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New Squidbeak Splatoon: Off Duty

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Agent 8 laid back in her bed again, not taking her eyes off the television she was watching. It was currently 7 in the morning, and she had just woken up to turn on the small flat screen she had placed in the corner of her room. The movie that was currently on had caught her interest.

The movie, titled Holocene Park, was apparently about the Inklings having revived the humans for an amusement park on an island, before some nutjob set all the humans loose, who were now running rampage through the park. It was quite amusing to her, seeing the massive dramatized take on humans this movie had.

On the TV, an Inkling got out of a car under the night sky with a lit flare, taunting the massive cross-eyes human that stood before him.

"Dr. Grant! Get the kids!" The Inkling yelled.

"IAN, FREEZE!" Dr. Grant yelled in a panic.

Ian began to run away as the massive human chased him, the earth rumbling with each footstep.

"Get rid of the fire!" Dr. Grant yelled at him.

Ian agreed and tossed the match aside, as the human chased him straight into a bathroom. The human stomped Ian and ran into the building, completely demolishing the building. The only thing from inside the building that remained intact was a lone Inkling, sitting on the toilet in fear.

Agent 8 accidentally burst out laughing. This was supposed to be a serious scene, but honestly, who would believe the humans were so big and monstrous? Stupid.

Having had enough, she powered down the TV and looked around the room, trying to find something else to focus on. Suddenly, she heard a knock on the door.

"Come in."

The door opened, and Marina walked in. "Hi, hun. Up already?"

Agent 8 sat up. "Yeah, I woke up and couldn't fall back asleep, so I was watching this dumb movie."

"Was it Holocene Park I heard? I love that movie. I actually managed to illegally download that movie in the domes, so I saw it as a kid. Crazy that movie is over 25 years old, the animatronics in that movie held up phenomenally."

"Uh… yeah… whatever." Agent 8 said, wondering how she enjoyed such a stupid movie. "Sounds like the kind of movie Cuttlefish would like."

"Oh, come on, this movie is way younger than him. Anyway…" She sat down on the foot of her bed, her body turned to still face 8. "How have you been?"

Agent 8 grabbed a paper from the small table that was by her bed. "I was gonna go out today and follow this to-do list."

"What's the list?"

Agent 8 looked it over. "Let's see… One. Play Turf War. Two…"

Marina waited patiently for her to continue.

"...And that's the list."

"Oh. Well, if you are going out… Cuttlefish told me that Agent 3 is back in town. You should talk to her!"

"Oh my god, Marina, no… We've been over this, I never wanna speak with Three again, the girl tried to kill me."

"She was brainwashed."

"So? She tried to KILL ME!"

"I think she's nice, you just need to get to know her. I mean, you know the Octarians aren't very different."

8 mumbled some gibberish to herself that Marina couldn't catch. Marina ignored and continued.

"Listen…" She said, lightly touching her. "I know that you decided to live with us while you get used to Inkopolis, and I'm so happy we got the opportunity. You're like a daughter to me, Eight. And as the mother in such a relationship, I'm know that eventually you're gonna want out of here. And… I think when that time comes, Three will be the perfect person to tag along with."

"She's never even around, she's always going around doing the bullshit vigilante stuff."

"She'll be around more. Pearlie and I have been Agents 6 and 7 for… What was it… 6 months now? So not only do we have more Agents, the Octarians have been pretty inactive. We're kind of in a weird period of peace, so the Splatoon is… kind of off duty right now."

'Great.' Agent 8 thought to herself. She really, really didn't like Agent 3. Agent 4 on the other hand…

Suddenly, as if Marina read her damn mind, she blurted out. "Oh! How have things been going with Agent 4?"

8 tensed up. "Uh… We've been…"

"They're dating!" Pearl screamed from just outside the room. "Saw them making out the other day! I'm pretty sure she got laid too!"

Agent 8 sighed. What the hell did "got laid" mean?

Marina gasped. "You're actually dating!?"

Agent 8 stood up. "Please don't making such a big deal about it, it's just Four was… He's been a lot of help with me ever since I got out of the Metro, and…"

Pearl suddenly leaned her head in. "It's funny too, I had a dream where a bunch of people were shipping you together with Agent 3 instead! Can you imagine that? They called it Agent 24!"

"Uh… shipping?" Agent 8 asked shyly.

"I bet people are gonna be PISSED when they see you with Four instead!" Pearl continued.

"Pearlie, can you not? Anyway… AH!" Marina suddenly yelled, diving toward 8 with a massive hug without warning. "EIGHT, I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU, WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME!?"

8 struggled for breath from Marina's massive hug. "Guh… Marina… you're choking me…"

Marina awkwardly let go. "Oh… uh… sorry… Alright, so, you're dating Four."

"Yeah… just please… don't make a big deal out of it…"

"Alright, I'm sorry it's just… I may be a popstar and all, but I'm also a big fangirl, so…"

"I don't even think the rest of the Splatoon knows."

"Not even Marie? I mean, she and Four are pretty close."


The Other Day

"Hey, Callie…" Marie said to the other room. "Just a fun fact, but I'm pretty sure Agent 8 got laid today."

"Oh yeah? By who?"

"Agent 4."

Callie could be heard dropping something, sticking her head out. "Holy shit, you serious?"


Present Day

"Nope. Not even Marie." Agent 8 continued.

Marina hugged her again, this time making sure to not accidentally kill her. "Still, I'm so happy for you Eight. And I'll respect your privacy."

"Really?"

"Well, she will… Me on the other hand…" Pearl said with an evil grin.

"Pearlie… You tell anyone and I personally dump you into a swimming pool myself, and you will be splatted for a week. This is between us and Four only. Do you understand?" Marina said menacingly.

"I... Uh… Yes, ma'am…" Pearl began to walk out. "Shit, how do I delete texts again?" She muttered under her breath.

Marina turned back to Eight. "Well… We're in an exciting time! The Splatoon is getting off easy, you found love, you're off having fun… Maybe a little too much fun…"

"Marina…"

"Right, sorry. Alright, so if you're heading out, just make sure that yeah, Agent 3 is back in town. You don't have to talk to her if it makes you uncomfortable."

"It does make me uncomfortable. I mean…" She looked over to the golden toothpick she had sitting on her tabletop. "I had this really annoying dream where she tried to kill me and it was on a loop and…"

"Just know that she means well." Marina said. "And I think if you give her a chance, you two could be great friends."

'Yeah, whatever.' 8 thought to herself. "I think I'll just go out and Turf War for a bit… See ya Marina, I'll be back later."

"Love ya, Eight! Don't get into any squid parties!"

"Love you too."


Inkopolis Square

Agent 8 looked around the area, backpack strung over her shoulder, sighing to herself. She just realized that… she was not in the mood to turf war. Now what?

She awkwardly walked around, looking at the Inklings and Octolings around the area. She went over to the Off the Hook studio. For once in her life, nobody was there. Shame, because of how she always liked to stop by until they noticed her through the glass and waved.

She sighed again, looking down at her to-do list. She pulled out a pen and scribbled out the word Turf War, before replacing with "sit and be bored".

There had to be something around here she could do. She could literally go back down to the Metro right now and say hi to Cuttlefish, right? No, she hated the Metro. Why Cuttlefish liked to hang around down there was beyond her.

Suddenly, she subtly heard someone approach her from behind. She looked up to the glass to just barely see the reflection of an Inkling behind her. The Inkling extended her fist to knock on the glass and get her attention. She turned around.

Agent 3 took off her sunglasses. "Agent 8. It's been a while, hasn't it?"

8 stared her down, her eyes holding some anger. For the first time she had seen, she was wearing casual clothes.

"Cuttlefish wanted me to talk to you. I was thinking I could take you out for-"

Suddenly, 8 punched her. Right on the nose.

She grabbed her face and stepped back a little bit. "OW! WHAT THE HELL!?"

"That's for trying to kill me in the NILS statue."

Agent 3 grasped her nose in pain. "I was brainwashed… I had a big fucking sanitization tumor in my head… But fine… I owed you that…"

She punched her again.

"OW! Twice!?"

"That's for trying to kill me back in Octo Valley."

"That shit was almost 3 years ago, asshole. I was just doing my job. You have some anger issues, don't you?"

"Sorry. It's just…"

Agent 3 sighed. "So are we… are we good now?"

They stared at each other for another few seconds. Suddenly, 8 punched her a third time.

"OW! What was that one for!?"

"That's because I felt like it."

"ARE WE GOOD NOW!?" Agent 3 said angrily, now shielding her face.

"...Yeah, fine, whatever."

Agent 3 put her hands down. "Ok. So. As I was saying… I was thinking I could take you out for lunch, and talk things out. Does that sound good?"

8 punched her a fourth time.


A Diner in Inkopolis

"How's your nose?" Agent 8 asked awkwardly.

"Bleeding. Thank you so much." 3 replied sarcastically, holding a napkin over her nose. She took it off to see if the bleeding had stopped. Luckily, it had, so she wiped the remaining ink from her nose with it and then tossed it aside.

"What are you doing back in Inkopolis anyway?"

"The Octarians haven't been active, so Marie decided we only needed one eye on them. That's her. Basically, I'm off. Didn't Marina explain that to you?"

"Oh, she explained it, I'm just wondering. Why are you back in Inkopolis?"

"Where else am I supposed to go? I used to live here. Did you know that when I first moved here at age 14, I met Cuttlefish and became Agent 3 on literally my first day? So I really haven't spent too much time in the area."

"Oh, no, sucks to be you."

Agent 3 sighed. "Look, kid, I get that you don't like me. I'm fine with that, I don't care. I get that you're dating Four and that he could probably be the one taking you out to lunch right now, but…"

"Excuse me, how did you know that?"

"Everyone in the Splatoon knows. Why, was that supposed to be a secret?"

Agent 8 grumbled and sat back in her chair. "God dammit, Pearl…"

"Marie, actually. The Squid Sisters are gossipy like that."

"Too shay." Callie said from a table not too far from them. She was wearing her pink beanie and black sunglasses to help with her not getting recognized in public.

"...Yeah, they're fucking everywhere and they see everything." Agent 3 said with an annoyed frown. "Listen. It's great that you're dating, you need to keep yourself grounded. You've been though a lot, with the whole Metro thing."

"That's an understatement. I had to help take down a fucking statue that almost destroyed Inkopolis."

"Whatever, my point is, I can also help you. I'm gonna be back in Inkopolis for another while, and I'm just trying to let you know, I mean no harm."

"...Alright. Whatever."

"So. If you ever need help with anything and Marina and Four aren't being any help… I'm a call away."

Agent 8 was still frustrated, but decided to shrug it off. "…I'll keep that in mind. Alongside the five other Agents plus Cuttlefish I could also call in such a situation."

"...You don't like to make things easy do you?"

The waitress finally arrived with their food, setting down the plates in front of them. "Alright dears, here you are. The date special."

"Date special? We didn't order that."

"...Did you not order this with the request of titling it Agent 24? You offered to pay a lot for it."

"Agent 24? What does that even mean?" 3 peered over to see Callie snickering to herself. "Oh. No we didn't order that, just… take it away, please."

"Well, we still gotta bill you for it, hun. That's our policy. Once the food is made, no refunds."

Agent 3 groaned to herself, pulling out her wallet to see if she could even afford it.

"Girls carry wallets too?" 8 asked curiously.

"Shut up. It's better than a fucking purse." 3 replied, slightly angrily.

"No, no, no, it's ok, I made the order. It was just a joke. I'll pay for it." Callie said as she suddenly approached the table, digging through her purse. She turned to 8. "One condition though. You have tell me all about what happened the other day with you and Four."

"Oh my god." 8 said.

Agent 3 suddenly grabbed Callie by the arm, pulling her down. "Ow!" Callie yelled.

"Just pay for the god damn food or I will rip your breasts off." 3 said as she pushed her back.

"Geez…" Callie said, paying the full bill. It was… very expensive. "Sorry." She turned to leave, but 3 stopped her.

"Leave the nice waitress the biggest tip she's ever seen too."

Callie angrily pulled out more money from the purse, dumping it onto the table. "There. Happy?"

"I am." The waitress said with a big grin.

"I'm never happy." Agent 3 groaned and turned back to 8. "Do you believe me now when I say I mean no harm?"

"...Not really, no." 8 replied. "Just… Where's our actual food?"

3 screamed out. "Yo, Callie, one more favor." They looked around, but Callie had apparently left in an angry rush already. "…Oh. Never mind, guess we gotta pay for it ourselves."

As they ordered their food again, 8 smirked just a little. Maybe 3 wasn't so bad after all. "So uh…" She tried to keep their little conversation going. "Vigilante life, huh?"

Agent 3 rolled her eyes. "Yeah. Vigilante life. I mean, you could join me for it when our break time is gone. It's pretty fun. Annoying, but fun. There's a lot of combat you get into, a lot of tricks to learn.."

"Isn't that why everyone just plays Turf War?"

"Honey, there's no real stakes in those bullshit games. If you want real thrills, you wanna go the saving the world route."

"What even have you been doing in that route that makes it so exciting?"

"Well… Let's see… Aside from battling the Octarians, I have stopped a massive criminal conspiracy, diffused a nuclear bomb, battled a criminal kingpin in a one-on-one, stopped a gang war, and then stopped some idiot anti-hero guy who liked to kill people from said gang war. I liked that last story, you've probably heard of that one on the news, the press called him the Punisher."

"...Holy shit…"

"Yeah. The Splatoon mostly focuses on the Octarians, but I decided to give myself side missions like that, with Cuttlefish's permission."

"The world really is in danger all the time, isn't it?"

"Uh huh. I probably shouldn't even be on break, but whatever, the police could've handled most of those cases themselves, I was just kinda helping. I almost got arrested from it a few times too."

"I thought you've been out of Inkopolis this whole time?"

3 laughed. "I was in and out. I still basically lived in Octo Valley though so really, I was still out."

Agent 8 thought to herself. The vigilante life did actually sound interesting. Finally, their actual food arrived.


That Night

Agent 8 sighed, walking along the streets of Inkopolis. She had been out the whole day, and even though she and 3 wrapped their little lunch get together hours ago, she had just been walking about, observing the city. It was a beautiful city.

She walked along for several minutes, alongside some pretty quite streets, when she walked across some commotion that added some noise to the night. She looked into a convenience store curiously.

"Give me all the money you have! I'll splat you, I'm not kidding!" Four robbers were currently robbing the building, holding the cashier at gun point with a Charger.

"Holy shit." Agent 8 said. 'A crime! Oh my god, I'm an Agent just like Three, should I do something?' She thought to herself. She checked around her backpack for anything she could use.


"Just put the money in the bag!" The main robber said. "You will be dead so fast you wouldn't be able to tell what hit you!"

"Alright!" The owner, in his mush-cut hairstyle, said. "There's no need for violence, alright? Look, the money's all yours!" He began obeying as he placed money coin-by-coin from the cashier into the bag.

"Move faster! We gotta go!" The robber yelled angrily.

Suddenly, they heard a little "ding-dong" as the door opened and closed. One of the robbers turned his charger to the intruder.

"Hey, assholes." Agent 8 said, Octoshot in hand.

"Get out of here, you little girl, you don't wanna mess with us!" The robber who was threatening her said. "Just leave now and no one gets hurt."

8 just looked at them. "I mean… I've dealt with worse than you…"

"Like what?"

"Like the deepsea metro. Like a statue that almost destroyed the city."

The robber laughed. "What kind of stupid fantasy is that?"

Wow, no one in the public really believed that the shit she had to go through was very real. "Alright, you asked for it…" She said with a sigh.

The robber fired the charger, and 8 barely dodged. She grabbed the charger from his hand, hitting him in the face with it. She then kneed it, breaking it in half, before throwing the two halves to the side.

"Crazy bitch!" The other robbers said, turning on her.

She pulled out her Octoshot, and the two sides began to fire at each other.

The cashier awkwardly called 911, waiting for them to respond. "Uh yeah…" He said into the phone. "I'm being robbed and this crazy ninja girl is going around beating up all the robbers…"

In a matter of like 30 seconds, all of the robbers were splatted, Agent 8 standing in the middle of the chaos unharmed. She eyed a couple donut bags sitting on a shelf, which she pulled out and silently gave them to the cashier, along with some money.

"Hi. Sorry for the mess. I'll just take the donuts and go."

The cashier raised his eyebrows and awkwardly checked out the donuts, accepted the cash. "So, uh… what am I supposed to tell the police when they get here?"

"Tell them just how badass of a cashier you are." She said with a smile, taking the donuts and walking out of the store.

The cashier stared in awe for a few seconds. "…Thank you…" He said out loud as if 8 could hear him, despite the fact she was already gone.

'That was fun.' 8 thought to herself as she began walking back in the direction of Marina's house. Maybe she had a future living such a life.

Chapter Text

Agent 4 sighed, taking off his sweaty Grizzco gear in the Grizzco Industries building, preparing to leave for the day.

"Not bad today, kid." Mr. Grizz said through the bear statue. "Couple of crew wipes, and too few eggs as usual, but nothing some overtime can't fix."

"Can't, Mr. Grizz. I have other work to get to." Agent 4 replied frustratingly. He hated this job, and didn't even remember why he took it in the first place.

"The Salmonids are still active, kid. I doubt that your other job is as important, so some overtime wouldn't hurt anybody."

"Oh believe me, you have no idea how important my other job is..." 4 continued, finally slipping out of the last of his gear, back to his normal clothes underneath. Just like every other time he wore that thing, he came out of it pretty sweaty.

"Nothing is as important as Salmonid hunting, kid. Salmonids are dangerous, they can take down Inkopolis in a single night if they remain left alone."

"Yeah, I doubt they're as threatening as other shit I've dealt with." Agent 4 put on his jacket, preparing to leave. "Also, you have other workers to send, do you not?"

"Damn kids just don't understand how good overtime is for you. All you kids about your damn turf war and whatever. Hey, I bet that's your other 'job'. Go turf waring much? Would you rather turf war than work a couple hours of overtime just to please me?"

"That's not what I'm doing, but I would actually rather do that."

"You've never worked a single minute of overtime in your life, have you? Because you think you're so important, while the Salmonids run amok you'd rather sit in Inkopolis and do nothing. Well I smell through that bullshit, kid, it doesn't work that way for me. Either you suck it up and come in for some overtime or I will make your next shift hell."

Agent 4 sighed, before going toward where the bear statue was plugged in.

"Let's just go over the facts here. I am older than you, I am more experienced than you, I am more mature than you, and what are you doing? You better not unplug my statue!"

"See you next week, Mr. Grizz. Have a good rest of your day." Agent 4 said as he unplugged the statue.

Conveniently, his other work was literally right next to the Grizzco Building, or at least the entrance was. He left the building, and then without hesitating, used his squid form to plop right into the nearby storm drain.


Octo Canyon

Agent 4 came out the other end from the sewer, plopping out near Cuttlefish Cabin. He had already changed into his Hero Gear. "Hello, ladies."

Callie and Marie were sitting by the cabin as usual, chatting away with each other. They stopped when they heard Four make his entrance.

"Hey, Four. Uh… What are you doing here?" Marie said curiously.

"Work. What did you think I was doing?"

Callie snickered. "Marie, I don't think he got the memo."

"What memo?"

"I swear, Four misses everything." Marie said with a smirk. "You're off duty. The Octarians haven't been active. I'm the only one who's working, and all I'm doing is keeping a corner of my eye on them to make sure they're not hiding something."

"What?" 4 said as if that was a bad thing. "I crawled through the sewer as always to get here, and I'm gonna do work."

"Hey, it's not my fault you crawled through the sewer. You choose to do that."

"What do you mean I choose to do that? It's my job to crawl through that thing."

"Well, we don't have any work for you, but… You're always free to come hang out with us for a bit."

"We were gonna go out for coffee." Callie said. "Wanna come?"

"Every time I attempt to hang out with you, you fall silent after a couple minutes until I leave." 4 said, a little bit annoyed.

Callie thought to herself. "…Huh. We do indeed do that, don't we?"

"Yeah, I guess we do." Marie said. "Sorry, Four. We just get awkward when it's not just the two of us."

"This is bullshit." Agent 4 said, turning to leave. "I'm gonna… go play Turf War or something, I don't know."

"Or go hang out with Eight?" Callie added.

"Yeah, maybe."

"Maybe you'll get laid again."

4 stopped and turned back around. "…How did you know about that?"

"Everyone knows, Four." Marie said.

"Even Three." Callie added.

"And now Seven, I think. My fault though, we're just… a little gossipy like that."

Agent 4 rubbed his face with his palm. "You guys are still watching me, aren't you?"

"Yep. Agent 4 Factopedia." Marie said with a grin. "I'm still working on it. Don't feel bad though. We watch all the NSS members."

"Ok, that's all fine and good, but why do you keep a factopedia of just me, anyway?"

"What made you think it's just you? I have a different factopedia for every Agent, even myself. When they're grouped together, I call them the NSS Factopedia."

Callie turned to her, her smile fading. "Wait… everyone?"

"Yep."

"Including… me…?"

"Yep."

"Wait… How long as this been going on?"

"Ever since we became Agents 1 and 2."

Callie's eyes widened. "You don't… keep a list of all the guys I've slept with, do you?"

Marie nodded. "Including Jerry."

Callie's eyes widened further. "Not Jerry."

"Yes Jerry."

As Callie grew red, Agent 4 just stared in confusion. "…Alright, we get it, you like stalking people."

Marie smiled. "I don't call it stalking, I call it work."

"How is that work?"

"It's a good idea to keep a careful eye on all Agents of the Splatoon. Especially Eight. You never know when she might betray us for the Octarians…"

"Oh come on, Eight wouldn't betray us."

"Well, yeah, as long as she's getting laid I'm sure we're fine." Callie interjected.

"When do you even find time for all this? Aren't you a double agent popstar with a million things to do already?"

"I always find time in my schedule to do some watching around." Marie said with an almost menacing stare.

"Uh… yeah…" Agent 4 stared at her, partially concerned. "And how many people know about this?"


"She keeps a what? Of all of us?" Agent 8 said into the phone, sitting in her room.

"Yeah. I have the copy of the Agent 8 factopedia right here. And the Agent 7 factopedia. And the Agent 6 factopedia…" Agent 4 said on the other line. "I'm not gonna lie, these are actually pretty interesting. Did you know that Pearl likes to sing in the shower?"

Agent 8 dropped the pen she was holding. "How does Marie know that!? Is she breaking into our houses!?"

"Wait… I don't know. She… Marie? Are you breaking into our houses?"

Agent 8 could faintly hear Marie in the background, but couldn't tell what she was saying. She was, however, pretty sure she could hear both the Squid Sisters laughing.

"Uh… She says she at least has some respect for privacy, so no, she hasn't been into anyone's houses without permission."

"Respect for privacy my ass… Hold on, I'll talk to you later." Agent 8 said as she hung up, going into the other room. Pearl and Marina were sitting around their nice dining room table, chatting away and laughing over… dumb gossip stuff that 8 didn't understand.

"Hey, guys?" 8 said, shyly walking in.

"Oh, hey Eight." Marina replied, her face beaming as it always did when she greeted her. "Wassup?"

"Uh… did you know that Marie keeps factopedias of all of us? Like, she watches us all the time and then logs fun facts about us?"

Marina's smiled dropped awkwardly, as she brushed her hair as she always did when she was nervous. "Uh… nope. Can't say I have…"

"Oh yeah?" Pearl said. "Including me?"

"Including you." 8 replied.

"Nice!" Pearl suddenly exclaimed, as all eyes in the room turned on her in surprise. She grabbed her glass she was drinking from. "What does it say?"

"That you like to sing in the shower."

Suddenly, Pearl spit her drink out. "What!? How do you know that!?"

"I just told you, it's in the factopedia."

"Ok, how does Marie know that!? Did she break into our house!?"

"According to Four, she's not. I mean… Might wanna check the closets though."

