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Evina didn't know where to begin. There were so many questions to ask. "Ok, why do you want to destroy Toontown?"
Johnson hesitated before answering; his pale face stared unmoving like a statue. "It's not just your world."
"Yes, your entire universe, and all creative life imaginable. And the reason is simple. Do you know what would happen if all source of creativity stopped?"
Evina didn't know what to say. He took a step back from the man out of disgust and thought about it.
"You can't figure it out? I'm disappointed. You see, without creativity there is no innovation. Without innovation there is no progress. Without progress there is no hope. Without hope there is no way to survive. This planet and its people will fall without any support, and it doesn't require a complicated scheme or a backup plan to work. It's foolproof."
"So let me get this straight. You want to destroy Earth?"
Johnson was a statue once more. The pause was so long that Evina was tempted to ask him again. "Wow. Do you really think I'm the one who could answer that question?"
Evina was confused, and while he was figuring out what to say next, he didn't notice the man in black pulling out the staples from his clothes with ease.
"If you think about it, one has to wonder, what meaningless idea do you represent? If you can't answer that question then what are you worth?" Now he was free. He didn't look that strong, but clearly he was.
Nobody moved, neither toon nor cog. All of them watched with confusion as the man strolled over to one of the military trucks and opened the back door. It was empty inside.
"Looking for something?" Evina asked.
"They confiscated it." Johnson said through clenched teeth.
The man turned around and the sickening grin stretched across his face once again. "Tell me, have you ever heard of dip before?"
Evina was about to scream, but he couldn't react in time. Johnson threw something at him. It was a small glass tube of dip which shattered when it hit his body.
The man's grin vanished. "Why doesn't it work?!"
"I'm immune to dip! And you listen to me; I won't let anyone get hurt by you!" Evina was angry now and the other toons stood up to stand by his side.
"Oh, is that so?" Johnson took a deep breath and sighed loudly. "I'm really sorry about this. Truly I am. This wasn't part of the plan, but sadly you have forced my hand..."
There was a bang in the distance. The soldiers broke out of the storage room and dozens of them came running straight to Johnson. They didn't even seem to care about the toons anymore.
One officer looked fatigued and annoyed. "Sir, this operation is a failure! We must retreat immediately!"
The pale man didn't budge. "No. You're not getting out of here that easy." Then something started to happen. He was changing.
Evina's mouth dropped open in horror. Glue Stick shut his eyes and squealed. Even Kate was frozen in utter disbelieve. Now they realized what was going on.
Johnson was growing, and soon he was bigger than the truck, twice as big, and still growing. He became even paler and no longer looked human. His clothes morphed into something like a black liquid that coated his deformed body. Soon a terrible monster stood before them with bulging wild-looking eyes and hatred etched into every line on his twisted face.
"What are you?!" Gyro screamed.
"My name is not Johnson!" The monster bellowed with a voice so deep and thunderous that it shook the ground. "I am the successor of that great toon who changed the city, who drove out you scum from this world, and I come back now to finish that work! I am the next generation! I am Doom!"
Johnson's arms retracted and were replaced by hundreds of black tentacles that looked like living worms of death. They reached out in all directions and stretched continuously.
The soldiers fled in terror, shooting every weapon they had back at the monster with no success. Each one of them were eventually picked up by a tentacle and tossed hundreds of feet out of its way.
"RUN!" Evina told his father. Gyro led the others away to find someplace safe. The cogs were no match and the remaining few of them disappeared as well. The duck was alone. There was nothing he could do. But yet, he knew of at least one thing that could.
"RUN AWAY YOU COWARD! I KNOW YOU'RE CHICKEN!"
Evina didn't run; he stood perfectly still. "Actually just half, on my father's side." This was the moment he had been waiting for. A cold chill filled his body, the shadow seized him. He shut his eyes while time slowed down, the noise of the chaos drowned out, and all fears and doubts were washed away. This was full control, more than Evina had ever felt before. He was immortal, unstoppable, the chosen hero to save the world. The eyes opened and were nothing but dark holes.
He leaned back and then jumped forward with all his strength. There was a sonic boom. His body was lightning in the air, knocking the monster back over the water and smashing into the wall of the castle.
Doom was surprised. He couldn't imagine the power contained within this toon. "WHY DON'T YOU GIVE UP?"
"Never." The shadow spoke. It picked up Doom's monstrous body like it was only a baseball and threw it back into the castle, causing the entire structure to collapse in a cloud of stone, wood, and dust.
"Ok, have it your way!" Doom was livid. His tentacles grabbed anything it could reach, the stone bricks, chairs, trash cans, even the huge carousel ride, throwing it all at the duck.
