The Helpless (Act Three)
Disclaimer: Carly is my creation and belongs to me. Vanessa and the other characters of 'Phineas and Ferb' belong to Disney.
With alligators approaching her from all sides, Vanessa had just seconds to free herself from the ropes and avoid certain death. But the more she tried to wiggle her way out of her bonds, the tighter they seemed to get.
Seeing no way out, Vanessa began to accept the inevitable.
"Man. I hope these alligators are allergic to me."
She was half-joking, but she had to do something to get her mind off of her impending doom. Turning to her left, one of the alligators got real ambitious, as he leaped out of the water with his jaws wide open, aiming to take a bite out of Vanessa's head.
Out of pure instinct, Vanessa turned her head and neck in such a way that the alligator's jaws just missed snapping shut on her. Instead, they closed on the pole holding Vanessa up, snapping it in half. The gator's body didn't miss her, though, as one pair of claws sliced at the ropes, while the other took swipes at what was left of the pole. Thanks to all of that, as well as his momentum, the gator pushed Vanessa off of the raft and into the swamp. Vanessa hit the murky water on her right side, meaning her arm took the brunt of the landing.
No longer bound, Vanessa quickly swam for shore, even with what remained of the rope clinging to her clothes weighing her down somewhat. Seeing their prey trying to escape, the other alligators gave chase. Vanessa tried to think, knowing that if even just one of them got a hold of her, she would be swarmed over in seconds, and it would be all over.
Suddenly, her eyes caught sight of a tree branch hanging low over the swamp. She reached for it, knowing that it was her only chance at survival. She grabbed it with her left arm first, and then her right. With all her might, she pulled herself out of the murky swamp, with water dripping off her clothes, as well as several small pieces of rope. The last part of her out was her right foot, and she got it out just in time, too, as one of the gators tried to bite on it. It was another near miss, as the gator's jaw missed her ankle by an inch or two to her left.
But even though Vanessa was out of the water, she was not out of the woods. She started crawling inward towards the tree trunk, aware that the branch could snap under her weight any second. A couple of the gators attempted to jump up out of the water, one at a time, to snatch Vanessa off of the branch. But she kept her one eye on them, dodging any attempts to pull her back in. The others, though, were smart enough to swim for the shore and wait there by the base of the tree, waiting for Vanessa's inevitable jump down.
"Go away!" Vanessa shouted at her pursuers. "I'm NOT lunch!"
She did safely make it to the trunk, and she stood up at the start of the branch, where it was strongest. She was now about five feet off of the ground, too high for the alligators to jump up and get her, as long as she did not let any part of her body dangle beneath the branch she was currently on.
"Now what?" Vanessa asked herself.
Vanessa could not stay up there forever, and the gators were not planning on leaving until they had devoured her. Half of them kept their eyes focused on her, while the other half began to circle the tree, essentially cutting off any possible escape route. Since she was safe, at least for the time being, Vanessa sat down on the branch, being carefully to not rest her full weight on it at any point to avoid an unfortunate fall into the waiting jaws of the predators below. She could catch her breath, as well as contemplate her next move.
"Okay, Vanessa..." she said to herself, aloud, "...you were a secret agent for, what, a week? Surely something in your spy training would be useful right about now."
She thought for a minute. Suddenly, an idea came to mind. One that had nothing to do with her training and everything to do with common sense. She reached down towards her high-heeled boots and started unzipping the left one. She freed her foot from it, and started waving it at the gators, as if it was a piece of meat.
"Hey, boys? You hungry? Well, chew on THIS!"
She flung it down to the ground, hitting one of the gators on the snout, zipper-side first. The target shook it off, feeling very little pain from the hit. With nothing to lose, Vanessa did the same with her other boot. That boot hit a different gator, but only in the tail, bouncing off harmlessly.
"Shoot," Vanessa grumbled, snapping her fingers. "I wanted that one to hit heel first."