Marina suddenly burst out laughing. "Haha, ok, ok, ok, no more secrets. You got me."

Both of them turned back to Marina, squinting their eyes.

"It's not just Marie. I've been helping her with them ever since I joined the Splatoon."

"You what!?" Pearl said angrily. "You logged that I sing in the shower!?"

"Pearlie, there's nothing wrong with singing in the shower… It's just… Quirky." She said with a fake smile.

"AND YOU LOGGED IT!?"

"Well…"

"Now that I think about it you do sing kind of loudly…" Agent 8 added awkwardly. "And you swear a lot too…"

"I mean, I've put embarrassing stuff in my own factopedia so it's not like I only did it just to embarrass you." Marina assured, touching Pearl's shoulder. "…Although I will admit I logged that specifically just to embarrass you." She suddenly laughed. "You're so cute when you get embarrassed!"

"...I hate you guys…" Pearl sighed, slouching a bit in the chair.

"I love you, Pearlie." Marina said.

Pearl suddenly shot out of her chair with a massive smile and hugged her. "Aww I love you too, Marina." She pulled out her phone, preparing to take a selfie of the two of them. "It is my duty as Agent 6 to take pictures of friendship building moments like these! Say don't get cooked!"

Snap! The picture she took popped up on the screen quickly, where Marina had a way too big cheesy smile, and Pearl's eyes weren't even open.

"I will treasure this photo forever!" Pearl then suddenly kissed her on the cheek.

Marina corrected her headphones and gave her own small smile. "Heh… Sometimes I wonder if you have a genuine bipolar disorder."

"I wouldn't be surprised!" Pearl screamed out.

"Yeah, there's the Pearl we all know and love." Agent 8 said, who was awkwardly watching the whole thing. Suddenly, her phone rang, and she answered. "Hello?"

"Uh, yeah, Marie wanted me to tell you that now she's coming over to your house. And by her, I mean… the entire Splatoon." Agent 4 said on the other line.

"What?"

"I don't know, she just randomly called a meeting and then yelled out 'LET'S HOLD IT AT MARINA'S HOUSE!'"

"Um… ok…" Agent 8 sighed. "I'm guessing that we have no say in the matter."

"Nope." Marie could be heard saying on the other end.


That Night

The entire Splatoon, with the exception of Cap'n Cuttlefish, was now gathered in the living room of the Off the Hook residence. While Marina was in the kitchen preparing snacks, everyone was sitting in their own spots, with Agents 8 and 4 sitting together.

Marina entered the room with a plate of cookies, which she set on the coffee table. She didn't look too happy. "We're never doing this at my house again."

Marie smiled. "Oh, come on, I've never been here so I wanted to check it out." She stood up. "Hello, New Squidbeak Splatoon. Thank you all for joining us today."

Sheldon suddenly hopped up onto the table, saluting. "This is Agent 5, reporting for duty!"

"...Thank you, Sheldon, you… didn't need to salute."

His salute only intensified. "But I'm showing my respect."

Marina looked at her watch. "You have 5 seconds to get off the table."

"Why? What are you gonna do, eat me?"

"5. 4. 3. 2…" She counted down.

Sheldon quickly jumped off with a scream. "I'm sorry, won't happen again."

Marina fake smiled. "Better not."

"...Anyway." Marie continued. "Gramps isn't here at the moment, but I called the meeting anyway, and I just wanna say thank you all for coming. Um… I called you all here today for a very important reason."

"What's wrong? Are the Octarians active again?" Agent 3 asked with concern.

"No, don't worry, we're still as free as birds. But…" She hesitated. "I just wanted to announce that Marina and I have been keeping an eye on all of you and logging potentially embarrassing secrets for each of you in something I call the NSS factopedia." She suddenly blurted out. "…Sorry about that."

"Uh… what?" Sheldon gasped.

Marina leaned down and hid her face in her legs, covering her head, attempting and failing to avoid attention. "God fucking-" She muttered.

"...This is what you called the meeting for?" 3 nearly screamed.

"I uh…" Marie started. "Look, this has been going on ever since the Splatoon started, and only Callie and 4 knew until today, so… I felt bad?"

Agent 3 abruptly stood up, taking the plate of cookies with her and walking over the door. "Fuck this, I'm gonna go beat up some criminals or something…" She opened the door and stepped outside, taking the cookies with her.

"...Guess she's not getting overtime." Marie sighed.

Marina suddenly jolted up. "Did I hear her take the cookies? I spent half an hour on those!"

Pearl stood up. "Don't worry friend, I got this!" She ran to the door and slammed it open. "You there! Cookie monster!"

"Fuck you!" Agent 3 could be heard subtly from a bit of a distance.

"Who the hell do you think you are!?" Pearl yelled, giving chase.

Everyone in the living room sat still, listening to the chaos, able to just barely hear them both running away. "Oh, Pearlie…" Marina sighed.

"...Ok, so what exactly is logged in this factopedia?" Agent 8 spoke up.

Marie pulled out her phone. "Let's see. For you, Eight? Let's see how your turf war stats are for dualies. …Ok, this is interesting. You use the Dualie Squelchers the most. Like, so much, I don't think you've even touched another pair of dualies."

"...That's kinda creepy…"

"And you perform an average of 0 dodge rolls a minute."

The entire room turned to look at 8 as if she committed a crime.

Agent 8 chuckled a bit just to relieve the tension. "Uh… is that less than it should be?"

Callie suddenly took the phone from Marie. "Haha! This is fun! I'm gonna read them out now!"

Marie sighed in annoyance.

"Let's see… This one is going out to you, Four! According to Marie's Agent 4 Factopedia… Woah…"

"What?" Agent 4 asked.

"...You apparently fell into the water over 20 times in a single match? Is that… is that even possible?"

Multiple people accidentally bursted out laughing, including 8.

Agent 4 frowned. "It was… in Skipper Pavilion… I… really don't like that place…"

"How did you fall 20 times and not learn to not fall in!?"

"Ok, that stage is very weirdly set up, alright!? It's easy to make a leap, assume you're fine, and then next thing you know, you're suddenly falling directly into water!"

"Still though… over 20 times!?"

Marie began chuckling herself. "You're such an idiot, Four. How did you out of all people get to be Agent 4?"

"Because you recruited me!"

"Heh… Yeah I did…" Marie sighed, sitting down. "Despite your flaws though, if it makes you feel any better, I don't regret it being you. I just kind of… wish I found someone more handsome. Ya know?"

"...Thanks?"

Agent 8 chuckled again. "…Over 20 times, huh?"

4 rolled his eyes.

Suddenly, Agent 3 was thrown back in the room through the entrance, her hands tied behind her back, and her forehead a little bit bruised. Pearl came walking back in, cookie in hand.

Agent 3 rolled onto her side so that she was facing the group, who were all staring at her awkwardly. "…I want a raise."

"You say that as if you get paid." Marie said.

"...Where are all the cookies?" Marina asked.

"...Oh. Yeah. They're gone. They all spilled when I tackled 3 and then choked her." Pearl asked

"You choked her!?"

"Yep." Pearl bit into her cookie. "Anyone want a cookie?"


They sat around for another little while, just socializing, laughing together, and discussing the factopedia. Everyone in the room got embarrassed at least once. Eventually, they concluded their little "meeting", and prepared to leave.

Agent 3 sat in the corner of the room, holding an ice pack to her forehead, grumbling to herself.

Agent 8 walked over to her awkwardly. "…How's your throat?"

"I want to die." 3 grumbled.

8 sat down next to her. "It was nice seeing you today. Gotta admit."

3 just ever so slightly smiled, but it was so quick you couldn't really notice it if you blinked. "…Thanks. You too."

8 nodded. "Just so you know, I did kind of think about your offer.'

"I know you did."

"Excuse me?"

"I know about the convenience store incident."

"How did you-?"

"Marie and Marina aren't the only ones who keeps tabs on all the Agents." She smiled a bit more obviously.

"...Oh, you piece of-."

"Relax. I haven't told anybody. I get that you don't want people worried about your safety or whatever."

"Um… thanks?"

"You're welcome, my new friend." 3 said, standing up.

"...Please don't call me friend."

"See you around, Eight. Don't let the Pearl bitch push you around." 3 headed for exit, silently leaving.

8 sat by herself for a moment, when 4 suddenly sat down next to her. "I see you two are getting along well."

8 decided to lie herself out of it. "Um… what do you mean? We hate each other. We're always arguing and… I could choke her, I really really could."

"Why are you so determined to keep your liking to her a secret? Is there some sort of unwritten rule that says you two have to be enemies?"

8 didn't respond.

4 sighed. "Whatever. I'll leave that to you then. See ya." He pecked her on the lips and began to leave.

"...See ya."

Chapter Text

"We got an order for table 12! ASAP!" The cashier yelled.

Agent 4 ran into action. Ever since he heard about the Splatoon going off duty, he stupidely decided to get a third part time job at the Krusty Shack. Worst mistake he had ever made. For some reason, this restaurant was very busy, like, all the time, so he never really caught a break. He was the waiter now, and was the one who had to run around, all day, to make sure all the Inklings that came in got their meal on time. He grabbed the prepared meal and dashed to table 12.

"Order… for… table 12…" He gasped, out of breath, slamming down the food to the lovely family that was sitting there, almost dropping it on the floor. "Thanks you… for coming to… oh god my side…" He said, grabbing his now burning side. "Thank you for coming to the Krusty Shack. Enjoy the rest of your day…"

One of the little squids eyed his food, which was slightly ruined because of how 4 slammed it down. "…You suck!"

"Old man!" Another one of the little squids said.

A third squid suddenly shot out a spitball at his eye with his straw. 4 grunted and grabbed his eye, before leaving the table. Suddenly, his phone began ringing. He briefly excused himself to the corner of the building by the bathrooms in order to see who the caller was. He grunted again when he saw Marie's name and profile picture. He answered.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Four, can you come in to work?"

4 grunted a third time, even louder this time. "Are you kidding me!? I thought you said the Octarians are inactive!"

"Oh, don't worry, this ain't that. It's still pretty important though."

Agent 4 wanted to ram his head into the wall. "What is it!?"

"...My toilet is clogged."

4 abruptly hung up with yet another grunt. He was gonna grunt as much as he wanted.

"We got an order for table 20! ASAP!" The cashier yelled again.

"Fuck!" Agent 4 said, when much to his dismay, his phone began ringing again. He prepared to give Marie a piece of his mind, but apparently, it was actually Mr. Grizz calling this time. "Shit." He answered in a hurry. "Hello?" He said faster than usual.

"Hey, kid, excellent timing. I need you to come in to work."

This time, 4 did slam his head against the wall, directing some attention toward him. "I can't! I'm already in work, and I got a bunch of orders to fill! And they keep coming in, too!"

"The Salmonids are active, kid, we need to send in a team ASAP or they're gonna stir up trouble."

Agent 4 began to grunt somewhere inbetween a whisper and a yell a series of angry, racial, and sexist swears that were usually outside his vocabulary. Now the entire restaurant was staring at him.

"Sorry, kid, but work is work. And this is important work at that." Mr. Grizz seemed entirely unphased from the horrible things that just crossed 4's mouth.

"Look! I need to call in a sick day for this one!"

"You know the deal about sick days, kid. You need someone to cover for you. As a matter of fact… today I would appreciate two people covering for you. Busy day."

"Damn right it's a busy day! …Fine! Fine! I'll make a couple calls when I get a break!"


An Hour Later

Inkopolis Square

"Why did he call us specifically?" Agent 8 asked, staring through the window into the Off the Hook studio, where Pearl and Marina would usually be sitting.

"Because he hates us." Agent 3 sighed behind her, waiting for her to stop goofing around the square. "Come on, the Grizzco building is right over there."

"I've never even seen the Salmonids in person, and Four just expects me to go over to them and collect their slimy little eggs because he's busy?"

"I've never worked for Grizzco either, so we'll learn together. He called us because he knows we have the skills to handle it."

"This is bullshit."

3 briefly smiled. "Something tells me my personality is rubbing off on you."

"Something tells me this is a bad idea and that we should just go home."

"Well, you're not wrong. Come on, Four asked for a favor, and you don't wanna disappoint your boyfriend, now do you?"

8 grumbled and the two walked over to the Grizzco building, anxiously walking inside. The bear statue that was sitting in the room buzzed to life.

"Welcome to Grizzco Industries, my name is Mr. Grizz."

"Really? Mr.? All I see is a bear statue." 3 remarked.

"This statue is just a radio through which I can speak. My true identity and location is classified for the public, even for people who work for me."

"That sounds like you could be a secret agent, which would be cool, but you give me more vibes of a fat pedophile who hangs out in his basement all day."

"How did she… Whatever. Let me start over. My name is Mr. Grizz. Have you come to work for us today?"

"We've come here to fill in for Agent 4."

"Ah, yes, the kid. I've been expecting you…"

"...This bear statue is creeping me out..." Agent 8 muttered.

"So how does this work?" 3 sighed.

"Plain and simply, you work for me for just the day to fill in for Four. He's told me you already got the skills to take on the Salmonids so I'm not gonna bother giving you the tutorial. Your job is to collect as many eggs from the Salmonids as possible, whatever it takes."

"...What are we collecting eggs for?" 8 asked.

"Doesn't matter."

"Sketchy ass pedo." 3 said walking up. "Alright. We'll do it. Whatever. When do we start?"


Later

"Ok, this outfit is driving me insane." Agent 3 said, awkwardly standing in the sweaty Grizzco gear next to Agent 8. The two were currently on a boat which was travelling through murky water to their destination: Spawning Grounds.

"We'll start you nice and easy with the Spawning Grounds." Mr. Grizz said through their com system. "The Salmonids are extra active today, so watch your backs. Busy day today, after all."

"So what do you do when people get killed in this job?" 3 asked curiously.

"Well… Your outfit has a built in life preserver for if you get splatted, since there's no spawn point or nothing. But if you straight up die, then uh…"

3 raised her eyebrow in anticipation.

"...Never really thought about it, really. I'd probably just hide the body, cover it up, make sure no one ever ever finds out. You know. The usual."

"This isn't a legal corporation, is it?"

"Not really, no. Your destination is still a few minutes out, hold on tight."

Agent 3 sighed and turned to 8. "Honestly, you were right. We should've just gone home and let Four bite the bullet."

"You couldn't have decided that earlier?" 8 asked frustratingly. "This outfit is making me sweat ink. Anyway, uh…" She looked over to the two other male Inklings who were on the boat with them. "That's our team?"

"I assume." She turned to them and began to call out to them. "Yo, Thing 1 and Thing 2, come over here!"

The other Inklings stopped what they were doing and walked up to 3. "What up?"

Everyone gathered around like they were in a meeting. 3 continued. "I was just thinking we should get to know each other before we risk our lives for a few slimy eggs. You know, since strategy is key and whatever, and we need teamwork to make said strategy work… You know, all that annoying stuff."

The Inkling with a hipster haircut extended his arm. "Hey. I'm Scooch."

3 ignored it. "…Is that your real name?"

"No. But I go by Scooch. What's your name?"

"Three."

"...You do realize that also sounds weird, right?"

"At least mine doesn't sound gender swapped."

8 briefly smiled and held up her hand. "I'm Eight."

"...So you guys just have a thing for numbers for names?"

"Well, I mean…" 3 turned around to 8. "…What is your real name?"

8 shrugged. "No idea. Don't remember."

3 shrugged as well and then turned to the other Inkling. "Thing 2. What's your name?"

The boat fell silent as they realized the other Inkling looked kind of queasy. "I don't… I don't feel so good…"

3 nodded. "Good answer. Nice to meet you, I don't feel so good."

Suddenly, the Inkling walked forward latching onto 3 in a hug. "I don't wanna go. I don't wanna go. Grizz, please. Please, I don't wanna go to the island, please. I don't wanna work."

"Get off me!" 3 yelled as she kneeled down and laid him on the ground. "What the hell is your problem?"

The Inkling stared up into the sky as if he was dying and he knew it, before he turned to 3. "…I'm sorry." Then, he slowly evaporated, disappearing from the boat.

"God fucking…" 3 grunted.

"What happened?" Mr. Grizz asked through the com system.

"We already have a disconnect. Dipshit didn't feel good and decided it was a better idea to evaporate himself and go home."

"Well, shit. The Salmonids are extra aggressive today, so I don't know if you can hold your ground with a team of three. I'm not gonna lie… you're in trouble."

"…So what do we do?" 8 asked.

"Fight for your lives. Fight as if the universe is about to fucking collapse in on itself and you're the last person who can save it."

"...Sounds dramatic."

"It is dramatic, kid. If the Salmonids aren't handled, they can overtake Inkopolis in a single night."

"If that's the purpose of this job, then what the hell is the egg objective for?" 3 asked.

"...I have my reasons. You're at your destination. Good luck."


The group grabbed their weapons and super jumped to the island of the Spawning Grounds. Upon landing, they quickly assumed their humanoid forms and then took to exploring the island, getting to know the environment. An egg basket rose from the ground, securing itself on a platform.

"The egg basket is ready and waiting." Mr. Grizz said.

The three stood around, waiting for their objective to start. "…Alright, so I have a plan." 3 announced. "Pretty simple. We let them come to us, and then we talk them into giving us the eggs that we need. We don't really wanna dance with these guys here because I have a feeling they'll maul us to pieces."

Scooch snickered a little. "Dude. Is this your first salmon run?"

"Yes." 8 said. "We're just filling in for a friend."

"Why, you think you're so wise, huh? Go salmon running much?" 3 said, a little frustrated.

"Yeah?" Scooch replied.

"Yeah what?"

"Just yeah?"

"Why did you say yeah as if it was a question?"

Before Scooch could respond, 8 continued. "What do you think we should do? Do you have a plan?"

Scooch sighed. "There's no plan, barely even a strategy. Just plain and simply, you shoot anything that moves, and then some boss dudes come out, you kill those guys and you get their golden eggs. If we don't meet the golden egg quota, Grizz is gonna chew us out."

3 nodded her head. "I swear, there's something off about you…"

"Yeah?"

"You just seem so… feminine… If it wasn't for the hair I would've thought you were a girl."

"Yeah…"

"And is 'yeah' all you say!?"

8 grabbed 3's arm. "Listen, I think we need to just focus on the Salmonids, they're gonna be coming in any moment."

"Alright. I agree. We're going with my plan."

"Wow." Scooch said, rolling his eyes in the background.

"We don't really wanna get into a fight here, do you understand? We're just gonna get the eggs and get out of here, and then we all go home so that Four can continue doing the job himself."

"What exactly do you guys usually do anyway?"

8 smiled like a badass. "Kick names, take ass."

3 rolled her eyes and turned away from Scooch to hide her embarrassment. Scooch, meanwhile, felt like he was losing braincells as he stared at 8 in disbelief. "...Ok. Just, uh… We're gonna get ourselves killed."

"Good." 3 sighed. "Dude, don't worry about it. We've seen and been through shit that you wouldn't even understand. Frankly I'm willing to guess that we have more experience than you."

"She's right." 8 said.

"Geez…" Scooch sighed, turning around to contemplate the situation.

Then, a horn suddenly sounded, and the area seemed to darkness, the atmosphere intensifying. The group prepared their weapons as they looked around.

"This is it…" 8 sighed.

3 rolled her eyes. "Come on, Eight, don't be a vagina. We'll do this quickly. Just make sure you hold your fire and I'll handle this."

"Hold our fire!? Are you serious!?" Scooch said angrily.

"Yes! Follow my lead!"

An army of Salmonids began to approach, coming up from the water like zombies. "All the little squids with the pumped up kicks, you'd better run, better run, outrun our lunch." They sang in a chorus. "All the little squids with the pumped up kicks, you'd better run, better run, faster than our inkage."

The Salmonids all marched up to the group, but when they saw that the trio was not acting hostile, they stopped and stood in a line before them. A single massive Cohock stepped forward.

"Hear me, and rejoice! You are about to die at the hands of the Salmonids!" He said in his deep voice. "Unless, of course, you decide to flee! We are willing to spare you if you do not act hostile toward us! This is your last chance! Flee, or die!"

"They seem extra organized today. Usually they just act like mindless monsters." Scooch added.

Agent 3 herself stepped forward, lowering her weapon. "Uh, hey guys. Listen. I'm sure you've dealt with Grizzco a ton and all, and I've had a long day so far today, so… I was hoping we could just make this easier on all of us."

The Cohock's eye raised as if he was raising an eyebrow.

"We need your eggs. We'll just take them, leave, and no one gets hurt. Sounds good?"

They stared at each other for several seconds in silence.


Agent 3 soon found herself face-down in the air, tied to a horizontal pole that was held by two Cohocks. "You guys really don't wanna do this!"

"Shut up!" One of them yelled.

Agent 8 and Scooch were also tied up, were sitting next to the egg backet, guarded by two Chums.

"I tried to warn you this was a bad idea." Scooch sighed.

The Salmonids were all dancing and singing around in celebration. "Squid scum!" Some of them yelled.

The two Cohocks that were holding 3 brought her over to where some Chums were placing wood for a fireplace.

"Oh my god, they're gonna cook her…" 8 gasped.

"Don't worry, it's not like they're gonna eat her. They're just pyromaniacs at times." Scooch said. "But yeah, uh, they're gonna cook her."

Agent 3 was starting to get desperate when she saw the the wood. "Ok ok ok, guys, it's not too late to give second thoughts into this! What are you gonna gain from eating me!?"

"Shut up, Squid scum!"

3 struggled against her ropes. "I really don't wanna die as a fucking squid kebob! Let me outta here! Eight! A little help!?"

Agent 8 struggled against her ropes as well. "What the hell do you expect ME to do!?"

"God fucking…!" 3 struggled against the ropes with all her might.

Suddenly, a small chum carrying a lit torch walked up to her. His voice was cartoonishly high pitched. "Behold! The great torch of the Salmonids!"

The Salmonids all cheered.

"Today is the day that we show the Squid scum that we do not want their kind here! Today is the day we stand together and declare in one voice that we will no longer let them steal our eggs! We will BURN their society down to the flaming rocks of hell itself!"

More cheers.

The young chum turned to 3, who was still struggling against her ropes.

"You light that wood on fire, and I'm gonna be the one who eats YOU for dinner you little shit!" 3 yelled.

The young chum looked at her with a strangely adorable smile, preparing to light the wood on fire. "Young Inkling. May the Devil show absolutely no mercy on your soul! May you suffer for the rest of your miserable spirits existence!"

Agent 3 groaned. "I am never working another Salmon Run again…"

As the Chum prepared to light the wood, some kind of figure suddenly leaped in from a super jump, silencing the area.

"What…?" 3 muttered.

Agent 4 popped up from the ink, assuming his humanoid form, already wearing his Grizzco outfit. He quickly fired at and splatted the young chum. "Really? 'Hold your fire?' What are you, 5 years old?"

"Hi, Four!" Agent 8 said eagerly.

"What the hell are you doing here!?" 3 yelled. "We had this handled!"

"Well, I got fired from my other job for saying some horrible stuff in the presence of children, and then Mr. Grizz was calling me again and telling me that you guys were in trouble. So, I hurried over." He began to fight back at the incoming Salmonids, not allowing anyone to get close. "Also, like hell you had this handled…"

He fought off the Salmonids for a little bit until they were at least somewhat safe, and he then went over to untie the team. As soon as he untied 3, she suddenly slapped him.

"Ow…" 4 muttered, grabbing his cheek.

"That's for existing." 3 sighed.

"Slap her back. I've been wanting to ever since I met her." Scooch said with a smirk.

Agent 4 turned around to face him. "Uh… hi, stranger. Who's this?"

"Call me Scooch."

"Scooch…" He turned back to 3. "He's a trans female, isn't he?"

8 eyed Scooch. "I mean… I thought about that, but I didn't wanna say anything."

3 rolled her eyes, sarcastically patting 4 on the shoulder. "I'd bet money that YOU'RE a trans female, you uncultured idiot." She let go of his shoulder and stepped away from him.

