The Great Trans-Syberian Adventure

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 24
Tenchi and Carmen walked down admiring the detailed masonry work and upon reaching the door saw it had an indentation that Carmen’s Moon of Moldavia would fit perfectly. When Carmen inserted the gem the door opened and the floor they were standing on started to move them inside as the door closed behind them. To say they were amazed at what they saw was an understatement. Well-polished stone gave way to surgically machined golden metal adorning the shaft structure. It was clockwork gears, cogs, and springs all around and soon they realized the platform they were on was slowly descending to another lower level.

As it reached the bottom floor they saw the main entrance door before them and they walked towards it causing the door to open automatically. In the main room the floor, walls, and ceilings pulsated golden energy traveling in circuit patterns from one place to another. There was a flat black pedestal in the center with a golden Globe floating and spinning slowly in the air atop it. The center area was surrounded by a walkway that encircled it with a noticeable gap and down below in it, the floor glowed with white energy. As Tenchi and Carmen approached the Globe it was shielded by an energy that came up from the black pedestal. Tenchi adjusting his glasses said, “Well, that’s annoying and we were so close too.”

Carmen’s experience told her it was not a good idea to assume you could touch a wall of energy protecting something. She walked around the walkway and saw wherever she went the shield followed. Across the room, a door appeared, and from it came a man cloaked in white and black on his chest was the symbol for Zalmoxis. He welcomed Tenchi and Carmen saying, “I am Eduard Munteanu and I am the watcher of this place.” Tenchi and Carmen looked at the hooded figure and asked him what the converter was built for. Eduard simply responded, “Which converter do you refer to?” Tenchi replied, “Obviously the only working one left.”

Eduard raised an eyebrow and said, “Oh? Forgive me as I remember when there were many still functioning.” Tenchi with a small laugh replied, “That’s impossible since that would make you 750… 800 years old.” Eduard with a nod said, “Precisely.” Tenchi then stated, “Well your lookin' good for your age.” Eduard told them they had to choose, but choose wisely for the prophecy of the chosen one must be fulfilled. The watcher then activated a system that caused a hologram to appear.

It said it was Pythagoras Fieraru and they must prove their worth by claiming the Globe. How it responds will determine how the guardians of the chosen one must act. Carmen asked Pythagoras, “How are we supposed to get the Globe when it is shielded?” Leading Pythagoras to say you must use your power together. The two then used their energy of light and dark to disable the shield. The Globe then decreased in size and divided into two copies that were palm-sized. Carmen asked what this meant and Pythagoras told them the Globe has divided because you are divided.

A holographic image of past scenes started to play out in front of them as Pythagoras continued, “Long ago it was not so people walked in harmony with the light and dark of yin and yang, for neither is of evil origin. Those who use the energy for evil gave it that illusion. Using their understanding of energy they could achieve great things in science. But their civilization was not meant to last fate sees that nothing does and in time it was forgotten. But their knowledge lived on and my student became its greatest legacy. You came to know him as Zalmoxis but when I first met him he was older than I was. The converter I made is the one you are standing inside of now its power is the true power of a converter from ancient times. With its power, I made him young again, and then I made myself immortal as the ancients did. But Zalmoxis advanced the power and ability of the machine and so it came to pass that he ascended to the Elysian Mainframe. But he was misguided in his pursuit of paradise believing if it was not real he would simply make it.”

Tenchi was starting to wrap his head around the “fantasy techno-babble” as he would call it if he said it out loud. The language patterns of the times and limited understanding of technology the general population held made the way Pythagoras spoke make sense. It was structured to be spoken to the masses by those who had mastered the technology. Tenchi realized the prophecy was most likely a calculation program using mathematical concepts to predict outcomes using statistical probability. Tenchi was realizing given the highly mechanical structure that the prophecy was a calculation of some kind while Carmen was more interested in what happened to Zalmoxis. She didn’t have to wonder long as Pythagoras told them what happened after the mainframe was built.

The holographic images showed a silhouette of a body as he began to explain the process Zalmoxis and he had used. “I using my knowledge of the old ways ascended to “The Grey” a world created by the converter system program. Some ancients considered this process unnatural but it was done by me to guard against Zalmoxis. As he left his land of Thrace he created this underground chamber and in it developed his method of immortality. The converters powered by the red gems would duplicate anything; even life energy. Not only did Zalmoxis ascend to his own paradise realm, but his body lived on and returned to his followers. But it was the body as the vessel of the Elysian Fields and thus he truly brought paradise back to his people, and so they called him a god.”

The images then showed a stadium filled with followers and regular Thracians a man walked and as he did the crowd erupted in thunderous applause. This man stopped in the center of the stage and began to speak. Pythagoras Fieraru, the famously lauded Wiseman and very much a Greek, was known to copy jewels for use in goldsmithing. When asked by a man after copying jewels one time to reveal his trick, how was he able to replicate rare precious stones as doing so made them less rare. He answered the man saying, “By not minding they become less rare.”

As the crowd laughed at this opening joke the man continued speaking. The power that created the jewels that came from the converter, was a gift from the gods of old. A gift his enemies claimed he stole from the gods and was not meant for our mortal kind. When Pythagoras was accused of heresy he was ordered to not use the converter again and so he left and came here. All because of the powers of the converter and as his knowledge grew he created more wondrous things. And so after teaching me this technology such a very long time ago, what have I done with it?”

“40 years ago my converters, 30 years ago my red gems, 20 years ago my chamber, 10 years ago the Elysian mainframe. Today I have achieved things unheard of just a century ago, I have identified the secret to life and death; effectively defeating it. I can make images of people and places so real people cannot tell the difference. This leads us to an obvious conclusion… I am a god now. I have the power to transform, to destroy, and to create again. The question is what am I supposed to do with this power? The answer is nothing! Rules that were made by others who were afraid of what would happen if someone like me came along are useless to me. I am not afraid! And those who know me know I will settle for nothing but greatness, or I will die trying. For those of you who do not yet know me, allow me to introduce myself. I am Zalmoxis Zamfir and if you’ll indulge me; I would like to change the world.”

The crowd applauded loudly and the images ended then Pythagoras told them the prophecy they had to fulfill. Pythagoras said Zalmoxis made a prophecy after he learned that even a god such as him can be humbled. It states that “The balan spring green luminita will bring the balance of harmony when the western song plays on the jewel shore of man.” Your ways of following only the light or dark of yin and yang have caused the Globe to divide itself. Thus as you two have both become keepers of the Globe; so too must you protect the chosen one. Remember the balance of light and dark and join together as you once did. Only then can you defeat the Vessel of Elysian.

Carmen still a little lost said, “Um, okay we’ll beat the vessel or whatever it is.” Tenchi came to her rescue and stated clearly, “What’s happening is simple and remarkable from a scientific standpoint see the ancient peoples misunderstood what was happening with the technology and fitted in their local myths to it. Basically, Pythagoras made a machine based on the original designs and as he finished the systems he gained more capabilities until he was able to transfer his consciousness to the machine entering cyberspace called “The Grey”. Having learned from his master; Zalmoxis did the same but used a more powerful source of energy with the red gems and the system hardware of Elysian Fields Mainframe. Glasses Info scan Zalmoxis!”

As Tenchi’s glasses brought up information on Zalmoxis, Carmen walking closer to Tenchi said, “Well that’s great an inventor with a god delusion transferred his consciousness to a divine computer system. We have what we came for so could we go now? I’m scared of this place.” Tenchi reassured her saying, “Oh it's just philosophies similar to Nietzschean philosophy Zalmoxis wanted to make himself a Superman god-being and rule according to his belief of being above everyone.” Carmen replied, “That’s what scares me.” Tenchi responded to that saying, “Yeah the problem is the vessel part implies the system computer inhabits the body while the life data goes into the mainframe. Which is probably not good as the computer becomes whoever transfers their life data to it giving it away to exist outside in the world.”

Pythagoras annoyed, asked if the two could stop cutting him off and making his words more understandable to a modern audience as if they were characters in a story. After Tenchi and Carmen apologized for doing that, Pythagoras then told them about the vessel bodies saying they were the Elysian mainframe program and were like a hive mind but all acted independently and followed the programming the mainframe was loaded with. All consciousnesses were in the mainframe itself and could be accessed, though they preferred their paradise simulation. Tenchi and Carmen quickly figured out that there should only be one vessel as Pythagoras and Eduard had used the original machine. Zalmoxis had his body out there somewhere doing the bidding of the Elysian Mainframe A.I. and all they had to do was find out what happened to it. But their main goal was still the priority and they having gotten all they needed bid Pythagoras and Eduard farewell.

On the return to the surface, Carmen had no idea where to start looking next though Tenchi suggested her name itself was a clue. Carmen’s father must have learned information about the converters and created House Sandiego to point Carmen in the right direction. He had to have known or suspected that the Moon of Moldavia was special. Though because he was such a great figure in the secret world the name gained prominence among thieves from his accomplishments. This oddly was because the companies in the public and secret world requested security testers and there were no better candidates than members of VILE. This picked up greatly however as wanting to test new security technology, he began openly challenging security groups to create systems he could not get past. As a result, VILE became highly respected security consultants in the secret world. Since VILE did not steal money, regular jewelry, or other financial assets banks and security facilities could use VILE to test systems against other thieves who would and of course keep it a secret from law enforcement.

“But why Sandiego?”, Carmen said aloud I was an orphan I don’t know where my parents are. Everyone thinks the leader is my dad the Council won’t say because they don’t know or aren’t sure. Carmen covered her face with her hands as this was one of the only issues that would cause her to get emotional. The current situation only made matters worse but at least Carmen knew her surname beforehand. This however meant her parents wanted to protect her which she had always hoped was the reason. But why dump her on ACME she thought just to forcibly correct herself. Why not ACME they take care of orphans even now and any criminals trying to come after her would be easily dealt with.

Tenchi took Carmen's hands and told her he would find out what happened to her parents and the Moon of Moldavia. Carmen said, “Speaking off which I can’t stand being without my necklace any longer and since we are between clues let's go get the rest of it shall we?” Carmen called Merey to tell her what they were going to do and Merey happy Carmen was taking a stand asked, Buffy, try to be careful, you shouldn’t have to beat their entire force to get the necklace back now you hear? And even better it should be arriving at its obvious destination by now.” That destination was Koga Shuko Industries and Tenchi and Carmen while accepting the prophecy to be a mere calculation, found it a bit unnerving that it took them straight to the state where San Diego city was. Tenchi realizing this too asked Carmen, “Buff- ahem I mean Carmen San Diego is 110 miles south of Los Angeles where Koga Shuko’s headquarters are. We could take care of things here in Europe first.”

Carmen thought about it and it made sense she didn’t want to fax all over the world anyway. When she was in ACME Suhara used conventional means to travel and she preferred it as well. Carmen with a sigh then said, “Patience is a virtue and I know you're trying to make me feel better, but you're holding my hands on a grassy windswept hill. Do you have something you want to tell me?” Tenchi gazed into Carmen’s big beautiful eyes and asked, “…Don’t you leave clues because know all this stuff already?” Carmen freed one of her hands just to knock Tenchi to the floor. She then said, “I am NOT an encyclopedia! I RESEARCH these things; THEN I leave clues!” Tenchi rightly apologized for thinking she was a know-it-all which she did however find flattering.

Knowing they needed to wrap up the European side quest they info scanned Sandiego and came up with the Patron saint of Spain; James the Great. Tenchi picking himself up off the ground said, “Well I guess we’re going to Galicia, Spain, and straight to Santiago de Compostela. You see the irony here I hope.” Carmen was well aware of the “irony” and with an eye roll they headed off to a phone to fax away to Galicia.

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 25
Meanwhile back in Siberia Rock Howard and Zack Monaghan were arriving to join Kylie and Tatyana. Morale was high as Rock and Zack ended up having previous encounters with the Golden Lords and were experienced with the obstacle they posed. Polly took the time to quickly arrange their initials to make Team RKTZ(rockets). Polly and Ann then made it a point to say Team RKTZ blasting off every chance they got. But the mission was clear; sweep the board of the excess criminal elements and prioritize the defeat of VILE. Of course, Zack and Rock had every intention of having fun while doing so as this was routine by this point. In the beginning when Tenchi told them about his first encounters with the Golden Lords they thought he was just bragging. But as it continued the adventures became more and more challenging. This was because the Golden Lords kept escalating the situation and sent more and more enforcers to deal with Tenchi.

As a result, everyone in their class and then the entire academy wanted to hear about what happened. The basics of what Tenchi was doing was what was so interesting to people it was like a Kung fu movie and in fact, their class developed the public fighting style “Hong Kong Fooey” based on watching movies themselves. Certain ACME detectives also starred in movies because of their martial arts abilities but they never did what Tenchi and his class had. Hong Kong Fooey took advantage of iron body and energy training making you more powerful than normal people. The idea was simple to do moves like they do in the movies and give the illusion you're being serious. Average people watching would end up accepting what they saw, after all, that’s how they fought in action movies. But this meant Tenchi and his friends didn’t have to show their real fighting styles or abilities to potential enemies they were play fighting but because of their strength would easily defeat normal people and even unskilled novices of iron body and energy training.

This unexpectedly made them world-famous in the fighting community and obvious nostalgia for old Kung fu movies was high on the list of driving factors. They were able to further develop their true fighting skills in preparation for serious fights as well but as they had come to know fame brings jealousy namely; VILE academy students. They on hearing stories of these famous ACMEs couldn’t wait to force fights to beat them only to be humiliated as a result of their lack of experience. What their bitter VILE rivals they made that day didn’t understand was simple. Tenchi and his friends had been getting in fights with normal people in the Golden Lords and learning strategic fighting skills. Knowing what to do or not do to normal people prepared them for fighting opponents on their level. Being trained by the Golden Generation didn’t hurt either.

Because they had learned to pace themselves and limit the power they learned when to unleash it as well unlike their rivals who thought brute force and fighting head-on was all they needed to win. Rock was one of his class that learned this best as he fought and defeated Iori who flew into a rage when he saw his skill was not enough. Rock had simply been patient and defensive so when Iori landed hits that knocked Rock down he just got back up. Iori having had enough refused to let his defeat go and blindly charged Rock unleashing his full power in a head-on charge. Rock though surprised by this countered and performed a combination attack on Iori and blasted him back with his signature move. The entire fight was captured on film along with official ACME surveillance tech recording everything. People then used it as an example of ACME vs. VILE for better or worse. It got to the point people didn’t even know their names and just wanting to watch random fight clips clicked on it.

Zack was a far easier nut to crack as Ivy would say along the lines of “Rock is a hardass; Zack is a dumb ass.” But sibling jokes aside Zack was as good a fighter as he was telling bad jokes. He even stole the rubber chicken crown from Tenchi and when paired on cases all the Jr. detectives hoped fights would happen so they could watch them. But like Rock and Tenchi, Zack wasn’t into random violence and only fought if the mission called for it. But the Time Crisis case files as they were called were all popular. This was due to independent iron body mercenaries Wild Dog and Wild Fang.

The first mission was Tenchi alone and after beating Wild Dog and accomplishing it, the case didn’t make such a big impact. But the next mission was insane as Wild Dog somehow had returned and was working for secret company Neodyne Industries. Tenchi and Zack were deployed on that mission and they triumphed over Wild Dog again. The third mission saw Wild Dog’s protégé Wild Fang and the fight they had was in the top three on the Jr. detective’s lists. But no matter how many times Wild Dog blew himself up in an attempt to take out Tenchi and Zack with him, he always returned. Zack had learned there were very stubborn Dogs in the world and their Fangs told bad jokes too.

This is why unlike Rock Zack took things in stride far better than Rock. So if an enemy returns after blowing themselves up, Zack just shrugs and says “whatever”. Rock would ruminate on why people were so aggressive in the first place it achieved nothing as they would still end up losing. Zack would tell them to chill out and have an orange popsicle to help with that. This is usually the case anyway; until Tatyana is in the room at which point Zack’s focus noticeably shifts in her direction. A lot of girls expected him to blow it with her big time only to be shocked at how cool and collected he was on their first mission together. Zack was supposed to be the wisecracking moron Ivy expected but Carmen brought out his A-game that day and Zack was totally focused on arresting her. So Tatyana experienced Zack’s genius crime-solving abilities and general cool under fire mentality instead.

It was for the best, everyone agreed they were so cute together and wanted the “are they or aren’t they” status to keep going, but knew it wouldn’t last forever. They both knew they liked each other so it was really more work giving them an excuse to not take it to the next level more than anything else. Like a certain other detective duo they knew. The several students in Tenchi’s class were like family since they spent so much time with each other. Tenchi, Kylie, Doug, Rob, Lindsey, Joe, Rock, Zack, Aeon, Satoshi, Shinji, Ryoko, Perm, Kakugari, and Chibi may as well have been cousins. And when at the Dragon Tiger Gate martial arts school, they were told to call each other brothers and sisters anyway. This relationship led to Tenchi Zack and Rock Powering through on the case of “Dragons Forever” where Jackie fought his then-rival golden lord enforcer Benny “The Jet” Urquidez.

As they knocked on the door of the Clockwork Train, Oscar greeted them and let them inside they were taken to the parlor room where everyone was waiting for them. Zack zeroing in on a noticeably excited Tatyana said, “Hey guys what’s up!” Rock was slightly more formal and professionally greeted everyone ACME was known for. Kate was happy to have substitute detectives join their merry band. All she had seen was the other side keep increasing their numbers while she now understood how little that meant for the bad guys, it was still psychologically reassuring.

