By: Mark J. Hadley
* * * * * * * * *
The city of Townsville…in the country of the United States, on the planet Earth. One of the countless communities of people living and working from day to day across the world. While most of them prefer to live in peace with one another, there are always those who do not share the harmony of the others. People who set themselves apart from the others, even so far as to commit acts of terrible evil against them, or in some cases the entire world. It is ironic, then, that the world's greatest threat in its history would be discovered by one of these very villains.
In his volcano-top observatory, Mojo Jojo had taken some time off from observing Townsville to gaze up at the stars. He would never admit it to anyone, but this always relaxed him after a hard day of villainy. Sitting back and peering through the observatory's telescope, he started picking out his favorite stars and constellations.
"Ah, Orion," he said to himself. "You have not changed, my friend…not that you would, seeing as you're just a relatively stationary assortment of stars, but you are still a welcome sight. Perhaps once day, once I rule this pathetic world, I shall have a giant statue built in your honor. After my own, of course."
As he zoomed in the telescope to get a closer look at one of the stars, he became aware of something else. It was bright, almost like another star, but having seen this constellation many times, he knew that it was impossible. Frowning, he said, "Hmm, what's this? This was not here before…" He focused it to get a better look at whatever it was.
As it came into view, he suddenly realized what he was looking at. It wasn't a star, but an asteroid. "It must have passed through this region of space," he mused. "Well, it is interfering with my view, so if it would be so kind as to pass out of this region of space, I can continue with my observations unhindered."
His computer uplink to the telescope started pulling up data on the asteroid, as it was programmed to do. He glanced at the screen, and felt his jaw drop open as he read it. "What?! This cannot be right! The computer must have read the information incorrectly, causing bad data to be generated instead of reliable data." His fingers flew across the computer's control panel as he double-checked the computations.
All he did was confirm the truth. He stared in shock at the numbers, and said, almost breathlessly, "No…no, this is impossible…unimaginable…unthinkable!" He suddenly knew what he had to do. Hopping down from the telescope's controls, he hurried over to his telephone…
* * *
The Powerpuff Girls sat in front of the television on the couch…Professor Utonium was with them, and they were enjoying a movie together. However, the phone rang, interrupting the movie, and the professor stood up, "I'll get it."
"Hurry back, professor, it's coming to the best part!" Buttercup said.
"I will," he said. Walking over to the table off to the side of the room where the phone was, he picked up the receiver and spoke into it, "Hello, Utonium residence."
A gruff voice spoke from the other end, "Professor Utonium. I have something I must discuss with you right away. Tonight. Immediately."
He recognized the voice, "Mojo? Is that you?" Upon hearing Mojo's name, the girls broke away from the movie and flew up next to the Professor, concerned.
"Of course it's me!" Mojo growled from the other end of the line, but then he spoke normally again, "I do not have time to fully explain. You have your own astronomical equipment, so I urge you to view the stars around Orion's belt. You will know what you are looking for when you see it."
"Wait, Mojo…what's this all about?" the professor demanded.
Mojo answered, "You will see. Now, go, right now! Do not delay any further!" There was a click, followed by a dial tone.
The professor stared at the receiver for a few moments in confusion. Blossom, still hovering next to him, spoke up, "What is it, professor?"
"Excuse me, I'll be right back…" He hung up the phone and hurried over to his lab, shutting the door behind him. The girls glanced at each other questioningly. They flew slowly over to the door and stared at it, trying to decide whether to follow him or not.
Buttercup wondered aloud, "What was that all about?"
"And what did Mojo want?" Bubbles added.
"I don't know," Blossom said, "but I hope it's…"
"GIRLS!" the professor called from the lab. The girls immediately opened the door and flew downstairs. The professor was standing in front of one of the computers in his lab, examining a set of data on the screen. Even in the dim light of the lab, he looked pale.
Blossom quickly asked, "What's wrong? What did Mojo want?"
Swallowing once, the professor answered, "Mojo spotted something on his telescope, and told me to take a look at it too. I'm almost sorry I did…"
"Why? What is it?" Buttercup asked.
"An asteroid," he said. "A big one. It's almost as large as the Earth." He double-checked the trajectory, because he could still hardly believe it. "And worse, it's heading right for us. It'll smash into the Earth in less than a day. A collision with an object that size…it wouldn't just destroy all of us, but the entire planet as well…"
"Oh no…we've got to do something!" Bubbles exclaimed.
The professor looked worried, "I don't know what we can do. It's far too big."
"We've gotta try!" Blossom said. "Professor, where are the spacesuits? We're heading out right now to see if we can stop this thing."
"Over there," he said, pointing to a set of lockers against the wall.
Blossom nodded, "Thanks!" They flew over to the lockers, pulling out the sleek, silver spacesuits specially designed for them, since even with their powers they couldn't withstand the environment of space for more than a minute or two at best. They quickly put them on, leaving the helmets for last.
