Allow me to start by thanking you for reading this. I'm a long-time fan of Cartoon Network and their original cartoons. The advent of Fusion Fall is something of a dream come true, to have so many beloved characters together at once. That said, I must admit that I haven't played the game. My computer dates back to the early Paleocene and would implode if I asked it to handle something so big and complex. However, my imagination is like a dog with a bone and in a matter of days (maybe even hours) and after a lot of gaping at all the pretty trailers, stories began to take shape in my mind that would not leave me alone. Seeing as how it's dangerous to suppress urges, I started writing.
The version of this universe I'm presenting is my own take on what would happen if all these cartoons converged and it won't be absolute to the game (unless a miracle occurs and I actually learn how to play). I've kept some aspects of the game, abandoned others, and basically have had fun picking on an older version of Dexter. I have not read any stories involving the characters I'm using, nor am I up on recent developments or trends in the fandoms. If there are any similarities to anyone else's work out there, it's purely coincidence. I'm just here having fun, and I hope you readers will as well.
So in my version of things, the Cartoon Network characters are united against the invaders from Planet Fusion. The Kids Next Door are the backbone of Earth's defenses, providing troops and support for the war with the assistance of other CN characters. The Power Puff Girls, Samurai Jack, and Ben10 are the heavy hitters against Fuse's hybrid monsters. Dexter is the mechanical genius responsible for developing armor, defenses, and countering all biological threats. The supreme commander of Earth's forces is Mandy, because seriously, could you see her tolerating anyone else in charge?
All mistakes are mine. All characters belong to Cartoon Network. I promise to return them once I'm done playing.
Chapter One: Brother and Sister
He drew a deep breath and held it, trying not to explode at the sound of a squeaky voice singing out his name. Since he had begun his struggle to function in the same universe as Billy, it seemed only fair that he put equal or greater effort into getting along with his own sister even though she had long ago perfected the art of irritating him.
"Whaaaat?" he growled, trying to concentrate on three computer screens at once.
"What are you doing?"
She was leaning right over his shoulder, close enough so that her blonde pigtails tickled his neck. He slowly counted to ten before he replied.
"I am trying to help win this war in which we are engaged. Remember how Earth is next on the menu for Planet Fusion?" Slapping away her hair, he tried to get back to work, wondering for the umpteenth time how anyone with his level of intelligence had ended up related to anyone so empty-headed. Few people that knew him would have recognized the genius scientist through the aggravated boy just then, but DeeDee knew exactly how to get under her little brother's skin. "What are you doing besides annoying me?"
"Nothing! Just visiting," she cooed, pulling his chair away from the computer screens. She twirled him around so he was facing her. "I haven't seen you in days."
"Has it been days?" he wondered. He pushed the chair back and returned to his data, adjusting his glasses as he moved. "It doesn't seem so long to me."
"Yup. Four days, actually. I have to make sure my kid brother gets out of here now and then. Hey, how can you type with gloves on?"
Glad for the excuse to get something done, he demonstrated. "I can't type without them."
But she wasn't listening. He would have been surprised if she had. She abandoned his work station and pirouetted in the open space of the laboratory, dancing about gracefully, a splash of pink and gold amidst the gleam of polished stainless steel. For several minutes she took advantage of the large floor, humming to herself as she practiced ballet while her brother ignored her and bent over his never-ending research. As they had matured (or at least grown older) DeeDee and Dexter had found a tolerable balance between his compulsive creativity and her vapid impulses. They did not complement each other - there was a gap between their intelligence levels comparable to the distance from the earth to the moon - but when they had been drawn into this conflict to save their planet from Fuse's invasion the greater part of their sibling rivalry had been set aside for the time being. That was not to say that it had all been set aside, or that DeeDee was any less a menace when loosed upon a room full of delicate equipment, but they depended upon one another if for no other reason than simply to have someone with whom they could argue on a regular and familiar basis.
DeeDee spun about and came to a dramatic climax in her impromptu dance, only to end by blinking down at the floor beneath her. "Ooh, Dexter! I heard a squeak! I think you have mice in your lab!"
"That is impossible, DeeDee. I am not doing any organic-based experiments at this time. And if I do have unauthorized mice I will build a robo-cat to exterminate them. And this is a laboratory! One I wish you would exit," he added under his breath.
"Whatever!" She darted from one control panel to the next. "Ooh, what does this button do?"
He didn't even look up. "It blows up the whole planet."
"Really? So what does this button do?"
"It blows up the planet twice."
She laughed. "I don't think you're telling the truth!"
"Try it and find out," Dexter grumbled tonelessly, which he considered an improvement over his usual biting sarcasm.
"Okay! Here goes!"
"DeeDee!" He whipped around, pointing imperiously. "Get away from that button! Right now!"
She smiled and giggled, delighted that he was her brother, delighted to have riled him, delighted by his show of temper and how his Russian accent – for which there was no reasonable explanation for him to have since they had grown up in the American Midwest – sharpened as he got closer and closer to throwing a tantrum. She took a big step toward the center of the room, sliding her feet on the polished metal floor in an exaggerated show of obedience. Her next words were cut off when a series of faint, metallic clangs came from beneath her, followed by a low rumble. DeeDee stared down at her pink shoes, able to feel vibrations moving through the earth.
"Forget mice, Dexter, I think you've got rats."
He stared down at her feet as well, able to sense the rumbling, his eyes wide. A thousand thoughts flashed through his mind, a thousand details of this laboratory and its construction and security and ventilation systems, its equipment and computers and storage. A thousand things DeeDee would never grasp and there was no time to explain. The laboratory was built into solid bedrock, housed far beneath their headquarters. There were layers upon layers of security features all centered on him and keeping him safe so that Earth stood a chance in this war against Fuse. He knew all at once that security was about to be breached.