Vanessa was out of boots, but thankfully, a different alligator was beginning to do what she wanted. This third gator decided to try and eat the leather boot. Even though it was a little on the tough side, he continued to gnaw at it anyway. Seeing that their friend was eating, two of them scrambled over to the other boot. They fought over that one, with one biting down on the sole and the other at the top, near the zipper. The other three still had their eyes on Vanessa, though, and she knew she had to give up something to them as well.
She unzipped her jacket and pulled it off of her. She looked teary-eyed as she took one last look at it, as if she was about to leave a poor puppy behind at an animal shelter because she could no longer afford to keep feeding it.
"I'd say we had some great times together, jacket, but... I have six more of you at home. So..."
With that, she tossed her jacket to the ground. The three remaining alligators fought over it, each grabbing a different part before holding on for dear life, hoping to wrestle it free from the grasp of his friends. With all six gators distracted, Vanessa found an open spot on the ground and jumped down from the tree. Once down, she followed the marshy shoreline all the way back to the road.
Finally out of danger, Vanessa stopped once more to really figure out her next move. Carly was gone, as were the Cubans she assumed were the ones who jumped them.
"Okay, they took Carly," she thought aloud. "She's alive, for the moment. But for how long?"
She quickly assessed the situation. She was in the middle of nowhere, dressed in nothing but a white T-shirt and black pants, both of which were still dripping wet, and Carly's pink Cadillac convertible sat parked on the shoulder.
"Wait..." Vanessa said, snapping to attention.
Vanessa calmly walked over to the driver's side door of the car. She crossed her fingers on her right hand as her left hand reached for the handle. She slowly pulled on the latch...
...and the door opened. Vanessa smiled.
"I knew it! That's so Carly!"
She sat down, and luck was on her side even more, as Carly had absentmindedly left the keys in the ignition.
"I guess having a friend with no brains IS a good thing!"
Vanessa now had a way out of the swamp. But she could not take on the Cuban mob by herself. She would need help.
"Hmmm... if I know Carly..."
She had another idea as she reached over for the glove compartment. Unfortunately, upon opening it, she found it to be empty. Vanessa sighed in disappointment, allowing her left hand to drop to her side, right next to the latch that would open the trunk. She decided to open it anyway, not expecting to find anything useful in there.
But when she reached the back, she was pleasantly surprised with what was in there.
"I'll never admit this to you, Carly, but... you rock!"
She reached in and pulled a few things out. A few minutes later, after finding a change of clothes among the items in the trunk, Vanessa turned the key in the ignition, allowing the convertible to roar to life.
And with that, she was off to rescue Carly.
Agent P had arrived at the hotel, and he got into the meeting hall just in time to see Doofenshmirtz walk back out on stage. He was hoping to quell the raucous crowd, who was threatening to leave if Vanessa did not come out to take over his presentation.
"Okay," he started to explain, "so here's the deal. I tried to call Vanessa, but we kinda had this argument this morning after I dragged her here against her will, so she's doing the typical 'ignore Dad' thing teenagers do, and..."
"Enough stalling!" someone in the audience shouted. "You promised she'd come!"
"No, I didn't! I never said that!"
"That's it!" exclaimed someone else. "I'm leaving!"
"Me too!" added a third.
Many of the would-be evildoers in the audience began to get up from their seats to head for the exit. But Doofenshmirtz was not going to let them leave easily.
"Not so fast!" Doofenshmirtz barked.
He drew the stage left curtain, revealing his -inator to the crowd.
"BEHOLD! THE OTHER SLAVE-INATOR! I had to add 'Other' because I forgot that I built another Slave-inator before that looked different but pretty much performs the same function as this one. I... I dunno why I didn't use that one instead of building a new one, but whatever!"
He pulled out a remote control and pressed a button on it. The Other Slave-inator came to life and started automatically firing in the crowd. Audience members were shot, at a rate of approximately five people per blast, and all those hit immediately stopped what they were doing and stood at attention. And they would not do anything else until instructed to do so by Doofenshmirtz.
Once a few dozen people had been hit, Doofenshmirtz temporarily stopped shooting in order to address them.
