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[QC-03] JW-03 The Black Sheep

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  • [QC-03] JW-03 The Black Sheep

    Meta-Star City - Q.C. Planet

    [QC-03] JW-03 The Black Sheep
    By Darrel James Vanwinkle

    Chapter 01

    We had just barely knocked on their door, when that evil parrot said, "BRAWK! Uncle Sam stinks! Brawk!"

    Most of the Williams family peered into the living room at that message from the parrot!

    Fortunately, Crusader Rabbit (Theodore Kelly) was closest to the front door and he opened it up, filling the opening with the full glory of this galactic stud rabbit body. "Can I help you?"

    Our group, eight secret service agents and four army soldiers, stood on their front porch. I chose to say, "We have a warrant for Joseph Williams." I produced the paper in full view of the rabbit's eyes. "Now, where is he?"

    At that moment, Overcat stepped around Crusader Rabbit and stated, "Is Lord Albert's signature on that document?"

    Crusader Rabbit replied, "No, its not, Overcat."

    Overcat took the form and read it. "This says that you boys only have permission to go to the Williams farm... in Georgia... to get Joseph Williams. This is NOT Georgia; This is Quad Counties Planet. And because the warrant specifically says Georgia, you boys are trespassing in a foreign government. I would suggest that you all get back in your vehicles and drive back to the U.S. Transportal and don't make any side trips. In fact, if you need an escort, I am sure any one of the number of Superheroes and Super Villains here in Meta-Star City would be more than glad to fly your asses out of here."

    In the next instant, this rip in the floor of the porch opened up underneath us and another tear in reality opened beneath our vehicles, and the next thing we knew... we were crash landing into the parking lot of Animation Park back in the United States. There was this female all in black peering out of the rips in the sky and she said, "Don't come back." Then she closed the rip in the sky and we hightailed it back here to report in.

    A soldier said, "We're lucky they didn't drop us in some of the old school Toonium vats."

    Their superior, General Sloan Osric, looked across his Pentagon desk at his men. "That makes this situation a little more sticky, gentlemen. But I seriously thought a show of force would convince them that we meant business. That boy of theirs didn't gain his powers on Q.C. Planet; he gained them in the United States and that makes him U.S. property."

    The primary agent said, "Just how are we going to get him, sir? They threatened to have all of Meta-Star City kick us out the next time. And I like my ass right where it is, thankyouverymuch."

    General Osric stood up and said, "While you were out testing the Williams' defenses, I was personally commandeering the back up plan." He then turned to a side door and announced, "You can come in now." He then turned his head toward his men and said, "Gentlemen... I would like you to meet Remington Miles Williams, first cousin to Joseph "Joey" Williams."

    When the door opened, a raven-haired pale blue-eyed and fair skinned young man walked into the office. But what the agents noticed immediately were his orange Georgia state prison clothes and brown work boots. "Greetin's, folks. I'm Remington. Currently serving a ten year sentence for grand theft auto on police vehicles. They were easier to swipe than standard cars. My uncle was the one who caught me in the act one night and that's how I got arrested. He wanted to keep this blot off of the Williams family record, so he convinced the judge to go easy on me, because it was my first offense."

    General Osric smiled. "Remington is going to help us get Joseph in exchange for an early release on good behavior."
    End of Chapter 01

  • #2
    Chapter 02

    "BRAWK! Uncle Sam is up to something! Brawk!"

    Overcat hummed. "I totally agree with the parrot this time, Mrs. Williams. But I really don't have a clue as to what Uncle Sam is plotting. I just know that they are going to keep trying to get Joseph."

    Johnathan asked, "Just where is Joey today? I don't think he would have liked seeing the number of agents here."

    Valeria grinned. "Maybe we can disguise the agents to look like Minos Del Malign and let Joey flash fry them..."

    Teriaki grinned at the thought.

    Overcat laughed, then he said, "No, that would be murder. Unlike toons, they couldn't recover from that. As for Joseph, I can't actually tell you where he is today in case Uncle Sam planted some listening devices while they were here. We have to be more careful than ever now that we know that they won't give up."

    Everyone nodded their heads and resumed life as usual, all hoping Joseph was okay.

