A Fighter’s Choice

 

By: Timo Wikström

 

It was a rainy day in Townsville. Everyone were inside their houses, getting bored or playing inside their houses. In a specific house, the Powerpuff Girls were doing the latter. They were playing a board game with the professor at the kitchen. Buttercup rolled two dices and got numbers one and two. She moved her piece three squares ahead and landed on a question mark.

 

“A chance space.” Buttercup said.

 

Blossom drew a card and read it. “’Go to Jail. Go directly to Jail without going through the GO space’”

 

“Aw nuts!” Buttercup said. “And I was so close to the GO space.”

 

“My turn now.” The professor said.

 

While Buttercup moved her piece to Jail space, the professor took the dices, shook them a little and then threw them on the board. The dices showed two and four. The professor moved his piece from Baltic Avenue to Connecticut Avenue.

 

“Ah, Connecticut Avenue.” He turned and looked at Bubbles, who didn’t look happy at all. “Bubbles?”

 

Bubbles looked at the professor. “What?”

 

“I stopped to Connecticut Avenue. You own it, don’t you?” The professor said.

 

Bubbles looked at her cards and said kinda sadly, “Oh yeah.”

 

“What’s wrong, Bubbles?” Blossom asks.

 

“I’m worried about Timo.” Bubbles said.

 

Blossom and the professor saddened when hearing that.

 

“Again?” Buttercup said angrily. “Can’t you just forget what he said? Just because he told us to destroy him if he ever turned into a monster doesn’t mean we have to do that.”

 

Blossom looked at Buttercup and said, “Even so, Buttercup, we really have to protect Townsville from anyone and anything that’s trying to destroy it, no matter who or what it is.”

 

“I don’t want to destroy him. He’s been like a brother to me.” Bubbles said.

 

“He’s been like that to all of you, girls.” The professor said. “I don’t think we need to worry about him turning into a monster now. We’ll worry about it when the time comes.” He turned and looked upstairs. “That is, if it ever comes.”

 

“I’ll go and talk to him.” Bubbles said. “Maybe I can cheer him up.”

 

“Don’t, Bubbles. Let him be alone. He has a lot of things to think about.” Blossom said.

 

“That’s why I should go and talk to him.” With that, Bubbles flew towards Timo’s room.

 

At his room, Timo was resting on his bed while holding and looking at an ice staff on his hand, pointing it towards a wall.

 

“So much power and I can’t control it.” Timo thought. “No training in the world would help me control it.”

 

There was a knock on the door.

 

“Come in.” Timo said.

 

The door opened and Bubbles came in.

 

“Hey, Timo.” Bubbles said. “Why won’t you come and play with us?”

 

“You know why, Bubbles.” Timo said. “I’m not in the mood to play anything right now.”

 

“You’re still thinking about what happened the other day?”

 

“Yeah. I... can’t help but think about how strong I really am.” Timo turned around to see Bubbles. “You saw me, Bubbles. I couldn’t move that robot hand an inch before but when I turned into that monster, I was able to move that hand easily and even destroy it easily with my huge ice staff.”

 

“So?” Bubbles asked. “Even if you did all that, no one got hurt. In fact you saved a life. You’ve shown me at least that you can resist it.” She then flew right next to Timo and wrapped one of her arms around him. “I believe that you can control your powers if you just try hard. That’s what has been bothering you, hasn’t it.”

 

Timo released his ice staff and wrapped one of his arms around Bubbles’ head. “I don’t know why but when you say it like that... I feel like I really could resist it.”

 

Bubbles blushed.

 

“But it isn’t that easy.” Timo said. “Just resisting it won’t stop me from turning into that monster. It’ll only delay it.”

 

“And stop you from doing anything bad, right?” Bubbles asked.

 

“I guess so.”

 

There was a moment of silence and then Bubbles said, “It’s no use thinking about it now. You are in no danger of becoming a monster now so why not come down and play a board game with us?”

 

“... ... Okay. I’ll come.”

 

Bubbles smiled and then they both left the room.

 

***

 

That night, a character was walking just outside of Townsville. Upon seeing the city, the character stopped.

 

“This is the city. So here lives the demon that stranger talked about. The information was correct. I do sense something evil here.” The character said.