"DeeDee! Get away from there! Move! Computress, Invasion Protocol Alpha! Seal the laboratory! DeeDee, come on!"
He was already running for his sister. She stared at him in dazed confusion as alarms blared and machinery shut down and emergency lights snapped on all around her. Seizing her scrawny wrist, Dexter yanked her toward the wall as the rumble reached a crescendo, The floor where she had been standing began to swell upwards as something tried to force its was through. DeeDee screamed, but she let him pull her stumbling toward the exit as heavy, many-layered blast doors lowered.
"Warning. Warning. Invasion Protocol Alpha initiated," droned the computer. "This is not a drill. Systems shutting down. Commencing dump of all stored data. Laboratory under lock down. Back up systems shutting dow-"
A sickening shriek of metal being twisted and broken drowned out the announcement as the floor's plating finally gave way and the sound of machinery came roaring through from below with so much force they were knocked to the ground. A stench of exhaust and the tang of shattered granite filled the air. There came the sound of many, many things moving beneath their feet. Part war machine, part monster, part of that indomitable green slime from Planet Fusion, the grotesque beings took whatever form Fuse needed them to take for a given task. Once their mission was accomplished, they would be re-absorbed and re-formed for the next battle. He had seen them take many forms, weird and unnatural hybrids of advanced technology and primitive creatures, at once brilliant and crude and deadly.
Having no intention of making their present task an easy one, Dexter hauled DeeDee along. Focused on getting to the escape hatch before they were trapped in here with whatever form of Fusion Mech had infiltrated their headquarters, Dexter did not bother looking behind them. His sister did, however, and she let out a scream of panic.
"Dexter! M-M-Monsters! Fusion Mechs!"
"Yes, I know," was his whole response, hauling her upright. He did not need to be told the only obvious answer to this assault. He did not even need to hear the sound of them moving through the tunnel they had carved. Logic alone told him what he was up against. "Move!"
They didn't have a chance. He knew that already. Shoving DeeDee in front of him, he pushed her toward the concealed emergency exit a few yards from the blast doors. She was so tall and gangly (and he was so disappointingly short) that he could do little to shield her if the Mechs started firing. They were almost there. Up a few stairs. The hatch was manual, not under Computress' control. Almost there. Get to the door . . .
That voice. He knew it.
Grabbing DeeDee around the waist, he snatched her back and away, pulling her down to the floor as a laser blast smacked into the wall before them. He gasped, stunned at the impact, momentarily blinded by the brightness. In the dim red emergency lights he could tell their escape route had been destroyed. There were three others built into the laboratory, but they would never reach them now.
DeeDee was whimpering and mewing in terror, clinging to him with a strength that belied her slight frame. He made no attempt to loosen her grip but held onto his sister just as tightly, hauling her upright with him. His fear matched hers, though his reaction was not tears but cold anger. By his estimate, less than three minutes had passed since DeeDee had mentioned rats. This invasion was surgically precise, so swift that they would hit and run before Earth's forces knew what had happened.
What did he expect, really, considering who must have planned it?
He looked up, pushing his glasses back in place the better to see who dared attack him in his own domain.
"Take them," ordered a barely-discernable figure that moved toward them through the gloom. The voice was cold, emotionless. Three towering Fusion Mechs flanked him, their sensors glowing red. "Once they are on the transport, destroy this place."
"You're really not hurt then?"
"No. A few bruises, nothing else."
"And you? Are you sure you're not hurt?"
"I'm okay. Um . . . This isn't what I meant when I said I had to make sure you get out now and then."
"Thank you. I figured as much."
"Ben and Number One and a few other people were worried you spend too much time down in your lab. At least when we were home you had to go to school and you'd get out and get some sunshine."
"Mandy will have me arrested if I step a foot outside. She's already told me so and I believe her. I'm happy down in the laboratory, DeeDee. Tell them not to worry."
"You don't eat right."
"The food here is terrible. The cooks are all Kids Next Door. They seem convinced that no child in existence actually wants to consume vegetables."
"You didn't used to like them. Not until that experiment went wrong."
"It did not go wrong. I simply used myself as a test subject and the end result is that I enjoy eating vegetables. I asked for broccoli once and they thought I was insane."
"Oh, they think that anyway."
"Uh, yes, thank you, I know that."
"You're welcome. Do you know where we are?"
"In a holding cell in a Fusion Transport Mech. And no, I don't know where we're going."
"Oh. Do you think our friends will come find us?"
"Once they figure out we're missing, yes."
"What do you mean?"
"My laboratory has been destroyed. I heard the order given as we were being taken. Mandy will have to lift the Invasion Protocol Alpha lockdown to get into the laboratory. Then they must clear the wreckage, figure out that we're missing, figure out how these Mechs got in past the defenses, and figure out where they're taking us."
"How did they get in?"
"They tunneled through bedrock and came up through the floor. That will not happen again."
"I'm sorry about your lab."
"It can be rebuilt. Luckily Invasion Protocol Alpha wipes out all the information in the data banks. I will have to completely reprogram the whole system . . . again. Ugh."
"Isn't that good? Fuse won't get your stuff, will he?"
"Not what was in the laboratory's computers. But that's not what they were after."
"DeeDee, what did they take?"
"Um . . . us! Oh."
"Do you think they'll hurt us?"
"I . . . won't let them hurt you."