    Three regions away in Montropolis, American Mouse of the New World Mutants was in a training session with Supermouse (Joey). The two had chosen a Digimon Battle Arena for their training exercise because it would likely survive a LOT of what they would be doing to it. Of course, Lance Oscarson was there with Gustav the cameraman watching the two super mice practice and train.

    "Good punch, Joey!" exclaimed American Mouse. "Try out this attack!" And he threw a live electrical wire toward Supermouse, and as Joey caught it, American Mouse quickly fired a hose of water at him.

    Naturally, there was a terrific explosion. But when the smoke cleared, Supermouse was still floating there in mid-air and his eyes were glowing blue for a change. He had been practicing this attack secretly. Where Overcat was the heat vision expert, Joey had been working on perfecting his cold vision. And he fired a frosty blue cold ray at American Mouse and encased him in a solid block of ice!

    Gustave shouted, "Oh no! Is he okay?"

    Fortunately, American Mouse had tensed up just before letting the ice ray strike him, so when he exhaled his hot breath, it caused the ice to shatter from the inside out, exploding in a massive shower of icicles and snow.

    Lance smiled. "Way to go, AM!"

    American Mouse smiled at Supermouse. "Cold Vision? I've never seen Abyssios use Cold Vision on his cartoon show. But in this case... that was a really good use of your powers. How are you feeling?"

    Supermouse on the other paw suddenly fell on the ground and looked pale, as he glowed and reverted back into his human identity. Of course, everyone ran over to check on him. Gustave brought out his canteen and once Joey was sitting up, gave him some water.

    American Mouse hummed. "That's what I thought... in order to use Cold Vision, it draws upon the moisture in your body."

    End of Chapter 02


    • #3
      Chapter 03

      Remington walked up the road toward the Williams' property. As he looked inside the yard from the road, he didn't see anyone out and about. But then he saw the family German Shepherd, Trooper. "Hey there, Trooper. Remember me? It's Remington and..."

      And that's when Trooper lowly growled a warning sound.

      "...oh crap. He doesn't remember me. Command word. Command word... think, Remmy, think... oh yeah."

      Trooper looked like he was about to leap and attack.

      "Teriyaki," exclaimed Remington, really hoping the old command word still worked with Trooper.

      And not surprisingly, it did work. Trooper sat up and tilted his head, whining a little.

      Remington reached out and gently petted Trooper on the head, between the ears, allowing the dog to sniff him. "That's right, Trooper. Only family members know the emergency command word. And I'm family. You remember me now, don't you?"

      Trooper was very calm now and laid back down in his doghouse.

      Remington was very relieved that the Williams had not changed the emergency command word. Now he had to somehow approach the house without having the evil parrot pipe off some obnoxious statement. And that was mission impossible one hundred percent of the time. And he knew it. That damned bird must have had x-ray vision or something.

      Inside the house, Teriaki opened an eye and sniffed the air a little... and then exclaimed, "BRAWK! Jail Bird! BRAWK!"

      Nearly everyone inside the household replied, "TERIAKI! SHUT UP!"

      Remington smiled when he heard the exchange. "I guess I'm not the only one anymore." And then he approached the house and stepped up on the front porch, walking up to the front door. He paused for a moment and... he knocked on the door.

      When the door opened, Martha Williams stood there holding Daisy in her arms. When she saw who was standing there, she was speechless. She knew who it was but couldn't make any words come out.

      "Hi Aunt Martha. They let me out for good behavior," said Remington. "May I come in please?"

      Soon, Remington was seated in the kitchen with Martha, Daisy, and Valeria. Apparently none of the Williams males were around at all. Which was just Remington's luck. He was actually hoping to see Joseph.

      Martha said, "They let you out on good behavior. Johnathan will be surprised over that."

      Remington asked, "Where is Uncle Johnathan, anyway? I didn't see his rig in the garage or near the barn."

      Valeria replied, "He has a job in Forest River. The stupid hero/villain union won't let him work in Meta-Star City."

      Remington remarked, "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard... not letting a Williams do law enforcement."

      End of Chapter 03


      • #4
        Chapter 04

        That night in the Williams household...

        "BRAWK! Jail Bird! BRAWK!" exclaimed Teriaki.

        "SHUT UP, TERIAKI!" exclaimed everyone except Remington.

