Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Zippy Zipperdale: Moderately Mad Scientist ❯ The Second Experiment ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Moderately mad
The SECOND Experiment

By Hardcover

The warm water from the shower washed over Zippy Zipperdale’s head, flowing through her fiery red hair and trickling down over her body. She braced herself against the side of the shower with one arm, her bloodshot eyes closed. It was early morning, four days after she had first found herself mysteriously enrolled in this school. She was tired, drained of energy, and she could feel the beginnings of stress headache coming on. At least, the warm water felt good and relaxing, so she could be forgiven for taking a little longer in the shower this morning.

Things, had not been going so well for Zippy since her enrollment: She was easily smart enough for this place, but she lacked a great deal in experience. All the other top students, it seemed, had come from long lines of “unrestricted scientists” (Madam Petri’s euphemism for mad scientists), and had been around the dangerous and mind bending sort of science and invention that typified Petri’s all their lives. Zippy had not, and while she did well enough in her lessons, her experiments were all complete disasters. Most people would have told themselves that they couldn’t have expected to catch up in four days, but most people did have to worry about winding up the unwilling test subject for an insane school master.

To make matters worse, the teachers here weren’t cutting her any slack. The only one who seemed to be giving Zippy any sort of encouragement was Miss Piranha, who continually, if loudly and with excessive suffocating hugs, urged Zippy on. Out of all of them, Miss Piranha was easily the most approachable of the bunch, and as such had quickly become Zippy’s favorite teacher.

She had finally been allowed to contact her parents, who were dumbfounded at the situation and couldn’t offer any explanation. Their lawyer had looked into it, and told them that, indeed, the contract was binding. Not only did they have no proof that it had somehow been changed, but Coddswhollopdemy had now record of an admissions letter being sent our for Zippy, and no record at all of Zippy even applying to the school. And so, the mystery wrapped itself further in the proverbial enigma.

Her parents had softened a bit when they’d found out tuition was free (Zippy hadn’t told them how dangerous the school was, fearing they’d do something to get themselves in trouble).

For the most part, Zippy had spent whatever free time she had when she wasn’t doing homework or attending classes in the school’s massive library studying frantically, trying to find the edge she needed to compete with the other students. That edge, so far, had eluded her. She had also spent a lot of time down at Megan’s tank, finding that talking with the sixty foot smart megalodon was good for clearing her head, even though most of Megan’s advice was generally useless. For example: Megan’s advice for dealing with Cristobel had been for Zippy to bite off his flippers and let him sink. Still, it was fun to talk with Megan, which four days earlier would have seemed like the weirdest thing in the world to Zippy. Now it just seemed standard.

Zippy sighed heavily and reached over to shut off the water. She pushed back the shower door and got out. As she was reaching for a towel, the door popped open with a click and swung inward as the three foot tall land squid she’d met on her first day came scampering into the bathroom, speedily running up to her, incredibly fast on his small tentacles.

“Good morning, Zippy!” He announced, waving his tentacles in the air.

“Jetson!” Zippy cried, blushing, and quickly used her hands to hide some of her more personal anatomy from view.

Just as quickly, she chuckled and chided herself: Jetson may have been capable of speech, but he was still a Humboldt squid. Being naked in front of him wasn’t any different then being naked in front of a cat. She relaxed and dropped her hands, reaching for a towel and starting to dry herself.

After the big chase through the school, the squid had become rather attached to Zippy, seeing her allowing him to climb on her shoulder as an effort to protect him from the Farrell twins. He’d refused to go back to his tank, stubbornly following Zippy everywhere she went. With the aquatic mutations teacher (who had created the squid) Mr. Charcharias’ permission, Zippy had simply adopted the squid and named him Jetson. She even built him a place to sleep: A large sized salt water tank at the foot of the bed to with she’d attached a shoe tree with wooden plates glued to the branches to give Jetson a place to crawl up and dry off on.

Zippy dried herself off and then crouched down and played with Jetson a little bit: At least Jetson didn’t think she was a complete and total failure. She petted his cone and shook his tentacles a little before wrapping the towel around herself and walking back into the rest of the dorm room.

Jetson followed after, watching her keenly. Unbeknownst to Zippy, Jetson had a reason for wanting to see her in the shower: If she was wet and wore no clothes, she was more like him. Zippy was blissfully unaware that her pet had quietly fallen hopelessly in love with her.

As she entered she found her roommate Lizzy clad in her underwear pulling a uniform out of her closet. As they both began to get dressed, the door opened and Posey entered, quickly closing the door behind her so no boys in the hall could see in. On her head was a metal maid’s had now, and she carried with her a trolley of cleaning supplies. The sounds of her mechanical parts could be heard with each movement she made.

“Blork?” Posey asked.

“We are still getting ready, Posey.” Lizzy said in her customary monotone, “Come back later.”

“Blork.” Posey replied, and turned around, shuffling out the door.

Zippy and Lizzy wordlessly finished dressing, gathered up their books, and headed for the dining hall. On the way, Lizzy tried her best to cheer Zippy up, but with her morbid demeanor and the emotionless drone of her voice, she had little success. Not that Zippy harbored any grudges against Lizzy; in the days that she’d been here, Lizzy had turned into Zippy’s best friend in the world, and despite her appearance and odd personality, she was a good friend.

They entered the dining hall, which was a wide rectangular room filled with long antique wooden tables arranged in six rows of ten lengthwise. The floor was a dark marble with brown trim, and the ceiling was an enormous dome, decorated with an intricate painted compass around which was the words “Life, Mind, Imagination, Invention, Happiness.”

Above it all was a large balcony with one door in the far west wall, it sat a least a story above the dining hall. It had a few seats set, but nothing else. It was where Madame Petri used to address the students, but now that was handled, as usual, by Mr. Innsmouth.

The dining hall was filled with students and the low roar of conversation filled the enormous room, reverberating off the wall in a steady stream of chit chat. There was music from somewhere, and few students danced amiably. Werx moved about, busying themselves with preparations. Lizzy and Zippy pushed through the crowd heading for their usual table. As they did, they spotted Vixen moving past them.

Vixen waved as she rolled by, “Jeepers! Hello, girls.”

“Hi, Vixen.” Zippy said as amiably as she was able at the moment.

Vixen rolled off on her wheels to go wherever it was she was going, and they headed over to their table. As soon as they got close they were spotted by one of the Farrell twins, Nadjia, who yipped at them in welcome. The one thing Zippy had really managed to do successfully was build those all important alliances with the others. She’d found that she fit in well with Lizzy’s friends and was easily becoming one of the group, who were all gathered around at their usual table. Aside from the twins, there was Rina/Madoka Matsura (Rina at the moment), Sharon Witterson; the girl who now had hands instead of feet that Zippy had seen on her first day. She had turned out to be a brilliant and really cool girl, making Zippy hate Cristobel Bell even more for what he’d done to her.

