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The Rise of Team Neos: Chapter 23: I Am Not An Experiment!

by Psycho Monkey

Psycho Monkey Brian and Axel once again find themselves in White City. They have but one goal in mind: to seek answers and Prof. Himee is the best person to ask.
Chapter 23: I Am Not An Experiment!

“Passengers of Flight 3582 now unboarding. We hope you enjoyed your flight and will enjoy your stay in White City. Have a nice day and please fly with Poké Airlines again!” spoke the intercom as we left the terminal.

“Hmph. Enjoy the flight my ass.” I complained rubbing the inside of my ear with my pinky. My ears were still ringing from the altitude which had also given me a headache. I had taken two aspirin before landing but unfortunately they hadn’t kicked in yet.

Seriously, what was with all of those people staring at us? It’s like they’ve never seen a Pokémon flying coach before.” Axel whined. During the flight, the other passengers kept gawking at me and Axel. Some even turned to whisper to the person sitting next to them. The two most likely possibilities were Axel’s fur and the fact that all Pokémon were supposed to be in their Pokéballs during the flight. The only reason I got away with it was by wearing a pair of pointy sunglasses and convincing security that I was blind. Axel, being my seeing-eye-Pokémon, didn’t have a Pokéball because I needed him to guide me. Just to better uphold the charade, I closed my eyes so that I really wouldn’t be able to see. It wouldn’t be the first illegal thing I’ve done.

I decided it would be best if I left the shades on until we got to Prof. Himee’s lab. I would rather not get arrested today, especially for such an innocent misdemeanor as this. Once the two of us got outside, I was glad I left the glasses on because of how bright the sun was today. Even with sunglasses I still had to squint which did nothing for my lingering headache.

The airport was in the main city area, same as the Committee building, so it was a pretty long walk to the lab. I didn’t really mind though as I liked being outside when it’s warm. If I was more familiar with the area I would have probably taken the long way just to enjoy the weather. Regardless, there was a reason I was here and Raiden had only given me two days off to take care of things so I had to work fast.
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About half an hour later I crossed the bridge that led to the large white rectangular lab. The building practically glowed in the sunlight. I walked up the left side of the double staircase to the glass doors located under an awning giving the entrance and upper part of the stairs shade from the sun. When I entered through the glass doors I was hit with a burst of nostalgia. It felt like it had been forever since I was here, though in reality it had been only a little over a month.

“Himee! I’m home!” I shouted excitedly from the first floor lobby. I stood with my arms wide spread but there wasn’t a response from anyone. I sighed in annoyance that not one person was around to greet me. I took off my sunglasses and hung them on my shirt collar, quickly choosing to go seek out someone rather than wait in the lobby completely ignored. “Prof. Himee! Asuna! Is anyone around?” I called as I went up the spiral stairway.

“Intruder!” yelled Prof. Himee jumping out from behind a corner with a metal bucket on his head and a pillow tied to his chest while holding a frying pan. I fell into Axel who was behind me with a startled scream having been caught completely off guard by the old man’s stunt. The loss of balance caused us both to fall to the floor. The mad scientist looked down at us with a curious look. “Oh I remember you now! Slappy Joe and Monkey Fist!” he stated as if he knew exactly what he was talking about. I just looked up at Himee with a confused expression.

“I… I think you mean Brian and Axel.” I corrected getting back up. Axel used me as support as he pulled himself off the floor, more out of spite for me making him fall than because he couldn’t get up by himself.

“Zhat is vhat I said; Brian and Axel. You must be getting deaf. Is all zhat loud music you fledglings listen to. So tragic.” Himee sighed disappointedly. That isn’t what’s tragic here. I might as well let it go, it’s not like correcting him gets us anywhere.

“Right then, can I ask a favor from you Prof. Himee?” I inquired. I then held out my arms in front of me to be at his mercy. “I need you to take a blood sample.”

“Vhat zhe hell are you talking about? I am not a vampire!” Himee rejected. I stared at him with my mouth hanging open. Where did he get vampire from?

“He means he wants a blood test.” Asuna said walking out of the room behind me. I hadn’t noticed before, but it was the same one Himee blew up last time. It had a new door on it now. “As in an experiment.” she said with emphasis to drive the point home. The old man’s face lit up with excitement.

