"NO. I have already said no, I do not want to share anything else on my flash-drive right now. Go to sleep."
"But DAAAAAAAAAAAD! We're not tired!!!!!!!!"
whined Ivy, shoving a sleeping Zack off her shoulder and yawning widely. The plane had taken off only a hour ago, but Shadowsan was sure he had heard enough whining from the four other members on Team Carmen to last him a lifetime.
Maybe a compromise was in order here...
"If I show you a few more videos, will you go to sleep and stop complaining?"
Carmen immediately perked up, looking every bit excited as the siblings. The ninja couldn't see Player, but he sounded just as interested when he said
"Oh my gosh yes! Please more videos!"
Shadowsan pulled out the small flash-drive, inserting it into the control panel that connected to the in-flight theater system. Zack and Ivy squished together, wrapped tightly in Zack's NASCAR blanket. Carmen settled down next to them, setting her hat aside on nearby unoccupied seats. The two redheads looked at each other and nodded, then suddenly lunged at Carmen. The thief let out a startled shriek as she was enveloped in blanket, mashed between Zack and Ivy.
"It's a Red sandwich!"
crowed Zack, while Ivy laughed and pulled the blanket tighter around their boss so she couldn't escape.
"Guys, please! I have a REPUTATION!"
Carmen scolded, though she struggled half-heartedly and her smile got the better of her.
"Not anymore you don't."
commented Shadowsan warmly as he snapped a quick picture.
Player dimmed the lights, then started speaking in an over-exaggerated deep baritone movie announcer voice.
"Welcome to the Team Sandiego Cinema! Please silence your phones. Please do not pass gas during the viewing. Please share any comments about the video with the class so we can make fun of it together. If you have any other suggestions, please place them in the small gray box with the black plastic bag in it."
"..The trash can?"
"Yes. The trash can. Feel free to visit it."
Carmen couldn't control her giggles at Player's voice over, knocking into Ivy, who promptly starting laughing harder, which made Zack laugh even louder.
The screen loaded up a video, one Shadowsan had picked out while the team laughed.
The video started in an empty hallway on VILE island. Coach Brunt walked into the frame, pushing a large plastic garbage cart. She wheels it down the hallway, before stopping in front of a classroom door.
"What, hold on, that's Professor Maelstrom's classroom!"
Carmen whispered, wondering what the coach was up to.
Brunt knocks on the door, which is promptly answered by Maelstrom.
"Hey, I'm here to take out the trash."
"Brunt, what the fuck."
Shadowsan snorted. He had forgotten just how blunt the Norwegian could be.
"The Cleaners took it out yeaterdaAAAA-!"
His last word became a surprised shriek as Coach Brunt picked him up and tossed him into the trashcan.
Zack and Ivy started laughing again while Carmen looked shocked. Player whispered
"Did she just?"
"Boy she did."
As she leaves, the camera shows several students laughing their asses off through the open door. Brunt continues down the hallway until she reaches Countess Cleo's class.
"Oh god no, does she have a death wish?"
gasped Carmen, clutching the blanket to her chest like she was watching a scary movie.
Not even bothering to knock, Brunt kicks open the door, shouting
"Knock knock bitch, it's me!"
Player couldn't take THAT with a straight face, his giggling audible over the speakers. Ivy and Zack laughed harder.
Brunt scoops up a SUPER confused Cleo and dumps her in the trashcan with Maelstrom. One of the students asks what she's doing, to which she responds
"Taking out the trash!💖"
Shadowsan sighs, then mumbles
making the team laugh again.
Both of the teachers in the trashcan look mildly annoyed. Brunt notices Dr. Bellum walking down the hallway, and shouts.
"Oi Saira! This trash cart is loving cat videos!"
Ivy countered softly
Dr. Bellum stares at her for a few seconds, then sighs and jumps headfirst into the trashcan. Brunt starts laughing as Saira mournfully says
"This is my life now."
said Player, while Zack groaned and Ivy celebrated.