        Remington chose to say, "It's okay, guys. I was a jail bird for a while. But they left me out on good behavior, Teriaki. But you can call me Jail Bird all you like, since you can't pronounce my real name." He smirked, as if getting the last laugh over the bird.

        "Brawk! Remm... Ung... Ton... Not Fair!"

        Everyone laughed at that point, and Teriaki just sulked or pouted, whichever was the case.

        Then the group of Williams moved to the family room, leaving Teriaki in the living room to guard the front door. Johnathan looked at Remington and said, "Good behavior. I am surprised that you behaved yourself in prison. So what brings you here?"

        Remington sighed and steeled up for what was likely going to be a tough session. "I'm... in a bit of a spot, Uncle Johnathan. Teriaki has been nailing it all day. They didn't let me out on good behavior. The Pentagon pulled me out of prison to use me to get at Cousin Joey. At first, I played along because it felt good to be out. But when I went to your old farm and couldn't find you guys, one of your old highway patrol friends told me exactly what was going down. That's when I knew I was in a bad fix. The patrol officer got me to the Western Checkpoint to Q.C. Planet, then I came straight here without talking to anybody. The deal they are offering me is this: early release from prison if I hand Joey over to them. But if I return without him... back into my cell I go. And for no telling how much longer because I failed them."

        Overcat stepped out from behind the curtains at that point. "So this boy is Uncle Sam's latest plan. What do we do, Mr. Williams? It wouldn't be fair to send Remington back if they are going to lock him up with added time that he doesn't deserve. But what do we do with him in the meantime?"

        Johnathan replied, "I can think of three things to do with him. One, send him back empty-handed. But he's family and that solution is unethical. Two, keep him here and put him to work doing a job he's good at. That one is more ethical and there are some awesome car shops around Japanopolis where we could move Remington to. Or three, and only as a last resort... dip Remington in raw Toonium. It would change his body and possibly his mind, but at least he wouldn't have to go back to prison. As I said, as a very LAST resort. I don't want to do the last one."

        Even Overcat shuddered over the thought of number three.

        Remington arched an eye. "What is Toonium?"

        Martha replied, "To the toons and anime characters of Q.C. Planet, Toonium is like Earth's Black Gold or Raw Silver, but I am told that it looks like glittering clay and has a feel of silly putty, though slightly soapy like. Apparently it sells for roughly 105 point 83 dollars per ounce. A 2 Liter of the stuff would cost 7,154 dollars and 11 cents, rounded up."

        Remington's mind wasn't thinking cars nor cousin Joey anymore; he was thinking Toonium. And at the rate of cost for the stuff, he could be an easy billionaire. All he had to do was find some way to get himself a load of it.

        End of Chapter 04


        • #5
          Chapter 05

          Just then, Joey and Lance were heard returning and heading upstairs. They seemed to be talking about ice and water. Once upstairs, the two boys separated toward their separate rooms. As Joey was entering his own bedroom, he got a big surprise.

          Sitting on his bed reading over TV Show scripts was the hench-rat known as Virus. The usually silent partner of Minos Del Malign. "About time you got home, Joey."

          Joey stopped cold in his tracks. "You're talking?"

          Virus glanced up at Joey. "I always forget that people aren't used to hearing me talk. On the Overcat TV Show, my character role doesn't speak. But with Minos Del Malign in the Insanitarium, I'm now out of work unless... you help me. I figure, you DO owe me since I did HELP you gain your powers in the first place. Or have you forgotten already?"

          Joey made a face as he walked over and sat on the bed. "Okay, so what do you want me to do? I assume this is a blackmail request because you're out of work and you think it's my fault?"

          Virus cleared his throat. "Ahem. It IS your fault. However, I am forgiving... provided that you help me."

          Joey folded his arms over his chest. "Name your price. I have it off bad enough because the FBI on Earth keep trying to capture me for their army."

          Virus grinned. "If you help me, they won't be able to touch you -- ever. I am surprised no one bothered to ask the hench-rat if he knew a way out of your current problem. It just so happens that I do know how you can get those idiots off your case. But you have to swear to help me no matter what I ask for. So what will it be?"

