Just a few notes: 1) I have no clue what those tubey-shoot-things they use to transport themselves throughout the robot are called, so if anyone does, PLEASE tell me. I swear the word is right on the tip of my tongue at all times, but it never comes out! 2) I'm not exactly sure what to call Gibson's weapons either. and 3) Here's an apology in advance for there being so little Chiro. He's my favorite character, but this story focuses on Gibson and Sprx's friendship, with a little tiny bit of Spova romance (tiny tiny). Oh! And one last thing...if you take a look at my profile you'll notice that I'm very much a cartoon-Chipmunks-aholic, so I'm gonna tell you right now where I got my story idea from: The Chipmunks episode "Experiment with Error." I was watching it and thinking about what would happen if Simon had been the one in the lab when it blew up (instead of Brittany) and what if he'd been the one that had the 'brain drain.' (Brittany faked it, but in my story of course he'd actually have lost is smarts, as it were.) Then I was watching random episodes of SRMTHG and I thought that the story better suited Gibson than it did Simon, so...this is what came from that thought!

So...without further ado,

I give you the disclaimer!

I do not own any of the characters in this story.

(And now, without any more interruptions, I give you the story:)

Burned Out

"Could you help me with this?" Gibson hissed under his breath as he worked on five different projects at the same time. "Oh, Gibson, could you please do that for me?" He hurried over to turn down the burner. "I'm working on a new formula to make the missiles more effective and they're having me do all sorts of stupid projects for them!"

He counted the drops of one chemical as they dripped into his formula. Five in all, because any more and it would blow up in his face. He certainly didn't need that. He carefully swiveled the liquid in the flask, then let it sit for a moment as he went to quickly tend to his other four projects. One after the other, none getting the proper attention that they deserved.

Then the door opened.

"Gibson?" the voice called in as the light that shone into his lab caused the chemicals to begin to fizz.

"What is it?" the blue monkey called back, turning his back on the experiment. He was too stressed to even remember just how dangerous the light could be.

"Otto just wanted to ask how that project you were working on was coming."

"Which one?"

"The one that Sprx asked you to work on."

"It's almost done. Come back in an hour."

"Ok." The kid turned and left, the door snapping shut again. He hadn't taken more than four steps when an explosion shook the floor beneath him. "Gibson!" Chiro spun around and opened the lab door once again, backing up and waving away the smoke.

"What happened?" Nova called as she ran to his side.

"Gibson," Chiro whispered as he pointed into the haze, holding a hand over his nose and mouth to prevent breathing in the fumes.

"Get out of here Chiro. I'll get him out." The leader nodded as Nova's mask popped out to cover her face, and then he took off running down the hall. The rest of his team was racing to see the source of the explosion for themselves and he collapsed to his knees as they reached each other, gasping for air.

"What's going on?" Antauri asked.

"Explosion…Gibson's lab…Nova's getting him…we need to get out…" Antauri nodded, taking Chiro by arm to help him up. The monkeys masks appeared over their own noses so that they wouldn't have to worry about the toxic fumes as they helped their human leader out of the robot.

He leaned against a tree, his eyes shifting to all the hatchways as he watched for his last two teammates. After what felt like eternity, Nova finally appeared through the shoulder of the robot, Gibson in her arms. "Well, I'll go vent out the robot then," Otto said as Nova landed.

"Those were some fast working chemicals," Nova whispered, glancing over as Chiro slid to the ground. "What was he doing in there?"

"Working on a formula for our missiles," Antauri told them.

"Eh…" Sprx glanced around at the group. "I asked him to do something for me too…"

"Me too," Nova admitted.

"Me three," Otto whispered.

"It's no wonder this happened," Sprx said quietly.

"We can't change what has happened," Antauri said to their sad faces. "Otto, I believe you were going to vent the robot?"

"Right!" Otto replied, taking off towards their home.

"In the meantime…" He glanced over at Chiro. "Since we cannot take care of Chiro ourselves right at this moment, I suggest we find a doctor."


They could only imagine the shock that the hospital they checked in to felt when they attempted to explain their situation. The doctors were very attentive to the young hero, but there was little that could be done for Gibson in a human hospital (and even less in an animal hospital, for that matter).

Around the time they were ordering dinner, Otto checked in to say that it should be safe to return to the robot in time for breakfast. That was great news, especially for their blue friend. He hadn't stirred since Nova had found him. From what the doctors could tell, about his living parts, he was fine. The toxins hadn't invaded his body like they had Chiro's. Their poor leader was more or less stuck in bed for the next week after that experience.

