Fires of Fury: Part One
When Dipper stumbled out onto his front porch at one o'clock in the morning with his sister, he wasn't sure what to expect. He certainly didn't expect a frantic Phineas to tell him that they had found Lavernia, and that she was using their older sister as a host. He also told the twins about the crack in Lavernia's power, and how she was not able to touch them. After Dipper mulled this over, he in turn informed them of Lavernia's backstory and what her grand plan was.
"So what do we do?" asked Phineas anxiously. "We can't let her destroy your town!"
"I know. But thanks to you guys, we know how we can stop her," said Dipper. "It's just a matter of figuring out how to do it. We're all a bit tired, so we should meet tomorrow morning, near dawn."
"That's a good idea," agreed Ferb. "I think we all need time to process this, and we have to tell our friends."
They bid each other goodbye and Mabel skipped after brother as they headed back inside. "Well, at least now we know who the host is!"
"We might even know how to expel Lavernia from Candace without hurting her," added Dipper. "But will it be enough?"
Mabel slung an arm around his shoulder. "Listen, Dipping Dots, I know all about love. I especially know that if there's one thing love is, it's an unbeatable force. All we have to do is find a way to keep Lavernia from escaping and let Candace have the time to get control of her body again."
Dipper smiled. "We've done harder things."
"Exactly!" she said cheerfully. "Now let's get some sleep. We're gonna need lots of brain power for tomorrow!"
BOOM! CRSHHHH! BOOM! PWOOSH!
The explosive sounds startled Phineas, Ferb and their friends from slumber. "What is that?" Baljeet cried in terror, clinging to the edge of the bunk as the ground started to rumble harshly beneath them.
"I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count!" retorted Buford, untangling himself from his sleeping bag and managing to get to his feet.
Phineas hopped to the ground and hurried over to the door, the summer heat coating his body in sweat and making pajamas stick to his body. He grabbed hold of the door and wrenched it open, though it was difficult when the floor was jolting him from side to side.
He peered out into the early morning, mouth going dry at the dark plumes of smoke he could see coming from town. Embers floated in the air like confetti, causing small patches of fire to bloom wherever they landed. The distant screams of confusion and terror rang in his ears.
"It's the heat wave," whispered Isabella, appearing behind Phineas to look over his shoulder. "She's reached full power thanks to the weather."
"What are we supposed to do now?" wailed Baljeet.
"Get out of bed, for one," returned Buford, shoving his feet into his sneakers.
Baljeet chewed on his bottom lip nervously as he stumbled out of his bunk and yanked on a sweater and his shoes. "Now what?"
"We have to stop her," said Phineas hurriedly, grabbing his hoodie and pulling it on.
"But how?" asked Isabella, following the leads of her friends and putting on her own shoes and sweater. "By what you told us, Lavernia knows that she has a weakness. She's not gonna let us close enough to even begin to reach Candace."
"We have to try," said Ferb determinedly. "At the very least we can help out the townspeople that are in trouble."
Phineas stepped outside, the thick black smoke already making the air difficult to breathe. He moved the neck of his hoodie up to cover his mouth and nose. "Alright," he said, his voice muffled. "Ferb and I are going to try to get to Candace. You three help out anyone who needs it."
"What about the twins?" asked Baljeet anxiously.
"I'm sure they'll meet up with us when they can. We can't wait. We have to act now."
Isabella nodded firmly. "He's right. I know Dipper and Mabel will find us. Buford and Baljeet, we need to take care of those fires before we have a full-blown forest disaster on our hands. Let's move!"
The three took off, the males prepared to do whatever Isabella told them to do. Phineas spared a moment to hurry to his parents' cabin. He immediately spotted a note stuck to the door, which informed the duo that Linda and Lawrence had left early to do some shopping in the next town.
"Perhaps this is for the best," said Ferb, studying the note. "I'm not sure how Mum and Dad would handle this."
"Maybe, but I think having Mom and Dad would help snap Candace back to herself in no time."
"Unfortunately they're not here, so we're going to have to do the best we can and believe in Candace." Ferb set his hand on Phineas' shoulder. "Let's go."
Nodding in determination, Phineas followed after his brother, the two running straight for town, the early dawn, orange-lit sky hanging above them.
Excruciating heat. Thick black smoke coming in from under the attic door. The sound of his sister screaming his name in between hacking coughs. It was this scene Dipper woke up to, in a frantic, panicked daze.
"Dipper," croaked Mabel, trying to keep below the haze of smoke as she gripped her brother's arm. Waddles pressed closed to her side, snorting madly. She set a comforting hand atop his head and coughed again. "Dipper!"
"What's happening?" asked Dipper, rubbing at his watering eyes.
Mabel dragged him to the floor, the smoke getting worse. "The Shack is on fire," she choked out. "We need to get out!"
His mind couldn't quite wrap around what was happening, but the urgency in his sister's voice spurred him into action. He snagged his vest and shrugged it on before rushing over to the attic window. "Get Gideon!" he ordered, cranking the window up. Air wafted in, but it was not cool or refreshing. It was hot and he could dimly make out the smoke curling around the Shack.