"...Ouch." 4 sighed to himself.

"Alright, new plan." 3 continued. "We're fighting these motherfuckers and we're taking their eggs from them."

"That's how you're supposed to approach Salmon Run already, asshole. Not talk your way out of it."

"Shut up. At the time it was the better plan."

"No it wasn't!"

More Salmonids began to approach, and more horns began to go off, signifying the approach of bosses.

"Nice job. Well, we have job to finish up here, so let's- GAH!" Scooch was suddenly interrupted as a Maws came up through the ground directly beneath him, launching him up into the air, and splatting him instantly with a massive bite.

"Ouch." Agent 4 said. "Well… I hope you all watched Jaws when you were younger."

"How do you know all these pop culture references but not know who the Squid Sisters are?" 3 asked.

"I mean, I know who they are now."

"You didn't when you were recruited."

"Fair point."

A life preserver emerged from the ink before them, and Scooch's voice could be faintly heard. "WHO. FUCKED. WITH. MY. SQUID SISTERS!?"

Agent 4 prepared to revive him, but 3 grabbed his arm. "Eh, leave the kid there. I'm sure he'll be fine."

The Salmonids once again lined up in front of them, and the three Agents grouped together in defense.

"Hear us, and rejoice!" Another small high-pitched Chum spoke up. "You have had the privilege of being spared by the great Salmonids! But while we have spared you once, you are about to die by the hands of the Salmonids. You may think this is suffering. No… It is salvation! The universal scales tip toward balance because your sacrifice!"

"God, these guys are losers…" 3 mumbled.

"Smile… For even in death, you have become children of the Salmon!"

"Hey, thanks for the pep talk, guys, but uh, we'd rather stay alive." 8 said with a bit of a sarcastic smile. "We'll just uh… kick your asses, take your eggs, and be on our way."

"Do not think that you can test us! We are… inevitable!"

Agent 8 put on her angry face. "And we… are…" She paused, realizing that she had no good comeback whatsoever. "…hungry." She concluded.

The chum sighed. "So be it."

Agent 3 looked at both 4 and 8, who were sort of standing behind her, and then turned back to the Salmonids. "New Squidbeak Splatoon! …Assemble."

The trio let out a war cry, as they charged into the army.


One Crew Wipe Later

Grizzco Industries Building

"Well that fucking sucked…" 3 sighed, looking at her cuts she sustained during battle, having already taken off her outfit. She was sitting by the bear statue near Agent 8 and Scooch. "I'm in pain now…"

"This is what happens when you don't revive me." Scooch said. Nevertheless, he extended his hand. "It was nice meeting you, yeah?"

3 rolled her eyes and accepted. "Yeah, uh… what gender are you exactly…?"

He decided not to respond, heading for the exit. "Ha. Well, I'm gonna go home and write some of my Squid Sisters fanfiction."

"...You write Squid Sisters fanfiction?" 8 asked curiously, holding an ice pack to her head.

"Yep. Later." Scooch waved behind his back and then headed out to Inkopolis Square, leaving their sight.

"Oh my god, he's definitely a trans female…" 3 said, staring.

After another minute, 3 and 8 also left out to the square into the night time air. Agent 4 was already there, talking to Marina and Pearl, who were standing outside their studio.

"I don't understand, what do you mean you designed Octo Shower?" 4 asked, slightly angrily.

"I'm sorry, Four, it was just a project I goofed off with when I was Octarian, ya know?" Marina replied.

"Do you know how much trouble that thing gave me!?"

"Don't be a vagina, Four, Marina designed all the great Octoweapons." 3 said, walking up to them. 8 walked past her and went in to hug Marina real quick.

"Hi, Eight." She said, before responding to 3. "Well, not all of them… Do you think I designed Octo Samurai?" Marina said after they broke the hug.

"You better not have…" 4 sighed.

"Don't tell me that idiot gave you trouble." Marina said with a smirk.

4 rolled his eyes, and pecked 8 on the lips real quick. "I'm just gonna go home. See ya later, Eight. I love you 3000." And with that, he waved to the group and began to walk away.

Pearl's eyes widened. "Wow, 3000 is such a big number… That's so romantic…"

"So, uh… What have you guys been up to today?" 8 asked the popstars.

Marina sighed. "Well, I ended up being called in to work to unclog Marie's toilet. Then I helped her and Callie do some packing."

"Packing? What for?" 3 asked.

"I don't know, apparently the Squid Sisters are going to some island for a vacation."

"I thought Marie was still working in order to watch the Octarians."

Marina shrugged. "They're popstars. They gotta get out and have some fun, unless they want the pressure of their fame to build up and crush their sanity into the void."

"Yeah, whatever." 3 sighed. "I'm also going home, I wanna sleep for a week. Later."

"Bye…" 8 said awkwardly, watching 3 as she walked away from the square. She turned back to Marina. "So… We going home?"

"Right after we stop by McSquids. God, I'm starving…" Marina replied.

"Well, I'm starving too, but, I did almost see Three get cooked today…"

"You what? What happened?"

"...It's a long story…" She said, even though it really wasn't that long.

Chapter Text

"They say we're young and we don't know

We won't find out until we grow

Well I don't know if all that's true

'Cause you got me, and baby I got you

Babe

I got you, babe

I got you, babe"

Marina's eyes fluttered open as her alarm went off, a groan escaping her mouth as she turned under her covers. She reached over to her cellphone on the nearby nightstand and flipped it over, revealing the time. 6:00 AM, May 21st. She groaned again and hit the dismiss button, burying herself in her pillow in annoyance, just like every other morning where she had to wake up this early, of course this time with a unique song selected randomly from a playlist she had set on her phone. Slowly, with even more groans, she slipped out of bed. Today was gonna be a very busy and long day.


Wearing a simple black crop top and some jeans, Marina crossed the hallway in their house and entered the kitchen, where she suddenly narrowly dodged some cereal, which flew right past her face and bounced off the wall, prompting Marina to turn to the kitchen table with an extremely annoyed expression.

"Bada bing, bada boom! Marina has entered the chat! Good morning!" Pearl yelled unnecessarily loudly, holding the spoon that she launched the cereal with, as she grabbed some more and prepared to launch it. She didn't succeed however as Marina swiftly grabbed it from her hand and took her own seat.

"Good morning, Pearlie." Marina said, grabbing a bowl and the cereal box. She turned to Agent 8, who was also sitting at the table typing on her phone. "Good morning, Eight."

Eight looked past the phone to look at Marina. "It's Bridgett."

"Huh?"

"I'm going by Bridgett now? I didn't like people calling me Eight all the time? We talked about this."

"Right. Sorry. Takes getting used to. Anyway… you're up early."

"So are you."

"Yeah, because I'm heading out. Things to do and all that. Why are you up?"

"I haven't been to bed yet."

"Um… Excuse me?" Marina said, instantly getting a little upset.

"You've been up all night?" Pearl asked, turning to her. "You're texting Four, aren't you?"

"Nope." Bridgett replied, sinking a little into her chair, when suddenly, Pearl leaped over and grabbed her phone out of her hand. "Hey!"

Pearl quickly skimmed through the wall of texts that was on-screen, reading the name of the texter out loud. "Dylan Schultz. It is Four!" She prepared to read some texts out loud, when suddenly, Marina grabbed it from her hand as well.

Marina angrily waved the phone in the air as Bridgett stared at her in annoyance. "You can have this back when you get some sleep, young lady." She said in a somewhat sarcastic yet serious voice. "You can't just stay up all night on your phone, that's bad for you."

Bridgett immediately mocked her words angrily before she forcefully got up from the table, walked down the hall to her room, and slammed the door.

Marina smiled slightly. "They grow up so fast…" She said to Pearl, before she then raised her voice so Bridgett could hear her. "Love ya, Eight! Don't get cooked!"

"You're such a mom." Pearl said with a grin.

"Thanks, I try my hardest." Marina said as she poured herself some cereal. "Anyway, as I was saying… I'm heading out. Got hired for something."

"Whatcha up to?"

"It's Clownfish Day."

"Huh?"

"May 21st. Clownfish Day? When they bring out the little Clownfish to see if he'll look at his shadow or not?"

"...What the fuck kind of holiday is that?"

"Have you seriously never heard of it? You're an Inkling and I'm an Octoling… How have I heard of it when you haven't?"

"Oh, I don't know, probably because it's stupid?"

Marina rolled her eyes. "Anyway… Yeah, the mayor of Inkopolis asked me to be at the event for publicity or whatever. Get people excited."

"...And he didn't invite me!?"

Marina immediately went awkward. "Did you… want to go…?"

"Bitch, we're Off the Hook! We as in us! That's OUR thing! We do everything popstar related together! Did you forget!?"

"It's not like I'm singing or anything. They just… wanted me there for…"

"Yeah, so they asked you and not me. I see how it is…" Pearl sunk into her chair.

Marina frowned. "Pearlie… If you wanna come, I'm sure they'll have you…"

"No. It's obvious everyone hates me."

"They don't hate you. They love you!"

"Why ask for stupid old Pearl when they can just go for the sexy black Octoling instead?"

"You know that they don't know I'm Octarian." Marina extended her hand in an inviting way. "Come on. I invite you."

Pearl got up from the table just like Bridgett did earlier. "I'm fine. Whatever. Fuck me."

"Pearlie…"

But Pearl was no longer listening, as she too went down the hall to her room and slammed the door. Marina sighed, shoving her cereal aside frustratingly and reaching for the TV remote, powering on the TV in the living room.

She sat still and watched it from the kitchen table, and after a few commercials, some morning talkshow program came on, where a couple older looking Inklings sat at a table by some microphones.

"Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties because it's cold out there today!"

"At least it isn't cold out there every day!"

Marina tuned them out after she heard this. Cold out there today? They were currently in the middle of May and had been having a streak of nice warm days, so that didn't sound good. She got up and went to the front window, opening the blinds, and looked out. Much to her dismay, the sky was a gray void of hopelessness, and it seemed that there was light snow falling down. Ugh. With a sigh, she turned her attention back to the television.

"Yessss, they are. But you know, there's another reason why today is especially exciting."

"Especially cold!"

"Especially cold, okay, but the big question on everybody's beaks…"

"On their chapped beaks…"

"On their chapped beaks, right: Do ya think Phil is gonna come out and see his shadow?"

"Phil the Clownfish!"

"That's right, squidkids, it's…"

"CLOWNFISH DAY!" The two Inklings cheered in unison.

She shook her head. She had a feeling that today was gonna be a shitty day…


A Couple Hours Later

Inkopolis Square

Just as the talk show had said, the air was cold, the sky was still gray, and it looked like it could rain down heavy snow any moment now on top of the already light snow. Marina looked around the area as she arrived. Upbeat cheesy music playing, a large crowd of people, and a stage set up in front of the Deca Tower on the ground. She was all geared up with makeup, but she had decided to not wear her usual Off the Hook outfit as she didn't seem to need to sing, instead opting to wear a jacket over her croptop to keep her warm.

An Inkling who happened to be looking in her direction gasped loudly, before he pointed and yelled out for the people around him to hear; "Off the Hook is here!" Multiple other Inklings turned her way as he screamed this, and the next thing she knew, she was being crowded.

Marina went through the usual popstar bullshit as she slowly forced her way through the crowd to the stage, saying "hi" constantly and signing a few autographs along the way. When she reached the stage, the audience took the hint and began to leave as she stepped on and nodded to the mayor. The mayor was an older Inkling, around the same age as Cap'n Cuttlefish.

"Mr. Mayor." She said. "Nice to meet you."

The mayor looked up and down at her in what seemed to be a small panic. "Yeah yeah yeah. What the hell are you wearing? And where the hell is Pearl!?"

Oh shit. Marina's eyes widened just a little. "Was she… supposed to come?"

"Yes! You have a concert to do! Ring any bells!?"

"What? I've never heard anything about a concert." It was then that she looked past the mayor and saw Callie and Marie, standing behind the stage in their full Squid Sisters outfits. Marie nodded with a greeting smile when they locked eye contact. "Oh shit… Listen. I didn't know-"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever kid. Screw Pearl, you'll have to do." He snapped his fingers toward some of the people that were working around the stage. "You guys! Black girl needs a backup Off the Hook outfit ASAP!"

"Sir, with all due respect, I think it's fine if I run home and grab Pearlie real quick…"

"We don't have time, you're late already! Go get dressed and we'll get you started! Quickly now!" He yelled, shoving her a little.

Marina grunted as she stepped off the stage toward the workers. "Jesus, I got it! Thank you."


After Marina was forced to change back by the entrance to the Deepsea Metro, barely hidden from the public eye, she joined Callie and Marie in the little spot that they were waiting in. Now, she was freezing thanks to the revealing outfit.

Marie hugged her with a smile. "Sup, girl? It's been a while. I've missed you."

"Yeah, I missed you too." Marina said, returning the hug, before she then went to hug Callie.

"Where's Pearl at?" Callie asked.

"Oh. We didn't quite get the memo that there was supposed to be a full on Off the Hook concert. I was told I was gonna be here just to interact with fans and raise publicity."

"Are you serious!?" Callie replied as they broke the hug. "God, the mayor is such an old man. He reminds me of Gramps…"

Marina giggled. "So what have you girls been up to?"

"Oh, you know, just the usual popstar BS. Juggling our solo careers with some Squid Sisters concerts." Marie said. "We've been quite busy ever since we got back from vacation, but, we did manage to attend Ethan and Amelia's wedding last week."

"Speaking of Ethan and Amelia, they actually sent us a postcard from their honeymoon." Callie continued.

"I don't… know who that is…" Marina said awkwardly, and before Callie and Marie could respond, the upbeat cheesy music playing through the area stopped as the mayor began his speech.

"Welcome to the Clownfish Day festival!" He announced to the cheers of the audience.

The three tuned him out as they continued on the conversation. "What exactly are we performing anyway?" Marina asked.

"I think we're just supposed to do Now or Never again." Marie replied.

Marina eyed the stage. "…Do they even have my DJ mixer?"

The cousins also eyed the stage. "Um… Do you just wanna fill in for Pearl…?"

"The DJ thing is my gimmick though. The mayor really doesn't like Off the Hook, does he? I mean, he forgot to invite Pearl, he failed to tell me what exactly my job is…"

"Yeah I did hear he's more of a Squid Sisters fan." Callie said honestly.

"Callie." Marie said, elbowing her in the shoulder. "Don't."

"Ow. Just saying."

"Also…" Marie continued, turning back to Marina. "So… Just so happens that after this, Callie and I have the rest of the day off. I was wondering if you wanted to catch up and grab a coffee? My treat."

"It better be her treat that is because I ain't paying for nobody." Callie added.

Marina thought about it for a second, and then, deciding to put her bad mood aside, smiled. "I'd love to."

"Cool." Marie replied with her own smile.

As they spoke, the mayor concluded his boring droned speech as he opened a little box that was sitting on the stage. As he opened it, he pulled out the star of the party: Phil the Clownfish. The audience once again cheered.

"GIVE ME YER CASH!" The fish yelled. "WASTIN' MY TIME!"

The mayor held him for a few moments, and then, after such moments, set him back down in the box. "Sorry folks! Phil the Clownfish has spoken wise words: 'I definitely see a shadow!'"

The crowd then began booing in disappointment. As the mayor kept talking, the three went back to their little conversation.

"What even is the point of that? Are we trying to predict if there's gonna be six more weeks of winter or something?" Marina asked.

"Pretty sure it's just a stupid tradition that held up because people like to bet on it. I don't know." Marie replied.

"Well… They succeeded in getting that attention they want so bad apparently."

"And now, without further ado, I present the stars of the show, the Squid Sisters and… that one black girl in a crop top." The mayor announced.

Marina rolled her eyes. "Marina from Off the Hook, man. What an asshole. Poor taste. For shame." She sighed as the three stomped on stage.


A Few Hours Later

After a couple hours of singing on stage (which turned out to be a very strange and awkward experience, as they were forced to dance without their usual concert lights or equipment and just the barebones music) and another couple hours of just sitting in a diner chatting it up with Callie and Marie, Marina was now silently walking home through the streets of Inkopolis. She was already changed back into her casual clothes, and was carrying her leftover Off the Hook outfit in a grocery bag.

Suddenly, she felt something in her pants vibrate, and reached into her pocket to see that Pearl was calling her. She answered. "Hey."

"Bitch, when are you coming home? Bridgett is driving me up the wall without her brat ass glued to a phone."

She wasn't expecting such a response, taking a couple seconds to respond. "…Are you still mad at me? I invited you to come with." She was about to say that they did actually mean to invite Pearl, but ultimately kept it to herself.

"Why would I be mad? I'm just a lonely loser who gets left out of everything. I'm not mad. I'm fan-fucking-terrible."

"Pearlie, you do not get left out… I'm on my way home, alright? I have some stuff I was gonna work on, and then, maybe we can watch a movie with Eight?"

"Let me guess. Your stupid Holocene Park again."

"Actually, I was gonna suggest Ghostbusters."

"...That's even worse. That movie is stupid. And weird."

"Hey. Bustin' will make you feel good." She mocked. "See you in a bit."

"You did not just quote that. You did not just fucking quote that. You did NOT just-" Pearl's voice cut off as Marina hung up.

She slipped her phone into her pocket when she stepped off the sidewalk onto a crosswalk, but to her surprise, she suddenly stepped footfirst into a massive hole in the sidewalk, which formed a deep puddle thanks to the water that had collected. She quickly raised her leg out, and to her dismay, her leg had already melted off. "FUCK!"

"Woo hoo hoo hoo!" A random homeless Inkling who happened to witness laughed strangely. "Watch out for that first step, it's a doozy! Haha!"

Marina stared at him in anger and then sighed to herself. Now that walking was no longer an option, she converted herself to her Octopus form with an angry grumble and slowly dragged herself home while she waited for her leg to remanifest.


That Night

As soon as Marina's leg remanifested and because usable again, she slipped on some sweats before she got back to work in her room. The weather had taken a turn for the worse, and was now snowing heavily, littering the streets outside, so at this point it was probably unsafe for anyone to be walking outside lest they get splatted by the moisture. Luckily, Marina was home for the day, so for her, that didn't matter. As far as she was concerned, the day was just about over. She was currently sitting at her desk under a desk light, tinkering with some gadgets she had been working on lately.

She heard a knock on the door. "Come in." She sighed as the door then creaked open to reveal Bridgett. Marina put on her usual welcoming smile. "Hi, Eight."

Bridgett just nodded in return before taking a seat on Marina's bed. "So uh… can I have my phone back?" She said sheepishly.

"Oh… Right! Sorry! My bad!" She pulled the phone out of her pocket. "Did you get sleep?"

"Yes…"

"Alright." She handed her back the phone.

Bridgett smiled. Her smile always warmed Marina up inside, no matter how shitty of a day she was having. "So uh… what are you working on?"

Marina turned back to her gadgets, and grabbed a specific one that looked like a watch. She attached it to the back of her hand, and then held it up so she could see. "Just a little project I'm playing with. It's not fully functioning whatsoever, but, it taps into space-time."

Bridgett only gave a confused glare.

"...Time travel. It's a time travel device."

Bridgett's confused glare turned into one of fascination. "Holy shit, are you serious? How does it work?"

"Well there's this other dimension that all of space-time flows through that I can sort of tap into, but… It doesn't work at all yet, so, whatever."

Bridgett got up and went to inspect it before Marina could take it off, grabbing her hand to look at it. "So you could travel back to… say, the human era?"

"I mean, I don't think you could actually physically time travel like that with just this, because this thing doesn't work that way, but uh… I guess if I get real creative I can update it and OW!" Marina said as suddenly, the watch erupted in some sparks right on Marina's hand. "What the hell!?"

"Oops…" Bridgett said, having been the one to accidentally press the button, as she let go.

Marina took off the watch and tossed it back to the table. "As I was trying to say, it doesn't let you physically time travel, but, once I get it work, it will be able to directly tap into the flow of time itself. Highly dangerous. Don't touch. No idea why I even built it."

"Um… ok. I'm sorry. Anyway… uh… what about the other gadgets?"

Marina was about to show her, when suddenly, Pearl entered the room, wearing a bizarre red suit that covered her whole body. "I'm pretty sure this is something you built, right?" The suit was made out of what seemed to be a mixture of leather and metal, and the helmet, which was entirely metal, somewhat resembled a gas mask that covered her entire head.

Marina's eyes went wide. "Pearlie, take that off. Now."

"Why?" Pearl asked, as she pressed a button on the side of the helmet, causing it to open up a little and reveal her face. "I found it, and I live here the same as you, so you don't get to make the rules."

"That is not a toy! Take that off!"

"What's it gonna do to me? Mommy doesn't get scared." She said as she closed the helmet back up, and looked at the buttons that were on the gloves by her thumb. She pressed the button on her left hand a couple times. "The question is… What is it gonna do to me?"

"This isn't funny, Pearl!" Marina said, and was now walking over to her to force it off, when suddenly, Pearl pressed the button on her right hand. With a high pitched scream, the suit briefly lit up with a faint white light as Pearl suddenly shrunk down and seemingly vanished.

Marina's eyes went wide again as she grabbed Bridgett's shoulder in a panic. "Honey, I shrunk Pearl!"

"You what?"

Marina slowly knelt down to look at the ground, and Bridgett followed suit. To Bridgett's confusion and horror, Pearl could just be barely seen, the size of an ant and sort of hidden in the rug. "Pearlie, if you can hear me, press the button on the left glove again!" Marina yelled as if Pearl was a large distance away, before she ushered Bridgett to move out of the way.

As they both moved out of the way, Pearl then reappeared, back to normal size, as she reopened the helmet again with large panicked breaths. She took a moment to recollect herself. "…Somebody peed in the suit!"

Marina's face of panic and frustration melted into an amused expression. "Aw, I thought mommy didn't get scared."


Hours Later

The trio had just finished watch Ghostbusters just as they discussed earlier, and now, Marina was exhausted. Pearl had slept through almost the whole movie, so Marina and Bridgett worked together to carry her to bed just because they didn't wanna wake her up.

"I assume you're going to bed?" Marina asked Bridgett after they finished the job.

She pulled out her phone. "I mean, I'll sit in bed, but I might be up texting for a while again."

Marina put on her serious face. "Hey. No staying up all night. I mean it. Or else I'm gonna start taking your phone for the night."

Bridgett rolled her eyes. "Whatever."

"Hey." Marina whispered, suddenly pulling her in for a hug. "I love you, Eight. Don't get cooked."

"Love you." Bridgett finished before she went to her own room.

Marina sighed as she stumbled into the kitchen to grab a late night snack, and then went to the living room to stare out the window. The ground was completely covered in a few inches of snow. She sighed. She guessed she was just gonna stay home tomorrow.

With her day concluded, she went to bed.


"They say we're young and we don't know

We won't find out until we grow

Well I don't know if all that's true

'Cause you got me, and baby I got you

Babe

I got you, babe

I got you, babe"

Marina's eyes fluttered open again, and with a grunt, she rolled over. Wasn't this the same song that played yesterday? That was funny. What was weirder though was that she could've sworn she turned off her alarm. She flipped the phone over to reveal the time: 6:00 AM.

"...God dammit…" She muttered. She originally intended to sleep in, but now that she was up, she decided to just dismiss her alarm and get up.


Once again, Marina crossed the hallway in their house and entered the kitchen, where she suddenly narrowly dodged some cereal, which flew right past her face and bounced off the wall. Not this again.

"Bada bing, bada boom! Marina has entered the chat! Good morning!" Pearl yelled unnecessarily loudly, holding the spoon that she launched the cereal with, as she grabbed some more and prepared to launch it.

"God dammit, Pearl! Stop doing that!" She said as she once again grabbed the spoon from her hand and sat down. Once again, despite the early hour, Pearl and Bridgett were in the same positions that they were in the previous day, with Bridgett once again typing away. "Anyway… Good morning, Eight."