She sat on Katjia’s left, and right next to her was Rina/Madoka’s room mate Betty Butterworth. Everyone called her Buttercup, which she didn’t seem to mind. Betty had long stringy brown hair and wide, round face. She had once been perfectly normal, but a mishap during a genetic experiment had left her genetically crossed with a three toed South American tree sloth, and she now had short legs, really long forearms, and a three foot neck, on which she could turn her head completely upside down. What struck Zippy as the most bizarre part of it was how Buttercup didn’t seem to care at all about what had happened to her. She carried on with life amiably, not missing a stride, cheerfully explaining why her neck was so long whenever anyone asked, and happily posing for pictures, happy with her freakishness, which made her, in effect, a ton of fun to be around.

Sitting on Nadjia’s left was the oddest member of their little team: Lorne Vasectomy. Zippy had also met Lorne on her first day, and he hadn’t gotten any less peculiar: He was a small boy with stark black hair parted to one side. He had a round, thick face, a large nose, and big, wide eyes to put Marty Feldman to shame. Zippy knew very little about him, as he hardly ever talked. He was helpful, and friendly enough, in his way, but he was almost always silent. He made Lizzy look like a poster girl for passion. No one was really sure who had invited him into the group; it seemed as though one day he was just there.

The last member of their group wasn’t present this morning. Eve Absinth, their very own home made vampire, was not here because she was up in the bell tower sleeping in her soundproof and air conditioned coffin. Eve had turned out to be smart, and friendly, and encouraging of Zippy, but no matter what, she still creeped her the hell out. It had been all Zippy could do not to scream when Eve had shown up in the middle of the night on Zippy’s second day, appearing behind Zippy before she even knew someone else was in the room. She’d been polite, and friendly, introducing herself, but all Zippy could do was pretend not to notice her fangs.

Eve attended some day classes; although she hated the sun, it didn’t kill her the way it did to the vampires of myth. But since Petri’s offered quite a few night classes, she took those whenever she could and slept during the day.

Rina waved, “Hi, Zippy! Hi Lizzy!”

Everyone said their hellos as Zippy and Lizzy slipped into their seats. No sooner had they done so, then there was the familiar ringing gong sound that signaled an announcement. The music stopped and all eyes turned towards the balcony. Mr. Innsmouth appeared above them and stood dead center at the railing, his intense eyes glaring down over the students as each one got in their seat and the room quieted down. Zippy always had the feeling that Mr. Innsmouth was looking at them as if they were ants or rats or some other vermin. Out of all the weird teachers here, he was the one who frightened her the most.

There was a long pause, and the he spoke with that deep, sinister voice, “I have been instructed by Madam Petri to inform you that another volunteer is required to assist her in her very important experiments. As is the tradition, the student with the lowest marks, and thus most needful of the extra credit, will be the one to volunteer.”

A hushed silence fell over the room, as the students look around at each other, fearful looks in their eyes. Zippy stared down at the table, not wanting to look up. Could it be possible that she had screwed up so much in her first four days that she’d be “volunteered” so fast? She knew it was unlikely, but she could stop the fear and apprehension from welling up inside her.

Mr. Innsmouth continued, “The student chose this time is . . . Jason Artmis.”

“No!” Screamed a boy in the back, standing up.

The boy had a wild, horrified look in his eyes. As soon as he was identified, the Werx moved in on him, surrounding him with the clanking sound of their metal feet. The boy looked back and forth, a pleading, frightened look in his eyes.

“No! No! Please don’t!” He cried, “I’ll do better, I promise!”

Without another word, the Werx led him out of the dining hall, his head and shoulders slumped in defeat. Whispers spread over the room as the boy disappeared. Without another word, Mr. Innsmouth turned and left the balcony.

Rina leaned over and whispered in Zippy’s ear, “That’s the third one this month.”

Zippy’s mood darkened considerably after that. The Werx came around, serving breakfast to the students rapidly, and everyone dug in. Zippy played with her food, eating only a tiny bit, a nasty feeling still welling up in the pit of her stomach. She glanced to ask something of Rina and noticed her staring strait ahead, her eyes unfocused.

After only a second or so, Rina had left, and Madoka had taken her place, digging into her eggs with relish as the other’s talked. Madoka loved food, and loved to eat. This had been a major sore spot in her symbiotic relationship with Rina, as the latter was constantly complaining about the weight she had gained because of Madoka.

“You know what we should do?” Madoka said through a mouth full of sausage, “We should throw a welcome party for Zippy over at The Manhattan Project.”

The twins both agreed, and so did the others. Zippy had heard talk about The Manhattan Project, but as yet she hadn’t been there. It was a club in the closest town that students form Petri had been frequenting for years. She was about to tell them that she didn’t want a party when she was interrupted by a sound she had learned to loathe with a distinct passion: The voice of Cristobel Bell.

He came up to her, surrounded by his groupies as usual, Amber, Tiffany and Charity in the lead as always. His snide smile plastered across his face in a way that never failed to make Zippy want to knock all his teeth out. He had a certificate of some kind in his hand, and he seemed to be already gloating.

“Well, well, well,” He chirped, “What do we have here? Why, I can almost smell the bitter scent of failure coming off you, Zipperdale. Peyew! You should take a bath and wash off all that incompetence; you’re really reeking up the place.”

“Get lost, Bell.” Zippy grumbled, “Don’t you have some new friends to buy or something?”

“Oh, I just thought I’d drop by and compliment you on that . . . wondrous invention of yours.” He said, and then all of them broke into hysterical laughter.

They were talking about Zippy’s one successful project so far: A small wooden tube that; through a complicated mechanized system of unfolding, instantly became a huge wooden hammer that was pretty good for pounding some sense into people like Bell. Sure it wasn’t spectacular, but it worked pretty well. If you kept the tube in a pocket, you could seem to produce the hammer out of thin air, the unfolding happened in a tenth of a second. Zippy had named it The Noggin Bopper, and it was the only thing she’d managed to create that actually worked.

“Yes,” Amber sneered at her, “It’s so lucky you invented that in case we have to drive in any giant sized nails.”

They all laughed maliciously, and Zippy turned away. No point in letting them get to her, she had more important problems to deal with then a bruised ego. But Bell wasn’t finished yet.

“Hey, well, I’m sure you heard about my newest invention: The Tissue Regenerator?” He said, “I mean, sure, you can’t ring the bell at the fun fair with it, but it’s going to revolutionize surgery as we know it.”

That was true; Cristobel’s Tissue regenerator was a major achievement. As much as Zippy hated to admit it, it had been a brilliant invention, able to mend and re-grow damaged tissue at an astonishing rate. He had actually been carrying it the day Zippy had first knocked him down, and the fact that it might have been damaged may or may not have been the beginning of his abhorrence of Zippy. But the applications were endless, the benefit to humanity obvious, and Zippy like to give credit where credit was due.

“Congratulations, Cristobel.” She said, “It was a stroke of genius.”

If Zippy had hoped that would calm Cristobel down, it didn’t work. He flushed with anger, lunching at her a little.

“Don’t patronize me, you little idiot!” He barked, “You think I need support from a woman? Especially a useless woman like you? You can shove your congratulations right up your . . .”

“Hey, I was just trying to be nice . . .” Zippy growled.

