-To all those still following this series, thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy it! It picks up in the City of Hector, which is where Osmosis and Drix ended up during the Television Series. Leave me any suggestions or criticisms in the review box and I promise to read each of them! Thank you again, and I love you all-
"Drix! Now!"I shouted, car-surfin' on the hood of Tape Worm's get-away car, hanging onto the roof for my fine life as he tried to throw me, leading us right where I expected.
"You got it, Jones!"Drix shouted from in front of us, hidden in one of the surprisingly-clean alleys in Downtown Hector.
"Hey! Gettofa my ride, Immunity, or you'll end up under it!"The rough and gruff voice of Tape Worm shouted below me, the bulky, in-need-of-a-serious-diet-plan man shouted behind the wheel, veering left and right as I blocked his view from the road ahead of him, fingers digging into the pliable roof of the car.
"Don't think so, Tapey!"I exclaimed, looking back as, from out of the alley of a pristine, clean apartement complex, a sticky-lookin' blue glue slapped across the intersection, in a line on the ground and wiggling on impact. "Your ride's just about up! The fat lady has sung! Say 'Asta la Vista' germy! No one can take down the hansome, devilish charm of-"
"Jones! Just get off the car!"Drix ruined my groove, deflating me as I glared at the spot we were rapidly approaching. Man, I was just gettin' to the good part! Leave it to the pill to ruin my fun. I turned nonetheless and, tucking and rolling, jumped from the hood of the car. I landed smoothly, rolling to my feet and quickly turning around, seeing Tape's eyes widen as he screamed, trying to get the car to stop, only to swing it around and trap the back tires right into the ooey-gooey trap!
"Wha-what's the big idea?!"Tape exclaimed, Drix suddenly appearing from the alley and pointing his gun-hand through the open passenger window, the gun streaching the window like he streached my own ride. He had a big smile on his face, Tape's eyes going wider now as he froze, starring down the barrel of that big-mother gun!
I slid smoothly around the front of the now-backwards car, leaning into the driver's window and smirking confidently, knowing we'd just taken down our second Strepfinger croonie in a month! With my expertise planning, of course.
"Ohh, you might wanna just stop drop and roll, cuz this pill's trigger finger is hot!"I exclaimed, winking at Drix, who smirked back and spun the outer holster of the gun, Tape Worm shaking like a cell on sugar! I waited, just a few more moments as Drix opened his chest and inched his hand warningly towards a red pill cargrage, Tape getting more and more on-edge, before he finally cracked.
"S-stop! Okay! Okay! I-I surrender, just keep that guy away from me!"He exclaimed, throwing his hands up and dropping his gun, just as sounds of wailing police sirens approached. The cars screeched around the corner, lights flashing as I threw open the door to Tape's car and pulled him out by his greasy leather jacket, an 'oof' coming from him. I grinned, swelling in pride as the other cops exited their cars and pulled their guns, Chief amoung them.
He looked a hell of a lot like the old chief, if not only slightly slimmer with a bigger mustache. Seriously, it was like talkin' to a walrus cell! He strutted up as I held out my hand, smirking and saying smoothly,
"Don't worry, Chiefy, I've got this all under control!"
"You?"Drix asked testily, floating around on his bubble-but and closing his chest drawr, just as two rookie officers picked Tape up from me and began to drag him over to the waiting battilion of police cars.
"Okay,"I agreed, pointing to Drix, "Drix here helped a little I guess."
"A little? I saved your cytoplasm twice! If it weren't for me, you would still be wrapped around that stop sign!"He exclaimed, mentioning when I totally had everything under control, just might have slipped a little jumping out of my car to get onto Tape's. I rolled my eyes, crossing my arms as Drix did the same, Chief watching and sighing.
"Listen you two, go to couple's counseling later! Mayor Spryman wants to see both of you, in his office, immediatly!"He snapped at us like a drill sargent, a smile on my face despite that.
"Aww, I bet he wants to congradulate us! C'mon Drips, let's head on over to the small-fry's office!"I exclaimed, walking smoothly past Chief and the other police cars, Drix following close by. Whatever it was the mayor wanted to see us about, probably our excellence lately in backing the major crime boss in the City of Hector, Strepfinger, back into a corner. We'd taken out three of his guys, but they just seemed to keep on coming, and if we didn't find the big papa himself then who knows what kind of havoc he could wreak in Hector!