Eight looked past the phone to look at Marina. "It's Bridgett."

"Honestly… I think I'll just keep calling you Eight. I prefer that. Did you get any sleep last night?"

"Nope."

"...Are you serious? You pulled two all-nighters in a row?"

"What do you mean two? I just did the one..."

"You've been up all night?" Pearl asked, turning to her. "You're texting Four, aren't you?"

"Nope." Bridgett replied, sinking a little into her chair, when suddenly, Pearl leaped over and grabbed her phone out of her hand. "Hey!"

Now Marina was getting a little upset. "Bullshit. Alright. No more phone for you." She said, suddenly getting up herself and then taking it straight from Pearl. This was odd, the whole situation seemed incredibly familiar. "I don't think I'm gonna give this back this time until you learn to sleep properly. This is ridiculous."

Bridgett immediately mocked her words angrily before she forcefully got up from the table, walked down the hall to her room, and slammed the door. …Again.

Frustrated, Marina pocketed the phone. "God, what has been up with her? Two nights in a row, and then she starts bullshitting me and denies it?"

"You're such a mom." Pearl said with a grin.

"Whatever." Marina once again sat down. "God this is so weird. This morning has been like a repeat of yesterday morning…"

"You slept in yesterday. Until almost the afteroon."

"...No I didn't."

"Yeah you did, I remember it pretty clearly. Do you need to get your memory checked?" Pearl laughed.

"I woke up at 6AM because I needed to go out and do Clownfish Day."

"Huh?"

"Clownfish Day, dumbass. We talked about this yesterday."

"...What the fuck is Clownfish Day?"

Marina stopped and thought to herself for a second. Now this was getting weird. She pulled out her phone and looked at the date. May 21st. "…What exactly happened yesterday according to you?"

Pearl looked at her strangely. "Are you drunk?"

"...Well, I sure as fuck hope I'm high and delusional right now. What happened yesterday?"

"...When we went bowling?"

They had gone bowling two days ago. Was she actually reliving the same day as she did yesterday somehow? No, she couldn't have been. Once she realized how ridiculous she was being, she laughed. "Haha. Very funny."

"...What?"

"I get it now. You broke into my phone to turn my alarm back on, change my date, and you and Eight are putting on an act to confuse me."

Pearl went back to eating. "Now you're just giving me ideas."

"Drop it, Pearl, it's not funny." Marina said with a frustrated sigh. "I appreciate the effort though, I really do. Probably one of your best pranks."

"Yeah, it's not funny because I have no idea what the hell you're talking about."

Marina would've gotten mad, but she seemed to be telling the truth. "…I gotta check something." She said, standing up.

She went over to the living room and quickly opened the blinds to look outside. The snow from yesterday was gone, having been replaced with the simple light snow once again. "…What the hell?"

Now she was getting nervous. In a bit of a panic, she went over to the TV and powered it on. It turned to the same show from the previous day with the two older Inklings.

"Yessss, they are. But you know, there's another reason why today is especially exciting."

"Especially cold!"

"Especially cold, okay, but the big question on everybody's beaks…"

"On their chapped beaks…"

"On their chapped beaks, right: Do ya think Phil is gonna come out and see his shadow?"

"Phil the Clownfish!"

"That's right, squidkids, it's…"

"CLOWNFISH DAY!"


A Couple Hours Later

Inkopolis Square

Marina looked around the area as she arrived. Her original plan was to just stay home and wait the day out, but she just had to come here and further confirm her suspicions of a time loop. Upbeat cheesy music playing, a large crowd of people, and a stage set up in front of the Deca Tower on the ground. Again. Everything was going the same exact way. She didn't have makeup this time, wearing similar clothes to the ones she wore yesterday.

An Inkling who happened to be looking in her direction gasped loudly, before he pointed and yelled out for the people around him to hear; "Off the Hook is here!" Multiple other Inklings turned her way as he screamed this, and the next thing she knew, she was being crowded.

But this time, she wasn't about to go through the usual popstar bullshit. As quickly as she could, she pushed her way through the crowd up to the stage. The mayor caught sight of her, and was calling for her, but she decided to ignore him, walking past the stage straight to Callie and Marie.

Marie hugged her with a smile. "Sup, girl? It's been a while. I've missed you."

"Yeah, and I didn't necessarily miss you because we already talked yesterday." She said as she broke up the hug in a panic, getting confused glares from both Callie and Marie. "Guys… I have a problem. Potentially a big problem."

"...What's the problem? Are you drunk?"

"Drunk is more fun." Marina said frustratingly. "Guys… I really need someone to look me in the eye and tell me that I'm not crazy, and that we already did this yesterday. We did this yesterday and then we sat in a diner for a couple hours. Remember that?"

"Sounds like an epic dream." Callie said with a grin. "Do you need to be slapped? That'll help your brain out."

"...Yes please."

As requested, Callie suddenly slapped her across the face. Hard.

"Ow…" She muttered, grabbing her cheek. "Too hard."

Suddenly, the mayor came down from the stage angrily. "Black girl! I've been calling for you! What the hell are you wearing? And where the hell is Pearl!?"

Marina, realizing she was having a full on panic attack at this point, decided to not respond, and instead silently slipped from the scene despite the fact that multiple eyes were on her.

"Black girl! Black girl!" She could hear the mayor angrily call out.

Callie and Marie looked at each other with concern. "…What's up with her?" Callie asked.

"I don't know, but I hope she feels better." Marie said, watching her leave while shaking her head in dismay. "Being a popstar and all is probably getting to her."


She took the same path home from the "previous day", racking her brain. It was obvious, she was in some sort of time loop, and if she had to guess, it was probably from her little watch device that Bridgett touched. She hoped to god she wouldn't actually get trapped in it.

She stepped off the sidewalk onto a crosswalk, but to her surprise, she once again stepped footfirst into a massive puddle in the sidewalk. She quickly raised her leg out, and to her dismay, her leg had already melted off again. "GOD FUCKING DAMMIT!" She yelled. This wasn't even the time loop necessarily, this was own fault.

"Woo hoo hoo hoo!" The same homeless Inkling who happened to witness laughed strangely. "Watch out for that first step, it's a doozy! Haha!"

Marina slowly looked back at him. …Did he just sit there all day or something?


That Night

As soon as she got home, she had locked herself in her room in her decision to wait out the rest of the day. Sleeping to the next day would confirm if she actually trapped in a repeating time loop or if this was just a one time glitch in space-time.

Of course, even if she had locked herself in her room, that couldn't save her from the repeating events from within the house. She once again had to deal with Pearl putting on the shrinking suit and Bridgett asking for her phone back.

She sighed, setting down the notes she was writing and climbing into bed. Realizing that the pen she had was still in her hand, however, an idea clicked in her head. After pausing for a moment, she snapped the pen in half, setting the two pieces on her nightstand. If time was gonna loop again, then the pen should be whole again, right? Trying her best to mentally distract herself from her issues, she pulled the covers over her and laid down.


"They say we're young and we don't know

We won't find out until we grow

Well I don't know if all that's true

'Cause you got me, and baby I got you

Babe

I got you, babe

I got you, babe"

Marina awoke much quicker this time, jumping up instead of slowly stirring awake. She hadn't gotten much sleep, but despite that, she still felt rested somehow, even if panicked. She slowly looked over to her nightstand in fear, and to her horror, the pen was whole again. She grabbed it in a panic.

"...Shit."

Sure enough, according to her phone, it was once again 6 AM on May 21st, and this time, she was in absolute panic mode. Quickly slipping herself into some clothes, she left the room in a rush.

This time, when she crossed the hall and into the kitchen, she was unable to dodge the cereal that Pearl launched at her, which bounced off her face.

"Bada bing, bada boom! Marina has entered the chat! Good morning!"

But Marina wasn't even listening. She kicked the cereal aside, and without hesitating to even grab her jacket, she rushed through the living room and out the front door.

"Marina? Marina!" Pearl called out to her in vain.


Inkopolis Square

This time, Marina ran straight to the Square first thing. Since she was here a couple hours early, the place wasn't as packed and the party hadn't started yet, but there there still Inklings walking around the area, including Callie and Marie. The girls weren't in their Squid Sisters outfits yet, but were sitting by the stage chatting. Marina practically ran up to them.

Marie smiled when she saw her approach, and then stood up to hug her. "Sup, girl? It's been a while. I've missed you."

But this time, to Marie's confusion, Marina abruptly denied the hug. "Bullshit, we've talked twice here already!"

"W-What? Are you drunk?"

Marina took a moment to control her breath. "I'm sorry… It's just… I really need to talk to someone. Preferably not Pearl because she's immature and preferably not Eight because she's just a kid who wouldn't understand. I just… I can't think, Marie, and I really need help!"

Marie grabbed her shoulder to comfort. "Ok, ok, just calm down. Take deep breaths. I was aware you have an anxiety issue but this is…"

"This isn't my fucking anxiety issue! I have a problem!"

"Do you need to be slapped? That'll help your brain out." Callie said, although this time, she wasn't grinning.

"Fuck you!" Marina said to Callie, before turning back to Marie. "Marie, can we please talk in that one diner you like? Please?"

Marie was super confused and concerned at this point. "Marina, we have work here!"

"Well, you've already done it twice, I doubt the mayor will care if you skip one day."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"Just come on, please, I have a genuine problem that's more important than this. Just… please… I'm asking you as a friend to help."

When the Squid Sisters only stared at her for a minute, she decided this wasn't worth it right now. She grunted and turned to leave, but, Marie began to follow.


A Diner in Inkopolis

"Alright. Spill it, girl. What have you been drinking? What drugs have you been taking?" Marie asked. The three girls were now sitting casually in the diner, with Callie and Marie sitting together across from Marina.

"I haven't been drinking or taking anything. I think. And that's my problem."

"Then what is the problem?"

"Oh, you guys wouldn't believe me..."

"Honey… We're the New Squidbeak Splatoon. We've seen a lot of weird shit. Try me."

Marina took some deep breaths for almost a solid minute, and then blurted it out. "I have been living the same exact day over and over. Three times now, I've woken up and it has been May 21st, on Clownfish Day. Three times I have woken up now and have had Pearl fling cereal at my face in the same exact way. This is our third day in a row that we've spoken."

"...Yeah, you're right, I wouldn't believe you."

Marina slammed her face onto the table, crying softly. "Of course you wouldn't. Because I'm just stupid ol' Marina! I obviously doesn't know what I'm talking about!" She screamed.

Callie and Marie awkwardly looked around. Now the entire diner was staring at them. "Ok. Ok." Marie said softly, rubbing the back of her head to comfort. "Hey. We're not saying you're crazy."

"Yes you are!"

"No we're not, you're just… going through a thing."

Suddenly, Marina's phone began vibrating in her pocket, and when she lifted her head and pulled it out, she saw that Pearl was calling. She denied, setting the phone down. "You don't have to lie to me. I know you think I'm crazy. But the thing is… Tomorrow, I'm gonna wake up again, and to you, it's gonna be as if today never happened. And then I'm gonna have to convince you again just how crazy I am!"

"Marina… I think you need to see a psychiatrist."

The phone began vibrating again, as Pearl once again attempted to call. Marina denied again with a grunt, and then set the phone to mute. "…I don't know why I came to you anyway… You're not gonna know what to do…"

"I just said what to do. See a psychiatrist." Marina slammed her head down into the table, as Marie kept talking. "Marina, I'm not one myself. But I'm your friend, and you can vent to me. Any time."

Suddenly, the waitress arrived at their table. "What can I get for you lovely ladies?"

"Yeah, I'll have some pancakes, I guess." Marie started.

"And I'll just have your biggest dild- oh wait, that's not right…" Callie continued. "Uh, I'll have what she's having."

"And for you, honey?" The waitress asked Marina specifically.

Marina rose her head, and after hesitating for a second, answered. "…I can just starve, it's fine. It's not like it'll matter by tomorrow anyway."

The waitress looked at her in confusion, before she shrugged it off and walked off to prepare the Squid Sisters' food.

Marie's face grew even more concerned, as she reached across the table and grabbed Marina's hand. "Marina, I'm concerned for you. You're acting very… unlike yourself."

"Yeah, well, like I said, none of it's gonna matter by tomorrow anyway."

"I don't know what you mean."

"You will. …Actually, no you won't."

Callie and Marie looked at each other.


"Babe

I got you, babe

I got you, babe"

Fourth loop. Marina rolled over and checked her phone just to make sure, and of course, same day, same time. She laid on her back. "…Here we go again." She muttered. As she was now on the fourth day, hope seemed even lower than it was before. She was trapped, with potentially no way out. There was only one solution she could possible think of; she was going to need to fix the space-time glitch that was presumably caused by the watch that she built.

With a sigh, she got up and went over to her desk where she had her gadgets she liked to tinker with lying about, and sure enough, the watch was among them. Motivated by the pure fear of being trapped in a loop forever, she spent the rest of the day researching into space-time and the watch itself. She didn't leave her room, and she didn't help Pearl when she accidentally shrunk herself, she was too busy focused on her mission.

Unfortunately, the day eventually came to a close, and Marina still had no answers. Now she was getting emotional from this, weeping from time to time in the otherwise silence of her room. But she wasn't about to give up. She was going to keep working until she figured it out.


"Babe

I got you, babe

I got you, babe"

Eleventh loop. Marina rolled over and suddenly grabbed her phone, throwing it across the room, before lying back down. Of course, she had been working on the watch every day, losing progress with each morning, and still, she had no answers.


"Babe

I got you, babe

I got you, babe"

Thirtieth loop. Marina rolled over, and this time, for whatever reason, she was extra pissed. Using all her strength, she slammed her fist down on the phone multiple times until the phone shut down from the damage, abruptly stopping the music.

She rolled over to lie on her back, staring at the ceiling, a couple tears lightly rolling down her face. A month worth of loops in, and the solution seemed nonexistent. Although she did know how to fix the loop, she had neither the resources or time to do it before the day resets.

She no longer knew what to do.


The waitress arrived at their table. "What can I get for you lovely ladies?"

"Yeah, I'll have some pancakes, I guess." Marie started.

"And I'll just have your biggest dild- oh wait, that's not right…" Callie continued. "Uh, I'll have what she's having."

"And for you, honey?" The waitress asked Marina specifically.

Marina sighed. Here they were again, sitting at the same diner from the first and third loops, having decided to once again talk with Callie and Marie. "Beer."

"Marina…" Marie interjected with concern.

"Shut it, Marie. I want beer. Lots of beer. As much as you can pump out, because today I intend on just getting very drunk."

The waitress looked at her with regret. "Ma'am, we don't uh… sell beer…"

"DID I STUTTER!?"

"I'm so sorry, Ms. uh… Waitress lady." Marie started. "Can you just get her some water instead? That would be great, thank you. Again, I'm so sorry."

"I didn't ask for water, I asked for some god damn beer! I'm gonna get drunk today whether you like it or not!"

"Marina, it's 6 in the morning!"

"I'll just get you some water." The waitress said, walking away.

"No, no, no. This place is bullshit." Marina said standing up. "I'm going somewhere else."

"Marina! Seriously!?" Marie yelled, following her, not caring that the whole diner could hear. "You're just gonna spend all day getting drunk!?"

"Yep. I'm telling you, it won't matter by tomorrow. Jesus, I've BEEN telling you that."

As Marina stormed out of the diner, Marie grumbled to herself, wondering what to do. She looked back at Callie, who was still sitting, and ushered her to follow her. She wasn't about to let Marina get drunk and die by doing something stupid.


That Afternoon

A Bar in Inkopolis

"...I was at an underground beach in the Octarian Domes once. I met a guy. We ate lobster. Drank piña coladas. At sunset, we made love like sea otters." Marina sighed.

Callie smirked as if it was a joke. The three popstars were sitting in the bar, Marina and Callie holding tall glasses of beer. Marie was the only one who wasn't drunk, as she was one who decided to make sure no one did anything stupid.

"...That was a pretty good day. Why couldn't I get that day over… and over… and over…?" Marina continued.

Callie held up her half filled glass. As she spoke, her words were a bit slurred because how drunk she was. "You know, some guys would look at this glass and say, 'This glass is half empty'. Other guys would say 'That glass is half full'. I take you more as a 'glass is half empty' kind of girl, am I right?"

Marie sighed. She knew Marina well enough to know that she wasn't usually like that. Something was really under her skin.

"What would you do?" Marina said in response. "If every day was exactly the same, and nothing you ever did mattered?"

Callie and Marie sat in silence thinking through their answers. Callie came out blank.

"...That about sums it up for me." Marie sighed.

Marina sighed as well. "What if there were no tomorrow?"

Callie smiled. "No tomorrow. That would mean that there are no consequences, there'll be no hangovers, we could do whatever we wanted!"

Marina nodded, impressed. "That's true. We could do… whatever we want."

Marie sighed deeply. "Oh no…"


The three stepped out of the bar into the afternoon air, the sun visibly setting at this time. Soon, heavy snow would be raining down.

"Do you need me to walk you home?" Marie asked shyly to Marina, noticing that she was having a little trouble standing straight. She didn't respond, so she followed up. "Marina?"

"...No. I'm fine. I'm perfectly fine. I'm better than fine, actually. I'm great!" Marina said, her voice slurred. As she attempted to walk away, she immediately tripped a bit.

Marie grabbed her to ensure she didn't fall down. "Marina, I think I should walk you home."

"Bitch, you didn't listen. I'm so fine, I'm walking on cloud nine! Hey, Callie, what's that thing you like to do a lot?"

Callie's voice was also slurred. "Uh… I don't know, but I sure like to sing…!"

"No, not that, your uh… sex thing! You talk about that a lot!"

"...Oh! Right! Yeah, that sex thing!"

Marina shot her fists into the air. "Who says the party needs to end right now!? We can still go out… and be sluts for the night! And then afterwards, we can blow up the entire city, because we're gonna wake up tomorrow… and there's gonna be NO CONSEQUENCES! WOO!"

"YEAH!" Callie yelled, also shooting her fists into the air.

"Marina, that's a horrible idea." Marie said, not letting go of her. "I think maybe you should just stay at our place. I don't exactly wanna leave you to Pearl right now. Knowing her, she'd probably just encourage it. Come on, the sun is going down."

"I AM THE SUN!" Marina yelled into her ear. "The sun lives the same exact day every day, looping around the earth and whatever! That's exactly like me!"

"Marina, the earth loops around the sun."

"Whatever!"

Marie let go of Marina. "Don't move. Gimme a second." She then turned around to face Callie. "Callie, she's seriously freaking me out, so uh… I think that she should stay at our house for the night."

"Aww, Marie, but why!?"

"Because I'm nervous that she's gonna do something stupid! Alright? You too, honestly, because all you're doing is agreeing with her and encouraging her. I'm not taking my eyes off of either of you until you're clear headed."

Callie put on her meanest face possible in such a drunk state, whimpering a little. "You're no fun…"

Marie sighed. "Well, someone has to be the mature one out of us, right? I thought Marina was better than this but…" She turned around again. "…oh my god…"

Callie laughed.

Marina had just broken into a truck, having smashed the window and unlocked it from the inside to get in, and was currently hotwiring it.

"Marina!" Marie said, running up. "Dammit!"

But she was too late. The truck started, and before Marie could pull her out, the tires started and Marina began driving away.

"SHIT SHIT SHIT! MARINA!" Marie yelled in an absolute panic, running after the truck. "SHIT! FUCK!" She yelled some more as the truck turned a corner and disappeared from her vision. With Callie audibly laughing in the background, Marie shakily pulled her phone, dialing 911. "Oh my god, oh my god. oh my god, this isn't real, this isn't real, this isn't real…" She muttered to herself.


Marina let the truck go faster and faster, and she was now barreling down a busy street. Her steering was lazy and was obviously that of a drunk person, so soon enough, police were on the truck's tail. It was a miracle she hadn't crashed yet.

Marina laughed hysterically to herself as she both heard and saw the flashing lights and sirens of the police cars. She stuck her middle finger out the window. "Hahahahahaha! Fuck all of you! I'm not gonna live by your rules anymore!" She yelled as she sped up the truck.

The steering was only getting harder as the truck picked up speed, but she was still laughing, and had no intention of stopping. Her mind wasn't clear at all, but she was having the time of her life. Who said people needed to adhere to their stupid speed limits? This was so much better than driving normally. If only Pearl and Eight could be in this truck with her right now, and they could all know just how much fun this was. And she had more ideas of how to make it better.

"Hey! Police officers! Watch this!" She yelled out the window, and completely let go of the steering wheel. "Hahaha! Y'all know what time it is! It's Off the Hook, coming at you LIVE from Inkopolis Square! Hahahaha- oh…" Her little drunk speech was interrupted as the truck took a violent swerve and bounced off the curb of the sidewalk by the road.

For just a second, the entire truck was airborne, as it flipped over and landed on its back, crushing Marina.

The police cars that were chasing her all suddenly stopped around the area of the crash, as the police officers all got out and went to assist her in a frenzy.

After a couple moments, another police car came up to the scene, which Callie and Marie stepped out of in a hurry. Marie's eyes went wide, as she covered her mouth. "Marina…"

Callie joined her at her side, only barely realizing the gravity of the situation. "…She might be ok."

As she said that, the truck suddenly burst into a massive fiery explosion, destroying the truck.

"...Well, no, probably not now…" Callie finished.


"They say we're young and we don't know

We won't find out until we grow

Well I don't know if all that's true

'Cause you got me, and baby I got you

Babe

I got you, babe

I got you, babe"

Once again, Marina shot awake instantly. Dazed, she looked around. She was in her room? In her bed? Again? She touched around her body just a little bit. "…I'm alive?" Then she pinched herself. "Ow. …I'm alive…" She threw the covers off of her. Her whole body was indeed still intact. Then, suddenly, she jumped up. "Yes! I'm alive! Still in the game, bitches! No consequences!" Even if she was no longer drunk, she was still excited. Instead of turning off the music, this time, she danced to it.

"They say our love won't pay the rent. Before it's earned, our money's all been spent. I guess that's so, we don't have a pot. But at least I'm sure, of all the things we got, babe. I got you, babe. I got you, babe!" She sang along, swaying her hips.

Even without the song, she continued singing to herself as she exited the room and crossed the hall, having heard the song enough by now to have it memorized. "I got you to hold my hand, I got you to understand, I got you to walk with me, I got you to talk with me, I got you to kiss goodnight, I got you to hold me tight, I got you, I won't let go, I got you to love me so…"

As she entered the kitchen, she reached her hand up and swiftly caught the flying cereal tossed by Pearl in an instant.

"Holy shit! Nice reflexes!" Pearl yelled, before continuing with her usual. "Anyway, bada bing, bada boom! Marina has entered the chat! Good morning!"

Marina ate the cereal that she caught, going over to Pearl and hugging her. "Good morning, Pearlie." Then, she suddenly kissed her on the cheek, before letting go.

"Heh…" Pearl said awkwardly. "I see that you're having a good morning…"

"It's the same morning as every other morning! And that is good!" Marina yelled herself, absolutely ecstatic. "Holy shit, all I had to do was open my eyes to all the possibilities that this gives me! Can you believe that I tried to stop this!?"

Both Pearl and Bridgett were staring at her like she was an entirely different person who broke into their house. "Uh… What are we talking about?"

Marina smiled, grabbing Pearl by the cheeks with a bizarre smile and laugh. "I'm trapped, Pearlie. I am living the same day, over, and over, and over again. And none of you know about it. I don't have to live with consequences anymore!" She let go. "I am, as it turns out, an immortal!"

"...What kind of trippy ass drug are you on!?" Pearl said, now a little concerned. This was bizarre, even for her.

"Something godlike, lemme tell you." Marina said, pondering herself on what to do today. "Hm… Maybe I should just… Eight, don't look."

Bridgett, naturally doing the opposite of what she was just told, looked. "Oh my god…" She blurted out.