"There's enough air in these things for the trip and back, I hope…right?" Buttercup asked.
The professor nodded, "Plenty. It's still far away, so it'll take you a while to get out there, but there's enough air for a whole day in those suits."
"Good," Blossom said. "Let's go, girls!" Bubbles and Buttercup nodded together. They secured their helmets onto their spacesuits and flew out from the lab, heading for the front door.
The professor watched them leave. "Hurry…and be careful," the professor said.
* * *
The Powerpuff Girls flew out through the endless blackness of space, towards the asteroid far off in the distance, which was slowly becoming more and more visible. "Wow…" Buttercup exclaimed breathlessly through the suit radio. "Look at the size of that thing…"
"How are we gonna stop it?" Bubbles asked.
Blossom answered, "We've got time. Let's try everything we can think of. Maybe we can push it out of the way. C'mon!" They got closer and closer to the asteroid, and it slowly began to fill the sky in front of them. It wasn't until they were almost on top of it that they actually grasped the sheer magnitude of it. Extending off in all directions, it was almost like they were on a huge planet.
"Uh…Bloss, I don't think we could push this thing an inch, even if we wanted to…" Buttercup said.
"We've got to try, anyway," Blossom said. They descended towards the asteroid's surface and landed on it. It even had it's own strong gravitational pull, almost equal to Earth's. "Ready? Push!" Blossom ordered. All three of them flew into the ground, pushing against it as hard as they could.
After a few minutes of this, Bubbles panted, "Is it…working…?"
"I don't…think so…keep pushing!" Blossom shouted, exerting more strength.
They tried more and more, but it was all too clear that their efforts weren't doing any good. They eventually broke off from it to catch their breath. "Okay, then…how about eyebeams?" Bubbles suggested. She started powering them up…
"Bubbles, no!" Blossom said, stopping her. "You'll burn a hole through your helmet…besides, it won't do any good; it'll be like trying to cut the Earth in half with our eyebeams. It just can't be done."
"Well, maybe…we can just…" Buttercup trailed off. She suddenly flew down to the ground and started punching it with her full strength. Big pieces of rock cracked off from it…the tremors from her blows shattered an area almost a half-mile wide. "Yeah! Check it out, maybe we can just beat this thing down!"
But Blossom shook her head, "No…it's still too big. Even if the three of us spent all day trying to break up the asteroid, maybe we could break up an area the size of Texas, but that's still only a dent compared to the rest of it."
After a few moments of silence, Bubbles said, "So…so that's it? We're just gonna give up?"
"No, we're not giving up," Blossom replied. "We just need to find the solution, but right now, we can't do anything here. Let's get back to Earth, and maybe the professor can come up with something."
"I sure hope he can," Buttercup remarked. "I'd hate to think what would happen if he couldn't…"
Blossom ordered, "Let's hurry back. The faster we get there, the more time we have to come up with a plan." All three of them took off from the surface of the asteroid, flying back in the direction of Earth, which was now visible in the distance…
* * *
Everything was in chaos. Most of the world was now aware of the monstrous asteroid, which now appeared just as big as the moon in the sky. This was causing widespread panic amongst the people, as no one knew what to do about it. It only got worse once the news spread that that the Powerpuff Girls had failed to stop it.
Tensions were mounting within a gathering of scientists in Washington, D.C. All of the greatest scientific minds in the country were flown out there by the fastest jets, including Professor Utonium. They went over plan after plan, trying to come up with a suitable strategy for destroying or diverting the asteroid, but every plan seemed to be destined for failure at a closer look.
The girls were at the meeting as well, ready at a moment's notice to try and carry out any plan that they would eventually decide upon. This gave the scientists great hope, even though the situation looked hopeless. As the scientists debated, Bubbles whispered to the other girls, "Why are they taking so long? We don't have a lot of time left, do we?"
"They're smart," Blossom reassured her. "They'll come up with something, don't worry."
While they were talking, the scientists were interrupted by an aide, who rushed over to them and said, "There's a message for Professor Utonium, he said it's urgent."
The professor nodded and pointed at the large screen, which had previously been showing a tactical map of the situation, and said, "Patch it through to the screen." A few moments later, the image was replaced by a picture of…
"Mojo!" the girls exclaimed together.
On the screen, Mojo held up his hands, "Hold on! I come before you in the interests of peace."
Professor Utonium raised an eyebrow skeptically, "What do you mean?"
"You see, I have given the situation a lot of thought," Mojo declared, "and it appears to me that the destruction of the world would not be beneficial for my own goals, as I would not be able to rule the world if it were smashed into pieces. Therefore, I have decided to lend my own scientific knowledge to your efforts."
"I see," the professor said, brightening up a little.
"Professor!" Blossom said, flying over to him, "It's Mojo…are you sure we can trust him?"
