Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing. Codename: Kids Next Door is the property of Mr. Warburton, Cartoon Network, Curious Pictures, and anyone else I might have forgotten.
kids next dooroperation: S.P.E.C.T.E.R
Nigel Uno fell back onto the couch with an unceremonious flop. Silently he let his head drop back and stared up at the ceiling of the tree house. To say he was tired would have been an understatement. Then again he was sure that every other operative in the Kids Next Door felt the same way. After all even candy and soda could only keep someone going nonstop for so long, and the entire KND organization had been mobilized for two days straight already.
The cause for the mass mobilization was simple. Two days ago, Numbuh 362, Supreme Commander of the Kids Next Door, had vanished. It was like she had simply dropped off the face of the Earth. Global Command had no record of her departing the moon base, and no one could remember her saying anything about leaving. Needless to say, it didn't take long for everything to go crazy once her disappearance was made public.
At the moment, Numbuh 86, the Head of Decommissioning and Global Tactical Officer, was acting as Supreme Commander. Not that she had any time to really enjoy the perks. Fanny had personally been leading her D.O.H.-D.O.H. squads in the hunt for Numbuh 362. Even Numbuh 60 had been forced to mobilize the cadets training at the Arctic Base to help in the search. For two days every Kids Next Door operative had taken part in the massive manhunt, and for two days they had found absolutely nothing. Even his own team, which by all accounts was one of the best in the Kids Next Door, had been completely unsuccessful in finding any sign of Numbuh 362.
That's what ate away at him the most. Not just that Numbuh 362 had vanished, but that he hadn't been able to do anything about it. Nigel Uno; Numbuh 1, leader of Kids Next Door Sector V, and son to the greatest Kids Next Door operative of all time; didn't have a clue what had happened to Numbuh 362. Already Sector V had raided Father's mansion six times in search of their commander, and given the chance Numbuh 1 would have ordered another raid. However the voice of reason in the form of one of his truest friends had finally convinced him of the futility of the move. Abigail Lincoln, Numbuh 5 and second-in-command of Sector V, had finally managed to make him see that they had been over every inch of Father's mansion with no sign of Numbuh 362. She also pointed out that while Father had tolerated the intrusions so far, each successive raid had only angered the villain further. It didn't seem too unlikely that if they tried again they might find themselves serious injured at the hands of the flame throwing villain.
So Nigel found himself back in the tree house after his last set of rounds. He was reaching the point of exhaustion, but they couldn't stop looking. No one wanted to believe that Numbuh 362 could really be gone. Every enemy the Kids Next Door could find had been confronted and questioned over the disappearance of the Supreme Commander. Even now the projector that the couch surrounded showed a glowing map of where KND operatives were searching for their leader. He hardly noticed when the rest of his team dragged themselves into the headquarters and took up positions on the couch. In fact he probably would have been content to keep staring at the ceiling, except that Numbuh 4's voice cut through the silence like a rusty knife.
"I still don't see why I had ta go and question that cruddy Toilenator. He ain't smart enough to try and grab Numbuh 362."
Slowly Nigel sat up from his position and looked across the room to the Australian boy. Wallabee Beatles, like everyone else, looked about ready to drop. Even the normally energetic Numbuh 3, Kuki Sanban, seemed dead on her feet. Numbuh 5 though trying to maintain her normally cool and laid back attitude was slouched deeper into the couch than normal. Even Numbuh 2, Hoagie Gilligan, who always had a joke for the group, no matter how bad it might be, seemed ready to simply fall asleep if he stayed in one place for two long. They were reaching their limit fast, and still they didn't have a clue what to do next. Though from Numbuh 4's outburst he already new what their answers would be, Nigel asked the dreaded question anyway. "Any luck?"
Numbuh 5 shook her head slightly as she spoke; "Numbuh 5 spent a good two hours trying to find out anything from her sister. If Cree knows what happened to Numbuh 362, she ain't sayin."
"No luck with Mr. Wink or Mr. Fibb either," replied Numbuh 2. "All they did was sit around and watch TV. Not even anything good either. Just those boring old news talk show things."
"I didn't find Numbuh 362 at the Crazy Old Cat Lady's, but I did find the most huggably soft kitty cat ever. I called him Mr. Whiskerface, and…"
"Enough Numbuh 3." Evidently the young Asian girl wasn't quite as tired as he thought. "All right team. We're all bushed, so lets get some rest. We'll start fresh again in the morning." Slowly Nigel rose from his seat and headed towards the communications equipment. He had only made it a couple of steps before a hand on his shoulder stopped him. He turned to look at Numbuh 5.