"If there's nothing wrong with him, then why is he still unconscious?" Sprx grumbled as he sat on Chiro's bed, tearing into his hover burger.

"Because his energy has been drained," Otto said. "He'll be fine when we get him back to the robot."

"So there's nothing we can do for him here then?" Chiro whispered, only to be hushed by his teammates.

"Chiro, the doctor said no talking for the next two days," Nova scolded. "But no, there's nothing we can do for him here."

"Good news," Antauri called to them. "Chiro, you can come back to the robot as soon as tomorrow, as long as we take good care of you."

"You guys always do," Chiro whispered.


"Ok…" Otto hummed out. "He has full energy and there's absolutely nothing wrong with him. Why won't he wake up?"

"Maybe he was just tired?" Sprx said hopefully.

"Tired enough to sleep for almost thirty hours straight?" Nova growled back.

"Guys!" Chiro interrupted, the forcefulness of his voice throwing him into a coughing fit. He was seated in Gibson's usual chair, his body still weak from the toxins. The team had had to fly him back to the robot because he couldn't walk, and Antauri had insisted that he go straight to bed, but of course he had insisted on staying at Gibson's side until Otto finished checking out the blue monkey's mechanical half. "Otto, is there anything you can do for him?"


"It's not your fault," Nova cooed as she patted his shoulder.

"No, we're all to blame," Sprx grumbled. "He should have told us no!"

"Normally he would," Chiro said quietly. "But we didn't exactly give him a chance to tell us no, did we?"

"We just sort of threw our projects at him and ran on our way. We didn't even ask."

"So, like I said," Sprx said. "We're all to blame." All heads turned as the door swished open.

"The lab is completely destroyed," Antauri reported.

"I'll clean up what I can," Nova volunteered.

"Be careful. Chiro…"

"I know, I know," he whispered. "Time to get to bed." Antauri, Sprx, and Otto supported him as they left the sick bay and Nova headed off for the lab, leaving the sleeping scientist all by his lonesome.

None of them saw him stirring, and none of them saw him wake up, sit up, and get up. He looked around the room with a bit of awe, as though he was seeing it in a whole new light. A goofy smile spread across his face as he reached out and started pressing buttons, entranced with them until they began to bore him.

Then he left sick bay.


"What the…?" Chiro yelped, hopping up in his bed just as the rest of his team was getting ready to leave him be.

"Something's wrong with the robot!" Otto declared as the alert blared. Antauri reached out to their leader as he attempted to hop out of bed.

"We'll take care of this, kid," Sprx said as he and Otto darted out.

"What about you?" Chiro whispered to his right hand.

"I'm going to stay here in case you need protecting," Antauri assured him.

Otto and Sprx met up with Nova on their way to the control room, and all three came out of their tubes with their weapons ready for anything. What they didn't expect was to see Gibson hopping around the panels. "This is fun!" he shouted to them. "Come on guys! You should try it!"

"Gibson?" Nova managed to spit out as the trio stood with their jaws dropped.

"Hey, Gibson, what are you doing?" Sprx called over to him. Their scientist leaped off of the panel and ran to Sprx.

"I'm having fun!" he declared.

"Could you please not destroy the robot while you're having fun?" Nova said as gently as possible while Otto ran over to shut the alarms off.

"What else is there to do here for fun?"

"Uh…we could go visit Chiro and Antauri," Sprx offered.

"Antauri's not fun."

"But Chiro might know some fun things for you to do." Gibson weighed the pros and cons before finally perking up.

"Alright! Let's go! Where are they?"

"Hang on hot shot. We'll go check in with them soon as Otto gives us a report on the damage." Otto glanced over to them.

"It's going to take at least the rest of today and most of tomorrow to fix this," he reported.

"Alright, get on that now then," Nova commanded. "Gibson, let's head to Chiro's room." The blue monkey cheered, much as Otto would have done, and raced ahead of them.

Antauri has positioned himself at the foot of Chiro's bed, his claws glowing as he waited for what might come. The alarm has stopped, but he didn't dare let his guard down, not when their leader was what he was protecting.

"Chiiiiro!" Gibson cheered as he ran into the room, running over and leaping on teen's bead. "Sprx said you'd know all the best ways to have fun around here!"

