A few months after the Mystery Twins head home from Gravity Falls Mabel gets a call from Soos telling her that Dipper was found turned to stone out in the woods. The problem is Dipper is standing right next to her. This leads them off to a new adventure.
Monday, September 17th, 2012 Piedmont, California
“See you next year” says the teenager as he rereads the note again for the umpteenth time. It's weird, it's only been a couple of weeks and it already feels like it's been a lifetime since he had received the note as he & his sister were Gravity Falls. All of his friends are back there, heck even Robbie signed the note. He adjusted his now ever present lumberjack cap and looked over the note with a wishful sigh.
“Thinking about Wendy again, bro-bro?”, His sister asked as she stood in the doorway to his room.
“Nah, well maybe a lil bit,” Dipper says as he sits up on the side of his bed. He folds the letter up and places it inside the blue journal with a silver pinetree emblem on the front of it that he got from his Grunkle Ford. “mostly I'm bored and wishing we had been able to stay with everyone. What I wouldn't give to find a new mystery, run across a gnome, or sheesh I wouldn't even mind seeing Robbie.”
“Whoa. I never thought I'd hear you says that last one. You are really missing them aren't you.” with that she steps into his room. Even though it's still the same room he's had all his life it still feel weird to Mabel to be back in separate rooms after sharing one all summer.
“It's just there we were doing something, we had friends, family, and here it really almost feels pointless. Yeah our parents are here, but really...”, he gets up and starts pacing around his room. “I mean I know they loves us. Really this doesn't feel like home anymore.”
Gravity Falls, Oregon Somewhere in the woods outside of town.
Two boys appear to be out for a run through the woods. Though the path they are on seems to split and turn on a dime, they seem to know it very well as if they travel it daily. They duck under low hanging branches and ump over fallen logs like it was nothing. And through out this run they seem to be carrying on a conversation as if they were taking a slow stroll.
“We need to be more careful, we don't have him around to take the blame if either of us gets caught.” Said the boy in the blue/white hat with the #3 on the front as he leads them further into the woods, “It certainly was easier to just take our hat off and walk around town while he was still here.”
They continued down the path at leisurely speed.
“You don't have to tell me twice, Tony.”, Answered his apparent twin with a #4 on his hat, “I nearly got caught in a bear trap during our last supply run.”
“I tried to remind you to not mess around the Corduroy’s house, Francis.”, the one named Tony replied, “Their whole family are of the 'Shoot First, Ask Questions Later' school of thought, well ok not Wendy. Wait you went there just to see her didn't you?”
“No, no we both agreed to leave her for Dipper. I was there looking for warmer clothes, winter is gonna be here soon. Besides I'm actually more interested in his sister's friend...”
“Whoa, quiet. Did you hear something?”, Francis said as he makes a sudden stop and quickly looks around at his twin not realizing his hat got knocked off by a low branch.
“No.”, Tony said as he slowed to see what his twin was looking to find.
“Ok, that time I did. It came from over ther...”, turning quickly towards the source of the sound and as he turned to look back at his twin he was shocked to not see him, “Francis? Where'd you go?”
Tony spent the rest of the night searching for his twin.
Thursday, October 18th, 2012 around 3:30 pm Piedmont, California
“If 2a + 3b equals 26 solve for a...”, Dipper says as he's sitting at his desk doing homework. 8th grade wasn't as bad as it was made out to be and then next year he and Mabel will be freshmen. Realizing he was talking to himself, he refocused on his work as he began to chew on his pencil's eraser. He settles down to tackle his home work when he heard 'Straight Blanchin' coming from the hallway. As he turns to find out why that incessantly annoying song was now playing in the house, he took a look over his room. The room was mostly tidy, books shelved by subjects and then alphabetically. His TV was on top of his Chester drawers with a stack of B-Movie DVDs that he had picked up from a few used book stores so he'd have some for movie nights with Wendy the next time he was up in Gravity Falls.
“Got it.”, Mabel said to no one in particular especially since it was her phone that was ringing.
“Hey Soos, wassup dude?”, she said as she answered the phone, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down man.” She felt the blood drain from her face as she finally heard what her friend was saying. “What do you mean they found Dipper turned into solid stone? I thought we got rid of the lingering eyebats before we left Gravity Falls?”
Suddenly she realized what she had said and rushed towards Dipper's room, “Wait a minute! Dipper! Dipper! Where are you?”, she yelled as she got closer to his bedroom door.
Hearing her yelling for him, Dipper dropped what he was doing and ran towards his door, “Whoa sis, what's wrong?” Looking like she had seen a ghost he grabbed her to try and calm her down.
“Oh lord, you're safe. Soossaystheresastoneyou...” Mabel rambled on not even trying to take a breath as she tried to relay what she had just had just heard.
“Slow down and take a deep breath.” He told his panicking sister as he softly shakes her, as she listens to his request, “What has gotten you so worked up. You haven't had too much candy today, have you?”
“I'm talking to Soos and he says that Manly Dan and some other lumberjacks found you out in the forest turned to stone. And no I haven't, I've only had 3 bags of sour gummy squids.”
“What, here give me that,” he says as he grabs the phone from her hands and puts it up to his ear. “Alright Soos, tell me exactly what's going on.”
Mystery Shack Gravity Falls, Oregon
“Dude, it's you! Dawg, I'm so glad to hear your voice.”, Soos tears up as he looks over the people gathered at the Shack, “Dan was out in the woods gathering up some some of the fallen logs to start getting ready for an up coming bonfire, when he came across a shredded blue & white hat laying out in his path. He, he thought it was Wendy's...”
