You wanted me to remind you to remember to remind yourself to remember something.
Smoke poured out of the windows of Pixel's house while a robotic voice wailed over and over again its ear splitting "WARNING— WARNING— WARNING—"
Hiding behind the stone wall across the street Pixel and Stephanie coughed and panted for breath and waited for the disaster to end. They didn't even notice as a bug-eyed periscope shot up out of the ground and observed the goings on with them.
"What's all that noise?" Robbie Rotten wondered as he watched through that very same periscope. The metal speakers hanging from his ceiling broadcast every siren call coming out of Pixel's house and made his own lair echo and ring like a bell. Darting inside Gizmo Guy's house went a white and blue blur to save the day— Sportacus, of course.
For a time the alarms kept blaring louder and higher pitched until suddenly they waned out into silence. Sportacus came jogging back out of the house with a box tucked under one arm and a grim look on his face.
"Guys, I tried to unplug the computer but I think I was too late," the hero said.
"It's gone?" Pixel whimpered.
"But I saved this," Sportacus said, holding out the box. The boy's eyes briefly lit up at the sight of his motherboard.
"Yeah!" But as Stephanie accepted the warped and burnt hunk of plastic and metal from Sportacus, Pixel deflated. "Oh no, it's melted! All the pictures and stuff on my computer, all the memory, gone...!"
Losing interest now that everyone was out of danger Robbie turned away from his periscope with a disgusted snort.
"Oh, if only that do-gooder, Sportacus, could have a memory meltdown, like POODLE'S computer. He'd never be able to save anyone again, FOREVER..." A devious smile stretched his lips. "So... why can't he?"
Up in the town square Robbie worked as quickly as he could while hefting the heavy wooden sports hurdles around. He was so pleased with himself that he did a little twirl as he set them down in a line one after the other.
"Sportacus won't be able to resist my trap!" He chuckled as he worked, staggering the equipment strategically so that it rounded the stone wall to where the real payoff awaited.
Standing free of any support was what looked like a big orange door frame without any door. There were many strange dials, prongs, and knobs sticking off of it all around. Robbie admired his handiwork and couldn't help boasting.
"BEHOLD! The Memory Sucker 3000!" He waved his arms at his invention in a grandiose fashion, then pantomimed a running man. "When he runs through the door—" The frame flashed a bright light as the villain's hands trespassed the threshold and he recoiled with another chuckle. "It's BYE-BYE, memory! And he won't know his SWISH from his SWOOSH!"
Wasting no more time Robbie scurried behind the wall and peered round to look for the object of his derision. Just in time! There was Sportacus now, running and flipping and twisting in midair as he dashed across town, surely on some other annoying noble errand or other.
But as soon as Sportacus spied the hurdles, just as Robbie predicted, the man stopped mid-run and looked curiously at the setup.
"What...?" Sportacus wondered. A grin spread across his face, tickled by the challenge. He let out a small laugh, pumped his arms, and ran towards the first hurdle.
Robbie watched through a hole in the wall as Sportacus vaulted over the hurdles one by one, leading him towards the diabolical device at the end. With a final laugh the jumping blue kangaroo leapt straight into the machine...!
...and he passed through it to land on his feet on the other side. While Robbie's jaw dropped Sportacus patted himself off and nodded with satisfaction.
"Well that was fun," the hero concluded. The diversion over with he went into a somersault and continued on his way.
Robbie shot up from behind the wall and stared after the hero with a perplexed sneer. He stalked around the corner and looked the machine over. Why hadn't it activated when Sportacus jumped through? It should have sucked out all his memories!
"What's the matter with this thing?" Robbie growled. He twisted the valves up here and down there but there was no obvious problem. His sneer deepening into an all out scowl Robbie cursed the faulty equipment, "Stupid piece of junk!" and gave it a sharp kick. All it served to do was make him yelp and grab his sore foot so that he had to hop on one leg until the throbbing pain went away.
