by Drivtaan, Cassie Foxx, Comickook, Doc Quantum and Blackwolf247
“Well,” the Plaid Porcupine said, “since Grandma always told me it was impolite to stare, why don’t we get this fight started? Once these losers are taken care of, we can get down to some serious world-saving.”
Lemur glanced over at the porcupine, a look of indignation etched upon his face. “Losers?! Who are you calling losers? I’ve gone face to face with Super-Squirrel, I’ve completely neutralized this… this vixen, and now I’m going to put that old fool out of my misery. Once I’m through with him, if Porker has left you or that kid alive, I’ll take care of you, too!”
“Too bad I’m not wearing boots,” Plaid said with a grin, “or I’d be quaking in them.”
“Hoo-hoo-hoo!” The Porker was the only one who laughed.
The porcupine turned his back on the villain. “Duck, why don’t you and Firefox give Comic-coo-coo a hand with the filthy swine…”
“Now, wait a minute!” the Porker started to say.
“…and let me handle Lexie.”
Firefox knew that she had several more tricks up her sleeve to use against the lemur, but she wanted to see what the Plaid Porcupine could do, so she saw no reason not to change foes. Ducktor Quackum just shrugged and said in a surly voice, “Just save a piece for me. I’ll show that upstart what a real inventive genius is like!”
The criminal scientist was furious as the Plaid Porcupine approached him alone. “At least the vixen has some powers,” Lemur snarled. “You don’t have anything. You’re just some nobody with bad taste in clothes.”
“Borrr-ing,” the Porker said as he raised one of his many weapons and fired. Comic-coo-coo dropped and did a leg sweep just in time to knock Quackum off his feet.
“Whoop!” cried the senior-citizen scientist. Then a lethal bolt of electricity from the Porker’s joy-buzzer ring passed harmlessly over Quackum’s head.
As the Porker took aim at the young hero who had saved him, the arch-enemy of Batmouse felt his body begin to tingle. Wherever he had weaponry, butterflies now occupied the space.
“We’ll not have any of that lethal stuff,” Firefox said, grinning. “Lex may have taken my powers into consideration, but you aren’t that lucky.”
Ducktor Quackum suddenly produced a net from one of his pockets and began jumping in the air to catch the butterflies as they flittered around.
“Uh, Duck?” Comic-coo-coo said, starting to think that the old scientist had finally gone off the deep end. “What in the world are you doing?”
“These won’t be butterflies forever,” he replied. “When they revert back, it would be better if they were in our possession and not just lying around.”
“I see your point,” the cuckoo agreed. “Firefox, if you will help Quackum collect the butterflies, I’ll take care of our fat friend.”
Firefox nodded. As she moved to aid the doctor, she whispered, “He’s starting to act like the Porcupine.”
As Comic-coo-coo moved toward the Porker, and Firefox and Ducktor Quackum rounded up and transformed the butterflies, the Plaid Porcupine was still listening to Lemur rant about the heroes he had faced.
Removing his coat, the porcupine glared at his foe. “Would you please shut up? This isn’t a comic-book, Lexie — this is real life. And to prove that you are a loser, I’m going to take you down with my back turned.”
The criminal scientist stood dumbfounded as his opponent turned his back on him. As he raised his armored gloves above his head and powered up for a blast that would end the fight before it began, he began to laugh.
The Plaid Porcupine just shook his head, then released a barrage of quills.
While most of them just bounced off harmlessly against the force-field, a few did bounce off the wall behind the villain to find their true marks. Lemur’s laughter turned to confusion as his force-field began to power down. Glancing down, he saw several quills stuck in the joints of his power-gloves, rendering them mostly useless. He also saw a quill embedded in one of the gloves that severed the coolant hose that kept power-gloves from overheating. Apparently, when he had raised his arms a moment ago, he had accidentally moved the power-gloves outside the short range of his personal force-field, which was controlled by the gloves. With the power-gloves disabled, his force-field now sputtered away and died. By the time it had registered as to what had happened, he looked up to discover the porcupine standing right in front of him. His eyes widened as he saw the gloved fist streaking toward him. That was the last thing he saw before he was knocked out.
Meanwhile, Comic-coo-coo had drawn himself and the Porker in a boxing ring that the pig couldn’t escape. He also drew giant boxing gloves on both of them.
The Porker had no clue as to how he should defend himself. Therefore, he used the only defense he knew: he ran around the ring, or at least he tried to. He looked down to find himself stuck on a treadmill. By the time the young hero approached him, he was sweating like the pig he was.
“This is almost too easy,” Comic-coo-coo said as he laid the porcine prankster out with a one-two combination.
With both opponents unconscious, Ducktor Quackum began to remove any remaining technological devices they had on their bodies.
“Well,” Firefox said, “I hope the others are having as much fun as we are.”
After the two villains had been neutralized, Firefox moved over to the Plaid Porcupine and looked at him. “Hey, thanks for the supposed save and all, but Lex’s little trick with that field didn’t really have me fazed,” she told him. “He hadn’t neutralized all my abilities, like he’d thought, just one of them. I still had a lot of ways I could have damaged that armor, but I wanted to see what you could do. Nice job! He didn’t see that coming, that’s for sure!” She grinned.
