Chapter 9

The Grayhound looked back to where the helicopter landed once the torrent of wind from the downblast had subsided. The purple and yellow clad trio stood in bold defiance of Magnifty, in a classic hero's pose. The tall, well toned, lead guy had weird headband that looked like futuristic headphones. To his right was an older, scruffier looking, but equally well toned man who was chomping down hard on a cigar. To his left was a red haired woman who's children (and possibly those of several small towns) would never go hungry.

The Grayhound's inspection of the trio was abruptly terminated as Detective Wallace grabbed him by the shoulder and screamed into his ear. "You mind telling yer buddies ta' get the hell out of here before they kill everybody!"

Grayhound yelled back, "Screw it, I'm telling them to get the hell out of my town."

"See if they'll take you too."

Grayhound mumbled something under his breath as he jogged toward the newly newly arrived heroes. He wasn't even a quarter of the way there before all hell broke loose.

The heroes split apart, Earphones went left, Cigar boy went right and the Chick went, well, up.

Magnifty reached out a hand and an empty police cruiser rose up from the ground. It hovered for a second and streaked toward Earphone boy. The Grayhound reached into his coat. Earphones turned his head, touched a control and a burst of brilliant green light flashed out. It struck the police car, and the black and white missile exploded in fiery chunks of hot steel.

Grayhound corrected his original target and threw the baseball-sized pink object toward a group of spectators who were now in the path of a fair amount of smoking carnage. The Portashield deployed with not a fraction of an instant to spare. The noise was horrific, but the folks behind the shield were safe, and wondering why the center portion of the large pink protectant was slightly darker and a bit raised.

Cigar leapt up towards Magnifty. Considering that the distance was close to 60 feet, it was a very impressive leap. In mid ascent, Cigar's nails grew to nearly three feet. They sprang from his fingertips in an impressive metallic sheen. They jutted from his toes as well, and explained why a hard edged individual like himself tended to wear Birkenstocks.

Magnifty evaded the slashing nails but the section of flagpole beneath him didn't. The Grayhound watched as the ancient iron pole slowly toppled, bounced of the dome of the capitol and fell toward a cub scout troop. It was on the other side of the square, and there was no way Grayhound could have caught it. Fortunately JB somehow fashioned a lariat out of a section of cabling from a news truck. He lassoed the falling pole and was able to yank it just enough to miss the troop and crash into a few bushes. Several large irate camera operators exited the van to voice their opinions about suddenly being taken off the air, JB hightailed back toward the main fracas.

The Grayhound looked back toward the action to see the air between Magnifty and the heavy-chested heroine rippling with energy. She was holding her fingertips to her temples as she focused against her foe. Magnifty's hands were held out pushing against the force of will being exerted against him. Earphones had circled below and let loose another blast of green energy. The blast hit the wall and was refracted toward the bus full of nuns that were parked behind the Grayhound.

Once again Grayhound' hands dove into a pocket and produced yet another object. As it arced toward the bus, it was struck full on by the energy blast. For a second, both hung in mid air as the energy poured into the black object. As the last bit of pulsing green plasma was absorbed, the zippered mask exploded in a white hot flash. It wasn't the item that Grayhound had thought it was, but he was happy that it worked about as well as the hoped.

The nuns were safe and Grayhound yet again looked toward the battle. His mind racing for something to use for whatever might be hurled next.

As he looked up he thought, 'What exactly stops a hurtling metrobus?'

Before Grayhound could answer there was a flash of color, a loud bang and the bus was sent skidding up the marble steps and on top of the wad of bullets deposited earlier.

"Chris, you ok?" JB asked.

The Grayhound started breathing again. He looked at JB for a second. "You've been working out lately, haven't you?" Grayhound asked. JB looked at him with a very confused expression.

"Officer!" Headphones yelled out. He pointed toward Grayhound and JB. "Would you please remove these civilians from the battle scene before they are hurt?"

"CIVILIANS!?" Grayhound and JB yelled back. Chris continued, "Hey you freaky earcheese shooting moron, this is our burg!!"

"Very well, the battle ith yourth for now, but not the war. I thall return." and with that, Magnifty generated a massive magnetic pulse that knocked out most of the lights and disappeared into the night.