It spit sure better not be to try and take our credit, like he always seemed to do, that sneaky little punk. Spit, he almost made Mayor Phlemming look half-decent! At least Phlemming hit puberty, unlike Spryman, who couldn't be a day over thirteen, tops!
"Jones, what do you think the Mayor wants to see us for? He doesn't usually call this early in the morning. Hector hasn't even had lunch yet!"Drix exclaimed as he squeezed into my baby, blasting down the shiny-clean streets of Hector the second he got seated.
"Don't know, but if that teeny-bopper wants to try and steal my thunder again I'll show him a thing or two about Osmosis!"I exclaimed, looking through my cd collection in the holder that sat between me and Drix, looking for my favorite James Brown CD. I swerved a bit on the road, nothin' too big, but Drix freaked out like always.
"Jones! Keep your eyes on the road!"He scolded, and I rolled my eyes.
"I'm lookin' for James Brown! Help out!"I shouted back, steering onto the highway as Drix sighed and began to rifle through with me. After a few minutes, he picked one out, looking at it for a moment before saying in a slightly surprised, happy tone,
"Hey, isn't this the CD we listened to the first night we met Ann?" That name instantly had an effect on me, both good and bad. I smiled at the memory, almost feeling a little groove in my system as I remembered that one-of-a-kind virus, the same one that got me back on the right beat in Immunity back in Frank, the...just all around awesome chick that I longed to see again. I mean, damn, it had been almost a year and a half since the last time I saw that girl!
And then, the same troubling thought that I'd been thinking since we got accidentally sent over here ran through my head, and was voice by Drix.
"Jones...do you think Ann will be able to find us in Hector?"He asked curiously, placing the CD back in the case and letting us just drive in silence. I felt something like a painful worry in my chest, knowing that, probably no, Ann girl couldn't possibly know how to find us. I mean, even if she could find Frank again, none of them even knew what happened to us!
That mosquito bite, Drix and I being in the wrong place at the wrong time, had transferred us to Hector almost a year ago! And while we'd made a big detective name for ourselves here, it couldn't be known all the way in wherever Frank had gone. That thought alone was enough to deflate my spirits as I mused out sadly, sitting back in my seat as we swung into the parking lot in front of the Mayor's building,
"I don't know, Drix...I just don't know."
We quickly jumped from the car and made our way inside, where a certain Immunity babe was waiting for us, lookin' fine as ever and immediatly lifting my spirits.
"Maria Amino, girl, you been workin' out-?"I was cut off as Drix pushed past me, Maria rolling her eyes and fixing her large, blue ponytail.
"Working out how the mayor keeps you on Immunity, Jones."She clipped out in a sexy spanish accent, Drix smirking a bit and musing,
"Believe me, I still haven't figured out how he was ever on Immunity in Frank." They shared their little laugh together, Maria high-fiving Drix and smirking at me as I pouted sourly, crossing my arms and mummbling,
"I caught a bad guy today." Maria laughed again and rolled her eyes, placing a hand on my shoulder, giving me a rough shake that this karate-cat probably thought was light as a feather, not saying that she was stronger than me by any means! I mean, yeah, the chick could fight, but no one beats Osmosis in a good down-and-dirty street fight! And I'd be fine with havin' one of those with this south-of-the-border beauty.
"Yes you did, good boy. I'll get you a sticker later, now let's get up to the mayor. Something's up with him today, and I sure hope it wasn't you, Jones."She mused, turning and pressing the button panel behind her, opening the elevator in the all-blue lobby, stepping inside with her as I exclaimed,
"Yo, why can't it be Drix, huh? He messes up pleanty of times!"
"Please, Drix might be the most capable cop in Hector."Maria retorted, crossing her arms as the big lug got a surprised look on his face and, like the awkward duckling he was, stuttered out,
"W-well...um, thank you Maria. Though I must admit, your fighting skills are rivaled by no one!" I gaped, looking at the two incredolously. What was I, chopped thykaloid? Please, if it weren't for me these two would be...reletively worse off! Yeah, that's right, I'm that extra push they needed! Uh huh, just go on with your little love-fest, Osmosis Jones is just gonna sit back and wait for the real danger! Then they'd know who's the best cop in Hector...