Soos had to pull the phone away from his ear as loud high pitch cracking voice asking, “She-e's o-k, right?”, he looked over towards Wendy and saw she was already up on her feet and heading towards him.
“I'm good,” Wendy huffed half laughing, half crying as she wrenched the phone out of Soos's large hands. Quieter she says, “I was worried sick about you, you doof.”
Soos calmly takes the phone back, “As I was saying Dipster, Dan followed the path the hat was on and finally came across what he thought was a carved statue of you. He brought it to the shack to see if we wanted to add it to the displays thinking on of our woodland friends had carved it and to check on Wendy.”
Soos took a deep breath and continued, “Once he got it here, we looked it over and we noticed the work was too smooth. There were no chisel marks or anything. Then Wendy noticed something she said you had shared with her and even with most of the eyebats gone, we were worried you had came back for some reason and got caught. Heck, we even tried your phone and didn't get an answer. We were all scared, dawg.”
Soos walked over to Melody and gave her a quick hug as Wendy received a surprisingly gentle hug from her father.
'Wendy was worried about me, I wonder what she saw? Wait a minute that's right they said he didn't have a hat, she must have seen my birthmark.' Dipper thought as he processed what Soos was telling him.
“We've been either home or at school since the bus dropped us off, Soos. As for my phone, I must've forgotten to take it off of silent after school.”, Dipper replied after checking his phone, while pacing around his room. He wished he was up there to help comfort his friends, nah his family, in Gravity Falls.
“What exactly is going on up there, Dipper?”, Mabel asked after getting tired of listening to only one side of the conversation, “Com'on broseph, I'm only getting half of the info here.”, And with that she tries to take the phone back from him.
Signaling Mabel to hold off and mouthing that he'd tell her in a moment he turned his attention back to the conversation he was having with Soos, “Have you told Stan or Ford about this yet?”
Back at the Shack
“Nah, dude. Last I heard from them they were just reaching the general area they were gonna be checking out. We wanted to check on you before we worried them. You know both Stan and Ford would've dropped everything and rushed back here if this was really you, dawg.”, Soos said in much calmer voice. He turns and again realizes Wendy is standing right next to him.
Wendy again takes the phone from Soos, “Tell you what Dip, we'll start looking around here to see what we can find out. I'll tell the gang to stay out of the woods for now, or at least not to go in without being in pairs, so this hopefully won't happen to someone else.” She listens for a moment and responds, “Yeah, we pass it on to Geoff so he can pass it on to the rest of the wood dwellers.” She then walks slightly away from everyone else and whispers, “Call me later tonight, I really need to talk to you. Ok?”
'Whoa, she wants to talk to me alone. Ok play it cool here Dipper.' he thinks after he hears her voice.
“Sure, around 9 ok?”, he says back to her and he could almost hear her smile. “Tell everyone we'll hit the library tomorrow to see if we can come up with anything that might be able to do this. Maybe some one can check the library in town and maybe the lair of the Blind Eye Society. I'll also see if there is anything mentioned in the pages we found that Grunkle Stan had photocopied from Journal #3. Also tell Soos we'll call again tomorrow whether we come up with anything or not. I'll talk to you later. Tell everyone bye for us.”
“Waddles says bye also.”, Mabel yells loud enough to be heard over the phone.
After he hangs up the phone and giving it back to Mabel, he turns towards her and starts to explain things to her (leaving out that Wendy wants to talk to him alone). ________________________________________
After Dipper had just got done discussing everything with Mabel, he scooted her out of his room under the guise of them both having homework to get done. He gave her a few moments to clear away while he pretended to to get back to his Algebra work, once he was certain she was gone he fired up his computer and hit the net. He was researching creatures that are supposed to be able to turn people to stone.
“Hmm. We know the eyebats. Uhmm there's gorgons, but we would've had more victims and they're know for going after extreme beauties and I know I'm no hunk. Hmm.” He scratches his head under the hat, “There are legends say that some vampires are able to do it,” he taps the keys a few more times, “Uhmm, well there's some stuff about gargoyles...” He went on like this for a good half hour before he again hears foot falls coming down the hall towards his room.
“Hey Dippingsauce, I just thought of a question,” Mabel said as she stuck her head back through his doorway, “If it's not you that was turned to stone then who was it?”
“Oh, I hadn't thought about that. Let's see, well, do you remember the first dance Grunkle Stan hosted at the Shack?” he asked and then waited for her to shake her head in affirmative, “Remember how we found the copier earlier? How I had made a long drawn out plan on how to ask Wendy to dance? Remember how I got stuck working the ticket table?”
Again there was another nod of Mabel's head, “Yeah, but you didn't mind that at first cause Wendy was there, but oh yeah she came in shortly after friends arrived. After that I lost track cause I met Grenda and Candy and then Pacifica and I started our feud over being the queen of the party.”
“Well after she went in I tried to shut down the table to follow her in, but Stan caught me and wouldn't let me leave. When I finally got in I ended up creating a copy I named Tyrone. By the time I got back down stairs Robbie was already talking to her. To make a long story short...”, He stopped as he realized he left himself open for a reply from Mabel that frequently was used by one of the favorite movie directors. He shook his head as he knew what was coming.
“Too Late,” she said sticking her tongue out at her brother.
“I created nearly a dozen clones in order to try and help me work through my list to ask Wendy to dance before they turned on me, when I realized I didn't need the list. I thought I dissolved all of them though. I can only guess that one of them got away…”, with that Dipper slaps himself in the head, “Oh, man how can I be so stupid. Two of them stole Robbie's bike and I don't remember them ever coming back.”
“Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. So you stole Robbie's bike?”, she asked surprised to here her brother had committed a crime, “Also how did one of your copies survive this long?”
“Uhmm, I guess in a way I did.” He said just realizing the fact himself, “As for how they could have survived, well I'm not sure. They had my memories up until the point in time that I copied them, maybe between them they figured out a place to get food, shelter, and supplies.”, he scratched his jaw for a moment, “Hell, they could've easily gotten into the Dusk to Dawn or found one of the caves. The only other idea I've got is that maybe the statue is the Shapeshifter. I didn't want him to get loose after the whole Weirdmageddon hullabaloo, so I checked on him before we left and he was still frozen..”
“Heh, you said hullabaloo. Bro, this has got to be getting to you. You're starting to talk like McGucket,. Hehe,” Mabel giggled a lil as she sat down in his desk chair and started to spin around. “So really it seems like it's most likely a photocopied clone of you that they have to add to the Hall of Mysteries.”
“Yeah,” He said wistfully as he remembers feeling bad as Tyrone was dissolving. 'Man I miss him,' he thought for a moment before he continued, “I wish we were up there, I'd really like to get a good look at this statue and the hat Dan found.”
“So, bro-bro, what are you doing at 9?”, Mabel asked with a mischievous smile as she saw him start to blush, “I'm not deaf, nor dumb. I heard you tell someone 'Sure, around 9 o'clock', and I'm pretty sure you were probably talking to Wendy at that point since you said for the person to tell Soos to do something.”
He walked over to the picture frame on his desk and took a long look at the object of his affection and best friend over the summer. 'You mean a lot to me, man.', he remembers her saying before she took his hat and gave him hers. He smiled at the thought as he absentmindedly adjusted her hat. 'I wonder what she wants to talk about, she still sounded worried when I was talking to her earlier. I hope she's doing ok?'
“Bro, bro, bro, HEY DIPPER!”, Mabel finally yells to get his attention after having been talking to him for a couple of minutes while even waving her hands in his face.
He jumped back after she yelled in his ear and finally responded, “Sheesh, Mabel, no need to yell.”, he then rubbed his ear like it was sore.
“Sorry broseph,” Mabel apologized, “but I've asked you a like a bazillon times who you're going be talking to at 9 and you still haven't answered. Your eyes went glassy and you looked like some had zapped you with the memory gun there for a moment.”
“Sorry I was just trying to figure this stuff out,” Dipper fibbed to her, not wishing to get more teasing from his sister about Wendy. “I'm just gonna call Wendy tonight to see if she's found out anything from her friends.”, and with that he motioned for her to get out of his desk chair.
“You're still hung up on her, aren't you?”, Mabel asked even though she knew the answer. 'He just can't move on like I've learned to do.' she thought.
“Look Mabel, I need to get back to my homework and you probably need too also. We'll talk about this more tomorrow,” and with that he pulled his Algebra book back in front of him and seemingly dived tight back into his homework. He heard her mumble something and left his room. He felt bad about kicking her out but his mind was already trying to piece together all the information he had learned today and there was still the pending call later tonight that had him a lil worried.
To anyone who only vaguely knew Mabel a look at her room now compared to the way it was before she had went up to her Grunkle Stan's home, there would be no noticeable difference. There was her piles of craft supplies all around her desk, her teen magazines strewn about, and even a few romance novels on her night stand. The biggest difference is the lack of anything Unicorn related and the fact there was only one Several Timez poster on her wall. In place of most of the unicorns it seems she has come to be fixated on llamas. Her summer scrap book is laying out in the open, almost prominently displayed, in the middle of her bed surrounded by some of her stuffed animals. That collection had shrunk also though you couldn't tell it by looking at them, but after her admission she had in the lair of the Society of the Blind Eye she decided to donate the stuffed animals she loved less than the others to a local charity.
“Stupid Dipper, who does he think he's fooling? He knows that I know him almost better than he knows himself.”, She muttering to herself as she heads into her room, “Like he really needs to 'Buckle Down' to get his homework done.” even though she is alone she still does the air quote motions as she mentioned buckling down. “He did most of it on the bus. I was there. He just doesn't want my in there asking about Wenders. I bet they were freaking out when they saw that statue of him.”
She walks over and sits down on her bed. She starts absentmindedly thumbing through her scrapbook till she got to the page marked '[Failed] Summer Romances'. She looks over the pics and wonders why she even bothered. As she looks at each pics something in her subconscious kept nagging around the edge of her thoughts but never seemingly able to reach her conscious thoughts. Even now at school she seems to have an easier time talking and dealing with her female friends. The guys in her grade really seem to be worried more about video games or sports. The two guys who have tried to ask her out were both jocks who really had more muscles than brains and really there was something about them that reminded her of Gideon, maybe it was some sort of smarmy self centered attitudes.
“I may as well go ahead and get this work done before dinner,” she said to no one in particular.
Dinner had been good. Dad had made tacos. Neither of the twins mentioned any of the info they had gotten earlier from there friends. After eating it was Mabel's turn to do dishes so Dipper had come back up to his room and started going through the 3 ring binder he had put the photocopied collection of pages he had from Journal #3. So far he was still getting information on the same species he had found online earlier. He took out his phone to check the time and realized he had been reading the journal for nearly an hour and it was almost 9. He waited a few minutes for the clock to hit 9 and finally hit the first number he had put into his speed dial.
