Everybody Wants to Rule the World

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This particular fanfic deals with some touchy subjects and issues. Reader discretion is advised.

Mike typed on his keyboard, finishing up an email to his cousin, Sabrina. They found out it was faster to get messages to each other that way rather than using snail mail and visiting each other through Sabrina's linen closet, or Mike's basement. Peter looked over his shoulder as he was doing that.

"How's it going?" he asked.

"Gettin' there," Mike said. "Sabrina's gonna come over for a visit in a couple of days. So I gotta be prepared for her either to come through the basement or for her to pop in."

"Does she have a smoke entrance like your aunt?"

"No, thank goodness. But it drives me crazy, because I can't pop in and out like the rest of my family."

"Well, you did it once."

"Yeah, and I haven't been able to do it again. Weird, isn't it?"

"Well, you'd better learn, Michael. What if you need to pop out and pop back in again?"

"Then Heaven help me."

Peter laughed and walked off. Mike finished up his email. Once he clicked the send button, he began to get a funny feeling in his sixth sense. It wasn't exactly a tweak, but it wasn't a twinge, either. It was more of that tingling feeling. He felt like something was going to happen, but he wasn't sure what, or if it was good or bad. He'd just have to wait and see. He couldn't see the future, after all.

Meanwhile, in another part of LA, Multi, Coiley, and Fluey were digging up Multi's backyard, helping the Mills' housekeeper, Sally, with the gardening, and the three of them were totally bored with it.

"Never ever tell Sally you're bored," Multi said. "She'll make us help with the housework."

"Well, this to me is a piece of cake," Fluey said. "You know Aunt Valerie has a garden and I help her with that."

"You're used to it, we're not," Coiley said, jamming a shovel into the dirt. The minute he did, he heard a THUNK!

"Hey, fellas, I hit something," he said.

"Your house isn't built on an ancient burial ground, is it?" Fluey asked Multi.

"Well, I don't know," Multi said. "The realtor didn't tell us much when we moved in."

The boys began digging, and unearthed some sort of weird box. It looked like something from the middle ages, or maybe even earlier. It was locked, and the boys couldn't figure out how to get in it.

"Maybe Mike will know what it is," Fluey replied.

"Hey, are you guys slacking off?" Sally asked, coming out of the house.

"We're not slacking, Sally," Multi said. "We just dug up a box, that's all."

"This house isn't built on an ancient burial ground, is it?"

"You think Dad would have bought the house if it was?"

"I don't know, you'll have to ask your dad, Multi. So what's in that box?"

"I haven't the foggiest idea."

"We're gonna go run it by Screen Gems," Fluey said. "Mike'll know what it is."

Sally nodded, and the boys were off. They went directly to Screen Gems with the box. The minute they came through the front gate, that tingly feeling in Mike's sixth sense began to act up again.

"What's up?" Jerry asked.

"I'm getting that tingly feelin' in my sixth sense again," Mike said. "I can't remember the last time it tingled."

"Is it a tweak, or something?"

"No, Jer, it ain't necessarily a bad thing . . . . I don't know what it is, but somethin' funny's goin' on."

"Hey, Mike!" Fluey called out. "Wait'll you see what me and the guys dug up!"

"Yeah, we found it in Multi's backyard," Coiley said. "We think his house is built on an ancient burial ground or something."

"Let's see this thing," Mike said. The tingling feeling grew worse just then. "Multi, you live on River Street, right?"

"Yeah," Multi said. "Four six nine River Street. Why?"

"When did you and your dad move in?"

"About four years ago, why?"

"Well . . . . . I don't know what the realtor told your dad, but . . . ."

"Are you saying my house really is built on an ancient burial ground?!"

"No . . . . . but accordin' to a couple of books of mine,River Street was big on the witchcraft scene long before California was a state. Long before the United States was discovered, actually."

"You're kidding!" Jerry shouted.

"Nope," Mike said. "I know River Street was big on magic and stuff. I believe this was before the Other Realm came into existence. See, a long, long time ago, this area was populated by nothin' but witches and warlocks. And most of them were really evil. Accordin' to my book, there was one really evil warlock, I think his name was Maldour. From what I remember readin', this guy was the definition of evil! He'd cast all these rotten spells, then I think he tried to take over the world once!"

"What happened to him?" Fluey asked.

"I think a wizard trapped him in his own amulet," Mike said. "I'm not exactly sure. But the way my sixth sense is actin' up at this box, I have a feelin' there can't be anythin' good inside."

Mike looked at the lock on the box, and snapped his fingers. The lock practically flew off, and he opened the box. The minute it was opened, Mike got a sick look to his face and slammed the lid shut.

"Yeeeahh-ahh-ahh," he said. "It's his. He's Maldour's stuff. Definitely. Oooh!"

"Mike, are you all right?" Jerry asked.

"I will be once we get rid of this box!" Mike shouted.

"What's the matter with it?" Coiley asked.

"The amulet's in here," Mike said. "And I just remembered somethin' about that Maldour story."

"I hate to think," Jerry said. "What is it?"

"Maldour's spirit can get out and into a human body," Mike said. "And that can be potentially dangerous."

"Oh come on, Mike!" Fluey shouted. He opened the box and started to pick up the amulet. "The guy's ancient! That can't possibly happen!"

"Don't you dare touch that amulet!" Mike yelled, smacking Fluey's hand. "Trust me on this, Fluey, I know what I'm talkin' about."

"So what are we gonna do with that box?" Coiley asked.

"You three are gonna leave well enough alone," Mike said. "I'll take care of this."

The boys shrugged, and walked off. Mike closed the lid on the box and sat on it to keep it closed. Jerry looked at him as if he were crazy.

"I think you're going a little overboard," he said.

"Believe me, Jerry," Mike said. "First chance Maldour gets, he's gonna find a pawn, and all heck will break loose."

"As much as I'd like to stay and argue with you, I've got a radio show to do."

Jerry left. He didn't believe the whole thing any more than Coiley, Multi, and Fluey did. But Mike knew what he was talking about. He knew that box was trouble. His sixth sense began to go crazy the minute he had touched the box. He knew that amulet was bad news. In fact, he was about to find out how bad it was. As he was sitting on the box, thinking about what exactly to do with it, he heard a knocking from inside of it.

"What the heck was that?" he asked.

There was more knocking. Mike had an icky feeling it was the amulet knocking, so he decided to ignore it. But it just knocked more. It was beginning to drive him crazy, so he finally got off the box and opened it. Just as he suspected, the amulet flew into the air and up to eye level.

Hello, Michael, a deep, ominous voice said, coming from the amulet.

"Man, I knew I shouldn't have opened that," Mike said. "That was you knockin', wasn't it, Maldour?"

I see you know your witch and warlock who's who. What a pity your friends don't believe it.

"They've still got to get used to the fact I'm half witch."

I think your friends are imbeciles.

"Don't you go bad mouthin' my friends, or your spirit's gonna be sorry, fella."

It doesn't matter anyway, Michael. What do you say you put on the amulet? It will enhance your magic.

"No way! I'm not fallin' for this."

But you could do a great deal if you did. You could receive great powers. Greater than the ones you already have. Why, with this amulet, you'll be able to disappear and reappear wherever and whenever you choose. With these great new powers, you'll be able to conquer the world. What do you say to that, Michael?

"What do I say to that? I'll tell you what I say to that!"

Mike grabbed the chain and threw it in the box. Then he slammed the lid shut and snapped his fingers, locking it up once again. For good measure, he snapped his fingers again, and a large boulder landed on top of the box.

"That's what I say to that!" he shouted.

You haven't won yet, Michael, Maldour thought, while inside the box. I've heard about you. Wait and see, you little half witch weakling. I'll conquer the world, once I find a suitable peon to do it. All I need is someone gullible enough to believe anything.

Maldour laughed evilly. By this time, Mike was long gone, but he was picking up bad vibes. The next day, Fluey accompanied Peter to the studio, telling him about the box and the story Mike had told him.

"I'm not kidding," he said. "Mike said that River Street was covered with witches!"

"He probably read it in a book," Peter said. "My guess it was written by the same people who write for the Enquirer."

"Oh very funny, Peter," Mike said. "What's with the sudden mockery of my heritage?"

"Well, Mike, you have to admit," Fluey said. "That story did sound a little weird. Besides, that amulet can't possess an evil spirit!"

"Oh no?" Mike asked. "Well, for your information, Fluey, it came out of that box and began talkin' to me. It was tryin' to convince me to take over the world."

"Uh huh," Fluey said, nodding slightly. "Yeah. Sure."

"How long have you been hearing amulets possessed by demons talk to you, Mike?" Peter asked.

"I'm serious!"

"You need to talk to Bob about a vacation."

"But I'm dead serious!"

Mike and Peter walked off, arguing over what had happened with Maldour's amulet. Fluey shook his head, and then spied the box in the corner. He groaned, and pushed the boulder off of it.

"Mike is being paranoid," he said. He fiddled with the lock, and found it easily popped off. Then he opened the box. "Personally, I don't see how evil this thing can be!"

Fluey reached inside the box, and picked up the amulet. Truth be known, he thought it was pretty cool. He had hoped Mike would let him keep it, but after what Mike had told him, he wasn't so sure he should ask. He just looked at the red stone, which seemed to be clouding over.

Aaahh, sweet sunlight, a voice said. Fluey was so surprised, he dropped the amulet then and there. The amulet then floated up into the air.

I suppose I have you to thank for letting me out of that prison, Fluid, the voice said again. Fluey just stared at the amulet, wide eyed.

"How . . . . how do you know my name?" he asked, once he got his wits back.

I know more than that, Fluid. I know you're sixteen years old, and you go to Carson High School, and you're a budding singer and actor.

"Whoa. That's incredible."

Yes, isn't it. Permit me to introduce myself. I am Maldour. You've heard stories about me from Nesmith, but they aren't true. Not one of them. His family was always jealous because of my great power. I was always more powerful than anyone in the Nesmith family.

"Yeah, Mike can't even pop in and out like everybody else in his family. I think that's maybe 'cause he's only half witch."

No, it's because he's not as powerful as he thinks he is. You seem to know Nesmith pretty well.

"Not that well. I mean, he's a friend of my uncle's and I know Mike through him. I mean, yeah, I think it's pretty cool that he's a witch and all that."

Would you be interested at all in powers like that?

"Me? Magic powers? Well, I don't know. I mean . . . . would I have to sell my soul or something, 'cause my uncle did that once and . . . ."

No, nothing like that. All you have to do is slip the amulet on.

"Sounds simple enough."

Fluey took the amulet's chain, and then slipped it on. The minute he put it on, something strange came over him. A red mist surrounded him, and everything around him seemed to disappear. He raised his hand into the air and aimed at the wall. A red light shot out of his fingers and smashed into the wall. KA-POW! A huge, gaping hole appeared. After that, the mist subsided.

How do you feel now, Fluid? Maldour asked. Fluey smiled evilly.

"Oh yeah," he said, eyes turning an interesting shade of red for a moment or so. "I could definitely get used to this."

"Hey Fluey," Peter said, coming over. "Don't plan on hanging around here all day, you know you have to go to school."

Your uncle, I presume, Maldour said.

"Yeah," Fluey said. "But don't worry. I can handle him, and school."

Excellent, Maldour replied. Stick with me, Fluid. We'll go places.

Fluey smiled sneakily, and headed off to school. The first person he ran into was Multi, who got one look and the amulet, and immediately did the double take.

"Where did you get that?" he asked.

"The box we dug up the other day," Fluey replied, trying to open his locker. As luck would have it, it was stuck. "Oh darn it, not again!"

"Didn't Mike say that was evil?" Multi asked.

"Mike also gets bad vibes over the teeniest detail," Fluey said, banging on his locker. "Stupid piece of junk! Why does it always do this on Mondays?!"

"Does Mike know you have it?"

"No, so what? It's not his, anyway. It's mine now. Finders keepers."

"What's with the attitude?"

"What attitude?"

"The attitude you're copping with me. Come on, Fluey, why'd you take that amulet? Mike said . . . . ."

"Mike said, Mike said, Mike said. You sound like a broken record."

Fluey gave his locker one final bang, and it still wouldn't open. He finally had enough. He stepped back, and thrust his hand out at the locker. The door exploded open. Multi was scared to death! He couldn't believe that just happened. The noise attracted a bunch of other students, and a couple of teachers.

"How did you do that?" Multi asked.

"That is none of your business," Fluey said, eyes turning red again. Multi let out a gasp and just stared.