The twins did some actual growling of their own, baring their teeth. Cristobel ignored them, but Amber took a few steps back warily.

“I know what you were trying to do, Zipperdale.” Cristobel shouted, “Trying to play the part of fair and gracious student, trying to make me look bad. Well screw that, I’m wise to your tricks, girl.”

Before Cristobel could say anything else, Kevin showed up, like he usually did, and pulled him away before things could get too rough. It seemed like no matter what, Kevin was always there to rescue Cristobel from himself. Kevin was all too obviously a better friend then Cristobel deserved. Shaking a little with anger, Zippy went back to her food.

In Cristobel’s direction, Lizzy mumbled, “A pox upon thee, foul brute.”

“I can’t believe those girls all crowd around him just for his money.” Zippy said, playing with her food.

Madoka glanced at them and then leaned in closer to Zippy, that ever present gossipy twinkle in her eye.

“It’s more complicated then that.” She told her.

“How so?” Zippy asked, not really sure that she wanted the answer.

Madoka gestured with a fork skewered slice of bacon, “Do you see those two guys over there, the once that trail and the groupies at a distance?”

Zippy looked and spotted them immediately: Two guys, one with brushed back long blonde hair and another with brown hair spiked a little with gel. Both looked like they’d rather be jumping off a building. They followed the rest with slightly slumped shoulders and defeated looks on their faces.

“Yeah?” Zippy asked.

Madoka grinned conspiratorially, “Partners drawn together by the ache of broken hearts and unrequited love.”

Zippy had no idea what Madoka was getting at, “What? Like BL?”

“No.” Madoka admonished her, “What do you think this is? Geshin Heaven?”

“Huh?” Zippy didn’t understand the reference.

Madoka shook her head, “See the blonde guy? That’s Adam Fission: The long suffering boyfriend of one Amber Tiffendorf.”

Zippy started, “Amber has a boyfriend? But I thought she was waiting for Cristobel?”

“She is, but remember, it’s only for the money. On the side, she still sees Adam, for now. But he’s so completely, madly, to say nothing of stupidly in love with her, that he actually just puts up with it and hopes that some other girl will win ’s heart so his passive aggressive relationship with Amber can continue.”

“Jesus, that’s just sad.”

“It gets better. See the other one? That’s Rick Millhouse. Nice guy, really smart, except that he is head over heels completely in love with Charity Milquetoast.”


“Yep, ‘fraid so. I’m not quite sure, but I think Charity’s aware of that, but she won’t pursue it because she wants the fortune. I’ve got a feeling her mother put her up to this, but I’m not totally sure. So that’s why those two guys are always together: The came together out of necessity, each one understands the other pain in ways no one else can. It’s almost poetic, if you think about it.”

“It’s almost tragic.”

“Now, I don’t think there’s any BL going on there, but if I find out there is, you’ll be the first to know.”

“You had to make it into something perverted?”

They finished their food and stood up preparing to head for class, the first of which was something Zippy was dreading. She wondered if she could fake an epileptic seizure and get out of it. As she kept walking through the crowd of yammering students, she suddenly stopped dead, and stared, her heart fluttering in her chest.

There, just in front of her, was her mystery boy, the one she’d spied from a distance during Madoka’s tour. He was talking to someone and didn’t see her. Zippy felt her knees get a little weak and her heart beat rapidly. It was one of the few things she liked about this place, this mysterious attractive guy. She didn’t even know his name, but she’d seen him twice since that day, and both times she’d had the same reaction.

She bit her lip, wondering if she should go up and talk to him, when he looked up and noticed her. He smiled at her, that same goddamn irresistible smile from before, and then, to Zippy’s delight and horror, he started coming towards her.

She tensed up, and wondered if she should just back away and disappear into the crowd. She chided herself, this was stupid: She’d had lots of boyfriends before; she’d gone after and landed all sorts of guys that made her weak in the knees, made her heart go pitter patter, and did other things to her that were really nobody’s business. What was it about this one that made her act like a twelve year old with a crush? She knew how to talk to guys, she wasn’t awkward, she could do this.

The Unknown Boy walked up to her, “Hi.”

“Haaaaa.” Zippy said, the words sticking in her mouth like glue.

Oh no, this wasn’t going well already. She felt her face get warm. Oh crap! She was blushing.

He gave her a puzzled looked but went on, “You’re Zippy, right? Zippy Zipperdale? The one who won that Hawking competition?”

Zippy opened her mouth to say “Yes, that was me” but what came out was and a stream of giggles and a rapid nod. She actually felt like she’d been lobotomized. What the heck was wrong with her, her attraction for this guy was overriding all her senses?

“Well, I’m Kyle. Kyle Tordenholler.” He said offering his hand, “Nice to meet you.”

Zippy took it, unleashing another torrent of idiotic giggles that seemed to flow unbidden from her mouth, “Nice to meet you, Kyle.”

She felt her heart beat faster in her chest and a slight, giddy thrill ran through her. She finally knew his name: Kyle! Kyle Tordenholler! Zippy and Kyle! Kyle and Zippy! MRS. ZIPPY TORDENHOLLER!!! Zippy blocked the absurd ‘happily ever after’ fantasies that started dancing around in her head. She needed to get a grip on herself.

For a split second, she didn’t know what else to say. She had a whole head full of interesting things to talk about, and she could access none of them as her whole mental facilities felt like they were freezing up, as if her brain was running Windows Vista.

Finally, she blurted out, “What brings you to the dining hall?”

Argh! What the hell kind of stupid thing was that to say!?! He came to the dining hall to eat, dumbass! She had the perfect opportunity to talk to Kyle and she was blowing it like a hay fever sufferer blows his nose.

“Actually,” He said, “I’ve seen you around, but I hadn’t had a chance to talk to you. I just wanted to tell you; that Noggin Bopper thing? I thought that was pretty cool.”

“Really? You did?” Zippy said, realizing she sounded like blithering idiot, “You really liked the Boggin Nopper?”

An imaginary newscaster appeared in Zippy’s mind announcing ‘Today the jackass of the year award was given to Zippy Zipperdale of Madame Petri’s School For The Gifted And Eccentric. The award, which honors excellence in stupidity, was given to Miss Zipperdale who simply said ‘Duhrr’ and started drooling.’ Oh my god, this was a disaster in every way possible.

“Yeah,” Kyle went on, apparently unfazed by Zippy’s behavior, “A lot of people don’t really appreciate the mechanics of folding up something so big into something so small.”

“Oh thank you! You’re so cool, Kyle!” Zippy gushed.

That’s it! Zippy thought, shoot me now. Just shoot me in the head; I’m as dumb as a zombie anyways. Just blow my brains out and bury me in the fruit cellar. Take me out of my goddamn misery. Jesus Christ, what else could go wrong?

Suddenly, Amber shoved herself between Zippy and Kyle, her eyes ablaze with rage.

“You!” She snarled, crinkling up her face in a way that made her look like a Chinese pug, “I wanna talk to you.”

Zippy sighed, “Amber, you’re in luck: I don’t have time to kick you ass right now.”

