My Little Penny
"The City of Townsville can be so boring sometimes..", sighed Blossom.
The Girls were sitting on the edge of their bed, trying to think up something to do.
"Well... let's talk", suggested Bubbles.
"About what?", asked Blossom.
"How about snakes?!", said Buttercup in a spirit of mischief.
"But what kind?", asked Bubbles.
"Sneaky snakes!", started Buttercup.
"Ss... ss... oh, I can't think of anything", said a frustrated Bubbles.
The Girls floated up from their bed and through the house.
Outside the front door, they found all of the snakes they had been describing, crawling about on the lawn, doing all manner of things.
"What on earth?", said a disbelieving Blossom.
"That dirty old Him -- he's been listening in on our conversations!", scolded Bubbles.
"Hey!", Blossom called out. "I hear something..."
The three floated along the side of the house. They could faintly hear a high feminine voice saying, "I am a good finder, I am a good finder, I am a good finder..."
They turned a corner and could hardly believe what they saw. There, sifting through their garbage can, was Him, the evillest of evils.
"Ewww!", the three Girls called out.
Him's eyes popped open. He stared at the Girls.
"Hey", said Blossom. "What's that you're holding behind your back?"
"Oh, nothing", Him said innocently.
Bubbles flew up behind him. She looked puzzled. "Is that what I think it is...?"
Him held it in front of him. It was a discarded doll in Bubbles' likeness.
"We threw that out", said a disgusted Buttercup. "What do you want with it?"
"Well, if you must know, I'm..."
Him's voice became almost silent.
"Huh?", asked Buttercup. "I didn't quite make that out.
"I'm... doing a good deed"
The Girls exploded in laughter.
When she caught her breath, Blossom had to complement him, tears still running down her cheeks. "That's a good one, Him. You -- doing a good deed! Bwah-ha-ha-ha...!"
"No -- truly. Even I do good deeds... when I'm forced to..."
The Girls slowly realized he was serious. He waved his claw and the four were magically transported to his den.
"This is the part of my den I prefer to keep secret", he said, swallowing nervously.
"It's a garden... a really pretty garden", commented Bubbles.
"Yes", Him sighed. "You see, the irrepressible Ms. Sara Bellum started turning up the heat... I faced the possibility of having to leave Townsville... so... (angrily) I agreed to set up this paradise garden green zone and in return I get to stay here in relative peace!"
"Works for me."
"Besides myself, this garden has one resident..."
The Girls could hear someone singing to herself. Him walked towards the voice. He reached the voice's owner and handed her the doll. She thanked him.
Bubbles flew up to the little girl.
"Hi! I'm Bubbles! What's your name?"
"I'm Penny Baxter."
"Baxter...?", asked a concerned Blossom.
"Yes, Girls", said Him. "She's Lenny Baxter's little sister. She grew up in her brother's shadow, and collecting things is all she knows." Him gestured towards a large number of workbenches. "These benches are where she collects broken dolls and action figures, and spends her days repairing them."
Blossom squinted at the benches and said rather critically, "I don't see many Powerpuff figures..."
Him was blunt. "Well, you know, Girls, Powerpuff merchandise is something of a fad that's passed."
Buttercup was blunter. "Yeah, but what about all those zillions of Powerpuff figures that got sold?!"
"Stuffed away in attics... or buried in landfills."
The Girls pouted.
Penny tried to be helpful. She pointed at a broken Buttercup doll with a missing arm. Somehow that didn't help.
"Boy, there's sure a lot of ponies", Bubbles finally said.
Him's eyes lit up. "Oh, yes, Girls! Ponies are currently the world's number one craze. Some people have gone quite silly over those little horse wannabes.."
"And you wouldn't have anything to do with that...?", said a lawyer-like Blossom.
"Oh, well.. you know... mass insanity does happen to be my specialty", Him boasted.
"All I see is a sad, abandoned creature that needs help", Penny cut in. She held up a pony bearing a number of bite marks. "It'll take me a whole day to stitch that up."
"Of course", said Blossom quietly.
"Um, Penny...", asked Buttercup. "Do you understand all those ponies, all those characters -- Rainbow Dish and Pinkie Puff and Flutterspy -- can you tell them apart and figure out what they're likely to do?"
"Sometimes. There's sure a lot of them."
"I simply love mind games", Him said. "Perhaps you three Girls would like to create your own ponies?"
"Oh! Me! Me!", shouted Bubbles.
"Very well...", smiled Him.
"My pony is called Carpetsoft because her hair is all soft like a carpet, and she's sky blue, and her cutie mark is pretty flowers!"
"Your wish is granted", said Him in a deep serious voice. Sure enough, the pony was now hovering beside Bubbles.