Evina's body became rigid. It wasn't scratched by anything that hit him. Metal and stone were reduced to fragments that flew through the air and accumulated in piles of rubble all around him.
"How is this possible?" The monster screamed.
The shadow was equally frustrated. Doom was extremely resilient as well. There was a chance that neither of them might win even if they turned the entire park into dust.
Evina sprinted forward again, and Doom was smarter this time. It caught the duck with a tentacle and removed the legendary pencil from his pocket. It was tiny but still emitted magical energy.
"Wow, would you look at this?" The horrible voice gloated. This discovery had changed his mood. "I know of someone who will be thrilled to have it back." He began to swing Evina around and around. Then it slammed him into the ground and a crater was formed.
It didn't hurt but it was disorienting, and it was hard to see with all the dust in the air. He jumped to his feet and ran to find anything else that could help. He couldn't understand why Doom wanted that pencil so badly but there was no way he could be allowed to escape with it.
In Tomorrowland there was nothing to be found. No soldiers, toons, or cogs. Doom caught up to him within seconds. He tore the spire off of Space Mountain and hurled it at Evina like a giant arrow.
The shadow slowed down time even further. It grabbed the giant metal spike in mid air and swung it around to go the other way. It blasted into splinters when it hit Doom straight in the chest. The monster wasn't injured but he was stunned for a brief moment. The shadow didn't wait for him to recover. Evina ran forward and took as many tentacles as he could find, tying them in a knot. Then he took the pencil back. Doom screamed in rage.
Now Evina ran to someplace else. He had a feeling there was something missing that he needed to find. Also, he needed to hide the pencil somewhere safe. He went back to Fantasyland then headed north and arrived at Toontown, the fake Toontown they had been looking for when they fell into this trap. There was a larger-than-normal military truck parked there. Evina opened the doors and saw what was inside. There were dozens of dip barrels within.
A scream was heard, louder than any other before. Doom had torn himself free and was coming to find Evina. There was madness in his eyes. "You can't stop me you abominable freak! Give me that pencil NOW!"
Evina didn't know what else to do. "Oh, you mean this?" He snapped the pencil in half, not knowing what would happen. There was a flash. The pieces disintegrated into wooden shards that fell to the ground. There was a glimmer of magical light that lingered for a moment, and then it was over.
"NO! Do you have any idea what you've done? I'll make you wish you were never born!"
"This is your last warning." The shadow announced. Evina had just enough power to give the monster a second chance. He didn't want it to end this way. "Surrender now and leave the toons and humans alone."
Doom looked even more infuriated than before. "I would rather die first!"
"Then so be it." Evina was slightly disappointed even though he knew this had to happen. He picked up the truck and launched it at the monster. Upon impact there was a fiery explosion of diesel and dip. A loud sizzling noise was heard.
Doom's body shook and he screamed in pain. He was melting. Within seconds his body began collapsing. The pale face turned to liquid. The maniacal eyes sunk inwards. The last scream was heard just before he flattened into a pool of black slime.
The shadow instantly withdrew its power and Evina fell. He was overcome with sudden terror. This was much worse than before. He felt paralyzed. He couldn't see.
There was the quiet sound of feet running on the ground. The toons clearly saw what happened and were coming to find him. They saw him on the ground with the shreds of his clothes barely hanging from his body.
"Son, are you alright?" Gyro cried out.
Evina couldn't answer. He could only gasp for air.
"Oh no. Oh please no. This isn't good."
There were flashes in Evina's vision. Bits and pieces of his history were popping in and out of his mind. It was already starting to happen. The shadow had twisted his story and it was tearing him apart.
He saw the library at that weird planet where he found the book. He was on the beach at Harry's island. He was battling the chairman on the roof of the Cogs Inc. tower. He was stapling papers in the office. He was bored and lying down in Toontown Central. It was rewinding astonishingly fast, but with all of his remaining strength he managed to hold onto the present. He was still alive.
"I can hear him breathing." Kate said. She sounded so worn out from the excitement. "I've never seen anything like that before! He was moving faster than the eye could see. Even I couldn't do that."
"Is it true that Johnson was a toon all this time?" Glue Stick asked.
"Yes," Gyro responded gravely, "and the book makes reference to it. This isn't the first time the name of Doom was heard around here."
"Wow." The horse muttered. "And is the shadow doing this to him?"
"I think so. I was afraid it would happen." The old chicken looked like he was going to say more but decided against it.
"I'm fine." Evina mumbled weakly. He didn't know if they heard him because it sounded so weak and so awful but he could now make out a blurry picture of the toons standing above him.
"Hellooooo..." Kate waved. "Earth to Evina. Are you there?"
"Hi." Evina said with a quiet, raspy voice.