He would just have to come up with something else. Robbie determined to go home and come up with a new idea right away. He muttered a few more nasty things under his breath as he glared at the machine, all that wasted time and effort. Sportacus would pay for this, that was for sure. Robbie stepped through the metal frame to head back to his lair that instant—
A shock of light and electricity— everything exploded into a kaleidoscope of colors and seized Robbie's entire body in a burning shock! It held him arrested mid stride, immobile for what felt like a numbing eternity—
Until at last the whole machine rattled and cracked like thunder and lightning and broke apart, crashing down around the villain as it went kaput. Robbie lurched free of the broken archway and stopped short with a gasp.
"What— was I doing...?"
Not so far away yet Sportacus' crystal flashed and beeped rapidly, making the blue clad man stop in his tracks. Someone was in trouble! With a new focus Sportacus scanned the area for the source of distress. The only person he could see was back over by the stone wall where he had just been. Robbie Rotten stood there looking dazed and confused. As Sportacus jogged back over he could hear Robbie muttering to himself.
"I can't remember... I know I was doing something."
"Hello, Robbie, is everything okay?" Sportacus called as he drew close. The skinny man in the stripy suit startled on the spot and looked at Sportacus.
"Who?" Robbie asked as he glanced around with a furrowed brow.
"Who? Well— you, Robbie. Who else?" Sportacus slowed to a stop a few steps away from the other man.
Something was not right. Robbie squinted at Sportacus with a slight frown on his face, but it wasn't the usual deep scowl or sneer that the villain normally reserved for the town's hero. In fact, there didn't seem to be any recognition there at all.
"Sportacus, what happened?" Stephanie called as she and Pixel came running over. "We heard some kind of explosion!"
Seeing who was with their hero the kids halted and exclaimed together, "Robbie Rotten!"
"Me?" Robbie put a hand to his chest, taken aback by the strong reaction the kids had for him. "You know me?"
"Do we know you?" Stephanie looked suspiciously at the man.
"Very funny, Robbie," Pixel said. "As if you don't know who we are."
"It's not funny," Robbie said with a hint of his old irritation, but it sounded more like panic. "Am I supposed to know you?"
The kids and Sportacus exchanged baffled glances. "You don't remember Stephanie and Pixel?" Sportacus asked. Robbie scratched his head, that worried frown etching ever deeper into his face.
"I don't think... no... It feels like my memory... it's as missing as a sock in a dryer. I can't even remember who I am!"
The kids and Sportacus turned away to confer together. "He doesn't remember anything!" Stephanie whispered in amazement.
"It's like his memory's been sucked from his head, just like my computer!" Pixel concurred. "POOF— and it's gone!"
"That's terrible," Sportacus said. "We've got to help him."
"Help him remember?" Stephanie asked. "You mean help him remember how mean, lazy, and nasty he is?"
"Now, Stephanie, I wouldn't say that," Sportacus chided her.
"But Stephanie's right," Pixel said. He gestured towards the rubble around Robbie's feet where the man stood lost and lonely, waiting for them to finish their impromptu huddle. "It looks to me like Robbie was up to no good again, and his plans got short-circuited. This might be a chance to reprogram him."
"Yeah," Stephanie said, getting excited at the prospect. "He could be someone nice for a change! Come on, Sportacus, don't you think that would be good for him?"
"Well..." Sportacus glanced up from the kids towards Robbie. The man looked so fretful and forlorn the way he was now. But even that was an improvement over his usually disgruntled disposition. "I guess..."
"Great!" Stephanie popped up and out of their inner circle before the sporty hero could change his mind. She turned back towards Robbie with a smile on her face. "You don't have anything to worry about Robbie, because we're your friends!"
"You are?" Robbie's eyes widened as he looked at them all in a new light.
"Yes!" Stephanie nodded. "And as a matter of fact, Sportacus here," she grabbed Sportacus by the arm and pulled him over, "he's your best friend!"
"He is?" Robbie boggled at the mustachioed man and Sportacus stared right back with just as much shock. "That's... great!" Robbie grabbed Sportacus by the hand and shook it with surprising force. The villain surprised Sportacus even more when he put on a tentative smile. It was so unlike Robbie to show such camaraderie that Stephanie and Pixel giggled behind the two men.
"That's—... That's right," Sportacus said, clapping his free hand over Robbie's and returning the handshake with determination. "Don't worry, my friend. Everything will be okay. Just listen to your old pal."