"Attention! You will sit back down and applaud at everything I said!"
The affected people followed Doofenshmirtz's command to the letter. So did one who had not yet been hit.
"Dr. Mollusk!" the guy next to shouted. "You were hit?"
"No," Dr. Mollusk responded. "But I've standing and yelling for the past five minutes. I needed a break."
Doofenshmirtz started laughing maniacally as he turned the Other Slave-inator on the rest of the crowd.
"Now, bow before the greatest evildoer... in the ENTIRE ONE-STATE AREA! Y'know, 'cause I'm in Florida and this part of the state isn't exactly near the border of any other states... I'm probably overexplaining this."
Panic started to grow in the hall, as now everyone was afraid of being zapped of their own self-control, instead of the original reason they wanted to leave. Screams of terror were heard as people fled, while Agent P ran for the stage.
"You can run, but you'll all soon be bowing down to me!" declared Doofenshmirtz as shots continued firing from the stage.
Meanwhile, Vanessa was driving like a mad woman as she crashed through a gate leading into a high-class estate community. In the passenger seat, a manila folder was opened to an information sheet on the Cuban mafia don, which listed his home address as 5 Little Havana Court.
The don's large estate also had a gate at the start of his driveway, but Vanessa had no need to drive through this one because it was already open. She made her to the fountain-adorned parking circle near the mansion's front door. There were two men guarding it, who immediately headed over to the pink convertible upon seeing it.
Vanessa hopped out of the car, instead of opening the door and getting out normally, and she was dressed in an apricot-colored catsuit, like the one she used to wear as a spy. Wrapped around her waist was a utility belt, with an assortment of gadgets filling some of the holsters.
"Aren't you a little too old for Halloween?" joked one of the guardsmen.
"What're you supposed to be?" asked the other. "A window washer?"
Vanessa reached for her belt and pulled out a tube of lipstick.
"Alright, you goons! Tell me where Carly is, or else!"
The two men were confused.
"Ben, why is she pointing lipstick at us?"
"Maybe she's going to give us a makeover before we take care of her!"
The two started laughing. Vanessa growled, not happy that they were not taking her seriously.
"You mean you've never seen a lipstick that shoots lasers?"
She turned the dial, waiting for a laser to fire out a warning shot, and perhaps singe one of the men's clothes a little. But all it did was push more of the lipstick out. Again, the men laughed.
"Allen! I think this dame's delusional!"
"I hear you! Laser lipstick? HA!"
Vanessa tossed the lipstick and reached for the hair dryer, pointing it Allen's head.
"Eat grappling hook! Or sticky gum! Or... whatever comes out of this thing!"
Vanessa looked determined to take care of the blockades in her way, but when she pressed the trigger, the only thing that came out... was hot air.
You would think the two guards would have laughed at that, too. But, unfortunately, by this point they were tired of fooling around.
"The boss doesn't like trespassers," Allen said, in a serious tone. "Ben, let us show her what we're supposed to do with trespassers."
The two showed what they meant, pointing at their gun holsters, which were clipped to their belts. Vanessa randomly reached for another object in her utility belt, hoping to find an actual gadget disguised as a beauty item, instead of just a plain old beauty item.
"A-HA!" yelled Vanessa, pulling out a small jar of acne cream.
Not intimidated in the least, the men continued their approach, getting ever so close to getting their hands on the brunette. But Vanessa knew she had found a gadget this time, as she turned the jar so that the bottom of it was facing her, and she saw a small button on it. She pressed it. The top of the jar quickly twisted itself off, revealing that there was no cream in it. Instead, it had a small fan; one which was capable of producing winds of up to 60 miles per hour in an instant.
The gusty winds came without warning, and the two men were quickly blown off of their feet and sent tumbling into the fountain. They were both knocked out upon hitting their heads on its porcelain center.
Vanessa turned off the gadget afterwards.
"Wasn't expecting that, but... whatevs."
A few minutes later, another of the don's men was sent flying through the door leading into his office. His two personal guards reached into their jackets, ready to pull out guns on the intruder. But the don raised his arm, signaling them to not do that... for now.