"Marina, what the hell are you doing!?" Pearl yelled.

Marina's clothes dropped to the floor, revealing her… body. She smiled, as she headed for the door. "I'm going out into the freezing cold, girls! Ciao!" She said as the door closed behind her.

Bridgett and Pearl stared at each other as if they had just seen a ghost.


It may have been freezing cold outside for just her bare skin, but that didn't stop Marina. She no longer even cared.

All eyes were on her as the strolled along the sidewalk. Some people were taking pictures, others were catcalling, and all Marina did in response was smile and wave as she passed everyone, even giving a select few very suggestive looks.

Eventually, a police car pulled up to Marina and slowly drove alongside her. The police officer in the passenger seat opened his window and stuck his head out. "Uh… ma'am, please put some clothes on."

"What's the problem, officer? You don't like public nudity?"

The officer blushed. "Uh… I mean… I don't mind it… but it's like… against the law and stuff…"

Marina stopped and faced them with a suggestive smile. "Look, if you're gonna arrest me, arrest me, I don't even care at this point. But I'm not about to put on any clothes or act like society wants me to act or none of that stupid ass shit. It's like I told you assholes yesterday, I'm not gonna live by your rules anymore." Then, she stuck up her middle finger.


"Marina Ida, famously known as one of the two popstar idols that make up Off the Hook, has been arrested for public nudity and public sex with a police officer today. Details are currently scarce on her arrest, but she is currently being sent to an unknown mental institution for evaluation."

As the news continued to detail the situation, Pearl and Bridgett stared at the TV in utter shock and confusion. Pearl turned to her. "…This is like something Callie would do… Only way more extreme..."

Bridgett shed a single tear, not taking her eyes off the TV. "It's like she suddenly snapped… What the hell happened with her?"

"I don't know… but I think I'm gonna give the house a good search for drugs." Pearl said, as she silently grabbed Bridgett's shoulder to comfort her, before she stood up and began her search.


"Babe

I got you, babe

I got you, babe"

Marina once again rolled over. Just as it should be, she was once again in her room in the same position, not in a mental institution. This time, instead of sighing and forcing herself out of bed, she once again smiled, leaping up.

She had so much to do and a LOT of time to do it all. Just where to start was the big question.

Chapter Text

One "Year" Later

The sun began to set on the usual Inkopolis, and as always, just on cue, heavy snow began falling down, slowly turning all the streets white. For most people, this was considered unusual weather for the month, but for Marina, it was all too familiar. She'd be surprised if it was ever something different ever again.

In the warmth of her house, Marina set down a plate of cookies on her coffee table for about the tenth time now, sighing. "Hi, uh, thank you for coming on such short notice. Whatever, we've done this song and dance multiple times now."

Agent 3 took a cookie, before sitting back in a couch next to Agent 4. "So, uh… How are we supposed to get home in such weather?"

"You're not. I prepared the house for you to sleep tonight."

"...Excuse me, but I didn't agree to-"

"Well, you have before, so I say suck it up and deal with it, Three." Marina said with a fake smile.

Agent 3 looked at her in annoyance. "…About the whole 'Three' thing, I was gonna say I just wanna go by Jessica now. You know, because that's my actual name."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah you're Jessica Murdock, Four is Dylan Schultz, and Eight is just Bridgett. I've heard it a million times. I don't care."

Dylan took a cookie himself. "Well… as far as introductions go, that was pretty straight to the point."

Bridgett sighed. "I'm sorry guys, she's been acting weird all day. Her behavior is suddenly getting a bit more… reckless?"

"Yeah, as if we don't already have enough asshole popstars in this city…" Jessica muttered.

"I heard that." Pearl said, glaring at her.

Jessica rolled her eyes. "So what are we doing here? You said you wanted a meeting with just us? Because it better be important."

Marina smiled. "I just… wanted us to have a chat. You know. As co-workers."

Jessica squinted her eyes. "Um… why?"

"Because, Three, when you end up trapped in the same day over and over and over again in shit weather for a year straight, you start to get bored. There isn't as much to do as you would think."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"I have driven drunk, crashed a truck, strolled naked in public twice, done extreme sports, memorized the shit out of Ghostbusters, learned what death feels like and then proceeded to kill myself another 6 times just for the fucks of it, pulled a Callie and went out to seduce random people, including girls, that was fun… and I've caught up on some reading along the way. Every single time I wake up to I Got You Babe, right there in the bedroom, in the same exact way, every, single, day. And no one ever knows, because I'm the only one who's ever aware of it. My point is, I've been bored as hell."

The entire room feel silent as everyone took a moment to take in what the hell Marina was talking about, and Bridgett hid her face in embarrassment.

"...I like Ghostbusters…" Dylan awkwardly said, breaking said silence.

"It's a stupid movie. Old movies all suck, seriously. I don't know how anyone could survive back in the day when all they had for entertainment was shit like that." Pearl said with a bit of a whiny tone.

Jessica rolled her eyes, standing up. "God, you are such a teenager. I can't believe I got wrapped up into this. I'm going to… attempt to go home…" She said, walking toward the door.

"You'll get splatted and left as a puddle on the street all night. I know because you've tried it before, and failed each time." Marina said with a slight smirk.

Jessica grunted and stopped, staring at Marina suspiciously. "…Bridgett, what the fuck kind of drug is your mommy on?"

Bridgett nodded her head no. "I don't know. She's been acting like this all day. She was fine yesterday."

"Well, whatever it is, it's pissing me off." Jessica said, now angry, getting up to Marina's face. "You think that just because you're some hot popstar you get to control everything around you like we're all your puppets? You're immature. Both of you." She said, turning toward Pearl a little. "I could come up with a million reasons right now to why the Squid Sisters are better than you assholes, because I have just about had it up to the roof with you. Bridgett deserves better than you clowns."

Marina had heard the little speech before, word for word, so all she responded with was a slight grin.

Dylan stood up and got inbetween them, halting their death stares. "Alright, guys, this isn't the place to be having a fight. We're all friends here, so let's just-"

Marina chuckled. "We're not friends, Four. We're coworkers. Also, you're sleeping on the couch tonight because I know if I let you sleep with Eight you guys get crazy."

Dylan attempted and failed to say something, only a small sound escaping his mouth, as he backed off in his own embarrassment.

Jessica shook her head in disapproval. "You're ridiculous."

"And you're pitiful, Three." Marina said, her smirk turning to a more… threatening expression. "You're a hypocrite. You know that, right? Talking to me about being immature and ridiculous. You live your life beating up criminals at night, taking orders from an old man. You don't know how to properly filter your own emotions, and that's why you do it."

"Don't talk to me about filtering emotions, asshole." Jessica muttered, getting progressively angrier.

"Maybe I'm also a hypocrite. But what does it matter if I wake up every day and everything is the exact same? Huh? You're gonna wake up tomorrow and to you none of this had happened."

"I think you need to live in a mental hospital. You're not making any sense."

"I already tried the mental hospital. Doesn't help."

"Try it again. I'm out of here." Jessica said with an annoyed grunt, as she then walked toward the door.

"Three…" Dylan said, heeding Marina's warnings toward going outside. "Please don't…"

"Jess." Bridgett also said, but it was too late, as the door slammed and Jessica was gone. She sighed to herself, and then turned to Marina. "I… I don't…"

The room was uncomfortably tense at this point. Marina turned to face her as well. "What?"

Bridgett was having trouble finding the right words, stumbling on small attempts to say something, as Dylan and Pearl awkwardly watched on. "What… what has gotten into you?"

"I don't know what you mean. I'm fine. As fine as I could be anyway… I mean… I'm doing great! Immortality and all that. You wouldn't understand. You're just a kid." Marina said awkwardly, silently having a panic attack. "Just a kid. You're not too much younger than me, but you're just a kid…"

"Why don't you sit down?" Pearl said. Although Marina's panic attacks weren't always obvious, Pearl knew the signs at this point. She went over to grab her shoulder, but suddenly, Marina shoved her off.

"No. For once, Pearl, fuck off." Marina suddenly snapped, her anger suddenly releasing. All of her built up frustration from the entire time loop was about to come out. "You're not supposed to be the mature one here. You're the one who sits on her ass all day and does nothing but practice god awful rap. Alright? Cool."

Pearl's face grew disgusted. "God awful?"

Marina began slowly walking toward Pearl. "You have been no help! Nothing at all from you. Zero, zip, nada. I find myself in times of crisis, and you do nothing. Isn't that right?"

Pearl, not used to suddenly being snapped at like this, was already tearing up. "I don't even know what you're talking about…"

"But that's fine, right? No one else is aware, why should you be? I'm the one trapped in this endless time loop, why should anyone else care about how I'm feeling!? We're just stupid ol' Off the Hook. Not a team, just coworkers."

The words were hitting Pearl hard. Bridgett then interjected with a quick request. "Marina, please…"

Then Marina suddenly turned around and snapped at her as well. "No, Eight, I don't wanna hear a peep from you about this! You're the one who touched the watch. I wouldn't be in this god damn mess if it weren't for you!"

Dylan wanted desperately to chime in, but now, everyone but Marina was at a loss of words. This isn't something anyone would've expected from a kind girl like Marina in a million years, and yet, here they all were, getting chewed out.

Marina turned back to Pearl. "Do you consider yourself a friend, Pearl?"

A single tear fell down Pearl's cheek. "…Yes."

"Well obviously you're delusional. Because I'm not the Marina you've grown to love, am I?"

"...No. You're not. The Marina I know wouldn't act like this."

"Well I guess I'm just not Marina anymore." Angrily, she walked past Pearl to a closet by the side of the room and opened it, revealing the traditional Off the Hook outfits. Angrily, she ripped the massive zipper from the leather crop top of her own outfit right off, and then brought it back to Pearl, dropping it at at her feet. Then, as hard as she could, she stomped on it, not taking her eyes off of Pearl. "Where's your Off the Hook now? Huh?"

Pearl felt like she just got her heart ripped out, mashed apart a little bit, and then placed back into her chest a messed up pile of muscle. Several tears were now streaming down her face. "Marina…" She started to say, but failed to finish. Emotionally, she stepped out and toward her own room, closing the door.

Dylan remained dead silent, as Marina and Bridgett locked eye contact. "…You got something to add, Eight?" Marina said bitterly.

No, she didn't. Without a sound exiting her mouth, Bridgett also made her way to her room.

Marina awkwardly took a seat on the couch, as it was starting to hit her. Even for someone who was stuck in a time loop, she was no longer acting like herself.

The best part about this was also the worst part. None of what just happened mattered. She was still trapped, and there seemed to be no way out. For all she knew, she was gonna be trapped for the rest of existence.

Immortality wasn't all fun and games, she was starting to realize.


"Eight? Can we uh… can we talk?" Marina said, lingering outside of Bridgett's door. No response. "I really wanna talk to you. I wanna apologize." She sighed. Not like this mattered, she was gonna wake up tomorrow and none of this would have happened, but she just had a strange urge to apologize and work things out anyway. It was something the old Marina would have done. First, she would talk to Bridgett, and then, once she had the courage, she would talk to Pearl.

When she awaited a few seconds and still got no response, she quietly opened the door. "Eight?" When she entered, she saw why. Bridgett was already in a deep sleep, lightly breathing into the bed. She must have not gotten any sleep in this loop.

Marina stopped and watched for a moment. It was an adorable little scene. Instead of waking her up, she decided to carefully sit by her and caress her hair just a little. She really did feel like a sort of mother.

She sat like this for several moments, and it was now going on midnight. Over the entire time loop, Marina had never once just sat here and had a truly relaxing moment, she just realized. It felt nice.

Silently, as she stood up, she saw that Bridgett had recently been using her CQ-80, which she kept from the Deepsea Metro, which was sitting in her hand a bit hidden away under the covers. Her curiosity rising, aware that it would be returned in the morning, she slipped the CQ from her hand carefully and stepped away.

In the darkness of her room, Marina set down the CQ and tapped the analog stick, instantly causing a large holographic screen to appear. Marina wondered why Bridgett would even keep this when she had provided her with an actual cell phone. This was, however, Marina's first good look at the thing, and despite the advanced technology, the UI seemed very basic.

She browsed the menus for a bit. To her surprise, the old chat logs that they used to assist Bridgett and Cap'n Cuttlefish through the Metro were still there and readable. She chuckled to herself, reading through some of it, but didn't linger on it for long.

Eventually, she came across a specific tab with a long list of recordings. There was at least one recording from what seemed to be every day. Her curiosity rising still, she clicked on the most recent one. It immediately started playing, and Bridgett's voice sounded.

"Dear diary. I uh… I'm not sure how to get into tonight's entry, but…" A long pause. "I'm just so incredibly frustrated right now. Marina, she… it's like she snapped all of a sudden. Everyone keeps suggesting maybe she was on drugs or something, but… God, I don't know how to describe it…"

A small wince of guilt penetrated her stomach. It was only now occurring to her how she had really been acting, and how everyone has been perceiving it. Not that it wasn't obvious, but it was just now truly sinking in.

"I uh… this might just settle it. I think I'm gonna move out. I can't live here any longer. I-"

Marina suddenly paused the recording in surprise, breathing heavily to herself. What did she mean that settles it? She had herself suggested that she should move out in the past but she wasn't aware she had already been pushing her to that point out of frustration. After taking a few moments to let that sink in, she pressed play again.

"-don't know where I'd live. Maybe with Three. Jessica. Sorry. Uh... I don't know… I don't know, I just…" A sniffle could be heard. "I don't know how to explain it, I just feel…" Then her voice broke entirely has she apparently began crying into the mic. "…so trapped. Moving from the Domes to Inkopolis was never easy, and, the Metro inbetween definitely didn't help and… Marina has been a huge help. Her and Pearl. She has been like a mother to me, she really has, I don't doubt that, but… It doesn't feel right at the same time. She's only a couple years older than me and it's like she's raising me."

Marina lightly cried along with the recording. In the end she understood. If the time loop ever ended, she wouldn't stop her from leaving. But the recording wasn't done.

"...Not that moving out is a new concept for me or whatever. I've put thought into that. I guess the reason why I'm so… emotional about is that… I can't keep this up. I might have to… cut ties with her. Both her and Pearl."

Ouch.

"I could never tell her. Not to her face. How could I? It'd break her heart. But… living here… with those… beautiful popstars, it's just… I still don't know how to explain it."

"Explain what?" Marina suddenly blurted out as if they were speaking face to face.

Another long pause. "…It's damaging. Is that the right word? Damaging."

"H-how is that damaging?"

"Living with someone like that brings up expectations, ya know? I can't… live up to those. Not that. Off the Hook? I'm just a lowly Octoling, who barely knows the first thing of Inkopolis. …At least that's how I feel."

Marina nodded her head no as if Bridgett could see it, her crying getting a bit stronger. "No. No, Eight. You're more than that. So much more than that."

"I'm thinking that uh… living with Jessica just might be better for me. I know I didn't like her at first but she… She has a more interesting life anyway. I was thinking about taking up her little offer anyway. Being a… vigilante. You know." Another long pause. "…I think I need to sleep now. I've been up for a good 36 hours at this point. But uh… I'd still wish the best for Marina. I do love her. More than I can describe. It's uh… love is a funny thing, isn't it? Makes no sense. I don't understand it. Maybe it's stupid. …Love, Bridgett. Don't get cooked."

The recording stopped there, leaving Marina in silence once again. Turning off the CQ, she silently wept to herself. She had no idea that she had such a negative impact on her, but now that she knew… and now that she was currently literally trapped in a time loop… how was she gonna fix it?


"Babe

I got you, babe

I got you, babe"

Marina barely moved this morning, staring at the ceiling. Now, she really was in a funk.

"Okay, campers… Rise and shine… And don't forget your booties because it's cold out there today… It's cold out there every day…" She muttered, quoting the television program from the morning.


This time, as she crossed the hall and entered the kitchen, she once again completely failed to even acknowledge the flying cereal, as it bounced off her face. She lazily turned to Pearl.

"Bada bing, bada boom! Marina has entered the chat! Good morning!"

A long sigh escaped Marina's mouth, as she chose to ignore them and head for the door.

"Marina? Is everything alright?" Pearl asked shyly.

Marina put on her jacket, heading out the door and silently closing it behind her.


"What can I get for you lovely ladies?" The waitress asked.

"Yeah, I'll have some pancakes, I guess." Marie started.

"And I'll just have your biggest dild- oh wait, that's not right…" Callie continued. "Uh, I'll have what she's having."

"And for you, honey?" The waitress asked Marina specifically.

Marina took a minute to respond. "…I'm good."

The waitress nodded and turned to leave.

"...Are you ok?" Marie asked with concern.

Marina nodded her head no, a single tear sliding down her cheek. "I uh… I uh… I don't know, uh…" She sighed. "God dammit…"

"Hey. You can talk to us."

"I just…" Then she suddenly broke down. "I've never felt so lost before… In my entire life… There's no way out of this…"

Marie rubbed her arm. "No way out of what?"

"Just... Eight, she…"

"What's wrong with Eight?"

"Everything's wrong, I uh… I'm letting her down. And there's no way for me to fix it…"

"Don't talk like that. There's always a way to fix things. You just need to-"

She was interrupted as Marina's crying became more intense at "There's always a way to fix things."

"There's nothing to do. There's nothing I can do. I'm trapped. I'm lost! I can't take it anymore!"

"Marina… Please tell me what exactly is wrong here. I can't help if I don't know what I'm helping." Marie continued.

"You wouldn't believe me… You never believe me!"

"That's not true."

"Yes it is. You don't understand."

"Of course I understand. You think Callie and I haven't hit lows before?"

"This is lower than just a low. Dammit!"

Callie and Marie looked at each other with concern. At this point, Marie was at a loss of words. "I uh…" She said, turning back to Marina. "Marina… Please talk to me. Please explain what's wrong. I wanna help you."

Marina nodded her head no. "You can't help… I just… I really need a friend right now… And I just… want for this to be over…"

Marie had no idea what she was talking about of course, but the friend part, she could always satisfy. Standing up, she tugged at Marina's arm to also get her to stand up and pull her into a hug. Callie joined.


On the way home that afternoon, she took the same exact path home. To her dismay, she accidentally stepped in the same exact puddle and melted off her leg… again. She sighed deeply to herself. How the hell had she still not learned to avoid this?

"Woo hoo hoo hoo! Watch out for that first step, it's a doozy! Haha!" The homeless man said just as he always did.

Well. That was enough existing for today. Not even wanting to crawl back home this time, she suddenly dived headfirst into the puddle. Without struggling one bit, her body quickly dissolved entirely, splatting her.

"Oh…" The homeless man muttered in response.

Without a respawn point, Marina remained splatted for the rest of the day.


A Few Loops Later

Following such events, Marina had fallen into a deep depression by this point, confusing both Bridgett and Pearl. She hadn't left the house for a few days now, she wasn't showering or anything, she barely spoke to anyone. She began keeping to herself, sulking silently, often staring at nothing.

On this specific day, she was sitting on the couch. She had barely moved all day and it was already going on midnight, as she listened to the wind from inside.

Suddenly, Pearl stepped into the living room. "Marina?" She asked shyly. She was obviously tired, as if she was about to fall asleep but suddenly got up.

Marina turned to face her, then turned back to the way she was facing. She sighed. "…Hey Pearlie."

"Are you gonna be going to bed?"

Marina didn't respond.

Pearl walked up to her. "Are you ok?"

Marina still didn't respond.

Pearl eyed her through her half open eyes. This wasn't normal, but she was too tired to think about it too deeply. "Well, if you wanna… you know… talk or whatever…"

"Pearlie?" Marina said suddenly, having a sudden urge to speak with her. She had to at one point, so now might as well have been the time.

"Hm?"

"Can you… can you sit with me?"

Pearl obliged, taking a seat next to her, resting her head against the couch. "What's up?"

"...Nothing. Just… nothing." She silently ushered for Pearl to rest on top of her, and Pearl nodded and obliged again, resting her head on her legs, in a position where Marina could caress her hair. She was already dozing off.

"...Funny story, I uh… in one loop, I well… said things. To you." She started as if Pearl had any idea what she was talking about. "They, well… weren't nice. You wouldn't remember them, but, they've been on my mind."

"Hm…" Pearl said, only half listening and only somewhat understanding literally anything she was saying.

"...There was a time where I thought immortality was the best thing that ever happened to me. I went out, I had fun. I left you out of it. I had good times. For a time, I didn't have a single care in the world. But I was fooling myself. All that fun, all that… wasted time I spent on nothing, I… I'd trade it all in for a proper lifetime with you in a heartbeat. I realize that now."

Pearl suddenly woke up just a little bit and sat up a little. "…Did you say something?"

"...Goodnight, Pearlie." Marina whispered. Pearl laid her head back down and quickly drifted off, leaving Marina to silently caress her hair.

Marina enjoyed the position for another hour, just sitting and barely moving, watching Pearl sleep. Eventually, however, she picked up Pearl in a bridal carry and carried her back to her room, slowly setting her onto the bed and sliding the covers over her. She stared for another few seconds, before she proceeded to her own room.


Marina sat at her desk for another hour, having decided to get back into tinkering with the watch. As far as she could tell, there was no way out of the loop with just the watch, but that didn't stop her from tinkering with it from time to time, hoping the answer would hit her in the face. She sighed. The watch was useless.

A wave of anger hit her. It was the same thing every damn time she tinkered with it. She just wanted out, more than anything. Angrily, she took the watch and suddenly threw it into the wall. What happened next completely caught her off guard.

The watch suddenly exploded in light and sparks, as it fell down the ground, twitching and jumping a little as more sparks flew out.

"Jesus…" She muttered to herself as she watched this occur. Then, although the sparks stopped, the watch straight up burst into flames. "Shit."

Marina burst out of the room and into the kitchen, where they had a fire extinguisher toward the back. Pulling it from the wall and carrying it back, she sprayed it onto the watch until the fire was out. She sighed, setting the extinguisher on the desk and staring at the watch.

At least it wouldn't have mattered if the fire got out of control anyway.


"Babe

I got you, babe

I got you, babe"

Marina groaned as she got up this morning. She checked her phone, same day, same time, yada yada yada, same exact drill. Given the circumstances, she was in a bit of a better mood today. She didn't feel perfect, but she felt a bit more at peace now that she had a moment with Pearl. Maybe she would actually head out and hang out with Callie and Marie today. Slipping on some clothes, she headed out for the door.

As she crossed the hall and entered the kitchen, as she did sometimes, she shot her hand up to catch the flying cereal caught by Pearl. Except, this time, much to her confusion, there was no cereal to catch.

She opened her hand and eyed her palm, before looking around. No cereal was even thrown. No one was at the table.

Excited breaths escaped her mouth. Things were different today. …Did she break the loop? "Oh my god…" She muttered, unable to believe it.

Pearl snored loudly into her bed, her mouth wide open and some stray ink drooling from her mouth. Suddenly, however, her deep sleep was immediately interrupted as the door to her room slammed open. "Hm?" She muttered awkwardly as her head shot up.

Marina practically leaped onto her. "Pearlie!? Pearlie! Are you awake!?"

Pearl took a second to wake up a little. "Uh… now I am… what are you…?"

Marina covered her own mouth with her hand as she suddenly began sobbing. The emotions she was feeling were too great. "I uh… I think I'm free! I got out!"

"What are you talking about...?"

"Today is tomorrow… It happened!"

"That's cool but I still don't understand…" She looked around, and then stood up today. "…What the hell happened last night? Weren't we on the couch?"

Marina smiled. "It was the end of a very long day…"

"Well uh… good for you, I guess." Pearl looped her hand around Marina to grab her phone, which she looked at for a second. "…Ugh. My phone is being stupid again. It's off a day now. Wasn't the 21st yesterday?"

But Marina wasn't even listening, her happiness in the moment was too immense. "Hold on, I gotta go check on Eight." She said, suddenly shooting up and out of the room.

