Dormant X

By: Mark J. Hadley

CHAPTER 1

The City of Townsville always looked small from the windows of Mojo Jojo's volcano-top observatory, even though it spread out in all directions. Mojo scowled as he watched the townspeople go about their everyday business... heading to work, shopping, or just talking a walk in the park below. All of them weak and unworthy to rule their own lives, let alone be the dominant species of the planet. How he wished he could just crush them all, destroy their pathetic city, and show them once and for all who is truly their master, who truly deserves to have control.

And yet, despite all the time Mojo had spent trying to do just that, he had all but failed. He could barely lift a finger before the meddlesome Powerpuff Girls were on him, to ruin his plans and protect the townspeople. And after all this time, though he still wanted his revenge, he also felt himself losing faith that he would ever succeed. Despite his superior intelligence, he could come up with nothing that they could not counter. It was disheartening, but he knew he should never give up, for it was the entire purpose of his existence.

However, his daily regiment of evil began to slip, and he began to find himself keeping more days to himself, instead of attacking the city at any available opportunity. Today was one such day; he had no plans in mind, just a day of relaxation ahead. Part of him scolded himself for ever resting in his war against the city and the girls, but an ever-growing part of him didn't care anymore.

Mojo moved away from the window and headed back for the chair in the middle of the room. He sat down and scooped up a book from the table next to it, putting on his reading glasses and resuming at the page he left off. At least there was one nice thing about these relaxing days, he told himself... I won't have to worry about getting beaten up by those girls. Should these beatings continue, I would be looking at an old age filled with aches and pains, which will compromise my ability to further combat them and... He frowned at the very thought that he'd still be fighting the girls in his old age, and focused his attention back on the book...

Something odd had happened, though... the words on the page were beginning to blur. Mojo squinted, trying to see more clearly, but it seemed to get worse with each passing second. Looking up from the book, he tore off his reading glasses and looked around... everything around him was starting to get fuzzy in a similar fashion. He rubbed his eyes, but it did nothing to help, and a moment later, his head started to throb. What is going on? he thought. Am I experiencing a stroke, or a heart attack? Impossible, I am in perfect health... well, near perfect health... He couldn't deny that something was seriously wrong with him at this moment, though, and he tried to get to his feet, but dizziness set in, and he collapsed back into the chair.

It wasn't just his head throbbing now, but his arms and legs as well, and his chest felt tight as he clenched his eyes shut. I am having a heart attack! he thought furiously... Is this the way poor Mojo's life ends? But I have so much more to do... I can't...

At that moment, the chair he was sitting on suddenly broke under his weight. The throbbing continued, but the pain subsided... it felt more like the throbbing of power instead. He forced his eyes back open again, and though his vision was still blurry, it was beginning to clear a little. As he tried to figure out what was going on, he suddenly wondered why the chair would have broken, as he wasn't anywhere near heavy enough to break it. Glancing around, he saw the reason for it... he was growing larger. The walls of the observatory seemed a lot closer than they were previously, and they were getting even closer, which meant he was still growing.

Within a few more seconds, the observatory was no longer large enough to hold him. The walls practically exploded outwards under his strength, and Mojo barely felt it. The throbbing slowly ebbed, and his vision returned to normal... he held his head and looked around to get his bearings. The city, which had always looked small from up here, looked even smaller now, and in an instant, he remembered when he had seen it like this before. The only difference this time was that it was in daylight.

Mojo looked down at his hand, and clenched a fist, the power of his tightening muscles causing a tremor in the air. Yes, he thought... it's back again, but... why? No, do not worry about the reasons, for this is your opportunity again... your opportunity to crush the city, and put an end to those Powerpuff Girls once and for all! I am once again Mo' Mojo than ever before! He crouched and leapt from the ruins of the observatory, his jump carrying him down into the city, to begin its destruction...


"Just... one more..." Buttercup said, very slowly hovering up to the top of what had to have been the largest tower of blocks they had ever assembled. She had the last triangular-shaped block in hand, and edged up to the top to place it in position as his sisters watched from a safe distance at the other end of the room. She sweated a little, and focused on keeping her hand perfectly still.

"Carefully..." Bubbles urged.

Blossom nodded, "Yes, this is for the record... you can do it!"

Buttercup took a deep breath and held it, reaching out and lowering the last piece inch by inch. It finally came in contact with the top of the tower, and the other girls held their breaths as well. She slowly released the block and hovered back, her eyes glued on it... the block seemed to wobble for just an instant, but then became still.

Bubbles clapped, "Hooray! You did it!"

Wiping the sweat from her forehead, Buttercup grinned, "Easy as pie. Got the camera, Bloss? I wanna remember this!"

"Got it," Blossom said, raising the camera and focusing it on the stack of blocks. Buttercup stayed hovering next to it, smiling triumphantly, and Blossom carefully lined it up to get the whole tower in the shot. "Alright, hold it there," she said. "Perfect! Now..."

The moment before she clicked the shutter on the camera, however, something caught her eye behind the tower, through one of the windows. They could see the city from here, and for an instant, she thought she saw a shape moving between two of the buildings. Blinking, she looked again, but didn't see it this time.

"What's the holdup? Take the picture already!" Buttercup complained.

"I thought I just... nevermind," Blossom said. "Okay, smile..."

