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Celestial Influence VIII- The Beginning of the End

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The sun peaked over the distant horizon, filling the realm before it with light, scattering the darkness as it always does each morning. Wu breathed in a deep breath, filling his lungs with the cool morning air from his place meditating atop the Monastery's roof. He opened his eyes slowly, a smile tugging his beard upwards. Today promises to be a good one.

"Heeeya!" He glanced down into the courtyard, finding one student already hard at work in the training yard.

He promises to be quite the fighter. The boy was quick to use a front handspring to get out of the way of the machine's fist as it spun.

"Ha! You're nothing!" The boy grinned at the bot. "Ninja go!" He yelled, using Spinjitzu to charge at the machine but the move soon became unstable, his use of it not quite mastered as yet.

He yelled as he ended up thrown towards the robot that immediately smacked him in the face, sending him flying back. Wu winced as he took a hard fall then hopped off the roof, landing silently on his feet then approached with his hands behind his back.

"Your form was perfect but you are too hasty. Too cocky." Wu says as he reached a hand down to help the boy up.

"Sorry Sensei. I'll do better next time." Jake says as he rubbed the back of his head then dusted off his orange gi and Wu smiled at the youngest member of his new batch of students.

"I'm sure you will." Wu says, ruffling the young teen's hair before walking away. "You remind me of a student of mine. The master of fire." He says and Jake perked all the way up at that.

To be compared to the master of fire, his favourite ninja Kai himself! Now he was even more determined to pull this off.

"Ninja go!" He yelled, jumping right back into practise.

Wu chuckled soft then headed inside the monastery for tea. No surprise when he found it already made for him and another student of his already waiting.

"Nelson. Good morning. I see you're up early." Wu greeted, taking a seat from across the leader of the team, clad in his purple gi.

Not that he realised that yet.

"Yeah! I'm an early riser and I know you really like your tea so I just-uh through I might as well do something productive with the extra time, you know?" He says sheepishly.

"Why not join Jake with training?" Wu queried, taking his cup of tea and taking a sip.

"Ah… Right…" Nelson says sheepishly as he scratched the back of his head.

He hadn't thought of that. He was still riding off the high of being sought out by Lloyd, the green ninja's master personally. Yes it was a year ago but he's so excited to become a ninja!- er. Continue being a ninja.

"He hasn't got over the kiss up stage, that's why." Antonia says as she walked by in her grey gi, a half eaten apple in hand.

Nelson sputtered and she laughed then took another bite. Wu hid his smile into his cup. He's long gotten used to his new students'... Quirks. Antonia was the strong yet level headed one of the group. More than all of the ninja, she syncs with Cole.

"And where are you off to this morning?" Wu asked her.

"To test out the new bots." Was all Antonia says then walked out into the training yard.

"What?!" Wu looked towards the hall leading to their rooms where Gene was now standing half dressed in his indigo gi, panic in his eyes. "Don't break them Antonia! I spent three whole days on those!" He yelled as he rushed out after her, struggling to put on his glasses as he did.

Gene was the genius of the group and the builder. He's as eccentric as Jay is.

"What's will all the commotion?" Sally asked as she carried breakfast to the table, an apron over her yellow gi.

"Gene's trying to save his robots from Toni." Nelson told her and she hummed.

"He might already be too late." She says and just then, Gene's cry of dismay came. "Yeah. Too late." She reiterated then headed back to the kitchen for the other plates.

"I'll help." Nelson says as he got up, following behind her.

Sally was by no means level headed but she was more stable and critical in thinking than them all. Much like Zane.

"Is that breakfast I smell?" Wu was unsurprised by Brad walking into the dining space in his pajamas and half asleep, apricot gi thrown over his arm.

He seats himself across from Wu, yawning as he scratched his arm, his hair ruffled all over. Wu huffed quietly.

"And good morning to you too Brad." Wu spoke up and the boy jolts, as if he hadn't seen him there the whole time.

"Oh uh, good morning Sensei." He was quick to say, as sheepish as he was.

Wu only nods at him, pouring himself another cup of tea. Brad had a tendency to use a mean front to hide his true self, considering it weak and embarrassing. He uses shows of superiority and usefulness to make himself feel worthy though unnecessary as it was amongst his brothers and sisters here. It's a trait he's also seen in Nya. 

"Nel, go get the others." Sally says as they brought in the last of their meal in.

"Roger." He says, setting the plates down and heading out. "Guys, time to eat!" He called but was ignored by Gene whining over his broken bot, Antonia snickering at him and Jake training with all he's got.

