Underworld Ruff


by Timo Wikström


It's a shiny day at the city of Townsville and at the Powerpuff Girls' house, the professors car was just pulling over and stopping. The girls and the professor came out of the car.

"Well, wasn't that nice, girls?" The professor asked. "Spending the day in the park and swimming in the pond?"

"It sure was, professor." Blossom said.

"I just wish Timo could have come with us." Bubbles said.

"You know today is his turn to do the patrolling of the city." Blossom said.

"Yeah, and he didn't mind it." Buttercup said.

"It still would have been nice if he would have been there." Bubbles said.

"It's been amazingly hot lately." Blossom said.

"Yeah, so hot that my ice cream melted on the spot." Bubbles said.

"Do you think there's someone or something making this heat wave?" Buttercup asked.

"If you're talking about another meteor, Buttercup, then I don't think it's that." The professor said as he had taken out the girls' beach toys out of the back of the car. "Someone would have noticed it."

"Maybe it's HIM heating things up?" Buttercup wondered.

"I don't think so." Blossom said. "Whatever it is, I think Timo will notice it."

They all then went inside their house.

***

Timo was patrolling at downtown, not noticing any crimes. He was sweating.

"Ugh! It sure is hot today. I could use a drink now." Timo said. Right then, he spotted a small store selling various drinks. "Well, it wouldn't hurt to take a small break from the patrol. It's almost over anyway."

Timo landed in front of the store and went in.  What he didn't notice was smoke coming from a sewer right in the middle of the road.

"Oh, a customer." The store clerk said. "What can I get you?"

Timo looked around a bit and noticed a small strawberry juice pack. "I'll take that small strawberry juice pack, please."

The clerk gave one to Timo after he paid for it. Right after having it, however, Timo heard an explosion outside and he hurried out. Outside a huge steam cloud had formed right at the sewer hole.

"What the...?" Timo wondered as the steam began to dissolve.

From the midst of the steam, a character appeared. Timo gasped as he realized who the character was.

"A Rowdyruff Boy?" Timo said.

The Rowdyruff Boy had grey shirt, light green shorts, grey shoes and black hair. On the shirt was an upside down red star shape. The boy looked around as if been careful of something.

Timo created an ice staff and pointed it at the Rowdyruff Boy. "Who are you?"

The Rowdyruff Boy finally noticed Timo, but didn't say anything.

Timo was sweating as he looked at the boy's eyes. "What's with those eyes? They're giving me the creeps."

The Rowdyruff Boy began to run at an incredible, powerpuff like speed.

"Wait!" Timo yelled and followed the boy. Timo managed to keep at the boy despite the many turns the Rowdyruff Boy made. After one turn, Timo looked around while still giving chase.

"He's going to a dead end." Timo said. When the Rowdyruff Boy turned one more time, Timo created another ice staff in his other hand. "Gotcha!"

Right after turning, however, a manhole cover exploded out of its place right in front of Timo and a huge steam cloud came out, blinding Timo and making him cough. After the steam cloud dissolved, Timo looked around, but saw no one around.

"Who was that boy?" Timo wondered. He then checked his pocket and took his strawberry juice out, only to see it had dried up. "Aww man."

***

Back at the Powerpuff Girls' home, every single fan was on maximum. The girls were sitting on the couch, still sweating despite the fans, in their swimsuits.

"Ugh... exactly how hot is it?" Buttercup asked.

"Too hot in any case, Buttercup." Blossom said. "Even my Ice Breath won't cool us off."

"And our fridge is melting." Bubbles said.

At the kitchen, a water pool had formed because of all the melting ice inside the minifreezer.

"It's too hot to even change to our normal clothes." Bubbles said.

"Who'd want to change to normal clothes in this heat?" Blossom asked.

"This has to be HIM's doing." Buttercup said. "There's no way it can be this hot naturally."

"I'm beginning to believe that theory, Buttercup." Blossom said.

Bubbles looked at the way where the professor's lab door was. "I wonder how the professor is able to be in the lab. It must be as hot as in the sun in there."

