by Blackwolf247, Cassie Foxx, Doc Quantum and Comickook
Deep within the caverns of New Yak, Gnu York, the city that never sleeps (except at night), a gathering of heroes was transpiring.
Black Lightning Bug, the blue, gold, and black-clad feline hero and his new best friend, the containment-suit-clad skunk known as Stink Bomber, were meeting with two other heroes. They wanted Where Wolf, the invisible wolfhound (who was fortunately not invisible at the present), and Block Wolf, lupine of stone, to join with them to become the new, super-duper team called the Outhyders. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew: Bounty Hunter.]
The four heroes were in a small apartment in which the newly assembled team could relax away from the prying eyes of the general public, and Black Lightning Bug was just finishing telling the others a story.
“So then Jive Turkey had no choice but to surrender!” he guffawed, and the others joined in the laughter.
At that moment, and quite dramatically, the radio increased in sound — as it was set to do in case of emergencies — with these words:
“Good golly, Miss Molly! This is Rockem Sockem, your D.J. host with the most, bringing you this important message: HELP! Giant bunny-rabbit-like creatures are terrorizing downtown uptown, all around town! And me? I’m for hiding under the desk until somebody does something, and I mean, like, stopping these fiendish critters! And now this important message from our sponsor.”
As a commercial for Bovina Bachelor Chow came on the radio, Stink Bomber turned the volume down and faced the others. “This looks like a job for the Outhyders!” he stated, taking on a very heroic stance, his hands on his hips. After nearly disgracing his name as a failed bounty hunter, Stink Bomber was eager to look like a super-hero.
“Right on, right on, bro,” said Black Lightning Bug. “Well, dawgs, you up to it?”
“Who… you… calling… a… dawg?” Block Wolf asked, already transforming into stone and ready to go into battle, since his speed was not physically decreased, and he was indeed up to it.
The more demure, long-lashed Irish wolfhound Where Wolf nodded. “Shucks, boys, let’s rock and roll!”
The four heroes gallantly rushed outside, then paused. “Uh, anybody remember where we parked?” Stink Bomber asked, looking around.
“Never mind that, little dude! There comes a giant — and the Black Lightning Bug means giant — bunny rabbit!” the feline team leader said, just as a huge, furry paw landed on the heroes with a whoomp!
Is this the end of the Outhyders? Is their team doomed before it even gets started? Will the Cubs ever ever win the series? Stay tooned!
The ground in New Yak City shook as the huge wolf, nearly mindless, roared out his pain and frustration at what had been done to him. He didn’t know exactly what that was, since he was a nearly mindless monster on a rampage, but he was pretty sure it stunk. Like the giant bunny he could see stomping on something in the distance, he wanted to just smash things to relieve the pain, and he was aimed directly for Manehatten, the heart of the city.
In a conference room in one of the hotels a few blocks away was a convention of arson investigators, there to meet and learn of the newest developments in detection techniques. One of these was a vixen. Extremely pretty and still very fit, Fanny Fennec was an ex-front-line firefighter from Califurnia who was there with her boss, who even now was asleep in the seat beside her. She hated these conferences, preferring to be back at home or at UCLA, studying up on these sorts of things. But her boss had insisted, with Fanny having had to drive most of the way over the last five days of the cross-country trip (because the department was too stingy to pay for airfares and a rental car). She was glad that, at least, they hadn’t had to share a room.
Then the entire hotel shook, windows shattering and alarms going crazy, while the patrons followed suit. Even Fanny’s boss woke up as he was shaken out of his chair. “What in blue blazes?!” he said.
“I’m not sure, sir, but we’ve got to get everyone out of here!” Fanny said, using a chair to clear broken glass from around the frame of a window. She helped some of the younger ex-firefighters outside, then started handing crying cubs out to him, until she spotted the giant wolf who was now trying to move through the artificial canyons of the city. “Freakin’–!” she said as she passed one last cub, then headed back inside.
