Categories > Cartoons > Codename: Kids Next Door

Operation: S.C.O.U.T.S.

by RisanF 0 reviews

The Skunky Scouts' latest cookie batch has been shanghaied by a startling alliance: Candy Pirates and Cheese Ninjas! It's up to the KND to retrieve the gouda goods.

Category: Codename: Kids Next Door - Rating: PG - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Hoagie - Published: 2007-07-10 - Updated: 2008-08-12 - 9922 words - Complete

now loading: kids next door mission

operation: s.c.o.u.t.s.







writing operative: mr. f

copyright commanders: mr. waburton, cartoon network []

Note: This story takes place in the same continuity as my fanfic Operation: T.A.M.I.N.G.. It’s not strictly necessary to read that beforehand, but I do recommend it.






The bright glare of a nighttime campfire burned from a wooded area a little ways from suburbia, far enough so that the roar of cars and vans couldn't be heard. Like a tribal gathering, chanting could be heard coming from the clearing, and young children were holding hands and dancing around the blaze, their childish unity shining from their ovular faces. Each of the five children, all girls, wore a baby-blue scout uniform, a sash with one or more badges, and a hat adorned with a long-tailed skunk hide. Their paraphernalia could be seen scattered all throughout the campsite: a canoe here, a first-aid kit there, and a large stack of candy boxes sitting on a stump just a little ways off.

Mrs. Dixon, den mother of Skunky Scout Troup 177, smiled sunnily at her young charges. Judging from the look on the blond-haired woman's face, it was easy to tell this was one of the favorite pet projects, competing alongside P.T.A. participation, junior-high football heckling, and, um, supervillany. "Alright, scouts, fall in and report!" she said cheerfully, lightly clapping her hands twice. "Let's see those sunny faces of yours!"

The girls separated and unwrapped themselves from their position around the fire, lining up in no particular order. The first girl, a pasty-faced lass with scraggly blond hair, stepped forward and struck a smart salute. "Agatha, reporting in!" she called out in a nasally snort that nevertheless carried a military crispness with it.

The next one, a fire-maned girly girl that greatly admired her bronze streaks, stepped up as Agatha fell back into position. "Mary Bell, reporting in!" she said, a slight giggle permanently etched into her voice box.

The third, a short bespectacled girl of Chinese descent, was up next. "Janet, reporting in,” she recited somewhat shyly, stumbling a bit with her salute.

The next one, a bronze-skinned girl with a certain frostiness about her, was all too ready for roll call. "Clarice, reporting in," she practically barked, her iron gaze piercing even in the cool dusk.

And finally, the last scout, a black girl with twin braids and glasses moved up. "Laura, reporting in!" she cried out, quite possibly the most enthusiastic of the five that had assembled today.

The scoutmaster smiled adoringly at her little dolls, all dressed up and following commands like good children. "Alright then, on to business!" Mrs. Dixon declared, whipping out and opening a three-ringed binder. "The next Skunky Scout canoeing trip with Scout Troops 149 and 162 is coming up in three weeks, and we need to make about $150.00 more to pay for our new canoe. As you all know, our new Skunky Scout Cheesy Drag-A-Longs are truly successful, with their scrumtious combination of chocoate and cream cheese. But now we must work even harder to succeed! Even the best cookies don't sell themselves, you know!"

"Hee hee, that'll be easy," Mary Bell chimed, going up to Laura and putting a hand on her shoulder. "No one can match Laura and her hardball tactics!"

"Y-yeah!" Janet agreed, her quiet voice struggling to make itself heard. "L-Laura's the best!"

"You guys!" Laura beamed, her overbite shining orange in the fire.

"I, too, am impressed with Limpin's ability to move cookies," Clarice said coolly, folding her arms like some Shonen manga character. "Be warned, though, that I will try my best to dethrone you and become the number one scout in 177."

"That's fine!" Laura nodded, her smile not wavering in the slightest. "Number two's a good number too! A really good number!" If anyone here had regular encounters with the Kids Next Door, they would have noticed that her pronunciation of "number" sounded suspiciously like "numbuh," and, also, that her countenance had become somewhat dreamy upon speaking it. It would be no surprise; Laura had recently become friends with one of their operatives after a two-day ordeal, giving her both a friend outside of the Skunky Scouts and a boy to swoon over.

These subtle allusions flew past Agatha, though. "Just as long as your rivalry doesn't interfere with your primary directive of selling our products," she reprimanded in a somewhat bossy voice, adopting a pose oozing with self-assurance.

"Not like your rivalry with the Chipmunk Scout next door ever gets in the way of anything!" Mary Bell said with cheerful sarcasm, breaking formation and hugging Agatha from behind.

"That's different!" the beleaguered scout protested, trying to squirm from her friend's embrace. "We have to stop our rivals at all costs!"

The other four scouts burst into of scores laughter at this, leaving Mrs. Dixon to calm them all. "Okay, okay, settle down..."

{BA-DOOM!} Completely out of the blue, a large explosion rocked the campsite, sending a cloud of dust billowing out from the center. The five scouts and their leader went flying away in all directions; some falling back onto the ground, others hitting their backs on rigid tree trunks. Laura was fortunate enough to land of a soft pile of leaves, so she was the first to recover from the impact. She had the first glimpse of the new arrivals onto the scene, and it was truly a sight to behold...and to fear.

From the depths of the wood, a large sailing ship was trudging through the earth, unceremoniously knocking over trees like an American landscaping crew in a rain forest. Amid a spread of fallen trunks, the ship stood proudly, its sail wafting slightly from atop the tall mast. All along its deck, a motley crew of candy-themed brigands stood at the ready, with candy cane sabers and mouths riddled with cavities. Their leader was the most degenerate of them all, with teeth completely rotted through and a collection of sweets entangled within his red, bushy beard.

"Avast ye mateys!" Stickybeard ordered his crew, holding up high a candy-cane saber. "Pluck the little girlies of all their glorious treasure! And leave not a treat behind!"

As their captain observed from the deck of the Sweet Candy, the pirates poured onto the scouts, sending all that could still run into a panicked frenzy. The scurvy crew immediately started pillaging the small campsite, snatching up any sugary snack they can find.

"Candy Pirates?" Mrs. Dixon said quietly, her face deceptively calm. Then, a moment later, she burst into hysterics. "Why can't you just rob a bank like normal criminals!?" she wailed, large blob-like tears flying from the corners of her eyes.

"Ah, but banks don't stock Skunky Scout Cheese Drag-A-Longs, now do they?" the pirate reminded her with a sly twitch of his finger. "It's a cream cheese confectionery creation that every seafaring sweetster would love to get their mitts on!"