"WHERE'S JONES?! GET HIM HERE IMMEDIATLY!"Daaaang! Mayor Spryman must be goin' through a serious case of Man-period, cuz he sounded pissed. I heard his annoying, pre-deep voice crack and shout before the doors that led straight to his office opened, revealing three dishevevled 'scientists'(guys who obeyed Spryman's every whim, barely ever doing anything actually helpful) and one seriously boiling mayor.
"Yo, Spry, take a chill pill man! Osmosis Jones, capable officer and ladies man, at your service."I smoothed out, walking up from where the elevators let out to the left of the mayor's desk, walking right to the front of the large oak desk and smirking. The mayor, a scrawny 13-year-old white-blood cell with a tuft of hair on his head and too-big-for him white dress shirt and black pants, looked more disheveled and angry than normal when he called me in to his office.
"Cut it Jones! I've got a question for you!"He shouted angrily, Drix and Maria walking up on either side of me. I raised an eyebrow, wondering what it was that I could have done wrong.
"You weren't in your designated area of restriction twenty minutes ago, care to tell me why?!"He shouted. Now he was keeping tabs on me? Man, this relationship was movin' too fast! I instantly got defensive, throwing my arms out and exclaiming,
"Yo, I was bustin' another one of Strepfinger's croonies! If it weren't for me and Drix here he would have gotten away with vital protein-support from the mitochondria bank! Sorry if he made me trail him halfway across Hector!"
"That's not the issue here, Jones!"The little punk shouted, shoving a finger in my face as he leaned over on his desk, "The issue is that you weren't there when an unknown substance was injected into Hector's right arm!" I paused, surprised for a second. If it were an unknown substance, that meant that the scientists over there still hadn't figured it out, and if there was one thing they were good at it was identifying things.
"Well, is it dangerous?"Maria asked, and the mayor paused a second, looking almost a bit embarrased and surprised.
"Uh...well...I don't know."
"Is it hurting anyone? Does it have anthrapamorphic characteristics?"Drix asked, using a big word no one understood, especially not the mayor, who gave him a confused look. I rolled my eyes, crossing my arms and asking,
"Is it a germ or dangerous bacteria? Yet another case for good 'ol Osmosis Jones?" The mayor now stood back behind his desk, no longer leaning over it, and said while scratching the back of his head,
"Uh...no. No it's not." This was getting pointless! If it weren't dangerous, person-like, or deadly, then why was he so uptight about me not being there?!
"Then what's the big deal, Spry?"I exclaimed, and he frowned angrily.
"Because you weren't there when they had to transport this stuff! It took two whole trips!"He exclaimed, and I just frowned at him. I didn't say a word, just seethed in how ridiculous this kid's mind was.
"Mayor, if you don't mind, what does the substance look like?"Drix asked, taking pressure off me. The mayor immediatly threw open a drawr and pulled something out, slappping it down on the desk and making me recoil to avoid getting that nasty-looking, gelatenous blob he'd pulled out on my jacket.
"Eww! Nas-tay! What is that, a giant white booger?"I asked, looking at the glue-like, slowly wobbling blob about the size of two fists on the desk.
"Looks like glue to me. Why would something like this be injected into Hector?"Maria asked curiously, getting closer to inspect it.
"I don't know! And these guys can't figure it out!"Spryman exclaimed acusingly, pointing a thumb back at the trio of white-coat wearing, glasses-sporting nit-wits, who immediatly looked surprised and afraid of the wrath of our rather unstable mayor.
"Hmm, it doesn't appear to be a fat-storage cell, nor cholesterol. If it were injected into Hector, it can't possibly be glue."Drix mummbled all serious-like to himself, a hand on what I assumed was his chin as he, too, got closer to the gooey stuff that I was keeping well-away from, behind both Drix and Maria. The mayor slumped back into this rolley, high-backed, blue chair, pouting like a brat and throwing his hands up,
"I just don't know! What is this stuff?!"
"It's an antidote."
A year and a half can really change a person...