Damnit, why hadn’t she thought of anything that cleaver to say to Kyle?

“Listen, you.” Amber jutted a well manicured finger at Zippy’s chest, getting a little too close for comfort, “I’m already sick of what you’re doing to Cristobel.”

“Just get him to leave me alone and we’re aces.” Zippy rolled her eyes.

“You’re distracting him.” Amber insisted, “You and all your idiotic little attempts to show him up. He’s spending way too much time obsessing about how to be better then you, and he hasn’t got the time for me, er, us.”

“Cristobel’s a genius. He just invented a way to re-grow human tissue. Why would he be so threatened by me? I know he hates women and all . . . ”

Amber gritted her teeth, “Cristobel does not hate women!”

“You’ve gotta be kidding! How can you miss it?” Zippy through her hands up.

“Whatever you’re doing to him, stop it! You’re just a vile little piece of vermin, and if you don’t stop, I’m going to crush you under my shoe.”

“I’m not doing anything to him! He just keeps coming at me.”

“There’s no way I’m going to let my Cristobel get hurt. No by anyone, and especially not by some half wit, stuck up, flat chested beggar . . .”

The Noggin Bopper popped out in Zippy’s hand so fast that Amber didn’t realize she’d opened it until the hard flat edge was colliding painfully with her forehead. There was a loud, agonizing slapping sound as the mallet connected with Amber’s face, sending her flying backwards and crashing painfully to the floor, sending chairs flipping over on their ends. She lay on the ground, her eyes wide and unfocused as a nasty looking welt already began to form on her forehead.

Tiffany stared down at her, “Oh, uh, you okay, Amber?”

Amber mumbled, “Thank you, Nathan, I’ll have the asparagus.”

“I guess not.” Tiffany shrugged.

There was a little bit of cheering, and Zippy retracted the noggin bopper, putting it back in her pocket. She kicked herself mentally again for letting Amber get the better of her. Still, smacking the bitch upside the head had felt really, really good. Zippy smiled in spite of herself.

“See?” Kyle called over the gathered crowd, “I told you it was cool.”

And then, Zippy’s dream guy was gone, lost in the crowd of students who all rushed with open pens to write nasty messages on the unconscious Amber’s arms, legs and face until the Werx came over and shoed them away.

Zippy sighed again, the day was just getting started and already it was a nightmare: She acted like a jerk in front of Kyle, and she’d acted like a barbarian in front of the whole school. Things could only get worse from here on. She walked off, out of the dinning hall, heading for her first class of the morning: Which she was dreading most of all.

Zippy’s first class was Robotic Weaponry Development with Miss Gojira. Unlike the other teachers, Miss Gojira held her class outdoors, in a specially made area just for her particular topic of instruction: Wide wooden desks were set out under an awning that kept them in the shade in a half circle in front of a podium and black board from which she taught her class. Behind the blackboard, a large scale miniature city was laid out, accurate down to the most minuet detail, in which the robotic creations were demonstrated.

Miss Gojira was a Japanese woman with long, strait black hair, and a long narrow face. She was also heavily into cosplay, and as such taught her classes dressed in a variety of outlandish costumes, as if every day was Halloween. Today’s was a little restrained, she was dressed in a traditional Japanese school girl outfit, despite the fact that she was all too obviously in her early forties. It didn’t seem to bother her, though, and she had hiked up her skirt to show a little leg, engaging the appreciation of any student who might have happened to have a thing for MILFs.

This particular class was one Zippy had particularly dreaded today, as it was the one where she had to give a demonstration; a demonstration of a robot that she was not altogether sure of. The thing had worked fine in the trials, but there were far too many variables for her to be at all confident of its functionality. But she’d run out of time, and this was all she had to show. If she was extremely lucky, maybe she could squeak by with a C on this thing. Her creation had an anthropomorphic torso on a tank like lower section complete with treads. To keep the complex maneuvering working the way it was supposed to, the robot had a rather large hard drive set into it’s chest, which Zippy had also found useful for storing music and movies she might want for later.

Miss Gojira addressed the class in a pronounced Japanese accent, with broken English, “And now crass, Gojira-sensei have very special plesentation. Zippy-chan now demonstlate her new creation, the Zipbot 001.”

“Miss Gojira . . . ?” Zippy began.

“Zipbot rarge and very compricated mecha, and Zippy-chan work very hard on it, so we all give rots and rots of encouragement, okie dokie?”

“Miss Gojira . . . ?”

“Now, as always, lobot go in tiny city, and prick out designated targets onry. Glades on acculacy, fuctionarity, and on total kick ass destructiveness, so ret’s start, okie dokie?”

“Miss Gojira . . . ?”

“Hai, Zippy-chan?”

“Why are you talking like that?” Zippy wanted to know.

“Gojira-sensei spreak rarguage of game!” She replied enthusiastically.

“You speak perfect English. You’re twelfth generation Japanese American; you’ve never even set foot in .” Zippy complained.

Miss Gojira’s shoulders slumped a bit as she grimaced in disappointment, the phony accent disappearing, “Well aren’t you just Little Miss Buzzkill today. Can’t you seem I’m enjoying my role playing?”

“I think it might offend some people.” Zippy explained.

“Fine, fine. Sorry to offend your delicate sensibilities.” Miss Gojira waved her off, “And here I put on my best Sukeban Dekka outfit. Oh well, let’s get on with it, shall we? Let’s see what this thing can do? Are you ready, Zippy?”

In point of fact, Zippy wasn’t ready at all, but she nodded in the affirmative. The robot she had constructed was a large human shaped body, cannibalized from a damaged Werx, on a wide platform driven by two treads. She’d thought the thing was working fine, but she’d encountered some problems when some of the movies she’d stored on it began affecting its performance. She cleared all of them off the HD, at least she thought she had, but she still wasn’t sure of it.

Holding the remote control, which resembled a modified RC car controller, which in fact it was, Zippy took a deep breath and powered up the Zipbot. There was a loud whine as the machine started, and then very carefully, Zippy guided her creation towards the city. Several building lit up as targets and Zippy armed the shoulder missiles.

With a whoosh the small rockets streaked from the launch tubes on the Zipbot’s shoulders and flew towards the first building, leaving a trail of smoke. They collided with the small model, detonating with a loud explosion. Smoke and fire plowed through the target and razed the building to the ground. The miniature fell to pieces, showering the city with smoke and debris.

“Oooo!” Miss Gojira cooed in delight.

For the second target, Zippy switched to the wrist lasers. The Zipbot raised its hands, and two green beams of concentrated light blasted at the second target, cutting through the building. The structure quickly destabilized and the building imploded, dropping into the ground like a demolition team drop, leaving in its wake a tower of dust and debris.

Switching to the chest saw, Zippy began to advance on the third target when suddenly, the robot stopped responding. Zippy felt all the color drain out of her face, no, this couldn’t be happening, not now. The robot began to shake and shudder and then seemed to shut down. She frantically tried to fiddle with the controls, but got no response.

“I don’t know . . .” Zippy began.

