At last it was Kaoru Matsubara's time to be the hero. After the accident at the Utonium Laboratory last year she'd had all those blackouts. She hated how people looked at her, especially her parents. Treating her like she was just a hopeless case, some sickly child. But today she had saved the day. In the final seconds of the match she had scored the winning goal.
She was the only girl on her school's soccer team, but you'd hardly know it from the way she looked with short spiky purple hair and the way she dressed and spoke almost like a boy, especially when she talked about sports.
The after action pizza party had gone on a little longer than planned so it was a little dark out as Kaoru skateboarded up to her house. She frowned as she noticed her house was dark. Surely her family must be home by now? Mom had said that she'd pick Dad up from the airport. Had his flight been delayed? Had something happened? She took out her key and opened the door. Inside she turned on the light and stopped stunned.
Her entire family, Mom, Dad and her two brothers were tied up in the living room. How could this have happened? What kind of crook could beat her Dad, the professional wrestler? She noticed that her family wasn't looking at her, but at something behind her.
She tried to turn, but somebody grabbed her and put a cloth over her mouth. She tried to struggle, but whoever it was had superhuman strength. As she breathed in the vapors from the cloth she noticed that there was something odd about the hand that held it to her face. It wasn't human. She faded out.
When Kaoru awoke she felt a little dizzy so she tried to raise her hand to her head, but she couldn't. She looked down and saw she was clamped down to a metal slab by metal straps on her arms and legs. She glanced to the sides and saw that Momoko Akazutsumi and Miyako Gotokuji, her classmates who had also been in the accident, were strapped down beside her. Looking around she saw they were suspended over some sort of device that a strange figure was working on. "Say what is this?"
The figure looked up at her. It was that mad mutated monkey, Mojo Jojo. He was even more disgusting looking in person than on the news. "Ah Buttercup, so nice of you to join us. I so wanted you to see this before I disposed of you. So that you would see that it was I, Mojo Jojo, who saved the world from the evil that is The Powerpuff Girls."
"Buttercup? You crazy monkey. She may look a little like me, but she flies around in a skirt. I don't do that skirt thing."
"I think you'd look cute in a skirt," Miyako tried to grab Kaoru's hand, but couldn't reach.
"So you three intend to continue your denials until the very end? So be it. Do not worry about your so called families. For you have the word of Mojo Jojo that I shall not harm them. They have suffered enough to put up with horrible monsters in place of their lost daughters. And if you three are not The Powerpuff Girls, then please explain to me why you were wearing their belts?" Mojo pointed at the device he was working on.
Kaoru looked and saw her special belt buckle, and the other girl's also, attached to the device with wires, "Hey give that back." She knew it was important that she always wore it. What was the reason? "That's our epilepsy control belts!" Epilepsy! Kaoru had never been sick a day in her life before she went on the field trip to that lab.
"You cannot fool Mojo Jojo, for I know that without these devices you three are stuck in those forms without your superpowers. The signals from these interesting devices led me right to you three, but the most unusual thing about them is their use of L-Dimension technology. With that I am able to send you three back to where you belong. And so goodbye," Mojo flipped a switch. A strange yet familiar black glow appeared above the device and then the straps holding the girls snapped open and they fell towards it.
"Nooo!" The girls attempted to keep screaming as they entered the L-Dimension, but the geometry would not support it. It wasn't just a vacuum, but a place where the space for molecules of air to exist was poorly defined. They struggled for a few seconds to retain their humanity, then gave up and assumed their true forms.
The entity that had been briefly known as Buttercup, that had eaten the soul of Kaoru Matsubara and taken her place, came to her senses and true mind. She had been known by many names and many designations that could not be truly called names, but the short concise definition she preferred was that she was Green, The Enforcer.
Nearby, to the extent that term had any meaning in the L-Dimension, she sensed that Red, The Devourer, had discarded the form of Momoko/Blossom and that Blue, The Merciless, had discarded the form of Miyako/Bubbles.
Seeing that all was in order, Green led the way. If the L-Dimension, that quantum foam that underlay all the universes, could be said to have a center in space, time, or importance, it was Azathoth. The palace of Nyarlathotep was located just out of reach of the din of Azathoth's strange orchestra. The three landed on one of the balconies of this palace and Green rushed forwards. "Father, forgive me."
The other two kept a small distance, as always amused by Green's devotion yet annoyed by the attention bestowed on her.
"Fear not, for I knew you were not yourself." Nyarlathotep wore the form of the Egyptian the three had called Him. He reached out a hand and patted Green on her equivalent of a head.
"Please, let me make this up to you," She wrapped one of her tentacles around his hand.
"Very well," He ticked her tentacle with his fingers. "Go and destroy humanity's remaining hero in front of them. Let them drink deeply of despair."
"At once, my lord!" Green turned and the other two followed her. They took the quickest and easiest path back to Earth and reappeared a moment after they had left and in the same space.
Once again Green spoke with Kaoru's voice. "Not so fast, Mojo Jojo."
"Impossible!" Mojo looked up at the three.
"I've always wanted to play with a monkey." Blue spoke with Miyako's voice as she wrapped a tentacle around Mojo.
Green gave the equivalent of a shrug, so Blue extended her two other tentacles and reached inside Mojo's body to touch at his heart. It wasn't beating. She had forgotten how fragile these Earth creatures were. In frustration she tossed the corpse aside.
Red grabbed it from midair and ate in one gulp.
