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Powerpuff Girls Ω is a crossover fan fiction story, inspired by the style of Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi. It is written by Belgiansparten. The story is a crossover, based on the cartoon, The Powerpuff Girls but borrowing elements from all sorts of media. The genres of the story are action, supernatural, sci-fi and horror and is R-rated, meant for mature audiences, due to the dark themes and descriptions of violence.

Summary

Powerpuff Girls Ω follows the story of the Powerpuff Girls, now 12 years old, in a new adventure, in a new city. On September 7th, 2010, a horrifying series of attacks shook the United States and changed it forever. A mysterious force destroyed the cities of Amity Park, Cityville, Dimmsdale, Endsville, Nowhere and Townsville, killing millions in the progress. This event would become known as The Omega Event. But now, 5 years later, under the leadership of President Lex Luthor, the United States is a nation reborn, with as crown jewel, Megaville. In their new city, the Powerpuff Girls has to pick up life again but villains soon shall rise, both old and new!

Arcs

Arc 1: Mandarkness, Chapter 1 to Chapter 5
Arc 2: To Be Announced, Chapter 6 to ...

Story

Chapter 1 - The New Beginnings:
Bubbles opened her eyes and as her gaze looked over the concrete playground of Pokey Oaks Elementary, she smiled from ear to ear. It had been just a dream, a very terrible nightmare but now she had woken up and she was back. With an expression of pure happiness, she looked at the trees surrounding the school terrain, listened to how the singing of birds harmonized with the sound of playing children, felt an autumn breeze caring her cheek. She watched a group of children playing hopscotch, looked how her friends from Pokey Oaks Kindergarten, Kim, Julie and Susie were rope skipping. On the other side of the playground, she could see how Mitch played a Yu-Gi-Oh! duel with Harry... At the sight of her friends, her heart leaped with joy, wiping every other thought from her mind. It was so good to be back. But while she was trying to decide if she would join the children playing hopscotch or would join Kim, Julie and Susie, a terrible scent entered her nostrils. A combination of sulphur and acetate acid. An all too familiar combination of scents. Terrified of what she would she if she turned around, she hesitantly looked over her shoulder. To her horror, she heard her sisters's shouting her name, just like before... She turned around, desperately trying to deny what was going to happen, like if denying would somehow prevent the upcoming events from happening. A bright green light blinded her and mere seconds later, a green fire engulfed her body. The shockwave of the explosion knocked Bubbles back, resulting in her feet leaving deep marks in the concrete. With clothes ripped and her iron-like skin severely burned, she pulled herself from the dirt. The pain of the burns on her face and her forearms was almost unbearable, and with tears in her eyes, she looked around, crying for her sisters. The ruins of what was once a school building were masked by smoke and it was clear that the school had been the epicentre of the attack. She looked around and her mouth dropped open in horror, the playground was devoid of life and from the looks of it, so was the rest of Townsville. But about her friends, her sisters, the professor... The terrible smell of burned meat and the black shadows on the ground gave her answers she wasn't yet willing to accept. Who could have done this? She looked skywards but the sight of a green atmosphere and a ravaged skyline made her decide to look down. She tried to walk and although painful, she felt herself able to walk towards smoking remains of what was the school complex.

From the smoke, she saw a shadowy figure appear. At first she thought it was one of Boogie Man's minions as it was tall as husky figure, with ram-like horns protruding from the side of his skull. As it came closer and more of his physical appearance became noticeable, she was shocked by what she saw. She never had seen anything like this before. The creature was dressed in long robes and on his head, he wore an iron crown. His pale face looked like almost human, and possibly at one point in time, he probably was a human but now... Both his nose and lips were missing, his eyes were black whirlpools, with a small, unnatural yellow light in the centre of each whirlpool. Even worse than its face were the arms of the monster, they were those of a skeleton, with only a few femurs and nerves still attached to the bones. But neither the facial mutilations nor the from flesh stripped arms were what shocked her, it was what the creature was holding in its right hand... His hand was clutched around the skull of miss Alordayne Grotke, their teacher who was only recently transferred from Third Street School to Pokey Oak. She knew it was her at the unscathed clothes her skeleton wore, the green dress, the blue necklace, the round glasses... But as the creature closed his fist, the brittle skull of Grotke crumbled to dust, quickly followed by the rest of her remains. "No! What have you done! You will pay for that!"
Enraged by this desecration, Bubbles forgot her own pain and charged at the creature at light speed, with her fist as a battering ram, aimed at his face. But before she could make contact, before she would have punched a hole in the monstrous head, the creature dissolved in green smoke, laughing maniacally, seemingly leaving her the last living soul in Townsville.Once that reality caught up with Bubbles, she felt something vital break inside. She ascended into the sky, took notice of wasteland that once was known as Townsville. Her emotions got the better of her as she let out a ear-piercing scream.

Still screaming, she awoke from this recurring night terror. Her shriek was so loud that everyone in a radius of 5 miles was awakened and the shatterproof windows started to tremble in their frames. As Blossom and Buttercup jumped out of bed, looking for the attacker that they thought had woken up Bubbles, only to find nothing, Professor Utonium stormed in the room.
'What's the matter,' he asked. But after one glance at the terrified face of his daughter, he realized what happened, yet it was Blossom who spoke out this conclusion: 'Bubbles had a nightmare... Am I right, Bubbles?'
'Yes,' said her blonde sister timid, clearly embarrassed by her outburst.
'I didn't wanted to wake you up, I'm sorry.'
When she said it, she looked specifically at Buttercup who grumpily returned to bed, mumbling something they couldn't understand, even with their superhearing. But knowing Buttercup, it was likely for the better.
'Don't worry about it, we understand,' Blossom stated promptly, speaking for the two of them, but Buttercup, in uncharacteristic act of tact, didn't refute that notion, she only turned around, turning her face to the window and made a cocoon around herself with her blanket. In her thoughts, Blossom thanked Buttercup for this gesture.
'Did you had "that" dream again?' the professor asked worried at Bubbles, a question she answered by nodding. With a sigh, he sat beside her, and said: 'Try to forget the dream... Tomorrow is a very important day...'
'I don't know if I want to go, professor...' she said but the professor stood up and stepped away. With a kind yet firm expression on his face, he said: 'We have talked about this, Bubbles. We have to do this and it is better for you too if you do this. Believe me, it is for the better. It will help you.'
'Okay then, if you say so... Goodnight, professor...'
'Goodnight, girls...'

As he descended the stairs, his thoughts were still with Bubbles. He couldn't be surprised by the fact that she had that recurring nightmare again. He looked at his watch and saw it was five after twelve, after all, today marked the five year anniversary of the Omega Event. He entered the living room and took the remote control of the television, before dropping himself on the sofa. He stared blindly at the midnight commercials, his mind unable to process the images or the sounds. He couldn't stop thinking about the event that reshaped the US. On September 7th, 2010 a mysterious creature lay waist to the cities of Amity Park, Minnesota; Cityville, New York; Dimmsdale, California; Endsville, Arizona; Nowhere, Kansas and Townsvile, New York. An event that the media would later dub the Omega Event. In the series of attacks, sixteen million people died, and making as many homeless. It would go in history as the worst terrorist attack, surpassing the destruction of London, in the 1994' The Zeppelin Affair, that cost the life of three million people. And despite the hundreds of theories, ranging from aliens and paranormal entities to terrorism and rogue nations, there was still no idea who was behind it all. Together with the greatest minds of the globe and the most powerful and influential organizations, he had investigated the enigma of the Omega Event. And after five year of intense research, the results were rather anticlimactic. The only thing that they did know was that Nowhere, Kansas was the epicentre of the event. It all started there and all but a dog perished during the event. But even with that info, they couldn't conclude anything. Sure, The Center and the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense had the place monitored as it was known for to be a hotspot for paranormal activity but none of their data warned them for this event. Their eyes were aimed at the Gates of the Underworld in Tibet, for upcoming cataclysmic events. Vatican Section XIII, Jericho and the Swiss Guard on the other hand had their money set on Al-Khali in Saudi-Arabia. Men in Black and the Skyway Patrol monitored any alien activity that might had threatened Earth and the Guys in White monitored any spectral activities... Nothing warned them about the Omega Event, nothing... And no creature matched the description of what Bubbles had seen that day, there was no alien race, no ghost, no myth about the monster, no transhuman known that fit her description. But whatever it was, it had purged almost all life in the city, leaving only a handful of "lucky" survivors. The girls managed to survive the attack, thanks to their transhuman physiology, he survived by mere luck, being in his lab at the time of the explosion. Townsville was one of the city that was hit the hardest, the death count only be surpassed by that of Cityville, where no survivors were counted. The girls still had a hard time forgetting that terrible day, especially Bubbles...

Much had changed in the post-Omega Event: in order to tackle this problem several institutions were forced to fuse together and cooperate more. The Center had absorbed the Bureau of Paranormal Investigation and the Guys in White, as did the Skyway Police with the Men in Black. In the aftermath of the Omega Event, several smaller groups of superheroes were attacked by several different villains and to combat both these random acts of violence as well as the growing influence of the H.I.V.E. Academy, the Justice League had taken other superhero groups, like the Titans and AWSM under its banner, this despite protest of the new US president, Lex Luthor. Speaking of which, the biggest change might have come from this Republican. With the financial help of philanthropists like Bruce Wayne, Gomez Addams and Oliver Queen as well as his own financial sources, he created a complete new city, a futuristic metropolis. A mixture of modern architectural achievement and traditional accents. Megaville as it was subtly called, he thought with a sly smirk, before he shook his head: No, that wasn't really fair. After all, if it wasn't for Luthor's pet project, millions people would still have been homeless. Thanks to Luthor and his benefactors, the survivors of the Omega Event, were able to get a new house in one of the many suburbs of Megaville. If it wasn't for Luthor, he couldn't have rebuild their original house. He wanted the girls to feel home again and he did had the feeling it worked. Although in the first years, they were requested on several missions around the globe, resulting in them being often away from home, these requests became more and more rare occurrences. It might have been the only good thing that came out the Omega Event. Thanks to the Global Justice League, criminality had been in decline, at one hand people became more responsible and broke the power of criminals but another, more unsettling reason was the fact that many mayor villains had perished in the Omega Event... But rest assured, Brother Blood was working to solve this "inequality".

The professor turned off the television, shutting off the newest video clip of the next rap god. With mild amusement he looked at the black OLED screen. He had unravelled the mysteries of transhuman physiology and the biochemical processes that kept kaiju alive held no secrets from him, yet he was unable to grasp what appeal modern music seemed to have. He dropped the remote control on the table and went to bed. When he passed the door of the girls, he couldn't help himself. He listened at their door but only heard their slow breath, almost in synchronicity, all clearly asleep. With a lifted heart, he went to his room and laid down on his bed. The next day, there would be a memorial statue revealed, for the victims of the Omega Event, a huge pillar. On it's inner walls had they carved all the names of the victims. But it would also be the girls first school day, since the Omega Event. He could only hope that the kids in Junior High School Division of Megaville High School would be nice to them. That they would be treated normally. The kids surely would know who they were but how would they react... He could continue to school them at home but it would be better if they could life normal lives.

Megaville High School September 8th, 2015. 8:10
It was strange. They had knew that this day was coming, the professor had informed them weeks before and still... Why was she so nervous? Buttercup looked at the floor, so she shouldn't have to make any eye contact with her new classmates. She had tried to look them straight in the eyes but for some reason it was easier to keep observing the floor (which really could use a cleaning, whoever the janitor was, he should be fired). But why was it so hard to look at them. She had wrestled with kaijus, battled mutants and even beaten the living hell out of the devil, why was it so much harder to look at a bunch of kids than it is to look at the torn remains of an octopus monster... 'Because you are afraid of losing them too... Afraid of losing them, like you lost your other friends', said a sneaky voice in her head. Her first reaction when that thought entered her mind was to deny it. That was ridiculous, she wasn't afraid, she wasn't weak... No, that would be something for Bubbles, right... But what if she was afraid, she thought. What if she was afraid to make new friends because she didn't want to suffer that loss a second time.
'Buttercup...' Blossom whispered and Buttercup looked up in surprise. Everyone was looking at her. It was like being thrown before the lions. Worse, as here, she couldn't hit the lions. 'Your name...' Blossom whispered again and finally Buttercup got the hint: 'Buttercup, I'm Buttercup.'
'Ok, welcome Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup. Please, take a seat. Since this is your first day here, I will have to assign some students to show you around. Dexter, you will help Blossom, Suzy, you will help Bubbles and Eddward, you will help Buttercup. Let us begin with this small announcement. As you likely are all aware of, today marks the 5 year anniversary of the Omega Event. In memory of those who we lost during this horrible event, president Lex Luthor and mayor Helga Pataki will reveal the Omega Memorial 12 o'clock, on the exact hour of the attack... Attendance is mandatory. Okay, now that is out of the way, let us begin.'
'Seems you have to babysit one of the newbies, sockhead,' a boy behind Eddward whispered mockingly. The boy was short, and almost bald. The only hair he got were three long strands of hair. They were likely part of a mohawk but today, maybe because was prohibited by the school rules, they lay flat on the right side of his head. Although comforted by that the idea that beside Eddward, she and her sisters were likely the only ones in the classroom who would have heard him, Buttercup felt her cheeks turn red. It was something she simply couldn't let pass and suddenly she lashed out at the boy: 'What is your problem, dork. I don't need a babysitter and if you want to say something, have the balls to say it in my face!'
The classroom turned completely silent and Buttercup's face turned almost scarlet.
'Is there a problem, Buttercup?' her teacher asked surprised by the outburst, frowning at both Buttercup as the boy. Regaining her cool, Buttercup said promptly: 'I don't know, you should ask him. He seems to have a problem with me...'
'Well, Eddy. I'm listening,' the teacher said, now completely focussing on the boy. This time it was his turn to turn red as he lowered his head and looked at his desk, murmuring that he did nothing wrong. But it didn't trick their teacher who had her eyes locked on Eddy and firm expression on her face: 'Let me make myself clear, Eddy. I will not put with bullies. If I notice that you bully any of the new students again, you will spend your first semester in detention. Do I make myself clear, Eddy?'
'Yes...'
'Yes... Who?'
'Yes, miss Meryl!'
'Perfect... Let us continue.'
The rest of the hour remained eventless and when the bell rang, Eddy was amongst the first to leave the classroom, without even looking in Buttercup's direction. He was furious about what she did to him. From now on, he would be closely watched by miss Meryl and that was all thanks to her.

On the corridor, Eddy started to rage against Eddward: 'Who does that bitch think she is...'
'Please Eddy, watch your language. Such derogatory comments are completely... ' 'Do you have any idea how close I am from hitting you now, sockhead. Do you agree with that bitch...'
'Well, She is our teacher, Eddy, so she have the full-right to use such disciplinary measures if she sees them fit. And I have to be honest, your comment was highly inappropriate and very mean-spirited.'
'Yeah, yeah... Don't you have a newbie to babysit? Speaking of which, how did she hear me any way. I wasn't that loud.'
'Must be her hyper-developed auditory senses, which is not so uncommon in transhumans...'
'We are in America Double D, and in America, we speak English. So speak English!'
'He means we have super-hearing, loudmouth. Not that we don't need it to hear you shouting,' Blossom said as she, Buttercup and Bubbles strolled through the hallway with Suzy, Tootie and Dexter and arrived at his locker. Dexter nodded at Eddward in a formal fashion, who reacted with a smile: 'I have read your piece on Interdimensional Travel in Scientific America. Very interesting theories.' 'Thank you, Eddward. It is always please me when people can appreciate the beauty space-time anomalies. But please tell me what your ideas are on the subject. What do you think is the best way to...'
The boys were so caught up in their conversation that they seemed to forget that they were surrounded by others. But Buttercup was so nice to remind them of this. 'I don't think we are going to get our tour today, Blossom. I'm not even sure they know we are still here...'
'Ah, boys and their toys...' Bubbles gleefully said, clearly having overcome the anxiety she felt the evening before, thanks to her new friends Tootie and Suzy.
'Yeah, but most toys don't open a portal, connecting the drinking fountain to HIM's bathtub...' Buttercup jokingly responded. Blossom laughed, which led Dexter to suddenly shut up, slightly blushing and nervously pushed his glasses further on his nose. Eddward immediately got the hint and excused himself: 'I'm sorry, ladies... Please excuse me, it is just that when I get excited about a topic, I forget my surroundings.'
'Yeah, keep kissing ass, Double D. You are so good at it,' Eddy murmured before locking his locker and walking away in an agitated fashion.
'What is his problem?'
'Family problems... I know he would disapprove that I tell you this but I think it is for the better if you are informed on his situation. It all started with his brother. Eddy's hero was his big brother. But people we idolize aren't always the ones we think they are. In Eddy's case, it was a rather hard truth. I don't know how to say this...'
'Spill the guts already,' Buttercup said impatiently, 'What happened?!'
'Eddy and his family hadn't seen his brother in years and the reason for this was the fact that Eddy's brother is a violent heroin addict. A few years back we went to visit him, Eddy still being deluded with the idea that his brother was cool, that he was a hero. His brother welcomed us in by fracturing Eddy's wrist and stole his money...'
'That's horrible...' Bubbles said in shock.
'I'm not even finished yet,' Eddward continued, 'The second problem is his parents, they want him to fulfil the dreams and ideas they had for his brother, putting an incredible pressure on his shoulders. And since our friend Ed is a year older than us and sit in another class, he mostly takes his frustration out on me...'
'But you don't have to be his punching bag because he haves it rough,' Blossom proclaimed but Eddward shook his head with an expression of utter sadness on his face, 'He has his good moments too and if I don't help him, who will. I don't want him to turn into his brother.'
'I... I didn't know...' Buttercup uttered, ashamed of her previous outburst against Eddy. She didn't know this. It did explain his behaviour and she had the painful feeling that she might have overreacted herself. After all, she (and her sisters) were the only one who had heard him. Why couldn't she have stayed quiet? Why couldn't her ego let it pass...
'Don't worry about it, Buttercup,' Eddward said with a friendly smile, 'Given the circumstances, your reaction was pretty normal. Just remember, everyone have skeletons in their closet...'
And for some reason, he looked at Dexter when he said that before turning his head to the Powerpuff Girls. He only had looked at Dexter for a brief moment but it didn't go unnoticed by Blossom, who frowned at this. Was it coincidence that Eddward looked at Dexter when he started about skeletons in people's closet. Or was there something more? Was it coincidence that a blond girl that passed them, smirked when he said those words. Was there something they didn't know?