"Numbuh 1 if everyone's supposed to be restin up, then what do you think you're doin."
"I'll get some rest here in a little bit Numbuh 5. First though I've got to contact the moon base and let Numbuh 86 know what our progress is. I don't plan on taking too long. You go on ahead."
"All right, but don't be too hard on yourself Numbuh 1. We'll find Numbuh 362. It'll just take a little more time is all."
Nigel gave his friend a smile as she turned and headed off to her room. The grin quickly vanished though as he resumed his march to the communications console. He wished he could believe that, but the way things were looking now… He just didn't know for sure. It wasn't just that the Supreme Commander of the Kids Next Door had vanished. He could have taken that news. He'd have been upset yes, but he could have still approached all of this with a clear head. It was the fact that it was Rachel that was missing that had hit the hardest. She wasn't just the Supreme Commander or another operative. She was… Well he didn't really know how to classify what she was. Recent events had seemed to push them together more often. The battle with Grandfather and the now infamous game of tag had forced them to interact more than normal. It had led them to whatever it was they had now. Though he still couldn't say if it was a full-fledged friendship or just a deep-rooted respect for one another. Regardless of what it was, it had hurt when he got the news of her disappearance. It had hurt badly. Wearily he opened up a communication line to the moon base, quickly schooling his face into the no nonsense look of determination and professionalism he always wore.
"This is Numbuh 1 of Sector V calling the Kids Next Door Moon Base."
Within seconds the screen was filled with the tired face and frazzled hair of the Kids Next Door's acting commander. Numbuh 86 looked just as tired as he felt. No doubt she probably had not gotten much rest lately either. "This is Kids Next Door Moon Base. We read you Numbuh 1. What do you have to report?"
"I'm afraid our searches have still uncovered no trace of Numbuh 362. My team is getting in a little rest, and then we'll start again fresh. I'm sorry I don't have better news to report ma'am."
Fanny gave a slight nod before reaching towards the cut-off switch. "All right Numbuh 1. Upload your reports into the Kids Next Door Central Computer. Moon base out."
As the line went dead, Nigel couldn't help but gawk slightly at the blackened screen. That conversation had to have been an example of just how tired they all were. Numbuh 86 hadn't raised her voice once, and she had not berated the failure of him or his team. Normally she would have been rubbing the fact that a "stoopid boy" couldn't get the job done in his face. Then again normally her best friend wasn't missing, and normally she wasn't being looked to by every Kids Next Door operative to make the situation all better. He couldn't help but wonder if she would not be as enthusiastic about promotions in the future. Of course he also wondered if the next time someone got promoted if it would be to fill the vacant spot of Supreme Commander.
With another sigh he sent off the reports to join the thousands of others being compiled from all over the planet. The Kids Next Door hadn't given up hope on finding Numbuh 362 yet, but with each passing hour the hopes of doing so seemed to diminish. Slowly he made his way out onto the deck of the tree house. As he stared up into the night sky, he couldn't help but wonder again if Rachel was okay. He had never really known her to be afraid or show any weakness. There had been a time or two when the scared little child had shown through, but for the most part she was always the fearless leader. She'd braved an inhumane amount of broccoli to ensure Father did not remain supreme commander of the Kids Next Door. He had heard she'd even launched herself at the senior citizombified Numbuh 60 in order to buy Numbuhs 2 and 86 time to work despite knowing that she would be hopelessly outnumbered in the struggle. He couldn't help but wonder how her resolve would hold up under this new pressure. He had seen her at her worst a couple of times, and it was not an image he was eager to see again.
"We'll find you Rachel."
As Nigel turned away from the banister and made his way into the tree house, a set of eyes followed his every movement. Behind a mask, a set of lips curved themselves into a malicious smile as the figure that had been so keenly watching Sector V's tree house vanished into the shadows of the night. Part one of the plan had been completed without a hitch. Soon the rest of the puzzle pieces would fall into place, and both the Kids Next Door and the adults would pay the price for their arrogance.
Well there you have it, my first foray into actually putting something up for others to read. Hope you enjoyed it. Any comments or criticism are always welcome, so feel free to review.DementorR