 

***

 

The next morning the girls and Timo were heading out to school. Yesterday’s rain had been a bad one so the streets were full of small puddles.

 

“I’ve forgotten how much I hated that one square on that game.” Timo said. “That one always makes a player go bankrupt.”

 

“Well at least you didn’t stop at my hotel at Pennsylvania Avenue.” Buttercup said. “I could have used some of your dough.”

 

“Me too. Blossom was lucky to own Boardwalk.” Bubbles said. “Because of that, we all lost our money to her.”

 

“Better luck next time you all.” Blossom said.

 

“Oh I don’t need luck. I’m gonna put you out of business first next time.” Buttercup said.

 

They landed in front of the school and went inside.

 

“Whatever you say, Buttercup.”

 

Behind a nearby bush a pair of eyes was looking at the school.

 

“So this is where he goes at this hour. Strange for a demon.” The character thought.

 

But as soon as he thought that, he saw the girls and Timo crashing out through a wall. After the smoke disappeared, only Timo float next to the wall.

 

“Sorry, Ms. Keane!” Timo said and flew away towards downtown.

 

“What’s going on?” The character wondered.

 

At downtown, Sedusa was robbing a jewel store. But just as she stepped outside, the Powerpuff Girls landed in front of her.

 

“Long time no see, Sedusa.” Blossom said. “I thought you already learned your lesson here.”

 

Sedusa was smiling wickedly.

 

“Well, the other cities didn’t offer much of a challenge and it got boring. I heard this city’s peace had been broken some time ago and I thought it would be nice to rob this city at last.” Sedusa said.

 

 “Obviously forgetting we are still here.” Buttercup said.

 

“Oh don’t be silly, little brat. You’d think I’d come here without improving myself first?”

 

“You look same to me.” Bubbles said.

 

“Oh really?”

 

Right after saying that, Sedusa’s hair lengthened greatly and got sharper than usual.

 

“Well? What do you think of my new hair? Makes you breathless, doesn’t it?” Sedusa said.

 

“Can it, witch!” Buttercup said. “We’ve also improved a lot since you left.” She then grinned. “And we have a little surprise for you.”

 

That made Sedusa feel uneasy. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted Timo behind her. She immediately attacked Timo with one of her hair, but Timo dodged it and the hair crashed on the wall and went right through it, making a hole on it.

 

“Your hair’s too long. Here, let me make it shorter for you.” Timo said and created two ice staffs and threw them at Sedusa. Sedusa got surprised of the attack and didn’t have time to dodge. The two ice staffs cut Sedusa’s hair very short. Sedusa gasped.

 

“My hair! My beautiful hair!” She said.

 

Right after that, the girls attacked her by punching and kicking her and knocked her unconscious.

 

“That was very easy.” Buttercup said. “I’m quite disappointed on the “improvements” she claims to have done.”

 

Blossom looked at the wall. “Still, her hair was strong enough to go through a wall and they do seem to be sharp. If even one of those hairs would have hit us, we might have been seriously wounded.”

 

“Bah, you worry too much, Red.” Buttercup said. “They’d probably only given us a small scratch.”

 

The police came eventually and took Sedusa away.

 

“Well, that’s that. What say we go back to school?” Blossom said.

 

“Yes, I was about to show Robin my new drawing.” Bubbles said.

 

“Fine by me.” Timo said.

 

“Whatever.” Buttercup said.

 

They were about to start flying back to school when…

 

“Halt!!”

 

They turned around and saw a man with a long white clothe, black hair and carrying a long sword.

 

“Hm?” The girls wondered.

 

“Who are you, mister?” Blossom asked.

 

Buttercup’s face had turned excited. “Oh boy! Blossom, do you know who he is?”

 

Blossom looked at Buttercup. “No. Why do you ask?”

 

“He’s a samurai. I’d recognize those clothes and that sword anywhere.”

 

“A samurai?” Timo wondered and looked at the stranger.

 

“Yes, I am a samurai.” He said.

 

“What do you want from us?” Blossom asked.

 

“I came to this city in search for a demon.”

 

“Demon?” Bubbles said. “Do you mean HIM, who lives underground?”

 

“No. The demon I’m speaking of is with you.”

 

“What?” The girls said.

 

Timo felt great fear all of a sudden. The samurai pointed his finger towards him.

