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Class: Story
Status: Abandoned
Author: TheNightwing44
Availability: The Journey of Vanda Darkflame can also be found here.
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Prologue

An immense line of purple storm clouds slowly drew towards a rocky island floating in deep space, where there wasn't much to see but a few mountains and an enormous tree. A few buildings were slung on the branches, with a warm candle light keeping them bright. The tree's leaves were a shade of dark red.

The cloud in the center of the line would've scared the living daylight out of any minifigure, because there was something different about it. A large face with piercing red eyes and a chilling, terrible smile was in the cloud. It was as if it symbolized pure chaos and evil, the red eyes staring at the island. Thunder rumbled through its cloud, which was so loud it would've caused the entire island to crack in half if the storm was any closer. As if on que, the other clouds stopped in their place. The eyes of the face now looked directly at the tree, as if waiting for something to happen. Minutes passed. Eventually, a tiny scarlet leaf fell off of its brance, drifting silently into space. Grinning, the face said,

"Begin." Its voice rumbled like thunder, shaking up the air around it.

Instantly, the clouds began to move, much faster than before, rocketing towards the island

Chapter 1.1

Vanada Darkflame ducked below a dark gray rock. She was at the top of a mountain, staring down at a large plateau below her. Several other minifigures stood on it, battling enemies. They weren't what she was spying on. She was really targeting a marble statue of a Samurai warrior. The thing must've been ancient, as several cracks lined it. A spear was held in its hands, and it was in a battling position. Soon enough, it would transorm into a Dark Ronin, a dangerous creature of the Maelstrom.

The Maelstrom was pure chaos, corruption, broken Imagination. It infected anything it touched, giving off a violet glow. The source of chaos was founded by Baron Typhonus, an insane explorer, who just-so happened to be Vanda's original trainer. Well, that was, before he was infected by his own creation.

The statue shook for a second, and lightning shot out of it, hitting another one of its kind. Both exploded, and from the rubble emerged two Dark Ronin. They stood in place, waiting for someone to attack them. They would've looked exactly like the statues, except that they had no legs, glowed purple, and held katana instead of spears.

Vanda saw the opportunity to approach. The cliff was a straight drop down into deep space, so she had to be careful. Crouching over, she placed a foot onto a rock and began to descend. Although it seemed sort of safe, Vanda knew how treacherous these cliffs were. One wrong movement and down she'd go.

That she did. While placing her left foot onto a tiny stone sprouting from the cliff, she lost her right hand's grip. Her foot put too much weight onto the rock, and it tumbled down. The rock supporting her left hand grew weak and crumbled too. A moment before falling, she was able to leap off the edge, but didn't accelerate far enough. The best she could do was hold onto the plateaus ledge. It was bad enough she was hanging, but when the Ronin noticed her, she knew that she was a gonner.

Chapter 1.2

Vanda had some experiences with hanging off of cliffs, but with two angry Dark Ronin approaching her? This was a lot different. Flipping up onto the ground would make her land right in front of the Dark Ronin, giving them the opportunity to attack. Besides that, there wasn't any other way to save herself. As the Ronin drew near, she prepared herself for smashing or infection, two fates of the minifigures.

Then, the oddest thing happened. Two bolts of lightning shot out of the sky and slammed into the Dark Ronin. Confused, the two Samurai spun around, only to confront a Hinobi and three Inventors.

"Alright!" shouted the Shinobi. "Blast 'em!"

The three Inventors immediately lifted their launchers and began to shoot down the Ronin. In seconds, the two Maelstrom creatures had been smashed into a pile of purple bricks. They had dropped many coins, several faction tokens, and a few items.

"Wow," said one of the Inventors. "Look at all this loot!"

"I'll say", replied the Shinobi, grinning.

Instantly, the four began dividing their rewards evenly, and were about to go fight some more Ronin, when the Shinobi noticed Vanda.

"Oh!" he exclaimed. "Sorry, we didn't see you there. C'mon guys, let's help them!"

