by Blackwolf247 and Comickook
“Thing is, Duck,” Black Lightning Bug was saying to Ducktor Quackum, master scientist and legendary crime-fighting hero, “the Black Lightning Bug and his posse… well, we street, and on the street we can feel the beat that is fleet and neat, so keeping it real to the feel, me and my crew be checking out where these nasty donkey sodas is being brewed, and keep our ears peeled and unsealed until someone’s bad is revealed, and we shall then unwind upon yon felon, and thus shall we know who done what, when, and why.”
“What’s all that, now?” Quackum said with a frown, completely confused by the feline who seemed to speaking Henglish, but not necessarily so. He felt as confused as that time he had accidentally visited a Beetnick club back in the 1950s.
Black Lightning Bug struck a tough street pose, which struck Ducktor Quackum as a most uncomfortable position. “Especially holding that leaning pose against nothing but his own electrical charge,” he muttered, “creating a self-generating shield, which is similar to the shields generated by that young lady and could be tied into the magic pen of the young coo-coo…”
“Cool it, Duck! You’re thinking out loud, and, like, your Henglish ain’t on the hippity-hop, so make it stop and check it out!”
“Young Mr. Bug!” Duck Quackum shouted with exasperation, flinging his arms about. “Could you please communicate in comprehensible and cohesive usage of our language? Please?”
“Yo? Say what?”
“It’s simple, boys,” Where Wolf was explaining to the cat and the duck heroes. “What B.L.B. is saying is, we’ll go to the source of this soda and find out who injected the giantism formula, thus telling us who the mastermind is and possibly get some way of finding out what he’s really up to.”
“Yeah, right. What she said,” Black Lightning Bug remarked, indicating the skintight blue costume of Where Wolf, an Irish wolfhound of delicate breeding and ladylike manner, but a tough fighter when the need arose.
“And, Ducky, why not send Foxy and some of the others — Comic-coo-coo for sure — to investigate the other villains that have arrived?” she cooed to the good Ducktor.
Duck Quackum blushed, ahemed, and said, “Sounds like a plan.”
“Oh, dear,” said Stink Bomber. “Well, maybe I can get a chance to try out my new stink bombs.”
That reminded Duck Quackum that he didn’t yet have a place for testing such enhancements for now, but he’d have to make a note to remind himself to investigate chemical compounds for degrees of offensiveness to each species, and that would require a new sealed environment lab, and he was already behind in six new projects this year.
“Relax, putty-tat. Block Wolf will protect you in the coming battle,” the lupine of stone growled, flexing a massive muscle.
“Oy vey!” muttered Stink Bomber.
So the team of the Outhyders went to the streets in search of information, and others would momentarily be investigating the possible real-life occurrence of comic-book villains, but at least the giants were subdued, mostly.
After the Outhyders left, Comic-coo-coo started thinking of ideas for where the Porker and Lex Lemur would be hiding. It had to be some place that had maximum access to the type of material the rogue scientist might find to be most useful in providing replacement parts for the high-tech arsenal he liked to employ. At the same time, it had to be a place that appealed to the Porker’s warped sense of humor.
As he explained this to the other four heroes present, Commander Fowl groaned. “Why are you letting this greenhorn take charge of this part of the investigation, Duck?”
Ducktor Quackum responded, “Because I would presume he’s read enough comic-books to have the most knowledge concerning how Lex Lemur and the Porker think!”
“Thank you for the vote of confidence, Duck,” Comic-coo-coo said with respect. “Would you happen to know where in Zooville those two could go that has access both to workable replacement parts high-tech gadgets and would most appeal to the Porker’s fondness for comedy?”
“Thank you for asking, my lad,” Quackum answered. “I know neighboring Zooville well, since my friend old McSnurtle the Turtle and his precocious younger nephew, Merton McSnurtle, live there. I order a hundred boxes of Tweeties from them every month, since I just can’t get enough of that wholesome breakfast cereal. Those Turtles have always kept me in good supply, though I do tend to think that Merton often overcharges for delivery, and–”
“Back to the point, Duck,” said Commander Fowl to the absent-minded scientist.
“Oh, yes, yes. Right,” said Quackum. “Well, there are actually two places in Zooville that would meet those requirements. One is a recently abandoned novelty store right next door to the main warehouse for a chain of electronics stores, and–”
“The other is an old amusement park that happens to contain the secret entrance to a super-top-secret underground military base,” interrupted Commander Fowl, remembering some classified knowledge about the small city from an old case of his. “Of course, that’s presuming that Lemur and the Porker know about the base and were brazen enough to take it over and use it for themselves.”