          Joey blinked his eyes. Virus apparently held the answer to his current problem. He was too curious to be suspicious. "Okay, Virus. I swear and promise to help you no matter what you ask for. Now how do I get the FBI off my ass?"

          Virus grinned again. "Cross your heart and hope to die, if you are ever found to lie?"

          Joey released an annoyed sigh. "Yes, I cross my heart." And he did so.

          Virus smiled and said, "Okay, Joey... here's how you get the FBI and the Pentagon off your ass." He paused. "Ready for this? It's so easy that you should have thought of this yourself. The answer is: Go public and tell the truth. You won't be worth as much to the Pentagon if everyone on Earth knows about you, how you got your powers, and how it was Toonium-based radiation that gave you your powers. And because Toonium was involved, that legally makes your powers the property of Lord Albert and Q.C. Planet. And because of that, there isn't jack-squat that the Pentagon can do about it, because if they do continue to try to get at you, then Lord Albert can magically make it so you don't have ANY of your powers outside of Q.C. Planet. And then you really WOULD be useless to the Pentagon."

          Needless to say, Joey was speechless. Virus had the solution all along. And Joey SHOULD have thought of that himself. But because he didn't, he was now under contract of his promised and sworn word to Virus.

          "Okay," said Joey, "you were right. I should have thought of that. So, what do I have to do for you in exchange for this information? It won't hurt, will it? I'm getting tired of turpentine in the eyes." He was worried that whatever it was that Virus wanted was going to be illegal. And he didn't want to be a super villain at all.

          End of Chapter 05


          • #6
            Chapter 06

            Virus picked up the scripts again and said, "Now for my payment. You did give your word... so you gotta do it."

            Joey sighed again. "Okay Virus. Just tell me. Or do you love watching me sweat?"

            The hench-rat chuckled. "While that is fun, we are not enemies, Joey. No, what I want you to do is sign this blank contract form and then every time I hand you a job, you have to do it. The blank form will be duplicated for as long as Minos Del Malign is unable to work. When he gets his license back, you're free. Until then, I'm your boss and you do as I say. Now sign the damned contract, Joey."

            Joey sighed, thinking how this was WORSE than becoming a super villain. He really didn't know what Virus was up to. But he grabbed an ink pen and he signed his real name to the blank form and wrote the date on it. "There. I hope I don't regret this. I am already wondering what I've gotten myself into."

            Virus giggled. "Here are your first three jobs, Joey. One, go to City Hall tomorrow and register yourself as a Superhero. Two, go to the Hero/Villain Union tomorrow with me and join the union as a Co-Contracted Superhero. Co-Contracted means that you are working for me. The union will know what that means. While we're there, we'll talk to the union about the Hero High problem. Three, we then get Lord Albert and call for a real world Press Conference where you will go public and tell the truth about yourself and your Toonium-based powers. Lord Albert must be present as your witness."

            Joey was amazed. "I don't get it... you sound like you want to honestly help me. I just don't understand why."

            Virus replied, "It's easy, actually. If the Pentagon gets you, then I can't collect on your sworn promises. The day after tomorrow will be more stressful. Tomorrow, you and I will be very busy. And to make sure nothing happens to you, I'm spending the night here with you. Your parents already know. The parrot didn't even make a comment when I arrived."

            Joey nodded his head. "Okay. As long as you're not making me do criminal things, then dad won't have a cow. And don't say you'd pay to see that, either. Get in line..." He winked with a grin.

            Virus laughed. "Okay. But you and I will be working together for a while. You might be embarrassed once you hear what my plan for you is. But you agreed to my terms, so you have to do it."

            Joey hummed. "You like to remind me that I have to do it a lot. Are you going to sleep with me too?"

            Virus grinned again. "As a matter of fact, I am. Part of my viral fluids helped to give you your powers. That's why your teeth, claws, and tail are so much like a rat. The rest of you is mouse, though I am not sure why. I don't have any mouse in my genetic system. And I know Overcat doesn't, but he didn't bite you, so Lance's theory that Overcat and I conflicting to make a mouse doesn't fly. Personally, I think you're still developing. You only look like a mouse, currently. It may change when you least expect it."

            Joey stripped out of his clothes, flicked off the lights, and got into bed, feeling rather strange to be in the same bed with the hench-rat of the bastard who enhanced all of his powers by accident.