“I love an experiment!” the professor cheered. “But before ve start, I must find zhose damn leprechauns! Zhey stole my undervear again!” he rambled aimlessly. I guess that would explain the outfit and why he attacked me. Asuna face-palmed with a sigh.

“Professor, it has been weeks since you did your own laundry. I took your clothes to get them washed for you so that you could continue your research unbothered.” she confessed. Himee’s eyes widened as an alarmed look over too his face.

“Asuna is a leprechaun! Get her Brian!” he declared illogically.

“First I want you to test my blood! Test it for any and all abnormalities, even genetic ones!” I asserted. “Do that for me, and I will help you catch Asuna.” I agreed even if it was complete madness.

“Oh fine zhen.” Prof. Himee agreed unhappily. “Besides, I might need her help anyvay vith all zhe tests you vant us to run. And for vhat purpose?” he asked.

“This.” I said pulling what was left of my right glove from my pocket. I handed the article to Himee to look at. “Do you see that huge gash in the palm and the dried blood around it? I was wounded by a Scyther not even a week ago.” I explained.

“So you vant to know if you got infected vith somezhing?” inquired the scientist looking over the black glove. I held out my naked palm for him to observe next.

“More like I want to know why I fully healed so quickly without even a scar.” I said straightforwardly. Both Himee and Asuna began grabbing at my hand to look it over. “I’ve experienced other strange things as well lately that I want answers to.” I added.

“Zhis vill be exciting!” declared Prof. Himee without hesitation. “For science!”

“I agree! Come with us Brian, we’ll draw your blood right away!” Asuna agreed with as much enthusiasm as her boss.
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Axel was a nervous wreck. The monkey paced back and forth moaning anxiously every couple of seconds as he turned to me. I was strapped to a chair with a tourniquet on my left bicep to get the vein on my arm to pop up. Once that was ready, Asuna was going to stick me with a needle to draw the blood as neither of us trusted Himee to do that much. Afterward, I would be free to go and Himee would call me when the tests were done.

Are you sure you want to do this? I mean… n-needles?” Axel chattered tensely.

“Unlike you, I’m not scared of needles, plus I need this done to better understand all the weird stuff that’s been happening to me lately.” I reminded.

“Ready Brian?” asked Asuna coming to me with a giant needle attached to a bag. Axel shrieked like a Chimchar before jumping into the smallest space he could fit in curling up into the fetal position. I’ll make fun of him for being a coward later.

“Go for it.” I consented. There was a slight pinch as the needle entered my vein, but after that it was more uncomfortable having the foreign object in me than it actually hurt. As I watched the blood flow into the bag, I began to feel slightly light headed but not like I was going to pass out.

“There. All done.” Asuna said putting gauze over the needle prior to pulling it out so that I wouldn’t bleed all over the place. “How do you feel?” she asked securing the gauze with medical tape.

“Not bad.” I answered. “I have to go find a way to amuse myself now while you do your tests right?”

“Himee already has several experiments set up. He’ll notify you when we’ve got something.” she confirmed.

“Right. Axel! Let’s go!” I called to the pitiful monkey after getting out of the chair only slightly dizzied. He squeaked as he tried freeing himself from his self-imposed purgatory. I made sure my new phone was on before walking back outside. Raiden had insisted all of us get phones so we could have each other’s numbers. The time on it was 2:18p, so hopefully they’d have something before it got too late.

Are you ok? Tell me you’re still alive!” Axel pleaded pathetically.

“I’m hungry. Let’s get some lunch first, then we can go find ways to amuse ourselves.” I said putting my sunglasses back on. That was obviously good enough for the Infernape seeing that he answered with a pleased cheer.
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After lunch I had considered trying my hand at a Pokémon Contest in the White City Contest Hall, but the mere thought of Contests made me think of Madison making my heart ache. Not today. Next I thought about taking a tour of the White City Castle, but that cost money I didn’t have after purchasing my plane ticket. I seemed to be at a crossroads. On the one hand, I needed to pass the time until Himee and Asuna were ready for me, but on the other, I didn’t want to get too involved with something like a battle and have them interrupt me. I pondered for a bit longer before deciding to return to the field where Axel and I had our duel in the rain.

