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Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:58 pm

Go to my DA to see a mess of concept art.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:21 pm

I liked the image of how Blossom was found. The artificial eye is not apparent there though.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:01 pm

Q.U. wrote:I liked the image of how Blossom was found. The artificial eye is not apparent there though.

fake eye covering is described in the story if you are careful around the end of part 5

Re: Puff Most Epic

Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:17 am

Thought so. But in all later images she has only the mechanical part, and I'm assuming not only because she doesn't try to cover it but because it's simply more characteristic when sketching her.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:48 pm

destroyed in the first blast used to remove the computer core from Bubbles

Re: Puff Most Epic

Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:37 am

BeeAre wrote:Go to my DA to see a mess of concept art.

Ohh, this is some good concept art BR.

It is a great way to look, and follow the story more carefully.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:09 am

This is a great story, despite the fact keeping up with it is tough.

Keep up the good work

Re: Puff Most Epic

Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:00 pm

I love it. I take to a similar approach to writing my fanfiction, so for me the challenge of following this story is welcome. I look forward to your next update. I especially wonder about Blossom and Bubbles. Will we get to see what happened to them and how they came to be used as living robots/ fuel sources? Also, nice touch of the macabre. I also look forward to more of this.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:55 am

Part 2: And On The Third Day...

[][][][][][] Her hand slid through her red hair and found someone's hand, and they walked together. Their hands slipped away, and they drifted apart. She saw his sharp appearance grow so old, and he withered away... a skeleton and then dust before her eyes. She turned around and was in a steel cage. Swinging by her left hand from the bars throwing bananas outside with her right... with no one to eat them, they piled up endlessly. The banana pile was now a person, only the silhouette, walking with the sun at their back, steps clanking. He lifted her up, cradling her gently, but she could not see his face. The figure slid her carefully into the circus cannon. It went off with a soft bang. She felt the wind against her face and was happy. Now she was falling, and the only place to land was the middle of the ocean. She did not feel wet, and she sunk through the briny deep, the rippling image of the sky floating up and away. And then all was black, and quiet, and peaceful. She breathed deep, and felt her body rest against the ocean floor, and felt the soft, gritty texture of the sand cradling her.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] “SNRK—Huh?”

[][][][][][] Light. The pale of morning.

[][][][][][] Cold... sweating. Sitting up from the floor; tasting the inside of her mouth; scratched the scars through her shirt; yawned.

[][][][][][] “Where am I? Oh.” Buttercup looked around. She blinked, staring blankly as her mind digested the room.

[][][][][][] Home. Eyes, half shut. It didn't feel like home. It was, though.

[][][][][][] “Guh...”

[][][][][][] Something was bothering her in the back of her mind, but she lost as she began to nod off.

[][][][][][] The grogginess sat with her for what felt hours. An itchy feeling was spreading up the back of her neck to her head. She lifted up her arm to scratch it, and winced, turning her head away from her arm.

[][][][][][] “Oh... Oh. Pff... Aw... Man.”

[][][][][][] She needed a bath.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] One real, and one fake. Opened and then clenched shut. Blossom's real eye was adjusted to darkness and the dim light of early morning nearly blinded her, but the fake eye was instantly ready, and she held onto that clarity, squinting it, and then opening it fully. She was lying on something soft. She flexed her hand, and felt the sofa.

[][][][][][] It rang as distantly familiar.

[][][][][][] It firecracked her.

[][][][][][] Home.

[][][][][][] And it was so good to be home. The air in the house seemed musty and stale, but she loved it nonetheless.

[][][][][][] But how...?

[][][][][][] She went over the memories she held of the past few hours or so. The robot, Buttercup, Bubbles, some kind of hurricane... it was all so inexplicably fuzzy. She breathed hard in contained frustration, but relaxed as the air of the house pushed into her strong.

[][][][][][] Never mind. I'm here. That's all that matters.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Bubbles drifted up into the morning—her tenebrous dreams were broken by the sun—she could somehow feel her sisters stir—both of them! It was like cold water—her breath felt sharper, her mind felt clearer—and despite herself, she felt so happy under that light—eyes bathing in the glow—she felt she couldn't move—except the hinting peak of a long lost, hopeful smile.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Buttercup pressed her hands against the wall of the shower, shaking terribly... she had turned the heat all the way up and had the water running over her skin as she winced and tightened her back.

[][][][][][] They burned. The new cuts on her body. They all burned. It was good. It was good that they hurt. When they stopped hurting—when they too were scars—she'd be satisfied.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] She was still lying flat on her back. As she pushed up with her elbows, a hollow pain shot up her spine, and escaped out her mouth.

[][][][][][] Ahh! Stiff! So... stiff.

[][][][][][] Blossom tried to stifle her groans and ignore the pain and pushed herself into a sitting position against the arm rest. Looking around, she recognized the room. It was their room, and radiated a kind of nostalgia, but it didn't look the same. The walls were faded―and cracked―and from where she was sitting on the sofa, she could only see a few things. First of all, Bubbles was asleep on a bed angled from the sofa, sleeping peacefully. She wore a pair of light blue sweat pants and a matching t-shirt―the back was ripped open for her mechanical arms, which draped over the side, bunching up on the floor. The twinkling rise and fall of hesitant sunshine coming from the window told her how early in the morning it actually was.

[][][][][][] How long had she been asleep, she wondered. Days? It just couldn't have been that long.

[][][][][][] The time and date flashed in the right-hand corner of her vision. She tensed up, lifted her hand, and felt cool metal. Then she relaxed, rubbing directly over the solid pupil, feeling the thrill of pressing against her vision. How could she forget? Leave it to that guy to make something useful and annoying at the same time.

[][][][][][] It hadn't turned on at all when she'd been extricated from her steel tomb. It was a ridiculous idea at this point that she would no longer need to worry about captivity—yet here she was, free. Along with her sisters, who no longer had to shoulder their burdens by themselves. She took a deep breath and then, slowly, let it out, and found out with almost surprise that the air of home had completely relaxed her.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Enough.

[][][][][][] Her hand changed the hot to cold, to freezing, to stinging, to soothing, and then to biting. The cold ran down her skin and then up her spine. Still good.

[][][][][][] Shampoo ran down her face from her hair as she pressed her hands against the wall, shivering hard enough to crack the tile. Now she was clean, and she cut off the flow, wiping the water off her face with both hands, and then brushed aside the curtain.

[][][][][][] The towel, dry. Green, and dry. Dry, and soft. The towel was green, and it was soft, and it was dry; it made the cuts stop hurting. She buried her face. Genuine. Safe. Soft. Dry. Green.

[][][][][][] ...warm...

[][][][][][] Reward enough for anyone, really.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] There was a stool being used as a table in front of the sofa. A green, plastic bowl of chips; a white, ceramic bowl of salsa; and a pitcher of clear water with a spare glass rested on its surface.

[][][][][][] She swallowed against the dry of her throat, and eyed the chips and salsa.

[][][][][][] How long has it been since I've eaten? She didn't even remember.

[][][][][][] Her thin, pale arms reached up to grab a chip, dip it in the blend in front of her, and then put it to her mouth, savoring the taste.

[][][][][][] Her eyes went wide.

[][][][][][] She dove for the glass of water, picked it up with both hands, and drank it down eagerly, spilling over the corners of her mouth, and down her shirt, but she didn't care. She pulled back, coughed. Sputtered a moment, and then, choking it back, drank the rest.

[][][][][][] Sated, she set the empty glass down, and looked at her clothes for the first time. It was... a blue nightgown. And it was tight on her. Something Bubbles used to wear?

[][][][][][] Blue wasn't her color, but she sighed in resignation and gazed into the shadows of the empty room.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Bubbles frowned a little, as she feigned slumber. Her sisters were back. That should be all that mattered.

[][][][][][] But it wasn't. Not for her. Now she was concerned once more. She could feel her sisters' confusion—understanding—anger—fear—misery—satisfaction. She reeled, dizzy with duality as her sisters suffered.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Blossom's throat still burned wet, and she still felt weak. She ate a few more chips dry and drank more water, and then had just enough strength to shift around so she could see the rest of the room. And as she did so, the first thing she noticed was the bed.

[][][][][][] Her jaw dropped just slightly and her eyes widened considerably.

[][][][][][] Torn in half, the blanket ripped apart where Blossom's third of the bed used to be; the stuffing of the mattress clearly visible, sticking out from where the two sides of the comforter ended; someone had put a giant crack in the heart-shaped headboard when they broke the bed; the hot line had been torn from the wall; the lamp had crashed to the floor and broken, and no one had picked it up.