"Come, we have a mission." Green flew into the night and the other two followed.
Professor Kitazawa awoke to the sound of his bedroom window opening. He looked up and saw the three bizarre yet familiar forms. He reached into his nightstand and pulled out a revolver, but Green snatched it away before he could point it at his own head.
"Not so fast, Professor Kitazawa." Green examined the gun she held and took a moment to communicate with her sisters. It's a pity that we have to destroy this world.
Do we? Blue asked.
Master will be angry if we don't, Red pointed out.
Let him, Green reassumed the form of Buttercup, teleported the gun back into the drawer, retrieved her disk, made some changes in it. She saw that her sisters had done the same. She turned back to the professor. "We know our true selves now so these things cannot control us, but we'll keep them anyway. When the world needs the Powerpuff Girls call us, but now we must go face Nyarlathotep."
"Nyarlathotep?" The Professor looked down at his empty hand and then back at the three monsters who wore the forms of the girls they had devoured.
"The being we called Him, our former master."
"Can we win?" Bubbles asked.
"Nothing can stop the Powerpuff Girls!" Buttercup replaced the disk in her belt then flew out the window and the other two followed.
They climbed and accelerated and within a few minutes were outside the atmosphere. There was a flash of darkness and they were gone.
Nyarlathotep was not pleased. "Again with this foolishness?" He assumed a form of hundreds of tentacles.
"I guess we're just fools then." Buttercup blasted him with heat vision and climbed away as he reached for her.
Blossom spit out soccer ball sized chunks of ice that Buttercup kicked at Nyarlathotep then used her heat vision to explode just before they hit him.
"You three are planning something. What is it?" Nyarlathotep reached out for Buttercup's mind, but it was filled with a jumble of sport scores. He tried Blossom's mind, but found only memories of the delicious foods of Earth and the men she drooled over. He searched for Bubbles and found her approaching him at the local speed of sound. Her mind was filled with fashion designs and beauty tips, but she was screaming at the top of her lungs. He wrapped his tentacles around himself and rolled with the shockwave. By the time he recovered his senses the girls were gone. "Hit and run all you like little girls, but I know the world you are defending." He reached out with his mind to the coordinates of Earth's Universe.
It wasn't there.
"How very clever of them. Let them have their fun for a while then. It will make it all the sweeter when I bring them to heel."
All over the Earth people of unusual sensibilities stopped for a moment as they felt that something was a little off, then shrugged and went back to their pursuits.
The three girls lay on the grass of a Townsville park and watched the sun rise. Momoko turned her head towards the other two. "Let's not move the world again."
Kaoru crossed her legs. She had the confidence to do so, for unlike the other two, she wore shorts. "It probably wouldn't work a second time anyway."
"I feel bad about Mojo." Miyako sighed.
"Don't worry Bubbles, we can get you another monkey to play with. I bet Blossom is hungry again anyway."
Her two teammates gave Kaoru looks that could have melted lead, if they had been willing to broach her prerogative of heat vision.
She stood, "Speaking of food. Let's all go to our families and have breakfast. I bet they're really worried about us now."
"I don't think Nyarlathotep is our father." Miyako got up and dusted off her skirt. "I think he may have messed with our memories."
"I've had enough of that." Momoko stood. "See you two in school."
And so the three horrible monsters cosplayed happily ever after.
Twenty years after we moved the Universe, I met Bubbles in a cafe. Well she was dressed as Miyako at the time, obviously. Same old Blue. She was sitting there in a frilly yellow dress and waved me over.
I took off my sunglasses (purely for style obviously) and put them in my vest pocket. "What's the news? Did Momoko get a new boyfriend?"
"That wouldn't be news, Ms. Kaoru."
"I guess not. She's gone through so many thrills that it's a wonder she hasn't tried bestiality."
"Technically we're not even mammals."
"Point taken. I surrender." I held up my hands. "So what's the big news?" I picked up the cup of tea she had obviously ordered for me.
"Taka-chan is cheating on me."
I put down the cup. "You don't look so upset."
"He's a good man. He deserves children. That's the one thing I can't offer him."
"Not in any good way. So knowing you, this isn't being left to chance?"
"Of course not. I sneaked in and replaced her birth control pills."
"So how is this going to work, with you, him, her and the baby?"
"I suppose I'd best be hit by a truck or something. I haven't worked out the details yet." She looked up at the cafe's TV, which had cut to a news flash. "Why does that hussy reporter always have to chase after monster stories? Taka-chan has already introduced me as his wife, so could you?"
"Let me see if I have this straight. I've got a picnic with Hitomi on one of her rare days off and you want me to cancel out of that so I can go save your rival from certain doom, just so she can steal your husband away from you?"
"If you would please."
"I'll add it to the tab you owe me, but all this sneaking around, messing with peoples' lives, doesn't it remind you of somebody?"
"I only do it to help people."
"Yeah, I bet Nyarlathotep started out the same way."
Miyako just looked down at the table and said nothing.
There it was. I had used the N-word on her. We both knew that canceled out what she owed me, and I'd be busy the next few years working off this new debt as her errand girl.
I walked out of the cafe, turned a corner, switched outfits and leapt into the sky. I had a monster to go beat up. I didn't want to slow down enough to talk on a phone so I tapped into the cellphone network electronically and told Hitomi I'd gotten called into work. That wasn't a power that Buttercup was supposed to have, but time was pressing.