Chapter 1: Zadavia's Gift
After the battle between the Loonatics and Deuce, on the planet Blanc, at the center of the universe, peace reigned once again. Old enemies became new allies. The Loonatics decided to stay in Blanc, using “Wormhole Central” to assure that not only their home planet, Acmetropolis was safe, but also the entire universe. Wherever evil struck, they would be there to protect the people and save the day, as usual.
Optimatus, Zadavia’s brother and the first enemy of the Loonatics, had decided to use his powers for good. Zadavia decided that it was time for her to return to her home planet, and accept her place as the new queen. However, she was troubled. She frowned as she looked out from the window of one of the many rooms in the palace of Blanc, ruled by their leader, the Royal Tweetums.
‘The battle has been won, my brother is now on the side of right, and Deuce is defeated. My Loonatics have proven once again to be the strongest team of heroes that has ever existed and yet, something tells me that they’re not ready for the new challenges that await them. With me taking my new duties, I know they will need all the help they can get. I should ask Optimatus to help them, but he needs time for himself so he can better understand the choice he’s made.’ –She thought to herself.
Suddenly, someone opened the door of the room; she looked over her shoulder to see who it was. Ace Bunny, leader of the Loonatics entered the room. He was wearing his black uniform with a yellow patch on it, Zadavia’s insignia, and he looked quite happy to see her.
“Hey what’s up Zadavia? Is everything, okay?” –Ace asked, as he walked toward her.
”I’m fine, Ace. I was just thinking of the things that you and your team accomplished in today’s battle.” –She said smiling warmly at him.
”Well, I have to say it….we really saved the day, once again, but if it wasn’t for you or your brother, not to mention ‘His Feathered Highness’ Tweetums and Sylth Vester, we wouldn’t have won. Everyone helped, and I do think that we all did a pretty good job.”-He said proudly.
”You surprised me, Ace. I never thought that you would be able to control the powers of the ‘Guardian Strike Sword’ that well, at least not in such a short time and, even though you saved the Universe and defeated Deuce with your own skills, you still act like it was no big deal, and even thanked the rest of the people that helped you. Most people would just take all the credit for it, but you… you still refuse to take it all. That is commendable.” She said praising him then her expression turned solemn, “However, I need to talk to you about a delicate situation.” –Zadavia said carefully.
“Sure… I’m all ears, literally.” –Ace said smirking a little because it was true, his big ears could hear even the littlest noise.
“You see… I wanted to talk to you about what’s going to happen now that I’m going away. You and your team protected Acmetropolis very well, from every type of attack in the last two years, and I congratulate you for doing such good work as their leader. Now, however, your decision to settle your new headquarters in Blanc so you may protect the entire Universe has put you in a position of much greater responsibility. You need to be aware of the fact that it’s going to be a tough job.” –She paused and looked at him seriously. – “I have an important question to ask of you. You may require more help than your present team to protect the universe... if there are others that can be added to your team would you accept them? Would you be able to give them the same trust you have given your team mates?” –She asked watching him closely.
“I think I would be willing to do that. Of course, it would help if it was someone who had battled by my side at least once.” –He said quietly. Looking a little puzzled he asked, “Why do you ask?”
“I needed to know if you would be flexible enough. A good leader is able to know his or her limitations and be able to adapt to any changes required to do the job they are given effectively. Personal feelings cannot interfere when you are forced to make decisions that are in the best interests of those under your protection. Your present team might be resentful at the addition of new members. It will be your job to teach your newly enlarged team to work together cohesively and to trust each other explicitly. You have to be able to stand firm on any decision you make even if the feelings of others could be hurt to ensure the safety of the team as a whole.” –Zadavia said seriously giving him a warning that she intended to increase his team. – “Of course, I want to ask you to not tell them anything about this, because you’re team is still trying to adapt to the changes that are approaching, and I don’t want to upset them with another sudden change, at least, not yet. Do you understand?”
“I guess I understand what you’re getting at there, Zadavia. This is a bigger job than taking care of just a city. The universe is a big place. So, I promise to try and work with the newcomers you select and make the team even greater than it is already. And about your request, don’t worry. I won’t tell the others about it.” He said equally serious then he changed the subject, “If you need anything, I will be with the rest of the team in Wormhole Central trying to adjust the machine so we can go back to Acmetropolis to pack our things. ‘His Feathered Highness’ is going with us to make sure that we’re able to teleport our headquarters to Blanc in one piece. I’ll see you later, Zadavia.” Ace said waving farewell as he left closing the door behind him.
After Ace left, Zadavia sighed with relief at his attitude. It was going to be easier than she’d hoped to put her plan into action. She would find six individuals and transform them to be the newest members of the Loonatics. It would be tough, since she needed to find individuals with a pure heart, a determined soul, but also with the spirit of noble fighters. The additional members would help the Loonatics handle their new job and make them the best super team in the Universe. It was the best thing she could do as their former Commander in Chief to ensure her Loonatics could survive without her.
”It’s not going to be easy, but it will be well worth it for my piece of mind. This will be my last gift to the Loonatics as their commanding chief and it will be the most special and I think I know where I’ll find the first individual, right here in Blanc.” –She thought to herself, as she looked once again through the window into the horizon.
Chapter 2: The First Recruit
Planet Blanc was known as the center of the Universe, but it was also well known for its complicated labyrinths and secret passages. The entire planet was a massive labyrinth, and there were very few who knew where each of the corridors led.
It was in one of these corridors that Zadavia found the first of her six new recruits. It was where prisoners were kept. The place looked deserted, and a little spooky, because no one, with the exception of the Royal Guards, ever passed through here. Inside a small, dark and smelly jail cell was none other than Sylth Vester, a criminal and a hunter who’s life purpose was to catch the Royal Tweetums, ruler of Blanc.
He had caught up to ‘His Feathered Highness’ and was jailed for capturing him. He was freed by the Loonatics, so he could help them search for Tweetums when he’d been taken. Vester ended up becoming involved with preventing Zadavia’s former General Deuce from succeeding in his plan to conquer the universe. But his heroics didn’t prevent him from being jailed for accidentally telling Deuce how the Royal Scepter worked and now he was once again, inside the same jail cell. The black and white cat with a red nose paced back and forth in his jail cell floor wondering how he ended up here again. The only light in the cell was provided by a small lamp, which reflected off Sylth’s sunglasses, the ones attached to his helmet.
“Just great… I risk one of my nine lives to save the Universe, not to mention the planet of that “yellow canary face”, and he locks me up again!” –He growled angrily.
“Maybe he had a reason for doing that, Sylth Vester… or don’t you remember that you told my ex-general how to use the Royal Scepter and where the Royal Jewel could be found?” –Zadavia said quietly as she appeared from out of the shadows, surprising Sylth Vester.
“Sufferin’ succotash, why do people always do that to me?! People appear from out of nowhere, scaring the life out of me!” –Sylth said still shaking and panting with fright
Zadavia was wearing her usual red and light purple suit. But this time, unlike when she appeared, she had her face hidden by her hood, making her look like an outlaw from the old western movies. When Sylth looked at the figure of his visitor, he immediately recognized her, as the benefactor of the Loonatics, and he was a little bit curious, if not puzzled by her visit.
“I’m sorry if I scared you, but I needed to talk to you, Sylth. Do you think you can spare me a minute of your precious time?” –She said mildly.
“Sure! As you can see, I’m not going anywhere, so be my guest. And by the way, I didn’t forget what happened, and I know I almost screwed up everything, when I told that guy about the scepter, but you got to admit that being surrounded by giant robots makes you do stupid things, even if you don’t want to do them.” –He said in a sorrowful voice, as he moved to stand at the cell bars.
“Look, I know how you feel, locked up in that cell because I was exiled from my home planet. This must be very difficult for you especially after what happened a few days ago. Tell me Sylth, why did you help “my” Loonatics in their battle against Deuce in Wormhole Central?” –She asked softly.
“Well, first I helped them because I saw that as an opportunity of getting out of this cell and also because I had plans to disappear without a trace when I had the first opportunity, but then we found “canary face” and that guy wanted to conquer the galaxy, not to mention the entire Universe…Well... I just saw that as a way to prove that I could be a good guy. You know… I never wanted to be a bad guy, but I was raised like that, and there are some things you can’t fight against.” –He sighed.
“But tell me… when the battle was over and you told my brother and me that you had also changed, were you telling the truth? Before you answer that, let me tell you, I can sense when someone is hiding or lying about something.” –Zadavia warned him while she watched the huge black and white cat through the cell bars closely.
Silence hung heavy over them both for a few minutes. The only thing that both of them could hear was each other’s breathing. Zadavia waited patiently for Sylth Vester to think carefully about his answer. She could tell he was taking her seriously when she demanded an honest response.
Finally, he took a breath and said seriously: “Well, I think yes. You see, when I started to fight by the Loonatics side, I felt like I was a part of something special, if you know what I mean. It may sound a little strange coming from a guy who has had an arm injured from getting stuck in a particle accelerator, all his back teeth pulled out, a lack of fur on his belly from being dipped in molecular acid and finally, a severely disfigured face from being sucked into a black hole and on top of all that being given a contract to eliminate a bird that he would suddenly get a chance to do good. But when you finally have the opportunity of proving that you’re not as bad as you look or people think you are and you’re treated like part of a team, which feels really good. That’s why I said I had changed too… Unfortunately for me, that “bird brain” didn’t believe me.” –Sylth said in irritation, as he contemplated one of his many injuries.
Zadavia was hoping to hear something that proved to her that Sylth Vester wasn’t such a bad cat, but she never thought that he would be sincere to the point, of telling her what he felt when he was fighting on the good guys’ side. When she heard that confession from him, Zadavia knew that she was right from the beginning about Slyth, and that he would make a fine addition to the team.
She pushed her hood back and revealed her blonde hair and sparkling eyes. Her eyes and warm expression told Sylth that she believed he was sincere and had told the truth. She moved closer to the bars and a small smile appeared.
“I do believe in you, Sylth, and I have a proposition for you…” –She began softly.
“What kind of a proposition, are we talking about?” –He interrupted nervously, suspicious of her.