"Uh…I have a pretty good collection of video games," he volunteered.

"Sorry about this," Sprx called through the door as he and Nova finally reached the room.

"What's going on?" Antauri demanded of them.

"Gibson lost a few screws in that explosion."

"Aw, you don't have to put it like that Sparky!" Gibson called.

"Don't call me that!"

"Why not? I think it's a really fun name." He started hopping on the bed, only to be tackled by Nova.

"You can't do that, Gibson," she hissed at him.


"Do you remember the accident yesterday? With all the chemicals?"


"Well, there was one. And Chiro was right there when it happened, and when he opened the door all those toxic fumes flew out at him. His life isn't in any danger, but he needs rest so his body can get rid of them. And that means…"

"No jumping on the bed?"

"That's right. No jumping on the bed."

"But we can play some video games," Sprx called as he pulled out a box full of Chiro's best.


"This isn't very fun," Gibson moaned as he tossed aside the controller.

"We've been through all these games and you didn't find even one that you liked?" Nova replied.


"What kind of games do you want to play then?" Sprx asked.

"More realistic ones! You know, like those ones where you actually have a steering wheel or a bike…"

"Racing games?"

"Flying games!"

"Bikes don't fly."

"Then one with a ship that does fly!" The red and yellow monkeys looked at each other, desperation in their eyes.

"I'll go ask Antauri if we can take him out to the arcade," Nova said.

"And I'll get the leash," Sprx replied, turning to go ask Otto if Gibson's second check-up turned up with anything.

"Nothing yet," Otto replied as soon as his teammate walked in. He was working on fixing the things that Gibson had messed up while he was 'playing' in the sick bay at the same time as he was running the scans for their out of control friend. "The best I can say is that his brain has shut down."

"Otto, I'm no scientist but I know that brains don't just 'shut down' when they feel like it."

"Then how else can you explain it? He still knows who we are and the layout of the robot and everything, he just doesn't seem to want to actually think or any of that stuff." Sprx glanced out to see Gibson twirling around in Chiro's chair.

"He doesn't want to do anything related to science, math, medicine, or any of that other stuff that he really likes. He just wants to goof off and have fun…"

"Antauri says it's a go!" Nova called as she came back. "Just so long as two of us go with him to keep an eye on everything he does. He volunteered to clean up the lab so I can go, and since Otto's the only one that can fix the robot…"

"No! No way, nadda, nuh-uh. I am not going to babysit Mr. Brain-meltdown!"

"Come on Sprx. It's only for the afternoon! And we may find a way to cure him!"

"Nova…did you even count how many times he started to chase my tail when it distracted him from those video games?"

"A lot?"

"Thirty-eight! Thirty-eight times, Nova! And that's not including when he 'tagged' me on our way down here, or when he tackled me because I wasn't tagging him back! I'm not going, and that's final."


"How does she do it?" Sprx mumbled as he sat on the park bench, watching Gibson play Frisbee with Nova. Several townsfolk were staring in shock as two of their heroes darted around tossing a plastic disk at one another. It was something that had never happened before.

But at least he was entertained.

He'd gone through the entire arcade in a matter of minutes and declared the entire place boring. It wasn't until they were done getting ice cream that they realized the problem: He didn't want to sit still. He wanted to be up and roaming, playing the games for real, not virtually. That was when Nova had spied the toy store, and simple little circular object called a Frisbee.

Sprx had only ever seen dogs play with Frisbees, but Nova and Gibson seemed to be having a good time. And at least Gibson wasn't chasing his tail anymore. If that was one thing Sprx couldn't stand about the new Gibson, it was the constant mauling that his tail was taking. That was why he had opted out of Frisbee. Of course, he'd told Nova it was because someone actually needed to keep a constant eye on their teammate, but the real reason was to protect his tail.

"Come on Sparky!" Gibson called out as he caught the Frisbee again.

"No thank you!" Sprx called back.

"Aw, c'mon," Nova pleased. "It's loads of fun!"

"I think I've had enough 'fun' for one day."

"Maybe we should play something else," Gibson said, flipping the Frisbee over in his hands. A couple of children skating by turned the adventurous wheels in his head. "I've got it! Come on!"

"Hey!" Nova called after him. "Wait for us!" They chased their friend all through the streets of Shuggazoom, straight to the biggest skate park they'd ever seen.

"When did they put this in?" Sprx exclaimed.

"I think it's always been here?"

