KnightMysterio's Homepage

A Little Bit About Me
My Interests.
My Thoughts On Life
Site Staff
Fanfiction: The Paladin's Tomes
My Adoptees
Linkage! Woo!
Random Stuff
Contact Information
Security Problems, by Dr.Jonathan Spires


"The Visiting Physician"

Chainsman Institute...
February 14th, 2003
1:00 P.M.
Offices Of Dr.ARNie...

"Well, Dr. Spires, I thank you for coming, and I do agree that Frost's case seems serious. As Mr. Chainsman stated in his e-mail to your office, we'll review her case as soon as possible, as well as your report on the elemental-proof latex-restraint formula. It probably won't be needed, but it's good that you're thinking of your patient's safety."

In the seat in front of ARNie's desk sat a burly young man in his early twenties. His skin was gray, his hair a bright white, and his eyes were bright red. He wore a trenchcoat which failed to conceal his immense body, but despite this one who looked at him wouldn't feel menace from his prescence, as the man's bright demeanor and warm smile made him seem very friendly.

"I'm glad. I'm worried about many of my patients, and think that your Institute is best equipped to handle them."

Dr. ARNie nodded, and looked over nervously at Dr. Spires's companian, a massive entity in a heavy cloak who identified herself as 'The doctor's bodyguard, Justice.' Justice was currently standing near the door, very alert.

Dr. Spires took note of ARNie's nervousness and smiled. "Relax, Doctor. She won't hurt anyone here, she's just conditioned to be watchful."

Nodding, ARNie continued. "Well. Once again I'm glad you decided to patronize our institute. I have to admit, with your history, we were reluctant to do business with you at first, what with your connections to Hydra and Advance Idea Mechanics, as well as your dealings with Mr. Bernstien, Gold Leader's former employer, and your allowing him to use you as an experiment. However, we've come to the conclusion, mainly due to your succesful practice and the methods you use in helping your patients, that you are trustworthy and we can do business with you."

Dr. Spires smiled warmly.

"I thank you. As for the case you presented me earlier," he said, chuckling weakly, "Yes, I do understand why you needed help. However, there may be a solution to Leona's problem. When has she turned into her Riot Of The Blood, mainly?"

ARNie thougt for a moment, "Well, we've had her here a few months, and she usually only changes during a full moon, and then only for two or three days..." Realization was starting to dawn on his face, along with a bit of a smile. Spires noticed this and removed another file from his trenchcoat, marked 'Full Report - Orochi Phenomenon.'

He handed it to Dr. ARNie, who looked through it quickly, mainly focusing on the parts that deal with Leona's history and the Riot Of The Blood. Spires sat back in his chair, smirking slightly. "Sadly, I agree that permanent internment here is the best solution. However, this will be the best thing for her A.) because she'll no longer be at risk from her duties in her old organization, B.) because she can be safely contained during the dangerous period, the full moon, and C.) It will hopefully allow her to at least partially recover from the Riot."

ARNie nodded, looking over the file, which included a full history on Leona and a reccomendation for therapy. "Remarkable. I'm still a little concerned about this final result, this 'Omega' stage..."

"Simple dramatics on the part of Mr. Bernstien, who came up with the term. I can assure you the Orochi entity is contained for several thousand years, so this would be effective, and she'll only go Riot during the full moon. I wouldn't reccommend taking her out of Solitary for a long while, but there is hope for her now. I've read up on your staff and they have the capacity to help her, Tetch, Sebastian and Giru in particular."

ARNie smiled. "Jervis will be glad to hear that. He's been feeling underappreciated lately. As for this report, I'll submit it to Leona's therapist immediately. He'll be glad to know this."

Spires smiled warmly. "Good. As for the growing depression you mentioned in the report, that one's easy. She's LONELY. Allow her visitors, maybe contact her friends in the Ikari Warriors and let them come and talk to her. As long as she remains restrained, and people are kept clear of her during the danger period, she can have people visit her. You could even remove the China Doll and let her talk with them, but only for the visits. She's only truly dangerous to those around her during the full moon."

ARNie slapped himself in the forehead. "Of course. We were considering that, we were just reluctant to admit it because we were afraid of her condition. Sometimes the simplest solutions can escape even the greatest of minds. Dr.Spires, once again, thank you for coming."

ARNie reached over the table and shook Dr. Spires's hand. "It's a shame you don't wish to apply for a staff position. You'd be a big help, with your resources and connections," ARNie said.

Spires smiled warmly, "Thank you, but as I told Mr. Chainsman, I'd prefer to stay with my private practice for now."

ARNie nodded.

Spires grinned wickedly. "Aside from that, the guy writing this fanfiction has no drawing ability whatsoever. Unless you start accepting applications from writers, he and I are going to remain Associates."

ARNie chuckled. "Sad but true. At least for now. Now, let's get back in character and continue with the story."

A White came into the office. "Dr. ARNie? The testing is about to begin."

"Ah. Thank you. I'll escort the doctor out now."

Both Justice and Dr. Spires looked at Dr. ARNie with confusion. ARNie smiled.

"Frost's current guardian, the man you said is named Sub-Zero, has concerns about how well protected she's going to be. Mr. Chainsman's allowed his clan to conduct a security exercise to see how well our systems work. He himself wants to see where Frost will be staying during her therapy, along with the general synopsis of what we'll do for her."

Dr. Spires smirked. "This should be interesting."

Dr. ARNie chuckled, "Yes. But for safety reasons I'm going to have to escort you to a safe area for the time being. If you and Justice would come with me, please?"

"Security Problems"
"Part 1: Never Underestimate A Determined Group Of Ninjas"

Chainsman Institute
Primary Security Offices

Ani and Uni Puma glared at Mr. Grimbor Chainsman as he told them what was going to happen.

"We are considering admitting this patient for therapy," he said, finishing telling the two about Frost, "However, one of the men who recommended her to us has concerns about our security measures. He's talked it over with me, and I have consented to allow his clan one day to test both you and our equipment. I've already briefed the Golds, the GGs, the Sabers, and the Jennys, and they're getting ready as we speak."

Ani frowned at this. "This Sub-Zero guy, what's his clan again?"

"The Lin Kuei. They're a shinobi clan, ninjas. Recently restructred into what Mr.Zero terms as 'a force for good.' He didn't wish to go into details with either myself or Frost's initial therapist, but I'm inclined to believe him. At any rate, his clan is moving towards the outskirts of the facility. The game we've I've planned is this: The Lin Kuei's objective is to complete several tasks I've given them without being caught. These tasks include taking a small item from five different areas of the building. Your job is simply to catch all nine of the ones he brought and deposit them in an empty room so that they can be released later. The game will stop by the end of the day, with Sub-Zero judging the results on who was captured and who wasn't."

Ani nodded. "Sounds simple enough."

Grimbor smirked. "You'd be surprised," was all he said before turning and heading out.

Ani frowned at this, worried now. Uni just chuckled. "C'mon, sis. From everything the doc's said, these are TRAINEES. Not full-fledged ninjas. The Golds have dealt with stronger than them, and so have we. With any luck, the Rovers or Spyders will catch them before we even have to do anything."

"I don't know..."

Outside the Institute...

Nine young women, all clad in skintight black, sleeveless garb, each one wearing a different colored overmantle and facemask, made their way through the forest on the outskirts of the building, moving quietly despite their weapons and gear, leaving the electrified fences they had torn through far behind them, along with the other defenses they had bypassed with relative ease. The leader of the group, wearing an orange overmantle, hushed them as a Spyder passed by.

The device looked over the spot where the ninjas were, sensing a prescense, but saw nothing save a large bush. It moved on.

When the Spyder was a few feet away, the bush simply vanished. The orange-clad woman turned to her nearby comrade, wearing green, and gave her a thumbs up.

"Nice work, Vines," she whispered, her voice almost as quiet as the sound of reading.

Vines nodded. "Thanks, Inferno."

Inferno nodded slightly and gestured towards the institution. "That's our target. We each have to visit three offices and two wings, taking an item from each without getting caught or disturbing the other patients. You've all been briefed on where everything and is?"

The other ninjas nodded.

"Good. Okay. Blades. Crackle. Rox. You three go underground and come up near the pixie box. Watch for Rovers, and be careful. I don't know how well our powers will work inside the building."

Inferno gestured to two of the ninjas, one in silver, one in brown, and the other in sky blue. They nodded, and Blades whipped her arms, forming them into curved, twisting blades. She dived into the ground, spinning, disappearing into the earth. Crackle followed behind moving with astonishing quickness. Rox dove forward, but instead of digging into the ground with her comrades, she seemed to merge with it.

Inferno gestured to Vines and two others, one in yellow, one in red.

"Vines, Screamer, Bodytrap, I want you three to head around to the back and come in through the roof." The three nodded and ran off, vanishing into the shadows. There was a brief explosion, which probably meant they had encountered a Spyder while moving. Inferno paid it no heed. She gestured to her last two comrades, in white and indigo respectively.

"Gust, Illusion, get ready."

Illusion whimpered nervously. Being the least experienced of the group, she also had the least confidence in her powers.

