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ANB ( PG-13 )

Chapter 8

 

Chapter 8

As soon as they emerged from the lab they found Robin and Mike sitting on the couch, watching wide-eyed at the TV.

"What's wrong, children?"  Sandy asked worriedly.

"We were watching cartoons..."  Mike said, sounding a little scared.

"...when this news suddenly came on..." Robin said, with a funny look on her face. Without another word both the kids pointed straight at the TV screen.  The adults looked, and did a double take.

On the TV screen they could see the huge, disgusting-looking slimy monster that looked like a fat earthworm wriggling through the city and demolishing a good number of buildings. The disheveled-looking reporter popped into sight. "This is Stanley Whitfield reporting live right here from the Townsville! As you can see, we have a serious situation here.  Mayor had already called in military forces to deal with it. Let's see how they are doing, and if they can succeed in destroying it,"  As he spoke, the camera cut to the scene of fighter jets roaring across the sky, ground-based missile launchers locking into firing position, and tanks rolling through the streets.  They all started firing away at the wormlike monster, the missiles from the jets and shells from the tanks and the launchers.  They, however, proved useless against the monster that did not even flinch at all. Instead, it raised its head and blasted the jets and the tanks to oblivion with the deadly beams from two tiny eyes. 

The camera cut back to Stanley Whitfield who grimaced and went on, "Well, I guess they did not succeed in destroying it.  Therefore, we will now turn to our new Powerpuff Girl to see if she can help. Let's see what she has to say..."

"New Powerpuff Girl?!"  Professor shouted in surprise. "But who...?"

He soon got the answer. The camera quickly cut to Princess Morbucks herself, standing outside the City Hall.  She wore the usual yellow Powerpuff-style costume with black gloves belt, and boots plus a jet thrusters strapped to her back. She was looking both bored and annoyed, however.   "Would I help get rid of the monster, you asked me?" She yawned loudly and flapped her hand rather carelessly, "Pffft.  Maybe later. I must go home and watch my favorite TV show - I don't want to miss it!  And I need my beauty sleep, too. Ta-ta!"  With that, she flew off and out of sight.

"Princess Morbucks...of all people!"  Professor shook his head in disbelief and disgust. "Come to think of it, she's one of your students, isn't it Sandy?"

"Used to be, but not anymore, Sandy said with a sigh. "Last time I heard, she's being tutored at home instead. But for her to take on as a Powerpuff Girl...what was she thinking???"

Stanley Whitfield came on screen once again, looking even more unhappy than before. "Oh, no. If she can't or won't help out, then Townsville is doomed! What can we do?!"  While he was yet speaking, still facing the camera, a familiar-looking giant robot with a glass dome for a head lumbered into view far in distance behind the reporter and stopped before the monster. The wormlike creature paid no attention to the newcomer and went on to break off yet another tall building.  Nevertheless, a cannon came out of the robot's torso, and blinding white laser beams sliced into the repulsive monster's slick body.  The reporter jumped and nearly dropped his microphone when the monster's hideous shriek shattered the sky.  "What the heck is that...holy cow!"  Stanley exclaimed, "Where did this robot came from?  Wait a minute, have I seen this before...?"

The cannon blasted several times into the writhing monster, each time reducing it inches by inches until it was finally fried to a crisp and dropped out of sight, too small now to be a menace anymore.  The cannon receded back into the body and the robot straightened up and folded its long, flexible arms across the chest triumphantly. The glass dome flipped open and a small hairy figure popped up.  It wore purple cape, navy armored suit and a glass turban on top of his head.  His green simian face grinned in direction of the camera.  "Heh, heh, heh."

"MOJO JOJO!" Stanley Whitfield yelped.

"MOJO JOJO!" Professor and Sandy shouted. Robin and Mike, having only heard about him but never saw him in person before, simply gaped at the sight of the strange chimpanzee.