By now, almost all of Scout Troup 177 had been detained in one way or another, ready to be carted off to the cheese mines or wherever. Mary Bell, Janet, and Mrs. Dixon were backed up against a large oak tree, fearing for their lives as three pirates descended upon them. Agatha and Clarice had been tied up for their resistance and were struggling fiercely while being dragged off to the ship. Only Laura was left, facing against the Skunky Scouts van to show her backside to the impending doom that was the pirates.

"What's wrong girl, don't they give you merit badges for taking on guys like us?" one of the more snide pirates snickered, placing a hand on her shoulder in preparation for seizing another captive. And if he had been a mite more observant, he would have seen something very disturbing in Laura's reflection on the van's door. An ugly little frown was distorting her normally cute features, and a piercing, yellow shine was emanating from her eyes. It was too bad, really, for now his fate was one to be sealed.

"RRRRRRRRR!!!" the girl snarled, whipping around with an oversized backfist that sent the pirate screaming off into the distance. Laura's entire body bulked up like a custard puff, giving her an adult-sized frame. Soon, she was the Big Badolescent once again, her first transformation in nearly three weeks. "YOU RUIN SKUNKY SCOUT MEETING!!! YOU PAY!!!" she roared, rushing into the freaked out pirates with swinging fists, aiming to take out as many as she could...which was probably all of them.

"Sugar me gumdrops!" Stickybeard said from his safe place aboard the Sweet Candy, retaining the confidence of those that know they are in no real danger. "It look it be time for Plan B!" He then reached into his coat pockets and pulled out a small pan flute that looked suspiciously like a cheese log with holes in it. He then blew a short, three-note melody through the "woodwind," which carried from the ship all the way to the depths of the wood.

Meanwhile, the Big Badolescent had already disposed of the pirate threat, leaving the grunts dazed and scattered all throughout the campsite. Like a beast on the hunt, she glanced around the premises looking for any other adversary that would dare to interrupt her girl time. Spying Stickybeard sitting pretty aboard the ship, her lips parted once again to reveal her gleaming jaws set for vengeance. She charged at the ship, bent her knees, and launched herself in a flying leap upon the pirate captain...only to be knocked out of the air by three saffron streaks coming from somewhere in the forest.

The Big Badolescent was sent flying back to the campsite, her gigantic girth making an impression in the earth. With glowing eyes and a furious scream, she righted herself and again stomped towards the Sweet Candy and Stickybeard, who was crossing his arms and smiling arrogantly. Again, she found herself foiled by the mysterious yellow swaths, which were darting in from both sides of the woods. Any move she tried was intercepted by these opponents, and now the Badolescent was struggling just to stay afloat in the battle.

The unknown foes were now circling her like a pack of sharks, turning into a golden ring of pure speed. The Big Badolescent screamed and thrashed, but was unable to knock even one of them out of the running. When the streaks had slowed down to resemble human shapes, the monster girl found she had been bound by a multitude of bolas and was now toppling into the ground. With a mouthful of dirt and her electric eyes now muted with concern, she stared helplessly at her conquerors: a group of yellow-garbed ninjas with an arsenal of Japanese weapons and holes in their sashes meant to represent Swiss cheese.

"Ha ha, your wimpy attacks are as good as biting down on a jawbreaker!" Stickybeard crowed, lifting up his head to expose more bushy beard. "For this grand quest, I've enlisted a few landlubber friends from the other side of town, and not even the Big Badolescent can defeat us now!"

"Indeed!" a bold, commanding voice spoke from the open door to the ship's cabin. "And it is all your faults!" The Big Badolecent watched in horror as Cheese Shogun Roquefort emerged from within the ship, looking as fresh as he did before his defeat. "The very idea of making a snack both sweet and cheesy is nothing more than an invitation for both of us, so there was never any hope for you!” the unspoiling villain taunted, his gooey eyes flashing within his samurai helmet. “You were all doomed before this even began!”

“Right ye are, partner!” Stickybeard said, putting an arm around his ally’s shoulder. “We’ll share the booty with those who truly deserve it, and you’ll never stop us!”

“Touching,” Roquefort reminded the other, a small vein popping in his temple.

“Whoops, sorry!” the pirate apologized, putting a hand to the back of his head in embarrassment. Which was a mistake, for now Stickybeard’s glove was now stuck in his lollipop and bubble-gum soaked hair.

As the captain struggled to free his ensnared appendage, the Big Badolescent wearily took in the situation, which had once been so positive. Her fellow scouts at that very moment were being tossed into the brig, yelling in protest as their captors snickered. Her bloated face bore not anger but shame, a deep frustration at being unable to save her troop. There was nothing for her to do but admit defeat and lower her face into the dirt, hiding the battlefield of sorrows from her eyes.






The next morning, at the Treehouse, Kids Next Door operations were going as smoothly as ever. That is, everything was a disorganized mess. It was a lax day as far as adult fighting went, and everybody had shaken off their duties for some good, ol’ fashioned goofing off. Not that every participant in the said goofing was having an equally good time.

“Got your nose! Got your nose!” Numbuh Three squealed, holding up a curious object high above her head.

“Hey!” Numbuh Four protested, his face red with frustration. “I paid three box tops for that ruddy disguise!” The vertically-challenged operative struggled to reach his false moustache, but found he was unable to compete with Numbuh Three’s slightly taller frame, and only got another ‘got your nose!’ for his efforts. He looked to his other agents for assistance, but found they were all occupied with one thing or another. Numbuh Two was busy with a videogame, and Numbuhs One and Five were sprawled on a rug, deep in conversation about One’s rocky love life.

“I’m tellin’ ya, ya gotta put yer foot down with Lizzie,” Numbuh Five was saying to her comrade, gesturing strongly. “Numbuh Five sure wouldn’t hang around to get henpecked all day.”

“You don’t know how it is having a girlfriend, Numbuh Five!” the bald boy insisted. “All that pressure, all that responsibility, it’s tougher then anything the adults throw at us!”

“Man, where does our fearless leader go when Lizzie comes a knockin?’” she sighed “You are’s dat word?”

“Whipped,” supplied Numbuh Two, not bothering to look from the television displaying his game.

“That’s it!” Numbuh Five said, a satisfied smile coming to her face.

“Gotcha!” Numbuh Four shouted out in triumph, seizing his disguise from Numbuh Three’s hand (she let him have it). Stomping away from the giggling girl, the Australian blond grumbled his way to Numbuh Two’s side, plopping down on the large cushion. “Man, I’m glad Mum and Dad didn’t have any girls!” he said almost to himself, putting on his disguise in an act of defiance against Numbuh Three. “Nuthin’ but loony, giggling twits!”