At the lab, the professor was surrounded by three big fans and he wasn't sweating at all. He calmly took a sip from his coffee mug before continuing his work.

Timo came in from the front door and went straight to the living room. The girls immediately looked at him.

"Welcome back, Timo!" Blossom said. "I hope the patrol wasn't too hot for you."

"It was and also a bit strange too." Timo said. He then explained his encounter with the unknown Rowdyruff Boy.

"That IS strange." Blossom said. "The professor hasn't said anything about missing a bottle or even a vile of Chemical X."

"Then where did this Rowdyruff Boy come from?" Buttercup asked.

"We need to investigate this further." Blossom said. "We have to find out if he's friendly or not."

"The way he was behaving, I believe he was running away from something... or someone." Timo said. "Which might explain the exploding manholes."

"Maybe." Blossom said. "But we need to be sure." She then looked outside. "They might have exploded because of this heatwave."

Right then, the professor came out of his lab and saw the girls and Timo in the living room. "Oh, I see Timo has come back from the patrol. I'll cook something up for you all."

"The dinner will have to wait, Professor." Blossom said. "Timo encountered a Rowdyruff Boy in the city and we have to go investigate."

"A Rowdyruff Boy? But I'm not missing any Chemical X."

"We thought so." Blossom said. "Is it possible someone else discovered the formulae?"

"I really don't think so. Chemical X is one-of-a-kind in the whole world."

"Then how can a Rowdyruff Boy I have never seen before exist?" Timo asked.

"We'll know the answer to that when we meet him." Blossom said and then looked at the Professor. "Is there a way this heatwave could cause a manhole to explode?"

"Only if the sewer water is being boiled, but that is impossible since there's not enough heat to boil the entire water."

"What about one spot?"

The Professor thought for a moment. "Hmm, that in turn is possible, but it would require some kind of hole."

Blossom stood up and looked at others. "Alright, let's change to normal clothes and roll out."

***

Somewhere at the streets of Townsville, smoke was coming from a manhole.

***

At an alley, the girls and Timo landed on the ground and were looking around.

"This is the place where I lost him." Timo said.

"But there's nothing here." Buttercup said. "Are you sure he didn't fly away?"

"Pretty sure. I didn't see any trails anywhere."

Bubbles wiped her forehead. "Phew... it's so hot even in the shadows."

"You're telling me." Blossom said. "It's like the ground itself is one big stove."

Timo looked up at the sky. "The sun is shining so brightly it's heating the whole asphalt to the melting point. It's almost as if..." Timo wondered for a moment. "...as if the Earth itself is closer to the sun."

"That's not possible." Blossom said as she discovered a manhole. "At the moment, that's not even our concern. If that Rowdyruff Boy came here and didn't fly away, then he should have gone here."

"The sewers?" Buttercup wondered. "Why there?"

"... To keep himself out of sight." Timo said. "He would be easily seen in the skies."

"True." Blossom said. "Okay, let's go in carefully. We don't know how the sewer water is at the moment."

They all flew down to the sewers. They immediately put their hands on their faces.

"Is it me or does this sewer stink?" Buttercup said.

"Nope." Bubbles said. "I smell it too."

"What is this?" Blossom wondered. "I know sewers stink, but do they stink THIS bad?"

"It must be the water." Timo said. "The heat is making the water heat up, making the stench stronger."

They all flew through the dark sewers, while holding their hand in front of their face.

"It's so hot…" Bubbles said.

"Yeah, it is." Buttercup said. "Surprisingly so too."

"Focus, girls." Blossom said.

Right then, a sudden orange light shone right at them from the opposite wall. All four of them noticed immediately there to be a big ellipse shaped hole reaching from ground to ceiling.

"That's definitively out of place here." Timo said.

"No kidding." Blossom said. "Let's check it out."

They all looked through the hole and noticed there was a deep fall.

"Does anyone else have a feeling we're being invited?" Buttercup wondered.

"This hole looks scary." Bubbles said.

"Who do we know lives down here?" Timo asked.

They all then went wide eyed. "HIM!"

"Come on, let's roll!" Blossom said.