"Your . . . . your eyes," he managed to say.

Fluey took out his books, and snapped his fingers. The locker door was immediately repaired, and he walked off. The other kids just looked at him, eyes wide, and jaws hanging open, slightly. The bell rang then, and everybody seemed to forget the locker incident, for the time being. Multi walked into homeroom, and sat down next to Fluey. Fluey was reading a comic book, feet propped up on his desk.

"You're pushing it," Multi said.

"I don't take orders from you," Fluey said.

"Hey, Fluey," Keith said, sitting in the desk in front of Fluey. "What was with that explosion in your locker? What happened? Did the jocks mix baking soda and vinegar and put it in your locker?"

"No," Fluey said. "I blew up my locker. It wouldn't open. Again."

"You caused the locker explosion?"

"What's so surprising about that?!"

"Hey, chill out. I just asked!"

Fluey rolled his eyes and went back to his comic book. The bell rang, and the homeroom teacher, Mr. Neilson, walked in.

"Mr. McAlister, please take your feet off your desk," he said. "I don't know what your habits are at home, but this is school."

"Aw, sit on it," Fluey said, going back to his comic book.

Mr. Neilson was one of the toughest teachers at Carson High School. Nobody dared back talk him. Fluey had been the first. Mr. Neilson walked up to the desk and snatched the comic book out of Fluey's hands.

"Would you care to repeat that, Mr. McAlister?" he asked.

"Yeah," Fluey said. "I said sit on it. And give me back my comic book, you cow!"

"Ooohhh," the other kids said. Mr. Neilson folded his arms across his chest.

"Mr. McAlister, you're treading on thin ice," he said. "I suggest you drop the attitude and remember who's in charge."

"I'll tell you who's in charge Neilson," Fluey said, standing in his chair. "I'm in charge!"

"What?!" Mr. Neilson shouted.

"Fluey, are you nuts?!" Linda hissed. "You're gonna get in trouble!"

"Mr. McAlister, sit down, or I shall be forced to send you to the principal's office," Mr. Neilson warned. "I'm warning you!"

"No, I'm warning you, Neilson!" Fluey shouted. He cracked his knuckles and aimed his hands at Mr. Neilson. A red glow surrounded the teacher. Fluey raised his hands, and Mr. Neilson was hoisted into the air, and then thrown against the blackboard.

"Who's in charge now, Neilson?" Fluey asked.

Mr. Neilson was too dazed to move. Fluey just sat down at his desk. The other kids didn't know what to make of that!

"Fluey, how in the world did you do that?" Linda asked.

"Same way he took out his locker," Multi said. "Fluey, what the heck happened to you?!"

"That's for me to know, and you to find out," Fluey said. "I'm blowing this popsicle stand."

"You can't walk out of homeroom!" Keith shouted. "The bell hasn't rung yet!"

"Watch me!" Fluey shouted. He stood up, and walked out of the room. Everybody else just looked at each other, and they began to talk at once.

"He has never done that before," Linda said. "Never!"

"Something weird's going on," Multi said. "Next chance I get, I'm calling Screen Gems. Mike's gotta know that amulet's gone!"

Luckily, the bell rang. Multi's next class wasn't very far, so he took this chance to go call Mike. Mike picked it up when it rang.

"Don't tell me, I know," was the first thing he said. "Fluey's got the amulet."

"How'd you know that?" Multi asked.

"I found it gone, and he was the last one by the box. What's he doin', anyway?"

"So far, he blew up his locker, told off Mr. Neilson, and threw him against the blackboard."

"He threw a teacher against the blackboard?"

"No kidding, Mike."

"I knew that thing was dangerous. Okay, look, I'll try and figure somethin' out. I just hope Maldour doesn't try anythin' stupid."

"Like what?"

"Like convince Fluey to take over the world!"

Multi sort of groaned and then he hung up. He hoped Mike would be right about Maldour. But no one could be sure. In fact, Mike's sixth sense was beginning to go nuts. He had to get his magic book right away. In the meantime, Fluey was hanging out in the hallways of Carson, just waiting around, doing nothing.

What's your next class? Maldour asked.

"Math," Fluey said. "I totally stink at math."

Why don't you skip it?

"I've never skipped school, but it sounds intriguing."

You don't have to follow their rules anymore. You can make your own rules.

"True. Very true. As a matter of fact, I'm not gonna play by their rules anymore."

You have charisma, Fluid. You could go down in history as a great leader.

"Great leader. You've got me hooked Maldour."

Imagine your name along side Nero, King George, the Red Baron, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Castro . . .

"Hold it. I thought they were terrible rulers. We were at war with most of them."

It all depends on how you look at it, Fluid. They had charisma. The same charisma as yourself. You could rule the world. With my help, you'd be unstoppable.

"Unstoppable. Hmmm . . . . . I like the sound of this."

The red glow returned to Fluey's eyes. He was just picturing himself as dictator. Maldour had complete control over him.

"Let's start with this school," he said. "I'm taking this two bit town over, and nothing's gonna stop me!"

Fluey laughed evilly then. Maldour's world domination plans were underway. Fluey waited to put the plan into action until fourth period, which was when he had gym. During second and third period, he was hanging out in the locker room, planning his scheme out. He mapped out the school, ready to give it what he thought it deserved. The bell rang for fourth period finally. The class was going to be held inside the gym, for basketball. Fluey didn't change into his gym clothes, which really bothered the gym teacher, Coach Knight, especially the shoes. The only shoes he ever allowed on the gym floor were sneakers, except during school dances. That day, Fluey was wearing boots. Another thing that bugged Coach Knight was jewelry. He was always telling the kids that necklaces could get snagged, earrings could get hooked, and rings could get stuck on swollen fingers. Imagine his shock when Fluey walked into his class in his regular street clothes, black boots, and the amulet. He put his whistle into his mouth and blew it.

"All right, McAlister, you'd better have a good excuse," he said. "You know I don't approve of street shoes in the gym."

"Then explain all those school dances," Fluey said.

"Okay, never mind. Explain that . . . . that . . . . thing around your neck, then."

"What? My amulet?"

"Yes, whatever you call it."

"I'd be only glad to, Coach. I'm going to use this amulet to take over the world."

Coach Knight just stared at Fluey as if he were crazy. A lot of the jocks started laughing. Coach Knight blew his whistle.

"Are you trying to be funny, McAlister?" he asked.

"No, Coach, I'm serious," Fluey said, folding his arms across his chest. "I'm taking over the world."

"Get out of here, you're just a kid. You're not taking over the world. Now get back to the locker rooms and get into your gym clothes before I give you detention."

"Maybe you didn't hear me right, Coach. I'm taking over the world!"

With that, Fluey shot his hands into the air, and that same red glow overtook his eyes, and a red beam shot out of his finger tips, blasting the roof of the gym to kingdom come. Coach Knight just stared gaping. The jocks were all talking at once. Fluey turned to them and glared.

"Silence!" he shouted. The jocks shut up. "Okay, you jock jerks, you're gonna be my army, and I don't want to hear any complaints about it or else!"

"Yes sir!" the jocks shouted saluting.

"As of this moment, Carson High School is history!" Fluey shouted, laughing evilly again, shooting magic all over the place. Coach Knight didn't know what to make of it.

Next order of business, the principal's office. He wanted to clear out the school before he destroyed it. He didn't like the prospect of actually having the school come crashing down on anybody. Besides, he knew if he killed everybody, there'd be nobody to dictate to. He walked into the main office, blew past the secretary, and went into the principal's office.

"Okay, Henderson, here's the scoop," he said. "You get everyone to clear out of this school. As of this moment, it's history, and I'm taking over."

"Mr. McAlister, I do believe your status around here as the famous one is getting a little out of hand," Ms. Henderson said. "I know you've been in at least two movies, and your uncle is Peter Tork of the Monkees, but I honestly think it's all starting to go to your head."

"Why do they always wanna do it the hard way?"

Fluey snapped his fingers, and a light beam shot into the air, creating a nice little hole in the ceiling. Then he folded his arms across his chest and turned to the principal.

"You gonna clear out the school, or do I have to get ugly?" he asked.

"I most certainly will not clear out this school!" Ms. Henderson shouted. "I've got a good mind to call your uncle about this . . . . this behavior!"

"Forget it, Henderson. I'm not playing by their rules anymore. I'm making my own. And this school's had it! Now clear out the school before I really get mad!"

Ms. Henderson was about to say something more, but Fluey raised his hands, and took out the entire roof of the office, just like he did in the gym. Ms. Henderson then ran out of her office, and over to the PA system. Fluey went with her, to make sure she did it right.

"Attention students," Ms. Henderson said. "Due to circumstances beyond our control, I'm afraid I'm going to have to cancel school."

A bunch of the kids cheered. Fluey then grabbed the microphone to give the students some instructions.

"You have exactly half an hour to get your junk out of the lockers and get out of this school," Fluey said. "Starting now."

The students filed out of their classrooms as quickly as they could. Exactly half an hour later, the entire school was empty. No one was around. Fluey was standing on the football field, looking things over. He rolled up his sleeves and waved his arms in the air. Then he thrust his arms forward, and the magic shot out of his hands, demolishing Carson High School. Word of the destruction reached every other school in the county, and they were quickly evacuated. Fluey always waited until everyone had left the premises before he started destroying buildings. He had his reasons for doing so.

"That takes care of the torture chambers," he said. "Now to claim City Hall. Ha, ha, ha!"

Fluey walked inside the building, and headed for the mayor's office, but the secretary stopped him.

"Young man, I'm afraid you can't go in there," she said. "Nobody sees the mayor without an appointment."

"I'm not here to see the mayor," Fluey said. "I'm here to kick him out. I'm taking over."

"You gotta be kidding me! You can't be more than . . . . sixteen? Seventeen, maybe?"

"Yeah, but I'm taking over, and you can't stop me."

"We'll just see about that! Security!"

Security managed to surround the office. Fluey merely yawned. He snapped his fingers, and sent the security team sky high, right through the roof. The secretary sat down at her desk and shook her head out.

"I've been working too hard," she said.

As she was contemplating that, Fluey entered the mayor's office and sat down on his desk.

"Okay, mayor, pack it in and get out of here," he said. "This is my office now."

"What's the meaning of this?" the mayor demanded. "Who are you?"

"The name's Fluid McAlister," Fluey replied. "And I'm taking over. I run the show now."

"You?! But you're just a child!"

"Child nothing. I happen to be sixteen, and it's time this city was run by somebody new. So get out."

"You have got to be out of your mind!"

"I'm giving you fair warning, mayor, you better get out of here before I get mad!"

"Don't make him mad, sir!" the secretary shouted from outside. "He just blasted your security team to Mars!"

"How can you blast someone to Mars?!" the mayor shouted. "This is absurd! I am not going to sign over my fair city to a teenager!"

"You blew it mayor," Fluey said. "I tried to be nice, but now, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to get rough with you."

Fluey waved one hand in the air, and then shot a powerful piece of magic at the mayor, throwing him into the wall. CRASH! The mayor regained his senses quickly and shook his head out.

"Anybody got a pen?" he asked. "I need to sign my resignation."

"Glad you see it my way, mayor," Fluey said. "This is my town now. And nobody's gonna stop me!"

Fluey laughed, and sat down behind the desk. The mayor and the secretary left City Hall, as did everybody else working there. They didn't want to admit it, but they were scared to death of this kid! Meanwhile, Mike was going through every book he knew off, trying to dig up some dirt on Maldour, but it wasn't easy.

"Hey, Mike," Reggie asked. "I just heard on the news Carson High School, Thomas Edison High School, Green Tree Middle School, and Maple Leaf Elementary School were blown to smithereens!"

"What?!" Mike shouted. "Oh that's it. That's it. That kid needs some serious talkin' to!"

"What's wrong?" Peter asked.

"Plenty," Mike said. "I don't know how to tell you this, Pete, but Fluey stole Maldour's amulet, and now he's gone power mad."

"You're kidding!"

"I wish I was, but I'm not. Maldour's spirit took over Fluey's body, and now he's tryin' to take over the world, startin' with all the school's in the county."

"Oh boy."

"I have a feelin' he's already hit City Hall."

"I'll go talk to him, Mike. He listens to me and Valerie."

"I don't know, Peter. I mean, Maldour's spirit is pretty strong. Fluey's not likely to listen while he's under Maldour's influence."

"Trust me, Michael. Valerie and I understand the common, every day teenager. We can handle this."