"Yes, it is I, Mojo Jojo!" The simian villain crowed, speaking into his own microphone so his voice could be heard clearly across the city from his built-in loudspeaker.  "For weeks I've watched those maundering monsters came and go, destroying everything in their way and finally I, Mojo Jojo, got fed up with them.  Since Powerpuff Girls are no longer around (snicker) to protect Townsville anymore, and that spoiled brat Princess Morbucks did such poor job masquerading as the so-called fourth Powerpuff Girl..."

Somewhere in the city a young voice shouted shrilly, "Hey! I resent that!"

The chimpanzee flapped his hand dismissively in her direction.  "Therefore I, Mojo Jojo, spent many long days constructing my most powerful Robo-Jojo to date, in order to deal with those monsters myself. And I have succeeded in defeating this unnatural worm!  For if I have not defeated the worm it will reduce Townsville to rubbish!"   The unlikely savior preened himself, looking quite pleased with himself.  "And seeing as how I have saved Townsville from total destruction, I will give you two choices!"   Here he held up one fingers. "First of all, I would suggest that you accept me as your ruler without question. Obey me, make obeisance to me, and pledge allegiance and loyalty to me for the rest of your lives!  I will be merciful to those who will be devoted to me, and should the monsters come again I shall remove them as soon I can. This is your first choice, and this is my promise!"

"Can he do that?"  Robin asked, staring saucer-eyed at the TV. 

"If he has his way it is very likely he would, Professor said with a grimace.

Mojo Jojo went on.  "Indeed, I shall be your ruler so you must bow to the great Mojo Jojo such as I.  Unless you refuse swear devotion to me and accept me as your ruler ..., here he put up another finger, and his face took on more threatening scowl. "Then I, Mojo Jojo, will give you a second choice. Simply put, you will face more unpleasant life ahead of you, for I will bestow no such mercy on people who would not welcome me as the rightful ruler of Townsville! And should the monsters come, I will simply do nothing to protect your precious city from them. And there's nothing you can do about it!"

He was greeted with a collective gasp from the onlookers below.  He grinned again. "Ha!  Now that Powerpuff Girls are gone, and I'm extremely happy they are indeed and without doubt disappeared never to be seen again, therefore nobody can stop me, Mojo Jojo, from taking over Townsville! Buwah hah hah hah hah hah!"

"Uh-oh," Stanley Whitfield said, looking shaken, "This is not very good, not very good at all!"

Meanwhile, in the living room Professor, Sandy and the children just stared at TV, stunned by the unexpected news.

"What are we going to do, John?" Sandy asked after a moment.

"I...I don't know, Sandy..."  Professor said. He turned the TV off, ran his hand through his hair nervously and glanced at Sandy who was hugging the anxious children and murmuring soothingly to them to calm their anxiety.  "But we'll just have to sit tight and wait and see. As long as we lay low, we'll be fine...I think!" 

"I think I want to go home, Mike said after a moment and fidgeted a little, looking a bit worried.

"Me, too,"  Robin said, glancing up at the clock on the wall above the TV,  "And besides, my babysitter's probably looking for me right now, so I better go back home!

"Wait!" Sandy exclaimed.  "It is getting late, and it's not really safe for you two to go home alone.  Would you like a ride home?"

Mike looked relieved. "Yes, please, Miss Keane!"

"It's okay, I live next door,"   Robin hugged Sandy again, "Bye, Miss Keane, bye, Professor!"  and ran home as fast as she could. 

 "Well, then, we'll take you home, Mike.  I need to go home, too...John?"  Sandy looked expectedly at Professor, "Since my car is in shop right now, would you be willing to give us a ride home?"

"Uh, but..." Professor began to argue. Sandy shook her head firmly and he sighed, his shoulders sagging. "Very well, I'll give you two a ride home, then."

**************

After they dropped Mike off at his house and on way to Sandy's house Professor gripped the steering wheel firmly and tried again. "Sandy, are you sure you can manage all by yourself?  I mean, with the babies coming and Mojo Jojo taking over Townsville, it just doesn't seem like a good idea for you to be alone..."

Sandy glanced at Professor. Noticing the worry on his face she said gently, "John, I'll be fine.  If I ever need anything, I can always call on you."

