Chapter 19: Mighty Morphin' Plans
"You little monster! Gosh, experiment six-two-five… you really are an unpredictable wild card! Do you even know that!? Are you even aware of your own status, you little troublemaker?"
Experiment 625 sighed and ruffled the clump of fur that curled inward, located at the top of his head. He idly chuckled as he meddled around with the scruff of his head fur. "Oh, come on now, Pleakley. You and I have been stuck like peanut butter on a sandwich for this length of time… and yet you still haven't already figured that part out? Being unpredictable, sarcastic, and lazy is my forte!"
"Arrggghhhh!" Pleakley screeched, the noise scratching the loudspeaker due to its low pitch. Pleakley looked like he was on the verge of freaking out himself, the jittery alien reduced to frightened stammers. "J-Just where have you been for all this time, six-two-five!? How can you be so calm about this? I was literally panicking over here, you know!?"
625 yawned as he shot a bored look at the transceiver, an expression that was quite the opposite as compared to the one that the nervous Pleakley—who was situated on the other end of the call—had on his own face.
"Ah, but I've been nowhere significant for the past few hours." 625 examined his paw as he spoke in a bored manner. "Really, did you honestly think I'd leave you behind on this dinky old planet, Pleak? Come on, I can't even get off this island, let alone flee out by myself to deep space. Just relax, posse! Everything will be just fine!"
"Relax?!" Pleakley almost shrieked, causing 625 to tentatively hold the transceiver a bit further from his ears. "Are you nuts? You want me to sit back and relax? How can I possibly relax when I'm stuck in a situation like this—"
"As I said," 625 interrupted Pleakley before he could go on any further, "I won't even think about double-crossing your little Galactic Federation. Heheheh! I may be cheeky, but I'm not gonna cross the line!" He chuckled at Pleakley's dumbfounded expression before changing the topic in a not-so-subtle manner. "Anyway, how have you and Jumba been doing since the last time I called you? Have you two been getting along fine?"
"Well… that's a rather specific question. I mean, Jumba still kind of trusts me…" Pleakley trailed off, diverting his eye to the side.
625 prodded Pleakley when he saw the Federation agent unwilling to continue the sentence. "Oh… What's this? Jumba still trusts you? After like, less than a couple of mere hours?" he playfully teased with a jovial, unrelenting smile. "Even when you're secretly working against him? Heh, the wholesome irony! This situation is even more grainy than high-fiber wholemeal bread!"
625 grinned when he saw that his words were having a visible effect on Pleakley. "C'mon, don't just leave me hanging on a cliffhanger like that! Please do carry on, Pleak!" he whined, clearly enjoying himself as Pleakley grew more and more jittery. "Don't keep it to yourself!" he prodded. "I wanna hear more about your adventurous, treasonous tale!"
Pleakley twiddled his fingers, nervously hunching forward as if afraid that someone would eavesdrop on the conversation on his end. "But well, I mean, he's a bit less of a monster now that I know him on a more personal note. I dunno, six-two-five. I know that he's an outlaw, but I… don't want to break that trust just yet. If I backstab him right away, he might end up destroying this fragile planet!"
He gulped, swallowing hard as his mind began to conjure up doomsday scenarios. "I'd rather be democratic! This whole thing's on shakier foundation than a Galactic Federation stalemate truce. But still, I've managed to gain his trust, so it's definitely a start!"
625 snorted as Pleakley shot him a forced smile. Was he really unable to catch the ingeniousness of his plan? There was actually a reason that Pleakley's perception of Jumba was changing from the standoffish personality which Pleakley had initially complained about… and that was because the scientist was smart enough to pander to the undercover Federation agent after he had unintentionally sicced Yaarp on them.
For better or worse, Yaarp was now glued to Pleakley's side. And now, no matter what Pleakley did, short of revealing that he had been sent from the Galactic Federation, Jumba couldn't do a thing back to him so long as Yaarp remained loyal to Pleakley and stayed by the skinny agent's side.
Jumba might be evil and cruel, but he wasn't a reckless fool who would hastily blow his cover on a whim. Of course the scientist would play along with Pleakley in the hopes of getting on his good side so that he could keep his experiment close to him.
Well, two could play at that game of pretend friendship.
"Just a little word of advice from me, Pleak." 625 winked, pointing a finger at the screen. "No matter how nice ya choose to make it sound, peace and democracy can only bring you so far. Sometimes, a direct show of force is the only way to stop an inevitable clash." Before Pleakley could shoot a retort back, 625 deftly flicked the transceiver off, abruptly ending their phone call as he pocketed the device.