Chapter 2 - In Memory of All:
'Today, we have come together to commemorate the victims of the Omega Event. Never will we forget the tragedy that destroyed Amity Park, Citysville Dimmsdale, Endsville, Nowhere and Townsville and shook our nation. Million lives... Mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, friends... All wiped out by this horrible disaster. For them, I ask you all a minute of silence.'
President Luthor looked down on the citizens of Megaville, who sat before him. Behind him sat the mayor of the Megaville Helga Pataki. She didn't look at the president, she looked at the people in the crowd. The front rows were reserved for the students of Megaville Elementary and Megaville High School. And if her eyes didn't deceive her, she could see the last survivors of Townsville, the Powerpuff Girls. She was never such a fan of vigilante heroes but there was no denying that there were monsters that couldn't be battled by mere mortals. But there was also no denying that there was a risk that they can attract other villains to her city... As everyone was quiet, either praying in silence or simply thinking about the million lives that were ended that day, she couldn't help it but to look at her husband. Arnold smiled carefully and nodded encouraging. She smiled back before looking back at the citizens, waiting till the minute had past. When it was time, Luthor thanked the people and asked her to take center stage. She walked up to the lectern. She nodded to the president and the public before turning to the giant monument behind her. It was covered by a gigantic cover. 'Now, in memory of our fallen loved ones, I am honoured to present the Omega Memorial Spire.'
She revealed a remote and with one press of the button, the exotic fabric of the cover dissolved, revealing a gigantic spire that reached far into the sky. It was the highest building in Megaville and the first monument in the world to surpass the limit of a mile. Inside the spire, the walls were covered with the names of the sixteen million names, and the tower had 900 stories. The centre of the spire was hollow, and every storey consisted out large balconies and bridges, so people could see their loved ones. To accommodate for disabled people and the elderly, the spire had special made elevators, courtesy of Dexter and Jimmy Neutron

'That it can be the symbol of hope and prosperity. A symbol of the New America, a nation reborn.'
Everyone in the crowd stood up and started to clap. 'Everyone will have a change to visit the Spire as it will be open 24/24. But the honour of being the first visitors, I would like to give to our youth. They are our future and without understanding of the past, there is no future. So students of Megaville Elementary and Megaville High School, if you please could follow me?'
As she entered the monument, she was followed by a procession of children, the youth of Megaville. The children were unusually quiet, maybe it was the imposing sight of the monument, that held the memories of so much pain. The Powerpuff girls and their new friends quickly went to the section, dedicated to the fallen men, women and children of Townsville. Reading these names was hard for the girls. They knew they were gone, but to see their names crafted in stone, it made things seem so definitely. Bubbles couldn't fight her tears and started to cry silently, to which Suzy and Tootie reacted by hugging their new friend. Blossom and Buttercup looked like the wall, with an expression that wouldn't go a miss on the funeral of an army general. The people of Townsville never got a proper funeral, after all, the monster hadn't left any bodies. They were simply vanquished. Dexter did a step back until he felt his back touch the railing. He had felt a strange shock from his wrist and he knew what that meant. One final look at the girls, he decided not to inform them of what he just felt and pressed the center of his watch. Trusting on the fact that they would still be occupied by their grief and wouldn't notice him disappearing, he teleported to the place where from where he received a distress call.

'You have pressed the panic button, didn't you', said the man on the other side of counter with a disappointed expression on his face. 'Despite my warnings, you have pressed the panic button. I came here to just rob you but since you refused to listen, I will continue my crusade here.'
From the gloved fingertips, large curved metal claws sprouted and the assailant raised his clawed hand, ready to teach the jeweller a painful lesson. But before the metal of his claws could become one with the man's face, Manny was hit by a fist bump in his back. The air was pressed out his lungs and the punch was hard enough to push him against the counter. In direct reaction, he swiped his tail, wiping the fool who dared attacking him from his feet. As he returned to see who his attacker was, he was surprised to see it was a 12 year old boy, with glasses. His hands were covered by large metal gauntlets and the boy was surprisingly fast on his feet again. Manny was mildly amused by his young adversary. 'Dexter, good to see you. What's the matter, no school?'
'Manny Rivera, why are you doing this? What would your father say if he saw you threatening a jeweller?'
'Hold still and you will be able to ask him these questions yourself,' said Manny aggressively as he lashed out with his claws to Dexter, who narrowly parried his attack with his gauntlets, 'And don't call me Manny! Manny died when your government decided to let his city die! Now, there is only El Tigre'
'Manny, my deepest apologies for what happened to your family but...'
'Hollow words buy you nothing, geek boy!'
Although Dexter could trust on hightech machinery in this fight, he lacked the experience of his opponent who quickly threw him through the window of the store and sending him crashing in a car. The impact was painful but Dexter felt he hadn't broken anything... yet.
'It ends here, faux hero! Your carcass will send a message to this city of hypocrites, this isn't over. Not before any soul of Miracle City has been avenged, an eye for an eye. And trust me, your president let many people die.'
'Then why didn't you attack him during the speech? You got the perfect opportunity to assassinate him, yet you attacked this innocent man? Why?'
'Because he will see what he has done, he will see them all! He will be the last on my long list of death. And he will suffer before that time, but for you the end comes now.'
'Touch him and I personally turn you into kitty litter, El Tigre!'
Blossom appeared out of nowhere and hit El Tigre with such a force, he was spun in the air before landing hard on the concrete. If he was surprised by the sudden attack, he didn't show it as he quickly crawled up and looked with an enraged expression on his face on the hovering Blossom before him.
'You think that you are safe for these claws, missy? They cut through concrete like it is butter'
'Perhaps, but in order to cut me, you first have to hit me.'
'Don't worry, I don't plan on missing you, pink stuff!'
Dexter screamed at Blossom: 'Look out, Blossom. He is going to fire his fists!'
As predicted by Dexter, El Tigre fired his fists on chains at Blossom who smiled when the claws were closing in on her: 'I was counting on that!'
A green and a blue light flash intercepted the claws and in a colourful tornado of green and blue, Bubbles and Buttercup wrapped the chains around El Tigre. 'You will pay for this, Powerpuff Girls, that I can promise you!'
'Yeah, tell that to the jailers of Belle Reve, buddy. Take him, officers.'

As they watched on police put El Tigre away, Blossom turned to Dexter and said: 'And what did you think you were doing? Disappearing on us like that? Did you think that you could handle him on your own? Did you think we couldn't handle it?'
'No, no...' Dexter refuted, as he look in panic at Buttercup, who after hearing the words "couldn't handle it" started to crack her knuckles, 'I assumed it was a regular homo sapiens sapiens delinquent and I didn't found it opportune to disturb your mourning process.'
'So you decided to leave us behind and get an organ rearrangement by this freak.'
'A crude summary of the actual facts but in essence, yes...'
'You are damn lucky to be alive, Dexter,' Buttercup said suddenly, 'If it wasn't for us, you would be filleted. Now, how about you, filling us in about that guy. I thought El Tigre was a hero.'
'Well, was is the perfect verb. He was a hero, before the Omega Event hit his hometown of Miracle City. Although the effects of the calamity were rather minimal when compared to the destruction observed in cities like Townsville, the crippling of the infrastructure resulted in criminals plundering the city, minor injuries became death sentences as there was no medical help available. But since Miracle City is in Mexico, both the former president, Jonathan Horne and our current president Lex Luthor refused to send any aid. Manny and his family tried to help their citizens but they alone were not enough and with the villains running rampant, they never stood a change. Eventually, Manny was the only survivor of his clan. And in all fairness, Manny's moral judgement has always been dubious, the result of being raised in a family of heroes and villains. Such a duality in one's youth can never have good results. Anyway, the incident taught Manny the Darwinian Law of survival and post-Omega, the only way he would survive was by becoming a villain. From what I gathered, he did a fantastic job clawing up to top of the food chain. His newfound cruelty and awoken sadism finally drew the attention of one American, it drew the attention of Brother Blood. Blood saw a bright future for Manny Rivera at H.I.V.E. Academy. He is a H.I.V.E. Graduate.'
'He has killed another human,' Blossom concluded with clear disgust and Bubbles looked with a combination of shock and curiosity at Blossom, but it was Buttercup who continued, 'Since Victor Stone and Karen Beecher had infiltrated the H.I.V.E. Academy and Jinx have turned on the H.I.V.E., everyone who attends H.I.V.E. Academy, has to prove their worth. The test to determine their worth is to bring Blood the heart of another human. In order for El Tigre to be accepted, he must have given Blood a heart. The Global Justice League have tried for years to shut down H.I.V.E. Academy but nobody can find Blood or the location of the current H.I.V.E. Academy.'
'But that is terrible! Why would anyone do that?'
'Because there are enough people who are willing to pay for a transhuman powerhouse to do their dirty work. Yes, Earth can be quite the dark and cold place and for those who haven't even their humanity to lose, why wouldn't they exploit this... I'm sure that there are plenty of drug cartels would pay big bucks for him.' Dexter said with a grim expression on his face, 'Brave New World, what monsters thy bring forth.' 'Perhaps, but that only means we have to fight harder, to combat these monsters' Blossom reacted pugnacious and Buttercup and Bubbles clapped for her words. Dexter looked at her with a hopeful smile and said: 'Beautiful sentiment but I think that the monsters have to wait, we are expected back at school.'

'Where have you been,' Eddward asked in surprise when the Powerpuff Girls and Dexter finally turned up again, 'I was afraid that you would miss Science Class...'
'Oh boy, how dreadful that would be...' Buttercup said cynical, not in the least impressed by her timetable, 'Eddward, little question... Are there any interesting school clubs?'
'Of course, there is the biology club, the chemistry club, the robotica club, the...'
'Any clubs for non-nerds?' Buttercup cut him off and his cheeks tinted slightly red: 'We have various sport teams, Sensei Jack has a kendo club if martial arts are more your thing...'
'Kendo club? Martial Arts? Now that's what I'm talking about.'
'Well, try-outs start next week...'
'Thanks for the info!'
And with lifted spirits she entered the classroom. Her good mood however was very short-lived, was she learned that she wouldn't only work with Eddward, but also with Eddy. How much she wouldn't have given to be able to switch Blossom or Bubbles...
'Hello students, my name is Jasmine Fenton and I'm your new science teacher. As this will be for many of you, the first contact with science.'
She explicitly didn't look at Dexter when she said that, who was barely able to suppress a vague smile, before continuing: 'I thought it could be interesting to do some little experiments with you, so you get a better idea what science is. As you probably have noticed, on every table there is a small card with a number.'
While she said that, she went to the back of the class and opened a closet, 'in this closet, you will find a series of boxes. On each box, you find a number. Take the box with your number and return to your table. One student per table will suffice. Instructions on how to perform the experiment, are provided on a paper in the box. But of course, I will help you make sense of it all. And Dexter? Please don't make a cold fusion reactor out a potato this time...'
Blossom looked at their number and saw she, Dexter and a boy named Otto Osworth had box 5. After she volunteered to get their box, Blossom was the first to take a box from the closet. While she turned around with the box, looking inside to see what experiment they had, she turned around. But as she was too busy looking inside the box, being amused that they did pull the Potato-electricity experiment, she didn't notice the boy behind her and bumped into him. Almost losing grip of the box, and causing the boy to fall, she quickly rested the box on a table before helping the boy up. The boy had medium long, brown hair, wore a red T-shirt with a white sweater underneath and tan khaki pants. He thanked her when she helped him back on his feet and said: 'I see you have to work with Dexter. Be very careful with him. Things aren't always what they seem...'
'What... What do you mean?' Blossom asked confused, not really knowing what to say. The boy continued: 'He is a monster. He is a murderer...', before taking his box and returning to his table. This sudden revelation shocked Blossom and without saying another word, she too returned to her table. After a while, she turned to Otto and asked him who the boy was: 'Him?' Otto asked pointing at the boy with the red shirt and after Blossom nodded, 'That's Mac.'
Blossom was just about to ask him about what Mac had said, when Dexter asked her if she could have him the electrodes. She looked at Dexter when she gave him the components he asked for. Was this the face of a murderer? But he looked so innocent and he was so nice to them. Was Mac lying to her? But why would someone lie about that? She looked back at Otto but she couldn't find the courage to ask him about it. She stared through the classroom, saw how Bubbles, Tootie and Suzy were making copper sulphate crystals and how both Buttercup's solution and her blood were boiling. Was she really befriending a murderer? And what did Eddward say, 'We all have our skeletons in our closet...' She had noticed him looking at Dexter when he said it but was it this that he meant? It was a thought that didn't leave her alone, not even at night as her dreams were filled with images of demonic Dexter, with severe disfigurements at one side of his face and dressed in a black lab coat, doing inhumane experiments on fellow students... Several times, she awoke, bathing in sweat, after she tried to stop Nightmare Dexter from performing live vivisections on imaginary classmates. After one such nightmare, she made the vow to herself that she wouldn't judge Dexter without knowing the facts, she would uncover what skeletons Dexter had in his closet. No matter what...

Chapter 3 - The Story of Dexter and Dee Dee:
A week had passed since they busted El Tigre, a week since Mac made the allusion that Dexter was in fact a murderer. And even after a week, that idea was as prevalent on Blossom's mind as ever. She didn't know Dexter that well and although, he appeared nice, he wouldn't be the first psychopath masquerading as regular people. She had seen that in a TV-series, with a now very unfortunate name. But Dexter wasn't some television killer, he was a real human being and he was way too young to be murderer, right? He was only 12... In the week, she had done surreptitiously some digging in Dexter's past, cross-referencing murders with his past. The only death that held any correlation to Dexter's history was the death of his sister, Dee Dee, three years ago. According to the police files, she was murdered by Dexter's former classmate, Mandark Astronomonov. In the report, it was stated that Mandark blamed Dexter for her death, claiming that he was framed by his arch-nemesis. Mandark never stood trial for his crimes however, as shortly after his arrest, he escaped confinement and after six months, his corpse was found on the Genius Grove Cemetery. Official police reports ruled it a suicide, although some conspiracy theories speculated that Mandark was killed instead, died a scapegoat. According to these conspiracy theorists, Mandark was in fact the second victim of a boy genius that the Government wants to protect at all cause...

