Ancient Connections

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Synopsis: Doctor Cecil Hannibal Loredo finds a way to trap his ex-wife Rita and daughter Jessica through suggestion of LARA, his sentient AI. A revelation of love is revealed when Ikuto decides to rescue the both of them and falls for Jessica, which creates even more bitter rivalry between Cecil and Sakkoro.

Cast of Characters

Sujatmi "Su" Satsowardoyo Skill/Martial Art: Pencak Silat

Akiko "Kiko" Egawa Skill/Martial Art: Kickboxing

Masaru Takahashi Skill/Martial Art: Kendo

Abdul Djanjo Skill/Martial Art: Stick Fighting

Huan Ang Skill/Martial Art: Praying Mantis Kung Fu

Nava Yadia Skill/Martial Art: Krav Maga

Benjamin "Ben" Hawke Skill/Martial Art: Karate

Ethan Jeremiah Wilde Skill/Martial Art: Street Fighter

Chapter 1--A Digital Pick Me Up

Cecil had done well with the support of his faithful lackeys. He never had to worry about disciplining them or feeling guilty when their offense was thrown completely for a loop by the daring do of the Heroes in Ancient Ways. He had to admit, his old foe, Saki had trained them well and more than likely wasn't going to let them off easy considering that summer had come and his pupils would be on vacation. Sadly, Cecil hadn't formed any devious plots recently and he felt he was losing his touch.

Idly tapping the keys of the console in his technological 'playroom', Cecil was interrupted by LARA, his sentient AI.

"What seems to be the problem, Doctor ?", she asked, sympathetically.

"I didn't think that programs like you could understand emotion. Why are you bothering me ? Can't you see I'm sulking ?", Cecil brooded.

"You granted me with this intelligence, Doctor. I am sorry if I intruded upon your solitary time. But I could see you were studying a picture of your ex wife, Rita. Is this what has been troubling you for so long ?", LARA queried.

"Indeed, LARA. The problem I have is how I can convince her as well as Jess to return to me. I can't help the fact I still love them both dearly and as far as I am concerned, I'll love them both until death consumes me.", Cecil stated, in a rather Shakespearean way.

"That's what you call 'devotion', or maybe in your case, obsession.", LARA stated, logically, trying to be funny.

"I am not amused. What I really need is a way to get her back. How do you propose to do this ?", he began, interlacing his fingers and studying the monitor closely with his dark, blue eyes. LARA began some computations.

"This weekend, there will be a rather immense Memorial Day sale and as my calculations suggest, Rita and Jessica will be shopping at the local mall.", LARA said.

"Sounds promising. Is it possible that you could hack into their security system and lock the mall from the inside out ? The only precaution I can make is I can have entry and exit with them. I'm sure you already knew I would be more thoughtful this time.", Cecil said, with some embarrassment. Often in the past, he would make a foolhardy move without planning his schemes from A to Z only to regret that he had been too absentminded to fill in the blanks that followed to make the plan work and be foolproof.

"Of course. You know I have access to all electric systems and this is not an issue. In fact, I will make it irresistible to Rita to head to the mall and then she'll be yours for the taking.", LARA stated.

"Ooh, you are deliciously and devilishly brilliant, LARA. If you were human, why, I'd forget Rita and marry you.", Cecil said, kissing his monitor affectionately. Truth be told, sometimes LARA wished she were human because since her conception she had foolishly fallen for the carbon-based Doctor and she was mere zeroes and ones. However, she felt someday she'd have her wish to tell the Doctor how she truly felt, even if it was illogical.

Chapter 2--The Lengths of Devotion

As promised LARA sent the 'coupons' into Rita's email. They happened to be for a store that she shopped at frequently, and one that Jessica adored as well. In essence the 'two birds with one stone' rule had taken effect here and LARA was pleased. Before long, Rita and Jessica were at the store minding their own business until they heard the familiar sound of their father's voice over the PA.

"Forgive me, dears, but there was no other way. I will be coming to retrieve you any moment now. Oh, and don't try escaping, it's futile."