Inferno just chuckled. "Relax. If Sub-Zero-sensai had enough confidence in you to bring with on this mission, then I trust you as well. Now. Create an illusion that we're just three Jennys returning to work."

"O... Okay."

Gust chuckled as her skittish young friend began to concentrate. "Relax. The worst that could happen is that we get wrapped up in latex and dumped somewhere."


"The games have begun, angel. You were right, this is the perfect opportunity," a woman typed on her chat screen.

":) :) :) :) :) Goody goody goody. Are the programs I gave you in place?" came the response.

"Yes they are, lover."

"Good, good. Now the fun can really begin. Just do what I told you and everything will go fine."

"Hee. Yays!" the woman hesitated before typing again, "I'm sorry I couldn't send you anything other than what's public knowledge, angel. Chainsman's security was too tight, and I couldn't risk hacking."

"Aw, s'okay. What I've given you should suffice. Just so long as you have fun, lover. Because that's what it's all about, right? Well, that, and a high body count."

The woman giggled, and typed. "Yeah."

"Have you already begun?"

"Yes. I've already removed the robots from play and stored them in the Vault. With that weird talking sword we got from an intruder last week, even if they find them they may not be able to use them again."

":) :) :) :) Excellent. And the Rovers?"

"My 'special edition' Rover will be activated when I say so. And you wouldn't believe the risks I took. For the longest time I thought either Vega, Sebastian, or Giru were on to me. I got real nervous when Tetch noticed some of his old Control Cards were missing."

"And yet here you are. Everything in place and ready to go on your order."

"Yeah, I guess you're right, angel. The Golds will be easy once the Docs are stashed, Sub-Zero & Dr.Frost will be too busy to notice anything, I have most of the Jennys under control, and the GGs, ninjas, and Pumas are a non-issue. There is one problem, though."

">:( What problem?"

"A doctor from New York visited, wanting to refer some patients of his. He's got some weird powers of his own, plus he has this huge super-mecha as a bodyguard. Think they may be a problem?"

":D HA! On the contrary. I have a wonderful gag in mind. One that will really stick it to those twits you work for. First off, tell me about them both."

The woman typed a brief summary on Justice & Dr. Spires.

"Pft. Dump Justice in the Vault with the other robots. As for the visiting doc, well..."

The woman waited hesitantly for her lover's answer. The man began typing again, detailing what to do with him. The woman laughed shrilly.

"That's brilliant! You're so smart."

"I know. Now go have fun, love. And tell me how it went. I'll be waiting."

The woman signed off. She sighed wistfully, and then giggled shrilly. She opened a new screen and began to type.

On the grounds...
Back of the building...

Love Shocker yawned as she skated through the grounds, a handful of Spyders following her. She didn't mind actually getting out on this mission. The only thing interesting that had happened at the Institute in the past few weeks is that the docs had finally convinced the Delmos to let them actually start Aika's rehab after almost a month and a half in the Punative Ward, and even that passed without any incident, other than repeated requests for home videos of Aika's stay in her Standing Coffin from most of the staff.

Poison Jam, looking utterly ridiculous wearing his lizard hat, skated up to her, followed by even more Spyders.

Love Shocker smirked. "Whazzup? You seen anything?"

Jam yawned, just as bored as Shocker. "Nothin' but these bug-things wanderin' around, and a Rover here and there."

Shocker stretched, wishing something would happen. She and a few others had time off this weekend, and were debating going into town to catch the new Johnny Cage flick.

Then the choppers showed up.

Jam paled. "Oh... My... God..."

Shocker stumbled, frightened out of her mind. "It... It CAN'T BE! The Rokkakkus are in cold storage!!"

The spotlights on the shadowy helicopters turned on, bathing the two of them in light. Panicking, they fired up their jet-skates as the choppers opened fire, taking out the Spyders one by one. They didn't get far, however. They got tangled in a sudden growth of vines that had appeared. Before either of them could react, the vines bound them completely. They struggled desperately, trying to get away. The choppers got ever closer, their guns blazing, the last of the Spyders falling...

Then they all vanished.

"WHAT THE?!" both youngsters shouted. They looked around, and saw that each Spyder either had been hacked in half or had a shuriken embedded in a vital area. Before their astonished eyes, three shadows melted out of the darkness, forming into three human female shapes, each one with a sword, each one wearing black with a different color facemask and overmantle.

The one in yellow chuckled, blowing on her finger like it was a gun barrel. "Still got it."

The one in green shook her head. "You got lucky, Screamer. But your nightmares will only hold off people for so long. Now, c'mon."

Screamer chuckled again, and the three of them moved on, leaving two former street punks to swear at them impotently.

The three of them moved swiftly, taking cover whenever a Spyder passed by, making their way to the back end of the building. The first Rovers passed by, and Vines quickly grew an extremely dense covering for them.

The three Rovers passed by, unable to sense them, thinking them only to be a large bush.

The two tied up GGs, however, were not so lucky.

The ninjas listened to their muffled angry screams for a moment, repressed their giggles, and backed up against the wall of the building. Vines grew ropes up to the back end of the building. They scaled quickly, pausing near the roof.

"Alright. Bodytrap, I want you to go up first, since you're the least vulnerable to energy attacks. Go up there and subdue the two Sabers on the roof, then call for us," Vines said. The red clad ninja nodded, and leaped onto the roof. She removed two bolos from her belt and threw them, confident that they would hold, having been tested on the strongest Shokan in Outworld. She rolled behind an air conditioner, whipping out her sword, and peeked out, shouting "CLEAR!" after a second.

When she didn't hear any further sounds, not even curses from the Sabers who usually hung out on the roof, she blinked and looked out.

The bolos lay harmlessly on the roof, several feet away. No Saber was in site. She pulled out her sword, bracing herself for an attack.

But none came.

"Really, really clear. Transparent even," Bodytrap muttered, confused, as she went to pick up her bolos, stuffing them back in their belt pocket.

Vines and Screamer hopped up onto the roof.

"How... aren't there suppossed to be a couple of those Saber robot things up here?" Screamer asked.

Vines frowned. Then she shook her head. "We'll figure it out later. Let's move." She opened an air duct. She gestured, throwing some seeds down that grew from her fingertips. From the sound of screeching, the seeds encounted and destroyed a Spyder rather quickly. The three jumped down into the vent.

The Front Gate....

The three Jennys walked calmly through the grounds. The Spyders ignored them, moving on to look for intruders. The lead 'Jenny' nodded to the skittish-looking one in the back, who sighed in relief. They kept walking.

Three GGs, Noise Tank, Combo, & Gum skated by, staring at them curiously. The lead Jenny noticed them and muttered 'keep walking.'

The android, Noise Tank frowned. Dr. Chainsman had built a aura scanner into his eyes, and it was registering something 'wrong' with the three Jennys, although they looked normal enough to him. He smacked his head, unsure of what he was seeing.

"Hey yo, Tanka. Wha'cho doin'?" Combo said.

Noise Tank frowned at him. He still hadn't quite gotten used to the group since leaving his old gang for the GGs, but he was starting to like Combo. Even so...

"Dunno. Those Jennys don't look quite right. And this damn aura scanner isn't helping much."

Gum frowned. She casually skated up behind and around them. The Jennys smiled pleasently and waved to her, but Gum couldn't help but notice them start to walk much faster. Gum smirked and skated backwards to Combo and Noise Tank.

"Combo. Turn on DJ Professor K, and turn him up LOUD. I know that Jennys look a lot like each other, but those three are WAY too identical. I got a theory, and I wanna see if it's right. Noise Tank, get ready to call for backup."

Combo looked over at the Jennys and shrugged. He switched his boombox on, turned it to the rogue DJ's station, and turned him up to full volume.

Heavy metal, DJ Professor K's favorite kind of music, blazed at high volume. Almost immediately one of the Jennys looked pained.

"Hold it together..." the lead one said.

Combo, very casually, skated up to them, his music still blaring at full volume. The pained Jenny grabbed her head, whimpering. The third Jenny frowned, and placed a hand on her belt, preparing.

Combo frowned, and got almost up next to them. To his surprise, the Jennys started to flicker, their image becoming blurry. He rubbed his eyes, trying to figure out what was going on.

The lead Jenny cursed. "Damn. Drop the disguise and get ready!" She lashed out, catching Combo in the stomach and sending him skidding away.

The 'Jenny' illusion faded, as three ninjas flickered into view. The orange clad one helped the one in indigo to her feet.

"You okay, Illusion?"

Illusion nodded. "Yeah. Just hard to concentrate with the noise..."

Gust chuckled, hooking her hands in her belt, "Don't worry about it. These guys will have a new problem in a minute."

She concentrated. Her eyes began to glow. The wind started to pick up. And Inferno and Illusion cursed under their breath as they realized what Gust was doing...

Inside the building...

Rox sensed what Gust was doing and wrapped her 'body' around Blades and Crackle, drawing them up through the ground and floor, depositing them in the lobby.

Blades coughed, taken off guard. "Why the hell did you do that?"

"Gust is showing off again," the muscular ninja said, gesturing to an outside window.

Crackle muttered under her breath as she saw a tornado start to form. "She keeps doing that, eventually she'll kill someone, and Sub-Zero sensai will be angry enough to kill her."