"Uh… ok…" Pearl said to herself, incredibly confused at the situation.


As Marina ran over to Bridgett's room in a rush, Bridgett was already opening her door and exiting. "Marina?" She muttered tiredly. To her surprise, Marina suddenly latched onto her in a massive emotional hug. "Uh… Good morning…"

"Good morning, Eight…" Marina said followed by a sniff.

Bridgett smiled. But, after a few moments, the hug was overstaying its welcome. "Uh… you can let go now…"

Marina didn't listen.

"It's uh… getting weird now…"

She still didn't listen.

"Uh… Marina…"

"Yes, Eight?"

"Can you please let go?"

"No."

Bridgett sighed, and waited it out for Marina to finally get bored, which took another full minute. Eventually, Marina finally let go.

"So, uh…" Bridgett started. "Weird thing last night."

"Yeah?" Marina said, still ecstatic.

"Like… I went to bed last night, right? Because I hadn't gotten any sleep for a while, I was absolutely exhausted. And then… at some point in like the middle of the night… I was suddenly awake again. As if I never went to bed. Like I was up and doing things. And I don't feel like I got any sleep at all…"

"Huh… that is weird." Marina said, but she didn't put any thought into it. "I'm just… so happy to… you know… be here with you. I think we should have a talk."

"Uh… yeah… sure." Bridgett said. She has wanted to talk with Marina for a while already. She pulled out her phone. "Ugh. That's annoying."

"What?" Marina said, a little more calm now.

"My phone's clock is off by a day. Dammit."

Marina felt like her heart dropped into her stomach. "…W-what?"

"It says it's the 21st. Today's the 22nd. Weird glitch."

"Uh…" Marina muttered, feeling a massive panic attack come on as she back up a little.

Bridgett looked up. "Are you ok?"

Marina checked her own phone. Then it hit her. She had presumably escaped the loop… but… when she woke up that morning, she checked the date. It was still the 21st then, and she still woke up to I Got You Babe. In her realization that things were different today, she COMPLETELY forgot about that.

"Uh… I gotta check something…" Marine said through her heavy and shaky breaths, as she ran to the living room.

"Marina?"

"Stay here! I'll be back in a bit!" Marina yelled, throwing on a jacket and rushing out the door.

Pearl exited her room and stood by Bridgett. "…What's with her?"


Inkopolis Square

Marina once again ran straight to the Square in a panic. To her horror, it was the same scene. A couple hours before the Clownfish Day celebration, with a few Inklings walking around the area, and the Squid Sisters sitting by the stage chatting it up.

"No no no no no no no no…" Marina muttered as she realized this. Panicking further, she speed walked up to Callie and Marie.

Marie smiled when she saw her approach, and then stood up to hug her. "Sup, girl? It's been a while. I've missed you."

Again, Marina abruptly denied the hug. "Guys, I'm uh… I'm having a panic attack."

Quickly understanding, Marie nodded and grabbed her shoulder to comfort. "Ok, ok, just calm down. Take deep breaths."

Marina didn't listen, instead hyperventilating. "I… thought I broke the loop but… everything's the same…"

"Marina! Look at me! Take deep breaths! I'm serious!"

"I… I can't! I'm freaking out!" Marina said, her breathing only speeding up.

"Do you need to be slapped? That'll help your brain out." Callie said.

Suddenly, to everyone's surprise, Marina suddenly extended her arm and slapped Callie as hard as she could.

"Marina! Oh my god!" Marie yelled, letting go of Marina to instead grab Callie's shoulder. "Are you ok!?"

Callie rubbed her cheek in pain with a frown, but her frown slowly melted into a smile, and she suddenly burst out laughing. "Wow, Marina, that was sick! Where'd you learn to slap like that?"

Marina suddenly broke down into tears from all the panic she was feeling. She began to pace back and forth. "I'm still trapped! There's no way out!"

"Trapped in what!? What are you talking about!?" Marie said, not letting go of Callie.

"This time loop! No one knows except for me! I…" She stopped. "Except for…"

Marie raised one eyebrow.

"...Bridgett and Pearl…" God, Marina was just completely unable to think. And as she slowly pieced things together, things were only getting worse.


The Next Loop

Marina's House

"I don't understand… what do you mean we're in a time loop?" Bridgett asked, a little bit nervously, as she was standing next to Pearl.

"It means that uh…" Marina started but paused, attempting to keep her emotions in check as she explained. "It means that every day, we wake up, and it's… 6AM. On May 21st. Every day. Every day, the day plays out the same unless we interfere with it and then the day resets. And… I've even died a few times and that's still happened. Like, I literally died and came back to life. There's no way out…"

Bridgett and Pearl could only stare as the reality of their situation fell upon them.

Marina stepped over to the living room to where the couches were, where she leaned on it with both hands. "I…" She said, choking up. "I'm sorry, guys. I'm so sorry. This is my fault."

"What makes you say that?"

"The… watch that got me into this loop, I uh… smashed it. And… I guess it just disrupted spacetime even further. Trapped you too."

Pearl gulped loudly. "And uh… how long have you been trapped…?"

"...A year…"

Bridgett let out a small gasp. "Well, uh…"

Marina closed her eyes. "I'm so sorry, guys. I'm sorry. I don't know what to say, I…"

"...So what do we do?" Pearl chimed in.

Marina looked at her. "…Nothing."

"Well, there's gotta be some way to break the loop. Right?"

"Pearlie… I uh… I've tried to break it. Too many times. Nothing's worked."

"It can't be that hard. You got us into this. Can't you get us out the same way?"

"No. It is that hard. I have been trying… for a whole year. On and off of course, but still."

"Then what are we gonna do? Is it just us that's trapped?" Bridgett asked.

"I think so. I mean… we might wanna go and ask the neighbors though. I don't know if it affected just everyone in the house or if it extended a bit farther out than that."

"Ok but what are we gonna do?"

"I don't know, Eight!"

"Marina…" Pearl said with a bit of an angry squint. "I am not spending the rest of eternity in this weather."

Marina eyed her with sadness. "Guys, as much as I want a way out myself…"

Pearl dropped the angry eyes, leaning on the couch. "Look, it's easy. We continue to work on the watch until we find a solution, this time you'll have our help, and then eventually, we find the solution! We work out said solution, and then it's tomorrow and the loop ends! Problem solved!"

"Boom." Bridgett said.

"Easy peasy."

Marina looked between them both. "Guys…"

"Come on, Marina. We gotta at least try."

Marina looked between the two of them, sighing to herself. "God dammit…" She said, turning her back to them and pacing a little bit. She had gotten them trapped in this with her, and it was her fault. Now, she had to get them out. She had to. She owed them that. Slowly, she turned back to them. "…Ok. I'll try. I'll get you out of this. Whatever it takes."

Bridgett nodded, and Pearl did the same, but with a big mischievous grin.

"So… when do we start?" She said, her smile unfading. "The rap queen is at your service."

Marina stared at her with a confused expression.


A Few Loops Later

"Alright. Here's my plan." Marina sighed, laying her laptop down on the kitchen table and opening it, before it powered on and revealed some blueprints of a small device, which appeared to be some kind of small mechanical futuristic-looking box. "This, is something called a quantum stabilizer." She said, pointing at it for Bridgett and Pearl to see.

"...A quantum wha?" Pearl asked with a confused expression.

"This is the potential missing ingredient to the watch. Potentially. If I'm able to obtain this, pull it apart, and reconstruct it as a part of the watch, we might be able to break the loop."

"Obtain it? What, can't you built it?" Bridgett asked.

"I could, but the problem is, I don't have the time nor resources to be able to pull it off before the day resets and I lose all my progress. Luckily, it would seem the gods have shined down on us because, as it turns out, there's one in Inkopolis."

Bridgett and Pearl smiled. "Alright, so… where is it?"

She pressed some stuff on the laptop, and pulled up a picture of a laboratory. "This place. It's an Octarian lab."

"Octarian?"

"Yes, it was founded not long after more Octarians started migrating to Inkopolis. Inside that lab, should be the stabilizer."

"How do you know this?"

"I still have contact with some of my old science friends from the domes. It was just a matter of making some calls, really." Marina smiled. "The problem is… they're not just gonna give it to us. We need to break in and take it."

"Of course…"

"We need to do everything on time too, because if we don't, like I said, the day will reset and we will lose all progress."

"Done deal." Pearl said with a grin. "Man, I've always wanted to break into a place. And, we're justified by the fact that we don't really live with consequences anymore!"

"...You do realize that if we pull this off and break the loop, we will once again be dealing with consequences and we could get arrested for this, right?"

Pearl shut up, her grin fading.

"Don't worry though." Marina said, smiling herself. "I know exactly how to get around that. And I want you, Pearlie, to do it."

"...Do what…?"


"God, I should probably clean this damn closet once we do break the loop." Marina said with annoyance. She, along with Bridgett, was currently digging through the massive pile of random shit she happened to keep in her closet. "Do you see it?"

"Nope." Bridgett said, continuing to dig around. Eventually, she pulled out a strange… vibrator thing. "What's this?" She said in confusion. She sniffed it. "Blegh. What the hell is that smell? Honestly, I will never understand Inkling technology."

Marina looked over to see what she was holding, suddenly taking it from her and throwing it back in the closet. "Don't touch my old vibrator." She continued to dig around. "A-ha! Got it…" She said, pulling out her own Octarian uniform. She also dug around a bit more and grabbed her old goggles as well.

"...You kept those?" Bridgett asked.

"Yep." She said, holding them up to Bridgett's chest. "…I think they should fit."

"...You want me to wear this?"

"Yes. Don't worry, the brainwashing goggles are disabled." She said as she closed the closet door. As the two prepared to leave, Pearl, in the red shrinking suit, walked in, catching the two girls attention.

With a sigh, she pressed the button on the side to open the helmet. "…This suit makes me sweaty."

Marina grinned. "It'll grow on you, Ant-Lady."

"...Don't call me Ant-Lady."

"Why not? I got it from a movie."

"I hate your taste in movies so much." Pearl said, examining the suit. "Remind me why I have to wear this?"

"Someone needs to in order to shrink down and grab the stabilizer, and you're the best candidate."

Pearl groaned, whining. "But whyyy me!?"

Marina smiled, walking over to pinch her cheek. "Whyyy not you?" She mocked. "Come on. We gotta finish our planning. We have to do things perfectly."


Another Few Loops Later

Octarian Lab, Edge of Inkopolis

Their van pulled up to the lab from a distance. Marina, wearing sunglasses, leaned forward to get a good look. "Yep… this is it."

Pearl and Bridgett looked over. Bridgett was wearing Marina's old Octarian outfit. The lab, unfortunately, was guarded, with two female Octolings guarding the front entrance.

"...What's up with all the guards?" Pearl asked.

"It's not like this lab is completely legal. I think they just wanna keep out attention."

"...Illegal experiments? Fun."

"Yep. Something involving… experimental nano technology? I think. Whatever, we're just here to get the quantum stabilizer."

Bridgett sighed, holding her Octarian goggles. "…Do I really have to wear these?"

Marina sighed as well. "Well… I guess you don't need to. The guards aren't."

She handed the goggles to Marina, and then got ready. "This is… making me nervous."

Marina grabbed her shoulder. "Come on, Eight. You'll be fine. They'll know you're an Octarian, you'll fit right in."

Bridgett took deep breaths. "…Alright."

Pearl sighed and slipped on her helmet to the shrinking suit. "Alright. You ready?"

"Are you?"

"Maybe." She said as the pressed the button to shrink down. Slowly, in her shrunken state, she crawled up Bridgett's arm and onto her shoulder. "Alright. Let's go."

Bridgett opened the door and stepped out, her Octoshot in hand just in case, Pearl still on her shoulder.

"Good luck, girls. You got this." Marina said with a reassuring smile.

"See you back here." Bridgett said, closing the door. Quickly, she walked up a ways to the lab.

The guards in front of the entrance, who saw her coming, held up their hands in a stopping motion. "This is a restricted area. State your business."

Bridgett didn't think they'd ask that. They had assumed they would see she was Octarian and let her in. "Um… I'm here to see Doctor… uh…"

The guards both raised their eyebrows. "What's your name?"

Shit. She didn't even know that. "Um…"

The guards suddenly pulled out their Octoshots and pointed them at her. "Get on the ground."

"Uh oh." She yelped before she was suddenly splatted.


The next loop, they did the same routine. This time, Marina had identified a doctor inside for her to lie about.

"I'm here to see Doctor Connors." Bridgett said as the walked up to the guards, without them having to ask.

"What's your name?"

"Bridgett."

One guard pulled out a tablet with a list of Octarians on it. Bridgett craned her neck to see, not knowing that such a list existed. "We don't see a Bridgett here. Last name?"

"...Fuck."


This time, Marina had hacked a fake name into their system.

"What's your name?"

"Bridgett Ida."

Silence for a few moments. "As in… Marina Ida?"

"...Uh… Yes…?"

The guards looked at each other, and then back to Bridgett. "Dude, we are HUGE fans of Marina!"

"Oh…"

Marina could be heard chuckling on their com system.

"She's the girl who designed the flooders! When she was only 10! And I'm pretty sure she's the girl in Off the Hook too!"

"Aww, they love us." Pearl said, also through their com system.

"Yeah. That's Marina…" Bridgett said awkwardly.

"Anyway… uh… Doctor Connors you said? …He's not available at the moment, so you might need to wait around, but we'll let you in." They said, as the door buzzed and automatically opened.

"Thank you." Bridgett said, stepping past them and inside.


She navigated the halls, Pearl still on her shoulder.

"This is making me a little motion sick." Tiny Pearl muttered.

"Hang in there, Pearl. You're almost there." Marina replied.

Marina was right. Through windows, she could see some bizarre weapons from what appeared to be nano technology, but she ignored them. Looking carefully through each window, she came across a specific one, and inside she could see the stabilizer.

"Got it. It's here." Bridgett said.

"Thank god." Marina sighed. "Can you grab it?"

"Uh…" Bridgett went over to the door, but found that not only was it absent of a crack at the bottom, it was also locked. "…No."

"Uh… I can see a way in." Pearl said, pointing up, although no one really noticed that she was pointing at anything in the first place.

"Where?"

"Air vent."

Bridgett looked up. Sure enough, there was an air vent up by the ceiling. "Ooh. Alright. You're up, little buddy."

"What's going on?" Marina asked.

"We're gonna try to get in through the air vent."

"Is it by the ceiling?"

"Yes."

"Well… how are you gonna get back out?"

"Dunno. But we've gotta try something, I guess."

"...Alright. Good luck, Pearlie."

"Alright, Bridge… Flick me!" Pearl said, leaning down, with her butt rising into the air.

Bridgett positioned herself, and then, carefully, flicked her off her shoulder.

"WOO!" Pearl could be heard screaming as she flew through the air toward the air vent. Unfortunately, however, Bridgett had missed the air vent entirely, and Pearl instead slammed right into the wall, knocking herself unconscious. She awkwardly fell down to the ground, limp.

"...What happened?" Marina asked.

"Well… fuck…" Bridgett sighed.


Attempt two. The trio were starting to get frustrated, but they had practiced for the flicking part now. They made it back to where they were.

"Can you NOT flick me into the wall this time?" Pearl yelled.

"I mean… I'll try, but I'm not a flicking master."

"Well, you better become one."

"You know, you're small, but you're talking loud." Bridgett sighed, and, after once again positioned herself, flicked her off again.

This time, Pearl collided with the air vent, hanging on for a second. "Yes!" She yelled. However, her grip didn't last for long. "No!" She also yelled as she fell screaming off, once again falling limp to the ground.


It took another several loops to get it right. Several times, at this point, Pearl had either slammed into the wall or reached the vent and failed to climb inside.

"Well, seventh time's the charm… right?"

Bridgett, this time, took her sweet precious time to aim. "…Brace yourself." She said, right before she flicked.

This time, Pearl flew right through the slits of the vent entrance, landing inside the vent with a roll.

"Woo! I'm in!" She yelled at the top of her lungs, shooting her fists into the air in celebration. She looked around. To her, the vent was huge.

Bridgett sighed. "Finally."

"Good job. Alright. Grab the stabilizer." Marina said.

"I'm on it." Pearl said, beginning to navigate the duct.


A few minutes passed, Bridgett watching into the window the whole time. "How are we looking?"

"Just trying to navigate these vents. These vents are huge…" Pearl sighed on the other end.

"Well, hurry up, I'm kinda standing in the open here."

"You're not helping."

Soon, Bridgett's fears of being noticed came to light. "What the hell are you doing?"

She looked over to see an older looking Octoling with an afro hairstyle and a labcoat staring at her, somewhat menacingly. She looked at her name tag on his coat. Dr. Connors.

"Oh shit. Uh…" Bridgett awkwardly muttered. "Doctor Connors?"

Dr. Connors stepped toward her. "That would be me."

Bridgett remembered her excuse to getting in the lab in the first place. "Uh… yeah, I came here to… meet with you."

"Well, I'm not exactly free at the moment. Do I know you?"

Bridgett gulped. "No sir, I'm… Bridgett Ida, I'm the… daughter of Marina Ida."

Dr. Connors immediately appeared more interested. "Marina Ida, huh? Didn't know she had a kid."

Bridgett felt like she would die from the awkwardness. "Yeah, well, the world is full of surprises."

Then the doctor put some actual thought into this. "…Aren't you a little old to be Marina's daughter?"

"...Yes. Yes, I am."

Connors raised on eyebrow, but decided to just not question it. "Well. Lucky for her that adoption is even legal up here in Inkopolis."

"Right… Adoption." Come to think of it, thanks to her amnesia, she didn't even remember who her real mother was.

"Well, I changed my mind. I think I could find some time in my schedule to speak with the daughter of Marina Ida." He began walking past her. "Do you just wanna follow me to my office?"

"No… fucking…" She realized how she was acting. "Uh… I mean… I don't really wanna bite into your time if you're busy…"

"No no no, it's really no problem. Telling people that I'm unavailable is actually just an excuse I like to use to get myself some free time." He winked. "Works every time."

"What's going on, Eight?" Marina asked.

Bridgett decided not to answer Marina as to not look awkward in front of Dr. Connors. As far as her current situation, well, this was her whole excuse to getting inside the lab in the first place, so there wasn't much she could do. "Uh… Alright. Lead the way." She sighed, as she began to follow the doctor to his office.

"Eight? What's going on?" Marina asked again.

"You know, Marina is famous among both the Octarian and Inkling societies for completely different reasons. Crazy how one person could pull that off." Connors started.

"Yeah…" Bridgett cleared her throat. "Crazy…"


Eventually, Pearl finally poked her head out of the other end of the air vent into the room where the stabilizer was. She looked around. Luckily, the vent entrance in the room was above a whole wall of random shelves, so she should been able to slip in, grab the stabilizer, and then make it back without needed to get flicked. "Rap queen here, I have eyes on the prize, it is go time."

"Great. Do you know where Eight is?" Marina asked.

"No idea. I've been stuck in the vents the whole time." She sighed. "I'm gonna grab it. Wish me luck."

"Good luck…"

Quickly, Pearl jumped from the air vent to the closest shelf, as she began using all the available platforms to make it down closer to where the shelf was. Then, diving as far as she could, she leaped all the way to the table by where the stabilizer. "I'm here! Got it!"

Marina breathed a sigh of relief. "Awesome. Get it to the van safely. I'll be waiting."

"On it." Pearl prepared to grab it, when suddenly, the door to the room slip open. "Oh shit." She said as she hid behind the box from the Octoling scientist that entered.

"What is it?"

"Someone came in." She looked over to see that the door was still open. "…What the hell was the point of crawling through the air duct if the door wasn't gonna be closed the whole time?"

"Stay focused, Pearl. You might have to crawl back through the vent anyway in order to not be seen carrying that thing out without Eight. You may be tiny but the box isn't."

"Yeah yeah yeah, whatever." She sighed, as she waited for the scientist to leave. Unfortunately, the scientist didn't seem to be leaving any time soon, as she slipped on some headphones and took a seat, whistling some music to herself with a book in her lap. Pearl sighed. "God dammit."

Luckily, the scientist wasn't exactly looking in her direction, so she decided to hurry back to the vent. Carrying the stabilizer above her head, she quickly jumped across all the shelves to get back, every once in a while looking back to see if the scientist was looking. Luckily, she was too interesting in the book she was reading to look.

Then, when she reached the last shelf closest to the vent, she realized she wasn't about to be able to slip the box in through the slits of the vent. She looked back. The scientist was still not looking, AND she had headphones on. In a hurry, she set down the stabilizer and jumped up to the vent entrance, pulling at the screws, having to do one at a time.

Although she struggled, she eventually loosened both screws, and with her still on it, the vent lid popped right off the wall, landing on the shelf by where Pearl had left the stabilizer.

Unfortunately, the scientist of course thought she saw something from the corner of her eye, and turned to look with an extremely confused expression.

"Shit!" Pearl muttered, as she quickly grabbed the stabilizer and leaped up to the vent, disappearing.

The scientist, who saw the stabilizer suddenly leap up to the vent as if it had gained sentience, quickly jumped from her chair and to the wall, where she slammed her palm down on an alarm button. Immediately, all of the lights in the lab turned red, accompanied by the usual and extremely annoying alarm sounds, which loudly echoed throughout the building.


Bridgett, who at this point was awkwardly sitting with Dr. Connors in his lab, looked up as this happened.

Dr. Connors stood up. "The hell?" The two looked out of the room to see some Octolings in the hallway, in a bit of a panic from the sudden alarm. Angrily, he turned back to the only known guest in the whole building. "Did you have something to do with this!?"

"Uh…" Bridgett started. Now not seeing another option, and with no one in the hall to see at that exact second, she suddenly pulled out her Octoshot and quickly splatted him. "…I'm so sorry... You seemed like a nice guy…" She muttered as she stepped over his puddle and began to locate the exit.


Marina, hearing the alarms from her van, opened the door and stepped out. "God dammit… Come on, guys…"

After waiting a few minutes, eventually, Bridgett could finally be seen exiting the lab, which was easy now that the guards abandoned their post. She made her way to the van.

Marina hugged her when she got close enough. "God dammit! Where the hell were you!?"

"I'm sorry, I actually ran into Dr. Connors…" She said. "Is Pearl back yet?"

"No."


Eventually, Pearl finally reached the end of the air vent, this exit leading to the outside. "Finally…" She muttered. This time, she didn't have access to the screws to pop it off, so instead, she decided to use the box to ram it open. Charging into it, it luckily popped open, letting her out.

"Whew. Alright, girls, rap queen is coming to you."

"Oh, thank god. See you in a minute." Marina said on the other end.

Pearl pressed the grow button on her suit, immediately growing to regular size. She leaned down and picked up the stabilizer, beginning to make her way to the car. This turned out to be a bad idea, however, as she was quickly spotted by a random scientist who was searching outside.

"Hey! Who the hell are you!?" She yelled.

"God dammit…" Pearl said. "…I'm just a random passer by. This is my halloween costume."

The scientist pulled out her Octoshot. "Get down on the ground."

Pearl sighed, and then, quickly deciding to take action, suddenly hurled the stabilizer at her head.

"Ow!" She yelled as it bounced off. Pearl took the small window of time that she was stunned to run forward, punching her in the head to knock her out. Unfortunately, this was heard, and the two guards that used to stand by the entrance exited the building. She quickly shrunk back down to hide.

"What the…" One guard said as they approached the scene. They looked down. "…We have eyes on the stabilizer. Bringing it back to you." She said into her com system.

Suddenly, Pearl grew back to normal size, quickly beating up one guard. As the turned to see the other guard pulled out her gun, she shrunk down and quickly leaped into the air, leaping onto her Octoshot. The guard looked in confusion as Pearl ran across the top of the gun, and then onto her arm and shoulder. Then, with a single punch, she leaped up and whammed her across the face, instantly knocking her out.

As she collapsed, Pearl quickly grew back to normal size. "Wow, I'm good…" She said, as the quickly grabbed the stabilizer and made her way back to the car.

