Following the Path of Cute

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Bad Seeds Clubhouse, Saturday morning, Sept 17th, 2016

The main common area of the Bad Seed clubhouse was set up to be a comfortable and casual living area, with several couches and recliners. However, Michelle Jarrowitz was ignoring the furniture completely and had chosen to sit in the middle of the floor instead. Her violet witch hat was on the floor beside her, with several wires and small circuit boards dangling out from the inside.

“Almost there,” Michelle mused, biting her lower lip in concentration as she used a used a soldering iron to finish a connection. “That should do it…”

“Hey, Twitch,” a shaggy haired boy called out as he entered the room. “What are you working on?”

Michelle looked up at Racoon, whose real name was Tyler, and grinned. She didn’t mind being called Twitch, which had been shortened from her actual codename of Tek Witch. In fact, Michelle actually liked the nickname, which was a good thing since that was what everyone called her.

“Hi, Tyler,” Michelle waved at him, then quickly went back to hiding the electronic components within her hat. Once that was done, she put the hat back on her head. “I made a crystal ball…” She proudly held up what appeared to be a crystal ball, about the size of a softball.

“It sure looks like a crystal ball,” Tyler agreed. “What is it really?”

Michelle hesitated a moment before answering, “It’s an omnidirectional camera and monitor unit.”

“That sounds interesting,” Tyler told her. “But you know tech isn’t my thing, so I’m not sure what that all means.”

With a roll of her eyes, Michelle wondered what was so hard to understand about that. The cameras inside took video of every direction at the same time, then projected it onto the spherical crystal monitor that surrounded them, which hid everything inside and made it look all clear and transparent.

“So,” Tyler asked with a broad grin. “What’s it for?”

“So I can look for the invisible bunnies,” Michelle answered excitedly. She reached up to the brim of her hat and touched a button on the hidden remote control that she’d just installed. Instantly, the cameras in her crystal ball shifted to a different spectrum. She held the crystal ball up and looked straight ‘through’ it. “If there are any invisible bunnies in here, I’ll be able to see them…”

Tyler nodded at that, then gave her an apologetic shrug. “Sorry, but I don’t think the invisible bunnies really exist. They’re just a story someone made up…”

“They are too real,” Michelle argued. “And I’m gonna catch one so I can show it to my new friends…”

“Are these your new friends in Wondercute?” Tyler asked.

“Yeah,” Michelle nodded with a broad grin. “They’re a lot of fun.”

Tyler shook his head and warned her, “Wondercute will be a bad influence on you. Trust me, no one will take you seriously.”

“Well, they’re fun,” she responded, sticking her tongue out at him. “And I bet they’d love to see an invisible rabbit.”

“I don’t know about invisible rabbits,” Tyler said with a mischievious grin, “but I’m an expert on invisible raccoons…” He winked at Michelle and abruptly asked, “You want to see a real magic trick?”

“Yeah,” Michelle jumped to her feet in excitement.

Michelle watched Tyler eagerly, wondering what he was going to do. Unlike her, Tyler could do real magic, even if he didn’t do anything big and flashy. All of his spells were sneaky ones, doing things like unlocking doors or making him hard to see. Still, it was real magic, and that had her full attention.

Tyler pulled a silver coin out of his pocket and held it up for Michelle to see. It wasn’t a regular coin, but one of the special ones that Tyler liked to use for his spells. He rolled the coin between his fingers, making it vanish and then reappear. This wasn’t real magic, just sleight of hand. Then, Tyler pressed it up against the wall, and suddenly, the coin vanished…along with part of the wall. There was now a hole there, letting Michelle see into the next room.

“It disappeared,” Michelle blurted out with glee. She rushed over to the hole and tried to put her hand through it, only to feel the wall that she no longer saw.

“Instant window,” Tyler told her with a broad grin. “Great for checking out a room without having to open the door.” Then he snatched off her hat, tussled her blonde hair, and added, “Or a safe.”

Michelle grabbed her hat back and pulled it down firmly onto her head. “If you can make a wall invisible,” she demanded with a smirk, “why not a bunny?”

The section of wall reappeared, along with the silver coin, which suddenly fell. Tyler quickly snatched it out of the air before it could hit the floor. “Yeah,” he agreed, “but this takes essence, and it doesn’t last long.”

“So, invisible bunnies are better,” Michelle pointed out smugly.

“I can still do an invisible raccoon,” He pointed out with a wink, which made Michelle giggle.

Just then, Michelle finally looked at the clock and gasped, “Oh no… I’m late…”

“For what?” Tyler asked, watching in amusement as Michelle scrambled to pick up her things.

“To meet up with Wondercute,” Michelle called out as she raced out the door. “For my initiation…”

--------------------

Schuster Hall, Saturday morning, Sept 17th, 2016

Michelle stepped into the room where she’d been told to meet the rest of Wondercute, and was disappointed to see that it was just a plain and boring faculty meeting room. There wasn’t a single poster or decoration to even suggest that Wondercute used the space.

“I know,” one girl said, apparently reading Michelle’s expression. “This room is totally uncute…”

“Yeah,” another added. “Totally.”

Michelle looked over the other members of Wondercute, pleased to note that she’d at least met all of them before, even if she didn’t know them very well.

“Hi,” she called out, holding her crystal ball possessively.

“Hey, Twitch,” Gigi called back with a faint southern accent.

Gigi, which was what everyone called Gravity Girl, was a slightly chubby black girl, with dark frizzy hair that was pulled back to keep it under control. She was cute, with dimples and a slight gap between her front teeth, which was noticeable when she smiled, like she was doing right then. At the moment, Gigi was wearing a pink and white fuku style costume, which had a big pink bow in the back. From what Michelle understood, this was the official Wondercute uniform. Gigi was also the official leader of Wondercute, though Michelle got the impression that this was only because nobody else had been willing to do the paperwork, so she got stuck with the job.

“I’m glad you’re here,” Gigi cheerfully announced, gesturing to another girl. “You know Amelia…”

Michelle looked at Amelia Vaughn, who was better known by her codename of Petshop. She was a petite girl, with cute and pixiesh features that included a splattering of freckles across her nose and cheeks. She had shoulder length ginger hair, which was decorated with a half dozen decorative clips. One was a butterfly, one looked like a kitten face, and another was all jeweled and sparkly. Like Gigi, Petshop was a sophomore and had been a member of Wondercute the previous year. She was also wearing a fuku, though hers was red and gold.

Nina Blake, codenamed Bewitched, was a sophomore, and like the two other sophomores, she was also wearing a matching costume. She had long blonde hair, and was excitedly talking about her costume.

“This is my new uniform,” she proudly bragged. “I designed it over the summer…”

The rest of the girls were like Michelle, new members who had only just joined Wondercute. Because of that, none of them had their fuku uniforms yet either, though several of them were talking about what they wanted theirs to look like.

Meow Mix was a cat girl, and Michelle was tempted to go over and try petting her, just to see if she’d purr. “I want my uniform to have a kitten on the chest,” she eagerly announced.

“That would be so cute,” Petshop exclaimed, her eye seeming to gleam with excitement. “Do you want me to make one for you? I make the cutest kittens…”

“You make kittens?” Meow Mix gasped, staring at Petshop in disbelief.

“Yeah,” Gigi agreed. “Amelia makes the best pets… You remember that glow in the dark squirrel…”

Michelle went, “Awww,” along with all the other girls. “I want a glow in the dark squirrel…”

“Me too. Me too,” Nina exclaimed, nodding along in agreement.

“Do you make a lot of animals?” Breakdance asked. She was a skinny Asian girl, who Michelle thought was just a bit of a ditz. Still, she seemed nice.

“All the time,” Gigi answered with a giggle. “She runs the black market pet shop on campus…”

“If you need something cute, and adorable, and totally huggable,” Petshop bragged, “I’m your girl…”

Suddenly, Gigi called out, “Hey, Jessie…”

Gigi was waving to Jessie Ryans, AKA Alcolyte, who had just come into the room. She was in junior high, just like Michelle, and not only did they have some classes together, they also shared a dorm room in Dickenson. However, Jessie could do real magic, not just the fake stuff that Michelle could do, so Michelle was just a little jealous.

“Hi, Jessie,” Michelle greeted her roommate with a grin.

“Hi, Twitch,” Jessie exclaimed, waving back.

Then, Michelle suddenly noticed that Jessie hadn’t come alone, and that an adult woman had come into the room right behind her. The woman was gorgeous, with long golden-blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes, and a friendly smile. She was also wearing a pair of black slacks and a pink blouse.

“Hi, Miss Ellison,” Gigi called out excitedly.

Michelle stared at the teacher for a moment, never having met her before, but knowing exactly who she was. After all, Michelle had made a point of learning who all of the magic teachers were on campus, and Miss Ellison was one of them. From what Michelle had heard, she’d only started teaching last year. Of course, Tyler had also told her, that a couple of the other teachers…and even some of the students, called her Barbie behind her back.