“Aw, girls aren’t so bad, Numbuh Four,” his friend responded, keeping his eyes on the action onscreen. “You just have to get used to them.”

“You would say that,” Numbuh Four shot back, turning towards the round boy with an accusatory look on his face. “You’re friends with that Laura Limpin!”

“Hey, at least I get free Skunky Scout candy,” he said easily, reaching around to grab a handful on the aforementioned goodies from a box on his right side. “This stuff is awesome!” Numbuh Two shoved a wad into his large mouth, crunching loudly and sending small crumbs shooting out the floor. His stuffed face then adopted a look of disappointment, as he returned concentration to the game. “Darn, I missed the E-Tank!”

“Just forget it, mate, you need Item 1 or 2 to get that without dyin’,” Numbuh Four said nonchalantly, falling back on the cushion in exhaustion and defeat. Then, a thought sprung into his mind, and he jolted up with a renewed ire. “But bloody heck, why does RisanF make me sound like a Harry Potter character?!” he demanded angrily, his fists clenched and shaking. Numbuh Two made a motion to reply to this, then decided against it, returning to the game.

{FWOOM!} the door to the Treehouse suddenly flew open, revealing a small braided girl in a scout uniform. “Hoagiiiiiee!” Laura cried out, and started towards Numbuh Two. She took big bounding steps towards the rotund operative, stepping on Numbuh One and Five’s prone forms in the process. “Big trouble, big trouble, BIG TROUBLE!!!” she ended the last ‘big trouble’ in her Big Badolescent voice, grabbing onto Numbuh Two’s shirt and thrusting her face to his.

“Whoa whoa whoa!” the shaken boy stammered, struggling to his bearings. “What’s happening, Laura? What’s going on?” he asked, trying to get his fervored friend to start making sense.

Laura’s words were coming out a mile a minute, and the other KND operatives started gathering around the two of them, curious. Eventually, the scout managed to get out a comprehensible version of the story about the abduction of Skunky Scout Troop 177, and the new union between the Candy Pirates and Cheese Ninjas. “I tried looking for them everywhere, but they’re nowhere to be found!” Laura babbled, her panic increasing once again. “Ya gotta help me, Hoagie!”

“Crud, I can’t believe the Cheese Ninjas and the Candy Pirates would really work together,” Numbuh Four said, overawed. “Ninjas and Pirates don’t ever get along!”

“Where didja hear a crazy thing like dat?” Numbuh Five scowled contemptuously.

“It’s all here in this book,” he responded, handing the girl a small, black paperback. Unconvinced, she took the tiny tome from his hand, and then put on a pair of reading frames from her shirt pocket. She thumbed through it carefully, her eyes shifting back and forth through the text. Then, a disgusted grimace flowed through her face, as if she had just read about the mating habits of lizards.

“’Ninjas are so awesome, and by awesome, I mean totally sweet’?!” Numbuh Five quoted with extreme disdain. “This is jes’ some trash made up by some teenage doofus!” She threw the book at Numbuh Four, who clutched at it like it was made of crystal.

“Regardless, all this does sound like a job for the Kids Next Door,” Numbuh One muttered, putting a hand to his chin in calm, British-style thought. He turned to Laura. “Limpin, can you tell us anything else important concerning Skunky Scout candy?” he questioned.

“Yeah, a lotta orders for Cheesy Drag-A-Longs had been going out to just one house!” the scout answered earnestly, blinking her bespectacled eyes. “It’s the big, white one at the end of Plundering Samurai Trace!”

“Then that’s where we began!” Numbuh One said, slamming his fist into his palm.

“Hold on a moment!” Numbuh Five cried out, grabbing the boy by his sweatshirt and dragging him off to the corner. “Numbuh One, what’re you doin'?” she whispered, when she was sure none of the other agents or Laura could hear them. “You know Laura’s all crazy Badolescent!”

“She’s also a kid, and helping kids from tyrannical adults is what we do best,” Numbuh One responded firmly, keeping his voice a low hiss. “Besides, as long as we have someone around to calm her down, there won’t be any trouble.”

“So you’re going with her to this Plundering Samurai place?” she asked, somewhat impressed by her leader’s devotion to duty.

Numbuh One looked at her as if shot. “Are you kidding?” he exclaimed, loud enough to draw Numbuh Three’s attention briefly. “She’ll beat me up! No no, it’s better that you and Numbuh Two go, since you two are best at keeping her in line. Especially Numbuh Two, what with his new friendship with her and all.”

And then, having successfully delegated the task, he walked back to the rest of the group with his plan. “For someone who hates adults, he sure knows how to pass the buck,” Numbuh Five mumbled, crossing her arms and wagging her head.

“So here’s what we’ll do,” Numbuh One addressed the rest of the group in his leader-tone. “Numbuh Two and Numbuh Five will go with Limpin to the address, and see what they can dig up. Meanwhile, the rest of us will stay here as backup in case of an emergency. Got it?”

“That’s fine,” Numbuh Two nodded nonchalantly, holding his Skunky Scout candy in his hands.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m in,” Numbuh Five said halfheartedly, rejoining the rest of the group with the look of a sweet tooth going to a dentist appointment.

“Yay, yay, I get to go on a magical mystery tour with Hoagie!” Laura cheered, grabbing onto Numbuh Two’s arm and briefly leaning into him. Then, all of a sudden, she was dressed in a Sherlock Holmes outfit, complete with hat and magnifying glass. “Laura Limpin is on the case!” she said, peering shrewdly through the lens. “I’ll be just like Detective Conan!”

“Or Nancy Drew!” Numbuh Three chimed in, popping her head into the conversation.

“Dick Tracy!” Laura added, throwing a fist into the air.

And then the two girls clasped hands and started dancing around, sounding off the names of famous fictional detectives in song. “Hercule Poirot! Eddie Valiant! Encyclopedia Brown!”

As they continued their free-spirited carousing, Numbuh Five frowned. “I still don’t know ‘bout this,” she said warily.

“No use complainin’ now,” Numbuh Two burbled, putting another bunch of cookies into his mouth. “Besides, Laura’s a lot of fun.” He smiled affectionately at Laura, still dancing happily with Numbuh Three. “We’ll have a good time!”






Fifteen minutes later, a trio composed of Numbuh Two, Numbuh Five, and Laura were all walking down an average neighborhood street towards their destination. Numbuh Two, despite not really being the defacto leader, was on point, with Numbuh Five to the left of him and Laura to the right. The setup was partially created from Numbuh Two's relationship with's the girls; he would be the glue that would hold the group together. Numbuh Five, for her part, kept her eye on Laura Limpin from her position beyond the Hoagie buffer, her countenance one part protective and one part suspicious.