They Y-Guys reconvened at their helicopter. Detective Wallace approached from one side, the Canine Crime fighters from the other. None of the approaching individuals were in a pleasant or thankful mood. Whatever arguments or snide comments they had, were quickly lost to stunned silence as a sleek metallic coffin levitated out of the helicopter's ramp.

"Professor Yimenez" the woman stated to the slab macabe, "You should not have come out, things are still unsettled"

Things were surreal. Fortunately for the assembled group, that put things squarely in JB's home turf. "Well, now that Spock has decided to join us, you mind telling us just who the hell you are?"

They were silent for about a minute.

"WELL!?" The Grayhound nearly exploded at them.

"Oh, you couldn't hear the Professor?" the woman asked somewhat surprised.

"No surprise there." the gruff one mumbled with a fair amount of distaste. He pulled out a diamond tipped nail clipper and began trimming down his nails.

Earphones said nothing and merely continued to look straight ahead heroically.

The woman struck a professional stance. The Grayhound and JB found it oddly.... stimulating., "We are the Y-Guys, a specialized group under the guidance of Professor Yimenez. I am Mentra, my companions are Biclops, and Badger."

"WHAT?" Biclops yelled having been distracted by Mentra's hand pointing toward him.

"I'M JUST EXPLAINING WHO WE ARE!" Mentra yelled back to Biclops, slowly pronouncing each word.

"I'M BICLOPS, SHE'S MENTRA AND HE'S BADGER. NICE TO MEET YOU." Biclops shouted cordially and vigourously shook the Grayhound's hand. Having apparently completely forgotten his earlier command for them to leave the battlegrounds.

Mentra explained, "I'm afraid that Biclops power requires him to wear protective ear guards."

"MY POWER REQUIRES ME TO WEAR THESE EAR GUARDS"

"WE TOLD HIM."

"WHAT?" Biclops moved the protective earphone aside. The green blast caught the Badger right in the cigar and knocked him a clean twenty feet.

The Badger sat up and spat out the destroyed remains of his cigar. "Will you plug up yer ear-holes, Buster!"

JB understood, "Ah, they're THOSE kind of protective ear guards."

"Fine, fine, so who's the guy in the box?"

"That's Professor Yimenez, master of psychic powers and leader of the Y-Guys."

"I take it he's not feeling well?" Chris asked with not a small amount of cynicism in his voice.

Mentra bristled, "The Professor may be different than you, but there's no cause to be rude. His mind is sharp and keen."

"Unlike yours" mumbled the Badger.

Grayhound shook his head. This was the time for cool collected discussion. Assault and battery would have to wait until later.

"Look, there's probably some misunderstanding going on here." Grayhound began, "I'm The Grayhound and he's Puppyboy. We're the registered heroes for Boise." He fished out his wallet and pulled out the permit.

Mentra looked it over, raised an eyebrow and remarked, "They give those out?"

Chris stuffed the permit back into his wallet.

Mentra looked off into the horizon. "The Y-Guys must work above such petty agencies. Our goal is to strike a balance between normals and metas."

"Metas?" the Grayhound asked.

"We are enhanced humans who have evolved to a new level."

"Unlike you." the Badger said as he poked Chris hard in the chest. This guy was really starting to grate on Chris.

"Excuse me?" Chris responded.

The Badger got in Chris' face. He could have used both a shave and a stronger mouthwash. "You couldn't hear the Professor. He speaks with his mind to Metas. You don't hear him, therefore, you're a norm, just like him" The Badger jerked his thumb toward JB.

"You, obviously, don't know what you're talking about. Puppyboy is far from normal."

"Hey!" JB objected.

"Yes Professor, you're quite right. We should set up operations here for the time being, to ensure the safety of the fair citizens of this town."

"What? Hey, look, you can't just barge in here and set up shop!" Chris continued to shout his protests as the Y-Guys climbed on to the helicopter and it flew off into the night.

Chris just stood and steamed. Set up shop? In his City? Not bloody likely...