He sighed then paused to think.

"No food means no energy which means no energy to train Jake!" he called out and the brunette whipped his head around to look at Nelson, considering.

"Alright!" Jake yelled back then turned off the machine, running past him.

"Come on Gene. I'll stop by Borg Industries today and see if Cyrus has any spare parts for you." As spins the words were out of Nelson's mouth, Gene's head snapped up.

"Can I come with you?" He asked seriously and Nelson laughed but nodded.

Somewhere along the line, he's become a sort of casual friend of both Cyrus Borg and his daughter Pixal also known as Samurai X: Ninjago's greatest defender. Sure she's backed by the Elemental Alliance, but she's the Ninjago chosen green ninja. The title didn't sit right with Nelson. Yes, he's grateful for her years of service but… There's only one green ninja.

"You alright?" Nelson blinked back to the present and focused on a concerned looking Antonia.

"Yeah. Don't worry about it." He smiled at her. "Let's go eat." He says, turning back to the inside.

Antonia watched him go, not completely believing him but deciding not to push it. Wu had seen the whole happening from his seat thanks to the open concept of the Monastery the original ninja had left him. He looked down into the green of his tea. How long has it been? How long as it been since the ninja have disappeared, taking his brother with them? Wu brings the cup to his mouth and sipped. A few months and it would be 8 years. While he realised it on the night it happened, Ninjago realised after a few months. Their consensus was unanimous: they were all glad they were gone. By then, the elemental masters started calling themselves the Elemental Alliance and had all been equipped somehow with the ninja's gifts. Whether it be new swords and weapons, armor, vehicles, mech amd even items to ward off evil. It made fighting easier for them. None of them offered a thanks for the items they suspiciously then eagerly accepted. The Ninja were fine with that. It sparked fire in their usually humble old Sensei's heart however.

He's learned to come to terms with this realms inability to see the bigger picture. It was difficult but as their former Sensei, he had to remain humble. They celebrated, thinking the ninja gone forever. That was far from the truth. Wu knew what happened to them. Not where they were but certainly what happened to them. They came to him in his dreams, told him of a need they couldn't control and bid him farewell. The loneliness that came was as painful and sharp as it always was. But knowing they weren't truly gone as the rest of Ninjago believed lessen the blow. He glanced out the opened Monastery doors at the pillar in the middle of the grounds, holding a gold dragon on top and the six symbols of the ninja in the ground around it, their colours faded to dark gray with their inactivity. He longs for the day their colours returned.

"Sensei?" He opened his eyes to see all six of his students looking at him with varying degrees of concern. "You alright?" Nelson asked again and wu nods, setting his cup down.

"Yes. Just a little lost in thought. Now eat, all of you. You all have a long day of training ahead of you." He told them and the only one to perk up was Jake.

Wu smiled at their mixed reactions.

For now, he had new company. He can be patient.

_________

"Sensei! Gene and I are heading into New Ninjago City for a bit!" Nelson called over his shoulder as he headed out to where Gene was waiting in his Aerial Assault Jet.

"Very well but make sure to come back in time for evening training!" Wu called back and Nelson ran over, hopping into the dark blue jet Nelson wouldn't have believed he made if he hadn't watched him work on it for weeks.

"Sensei says to be back in time for evening training." Nelson says as he slipped his seatbelt on, leaving Gene to start the jet up and shut the hatch.

"Ugh. Why are we even training so hard? It's not like we get to fight bad guys often. Samurai X and the Elemental Alliance have that covered!" Gene complained as he brought the jet airborne, steering them towards New Ninjago City. "It's not like we're the chosen ones. We're just replacements. And not even good replacements at that!" He growled, irritated.

Nelson frowned.

Honestly? He's had similar thoughts before. He could never replace Lloyd or any of the ninja. No-one can. But he didn't accept Sensei Wu's offer to become Lloyd. To become like him, yes but not to be him. He just wanted to do his part for the good of Ninjago. He looked across at Gene as he frowned.

"Why take Sensei's offer if you felt like this then?" Nelson asked and Gene froze then hardened his gaze.

"... It was either this or the orphanage." Gene says quietly and that surprised Nelson.

Orphanage? But Gene had a father. He was one of Ninjago's recurring villains, one of many who stepped out of the shadows when the Ninja disappeared. Then that meant… Nelson looked down into his lap, at his fingers that were laced together as Ninjago flew by below.

"... I'm sorry for asking." Nelson whispered and Gene shrugged it off.

"Forget about it. It's the past. We're here." Gene says and Nelson blinked in surprise.