Laura was busy yanking at her badge-covered sash, an unreadable expression on her face. There were a variety of shining badges awarded to the scout, such as the Intimidation Badge, and the Bad Cop Interrogation Badge. The one she that was staring at most prominently though was her Friendship Badge, the glimmering metal featuring an engraved smiling stick figure hand in hand with another stick figure. Her blank face was now twisting into a slightly pained grimace, as she traced over the badge with a loving finger.

A hand placed on her shoulder caused Laura to look up, where she found Numbuh Two favoring her with a bold smile. "Don't worry about it," he told her confidently. "We'll find your friends, no sweat! My baby here will see to that!" He patted a cloth wrapped mystery tool slung on his back, the grit behind his words insinuating that it was some kind of concealed weapon.

Laura was almost startled by this burst of enthusiasm, her large eyes blinking behind her large glasses. A moment later, the trepidation vanished from her face, and she beamed. "I know we will!"

"Couldja stop with the knight in shinin' armor stuff?" Numbuh Five ragged on Numbuh Two, scowling frowning disdainfully at him. "You don't even know if you can use that thang!"

"Good cheer is fundamental to good work," the scout said slowly, and then raised her head to glare at Numbuh Five with a comically angry expression on her face.

"Yeah, Numbuh Five, good work and stuff!" said Numbuh Two from behind Laura, displaying an obnoxious, annoying grin.

Numbuh Five balked at this, and folded her arms for a confrontation. "You think you're sooo safe hidin' behind the Badolescent," she mocked, wagging her head sarcasticly. "Jes' wait 'till we gotta keep her big butt from cloggin' up business. Well, Numbuh Five don't care about no Badolescent. I got my eye on you, girl." And with that, she poked a finger right into Laura's nose, making the other girl 'eep' at the intruding digit.

The scout's attention didn't remain on Numbuh Five for long, though, for a white glimmer caught her eye. She slowly turned to the left, and her face lit up. "Oh, it's Plundering Samurai Trace!" she cried out, and nearly knocked Numbuh Five over as she made for the target. "Wait here, wait here!"

Numbuhs Two and Five watched with as the girl bounded up the stairs of a large, Colonial-style house, complete with columns. Jerking like a bobble-head as she stopped in front of the wooden door. Ignoring the doorbell, she slammed her closed fist on the door an abundant number of times. A few moments later, she was greeted by a harsh heavyset woman with hair done up in a hellish array or curlers. "Yeah, whadaya want?"

"Hi, I represent Skunky Scout Troop 177!" Laura immediately launched into her sales pitch, with a sugar-sweet smile that could invoke a trip to the dental hygienist. "Would you like buy some candy to support our funds for a new canoe?"

"Listen, sweetness, I already bought some of that crap from a Chipmunk scout," the woman said gruffly, an ugly twist to her craggy mouth. "Why don't you take your buck-tooth smile to that little neighbor boy across the street."

Laura gaped at the woman with a hurt expression. "You bought cookies from our rival scout group?" she whimpered, her lower lips trembling like a child with a bruise on her knee. Then: "UNACCEPTABLE!!!"

"Wah!!!" The buxom lady croaked out, cowering in the presence of the newly transformed Big Badolescent. "Whatever happened to 'sweetness?'"

"ON VACATION!" the Badolescent roared unsympathetically, blowing back the woman's hair and actually dislodging a curler with sheer wind force.

"...I'll get my checkbook," the woman relented with a nervous smile, quickly turning tail and heading back into the house.

As the prospective buyer disappeared into another section of the house, the Big Badolescent slowly started shrinking, like a creampuff popping in the oven. Then, the reverted Laura Limpin turned back towards the two KND operatives with a beaming smile. "Salesmanship starts when the customer says 'no!'" she declared cheerfully, with pride becoming of a young scout. Then, she quickly bounced into the house, supposively to start the investigation while the woman's attention was occupied.

The other two kids stared after her, then at themselves. Then, they both shrugged in resignation and followed Laura indoors.

The decor of the dwelling was not quite as grand as its lavish exterior might lead one to believe. Though there were picture frames, end tables, and etageres, it was nothing out of the ordinary; just your average suburban knickknacks every homeowner owned. Unfortunately, they crowded enough free space as to make searching the domicile difficult.

"Okey-dokey slokey-pokey!" Laura said from the living room to Numbuh Two's right. "Let's search!" As the boy watched, she put her hands on the frame of her glasses and clicked what was apparently a hidden switch. To Numbuh Two's surprise, an inverted map readout could now be seen flickering on the front of the right lens, obscuring her eye. There was a small blinking blip in the center, and several smaller blips on the edge of the readout.

Though it was obvious what this gadget was for, nevertheless: "What's that?" he asked anyway, leaning in closer for a look.

"Skunky Scouts have special Gopher Digger badges that emit radar!" the girl explained, her eyes twinkling. "Scoutmaster gave me these tracing glasses that help me find them, since I'm the best!"

"Heh heh, so we're just going to take the Detective Conan references to the extreme, right?" Numbuh Two chuckled nervously, sweating off his bewilderment.

"I love Detective Conan!" Laura responded happily, and then started jumping up and down. "Conan, Conan, Conan, Conan!"

"Ah, jes' do your thing, kid, and let's get outta this borin' place," Numbuh Five interjected, casually looking over a painting featuring a bowl of tangerines. "Numbuh Five hates still life."

And so, Numbuh Two and Laura left Numbuh Five to finish the transaction with the woman, and began their search through the house. The young pilot was left mainly to watch as Laura seemed to follow an invisible path through the hallways, periodically turning over a bowl or rearranging the candles in a candelabra. She even spent a few seconds on a high-powered hassock fan, which succeeded only in knocking her skunk-tailed hat off her head. After picking it up, she immediately headed towards the end of a small kitchen, and proceeded out into a rather stylized backyard.

Indeed, this yard was a bit of an antithesis to the rest of the house; it looked a bit like a Greek paradise. There were cupid sculpture placed throughout, and an elaborate arrangement of flowers encircling them like circlets. Medium sized birch trees overlooked the garden, each one almost too perfect looking. And in the center was a small fountain surrounded by white cobblestone, complete with a spitting statue expelling a never-ending stream of water; this actually made Numbuh Two gag a bit.

"Why do adults think that's coo'?" Numbuh Five said, coming up from behind Numbuh Two while sifting through a fat wallet. "It's jes' nasty!"

