Leader At Stake

 

By: Timo WikstrŲm

 

It's been two weeks since the Powerpuff Girls fought against the Rowdyruff Boys in a tough battle. Even though they won, their ally, Timo, had lost against his opponent. After his injuries were treated, he had trained a lot in order to become stronger. The girls were worried about this, but at the same time they understood. Despite that, Bubbles was still worried.

 

Timo was currently training himself again in the training room. He was fighting against robots equipped with very hard metal and deadly weapons. Bubbles came to the control room, saw Timo, and pushed the cancellation button. The training room turned white all of a sudden and robots disappeared. Timo was surprised at first, but then looked at the control room and saw Bubbles. He came out of the room.

 

Timo: Bubbles, why did you cancel that? I was doing okay.

 

Bubbles: You should rest for a bit, Timo. You've been training so much recently, that you'll get too tired and exchausted.

 

Timo: So what? You girls can take care of yourselves, while I... I can't even fight well against my opposite self.

 

Bubbles: Still remembering that? You don't have to train because of that. You were badly injured and you are still...

 

Timo: Still what, Bubbles?

 

Bubbles: (saddens) ... inexperienced.

 

Timo: I know that. That's the very reason why I've been training so hard. I'm way behind you girls when it comes to battles. Even all these powers of mine are useless, if I can't use them properly. Furthermore, I really don't want to have one of those times when I hurt you girls again.

 

Bubbles: You should know by now that it wasn't your fault. It was your opposite self.

 

Timo: Maybe, but I wouldn't be so sure about that.

 

Bubbles: Why not? It was him that attacked me, not you.

 

Timo: He was inside me. It's true that it might have been him at that moment, but you forget, that I saw everything with my two eyes. I couldn't control myself and I ended up hurting you. That means I might have done it also.

 

Bubbles: I don't believe that. Even if you did see and felt it all, you couldn't control yourself and that alone makes you innocent.

 

Timo: Bubbles... maybe you're right. I just don't want that to happen again.

 

Bubbles: Now what say you come and play with us? Buttercup wants to play one on one football.

 

Timo: Sure thing.

 

But then they both heard the hotline going off. They flew to the girls' room and saw Blossom and Buttercup there, Blossom talking to the phone.

 

Blossom: We're on it, Mayor. (hungs up and turns around) Trouble at the First Bank. Two robbers and a hostage situation. Let's roll!

 

They flew out of the windows and in a moment they arrived at the bank. Instead of stopping, they flew right through the front door and saw the robbers with guns, one with a metal box. In a blink of an eye, they disabled and beat up the robbers and saved the hostages.

 

Buttercup: Well, that was a peace of cake.

 

Hostages: Hooray!

 

Blossom: Alright, people, you can go out now. Bubbles, Buttercup, you two go and take the robbers to the police.

 

After Bubbles, Buttercup and the hostages left, Blossom turned her look on the box, that one of the robbers had held. Timo looked at it also.

 

Timo: You think it's a bomb?

 

Blossom: Nah. If it were, it wouldn't be in a metal box. Must be their loot from this bank.

 

Timo: Let's check it out, just in case.

 

Blossom: Alright.

 

Blossom removed the lock and opened the box. Without any warning, a strange smoke appeared from it and covered Blossom's head in it, making her choke.

 

Timo: Blossom!

 

Timo held breath as he grabbed Blossom and took her outside. As he looked back inside at the box, the smoke slowly disappeared into thin air. He looked back at Blossom.

 

Timo: Blossom? Blossom? Blossom, wake up!

 

Timo tried to feel Blossom's pulse.

 

Timo: ... I feel a pulse, but...

 

Timo quickly went and took the box and then lifted Blossom and started flying towards home faster than usual.

 

***

 

Right after getting home, Timo alerted the professor and put Blossom on a bed in the lab. The professor examined Blossom as quickly as possible, while Timo went up, knowing he would only get in the way, but not before he gave the metal box to the professor. Later on, Bubbles and Buttercup came in, smiling, and went to the kitchen where Timo was sitting.