“Fanny! Where are you going?” her boss yelled at her.
“The daycare center!” Fanny said, not telling him that she knew it had been cleared already.
Her boss shook his head, then climbed through himself. “Damned fool kid,” he said to himself, then smiled. “We may have taken her out of the station, but she’s still a top-of-the-line officer,” he said with a smile as he began helping move people away from the hotel, which was now threatening to topple over.
Fanny, meanwhile, had made her way into one of the blocks of washrooms. Making sure there was no people around, she threw her arms down dramatically, threw back her head, and she suddenly seemed to be surrounded by fire that covered her completely. Then a new form stepped out of the firestorm, which itself faded away.
Covered in a metallic-crimson bodysuit with silver gloves and boots, face covered in a silver face-mask with glowing yellow eyes and hair and tail seemingly made of fire, the super-hero no one knew of yet looked up, then flashed upward, going through the hotel’s floors without even causing a ripple in the ceiling paint, until she shot out of the roof, where she could see the giant that was ravaging Manehatten. She flashed toward him, leaving a trail of fire that streamed from her hair in a ribbon behind her until it dissipated as she headed toward it.
Fanny had gained her powers while fighting a fire at an experimental chemical research and development plant just outside of Los Antelopes. She had been helping to keep a building from exploding when a vat full of rare and changing chemicals and organic waste had erupted into flames, then burst, flooding the concrete canyon where she had been, engulfing Fanny completely. The chemicals first burned their way through the suit, and then supposedly through her. She felt it all as the pain burned her, and then it was more than just her burning.
Exploding from the molten mass seconds later was a being made of pure fire, which shot into the air above the plant, screaming a terrifying scream, until Fanny regained consciousness of herself, and she realized she had become something else. Almost acting on instinct, she flashed back down, making the flames rush from the buildings and up into her, as well as changing the chemical flood into harmless water.
Then she was gone. It was later that Fanny realized what had happened to her, and she was eventually able to control her change, changing back to herself — naked at first — but then she made her way back to her home. She was amazed when she placed her hand on a rock as she was thinking about being dressed, and the rock changed, turning into a gray cloth that wrapped around her, covering her up. It was a few weeks later that Fanny created her alter ego, the flaming vixen she called Firefox.
She had also been taken off firefighting duties and placed on investigations, once the department had found out that she had survived and but hadn’t been unable to explain how. And that was how she had ended up in New Yak City at that moment.
Now, for the first time, Firefox was revealed to the public as she circled the big wolf. She knew she had to get him out of Manehatten, so she buzzed him like a wasp, stinging him with blasts of fire that made him roar with pain until he turned toward her. Avoiding his grasp, she led him away from the city proper, back along toward the countryside from where he had come.
Quackum Labs, Albatross, USA:
“–and finally, guys, I want to thank you for helping out,” Ducktor Quackum said to the three animals who faced him. Turning to one of them, he put his hand on his shoulder, careful to avoid poking his palm on the sharp quills. “Son, I knew your grandfather well. He was a good animal. I’m sure you’d have made him proud to carry on the legacy of the Plaid Porcupine as you are.”
“Thanks,” said the hero, alias Dr. I.V. Taan.
“And I’m just glad to be here in the first place,” said the bird standing next to him. “I haven’t been a crime-fighter — part-time, of course — all that long, but already I’ve met three living legends. I’m in awe, sirs.” Comic-coo-coo had been whisked away from his home in Cowarado a mere hour before by Duck Quackum and Commander Fowl in the Atomic Rocket on their way back from Nev-adder after the two had seen him on the news, amazed by Comic-coo-coo’s super-heroics while stopping another giant in his hometown.
“We’re glad you could be here, Comic-coo-coo,” Duck Quackum said with a warm smile.
Commander Fowl spoke up abruptly. “I hate to interrupt, gentle-vertebrates, but we have a situation that must be attended. Duck, what are we going to do about all these giants? They’re beginning to appear in all the major cities of the world, and especially America!”