Quickly running across the parking lot, she shortly reunited with Marina and Bridgett, handing the stabilizer to her. She sighed. "Got it."

Marina hugged her. "Oh my god, Pearlie, you're a goddess!" She yelled.

"Yeah…" Pearl sighed, realizing how good this made her feel. "…I'm Ant-Lady!"

Marina realized how stupid that name sounded. "…Yeah… sure… you're Ant-Lady…"


That Night

Back at Marina's House

As the snowstorm now covered Inkopolis in snow, the three were gathered back in Marina's room by her desk as she worked on the watch. She had already dismantled the stabilizer, and was currently in the process of placing the vital pieces into the watch.

Eventually, she wrapped up, and closed it up, sighing. Hope was running high in the group. "Well… this is it… Hopefully the end of the loop…"

"How do we know if it'll work?" Bridgett asked.

"...We won't. Not until tomorrow." She said, eyeing the watch. "Uh… thank you both, for helping me get the stabilizer."

"Oh… it's no problem."

Marina nodded. "…Eight… I've been meaning to talk with you about something…"

"Watch first. I wanna make sure that this'll work before the day resets. Please?" Bridgett requested.

Marina nodded again. "Got it." Then, simply, she pressed a button on the watch, and instantly, it suddenly jumped up, exploding into a little bit into sparks. "Jesus!" She yelled as she stood up.

"Uh…" Pearl awkwardly said. Luckily, it didn't burst into flames, but it did twitch around a little. "…That's lovely."

"...Do you think it worked?" Bridgett asked.

Marina eyed it for several seconds. "…I don't know… We'll have to see…"

Pearl scoffed. "Well… that's enough for me. Waiting till tomorrow it is." She stepped out of the room.

Bridgett folded her arms, deciding to stay. "So, uh…"

Marina turned to face her.

"What did you want to talk about? Because, truth be told, I was also wanting to talk with you…"

"Yeah. Uh…" Marina stopped not knowing how to bring it up, sitting down. "So… I don't really know how to say this… but…"

When Marina took a long pause, Bridgett continued. "…Say what?"

Marina decided to just say it. "…I know that you want to move out with Three."

Bridgett raised her head a little.

"And I… know about how I make you feel. About how… Pearlie and I make you feel."

Bridgett stared at her. The moving out part is exactly what she wanted to talk with her about. "…How did you…?"

Marina sighed. "In that… year, where I was trapped, before you were aware of it, there was one day, where I… said some things to you. …You got very upset."

Bridgett awkwardly turned around.

"And, I… uh… Well… I heard you. That night, when you uh… admitted your feelings to your CQ."

"...You were spying on me while I was on my CQ?" She asked, somewhat offended. What she put on that CQ was purely for herself. There was a reason she put diary entries on her CQ instead of her phone. Even if her phone was password protected and her CQ wasn't, she still trusted it more.

"...I broke into your CQ."

"...Why?"

"...I'm so sorry, Eight."

Bridgett began to cry somewhat. "I… uh… I should've told you… I was going to tell you…"

"...What about the things that you said about breaking ties with us?" Marina said, now crying herself.

Bridgett looked at the floor. "…I was probably gonna keep that to myself."

"Eight…" Marina said, walking up to her. "Whatever is going on in your head, you can talk to me…"

Bridgett turned around. "No, Marina, uh… not everything that is…" She struggled to find the words. "I just… God, you weren't supposed to know."

"...And you weren't going to tell me?"

"...I didn't want you to take it personally. It's not your fault, it's just… it's mine, I… I care about you, Marina."

"And I care about you… I love you, even. Even if it's weird for me to say, I love you like a daughter."

"That's the problem. I uh… you're a popstar, Marina. How am I supposed to live up to that, if I'm your… daughter? Like your daughter?"

Marina began crying harder. "Eight, I…"

Bridgett decided this conversation was too much. "I uh… I was going to tell you, that… I do intend on eventually moving in with Three. Like you suggested. If the loop breaks, I mean. I haven't discussed anything with her, nothing's final, so I'll still be living here for a while, but I thought you should… I thought you should know." She walked out.

Marina was left to her own tears. Her own somewhat violent crying. She let her down big time.


"They say we're young and we don't know

We won't find out until we grow

Well I don't know if all that's true

'Cause you got me, and baby I got you

Babe

I got you, babe

I got you, babe"

The next morning, and… the same music. Confused, Marina rolled over. Had the loop not broken? She checked her phone.

It was 6:00 AM… on May 22nd.

Marina felt like she was gonna pass out from the excitement as she grabbed the phone in pure joy, laughing. They did it. The loop was broken.

She smiled, quickly shooting up from the bed and going over to her window. To her delight, the outside world was covered in snow from last night's snowstorm this time. Nothing had reset.

Happily slipping on some clothes, she exited back out to the kitchen like she usually did, where Pearl and Bridgett were already there. It was strange. Things were still kind of laid out the way they were on May 21st, and yet, things were also different.

No cereal was tossed at her, no one was yelling bada bing, bada boom. With a smile, she sat down by them. Ecstatic, she smiled brightly. "Hey, guys!"

Pearl brightly smiled back. "Ayo!" She yelled, standing up and walking over to hug her. "I knew you could do it! Off the Hook is badass together, aren't we!?"

Marina hugged her back. "Yeah… I'm so proud of you, Pearlie." She said, nearly crying from the sheer joy. She realized her ecstaticness wasn't about to last, however, as she turned to Bridgett. "...Hi, Eight…" She awkwardly said.

Bridgett awkwardly looked up from her cereal. "…Hey." She said, but didn't quite feel comfortable talking to Marina yet. Silently, she shoved her cereal aside and stood up, leaving the room.

Marina frowned and looked down.

"...What's up with her? Come on, man, we should be celebrating! We broke the loop!" Pearl yelled, once again unnecessarily loud.

"Yeah… we broke the loop…" Marina sighed.

It was the end of one very long day, and the start of another. Someone once told her that waking up was the best part of the day, and that she should be happy each morning. But mostly, all she felt was a lonely emptiness.

Chapter Text

Inkopolis Police Station

2:00 AM

Marie sighed, struggling a little bit against her cuffs. She was currently tied to a cold metal table in a dark room, staring into a one-way mirror. "This is no way to treat a lady…" She muttered to herself. If she didn't get out of his room soon, she was gonna have a mental breakdown.

Suddenly, the door opened, and a male Inkling, with yellow ink and a mush-cut hairstyle, walked in. Marie eyed him with annoyance.

The Inkling sat down across the table from her, relaxing his hands. "Marie Cuttlefish."

Marie scoffed. "Detective."

"Detective Grant Johnson's the name. I don't think we properly met earlier."

Marie rolled her eyes. "I'm so thrilled to meet you." She said sarcastically.

"We have a few questions for you, Ms. Cuttlefish. If you'll let us ask."

"Well, honestly, I normally try to be nice and patient, but I have been here for hours. I'm tired. I wanna go home. I wanna make sure Callie is alright."

"Well, if things turn for the worst tonight, you may just be going straight to prison. So I'd cooperate if you wanna go home ever again."

Marie sighed. "Well, then, I have a few questions of my own. Like, where's Marina, where's Pearl, and where in the god damn hell is Callie?"

"They were all arrested just like you. My partner is interrogating Marina in another room as we speak, because of how suspicious she is in this case."

"You hurt Callie and I swear to God I will-"

"Relax. As far as we can tell, Callie's innocent. But, you on the other hand…"

She sighed. "Oh my god, just ask your stupid questions…"

"Very well." He lightly smiled, and then leaned in. "Let's start with… What the hell is in that suitcase you were guarding as if your life depending on it?"

Marie sighed yet again, wondering where to even start.


Two Days Ago

"Can I just be honest for a second? You. Are. A slut." Marie said with a slight grin. "I'm actually afraid you're gonna get pregnant from a guy you barely know."

Callie laughed. "Ok, first of all...!" She stopped, needing to come up with a counter-argument, but came up blank. "…That is honestly a valid concern, yes."

Marie shook her head with a smile. "And you're a goof."

"That's just offensive."

"What's wrong with being a goof?"

"Because it sounds like you're treating me like a kid."

"Callie, you act like a kid. One with a really, really dirty mind."

"...Fuck. That's true."

She giggled. "Don't worry, you're not as immature as Pearl is… Thank god."

The two were sitting around in Marie's house, playing with some make-up together, when suddenly, their conversation was interrupted as her phone buzzed. Marie pulled out her phone, looking at the text. Seeing that it was Cap'n Cuttlefish, she smiled and responded accordingly.

CraigCuttlefish:  young lady

Agent 2:  Hey, Gramps!

Agent 2:  What's up? It's been a while since I've heard from you…

CraigCuttlefish:  i have an important mission for you

CraigCuttlefish:  like, inkopolis could be in danger

"Oh boy…" Marie said out loud, looking up from her phone.

"Who is that?" Callie asked, peering her head over Marie's shoulder.

"Gramps… With potentially bad news…" She sighed in response. She went back to the texts.

Agent 2:  What kind of danger? Should we be worried?

CraigCuttlefish:  dont worry, everything should be fine

CraigCuttlefish:  i think

Agent 2:  Well, what's the problem?

CraigCuttlefish:  i found an extremely dangerous weapon

CraigCuttlefish:  it could level the whole city

CraigCuttlefish:  i need you to gather the splatoon and meet me at the deepsea metro entrance tomorrow

CraigCuttlefish:  we need maximum security to escort the weapon to safety

Agent 2:  Where are we escorting it to?

CraigCuttlefish:  i dont know

CraigCuttlefish:  out of the city

Agent 2:  Well… alright. I'm on it. I'll get the whole Splatoon and we'll make a plan.

CraigCuttlefish:  thank you

CraigCuttlefish:  ill see you tomorrow

CraigCuttlefish:  how do i exit the texting page

Marie slipped her phone into her pocket. "Callie… We have an important mission…"

Callie smiled. "Cool! I love missions!"

"It could be dangerous…"

Callie's smile melted into a frown. "I hate missions…"

Marie sighed, thinking for a second. "…We gotta get the whole Splatoon. As soon as possible. We need all hands on deck." She pulled back out her phone, and then started by dialing Marina's number.


The Next Day

Inkopolis Square

The sun was already beginning to set, but Inklings and Octolings alike still roamed the Square, seemingly doing nothing.

"Alright, Four… Is Gramps there yet?" Marie said through their com system.

"Not yet…" Dylan sighed. He was standing next to Callie, who was in her pink beanie and sunglasses. The two were on the far end of the square, keeping an eye on the Deepsea Metro entrance from a distance. "We have eyes on the entrance, waiting for Cuttlefish."

"Callie? What about you?"

"Yeah, I'm fine… Just waiting."

"Agents 3 and 8? Status?"

"We're in position." Jessica could be heard on another end of the com.

"Excellent. Remember guys, be careful with the package. If you drop it or anything, who knows what could happen. Based on Gramps' warnings, we need to be extra careful with it."

"Got it." Dylan replied. "You can count on us. Who knows, maybe this'll even turn out to be fun." He said with some sarcasm.

Callie smiled. "I like the attitude, Four!" Then, suddenly, she slapped Dylan's behind, causing him to jump up a little in surprise.

"Remember, for now you're just getting the package to Agents 3 and 8. No goofing off or attracting attention to yourselves or anything."

"If we don't want attention then why is Callie assigned with this?"

"Because Sheldon wasn't available."

"He's never available."

"I know. And then Pearl and Marina both refused, so they're with me instead."

"Well… Callie is probably a better choice than Pearl anyway."

"I heard that." Pearl could be heard.

"Alright, whatever." Marie continued. "Get the package nice and safe, we'll be nearby the whole time in this van, just in case."

"Ok, also, if we have a van, can't we just drive the package out of town?"

"I mean, we could, but we don't really wanna risk a car crash. Could be dangerous."

"...So drive slowly."

"Listen, Four, you have a job to do, now just do the damn job and stop questioning my leadership."

"Alright, geez… cranky…" He sighed. "We're on it, don't worry. Callie, do you-?" He turned, only to see that Callie wasn't even next to him. "…Callie…?" He looked to the Deepsea Metro entrance. "Oh, you gotta be shitting me."


"Young lady!" Cap'n Cuttlefish said enthusiastically.

"Gramps!" Callie said, quickly going in for a hug. "I missed you so much!"

"Aw, I missed you too…" He broke the hug, trembling against his cane as always, holding a black suitcase in his free hand. The suitcase was sealed, and had a 9-digit numberpad on it. "Alright… you know the mission?"

"Affirmative."

"Alright…" Shakily, he handed her the suitcase. "This could be one of the most important missions of our lives. Be careful now."

Callie took the suitcase. "Don't worry, Gramps, you're in good hands. Anyway, uh… what have you been up to?"

"Me? Oh, you know. Just protecting Inkopolis."

"...From the Metro?"

"Yeah. I won't actually be down there for much longer anyway. Stuff came up. Agent 3 can probably tell you about it."

"Yeah, well, guess I better go save the city myself…" She pecked him on the side of the head. "Love ya!" She said as she began walking away.

"Love you, young lady. Good luck!" He replied with a smile. Then, cane in hand, he headed back down to the subway.

Callie, meanwhile, walked back out to the main Square, looking around. Deciding that her sunglasses were just getting in the way, she lazily threw them off. Briefly, she set the suitcase down on the ground, before she slipped on some headphones that were connected to her phone.

She briefly locked eye contact with Dylan, who stared back with an almost concerned looking face. She enthusiastically waved, and then pressed the play button on her phone. She picked back up the suitcase, and the opening notes to the first song came on, prompting her to move her hips to the beat.

"Hail (hail)

What's the matter with your head, yeah"

As the song played, she danced to it stupidly, in public, and was quickly catching attention from everyone around her.

"Is that Callie?" A random passerby asked.

"Oh my god, that's Callie!" Another one announced.

"From the Squid Sisters!"

"Hail (hail)

What's the matter with your mind

And your sign an-a, oh-oh-oh"

As people swarmed around Callie, some began to dance with her. A big grin stretched over her face, as she danced alongside them, kicking at the ground. She even gave some of them some very bizarre suggestive looks as she mouthed the lyrics.

"Hail (hail)

Nothin' the matter with your head

Baby find it, come on and find it

Hail, with it baby

'Cause you're fine

And you're mine, and you look so divine"

She stuck her hands out and spun around in a helicopter motion.


"Come and get your love!"

Dylan watched from a distance as Callie stuck her hands out and spun around in a helicopter motion, now singing along to whatever music she was listening to. "God dammit…"

"What?" Marie asked.

"...Callie is gaining a very uncomfortable amount of public attention right now..."

"...Are you serious?"

"Yes…"

Marie sighed. "…Honestly… I should've seen this coming…"

"So uh… now what?"

"Hold on… I have an idea…"


Callie continued on down the street heading away from the Square, dancing and singing along to the music. "Come and get your love, come and get your love, come and get your love now!" She sang.

She slid on the ground a little as if it was a slide, when suddenly, a dart penetrated her neck.

"Ow!" She suddenly yelped. Her steps quickly became more lazy and and off, as she felt herself losing consciousness. "Come and… get your…" Then, she blacked out and fell over, but was suddenly grabbed by Dylan before she could hit the ground.

Dylan pulled the dart from her neck and then grabbed the suitcase from her hand before she lost her grip on it, holding her up. He looked around to notice that people were staring at them suspiciously.

"Uh… It's ok, everyone! She's just like… really drunk right now. I'm her, uh… agent." He sighed, throwing Callie's limp body over his shoulder. "I'm gonna get her home. Nobody worry. I'm a highly paid, trained professional when it comes to… getting unconscious people home..."

As he walked away from the scene awkwardly, Marie spoke up. "Got her?"

"Yeah… where's your van?"

"10 o'clock."

Dylan turned to see an extremely suspicious white van from a bit of a distance. "…Are you serious?"

"I said stop questioning."

"Alright…" He carried Callie over, and when he approached, Marina stuck her head out of the driver's window.

"Hey, Four!" She said with a smile. "It's nice to see you."

"Yeah, nice to see you too, Seven." He said as he passed, carrying Callie to the back.

The back doors suddenly barged open, and Marie popped her head out. "Oh, poor Callie…"

"Here." Dylan said, as he and Marie worked together to safely lay Callie down in the back area.

"You gonna be alright on your own?"

"Yeah…" He held up the suitcase so she could see. "I told you that you can count on me."

"Alright. Get it to Three and Eight. They're waiting for you."

"Yeah, and we're losing patience." Jessica said on the com.

"Shut up, Three. I'm coming…" Dylan sighed as he walked away to his destination. Marie closed up the van.


Several minutes passed, as Dylan carried the package along the streets, while Marina drove the van to follow from a distance.

Marie sighed, staring at Callie in her unconscious form, who was laid down on the floor in the back on the van. Suddenly, Pearl came back, leaning on her. "So uh… how'd she get knocked out?"

Marie pushed her off and stood up. "Four tranquilized her."

"Wow… now that is badass."

"Quite fitting too. She actually tranqed me once when we were younger."

"Really?" Marina said from the driver seat. "Why?"

"It was her method of recruiting me for the Splatoon, actually…"

"That's funny… Why didn't we get tranqed when we got recruited?" Pearl asked.

"Because Callie was the only one who thought it was even a good idea."

"Yeah, uh, whatever. Anyway…" She suddenly held up Marie's charger.

"Woah!" Marie yelled, attempting to take it from her. She failed however, as Pearl turned and kept it away. "Where did you get that? Put that down!"

"Why, you afraid I'm gonna break it?"

"Yes, that's my special charger! Give it back!"

Pearl, however, didn't listen, as she charged it up and fired a sudden shot in Marie's direction. Marie barely dodged, staring at her with fire in her eyes.

"Heh, heh… oops…" Pearl said awkwardly.

Marie sighed and took the charger from her, throwing it to the side. "I'm gonna go talk with Marina for a bit… try not to shoot a hole in the van while my back is turned." She walked up the van to the front, leaning near Marina. "Did you want me to take over for a bit?"

"Uh…" She was about to say no, but decided that she could use the break. "I don't mind." She moved over to the passenger suit, letting Marie sit in the drivers seat and take over. "Thanks…"

"Hm." She relaxed and began driving. "So uh… how have things been for you? We don't talk a lot these days…"

"Oh, you know…" She sighed. "I would say the usual, but that's not quite true…"

"Anything interesting happen?"

"Well, I got trapped in a time loop for a year."

"Oh… Uh… Huh?"

"Honestly, it's kind of a long story that I've already told a million times. But Pearl and Eight were there too, they saw like, the last few weeks of the loop."

"Tell her about Ant-Lady!" Pearl said from the back.

Marie looked ahead. "I'm just… not gonna question…"

"Probably for the best." Marina sighed again. "Other than that, you know, it's just been more of the same. Off the Hook bullshit, doing the news and whatever."

Marie thought she heard Pearl playing around with her charger in the back, but chose to ignore it. "How's Eight been doing?"

She looked down. "She…" She sighed, stopping for a moment. After a moment of silence, she briefly disconnected her com.

Marie raised an eyebrow, but took the hint and did the same.

"...We haven't been getting along…"

"Oh…"

"We uh… had a fight. Well… I don't know if you could call it a fight, but… Whatever, she wants to move out already."

"Why?"

"Because apparently I'm too good of a role model and I make her uncomfortable. Like, I'm too much for her to look up to."

"Is she gonna live by herself?"

"...She's gonna move in with Three apparently."

"What the fuck?"

"Yeah, I know, she's an asshat. I don't know why either. I thought Eight hated her but all of a sudden they're like good friends."

"Well… Kinda makes sense, actually. Jessica is her own role model to her. She wants to be like her, I can tell."

"Why though?"

"Because she's a badass."

Marina sighed deeply, turning to look out her door window. "…I let her down."

"No you didn't. You guys just need to… talk it out."

"That's part of my problem. Ever since she told me she's barely been talking to me."

"Well… maybe I can talk to her. Talk some sense into her. I'm not saying that she shouldn't move in with Jessica, but, I don't think she should be ignoring you. Besides, apparently talking some sense into people is like a specialty of mine."

Marina looked back at her. "Would you… really do that for me?"

"Of course. Anything for a friend."

"I, uh… thank you…" She smiled a bit. "Ya know… I wish we could hang out more often. You're so… relaxed."

"Oh, yeah. Too bad us popstars are always busy these days… But, maybe one day, if you wanna grab a latte or something, I'd love to chill with you." She gave her a reassuring smile.

"Sounds cool." Marina smiled back.

"Hell… I'd also love a ladies' night out. Me, you, Callie, and Pearl. Just hanging out, doing whatever we want."

"That does sound like fun…"

"Did I hear my name?" Pearl said from the back.

"Oh, yeah, Marie and I were just talking about a-" Marina started, but her sentence was interrupted as the sound of Marie's charger firing went off, and pink ink splashed all over the van, getting on all 3 of the girls.

"Woah, what the fuck's happening!? Holy shit!" Marie yelled out in surprise, stopping the van, and feeling some of the ink that landed in her hair.

Pearl, the one who pulled the trigger, peeked her head into the front. Her face was covered was in the ink. "…Aw, man, I shot Callie in the face…" She said casually.

"WHY THE FUCK'D YOU DO THAT!?" Marie yelled, looking back. Sure enough, where Callie was before was just a puddle of her splatted ink.

"Well, I didn't mean to do it, it was an accident..."

"We're on an important mission, I let you play around with my special charger, and you SPLATTED MY COUSIN!?"

"Chill out, I told you it was an accident, you probably… ran over a bump or something…"

"I didn't run over a fucking bump! I was driving slowly!"

"Look, I didn't mean to shoot her, the charger went off, I don't know why…"

"GIMME THAT!" Marie yelled, taking the charger from her. "You're never touching it again!"

"Woah, Marie, calm down, she just got splatted…" Marina said awkwardly.

"And this is my cousin that got splatted! My cousin, god dammit! You're not supposed to hurt my god damn cousin!"

"Wasn't it your idea to have her tranquilized?" Pearl asked.

"Shut up!" Marie groaned, gripping the wheel angrily as she took a moment to calm down. "The one mission… the one god damn mission…" She sighed and turned back on her com. "Hey, Four?"

"Yeah?" Dylan said on the other line.

"Something came up, and we won't be able to follow you as closely. You gonna be alright on your own?"

"Um… yeah."

"Alright. Just wanted you to understand. Get it to Three and Eight just like before."

"Understood. You can-"

"Count on you, I get it. You keep saying that."

"Yeah… sorry."


Dylan continued walk down the street, suitcase in hand.

"You're on your way, right?" Jessica said on one end of the coms.

"Yes, Three. Keep your tits in your shirt."

"We've been waiting for like an hour."

"Three, seriously, shut up."

"You shut up."

"YOU shut up!"

"Girls, remember to get along." Marie said on her end. "Don't forget that this is an important mission. I don't need you fighting."

"Well, if some people in this stupid ass team would get their head out of their asses…"

Dylan groaned. "You must mean yourself."

"Perhaps." Jessica could be heard sighing. "Marie, remind me why we're even here and why Four can't just carry the package out of town himself…"

"It's a game of hot potato. Just one person carrying the package out of town would be suspicious."

"Ok… did you just compare this to a fucking preschool game?"

"Yep."

As Jessica and Marie continued to argue on coms, Dylan chose to ignore it, continuing to walk along the street. Suddenly, he ran into another Inkling, nearly dropping the suitcase.

"Shit!" He grunted, holding it close. "I'm sorry…"

"Oh, it's my fault." The other Inkling said. He looked surprisingly similar to him, with the same hairstyle, but with blue ink instead of his usual green and large headphones covering his ears. "Gotta watch where I'm going…"

He took a strange liking to him because of how they looked alike. He extended his arm for a handshake. "Uh… Dylan."