“Lex Lemur is a scientific genius of the first order, so it can’t be ruled out that he found out about the base before crossing into this universe,” Comic-coo-coo answered matter-of-factly. “As for brazenness, Commander, the Porker and Lex Lemur both have that to spare.”
“So we can’t rule out either area,” the Plaid Porcupine reasoned. “That being the case, we’ll have to split up into two search teams.”
“How should we decide who goes on what team?” asked Comic-coo-coo.
“I’ve got it!” said Ducktor Quackum excitedly. “We play a round of duck, duck, goose!”
“I see one duck, but where’s the goose?” asked Firefox.
“Err… I may have to call in my old friend and fellow scientist for that,” said Duck. “Wait here a moment while I look up Goofy Goose’s number.” But before Ducktor Quackum could go anywhere, the Plaid Porcupine stopped his grandfather’s old friend with one hand on his shoulder and continued.
“As I was about to explain, each team should be have a balance of power and skill,” suggested the Plaid Porcupine. “For instance, Firefox and Comic-coo-coo are our most powerful members, so each one should be on a different search team. Commander Fowl probably knows the military base he mentioned the best, so he should be on that search team.”
The other heroes nodded at this, and Commander Fowl added, “Duck and I go back a bit, so I’d like him on my search team, and since Firefox seems to be the more seasoned of our two powerful members, she should be with Quackum and I.”
“This leaves the abandoned novelty store for Plaid Porcupine and me,” Comic-coo-coo said.
With the teams decided on, the five heroes started off in pursuit of the two super-villains straight out of the comic-books.
They Might Not Be Giants, a lyrical interlude to the story you’re reading:
A hip, a hop, a hip-hip-hop, oh yeah.
Black Lightning Bug taking it to the streets,
Keepin’ it real, that’s the deal.
Bad guys come my way, then I gots to play,
Taking ’em downtown. Uhh… book ’em, Danno!
Can’t loose with the stuff I use!
A hip, a hop, and a quack-quack-quack.
Now call me an old fuddy,
Call me a diddly duddy,
Truth of the matter is I helped save the day,
Back in my day, oh, yeah-ayyy…
Weird War II, that was the groove,
Did my science thing, felt the move
Of the earth. Uhhh…
Say what? Speak Henglish!
A hip, a hop, and all that there!
Don’t call me stinky, don’t call me Pepe.
I am a skunk with atti-tuuude, uhhh…
And my bombs make you flee,
And that gives me glee,
If you a bad guy and not my date.
Now they call me Where Wolf,
And that is neat,
Because this diva is so sweet.
Can’t see me, I don’t want you to,
And that is that, oh!
An Irish wolfhound I am indeed,
But who wants to be called Where Hound?
Don’t keep me down, or you’re in the pound.
I can buy and sell you, oh, yeah!
Well, I am just a lab assistant,
On that Duck Quackum is most insistent!
But hear me now, I tell you true,
Chances are, when the chips are down, I’ll come through,
Keeping it real,
The Outhyders and special guests,
M.C. Block Wolf presidin’.
Now get outta here!
Flying in a mini-jet owned by Where Wolf in her wealthy civilian identity, the four members of the Outhyders were not in the best of moods. It wasn’t so much that their inquiries had led them down the primrose path to the state of Taxes as much as they were feeling hungry, and being hungry made them angry. They were, to coin a word, hangry.
But not to worry, Outhyders fans, the four stalwart heroes found a Krusty Krab outlet, had lunch, and were shortly en route to the corporate headquarters of Koala Cola, where they knew the formula that gave the soda its distinctive taste was prepared for distribution to the various soda plants located around the country and the world. Although the drink had originated in Aukstralia, the land of Steve Crocodile, the Vermin Hunter, it was long ago purchased by an Animerican company and relocated to the USA. The head office was there in San Antoadio.
“We don’t find the source of that giant plague, and maybe, just maybe, the Black Lightning Bug is gonna blow a gasket, and if I do that, people, then… well, it won’t be pretty!”