“Hello girls,” Miss Ellison announced in a cheerful tone. She looked at Gigi and brightened up even more. “That’s a wonderful new costume…”

“Thank you,” Gigi responded proudly. “I got it this summer…”

Miss Ellison nodded. “Well, I love it. It’s absolutely adorable, and this pink bow in the back just ties it all together…”

At this point, Petshop stepped forward and announced, “These are the new girls…” She grabbed Michelle’s arm. “This is Twitch... And that’s Jessie, and Meow Mix, and…”

“Miss Ellison is our faculty advisor,” Gigi said, introducing the teacher to the girls. Then in an almost conspiratorial tone, she added, “She used to be a magical girl…”

“I haven’t been Miss Sparkles in a long time,” Miss Ellison said with a cheerful smile. “But wow, looking at you girls sure brings back memories…” Then she looked at Nina and her smile brightened even more. “Especially with Glee here…”

“I thought your codename was Bewitched,” Meow Mix said, giving Nina a curious look.

“It is,” Nina answered with a blush. “Glee is my spirit…”

“We should probably get started,” Petshop said, elbowing Gigi.

Gigi glared at Petshop for a moment, then gave Miss Ellison a hesitant look. After Miss Ellison nodded, Gigi told the new girls, “We are Wondercute, and our mission to so protect all things cute…”

“And fight the enemies of cute,” Petshop exclaimed, nearly bouncing where she stood.

Gigi nodded at that. “Now, swear after me…”

“I thought swearing was bad,” Breakdance pointed out with a serious expression, earning some giggles from the other girls.

For a moment, Gigi almost looked exasperated, then she began to giggle as well. She held out her hand and announced, “Repeat after me. I solemnly swear that I will serve, protect, and be an ambassador for all things cute, to the best of my ability.”

Michelle grinned as she repeated the oath, getting more and more excited. And when she’d finished saying it, she added, “Amen,” which caused several of the other girls to giggle, then to say ‘amen’ as well.

“Now,” Miss Ellison announced, “It’s my turn…”

“For what?” Jessie asked

Miss Ellison held up a golden scepter with several gems on the head, though Michelle had no idea where it had come from. Then, the teacher took several steps back and began to spin around, calling out, “Magical sparkle transformation…”

Suddenly, the scepter began to glow and Miss Ellison started to sparkle. Ribbons of rainbow colored light exploded from the scepter and flew around the room, while sparkles and glowing bubbles followed with them. Michelle gasped in awe as the brilliant ribbons and bubbles began to surround her, and suddenly, there was a flash of light and it was all gone.

“What was that?” Michelle asked, only to pause as she noticed that all the girls were now wearing fuku style uniforms. She looked down at herself and gasped in surprise to see that she was wearing one too. Hers was violet and white, the same shade of violet as her hat. She quickly reached for her hat, relieved to find that it was still there. “I’ve got a costume…”

“Everyone does,” Meow Mix pointed out.

“These will only last until midnight,” Miss Ellison said, looking quite pleased with herself. “After that, you’ll have to get any uniforms you want the old fashioned way. But for now, go out and have some fun…”

“Welcome to Wondercute,” Gigi started

“Now, let’s go find some enemies of cute to fight,” Petshop exclaimed, while Michelle cheered, along with almost everyone else.

As all the girls began rushing out the door, Gigi exclaimed, “Wait… I had a speech…” Michelle giggled at the look on Gigi’s face, then clutched her crystal ball tightly before running after everyone else. She glanced back and saw that Gigi was coming as well, though the older girl quickly flew past Michelle until she took the lead, calling out, “Enemies of cute, beware!”

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The Quad, Saturday late morning, Sept 17th, 2016

Michelle crouched down behind a table, along with the rest of the girls. The table didn’t hide them very well, but that was beside the point.

“There she is,” Nina whispered, pointing to the girl that they were all watching. “An enemy of cute…”

The girl in question was sitting on a bench, well away from anyone else, and appeared to just be reading. She had long black hair, was dressed in mostly black clothes, which seemed to be a mixture of modern and really old-fashioned. And from what Michelle could see, she had on some dark purple eye shadow and matching lipstick.

“Penny Dreadful is really creepy,” Nina said. “And she makes zombies…”

“Ewww,” Michelle gasped in disgust while Gigi and Jessie followed with, “Gross,” and “Yuck.”

“Everyone knows that only bad guys make zombies,” Gigi pointed out.

“Yeah,” Petshop nodded agreement. “Why can’t she make something cute instead?”

“Cute zombies?” Michelle suggested with a giggle, which quickly got the other girls to start giggling too.

Penny Dreadful looked up and in their direction, causing the girls to drop even lower so that they could stay hidden. Michelle bit her lip, trying to keep from giggling, though it was hard. Finally, the creepy girl went back to reading her book.

“Do you think she’s really a villain?” Gigi asked, and it took Michelle a moment to realize that Gigi was talking to her.

“Why are you asking me?” Michelle responded defensively, though she already knew why.

“Because your dad is a villain,” Jessie pointed out smugly.

“My dad is not a villain,” Michelle argued defensively, glaring at the other girl. “My dad is awesome. He has a big laser sword, and really cool power armor, and a hover cycle that flies really really fast, and he fights those jerks in the Cadre…”

Gigi giggled and pointed out, “The Cadre are superheroes…” Michelle just stuck her tongue out at the older girl.

“That’s showing her,” Meow Mix exclaimed, slapping Michelle on the back.

“Well, let’s go teach her a lesson,” Nina exclaimed, jumping to her feet and looking as though she was going to charge straight at Penny Dreadful.

“Wait,” Gigi said. “We’re supposed to be ambassadors of cuteness, so let’s go ambassador and convince her to turn away from the dark side…”

“And embrace the cuteness,” Petshop added emphatically.

With that, the girls got out from behind the table and started towards Penny Dreadful. When they were close, the goth girl carefully closed her book, then looked up at them with an almost bored expression.

“We want to talk to you,” Nina announced.

“We’re Wondercute,” Gigi said, looking a little nervous though she still smiled and gestured to the rest of the girls. “We think you should try being cuter…”

“So, this is what happens when you have sugar poisoning,” Penny Dreadful commented in a flat tone. “Tragic.” She slowly stood up from her bench and added, “I’m glad I avoid the stuff.”

Suddenly, Breakdance let out a squeal and backed away.

“Are you okay?” Jessie asked the girl.

Ignoring them, Gigi continued, “We don’t think you should make zombies anymore, because they’re gross and mean…”

“Yeah,” Petshop added, nodding agreement. “You should only make nice things, because the world needs a lot more nice things…”

For a moment, Penny Dreadful just stood there, slowly looking over the group. Finally, she asked, “How about a puppy? Would you be happy if I made a puppy?”

“A puppy?” Petshop’s eyes gleamed with excitement. “I LOVE puppies…”

“Puppies are so cute,” Michelle agreed eagerly.

However, Meow Mix shrugged. “I prefer kittens. They’re way cuter…”

Penny Dreadful smiled faintly, but Michelle thought it was a really creepy smile. A moment later, bubbling green slime appeared on the ground in front of the goth girl, and then something began to rise out of it, taking form. It was big, about the size of a pony, and it had four legs.

“A big puppy,” Nina said in awe.

A moment later, the figure became more distinct and Michelle could see that it was a massive and terrifying looking dog. Patches of its skin, and even part of its face were missing, revealing bone and muscle beneath. The zombie dog growled and nearly every one of the girls shrieked at once.

Suddenly, Gigi flew straight up into the air, using her gravity powers to bring most of the others with her. Michelle shrieked again as she suddenly started floating, though once she realized that it was Gigi who was doing it, she stopped and looked down instead. The zombie dog was below them, growling and looking mean.

“Bad dog,” Nina exclaimed from where she floated beside Michelle.

Petshop, who’d been outside of Gigi’s range, remained on the ground beside Breakdance. However, instead of looking afraid, Petshop was staring at the zombie with a look of disappointment.

“You aren’t even a real puppy,” Petshop said, pulling out what looked like a strange looking ray gun. “Don’t worry puppy… I’m sure I can fix you up…” She fired her weapon and a beam of light shot out and hit the creature, though it didn’t react. Her eyes went wide in surprise. “My sleepy time ray didn’t work…”

“I’ve got it,” Gigi exclaimed

With that, Gigi dropped from the air, bringing the rest of Wondercute with her. She landed on the zombie dog, driving her feet into its back, while the other girls fell back to the ground.

“Ouch,” Michelle cried out, holding her crystal ball so that it didn’t hit the ground and break.

“Bad doggy,” Gigi yelled, floating back up into the air, only to drop right back down onto the zombie dog again. The zombie snarled and growled, then collapsed to the ground and began to melt.

