A Powerpuff Girls/Samurai Jack crossover
At long last, Doctor Constance Murray emerged from the hospital room to address the group.
“He is in a stable condition. We have dressed his injuries and set the multiple fracture in his right arm. He has sustained a number of flesh wounds, and some of the burns are quite nasty. Luckily, there appears to be no vital internal damage— as far as I can tell, he should be able to recover fully, given time. But I would like to keep him here for at least this week.”
“Can we see him?” Hime pleaded.
“Just be aware that he is in a very delicate state and will not be very responsive. We’ve put him on a morphine drip to help with the pain.”
A laconic-looking orderly trotted up behind the group, tapping Doctor Murray on her shoulder. “That mob of reporters in reception won’t buzz off. Should we toss ‘em out?”
“We’ll go and talk to them,” Ms. Keane-Green announced, indicating herself and her husband. As family friends, we’re happy to serve as the spokespeople.”
“Thank you,” Hime briefly clutched Keane-Green’s hand with her own, before the couple left to fulfil their duty.
The doctor opened the door beside her to the family. “You may enter.”
The four women poured into the hospital room, their hearts sinking at the sorry sight that was the family patriarch.
Utonium acknowledged his wife and daughters with a flicker of a smile, immobilised in his bed and swathed in bandages.
“My heroes,” he rasped weakly.
“Please try not to talk, Professor. You must save your energy,” Doctor Murray instructed gently. As the others hovered over the man, Blossom was drawn aside.
“You say he and the boy that was with him were attacked by a monster?” The Doctor asked her.
Blossom took a deep breath, attempting to steady her ravaged nerves. “Please keep this confidential,” she said. “The boy… Gus… he is a friend of mine, and the monster is living within his body. He has been possessed.”
This information seemed to act on Doctor Murray like a jolt of electricity. “This is very serious information,” she responded. “The boy is currently still in the emergency ward, as far as I know. The paramedics told me that he remained unconscious. We may have to make use of such information for his own good.”
“You mean he was just left alone?” Blossom exclaimed.
“Your father was in a much worse off state, we had to see to him first. The boy was still alive and his vital signs were steady the last time I checked on him—”
“You don’t understand,” the girl interrupted. “The other patients in the ward could be in danger! He could awaken any minute!”
She raced out of the room before anyone could stop her. Doctor Murray looked to the rest of the family.
“I think it’s best that she goes to attend Gus,” Hime told the doctor, while cradling her husband’s limp hand. “She was the one who managed to subdue the monster.”
A matter of a few meagre milliseconds had saved Utonium’s life.
The great thunderous crashes of Aku breaking free of his bonds had swiftly awoken Hime and the girls, the three sisters had instantly swooped down to the lab with the instinctive urge to protect their father.
They could clearly see what was going on in the heart of the smoky mess of destroyed machinery. Bubbles scooped up the injured Utonium just in time to rescue him from a devestating swipe of the monster’s piercing claws. Hungry for retribution, Buttercup rushed at him, but was seized by the leg and thrown against the rubble.
The spectacle of Gus’ body, mutilated by the hulking black sinew of Aku’s arms, made Blossom sick to the stomach. Likewise, his mild features twisted into rapacious frenzy felt like an insult to fair nature. However, the rest of his figure remained that of the spindly teenager, and for this reason Blossom delivered a sharp kick to his flesh-and-blood midsection.
“Aku” went flying, and when he hit the floor of the lab with a mighty thud, Blossom pinned him down with her slippered foot. Those black claws swept out madly at her, and she deftly evaded each frantic motion. Then, willing her spirit to cool down and settle, she looked directly into his eyes, fearless, aware of what she had to do.
She could hear Bubbles ringing 911 and a panicked Hime administering first aid to Utonium. Her heartbeat slowed, her breathing deepened, and she did not take her eyes off the snarling monster that writhed beneath her foot.
After a few long moments, he suddenly dropped out of the waking world. The eyes fell shut, the oversized claws went slack, dropping to the pile of sharp, hazardous debris beneath him.
She flew through the crowded, noisy emergency ward, and scanned the rows of beds. One injured, distressed patient after another, until she finally came upon Gus’ motionless, tragically misshapen form.
Thank goodness, he was still at rest. The frazzled, busy doctors bustling about the place had taken no heed of him. Blossom wondered what to do next. What if Aku had taken over Gus’ body for good?
Struck by a fresh wave of anxiety, the exhausted girl slumped upon the side of the bed. Tears stung her eyes, and in imitation of her mother, she took the boy’s now beastly black hand in hers.
“Oh, Gus…” she breathed, “what’s happening to you?”
The body stirred beside her. Blossom raised her head to watch the boy slowly come around. He gradually managed to focus on her. The expression was tired and pained.
“Don’t get up,” Blossom insisted. “Please. Rest.”