625 glanced to his side to see a pink jello-like experiment devouring a chicken wing that he'd provided earlier. It was a miracle that Pleakley hadn't heard the vicarious experiment munching through the call as honestly, experiment 316 had no manners when it came to meals. He ravished his chicken wing, devouring it like a famished beast who was stranded without food.
But 625 wasn't going to complain about that unexpected stroke of luck. Given how bad his overall streak of luck had been over the past couple of days with recent revelations, he was going to take whatever reprieve he got.
Especially given what his next plans were going to be…
"Yuuga were talking about a bank heist? Gaba isa bank heist?"
625 turned around to see that 316 had posed the question to him, the experiment evidently having waited for 625 to drop the call before attempting to confirm his query.
"Well, three-one-six, a heist basically involves taking a whole bunch of money that isn't meant to be yours. But all you really need to know is that a bank heist is something that's bad for the people of the island, and good for you and I," 625 explained with a paw to his chest, elaborating on the point that he'd casually mentioned to 316 before calling up Pleakley. "Got all that?"
"Ih," 316 nodded, tearing off the tender deep-fried skin of another fried chicken as he acknowledged 625's explanation.
625 could only smile forlornly as he reflected on what everything had led to so far. Even he himself would have never suspected a few days ago that his life would have led him to this extreme. The past lazy him would never believe that his future self would currently be making plans to steal from a bank.
Yes… a bank. Even now, 625 couldn't help but to chuckle at the sheer simplicity of it all.
During his short stint at Galaxy Defense Industries with Jumba, his creator had briefly talked about the term before, offhandedly mentioning that a bank was a high-profile target that could inflict maximum devastation to people in an unsuspecting planet should the money that was kept within its vault end up being stolen.
625 wasn't stupid. He was many things — lazy, defiant, an absolute pain in the butt to others around him due to the fact that he absolutely loved to use his sarcasm as audacious refuge… but he wasn't stupid. There was a reason why Jumba had introduced the concept of a bank heist to him, and it most definitely wasn't for an offshoot heritage tour.
"And that is where you come in, three-one-six. According to Jumba's own experiment logs," 625 said with a glint in his eyes, "you are a master of making people not as they seem. Thus, I need your help to succeed in this endeavor."
He chuckled as 316 quirked his head, before holding up a scrumptious chicken drumstick in his hand. "Of course, you'll be duly rewarded for it…"
316's eyes grew and sparkled, the experiment immediately nodding his head and committing to 625's plan as he sniffed the tender treat.
Anything for that delicious chicken meat.
Seeing the shapeshifter's concurrence, 625 smiled darkly. It did help that 316 was a really nice and mild-natured experiment, quite unlike Yaarp before him. Once 625 had him under his paw with the power of fried chicken, the snarky experiment found that 316 was a genuine joy to talk to, even if he didn't usually talk back… normally because he had his mouth full.
At least they could bond that way — as fellow food lovers. He with sandwiches, and 316 with tenderized chicken.
"Perfect! It's good to see your eager involvement!" 625 held up his chin. "Now, all that's left for me to do is to gather up the supporting actors…"
Frankly, 625 held the opinion that the circus was ironically, a place that befitted someone like him.
After all, the circus was a place for clowns and pranks without any fear of retribution from society. Here, jokes and laughter were met with guffaws instead of sneers. What better fit could there be? At the end of the day, he was a snarky prankster who loved to poke fun at others in his heart. Perhaps if he could actually muster up the energy to perform in front of a crowd, there might have been a chance that he could have ended up being a great circus performer.
But the way things stood now, 625 was relegated to the much more passive role of an audience member watching the program.
And that made him completely and utterly bored out of his mind.
He munched on a cheese sandwich, suppressing a yawn. The show was significantly more boring the second time round when you knew what was coming, not helped by the late timing of the performance — the circus liked evening and night show timings, which helped with the effects.
But it also helped to encourage the onset of snoozing. And since he'd already found it hard to keep himself awake the first time…
Mercifully, the caped ringmaster finally introduced the star of the show. The yellow experiment leaned forward as Elastico burst onto the stage, a merry smile on his face, with no trace of weariness from being forced into being his accomplice yesterday night on his visage.
Oh, how pitifully ironic. To think that he was soon going to wipe that happy look off of Elastico's face. It almost made 625 feel bad for what he was about to do.