They were going to rush over to her, but she flipped onto the plateau. Amazed, one of the Inventors said,

"Wow." The other three nodded.

"What's your name?" asked another.

Vanda hadn't realized she was wearing her red ninja mask. She pulled it off and said,

"I'm Vanda Darkflame."

Chapter 1.3

The Shinobi was shocked.
"Oh, uh, wow", he stuttered, eventually recovering himself. "Sorry, it's just that you're my faction leader, I didn't expect you to be here, and you're, you know, my faction leader."
Vanda was indeed the leader of the Paradox, one of the four factions in the Nexus Force. The Nexus Force was an organization made to protect Imagination and defeat the Maelstrom.
"Thanks, for defeating those Dark Ronin", she replied. "Good work with it, too."
"Anytime. Oh, we should properly introduce ourselves."
The Inventors nodded in approval, and the Shinobi spoke again.
"I'm Loop. And these are my friends..."
"Hi", said the Rank 3 Inventor on the left. "I'm Osneht."
"Hey", said the one in the middle, "M'name's WiseElectronEngine."
"Nice to meet you, Vanda", said the last. "SmartMagneticMagnet, at your service."
"Pleasure to meet the three of you", replied Vanda.
"Oh", said Loop, "There's one more member to our crew. Over there. He's my brother, Swoop. It's his birthday today, so he wants to battle with his friends."
Sure enough, more minifigures stood on the other side of the plateau, smashing Ronin. Leading them was a minifigure dressed in high combat armor, carrying a Heroic Trident of Lightning. That must've been Swoop.
"So, Vanda, what do you wanna do?" asked Loop.
"Well, I probably should be leaving, I need to check in with Echs Ray."
"Aww, you have to leave already? But-"
"Oh my bricks!" Osneht gasped, pointing up to the sky. "WHAT is THAT?"

Chapter 1.4

Everyone within sound range directed their attention to the sky, which even included Swoop and his friends. Sure enough, a mass of purple stormclouds were settling in the Forbidden Valley. Everyone looked terrified.
"That's a Maelstrom Storm", said Vanda. "Extremely rare. Only spotted once. They can... cause complete destruction."
Swoop and his friends were already running towards the Great Tree, where there was a launch pad that would safely take them to Nimbus Station.
"I hope he'll be okay", Loop said. "It's his birthday."
"We need to get out of here", said WiseElectricEngine. The rest seemed to agree.
Terror was already striking the area around them. Lightning zapped bushes, Ronin ran free, the stork having destroyed their barriers that forced them to stay on the plateau. Minifigures ran around in all directions, screaming. Vanda confirmed,
"Yeah, let's leave."

Besides the screaming people, the team had to face several Dark Ronin. While working together, they seemed to make it out of each battle safe, but Vanda knew that if they encountered a tougher enemy, they wouldn't do so well.
As they ran in the direction or the enormous tree, gongs began to echo through the wind. Alarms. They were evacuating the place. Lightning seemed to strike everywhere, barely missing Vanda and her companions most of the time.
They finally arrived at the base of the tree. They had a long ways to go, but that wasn't what everyone was paying attention to.

Chapter 1.5

"Don't worry, everyone", Vanda said. "This tree is protected from the Maelstrom, as long as the trees are still on the branches."
They began to ascend the gnarled roots, which led to the base. A swirling mass of wood formed a path leading high into the branches, lined with candles that lit up the place like a Christmas tree. A higher branch towards the right held a rocky path, containing the launch pad to Nimbus.
"Wee need to get up there", said Loop.
The five bolted up the path, occasionally tripping on the uneven wood. Violet lightning tried striking the enormous tree, but it was stopped by an invisible force field protecting them.
After minutes of climbing, they reached the thin stone walkway.The extremely strong wind, unlike the bolts of lightning, seemed to have to have not been affected by the leaves' protection bubble. The bridge now seemed totally unsafe.
"We'd never make it", Osneht shouted over the wind.
"He's right, we'll get blown off", continued SmartMagneticMagnet.
Vanda sighed. "We have to try! Here, I'll go first."
As she started to walk, a small item fluttered onto her shoulder. Not paying much attention, and picked it up. In her hand was a single scarlet leaf.