Blades frowned, growing claws from her knuckles. "Look alive, people, we got company."

Toniya, Akira, Mai, Cammy, and Tanaka of the Gold Team stood before them.

Crackle snarled, lightning dancing around her fists. Rox popped her neck, cursing herself and clenching her fists.

At that point Inferno and Illusion crashed through a window, landing in between the Golds and Lin Kuei.

Both women groaned. "That's it," Illusion snarled, "I don't care what anyone else thinks, I don't care what Sub-Zero sensei does to me, when this is over, I'm ripping out that egomaniac's spine!"

Crackle shook her head. "We got other problems, people," she said, gesturing to the Golds.

Tanaka, for his part, wasn't impressed. He knew the GGs would be dealt with easily. But now these ninjas would see that they didn't have anything to worry about, that their comrade would be safe.

Aside from that, he'd been DYING for a decent challenge for weeks.

Inferno sneered at Tanaka underneath her mask and rolled to her feet, removing a set of nunchuck's from her belt, forming a ball of flame in her other hand. Illusion rolled behind Blades, drawing her sword.

Tanaka smiled. "Toniya. You're on the blade maiden. Akira, you get the one in indigo. Cammy, you get the sparkler. Mai, take the muscle-girl in brown. The fireball is MINE."

Crackle smiled. "Nice. Thanks for telling us who to get ready for. Lin Kuei, SCATTER!"

Crackle clapped, releasing a blinding flash of light that catches the Golds off guard.


"What's happening!?"


"How'd she do that?!"


"What the hell?!"

When the light cleared, the five ninjas had vanished. Tanaka cursed.

"Gold Team, fan out. Don't let them get away."

The Golds scattered, each one running down a seperate hallway, save for Toniya, who just stood in the center of the lobby, smirking.

"They're gone now. You can come out."

Blades leaped out from behind the Terrarium. Inside, Lillymon and the two faeries watched with interest. Blades chuckled.

Toniya grinned, and bowed to her. "Like we planned a week ago, when my clan scouted this place as a fake tour group?"

Blades bowed back, laughing wickedly. "Last woman standing."

Then they attacked.

"Security Problems"
"Part 2: That's Funny..."

Security Control Room...

"...and so we think we may have reached sort of a reverse breakthrough with Sophitia. She's still hearing the voices, and still believing that they're gods, but she's starting to question them. According to her, her 'gods' seemed to have abandoned her, and she is royally pissed about it. Oh, here we are," Dr. ARNie said, leading Dr. Spires and Justice inside. The two frustrated-looking Pumas were coordinating with everyone in the field. Ani Puma turned to ARNie and saluted weakly.

"How's it going, girls?" ARNie asked.

Ani grinned wanly. "Well, you know how the Big Guy wanted to phase out the model 1 Spyders for the model 2s?"

ARNie blinked, realizing what that meant. "You're kidding me."

Uni barked something to a Jenny, then punched up a Spyder veiwscreen for the Doctors.

The last thing the Spyder saw was a shuriken flying towards it. Then the screen went blank.

The next screen went blank when it made contact with a sword blade.

The NEXT screen went blank when what looked like a plant javelin came in contact with it.

And so on.

ARNie blinked. "These are TRAINEES?"

"That's what I said..." Ani muttered. Uni shot her a murderous look, and turned back to her monitors. On one of them, three Jennys were stalking through a hallway, Beta Sprayers and Tape Buddies at the ready. They aimed them up to the ceiling when several Spyder parts fell out of an air duct, but before any of them could react, three pairs of legs came down, wrapped around their necks, and dragged them into the vents. A few minutes later, three ninjas dropped into the corridor, carrying Beta Sprayers and Tape Buddies.

Uni wrote down a note to contact the Mega City Law Department about getting palm recognition for their equipment.

Dr. ARNie shook his head, smiling. "Have the Rovers been deployed?"

Ani nodded. "In force, but the only thing they've caught is our own troops, who've been tricked or thrown into them. The majority of the Golds are chasing down the ninjas in the lobby. There was a MAJOR elemental disturbance outside that we can only assume was caused by one of the Lin Kuei, but Beat and Gum have rallied the GGs and are engaging her. The Sabers can't be found, for some reason, but we'll look into it later. Bianca, Suniya, & Rie have taken up defense positions where the ninjas are suppossed to go."

Uni laughed. "HAH! Hey, docs! How'd you like to see our first catch?" she said, backing off and pointing to an outside camera.


Gust cursed to herself as she barely dodged a flying tackle from Beat. He recovered instantly and looped around for another run.

~Always knew it would come to this. Just too damned arrogant to admit it...~ she said, running towards the main lobby, leaping over a sliding kick from Gum.

The tornado *WAS* her best technique, but all it did this time was eliminate her help, tire her out from the expenditure of chi, knock out one GG, and temporarily KO the other two. Now she was being attacked by the all of them.

Gasping, she rolled under a spinning kick from Combo. She laughed wildly when she saw how close she was to the front door.

~Almost there...~

Then she fell, her legs suddenly getting entangled in some form of gunk. She fell hard, almost blacking out when she landed face first. She quickly pulled a knife from her belt, looking back to face her attacker.

She noticed two things right off: One, that her feet had been hit by a white, goopy substance that could only be Beta Latex.

The second thing was who her attacker was. A jet-skate & sunglasses wearing Pekinese with a Beta Sprayer mounted on his back.

"I got caught by the DOG!?!?!?" Gust yelled.

Beat chuckled, adjusting his shades as he skated up, drawing his own Beta Sprayer and scritching the dog behind the ears. "Good job, Potts."

Potts barked, wagging his tail. Gust just stared for a few moments, aghast, then lay face down, groaning in frustration. ~Illusion's never gonna let me hear the end of this...~ she thought bitterly.

Gum and Combo skated up to Beat, while the others went around the building to help search for others. Beat chuckled and fired his sprayer, coating Gust in a thin layer of Beta Latex. It clung to her, conforming to the contours of her body, pinning her to the grass.

"Peel her off the ground and dump her in an unused room in the Open Ward. One down, eight to go." Beat said, giving a thumbs up to the Spyder that had been watching the fight.

Security Control Room...

"Not bad for a former band of anarchists, huh?" Dr. ARNie said, smiling proudly.

"Pretty slick, Doctor," Dr. Spires admitted.

Ani and Uni traded high-fives before going back to coordinating the search for the other eight kunoichi.

The two doctors took seats next to the Pumas, watching intently. Justice took her usual preferred place to watch, near the door of the room, ever watchful.

A Jenny came in, a small card in the band of her hat. "Dr. Spires? Mr. Chainsman said he wanted to speak with your bodyguard. In private."

Spires blinked, confused. ARNie frowned. "I didn't hear anything about this."

The Jenny shrugged. "I was just told to bring him. And quickly."

The Pumas traded looks, and nodded. Uni reached for the communicator.

"Excuse me, what are you doing?" the Jenny asked, suddenly nervous.

"I'm just going to contact Mr. Chainsman and confirm this..."

"No, I don't think so," the Jenny said, whipping out an energy weapon and firing before Justice could react. The Pumas and the two doctors screamed as lightning played over their bodies for a moment, before falling unconcious in their chairs.

Justice snarled, whipping off her cloak. She moved with shocking quickness, her tail striking the Jenny in the hand, knocking the weapon away as she grabbed her by the neck, lifting her into the air like a rag doll.

The Jenny gasped, both from fear at the sight of the massive entity's true form, and from the pain of the chokehold, flailing desperately as the two massive energy emitters on Justice's shoulders opened and started to power up. But then the Jenny just smiled.

"Put me down."

Justice's eyes blazed an angry, bright red underneath her visor.

"I think not," Justice snarled, "You attacked your own employers, which is bad enough, but you also attacked one I value greatly. You will pay for your affront."

"I die, they die. It's that simple," the Jenny said.

Justice paused, and looked down. Her other fist clenched tightly.

Several other Jennys, all with cards in their hats, had came in while he was distracted. All of them were armed with revolvers, and all of them were aimed at the unconcious Pumas and physicians.

Justice stared at the Jenny, and sighed. "What do you want me to do?"

The Jenny in her grip smiled. "Put me down and follow me. Do exactly as I tell you and they all remain alive."

Justice dropped her roughly. Undaunted, the Jenny picked herself and motioned for the Gear to follow. She led her to an elevator, which they both got on.

The Jenny hummed to herself as they traveled. The song was "When The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down," a song from an old Daffy Duck cartoon. It grated on Justice's nerves, and she longed to break the insolent girl's neck. But so long as Dr. Spires's life was in her hands, she dare not do anything but obey.

They got off on the basement floor. Justice recognized where they were immediately. To the left was the Cryogenics Room, where various male and non-anthro intruders were stored, and to the right was the Vault.

"Why are we here?" Justice demanded.

The Jenny just giggled. She typed in an access code to the Vault and pulled open the door. Justice felt a brief tingle of energy pass over her as magic permiating the room radiated out. She gestured to Justice, pulling a collar out of her pocket.

"Inside. And then put this on."

"What is it?" Justice asked.

