Lotta Species Heroes
The Other Dark Meat
The greatest super-heroes of the thirtieth century, Lotta Species Heroes, realize they must take action when the dreaded Pork Circle makes its attempt to take over the galaxy! And who better than Star Boar to infiltrate the swinish group? Witness the rise and fall of the dreaded Pork Circle!
Earth-C Minus, the thirtieth century:
“Things are bad — real bad — and we intend to make it badder.”
“Worse,” a second voice interrupted.
“What?” asked the initial speaker.
“Worse. The word you should have used is worse.”
“Shut up,” the first speaker squealed. “We’re broadcasting live to the rest of the galaxy!”
“Which is why we shouldn’t make words up.”
“Well, excuse me, but if we had some light in this place, then maybe I could see the speech!”
“Then why don’t we turn the lights up just a tad?” the second speaker suggested.
“Works for me,” the first speaker said. “All right, everyone, get your masks on. We’re getting ready to raise the lights.”
“I can’t find my mask!” someone yelled.
“Then leave the room,” someone else responded.
“But I want to be on the vid-screen, too.”
“Then cover your snout. The lights are coming up in three… two… one…”
“Welcome, interplanetary viewers,” the first speaker proclaimed. “We are your new masters. We are… the Pork Circle.”
Lotta Species Heroes Headquarters, Muttropolis, Earth-C-Minus:
“Are you crazy?” The young boar smoothed his costume, which looked to be sewn from the very fabric of space, and shook his tusks.
“Star Boar — Thom — you’re our best chance of infiltrating these lunatics.”
Star Boar looked at his friend — or at least he thought Brainy-Quack 5 was his friend until he suggested this plan. The duck in the purple jumpsuit was completely green, bill included, with just a tuft of yellow feathers atop his head.
“Why can’t we just send in Invisible Squid?” the third member of this little gathering asked.
“Because,” Brainy said, “we lost Invisible Squid?”
The cute, white-clad squirrel bowed her head and softly spoke. “Oh, how sad,” she said.
“No, no, Phantom Squirrel,” Star Boar said. “We didn’t lose him as in he died; we lost him as in he disappeared, and we can’t find him now.”
The squirrel breathed a sigh of relief.
Brainy-Quack 5 brought the conversation back around to the beginning. “Which is why you are the best choice to infiltrate the Pork Circle.”
Star Boar took a deep breath. He knew that Brainy was right; wasn’t he always? In a group that consisted of the various members of the swine race, Thom Kal-lard was the obvious choice. He finally relented.
The newest member of the Pork Circle adjusted his mask and looked at the hog next to him. “Obviously, these things weren’t designed with tusks in mind.”
“Actually, we don’t know who they were designed for,” the hog replied with a grin. “We just found them in a gym locker at college.”
“You must have found quite a few of them to provide them for the entire group,” the undercover Star Boar said.
“Yeah,” the hog said, nodding. “All seven of us got one, and we had three left over.”
“Well, two now. Say, you wouldn’t know anyone else who might want to join us in taking over the galaxy, would you?”
Star Boar just looked at his companion. “You mean to tell me that, counting me, the Pork Circle — the scourge of the universe — consists of eight beings?“
“Then how did you take control of the vid station?”
“Actually, that was an accident. We were just practicing for our cable access show, and somehow we tapped into the interplanetary news service.” The hog laughed. “Once we realized what was going on, we decided just to go with it.”
Star Boar shook his tusks and rolled his eyes.
The hog glanced at his watch. “Speaking of which, it’s time for our next broadcast. This time, we’re going to demand all of the gold in the Bacon System.”
“You go on ahead,” Star Boar said. “I want to fix my mask; then I’ll be right there.”
After the hog left the room, the young hero removed his glove and held his hoof up to his snout. He flipped up the face of a ring on his knuckle.
“Did you hear all of that?” he asked.
“We sure did,” Brainy-Quack 5 said. “We might as well put a stop to this now.”
“I’ll leave the back door unlocked for you.”
“Never mind,” Phantom Squirrel said smiling as she stepped through a closed locker door.
“How did you get in here?” Star Boar asked.
“Phantom Squirrel here,” she said as she pointed to herself. “Remember?”
From the next room, the duo heard the Pork Circle beginning their broadcast. As they prepared to make their assault, Brainy-Quack 5 joined them.
“What are you waiting for?” he asked. “Let’s go.”
“And we won’t hesitate to fry you if we don’t receive the gold within the next twelve hours,” the leader was saying, when suddenly he became weightless and was tossed into the air.
The leader squealed, and pandemonium erupted.
Brainy-Quack 5 used his force-field belt to trap two of the Pork Circle members.
Phantom Squirrel, in the meantime, jumped in between two other members and began to make faces at them. Thinking her nothing more than a crazy rodent, they charged her. At the last second, she became intangible, and the two swine slammed into each other.
Using the leader as a weapon, Star Boar waited until the hog who had revealed so much about the Circle turned to face him, then increased the leader’s weight again. His squeal became a scream as he plummeted like a stone and landed on his teammate.
The final member of the Pork Circle grabbed a metal bar and charged. There was a sickening crunch as he stopped short. As his eyes rolled back in his head, he began to slump to the floor.
The three heroes looked at each other in confusion.
Gradually, a figure began to appear. As it solidified, Phantom Squirrel rushed forward to give him a hug.
“Invisible Squid!” Brainy said. “Where have you been?”
The squid dressed in brown shrugged. “I’ve been with you the whole time,” he croaked, his voice barely above a whisper.
“He’s got laryngitis,” Phantom Squirrel laughed.
“But why didn’t you just turn visible?” Star Boar asked.
“I was so sick, I didn’t think about it.”
The four members of Lotta Species Heroes shared a laugh as they tied up the Pork Circle and broadcast the location of the hideout over the news service.