Or keep them exactly the same, as seemed to be the case with Ozzy and Drix as they argued with their mayor, me keeping a calm and silent position behind a statue of their founder, a sperm, located in the very back of the room. I crossed my arms, looking at the two that hadn't changed, not one bit, and taking every ounce of will power I had not to rush out and tackle them both.
Ever since that day that I left Frank, all I could do was think about them, about how we could be a team once the people finally managed to get an antidote together. They'd been working on one ever since Thrax and I killed our tenth person, but it was taking longer than expected for them to actually come up with an antidote when they didn't even know the disease.
One and a half years. One and a half years of secretly keeping track of Frank, watching him to make sure he was okay, while simultaniously keeping a very safe distance and wrestling with my own inner turmoil. To be honest, being with the guys would have it a hell of a lot easier to forget Thrax, but even still I managed to overcome most of my obsticles. Had time to think things over, to actually sit down and realize that...I'd wasted so much of my life, just doing what Thrax wanted to do, never really living for myself.
Him smacking me didn't hurt the healing process, either. Thrax was trickey, that I knew, and I'd watched him manipulate people my whole life. Never guessed he'd be able to do it to me, too, until I realized he'd been using me. Luckily, it took two amazing Immunity cops to show me at least some of this. And what I couldn't get over, those lingering emotions that wouldn't seem to leave, I'd found another outlet for them...
"Hmm, it doesn't appear to be a fat-storage cell, nor cholesterol. If it were injected into Hector, it can't possibly be glue."Drix muttered, just like he used to, in a very serious and to-the-book manner. And there Ozzy went, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms, and yet I noticed he was staying well-away from the white substance that I'd watched being injected into Hector.
Yes, I'd watched, and I'd relished in the moment like it were the most important thing that would ever happen to me, like I was witnessing a landmarked event, when to the people it was just an extra shot to give kids in school. But to me, it was a moment I'd waited for for almost two years. A moment I'd yearned for, and when I'd finally caught wind of it, I felt like nothing, absolutely nothing, could possibly make me happier.
But I was wrong. This, right here, seeing these two again after keeping tabs on Frank and following that mosquito out of pure instinct, after two years of waiting and struggling and overcoming emotional milestones and loneliness, after the people finally delivered...this was the happiest moment I could remember having in a long, long time.
I felt it building up in my chest, welling up until I thought I was going to burst, an anxiousness in my stomach, fighting the urge to reveal myself for just one second longer, waiting as the perfect opportunity finally came. The mayor, whom I now saw couldn't be older than the teenage Hector himself, slumped frustratedly into his large chair, huffing and throwing his hands up.
"I just don't know! What is this stuff?!"He exclaimed, and I didn't even try to fight the smirk that formed on my lips as I slowly moved, resting my back against the wall and putting my hands in my jacket pockets, voice breaking through the room for the first time.
"It's an antidote."
They froze, the mayor sitting bolt-upright in his chair at the foreign voice, a hispanic-sounding woman spinning around with a confused look on her face. But they weren't the two I was paying attention to. No, the two I was really interested in seeing were both standing straight up, Ozzy gasping with his back to me, and Drix turning around with a face that had just seen a ghost.
Ozzy didn't turn around, body too stiff with what I assumed was shock, my eyes locking onto him as my smile softened, finally walking into the light of the room, feeling it on my face as I kept my hands in my pockets.
"Long time no see, Ozzy, Drix."I mused happily, finally able to actually see them up close, nucleus close to bursting.
"A-Ann...?!"Drix exclaimed, and I looked up at him, his face slack in complete shock, and I winked smoothly.
"What other viruses do you know that look like me?"I asked, seeing the woman tense up just as, finally, Ozzy spun around. It was hard to imagine that just a few seconds ago he was frozen with shock, because the instant he got over it, I was in the strongest bear-hug I'd ever recieved in my entire life. I felt my ribs almost crack with the fource of his arms wrapped around me, pressing my face to his shoulder and shaking me around.
"Ann girl! I thought you were never gonna come back around! How ya been? Good? Bad? Anyone givin' ya problems, cuz girl you know I still got your back! How'd ya find us? You just know? Like some connection cuz girl I know we got a connection goin' on up in here!-"
"Jones!"I managed out in a choked voice, "You're killing me!"
