that. Looking to her side, Agent Eight’s eyes were closed. Is she scared? Oh right, Octoling eyes glow in the dark, she’d be easily spotted. Well, on the other hand, Agent Three was shaking in her boots. She was deathly scared of Octolings, sanitized or not. She’d become used to Agent Eight with her sweet and innocent face, but the others gave her literal chills down her spine. After all that time, a very intelligent Octoling looked under the bench they were under.

***

Agent Eight jumped out of under the bench and kicked the confused enemy in the face. Others rushed to her, trying to overwhelm her. She took one’s arms, swung her around, making a few others fall to the ground. Another five remained. She kicked the knees of one of them, incapacitating her, while hitting another in the face with her elbow. Being rather quick, she threw the knocked out ones off the train, in the infinite void. One left. Out of breath, she still turned around. The enemy jumped at her throat and strangled her.


“Oh ho ho, calm down there, little Octo friend. You can’t escape, so why try? Fu fu fu, silly little BITCH. You think you can go to the surface? No, you can’t! Ha ha!”
Agent Eight turned her head to her left. Agent Three was in the corner, crying in fear. Immobilized, shaking, sobbing. Her enemy turned her head around.
“Haven’t I seen you around somewhere? Oh yes, has that scar on your stomach gone?” She asked in a teasing tone.
“N-No… But stay away from her!” She screamed in fear. “Stop it, you’re choking her!”
“First of all, what are you gonna do? Scream at me? Second of all, I know, that’s why I’m doing it- ACK!”
Agent Eight took that distraction to punch her in the gut. Because she had heels on her boots, it hurt twice as more. Her enemy stayed on the floor, so she took that opportunity to stab her in the back with her heels again.
“First, thanks, second, 4 years ago, she scrapped me on the floor, so I want her to pay.” The agent said in a shaking voice.


Good.


She wanted to hurt, to break, to scream. To let out all the emotions she bottled up all this time, she now knows she’s been abused her whole life, beaten, starved, and most of all, isolated.


She took the enemy’s arms


Pulled her body up


*snap*


That Octoling was gone, no spawn point could save her spine now.


Agent Three looked at her partner in shock and fear.


“Wh-What the hell did you just do?!” The agent screamed in horror.
Well, she wanted her to pay so…
“You know what? She deserved it. Let’s not fuss over that. Let’s sit down, I wanna talk.”

***

“Look, I just wanna say: I’m sorry for not helping you, you could’ve died, and I did nothing. Fuck all. I’m just… So, so scared of Octolings. I promise, you’re fine, you look more like an adorable puppy than anything.” At that comment, the Octoling blushed a bit. “Anyway, I was just scared and lost. You know, I was beaten too when I was a child. Even now, but I can defend myself. My dad is abusive and alcoholic. Those things don’t mix well together. I was homeless at 14, but I found a boyfriend and Cap'n Cuttlefish. Turns out my boyfriend was abusive too and under his manipulation and stress, I attempted suicide. Because I was already in the New Squidbeak Splatoon, the Squid Sisters knew my situation. At that moment, they wanted to check up on me, turns out it was at that moment I almost jumped. They stopped me and arrested my ex-boyfriend -yes we have the power to do that-, they invited me to live with them, and now it’s been over two months since all of that shit went down. Anyway, enough of me rambling, I’m so sorry for not helping you.”
The other agent nodded in agreement.
“On a more cheerful note -kind of-, let’s go pass some tests!” She said more cheerfully. “Girl Power Station, here we go!”

***

Getting out of the metro, they noticed cans floating in the air. Weird. They only had sub weapon choices, but Agent Three suggested splat bombs. Easier and faster kills. Eight nodded and they continued. They passed the tourniquet and saw all the weapons in cans there.


“Wow… so many..!” Agent Three exclaimed. Eight only sat there with her mouth open.
“Take the weapons you trust yourself with the most and GO FOR THE GOAL!” Pearl shouted.
“The objective is to protect the orb, so I suggest one of you guard it, while the other attacks the enemies!” Marina spoke quieter.
Three gave Agent Eight a high-five, but the Octoling didn’t have a clue what that was.
“That’s called a high-five, it’s a friendly gesture to encourage someone.” Agent Three explained.
The Octo let out a “Oh” and proceeded with the mission.

***


‘Oh, protecting something that simple is easy' you must say.


You


Are


Wrong


So utterly wrong.


Oh so completely wrong.


So ignorant you buffoon.