Peter left. He had to go pick Valerie up from the bank, and then the two of them would head to City Hall. Mike's sixth sense began to throb then. He knew this wasn't going to be a very good idea. At any rate, Peter and Valerie headed for City Hall. They walked inside, and found the place was a complete mess.

"Oh yeah, he's been here," Peter said.

"This office reminds me of his bedroom at home," Valerie said. "A pig sty."

"It may be a pig sty to you, Aunt Valerie, but it's comfortable to me," Fluey said, leaning against the doorway.

"Fluid Tork-McAlister, you've got a lot of explaining to do," Peter said.

"I don't answer to anybody," Fluey said. "I do things my way, and if you don't like it, take a hike."

"Fluey!" Valerie shouted.

"And another thing," Fluey said. "That name is so childish. I'm going by Fluid now."

"But you've always liked that nickname," Peter said.

"Not anymore," Fluey said. "And I've decided to drop Tork, too. It's a dumb name anyway. If you had to change it, Uncle Peter, why couldn't you have changed it to something that didn't sound so stupid?"

"Okay, that's it," Valerie said. "I don't care what you're doing now, Fluid, but I'm not going to stand here and let you get away with talking to us like that! We are your legal guardians and whatever we say goes!"

"Not anymore," Fluey said. "I'm not following anybody's rules except my own!"

"Oh no you're not," Valerie said. "You're grounded! You are so grounded, young man!"

"Eh-eh, I'm not grounded," Fluey said. "You two are the ones who are grounded!"

Fluey waved his hands around, and Peter and Valerie were thrown out of City Hall as hard as Fluey could throw. They weren't too thrilled once they were outside. Mike was waiting for them there.

"I tried to tell you," he said. "Fluey's not gonna listen to anybody except Maldour."

"Once everything gets back to normal, he is grounded for life!" Peter shouted.

"Don't ground him, Peter," Valerie said. "He doesn't know what he's doing. Mike, how do we get this out of his system?"

"We gotta get that amulet and destroy it," Mike said. "It's not likely Fluey will be givin' it up willingly. I'm gonna try and use force, though."

"Okay, but don't call him Fluey," Peter warned. "He said the name was childish."

"Don't worry about that," Mike said. "The way I feel right now, I plan to use the name Fluid until the cow's come home!"

Mike stormed into City Hall and into the office. Fluey just looked at him, calmly and coolly.

"Didn't I tell you not to touch that amulet?" he asked.

"Maybe," Fluey said. "Not my fault you just left it laying around."

"I warned you, Fluid, I warned you that it was dangerous."

"Ehhh, what harm did it do? I'm doing this city some good."

"You're just a kid! You're gonna destroy the city before you do it any good! What are you tryin' to do, anyway?!"

"Listen, Nesmith, this is my turf now. I've got more power than you'll ever have, so you'd better back off."

"Not until I get that amulet, now give it to me!"

Not a chance, Nesmith, Maldour said. I like it just fine here. You had your chance, but you blew it. Besides, Fluid has more charisma than you'll ever have.

"Maldour, once I get my hands on that amulet, I'm gonna throw it into the trash compactor!" Mike yelled. He reached out and made a grab for the amulet. Fluey snapped his fingers, and an electric shock went through Mike the minute his fingers brushed against the red stone. He screamed in pain.

"Nice try," he said. "But it wasn't good enough."

"I swear, I'm gonna get that amulet," Mike said, regaining himself. "Make no mistake, Fluid McAlister, I'll be back, and once I come back, that amulet's gonna be mine!"

"Not if I can help it, Nesmith. I've got more power in my little finger than you have in your whole family! I could rip you to shreds in minutes. And if you even try to stop me, I'll make your life a living nightmare."

Mike glared, and then left the office. Fluey rolled his eyes, and snapped his fingers. City Hall began to shake. It turned into a huge building. A huge chain link fence popped up around it, complete with barbed wire at the top, to prevent anyone from getting in. Every single jock from every high school arrived on the scene and acted as guards. German shepards appeared out of nowhere, guarding the place. Mike, Peter, and Valerie just watched, helplessly.

"Oh my god," Valerie said.

"He's getting carried away with this," Peter said.

"It's Maldour's influence," Mike said. "And he's got more power than me, and he could destroy me easily, now that he's got Fluey workin' for him."

"How are we going to stop this?" Valerie asked.

"We'll just have to do what George Washington did in seventeen seventy-six," Mike said. "Start a revolution, before we have World War Three on our hands!"

Peter and Valerie nodded, and all three of them went back to Screen Gems to let the others know what was going on. But apparently, they already found out.

"The hostile take over's all over the news," Jerry said.

"What are we gonna do now?" Bob asked.

"I don't have any clue, but we've got to stop this," Mike said. "With Maldour's influence, Fluey can easily take over the world."

"I think I'll deflate that swelled head of that kid's," Jerry said. "Tonight when I do my broadcast."

"And exactly how are you gonna do that?"

"Knowing you, Mike, you want to start a revolution."

"Yeah? So?"

"What better way to start it than with the power of the airwaves?"

"I dunno, Jer. I mean, what exactly are you gonna say?"

"I'll figure something out by broadcast time."

"Okay, while you're doin' that, I'll figure out a good hideout where Fluey won't even think of lookin' for us."

The others just looked at each other. They weren't exactly sure what in the world Mike was thinking when he said that, but they had a feeling it couldn't have been good. At any rate, Bob left the studio to check out City Hall. When he saw it, he nearly had a heart attack.

"Oh boy," he said. "Mike wasn't kidding about City Hall. Looks more like an army base, though."

Just then, the front gates opened. Bob ducked behind a tree to avoid being spotted. A jeep rolled out of the area, and headed for the city. Fluey was standing in the back of it, wearing an outfit that reminded Bob of a photo of General MacArthur (without the glasses), and looking around the area.

"Are you sure the area's been cleared out?" he asked.

"The area you wanted to blast?" the driver asked. "Yeah, they're all out."

"Good," Fluey said.

"What I don't get is why we just don't smash the people with the buildings."

"Like I told you, Lieutenant. If I kill everybody, they'll be nobody to dictate."

"Yes sir."

"Never question my orders again, Lieutenant."

"Yes sir."

The jeep pulled out. Bob followed it. He had to see this for himself. He managed to track the jeep to downtown Los Angeles. Fluey pulled a bullhorn out of the jeep and held it up.

"All right!" he shouted. "If there's anybody in the area, they have five minutes to clear out, starting now!"

Bob could see some people move inside the buildings. Five minutes later, only a few of them emerged. A lot of the people thought this kid was just kidding.

"The five minutes are up, sir," the Lieutenant said.

"I know that!" Fluey shouted. "Okay, fine. They asked for it."

Fluey raised his hands into the air, and large black clouds formed in the sky. Thunder and lightning shot out of them, smashing a lot of the empty building, turning them into rubble. Bob had to do a double take.

"This can't be happening," he said.

More lightning shot out of the clouds, smashing windows, demolishing buildings. Whoever was left inside of them panicked and ran for their lives. Fluey laughed and continued the destruction. Pretty soon, downtown Los Angeles looked like Pompeii after Mount Vesuvius blew. The jeep went back to City Hall then. Bob let out a low whistle, and high tailed it back to Screen Gems.

"Mike, you're not gonna believe this!" he shouted.

"What happened, Bob?" Mike asked.

"Fluey just took out downtown LA. Who knows what the heck he's gonna hit next!"

"I get the icky feelin' it's gonna be Screen Gems."

"What makes you say that?"

KA-BLAM! An extremely loud explosion was heard all the way across the lot. The ground shook, and Bob and Mike were knocked off their feet.

"Call it a hunch," Mike replied.

"We better get outta here!" Bob shouted.

"Right. Okay, everybody! Move out, unless you wanna get clobbered by bits of fallin' backdrops, stage lights, and whatever else!"

People panicked and ran out of Screen Gems as fast as they could. One of Fluey's men was watching the action through a pair of binoculars.

"All clear, sir," he said.

"Good," Fluey said. "Okay, men, forward!"

The driver put the jeep into first gear and pulled closer into Screen Gems. Fluey took careful aim and began to blast, destroying it to smithereens.

"Mike, you gotta do something!" Reggie shouted.

"I know," Mike said. "The problem is he's got more power than I do. He's got more power than I ever will!"

"Well, you gotta do something!"

"I guess I'll just have to act as an assassin or somethin'."

Mike ran out and approached the jeep. The others looked on, nervously. When Mike got close enough, he shot his own magic out at Fluey. It hit him in the back of the head, and knocked the teenager out of the jeep.

"All right, who's the wise guy?!" he shouted. "Once I find the guy who did that, I swear he's gonna . . . . ."

"Lookin' for a fight, Fluid?" Mike asked, coming out into the open.

"Well, well," Fluey said. "If it isn't Mike Nesmith. The little half witch weakling."

"Little?! You listen to me, buster, I happen to be taller than you, and you know it!"

"Yeah? Well, I'll just have to cut you down to size!"

Fluey began to shoot magic out of his fingers like those old western type outlaws. Mike had to jump around to avoid getting clobbered. Finally Fluey stopped and looked at Mike.

"You got guts, Nesmith," he said. "Everybody around here knows not to mess with me. When I get mad, you're asking for it."

"I'm not gonna let a teenager scare me," Mike said. "If you'll just give me the amulet . . . . . ."

"Are you kidding? I'm not giving you the amulet! It's the best thing that ever happened to me!"

"Fluey, I'm warnin' you, give me that amulet or else!"

"Or else what? You're gonna hit me with your pathetic little sparks?"

"Fluid Tork-McAlister, you are pushin' it!"

"Why? Just 'cause I decided not to play by their rules anymore? Well forget it, Nesmith. I'm taking over, and there's nothing you can do to stop it!"

"I can start a revolution! I can kick your tyrannical butt out of office, kiddo!"

"You even try to start a revolution, Nesmith, you're gonna regret it. I promised I'd make your life a living nightmare, and I will! Make no mistake about that! Soldiers! Move out!"

Fluey jumped back into the jeep, and it pulled out. Mike had an icky feeling he knew what was next on Fluey's destruction list. He had to act fast. He snapped his fingers and a broomstick appeared in his hands. He jumped onto it, and flew into the air.

"I've got to warn everybody in the neighborhood and fast!" he shouted as he zoomed off to his neighborhood.

Luckily, he reached the place before Fluey did. He snapped his fingers and a bullhorn appeared in his hands.

"Clear the streets, everybody!" he shouted. "Get out of the neighborhood as fast as you can! This is not a joke, or a prank! Everybody evacuate your homes immediately!"

Phyllis walked out of the house and looked up at Mike circling on his broom.

"Mike Nesmith, what are you doing?!" she shouted.

"I'll explain later, Phyllis!" Mike shouted into the bullhorn. "Just get out of here! Quick!"

"But why?"

"That's why!"

Mike pointed into the distance. Sure enough, Fluey and his soldiers had appeared on the scene. He looked up at Mike and glared. He snapped his fingers, and another thunder cloud appeared. Lightning struck the back of the broom, and Mike plummeted to the ground.

"Okay, you heard him!" Fluey shouted into his own bullhorn. "Everybody out, unless you want to get hurt!"

"Oh come on, Fluey," Phyllis said.

"Just watch this."

Fluey snapped his fingers again and more thunder clouds appeared. Lightning shot out of them and began to destroy the houses in the neighborhood. People were screaming and running. Fluey stood there, laughing like crazy. Mike managed to get back onto the scene.

"It's not safe here!" he shouted over all the noise.

"Where are we gonna go?!" Phyllis asked.

"Luckily, I know some place. Come with me!"

Phyllis followed Mike out of the neighborhood, while other people were scrambling around, trying to get into some kind of order. Fluey smiled evilly, and retreated.

"What's the next target, sir?" the driver asked.

"Hmm," Fluey said, thinking it over. "I'm not sure yet. But keep driving around. I'll think of something. And while you're at it, turn on the radio."

"Yes sir."

The driver turned on the radio to a local oldies station. Fluey sat down in the jeep and smiled.

"Ahh, the Beatles," he said. "Perfect."

At the time, it looked like there would be no stopping him. In the meantime, Mike and Phyllis had met up with the others outside of Screen Gems.

"Come on, guys follow me," he said. "I know where we can hide and Fluey won't find us."

"Where's that, Mike?" Davy asked.

"Come with me."

Mike led the group into a wooded area. Then he looked around.

"I know that trap door's around here somewhere," he said.

"What trap door?" Bob asked.

"Ah ha!" Mike shouted, walking over to a tree stump. "Here it is."