What are we doing back here? Heh. Looking for a rematch?” the Infernape asked in anticipation.

“Not this time. I did just lose a good bit of blood after all.” I said holding up my left arm. “No, I think this time I’ll have you and Riolu spar.” I decided sending out the young Emanation Pokémon.

What? You want me to spar with the infant?” he complained disappointedly.

“Be nice Axel. You know Riolu looks up to you so why not help teach him some moves.” I suggested.

Alright, alright. Let’s see what you’ve got Rio.” the monkey challenged holding up his fists while keeping his legs lose. “I’mma teach you some monkey kung-fu!” Eager to learn, Riolu put up the same stance before jumping up to kick Axel in the face. As expected of my first partner, he blocked it with ease along with Riolu’s follow up kick.

I sat watching the two Fighting-types battle each other until I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket. I immediately pulled it out to answer.

“Did you find something?” I questioned impatiently after filling it open and putting it to my ear. Axel and Riolu stopped their match and turned to me expectantly.

“Brian! Get back to my lab quickly! Zhere is much to discuss!” Himee requested urgently. There was a click on the other end of him hanging up. I pulled my phone away from my ear and stared at it. That was it? It had only taken him a little less than two hours to find something, and it was obviously something incredible to get a reaction like that from him.

“Come Axel! Himee’s on to something!” I commanded shoving my cell back into my pocket and breaking into a run toward the lab. The Flame Pokémon dashed behind me having no trouble keeping up even with Riolu on his shoulders. When I returned, I jumped up the steps of the facility taking two at a time. If one of the aides hadn’t opened the door to leave, I think I might have crashed through the glass doors.

“Hey! What’s your problem!” the guy yelled as I pushed past him.

Sorry about that!” apologized Axel for me as I was already tearing up the spiral stairwell. When I made it to the top, I fell to my knees panting. I guess I hadn’t recovered enough blood yet to go through that kind of physical activity. But wasn’t I supposed to be a fast healer?

“You look a mess. Don’t tell me you ran all the way here.” Asuna observed coming to get me. I giggled shamelessly in response earning a sigh from her. “Well come on. Himee is in his loft.” she said. Axel, now on the second floor with me, picked me up so that we could follow Asuna to the next floor.

“So what did Prof. Himee find?” I inquired while we travelled through a door in the far back of the lab. It was in this room that the stairs for the third floor resided. Three aides wearing white lab coats were sitting at their desks, one doing paperwork, another was tweaking what looked like a weathervane, and the third was looking at a map.

“That is for him to tell you. Besides, I’d rather not say when there are other ears around.” she whispered. That only made me all the more curious as to what could be so classified. Oh well, very soon I would know.

My heart pounded and my body trembled in anticipation. Up the stairs we went. Very soon. Around the corner. Very soon. To the wooden door of Himee’s loft. Very soon!

“He’s here Professor!” Asuna called knocking on the door. I heard Himee scrambling on the other side to open the door. How long is this going to take!? Seconds felt like minutes, I don’t think I can take the wait any longer! At last the wooden door flew open. The old man reached out, grabbed me by the shirt collar, and yanked me inside.

“You are a remarkable specimen!” Himee complemented as he slammed the door.

“Uh… what about Axel?” I questioned as the monkey didn’t have a chance to come in after me before the mad scientist shut the door.

“Yes, yes. He’s a remarkable specimen as vell.” responded the professor oblivious to what I meant.

“No, he’s still outside. I want him in here.” I clarified. Himee looked at me in confusion as if I were crazy. He then started looking around the room.

“Vhere’s Axel?” he asked.

“Outside.” I reminded. I would have probably found this a lot funnier if what he had to tell me wasn’t so catastrophically important. Prof. Himee scratched his balding head of wild white hair prior to turning around to open the door. No sooner had the wooden slab creaked, a golden blur pushed through nearly tackling me to the ground.

How could you let him lock me out!” cried the Infernape throwing his hands on my shoulders and shaking me. The abuse I take.

