“Well obviously,” Maria said. “Ninjas. Why didn’t I guess?”
The ninjas that filled the trilobite making lab crouched into ninja-attack poses and drew their weapons. Shink! Snik! Slk!
“Aren’t you idiots supposed to be silent?” Lenore asked.
The ninjas paused for a moment, then each one aimed his katana at his own belly.
“Whoa, whoa!” Maria yelled. “Time out! You were a little bit noisy, but you didn’t dishonour your ancestors that much. Take it down a notch.”
Reluctantly, the ninjas sheathed their weapons. “You will not stop us in our quest, plumbers!” said one.
“Relax, Mr Miyagi …” Maria began.
“That’s kind of racist…” a ninja said.
“…We’re not here to stop you,” Maria continued. “We’re looking for Dr Frightmarestein. You seen her?”
“What are you doing here, anyway?” Lenore said.
“Ugh… You had to ask,” Maria sighed.
“We are the ninjas of clan Trilobito,” the lead ninja said. “A mysterious ninja clan that for centuries has existed under the watchful protection of the great trilobite spirit. But with the opening of this park, the trilobite energy has deserted us. By stealing the trilobite production technology we hope to…”
“Huh,” Lenore said. “I would have guessed ‘rival trilobite park.'”
“Same,” R17 said. “Beep.”
“I don’t care about any of this,” Maria said. “We need to find Frightmarestein to figure out what weird cross-dimensional mojo she put on the plumbing in this place. That way we might fix stuff and save everyone or whatever.”
She looked around the darkened lab, which was full of… well, full of sciencey stuff and ninjas as far as she could tell. It was hard to see how many ninjas. Since their recent dishonouring, they had decided to take ninjaing seriously again and were mostly half-hidden in the gloom.
“Beep,” R17 said. “If you just tell us if you’ve seen Frightmarestein then we’ll go and leave you to your work. Beep”
“Yeah,” Maria said. “And everyone knows you people have to do whatever a robot tells you to do.”
“Now that’s really racist!” a ninja exclaimed. “Like… extra racist, or something.”
“He’s not wrong, sis,” Lenore said.
“I guess,” Maria said. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay,” a ninja grumbled. “Just… just think, yeah? Think before you talk.”
“What does Dr Frightmarestein look like,” asked another ninja.
“Like someone whose name is Dr Frightmarestein.”
“Oh, yeah, I saw her,” said yet another ninja. “She was in a stairway in the admin area. The one that goes down to the pumping room.”
The plumbers and R17 looked at each other. “We just came from there. She wasn’t in the pumping room.”
“No, she was headed upstairs, towards the roof.”
Maria let out a mighty sigh. “Okay, let’s backtrack. Ninjas, thanks for the help. Sorry for the racism. It’s been a tough day. I know that doesn’t excuse my behaviour, but I hope that it goes some way towards explaining it.”
“Goodbye, plumbers and robot!” the ninjas said. “Take care, now!”