Kylie quickly briefed them on the situation on the ground. Kylie standing with arms crossed said, “Capt. Tristan and his men were formulating a plan to set up Koga Shuko to get the converter and then be caught. Lee Jordan is acting like an idiot along with his new employer Koga Shuko, who was working with White Tiger and Jean Carlo respectively. This golden triad is coordinating all mob activity in the Siberian region, except for the Peaky Blinders who are acting of their own accord. And currently, Tenchi is working with Carmen and Patty under the SOUL contract to find out more information about the converter. We have a 24-hour window for their return and all the touring trains are delaying their departure, claiming the recent thefts in the region. The guests aren’t complaining they get more free vacation time and famous tourist destinations have been stolen by VILE anyway so there’s no reason to go on schedule until we get the places stolen back. Are we clear?” Zack and Rock both jokingly said “As dark crystal Kylie!” and things settled into a more casual tone.

Kate seeing the end result of ACME’s education process wanted more information on it. Seeing their chance Polly and Ann yelled, “This is our area of expertise!” They unfurled a chart and graph and started doing their best to imitate Tenchi’s unintentionally convoluted explanation style. Polly closing her eyes and pointing her index finger in a teacherly fashion said, “First things first! You gotta enroll at ACME Academy by getting your mommy and daddy to call them or go to their offices. Then once you get to go there you sit in classrooms and listen to teachers who almost all are all ACME detectives or spies. They show you how to be a good detective and uphold the law!” Ann cutting her off and moving in front of her continued, “and best of all you learn that VILE steals a lot of stuff and you have to protect the antiquities of the world from being stolen by them when you get older! But until then you get to be in the Gardens and they’re really, really cool!”

Polly moving in front of Ann interjected, “I was just gonna say that! The Gardens are really big and have everything in them in case there is a major world emergency and all the detectives and students can gather there if they have to! But normally we learn to use the technology developed to protect us and further keep us from using lethal force. That’s why we're like the cartoons and game shows in real life! The adults have powers but Tenchi’s technology is now also used to keep from having to use their powers when they still would’ve had to otherwise!” Ann annoyed replied, “Stop talking about everything! When we get old enough the teachers said you might get chosen to go to Dragon Tiger Gate for “special” training! And it’s iron body or energy or both! But the normal training is gun-kata or gun-fu where we’ll learn to predict where bad guys are gonna fire and avoid those places or something like that!”

You don’t even know! Polly yelled and proceeded to quickly take over saying, “Defensively gun kata keeps you from getting shot using statistical probability! And you don’t even need to use a gun for it to work offensively!” Oh my god shut up! Said Ann while adding, “Because of Tenchi’s defense armor suits using bullet-resistant materials, and gun-fu it looks like ACME detectives are just standing around. Normal people would complain “Why don’t the bad guys just shoot them!?” But that’s because if they know gun-fu too, they know not to do that because they aren’t in good positions!” Polly jumped on top of Ann sending them toppling to the floor while the chart fell on top of them. Polly however was undeterred as she said, “I get the last part! Because ACME detectives have extra defenses they can keep acting normal in public and that’s why a lot of them chose to start intervening with the secret companies! Before it would mean having to use their powers but now it's okay because they use technology as a handicap! Ha! I did it! And now you know more about education at ACME!”

The two smiled after finishing their “presentation” and proceeded to get out from under the chart and pick themselves up from the floor. Kate found them adorable and charming and covered her mouth to hide from laughing. Rock and Zack’s job was simple; they were going to clear the field of excess scum. They just needed to know where to look first. Polly suggested dark alleys, and Ann felt the sewers would be a good place to go as well. However, it was decided that maybe they should go to the main headquarters in the region at the hotel. Polly and Ann blushing from not realizing that, agreed with the idea.

Of course, the criminals at the hotel really did not agree and as their recon unit messaged back that ACME was coming straight for them they panicked. Lee could care less of course having left barely competent people in charge, while he, Lash, Huey, and Lewis returned to Koga Shuko. This of course was really bad timing for them but they had a necklace to deliver on time. So as Rock and Zack entered the lesser goons scattered in fear and the hotels 701 defenders sprang their ambush. Three 701 enforcers charged the two detectives who proceeded to swiftly gain the upper hand, literally. As Rock pulled out his cuffs and secured a hand of a 701 he was fighting the laughing, crazed enforcer simply took out his machete and cut off his hand. Rock unfazed took the keys and dangled them in the crook's face saying, “You know I had the key?”

Sparks started flying out of the enforcer's wrist and Rock realized he had probably done this before. Zack took his hand and said, “You need a hand? Or maybe you want to shop around first?” Rock and Zack finished off the other two enforcers while the rest of the hotel's thugs threw up their hands once they saw the main muscle defeated. The cops were more than happy to cart away the criminals while Team RKTZ began investigating secondary locations. This mopped up the last of the annoying background scum while things at VILE were trying to get back on track.

Led’s fleet was assembling above the clouds of Siberia awaiting their leader's return. Things were thrown off plan by nosy opportunists but VILE had no problem going on standby. Led luckily had amenities to accommodate thieves in these uncertain times, especially one very special one. As the thieves returned from their jobs they planned on doing what they always did at this point, relax and unwind while the good guys get the runaround. Double however had no plans for any of that, and after leaving jail immediately and rejoining his brother Trouble they came aboard the Hinderburg.

What Double saw was a growing crowd of VILE’s best growing more concerned about the future given the information that was being confirmed. But they were still transfixed on the lovely Ms. Larceny who had come aboard in a very unannounced fashion. Double immediately saw his chance to talk to Patty who normally the happiest one in the room. But on walking towards her, her eyes narrowed and she said clearly, “Don’t speak to me.” Then continued to walk by Double and see everyone. Normally she wouldn’t have time to be saying hello to all her admirers. But she greeted the crowd and even signed Wonder Rats cape. This unexpected move caused an extreme fanboy reaction as he began screaming and foaming at the mouth while passing out from pure shock and amazement.

Double not taking any of Patty’s attitude chose to order the thieves present in order to establish an unspoken command until Carmen’s return. Double said, “Don’t we all have better things to do with our time than stand around in a hangar?” The Baron countered Double saying, “Your intentions are all well and good sir, but your actions in the field are far from laudable!” Double still not understanding the crisis and the Baron decided to inform Double of information he seemed to have missed while in jail.

The Baron walked forward to the center of the crowd. And with a professional expression that showed signs of a worried expression stated, “This strategic situation outlines a nightmare, Mr. Double! It says that ACME has revitalized Fax-Net and with it the capacity to fax to our locations around the globe. And based on that nightmare, it requires us to take extreme action which means if it and your skills are a lie! Could compromise the safety of the House of Vilan. So I’m bound to ask Mr. Double what proof do you have that you are authentic?”

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 26
At this point, the Baron took out a ring as did a few select others in the crowd who revealed rings with the same design. They were all the same size so either they could be worn on the thief's ring finger or not. The thieves present expected Double to have one and was going to reveal it shortly. But Double or Trouble didn’t have one and was not aware of the meaning, and Double could care less at this point. Led Zeddelin late to the gathering was heading toward the hangar. This was more by choice than timing as he didn’t want to look like a “Patty groupie”. But it caused him to overhear the conversation happening, and needless to say, he wasn’t happy about it.

Led came up from behind Double near his ear and asked, “Do you mind telling me what you're doing ordering people around on MY ship?” Pins could be heard dropping at moments like these. If there was one thing a landlubber should never do is forget his place on a Captains ship. On a normal vessel, it would get you thrown in the brig; and on a pirates vessel, it would get you thrown overboard. But Double seeing guys like Led and Dirk as second-tier support flatly answered, “I don’t think we should be causing division in the ranks Zeddelin.” Led was known for seeing opportunities when they came along and this one was too good to be true. Double wasn’t in Carmen's inner circle as others had believed and were foolish enough to think he could be in charge. Led tossed the Baron a small pouch and on emptying it he saw it contained a ring.

Led addressing everyone still from his position behind Double proceeded to say, “We are all here to make sure Carmen’s will be done and that means knowing your place in the hierarchy.” If Double would have done what he did with Tenchi in this situation it would have actually worked. But not wanting to allow support staff to show him up, he told the crowd that ring meant nothing; only for an infuriated Baron to yell, “This ring has been in Carmen’s family for twelve generations! And any man who carries it has Carmen’s full confidence!” Double was then told by Led speaking near his ear again, “We cannot afford to make mistakes in times like these, and need to be on the same page. So the next time you don’t follow my orders; I’ll dump you with the rest of the garbage you got that!” Led then walked toward the crowd facing Double in order to discuss what to do about ACME.

Double having had enough of pretenders trying to one-up him, decided to go over to Dirk’s ship fleet. And then Patty saw him for who he really was. When Double was on a mission normally he gives off an air of elite professionalism. But once he encounters an obstacle he will resort to petty means to get past it to finish his mission. If he can’t be seen as second in command in a situation he simply disregards them and leaves. Patty being a fellow ring bearer knew she had to carry the load of keeping everyone calm. But Led was not about to let her do that alone. Led taking advantage of the situation caused by Double said, “As we have a special very VIP in our midst, I see no reason to not have her stay on my personal deck.” Most ship Captains had personal quarters but Led had a whole deck reserved for him on his ships. And now the lovely Ms. Larceny was on board where she belonged. Certainly not that dork Dirk and most importantly Tenchi.

Like most people, Captain or not Led thought airships outside of blimps would be a fantasy unrealized until l100 to 200 years from now. But then Tenchi’s technology literally made ships fly and every sea Captain that dreamed of sailing the skies wanted in. Led was a genius ship designer in his own right but his designs were based on experience with ocean-faring vessels. And sadly his weight-focused designs didn’t translate into feasible airship hulls. Not to be outdone he poured into researching anything he could to improve and improve he did. Outside of Home 01, he was unmatched, and once Sarah Bellum’s technology-enabled VILE to build airships he started churning out his own models.

This is what separated the two of them from Dirk, who naturally steered clear of challenge and while an excellent ship captain in his own right, learned most of his skills and experience from trial and mostly humiliating error. All would have been respectably well among the three rivals if not for one thing; golf. While Tenchi’s manufacturing technology enabled him to make almost any ship design able to sail the sky, he loved to see what could be done differently. So it was to each of their shock and horror to see golf courses on the top decks of their ships. They immediately recognized the creativity and innovative skills needed to accomplish such a feat and marked each other as a rival on that very day. Tenchi not being a huge fan of golf suddenly started practicing intensely to become a professional-level golfer if he ever had to play against Led.

And this is where it became clear to all those in the know that Led had become a better rival for Tenchi than Double. Not only could he fight masterfully but he made airships as well, with some saying his designs would be directly competing with Tenchi if he had access to Home 01’s airship docks. Double was a great fighter but had not taken on any crafts that would compete with Tenchi and didn’t see the need to. He decided it was his goal to enforce Carmen’s will and destroy those who got in the way of that. When Led found out Patty was going to be Dirk’s mascot he thought to himself, “The hell she is.” He was going to make her his fleets “It Girl” for promotions. That oughta show him was all he felt as he thought to himself “Why not me? I’m way better than Double or Dirk. And especially Tenchi! and now that Patty was onboard saw himself as replacing Double in the “unspoken triangle”.

But final say on who was the “Choiciest of choices” was up to Patty and she didn’t make any decision lightly; unless they were fashion colors for Spring. And as she stood behind the wheel of the ship wearing Led’s captain hat she couldn’t help but sing, “Sailing, sailing, I am the Capitan! I sail the ship the best, the best, the best, the best, I can!” Patty was having fun on a ship tour seeing the ship's internals and design aesthetics. And on entering the server room, she was bathed in dimmed lights of blues and greens. Looking up she saw a very impressive large domed blue ceiling light responsible for the room's electric blue light tones. She realized Led had an eye for color coordination, and that was always a plus.

When the tour had finished she went to get ready for hosting the upcoming tv broadcast. Double Trouble abandoning everyone had upset Patty big time, but she knew the troops needed morale boosted and had unintentionally caused the temporary leadership role to fall on her. Patty wasn’t complaining of course as she checked herself in the mirror before blowing a kiss and skipping away. Anyone who felt like contesting the public opinion on the leadership issue realized she hadn’t stolen her target yet. As a result, this meant that her heist needed clear support and would be under her command. Patty’s pending heist schedule being on hold was putting her mission-wise in the position of calling the shots anyway.

But now the only shots she’d be calling were on the golf course. The top decks of specific ships in the fleet started to transform into golf fairways and position themselves from holes 1 to 18. Other ships on golf duty became part of the fairways of the course to extend the distance players would have to hit the ball. The ships however would be separated by gaps of tens of feet or more. The decks under the top deck had refreshments, recreational games, viewing areas, golf training rooms, and waiting rooms for golfers not up to swing for a while. All players would rise to the top deck via a circular pad elevator that would become part of the fairway near the start of a particular golf hole.

As the players assembled two, in particular, weren’t very happy to see how things had progressed. Those two being Sachi Karin and Candy Korn. Sachi her raven hair in a shoulder-length ponytail, was back in her trademark outfit of a pink denim jacket, blue shirt, pink gloves and shoes, and red treble clef earrings. She was upset that Double had left and blamed Patty for it since that didn’t require taking time to find out the real reason. Candy was upset because Trouble was gone and just wanted Patty to die. Candy with her hair styled in two ponytails and color streaks of orange, yellow and white was wearing her signature ensemble of an orange denim jacket and dress, white shirt, fingerless gloves, and shoes one yellow and one orange. They decided the best way to deal with the situation was to steal attention. Sachi said, “Carmen would be proud of this idea!” Candy agreed that was something Carmen would think to steal but their job was easier said than done.

Patty was the center of everyone’s attention and then people learned very good news if true. Two rumors were going around the ship, one was Patty would be hosting the show. The other said she was in a secret relationship with Robo-Crook. Though no one was certain of either rumors credibility; almost fifty percent sided with the tv hosting job. Sachi seeing the commotion about Patty increasing as a result of the Double Trouble situation, had enough. She felt running in front of the camera and saying “Patty sucks!” Would make everyone see who she really was. But it was no use the room was filling with people, props, cameras, and most importantly Patty and Led. Sachi and Candy were pushed out of the way by the stage crew moving things into position over to the wall.

Sachi yelled, “This is ridiculous! I’m trying to tell you Patty is bad and you adults aren’t listening! This can’t get any worse!” Candy interjected saying, “Yes it could they could have made Paper Star the host.” Both the girls squeaked ”Eep!” At the thought before giggling and going to change into their golf attire. Patty’s makeup was spot on and as she and Led took their places the cameras started rolling on Vic’s command of “Action!” Which angered the director Dee Cryption, who felt his power and artistic vision was being stolen by out-of-touch management. But animosities aside what started as a natural counter to ACME’s switch to a more visual approach in public relations became something special. The group of thieves found they loved filming and became more like a small local tv station crew taking on money-driven corporations.

As the show started Patty said, “Greetings my fellow ne’er do wells! We're coming to you live from the Hinderburg in Siberia! I’m Patty Larceny and this is my co-host Led Zeddelin!” As Patty lit up the airwaves the ratings spiked. All the criminal underworld were in awe of the duo hosting Led oozed likability, and Patty’s smiled shone like a star in the sky. The viewers watching realized that Patty was their personal underground idol, their secret light in the darkness. If she was on regular tv the whole world would know about her and then see a girl they didn’t deserve. A lot of first-time viewers realized it was only a matter of time before she became publicly known and they could say they knew her before it was cool. Though everyone lamented such a thought of her no longer being a secret anymore they would accept it if it made her happy. The only thing everyone agreed on was that the show was going to end and that was truly sad. But then they found out golf would be played in the sky and Patty would be competing. They didn’t know what to be more excited about seeing golf played thousands of feet up or Patty doing anything in general.

As the program came to a close the two bid their farewells to the viewing audience and told them to standby for the golf broadcast. Led said, “It’s gonna be groovy cats and kittens! So stay tuned for more VILE TV!” Patty making each of her hands into a peace symbol near her face closed out the show saying, “It’s been fun, but I gotta run! So be sure to follow me on Loot Cast, Mug book, and Pilfer.Net!” Commercial segments followed the end of the show with Lars Vegas taking advantage of the situation to take advantage of gullible people. He slid in front of the camera like the slimy snake he was proud to be. He began his con saying, “Hello sucke- ahem! I mean fellow criminals! We at VILE are dedicated to making sure things go missing but without cash, it's hard to set up heists! But that’s where you come in! Why use our money to pay for equipment when we can use yours!? Everybody bad wins when you send your money to Punchstarter, Vegasfund, and Lonergogo! (whispers)Especially me ha!

While scams and When the tour had finished she went to change into her stylish golf outfit. She was glad to have come prepared a fashionista is expected to have clothes for any situation ready to go after all and Led even had cargo space set aside for the more wardrobe minded in VILE. Some of those in that category included the Contessa and Carmen herself, and many were wondering what would happen between them during the game. As the players assembled Sarah yelled, “We're on hiatus good guys! Deal with it!” This sentiment was shared by all present as it became obvious that villains don’t sit around doing anything while the good guys are do-gooding. Vic the Slick couldn’t decide if he wanted to play or be an announcer, so he decided to do both. But his dreams of hogging the spotlight were dashed as he was told announcer duties would be going to Carri Daway and Illinois Will.

Vic shook a mighty rueful fist but didn’t protest the decision any further. The swing judges were going to be Clair E. Net and her sister Cora Net who would also be performing during the halftime show. Vic was quick to point out, however, that golf doesn’t have swing judges or halftime shows. But Vic realized this was probably thought up by Led who wanted his sky golf games to one up Tenchi’s. Vic shouted, “You gotta be kiddin' me! We gotta put up with this!? Well, get this straight losers! We are winning right here, right now!” Sarah sitting down arm stretched out on the bench half turned her head towards Vic and said, “You know there are more holes after this one? Dummy.” Vic trying to salvage competency responded, “Of course I do which is why we’re winning all of them one at a time!”