The man who had been kicked through the mahogany door was groaning in pain as Vanessa stepped over and him.
"Sorry," she apologized. "Guess I don't know my own strength. But, hey, I'm me! Or, at least, that's how the song goes."
The don was not happy with an American teenager invading his home with no rhyme or reason. But, cooler heads prevailed, and he was willing to wait for an explanation before taking action.
"What are you doing, busting into my house and hurting my men? That one you just KO'd was two days away from being eligible for full health benefits."
Vanessa drew out a hair dryer - this one a different color than the first - and pointed it at the don.
"Tell me what you've done to Carly! If you've so much as hurt one strand of her blonde hair, so help me..."
"Whoa, whoa, WHOA!" the don responded, trying to calm Vanessa down. "What is all of this about?"
Vanessa lowered the hair dryer slightly, but she kept her finger on the trigger, in case she had to use it.
"Carly! My friend! You put a hit on her!"
"I put hits on a lot of people. You'll have to be more specific."
Suddenly, two men entered the room. They pulled in Carly with them, each holding an arm of hers. One of them began to speak.
"Hey, boss, we got that girl you want- YOU!"
He and Vanessa both recognized each at the same time.
"THE DART BLOWER GUY!"
The man pulled out his dart blower and started to load, but by that point Vanessa already had turned to him and had the hair dryer gadget pointed at his head.
"Whoa, whoa, WHOA!" yelled the don once more, as he came out from behind his desk. "WHOA! Will someone explain what's going on here, preferably BEFORE I have to bust some heads?"
Vanessa looked at Carly, and then decided on her own to explain the situation.
Back at the meeting hall, about a quarter of the initial audience of 500 had been hit by the Other Slave-inator by this point, and were all at Doofenshmirtz's command. Agent P, though, decided that enough was enough, and that it was time to intervene.
And it would start with a roundhouse kick to the face, which sent Doofenshmirtz stumbling backwards a few steps.
"OW! Perry the Platypus, what are you doing in Florida? I didn't even tell you I was coming here!"
Perry did not answer his question, instead deciding to use a roundhouse kick once more, this time to his stomach. That hit knocked Doofenshmirtz into the Other Slave-inator, forcing his arm to flip a large switch from Forward to Reverse. The -inator then started firing randomly back into the audience. It managed to hit only anyone who had been hit by the original ray blasts, restoring their free will.
"Oh, come on! I hadn't even gotten a quarter of the crowd yet!"
He tried to flip the switch back to Forward, but by this point, everyone was back to normal. The -inator continued to fire, though, and those who had not fled the meeting room yet were now racing for the exits. Doofenshmirtz pulled the switch with all his might, but it ended up being too much, as the lever broke off in his hands. The machine then proceeded to overload, signaling to Agent P that it was time to skedaddle.
"I'm the 7,953rd most respected evildoer in the country! You can't do this to me!"
Perry was about to leave, but suddenly, he had a change of heart. He motioned as if to head to the Other Slave-inator to stop it from blowing up, but then he made an abrupt turn and taped a small letter-sized envelope to Doofenshmirtz's forehead.
"Why does this have my name on it?" he asked as Perry saluted, then ran off, as expected. "Is this a hotel bill for a one night's stay, 'cause I clearly stated I wasn't staying the night! CURSE YOU, PERRY THE PLATYPUS!"
The Other Slave-inator then exploded, leaving the large meeting hall a black, sooty mess, with chairs and -inator parts scattered everywhere.
"I knew I should've paid cash..." grumbled Doofenshmirtz.
Back at the Cuban don's estate...
Vanessa jumped out of her seat, a bit miffed after what she had just heard. She, Carly, and the don were now sitting around a glass table on the don's outdoor patio.
"You're telling me," Vanessa recounted the events, "that you never put a hit out on Carly?"
"The thought did cross my mind," the don admitted, "but after checking the books, I realized that was a red industry. I had been taking losses in the sugar smuggling business for months! I'm surprised I hadn't lost the mansion because of it!"