"Oh, Evina, are you alright?" Gyro still wasn't satisfied.
"Yes." The duck answered.
"Because I promised I would never abandon you again."
"It's fine." The son insisted.
"And I was afraid I had lost you again." Gyro's eyes began to tear up. Evina thought he could see the grey in them. Clearly his father had felt the strength of the shadow as well.
Even though it had defeated the monster Doom, there was no denying that the shadow was a monster too, and it couldn't be controlled. Their struggles weren't over yet.
"Hey, is he doing alright?" A metallic voice asked with worry. Evina could see something triangular and yellow. It was The Big Cheese.
"We think so," Glue Stick answered, "but it looks pretty bad."
"Really guys, I'm fine." Evina wheezed, and he tried to sit up but failed.
"Don't overexert yourself!" The father cautioned.
The duck didn't listen. "Please, I want to get up." He finally succeeded in sitting up and the others lifted his arms to help him stand. The ground looked like it was moving. He was so dizzy. "I'll be better in no time."
"I'm sorry we couldn't help you, master." The cog apologized sincerely as the other toons helped Evina to walk.
"It's not your fault." Evina assured him. "There was nothing you could do, nothing anyone could do. The shadow did all the work in the end."
Another cog walked beside the group. The telemarketer carried a few wooden fragments in its hands. "I'm afraid to say the pencil is gone forever."
"I know." Gyro replied somberly. "It's probably better this way. Sure, we'll never know what it was all about but now it won't fall into wrong hands."
"But what if we need it again?" The Big Cheese wondered.
"Explain." Kate said.
"I mean, we managed to find just one last portal to this world. What if we need to draw another?"
"Oh, so that's how you did it." Evina mumbled. "Yeah, I never thought about that."
Gyro was growing more nervous with each moment. "It's still open, right?"
"Last time I checked it was." The cog said.
"Well we need to get out of here as soon as possible." The worried father insisted. "I'll take Evina somewhere safe and get him what he needs. As for the rest of you, we need to figure out a plan to clean up this mess."
"The boss is already working on it." The cog said.
"That's correct." The chairman walked up to them with perfect timing. "Don't worry, master, we'll make it look like none of this ever happened?"
"But the destruction..." Gyro protested.
"Didn't I tell you before? Our constructionbots work extremely fast. By tomorrow the humans will never know that anything happened."
"And what about the soldiers?"
"We'll take care of that too." The chairman smiled. He turned around and yelled at another cog. "Bring out the drive wiper!"
A Yesman arrived with a mysterious energy gun which it handed to its leader.
The cog walked up to the soldiers all tied up with rope around a tree. "Gentlemen, what happened today was only a bad dream."
"You must be kidding..." One man said before there was a flash and they all fell asleep.
Gyro cleared some rubble away from a shaded area and set his son down. "I want you to know how proud of you I am."
"But the shadow-"
"I'm not talking about the shadow." The father told him. "I'm talking about your courage and your integrity. You never gave up doing what's right, even in the middle of madness like this. You are still the hero, and a great inspiration to all of us."
Evina smiled. "Thanks, dad."
Kate was becoming impatient. "So are we going or aren't we?"
"Just hang on!" Glue Stick said heatedly. "Can't you see they're busy? There's a big mess to clean up and you're not helping!"
"Well you running away like a coward didn't help too much either." She said.
"Admit it. You needed Doom out of the way so you could take on the soldiers." The horse continued. "There's no way you could've fought them all at once."
"I think both of you should shut up." Evina interrupted. He could stand on his own now, even though he remained feeling very tired.
Gyro let out a sigh and returned to the group. "Ok, I think we can leave now."
"Is it safe?" Evina inquired, staring down at the portal. The paper was wrinkled and torn in places. The hole in it was small and disfigured.
"Yes, and it's the best we can do." The older one admitted. "The cogs won't be long and then they'll leave as well. After that the portal will be too unstable and it'll have to be closed."
"Wait!" Glue Stick cried. "Isn't this the last portal left? What happens if it's closed?"
"It means no toon will ever come to Earth again." Gyro finished with a sad tone. "But at least the Tooniverse will be safer from threats that way." He took the tiny ship statue off his keychain and dropped it in the hole. They heard a pop. "After you."
Kate leaped inside followed by Glue Stick, the helper, Evina, and Gyro went in last.
They were in the ship once more and there was nothing but darkness out the windows. The helper hopped from one computer to another, turning on lots of switches. Multicolored lights appeared on the panels and the engine came to life with its familiar low humming sound.
Gyro dropped into the pilot seat and Evina took the co-pilot seat.
The inventor turned to his son and smiled. "You know what this means?"
Evina beamed. "We're finally going home."
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