 

“He’s the one I’ve been looking for.”

 

The girls looked at Timo, who didn’t look away from the samurai. His expression saddened. The girls got angry.

 

“What are you saying? Timo’s no demon.” Buttercup said.

 

“Yeah. He’s our friend… No, he’s part of our family.” Bubbles said.

 

“Indeed. He doesn’t look like a demon, act like a demon, but that doesn’t change the fact that I sense great evil within him.”

 

Timo saddened more when hearing that. Even the girls couldn’t say anything.

 

“That evil…” Timo started. “You’re right about it. There is evil inside me.” He then looked at the samurai seriously.

 

The girls looked at Timo again.

 

“Timo…” Bubbles thought sadly.

 

“Then I must destroy you.” The samurai said.

 

Bubbles looked at the samurai angrily. “Why? He’s not evil!”

 

“No, but he will be. As long as that evil is inside him, he will eventually hurt someone.”

 

Timo stepped closer to the samurai.

 

“Tell me, samurai.” Timo said. “Who has told you about me? The only ones that know about this are me, the girls, the professor, some villains and one other. Tell me, have you met a boy with red eyes?”

 

“I don’t know who you are talking about, but I did get information about a demon in Townsville from someone. I did not see him, but he described you perfectly.”

 

“You don’t need to say more.” Timo said. “I know you met him. You got that information from Dark Timo, the real evil who came from inside me.”

 

“Strange. If he was evil, I would have sensed it. Still, even that doesn’t change the fact about you, boy.”

 

“No, and I guess I can’t solve this problem just by talking to you, can I?”

 

“Actions speak louder than words.”

 

“Then tell me, samurai. You must have been spying on me in order to find me and wait for the right time so you must have seen the battle we just had. What did my actions say to you?”

 

The samurai looked at Timo for a while before answering. “That you are a warrior of justice and you do not kill anyone. You are kind and strong.”

 

“See? Doesn’t that change your mind?” Buttercup asked. “He isn’t a demon.”

 

“He’s been a great help to us in fighting crime and the forces of evil.” Blossom said.

 

“He’s been like a brother to us.” Bubbles said.

 

“I agree that those things are making me confused but there’s one thing that removes that. That growing evil inside you, boy.” The samurai said. He then pulled out his sword.

 

The girls readied themselves to a battle, but Timo stopped them.

 

“No, girls!” Timo said. “This samurai only wants to fight me. It would be unfair to have you fight him too. This battle’s mine.”

 

“Are you sure, Timo?” Bubbles asked.

 

“I’m sure.”

 

With that said he walked closer towards the samurai as he created one ice staff and got ready to fight.

 

“I do not wish to hurt you, samurai.” Timo said. “I just wish I could convince you somehow, that I won’t let myself become a monster.”

 

“And I wish I could believe you, but you’re too weak to resist it.”

 

Right after saying that, the samurai attacked Timo and swung his sword at him. Timo blocked it easily, but when trying to stop the sword from advancing he noticed his ice staff cracking. Timo gasped.

 

“My ice staff.” Timo said and looked at the samurai. “That sword of yours isn’t what it first seems.”

 

“You’re right. It’s a magic sword I inherited from my father. With it I can destroy any evil I face.”

 

Timo’s eyes widened at this. He pushed the samurai back, but when he did that, his ice staff broke. The girls gasped at this. Timo made the broken ice staff disappear and created a new one.

 

“I never expected a magical sword to match the hardness of my ice staff, samurai.” Timo said.

 

The samurai was just ready to attack again. The girls were worried.

 

“The samurai has the advantage.” Buttercup said. “Timo’s ice staffs can’t stand that sword’s power. Blossom, we have to…”

 

“No, Buttercup.” Blossom said. “This is Timo’s fight. He is trying to prove he’s not a demon. Besides, don’t you think he’s fighting oddly? Look at him.”

 

Timo was now attacking.

 

“He’s not attacking at full speed. He’s holding back.” Buttercup said.

 

“Exactly.” Blossom said. “He could have defeated that samurai many times already. He’s giving samurai an advantage on purpose.”

 

When saying that, the samurai had already broken many of Timo’s ice staffs. They both stopped attacking each other. Neither of them were exchausted.

 

“You fight well, samurai.” Timo said.