With every line of thought cut short, she had started to hang out more with Dexter, get close to him and to his friends. But she couldn't follow him everywhere of course, the restroom for example was of course off limits. And after school, she had to let him go as every time, she asked him to come over or asked if she could come over, he had come up with a new excuse. This of course, gave her the distinct impression that he truly had something to hide from her. She could have asked Mac about what he meant but she didn't know him either. Was he telling the truth in the first place or was this all a cruel joke? She didn't know what had happened between the two boys, in the past. It were details that she needed to put things in perspective and validated any statement. As she socialized with Dexter, she did learn some of his habits however. She already knew he was a very intelligent boy, despite his young age, he was one of the most brilliant minds of the 21th century, so it wasn't surprising that he spent much of his free time in the library. And today was no different, as he was reading books of Quantum Mechanics, occasionally correcting the author with a pencil, while she was working on her Chinese vocabulary and grammar. From the corner of her eye, she looked how he stood up. With the book under his arm, he seemingly was going to return the book to its shelf. Blossom kept following him, with her x-ray vision and watching how he put the book back on the shelf. 'His old routine,' she thought, almost with disappointment. But she just as she was going to turn away, she saw him resting his hand on another book on the shelf and looking around. As if to see if there was anyone spying on him... After he verified that nobody was watching him and carefully tilting it. Without any warning and without making any sound, the midsection of book shelf sank into the ground, revealing a bluish portal behind it. After checking for a last time if there was really nobody to see him (which wasn't likely on the Quantum Mechanic Section of the library) entered the portal before the bookshelf moved back in place. Quickly, Blossom stood up and ran towards the bookshelf. She looked over the books, tracking heat signature or fingerprints, was useless. Dexter always wore his purple laboratory gloves, even outside science class. She had a vague idea which book he had pressed to open this portal and hesitantly she let her hand rest on a book, before tilting it. Silently, the bookshelf sank in the ground, revealing the bluish portal behind it. She was surprised by her luck, having picked the right book from the first try but on the other hand: who other than Dexter would read a book called: Supersymmetrical particles and their practical applications.

With awe she stepped through the portal and before she knew it, she stood in a gigantic laboratory. She was surrounded by surreal looking portals, tables full of chemical products and equipments and complex machinery. Suddenly she saw Dexter, standing before a computer: 'Computer, can you get me AJ and Jimmy?'
'Of course, Dexter.'
Under his command, the computer opened video chats with AJ and Jimmy and after handling the formalities, Dexter said: 'Okay, gentlemen. I have analysed sample X-987BluBub with the dark matter spectrometer and my conclusions are negative. The damage done to the skin tissue sample wasn't the result of dark matter. This would exclude Clifford Zmeck as possible suspect. I did however find that there were extremely small traces of ectoplasm.'
'How low are these concentrations, exactly?' AJ asked.
'In the analysed sample? 0,314 yoctogram per gram skin tissue. Far too low for any ghost to have inflicted these wounds.
Jimmy scratched his forehead and said: 'Well, based on the donor of the sample, it would have been unlikely that it would have been ghost. It should have been already a Mega-Ghost and you know how rare those are...'
'And the copying process is perfect? I mean, it doesn't do any alternation, compared to mother sample.'
'No, I check that daily and Jimmy's device still works perfectly. We are perhaps unable to do all the tests on the mother sample, but this is the closest we are going to get to truly uncovering this mystery.'
Blossom looked from a distance at Dexter as he continued with informing the other two child prodigies with his findings. She knew he was brilliant, she didn't he had his own lab however. The more she saw, the more surprised she was. She saw giant mechs, she saw robot workers, she saw the corpse of a young girl standing before her... The clothing of the corpse was stained by blood and Blossom saw several tubes and wires protruding the skin. Thanks to the police photos, she immediately recognized the girl. It was Dee Dee! She let out an audible shriek before covering her mouth, before slowly turning around.

She looked at the face of Dexter, who had appeared behind, seemingly out of nowhere. His facial expression was a combination of pure anger and sheer shock, seeing her in his laboratory.
'Get out!' he said with a voice trembling of emotion and for a moment, Blossom was really scared of him as he closed in on her, holding up a remote. 'Get out,' he repeated as he opened a portal behind her but much to her surprise, she saw tear rolling down his cheek.
'Dexter?' She tried, laying her hand on his shoulder. 'Please, Get out!'
He repeated a final time, as he pushed her through the portal. And suddenly she was standing in the hall of Megaville Junior High, dazed by what she just had witnessed.

Otto put the last of his books, back in his locker and closed it when Blossom tapped on his shoulder.
'Yes?'
'You are a close friend of Dexter, Otto?'
'Yes?' Otto answered, wondering where this was going.
'Please, tell me about Dee Dee...'
'Dee Dee?' He repeated slowly. Based on his facial expression, which was one of genuine discomfort, she made the right choice to ask him. To prevent that Otto would be stalling, she added: 'Yes, Dexter's sister. Please, tell me what you know...'
After remaining silent for a minute, Otto said: 'Okay than, I can show you what happened, if you want.'
'Show me?'
He turned around and showed his watch to Blossom. 'With this watch, I am able to observe events that happened in the past. I can show you Dexter's relation with his sister... and how she died, if you want.'
Although, she had questions about how a thirteen year old boy had access to technology she would have believed to be science-fiction a minute ago, her curiosity to what he could show her was overruled that thought.
'Yes, please.'
Otto nodded and pressed the display of his watch. Promptly, it projected an interactive hologram and after selecting a file, he pressed enter. The moment he pressed the button, a light-blue energy orb was formed and slowly engulfed them both completely. As they materialized in Dexter's lab, Blossom was startled by a sudden explosion and an angry scream of Dexter: 'Dee Dee, Get out of my Laboratory!'
As she watched she saw the young girl, whose corpse she had seen in Dexter's lab, being chased by her brother, his face covered in ash.
A 'No, that is expensive!' was followed by the sound of breaking machinery. As Otto started narrating the story, Blossom saw a brief history of Dexter's experiments and how Dee Dee constantly wrecked his work. That girl was the chaos incarnate. Did Dexter kill by accident or on a whim and blamed Mandark? Like Otto had read her mind, he said: 'Despite the fact that Dee Dee constantly wrecked his work, he did care for her. They had a normal sibling rivalry. She was always there if he needed her.'
He moved his hand, and time flash-forwarded to Dexter and Dee Dee meditating in a field of flowers. 'You see, Dexter is a man of science, always focussed on his work, focused on discovering new scientific principles and making new machinations. But even the most brilliant of minds have to rest and science isn't always pretty. Dee Dee could help him come to rest, clear his mind and comfort him.'
'I understand but why did you bring me here? I mean, to this moment in time. Is it here that she was...'
'No, but in order to place the things that will come next into perspective, I think it is necessary that you watch this. He snapped his fingers and time started flow again. In silence, Otto and Blossom listened to the conversation between Dexter and Dee Dee: 'In order to be in peace with the world, one has to be in peace with themselves.'
'That's Mahatama Gandhi, right?'
'Dexter, this isn't a quiz... Now, clear your mind, close your eyes and breath. Listen to the beat of your heart and relax.'
Dexter nodded and did what he was told. As they said there for 10 minutes, in silent meditation, Dee Dee suddenly broke the silence. 'Dexter, before we start with the next exercise, I would like to ask you for one favor.'
Dexter looked with a surprised expression on his face to his sister, not sure what to answer on this question: 'If you are going to ask if I will allow unlimited access to my lab, than the answer is no...'
But before Dexter could finish his sentence, Dee Dee interrupted him with a forgiving smile: 'No, nothing of the kind. You have to make me a promise. Promise me that you will never try to meddle with the rules of life and death...'
'What?'
'You must promise me that you will never try to resurrect someone. I understand that for someone with your intellect, cheating death is an interesting challenge but please, don't toy with these kind of forces. People aren't meant to live for eternity and when our time is up. I want you to understand this...'
'Dee Dee? What is this about? Why do you ask me this?'
'Promise me!'
'Okay, if you feel better that way, I promised that I won't repeat Frankenstein's experiments...'
'Thank you...'
The time froze again and Blossom as surprised as Dexter, asked: 'What was this about?'
'Dee Dee had a pen pal, Bo. He was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite the cancer that was ravaging Bo's body, he refused chemotherapy. He has accepted death and informed Dee Dee about his imminent demise. He passed away three days after he told her about his condition. His fate gave her a complete new look on life, she became more serious and surely less destructive. In short, she matured.'
He raised his arm but hesitated for a moment. Worried, he looked over his shoulder and said: 'The next part isn't beautiful. Are you sure that you want to continue this?'
She reacted by laying her hand on his and after another swift hand gesture, they flew through time, only to stop in Dexter's lab again, only this time it was in complete ruins. A large explosion is seen and from the smoke a tall boy appears, with black hair cut in a bowl cut. Blossom immediately recognized him from his police file, it was Mandark! He was followed by an army of vampiric robots with burning wings.
'How do you find my newest invention, I call the Nos-4-A-2's. This is the end of the line for Dexter. This day, I will destroy everything you hold dear, all your inventions will be gone and history will remember me as the superior intellect.'
'Bring it on, Mandark!' Dexter said, ready to making his last stand. What appeared to be a simple bracelet, suddenly turned into massive gauntlet, complete with hand cannon. But none of the missiles fired by Dexter, (Blossom wasn't sure if it were live rounds or sedatives but at this point, she didn't know if she should care), hit their target, as they were all intercepted by the cybervampires. The rest flocked around him, trying to find an opening to attack him, while Mandark laughed like a maniac. Most of the Nos-4-A-2 units were destroyed however, before they could cause anymore damage, to either the remnants of his lab or him but eventually one got luck and bite Dexter's gauntlet. Immediately, the gauntlet became too heavy for Dexter and pulled him to the ground, subsequently crushing the head of the robot that attacked him.

Dexter quickly removed his last weapon, that was now drained of power and completely useless. 'Are you ready to surrender, Dexter? Are you ready to become by my slave?'
Although he was beaten, his glasses broken and hand bleeding, it was clear to Blossom that Dexter wasn't planning to bow for his adversary. 'I would rather die!'
'If that's how you wish to go, who am I to deny you? X897! Kill the ingrate, I don't want to look at that stupid face for one more second.' But just as he had given the order, they heard another voice. The voice of a young girl, shouting Dexter's name. Dee Dee entered the lab, saw X897 transformed his claw into a javelin and pointed it at Dexter. Without giving it a second thought she ran towards her brother and pushed him out harm's way, while X897 raced to the ground to complete his deadly command. Mandark tried to call off his robot. And for a moment, Dexter seemed to believe, he had managed to stop his robot just in time, happily thanking Dee Dee. But his sister didn't answer. Blossom watched in shock as Dexter looked from the blooded claw of the robot, to the ever-growing bloodstain on Dee Dee's abdomen. 'Dee Dee?'
Dee Dee looked with a vague surprise at the blood on her hands when she touched her stomach. Soon the blood loss became too severe and Dee Dee lost her balance: 'Dee Dee!'
'No! Not her! Anyone but her!' Mandark screamed in denial, horrified of what his robot had done. 'Robots retreat!' He said, fleeing the scene of the crime, covering his face.
'Computer! I need some medic robots here now!' he said in panic, before turning his face to Dee Dee, 'Don't you die on me, Dee Dee. Don't you dare die on me! COMPUTER!!!'
But with the lab in shambles, help would never come. Blossom looked away, as the tears flew freely. As Dee Dee died, Dexter slowly laid down his sister, shocked by what has happened. 'Stupid sister... Why did you have to do this...'
Blossom hugged Otto, crying against his chest, resulting in him blushing while he froze time. He waited a moment, until Blossom had calmed down a bit before continuing. 'Dexter never told his parents about the lab. Only a few people actually did, mostly government officials, like former head of NASA, mayor Jonathan Knight. But with everything that happened, he had no other choice than to tell them. To put insult to injury, Mandark had already revealed his secret to the world. Seconds, before initiating his attack on his lab, Mandark had uploaded documents of Dexter on Wikileaks, as well as exposing his contacts with the government.
Otto moved his hand, flashing forwards to Dee Dee's funeral: 'Fortunately for Dexter, his parents were very loving and understanding. They were grieving over the lost of their only daughter but they knew that they had to be there for their only son. He had lost his sister and the feeling of guilt over her death. She had sacrificed herself to save his life. In order to shelter their son and in cooperation with the government branches involved, the story of her death was adjusted, removing his lab out of the equation. The official story, and likely the story you have found, is that Dee Dee was killed outside by a lovesick stalker, who killed her after he was rejected...'

Another time jump brought them to a completely different Dexter, a boy sitting in the dark murmuring his sister's name. Her name almost turned into a chant and for a moment, Blossom thought that Dexter had lost it. Dexter called her name one more time before standing up: 'No. This is unacceptable. I AM DEXTER, BOY GENIUS. With the power of science, I have harnessed the powers of exotic matter and black holes. Now, it is time to raise the dead! I will bring her back!'
'He can't be serious...' Blossom murmured in surprise, finally realizing what he was doing with Dee Dee's corpse, 'He is insane!'
'No, just unable to cope with this loss. Even with the help of the Government and his friends, it took him six months to rebuild his lab. But as he had no way of preserving her body, and Dee Dee's organs were donated to others, as a final tribute to the girl who had given her life to save others, he had to start anew... The body you saw, isn't a real human body. It is a gynoid. In the months after her death, Dexter started to make plans to create an indestructible gynoid. But he also believed that she had to be as human as possible. And real humans have organs and blood. Using the latest bio-engineering techniques, Dexter developed a way to create organs using stem cells and later reprogram cells to become stem cells. For days, he worked tirelessly and he was almost finished until he made the shocking realization. Even if he made a gynoid, whose organs were a perfect replica of Dee Dee's, he wouldn't get her back. He would need her soul. And as the alchemy rules go, a soul for soul...'
'What! He would kill someone to exchange their...' Blossom said in shock but was quickly cut off by Otto, who shook his head, shocked by the conclusion she drew.
'No, he was going to sell HIS soul!'
'He wouldn't!!! He didn't!!!' Blossom said in denial, although deep down, she knew that Otto was speaking the truth. Otto reacted by pointing at Dexter who was now holding an ancient book.
'The Daemonolatreia' Otto informed her as Dexter was ready to light the candles. It was clear that he was uncomfortable by the idea that science had reached its limitation and that he had to tap into the darkest arts imaginable. Blossom saw how he broke out in a cold sweat, how it dripped form his face and almost extinguished on the candles. She saw how his hands were shaking as he opened book. But before he tried to decipher the text, he looked a final time at the gynoid body of Dee Dee, behind him. For a moment, Blossom forgot that they were only witnesses to this gruesome scene and couldn't do anything to stop him, as she shouted his name and ran towards him, only to fade through him. Dexter said down in the circle and looked at the pages of the book. But before he could open his mouth and doom himself, another voice was heard. A voice coming from the gynoid: 'Remember your promise, Dexter... Remember your promise...Remember...'
Horrified by that all too familiar voice, Dexter dropped the book and walked toward the gynoid: 'Who are you?!'
But it was clear that he knew who it was, and as the voice kept repeating itself, he took the gynoid by the shoulders and shook it. 'Dee Dee, is that you? Is that really you? Please come back to me... Please...'
But the voice went silent, leaving Dexter alone... again. He looked in horror at his creation, this mockery of life: 'By the mother of Einstein, what have I become!'
Dexter turned around and left his lab. 'Where is he going?'
'He is going to visit his sister, Blossom...' Otto said sorrowfully before moving his index finger, transporting them to Genius Grove Graveyard, just in time to see a very unpleasant surprise. At the tombstone, they saw a slender figure, crying like a child.
'I didn't mean to... Dee Dee, my precious...'
'You didn't mean to do what, Mandark! You didn't mean to ruin my life! You didn't mean to take an innocent life to feed your delusion. You exposed my secrets, took away my lab and destroyed my inventions. But that wasn't enough for you, wasn't it! You had to take her! You had to take my sister!'
Mandark, seemingly disinterested by Dexter's whole speech, continued his insane murmuring: 'Deedee...'
With a speed that Blossom never thought him capable of, Dexter grabbed Mandark by his tie while grabbing a scalpel: 'Don't you dare defile her name with your murderous mouth.'
'Please... End me already. I can't life like this...'
This is it, Blossom thought as Dexter raised his knife and plunged it Mandark's wrist. Blossom covered her mouth to hold in shriek but to her surprise, there was no blood. Dexter's scalpel had pierced through Mandark's watch, which subsequently fell off.
'You think it is going to be that easy. I have to life with her loss every day. Do you think I will shorten your sentence. For these last six months, I have been wondering where you have been. Where you were hiding... Time travel is quite an interesting escape route, isn't it. Well, no more. Welcome to the real world. Enjoy your legacy!'
And with that, Dexter turned his back on Mandark, who pulled the knife out the watch, looking shocked from the scalpel to Dexter. It looked like he was going to stab Dexter in the back with it and Blossom couldn't believe that Dexter was this careless. But nothing happened, Dexter walked away, leaving a broken Mandark behind at the tombstone of his sister. And the world faded to black.