Brunt proceeds to wheel the trash cart out the front door, where she meets Shadowsan. he follows her, looking confused, down the beach to the ocean, where she dumps the other three faculty members.
Player commented, sounding impressed. Zack and Ivy continued laughing, but Carmen just looked appealed.
"When did THIS happen???"
"A few years before you became on operative."
"Why don't I remember this?"
"You were in you room, if I remember correctly, 'studying'. "
"So, on the phone with Player?"
"I took out the trash. It was LONG overdue."
"....you dumped them in the ocean."
Carmen snickered, her annoyance melting into laughter.
Brunt poked at Countess Cleo, who had stood up and was brushing sand off her now wet dress.
"Yer right Shadowsan, I think there is a fee for dumping plastic in the ocean."
shouted Player. Carmen nearly chocked.
The younger Shadowsan snorted as Cleo got TRIGGERED, chasing a cackling Brunt down the beach screaming
"FUCK YOU, MY BEAUTY IS NATURAL!"
"How is she still alive?"
whispered a terrified Carmen, she looked impressed but worried.
"She had a head start."
Maelstrom, still half submerged in the salt water turns to Saira, who was sitting in the sand squeezing out her lab coat and asks
"Am I trash."
muttered Carmen. She didn't miss the nasty look Shadowsan sent her, looking defensive.
She REALLY needed to figure out what was going on between Shadowsan and Maelstrom.
"No, you're high grade trash. You're recycling."
There was a pause, then he mumbled
The feed cut out, but it took a few more minutes for Player, Zack, and Ivy's laughter to die down.
"These...these guys..(wheeze)..are supposed to be DANGEROUS?"
"World's scariest crooks my FOOT!"
"Carm, are you SURE we can't meet these guys? They seem awesome!"
The next video booted up, and the others went silent, excited waiting to see what was next.
The main lobby of VILE Academy was a war zone. The normally open space was crowded with two opposing forts, made of tables, chairs, boxes, and several other random items. The area between the forts was littered with NERF bullets and random paintball splatters.
Shadowsan is visible, close to the camera with Countess Cleo beside him. He asks
"What are they doing?"
"Wouldn't YOU like to know, weather boy."
shouted Player, causing Zack and Ivy to start giggling.
"Planetary gang wars over the status of Pluto."
Carmen turned to her mentor.
"How many times have they fought over this? I only witness three duels."
Shadowsan got a far away look in his eyes.
"So many times. Far to many times."
The camera focuses on the stairs on the other side of the room, where Coach Brunt and Black Sheep are sitting with a bag of popcorn. Black Sheep smiles, and shouts
"I started it!"
Carmen smiled, fondly remembering this scene.
Suddenly, Dr. Bellum appears on top of one of the forts, yelling across to Professor Maelstrom who was perched on top of the other.
"Pluto IS a planet!"
she yells, and he shouts back
"It has a surface area smaller than Russia, no it's not!"
Crackle, armed with two NERF guns peers around the side of the first fort and yells
"Ohana means family, and family means NO ONE gets left behind!"
Tigress, holding a large painball gun, responds
"VIVA LA FUCK YOU!"
Le Chevre, looking affronted, joins Dr. Bellum up top and yells
"That is not even proper French!"
"SCREW OFF GOAT BOY!"
Professor Maelstrom pegs Le Chevre in the forehead with a NERF bullet, causing choas to explode on both sides.
"Huh, they've been kinda quiet..."
Carmen said, pointing at Zack and Ivy. The two redheads were on their phones, furiously typing something. Ivy then shouted
"HA! More websites agree PLUTO is a PLANET!"
"IT"S NOT THOUGH!"
They immediately started cat fighting over Carmen, trying to push the other off the seat.
The Lady in Red laughed, taking the controls from Shadowsan and selecting a new video.
The video started, showing Gray and Sheena arguing outside the dorms. They both seemed pretty annoyed. Then, the audio kicks in, just as Gray says
"Pretty bold of you to assume I'm a heterosexual."