Civil Defense Officer Anthony McClain had been making his rounds when he found them. The city was under a blackout drill and he tried to pound on the door to get the owner to turn off those damn lights before the Japs blew the city sky high.

Of course he had no idea what to think when his fist passed through the front door.

He tentatively pushed his hand through the light barrier again, and slowly made his way into the "warehouse". There were strange cardboard cut outs standing around plus a few vans scattered toward the back. Behind the cutouts were alien looking, glowing contraptions with thick cables leading away.

Anthony's flashlight followed the cables toward another, darker more traditional looking warehouse. Suddenly, he heard the otherworldly whine and crackles of arcing power. In a brilliant flash of light, it was over. Later, Anthony reported that he didn't hear any explosions; it just suddenly stopped. The weird glowy contraptions were melted and smoking as if they also got more than a fair share of power sent through them.

Anthony remembered pushing the door to the warehouse open. Most of the smoke had cleared by then, since he was in no rush to find out exactly what had just happened. The interior of the warehouse was a nearly complete ruin. The heavy smell of something not quite ozone lingered in the air. Bits of unknown machinery were scattered all over the nearly empty room, Everything was nearly covered in a fine black soot.

Well, almost everything.

Dangling from chains were some sort of weird getups. They were bright and colorful costumes that stood out against the blackened surroundings like headlights on a desert highway. Anthony reached for one of the costumes and felt... something...

He drew his hand back in shock, not quite knowing what it was. Carefully he reached out again, this time, he felt nothing at all. Just the cloth and the wall behind it.

He carefully collected the costumes, not quite sure what to do with them. He folded them up and placed them in a canvas bag he found nearby. 'Harry would know what to do with these things', he thought as he scampered back out into the night.

He had heard that there was some sort of special group of folks that had been set up in town, some sort of secret group of folks that were doing secret war kind of stuff. Harry had his nose in all kinds of business like that.

Anthony hurried back to his bike and started peddling back toward home, the rest of his rounds forgotten.

 


Before dawn the debris moved one last time. A shadow crawled free. It struggled to move, but by sheer force of will it was determined to flee this foreign land and return home before it died. Slowly, painfully, it crawled into the cab of a truck. The engine groaned and sputtered to life.

The truck pulled out onto the main road and headed toward Home.

The journey was not easy, nor short. The shadow did not rest or eat or sleep, stopping only to refuel at deserted stations. It used no map or compass, merely finding it's way by the sun, the stars and dead reckoning.

Twenty hours later a battered truck ground to a stop along a muddy trail of a road. The engine died with an exhausted sigh. Finally, the shadow was Home. Slowly the sun crested the hills and illuminated the weathered sign in front of the empty truck.

"Welcome to Maple Ridge"


Of all the arrogant, self serving, obnoxious group of bastards I have ever had the misfortune of meeting, those Y-Guys take the cake.

You want a pickle with your sandwich?

Yeah. I mean, c'mon they blow into town and just decide 'We're taking over because you can't hear a dead guy' I bet they never even filed for an application or anything.

Chris? Do we have any rubber gloves, urg, or vice grips, hrmm, or some explosives, this... damn... jar... is... stuck.

Hang on a sec. I mean c'mon, a fat bald guy with a bucket on his head drifts into town, these bozos show up and magically determine that he's more than we can handle? Where the hell do these guys get off? Here.

Thanks Chris. Here's your sandwich. I thought that you didn't want to be a superhero?

What do you mean?

Well, you keep saying that you don't want to be a superhero and here come a bunch of bona-fide metas with cool superpowers. Magnifty and them seem to have some prior history. Gotta figure that they'll probably wrap things up and either leave town or take up residence. Who knows, maybe they'll even take care of Bob. I'll go back to contracting, and you'll go back to... uhm, Chris? What was it that you did anyway?


A Peanutbutter and Kiwi sandwich and a Diet Carffee? Do you have any taste buds?

It's good, you should try it.

No thanks, I don't like the fuzzy-sticky feeling mouth gets.

I can take the skin off the kiwi.

I was talking about the Diet Carffee.

This from the guy who eats two bowls of Buzzy-Bits and a Coke every morning, oh and you're dodging the question.