 

Buttercup: Hey, Timo! Now that this emergency is taken care of, how about some one on one football? (notices Timo's expression) Why are you so sad?

 

Right then the lab door opened and the professor came out.

 

Professor: Timo?

 

Timo flew to the professor, Bubbles and Buttercup following right behind him.

 

Bubbles: What's going on, professor?

 

Professor: It seems Blossom and Timo encountered a trap while you two were taking the crooks to jail.

 

Buttercup: A trap? What kind of trap?

 

Timo: (sadly) Some kind of smoke trap. (looks at the professor) Was it poison?

 

Professor: I'm not exactly sure what it is, but whatever it is, it's began to infect Blossom's cells, like a virus, and it'll soon start spreading all across her body.

 

Buttercup: What will happen to Blossom then?

 

The professor saddened, making Timo realize the truth.

 

Timo: No.

 

Professor: Yes, Timo. After the virus has spread, Blossom will break down to her ingredients and then wither away.

 

Timo: What can you do for her?

 

Professor: Nothing directly. There's not enough time for me to develope an antidote. If I only knew what that stuff was and what was in it. I checked the metal box and there was nothing there. No residues at all. I also checked a sample I took from Blossom and I did find something I have never seen before. Determining what that stuff is would take too long.

 

Buttercup: (sad now) ... How much time do we have?

 

1:00:00

 

Professor: An hour at least.

 

Timo: You said you couldn't help her directly. What did you mean?

 

Professor: Well, there is one possible way to rescue Blossom and that's to find the antidote. That is, if there even is one.

 

Buttercup: So we should find an antidote in an hour so we can save Blossom from an unknown virus? We don't even know where to start.

 

Timo: Furthermore, who is gonna lead us?

 

Bubbles and Buttercup looked at Timo as if they just realized the same thing.

 

Buttercup: None of us are as good as Blossom.

 

Bubbles: What about you, Timo? You could be our leader.

 

Timo: Me? Forget it, Bubbles. I doubt too much when trying to make decisions and a leader should never doubt. A leader knows beforehand what, how and when to do things. I don't have those qualities.

 

Buttercup: Neither of us have.

 

Timo: Besides, what kind of leader would attack his own teammates. (turns to Buttercup)

 

Buttercup: That still haunts you?

 

Bubbles: We don't have time for this. We have less than an hour to save Blossom.

 

Timo: She's right. Next to Blossom's leadership skills, only you qualify, Buttercup. You may not be as good as Blossom, but you know what to do when the going gets tough.

 

Buttercup: ... I guess I am the leader then. But even so, where do we start?

 

Timo: Professor, what does it take to create an unknown virus?

 

Professor: A genius scientist at least. A scientist who knows what he's doing.

 

Bubbles: But neither of the robbers looked that smart.

 

Timo: Could it be, that someone else gave them that box?

 

Buttercup: Oh come on, it doesn't take brains to know who is behind this. Mojo Jojo. The only so called "genius scientist", who could create such a trap. Professor, please do whatever you can to help Blossom. We'll go to the observatory.

 

Professor: Be quick, girls and Timo. Time is running out.

 

With that, Bubbles, Buttercup and Timo flew away.

 

***

 

0:50:30

 

Bubbles, Buttercup and Timo arrived at the observatory and crashed through the roof, but not seeing Mojo anywhere. After searching every corner of the observatory, they gathered at the center of the observatory.

 

Timo: Thatís funny. Every light is on, but heís not here.

 

Buttercup: I checked every flask and glass bottles. I found a huge pile of Antitode X, but nothing suspicious.

 

Bubbles: Do you think he knew we were coming and hid himself?

 

Buttercup: Highly possible. This also means that heís really the one who created that virus.

 

Bubbles: So what now?

 

Buttercup: We don't have time to search the whole city. Besides, Mojo moves and hides so well, that it's hard even with X-ray vision to find him.

