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9: Who's Got the Power?
9: Who's Got the Power?


For a long while, the Pizza Cats just stood at the computer; they continued standing, even when all the words had disappeared.   "I just don't get it," Guido protested.  "How could ALL of our funding just plain DISAPPEAR?"

"I don't like this," Speedy muttered.  "I don't like this at all."

"And, for that matter, neither does Francine," Guido pointed out.  Their young boss was still holding on to Polly, crying for all she was worth.

Apparently, she had used to think she was worth a lot.  In their eyes, at least, not anymore.  

"I'm going to try to call Lucille," Polly said, letting go of Francine.  She straightened her shoulders, which Fran had been holding on to for the last few minutes.  "Maybe she and Wally can help us out a little."

"Fat chance of that happening," said Aldonza.  "I've already tried to contact her, but the phone line's been disconnected by an outside source."  Her tail twitched nervously; that was quite a feat, considering how long it was.

"Great.  Just great," Speedy hissed.  "First, we can't purchase everything we needed to get.  THEN the phone line is off the hook..."

<Don't say it!> Guido screamed mentally at him.  <Don't say it!>

"What else could go wrong?"

And then, as if in answer to Speedy's question, there was a brief crackling noise, followed by another hiss as the computer monitor turned itself off----and in the space of a few minutes, all the electricity burned itself out.  "You said it," Guido said into the semi-darkness, shaking his head.

"First things first!" Speedy snapped, jolting everyone to attention.  "Grab all the food and put it all in the icebox before the food spoils!"

Aldonza followed that command, dashing downstairs and dragging up the 6 iceboxes they had in case of a power outage, one by one.  The bottom layer of each one was already covered with ice.  For the next 20 minutes, everyone took turns passing the food out of the refrigerator and into the boxes.

"It'll give us a hard time if we ever need to get those cans open," said GB, wiping off perspiration, "but at least the food will be preserved.  Now what?"

"Francine, Polly," Speedy hissed, turning to them, "Do we still have those containers of water from the Y2K 'crisis'?"

"Let me check," Polly answered, rushing downstairs.  An affirmative shout from downstairs confirmed Speedy's hopes that there was still water left to drink.  She came back up.  "NOW what?"

Speedy shook his head.  "I've absolutely no idea."

"Perhaps we could be of assistance," a voice cracked from above them.  From the ceiling, a pair of ceiling tiles fell, followed by 4 shadowy forms---

Aldonza jumped back a foot, barely keeping her paws from being smashed.  "IT'S THE RUDE NOISE!!" she shrieked.  And, with that, she scampered away to hide.

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GB was puzzled, and turned to Speedy.  "What's to be afraid of?  The Rude Noise are helping us, aren't they?"

"Both in direct and indirect ways," said the brash voice of Crow-Magnon, whose real name was Bad Max.  "We had just been finishing a concert over in Oregon when we heard rumors of a huge power outage occuring over here, so we hitched a ride on a passing jet.  This parlor was just one of the last buildings to be hit in a span of 4 hours."

"Well, what do you plan on doing about it?" snapped Francine.

"Calm down, Miss Manx," Ronnie interrupted.  "What exactly we found is that the Animal Legion of Doom is still alive."

The expressions on most of their faces were, in fact, quite amusing.  Speedy, though, was the only one that wasn't surprised.  "Really," he said coldly.  "If Quarter and the others were defeated, then who's plotting against us?"

"It turns out that you missed one," continued Crow-Magnon.  "According to some papers we found, close to two months ago there was an incident at the supermarket.  Your pals the New Yorkers stunned a small tabby cat into unconsciousness.  According to his I.D. card, he was identified as Chaos Kitten.  He worked as a spy for Quarter."

"A small-town spy," Guido snapped.  "No wonder we had nothing to prove his existence!"

"Yeah, no kidding," said Mojo.  "And he also has his renegade cousin working with him."

"Enough about us," said Cannonball.  "We can survive fine.  Question is, how are YOU guys going to survive the next few weeks?"

"We'll think of something," Speedy said.  However, he wasn't feeling very confident when he uttered those words.

Crow-Magnon raised an eyebrow.  "Let's hope so.  Because without you Cats around, life's pretty boring.  Even with heavy-metal, and all...."

"We get the drift, thanks," GB interjected.  "We'll take it from here."  The mysterious twinkle appeared in his eye momentarily.