"Already?!" He sputtered as he looked around and indeed, New Ninjago City was right in front of them.

"What's the point in having a slow jet?" Gene grinned as he headed towards Borg Industries, touching down on the landing pad on the roof. 

Nelson hopped out as soon as the hatch was open then blinked in surprise to see Pixal herself standing there. He smiled as he walked over to her.

"Pix, hey!" He greeted cheerfully and Pixal's expression changed subtly.

"Hello Nelson. Please call me Pixal." She reminds him lightly and Nelson winced.

"Right, right. Sorry." He apologised.

"That's an interesting aircraft. It's quite fast from what I've seen." She says, looking towards the jet as Gene walked over.

"I made it myself. I haven't decided on a name for it as yet so I've settled on Aerial Assault Jet. Or AAJ for short." Gene says proudly.

"Impressive." Pixal complimented. "What brings you two here?" She queries.

"We were hoping to pick up some spare parts for Gene's projects if you guys have any." Nelson says, tucking on his heels.

The truth is, he's never asked them for something like that before. Gene usually gets his parts from the old abandoned junkyard in the Sea of Sand. He only knew Cyrus personally through his time as a mail carrier in training when the mailman came to the paper route insisting he needed help. Mr Borg had always had a lot of mail that Nelson was unfortunate enough to deliver. He started offering him a moment to rest before continuing his route and would eagerly answer his questions on anything he was working on. Pixal was always there too. Mainly just watching. Now that he remembers, it was… A little creepy.

"... I'd have to ask my father. Follow me." She says, coaxing them over to the elevator.

Both boys shared an eager look before following after her.

"You both came at an opportune time at least." Pixal says once they were in the elevator. "Right now, we are updating the tower's factory. While we usually recycle parts, there's a high chance you may be able to gather a few pieces." She told them as she hit the button for the factory.

"You mean I could get pieces of the very same factory that brought Ninjago into the technical age?!" Gene says excitedly and Nelson laughed to himself at his excitement.

"Indeed." Pixal nodded and silence fell over the elevator.

"... How is Sensei Wu?" She asked them and both Gene and Nelson shared a confused look.

"He's ok! We're heading back to train with him after this!" Nelson told her with a grin.

"I see…" Was all she says, confusing both boys.

Before they could ask, the elevator came to a stop and the doors opened. Both boys awed at the inside of the large factory. Sure Gene has been here before when he was much younger but it's nice to visit when the machinery weren't trying to kill him. Pixal walked in and they followed behind, looking around in awe as the tower workers inspected and removed certain parts of the factory, mainly the robotic arms and the convertor belt.

"Father." They looked ahead once Pixal spoke and they saw as Cyrus perked up then turned around in his wheelchair. 

"Pixal! Ah. I see you have company!" He greeted warmly as always and Nelson grinned while Gene stared wide eyed at the Cyrus Borg, right in front of him!

"Long time no see Mr. Borg." Nelson greeted, walking over to shake his hand.

"Indeed. Being a ninja is a busy job after all " Cyrus says light hearted and Nelson nods then glanced back at where Gene was fidgeting with his glasses.

"I'd like you to meet my friend Gene. He's a pretty smart guy and really looks up to you." Nelson says, gesturing to Hehe who sputtered at the introduction, face going red.

"Ah. Now that's a familiar name." Cyrus says and Gene's eyes widened in surprise- but then he hung his head, remembering his father us a pretty wanted villain who put him up for adoption the moment he decided he wanted to always be good.

"Correct me if I'm wrong but…" Cyrus began, rolling closer to the boy. "You were the child who presented an exceptional piece on thermodynamics, were you not?" He asked and Gene blinked in surprise.

He heard of it? Better yet, he read it?! Despite it being false?!

"Y-yes but my thesis was incorrect." Gene says with a frown, not quite sure he's awake.

"Indeed but it was an astounding piece. I could hardly believe a child of your age had written it." Cyrus says then smiled wider as he took both of Gene's hands. "It doesn't matter that it was incorrect. What does matter is the knowledge gained from it." He says gently, giving both of Gene's hands a squeeze.

The teen looked down at the man before him, at a real genius who thought his most embarrassing and regretful piece was actually worth something. Gene's eyes watered. He squeezed his eyes shut then nodded at him.

"Thank you." He told Cyrus, unable to cry the tears that wanted to be shed.

Some habits back in his days of being evil are hard to break. No matter how forced and traumatizing they were. Cyrus saw this and decided against asking.

"So what brings you ninja here?" Cyrus asked, glancing over at Nelson as he walked over.