That's not the point, look, we're the established, recognized, licensed heroes in Boise right? We've got the obligation to take care of these people. Sure, the Y-Guys have spiffy powers, but who knows what their intent is? They might be in cahoots with Magnifty.

Which cleverly explains why they tried to kill each other.

Ok, so why did Magnifty just leave? He was clearly holding his own against them, and looked like he could have kept doing that for a while.

Hmm, hadn't really thought about that part.

Plus, they weren't exactly looking out for he public interest. How much damage did they do?

They're still taking estimates, but it's close to a couple of million. I think the therapy bills from the Boy Scouts is what pushed the balance higher.

Oh man, that reminds me. I gotta talk to Annie about some of those porta-shields. I gotta bad feeling about what's going to be on the commemorative T-shirts.

Well, here's hoping it's more PG.

JB? I gotta admit that I haven't been 100% on this whole superhero nonsense, but it's my job now, whether I like it or not, and I'm not going to lose it to a bunch of fancy dress idiots who think they're better than me.

Hmm. Sounds like you and that Detective have a mutual understanding.

Ouch. Your right, I'll try to stop by the station and talk with him a bit. The last thing I want to do is tick off the local constabulary.

Good idea. Maybe you can bring him a nice gift box of chocolate covered bullets or something?

Whatever, I just hope that solves one of the problems...

What's the other problem?

You.

Now what?

JB, last night you managed to single-handedly swatted away a bus that was about to fall on me. Not that I don't mind being saved from ending up a hood ornament for MUNI, but it was a bit of a surprise. Today, you couldn't even open a pickle jar. Last month, I found you talking like a cross between Adam West and Humphrey Bogart and calling the radio a 'Marcconi'. What's more, you were making more sense then than you usually do. You woke most of the neighborhood a few nights ago, yet you don't know why. JB? Please don't take this wrong when I say that you're acting a bit odder than normal.


JB?

I thought you swatted away the bus.


Along the Embarcadero of San Fransisco, a probe skated by tourists.Two men in discussion with a hotdog vendor stopped and stared at it as it rolled by. That was fine, of course, it made scanning them easier. In other cities, other probes skated along each disguised as the same blonde woman in a minimal tight lycra outfit. For the most part, they easily blended into the environment unnoticed by the tourists.

Granted, the probe in Melbourne Australia did garner a bit more attention from the locals considering it was a balmy 50ºF and raining. However, they just figured it was another bloody stupid Yank and comfortably ignored it as they would any sopping wet heavy chested woman wrapped in clingy material.

The probes moved with efficient grace. It carefully scanned everything from chemical composure of the air and soil to radio broadcast transmissions to the thoughts of the people it passed. Oddly, the probe in Melbourne did return the strongest thought patterns. This was at first believed to be indicative of great mental prowess on the part of that city, but then the computer played back the decoded data, and that assumption was quickly discarded (although the data was bookmarked for later perusal).

The probes were programmed to seek the optimal location. Report after report came back negative, then probe #42 reported back. It was positive. They had found the right spot. The probe stopped along an emptier section of the Cais, and looked to the sky. It sent the local coordinates: 43 / -116, and then it disappeared.


Mmm, this Reisling is delicious, and I think it's going straight to my head. Bob? C'mon, Bob, it's our anniversary and you're a million miles away.

Am I? Oh I'm sorry, Avey, I guess I was just a bit distracted.

Oh? Is it your job?

No, no that's going fine. The last few promotions went great and the clients seem to like what I've been doing...

I told you that you'd be good at that. Well, then what is it.

Oh, it's nothing really.

C'mon Bob, I'm your wife. Talk to me. Is it your side project?

Yeah, I guess so.

You're not thinking about that Kristine chick are you?

No, no, no. My skin is the wrong color and I don't have a protective shell. I'm definitely not her type. Plus I'm very attached to my intestines.

Darn tootin' buster. Well, then what is it?

I guess you could say that I'm bothered by the newest challenge.

Well, I'm sure you'll do fine.

Howdy! Welcome to Rusty Gordon's Steakhouse! I see you already have your drinks. Are you ready to order?

Yes, I think so. Are you ready, Love?