As they returned to their own time, Otto filled her on the last details: 'The gynoid you saw, is the unfinished replica Dexter had built and now serves as a reminder of his promise to Dee Dee and his own madness.'
'I see... But there is still one thing I don't understand. Why did Mac call him a killer? What has Dexter done, that he deserved that title?'
'Did he said that? Interesting... Are you familiar with the concept of Extremeasaurs?'
'Monstrous imaginary creatures, created by jerky teenagers?' Blossom reacted, not knowing where this was going. Otto nodded and said: 'Creating one used to be enough to get you into juvi, and the Extremeasaur had to be contained. The problem with Extremeasaurs is that they range from level 2 to level 4 destructive, are hard to contain and even harder to kill. But these rules changed after the Omega Event. Although it was always assumed that their power level was limited to level 4, some scientists started to fear that someone had created something more powerful... What if a powerful young telepath had used its abilities to create an Extremeasaurs with an apocalyptic abilities? Although they found no solid evidence that pointed in the direction, the bozos at the Pentagon wanted some preventive measures for the future. In the aftermath of the Omega Event, they ordered several scientists around the country to create a system that allows them to track the creation of imaginary friends, have immediate all the specification of the imaginary friend and if necessary eliminate both the threat of the Extremeasaur as its creator...'
'What do you mean with eliminating and what has Dexter to do with this?' Blossom asked, raising one eyebrow, slowly being tired out by all this emotional turmoil. 'The Extremeasaur is destroyed in seconds after its creation and in the psychic backlash, the creator's imagination is lobotomized.'
'His imagination is lobotomized?' Blossom replied with surprise.
'That's what they called it. Due to this "lobotomy", they are unable to ever create an imaginary friend again.'
'I understand, but what has Dexter to do with this? How does this make Dexter a murderer?'
'He created the tracking device, the Cambion, and helped in the development of the prototype of the elimination device. The device that Dexter helped creating, doesn't only destroy Extremeasaur.'
'Let me guess? It can also kill regular imaginary friends. And with Mandark exposing his secrets, not only did everyone know his involvement in the project, any rogue organization now had the information and the tools to recreate the elimination weapons.'
'They made it portable. As you probably know, some children doesn't create an imaginary friend for only companionship...'
'That's horrible. But how is this Dexter's fault? He never wanted this to happen, did he?'
'Did Walter Heerd wanted his pesticide to be used to exterminate humans. Zyklon B is his legacy, The Cambion Project will be Dexter's. And Mac will make sure he will be remembered for that legacy.'
'Why? What does he gains from that?'
'Nothing, but for Mac, this is a personal issue. He is an Imaginary Friend Rights Activist and has a visceral hate for people who are even slightly connected with the mistreatment of imaginary friends. Mac sees Dexter as the Architect of The Genocide of Imagination.'

Otto and Blossom landed on the playground. 'I hope you got the answers you were looking for?' Otto asked her, looking with a worried expression on his face. It was clear, he regretted showing Blossom Dexter's past, although Larry told him once that it is often better to know than to guess. But if Blossom was distressed by the images he had shown her, she didn't showed it as she appeared to be calm and reserved.
'Yes, Otto... Everything is clear now.' She followed him back inside but stopped at the restroom and excused herself before entering. As she fled inside a stall, she sat down and covered her face with her hands, before starting to cry. The horror of what she had witnessed finally caught up with her. She felt so much pity for Dexter and felt guilty for mistrusting him, for believing he was a killer. She thought about Dee Dee, how she sacrificed herself to save her brother in a supreme act of selflessness. It reminded her of Bunny, the fourth Powerpuff. Despite the fact that they had yelled at her for her misgivings, she had been there to save them. An act of kindness that was rewarded by a quick death when her stress levels maxed out. For years, Blossom had pondered the question: Did Bunny feel something before they came to her sister's rescue? Did she realize it would be her life for theirs... It appeared that Dexter and she had more in common that she could ever have thought.

Her sobbing died out shortly after and she left the stall, dragging herself to the sink. The first thing she had to do now, was apologizing to Dexter and ask if he could forgive her trespassing. Her curiosity and suspicion almost ruined their friendship. She pulled her head out of the sink and looked into the mirror. Her heart stopped when she saw a large figure standing behind her. The figure had a large head and she immediately saw it was a boy. A boy in the girl's restroom? She turned around, ready to scold at the boy for being a pervert but suddenly she froze. As the red eyes pierced her, she realized who the boy was.
'That's impossible! You are dead! You are dead!' she screamed out while taking a step back. With the marble leaf pushing in her back, she looked in shock at the boy. With a crooked smile, the boy stepped towards her. Although they never met in person, she knew it was Mandark Astronomonov. She could only see his face as the rest of his body was covered by a long carmine red robe, yet it was undoubtedly him.
'Dead, you say? Do I look like I'm dead? Au contraire, little girl! I have never been more alive. Which is more than I can say about Dexter... in the near future that is...'
'Dexter? No, I won't allow you...'
In light of these clear death threats, she lost interest in the question how he was still alive...'
'What you allows, doesn't concern me! In fact, you will be the bedrock of his demise! But of course, you can stop me by punching a hole in my face... if you think that will stop the greatness that is Mandark, be my guess to try.'
Blossom hesitant about what action to take, did a step forwards but the moment she led go of the marble behind her, she felt her knees getting weak. And without a warning, her sight diminished. She looked from Mandark to the door, who laughed his maniacal cackle. 'I sealed the door, the moment you got in. From the moment you stepped inside, I started pumping a special gas in this room. I'm immune, of course. You were so easily to trick. A bit drama and your eyes were blind for this obvious trap'
'Otto?'
'Osworth? As predictable as the rest of you. It didn't take someone with my genius intellect to figure out a way that Osworth would reveal Dexter's secrets to you. I knew you would only have to ask the time traveller... All I had to do, was take advantage and set my trap. Now, sleep, Pink Stuff. There is no use to resist it... I have dosed you with enough to put even El Mal Verde to sleep.' And as the world went black around her, Blossom lost consciousness.

Chapter 4 - Mandark's Revenge:
It was a dream. It was just a dream... Blossom kept her eyes closed, cogitating about what she had dreamed about. She was ambushed by Mandark in the girl's restroom, before he started to threaten Dexter and him. But it had been impossible, Mandark was dead. She tried to stretch her arms but found herself unable to move. Irritated, she opened her eyes and looked at her arms. Her eyes widened when she realized that she was bound by black chains. Her heart rate increased as she tried to get free.
'Don't even bother. I have injected you with Antidote X. You are as weak any other girl with your age and physical build. Don't worry though, your powers will return eventually, but not that you will be able enjoy them...'
Mandark stood with his back to her, with his arms crossed behind his back.
'Why do you do this? Where are we?' Blossom spewed at him, angry and scared about her current state. He chuckled but refused to turn around and kept looking through the window of his lair.
'Since the where is a shorter answer, we start with that one: Welcome to Hamunaptra, Egypt. Better known as The City of the Dead.'
'You are supposed to be dead... I saw your file. You have been autopsied!'
'Yes, quite the strange experience actually. But while we wait for the midget, I could explain my backstory. As you likely have be shown by Osworth, I and Dexter faced off a final time on the graveyard of Genius Grove. And as propitious as he was, he spared my life and instead destroyed my chrono-lock watch. And I won't deny that I didn't see that coming... I was a completely different man, back then. Weak and desperate... As the monster he is, he left his scalpel behind, a mocking invitation to finish myself off. And I would have done just that, to end all the pain... But then he appeared... My master.'
'What? You have a master...'
'Don't interrupt me!' Mandark lashed out as he turned around. His hands were covered by gauntlets, oh so similar to Dexter's but black, with red energy lines. A whip shot out the wrist and he lashed out to Blossom, only missing her face by a nano-inch.
'That's just rude... So, as I was saying. There I met my master. He reminded me of the only thing that could rival science, magic. But before I could have my revenge, I would have to be reborn. If I wanted to live, free of my shackles, I had to die. So I cut my own wrists and waited. The Grim Reaper wasn't pleased when he discovered he couldn't claim my soul! Ha! You should have seen his face. But one doesn't simply trick Grim... He doesn't take those kind of actions lightly and although some ancient law forbad him from taking my soul regardless, he locked it in my body. He left me in a state that was neither living nor death. I was unable to move but all my sensory organs working. I could hear, see and feel everything...'
For a moment, Mandark's eyes seemed to go dark and a shiver went over his back.
'Grim will pay for that!' And on lighter tone, he continued: 'But that is not any of your problems. Now, just as they were pushing the coffin into the oven, I regained control over my body and could teleport away, second before they could burn me. Instead, they burned an empty coffin... Ever since I have been here, in Hamunaptra. Or better said, 30 feet above it, in my flying laboratory. And thanks to my cloaking field, I could work without any interference. For months, I have been planning your demise. Not that I took me long. I just had to wait for the right moment to strike. How powerful magic can be, it has certain limitations, like very specific requirements.'
'I don't understand...'
'Ah, the eternal refrain of humanity. Pleading ignorance, begging for mercy. "Please, help me. I don't understand..." Blossom, Blossom... And here I thought that you would have known the legend of Hamunaptra. In 1290 BC, the high priest Imhotep had an affair with Pharoah Seti I's mistress, Anck-su-Namun. After Seti discovered their relationship, he was killed by Anck-su-Namun, who promptly committed suicide. Now for the interesting part, Imhotep's servants stole the corpse of Anck-su-Namun and brought it to Hamunaptra. Using the Black Book of the Death, he attempted to revive his love but due to the interference of the Royal Guard, he was stopped mid-incantation and failed. For the crime of necromancy, Imhotep was sentenced to Hom Dai, an extremely cruel curse which kept him alive for ages. In 1923, his grave was shunned and he was freed. And just like he had tried in 1290 BC, he attempted to resurrect his lover. And he would have succeeded if it wasn't for this small group of archaeologists... What this story teaches us, is that with the right tools we can wake the dead.'
'You are crazy,' Blossom said with as much vigour and disgust she could muster. She was disturbed by every word that this madman said, and the fact that he had taken away her powers, leaving her literally powerless, only made matters worse. But she knew that if she kept him talking, there was a change her sisters would discover that she had disappeared. The professor, or perhaps even Dexter would know a way to find her. She was sure of it.
'Am I? And whose fault is that! Who killed my beloved Dee Dee? Who brainwashed her in becoming his human shield! He did! As always, he was there to ruin my life!'
'Lies! You know that isn't true. Your master has filled your head with lies...'
'No matter, I will set things right. Dee Dee will be returned to me and Dexter shall pay dearly for his numerous sins!'
He walked over to her, and as his metal fingers cared her cheek, she couldn't suppress a shiver going through spine.'
'It took me two years to locate the Black Book of Dead and since Dee Dee's body wasn't preserved in anyway, it had become useless to me. But my master was so kind to find me a suitable replacement for her. You!'
'Me? Why me... What did I ever do to you?'
'You are the perfect candidate, dear. With your powers, you powerpuff girls are near invulnerable, nothing can harm you. Personally, I had set my eyes on the blonde one but my master encouraged me to go for you. He ensured me that if I choose you, I couldn't only bring back Dee Dee but also exact my revenge on Dexter! And he was onto something. I have cross-referenced both your psychological profiles and you two are a match made in Heaven. The two of you are so similar and you were the person who Dexter would care the most about, for whom he would risk the most. The only thing I had to do, was make sure that he would end up as your guide on school. It was all so easy...'
Blossom, scared but not yet beaten, lashed out to him: 'You really think this idiotic plan of you will work? My sisters will already have noticed that I'm gone. I will even say more. As we speak, the Professor is tracking the chip in my neck. It will be only a matter of minutes before you are surrounded by the whole Justice League! So, save yourself the worries and let me go!'
'Do you really think that if you had a track device of any type on you, I wouldn't have taken care of it already. They could try to track your chemical X signature but with the antidote X I used, that won't be easy.'
She was shocked that he caught her so quickly on her bluff and for a moment she didn't know what to say. Mandark didn't wait for any more remarks however and continued As for your sisters... Don't worry about them, they will have their hands full with Jason...'
'Who... Who is Jason?'

As the man in rags, standing before Megaville Junior High lowered the blade of his machete, keeping the tip only a few inches above the ground, Mandark answered with sadistic glee as he answered: 'Jason Voorhees!'
Jason's empty eyes gazed over the front of the Megaville Elementary. As his mother had told him, there were bad children here, that needed to be punished. Meanwhile, Buttercup and Bubbles looked as their new history teacher entered the room. It was a handsome and tall man, with Japanese facial features and friendly smile.
'Hello class, I'm mister Jack. I am your history teacher as well as the martial instructor and gym teacher. I believe this is the first time we met, as I was stricken by the flu. My apologies for that. Now, let us start with taking absentness.'
As he was near the end of his list, he said: 'Utonium Blossom?'
No reaction. As Buttercup and Bubbles looked around, they saw Blossom was missing. 'Bubbles? Where is Blossom?' Buttercup whispered but Bubbles could only shrug her shoulders and mister Jack repeated his question: 'Is Utonium Blossom here?'
The Crystal Lake killer walked up the stairs, to the door and raised his machete. With no effort, he cut through the lock of the door, before ramming both the door and the panels out of their hinges. The glass cracked like ice beneath his feet as he stepped inside, unaware of the alarm he just triggered. But even he would be able to comprehend the recursions of this, he couldn't have cared less. His mother had sent him to do one thing, punish the wicked children of Megaville and he would do just that. He did however heard slight panic in the classroom on his left. They knew he was here. He would start with them. Never have learned the subtleties of using a door knobs, he raised his machete and started hacking at the door. A few rooms away, Jack listened carefully to the intercom message: 'Students and Teachers, we have an intruder on the premises. The school is under lockdown, I repeat, the school is under lockdown.'
Outside they heard sirens of SWAT teams parking in front of the school, heard car doors slammed shut, heard boots running through the hallway. For a few moments, it was silent but then a series of rapid gunshots were heard. Buttercup pricked up her ears, using her superhearing to listen to the SWAT officers said. What she heard was utterly disturbing:
'Target is neutralised, I repeat, Target is neutralised.'
The SWAT Officer walked towards the intruder and kicked away a metal object. He took his walkie talkie again and said: 'Target was armed with a machete, I will now turn around the body for identification.'
He crouched next to the corpse, grabbed him by the shoulder and turned him over.
'Oh my god! It is Jason Voorhees! Alert, target isn't down, I repeat the target... hmm...'
The man was silenced by the mysterious Jason and shortly after followed by a terrible cracking noise, like someone cracked a coconut. A second salvo of gunshots was heard, combined with cursing and insults, before one of the officers said in horror.
'He has taken John's assault rifle, he...'
The sentence was cut short by a gruesome sound. 'He impaled Raphael with an assault rifle! He is unstoppable, he...'
Buttercup refused to listen anymore and turned to her classmates: 'They are getting pulverised by the intruder! We have to do something!'
She looked at Bubbles, cursing Blossom for being absent at such dire moment but was interrupted by Jack, who closed his books and picked up his walking stick.
'You are students, I can't allow you to endanger your life, Buttercup. I will handle this intruder.'
'How?' Buttercup said sardonically, 'This Jason guy just took out an entire squad, armed to teeth with his bare hands! How will you confront him, unarmed!'
'Although I appreciate your concerns, Buttercup, they are ungrounded. Believe me, I have fought worse demons than this Jason. As for being unarmed?'
With one swift move, he removed the scabbard, revealing that his walking stick was in fact a katana. 'I know what you and your sister are capable of, Buttercup. But you are my students, I can't risk your safety!'
In the meantime, Dexter looked worried at his watch. Someone had sent him a disturbing picture of Blossom chained to a table.
'What are you looking at, Dexter?' Bubbles asked suddenly and Dexter quickly closed the picture before she could see anything and said: 'I was googling some information on our intruder. It appears that he posses rapid cellular regeneration, making him nigh-immortal...'
'An immortal regenerator? I have faced AND beaten plenty before.'
He placed his hand on a panel, next to the door, which seemingly recognized his hand print and opened the door. With a calm ecstatic, he left the room and closed the door behind him.
'So we are going to wait here? And where is Blossom, for God's sake...'
'I have no idea,' said Dexter truthfully before saying: 'Although I do not relish the idea, I think it is essential we have to disobey mister Jack's authority. He is a skilled warrior, no doubt about it but I fear that Jason as a completely different class. He can't beat that monster on his own. He needs the Powerpuff Girls.'
'And the last I counted, the Powerpuff Girls were with three! Where is Blossom?' Buttercup brought up, annoyed by Blossom's absence
'Clearly we don't have time for this kind of discussion, so let do the following: I go looking for Blossom, you two go stop Jason from turning Jack into mincemeat.' Dexter said, trying to find a compromis.
'And how are we going to leave this classroom? I guess we can just blow the door out of its hinges but it would expose the rest of the class if things go bad, wouldn't it.'
'Give me a second, I can provide a simpler and more adequate solution to this problem.'
He aimed his left fist at the panel and a holographic display appeared. He started typing and few seconds later, the door was opened.
'Now go!'
As the girls went right, Dexter turned to the left, after locking the door of the classroom again.