[][][][][][] Horrible. They were that broken by her disappearance? By her alleged death? Had she really meant so much to them?

[][][][][][] Of course, she had thought about it, but told herself that they would be strong, and simply carry on with their own lives... but she was clearly wrong.

[][][][][][] And it tore her apart inside.

[][][][][][] After her initial shock, she blinked the tears from her left eye and tried to concentrate on the rest of the room.

[][][][][][] She sighed. It was just as bad as the bed.

[][][][][][] Walls—faded, dented. Some cracked. Did Buttercup do this?

[][][][][][] The other side of the room had a plain-looking blue bed with a metal headboard and footboard. Bubbles rested quietly.

[][][][][][] The hinges on the door were rusted; the door itself looked like it hadn't actually been cared for in a long time.

[][][][][][] There was a light layer of dust over everything, thicker in some areas than others. Powerpuff hand prints in some areas where the dust was less noticeable. Toys were piled carelessly in one corner of the room. The floor was grayed with dust.

[][][][][][] The despair showed in her exhale.

[][][][][][] I have to fix this.

[][][][][][] It's my responsibility.

[][][][][][] No one would say it were her fault for not being here—she wasn't dismissing the truth. And yet... it was because she wasn't here that this had happened.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Buttercup stopped outside the door to the bathroom. It was so lonely, here in this house. Only Bubbles. The past few days... a complete blur. She was groggy, even after the shower, and couldn't think straight. She opened the door, silently, and closed it, eyes glazed over, barely able to think. She clutched the towel tighter to her chest, as if to hold herself together. If only she were stronger. If only Bubbles was stronger.

[][][][][][] Bubbles.

[][][][][][] Spite filled her when she thought about Bubbles. She wasn't there when Buttercup needed her. And she had gotten all these scars. She could still feel every scratch, every cut, every drop of blood that left her body. And Bubbles was at school, or asleep... she was nowhere around. The only one left to fight was Buttercup.

[][][][][][] She got to the door of their room and stopped.

[][][][][][] Blossom.

[][][][][][] The memories exploded in her mind, and she reeled, nearly tumbling back through the hall.

[][][][][][] What's wrong with me?! What's with my head? She's been back... back for a few days now. She's sleeping! How could I—

[][][][][][] And then she started, eyes wide, her jaw almost slack, peering into the room. She's awake!

[][][][][][] "B―Blossom!"

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Her eyes trailed back to the doorway, and they met with Buttercup's.

[][][][][][] They both flinched at the other's presence.

[][][][][][] "B—Blossom!"

[][][][][][] A moist hug found its way around her in the time it took her to blink. Buttercup had just finished taking a shower, and she could feel the damp towel wrapped around her body, and smelled the light fragrance of apples emanating from her sister's hair. She smiled, and hugged her back, weakly, but no less affectionately.

[][][][][][] "I'm all right, Buttercup."

[][][][][][] When Buttercup pulled away, her eyes were wet, and Blossom's eyes widened in surprise. She looked so fierce, especially with that lined scar so neatly notched above and below her left eye; it was shocking, the contrast between the set of her face and the tears. Buttercup quickly wiped them off with one hand.

[][][][][][] She couldn't help but chuckle, and shake her head. "Buttercup, didn't you hear me say that it's all right to cry?"

[][][][][][] "That's Bubbles. I don't cry."

[][][][][][] Blossom smiled wanly at her sister. "Buttercup... you still don't get it."

[][][][][][] She blinked. "Get what?"

[][][][][][] "You don't have to try to impress us. I know who you are, and I've seen your strength. You took down that robot, and saved me. There's no need to act tough around me. Or Bubbles. Okay?"

[][][][][][] Buttercup turned away. She looked back with a hard smile.

[][][][][][] "It's no act, Blossom."

[][][][][][] Blossom sighed in resign, smiled though disappointed, and tenderly capped her sister's shoulder with her hand, felt the thickness, but didn't break her gaze. "Good."

[][][][][][] Buttercup smiled back more earnestly, though her eyes kept drifting to the right (or her left, Blossom mused blandly). She regarded her towel, and her cheeks brightened noticeably under the drifting ocher of her skin. "One sec," she blurted, and went over to the dresser, keeping the towel in place with her arms while fumbling with the clothes in her drawer. Blossom wondered if her sister was just self-conscious, or if there was some other reason for this behavior. She was changing rapidly, and got stuck pulling up a blouse a shade of her personal green over dark skin covered in...

[][][][][][] And that was when Blossom really noticed them.

[][][][][][] The dozens of off-color, jagged, and most painful scars she had ever seen—she couldn't tear her gaze.

[][][][][][] How did she get those?

[][][][][][] Scars covered the brunette's tanned skin, from a tangle of overlaid ripping curves on her back, to deep, massive scratches to thick, jagged lines on her arms and legs, to dozens of tiny puncture wounds that never really healed...

[][][][][][] She began to look away, and saw Buttercup's reflection in the mirror on the other wall, one of the only things in the room that wasn't destroyed. There was the most horrible scar of them all... it ran from her right shoulder, down and across her stomach, tapering on her left leg, ending on the back of the knee. It was only when Buttercup's eyes came up in the reflection that Blossom blinked and turned her eyes.

[][][][][][] How... horrible.

[][][][][][] Finally, she sat back against the cushions, and stared straight ahead, the screaming questions in her head blaring out all other thought.

[][][][][][] What happened ? How do I ask?

[][][][][][] It seemed unreal—the idea that a Powerpuff Girl could take that kind of damage could happen: she knew from personal experience—But Buttercup?

[][][][][][] Blossom reached for the chips, and concentrated on the crunching noise in her mouth, hoping to drown her inner monologue out.

[][][][][][] She swallowed. The silence in the room was tense. She heard a thump and looked to her left.

[][][][][][] "BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!"

[][][][][][] Buttercup was laying upside down across the back of the sofa, her hands tugging against her cheeks, making a face. Blossom flinched sideways. This reaction was apparently hilarious, because her sister laughed so hard she rolled sideways, turning over to sit next to her. "Sorry. I figured you'd want to feel at home."

[][][][][][] "Thanks. I needed that." Blossom's grin was mostly wry because, in fact, she had needed it.

[][][][][][] Buttercup was smirking, clearly proud to have broken the tension just by being herself.

[][][][][][] “Not a problem.”

[][][][][][] Blossom rolled her eyes. She'd wanted to do that for a while.

[][][][][][] Buttercup's mirth died down, and she pensively relaxed into the sofa and took a deep breath. “It sure was lonely while you were gone. This house has seen better days. Think I caused most of the damage, though.” She looked at the window, and the rising and falling sunlight. “I really couldn't control myself without you around. I guess... it broke me. It broke us."

[][][][][][] It certainly looked that way.

[][][][][][] For a moment, Blossom felt so incredulous as to ask what Buttercup could have possibly been thinking.

[][][][][][] But how could she say that? How could she say anything? She'd been dead.

[][][][][][] The moment passed with a million thoughts, but no words.

[][][][][][] Then, realizing she did have one question she dared ask, "Hey, Buttercup?"

[][][][][][] "Yeah?"

[][][][][][] "Where's the Professor?"

[][][][][][] Buttercup opened her mouth, but only a sort of squeak came out, and she looked away, her brow furrowed, digging deep for answers.

[][][][][][] Bubbles stirred and opened her misty, cerulean eyes as the sun grew particularly strong. With no sleep in her voice, she quavered a "Good morning, Buttercup," in a voice that at once sounded complementary, fearful, decisive, and unless Blossom was mistaken, the barest hint of whispered accusation.

[][][][][][] But Buttercup didn't hear any of that—she was just relieved to avoid an awkward question. She glanced outside at the skies, where there were enough clouds to make the sun wink. "It ain't that great, is it?"

[][][][][][] "It'll get better," Blossom told her with a shrug. She could find her answer later.

[][][][][][] Bubbles breathed in, and the other girls froze. Blossom's words hung.

[][][][][][] Bubbles sat up, glowing as the light bloomed again, and she leaned to look at Blossom, smiling deeply. "Oh, Blossom. Welcome back!"

[][][][][][] There was silence until Buttercup snickered, and drove it home. "Yeah, now? It's official."

[][][][][][] They laughed, together, for the first time in years.

[][][][][][] After a moment, Blossom's stomach let out a strange gurgling sound. They stopped, turning their heads in the direction of the sound, and Blossom put her hand over her stomach. She only had a few chips, and her body ached for something of more substance.

[][][][][][] Buttercup chuckled. "I guess it's time for breakfast." She stood up from the couch. "I'll go make some. You two take your time and get ready." And she was a streak of light, and then nothing.