Chapter 1.6

Hundreds... no, thousands of red leaves broke away from their branches, and drifted slowly into an endless sky below. Within moments, their shield around the tree would vanish, leaving them completely unprotected.
"That's not good", Osneht muttered under his breath.
"We have to warn everyone in the tree!" shouted Vanda over the roaring winds.
"Wait!" Loop asked, shocked. "What about the Launch Pad?"
"Let's just hope nothing happens to it in the next five minutes."
WiseElectronEngine and Loop looked like they wanted to protest, but didn't say anything and followed Vanda higher into the tree. Finally, they came to a clearing. A small dojo was held on a branch, which surprisingly stood still, even though it should've weighed more than its support. Slightly towards the left was a glowing anvil, and across from that was a golden gong.
Everyone up here seemed to have already gotten the message of the attack, as dozens of minifigures ran around, screaming. Even the brave ninja, Numb Chuck, wearing his Dragon-Skin Armor and gray Lockjaw Helm, was among the terrified. The only one that wasn't evacuating was... Fong Shader.
The old sensei was in pretty good condition. His long black hair was graying, and his beady eyes lit up whenever lightning struck around or above them. There were only about twenty leaves left, more ripping off with each passing minute. Vanda tapped Shader's shoulder, and he turned to her.
"Master Frong!" she said. "The Maelstromn is invading, and the tree's protective barrier is almost gone!"
"He's in it..." he whispered. "And he's controlling it..."
"What?!"
For a moment, he stood silent, then gasped, "Baron Typhonus is in the Maelstrom, and he's CONTROLLING it!"
Vanda looked up. Only a few leaves left. Then she stared directly into Fong's eyes, and something in them made her black out.

Chapter 1.7

When Vanda opened her eyes, she wasn't sure if it was a vision or reality. She was directly above one of the purple clouds in the Maelstrom Storm. She couldn't move her arms or legs; they were frozen.
She finally reached the cloud, and a circle opened up for her in it. Instead of falling trough it, she landed on a solid platform. The gray stone was similar to the rocks in the Forbidden Valley. It was chipped and uneven, as if it hadn't been used in a very long time. In front of her was the Great Tree, though it was hundreds of feet away from where she was standing.
She instantly recognized this place. It was an abandoned path that used to lead to the Great Tree's original launch pad. This hadn't been used in months. But why was she there at the time?
Her answer was found a split second after she had the thought. A red face appeared in mid-air directly in front of her. The scarlet eyes gleamed in the darkness, Vanda's appearance reflecting in them. The glowing mouth showed a horrible smirk. She noticed it all-too-well from Paradox observations: it was her old trainer, the Darkitect, Baron Typhonus.
She tried to run away, but her legs were glued to the rock. The evil face teleported halfway across the path, but she could still see it clearly. Typhonus grew a body, wearing a black tuxedo with a purple bow-tie. He caught a hat as it fell through the clouds, just as Vanda had done. Reaching his other arm into it, he pulled out a scepter. The crown jewel was a deep shade of purple, which dimmed and lit up every ten seconds.
The Darkitect shot two jets of purple smoke from it. They both swirled around, rocketing towards Vanda. When they hit her, a chilly and terrifying feeling swept over her, as if Typhonus had unlocked her worst nightmare. He teleported towards her, ending up extremely close. She took one look at his scepter, and instantly she had a fuzzy feeling. He was draining her energy. One last look at it, then she blacked out again.