Laura continued to check her display for the positions of the little blips that represent the rest of her scout troop, walking slowly to the center of the garden towards the fountain. She stopped for a moment, looking at the various Greek embellishment, as if labeling them all as evidence in this detective case. For a moment, she stared into the pristine, swirling waters, watching a muddled version of her face glimmering. She fiddled with her beeping tracer glasses once more, and then erupted with a bright smile. "They're below!"

Numbuh Two walked up to the fountain, rubbing the side of his leathered head. "Below, huh?" he said, absentmindedly fiddling with the stone breast of one of the fat maidens. (it was innocent, really!) "So I guess we're supposed to pull some hidden switch ‘r something?"

"Will you cut that out?!" Numbuh Five shouted, soundly whacking the boy's noggin. "You're becomin' more and like a teenager every moment!"

"Sorry to interrupt, kiddies," a rough voice like cheese grating spoke out from behind them. "But here wouldn't like that."

The gang turned around simultaneously to face the old middle-aged bag once again, along with new friends. Behind the woman was a familiar group of yellow clad agents of darkness, five lanky figures with swiss-cheese sashes flowing and martial-arts weapons shining. It was the Cheese Ninjas, their eyes narrowing in preparation for violence. It was a sight none wished to behold, and Laura promptly hid behind an equally nervous Numbuh Two, her big eyes blinking fearfully.

Numbuh Five was a tad less than cowed. "What, so you're a thief as well as a jerk?" she spat angrily, thrusting her fist in the general direction of the enemy.

"Hey, I get freebies from the cheese mines," the woman said nonchalantly, shrugging. "I only get a teacher's salary. Had to do it."

"Sounds like a jerk t' me!" the girl shot back, folding her hands and glaring at her.

"No problemt, Numbuh Five!" Numbuh Two boasted, finding the bravado in his heart as well as the concealed weapon on his back. "When I'm done with her, she'll be 'jerk pork!'"

Dramatically stepping back with one foot, he prepared to reveal his hidden tool to the world. Alas, Numbuh Two had neglected to account for the raised stone of the fountain behind him, as well as its slightly wet surface. "Whooaa!" The round boy quickly lost his footing and toppled onto his back like a turtle on its shell. "Uhm, this might take a little longer..." he said nervously, looking at Numbuh Five and Laura sheepishly.

The two girls looked down at him, then across at each other, blinking. And that's when the Cheese Ninja's jumped into action.

The group poured upon our hero and heroines like melted mozzarella, bearing swords, nunchaku, and other assorted ninja weapons. Skipping over the fallen boy pilot, they went straight for the girls in some twisted alteration on 'ladies first.' Numbuh Five and Laura were startled, but overall reacted better to the threat than Numbuh Two, turning head over heels in backwards somersaults that carried them from danger. Landing on the ground behind the fountain, the spy and the scout dove left and right, forcing the group of five Cheese Ninjas to split into three and two to contend with them.

By fighter's instinct, Numbuh Five moved into a relatively uncluttered part of the garden, the ninja troop hot on her heads. With her single braid whipping around her head, she turned around and slammed her fist into the stomach of the closest ninja, knocking the wind out of him. Wasting no more time on the fallen foe, she dove at the next one, ducking under his sai and returning the favor with a spinning heel kick. The first ninja was recovering quickly, though, and the young spy soon had her hands full dealing with this triple threat.

Laura, for her part, was frantically running from a onslaught of shuriken, kunai knives, and other assorted ninja paraphernalia. She stared behind her as a barrage of projectiles dented the white wall of the house behind her. Then, she suddenly stopped, her fists clenching and her face grimacing wildly. "Okay, you guys are really starting to make me...ACK!" her anger was cut short as a half dozen throwing stars formed a perimeter around her body, and she was off running again like a panicked woodland creature.

Numbuh Two, recovering from his tumble, watched Laura scurry away from the two ninjas. His gaze then darted back to Numbuh Five, bounding back and forth in a Jeet Kune Do stance. As skilled as she was though, she was loosing ground quickly against her aggressive. "It's not looking so good!" Numbuh Two winced with nervousness, flinching away from the violence.

Suddenly, a screaming Laura jumped atop his head, grappling onto him for dear life. The boy grunted with the added weight, and he craned his neck to look at the frightened, fidgeting girl. "Laura, what're doin'?!" he exclaimed with frantic irritation. "Change into the Big Badolescent!"

"Can't," she squeaked, her dinner-plate eyes distant. "Too scared."

Numbuh Two's eyebrow raised behind his goggles at this oxymoron of a statement. But any further contemplation of this was cut off, courtesy of a ninja chain deliver by one of Laura's pursuers. It wrapped around them and tightened, squeezing the two together like a chicken wrap. With a grunt, both of them toppled onto the grass, with Numbuh Two taking in a sizable mouthful of dirt in the process.

"Ha ha, you stupid brats!" the woman said, standing just outside of the action. "You're better entertainment than trash TV!"

Numbuh Two and Laura looked on helplessly as hope faded before their eyes. Numbuh Five had finally been taken down, with one ninja holding her arms behind her and another shoving her face down in the turf. The woman was chucking viciously as the Cheese ninjas began to bound Numbuh Five just like they had the other two. Soon, all of them were sufficiently tied, with Numbuh Five being gathered up one ninja, and Numbuh Two and Laura attended to by another.

"Get these little punks out of my garden before they mess up my petunias!" she snapped out at the ninjas, pointing her finger to the fountain Laura was examining earlier. The Cheese Ninjas complied, carrying all of them over to the fountain and then fiddling with the arrow of a stone cupid archer. A small click sounded out, and the fountain drained completely in quick rush of piston pumped water. And then slowly, the barren cobblestone bottom of the fountain slid back to reveal a hidden staircase, as if it were a puzzle in a console role-playing game.

In single file, the five Cheese Ninjas proceeded down the staircase with their captives in tow. Numbuhs Two and Five both had miserable, defeated expressions on their face. Laura, still firmly bound to Numbuh Two, glanced around her like a curious squirrel. "Well, at least I get to be in a wrap with Hoagie!" she said cheerfully, leaning her shoulders into Numbuh Two's back.

"Not now, Laura," Numbuh Two groaned, his eyes dull and listless with the weight of another supreme failure.






The shadowy hollows of the cheese mines looked like a political ad for the abolishment of child labor. All throughout the cheddar-filled tunnels and colby-lined caves, kids toiled away for the pirates and ninjas that had overrun them. The camaraderie about the villains was running deep, as they took turns bullying their charges around with the combined threat of candy cane sabers and ninja blades. A couple of ninjas were even engaged in some sort of campfire song, as they partook of fruit and cheese fondue.