 

“You fight well too, but I think you can fight better than that.” The samurai said. “Why are you holding back?”

 

Blossom went wide eyed.

 

“So you noticed.” Timo said. “You know why I’m holding back. I’m not gonna hurt you or kill you in any way.”

 

“Then why are you fighting?” The samurai asked.

 

“Why?? Because I’m defending my life. You’re the one attacking after all.”

 

The samurai attacked again. This time Timo didn’t move anywhere.  Right when the samurai was about to strike, Timo created his ice shield. The samurai’s sword clashed on the shield, making a few cracks on it.

 

“Unlike you, I’m fighting exactly like you should, samurai.” Timo said. “I’m only defending myself, but you’re attacking. You should use your skills to defend yourself and to help those who need it, never to attack.” He then closed his eyes. “This fight will never end at this rate. I was hoping I could avoid doing this, but now I see I have no choice. You want to see the evil that’s inside me?”

 

The girls gasped when hearing that.

 

“No, don’t do it, Timo!” Bubbles yelled. “You’ll hurt him!”

 

“Then I trust you know what you have to do, girls.” Timo said. He then opened his eyes, which had turned red. “I know you can beat me.”

 

The samurai’s expression hadn’t changed at all. The ice shield had held up samurai’s sword. Timo was grinning.

 

“You finally show your true face, demon.” The samurai said.

 

“And I’m amazed you haven’t run away already. You sure are fearless or too stupid to run away.” Timo said with his different, darker voice.

 

Right then he made the ice shield larger so quickly that it made the samurai jump backwards. Timo created two ice staffs and made the ice shield disappear.

 

“You want me to fight at full power?” Timo asked. “Well, now you can be sure I won’t hold back… samurai.”

 

Bubbles was horrified at Timo’s choice of battle. “Why?” She asked.

 

“I don’t know why but when you say it like that... I feel like I really could resist it. But it isn’t that easy. Just resisting it won’t stop me from turning into that monster. It’ll only delay it.”

 

A tear appeared on Bubbles face. Blossom and Buttercup looked at each other worriedly, knowing what they might have to do. Timo attacked the samurai, this time faster than before and swung the two ice staffs at him. The samurai barely managed to dodge and defend himself.

 

“We have to do something, Blossom, or he’ll hurt him!” Bubbles said.

 

“We can’t, Bubbles.” Blossom said. “I know things look bad, but I think Timo is only trying to scare him.”

 

“Look out!” Buttercup yelled.

 

They ducked and a light blue beam passed over them. Timo had been shooting ice beams at samurai, damaging the area in the process. The samurai barely managed to keep up at the speed Timo moved.

 

“I don’t think he’s trying to scare him, Blossom.” Buttercup said. “Look at how he’s firing his beams.”

 

Blossom looked carefully and finally realized what was wrong. “He’s… he’s losing himself.”

 

Bubbles’ mouth was quivering after realizing the same thing Blossom had.

 

Timo managed to punch the samurai hard on the face, making him crash on a building’s wall and drop his sword. Before the samurai even realized it, Timo was already pointing an ice staff very close to his chest. The samurai looked directly at Timo’s red eyes.

 

“Go ahead. Finish me.” The samurai said.

 

Timo hesitated and his hand, that was holding the ice staff, was shaking.

 

“What are you waiting for? Finish me!” The samurai said.

 

Timo suddenly let out a loud yell and was about to give a deathblow to the samurai, but just before the blow hit the samurai; someone suddenly punched Timo right in the face, making him slide the street a few feet away.  It was Bubbles who had punched Timo.

 

“That’s enough!” Bubbles said. Her voice sounded both angry and sad. “Timo, that’s enough! Please stop!”

 

Timo rose up slowly and looked at Bubbles. His eyes were back to normal, but he didn’t look happy at all.

 

“I… guess I failed. I’m sorry, girls.” Timo said. His voice was also normal now.

Blossom and Buttercup flew right next to Bubbles.

 

“Why, Timo?” Blossom asked. “Why did you let your evil side take over?”

 

“I didn’t mean to.” Timo said. He then walked next to the girls. “I thought it was a good opportunity to see if I could control it. After all, that’s what this fight was all about. It seems I failed.”

 

During this time the samurai had taken his sword and stood up. Timo looked up at him.