“You said you felt like you were a part of something special when you fought with the Loonatics. So let me explain what my plans are and your part in them if you choose to be. I don’t know if you aware of it, but I’m going back to my home planet to rule as the new queen, but before I go, I want to give a special gift to the Loonatics, to show that they really are very dear to me. That gift will be the addition of some new members for their team. They will help them fight against evil in the galaxy. The proposition I’m making is this... would you like to be the first recruit?” –Zadavia asked him seriously.
“What do I get out of this if I accept your offer? It’s nothing personal, but last time I accepted something, I ended up inside the belly of a huge Gossamerian, and it took me a whole week to get out of there.” –He said shuddering from the memory.
“First of all, I’ll make sure that you get out of this prison and that your criminal record is completely erased… permanently. You’ll work with Ace and the rest of the Loonatics, as well as the other new members that I’m going to recruit and of course, you’ll receive a set of powers. But you have to behave yourself, because if you don’t, I can always find someone who’s willing to accept your place. So… are you interested?” –She asked.
“Of course I’m interested! I’ll do anything to get out of this place. Tell me, when do I get my set of powers?” –Sylth asked anxiously like a kid with a brand new toy.
Not until I find the other members. Until then, you must honor your part of the deal. You have to be a good cat, stay out of trouble and learn to work with the rest of the team. Remember, I chose you because I sense that you have a good heart and that you have the spirit of a noble warrior inside you. Prove my faith in you!” –She warned him. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I still have to find a few more recruits… and don’t worry, I gave instructions to the guards to come and release you. They will escort to my lodgings at the palace.” –Zadavia said, as she put her hood over her head and disappeared in the shadows.
Chapter 3: You're Not Such a Bad Guy
Meanwhile, in Wormhole Center, Ace, Lexi and the rest of the Loonatics were preparing to teleport to Acmetropolis. The Royal Tweetums was with them. Since they were going to settle on his planet, he wanted to make sure that everything went according to plan.
The huge room that composed Wormhole Central was covered with hexagonal mirrors and in the middle of it was the “Wormhole Chamber”. Once activated it would create a wormhole that would send them to a predetermined destination set by the main computer. The process was safe and fast. It was so fast they would get to the opposite side of the galaxy in a matter of seconds.
”Well, I think that we’re all set to go. Is everything ready, Tech?” –Ace asked of the coyote that was programming the “Wormhole Chamber” to send them to their destination.
“Almost ready, Ace. I just need to insert the coordinates and were ready to go. Just make sure that the ship is ready for blast off.” –Tech assured him as he continued to punch in information.
“Well, then you better check to see if everything is okay because none of us wants to end up in another galaxy or dimension because it would take a long time to get back. So you better double check or triple check, just to be on the safe side. Did I already tell you all that I’m a little bit nervous? It’s not that I’m afraid, but you never know what may happen in this sort of thing…” –Rev chattered at super speed in his nervousness, making the others a bit confused about what he was talking about.
“Blllarrahghggh… Is it dangerous?” –Slam rumbled in that scrambled way he had that didn’t resemble anything like English except for an occasional clear word here and there.
“Don’t worry, Slam. It’s not that bad, in fact, you won’t even feel a thing… Don’t you remember… we’ve already travelled through one of those Wormholes before? You’ll see that everything is going to be alright.” –Lexi said soothingly, trying to calm Slam.
Meanwhile, Royal Tweetums was trying to teach Duck how a knight of the planet Blanc should act in the presence of himself and Duck didn’t want to hear him.
“Come on, Sir Duck, you must bow before your king. It is a sign of respect.” –Tweetums explained sweetly.
“No way, you “yellow canary”! Danger Duck doesn’t bow before anyone, especially you! I’m not going to act as if nothing had happened when I was made prisoner by Deuce because of your decision to give me the Royal Jewel without warning me. I’m through with that!” –Duck exclaimed, crossing his arms across his chest and not looking at Tweetums.
“Ah, come on, Duck… it won’t hurt you to show him the proper respect.....after all he is king here and you are his knight and besides he’s the one responsible for bringing us here to save the universe. He’s also helping us bring our headquarters here.” –Lexi said cajoling him to behave better.
“Alright… everything is set to go. In T-minus 30 seconds, a wormhole will be created, and we will be on our way to Acmetropolis, so let’s get aboard the ship and enjoy the ride!” –Tech interrupted as he pressed the last button then climbed to the launching platform to board the ship. The rest of the team and Royal Tweetums followed him
Suddenly, all the mirrors in the room started to shine as bright as the Sun itself, illuminating everything and making it difficult for all of them to see anything in front of their noses or beaks as they quickly got in and closed the door. If they could have seen anything, they would have noticed something or someone entering the room, jumping up onto the launching platform, quickly opening the door and entering their ship seconds before the wormhole was completed. When the sequence reached the end, the giant wormhole started to spin furiously, and pull them inside.
Ace controlled the ship and directed it through the wormhole. Once inside the wormhole, they started to speed, faster and faster. All the Loonatics tried their best to stabilize their ship, and when they finally got out of the wormhole, they were in Acmetropolis.
It was night and there was a chill in the air. The street lights illuminated the city making it glow softly from space as the Loonatics entered the atmosphere. Ace piloted their ship to their headquarters and as they passed Acmetropolis Maximum Security Prison an alarm went off on the control panel.
“What’s happening, Tech?!” –Ace asked in concern, while Tech checked his instruments.
“Hmm... the alarm is for the cargo hold door. It indicates it opened. Possibly it’s just a malfunction causing it to pop open when the pressure equalized. Don’t worry, I’m going to turn off the alarm and I’ll check it out later. In the meantime, would you mind going down there and closing it, Rev?” –Tech announced calmly.
“Sure, Tech, whatever you say… It’s done! As you can see, it’s already closed!” –Rev reported, talking really fast, as usual.
Rev took only three seconds to go down to the cargo hold and come back to his seat. What he and the others didn’t know was they had taken on a stowaway who had jumped from the cargo hold as they passed the prison.
The stowaway was Zadavia. She had secretly jumped aboard their departing ship. She didn’t want anyone to know where she was going. She planned on visiting someone in Acmetropolis Prison. She landed on her feet, right in front of the prison door. She identified herself to the guard who was at the entrance and told him that she wanted to talk with the warden. Normally, the guard would just ignore such a request, but knowing who she was, he gave her a visitor’s badge so she could enter in the facilities and picked up the phone and called the warden.
The guard explained about Zadavia visiting and that she wanted to see him. The warden instructed the guard to escort her personally to his office. The interior of the prison reminded Zadavia of Blanc’s prison where she had been talking with Slyth Vester a few hours before.
When they got to the warden’s office, he was the one who opened the door for them. He was an old man, in his sixties. He was bald, but had a big grey moustache and was wearing a dark suit with a red tie. When the guard went back to his post, the warden offered Zadavia a seat then and returned to his chair behind his desk.
“It’s unusual to see you here, Lady Zadavia. It’s normally your Loonatics who appear delivering one or more super-villains. So, what can I do for you?” –The warden asked curious.
“I need to talk with one of the prisoners, please. This letter will explain everything.” –Zadavia said calmly.
She handed an envelope with a letter inside to the warden. He opened it and read the contents. At first he thought what he was reading was a joke because the person she wanted to talk to was one of the biggest criminal masterminds of Acmetropolis. He looked Zadavia in the eyes and could see by her serious face, she was not joking. He shook his head and sighed.
“So you want to talk with this guy, huh? Well, I have to say, he made some progresses with the therapy we’ve been giving him so he’s much more docile than when he first arrived.” –He said thoughtfully. –“Very well, you wait here and I’ll go and retrieve him. By the way, would you like me to take care of the paperwork so that you can take him with you as you indicated in your letter?” –He asked as he rose from his seat and went for the door.
“Not just yet, warden. I need to make sure he’s what I think he is.” –Zadavia said mysteriously.
Puzzled the warden left the office leaving Zadavia alone to wait. She was confident that the second recruit would be a nice addition to the team, not only because the Loonatics already knew him, but because he was a brilliant strategist and a skilled manipulator. His schemes were masterpieces of flawless planning. If it weren’t for the Loonatics’ quick thinking he and his minions would have succeeded.
Finally, less than twenty minutes later, the warden returned accompanied by the prisoner. He was a short looking fellow, dressed in an orange prison uniform, and black sneakers. Zadavia could see that he was really not happy to be there. Zadavia could have chosen any one of the many super villains that were inside this prison; like Mastermind, Massive or even Time Skip, but she decided to recruit this fellow, Pinkster the Pig.
“Here he is, Lady Zadavia, just as you requested but I still don’t understand why you want to talk with this pig.” –The warden said.
“You can leave us, please. I want to talk with him, alone. Please remove his handcuffs. I am capable of defending myself if there’s need.” –Zadavia requested while staring into Pinkster’s eyes. She wanted to know why the Loonatics, especially Danger Duck trusted him so much. His eyes made him look so innocent, that if she didn’t know who he really was, she would say that he was not responsible for any of the acts that he was accused of.
“Very well… now you behave yourself, Pinkster!” –The warden warned the pig as he took the cuffs off and prepared to exit the room.
“D-d-d-don’t worry… w-w-warden! I c-c-c-can behave myself in the p-p-p-presence of s-s-someone…of a lady.” –Pinkster stuttered to the warden. The warden simply nodded and left them alone.
The Pinkster turned to Zadavia and said: –“W-w-w-well i-i-it’s certainly a s-s-s-surprise and a pleasure t-t-to see you, Zadav... Zadav... It’s a pleasure to see you ma’am”.
“The pleasure is mine, Pinkster. You’re probably wondering why I’m here to talk with you, aren’t you? Well, have a seat and I’ll explain the reason for my visit.”
They sat down and the future queen of Freleng laid out her plans for the future protection of the universe. As Pinkster listened, he was, at first, disgusted with the very nature of her purpose but as he heard all the details of Zadavia’s plan he grew more interested despite himself. His good side started to overpower his bad side, but this was of course, the result of the hours spent by psychologists trying to get him to express his emotions and to admit that he could do something good for all people.
“So, the great Zadavia wants me to be part of… part of… part of… to become a Loonatic, heh? W-W-Why should I accept?” –Pinkster asked, still a bit suspicious.