“Ewwww,” Nina exclaimed. “Gross…”

“I’m melting. I’m melting,” Michelle called out with a giggle. “Oh what a cruel world…”

Petshop giggled, and her eyes began to gleam with excitement. “Flying monkeys… We need flying monkeys…”

“Don’t even think about it,” Gigi warned her.

Michelle stared at the zombie, or what was left of it as it had just finished melting into a puddle of green slime. Then as she watched, the green slime faded away and vanished, leaving no sign that the horrible creature had ever even been there.

“Hey,” Meow Mix said, looking around. “Where’d that goth girl go?”

Michelle looked around and realized that Penny Dreadful was gone. While they’d all been distracted by her zombie dog, she’d managed to slip away.

“She’s gone,” Nina pointed out unnecessarily.

“Maybe pink feathers on the wings,” Petshop mused to herself, seeming to have completely forgotten about their target. “And violet fur. It will be so cute…”

“So, what do we do now?” Jessie asked, looking disappointed.

“We find some other uncute people to teach a lesson,” Nina answered.

While the other girls were brushing themselves off and discussing where they should go next, Michelle turned on her crystal ball and looked through it as she examined her surroundings. She reached up to the brim of her hat to adjust the filter, then looked around her again.

“What are you doing?” Jessie asked, giving her a curious look.

“I’m looking for invisible bunnies,” Michelle answered, feeling just a little self-conscious.

“My RA told me about them,” Meow Mix said. “But she said that they don’t really exist…”

“Of course they exist,” Petshop blurted out, giving the cat girl an offended look. “I spent a whole month figuring out how to make them invisible…”

Michelle gasped and stared at Petshop. “YOU made them?”

“Yep,” Petshop responded, looking quite proud. “They were so cute before they turned invisible… But they’re still really soft, and cuddly, and oh so huggable…”

“Too bad they escaped,” Gigi said with a pout. “You said you were going to give me one…”

“Why would you make invisible bunnies?” Meow Mix asked. “I mean, what’s the point if you can’t see them?”

“We’re not allowed to have pets on campus,” Petshop answered with a deep scowl of annoyance. “So, I figured that if I made them invisible, then everyone could have cute bunnies to pet, and the teachers wouldn’t see them and take them away…”

Gigi pouted as she said, “I was gonna name mine Harvey…”

“They’re real,” Michelle yelled in delight. “I can’t wait to tell Tyler… He said they aren’t real…”

Michelle held her crystal ball up and looked through it again, looking even more closely for any signs of invisible bunnies. Unfortunately, she didn’t see any bunnies, but she did notice something else.

“Hey,” Michelle gasped, staring at the ground a short distance away. “What’s this…?”

“What’s what?” Jessie asked.

Michelle pointed to the ground, though she realized that it looked exactly the same as the rest of the quad. Or at least, it did when she wasn’t looking at it through her crystal ball.

“Oh, that’s neat,” Breakdance exclaimed, earning her several curious looks.

“Let’s see,” Michelle said, looking through the crystal ball again.

On the concrete flagstone in front of her, she could now see that someone had drawn a picture of Hello Kitty. It was standing there, with one arm by her side, while the other arm was stretched out and seemed to be pointing somewhere.

“See,” Michelle announced, handing the crystal ball to Jessie. “Look through this…”

Jessie squealed in delight. “A Hello Kitty…”

The girls passed the crystal ball around as each took a turn looking at the picture through it. Michelle beamed with pride over the fact that she’d been the one to find this hidden Hello Kitty picture.

“This isn’t as good as a real crystal ball,” Jessie told her before admitting. “But it’s still pretty cool…”

“I wonder who put this here,” Gigi mused aloud.

Petshop grinned and nearly bounced with excitement. “Maybe it was the original Wondercute…”

“Original Wondercute?” Meow Mix asked.

“Yeah,” Gigi said, nodding agreement. Then she looked at the newest members and explained. “There used to be another Wondercute, but they all graduated and stuff. Last year, we heard about them and how much fun they had, so we decided to start our own Wondercute…”

“Do you really think they made this?” Michelle asked, staring at the picture with growing curiosity.

“Maybe,” Nina answered with a grin. “It would be super cool if they did.”

“Yeah,” Gigi agreed. “That would be really awesome…”

Petshop held Michelle’s crystal ball and stared down at the picture with a thoughtful expression on her face. “It looks like it’s pointing over there…” She pointed in the same direction. “But what’s it pointing too?”

“I don’t know,” Gigi said. Then she brightened. “But let’s go look…”

--------------------

Whateley Academy, Saturday early afternoon, Sept 17th, 2016

“I found it. I found it,” Gigi called down to the rest of the girls from where she floated in the air above them.

Michelle stared up at her and complained, “I can’t see it…” She tried looking through her crystal ball, but it did no good. “I need to add a zoom to this thing…”

After they’d found the hidden Hello Kitty picture, they’d looked in the direction where it had been pointing, and eventually, they’d found another Hello Kitty picture. This one hadn’t been hidden, at least not in the same way. It had just been painting on the wall of Schuster Hall, in a spot where it hadn’t been very noticeable. That picture had also been pointing in another direction, and they’d followed it to where they were now.

Gigi was floating in the air, right near the top of a tall light post. She was nearly bouncing with excitement, and Michelle could see the grin on her face.

“I can’t see,” Jessie complained.

Breakdance stood back, looking up with a frown. “Me either…”

“Get back down here and give us a lift,” Petshop ordered.

“Sorry,” Gigi called down, right before lowering herself to the ground. Once she landed, she announced, “Everyone stay real close to me…”

Once all the girls were pressed in close, Gigi began to float up into the air again, taking the rest of them along with. Michelle squelched a faint squeal and clutched her crystal ball and hat, not wanting to risk dropping either. A few seconds later, they were up high enough that she could see the top of the light pole…and what they had been looking for.

“It’s a Hello Kitty statue,” Nina exclaimed, pointing at the metal figurine that was positioned right on top of the pole. “Is it pointing anywhere…?”

“Yeah,” Gigi answered with grin. “Down there…” She pointed in the same direction as the figurine.

“Someone left a trail of Hello Kitties,” Petshop pointed out thoughtfully. “I wonder where they lead.”

“Let’s fine out,” Meow Mix said with a grin. “A trail of kitties can only lead to something good…”

Michelle nodded in agreement, growing more and more curious about where the Hello Kitties were leading them. But then, as she looked in the direction that the figurine was pointing, she saw two people crouched down, apparently trying to follow a couple girls without being seen.

“Who are they?” Michelle blurted out.

Gigi began lowering them all back towards the ground before answering, “That’s Decoy…the biggest pervert on campus…”

“And his girlfriend,” Petshop added a moment later in a clear tone of disapproval. “Blindspot.”

“What does he do?” Jessie asked.

Gigi looked around, then in an almost conspiratorial voice, said, “Decoy sells pictures of girls.”

“Sexy pictures,” Petshop added with scowl. “And ones they never even posed for…”

Gigi finished. “Yeah… He’s a total pervert.”

“And Blindspot makes sure that security doesn’t catch him doing it,” Nina said. “She’s some kind of technopath, and can make it so the security cameras and stuff don’t see them…”

“Really?” Michelle asked in surprise. She’d seen Blindspot in Dickenson, but hadn’t known her name or anything about her.

Michelle looked through her crystal ball, but to her surprise, it wasn’t working. When she looked in Decoy and Blindspot’s direction, all she saw was static and noise. When she turned to look in another direction, her crystal ball suddenly began working again.

“Weird,” Michelle grumbled. Then she looked back at the two with her own eyes, and to her surprise, Blindspot had turned and was staring right back.

“Oh,” Petshop said with a look of annoyance. “She’s also some kind of esper and can tell when people are watching her…”

“That’s just annoying,” Meow Mix pointed out wryly.

“She’s why security can’t ever catch Decoy,” Gigi pointed out with a frown. “And why no one can find out who he’s getting those naughty pictures from…”

“Well, maybe we should go have a talk with them,” Nina pointed out with a grin. The rest of the girls looked back and forth, with each of them grinning back.

As the girls rushed over to where Decoy and Blindspot were, Blindspot continued to watch them with a look of wary annoyance. Blindspot was plain looking, with glasses and a little acne. She had dull brown hair that was pulled back into a pony tail, and Michelle noted that the sophomore girl wasn’t much more developed than she was herself.

When the girls were close enough, Decoy finally turned to look them over, giving Michelle a better look at the boy. He had ginger hair and bright green eyes, as well as a heavy splattering of freckles on his face. He also had a look of annoyance on his face, which was almost a perfect match for the one his girlfriend displayed.

“Oh,” Decoy said, looking them over and then rolling his eyes. “Wondercute.”