Three was a charger and Eight a brella. Both their main weapons, so they were used to it. Eight attacked and Three guarded. After an hour of trying, they switched places, and Three took a roller. At that point in time, they were both exhausted. Giving one last try, they went in the level.
After a couple of hardcore and intense fighting, they finally did it. They beat the test. Only two more and they were out of that fucking place forever.

 

Chapter Text

Matchmaster Station was much of a breeze when it comes to Agent Three with a charger. The test consisted of shooting crates to look like the original. Being two, one did a side while the other did the other. While Agent Eight not being that good with a charger and C.Q Cumber liking her a bit, he let her have a different weapon than the older agent. Let’s say the Squeezer wasn’t Agent Eight’s cup of tea. It took about half an hour to finish that test, with a few raging bits by the Inkling, quiet swearing by the Octoling and a lot of gasps and close calls. Knowing that the crates broke with two uncharged shots was helping too. There was at least place for error. They finished the test, exhausted already. Little did they know, they needed their energy for that next and final test. Cool Your Jets Station was up next.


“Hey,” started the Inkling “you alright? You seem… on edge .”
The Octoling shrugged. “Oh right, you can’t talk. Sorry.” Agent Three responded coldly, even though she was very embarrassed. They stepped on the weapon changing station, taking Three’s heroshot and giving them both their new weapons, the Inkjets.
They went through the tourniquet and went to a room that smelled of… soap? The Inkling wondered why it smelled like that. She turned her head around and saw her partner’s nose wriggling like a hare. Cute! That thought made the agent blush furiously and Eight surely noticed, but didn’t point out. They went on the launchpad to superjump to the boss, but there wasn’t any. Three shrugged and flew to the central spot where they would fight. Three began rethinking about the Octoling’s tense body. Was she scared? Was she excited to go to the surface? Happy, sad, angry or impatient? She couldn’t tell, it wasn’t easy trying to guess her emotions.
They arrived to the boss fight. A huge robot emerged from the ink and made a kettle noise. With a small yelp escaping from Eight’s mouth, they separated while a shower of bright green ink came at them. Another fact about Three is that she was actually really bad with the new special weapons, since she didn’t have a lot of time to adapt. (Honestly, the Kraken special was much easier to use than a fucking jetpack!) Anyway, she got her mind straight to the fight.
“Hit the Octocopters, they’re the ones who make the boss fly!” Marina shouted.
“Alright, let shit hit the fan!” Three muttered to herself.

 

After that comment, they started to aim the Octocopters. You know, it was 10 times easier beating a boss knowing it’s weak point. Agent Eight was really good at piloting that Inkjet. It was kind of admirable seeing her maneuver that special. Three wasn’t that good, only being capable of going up, down, left and right. After struggling a bit, they got the three octocopters. Knowing what happened next, Three backed away, soon followed Eight. Another phase, another struggle. There were now four new octocopters. Now he was angry (she? She didn’t know). He now pulled out a machine gun. A… very old machine gun. But man, that thing was lethal. Agent Eight, being the calm one, now began to crumble under the anxiety. Damn, she couldn’t do anything right now. Three felt powerless in that situation. They just had to continue. Eight was at the stage of not shooting well.
“Agent Eight, are you okay? You can exit the station for a while if you want.” Marina said in a sweet voice, like a mom’s.
She shook her head. “I think she doesn’t want to. I’ll help her after, but now we’ve got to beat that Octoshower thing.” Agent Three responded in a cold tone. Man, it sucked having a pretty deep voice. People don’t actually know what you’re feeling or if you’re saying it and actually mean it.

 

They finally got rid of that son of a-… last octocopter. The third phase came rolling in. They prepared themselves, and then the Octoshower pulled out his special weapon; the Stingray. Agent Three knew the weak points of the Stingray, being a charger main, she handled that special weapon well (but the Kraken was better). So, being good at aiming it, it also means that she knew it’s weaknesses. After sometime of struggling, they finally passed the test.