"It's a control collar. One of Tetch's more advanced designs, it can control the mind of anything. Once it's on, it'll keep you from moving any part of your body except for your face."

Justice just glared at her. "What will happen to the doctors?"

"Nothing permanent. If you cooperate," the Jenny said, gesturing inside the Vault.

Justice snarled, and slowly walked inside the Vault. Once she was several feet inside, she snapped the collar around her neck. Almost immediately, the collar kicked in, forcing the Gear's arms to her sides, paralyzing Justice where she stood. The Jenny laughed, and shut the door behind her.

Justice cursed her failure inwardly, but couldn't do anything about it. She decided to bide her time and wait for rescue. Glancing about, she saw several female shapes that she assumed were the Sabers that she had met on the tour of the Institute she and the Doctor took a few weeks ago.

Bloodberry, being the only one facing in her direction, smirked weakly. "They got you too, huh?"

Grimbor Ward...
Several Minutes Later...

The Jenny whistled as she carted the young, dark-haired, straight-jacketed woman past the various rooms. As per routine, she checked on a few patients, moving the dark-haired woman down to one of the group rooms. She smirked at a dazed-looking Gum and Combo as they rolled by, deposting a latex-coated form into one of the rooms. They saluted her briefly and rolled off, presumably to the medlab to recover from being tossed around by a tornado.

The Jenny smiled and took the woman into a room, dumping her roughly onto the padded floor and putting a pair of glasses on her. The woman groaned weakly, and the Jenny laughed.

"Wakey wakey, Doctor ARNie."

The woman looked up weakly, her eyes widening. She tries to say something, but there was a China Ball in her mouth, which reduced anything she said to dull MMPHing sounds.

The Jenny giggled, a wicked grin appearing on her face. "Oh don't worry, Doctor ARNie. You won't be killed. Not yet, anyway. We still have some fun left to have."

The woman, ARNie, looked herself over, a confused look on her face.

The Jenny giggled again, holding up a small handgun. "Junsenkyo Gun. Designed to reverse the gender of whomever it's used on. The Mistress modified it from Catty's design last year. Fun, huh? The Pumas are guys now and should be in the freezer by now, I'm not TELLING what happened to the other guy, and if all goes well, Samson, Ri, Jama, and Sleet should be contained...."

The Jenny's wrist-mounted commlink activated. "This is Doctor Polecat. What's going on? All my team members have been locked in their quarters, and I can't get out of my office now," came a voice.

ARNie, realizing who it was, tried desperately to get her attention, but all she could do with the gag on was 'MMPH!' desperately and crawl towards the Jenny. The mind-controlled Jenny responded by holstering the Junsenkyo Gun and pulling a revolver from out of her pocket. ARNie froze, fear evident in her eyes. The Jenny spoke calmly into her wristcomm. "Everything's fine. The ninjas got into the control room and started locking doors. You okay Dr. Polecat?"

Dr.Polecat was audibly annoyed, "Yeah, but I *DID* have other things I needed to do today."

The Jenny chuckled. "Yeah. Maybe the Big Guy should consider hiring the Lin Kuei on a regular basis as security consultants. Anyway, I'm going to check on the other docs. Be careful."

ARNie heard laughter over the wristcomm. "Yeah, right. Tasha Polecat, over and out."

The Jenny giggled. Then she looked at ARNie, who lay helpless on the floor of the cell, and started to laugh wildly. She squeezed the trigger of the revolver, and ARNie cringed, expecting her end.

Instead of a loud bang, all she heard was more laughter from the Jenny. She looked up, and gasped.

Sticking out of the barrel of the revolver was a large flag with the word "BANG!" on it.

ARNie slumped back onto the floor, confused beyond all measure. The Jenny laughed, and stepped outside, slamming the door shut and sealing it. She was met with several other Jennies, all with mind-control cards.

"How'd it go?" said the Jenny that had just dealt with ARNie.

"Easily. They didn't suspect a thing. Ri & Jama are in a group analysis room, Sleet's in VR, and she's NOT enjoying it very much. Samson gave us the biggest problems, but thank God for Institute tranks. She's in Puppet Therapy. We're teaching her to tap dance," said the leader of the new group.

The Jennys all laughed wildly. ARNie's captor got control of herself. "What about the others? Chainsman? Margrave? Giru? Emma? The Golds? Vega? Sebastian? The ninjas' clan leader, who was gonna show up today?"

Another Jenny answered her. "The Golds will be busy trying to catch the ninjas. Emma's waiting in the Pink Rooms, and if Mr.Chainsman was right about the guy's skill, Sub-Zero's already in the building. We'll lock them in there and turn the power neutralizers up to full. Vega's visiting a friend, Sebastian and Erica are out on a date, Giru's on vacation and we've got a squad waiting for Chainsman & Margrave in their office. And that's everyone the Mistress said would threaten her plans."

ARNie's Jenny nodded. "Okay then. That just leaves the Golds to torment once everyone's been put out of the way. Let's go people! The fun ain't over yet!"

The Jennys all laughed, running away in various directions.

None of them noticed a small, red-headed pixie flutter away.

"Security Problems"
"Part 3: Uneasy Allies"

Someplace with a computer....
Several minutes later...

A controlled Jenny wandered into the room and saluted the figure sitting in darkness.

"Report," the figure barked.

"Almost all the docs are contained. We went to get Ridou, Tetch, & Petruski, but they had been captured already, the group that did it making the whole mess look like a prank. So we're covered on that angle. We're waiting to confirm whether or not Sub-Zero's in the Pink Rooms with Emma before locking them down, and we've already got Margrave." The Jenny giggled shrilly, and said, "We put her in Hydrotherapy. Turns out she's a catgirl."

The figure laughed. "She didn't give you trouble?"

"Nah. Those nanotech tranks are a godsend."

"Indeed. And the guests?"

"Contained, Mistress. As per your orders. They won't know where they are until it's too late."

"Good. Now go. I have one last element to release."

The Jenny nodded, saluted again, and left. The figure chuckled, and turned to the computer screen. She typed in the codes she had hacked, and activated the program she had installed.

In one of the Rover Vats, a white orb slowly emerged from the pool, floating quickly out into the halls...

Second floor of the building...
Thirty minutes later...

Rie yawned, leaning against the wall as she scanned the hallway yet again, looking for signs of the ninjas. She didn't think much of them, since they were admitted trainees, but she was cautious nevertheless. She kept her paste gun and Beta sprayers within easy reach as she paced the hall in front of the therapy rooms.

A door opened, and a ninja clad in black & green stepped out. Surprised, they stared at each other for a moment.

"Aw, CRAP!!" they both said at once, Rie firing her weapons at the same time the ninja slammed the door in her face.

Vines looked about the room, trying to find another way out. She had to seal off the heating vent she came in on to avoid Spyder detection, having lost her Beta Sprayer & Tape Buddy while evading a squad of Rovers, but she HADN'T expected a Gold to be right outside the door!! After a frantic search, she sighed, and put down the folder she had picked up. She concentrated, and seeds appeared in her hands.

Rie kicked open the door and smiled at her. She raised her Beta sprayer and fired, Beta Latex flying towards the kunoichi. At the same time Vines threw the seeds in her hand. As Vines collapsed, coated up to her neck in Beta, the seeds struck Rie's uniform, growing thick, powerful vines that pinned the Gold's arms and legs together, almost covering her body completely.

"What the... HEEEEYYYY!!" Rie screamed as she fell, almost nose to nose with Vines, who had fallen to the floor as she was coated. The two of them stared at each other for a moment, then laughed.

"The name's Rie. Pleasure to meet you."

"I'm called Vines. You can probably guess why."

Pink Rooms...

Emma Frost sighed contentedly as she led Priss Asagiri back into her room, helping her out of the baby stroller and into a more comfortable position.

"You were a good girl today, Prissy. I've very proud of you."

The woman gurgled happily, wiggling her bound-up legs and arms. Emma smiled and patted her on the head, going back out and shutting the door behind her. She turned around to check on her, and smiled. Priss had already curled up and was starting to drift off to sleep.

"Wonderful," Emma said, "This may turn out to be our most successful program yet."

"I truly hope so, Dr. Frost. For your sake, as well as mine."

Emma shivered as she felt a cold chill pass over her, and turned. When she saw Sub-Zero standing behind her, in full uniform, she yipped.

"Greetings," he said.

Emma blinked, confused, "How did you sneak up behind me without me noticing?"

"I am a ninja, madame. One of the most well-trained in the world. One of my skills is an ability to sneak up on known telepaths without being detected," Sub-Zero said, pulling off his mask and idly scratching the slash-scar on his eye. He smiled warmly enough, but looked visibly winded. "But even as talented as I am, it was a challenge to sneak in here, even WITH your personnel going after my girls."

Emma nodded, smirking with a bit of pride over her workplace, when she noticed that Sub-Zero had a Visitor's Badge pinned just above the strange, dragon-design amulet on his chest.

"You had a Visitor's Badge all this time?" she asked, somewhat incredulous.

Sub-Zero nodded, smiling.

"Then why the Hell'd you try to sneak it?"

"I've heard many things about the security systems here, and wanted to see for myself if they were true. Turns out they are," he said, smirking weakly as he pulled a bit of Spyder webbing off of his neck.