Contrary to what he told Bubbles and Buttercup, Dexter did no effort to look for Blossom, he knew she wasn't here. Instead he returned to library and entered his lab. He quickly said down and uploaded the data he received on his watch, to the computer. The image of chained Blossom now filled the screen.
'Who could have done this...'
It was too coincidental that just as he received a picture of a bound Blossom, Jason Voorhees appeared. It was like someone wanted to give him the opportunity to rescue her. And if this really was the goal, there had be something in the picture that he could use to find her. The fact that it was sent to him, meant the sender wanted him to react, him... So it was unlikely if anyone but him was meant to decipher it. 'Computer: Run Algorithms α/θ369BpoqU/X-5.'
Dexter turned away from the screen as the algorithm ran. The list of people who could pull of something like this was very short and the list of people who held a grudge against him.
'Don't let it be him... Let it be Gorilla Grodd... Let it be a resurrected Avondale Napyeer... Let it be the Chiptole family. For the mother of Einstein, anyone but him!'
But as the Computer voice told him the program was finished, he knew what he would see and one look on the screen only confirmed his suspicions.

HELLO DEXTER,

DID YOU REALLY THINK YOU HAD WON? THAT AFTER YOU HAD YOUR SISTER KILLED AND MY LIFE RUINED, YOU WOULD GET AWAY SHOTFREE? THINK AGAIN! TODAY, YOU WILL PAY FOR YOUR SINS, DEXTER. YOU OR BLOSSOM? THE CHOICE IS YOURS. I SEND YOU THE COORDINATES OF MY FORTRESS, I EXPECT YOU TO BE HERE IN HALF AN HOUR. I DON'T HAVE TO TELL YOU WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO BLOSSOM IF YOU ARE. ANOTHER THING, IF YOU VALUE THE LIFE OF BLOSSOM, YOU DON'T GET THE LEAGUE INVOLVED. I WOULD ASSUME THAT HER SISTERS WOULD COME ALONG FOR THE RIDE, BUT SOMETHING TELLS ME, THEY WILL BE TOO BUSY STOPPING JASON FROM GUTTING JACK. SEE YOU SOON.

MANDARK

The coordinates were encrypted as well, but the Computer would be able to solve in mere seconds. Dexter turned around, anxious about what to do now. He wasn't really surprised to learn that Mandark was still alive. Although that would have simplified his life, deep down, he never dared hoping it was really over. He was way too cunning, way too determined to bring him down, to simply vanish. 'Dexter? The coordinates are deciphered, they lead to the Egyptian desert, 300 miles away from Caïro, near the Wadi-Al-Hitan Desert...
'Hamunaptra...' The bastard. Why did he had to get Blossom involved in these affairs. Couldn't he just leave it between them? Why did he take Blossom? Unless... No, anything but that! He had to get to Hamunaptra as soon as possible, which meant he needed a fast aircraft... Or something similar. Knowing Mandark, it would be a trap, so he should go armed. A mecha would be the best choice of transport and there was no faster mecha, than Megas. He stood up and said with a clear voice, trying to suppress his emotions: 'Computer, Call Coop!' 'Hello, Dex-man, how is Megas doing?'
'Great, Coop. The upgrades are finished. The reason I call you. Would you mind if I take her for a test driver. You know, test the systems?'
'Dexter, you are twelve year old, you are too young to drive. I'm coming!'
'No need, I know how to drive, I can...'
'I'm coming, Dexter! Nobody drives Megas but me! Beam me up, Scotty.'
For a moment Dexter hesitated. Mandark had said that he couldn't get the League involved. On the other hand, Coop wasn't part of the Justice League, not yet at least. Would it be a violation to bring him along? But what choice did he have?
'Okay, Coop. I'm going to beam you up. But I will be fair with you. This isn't a really test drive. It is more a rescue mission. A friend of mine is in trouble because of me...'
'Tell me everything while we are on our way, hit it!'

Mandark looked how Blossom did another attempt to struggle free and laughed at her. 'And you are supposed to be bright one... Don't you realize there is no escape. Your "boyfriend" will be here any moment and then the real fun will begin! But in the meantime, let me finish my story, how I played Blossom Utonium like a violin. It was all so easy. All I had to do, was make sure that you were distracted. Therefore I needed another pawn. Mac Marquette... He was so easily to manipulate, the only thing I had to do, was encourage him to spread the news. And it was I who told him about your own Imaginary friend, Doctor-General Bun-Bun. About how you should be warned about what monster Dexter was. And as a good pawn, he did. And just as I expected you to, you went to Otto for answers. Dexter's best friend. Conveniently, the only one who could actually show you what happened.'
'Yes, he showed me how you killed Dee Dee!'
Mandark slapped her in the face after that outburst, screaming: 'Lies!'
'I saw what happened, Mandark! You are an arrogant child who can't deal with reality! You planned on assassinating her brother but ended up killing her. Unable to coup with the grief, you...'
'Shut your filthy lying mouth! My master have shown me the truth, he has shown me the modifications Dexter did to her brain! He forced her to save him, he have planned this all! And now, keep your mouth shut, you little bitch or so help me!'
His hands were shaking and despite his strong words, he refused to look at her. If she had any of her powers left, she would have pushed further. But at this point, she was too afraid what his instable mind might have led him to do. He turned around and walked to the window, as he looked over the desert in silence. He stood there for ten minutes, completely silent and motionless. But without warning he looked over his shoulder with a demented smile on his face.
'Our guest of honour has arrived and he brought Harold Cooplowski. How pathetically predictable...'

'Are you sure this is the place, Dexter?'
Coop asked while looking around. None of the sensors seemed to pick up any signal that would indicate other life forms than Dexter or he, and no other energy sources than Megas. Dexter looked around, terrified by the idea that they were on the wrong place but his fears were lay to rest when a booming voice called his name and the flying fortress deactivated its cloaking device.
'Hello, Dexter! I'm so happy you could make it. And I see you brought a friend. Did you inform him he wouldn't leave this place alive!'
'Listen up you big headed freak: You set loose a serial killer in a school! You kidnap my friend's girl and now you threaten my life! Bring it on!'
'What? Do you expect me to fight you, you Neanderthal? I have something completely different in mind! Feast your eyes on this!'
As Mandark raises a remote control, a steel circle is formed before his fortress. With one press of the button, he provides power to the ring, creating a whirlpool of energy in the centre. From the portal, two mechas appeared. The one of the left was black, with red flames painted on the frame, a red skull with a cyclopean eye. On his left shoulder, the owner had painted a red 13. The other was smaller and more feminine in build. It was mostly white with large fins on the back and black accentuation. Instead of eyes, it had a red visor.
'I will leave you to it then... I'm sure that you three have a lot of catching up to do!'
'Remember us, Coop! Remember how Jamie trapped us between dimensions! I would actually have to thank you! It was the experience! Let me repay you by sending you the Kingdom of the Dead! Kiva, flank him!'
As Evil Coop charged from the left, Kiva attacked Megas from the right, knock Megas from his feet, only for the Evil Coop to slam him in the ground.

Mandark turned around laughing maniacally while settling down an altar that raises from the ground. 'While they have their fun, it is time we attend business...'
He opened the Black Book of the Death and started reading from the necromantic gospel in a language that she had never heard before. But as soon as he started to speak, she felt a pain, like she never had felt before. And she had known pain over the years. But this, it went beyond mere physical pain as her soul was slowly ripped out her body. As sudden as the pain had started, so sudden did it end and before she knew it, she was flying above the table. She looked down and saw her body on the table, still breathing but for the rest motionless. So technically she was still alive, only soulless... Her mouth was open and from it a white chain rose up to the sky and was connected to her soul's ankle. Mandark started to speak again, again in that ancient language and suddenly a bright light shined through the ceiling, forming a pillar next to Blossom's soul. If she still had her eyes to see, she would surely have been blinded by the light but in her spirit form, such biological limitations were gone. But based on Mandark's lack of reaction, it was clear that she was the only who could see the pillar of light. A second chain sprouted out her mouth and pierced through the light pillar. The light pillar suddenly narrowed and sprouted two white feathered wings, before exploding and revealing something Blossom could only describe as an angel. The angel had blue eyes and long blond hair and dressed in a white dress. Blossom immediately recognized her. It was Dee Dee!

As Megas lay down on the ground, the Megas 13 Mecha formed an energy blade and tried to impale his fallen opponent. Coop was no rank amateur however and with quick button pressing, he summoned his own energy sword and with a quick turn of his steering wheel, he pushed the blade away, before it could pierce his robot. By spinning the wrist, and in extension the blade, Coop was able to force both his evil counterpart as Evil Kiva back, giving him and Dexter more space to move.
'Why did Mandark bring those two back? Is this a some sick death trap or so?'
'No, he is stalling time... He didn't choose these ruins by chance. He had a specific goal in mind... He wants me to fail to save Blossom! He wants me to know that I came close but wasn't in time to save her... I refuse to give that satisfaction! Activate the Carrier Fist Protocol.'
'Roger that!' Coop looked at the panel next to his steering wheel and after searching for a while, he finally find the right button, between buttons labelled as "Gattling Gun" and "Press in case Coop filled the CPU core with cheese again!" Dexter's seat sank through the floor of the car and Coop raised Megas Fist, ready to fire. His attackers continued their assault, but as Coop fired the fist, missing Evil Coop's Mecha with an robotic arm lenght, the ex-dictator burst into laughter. 'You are pathetic! Has your aim become really so bad, Coop?'
'Who said, I was aiming for you? Now, you wanted to go? Well, Let's Go.'
And before either could react, Megas jumped right up, with his feet aimed at both opposing Mechas, knocking both out of balance.

The Megas Fist had made its way through Mandark's sky fortress and ended in his lab. Mandark looked with a certain surprise at the robot fist that breached through the walls of his fortress. He stopped reading and seemingly waited for Dexter to show up. The fingers of the robotic fist exploded, scattering them around as Dexter crawled out of the hole they left behind. Wasting no time on words, Dexter ran towards Mandark, as he deployed his power gloves but halfway he was stopped by an invisible force. At the sight of Dexter colliding with the barrier, Mandark burst into laughter: 'You really are so predictable. Did you really think you would get me so easily? Pathetic and arrogant! And don't even bother trying to break it with your gloves. It is twice as strong the barrier, created by Avondale Napyeer, which had to be destroyed with an 88 mm flak cannon! Now, since you have your front row seat, witness how I resurrect my love, at the expense of yours!'
'Think again, Mandark!'
From the shadows, Dexter appeared with the gloves activated and firing an arrow at Mandark, cutting his cheek as it passed his face.
'How?!' I saw you leaving the robot hand!'
'An old trick I picked up from my maternal uncle Ferguson O'Reilly! It called stage magic. I knew you would be too arrogant to check the fingers of Megas and a hologram did the rest. Now, give up this madness, or for my next trick I will make an arrow disappear in your front lob!'
'Really? I know some tricks of my own and when I'm done with you, it will be you who will disappear!'
'Was that supposed to be a comeback? You are losing both your edge... and your sanity!' Without any warning, Dexter attack Mandark who only narrowly avoided the gauntlet aimed at his face. He did however lose no time, summoning his own gauntlets to counteract. Mandark's gauntlets grew claws and Dexter had to jump back to evade them. He did however not give up and what followed was a battle between the two rivals where the gloves constantly changed shape.
'Dee Dee? Is that you?'
'Yes, Blossom. It is me... Mandark's spell have summoned me from the other side.'
'So my soul is lost then? You are here and will take over my body...'
'Fret not, Blossom, the spell isn't completed. No, what happens next will depend on who wins the fight. If the incantation isn't finished or someone moves your body, you will return to your body. My chain will break and you will be pulled back inside your body.'
'I hope that Dexter wins,' Blossom said without thinking, before slapping her hands before her mouth. If she could have blushed, her cheeks would have been bright red. With an ashamed look in her eyes she looked at Dee Dee, who didn't seem to be bothered by any of it.
'I'm sorry, Dee Dee, I didn't mean to...'
'I hope my brother beats Mandark. And you don't have to apologize for having a will to live. My time was up and I have accepted that. If only Mandark could accept his mistakes as well.'
As Mandark's gauntlet created a huge whip from the wrist and lashed out at Dexter who evaded his attacks, Blossom asked the question she wanted to ask Dee Dee from the moment, she appeared next to her: 'What are you? An angel?'
'No, I'm a spirit. We reside in the Heavenly realm of the Spirit World and we are protectors, watchers...'
'A spirit? Do we all become spirits when we die then?' Blossom asked confused but Dee Dee shook her head, with a smile on her face.
'I'm afraid not. People who died due to the wrongdoings of someone else, yet accept their deaths and harbor no feelings of revenge towards their killer, will become spirits. At least that's what I remember of Anubis' explanation...'
Blossom looked how Dexter caught Mandark's whip at last and electrocuted Mandark with a non-lethal voltage, before ripping the whip out of the gauntlet: 'Anubis?'
'The judge of Dead. After the Grim Reaper comes for your soul, Charon the Ferryman will carry you over the River Styx to the Dead Court, where your soul is judged and your soul is placed in one of the many realms above or below... Depending on your life choices.'
'Wow, Anubis... Grim Reaper... Charon... Styx... This all a bit overwhelming, all a bit too much.'
'Don't be afraid, someone as good as you or Dexter will probably be sent to the spirit realm as well when you die, or to Valhalla, since you are a warrior for good...'
'Dee Dee, no more. I don't think it is good to know too much about the afterlife.'
'I see...'

'Okay, I have to give you this. You have been practicing.' Coop said, getting exhausted by battling two mechas at once. Every time he attacked one of them, the other blocked his attacks, so the other can counterattack. At the current rate of his battle, Megas wouldn't make it. He had to change his tactic. 'Okay guys, I give you this one last chance to give up.'
A proposition that was met with Gatling fire of Megas 13 and laser fire by Kiva's mecha. Coop evades this attack, and charged again at his evil counterpart. As he excepted, the evil Kiva attacked him from above, guns blazing. He summoned his fire sword again, before turning around, now flying with his back aimed at the ground as he yells: 'Surprise, bitch!'
Kiva, realizing too late that his attack on her master was a feint and that she was the real target, cursed as the red blade swept up and pierced her mecha through next, just beneath the head. With a swift move, her mecha was decapitated, eliminating Kiva as a threat. Coop manoeuvred Megas out of the way, as Kiva's Mecha crashed into the ground. 'One down, one to go!'
'Impressive, one-against-one then.'
'Yeah, Sudden Death!'
'For once I agree with you!' Evil Coop landed Megas 13 and Coop followed his example. As in a duel, the two robots had a stand-off. As reaction to Coop's fire sword, his adversary summoned his own blade. Revving their engines, they looked at each other with what can only described as a deep hatred, one at the sight of the man he once was and the other at the sight of the man he never want to become. As if they mutually had decided to waste no more time, they shift gear and charged at each other. The swords clashed remorselessly but neither came close to actually hitting the other as every blow dealt was blocked by the opponent. It was clear for both that the battle would continue until one made a mistake out of tiredness and Evil Coop would make sure that it would be him. He moved back before tricking Coop into countering his next blow. As his right wrist was cut through, he placed his left hand Megas unprotected chest plate before firing an electric impulse, frying Megas' controls. While Evil Coop recharged his fist, Coop cursed by the realization of what just happened: 'An EMP? Really not cool! Now, I have to go manual again!'
With sigh, Coop took up his Dance Revolution Gloves and activated the Manual Back Up system. His evil counterpart looked with confusion at him, as Coop made his preparations. He was even more confused when Coop actually charged at him and hit him in the head. 'How?'
'An EMP only destroy electronics when they are active. Manual is a separate back up and thanks to Dex, it runs better than ever. Let's do this.'

The battle between Dexter and Mandark continued as their gauntlets clashed. Dexter's gauntlets had morphed into two lion heads, allowing to create small earthquakes, putting Mandark out of balance. Mandark quickly adapted however, and turned his gauntlets in mace and chain, attacking Dexter from a distance. Dexter was hit several times, knocking him to the ground, bleeding. At the same time, Coop learned the disadvantage of Manual, the lack of fire weapons made it a lot harder to beat his opponent. Evil Coop fired an explosive fist at him, knocking him against the ground, as oil leaked from the machinery: 'This is the end!'
Both Evil Coop as Mandark were ready to finish their adversaries, fist first, both Dexter and Coop crawled up, raising their own fist. As the fists clashed, Dexter's cestus breaks Mandark's gauntlet completely, leaving his hand bleeding and his lower arm broken. Coop's counter was however even more destructive as it destroyed the lower arm of Megas 13, before Coop rips of the upper arm out of the socket, before throwing it at side.
'How is this possible?' Evil Coop asked, having lost an important part of his weaponry. 'It calls evening the odds! Now, let's see how good you are when unarmed.'
Due to the loss of his arm, Evil Coop was forced to rebalance his mecha, giving his opponent the time to attack again. Evil Coop managed to evade his charging enemy and opened fire with his Gatling gun but Coop was defend the Mecha's head, by blocking the shots with lower arms. As he summoned a huge blade to stab Coop as he came close, he mocked Coop: 'You don't know when to quit, do you! A glutton to the end. Now, you die!'
Evil coop tried to stab Megas in the head of the mecha, the car from where Coop controlled the robot but was surprised by the unusual agility of Coop as he moved out of the way and grabbed his arm.
'How can a fat guy like you move so agile!' he utters in frustration.
'Dexter's updates enhanced the sensibility of the manual, making it faster...'
and as he pulled at the arm of Evil Coop's Mecha, ripping it off: 'And stronger! This is over.'