Chapter 1.8

Vanda tried opening her eyes, but they felt to heavy. She managed to squint at her surroundings. She was laying on the Great Tree, her companions kneeling next to her. Each of the Inventors' goggles glowed with a sky blue light, as they were powered by Imagination.
"I think she's waking up", said SmartMagneticMagnet.
"Oh, thank the bricks!" sighed the relieved voice of Loop.
She groggily sat up. Whatever the Darkitect had done to her had worked, because she felt as if all her energy had been drained out. Thoughts rushed back to her: the vision, the path, and Baron Typhonus. She tried thinking about what the vision meant, but there wasn't really a good explanation for it.
"Wha- what happened?" she asked.
WiseElectronEngine replied, "You got all pale for some reason, then you collapsed. You've been passed out for TEN minutes! Loop here thought, err... bad things were gonna happen."
Loop shifted nervously. "Uh, yeah", he said.
Then, something came to her. She realized what the vision was about. She gasped at the thought.
"What's wrong?!"
"The Darkitect is on his way!" she shouted. "We need to leave! NOW!"
"Wait, what?"
She explained her vision, and they all looked alarmed. Suddenly, a horrible laugh echoed, sounding close to the tree. It gave Vanda a chilling feeling.
"There he is", she muttered. "Let's go."

Chapter 1.9

"Are you coming, Master Fong?" Vanda asked as they prepared to leave.
Fong replied, "Oh yes, let me get the ancient ninja scrolls from the dojo. Don't wait." He ran into the building, and turned on the lights.
"Let's go", said Loop.
Vanda looked up. There were no more leaves left, and the remaining minifigures were sprinting towards the green launch pad. Around them, branches were set on fire, due to the lightning that constantly zapped them.
The five began to run down the tree, effortlessly trying to reach the launch pad. The wind was blowing against them, harder than it had ever been. They had several close encounters with the lightning, though it never touched them.
When they finally arrived at their destination, none wanted to cross the bridge. The wind was picking up speed very fast, almost knocking them off their feet.
"We have to cross", said Vanda.
"We're gonna fall off". Osneht replied. "Too unsafe."
"No offense, Vanda", continued Loop, "but he's right. We should've gone earlier, when the wind wasn't this high."
As much as Vanda wanted to argue, she knew they were right. No one, not even her, could cross. Suddenly, lightning struck where the branch and bridge met. Several cracks appeared, and the bridge became disconnected from the Great Tree. It tumbled into an endless space.
"Uh-oh", said WiseElectronEngine. "How are we gonna leave now?"
The same problem had occurred to Vanda, but she found a solution.
"There's another launch pad at the front entrance. We'll take that."
It seemed like a solution. The others agreed, and reached the bottom of the tree. They got up onto a rocky path, but hadn't gone a few steps when Vanda shouted,
"Wait! What about Fong?"
Right as she said it, the middle-aged sensei sprinted down, holding a scroll. However, he tripped, but made a quick recovery. Lightning struck between the wood and rock, just as it had with the launch pad. The roots untied themselves away from the path, and the tree made a groaning sound as it tilted. Vanda was able to shout, "No!" as the Great Tree fell, Fong and all.