“Get off!” I reprimanded smacking his arms off of me. Following a well needed sigh, I began looking around for a place to sit. It was the first time I had ever really been in Prof. Himee’s loft. Every other time I had only stood at the entrance. First off, the room was in complete disarray; papers, boxes, various scientific instruments, clothes, and a ton of other junk littered the floors in stacks. No wonder Asuna had to come in and do his laundry. There were three desks in the room, each one equally covered in various papers and equipment. And then there was the pink bovine Pokémon with a black head, black spots, and small horns in the right hand corner standing on a platform with a bale of hay in a trough.

“Himee. Why is there a Miltank in here?” I asked in bewilderment.

“Oh zhat’s Millie. I got tired off asking ozher people to get me milk, so I found a better vay. Now I get free MooMoo Milk every day! Is very nutritious.” He told gleefully. I understood completely. Not only did it make perfect sense, this was Prof. Himee. Damn he’s an awesome role model. Hearing that also helped to ease my tension. This world needs more crazy people.

I finally found a soft recliner in the midst all the mess to make myself comfortable in. Luckily there were three chairs all situated around a small table for each of us. If I could give a color scheme to the lab, this room was a light brown where the floor, walls, door, and tables were wood while the rest of the building was clean silver and made of more modern materials. There was no mistake; this was definitely the room of an old man.

“Anyvay, you vanted us to test for everyzing and so ve did. Vhat I found vas zhat unlike normal humans who have forty-six chromosomes or twenty-shree pairs, you have forty-seven or twenty-shree and a half pairs.” Himee enlightened.

“H-half!?” I stammered in astonishment. “But how? What is it? What is that half?”

“Here is zhe fascinating part! It is a chromosome zhat is normally found in a Pokémon. Zhis particular vone determines zhe Pokémon’s type and vhat moves it can learn. Vhat I do not understand is vhy you only have vone copy and not two like a normal Pokémon.” the Professor analyzed.

“It’s because I’m not a Pokémon! I shouldn’t even have this! It has to be a mistake!” I yelled in denial.

“I zhought zhe same zhing. Zhat is vhy I did zhe test five times.” Himee affirmed. “According to zhe analysis, you are a member of zhe Dragon-type. Zhere vere also trace amounts of shinkasterone in your blood vhich is a hormone zhat causes Pokémon evolution. Shinka is anozher vord for evolution and of course –asterone is a common hormone suffix. Basically, you just evolved or are about to. Zhis hormone would have been found in Axel before and after his evolutions to Monferno and Infernape.”

I sat in the chair silently leaning forward with my head down trying to absorb it all. I’m a Dragon. I’m freshly evolved or about to. What’s going on here? What madness is this!? None of this makes any sense! I think my mind is about to explode!

“How did this happen? Answer that! I must know!” I shouted suddenly. I couldn’t believe this! Not without proof or some sort of explanation.

“Vell in order for a Pokémon to evolve, certain conditions must be met. Reaching a certain level of strength, stimulation from certain items, or strong emotional attachments can all lead to a spontaneous release of shinkasterone and zhus evolution. But zhe zhing is, shinkasterone only lingers in zhe blood for about a day or so, and you said zhese strange occurrences have been going on for a couple of veeks.” said the old man without truly answering any of my questions.

“And what about my stimulation!?” I demanded. Prof. Himee started rubbing his chin while he pondered my question. He suddenly looked up as if he had just come to a conclusion.

“Zhat is it! Of course, it vas so simple, vhy did I not see it before. Oh I feel so foolish. Zhis changes everyzhing!” he declared passionately. At last I might get some answers. “Asuna! Zhe red drapes vould look best in zhe zhird floor east ving!” he shouted. My jaw fell open weightlessly. How did such a random thought come from something so serious? I squeezed my fists together in frustration.

“Focus Himee!” I ordered fiercely.

“Focus? Focus on vhat?” he asked unknowingly. Before I could answer him with the tongue lashing I had in store for such a careless question, I was interrupted by Riolu’s frantic barks. I looked over at Axel who was holding the upset Emanation Pokémon. The small puppy was focused directly on me as he yapped his head off.

He says he senses your aura changing again. It has him very panicked?” the monkey translated as he held Riolu at bay.

“I figured it out! Forme shifting!” Himee announced jumping out of his seat. “It bozhered me from zhe beginning zhat you only had vone copy of zhe gene and not two. Having a second copy vould have made you a full Dragon or a duel type, but zhis means zhat zhe Dragon gene was dormant until you evolved and zhe reason you still look human and still have traces of shinkasterone is because you can change forme.” the old man hypothesized.