“Isn’t there a kitten you should be fawning over somewhere?” Blindside asked sarcastically.

“Kittens are cute,” Meow Mix responded defensively.

At the same time, Michelle looked at Meow Mix and pointed out, “We brought our own…”

“What’cha doing?” Petshop asked in a cutesy voice, giving Decoy ‘puppy dog’ eyes and making Michelle giggle.

“None of your business,” Decoy answered defensively, giving the girls a nervous look as he realized how outnumbered he was.

Michelle noticed that he was holding a phone, and remembering what she’d been told about his selling pictures of girls, she blurted out, “You’re taking pictures of someone…”

“Probably the girls who were over there,” Gigi pointed out, glaring Decoy

“So I like taking pictures of cute girls,” Decoy said defiantly.

“We’re cute girls,” Michelle exclaimed.

Decoy glanced to Blindspot, almost as if wanting her to help him. “Not quite what I mean…”

“Take my picture,” Nina announced as she began to pose.

“And mine,” Jessie added excitedly.

“Me first,” Gigi insisted.

Petshop stepped in front of her. “No, me… I’m the cutest…”

Decoy looked back and forth between the girls and began to step back. “Get lost,” he ordered the girls, who ignored him.

“I’ve got a cute hat,” Michelle announced, proudly posing with her prized headwear. “Take my picture…”

“Look,” Nina insisted as she posed. “Blue steel…”

“That’s it,” Decoy finally exclaimed, looking around in frustration. “I’m out of here…” He tried to walk off, but the girls blocked his path and continued to pose.

“How about this pose?” Gigi asked, taking a pose that she’d seen in an anime. “In the name of the cute, I will punish you…”

Michelle giggled. “I like that one…” She took her own pose, holding her crystal ball above her head. “Yay transformation…”

Suddenly, Decoy was no longer standing in front of Michelle…or at least, he was no longer standing there alone. There were suddenly seven identical Decoys, and all of them turned and began to run in different directions.

“What happened?” Michelle gasped in surprise and confusion.

“He does that,” Gigi answered in an almost conspiratorial voice.

Michelle looked back and forth at the different Decoys, all of whom were escaping. With a scowl of annoyance, she raised her crystal ball and looked through it, shifting settings until all of the Decoys vanished except one. However, that one was already too far away.

“He’s the real one,” Michelle started to say, but nobody was paying attention to her.

“You’re all crazy,” Blindspot exclaimed, giving each of the girls a glare before muttering, “Lisa Frank obsessed lunatics…” With that, she turned and walked away.

For a moment, the girls all stood there, looking back and forth between each other. Finally, Gigi floated up into the air and exclaimed, “We did it. We chased away the perverts…” And with that, the rest of them all began to cheer.

“We showed them,” Petshop announced, looking quite pleased with herself.

“But he didn’t take my picture,” Michelle complained with a pout. She’d been looking forward to seeing how cute she looked, posing with her hat and crystal ball. Maybe she could get Jessie to take her picture instead…if either of them had a camera. Then, she stared intently at her crystal ball and mused, “Maybe I should add a camera…”

“Now, where were we?” Gigi mused, looking around with a thoughtful expression. “I think that last Hello Kitty was pointing over there…”

“Yeah,” Meow Mix agreed with a grin. She pointed in a direction that was just a little off from where Gigi was pointing. “It was over that way…”

“Come on,” Gigi announced, only to pause and stare at Petshop. “Amelia?”

Petshop was staring off to the side, her eyes going wide with a manic glee before she yelled, “BUNNY!”

It took Michelle a moment to realize that Petshop was staring at a girl, who looked to be walking across campus. She had black hair with purple highlights, as well as black furry bunny ears. Michelle immediately recognized the bunny girl as Lapin, because the Bad Seeds had talked about her during one of their meetings. From what Esquire had said, Lapin used to be a boy, before some devisor had changed him into the cute bunny girl she was now. And though Michelle had no idea what Lapin had looked like before, she had absolutely no doubt that the bunny girl was much cuter now.

“Oh no,” Gigi started, but it was too late.

Petshop suddenly began running towards Lapin, calling out, “BUNNY!”

“Not again,” Gigi groaned, immediately running after the other girl

Nina just giggled and called out, “Wheeee,” as she began running as well. With that, the rest of Wondercute joined in the chase.

Lapin turned and her eyes went wide at the sight of the girls running in her direction. “Leave me alone,” she cried out, right as she turned and began running away.

“But I just want to hug you,” Petshop exclaimed as she chased after Lapin. “And pet you…and…”

‘LEAVE ME ALONE,” Lapin yelled frantically as she increased her speed.

“But you’re so CUTE,” Petshop responded, running even faster.

All the girls were squealing in delight, getting caught up in the excitement of the chase. Michelle had no idea why they were all chasing after the bunny girl, but she had to admit it was fun. She just wondered what they’d do with Lapin when they caught her, though at the moment, she was having so much fun that she didn’t really even care.

--------------------

Dickenson Cottage, Sunday morning, Sept 18th, 2016

Michelle sat on the edge of her bed, looking across the room to where Jessie sat on the other side. “This is gonna be so awesome,” she exclaimed, proudly holding up her crystal ball. “Today, I’m gonna find an invisible bunny. I just know it…”

“Yeah,” Jessie grinned back. “We can keep it in our room, and no one will even know…”

“I can’t wait to show one to Tyler,” Michelle continued cheerfully. “He says that there aren’t any invisible bunnies, so if he sees one he’ll have to believe…”

Jessie giggled at that. “If he sees one, then it won’t be an invisible bunny…”

Michelle stuck her tongue out at her roommate as she hopped off the bed. “I should load up on everything we’ll need…”

With that, Michelle picked up the purple cloth pouch that she alternately called a satchel or her purse, depending on her mood, and put it on with the strap over her shoulder. Her dad had given it to her right before she’d come to Whateley, and since it was the same color as her favorite hat, she absolutely loved it.

“I need this,” Michelle announced, putting her crystal ball into the pouch. “And maybe this…”

She picked up a ‘magic wand’ from the top of her dresser. Though it looked like a magic wand, it was actually a taser that would give anyone a nice zap, just by touching them. She liked to use it against some of the bullies who tried picking on her…or teasing her about her dad.

Of course, most bullies left her alone because they knew that the rest of the Bad Seeds were looking out for her. The last bully who’d really tried anything, had ended up head first in a dumpster a short time later. Hammer was big and kind of mean at times, but he didn’t let anyone pick on her.

“Isn’t that thing broken?” Jessie asked, giving the magic wand a skeptical look.

“Not yet,” Michelle responded a little defensively. Sure, her inventions only last a couple weeks before breaking, and her magic wand was starting to spark a bit whenever she turned it on…but it still worked perfectly fine. At least for now. “Besides, I wanna be ready in case we run into anymore perverts or meanies today…”

With that, Michelle picked up her favorite witch hat and carefully placed it on her head. She glanced down at herself, a little disappointed that she no longer had the awesome costume that Miss. Ellison had made for her. Unfortunately, like Miss Ellison had warned, the costume had vanished during the night.

“Do you think that Petshop ever caught that bunny girl?” Jessie asked.

Michelle shrugged at that. “I don’t know…”

Yesterday, Wondercute had chased that cute bunny girl around the school, until Lapin finally managed to run into Melville and get away from them. After that, everyone had gotten bored and went their separate ways, though Petshop had remained outside Melville, waiting for Lapin to come back out.

Michelle giggled. “Maybe Petshop is still there waiting for her…”

Jessie grinned back. “That would be funny…”

“Come on,” Michelle said, adjusting her hat and opening the door. “I wanna go find the next Hello Kitty…”

However, instead of continuing the search where they’d left off, Michelle and Jessie went to look for the other Wondercute members first, since it would be much more fun to continue the search as a group. Michelle was surprised to find Gigi almost immediately, right outside Dickenson.

“I was just coming to find you,” Gigi announced with a grin. She was no longer wearing her fuku costume, even though hers had been real instead of made by magic the way Michelle’s had been. “I’m trying to find everyone…”

Michelle and Jessie shared a look and grinned. “That sounds good to us,” Jessie said.

“We’ll go get Amelia next,” Gigi explained as she began leading the way. “It might take awhile to get her out of her lab…”

Michele and Jessie followed behind Gigi, who led them to the devisor labs, which Michelle was familiar with, and then to an area where Michelle had never been. Gigi stopped in front of a metal door that was painted bright pink.

“This is Amelia’s lab,” Gigi said unnecessarily as she pushed a button by the door. “Hey, Amelia,” she called into the speaker. “It’s me… We’re here…”

When there was no response, Michelle asked, “Are you sure she’s here?”

However, before Gigi could answer, the door slid open and revealed Petshop, who was currently wearing a pink labcoat. She let out a yawn and stared at them all for a moment while blinking her eyes.