Chapter 2.0

Vanda couldn't bring herself to the conclusion that Master Fong had not made it out of the tree. She wanted to sit there and watch it fall, but she knew that they had to leave. After Typhonus had left on his journey to the Nexus, Fong had continued and completed her ninja training. Pushing that thought aside, she focused on reality.
"We need to go", said Loop.
Vanda agreed. She could tell the storm was picking up. Wind raged, lightning struck, and the massive purple storm clouds stretched miles in each direction. Dark Ronin wandered everywhere, waiting to pick a fight.
They bolted up the path, dodging strikes by the Ronin and jumping over gaps whenever the rocks crumbled in front of them.
A few feet ahead, they encountered their first major problem. Where a long bridge used to be, there stood an enormous gap. The bridge must've been blown off in the wind, which was still getting faster.
"We'll use Wind Travel", said Vanda, thinking of a solution. "Like on the way to Calvary Hill."
Osneht replied, "Isn't that ONLY for Calvary Hill, though?"
"Not when the wind's this high."
Grinning, she leapt into the gap, but the air supported her. She stood suspended in midair for a split second, then was flung forward, landing perfectly on the other side. "Told you so", she said.
The others did the same, joined her, and continued towards the launch pad. The storm should've reached it's highest point, but it kept growing. Thunder boomed in Vanda's ears, and she realized it had started pouring.
They came to the plateau they had been earlier. A sign said, 'Welcome to Calvary Hill', even though the place didn't look too welcoming. Without minifigures to battle them, the Ronin had rapidly multiplied, and the place was swarmed with them. Even Duke Exeter, the bravest minifigure in the world, would've been scared.
"How do we get through?" asked Loop.
"We slice", replied Vanda, drawing her katana.
The two blades disintegrated any Maelstrom on contact, except dragons and apes. They glowed with purple, being infused with the Maelstrom. It was Vanda's own design, and she loved it.
She stepped forward, and sliced a Ronin. By the time the others reached her, Vanda had already smashed half of the Ronin. Her two blades slashed and hacked any Ronin they found. WiseElectronEngine was the first to join her, shooting out jolts of Imagination from his launcher. Eventually, Loop, SmartMagneticMagnet and Osneht joined them.
"We need to clear a patch to the other side!" shouted Vanda.
"Got that right", Loop replied as he slammed bolts of lightning into a Ronin.
Vanda continued to slice, but she aimed the direction of her blades towards a clearing between two mountains. A small path led down to a gate.
As they began to reach the patch, explosions erupted behind them. A deep growl rumbled across Mantis Rock. Osneht looked back, and gasped.
"A dragon", he mumbled. "Why did it have to be a dragon?"
Sure enough, he was right. A Maelstrom Dragon flew right in the direction of them, scorching everything in its patch by shooting a wall of flame.
"C'mon, guys!" shouted Vanda. She pushed aside the last few Ronin, and sprinted down the path.

Normally, the gate at the front entramce would've been guarded by two ninja, but these were different circumstances. They stopped and looked. In front of them was the launch pad, just a few hundred feet away.
The dragon growled. Vanda looked back, and her eyes widened. The dragon had moved with amazing speed, and was drawing near them faster than ever. The five bolted towards the launch pad, hoping to get away. They were nearing the launch pad, ten feet, five feet, but the dragon was too quick. It swooped down and scorched the area where Loop had just left.
They reached the green launch pad. Time was of the essence at this point, so Vanda summoned her rocket, jumped in, and hoped she made it to Nimbus.

Chapter 2.1

The ride to Nimbus wasn't long at all. Vanda thought about the previous events; the vision, the hundreds of Ronin, and the Dragon. She thought of Fong, who was probably still falling on the Great Tree through space.
Suddenly, her rocket jolted downward. A large patch of grass loomed below, surrounded by hundreds of pine trees. She was nearing Nimbus Station. As she drew nearer, she unbuckled her seat belt and sat up. More details came into view: a green launch pad and a ninja gate.
The others were waiting for her. The three inventors were tinkering with their launchers, obviously modifying them, while Loop was polishing his two katana. She drew close enough, pressed a button on her rocket, and jumped out of the cockpit and right in front of the launch pad.
"What took you so long?" asked SmartMagneticMagnet.
"What are you talking about?" Vanda replied.
"We've been waiting for ten minutes, Vanda!"
"I don't remember taking that long. I could see you all in front of me."
"We didn't see you behind us."
Vanda was puzzled. How could she have taken so long? She was sure that she wasn't far behind them, but Smart showed no hint of a joke.
"Anyhow", said Loop, without looking up from working with his swords, "What would you guys say to some Notion Potions? My treat!"
"Alright! Yeah!" replied Osneht. The others nodded in agreement.
"I'll pass", said Vanda. "I need to catch up with some people."
"Okay!" said WiseElectronEngine. "C'ya, Vanda!"
With that, they all left her, leaving Vanda alone by the Forbidden Valley's launch pad. She looked over a cliff towards some skyscrapers. Several vendors were selling items. Between the circles of buildings, a small grassy area held a group of four minifigures.
After stopping for a moment, Vanda jumped in that direction.