[][][][][][] "Is that a good idea?" Blossom whispered loudly when Buttercup was out of the room.

[][][][][][] Bubbles smiled too sweetly, and said in a responding stage whisper, "It's better than nothing, I suppose...”

[][][][][][] "I heard that!" came the thunder from down the stairs.

[][][][][][] Bubbles clamped a hand over her mouth in pretend surprise.

[][][][][][] Blossom couldn't help giggling along with her.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Bubbles had to have Blossom help her with her arms as she got up from the sofa and as they went into the bathroom.

[][][][][][] They took turns washing their hands and faces, first Bubbles, then Blossom.

[][][][][][] As she stood there, waiting for her sister to finish washing up, Bubbles glanced at her, then back at the floor, and finally tried her vocal chords. "Do you... feel okay... Blossom?"

[][][][][][] Blossom answered idly while drying off her hands."Yeah. Of course, why wouldn't I?"

[][][][][][] Bubbles pursed her lips for a moment. "You've been... we thought you were... dead."

[][][][][][] Blossom froze, the towel still in her hands.

[][][][][][] She hadn't thought about it. It wasn't her own emotions that were hurting. She had made an inscrutable error.

[][][][][][] Blossom looked up at her crestfallen sister, and hugged her gently. Bubbles hugged back, and closed her eyes, leaking tears.

[][][][][][] "Bubbles... I'm sorry I had to leave, but I'm back now. You don't need to worry about me anymore. I'm not going to let anything like that happen again. Okay?"

[][][][][][] Bubbles breathed and nodded, her lower lip vying with her upper lip over control of a drooping smile.

[][][][][][] Blossom smiled back. "Thank you."

[][][][][][] Bubbles lifted her eyes. "...for what?"

[][][][][][] For being so strong, she wanted to say, instead she just hugged her again. She's probably the strongest one of us all, she mused. After they broke the hug, Blossom spoke again. "Let's get downstairs."

[][][][][][] Bubbles' eyes were watery as she stood staring at Blossom and sniffling against her runny nose.

[][][][][][] A long moment passed, and Blossom leaned in to pat her.

[][][][][][] “You hear me?”

[][][][][][] Bubbles closed her eyes. She nodded so readily and gratefully that Blossom realized that, somehow, helping Bubbles to the doorway had begun long before they'd gotten near it.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] They walked down the stairs separately. First Blossom, then Bubbles. Blossom still wasn't sure as to what extent her body had recovered its strength. She found little difficulty retaining her balance, and made it down the stairs without issue. When she got to the bottom, she looked up, and waited patiently for Bubbles.

[][][][][][] Bubbles was having a little more difficulty. Her bulky, lifeless, mechanical arms weighed heavy on her upper back. Unable to move them herself, she could do nothing but tow them behind her. When she got to the stairs, she took a few steps down and her arms started to slide at an angle down the slope of the stairs. Panicked, she reached for them, and they moved, quickly, in the same direction that she moved her natural arms, which ended up making her vault over them, and almost threw her down the stairs, but the arms were still moving, running her down the stairs of their own volition, and she descended the stairs, panicked, and upside down. At the bottom, still tense, still upside-down, she realized she was okay, and relaxed. The legs then crumpled beneath her like a skyscraper on a shoddy foundation. Blossom helped her to her feet, and they both walked to the breakfast table, the bulky, lifeless, mechanical arms in tow.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Buttercup never had been one for cooking. The pancakes were a sick yellow, the eggs were spotty, and the bacon had been burned so badly as to be unfit for human consumption—not that a little thing like that had stopped Buttercup. She crunched it stubbornly at the table, waving them over.

[][][][][][] The fact that the kitchen had not been cleaned in some time, and that pots and pans were stacked up dirty on either side of the stove top, and that cups, flatware, and bowls were piled in the sink, and that the counter had a number of mysterious and unrecognizable stains, did not make it any better. Bubbles seemed resigned to eating what had been prepared, but just walking into the room made Blossom blanch. This was enough to raise a sulking sigh from Buttercup, and her efforts arced with startlingly speed and accuracy into the garbage.

[][][][][][] The three of them opted to break out the fresh cereal and milk in silence. The somber air only broke when a few minutes later Blossom coughed pointedly and took another spoonful of her cereal, glancing up at Buttercup as she did so.

[][][][][][] Buttercup took the hint and ventured at conversation. "So, Blossom... uh..." And then, her eyes searched for something else to say, but failed. She needed it now. "Four years ago... when you—I mean... you died."

[][][][][][] "Right." They both knew this was wrong, but Buttercup seemed at a loss for another way.

[][][][][][] Blossom sighed and took a sip of her milk. "You remember the incident with the volcano?"

[][][][][][] "Yeah." Her expression darkened, as did Bubbles'. "We really thought—the lava—I mean, we really didn't really... get the chance to look at the skeleton... "

[][][][][][] "No, I understand. I do." Blossom rolled the half-empty glass of milk between her palms.

[][][][][][] "But you... weren't. You weren't. You weren't dead. So what happened?"

[][][][][][] Blossom paused.

Previous: Part One - Cold Sleep
Next: Part Three - Wool Vision
Table of Contents
Last edited by BeeAre on Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:39 am

It never was clearly shown what lava could do to them. Yet, she wasn't dead, so a plot device.

And what in the world happened to the Professor?

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:41 am

Q.U. wrote:It never was clearly shown what lava could do to them. Yet, she wasn't dead, so a plot device.

And what in the world happened to the Professor?

Oh no, in the movie, they fly into lava. Why, you may ask, would I point out such an apparent incongruity? Deviousness.

And hey, we'll be seeing the Professor soon! He gets some showtime this chapter! Things start moving faster.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:48 pm

Why, you may ask, would I point out such an apparent incongruity? Deviousness.

You're full of that. But in the original episodes, Mojo once tried to throw them into lava, and they tried to avoid it, so no consistence even in the original show. Plus in one episode they were trying to avoid bathing in acid, where lava should be considered a lot more potent in causing harm.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:28 pm

Actually, acid doesn't hurt them but it did burn off much of their hair in one instance.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:09 pm

Q.U. wrote:
Why, you may ask, would I point out such an apparent incongruity? Deviousness.

You're full of that. But in the original episodes, Mojo once tried to throw them into lava, and they tried to avoid it, so no consistence even in the original show. Plus in one episode they were trying to avoid bathing in acid, where lava should be considered a lot more potent in causing harm.

They tried to avoid it because it was Mojo more than it was lava. Which you will discover here. I have, in effect, retconned a lot of the show's actions into a sweeping majestic and AS FAR AS I CAN TELL consistent narrative idea (yes, even the between episode inconsistency), which RuffDraft takes and turns into our first draft (appropriately enough) and then I go back and mince the goofy parts into better, then he laughs at my dumb things and makes those better, and then we both prod final words into place, and we release.

The reason for being scared of acid? They'd never been dipped in it, so they didn't know.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:05 pm

Its looking great BR. I really enjoy your story. YOur word choice is perfect, I can visually see the events occuring in my head as I read it. Also the story itself is very capturing.

I can't wait till the next part comes out.
Mojo once tried to throw them into lava, and they tried to avoid it, so no consistence even in the original show. Plus in one episode they were trying to avoid bathing in acid,

I don't think it would be wise to push yourself to the limit.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:18 pm

Blood Lord wrote:Its looking great BR. I really enjoy your story. YOur word choice is perfect, I can visually see the events occuring in my head as I read it. Also the story itself is very capturing.

I can't wait till the next part comes out.

I don't think it would be wise to push yourself to the limit.

Ruffdraft has much to do with the arrangement, he usually stops me from writing a part of the story if he has a good idea: and he does a good job, too, I think!! We rather enjoy specific crtiicisms and commentary--it's less important a lot of the time to get a strict visual picture as long as the strong ideas push a certain form of the picture forward.

Go into more detail with word choices, and be aware that as you offer me such critique and priase, you offer it also to RuffDraft, for he is the man flying the plane next to my telling you to look at fun things as we cruise over them.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:19 pm

lol. I'll keep that in mind BR.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:58 am

It's funny how BR never dared to submit any bit of his story until he found Ruffdraft and got him to help out...

And as for specific comments. I personally dislike the usage of such dynamic narration style, simply because if not attended well it causes confusion and mess. Shifting the narration from Blossom, to Buttercup, to Bubbles, and back to Blossom looks like a plan to keep the story in an interesting style. But I do hope that you're up to it all the way, because as far as I know, lest you are at least a decent writer, you might get caught up with that sort of style. I guess Ruff and BR combined can manage such things, seeing as there are no issues with it to be seen so far.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:08 pm

Q.U. wrote:It's funny how BR never dared to submit any bit of his story until he found Ruffdraft and got him to help out...