Inside a suspended cage hung high above a vat of bubbling cheese, Numbuh Two, Numbuh Five, and Laura Limpin waited with trepidation for their captors to reveal their unsavory fate. Though they were now unbound, they have downcast expressions as they contemplated how they would meet their end; a dip in the cheese, or suffocating from the fumes. The bars of the cage were thick and Badolescent-proof, so no matter of temper tantrums from the young scout would cause them to yield. Things were grim.

Numbuh Five looked silently at the floor of the cage, the bill of her hat shadowing her weary expression. Her breathing was slow as she tried to siphon air from the cheese-smelling air. "Ma'am, Ma'am!" a chirpy voice sounded out from her side, and she felt the smooth cloth of her jersey tug on her arm. "Wuzzup, kid?" Numbuh Five mumbled to Laura, who was blinking at her with her ever-magnified eyes.

"Hey Ma'am, why're you so mean to Hoagie sometimes?" the younger girl asked, trying hard to peer at her cap-concealed face. "He's a really nice boy!"

Numbuh Five sighed, settling down into a slouch against the bars of the cage. "I ain't so bein' mean," she replied wearily, folding her arms against her stomach. "He's jes' a doofus sometimes, and so I gotta rein him to keep him from gettin' into trouble." (Especially since he's got a friend like you now,) she thought privately to herself, as she appraised the scout with a critical eye.

"Nu'uh!" Laura was saying, shaking her head and sending her braid toppling back and forth. "Hoagie's a great super guy, and he's gonna save us all!"

"Like he 'saved us' back at the garden?" Numbuh Five shot back, tilting up her hat to glare at her sharply.

"I can hear everything you're saying, you know,” an irritated male voice muttered from the other side of the cage.

"Don't listen to Ms. Grumpy Pants, Hoagie!" Laura told the boy, sliding over to his side of the cage and placing a hand on his shoulder. "I know you'll coming up with a great plan to protect everyone." She smiled. "We can protect each other, even!"

Numbuh Two smiled weakly for her benefit, and placed a hand over hers. Numbuh Five just watched the motion with a befuddled expression, the corner of her mouth twitching. Then, she resumed her lazy lounging against the cage bars. "Ya really think so, huh girl?" she said to herself, leaning back to stare up at the sloping ceiling of the cage. Then, she slowly turned to look outside the cage at the mines, where their tormentors were making their entrance.

Together with an escort of Cheese Ninjas and Candy Pirates, Stickybeard and Roguefort proceeded to the edge of the boiling pool of cheese. "Well now, looks to me ye be makin’ a fine fondue, lassie!" Stickybeard guffawed, his belly heaving with boisterous mirth. "Just what I've been hankerin' fer!"

"Aw stow it, 'Mr. Krabs!'" Numbuh Five lashed out, gripping the bars of the cage in anger. "Why doncha take the pirate talk back to Bikini Bottom, ya Spongebob Squarepants reject!!"

"Your sharp tongue will be of no avail in breaking through the bars of your cage," Roguefort said coldly, his arms folding in a display of non-repentance. "You fight like the kunoichi, but your days of striking at us adults from the shadows are over." His eye sought to catch Numbuh's Two's attention; the boy was just now walking to the edge of the cage. "It's a shame we won't be handling our feud as men of honor, Numbuh Two" he told him, an honest twinge of regret in his voice. "It seems when we fight again, Enma will have to be our witness."

"I guess it's could be worse," Numbuh Two, surprising unfrazzled despite his imminent gooey demise. "At least I'm not going down alone."

"Yeah!" Laura said, coming up to his side and gripping his arm. "When I'm dancing around in flaming death, I'm glad I have a friend to do it with!"

"Aye, you two be givin' even me a toothache," Stickbeard groaned, putting a hand to his cheek in imagined pain. Then, he straightened up once again. "Lower 'em in!" he shouted.

The two Candy Pirate manning the crank smiled vacuously and nodded, steadily turning the mechanism. In tandem with the straining of pulleys and chains, the cage began to slowly lower into the molten cheese. As Numbuh Two and Laura gripped onto each other in preparation for the big dip, Numbuh Five stared down at the liquid death in awe. "A ruin explorer's death," she tsked. "What Heinie wouldn't give t' see this!"

With the severe grunting of the chains, nobody heard the telltale swish of the projectile until it had already reached the two pirates on the crank. In a burst of white baking powder, the grenade exploded, knocking them away from the mechanism and halted the descent of the cage. The trio struggled to maintain their footing as the cage jostled for a moment, stopping just three feet from the surface of the bubbling cheese. The pirates and ninjas running the mines looked around in confusion, drawing their weapons in preparation for danger.

"Um, what's going on now?" Numbuh Two questioned, abject confusion in his goggle-covered eyes.

"Somebody's bailin' us out, that's what's goin' on!" Numbuh Five barked back. In reality, she was just as confused everyone else, glancing back and forth in search of their rescuers. "Did Numbuh One track us down here or somethin'?"

"No!" Laura said excitedly, as her tracer glasses began to light up with four green radar blips. "It's Scout Troop 177!"

The two operatives looked up towards the high ceiling of the cavern, and gaped at the sight.

Floating down on parachutes constructed from flour bags, the four remaining member of Skunky Scout Troop 177 descended upon the frantic mine lords like death from above. Agatha, Mary Bell, Janet, and Clarice were each armed with baking powder bombs, and the child workers cheered their entrance as they dumped the grenades onto their hapless foes. "It's raining sweetness in the cheese mines, hee hee!" Mary Bell giggled, happily tossing another handful of bombs at the scattering pirates below. "Whoopsies!"

The subsequent detonation floored nearly half-a-dozen of the scouts' enemies, sending them all into a mindless daze. "Arrrg!" Stickybeard growled, covering his face from the blast. "This powder ain't got no sugar in it!" she shouted out loud, gathering the attention of his men. "Get them all and hang 'em by their toes!"

"Guys!" Laura called out to her friends, her beaming smile a light in the darkness. "How'd you get out?!"

"You know as well as I do that Skunky Scouts are masters lock-breakers," Clarice said, a benevolent smile piercing her normally cold demeanor. "Witness the skill that earned me my Escape Artist Badge!"

With a deft flick on the wrist, she flung a baking powder bomb towards the cage. The grenade landed precisely on the lock on the cage's door, blowing it off into the molten cheese. Numbuh Five quickly sprung into action, kicking open the door and jumping onto the mine floor. "Awright, Numbuh Five's back in business!" she said, pounding her fist into her palm.