"What's not to trust?" the professor answered. "If he can help us save the Earth, I don't see why we shouldn't let him."
"I guess you're right…" She turned to look at the screen, "What's your plan?"
Mojo stepped to one side on the screen, revealing a large apparatus in the observatory behind him. "I have just completed modifications to the telescope, converting it into a very powerful laser. All I need is access to a large enough power supply, and I will be able to fire it upon the asteroid, thereby destroying it and preventing it's imminent collision with us."
The other scientists looked at the professor for his response. He nodded and said, "Okay, we'll do it." He turned to some of the other scientists and said, "Transfer the power immediately."
They hurried off to various computer stations and telephones to relay the message. Within minutes, Mojo's apparatus on the screen powered up to its maximum level. Mojo bowed to them and said, "I thank you for your help…now, cross your fingers, for this will require more than the usual amount of luck…"
Stepping over to the apparatus, he started working the controls, and the view shifted to an external camera. The telescope raised into position, aiming at the asteroid. A soft purple aura of energy built up around the entire observatory, and an even brighter violet beam blasted forth from it, shooting off into the sky. Everyone watched the monitor hopefully.
At the distance, it took a minute for the beam to reach the asteroid. They watched as a bright white flash surrounded it as it impacted. Everyone let up a giant cheer. Bubbles shouted, "It worked! It worked!"
"Yeah! Mojo did something good for once!" Buttercup added, also overjoyed.
They all watched the monitor, as the white explosion faded out. Slowly, all of their smiles melted away, as they saw the impossible…the asteroid was still there, and besides a small scorch mark from the laser's impact, it looked more or less undamaged.
"But…but it was a direct hit…" Blossom whispered.
The screen shifted back to the inside of the observatory. Mojo was there, and he looked distressed. "This cannot be!" he exclaimed. "A beam of that power would likely have destroyed the moon! I miscalculated…I underestimated the asteroid's density…" He hung his head, closing his eyes. "Mojo has failed…"
After a few seconds of complete silence, Mojo's image disappeared from the screen as the transmission was cut. Bubbles broke the silence, "No…what are we gonna do…?"
The professor was thinking furiously, and said, "There's still one more option left…" The other scientists leaned forward to hear what he had to say. "If we could gather up all the nuclear warheads we could get our hands on, and fly them up to the planet, placing them at strategic points, perhaps we can detonate it completely. But we have to hurry…there's not much time left."
"We're on it!" Blossom said quickly. "C'mon, girls! We need to get our spacesuits from back home. Everyone else, start gathering those warheads! We'll be back as soon as possible to deliver them…now, let's go!"
The girls flew out of the room, while the other scientists scrambled to phones or wherever they could to get the message out. Meanwhile, in the sky, the asteroid loomed ever closer…if they were going to pull this off, it would have to be at the last second…
* * *
Between the three of them, the girls towed the huge cargo unit into space. Packed into it were all of the nuclear warheads they could find. Even pulling this weight behind them, it took them only a minute to reach the asteroid, which was now far too close to the Earth for comfort.
"Okay," Blossom said through the suit radio. "Let's split up. Start putting these things wherever you can, about a hundred miles apart from each other. We want to cover as much of the surface as possible, got it?"
"Right!" Bubbles and Buttercup said together. They split the cargo unit off into three segments and each of them began off in different directions. They knew that down below, on the ground, everyone was watching and waiting…this was truly their last hope, and they were running out of time.
In flashes of pink, blue, and green, the three zipped across the surface of the asteroid, planting the warheads as they went. It was time-consuming, but eventually they were all in position. They finished up the last few, and flew off to one side, to a safe distance. From their side position, they watched both the asteroid and the Earth, the distance between them closing rapidly. There was maybe a little more than a minute left.
Buttercup shouted, "We're all clear! It's now or never, Bloss!"
"Okay…here it goes!" She raised the detonation device and, biting her lip, punched the button. In a dazzling flash of blinding white light, the explosions were set off all across its surface. Large pieces of rock were blasted clear from the asteroid, and a huge cloud of debris flew outwards from it.
As the light was fading, the girls strained to see. Bubbles asked anxiously, "Did it work?!"
They all watched. The debris scattered, the light from the explosions had almost completely faded out…and they could finally see it clearly. Although slightly smaller from the enormous chunks that were blasted from it, the asteroid was still there.
All three of the girls watched in horror as it approached the Earth. The gravitational forces between the two began visibly lifting objects into the air between them. In a single voice, the three of them screamed out together, "NOOOO!!!!" but they could do nothing else except watch helplessly. The asteroid collided with the planet, and in a devastating, yet painfully slow display, the two celestial objects obliterated one another. When it was all done, nothing remained of the Earth except for a few large chunks of rock, spinning endlessly through the darkness of space, leaving the girls all alone, the only survivors…
TO BE CONTINUED…