For one, blissful moment, everything had gone back to normal.
And then, he’d remembered.
Platyborg sat in the ally he’d chosen to sleep in, and rested his head in his hands.
His family might be willing to take him back, even after all he’d done, but he couldn’t stay there. Couldn’t do that to them. He’d… tried to kill them.
A tear ran down his bill, and onto his metal foot. He hadn’t hurt them… if you could count being forced into a sunless dictatorship escaping unhurt.
Just look at what Phineas and Ferb would have accomplished if I’d only beaten Doof that day… rather then being beaten myself.
Worse than beaten. Corrupted. He’d not only failed to stop this, he’d helped it happen.
Sweet little Candace, forced to grow up overnight.
But he hadn’t hurt them, physically. It was the only shred of comfort he could find right now. He’d taken their happiness, forced them into a life of fear, made them worry over his disappearance, but he hadn’t hurt them.
Others hadn’t been so lucky. Others almost as close to him.
His stomach lurched as he recalled the things he’d done. He forced himself to recall each torturous memory. It was hardly enough punishment, but it was all he had.
Capturing Major Monogram. Forcing him too, to work for Doofenshmirtz.
The OWCA takeover had scattered all of the agents. At least, the ones that had been able to get away.
The takeover of the Tri-state-area had been equally brutal. He shuddered as some of those memories came back.
With them, was the one memory that pained him even more than the rest; Annie Jamison.
The only human OWCA agent, had been assigned to the area when Doofenshmirtz had first snapped. Back before the nightmare had started.
She had lived down the street, and used to pet sit for the Flynn-Fletchers. She’d not only found out his secret, but she’d helped train the little platypup. She’d become his best friend.
She’d joined the resistance, after Doofenshmirtz had taken over.
It had taken him months to track her down. Months that had hardened him.
She walked unsuspectingly into the dark room
He flipped a light switch, smiling cruelly.
Her eyes widened in horror. "P…Perry?"
He flew at her, slamming her against the wall, ignoring the cry of pain.
She didn’t fight back, only cried, "It’s me! Perry, it’s Annie!"
He answered by punching her in the face.
Then he pinned her there, pushed one of his buttons, and Doofenshmirtz voice filled the room with the order, "Conform or be destroyed!"
He gazed down at her white face.
"Perry, you’re still in there. Hold on! This, isn’t your fault."
He pressed the button again. "Conform or be destroyed!"
She shook her head fearlessly. "I wont."
He switched his hand into a blaster, and pointed it at her bruised face.
Her sad eyes looked into his.
Platyborg clutched his head, trying to remember.Everything else was so vivid… but had his mind created the rest, to protect him from the pain?
As he prepared to pull the trigger, something inside of him lurched. He tried to shake it off. He tried to fire.
He couldn’t do it.
He switched his hand back to normal, and backed off, shaken, then deployed his wings, and flew off, straight back to Doofenshmirtz.
It didn’t make sense. If he’d come to his senses, then why would he have gone back?
He remembered that part very clearly. Remembered going back. He could remember saluting to Doofenshmirtz. He could remember nodding in confirmation that his assignment had been completed. He could remember every moment after that. How the rest of the war had panned out.
Did I really let her go? She never even fought back…
He hung his head. Of course she hadn’t fought back. Even if she had… she couldn’t have won. She’d taught him everything she knew… but he’d known more.
He knew her strengths, weaknesses. That she’d never hurt him. That she’d probably thought he’d never hurt her.
He let out a sigh, and shoved away the tears. He had a stop to make. One that was harder then reliving the memories.
He was going back to the OWCA. To apologize.
He went to head quarters, and rode the elevator down, and stepped through the doors that closed behind him.
What was left of the OWCA turned to stare at him. Contempt and hatred peppered some of their faces. Fear visible in others. The ones who’d been closest to him just stared in horror.
He touched his finger tips together, wondering why he’d even come. He started to chatter an apology, then hung his head, and turned back to the elevator, nearly colliding with an agent that had just stepped out.
He looked up in shock. Annie? Relief washed through him. You’re alive!
No one spoke. Perry couldn’t look her in the face, and so he hung his head again. Everyone waited with bated breath.
Then Annie dropped to her knees, and wrapped her arms around him.
Gasps of shock and disapproval sounded from behind him, but neither of them cared.
"Oh Perry." She stroked his chin, and forced him to look up at her, "It’s okay." She stared at his face, saw the change, and broke into one of her famous smiles. "You’re back! Everything‘s okay now."
He swallowed a lump in his throat as his bill quivered. He reached out to touch the scar on her cheek, where his metal hand had struck her.
I attacked you, Annie. Say it! Don’t be so understanding! Scream at me! Hit me! This hurts too much to bear!
She whispered too low for the spectators to hear, "You don‘t know how much I‘ve missed you, Puddin’!"
Puddin’. Her special name for him.
" …Oh Perry, I’m so sorry. For everything."
She was sorry?
Did she blame herself for his condition? He hung his head in shame; of course she would have. She would’ve tortured herself for it, the way he’d been torturing himself.
But… he’d gone back to Doofenshmirtz. Platyborg had won the final victory. Or had he? Was it possible that there had been two Perry’s fighting him? Annie seemed to think so. It sounded like she thought he’d been fighting the whole time.
From behind them, Monogram cleared his throat, "Well, I never thought I’d be able to say this… but… Welcome back, Agent P."
Perry tuned to stare at them, as most of the agents started clapping. Annie’s quick acceptance of him seemed to have helped them decide to trust him. The lump returned to his throat as he saluted.
She stood, and held out her hand. "Let’s get you home to your family."
He hesitated. Is the platyborg programming really gone?
She smiled warmly as he took it, and led him to the door. "The war’s finally over. You won."