“I have chosen you as one of the possible candidates for the job for two reasons, Pinkster. First, because of your intellect… There’s no doubt, that you are one of the most brilliant criminals in the city-planet of Acmetropolis, and I think that a mind like yours is ideal in helping the Loonatics come up with strategies and plans to take down the most dangerous criminals in the galaxy. And second, you have already worked with the Loonatics, even if you were trying to manipulate them. You know how they work and you are close to one of them. Even if you don’t like to work for the benefit of the galaxy and of the Universe, I think this beats being here, locked up in a cell with your two stupid minions. But, think about it for a few minutes. You don’t have to answer right away.” –Zadavia said patiently.
Pinkster got out of his seat and started to walk in circles around the room with his right hand over his jaw. His eyes made him look like if he was some kind of an emotionless android. In his head, the ideas and thoughts started to form an opinion about the proposition.
If he accepted, he would be free and he would never have to see his stupid minions, Stoney and Bugsy again. It was their fault they were inside the prison. He would be able to use his intellect for something much grander than just finding a way to get out of there.
He also blamed Ace for getting him arrested but if he was honest with himself it was really his own fault he got busted because he wasn’t able to hide the evidences of his crimes. If he accepted the offer, he would at least have a place to stay and he could spent sometime with his old friend Danger Duck, who never stopped believing that he could change. Finally, he came to a decision; he stopped in front of Zadavia and put out one hand.
”I would be v-v-very… I would be v-v-very… I would be v-v-very… It would be an honour to work with the Loonatics, Zadavia.” –He said a smile on his face.
Zadavia returned his smile and shook his hand sealing the agreement. She was very happy that Pinkster accepted her proposal. The warden, who had been eavesdropping outside the door, was shocked by what he’d heard. He re-entered his office and asked Zadavia if she was sure about this but she reassured him by saying she had the power to know when a person was lying or hiding something. She told him that Pinkster was sincere when he accepted the proposal
He sighed then drew up the papers for Pinkster’s release. After signing the papers that granted him his freedom, Pinkster went to change from his prison uniform to regular clothes, a blue and red suit, along with red gravity boots, so he wouldn’t look like a convict who escaped.
Once outside, Pinkster smelled the fresh air and felt like he had been reborn. In fact, he had never felt so good about any thing before. When he passed through the prison doors to the outside, he left his other life, a life of crime and lies, behind him. Zadavia told him, that before they could go back to Blanc, they had to find a few more recruits, and they were going to do it tonight. He nodded his agreement and followed her into the night.
Chapter 4: The Tale of the Cat and Skunk
Meanwhile, in the centre of Acmetropolis, on the 125th floor of the “Loonatics Tower,” Ace and his team, along with Tweetums were starting to pack things up. Everything was going well, until they heard a scream from the laboratory. Tech E. Coyote was standing, devastated, over one of his inventions. He’d apparently broke it while trying to pack it carefully. He was so upset that not even Ace was able to think of a way to calm him down.
“Aw gee, Tech! I’m sorry that happened. Look! You need to take a break......calm down. You’re so stressed you’re making mistakes. You’re going to give yourself a heart attack.” –Ace tried to soothe their genius member.
“How can I be calm, Ace?! I spent almost a month developing that “Electro-Proton Eliminator 39X” and now it’s ruined! If there’s anything worst than not being able to develop a weapon or a gadget, it’s breaking it before you even get to test it!” –Tech snapped in exasperation.
“Tech… you built it....you can fix it. If there’s someone who can fix anything, that someone is you! That’s the genius you are! Now relax... calm yourself!” –Lexi urged him in a gentle voice, as she passed her hands over Tech’s face, making him feel a little better about himself.
“You’re right… I know I can fix it, but it’s so hard to build things and then break them by accident. Anyway, I have to focus on how we’re going to transfer the building to Blanc without damaging it.” –He sighed getting to the real concern distracting him.
“And how are you going to do that, “braniac”, hmm?! It’s not that I don’t have any faith in you, but how are you going to transfer a building as tall as this one to a planet that is millions and millions of light-years away from here?” –Danger Duck asked, not able to withhold his sarcasm as he looked at himself in a pocket mirror in his left hand while his right held Tweetums, who was thoroughly enjoying his tour around the Loonatics Tower.
“Well, it is really very simple, Duck. You see I created a powerful magnet that will use the energy of the fusion chamber, which provides energy to the tower itself to move the building. Try to imagine a giant magnet that creates a magnetic field around the infrastructure of the building, levitating it and making it possible to be transported through the wormhole and put anywhere you want. I called it, the “Magna Transportation Field, or “MTF” for short.” –Tech said proudly.
He showed them the prototype of the MTF on one of the many computers in the laboratory. “Rev is down at the base of the tower assembling it and Slam is helping him with the heavier pieces of equipment. At Rev’s velocity, I would say that it’s just a matter of hours before it’s completed.” –Tech told them while patting himself on the back for thinking of it. He turned to the video wall comm. and contacted Rev, “How are things going down there, Rev?”
“Just fine! We’ve almost finished putting the magnetic stabilizer in the titanium infrastructure and were about to connect it to the power grid, which will be very dangerous, since we can’t turn it off, you know? And while I do that, Slam is going to make sure that the pulse quarks system is connected to the positron energy quartz, which will serve as one of the three units that will transfer the energy from the fusion chamber of the building and convert it into an energy pulse. We still have a lot of work to do, but I would say that in two hours and thirty-seven minutes and twelve seconds it’ll be finished, that is of course if we don’t take any breaks, but if we do then it will take us about…” –Rev reported in his rapid, hyper-speed voice.
“Slow down there, Rev… I think we got the message. Take all the time you need because we aren’t in a rush you know? Once you’re finished, call me, because I want to inspect everything. Remember to follow my plans to the letter. I don’t want to dismantle everything and put it back again because you or Slam forgot to put a safety ring somewhere, ok?” –Tech warned ensuring they understood the importance of taking it one step at a time.
“Blarahashagh… Don’t worry.” –Slam assured him in his scrambled language. The comm. blinked off.
“I just hope those two know what they’re doing. I don’t want to explode while I’m in a wormhole, especially when all my stuff is inside this building.” –Duck muttered worriedly.
“Come on, sir Duck! You told me you would give me a guided tour through your headquarters. So far the only places little ole me has seen were your room and this lab” –Tweetums said impatiently.
“Hold your feathers bird! I already told you I would give you a guided tour and I will but you have to be patient.” –Duck said as they entered the elevator. –“And one more thing, you’re despicable, did you know that?”
“It’s not my fault I’m only three and half parsec old. I’m supposed to be like that.” –Tweetums answered in his usual cheerful voice as the elevator doors closed on them.
“Let’s just leave those two birds to enjoy themselves. In the meantime, let’s pack a few more things, Lexi.” –Ace said. She nodded and the two of them returned to what they’d been doing.
While Rev and Slam worked to complete the task that Tech gave them, and Duck entertained the Royal Tweetums, a few blocks away from the Loonatics Tower, in a fast food restaurant called “Golden Burger,” something odd was about to happen.
A she-cat had just accidentally dropped one king-size beer onto a customer. The customer was presently complaining about her to the manager. The she-cat was one Patricia Pussycat, a tall, slim, black and white cat, with blue eyes and a black nose. She had an unusual characteristic, her tail was bisected with a broad white stripe making her look like a skunk.....sometimes being mistaken for one. She was dressed in a uniform provided for employees, composed of a red jacket (that had a small name tag) with matching mini-skirt and blue high-heel shoes.
Being mistaken for a skunk didn’t bother her because her best friend was a real skunk. Her friend was standing by her side as usual. Mimi Le Pew knew the manager was going to yell at Patricia again. Mimi was the usual black and white skunk. She was a bit taller than her friend, with a beautiful long and fluffy tail, and wearing the same uniform as her feline friend. Unlike most skunks, Mimi didn’t stink because she had thoroughly covered herself with a lot of perfume. She was nice and friendly, but if anyone around her was hurt physically and or psychologically, she’d retaliate with her main weapon without hesitation.
Patricia, on the other hand was normally a shy cat, but if someone pissed her off she would become very fiery tempered and wouldn’t hesitate to say what was on her mind but this didn’t happen often.
The pair had several things in common. Their quiet, even tempers (except when others or themselves were bullied), possessing a French accent and being sisters by adoption. A kindly old woman, who was single, had adopted both girls. She had always wanted daughters. She raised the pair until her death. Unfortunately, the woman was poor and was unable to leave anything for the girls so they had to learn to survive on their own. On her dying bed, she made the girls promise to stick together and help each other, no matter what. And right now, they needed to stick together, more than ever.
When both of them saw the manager finish with the irate customer and stride angrily toward them, they stood still, holding each other’s hand and readied themselves for his tirade. They were used to his complaints about their shortcomings. Each time he berated them he made it sound worse than the last time. He was a fat guy with a little nose and black eyebrows, which matched his dark-brown eyes. It seemed like he was always angry with everyone, even with himself. He was always laying the blame on everyone for whatever was happening, even when the persons were blameless and couldn’t have had anything to do with it.
“You bloody incompetent! That’s the fourth time this week that you’ve done that to a customer. Thanks to you, we just lost one more client to the competition!” –He yelled furiously at her.
“I’m sorry! It was an accident, sir. I swear that it will never happen again.” –Patricia said, in a shy and tiny voice, as if afraid of him even though he was shorter than her.
“You’ve said that before on all the other times you’ve been clumsy. What makes it worse this time is the fact that he was one of our best customers. Thanks to you, he won’t be coming back! This time it’s going to come out of your pay.” –He snapped harshly then turned his irate gaze on the skunk standing there. –“What are you looking at, you perfumed skunk?!” –He snarled at Mimi, who was staring at him with angry eyes.
“She said she was sorry! Why do you have to yell at her like that, huh? What do you have against us? Better still, what do you have against everyone who works here? What have we done to you to makes you so furious all the time?!” –Mimi demanded, glaring at the man.
He reared back stunned for a moment at her temerity. Shocked silence fell and for several long moments, no one said anything. The girls thought the conversation was over but the manager turned red with fury and exploded like a volcano launching into a rant.
“How dare you speak to me that way after all I’ve done for you? I gave you this job because your adopted mother was a friend of my mother and because she made me promise I would give you a job after your mom died. This is the gratitude you show me?” –He screeched.