“Hi,” Petshop finally said, looking a little confused.

“Amelia,” Gigi said with an exasperated look. “We were supposed to meet up so we could keep looking for those Hello Kitties…”

“We were?” Petshop asked, blinking again. “Well, come on in while I finish up…”

As they stepped inside, Jessie commented, “So, this is what a mad scientist’s lab looks like…”

Michelle looked around the room, half of which was full of tables, work stations, and high tech equipment that she didn’t recognize. And as a devisor herself, and the daughter of a devisor, she was used to dealing with a lot of high tech equipment.

The other half of the room was filled with cages and aquariums, many of which seemed to be filled with animals. Michelle’s eyes widened at what looked like her favorite part of a pet store.

“Oh my God,” Michelle squealed out, rushing to the cages where she saw a large one had nearly a dozen hamsters, though each one of them was a different color. “They’re so CUTE!”

“I know,” Gigi added with a broad grin. “Right…”

Petshop rushed over and opened up the cage, pulling out a bright yellow hamster and putting it into Michelle’s hands. “This is Lemon…” She grabbed a purple hamster and handed it to Jessie, “And Grape.” Then she took one that had red fur and handed it to Gigi. “And this one is Cherry.”

“Oh,” Michelle gushed as she pet Lemon, who actually smelled a little lemony.

“I told you Amelia makes the best pets,” Gigi exclaimed.

Then Jessie blurted out, “Frogs…”

“Ewwww,” Michelle started, until she saw what Jessie meant.

In a large container with glass sides, there were several frogs hopping around. They all had bright pink skin, so instead of looking gross and slimy like most frogs, they actually looked cute.

“Oh yeah,” Petshop said with a broad grin as she reached into the container and pulled out one of the frogs. “I call them kissing frogs, and made these guys this summer…”

“Wow,” Gigi exclaimed. “Way better than regular frogs…”

“I thought so,” Petshop said with a broad grin, looking quite proud. “Just be careful to wash your hands after touching them. Their mucus is an aphrodisiac.” She looked a little embarrassed before admitting, “It came out a bit stronger than I intended…”

“Wow,” Gigi repeated. Then she gave Petshop another look and gasped, “Are these the frogs that…”

“Yeah,” Petshop said, deflating a bit and looking sad.

Michelle noticed that reaction and asked, “What’s wrong?”

Petshop hesitated a moment, then admitted, “I made a whole bunch of these frogs back home, but then someone let them go. Now, there are hundreds of frogs hopping around town…”

“That would be funny,” Michelle said with a giggle, though she stopped when she saw the sad look on Petshop’s face.

“They are really cute,” Petshop admitted with a weak smile, “and people like to lick them…”

“EWWWWW,” Michelle, Jessie, and Gigi all exclaimed at once. “Gross…”

“And the city council blames me,” Petshop admitted with a pout. “And Mayor Johnson told me that I’m not allowed to come back…” She stuck out her lower lip and muttered, “She said I’m an ecological disaster waiting to happen…”

“Oh,” Gigi responded, giving Petshop a hug. “I’m so sorry…”

Suddenly, Michelle saw something running across the floor, straight towards them. The creature was the size of a cat, and looked something like a cross between a fennec fox and a monkey, with large ears, a long tail, and violet fur over its body.

Michelle’s eyes went wide at the sight of the strange looking creature, and she blurted out, “He’s so CUTE!”

The creature climbed up Petshop’s leg and up into her arms, where she held the creature and began petting it. Michelle heard it beginning to purr, right before the fur changed from violet to pink.

“This is Bitsy,” Petshop said with a look of pride. “She’s my best invention ever…”

“Hey, Bitsy,” Gigi said, petting the cute animal, which seemed to enjoy the attention.

“And she’s totally cute,” Michelle stated while Jessie nodded agreement.

“Bitsy is my familiar,” Petshop said, which caught Michelle by surprise.

“I didn’t know you did magic,” Michelle gasped, staring at the older girl in amazement.

Gigi giggled at that. “She doesn’t. But last year, they actually let Amelia register Bitsy as her familiar….”

Petshop was scratching Bitsy behind the ear, looking a little smug. “I made her to help me around the lab, and with my work, so she’s just like a familiar…”

In a conspiratorial tone, Gigi leaned over and said, “Bitsy is really smart and cleans up after Amelia…and keeps her from accidentally blowing herself up…”

Petshop stuck her tongue out at Gigi. “I’ve never blown myself up…”

“Oh?” Gigi responded with a grin. “What about when you were making…”

“I blew up part of my lab,” Petshop quickly corrected her, “but not myself. That’s totally different…”

Petshop and Gigi both stuck their tongues out at each other, then burst out giggling. After that, Petshop carefully put the frog and hamsters away, then washed her hands. Michelle noticed that Bitsy not only remained outside of a cage, but went to each of the cages and actually locked the doors after Petshop was done.

“Now, let’s go find the others,” Gigi said with a grin. “I want to find where those Hello Kitties lead…”

--------------------

Whateley Academy, Sunday early afternoon, Sept 18th, 2016

“I found it,” Breakdance announced.

The girls were scattered about the area, looking for any signs of the next Hello Kitty. Gigi was floating in the air, with Meow Mix hovering beside her, as they tried to see if they could spot anything from that position. Michelle had just been staring through her crystal ball, though she immediately lowered it and rushed over to Breakdance.

“I wanna see,” Jessie exclaimed, trying to push her way forward so she could get a better look.

Michelle frowned, not seeing anything at first, then she saw what Breakdance was looking at. Bending down for a better look, she saw a metal disk was embedded in the concrete of the sidewalk. It was only four inches across, and it had a Hello Kitty picture etched into it.

“Wow,” Gigi said. “This one is kind of small…”

“And easy to miss,” Nina added.

Michelle held up her crystal ball and looked through it, adjusting the filter across the spectrum, but she didn’t see anything else. “The one on Crystal Hall was way cooler.” The last one they’d found, had not only been on top of Crystal Hall, but had somehow been drawn into the crystal itself, and of course, it had actually been in color.

“That was the best one so far,” Petshop agreed. “I wonder how they changed the coloration of the crystal without any visible etching or paint…”

“Who cares,” Nina exclaimed. “It was totally awesome…”

“It was probably just painted on the inside of the dome,” Michelle said, considering how she’d pull off a trick like that. However, nobody responded to her comment so she wasn’t even sure if anyone had heard.

“Let’s go find the next one,” Nina said with an excited grin.

“Yeah,” Michelle agreed, however, Jessie frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“It was more fun yesterday,” Jessie admitted, looking down at herself and adding. “I mean, having the costumes…”

Michelle looked at Gigi and asked, “Do you think Miss Ellison can make them for us again?”

“She only does that for special occasions,” Gigi answered.

“And we don’t know where she is,” Petshop quickly added.

They were all silent for a moment before Gigi grinned. “You know, last year we actually used princess costumes for awhile…”

Petshop frowned at that. “It was hard to run in those dresses… I kept tripping over mine…”

“Those were fun,” Gigi said with a bright smile. “And mine was really pretty. But then, we found out that the original Wondercute wore fuku costumes, so we changed to using those…”

Michelle tried to imagine how much fun it would be to run around in a princess costume, then decided that she’d rather wear a witch costume instead.

“I bet our Wondercute is even better than the original,” Petshop proudly stated.

“We did have a lot of fun last year,” Gigi responded with a broad grin. “And I bet we’re gonna have even more fun this year…”

“And speak of the unicorn,” Petshop exclaimed with an almost evil grin.

“What do you mean, Amelia?” Gigi asked with a confused look. Then Petshop pointed and Gigi’s eyes widened. “Oh…”

“What?” Michelle asked, looking to where Petshop was pointing.

There were two girls, a brunette and one with silvery white hair. Both of them were walking together while being followed by Decoy.

“The pervert!” Jessie exclaimed.

However, Petshop grinned. “Actually, I meant Samantha…the girl with the white hair.”

“Samantha was one of our members last year,” Gigi explained, “but she quite last spring…”

“Well, we should get her back,” Nina exclaimed with an excited grin.

“I don’t think she’d want to come back,” Petshop pointed out hesitantly.

“We won’t know unless we ask her,” Nina urged them.

Gigi stood there biting her lip before responding, “Either way, we need to save her from that pervert…

“Then let’s go get her,” Nina said with a mischievious grin.

The girls all ran towards the other girls, and towards Decoy. The boy saw them coming and had a worried look on his face as he slowly backed away.

“Not you girls again,” Decoy said.

“Stop, in the name of all that is cute,” Nina commanded.

Decoy gave her an annoyed look, then suddenly there were five of him. All five versions of Decoy started to run away in different directions. However, Michelle held up her crystal ball and quickly saw which one was the real Decoy.

“That’s the real one,” Michelle called out.