 

***


“You found the final Thang! Did you have a [slang_not_found] time? I bet so!” They picked up the call.
“Yeah yeah, whatever. Just take us to the ‘promised land’ we’re so fond of. Or I swear to cod I’ll murder your ass.” Agent Three retorted.
“Alright, alright. To got to the promised land you will need to [error 397] through this machine!” The phone said.
“Um, that looks sketchy as fuck. No way in Hell we’re going in there. Let alone Eight.” Three snapped back almost immediately.
“Just go in the machine, cowards!” Pearl shouted.
“Um… I’ll go, Eight you stay here. I dunno if it’s safe. I wanna be sure first.”
“No! No! Subject number 10 008 needs to come too!” The old phone cheered.
They advanced in the contraption. Three whispered something to Eight.
“Hey, when we go in that thing, give me your shoe.” She said.
The Octoling gave her a confused look. “You’ll see.” Three gave her a sheepish smile.
They slowly walked in the thing. The doors suddenly shut down behind them. Lights and sirens were going off. The Octoling looked distressed.
“ARGH! DUMBASS PHONE! I KNEW I SHOULDN’T HAVE TRUSTED HIM!” Agent Three shouted at the top of her lungs.
Then, she remembered.
She kicked the glass with her leg. “Shit, Eight! Give me your shoe!”
She did as told. “Okay, stand back and protect your eyes. We don’t want you going blind, right?” Three gave her a grin.
Having already a plan, Agent Three threw the high-heeled shoe with all the strength she had (which is a lot) at the glass, making it shatter a bit. The opportunity was hers; she kicked the glass again, making an opening and shattered the rest of the wall. Doing so, a huge piece of glass stabbed her cheek.
“Yes! Let’s get outta here, Eight!” Three turned back to her friend, smiling.
“Yessir! To the Promised Land we go!” Pearl shouted.
“Don’t talk like that phone, Pearlie. You give us all the creeps!” Marina spoke in a quieter voice.


***


“Alright, no weapon, no sub weapon, no special, gotta sneak in, this is fine.” Three said in a sarcastic tone.
The Octoling just gave her a glance of ‘what the actual FUCK are you talking about?’ The Inkling took that as sign to move forward.
The first phase was pretty much sneaking in their ink, and Three realized that pink isn’t her best color. After a lot of silence, they were greeted by a sanitized octoseeker.

The Octoling pointed her cheek. “What? Is it my cheek?” Eight nodded. “Oh, must be from the glass from earlier. Don’t worry about me.” Three said. She wiped her cheek. Red blood was pouring out of the wound. Inklings and Octolings have a weird thing in their blood that makes it the opposite color of their ink, like green and red, purple and yellow, so on so forth. They still continued their travel towards the surface, with Eight glancing at her friend once in a while.

***

After a while, they found a can of Splat bombs. Going on a launchpad, it took them back to the beginning of the phase. They probably had to return and get their main weapons, guess she was right. After a couple of funny exchanges between the Idols, they finished the phase.


***

Belly phase was awaiting them. Wasn’t too hard, they had to jump on platforms and stuff like that, easy. Now for the Diaphragm phase, which consisted of releasing data logs to get the power source to power up an elevator to bring them to the surface! Easy. There were 8 in total, so 4 of them each. Eight took care of the middle ones and right ones, while Three did the rest. With an encouraging music from Off The Hook called Shark Bytes, they were both motivated. The song mostly talking about Eight and her past, Three felt kind of left out. Marina’s voice was especially emotional in that song, and Pearl… well… Pearl was Pearl.
In the end, Eight had to help out Three, so Eight captured 6 data logs, and Three 2. Pretty pathetic if you asked her. Peristalsis phase coming up, the phase were you need to transport the energy core to the plug to power up the elevator to escape. Easy!

“Okay Eight, you make the platform move, I protect it. Go!” Three gave no time for Eight to react.

Advancing more and more in the phase, they both realized that it was kind of like Girl Power Station, protecting the orb against like, a thousand enemies. The hardest part was were there Octomissiles and an Octocommander, you need to spray fans in order to have a wall to protect the energy core. A little farther away, an Octobomber attacks them.

“Eight, watch out! Protect the energy core, I’ll handle him!” Three yelled.

The Octobomber threw a bomb directly at the energy core. It had a lot of damage already, and a bomb would completely finish it. To protect the orb, Agent Three decided that the orb was even more important than her life, so she jumped between the energy core and the bomb, making it explode and taking damage. Eight gasped but she didn’t give up. Half beaten up, she still continued to fight that enemy. He was still too far for her to reach.

“Agent Eight, make the platform move forward, please.” Three said in a cold tone.

Now they were close enough to splat him. After that, Octoballers were rolling on the platforms. As always, Three did the dangerous stuff while Eight made the platform advance. After that, the phase was over. Only 2 phases left, the Intestinal phase and Spinal phase.