"We were hoping for any spare parts you might have. Gene's gotten pretty big on the mechanical side of science and likes to build things." Nelson explained and Cyrus grinned.

"You've come at the perfect time then. We're completely replacing the robotic arms of the factory and upgrading the rest. If you'd like, you can have the arms of the machinery, wiring and motherboards included." He offered, releasing Gene's hands to roll over to the closest one. "They don't have any damages or anything, I've just come up with a more efficient version that needs less repairs over time." He says, patting the large mechanical arm's base. 

"Woah, really?!" Both Nelson and Gene spoke at the same time.

They looked at each other and Nelson grinned as Gene gave a semi reluctant smile while adjusting his glasses.

"Yes really." Cyrus says with a laugh. "They're a little big however. I can arrange transportation if you'd like. Nothing makes me happier than fueling the minds and opportunities of the young." He says cheerfully, his radiant positivity contagious.

"That would be amazing!" Gene was quick to say, today already feeling like the best day of his life.

Oh who was he kidding? It is!

"Perfect! While we're at it, I can get you…" Cyrus trailed off once Pixal walked past them, a suspicious look on her face.

All three watched as she headed to where almost all of the workers have gathered: one if very few windows in the factory.

"What's with the commotion?" Nelson asked, watching Pixal also climb up to where the high window was.

"Is it me or does the outside look darker than I recall?" Gene asked, spotting it through a higher window.

"Maybe it's rain?" Nelson suggested, confused still.

Just then, a loud, thundering roar echoed, shaking the building with its might, sending the workers into chaos and panic.

"... That's not thunder… And this isn't rain." Cyrus says, completely daunted by the familiarity of that roar as Pixal rushed over. "The Overlord." He whispered before she could say it.

She gave a dreaded nod.

"We have to get you and the rest of New Ninjago City out of here immediately." Pixal told him and no sooner than she said that, was there a loud sound equivalent to an explosion, throwing them all off their feet and causing Cyrus to be thrown out of his chair, hitting his head against the assembly line on the way down.

Seconds later, there was another, louder thud that had pieces of the ceiling breaking.

"We have to go, now!" Pixal yelled, pulling both boys up then her father, sparing a moment to gasp at his unconscious state and the small trickle of blood running from his temple.

She sets him in his chair, fastening the seat belt on it quickly. They took off into a run then, Pixal leading the way with Cyrus in front of her. She lead them to the emergency exit, glad they kept the factory on the first floor. The moment the door pushed open was the moment they could hear loud flapping, putting even more fear into their hearts. Nelson looked up once they were far enough away from Borg Tower and never felt as terrified as he was, looking to where over half of the tower was missing, the upper half of it now laying collapsed behind the base of the building. Worse still was the massive black dragon hovering over the city, the dark clouds he brought with it covering the city with a negative atmosphere.

"I-I-I don't understand! How?! Zane destroyed the Overlord years ago! How can he return? Why now when the only people to have defeated him twice are nowhere to be found?!" Gene yelled, spiraling into a panic attack.

"We don't need the ninja." Pixal says chin tilted up determinedly. "Take my father and leave the city immediately. The Elemental Alliance and I will take care of this." She says then without giving them a moment to respond, she ran back into the almost completely destroyed building.

"We have to tell Sensei Wu immediately." Nelson says as he pulled down his hood.

He then took Cyrus by the chair, and taking off into a run, Gene stumbling then catching up with him.

"Then save our own skins!" He yelled, pulling his hood down too and Nelson shook his head.

"No! That's not want ninja do. We'll come back and we'll help evacuate the city-"

"Are you crazy?!" Gene yelled, cutting Nelson off. "Forget what ninja do or don't do! If we come back here, we could be killed! What's the point of being a ninja if you don't live long enough to actually be one?!" He yelled over the terrified screams of people.

"And if we don't, a lot of people will be killed because we'd be cowards! Are you really on with that?!" Nelson snapped at Gene who looked stuck.

"Ninja…" Both boys looked back once they heard the sole word, loud and growling.

They both immediately regretted because now, the Overlord was focused on them, flying towards them on massive wings.

"Oh heck, oh heck!" Nelson yelled, running even faster with Gene who was starting to lose his breath.

"W-wait! This is good! We can lead him out of the city! Pixal and the Alliance are in their way so they'll get to us before he does! Hopefully!" Gene panted out and Nelson considered before nodding, liking the plan.

"Alright! But we can't have Cyrus with us!" Nelson yelled over the flapping of wings getting closer and closer.