"That'll be great, Professor said. He slowed to a stop at the red light and drummed his fingers on the wheel impatiently, trying desperately to think of something. He wanted to be near to the Powerpuff Girls - after all, they were his daughters once - and he would do anything to have Sandy live at his house so he can monitor the babies for their health's sake. So why did he have to make such a big deal over one miserable cat?   Professor sighed, accelerating as soon as the light turned green.  "Sandy...I-I-I'm really sorry I'm being such a jerk when it comes to cats.  It's just that..." he trailed off, feeling gloomy.

Sandy looked down, biting her lips.  John was a really good friend and she knew he meant well.  She probably should not have gotten defensive when it came to cats. "John, I have to apologize, too. I should not gotten upset at you. I know you don't like cats, but I just can't give up Valentino..." she clasped her hands to her chest and turned toward her friend, "I'll have you know this: when I first saw Valentino two years ago, he was real tiny and badly abused, tossed into the gutter to die. It just about broke my heart to see a poor kitten in such a horrible condition! I took him to the vet right away, and after that I nursed him at home back to health. Ever since he always trusts me and would come to me, but he is fearful of other people and run off to hide if I have company over my house."  She sighed. "So...you see, John, that's why I cannot give him away to other people.  He needs me. That's all I can say..."

"Oh...", Professor didn't know what to say. They drove in silence for a couple of minutes. He has been to Sandy's house before once or twice in the past, so as soon as they turned into a side street Professor spotted it right away. "Ah, there it is - your house, Sandy!"  
 
"Great,"  Sandy murmured. Suddenly she blinked and sat up to take a better look.  "Wait a minute...something is not right..."

Puzzled, Professor looked at her. "Eh? What's not right, Sandy?"

"Oh my god...!" Sandy gasped, "Someone broke into my house!"

" ... !"

Now that they got closer to the house Professor was taken back when he noticed the smashed windows and the door open and hanging from one hinge. "Oh, no..."

"Valentino! My cat!" Sandy shouted in a panicky voice. She leapt from the car as soon as it pulled up to a stop at the curb and ran into the house.

"Sandy! Wait!" Professor called in alarm. Worried that the burglars could still be lurking around inside the house, he got out of the car and ran after her as well. Once inside he looked around for Sandy. The living room was a total mess with furniture overturned and curtains ripped up and torn cushions scattered across the carpet. There were ragged holes in walls, pictures hanging lopsided and refrigerator wide open and empty with food content scattered all over the kitchen floor. Fortunately, from the looks of it whoever trashed the place had already left, much to Professor's relief. Unfortunately, however, the cat was nowhere to be seen.

Sandy was frantic. "Valentino! Valentino, where are you?" She called, running from one room to another in search for him. She returned to Professor, her face drenched with tears. "I can't find him! What if they took him? What if Valentino got out? He will not be able to survive for long on streets! What are we going to do?"

Professor gave her a reassuring hug as best as he could, not knowing what to say. "Sandy, Uh, I really have no idea..."

"Meow...?"

Sandy gasped and looked quickly around, trying to discover where the sound came from. "Valentino? Where are you, kitty?"

"Meow!" They heard the sound again, and finally realized it was coming from under the couch. Sandy got down to look under it, and found a very frightened cat crouching there. Gently she drew him out and began crooning softly and reassuringly to him, cuddling him in her arms. Poor Valentino hooked his claws into her shirt, and clung to her, wide-eyed and trembling.

"That's it," Professor said suddenly, decisively, "It's not safe for you here anymore. You're going to live at my house from now on! Pack your belongings and let's get out of here!"

Sandy looked annoyed for a minute but, after looking around her surroundings, she sighed. "All right...but what about Valentino?"

"We'll take Valentino with us, of course!" Professor paused and ran his hand through his hair with a lopsided smile, If he means so much to you, then I guess I can learn to live with the cat under the roof after all." He was rewarded with a look of gratitude.

"Thank you, John!"

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