The players would be playing standard 18 hole golf on three-person teams, and individually scored under normal par rules. The Contessa was upset by these rule changes and that commoners were playing a game for the elite. However, when asked about being on Patty and Baron Grinnit’s team; to everyone’s shock she said, “If Patty is good enough for Carmen’s ring, she can’t be that bad.” What was bad however were Sachi and Candy’s intentions for Patty. They decided to go around setting up booby traps to catch Patty in. They laid out their crayon-drawn plans for each ship and would set up the traps when it wasn’t their turns. Once they were done they would play the game as normal while also booing Patty’s team.

As Double Trouble landed in a hangar of Dirk’s ship they were feeling quite bitter about what had happened. Lucky for them that was the standard mood on Dirk’s ships, especially when Led was gaming away. That was the time Dirk’s crew knew the anti-party would start and they would celebrate the fact that Led and Tenchi were not worth celebrating. Dirk thought to himself, “Now is my time to show up that Led! Reports indicate Tenchi is in Siberia and were gonna be the ones to get him!” And as the anti-party t-shirts were passed around like candy, Dirk leads the crew in anti Led/Tenchi rhetoric. Double Trouble was in the company of like-minded crewmen and had no problem partaking in the anti-festivities. T-shirts reading, “I refused to attend a Led party and all I got was this stupid t-shirt!” and “What’s the difference between Dirk and Led? One can kill you, and the other is dead weight!” The crew of Dirk’s ships settled in for a wonderful time of sarcasm, booing the tv when it showed Led’s face, criticizing, nitpicking, and otherwise negative commentary concerning Led’s golf game.

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 27
As the game began Carri Daway introduced herself and her co-host singing, “Mi, mi, mi! Welcome, today it’s your favorite announcer Carri Daway! We are here today to watch people play! And introducing my fellow announcer who once played a bouncer! Illinois Will!” Illinois Will said, “Umm, I never played a bouncer but I was cast as a counselor. Can we stop rhyming now? I passed up an audition for “Snailiens” to be here folks! Joining us will be Minnie Series and her boyfriend Phil M. Critic, who will be interviewing players and spectators!” Carri ended their intro by singing, “The game is beginning! So let us start grinning! as they say, do, re, mi, fore!, so, la, ti, do!” While Ill was hoping they wouldn’t say that every time it was clear this was going to be a game all its own.

As the players took their turns some showed they were quite inexperienced and some just plain cheated, such as Vic the Slick. Using his spring-loaded golf clubs he was able to hit the ball quite far. But for people who were actually good like Patty’s team whose pro-level lineup had hit their balls close enough to get birdies on their next shots. Sachi and Candy frustrated by this jumped up and down but from the distance, the camera was filming them from it made it look like they were cheerleaders for Patty instead. As Vic took position again he hit the ball too far and over the side to the ground below. After adjusting the club he was able to do better and landed on the putting green. His triumphant mood was abruptly ended though as he yelled, “Yaaaahhh!!!” As he promptly fell through the floor courtesy of Sachi and Candy’s floor trap.

Golf balls started flying all over and those that went overboard were carried away by the wind on their way down to the ground. Home viewers were happy to see Patty participate and some of the more clever ones started studying golf to know more about it. They might get to ask her questions during interviews and wanted to be prepared. Though other criminals could care less as they conspired to see their evil plans succeed.

As the evil group consisting of Lash, Huey, Lewis, and Lee entered Koga Shuko’s office they saw him waiting seated at his desk. Lash placed the box containing Carmen’s necklace on the desk and Koga Shuko beamed happily, “And now my plan will be realized.” His hopes were quickly dashed when the lid of the case was opened. He glared and said, “Where is the Moon of Moldavia?” Knowing they were in trouble they braced themselves for the coming storm. While Lee immediately blamed others saying, “It’s Lash’s fault! She should’ve put an A.P.B. out for the necklace!” Lash walked seductively towards Lee wrapped her whip around his neck with both her hands and said, “No one likes a tattletale.” The villains descended to the lower levels of Shuko’s corporate building deep underground. As they walked towards Shuko’s scientists' latest unethical machine Shuko said to Lee, “Your ignorance sticks needles in the flesh of my honor.”

Shuko had tired of Lee’s failures and decided to give him the rest of the ancient relics to increase his strength 100 fold. Lee arrogantly replied, “I already have the strength of ten men!” To which Koga Shuko said, “Perhaps, but Lee I consider you to be like a son. And like a son, I can always have another. But there is only one Moon of Moldavia.” Lee screamed as Lash, Huey, and Lewis dragged him into the machine whereupon closing it grafted the remaining bands and glove onto Lee.

While that was happening the boys went off to discuss the next steps of the plan while Lash decided to first call her best friend Lady Frenzy at RM Corporation. Why suffer alone when you can drag your friends down with you she thought as she happily knew Frenzy would do the same for her. Lady Frenzy was at her usual spot her desk at RM Corp. She had blonde hair green eyes and was wearing her signature golden open vest revealing her low-cut blue top with black skintight sleeves and leggings, hot pink skirt black belt with gold emblem buckle, and hot pink knee-high laced boots. When the phone rang she picked it up and was happy to hear Lash on the other end.

Lash asked, “Hey Frenzy! Wanna help me make people miserable? Specifically that red floozy.” Frenzy smiled sinisterly and replied, “You know I do honey. I’m tired of her acting like she’s the greatest this or that. Even my boss had to bring her up today when she pirated the airwaves to bore us with what she stole.” Lash almost giggling said, “I know she’s is so lame and we need to teach her a lesson in pain girl style. She has a little blonde that could be told there are better job opportunities with us.” Frenzy getting more excited replied, “Oh that’s such a good idea Lashie! We’ll make her ours and then she’ll tell Carmen to go to hell! Hahaha!”

Lash then thought that Patty could work for Koga Shuko, only for Frenzy to start slowly stroking her desktop with her manicured nails thinking of her in RM Corp. Frenzy reminded Lash that Patty could be a model for the Corp and they treated their employees better too. Lash had to agree with that and ended the call saying, “ I can't wait to meet then we’ll tell Carmen she isn’t pretty enough to go shopping with us.” The two planned to rendezvous and already knew there would be no problem with Shuko’s plan. Any bad guy would want Lady Frenzy in the same room with them especially an ego freak like Koga Shuko. And of course, all would feel two bad blondes were better than one. Once final preparations were made the villainous entourage headed off toward their secret meeting place and to set up for the ambush to get the converter.

Tenchi and Carmen vividly recalled the crazy roller coaster ride they were on. They were relatively sure they had no time for distraction but Rig Atony was a very convincing mountain of a muscle man. He owned a theme park in Barcelona, Spain and on faxing there the two were caught up in his gusto for life. The fact that he worked for VILE was an added bonus as when a Peaky Blinder tried to ambush them in the park, Rig made short work of him. While Tenchi wanted to investigate the park for possible crimes committed he knew they had no time for that. Yet still, they did as Rig Atony asked when he wanted them to ride his roller coaster. Were they actually enjoying this side quest they were on? Were they actually enjoying each other?

They both at least knew themselves enough to let those questions answer themselves in time through their actions. And as they headed into Galicia they made their way straight for the capital Santiago de Compostela. Tenchi started spouting random facts about the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela being the final destination of pilgrims starting in the 9th century of course his mouth was covered by a familiar gloved hand like always. This once again led to children that had gathered skipping off to play. Upon entering the cathedral grounds they were approached by a hooded figure who suddenly removed his hood and took out his weapon. He yelled, “And now ya bloody fool, the power of the bloomin’ divine shall be used to destroy you!”

The Peaky Blinder ran and then leaped into the air and attempted to execute a very overly dramatic jump kick while Tenchi and Carmen just stood there. Suddenly the thug was hit on the head by something that fell from the sky sending him crashing to the ground out cold. The two saw it was a golf ball and were glad divine forces were on their side. Meanwhile above the clouds, Patty yelled, “Fiddlesticks!” As the ball she had hit had gone overboard.

Once Tenchi and Carmen stepped over the goon on the ground and entered the Cathedral, they began asking the priests for information. However, once it was known a member of the House of Sandiego was there a priest hurried to fetch papers left for her. When he came up to Carmen he said, “Your father wanted you to have these Señora.” The papers were a series of clues to be solved that gave them the name of Saint Didacus. Tenchi immediately info-scanned the Saint and found two clues of relevance. One was the clockwork statue of Didacus and the other was the city of San Diego.

Tenchi said, “Very interesting and convenient for us to locations… on the opposite sides of the United States… yippee.” Carmen replied, “Oh hush! This is why adventures are fun, you don’t know where you are going next.” Tenchi asked, “We could go to San Diego or maybe Washington D.C. first since it's closer… and has a clockwork robot.” Carmen was realizing that her parents had done all this to protect her from those who would be looking for the Moon of Moldavia. They had chosen the name Sandiego to be a legacy of the man who protected and healed the weak. And now she too had to be a protector of the history that had been passed on to her. She decided that since Tenchi had been such a good boy they should go to the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. first.

On faxing there Carmen was unsurprised to learn that the fax number was to the Smithsonian Institute. Carmen told Tenchi it was nice when Suhara was actually useful in times like these. After making it clear an official investigation was going on the staff brought out the Didacus statue. They said that it had never been disassembled and there were still secrets held within about how its gears worked. Tenchi scanned the statue with his glasses and saw there were areas that scans couldn’t penetrate. As the key was wound the clockwork statue went through its all too familiar motions. However, to those who knew how it moved in Tenchi and Carmen’s presence, it started behaving differently, and then a red glow began to appear in the chest area when Didacus beat its chest. Then a red gem fell from the statue and it began to move as it normally had until its spring wound down.

Tenchi took the red gem commenting, “Great now I have one. Player info-scan Juanelo Turriano.” Tenchi’s glasses brought up information on the genius inventor Juanelo Turriano who on royal commission built the clockwork Didacus statue. From the Museum the two faxed to San Diego and headed straight for the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala. When they got there they expected to be treated the same as in Galicia. They didn’t have to wait long as a friar came rushing toward them with things Carmen’s father had left for her there. But this time there was also a puzzle box included and luckily for the two of them, it was a logic puzzle. The box had five sides to be solved in the correct order and only then would the lid open.

After they worked the puzzle out realizing the numbers should start at the birthday of Didacus and the founding of the mission in San Diego the rest was number-crunching at which they both excelled. The box opened revealing its contents a golden key with small movable gears, held up in the center by eight small golden chains connected to areas in the corners of the box. The friars on seeing the puzzle solved led the two of them over to an area where a keyhole was located. When the key was inserted and turned a cylindrical tube rose out of the ground. The outer design had clockwork gears and was quite the sight to behold. The case opened and out came a converter leading Tenchi to say, “Crud. Now there’s two of them.”

Before Carmen could say anything her Globe resonated with the Moon and the converter causing it to open revealing the core. Carmen placed the Moon into the bowl-shaped holder and the Globe closed as the gem started to power the device. The Globe began to spin and the latitude and longitude lines along with the borders of the continents glowed gold. Across the Globe golden lights began dotting the surface at various locations. The two figured they were marking locations of ancient relics or rooms and saw they had their work cut out for them.

Tenchi tried inserting the new red gem into his and like Carmen’s, it went through the same process. Their Globes light changed to two different modes, Tenchi’s glowed with white light and Carmen’s glowed with black. They surmised this was because of the energy they trained to use, and relics aligned with light or dark were marked separately on their Globes in this mode. While relics that were neutrally charged were showing on both. Having both been activated they also gained a zoom function as Tenchi explained, “Wow the red gem is the “core” and power source of the Globe, the “outer core” takes the energy and uses it to spin the “crust” over the “mantle”. I think that’s where the data storage and technology that makes it work is.”

At this point, they had to wonder whether Didacus, Phillip II, or Turriano were behind this. Further investigation uncovered Juanelo Turriano’s Cristalino an astrological clock that enabled them to start to get a handle on things. Tenchi said, “Okay somehow Saint Didacus came into possession of this converter with a red gem. Then his followers passed it on to be hidden in devices built by Juanelo Turriano on King Phillip II’s command. Since Turriano was a genius who built clockwork marvels of the time Didacus’s followers must have asked him to help them after Didacus died.” Carmen added, “and maybe Turriano himself was already a member of the followers of Zalmoxis and was able to learn more advanced um, machine-y techniques.” Tenchi raised an eyebrow and said, “Machine-y techniques?” Carmen was quick to point out mechanics were not her forte only for Tenchi to quip she’s the one who ordered gadget-focused lackeys to be standardized in VILE, leading Carmen to say, “That doesn’t mean I became a grease monkey, Masaki.”

“No, you just globetrot which takes working vehicles that’s all.” Tenchi fired back. This caused Carmen to say that she’d be standing on the side of the road like any lady if her car broke down. And then playfully add, “Maybe the lucky guy to come along and help me would be you.” Tenchi without hesitating said, “Hopefully! I’d love to see an original 39’ Packard engine!” “Which begs the question why do you like to travel so much?” Carmen didn’t know whether to hit him for his incompetence concerning girls or kiss him for knowing what car she drove and always being so honest. She told him she won a game show called “It’s a Wise Child” and the prize money enabled her to start traveling the world.

Tenchi radioed Tristan about the plan to ambush Koga Shuko and learned that they planned to allow soldiers loyal to the golden lords to transport the converter to the meeting area. Then they’ll simply turn the converter over to Koga Shuko. That was when he would order the ambush to commence and arrest the crime lords. Tenchi told Tristan ACME and VILE would send support and then ended the transmission.

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 28
Tenchi and Carmen having acquired a new converter and red gem, both decided to return to Chez Acidophilus for the final planning stages. On their return, the girls headed to the planning room with all the yogurt they could carry. Going over map routes and photos pinned down by tacks, they went over what they knew. Koga Shuko and his thugs were going to steal the converter and proceed to copy the gold bars Koga Shuko wanted to use to buy Los Angeles. Merey, slamming her fist into her palm and crushing her empty yogurt cup said, ”Then we spring our trap and beat those gangsters through the floor! You don’t mess with the VILE bull unless you want the horns!” Dazzle chimed in, “Yeah we’re not those normies we used to be! They don’t know what’s comin’!”

Carmen taking the spoon from her mouth tried to say what she felt about the past returning, but the words left her and she was only able to look in his direction and say, “Tenchi I… .” Tenchi, fortunately, knew what her look wanted to say. Criminal organizations wanted to use ancient technologies they did not understand to gain power or destroy the world. And now that major crime lords had started looking for ancient relics and they would not stop with the converters whether they managed to get one or not. This meant they would have to worry about how to protect the artifacts from being exploited.

But Tenchi decided to mention something that would deal with those fears.
Tenchi said, “Well since its obvious official history about when civilization started is a lie. And there are ancient relics being searched for to be exploited for evil purposes. I decided to make machines to study the geology of the earth as well as humanity’s past when ancient sites were discovered. As a result, when I found ancient relics and sites they were put on my public schedule. That means anyone who was educated and trained to the standards expected of Home 01 staff, was allowed to go with technological support to do the jobs that were posted in order to help clear my schedule cause it really piles up. But in archeology’s case, this led to amateurs taking on the jobs because “official” archeologists were a part of the system and refused to do research if they couldn’t fit it into the invented narrative of human civilization.”

Tenchi spoke as if he had gone over this time and again and had been told to keep it short by those close to him since it was actually being summarized properly. He went on to say, “As a result of amateurs being attached, the official scientific community rejected any research that was done by them. This backfired big time as they became “The Society”. Researchers and tomb raiders as they were called started compiling information on their own and constructing the history of the ancient civilization they were excavating. The scientific community and world governments were infuriated by this but there was nothing they could do about it. The tombs defense systems are still active and any teams sent by governments to a site we intentionally told them about don’t come back out. And as a result government indifference kicked in since this was taking too long, and they couldn’t gain any power from taking relics, they stopped caring and focused on other things that would give results sooner.”

Dazzle interjected, “Hey Tennie what's this new organization your springing on us now? I’m sure they got lots of stuff to stea- um, I mean study.” Tenchi said the Society existed simply to gather ancient technology and relics that were actually a threat and guard them. And since it was a grassroots organization their methods were “down to earth” so to speak. Such as putting them in cardboard boxes inside closets. But there were official and professional displays and vaults also. The girls were relieved and intrigued, to say the least, to know the Society existed. Then the three of them looking at each other rested their heads on their hands while Dazzle asked Tenchi, “So Tennie, you created a rebel organization that “liberates” relics from nations huh? I can see why she likes you.”

Tenchi informed them that the nations didn’t own these ancient civilizations and were in fact trying to steal whatever they could while claiming they owned it. Whoever finds and retrieves relics can decide what to do with them. But that was why the Society didn’t care about what governments said it was salvage rules for ships that were the answer settling the argument. Merey started to ask, “How’s that… Oh! I get it! You’re a genius Tenchi!” Dazzle was a little behind the curve on this and wondered what Merey had “gotten”. Merey happily explained, “In shipping, if a ship goes missing it is understood that its “finders keepers” while current corrupt governments try to get around these rules to favor corporations that lose ships, the salvaging rules still stand. Since airships exist now the argument went to salvage rules Tenchi’s ships can also sail on the water! That means ship salvaging rules apply to the Society!”

Dazzle laughed commenting, “Oh governments and corporations must be livid with Tenchi. Ship Salvage laws were being used with no standing and while they should apply to land, governments said no to keep lost cities tombs, and relics for themselves! But when the Society realized that Tenchi’s airships are technically flying seafaring boats the Society realized they could smugly claim that all excavation teams were from airships whether they actually were or not.” Tenchi told them that pretty much summed it up and if salvage rules were nullified; seafaring ships would find wrecks and just not report them. They would transport treasure found in boxes and probably have other ships to offload the valuables too. If they couldn’t sell the treasure like coins they would just melt them down and so forth.

