It was 8:24 PM when Lorraine Jett had finally earned a rest from the legal mixup involving someone named Don Byron, the very first person she had ever fallen in love with before, despite her acquaintances' negative views against him.
Tonight, Lora's older brother, Alan, had pulled up something juicy from the lab he works at before it was vacated when their parents, its leaders, were murdered. Lora recalled that she was asked to revive about 30 heroes and villains kept in cryogenic storage for some hidden reason, but was captured before she could do so. Now Alan had access to this process again, but he wanted to show his sister their profiles first.
1. Heroes (15)
a. "Rebound" [Polly Wilson, Age 19. Gymnast. Powers: Ability to bounce and inflate to about 6 sq. in. akin to a kickball.]
b. "Transpare" [Bill Stormy, Age 18. Powers: Invisibility – to self and projection to others, force field and see-through object creation.]
c. "Blowtorch" [Kim Callahan, Age 23. Powers: Able to reach temperatures of 800˚F, shoot beams of fire from limbs and mouth, and fly within a glider-like construct of flame.]
d. "Gargouille" [Philip Mauricio, Age 38. Powers: Ability to assume form of living stone gargoyle, flight capabilities, can turn anyone or anything into stone, invulnerability and enhanced strength.]
e. "Palette" [Samantha Dickerson, Older sister of Fred Dickerson, Age 27, Powers: Special paint which makes portals to whatever is painted, paint can also bring images to reality, ability to merge with newly made or pre-existing images, regardless of their age.]
f. "Cathode" [Mandy Shepard, Age 31, Powers: Can assume pure energy form, manipulate electricity, and enter computers as a cyberspace avatar and interact with environment.]
g. "Emergency Man" [Arthur Nightingale, Age 41. Powers: None, But he is one of America's best emergency response team members, with an amazing record for reaching anyone in need of help in under 5 minutes after a 911 call.]
h. "Tabby" [Julie Smithers, Age 22. Powers: Body permanently altered to that of anthropomorphic cat, with all physical attributes of such.]
i. "Fahrenhowl" [Jack Ezekiel, Age 36, Lieutenant in US Marines. Powers: Ability to assume wolf-like form, breath can reach -50˚F to freeze anything in its path.]
j. "Saint" [Jeffery Peters, Age 45. Powers: Flight, advanced hand-to-hand combat skills. Notes: Powers stem from Christian status. Prefers no involvement in teams.]
k. "Plastica" [Maria Crocker, Age 32. Powers: Elasticity, highly malleable, able to reach length/height of 75 feet, and thinness of 0.07 mm.
l. "An'gellica" [Susan Moniqua, Age 39. Powers: Ability to turn all or part of body to gel-like substance; similar features to 'Plastica'."
m. "Router" [Weston Grey, Age 33, highly skilled computer programmer. Powers: Cybernetic enhancements allow radio-like reception of all signals and frequencies – including Internet – directly into brain, as well as limited telepathy.
n. "Atlas" [Dale Mackey, Age 29. Powers: Geokinesis, ability to lift items up to 90,000 tons]
o. "Lepidor" [Helen Johnson, Age 36. Powers: Purple insect-like form, powerful acidic sting, can shoot sticky gel to trap enemies.]
2. Villains (15)
a. "Crushtacean" [Peter Terrence, Age 32, cousin of Thomas Dudley, Powers: Crab-like exoskeleton, 4 extra legs, underwater respiration.]
b. "Goliath" [Al Sanders, Age 44. Powers: Enhanced strength, 25 feet tall, thick armored skin.]
c. "Parcadel" [Zia Tagaki, Age 23. Powers: Can assume snake-like form with hood, extra arms with optional snake heads, lethal corrosive venom.]
d. "Guru" [Tony Ulrich, Age 50. Powers: Telepathy, future and past-seeing, telekinesis.]
e. "Canvas" [Fred Dickerson, Age 26, Powers: ability to merge with any painting or drawing, move within their "inner worlds" and ambush targets on the outside, sometimes imprisoning them inside the art. Shares similar abilities with 'Palette'.]
f. "Reaper" [Phil Rosenberg, Age 29, Powers: Immortality, gains energy from human souls, wields scythe imbued with supernatural power. In layman's terms: Rosenberg can turn into the Grim Reaper.]