“And we’re supposed to be grateful for that every single day especially when you rub our noses in it? This job stinks! We’re expected to clean this place from top to bottom, everyday, and worse, we have to serve each customer as if they were some kind of royalty and for all that we get treated like dirt by you and barely paid enough to live on. Well you can keep this job... we’ve had it! We don’t need your pity, you know? And one more thing, you’re one stupid, egomaniac and selfish bastard, who sucks the life out of the people who work here! Just ask anyone and they will say the same thing if they had the courage!” –Mimi yelled back angrily.
“That’s it! That is the last straw… You’re fired, you bloody skunk! Get your tail right off my establishment, before I…” –He bellowed.
“Before what, huh? She just told you we were quitting, you bonehead?! Do you think we’re afraid of you, you big pot of lard?!” –Patricia snarled finally getting angry too.
“Get out of here before I kick you out of here… You’re both fired! Get out of my establishment, before I call the police and make them arrest you!” –He hissed pointing at the front door. –“I knew I shouldn’t have made that promise to my mother! You’re nothing but a pair of freaks!” –He said, his voice dripping with disgust.
“Don’t you dare to call us that!” –Mimi yelled angrily, as she slapped the manager of the restaurant in the face knocking him to the floor. –“We are what we are, and we’re proud to be who we are, and there’s nothing you can say that changes that! Besides, we don’t need this job! Let’s go, Patricia, let’s get out of this hole!”
Both sisters ripped off their name tags and threw them at the manager’s face, who cowering on the floor, shocked and afraid of the skunk. They walked out of the restaurant; slamming the door with so much strength that it nearly broke the glass.
Patricia and Mimi walked briskly down the street until they were some distance away. Patricia finally stopped and began to cry. Mimi hugged her and tried to tell her that everything was going to be alright. She looked around for a place where they could sit down for bit and calm down. Finally, she spotted a bench in the middle of a small garden. She tugged the cat toward it and they sat down. Mimi held onto Patricia offering as much comfort as she could while Patricia cried.
“What are we…sniff... going to do now, Mimi…sniff? We lost our only job…sniff…and worse…sniff, we don’t have enough money to…sniff… pay the rent! We’re so…sniff… doomed…sniff!” –She moaned in anguish.
“Don’t worry, Patricia. I know things are bad but you’ll see ... we will find a way to set things right.” –Mimi said positively, comforting Patricia, as she hugged her and gave her a big kiss on her left cheek, making her feel a little better.
“Maybe I can help you!” –Said a soft voice from behind them. –“Don’t be afraid! We’re friends and we would like to talk to you, if you don’t mind. I know that this may not be the best time but what I have to say to you is very important.” –The voice softly continued as Mimi and Patricia turned around to look.
The voice that they heard was from someone who appeared from behind the bushes. At first they though that it might be a burglar, or even worse. But as Zadavia came into the open and lowered her hood they recognized her from the television being interviewed with the Loonatics.
As the woman came closer they saw another figure behind her. It was Pinkster. They recognized him as well, as a notorious criminal. They were suddenly afraid and shrank back away from the approaching pair.
“It’s alright girls. Pinkster is on the side of good now and I was not joking about the proposition I wish to offer you.” –Zadavia told the girls soothingly adding a bit of calming power to relax the girls so that they would be willing to listen to her. When the skunk and the cat relaxed, she explained what her plans were and how they were involved.
Both girls listened carefully to what the blonde woman had to say. They were still a little shaken by their nasty fight with their former boss so it took them a little while to absorb what the woman was telling them. What she was offering sounded too good to be true but they knew Zadavia’s reputation. After looking at each other for a moment and seeing a perfect agreement in each other’s eyes they turned as one toward the blond woman and accepted her proposal.
“We don’t know how to thank you for this opportunity that you’re giving me and my sister, Lady Zadavia.” –Mimi said softly, who had tears of gratitude running down her face.
“Don’t thank me, Mimi. You have only yourselves to thank. Pinkster and I observed what happened in the restaurant, and for just a moment I feared we might have to interfere, but then, you two proved that I was right. I have been watching you for some time now. As I told you, the Loonatics need fresh talent and more females to the mix and you and your sister are perfect for the job.” –Zadavia said warmly. The sisters jumped up and gave her a huge hug.
Watching the emotional scene, Pinkster was reminded of the close friendship he and Duck had when they were kids. It made him regret all the bad things he’d done as a criminal. All that emotion had him dropping a few tears as well but he wiped them away quickly not wanting anyone to see him cry. He stepped forward and congratulated Patricia and Mimi, telling them that they would be partners.
“Welcome to the Loonatics!” –Zadavia said smiling. –“Now, we have one more recruit we need to see on the other side Acmetropolis. Let us be off! She told them and took off at a brisk pace. The others followed after her wondering who the last recruit could be.
Chapter 5: The Singing Little Devil of Mexicool
They took the subway to the West side of Acmetropolis. Zadavia’s companions were surprised and puzzled to find themselves in the part of the city known as the “Night Zone”. This district was famous for its restaurants and discos. The most popular club in the district was the Mexicool Paradise. Its main attraction was an amazing dancer capable of dancing all night long.
It was this club that Zadavia led her companions. Stepping inside they were bombarded with the club’s characteristic motif of the planet Mexicool in the Siesta Galaxy. The walls were covered in sombreros, colourful handmade serapes and small palm trees floating on gravitational platforms all around the place. The walls were painted with vivid colours that represented the spectrum of the two suns of Mexicool… The Mexicoolians were a peaceful and gentle people, well known for their spicy food, their culture, their wonderful songs, and their big fiestas where big piñatas filled with treats were a hit with children. But the greatest thing they were known for was their speed. As a race they were capable of moving at great speeds without the need of vehicles.
They found a table and sat down. A waitress appeared and asked them what they wanted to have. Zadavia requested a glass of water, Pinkster asked for a “mojito”, and Mimi and Patricia, asked for glasses of milk. The three new recruits of the Loonatics had no idea who Zadavia was looking for, especially in a club like this one. At first, no one felt comfortable enough to ask her who they were here to find but finally Mimi plucked up her courage.
“Uhm...Zadavia? This seems like an odd place for your next recruit. You’re going to let us in on who we’re looking for?” –She asked hesitantly.
Zadavia answered, her face showing mild amusement, “Our last recruit works here. You’ll have the pleasure of meeting him after his act.”
“A-A-Act? W-w-what do you m-m-mean? Is he a… Is he a… Is he a… What’s his occupation here?” –Pinkster asked in surprise, as the waitress arrived with their drinks.
“He’s a singer, and a good one, I have to admit … it was tough to choose him from a great number of people with special abilities. But he has a nice voice and his ability... well you’ll see that soon enough. His name is Swift Gonzalez, the greatest singing mouse on the planet Mexicool.” –Zadavia explained. “Ah and here he comes now...” She said pointing to the stage at the center of the club.
The first thing they noticed was how small he was. He was only a little taller than Royal Tweetums, with light brown fur and very large round ears that looked nearly bigger than his head. He was dressed in a black poncho, a pair of black trousers and wearing a yellow sombrero on his head.
Once he started to sing conversation ceased and all eyes were on him in rapt attention. He had a Spanish accent, which sounded melodic, if not hypnotizing. It was hard to believe such a small and humble creature could have so beautiful a voice. He was a great success on his home planet and had decided to become the best singer in the universe. So he went out on tour, his first stop was Acmetropolis.
Unfortunately, his dreams were about to be derailed. He had no idea that destiny had reserved a different kind of future for him. When he finished, everyone clapped their hands, congratulating him for that wonderful song. The waitress that had served Zadavia’s table stepped up to Swift and told him that some people wanted to speak with him. She pointed out the table.
When he saw who was sitting there he turned back to his audience, “Ola good people. I need to take a short break. Do not worry I’ll return in moments. Thank you for your patience.” –Swift said then walked off the stage and toward Zadavia’s table. He thought they just wanted an autograph. When he reached their table he used a nearby chair to hop up onto the table so that they could see him easier.
He saluted all of them in a joyful way and in a cheerful voice he said, “It is a pleasure to meet you all, amigos. What can I do for you, Senorita Zadavia? Do you all want an autograph, is that it? If so, don’t worry, Swift Gonzalez well give you all one…” –He said in rapid fire fashion in his melodic voice. He could almost give Rev a race in the fast talking business.
“No, though after our conversation we would like to have an autograph, Swift, but what we are here to discuss is a proposition for you.” –Zadavia said with a smile.
“Arriba!!! Finally, someone appreciates my talent and wishes to become my musical agent… Where do I sign?!” –Swift said excitedly.
“Hold on, Swift. The proposition has nothing to do with music, I’m sorry. What I need to discuss with you will take your life into a totally new direction. Please hear me out, I promise I won’t take too much of your time since you do have a show to finish.” –She said gently. She took a sip of her water while she waited for him to settle down and listen.
“Oh... very well… then, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll have a drink too, because Swift Gonzalez never discusses propositions or politics, without a mojito and a cheese sandwich.” –He said. He signalled one of the waitresses –“Katy! Bring me my evening supper, por favor!” –He told her while he winked at one of the other waitresses that was serving the customers at the bar.
The group waited patiently for Swift’s meal to be brought to him. As he was eating, Zadavia explained her proposition. The others gave their inputs on just how important the job was and why they were joining themselves.
Swift finished his meal and eyed them uncertainly. It all sounded like a wonderful thing. Being a super hero would certainly get him noticed but what of his musical aspirations. It had always been his dream to be the greatest singer in the known universe and by extension show how wonderful his world’s music was. As a hero, he wouldn’t have any time to do that.
“Your offer is very generous, but I cannot accept it. You see, singing is mi ensue... my dream, if I become a member of the Loonatics I would have no time to sing and that is my life’s ambition.” –He said in a sad voice. The opportunity to be a hero and do some good in the universe was very tempting, but he had worked so hard to get where he was now... to throw that all away... no out of the question.
“If that is your decision, then, I’m sorry if I wasted your time, Swift. I hope that you have a brilliant career and that you achieve all of your dreams and aspirations…” –Zadavia began, when she was interrupted by a huge explosion that blew a hole in a wall near them.