'Over, Dexter?' Mandark asked as Dexter walked towards him, 'How can it be over when you are still alive!' Despite his broken arm, Mandark ran towards Dexter, raising his remaining gauntlet and attacked Dexter. Just as Dexter's was about to block his attack and break his other arm, the gauntlet morphed into the face of Dee Dee. In shock, Dexter's stops his attack, just before he would pulverise the visage of his sister. A mistake he would pay dearly for as the visage of Dee Dee turns into an opened fist and before he could react, Mandark's gauntlet closed around his head and lift him of the ground: 'Now it is over.'

Chapter 5 - :For the Greater Good
With his metal fist clasped around the head of Dexter as, Mandark raised his opponent from the ground: 'You are done, Dexter. I will kill you now and do the world a favour! Face it, Dexter. You are a curse upon the world, making life miserable for all who have the displeasure of meeting you! For your parents, who just wanted a normal son and instead who got a freak! For your sister, who you managed to brainwash enough to believe you were worth saving! If it wasn't for you she was alive. For me, who had to endure you, constantly ruining my life! How many lives would have been better if you were never born! But don't worry, as benevolent as I am, I will restore the natural order and rectify the mistake of your existence.'
As the cold iron fingers slowly started to increase the pressure on his skull, Dexter didn't struggle. Reflecting on his past life, Dexter came to the depressing realization that Mandark's poisonous words were indeed truthful. If it wasn't for him, Dee Dee would still have been alive and his parents wouldn't have to mourn her death. If he was never born, his inventions couldn't be used to destroy the lives it did, after the leak. Without him, there wouldn't be a rivalry between him and Mandark, wouldn't Jason Voorhees be terrorizing Megaville Junior High and High School. Without him, Blossom wouldn't be in the position, she was now... Blossom. He looked through Mandark's metal fingers at Blossom... Looked how she lay on the table, the primal warrior, yet as delicate as the flower that bore her name, victimized by Mandark's crazed mind. No, this wasn't his fault. He didn't killed Dee Dee! He hadn't burdened his parents with the loss of a child! He didn't leak these plans to the world's worst! He didn't set Jason loose on a school! He wasn't the one trying to use Blossom in demented, ancient ritual! It was Mandark! It was always Mandark! And if he, Dexter, did nothing, he would make yet another innocent victim.

This realization of new purpose snapped Dexter out of his self-pity and brought him to act. While the pressure of the glove on his head, was becoming unbearable, it didn't diminish his brilliance and fast thinking. With newfound strength, he raised his own gauntlets, formed fists and crushed Mandark's gauntlet, just beneath his wrist between the lion heads. Shocked by Dexter's power of will and now with two broken arms, Mandark looses Dexter who used his momentum to push his shoulder in Mandark's chest. The surprised Mandark was brought out of balance and landed on his back, for the first time realizing that he was failing... No, this wasn't happening, this couldn't be happening. His master had assured victory. Dexter placed his foot on Mandark's chest to stop him from getting up. Impossible, he was Dexter's superior, he was the better man. Where was his master?
'It ends here!'
Dexter raised his left gauntlet, his fist quivering. This would be the end. Mandark would finally pay for his many crimes. Pay for the pain he had caused. Make sure that he wouldn't hurt anyone else anymore. This would be the end.
'Go ahead... Finish me!'
Dexter looked at his own reflection on his gauntlet and lowered his fist. But he didn't aim for his rival's face or heart. As he morphed his gauntlets in to lobster-like claws, he pinned down Mandark's left arm. He was no monster. Killing Mandark would only temporary satisfy his hunger for revenge and revenge wasn't the same as justice. Mandark would stand trial for the murder, that would be justice. He raised his right fist and did the same, trapping Mandark on the floor. As Dexter stood up, he wondered how Jack, Bubbles and Buttercup were doing.

Jack walked towards the monster with a machete, with the corpses of the fallen SWAT team. The sight of the carnage was indescribable, the intruder had reshaped the school corridor into an abattoir, with the officers the cattle. And in the middle of this sea of blood stood the masked mass murderer, as like a blasphemous mockery of Jesus' walking on water. Jason's head turned to Jack as the footsteps of the samurai became audible. His gaze rested for a moment on the sheath of Jack's Katana as the latter removed his blade from the sheath before pointing it at Jason: 'What is the reason behind this slaughter, do you have no honour?'
Jason remained silent but started walking towards Jack with a slow but steady pace. Not even the slightest hint of regret or even fear was seen in his eyes and Jack prepared himself: 'Have you any last defence for your deeds, before I will end your madness.'
The mute killer's pace didn't drop even slightly and has came closer, he raised his machete. Understanding this answer clearly, Jack shook his and said: 'So be it.'
He was a lot faster than his masked adversary and before Jason even could strike, he stabbed the killer in the heart, before pulling it back. Although blood oozed from the wound, Jason didn't seem to be bothered by it. He lowered his machete and would have bisected Jack if the latter hadn't dodged his attack. Jack, surprised to see that blood oozing from the wound stopped, started a barrage of attacks that would normally leave lethal wounds in the chest of Jason. But all to no effect. This man was clearly no ordinary being and to Jack's displeasure, the wounds healed him immediately. What Jason lacked in skill and speed, he surely made well with his invincibility. Jack had fought against Regenerators before, but nothing compared to this behemoth. Jack dodged another blade swing, resulting the machete being stuck in the ground, temporary trapping Jason and leaving him defenceless. Jack's sense of honour was overruled by his common sense and with a swift blow, he decapitated his opponent while he tried to pull his blade from the ground. But the head didn't fall on the ground. To Jack's dismay, the wound caused by the katana sealed almost instantly. The blade was able to harm Aku, a being of pure darkness, had not even the slightest effect on this madman. He was truly invincible... The only thing he had managed to accomplice with his attempt to decapitate Jason, was angering him. Jason pulled his blade out of the ground and walked once again towards him. This wasn't looking good.

Suddenly Jack had an idea, his opponent might have been invincible but perhaps the same couldn't be said about his weapon. He moved back, before attacking him again, swinging his katana from behind his head, before jumping in the air and letting his blade land on that of Jason. To his delight, his katana cut the machete like it was butter, and even more, it cut through the head of Jason, stopping near his throat. Stunned by the attack, the monster hobbled back, still with the blade in head while the blood kept gushing. Even though his blade could only do minimal damage on mere contact, it became clear to Jack that prolonged contact did harm the monster after all. With the blade stuck in his head, Jason seemed to be unable to continue fighting and suddenly fell to the ground, face first driving the blade even deeper in his skull. In the assumption that he had neutralized his opponent, Jack turned his back on Jason and took his cell phone. He had to call someone to pick up this monster. But that was a terrible mistake however. As he called with The Center, Jason rose from the ground again, looking with empty eyes at Jack. Just as Jack turned around, Jason grabbed him by his head and pushed him against the lockers. In shock, Jack dropped his phone and grabbed Jason's fingers, trying to remove the crushing hand from his head. Jason was unfazed by his attempts and placed his other hand on the hilt of the katana, ripping the blade out of his own head. He raised the katana and was ready to stab Jack when sudden red flash stopped him. Two red dots had burrowed through his head and with something that might have been surprise, he looked for a cause. To his surprise, he saw the naughty children he came to punish and carelessly he loosened his grip on Jack and dropped him on the ground like a ragdoll.
'You are special kind of ugly, aren't you? That you need to wear a mask! And look at the mess you have made! You will pay for every soul you just extinguished today!'
'Bubbles... Buttercup... Don't! He is too strong! Go away!' Jack uttered but neither Powerpuffs had ears to it as they continued firing at him, causing minimal damage as the wounds healed almost instantaneously. He continued his slow pass again but didn't get far as Buttercup attacked him immediately as Bubbles flew to Jack, helping him up. Buttercup started beating Jason, knocking him further and further back.
'Thanks, Bubbles. But I need my sword back. It is...'
The rest of his sentence was drowned out by Buttercup' screams of anger and fear when the monstrous killer finally was able to grab Buttercup and slammed her in the ground which such force that the tiles beneath her cracked. He raised the katana, pointing the tip downwards and lowered it to her head.
'Buttercup!' Bubbles screamed as she flew to her but it was already too late, the blade made contact with Buttercup's forehead and... nothing happened. The tip of the blade touched her but like if she was protected by strange force field, he couldn't push the blade further. Surprised by this development, he raised the blade again but was grabbed from behind Bubbles who hurled him into a wall. Although, based on the sound, she had broken several of his bones, he crawled back up and started walking again as pushing his broken bones back in place. Nothing stopped this madman. 'So this is what Dexter meant with regenerative abilities. This guy is unbeatable!' Bubbles said downhearted. But as Jason moved closer to them, Jack joined the Powerpuff Girls.
'Don't despair, Bubbles. Everything has it weakness, and as Talos had a weak spot at the pin, so will have this monstrosity have his weak spot. And is often the case, a monsters greatest strength, is also it greatest weakness.'
'I say, we punch him till stays down!'
'To what end?' Jack said as he evades Jason's attacks, growing envious to see his weapon in the hands of the monster. His only solace was the fact it was harmless in his hands and the only reason to evade it was to prevent himself from being knocked over.
'Physical attacks are pretty useless. He can heal his wounds almost instantly, broken bones grow back together in seconds, burn holes close as soon as they are formed.'
'But what can we do?' Bubbles asked Jack as Jason tried to grab her head, which she managed counter by grabbing his wrist.
'Let me think... how did he heal his wounds? They healed as soon as they were formed... because it were simple cuts and holes! Bubbles, rip his arm off.'
'What? That is gross!'
Buttercup shook her head: 'For crying out loud.' She charged at the blade, grabbing Jason at the wrist as he raised the blade again. With ease, she ripped off the arm, before casting it aside. Jason looked surprised at the wound where once his arm was before stopping his attempt to get his hands on Bubbles. Surprised by this, Bubbles loosened her grip and let him go. 'Bubbles! No!'

But it was too late, Jason was already at his ripped off arm and put it back against his shoulder. In seconds the wound healed and shortly after, Jason was ready to go again. Buttercup, ready to correct her sisters mistake charged at Jason again before he could block her, plunged her fist in his chest, ripping out his heart. The organ was black and disgusted by it, she threw it aside. But with his heart removed, Jason dropped on the ground. Buttercup put her foot on his wrist and pried the blade from Jason's head, before returning it to Jack.
'Your sword, sensei.'
Shocked by the events that just happened, the trio was silent, Jack leaned upon his sword. Eventually, it was Bubbles who disrupted the silence and asked to nobody in particular, as she looked in shock at Jason's body: 'Is he dead?'
Buttercup was shocked at this suggestion. She was so focussed on beating Jason, she never considered the option that her last attack might have kill him. But it was Jack who reassured them. He pulled the blade from the ground and pointed at the black heart. To their horror, the organ was still pumping.
'You only have immobilized him. I will call The Center to pick up the remains. Still impressed by what she had done, Buttercup moved towards Jason and kneeled next to his head. His eyes still moving around and with a deep hatred they looked at her. But with his heart removed, he was unable to move another inch. So, this was the mighty Jason. If it wasn't for Bubbles, sensei Jack and herself, he would easily have massacred the school. But why he was here... If she remembered the stories correctly, Camp Crystal Lake were his hunting grounds, what had lured him here. To her surprise she saw how his gaze switched from her to the spot where she dropped his disembodied heart, and she followed his gaze, she was shocked to see how Bubbles picked up the heart, like she was entranced by the dark organ. The shock turned to horror as Bubbles opened her mouth, as if to take a bite out of the heart.
'Bubbles! No!'

Bubbles' normally light blue eyes had a strange red glimmering in them and kept focussed on the organ. At no point did she seem to have heard her sister's call and she brought the still-beating heart to her mouth. Jack however had heard Buttercup's outcry and alerted by her scream, he threw his blade at Bubbles, piercing the heart and snatching from Bubbles' hands just as she was to sink her teeth into it. Due the power of the throw, the heart was pierced against a wall, out of the reach of Bubbles. Freed from the controlling influence of Jason's Black Heart, she shook her head and looked with genuine curiosity from Buttercup to Jack.
'Someone called my name?'
The red glare had disappeared from her eyes and it seemed that she couldn't remember that she had been seconds away from devouring a human organ, that surely would have possessed her completely. 'Are you okay, Bubbles?' Jack asked as he kneeled next to her, with his hand fatherly on her shoulder.
'I'm fine... Why you asked?'
'Do you remember anything of the last five minutes?' He continued, ignoring her own question. But before he could continue his interrogation or even got an answer, they were interrupted by Buttercup who pointed at his sword, nailed in the wall. 'Mister Jack, look!'
The heart, pierced to the wall looked like a horrifying haunted attraction prop and to their astonishment, they saw that, despite it removed from the body and being pierced by sword, it was still beating...
'Don't look at it, children. I will have to warn the agents of The Center to be extra careful with that thing. It is pure evil...'
As if it suddenly occurred to her that Jack had asked her a question, Bubbles said: 'When did we pierce that heart to the wall. The last thing I remembered, was that Buttercup tore out his heart and that is it. I don't do something strange now, did I.'
'Don't worry about it, Bubbles. Nothing happened.'
'Hey, Has Dexter found Blossom yet?' she said to nobody in particular but thanks to that sentences, the puzzle pieces finally fell in place for Buttercup. That was the reason, Jason was here. It had to do with Blossom and Dexter knew more. That's why he wanted to go look for her. It was so obvious...
'Bubbles? Can you get Otto for me, please?' Buttercup asked with an uncharacteristic calmness in her voice. He would provide her with the answers she needed.

In the Wadi-Al-Hitan Desert, things weren't looking good for Evil Coop. Believing he would have no problems in taking on his fat counterpart, now most of his weaponry was inaccessible but he underestimated the fighting skills of his opponent and especially his agility. Due to this, he had suffered the loss of both Mecha arms and stood defenceless against Coop. But if he knew himself as good as he thought he did, Coop still had one weakness. Coop was essentially a good guy. He? Not so much.
'Over? You think this is over, my morbidly obese friend! I still have one weapon left. A antimatter missile to be more precise, with a power of 100 Teraton, aimed at Cairo. Once launched, it will obliterate the city and most of Egypt. Even if you would manage to intercept it, it wouldn't matter. This is the end!'
Shocked by how mad his evil counterpart had become, Coop weighed his chances... It wasn't looking good. With such an ultimatum, there was only one thing he could do... With a heavy heart, he grabbed the head of Megas 13 with both his hands.
'What? Do you think that ripping of this head will save anyone? Bwahahaha... Ever heard of wireless connection! You idiot!'
'I'm sorry!'
Coop closed his eyes and before his evil counterpart even could realize what he was going to do, Coop crushed the head of the Megas 13. Killing one man to save million others. He could only hope that Dexter was successful in beating Mandark. As he walked away from the disabled Megas 13 mecha, he looked up to the sky and saw a blue and green line cross the sky and enter the hole his fist had made. They must have come for Dexter and Blossom, he thought as he waited, thinking about what he had done...

Blossom and Dee Dee had watched how Dexter bested Mandark and how he refused to take the others life.
'A true hero till the end,' Blossom murmured in respectful admiration and Dee Dee nodded with a smile from ear to ear. As Dexter ran towards her soulless body, Blossom turned to Dee Dee.
'This is the end, I suppose? Will I ever see you again, Dee Dee?'
'I'm sure we will, Blossom. It was nice to meet you. And please, give Dexter my regards.'
'I will...'
But before she could say anything else, Dexter removed the chains around her arms and legs and tried to wake up. She felt how the spectral chain yanked at her feet and how she was pulled back into her body.
'Bye, Blossom...'
'Please, don't be dead. Please don't be dead.'
'Dexter?'
'Blossom? You are okay? You are okay!'
'Yes, Dexter... I'm fine. I still feel weak though... Mandark... He drained my power. I can't help you get out of here...'
As Dexter helps her to get up, he said: 'Don't worry, Blossom... It is all fine...'
'How cute,' Mandark sarcastically remarked, 'What could ruin such a beautiful moment? What about a fiery explosion... What do you think, Dexter?'
At that moment, Buttercup and Bubbles arrived through the hole and Mandark laughed again: 'And look, the rest of the Utonium family has arrived as well. I figure that you have taken care of Jason then... Well, you won't be leaving. Computer, activate Shield Protocol Anti X!'
As a digital shield closed the hole behind Buttercup and Bubbles. Bubbles bashed against the wall but it didn't even dent. The forcefield couldn't be affected by their power! Buttercup flew to Mandark: 'What have you just done four-eyes!'
'I killed you! Let's all die together! Computer: activate Self-Destruction sequence 30 seconds...'
'Self-Destruction sequence initiated.'