Mike lifted the top of the stump, and there was a staircase.

"Whoa!" Quackerjack shouted.

"Cool!" Reggie yelled. "Where did this come from?"

"It's been here a long time," Mike said. "It was used by witches durin' World War One. That's how I knew it was here. Aunt Kate told me about it, and Sabrina and I found it one day while explorin' around these woods. Come on!"

Mike went down the staircase, followed by the rest of the group. Once they reached the bottom of the stairs, there was a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel was a door. Mike opened it, and walked inside. Then he snapped his fingers, and the lights came on. The others looked around, amazed.

"It's like a bomb shelter," Drake said.

"Man, this place is huge!" Micky shouted. "Look at all this space!"

"Yeah, Sabrina and I were thinkin' of turnin' this place into our own private playroom, as it were," Mike said. "But I think we have to use this for our headquarters. We're startin' a revolution no matter what. We got room down here for everythin'."

"What's the first order of business, Mike?" Bob asked.

"First, we gotta think of a name for ourselves," Mike said. "So Fluey knows what he's up against."

"Maybe we oughta call in the Green Berets to parachute down on City Hall," Micky said. Everybody stared at him. That comment was just so out of left field, it didn't make sense at the time!

"Micky, you're weird," Reggie said.

"What?" Micky asked. "What'd I say?"

"Mick, you just gave us our name," Mike said. "From here on end, we're the Green Berets."

"Wha?" both Micky and Reggie asked in unison.

"Well, not all of us," Mike said. "I just need some volunteers for a troop."

"Count me in," Phyllis said.

"Me too," Quackerjack said. "I've always wanted to be a Green Beret."

"You can count me in, to, Mike," Davy said.

"Us too," Micky and Reggie said in unison.

"And us," Peter said, speaking for him, Valerie, and Drake.

"Great," Mike said. "Now I'm gonna go upstairs and round up some help. You guys get busy fixin' this place up a little. We're gonna need it."

Mike went through the door, up the tunnel, and up the stairs. He looked around, and then climbed out. His first stop was Rampart General Hospital, which hadn't been touched. Everything around it was demolished, but the hospital was still up. He walked inside and went to the front desk.

"Fluey's been here I take it," he said.

"What did you do to him, Mike?" Dr. Brackett asked.

"Absolutely nothin'. He stole a really powerful amulet and now the spirit of an evil warlock is inside him, tryin' to take over the world. And I'll have you know I told him not to."

"Well, apparently, he didn't listen to you."

"Give me a break, Brackett! I'm not his father, or his legal guardian for that matter. Look, I came by because I might need a doctor and a nurse to work down in this underground bomb shelter I found. Can you spare Joe and Carole?"

"Yes, I think so. Hey, Joe! Carole! Come over here!"

"What is it, doctor?" Carole asked.

"Mike needs you for this underground bomb shelter," Dr. Brackett said.

"Just in case somebody gets hurt durin' one of Fluey's raids," Mike said.

"Count me in," Joe said.

"Me too," Carole said. "Let's go."

"Great," Mike said. "Come with me. I'm gonna need to round up some other people for some help down here."

Mike, Joe, and Carole were off. They went around the city, and rounded up Warren, Kate, Ken Mills, and George and Martha Collins.

"Multi was the one who let me know the initial trouble," Mike said to them. "I thought maybe you guys could help."

"You got it!" Coiley shouted.

"Right," Multi said, nodding. "Recruit us as Green Berets!"

"Okay, you're part of the troop," Mike said. Then he turned to their parents. "Ken, you made a war picture awhile back, right?"

"Yeah, I did a lot of research on World War Two to prepare for it," Ken said. "I also served in the army long before I got married."

"Good," Mike said. "My dad was in the army, and we need a lot of ex-military men. Martha, I know you work (or should I say worked) at a local diner, and I figured you'd be able to help with the cookin'."

"Are you sure there's room in that underground bomb shelter of yours?" Martha asked.

"Trust me. There is," Mike said. Then he turned to Coiley's two sisters, Spring and Reine.

"I might need the two of you for somethin' or another," Mike said. "But until I think of it, just come with us, anyway."

The group nodded, and followed Mike down to the bomb shelter. After the group went in, Mike went out again to round up some more people. He went to Station 51, which was also untouched, to stay where they were. Then he went over to Hank's house and retrieved Christine and Linda. After that, he headed for Shawn's house, followed by the Partridge residence, and Drake's house. He needed to get any little kid to the bomb shelter no matter what. He wasn't worried about room. He could always use his magic and expand. Once he got back to the bomb shelter, he turned to everybody.

"Okay, here's the deal," he said. "Us Green Berets are gonna go up there from time to time to check on things. You know, find injured people and bring them down here. Only us Green Berets are allowed out of this bomb shelter. And in the event one of us gets captured, only give out name, rank, and serial number."

"But we don't have ranks or serial numbers, Mike," Peter said.

"Just say commando and tell them your birthday," Mike said. "You know, one two three zero one nine four two would be mine, and zero two one three one nine four two would be yours."

"Oh, I gotcha," Peter said.

"Drake, you're in charge of the inner door," Mike said. "This door is to be locked at all times, and nobody gets in without the password."

"What's the password?" Drake asked.

"Love is power, what else?" Mike said. "Everybody got their assignments?"

"Yes," the group said.

"Good. Okay, Green Berets," Mike said. "Move out!"

Mike snapped his fingers, and his troop were now dressed in full army uniforms, complete with (of course) green berets. Then he led the Green Berets up the tunnel, up the stairs, and out of the tree stump. Then they started going around California. In the meantime, Jerry was just about to start his broadcast. He put on a couple of records, and then turned on the mic.

"Okay, everybody, instead of a regular broadcast, I've got something to say," he said. "I'm sure you've been hearing the news that a teenager is claiming to take over the world? Well it's no joke. There's a sixteen-year-old out there who is indeed taking over the world."

Fluey happened to be listening to the broadcast from the City Hall office. He turned up the volume on his radio upon hearing this.

"I just want to say to you, Fluid Tork-McAlister," Jerry continued. "That your ego is getting to be a little big, isn't it? That amulet is nothing but trouble, and I suggest you surrender it to Mike before somebody gets hurt! You're just a kid! You can't take over the world! What are you thinking?! Well, I'll have you know that we're gonna start a revolution against this tyranny you have planned out!"

Fluey turned off his radio and practically punched the button on his intercom.

"Send Lieutenant Daniels in here," he said. "NOW!"

Two seconds later, Lieutenant Daniels rushed into the room.

"You called, sir?" he asked, saluted.

"What took you so long?!" Fluey demanded.

"Well, I, uh . . . ."

"Never mind! Get Sergeant Grady and get the jeep ready. We're gonna attack KOLD Radio right now!"

"But there's a broadcast going on inside there."

"So?"

"So that means there are gonna be people inside. Are we gonna give them a warning?"

"Not this time, Lieutenant."

"But sir, you said . . . ."

"NEVER MIND WHAT I SAID! I want Jerry Blavat off the air right now, and I want him buried beneath bricks! NOW GO GET GRADY AND GET THE JEEP OR I'M GONNA DEMOTE YOU TO A PRIVATE!"

"Yes sir! Right away sir!"

Lieutenant Daniels ran off as fast as he could before he could make Fluey really mad! Nobody seemed to want to make him mad, or they were just asking for it. Five minutes later, the jeep was ready. Fluey climbed inside, and they were off. Coiley and Multi, in the meantime, were walking down a street where it was obvious Fluey hadn't hit yet, but they had a feeling he was going to.

"This is incredible," Multi said. "One minute, it's a regular, normal day, and the next we're in the middle of a dictatorship."

"Speaking of dictators," Coiley said. "Here comes Fluey now. Duck!"

Coiley and Multi ducked behind a tree, and the jeep rolled by, not noticing them. Multi took out his walkie-talkie and pushed the button.

"Mike," he said. "The jeep's out. Fluey's heading for the radio station. You want us to follow him?"

"Absolutely not," Mike said. "You two head back to headquarters, and let Joe and Carole know the situation. The rest of us will head over to the radio station."

"Okay."

Multi and Coiley doubled back for headquarters. Mike, Reggie, Micky, Quackerjack, and Phyllis headed for the radio station. Mike pushed the button on his walkie-talkie again.

"All units head back to headquarters," he said. "Await further instructions there."

"Ten four, Mike," Peter said.

Mike turned off the walkie-talkie and led his troop further to the radio station. The jeep had stopped directly in front of it.

"Time for a little fireworks display," he said. He raised his arms into the air and created the biggest, blackest storm cloud known to man. Thunder and lightning poured out of it, smashing the buildings surrounding the radio station. People inside the radio station panicked and ran off. Jerry was about to head for the stairs, but a lightning bolt struck, and the building collapsed, before he could even get out of the studio.

"I think that does it," he said. "So much for the Geator with the Heater. Back to City Hall!"

Fluey laughed evilly as Sergeant Grady drove off. Once they were out of sight, the Green Berets ran over to the rubble and began digging through it.

"Man, what a crash!" Reggie shouted.

"I don't know how anybody could survive it," Phyllis said.

"Keep diggin'!" Mike shouted, using his magic to plow through the rubble. "I'm sensin' Jerry's still alive! Come on!"

The group began digging faster. Finally, they made progress. Mike had found Jerry, laying amidst the mess, only semi-conscious. His leg braces had been snapped in to pieces.

"Jerry, are you all right?" Mike asked.

"I think so," Jerry said. "I should've kept my big mouth shut."

"We'd better get him back to headquarters," Reggie said.

"Yeah, Joe will know what to do with him," Quackerjack said.

Mike agreed. He snapped his fingers and a stretcher appeared in his hands. He loaded Jerry onto it, and Micky and Reggie each took a side, and the troop headed back to headquarters. Once there, Mike banged on the door.

"What's the password?" Drake asked.

"Love is power," Mike said.

"Good password, Mike," Jerry said. "Tell me, what happens if Fluey finds out where we're hiding?"

"He doesn't know the password," Mike replied.

"He could take a wild guess. You're always saying love is power."

"Yeah, but Fluey won't find us. Trust me."

Drake opened the door, and Mike and the rest walked inside. Micky and Reggie carried the stretcher over to the sick bay, where Joe and Carole were. This was the first injury they had encountered. Joe took off what was left of Jerry's braces and gave them to Mike.

"See what you can do about those," he said.

"I can fix these easily," Mike said, snapping his fingers. "Now comes the hard part. Tryin' to figure out what to do now."

"This is a tough one," Quackerjack said. "I think it's obvious we have to get that amulet before Fluey destroys all of LA!"

"It's a little late for that," Sarah said, pointing to a small TV set on the table. "Check this out."

Sarah happened to be watching the news. They were showing footage of the destruction Fluey was doing. The entire Los Angeles area was reduced to rubble. Nobody was around, either, except for guards patrolling the city.

"And this is what's left of the Los Angeles area," the anchorwoman said. "Almost twenty-four hours ago, it was a normal day here in LA, but now the city is at the mercy of sixteen-year-old Fluid McAlister, the teenage dictator. People are advised to stay in their homes, and whatever you do, don't make McAlister mad."

"Yeah man, do not make this kid mad," Mike said, turning off the TV.

"You said it," Multi said. "When he took out his locker, his eyes turned . . . . well, red."

"He's liable to do a lot of damage if he's mad," Mike said. "His power seems to fluxuate. We gotta get that amulet away from him!"

"Yeah, but how?" Jerry asked, snapping on his leg braces.

"I don't have the slightest idea," Mike said.

"Why don't we sneak into City Hall and get the amulet when he's asleep?"

"That's it. Jerry, you're a genius!"

"Yeah, right. A genius. Now zap me in a uniform. I'm joining the Green Berets."

"You sure? You just had a building collapse on you and . . . ."

"And there's not a scratch on him," Carole said.

"Give him a uniform, Michael," Kate said. "After all, he came up with the idea."

Mike shrugged, and zapped Jerry a Green Beret uniform. He snapped his fingers again, and a rolled up piece of paper appeared in his hands. He shoved a bunch of stuff off the table and unrolled it.

"Here's our plan," Mike said. "This is the basic layout of City Hall. Reggie and Micky will be the lookouts."

"Where's the lookout point?" Quackerjack asked.

"Bob said there was a tree near the front gate," Mike said. "Reg, Mick, you'll hide up there, and keep an eye on things. Let us know if there's any trouble by usin' the walkie-talkies."

"Gotcha," Micky said.

"Check," Reggie replied.