Uhm, sure. I guess I'll have the Dipstick Shish-ka-shrimp platter with a side salad.

Would you like brown or white dressing?

Uh, do you have a vinegarette?

I don't know, I suppose I could check. I think we have a light basil and soy dressing.

That would be fine.

What kind of sides would you like?

Uhm, how about the baked potato and fresh vegetables.

Would you like those vegetables well done?

No.. I think just steamed.

Ooh, I dunno if the chef can do that. If he can't how's about grilled?

Sure. Grilled would be fine.

And you sir?

I'll have the ribs.

Sure thing. Which side?

Oh, I guess the baked potato

No, I'm sorry, left or right?

Excuse me?

Would you like the left or right side of the ribs.

Is there much of a difference?

Is this your first visit?

Yes it is.

Oh, well, let me explain. Our herds are raised on special oval tracks in the fine NASCAR tradition. We've found that this gives a unique flavor and taste to the meat we serve. Left side ribs are tender and moist while right side are leaner but larger.

Ah, I see, I think. I guess I'll have the right side.

Care for a salad as well?

Uh, sure. I guess I'll have the house salad and dressing.

What weight would you like?

10w30 I think, on the side please.

Will do. I'll be out with those salads in a minute. Excuse me while I reach up here and pull these down. These are your sauce guns, here's butter, barbeque sauce, mustard, cheese and my favorite the pesto gun. Watch those, they tend to squirt pretty fast. Ah, and here's your Bucket-o-BaconBits. My name is Julie, give me a holler if you need anything.

Good God, is that a real bucket?

Apparently. I'm more curious about the assortment of nozzles. How did you hear of this place anyway?

Roland told me about it.

That explains a few things.

Hey, he wasn't wrong about the Japanese place, was he?

I guess...

Bob, c'mon cheer up, will you? You've always been able to get control of whatever situation comes up. Tonight it's just you and me. And after dinner, we'll go home, and maybe I'll slip into that chrome bodice you like so much.

And put in that Wagner CD?


You know it, Babe.

Now all we have to do is make it all the way through dinner...


PERSONAL LOG ENTRY: 8045-9931
TRANSLATING.....
COMPLETE
BEGIN

The item inhales strongly.

I continue to operate my general surveillance of the Terraist society. Generally discuss regression. Those undecipherable individuals of questionable heritage are less intelligent than a rectangular container of construction tools.

I have made numerous attempts to facilitate communications but have yet to penetrate the heads of the speechless maternal fornicators.

I tried sexual relations with patterns in agricultural products, sexual relations with involuntary acquisitioning individuals and sexual relations with leaping from behind shrubbery in front of representatives of sexual relations with agricultural specialists with a portable light providing device placed in my rectum.

The collective whole of the less intelligent maternal fornicators have yet to draw externally that I am not of the local area. Sure there have been infrequent articles in that which questions the nation, but the item in question is only viewable in external designation facilities of exceptional retail facilities, and no one believes any of the male domesticated ungulate excrement contained within them.

As per your request, I have delivered the fleet videographic transmission. The slightly reduced temperature section is that the indigenous population seem to enjoy false belief in the subversive activities of their elected officials. To cause to rotate spirally about an axis their organized conscious mental activities, I provided or marked with the transmission on to a large noteworthy quantity of the S.E.T.I. excrement.

The individuals of reduced mental facilities have even geometric formed externally the transmission and sent it to the large manufactured coverings of natural or artificial slender outgrowths of the epidermis in their center of governments. Unfortunately, the having sexual relations with the G.C. may have discovered it as well. It is not a major concern, the grains or ripened ovules of plants used for sowing have been planted.

I understand that the members of the High Council have ordered me to develop this species by appearing as a large evil pack animal and get them to have sexual relationships with collecting as a cohesive whole, but this species is generally without an indicative element of investigation and the ruling elevated ungulate excrementy -ungulate excrements, demand retaining everyone in insufficient lighting. It is condemnation locally impossible to get a sufficient quantity of the individuals with less than sufficient intelligence to elevate themselves and female canine strike the overweight craniums into some form of action.