It was answered on the second ring. “Is this you, doofus?”, Wendy asked as she answered.
“Yeah. Are you ok? You sounded bad earlier.”, He asked with real concern in his voice.
“Yeah, man. I'm better. I was worried I had lost my boy. I really didn't want to think it was you that dad had brought into the shack. I mean, man, it looked a lot like you. But then I walked up to the statue and saw your birthmark. I know you don't like people to see it, so I was pretty sure that it wasn't a carving. That's a detail only someone close to you would know. I started freaking out man. I, I,” she started stammering. The coolest, calmest person Dipper knew started breaking down again, “I thought I'd lost you. I didn't know what to do. It took both dad and Soos to keep me from going out into the woods and finding out who or what did this to you, dork. Dad didn't mention the hat until after I mentioned I had seen some unique sign that told me it was you. They finally settled me down enough to agree to let Soos try calling you. Even then I was afraid I'd hear the ring-tone coming out of the jacket the statue is wearing. He tried three times before he decided to try Mabel's cell.” She was now almost rambling and Dipper thought it would be best to let his friend get everything out before he tried to respond, “You don't know how happy I was that Soos reached her only for it to suddenly stop when we heard her running looking for you. When you yelled worrying about me, it was the sweetest sound I had heard in I don't know how long, man.”
“It was just as good hearing your voice too, Wendy. I've been so bored down here. I miss Gravity Falls and hanging out with you whenever I can. I've been hitting used book stores and dvd resale shops and buying all B & C grade movies I could find to have ready for the next movie night we get to have.”, Dipper started telling her in the calmest, most soothing way he can.
“No, you don't get it man, I really thought I lost you. I've been cool with just missing you because I knew you'd be coming back some day, I really thought I wasn't gonna have you back and there would've been nothing I could've done to prevent it or even been there when you needed me. I don't know what I've done if that had happened.”, Wendy was starting to sound like she was about to break down again, “I meant what I said to you as you were about to get on the bus, dork. You really mean a lot to me, a whole lot.”
'Is she saying what I think she is saying?' Dipper thought to himself. 'I really can't be hearing this right. I mean she knows I love her, but she also knows I'm happy to just be friends and to just be around her.'
“Dipper, the next time you're up here, man, I want you to tell me again what you said at the bunker. I'm not promising the answer will be different but I'm also not saying it'll be the same.” Wendy actually felt a warm flush come over her as she said those words and knowing her young friend she added, “And no I don't hear it over the phone, so please wait till you see me, I want it to be in person. Ok?”
“O-ok.” Dipper said with a slight stammer and a crack in his voice, “I promise I will ask you the next time I'm up there.”
“Well, now that that's out of the way, let's catch up a lil man.” Wendy said trying to calm her nerve and the rest of her down, “What have you been up to, staying out of trouble?”
“Of course I am, I don't have you and Stan down here to influence me to do wrong.” He says with a lil bit of a chuckle in his voice, “It doesn't help this area has nearly zero supernatural happenings. Like I said earlier I have about two dozen dvd's to bring up for our movie nights. And Mabel and I may have an idea as to who that statue is...”, this last came out with a slight hesitation.
“Wait. What.”, Wendy rushed to ask, “Who, what is it? It, it had your birthmark.”
“Well I think it may be a clone of me...”, as Dipper started to explain, he paused to take a deep breath.
“A what?”, Wendy asked incredulously.
“A clone, well technically a photocopy.”, Dipper said with a hint of sadness in his voice, “Remember the party Grunkle Stan through shortly after Mabel and I arrived in Gravity Falls. Well he wanted me and Mabel to copy some fliers to advertise it and asked us to just use his old copier. Well it was a hunk of junk but we still tried it. It accidentally went off with my arm on the screen and the next thing we knew a sheet of paper popped out with a copy of my arm on it, nothing unusual there but then my arm pulled itself off of the paper and started coming towards us. Thanks to a spilled Pitt cola we found out they were highly soluble. And really thought nothing about it until later.”
“Ok, yeah I remember that night. We got stuck working the ticket table, until you covered for me so I could go in and dance some. Also I think Robbie's bike got stolen at that party.”, Wendy thought back onto that night, “Wait you didn't have anything to do with that, did you?”
“Uhmm, guilty in a way. Let me continue.” He asked as he started pacing in his room again, worried that she would feel less of him after he was done, “After you went in I tried to head in myself but Stan stopped me. After a lil bit I remembered the copier and decided to try and see if it would work out on a full scale copy of me. It worked perfectly the only differences I could tell was was he seemed slightly faded and had no tree on his hat. I ended up naming him Tyrone.”
“Ok. I guess I'm following so far, but I have a question. Why was it so important that you got into the party, man? I mean it was ok, but definitely not worth getting in trouble with Stan over. Or was it something else...”, she suddenly she cut off as it came to her, in a whisper she asked, “or someone else?”
“Yeah, I was trying to get in to the party in order to ask you to dance. I was already heads over heels for you then.”, he felt himself blush as he was telling her this, unbeknownst to him though so was Wendy, “But as usual I was over thinking things, I had a list I was trying to follow and as the evening wore on it seemingly got tougher and I ended up creating more copies, two of which stole Robbie's bike and never came back. So yeah, in a way I stole his bike. But my plans kept getting more complicated and then suddenly we ran into each other and just started talking and I realized I didn't need the plan I had made. After I told the others they turned on and tried to lock me in a closet. I ended up escaping and dissolving them, only for you to leave with Robbie.”