"Okay," Mike said. "Jerry, Phyllis, Quackerjack, Coiley, Multi, and I will sneak into City Hall and get the amulet."

"When does this plan take action, chief?" Coiley asked.

"Midnight tonight," Mike said.

"That's good," Peter said. "Fluey's usually asleep by then anyway."

"What about the guards, Mike?" Phyllis asked.

"Don't worry," Mike said, pulling a small tin box out of a cardboard one under the table. "I have somethin' in here that'll stop those guards."

"And the dogs?" Multi asked.

"You forget, I'm the Dr. Doolittle of the Monkees set," Mike said. "We should have no problems whatsoever."

"Except getting that amulet," Valerie said. "I have a feeling it's going to be easier said than done."

"Right," Mike said. "We'll just have to risk it."

The others nodded. It was going to be a long wait in between then and midnight. And in the meantime, things were getting worse down at City Hall. Fluey had put out an all points bulletin on Mike.

"Have you found Nesmith yet?" he asked Lieutenant Daniels.

"He seems to have disappeared, sir," Daniels said.

"That's impossible. Nesmith can't disappear. I want him found and I want him found NOW! Where the heck is he anyway?!"

"Sir, may I make a suggestion?"

"If you must."

"Maybe you oughta get some sleep, sir. I mean, you can't rule the world when you're overtired."

"I'm not sleeping until I find Nesmith!"

"What would you do with Nesmith if you got him here, sir?"

"I'd beat him and torture him and put scorpions in his nose drops!"

"Scorpions?"

"Too much?"

"Well, just a little."

"Huh. Maybe you're right. Maybe I should call it a night. Just put the night shift on duty and I'll see you in the morning."

"Yes sir. Goodnight sir."

Fluey walked off. Daniels went in a separate direction and turned to Sergeant Grady.

"Sheesh!" he shouted. "He's such a dictator!"

"Yeah, but don't tell him that," Grady said. "Why are we working for him, anyway?"

"You Skidding? You saw what he did to that DJ! He could break us like that!"

Daniels snapped his fingers to prove his point, and he and Grady walked off. Finally, midnight rolled around. The night guards were out, patrolling the place. The Green Berets were hiding in the bushes, except Reggie and Micky. They were up in the tree, watching the place through binoculars.

"There are a couple of guards out there," Reggie said.

"Yeah, we know," Mike said. "Don't worry. Just keep your eyes open."

"Got it," Micky said.

Mike and the others snuck over to the main gate. The guards heard a little rustling, and tensed up.

"All right, who's there?!" one shouted. "Whoever you are, you're trespassing on private property!"

"What now?" Jerry asked.

"Everybody hold your ears," Mike said, and then he pushed the button on his walkie-talkie. "Mick, Reg, hold your ears."

"Okay," Reggie said. "What are you up to, Mike?"

"You'll see in a minute," Mike said. He put down his walkie-talkie and put a pair of ear plugs in his ears, as did the others. Then he took out his tin box and opened it. The strangest sounds came out of it.

"What the heck is that?" one guard asked.

"I don't know, but it's . . . . it's . . . ." the other guard said, suddenly freezing. The first guard froze too. Mike closed the box and smiled. He gave the signal for everybody to unplug their ears.

"Wow," Jerry said. "Phenomenal!"

"How'd you do that, Mike?" Multi asked.

"The sound waves in this box," Mike said. "I got this in the Other Realm. They are so strong, they can actually freeze a mortal in his tracks."

"Maybe we can do that to Fluey," Quackerjack said.

"If he's under Maldour's influence, it will not work," Mike said. "Trust me."

Mike led the troops through the front gate. Of course, they were met by two German shepards, ready to tear them apart.

"Okay, Dr. Doolittle, now what?" Phyllis asked.

Mike picked up a stick and waved it around.

"Here boy! Here boy!" he shouted. "Get the stick! Get the stick, boy!"

The German shepards began jumping around whimpering, panting, that sort of thing. Mike through the stick over the gate, and the shepards began running after it.

"They're just big puppies, really," Mike said.

"Yeah, but with sharp teeth!" Coiley shouted. "Lead on, chief."

"Why are you callin' me chief?" Mike asked.

"You want I should call you Fearless Leader?"

"Uhh, no, chief will be fine, thank you."

The troop went up the front steps and headed for the door. Mike used his magic to unlock the door, and then they snuck in. They had Mike's sixth sense to thank for leading them to the amulet.

"There it is," Mike said.

"Lucky for us Fluey's a sound sleeper," Multi said.

"How do you know that?" Quackerjack asked.

"He's always sleeping during Mr. Porter's English class," Multi replied. "And if he can sleep through that, he can sleep through anything."

"I can't believe he's wearing that darn thing," Jerry said. "That's gotta be really uncomfortable."

"How are we going to go over there and get it?" Phyllis asked.

"We're not," Mike said. "My psyches is gonna get it for us. All I need is a little concentration."

Everybody backed up into the hall. Mike stood in the doorway and concentrated as hard as he could. Very slowly, the amulet began to move. Inch by inch, it moved slowly. The suspense was driving everybody crazy. Just before Mike managed to get the amulet, Fluey shifted his position, and Mike lost his concentration on it.

"Oh darn it," he said. "Well, I'll just have to try it again."

Mike put his fingers on his temples, and concentrated as hard as he could again. He didn't want to take the amulet off too fast. That might have woken Fluey up, and then they'd be in trouble. The others drew in their breaths. The whole thing was making them nervous.

"I hope he gets that amulet soon," Quackerjack said. "The suspense is killing me."

"That's not the only thing that's going to kill you," Jerry said. "If Fluey wakes up and finds us here, that is."

Mike had almost gotten the amulet, when Fluey went and changed his position yet again. Mike lost his hold and groaned.

"He's not makin' this easy," he said.

"I have an idea," Phyllis said. "Try to undo the clasp."

"Hey good thinkin'," Mike said. He stared intently at the clasp in the back of the chain. That seemed to work. Once it was unhooked, the amulet slid off easily. Mike tried to bring it over to him, but his battery was beginning to get low.

"Oh no," he groaned. "Not here, not now!"

"Hurry up and bring that amulet over here!" Jerry hissed.

Mike had to work fast, but it wasn't fast enough. His battery completely died, and the amulet dropped. It hit Fluey in the head, and that woke him up.

"Ow!" he shouted, sitting up. He saw the amulet laying there and picked it up. "Hey, what the . . . . you!"

Fluey had just spotted the Green Berets standing there. All of them turned around and beat a hasty retreat. Fluey glared and punched his intercom button.

"Guards! Guards!" he shouted. "It's Nesmith! Stop him!"

"Let's get out of here before the guards show up!" Coiley shouted.

"Anybody know any short cuts?" Quackerjack asked.

The Green Berets ran as fast as they could. There were German shepards following them as well as the guards, who began to shoot.

"As if this wasn't bad enough!" Mike yelled.

And it was about to get worse. A bullet managed to hit Jerry in the leg. It missed him, but his leg brace was hit. SNAP! Jerry fell flat on his stomach on the floor, and a German shepard had him cornered. The others kept on running. They didn't even realize what had happened. Fluey came over to the scene just then.

"Well?" he asked.

"Well, we got one of them," one of the guards said. "The others are running after Nesmith and the rest of his troops."

"Darn," Fluey said, then he looked at Jerry. "How'd you survive the radio station collapse?"

"I have my ways," Jerry said.

"All right, spill it, Geator. Where's Nesmith hiding?"

"I'm not saying anything."

"We have ways of making you talk. I think a stretch in the cooler may change your tune. Lock him up, men. And take off that other leg brace of his, too. That'll make sure he doesn't escape!"

The guards did as they were told. They took off Jerry's other leg brace, and then practically dragged him to a cell. The rest of the guards continued to go after the Green Berets. Mike picked up his walkie-talkie.

"Micky! Reggie! Abort mission!" he shouted. "Repeat, abort mission!"

"Something wrong?" Micky asked.

"We got caught! Get out of that tree and run for headquarters!"

Micky and Reggie jumped out of the tree and began to run. By that time, the rest of the troops caught up with them. The guards were still tailing them, shooting, although it was hard for them trying to hit a moving target. Unfortunately, disaster struck again. One guard fired a bullet and it clobbered Quackerjack directly in the shoulder.

"OW!" he yelled.

"Quacky-baby, you okay?" Micky asked.

"They got me," Quackerjack said. "Right in the shoulder."

"Here come the guards!" Phyllis shouted.

"Come on, we're close to headquarters," Mike said. "If we can make it to the stump before they can, we should be home free! RUN FOR IT!"

Luckily, the Green Berets made it to the stump long before the guards showed up. The troops opened the stump, ran down the stairs, down the tunnel and banged on the door.

"Password," Drake said.

"Love is power," Mike said. "Now open the door!"

Drake opened the door, and the troops rushed inside. Then Drake shut the door and stared at them.

"Did you guys get the amulet?" Ken asked.

"My battery died out right before I could," Mike said. "I dropped it right on Fluey's head and he woke up."

"That's not good," George said. "This whole thing is just plain ridiculous. How can a sixteen-year-old kid get away with this?!"

"He's been possessed, Dad," Coiley said. "He can't help it."

"Are you guys all right?" Linda asked.

"We're fine, except Quacky-baby took a bullet to the shoulder," Mike said.

"Let's have a look here," Joe said leading Quackerjack to the sick bay.

"Well as long as you all got back here okay," Christine said.

"Hey, by the way," Linda said. "Where's Jerry? I didn't see him run in with you guys."

"Jerry?" Mike asked.

"I haven't seen him since Mike dropped the amulet," Phyllis said. "Wasn't he right behind us?"

"Oh no!" Mike yelled. "One of his leg braces must've broke when he was runnin'. You know if one of them breaks and he's taken off guard by it, he falls flat on his face!"

"But he can still run with only one leg brace, can't he?" Bob asked.

"Yeah, but not very well," Linda said. "You know he needs both of them to walk."

"The guards must've captured him," Phyllis said. "What do we do now?"

"Hope Jerry doesn't squeal," Mike said.

"Well, with 'is big mouth, 'e's likely to blab all," Davy said.

"Not necessarily," Linda said. "But we still have to bust him out of there."

"And that's gonna be tough," Mike said. "I have a feelin' Fluey's just gonna tighten the security around City Hall."

"So what are we gonna do?" Davy asked.

"I don't know," Mike said, shaking his head. "I just don't know."

Mike had to think this one over a little. It looked like there was no stopping Fluey. Speaking of which, he was down in his "dungeon" (as he called it) interrogating Jerry, who appeared to have complete control over his big mouth over where Mike and the Green Berets were hiding out. Other than that, his big mouth was also working to get him in trouble.

"So talk," Fluey said. "Tell me what you know."

"Well, I know you're being a real pain in the neck," Jerry replied. "You're a real tyrant!"

Lieutenant Daniels and Sergeant Grady began to laugh. Fluey glared at both of them, which caused them to shut up right away.

"Okay, Geator, where's Nesmith hiding out?" he asked.

"My name is Jerry Blavat, my rank is commando and my number is zero seven zero three one nine four zero," Jerry said.

"The ol' name, rank, serial number bit," Daniels said.

"I know," Fluey said, glaring at Daniels. "You're trying my patients, Geator. I want to know where Nesmith is and I want to know now so talk!"

"Jerry Blavat, commando, zero seven zero three one nine four zero," Jerry said, coolly.

Fluey let out a mix between a groan and a scream and threw his hands up in frustration as if to say "I give up." Jerry was really trying his patients.

"What if we torture him, sir?" Grady asked.

"An excellent idea," Fluey said. "We'll make our little canary here sing."

"Little?" Jerry asked. "Oh come on Fluey, I'm taller than you."

"I wonder if I have the appropriate torture devices," Fluey said, putting his hand on his chin, thinking it over. "Hmm, I think I have just the thing for this one."

"What is it, sir?" Daniels asked. "The rack?"

"No," Fluey said.

"The iron maiden?"

"No."

"The pit and the pendulum routine?"

"No."

"Then what?"

"Go get me my Beatles album."

"Beatles album?" Grady asked, a little bit confused.

"Yeah," Fluey said, sneakily. "Sergeant Pepper."

Grady shrugged and walked off to get Fluey's copy of the Beatles "Sgt. Pepper" album, and a record or CD player, depending on which version he found. Daniels was a bit confused as well.

"I don't get it sir," he said. "The Beatles aren't torture!"

"They are if you don't like them," Fluey said. "And the Geator here doesn't like the Beatles music. If he did, he'd play them, now wouldn't you?"