"Of course!" Gibson called cheerfully, running back from the rental shack with three pairs of skates, just their size. "Put these on you guys!" He tossed them at his teammates before hopping onto a bench and attaching his own.

"Better do as he says Sprx…You can't keep an eye on him at all times from any one point in this park anyway."

"I can try." He ducked as Nova attempted to punch him. "Ok, ok, I'll do it. Just…don't tell the rest of the team I was doing something so…stupid." It took all of five minutes for them to get laced up, and as soon as they were ready Gibson grabbed them by their hands and led them straight down the steepest incline in the park.

"Watch this!" he cried as he did a trick, getting applause from everyone watching. "Pretty neat, huh? Betcha can't do better than me, Sparky."

"Betcha I can!" The competitive nature in the red monkey drove him on to outdo Gibson's trick, and pretty soon they were in a one-ups-man competition with the entire park cheering for them.

"Not bad, Sparky."

"Not bad yourself, Gibson."

"But you know…there can only be one, true winner."

"Oh, I know."

It went on like that all through the rest of the afternoon. The boys tugging Nova around to burger eating contests and a boat rental shack where they got themselves a couple small boats to race to a baseball field where they joined in on a game and to the local swimming pool where they played water basket ball.

"Aren't you two tired yet?" she asked as she brought back the dinner. "And how can you even still eat these things?" Two hover burgers a piece. It made her feel nauseous just looking at them.

"Because they're so darn good!" Gibson cheered, digging into his.

"Yeah, Nova, aren't you having one?" Sprx added.

"No thank you. I'm going to go get some pizza from the stand across the street. Please, whatever you do, remember your mission Sprx." It wasn't like she had a choice in leaving them. She knew she wouldn't be able to stuff hover burgers down her throat, not after watching Gibson and Sprx pig out on them just a few hours earlier, and her stomach was growling like no tomorrow. The nearest place was across the street.

"What mission?" Gibson whispered after she had gone.

"Our mission to…Seek out all the fun stops in Shuggazoom!" Sprx declared. "I think we've been doing a pretty good job of that so far, right?"

"Indeed so!" That caught the red monkey's attention.

"What was that?"

"I said 'I think so.'"

"No…You said 'indeed so.' I heard you."

"I'm quite sure I said 'I think so.' But it is possible that you heard something else."

"I suppose you're right." Still…Sprx didn't feel quite ready to lose his new buddy to logic just yet. "Hey, Gibson, I hear there's some laser tag going on down at the mall tonight. Wanna go check it out?"

"But what about Nova?"

"We were talking about going earlier anyway. She'll catch up."


Sprx led his friend through the streets, munching on his burgers as he ran. The scientist has long since given up on chasing the pilot's tail, more preoccupied by the many fun things they were doing. It was strange how well they were getting along now, after all the clashing they had done before. Sprx knew it was because Gibson had let go of all things logical, but he couldn't help but feel a little pang at the thought of losing this new Gibson.

The closes to being able to understand him was Chiro, because the kid was always up for a good time, just like he was, but even then they were completely different. It felt good to have someone that understood why he enjoyed doing all the things he did as well as this new Gibson did…well, after the initial jumping around on the controls and chasing tails had passed through his system. It was almost like years of bottled up fun were suddenly exploding out of the scientist.

And that made Sprx wonder: Did he even want the old Gibson back? The dull, long-lecture-giving, 'logical,' big-word-using, scientific monkey that he used to be?

He knew Gibson would have to go back to being Gibson eventually. They needed his scientific know-how, but not tonight. Tonight he could kick back and enjoy tagging the heck out of the blue monkey that never ever wanted to kick back and goof off.

"Wow, look at that crowd!" Gibson cheered. All the teens in Shuggazoom (save one young, weakened hero) were gathered in the center, dividing themselves into their teams. "Want to be on the same team or should we split up?"

"I think it'd be more fun if we split up," Sprx offered. "We seem to like competing with each other."

"That very true." Gibson ran for the blue colored team while Sprx turned and high-tailed it to the red-colored one. Both cheered with excitement at the fact that two of their heroes would be joining them for a game tonight, and Sprx made a mental note to bring Chiro along next time. Sure, the kid was completely content living – and spending all his time around – monkeys, but sometimes he seemed fairly lonely for human companionship. This would be the perfect cure for that. But not tonight, of course. Tonight he was facing off against Gibson, an epic battle that was sure to please the crowds.

