The shadow of a girl flittered across the wall to meet
a companion.

	"Have you heard?  Have you heard?  Sugar.  Spice.  And
everything nice."  

	"These were the ingredients chosen to create the
perfect little girls."

	"But Student Council Treasurer Arisugawa accidentally
added another ingredient to the mix... surrealism."

	"Oh, my.  Surely nothing good could come of that."

	Thus... well, you know the drill.




	"The Academy of Ohtori!"

	"Such a peaceful, quiet place... and what a beautiful
day it is."

	"Don't you think?  Don't you think?"

	Suddenly, the loud chords of the Elevator Theme
shattered the silence.

	"Then again, we could be wrong."


	"If the chick cannot break free of its shell, it will
die," the sole occupant of the elevator, the silhouette of a
superdeformed young pink-haired girl, intoned somberly.

	"Oh no," moaned a second occupant, the silhouette of a
superdeformed young purple-haired girl, who showed up out of
nowhere without warning.  "The poor chick!"

	"Stick to the script, Anthy."

	"Oh... I'm sorry, Miss Utena."  Anthy cleared her
throat.  "We are the chick.  We're so cute and fluffy!"

	"Oh brother..."

	"The world is our shell," continued a third occupant
who had not been there a moment ago.  The silhouette of a
blue-haired superdeformed young boy, this time.

	There was a long silence, during which the elevator
continued to climb.  Either the tower was much larger on the
inside than on the outside, or the elevator was, as you
might say, a little slow on the uptake.  I mean, taking up. 

	"Is this my line?" Anthy finally asked.  "I forget what
comes next."

	"If we do not break free of the world's shell, we will
die?" the boy offered.

	"Close enough, Miki," Utena decided.  "We must smash
the world's shell!" she finished, blatantly overemoting.

	"FOR THE REVOLUTION OF THE WORLD!" the three chanted in

	"Wai!" added Anthy.

	"Wasn't there supposed to be someone else in the
elevator?" Miki wondered.

	Utena shrugged.  "Who cares?  They're not our lines

	The elevator finally reached the top.


	"Girls, I'm glad you came," said Juri, in tones that
suggested that she couldn't care less either way.  She
nodded toward the red-haired bishounen seated to one side of
her.  "This is Mr. President.  Mr. President, the Powerpuff

	"I'm not a girl," Miki objected.

	"Quiet," hissed Utena.  "Nobody can tell."

	Miki crossed his arms, pouted, and, for no apparent
reason, checked his stopwatch.

	"So why did you call us here?" Anthy asked.

	Mr. President cleared his throat.  "We have received a
letter from End of the World," he stated gravely.

	"End of the World?" Utena echoed, eyes wide.

	Mr. President nodded, waving the pamphlet that was in
his hand but just hadn't been mentioned until now.  "We
don't yet know the meaning of--"

	"That's a Land's End catalog," Miki pointed out.

	"Yes, that's their merchandising division.  Land's End,
End of the World, you see?  In any case--"

	"Oh, look!" Anthy chirped.  "They're having a sale on
Rose Bride gowns.  30% off!"

	Mr. President's eyebrow twitched.

	"Hey!" Utena protested indignantly.  "They sell the
signet rings?  I thought they were some sort of--"

	"If I may continue," Mr. President interrupted, "..."

	The three superdeformed young gir--people stared at
him, waiting.


	"Well?" asked Juri.

	"...I've forgotten what the point was," Mr. President
reluctantly admitted.

	Utena rolled her eyes.


	"These clothes are so tacky," Utena muttered, paging
through the catalog, which they'd taken with them when
they'd departed in disgust, cheerfulness, and/or apathy.  "I
don't know what you see in them."

	"I think they're cute, Miss Utena.  Oooh, look, Miki. 
You'd look good in this."  She pointed.

	"You really think so, Miss Himemiya?"  He looked down
at the page and blinked.  "But... that's a dress."


	"I'm not a girl," Miki patiently explained.

	"Are you still hung up on that?" Utena asked.  "I
thought we'd already explained a million times that 'The
Powerpuff Girls Plus One Guy' just isn't as marketable."

	Miki checked his stopwatch, noting that Utena's speech
had taken 2.749 seconds.  "But I still don't think--"

	"Work with us, Miki."

	"It's not nice to steal catch phrases, you know."


	"Did you know?  Did you know?  There's going to be a
duel behind the school today!"

	"Be patient.  You're getting ahead of the plot."


	"What's that?" Anthy wondered.

	She was referring to the bells, which had just begun to
ring.  The bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells,
the clamor and the clatter of the bells.  Hear the loud
alarum bells -- brazen bells!  What a tale of terror now
their turbulency tells... how they jangle, jangle, jangle in
the icy web of night, while the author slips into a run-on
sentence lifted directly from Poe.