"Fluey, you know I don't play them 'cause they don't have enough soul for my audience," Jerry said. "It doesn't mean I don't like their music."

"Lieutenant, go get the Magical Mystery Tour album as well," Fluey said. "And throw in the White Album and Abbey Road. This caged bird's gonna sing if it's the last thing we do!"

"Yes sir!" Daniels saluted and was off to find the particular albums. Fluey shut the cell door and locked it, smiling wickedly. Jerry rolled his eyes and shook his head.

"Oh yeah," he said. "He definitely needs an attitude adjustment."

Within minutes, Grady and Daniels brought the Beatles albums Fluey had wanted as well as the CD player. Fluey put the "Sgt. Pepper" album inside and started it up. The Beatles really weren't Jerry's schtick, but it wasn't torture, either. But if you listen to a bunch of songs by them that you just don't like, it can be torture. Jerry was beginning to break. The Beatles psychedelia was beginning to get on his nerves.

"You ready to talk now?" Fluey asked.

"I think so," Jerry said. Fluey stopped the CD player and smiled.

"So talk," he said.

"Jerry Blavat, commando, zero seven zero three one nine four zero," Jerry said, smirking.

Fluey gnashed his teeth, and groaned again. Jerry wasn't making his interrogation easy. Finally, he decided to forget the entire Beatles routine.

"Okay, I can see I'm going to have to get rough with you, Geator," he said. "Men, take him to the torture chamber and put him on the rack."

"Yes sir!" Daniels shouted, almost excitedly. Jerry had a feeling Daniels had been waiting for a moment like this.

In the meantime, Mike and Phyllis were out in their neighborhood, looking over the damage of their house, seeing if they could salvage anything.

"Boy, this place is a mess," Phyllis said.

"Power in the wrong hands," Mike replied. "It's not a pretty sight."

"You said it. So, do you think we might be able to clean all this up?"

"If I had help, then yes. But maybe if we destroy the amulet, things'll go back to normal. But don't quote me on that."

Mike and Phyllis continued to go through the rubble. Phyllis stopped all of a sudden, and stood up.

"Do you hear something?" she asked.

"Like what?" Mike asked. "His dictatorship and his jeep?"

"No . . . . it's coming from underneath this mess."

"Underneath the . . . . . Sabrina!"

Mike snapped his fingers and a lot of the mess was lifted. All that was left of the house happened to be the basement, which was just a hole in the ground. Inside the basement was his cousin, Sabrina, and their two aunts, Hilda and Zelda, and Salem, the cat.

"About time," Sabrina said. "What took you so long?"

"Mike, what in the world happened to your house?" Zelda asked.

"It's a very long and involved story," Mike said. "I'll explain everythin' once we get to the shelter."

"You mean that bomb shelter we found?" Sabrina asked. "The one we were gonna convert to a game room?"

"Yep," Phyllis said. "We're using it as the Green Berets headquarters."

"I wondered why you two are wearing army uniforms," Hilda said.

"Right," Mike said, snapping her fingers, and the same uniform appeared on Sabrina. A tiny beret even appeared on Salem's head. "Congratulations, Sabrina. You and Salem have been recruited."

"I've always wanted to be a Green Beret!" Salem shouted.

"What's with the whole Green Berets bit?" Sabrina asked.

"I said I'd explain when we got to the bomb shelter," Mike said. "Now we'd better hurry before Fluey comes around."

Sabrina was more confused then ever. But she and the aunts followed Mike and Phyllis anyway. Mike ended up explaining most of the gory details anyway.

"We tried to get the amulet back," he said as they were going down the tunnel. "But my battery died just as I got it off his neck, and I dropped it on his head, he woke up, and sicced the dogs on us and he called the guards."

Mike then knocked on the door and waited.

"What's the password?" a small, female voice asked.

"Love is power," Mike said, slightly confused. The door opened, and there stood Drake's nine-year-old daughter, Gosalyn.

"Enter," she said. Once everyone was inside, she closed the door. "I've always wanted to do that."

"Where's your dad?" Phyllis asked.

"Sleeping," Gosalyn said. "He got tired and said I could watch the door."

"Oh," Mike said, nodding. Then he turned back to Sabrina, Hilda, and Zelda. "So now Jerry's been captured, and probably bein' tortured as we speak."

"Why is it the young ones always go so power hungry?" Hilda asked.

"It's a fact of life," Kate said, walking over. "I'm still tryin' to figure out how he got that amulet in the first place."

"That's my fault," Multi replied. "We dug up the box in my backyard."

"Oh, that's right," Zelda said. "You and your dad live on River Street."

"Yeah, and the realtor never told us about this," Ken said, who had only been informed of the story only hours earlier. "This whole thing with my street being known as a warlock hangout is news to me."

"This is my fault," Mike said. "I should've destroyed that amulet the minute it started to convince me to put it on and take over the world."

"This isn't your fault, Mike," Phyllis said.

"It's mine," Coiley jumped in. "I was the one who hit the box."

"Forget about who's fault it was," Davy said. "We've got to stop all this."

"Anybody have any suggestions on how?" Quackerjack asked.

"Well, let's think this over," Zelda said. "The problem is Maldour has more power than any witch in the Other Realm. Fluey can kill us with one swipe. The only logical thing to do is get that amulet away from him."

"But how are we going to do that?" Sabrina asked.

"That's what we're still tryin' to figure out," Mike said, sighing.

Everybody else just sat there and began to think over the whole thing. They had to be sneaky, but they didn't exactly know how sneaky they had to be, or what in the world they were going to do. Jerry wasn't a barrel of laughs himself. He was on the rack, being stretched like crazy, and he was still giving name, rank, and serial number for an answer. It was driving Fluey positively out of his mind.

"Take him off the rack," he said. "This isn't working."

"You want we should, uhh," Grady said, then the slashed his finger across his throat. "Ccchhhkkkk?"

"No!" Fluey shouted. "That's too gruesome!"

"Well . . . ." Daniels said.

"No, we're not using the iron maiden or the pit and the pendulum bit!"

"Well, then, what do you want to do with him?!"

"I'm thinking, I'm thinking!"

"No matter what you do to me, I'm not saying anything," Jerry replied.

Fluey nearly slugged him. He was about to smack him in the face, when he stopped suddenly. He had a feeling physical torture wasn't going to work on him, so he tried another tactic.

"Lock him back in the cell," he said. "We'll just starve the information out of him."

"Won't that kill him?" Daniels asked.

"Exactly," Fluey said.

"That's low, Fluey," Jerry said. "Really low."

"I'm gonna starve that information outta you. You'd better tell me what I want to know."

"Jerry Blavat, commando, zero seven zero three one nine four zero."

"Have it your way, Geator."

Grady and Daniels grabbed Jerry by the arms and dragged him back to his cell. Fluey returned to his office to go over his plans and maps again. He had a world domination scheme to do. The Green Berets, in the meantime, were still trying to figure out what to do.

"Maybe we should take this one step at a time," Linda said. "Maybe we oughta work on busting Jerry out first."

"Makes sense to me," Mike said. "But that's gonna be easier said than done."

"Hey!" Shawn shouted. "I just got an idea! The Trojan Horse!"

"Huh?" Sabrina asked.

"You know," Shawn continued. "The Trojans hid in this giant horse and posed as a present to Greece or Rome, or wherever, and then when they were least expecting it, WHAMO! They jumped out and attacked!"

"I don't think a Trojan horse would work," Mike said. "But the idea is pretty good. If I can dig a tunnel from outside the gate to the jail cell, it could work. Although somebody's gotta distract Fluey."

"I think he'll get suspicious if it's one of us," Reggie said. "It's gotta be someone who's not part of the Green Berets."

"I'll do it," Linda volunteered.

"You sure?" Mike asked.

"Positive," Linda said.

"Okay," Mike replied. "Now all we need is somethin' that we know Fluey will not be able to resist."

"I got it," Valerie said, snapping her fingers. "He's crazy over chocolate. Especially brownies."

"Especially Valerie's brownies," Peter said. "He's always hanging around the kitchen whenever she bakes brownies."

"You use a mix?" Micky asked.

"Scratch," Valerie said.

"Man, they must be good brownies."

"That's perfect, Valerie," Mike said. "Fluey may get a little suspicious about them. Thinkin' they're laced with sleepin' pills or somethin' like that, but we'll fake him out. We'll cook 'em straight. Linda, you take the brownies into him, if you can, and he's likely to call the guards in to have them test the brownies."

"What if when I leave he wants the guards to follow me?" Linda asked.

"Let him," Mike said. "We'll set up an ambush. We've got to stop him now, or we'll never be able to do it."

"Ah you nuts?" Davy asked. "'E could tear all of us to pieces!"

"It's a long shot," Mike said. "But if I combine my magic with Aunt Kate's, Aunt Hilda's, Aunt Zelda's, and Sabrina's, we may be able to pull it off."

"It's about all we can do, Davy," Phyllis said. "It has to work."

"I'm beginning to wonder why anybody could have Maldour imprisoned in an amulet that he can break out of anyway," Quackerjack said. "Who put him there? Lady Krystal?"

"Lady Krystal wouldn't have had him imprisoned in an amulet," Kate said. "She would have taken away his powers. This was before the Other Realm came into existence."

"So what happened?" Mike asked. "My books didn't really say."

"Oh I knew someone who was under the Maldour power," Hilda said. "A wizard trapped him, all right, but it was a crony of Maldour's who did it, knowing that one day he would have gotten out."

"Of course," Mike said.

"We have to destroy that amulet," Kate said. "Smash it to smithereens."

"Won't Maldour's spirit get out if we do that?" Reggie asked.

"That's what Maldour wants you to think, if you should happen to see him," Zelda said. "Now, we'd better put Mike's plan into action."

The others nodded. Sabrina and Valerie headed for the kitchen to do the cooking. Mike and Linda went over some preparations. Phyllis, Davy, Reggie, and Peter volunteered for the mission. Within half an hour, everything was ready. Valerie put the brownies into a picnic basket, and handed it to Linda.

"Be careful, you guys," she said. "And good luck."

"Thanks," Mike said. "I think we'll need it!"

The group was off. This was their last attempt at a sneaky plan. It had to work, or the entire world was doomed. Fluey was down in the cells during all this, looking in on Jerry, who was about ready to faint from hunger.

"You ready to talk?" Fluey asked.

"Never," Jerry said. "All you're gonna get outta me is name, rank, and number."

"Have it your way, then. But I gotta tell you, I'm not feeding you until you tell me where Nesmith is."

Jerry didn't say anything. Fluey rolled his eyes, and went back up the stairs to his office. Jerry leaned against the wall for support. He couldn't try to escape, either. Fluey had hidden his leg braces somewhere, but he didn't know where. He knew he couldn't last too much longer, but he didn't want to give in, either. Luckily for him, something was about to happen. Linda and the Green Berets were standing away from the front gate, ready to put their plan into action.

"Okay, once you're inside, we'll start the tunnel," Mike said.

"Are you sure you're not going to end up in Fluey's office?" Linda asked.

"Trust me," Mike said. "My sixth sense is workin' perfectly."

"Okay," Linda said. "Good luck, guys."

Linda took a deep breath, and walked up to the front gate. She stopped when the guards pointed their guns at her.

"Hold it right there," one said. "This is a restricted area."

"I know," Linda said. "But Fluey . . . . uhhh, Fluid was a friend of mine before he took over. His aunt wanted me to give him these."

Linda opened the basket and showed the guards what was inside. After a quick conference, they let her in, and told her to wait in the lobby. Then one headed for Fluey's office and knocked on the door.

"What?!" Fluey shouted. The guard opened the door.

"Uhh, sir?" he asked.

"What do you want?!" Fluey shouted. "Can't you see I'm planning world domination here?!"

"There's a girl out in the lobby to see you," the guard said. "Linda Stanley Blavat. Claims to be a friend of yours."

"Linda?" Fluey asked. "Yeah, she was a friend of mine. We've known each other since kindergarten. I wonder what . . . . oooohhh no. If she's here to talk me into releasing Blavat, she's got another think coming!"

"No, sir, she didn't mention the prisoner. She just said she was dropping off something your aunt wanted to give you."

"Oh, okay. Send her in."

Fluey acted like it was the biggest chore in the world. The guard left the office. Fluey cleared his maps and figurines off the desk and waited. Linda walked in carrying the basket.

"I assume Nesmith told you what I did to the Geator," he said. "And if you're gonna try to convince me to let him go, you'd better think again!"