And as for specific comments. I personally dislike the usage of such dynamic narration style, simply because if not attended well it causes confusion and mess. Shifting the narration from Blossom, to Buttercup, to Bubbles, and back to Blossom looks like a plan to keep the story in an interesting style. But I do hope that you're up to it all the way, because as far as I know, lest you are at least a decent writer, you might get caught up with that sort of style. I guess Ruff and BR combined can manage such things, seeing as there are no issues with it to be seen so far.

"Never Dared" has some interesting connotations. It's more like "I didn't write the story but explained it to RuffDraft and he said 'ooh i'll do that'". RuffDraft is the WRITER. I am the Concept Director. there is a difference methinks.

the story will proceed nicely I think. I do not think it is a good idea to have personal disillusion with a style merely because when it isn't done right it is bad. O_O

Re: Puff Most Epic

Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:44 am

"Never Dared" has some interesting connotations.

True. Maybe make it "never wanted".

RuffDraft is the WRITER. I am the Concept Director.

Oh, BR. I still remember what you posted (done without Ruff) in the old Grid's thread when asked if you can write. Concept Director? Maybe, but not like you would be unable to write something.
Heck, going by the Belbin's tests I'm a ME (Monitor Evaluator), thus rather material for a critic or beta. But that doesn't mean I can't try something creative.

I do not think it is a good idea to have personal disillusion with a style merely because when it isn't done right it is bad. O_O

No disillusions on my side. I'm only not aware of Ruff's and your capabilities. Thus I am wondering if you will manage to pull it through flawlessly. But I will agree, so far it's going nicely.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:39 am

I kinda refrained from commenting on all this until now, since I didn't really have anything constructive to say. I kinda feel like anything I say at this point will dwarf the importance of my fans. For without my fans, I would have almost no motivation to write.

All of you who enjoy my story: I thank you for your words of encouragement.
All of you who have not yet critiqued: Please let me know you are out there, so I may honor you as well.
To my Commanding Officer: I am greatly honored that you would take the time and interest to read my story despite the million other things you could be doing. Thank you very much, Sir.

And finally, to everyone: Chapter 2, Part 3 will (probably) be posted some time this week.


Re: Puff Most Epic

Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:48 pm

Part 3: Wool Vision

[][][][][][] Six years ago.

[][][][][][] "Who wants breakfa-a-ast?"

[][][][][][] Back then, the Professor still served them breakfast with loving care every morning before they went to school, and even during the summer they still ate very well. His pancakes were soft, fluffy, and mouth-wateringly good. His eggs were a golden brown, cooked to perfection, topped with a spoonful of vinegar over each yolk, and so palpable that the steam itself was heavenly.

[][][][][][] "I do!" Bubbles bounced in her seat as he brought over the food.

[][][][][][] "Wow, Professor, this looks great!" Blossom loved his pancakes. She was still learning how to cook, and had a long way to go. But she was learning. Some day, she would be as good, if not better, than he was.

[][][][][][] "Man, I'm starving!!" Buttercup grabbed a strip of bacon and shoved it unceremoniously into her mouth, chewing loudly, and gulping it down. And then she belched.

[][][][][][] He laughed admonishingly. "Easy, Buttercup. You don't want to—"

[][][][][][] As she shoved a pancake into her mouth, she began to choke. She grasped at her throat with her left hand, and slammed her right hand on the table. Blossom passed her her milk, and she drank it down, slammed down the glass, and breathed deep. "Whoo. I thought I was a goner."

[][][][][][] Bubbles giggled and took a careful bite of her eggs, drank her juice and dabbed at the corner of her mouth with her napkin.

[][][][][][] "Very polite, Bubbles," he praised.

[][][][][][] "Thank you, Professor."

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Five years ago.

[][][][][][] The simian stood over his plans, his mouth moved in a fluid circular motion, and he stuffed another piece of toast into his mouth as he calculated and planned. He lifted up a map, studied it, and then went back to the blueprint. With a compass, he made small marks on the page at intervals from one another, and then idly reached out and grabbed his cup, and turned it up, drinking his tea with haste.

[][][][][][] His eyes burned as they moved from one spot to another, plotting his schemes, calculating his actions, deducing the acts of his foes, the accursed Powerpuff Girls.

[][][][][][] He shoved a banana into his mouth, and lifted up his blueprints, running the plan in his head, trying to see if he missed something. His mouth still chewed furiously as his eyes darted from one end of the drawing to the next.

[][][][][][] His mouth stopped.

[][][][][][] He smiled, and swallowed loudly.

[][][][][][] "Perfection."

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Four years ago.

[][][][][][] She opened her eyes for the first in what felt like a long time. She looked around, but all was dim, she could only see a few things from where she was. Beakers, a mortar and pestle, a chemistry set, vials filled with labeled reagents that seemed to glow even in the dim light, new wooden tables with drawers and shelves.

[][][][][][] She tried to move and felt something pull at her leg. She looked down and saw that her legs were anchored to a metal brace. She tried to reach for it and something pulled at her hand. She looked up, and then to the other hand, but they were both similarly bound. And as she tried to move again, fear clutched at her heart.

[][][][][][] No powers.

[][][][][][] She was trapped.

[][][][][][] And then the lights came on, and she was blind.

[][][][][][] Her eyes adjusted slowly, and she saw he who had captured her, and she gasped in horror.

[][][][][][] Why was he still alive? It was impossible, she had seen it with her own eyes! And here he was, right in front of her!

[][][][][][] Soon, he got close enough that she could see the items in his hand.

[][][][][][] A bowl of cereal, a glass of milk, and some French toast.

[][][][][][] Sure, it was better than nothing, but...

[][][][][][] "Open your mouth," he ordered, and she grudgingly obliged.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Three years ago.

[][][][][][] The claw tickled the air lightly as it waved in contemplation. The plan was forming in his sinister mind. For since he knew all that was, he need only predict what would be.

[][][][][][] He had his means.

[][][][][][] He had his devices.

[][][][][][] He had his servants.

[][][][][][] But it wasn't enough.

[][][][][][] More power.

[][][][][][] More

[][][][][][] A servant at his side met with his wrath of his claw, and it put a scaly hand to its face and scampered away with a frightened shriek.

[][][][][][] All that he had wasn't enough. He needed more power to destroy them. He knew of all the villains in the world; their minds flooded into him, giving him an even greater reservoir of evil all the time. But it wasn't enough.

[][][][][][] They must die.

[][][][][][] Those three must die.

[][][][][][] Those accursed Powerpuff Girls!!

[][][][][][] And then, like a single spark that caused a forest fire, his plan formed and fleshed out in his brain.

[][][][][][] His evil grin widened, and all his minions stared at it in horror.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Two years ago.

[][][][][][] No Professor. No Blossom.

[][][][][][] Buttercup and Bubbles sat joylessly at the table with some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They sat mostly in silence, but for Buttercup's eating habits having improved none since last. Her chewing was loud; she tapped at the table idly with the handle of a table knife as she drank her milk; she made big gulping sounds as she chugged it straight from the container.

[][][][][][] Bubbles was thirsty. It was better than nothing. "Can I have some milk, Buttercup?"

[][][][][][] She stopped only long enough to tell her, "Get yer own," and then drank the rest.

[][][][][][] Bubbles whimpered and put a spoonful of dry cereal into her mouth even as the tears dripped down the sides of her face.

I wish Blossom were still alive.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] One year ago.

[][][][][][] He awoke.

[][][][][][] He sat up and scratched at his rugged features. He turned his head to his right.

[][][][][][] She was still sleeping next to him.


[][][][][][] Well, that was good, wasn't it?

[][][][][][] Still, he shifted his weight, and stood from the bed, pausing only to stretch and pop the muscles in his neck before he headed downstairs.

[][][][][][] He yawned as he prepared breakfast as only a bachelor knew how. The eggs prepared the way he liked them; strips of bacon, crisp but still chewy; fluffy French toast sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon; he didn't make pancakes anymore.

[][][][][][] He pulled the orange juice from the fridge and poured himself a glass.

[][][][][][] Two plates at the table, both set with food.

[][][][][][] She came down only after smelling the feast, and wrapped her arms around him from behind. He smiled as she cooed into his ear, "You're really wonderful, John."

[][][][][][] "Thank you, Mary." He turned and kissed her in his seat. She walked to a chair, and seated herself. The chair creaked and skidded as she pulled it to the table under her.