“Forme shifting? Explain.” I pressed getting calmer now that I had a potential answer to my problem.

“Vhat is zhe veazher like outside?” Himee asked out of nowhere.

“Sunny, why?” I inquired.

“I vill show you! Come, come my boy! Zhere is still much to be done! For science!” the Professor declared hurrying out of the room. Axel, Riolu, and I had no choice but to chase after him if we wanted answers. It wasn’t until we were outside that Prof. Himee produced a half red half white sphere from his lab coat.

“Aww. Is not as sunny as it vas earlier. Guess I vill haff to use Sunny Day. Men, zhis is Castform!” he said throwing the Pokéball in the air where it opened shooting a red ball of energy from its hollow interior. The red light materialized into a small grey ball shaped head sitting on top of a cloud. The head had a friendly expression, white rings around its eyes, and a small wisp on its head.

“I’ve heard of Castform, but I’ve never seen one up close. So this is what they look like.” I stated. I had to admit, I was curious as to what the little monster could do along with how it related to my condition.

“Oh you have not seen nozhing yet. Cast your Sunny Day Castform!” Himee told his Pokémon. The Weather Pokémon briefly started glowing white until his pent up energy shot into the sky. Though it was quarter to five, the sun immediately brightened back to the way it was several hours ago. To my amazement, Castform began changing right before my eyes as if it was evolving. Soon the Pokémon floating near Himee’s head was an orange sphere with numerous smaller orbs attached to it making the head look like a sun sitting on top of a fluffier white cloud.

Interesting.” Axel said while Riolu got his exercise by jumping over the monkey’s tail like a jumprope.

“So it changes in the sun just like a Cherrim?” I inquired.

“Not just in zhe sunlight. Castform has two ozher formes depending on zhe veazher.” clarified Himee. I nodded in understanding by what he had meant by Forme Shifting now. I’d seen it done plenty of times, I just never knew there was a term for it. “Veazher is Castform’s stimulation, now ve must find yours.” said the old man. I couldn’t agree more.
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As it would turn out, there was a basement below the first floor that Prof. Himee hadn’t shown me when he gave me the tour the last time I was here. I can almost imagine why too. When one enters the basement, they come to a fork. One fork leads up a short flight of stairs to an observation deck full of monitoring equipment and a large window overlooking a large grey empty room with a single door. The second fork leads into that room. I had been in the grey room for roughly an hour meditating in order to access my Dragon power while Himee, Asuna, Axel, and Riolu crowded into the observation deck.

“How long is this going to take? I’m not changing at all!” I called up to them.

“He has been in there a while Professor. Should we try a different approach?” questioned Asuna over the open channel speakers we set up so that I could hear everything they said up there. That way I wouldn’t be kept in the dark if the scientists came up with a new hypothesis, nor would I get bored from no interaction.

“Zhen it is time for Plan B.” declared Prof. Himee.

“Plan B? What’s Plan B?” I questioned. There was a long silence until the door at the front of the room opened. The mad scientist’s arm up to his elbow entered the room with a Pokéball in his hand. No sooner had the ball opened bringing forth Castform, did Himee retract his hand and shut the door.

“Professor, you’re not!” cried Asuna.

He’s not gonna what?” asked Axel worriedly.

“Castform!” called Himee reentering the observation deck. “Powder Snow!” He wouldn’t dare! If I’m a Dragon-type and Dragon’s are weak to Ice-type attacks, then…

“You senile bastard old man!” I yelled as cold air and small ice fragments struck my body. I crossed my arms to shield myself from the bone chilling attack. For as long as I can remember, I’ve never liked the cold but I could grudgingly tolerate it. I could travel in winter, I could stand in the snow, and I could stand fighting in the Ice Path in Johto and Icefall Cave in the Sevii Islands. It was a typical human reaction. But not this time this time was just torture!

Enough!” I roared throwing my right arm out. Words can’t even describe the shock I felt when a blue burst of raw energy shot from my hand at Castform. The Weather Pokémon cried out as the attack struck, sending the small Pokémon hurdling into the wall behind it, then falling to the floor unconscious.

“No way! That was a Dragon Pulse wasn’t it?” cried Asuna fearfully.