She was suddenly interrupted as the Zipbot suddenly came back to life and turned around to them.

“Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” The robot bellowed in a deep voice.

Oboy! It looked like she’d forgotten to delete Lost In Space. The Zipbot rolled in the direction of the class, waving its arms.

“Destroy Jupiter One! Destroy Robinson Family!” It bellowed.

When it armed the shoulder missiles, the whole class went running for cover screaming. There was the familiar whoosh and the robot launched two missiles, which struck the first two desks in the front row. The explosion sent waves of hot air and wooden debris in the direction of Zippy and Miss Gojira, blowing their skirts up and exposing Miss Gojira’s Hello Kitty panties. Zippy tried to shut it down frantically, but was having no luck.

“Danger! Danger! Warning! Warning! It does not compute!” The Zipbot roared, arming its wrist lasers.

Finally, as the Zipbot began to cut through a third desk with its lasers, Zippy gave up and tossed the controller aside, running up behind the Zipbot and yanking out the main power cable. There was a loud buzz and a crackle of arching electricity as she ripped the cable from its housing. Small fires spewed and belched smoke from inside the machine. She got a tremendous shock in the process, causing her red hair to stand on end, and was showered with smoke as the electricity vaulted, but the Zipbot shuddered and trembled as it lost power.

“Daaaaiiiiisy . . . daaaaiiiisy . . . giiiiivvve me your annnnnswer . . . do . . .” It sang as its voice slowed down and stopped.

Zippy staggered back, twitching a little from the shock, her hair a mess standing on end and her face streaked black from the smoke. She felt like crawling in a hole and never coming out. The other students began to come out of hiding, looking comically like the munchkins from The Wizard Of Oz as they did. They slowly returned to the class area, shooting Zippy bad looks as they did while Zippy’s project continued to smoke and spark. Zippy felt as gutted and burned out on the inside as the Zipbot looked.

Composing herself, and smoothing down her skirt; Miss Gojira hastily fixed her hair and then stepped forward.

“Well, class,” She said in mock enthusiasm, “Can anyone tell me who’s going to be getting an F on their project today?”

Zippy raised her hand in defeated despondency, “I am.”

It was all she could do not to cry. So, Zippy? Guns, pills, or noose?

Zippy was not looking forward to her next class, Genetic Manipulation with Mr. DeSade, any more then the previous one, but for a very different reason: She had it with Cristobel Bell. Granted, she also had the class with Rina/Madoka, which was fun and she like having either one of them there for support, but having Cristobel around really made things difficult. And it was going to be no fun today, since he was giving a presentation of an extra credit assignment.

Mr. DeSade’s class was set up a little bit differently the most of the others. Instead of the standard rectangular design, DeSade’s classroom looked like an old fashioned medical school. A rectangular raised area sat in front with a desk to the side at a diagonal angle and long wooden table for demonstrations, all in front of an old style chalk board. The desks were in a half circle around the stage in front, raised in stadium style levels.

Zippy sat blearily watching from her desk next to Rina as Cristobel droned on and on about his experiment, augmenting most of it with self congratulatory statements pertaining to his brilliance. It had been interesting at first, truly a brilliant design, but Cristobel seemed incapable of keeping his more arrogant personality traits out of the proceedings. What he was planning to do, in a nut shell, was his personal instant Jurassic Park, he was going to use a modification of a device he’d invented for something else to clone a small herbivorous dinosaur, in this case an Ornithopod, from 70 million year old dinosaur blood. What set this apart from the other cloning done in the school was the quick amount of time it could be done in (much quicker then the time it was taking him to explain it), just a few minutes as opposed to the months it had taken Mr. Carcharias to create Megan and Morgan. As he continued to drone endlessly about how great he was, until Zippy though maybe he should clone himself instead so he could shack up with himself in motel somewhere, Zippy was not the only one getting bored.

At his desk, Mr. DeSade looked at his watch. He was tall French man who spoke with a bit of an accent. He had long wavy black hair, and wore a full, but neatly trimmed, beard. He had piercing blue eyes and a long, hooked nose, that gave him an intense, authoritative appearance, matched only by Mr. Innsmouth (given the choice, Zippy would rather deal with Mr. DeSade).

He dressed entirely in black, with a long dark over coat that made him look sort of like a detective out of an old film noir. He stared at Cristobel, sighing a bit as his student continued to over explain his device, which resembled a space age microwave oven in its general size and shape.

He finally interrupted, “Please, Mr. Bell. I’m sure Einstein didn’t take this long to explain the theory of relativity.”

Bell bit his lip in frustration, not liking his self decreed thunder to be stolen, but he cut to the case, “And so, without further ado . . .”

“Thank the pagan gods.” Zippy muttered.

“. . . I give you, the first cloned dinosaur of its kind to walk the Earth in over 70 million years!”

Cristobel threw a switch on the machine, and it began to hum. Lights and dials flashed all over it and the something began to stir inside. It continued to hum and flash as the small mass inside began to get bigger. The machine continued its operations until finally it dinged, exactly like a microwave oven, and the door in front popped open, letting a long metal tray slide out. On it, a white gelatinous mass was pushing and swelling, getting bigger and bigger as it began to take shape.

Larger and larger the mass got, and very quickly, most of them were starting to realize that the mass was getting way to big to be an Ornithopod. The mass fell off the tray onto the floor, expanding and pulsing as it took shape. Most of the students and Mr. DeSade as well stood up in alarm. Cristobel was backing away himself as the legs and arms formed and the white mass began to change color and texture forming the skin.

The mass finished its formation and the dinosaur stood before them. It wasn’t a small herbivore . . . it was a Velociraptor!

Everyone ran screaming for the back of the classroom, people hid behind their desks as the six foot carnivore rasped and hissed, looking warily back and forth. Its eyes narrowed as it brain, hardwired to kill, spotted a multitude of potential prey. The raptor made a low growling sound, menacing and malicious. Cristobel stared at his creation, all the color having drained form his face. Zippy felt a pair of hands behind her waist and realized that Rina was hiding behind her. Great, she was now a human shield, thanks a lot Rina.

And then, as it attempted to move forward, the raptor’s behavior changed. It began to wobble on its legs, stumbling and swaying sideways. It made several pathetic, sickly moans as it moved around a bit, staggering like it was drunk. It opened its mouth, making more than a few low, gurgling sounds.

It then lowered its head and, with a sickening heaving sucking noise, vomited a foul substance all over the classroom floor.

There was a collective “Ewwww!” from the entire class. It didn’t take long for the offensive odor to waft up to Zippy, who instantly clapped a hand over her mouth, the foul smell assailing her nostrils and eyes. Cristobel was holding his note pad in front of his face, a humiliated look about him.

The raptor vomited again, filling the room with pungent stench, and then let out one last long wail of despair before falling over to floor. It twitched once, and then died, its yellow eyes rolling up in its head.

Mr. DeSade looked at the corpse and then turned his attention to Cristobel, “Mr. Bell, I’m very disappointed.”

The understatement of the week.