Duck Quackum sighed. “If only we could find a better way to stop them — all of them at once. We must find out where they came from.”
The four heroes ducked, but didn’t see anything to worry about as they looked around, except for the mostly harmless figure of Billy Bearowitz, Ducktor Quackum’s cub assistant, who was prone to getting terribly excited about all sorts of things.
“Duck, I picked up some lunch for all of you!” he said, somewhat out of breath. “I figured you’d all be hungry ‘n’ such from the meeting.”
Ducktor Quackum said, “Thanks, Billy, but I think we’ll be OK.”
“But what do I do with all this food?!” Billy exclaimed. “It doesn’t taste the same reheated, y’know!”
“It’s all yours, Billy,” Quackum said with a wink and turned back to the group. “So, as I was saying, we must first discover the source of all these giants. Where do they all come from?”
The four heroes turned as they heard loud smacking, munching, and other eating sounds from the nearby table. Billy seemed to be literally inhaling the food all at once, as if he was completely starved.
“Anyway…” Quackum said, frowning in irritation, “…I’ve been monitoring the Earth’s electromagnetic field ever since this outbreak of giants began, just in case they were transported here from another dimension, but so far there’s been no–“
Billy Bearowitz began to guzzle and gulp a can of Koala Cola down very loudly, capping it off with, “Ahhh…”
“Must you, Billy?” Quackum said.
Billy was mortified. “S-sorry, Duck!” He began picking up all the food hurriedly and went shamefaced into the next room.
“As I was saying…”
A loud CRRRAAACCCKKKKK could be heard a moment later.
“What the–?!” the Plaid Porcupine exclaimed.
Commander Fowl asked, “Duck, do you have any idea what’s going on in the next room?”
“No idea,” Quackum replied. “But knowing Billy…” he grumbled, letting his thought trail off.
Comic-coo-coo ran ahead of the others and looked through the door. “Whoa!” he said. “Guys? I think you’d better have a look at this!”
As the other heroes came to the door, they saw that the roof had collapsed, and there was a hole in the outer wall that was very clearly the shape of a giant bear cub. And in the street beyond, a huge giant that had once been little Billy Bearowitz began mindlessly rampaging over the city, even as it kept on growing in size.
“Well, I think we’ve stumbled upon how the giants are being created. I’m just glad I’m a Pupsi drinker,” said the Plaid Porcupine drolly.
“Yeah, I’d agree with that assessment, Mr. Plaid Porcupine, sir,” Comic-coo-coo said as he lifted the opened can up with his pen and carefully handed Ducktor Quackum the can of Koala Cola with a great deal of respect. “Here you go, Duck. If anybody can analyze the trace drops of doctored cola still left in this can and come up with an antidote, it’s you. Meanwhile, guys, it’s up to us to stop that big Billy from destroying the city!”
Morphing into his seven-foot anthro-bat-form, Comic-coo-coo started flying off after the now two-hundred-foot-tall Billy Bearowitz, with Commander Fowl and the Plaid Porcupine both firmly in his grip.
“If I can guess your plan,” said Commander Fowl, “it primarily involves getting close enough to an animal at least four times larger than Frogzilla, then cook up something with your special pen to harmlessly restrain Billy long enough for Duck to find an antidote. Am I right?”
With a nod, the transformed Comic-coo-coo maintained pursuit until he could get Commander Fowl and the Plaid Porcupine on each of Billy’s shoulders. I hate to do this to such a nice kid, or cub, rather, but I have to give the Commander and the Plaid Porcupine time to start pulling the classic “tickle gag” for dealing with a giant, Comic-coo-coo thought to himself as he started hitting the two-hundred-foot-tall bear cub with powerful sonic blasts aimed for his ears at point-blank range.