“Aw, man. If you had just asked I would've danced with you. Even back then you had already become one of my boys.”, she said thinking back.
“I, I wish I had known. Man why was I such an idiot!” He said as he stopped pacing and slammed his hand against his forehead.
“So you're thinking that the statue is one of your clones who got turned to stone? Whoa that means you literally fought yourself just to have a chance at dancing with me, man I don't know what to say.” Wendy said with her cheeks feeling more flush. “For a lil bit after we talked earlier I was wondering if it may have been the Shapeshifter.”
“I checked on him before we left, he was still a freezer pop.”
“Well just to be safe I'll take a trip out to the bunker and check on it. And don't worry, I'll see if I can get Soos to come with me.”, she said as she realized that he would be as worried about her as she was about him earlier.
“Ok, in my old room taped to the top drawer is an envelope containing the four emblems you need to open the inner door.” he said knowing he wouldn't be able to change her mind if he tried, “Please be careful. Remember you mean a lot to me.” He added paraphrasing what she told him before he left Gravity Falls.
“You too!”, she said with a smile on her face that he felt like he could see over the phone.
Gravity Falls Friday October 19th, 2012 4:30pm
“Wendy dood, are you sure we should be here? The last time we were it nearly didn't turn out that great.”, Soos said as the two of them pulled up in front of the tree that houses the bunker in one of the Mystery Carts.
“Yeah it's safe man. Dipper said he had checked the place out before they left to make sure that the shifter hadn't unfroze. All we're gonna do is go down and make sure things are still chill.”, Wendy said in her normal calm manner, but Soos noticed that she not only had her trusty ax with her she also brought the crossbow she used a few months ago.
“Well let's get this done, dood.”, And with that Soos picked up a rock and threw it straight at the branch lever that opens up the secret passageway. “Yes! The practice pays off.”, He says to no one in particular.
Once they get down to the first chamber they notice that it looks a lil different then the last time. It looked cleaner, almost as if someone had came down here with a group of maids and shined everything up. Gone were the cobwebs and the grime. The boxes on the shelves seemed to have been reorganized and there were even more of them. The weapon cabinet was even rearranged and fuller. They recognized one of the Blind Eye guns, the flash light with the size changing crystal, and something that looked sorta like the magna gun Dipper described. And then there were a few things in a locked case that they didn't recognize. Like what appears to be a set of lightly glowing dentures, a yellow tape measure with an infinity emblem on it, a spear made of bone and stone, a lumber jack ax that Wendy felt as if she could almost see right through it, and what appear to be two bolo ties one with a red gem and the other with a green gem. As she turned away from the case she felt a light sensation like she was being pulled back to the case and then as suddenly as it started the feeling was gone.
“Ok dood, this is weird. It looks like someone brought a janitor down here. And a lot of this stuff looks like Dipper's gear. There's a few boxes of chiprackers over here. What's going on here?”, Soos asked as they continued to look around. “Hey, even the Smez dispenser has been refilled.”
“I'm not sure. Maybe this is where Dipper decided to store the stuff he didn't want to leave at the shack. We can ask him later,” Wendy said as she looked around. “let's go check on what we came here for.”
She walked over to where the door to the room was hidden only to realize the poster covering had been changed to one from a group named “The Bad First Impressions”. Ok, now she was fairly certain she knew what was going on here. They were one of Dipper's favorite bands. He must have been spending more time here then he was letting on before he left. Though she wondered why he would feel the need hide it from everyone, to hide it from her.
“Ok, remember we need to hit these four symbols,” Wendy said to Soos as they stepped into the trap room, “also watch out for the trigger step I'd rather do this with out the threat of being squished.”
“No argument here,” The big man said as he finally reached up to tag the last emblem.
As they entered into the lab control room they saw that it too had been cleaned up and some of the equipment even seemed to have been replaced and updated. All the screens were now in color and at a higher resolution than they had seen outside of a movie theater.
Wendy looked over at the metal closet, that she now knows is a decontamination chamber, where Mabel had locked her and Dipper in. It was Mabel's attempt to get her brother to admit to that he had feelings for me. I still don't know whether I should thank her for that or not. Suddenly she hears a gasp coming from Soos and turns to see him backing away from something standing in one corner.
“What's wrong Soos?”, she asks as she whips out her ax and rushes forward to help out her boss and friend. Only to see he's backing away from what appears to be a rolled up yellow and blue carpet.
“I thought we had gotten rid of this thing.” he said with what almost sounded like a pig-esque squeal at the end of the statement.
“What's wrong, man? It's only a rug. It can't hurt you.”, she said till she saw his face was looking slightly scared, “Can it?”
“I was stuck in Waddles body for most of a day and nearly eaten by McGucket due to that thing, though thanks to Waddles I did get to make out with a real cutie for a lil bit. Heh. Uhm, we don't tell that part to Melody, ok dawg?”, he said as he turned away from the carpet.
Wendy made as if the was zipping her lips and then threw away the key before replying, “Man. So you were like a pig for a day, that had to be weird?”
“Yeah, but at least I didn't have to get the 'Birds & Bees' talk from Stan like Mabel did while she was in Dipper's body.”, Soos replied with out even realizing what he was saying nor noticing the shocked look on Wendy's face, “The only good thing about that day was I got a new break room.”
“Ok. ok. Let's get back to what we came here to do.”, Wendy said after she tried to get the information she had just heard out of her head. She headed over to the screens and looked over them before finding the one she was looking for seeing the form of Dipper frozen in the cryotube, “Ok. From here it looks like the troublemaker is still in isolation.”, Looking through the screens she saw that it appears even the cryogenics tubes had been repaired.