As an astonished crowd proceeded to marvel at Elastico's stupendous stretching abilities, one who paid attention might notice that 625 differed from the norm, the experiment instead focusing on how he could use said ability for his own means.
Not to mention, he'd already seen the performance once before. It was immensely boring to have to sit through a second time, especially as a person who cared little for external means of amusement. As 625 fought back a yawn, he made himself comfortable in his seat. This was going to be a long performance.
When the dimmed lights finally brightened and the audience took that cue to start trickling out of the circus tent, only then did 625 take that as his cue to strut down the steps towards the stage. Making it to the bottom, he made sure to wave at the lone green clown standing on the empty stage with a wide smile.
"Hey there! I'm back~" 625 sang sweetly, the size of his confident gaze inversely proportional to the immediate frown that decorated Elastico's face. "Did you miss me, experiment three-four-five?"
"Yu-Yuuga!" the clown experiment croaked as he laid eyes on someone who he'd rather never see again. "Gaba yuuga doing back here in meega circus, six-two-five!? Meega already did what yuuga want! We finished and done with our deal!" he tried to shoo 625 off with those words, "Why yuuga come back, huh?!"
625 held back his laughter as he decided to break the bad news to the oblivious Elastico. "Oh, on the contrary," he murmured, taking great care to relish watching Elastico's face fall flat within a second, almost like that of a child being deprived of their toy. "Our little deal isn't over yet," he informed the stricken Elastico. "Don't forget, I still have all the details of your little betrayal. You know… the details of your current employment?"
625 had a wry grin on his face as he shrugged in a carefree manner. "The details of which you absolutely can't let our dear Jumba know?"
"Yuuga… wouldn't… dare," Elastico fumed, thrusting his hands to his sides and stretching out in subdued fury.
625 chuckled with mirth, holding out a hand to the trembling Elastico. "Oh, please. I'd rather you not test my patience. I might appear to be a really nice lil' fella, but if ya push me too far… well, things might get ugly," he threatened, wagging his finger in a disapproving manner.
Elastico exasperatedly shook his head in a similar disapproving fashion as a response.
"If you don't want me to spill the beans, well, you know the deal. Right now, I am in a most dire need for your assistance once more." 625's grin turned feral as he impatiently tapped his foot. "So, what do you say?"
Hearing the offer laced with the slightest hint of a threat, Elastico gawked at the yellow experiment as though he was crazy. By this point though, the clown was willing to simply accept that as the most reasonable explanation to 625's questionable actions.
"Gaba you want?" Elastico hissed. In the end, he knew that making 625 angry was not a wise move. As of now, he was caught between a rock and a hard place. Elastico felt right at home as a troupe member of the Electron Circus, and if the pesky arrogant 625 was going to blackmail him with the threat of outing him to Jumba yet again, then well… uh, choota.
So long as 625 didn't actually follow through with it, Elastico was fine with following his orders… even if he still despised the very thought of being dragged into yet another misadventure with that crazy joker.
Having to deal with one specific pesky joker of an experiment back in the old days at Jumba's lab was more than enough. Elastico really didn't need 625 to join his old friend in the realm of being an annoying pest who didn't know when to quit bugging him.
Still, his displeasure at his predicament was very clear. The clownish experiment rarely ever found himself showing a scowl, owing to his happy-go-lucky nature. And yet, he was currently sporting one on full display at the moment.
"I know, I know…" 625 muttered in an attempt to lighten the tense mood and atmosphere. "I'm like a bad flu that just won't go away. Almost like a persistent fly hovering around the sandwiches…"
Elastico's eyebrows twitched. "Yuuga not making meega feel any better, six-two-five!" he retorted, grumbling as he jumped off the vacant stage, his soft buoyant body absorbing the impact of the fall when he landed on the audience area down below.
"Alright, how about another example then?" 625 prompted. "Maybe I'm as annoying as a defective toaster that always burns the toast?"
Elastico folded his arms with a disparaging scowl. "Ih," he spat with a rare frown. "Meega think that yuuga have a couple screws loose."
625 howled at Elastico's insult, much to the green experiment's surprise. Still rolling in laughter, 625 then proceeded to slap his thigh. "Oh, man! That joke was actually a pretty good one! You actually do have a funny bone in ya, Elastico! I wouldn't have thought that, given that you're all stretch and no solidity!"
Elastico glowered at 625, slapping his forehead with a groan. His elastic body caused his head to recoil back from the motion in a spring-like motion.
When he recovered, Elastico could only glare at the impudent 625. Mentally heaving a sigh, he began to cook up an excuse that he could give his ringmaster for disappearing into thin air once again.