Chapter 2.2

As Vanda neared the plaza, the groups of minifigures became more detailed. One of then was a combination of different people. There were, to Vanda's satisfaction, two Paradox Space Marauders, whereas the other two were wearing custom outfits.
The other group was made of Sentinel Space Rangers. They seemed to be huddled up and talking in secret. Vanda was puzzled by this, but ignored it.
She decided to walk over to the group with the Space Marauders. They appeared to be trading items for coins. She saw one of the Space Marauders give a golden crown to the other for a sack of money. She wondered how much it held.
"Excuse me?" asked Vanda. She must've caught the group by surprise, for the one with the coins dropped his bag and fainted it.
"Please excuse Yonder", said the other Marauder. "He tends to get 'overly' excited when it comes to meeting famous people."
Vanda laughed. The one who had fainted, Yonder, was back on his feet, bushing. "Heh heh", he said. "Sorry."
With a grin on her face, Vanda replied, "Didn't mean to scare you. Just needed to ask a question."
"Oh, okay, what do you need?"
"I'm looking for an old friend. Where might I find Clog Blammo?"
"Oh, um, she's actually right behind you."
Vanda turned her head. There, standing in the Paradox faction vendor booth, was yet another Space Marauder. She was reading a magazine, obviously waiting for customers.
"Thanks!" Vanda replied. "Be right back!"
With that, she took off, bolting towards her old colleague.

Chapter 2.3

Vanda halted to a stop when she reached the booth. There, standing in front of her, was the Paradox vendor, Cog Blammo.
"Vanda?" Cog asked, in shock. "My goodness, is that you?"
"Yep", said Vanda. "Long time no see, eh?"
"Wow, has it been... what, eight years?"
Vanda grinned. "Just about. Can I get a Power Potion?"
Cog opened what appeared to be a small refridgerator, and pulled out a soda can. Engraved into the metal was the Paradox logo: an eye with a red vortex swirling around it.
"That'll be a hundred coins and one token", said Cog.
Vanda slid a sack plump full of coins onto the counter, and a small red token was flipped next to it. Cog opened the bag and began to count the coins.
"So", she said, without looking up, "Wha'd'ya wanna talk about about? Money-making, rare tips, or good consumables to buy? This is the head of the Nexus market you're talkin' to!"
"No", replied Vanda, hushing to a whisper. "I need answers. About the Forbidden Valley."
Cog leaned in closer. "Oh yeah? What about it?"
"You haven't heard the news?"
"What news? What on Crux is going on? What happened to the BEST place in the universe to make faction tokens?"
"You haven't heard?" Vanda was speaking so soft the words barely escaped her mouth.
Cog shook her head.
"Well", continued Vanda. "It's certainly not good news. The Forbidden Valley is completely consumed by the Maelstrom. Destroyed."
Cog's eyes widened, and she dropped the stack of coins that she had just neatly arranged.

Chapter 2.4

Cog's coins clattered against the booth's floor. Vanda stopped sipping her Paradox Power Potion. Suddenly, it didn't taste as delicious as it should've. Just the mentioning of the Forbidden Valley made her feel sick. She set the drink on the faction booth's countertop.
"What?" Cog half asked, half shouted. "Who told you these rumors?"
"No one told me this", Vanda whispered. "I experienced it."
Cog's jaw dropped. "When did this happen?"
"Just about an hour ago."
With that, Vanda explained the entire story. She told Cog about the vision, the tree falling, the hundreds of Ronin at Mantis Rock, and the dragon chasing her and the others. Cog listen intently, as if this would be her new top rumor that she was going to spread around the universe..
"Well, this basically ruins my money-making plan", said Cog when Vanda was finished. "You know, there's a trick that let's you get money with faction tokens, and the Forbidden Valley is THE best-"
"I don't care!" shouted Vanda. She realized the story had made her teary-eyed. Calming herself down, she said, "Sorry, it was just an awful experience."
"That's okay. It's closing time, anyway. See you soon?"
With a weak smile, Vanda nodded her head. Cog smiled back. Then, she pulled down metal shutters, blocking the inside of the booth.
Vanda turned and slowly dragged herself back to the plaza, where the two groups were still standing.

