Dogboy (aka Joe Rover)
While I was thankful for the assist, I could tell not everyone was as grateful.
“Who is he?” someone asked.
“Where did he come from?”
“How did he stop that thing?”
“Are the Xacians back?”
Sally helped me up. The burn mark from when the sphere hit me was already healing. My costume was also repairing itself. “You better say something,” she whispered, “before there is a riot.”
“What do I say?”
“You’ll think of something.”
I approached the young man. “Hi.” I could hear Sally’s facepalm from behind me.
Jackson “Jack” Riggs
“Uh, hi,” I said. Wow, I was meeting Dogboy.
I started to reach out for his hand, uh, paw, but then I started feeling this pain behind my eyes. They felt like they were on fire. I groaned and shook my head. But suddenly a burst of light erupted from them. The beam of light passed over Dogboy and then vanished. I then got sick. Things were uneven. The world was tilting. Then as sudden as it began, everything was normal. Except for how everyone was looking at me. The crowd had taken a step back and even Dogboy looked frighten for a moment.
“What?” I said. “What’s wrong?” I looked at my hands and could see that they had transformed into paw-like hands, much like Dogboy’s. I also had fur. I felt panic welling up in me as everyone whispered about how I’d stolen Dogboy’s powers. The fur and claws then retracted and I was back to normal.
“He’s a mimic,” the woman reporter whispered.
Dogboy glanced at the crowd. “I think we need to take this conversation to somewhere more private.”
“Welcome to the International League of Super-Transbeings HQ,” Dogboy said. “Or ILOST for short.”
“Wow,” was all I could say. The place was amazing. There was tech here that people could only dream of. The place was all nice and shiny too like it’d just been cleaned. While it had a very military-like look to it, it also had a homey feel. You could tell this was a place of business, but also a place where members could hang out and relax. “Wow,” I said again just before I bumped into something.
It was Brood, the team’s reformed vampire. He looked just like his pictures: black duster jacket, black pants and boots with a red trim, black shirt with a red collar, and red gloves.
He glared at me for a moment and then turned to Dogboy. “You brought him here?”
I sighed. Brood and I rarely saw eye-to-eye on things. It probably had something to do with that long ago vampires were allies with the Xacians. That pitted them against the Sirians, or werewolves. Even though Brood was beyond the whole blood-drinking thing, there was still some resentment. Blood feuds are hard things to get over in one generation. And his attitude doesn’t help.
“And where else would I take him?” I asked.
“PAWS for starters.” PAWS: Paranormal and Weirdness Specialists.
“That machine, that he clearly could control, was trying to transform the planet. I’d call that a pretty good reason.”
“He stopped the machine.”
“After he probably started it. That’s the problem with you dogs; you’ll be friends with anyone who gives you a belly rub.”
My claws started to grow. “Do you want to do this right now?”
His fangs started to grow. “Anytime, Rover.”
He hissed. I growled.
A wall then dropped down between us.
“Is that anyway to welcome a guest?” said a voice.
The woman in the flowing white robe stood with her hand raised as Dogboy, Brood, and I turned. It was Daphne Spelling, the witch. There was something familiar about the woman with the short cut brown hair, beyond the fact that she was a famous superhero. A black cat sat at her feet cleaning its paws.
“Let us hear what he has to say.”
“That’s quite the story,” I said after Jack finished his tale. He’d told us how he always thought he’d been from Earth but the Sphere had reawaken his memory and his powers. It had also told him that he was the last surviving member of the royal family of Tetrix.
“Yes, ‘story’ being the keyword,” said Brood. “Now he’s telling us that there are more like him.” He faced Jack. “How many more?” Jack said he didn’t know. Brood faced me. “What more evidence do you need? They have already tried to terraform the Earth and now there is an army of them, somewhere.”
“He is quite right.” Agent Zee stepped out of the shadows. “They are the ultimate sleeper cell. No memories of their goals until they are activated. I have also searched the star charts; there is no mention of a planet Tetrix.”
“Big universe,” I said. “Wait, he just told us what planet he’s from. How did you know?”
“I have my ways,” Zee said letting his Russian accent slip in even more to add effect. “I had many contacts before Xacians turned me into a zombie.” Agent Zee had volunteered for a project that would supposedly make him a better spy. What happened is the test subjects turned into zombies. Any more than this is classified, according to Zee. And since he’s a zombie, we don’t know his age, but he has accidentally made Cold War references. “We know nothing of this, мальчик [mal’chik].” Even though our interpreter technology allows us to understand each other in our native tongues, some…attitudes/feelings stay the same. The technology interprets what is said in a way that we can understand what is said, even if that is in another language.
I sighed. “That’s why I brought him here. To find out more about him.”
“Well, that was stupid,” said Brood.
“Do you really think he’d try to attack a base full of superheroes?” I asked.
“Not unless that was his plan.”