Coop picked up Kiva's Mecha head when he heard the activation of the Self-Destruction sequence. Realizing what Mandark had done, he ran towards the Flying Fortress, jumped into the air and punched his fist through the wall of the fortress. Coop opened his hand before calling Dexter: 'Dex, hurry. Get onto my hand and let's get out of here.'
With Blossom still weak by the Antidote X and Dexter being tired of the battle, it were Buttercup and Bubbles who carried them to the hand. Blossom looked a last time at the boy that tried to kill her and asked the sisters: 'What about him!'
'Self-Destruction sequence: 10... 9... 8...'
'We have no time to save his sorry ass, Blossom. Dexter, call your friend, we have to go!'
'Coop, let's go!'
As Coop gently closed the fist and jumped back, he got them out just in time as the fortress was engulfed by flames. The madness of Mandark had finally ended...

Or did it... As the flames seared the Mandark's body, the boy looked down as his own charred remains. It was over, all the plans, all his schemes... His final plan had blown up in his face, quite literally and now he was dead. But death didn't brought him the peace he craved. He was dead, yet the pain was still there. Did this pain never end, not even in death? He committed suicide to be free of the pain, of the guilt but now his master's influence was burned away, the truth hit only harder. He killed Dee Dee, in his mad war against Dexter, he had killed the person he loved most. This wasn't Dexter's doing, it was him, it was always him... He looked up to the sky as the flames danced through his soul, touching nothing. He was nothing, he could no longer touch the Earth, and nothing could touch him. It is understandable then, that he was surprised when he suddenly felt a hand touch his shoulder. As he looked at the white finger bones that rested on his shoulder, he already knew to whom they belonged but it didn't made their meeting any less unpleasant.
'And what exactly were you going to do to me when you saw me again?' Grim asked calmly.

In his lab, Dexter was rushing form one computer to next as he checked the monitors that measured Blossom's recovery. Blossom looked with a worried expression to Dexter. He just had fought Mandark in a battle to the death and yet, here he was caring for her, not resting for a minute. Next to her sick bed sat her sisters. She was shocked to learn that Mandark had sent Jason Voorhees to the school. She knew he was a madman but that he was insane enough to unleash a monster like Jason on a school! She was also impressed on how they figured out his weakness and how they managed to exploit it. According to last updates, the body and the heart was brought to the Center, where the heart put into a secured vault. Nobody would ever unleash this monster again. But she was interested in the mental health of Coop. Her views on murder hadn't changed, killing was distasteful but she understood his evil counterpart left him no choice. But she was worried about what it would have done to his psyche. After all, he had to kill someone, an alternative version of himself: 'How is Coop doing?' She asked Dexter when he have her a metal glove: 'Put this on, please.'
She obeyed his request but kept her eyes trained on him, waiting for an answer.
'And now, close your hand. Make a fist and squeeze as hard as you can. Coop is doing fine. He is traumatized by this suicidal murder but Kiva and Jamie are therefore him. And I have recommended him a psychiatrist, the one I saw after...'
He didn't finished the sentence but it was clear to Blossom what he was going to say. Instead, he said: 'He has brought that other Kiva to Bell Reve. They have a special wing for cyborgs, that prevent her from using her augmentations to escape the prison. What interests me the most, is how they still exist at all. They were future versions of the duo. They should have been disappeared once Coop didn't turn into his evil counterpart...'
'Didn't he say something about a dimensional portal,' Buttercup said suddenly, 'Perhaps that has something to do with it?'
'Interdimensional-induced chronolock? Interesting hypothesis. 2951 MegaNewton per square centimetre. Your powers are slowly coming back Blossom. I...'
But suddenly the portal behind them opened and Professor Utonium appeared with a stern expression on his face.
'Hey Professor!' the girls said in unison. He answered their greeting with a smile before calling Dexter: 'Dexter, I have something to show you. Come with me.'
'I'm kinda busy, Professor Utonium.'
'It wasn't a request, my boy. Come here!'
Reluctantly, Dexter left Blossom's side and went to Professor Utonium, both curious and annoyed by his behavior. Blossom was only curious. She never had seen her father so serious, not even when Buttercup knocked out teeth for the Tooth Fairy.
'Take a look at these,' Professor Utonium handed him some papers and for the first time since her rescue, Blossom was annoyed by her slow recovery. Her physical strength was slowly returning to her but more specialized abilities like her x-ray vision and superhearing were yet to recover. And distance between her and Dexter was too big to hear him with her regular hearing and since he had turned his back to her, lip reading was out of the question as well.
'What are those?' Dexter asked with a calm voice, but his shaking hands blew this facade. Whatever was in the notes worried him while he tried his best to hide this. Just like her, her father didn't buy his act and said: 'You know perfectly what this is. What this means.'
Dexter looked over his shoulder, looked at Blossom before taking a few steps forwards, before continuing the discussion. To Blossom's annoyance, she could no longer understand what he said, the distance was too far. Of course, Dexter had measured her hearing distance... There was no way that she could ask her sisters to listen into their conversation without them hearing this.

'I do know what means, it means nothing. I have everything under control and I can handle it.' He said silently, refusing to look directly at anyone in the room.
'You are lying. This isn't good, Dexter, if someone should realize the risks, it would be you!'
He whispered before saying so loud that the girls could hear him clearly. 'Go rest, I will take care of Blossom.'
'I...'
'Dexter, come here.'
Blossom interrupted him to his surprise. She pushed herself up on the cushions and nodded at him. Wondering what this was about, he returned to her bedside.
'Yes, Blossom...'
'Please, go and have some rest. I will be fine. I'm in good hands.'
And to his surprise, she kissed him on the cheek before letting him go. He was painfully aware that he was blushing when she let him go and with a feeling of awkwardness, turned around silently. He walked towards the exit but as he passed Professor Utonium, the latter placed his hand on Dexter's shoulder.
'This changes things,' he whispered to him, looking from him to Blossom. Dexter followed his gaze and nodded his head.
'Nothing has changed, Professor Utonium.'
'She has the right to know, especially now...'
'No, she don't have to know anything. And as my physician, your deontological code prohibits you from saying anything about this...'
'Dexter, this isn't fair to her, she..'
'Would worry for no reason. My resolve is absolute, this is my problem and no one else.'
And without saying another word, he left the lab. Blossom fell back on her pillow. At least, it was over now. At least the whole ordeal was over...

A mysterious woman walks through the corridors of what appears to be a max security prison. At her sides, she was guarded by two men, 6 feet tall, buff built, clothed in military attire and wielding assault rifles. But neither of them was imposing as the woman they were guarding. Dressed in a skirt suit and good in the flesh, the woman still managed to command the respect of anyone who laid eyes on her. She stopped a cell with number 2512-2613 and without a word, one of the soldiers opened the door for her. On the bench in the cell, a red-haired woman in an orange jumpsuit was sleeping. As the bodyguards entered the cell, training their weapons on the prison, their boss stepped forward.
'Kiva Andru!'
The sleeping cyborg didn't react immediately, but as she opened her eyes, her cybernatic pupil contracted before returning to normal.
'Amanda Waller...'
'You know me?' the woman reacted with combination of surprise and satisfaction. Kiva initially ignored the question as she moved to sit straight up, ignoring the riffles that followed her every move. She straightened her back and stretched her arms out before saying: 'I have seen the classified history cubes, what do you want?'
Amanda smiled and threw the clipboard: 'Since you know me, I don't think this needs any much explaination, I want to recruit you for Taskforce X!'
Although her face remained expressionless, her cybernatic eye betrayed her true feelings. As it looked at the pages on the clipboard, the pupil widened again.
'The Suicide Squad...' Kiva murmured.

Chapter 6 - :Anubis' Court
Hello, Sir Raven is the name, storytelling my fame... Your curiosity have let you my home, so cosy and nice. And what you seek, shall be given. Information of what happens to the livin', at the end of life's game. Once one life is about to end, the bell is tolled and the Grim Reaper is called. So is fate of all, of the big and the small. Young and old, once the time's up, and the body soon turns cold, the Reaper come claim its price. Leading the soul to Anubis' door for the weighting of the truths and lies... and sometimes more... The soul in our tale, is one most unfortunate and stands a warning to those who feel to strike a hellish deal... The Dregs of Hell will come to collect what's theirs and they never fail... Now, follow me and see, through the Raven's Eyes, as we follow the Bones Lord to Death's Court and join young Mandark on Charon's Ark...

The moment Mandark initiated the self-destruction sequence, The Grim Reaper was called. 10 seconds left: unseen by mortal eyes, a shadow rose from the ground, standing two meters tall. 9 seconds left: white bones started to manifest inside the shadow that formed a robe around its skeletal master. 8 seconds left: the right hand of the Reaper rose, stretching its pale phalanges in thin air. 7 seconds left: a weapon that ended civilizations took form and placed itself in the hand of its dark master. 6 seconds left: the Reaper turned its head to its prey, an impossible smile formed on his non-existent lips . 5 seconds: Grim hovered in for the kill, with the scythe ready to strike. 4 seconds: standing above the boy, Grim's smile only grew bigger, this time he wouldn't get away. 3 seconds,:the blade rose into the air, as Grim fell the excitement and arcane power building up in him, all in the anticipation of taking this one soul. 2 seconds: the blade was one its highest peak and with a swift motion, Grim started to lower the blade again. 1 second left: the blade dropped and as the timer dropped to zero and the boy was engulfed by the fiery explosion of his own design, the blade tore the soul clear out of the body, before both the weapon as its master dissolved. Now removed from the body, Mandark's soul was freed from the dark influence of his master and for the first time in a long time, he could objectively reflect on his actions. He had hoped that death would end all pain, but instead it was only amplified. With a clear mind, he realized how everything was his fault. Dee Dee died at his hands, a causality in a war of egos. Dexter never wanted this war, never wanted it to be like this... As the flames went through him, unable to touch his ethereal form, he wondered what would happen next. What he didn't expect was feeling the hand of a tall figure on his shoulder. As looked up to see, to whom the hand belonged he was shocked to see the Grim Reaper finally came for his soul.

The moment Mandark initiated the self-destruction sequence, The Grim Reaper was called. 10 seconds left: unseen by mortal eyes, a shadow rose from the ground, standing two meters tall. 9 seconds left: white bones started to manifest inside the shadow that formed a robe around its skeletal master. 8 seconds left: the right hand of the Reaper rose, stretching its pale phalanges in thin air. 7 seconds left: a weapon that ended civilizations took form and placed itself in the hand of its dark master. 6 seconds left: the Reaper turned its head to its prey, an impossible smile formed on his non-existent lips . 5 seconds: Grim hovered in for the kill, with the scythe ready to strike. 4 seconds: standing above the boy, Grim's smile only grew bigger, this time he wouldn't get away. 3 seconds,:the blade rose into the air, as Grim fell the excitement and arcane power building up in him, all in the anticipation of taking this one soul. 2 seconds: the blade was one its highest peak and with a swift motion, Grim started to lower the blade again. 1 second left: the blade dropped and as the timer dropped to zero and the boy was engulfed by the fiery explosion of his own design, the blade tore the soul clear out of the body, before both the weapon as its master dissolved. Now removed from the body, Mandark's soul was freed from the dark influence of his master and for the first time in a long time, he could objectively reflect on his actions. He had hoped that death would end all pain, but instead it was only amplified. With a clear mind, he realized how everything was his fault. Dee Dee died at his hands, a causality in a war of egos. Dexter never wanted this war, never wanted it to be like this... As the flames went through him, unable to touch his ethereal form, he wondered what would happen next. What he didn't expect was feeling the hand of a tall figure on his shoulder. As looked up to see, to whom the hand belonged he was shocked to see the Grim Reaper finally came for his soul.
Grim's voice was calm yet threatening: 'And what exactly were you going to do to me when you saw me again?'
Grim's amusement in the boy's demise was shortlived however, once a red aureola took form above the latter's head. Grim had seen this a thousand times before and immediately recognized it for what it was. Grim's greatest fear was realized when the sigil formed inside the aureola, took the form of one most notorious symbols in the Underworld. The sigil's formation had sealed Mandark's fate and Grim knew that the devil to whom the sigil belonged, soon would come to claim his price. The boy had no idea what he did to himself, so much was clear to Grim but the reality of the curse he had called upon himself would soon be clear. Not even he could help Mandark now and it would be only a matter of time, before Anubis gave him to his new owner.

Pandæmonium is the capital city of the Land of the Dead, with a total population of 24 billion souls. Skeletons, demons, vampire, werewolves, ghosts... Beings of all species, call this metropolis home.Built on the shores of the Acheron, the harbor of Primordoch is the first stop of the Ferryman's boat. One of many, where the souls of deceased board Charon's Ferry to followed its journey over the Acheron, where, near the City of Datsokren, the Acheron flows into the river Styx, leading the Charon's passengers to the humungous Osiris Courthouse, where Judge Anubis decided their final resting place. As always, the souls ready to board the Ferry, at Primordoch Harbor. Their scared faces looked from each other, to the demonic architecture of their surroundings, to the red brightness of the Worm Star shining down on their pale heads, to the guards looking down on them, seeing to it that none escaped... Nervous of the judgement they would receive. None of them were prepared for this trip, none of them had expected this to be their fate after death. Word spread quickly that they would be judged by a demon lord, named Anubis and that the Ferryman would come soon. As a growling beast, the gigantic ship appeared from the mist bank separating the Phlegethon and the Acheron and its captain appeared on deck. What a side to behold, Charon was two meter tall, towering above most the souls, dressed in a black and red robe, with his head, the head of a condor, sticking out. Clawed feet were visible from under his robe and his hands held a staff, that was possibly even bigger than its wielder. The grey Symbol of Grim, glowed red as he moved the staff to control the boat, mooring the mastodon to the docks. Another wave and the gangway was stretched out to the docks, letting the first souls onto the ship. But at that moment, a black vortex opened behind the masses of souls and the Grim Reaper appeared, carrying one last soul with him. The soul of a young boy, with a red sigil above his head. None of the souls recognized the symbol off course, but instinctively, they were fearful of it and disgusted by the soul whom it marked. Their interest in the boy was shortlived as they were poked into boarding the ship by the Acheronian guards. The sigil didn't escape the attention of Charon however, who jumped from the deck and floated towards Grim and Mandark, ready to ask what had happened. Not that the situation needed much explanation, seeing how universal the symbol was. But before Charon could even greet the Grim Reaper, another demon ran up to them. Green skin, and dressed as a medieval knight, Lord Pain was almost as famous as the master he served and as he kneeled before the Reaper, he said: 'My sincere apologies, sir... But I fear that I have some bad news. Dark Lilith's army of Manticores have been spotted near the city of Halloween Town. I have sent the first Division to hold them off but I fear that they soon will be overrun by her monstrous army. Do I dispatch the Royal Army, the Tikbalang Cavalry...'

Grim sighed by the news. So, Pariah's daughter had declared war on him and his kingdom. She clearly had her father's arrogance but not his tactical intellect. It gave him however the chance to test his newest soldiers in combat, see if they were what he hoped them to be. It would be a good test, a good first field deployment.
'Sir? Your order?' Pain asked as he rose from the ground, awaiting his master's commands, a bit shocked by the time Grim took to take a decision. He did realize how serious this situation was, right? His gaze slipped from Grim to Mandark, or the sigil above the latter's head to be more precise. Was it this that kept his master's mind so occupied? The boy had clearly made his choice in life, and now should pay for that, but his master wouldn't jeopardize his empire and his title as ruler to address this case... When Grim finally opened his mouth, to give his resolve, they were surprised by the words he spoke: 'No, don't send the Tikbalang and call back the first Division!'
'Sir?'
'Summon the Four, Lord Pain! They will deal with this situation!'
Now not only the crowd shivered, even the Acheron guards were shaking in their boots upon hearing the resolve of the Lord of Bones, Charon's pupils enlarged when he heard the word "Four" and Pain nodded pleased by his master' decision: 'Right away, Sir!'
'Tell them to bring me Lilith alive! What they do with the rest of her army, I don't care, but I want her alive. Is that clear?!'
'Crystal, my Lord. As by your instructions, I will summon the Four and your will be carried out.'
'Excellent... Now, go, Charles!'

