When a mysterious Elemental Master begins unleashing chaos on New Ninjago City by turning the local animals against the citizens, Sensei Wu and his ninja must bring in a Master from the future. But will the other ninja accept her help? And will her fears prevent her from saving the day?
There were not many things in existence that could scare Sensei Wu.
So when Wu came down with a sudden headache, and asked the Ninja to keep watch overnight while he went to bed, explaining to them that he feared something evil might be coming, Lloyd, Zane, and Nya were on their guard.
The other ninja, however...
"I'm going to bed," Cole announced, not long after sunset.
"Good idea," Lloyd replied. "We should work in shifts. Kai, Zane, and I will watch until midnight..."
"That's not what I meant," Cole interrupted. "I'm going to bed. And staying there."
"Me too," Jay added. "I'm not missing out on a night's sleep just because Sensei has a headache!"
"But Sensei Wu said that he felt that something sinister was impending," Zane pointed out.
"Yeah, because he had a headache. It's not even a gut feeling."
"But when has Sensei's intuition led us astray in the past?"
"Ha ha," Kai broke in, "where do we start?"
"Nowhere?" Nya suggested.
"Guys, guys, quit it," Lloyd groaned. "Fine, you all can go to bed. Me and Zane should be enough, and if anything happens, we'll get you up."
"I'm staying up too," Nya protested. "If something happens, I'm not missing a second of it."
"Suit yourself, sis," Kai replied, stretching and yawning. "Good night."
Before long, half the Ninja were neatly tucked into bed. Kai dreamed that Lloyd had become a kid again, and was pulling more pranks on the rest of the team. Bleaching Kai's gi, sticking Zane's limbs together magnetically while he was meditating, etc.
"Kai!" Lloyd said in a hoarse whisper, shaking Kai. "Get up...something's out there!"
"Ha ha," Kai chuckled, still mostly asleep. He rolled over. "Nice try, kid, but you're not fooling me. Leave me alone."
"I'm not trying to fool you! I'm serious!"
Nya kicked the footboard and the bed tipped forward, sending Kai flying into the window.
"What the flaming —" Kai spluttered, but then he saw it.
A beastly silhouette stood alone in the moonlight, and a terrifying howl pierced the sky...
Not since the Digital Overlord had taken over New Ninjago City as the Golden Master had the metropolis been so frightened. In fact, "frightened" is hardly applicable.
The source of this fear was understandable but unusual. Almost overnight, it seemed, every animal in the area had descended upon New Ninjago City. Not only that, but the larger and more dangerous ones had begun attacking residents right in their home. Needless to say, nearly every inhabitant had fled after a few days.
The Ninja, however, remained in the DBX outside of town. Four days after the rise of the beasts, Lloyd stood outside, looking contemplatively toward the abandoned town.
Kai came out to join him. After standing silent for a minute or two, he finally voiced the question that everyone was thinking. "What the heck happened?"
"I wish I knew," Lloyd sighed. "It even has Wu and Mom stumped."
"Not anymore," came Misako's voice, suddenly. As the ninja turned around, they saw her coming out of the DBX, book in hand. She managed a weak smile when she reached them. "Wu and I think we may have the answer. Certainly, it's the best one we have so far."
She handed the book to Lloyd, opening to a specific page. Lloyd studied it. Then, he read the relevant portion aloud. " 'One of the least-known elements in existence is that which is called "Fauna" . Masters of this element are able to communicate with animals. After some training, they are also able to control animals—summoning nearby beasts and having them do their will.
" 'Masters of Fauna have historically been of dubious character. In fact, the very first Master had to be banished by the First Spinjitzu Master to the distant land of Rothals. It is unconfirmed whether his line continues today...' "
Lloyd shut the book. Kai broke the silence. "Well, it makes more sense than what we've got."
"But if we're dealing with a Master of Fauna, what do we do?" Lloyd asked. "Fighting any Elemental Master is hard enough, but we can't fight an army of animals..."
"Um, hello..." Kai piped up. "Does the Corridor of Elders ring a bell?"
Lloyd suddenly hung his head. "And how was that resolved?" Misako snapped. She and Lloyd went inside.
Kai just stood there. "Was it something I said?"
Lloyd soon informed the rest of the Ninja on their likely predicament. The reactions were mixed.
"You mean, not only do we have to fight a horde of crazed animals, but we have to fight an Elemental Master too?" Jay whined.
"Bring it on," was Nya's response.
"My database contains no record of any 'Master of Fauna' besides the original," Zane stated. "Are you sure your assumption is correct?"
"Sure enough that Wu left to go get our solution," Misako replied.
"He said he was going to Mystake's tea shop," Cole pointed out. "Are we seriously going to sit around and drink tea to fix this?"
"But Cole," Jay countered, suddenly enthusiastic, "it's Mystake's tea! That means it's magic tea!"