He accepted the handshake awkwardly. "Well, people out here just call me Toon."

"Oh… uh… weird, but alright, Toon it is." He began to walk past, but suddenly stopped. "Do I hear you listening to Squid Sisters music?"

"Oh… yeah, I listen to them a lot."

"That's cool. I know the Squid Sisters personally."

"Four… who are you talking to?" Marie said on the other end.

Toon gave him an interested look, so Dylan followed up with "But you're not supposed to know that, so…" He turned around and began walking away again.

"Um… ok…" Toon went on his own path as well.


At this point, Callie'd body had remanifested entirely, but she remained unconscious. Marie, Marina, and Pearl worked together to clean up the remaining ink.

"God, today has been a nightmare…" Marie sighed, throwing her rag aside once they cleaned up all they could. She rested against the wall.

Marina sat next to her. "Well, at least we're going through it together."

"...That's just cheesy."

"Well… we were having a nice moment there before Callie got splatted, so I just thought-"

"Not in the mood."

"Alright."

Pearl sat in front of them, crossing her legs. "Um… sorry for splatting Callie…"

"Apology accepted." She said, brushing it off. She stood up. "Alright. We should get this van on the road again." Before she headed to the front, however, the trio heard a somewhat forceful knock on the backdoor.

"IPD, open up." They heard a voice. Marie quickly realized IPD stands for the Inkopolis Police Department.

"Um… Shit…" Marie said, realizing that they had Callie's unconscious body in the back still. "Marina! Help me prop her up in the passenger seat! We gotta make it look like she fell asleep or something!" She half-whispered.

Marina nodded and grabbed one of Callie's arms, draping it over her shoulder. Marie did the same with her other arm, and the two carried her to the passenger seat, laying her down and putting her seatbelt on.

Marina sat down in the driver's seat, and Marie checked herself with her compact makeup before opening the door. "Officers." She said awkwardly.

Detective Johnson stared back at her. "Ma'am."

Marie stared at the badge on his chest. "Uh… what brings you to our… humble van today?"

"We got a report that popstar Callie of the Squid Sisters got publicly knocked out and squidnapped. She was carried away in a van just like this one, and we matched the license plate and everything."

"Oh, well, I wouldn't know anything about a Callie." Marie said, horribly failing at playing dumb. "Uh… what's the Squid Sisters again?"

"Ma'am, I'm gonna need you to step aside." He said, suddenly pushing past her and into into the van. He was followed by another police officer.

"Excuse me, you can't just barge in…"

"Yes, we can." He said with finality in his voice. He walked past Pearl, who was nervously sitting by the wall, and it didn't take him long to walk up to the front and see Callie, who was sitting still in her seat as if she had fallen asleep.

"Hi…" Marina said awkwardly.

"Hi." He said back casually. He grabbed Callie's shoulder and rubbed her lightly. "Ma'am? We have some questions for you." When she didn't wake up, he shook her a bit harder.

"She's a really heavy sleeper." Marie and Marina said at the same time. "Like… a REALLY heavy sleeper." Marina finished.

Johnson sighed and put his hands on his hips in a thinking manner. "Hm…" He continued to look around. "Just you girls? All you… popstars here in one vehicle? Ladies' night out, I assume?"

Marie gave a fake smile. "Yep… Lots of fun. We're just out here, you know, getting drunk. Being girls."

He looked around for another solid minute, taking in all the details he could. He did notice the rags that were now drenched in Callie's pink ink, but said nothing, only staring suspiciously. Then, he sighed, and began to head out. "Well… you ladies have a good rest of your night."

"Thanks… you too…" Marie said, closing the door behind him. She turned to Pearl and Marina awkwardly, who stared back.

"What's the plan now, boss?" Marina asked from the driver's seat.

Marie sighed to herself, walking up to check on Callie. "Get us out of here. We gotta catch up with where the package is at."

Marina nodded and shifted into drive, piloting the van forward a bit faster this time to catch up with Dylan.


Detective Johnson hadn't left the scene, however. He watched as the van suddenly sped up and drove away.

"...You think they're hiding something?" His partner said.

"...I do. I saw a couple rags with her ink on them. And the girl didn't even wake up…" Johnson replied. He opened the door to their police car. "Let's follow them." He sat in the car, and his partner sat in the driver's seat. Together, they began loosely following the van.


At this point in the day, the sun had set. Dylan walked through the dimly lit parking lot, where Jessica and Bridgett were waiting for him. He handing Jessica the suitcase.

"Finally…" Jessica said. "Took you long enough."

Dylan rolled his eyes. "You guys know where to take it, right?"

"Yes…"

"Cool…"

"Hey, Dylan…" Bridgett awkwardly said.

"Hey." Dylan replied, hugging her. "Good luck out there."

"Where are you going?"

"Home." He replied. "Straight to bed."

"Are you serious?" Jessica asked.

"What's the matter? My job's finished, I did it." He saluted. "Mission accomplished."

Jessica stared at him angrily, but Bridgett showed no sign of frustration. "Oh… have fun." She said with a small smile.

"Yep. Love you 3000." He sighed, turning around and walking away.

"Love you too." Bridgett said back, before turning to Jessica.

Jessica stared at her. "…What does that even mean?"

"I don't know, he just started saying it one day."

The two started walking down the dark parking lot to their own destination, with the suitcase in Jessica's hand. It was a very quiet part of the city, so it was a pretty relaxing environment overall.

"So…" Bridgett said awkwardly, playing with her fingers. "Anything you wanted to talk about?"

"What is there to talk about?"

"I don't know, just… we've been sitting here in silence for a while, so I just thought that…"

"What did you want to talk about? I know that there's something you've been wanting to say."

Bridgett looked at her. It was true, there was something she had been wanting to talk about, but felt too awkward to bring up a conversation. "Uh… I don't know what…"

"How about, let's start with what happened with you and Marina?" Jessica said, looking at her.

Bridgett stopped, then looked at her in pure disbelief. "…How the hell do you always know what's on my mind?"

Jessica stopped as well, turning around to face her. "Because I pay attention to things. Now, spill it. What's up with Marina?"

Bridgett sighed looking down. "I… She…" She took a deep breath, deciding to just tell her. "…She broke into my CQ."

Jessica's face showed slight surprise, an emotion Bridgett had never seen from her. "Ouch. That's dramatic." She continued walking again, and Bridgett followed.

"She, well, found stuff that I told my CQ, but it was like, really private stuff, you know?"

"I get that."

"And I just…" She took another deep breath. "…We haven't been getting along ever since. I haven't been talking to her."

"Why not?"

"Admittedly, I'm just not too happy with her right now."

"Bridgett… I get you're having family dramas and whatever. But, take this from a friend, it's best that you talk it out and shelve it up. I mean, you're living with her, you have to deal with her, you might as well just get it over with."

"Yeah, well… that's the thing… that I wanted to talk to you about…"

Jessica raised an eyebrow.

Bridgett didn't want to say it, but she had already started. "I'm… I decided that I wanted to move out."

"Finally." Jessica suddenly said.

"W-what? Finally what?"

"To you moving out, ding dong."

"...Why finally?"

"Honestly… do you know how little I trust those people? They give me just… these bad vibes, honestly. Never really felt comfortable with you living with them."

"Why not?"

"Because I just don't trust them. I mean, I don't really trust popstars like that in general. Hell, I don't even trust Agents 1 and 2 fully and I've known them nearly my whole career as Agent 3."

"You don't trust anyone."

"Mostly true. But I trust Cuttlefish. And I trust you."

"Why me?"

"Because you remind me of me. You have that… same fire, if that makes sense. Ever since I heard about what you did in the convenience store, I just… realized you're a person who'd lay down your life to protect people. I tend to trust people with those qualities."

Bridgett looked down, truthfully a little flattered. "I…"

Jessica stopped her. "So, what, you're moving in with Dylan?"

"Do you even trust Dylan?"

"Eh. I trust him to an extent."

Bridgett looked down. "No, I didn't intend to. I was actually going to… ask you…"

"...You wanted to move in with me?"

She awkwardly nodded.

"Well…" She looked on, sighing. "I mean… there's a few problems that would come up with that, but… I don't know, maybe when I come back."

"Come back?"

"Yeah."

"You going somewhere?"

"Did you not hear? I'm going back out on my Agent 3 bullshit for a while."

"O-oh…"

"There's this… Octarian gang that Cuttlefish has been tracking. They've been up in some nasty shit that I desperately need to stop. I mean… I'll still be in Inkopolis, but I won't really be home. At all."

"I…" Bridgett sighed, having had no idea. But, she supposed she should've seen something like this coming anyway. "How long until you come back?"

"Until I stop them. May take a while."

Bridgett felt like a straight up idiot. "I, uh…"

"Hey…" Jessica stopped, grabbing your shoulder. "Shit will turn out alright. Once I'm back and situated, sure, I'm willing to let you move in. Just be aware that there's a lot of my bullshit you'd have to put up with."

"Um… alright… will you… be safe? Doing your… vigilante stuff?"

Jessica smiled a little. "Bitch, please. I'm Agent 3. I know how to watch my back."

She rolled her eyes a little. "Sounds a bit arrogant, but alright."

They continued walking on. "What about you though?"

"What do you mean?"

"You gonna be careful while I'm gone?"

"I…"

"I know that you've been practicing a lot with ranked battles. You've been getting even better at combat."

"...Stalker."

"I know that you're just itching to get out there and beat up some criminals. Aren't you? That's why you've been training yourself, is it not?"

"Um… I mean… maybe…"

Jessica smiled again. "I'm proud of you. Really, I am. You really are like me. But… I'm just saying… be careful, yeah? Vigilante work is dangerous."

"You yourself suggested I join you, didn't you?"

"I did, but that's for when you're even more experienced. You do have the potential, but… you're not quite there yet."

Bridgett sighed, looking down, not having a response.

"So, what I'm saying is, be careful. Stay close to the ground. Don't do anything crazy. I'm serious."

Bridgett stared. She nodded, but it was half-hearted.

Jessica looked back. "I'm serious." She said, in a somewhat threatening manner.

"Alright, I get it. Yikes."

"Good…" She sighed.

Things fell silent for a bit as they marched toward their destination.

"...Honestly… I wish we could hang out more. I kinda like talking to you." Bridgett eventually said, breaking the silence.

"Really?" Jessica said, looking at her. "I thought you hated me."

"Well… I did…"

Jessica smiled just a little, but Bridgett didn't see it. "Yeah… yeah, we should hang out more."


Marina continued to drive the van along the determined path they had mapped out beforehand. Eventually, they came to the parking lot that Jessica and Bridgett were stationed at, and saw them walking from a distance. Loosely, Marina followed.

At around this time, Callie finally awoke. Her eyes drifted open and she groaned a little. "Holy hell… my head…" She muttered, grabbing it, feeling a massive headache.

This caught Marina's attention, and she quickly turned to her. "Hey! We've been waiting for you to wake up."

Callie looked around, incredibly confused. "W-where am I?"

"Marie! She's up!" Marina suddenly yelled to the back.

Marie, who wasn't paying attention, instead typing away on her phone, looked and then stood up. "Hey…" She said, walking up and caressing her hair a little. "Feeling ok?"

"Yeah… I mean… What the hell? Wasn't I just dancing a second ago?" She said.

"Yeah, sorry… Four had to dart you."

Callie took a second to remember, and then suddenly remembered that she was escorting the dangerous weapon. In a sudden panic, she shot her head in different directions to search for it. "Oh my god… the package! Shit! I lost the package! Oh, Gramps is gonna be pissed!"

"Hey, woah woah woah, don't worry. Four got the package. It's with Three and Eight now." She pointed out to the window to the distance, where Jessica and Bridgett could barely be seen walking.

Callie looked out, spotting them, and then breathed a sigh of relief. "Woo… Ok… That's good…"

"Yeah…" She continued to rub around her hair. "Never break down into musical numbers during important missions again, you hear?"

"Ok, mom, whatever." She replied sarcastically. She unplugged her seatbelt and stood up, stepping to the back. "Hey, Pearl."

"Wassup?" Pearl said, standing up with a smile. Then, to Marie's confusion, the two girls proceeded to do what appeared to be a secret handshake.

Marie stared at them awkwardly, tilting her head. "Uh… good friends, I see…?"

"Hell yeah!" Callie said with a big grin. "We've been hanging out a lot lately!"

"She's a total homie." Pearl said, putting an arm around her.

From what Marie understood beforehand, they barely even knew each other, so this was a little out of left field to her. "Um… ok… good for you…"

"Hey, uh, guys?" Marina called out from the driver seat. "I think we might have a situation."

"What?" Marie said, going up to her. "Problem?"

"Maybe…" Marina said, pointing at the rearview mirror.

The four popstars all gathered up front as Marie stared at the mirror. Marie could just barely see a police car following from the distance. "Well… shit… the police are still on our ass."

"What do we do?"

"...Well… They think we're suspicious because of Callie, but Callie is awake now, so we can just have her explain-" Her sentence was interrupted as they heard the back door open. In a small panic, she looked around to notice that Callie was now missing from the group. "…I should just really stay quiet, shouldn't I?"


"What the hell…?" Detective Johnson muttered to his partner as they saw Callie exit the van and slowly approach them. When she got close, she awkwardly waved. He got out of the car, approaching her. "Ma'am, what are you doing?"

Callie stopped. "Oh… well… I just wanted to explain…"

"Explain what?"

"Why I… got knocked out and whatever. Apparently you guys are onto us because of that? Yeah. Just wanted to tell you it's fine."

Johnson's partner got out of the car as well, and the two officers stared at each other, thinking.

Johnson sighed, looking back at her. "Can you tell us what happened?"

"I got darted. By my good friend Four, actually. Oh, you should've seen it. But don't worry, I know it was with good intentions, because believe it or not, we are on a very very important mission right now."

Johnson wasn't quite following. "I… what? Who's Four? What mission?"

Callie smiled a little. "Can you guys keep a secret? It's very important, but it has to stay private. I mean… you're police, so I think we can trust you."

"Ok?"

"There's a dangerous weapon in the city. Like, really dangerous. It could apparently level the whole city if something bad happened to it. We've been trying to get it out of the area. You know… for the city's safety and whatever."

Johnson looked at her suspiciously, a bit of fear showing on his eyes. "What the hell are you talking about? What weapon?"

"I… it's in like a suitcase, we're carrying it out of the city. Don't worry though, it's in totally good hands."

Johnson's face grew a little angry. "Take us to it!" He commanded.

"I… uh… you sure…?"

"Yes! If there is really a dangerous weapon in the city it falls under the responsibility of the IPD!" He yelled. "Now take us to it!"

"I… ok then…"


Marie, who could barely hear Johnson's commands, slammed the backdoors to the van shut. "Shit shit shit shit shit!"

"What?" Marina asked.

"Callie told the police about the package!"

"Oh…" Marina sighed. "Well… so much for privacy…"

"What the hell are you waiting for!? Let's go grab it, we gotta drive the package out of town now! I don't trust the police with it one bit!"

"I… ok…" Marina said, as she sped up the van toward Jessica and Bridgett.


"The Krusty Shack Pizza, is the pizza, ab-so-lu-tiv-al-y!" Bridgett sang, now holding the suitcase. The song was just a dumb one she had heard multiple times from a commercial, that she had stuck in her head. Jessica walked alongside her, incredibly annoyed, but she chose to not say anything.

"P-P-P-P-Pizza, do-do-chun-chun-chi-chi pizza, do do ba ba ba da…" Bridgett began beat boxing the song, lightly hitting the suitcase with her palm as she did so.

"Do do do do pizza, do do do do do do pizza, do do do do do do…" She continued to sing, as she turned around and walked backwards, shaking her behind a little.

She turned back around and walked normally, as she deepened her voice as much as she could. "Krusty-Sha-a-aa-yaaa yeah-yeah-ya-ya pizza, is the pizza yeah, for you and… MEE YEE-HEE-HEEE-HEEEE!" She suddenly screeched the last part, jumping up and down with the suitcase in hand, causing Jessica to jump.

"SHUT UP!" Jessica finally yelled.

Before Bridgett could respond, Marie's van suddenly pulled up to them, and Marie peeked her head out from the passenger seat. "Give us the case! Now!"

"I… what the fuck?" Jessica asked in confusion.

"Something came up, and we gotta get it out of here, ASAP!"

"I, uh… what's going on?"

"There's no time to explain! Just give us the case!" Marie yelled.

Bridgett awkwardly stepped forward, handing her the case through the window, and Marie aggressively took it.

"Thanks! Get us outta here, Marina!" Marie hurriedly closed the window, and the van sped off.

Jessica and Bridgett looked on in confusion. "…What the hell?" Bridgett asked.

"...I hate today so much… I have a headache…" Jessica sighed.

As she said this, they heard a police siren sound from behind them, prompting them to look back. A police car, flashing lights and all, sped past them, chasing after the van.


"They're chasing us! They're trying to pull us over!" Marina yelled.

"God dammit, Callie!" Marie yelled back.

"What should we do?"

"Get us out of here! We can't just let the police have it!"

Before Marina could speed up the van even further, however, a second police car somehow got in front of them. "Shit!" Marina yelled, hitting the breaks. The van barely stopped before it hit the other car.

Marie held the suitcase close, and a couple seconds later, the backdoors to the van were once again being banged on.

"IPD, open the hell up!" Johnson could be heard yelling.

"Shit… we're dead…" Marie muttered.

"What now?" Pearl asked.

"Uh…" Before Marie could formulate a plan, the doors were barged open, and multiple police officers, with Johnson up front, marched in, pointing their chargers at the trio.

"HANDS UP!" He yelled. "You are under arrest!"


That Night

Inkopolis Police Station

2:30 AM

Johnson smiled a little. "That's quite the story you got there."

Marie sighed again, struggling against her handcuffs in an attempt to get comfortable. She hadn't told him anything about the Splatoon, or anything about them being secret agents, but they were suspicious as hell anyway. "I'm telling you, I don't know what's in the suitcase. All we know… is that it's dangerous… We were just trying to protect your assholes."

"Protection…" He laughed a little, prompting an annoyed stare from Marie. "Well… Luckily for you, we're going to know soon anyway. We couldn't crack the code to break into the case before, but we got your Marina friend to do it. She's cracking it as we speak."

"And then?"

"And then if it's what we fear it is, you're going straight to prison. All three of you. We'll handle the weapon from there."

Marie sighed, looking down. This was quite the pickle. "I just… I just wanna say… that our intentions were good."

"Maybe, but there's a word for people like you. It's called vigilantism."

Marie rolled her eyes.

Suddenly, the door opened, as Johnson's partner and Marina walked in with the suitcase. "She cracked the code. We're ready to open it." His partner said.

Marina nervously stood by the back, held by Johnson's partner so that she wouldn't try to run or whatever, obviously fearful of whatever may be in the case.

Johnson set the case on the table in front of Marie and surveyed it. The whole room tensed up as he prepared to open it. "Gloves?" He asked his partner.

His partner nodded and handed him some protective gloves. Johnson carefully slipped them on, slowly opening the case.

Marie felt like she would pass out from the tension of whatever this weapon was. What if it was a bomb that was set to immediately detonate once the case was opened? She looked over to Marina, didn't look too excited either, and she even thought she saw her knees shaking.

Johnson took a deep breath, and time seemed to slow down as he slowly opened it. Once the case was open, he looked inside. "…What the hell…?"

Everyone tensed up even further as he reached inside and pulled it out for the room to see.

It was… a frisbee. A simple, red, plastic frisbee.

Everyone stared at it in disbelief. "Is that… is that a frisbee?" His partner asked.

"I… I think so…" Johnson awkwardly said, surveying it closely, turning it in all sorts of directions.

Marie sighed as she came down from her panic attack. "…God dammit, Gramps…"

"It's… it's just a frisbee…" Johnson repeated, looking a little annoyed. He set it down. "Ms. Cuttlefish… Ms. Ida… You and Ms. Hime are free to go…" He said, sighing deeply.

Marie stared at nothing in pure disbelief as Johnson's partner uncuffed Marina and then her. She stood up from the table, rubbing her wrists. "You have… GOT to be kidding me…"


Three Days Later

"WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING!?" Marie yelled.

"I… I… I'm sorry, young lady…" Cap'n Cuttlefish awkwardly said. "I was under the impression it was a highly dangerous weapon…"

"HOW!? IT WAS A FUCKING FRISBEE!"

Cap'n Cuttlefish, Callie, Marie, Bridgett, and Jessica were all sitting awkwardly in the living room of Marie's apartment.

Cuttlefish sighed. "Well… to be fair, I never saw what was in the suitcase… I just found the suitcase, and some kid down in the Metro told me it was dangerous, and I-"

"You are so god damn SENILE!" Marie yelled one last time, interrupting him.

"Marie…" Callie said.

Cuttlefish looked a little hurt by what she just said, and she noticed, so she took a moment to calm down. "I… I'm sorry… I'm just a little pissed…"

"A little?" Callie asked.

"It's no problem, young lady." Cuttlefish sighed, shakily standing up and grabbing his cane. He walked up to Marie. "You are so brave to even take on the mission… I'm so proud of you… All of you. Yeah, sure, I fucked up, but… your bravery is still so real… and I'm happy for that."

Marie sighed, looking him in the eyes, not knowing how to respond.

"Thanks, Gramps…" Callie said, smiling a little.

Marie decided to drop her anger, listening to him. "I'm sorry, I… I love you, Gramps. Just… make sure you start double checking on so-called serious problems."

Cuttlefish smiled through his beard. "Will do, young lady." He hugged her.

Marie returned the hug.

When the hug broke, Cuttlefish stood as high as he could. "Now… You all are aware that Agent 3 and I will be gone for a little while… right?"

"Yeah… I know… important shit…" Marie sighed.

He nodded. "Correct. And you know what that means… I want you to take good care of the Splatoon while I'm gone. So if the Great Zapfish goes missing or whatever like it did last time we went away…"

"I'll hire an Agent 9 through a storm drain." She smiled a little. "No, I'm kidding. I'm sure Four will be available. I'm not doing the whole hiring thing again…"

Cuttlefish smiled again. "I know you'll do great." He turned to Jessica. "Alright then… duty calls…"

Jessica nodded and turned to Bridgett as Cuttlefish began walking toward the door. "Remember what I said about doing anything stupid while I'm out?"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll stay close to the ground." Bridgett replied.

"Good…" She patted her on the shoulder. "See ya, Eight."

Suddenly, to everyone's surprise, Bridgett launched forward, pulling Jessica into a hug. "Stay safe…"

Callie and Marie both raised their eyebrows as they watched, but Jessica just returned the hug. "I will."

Bridgett awkwardly broke the hug, and Jessica nodded. She grabbed her duffle bag she had with her, and together with Cuttlefish, stepped out of the apartment, with Bridgett, Callie, and Marie all watching and waving goodbye.

Once the door was shut, Marie turned to Bridgett. "…What happened to your deep hatred for her?"

"I… I don't know…" Bridgett said awkwardly.


Later that day, Bridgett was making her way through the city along the sidewalk, heading back to Pearl and Marina's house, with a backpack strung over her shoulder. She sighed, pulling out her golden toothpick she had been carrying around lately. She eyed it for a moment. It really was a beautiful little thing, wasn't it?

She remembered the dream she had to go through to even feel worthy enough to grab it. The fight with her Inner Agent 3. She still didn't quite understand the meaning yet, but she knew she would one day. Sighing, she carefully inserted it through her tentacles, letting it stick out of her hair.

As she walked on for another while, it was starting to get dark out. As she passed a convenience store, however, she stopped as she heard a lot of commotion coming from inside.

She sighed deeply, looking through the window. "…Again?" Sure enough, the place was being robbed, and the cashier was being held at gun point.

She was aware what Jessica warned her about, and that she really should just stay quiet and walk away. Yet, one question circled through her head. 'What would Three do?'

Barely hesitating, she leaned down and opened up her backpack, pulling out her Octoshot.