xXx Chapter One: The Book of Sins and Virtues xXx
xXx Blossom xXx
In her signature pink and black dress, Blossom walked briskly down one of the many sidewalks of Townsville. Her waist length red hair, still tied in the over sized bow which doubled as a weapon, flowed with the wind. Her large pink eyes carefully scanned the city, looking for any sign of trouble, but all seemed calm for the moment. The summer sun shinned brightly in the cloud splattered sky. The numerous buildings composing the city cast long shadows, which served as a safe haven from the sun's harsh rays. She walked in those shadows, like most of the other people, but her reasons were quite different from there's. Flying was quicker, but it always attracted too much attention; it made the citizens think the town was under attack.
Townsville itself hadn't changed much in the passing years. The Powerpuff Girls still had the love and trust of the citizens, with the exception of a few. The Mayor and Ms. Bellum still called on them regularly to save the town. Even though they always won the fight in the end, the cities' structures would feel the effects of the battle. While it was true the city took regular damage, everything was always built back to its former glory. As her marry jane shoes clicked down the sidewalk, all the apartments, cooperate buildings, and family owned stores looked completely normal and undamaged. It appeared as if the town was never distressed by the occasional explosion or short-lived rampage. To any tourist, it would seem that way. However, the exact opposite was true.
Despite the Powerpuff Girls vigilant resolve to defend the town and its people, the villains and criminals never gave up or backed down. Their persistence to either take control or destroy the town had not faltered with the passage of time. The most annoying of their foes was still Mojo Jojo. The dark furred monkey, with his wrinkled and angry face, still had the fortitude to cause problems for the pink Powerpuff and her sisters. For whatever reason, the old monkey didn't understand his robots and energy guns did no damage to them. However, he would always come at them with the firm belief he was going to win—even as he blew up with his weapon of choice.
She beamed happily as she reached her destination; The Townsville Library. As she pushed back the large glass door, the librarians greeted her with smiles. Every librarian knew her by name, which came as no surprise to her sisters. The library itself was vast; it had an area that held the front desks and computers, and behind that was the larger area holding the bookshelves. The entire structure was dimly lit, but individual desks held lamps for better lighting. Instead of traveling back to the bookshelves, she approached the front desk and pulled out her library card.
"Hello, Emma. Do you have the books ready for me?" She eyed a stack of books placed beside Emma.
The young woman gathered up the books and pushed them over to her while taking Blossom's card. "All the newest books for this week. Do you want a bag for them?"
Blossom ran her hand along the books and counted ten. "Sure, I—
Her cellphone suddenly went off, but it was the same sound that came from the hotline phone. "What is it, Mayor?" Was her question when she accepted the call.
She listened in silence as the Mayor told her about the current attack on Townsville. Once again, it was Mojo Jojo. She gave a disappointed sighed and grabbed her books, which Emma had just bagged. After giving the librarian a nod of thanks, she kicked off from the ground and flew back out the door. A pink, glittering trail of light followed her as she flew deeper into the city, and it wasn't long before she heard the explosions of Mojo's attack.
xXx Bubbles xXx
The blonde haired Powerpuff flew along the side of a red beam, but she did not stay there long. She pulled ahead of it and jerked its unwitting target out of the way. The deadly beam plowed harmlessly into the pavement of the street. Upon being released, the frightened citizen quickly scampered away. She sidestepped as another beam came her way; it added another pothole to her right. Her eyes went back to Mojo, who had mechanical limbs attached to his arms. They were huge masses of overweight steel. It was a wonder how the monkey could lift them. The metal arms were firing off more red beams, but they were not pointed at her. Buttercup zoomed around Mojo in wide circles, laughing at his expense as she did so.
The green Powerpuff threw an insult at him. "Geez, Mojo. After all of these years you still don't know how to aim! Would it help if I stood still?"
Bubbles rose into the air, ready to rejoin her sister, when Blossom's voice caught her attention. "It probably wouldn't, Buttercup."