They all flew down as fast as they could and sure enough they soon came into a layer. This layer, however, was different from HIM's place. Instead of the usual dark reddish environment, the place was dark greyish, like a cave. Yet the place was lit well enough for one to see the ceiling and the walls.

"What is this place?" Buttercup asked. "This can't be HIM's layer."

"I don't know, Buttercup." Blossom said. "This could be that boy's layer."

"You mean he lives here?" Timo said. "I guess it makes sense since he came out of the sewers."

"Where're those lights coming from?" Bubbles asked. "I don't see any light bulbs, candles or torches."

"They're souls."

That sudden echoing voice made them all look at various directions.

"Who's there?" Blossom asked with a stern voice.

"You don't need to know." The voice said. "I suggest you all get out of here right now."

"No can do." Buttercup said. "We're here to find a Rowdyruff Boy. That wouldn't happen to be you, would it?"

For a moment there was no answer.

"It is you." Timo said. "The one I saw at the streets. I suggest you come out."

They waited for a moment, but no one appeared.

"We promise we won't attack you unless you attack us first." Bubbles said.

"Ugh, why did you make us all promise THAT, Bubbles?" Buttercup asked.

"Very well." The voice said.

The Powerpuff Girls and Timo looked in front of them. From behind a cave wall, a shadow appeared. Some of the light lit the shadow up and showed Timo a familiar marking.

"That pentagram on your shirt…" Timo said. "You're definitively that Rowdyruff Boy I saw in front of that shop."

"Who are you?" Blossom asked.

"… My name is Inferno and I ask you again to leave here immediately." The shadow said.

"Why?" Bubbles asked.

"This place is not for the likes of you." Inferno said. "Leave here before you'll all be in big trouble."

"What did you mean when you said these lights are souls and what is this place?" Blossom asked. "This can't be HIM's layer."

"These souls are stuck here forever, suffering from their so called 'sins.'" Inferno said. "This place is where they all come. They're here… to feed my master."

"Who's your master?" Timo asked. "Is it HIM?"

"No." Inferno said. "The one you call HIM is just a low-life who rebelled against my master."

"Then we ask again: who is your master?" Blossom asked.

Suddenly the ground began to shake greatly. One of the walls cracked and opened up.  A pair of eyes shone from the darkness and growling could be heard.

Inferno turned around to face the wall, looking directly at the eyes. "He is. The Icon of Sin, Baphomet!"

The girls looked at the pair of eyes with serious expression, while Timo had a worried one.

"Are you saying you serve one of the greatest demons in the world?" Timo asked.

"Who cares if he's one of the greatest demons?" Buttercup said. "I say we kick his butt."

"For what?" Blossom asked. "He hasn't really attacked us or caused any damage."

"Then… why did I saw Inferno on the surface?" Timo thought.

A loud roar was heard as the ground began to shake and crack up.

"YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE." The voice was deep and scary.

Bubbles suddenly began shaking. "Th-th-that voice just… it felt like it pierced my heart."

"That's no wonder." Timo said. "His kinds strike fear to anyone's heart. That and his powers are limitless."

"How do you know about him that much?" Blossom asked.

"There are legends about him. Some people used to pray and sacrifice living things, even humans, to him." Timo looked at the souls. "These souls are indeed his food. He feeds on their pain, the sins they have committed."

"GET… OUT!!" Baphomet growled so loud part of the roof caved in. Some lava also spilled out from the cracks on the ground.

"I'd suggest you do what my master says." Inferno said. "Otherwise, you're all doomed."

"We better do what we're told, for now." Blossom said.

"What!?" Buttercup yelled. "Blossom, you can't be serious!"

Timo's eyes suddenly widened. "Girls, don't you think it's hot in here suddenly?"

"Yeah, it is, Timo." Bubbles said.

"It's the lava." Blossom said. "It's emitting strong heat from underground."

Timo looked back and forth between the hole where they had come from and the lava. "So that's it."

"That's what, Timo?" Buttercup asked.

"I now know the reason to everything that has happened today. The heat, the manholes, the sewer water… everything."