A lot of smoke came out of the hole setting off the fire alarm and sprinklers wetting all the patrons. People began yelling and screaming heading for the doors meanwhile through the hole a huge menacing android appeared. It was made of some kind of green metal and looked sort of like an upright canine. His red eyes searched the room terrifying the patrons even more than the alarms causing a stampede for the doors.
The force of the explosion had knocked Zadavia and her Loonatic recruits along with Swift unconscious. Their bodies were hidden by thrown tables. Regaining alertness, Zadavia discovered her left hand had been broken by a table slamming down on it. She checked the others and was relieved to find they were alright. Unfortunately, she was in no real condition to fight, the pain was intense but she controlled it.
“Target acquired… commence capture procedures.” –A cold robotic voice intoned. It climbed through the hold into the room. Fortunately, all the patrons and workers had all escaped leaving only the small group of would be defenders behind to face the weird looking android.
Looking around to find a way to defend themselves and take out the android, Pinkster was the first to have an inkling of an idea. He saw that an electric cable had been ripped from the wall and was hanging in the air sparking. His brow furrowing he came up with a strategy to take out the android.
While they were thinking about what to do next, the android was breaking and shattering everything that was in its path. His head turned left and right, making a peculiar noise as it began moving toward some unknown part of the restaurant after its target.
“L-L-Listen up, guys! I-I-I have an idea how we can s-s-s-stop that andro… andro… andro… to stop that thing. But I’m going to n-n-need your help. S-S-Someone needs to go out there and create an… create an… create an… to distract it, while I sneak over ttto that wall and p-p-p-pull that cable toward it and hopefully elec… elec… elec… to make it short-circuit. M-M-Make it c-c-come towards m-m-me, u-u-understand?” Pinkster hissed softly to the others then turned to Zadavia. “S-S-S-Stay here, Z-Z-Z-Zadavia!” –He told her.
Everyone nodded grimly and got ready to do their part in the Pinkster’s plan. Mimi and Penelope, who had a few gymnastic skills jumped into the air, giving mortals and spins in the air, avoiding the laser the android started to shoot them with. Swift, who didn’t know exactly what to do, started to sing as loudly as he could, to capture the android’s attention.
The android was a lot faster than they expected. He swung one of his metal arms and knocked Mimi out of the air sending her slamming to the ground. Patricia was furious as she landed on her feet near a counter of trays and plates. She launched them at the thing like frisbees. It didn’t harm it but it did distract and confuse it some.
“Nobody hurts my sister, and gets away with it!” –She snarled. “Take that you piece of scrap metal” –She shouted sending even more dishware at it before running out of ammo. When Swift sang even louder, the confused android turned away from the angry cat. Patricia went to Mimi’s side to check her pulse. She was relieved to discover that her sister was only knocked out.
As the android approached him, Swift jeered and laughed in its face, “Hey, don’t you think that you should pick on someone your own size, Señor Robot?”
The android, which had specific orders to capture one target that was still inside the restaurant had orders to not be stopped by anything so it had to get rid of these creatures preventing it from completing its orders. He aimed his weapon at Swift only to find its target had moved so rapidly that its targeting computer was having difficulty pinning the mouse down. Swift raced around and hopped up and down like a kangaroo so fast that the android was frozen in momentary computer knots. Its lasers fired everywhere but kept missing Swift by seconds.
“Arriba! Andale, andale, andale… Arriba! Don’t tell me, that you are that slow?! Andale, even mi Madre is faster than you!” Swift yipped distractedly.
Once Patricia saw that Mimi was alright, she placed her behind a counter for safety then rejoined the battle. Joining forces with Swift, they made the android follow them leading it toward the waiting Pinkster and the electric cable he held carefully in his hands.
When they got him close enough, Pinkster told them to get down, and threw the sparkling electrical cable at the android. It touched its body and it made it dance jerkily in place. Sparks began to fly from its shaking form then tendrils of smoke came from its head and seconds later it blew up spraying its parts all over the place. Silence fell as they moved closer to the wreckage of the android. Patricia kicked its melted head. From behind the counter came the somewhat shaky Mimi. She walked up behind them and stared down at the remnants of her attacker.
“Stupid piece of scrap metal!” –Patricia spat then asked, “What the heck did it want, anyway?” –She asked no one in particular.
“That is hard to say since we don’t know what or who it was looking forward. Remember, when it came through the wall it said it had acquired a target. I don’t believe it was one of us so someone here was its target. Unfortunately, whoever made this thing will know soon that it failed and may try again. I have to get back to Blanc, and you’re coming with me. If a new threat is about to show up, I think that the Loonatics, all of them need to be together, trained and ready for whatever it is. Besides, I think that we should take the android’s head with us, to see if Tech can find out something about it.” –She said, while Mimi picked up the melted android’s head. ”Let us go. I’ve asked my brother for a lift. Follow me.” –Zadavia said urgently and led the way out of the restaurant.
Swift raced in front of them and held up a hand, “Mi amigos, is that offer still good? I find with the destruction of the restaurant I am without a job and no place else to go.” –He said anxiously.
“Of course it is and welcome, Swift. You proved just how useful you can be. Now, please we must hurry. I am anxious to present you to the rest of the Loonatics and get to the bottom of this mystery. Come on... we have a ride to catch.” –She smiled and hurried out the door cradling her damaged wrist against her chest with her other hand.
Chapter 6: Returning to Blanc
As Zadavia and her new Loonatics departed the former “Mexicool Paradise Club,” a crowd had formed after the spectacular attack and was staring at them. Those that recognized Zadavia and Pinkster tried to get answers on what had happened, pressing close to the group that was trying to leave the area.
Sighing in mild annoyance, Zadavia levitated her small group so that they could escape the confusion. As they quickly moved off above the crowd, a figure hidden by complete darkness with only his hands visible holding a pair of binoculars watched them depart with a measure of anger.
Having Zadavia and some new heroes in her wake upset his plans badly especially with his target so close had infuriated him.
“Rats… I was so close! Where the heck did they come from ...blast it! No matter, I will get you later… nobody makes a fool out of me...it’s not you who’s going to start…“, the mysterious stranger’s rant to himself was interrupted by his communicator.
“Yes,” he answered irritably.
“Were you successful in your mission, my dear minion?” A cold voice asked.
“No, an unexpected disruption ruined my plans but don’t worry, I never miss twice. Next time I’ll succeed, you can trust me.” He growled.
“You better not fail again! The last one that failed me, regret it for the last of his pathetic and miserable life… I have already lost too much time with this plan of mine. Remember, I need to get out of here, along with a few friends of mine, so we can have a special party for a rabbit and his friends.”
“That’s just it; I think that the Loonatics benefactor is up to something… I think that she’s gathering a few more members for the Loonatics. Who they are, I don’t know exactly, with the exception of one of them being Pinkster Pig.” The shadowy figure warned.
“Try to find out more about what’s going on, but first, get me out of here!!! I want to be out of this place as soon as possible, you “buzz-brain”!” The furious voice of his leader snarled.
“Don’t worry! I will get you out of there soon. I just need to pick up some reinforcements and a couple more androids.” The shadowy figure soothed his leader then turned off his communicator.
Meanwhile, back in the Loonatics Tower, the “Magna Transportation Field” had been completed and, after a close inspection by Tech, was given the go ahead for take off and while Rev, Slam and Tech worked on Tech’s new gadget, Ace and Lexi finished packing everything that needed to be packed.
Duck had been giving Tweetums a guided tour to the entire tower and was getting a jumbo sized headache from listening to Tweetums lectures.
“I really need an aspirin… with all the medical research and advancements they’ve made throughout the centuries, they still haven’t found a way to prevent a simple headache.” Duck groaned as he swallowed two aspirins with a glass of water.
“You’re telling us that you have a huge headache because you showed the tower to “His Feathered Highness”, Duck?” Ace asked in amusement as he helped Lexi carry a few encyclopedias and put them in a box.
“I’m not having a headache because of that… I have a headache because of being forced to listen to that bird go on and on, not to mention having to search for him every time he disappeared on me. If I knew that being a royal knight for that bird was this tough, I would have never accepted the job.” Duck snapped. He stormed off to his room to take a little nap.
A few more hours later and they finally finished all the preparations for take off. They were now ready to leave for Blanc, leaving their old city-planet behind in pursuit of new and exciting adventures that would lead them to the most unimaginable places in the Universe.
“So I guess were as ready as we are going to be. What’s next?” Lexi asked.
“Just as soon as Tech activates the “MTF” we will be on our way to Blanc. The Wormhole Central was programmed before we left to activate itself, when we were ready to go back, creating a new wormhole that will transport us.” Ace reminded her.
“This is really going to be a great journey… Don’t you think so, Sir Duck?” Tweetums spoke in his squeeky voice.
“Don’t bet all your feathers on that! This journey is going to be as fast as the last one, and thank God for that! I was already getting fed up of all these changes, from planet to planet…” Duck answered sighing, showing a bit more patience than his wont.
“Very well, since were all set! Let’s start the countdown… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, ignition!” Tech counted down calmly as he pressed the button to activate the “MTF.”
Once the MTF started to work, the entire building levitated itself a couple of meters off the ground, then a green translucent sphere formed itself all around the building, making it look like a ship inside a bottle. The sphere with the Loonatics Tower started to move slowly from the surface of Acmetropolis. It took them almost ten minutes to get to the mesosphere, where a wormhole suddenly appeared… It was their ticket back to Blanc. The wormhole seemed a lot bigger than the one they arrived in earlier that night, but they didn’t even notice that… They were rather occupied with the screens that indicated their current position and the state of the MTF.
The only one not paying attention was the Royal Tweetums, who was enjoying a book that Ace had given him about art. As soon as the building got caught into the wormhole, they turned the autopilot on and decided to enjoy the ride.
Just ahead of the soon arriving wormhole with the Loonatics Tower, Zadavia and the new recruits for the Loonatics stepped off Optimatus’s ship that had given them a lift. Optimatus was very pleased to see his sister so soon after her departure. During their voyage, she and her brother discussed her plan for adding more members to the Loonatics team. He thought it was a good plan on her part and was introduced to her newly selected members.
