Ch: 68 Battle of the Minds

As the van rocketed down the busy streets of Rome with animal control right behind them, Adora was trying to help AJ control Kane. His twitching had worsened and he was becoming less coherent as he started muttering to himself.

"… just hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil and all will be fine..." Whispered AJ, entwining his paw with Adora's trying to calm his nerves.

The penguins made a sharp turn to avoid oncoming traffic, causing AJ to bang his head. The burning anger in his eyes returned, yet his timid body language remained unchanged. Directing his dark gaze toward his family, Kane spoke. "I will kill all of you… unless Dubois kills us first!"

"AJ, please keep fighting him." Adora tightened her grip on AJ's paw.

Ignoring her, Kane looked over to the swinging doors as animal control advanced. "Close the doors you idiots!"

"Relax," Spoke Ryan, "there's no way after what just happened in the collosum that they have any more…" a tranquillizer dart flew through the air and struck Ryan's paw. "… sleepy time darts." Ryan passed out. Serena and Alex jumped up and slammed the doors shut just before a fury of dart could hit them.

"Ryan, you moron." Muttered AJ regaining control.

The entire van suddenly shook and a loud banging started coming from the roof. A small dent form at the source of the sound.

"Kowalski, status report!"

BANG! The dent got bigger.

"Two officers on the roof, three more in pursuit, Dubois included." He said looking out the window.

BANG! Clanged the roof again as a small dent grew to the size of a small melon, sending everyone into a panic. Everyone that is except AJ, who was blankly staring off into space as if nothing was happening, and the penguins.

BANG! The dent gave way tearing open a hole with animal control officers aiming tranquillizer guns at them.

The penguins made another sharp turn, sending the two officers flying off the roof.

AJ grabbed his head in pain again as the other voice in his head clawed its way back to the surface. Kane looked deeply into Serena's electric blue eyes until she met his gaze. Strangely, his eyes weren't filled with the same anger he had directed at his whole family, but instead a condescending look of disappointment.

"You've failed us Serena."

A rush of cold fear flooded her veins when she heard this.

"W-What?" She squeaked.

"I warned you this would happen when we first met and how it could all be avoided."

"I-I don't know what you're talking about." She lied cowering in her seat.

His expression darkened as his anger leaked into his voice.

"Yes you do! And you know what will happen because of your failures!"

To Alex, Gia, Bella, and Adora's surprise Serena broke down uncontrollably sobbing. They had never seen her act like this before.

"I did my best." She said through her sobs.

"Which makes your failure all the more pathetic."

His cryptic words sent her into a greater fit of crying.

Clutching Ryan's unconscious body tightly, Gia turned to her oldest daughter and said, "Serena, what is he talking about?"

"I don't know."

"Tell the Trut.. ah!" AJ forced himself back into control, not noticing his sobbing sister. "I can't hold him much longer! Are we almost there yet?"

"We can't risk going back to the train with Dubois still following us. The risk is too high."

In frustration, AJ franticly searched his surroundings, until he found a police laptop. He opened it and began typing so fast Adora couldn't keep up with what he was doing. Various error messages continued to pop up until finally a green one popped up. "Turn left here, sir." He said to Skipper.

The van lurched left and straight toward a busy traffic light. The instant they passed under it the lights changed sending two cars crashing into each other, nocking Dubois's two reaming officers flying, leaving Dubois alone chasing them. Throwing aside the computer, AJ climbed into the front seat forcing the penguins to move, muttering to them. "I have a plan."

He turned several times down the street, before pulling onto a big road accelerating to top speed. Dubois had almost caught up to the van, even with its acceleration. Just a few hundred feet ahead of them stood a large and imposing building; the Roman police department. The building drew closer and closer, yet AJ showed no signs of letting up.

"AJ?" Worry growing in Alex.

"Hang on!"

At last second AJ jerked the wheel and narrowly avoided crashing into the building. Dubois, having no time to react, wasn't so lucky. She crashed head first through the police station's front doors. Everyone in the van cheered, except AJ, who was blankly staring at the road. There celebration was short lived as he started driving toward the woods just outside the city.

"AJ, the train is parked on the other side of the forest. We need to go the other way."

For a moment the was terrifyingly silent, but what he said next sent shivers down their spines.

"You really shouldn't have let AJ drive this thing." Said Kane with a wicked grin on his face.

"Give us the wheel!"

Before the penguins could do anything, Kane jerked the wheel, sending the van airborne into the forest.

CRASH! The van struck a tree upside-down.

Alex groaned as he regained his barings and helped Gia up. Adora and Serena tried to unbuckle Ryan, who was hanging upside down in his seat still snoring.


Skipper was cut off by a high-pitched scream. Everyone peaked out the ruined car to find the source. Kane, slightly cut and limping, had grabbed Bella tightly by the waist with his claws to her throat. He screamed at her to shut up and slowly began to hobble backward.

"Here's what's going to happen! I'm going to leave and you all are going to let me. If I see any of you trying to follow me, especially that French puttana, the liguaress dies!" The two vanished into the deeper forest.

"What do we do?" Adora asked, turning to the penguins.

"You are the only one who can calm him down."

"But he said if he sees me, he will kill her."

"Only if he sees you. If you can get close enough before he sees you, maybe you can stop him. Use the tree tops, he might not see you."

"Might not? Wait you are not coming?"

"Tree climbing isn't our forte. Now go!" Ordered Skipper.

She took a deep breath and let her natural instincts kick in. Bolting up the tree trunk and gliding silently across the branches, she managed to spot them. She paused when she heard them talking.

"Please don't do this Kane." With fear in her voice, but not as much as Adora expected.

"You know I almost pity you Bella. I suppose we both are forced to carry a burden. I must tolerate AJ's existence and you must tolerate your own inner darkness."

Left with no other option, Adora pounced toward Kane hoping to knock him off his feet. Sadly, he was stronger than Adora thought as she only staggered him. She saw the fury return in his eyes as his claws lightly pierced Bella's neck. Bella stood too petrified to scream, as a small crimson stream of blood ran down her neck, staining her pure snow-white fur. Adora shrieked out in terror. Her cries struck Kane like a punch to the face as his piercing gaze melted away as tears began to roll down AJ's fearful eyes. Despite his tearful eyes, he started to laugh manically the instant he saw what had happened. He pushed his injured sister into Adora's arms. He fell to his paws and knees and franticly began to search the ground until he found what he was looking for; a small rock. He smacked himself with it in the head with it, nocking himself unconscious.

The penguins and AJ's family came bursting through the foliage to find the terrifying scene. Gia ran to her bleeding daughter. Clutching her bleeding neck, Bella calmly replied, "It's okay Mom. It's just a cut, I'm fine."

The penguins and Alex (who was holding a sleeping Ryan) raced to check on AJ.

"He will be fine when he wakes up, but he needs food after this ordeal" Said Kowalski feeling AJ's pulse.

Skipper turned to Rico and Private. "Bandage the girl. We need to get back the train."

Adora breathed a sigh of relief learning both Bella and AJ would be fine, not know the long night that lay ahead of her.