"I am smi—..." Buttercup started to say, but was interrupted as a heavy tremor suddenly shook the house. Oh no! Buttercup thought, cringing, and looked at the tower of blocks... it shook and began to topple over, the blocks cascading down and scattering across the floor. Buttercup screamed in frustration, "Aargh!"

"What was that?" Bubbles asked in concern.

"Whatever it was, it's gonna have a black eye once I'm through with it," Buttercup said, flying over to the window to look outside. She was seething with anger, but as she looked, her posture slowly relaxed, though her expression became somewhat incredulous.

Bubbles flew over, as did Blossom, who asked, "What? What is it?"

"I think we have a problem," Buttercup told them, pointing out the window. The other girls looked, and their mouths fell open as they caught sight of something large in Townsville... a monstrously sized Mojo, tearing up a large building and getting ready to throw it into the bay. The sight of the large monkey was all-too familiar to them, even though it happened so long ago.

"But how...?" Bubbles began to say.

"We can worry about that later," Blossom said. "We've got to stop him now, before he destroys the city!" She flew out from the window, and the other girls followed close behind her. Even as she did, Blossom had some doubt... We've fought so many giant monsters before, so this should be a piece of cake... yet, this is Mojo we're talking about. He's more intelligent than a random monster, and he'll have learned from his mistakes as well. I mean, even when we beat him, he might still have recovered, if it weren't for...

Blossom came to a halt, barely a few hundred feet from the house, and said, "I almost forgot! Bubbles, go back and get the Professor. Tell him we need some Antidote X. We'll need it to get Mojo back to normal size."

"Got it," Bubbles replied, and turned, heading back for home. Blossom watched her go, then turned to Buttercup and nodded. She nodded back, knowing that it would take both of them together to keep Mojo busy until Bubbles got back. They resumed heading for the city... Mojo had disposed of the building he previously held, and was digging his hands into the ground, lifting up a large chunk of the street that groups of terrified people were standing on.

In a flash, both of the girls crossed in front of Mojo, snatching people from the slab of concrete and carrying them to safety. Mojo grunted as he recognized the light trails left in their wake. "Powerpuff Girls," he growled, somewhat amused. "I was hoping you'd show up." He closed his hands over the now-empty concrete, crushing it to pieces and letting the debris fall back to the ground.

The girls set the people down at a safe distance, and Buttercup called out, "You're askin' for it, Mojo! We beat you the last time you were a giant, and we're gonna do it again!"

Mojo laughed, "Really. Well then, let me see what you've got, Buttercup..." His tone became taunting, "...unless you're afraid, that is." He beckoned with his hand as he spoke.

"I'll show you who's afraid!" Buttercup said, and flew directly at him. Mojo swung a fist to intercept her, but Buttercup curved down just before he struck. Her path carried her up the arm he had just swung, circling around it in a coil-like fashion. When she reached his shoulder, she dashed in and slammed a strong kick to his chin... Mojo stumbled back from the hit, towards the side of a skyscraper, but quickly supported himself against it to keep from falling over.

By now, Blossom had approached at street-level. She charged in towards Mojo's ankle, bracing herself as she pushed hard against it. The unexpected attack caught Mojo further off-balance, and he toppled off his feet, landing on his side with a tremendous thud. Once Mojo was down, she circled around and started firing her eyebeams at him, but the giant monkey quickly rolled to one side, her blasts striking the cracked pavement beneath him instead.

Mojo was lying on his back in his current position, and raised his head to watch as both Blossom and Buttercup approached again. He suddenly lifted his legs into the air, grabbing both of the girls with the opposable thumbs of his feet. As they struggled, he put his hands to the ground and pushed himself off, vaulting back to his feet and simultaneously slamming both of the girls to the ground beneath them. He let out a long laugh, and bellowed, "I had almost forgotten how much fun it was to be this much more powerful than you! You are weak in comparison to me now, and I am therefore the strongest!"

"Not for long!" came Bubbles' voice from the nearest rooftop. The professor was standing next to her, and had leveled a large dart gun, firing a huge dart filled with Antidote X at the giant monkey. Mojo turned and noticed it too late, and the dart struck him in the shoulder. He growled and brushed the dart off his shoulder, then started stomping towards the building. Blossom and Buttercup, in a slight daze, picked themselves up from where they had been slammed, now that Mojo's feet weren't holding them down anymore.

Bubbles looked startled as Mojo got closer, "Shouldn't he be shrinking by now?"

"He should be," the professor answered, frowning. "I scored a direct hit... why isn't it working?"

"Professor, run!" Bubbles cried out, as Mojo reached the building, readying to slam a fist into the rooftop. Before he could do it, the tiny Powerpuff flew up to his wrist, using all her strength to keep his fist at bay. The professor quickly took this cue to run for the stairway's roof entrance.

Blossom dusted herself off, and saw the discarded dart on the ground next to her. She inspected it quickly, then looked back up at Mojo, "The dart's empty... what's going on? That should have been enough to take down three giant Mojos!"

"I dunno, Blossom," Buttercup said, "but we definitely need a plan B..." Blossom looked up at Mojo, who was waving his fist, trying to shake Bubbles off of it. She immediately took off towards him, but as she did, she thought, None of this makes any sense... Mojo's back to his monstrous self, but how? And Antidote X isn't undoing it? We've got to figure out the cause of this, and fast, or else the whole city is in danger...

TO BE CONTINUED...