 

Bubbles: What about those robbers?

 

Buttercup: What about them?

 

Timo: ... Of course! If the robbers got the box from Mojo, then Mojo gave it to them somewhere. We would minimize the search area.

 

Buttercup: You mean we're gonna interrogate the robbers? Cool! I've always wanted to do that. Come on then! To the prison!

 

***

 

0:36:07

 

Flying fast to the prison and asking permission from guards, saying it was an emergency, Buttercup and Timo got to interrogate the two robbers.  Bubbles waited outside. The robbers had been put into their prison clothes. They sat on the chairs and the guards left the room. The right robber put his hands on the table.

 

Robber 1: Well, well, if it isn't a Powerpuff Girl... (looks at Timo) and someone I don't know. (smiles) Where's your leader?

 

Buttercup: (angrily goes near to the robberer and looks at him right at his eyes) Cut the play and tell me right now where did you get that metal box you were carrying in the bank?

 

Robber 1: Why should I tell you, little girl?

 

Buttercup: Because I'm gonna punch that face of yours so that everyone will call you freak... and I won't do it without causing you a lot of pain at the same time. Same goes for your partner here.

 

Robber 2: Hey, you can't do that. We have our rights. Our lawyers will sue you all for assaulting us.

 

Timo: You think we'd care about that, when our leader is dying? If our leader dies, your lawyers won't have clients to defend. (very angrily) Now tell us where you got that box!?

 

The robbers just sat there saying nothing and smiling.

 

Buttercup: Not believing us? Alright then. (looks at Timo) Timo, they're both yours.

 

Timo then flew behind the robbers, created two ice staffs and holded them very near the robbers' throats. The robbers suddenly got scared.

 

Buttercup: We have no troubles doing this. (very seriously) Now one last time... where did you get that box?

 

Robber 1: (panicking) Please don't! I'll... I'll tell you anything.

 

Buttercup: WHERE DID YOU GET THAT BOX!?

 

Robber 2: We... We got it from some dude in the alley next to the bank. He talked funny and... and told us to leave the box to the bank. We don't...  we don't know why or what was in that box, we swear. That dude didn't tell us anything. We didn't even see his face.

 

Timo: Near the bank, eh? If we find out you're lying...

 

Robber 1: We swear it's the truth. (sweats)

 

Timo and Buttercup looked at each other for a few seconds and then Timo removed the ice staffs from the robbers' throats and made the staffs disappear.

 

Buttercup: Guards!

 

The guards came in and took the robbers away, while Buttercup and Timo flew outside and met Bubbles at the front door.

 

Bubbles: How did it go?

 

Timo: Fine, but we lost some precious time there. We must hurry.

 

Buttercup: Come on, back to the bank!

 

***

 

0:23:51

 

Quickly following the clue, the girls and Timo flew back to the bank. Luckily for them, there was only one alley next to the bank so they landed there.

 

Buttercup: This should be the place. It's not big at all and there's a dead end.

 

Timo: Then how did Mojo come here?

 

Buttercup: No time to think about that. There has to be a clue here. Let's search.

 

But in less than a minute, they stopped the search.

 

Timo: Nothing. Not even strange liquid residues.

 

Bubbles: (kneels and saddens) This is hopeless. We won't find Mojo in time and Blossom will...

 

Timo: Don't even think about it, Bubbles. We still have time left. We'll definitively save Blossom. As long as we're searching the antidote, there's always hope. So you stand up right now and try your best to help Blossom by helping us to find the antidote.

 

Buttercup: But there's nothing here. That means those crooks lied to us! I'm gonna go there and...

 

Timo: Wait, Buttercup! There may be something we are missing here.

 

Buttercup: Like what?

 

Timo: The crooks said they received the box in an alley next to the bank. Look at this alley. It's so small, that anyone could have seen the trade.

 

Bubbles: But there are no other alleys near the bank except this one.

 

Buttercup: (realizes) Not in the front, but in the back, there is another alley. Let's go!