As Blossom flew by, Bubbles took her place beside her, and they quickly dove down to Mojo. Ignoring his repetitive screams of protest, Bubbles grabbed Mojo's left arm and Blossom took hold of the right. Without any verbal cues, both rose from the ground and pulled at the artificial appendages. With a crackling spark, the pair of robotic arms snapped away from Mojo. Both girls tossed them higher in the air and Buttercup delivered a kick that split them in two. Blossom and Buttercup landed back down as Bubbles caught the falling Mojo.
Gracefully, Bubbles touched down with the fuming monkey still in her grips. "Release me this instant! You shall regret this, Powerpuff Girls—
Buttercup cut off what she knew would be a long rant. "Save it, Mojo, we've heard it a thousand times already. Just stay quiet until the police get here, and then you can go back to your cell. I'm sure it still has your name on it and everything."
The pink eyed criminal muttered curses under his breath as the girls giggled. Suddenly, Blossom stopped and looked around frantically. "Where did they…" without any explanation, she wandered away from them.
Bubbles exchanged a look with Buttercup, who simply shrugged. Blossom zigzagged across the street a few times before picking something up, and then she kicked off from the ground and landed elegantly back in front of them. Buttercup raised an eyebrow, Bubbles tilted her head, and Mojo was glaring at the hand gripping his arm.
She peeked inside the bag before addressing them. "I was just at the library, and I sat my books down before joining the fight." She moved the bag up and down. "It seems heavier…"
Buttercup gave her a blank look as the sound of the crying police cars approached. "That's fascinating, Blossom, it really is."
Blossom looked up from her books and frowned. "My books are fascinating."
Bubbles giggled and Mojo groaned, which didn't go unnoticed by Buttercup. "I didn't ask for your input, Monkey!"
A feral growl erupted from his throat. "I said nothing, little girl! And if I wanted to say something about it, I would say something about it!"
"Sorry, but losers don't get to say things like that. Haven't you learned that yet?" She smirked at him, daring him to retaliate.
His eye twitched. "You may have won this time, but it shall be the last! I will be victorious next time! And when I rule all, I will strip you of your powers and lock you away!"
Buttercup lunged forward, grabbed him by the collar of his cape, and shook him violently. "You want to try it? I dare you to try something, monkey. Come on!"
Bubbles released her grip on Mojo and backed away with an exasperated sigh. She glanced at Blossom, who was doing the same thing. For whatever reason, Mojo had a knack for getting under Buttercup's skin. Finally, with Mojo's screams of protest, Blossom dropped her bag and dragged the two apart. Bubbles giggled at seeing how much Buttercup and Mojo looked like bickering siblings. As Blossom hauled Buttercup away, Bubbles returned to Mojo's side and held him in place. However, she did not have to do so very long. The police cars had finally made it to the scene of the fight. The vehicles came to a screeching stop, and the double doors to the nearest one flew open. Two uniformed men emerged from the cabin within and briskly walked up to the girls. An overweight man with a bushy mustache pulled out a pair of handcuffs from behind his back and quickly slapped them Mojo's wrists.
His mouth was invisible underneath the mustache, but his eyes lit up with the signs of a smile. "Thank you, Powerpuff Girls, we'll take it from here."
His eyes turned hard as he looked back down to Mojo. Wordlessly, the fat officer motioned for his smaller partner to take him away. Roughly, Mojo was thrown into the back of the car and then the doors were slammed shut behind him. Even through the thick plating of the vehicle, Mojo's screams of frustration and annoyance could still be heard.
Buttercup shook herself free from Blossom's hold and turned to the policeman. "Hey, see what you can do about keeping him locked up for longer than a day."
His eyes shifted nervously. "Of course, we'll do what we can." The man waddled away and got back into the car.
As the vehicles moved out, Buttercup snorted. "They always say that, but he breaks out in no time at all."
Blossom smoothed out her dress and picked her bag back up. "That may be true, but it's not like we can't handle Mojo."