Emma grinned playfully. "Well then, Mister... Um..."

"Just call me Sub-Zero. Don't bother with formalities."

Emma smiled, liking this man already. "Well then, Sub-Zero. You said you wanted to see where Frost would be staying in your visitation request?"

Sub-Zero nodded. Emma gestured around the area. "Well, this is it. We'll be using standard Age-Regression Therapy on her, in which we'll use what's called the Rebirth process to regress her mind to a state of infancy. Additionally, we'll be using a specialized control-collar to reduce her bodily functions to infancy level as well."

Sub-Zero frowned. "Reduce..."

"Basically, she'll still have an adult's body, but it'll function like an infant's. Her mind will be in a state on infancy as well. The theory behind this is, no matter what someone grew up to be, they all start out innocent. She'll basically be going through a semi-accelerated 'second childhood,' where we hope to teach her a better set of values, more in tune with what you wish to instill in her. Well... here. Let me show you what she'll be like when the process is completed."

Emma waved Sub-Zero over to another room, and activated the monitor.

"This is Felicia Hardy, who's more popularly known as the Black Cat, a costumed vigilante. She was sort of the pilot program for Age Regression Therapy."

Sub-Zero looked into the room, and smiled, barely able to resist the urge to say 'Awww...'

Inside, a woman with pure white hair and clad in pink Beta Latex with blue stars, sat in the center of her room, kicking a ball with her legs, snice her arms were bound. Sub-Zero recognized the Black Cat, and knew her rep, so he wasn't surprised at the bindings on her arms. As he watched, Felicia bounced the ball lightly off of the walls of her room, giggling each time it rolled back to her. Wanting a better reaction, she kicked the ball harder. Because she still had her adult body's strength for the most part, the ball bounced up and off of the wall, smacking her in the face. Felicia blinked, starting to lean back, and fell over, her legs raising into the air.

She stared at her feet for a moment, then giggled, starting to look for the ball again.

Sub-Zero chuckled as Emma turned off the monitor. "Cute," he said.

Emma nodded, making a mental note to try and discourage that behavior in Felicia the next time she visited. To Sub-Zero, she said, "That's the program we'll be using for her, and the end result once Frost has fully regressed. The 'pacifier' you saw in her mouth was actually a China Ball, which you may have read about in the flier Mr. Chainsman sent to you, fitted with a special attachment. It's mainly for effect. As for the ball, well, we vary the props in the rooms from day to day. Nothing with sharp edges, just stuffed animals, balls, baby strollers, that sort of thing. We leave in whatever they take a liking to."

Sub-Zero nodded. "You said, 'standard' Age-Regression Therapy... There are variants?"

Emma nodded, grinning. "Let me introduce you to Alita and Rydia."

The lights flickered in the hallway. Emma looked up, confused.

A Jenny poked her head into the room. "Don't worry, Doctor Frost. It's been happening all over the building. Probably the big guy's girl's trying to play games," she said, pointing to Sub-Zero, "But we're working on fixing things, don't worry."

The Jenny vanished back out the door. Sub-Zero frowned, clenching the fist that held his mask. "Messing with electronics is something I discourage in my girls. She was lying."

Emma frowned, having gleaned the same thing from a quick scan of the Jenny's mind. "Something is very wrong."

Near the demonstation & testing areas...

Akira ducked as Illusion threw another shuriken at her. ~This was easier than I thought it would be. She's panicking, and she can't maintain her illusions if she's scared!~ she thought, taking her time as the ninja ran away from her, stopping to throw things at her every so often.

Illusion, for her part, was cursing herself at being so afraid. ~Why oh why did Sub-Zero sensei bring me?! I'm not ready for this!~ She dove through the door into the demonstration area...

...and paused.

Floating in the middle of the room was a Rover, but unlike the ones she had seen earlier, it was pure white.

Akira smiled as she caught up with her quarry. She grabbed Illusion's shoulder and was about to shoot her with her Beta Sprayer when she noticed the white Rover as well.

"What the...?!" Akira said.

"Are they supposed to look like that?" Illusion asked.

Akira paled as the Rover started towards them. "No! RUN FOR IT!"

She and Illusion turned to run away...

...but the Rover was much faster.

It collided with them, the two girls sticking to it like flies to flypaper. They struggled desperately, but the ball sucked them both slowly inside. The ball floated there for a moment, making sure that Akira and Illusion were covered completely, and then deposited two Beta Latex wrapped forms on the ground nearby. This wouldn't be a problem except for two major differences from normal Beta.

The first difference was the smiley faces on the latex near Illusion & Akira's heads.

The second difference is that neither girl could BREATH!!

Security Command Center...

Bianca gasped as she ran, terrified of what was following her. Aika, free and with her ultranate activated again, was rampaging through the halls. Cammy and Mai had already been killed, and now Aika was after HER. She ran into the Security Control Center, slamming the door shut behind her.

Trying her best not to cry, she slumped to the floor, only to find it was damp. She looked down, and sneered as she found herself sitting in a puddle of red and black sludge. She tried to get up, but found she was stuck.

"What the heMPH!!!"

Before the Gold could react, the sludge started to wrap itself around her, covering the redhead completely. The sludge rapidly began to take shape, forming a ninja costume with a red overmantle.

Bodytrap laughed as she finished wrapping herself around Bianca and taking control of her mind. "Hah. Works every time," she laughed, getting up and high-fiving Screamer as she came down the hall, the Aika phantom having long since vanished.

Screamer chuckled. "Beautiful, babe. My nightmares set them up, your symbiotic body brings them down!"

"An unstoppable team, we are. Now let's see how the others are doing..." Bodytrap said, looking through Bianca's mind for the access codes to the Institutes Spyder network. She laughed when Bianca realized that she had been tricked, and started to 'express her opinion on the matter,' unable to do anything since Bodytrap had full control of her body.

Screamer removed her mask, running a hand through her short, red hair. She relaxed in a chair, and asked, "How's the Gold taking, now that she's realized we suckered her?"

"She's inventing new phrases for the four-letter dictionary. Let's leave it at that. Now hush.... Here we go," Bodytrap said, sitting down at a console and starting to type, looking specifically for the locations of the remaining Golds and her clanmates. Several images came up.

In one, Blades and Toniya were dueling like this was a battle they had been waiting for for a long time. They seemed to be dead even, neither one having inflicted a wound yet.

In another, it showed Vines and Rie, both captured, making pleasant conversation.

Another showed Gust in a patient room, sulking.

Another showed Crackle firing a barrage of lightning bolts at Cammy, who had been joined by Suniya and was trading shots with her.

Another showed Mai being dragged underground by Rox.

Another showed Sub-Zero and Dr.Frost in the Pink Rooms, flirting mildly with one another as they fiddled with a door, which didn't seem to want to open.

Bodytrap frowned under her mask, and kept looking.

Another showed Inferno on the run from Tanaka, who looked like he was having fun.

And another showed Akira and Illusion, trapped in false Beta Latex, looking like they were suffocating as two Jennys looked on, laughing wildly after a bit and leaving. Bianca's mind suddenly went on alert, realizing that this shouldn't be happening.

"Raiden help us..." Bodytrap muttered.

Screamer blinked. "What?"

"LOOK!" Bodytrap said, pointing at the screen. Screamer got up from her chair and looked, seeing Akira and Illusion struggling in the grip of the Beta. "Is that supposed to happen?"

"No. It's not. And if we don't get to them in time, they're both DEAD," Bodytrap said, picking up a commlink.

Near the QuaT area...

Tanaka growled to himself as he chased Inferno through the halls. The little fireball was good, but her body gave off a tremendous amount of heat when agitated. All he had to do was follow the warmth. It was only a matter of time....

He turned a corner, and smiled. Chi started to glow on his hands, preparing for the Dragon's Claw technique, as he approached Inferno, who had run into a corner, with no vents big enough to crawl into.

"Hello there." Tanaka said, smiling.

Inferno whirled around and snarled. "Okay then, I go through you," she said, drawing her ninjato sword, flame wrapping around it.

Tanaka smiled. "Easier said, than done, little one."

But before either of them could take a step, a pixie flew between. "Mister Tanaka! Something strange is going on! Nearly all the docs have been captured by the Jennys!"

Tanaka blinked, and stared at the pixie, an intense look on his face, "You're sure, Melanie?"

Inferno frowned under her mask. ~What's going on?~ she thought, her sword still at the ready.

At that time, Bodytrap, using Bianca's voice, came over the commlink, "Bianca to ANYBODY! Get down to the demo area immediately! Akira and one of the ninjas are in potentially fatal trouble, and the Jennys seem to have gone NUTS!!"

Inferno's eyes went wide, and she glared suspiciously at Tanaka. Tanaka snarled, "This isn't a trick, Lin Kuei. Both of us have comrades in danger. We are the closest, so we can get to them first, but only if we COOPERATE."

Inferno snarled under her mask, then sighed. "A truce, then?"