Holy fucking shit!” Axel screamed over a barking Riolu.

“Himee! What the fuck was that supposed to be!? I am not your fucking experiment that you can do whatever the hell you want to! Now get back down here so that I can rip your goat damn head off!” I shouted.

“No vay am I going down zhere and getting my goat damn head ripped off.” Himee said calmly as if my threat was something minor. In annoyance I began clawing at the metal wall of the grey room beneath the window. Even with my hands glowing with an unstable blue aura which I perceived as my Dragon Claw attack, I was leaving only minimal gashes in the wall.

“It vould seem zhat aggression is zhe trigger for zhe Forme Shift and vonce transformed zhat aggression is heightened as can be observed by zhe subject’s clawing at zhe vall.” Prof. Himee noted. “Is a good zhing zhat despite zhere incredible strength, Dragon-types cannot damage Steel-types or any metal for zhat matter.”

“So we’re safe up here until he calms down?” Asuna wondered nervously.

“No you’re not! And I told you, I am NOT your subject!” I growled fiercely. I pulled my right arm down to my side. I could feel the energy course through my body into my appendage where it gathered and condensed in my palm. I thrust my arm into the air launching another Dragon Pulse up the side of the wall causing the window to shatter when it got that high. I could hear the screams of everyone above.

Brian!” shouted Axel jumping out of the shattered window. As the Infernape fell, he lifted his leg to his torso. When the monkey was just barely a leg’s length above me, he brought his foot down in a drop kick to the back of my skull causing my entire upper body to jerk forward so that it was parallel with the floor.

“Axel.” I said nonchalantly as I lifted my body back into its upright position. The golden monkey stared back at me defiantly. “I give up.” I surrendered throwing both arms in the air and slightly lowering my head.
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“Sorry about that Prof. Himee. Sorry Asuna.” I apologized to each of them back in Himee’s loft. There was no need to say anything to my Pokémon, Axel already got back at me, and Riolu was just happy that I turned back into my Human-Forme. “So do the two of you think I’ll ever be able to control this transformation at will?” I asked them.

“Zhat is for you to find out Brian.” Himee answered flatly. I sighed in disappointment.

“You are our first case like this. I’ll see if I can’t dig up any instances of this in the past, but it will more than likely just be a wild goose chase. Sorry.” Asuna added with a sense of hopelessness.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll perform my own tests and see if I can’t learn some self-control. I would hate to change into my Dragon-Forme at the wrong time in the wrong place.” I affirmed optimistically. “Well thanks for everything guys. I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop if I notice or come up with anything.”

“Ve vill do zhe same!” the old man declared. “Is late now, so vhy not stay here for zhe night?” he offered. There was no reason for me to decline, so I gratefully accepted.
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The following morning was a blast. Prof. Himee was beyond thrilled when his missing underwear returned. Just to humor him, Asuna said she had caught the leprechauns and stolen his clothes back. I had offered to make breakfast, but Himee insisted that we have Lucky Charms instead just to stick it to the leprechauns. I could hardly eat because I was laughing so hard. Now that the worst was over, I could finally relax. After all, it wasn’t like I changed; it was more like going through a second puberty only this time I had no one to explain what was happening.

I made sure that I called Raiden directly after breakfast to find out where I should meet the squad when I got back, to which he replied that we have a mission in Ecruteak City. Since he had given me two days off, I booked a later flight and used most of this day to hang out with Himee and to help out around the lab. As I had guessed by Castform and the instruments the aides had been using the day before, Prof. Himee was doing research on how weather affected certain Pokémon, and not just the Forme Shifters like Castform, but Pokémon with weather based Abilities as well. I assume he finished, or got bored with, the work he was doing on the Pokéballs last time. Unfortunately, there just weren’t enough hours in the day until it was time for me to go.

“Do be careful vhen you fly. Zhose damn gremlins vill make zhe plane crash if you are not alert.” warned the mad scientist unnecessarily.

“I will be sure to warn the pilot then.” I said trying to keep a straight face. I reapplied my sunglasses fully prepared to pull the blind man stunt again.

Back to work again already.” groaned Axel. Yup. It would still be a long time before our work was done. In fact, I would even go so far as to say our work was just beginning.
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