"Here," said Mabel, crawling over to her brother, dragging a lifeless Gideon behind her.
With no time to be graceful Dipper hoisted Gideon up and threw him out the window, watching the boy land on the grass below. "Come-"
He stopped speaking, eyes tripling in size at the sight of a small, blazing orange fireball careening straight for them. Taking a bruising hold of his sister's hand he dragged them to the very end of the room, covering her body with his as he braced for impact.
The heat in the attic increased tenfold. The smoke grew so bad that he could barely see Mabel, who was right below him. Mabel clung to Waddles, eyes wide with fear as red flames started to rapidly lick their way towards them.
Dipper felt his body sag with relief as his head whipped towards the attic door. "Grunkle Stan!"
Their uncle threw himself against the attic door and knocked it in. Mabel was able to see that he was covered in ash and was slightly burned before her view was obstructed by a heavy, soaking wet towel. Dipper was also covered by a cold-soaked piece of fabric and the two, along with Waddles, were picked up in Stan's arms.
"Keep your head down and hold on tight!" he ordered before charging out of the attic. The smoke was thick in the hallway and on the staircase, and the flames were climbing higher with each passing second. Stan focussed not on his burning possessions but on his niece and nephew, who were clinging to him tightly.
He stumbled outside, moving a good distance away from the burning building. He set the twins and pig down and hurried for his emergency hose, which was hooked up to a water tank near the Shack. Mabel thrust off her towel and watched as her uncle started extinguishing the flames with the water gushing from the hose.
Waddles oinked softly and licked her cheek. Mabel hugged him tightly. "Dipper, we're too late," she whispered. "She's already attacking."
Dipper rubbed his eyes, which were stinging. "We need to find the others."
Mabel stood and helped her brother to his feet. Dipper looked over at Stan and frowned in concern at the burn marks on his arms and stomach. The man was wearing his pajama pants and a white undershirt, leaving little protection from the deadly flames.
"Grunkle Stan, are you okay?" he asked, approaching his uncle.
Stan nodded, lowering the hose as the last of the fire died out. "More or less. Gonna be sore tomorrow, though." He set his hands on his hips and faced the twins. "Now that we're not dead, do you have something to tell me? Because I'm pretty sure fires don't just instantly erupt in the middle of a home with no explainable cause."
"There's an explainable cause," said Mabel innocently. "It was a fire demon."
Stan gaped at her before whirling on Dipper. "What did you do?"
"I didn't do anything!" protested Dipper. "Listen, I can't explain it all right now, but what you need to know is that someone released a fire demon called Lavernia, Lavernia hates this town and wants to destroy it and she's currently using a tourist as a host body."
Stan stared. "Anything else?"
"You remember that girl who passed out in the Shack about a week ago?" piped up Mabel. "Well, she's the demon's host."
His brow furrowed. "The teen?"
Dipper nodded. "She's the sister of Phineas and Ferb, our new friends and the owner of that platypus."
"That's kind of a freaky coincidence."
"Extremely," agreed Mabel.
Stan crossed his arms and looked towards the orange sky, a grimace crossing his features at the pillars of smoke and pieces of floating, burning paper that rained gracefully down. "Okay. So Lavernia the fire demon is trying to destroy the town. Fantastic. How are we supposed to stop her?"
Dipper pulled Three from his vest. "Well, we found a spell that'll let us put her back in her eternal prison. The problem is that we're not witches, so we're not sure if it will work."
Stan rolled his eyes. "That sounds promising."
"Well, it's our only shot," defended Dipper.
"What about the girl?"
"Candace? Well, her brothers figured out that Lavernia can't touch them because of Candace's love for them."
Stan blinked in bewilderment. "What do you mean, touch them?"
"Oh, right, I forgot one more important thing." Dipper pointed over Stan's shoulder at Gideon, who was laying on the grass. Stan did a double-take. "So Lavernia has been gathering life forces, and Gideon was one of her victims. We were hiding him in the attic until we could figure out what to do."
"We're talking about that later," said Stan, a creeped out look on his face. "Is he stuck like that?"
"For now," replied Mabel. "We think he'll be fine once Lavernia is defeated."
"Darn," grumbled Stan.
The three turned to see Soos and Wendy running up to them, both looking relieved to see them safe and sound. "We saw the flames and were worried," said Wendy, coming to a stop near them. With the attention of his family directed on the two arrivals, Waddles took the opportunity to sneak away, intent on finding a certain platypus.
"We're fine, but we got another problem on our hands," said Stan with a frown.
"Yeah, we saw. A crazy girl is burning the place up, and there's three kids with tricked out water guns putting out the fires," spoke Soos.
Wendy set her hands on her hips. "And this is where I say, what the heck is going on?"
"We'll explain on the way," said Mabel firmly. "But right now we have to find those three kids with tricked out water guns."
"If we're going to stop this, we're all going to need to work together," added Dipper. "Let's go!"
The group rushed off, with Stan puffing along after them. "I'm getting too old for this."