 

“You samurais sure are fearless.” Timo said. “Even when you faced me like that, you didn’t get scared or run away.” He then kneeled on the ground and lowered his head.

 

“If you want to destroy me, I suggest you do it now while I still can control myself.” Timo said.

 

“What in the world are you doing, Timo?!” Buttercup asked.

 

The samurai looked at Timo.

 

“Why?” The samurai asked.

 

“I have no reason to kill you or stop you from doing your duty.” Timo said. “To be truthful, I’m afraid of myself. I have no idea how powerful I really am, but I’m sure it’s something I don’t want to find out... ever. These girls have witnessed the... horrible things I’ve done. So you’re right about one thing, samurai. I am weak, so weak I can’t resist it or stop myself from doing anything horrible and this fight proved that. My life is in your hands now.”

 

Bubbles was in tears again. “Timo...”

 

The samurai didn’t do anything. “These things you’ve done... you regret them?”

 

“... Yes, every single one of them.” Timo said.

 

Blossom got angry. “What the heck are you saying, Timo? Last time you saved my life. Are you saying you regret THAT?”

 

Timo saddened at that. “Yes... I did that, but I almost killed the villain who poisoned you in order to get the antidote, Blossom. And before that I hurt Bubbles.”

 

“Darn it, Timo!” Buttercup said. “We already know it wasn’t you at that time. It wasn’t your fault!”

 

“Besides…” Bubbles said. “… Didn’t we promise to you, Timo? Didn’t we promise that we would stop you if you ever turned into a monster?”

 

The samurai now looked at Bubbles. “Does that promise of yours mean that you will even destroy this boy if it is necessary?”

 

“Yes, samurai.” Blossom said. “Our duty in this city is to fight crime and the forces of evil. Even if it means… destroying our own team member.”

 

“He’s more than that, Blossom.” Bubbles said. “He’s also a family member.”

 

“Yet you attacked him, stopping him from finishing me.” The samurai said.

 

“And for that I thank you, Bubbles.” Timo said.

 

“I did it because…” Bubbles said.

 

“Because it was our duty.” Buttercup interrupted. “Timo made us promise that we’d destroy him if he ever turned into evil.”

 

The samurai looked at Timo again. “Is this true?”

 

“Yes.” Timo said. “Ever since I attacked Bubbles, I’ve been afraid of myself. I can’t let that kind of thing happen again… ever.”

 

The samurai looked at Timo for a while and then he closed his eyes and smiled.

 

“Perhaps you are not as weak as I first thought you were.” The samurai said.

 

“Huh?” Timo wondered.

 

“What you have said, during and after the battle, has made me wonder. Perhaps you have a good heart. You are afraid of the evil inside you. That is why you want to make sure you will not harm anyone and that is why you want these three girls to make sure of that. Am I right?”

 

“Pretty much so.”

 

“Then there is no reason for me to destroy you. You have already taken care of that.”

 

After that, the samurai put away his sword and began to walk away. The girls and Timo looked at him.

 

“Hey, wait!” Buttercup yelled. “We don’t even know your name, samurai.”

 

The samurai stopped.

 

“… Call me Jack.” The samurai said. He then continued walking away.

 

***

 

Later that evening, Blossom, Bubbles, Buttercup and the professor were about to start playing the same board game they had played yesterday.

 

“You are so gonna go down this time, Blossom.” Buttercup said. “I’ll be the one buying that Boardwalk this time.”

 

“Go ahead and try, if you got the money at that time.” Blossom said.

 

Bubbles looked upstairs.

 

“Timo! We’re ready to start. Come on down.” Bubbles yelled.

 

Timo came out from his room, flew down and went to the kitchen.

 

“Are you ready to lose, everyone?” Timo asked.

 

“Who’s gonna lose?” Buttercup said. “I’m the one who’s gonna win this time.”

 

“I don’t know, Buttercup. That Boardwalk is screaming for me to buy it.”

 

“Oh yeah? Care to bet on who’s gonna land on it first?”

 

“Less talk, more action.” Blossom said. “Let’s begin already.”

 

“I already picked the horse” Bubbles said.

 

“Alright! Let’s get the game on.” Timo said.

 

With that, they began to play happily, just like a normal, happy family.