“Well that's good enough for me, let's head back to the Shack.”, Soos said as he started heading back out the way they came.
As she was heading out something caught her eye, it was the Dipper sock puppet Mabel had made to try to impress the creepy puppeteer she had had a crush on awhile back. To think that was actually the second time the twins had faced and defeated Bill, man they were something. She then turned from the puppet and followed her friend back out of the bunker. As they got to the main entrance room Wendy again felt a slight pull towards the weapons chest, only for it to disappear again.
“We need to make one more quick stop before we head back, Soos.”, Wendy said as she got behind the steering wheel of the cart and without even waiting for his reply she started heading out towards Gnasty's, the Gnome bar that she realized would be the easiest way to spread around the warning they had promised Dipper last night that they would send out. She stopped a short distance away and they walked the rest of the way. When the got there Wendy suggested that Soos stayed outside seeing as he was almost bigger than the tree stump that was used to make the building.
Like last time she was her she just straight up slammed the door open and shouted, “Alright short stuffs, I'm looking for Geoff or somebody who can get a message to him.”
+ + + + + + + + + + +
Piedmont, California Piedmont Public Library
“Tell me again why I have to be here with you doing this? It's so boring here.”, Mabel complained after flipping through a book thicker than her arm.
“Well we wouldn't want our folks worrying about what we're doing. Remember they don't know what we went through up there and if we ever want to have a chance to get to go back we can't let them know. They wouldn't be able to handle it.”, Dipper said as he delved through a stack of books on arcane and mythological natures, “I'd check out a couple of these and say I was researching for an assignment, but I'm not taking any classes this semester that would require me to write about Gorgons, Gargoyles, etc.”
“Ok, that still doesn't explain why I have to be here?”, Mabel asked again. She picked up one of the books and realized it was mostly an art book and actually started to get interested.
“I needed you here so we could go through the books faster, remember we need to try and get this figured out so we can try to keep our friends safe.”, he said as he looked over and saw she was now engrossed in 'Venkman's Visual Guide To The Paranormal', “I just thought of something, we warned those at the Shack but have you warned your friends.”
“Shoot!”, Mabel practically yelled. Then she realized where she was and quietly said to no one in particular, “Sorry. Oh man, I need to warn Candy, Grenda, & Pacifica.”, she quickly whipped her cell phone out and started texting her Gravity Falls crew. After she receive the first response she quickly turned her ringtone to the meeting setting after letting out another quiet, “Sorry.”
After another 10 books and a half hour later they finally gathered up a few books to check out including the 'Venkman's Guide', tossed them into his backpack, and finally headed home. They figured it'd be close to dinner time when they finally got home. Luckily most of their homework was easily done so it wouldn't take that long. Dipper really wanted to get back to his research before he called the shack tonight.
“How'd it go with the girls?”, Dipper asked as they walked.
“Well, they promised to spread the word through their respective cliques which should cover at least 2/3rds of the jr high.”, Mabel responded.
“Wait! Candy & Grenda aren't in the same circle of of friends?”, Dipper said with a lil bit of shock on his face.
“Well they're still among the outcasts but Grenda is also part of the jocks due to her joining the wrestling squad and Candy is part of both the school band and science club. Oh and the fact that Grenda's dating a European count has seemed to do wonders for their popularity.”, Mabel explained.
“That's good to hear, Hopefully with the three of them spreading the word there won't be too much trouble.” he said as he was looking over at his sister, realizing they were near their home. As he turns back he let's out a resounding “oof” as he runs into a wall of cloth and bulk.
“Watch where your going jerk”, the obstacle said menacingly, “Oh, never mind it's not a jerk, it's the dorky tweeb Dumper.”, That earned a few snickers from the two guys who are with him.
“Oh, hi Jimmy.” Dipper said with a scowl as he took a step back to see the face of the person who was talking to him.
“James,” Mabel said with a lil shock, “What are you doing here? Don't you have a football game tonight?”, she asked the human wall her brother ran into.
“Actually tonight was just a practice, so me and the guys were on our way to find you Mabel.”, Jimmy said as he turned his attention away from Dipper, though his friends hadn't. “I wanted to know if you had time to rethink about what I asked ya earlier?”, he asked.
Mabel looked at him for a moment. He really wasn't bad looking; 5'6”, dirty blonde hair, hazel eyes, beginning of a strong jawline, & mostly muscle, but he was also one of the biggest jerks in their school. The type that thinks just because he was on the football team and bigger than most of his class mates that it made him better than everyone, “James, I told you earlier I don't want to go see a movie with you. You're not my type.”
“Not your type, babe, I'm every girls type. There's not a girl in the school who wouldn't want to be you right now.”, he said not believing what he's hearing. He starts to take a step towards her when suddenly a firm grip on his arm stops him.
“She. Said. No!”, Dipper says as he turns Jimmy away from Mabel. With Dipper being nearly a foot shorter than Jimmy it would have been a laughable sight if Jimmy didn't have pure hate flowing off of his face. His friends saw this and smiled till they looked at Dipper and realized he wasn't fazed in the slightest.
Jimmy swings and lands a punch directly in Dipper's gut knocking him down to one knee. He started to laugh as he readied to again hit Dipper, then suddenly he had the air knocked out of his as Dipper swung his left up and nailed Jimmy straight in the crotch. Jimmy's friends stunned that Dipper was fighting back didn't notice that Dipper had pulled his other arm out of his backpack strap.