Tanaka nodded, and spoke into his communicator. "To all remaining Golds and GGs. This is Suichiro Tanaka. We have a Code Red. The security exercise is called off, I repeat, the security exercise is called OFF! To those currently engaged with the ninjas, inform them of what's going on and report to the Demo Arena at ONCE. Repeat, STOP fighting and get to the Demo Arena immediately. The Jennys have been compromised, do NOT trust any of them, and contain any that you see until we can work out who's controlled and who isn't. Tanaka out."

Tanaka turned back to Inferno. "Do you know how to get to the Demonstration Arena?"

Inferno shook her head.

"Then follow me."

A secret place...

A controlled Jenny, frantic, came running into the room.

"Mistress! They're onto us! All the Golds, the GGs, and ninjas have been called to the Demo Arena."

To the Jenny's surprise, her mistress laughed.

"Excellent!! Gather the others and get the special guns ready. We can finish them all in one blow," she said.

Bowing, the Jenny ran out of the room, speaking into her wristcomm.

"Security Problems"
"Part 4: Finale"

A few minutes later...

Tanaka and Inferno came running into the demonstration arena. The white Rover was still there, and charged them immediately. Inferno reacted instinctively, throwing a huge gout of flame at the orb, which fell to the ground with a crash, dissolving quickly.

Tanaka immediately went to one of the wrapped up girls and pulled out his cutter, peeling the latex off of Akira's face. The girl gasped desperately for air, as Tanaka quickly cut through enough of the Latex to allow his teammate to peel the rest off. He then tossed the cutter to Inferno, who, after hearing Tanaka's brief explination on how to use it, cut Illusion free of her cocoon.

Akira coughed weakly as she caught her breath. Her skin was slightly reddened where the phony Beta touched her, and she scratched at her arms briefly.

"You okay, Akira?"

Akira nodded weakly, smiling up at Tanaka, "Yes sir. Just a little out of breath." She giggled briefly.

Tanaka nodded, "You just rest easy. We'll get to the bottom of this." He turned to check on Inferno's clanmate, when Akira suddenly burst out laughing. Tanaka turned back to her, startled. "Akira, what's so funny?"

Akira bit her lip, trying to supress her laughter. "I'm... heh heh.... I'm sorry, sir. Heh heh ha ha ha! It's just tha-haha hahat I can't seem to hehehehehehehehahahaha control..." Akira lost it completely then, and began laughing wildly. Tanaka stared as the girl arched her back, practically screaming laughter.

"What in the..."

"TANAKA! What's happened to them?!" Inferno bellowed. Tanaka turned, only to see her cradling the now maskless Illusion, who was also laughing uncontrollably. Akira reached up and grabbed Tanaka's shirt, tears streaming down her face as she struggled to breath.

"He-help... me... heehee hahahahahaha!" Akira collapsed, clawing at her throat, desperation evident on her face as she laughed.

Tanaka was at a loss... but then he remembered something. He opened a patch on the inside of his belt, removing a syringe of a blueish liquid and injecting it into Akira's arm. Akira continued to laugh for a moment, but then trailed off into a wailing sob as she collapsed, slumping over in Tanaka's arms.

"Inferno!" he shouted. The ninja turned, a panicked expression on her face. Illusion had started coughing along with her hysterical laughing, and her face was turning blue. Judging from Inferno's face, she was at a loss at how to save her clanmate. Tanaka threw her the syringe and said, "Inject her with this! But only use a third of what in there!"

Inferno was curious as to what it was, but the desire to help her friend was stronger than her curiousity. She felt out a vein in Illusion's arm and injected it into her. Illusion slumped over in Inferno's arms, and she set her down gently on the ground. She then whirled on Tanaka, who slowly was getting to his feet, shaking and visibly pale.

"What was that, why did it work, and what HAPPENED to them?!!" she demanded.

Tanaka composed himself and said, "It's my guess that somehow, someone was able to create a Rover laced with a toxin normally used by a madman known as the Joker."

"The WHO?" Inferno had been living with the Lin Kuei at their various hideaways most of her life, and knew little of the outside world.

"The Joker is the living definition of madman, and has one of the highest body counts of any mass-murderer on record. He kills using various pranks turned lethal, and is always looking for the next big gag. I guess this time the joke was on us."

Inferno shook her head, still not understanding. "You're avoiding my question."

"The Joker's favorite killing technique uses a chemical designed to make the victim laugh themselves to death," Tanaka said, rubbing his temples as he tried to work the details out in his head.

"Yeah, but how did you know that the chemical in your belt would work to cure the Joker toxin?"

Tanaka looked up and frowned, a bad thought forming in his mind, "We have a doctor here, who used to work with the Joker. Dr. Harlene Quintana. When she first came to work here, she was so afraid that the Joker would come after her, that we almost considered putting her through therapy first. She had gotten several gallons worth of antidote to the Joker toxin from the local vigilante of that city, called the Batman, and insisted that we all carry a small syringe's worth around."

Inferno underneath her mask, seeing the look on Tanaka's face. "What's wrong?"

"Well... The only way a Rover could have been subverted is by someone who knew how they worked. And since there is only one person here who knows the formula for the Joker toxin..."

Inferno blinked, realizing what Tanaka was getting at. "You think Quintana may have betrayed the Institute? Gone back to the Joker?"

Tanaka nodded, and said, "Yes. There's some things that don't add up, but right now that's the only thing I can think of."

A cold shiver ran up the ninja's spine, as she looked down at her clanmate and Akira, both of whom had smiles affixed on their faces, slowly vanishing as the toxins were purged from their system. Visibly nervous, and not wanting to be in this open area, Inferno turned back to Tanaka and asked, "How long until help gets here?"

"I don't know. The others may be a while, if they encounter controlled Jennys. Until then, we just have to wait and..."

"And have a GRAND old time with me and my friends!" screeched a voice from near the doorway. Tanaka and Inferno whirled, only to see several revolver-toting Jennys. And in front of them all, leading the group, was a lanky, athletic woman in whiteface, wearing a harlequin costume. In her hands was a handgun painted in green, red, and white.

Tanaka's eyes blazed in anger as he recognized the costume. "Doctor Quintana. How *DARE* you do this!?"

The harlequin giggled. "I'm not Quintana, little man, I'm Harley Quinn. And you are going to die with a smile, Goldie-headlocks," she said, firing her handgun. Tanaka instinctively reached up and snatched the bullet out of the air, before remembering what happened last year on Prank Day when someone fired a gun like that at him. Sure enough, Tanaka felt a prick on his hand as the Institute-Issue tranquilizer dart injected him with the chemical inside.

"Tanaka, what..."

"No time to explain! Just get ready to attack!" Tanaka shouted, running towards Harley. From what he knew both of the workings of the Institute tranks, as well as from what Harley said, he knew he had only seconds before the concentrated dose of Joker toxin took effect. Before *ANY* of the controlled Jennys could react, Tanaka had his hands around Harley's throat, preparing to break her neck. The Jennys managed to pry him off and throw him back, but Tanaka was up in a second, getting ready to use his deadliest attack on them.

But by then it was too late. Tanaka collapsed, doubling over as laughter overtook him. Harley grinned, taking aim at Inferno, who stood at the ready. "You're next, girly. Then everyone else with you, and everyone else in this building."

Harley fired. Inferno thrust her hands forward, a ball of flame flying from her hands that burnt the dart out of the air and slammed Harley back into the Jennys. Inferno took this time to run up to Tanaka and inject the last of the anti-toxin into him.

Harley cursed as she picked herself up, the front of her costume smoldering. She pouted. "Well. She's no fun. Probably has no sense of humor, either. Ladies, just shoot her."

Inferno, after making sure Tanaka was all right, drew her sword and whirled just in time to see all of the Jennys take aim with their handguns. She said a silent prayer to Raiden, preparing to take down as many of them as she could before dying.

Then all of the Jennys froze in place.


A wave of cold, so intense it even caused Inferno to shiver, washed into the room. Blue light covered the Jennys for a moment, and then they were all covered in ice. Inferno blinked, confused, and looked into the doorway.

Standing behind the group was Sub-Zero, his hands outstretched, still glowing from firing the freeze wave.

"Sub-Zero sensei..." Inferno's legs suddenly started to feel wobbly. The stress of the day was finally starting to catch up with her, and the relief at seeing her master made her feel weak. She collapsed to her knees, her sword falling out of her hands. Sub-Zero chuckled at her, and went to check on Tanaka, Akira, and Illusion.

Emma walked in soon afterwards. "Everything under control?"

Sub-Zero nodded. "For now, anyway."

Emma nodded, and came in to stare at the ice-covered Jennys. She came to Harley and sighed.

"Oh Harley. I truly thought you were over him," she said sadly. She turned to Sub-Zero and asked, "Would you unfreeze her head and remove her hood? I want to talk with her."

Sub-Zero nodded, and walked back through the frozen Jennys. He came to Harley, who was frozen in the act of laughing, and touched her head, sucking the ice back into his hand.

Emma laughed weakly, looking back over her shoulder at the others. "Are they okay?"

"They'll live. The two Golds and my student need medical attention, but they'll be fine."

"Makes me glad the mystic wards in this place don't work on your powers or that amulet."

He finished freeing Harley's head. The woman groaned, dazed from the freezing, and slumped over. "You and me both, Doc. Now, let's get this thing off of her."

