Despicable Me: The Outbreak
So, this was a story that I posted about five months ago that I mentioned was pretty ambitious and crazy. But, after I started Down The Bloodline 3, I lost interest in the plotline and honestly never thought I was going to complete it, so I deleted it to avoid an abandoned story.
But, I've decided to give it another go. Down The Bloodline 3 will still get updates, don't worry. I refuse to abandon that story, but I think it would be a good idea to release this one alongside it, in order to give myself a refresher. These chapters will probably be a bit shorter than the ones I release on DTB, but chances are, they'll still be a few thousand words long.
If you haven't read this already, I sincerely hope you enjoy.
The Last Chance
It had been a whole forty seconds since Gru and Lucy arrived in Valerie's office, and still, the AVL director was yet to speak a single word. All she did was simply sit there, staring at the two agents fiercely, piercing through them with a laser-like gaze. The couple were too afraid to start the conversation themselves, so in response, they also just sat there, trying as hard as they could to avoid eye-contact with her. Unfortunately, to not much avail.
Clearly, Valerie was extremely infuriated, and for the most part, it was understandable as to why. Gru and Lucy were starting to tread on thin ice at this rate…
"Again!?" She finally exclaimed, startling the two agents. "You've let a notorious villain get away…AGAIN!?"
The married couple were unsure on how to respond. The last time Gru attempted to rebuttal when it came to losing a villain, he ended up screaming, making pathetic useless excuses, and costing the two their jobs. Because of this, he was afraid of saying anything, in fear of repeating that event.
"If you cannot tell, I am FAR from impressed!" Valerie shouted, slamming her fist on the table. "My instruction was simple! Find Drab, foil his evil plan, and bring that idiot to justice! And yet, even though my orders were as clear as day, here we are, empty-handed with a psychotic madman roaming around the streets! This is UNACCEPTABLE!"
"Okay! Look, we messed up." Lucy stated calmly and confidently, trying to keep herself nonchalant. If she appeared in any way aggressive, Valerie would almost instantly fire her on the spot. "But, if you give us another chance with Drab, I promise we'll get him this time."
"Oh, no, you can forget that idea!" Valerie stated harshly. "I gave you your chance and the two of you squandered it! I'll get another, more capable duo to bring Drab in. You two on the other hand, I'm really unsure as to what to do with you!"
Gru and Lucy gave each other a fearful glance, before dropping the heads and keeping themselves deadly silent. The two were awaiting the two dreaded words that were surely on the tip of Valerie's tongue.
Ever since she used them the first time around, the two attempted with all their will to ensure she didn't have any reason to use them again. But, after Drab managed to escape them and carry out his evil plan of stealing a multimillion-dollar military weapon, it seemed they had failed.
Building the suspense, Valerie leaned back and stared at the ceiling, pretending to contemplate. From the moment this conversation began, she had already made up her mind.
She was definitely going to fire them again.
Just as it was with Balthazar Bratt, it was critically important that Drab was brought in to face punishment for his crimes. And just as it was with Balthazar Bratt, this couple had messed it up and failed in bringing him in. Even though she was still impressed that they'd managed to take back the Dupont diamond a few months back, she couldn't allow this to keep happening.
Sighing belligerently, Valerie lowered her gaze back to the Gru's. She quite enjoyed firing people, so even though this would surely hurt them a great deal, she would at least get some shred of entertainment from it. But, just as she was about to yell the dreaded words, her eyes were caught by a form on her table…
Smirking, Valerie had a small change of heart. That form had been sitting there, completely unattended to, for a few weeks now, and it was beginning to play on her nerves. This was her chance to get rid of it and have that dreaded mission out of the way for good.
Plus, chances are, Gru and Lucy would fail and mess it up again. And if they did, the consequences would be a lot worse than just losing their jobs…
"Here's the deal, Gru's." Valerie started, making the couple lift their heads, now clearly intrigued. "I have a little mission here that's been causing quite a few problems, and no matter how hard I try, I can't get any willing agents to complete it for me."
"Uh…why ees dat?" Gru asked carefully, cocking his head to the side. With every word that left his mouth, Gru felt his heart-rate accelerate that little bit faster. The fear of saying the wrong thing being the reason why.
"Well, every agent we've sent so far has been found rather…dead," Valerie explained, a clear sense of rage in her eyes. She hated it when villains started overpowering her organization. Not only did it put lives at risk, but it also soured her position with the AVL head-office. "And it seems no-one is willing to take the risk. If I give the two of you one last chance, do you think you could sort it out, without any mistakes?"
