Disclaimer: All characters and ideas of P&F are owned by Dan, Jeff, and Disney.
Chapter 6 - Answering the Call
The center of the city was surprisingly calm, given that the robots seemed to have overtaken every other part of it. Perhaps this was because Phineas was able to guide them down side streets and alleyways. Of course, the treehouse robots had a much more difficult time of being incognito (with them being almost the size of the buildings they were hiding and all), but the gang made it to the gathering without a hitch.
Phineas only hoped that the rest of the guys would make it there OK. Whatever ones were coming, anyway.
"How many people were you expecting to show up, Phineas?" Candace asked. Her robot was kneeled on the ground, its face confusing the one of Rover, who was whining at it.
"I don't know, Candace. To be quite honest, I wasn't sure that anyone was going to. This is dangerous, after all."
"Don't worry, Phineas," Isabella replied, hovering over her neighbor's shoulder. "I'm sure they'll be here soon. We didn't have any people decline, remember? You saw that on your panel."
He sighed, checking his watch again. "I'm going to give them a couple more minutes, and then we're going to go ourselves, OK?"
"No need, Phineas."
He paused. Apparently he had forgotten to turn off his radio frequency. The tone of the voice answering him was a surprise. "Albert? Is that you?"
"You got it, twerp. Me and Jenny are here right now. And we got a few people who want to say hi."
Phineas started to answer back, but before he could, the ground began to rumble underneath Rover's feet, vibrating up to him.
"Holy guacamole!" Stacy exclaimed, getting her treehouse robot standing again. "Are those robots coming now?"
"Those aren't the robots."
Phineas turned on the spot, peering down the street. "...Those are our guys."
Over the horizon, the rest of the group saw a giant mass coming toward them. But it most certainly was not the robots. It was their friends and the inventions. Machinations of all shapes and sizes, being piloted by people who they instantly recognized.
Jenny and Albert pulled up next to Candace and Stacy, the former yelling her praise to her long-haired friend.
Django landed down next to Ferb, who gave him a thumbs-up.
The Fireside Girls flew up to them in their contraptions, met by a jubilant Isabella.
Countless other Big Ideas accompanied by his closest friends and confidants filed around them.
It was everyone. Everyone. He had sent out all of the inventions in the lair...and not a single person failed to show.
"I...don't even know what to say, guys," Phineas said, wiping the oncoming tears from his eyes. "Thank you. Thank you for coming."
"Come on, Phineas, you didn't think we were going to miss this, would you? We're here to kick some robot butt!" Django yelled from the robotic shark. The other kids started yelling their consents as well, all molding into one giant cheer for him.
Phineas shook the tears off of his cheeks. This was more than anything he could've imagined. It was a testament to what great friends he had...but he need to focus. Now that everyone was there, it was time to put the plan into action.
"All right, guys, we're going to get to the robots in a moment, but first we need to find Perry."
A wave of confusion went through the crowd, highlighted by Holly's look of utter bewilderment. "Wait, what?" Holly asked from her sleigh. "What does Perry have to do with this?"
"Perry has everything to do with this," Isabella said, flying over to her. "When we find him, it will be that much easier to commence with the robots."
"Exactly," Phineas affirmed. "Anyone who spots Perry is to immediately call in with the radios that are in the inventions. Then press the large red button in your vehicle. It will send out a homing signal that will let us go to your location. And then," he finished, "We'll focus on the robots."
The crowd nodded, taking in his instructions.
"We need to split up, if only for now. We can cover more ground that way." He looked at the gang of inventions there, a sudden thought coming in his mind. "Although I haven't exactly figured out how we're going to delegate who goes where."
"Oh my goodness," Candace yelled. "Really, Phineas? Here, I'll delegate."
Ignoring her brother, she pointed her treehouse arm to a group of kids. "You twerps, take the north part. Try to stay out of sight until we find Perry, OK? Now go."
The kids were hesitant in taking orders from her, but a stern look from Isabella changed their minds quickly. "You heard her, guys! Go!"
As they headed out, Candace focused her gaze at the next group. "You guys! Go east of here. There's a lot of back alleys over in that part; make sure to check them all."
They nodded firmly, not questioning her at all.