 

In seconds they were at the back of the bank and in front of another alley.

 

Timo: This one looks much better for a trade. It's longer and darker.

 

Buttercup: Mojo must have invited the crooks here and gave them the box here. Let's check it out!

 

They slowly checked every corner of the alley. After a while, Bubbles saw something.

 

Bubbles: Over here!

 

0:17:05

 

Timo and Buttercup flew to where Bubbles was and saw a manhole on the ground.

 

Bubbles: What do you think of this?

 

Timo: (looks at the end of the alley) I think our target went down here... to the sewers.

 

Buttercup: A perfect place to hide from us. We wouldn't see him that easily as we could normally from the air. Let's go in!

 

They went down, but after reaching at the bottom, they didn't see anyone nearby.

 

Timo: Something's not right here. I can feel it.

 

Buttercup: (looks at the sewer water and notices something) Is it just me or is there something below there?

 

They all saw a strange shadow below the water surface.

 

Bubbles: What is it?

 

Suddenly three metal hands appeared from the water, surprising the girls and Timo. The hands managed to grab them and pull them into the water.

 

***

 

Meanwhile the professor was trying to treat Blossom as best as he could, but he had ran out of ideas and had already tried everything he could think of. All he could do anymore was to monitor Blossomís condition. Blossom looked so pale now, which made the professor look at the clock on the wall. Knowing how much time was left, the professor became very worried.

 

Professor: Please hurry... time is almost up.

 

***

 

0:14:00

 

Small bubbles were rising onto the surface and then three streaks of light came up and flew through the sewer ceiling, pulling something big behind them. At the surface, a large part of the street exploded as the girls and Timo pulled an octopus-like machine. The metal hands, that were holding the girls and Timo, let them go and the machine landed on the street as the three of them floaded in the air, all soaking wet.

 

Timo: (coughs) Man, I never got used to being underwater.

 

Buttercup: At least weíve now found Mojo.

 

Mojo: So you found me. (takes out a vial, that contains light blue liquid) I presume youíre here for this?

 

Bubbles: Why do I get the feeling you wonít hand it to us just like that?

 

Mojo: Mwahahahahaha! It seems youíre one member short. So young Blossom Utonium has been exposed to my new lethal gas. I have to say Iím a bit disappointed. I expected at least two of you to be exposed to that gas.

 

Buttercup: Grrrr! Give that vial and Iíll promise you we wonít hurt you when taking to prison.

 

Mojo: You must be stupid to suggest that. It doesnít matter if I win this fight or not. The main thing is that at least one of you dies... (looks at the clock) in ten minutes.

 

0:10:00

 

Timo: (to girls) Heís right. He only needs that time to defend himself.

 

Buttercup: Then letís end this fight as fast as possible.

 

Timo: Whoever gets the vial flies fast to home and gives it to professor.

 

Bubbles & Buttercup: Agreed!

 

Buttercup: Now... ATTACK!

 

They flew fast down towards Mojoís robot. Mojo made the robotís hands extend towards the girls and Timo. They scattered and started circling around the robot while attacking it with eye lasers.  But no matter how much they shot their lasers at the machine, they didnít do any damage. The girls and Timo regrouped high in the sky beyond Mojoís reach.

 

Timo: No effect. Heís made this machine so hard that itís like a little fortress. I doubt punches and kicks work either.

 

Bubbles: Then what will we do? We have less than ten minutes to save Blossom.

 

Timo: Buttercup?

 

Buttercup: (sweating) Darn, we need a plan. We need to make some kind of hole so we could strike inside that machine.

 

Mojo: That wonít work, for I have made this machine impenetrable. Thereís no way for you to get in.

 

Timo: Impenetrable, eh? In that case, letís test how that ďimpenetrableĒ machine of yours stands out to my impenetrable shield.

 

With that, Timo activated his ice shield, wrapping himself inside it and flew fast towards Mojoís machine.

 

Buttercup: Timo, stop!