"What do you mean?" Bubbles asked.

"We're just beneath Townsville, right?"

"Right." Blossom said. "So?"

"Imagine an oven, heating up food. Now replace the food with the city of Townsville and the oven with this place."

Blossom thought about it. "Hmm… it would actually make sense. With the heat this place emits, the passages here and the hole where we came from, it's no wonder the sewer water is boiling… and the surface is heating unusually up."

"That's right." Timo said and pointed at the crack on the wall with the pair of eyes. "This means, that the one causing this whole thing is THAT demon!"

Right then a growl so loud was heard, that the ground shook very violently.

"Now you've done it." Inferno said.

The ground cracked wide open and an army of strange creatures appeared from under it. The girls immediately took their battle stances.

"They're attacking!" Blossom said. "Counter-attack!"

The girls began to fight against the creatures, but Timo stood where he was and looked past all the fight. He saw Inferno walking away slowly.

"Oh no you don't!" Timo said as he used super speed to run in front of Inferno. "You're not going anywhere."

"You do not want me as your opponent." Inferno said.

Timo created an ice staff on his hand. "That depends. Are you really our enemy?"

Inferno's grey eyes changed to orange-yellow and right then, Inferno unleashed a dark purple ball at Timo, hitting him and sending him to a far wall.

"I guess you are." Timo said.

In the meantime, the girls had their hands full fighting against the horde of demon-like creatures.

Blossom just punched a brown creature to the wall. "Ugh! At this rate we won't even get to touch that demon."

Bubbles was using sonic scream at a skeleton creature, breaking it to pieces.

Buttercup was smashing spider-like creatures. "You're telling me, Red! We have to do something."

"What about a team attack?" Bubbles asked.

"Could work, but it'll take a lot out of us." Blossom said.

"We don't have a choice, Blossom."

"Where's Timo?" Bubbles asked.

"Fighting that other boy." Buttercup said as she looked at Timo. "And he has his hands full with him."

Timo was trying to hit Inferno with his ice staff but Inferno was dodging the strikes easily.

"He's too fast!" Timo thought.

Right then, Inferno created another energy ball. "Hadouken!" He launched it at Timo, who quickly dodged it, but barely. The energy ball managed to hit the ice staff, breaking it partly. The energy ball then hit the wall with such fierce power that the cavern itself began to shake.

"Whatever that ball is, it's powerful." Timo thought. "I have to end this NOW!"

Meanwhile a new glowing skeletal monster appeared from beneath and moved fast at the girls. Buttercup was the first one to notice it.

"What's that?" Buttercup wondered.

The skeletal monster suddenly began to glow more, creating fire right in the middle where the girls were.

Buttercup got alarmed. "Girls, look out!"

As Blossom and Bubbles managed to spot the skeletal monster, the monster's stance changed to attacking kind and immediately an explosion occurred right in the middle, where the girls were, causing them to hit different parts of the cave walls and then fall down on the floor.

Timo gasped. "Girls!" He quickly dodged Inferno's attack and then hit him in the back of his head full force with his hand, causing Inferno to fall on the floor. "I'm coming!" Timo flew up and fired his ice beam on the monsters that were closing in on the girls, their claws and weapons ready.

"MY DEMONS WILL BE YOUR DOOM!"

"Shut up!" Timo yelled as he landed. He created another ice staff and began to spin around while firing his ice beam, making all of the demons around him to freeze in place, including the glowing skeletal monster.

The girls slowly managed to stand up.

"Ugh!" Blossom said. "What hit us?"

"Don't know, but I think someone just froze all of the monsters." Buttercup said.

"Sorry about that, Buttercup." Timo said.

"What about the Rowdyruff Boy?" Bubbles asked.

Timo looked behind him and saw Inferno lying on the floor. "Unconscious, apparently."

Right then, Baphomet roared so loud the frozen demons shattered to pieces. "YOU WILL NOT GET OUT OF HERE ALIVE!"

The cave wall began to close up and, at the same time, the cave itself began to collapse.

"He's trying to bury us alive!" Blossom said. "Let's get out of here quickly!"