The match blazed around them, the yellow and green teams thinning out quickly, thanks to Sprx and Gibson being experts at this sort of game already. Then they turned on each other's teams. Within half an hour the large crowd had thinned to five teens and two monkeys, and everyone waiting on the sidelines cheered them on. It was the most entertaining thing they had seen in quite some time after all. Well, most entertaining that didn't threaten their life.

"You could just give up you know," Gibson taunted as dodged Sprx's laser.

"If you're getting bored then you can be the one to give up!" Sprx returned, shooting again.

"Never!" Gibson used his tail to propel himself around a column and completely avoided being hit, and he popped out the other side firing. Sprx's two human teammates were tagged in the process, leaving Sprx the last red standing.

"Oh, so that's how it's going to be." Sprx used his tail to propel himself into the air, tagging the other three teens. "Now it's just you and me, Brainstrain." The cheers were divided down the middle, half for red and half for blue (since there were quite a few of the teens that didn't even know the heroes' names).

They spun and ducked and shot and jumped, completely at equal odds with each other. So when they were both tagged out at the same time, it came as a complete shock to them. The stood in the middle of the field, trying to figure out which one of them had won.

"Yellow team wins!" was blared over the intercom, much to everyone's shock. Then Nova stepped out, her own laser gun resting in her hand.

"It's amazing how little you actually have to do in these games," she teased. "Looks like I won. Now boys, it's time to head home." Sprx glared in her direction.

"C'mon Nova, the night is just beginning!" he called. "We aren't tired, right Gibs?"

"Right, Sparky," Gibson replied. "There's so many aspects of Shuggazoomian night live that I'd love to explore!"

"What did you just say Gibson?" Nova called his way.

"We're going to have fun tonight," Sprx replied for him, hurrying over to Nova's side. "Don't encourage him!" he whispered when he reached her.

"Why not?" she hissed back. "He's finally starting to come to his senses!"

"I know! That's why you can't encourage him! Look, he'll be himself again soon enough, right? I figure why waste this chance to enjoy ourselves. Gibson's never going to want to do these things again."

"Sprx…What if something happens, like an attack?"

"He'll probably find fighting fun! We have nothing to worry about."

"What about that formula for our missiles? What if those proved to be the only thing that would…"

"Nova! Relax. Do you really want to go straight back to lectures that badly?"

"Not really…"

"Then come on! Let's have some fun!"

"Hey guys!" Gibson called. "Where are we going now?" Sprx glanced over at him.

"We're not sure yet Gibbs!"

"You just don't want him to go back to being himself because you two are so buddy-buddy now," Nova accused. "You aren't even frustrated with him calling you Sparky!"

"Because he isn't trying to annoy me by calling me that." Sprx smiled and ran back to the blue monkey's side. "What do you want to do Gibson?"

"Well, there was something on the other side of town that I wanted to check out…"

"Oh? What?"

"That old power plant. The teens were talking about it being haunted." Sprx sighed. "That means something's crawling around out there giving the kids the spooks. I want to find out what it is!"

"Sure, why not? We have all night!" The boys ran off, a reluctant Nova in tow.


Nova tapped her foot, watching as the two goofballs raced each other in the sky just outside the old, decrepit mansion. They'd completely forgotten their purpose for coming when they'd both activated their jet packs to go over the ten-foot-tall brick wall. All Nova could do was watch them set 'start' and 'finish' at different points each time and race each other. They'd even started to throw in little tricks they had to do to 'finish' the race.

She glanced over at the old place. It was no wonder people were calling it haunted. The building was frightening to look at, for ones that didn't know any better. Some long forgotten piece of old Shuggazoom, abandoned when the city as they knew it now had been completed. It was a good point for schools' history lectures though, pointing out what Shuggazoomians had lived in a couple hundred years ago.

Something in the window caught her eye, and since the boys were preoccupied she didn't think it would hurt to fly over and check it out. So that was what she did.

"I win again!" Gibson cheered as he just barely beat Sprx for the second time in a row.

"Pure luck," Sprx hissed back, glancing over to the wall. "Hey…where'd Nova go?"

"Uhh…" Both their heads turned as the old house in front of them began to glow, and as they heard an all-too-familiar scream.

"Nova!" Sprx grabbed his blue comrade by the tail and soared down to the nearest window, his other hand ready for battle. But as soon as he reached through the window, his hand transformed back from its magnet state and went limp. "A field?"