"Yeah!" Numbuh Two said, bouncing out of the cage and subsequently knocking Numbuh Five onto her face. "'Cheese wizz', what a shame for you guys!"

"Isn't he the coolest?!" Laura gushed, smiling down at the older girl.

"Whatevuh..." Numbuh Five mumbled, spitting out a pebble that had found its way onto her tongue.

Laura's smile maintained, and she turned her attention back to the action. The four Skunky Scouts had landed, and we're setting about combating the combined menace of the Candy Pirates and Cheese Ninjas. The child miners were cheering as the plucky quartet laid into the opponents with the impromptu weapons they had pilfered from the mines. "Fighting! Rescue!" Laura was nearly jumping out of her skin with excitement. "!!!"

With a short jump, Laura landed on the mine floor, her black eyes now twinkling gold. "SKUNKY SCOUTS, FORM ATTACK PATTERN 'NZ!'" she roared in her Badolescent tone. "NOW!!!"

"R-Right!" Janet squeaked, running towards her fellow scout with Mary Bell in tow.

"Ready and willing!" Agatha cried, traveling to Laura's side along with Clarice.

Laura remained immobile with stout posture, her eyebrows furrowing up harshly. In a scene reminiscent of an anime transformation sequence, crimson bolts of electricity began to pour into her small, buckling frame. Meanwhile, the other four scouts all jumped in the air above her and somehow hovered in place. Now glowing with red energy as well, they stacked up onto each other like a group of champion cheerleaders, with Mary Bell on top and Clarice on bottom.

The red energy engulfed the quartet completely; they appeared only as a motley glowing blob now. Slowly, that blob began to morph and stretch, like a piece of silly putty. When the glow had dissipated, a shining red halberd floated in place of the four scouts: the legendary weapon known only as Scout's Honor. That halberd resumed obeying the law of gravity, and it fell right into the outstretched palm of the Big Badolescent, who accepted the weapon with a vindictive sneer. "LET'S ROCK!!!"

With footfalls loud enough to wake the dead, the Big Badolescent bore down on her shivering enemies, pole-arm firmly in hand. Screaming like the devil, she brought the weapon down in a tremendous swing, knocking back her aggressors. There was no need for the sharp ax blade to pierce their flesh; the shockwave was enough to send a load of pirates and ninjas careening into the hard cave walls. She quickly followed up her attack with a whirlwind of spinning half-moon strikes, knocking enough heads to make Lu Bu green with envy.

Numbuh Five grit her teeth in anticipation, and dove into the fray with a flying kick that knocked a Cheese Ninja backwards. Moving on along, she jumped towards one of the shorter Candy Pirates and performed a handspring off his head, knocking him flat in the process. As she fought, she quickly found herself at the side of the brawling Badolescent, and the two of them moved into a rhythm that allowed them to take care of baddies quickly. With the Badolescent's raw strength backing Numbuh Five's martial skill, they worked together to thin the enemy ranks as the allies they never knew they were.

One of the Candy Pirates managed to scuttle away from the melee, his breathing short and fast. He quickly searched the mine chamber in a panic, looking for anything that would give him an edge in turning the tide of the battle. His eyes fell upon a small parcel-like object; it was the mysterious weapon that the Cheese Ninja had confiscated from Numbuh Two. But just as he was about to lay his grubby mitts upon it, a hand landed hard on his shoulder, turning him around like a soldier in 'about face'.

"I believe that's mine, thanks!' Numbuh Two proclaimed, punching the pirate in the jaw. The force of the blow sent him spinning away to later crumple in a heap on the dusty floor of the mine. Numbuh Two smiled arrogantly at his handiwork, and picked up his package. "Now to find Roguefort..." he said to himself, clutching the package tightly. "...wait, where is that guy?"

Confusion overtaking his pudgy features, Numbuh Two peered through the fierce battle in search of his mortal enemy. The Big Badolescent and Numbuh Five could easily be seen battling the combined force of ninjas and pirates, and there was Stickybeard, still shouting out orders to those that would obey him, but where was Roguefort. Then, he saw him, running across a length of elevated track used for mine carts. Obviously cowed by the Badolescents immense strength, the shogun leader was getting out while the getting was good.

"That wuss!" Numbuh Two snarled, a sour look on his face. After taking a brief moment to think thing through, he quickly slung the package onto his back and headed into the brutal brawl.

The Badolescent was a fearsome sight to behold, her Scout's Honor knocking around her adversaries like a flipper smacking pinballs. Nevertheless, Numbuh Two maneuvered through the throngs of falling foes to garner the beast's attention. "Laura, the boss man's gettin' away!" he said, once her demon-like head had turned to face him. "Give me a boost, will ya?"

The Big Badolescent's face remained taut with anger as she stared at Numbuh Two, who was beginning to wonder if he had come at a bad time. Then, her mouth yielded forth a small smile, like the kind of smile an anime badass might give to encourage his teammates.

Now far from the battle, Roguefort was making good his escape, having already reached the sunlit tunnel leading out into the open air. He grinned a cheesy grin, placing a hand on his hip as he looked. "Sayonara, Numbuh Two..." he hissed, turning once more to the exit.

"Don't say 'goodbye' just yet!" a young voice sounded out from the distance, calling out the shogun's accountability.

Roguefort's head snapped to look down at the battle scene to find Numbuh Two, who had broken away from the center of combat along with the Big Badolescent. The pilot boy was now perched longways in the Badolescent's hands, the beast obviously preparing to launch him like a missile. "MEDICINE BALL THROW!!!" she roared, sending the boy flying in an absurd arc toward the mine cart track. The boy tossed and turned in midair before landing smoothly on the mine track, ready for action and ready for Roguefort.

"You..." the shogun growled, his body tensing upon sight of the round KND operative.

"Sooo, Roguefort, thought you could slip away like string cheese, did ya?" Numbuh Two taunted, falling into a fighting stance and fingering the package on his back. "Well, you'll find I'm harder to get rid of than you think!" With one hide, he untied the string that held the parcel together. "It's time to settle this stupid thing!" he cried, the wrapping falling away behind him, revealing a strange blue and yellow object. A second later, he whipped the weapon out into full view; a toy light-up sword with a wide crossguard and a bright glowing blade.


kids next door 2x4 technology: l.i.t.e.s.w.o.r.d.











Cheese Shogun Roguefort was alight with a confidant wrath. "Then, with your new blade, will you do battle?" he said, fingering the hilt of his katana. "I assure you, it will not end as comically as last time."

"Stop talkin' and let's go already!" Numbuh Two snapped, bringing up his plastic sword for combat.

