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"I cannot believe you, Mumble" Gloria said, pushing her former friend to the ground. "I tried to protect you, and how do you repay me! By headbutting me unconscious! I cannot, I just cannot believe this!"

"You can't believe me!"

"No I can't! I thought you were my friend."

"I thought you were mine."

"Friends stick up for friends, Mumble! Friends don't betray friends to let the enemy escape!"

"Chrysta is not the enemy! She's my friend! And if it wasn't for you, she'd probably be your friend too! Just stop this rivalry with her, please, Gloria! For your sake and hers!"

"You don't get it, do you, Mumble! This isn't rivalry! This is WAR! Not like you would understand that, would you Mumble."

"And why exactly wouldn't I understand that!"

"BECAUSE YOU'RE A FREAK!" Gloria snapped uncontrollably. She turned and saw Johnny, Fantine, Barry and even Winter all with their mouths dropped in shock at her comment. It was then that she realised what she had just said, before she turned around and saw Mumble looking at her. Seeing the tears come from his eyes and trickle down his face to his chin downright broke her heart. She took a small step toward Mumble, before he snapped "GET AWAY FROM ME!"

"Mumble, I'm sorry."

"You said we were friends. You said you believed in me. But you're no different from everyone else in Emperor Land. You're no different from Noah. You're no different from my dad!"

"Mumble, please!" Gloria begged, before Mumble turned and fled through the door, slamming it hard behind him, with Johnny and the rest of the gang following him.

As they chased Mumble, Winter thought to himself about what day it was. Then the terror came into his eyes. They were all in great danger. He had to warn them. He didn't work for Cliff anymore. He had friends now. And as their friend, it was his duty to protect them to his last breath.

Mumble walked through the campus silently, away from his friends and Gloria. He didn't want friends anymore. What was the point of having friends if you were just going to lose them anyway. If he had already lost Chrysta and Gloria, then it was just a matter of time before he lost Johnny, and Barry, and Fantine, and even Winter, who he hadn't known for as long as everybody else, so he would probably lose him last, because it seemed as though the longer he knew someone, the sooner he would lose their trust.

"Ah, Mr Happy Feet" someone called, to which Mumble looked up, only to see Andrew Moriarty towering above him.

"I haven't seen you since the big fight last week" Moriarty continued, before Mumble noticed the dagger he held in his left flipper.

"Look" Mumble said coldly. "If you've come to kill me, then I give you permission to. It's not like my life is worth anything."

But rather than follow this idea, Moriarty simply looked at his blade as he sharpened it, saying "if you were Johnny, I would take that as a very generous offer. But I have not come here for violence, Mumble. I heard about what you did at the Wolfsworth presentation ceremony. I have heard of your predicament with Miss Chrysta, and seeing as you saved my life, (see chapter 8 for more details) I have come to offer you and your friends my assistance. A temporary alliance between enemies."

"Mumble!" Johnny shouted, running to his friend's side, followed by Barry, Fantine and Winter. Johnny drew an ice sword from his small, custom belt, saying "alright Moriarty, time to end this!"

"Johnny, we have bigger things to worry about, like the fact that Emperor Land has only 24 hours left" Winter cut in, to which everyone there responded "WWWHHHAAATTT!"

Winter slapped himself with his flipper, saying "oh, yeah, I forgot, I'm not working for the Wolfsworths anymore, so I can tell you guys everything, can't I."

"What do you have to tell us, Winter?" Mumble asked.

"Look, remember those machines that Cliff presented at the show that night that Chrysta ran away. Well, those contraptions are nothing more than weapons of mass destruction. This time tomorrow, Cliff will be on a bus heading out of Emperor Land with the entire city's stock exchange of fish in his possession, while the machines that have been installed are rigged to blow this entire nation to kingdom come. Any survivors from the explosions he's going to work to death building his new empire: Foxopolis."

"Well, we can't have that, now can we? We really are in some deep sludge this time round" Johnny said.

"We're doomed" Fantine said.

"Well" Barry said as he kneeled down to Fantine. "If we are doomed Fantine, then I want us to be doomed together. Fantine, will you do me the honour of becoming Mrs Fantine Kyle Tamland."

Tears of joy began to fill Fantine's eyes. "Yes, yes, of course I'll marry you. I love you, Barry Tamland!"

"Oh my Guin! I love weddings!" Johnny said. "Can I be the best man?"

"No one is getting married!" Winter shouted, before Barry and Fantine looked at him angrily, before he continued with "until we stop Wolfsworth. We'll break in tonight and destroy those machines, then you guys can get hitched!"

"But how do we destroy them? Those things are massive!" Johnny said.

"That is where I come in, Jonathan" Moriarty interrupted. "Wolfsworth has paid me thousands of fish to smuggle ice from all around Antarctica. That and due to this, I am personally in possession of the blueprints of every single machine that is installed here. All we have to do is get the five small chips, each of which we must insert into one of the machines. The chips will fry their systems, and every single one of those unholy weapons will fall crashing into the oceans. Never to be seen again."

"Yes, indeed" Johnny said, before asking "but, what do you mean we?"

"You guys. And me. I have come today to offer you my assistance. A truce, as you may call it. Oh, Johnny, in this time of peril, we rivals must unite against this common enemy."

"Hmm, yes. Indeed, you're practically a brother to me at this point. It is time we put aside our petty rivalry and join forces."

"Wow, Gloria was right, I simply do not understand war" Mumble said, slightly confused by their sudden ability to bury hatchets.

"Very well" Moriarty said. "Then my brain and weapons are at one with yours, and together we shall vanquish this foul foe" he continued, before everyone in the group put their flippers in the circle and shouted "together!"

"And we better save Emperor Land" Fantine said. "Because I'm gonna become Mrs Tamland".


Next chapter: The death of Cliff Wolfsworth

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