After picking Lemur up by the metal bonds she’d wrapped him in, Firefox moved outside of the club, carrying the criminal scientist and walking with the Plaid Porcupine. “So, how’d you end up in this line of work?” she asked him. “I mean, for me it’s a natural, but you’re not even invulnerable… unless those spines of yours are.” She gently stroked down the ones on his head.
Comic-coo-coo snorted in minor jealousy at the way Firefox was stroking the Plaid Porcupine’s quills, but managed to keep the snort low enough to not be easily heard. As he morphed back into his normal avian form, the young hero very silently thought to himself, Yeah, P.P.’s a nice animal and a skilled fighter, but beyond that… Get over yourself, young bird. It’s not like an attractive and powerful vixen like her would ever see a big goof like me as anything more than a friend, anyway.
“So, it looks like some young bird has a crush on Miss Firefox,” Ducktor Quackum said quietly from behind the youthful hero. “I might be a touch absent-minded, but I don’t always miss the obvious.”
“Awww… yeah, Duck. I do, but it’s a moot point, because I know I don’t have a chance with her,” Comic-coo-coo answered quietly with a defeated sigh.
“Well, as soon as we get these two back to my dimensional gateway generator and transport them to one of their own world’s prisons, we can focus on the mastermind behind the giantism problem, and now the super-strength, super-speed, and super-toughness, mixed with psychosis quandary, presumably,” Ducktor Quackum replied. “We ought to be able to send these two back to Earth-C-Minus in no time.”
“Actually,” said Comic-coo-coo, “after seeing them in person, I figured out that these aren’t the Earth-C-Minus Lex Lemur and the Porker at all. No, sir. They’re the Earth-C-Plus versions of Lemur and the Porker.”
“What’s that, now?” asked Quackum quizzically. “I wasn’t aware that there even was an Earth-C-Plus.”
“It kinda surprises me to hear you say that, Duck,” said Comic-coo-coo, “because all the comic-books featuring the adventures of the Earth-C-Plus characters, like the golden age Super-Squirrel, Batmouse, and all the members of Just’a Slew’a Animals, were published back in your day.”
“You don’t say,” muttered Ducktor Quackum, rubbing his chin and furrowing his brow as he tried to recall if he’d ever picked up a comic-book back then. “Do you recall any of the other Earth-C-Plus mystery-mammals from your reading, perchance?”
“Oh, sure I do!” Comic-coo-coo said excitedly, glad to be able to share his knowledge. “I picked up a full run of All-Starfish Comics from a yard sale a few years ago! The JSA members were the Crash, Green Lambkin, Hawkmoose, Wonder Wabbit, the Sandmane, the Item, Hourmutt, the Specturtle, Starhorse, Wildkat, Mister Furrific, Johnny Thunderbird, the Stacked Canary, Ducktor Fate, Doctor Midnite-Owl, and… uh… oh, yeah, the Red Hen Tornado. Those are the ones from the 1940s, anyways. Some other members joined later on. What should I list off next, Duck? Huh? I’ll let you pick between the Seven Species of Victory or the All-Star Squawkers!”
“Uh… how about we do that another time,” said Quackum. “Or… maybe you could just tell Billy all about it, and I’ll get him to relate it to me later on.”
“And another thing, Duck. Did you know that Lemur’s first name is actually Alexei on Earth-C-Plus, not Lex?” said Comic-coo-coo, so excited to share his knowledge that he was oblivious to the old scientist’s words. “So whenever the Porker called him ‘Lexie,’ we wrongly assumed that Lexie was referring to Lex, when it was really short for Alexei.”
“Truly, your vast knowledge of comic-books is enough to make a head spin, son,” Ducktor Quackum said, patting the young bird on the shoulder fondly. “Now let’s get these two back to their home — a couple of jail cells on Earth-C-Minus.”
“Plus, Duck,” Comic-coo-coo corrected. “It’s called Earth-C-Plus.”
“Right, right,” said Quackum, shaking his head. “Earth-C-Plus. Now why in the world do I find that so hard to remember? It seems so familiar, yet I don’t recall a single thing about it. Hmmm… Very, very strange.”
All the excitement over, the four heroes loaded the two defeated villains onto Ducktor Quackum’s rocket and blasted off back toward the Quackum Labs in nearby Albatross.
Firefox soared along beside the Atomic Rocket, leaving a fire trail of her own. If possible, she always preferred to fly under her own power, not because she distrusted the devices, but because she loved the thrill she always got when she was shooting along in the sky, unsupported by nothing except her own powers. It was the feeling of absolute freedom that few on Earth-C understood, save for the biggest avians and bats who’d retained the ability to fly.