"Right!" the Rude Noise said in unison.  With that, they disappeared from sight, rising up through the ceiling tiles they were hiding above earlier.

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THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING LITTLE TOKYO ONLINE BANKING.  GOOD DAY.

Chaos Kitten shut down the program for the final time that afternoon.  Felonia Jace stood over his shoulder.  "So, that the last of the money?" she asked.

"You got it, cousin," Chaos Kitten said, a bit excited.  After all this time, all the money from Little Tokyo and the Samurai Pizza Cats had been drained.  "Now we have to send word to Korbi over in New York that we're going to have to move, soon."

Felonia frowned at that---an expression not uncommon with his cousin.  She often frowned if she thought there was something wrong.  "What's on your mind, Felonia?"

Felonia seemed to tremble a little.  "All I can say, Chaos, is that I have a bad feeling about this."

Chaos scoffed.  "Oh, c'mon....you're letting your worries run away with you.  Once we have our attack squadron built up, we can overrun the city.  There's NOTHING to worry about!"

"I wish I was as confident as you," Felonia whispered.  "So, we're leaving?"

"We're leaving."  Chaos pushed in his chair and shut down the main computer, followed seconds later by the generator that powered everything except the elevator that led up to the surface.  "Now, let's get to my bunker over outside the island.  That's where all the money is now.  We need to get our military force built up, and I also have a special robot planned especially for the assault."

Felonia grinned.  "Special robot?  Like the old Gorgonzola robots of old?"

Chaos frowned at that, and for a moment, Felonia thought that she had done something to insult him.  The frown faded away a second later, though, and the yellow tabby slowly let out her breath, relieved, as her cousin turned his head to look at her.  "Not exactly.  The robot's armor is stronger than even the original Ninja Crowbot."  He paused.  "I'd say about 21 times stronger, certainly strong enough to deflect a combined blast from their special Ginzu attacks.  The guy who made the armor didn't tell me a lot about it, but Quarter told me when I first joined that his word was generally reliable."

"Neat."  As they walked into the elevator and started back up to the surface, Felonia took the oppurtunity to stretch her muscles.

Chaos looked at her.  "Something wrong, cuz?"

Felonia shook her head.  "Nothing.  My muscles are just a little sore, that's all."

"You know, you didn't have to help me carry that stuff to the bunker," Chaos said quietly.  "I was capable of handling it myself."

"True, but you wouldn't have got it done any faster," Felonia said in reply.

Chaos Kitten nodded.  "Good point."

At this point, the elevator door opened.  They walked out into the short hallway, and there Chaos excessed the computer for one last time, to see if anyone was wandering the place where the trapdoor was located.  There was no one around, though, so Chaos turned off the computer, walked up the short flight of steps, then pushed open the trapdoor and out into the snow-covered field towards destiny.

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Out in Manhattan, Korbi felt a rush of excitement.  All the funds in the United States Treasury were now in his possession, and now he could finally submit the command to create all the robots and machinery on his list in preparation for the grand fight.  He grabbed the document and headed out into a hallways at a brisk walk, stopping when he noticed the commander of his drone army.

The commander saluted him.  "Yes, Major Korbi?"

Korbi handed him the document.  "Take this document to Shana, and make sure she gets down to the robot factory," he said.  Frowning, he added, "and for the last time, it's MAYOR Korbi."

The commander nodded his head.  "My apologies, sir."  Immediately, he turned on his heels and headed for the elevator.

Korbi headed back into his office and stared out at the city.  The citizens of the city had grown restless and tired of hearing about the money he was taking and the forces he was building up, but with his army in the streets and throughout Manhattan Island, there was no way anyone could stop him now.

He stared out at the sky as a thought occured to him.  Was Chaos Kitten all set to go?  If he wasn't, and Korbi started attacking at the wrong time, all the plans would be for nought.  Korbi's attack needed to get the world's attention, so that Chaos could take Little Tokyo unchallenged.

Making his decision, he headed back to the office and turned on his computer.  Activating his video phone, he decided to call up Chaos Kitten and see how it was going.

He received an answer almost immediately.  "I was just about ready to call you myself," said Chaos.  "It's time to get your forces ready for continental takeover."

"Got it."  Closing the communication, he dialed up his factory overseer.  Taking a deep breath, still thinking about his continental takeover, he spoke.  "This is Korbi.  You may begin production of the attack squadrons."