The Outhyders looked in alarm at their feline leader. “Relax, cat,” stated Block Wolf, adjusting his headdress and ensuring his feathers were still neatly arranged. “We will find out what is going on, or I will be vexed!” At that, the warrior began flexing his massive muscles, something he liked to do a lot. The lupine of stone wore a black costume reminiscent of his pre-industrial ancestors, yet had a modern flair all its own.
The other two — Where Wolf, the Irish wolfhound who wore a skintight blue costume with white trim, and the containment-suit-clad Stink Bomber, skunk of a thousand scents — nodded in agreement.
The Outhyders entered the building as a unit, and the security guards remarked that it was a bit early for trick or treat. But they were males, and males had a tendency to give Where Wolf whatever she asked for, so shortly the four heroes found themselves in a meeting with an important junior assistant executive named Harrison Hare, who was happy to help the heroes find out when the regularly scheduled tours were and to acquire some souvenirs for them to take home.
The nervous and slightly effeminate hare was, however, more hesitant to let them find out where the secret formula was put together. Hare’s resistance to the diva’s flirtations only proved to open him up to a more forceful method of persuasion, namely being slammed against the wall by the massive might of Block Wolf, so within moments he was leading the team down a long hall.
Unexpectedly, Harrison Hare was soon fawning over the native champion of justice, who wisely refused the offer to sometime stop by and visit a special nightclub or even to see the still-touring Village Critters in concert with him, to the hare’s great disappointment.
Although the people who put the formula together each had a list of ingredients, each one knew only what was on their own list, and none remembered anyone adding anything to their formula mixes.
Of course, they did remember that a new company, Western Washing Unlimited, had begun supplying their mixing-vat cleaning operations. A group of shady-looking monkeys who could only communicate in grunts and who wore big raincoats had vastly underbid the corporation’s regular cleaning company, doing the job for next to nothing. Black Lightning Bug speculated that some chemical residues may have been left behind in the vast vats by those monkeys. But whatever it was had apparently been used up, as no new reports of giants had been reported since Ducktor Quackum’s giantism cure had been distributed around the world.
Harrison Hare, meanwhile, nervously gulped down a can of Koala Cola as he often did when feeling anxious, unaware that it wasn’t a regular soda as he had thought, but a new flavor that was just being tested in small markets across the country and had already been shipped out. As he turned his eyes to Block Wolf and began to fantasize, he started to feel really strange. Something was turning his body into something different, something deadly, something fierce. His mind shortly followed. “Harrison Hare no longer! Now I am Kill-Bunny, the most adorable homicidal rabbit ever, and you shall pay for rejecting me!” he growled, leaping at Block Wolf.
“Holy spit!” Black Lightning Bug declared.
The room where several scientists — all highly trained flavor specialists — looked on was filled with a great deal of tension.
Block Wolf grew to triple his previous size using a portion of the power-boost Comic-coo-coo had earlier given him and socked Kill-Bunny with all of his proportionately tripled might. And Black Lightning Bug threw bolts of electricity at the monster to assist his teammate, just as Stink Bomber threw a sleeping-gas bomb at the beast, and Where Wolf had become both invisible and intangible as she tried to get the drop on Kill-Bunny from behind.
Meanwhile, in Zooville, USA, Ducktor Quackum, Firefox, and Commander Fowl arrived at the old amusement park that had been their intended destination. Commander Fowl and Ducktor Quackum cautiously led Firefox to the out-of-the-way portion of the park that contained the super-top-secret entrance to the underground military base they intended to enter.
All three heroes wore a ready for just about anything look on their faces as they proceeded to begin their portion of the hunt for the Porker and Lex Lemur.
Elsewhere in Zooville, Comic-coo-coo, using the powerful wings of his anthro-bat form, brought the Plaid Porcupine to the roof of the abandoned novelty store that they planned to search.
“Just remember, P.P., between Lemur’s scientific genius and the Porker’s diabolical sense of humor,” Comic-coo-coo whispered to his passenger, “there could, quite literally, be booby-traps anywhere in the store, if this is their hideout.”
“I know you’re just trying to make absolutely sure that we are both well-enough aware of the situation that neither one of us is going into this reckless, Comic-coo-coo,” the Plaid Porcupine quietly said as the coo-coo bird morphed back into his normal avian form, “so I’ll let the fact slide that this is the third time you reminded me over the course of our flight over here. Still, I remember what Manatee Raven warned me about in his vision. I know more about stealth than you do, so I should lead the way inside.”
Comic-coo-coo could only nod in agreement.