“You should know Jimmy, I'm not the same little bookworm you've picked on since 3rd grade. I've learned a few things over the summer. One of them is you don't need to fight fair when you're out numbered.” and with that he gripped his backpack strap and swung the book laden backpack straight into the side of Jimmy's head sending the jock flying. He then looked at Jimmy's friends and said, “Alright, either of you want some? If not take this piece of trash away from my house!”
The other two jocks thought about it for a moment, still having him out numbered 2-1, until they saw Mabel push up the sleeves of her sweater and join her brother's side. They both know her history of sticking up for her brother and how many bullies got knocked down a few pegs by her after messing with Dipper. They ended up grabbing Jimmy and leaving as fast as they could.
“Thanks bro-bro, I really didn't...” Mabel started saying as she turned towards her brother. Then she noticed he was shaking like a leaf, “Dipper, are you ok?” She asked as she grabbed his shoulder to try and comfort him.
He started to respond when he heard “Dipper. Mabel. Both of you get in this house this instant.”
Their father was standing in their front door. He looked flustered and upset. They both grabbed their bags and headed into the house. They dropped their backpacks on the landing of the stairs up to their rooms. They then headed back to their father.
“What was going out there?” he asked them as soon as they got back to him. He then continued without giving them a chance to explain, “Dipper I saw you hit that boy in the crotch, why in the world would you do that?”
“Easy dad, I was defending myself. That jerk has been picking on me since 3rd grade and I've always just took it. Well I finally got tired of it.” With that Dipper just turned and went up the stairs grabbing his bag as he went.
His dad just looked flabbergasted as he left. He started to follow him when his daughter grabbed his arm to stop him.
“He was actually defending me dad, that jerk had asked me out earlier and I told him no. He started to move towards me when Dipper stepped in and got punched in the gut for his effort. What you saw is what happened after he'd been punched by the biggest guy on the school football team.” Mabel said with a look that said she was proud of her brother. “And he was telling the truth, Jimmy has been picking on Dipper forever. Usually I'm the one that has to save him from bullies.” Mabel told her father in a hushed tone. She then looked towards the stairs her brother had just stormed up. “One of our friends had trouble with her boyfriend up in Gravity Falls. After finally standing up to the guy for her, he helped the guy realize he was being a big jerk. He ended up becoming a decent friend before we left.”
Her dad listened intently to her. After a moment he asked, “You mean he actually stood up to someone?” He then realized what he heard. “Wait you said it was a female friend, was it this Wendy we kept hearing about in your letters?” After seeing Mabel nod yes to both questions he continued, “So it took a young lady to help him come out of his shell?” He actually looked proud of his son at that question.
“If we're done dad I need to go check on Dipper.” She stated as she was already leaving him to head up the stairs.
He sits there in the dark with his head in his hands not sure if he can stop himself from shaking. The adrenaline rush that he didn't even know he was having was slowly wearing off. He had reacted almost without thinking when he saw Jimmy start to move towards Mabel and then he started to see every insult & punch from Jimmy in a haze of red. He had waited for Jimmy to hit him first so he would be able to claim self defense if needed, then he just hit him fast enough and hard enough to make him think twice about doing it next time. He knows he did the right thing but really it doesn't feel like he did enough.
After a quick knock, Mabel opens the door and walks into her brother's room. “You ok in here, Dippingsauce? I explained everything to dad and he seems to understand.” She says as she tries to navigate his room in the dark. “You gonna turn a light on in here or am I gonna need to go get my lantern sweater?”
“Heh,” he snickered at that comment. “Sorry I took to long out there sis.”
“What are you talking about Bro-bro? You kicked some serious tail out there today.” Mabel said as she finally reached his desk and found his desk lamp, “And let there be light.” she said with a flourish. She then turned towards the area where she had heard her brother's voice coming. He was sitting in one corner with his head hanging down low.
“I should have stopped him sis,” Dipper said with true sorrow in his voice.
“You did Dip.” she said with a wide smile on her face, doing her best to try and let her positive mood rub off on him, “I don't think he'll see straight for a week after what you did to him today.”
“No. I could have stopped this back in 3rd grade if I had just stood up to him then, but no I was too weak back then. It only took three months of living in a weirdness magnet, dealing with zombies, and the world nearly ending to toughen me up. And even then I only won this fight cause I took the low road.” he said without really lifting his head up to look at her.
“Bro, you just took out a guy who throws his self into a fight several times a night for fun. You sent him and his two cronies running with their tails tucked between their legs. And you did it to help me.”, she reached down and pulled him into a hug.
She heard the door bell chime and then the front door open.
“Com'on, you need to get out of this funk.”
“Dipper. Mabel. I need the two of you down here now.” they hear their father yell up the stairwell.
“We better go see what he wants, especially if we're gonna try to do anymore research tonight. Don't forget we have friends that are still counting on us to help figure what's going on up there.”, Mabel says trying to get her brother to move.
He finally gets up just before his father yells for them again. “Let's get this over with.” Dipper says as he heads through his door.
As the twins walk down the hall to the stairs Mabel is really beginning to worry about her brother, even the thought of working on a mystery doesn't seem to have effected his attitude. She pulls out her phone and quickly types out a 'Need to talk' message and sends it to Wendy. Finally she heads downstairs. When she gets downstairs she sees Dipper & her father talking to some guy she doesn't know at the doorway.
“So you're telling me that your star football playing son was jumped and beaten up by my son with no provocation.” Her father was saying to the other gentleman.