All of them laughed, even Shadowsan let out a small chuckle.
"anyone else relate?"
Ivy asked, still laughing. Everyone raised their hands, including Shadowsan. Player said
"Sorry guys, can't relate."
"What do you identify as, Sensi?"
Zack asked. Carmen watched for any hint that may reveal his relationship with Maelstrom. She was disappointed by the lack of reaction.
"I am heteroflexible."
The look on his face said he did not want to continue this conversation. Carmen quickly clicked on the next video.
The video shows the dorm room, centered on El Topo and Le Chevre playing UNO. It appears they are the last two standing, as Tigress, Crackle, and Black Sheep are sitting around in a cricle with them on the floor, looking defeated.
"On shit, not UNO!"
giggled Ivy, expecting the worst.
Le Chevre stares at El Topo for a moment, then sighs.
"I'm sorry El Topo."
Antonio's eyes widen
"Jean-Paul, please...after everything we've been through..."
"Mon amie, I must!"
Le Chevre dropped the card on the deck, a +4.
commented Zack while Ivy nodded.
Crackle started humming "Mmm whatcha' say" as El Topo dropped his face in his hands in defeat.
Player suddenly asked
"Can we see more with your former teachers? They were pretty great."
Carmen looked concerned at his interest with the evil faculty, but she obliged.
The video shows Dash Harbor and Countess Cleo inside Cleo's P oitiers residence, Dash sitting on a sofa on his computer, and Cleo standing near the window looking out. The phone on the nearby side table rings, and Dash picks it up. He listens for a moment, then hands it to Cleo and says
"It's your girlfriend."
Cleo, looking offended, says
"She is NOT my girlfriend!"
then smiles and holds the phone up, saying
"They're dating, right?
Ivy says, pointing to the screen.
replied Carmen, looking to Shadowsan for confirmation. He nodded as the next video strated.
The vidfeed is clearly set in Dr. Bellum's lab, the scientist and Crackle visible and tinkering with a Roomba. They strap twin blades to the sides, them Saira sets the vacuum on the floor near the open doorway. Crackle whispers
"Go, be free my child."
and presses the CLEAN button. The Roomba disappears out the door, and a few seconds later, Tigress can be heard faintly yelling
Crackle starts laughing and Dr. Bellum flashes a Thumbs up to the camera.
"Wait, that's Gray, right? Your brother-from-another-mother?"
"Yeah, that's him."
She smiled fondly at the screen, sadness polluting the memories they made together as Crime Siblings. She hoped he was okay and happier wherever he was now.
"You're big brother is cool!"
Zack laughed. Carmen clicked the next video option, which cued up quickly.
The video shows a wide-shot of the kitchen area. Black Sheep is there, sitting on the floor in front of the oven with an empty bag of chicken nuggets next to her. She looks exhausted. Gray comes stumbling in, half-awake and confused.
"What are you doing?"
"I feel like that's pretty obvious."
Zack pointed out.
"I remember this!"
"You'll like this one guys!"
"Making Chicken Nuggets."
"...can I join?"
He joined her on the floor. A moment passed, then El Topo and Le Chevre come in. They look like they were woken up, and by the way Le Chevre was scowling at Gray, it wasn't hard to guess who did it.
"What are you imbéciles doing?"
Le Chevre grumbled. Black Sheep didn't even look at him.
"Making Chicken nuggets."
El Topo asked, punctuating his question with a yawn.
"I've lost control of my life and I'm celebrating the desertion of my sanity by making chicken nuggets." Black Sheep deadpanned, not looking up.
"DAMN Carm, having a crisis?"
Gray nodded along. The two Europeans stared at them, then El Topo quietly said
They settle down on the floor next to their friends. Le Chevre immediately passed out on Antonio's shoulder, the owner wrapping his arm around the French man to keep him stable.
"Are they dating?"
"Yes. I think everyone else knew before they acknowledged it."
Not even a minute passed before Tigress came in, looking extremely annoyed.