The girls began to fly away, but Timo took another look at Inferno.

"Come on, Timo!" Bubbles yelled.

"We can't leave him here!" Timo said as he flew back to Inferno and picked him up.

"Whatever you're doing, do it fast!" Buttercup yelled.

Timo flew towards the entrance as the ceiling began to crack and fall on the ground.

At the surface, near a closed manhole, the ground began to shake and crack up, spreading towards the manhole. Steam rose up from cracked spots. The manhole suddenly flew up from its place and the girls appeared from the hole. In a blink of eye, so did Timo, carrying Inferno in his arms. A big steam smoke rose from the hole like a geyser a second later. The girls and Timo landed on the street.

"Phew… glad we made it out in time." Blossom said.

"Is it over?" Bubbles asked.

Timo looked at the hole. "For a moment at least. Baphomet won't die that easily."

Buttercup pointed at Inferno. "What'll we do with him?"

"For now we could just lock him up in a cage and decide later on." Blossom said.

Suddenly Timo's diamond began to shine red light. "Heads up, girls!"

The ground began to shake violently like an earthquake was happening. From the same manhole where the girls and Timo had come out, the ground began to literally break up fast, making parked cars fall into it.

"What's happening?" Blossom asked.

An explosion occurred and debris came out and fell to nearby buildings and surroundings, breaking windows and many other cars in the process. When the smoke began to dissolve, a big shadow could be seen inside.

"What is that?" Buttercup wondered.

Suddenly a head appeared from the smoke and growled at the girls and Timo.

"It's Baphomet!" Bubbles yelled.

Timo's face got serious. "No, that's not Baphomet!"

The smoke completely dissolved and in front of the girls and Timo stood a big creature, whose one leg was completely steel, stomach was full of wires and the left hand was equipped with a weapon.

"This must be Baphomet's strongest demon!" Timo said.

"Look at the size of that thing." Bubbles said. "I bet our attacks won't do much good against him."

"I agree." Blossom said.

The demon raised his weapon and targeted the girls and Timo.

"Spread out!" Blossom yelled.

Just as the demon fired his weapon, the girls and Timo flew at different directions. The spot exploded right after that.

"Rockets." Blossom said. "That demon is firing rockets!"

"That's not good." Timo said as he put Inferno down next to a building. "There are innocent people around here!"

"Don't let those rockets hit anyone!" Blossom ordered as the demon fired multiple rockets one after another.

Buttercup punched one rocket upward, Bubbles shattered one rocket with her sonic scream and Timo cut one rocket in half with his ice staff. Blossom in turn caught one rocket and rode on it, steering it towards the demon. She quickly flew away before the rocket exploded right at the demon's face.

"Got him!" Blossom said.

But after the smoke cleared, the demon stood there as if nothing had happened.

"It didn't even scratch him." Buttercup said.

"What'll we do?" Bubbles asked.

"Out of the way!"

The girls and Timo turned around to see Inferno, getting ready to attack. Timo quickly created an ice staff and pointed it at him.

"You really want to have round two right now?" Timo said.

"Put that thing down!" Inferno said.

"…"

"You don't have time for this!" Inferno said.

The demon raised his weapon again, getting ready to fire.

The head of Timo's ice staff began to shine. "…"

"Don't do this!" Inferno yelled.

The demon fired another series of rockets. Immediately Timo turned around and used ice beam on the rockets, making them freeze over.

"GO!" Timo said.

Inferno smiled for a second and then quickly flew towards the demon, breaking all of the rockets on the way to pieces. His eyes' irises turned to orange-yellow. Inferno's body began to emit dark aura as he grabbed the demon by the wires on his stomach.

"Shun Goku Satsu!!"

Inferno unleashed lightning fast heavy punches on the demon. The punches were so fast the girls and Timo had tough time following them. The demon roared from the pain as large sparks began to emit from the demon's stomach. After many punches, Inferno flew towards the demon's head and gave the heaviest punch he could to the demon's jaw. The demon gave a loud roar as the sparks spread at his entire body.