So the Society as a result of their origins doesn’t care what the governments say and simply throws claims of ownership back in their faces. If they want to do something about it have fun sending another team that won't come back. Governments knowing they cant get the relics but seeing they work and could be studied to make new weapons of war are of course infuriated. But there’s nothing they can do about it and the Society doesn’t really talk about it anymore and are more focused on protecting ancient tech from being abused.

On hearing this Carmen’s mood lifted greatly as she realized Tenchi had understood that ownership of the past is relative. The Society were thieves to world governments but the relics and other ancient matters were classified. But to defenders of the past, the Society they were protecting the past from people who wanted to exploit it. The criminals to them were the governments and scientists trying to misuse history. As a result, the Society was the perfect example of what happens when regular people gain too much power outside government authority. The question Tenchi answered through his action for Carmen was would you protect people who were in that position, and that answer was yes.

But more important girl talk was needed at this particular time and it was decided on a vote that Tenchi would be put on the “Dependable Guys List”. Tenchi told them he wasn’t aware they had that, and they responded saying he wasn’t supposed to know. What he did know however was that this was going to be a smooth professional operation he’d make sure of that. Carmen true to form told Tenchi she had enjoyed their “fax finding quest”, and that since he conveniently gave Patty an out if she wanted to take it she’d be fine with it. Tenchi blushing said she can do whatever she wants before switching the subject to yogurt flavors and was there any trout-flavored varieties. Dazzle happily said, “There is no fish-flavored yogurt period. Yuck.” Tenchi jokingly said that would upset a certain fan community that such an opportunity was missed, and Dazzle on researching it said she would consider it on special order.

Once they were finished with their yogurt and planning, they faxed to the city of Los Angeles. All the major players were assembled; Tenchi, Zack, and Rock, from ACME along with Carmen, Dazzle, and Merey from VILE. Capt. Tristan, Sgt. Cooper and their men were in position at the meeting spot waiting for the exchange to happen. They didn’t have to wait long though, because a convoy from Koga Shuko brazenly stopped in the oncoming path of the military. When the military trucks arrived they stopped and gave the converter to Koga Shuko. Capt. Tristan seeing all was going to plan ordered the ambush saying, “All squads we are commencing the ambush in thee… two… one… GO!!!” The soldiers sprang up from their hiding spots and rushed toward Koga Shuko’s men and surrounded them with guns drawn.

Capt. Tristan ordered the villains to put their hands up only for Shuko to start laughing and reply, “It's always nice to see our nation's finest, and if there is one thing a soldier knows is when to take advantage of a strategic opportunity.” To this Lash seductively walked forward with a briefcase and opened it revealing a huge sum of money. Capt. Tristan slammed the lid shut on the bribe attempt and a date with Lash as well. Shuko said, “Such a pity. If you refuse to live like a wise soldier; then you will die like a foolish peasant.” Koga Shuko turned into the Shadow Boss and was about to attack the soldiers, when Tenchi said, “Hold it right there, Koga Pukeko!” Then Rock, Zack, Carmen, Merey, and Dazzle appeared and made it clear there was going to be a battle.

Koga Shuko replied, “Are you kidding me! Didn’t I teach you a lesson last time when I killed Satori!? That’s right Tenchi, I killed your master! And now; I’m going to kill you! Hahaha!” Tenchi smiled and said, “Wrong on both counts scum, after the explosion she was missing but she returned to us a few weeks later.” Koga Shuko angrily said, “So it seems the rumors of her being “immortal” were true. Guess I’ll just have to try harder next time! Lash make sure to bring the converter to the others ”

Lash and Frenzy readied to attack Dazzle and Merey while Tenchi and Rock were going to pick up where they left off last time with Shuko; smacking him senseless. But then the ground started shaking as a figure came up behind them saying, “Tenchi… Rocky… FEAR ME!!!” It was Lee having been transformed into a muscular abomination by the relics placed on him. Tenchi, Zack, and Rock screamed at the sight of Lee charging towards them and quickly divided attention between him and Shuko. The fight began as the soldiers started firing to no avail at Koga Shuko who, in his shadow form was like a ghost. Tristan knew the best thing to do was focus on the thugs in Shuko’s forces while ACME and VILE dealt with the supervillains.

Tenchi dodged a very enraged Lee who leaped into action against the ACME boys. The bad girls and badd-er girls were sick of his ego, roid rage, and overall disgusting appearance and chose to focus on each other. Carmen was there as an observer and had no intention of throwing a single punch though she had no problem suggesting her allies use punches at different times. While the fight was happening Carmen observed that her Globe zoomed in on a golden point that was moving in the area where they were and figured it was Lee’s relics as he ran around. Shuko tired of this game felt it was time to turn into Shadow Warrior form since his possession powers weren’t working on Tenchi or his friends this time. Shuko took the form of a pitch-black muscular warrior in a hooded cloak wielding a jet black katana sword. He let out an evil laugh then said, “And now the fun begins kids.” He proceeded to start fighting Tenchi as Rock and Zack continued dodging Lee’s wild charges and attacks.

Dazzle and Merey were fighting Lash and Frenzy respectably and while things started out quite physical they became more and more verbal as Dazzle and Merey kept matching the bad blondes. Lash cracking her whip screamed, “Why don’t you stay down Drizzle!? I’m way too much for you as it is. If you had a boyfriend, which I highly doubt he’d already have left you for me!” Frenzy however was not having a good time she had to start fighting and she already had enough shrieking, “I had to get messy! My hair is out of place! My clothes are sweaty! Are you proud of yourself!? You're not even pretty enough to be fighting us! What are you 6’s or 7’s at best!?” Eyes narrowing in anger, Dazzle and Merey chased after the two harpies as Lash prepared for the worst as Shuko had ordered her to. The bad Blondes hopped into a car and sped off to give the converter to Shamus McMahon.

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 29
Though Lee was strong he wasn’t too smart, or fast, or skilled, and with strategic dodging and well-placed attacks, he was on his last legs before Zack knocked him off of them. With Lee down, they were able to focus on Koga Shuko who split himself into three Shadow warriors to fight them all at once. But while they were distracted Lee having gained a second wind charged toward Carmen. Carmen’s Globe began glowing brightly from within as it reacted to Lee’s relics causing them in turn to glow. As Lee got closer the bands began arcing energy and suddenly Lee was zapped by a huge discharge of energy. He fell to the ground and slid forward stopping at Carmen’s feet. Carmen said, “Payback is a beautiful thing is it not?” Carmen’s Globe then absorbed the relics from Lee returning him to his normal self and then sent half of the relics to Tenchi’s Globe.

Carmen playfully said, “Just because we exchanged rings Tenchi doesn’t mean you can’t see Patty anymore.” Tenchi was too busy dealing with Shuko to pay too much attention to that, however. But like Lee Shuko was beaten back, though seemingly unharmed. The three copies were recombined into one and with his powers exhausted Shuko returned to his normal self. The defeated crime lord was arrested as Capt. Tristan said, “Crime doesn’t pay Shuko, enjoy the prisoner's life.” Koga Shuko being taken away turned around and said smiling, “This isn’t over you fools! Do you think I’m bad? Wait till you meet my lawyers! Hahahahaha!” On hearing this, the group felt they had unleashed powers beyond their comprehension. But they knew they had to hurry to stop Lash and Frenzy from getting away.

When the two devilish divas arrived they walked over to a very impatient Shamus who wanted to know what took so long. They said ACME interfered with the exchange but they managed to getaway. But soon it was clear all they did was lead their enemies straight to Shamus. Tenchi stated, “I’m Acme agent Tenchi and you are all under arrest. Try to come quietly this time.” Shamus angered yelled, “What!? Do you know who I am!? I answer to no one!” Tenchi responded, “You’ll answer to the law Shamus, now down on the ground like a good boy.” If there was one thing you didn’t do it was cross the boss. Shamus ordered his enforcers to attack while he, White Tiger, and Jean Carlo watched.

Tenchi knowing their response in advance sarcastically asked Jean Carlo and White Tiger to fight him. Jean Carlo replied, “Screw you Tenchi! You're not worth my billion-dollar time! Ask again when you have enough gold to wager!” As White Tiger commented in his suave voice, “Now now, Tenchi, you know I’m a classic man. But my enforcers will happily substitute for me, and once they beat you, you can tell me, how do you like my style?”

Shamus glaring in anger stated, “If any of you enforcers are too scared to fight then understand this, I have the brass; to fire your ass. Now destroy these worthless cops! Rip em apart! I don’t wanna recognize them after this battle!” Suddenly one of the enforcers took out a microphone and started addressing the hapless foes he saw before him. He was tanned with dark brown hair and sideburns, gold frame sunglasses, and a very expensive unbuttoned blue casual shirt draped over his imposing muscular physique, an intentionally large solid gold watch, with black pants and black dress shoes. It was the 705 code named: “Brahma Bear”. Tenchi wanting to stop him before his ego got going quickly ordered him to drop the mic and surrender or be beaten like last time.

The Clock speaking in the third person into the mic simply stated, “Tenchi Masaki, you wanna come out here and threaten the great one!? Well, the Clock says this; he hopes you're not too busy for the next fifteen minutes because the Clock plans on kicking your Tokyo butt all over Los Angeles! The only reason your two-dollar butt ever beat The Clock, was because Kylie attacked the Clock from behind! Now allow The Clock to mock your one-liner “Cops & Robbers” crap before I beat you losers through the street!”

It was times like these when people would stand out for better or worse and in the Clock’s case he ended up making himself stand out big time. Things were supposed to go smoothly, the combined forces of ACME, VILE, and Tristan's men would fight and win against the Golden Lords. But the Clock stole the spotlight by out posturing Tenchi in a sudden act of inspiration brought on by his anger from arguing back and forth with people who didn’t understand how great he thought he was. Everyone there had heard these one-liners enough to know them by heart, but no one had ever taken the time to mockingly spout them off as the Clock proceeded to do.
“So what ya gonna do when- wait, that’s not it. “Woohoo, Ivy!!!-“ nope, let me try again. “ACME agent Tenchi-“ Oh no, that dang sure ain’t it!” The crime lords and enforcers were all laughing at how funny this exchange ended up being as the Clock mocked all the ACME and VILE members one by one throwing their one-liners back in their faces. “Where in the world is Clocky, San Andreas!?” Argh! Dang it! That’s not it either!” Finally, it ended as he said his one-liner, “This is it, “The most electrifying man in golden enforcement today! If ya taste what the Clock is bakin'!”

Tenchi was at a loss for words following this exchange and just wanted to beat the Golden Lords senseless but true to his elite status the Clock champion of the Golden Enforcers was personally protecting Shamus, and neither planned on sticking around for this fights end. They had better places to be and parties to attend, and once the fight started the enforcers led by the Clock engaged ACME, VILE, and Tristan’s men. The enforcers did their best but as before they were no match for the combat skills of ACME and VILE by themselves, let alone combined. And one by one the enforcers were defeated, the Clock and Shamus tried to escape in their limo but they were cut off by Tristan’s troop transport.

The crime lords were rounded up and arrested like Shuko was by happy cheering soldiers and police. And true to form Shamus did nothing but spout, “This isn’t over I’ll be out by tonight! And that converter will be mine! Get your hands off me! You’re all fired!” As Shamus McMahon was shoved into the police car everyone was finally freed from his yelling. All the Clock had to say was unsurprisingly about himself as he whined, “All of you absolutely stink! If any of you go one on one with the great one you’d be beaten! Don’t touch the shirt it's expensive! And if your cuffs bruise the Clock’s beautiful wrists, there’s gonna be heck to pay!” Jean Carlo was only concerned with the cops keeping his clothes clean and yelled, “You win this round through the usual savage methods! But in the end, it will be Golden Corporation that has the last laugh!” While White Tiger exclaimed, “You worthless pigs don’t have the swag factor to hold me in jail! We’ll be back out soon and in fabulous style!”

The converter was taken back by ACME and was slated to go to an evidence locker, as the government was aware of groups working with the crime syndicate. Captain Tristan and Sgt. Cooper thanked ACME for their assistance on this mission and said they would love to work with them again. Lash and Frenzy were nowhere to be seen and had escaped to fight another day. The area began clearing out as the gang forces were taken away and ACME and VILE parted ways.

The VILE command was of course infuriated by this whole situation. A plan executed masterfully by Carmen was interrupted and made irrelevant by the Golden Lords. The Crime Council would not tolerate such disrespect, especially from bottom feeders. While the Secret World had come to at least acknowledge the Golden Lords, elite crime specialists such as VILE thieves would not. Their profession takes skill and while the Golden Lords could simply pay the average cat burglar to steal money or jewels; VILE had a code. A code the Golden Lords could care less about but this is what made VILE stand out on their side. Outside of VILE no one cares how they do things or what they believe, but standards and learning from the past keeps you from making the same mistakes.

VILE like ACME, never lost sight of who they were, and as other criminal organizations came and went VILE remained. So it was with a heavy hand that things were made quite clear in the latest proclamation. All competent members of VILE were well aware of their history with ACME. And it was that first meeting after learning the ways of the crane masters that forced VILE to adapt to become what they were now. In short, no to be trifled with. But then as now others saw no point in heeding views outside their organization. The old ways of respect and acknowledging your enemy were gone replaced by “might makes right”. The Golden Lords like the Roman Empire could care less about what VILE had to say and their recent defeat simply meant they would attack again for revenge.

The clear example set by VILE and ACME was now seen as weakness by lesser minds. They would say, “If either organization were so great they would have won by now.” This level of ignorance would usually be tolerated. However, it was decided steps would be taken to reset the status quo. Grandmasters Shibumi, Gen, and Beast were all personally attending this gathering of master thieves. Shibumi started things off by saying, “Honored members of this council know we are the guiding moonlight of the underworld. Our wisdom sees that all in the shadows prosper, but when those foolish enough to question our guidance appear it is only natural we “enlighten” them.”

To that end Grandmaster, Gen was very clear Carmen in his eyes was like a granddaughter and she was unfairly targeted by outsiders. His words on the issue were thus simple, “Carmen’s plan is to be carried out as it was to be. Any fools who interfere with her will be targeted immediately.” Beast was more straightforward than Gen on this issue, and he made it clear that pain is a very powerful ally that you send to those drowning in ignorance. It was not going to be a physical battle though Master Beast wouldn’t mind if it was. But VILE was not going to do to the Western Hemisphere what it did to Rome. Their response would match the offense given and it would be against those who challenged them only.

The fact that VILE had to do this in the knowledge that ACME had helped Carmen was even more surreal. The golden generation had come together to fight an enemy and now as Gen and more than likely Tenchi’s grandfather, Lord Katsuhito knew their prodigies were taking center stage. It was obvious to all members of the enlightened in ACME and VILE that the next generation would be influenced by what they had done. It was their responsibility to guide those with potential with wisdom. When the students trained started showing promise they were taught by the golden generation themselves. This caused a self-fulfilling situation where those taught by the golden generation advanced faster.

But then something unexpected happened on the ACME side that VILE was still trying to figure out. Something that even if VILE were to train students the way ACME did would have left a clear gap in skill. This happened to the class with Tenchi and his friends and the students who were thought to not be capable of advancing to the level of the golden generation suddenly showed an immense understanding of energy. All the students in Tenchi’s class, as well as himself, were decades beyond their years on the mental side of energy training. All their bodies had to do was catch up and they would be capable of attaining the golden generations level. On the VILE side however that was not the case and whatever those ACME kids had done, they weren’t talking about it.

They trained as they always did and had students achieve higher levels of power but nowhere near Tenchi’s class. Before they could assess this properly young egos caused an escalation and major combat loss for VILE. But luckily for them, this was not seen as definitive as both sides were like poker players not showing their hand so to speak. But expectations were high on VILE’s side to measure up to ACME. Carmen of course met expectations but as all knew she was associated with ACME as a Jr. detective. Patty however was in VILE from the beginning of her career and had shown extreme potential. Until it was learned she knew Tenchi a few years ago. While VILE could care less about who their members knew others would not.

And now it had come to pass those outside organizations had once again decided ACME and VILE were basically the same thing. The Golden Lords didn’t even bat an eye at ACME and VILE teaming up and this was the major issue to other members on the council and high-ranking master thieves. VILE worked with ACME when it strategically suited their needs; not because they liked them. So if brute force was on the table it would not be considered long as people would consider it proof of common ground. The masters decided instead working from the shadows to undo their enemies was the best course of action. ACME would have the public spotlight so that VILE could remind its enemies of their place. They toasted to their eternal rivals at ACME and their recent success. And whether Carmen’s plan was a win, lose, or draw they would go into the shadows and execute their response to the Golden Lords in kind.

ACME proper had to clean up the mob mess and Rock and Zack were going to keep the agency quite busy going through the legal processes. The SOUL contract expired and Tenchi and Carmen went back to their respective sides pretty much picking up where they left off. Except Carmen had the advantage of time on her side. All the stolen things were assembled where Carmen specified by the Mover Crew; those in VILE were directly tasked with transporting large stolen objects wherever Carmen wanted. This led to Movers taking all stolen objects to the designated area and set them up per Carmens orders. The mini kingdom was a fairytale scene come true. There were those in VILE who would comment you could play mini-golf but they wouldn’t say that out loud.