"Hmmm...", said a thoughtful Blossom.
"Please don't make her a nerd", begged Buttercup.
"Shush! Okay... hmmm... my pony is a research scientist, and her specialty is brain DNA, and she's pink, and her name is Bookmark."
Two ponies were now hovering beside the Girls.
"Gee, this is tough", moaned Buttercup. "Okay... she's a martial arts expert... but she doesn't fight the other ponies -- unless she has to -- and she's bright green... and her cutie mark is..."
"Hey. I don't have a cutie mark!", Bookmark complained.
"It's a Nobel Prize Medallion. Now let Buttercup finish", said Blossom briskly.
"Her cutie mark is a karate belt, and her name is Kickbutt!"
"Buttercup!", scolded Blossom.
"Kickbutt's a terrible name for a pony!"
"Let Buttercup chose for herself", said Him, rather condescendingly.
"Can you think of anything better?", challenged Buttercup.
"Um... Wonder Pony?"
"Kickbutt it is."
The third pony appeared.
"Hey, stop rubbing up against me", warned Carpetsoft. "You're getting my beautiful hair scruffy!"
"Well, excuse me, Lady Royalty", sneered Kickbutt.
"Ponies, ponies, we were just made. Let's try to get along, shall we?", said Bookmark.
"Bookmark's right. I'm sure you three will become fast friends once you get to know each other", Blossom commented.
Carpetsoft and Kickbutt both pouted.
"So.. what kind of pony adventure would you three like to have?", Bubbles asked.
Bookmark picked up a tape measure from the workbench and started to measure Kickbutt's head. "It is a well known fact that there is a direct correlation between intelligence and and the size of the cranium which surrounds the cerebral hemispheres.. Hmmm... kinda small.... I hope you're keeping up on your reading."
Blossom grimaced. "Um, Bookmark -- that was kind of rude..."
Kickbutt's eyes started to tear up, and she pressed her face against Carpetsoft's flank.
"Stop that!", said Carpetsoft. "I'm not a security blanket.! Go dry your tears somewhere else."
"Remember", said Bubbles. "You're supposed to be nice, Carpetsoft. Nice."
"Oh, I'll try, but it's not easy."
"Yeah, and Kickbutt, what's with the tears? You're the tough one. Come on,Girl. Stick out that jaw!", ordered Buttercup.
Kickbutt swung her head around and stuck her jaw quickly out, striking Bookmark on the shoulder and sending her tumbling head over heels. As Bookmark got back to her feet, she said, "Hey, I think you did that on purpose! ... Ice breath! I hope I have ice breath!" She started blowing at Kickbutt, but all that came out was a stream of marshmallows.
"All you need now is a stick and a fire", mocked Kickbutt.
"Remember, guys, you three are practically sisters", reminded Blossom. "At least try to get along."
"We were just created", Carpetsoft pointed out. "I think it'll take us a while to figure out how to behave."
"Okay", said Blossom. "Bubbles, why don't you and Carpetsoft have a flight around the garden and get to know each other?"
"Okay", said Bubbles.
"And Buttercup, you and Kickbutt go find a clear space, and you can show her some karate moves."
"All right! Awesome!", said Buttercup.
"So, I guess that leaves me and Bookmark and Penny", said Blossom.
"Don't forget about me", Him pointed out.
"Well, I think the thing to ask is, is it a good thing that Penny is living in a den of evil with a demon. Am I the only one who finds that a bit odd?"
"It's better than living with my big brother Lenny -- all those cold unloved boxes of dolls -- brrr...!"
"Yes, but... well, you should be meeting other people, mixing with other children --"
"Well", Him cut in, "My den is on the edge of Townsville's magic forest, and near the zoo. I could build a doll hospital above ground. Penny could run it and meet with other children."
"It would be nice to meet the people who had loved their dolls... oh, and it would have to have a Batpole. I'd have to go up to it on a Batpole!"
Him grimaced. "That's so hero-ish... but -- sigh -- okay. It'll have a Batpole."
Buttercup and Bubbles returned with their ponies. Blossom gasped.
"Buttercup -- you've got..."
"A black eye", said Kickbutt with a bowed head. "It was an accident."
"Him?", asked Penny.
Penny started to lead Buttercup to a Batpole which had magically appeared.
"I'm an expert when it comes to cosmetic repairs", boasted Penny.
The two zipped upwards and vanished.
"A Batpole?", asked Bubbles.
"It leads to Penny's doll hospital", explained Blossom.
"Oh. Of course."
The two started to float alongside Penny's workbench.
"So these ponies are what's replaced us", said Bubbles. "Do you recognize any of them, Blossom?"
"I think that one's called Applestrudel."