There was a chorus of laughter, most of it nervous release, but Cristobel looked mortified, he tried to mumble some kind of explanation, but he just kept staring at the corpse of his project in disbelief, apparently stunned that it was possible to fail at anything. Not the best attitude for a scientist, Zippy tended to believe that you learned more from failure then you ever did from success.

Still, she couldn’t help but take a shot at him, “Congratulations, You’ve just invented a new kind of compost. You’ll be a hero to farmers across .”

Red faced and furious, Cristobel turned and stormed out of the class. At least he tried to pretend that he was storming out in huff, but to everyone, it was obvious that he was running out in humiliation.

Werx rolled into the classroom and began cleaning up as the students filed out of the room, laughing and talking about the incident. Zippy headed off towards her next class. For the first time today, she actually felt a little better after seeing that.

Late that night, Zippy was back in the library, a book opened in front of her, others sitting in high stacks around her. She was studying desperately, trying to find a way to keep out of Madame Petri’s clutches. Lizzy would be joining her later, but for now, she was alone with her despondent thoughts. The situation felt hopeless, no matter what she did, and despite her genius level IQ, she couldn’t seem to catch up with the others. She wondered if this was what a condemned man feels like when they strapped him into the electric chair.

She stared at the book, memorizing its contents. Absorbed in the pages, she didn’t realize someone else was in the library until a shadow fell over her as she read. She looked up and jumped letting out a scream, scared suddenly out of her wits.

Eve stood right in front of her, looking down at her with those milky white eyes peering out from between her long white hair. Although she had a passive, friendly expression on her face, she still creeped Zippy out to no end.

“Eve!” Zippy complained, “Don’t scare me like that!”

Eve put a finger to her lips, “Shhhh. We’re in the library.”

Zippy could see Eve’s fangs peeking out from her mouth as she talked and she shivered. Eve was, of course, not a real vampire, simply a genetically modified human engineered to resemble the mythological vampires of lore. She aged normally, you could probably kill her any number of ways that wasn’t a stake through the heart, she loved garlic, didn’t mind crosses, didn’t enter a home without being invited our of simple politeness not necessity and although her light sensitive skin and eyes made her abhor the sunlight, she wouldn’t burn up into a pile of ash in it. None of that made her any less disturbing to be around, however.

With a mental kick to herself, Zippy chided her own superstitious aversion: Eve was a perfectly friendly girl, and a good friend of Lizzy. She was one of the group and would watch Zippy’s back like the rest of them when she could. Yeah, and she drank blood; real, actual human blood. Nice girl, but she was so bizarre that it was difficult not to fear her.

“What’s up, Eve?” Zippy asked, forcing a friendly smile.

“I heard about today’s mishap.” She whispered in her soft, sinister voice, “I hope you don’t let that get to you.”

Zippy sighed, “Its hard not to.”

“I believe in you, Zippy.” Eve affirmed, “We all do. You will find your stride. Please don’t give up hope. Just remember, there isn’t much that’s cheating at Petri’s. Don’t despair.”

Eve gave her an encouraging, if fang laden, smile, and moved off into the rest of the library. Zippy sighed, looking back at her books. She wished she had the same kind of confidence in herself that Eve had in her. She went back to her studying, perusing the pages intently.

After a time, she gathered up the books and began to return them one by to various places about the library; the last one she took to a small out of the way aisle, under a large balcony. The shelf she’d found it at was right next to a bare patch of wall that was decorated by a gargoyle’s head mounted on wall. It was an impish looking construction, with horns, pointed ears, and a large waggling tongue. Zippy thought the mask looked almost comical rather then scary. The most interesting touch was it eyes, mad of some kind of crystal, shiny and smooth, giving the thing an almost life like appearance.

As Zippy went to put the book back she noticed something behind it in the empty slot: A small protruding metal disk the size of a button, with a fancy “Z” in the center in raised metal. Curious, Zippy looked at it, not knowing what to make of it. She reached in and ran her finger over the disk, feeling it. To her surprise, the disk sunk into the wall as she touched it. She retracted her finger, shocked at first.

There was a faint clicking sound, somewhere behind the wall, and to Zippy’s astonishment, the wall with the mask on it slid open, moving outwards a little bit, revealing some kind of hidden room behind it. Looking around, she made sure no one else had seen what happened. Her curiosity peaked; she opened the door a little and slipped in. The door closed behind her. She hoped she would be able to open it again.

She found herself in a low lit small room, dusty, as if no one had been in here for a while. The walls were lined with shelves full of books of different sizes. The far opposite wall had another blank spot, and a small metal hexagon with an eye carved into the middle decorated it. Zippy regarded it with inquisitiveness, reaching out and touching it. Nothing happened this time, and Zippy noticed a small key hole in the middle. This was a lock of some kind. What could be hidden on the other side, she wondered?

Glancing around at the hidden library, she began to leaf through some of the books. It didn’t take her long to make an astonishing realization: The knowledge in these books was far in advance of anything she’d found in the library so far. All of the books contained information and formulas that went far beyond anything taught anywhere in the school. Completely by chance, she had discovered a treasure trove of forbidden knowledge.

A sly smile spread across Zippy’s face as she realized that this was the edge that she had been looking for. With these books, she could really save her own ass, to say nothing of getting great marks. She quickly gathered up some books of interest and shoved them in her bag.

When she looked at the door, she found a small latch on the side to open it, and noticed that the mask on the other end was meant to be looked through from this side: Those glass eyes were large peep holes. Checking through them, Zippy made sure that no one else was there, and she quickly exited the hidden library.

She moved down the rows, heading for the main lobby where she was to meet Lizzy. As she did, she passed Eve again, who was hanging upside down from the balcony, having hooked her feet under the railing. She was busy reading a book as she hung there bat like. Her white hair fell down towards the floor, and so did her skirt, revealing the black gym shorts she wore underneath, probably for this express purpose. Zippy had seen her read hanging upside down like this before, but it was still a strange sight.

“Goodbye, Eve.” Zippy said as she passed.

“Shhhhhh.” Eve admonished her again, “Good night, Zippy.”

Moving quickly moved across the library, her heart beating rapidly. For the first time in days, she had real hope. She was actually quite excited about some of what she found, and couldn’t wait to get to work on some of it, her mind already working on ways to put some of what she’d read to use. She even had a skip in her step as she moved, walking out of the aisles and heading into the lobby.

She spied Lizzy, patiently waiting for her on one of the tables, a book on forensic entomology open in front of her. She looked up when Zippy approached.

“There you are.” She said in customary monotone, “Where were you?”

“You are not gonna believe what I found.” Zippy said sliding in next to Lizzy and whispering.

She quickly outlined what she had found, watching as Lizzy raised her eyebrows higher and higher, the only clue she usually gave as to when she was intrigued by anything. When Zippy finished her story, Lizzy looked at her with and excited gleam in her eyes, if the rest of her face remained blank.

“I’ve never heard of this hidden library.” Lizzy said, “It must be a pretty well kept secret if nobody’s been in there for a while.”

“I know.” Zippy said, “And in any event, this is what I’ve been looking for. This could really save my skin.”