***

Agent Three was farther away, since Eight had a little bit of difficulty going over the lasers. They just had to meet at the end of the phase, it wasn’t that long. Three just walked, to at least give Eight a little bit of a chance to catch up. Since there were no spawnpoints, they only had one chance, so they had no place for error. That’s why Agent Eight was so careful about the lasers. At that point, the Inkling was at the end of the phase. There was a tall figure looming in front of her.

“Um, hello? You know you’re not supposed to be here, right?” Agent Three broke the heavy silence.
“I’m security, I have all the rights to be here, and watch your mouth.” The man responded.
“Get out of the way, or I’ll make you.” She snapped back.
“And why should I be scared of you, again?”
“Agent Three of the New Squidbeak Splatoon. I have the legal right to arrest you.”
The man laughed. “Okay, okay. Come with me and no-one will get hurt. I don’t think you would want your precious friend dead, right?” He taunted.
“Promise me you won’t hurt her.”
“If I do, cut my head off.”
“Sure will, sir.”

***

Agent Eight was about to finish the phase when she heard voices and screams. That must be Agent Three! She told herself. She was a mix of excited and worried to go to the surface. The screams didn’t reassure her in any way. She sneaked and fell down to a hallway. She saw a green Inkling on the floor and a figure standing on top of them. Agent Three! She quickly ran towards them. The man pressed a button and Agent Three got a sort of shock. Eight yelped and pointed her gun towards the man.

“Eight, no! He’ll-“ Her sentence got cut off by a shock.
“Hush, now. You don’t wanna get shocked again, do you?”
“fuck off.”
“Don’t be rude.”

She didn’t know what to do know. They were in a life or death situation, and without Agent Three, she was clueless. Her friend was in danger, what was she supposed to do? Let her get hurt, or worse, die?

“OK, I got a deal. You don’t shoot me and I take your little girlfriend. Option 2 is that if you try to kill me, that friend of yours is gone. Get it?” The man spoke in perfect Octolish.
She did a ‘one’ with her finger to go with option one. “Great, let the fun begin, any last words before being separated again?” He switched to Inklish.
“Eight, whatever you do, don’t care about me, care about your safety. I’ll be fine, I promise.” Three gave a weak, but genuine, faint smile.
The Octoling nodded and wiped away tears. “Alright, I had enough with the sweet and touching words. Goodbye, enjoy the surface.” Then, he disappeared.

She was crying, even though she was more of the person hiding her emotions. “Aw, Agent Eight! It's gonna be fine, she told you she was alright!” Marina cheered, but failed to sound real.
“Um, ‘Rina, I don’t think the kid hears us.” Pearl pointed out.
The Idols heard a click. “Oh, she found Three's headset! Can you hear us? If so, tap twice on the mic!” Marina spoke.
Two taps. “Great, let’s move forward!” Pearl said in a nonchalant tone.
She moved forward, superjumping to the next phase. She was still really sad that she didn’t have her friend beside her. Could she even call Agent Three her friend? The Inkling said so herself that the other agent, Agent… 6? Anyway, even them aren’t friends, so why would Three and Eight be?

***

While riding on the inkrail, the Idols were talking about random stuff to lighten up the mood. Anyway, it didn’t help Agent Eight's sadness. She was now on the elevator, sitting on a box. The elevator stopped suddenly, like it was stuck.

“Well, well, well. Look who fell in the well! We meet again, so it seams.” The man spoke up.
“Eight!” A woman yelled.
Agent Three! “Now don’t get too excited! This syringe here can be dangerous if you play with it!” The man said in a playful tone.
“What the hell are you gonna do with that thing? Stab me?” Three spat.
“You’ll see.” He smiled, then pointed towards Agent Eight. “You. You know what that is, do you?”
She nodded, fear rushing through her body. “Good, and you know what it does?” She nodded again. “Yes, yes. So, are you scared of needles?” The man asked with an evil grin on his face.
“No, why would I?” Three asked back.
“Well, now you will.” As he said that, he stabbed the needle in Three's face.
“WHAT THE HELL?!” She screamed in agony.
“Well, goodbye! Have a nice trip… or not.” He then vanished.


Three was still screaming. Eight ran towards her body in a rush. The Octoling tried to get her friend to calm down, but she couldn’t talk. Come on, you can do it! She knew she had the chance to talk.