Now as she was leaving his ship, she turned and said, “Thanks once again for the lift, Optimatus.”
“It was my pleasure, dear sister! If you ever need anything, you know where to find me. Take care of that wrist of yours… Oh, and before I leave, I have a question for you. Tell me, are you sure “your” Loonatics are going to be able to adapt to having new partners? I’m surprised you hadn’t chosen Deuce to be one of the recruits. I don’t have anything against who you have chosen, but you have to admit that having two ex-criminals in the team is kinda unusual. Why did you choose them?” Optimatus asked curiously.
“I felt they all have good and strong hearts, unlike Deuce. Believe me, I would never choose him, even if my life depended on it. But you will see how well I’ve chosen my new champions. For now, good-bye my brother. Don’t worry about me so much.” She said with a warm smile.
He smiled back then closed the ship’s door and was soon airborne and out of sight.
She had arrived ahead of her Loonatics because she needed to brief her recruits on what was to happen now that they were in Blanc. She lead them to the Royal Palace taking them to her personal lodgings within. Sylth Vester was waiting for her. As they entered her quarters they could see that Sylth had made himself at home. He’d ordered a few things from the kitchen staff. There were several empty plates on the table and he was just finishing a huge chocolate sundae with vanilla cream and Plutarkian raspberries. A sardine was on top instead of a cherry.
As they walked into the room, he put down the dish on the table and jumped to his feet and saluted Zadavia. She nodded warmly at him. He continued to stand as they all moved into the room.
“I see you decided to have a little snack, Sylth…” She said in mild amusement.
“I-I-I was hungry. I hope you don’t mind that I used your name when I made these orders to the kitchen, but I haven’t had a decent meal in a very long time. The food in the prison is terrible.” He stuttered a bit nervously, afraid he had done something wrong.
“No that’s fine, I understand.” Zadavia assured him. “Alright, I need all your attention for the next little while. The Loonatics will be arriving very soon and I need to discuss what is expected of you. If you’ll all take a seat so that we may start...” She instructed taking a seat herself.
All of them sat on the chairs that were around the circular table. Sylth continued to eat his ice cream. Patricia sat next to him trying to snatch a bite from it when he wasn’t looking.
Zadavia placed her wrist carefully in her lap so that it wouldn’t get bumped. It throbbed painfully but she ignored it. She would have it taken care of later. She didn’t have much time to get them ready for what was to come
“As you all know, you were selected to be additional members of the Loonatics. At the beginning, some of you were quite skeptical about the proposition I offered you, but you came anyway. I appreciate your patience and now I’ll explain my plan more fully.” She studied them a moment, holding their eyes before continuing.
“The Loonatics are facing new challenges by moving their headquarters to Blanc. Being responsible for being the defenders of the known universe is going to be a tough job. It’s a vast place to guard and they will be pushed to their limits to protect it. That is where you come in. You were chosen to provide a support system for them. There are new evils out there and they are not truly prepared to face them as yet. With the addition of your skills, you will be able to help balance the powers of the team and help them overcome the difficulties they will soon face.
“B-B-But won’t the other… the other… the other… the remaining team be surprised to see us? F-F-From what you’ve t-told us, they don’t… they don’t… they don’t… they have no idea that you’re doing this… Am I r-r-right?” Pinkster asked in concern.
“Yes! Only Ace and I know of this plan, but not even he is aware of who the new members are. I don’t know how they will react when they see you, but I have faith in Ace and on his leadership capabilities. It is he who will make the rest of the team understand the reasons for why I’m doing this.” She assured them.
“Um...when are they expected to arrive? Also, if it’s not too much to ask, when do we receive our powers?“ Patricia asked shyly, while she ate one of the Plutarkian raspberries off Sylth’s ice-cream.
Looking up at a clock on the wall, she said, “They should be arriving any time now. As soon as their headquarters has settled into place, I want to introduce you to them. As for your powers, Tech will help me with that. First, however, I need him to check over the head of that android that had attacked the club and try to determine where it might have come from.” She answered.
As she looked out the window and saw the wormhole open in the sky, she said, “My friends, you are now a part of the Loonatics Team so prepare yourself for what’s coming.”
Chapter 7: First Impressions and a Clue
When the Loonatics Tower popped out of the wormhole and entered into the atmosphere, Tech took the controls and had Rev be his co-pilot so that the landing to the designated spot Tweetums had given them would be smooth and perfect.
“Alright, Rev, turn 34 degrees starboard and maintain it. I want to have a nice and smooth landing."
“You got it, Tech! This landing is going to be as smooth as silk, easy as pie, no errors here, cause that would be bad, horrendous, just as landing on the wrong spot would be terrible, and bad for our reputation, all those people would be upset with us…” Rev rattled on in his hyper-speed mode, as he gave orders to the computer.
“Slow it down, Rev! I’ve got it, just focus on what you’re doing, ok?” Tech said calmly, trying to get Rev to slow down his rhythm a little bit.
“Yeah, yeah, right! You got it Tech!” Rev said a little slower.
The tower slowly turned starboard and aligned itself with the course that had been laid in. Hovering just above the city they moved their headquarters slowly toward its new home. The space for their building was a large area of barren land beyond the city and surrounded by fields of flowers.
Lexi contemplated the scenery of their new home. It somehow reminded her of the island where she had discovered her ability to manipulate plant life. It was also the place where she helped a civilization that had been misunderstood by all, even her at first. Sighing to herself, she brought her mind back to the present and paid attention to the ground below her. The land their headquarters was to be placed on was a section of the palace gardens. In the distance could be seen the palace itself.
The computer beeped informing them they had arrived at their destination. The building hovered over its new site awaiting further orders.
“Ok, time to turn off “MTF”, do it really slowly, Slam.” Tech warned the Tasmanian over the comm.
“Bllarhaghahahahgh… Right, Tech!” Slam responded in his scrambled language.
As soon as Slam turned off the “MTF”, the building bounced a little then started its slow descent. As a matter of fact, the descent was so slow Ace doubted they were really moving at all.
“Are you sure that were even moving down, Tech?”
“Of course we are, Ace. You’re just not feeling it because the magnet takes some time to shut down, and of course, we don’t want to fall like a rock do we? But don’t worry; the process of landing will be completed in about ten minutes.” He reassured Ace.
Ten minutes, as Tech had said, the tower finally hit the ground causing it to tremble a bit then finally settled and stilled. They were finally here. It had been really nice of Tweetums to let them install their headquarters in his gardens. It was the perfect place with a marvellous view.
Now that they were here, the team conducted systems checks to insure nothing had been damaged or jarred during the trip and landing. When everything checked out, they decided to take a much needed break.Going into the living area, they split up to pursue their own interests. Ace and Duck decided to turn on the television, and see the news. Lexi went to lay on the couch to take a short nap. The trip preparations and trip had exhausted her. Tweetums, on the other hand couldn’t stop moving, exclaiming cheerfully about finally arriving back home. Slam, Tech and Rev went to the kitchen to prepare a few pizzas, which was not an easy task, since Slam would eat the ingredients before they could make the pizzas.
“Aw come on, Slam… Cut that out! How are we going to make pizzas if you keep eating the ingredients?” Tech growled irritably as he tried to grab back some of the bacon Slam had taken.
“He’s right! You’re always eating everything you see in front of your nose! We’d have to go into the city, find a supermarket, buy more ingredients, come back here, make the pizzas, wait for them to cook, that’s if you don’t take the stuff again before they’re made… that will take a lot of time and I don’t want to think about it… and I’m starving!!!” Rev grumbled in rapid fire manner.
Slam stood there shamefaced, gave the bacon to Tech, put his hands behind his back and tried to restrain himself.
“Easy there, Rev… easy there, I think Slam gets the picture, now can you stop blabbering about that and pass me the anchovies and the mushrooms?” Tech sighed, hungry and tired.
While the three tried to make their little snack, Ace and Duck were discovering there was nothing on the TV worth watching. They were too tired to do anything else, though. “Wouldn’t you know it? More than 50000 channels from over 45 galaxies and still there’s nothing good on TV. I wonder if the guys who control the TV grid decided to put every boring show on, when we decided to watch it… No wonder people get tired of watching TV, sometimes. It’s always the same old thing. What I wouldn’t give for a good TV show, right now!” Duck prattled on as he zapped the channels.
“And just what kind of TV show would you consider to be great, in your opinion, Duck?” Ace asked while he held the Guardian Strike Sword and studied its shining surface.
”Well, obviously a show that had me as the protagonist or as the host, of course. Now that would be a great show. I can see it now… my own show, “The Midnight Show with Danger Duck”, or “Danger Duck, the Galaxy Avenger”!” He sighed dreamily.
“Yeah right, keep dreaming, Duck. The only way you’re gonna appear on TV, is as one of the members of this team.” Ace snorted in amusement.
“Well, I don’t know, “fierce leader”, we’re the Loonatics. One of these days, we will get our own show, and then you’ll see… I’ll be the star!” Duck continued arrogantly.
Ace merely shrugged his shoulders and ignored him.
Lethargy seemed to grip them now that the excitement of packing up and moving had passed. Though they were tired, none wanted to go to bed yet. Except for the Royal Tweetums, who had finally succumbed and fell asleep on the couch near Lexi.
Lexi’s nap hadn’t helped her any so she jumped up and suggested a game of billiards, Katzillian style.
The Katzillian version of billiards was considerably different from the game played in Acmetropolis. The balls were divided into two colors, twelve red balls and twelve blue balls, and finally, one blue and red ball. The cues were black, and the players had to wear what looked like pilot helmets to protect them from a potential misguided ball. The biggest difference in this game was the fact that the balls floated in the air. The player had to hit two balls from his/her colour with the red and blue ball before he could send one of the balls into one of the eight holes that existed on the table.
It was a complicated game that took great skill and could take hours to finish just one game. But that’s what made it fun and challenging. They divided into two teams of three and started to play. Tweetums had waked up and was made the official judge by Ace. The game went on for almost an hour and the team of Slam, Tech and Ace were winning, when the sound of the alert alarm went off.
The Loonatics were already used to hearing that sound, every time Zadavia wanted to talk to them, but hadn’t thought Zadavia would be calling them yet. Stopping the game, everyone dropped their cues and took off the helmets and ran to the communications room, where a hologram of Zadavia was already standing, waiting for them to show up.