It was Numbuh Two that struck first, demonstrating his aptly named weapon's abilities by sending out a flurry of crescent-shaped energy waves with his furious swings. Roguefort was ready for anything though, and disperse the first round of attacks with a quick Battojutsu sword draw. Unsheathed, his katana was revealed to be slightly broader than the traditional samurai blade, quite adequate for defense against Numbuh Two's numerous attacks. Though the crescent waves kept coming, Roguefort was up to the challenge of deflecting them harmlessly away from his person.

"You have become quite the swordsman, young one," the shogun taunted, ducking under a horizontal wave. "Are you adequate on defense as well...?" In a flash, Roguefort was next to Numbuh Two, his katana raised. The startled boy barely had enough time to lift his sword before Roguefort's came crashing down, and the two weapons came together with a clash like a splash cymbal.

For the next phase of the fight, Numbuh Two was backing up considerably from Roguefort's furious assault. His feet struggled to retain balance while traversing the rickety wooden boards of the mine cart track, his hands rapidly manipulating the L.I.T.E.S.W.O.R.D. to defend against the blows. Roguefort jerked forward with a particularly hard-hitting swing, and Numbuh Two's arms strained against the applied force of his opponent. "Are you such a coward, Numbuh Two, than you stop attacking as soon as your opponent gets tough?" he growled, his spit falling against the boy's face.

"Heh, you don't get to be a Kids Next Door operative by being a coward," Numbuh Two responded, his grimace more of a grin at this point. "We may wimp out sometimes, but we're always be back to fight again!"

He pushed forward, pressing Roguefort's katana away a bit. "I'm Numbuh Two of the Kids Next Door!" he told him, showing a toothy grin that had bitten down on many a jawbreaker.

Then, he pulled his L.I.T.E.S.W.O.R.D. away, causing Roguefort to lose balance. "And you...are just a bad joke!" he finished, casually pushing on the front of the shogun's helmet, and sending him toppling off the track like a marble on a broken pathway.

Roguefort hollered in outrage as he fell into a tall pile of cream cheese, his katana getting hopelessly lost in the milky white goo. The dairy product cushioned his fall, but upon looking at the situation, he found it was far from cushy. All his Cheese Ninjas had been dealt with, along with Stickybeard's Candy Pirates. And standing atop the prone figure of Stickybeard himself was Numbuh Five and one Laura Limpin, who was absently tapping the blunt end of her halberd against the captain's stomach, like a trick-or-treater bored with her Halloween costume's accessory.

Roguefort moaned, rubbing the side of his head. "I knew nothing good would come of teaming up with pirates, what with their lasers and everything," he growled, glaring at Stickybeard's group with derision.

"The same goes for me!" Stickybeard shot back. "I never should've agreed to work with ninjas! They be kickin' our mothers right in the face without even thinkin' twice!"

Laura looked back and forth between the two as they continued their vehement exchange, then up at Numbuh Two on the mine cart track. "Down here, Hoagie!" she cried, waving her left hand frantically. "Down here!"

"Comin' right at ’cha, Laura!" he called, swiftly coasting down to ground level on a mine cart he had found a ways up.

When Numbuh Two reached the end of the track, Laura squealed and ran towards him, dropping Scout's Honor in a flash. The pilot barely had time to drop his L.I.T.E.S.W.O.R.D. in order to accept the girl into his arms. "Horray, Hoagie's a hero again!" she cooed, pressing her cheek against his chest as he bashfully hugged her back. "Hoagie's my hero!"

"Aw, mushy stuff!" one of the child workers complained, sticking out his tongue in disgust. "That's such a waste of time!

"Bah, shaddap," Numbuh Five snapped, coming up from behind with a sound whack upside the head. "It's cute."






All things considered, the wrap-up was quick and efficient, considering the Kids Next Door's reputation for dawdling around. Sector V had arrived and were currently escorting all the captive miners back to their homes...and escorting their enemies to their maximum security holding cells in the Antarctica base. The other four Skunky Scouts and Mrs. Dixon mostly kept out of the way, content to enjoy their recently acquired freedom. They just bothered Numbuh Four a lot.

"I think he's cute!" Mary Bell cheered, cuddling close to Numbuh Four's side. "I'll call him 'cuddlybuns!'"

"His cuteness quotient seems quite sufficient," Agatha supposed, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. "But a test may be in order."

"Wally's just a big huggle-bunny!" Numbuh Three sang, amusing herself with the boy's sufferings while she tended to the prisoners. "He says he's not, but I know different!"

"WILL SOMEBODY GET THESE CRUDDY GIRLS OFFA ME?!" Numbuh Four wailed, straining against the combined grip of Mary Bell and Clarice.

"Come now girls, don't fuss over him!" Mrs. Dixon chimed, walking over to the groups and helping the Aussie free himself of the amorous young scouts. "Let him have his person space."

He showed his gratitude by soundly slapping a pair of makeshift handcuffs on Mrs. Dixon's wrists. "Yer goin' off to the clink too, 'Mega Mom!'" Numbuh Four said roughly, pushing her off toward Sector V's plane along with the Candy Pirates and Cheese Ninjas.

"Dagnabbit!" Mrs. Dixon cursed under her breath.

“Don’t complain,” the middle-aged woman from the garden said, now trussed up with what appeared to be jump rope. “If you’re good, the brats letcha watch Lifetime in your cell.”

"So it looks like you handled things all on your own," Numbuh One was saying to Numbuh Five, as he tilted the bridge of his shades further up on his nose. "Did Limpin cause you any trouble?"

Numbuh Five looked over at Laura, who was currently sharing the newly recovered Cheesy Drag-A-Longs with Numbuh Two. "Nah," she said, a reserved smile coasting her lips. "Numbuh Five thinks that girl's actually pretty coo'." A twinkle of pride sparkled within her gaze. "She and Numbuh Two'll...they'll be awright."

Numbuh One’s eyes widened above his shades. “Is that so?” he commented, blinking a few times.

Over to the side, Numbuh Two and Laura were helping themselves to the last remaining Drag-A-Longs in their box. Both their hands landed on the final one, the ensuing stalemate causing a narrowing of eyes and a tightening of facial features. "So, Laura, are you going to take the last of the Cheesy Drag-A-Longs?" Numbuh Two hissed, staring meaningfully into her eyes.

"Uh huh," Laura answered, returning his glare tit for tat.

"It's time for a Xiaolin Showdown!" Numbuh Two and the Big Badolescent declared, a large tamtam sounding off in the background. "Gong Yi Tampai!"

And then the new battle commenced.

end transmission []
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