But in the deepest recesses his mind, Elastico relished the sobering, if outlandish, thought of shoving that blasted Experiment 625 into a stunt cannon and shooting him out of the tent and into the stars.
It was a fantasy… but at the rate that this was going, he was probably going to eventually do it sooner or later.
"Now then, three-one-six. Copy that experiment's looks for me."
Experiment 316 stared vacantly at Elastico, before looking at 625 with a pleading expression. 625 could only groan as he added under his breath, "Fine, I'll get you some chicken if you demonstrate, okay?"
Hearing the reward, 316 beamed at 625 and cooed happily in response, the experiment clapping his hands in excitement. Elastico simply stared at them as though they were both crazy. It wasn't that far from the truth to him… the two of them both looked to be clowns who were out of their minds. And this opinion was coming from a circus performer, of all people!
625 simply grinned at Elastico's blatant "how-did-I-get-myself-into-this" face. Once again, he was out in the dense woods that surrounded Kokaua Town, although this time he had company — two other experiments joining him. The experiment that he'd spent a lot of effort in getting, the affable transformable experiment three-one-six…
…and three-four-five, better known to the general public of Hawaii as the Great Elastico. It was quite blatant from 345's annoyed posture that the clownish experiment didn't want to be in this position if he actively had the choice, although as the matter currently stood right now, there was nothing he could really do to influence the decision.
As 316 stared into Elastico's eyes, the clown couldn't help but to back away from the slightly-older experiment model as the gooey 316 continued to stare vacantly into him. "Co-cooo…" 316 crowed unintelligently, giving Elastico a goofy grin before snapping his fingers and slithering—the gelatin-like experiment had no legs—his way to 625's side.
"Watch and learn, Elastico," 625 tsked the clown experiment, kneeling down on one knee as he reached an arm out to 316. "Razzle and dazzle! Behold! Like an unexpected slice of cheese hidden within the layers of a club sandwich, this is how you hide in plain sight!"
As 316 leaned forward to reach out and touch 625's paw, a change swept across both of the experiments. For the briefest of moments, 316's face copied that of Elastico's, and when it turned back to the gelatin experiment's default expression, 625 began to glow.
Elastico could only gape when he saw 625's features begin to contort and shift, his matted yellow fur and bright red nose disappearing and being replaced by a sleek green skin as the experiment's entire appearance morphed, taking on a very different form.
Within a few seconds, the previously yellow sarcastic experiment had completely shed his skin, transforming into a carbon copy of… himself.
Elastico could only blink when he found himself looking into a perfect mirror image of his own figure. 625 no longer looked like the goofy yellow experiment that he recognized, and in his place was someone who could have passed off as a 'Great Elastico' mascot that took the visage of Experiment 345, dressed up as in the experiment's own getup in order to promote his circus act.
"Boy, howdy!" 625, now under the guise of Elastico's stretchy body, cried vindictively up to the skies as he looked into his now-green palm and clenched it into a fist, pumping it up into the tree canopy above. "What do you know… it worked. It actually worked! Experiment three-one-six's disguise abilities actually worked! Wahee!"
Elastico backed away from his doppelganger, now suitably creeped out. Even way back when he was at Jumba's laboratory, he had heard rumors of 316's ability, but he had never had the opportunity seen it in action until now. Seeing it first hand was an entirely different beast compared to hearing rumors of it via word-of-mouth.
Bluntly, it was terrifying to see what appeared to be his twin behaving in such a different manner. "Elastico" chuckling maniacally was just the icing on the cake.
"Surprise! Wahee! Look at me! I am the Great Elastico!" Elastico heard the doppelganger speak, in a smarmy voice that was still distinctly recognizable as 625, even though his body was a different story altogether — it looked as though Elastico was looking directly into a mirror.
If said mirror reflected a twisted image back at him.
"G-gaba did yuuga do to yourself!?" a horrified Elastico finally managed to splutter to his doppelganger, very unnerved by 625 sporting a mirror image to his figure. "Meega naga like this! Turn yourself back, six-two-five!"
"Why should I?" 625, under the guise of 345, asked with a cruel smirk that really didn't fit the face of the experiment he was imitating.
"Smish! Meega got it! Meega understand!" Elastico hyperventilated, a complete first for the normally carefree experiment. "Just turn yourself back already, okay? Meega no want yuuga to keep looking like meega!"