“EIGHT! HELP ME, IT’S BURNING MY FACE!” Three screamed, tears running down her face.
It’s gonna be fine, it’s gonna be fine. Eight started to panic. She knew what that would do, and thank god it was only a baby sanitized parasite, it couldn’t do a full sanitization.
“Three, it’s only a little sanitization parasite. It can’t do a complete sanitization. If it tries to control you, fight it. Say the opposite stuff it says.” Eight spoke in a relatively calm tone.
“You… You talked?” Three said in aw.
“Shut your mouth, you’ll forget everything anyway.” Eight said, annoyed.
“Eh..?” A clueless expression flushed over her face. The parasite was visibly spreading on the other agent's face. Three was very tough to not flinch over a parasite digging in her flesh.
Three stopped, her whole body tensing up. Suddenly, her body dropped on the floor, not even moving an inch.
“…Three..?”

 

 

 


“You waste of oxygen, get out of my face!” Three very suddenly shouted. It was like she was a schizophrenic. She just suddenly changed moods, going from confused to downright mad.
Pearl and Marina were screaming comments, but every sound was anguished by Three's incoherent gibberish. Death threats were spat out like compliments, she was clearly not herself. She was ranting about her poor childhood and stuff like that, while trying to attack Agent Eight. Eight was faster than Three, because being sanitized cut your stats in half. So she was fighting like a kitten, metaphorically speaking, of course. She didn’t want to fight her friend, she physically couldn’t.


“Cod, stop dodging and FIGHT! You dumb whore, go die in a ditch for all I care!” Three screeched. That… didn’t sound good.
“THREE! SNAP OUT OF IT!” Eight screamed in agony, crying. It was like her heart was being torn in two.
“Why should I, you fucking Octoling? You’re an inferior race, I should be commanding you!” Three spat with a cold stare.
The Inkling jumped on Eight, knocking her head on the floor really hard, enough for her to see green blood slowly emerging from under her head. It wasn’t Three's blood for sure.
“Are you alright? Need a Band-Aid?” Three sarcastically said.
Eight looked around to search for anything to help her. She spotted Three's heroshot not far from herself. Having long arms was now very useful. Three was oblivious to Eight's next attack.
“I’m sorry, Three.”
“Huh-“ She was cut off by a hard hit behind her head.


It wasn’t a huge hit, no serious injury, nothing that serious. Just enough to knock her out, then pick her up. Because she was an Octoling, her tentacles moved at her will, so she picked up both of their weapons. She took Three's limp body and threw her over her shoulder. She started climbing the very long ladder. Suddenly, Three had a spasm, she looked over her shoulder. The parasite was still on her face. That… wasn’t a good sign. The Inkling looked Eight straight in the eye, slowly turning her head. Eight didn’t know what to do, or to expect. Then, Three just decided to rip out Eight's sleeve on her neck. Once the fabric ripped off, she bit again with full force in her neck, like a vampire. Eight screamed, startling Three. She made sure not to drop her in the process. Blood was pouring out of the 4 little wounds on her neck. Three then fell unconscious again, without a warning. After a while of struggling, they reached to the top of the ladder. Eight was exhausted, having to drag Three up a ladder. She was laying on the floor, out of breath. She rolled on her back, being originally on her stomach. She noticed the air smelled like salt.


She then realized.

“Wait!” She stood up. “I’m on the surface!” She smiled like a little child. Eight turned her head to Agent Three's direction. Three was slowly getting up, her body shaking. The goop on her face was leaking on the floor, then dropped on the floor. Three turned her head, visibly disturbed and shaken.


“Wh-what the hell happened..? What is this?” Three said in a shaking voice.
Eight shook her head, saying not to worry. Agent Three then did something she never thought she would do. She ran towards Agent Eight and gave her the biggest hug she ever had. Three was sobbing loudly, chunky tears rolling down her face.


“Oh- oh my Cod… I- I remember e-everything I s-said, ev-everything I did…” She was still sobbing.
Eight hushed her friend and they sat down. A while passed and they heard music.


“Heyo! Wassup ladi- woah.” Pearl exclaimed.
“Shut the fuck up, Pearl.”
As Three said that, the ground started to vibrate.
“Girls! Climb that ladder, you’ll be safe!” Marina shouted.


***


They were now on a platform, both the agents. The phone now spoke, and Agent Eight recognized its voice, much to her chagrin.