"The mailman!" Gene says after a moment of looking around, seeing the elderly man hiding behind his parked truck.

Nelson spotted him too then looked down at the unconscious man before him.

"Sorry about this Mr Borg." He says then turned the wheelchair abruptly and shoved, sending Cyrus rolling down the one-way, right into the mailman.

"Here he comes!" Gene all but screamed, looking back at the opened maw getting closer to them filled with sharp teeth.

"Follow me!" Nelson yelled then took an abrupt turn, Gene skidding on the turn but managed to make the turn, missing getting eaten by an inch.

There was an angry growl before the massive dragon was on their tail again.

"How long will you be able to keep running? You only delay the inevitable!" The Overlord growled after them and they rounded another corner but this time, the Overlord was able to keep up without pause.

"We can't keep this up for much longer! I'm already running on fumes!" Gene panted out, limbs and lungs burning.

"We've gotta push through! Just for a little longer!" Nelson panted out. "The Sea of Sand is just- Woah!" He yelled then he was suddenly swept off his feet.

Both Nelson and Gene grunted as they were crushed together, back to back in the talons of the Overlord who've finally caught them.

"What's the matter Ninja? It's not like you pests to run. I was looking forward to your shocked, dying faces as I killed you immediately. Though chasing you like the vermin scum you all are was indeed satisfying." The dragon purred, wide maw dangerously close to the duo.

"I think he's… Mistaking us for… The Ninja!" Nelson wheezed out against the pressure on his chest.

"We're… Not them!" Gene yelled out and the Overlord narrowed his overcast, glowing magenta eyes at them.

"What trick is this?" The large dragon hissed and Gene flinched back once a large feeler brushed over him.

The Overlord growled then, eyes narrowing at them.

"You aren't the Ninja! Where are they?! I will seek my revenge!" He roared at the terrified duo.

"We don't know! They disappeared years ago!" Nelson was quick to say and the large dragon narrowed his eyes at them then snarled in irritation, sensing no lie.

"How disappointing. But it only serves to make my true goal easier." The Overlord chuckled.

Nelson and Gene yelled, finding himself soaring quickly through the air from where they were tossed aside. The desert was rushing quickly towards them both- when suddenly, they were caught by a blur of gold-white.

"Are you two alright?" Relief washed over the two when Wu's voice caught their ears.

"Sensei! Boy are we glad to see you!" Nelson says, relieved as he managed to sit on the back of their Sensei's elemental dragon.

"Sensei, is it me or is the Overlord dragon… Bigger than I remember? He even has four legs this time." Gene says, holding onto Nelson as their Sensei brought them down to the edge of the city.

"Yes." Wu sighed, looking troubled. "Not only has the Overlord somehow managed to return, but he's stronger than ever before." He says solemnly, looking back to the city.

"You-"

"If I can't have Ninjago… No-one will!" The Overlord's roar was loud and echoing, no doubt able to be heard from miles away.

Just then, a sound similar to thunder started up. They all looked to the sky confused- then horrified when several Wyverns, bipedaled dragons came down, their eyes a bright glowing red and their bodies as black as night. They weren't as big as the Overlord was but they were close enough. Yet again, the Overlord had an army but this one they could tell would be his toughest yet.  It hit them all then, what the Overlord's true intentions were.

"No. He can't destroy Ninjago… Can he?!?!" Gene asked, panicking anew.

"We won't give them the chance." Wu says firmly. "The others are already in the city aiding the evacuation. I want you two to join them." He told them quickly.

"But what about you?! And the Overlord?!" Nelson protested.

"I will take care of the Overlord. There's one thing I can use to defeat him." Wu says then flinched at the sound of increased chaos starting in the city. "Go, now!" He ordered them, taking off with his dragon, being immediately chased by a group of the smaller black dragons.

"Let's go!" Nelson says, taking off with a run- only to stop when his footsteps were the only ones he heard.

He looked back at Gene where he stood in place, watching him as he visibly shook.

"Aren't you terrified?" He asked Nelson with a small, trembling voice.

Nelson smiled at him.

"Absolutely." Was his answer, watching as surprise passed Gene's face. "You're not the only one who has thoughts like that. To not want to die. To save yourself. It's perfectly normal. But I can't let myself run away from this, from the lives being lost this very instant. If I could do something, anything to help out, even if I wasn't a ninja, I would do it in a heartbeat, no matter how much my brain screams at me to get away, that I might die." He says, clenching his fist and Gene saw it shaking, as much as he was.