Letting out an amused chortle, Elastico's snarkier twin snapped his fingers. "Alright, demonstration over. Change me back, three-one-six," he commanded. "I think I've proven my point to Elastico here."
Still munching on a piece of chicken, 316 used his free arm to touch 625. His pink face momentarily molded back to experiment 625's previous visage, causing 625 to go back to his former, somewhat chubbier, appearance.
"Voila!" he bragged, taking a small bow to taunt the shaken Elastico. "It's like magic!"
"Meega get it! So yuuga can look like meega! Gaba the big deal!?" Elastico shot at 625, trying to play the whole thing off.
625 wagged his fingers at Elastico, his voice turning icy. "The big deal, of course, is that I can now take the appearance of whomever I desire." He raises his paw to his chin, rubbing it contemplatively. "Yes, a useful ability to have, especially for my upcoming bank heist…"
Elastico nodded along his entire sentence, before performing a double-take at the bombshell 625 had just dropped on him. "B-bank heist?" he repeated, in disbelief of what he'd just heard.
A crafty expression accompanied 625's mock surprise. "Oh? Why are you so stunned? Why else would I go through all the trouble to enlist your help once more?"
Elastico rapidly shook his head, further exaggerated by the pointy tips of his crown-shaped head. "Meega no gonna be dragged into this! Meega no like this! Meega only mere circus performer!" He smiled sweetly and innocuously. "Yuuga can't possibly drag a innocent circus troupe member to rob a bank, can yuuga?"
Unfortunately, 625 didn't appear to care much about Elastico's apprehension regarding the matter. "What's the big deal?" he shrugged in a carefree manner. "No need to be worried! You'll be fine, Elastico. Besides, this isn't even the first time that you've stolen from somebody," he pointed out, his eyes hovering towards the rehydrated Experiment 316, retroactively pointing out that the pink experiment had been partially recovered by the stretchy clown's very own hand.
Realizing that he couldn't argue his way out, Elastico's face became pale, paler than even the white paint on his face. He forced a smile as he sighed miserably.
"Accepted your fate, haven't you?" 625 reassuringly pat the experiment's shoulder. "Don't worry…. I was once like ya. Oblivious to the true nature of this world. Eventually, you gotta fight back against it all…"
Elastico could only stare at 625 as he beckoned the clown forward. "Come. Let's leave this forest. We have a destination to get to."
With a grouchy look, Elastico lugged himself after 625. He could stretch his legs to increase his pace, but 625 was trudging slowly and he couldn't overtake him as he didn't know their destination.
But they soon reached said destination soon enough.
Experiment 625 ambled forward, grinning as he looked at the structure that was erected to his front. "Remarkable, ain't it? Here it is, the Birds of Paradise Hotel…" he smirked vicariously as he stared at the decently-sized building, before reading off the conspicuous sign affixed to the water fountain that was situated to its front. "Kokaua Town's finest hotel — experience the 'aloha of Hawaii with us!"
"Hahaha! Experience the 'aloha with us?" 625 laughed in a snide tone, sneering at the mocking motto printed on the large billboard, looming in block letters as if to taunt him. "Oh, I'll give this island an 'aloha, alright! I'll give it to them once I proclaim my freedom! For Kauai's National Bank that's located within this hotel will be my ticket to freedom!"
625 greedily licked his lips, "Yes …true freedom. As of right now, I still have to rely on the Galactic Federation for assets and cash flow… pah! I'm still nothing more than their mere foot soldier, with restraints on my paws!"
Kicking a pebble aside, 625 swept his piercing gaze across the front of the hotel. "But not for long… not for long! I ain't gonna have to rely on nobody once all of that sweet local money is in my grubby little paws! Heh heh heh, I can't stop myself from laughing just thinking about all of the chaos that my plan will cause to this place." He wiped a small tear from his eye before calming himself down.
"So are you finally happy with me now, Jumba? Are you, huh!?" 625 shouted into the air, even despite the fact that he knew that his creator most definitely couldn't hear him.
Elastico slowly backed away from the hollering 625, thankful that the late timing made it so that less people would notice them loitering outside the hotel conspicuously. Since he, as Elastico, was so easily recognizable, the last thing he wanted was for this outburst to be mistaken for some sort of new act in his circus troupe.
He didn't need that sort of attribution.
Elastico hesitantly shifted forward as 316 looked on, using his stretchy arms to gesture at 625 to calm himself down before the whole lot of them got noticed.
But 625 didn't see the flailing Elastico, too caught up in the moment to discern Elastico's panic. And even if he did, it was unlikely that he would care.