He closed his eyes again. “I remember it,” he moaned, slowly. “I remember it all.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” she declared.
“Is your Dad okay?”
“He’s hurt pretty bad, but the doctor says he’ll make a full recovery.” Her voice was small.
Both of them were silent. Gus’ eyes slid open, and he examined the strange new appendages that were his arms. He curled in on himself, silent tears escaping from his eyes.
“M-maybe we can find a way to reverse it…” Blossom told him. “I don’t know how, but there must be a way to defeat Aku for good.”
“I can’t believe I hurt him…” Gus choked.
“Your Dad… he’s such a great guy. I feel awful.” He paused for a moment to collect his thoughts. “That night, when you invited me over for dinner… that was, like, the nicest evening I’ve ever had. Just to sit with a family where everyone’s so relaxed and friendly and can joke around with each other… I felt so happy just to be a part of it. I just hope your family is gonna be okay.”
She smiled down at him. “We will be,” she affirmed. “We always are.”
He closed his eyes again. “I can feel him in there. He’s there. He’s awake now.”
Blossom sighed. “Well… perhaps—”
“I’m starting to think it’s no use. He’s too much. He’s angry and he’s hungry and it’s probably just a matter of time until he… he…”
The bleak tone of Gus’ voice cut right through Blossom.
“No. I won’t let that happen.” Her grip upon his hand tightened. “You said that you could remember everything about tonight. Maybe now that he’s properly awake, he has become more dependent upon your conscious mind.”
The boy did not reply, but focused on Blossom’s face a little more keenly.
“Gus, I want you to do your best to maintain control. Do whatever you can to stop him from stealing you away from us. Stay aware. Focus. Concentrate. He’s not the only one who can put up a fight. Your mind is still yours. Promise me you’ll defend it from him!”
“Alright,” he answered, still shaken but a little livelier. “For you, I promise.”
Doctor Murray agreed to put Gus in a private room, away from the collective clamour of the rest of the hospital. A number of hours passed and Blossom sat with him as he drifted in and out of sleep. She remained on the lookout for any telltale signs of Aku.
When daylight began to bleed into the room, a nurse visited with a breakfast tray. Blossom insisted that Gus eat to keep his strength up.
“I haven’t felt him move,” he said while nibbling at his toast. “I get the feeling that he’s kind of afraid of you.”
This made Blossom smile. “He’d better be.”
“How’s your dad?”
“I don’t know,” she replied, wilting a little. “I haven’t been to check.”
“He’s doing okay.” The weary but stalwart voice of Hime came from the doorway. She entered and perched herself upon one of the bedside chairs.
“I spoke at length with Doctor Murray about the situation. I haven’t told her everything, but she now at leasts understands that Gus will need to be attended by you to keep Aku under control. I am trying to convince her to release him into our care, but she has insisted that she wants to contact Gus’ parents first.”
“No!” Blossom cried. “Doctor Turning was the one who did this to Gus in the first place!”
The boy’s face grew wide with shock. “What?...”
“Oh…” Blossom was seized by regret.
“You mean… this is Dad’s fault? He… he wants Aku to…”
She gingerly reached out a hand to console him, which he pushed away. He knocked the breakfast tray off his lap, it clattered to the floor. Slowly, stiffly, he swung his legs over the side of the bed, turning away from Blossom and Hime.
“Tell me…” He uttered with a heavy, deliberate spirit, “why I shouldn’t use this hideous goddamned claw to slit my own useless—”
“Because I won’t let you.” Blossom reached out her hand again, seizing the thick black wrist.
She took in a shaky breath. “You’re not going to defeat him in this way. The price is too high.”
He narrowed his eyes at her. “How could you possibly care so much about the vessel that contains your worst enemy?” He asked bitterly.
“Because you are my friend,” she stated, and seized him in a determined hug. “If you harm yourself, you harm me.”
The tension in Gus’ muscles finally eased a little, and he relented, allowing himself to be hugged.
Hime’s maternal reflexes set her upon the spilled dishes, and Gus’ eyes wandered to the mild actions of her cleaning up the mess. As she rose, she met his gaze, and smiled kindly at him.
“You… I mean, Mrs. Utonium… he knows you. He recognises you.”
Hime desposited the tray and dishes upon an obliging sideboard and sat back down in her chair.
“He was my master. He created me from the essence of Beauty itself.”
Blossom and Gus looked to the pixie as one, the former with sad affection, the latter with surprise and a dark curiousity.
The light in Hime’s eyes did not fade. “You know…” she said slowly, “it was a very strange thing for Aku to even retain a creature as humane and tender as I in his lair, much less esteem me as a favourite of his entourage. He was a very selfish and unkind master, but what I had to offer, he sorely needed. Comfort. Beauty. Companionship. Love.”