“What’s up Zadavia? Is there a problem?” Lexi asked as she sat in her chair.
“There is but it’s not why I called you. I want you to come to my lodgings in the royal palace right now, please. I have something important to discuss with you all.” She said.
“We’ll be right there, boss-lady! Your wish is our command!” Duck responded snappily. “She’s probably going to tell me how important a member of the team I am…” He whispered to Slam.
“Duck, zip it! It’s not about you! I’ll be waiting for you. Zadavia out!” She said, as the hologram turned off.
“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s beat feet!” Ace ordered jumping from his seat, running for the door. The rest quickly followed.
A few minutes later, they entered the palace. This place felt a little strange, what with the golden walls that reflected the light to the numerous statues of golden birds, obviously ancestors of the present Tweetums and the numerous atriums with gushing water fountains.
In one of the atriums was a statue of the former ruler of Blanc. Queen Granicus, pretender to the throne, wanted to eliminate Tweetums, so she could be sole ruler of the planet. She ended up being arrested and sentenced to prison for life by the Royal Tweetums himself. He decided to keep her statue as a memorial of what she represented, so that no one ever forgot what she tried to do against him, and what might have happen if he had been eliminated. For the short time she’d held the throne, she had been a cruel and selfish leader.
It proved to be a long and winding path through many corridors to Zadavia’s quarters. They would have been lost if not for Tweetums being their guide. When they entered, the Loonatics benefactor was seated on a couch. Her wrist had finally been treated and was in a cast being supported by a sling against her chest.
The Loonatics were concerned but she quickly put them at ease. “It was a small accident, do not concern yourselves. Please have a seat and make yourselves comfortable.” She said smiling.
Once they were settled, she began, “My dear Loonatics… I called you here to discuss a matter of grave importance. As you are aware, I have decided to accept the offer my government presented me, to be their Queen. This, of course, means I can no longer be here to guide you. Your job here as protectors for the universe is far more challenging than protecting a city. The universe is vast and you are but six. Because of this, I have decided to increase the size of the team. Ace and I have already discussed this need. While you were moving your headquarters, I was finding, interviewing and recruiting various new talents.”
With the exception of Ace, the rest were shocked by her announcement. They had always assumed the team would never change. Some worried they were being questioned on their abilities and this was a polite way for Zadavia to say they were being replaced.
“Y-Y-Y-You can’t do this to us, boss-lady… I mean, we went through so much together, and now… now you’re just going to get rid of us!!!” Duck blurted worriedly, already misinterpreting what Zadavia had said.
Before Lexi or Tech could correct Duck’s stupidity they were interrupted by Slam.
“Blalalarghhgahl… Aren’t we good enough?” Slam said anxiously.
It was Ace who calmed them down, “Whoa guys! Wait a second; you weren’t listening. She said increase the size of our team not replace it. Now let Zadavia finish what she wants to tell us.” He motioned toward her, “Please Zadavia, continue…”
“Thank you, Ace,” she smiled at him gratefully. “First of all, let me assure you that you’re not going to be replaced, not even you Duck. I repeat… your team is not large enough to handle the dangers and challenges that the Universe holds so that is why I have recruited six more members for your team. I know this might be difficult to accept but I know with time and training you will integrate and become a larger but still cohesive team that fights together well,” She paused a moment looking at each of them in turn before continuing.
“Ace will still be the leader. He is the one you will go to when problems arise as you learn to function together with your new team mates. You, as the original members, can help him do this smoothly and easily if you accept the recruits and make them welcome.” She told them firmly.
They sat a few moments thinking about what she’d said except for Rev who too wound up to be still and was racing around Zadavia’s quarters like a bullet. They almost couldn’t understand him when he voiced a major concern.
“So who are these new members and how did they get their powers? When the meteorite hit Acmetropolis, us and some of the villains we’ve fought were changed. So where have they been hiding… why weren’t they found at that time too… why didn’t you get them then…?” He spit out.
“They don’t have powers…yet. I need to speak with Tech later about acquiring some for them. For now, Rev, the only thing you need to know is they are individuals of natural talent, a pure heart, and who deserved a chance to become someone who helps others as well as themselves. With that in mind, I want to introduce your new team mates.” She said.
Apparently, that was the signal because a door on the other side of the room opened and five individuals walked in. Leading the way was Patricia and Mimi, followed by Swift and finally Sylth and Pinkster.
The Loonatics reacted in shock at the sight of Sylth and Pinkster. Though Sylth had helped them during the war, they knew he had upset the Royal Tweetums and had been jailed again. But Pinkster, they knew was serving a long sentence in prison on Acmetropolis. To see him here was a nasty surprise. They looked at Zadavia in dismay. It was Ace though who voiced their concerns. “Well, Zadavia… uh… that’s some pretty odd choices you’ve made. Uhm...could you explain how two criminals could qualify as new team members?” He laughed a little uneasily.
“I know this is somehow disturbing, but believe me when I say that Sylth and Pinkster really have changed for the better and that Patricia, Mimi and Swift were chosen for their abilities. They all have goodness and moral strength in their hearts, such things cannot be hidden from me.
Ace and the others weren’t exactly sure about that. They believed that Sylth Vester might have changed since he helped them before, but Pinkster… he had manipulated them...betraying them once...he might be harder to accept… only Danger Duck was thrilled to see his old buddy again.
But, if Zadavia had seen something good in them, and chosen them, then, that had to be good enough. Though he had a few reservations, Ace was willing to accept her choices by making the first move to welcome their new team mates.
“Well, the only thing I can say is… Welcome to the Loonatics, my friends. I’m astonished to see you all here. Once we see what your talents are and how they will benefit the team the sooner we’ll all be a functioning team. Don’t worry about our reactions; we are still getting used to the idea of having new team mates and two of you will have to earn our trust.” Ace said simply.
“You’re talking about us two, aren’t you, Ace?” Sylth said without rancor.
“Well, yes… I wasn’t expecting to see you, or Pinkster, Sylth. But, let me just say that if Zadavia says you’ve changed your ways, then we’re willing to give you a chance to prove it. Welcome to this team. Now, let’s not be standing around here looking at each other… come on guys… say hello… introduce yourselves ...mingle a little.” Ace coaxed his old team mates.
“Wait a second! Zadavia, you told us there were six new members, but I only see five. Who’s the sixth member?” Tech asked.
“The sixth member is right at your side, Tech… It’s Tweetums.” Zadavia said quietly.
There were surprised looks on all their faces but once they’d absorbed the news, there were smiles on all their faces, except perhaps Danger Duck. Even Sylth, who had spent many years trying to capture him, was pleased to have him a member of the team.
“I may only be three parsecs old, but you can count on little me to help you with anything I can.” The Royal Tweetums said proudly.
“Well, this is one more reason to celebrate…” Ace said smiling.
Both old and new members mingled and got to know one another. Duck gave his buddy a huge hug. Pinkster smiled happily to see his old friend again. Duck told him he was thrilled to have him on the side of good at last.
In another part of the room, Lexi warmly welcomed Patricia and Mimi and told them they would be best friends, helping each other with all kinds of problems. She was happy to not be the only girl on the team.
Ace shook hands with Sylth and smiled at him. “You know it was an honour to fight by your side and I’m looking forward to having you as my partner and friend,” He said warmly.
“Thank you for giving me a chance. I won’t let you down and I look forward to fighting by your side.” Sylth said shyly.
Tech, Slam and Rev shook hands with Swift and congratulated Tweetums. They tried to figure out what Zadavia had seen in them to consider them as team mates. They were both so very small.
“Zadavia had asked me not to tell you guys about me being recruited. I felt bad having to keep it secret but a good king always keeps his promises.” Tweetums told them solemnly.
“Right you are, Tweetums.” Tech said pleased with his sense of honour.
“That is so true, mi amigos.” Swift agreed
Zadavia watched them get to know each other and marvelled at how well they were adapting. She had been a little afraid that there might have been too many hurt feelings or suspicions of two of the members, but they proved her worry baseless by their willingness to accept change so quickly.
A small tear of joy fell from her eyes which she quickly wiped away. Unfortunately, there was yet another matter that needed discussing. So, with great reluctance, she interrupted the ‘party’.
“I’m sorry but there is something else I need to speak to you about. Tech, I need you to take a look at this android head that attacked us in Acmetropolis.” She said and quickly explained what had happened. “I need you to see if you can discover where it might have come from.” She opened a box near the couch and bade Tech take the object out.
Tech looked it over for a few minutes, “Well at first glance, I can say for certain its Buldogian technology, military to be exact… but I can’t tell you more until I do a thorough exam in my lab. I’ll know more later and give you a report on it. I take it you are staying around for a little longer?” Tech asked.
“Yes. I want to find out more behind this attack and I need to speak with you about helping your new team mates acquire new powers. That discussion should be held in the Loonatics Tower though. I think we should adjourn and head there now.” Zadavia said.
Chapter 8: Personal Stories and Buldogian Technology
While old and new members were getting to know one another better, Tech was in his lab running a few tests on the androids head.
Tech scanned it countless times, analyzing every single section, microscopically, looking for any detail that might give him a clue as to the one’s responsible for constructing this thing.
In the main living area of the Loonatics Headquarters, Zadavia watched as the old and new members socialized with each other. She was very pleased to see her “little experiment” was going so well. She had hoped they would be mature enough to accept added members and this was better than she had imagined. The acceptance of the new members would insure their ability to handle the new task before them. She relaxed and just listened to the conversations going on around her with a small smile of satisfaction.
Not far from her, Duck and Pinkster were catching up on the past. At the moment, the discussion was about what had happened to Pinkster while in prison. He’d still been ready for revenge until he was put into therapy then his attitude changed dramatically.
“It was a dreadful… dreadful… dreadful… It was a terrible experience, Duck. Y-Y-You can’t even imagine how l-l-life in jail is. At first, I thought that the p-p-prison… that the p-p-prison… I thought that that place was a dump, but it was g-g-great, because I could plan m-m-m-my revenge against you… B-B-But once you start your rehabili… rehabili… rehabili… But once you start your treatment, to cure yourself, you f-f-find out that it is a l-l-living Hell inside.” Pinkster said unhappily.