“TARTAR IN DA HOUSE! [DISABLING CONTEMPORARY SPEECH MODE] I am TARTAR, an AI construct created 12,000 years ago by a brilliant professor. My prime directive is to pass humanity’s vast knowledge on to the next worthy lifeform. When your kind became self-aware, I hoped that my long wait was finally over. But as I observed your evolution, I WAS DISGUSTED! You wage war over minor genetic deviations. You obsess over trivial fashion choices. And so I created a new prime directive: destroy this world and start anew! From the best and brightest test subjects, I created a sludge of supreme DNA. A primordial ooze from which the ultimate lifeform will emerge. Today is the day my vision becomes reality, as I destroy Inkopolis and everyone in it!”
“Bitch, hell no.” Three snap back.
“I can pick up massive energy emanating from the statue, I think it gets it’s energy by the sunlight. Covering it with ink must stop it getting energy. But, I came prepared! I have hyperbombs for you to explode so you can cover it with ink!” Marina exclaimed.
“Yeah, and I can do that thing with my voice!” Pearl said.
“Why… why would you do that..? The only thing it does is break windows and make everyone deaf!” Marina said with fear.
“Anyway, that guy’s still talking so let’s go.” Three said.


They superjumped to the platform, waiting for the countdown. Music started to blast from the helicopter. The plan was to explode bombs on the various body parts of the statue.

Agent Three took the back and neck, while Eight took the rest. It was a timed challenge, only 3 minutes to cover the whole thing. Poppy music jamming, it wasn’t that boring. It was actually good (she hoped it would make it on a CD). Only 1 minute left! Pressure was getting onto them. The song was talking about how Agent Eight would defeat Commander Tartar and that she couldn’t loose. 30 seconds left, there were hyperbombs left on the bottom of the statue.

“It’s fine Eight, save the world for me, would ‘ya!” Three screamed so Eight would hear.
She nodded and Three dropped down. Now Eight had to take care of the ones left on the top, 5 to be precise.

10!


She had to move.


9!


No time to loose.


8!


Oh god no.


7!


There were 3 left!


6!


Somebody help her!


5!


Only two more!


4!


She could do this!


3!


She couldn’t do this.


2!


W-what? Who's that?


1!


“Agent Four, to the rescue!”
What?!

Time's up!

The inkrails disconnected under her, so Agent Eight didn’t have the time to react and superjump back to the platform. She fell in the void, with no other choice but to die, water under her. Her eyes were shut, out of fear. She just embraced the wind on her exposed skin. She suddenly felt her body being lifted up, like someone was holding her up. Turns out she was actually being held. She opened her eyes and saw that Agent Three was carrying Eight, more in a sense for her not to fall. Three only redirected Eight to a platform, since they couldn’t superjump in the air. After that, they went on the platform they were on 3 minutes ago.


“That was sooo cool!” A female voice emerged as they got closer.
“Callie?” Three responded in shock.
“Hey, we went here to check up on your mission. Also, look at your face.” Marie gave her her phone .
“What the- oh. Yeah, that happened.”
Eight gave a sad glance at Three. “It’s alright, you couldn’t have done anything anyway. Only a doctor can know what to do.”
“Um, guys? Tartar thing is menacing us with a gun. Shouldn’t you be alerted by that?” Four said in a very high-pitched voice. Eight didn’t imagine Four like that. She had light brown skin with yellow freckles on her face and knees, probably on her shoulders too. A light, worn out purple scar was on her right ankle, like someone grabbed her lower leg. The Inkling must have been at least 5”, she wasn’t very tall.
“Hi, can I… help you?” Four asked.
Eight shook her head in a frantic motion. “Aren’t you a weird one!” She laughed.
“Pearl, he's about to launch his canon!” Marina said franticly.
Pearl dropped down from the helicopter. “Leave it to me ladies!”
“This is so exciting!!” Four jumped up and down. Even jumping, Four couldn’t be as tall as Three or herself.
Tartar ranted about destroying Inkopolis. “Yeah yeah, whatever. Hurry up and destroy us or I want a raise.” Three complained.
“Hey, you’re already making more than the minimum wage.” Marie snapped back.
“Shut your asses up, it’s my turn! “ Pearl pushed Three and Marie aside.
“Cover your ears ladies.” Marina said.
They all did, but they still heard the loud ‘booyah!’ of Pearl. Their ears were still ringing, especially Eight and Marina, since Octolings had better hearing.


The statue was falling down as Tartar bickered some words. Off the Hook squealed together and gave each other a hug, with Agent One and Two joining in. Slowly Agent Four went in the hug. They were all crying, like it was the end of the world. At the corner of her eye, Eight saw movement. Turns out it was Three putting her arm around Eight’s shoulders and pressing her against herself. Agent Eight looked up and smiled, with Three returning it. Suddenly, everyone jumped on Eight and gave her a hug. Was this love? She started crying, even though Three was the one who hugged her the tightest.


She will never forget this moment.