PnF: Stolen Identity
*Total Number of Chapters: 9*
*One Chapter Posted Per Day*
It must be built.
I have told you before, nothing can build it. It's impossible.
Ah, but there is one who can… Phineas Flynn. His capabilities are renowned throughout the earth. Use his skills to see it built.
He must do it, and you must ensure that he does. Use the trust of the ones closest to him. Bend it. Manipulate it. Abuse it. Infiltrate his life through the one person he relies on the most. Ferb Fletcher.
Phineas had his nose pressed up against a side window as the subway sped beneath New York City. The three teenagers and their parents were patiently waiting on the booth seats as the blur of the tunnel wall flashed by, alternating between darkening the cabin and occasionally passing tunnel lights across the walls.
"What are you staring at, anyway?" Candace asked him from over her magazine.
"Nothin," Phineas replied, but his tone implied the opposite. "I'm just pretending like the wall is a big mountainside and we're speeding by on the edge of the cliff…."
"You're weird," Candace interrupted.
But Ferb was sitting lengthwise on the far side of the booth, also looking out the window. "No, I see what he means. See, a mountain would be so close that it would go by so fast that it might even look like a concrete wall…."
Candace turned her music back up. "You're both weird," she commented without interest as she returned to her magazine.
Phineas just hopped back onto the cushioned seat beside Ferb, who sat upright and moved his legs off the seat to make room.
"The week went by so fast!" Phineas said to everyone. "But I had fun. Thanks for taking us along, Mom and Dad!"
"It was our pleasure," their dad replied. "It's been a while since we had a good family vacation, and this worked out wonderfully around our business trip."
"But it'll be good to get home," said Phineas, before a voice over the loudspeaker called out their next stop.
"Here's our connection," their mom responded. "Boys, grab your bags. Candace, turn off that player and help me with the backpacks."
The train pulled slowly into the station, and as the doors slid open, the busy city-goers shuffled their way out. Phineas and Ferb were the first to push past them, followed by the rest of the family.
"So, which is the next one?" asked their father as they all grouped together to look around at the layout of the old station.
Phineas pulled out the subway map. "To get to our hotel… it looks like the yellow line goes right past it. That's umm… right over there!" He lowered the map and pointed at the other side of the platform. There, a raised yellow sign was labeled with the subway's line numbers.
"Alright everyone, looks like we have about fifteen minutes," announced their dad. "Last chance for bathroom breaks."
Ferb pulled off his travel bag and passed it by the strap towards Phineas. "Yeah, I have to go. Phineas, can you hold my bag for me for a sec?"
"Sure," he replied, taking it from him. "Just be back before the train leaves! We wouldn't want you to miss it."
"Hah, nope that wouldn't be good," Ferb said as he ran off towards the bathroom.
It took Ferb a couple of minutes to actually find where it was. In the busyness of the underground station, the little barely-marked grey door evaded his eye for quite some time. When Ferb finally did find it, he discovered that the public restroom was far from well kempt, and he intended to remain inside for as short as possible, eager to leave.
After running his hands under the warm water, Ferb grabbed a towel, wiped his fingers, and reached for the door. He turned the handle and pushed, but when it had moved only a quarter inch it stopped with a thud.
Ferb pushed on it harder, and it moved another inch. A second shove, and Ferb realized that it must have been hitting something that was blocking it from the other side. He put both hands on the surface and eased it open until there was about a six-inch gap, when Ferb could press his chest up against it and squeeze out.
Stumbling out of the small space, Ferb turned around in the crowded platform to look at the back of the door. There he saw a large plastic crate, filled with various shapes of metal, that was sitting at the door's base. It was skewed at an angle from Ferb's attempts to push it out of the way.
"Who puts a box of plumbing parts in front of a bathroom door?" Ferb wondered aloud, but none of the passersby paid any attention to him. He shrugged it off and headed off towards the yellow line platform.
Phineas and the rest of their family were already settled in on the next train, and Phineas was glancing out the window with anxiety.
"We shouldn't have gotten on, since he's not back yet."
"Relax, Phineas," Candace complained. "These things stay at the station for, like, a whole five minutes before they leave."
"Yeah, but we've been waiting for a while already." Phineas fretted as he kept looking out the window. He then straightened up when he saw a figure turning the corner.
"See, there he is," Candace responded in an 'I-told-you-so' tone.
The doors are closing. Please stand clear of the doors, the electronic female's voice announced over the loudspeaker.
Ferb sped up his walk when he saw the double doors begin to slide shut.