With the younger avian hero keeping Billy busy, the other two started maneuvering through the inside of the currently monstrous young ursine, pulling the infamous tickle, tickle routine in two different directions.
The distraction in place, Comic-coo-coo took out his pen and furiously began writing. First he used his pen to write up a giant bottle of knockout drops, which was six times the size of his transformed form, then set to work pouring the knockout drops down Billy’s throat while Commander Fowl and Plaid Porcupine were able to keep him laughing.
Fortunately, the knockout drops did the trick, and Billy soon fell down for a peaceful slumber, landing on a set of giant springs the comic-book-obsessed avian had quickly written up both to cushion Billy’s fall, so it wouldn’t hurt him and would allow Commander Fowl and Plaid Porcupine to exit the shirt unscathed.
“Impressive. A bit on the cartoony side as victories go, but quite effective,” Commander Fowl admitted.
“Where do you think I got the idea from, Commander?” Comic-coo-coo said with a smirk.
The coo-coo bird was distracted as he saw on a giant TV screen that displayed four heroes in combat against their own giants in New Yak City. He recognized these heroes from news reports, since he had always been just as interested in real-life super-heroes as he was in those from the comics. He could recognize Black Lightning Bug, electricity-based hero of the street, along with that Stink Bomber from a recent Zoo Crew case, who had all kinds of stink bombs at his disposal, and two more obscure heroes he knew were called Block Wolf and Where Wolf, who could turn to stone and who could turn invisible, respectively.
“Well, once more into the fray,” said Comic-coo-coo, still in his bat-form, as he prepared to write himself, Commander Fowl, and Plaid Porcupine to the scene. “My pen’s self-regenerating ink is going to need at least an hour to refill after this battle and recruitment, though.”
“Wait a minute,” Commander Fowl said as he pointed to an area on the television scene that he picked up off the corner of his bionic eye. “I think I see some high-grade cable we can use for a trip wire.”
“Gotcha, Commander,” Comic-coo-coo said as he wrote himself and his two allies to the scene Commander Fowl pointed at, and the trio suddenly found themselves in New Yak City, which was currently being menaced by two gigantic bunny rabbits, as well as other giant animals.
Grabbing as much cable as he could carry, Commander Fowl dashed to the battle scene and used powerful, quick, and deft leaps to evade the giants’ feet long enough to get the cable around the legs of two of them.
I think I’ve got an idea on how to make the fight a bit more even, Comic-coo-coo thought to himself as he saw the eight-foot-tall Block Wolf trying to help Commander Fowl pull on the cable. With that, he wrote up a little boost in Block Wolf’s power, allowing the lupine to grow to two-hundred-feet tall, the same size as the giants, with an appropriate increase in proportionate strength and endurance, but no decrease in intelligence.
Seeing Black Lightning Bug and Stink Bomber in action gave the writer/hero another idea about how to even up the fight. He wrote up a thousandfold increase in the former’s electrical powers and in the potency of the latter’s gas-bombs.
Finally, he saw Where Wolf turn visible again after getting casually swatted by the foot of a giant and carefully caught by the now-two-hundred-foot-tall Block Wolf. He got the idea to write up one last power boost, which was namely to give Where Wolf the power to turn intangible as well as invisible and also to teleport.
“If you pardon my asking, Comic-coo-coo, why aren’t you increasing your own powers for this fight?” Plaid Porcupine asked curiously. Against giant animals, the non-powered crime-fighter felt fairly useless from the ground.
“Simple. Between the pen and my ability to change into this form, I’ve already got all the power I could want,” Comic-coo-coo answered matter-of-factly, “enough to make a big difference when needed, but not too much of it.”
“Are these changes permanent?” asked the porcupine crime-fighter. “Not that I’m asking for powers myself — I prefer remaining the way I am.”
“They would be, if I were around to make them so,” explained the coo-coo bird. “But otherwise they’ll wear off after a while. I just hope they don’t wear off before this adventure is over.”