"Aw, I know I'm a funny guy, but shucks don't make me blush!"He exclaimed, snuggling the side of his face into mine, sending an odd little shiver down my neck. I couldn't focus on it so much as the air slowly leaving my body, Drix as always coming to the rescue.
"No, Osmosis, she means you're literally killing her! She can't breathe!"He exclaimed, Ozzy finally pausing and, in a quick motion, set me down while still holding me at arms-length by the shoulders. He was beaming from ear-to-ear, that smirking, witty, smooth, devil-may-care face that I'd longed to see for far too long.
"Missed you too, Ozzy."I laughed, smirking as Drix exclaimed next to me,
"Ann, how on Earth did you find us?" I was about to answer him, when the mayor interrupted us angrily,
"Hey! I'm the mayor here! What did you say about some an...ti...dote..."His voice trailed off as I stepped around Ozzy and finally into the mayor's line of sight, his eyes widening and jaw dropping just slightly, gulping once I finally got to his desk. I tilted my head to the side, curious as to why he was acting so...scared? No, more like surprised, nervous almost. I mean, yeah, I wasn't exactly a red-blood cell, and maybe my hair was a bit tousled after it fell from the dreadlocks a few months after I left Frank, but I didn't look that bad, did I?
And then I remembered that the poor boy had asked a question, and decided that now was the time to start winning over the people in charge here. Over in Frank, I'd had a free-ride to the Immunity squad and Ozzy and Drix's team. But they knew me, the people here didn't. To them, I was a seriously dangerous criminal with the worst rep since Plague, and when I'de realized that Ozzy and Drix had been moved into Hector after taking a very quick peek into the kid's ear, hearing two officers talking about the two new recruits, I'd been planning this moment.
Agreeably, I wasn't exactly known for my people skills. In fact, once I started travelling with Thrax, I'd talked to a total of...no one. Come to think of it, I was terrified of having to deal with others. It was like trying out for a sport that you had never played before, or standing in front of a massive crowd. I was terrified, underqualified, and the chances of me failing miserably were sky-high...
But I couldn't just let Ozzy and Drix down. So I took a deep breath, and then pointed to the white, glue-like antidote that I'd researched the membrane out of the second I learned of its existence.
"That's an antidote that scientists have been trying to create for eighteen years, ever since my big brother and I caused the mysterious deaths of ten people. My brother wasn't exactly one to cover his tracks, and our calling-card fever and infection gave the scientists pleanty to work with. They decided, as a safety precaution, to give every child and adult the vaccine in schools and workplaces, which explains why Hector was injected."I explained in what I was trying to make a calm voice, running my right hand through my hair, for once without dreadlocks and now laying in tousled layers down to my shoulders, bangs hanging stringily in my right eye.
The mayor seemed to be in some kind of stupor, suddenly realizing I'd stopped talking and suddenly shaking himself, stumbling over his words as he said,
"O-oh, well then, that explains it."
"You kidding me?!"The woman exclaimed, and I looked over at her as she stood next to the desk, clearly a cop from the badge around her neck. She had a large ponytail, a white-blood cell with an orange jacket and pants with a deeper orange tank underneath, a hispanic accent undertoned with hostility that I'd expected, and yet cringed at.
"This chick just admitted to being a virus! Who killed people! And you're just gonna let her go with that?"The woman accused, the child mayor getting a surprised and flustered look on his face as he looked from me to the woman, clearing his throat and saying in an authoritative tone suddenly directed at me,
"Uh, yes, well, I was just about to discuss that."He said cordially, then paused, getting a curious and angry look on his face as he looked from me to Ozzy. "Wait, Jones, you know this lethal virus?" I cringed at how he described me, though knowing he had no better words to. Thankfully, Ozzy was by my side just like he'd been over a year ago, wrapping an arm around my shoulders and exclaiming,
"Hector yeah! This girl right here helped me and Drips beat down one of the baddest viruses the world's ever seen! In fact, she was offered a job on Immunity in the City of Frank, right on a team with yours truly. Yu-huh, this girl's one-of-a-kind, heck! If you put her on our team, Strepfinger'll be as dangerous as a stubbed toe!" I could almost hug him, if I wasn't afraid he'd suffocate me again.