g. "Inkblot" [Hannah Faye, Age 22. Powers: Body of 'liquid darkness', ability to meld with shadows, shapeshift, possess bodies of others, and alter viscosity to some degree. Notes: Powers given from being of similar description]
h. "Aero-Dynamo" [Elizabeth Jordan, Age 21. Powers: Boots that enable speeds of up to 900 mph."
i. "" [Lisa Nuygen, age 27, Powers: Physical attributes of a tiger, decreased vulnerability, and 'femme fatale'. Rival to 'Fahrenhowl'.]
j. "Androida" [Gladys Silvia, Age 40. Powers: Entire mental structure transferred to robotic shell after bomb attack destroyed original body. Has extensive technological access, increased strength, endurance, and intelligence. Notes: Rival to 'Cathode']
k. "Slicer" [Pamela Diederich, Age 37. Powers: Injected with nanobots that can be used to reshape entire body and can also shoot at other enemies to 'infect' with, or sabotage machines.]
l. "Predator" [Aaron Koko, Age 19. Powers: Excellent hand-to-hand combat skills, hunter-gatherer, but grown to mild cannibalistic status. Notes: Native American background."
m. "Paranorma" [Christina James, Age 30. Powers: Can shed body for 'ghost' form, intangibility, invisibility, mind control/possession, flight, and control over other ghosts.]
n. "Metalhead" [Hank Lemmon, Age 24. Powers: Electric guitar with multiple functions, including sonic projection, hypnotism, and more.
o. "Submalice" [Kim Sherman, Age 28. Powers: Underwater respiration, aquatic telepathy, clawed gloves. Notes: does not get along with 'Crushtacean']
Lora pondered on why these people were cryogenically preserved instead of preserved in liquid. The latter would have made more sense for research. Then she noticed a file that Alan had sent: The heroes and villains were brought to the facility after several different freak accidents and abnormal events had happened around the world in 2014, frozen for storage, and if her parents hadn't been murdered, they would have created liquid preservation vats to study just how they mutated. Alan and a group of new scientists had managed to build these kinds of pods a few months earlier this year, and now the heroes and villains could be revived safely with solid research.
The details kept on coming. Soon detailed reports came of how their DNA mutated but no dangerous side effects showed on any of them, very low readings of radiation poisoning from some of them, and still more explaining the origins of others –
"Reaper" was granted supernatural powers from an alternate dimension,
Peter Terrence having voluntarily been bitten by a creature similar to which his cousin mutated from;
Canvas + Palettes' paints were purchased from an obscure store in Japan.
"Inkblot" received her powers from a strange inky black male humanoid with the same abilities.
Alan further stated that neither he nor the scientists would want to release these people into the wild yet. "For some reason, we acquired villains as well. I don't know why, but they're here. Some said that a faction of the staff wanted to study them as well as the heroes, but if I ran this lab and not our parents, I would've told the scientists not to."
"Can't you just…I don't know, kill them if you don't want to release them?"
"'Fraid not anymore, it doesn't work that way in crime-fighting. We'll just have to let both groups out and hope nothing too bad goes wrong."
"Speaking of which, I have to go meet some girls somewhere. Someone named Ella whom I met last night said she was part of a smaller all-girl super-trio," Lora pointed out into the mike.
"All right, I have to go too. There's a terrorist invasion going on in Hollywood's movie industry – of all places - and I won't want to miss it!"
"See you there, bro!" Lora chirped as she signed off the video chat.
The 31-year old blonde woman hurried through the routine morning procedure of breakfast, pills, and dental care, but just before she left, Ms. Jett stopped and looked at her reflection in the dressing table mirror.
She recalled how many times her heroic self was a typical weak damsel in distress – not once was she able to get free on her own, because somehow that purple witch Mita and her minions had always predicted Lora's attacks one way or another. "I'm no damsel in distress and they should know it! Next time, I'll be ready before they are!"
Then she glanced at a photo perched on the table, inside a cheap 5 x 3 inch frame. It was Don Byron, taken from the video sent to Lora hours before he was jailed. Her emotions for Don still made a tense conflict between him, her job, and her friends. Still, Lora felt like Don would still deserve a second chance. "If he doesn't learn his lesson after doing his time in jail, that'll be IT between us," She thought.
After staring a bit more at her pretty, if not gorgeous face, Lora stood up, applied a new coat of lipstick, and headed out of the apartment for her motorcycle, and another typical day as a candy store cashier.