"Exactly, Jay," Misako said. "Wu's plan involves some of the very rare Time Tea..."
"Time tea?" Jay beamed. "Are we gonna go back in time to solve the problem?"
Misako smiled mysteriously. "Not you six." She turned to leave. "Someone else."
The ninja exchanged looks. "Don't look at me," Lloyd protested. "Your guess is as good as mine..."
The Ninja followed Misako to the control center of the DBX, hiding behind the doorway in classic cartoon style. Just as they did this, a portal appeared, and Wu stepped out of it.
"You're late," Misako winked.
Wu chuckled. "A sensei is never late. He arrives precisely when he intends to. Besides, I found the ninja we're looking for."
"A ninja?!" Jay spluttered in a whisper. "He went to get a new ninja because we weren't enough?"
"Shh," Cole hushed. As he did so, someone else stepped through the portal.
She wore brown boots, blue jeans, a tan T-shirt, a cream cowboy hat, and a golden katana slung over her right shoulder. Her long, blond hair was knotted in a rough braid.
"Whoa," Kai whispered, "who's she?"
"Presumably, the ninja of whom Sensei spoke," Zane replied.
"Her?" Jay giggled. "She looks nothing like one!"
"Guys, shut up!" Nya groaned.
"Misako," Wu was saying, "this is Callie. She is the Master of Fauna...sixty-five years from now."¹
"Welcome to the DB Express, Callie," Misako replied, offering her a cup of tea. "Thank you for coming."
"Ain't no problem, ma'am," Callie smiled. "Momma always taught us t' lend a hand wheneveh we could." She took a sip of tea and made an involuntary face. "Uh, you got any sugah?"
Just then, the portal began to close. But just before it did, a bobcat leaped nimbly through. It cuddled contentedly at Callie's feet. The girl chuckled, scratching its ears. "Ya neveh could stand bein' alone, could ya, Fred?"
"Now," Wu announced, "we'll go find Lloyd. He'd likely be the most understanding—"
"Understanding of what, Sensei?" demanded Kai, jumping into the room. "Understanding that you're bringing in a kid from the future just because you think we can't handle this on our own?"
"Kai..." Lloyd groaned.
"Just what we were trying to avoid," Misako sighed.
Their cover blown, the rest of the ninja slouched into the room, throwing dirty looks at Kal.
"Well, they had to know sometime," Misako said.
"Are those th' Ninja?" Callie suddenly broke in. "They look just laike they do in books!"
Jay snickered. "You still have books?"
"Who cares?" Kai roared.
Suddenly, he was hit in the back of the head by a roundhouse kick from Lloyd. "Will you let Sensei explain?"
Everyone was quiet. Wu cleared his throat. "Thank you, Lloyd. As you have overheard, this young lady is Callie, a Master of Fauna from the future. I went to find one because we needed an edge."
"Six Masters of Spinjitzu versus a bunch of dumb animals isn't enough?" Kai asked rhetorically.
"Animals ain't dumb!" Callie retorted. "And you don't exactly strike me as intelligent yerself!"
"Oh boy," Lloyd whispered to Nya.
"Enough! Both of you!" Wu snapped. "Callie is close to the mark. Even if they are dumb, they are being controlled by an intelligent being. And there are scores of them."
Misako wisely handed Wu some tea, and after taking a swig, he continued in a more calm manner. "We need Callie to hopefully keep the creatures in check long enough to deal with the root of the problem. It is our best option."
" 'Scuse me, sir, but how exactly do we know it is my ancesteh?" Callie inquired.
"We don't," Misako admitted.
"However, we do have something," Zane announced. "PIXAL was able to scan my memory banks and construct a model of our suspect." He projected a hologram in their midst. "I'm afraid it's a bit fuzzy, but it is a start."
Callie peered at the hologram. "Yep, has t' be one of us," she soon declared.
"What makes you say that?" Cole asked.
"Look at that." She pointed to the outline of an elaborate beard. "Mah fam'ly's known all oveh Rothals fo' their facial haih."
Jay giggled again. Kai looked like he was about to explode again, but Lloyd caught him this time.
"Oh! Guys! Uh, I just remembered...we were supposed to meet with the Commissioner and...uh, Ronin!" He chuckled nervously.
"What?" Cole asked.
"I don't remember that!" Jay protested.
Zane was about to say something similar, but PIXAL alerted him to the hidden message in Lloyd's tone. "Oh yes, of course," he said, grinning, beginning to push Jay toward the door.
Lloyd, pulling Kai, winked at Nya. "Nya, why don't you stay here and, uh, help Callie get settled in? We'll be back later."
She got the message and winked back. "No problem. We girls have to look after each other."
The calamity averted, Misako breathed a sigh of relief, then showed Callie around with Nya.