"As for putting one out because Carly turned down a date with your son?"
"Why would I do that? Upsetting, yes, but worth a hit? Heavens, no!"
Vanessa then turned towards her blonde associate. Carly was uneasy as she tried to explain herself.
"He's a Cuban don! They'll put hits out for anything! Well, at least the ones in the movies do."
"And I suppose you American blondes don't use a ton of hair products, flirt with cute boys, and are complete airheads!" shot back the don.
Carly gasped. "How dare you! That's racist!"
Vanessa groaned. "Carly, that doesn't make any sense."
"Yes, it does!"
Carly smiled, convinced that she was right. Vanessa shook her head and rolled her eyes, and then turned to attention back to the mafia don.
"That only leaves one question. If you never put a hit on Carly, then why did you send your men after her?"
The don reached into his right pants pocket and pulled out...
"MY CELL PHONE!"
Carly took back her pink smartphone.
"Oh, I thought it had lost it! I must've dropped it when I ran away from here in fear!"
Vanessa sighed. "Well, at least one of us got ours back. Thanks to you, Carly, mine's probably being digested by an alligator right now."
Carly was giddy as she caressed her phone. She got up from her seat and started walking away from the table and towards the side gate. Vanessa bowed before the don in apology.
"Sorry for all the trouble we caused. Just send a bill to the agency and they'll pay for the damages."
Vanessa handed him a JAILBAIT business card.
"But you're wearing the same kind of outfit she was earlier! You mean you're not..."
She cut him off. "No. Only wearing things 'cause I have nothing else, and my ex-partner APPARENTLY kept a spare of my old uniform in her car trunk!"
"ADMIT IT, DOOFY!" yelled Carly. "YOU WANNA BE A SPY AGAIN!"
"NO! AND DON'T CALL ME DOOFY!"
With that, Vanessa started to follow her ex-partner out the gate.
"One more thing!" shouted the don, convincing Vanessa to voluntarily stop to see what it was.
"Would you like to take my boy Esteban on a date?"
Vanessa opened her mouth to answer, but Carly ran back and stopped her, putting her hand over her mouth.
"Vanessa! Don't say no!"
The brunette removed the blonde's hand from her mouth.
"I have to! I have a boyfriend!"
"That's no excuse! I've dated other guys even when I'm taken."
"I'm not like you! Besides, what's the worse he can do if I say no?"
The gate to the estate was slammed shut behind Vanessa and Carly, who had been thrown out and were now sitting on the ground, rubbing their sore backsides.
"You just HAD to say no!" grumbled Carly.
Vanessa glared at her. She then got to her feet and walked to the convertible, which had been pushed out onto the street before the girls had been tossed.
"Don't gimme that! I would've said yes in your situation!"
She said that last sentence, having already forgotten that this whole mess started with her saying 'no.'
Carly drove Vanessa back to Seagulch, parking in the hotel lot next to the car the latter's father had rented. Both girls were now in better spirits. Vanessa's reason was immediately apparent, as she had her new smartphone back.
"It was nice of the guys at the agency to get my phone back. And it's just like it was before it got eaten by gators!"
She then decided to attempt to deactivate the Norm app.
"No hablo inglés," Norm said in response to her action.
Carly then explained why she was happy again. "And thanks for talking to Jerry! Not only do I get to keep my job, but my suspension's been lifted! I'm a full-time spy again!"
Carly hugged Vanessa in thanks.
"He was a little disappointed that I wasn't calling him to come back," Vanessa explained, "but when I told him that you were really sorry for what you did and I vouched that you wouldn't do it again, he agreed to un-suspend you. That, and I said that since they don't have me, you're the only real agent they have. It would be impossible to keep the agency open without a spy of your caliber! Besides... everyone should be good at something."
"Oh, Vanessa! That's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me that they weren't lying to me about! Thank you!"
Doofenshmirtz emerged from the hotel's front door, still a little blackened after the explosion, and feeling much lighter in the wallet after having to pay for it.