“Well, the experience was bad, but the therapy obviously helped. You don’t have to remember the bad stuff anymore, Pinkster… You’re one of the good guys now. Forget that pitiful and miserable life of crime you lived in the past… the future is all that’s important now and we’re together again.” Duck said encouragingly. “Believe me, with you by my side, we will be the unstoppable duo… I can see it now, Danger Duck and Pinkster Pig, the greatest duo of heroes in the universe.” Duck said his eyes beginning to glow in that odd way that made Pinkster uneasy. It usually meant Duck was fantasizing about himself again.
“I-I-I never liked it when you do… you do… you do… when your eyes glow like that, Duck. Y-y-y you’re being selfish again!” Pinkster scolded him, though admittedly it did look kind of amusing.
Sylth and Ace were watching an old samurai movie on TV.
“So, you decided to change your ways and came to work with the good guys, hey? You know… what I said back there… about it being an honour to fight by your side?… I meant every word. You are an excellent and strong fighter… a rare breed, in fact. Zadavia made a wise choice and we’re lucky to have you.” Ace said solemnly.
“Thanks for those kind words… You’re not a bad fighter yourself, Ace. I’ve never seen anyone handle a sword the way you do… it’s remarkable. I’m a fair hand at sword fighting too, so I know what I’m talking about.” Sylth said with a grin turning his head back to the show.
“Is that so? Well, maybe we should spar a bit during training, test each other out and see just how good we are. It should be fun!” Ace said with a smile of anticipation on his face.
“Sounds like a challenge and one I just might accept.” Sylth said giving him a sly grin.
In Lexi quarters, the female members were getting to know each other while sitting on her bed. Lexi was thrilled to have others of the same sex on the team. She had been tired of being the only girl. There were just some things that only girls would understand.
“It was a big surprise to find out Zadavia had recruited more team members and that some of them were girls… For me it’s a wonderful thing. It will be great having others to talk to about things that aren’t sports, movies, and bad guys.” Lexi said excitedly, grinning at the girls.
Mimi giggled and smiled back. “We’re happy to be here. Especially, after what happened to us, you know? Me and my sister thought that we were going to end up in the streets after we quit our job yesterday, then Zadavia appeared and gave us this opportunity. We couldn’t believe our luck and we just couldn’t say no and walk way,” she said, with her French accent very pronounced.
“Mimi’s right… I mean, it’s everyone’s dream to be part of this team. You’re the most famous and most successful super hero team in Acmetropolis. Well, actually you’re the only super heroes in the city, but still you’re amazing. I bet you’ve gotten tons of proposals and dates from all around the Universe, girl friend!” Patricia said grinning, her accent as thick as her sister’s.
Suddenly, Lexi became a little blush. “Well, not really… I mean, I’ve had some proposals but I’ve really not gone on dates. I bet you two have had more than I, but let’s not talk about that. There will be other opportunities for that kind of chit chat. Right now, I’d like to know more about you. I’ve told you how I became a Loonatic now it’s your turn to ‘bare your souls’ as it were. Don’t be shy, we’re all girls here.” she coaxed them.
Patricia and Mimi looked at each other for a moment before Mimi began to tell their tale.
“Well… we’re orphans. We were only babies when we were placed in an orphanage. We don’t know who our parents were, and has you might noticed, we’re not really blood sisters, but we grew up depending on each other in the orphanage and thought of each other as sisters. We were fortunate to be adopted by the same person when we were seven years old. The old lady saw how close we were to each other and couldn’t bear to part us. She was very poor but had wanted kids for a long time. Despite her circumstances, she took very good care of us and tried to give us every thing she could. We owe her so very much… her love, an education, a roof over our heads, her valuable lessons on life, courage, and her friendship.” Mimi said softly. “Unfortunately, she died a year ago and we were left orphans again. We knew how to take care of ourselves and found a job and looked out for each other,” she finished smiling warmly at her adopted sister with tears in her eyes and matching the ones in Patricia’s eyes.
Lexi was stunned. Her life hadn’t been rosy especially when she’d been bullied a lot at the University, but her life was fairly normal when compared to the life that her girl friends had. She didn’t know how she would have managed to survive under those circumstances. They were two brave girls for having survived that kind of life and Lexi felt humble in their company.
Smiling warmly, she leaned forward and gave them both a tight hug. “I think you both were very brave to have survived what you did, and you deserve to be here, more than anyone else. You don’t have to worry anymore… You’re part of this team now, and it may not seem like it yet, but we’re a family. Welcome to the family!”
In another part of living room, Slam, Rev, Tweetums, and Swift were chatting amiably. At the moment they were listening to Swift talk about his planet, family and music. “Wow! That’s quite a story, Swift… You know; my parents cared more about me than my brother Rip. I was considered the genius of the family, because like I said before, my family is nothing more but geniuses. They specialize in the fields of electronics and robotics. I never considered myself as smart as they. My brother is really brighter than I, but my parents didn’t feel that way and snubbed him, especially my dad,” Rev said in that speeded up language of his, a little bitter. “Just like you, I was given special treatment and my siblings were ignored. I think that is just wrong… Fortunately, a short time ago, my dad saw my brother Rip for what he really is, and he gave him a chance to prove it, by correcting a little mess that I created. Parents should give their kids equal treatment…”
“You are right, Rev!” Swift interrupted gently. “But that is also no longer true in my family. Mi padres have returned to giving my brothers and sisters fair attention now that I am gone. I’m glad but also sad that it took me leaving for that to change. I haven’t had a chance to tell them I am a super hero now… wonder how they will react to that wonderful news?” Swift said thoughtfully.
“Blarghlraghlarhlgl… Don’t worry! I’m sure they will be very happy for you.” Slam said in his usual scrambled fashion.
“Slam is right… I’m sure your parents will be very happy with the news. In fact, I’m certain they will be proud of you.” Tweetums said, in his squeaky voice while patting Swift on the shoulder.
“I’m sure you are right, mi amigos. Mi padres will want to hold a huge fiesta to celebrate the news with all my familia attending. Of course, you will all be invited… Arriba!!! What is that?” Swift shouted in surprise as an alarm sounded suddenly.
The original Loonatics calmly headed for the elevator gesturing to their new members, reassuringly, to follow them. It wasn’t a general alarm but a specific one. It told them Tech had discovered something.
Pressing the appropriate button for Tech’s lab, Ace smiled easily at the nervous newbies. The elevator decanted them at Tech’s floor. The coyote was standing in front of one of his many monitors, tapping into a keyboard and in the air, hung a hologram of the android’s head.
“So, what’s up, Tech? What did you find about that metal head?” Ace asked for all of them.
“I entered hacked into the data base of the Buldogian Army. I found our ‘friend’s head’ in their records. Its listed as a military android and not just any android but the most powerful android ever built by the Buldogian civilization… the Canis XLR 3.0,” Tech said in awe as he pushed a button on his board and the hologram image changed to the android’s full body.
Zadavia and the others that had been with her during their encounter with the android recognized it as the one that had attacked them.
“It’s really an amazing piece of state of art robotics, guys. It’s made out of a special metal alloy known as Spengleranium, that is made by fusing Spengler crystals with Solarium, which by itself is a very strong metal, but once its fused with those crystals, becomes even stronger. The Spengleranium is able to hold volcanic temperatures, but the Spengleranium that is in this head that you brought me is a very old type, which means it wasn’t as strong as the new versions. That’s why you were able to stop him. The newer models would have obliterated you.” Tech said grimly.
“So besides it armor, what sort of weapons does that baby have, Tech?” Lexi asked in concern.
“I can answer that, since I worked with an android of that type before. It has quantum laser guns, ballistic grenades, quantum discs that explode on contact, not to mention it is able to create a powerful shield that repels anything fired at it. It’s almost impossible to destroy these newer models. You were lucky to have only encountered an older one.” Sylth said heavily, while he checked the hologram.
“Just like Sylth said, this android is no pushover. I wasn’t able to find exactly where this one came from because the plaque with the series number was erased by a laser gun. Still, I do know one thing… these androids were always built exclusively for the Buldogian Army, so whoever sent this one out has to be a Buldogian or has someone working on the inside of the Buldogian Army, who arranged the theft of one, and sent it to hunt for whatever it was looking for at that restaurant.
“What about the records on the CPU, Tech? Did you find something that could lead us to the one who sent it to hunt?” Zadavia asked frowning as she studied the hologram.
“Unfortunately, no, for you see, when you short-circuited the android, the entire memory that was in the CPU disappeared or was scrambled. I’m sorry, but this was the best I could do.” Tech said shrugging his shoulders in frustration.
“That’s alright, Tech. You did find out something at least and that’s good… We’ll be alert for something that may be connected to its attack. It would help if we knew what or who it was after at that restaurant.” Zadavia mused distractedly. “Anyway we have other, more important, matters to take care of right now. We still need to give your new team members powers so they can start their training before you need them on your next mission,” Zadavia said firmly. “Do you think you can invent a machine that can recreate the radiation caused by that meteor that changed you?” She asked Tech.
Tech frowned thoughtfully for some minutes then muttered, “Well, I may be able to create something with those characteristics, but there’s a problem. To duplicate the radiation of the impact, I would need a fragment of the meteorite. It could be just a small piece… about the size of a nut… Unfortunately, I think the original meteorite was nearly vaporized on impact, and then we destroyed the rest of it, when your brother tried to make it crash into Acmetropolis.”
“That’s actually not a problem, Tech. I, fortunately, have a small fragment of it… about the size of my fist. It’s in my quarters. I kept just in case it might be needed and it looks like my foresight has paid off. Now, about the invention itself… What do you intend to invent, that will recreate the radiation?” She asked the coyote, who was thinking about the same thing.
”Well, I might be able to use the fusion chamber of the tower to recreate the impact of the meteor, after some minor adjustments. There’s always the chance of something going wrong, because I’ll not be able to control the amount of radiation and the result may not be the one we hope to achieve, but I’ll try it. With the help of Rev, and maybe Pinkster, if he’s willing to help me design it, I’ll have it ready by tomorrow.” Tech promised.
“Excellent! I’m sure Pinkster would be happy to help you and Rev with the construction of this device,” Zadavia said pleased. “I’ll bring you the fragment.”