The trip to Candy Castle wasn't very eventful. In fact, it felt kind of quiet for some reason. Lora didn't see many cars on the street either. That was just too weird for a day like this. According to Lora's phone calendar, today was Monday, October 10th, not really a noteworthy kind of day.
Eventful or not, however, Ms. Jett made it remarkably early to work this time around.
Mr. Hearst had arrived a few minutes after his top employee, holding a cup of coffee in one hand and a letter with Ms. Jett's name on it in the other. Both of them were for her, apparently. Lora took a quick sip of the coffee after her boss disappeared behind the staff door, then looked closely at the return address: "Red Atom, 1409 Crystal Park Dr., Los Angeles."
Then she opened the letter and read it carefully, "Hello, Miss Jett. My partner Ella said that you want to see what our team, the Omegals is like. We don't exactly have a permanent base at this point because…well, crime never stops coming. If you accept, rendezvous with us at the address provided. You may come at any time you wish. Sincerely, Red."
Although anxious as she was to meet this new team of heroines, Lora knew that she still had work time to do.
The regular crowd of kids begging for candy and their parents who paid for bag after bag of it poured in and out like any other day. But as the exchanges rose, Ms. Jett's mind began to drift to another subject, much like when struggling through her first year of college.
First came the letter's sender: Lora knew that she'd want to hang out with a smaller crowd of heroes like any old social meeting, but the question was: Why were they at a house if this "Red Atom" claimed that neither he/she nor their partners had a fixed base?
Then rolled in the interesting point about Lora's heroic self, Trinity: a lot of times, she was a fairly aggressive fighter when bringing criminals to justice, but had a touch of playfulness on those recurring villains, not to mention good teamwork on the almost frequent times her brother came to help. Of course, to other villains and civilian men, she was just another hot, sexy lady. That made Ms. Jett pause, wondering what would happen if teenagers were around her.
Finally, she felt a little uneasy about that list of 30 new heroes and villains. The reports said that they all gained their powers either from strange forms of radiation or supernatural events. When and if her brother released them safely would be any fair time, but what of the chance that someone would sneak into the lab, spontaneously release those mutants, and take charge of every single one of them, if not just letting them kill each other.
But a little girl's nagging voice brought Ms. Jett back to her senses, "Lady? Excuse me, but I'd like to buy my candy now!"
"Sorry about that," Lora's head snapped back up, her eyes checking the scale's readout. "That'll be...$8.75,"
"Thanks a lot," that girl handed a $10 bill to the cashier, then she immediately darted out the front door in happiness after receiving her change.
Realizing the flow of customers wouldn't stop and her mind being too far away from work, Lora switched on the store's TV and looked to the news channel for any important events, while still keeping track of the customers and their payments.
Anchorman Bill Mooney began, "We now go live to a new crime event, the 5th this month." Then the scene showed a LIVE newscast reported by Mr. Chet Faust, "Behind me, you'll see Hollywood's movie center under siege from what appears to be terrorists of unknown title. They have already managed to burn two letters on the town's sign, and have dropped a small bomb on Paramount Studios. All civilians have been evacuated, but the studios and filming centers are still occupied."
"Aw yeah, now we're talking!" Lora grew a mischievous smile as she headed for the staff door. Thankfully, no customers were around to see her leave the room.
Mr. Hearst knew right away what Lora was up to, and gladly took her place. Passing Joe bringing in the next deliveries and Phil cleaning the break room, Ms. Jett advanced to the employee locker room, stashed her work shirt + tie in her locker, and morphed into the form of Trinity. This time, she grabbed a new radio earpiece from the locker's top shelf and put it on while racing out the back door and around over the parking lot where her motorcycle stood, and paged her brother Alan, "Hermana to Hermano, do you read me?"
"Loud and clear, hermana, go ahead."
"I'm on my way to Hollywood. Are you there yet?"
"Negative, but will be there ASAP."
"Copy, keep the area secure until I get there; Hermana out."
"Affirmative, Hermano out."
Knowing California well enough, Trinity deduced that Hollywood was due southwest by a large length. In order to reach that city in time, she hatched a sneaky plan to hide on an aircraft headed there.
The San Francisco airport had only one flight leaving for Hollywood, according to the timetable she could glimpse inside. Trinity quietly sneaked around the terminal to the huge airfield behind it, climbed up onto the next plane's right wing, and fused her gum-like body to it.