“Damn,” Decoy responded, suddenly looking worried as he ran even faster.

Instead of chasing after him, the girls all began to giggle. “That should teach him not to be such a perv,” Petshop said, looking quite pleased with herself.

“Yeah,” Michelle agreed, holding up her crystal ball and continuing to watch him run away through it.

But a moment later, she noticed some movement off to the side, and when she looked, she saw it was a rabbit. Her eyes widened in delight, and when she lowered the crystal ball to look at the rabbit directly…it was gone.

“Invisible bunny,” she squeaked out excitedly. She’d finally found one.

“Come on,” Petshop exclaimed, suddenly grabbing Michelle’s arm. “You’ve gotta meet Samantha…”

“But,” Michelle started to protest, though it was too late. The others were already moving towards the two girls.

“Hey Samantha,” Petshop greeted the white haired girl. “Hello other girl.”

“Petshop,” the brunette said, looking a little nervous. “You know what my name is…”

“Yeah,” Petshop responded with a grin. “But I don’t like you enough to bother remembering…”

The brunette glared at Petshop, then looked around at the rest of the girls with a sneer. “That’s it,” she exclaimed, looking to Samantha. “You can stay and talk to these losers if you want, but I’m out of here.”

“But,” Samantha started, though the other girl was already walking way.

Michelle glanced back to where she’d seen the invisible bunny, then turned her attention to Samantha. She was a slender girl and quite pretty, which was probably why Decoy had been following them. However, she had a strange bony bump in the middle of her forehead that almost looked like it was some kind of decoration.

“This is Samantha,” Gigi introduced her to the girls. “Her codename is Unique…”

“Um…hi,” Samantha said, looking around the group before scowling.

“She’s an avatar,” Nina said in an almost conspiratorial voice. “With a unicorn spirit…” Her eyes seemed to gleam with excitement as she added the last.

Michelle’s eyes went wide at that announcement, and she quickly asked, “Can you turn into a unicorn?”

“No,” Samantha answered, looking a little surprised by the question. “I’m not a shifter or anything. I’m a healer…”

However, Michelle excitedly continued, “Racoon is an avatar, and he turns into a raccoon. He’s super cute, and when there isn’t anyone else around, he sometimes lets me pet him…”

“Awwwww,” several of the girls gushed at once.

Michelle just grinned as she added, “And he really likes it when I scratch behind his ears…”

For a moment, Samantha had the same look of interest as the other girls, but then she shook it off and scowled again. “What do you want?” She narrowed her eyes. “And what are you up to?”

“We’re on a treasure hunt,” Meow Mix bragged. “We’re following a bunch of clues…”

“Yeah,” Nina nodded in emphatic agreement. “We think the original Wondercute left them…”

“It’s a lot of fun,” Jessie said.

“We thought you might want to come with us,” Gigi offered.

“I’m not in Wondercute anymore,” Samantha protested. “I’m too old for that little kid stuff…”

“I’m older than you are,” Petshop pointed out smugly.

“By two months,” Samantha responded with a glare. “Maybe you should try to grow up too…”

“We’re just having fun,” Gigi said, looking a bit hurt. “I know you still like cute things too…”

Samantha almost looked like she was pouting for a moment before admitting, “No one took me seriously when I was with you guys…”

Petshop and Gigi shared a look, then they both looked to Nina who nodded agreement. Michelle frowned, wondering what they were up to.

“Well,” Gigi said with a smile, “we were just going to go teach that pervert Decoy a lesson…”

“I’m sure people would take you seriously if you helped mess with him,” Nina added.

“Besides,” Petshop said with an evil grin. “Someone needs to teach him a lesson about being such a perv…”

Samantha’s eyes narrowed at that. “Yeah, he really is a pervert… Last year, he had some pictures of me…” She began to look angry. “And it looked like he was going to do it again… Someone needs to teach that jerk a lesson…”

“Then come on with us,” Gigi encouraged her. “You know you want to…”

“Fine,” Samantha agreed with a scowl, though as Gigi, Petshop, and Nina started to grin triumphantly, she quickly added, “But only this one time…”

The girls began cheering, then started to run in the direction that Decoy had fled. Michelle hesitated, holding up her crystal ball to try seeing the bunny again, but it was gone. Then with a sigh, she stuffed the crystal ball into her pouch and ran after the others.

--------------------

Whateley Academy, Sunday afternoon, Sept 18th, 2016

“Did you see the look on his face?” Nina exclaimed with a giggle.

“Which one?” Samantha asked with a grin. “Decoy had five of them the last time we saw him…” All the girls burst out laughing at that.

Since Decoy had been following girls around, they decided that it was only fair that they follow him around for awhile. They spent over an hour chasing the pervert, taking every opportunity they could find to mess with him. And every time he tried to use the illusion copies of himself to distract them and escape, Michelle’s crystal ball let them quickly identify which one was the real Decoy. Eventually though, Decoy had simply gone where they couldn’t follow…Twain Cottage, which was a boys only dorm.

“I don’t know how Blindspot can stand dating a pervert like him,” Gigi said with a shake of her head. “I mean, she always follows him around like she’s his sidekick or something…”

“There’s something wrong with that girl,” Petshop said, which resulted in Samantha staring at her and giggling to herself.

“Who was the one who released a bunch of kissing frogs into her home town?” Samantha asked with a look of mock innocence.

“And made exploding butterflies,” Nina added, which caused Petshop to glare at her.

“Exploding butterflies?” Michelle blurted out with a mixture of horror and curiosity.

“They were so pretty,” Nina exclaimed, with her eyes practically gleaming. “Then they started popping like firecrackers…”

“They weren’t supposed to explode,” Petshop complained with a pout. “Their wings were like little solar panels so they could feed off sunlight… I didn’t think they’d all overload…”

Michelle stared at Petshop for a moment, then leaned over and whispered to Jessie, “I’m not sure I want her making me a pet now...”

Gigi gave Petshop a hug. “It’s all right… They were super pretty while they lasted…and you’ve made lots of other super cute things that worked great…”

“At least it’s not like having a kitten explode,” Nina offered.

At that, most of the girls gave a simultaneous, “EWWWW!”

“Don’t even suggest something like that,” Meow Mix exclaimed, glaring at Nina.

Samantha loudly cleared her throat to get everyone’s attention, then asked, “Weren’t we supposed to be looking for clues?”

“Are you sure you want to hang out with us?” Petshop teased her. “I mean, this is a Wondercute mission, and you said you didn’t want to be a member anymore…”

Michelle giggled at that, watching the white-haired girl and wondering if she was really going to rejoin Wondercute. After all, she’d helped them deal with that pervert, and afterwards, she’d continued to stay with them as they went back to searching for hidden Hello Kitties.

“I just want to see what this treasure is,” Samantha responded defensively.

Michelle nodded her emphatic agreement, then looked through her crystal ball as she searched for the next clue. The last one had pointed down into the tunnels, so they had just come down and were starting to look. So far, Michelle hadn’t seen anything, but she knew that there was another Hello Kitty around there somewhere, just as she was certain that they were going to find it soon.

While they searched, Jessie said, “I can’t wait until I learn some really good spells. Once I do, I’m gonna cast one on that pervert…”

“Then security will be after you,” Samantha pointed out with a sigh. “Trust me, I’ve thought about putting spells on him too…”

“You know magic?” Michelle exclaimed, looking at Samantha with new interest.

Samantha nodded. “A little… I’m not very powerful though…”

“She’s a really good healer though,” Gigi added with a grin.

“It comes from having a unicorn spirit,” Samantha said with a blush, reaching up to touch the bony knot on her forehead, which Michelle now realized was like the start of a horn. “Along with this…”

“Hey,” Meow Mix exclaimed, jumping up and down. “Over here…”

“We found it,” Breakdance added, pointing to a wall further down the tunnel, which had a Hello Kitty picture drawn in chalk. Like the others, it was pointing.

“Come on,” Gigi said with a grin.

They hurried down the tunnels, quickly finding more Hello Kitties, which continued leading even further. Michelle was getting tired, but she wasn’t about to say anything. If everyone else could keep going, then so could she… Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if they slowed down a little.

“Where are we?” Jessie asked as she looked around. “I’m kind of lost…”

“We’re really close to Poe,” Nina answered as she looked around.

“Where they put the crazy kids?” Michelle asked.

“Hey,” Nina protested. “I’m in Poe…”

Petshop giggled and told her, “Which proves Twitch’s point.” They both glared at each other for several seconds before simultaneously sticking their tongues out at each other and then giggling.

With a shake of her head, Samantha commented, “Now I remember why I left…”

Michelle snickered at that, then adjusted her hat and looked through her crystal ball, musing, “I wonder where the next one is…”

“Probably at an intersection,” Petshop said, looking around with a thoughtful expression. “Just about all of the ones we found in the tunnels were at intersections…”

With that, everyone rushed to the nearest intersection, where a narrow side tunnel connected to the larger one that they were currently in. Michelle looked around but didn’t see anything, but then Gigi let out an excited squee.