He strutted to the water fountain at the front of the hotel. Opening his palm, he then revealed a small red spherical orb. Holding it up with his fingers, 625 shot his two spectators a toothy grin.
Elastico, in particular, remembered what this was — an extra experiment pod that 625 had pocketed while trying to retrieve 316. It had definitely struck him that 625 had kept it on his person, considering that in contrast, 625 had thrown all the other pods about the room in a game of catch to annoy his partner in crime, aka him.
He just hadn't expected to see it so soon.
625 then leaned back. Using his paw to toss the experiment pod freely up into the air in the same manner that a juggler would throw their balls into the air, 625 let the bright red pod remain airborne for a second before watching it plop down with an arc into the very same water fountain where he had activated 316 earlier.
It hit the surface of the water with a tiny splash and descended beneath, a few bubbles frothing to the surface the only hint left of the object that was thrown within.
This was especially so as the object disappeared from view, quickly reacting with the water surrounding it, even more bubbles frothing up to the surface due to the resulting effervescence, in a manner similar to that of a fizzy cola can being vigorously shaken.
Very far away, a muffled, gargled voice from within a stomach blurbed a reply at this new development.
"Experiment two-oh-two activated. Primary function: frequency jammer."
No one heard those words, of course. They were too far away and inside of an experiment's belly, to boot. But 625 didn't need the experiment container to tell him that the activated experiment was a frequency jammer.
He'd known about it from Jumba's logs beforehand. Ruined the suspense, but 625 didn't care. He preferred not to have a repeat of the Yaarp incident. He'd gotten lucky with that, but the crafty experiment knew better than to rely on mere luck.
A few seconds later, a dark indigo bat-like creature was unleashed out into the open, accompanied by a bright yellow flash of light. The very instant it was released from its orb-like prison, it flew out of the fountain, letting out a boisterous and mischievous grin that positively reeked of trouble as drops of water dripped down his wings.
But before it could wreak havoc on the hapless island of Kauai with its sonar capabilities, its eyes fell on a triumphant 625. The experiment immediately landed on the edge of the fountain in the very instant he saw the yellow counterpart, saluting with a wing to his temple.
625's rambunctious grin only grew wider. Just like he'd thought.
Like what had happened before with Yaarp, the newly activated Experiment 202 was immediately subservient to his demands. 625 simply chuckled as he strode forward. Poor, predictable Jumba. The Kweltikwan scientist probably didn't anticipate for his failsafe to backfire on him this thoroughly. It was really too bad that with that failsafe, almost every single one of Jumba's experiment would listen to 625 without demand.
Which would be perfectly okay… if he hadn't been planning on turning against his very own creator. 625 guffawed, making a surefire bet that Jumba had not thought about implementing a failsafe for his own failsafe. He definitely hadn't even considered the mere possibility of his own experiment turning on him, had he?
Well, that was quite the rhetorical question, now wasn't it?
His perfect plan was slowly falling into place. All that was left for him to settle was the execution of his plan. The execution had to go smoothly… as smooth as the delectable combination of peanut butter on jelly.
Smiling at 202 with a nod, 625 chuckled to himself as he patted the top of 316's head, the gelatin-like experiment fibrously vibrating under his touch, cooing in response to the gesture.
Soon, his long-awaited revenge would commence. And not a moment too soon. He'd waited far too long for this.
Should Kokaua Town just so happen to be unfortunate enough and end up caught in the ensuing crossfire, then so be it. He'd simply cover the whole incident up and write the resulting damage off as a loss — as an unfortunate casualty of the quote-on-quote "attempted re-capture efforts" of the fugitive Jumba if he had to explain it to the Galactic Federation.
Collateral damage was inevitable when it came to war, after all…
Been a while since I updated, eh? I do apologize — this chapter had been sitting around on my laptop for a while, but I admittedly lacked the push to finish up the final edits and actually put it up due to the final quarter of 2018 really taking its toll on me. But 2019 is a new year, so here you go!
It's certainly time to throw down the gauntlet with this new arc. Things are definitely heating up now that 625 has the transforming Experiment 316 as his asset.
I've been hinting that the relationship between 625 and Jumba is more strained than in canon due to events branching out — in canon, Reuben doesn't even care much for Jumba, but here he's kind of forced to by the situation.
And here is the first hint as to that shifty change in attitude, with this decision a major branching point compared to the relatively minor differences so far. Why a bank heist? Will it really go as planned? How would it all turn out with three pesky experiments following 625's lead? You'll have to tune in next time!