[][][][][][] She bit into the eggs.

[][][][][][] "How do you like them," he asked, as he took a bite of his own.

[][][][][][] For a moment, she seemed hesitant, but she smiled and told him simply: "Heavenly."

[][][][][][] He smiled and took another bite of his eggs. But in his mind, he was saying, "Not her either, huh."

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Now.

[][][][][][] "It's why I have this eye, and why I was in that robot.”

[][][][][][] Buttercup, open-mouthed and wide-eyed, slammed her hands on the table and shot out of her chair. "HE'S ALIVE?!"

[][][][][][] Bubbles was in a similar state of shock, and looked from Blossom to Buttercup and then back, questioningly.

[][][][][][] Blossom nodded, but then looked unsure. "I think so. I mean, he might still be. You remember how he—"

[][][][][][] "Of course! Burnt to a crisp! You're telling me he faked that, too?!"

[][][][][][] Blossom once again shook her head yes. "About a month after he kidnapped me... he told me how he did it."

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Miles away, Miss Bellum, palms pressed against her eyes to smother the oncoming headache, couldn't help but recall the last half hour. Each call she made went roughly the same way:

[][][][][][] Charles Ace: "I've been following the stories around Buttercup since Blossom died, and well... I don't think that going over there is such a good idea, Miss Bellum."

[][][][][][] Sae Tanomu: "I'm sorry, Mayor, but I'm too afraid of being hurt."

[][][][][][] Frank Simmons: "Miss Bellum, I'm not going within a mile of that house."

[][][][][][] Dozens of calls, no takers.

[][][][][][] She knew they were all afraid of Buttercup's volatile mood swings, and didn't hold it against them that they refused... but she needed to find out what was going on without bringing that family any more negative publicity.

[][][][][][] What to do...?

[][][][][][] As if on cue, the phone suddenly rang.

[][][][][][] Which was odd, because most of her phone calls were directed to her by her secretary. Was it a wrong number?

[][][][][][] She lifted it out of the cradle, pausing before she brought forth her voice. "Hello?"

[][][][][][] "Miss Bellum, this is Jack Wednesday. First, my apologies for calling your office directly. Second, stop calling everyone in your Rolodex."

[][][][][][] She jumped in her seat. "How did you—"

[][][][][][] "We put a keyword system through the phone service some time ago to monitor and flag terrorist activity. Added to that list just recently? Buttercup and Bubbles. We'll be closely monitoring those with information pertaining to them. I happened to hear about your first and second calls about five minutes ago, and I began to wonder why you wouldn't just go yourself. And why wouldn't you go yourself? Because you didn't want any more publicity. Am I right?"

[][][][][][] She opened her mouth to speak.

[][][][][][] "Of course I'm right," he continued, and she closed her lips. "And here I am, willing to do you a huge favor and go myself. But you were planning to make another phone call to a 'trusted' source, weren't you?"

[][][][][][] She looked down at her list and there was one name that wasn't crossed off. "Yeah, Brian Sherlock."

[][][][][][] He scoffed. "Just cross him off your list now. I wouldn't trust that guy as far as I could throw him."

[][][][][][] "But he's—"

[][][][][][] "Never mind him, Miss Bellum, we have more important things to worry about."

[][][][][][] She was beginning to worry about having to spend another minute talking to him.

[][][][][][] "I'm on my way over now. I'll give you another call once I'm finished talking to her. Goodbye." He hung up abruptly, and she stared at the phone, and then rubbed her head for the tenth time in the last hour.

[][][][][][] "Where's my aspirin...?"

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Blossom's eyes cast down. “It was a brilliant plan. And... while I hate to admit it, he won.”

[][][][][][] Buttercup sat back in her chair, her mind racing. It was almost too much for her.

[][][][][][] Bubbles averted her eyes from Blossom.

[][][][][][] The experiments—her eye—the robot—the memory.

[][][][][][] "Well... almost won,” she added, and smiled. They smiled back.

[][][][][][] “All right, then. It's my turn," Blossom's voice got lower, and she crossed her hands on the table. "What happened to this house after I went missing?"

[][][][][][] Blossom noticed, barely, that Bubbles' gaze went dark and stared down at the bowl of cereal in front of her. Buttercup looked away for a moment. A lot of it was apparently too painful, even for her.

[][][][][][] Buttercup finally started speaking. "All of us were really sad. I think... maybe Professor took it the worst. He'd just sit in his lab all day, trying to get his mind off of... off of your death."

[][][][][][] Blossom nodded, even knowing that she didn't understand his pain in the least. It was his, not hers. She had been taken from them, not the other way around.

[][][][][][] "I guess I didn't help... Beating up monsters, beating up criminals... breaking the house... It was easier to break stuff than think about it..."

[][][][][][] Blossom noticed Bubbles becoming more and more pale.

[][][][][][] "Soon, the Professor was called away on some government assignment, or something. We came home from school one day, and found a note and a credit card on the living room table. It read, 'Girls, I've got some work to do. Use the credit card to buy whatever you need, but don't overspend. I'll be home as soon as I can. Professor.' It was like... like he abandoned us, or something. He almost never called, almost never came home, never... "

[][][][][][] Blossom blinked. This was strange, even for the Professor. "How long has he been gone?"

[][][][][][] Green eyes drifted back in contemplation. "From home? A little over two years."

[][][][][][] "Oh." She sat back in her chair, quietly rubbing her hands. They had gone cold and sweaty. She only just noticed the twitch in Bubbles' mechanical arms.

[][][][][][] "Well," Buttercup continued, "he comes home every so often, y'know, just to make sure we're all right. I don't see him much, but Bubbles does, right? Bubbles?"

[][][][][][] Bubbles had dropped her hands to her lap, not even considering the food in front of her.

[][][][][][] "Bubbles?"

[][][][][][] She started at Buttercup, and swallowed with effort.

[][][][][][] “I...”

[][][][][][] She swallowed again.

[][][][][][] Glancing up, she saw the glass of milk on the table. She reached for it, but one of her mechanical arms moved instead and knocked over the glass, She twitched, yelping, shifting her shoulders as if wanting to turn her arms, but the mechanical arm crushed the glass, and knocked over a bowl of cereal.

[][][][][][] A piece of bread from the counter flew towards them and hit Buttercup on the side of her head.

[][][][][][] “What the—!?”

[][][][][][] "I'm sorry!" Bubbles' panicked voice cut through the sounds of the silverware clanging together as they lifted into the air. Milk floated as spherical globs inches above the table, and rippled endlessly with patterns of orbiting cereal whirling around them.

[][][][][][] She reared backwards, knocking her chair over, and the robotic limbs were moving, now legs as well as arms, her real hands firmly clutching her head.

[][][][][][] Buttercup opened her mouth, a shout of frightened frustration dying on her lips as Blossom darted out of her chair and threw her arms around Bubbles' waist as it lifted from the ground.

[][][][][][] A shocking tone of sweet calm lilted to Buttercup's ears.

[][][][][][] "It's okay, Bubbles. I've got you. Everything's fine. It's okay." Bubbles drifted down just slightly, and Blossom moved, held tighter, pressing her hands against her sister's back, sliding her hands above the warped tissue that held the robotic arms. "Take a deep breath. Calm down. It's okay... it's okay. That's it. Breathe."

[][][][][][] The arms stopped moving, and then slowly, she drifted to the floor. Everything that was floating in the air fell to the kitchen floor with a clatter. Milk splattered across the table, and cereal decorated its surface.

[][][][][][] Buttercup sat in her chair, nonplussed. How had Blossom known to do that? Was Blossom always this smart?

[][][][][][] Blossom' arms found their way around Bubbles' shoulders with soft sympathy for her sister, who cried softly; the bionic limbs once more deadened along the floor.

[][][][][][] "Bubbles.”

[][][][][][] Her sister looked up at her.

[][][][][][] “Even if you're a Powerpuff Girl, you're still human, and all these emotions are a part of you. Don't hold them back, or be afraid. You can let me know if anything's bothering you, okay?"

[][][][][][] Bubbles smiled, and nodded, and Blossom smiled back.

[][][][][][] Blossom quirked an eyebrow, "Looks like I'm still the big sister, huh?"

[][][][][][] And finally, Buttercup found herself smiling, too.

[][][][][][] Bubbles giggled, and her mechanical arms moved up, wrapping Blossom into a very light hug for an instant—then they fell to the floor. Blossom looked at them with a sudden intense interest.