She had heard what Comic-coo-coo had said to the Ducktor, and she smiled. Plaid Porcupine was cute, true, but so was Comic-coo-coo, and she did need to get to know them all a lot better, since New Yak City wasn’t her normal area of operations. Going out with Comic-coo-coo might be fun, she thought to herself. After all, it’s not as if I have a steady boyfriend anywhere, she thought as she shot alongside the rocket, keeping an easy pace with it.
Stink Bomber was dreaming.
“Go, Outhyders! Go, Outhyders! Stink Bomber and the Outhyders are go!”
“Sorry, Captain, but the Outhyders don’t need any more members,” Stink Bomber said over the phone, “but we’ll keep you and your Crew in mind when we need back-up.” He hung up the phone as Block Wolf brought him a tray, holding a large pitcher of lemonade.
“Heep big-um drink for chief,” Block Wolf said, then tripped, and the lemonade splashed into Stink Bomber’s lap.
Sputtering and moaning, the skunk master of odors sprung awake.
“Sleep good, ‘Pepe’?” Block Wolf asked from the front of the mini-jet owned by Where Wolf.
“My name is not Pepe!” he griped.
“We are almost there, gang,” Where Wolf cooed. “So save your aggressive vibes for our enemies, guys.”
“Yo, what the lady said!” Black Lightning Bug stated. Then, to Where Wolf, he said quietly, “Those two get along as well as well a skunk and a wolf in the wilderness.”
She giggled. “Bet their ancient ancestors had wonderful times.”
The point of arrival was a large castle carved, it appeared, out of semiprecious stones, and looking strange as it jutted out of a seemingly endless and very flat field of corn. All indications were that this was the point of origin for the mysterious changes made in select cans of Koala Cola, which had turned some of its drinkers into giants and had recently been turning some into psychopathic killing monsters.
It had taken a short investigation, but the Outhyders had concluded that Western Washing Unlimited, a supposed cleaning company, had contaminated the mixing vats at the main Koala Cola bottling plant in San Antoadio, Taxes. Although the monkeys working as cleaners had long since vanished, they had still left a billing address. That had led them to an address in rural Kornsas, where they found this castle.
“Look! Flying monkeys!” Where Wolf exclaimed, pointing out the window of the mini-jet at the flying hordes emerging from the castle’s top windows. “And those boys don’t look friendly!”
Black Lightning Bug nodded and quickly activated the on-board communicator to alert the other heroes on this case.
Back at Quackum Labs, Ducktor Quackum, Commander Fowl, Comic-coo-coo, the Plaid Porcupine, and Firefox all caught the summons as Black Lightning Bug provided them with the coordinates of the castle in Kornsas.
“Considering that time is of the essence, I’d say we’d better travel via power pen express, eh, Comic-coo-coo?” Quackum said.
“Gotcha, Duck,” replied the young avian. “I don’t know if the pen can teleport all of us that far, but now’s as good a time as any to find out.”
As Comic-coo-coo used his magic pen to write down that he and the other four heroes present were all teleported to the provided coordinates, it automatically happened in reality a moment later.
“Whoa. Thanks for the lightning-quick cavalry arrival!” the electrically powered feline commented as the Outhyders’ five allies were teleported directly into the mini-jet facing the castle.
“Okay, P.P.,” began Ducktor Quackum in a serious tone, “the Commander, Stink Bomber, Where Wolf, and I will make our way inside that castle once we have some cover to get moving. Comic-coo-coo, you and Firefox help Black Lightning Bug and Block Wolf with the winged simians.”
“Yo! Don’t worry, Duck. We’ll definitely have your back,” Black Lightning Bug said as he activated the ship’s autopilot and headed to the plane’s cargo hold, unleashing electrical blasts in rapid-fire fashion as he opened the back door for Quackum, the Plaid Porcupine, Where Wolf, Commander Fowl, and Stink Bomber.
“Some twelve-thousand or so of them, four of us. Those flying monkeys don’t stand a chance,” Firefox said as she phased herself through the plane roof and turned the air around all the flying monkeys that entered her line of sight into knockout gas.
As Block Wolf jumped out of the plane and grew to his maximum height of two-hundred feet tall, the five heroes that were heading for the inside of the palace started making their move. Quackum, Fowl, the Bomber, and the Porcupine all tried to enter the castle from a different direction as Where Wolf simply teleported herself inside.
Comic-coo-coo morphed into his seven-foot-tall anthro-bat form and used the strength and sonic vocal blast power allowed him by this form to sock it to the flying monkeys as best he could. Between Block Wolf’s forcibly swatting down the airborne primates while in giant form, Firefox’s atomic-restructuring powers, Black Lightning Bug’s electrical powers, and Comic-coo-coo’s own strength and sonic blasts, the flying monkeys had been bested within a space of three minutes, despite their vastly superior numbers and precisely as Firefox had figured.
This left the four heroes free to join their teammates on the final assault. Comic-coo-coo lifted Black Lightning Bug and flew them toward the roof high above them, which reached into the clouds. Firefox used a combination of high-speed flying and her ability to pass through solid objects to take the underground route. Block Wolf, still two-hundred feet tall, simply took the direct approach as far as storming the castle went.