“Yeah, your lil hooligan jumped Jimmy and now he may not be able to play in the game next week!”, Jimmy's irate father started yelling drawing the attention of several neighbors.
Mabel was about to start defending her brother when Mrs. Fenster from across the street started to walk into their yard.
“Now you just wait a minute here young man, I saw the whole thing. Young Dipper was just defending himself from that ruffian you call a son.”, Mrs. Fenster said as she got to their front porch.
“Prove it, you old bag”, Jimmy's dad remarked.
“Ok. Well I was out recording my lil Snubkins chasing his ball around the yard when I saw your son and two of his friends waiting just outside the Pines driveway, so being the head of the neighborhood watch I naturally recorded them in case they were thieves. Well then I noticed Dipper and Mabel coming home and as soon as your son them he started right for them. The rest you can see right here.” And with that she held up her tablet and replayed the entire incident for all to see.
“That lil liar, I'm sorry to have bothered you Mr. Pines, Dipper. I will make sure he doesn't get off scott free from this incident.”, Jimmy's dad apologized and turned to leave. “Ma'am, could I ask if your would be kind enough to send me a copy of the video so I can show my wife to explain why I'm pulling Jimmy from the football team, I didn't raise him to be a liar or a bully.” She agreed and he gave her his email address. After he left Mabel snuck over and asked for a copy herself to share with her Grunkle who she said had taught Dipper how to defend himself. Mrs. Fenster happily obliged.
Dipper seemed to be in a lil bit better mood after this exchange. He realized that Jimmy was really just a bad seed, but still he was down in the dumps. When he got back up to his room he heard his phone going off, it was a call from Wendy.
“Hi Wendy how was your...” was all he got out before he was interrupted.
“You doofus, what do you think you were doing? That guy was the size of Thompson but nearly all muscle. Man, you could have been hurt.”, Wendy said sounding overly concerned.
“I was standing up for Mabel, that jerk was trying to force her to go on a date with him. After both the Gideon incident and the whole Robbie ordeal I wasn't gonna just stand by and watch it happen. He's hit me several times in the past, so I knew how strong he could punch. I just rolled with the punch to get him to let his guard down and let him have it. I know you don't like guys fighting but this guy had finally pushed me too far.” Dipper explained.
“But you could have been hurt, you're smarter than that, Dip. You should have tried something different.”, Wendy tried.
“Sorry, I've tried in the past. He's been tormenting me since 3rd grade. Remember the Valentine's flashback we saw in Mabel's bubble, this is the same guy who called me out then. He used to pick on me because I was the only one in class who was more socially awkward than he was, then he discovered a love for football and with in a year he went from 'big boned' to muscle bound freak. Ever since then he decided I would continue to be his whipping boy.” Dipper continued. “After everything I, no, we went through over the summer I finally decided I wasn't gonna take it anymore. Then he decides to go after Mabel because she turned him down for a date. No sir, no way he was gonna get close enough to even breath on her let alone touch her. If you don't want to talk to me for awhile cause of the fight I understand.”
“Man, I'm sorry I didn't know.” Wendy replied, “There's no way you're gonna get rid of me that easy, ya doof. Like you said you were defending Mabel. You're forgiven. Just be more careful from now on. I want you to be able to come up again soon. You still have something to tell me again, remember.”
“Uh, yeah. T-that.” Dipper stuttered as his face suddenly started to get flush again. “Oh, boy. I almost did, but to be honest I have had a lot on my plate today.” “You almost forgot, how dare you.” Wendy said with a mock snarky attitude, then she chuckled before she got serious, “Have you been able to get any more research done?”
“I've come up with a few possibilities,” he replaced, “but with not actually being there to analyze things, they're just that possibilities. How's it going on your end?”
“Soos and I checked the bunker.”Wendy replied. “By the way, when were you gonna tell us that you had started cleaning it up and stockpiling more than just food in there.”
“It was Ford's idea. He said it would give me a place to keep up my studies without having the whole house trying to bug me. We actually used the left over Unicorn hair to put another protection charm on the tree. He also knew I wouldn't be able to take anything dangerous home with me, so we decided to store them in the outer room so the shifter couldn't get them. Also he said having a trophy room was pretty cool, too.” he ended with a smile on his face that Wendy felt see could almost see.
“Ok, I can see that part.” She snickered a lil bit. “Tomorrow Soos, McGukket, and I are gonna check out the Society's base. We also got the message to Geoff but he already had an inkling that something was wrong. He told us that in the last month & a half he's lost a few gnomes and that the fairies were complaining that they have also had a few people disappear also.”
“Shoot, that means whatever this thing is it's not discriminating on who/what it attacks. That is telling in and of itself.”, Dipper replied as he looked deep in thought, when suddenly he realized something that was bugging him at the beginning of this conversation, “Wait a minute, how did you know about the fight let alone how big Jimmy is?”
“Mabel sent me the link to the video, doofus.” Wendy kidded him. “I was both worried & impressed. You kicked that guys tail, man.”
“Of course she would,” he felt his face redden again as he processed her compliment, “Wait, did you say link? She put it up on the net?”
“Yeah, it's on mytube and man you've already gotten nearly a thousand likes. Nobody likes a bully.”
“Oh great, that's gonna make school fun tomorrow.”
“Speaking of school, I better get going so I can finish my homework. Remember man, you mean a lot to me so be careful.” Wendy said as a goodbye.
“You too!” Dipper replied before hanging up the phone. He then turned towards the hallway and yelled, “MABEL!”