[][][][][][] Blossom patted her sister on the head, smiling. Her gaze dropped to the arms that had just thudded to the floor, and she followed them up to her sister's back. Her gaze hardened, and she stepped over the arm, inspecting the joints, the connections, anything that caught her eye. "Hold still, Bubbles," she told her. "We need to see how these work. Maybe we can remove them."

[][][][][][] "Really?" Bubbles' voice perked at the last two words; she looked down at the arms, and finally back to Blossom.

[][][][][][] Blossom nodded, very seriously. "If we can figure out exactly how they work, you can learn to use them more effectively. If we can remove them, you won't need to."

[][][][][][] Bubbles did as she was told, and stood as still as she could.

[][][][][][] Buttercup came over to take a look, and shot cursory glances up and down the arms, but really didn't get it at all. She watched her red-headed sister carefully run her hands along the surface of the tube-like arms and even picked one up from the floor, looking at it closely. Buttercup stared at her blonde sister's back, and grasped one of the arms, tugging it experimentally.

[][][][][][] "Ah!" Bubbles head fell back with a sharp jerk, and her body tensed up as everything happened all at once.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] The sound made her turn her head, the sickening sound of bones caving in underneath soft skin. She turned just as the girl hit the floor a dozen feet away, the whole street agape, as Buttercup took another step forward.

[][][][][][] No, Buttercup! Don't!

[][][][][][] Vision shook, and there was Buttercup standing right in front of her, faltering, as if unable to simply shove her aside.

[][][][][][] Her teeth grit, eyes glared. "Did you hear her, Bubbles? Did you hear what she said?!"

[][][][][][] I-t-s-o-n-l-y-f-a-i-r.

[][][][][][] Bubbles nodded. "Yes."

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Blossom finally opened her eyes. She pushed the chair off her body and rubbed the sore spot on her head. She started crawling over to Buttercup's legs, sticking out from the overturned table, as they flexed and the table flew forcefully to one side.

[][][][][][] Bubbles was still sitting in the middle of the room, and finally opened her eyes—there was nothing in them but shock and surprise as she stared back at her sisters.

[][][][][][] Blossom looked at Buttercup.

[][][][][][] Buttercup looked at Bubbles.

[][][][][][] Bubbles looked at Blossom.

[][][][][][] Blossom spoke. "Let's not do that again."

[][][][][][] Buttercup nodded. "Yeah."

[][][][][][] Bubbles' surprise faded and she began to laugh weakly. Buttercup's rougher chuckles mixed in, and Blossom let out quieter, but more persistent laughter. She was already kneeling into the limbs a second time.

[][][][][][] She stared.

[][][][][][] A long moment passed. She pressed her hands into the plastic-like square of flesh where the limbs entered Bubbles' back. Then she released.

[][][][][][] Another moment passed. Her sisters held their breath.

[][][][][][] She began speaking. Very rapidly.

[][][][][][] "The base looks almost... when I pressed down, you could almost see the shapes. These... limbs are jointed internally, and connected to your spine. Maybe neural inversion—linking directly with your brain waves. They seem to go out of your body via a series of woven, electrically sensitive bands of some kind of colloidal polymer alloy 'skin' that stretches and retracts at will. The rest of the legs are very simple; no internal circuitry—just some mechanical joints, nothing to suggest any alternate power source. I can't say for certain, but it looks like this whole complex system is using the neuro-electromagnetic flux—Or, well, the very state of mind, of... you, Bubbles."

[][][][][][] During this sudden outpour of words, her sisters had time to look from her to each other questioningly, as if to ask where she had been that she had learned to speak like that? The silence persisted even after Blossom pulled away from her sister's back. She took a step backward.

[][][][][][] Then, hearing the thickness of the silence, looked up at her sisters. Her eyes grew uncertain. "Don't you... think so?"

[][][][][][] "Oh—oh yeah." Buttercup nodded a little too fast, smiling excessively. "That's pretty cool. I never would have guessed you could see all that stuff so easy."

[][][][][][] "Oh! Well, yes! Yes, I... yes. I yes. I mean, I—" and at that moment Bubbles struggled, really struggled for something that made it seem like she knew what Blossom was talking about.

[][][][][][] And then the moment was over. "—see." She bit her lip.

[][][][][][] Blossom's head flopped forward as she failed to stifle a building chuckle. She snickered at the floor.

[][][][][][] "You guys are hopeless," she muttered. She leaned in, and poked their ribs. Shocked into laughter by her audacity, they made to move out of her reach, but she followed them and kept tickling, leaning even further. She tripped forward, but they were there. Ready. Her sisters kept laughing as they righted her, but pinned her arms to stop the onslaught, and all at once they were embraced in a warm group hug.

[][][][][][] They really were still family.

[][][][][][] ...

[][][][][][] A tremor passed through Blossom. She thought she saw one metal arm move. She broke away, and so they all did, and it did not escape her that another round of accusation passed across Bubbles' face.

[][][][][][] "This house is pretty messy." She turned to Buttercup. "Buttercup, could you start cleaning the rest of the house? Bubbles and I will work on this latest disaster."

[][][][][][] Buttercup stared at her, first blankly, then apparently weighing her resistance. Finally, "Yeah, I'll go upstairs."

[][][][][][] Blossom nodded, and began helping Bubbles as Buttercup disappeared upstairs.

[][][][][][] Not satisfied that Buttercup wouldn't be able to hear what they were saying, she leaned in, her voice barely audible.

[][][][][][] "Bubbles."

[][][][][][] Without even asking, Bubbles answered, and with apparent familiarity with her sister's volume, matched it. "Buttercup didn't tell you everything."

[][][][][][] Blossom shrugged. "I thought so."

[][][][][][] She hesitated, and then parted her lips. "The Professor didn't leave just because he was called away by the government. Something... happened."

[][][][][][] Blossom waited, and Bubbles found the courage to speak.

[][][][][][] Her lip was quivering, her voice squeaked terribly. "She... hurt him."

[][][][][][] Blossom pursed her lips and sighed through her nose. It was like ice spreading over her skin. It didn't even matter what they were fighting about. Buttercup was a superhero. She was not supposed to lash out at anyone in anger, let alone her father. Hitting him was inexcusable.

[][][][][][] She closed her eyes tightly for a moment. "I see," she muttered. After a moment, she asked, "When was the last time you saw him?"

[][][][][][] "Just before... before I was kidnapped."

[][][][][][] "Before you were... Oh." She turned back to the dishes, choosing her words quickly. "Did something happen before then?"

[][][][][][] "...Yes." She waited, but Blossom didn't say anything. "Buttercup—hurt... she was hurt too... she... the hospital..."

[][][][][][] She needed details, but Bubbles wasn't the right person in the right state of mind to ask. "I understand. Thanks, Bubbles. Let's clean these pots and pans. Try to think of something else, okay?"

[][][][][][] "Okay." She still looked sad, but started on the dishes.

[][][][][][] They scrubbed the contents of the sink together and soon had a full rack of clean cookware. The counter top was scrubbed, and the floor swept and mopped.

[][][][][][] Once it was dry, the cookware was neatly stacked into the cupboard by Bubbles—the only one of the two who could hover off the ground to do it, the limbs settling beneath her as she wobbled upwards.

[][][][][][] Blossom sighed. She didn't like this feeling of weakness. Her powers were still gone, and probably wouldn't come back. Only the eye seemed to be left. She didn't know how she could possibly fight crime alongside her sisters.

[][][][][][] Bubbles glanced at Blossom out of the corner of her eye, trying to pretend nothing was wrong. The limbs tangled and clanked as she shifted in the air. Blossom looked up at her in confusion.

[][][][][][] "It's... so hard to fly... I don't understand..."

[][][][][][] "Bubbles, maybe I can help."

[][][][][][] Bubbles looked up at her, head low, but eyes engaged.

[][][][][][] "Can you think about... a rainbow for me?"

[][][][][][] Bubbles raised an eyebrow, but rolled her eyes up in thought.

[][][][][][] She smiled.

[][][][][][] The metal limbs began to twitch.

[][][][][][] "Now think of that rainbow as an extension of your arms. Make it real, and imagine it coming from your back, and bending, like your legs, back and forth. Walking."

[][][][][][] She did as Blossom suggested, and closed her eyes, concentrating. All four arms pushed into the floor and stretched out, raising her up and down in the air.

[][][][][][] "Nice, Bubbles! Can you—" The arms dropped. Bubbles winced with guilt.

[][][][][][] Blossom blinked, confused; but then she turned.

[][][][][][] Buttercup was right behind her, pursing her lips. "Uh... upstairs is good. Well, except for the big ol' cracks in the walls and stuff. But I got as much dirt as I could find..." Her eyes shifted between them. " What are—"

[][][][][][] "Good job," Blossom said, the blunt cut-off hanging in the air. Buttercup frowned.