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 30
Team TKT was however back where they started, on a Trans Siberian train ride. Tenchi after a stern talk with Kylie and Tatyana which they claimed was a “Debriefing”; were getting back on their original mission goals. Kate Walker had witnessed firsthand how ACME kept the world going. Now that things were back to normal concerning how things started they could focus on Hans and Syberia. Team TKT was on the case and tracking down clues as they reviewed what they knew. As the trains pulled into the Siberian town of Barabinsk, the feel of traveling had once again taken hold. The detectives had figured out Carmen’s fairytale connection and just needed to know where the stolen properties were setup. While the search was being carried out by ACME agents reporting to Mobile Command; Team TKT was helping Kate and Hans find Syberia if it even existed.

Hans was adamant that it did exist and Polly and Ann were firm believers after hearing him talk about it. Kate was happy to see open minds were the norm in ACME as Kylie said, “There is nothing to say they did not exist.” ACME followed deductive reasoning and fortunately, nothing was suggesting a “see with your own eyes approach”. They had learned that normal human senses were far too limited to determine the existence of anything outside of human perception. That’s what led ACME to immediately rely on energy sense techniques and perceive the world through it. They could sense things their eyes could never see and used the technique primarily for evidence gathering at a crime scene. Unfortunately, VILE used it to adapted for stealing things in a way it was like “tunnel vision” in it only focused on the object and the best paths to it.

This difference of seeing all you could and learning about it; or focusing on what you want and taking it reflected ACME and VILES philosophies perfectly. ACME detectives were helping a man they met a few days ago search for a mythical island of mammoths; while VILE was solely focused on taking certain things and doing what they wanted. Luckily where both groups were concerned their energy senses never steered them wrong. But VILE did “miss” a few things here and there since they were focused on the prize. They would argue however this was the “right” way since it was quicker. ACME countered saying the quick and easy path leads to ruin. Neither was the “right path” just different ways of solving a problem. Depending on the situation one way was better than the other, but ACME's studying of the whole problem led to more successful focusing when they needed to.

ACME would explain it to students by saying imagine several bridges leading over a pit of lava. Some bridges would be stable, others move in the wind or when you walked on them, some would be high above the pit, or lower down near the lava. Conditions would call for choosing certain bridges to lead to success and ACME being guided by the light and having studied the whole situation would pick the right bridge every time. VILE's way would work under normal circumstances, but end up being a gamble in others.

Statistics favored ACME in the long term which is why VILE always suffered setbacks. Ant gains made were lost again at certain points in the rivalry between the two factions. This was ironically the result of selfish and selfless beliefs causing VILE members to be concerned with themselves, not others and so they could not account for the decisions of others in VILE. ACME while independent individuals thought of others and therefore were on the same page when it came to dealing with VILE. So the cycle continued again and again with the only interruptions being when outside groups came along.

Barabinsk as Polly put it was boring and humid and tried telling Tenchi about Clapchat she said, “Tenchi it's really cool! And a lot of people are using it now. But today Sachi is saying on her page that Patty is stupid and only won the golf game because she cheated.” Tenchi told Polly there was no way Patty could be stupid and Sachi is just jealous. Polly then countered saying, ”Tenchi! Sachi and Candy say we are trying to steal their boyfriend's Double Trouble, Ewww!!!” Tenchi in a frustrated voice said, “This is getting ridiculous.” Polly then told Tenchi they were making videos about how they were going to get their boyfriends back and making sure to beat up anyone who got in their way.

One of the videos showed them interrogating high school kids and proceeding to fight their way from floor to floor. They were making sure to leave constant updates on their progress and we're getting more and more views as a result of the carnage they were causing. Their self-proclaimed mission was the “Righteous Quest of Love” to attain the “Glory of Love”. But not ones to be challenged Polly and Ann had made videos taunting Sachi and Candy for acting so lame and thinking they could ever have boyfriends. This was immediately met with girlish fury in a response video and now the netizens observing this were caught up in the feud.

Ann squeaked, “This is stupid they’re lying and saying that wearing girl accessories is giving them different powers! People are believing them cause they don’t think little girls can beat up grownups! And their videos are getting views cause of stupid boys watching them!” Polly agreed that Sachi and Candy were not good girlfriends to have given their shady occupation, short tempers, violent approach, and extreme possessive tendencies. Tenchi told them he was happy they used detective skills to observe and analyze their enemies, while Kylie told them to plan for the final showdown that was to come.

Tenchi wasn’t about to get involved with this and was happy when it was time to hear a lecture on the Golden Eagle. As the train chugged along to Novosibirsk Kylie made sure to keep Tenchi updated on the back n forth between the girls. This was mostly to keep him annoyed with girl talk until they reached Glavny Station. It was the largest railway in Siberia and located in the third most populated city in Russia. Knowing Chelyabinsk was the next stop they would use Novosibirsk to stage the next planning phase in tracking down Carmen's fairytale kingdom. The State Academy Opera and Ballet Theatre had been lifted by Sarah Nade, literally and carted off via tread tracks. Leads were quite numerous almost like she wanted to be seen escaping.

Witnesses claimed they heard her say, “I’m on a punk heist courtesy of Carmen Sandiego sponsorship! Give it up for the losers in the crowd from Acme! They're here to wreck the party but all they’re gonna get is a bass line attack!” As they wondered who from ACME was there during the theft they realized there was a crowd of people following the tracks the treads had left. It was one huge crowd that stretched all the way to where the opera house tracks left the city. It had become one huge concert crowd and all they wanted to know was when the next show was. Polly and Ann however found the adult-centered trip to be quite boring and demanded entertainment.

Kate checked the tourist destinations and saw there was a fairytale museum and decided to take Polly and Ann there. Team TKT decided it was a likely Carmen clue when concert crazed witnesses said shady henchmen were spotted taking photos at the museum instead of rocking out. The group traveled to the museum and was struck by its quaint charm and underplayed vibe. No actors were acting out stories or gimmicky story-related art. It was exhibited embodying the story they hailed from themselves. The wishing chair was a real crafted chair made to be the chair of the story's namesake. Tenchi realized that this was fairytale enthusiasts making stories come alive. This was similar to what video game enthusiasts started doing.

Of course, however, when they learned Carmen clues were being uttered by the tour guides they knew they should go on excursions. There were three of them: “The seven mysteries of an old fairytale house excursions” that took up to 7 people for 1.5 hours, “Routes of Fairytales and Legends excursions” that took up to 15 people for 1.5 hours, and “A Trip to Antiquity a Legend and a Fairytale group excursion” that took up to 15 people at a time for up to 3 hours. All were slightly different this time around as the guides said a lady in red came there and was upset they did not tell stories. She did give them a list of some things to say to any ACME detectives that came along. She said, “Detectives three that lead to me, are plain to see, so choose wisely.”

Polly asked, “Which detectives does Carmen mean? There are a lot of us.” Kylie said it was a play on words and meant both the number of detectives and things they have to pick. Ann said, “But there are a bunch of things here to pick from. How do we know which ones?” Tatyana said, “Easy little ones she means things she has stolen that are fairytale related.” Polly confused asked, “How is it easy? There are no instructions about what she said.” Tenchi replied, “You have to know how to read between the lines and consider different meanings, that’s all.” Polly and Ann annoyed, “That was another way of saying we’ll know when we're older.”

Polly and Ann then said they were going to play with Baba Yaga’s yarn ball while they went Carmen hunting. Team TKT highly advised against that before leaving the two with Kate as they narrowed down the things Carmen stole from the list. Kylie said, “Castle Neuschwanstein, Mont Saint Michel, and the Taj Mahal. How very Disney of her…” Tenchi agreed as the buildings were the basis for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Corona Castle, and the Sultan’s Palace. “What are we missing? Glasses, info-scan Russian fairytales.” Tenchi’s glasses brought up various characters from Russian folklore and while skimming over the details, Tenchi’s glasses detected a poster showing a special kind of map. Walking over to it the characters in Tenchi’s HUD display matched locations on the map. Tenchi replied, “Are you kidding me a fairytale map!?”

The poster displayed a Russian fairytale map and at various cities and towns, a patron fairytale character was displayed. After downloading the map Tenchi’s glasses used the data to follow Tenchi’s search request. Tenchi confidently said, “Info-scan places that require light and the dark.” The glasses brought up the town of Kukoboi.” Tatyana said, “Oh my! Carmen wants to make a fairytale capital!” Team TKT knew they had to travel to Kukoboi, Russia, and had to make arrangements for the final confrontation. Carmen wasn’t going anywhere and they had clients to help. Polly and Ann were quite surprised to hear the reality when Team TKT got back.

Polly yelled, “What!? Why aren’t you going after Carmen now you know where she is!?” Tatyana explained the simple reality they faced saying, “Simple, Carmen has not stolen all of her targets; and we have not investigated all of the places things were taken from. So if we go after her now that would be considered “cheating” and she would just leave. In fact, I highly doubt she is even personally there right now.” Kylie agreed and Tenchi put it this way to them, “Kids it's like if you play a video game but try to go to areas you aren’t meant to yet. There is an invisible wall blocking you from going forward.” Polly replied, “That’s dumb! Adults are dumb! I’m going to go there and arrest her now!”

Tenchi informed her she had a lot to learn about dealing with high-ranking VILE members. They don’t think in terms of general practicality and see what they do as action leads to reaction. If you try to interrupt their expectations they simply quit and leave the chase. Even if Carmen was there waiting if they went there she would just use her powers to escape. Polly said she forgot she had those and Ann then asked why was Lee able to catch her then. Tenchi told them Carmen let him catch her to protect Dazzle and Merey who she didn’t want hurt since they weren’t strong enough to fight him then.

Ann said, “That’s so sweet! Friendship is the most valuable antiquity from ancient times!” Polly interjected saying, “Stop trying to make memorable quotes from this adventure! And keep it simple. “I’m a law-abiding citizen!” See Ann it's easy.” Tenchi told Polly to stop posing and get off the table then the two came to realize what their teachers were saying. VILE had its own way of doing things and while each VILE member was different personality-wise, they agreed that if their way was violated they would stop playing. This was all a game Carmen becoming leader just brought that out in a more understandable way. The thefts were by VILE for VILE but if you wanted to stop them you had to play by the rules or else they just left. Carmen was testing ACME and if they somehow figured out her plan early and tried to act on that; she would quit the game and vanish without a trace.

They understood why other people or groups couldn’t catch VILE, simply put they weren’t ACME. VILE competed with ACME ever since they first met and used their abilities against each other. There was no reason for VILE to care about other organizations if ACME was around. It was like two rival martial arts schools holding regular trials against each other in order to keep from fighting with strength alone. Their ideologies were not in danger so there was no reason to escalate past enemies that respected each other. Of course, the majority of the goodwill that enabled this tenuous relationship came from ACME’s side.

This didn’t stop the online feud however and Polly and Ann said they planned on dealing with Sachi and Candy but VILE adult members were giving support to the “Vilan City Girls” as their videos were being titled now. They would occasionally release videos of them cackling as they made fun of Polly and Ann while informing their audience Double Trouble would be rescued. Sachi proclaimed, “Too long has the wicked tribe of ACME been allowed to kidnap our people! It ends now! Polly and Ann will be the first to fall by our hands and admit we’re prettier than they will ever be!” Polly responded to this saying, “Hey! We’re not a tribe or wicked! Tenchi they’re getting worse!”

Tenchi told them their need to get online views were fueling their misplaced aggression. They were spouting propaganda simply to highlight an “us vs them” dynamic which explained why they needed to hire actresses to play Polly and Ann and portray them in a negative light. Ann yelled, “When did they do that!? Can we sue them now!?” Tenchi told them they created another online web series titled “The Chronicles of Sweet Corn” where Polly and Ann were stuck-up girls who kept saying Double Trouble were their boyfriends. Polly and Ann decided to counter with more response videos while Team TKT carried on with their case.

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 31
Knowing what Sarah Nade stole and where it was taken enabled a warrant to be issued by Interpol but that would have to wait until all remaining crooks were positively identified. Kate was thrilled to know that things were going so well and said Hans suggested they travel to Romansburg to follow up on Hans’s hunch that mammoth clues were there. Team TKT had to divide their time between mammoth hunting, crook catching, and unexpectedly social media monitoring. Sachi and Karin were taking time to steal identities and Polly and Ann were put on the case of monitoring their illegal online activities to keep them busy. They were told to use their hobonichi smart techos to keep tabs and try not to get in too much trouble.

Saluting they both said, “Yes sir!” Before play marching off to play real “Cops n Robbers”. They alerted the online community saying, “We are now officially authorized to arrest those two online troll-ettes! They are hereby ordered to stop in the name of the law, and stop being mean to us!” This digital proclamation was met with Sachi and Candy saying, “Give our boyfriends back and admit we're better than you! You legal evils are no match for the VILE City Girls!” Polly shot back, “YOU’RE the evil ones! And we don’t want your boyfriends! But you can turn yourselves in and find out where they are.” Sachi replied, “We’ve got a better idea you can watch us beat up your lackeys on live feed!”

Sachi and Candy started going through an area and fighting random people. As usual, the people started angrily running over to attack them, trying to get them to stop fighting everybody. This looked to the average observer like Sachi and Candy were being attacked by goons running in from off-camera. It looked like a genuine side-scrolling beat ‘em up game and that was attracting a lot of boys' attention. Polly and Ann were getting a noticeable uptick in their email boxes as boys were picking their favorite fighter girl. Ann exclaimed, “Boys are pathetic! We’re trying to stop violent psycho girls and their voting on top waifus! We haven’t even fought people yet! And I better be number one!”

Regardless of who was winning the waifu poll, Polly and Ann knew to stop the Vile City Girls they needed to search relevant middle schools and assemble student militias to defend the streets and locations when the Vile City Girls showed up. They set up the Digital Dojo to give people training videos and advice on how to deal with the Vile City Girls. They didn’t make them think it would enable them to beat them but maybe together they could slow them down and if they were lucky catch them off guard. Though Sachi and Candy weren’t expert fighters by any means, they were VILE trained. and there were front locations like food and clothing shops owned by Vic the Slick’s black market goons that taught techniques; for a price. As Sachi and Candy took money from guys they beat up, they slowly gained the cash to get new moves. These techniques were low-powered and low level, but for fighting normal people they were more than enough. Polly and Ann knew they had to hit the streets of Siberia if they wanted to put an end to the Vile City Girls and asked to go without chaperones.

Tenchi said they could go without short-range chaperones but would be monitored by Mobile Command as well as undercover ACME agents. In the event of trouble, aerial support would be used to attack hostiles. Polly yelled, “No! That makes us even more like boss characters! When they attack us we get to use super attacks from machines. We’re gonna go get new moves like they are and we're gonna stop by Vic’s front companies.” Tenchi happy to hear they wanted to motivate themselves replied, “Vic’s front companies smell fishy for two reasons: One they funnel stolen goods on his slimy network, and two: They don’t clean them very often… don’t eat at any of his Sushi Spot stores okay? Now before you head off take some gum with you, its special”

After agreeing not to eat any of Vic’s stolen shellfish they made their way to their transportation, a small custom twin jet airplane. Ann eying it said, “OMG it's so cute! It looks like a baby jumbo jet!” It was originally a Cirrus G3 Jet but was later modified by ACME Labs to Tenchi’s specifications. It would be transporting them to the beginning of all the crime scenes caused by Sachi and Candy’s mayhem. Kylie told them they would be only a few hundred miles away but to be on guard. Polly and Ann ran into the jet and took off. They activated their technos and uploaded their data they had been compiling on Sachi and Candy for Omsk, Russia.

The heavy deduction was carried out by Team TKT and Mobile Command, helping Polly and Ann figure out what was the next action they should take. After talking with Kylie about all their clues and leads, primary digital monitoring was transferred to Mobile Command so Polly and Ann could focus on the situation on the ground. And that situation was quite bad, the townsfolk had banded together to fight these two terrors and had centered around Polly and Ann’s training videos. Hearing that the girls themselves would be landing they rallied for a major offensive. A boy named Dmitri Yuriev had risen to oppose the Vile City Girls and had been coordinating attacks on them at middle schools.

Sure he had to lead the growing number of people tired of being randomly attacked while trying to keep up with pickpockets from VILE. But as the videos from Sachi and Candy continued more kids from VILE came into Omsk. Now there were about a dozen of the fashion-minded thieving brats running around chanting random slogans like VILE forever!, We're the Best!, ACME sucks!, and Stealing is fun! Or put more bluntly, they were annoying as heck and acted like they were a mini-crime council. Their kiddie crime spree did not deter Dmitri in the beginning and that’s why people decided he should be in charge. It was more accurate that the adults ignored the Vile City Girls at first but when it came time to pick a leader they chose Dmitri with a “well why not” mentality. That and he carried a big gun a picture of him had been taken while he was standing on a street corner and it ended up making him popular among the resistance leaders.

Fortunately, Dmitri was very determined to win this war of love. He had used his street smarts to gain tactical advantage where he could in the city. Dmitri had dirty blonde hair, blue eyes, and a wicked rebellious smile. He wore a black winter jacket that had a red star on the back, black pants with a red stripe going down the sides of them, he had a black Ushanka hat with the flaps tied up, a Sponge Bob bookbag holding his best plans for counter-attacking, and carried an unloaded mini-gun around; mostly to strengthen his arms.

The plane was coming into the airport to land and Polly and Ann were getting a final brief about meeting a boy named Dmitri. They messaged him and said they were coming to put an end to the Vile City Girls. He said professionally, “Zdravstvuyte Pollyanna and Angela. I am Dmitri Yuriev, leader of the rebellion. it’s a pleasure to meet you both.” He told them the people were gathering for a meeting at their headquarters about what to do next. As Polly and Ann hopped off the plane and began walking through the city, Polly said, “Omsk was founded in 1716 by decree of Peter I when Lieutenant Colonel Buchholz landed with a detachment of soldiers and Cossack at the Om River and founded a fortress which became known as Omsk!” Ann surprised exclaimed, “This is great Polly you know about the city!” Polly replied, “Um actually I just read that off a tourist brochure.”