Looking at each other once again, Gru and Lucy beamed with relief.
"Of course!" Lucy exclaimed cheerily.
"What do we need to do?" Gru inquired.
"Simple really," Valerie replied, shrugging with an obviously fake smile. "The Portuguese AVL branch have been having a few issues with a large, ominous cult of villains, criminals, and thieves going by the name 'The Surto'. The gang has gotten so out-of-control, that they've requested help from every AVL branch situated across the entire globe. Every agent who has been sent there to aid the takedown has not returned, and have been presumed dead."
Usually, after Valerie stated that last fact, any agent in her office would either refuse the mission or begin hysterically panicking. However, Gru and Lucy seemed unfazed, as if the prospect of life-threatening danger excited them more than it scared them. It was a shame they were terrible at bringing in villains, since she sincerely admired that trait.
"So…what should we do?" Lucy asked.
"What do you think!?" Valerie snapped, thrusting forward in her seat, startling the couple a little. "Go to Portugal, locate the cult, find out what they're up to, and then bring in their leader! It's a simple ask, but knowing you two, you'll mess it up in some way!"
Gru and Lucy gave each other a peevish look of disappointment. They usually carried themselves in high regard, believing that they were some of the best agents around, so to be told otherwise was quite demoralizing.
"Now, get going!" Valerie blurted piercingly. "I'll arrange a flight for the two of you to Portugal tomorrow, so I expect you to be here first thing in the morning! Do I make myself clear!?"
"Mm-hmm." The couple mumbled in unison, frowning with frustration. They couldn't wait for this conversation to conclude.
"Good! Get out of my sight!" Valerie exclaimed, motioning her hand towards the door violently. Just as Gru and Lucy stood up to leave, Valerie continued, making the two of them roll their eyes with exasperation. "And take this as a warning, Gru's! If you return here without the leader of that cult, you can FORGET keeping your jobs as AVL agents! This is your VERY last chance! For both our sakes, I sincerely hope you don't squander it!"
Without another word, Gru and Lucy stormed out of the room, the urge to turn back and throttle Valerie being extremely overwhelming. Not only was her voice beyond maddening, but her constant gruff attitude was starting to grind at the couple's gears.
The two needed to get home and calm their nerves, since Valerie was not the only thing stressing their minds past their limit. The prospect of flying to Portugal to take down a hostile cult made up of dangerous villains and murderers, where their chances of being executed were higher than comfortable, was another thing causing them anxiety.
It wasn't the prospect of dying that scared the couple, since the adrenaline of lethal situations was one of the best part of the jobs, but it was more the aftermath of their deaths that terrified them.
Just imagining the hurt expressions of their three endearing little girls after they learned of their parent's deaths and how they were being sent back to the orphanage was enough to give them nightmares.
It wasn't even worth thinking about. Imagining the bad outcomes was never a good idea when facing danger, since doing so increases the chances of those outcomes coming to fruition by a great deal.
Clearing their heads, the married couple sighed in unison as they slowly traipsed towards their parked vehicle.
"I can't wait to get back home." Gru proclaimed wearily, opening the metal tank's doors.
"Ugh…me too." Lucy responded, her voice filled with just as much weariness as her husband's. "I'm really starting to miss Silas. We never had these kinds of problems when he was director."
"Y'know, I never thought I'd be sayeeng dis," Gru began, slumping into the driver's seat. "But I'm starteeng to miss heem too."
As he started up the engine and sped out of the parking lot, the two AVL agents didn't notice the three hooded men inside a nearby black car, who creepily pulled off and left the vicinity without anyone noticing them…
As the couple slowly slogged through the living room doorway, Margo, Edith, Agnes and Dru were all laughing uproariously over something indeterminable. Chances are, considering the average mental age of everyone in the room, that something was very immature.
The moment that Agnes noticed her parents entering the room, she leaped from the couch and sprinted over to them, her expression populated with an immensely bright smile.
"Mommy! Daddy!" She exclaimed ecstatically. The instant she got to their feet, she wrapped her arms around their legs and bounced up and down, holding onto them tightly. "You're home!"
The couple couldn't help but chuckle. It didn't really matter how much stress plagued their day, because returning home was enough to bring the smiles back to their faces.
"Eet would appear so, sweetie." Gru replied, kneeling down to pick up the beaming girl in his arms. "Have yoo had a good day?"