Bubbles repressed another giggle. "Besides, if he didn't attack the town every other day, you wouldn't have anyone to push around."
A 'humph' was Buttercup's only reply.
Blossom shook her head and then clapped her hands together. "Well, since we're done here, let's go back home. The Professor will have lunch ready soon."
A smile instantly came back to Buttercup's lips. "I'll race you. Loser has to clean the dishes!" Without waiting for a response, she blasted off.
Both girls followed, but Bubbles called out. "Don't overdo it, Buttercup!"
She gave Bubbles an irritated glance. "What is that supposed to mean?"
Blossom entered her lecture mode. "Remember when we time warped? How Him took over the whole world?"
Bubbles nodded. "Yeah, I'd rather not go through that again."
Buttercup's cheeks flushed. "I remember what happened! I'm not going to get carried away, and I wish you would stop bringing it up!" She almost whined the last part.
Blossom pinched the bridge of her nose. "This is the first time we've mentioned it in years."
"Whatever, all I know is that you're going to lose!" As the house came into view, she started to move faster.
Like usual, Buttercup was the first to reach the door, and she was in the middle of her victory dance when Bubbles landed beside her. "I think you need a new dance, Buttercup. That one is getting kind of old."
Buttercup stuck out her tongue at Bubbles as the last sister arrived. "Haha, you lose, Blossom."
As Buttercup pushed the door open, the Professor's voice greeted them from the kitchen. "Hello, girls. Lunch will take a few more minutes."
As all the girls replied with their own greetings, they flew up the steps and into their room. As loudly as she could manage, Buttercup flopped down onto her bed and then stretched out her arms and legs. Bubbles sat on the lower half of the bunk bed she shared with Blossom and placed Octi on her lap. Blossom ventured over to a desk and dragged all of her books out. As she looked at them, a frown tugged at her lips.
Bubbles was the only one to notice. "What's wrong, did you not get the books you wanted?"
Buttercup pulled her head away from the pillow it was buried in. "What a disaster." She said in a dull voice.
Blossom ignored her sarcastic remark. "No, it's not that. I had ten books when I left the library, but now I have eleven."
Buttercup faked a gasp of horror. "Oh no, what is the world coming to?"
She gave her a displeased look. "All of these books are supposed to be new."
Bubbles shrugged. "Aren't they?"
Buttercup then faked enthusiasm. "Yeah, aren't they?"
She took a book from the center of the pile and held it up for Buttercup to see. "Does this look new to you?"
The book she held was bound in brown, cracked leather. The pages stuck out at odd angles, like they hadn't been put in properly. The leather was so damaged it was peeling back in strips. If there had been a tittle for the book, it had been weathered away. There was a lock on the book, but it was rusted and hung open; it dangled from the book's surface haphazardly.
Buttercup made a face. "Gross."
Bubbles shrugged. "It's just a little old."
Buttercup buried her head back into the pillow. "I meant the book in general. "
Blossom shook her head, and after sitting down at the desk, she opened the book to the first page.
xXx Him xXx
He looked down at the same beaten and worn cover of the book Blossom had. The years he spent searching for the book had been tedious, but making a copy of it had been easy. It had been simple enough to ensure the book ended up in her hands. While the girls were fighting with the imprudent monkey, he had slipped it in with Blossom's other books. His claw tapped thoughtfully on the binding; he wanted to initiate his plan as soon as possible. However, he had to allow the smartest of the Powerpuffs to read the book first. It could be done without the book, but that wouldn't be very exciting. The events he had planned would be much more interesting if the girls knew something of what they were doing.
The archaic book, known as "The Book of Sins and Virtues," told of fourteen ancient relics. Seven stone-like objects to represent the Seven Deadly Sins, and seven more for the Seven Virtues. Contained within the stones were the personifications, the living spirits, of each sin or virtue. Individually, each spirit held great power; energy beyond human comprehension. However, when they were brought together, it would give the user ultimate power. The details of the power to be gained were in the back of the book, and he had ripped those away from the copy he had given Blossom. They couldn't know too much.