	"Sounds like bells," said Utena, perceptively.

	Somewhere in the background, a chant about birth
records, ammonites, and geology, or something like that,

	"We'd better go see Juri," Utena added.  Nodding to
each other, the three of them flew off through the dorm
window, trailing streaks of pink, purple, and blue light,


	"Say," realized Miki, "if we can fly, what were we
doing riding that hideously slow elevator before?"

	"D'oh!" exclaimed Utena, smacking herself on the


	"Juri!  President!  What's wrong?" asked Utena as she
made a perfect three-point landing in front of them.  She
then winced as the other two plowed into the floor
face-first behind her.  Nobody ever said flying was easy.

	"It seems the villain of the week has a message for
us," Mr. President explained, gesturing toward the
conveniently-placed video screen.

	"That wasn't there before, was it?" asked Miki,
cradling his sore forehead.  The others ignored him,
preferring to watch the screen.

	"Perhaps," Juri ventured after this had gone on for
some time, "you should turn it on, Mr. President."

	"Oh.  Right."  He pushed a big red button on the remote
control, causing Wyoming to explode.  Then, hiding a
sweatdrop (which simply wouldn't fit the bishounen image),
he pushed the button labeled 'power'.

	The girls (plus one unmarketable guy) gasped at the
face which filled the screen.

	"Saionji!  You're the villain of the week?" Utena

	The green-haired kendoist scratched his head, an
embarrassed smile spreading across his face.  "Erm, not
really.  I sort of got hired as a translator."

	"Translator?" Miki wondered.

	Saionji pointed to one side, at a hitherto-overlooked
figure.  A small figure wearing a very large bubble on its
head to shield its massive mutated brain.  A non-human
figure.  A figure which induced mass facefaulting as it
ominously proclaimed... "Chu."

	Anthy clapped her hands.  "Chuchu!  I was wondering
where you'd got to."

	"Chu!  Chu!"  The figure struck a taunting pose,
continuing, "Chu!  Chuchuchu chu chuchu chu!  Chu chuchu
chu.  Chu, chuchu chu chuchuchu chu.  Chu chu...

	"Do I even want to know?" Utena wondered.

	Saionji sighed and cleared his throat.  "He said, 'Once
you knew me by that name, but no more, for it is no longer
my name.  Now I am the one who will rule the world, for I
will bring it revolution, and then conquer it, because that
is my intention and I will do it.  You may call me by my new
name, which is MuuChuChuChu, who is me.'"

	"He said all that?" Miki wondered, noting that the
length of the translation was 17.427 seconds longer than the
original speech.

	"It's a very efficient language."

	Utena peered at him skeptically.  "You sure you weren't
making that up?"


	"He said, 'How dare you accuse me of not saying that
which I have said, for I have said it,'" translated Saionji.

	"..." said Utena.

	"Oh, it's so good to see you again," Anthy cooed to the
megalomaniacal genius, smiling brightly.

	"Um, Anthy?"

	"Yes, Miss Utena?"

	"Doesn't it bother you that your pet monkey... mouse...
thing is a superintelligent megalomaniacal villain and
would-be despot?"

	"Miss Utena, Chuchu isn't my pet... he's my friend,"
Anthy explained.

	"...Right.  Never mind."  Utena felt a headache coming
on.  And those damned bells weren't helping.

	"Chu.  Chuchuchu."

	"He said--"

	"Keep it short," Utena interrupted, "or I swear I will
hurt you."

	Saionji blinked.  "Um, he's going to be in his secret
lair on top of the spire in the forest behind the school. 
Come and get him if you can, nyah nyah."

	Utena nodded firmly.  "Right.  Okay, let's--"

	"Chu!  Pika chu!"

	"Now what?" Miki wondered.

	"He says to wait until after Pokemon.  He's a big fan,
doesn't want to miss it."

	"I should've seen that one coming," Utena muttered.

	Anthy giggled and continued poking happily at the


	Half an hour later, Utena nodded firmly.  "Okay,
Pokemon is over.  Let's go, girls."  With a pink-colored
*shoom* she sped off.  The other two quickly followed.

	"I'm not a girl," Miki protested somewhat belatedly.


	"It would take a miracle for them to win," Mr.
President mused, proving that his presence had not been
completely forgotten despite his conspicuous absence from
the later part of the previous scene.

	"There are no miracles," Juri remarked.

	"Oh."  Mr. President thought about that for a moment. 
"I guess we're doomed, then."


	"Now can I say it?"

	"What?  I can't hear you over those bells!"



	"Did you know?  Did you know?  There's going to be a
duel behind the school today!"

	"I heard!  But it won't be happening until next
episode.  We're out of time."

	The first shadow-girl facefaulted.