The plane rocketed into the sky within 5 minutes time and then stayed level about 2500 feet up. The camouflaged elastic lass forgot one thing about her devious plan, however: It's terribly cold at this height, so although every instinct screamed for Ms. Jett to regain humanoid form, she knew that would cause major problems if she did so. Instead, she looked closely at the windows of the plane, noting how the passengers didn't see half of a woman's head protruding from a large wad of pink goo stuck to the wing.
In particular, one of the people sitting behind the window directly across from the heroine was a strangely familiar woman with long bright lavender hair tied up in a ponytail. She was wearing a simple black hooded jacket, and was reading a book with what looked like strange alchemical symbols inside. There was no doubt, then, that this was Mita, the sorceress!
Fortunately for Trinity, the flight lasted only an hour, since this was a commuter plane, not a long-distance passenger plane.
When the plane touched down, Lora quickly jumped from the plane – landing "splat" on the concrete – and dashed for Hollywood's movie district. As soon as she arrived, total shock hit Ms. Jett like a thrown brick to the head.
What she saw on the News channel sometime earlier had only become worse. Half of the "HOLLYWOOD" sign was burned down and some of its major buildings were under heavy bombardment. Alan – dressed in his blue super-costume, thankfully, had made it and had grown to gigantic size to smash down several military helicopters and jets.
"Lora, I'm glad you're here," the heroine's brother paged over the radio. "Would you kindly grab these parachuting pilots that I can't safely at this size?"
"I'm on it, bro," Trinity reported back.
She sprinted for where one pilot in a parachute dropped from a chopper was falling towards the ground, then firmly melted her feet to the ground, stretched both arms – with a sound of squeaking rubber – up towards the pilot's falling chair and wrapped her extended fingers around the guy to ensure he would not escape.
Alan reverted to normal size once that pilot was on the ground, and the siblings interrogated their captive. The older brother started, "Now tell us: Who sent you and your buddies to attack a movie-making city?"
"I'll never tell, I was sworn to keep secrets," the pilot shook his head violently.
"Oh? Not even for one kiss from a gorgeous lady like me?" Lora giggled before kissing him on the cheek like she said. That sent the man's senses reeling with pleasure, and he replied in a more relaxed voice, "I had orders from higher up. His name is James McCoy."
"But why would terrorists want to attack a movie industry? Surely they'd pick political sites instead!" Alan sounded confused.
"Funny you should ask, because I was told that James suggested we hit this city, just because he doesn't like certain movies."
"What kind?" Lora rubbed her chin.
"Apocalyptic, and in particular those directed by someone named Emmerich."
"Where is that person?" Alan demanded.
He pointed to one of the bombed buildings close ahead, with a plume of smoke gushing from one of its holes. A sign stated "Set hangar 21-C", and army vehicles were parked around it.
Before the siblings left, Trinity leaned close to the overwhelmed pilot and added, "You won't tell anyone about this, will you?"
"Not a word, ma'am," he nodded.
The Jett siblings reached that building in only 10 seconds, seeing as it wasn't very far off. Inside, a movie set was completely wrecked and burning, the equipment knocked over, and the staff tied up in chairs, with masked Indian soldiers holding guns on their hostages.
"Seeing that the militants wouldn't budge after Alan shouted "Freeze!" Lora took the spotlight and performed a new stunt: she disturbingly ripped her own left hand off – being made of gum, which quickly regenerated, stuffed the wad in her mouth and began to chew. Then, she took deep breaths, and one by one Lora blew oversized bubbles which floated towards the hostile soldiers and trapped each one inside, popping when all of them touched the ceiling, leaving the criminals stuck helpless and squirming.
Alan whistled, "Man, your powers are getting cooler and weirder every day, lil' sis!"
"Stop calling me that! And yeah, Meredith's been teaching me; my powers can be loads of fun at times," The younger sibling explained.
"Well, now that the thugs are out of the way, let's go see what that 'James McCoy' is up to."
Now that the guards were taken care of, the Jett siblings now noticed dirty footprints leading to a door at one side of the burning set chamber. According to a sign over it, this was the Director's office. When the two entered, Lora was shocked to see a man of her White ethnicity pointing a shotgun at a tied up man, whose sign on a desk said "Roland Emmerich".
Alan finally managed to yell, "Hey you! Drop the gun, NOW!"