I am cognizant that individual of questionable birth, Commander Fa'qu commanded me not to use that which makes the t'Lanpaq jump on these sexual relations with individuals of reduced mental facilities like F'Kin did last time, but I am beginning to visualize the reason he performed such actions. The destitute male offspring of a female canine did not deserve to be undecipherable in such a manner.

I am not going to get my male reproductive organs passed through a food maintenance device in a similar fashion as he did.

Oh, underground water storage facility, back to receiving the incoming recents on the ancient mammary gland cylindrical receptacle.

END


Click

late yesterday and have since purchased an abandoned warehouse facility located in nearby Cyprus Shores. Ken Griffith filed this report.

Thank you, Susan. Not much is known about the Y-Guys, even in their former home city of Chicago. I contacted the United Super Hero Association, the official licensing office for most American Superheroes and they reported that none of the Y-Guys were officially licensed, bad news to merchants who are now unable to file claims against USHA.

I had the opportunity to talk to a representative of the Y-Guys, Mentra.

"How long will you be taking up residence in Boise?"

"We will be here as long as we are needed."

"Will you be working with the Grayhound?"

"Who?"

"Our resident superhero, The Grayhound."

"I'm sorry, I don't believe that Boise had a superhero before we arrived. Now if you'll excuse me I'm needed for our practice session in the Threat Theater™"

We were unable to reach The Grayhound for comment.

Thank you Ken Griffith. In other news, hundreds of people lined up for hours for California's new, record lot

Click

Chris sat in the dark, silent room. After a few minutes, his face was illuminated by the light of his cellphone.

Beeeeee*oooooooop*

"Jonathan? It's me. You were right. What's it at? Should be enough for what I need. Same deal as last? Good. I'll have the numbers for you tomorrow morning. Probably about 10 or so. I'll need to do some research of course. Sure thing. Looks like you'll be getting that house after all. Have a good night, Jonathan. Pleasant dreams."


"Honey? There's some... thing... out here to see you?"

"I'll be out in a second."

Bob turned off the laptop and disconnected the cable to Margie. She was in sleep mode, and sure enough, she was dreaming of electric sheep. He turned off the light in the garage and headed into the main room. Avey was just pouring coffee when he came in, trying her best to be the proper hostess to the three-foot tall robot that was sitting on the couch.

"You have fine taste in décor, for a human. I enjoy the light airy feeling the white pine gives the room. Still, I think a bit more chrome or titanium alloys would really bring out the highlights of the curtains."

"Err, thank you mister...", Avey took the compliment with an uncertain grace.

"Ah, I apologize, my name is Lord Krullux of Planet Doom. You may address me as simply Krullux. Have you thought about adding a Van de Graph generator or two on your end tables? I think they'd really say something to guests and certainly get your next festivity humming."

"Uhm...."

Bob knew when to step into the conversation. "Krullux, good to see you!"

"Good Day Mr. Malevolent. Again, I must complement you wife on her fine décor." The robot turned back to Avalon and said in a quiet tone, "I shall send you the name of a fine torchierre I know of. He does wonders with real torches."

"err..."

"Krullux, let's go back into my office so we can talk."

Bob led the way to the Den of Evil and cleared a spot for Krullux.

Krullux held up a free claw, "Ah, that will not be necessary. I believe that I can use the projector. Do you have an outlet I can plug into?"

Bob pointed at a free outlet and watched the little robot walk over, pull out a cord and plug in. The robot turned and went dark. Bob was a bit confused but the screen flickered and then grew very bright. Suddenly, Krullux was in the room with him.

Bob had never seen the full version of his mentor before. Bob had always just assumed Krullux was nothing more than a disembodied head displayed on the screen of the small robot. His image flickered a second or two belying the fact that Bob was actually looking at a Holograph.

"Does the projector display color images?" Bob asked.

Krullux looked confused and then began looking at himself. "What?" As Krullux inspected himself, Bob caught a flash of dark red from the trim of Krullux's cape.

Bob then realized that yes, the projector does display color, it's just that Krullux normally looked like that.

Bob quickly recovered. "Ah, there it goes, it must have needed to warm up.", he lied.