"It's going blow!" Blossom yelled. "Take cover!"

"There's no time." Timo said as he created two ice staves and created a huge ice shield around the demon. "Blossom, hurry!"

Blossom quickly used her ice breath at the ice shield, making it harder. Right then the demon exploded, making a fire pillar and causing the ice shield to crack up. In seconds the fire pillar went out and all there was left of the demon was part of his steel leg. The ice shield broke up to many pieces.

Timo was gasping for air. "That was a close one."

"Good thinking, Timo." Blossom said. "Your ice shield limited the explosion."

"With your help, Blossom." Buttercup said.

Bubbles looked around. "Where did Inferno go?"

"Here I am!" Inferno said as he landed on the ground.

Blossom flew closer to Inferno. "You really helped us all out today, but you must pay for your crimes."

"That won't be necessary, Blossom." Timo said.

Blossom looked at Timo. "What do you mean?"

"I mean that he wasn't himself when serving Baphomet." Timo said.

"You sound so sure." Inferno said. "What makes you say that? For all you know, I might still be evil."

"No, you're not." Timo said. "There are two things that prove that. First of all, today when I saw you emerge from that manhole, you looked like you were running away from something. Second of all, during our fight, you fought very seriously and yet I couldn't feel your soul. That made me feel like you didn't fight me with full powers unlike you did now. It also seemed like you were completely different from before."

The girls were looking at Timo with wide-eyed expressions.

"You based your decision on those??" Buttercup said as her expression turned to anger. "We would have been destroyed if you had been wrong."

Inferno began to laugh. "You're pretty perceptive, boy. Yes, I was manipulated by Baphomet, when I was trying to destroy him."

"Well, team, looks like we managed to save another day." Blossom said.

"That you all did." Inferno said. "Now that Baphomet has run away from Townsville, the heat should also go away now."

Timo flew closer to Inferno. "So what are you going to do now? Are you going to stay here in Townsville?"

Inferno looked sadly up at the sky. "I'm afraid I can't do that. As long as Baphomet is alive and loose, I can't be at any place for long. I have to give chase."

The girls became sad when hearing that.

"Then this is where we part ways." Blossom said.

"I'm afraid so." Inferno said. "But you four have a good thing going on here. I hope your city will never be destroyed by someone like Baphomet." He then slowly began to fly higher.

Timo flew in front of Inferno. "Hey, hold on. You sure you don't need our help?"

"I'm sure." Inferno said. "Baphomet is already probably at the other side of the world."

Timo raised and extended his hand, like waiting for a high five. "Take care of yourself, Inferno."

Inferno did the same thing and hit Timo's hand. "I will, boy."

"Don't call me 'boy'."

Inferno smiled,  turned around and waved at the girls. "Farewell, girls!"

The girls waved back. "Bye bye, Inferno."

"And have a good hunt!" Buttercup added.

Inferno flew away and disappeared from the sight in seconds.

"Do you think we'll see him again?" Bubbles asked.

"Who knows." Blossom said. "I hope he succeeds in his mission."

Timo looked at Blossom. "What makes you think getting Baphomet is his mission?"

"What else could it be, Timo?" Blossom asked.

Timo looked at the sky where Inferno had flown. "… It actually felt like he wants revenge."

"For what?" Buttercup wondered.

"I don't know and we probably never will." Timo said.

The Powerpuff Girls and Timo all looked at the sky.

***

At home, the girls explained what had happened to them to the professor. Their encounter with Baphomet, the reason why there has been such a heat recently and their talk with Inferno.

"Well, sounds like you four had a rough day." the professor said. "You all must be pretty hungry after all that fighting."

"Yeah, professor." Bubbles said. "What's for dinner?"

"Hot potatoes with extra hot soup."

The girls just looked at the professor.

"Umm, can't we just have a nice cold glass of juice?" Buttercup said.

"Why do want some juice?" Timo asked as he tasted the soup. "Hmm… needs more spice."

Blossom and Bubbles laughed while Buttercup frowned.

And so once again the day was saved, thanks to the Powerpuff Girls.


The End