"Mm-hmm." Agnes replied, nodding happily. "We had a tea party, and watched TV, and we helped Uncle Dru make dinner!"
Considering that Agnes was at the prime age of accidentally making messes, and knowing how destructive Edith becomes when given a task, Gru was now a little fearful for the state of his kitchen. Turning to his twin brother with a wry smile, Gru furrowed his brow dubiously.
"Ees dat so?" He questioned.
"I swear, we deedn't mean eet!" Dru exclaimed quickly, putting his hands up as if to defend himself. It was clear that he hadn't been paying any attention to the prior conversation.
"Deedn't mean what?" Gru inquired, smirking a little. Realizing his mistake, Dru lowered his hands and tried to act casual, obviously to not much avail.
"Oh…notheeng." He replied quietly. "I'd…uh…I'd stay out of de keetchen eef I was yoo."
Gru gave his brother another questionable look, one of which Dru tried to deflect again.
"No particular reason…"
Rolling his eyes, Gru couldn't help but snicker. Bearing in mind the stressful day he'd just endured, coming home to a destroyed kitchen should've enraged him even further. But with his whole family surrounding him, it was as if all that strain and frustration that'd been building up was completely erased, and he just couldn't find the urge to get angry.
"So…how was work?" Margo asked, as Agnes jumped from her father's arms and re-joined her sister's and uncle on the couch.
And just like that, the couple were brought back to reality. The reminder that their jobs were on the cusp of being revoked, and the reminder of the mission that could very well cost them their lives, came flying back to them like a frisbee.
Gru and Lucy turned to each other cumbersomely. It was bad enough telling the girls that they'd been fired, let alone telling them they were leaving for a mission that was as important as it was deadly.
Before they had the chance to speak up, Edith noticed the distress in their expressions, and much to their dismay, responded for them.
"Did you get canned again?" She asked solemnly, a feeling of which spread to her sister's.
"No, no!" Lucy responded frantically, trying to prevent upsetting them. Racking her mind for words, she desperately searched for a way to tell the girls the news, without causing too much fear. However, after a few moments of silence, the redhead turned to her husband and looked at him as if to ask for help.
"Hey, I told dem last time!" Gru stated upon noticing his wife's expression. "Eet's your turn now."
Huffing with defeat, Lucy strolled over and slumped down in the middle of her three daughters, who were all glaring up at her inquisitively. They could tell something was up, and fearing the worst, were filling up with worry.
"I've got some bad news, girls." She started. "Me and your dad made a little…mistake, and we have to do something big to make up for it."
"Something big?" Margo questioned. "What do you mean by that?"
"Uh…the two of us have to take down a really big group of people, called a cult," She explained. "And if we can do that, then…we get to keep our jobs. Otherwise, we are gonna get 'canned' again."
"A cult!?" Dru questioned, also looking as panicked as the girls. "But aren't dey kinda…dangerous?"
"Well, yeah." Lucy started, turning away in thought. "But…so are villains, and we've beaten loads of them before!"
"But cults are tons more dangerous den villains, Lucy!" Dru stated loudly. "Yoo…yoo could get killed!"
The girls gasped loudly in unison, and in a bout of panic, Agnes couldn't help but quickly latch on to Lucy's leg, as if she was trying to trap her to the couch. Sending Dru one last harshly aggressive look, Lucy dropped her head and sighed, wishing deeply that this entire situation wasn't happening.
Every single time Gru and Lucy left for a mission, there was always the risk of death. There would always be that chance that they would leave and never return. However, most of the missions that they embarked upon involved taking down one single villain and bringing them to justice. They were pretty good at doing that.
However, taking down a whole cult, one of which was supposedly made up of extremely dangerous villains, was on a whole new level of lethality.
The odds were heavily out of their favor. When they leave for Portugal tomorrow, there was an incredibly uncomfortable chance that their lives would come to a horrible end, and that very thought made them beyond afraid.
After a whole minute of tense silence in the room, Gru clapped his hands and grabbed everyone's attention, trying to move things along.
"Right den, gurls!" He boomed, attempting to ignore the horrible possibility clouding the whole family. "Eet's getteeng quite late! Let's go get you ready for bed."
Without a word, the girls slowly rose from their seats and plodded out of the room, Agnes instinctively clinging onto her eldest sister's hand for comfort. There was a clear and awfully painful sense of fear shadowing them, and the two parents hated the sight of it.
As Dru and Lucy got up and made their way out of the room, Gru stopped them at the door and looked towards his brother.