“No living, sentient being that hungers for these things can be entirely numb to the sympathies of others. Aku was born from Chemical X, and is just as reactive. His strange, lengthy life has been marked mostly by fear, hatred and power. It was Emperor Imagawa’s aggression that caused his first awakening. It makes me wonder how he might be swayed by something greater than these things.”
Blossom had not moved, she was rendered quite astounded by her mother’s words. Her arms still lay draped across Gus’ broad black shoulders, and the boy silently relished the small pleasure of the feeling of her warm, soft skin.
Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
POWERPUFF FATHER SAVAGED BY MONSTER:
Girls Powerless to Stop Rampage
Article by Muhammed Nguyen-Sørensen
After nearly a decade of a peaceful existence free from hostile monster attacks, Townsville has yet again to contend with the life-and-limb threat of an assault from a supernatural beast. The monster made its first known appearance around 12 o’clock this morning, in the basement of the Powerpuff Girls’ family residence in Pokey Oaks. It set upon and violently mauled the superheroines’ father, Professor John Utonium, 53. A source close to the girls suggested that the creature is some form of shape-shifting parasite, believed to have infested the body of one of the girls’ classmates: 16-year-old Augustus Turning, who has been reported missing since Sunday night.
“The Professor is injured but stable, the doctors are quite sure he will recover,” said Sandra Keane-Green, 50, a teacher and family friend. “The girls are naturally concerened about him and are determined to take down the being that did this, before it hurts anyone else.”
Chief Inspector Giorgio Takahara-McDougall of the Townsville Police Department had this to say: “The last recorded monster attack upon Townsville was more than 10 years ago, when the girls were very young children. Since then, they have been dispatched mostly for occasional, stand-alone incidents strictly involving non-supernatural perpetrators. Many of our senior officers are concerned at how this monster was able to inflitrate their family home and do significant damage to the person of one of their family members. We have been in talks with City Hall and we aim to secure sole juristiction for dealing with this threat.”
Mayor Sara Bellum has yet to be reached for comment.
“We can’t let Gus see this article!” Bubbles exclaimed.
“Is the hospital going to tell the police that he’s here?” Blossom asked.
“I can’t believe they think we’re powerless to stop Aku,” Buttercup muttered.
Doctor Murray frowned. “Gus asked me not to reveal his whereabouts to his father. I pleaded medical confidentiality to the chief of staff, but as the police have listed Gus as a missing person, we had no choice but to tell them.”
“They’re not going to arrest him, are they!?” Blossom questioned, dreading the prospect.
“I don’t know. If they come, I will try my best to explain his predicament to them.” She looked at the red-haired girl intently. “I think you should return to his side immediately. From now, I don’t think we can afford to leave him on his own for a single moment. If something sets off the force inside him, we will need you there to contain it.”
Blossom nodded vigorously, left Doctor Murray’s office and charged off down the hall. Her sisters followed her close behind.
“What are you two doing?” She quizzed them.
“Duh, if something does happen, we wanna be there to help!” Bubbles retorted.
A massive succession of crashes and screams boomed throughout the ward, pounding in the girls’ eardrums. Quick to respond, the girls zoomed back to Gus’ room, light trails glowing in their wake.
The hallway was littered with mess, and a gaping hole had been knocked through the wall of Gus’ room. In one corner cowered the chief of staff and a small team of police officers. On the far wall, pierced, bloodied and disembowelled like some hapless dissected animal, was the body of one Doctor Abraham Turning. Impaled right through his chest was a long black claw. Sickeningly, wretchedly, it jerked in its final agonised death throes.
“Arrogant, evil little man. To think you had the gall to want to control ME…”
The rumbling voice suddenly shifted its tenor. “…I am your SON! Your child!… A-and… I’m just a VESSEL to you!! You were only ever USING ME! YOU NEVER LOVED ME!”
An involuntary, choked intake of breath came from behind, a dainty, feminine sound. The creature’s head snapped around. Large, bony black horns had grown out from the head of lime green hair. The pallid complexion had been tinged with a bilious green, and sharp, curved fangs poked out beneath his lip. The ebony hide that had grown upon his arms now covered a good portion of the torso.
However, when he looked at her, the deep black eyes became soft and sad.
The police opened fire, a hail of bullets bombarding the creature. However, they glanced harmlessly off his grotesque form. This propelled him into a vicious rage. He pounced, leaping from the bed and seizing the largest officer by the throat. He thrashed in the creature’s grasp, being helplessly dangled in the air.
“Do not challenge the might of Aku.” The voice was once again pitiless and toxic.
He raised his free claw, running the officer through, then dropping the body to the floor.
He turned to the three horrified super-heroines. An unkind smile flashed the long fangs.
“Come and get me, girls,” he taunted them, before launching himself out the window in a rain of shattering glass. A trail of abnormally black smoke was left in his wake.