“Then I suggest we keep this between ourselves.” Lizzy replied, touching her pen to her lips thoughtfully, “Don’t tell anyone, not even the others in our group.”

Zippy nodded, “Agreed.”

As they got up and exited the library, Zippy contemplated her stroke of luck. At the very least, if she could keep the place quiet, this would keep her out of Madame Petri’s lab hopefully until she graduated, or at least until she found some legal way out of the school. She felt almost like a gambler who won the lottery after loosing all his savings at the crap tables. She smiled, she did, indeed, have a fresh chance at things, and since nobody at Madame Petri’s cared about how you got results, she wasn’t actually cheating, technically.

Her smile faded as she head Lizzy yelp right after they stepped through the library doors. Zippy turned and was startled to see Lizzy collapsing to the floor, unconscious. Something seemed to be sticking out of her neck. Alarmed, Zippy reached for her friend to help her and suddenly felt a sharp pain in the side of her neck. She reached up and felt the soft cone of feathers on the end of a tranquilizer dart.

Zippy tried to run back into the library, to get Eve to help her, but the world spun and dropped form under her feet. Before she even made it to the door, she collapsed on top of Lizzy, the world fading into black as she succumbed to the drugs, sinking into oblivion.

When they were both down, Cristobel quickly leapt out of the shadows, followed by Amber, Tiffany and Charity. They scurried over to the unconscious girls rolling Zippy off of her friend. Checking around to make sure no one else was there, they each got on one side of the two knocked out forms on the floor.

Cristobel hissed, “Okay, we’re going to do it in Operating Room 20, it’s the closest, and it’s empty. Hurry up, let’s go before the dumb bitches wake up.”

Cristobel took Zippy’s arms and Amber her legs, leaving Tiffany and Charity to pick up Lizzy. Hurriedly, they moved down the hall with their unconscious captives, looking around to make sure that no one saw them as they spirited their captures away for whatever operation Cristobel had in mind.

They failed to notice Jetson, watching from around the corner, his cephalopodan eyes filled with alarm and so much rage.

Zippy came to almost instantly, suddenly waking up with a pounding headache. When she tried to move, she couldn’t, her arms and legs restrained by something. She opened her eyes, squinting and took in her surroundings. She was in a white, tiled room, a large medical lamp over her. She was strapped tightly to a metal table, brown straps tied across her limps and chest so tight that they dug into her skin. Her clothes were gone, replaced with a standard Madame Petri’s lime green hospital gown.

She could see Lizzy next to her, in the same condition. With a numbing sense of revolting horror, Zippy realized that she was in an operating room: They’d been kidnapped for an experiment!

She struggled against the bonds, but they wouldn’t budge. Figures moved around them, dressed in the customary red surgical scrubs that were used at Petri’s. Even under the red mask and hat, Zippy recognized Cristobel’s eyes. A surge of anger and fear coursed through her, she struggled even harder, the straps digging painfully into her skin.

“She’s awake.” She heard Tiffany say, slightly muffled through the surgical mask.

“Hey, Zipperdale.” Cristobel said, “Thank you so much for volunteering. For once, you might be useful for something.”

“Goddamnit, . Let us go!” Zippy shrieked angrily at him.

“I think not. Your and your dull friend there are about to take part in surgical history. There’s no need to thank me.” Cristobel chortled arrogantly.

All the blood seemed to drain out of Zippy’s face. Her worst nightmare of this school was coming true: She had been kidnapped for an experiment.

Zippy frantically looked around her, hoping for some means of escape. She noticed her and Lizzy’s backpacks sitting in a corner, inside a clear plastic box of some kind (probably to preserve the sterile conditions), with their clothes folded up neatly next to them. Fortunately, Cristobel hadn’t bothered to open her backpack. Zippy then noticed her clothes, including her underwear, sitting next to them and looked down at the hospital gown she was wearing.

“What the hell? did you undress us!?!” She spat angrily at him, redness flushing her face.

“Please don’t flatter yourself. I had the girls take care of that unpleasant task.” Cristobel waved her off.

Amber sneered, “It wasn’t like I actually wanted to see your flat chest.”

With no snappy comebacks at the time, Zippy simply filled the air with an Exorcist like torrent of obscenities that might have made Andrew Dice Clay blush, struggling fiercely against the bonds.

Lizzy mumbled, still woozy, “Why couldn’t you just peep on us in the shower like normal people?”

“What the hell are you going to do to us?” Zippy demanded furiously.

“Well that’s the kicker,” Cristobel told her, “You are about to be the subjects of the word’s first head transplant. Specifically, you are going to have your heads surgically swapped. Amazing isn’t, one of my more brilliant procedures, and between you and me, that’s saying a lot.”

Lizzy stared at them, “You’re kidding. that’s ridiculous, that will never work.”

“Oh, I beg to differ,” Cristobel waved a finger at her, “I’d say there’s a seventy percent chance that both of you will survive the procedure.”

Zippy didn’t care for those odds very much.

“BellI’m gonna kick your ass even if I have to do it with Lizzy’s feet!” She screamed, pushing against the straps in fury.

“Hush, hush.” Cristobel admonished her, “You’ll give yourself wrinkles. Don’t worry, you’ll wake up fine with a nice new body. Just think, you’ll be closer to your room mate then ever.”

Cristobel went to the tray and picked up a large syringe filled with anesthetic. He approached Zippy first, getting closer and closer with the needle. Horror filled every limb in her body as she tried in vein to escape from the straps as Cristobel came closer and closer to her with the needle. Despair filled her belly as he approached, despair and sheer unrelenting hopelessness.

With a sudden loud bang, the door to the OR flew open and something lurched its self into the room, scurrying across the floor. Zippy couldn’t quite see what it was, but it moved fast in Cristobel’s direction. There was a blur of movement and something leapt at Cristobel, snarling angrily.

Nadjia Farrell sank her teeth hard into Cristobel’s wrist, biting down fiercely on his hand, thrashing her head and tearing into him deeper. He screamed in pain, reflexively dropping the syringe and trying to pull his hand back. Nadjia let go, dropping to the floor on all fours.

She growled at him savagely, her teeth bared in anger. She crouched on all fours, her natural state, advancing on him slowly. Her eyes blazed with primordial rage, fierce and predatory, the cutesy fun girl personae she usually wore buried under the primitive fervor she now carried. The wolf in her had risen completely to the surface. She was primal, and savage, untamed and of the wild.

And she probably would have looked a lot more threatening if she hadn’t been wearing two piece flannel pajamas covered in pictures of kittens AND fluffy bunny slippers on both her feet.

Cristobel shrank back, clutching his injured hand, warily glaring at Nadjia. There was another growl, and two more figures came through the door: One was Katjia, growling ferociously, on all fours and dressed almost identically to her sister except that her pajamas had puppies all over them. The other was Rina or Madoka, she couldn’t tell which, dressed in a long flannel nightgown.

Katjia ran in and charged at Amber and Charity, her savage growl coming out from between clenched teeth. Amber, for all her haughty bravado, had always been a little frightened of the Farrell twins. She shrieked like a banshee as Katjia sank her teeth into her leg, biting hard and sending her stumbling to the floor before turning on Charity and doing the same thing.