"Could I…have a leetle chat weeth yoo?" He asked. Dru kept quiet and gave him an uncertain look, but upon realizing how long he'd remained silent, nodded his head quickly. As the two brothers made their way back to the couch, Gru gave his wife a small nod. "I'll be up een a bit."
Nodding in return, Lucy disappeared into the hallway and left the room, a solemn pout inhabiting her face as she did so.
With a worrisome slump, Gru and Dru sat down on the crocodile couch, the latter looking as confused as he did concerned.
"Uh…are yoo planneeng to leave for any evil schemes over de next few days?" Gru inquired.
"Oh, well, I was theenking about breakeeng eento de local art museum and stealeeng one of de painteengs, and den I was theenking about shutteeng off de power supply for de Paradise mall, and den I was theenking about-" Dru replied, but upon realizing that he was talking to an AVL agent, stopped himself and gave Gru a sheepish look. "Uhhh…I probably shouldn't have told yoo dat."
"I'll forget yoo said anytheeng." Gru replied, unable to smirk, even though he wanted to. "See, I ask because…do yoo theenk yoo could look after de gurls for de next few days. Me and Lucy aren't gonna be able to."
"Oh, uh…yeah, sure." Dru agreed, nodding. "Wait…de next few days? What are yoo doeeng?"
"What do yoo theenk?" Gru mumbled sorrowfully. "Dis stupeed cult of villains are situated over een Portugal, so me and Lucy are gonna be away for a while."
"Oh…" Dru murmured, dropping his head. Portugal was quite far away from the US, so if the AVL were asking Gru and Lucy to travel all that way to take down this cult, then it must be extremely important. After a few seconds of awkward silence, Dru continued. "Well…be sure to breeng me back sometheeng."
Chuckling a little, Gru nodded. However, to make way for his next question, which he was tremendously afraid of asking, the chuckle was abruptly cut short.
"But…one more theeng…" Gru started. "Do you theenk dat…eef possible…yoo would be able to look after de gurls for even longer?"
Furrowing his brow, Dru gave his brother a befuddled gaze.
"Wh…what do yoo mean?"
"Well, Dru…" Gru replied quietly, and extremely carefully. This was a very sensitive topic to talk about. "Eef…eef sometheeng was to happen…do you theenk yoo could step een for me and Lucy?" Still completely baffled, Dru continued to glare at his brother with a perplexed expression, signaling for him to elaborate further. "…so dey don't have to go back to de orphanage."
"Oh!" Dru exclaimed, as the realization hit him. Turning away awkwardly, the blonde villain mumbled his next sentence, trying to figure out a way to escape this conversation. Of course, if it came to it, he would definitely be there for the girls, but the very prospect terrified him deeply. "Um…I…I guess…"
"Eet won't come to dat!" Gru exclaimed confidently, talking as direct as he could with his brother. "But…just een case, y'know."
"Uh…yeah, yeah, sure. I got ya." Dru replied, standing up and pacing out of the room hastily. "Anyway, I'm…I'm shattered, so…I'll see yoo when…when yoo come back."
"Um…right." Gru replied, sighing as his brother practically ran out into the hallway, clearly uncomfortable with the discussion.
This day was getting worse and worse as it went on. In hindsight, if he could go back in time, Gru definitely would've turned down the mission and accepted being fired. I mean, working in some dead-end job was a lot better than being separated from his beloved daughters and wife by death.
Getting up from his seat, the former villain walked across the room and trudged out into the hallway, but as he did so, his brother jumped from around the corner and grabbed him in an unexpected hug.
"I love you, brother." He mumbled. Huffing sadly, Gru wrapped his arms around Dru in return, as if he was a very small child in need of comfort, and replied, knowing this could be last time he would be with him.
"I love you too, Dru." He muttered. "I love you too…"
The men needed to move quick. If they didn't return to the hideout in time, they were sure to face severe consequences. They had an idea as to what punishment they would receive, mainly based on witnessing others returning late, but in order to keep a hold of their nerve, they refrained from thinking about it.
This would be the fifth time these men had undergone this type of mission. It was, apart from the lengthy travel distances, a fairly simple mission. Spy on a specific AVL base, figure out whether or not they were investigating the cult, and then find out information on the agents they send. The men were hoping to spy on the Portuguese AVL branch, in the hopes that they didn't have to fly long distances, but unfortunately, they'd been handed the US job.
Every recruit was also forced into returning to the hideout before 12AM, otherwise, that aforementioned punishment would be awaiting them.