The guy turned around, and he presumed this man to be James McCoy, who shouted back as he turned around, "I share an opinion with someone well-known in Texas, and have firm belief that this freak is making movies that don't belong on film!"
"Come on, even if you did kill that guy, there'd still be more in other parts of the world," Lora tried to reassure the man.
"Then I'll murder them all! Apocalyptic movies are a disgrace to popular culture!" James yelled at the top of his lungs.
"Dude, you need help. Badly," Alan just face-palmed.
But James wouldn't listen, and he tried firing at the Jetts instead. Alan ducked to miss the first shot, and the second simply bounced off of Lora's elastic skin. This repeated 3 more times until Trinity became so frustrated at this delusional man's ridiculous motives, that she jumped on McCoy and stuck him to the floor in a wad of gum made from her lower body.
"That's enough, tough guy. I didn't come all this way just to get pointlessly shot at! Now, why did you hire all those terrorists to bomb this entire movie industry?"
"Because...well..." James stammered in thought.
Alan pondered, "I'll say this much: Hollywood IS terrible these days at making movies. They shunt the great ones under and think the worst ones are awesome."
His sister added, "But that doesn't give you the right to just kill everyone who made them!"
Mr. Emmerich spoke up, "This wasn't the first time, though, lady. I got a threatening phone call from Dallas in 2013 about this exact same situation."
"So, what do you have to say for yourself, Mr. McCoy?" Lora's eyelids grew low and straight.
"I'll...I'll...I'll call this off. Now will you please let me go, ma'am?"
Trinity morphed back into her normal shape, and said, "Now put your hands behind your back and follow us." She made a pair of pink, tight sticky handcuffs and locked them around his wrists.
Alan pulled out a radio from James' pocket and held it in front of its owner's face, "Call it off, or else."
James breathed a sigh, and paged them, "Go home, you're no longer needed."
As much as some of the terrorists wanted to backstab Mr. McCoy – including those freed from the set building, they didn't and simply turned around and headed back to presumably Arabia, judging from the nose art on the planes.
"There, now was that so hard?" Lora gave both a hug and a noogie to James.
Alan paged on his radio for Officer Bradley to pick up Mr. McCoy and send him to jail. Luckily, there were cops in the vicinity who took care of that straight away.
"Well, I'll see you later today, I have to get back to the lab quick," Alan looked at a watch hidden under his right glove.
"Hope those stored metahumans don't cause any trouble yet, but I must warn you: keep an eye out for that sorceress, Mita."
"The lady with purple hair who has Pokemon and shoots fire from her hands when mad?"
"Right, I saw her on the plane here, but not in this area. I have a sinking feeling she might have caught another plane and hit Colorado, so you might want to beat her to the lab if that's the case!"
"You got it, Lora! And tell me more about those 'Omegals' you spoke about later, 'kay?"
"Will do," the siblings shook hands then sprinted off in opposite directions.
According to a map at a nearby gas station, Crystal Park Dr. would be about 6 blocks east of her position.
Of course, that was easier said than done, because on the way she passed a local high school, and right as she was about to turn the corner away from it, the bell rang and all of a sudden shrieks and shouts of what sounded like over-excited boy teenagers rushed from the entrance.
One of the boys screamed, "Look everybody, it's Trinity! Get her!" Another, higher-pitched one yipped, "I want her autograph!"
And a third, husky-sounding teen cheered, "I got her motorcycle!"
That last one prompted Lora to whip around, and dead ahead was a crowd of those teenagers rushing straight towards her, some carrying signs reading "I LOVE YOU!" or "CALL ME!" and one saying "YOUR POWERS ACTIVATE ME!", the latter somewhat offending her. One of the fans was on a motorcycle, which Lora figured belonged to her, just like that thick-voiced teen said.
Trinity could do nothing else but run at this point – strength in numbers would be no match for elasticity, seeing how she saw that happen on TV. Then a couple blocks over, the gladly awaited riot cops arrived and struggled to hold back the groupie brigade. But as the chase grew on, Lora could hear those teens yelling cuss words and beating up against the Plexiglas shields. One of the cops even buckled and was almost trampled as the boys knocked him down with all their combined strength.
To Ms. Jett's relief, Crystal Park Drive was straight ahead by only a block and a half, but right when she was in range of just the street sign, the boys got quite close to Lora, just managing to grab her feet. Thankfully, grappling onto the sign pole gave Ms. Jett just enough time to build up tension which catapulted her out of their arms and right down the street to house 1409.