Rina/Madoka ran to the surgical tables, but Tiffany blocked her way, trying to shove her back.

“Let go of my friends you big meanie!” She screamed at Tiffany.

That was definitely Rina.

“Make me!” Tiffany shrieked at her, and then turned on Katjia when she saw Amber fall, “Hey! You leave her alone!”

Tiffany hadn’t noticed the small wooden tube in Rina’s hand. Zippy’s Noggin Bopper was out in a flash and she brought it down hard on Tiffany’s head while she was distracted. Tiffany flew backwards as the mallet hit her square in the forehead with an agonizing snap. She flew into the wall, banging the back side of her head, and sunk to the floor, out cold.

While the twins kept the other three busy, Rina unstrapped Zippy and Lizzy quickly. Zippy got off the table, her arms and legs sore from her struggles.

“Thanks. That was pretty bad assed, Rina, I didn’t know . . .” Zippy started.

Dodging around Katjia, Amber threw herself violently at Zippy, pushing her back down on the table. They struggled with each other and clawed at each other, Zippy finally shoving Amber backwards. Amber lunged and Zippy threw a hard left hook, years of martial arts training came into focus, although Zippy was no kung fu master, she was more then a match for Amber.

Amber dodged the punch and tried to strike back. Their fists flew at each other in rapid motions. Amber was an armature compared to Zippy, but she fought her furiously, angrily, eyes blazing full of hate. She hated Zippy for what she’d done to Cristobel, distracting him from her, making him moody and miserable. She threw punches backed by her rage and frustration.

Zippy ducked under a punch and kicked hard into Amber’s stomach. Amber grunted as the wind was knocked out of her. Zippy delivered two hard blows to her adversary’s (fake) chest, and then followed up with a left-right combo directly into Amber’s face. Amber collapsed to the ground, clutching her mouth. Two of her front teeth clattered to the floor as blood poured from her jaws.

“My feefth!” Amber gurgled, “Yoff brokft my fookn feefth!”

Cristobel tried to skirt around Nadjia who bit at his leg snagged his pants in the process. In a rage, Cristobel grabbed some tool off the tray, getting ready to hurl it at Zippy. Zippy couldn’t see what he’d picked up, but got ready to jump out of its way anyways.

She needn’t have worried: As Cristobel threw his arm back a jet of black ink hit him square in the face, coming from Jetson who had scurried up on one of the tables and taken aim while Cristobel was busy with Nadjia.

“Don’t hurt my Zippy!” Jetson cried angrily.

Zippy pried open the plastic case and grabbed her backpack and clothes out. Lizzy ran and did the same. With a quick darting move, she scooped up Amber’s teeth off the floor before she could get them.

“They’re mine now!” She hissed at her.

As the whole group tore out the door, Cristobel, staggering with a face full of ink, shook his fist at Zippy in a rage.

“Damn you, Zipperdale!” He bellowed, “I’ll get you back for this! I swear!”

Over her shoulder, Zippy called, “You and your snaggle toothed girl friend are welcome to try.”

With a squeal of victory, Jetson leapt onto Zippy’s shoulder, and they all took off running, putting a much distance between themselves and ’s crew as possible. They turned down hallway after hallway, the twins running on all fours, the sounds of slippers and bare feet padding along the floor. When they were finally sure they were not being followed, they stopped, everyone panting for breath.

“Thank you, guys.” Zippy said when she was able, “Thank you so much. How did you know where we were, anyways?”

Rina said, “Jetson got us. I guess he saw them take you a followed them. Then came and got us waving his tentacles and everything. I guess he’s really taken a shine to you.”

“My hero.” Zippy said affectionately, and kissed Jetson’s cone.

Jeston waved his tentacles happily, “My pleasure, Zippy.”

Lizzy interjected, “Well, in light of the troublesome new turn of events, I suggest we all stick together and never go anywhere except in pairs at least for the time being, at least until Cristobel gets over this.”

“If he ever does.” Zippy mentioned, “That was more about some kind of half assed revenge then science: You notice he didn’t have a teacher present? He hadn’t cleared that experiment with anyone, he just did it himself. He’s probably blaming me for that disaster in Mr. DeSade’s class. Couldn’t admit to getting an F on his own.”

The Farrell’s had gotten up and two legs and were walking beside the others.

Katjia spoke up, “Oh, didn’t you hear? He got an A on that.”

“What?” Zippy looked at her, “How? All it did was barf and die?”

“It seems his father gave Mr. DeSade a call, and suddenly the grade changed.” Nadjia said, “I guess he was calling in a favor.”

Zippy rolled her eyes, “Damn, he bought a grade? That’s not science, that’s sleazy backdoor politics.”

They arrived back at the dorm rooms, where Zippy and Lizzy thanked the rest again for, literally, saving their necks. They then retired to their room. As they started getting ready for bed, Zippy found a large bouquet of flowers sitting on the night stand next to her bed. She picked them up, frowning.

“Lizzy, look at this.” She told her room mate.

“That’s interesting.” Lizzy said looking over the flowers, “Is there a card?”

“Nope.” Zippy replied.

A slight smile flittered over Lizzy’s face, “Perhaps you’ve got a secret admirer? Have you any idea who it might be?”

“Not a clue.” Zippy said, smiling.

But I know who I want it to be, Zippy thought, feeling her face grow warm.

She flopped down on the bed, clutching the flowers to her chest, allowing herself a dizzying amount of romantic fantasy about Kyle being her secret admirer, imagining the two of them meeting in secret for a forbidden torrid love affair. She giggled slightly, blushing at the thoughts that ran pleasantly though her head.

At the foot of her bed, Jetson watched happily as Zippy clutched the flowers he had gotten for her, beaming with pride that she appreciated them.

The next day, Cristobel and his groupies looked battered and disheartened, appearing both bruised and defeated, spreading much gossip around the school, which Zippy and her friends were happy to feed with the most outlandish explanations they could think up. Cristobel fumed all day, his mind set on one thing: How he would get back at those two for humiliating him like this.

Out of all of them, Tiffany looked the worst; a huge bruise adorned her forehead where Rina had hit her with the Noggin Bopper, and she looked depressed and despondent. After the escape, since she was lying there unconscious, the rest of her “friends” had taken off, abandoning her where she lay on the floor out cold. To make matters worse, when Eve had happened by and found her lying there, she’d promptly helped her self to few pints of Tiffany’s blood.

So she was not only beaten and betrayed, but slightly anemic as well. Other then that, life went on at Madame Petri’s much the way it usually did.

Greetings to you, this is Lizzy. Next time, Zippy puts her new knowledge to work and starts to find her footing, but Cristobel hasn’t forgotten what she did to him (which is fitting because we haven’t forgotten what he tried to do to us), and plots his revenge in the next chapter of Zippy Zipperdale: Moderately Mad Scientist: “The Third Experiment”.
EurekaI’ve got it.

Chapter 1
Chapter 3
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