Charles nodded a final time and walked away, nodding to Charon before putting his fingers at his mouth. A strange whistle was heard, that was answered by an as disturbing cry as a pterodactyl-like creature flew over. The Duah grabbed Pain by his shoulder and flew him to his destination. Charon looked as they flew away but as Grim moved beside him, he turned his head to the Ruler of Death. Grim didn't even bother to halt his pace though and Charon had no other choice that to start following him.
'So, you have deployed the four... Is Aquila doing fine? It has been a while since I have seen my daughter, Grim...'
'Famine's work during earlier deployments did please me, yes. And I don't expect them to have experience any real problems, dealing with Lilith's troops. And I'm not really surprised with Lilith actions actually...'
'Really?' Charon said, surprised with this information. It did confirm the rumor that Grim had pawns everywhere in the Underworld, but that he was so open about this. 'I have my sources, Charon, as you probably have heard. But don't worry. I will sent Famine to you, after they complete their assignment. I think it wouldn't be bad if I gave them some time off actually. After they brought me Lilith of course...'
Grim looked at the souls who were boarding the ship, sighing by the realization that he had to attend to a Soul's Court Case, and had to confront Mandark's master...
But as you can see,' Grim continued, waving his hand to Mandark, 'I have to attend this young man's court case... How I often curse those ancient laws. But who am I to question the infinite wisdom of the Three Judges?'
The sarcasm was almost tangible and Charon decided it wouldn't be wise to react on it, with wisecracks he would have used if he was talking to a lesser being. Instead, he shifted the focus to the boy as they boarded the ship as well. While most souls would take place in the bellow of the ship, Grim and Charon stayed on the deck and therefore did Mandark.
'Not the brightest fella, is he? Selling his soul to a demon is always risky, but to the Head of the Dark Conclave... Kid must be nuts...'
'You don't know half of it... This is probably one of the smartest humans that ever walked the Earth, yet the Prince of Lies got to him as easily as he gets to everyone... I'm not looking forwards to see him in court again,' Grim made clear once again.
'Another play toy for our Unholiness... Like he needed another one. He shows more greed than Mammon and Plutus Set combined!'
'True,' Charon agreed, 'And if the rumors are true, he has also new butler/bodyguard.'

'No rumor, Charon, more a confirmed fact,' Grim said with surly expression on his face, 'for a few years now, the Angel of Death serves a new master, it is only now recently that his master has felt the need to show us his latest soldier.'
'And a quite fearsome soldier, if I may say,' said Charon as he guided the boat to the scission and led it the river Styx, 'I remember leading his soul to the Court. Humankind's ability to create monsters will never cease to amaze me. Such an impressive being, such potential. How an unceremonious end he got. Anyway, we have arrived.'
The boat passed through two giant Monoliths as it fired two large anchors, at the rock formation. For the first time during this trip, Mandark realized why most other souls took refugee under the deck, as when the anchors were fired, the monoliths splintered on impact, and rocks started to fall down. On Earth, there was nothing that could harm him anymore, but here in the Underworld, he was sure different logic worked. In a instant of clarity, he realized that this might be his last chance. If his master was cruel as they said, non-existence would be the more preferable option. And before either the Reaper or the demon could stop him, he ran towards the falling rocks and closed his eyes. But no impact followed. As he opened his eyes, he saw that something kept them afloat. A red aura had engulfed the rocks and for a moment, he thought it was the sigil above his head protecting him but when he looked to his right, he realized it was in fact Charon. With great effort , he used his staff to levitate the fallen debris above their heads before dumping them with one wave of his staff into the river. With a stern expression on his condor's face, Charon lowered his staff resting the end of it on the ground.
'You won't escape your judgment, little one. It is far too late for that... I have been tasked to bring you to the Court, so allowing you to go the directly to Shen Guang would be me forsaking the duty I promised to uphold.'
'It would have been the more merciful thing to do...' Grim murmured from under his hood as they walked down to the gangway. His mood didn't improve when he noticed the duo that awaited them on the Docks of the Court House, flanked by two of Anubis' soldiers. The first was a tall human male in black butler attire, with long black hair, worn in ponytail and monocle over his left eye. The other had all marks of a devil: humanoid figure, red skin and green eyes. His most distinct feature however were the crustaceous claws that were clammed around the cane. One of the most feared faces in the Underworld, by most only referred to as HIM. With a victorious grin on his face, the Lord of Tainted Souls watched amused as Grim and Charon escorted Mandark to the Gates of the Court House, with an army of souls following in their wake. But just as the Gatekeepers were about to open the doors for the flood of souls, HIM blocked Grim's passage with his cane. With the cane at chest height and a smile that only got broader, he seemingly waited for Grim to say something as the Reaper halted. HIM's companion followed his master and took post behind him, only his face remained expressionless. Grim could easily have phased through the cane and continued walking but seeing the unpredictable nature of his fellow Underlord, combined with the fact that neither Charon or the souls would be able to repeat his feat, he patiently waited. Even if he was unable to act at the moment, he wasn't planning on giving HIM the satisfaction of getting a reaction out of him for this provocation. Seeing how a reaction from Grim's side kept out, it was HIM who took the word. As the devil opened his foul mouth, instead of the booming guttural sounds one might have expected from such a monstrosity, feminine voice left his mouth, sounding like an excited little girl. Just one of the many attributes that the Lord of Lies used to unsettle anyone with whom he made contact: 'Ah, so nice of you to come to hand over my property personally, Grim... You really shouldn't have...'

Despite the unpleasantness of the confrontation, this would give Grim the opportunity to test some of his assumptions about HIM and his possible involvement with the Omega Event. Although playing mind games with the master of manipulation was about as safe as questioning a command of Mandy but it was a risk he had to take if he wanted to get some insight on his cousin. 'He isn't yours yet, Kaere...' Grim brought against it, while looking at the cane, wondering how HIM would react to some intimidation. 'Those are details, Grim... You have seen the sigil, you know that this case is already lost. So why not it handle here, so neither of us have to waste any more time on this matter. I'm only here to take what is mine.'

'Patience is a virtue', Grim replied before tightening his grip on his scythe and started hovering forward again, moving through the cane that was reduced to sawdust as he passed. Based on the surprised expression of both HIM and his associate, neither had been able to see his faster-than-light scythe technique and this pleased the Grim Reaper. It was a first indication of HIM's immense powers having limitations. That alone was enough answer for Grim but clearly HIM wasn't done with him.
'I'm not finished with you, Grim...', HIM uttered with a calmness that would have lesser men than Grim or Charon run to the hills and as if to underline the words of his master, HIM's bulter raised his hands and immediately, a barrier of thin razor-sharp wires appeared before Grim, blocking his path once again. Raising an eye, Grim turned around and looked at HIM: 'But I'm finished with you,' he said before focussing on his servant, 'Are you challenging me, Angel of Death?'
'You heard my master, you haven't been permitted to leave yet!' the loyal servant ordered as with one move his hand, made the circle around them closer, forcing Grim to make a step back again, lessen his robe be torn by the monofilament wires as well keep out the Anubian Guards that came to break up the discussion.

'Quite a protective dog you have, Kaere... Too bad, he has such a bad track record when it comes to loyalty...'
And if to rub more salt in the wounds, he looked directly at Walter when he asked: 'Tell me, Walter? Do you really expect to fare better against me than you did against Alucard? Still the same foolish kid.'
'You dare!' Walter screamed, enraged by the provocation, but this only fuelled Grim's amusement with the taunts and he continued with: 'Yes, I do... You might have well earned the title of Angel of Death, Walter, but before you stand the Grim Reaper! I reaped your soul once before, what makes you think I can't do it again... What stops me from reaping both your souls on this place and end this circus, here and now?'
It was a dangerous boast and if he had drawn the wrong conclusions from HIM's previous actions, this could end very bad for him. And this time it was HIM's time to laugh, 'You mean other than the laws in place to stop you from doing just that. If you had the balls to use your given abilities, the Blood Council would turn you into their lapdog once again and if I'm gone, imagine what tyrant will take my place as new Underlord? Perhaps you would prefer to deal with Trigon? Or with Satan? Or, just imagine, with Belphemora?!'

'One could see your presence here as an ambush, especially with the threatening behavior demonstrated by servant, Kaere, authorizing me to take the necessary actions out of self-defense... And I don't need to kill you, not if the Blood Council could collar you. What will come of your position at Dark Conclave? I'm sure that Belphemora is just begging for an opportunity to cease your position, and if required I will deal with every last one of you. Now that you mentioned it I'm looking forwards to purging you all.'

HIM was surprised by this turn of events and for a moment, and it was clear that HIM understood that continuing would lead him to overstep his own boundaries and that he couldn't take a fight with Grim. Grim noticed that this conflict ate at HIM and if to empower his words, he raised his scythe and placed it beneath the chin of Walter: 'So have we a go?'

'Walter, stand down', HIM said gruntingly, humiliated by the Grim Reaper and as a final insult, Grim followed up with: 'Anything you have to say to me, will either be said in court or when I allow you to have a proper audience with me.'

With an almost invisible nod, HIM ordered the Angel of Death to follow this order and the wires disappeared as fast as that they had appeared. Grim nodded mockingly and moved on with Charon and Mandark, leaving behind a furious Walter and a humiliated HIM. Charon was amused by how Grim handled the situation: 'You didn't strike me like one who would pick a fight with HIM, let alone threaten the whole Dark Conclave.'

'Well, seeing how a fight between us would shake the foundation of the whole underworld and we both would have faced sanctions at the hands of the Blood Council, I was counting on it that he would decline. After all and despite my words, he was right about one thing, the prospect of having the likes of Trigon, Satan or Belphemora getting even near his throne, aren't all that appealing. Especially if the Council rules my actions unjust.'

'So you basically out-bluffed the Lord of the Tainted Souls. I have to say that takes balls...' 'Well, sometimes, you have to play high stakes poker in order to win....' Grim replied as they walked through the big halls of the Death Court. Large pillars, erected from a combination of stone and bone held up a ceilling that appeared to be made lime and flesh, with red veins generating most of the light.

When they reached the doors of the Death Court, they heard the booming voice of Anubis passing judgement on the souls of deceased: 'Don Bafi, the City of Aku will be your final resting place, so is my verdict.'

Charon looked a final time to Grim and Mandark before moving his staff and aiming it to the giant black bell , which was decorated with gravures of the Lord of the Death, himself. By the command of Charon's staff, the eyes of the skulls on the bell, lighted up red and the bell started to toll with a deep bellow, which in turn melted away the door. In the Courtroom, the souls of the death were droven in, packed closely on each other, waiting till it is their turn to be judged. Of the previous batch of souls brought here by Charon, only one soul remained, while the just judged Don Bafi was carried away by Anubian Guards to the Portal Chamber. Grim was very familiar with that room, which connected all regions of the Underworld and those of the Heavens with his Land of the Dead, as he often used as a quick way of transport, when seekingt audience with the other Underlords. Every soul that was judged by Anubis would be send through the portals to their designated realm, both above and below. Guarded by the demonic Straga, only those with Anubis blessing could use the portals... All others who would dare trying to pass them, would surely face a gruesome death at the blade of their war axes. Although it could be argued that such a fate would still be preferable than being left at the mercy of Anubis' pet, Ammut. While Anubis had started judging the final soul, Grim got a pleasant vision of how he would humiliate HIM further by blowing up his contract with Mandark. Although if there was something he knew about HIM, it was that he wouldn't have made a mistake when he sealed that deal and the chances that the devil would lose this case was, even less than Billy getting accepted to Harvard, it was a pleasant day dream.

As a red crystal heart dissolved in Anubis' hands, the Judge of the Dead gave the verdict for the soul of an old obese man with a long beard.

'Dr. Michael Locus, your heart has been weighted: Your madness led you to the creation of dangerous androids and robots, with the sole purpose to threaten the lives of those around you. At the high of your insanity, you left you gynoid daughter with no other choice that to take you out, before you could kill her boyfriend and in turn made a murderer out of her... Although not by blood, she was family and yet, your actions led her to act, resulting in you being here and driving herself made in the process. As in life, you allowed your insane mind lead your path, now in death, it will bring you to your final destination: the Nightosphere will be your final resting place, so is my verdict.'

And with a raise of his hand, giant decorated gavel appeared from thin air, slamming on the desk, calling forth two of his minions to take Dr. Locus with them. Grim watched as Locus was brought to the backroom but was quickly brought back to reality when a small boy stepped forwards and a black page with purple letters appeared in his hand: 'Next soul to be judged in this court is Mandark Astronomonov, can the defended come forwards!'

With this given command, Mandark was forced to step forwards to stand before Anubis. The expression of his face changed barely when he looked at the sigil above Mandark's head but unlike with the previous souls, he didn't start the process with judging the Heart. Instead the boy took the word again and said: 'Can The Grim Reaper and HIM come forth?'

Without even bothering to hide his displeasure in all of this, Grim followed the order and HIM joined him, only with clear glee about the circumstances. But it was Anubis who took the word: 'Mandark Astronomonov, you sold your soul to the devil lord, HIM, in exchange for the chance to kill the boy that wronged you, purge the soul of a girl out of her body and resurrect the soul of an previous deceased one. Did he provide this service.'

'No, I promised him one soul in exchange for his help. I would give him Blossom's soul. Also his plan ultimately failed and I ended up the death before I got a chance to try again. Therefore, I argue that he didn't live up his part of the bargain. It is his fault the deal went south!' Mandark reacted, clearly convinced that he found a loophole. Grim shook his head. The boy was either ignorant or arrogant but his inability to realize what game HIM had played was staggering. Perhaps, it was experience as Grim had witnessed this scam being played for millennia but how was it possible that people still couldn't see through it. With one look on HIM, who was clearly enjoying this whole ordeal, it was clear to Grim that HIM knew perfectly what he was doing when he made the deal and now would defend his case: 'Objection, the deal I made with Astronomonov was a soul in exchange for a CHANCE to get this wish granted. And that is all that I did. He was given the opportunity to execute his plans and I provided him with all the help that the contract required me to give him. It is true that he offered me Blossom's soul but if we look back at the contract, he declares that he owned me one soul. Now that he is dead, the only soul he can give me, is his own. Not to be unreasonable but contract is contract!'

'No, this wasn't supposed to happen! This wasn't the deal...'

With a wave of his hands, Anubis silenced the cries of the boy and as he spread his arms, two crystal hearts appeared, one in each hand. The left heart was red as ruby while the one in his right hand was as black as obsidian.
'Let's weight the hearts and see who of the two is more truthful...'
And as both dissolved, his right hand rose up. HIM's smile grew broader but it faded quickly when it was Grim's turn to object.
'No! It is clear that this boy was tricked by HIM. This contract isn't a fair one and...'
'Grim, we have had this discussion for eons now... And the answer always remain the same. It isn't up to us or up to the contractor to point out the traps in the contract. It is up to the reader to uncover these, before signing this. Mandark has signed this contract and as the Judge of the Death, I'm obligated to make sure this ruling is carried out. Now if both you and HIM could be so good to sign this paper, you as witness, he as accuser, we can go on with our day. As the contract made between HIM and Mandark is waterproof, I judge the contract legitimate and order it to be carried out. That is my verdict.'

'It was nice to doing business with you, gentlemen,' HIM said with glance of his old flair after both parties signed the contract, but he didn't resolved to taunting Grim again. Apparently he had decided that it would be unwise to take on the Old Celestial again. Instead, he turned his back on them and with in his wake Walter holding Mandark, they followed a guard to the Portal Room. And despite losing the battle for Mandark's soul, Grim was rather pleased by the outcome of their little discussion. It was clear that HIM didn't prided himself to be powerful enough to fight him, let alone the Blood Council and that was a very pleasing suggestion. It also have him some clarity on the Omega Event. Although his actions here didn't absolve him from any involvement with it, it was clear if he was involved that he got help from someone, someone outside the Dark Conclave. The question was only who. It was time to move his investigation further and recruit some extra man power...

'Grim?'

'Yes, Anubis...', Grim murmured absently, still thinking about what his next move should be. 'There is some pressing business that I wanted to discuss with you. According to rumours, since a few weeks souls have been abducted by a mysterious group of demons. From the descriptions I got, I would say, Phlebeton Spirits. I can't send out one of my guards, to kill the once responsible, not without proof. If I do, Malebolgia will demand reparations and that is one debt I'm not interested it. I know that you can't send one of your soldiers either as such an act will sure lead to war but can you think of something to resolve this?'

'I know the perfect guy!'

Characters

For a full list of characters featured in this fan fiction, see: Character List.

Sources

The fan fiction fuses many fictional universes together, connecting and retconning stories to form one shared universe. For a full list of featured fictional works who are part of and formed the lore of Powerpuff Girls Ω, see List of Fictional Sources in Powerpuff Girls Ω.

Commentary

If you should have a question about the story or the roads I took, I like to refer you to my blog: Author's commentary, perhaps I already answered a question you have. If not, feel free to ask, I will answer it as soon as possible.

References and parodies

For a full list of the references made in this fan fiction, see: References and Parodies in Powerpuff Girls Ω.

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