 

Mojo extended the robotís hands towards Timo, causing them to collide with his ice shield. Timo came to a full stop and was forced to push back hard.

 

Mojo: Fool. Iíve taken your ice shield into consideration and I know the way to defeat it.

 

Timo: What?

 

One of the robotís hands went back a little and then extended so that it went around Timo and behind him. Timo noticed this, but didnít panic. The hand came towards him and clashed on the shield, causing Timo to collide on his own shield.

 

Timo: (looking behind, thinking) The impact caused me to move almost like the hand had hit me. (sweats) Now that those hands are coming from two directions, I donít know if I can hold my ice shield much longer.

 

Bubbles: Timo, look out!

 

In just two seconds Timo noticed that the third hand had moved to the right side of him and was now attacking him from that direction. Not having time to react, the hand clashed on Timoís ice shield very hard, causing it to disappear. At the same time the hand, that had attacked from the right side extended itself and pushed Timo to the nearest buildingís wall, making some cracks on the wall.

 

Girls: (gasps)

 

Timo felt the hand was squeezing and pushing him towards the wall, holding him in place.

 

Timo: (thinking) I... I canít form... a shield.

 

Buttercup: Hold on, Timo! Weíre coming!

 

Bubbles and Buttercup flew down at Timo and tried to make the hand to release him.

 

Mojo: Fools! You wonít even be able to move that hand once it has hit a wall. One down, two to go!

 

The girls stopped trying and were able to dodge the two other robot hands, that were now chasing both of them.

 

Bubbles: What should we do, Buttercup?

 

Buttercup: Iím out of ideas! That machineís too hard for us to get through and these hands just keep chasing us. We canít lay a hand on Mojo at this rate.

 

Timo: (thinking) In other words, Blossom will die at this rate. (closes his eyes and saddens)  Timeís almost up.

 

0:03:00

 

The girls were still trying desperately to get through the robotís armor by hitting with every strenght they had. Mojo was smiling victoriously.

 

Mojo: Ha! It seems I win at last!

 

Right then Mojo received an alarm coming from the hand that was holding Timo.

 

Mojo: Whatís going on?

 

That hand was shaking and to Mojoís amaze, the robot hand was pushed back.

 

Mojo: Im...impossible!

 

Timo: (different voice) Mojo Jojo... Iíll make you pay!

 

Bubbles and Buttercup were horrified. Timoís eyes had turned red and he looked so angry.

 

Buttercup: (thinking) Itís just like at that time.

 

Timo held the robot hand with just one hand and created an ice staff with the other hand, making the staff bigger than usual. To everyoneís surprise, Timo managed to swing the ice staff and cut through the robotís hand, breaking it totally. Mojo was panicking and the girls could only watch in amazement.

 

Timo: Iíll make you pay with your life!

 

He created another ice staff and suddenly started to spin. After a few seconds, dozens of ice staffs appeared from him and all of them went to one spot of the robot. The ice staffs managed to make major damage to the spot and eventually breached the armor.

 

Mojo: No! This is not possible at all!

 

The robot started to sparkle all over and in a few seconds, it exploded. Bubbles and Buttercup couldnít see what was going on for a while.

 

Buttercup: Bubbles!

 

Bubbles: Iím here. What was that attack?

 

Buttercup: Whatever it was, it managed to break that robotís armor. Do you see Timo anywhere?

 

Bubbles: No.

 

The smoke cleared and to the girlsí shock, Timo was standing right next to Mojo, who was unconcious due to the explosion. Timo was holding his ice staff near Mojoís throat.

 

Buttercup: Timo!

 

Timo threw a vial at Buttercup then. She catched it.

 

Timo: (still in different voice) Thereís the vaccine. Go.

 

Buttercup: But...

 

Timo: GO!!

 

0:00:35

 

Buttercup hesitated, but eventually began to fly back home as fast as she could. Bubbles stayed behind.

 

Bubbles: Timo, stop! Itís over.

 

Timo: (points his ice staff on Bubbles) Stay away from me!