But when the elastic femme fatale hit the pavement in front of the house, the boys finally reached their target again and started ganging up on her on all sides. They babbled and pulled at Trinity's body from all directions, some pushed blank notebooks and pens in her face, others tasted her gummy second skin, and two had the nerve to touch her between the legs.
Being stretched thin and restrained in every direction, Lora's thoughts from this morning came flooding back: Although she didn't want to be a damsel in distress anymore, she had now become one again today! And now Lora knew exactly how teenagers would react to someone such as her. As much as she squirmed and yanked, the boys wouldn't let go. Ms. Jett even tried shouting, "Get off me! I'm not yours for the taking!"
Then, in a stroke of luck, all of the boys were literally shocked by a jolt of electricity from somewhere nearby. It hit them hard enough that every one of them was knocked out on the road. A black-gloved hand reached out for Ms. Jett, who promptly grabbed it and was back on her feet again in 2 seconds.
In front of Lora was a fairly short, African-American woman dressed in purple + black formfitting clothing with patterns of lightning bolts around the waist and limbs, plus earrings with the same motif.
"I saw what happened from the corner. Teens these days, they think some celebrity walks out and they can just take him for their own," She explained.
"No spit! And, you are...?"
"Call me Tesla," the two ladies shook hands. "My friends are waiting for you inside."
Tesla showed her new acquaintance inside the house, and once in, Lora glanced side to side and noticed two more women. One girl with red hair almost the same shade as Trinity's was presumably "Red Atom" from the letter. She was dancing and singing karaoke to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" in front of the TV.
Another girl dressed in a green and white rubber suit leotard + boots, with long brown hair and earrings, was relaxing on the couch, and she happened to notice the two girls who had arrived. Ms. Jett recognized her as Ella from Don Byron's trial last night.
"Hey Red, look who's here!" Ella signaled her occupied friend.
Red turned her head towards the front door, and that prompted her to pause the karaoke DVD, put down the mike, and say, "Oh, hi, Tesla. Sorry, I was distracted. And is that Lora Jett with you?"
"Who else could it be? Eel O'Brian? Bruce Wayne?" Lora replied with a shrug.
Tesla added, "Boy, you should've seen it. This lady got ambushed by a few dozen high school teens out in the street and I had to zap them all to help her."
"Yeah, and some of them were being very...perverted towards me," Lora nodded as the pair moved further into the living room.
Ella whistled, "Geez, and I thought Justin Bieber was the only one in that situation. Well, I'm glad you're here, anyway."
"Right, I asked to come by because I've wanted to get away from the boring routines of crime-fighting in Centropolis and try to fight some elsewhere. My older brother and I already stopped a bunch of terrorists and a psycho from blowing down Hollywood Studios and shooting some director."
"Wait, wait, back up. You have a BROTHER?" Red flabbergastedly inquired.
"Yeah, but I didn't know he existed until I found him in Colorado and got my costume changed," Lora answered as she sat down in a chair.
Ella's eyes grew a bit larger, "What's his name, and does he have any powers?"
"His name's Alan, and being a research associate, he tested a chemical that allows conscious control over human growth hormones – in other words, he can grow and shrink at will,"
"Cool. Hehe, I bet the fans would be surprised to hear all that," Tesla giggled a bit.
A few minutes later, Ella strolled lightly to the kitchen, reporting that she and the other girls had a frozen pizza that they'd be happy to share with their guest. While it cooked, Ms. Jett discussed with Red, "Say, just before I got here, Alan sent me some files about 30 new superheroes and villains from his lab."
"Really? That's cool! But how did they get there?" She gained an excited look.
"It's kinda secret, but he told me that there were freak accidents and supernatural events all over the world in 2014, and before anything major could happen, the lab's staff – including my parents – put them in cryogenic storage until they could be moved to liquid stasis pods for research on just how they mutated," Lora explained, knowing that it wasn't really secret anymore.
"Weird. Guess that totally cracks into comic mutations, eh?"
"Probably, and hey, what kind of powers do you have, if I may ask?"
Red answered the question nonverbally by changing her left arm into a solid metallic form, her right as a pink liquid, and her lower body as a glowing ghost-body of pure energy, it seemed. Then seconds later, she changed back to normal.