[][][][][][] Another thick moment drifted past, then Blossom put her hand to her abdomen deliberately. "Ah... Hm. I''ll be right back." She hurried into the bathroom just past the kitchen, closing the door behind her.

[][][][][][] Buttercup sighed. She was tired, and sat down on the sofa. She watched as Bubbles absently began experimenting with her mechanical legs again and managed to wobble herself back to a balanced standing position.

[][][][][][] Buttercup nodded, strongly. "Nice, girl."

[][][][][][] Despite herself, Bubbles smiled appreciatively. She shifted her weight and nearly toppled, but caught herself just in time. Buttercup craned her head to the side, cracking her neck to relieve the sudden tension she felt.

[][][][][][] "Nice... if a little weird."

[][][][][][] Bubbles looked at her, and just when Buttercup thought she was about to muster up the nerve to say something back, they heard a knock on the door. They stared at it.

[][][][][][] Bubbles looked at Buttercup, winced, and leaned her head towards the door.

[][][][][][] Buttercup looked at Bubbles, shrugged, and jumped up to open the door. Just enough to see out.

[][][][][][] She looked up at the tall figure before her.

[][][][][][] She gently closed the door.

[][][][][][] She stood there, pressing her hand against the door, blankly, and took a deep breath.

[][][][][][] After a moment, the person on the other side knocked again, a little stronger.

[][][][][][] She opened the door, stepping aside to let him in.

[][][][][][] Jack Wednesday stepped inside and removed his hat. He still wore his same faded trenchcoat, but he poised himself differently. "Good morning, Buttercup," came his gruff and frankly unconvincing hello.

[][][][][][] "Hi," she said curtly, not even bothering to look back at him.

[][][][][][] He looked up and stopped. Then began the march of his voice.

[][][][][][] "Bubbles. Good. You're both here now. Two heroes, fighting twice as many problems. No doubt you found her after fighting the scrap metal that used to be one of Townsville's greatest threats—and you would know plenty about that, wouldn't you? Of course you would, that's why I'm here. Bubbles. Glad to see you back. Hoped your sister might have done something. Something like find you." He paused, his head lilting slightly. "Or was it the other way around?"

[][][][][][] Buttercup glanced at Bubbles, and answered, "Yeah... Something like that."

[][][][][][] His eyes passed over her new bionics, but he seemed uninterested. "Mind telling me what happened?"

[][][][][][] Buttercup hugged her arms and looked away.

[][][][][][] "Well, after such eloquence, you leave me no choice but to get right to the point, Buttercup," he said after a brief pause. "We need you."

[][][][][][] "What, at school?" Wasn't he a truant officer? Even so, it wasn't as if she was really learning anything at school anymore. Either way, it would get him to elaborate.

[][][][][][] "First of all, Buttercup, it's July; school's out. Second, I don't work for the police anymore. I'm a government agent: Not just any government, but the government of the United States of America, a government you should be very familiar with. "

[][][][][][] "Yeah."

[][][][][][] Her lack of emotion didn't bother him, but he was still waiting for a proper answer from her.

[][][][][][] She shrugged. "Sorry. I've got stuff to deal with here. Come back in a few weeks."

[][][][][][] Her tone annoyed him before she even finished speaking, and he dipped down and stared her in the face; she flinched away from him. "We don't have weeks, Buttercup. The world is in danger. I'm not going to sit by—the government is not going to sit by idly and wait for something good to happen to it. You're a superhero, and superheroes have one responsibility and one responsibility only: To save the world. Ordinary folk depend on you to make things right when things are wrong, and something is very, very wrong right now. So get ready. Your services are required."

[][][][][][] "NO!" she shouted, still inches from his face. "I've got enough to deal with! Family is all I have right now! There aren't any more monster attacks, and all the supervillians are afraid to come anywhere near me."

[][][][][][] "You're right, they don't come near you, so that explains why they've been attacking other cities, and states, and countries, and why you need to go near them. Nothing major yet, but a few villains have been gaining power. Someone planted a virus in E-male's mainframe last month, and his J-Body needed to be restored from a tape memory bank. Mushu Guy Man came down with severe food poisoning, and Miss Spell faced a deranged chef and was cooked by her own Fira! Things are—"

[][][][][][] Buttercup kept a straight face, but let out a small snicker.

[][][][][][] "That's funny, huh?" he asked dangerously.

[][][][][][] "It's not. That's terrible. Why would I laugh?

[][][][][][] He still glared at her, but didn't argue. "We need you, you're a superhero, it's your responsibility, and you will come with me."

[][][][][][] "Don't know how you could possibly make me."

[][][][][][] "You know very well why you're going to come with me—"

[][][][][][] The door to the next room opened, and Blossom peered out from the doorway. Bubbles, basically anchored to the floor by her mechanical legs, had to turn her head to see her. Buttercup looked in her direction, her presence a welcome distraction from the current conversation.

[][][][][][] Mr. Wednesday's eyes went wide, and he stared at her, as if seeing a ghost. After the initial shock, he focused on her robotic eye. He seemed transfixed by it; it gave him the answer to a few things that jumped into his mind by the sight of her.

[][][][][][] He stood up, still staring at her, then glanced at Buttercup. He looked back at Blossom, deep in thought. He seemed to come to a conclusion. "I was never here." Putting on his hat, he turned towards the door. "Expect to hear from me soon." He closed the door on his way out. Silence. They heard him pull his car out of the driveway and drive off. More silence.

[][][][][][] Buttercup breathed a sigh of relief. After a moment, her face contorted and she began laughing.

[][][][][][] "What's so funny?" Bubbles asked.

[][][][][][] "Miss Spell got cooked! Haha! That's hilarious!"

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] They spent the rest of the day relaxing, just feeling one another's warmth as they sat on the couch in front of the television. They watched cartoons, sitcoms, dramas... they laughed and cried (in the case of Blossom and Bubbles) together for the first time since Blossom had gone away, and were just trying to enjoy each others' company. They fell asleep on the sofa while the TV played reruns of old shows from the fifties, and dreamed beautiful dreams.

[][][][][][] That night, Blossom awoke to follow the call of nature. Heading to the bathroom, she closed the door softly behind her.

[][][][][][] After she finished, she started washing her hands and happened to look at her reflection. Her eye was staring back at her. The one that wasn't her own. It was the first time she had really inspected it.

[][][][][][] With the synthetic coating that masked its true form gone, it no longer looked like an imitation Powerpuff Girl's eye. The iris shone with a bright red inner light, surrounded by a conical moving array that adjusted focus. The surface of the eye, contoured to her eye socket, was covered in a grayish-black metal, perhaps Teflon, she thought. Watching her eye closely, she moved her head to the side, watching as the eye rotated in her socket, mirroring her real eye. She had to admit, it was very well-constructed. It worked perfectly, the way it was supposed to.

[][][][][][] She went back to the couch, sliding between her sisters.

[][][][][][] And her thoughts came to rest on the Professor, even as she drifted back to sleep. She wondered how he was doing, and when he'd ever be back.

[][][][][][] And whether she'd get to see him again.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] "Hello?"

[][][][][][] "This is Jack Wednesday."

[][][][][][] "Yes, Mister Wednesday, what do you have to report?"

[][][][][][] "The girls are safe and alive."

[][][][][][] "Oh! Wonderful. I'm glad to hear it."

[][][][][][] There was a pause.

[][][][][][] "Is there anything else, Jack?"

[][][][][][] He hesitated very briefly. "Nothing. Goodbye."

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Days passed, and Jack Wednesday submitted his report upon returning from Townsville. It was a usual workday, in a not-so-usual top-secret government research facility code-named Sugar Grove.

[][][][][][] John Utonium put on his face shield, lit the torch, and heated the metal. In his other hand, he picked up the hammer and tapped at the imperfection, flattening it. The project was tedious and came with long hours, but it was part of his job, and it had to be done. Overall, he liked his job very much, and it had some perks, the least of which was having access to a great deal of "Top Secret" government projects that were very interesting, and that carried a great deal of importance to the world. Not that anyone would ever hear of his accomplishments, but sometimes he preferred it that way.

[][][][][][] A sharp noise caught his attention from the edge of his safety boundary. One of his co-workers was calling out to him.

[][][][][][] Turning around, he saw, through the nearly pitch-black visor of his face shield, Chuck, a squirrelly-looking man with thick horn-rimmed glasses and only a name-tag adorning his white—and heavily stained—lab coat. Chuck waved to him, so he turned the gas off and removed his protection.