Ann optimistic as always said, “It doesn’t matter Polly you can learn about it as we go.” As the girls traveled to the meeting spot they saw propaganda from VILE promoting the devious duo and their quest to save Double Trouble. There were posters also showing Polly and Ann in a negative light as well as posters falsely accusing Tenchi of corrupting the youth. There was graffiti over some of the posters from the rebellion signed the Kids Down Street or KDS. Ann asked, “I wonder who KDS is, do you think they’re the rebels?” Before Polly could answer a gang of VILE loyalists approached them and claimed they would be arrested in the name of love. Knowing there was no reasoning with the mob, Polly and Ann ran down the street. Suddenly a kid appeared and motioned for them to follow him into the alley. The crowd angrily passed by them as they tend to do in these situations

Polly and Ann were quickly approached by a girl who recognized them in the alley he and the girl were both wearing hoods to conceal their identities. They removed their hoods and led them to a secret hidden entrance in the wall. They introduced themselves as Peter and Catherine and told Polly and Ann that they had to take them to see Dmitri before it was too late. As they headed in and out of buildings side streets and rooftops, two more boys joined them one by one from their watch posts. Polly and Ann noticed they were all wearing similar clothes with color differences and minor accessory variations winter jackets, pants, and ushankas, There were six of them all together as they explained the situation. Peter in red said, “We are fighting against those crazy girls and are mobilizing at headquarters for a final offensive.” Catherine in purple gritting her teeth added, “They think they are so great and all that matters is their “Quest of love”. Urgh! I get so mad just talking about it.”

Nicolai and Aleksandr in green and white respectively were the primary culprits in graffiti and made it clear that they wanted to tag all of the Vile City Girls posters. As they approached the secret headquarters a small child in coral colors and a cute bear knit hat, ran toward them and hugged her big brother Nicolai. She recognizing Polly and Ann’s faces happily waved and said, “Hi I know you both, and my name is Kisa! And this is my brother Nicolai.” Nicolai told her they already knew that and to go in headquarters and play. Once they were all inside Polly and Ann saw it was a multicolored hangout where kids had managed to move in various Arcade machines wherever they could set them up on the first and second floors. The second floor overlooked the first which gave a nice view of what was happening below.

The girls could see all of the kids were wearing one of the colors of the leaders and that signaled they were assigned to them except for Kids around Kisa age 5 and below. The kids were practicing on an art studio training course. They were using various paint tools to spread paint as quickly as possible to cover up any VCG propaganda. It was a very well-made setup and had to be done by a professional. Polly exclaimed, “Wow these are really big um, what are they called?” Ann interjected saying, “Those are canvases for large art displays! And they’re doing splash art everywhere!” Ann continued to explain to Polly that splash artists use brushes to splatter, flick, or drip paint onto a canvas instead of brushing the paint on.

Ann really got into her explanation like a true ACME detective should and continued saying, “This painting style rose in popularity in the ’40s as a part of the abstract expressionist movement spearheaded by Jackson Pollock!” Polly half looking at Ann sarcastically said, “Thanks for the art lesson Annie, but why are they training to utilize it?” Nicolai hearing Ann was interested in painting happily ran over to her side and somewhat nervously said, “Well sometimes traditional works of art are preferred and… are… more… beautiful to look at.” He said the last of the words more loudly and quickly in order to force them out. It worked a little too well as other kids stopped to stare at the two art enthusiasts. Nicolai told them that using art supplies was integral to the rebel cause but it was pretty useless against targets that required fighting.

Polly shrugged and replied, “All Tenchi said was ask Eddie for stuff and don’t let it hit you on the head when it comes down.” Polly called Eddie mostly to ask him what that meant, and Eddie responded, “That means your getting aerial support girls. We already know the basic situation on the ground and have prepared more super gum for you.” Polly and Ann were wondering what that gum they had gotten was while Ann said, “I thought that was normal gum and that “special” meant organic.” Eddie told them that it was specially developed to assist Jr. detectives in the field though anyone could use it. When he and two others tested it, they gained gum-based abilities.

“Seriously our shoes would stick to walls and ceilings and we could blow really big gum bubbles! The gum also enhances colors since it's colored gum after all. Kind of an oversight on our part, but it was experimental at the time and really cool!” The girls surprised asked for more color enhancement. Polly took out her shiny red gumball and clarified, “Let me get this straight Ed, this gumball grants special gum powers letting me run on walls, ceilings, and blow bubbles as big as me. And if I take one of the rebels Paint Splash Weapons like a water gun modified to shoot paint, it will fire a huge amount of paint until it runs out and needs a reload?” Eddie replied, “Yes exactly! Wait Uh, why do you need paint sent?” Polly said, “We got enough paint here already; and now we can use it to attack the VCG forces.”

Eddie told them, “Using paint would likely result in sticking targets in place so use with discretion girls, and “May the Colors be With You.”… Sorry I had to say that.” Polly and Ann forgave Eddie for his forced joke and readied for a meeting with Dmitri. When Polly and Ann were introduced to Dmitri he slightly blushed on seeing Polly. Quickly gathering himself he picked up where they had left off through online chat. That being Polly and Ann informing Dmitri of their offensive strategy plans. They told him basically they were given special gum from ACME Labs designed to give anyone who chewed it gum powers. Dmitri asked, “Are you kidding me? If gum powers and splash art are our only options then so be it. At least now my minigun will be usable.” Dmitri's famous gun was on full display and now it would be loaded with paint supplied from a tube by a container placed inside his backpack.

After formal introductions in person the Kids Down Street all focused on the crayon-drawn plans of Dmitri on the table. He began explaining, “We are here to put an end to the Vile City Girls evil. Their wanton destruction in the name of love will no longer be tolerated. We of the KDS have laid out all the locations of Vile and their allies. The Vile City Girls plan on making their final push to uncover the secret whereabouts of Double Trouble who they wrongfully believe was kidnapped by our friends and allies Pollyanna Tix and Angela Tickwittee. Since we don’t know where those two harpies will start their offensive, we will have lookouts posted all over the city. Once they are spotted we will send our forces to lay in wait as they make their way from place to place.”

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 32
All eyes were on Dmitri; especially Polly’s apparently she liked the guys who called the shots and couldn’t wait to see how good he was in the field. Dmitri further explained, “They have shifted public opinion to their side by 90% we have 7% with 3% deciding to be neutral. We have to take it back by spreading our message of justice! And so our Tag Team Nicolai and Aleksandr will be deployed when VCG posters are located by Polly and Ann wherever they are. Our forces will battle to take back vital points throughout the city known as “Make Out Points” and “Love Nests”. We won’t stop until we hit 100%!” At this, the group clapped and cheered and dispersed to their normal daily duties. Polly wanted to speak with Dmitri before the coming battle and found him sitting on top of a car gazing up at the sky.

Dmitri was more concerned with whether Polly and Ann were what people said to expect. Polly told him ACME wouldn’t have sent them if they didn’t think they could handle it. Dmitri said, “I’m not allowed to hit girls they’re delicate as flowers.” Polly then sat on the car hood next to him and said, “Ah! You’re a gentleman! Well don’t worry Mr. Dmitri, Ann and I will deal with Sachi and Candy for you.” Dmitri caught off guard yelled, “Silence female! I Dmitri shall be victorious and drive those two out! I just need you to be my fist! Take my hand and well make it I swear!” They both blushed at the sound of those words realizing what could be implied. But before either could say anything, Kisa having snuck onto the roof of the car behind them asked, “Are you going to get married now?” The awkwardness overwhelmed them both as Dmitri yelled, “Kisa!? Where did you come from!? Go inside! I!... No, we!... The two of us are going to do things, but not together in marriage kind of ways!”

Polly told Kisa she was very adorable and asked why they would get married. Kisa replied, “I’m a marriage optimist. People getting married is the best-est thing ever cause that’s true love!” Polly laughing said, “Well Kisa Dmitri may have my hand but he won’t put a ring on it today.” Kisa undeterred responded, “He’s just mad cause he doesn’t wanna talk about it!” The three of them went to ready for the coming battle with VCG and their allies and noticed Nicolai and Ann exchanging painting tips on the way. Heading over they explained to Dmitri and Nicolai that they were happy to fight alongside them.

The KDS readied their vehicles which were mostly bikes, scooters, and skateboards for transporting them around the city quickly. Polly preferred the motorized skateboard, while Ann took the electric bike. Once Polly and Ann were back on the street they were given mission objectives and directions to get to locations around the city. They raced to their first Make Out Point location and saw VCG forces gathering and advertising VCG propaganda and handing out VCG magazines. Ann exclaimed, “Ahh! They even have magazines!? Why don’t we have those!?” The urge to paint over everything was growing stronger as they saw the full VCG propaganda offerings. Not only were there posters but also cardboard cutouts, magazines, stickers, T-shirts, and various merchandising products and accessories.

Seeing how hollow and fake it all was made them feel a little sorry for Sachi and Candy. They were more about attention than real love. Their rabid fans were buying their popular love apparel and wearing clothes and accessories in public to sway public opinion. They thought it was possible they didn’t know the difference and maybe they hoped VCG was willing to talk things out.

The Vile City Girls however were not in a talking mood. They had to endure a golf game in which Patty’s team won and many golf balls had been lost overboard as a result. They had to stand there eyes filled with animosity as she humbly accepted the trophy with that perfect smile. And adding insult to injury watch Led Zeddelin’s victory disco dance. Normally that would have been fine but his motioning to patty made it insufferable. Both Sachi and Candy knew Double Trouble was on Dirk’s flagship the Crappy Tuna enjoying the anti-party. But they had convinced themselves that they weren’t invited because Double Trouble must have been arrested.

Sachi confidently said, “We totally hung out with them at Sushi Spot that one time. That had to mean we are officially dating since then. But no! Patty has to keep flashing her smile and batting her eyes doesn’t she?” Candy was noticeably a little less stressed about that since Trouble didn’t have a crush on Patty responded, “My Trouble has to follow your boyfriend around and he follows Patty everywhere! The sooner she’s taken care of the better. And once we rescue our guys from Polly and Ann they’ll take us to make out! Hahahahaha!” Sachi asked Candy to stop laughing maniacally every time she mentioned blush-worthy things and ended their planning meeting.

Sachi and Candy told their allies that they had 90% influence over the city and soon they would have total control and their boyfriends back to boot. But then suddenly a secure transmission came in over VILE TV and Patty appeared. She was doing her best to keep Vile spirits near and far high and wanted to check on Sachi and Candy. Needless to say, they weren’t happy to see her and this caused Sachi to unleash her feelings saying, “We're doing fine without you boyfriend stealer! Didn’t you get the memo, you dumb, dumb, blonde!? Your not the boss I don’t care what people say! We're about to finish the job and clean up your mess too!” Patty a bit confused asked, “Um, what mess have I made?” Candy chimed, “Every mess is your mess! We have to fight for love alone against the world but it doesn’t matter we will win and drive Polly and Ann back to ACME Academy!”

Patty realizing more than Sachi and Candy wanted her to, responded, “Girls you can’t beat them or they wouldn’t have been sent in. Whatever moves you’ve learned are not strong enough and your only option for winning is using traps and hoping they mess up, which is unlikely. They will confront you and beat you with teamwork and friendship. And in the end, you will have yourselves to blame.” Sachi clenched her fist at the sounds of these words and decided she had heard enough. She pretended to play along sweetly with Patty, but was her usual low self The Vile City Girls, wanting to stop Patty from speaking said their usual sign-off in tandem starting with Sachi saying, “Affirmative; stay sweet!” And Candy finishing, “Roger that; And have some candy!” After forced smiles, the feed ended leading Sachi to say, “I. Hate. Her.”

While Carmen had ended her mission with Tenchi, she had not yet returned. Given her felonious nature, she wasn’t even sure it was worth it anymore. She would have to decide whether to continue this game or end it outright. She could always start over with new targets at a later date the “outsiders” as she now referred to them as had ruined her fun big time. And they didn’t even care! It dwelled on Carmen’s mind, lingering shadows becoming images of those outsiders for brief moments… laughing at her. How would ACME react if they tracked her final location?

It would just be awkward as everyone would know what they went through. But now they were supposed to pretend it didn’t happen for the sake of the game? No, it was too close to pity and Carmen was not to be pitied period. ACME would chase her in desperation as always and not for any other reason but her amusement. She couldn’t have been the only one to feel it this was not right they were deluded thugs; she was a highly trained master thief.

Normally she would just focus on what was important and forget lesser fools such as them. But something was wrong she had sensed traces of a dark… evil, and Tenchi must have sensed it as well. At first, she felt it had to be Koga Shuko, who revealed his shadow powers during the fight maybe even Lee when the bands were powering him. No, she thought that couldn’t be it she trusted her senses better than that. As Shibumi always told her, “The greatest evil takes forms far from foul.” But this dark presence was elusive, like it was intentionally just out of peripheral sight, silently laughing as she tried to turn and face it. She would meditate to clear her mind of this presence and prepare for her next move. Until then she thought as she slipped into a meditative state; “The board is yours detectives.”

Patty was doing her best to deal with the sudden influx of questions that had been pouring into her office set up for her by Led. She used her best stationery, was writing letters of condolences to non-arrested members of VILE henchmen mourning the loss of their jailed friends, or informing them of individuals having been confirmed arrested. And honestly, she thought to herself it wasn’t easy as Carmen made it out to be. “How does she do it; and not cry so much?”, She thought as tears occasionally rolled down her cheeks. “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Crook; we regret to inform you that your son Robo-Crook was arrested in the line of duty to our glorious cause of thievery. Being a cyborg the authorities removed his head by screwing it off and put it in a fluid-filled jar and then his body was put in an evidence room. We in VILE wish you the best and hope for his speedy return.

Patty had been lost in her work and had been opening stationary and pen sets left and right as she went through ink and stickers. She was handwriting at blinding speed but had to limit herself so as not to set the paper on fire. Patty was sure not to include unnecessary details that would cause worry to readers of these letters, such as rumors of a certain Acme detective interrogating Robo-Crook asking if he was The Shadow. Led had “acquired” cratefuls of writing supplies after hearing Patty say she wanted to send updates to VILE members. VILE for obvious reasons wasn’t fond of using digital messaging when it could be avoided. Patty would handwrite anyway and for one very special letter to Tenchi, she decided to include a personal thank you for his services in the line of duty.

Dear Mr. Masaki, thank you for your sterling service on behalf of VILE and the House of Vilan. The members of the Crime Council wish to congratulate their enemy and toast to your success. While the boys in VILE shall continue to show you no quarter; the girls will henceforth consider you a dependable cutie. And I am personally pleased you showed honesty, integrity, and professionalism in the field. I only wish that all present would have adhered to our organization's respective ideologies as passionately as you. Instead, I am forced to apologize on their behalf and hope there are no hard feelings.

Giggling to herself Patty continued on another page more informally, “Of course knowing you there aren’t any and I am so jealous I wasn’t there! I heard from the grapevine you're on Carmen’s list and you got to call her Buffy without her giving you a death stare! Not even Vic gets to do that! How’s Kylie doing? I won a golf tournament by the way and plan on sending the trophy to my parent's house in Gravity Falls! Let's get together sometime! Kisses! Your dear friend, Patty Larceny.” Patty then kissed a space on the letter and put it in an envelope. She addressed it to the Masaki residence and sent the current batch of letters to the mailroom. Down the hall Vic the Slick could be heard yelling, “Gah! Why do I gotta drag these letters around!?”

Sachi was not about to let Patty’s advice slow her down and as she and Candy readied for action. They had learned all the moves and combos Vic stores had to teach and even went to a dojo. Now they activated their cameras and the backbone of their forces the Pop Bots and began their assault. The thought that Double Trouble were perfectly fine on Dirk’s ship was lost on them as they started attacking people coming up to stop them. They had a map of city streets on their phones and were going down them from place to place, trying to reach their end destination. Polly and Ann were waiting at this point along with the rebels and just as Patty had warned, they were slowly winning.

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 33
Sachi and Candy didn’t notice however but their offensive was rallying people all over to unite against them. The Tag Team Nicolai and Aleksandr were tagging all the VCG posters Polly and Ann found using their detective skills. They were quite annoying and it made them feel good when they were spray painted over with rebel propaganda like “VCG stinks!”, “Their love quest is a lie!”, and “Stealing is WRONG!”. They had slowly beaten their allies back using their paint weapons gaining city support in the process. Their 7% grew from 10% to 15% as Polly Dmitri, Ann and Nicolai fought their way through VCG forces. Make Out Points were neutralized one after the other as they ran up walls and attacked from unexpected angles to quickly take defenders by surprise. Another bonus noted was for some reason when VCG posters and cutouts were covered in enough paint they changed to images of the Splash Squad.

On being interviewed by reporters sent into the war zone Polly and Ann said they weren’t complaining about the posters changing to them. And said through the powers of friendship and teamwork they were going to win the day. Sachi threw a can of soda at the tv screaming, “Gag me with a spoon! Their meddling will no longer be tolerated! Activate and unleash the Trials of Love series!” Candy hopped up and down yelling, “Yay! Now the dork-tectives will be shamed and humiliated! There is no way they can withstand the Trials of Love!” The Trials of Love series and the Pop Bots were robots created in VILE Labs by Sarah Bellum mostly to shut Sachi and Candy up. They were designed to their ridiculously shallow specifications to emphasize popularity rating, public opinion, and the level of chemistry between two people. Offensively they used overly dramatic melee attacks and predictable patterns to engage the enemy.