"I won't think bad of you or look down on you if you decide to take off but I am going in there and I am helping my friends and the people of Ninjago." Nelson told him then whirled around, taking off again.

His heart was pounding in his ears, watching the dragons destroy the city with beams of red from their maws that dripped dark matter, explosions and screams echoing as they spread out through the city. He could barely hear them over his racing pulse. He raced towards the collapsed building blocking the road and peered inside as he passed to make sure no-one was inside. He had to keep going, had to help everyone evacuate. He flinched once he heard a very close explosion then looked up wide eyed as the building next to him began to crumble. He ran as fast as he could but he had already been running from the Overlord for a while added with training earlier. His body hadn't had enough time to rest. He looked up in time to see a large slab of concrete falling directly towards him. Heck! He was gonna-

"Ninja go!" A racing dark vortex snatched him out of the way of the concrete's way, coming to a stop at a safe distance.

Nelson panted heavily, sitting on the ground in shock.

"Are you alright?" He looked up to see Gene checking on him.

He couldn't stop the wide smile that pulled at his lips even if he tried.

"You came…" Nelson whispered and Gene huffed, reaching a hand down to help him up.

"Of course I did. I may be a ninja out of convenience but even so..." Gene says as Nelson took his hand, using it as leverage to stand. "Ninja never quit." He smiled and Nelson grinned, nodding.

"Ninja never quit." He repeats, engraving the words into his heart, thinking now, he truly understand the gravity behind those words.

"Help!" Their heads snapped up at the close cry, eyes immediately searching the area for the source.

"There!" Nelson pointed out, seeing someone's legs kicking from under a pile of rubble.

They rushed over, Gene stopping Nelson before he can help.

"Wait. The debris fell on them in a unique way, giving them enough space to breathe and to not be completely crushed. We have to be careful or else we'll disrupt that and they'll be crushed." Gene warned quietly as to not let the victim hear and struggle even more.

"Don't worry. We'll save you!" Nelson told them then looked over the large slabs of building resting precariously over them.

He then noticed the largest slab resting on top was keeping the space too small for them to just crawl out on their own.

"If we can get rid of this, they'd be able to get out on their own." Nelson says, gesturing to the piece he meant.

"But we aren't strong enough to move it. And if we tamper with it without getting it off right away, it might fall over and crush their lower half." Gene warned.

Nelson thought for a while before he had an idea.

"Do you trust me?" He asked Gene who looked wary now.

"I do." He answered without pause but knew whatever their stupidly courageous leader had in mind would be insane. "What do you have in mind?" He asked critically and Nelson only grinned.

_______

Wu somehow managed to stay out of sight of the Overlord as he headed for their only hope: the golden armor. It was no surprise that the building was abandoned but he was glad for it. It meant that they had gone looking for safety, increasing their chances of survival. Now that he had the armor on his person, atop the back of his elemental dragon as he struggled to out maneuver the dragons that have locked onto him. The ground was too obstructed and the roofs were exposed. His best bet was to travel by dragon but he had to distract them long enough to get a clear shot. 

He had to take care of this as quickly as he could. He fears however, that he alone, even with the aid of the golden armor, wouldn't be able to take this upgraded Overlord. But he must try for the sake of all of Ninjago. He continued to try and shake the dragons but they were avid fliers and kept on his tail, shooting at him. Suddenly, one was hit and it screeched then vanished. All at once, the offending dragons were being shot down around him. He looked to the source of his help and wasn't surprised to find that it was Pixal in her mech.

"The Alliance and I will clear a path! You take the Overlord down- and fast!" Pixal yelled from her mech and Wu nods once.

He then flew his dragon towards the Overlord's massive back from where he had settled in the heart of the city, blasting everything in his path with the magenta beam coming from his mouth. Two aircraft's came in then, distracting the Overlord as more attacks rained on the black dragons. He had a clear shot now. He had to put everything both he and the armor had into this.

Meanwhile, Gene ran as if his tail was on fire, jumping from rooftop to rooftop as a black dragon chased after him.

"I never agreed to this!" He yelled as he ran back to where the meet up point was, skidding down a fire escape suddenly to avoid being eaten and to throw the dragon off on his location.

The dragon hissed as it looked down on the alleyway for him- then flew in once a purple clad figure ran out towards the main road.

"You did an amazing run Gene!" He yelled back at his ninja brother then ducked out of the way of its sharp claws.

It started to grow annoyed it seemed and gathered energy in its mouth.

"That wasn't part of the plan big guy!" Nelson yelled then looked around quickly.