Krullux resumed his normal haughty pose. Bob had also thought to ask about Krullux's height, thought about it and decided it would just be better to remain seated and continue to look the Current OverLord of the Doomians straight in the eye.

"Do you have the package?" Krullux asked Bob.

"Yes, it arrived here Thursday." Bob reached over and picked up the box that had been dropped off by UPS. "I had a dickens of a time explaining the dark brown flying saucer to the neighbors. Forutnately, they didn't see that the driver had blue tentacles. Must cost them a ton to get khaki shirts like that."

"Yes, I apologize for that, but Universal Package Service is the only one that make pickups. Have you opened the box?"

"No, of course not."

"That is most fortunate. This item is very dangerous, Mr. Malevolent, and is single-handedly responsible for the destruction of Doomian society as we know it. The only reason I brought it here was because I was requested to by..." Krullux paused as if he was about to say something. Bob simply looked at him. "...someone who says you might be able use it." Krullux looked a bit disturbed, as if he didn't believe that to be true, but was somehow compelled to deliver the item regardless.

Bob carefully began to open the box. "What do you know about it?"

"It is a weapon from the elder alien race called the Grylix. I curse the day that they arrived. Twelve thousand years of civilization, gone in a week. The Doomians were the rightful rulers of the Galaxy. We were strong, strict, ruthless yet merciful. Now, we are nothing but the laughing stock of the Universe. Great Warriors, Philosophers, gone like dry jlax in the winds of..."

Bob interrupted Krullux before he really got on the roll. Bob had heard the lament too many times already. "It's very heavy."

Krullux was no longer even phased by the interruptions. "Yes, and very well constructed, better than most weapons I've seen."

"How did you get a hold of it?" Bob asked as he carefully removed the packaging Styrofoam peanuts.

"It was being kept by Admiral Zarran. Such a great warrior, he was the most decorated conquorer in all Doomian history, such great promise. He was using it to smash watermelons for his stage act. I created a robot to acquire it. Zarran put up a great battle, but my robot eventually lost him by running by a giant model of a communicator. Gods, I hate that bit."

Bob removed the device. It was roughly cylindrical and oddly simple. Unlike most Doomian things he had encountered, this was a dull golden-gray with nothing but a simple black button switch. It bore some writing etched into the cold metal, along with something looking vaguely bovine, but with eight legs and far too many horns.

"What does this say." Bob pointed to the writing.

"We do not know. In fact, the only thing I know for certain is that it operates by pressing the shiny tip on someone and pressing the button. As for what it does, it's far too terrible to say. It's why I have taken drastic steps to ensure my safety in a world gone mad. A world that once could have risen to the top of.."

"Have you found the key to your office door yet?" Bob asked.

"No, and I've looked everywh..." Krullux caught himself and quickly retuned to his superior attitude. "The door is secured for good reason! My robotic agents are my eyes and ears so that I may strike sweet vengeance on what the Grylix have done to my world."

Bob smiled to himself. He knew the truth. Krullux, would probably be considered a hero to future generations of Doomians, provided there are future generations of Doomians. Bob hefted the device, feeling it's weight. He nearly needed two hands to hold it. Bob put the device on the desk.

"You are quite certain that the Grylix plan to target your planet?" Krullux said with a hint of anticipation.

Bob murmured agreement. He had intercepted the broadcast thanks to codes he had planted. He hadn't sent the actual video of course, but the message told of a massive fleet just passing Aldebarron. Bob had one asset that the Government didn't have. And he, well, his holographic image at least, was standing next to him.

Bob estimated that the fleet would arrive in twenty years. Not much time.

"Do you know what effect that will have on humans?"

Bob slowly turned, "No, but I think I know someone who might help us find out."


Wait, I don't get it. The weapon doesn't kill anyone, but it makes them smash watermellons and play with giant prop phones? That means it turns them into... My God! A whole planet of them? That's... that's...

What?

Dammit, they said they'd fix that light.

What does Bob and the villain Krullux have in mind for our heros?

Who are the Grylix and what do they want with the Earth?

And what the hell is all over my sleeve?
It looks like taco sauce or something... What? Oh.

Tune in next time for:

A Shocking Discovery
or
What Fries Within.


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