Since most of their computer resources were used to focus on VCG Love Tech (love?) the robots were not as good combat-wise and would pause between attacks. To compensate they were further armored to increase defense and durability. They were deployed at all Love Nests and were the final challenge that needed to be defeated to claim the area. Of course to viewers, this was coming off as an extremely video game-like scenario. It didn’t help matters that Polly and Ann were getting more powerful weapons as they went through the city to the point where viewers were hoping they would use specific weapons they had gotten as they battled through the Pop Bots. Polly found herself acquiring a very lovely Splash Cannon that fired up to three paint rockets that homed in on Pop Bots and instantly made it a favorite choice for long-range targets.

The Pop Bots were even more low grade, however, as their strategy was quantity over quality. The Pop Bots would utilize basic copy attacks likely stolen from more capable combat robots and try to overwhelm their opponents with numbers. The most powerful of them would be glass cannons at best, as their defense and durability were very low. This meant Team Splash had to focus on quickly dispatching them with simple combo attacks while not underestimating them and finding themselves hopelessly outnumbered. Luckily for Team Splash, they had found strategies to make short work of them. The Pop Bots' main signature attack was blaring annoying pop songs from their bullhorn blasters, and hoping to make foes flee in terror. These songs were favorites of Sachi and Candy and rebel analysts believe the original intent was to gain public support by playing them. But since the songs are horrendous, it had the opposite effect and is instead used against the enemies of VCG.

VCG propaganda had a larger impact than expected and so the Pop Bots did not need to torture the masses with Sachi and Candy’s insufferable playlists. The Pop Bots would stand on street corners scanning for possible “Anti-love Activity” and the people of Omsk saw them as a natural way of life soon after. Passing through “Pop Points”, checkpoints run by the Pop Bots was the only concern as citizens would be randomly selected for questioning about love and pop music. If they answered wrong the Pop Bots would start playing VCG pop songs at loud volumes. The citizens learned to just play these songs as they went through a checkpoint to avoid suspicion. The songs were coming from a Rebel command radio station designed to help people avoid Pop interrogation. Simply switching to the station gave people immunity as they drove through.

The Kids Down Street’s Splash Squad was doing well and finally, they stormed a Make-Out Point #1 with a Love Nest final area in Omsk State University. Student and teacher-themed Pop Bots filled the premises and they were rewriting educational data to fit VCG propaganda. If they weren’t stopped the school would teach that love made the world go round; not a complicated series of gravitational forces causing the planet to spin on its axis. Team Splash confronted the School Bots and began making short work of them. Polly asked aloud, “Why is the first area the good guys go to always so easy?” Ann figured, “Well it's probably strategy-based, in chess you send the pawns first before the better pieces usually.” The four fought their way to a room containing a Trial of Love and proceeded to rush in.

Inside the rebels came across the Love Tester, an evil, vicious, pink 20ft robot with two oval-shaped yellow eyes and two arms. One arm was a hammer with a heart symbol, and the other was a four-finger hand. The cylindrical torso of the robot rested on a rectangular base with tank treads on each side. The main attack was trying to pummel the rebels with its hammer but its primary function was that it said aloud how strong your chemistry with someone was. Ann noticed that between attacks with its arms it would shine a scanning light in certain places on the floor. Kids that got scanned were rated by their chemistry level. The higher the chemistry the more the robot had to say leaving it open to attack when two kids with high enough chemistry were scanned one after the other.

Polly and Dmitri teamed up along wIth Ann and Nicolai as that was seen as a way to distract the robot. It was a blush-filled battle at this point as the robot gave suggestions on how the lovers should behave. This caused all the rebels watching but not participating in the battle to cheer for the new couples being anointed. Polly blushing dodging the robot's attacks yelled, “We aren’t going to a tunnel of love you dumb bot!” Dmitri lifting his splash minigun now loaded with paintballs ready to fire added, “Don’t call us eternal lovers you wretched machine!” Dmitri unleashed a hail of colorful rounds which splattered all over the robot blinding it. While Ann and Nicolai both made clear that people, not a robot should decide how much they like each other, they weren’t exactly protesting the chemistry results. Plus they were having fun with the pattern they established for running up to attack the Love Tester when its weak spot appeared.

The four readied for their final assault as they charged in finishing off the robot before it could suggest honeymoon destinations. And it became clear depending on how well they did against these sudden boss-like obstacles the public would give their support. The rebels reported on Splash Radio that their efforts had gained 30% against VCG’s 70%. Splash Squad was gaining territory by painting the town, literally and Team Splash was getting the highest mission approval ratings overall. VCG forces doubled their efforts to stop Splash Squad cold and ordered full Pop Bot deployment. This further turned public opinion against them as the Pop Bots defiantly played the latest Yakstreet Boys single, “I Prefer This My Way” all over town.

Sachi and Candy felt it was time to unleash their love on the masses of Omsk. They held a press conference explaining what the numbers people were getting in the mail were. Randomly invited guests in the crowd were told directly on tv the numbers were a popularity rating. Sachi proudly explained, “We the absolutely fabulous Vile City Girls have given you our popularity rating! Your number means how popular we think you are! The highest score is ten and the lowest is one! You can feel free to wear your numbers proudly in public that way the Pop Bots won’t be mean! And they’ll even say things based on your number too!” The people were by now used to the way the VCG worked and knew to wear their numbers openly lest they suffer the wrath of the Pop Bots. They even began to separate themselves into number groups and look down on those with lower ones.

Polly angered shouted, “Ahh! They found a way to sink even lower! And now the people are divided as well. This can't get any worse.” True to form events unfolded that proved those words quite false. Candy taking two special number cards revealed that the best was yet to come. She said, “We at VCG realize there are those who disagree with our ways. The lost, the confused, the violent who hide behind false flags of rebellion. But worry not as all of them have been given the one number cards so everyone will know their blasphemy will not be tolerated.” Sachi then unwrapped the two special number cards and proclaimed, “And now you see the true evil in our world of love have been rightly condemned by the VCG! Polly and Ann receive zeros! They are lower than low, and will be brought to justice soon! Hahahahaha!” Candy did always find it strange when Sachi chose to use her maniacal laughs for ominous plots and schemes. Candy instead preferred using hers while speaking of happy things as those laughs take a lot of energy to do.

While their evil laugh philosophies were night and day their evil intentions aligned perfectly which was unfortunate for the Splash Squad. Sachi asked Candy to use her maniacal laughs properly not to for example say, “Puppies! Hahahahaha!” But try as she might Candy was set in her ways so as she signed off their broadcast she said, “Soon our boyfriends shall be returned to us by the power of love and dreams! Until then be happy everyone! Hahahahaha!” It didn’t come as a surprise to Sachi unlike everyone else. The Splash Squad on the other hand were now “celeber non grata” and knew they had to overcome their self-doubt and believe in themselves to triumph.

The Splash Squad knew even though they cleared area one they still had a long way to go. Their next Make Out Point #2 was the Europark Entertainment Complex filled with toys and games strewn about the area. It was hard not to run over and start playing, but they managed to focus on the mission given. After clearing out the toy-themed Pop Bots, they ran into a dark room. Suddenly the lights came on and they were met with their next Trial of Love; The Love Game. They all saw they were standing on a giant game board and had to run down the pathways to proceed. Random squares would activate causing an effect to happen so they had to proceed with caution. The Love Game then started talking explaining the rules of movement whereby pressing a button stopped their dice and let them advance to a certain square. The dice numbers were predictably randomized so with good timing they could pick the numbers they wanted.

But that did not stop the effects of the square as Ann found out the hard way when Pop Bots were summoned to attack. Ann fighting them off yelled, “Love isn’t a game you dumb robots! It’s a special feeling shared by friends and family!” The Love Game responded saying, “Oh please! Everything is a game kids, now enjoy my lovely surprise!” As the game said that the paths started to shift and change around. Dmitri trying to keep his balance said, “The game of love is treacherous indeed! Stand firm Splash Squad and try to make it to the Game Center.” Polly aiming with her Splash Cannon said, “I don’t mind if you fall head over heels for me Dmitri, but this game has gotta go!” Firing her cannon she landed direct hits on the games center portion covered by a transparent pink dome. Most of the dome was protected by a wall that surrounded it but there was an opening that allowed the center to be attacked.

The game preferred to keep the wall up on all sides but actions that were taken on the board by the Splash Squad would cause one section to lower. The game would then try to spin that section away from being attacked and try to keep the opening from being targeted until it raised again. But on the Love Game’s most powerful attack all sides would lower leaving the robot open from all sides. The board game paths would open up and the kids could run freely which they preferred as certain squares would electrocute them if they were caught on them. The game cackled as it said, “That’s right brats, love hurts! Hahahahaha!” Team Splash was able to find time to target and fire on the Love Game from time to time leading to the dome breaking exposing the core. At this point, the Love Game Center rose to reveal a cylinder shape with multiple red circular crystals dotting it. The lasers began firing beams Team Splash had to jump over or duck under while firing when they could.

The sections on the cylinder shaft were destroyed until the shaft collapsed back down into the floor. Dmitri still aiming his minigun said, “Game over, we win.” With the Love Game defeated Team Splash exited the building to join Splash Squad cheering outside. Their approval rating had risen to 40% and the people were starting openly speak well of the Kids Down Street. Catherine gave a broadcast over Splash Radio about the victory against the Love Game saying, “We in the Kids Down Street will not tolerate the VCG’s views of love. And to prove that point we have defeated another Trials of Love machine! Our operatives won’t rest until the city is free!” Her co-host Nadia and field reporter Tania were more than happy to comment as well. Nadia happily stated, “Our cause is the freeing of love from those that wish to use it for evil! The VCG will be beaten in the end and VILE shall rue the day they tried to take our love away!”

Tania commented, “While I was at the scene many children were sad as they said they couldn’t play inside the entertainment center. VCG could care less about the suffering of the young and only care about their ridiculous “mission” of love. Fortunately, when the Love Game was defeated by Team Splash the center was again open to the public and now many happy children are playing as they once did. We at Kids Down Street would like to thank ACME for sending Polly and Ann they’re really cool and way better than Sachi and Candy will ever be! Go ACME go!”

That statement Nadia made became a popular quote used by the Kids Down Street as well as with the Tag Team spray painting it everywhere they could. Sachi and Candy refused to comment on the situation to VCG TV and said that KDS was going to suffer the consequences of their actions. But this was really about making sure their most prized possession the Book of Love was safe. the book was on a pedestal in the center of the room. It was open and pulsating a soft pink light courtesy of Sarah Bellum’s LED and fiberglass technology wasted on Sachi and Candy’s insistence on looks over anything else. They went to its location and ran their hands slowly over the open pages. The book was connected to the internet and they could see video images of their primary targets Polly and Ann. The book also gave daily popularity rating updates, as well as email options.

The advice it gave was more along the lines of a magic 8-ball, but the two saw no reason to doubt its wisdom. Their offensive would be based on the situation on the ground as they saw their popularity had fallen to 60%. VCG understood Polly and Ann had to be stopped and Patty needed to be blamed. Sachi figured why not, after all her words could be used to place the blame on her. Sachi took to the airwaves and started building her case. Both she and Candy started making it clear all those who disagreed with their decisions were a part of the problem. And only legitimate leaders would be accepted, not temporary ones. Their allies would do the rest, they would just have to wait for them to connect Patty to the rebels at which point they could openly challenge her temporary leadership position.

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 34
Their ultimate aim was to get Patty a vote of no confidence which they saw simply as grownups saying she wasn’t popular anymore. They both decided to rely on others to do the work for them and look at media of themselves while occasionally saying “We’re too Sweet!”. What wasn’t sweet anymore was their popularity rating which they felt was now semi-sweet at best. Sachi said, “We need a sugar rush to get our sweetness back, Candy. To battle.” The VCG refused to free the city and chose instead to make the people submit to their love authority.

The Splash Squad headed out to their next challenge in the city. There were reports of a strange boat and rebel command wanted it investigated quickly. Team Splash readied for insertion into Make Out Point #3. It was the famous promenade area that ran along the Irtysh River and the battle was fierce with sailor-themed Pop Bots rushing in from all sides. While Polly and Ann felt the Pop Bots looked cute in their striped Russian sailor shirts they had to break them all nonetheless. This was made all the more difficult by the sudden appearance of the Love Boat. It was a largely white, lite blue, and pink Gondola-shaped boat with cannon-themed energy guns on each side. A vicious robot gondolier was holding the paddle as it mercilessly harassed Team Splash by occasionally firing heart-shaped shots from the guns.

To make matters worse the gondolier played VCG love songs such as InTheSinks “It's Fixin’ Up My Parts” while launching more Pop Bots to attack Team Splash on the shore. Polly and Dmitri fired their weapons at the Gondola while Ann and Nicolai mopped up the salty sea Pop Bots. The Love Boat finally sustained enough damage that the gondolier beached the boat onshore. He then tried to attack Team Splash with his paddle as Pop Bots occasionally came out of the wrecked boat and shots were fired from the guns that were still working. The Gondolier yelled, “My romance will be your destruction! All couples will sail on the Love Boat or be forever doomed to unhappiness!” Ann responded, “You liar! Couples don’t need to have fake romantic experiences to feel loved! They have to be honest and care about each other!”

The Gondolier snapped in its robotic voice, “Hahaha! You little fool. Without “fake” romance there can be no real love. My programming does not lie.” Team Splash was knocked away by the Gondolier’s shockwave as he leaped into the air and stabbed the ground with his paddle. Ann rising and holding an injured shoulder replied, “I pity you, Gondolier. You will never know what true love is. That takes a heart, something you don’t have!” Ann rushed forward as Dmitri unleashed a full volley of paint gunfire at the Gondolier. She aimed for the robot's weak spot and fired her paint 40mm grenade launcher causing the Gondolier to erupt in explosions and come apart as it fell to its knees. Both the Love Boat and the Gondolier proceeded to explode as the Gondolier uttered its final words, “My candy queens, I have failed you!...”

Sachi and Candy watching on tv screamed, “Nooo! Now “We’re so Semi-sweet!” Waaahhh!” As the VCG had to accept their 50% rating as public opinion was now split between KDS and VCG respectively. All propaganda alluding to their popularity was either censored or just plain made up. VCG TV started saying, “Popularity is estimated at 70%” from this point forward. Sachi and Candy were quite upset, to say the least, as they wanted to go on a romantic cruise on the Love Boat with Double Trouble. But now their sea dreams were a wrecked smoking ship nightmare on the shore. They both lamented they would’ve had dreams that were exciting and new but it was for naught. Sachi marked Polly as her eternal nemesis for this victory while Candy did the same for Ann in more of a copycat maneuver.

Kids Down Street sent word that strange reports of a giant bird were coming in from downtown Omsk. Feeling it was another Trial of Love, the Splash Squad went to investigate and found a flock of bird-like Pop Bots heading in to enforce the VCG’s laws of love. A large shadow appeared on the ground from something flying above them and the flying Pop Bots were coming down from it as it flew back towards its nesting grounds. Dmitri ordered the path to be traced and as it was being tracked, Splash Squad engaged the Pop Bots. Catherine radioed to Tania reporting on the situation downtown that the robot was believed to be coming from Bird’s Haven.

Team Splash tried to head off to the location but on asking the tour guides they were told it cost 35 dollars each. Polly upset declared, “We are trying to save your city! Why do we have to pay!?” A tour guide named Galina Lebedev who was dressed in a white blouse, white straw hat with a cream-colored silk chiffon ribbon, white shoes, and a cream-colored blazer jacket approached them. She responded, “Well it's quite simple really; Bird’s Haven is a nature preserve where you can watch birds. The price of admission is 35 dollars per person as you’ll be going there.” Dmitri said, “You seem awfully calm about all this. We shall battle against the forces of evil and prevail. I hope you are sure about what you're doing.”

Galina told them that after watching the movie “The Birds” she thought bird watching was very dangerous. She assured them, “I studied hard preparing for the day to face evil avian swarms children so I shall be fine.” Annoyed by the serene nature of this woman they had to pay Polly and Ann called Team TKT. They explained to them that they needed money to go to a bird-watching park. When asked why Polly told them, “Um we have to pay a tour lady and fight evil flying Pop Bots while engaging the VCG Trial of Love based there in order to neutralize the Love Nest at that location.” Tenchi replied, “…. Right, well okay kids don’t let your guard down in there.” Team TKT added the charge to their ACME expense account and Team Splash could go into Make Out Point #4.

Galina drove them into Bird’s Haven and the Pop Bots immediately charged at their car. Team Splash proceeded to fight the Pop Bots while Galina unfazed by all the action, proceeded to give the bird watching tour as normal. As she was a true professional she also included the Pop Bots and the Trial of Love in her tour. Galina mentioned, “Okay children look over there! It’s a wild white gyrfalcon, the symbol of Russian statehood!” The children were of course preoccupied holding off the flocks of Pop Bots occasionally descending to attack with their talon attachments. This did not deter Galina however as she told them over 3000 bird species come to Bird’s Haven during migratory months.

Galina standing in locations that were never attacked observed the Pop Bots' actions and began speaking about them as well saying, “Listen well children the flying Pop Bot is a vicious one indeed. Using their wings to fly they can suddenly swoop down upon you using their talons as their main form of aerial assault!” Ann yelled, “Stop giving aerial commentary! We’re trying to beat them not take their pictures!” But it was for the best Galina’s assessment of their foes was spot on and once they reached the Love Nest their Trial of Love appeared from the sky. A giant bird robot called, the Love Song. Galina knew then that this would be her greatest birdwatching test yet.