"DAD!" Vanessa shouted, seeing his state. "What happened?"
"VANESSA!" Doofenshmirtz exclaimed, spotting Vanessa's apricot-colored catsuit. "What's up with that? Did you sign up to drive a race car behind my back?"
Carly waved hello to Vanessa's father.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Doofenshmirtz!"
"Oh, you! I remember you! Vanessa's weird out-of-town pen pal friend or whatever. But I don't recall your name..."
Carly gladly answered for him.
Vanessa facepalmed. "Just couldn't live without one full namedrop, could you?"
Doctor Doofenshmirtz then took out an envelope from his inner lab coat pocket and handed it to Carly. It was the same envelope that Agent P had taped to his face earlier.
"This is yours. It had my name on it when Perry the Platypus taped it to my forehead, but when I opened it, it was addressed to you. Go figure."
Carly took it and removed the contents. It was a greeting card that read 'Sorry to hear you've been suspended.'
"I didn't know you knew Perry the Platypus," Doofenshmirtz said, beginning to eye Carly suspiciously. "Are you a secret agent or something?"
"Yeah, remember? I saved your lif-"
This time, it was Vanessa's turn to cover up Carly's mouth.
"Of course not, Dad!" Vanessa exclaimed. "That's silly!"
She then pulled Carly aside to whisper her a friendly reminder.
"It took me forever to get him to forget about the whole 'Rodney construction' incident, as well as you being there! Supposed to all be a secret, remember?"
"Okay, okay! But does that mean I have to forget your dad's evil?"
"Yes. Unless you can convince my mom he is, then no."
Doofenshmirtz sighed as he took out the key fob to the rental car and used it to disarm the alarm.
"Come on, Vanessa. Our flight back to Danville is in four hours and it takes at least two to get to the airport. Plus it'll still be rush hour when we get there, so... unless you want stay in this backwater place for another day."
Doofenshmirtz started the car up. Vanessa was about to hop in, but Carly grabbed her by the arm. She had one last thing to say before her friend left.
"Vanessa. I... I'm sorry for ruining your vacation. I..."
Vanessa hushed her.
"As annoying as it was, I have to admit... it was kinda fun."
Vanessa smiled. "Really."
"We're still friends?"
"We're still friends!"
With that, Vanessa got into the car. She buckled her seatbelt, and her father backed out of the parking space. Vanessa lowered her window to say one last goodbye.
"So," Carly said, speaking up first as she leaned into the car. "In a couple years we'll be going to college! Since we're still friends and all, maybe I can convince you to come to Florida so we can be roomies?"
Vanessa went wide-eyed. She barely survived a week being Carly's partner. She did not want to imagine spending eight months a year under the same roof for four years.
"FLOOR IT, DAD!"
Doofenshmirtz complied without question, slamming his left foot on the gas and rocketing the car out of the parking lot, turning north and heading out of town. Carly was a little stunned by Vanessa's sudden departure. It took her a minute before she could process a response.
"SO, I CAN PUT THAT DOWN AS A MAYBE?"
But by that point, the car was already out of sight.
"I'll put that down as a maybe," Carly told herself.
*** The End ***
So, first off, apologies for this last part coming out a week later than expected. But, what can you do? Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy came through that day. Strangely enough, even though I was expecting to lose power at some point during the storm, I never did. Hmmm... oh well.
Anyway, those of you who read the "Vanessa's Moral Wars" trilogy in the past were probably glad to see ditzy Carly again! Sadly, though, this is the last time you'll be seeing her, as I'm retiring the character. I may still do Vanessa stories at some point in the future, but this mini-series is it for Carly, who has kind of run out of usefulness in terms of story ideas. Also, I'd like to steer future works with Vanessa in them back towards canon. Especially figuring out what I want to do with Monty, despite the fact that I'm a Ferb-Vanessa fan. With "Fireside Diaries" about to start up again, though, don't expect anything until after New Year's.
Thanks for reading this short mini-series, and if you liked it, favorite it and/or leave a review! I'd really appreciate it! Until next time!