The reason he needed the girls was simple; he couldn't gather all of the relics himself. Or, more precisely, he could not obtain The Seven Virtues. Since he was a creature that was decidedly un-virtuous, he could not call forth the spirits of righteousness. However, once they were released, he could easily steal them away. After a bit of lying and manipulation, he would have the Powerpuff Girls collecting the virtues for him.
He waved his claw in the air lazily, which revealed the Powerpuff Girls' room. "And I know exactly which Powerpuff to manipulate."
xXx Bubbles xXx
After lunch, Blossom had rushed back up to their room to continue reading her mysterious book. Bubbles sat on the edge of the desk and watched Blossom with interest. Blossom said the book wasn't from the library because it didn't have a card in the back; this made it a curious item. Buttercup, who was listening to music, had as much interest in it as she did before.
After some time, Blossom rose from her slouched position over the book. "It's odd… I've read about a lot of myths and legends, but I've never seen anything like this."
Bubbles tilted her head. "I thought you'd be happy to find something new."
She scratched her head. "It's interesting, but it's just odd. I don't understand how I got it. I called Emma, but she said she only gave me the ten books."
Buttercup pulled off her headphones. "Are you two still talking about that? It's just a book. It isn't going to come to life and start eating people."
Bubbles looked at Buttercup for a moment and then wordlessly turned back to Blossom. "Maybe you should ask the Professor?"
She shook her head. "I've already asked him, and he said he didn't know anything… it would help if I knew what its tittle was, but it's been scratched away from the cover and it's not listed anywhere else in it." Her brows furrowed.
Buttercup ran a hand through her hair and sighed. "If it bothers you so much, then name it yourself."
"I don't want to name it myself. I want to know what its real tittle is."
The green eyed girl groaned. "I wish that thing would turn into a monster and eat me. Or at least you."
Bubbles caught Blossom's attention before she could reply. "Do you think it's dangerous?"
Buttercup hurled a pillow at Bubbles, which she dodged. "It is a book!" She spoke every word with great emphasis.
Blossom slammed the cover shut and gave Buttercup an irritated look. "It may be, but how often have we been able to trust things that just randomly appear?" She glanced at the book. "This could have been sent to us by one of our enemies."
Bubbles eyed the book curiously. "Who would send us a book about a myth?"
Buttercup went to stand by her sisters, no interested in the conversation. "Let's see… we can mark off Fuzzy Lumpkins, the Amoeba Boys, the Gangreen Gang… and Butch, Boomer and Brick. None of them would send a book."
"What about Mojo?" Bubbles asked
Blossom shook her head. "Mythology doesn't seem to be one of his interests, and besides, I don't think he would have had the time to sneak it into my bag."
Everyone was silent for a moment, and then Bubbles spoke. "What about… Him?"
Both girls looked at her in surprise, but it was Blossom who replied first. "I don't think so. Do you realize we haven't seen Him in a year?"
Buttercup nodded her head in agreement. "I think it's been longer than a year. Maybe a few years."
"I know. So, he's due for an appearance, don't you think?"
Vigorously, Buttercup shook her head. "No, I'm happy we haven't seen him, and I don't want it to change."
After a moment of thinking, Blossom sighed. "I agree with you, Buttercup, but we can't dismiss that idea. We're running out of people to choose from."
Suddenly, Buttercup jerked the book out of Blossom's hands and placed it on the table. "If that thing is from Him, then we shouldn't touch it." She gave Blossom a stern look, "Don't read from it anymore, alright?"
She crossed her arms. "I won't… And besides, I've already read through all of it."
"…Of course you have. Just leave it alone."
Bubbles gave the book a wary look. "I agree. Until we know more about it, we should leave it alone."
Blossom sighed in defeat. "All right, I promise, I won't touch it again."
The girls sat in silence around the book, wondering if some event would suddenly be put into motion.