"No, I wasn't going to ask you to let Jerry go," Linda said. "Although you should."

"Well forget it. He's not outta here until he tells me what I want to know. So what did dear old Auntie Valerie send?"

"Your favorite. Brownies."

"Brownies, huh? What'd she do? Get a box of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker or something and mix them up?"

"Oh no. She made them from scratch, especially for you."

"What's in 'em? Exlax?"

"Would your aunt really put exlax in your favorite dessert?"

"I guess you're right. But Nesmith would probably put sleeping pills in these, just so he could get my amulet. It has to be sleeping pills. Aunt Valerie and Uncle Peter would never let him put poison in these."

"Look, they're harmless. I'll eat one myself. If you don't mind."

"Not at all. Go right ahead."

Thinking Linda knew something about these brownies that he didn't, Fluey snapped his fingers, and mixed them up. Linda didn't appear to look nervous. She just picked up a brownie, and took a bite out of it. Fluey watched her intently, but he still didn't believe it. He pushed his intercom button.

"Okay, guys," he said. "Get in here. NOW!"

Five seconds later, some of the guards arrived in the office.

"Five seconds," Linda said. "Not bad."

"Sheesh, you guys are the slowest bunch of slugs I've ever seen!" Fluey said. "When I saw now, I WANT YOU IN HERE BEFORE I TAKE MY FINGER OFF THE INTERCOM BUTTON!"

Fluey banged his fist on the desk as hard as he could, which caused everybody to jump nervously, Linda included.

"I'm sure we'll do better next time," he said.

"Yes sir!" the guards shouted, saluting.

"Now men," Fluey said. "I've got something for you. My aunt sent over some brownies for me. I don't trust her. I think it's a trick of Nesmith's. Now my friend, Linda here, has eaten one, and it seems safe, but I don't think I can trust her, either."

"What?" one guard asked, looking at Linda. "Not trust this sweet girl here who was nice enough to bring the brownies over here?"

Fluey glared at the guard, red tint in his eyes. The guard cleared his throat, and tried to retract that statement.

"I mean, I mean, you're absolutely right, sir!" he shouted. "We can't trust anyone these days!"

"Good," Fluey said. "So you guys test them for me."

Fluey pushed the plate towards the guards. They were a little hesitant.

"Well . . . ." one said.

"I dunno . . . ." another said.

"What if Nesmith really did put something in these?" another asked.

"I said," Fluey replied, calmly. Then he really let them have it. "TEST THEM!"

The guards jumped and then grabbed for the brownies. Linda had to stifle a giggle. The guards faces were just so scared, it was funny. Of course, Fluey happened to hear her.

"Oh what's so funny?" he asked.

"Nothing," Linda replied, quickly.

"I don't trust you any more than I trust Nesmith."

"Oh I know that. I know you don't trust anybody."

"Okay, what are you up to?"

"I'm not up to anything."

Fluey didn't believe her for a second. He just watched the guards intently. Meanwhile, Mike and the rest of the Green Berets were digging through a tunnel, using Mike's sixth sense. They had been doing that throughout the whole brownie debate, and were about to hit pay dirt. Mike stopped, and put his fingers to his temples.

"Okay, this is it," he said.

"What about the guards?" Davy asked.

"There aren't any guards," Mike said. "Fluey took off Jerry's leg braces, so he can't escape. We'd better work fast. He looks half starved."

"Fluey was probably torturing him via starvation in order to find the headquarters," Reggie said, handing Mike a shovel.

Mike dug a hole in the ceiling, and then climbed through it, followed by the others. Then, he snapped his fingers and the cell door opened.

"Hi, Jerry," he said.

"Boy am I glad you showed up," Jerry said. "Any longer, and I would've spilled the beans!"

"We don't have time to waste," Mike said.

"Yeah, we have a plan in mind, and we have to get out of here now," Phyllis said.

Mike hoisted Jerry over his shoulders and headed for the tunnel. They managed to get out fairly quickly, and back to headquarters. In the meantime, Linda was still waiting for her chance to leave. The guards hadn't passed out yet, and the brownies were almost gone. Fluey couldn't take the temptation any longer.

"Okay," he said. "I'm convinced Nesmith's not trying to poison me. Aunt Valerie never would have let him anyway."

"Why do you think that is?" Linda asked, sneakily.

"Because," Fluey said, as if it was obvious, "she lo—uhh, she knows what's good for her. If I find out these were poisoned, she'd be dead meat! Now get out of here before I throw you in the cell with your husband."

"You're all heart," Linda said, and walked off. Fluey glared at her and picked up a brownie.

"I'll ignore that remark," he said, then taking a bite out of the brownie.

"Your aunt make these from scratch?" one guard asked.

"Yeah," Fluey said. "And she makes the best. That's about all I can tell you."

"Hey, that was nice of that girl to bring you those brownies, sir," another guard said.

"Yeah," Fluey said. "Follow her."

"What?"

"Follow her! What's the matter, you deaf or something?! She'll lead you right to Nesmith's hideout, you dope!"

"Oh!"

The guards cleared out of the office. Fluey rolled his eyes and polished off the rest of the brownies. Then he put his maps and figures back up on his desk and continued to plan his world domination scheme. Linda, in the meantime, was walking back to headquarters. She felt she was being followed, but she knew she wanted to be followed, so she just kept walking. She finally came to the wooded area, and was about to open the stump, when she put her fingers in her mouth and whistled. That was the signal. Then she ran into the stump and down the stairs, down the tunnel, and banged on the door.

"Password!" Gosalyn shouted.

"Love is power," Linda said, and the door opened.

"Did it work?" Valerie asked.

"He took the bait," Linda said. "I think he weakened a little, though. He kept saying you and Peter wouldn't let Mike put poison in the brownies, so I asked him way, and he stumbled over his first choice of words, and then he said because you knew what was good for you, but I think I know what he was going to say before that."

"What did you think he was going to say?"

"I have this distinct feeling he was going to say because you two loved him too much," Linda said. "I have a feeling he's weakening."

"Let's hope so."

Meanwhile upstairs, the guards had just arrived to the wooded area.

"Where'd she go?" one asked.

"She was right here a second ago," another said.

"BANZAI!" Reggie shouted, as he, Davy, Peter, and Mike jumped out of the trees, and right on top of the four guards.

"Boy, we really walked into that one!" the third guard shouted.

"Darn right," Mike said. "Well, what do you guys want to do with them?"

"Let's beat them!" Reggie shouted.

"And torture them!" Davy yelled.

"And put scorpions in their nose drops!" Peter yelled.

Reggie, Davy, and Mike looked at him as if he were crazy. Peter blushed and smiled sheepishly.

"I know what to do with them," Mike said. "We'll let them go back."

"Go back?" the fourth guard asked.

"Yeah," Mike said. "You go back and you tell Fluid that if he wants me, he can come get me, and then bring him here. You got me?"

"Y-y-y-y-yes sir!" the guards shouted, and then ran off. Mike then went into the stump in order to gird his loins (great expression, huh?) for the upcoming battle.

The guards raced back to City Hall and burst through the office door. Fluey was so shocked, he jumped nearly a mile.

"Don't you know how to knock?!" he shouted.

"Sorry sir," the first guard said.

"So where's Nesmith?"

"Uhh, he said if you wanted him, you would have to go get him."

"He said that? He actually told you to tell me that?!"

"Believe me, sir, if I hadn't, I wouldn't be telling you that myself."

Fluey let out a frustrated groan. Finally he stood up and headed for the door.

"Fine," he said. "That's just fine with me. I'll play his game. But I'm gonna win. Where is he?"

"Follow us, sir."

Fluey groaned again. It was all beginning to drive him crazy. He finally made it to the wooded area, and looked around.

"Okay, Nesmith, I'm here," he said. "Come on out!"

No answer. Fluey folded his arms across his chest.

"Come on, Nesmith, I haven't got all day you know!" he shouted.

Again, no answer. Fluey was beginning to get frustrated.

"If this is a joke, Nesmith, it's not very funny! I don't like practical jokes, and you know it!"

Still no answer. Fluey was really getting annoyed.

"All right, Nesmith! I'm gonna count to five, and if you're not out here by then, YOU'RE DEAD MEAT! One, two, three, four . . . ."

Before he could reach five, a blast of magic hit him in the back, and knocked him completely off his feet and flat on his face.

"Ow!" he shouted. "Okay, who's the wise guy?!"

"Me," Mike said, coming out into the open. "What of it?"

"Okay, Nesmith, I've had it with you. You honestly think you can beat me?"

"Maybe not me alone, but what about all of us?"

Fluey looked up and saw Sabrina, Hilda, Zelda, and Kate standing behind Mike. He clicked his tongue against his teeth and looked at Mike.

"O-kay," he said slowly. "You've got a point there."

"Take off that amulet, Fluey," Kate said. "It's dangerous."

"Okay," Fluey said. "I'll take it off. But I just want to tell you something."

"What's that, Shotgun?" Mike asked.

Fluey took off the amulet, but still held it in his hand. He raised it into the air and blasted Mike, Sabrina, Kate, Hilda, and Zelda off their feet with it. Then he put it back around his neck.

"I still have more power than all of you!" he shouted and began to laugh evilly.

"You little brat!" Reggie yelled. "Why I oughta . . . ."

"Hey, Reg, that's a little harsh," Peter said.

"Well, he's acting like a brat!"

Peter was about to protest, when a streak of lightning hit them at their feet and then more blasts of lightning were launching at them.

"That does it," Reggie groaned. I'm gonna murder that kid!"

"No!" Valerie shouted. "Don't kill him!"

"Why not?" Reggie asked. "He's trying to kill us!"

"He doesn't know what he's doing!" Peter shouted.

"It's Maldour's influence, Reg," Mike said. "And there's almost nothin' we can do about it!"

The group then glanced at Fluey. He was looking around the area, thinking about something.

"I think this is the perfect time to take over the world," he said. He waved his arm, and the spot where he was standing began to rise out of the ground, turning that particular piece of land into a large cliff. The others just looked up and watched.

"Oh boy," Mike said.

"Oh no," Jerry moaned. "Now what. Mike?"

"Beats me!"

Fluey laughed evilly and shot magic out in all directions. Everybody else had to dodge and duck to avoid getting hit. Mike would sometimes shoot his magic out in all directions, but his wasn't powerful enough to actually destroy anything. Fluey was overdoing it a little.

"What's he trying to do?" Coiley asked. "Take over the world or destroy it?!"

"Looks to me as if he's trying to destroy it," Sabrina said. "That's men for you."

"Mike, you gotta do something," Phyllis said. "This is getting out of hand!"

"You're right," Mike said. "I don't care what, I'm goin' up there and use brute force. I'm not comin' down until I get that amulet!"

"Please, Mike," Valerie said. "Be careful. Try not to hurt him, and try not to get hurt yourself."

"Don't worry, Val," Mike said, snapping his fingers. A broom appeared in his hands. "I don't intend to hurt him. I'll probably just yank that stupid thing off his neck."

Mike jumped onto the broom and zoomed upwards. He stopped right behind Fluey, who was still conducting the biggest destruction known to man. Mike snuck over and tried to take off the amulet, but the teenager spun around and zapped Mike in the stomach.

"Ooh!" Mike shouted, falling flat on his bum.

"Nice try, Nesmith," Fluey said. "But it wasn't good enough. You can't pull the wool over my eyes."

"Oh good idea," Mike said, standing up. He grabbed the edge of Fluey's "General MacArthur" hat, and yanked it downward, covering Fluey's eyes.

"Hey!" Fluey shouted, pulling his hat back up. "Sneaky, Nesmith, real sneaky. Then what should I expect from you? You're nothing but a snake!"

"Comin' from you, kiddo, that's a compliment. Now look, this is completely pointless. You're not takin' over the world. You're destroyin' it!"

"So what?! Take it over, destroy it, what's the difference?! This world is mine now and I can do whatever I want with it, and if I wanna make a mess out of it, I will!"

Fluey blasted Mike again, and plastered him against a tree. Mike couldn't move. He was stuck.

"Oh no!" Phyllis shouted.

"Isn't there any way Mike can get out of this?" Jerry asked.

"If he disappears," Kate said. "Pops out, and then back in somewhere else."

"But he can't do that!"

"I know, and that's what worries me. He's too far out of range for me to help him!"