 

Bubbles: (moves closer to Timo) Youíre better than this. You wonít take his life or mine. I wonít let you.

 

Timo: Shut up!

 

Bubbles: (still moves closer to Timo) I know you, Timo. You can fight it.

 

***

 

0:00:05

 

Buttercup saw her home and was ready to go in fast.

 

***

 

0:00:04

 

Bubbles: (next to Timoís ice staff now) Fight it!

 

***

 

0:00:03

 

Buttercup flew in the house and into the lab

 

***

 

0:00:02

 

Timoís hand shook as he pointed his ice staff towards Bubbles.

 

***

 

0:00:01

 

Buttercup quickly opened the vial and dropped the content into Blossomís mouth.

 

***

 

0:00:00

 

Bubbles: (with teary eyes now) Timo...

 

***

 

Buttercup: Did I make it?

 

***

 

Timo: (releases his ice staff, closes eyes and kneels)

 

***

 

Blossom: (coughs)

 

Buttercup: Blossom?

 

***

 

Timo: (cries, normal voice now) Iím sorry...

 

Bubbles: (happy now) Itís alright. (goes and hugs him) Itís over now

 

***

 

Blossom: (opens her eyes)

 

Buttercup: Blossom! You okay?

 

Blossom: What happened?

 

Buttercup: Iíll tell you later. Right now, Iím happy that youíre okay.

 

***

 

After a while, Bubbles and Timo took Mojo in jail and then returned home. When they got there, Buttercup had already told the whole story to Blossom and the professor. Blossom felt fine a while after drinking the vaccine. They were all in the living room sitting on the couch. Timo looked less happy than others.

 

Blossom: That was some fight you had there.

 

Buttercup: Yeah. Thanks to Timo, we were able to get a hold of the vaccine.

 

Timo: But I wasnít myself again. I donít deserve to be thanked by any of you.

 

Buttercup: Itís true that you werenít yourself, but you didnít attack us. You attacked Mojo.

 

Timo: And almost killed him... (turns away from the girls) and Bubbles. I even could have killed Blossom.

 

Bubbles: But you didnít. You threw the vaccine to Buttercup.

 

Timo: I wanted her to get out of there. I even wanted you to get out of there, Bubbles. I really didnít want to hurt any of you again.

 

Blossom: And you didnít. Why?

 

Professor: ... You can control it a little, canít you?

 

Timo: Maybe, but I donít want to take any risks when it comes to this... monster inside me. Someday Iíll turn into this monster and start destroying everything. If that happens...

 

Bubbles: It wonít! Weíll see to that.

 

Timo: (looks at Bubbles) ... If that happens, I trust that you will defend the city and destroy me without hesitating.

 

Blossom: We canít do that. Itís like killing a family member.

 

Timo: (looks at Blossom) Then you better hope that I will never turn into that monster. You of all three should understand the consequences, if you wonít do anything to stop me.

 

With that said, Timo walked out of the living room and into his room. The girls looked at each other and then at the professor.

 

Bubbles: Professor?

 

Professor: I know what youíre going to ask... and the answer is yes, he is right. Your duty is to protect the city of Townsville no matter who the enemy is.

 

Blossom: Itís no use thinking about that now. Heís no monster yet and he can still fight against it... at least I hope he can.

 

Bubbles: I believe he can.

 

Blossom: Mojo must be shocked after seeing Timo using such power.

 

Buttercup: Oh that wonít be his only shock in the next few days.

 

Bubbles: What do you mean?

 

Buttercup: Remember those pile of Antidote X I found at the observatory? Well, letís just say Mojo needs to clean up his laboratory.

 

Blossom: Donít tell me you...

 

Buttercup: (grins)

***

 

A few days later, at the observatory, a door opened and Mojo came in.

 

Mojo: Curse that Rowdyruff Boy. He smashed my impenetrable robot.

 

He went to his laboratory, only to get shocked at what he saw. His laboratory floor was full of Antidote X and glass shards all over the room. He then fainted.