Right now, it was 11:56PM, and the blood was pumping through their veins like bullet trains. They were driving as fast as they possibly could through the woodland, just trying to reach the hideout before the time threshold, but thankfully, it did seem they were going to make it. They could see the dim lights of the ceased, rundown village in the distance, so the chances of being late were now pretty low.
Finally, they made it to the front gates. The folder firmly in his grasp, the first hooded recruit jumped from the black car and approached the speaker, his legs moving at pace. Holding a finger upon the small red button, the recruit spoke into the microphone, his breaths rolling out uncomfortably quick.
"Here to see the boss." He said, promptly letting go of the button after speaking.
"Password?" The man on the speaker replied.
"Odious." He stated firmly. "Just open up, man! If we're late, it's totally on you!"
A large buzzer noise sounded, and shortly after, the metal gates opened up. Not wasting any time, the recruit sprinted back to the car and jumped into the front seat, driving quickly into the dark and creepy village almost immediately.
Right in front of the largest and cleanest looking building, the recruits swerved and came to a stop, quickly leaping from the car instantly after. They ran through the double doors at speed and momentarily glanced around the room.
The room was very big but mostly empty. The only light inside was the dim flickering of a few lone candles and the barely noticeable moonlight shining from the windows.
Only a few recruits were sitting inside, and all of them were simply relaxing and reading the latest articles in the Portuguese newspaper. Bright and jubilant smiles were painted firmly across their features. Chances are, the fact that they made it back in time to avoid punishment was the reason why.
Multiple pieces of furniture and a staircase leading upwards was situated to their left, while bulletin boards and a staircase leading downwards was situated to their right. The ticking of a clock could be heard from somewhere inside the room, reminding them of their horribly strict deadline.
They bulleted across the room and climbed the left staircase at speed. They had no clue as to what the time was, but in order to keep up their pace and avoid being late, they opted to keep running instead of checking their watches.
A moment later, they made it to the top of the staircase and emerged inside another large room, this one a lot brighter and warmer than the one below. Inside, a fireplace, multiple computers, a big microphone, and a large desk populated the area. A small wooden chair sat behind the desk, and sat atop it, an olive-skinned man in a white lab-coat was turned away from them.
The recruits dashed up to the desk and promptly placed the folder atop of it, panting heavily as they tried desperately to catch their desk.
"Sir." The first one spoke, pausing to take a breath. "We've returned."
Not turning around, the man in the white lab-coat spoke up, his voice low and thickened with an accent.
"Gentlemen." He replied. "What time are recruits supposed to return?"
"Uh...12AM." One of them said, his voice quivering with fear.
"Correct." The man responded, nodding. He proceeded to flaunt his hand towards a nearby digital clock, all the while still refusing to turn around. "And what time do you call this?"
The clock read '12:00:03AM', a mere three seconds past the deadline. The recruit's hearts stopped dead for a moment, the realization of what was happening hitting them like a wrecking ball.
"B-But...we did get back in time!" One of them argued, his whole body beginning to tremble. "It's just...it's just you've been talking to us...and...and-"
"I do not care for your pathetic excuses!" The man exclaimed, standing up from his seat and giving them an irate glare, finally making eye-contact with the recruits. "The time has passed 12AM, hence, you are late!"
"But...we got the information!" Another one of the recruits explained, pointing at the folder on the desk. "The US AVL branch is planning another take down on us! We have to act fa-"
"GUARDS!" The man boomed loudly, hammering his fist on the desk. Before the recruits had a chance to clock what was happening, three large henchmen, who wore tattered clothing and looked beyond worse-for-wear, grabbed them by the arms and held them inside a strong vice grip. "These men have returned late. You know what to do with them."
"NO! PLEASE!" The recruit screamed, kicking his legs in the hope of breaking free. The guards pulled them away quickly, dragging them back down the staircase. "NOT THE INJECTION! ANYTHING BUT THE INJECTION!"
As the recruit's screams slowly faded away, the man in the lab-coat proceeded to sit back down, this time with the folder in his hands. He wasted no time in opening it up and inspecting the contents inside, where he found two-character profiles.
The man read the details listed upon them, which detailed the names and the personal information of two specific AVL agents. Beside the information, pictures of the agents had been placed upon them, making the man grin devilishly.
"Hmm...Felonious and Lucy Gru, huh?" He spoke aloud to himself. "I guess I'll be seeing you soon..."
Hope you enjoyed the opening chapter. Will return ASAP.