As she continued to bark out orders to everyone, Phineas' mind once again trailed back to the Alternate Dimension Candace, the one that supposedly was nothing like his sister. Looking up at her as she pointed in every direction, he thought that maybe, just maybe...they weren't so different after all.
"Jenny, can you take Lover-Boy and check near the stadium? You two should be able to scan that out no problem."
"Yes, ma'am!" Jenny saluted. "C'mon, Albert. We got work to do."
"Did you hear that?" he said as they drove away. "She called me 'Lover-Boy'."
"...I also heard the bucket of sarcasm in her voice, too."
As the two went off, that just left the original group to disperse. Phineas turned toward his neighbor, who was now alongside her troop. "Isabella, you take the girls and be our eyes and ears. If anyone's going to be able to see Perry first, it'll be you guys. Just try to avoid the robots, OK?"
"You got it, Phineas!" Isabella saluted. She wheeled around to face her friends. "You heard him, girls. Let's get a move on!"
"Aye aye, Chief!" the group answered as they began to set off toward the denser part of town.
Phineas began to watch her fly off. A sudden dreary feeling came over him, and before he could stop, he found himself yelling after her.
She stopped in mid-air and rotated her ride back toward the redhead. "Yes, Phineas?"
He wasn't sure why he was about to say what was in his mind. It had only bubbled up the moment that she had began to leave.
If Phineas had not been preoccupied with his thoughts, he surely would have seen the blush resonating on Isabella's cheeks. She shifted slightly in her seat, gripping the reins with determination. "Don't worry, Phineas. I will." With a slight tinge to her cheeks, she was off, leading her troop out west.
He watched her disappear around the far corner of a building, then noticed Candace's face sporting an ear-to-ear grin. "What?"
His sister rolled her eyes, clearly amused about something beyond Phineas' comprehension. "Oh...no reason."
Deciding against any sort of interrogation, Phineas looked at Baljeet and Buford. "You two stay together and check around the arcades. That's the last place that I can think of that he could be at."
"You got it, dude!" Baljeet shouted. "Let's go, Nerd! I got some stompin' to do!"
"You do realize, Buford, that you are merely a bottom, while Irving and I are a complete person?"
"Yeah, but you only need the butt!"
Baljeet paused. "...I am not going to comment on that."
As the two rolled out, Phineas fiddled with the settings on his radio. This was the part that was going to be difficult. Something that he knew he had to do the moment they had left the safety of the lair.
"Candace, Stacy, I need you guys to go from building to building up top and get an overlay of the city. You guys have the best inventions for that."
"What?" Candace was definitely angry now. "I thought we were staying with you guys!"
"Candace, I need you up there. You'll still be able to keep an eye on us. It's probably better this way, anyway."
"Come on, girl, your brother's got a point," Stacy interjected. "You'll be able to see everyone from above, including him."
Candace sighed loudly. She knew that Phineas was right once again; there was no point in arguing this time. She turned to Jeremy, who silently nodded.
"All right, let's go, Stace." She began to climb the nearest skyscraper, Stacy's treehouse robot at her heels.
"OK, Ferb, we got a platypus to find," Phineas said. "We should get-"
The pair of kids looked up to see Candace's robot pausing a quarter of the way up the building, pointing a long wooden arm at her sibling.
"YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR BROTHER, OK?"
Ferb gave her a thumbs-up as she continued up to the top of the building, where she jumped to the next one with ease, Stacy right behind. A few bounds later, she was out of sight.
"All right," Phineas sighed, steadying himself on the back of Rover. "Let's do this." He double-stomped on to the mechanical dog, and it leaped forward down the street, Ferb closely in two.
He knew that Perry was going to be near the center of action, so it made sense for them to try to find him in proximity to Dr. D's building. Surely it wouldn't be that hard to get there, right?
...OK, it was going to be that hard.
Only about ten minutes had passed, but the amount of activity that had been going on had skyrocketed. The plan of keeping low and trying to locate Perry in secret was pretty much shot; most of the kids and teenagers had been spotted by the robots and were now trying to elude them. Buford himself had taken out about a dozen robots himself; Phineas heard his whoops of celebration loud and clear through the walkie.
"Yeah, this was a great plan, Phineas," Candace yelled through the radio. "How exactly were we suppose to keep this quiet again?"
"We got to the center of the city undetected, didn't we?" he shouted back.