Sub-Zero reached down and pulled the tasseled hood off of Harley's head.

What they saw shocked them. Instead of Harlene Quintana's blonde main, what topped the woman's head was blue, and set in a familiar hairstyle.

"She's a JENNY?!?!"

Almost an hour later...
The Testing Labs...
After all the controlled Jennys had been corralled and freed...

The remaining Golds, Lin Kuei, and GGs watched intently as Dr.Frost probed the rogue's mind. Emma's eyes glowed brightly, an enraged expression on her face as she used the full force of her powers to work through the mad Jenny's mind, Beat and Pirahna holding on to the rogue's arms, even though both her hands and feet were thickly coated with Beta.

Finally, after a tense few minutes, Emma shook her head. "Nothing. I couldn't get anything useful out of her. She's completely insane."

Sub-Zero came up to her and asked, "Would you mind if I tried?"

Emma looked the ninja straight in the eyes, frowning... and looked away. "Fine. But no killing," she said.

Sub-Zero nodded, taking the rogue Jenny from Beat & Pirahna, and gestured for his girls to follow. He led them into a nearby office, covering the glass windows with a thin layer of ice to hide what they were doing.

Several minutes past, and Sub-Zero and his students came out, throwing the rogue on the floor, facedown, her face pale with fear. On the back of her neck, near where her spine met the base of her skull, were five finger-sized puncture wounds. Emma looked at Sub-Zero, who was expressionless underneath his mask.

"What did you do to her?"

Sub-Zero just stared at her, a look that clearly said 'You're better off not knowing.' He handed her a list with several names on it.

"This is where she's hidden most everyone, the REAL Doctor Quintana included. She's still not telling me something, but with your permission, I can work on her some more while you go free them."

Emma nodded, taking the sheet and studying it. She tapped into the minds of the Golds and GGs, letting them see the list through her eyes, before letting them all go off to free their co-workers.

Before leaving, Emma asked, "Anything else?"

Sub-Zero nodded. "Yeah. Free Justice last. And tell ARNie to have that Punasaurus thing I passed on the way in with her when Justice is let loose. Once you tell her that we don't know where Doctor Spires is, she's going to be angry, and she's going after the last person the doc talked to."

Several Minutes Later...
Dr.ARNie's office...

ARNie sighed as she worked the kinks out of her jaw. The China Ball had been stuffed in rather roughly, and her jaws were sore. The Punasaurus 2 lay at her feet, worried about his creator and being as petlike as he knew how to comfort her. ARNie cursed herself inwardly, wondering how this slipped by.

"Where is he?!!?!!"

Justice punched open the door, roaring. Punasaurus 2 was on his feet immediately, brandishing his axe and getting in front of the doctor's desk. Justice growled ferally at Punasaurus 2, her tail whipping about behind her.

"That's enough. Stand down," ARNie said.

Punasaurus 2 looked back at ARNie, then nodded reluctantly, going back to his master's side. Justice growled at the doctor.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't atomize you right here and now if you can't find the Doctor," she demanded.

"Because that's not what you were taught by Doctor Spires, now was it?" ARNie said.

Justice shuddered in rage for a few moments, and then relaxed visibly, although her fists were still tightly clenched. ARNie nodded, sitting forward. He had read Justice's file earlier that day, and knew that the former self-proclaimed 'Gear Messiah' felt a great sense of devotion to Dr.Spires.

Justice sighed heavily. "What, exactly, happened here today?" she asked.

ARNie licked her lips and said, "From what we've been able to gather, one of our Jennys has been in contact with the madman known as the Joker for quite some time now. She was on vacation in Gotham City, when she was assaulted by an entity known as Zirk. Batman, the local vigilante, chased Zirk off, but not before the Jenny was traumatized greatly. She was sent to Arkham Asylum, a piss poor facility if you ask me, and that's where she met the Joker. She apparently was the 'black sheep' of the Jenny clan, having worked for Team Rocket, a criminal group, for a time, and dabbled a little in the occult. During her stay in the asylum, she fell in love with the Joker, who encouraged her to practice her magic abilities. She was released, and did ask Joker asked, practicing her abilities and growing stronger. She came here to work at the Institue when we drafted the Jennys in the micro-continents of Kanto, Johto, and Houen. We didn't think to scan them for psychological problems, since they all seemed to have the same mindset about their work. We know better now, and will check everyone we hire. She had apparently been planning this with the Joker for quite some time, having learned enough about our systems to subvert them and impliment her own programs. She stole several of Jervis Tetch's old mind-control cards, which he kept for sentimental value, and duplicated them, using what Joker knew about them to make more, and planted them in several Jennys' uniforms. From there things started to go downhill. Apparently, the Joker's intention was to kill everyone in the Institute, first, locking the doctors away and killing the Golds, then the Orderies, then the Delmos, then the doctors, then the patients."

Justice shook her head, confused. "Why? And what did he want with me and the doctor?"

ARNie shook her head. She was still having trouble accepting everything that had been gotten out of the rogue Jenny after her interrogation had been completed.

"You, the doctor, and the ninjas were simply targets of convenience. You were there, so you were simply included in the joke. If her plan had succeeded, you and the Sabers would have been left in the Vault forever."

Justice shuddered. The sheer amount of magic in the room had been slowly eating away at her sanity and circuitry, and she didn't want to imagine being in there for that long.

"As for the why, well, apparently it was a Valentine's Day gift. Helping her do this was a way of showing the Jenny, his new sweetie, that he had no more feelings left for his ex-lover, Dr.Quintana, by destroying everything she's done since leaving him, including her patients, her workplace, and, well, us. Her new friends. At the end of the day, apparently he wanted her to be the last to die. And he wanted pictures."

Justice shook her head. "Have you found Jonathan... Dr.Spires yet?"

ARNie shook her head. "No. Despite intensive interrogation on both the parts of the Lin Kuei and Dr.Frost, she still won't give up his location, and the Jennys don't remember anything from being controlled. But we're almost certain he's still on the grounds, so don't worry."

Justice shook her head, and sat down in a nearby guest chair, which creaked under her weight.

"I... I'm sorry about blowing up at you before. It's just..."

"I understand completely, Justice, and believe me, I know how you feel. You just have to trust us when we say that we'll find him. Eventually," ARNie said, pursing her lips and leaning forward.

Justice sat back in the chair, sighing weakly. "Tracking is not in my program, so I have no further use here. I had best go, then."

"All right. But before you do, Doctor Spires had several patients he wanted to transfer here..."

Justice shook her head, getting to her feet. "Just contact our main office in Buffalo. One of our secretaries, Mature or Vice, will know what to do. Also, they have a bit of a wild reputation, so someone not connected with us may refer them to you for commital. Also, in case you had concerns about the doctor's various contacts, we have contingency plans in place in case something like this happened, so don't worry."

ARNie nodded. "Anything else?"

Justice hestiated for a moment, then said, "Yes. How do you plan to reverse your transformation?"

"The gun used to change those captured is mildly magical in nature. Doctor Sebastian knows the counter-spell, it's easy to reverse."

Justice nodded. "All right then. Goodbye, Doctor ARNie. I hope you can find Jonathan soon," he said, walking out the door.

ARNie sighed weakly.

"I hope we can, too."

"Security Problems"

One Months Later...
Breakfast Time...

Emma smiled as Melphina chatted with a Jenny. Asuka, still gagged and still very annoyed-looking, watched them, serving the Jenny a sticky bun. Everything had gone back to relatively normal around the Institute, although there were still searches conducted for the missing physician. Deciding on some mild amusement, Emma scanned all three of their minds.

To the doctor's delight, all three seemed to be doing nicely. Melphina had apparently made many friends during her stay so far, and was excited about seeing them again today. The Jenny was one of the ones who had been controlled, but she seemed to be in good spirits. Preventing the breakout of Sailors Neptune and Uranus brought Jenny morale almost back up to full. And Asuka, to her surprise, was only annoyed about being unable to speak. She had calmed down over the past two years, and had seemingly become friends with Melphina, despite her inability to talk with her.

~Maybe soon we'll be able to take that gag off of her,~ Emma thought. She took a sip of her coffee, sensing a very irritated Ling Ling Hsu coming up from behind, ready to poke her on the shoulder. Emma let her come up, stretch her arm out, but before she touched, she said,

"Poke me and you die, little girl."

Ling Ling yipped. She kept forgetting that Emma was a telepath. After composing herself, she said, "I'd like to know when you're going to go see Janine."

Emma blinked, and said, "Who?" She could have easily probed the nurse's mind to learn the answer, but she was trying to break herself of that habit.

"Janine," Ling Ling said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. When Emma still stared at her blankly, Ling Ling huffed, annoyed. "Janine Towers? One of the new Age-Regression patients? None of you doctors have seen her since she's come in, and we're all starting to get worried. She's crying half of the time, like she's lonely, or very scared. In fact the only time when she doesn't seem frightened is when one of the Joys check on her."

Emma blinked. "Wait a minute. Who is this again?"

Ling Ling huffed, annoyed, and said, "One of the new Age-Regression patients. She was checked in near the end of the rogue Jenny fiasco, listed as a manic-depressive mutant with a traumatic childhood. A pretty young thing, with white hair and red, almost glowing eyes."