The mayor seemed to instantly take this, smiling and fixing his shirt rapidly and a bit clumsily, but I saw the woman's eyes narrow.
"Yeah, well this ain't the City of Frank. This is a teenage boy we're talking about here, and I'm not entirely convinced that lettin' a virus like her go walkin' around. Who ever heard of a virus bein' on Immunity?"The woman accused, and I looked down, not out of anger, but out of shame. It was true, every word she said, but wasn't that why I was here? To change all of that?
"Woah woah, Maria, c'mon girl, Ann's not a bad kid. She just got dragged into a sour situation, but she's trying to do some good. Can't blame a kid for that, can ya?"Ozzy asked, his tone lighter and sincere, making me look up at his smiling, persuasive face. That feeling came back again, one I hadn't felt in awhile. The one in my chest, the funny one that I'd yet to give a name, but for the moment I liked it. Liked it because it was Ozzy, because he really meant the words he was saying.
"Jones is right. Ann helped stop her own older brother from killing Frank and aided in his recovery."Drix added in, floating confidently next to me. The woman, Maria, narrowed her eyes at me, a stern and searching glare that made me want to go hide, feeling like she was peeling back every layer of me and judging it.
"Who's your big brother, huh?"She demanded, and I felt Ozzy stiffen. But I didn't, instead taking in a deep breath and squaring my shoulders, trying to build up what confidence I could. Here these two were, once again risking their own names in defending me. I couldn't just stand by and let them without doing anything, this was for me and I was going to admit everything. No secrets, just the truth. And I prayed that would be enough.
"Thrax."I said, seeing Maria and the mayor's eyes widen and their bodies stiffen. Apparently we'd even made names in the bodies of children who were younger than I was.
"No way! El Muerto Rojo ain't runnin' around Hector while I'm still a white-blood cell!"The woman exclaimed in a flawless hispanic accent, pointing a thumb to her chest and the other hand inching towards her gun. Ozzy tried to talk, but I cut him off, standing straighter and looking the mayor right in the eye.
He looked surprised at the sudden contact, stiffening and clearing his throat, almost a sign of pink on his cheeks that I didn't understand.
"It's true. My brother and I have killed dozens of people before, perfectly innocent people that didn't deserve what we did to them. Don't think that I don't feel any guilt for it, I'm more guilty than anyone will ever know, will ever feel... But I'm not my brother. He used me, and I'd only ever known his word. When Ozzy and Drix reached out to me, I helped them stop the chain of innocent people dying. And when the Chief in Frank offered me the job on Immunity, there was only one reason I didn't take it."
"You're a virus?"Maria muttered, and I looked over at her with a lopsided, ironic smile.
"He was still suceptible to me. I could accidentally scratch anything and he'd immediatly become infected again. That's why I left, that's why I waited for the people to make an antidote so that I could come back and be on a team with Ozzy and Drix, to do something I wanted to do. Something good."I said, and saw a slightly guilty look cross her eyes.
There was a small silence, before the mayor finally cleared his throat and said,
"Well...if what you say is true, then I don't see a reason why we can't let you...try to be on Immunity." I felt my chest lighten, taking in a silent breath and letting a small smile onto my face, Ozzy whooping and jumping up, fist in the air as he exclaimed,
"Uh-huh, let's get this Osmosis train a rollin'-"
"Hold on, Mayor Spryman, she's a virus! You can't just-"
"I just did!"The mayor cut off the woman authoritatively, and I had to admit, from all of the negativity and hostility that woman had given me, I almost smiled wider at it. Spryman smoothed his collar and said in a voice that was trying to sound more grown-up than he was,
"I'm the mayor here, officer Amino. Besides, with this antidote not only can we arm the rest of Immunity with guns that shoot the stuff, but it almost means that Ann can't hurt Hector. So I'll give you a chance, but just one! If you, Jones, and Drix can all finally get rid of this Strepfinger, then consider yourself an official member of Immunity!"
I beamed, Jones cheering and Drix turning and giving a subtle fist-pump that I almost didn't catch, making me laugh as the utter feeling of victory washed over me. I had a chance, that was all I needed. I'd catch this 'Strepfinger', with the help of my two friends, on my first case doing something actually good. And, as cliche as it might sound, all I could think of was, 'how hard can it be?'...