The conversation was interrupted by the oven's timer going off, and Ella quickly made use of her elastic powers to turn off the oven and yank the cooked pizza out of it from the other side of the room. But before Lora took her pair of slices, she paged Alan on her earpiece, "Hey bro, are you there? I'm with the Omegals at their...temporary base. How are you doing over at the lab?"
But to her surprise, only static came over the radio. "Uh oh, that's not good."
"What?" Tesla grew curious.
After quickly munching down her first slice, Ms. Jett reported, "My brother's not answering his communicator, which probably means something's very wrong."
"Well, you can't judge it the first time, right? Try again just to be sure," Ella suggested.
Ms. Jett repeated to her earpiece, "Alan, come in! This is your sister! What's going on?" But still no one answered. Then all of a sudden a loud noise struck her hard in the eardrum. Pulling out the barking comlink, she asked, "Do you guys have some sort of military radio?"
"Our employer Brandon bought us one, it's over in the garage," Red stood up and advanced towards a door in the kitchen. Lora quickly followed, and as the former girl opened the door, next to a green SUV on a table was the radio Lora wanted.
Tesla and Ella decided to put down their pizza slices and follow the other pair. Lora quickly tuned the radio to the shortwave frequency of her earpiece, and now the sound came through much more clearly, "Mayday! Mayday! Anyone copy? We have a security breach! Pods 16 through 30 have been opened and the occupants are missing! And pods 1 through 15 are on level 6 security lockdown! I need help now!"
"16 through 20...Oh no, that means only the villains have been released and the heroes are locked in stasis!" Lora evaluated the message. Then she took the mike and responded, "Alan, is that you? This is your sister, and I have backup."
"No, I'm afraid not, Ms. Jett. I'm Dr. Nigel Kenneth, one of Alan's assistants," The now calm voice denied the question. "I haven't been able to find Alan since someone broke in and released all 15 villains. But someone's security implant reads to be moving east-northeast to an as yet unknown destination."
"Can you give me coordinates or something on where that path is going?"
Some clicking of a keyboard could be heard over the speakers, then Dr. Kenneth stated, "According to this GPS map, whoever's ID tag that is, is travelling in a straight line to...someplace called 'New Lake City'."
"Crap, I know that place. It's a major metahuman zone that's chock full of superheroes. From what that guy sounded like on the radio, I have a feeling that they won't be able to hold off all of them," Red reported gravely.
"Yeah, especially when you consider that some of the villains are more powerful than others – One turns into the Grim Reaper, another can walk through paintings, and more," Lora sighed.
"What do we do?" Ella beeped.
"We have two priorities: 1) Warn all super-powered citizens of New Lake City, and 2) get to my brother's lab and release the 15 heroes."
"But how? You said that lab's in Colorado; and New Lake's way up between Michigan and Wisconsin." Tesla sounded confused.
"We'll need backup, and since my brother's missing, there's only one guy I know who's great at handling electronics: Donald C. Byron," Trinity suddenly had a light bulb spark over her head. "I have a plan: we split up; you three reach New Lake as quickly as you can, while Don and I head for the lab and try to break out those heroes."
"Splitting up? Really? Because, you know, that leads to disasters like on Scooby Doo!" Red felt unimpressed.
"It's our only option at this point. We can't be in two places at once – well, unless there's some hero around that can create clones of himself, and he's probably either in New Lake or imprisoned at the lab," Lora pointed out.
"All right, if you say so, Lora," Ella agreed with her teammates.
"But I'll need your help with something – if I want to hit Colorado quickly, I need some momentum to get enough air, know what I mean?"
Red and Ella glanced at each other for a second, then the latter's eyes widened and she said to the former, "She's not serious, is she?"
"Sounds a lot like it to me,"
"Oh no, there's no way I'm doing that again."
"But it's crucial to the mission!"
"No way, absolutely not! No!"
But Tesla and Trinity eventually settled the argument, and out on the front porch, Ella morphed into a very large trampoline. Lora stretched up to the roof, mentally counted down from 3, then leaped onto the living trampoline below and as Lora's momentum reflected, she quickly changed shape into a red and pink plane form, with a rear propeller for thrust created by fine-tuning the shape of her feet into moving objects, something only Plastic Man could do.
The Omegals watched in awe as this happened, and Red even took a picture with her cell phone.
[TO BE CONTINUED...]