"Yes, but that was just us, Phineas. They're going to figure out that a ton of people are going around the city when they aren't suppose to."
Phineas did not respond. Hearing the grunts and screams from some of his friends over the radio was already tough enough to hear; he didn't need Candace reminding him that they were in serious danger.
"And on another point, I—AAAHHH!"
"Candace!" he screamed throught the radio. He didn't need this, not now. He didn't want to think about what had happened to her just then.
He could hear a cough from the background, and the voice of Jeremy on the other end. "She's fine, Phineas. We just had a bunch of robots blindside us into a building; luckily, a bunch of tires wrapped around us and cushioned the blow."
Phineas was relieved to hear that, although the words that Candace was using now would surely ensure a few more dollars into the family cursing jar.
"That is it!" Candace's shrill voice came roaring back into his ear. "Those robots are so-"
"...Sis, is everything all right?"
"I see him!"
"What?" He brought Rover to a halt, Ferb's bulls trampling a stray automaton behind him. "Where?"
"A few blocks ahead of you, Phineas," Jeremy replied, Candace yelling in the background again. "We saw him duck onto Amber Street. You look like you're the closest one to him. We would go grab him, but we're a little preoccupied at the moment."
"All right, thanks." Phineas clipped his walkie to his belt, then turned to his brother. "C'mon, Ferb, let's go." The two brothers rode down the main street, Phineas counting the roads until Amber Street.
"Bro, see if you can't cut him off. He doesn't know that we're coming for him; we may be able to get him before any robots do."
Ferb nodded, steering his bull and the rest of the pack down the next side street, leaving Phineas alone.
The redhead turned onto Amber, expecting to see Perry on the other side of the building. He did...
But he wasn't alone.
A very large amount of robots were around what appeared to be a group of animals, corraled together by the robot-made circle. Phineas could only guess that they were also agents just like Perry was. Speaking of the platypus, he was hopping from one mech to another in an attempt to confuse them into destroying each other. He was doing a very good job, but he could see that it would be a moot point if he didn't do something.
"Candace," Phineas said, stopping Rover and grabbing his walkie, "I see him. But he has company. And not the good kind either."
"Let us get there, Phineas. We can be there in about-"
"There's not enough time, Sis. I'm going to have to go in."
"Phineas!" Candace was livid now. "Do not do anything stupid!"
"Yeah, well," Phineas replied, "It's a little too late for that." Before she could respond, he clicked off the walkie, his anger rising up. Without a second thought, he stomped the large red button on Rover, sending out the homing signal to the rest of his friends.
He flipped open a compartment on the top of Rover, depositing the radio inside. He pulled out the one thing he actually considered a "weapon": the remote-controlled baseball launcher he had built earlier in the summer.
Phineas took one last glance upward, realizing that Dr. D's building was in clear sight. The portal was still as big as ever, and the robots coming through were just as large as before. The emotions that he had suppressed during the entire operation were now threatening to boil over.
He didn't blame Dr. D. At least, not their Dr. D. The Alternate Dimension one was someone that needed to be taken down. There was no way he would let that man take everything from him.
"You think you can just come here and take over the city?" he said to himself, wishing that the evil man could hear him. "Well, you're mistaken. I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure you get taken down. You messed with the wrong city..."
He brought the launcher up, cocking it back.
"You messed with the wrong people..."
He peered down the sights, aiming for the head of the mech currently pinning Perry to the wall.
"...And you messed with the wrong platypus."
And he fired.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Holy cow, you have no idea how happy I am that this story is finished.
This entire story is a shining example of what happens when you don't plan ahead. I originally brought this story out when I thought that I could pump it out as fast as one of my one-shots.
Yeah...trying to write a 4-6 chapter story in the span that I usually took to write one chapter? Bad idea.
And I have to tell you the truth. I understandably lost interest in this story. As more time passed from the airing of Across the Second Dimension, the more I didn't feel like writing it. Other, better ideas came into my head, and this was put on the back burner.
I am glad that I am finally done with this. Thank you to everyone who's read it, thank you to everyone who's reviewed, and thank you to everyone who has waited patiently for this story to be updated. I'm sorry you had to wait so long. Trust me, I will make sure that I will not let this happen again.
Read and review, if you like. Until next time.