[][][][][][] "Chuck! How are you doing?"

[][][][][][] "Fine, John, fine. How's, uh, the work going?"

[][][][][][] "Oh, it's going. What can I help you with?"

[][][][][][] "Well, uh, the boss wants to, uh, see you right now, so he sent me to, uh, find you."

[][][][][][] "I see. Thank you, Chuck."

[][][][][][] "No problem. I'll, uh, take over where you left off."

[][][][][][] "Great! Thanks."

[][][][][][] Making his way up the staircase leading to the first floor, he turned to the left and went down the hall to Mr. Roosevelt's office.

[][][][][][] He knocked on the door. "Mister Roosevelt?"

[][][][][][] "Yes, John, come in. And close the door."

[][][][][][] He did as he was told and took a seat in front of the desk. His boss had a file on his desk, and it was labeled with a "Confidential" stamp across the front. His boss folded his hands over the desk and spoke. "Do you know why I called you here, John?"

[][][][][][] "No, sir, I was simply told—"

[][][][][][] "Well, Jack Wednesday just returned from his trip to Townsville. He left a report on his visit. I think you ought to see it." He slid the file across the desk.

[][][][][][] John furrowed his brow and picked up the file. He opened it and turned past the cover page and began to read. He let out a startled gasp. Relief overwhelmed him, and he found himself muttering, "Bubbles. Thank God." He continued reading, and the expression on his face changed. The report stated that someone else was staying with the two of them, but it didn't say who, or anything else, for that matter. The report finished by recommending that John Utonium be given an immediate reprieve to visit Townsville for a period no greater than three weeks. Soon, he finished reading and set the file down. Three weeks? Why? Something was awry.

[][][][][][] "Your leave starts tonight, and we'll call you if we need anything. Until then, you are free to spend time with your girls, and we'll see you in three weeks."

[][][][][][] "But sir, the project I've been working on—"

[][][][][][] "The project, while important, is not nearly as important as your family. Never was, and never will be. Others will work on it in your absence. Besides, you haven't had a decent break for six months. I think you deserve it."

[][][][][][] John fell silent. He had been working almost non-stop. It was a form of stress relief to him, but he was neglecting his responsibilities as a father. Why had he gone so long without seeing them?

[][][][][][] "As I said, if anything comes up, we'll call you, but for the time being, you are relieved of your duties. Enjoy your leave, Professor."

[][][][][][] And with that, he was dismissed.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] She woke back up. Stared up at the ceiling, and put a hand to her eye.

[][][][][][] The fake one.

[][][][][][] It whirred softly in her socket as she focused her vision on one particular bump, just eying it, testing the limits of her vision. She turned and stared out the window at the moon, in the sky, floating amidst quintessence, reflecting light to those who would undoubtedly need it, somewhere.

[][][][][][] How long had it been since she had actually seen a full moon? The time was like one long moment. It was like a dream... or a nightmare.

[][][][][][] His hand, wrinkled and gray, held the syringe that released the Antidote X into her body, making her feel even weaker... even more helpless than before...

[][][][][][] His clothes, faded and gray though it had undoubtedly been vivid and colorful years ago, made him look older, even as his skin grayed and sagged.

[][][][][][] His eyes, fast, darting here and there, revealing his quick wit and sharp attention to detail; even as such, they were steady and focused when they needed to be.

[][][][][][] Everything she called forth from the depths of her mind came back as if it had been only yesterday. She touched her eye once more, pressing just a little harder, and she shivered as she brought forth the most painful memory of them all.

[][][][][][] She saw the needle coming closer. It looked larger than it was out of her right eye. The machine behind it, precise, being controlled by someone with steady hands.

[][][][][][] "Your eye has been numbed. It looks scary, but you don't need to be—"

[][][][][][] "I get it," she said, no less afraid of the needle, but less desiring of a lecture from some mad scientist. "Just do it, okay?"

[][][][][][] He frowned. "Spoilsport."

[][][][][][] The needle came closer and closer, and she didn't feel any pain as it pierced her cornea and mixed the solution with the fluid in her eye. Even so, she only saw the machine blur into her vision as the needle slid in, did what it was there for, and then left the same way it came.

[][][][][][] "Finished," he told her. "Let me know if you feel any discom—"

[][][][][][] "AHHHHHHHH ! !" Her vision went white, and then it went red as the solution in her eye began to burn not just her eye, but the surrounding tissues. As she shook her head to try to rid herself of the pain, she felt a warm liquid cascade over the side of her head and onto the table to which she was strapped.

[][][][][][] Her eye seared, clenched shut. Even if she wanted to, she didn't know if she could open them. The burning, stinging, ripping pain threw the rest of her body into convulsions, even as she was strapped securely to the table.

[][][][][][] Her screaming grew louder, and she barely noticed that she felt his hand at her face, tilting her head to the right, and a cool, soothing liquid ran over her face.

[][][][][][] The last thing she remembered before passing out was a thick milky scent all around her.

* * *

[][][][][][] She awoke.

[][][][][][] There was no pain.

Am I dead, she asked herself. And then she noticed her captor in front of her, his head in his hands, shaking his head slowly.

[][][][][][] "Hey..." she began, confusion rife in her voice, "what happened?"

[][][][][][] He looked up at her. He looked as if he were in the middle of a nervous breakdown. He looked around for something to say, and finally placed his head back in his hands.

[][][][][][] She furrowed her brow. "Are you okay?"

[][][][][][] After what seemed the longest time, "I am fine, Blossom... but you are not." He looked up, and there were tears in his eyes. "The experiment was a colossal failure. You..." he stopped, only for a moment. "...you are now... incomplete." He once again buried his head in his hands.

[][][][][][] She was... not sure what he meant by that. His speech was strangely straightforward. Maybe if she pressed...

[][][][][][] "What do you mean, 'incomplete?'"

[][][][][][] He looked up, and seemed to be staring at her right eye. Finally, he held up a hand mirror, and she looked into it.

[][][][][][] Her mouth went slack; her vision shook; she turned away.

[][][][][][] No...

[][][][][][] How did this happen?

[][][][][][] Tears streamed down the left side of her face.

[][][][][][] Her right eye was gone...

[][][][][][] She had her eyes clenched shut, pressing against the eyelid over her cybernetic eye, as she shuddered and tried to rid herself of this sick feeling. It was enough to make her heave, but she swallowed, and took a deep breath. The sickness, she realized, wasn't borne of disgust. She bore no ill will towards her captor, though she wished the experiment had gone differently. The routine of the world before that experiment, it had taught her remorse for the hate she'd nursed for so long. It had brought her to pity her tormentor. Sympathy for his mania. The experiment killed that routine. It pushed him past her. Before the experiment, he might have even returned from the brink.

[][][][][][] How long had it been since she had last seen him?

[][][][][][] "Mojo," she whispered, quietly.

Previous: Part 2 - And On The Third Day...
Next: Part 4 - Rapid Third Eye Movement
Table of Contents
Last edited by Rough Giraffe on Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:48 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:07 am

Finally, a chapter that explains a lot.
Getting the facts, besides several known persona appearing, it seems the Professor is okay, and it became a bit clearer why he's no longer at home with the girls. Mojo as the captor, half-expected.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:32 am

Mojo as the captor, half-expected.

I thought it was Him at first.

The claw tickled the air lightly as it waved in contemplation. The plan was forming in his sinister mind. For since he knew all that was, he need only predict what would be.
A servant at his side met with his wrath of his claw, and it put a scaly hand to its face and scampered away with a frightened shriek.

All that he had wasn't enough. He needed more power to destroy them. He knew of all the villains in the world; their minds flooded into him, giving him an even greater reservoir of evil all the time. But it wasn't enough.

Seriously, this description makes it sounds as if Him is doing the plotting, yet the captor is identified as Mojo? And part Part Five – Reason for Madness also made it sound like Him.

And Jack Wednesday didn't notice Bubbles' mechanical arms?

Re: Puff Most Epic

Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:46 pm

I thought it was Him at first.

After the first few lines of this chapter I was about 80% sure it was Mojo. Artificial eye for Blossom given by Him?

Seriously, this description makes it sounds as if Him is doing the plotting, yet the captor is identified as Mojo? And part Part Five – Reason for Madness also made it sound like Him.

Him doesn't have claws. He has pincers. Plus he normally doesn't use "minions", he uses manipulation and deception.

And Jack Wednesday didn't notice Bubbles' mechanical arms?

I wondered too. But I guess he did, only that they knew that Bubbles has already been "deviated" in a way. At least she hasn't been missing and thought to be dead for over a year, like Blossom.
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