"Let's go get her!" Gibson declared, but Sprx held him back.

"Gibson, there's some sort of field-thing around the house…it renders machines useless."

"How do you know?"

"I can't use my hand!" Gibson looked over at his red friend, carefully taking in the useless hand.


"Geeze. This is just great." He looked around, seeing nothing that looked like it could be the source of the field. "What do we do now?"

"Go back to the robot and get help?"

"By then it might be too late! Think Gibson! You're good at that!"

"But I don't want to think Sparky! It…it hurts to think too much." Sprx glanced over at his friend.

"So that's why you've been refusing all the things you like? Because it hurts you to think now?" Gibson nodded. "Is the smart side of you fully aware of everything that's been going on today?"

"More or less. The best I can guess is that the whiff of toxic fumes I got…went straight to my head…" He put his hands on his head. "Please don't make me think too hard! It hurts to think!"

"Well, like it or not, you're the only braniac on the whole team! You're the only one that can save Nova. Gibson…Gibbs, please. For Nova." Gibson looked Sprx right in the eyes, seeing the desperation in his teammate's face.

"For Nova." He glanced around quickly, the haze that he had been under all day seeming to lift in a matter of seconds. "The field seems to be only surrounding the house," he said tentatively, holding his head between his hands. "Perhaps there's a way under it, or over it."


"These old houses have things called 'cellars' and 'chimneys.' We should try those."

"Hey Gibbs. We only have three hands between us to test this with. If those aren't ways in…"

"We have tails too, Sprx." Sprx swished his own around in frustration.

"Alright. I'll take high, you take low. Holler if you find a way in."

"Will do." The chimney was definitely a no-go. His tail went limp as soon as he stuck it down that direction. While he waited for Gibson to handle the 'cellar,' he flew around all the house windows, looking for any sign of Nova.

"Where is she? How did this happen?"

"Sprx! This way!" The red monkey turned his head, looking at his blue friend waving from a door that opened up from the ground. It took him two seconds to fly down and it took the two no more than a minute to get up into the house.

"Nova? Nova, where are you?" It was no use. All was silent.

"This glow is so odd," Gibson whispered.

"It's the field, Gibbs."

"No, it's not."

"Come again?"

"It's wiring, all through the walls of this house, but it's not the field…What's powering it, I wonder?"

"I don't want to find out. I just want to find Nova and get out of this creepy place!"

"Yes, that would be wise…" They stayed close together, making sure not to touch anything that glowed, just in case. Nova wasn't anywhere to be found. And what was worse, the house was starting to dim out. Whatever had illuminated it was shutting down. "Sparky, I think it'd be best if we checked the attic before the lights went out completely."

"Sure thing…Where's that?"

"Up, top floor." Gibson lead the charge up to the uppermost floor, only to pause at the glowing door.

"We don't have time to worry about random glowing objects," Sprx grumbled, reaching out boldly and turning the knob. The door blew open to reveal a great machine, just starting to shut down. Nova lay unconscious near it, and as soon as they entered the room, the door slammed shut.

"This can't be good," Gibson whispered as he turned his hands into weapons.

"AHH!" Sprx cried beside him, and he spun, ready to attack. What he saw made him shy away. A man as decrepit as the house had his hands on Sprx's ears, with electricity sparking around the two. "Gibson…do something!" The red monkey's body had gone completely limp.

The scientist attempted a few of his attacks, but to no avail. Simply fighting wasn't going to work this time. He had to be sneakier…he had to be himself. He had to think, and be scientific and logical…

"Gibson!" He shook his head as it started to pound. A plan was faintly forming, but it wasn't good enough just yet. The blue simian backed away from their attacker as the man threw Sprx over towards Nova. "Nova…" the pilot whispered, reaching out with what little energy he had to grab her hand.

"Don't fuss and it'll be over quick," the sparking man hissed as Gibson continued to back away.

"No!" Gibson called back, leaping up and re-activating his jet pack. As he soared up, the man reached out to the machine and it revved up again, re-illuminating the house. "So that's how it's done…You feed that machine! But why?"

"It keeps me alive, of course. As long as I feed it I can live." Gibson glanced over to see wires flying up with the power of the electricity the machine had gained from Sprx. "Come on pet, I promise it will be quick, even if I can't promise it to be painless."

Gibson transformed his hands back into weapons, shooting at the wires as he dove down and collected both of his friends as best as he could.