“Here it is,” Gigi exclaimed, floating up in the air and pointing to the ceiling.

Michelle looked up with her crystal ball and zoomed in until she could see the Hello Kitty. It was a fairly small picture, and she never would have thought to look on the ceiling. And this time, the cartoon cat was pointing down the side tunnel.

“I hope we’re getting close,” Jessie said with a sigh.

“Yeah,” Breakdance agreed. “My feet hurt.”

They hadn’t gone very far down the hallway before Michelle saw the Hello Kitty. “Here it is,” she exclaimed, pointing to the wall where it was clearly drawn.

“This one isn’t at an intersection,” Petshop said, looking just a little disappointed.

“It isn’t pointing either,” Gigi pointed out.

The girls paused at that and looked back and forth. It was Samantha who said what they were all thinking. “What do we do now?”

“Maybe there’s a secret message,” Michelle suggested doubtfully. She looked at the Hello Kitty through her crystal ball, then adjusted the filter but still didn’t see anything that stood out.

They all stared at the drawing for a minute before Gigi suggested, “Maybe it isn’t pointing anywhere…because we’re already here.”

“But there isn’t anything here,” Meow Mix said with a scowl.

Petshop carefully reached out and touched the Hello Kitty…then began to push on it. When nothing happened, she shrugged. “I guess it isn’t a secret button…”

“That would be cool,” Michelle said.

“Well, there has to be something,” Nina grumbled, looking as frustrated as they all felt. “I mean, X is supposed to mark the spot…”

“That isn’t an X,” Michelle pointed out. “It’s a kitty…”

“She isn’t pointing anywhere,” Samantha complained. “Maybe this was all a joke or something…”

“She isn’t pointing at anything,” Petshop mused. “But she is looking at the other wall…”

With that, all the girls turned and looked at the wall on the other side of the tunnel. It was just a blank wall without anything that really stood out…at least not at first.

“Look,” Michelle pointed out. “This section is a lot smaller than the other ones…” She pointed to other sections of wall, which were about twice as wide as the section across from the Hello Kitty. She gasped in awe. “It’s a secret door…”

Nina immediately began to push on the section, but it didn’t move at all. The others joined in, but they didn’t have any luck in figuring out how to open it either…if it really was a door.

Then, without saying anything, Breakdance turned and pushed on the Hello Kitty picture, the same way Petshop had earlier. Suddenly, the section of wall moved while the others were pushing it, and it slid inward, revealing an open doorway.

“Oh my God,” Gigi exclaimed, jumping with excitement.

Nina stepped through the door first, pausing just inside to flip a light switch. A moment later, she immediately let out a gasp of surprise. “OhmyGod…,” she squealed in delight.

“Let me see,” Petshop demanded, pushing in, only to pause and gasp as well.

With that, the rest of the girls all began to rush through the door. When it was Michelle’s turn, she too stopped and stared. The hidden door opened into a large room, where the walls were painted mostly pink, though across from the door, there was a large mural painted on the wall, of Hello Kitty and all of her friends. Other pictures were painted on the walls as well, ones of bunnies, kittens, puppies…and magical girls, some of whom were wearing fuku uniforms.

“This is so cool,” Michelle said in awe, while Jessie let out a loud ‘squee’ beside her.

“LOOK!” Nina commanded, pointing to where ‘WONDERCUTE’ was painted onto the wall. “We found the legendary clubhouse of the original Wondercute…”

“If it’s so legendary,” Samantha asked wryly, “then how come I’ve never heard of it before…?” Nina stuck her tongue out at Samantha.

“Look, look, look,” Michelle exclaimed with a manic glee as she ran over to where a large TV was set up, and where half a dozen large beanbag chairs were placed around it for the sitting area. Then she rushed over to the book shelf that was full of DVDs. “Look,” she repeated again. “Sailor Moon, and Tenchi Muyo, and Hamtaro, and Ranma…”

Nina giggled at that. “I like Ranma.”

Meow Mix opened a door on the side, revealing another room. A moment later, Gigi opened another door as well, though this one was to a large closet. She let out a loud gasp, then without saying a word, pulled out two fuku uniforms and proudly held them out.

Michelle squealed in delight, holding her hat as she ran around the room, peaking into the closet which had several more uniforms, then rushing into the next room. There was a refrigerator and microwave set up, along with a table. However, her eyes went to the far corner, which had a table that looked like a devisor work station. Her eyes went wide at the sight and she grinned.

“This place is so cool,” she blurted out while the other girls all echoed the sentiment.

“We have our own clubhouse now,” Nina announced excitedly. “And nobody but Wondercute knows about it…”

Samantha cleared her throat and reminded them, “I’m not in Wondercute anymore…”

Gigi floated up into the air and spun around, grinning as she said, “Now we won’t have to have our meetings in empty classrooms…”

“We’ll need some pets though,” Petshop pointed out with an almost maniacal gleam in her eyes. “Oh, I know exactly what we need…”

“Invisible bunnies,” Michelle exclaimed. “We need invisible bunnies…”

“So,” Meow Mix commented as she looked around. “Now that we have our own super-secret clubhouse, what are we going to do first…?”

Jessie held up a DVD. “A Sailor Moon marathon…”

“We should try on these costumes,” Breakdance suggested, pointing to the closet.

Petshop blurted out, “They need to be adorable and totally…”

“You should probably start by cleaning this place,” Samantha said. “I don’t think anyone has been down here to dust in years…”

“All very good ideas,” Gigi said while nodding agreement. She looked around at the girls with a serious look on her face. “But we’ve all sworn an oath to uphold the honor of cuteness, to be ambassadors of everything cute…”

“And to fight the evil forces of the uncute,” Nina exclaimed, earning a round of cheers.

“Now, we have our very own secret clubhouse,” Gigi announced dramatically. “A place where no one can tease us about loving cute things…” Another cheer went up. Then, with a mischievious grin, she added, “And a place where we can plan our war against the enemies of cute.”

--------------------

Whateley Academy, Monday afternoon, Sept 19th, 2016

The girl known as Penny Dreadful slowly walked towards Crystal Hall for dinner, while silently preparing herself to deal with all those people. Penny disliked other people in general, and preferred to avoid them as much as possible. Most people were just stupid and obnoxious, and she usually preferred the company of her zombies, like Brutus, who was following behind her.

For a moment, Penny wondered what her classmates would think if they knew that her real name was Clarissa Logan, though she shuddered at the idea of them finding out. She’d always hated the name Clarissa, and preferred to be known by her new one.

Suddenly, Penny realized that she was being followed. She paused and looked around, scowling when she saw a group of girls coming towards her. Penny immediately recognized Wondercute, a group of obnoxious pests who were sickeningly obsessed with all things cutesy and girly, and who reminded her far too much of all the things her mother had tried forcing on her while growing up.

“There she is,” Gravity Girl exclaimed from where she floated in the air, pointing directly at Penny. “The ultimate enemy of all things cute…”

“Get lost,” Penny ordered with a sneer of contempt.

However, Petshop, who was one of the scariest devisor on campus, in her own odd way, yelled, “CHARGE!”

With that, all of the girls rushed forward and dogpiled on Brutus. Penny stepped back, watching in shock as the girls began pulling items out of bags. There was such a flurry of activity that Penny couldn’t make out what they were doing, at least not until they’d finished and backed off a little.

Brutus now stood there, wearing a pink frilly dress. His gaunt and decomposing face was now covered with a heavy layer of makeup, which included lipstick, blush, and mascara. And just as shocking, was the fact that his mangy hair had been pulled back and tied up with bright pink ribbons and bows.

“Brutus,” she gasped as she tried to make sense of the horrific mess they’d made of her zombie.

Then, Penny realized that all of the girls were now staring at her with evil grins on their faces. Bewitched reached into a bag and pulled out a dress, which looked to be of the same overly frilly style as the one they’d forced on Brutus.

“No,” Penny squeaked out, her eyes going wide in horror.

A moment later, a girl in a witch hat, yelled out, “MAKEOVER!”

Penny turned and ran as fast as she could while the gaggle of giggling girls chased after her.

--------------------

Whateley Academy, Monday late afternoon, Sept 19th, 2016

“Right there,” Caleb Andrews said as he adjusted his camera and made sure that the model was in focus. “Perfect…”

At the moment, the beautiful and lithe Asian girl who served as Caleb’s current model, was naked and in a very seductive pose. He focused intently on her, trying to add another picture to his collection while he could.

“Perfume again?” his girlfriend Becky commented from the side.