He swerved out of the way of the building pile and the person trapped beneath it, towards the building blocking the road not too far away then dropped once the time was right, allowing it's destructive beam to hit the collapsed building, the impact breaking it into two and clearing the road enough that any person could climb their way over safely. He didn't have a moment to spare however. He rolled out of the way of the taloned feet grabbing after him then ran again, back to where the trapped person was. He had to time this just right. Gene said climbing over it will slow him down and the dragon will be guaranteed to strike then.

Here comes the moment of all their efforts! He quickly began climbing onto the large slab the person was under then glanced back- only to yelp seeing the dragon diving in, seconds away from taking him instead.

"Ninja go!" He yelled, using his Spinjitzu to get out of the way.

The dragon grabbed the concrete slab instead of him then, lifting it off and away. Nelson grinned as Gene ran in, helping the person out as Nelson watched the dragon fly away- only to loop around and began flying back, with the concrete slab.

"We need to go! Now!" Nelson yelled and Gene looked back then paled, tugging the rescued man along.

"Quick! We need to hide!" Gene yelled as he looked around.

"Over there!" Nelson pointed out the mostly destroyed building with the first story mostly untouched.

They darted over with their rescue, diving into the building just in time for the dragon to drop the slab of concrete, blocking the way in. They heard it land then as they retreated as far into the building as they could.

"It's most likely going to blast the building. With all the rubble on top of the already unstable roof, the building will complement collapse!" Gene warned and the man looked at him terrified.

"I got rescued to be buried again?!" He yelled, panicking.

"No way. We're Ninja. We always find a way out of sticky situations like this." Nelson reassured then glanced around the room, beaming once he spotted a way out. "There. An emergency exit sign." He pointed out and they ran to where it pointed, towards the back of the building.

"See? We're alright." Nelson says as he pushed open the door, all three of them coming out.

"U-uh… Nel… son…" Gene managed to get out and the purple ninja looked at his fellow ninja, seeing bun looking up.

Nelson looked up too then paled to see the dragon there, waiting for them, mouth holding a beam of dark energy, ready to hit them.

"Oh pop rock." He whispered and the dragon snarled.

Before it could hit them however, a sudden blast of fire had it shrieking as it withered into dark shadow then nothing. Nelson's heart picked up. That fire! Could it be?... A figure walked to the edge of the building then jumped down.

"You kids alright?" Nelson felt disappointment fill him upon realizing it was just Skylor, master of amber.

"Yeah. We are." Nelson nodded.

"The Alliance has this from here. You take this civilian and get to the east exit to the sea of sand with the rest of your friends. We have an evacuation craft waiting." She told them, scouting the area, remaining unphased by the near constant rumbling of the ground from the continuous attack against the city.

"But-"

"No buts." Skylor told Nelson sharply, all but glaring over her shoulder at him. "This is too dangerous for your level right now. Remember, none of you are chosen ones and we're not asking you to be. Wu might have put great expectations on you but there's such a thing as over achieving. Just look at the original ninja." She told them and her words did sting.

"I can't afford to waste more time here with you. There are still people to be rescued in there. Take the civilian and go. Now ." She told them sharply before floating off into the air further into the ruins of the city, pulling out a sword.

"We can't just leave! She can't rescue everyone by herself!" Nelson yelled, face red in anger.

"How about we get this guy to the evacuation point then we make a plan to help. It won't do us any good to rush into the city without one" Gene says, placing a hand on his shoulder and Nelson gave an angry sigh through his nose but nodded.

"Yeah, alright. Let's go." He agreed much to the man's relief.

_____

The Overlord turned around as Wu focused his energies, figuring out that he was being distracted for a reason. He chuckled low once he spotted Wu, spotted the golden armor he adorned.

"Son of the First Spinjitzu Master. I must say, I'm surprised you are still around while your students have all vanished. You should have vanished with them." He hissed, using his tail to flick away the pesky aircraft trying to regain his attention as he watched the old man become enveloped in the armor's golden energies.

" You should have never returned! And I will make sure you never will again!" Wu yelled, his eyes glowing gold as he urged his now fully gild dragon faster.

"By all means… Give it your best shot." The dark dragon purred, spreading his tattered wings.

That simple statement sent alarm bells off in Wu's head but he can't afford to lose his resolve. He yelled as he held his brightly glowing fist back as he got closer to the Overlord's face then threw his punch and all the energy he's mustered up from both himself and the armor, hitting the Overlord dead on. Just like the first time, there was a huge explosion of gold power, the force of it enveloping both Wu and the Overlord. Pixal hunkered down to ride it out, Chamile and Karlof doing the same in their own mechs. 