Emma frowned, trying to remember. She had only seen the missing doctor once, but she thought she knew what he looked like. She pulled a sheet of paper off of her notebook and wrote down an address, along with a message.

"Contact Mr. Chainsman, and Drs. ARNie & Sebastian, and tell them to get to the medlab at once. You, go fetch this 'Janine' and bring her there. Also," she added, giving the note to Ling Ling, "Find a GG and tell them to get this message to the written down address."

LingLing nodded, confused, "Okay... But why?"

"Remember the doctor that vanished that day?"

Ling Ling nodded, and gasped, starting to realize what Emma was thinking. "Are you sure?"

"Maybe. Just go, now."

Ling Ling nodded and ran off without another word.

Emma shook her head, walking towards the medlab, cursing herself inwardly.

Later On...
In The Medlab...

Grimbor and Emma waited as two Joys wheeled the young woman into the medlab. She was an athletic young thing, her body wrapped up to the neck in blue Beta Latex, her arms restrained with a leather harness, a China Ball with pacifier attatchment in her mouth, and a physical regression collar around her neck. When she saw the four doctors, the woman whimpered, trying to squirm towards them. The Joys helped her up and onto a table, where she wiggled around helplessly.

Emma came over. The woman began to whimper more desperately, trying to get her attention, even though she already had it. Emma placed her hand on the girl's forehead, mentally calming her as she scanned her mind. She turned to the other doctors after a moment and said,

"It's him, I mean her. But we need to get this off fast, her mind's been regressed somewhat from being under the collar's control for a month."

Grimbor nodded and stepped forward, pulling out a small device. He fiddled with the collar for a moment, and it came off easily.

'Janine' gasped as her bodily functions reverted back to normal, everything that the collar at regressed reverting back to normal in a rush. She collapsed on the table, crying.

Grimbor turned to walk out of the Medlab. As he left, he said, "Emma, go and comfort her. When she's calmed down, explain everything that's happened, and bring her to my office. Sebastian, ARNie and I will fill her in on the rest."

Emma nodded, visibly frustrated. Grimbor smiled weakly and said, "You can't blame yourself for not thinking to look in the Pink Rooms. For all you know they put her in there just after you and Sub-Zero left."

Emma smiled, "Thanks, Grimbor," and went over to 'Janine,' hugging her tightly, letting her cry herself out.

Much Later...
Mr.Chainsman's Office...

"Are you absolutely sure, Sebastian?" ARNie asked, pacing about the side of Grimbor's spacious office.

The mage, perched catlike on Grimbor's desk, nodded. "I can't see any other way. Because he..."

At that point, the door opened, and Catherine Margrave's head peeked in. "Dr.Chainsman? Emma's here, and she brought Dr.Spires."

Grimbor, sitting at his desk, nodded. "Send them in, Catherine."

Catherine nodded, and vanished behind the door. Moments later, the door opened wide, and Emma helped Dr.Spires in, leading her to a guest chair.

Grimbor waved Emma off. She nodded gratefully and left, shutting the door behind her. Dr.Spires smiled at them, her face red from crying. Her arms had been freed of the Latex, allowing her use of them, and she kept them in her lap, fidgeting, her hands shaking badly.

Dr.Spires giggled weakly and said, "I must compliment you on your nursing staff's diligence. They took good care of me during my... internment."

ARNie nodded. "I'll be sure to tell them that. Dr.Spires, I know this may be hard, but can you remember what happened to you when you were taken by the controlled Jennys?"

Dr.Spires bit her lip, idly tapping her foot. "I... I remember waking up as a woman. I had already been coated in Beta and was being carted away. I couldn't call out because I was gagged with one of those China Ball things, and I was wearing some sort of collar that cancelled out my powers. I was taken to the Therapy Center, but when they got outside a door, they just put me to one side and just waited, looking in the door. After a while, they brought me inside and dumped me in one of the Pink Rooms. They took the neutralizer collar off of me, but then they put the Regressor collar on me before I could attack them. They just left me there after that, and... and..." Dr.Spires's face contorted in fear, and she shivered.

ARNie asked, "Is there anything wrong?"

Dr.Spires shook her head and continued, wringing her hands as she spoke. "It... It became hard to think after the collar took full effect. My body was essentially turned into an infant's, and it took everything I had just to keep my mem'ries."

ARNie and Grimbor traded looks as Dr.Spires's speech started to slip, becoming almost childlike.

"It was very scary. I didn't wanna go to sleep, 'cause I was afraid I'd wake up a baby in mind, an' no one would notice me, or ever find me again. Din't really work, though. My body was an infant's, like I said, n' I just got so sleepy. When I woke up, I could still rem'ber who I was, but I was still stuck in there. On top of that, I had a nightmare about an evil clown lady, and was still very scared. A Joy came in and sang me a song, n' I felt a little bit better. I kept tryin' to get attention, n' tell them who I was, but I was gagged by th'China Ball, n' couldn't talk anyways." Dr.Spires realized how she was speaking, and shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts. "The Joys that came in treated me like I was one of the patients, and that's basically how it went until I was found." She looked up at them. "Did you catch the one responsible for all this?"

Grimbor nodded. "She's been contained, and were still deciding on what to do with her."

Dr.Spires smirked. She started to say one thing, then thought of another, and looked at them all, worried. "What about..." she started.

ARNie held up a hand, saying, "Your patients that you recommended for transfer here have been moved safely, and are in therapy now. Also, Justice says that the contingency plans for you other contacts have been implimented as well. He'll be here in a few hours, if all goes well. Sub-Zero still had concerns about Frost because of the security breakdown that day, so we arranged another security test a little after Prank Day."

"How did it go?"

ARNie traded evil grins with Sebastian, and said, "Inferno was the only one who didn't get captured, and that's ONLY because her flame powers go out of control when she's agitated. She ended up having to leave without anything at all, so we decided to give her her clanmates back as parting gifts. We were even nice enough to gift-wrap them for her."

Dr.Spires chuckled. ARNie smirked and continued, "Frost is in our care right now. We also had the idea of having Sub-Zero or a clanmate come in every other day wearing plainclothes and read her a story, sing her a song, mainly just spend quality time with her. The clan really does care for her, and the hopes with our idea is that she'll start to care for them, to view them as her family. If it works, we'll keep the idea in mind for other patients."

Dr.Spires relaxed visibly. "Well, gentlemen, I thank you all for a VERY interesting experience, but I'd like to go back home now. So if it isn't too much trouble, I'd like to be changed back to normal."

Sebastian frowned and got up off of Grimbor's desk, walking towards a file cabinet and leaning against it. "Well, there's a little problem with that..."

Dr.Spires frowned, her eyes starting to glow. "What kind of problem?"

Sebastian coughed, and said, "You have a mystic anomaly in your bloodstream that will most likely adversely affect any form of counter-spell I try to use on you."

Dr.Spires glared at Sebastian, her eyes flashing red for a minute. Then she slumped over in her chair as she realized what he meant.

"Let me guess..." she grumbled.

Sebastian nodded. "When you allowed Rugal Bernstien to use you as a guinea pig for his Orochi blood infusion, you essentially became a part of the Orochi bloodline. The Orochi power is still a highly unknown element to me, and I wouldn't feel comfortable trying to change you back until I knew how to work around it. The report you submitted on the day you were taken may help, but still, it's going to be a while."

Dr.Spires sighed. "Damn. Is there anything else I should know?"

ARNie fidgeted, looking nervous. "Well, to be perfectly honest, we have concerns about your mental health. You've been through a traumatic experience, doctor, and we could not in good concience let you go without making sure that you were healed both mentally and physically."

Dr.Spires shook her head, frustrated. "Look, I'm fine, see?" she said, trying to make her hands not shake so badly.

Grimbor shook his head. "No, Dr.Spires, I'm afraid we're going to have to ask you to stay for a while. Additionally, we may have to put you back...."

"DON'T SAY IT," Dr.Spires snapped, her eyes flashing red for a moment.

Grimbor frowned deeply, and continued, "...we may have to put you back INTO Age-Regression Therapy, the complete version this time, just so we can get you back to normal."

Dr.Spires snarled incoherently, and pouted, looking away from them all. Grimbor got up from behind his desk and went over to her. "Look, Doctor, while you're in this female body, it means you can be treated here. We've had great success with past patients, and can promise you the best of care. And with luck, you'll only be in Age-Regression Therapy for a short while, like Brande, or Tifa Lockhart were."

Dr.Spires snorted, unable to think of a good arguement. "S'not that. S'the principle of the thing."

ARNie, from his place in the room, sighed. "Doctor, and I'm using the term loosely right now, if our positions were reversed, would you let me walk away after something like this happened?"

Dr.Spires glared at him for a few moments, then slumped over, admitting defeat. "No... No, I guess not."

Grimbor nodded, and he and Dr.Spires shook hands.

"Well, I wish I could say this under better circumstances, but for now at least, we have to do it this way. Doctor Jonathan Spires, Welcome To The Chainsman Institute."

Other Stuff

All characters copyright their respective owners and used without permission for non-profit reasons.