Team Splash decided surrounding Love Song was the best strategy and as the battle started it began flapping its wings generating strong gusts of wind making it hard to move. The eggs it laid hatched releasing more Pop Bots as well keeping Team Splash on their toes. Galina gave information about nightingales informing them, “Now children be aware that the common Rufous Nightingale is best known for their powerful poetic singing ability…” As Galina spoke Team Splash continued to battle the enemies and suddenly the Love Song unleashed a powerful sonic blast. “It is a small passerine bird and was once considered a member of the Thrush family but is now generally considered to be a Muscicapidae a part of the terrestrial species called chats!...” the sonic blast left a trail in the ground as it traveled over it Nicolai managed to dodge in time as Dmitri came in covering him by firing his minigun at the Love Song’s wings.

“Nightingale comes from two words darlings; “night” and the Old English “Galan” which means “to sing”. And while pink and mechanical I can see it is clearly modeled after the eastern Nightingale subspecies…” Needless to say the kids had their hands full attacking Love Song and its guards while avoiding its sonic blasts and feather darts as it flew overhead. But with teamwork, Galina’s information, and strategy they finally brought the bird crashing down. As it sparked and exploded Galina calmly walked, and the kids ran to safety. All the annoying and obtrusive VCG propaganda changed to Team Splash… and Galina. Polly surprised by this yelled, “Hey! Why did almost all the propaganda change to Galina!? And statues of her even appeared! All we got so far was posters and cardboard cutouts!” Ann thinking replied, “I think it's because she has a strong connection to this place.”

Polly undeterred shot back, “We did all the fighting! All she did was give us a park tour!” Ann told Polly to let it go and be happy that they had beaten the boss and met their new friend Galina. Sachi and Candy were finalizing their counter plan to attack the KDS and most notably Team Splash. While questions about their leadership started to be asked by reporters, Sachi’s plan was taking hold at VILE. As the public opinion percentage fell fans of the VCG needed to look for excuses and they soon decided to target Patty. She wasn’t helping them stop ACME and that wasn’t fair they started to say. A very scary new member of the VILE kid ranks openly accused Patty of wanting to see VCG fail. He had pale freckled white skin, dark red hair, pointy ears, and yellow eyes. He wore copper-colored hand-stitched leather pants and vest over a green shirt above which dangled a white gold chain with a platinum fairy.

He led the kids in VILE growing unrest in Carmen’s absence and Patty’s apparent “temporary leader” status. This was mostly ignored by the grownups of course as everyone knew there was no leader but Carmen. And saw this as no more of an excuse to say the kids were slacking off during a crisis. But as Patty had yet to complete her heist, her planning phase required assistance from willing volunteers, which in Patty’s case were many indeed. Soon almost all the kids felt that Patty was to blame for Sachi and Candy’s failures. They stated that “The Child Thief” Peter was their temporary leader until Carmen came back. Lars Vegas having heard enough told them to scram pronto adding, “We have enough problems right now brats! Stay outta sight or no dessert!” Of course, Lars was going to take their desserts anyway but this Peter kid gave him an actual excuse to do so.

Patty wanted to know more about this Peter and went to speak to him. She asked where he came from and he simply responded, “I came from whence I came balan.” Patty noted there was something creepy about him, unsettling even. Patty said, “I’ll have to tell you I will not tolerate any funny stuff, Mr. Peter.” As Patty turned to leave Peter smiled and replied, “People don’t find what I do funny Pacifica.” Patty left the room and asked the children about him. They said he came from a magical place and the Lady gives him his power. Patty decided to keep an eye on Peter from this point on and hoped Carmen would be returning soon.

VCG forces were on full alert as news of the defeat of the Love Song swept through the city. VCG TV could do nothing to fool the people who knew change was in the air. VCG had fallen to 40% and some people started rising against Pop Points across the city. As the KDS celebrated at home base a transmission from VCG came on telling the people Dmitri and Nicolai were false idols and would lead them astray. It continued saying, “He wants you to believe he’s a good boy, but in reality, he’s a power-mad despot thirsty for power! Only the righteous love of the Vile City Girls can stop him! So obey the Vice City Girls! It's great for them, and okay for you!”

The anti-KDS commercials were routine at this point and to further counter the VCG; Splash Radio broadcasted an interview with Galina Lebedev on the Bird’s Haven incident. Sure the majority of the interview was random bird facts but the message was clear, the VCG were the bad girls in the public’s mind. Galina became the “Mother of the rebellion” though Aleksandr commented they all had moms so why her? Catherine said that’s not what it meant and to pay more attention Galina wasn’t an actual mother anyway. Aleksandr remarked, “That’s what I’m saying, how can she be a mother if she isn’t a mother?” Catherine answered, “Because she inspires the people that’s why. And we get to learn about birds too.” While Aleksandr found Galina’s bird talks informative he needed to think of a way to outdo VCG propaganda.

Suddenly it came to him to design a symbol of freedom using a bird motif. It would be one of many stages telling people how much progress they were making. He quickly started drawing up designs focusing on dark blues and reds. Nicolai felt black and white highlights should be added and Dmitri wanted it to represent the cause and the progress that had been made. But Kisa decided it should be happy and cute and ran over to experiment. As the KDS were arguing about the final design Kisa said to herself, “Nope on second thought there should be two birds and they should be friends. There we go!” Kisa had taped the two papers Aleksandr had drawn on together causing the two birds to combine. On seeing it Aleksandr said, “My art has been ruined! What have you done Kisa!?”

On further inspection Aleksandr never one to give up easy followed the star motif on Dmitri’s jacket. He then drew an image that displayed the two birds each making up half of a star. Their heads were turned from each other as were their wings which were held at 45-degree angles. The two birds thus formed a star shape and in the center was a normal star shape based on Dmitri’s jacket. All agreed it was very cool looking like that infamous guy from Seattle. Based on the design Aleksandr painted different stages of the birds overpowering each other representing their fight against the VCG.

Ending in two different final drawings; one of the freedoms of individuals represented by a bird with blue and white feathers wings outstretched above its head; the other of the oppression of the people shown by a vicious red bird with a skull in the center. KDS was motivated to not let the bad outcome happen and make sure the bird of freedom would take flight into the sky. They scanned the images into their computer to counter the VCG propaganda with a message saying, “There is good and evil in everyone, and your actions are all that matter.” People were influenced as the KDS hoped and either they were inspired by the good over evil illustrations or inspired to stop the evil over good ones.

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
Best answers
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
Chapter 35
Polly and Ann asked Galina about Baba Yaga since Team TKT asked them not to play with her yarn. Galina told them she was not nice to children though she had a very lovely chicken house and believed In life and death we give glory. The kids agreed that was quite creepy and Baba Yaga was one scary witch, except Kisa who wanted to hear a story before her nap time. Ann remembering her Porta-Camp MK 4 Tenchi had given her took it out and pushed the button on it commenting on how she couldn’t wait to use this to the raised eyebrow of Polly wondering why she was waiting to use that in the first place. A green mat simulating grass unfurled while in the center a holo campfire started burning as Ann turned off the lights in the room.

Galina tucked Kisa into her bed and said, “Long ago, a young girl went with her mother to pick berries for her father who was hard at work but the forest greeted them with a dark cold silence and the bushes empty. Yet determined to find the berries the child broke free of the mother’s grasp and vanished into the trees. Mother's cries faded fast as the girl ran on over vine, under branch, and into the forest deep…” The air was softened by the scents of her chamomile and apple blossom potpourri as the gentlewoman wove a spell of recollection around the children as she spoke. It’s just a local tale is all my darlings but I want you to listen well. The Porta-Camp was quite well equipped for campfire stories, even ones told inside to help a little one fall asleep. It even created silhouette holograms to visualize things as Galina spoke.

As the girl continued it was as if the leaves had come loose from their branches and closed around her swirling, and swept her into the treetops to be carried away to another part of the forest. She could hear her mother no more and though she cried out she heard no response. Curiously though she was not afraid as in the old days things were a lot gloomier than they were now. She felt she could be there for ages thinking about the world and hearing the wisdom of the trees whispering on the wind. It might have been that the girl didn’t feel at home among people. And now among the forest, she could not falter as those before herself had. They believed the lies told to them and when in the real world could not handle the truth and were trapped in the forest never to return.

The mother and daughter only entered the forest as they had no choice. The bounty of the land was kept from the people by their leaders and only if the people believed what they said would they get all they wanted. The girl's father refused to accept the leader's offer and chose to work hard and face the world, but the people began to shun those who refused their leader's wisdom. Those people were now ignored mostly but they didn’t notice as they were focused on more important things like being self-reliant. This pleased the forest as it loved to take people away as they could no longer even do simple things. The forest was feared by the people as they had to think in order to find their way through it and if they could not, they were lost in it forever.

It was said in this land once anyone could traverse the woods but the people decided those were merely stories. No one they said could possibly go into and out of the forest, they would be surely lost. Yet the mother and girl had always gone into the forest just not as far as the girl had gone. She found there was no obstacle she could not simply jump over or crawl under, and this led her to a house in the forest deep. Fenced in it was and would always turn from the girl as she tried to go round it, for this was the house of Baba Yaga. The girl knew of the witch and how to enter the house for her parents had warned her. But the people had forgotten of her as they no longer valued thinking for themselves and only wanted to hear what their leaders told them.

The girl was no fool and knew not to say the spell that would keep the house still. Once she was done skipping and playing she left the house to go back. An owl who watched her spoke, “Who! My girl you truly are no fool, your parents will surely be proud.” The girl looked to the branches above and saw the wisest of birds. The Owl told her, “Baba Yaga is fear my child and you should be afraid.” The girl replied, I only know caution and it does not know fear and if Baba Yaga is fear then I do not know her either.” The Owl was happy to meet such a wise girl and said to her, “I happen to know where your mother is child and I shall return you to her, though if you should meet Baba Yaga on your travels know she likes diligent girls such as yourself.”

The Owl flew away and as it did the girl was swept away back to her mother strangely when the girl looked down she realized she was holding a basket full of berries and cheeses. The girl remarked it must have been Baba Yaga mother, she likes diligent girls. From that day forward the mother and girl received a basket full of food brought by swan geese every week for the forest is wise and knew what would happen. The people grew jealous of the girl's parents as they were blamed for the food. The leaders had said only those who heeded their words would get food, but the girl and her family received more than anyone who listened to them. And as jealous people tend to do they grew angry and confronted the girl. They demanded to know where the food came from only for the girl to tell them her grandmother Baba Yaga provided it.

She said her grandmother was mean but liked diligent girls and so gave her family baskets of food. Furious and foolish were these people as before they would not dare enter the forest, but driven by their anger and jealousy they would now go in. They would find this Baba Yaga and demand she obey or die. Having forgotten the old ways they cared not of caution and were full of fear of their leaders. Upon hearing of this grandmother the leaders too were enraged as they made it clear no one could be fed without their permission. And so they would sally forth from their castle to lead the people into the forest and see this Baba Yaga.

As no one would be left in the town but the girl and her parents they ordered them to keep watch over the castle and town until their return. And thus away they marched into the forest deep they traveled but they only went a short distance before they came across a house on legs. They had failed even the simplest obstacles in the woods and an Owl who had been watching appeared before them. It told them that this was Baba Yaga’s house and that they should be very afraid. The leaders responded by telling the Owl they would not fear an old woman and would demand she stop feeding exceptional people. The Owl told them it mattered not for they did not know the spell to stop the house from spinning. The leaders smiling did in fact know the spell for they knew things the people did not.

They thought it was a myth but here was the house that turned on its legs so they would say the spell to make it stop. After all, they were many and did not need caution or fear. After chanting the spell the house did indeed stop and they were able to see a woman emerge from the home. The leaders ordered her to stop feeding those they had not considered useful especially her granddaughter. Baba Yaga said, “Oh really? I had no idea my granddaughter had so many enemies. She truly is a wise, diligent, and exceptional girl to frighten so many fools.” Saying these words further angered the crowd of people gathered there as no one who was exceptional or diligent could ever be wise. Only those who did as they were told were to be wise and only for as long as their leaders said they were.

Yet there were those in the crowd that noticed the leaves had surrounded the area around the house almost as if they were alive and watching the meeting. Then people started trying to get through the leaves but to no avail, they were trapped there as the leaves like a pulsating wall pushed them away. The leaders demanded to know what was going on and to be told the way back to town.

This was quite funny to Baba Yaga as they had not realized her fence was made of human bones and what that must imply. The Owl said aloud these were foolish people and had failed all obstacles set before them and so the forest immediately brought them to you. Baba Yaga hearing this responded in a voice that echoed through every leaf and blade of grass in the forest. Let the forest have them then, they are far too foolish for my ovens. Your people were in a time long past were very wise and used their knowledge to banish me once upon a time to these woods. I was tethered here and as long as your kingdom kept the old ways I could not leave. Now that I know you have fallen I shall once again ride my mortar as I did long ago! For you, however, a fate far worse awaits. You shall all remain here as those you left behind inherit your kingdom for when fools venture forth to ruin only the wise that remained are left to rule the land.

And yet here you are ordering me yet your leaders will command the forest to obey and it will not. The forest only serves those who are wise and I only care about ones who are diligent. So I’m afraid if you are neither, the forest will simply devour you as it is not what you think it is. It takes in the foolish and they never come out of it. The Owl is the forest's voice, the trees its bones, and the leaves are its mouth and hands and unlike that sweet child, you have failed his test so good day to you. We shall not meet again. Baba Yaga rose into the sky on her mortar and flew off but the people were not so fortunate. They ran terrified but no matter where they ran the forest was there. And one by one they were swallowed up by the tree leaves which were all around them beneath and above.

As for the girl she was now a princess and with her father the king and her mother the queen. They had inherited the castle and now magic swan geese would deliver bountiful baskets of berries and cheeses to their subjects. They were overjoyed to be free of their old leaders and were happy to be hard working and exceptional people once more. And so they all lived happily ever after. THE END.”

Kisa was sound asleep having heard a very good story and the KDS were very happy to have their minds taken off of their fight against the VCG. Especially Ann and Nicolai who found excuses to get away from the others and go on a friendly outing as they put it. Their destination was Ann’s primary target ever since they arrived in Omsk, the Historical Museum. There she could see antiquities from Siberia without Polly complaining there weren’t enough political documents. Nicolai wanted to see if the exhibits could inspire home to make art as influential as Aleksandr had done. Ann told him not to worry they both were great artists. Though Nicolai preferred if Ann would speak of how great he was on their friendly outing.

One of the main features was the wooly mammoth skeleton and Ann decided to take pictures with her Techo book. On lining up for a shot the scanner detected strange symbols that were carved on the insides of the shoulder blade and entered them in the clues section without Ann noticing. They were indecipherable and were assumed to be left by ancient peoples. But the symbols didn’t match anything in the Techo’s databank. Not that Ann cared at the time she was busy staring at one ancient exhibit after another, while Nicolai sketched away in his sketchbook. Though glancing over and seeing animated pages did make him wish he had well, whatever book Ann had.

He asked her, “I can't take it anymore, what s that book?” Ann having forgotten that it was an amazing invention replied, “Oh this? It's just a computer book our teacher Tenchi made them from his nano Pages. Basically, a bunch of tiny robots builds microcircuitry across a page template, which can be anything pages are made of from different grades of paper to papyrus and even vellum. Tenchi told us he really got into book design because of it and studied all the different ancient ways to make a book. Unsurprisingly those methods are superior to today's “stick pages in cover with glue” method. Anyway once the book is set up the cover has a battery in the spine usually and the pages are either blank or download information and display them on the page you're on. That means technically you don’t have to turn to a page with the actual information written and stay on pages at the center of the book and scroll through the information.”

Ann continued by saying, The the auto-translation function and WiFi data sharing made copying the books quite easy and they were a combination of the old and new. A normal book only has the information it has and computer data can be erased. These books have hard written information along with technology to update them without having to make a new book and if destroyed getting a new copy is easy.” Nicolai asked, “Is that why you keep calling the book a Techo?” Ann said, ”Nope this is a really cool notebook from japan! It's made by Shigesato Itoi I looked him up and he’s amazing! And when he found out about Tenchi’s computer pages he wanted to use them in his notebooks! You can use them for planning but also write, draw, or make scrapbooks and there are a bunch of accessories to go with them too!”

Nicolai saw he had awakened a sleeping dragon artist with that question. And it made him happy to see Ann excited about books and art two things he liked very much. But it's when people are immersed in their surroundings… and each other that they don’t notice when they are being watched. Especially if the mysterious characters don’t wish to be seen. It was three people dressed as the two from Mid Market who had escaped the Peaky Blinders wrath. They watched silently unnoticed making sure they did not understand what they had found on the mammoth bones before leaving just as quietly as they arrived.

Polly and Dmitri were a little more straightforward with their destination choices. Adrenaline Arcade, Atrium-Kino, and Europark mostly for autograph signing and photo-ops were high on their list of fun spots. No need for dusty museums when you can play video games and get free candy from the grateful citizenry. Polly was curious to know why people would ask questions about Galina as if she was supposed to know the answer but it was a fun time nonetheless. Polly as they were leaving said, “The KDS will be victorious and Galina’s answers are on my web page!” The people commented that she was a very wise and diligent girl and to not be out too late with that little lady killer Dmitri. This caused Dmitri to go full red-faced and he shouted, “You know nothing! I have never killed a lady and every time she beat me at a game was because I let her win!”

But random outbursts aside Dmitri had come to see Polly as a capable detective and friend who reminded him of his mom for some reason. Together they planned on taking VCG down so it was a little awkward for him to start receiving messages from the VCG saying how cute he was. Polly was now demanding constant updates on their messages to see what they were saying. Love emojis, generic flirting, and “Your girlfriend is stupid, I’m so much better.” Were the expected posts. This meant the VCG was desperate to divide the KDS a way they could. But they had failed to heed Patty’s warning and now it would be their undoing.

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