Caleb glanced at Becky, who wasn’t very impressive to look at, but she definitely had her good qualities. Becky Merkowitz…AKA Blindspot, might not be beautiful in the traditional sense, but she was clever, could be quite witty and funny when she wanted to be, and she had a very useful set of powers. She could jam any cameras or bugs, making sure that there was no evidence to get them in trouble. And with her esper abilities, they could also avoid most witnesses. He knew that if it wasn’t for Becky, they both would have been in a lot of trouble with security…and the other students.

“Pictures of her always sell well,” Caleb reminded Becky with a grin.

After all, Perfume was a hot exemplar babe, and she was one of the senior people in the Spy Kids. However, even when she’d still been with Venus Inc, she hadn’t posed for any pictures like this…or at least, none that he’d seen or heard of. But just then, ‘Perfume’ faded away and vanished, leaving empty air where she’d been just a moment earlier.

“Damn,” Caleb muttered, “I took too long setting up the shot…”

Caleb was a low level energizer, with the power to create holographic illusions of himself. These illusions didn’t last long, not even a full minute. However, they worked great as decoys and distractions, which was why he’d chosen the codename of Decoy.

But what almost no one on campus realized, was that his powers were a little stronger than he let on. Instead of being able to ONLY create holograms of himself, he could also create ones of other people…and photograph them. Because of that little trick, he’d been able to take pictures of all the hottest girls on campus, dressed and posed any way that he wanted

“Perfume is always good,” Becky said with a hungry look on her face as she stared at the now empty spot. “She’s so…hot.” Then she scowled a little and admitted, “But we got some good pictures of her last year, so we should probably look at some of the fresh blood…the new freshmen.”

Caleb chuckled at that, giving Becky an amused look. One good thing about having a bisexual girlfriend was that she not only understood when he looked at other girls, she also liked to point the hot ones out to him.

Becky definitely had an eye for cute girls, and she was usually the one to decide who they should create and sell pictures for, picking the models because she found them attractive, was jealous of them, or just wanted to embarrass them for some reason. It amused Caleb to know that his girlfriend was an even bigger pervert than he was, not that he’d ever tell her that. In fact, she was the one who’d first come up with the idea of photographing his illusions and then selling the pictures.

“Maybe that Lapin girl in Melville,” Becky suggested thoughtfully. “She’s kind of exotic, and I know that Venus Inc is interested in her. If we beat them to the punch…”

“I’ve been trying to get pictures of some of the cute new girls,” Caleb said with a sigh. If he wanted to create an illusion of a girl to use as a model, it helped to have a real picture of her to work from. “Including that bunny chick.”

“Where are they?” Becky demanded, before spotting Caleb’s cell phone. She quickly picked it up and began looking at the pictures he’d taken before blurting out, “What the hell?”

“Yeah,” Caleb responded with a wince as he bent over to see which picture Becky was looking at. It was a picture he’d taken of Lapin, though he could barely make her out in the background. Instead, there was a girl with purple witch hat, who was blowing a raspberry into the camera.

“This picture too,” Becky said, pointing out the cat girl who’d jumped into the picture just as Caleb had been trying to take it.

“Almost all of them,” Caleb admitted with a scowl of frustration. “It’s those Wondercute girls… They’ve been following me around, photobombing almost every picture I take. I mean, I think there’s nobody around, and then BAM…one of them gets in the way. And somehow, they keep ignoring my decoys and coming after me…”

“Why would those lunatics do that?” Becky demanded with a confused look.

Celeb flipped through the pictures, seeing one after another where one of those girls had gotten in the way and ruined the picture. Then with a sigh, he recreated his last illusion, the one that looked like Perfume.

“We can worry about those pests later,” Caleb said as he went back to his good camera and smirked at the model. “For now, I’ve got money to make…”

--------------------

Bad Seeds Clubhouse, Monday early evening, Sept 19th, 2016

Michelle sat on the floor of the main common room, with her hat carefully placed beside her and an array of various components spread out in front. She stuck her tongue out to the side as she carefully tried to fit several of the small parts together, stopping only once the pieces were locked in place.

While Michelle continued to work, she could hear Tyler and Esquire arguing in the next room. Of course, that was nothing new. In the short time that she’d been at Whateley Academy and a member of the Bad Seeds, she’d noticed that the two of them argued a lot.

At the moment, they were currently arguing about Glyph, the white skinned girl whom they’d asked to join the Seeds. Michelle had been disappointed when Glyph turned them down, because she thought it would have been great having another girl in the Seeds, and especially one who was closer to her own age.

“Yet another brilliant scheme from the master,” Tyler said from the next room, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “You know Gideon, it’s a good thing Moriarty was already taken when you tried getting it for your codename, because you never would have been able to live up to it…”

“Don’t call me Gideon,” Esquire responded in obvious irritation. “And my plan should have worked perfectly. There is no way she would have known that I was the one who spread those rumors. Once she had to deal with the same suspicion and hostility as the rest of us, she would have come straight to us for protection and comfort…”

Tyler laughed at that, then admitted, “Yes, and it might even have worked, if you hadn’t doubled down on your scheme by hiring that thug Beatdown to rough her up a bit.”

“I didn’t expect an untrained freshman to beat him,” Esquire grudgingly admitted. “Not even the White Lady. Next time, I’ll be sure not to underestimate…”

Tyler laughed again. “Next time, you probably shouldn’t brag about your plan to your patsy either. Now, thanks to you, someone who might have been an ally…and possibly a future member…has become a possible enemy instead. Don’t expect the rest of us to take the lumps for a fight that YOU picked.”

A few seconds later, Esquire came into the room and looked at Twitch with an obviously forced smile. “Hello, Twitch,” he greeted her politely. “I have something for you…” With that, he held out a chocolate bar.

“Thanks,” Michelle exclaimed with a broad grin, eagerly taking the chocolate bar.

Esquire was smug, stuck-up, and a bit of a jerk, but he was usually nice to her and often gave her chocolate. Michelle knew that he was just bribing her to like him, but she was always open to this kind of bribe.

Once Esquire left the clubhouse, Tyler came into the room and flashed Michelle his usual cheerful grin. “Heya, Twitch. What are you up to?”

“I’m fixing my magic wand,” Michelle bragged, holding the nearly complete devise up for him to see. She frowned as she explained, “It broke when I used it on Decoy…”

“I heard about that,” Tyler responded with a chuckle. “I heard that you and your friends have been chasing him all over campus…”

“It was a lot of fun,” Michelle grinned back, fiddling with her magic wand until the taser inside released some nice sparks. She giggled. “I can’t wait till I can use this on that pervert again…”

“That should be…interesting,” Tyler told her with another chuckle. He absently rolled a coin between his fingers, which was something he sometimes did when thinking. “So, is that what you’ve got planed for tonight?”

“Nah,” Michelle shook her head, though she activated her wand again and giggled at the sparks.

Tyler gave her a thoughtful look. “Let me guess. You’re going to go out looking for those invisible bunnies again.”

“Not tonight,” Michele told him with a grin. “Tonight, we’re having a movie night…”

“Sounds fun,” Tyler told her with a friendly smile. He reached over and tussled her hair. “I’ll see you later, kiddo.”

“Later,” Michelle told him.

Once Tyler had left the clubhouse, Michelle quickly finished her magic wand, then stuffed it into her pouch, right beside the crystal ball and a couple of her ‘magic’ amulets. Then, she put her hat on and carefully adjusted it so that it sat just the way she liked it. Only then did she leave the clubhouse as well.

Michelle hurried through the tunnels, not wanting to be late for the Wondercute movie marathon. The clubhouse had a big collection of movies and anime, and the girls were eager to watch them all.

When Michelle reached the secret clubhouse, she looked around to make sure no one was nearby, then opened the hidden door and went inside. She was immediately greeted by the others, who’d already arrived and had begun setting up the sleeping bags.

“This is gonna be so awesome,” Jessie exclaimed as she came into the room with two large bowls of popcorn. “Anyone want this bacon salt on theirs?”

“I’ll have some catnip on mine,” Meow Mix said, though Michelle couldn’t tell if she was joking or not.

“Glad you could make it,” Gigi said, grinning at Michelle. “We were about to go looking for you…”

Michelle just grinned back and pulled out her newly repaired magic wand. “I was just fixing this, so I can zap Decoy good…”

“That should be fun,” Nina said with a giggle, which all the other girls joined in on.

Then as Petshop started the movie, Michelle went to the large cage that had been set up in the corner and looked inside. It appeared to be empty, so Michelle pulled out her crystal ball and looked again.

“There you are, Harvey,” she exclaimed before reaching in and picking up the invisible bunny they’d caught that morning.

A few seconds later, Michelle sank back into a beanbag chair and got comfortable, while holding the very soft invisible bunny, which seemed content to remain in her lap and nibble on the carrot she offered. Michelle scratched behind the ear of the new Wondercute mascot, then grinned at her friends as the movie began to play. This was definitely the best club in the whole school.

The End



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