"Come now, you can't really expect to escape with all that weighing you down…" The very wires of the house seemed to be out to attack Gibson, and he knew he couldn't get all the way back down to the cellar with both of them. At least, not alive. He glanced around the room for ideas, his head pounding as he forced himself to think logically.

When he had first woken up, he hadn't had any logic left in his mind, but as the day had passed it had slowly come back to him. Painfully, but it came back. Now he could be himself and save the day…but there was still a wall blocking his mind. That pain…that searing pain.

The wires wrapped around Nova and Sprx, pulling them from his grasp. And then he thought of the answer. Every machine had an off switch, of sorts. Like how he and his teammates had that thing in the back of their heads so that they could reboot each other, or any one of the robot's panels, if Otto was the one turning the robot off.

This one was no different.

He dodged a few more attacks, quickly noting that the old man really couldn't do much in the way of fighting him. His main concern was the house. Or rather, the thing that was sitting in the attic.

His mind started spinning so fast that he didn't even have time to notice the pain. Logic and science and mathematics, and just general knowledge for that matter, screamed out in his head, and he finally had a plan.

The blue simian soared behind the old man, ever wary of his hands, letting the cords tangle with him. But he didn't linger long because the wall behind him attempted to shock him and paralyze him. Then he ran around other objects to further tangle the wires, smirking as the machine fell for every trick.

"You aren't very bright, are you?" he taunted, hopping behind it and piercing through a panel, reaching his weapon into it and setting it for that special attack of his. "Spin shocker!" The energy shot through the machine, and through its wires. The entire house burned more brightly than it had in a long time thanks to the surges, before the wires started frying. That was his cue to get out of there.

He grabbed onto Nova and Sprx as well as he could and flew through the window, now that the field was down. They were almost too heavy for his jet pack, but he managed, soaring over the wall and laying them on the ground, hailing the part of his team that was still in the super robot.

"Antauri, Otto?" he called tentatively.

"Gibson?" Antauri's voice replied.

"I need some help. Sprx, Nova, and I were just attacked by…well, by a house. Don't worry, it's defeated, but I can't carry these two back on my own…certainly not when I feel like passing out myself."

"What's your status?"

"Fine, other than a massive headache that's making it impossible for me to even see straight. Sprx and Nova are out for the count though."

"You sound like you're back to normal."

"Yes…as normal as I can be, I suppose."

"Hang tight. We'll be there soon."


"That should do it!" Otto cheered as he finished up tending to Nova.

"How are you feeling?" Sprx instantly asked. He hadn't let go of her hand since he'd woken up, afraid for her condition.

"My body aches all over, but I'll live," she replied quietly. "How's Gibson?"

"Good as new," the blue monkey replied. "Now that the toxins have started to disperse from my system. It's a wonder that it had such a different effect on me than it did on Chiro…"

"There's a lot of differences between us and the kid, Gibbs," Sprx said.

"I know, Sparky, but one wouldn't think that the reactions would be that drastically different. It's rather like his body gave out while my mind gave out." Otto glanced between the two, wondering what had come over them. Sprx wasn't even spazzing over being called 'Sparky.'

"Well I'm glad it came back…for Nova's sake that is."

"Of course. Say, do you guys want to go play laser tag in town when Chiro's feeling better?"

"Uh-oh," Nova giggled. "I thought you said you got your mind back." The door to sick bay swished open and Antauri joined the group.

"I did. I was just merely suggesting we go have some fun, as a team. I'm sure Chiro will enjoy being able to get out and play after being cooped up in his room for a week."

"We can only hope he doesn't go stir crazy in the meantime," Antauri said. "Right now he wants nothing more than to go to the park and play…Frisbee?"

"Oh yes, Sprx, I believe you owe me a game of Frisbee, since you decided to sit out when Nova and I were playing."

"You're on," Sprx replied, clapping the scientist on the shoulder. They then proceed to walk out of the bay together, chatting and making plans for fun events, none involving potentially haunted houses.

"How long do you think it's gonna last?" Nova whispered.

"I'd give it a week," Otto said. "By the time Chiro's well enough to go play laser tag, they'll be back to themselves."

"I don't know Otto," Antauri said. "They seemed to have learned quite a bit about each other thanks to their little adventure yesterday. Maybe Gibson will relax and play a little more, and maybe Sprx now understands why he's so serious all the time."

"We can only hope," Nova laughed.