Jerry sort of moaned, and he began to bit his nails. Fluey stared at Mike intently, and smiled sneakily. He cracked his knuckles and let some of Maldour's magic work up in his hands. Mike knew the only way out of this was to disappear, but he would have to use all his power to do so. He squeezed his eyes shut and concentrated as hard as he could. He began to flicker, but it wasn't getting him anywhere.

"Save your magic, Mike," Fluey said. "It's not gonna do you any good."

Mike concentrated harder. Fluey let the magic fly, straight at Mike.

"I can't look!" Jerry shouted, covering his eyes.

The minute the magic brushed against Mike, he had completely disappeared! He finally did it! He popped back in a few minutes later behind Fluey.

"I did it!" he shouted. "I finally did it!"

"I've been too nice with you, Nesmith," Fluey said. "Now you're officially dead meat!"

Fluey blasted Mike in the stomach, and he fell off the cliff. There was a lot of panic from the bottom all of a sudden. Everyone was screaming.

"Miiiiike!" Micky yelled.

"Is it over?" Jerry asked, hands still over his eyes. "Is Mike dead yet?"

"Chill out, Jerry," Mike said, flying over on his broomstick. "I'm perfectly fine. But we've still got a tough job on our hands."

"You better believe it, baby!" Fluey shouted. "This is gonna be like hitting ducks in a shooting gallery!"

Fluey began to laugh as he fired off one piece of magic after another. Everybody panicked and began to run, trying to avoid getting blasted. They were just sitting ducks! Jerry especially. Mike had managed to zap him some replacement leg braces, but they still didn't hold as well as his old ones. Fluey managed to snap off one, and Jerry fell.

"Oh no," he groaned.

"Jerry!" Valerie shouted, running over. "Jerry, are you all right?"

"Valerie, move out of the way!" Jerry shouted. "He's gonna shoot!"

Fluey definitely did shoot. He missed both Jerry and Valerie by half an inch, and then he realized what he could have done.

"Whoa!" he shouted, and stopped suddenly. Both Jerry and Valerie stared up at him, wondering why he had stopped to begin with. Maldour wasn't pleased.

Why did you stop? Maldour asked. Blast them!

"Are you kidding?!" Fluey shouted. "I could have fried my aunt!"

She's unimportant! They all are!

"Don't you dare talk about my aunt and uncle that way, Maldour! They are not unimportant! Uncle Peter and Aunt Valerie have done too much for me . . . . I just can't blast them!"

Jerry and Valerie looked at each other. Fluey was definitely starting to weaken now. Valerie helped Jerry to his feet, and the two of them ran to Mike.

"Are you guys okay?" Mike asked. "What's goin' on over there?"

"No time to explain," Valerie said. "I just need one of my photo albums."

"Photo albums?" Peter asked. "Valerie, this is no time for Kodak moments!"

"It is, Peter, it is! Just trust me. Mike, can you zap me a photo album from home?"

Mike shrugged and snapped his fingers. One of Peter and Valerie's old photo albums appeared in her hands. She quickly opened it, and looked through it.

"Yes," she said. "Yes, this is exactly what I had in mind. Thanks, Mike! Now can you shoot it up there?"

"I don't know what you're gettin' at, Val, but here goes nothin'," Mike said. He used his magic to shoot it up to the cliff. It smacked Fluey right in the face.

"Ouch!" he shouted. "Okay, Nesmith, I was gonna be lenient, but you just pushed me too far this time! What the heck did you hit me with, anyway?"

Fluey picked up the photo album and looked at it. Then he rolled his eyes.

"What's the matter, Mike?!" he shouted. "Run out of ammo?! Good grief, why bother hitting me with a stupid photo album?"

Fluey opened the album and began looking through it. It was an old album, filled with pictures of Peter, Valerie, and Fluey when he was just a little kid. He noticed, as he was looking, that every single picture of him had either Peter or Valerie in it with him. He came across the pictures from a Hawaii trip, when Fluey was three years old. That was one memory that was burned into his mind, even without the pictures.

"He's weakening," Peter said.

"I don't understand it," Mike said. "Valerie, what's goin' on?"

"He came close to hitting both me and Jerry and suddenly stopped," Valerie said. "I heard Maldour speak to him, and then Fluey answered that he didn't want to blast me, or Peter. That's what made me think of the photo album."

"I really hope it works," Jerry said.

"It should," Peter said. "If he takes out that one picture."

Fluey closed the photo album. As he did, one photo fluttered out of it. It was a recent photo. Valerie had wanted a family portrait taken professionally, and she arranged to have it taken a month prior to the whole mess. It was one of Peter's favorite pictures of the three of them. Fluey picked it up, stared at it, and turned it around. Both Peter and Valerie had written something on the back of it.

Dear Fluey, words can not express how much you have changed our lives. Since the day you were born, you have brought us so much. We can't begin to tell you how much we care about you. Times may be rough, but the good times outweigh the bad times. We'll always support you, no matter what. Love always and forever, Uncle Peter and Aunt Valerie.

Fluey dropped the picture and let it fall to the ground. He just stood there, in shock. Mike bit his lower lip, nervously.

"He's stopped," he said. "I think this is it, guys!"

Fluey continued to just stand there and stare out into space. Maldour was getting impatient with him.

What are you doing standing there?! he shouted. We have a world to take over!

"I can't," Fluey managed to say.

You can't? You can't?! What do you mean you can't?! We've gone too far to stop now!

"But I just can't! If I destroy the world, I'll destroy my family and friends as well."

If you don't, you'll have to go back to following their rules! You'll have to clean your room, go to school every day, face detention, and be told what to do, Fluid. Everybody will have to tell you what to do! You have freedom!

"I already had freedom. What I have now, you may say it's freedom, but it isn't, Maldour! I'm just your slave, and I'm not gonna be your slave anymore!"

With that, Fluey yanked off the amulet, and threw it to the ground.

"He did it!" Mike yelled.

Everybody began to jump around and cheer just then, but their victory was premature. The amulet flew up to Fluey's eye level.

You stupid little fool! he shouted. You're throwing away a golden opportunity! You could have been famous! Now you will join the rest of them down there!

Maldour had enough power of his own to blast his magic out of the amulet. It surrounded Fluey, giving him a very painful shock to the system. He collapsed the minute Maldour retracted the magic. Then, Maldour blasted another piece of magic out at the unconscious teenager, knocking him off the cliff.

"Oh no!" Mike shouted.

"FLUEY!" Valerie screeched.

Mike started to rev up his broom, but it wasn't any good. There wasn't much juice left in his battery, and Fluey was falling fast. Peter (who's usually so chicken hearted) dashed forward. He felt like he was moving in slow motion, slogging through gelatin, trying to make it to the edge of the cliff before it was too late. He lunged himself forward, and managed to catch Fluey at the last second, before he could hit the bottom of the cliff.

"He's got him!" Reggie shouted.

"Oh thank god!" Valerie shouted, running over. Fluey was just starting to regain his senses when Valerie grabbed him by the shoulders and wrapped him in a tight hug.

"Oh my god," she said, tears streaming down her cheeks. "Oh Fluey, baby, you had me scared to death! Oh sweetheart, thank goodness you're all right!"

"I nearly had a heart attack," Peter said, joining in the hug fest. "You scared us both half to death."

"I'm sorry," Fluey said, tears welling up in his own eyes. "I'm sorry for everything, you guys. Really I . . . . I mean . . . ."

Peter and Valerie didn't say anything. They were just grateful Fluey was all right, and no longer under Maldour's influence. But that didn't mean everything was back to normal yet. The amulet flew down and soared straight to Mike.

I'll show you all! he shouted. I'll find another pawn! Namely Michael Nesmith!

Mike ducked and dodged. He tried to grab the chain, but Maldour was too fast for him. He kept trying to get around Mike's neck. Finally, he zapped his magic out, and paralyzed Mike. He wasn't able to move.

"Mike!" Jerry shouted. "Hang on, man! I'll get that amulet!"

Stay back! Maldour shouted. He blasted Jerry's other leg brace, and he fell. Then he blasted Jerry in his legs, as well. That sent a searing pain through his entire system. Jerry practically screamed his lungs out.

"Hey, you can't do that to him!" Micky shouted.

"Da-da da, da da-da!" Reggie yelled.

"CHARGE!"

Micky and Reggie charged the amulet at the exact same time, but Maldour was ready for them. A lightning bolt shot out of the stone, and sent Reggie and Micky hurtling at the trees. Both banged their heads on them and fell unconscious. The others began to charge the amulet, but Maldour kept blocking them off, until there was no one left standing, except for Valerie, Peter, and Fluey, and the three of them looked like they weren't going to make an attempt to stop the amulet.

"What are we going to do?" Valerie asked.

"You guys are going to stay here," Fluey said. "I'll handle this."

"Fluey, we can't let you do that," Peter said.

"I'm the one who caused this mess," Fluey said. "And I'm the one who's gonna have to stop Maldour."

Fluey snuck over to the scene. Valerie and Peter held each others hands and drew in their breaths. Maldour continued to try to get around Mike's neck. The Texan's head and neck were about the only parts of his body that weren't frozen, and Mike kept stretching his neck out to try to avoid Maldour.

I wanted you to be my original pawn! Maldour shouted. You will be under my power, Nesmith! Make no mistake about that!

"Never!" Mike yelled. "I'll never do it!"

"Hey Maldour!" Fluey shouted.

McAlister? What do you want, you little traitor? Maldour asked.

"I changed my mind. I don't wanna play by their rules after all. I wanna finish what we started. Just let Mike go and I'll finish taking over the world."

Ahhh, I knew you had it in you, Fluid my boy. I knew it all along. Very well. Nesmith's free to go.

Maldour released his grip on Mike, and he nearly fell flat on his face.

"Fluid Tork-McAlister!" he yelled, appalled.

"Trust me, Mike," Fluey said.

Maldour flew over to Fluey's hands, and rested himself there.

Now then, my boy, Maldour said. Just put me back on, and we'll have the time of our lives.

"Eeehhh, now that I think about it," Fluey said. "I don't really want to take over the world anymore."

What?

Before Maldour could do anything else, Fluey swung the amulet around by the chain for awhile, and threw it with all his might at a nearby rock.

Nooooo! Maldour screeched.

SMASH! The amulet hit a rock, and the red stone smashed to pieces. Red smoke flew out of the broken amulet, and red liquid seeped into the ground. Once they dissolved, the entire area was restored back to the way it was before. The mass destruction had been cleaned up. Everybody looked around, smiled, and then began to jump up and down and cheer.

"Good work, Shotgun," Mike said. "That was really smart thinkin'."

"Pretty good for a kid who really messed everything up in the first place, huh?" Fluey asked.

"You didn't mess everything up," Peter said, putting his arm around his nephew's shoulders.

"Of course not," Valerie said.

"Yeah, you were tricked," Mike said.

"I hate to face school tomorrow," Fluey said. "I just know Mr. Neilson and Coach Knight will give me detention. And after detention, Ms. Henderson's gonna suspend me! Oh my gosh, the mayor! He'll probably have me, Uncle Peter, and Aunt Valerie kicked out of LA!"

"Fluey, Fluey, relax!" Kate shouted. "Michael and I will fix it so your teachers and the mayor and the kids at school will forget this whole thing ever happened."

"But right now, I suggest we head home," Valerie said. "It's been a very trying time."

Everybody agreed on that one. Mike went with Peter, Valerie, and Fluey, just to make sure everything was going back to normal. Once they got there, Fluey retreated to his bedroom. The other three followed him.

"I think all I want to do right now is sleep," he said. "I'm wiped."

"Understandable," Mike said. "I think I'm gonna go home and rest my battery for the rest of the day."

"You've had a rough couple of days," Valerie said. "You need the rest, Fluey. Goodnight, sweetheart."

"Sweet dreams, Fluey," Peter said.

"'Night," Fluey replied, and drifted off to sleep almost immediately.

Mike, Peter, and Valerie smiled, and left the room, happy everything was going back to normal.

"Well, by the ol' writin' on the wall, I can see it's time for me to go," he said.

"Want a lift home, Mike?" Peter asked.

"No thanks, Pete," Mike said. "I'll be home in a snap."

Mike snapped his fingers, half expecting to disappear again. Nothing happened. So he tried again. And again, and again. All those tries, nothing had happened.

"Doggone it!" he shouted. "Why is it every time I manage to pop in and out, I can never do it again?"

"You're just lucky I guess," Valerie said, with a laugh.

"Well, guess I'm walkin'," Mike said, shrugging. "I'll see you guys later."

Mike left. He looked around as he was walking home. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the birds were singing. It was a typical day.

"Yep," he said. "Everythin's back to normal."

The End