Chapter 2.5

With a heavy heart, Vanda walked into the plaza. She looked into the direction of the Forbidden Valley launch pads. Assembly Engineers were already welding electric fences to keep out people from entering the world.
Again she looked at the two groups. The space rangers were staring at her. When they noticed that she was onto them, they quickly turned their heads away and huddled together. This made Vanda even more suspicious of the Sentinels, but she once again ignored the fact.
The other group seemed to be in a more cheery mood. Yonder seemed to have lost the fact that he had fainted in front of Vanda, and was now laughing along with his friends. She slowly walked over to them, holding in her tears.
"Hey, Vanda!" shouted the other Space Marauder. "Come back to join us?"
"Yes", she replied. "Cog had to shut down the booth for the night."
"Ah", said the Rank Three Daredevil. "Oh, uh, we should introduce ourselves."
"Yeah", said the second Space Marauder. "I'm AcidSoggy, that's Legofan613, and there's DiddyChillyBuscuit. And, well, you know Yonder."
Everyone chuckled at this, even Yonder himself. It didn't cheer Vanda up much, but gave her a good laugh.
"Well", said Legofan613, "I have to say I've never met a faction leader outside of the Nexus Tower before."
"Really?" asked AcidSoggy. "What about the time that Duke went to that Hollis prop? Uh, Avant Conservatory?"
"Wasn't there."
"Let's change the subject", interrupted Vanda. "I wanted to talk about the Forbidden Valley."
"Oh", said DiddyChillyBuscuit. "That."
Everyone frowned.

Chapter 2.6

Vanda understood why everyone was being so solemn. Those who knew about the Forbidden Valley's corruption by the Maelstrom had been dramatically changed by it, including Vanda.
"So", said Diddy, "we heard you experienced it?"
"I did", replied Vanda, staring at the ground.
For a few minutes, everyone was silent. There was no sound, except for the faint noise of the Engineers forging electrical fences around the Forbidden Valley's launch pad, waiting to shock anyone who dare approached.
"Well", mumbled Yonder, breaking the silence, "what was it like?"
Vanda continued looking at the perfectly trimmed green grass below her. She didn't speak, but just shook her head.
"What a peaceful night", said AcidSoggy.
He was right. The Nimbus Sun was setting over the ocean, slowly lowering itself into the horizon. The holographic projections above each faction booth began to go out, and the other vendors pulled down the metal shutters for closing time. Vanda began to say,
"I should get go-" she was cut off by a chilling howl.
"Wolves", whispered Yonder, in a shaky voice. "Scatter."
The Sentinel group was already splitting up, running for safety. Vanda was quick on her feet, and bolted to the one shelter she knew could protect her from the vicious hounds: the Paradox building.

Chapter 2.7

Vanda had never encountered the wolves before, but she had heard rumors about them. They were a group of wild hounds that occasionally attacked Nimbus, prowling around to find a good meal. They had razor-sharp teeth, and pointy claws.
As Vanda bolted for the tall building next to Cog's booth, she looked around her. She could see Yonder running in the direction of the entrance to the Nexus Tower launch pad. DiddyChillyBuscuit was running fast in the same direction. Legofan613 and AcidSoggy were heading for Red Blocks.
A howl.
Vanda reached the door, and begin to turn the knob.
Locked.
Another howl. Closer.
Vanda kicked the door. It fell open.
She darted inside, put the door back in it's frame, and locked it tight. She was standing in a comfortable-looking lobby. Several chairs and sofas surrounded a small glass table. The lights on the ceiling were still turned on, lighting the small first floor.
Vanda peered out a nearby window. Another howl shook the building. In the trees on a nearby hill, a shadowy figure leapt into the plaza. As it neared, Vanda squinted and saw what it was.
The first wolf had just arrived.

Chapter 2.8

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