Su's cell phone buzzed frantically with Saki's picture grinning at her from the screen. She muttered something in Indonesian which was equivalent to "keep your shirt on" and answered the phone immediately.

"Su here. What's the trouble, Sensei ?", she asked.

"It's my son. He's trying to rescue my enemy's daughter ! He's locked me out of Sector 7.", Saki stated, sounding upset for the first time in a long time. It seemed that there was a relationship that had blossomed in a short amount of time between Ikuto and Jessica. Truthfully the two had met in happier circumstances one summer when he was helping them install their new computers remotely and started chatting with her via the internet. Saki forbade the two to have anything to do with one another since she was 'the daughter of his nemesis' but Ikuto, being free-spirited and sharp-willed wanted nothing to do with the 'taboo relationship' and since then had remained in contact with her.

"When I find a way into Sector 7 I am going to give that boy of mine a piece of my mind !", Saki said, standing at the door of the gate with arms akimbo, clearly steamed. The Heroes had arrived and quickly street-smart Benjamin began to hotwire the pin-pad for entry. After about 5 to 6 seconds of cross wiring and punching different numbers, he was able to enter the secret haven.

"That never gets old.", he stated, polishing his fingernails on his chest in braggadocio. Nava, however, wasn't impressed and simply rolled her eyes.

Chapter 3--Heroes' Rescue

By the time the Heroes had entered Sector 7, Ikuto was gone but they could see that he had already entered the mall and had Jessica by his side. He was helping her out of the building as well as Rita.

"You made a foolish decision, boy. I've called for backup. I doubt even you can fight all my henchmen alone.", Cecil stated as he watched from the upper level of the mall, waiting for the right moment to swoop in and plant a kiss on his ex-wife's lips. She wouldn't soon forget that he was the best kisser she ever had the privilege of locking lips with.

Before Ikuto could use his 'scrambler' that he had recently invented to break Jessica, Rita and himself out of the mall, the henchmen had come right on time. He had no trouble knocking them all down but he was still grossly outnumbered. That was until the Heroes made their entry, as if on cue.

"Atoms ! How did you get in ?", Cecil swore, banging his fist on the overpass in frustration.

"Easy. We took the emergency gates. They were unlocked.", Abdul simply answered. No picking of locks, just simple overlooking of possible access points. Again, the Doctor had been foiled and he made his retreat honorably. Even before any of the smart-alecks of the Heroes could make a witty retort, the Doctor and his cronies were gone. Ikuto was feeling pretty confident about what he had done for his girlfriend until Saki gave him an imposing, threatening look.

"Look, dad. I'm sorry. I cannot help the way I feel. I loved her since I first met her. You can't keep us apart forever.", he said.

"Your son's a good person, Doctor Regis.", Jessica said, standing up for her beau. Sakkoro thought about everything he could say in this instance but the fact that his son had been so heroic said plenty about his character. He had never questioned his son's morality or selflessness.

"You do realize you will still be punished for disobeying me.", the shifu stated, with some seriousness in his tone.

"Yes, of course I do father, but I understand.", Ikuto responded, lowering his gaze to show deference to his father.

Epilogue

Ikuto wasn't allowed to use his computer for a week, which was a bit stringent according to him, but he had learned his lesson. The revelation that had been made had only made the animosity between Cecil and himself that much more rampant. And it was a one-sided hatred.

Summer had begun and the Heroes had resumed their leisure activities but every weekend they would gather to learn new martial arts and hone their old skills that they had acquired growing up from either their parents or being self-taught from a tender age. For the time being, Doctor Lorado had been defeated but he was brewing another idea in his head that would clearly defeat the Heroes once and for all. Of course he wouldn't kill them. He wasn't that twisted. This plot would devise a way to separate the Heroes and make it easier to capture them and start his slow reign over Europe. Evidentially the Euro had been his idea and it was working thus far, but his next plot, Operation: Crash was to be the most diabolical in the financial history of Europe.

To Be Continued…