Sportacus was doing his morning work-out in his airship, when he suddenly received a letter.
Curiously, he flipped to the tube, and caught the message, as it was catapulted out.
The letter was from the Mayor.
"Dear Sportacus," it said, "something terrible has happened. Stephanie has been kidnapped. They sent me an e-mail this morning. Sportacus, they want you. Please, help Stephanie."
Angrily, Sportacus crumbled the sheet of paper, and threw it into his dustbin. Fear and shock washed over his body.
Why would somebody take Stephanie?
Was she hurt?
Why hadn't his crystal warned him?
Where was she?
His heart began to race, as he jumped into the pilot seat, and flew his airship to Lazytown as fast as he could.
"Mayor, what's the matter?" Sportacus asked, as soon as his feet touched the ground.
The Mayor was standing outside his house; his face was pale, and he was sweating.
"Sportacus, I'm so glad you are here", he said.
"They took Stephanie, when she was on her way home. They want money. I have it here." He held up a bag that was filled with banknotes. "That's the note they sent."
After Sportacus had taken a look at the money, he grabbed the sheet of paper. It was a printed out e-mail.
"To: Mayer Meanswell," Sportacus read, "we have something that belongs to you. If you want your niece back, place 10000 Dollars into a plastic bag. Sportacus must deliver the money. If he doesn't show up, something terrible will happen.
No police. No tricks. Sportacus has to come alone.
The Old Freight Depot
Steam Road 1
Sportacus was trembling with anger. Stephanie was his best friend. She would never hurt someone. She always was nice to other people.
The Mayor cleared his throat. "Here's the money, Sportacus. Please, bring Stephanie back." He sounded desperate. "If anything happens to her, I would never forgive myself."
Sportacus took the money bag. His heart was beating so fast, it hurt. He couldn't understand, why somebody would kidnap Stephanie.
The Mayor wasn't a rich man. Why did they take all of his money? The world was a mean place, and although he tried to make it better, he couldn't change most people.
"Don't worry, Mayor. I won't leave without Stephanie," Sportacus said, and tried to smile at him.
Then he flipped back to his airship, climbed up, and took off.
He didn't have to fly far. Busy City was right next to LazyTown. The abandoned freight depot was outside the city. He just followed the rusty tracks.
Sportacus saw some waggons, which were decorated with colourful graffiti. Garbage was scattered everywhere.
Sportacus grabbed the bag, and climbed down.
As soon as he had reached the station building, he was surrounded by some evil-looking guys. They had guns pointed at him.
"Sportacus, I assume," said a voice. Sportacus spun round. A man, who was wearing a fine black suit, approached him. He had one arm wrapped around Stephanie's throat, and dragged her with him.
"Stephanie," Sportacus shouted, "are you all right?"
The pink girl nodded. She was pale, and Sportacus could see that she had been crying.
"You brought the money?" The man asked. His eyes sparkled with some weird fascination and joy. His lips twitched. It was, as if he really enjoyed all this.
"Of course," Sportacus said. "Now let Stephanie go."
"Oh, I don't think so." The man snickered. "You know, Sportacus, the girl and the money only were a excuse to lure you here."
Sportacus' eyes widened. He clenched his hands into tight fists.
"What do you want?"
"You! Seize him."
The men that surrounded him, leaped towards him, but Sportacus jumped high in the air, and landed behind them.
"Wait. What do you want from me? If you're in trouble, I help you. You don't have to kidnap children."
"I doubt that you would have come here voluntarily. If you do that flipping thing again, I hurt your little friend," said the man. His voice was cold as ice.
Shocked, Sportacus took a step forward. "Do not touch her! I come with you."
"No!" Stephanie screamed. "Don't do it, Sportacus."
But it was too late.
Sportacus was grabbed; his hands painfully twisted behind his back. He was handcuffed, and led to the open door of the station building.
The man and Stephanie followed them.
They brought him into a large room, which looked like a doctor's office. After they had entered, the door banged shut, and another man appeared out of nowhere. He was indeed wearing a white coat.
"Is this him?" He asked curiously.
The man pushed Stephanie away. She hurried to Sportacus, and pressed herself against his leg.
Scowling at her, the man nodded. "Yes. And we have to be careful, he doesn't seem to be fond of us."
Sportacus glared at him. "You kidnapped Stephanie, you tied me up, and forced me into this room. Of course, I'm not happy."
The man grinned. "I guess we can learn a lot from him."
"Don't worry," said the doctor. "I have prepared everything."
"What are you doing?" Stephanie wanted to know. She hadn't left his side.
Smiling, the doctor bent down to her. "We want to examine your friend, and find out, why he can do all the cool stuff."
Resentfully, Stephanie crossed her arms before the chest. "Because he is a superhero," she explained.
The man snorted. "Right. Well, I don't think so. Therefore, we will run some tests."
Sportacus tried to free himself, but the handcuffs were too tight. "I don't want to be tested. I am here to help people, especially kids. Let go off me!"
"We will, after we have examined you. Doctor, are you sure this will work?" The man looked at the doctor, who had walked back to his table.
"I don't know, but we'll find out pretty soon." He picked up a small box, and approached Sportacus. When he lifted the lid, Sportacus could already smell what was inside it. Candy. Pure sugar.
Immediately, he took a step back.
"Eat it," The man ordered.
"I'm not hungry," Sportacus replied.
"You will eat it, or I will hurt that little girl of yours." The man grasped Stephanie, and pulled her closer.
The pink girl started to struggle. "He will not eat candy. He doesn't like it," she sobbed.
Slowly, the doctor took out one of the toffee pieces, and held it close to Sportacus' mouth.
"Just a little piece of candy. Come one, Sportacus...it won't hurt you, will it?" The man laughed.
Sportacus began to sweat. He squirmed lightly. His face was as white as a sheet.
"You are afraid," the man stated. "You are really afraid."
Carefully, Sportacus glanced at the man. They seemed to know what sugar did to him. He hadn't seen any sportscandy. If he had a meltdown, he wouldn't be able to help Stephanie.
But he couldn't let them hurt her. Maybe this toffee wouldn't take his entire strength away.
The man grew impatient. He dug his fingers harder into Stephanie's shoulder, causing her to wince with pain.
"Now eat it," he repeated.
Looking at Stephanie, who shook her head, Sportacus opened his mouth. The doctor shoved the toffee in.
Sportacus nearly gagged, as he could taste the sweet sugar. Obediently, he began to chew.
"Good boy," the man said triumphantly.
At first, Sportacus thought, the candy wouldn't affect him, but then he started to feel dizzy. He swayed, his vision blurred, and because he couldn't steady himself with his bound hands, he crumbled to the floor in a heap.
Stephanie let out a terrified shriek, but Sportacus couldn't get up anymore.
The last thing he heard, before he tumbled into unconsciousness, was the man saying: "Robbie Rotten was right."
Then he knew no more.