At the evacuation point at the outskirts of the city, Antonia, Brad, Sally and Jake stood in awe, watching the massive explosion of brilliant energy. Jake looked around once he heard footsteps then gasped once he saw Gene and Nelson running over.

"Gene! Nelson!" He yelled, running to meet them halfway then throwing his arms around them both. "I'm so glad you guys are ok!" He says in relief and both boys smiled wearily, hugging him back.

"Guys! Sensei Wu did it!" Brad yelled as he ran over.

They looked towards the huge ball of energy and their smiles simultaneously fell, noticing it's expansion slowing down drastically- all of them paling when it began to reverse, the energy being sucked in. Inside the massive ball, Wu struggles against the sudden force sucking all of the energy he exerted in- and more. He yells when the energy left him all at once, the brightness of it swirling into the Overlord's open maw. Darkness immediately returned to the land as the Overlord chuckled, watching as Wu fell, holding a paw out to catch him but not to help. Never to help.

"I've absorbed the golden energy once, what made you think I couldn't do it again!" The Overlord laughed at Wu as the Sensei struggled to even move, feeling the exhaustion in his very core. "I've evolved past the level of golden power! Nothing you or anyone can do will stop me!" He roared then threw the old man up.

Wu weakly flailed, finding himself without tether and without the energy to summon his dragon. That turned out to not matter. He was hit hard by the spiked tail of the Overlord, the sharpness of them ripping into his side and back as he was sent plummeting to the ground. His students watched helplessly from the desert as their master came barreling through one, two, three buildings, breaking off the edge of a roof then landing with an explosion of sand further out.

"Sensei!" They yelled as they ran over, hearts pounding with fear for their teacher.

Jack got their first then gasped at the sight of him, beaten and bleeding out, his breaths coming out in harsh gasps.

"Nonono! No! Sensei!" He yelled, tears pouring down his cheeks as he tried to put pressure against his wound with his bare hands.

"That won't do. All of you, give me your hoods." Sally told them, coming to kneel next to him.

They did so quickly and she compacted 4 of them, using the other two to tie it against his side tightly, keeping her nerve as he grunted and groaned in pain.

"Hell be ok, right? Right?" Jake asked Sally as he shook but Sally kept her mouth pressed thin, not wanting to give him false hope.

"Come here." Antonia says, pulling him up and hugging him close, keeping his face away from their teacher in that state. "Wu's a tough guy. Don't worry." She whispered, glancing at him as Jake gripped her gi.

"Sensei…" Nelson whispered on his knees, holding his hand, teeth gritted tightly.

"..."

Nelson blinked, looking at his pale lips once they moved again, trying to say something it seems. Nelson swallows down his grief then leaned over, putting his ear to his Sensei's mouth. The team watched quietly as he did, wondering what he was trying to say. Nelson's eyes widened and he sat up. He then reached into their Sensei's robe and pulled out a picture. Just then, Ash and Shade who were supervising the large escape aircraft came running over.

"Damn. He got himself banged up pretty good huh." Ash huffed as he held a cloth gurney in hand. "As it stands, he's the best chance we have of taking down the Overlord so we have to get him fixed up. Luckily, we have a whole hospital staff on that ship. They'll fix him up." He says, walking into the impact crater and they stepped back, allowing both he and Shade to load him on carefully.

"Not bad for a couple of kids but it's bet you 'ninja' leave things to the Alliance." Shade says, clearly looking down on them. "Now get on the aircraft you'll be left behind." He told them, gesturing to the flight with engines ready for take off.

"No." Nelson said as he stood.

"If you're planning on going back into the city-"

"We aren't." Nelson says, cutting Ash off. "We have our own mission to do and it's not in the city so you don't have to worry. You do your thing and we'll do ours." He told them, keeping his chin up stubbornly.

"... Whatever you want kid." Ash huffed then he and Shade took off with Wu.

"What mission? Where are we going?" Brad asked Nelson once they were gone.

Nelson gripped the picture in hand tightly then looked to the others.

"They keep saying we aren't the chosen ones… But now, we are." Nelson whispered then held the picture out so they could all see. "This is Sensei Wu's request, our mission. The golden power couldn't stop the Overlord. So now, it's up to us to find the only ones who can. From this moment on, we start the most important and crucial mission we've ever had." He told them and they all looked wide eyed at the picture of their Sensei and the original ninja after they had gotten their new powers.

"Starting now; we have to find the Six Gods of Ninjago at all costs."