"What. The. Hell. What's going on that's SO important you all needed to make an exodus to the kitchen this early in the morning?"
All the awake parties said in unison.
She stared at them blankly, then stalked over to the freezer.
"What are you doing?"
Tigress shoved them in the microwave, leaning against the counter with her arms crossed. She glanced around, then asked.
"Where's Mime Bomb?"
"Behind us. Been there the whole time."
Black Sheep mumbled, clearly starting to fall asleep. The camera zooms in on a spot hear the freezer, and sure enough, Mime Bomb is sitting on the counter, full face make-up, eating from a gallon of ice-cream. Black Sheep continues
"He's been there, eating ice cream and judging my chicken nugget binge."
Le Chevre, still mostly asleep, lifts his head off his boyfriend's shoulder and glares at Mime Bomb.
"HE's the one wearing clown make-up, you don't have to let him JudgyMcJudgy you."
He then promptly fell back asleep.
Tigress sighs, then says
"I wish you had made chicken strips..."
Gray suddenly shoots up, looking scandalized.
"FUCK your chicken strips!"
shouted Ivy, high-fiving Zack in excitement.
"NO! Fuck your chicken strips!"
Tigress takes her pizza rolls out of the microwave and drops one down Gray's shirt.
commented Player as Zack and Ivy laughed harder.
Crackle swung at her, and they started fighting. The video cuts to a few moments later, showing Crackle and Tigress handcuffed to each other. They are eating nuggets and rolls respectively and pointedly ignoring the other. The rest of he group eats their chicken nuggets and pizza rolls in contented silence.
"Heh, love it!"
shouted Zack, smiling like crazy.
"SO glad we got to see more videos!"
Ivy added, looking just as happy. Shadowsan rolled his eyes.
"Last one, then we're done for tonight."
Carmen selected one final video, one she fully remembers.
The video shows Professor Maelstrom's classroom, with the professor lecturing up front about something. He stops abruptly when a younger Shadowsan walks in, demanding Maelstrom come with him. Maelstrom leaves, but only after warning the class
"Don't do anything stupid."
"Okay, THAT is to much to ask."
"Ho boy, what did you guys do this time?"
Zack whispers, transfixed by the scene.
El Topo looks confused, glancing at his friends and saying
"What does he think we'll do? Start a cult?"
"Oops, ya boi said the MAGIC WORDS!"
"Yeah, they're definitely gonna start a cult now."
Tigress looks at him, interested, and says
"Huh. Why not?"
The squad stares at each other for a minute, then Le Chevre says
"Let's do it."
The video cuts to when Maelstrom returns to the classroom. Black Sheep, El Topo and Le Chevre are kneeling around a beautifully drawn pentagram, staring up at Tigress. Mime Bomb, holding a piece of chalk, is finishing up the last portion of the pentagram, looking very satisfied. Draped in one of the curtains, Sheena looks almost eerie in the dim lighting, chanting random Latin words and sprinkling water on a tied up Crackle in the center of the circle. Maelstrom takes one look at the ritual and sighs.
"What does he mean by 'again?'"
"He looks SO DONE!"
The video ended, and Shadowsan returned the In-flight Cinema to standby mode.
"Alright, go to sleep now. You need to be in your best shape for the caper tomorrow."
The others sighed, but did as they were told.
Half an hour later, all three red heads were snuggled up securely together under Zack's NASCAR blanket. Shadowsan smiled, and reached down to tuck them in.
Maybe having kids wasn't so bad after all.
Nope, he had been wrong about the whole 'having kids' thing.
Zack and Ivy were fighting over Doritos, knocking plates and glasses of the table in their hotel room. Player was visible on the laptop's screen, spinning in very fast circles, laughing loudly. Carmen was on the phone with someone (Julia, he guessed, by the way she was smiling and blushing), and was frantically pacing around the room. Shadowsan had to keep redirecting her so she wouldn't accidentally end up in the middle of the sibling's fight.
He should have stuck to being the mentor only, being a father figure was exhausting.