"Make it stop, he's not on yet!" Phineas exclaimed, as he watched Ferb run towards the closing doors. Even Phineas sticking his arm in the thinning gap didn't activate the door's halting sensors. Phineas was forced to withdraw his arm when it threatened to close around him.
The rubber seal of both double doors touched each other and locked right when Ferb collided with it. He placed both hands on the other side of the glass as he stared in at his family, before running his hands along the seal and top of the door for a button of some kind to let him in. Phineas was frantically searching his side as well.
Ferb was forced to jump backwards to the platform when the subway began to roll forward.
Phineas started to look all under the train's seats. "Pull the brake, do something, we're gonna leave him!"
His mom and dad were both searching the ceilings and floor for an abort switch of any kind. "I don't think there is one, honey. It's all automatic!"
Ferb ran alongside the train as it began to slowly pick up speed. Through the loud sound of the station, Phineas could see him mouth, "Wait!" as he raised his hand towards the doors.
Then Ferb pulled back and slowed, coming to a stop at the edge of the platform to watch in defeat as the subway continued on. Phineas pressed his cheek against the window to see the figure of his brother grow smaller and smaller, until the whole station was out of sight.
Phineas leaned back and slumped into the seat. His dad came and sat in the seat next to him.
"Don't worry, Phin," he reassured. "Ferb will find his way back. He will probably call us any second now."
Phineas' eyes widened as he looked down at the bag that was now sitting on his lap. "Oh no," he whispered breathlessly.
"What's 'oh no' mean?" Candace asked as she came to stand in front of him.
Reaching down into the bag, Phineas pulled out a little black electronic device. "I have Ferb's cell phone right here." He held it up for them all to see. "With the rest of his stuff."
Everyone looked back at the direction where they had left the station, as if imagining that they could still see Ferb watching them from the receding platform.
With a little gasp, their mom suggested, "We'll have to get off on the next stop and go back for him."
Phineas had already pulled out the subway map, and was scanning it over with his finger. "There's no connections… We'd have to take three trains back, and that'll take at least an hour…."
His dad was looking at the map from over his shoulder. He nodded in reluctant agreement. "Besides, I don't know if Ferb will stay there. I bet he will try to make it back to the hotel."
But Phineas was shaking his head lightly as he folded up the paper. "I've been the one with the map all day…. I don't think Ferb knows where the hotel is."
"Soooo…" Candace started. "We lost Ferb in a city of over eight million people, we don't know where he's going, and have no way of contacting him?"
Phineas let out a huge sigh. "Pretty much."
His mom hugged him on the back. "Don't be sad Phineas. Ferb is smart, he'll find some way to call us."
Ferb had stayed standing on the platform for a while, looking into the dark tunnel where the last subway had disappeared. As soon as reality settled on him, he reached into his pocket intent on calling Phineas.
"Ah, shoot," he exhaled when he realized that his pocket was empty. Anxiety approached him when he looked around at the unfamiliar faces of the work traffic, coming to the unsettling conclusion that he was indeed stranded alone in New York.
First, he thought of taking the next train and meeting up with them at the next stop. However, looking at the sign above him he noticed that the next subway was a green line, and the nearest yellow was not arriving for another twenty minutes.
Running over to the closest posted subway directory, Ferb followed the map of the yellow line with his finger. He saw that it curved and looped quite a bit in the region near this station, and there appeared to be another stop within reasonable running distance.
Knowing he would have to be quick to beat the train, Ferb turned without hesitation to run up the stairs and onto ground level. It took him only a few minutes to cover the distance, and his strangely-hurried sprint did turn some heads as he ran down the New York sidewalks. He came to the marked underground station and nearly stumbled down the stairs as he fought to race to the subway level. As he stopped, he began to look around at the well-labeled platforms.
Suddenly he felt his shirt grabbed as he was pressed up against the wall by the elbows of another teenager. Ferb stared in surprise at his attacker, who was now eyeing him with a scrutinizing gaze. Ferb began to mouth words but found that he was speechless, when the teenager pressed him further against the concrete wall.
"You… you…" Ferb began to say, paralyzed with bewilderment. "…You're me!"
The assaulter just pushed his green hair out of his face, narrowing his scowl and tightening his grip on Ferb's shirt. He then dragged Ferb to a grey door that had been propped open by a mop stick, and kicked it out of the way.
"Shush and GET IN," he said as he shoved Ferb into the darkness, releasing his grip with the flick of his wrist. Ferb tumbled downwards and crashed into a mop bucket and several brooms. He sat up and turned around just fast enough to see the door slam shut behind him, leaving no daylight between its cracks.