            Virus said, "I want to review the super powers list that you got from the fan site. I think there's a flaw on that list."

            Joey nodded his head but didn't hear anything more as he went into a deep sleep.

            End of Chapter 06


            • #7
              Chapter 07

              The next morning, Joey woke up to find Virus right next to him reading the morning Meta-Star City newspaper, particularly the financial section. "Um... morning... Be right back." And he got up and headed into the bathroom. When he returned, he booted up his computer and pulled up the Overcat fan site on the Internet. "This is the site where we got the powers list from. You said you wanted to see it."

              Virus came over and began comparing the fan list to a notebook list that he was carrying in one paw. "Just what I thought. The fan made some mistakes. He detailed every power that has ever appeared in the cartoon show. They are all jumbled together. Here, let me surf you over to Overcat's actual web page where he details his powers, Minos' abilities, my powers, and any guest stars' powers and/or abilities."

              Joey arched an eye. "Your powers? You mean all those weird times when Minos injected you with a new virus serum that would result in giving you some temporary power that would wear off by the end of the episode?"

              Virus grinned. "Yeah, those powers. You have a good memory." A few moments later, he pulled open Overcat's powers in one column and Virus' complete list of every power he's ever had in the second list. "Now, read down my list and tell me if any of those powers look familiar to you. Particularly... Cold Vision. Please note that Overcat can't do that."

              Joey slowly read over the list of Virus' super powers... and eerily... as he went pale... he realized that he had every power on that list, which included the ability to transform from one form into another form. "oh...heck..."

              Virus grinned and calmly said, "So instead of being the super powered rodent version of Overcat... you're the super powered rodent version of me: Virus the Hench-Rat. You have literally every power on my list. Have you tried using any of Overcat's actual powers?"

              Joey sighed. "Yeah, but I couldn't make any of his powers work for me. You just showed me... the truth. So I am going to become a Super Rat eventually?"

              Virus took a breath and released it. "I will tell you two things. You can choose the one you most want to believe. One, you will always be Supermouse as long as you can focus on that image during your transformation. Or... Two, even though you change into Supermouse, you have various rat like features and more keep developing every few weeks or so. When I first met you, Joey, as Supermouse... your sharp teeth and tail were very rat-like. Later on, when I met Supermouse on the ridge you blasted... you had rat claws on your Supermouse hands, in addition to the teeth and tail. Personally, I think as long as you don't lose your temper, you can retain your focus on staying Supermouse. But the more times you loose your cool... Super Rat will be the resultant form you will change into. The rat features are not ugly on you. That's a plus."

              Joey hummed. "Am I a hero or a villain?"

              Virus replied, "What do you want to be? Keep in mind, on Overcat's cartoon show, I am not registered as a bad guy. I am registered as a lab assistant who is constantly being experimented on by a villain. I can choose to go either way. And I think you have that choice, too. Besides... what would your dad do to you if you chose villain? Have you any wool?"

              Joey grinned. "Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full. So you're saying that if I chose villain, then I would be the black sheep of the family that dad is hoping does not appear."

              Virus grinned, too. "I couldn't have put it better myself. Now, let's get some breakfast, then head into town."

              End of Chapter 07


              • #8
                Chapter 08

                After breakfast, the first stop the two had to make was at City Hall to register himself as either a hero or a villain. Virus said, "I think you can handle this, Joey. I'll just wait out here in the lobby for you. It's as easy as I told you."

                And with that, Joey headed into Registration and was soon sitting across from Angel-Devil, a toon who was half angel and half devil. "Um, Joseph Williams. I need to register as a super power. Um... I have a slight issue though... I seem to have two sides... like you do, and I'm not sure if I should just register straight up as a full hero or not. My other side is rather dark and dangerous. And very rat-like."

                Angel-Devil replied, "Could you transform for us please? We need to see your powered form to evaluate it on whether it is either a hero, a villain, or something else."

                Joey stood up and struck his pose in the office.

                Joey's eyes sparked as he focused on causing his metamorphosis. There came a flash of light that overtook his body causing the transformation. When the flash of light subsided, a muscular male humanoid mouse stood there, wearing a costume and armor in the fashion of the stars and bars of the American flag. Close ups of the costume and mouse parts then occurred in rapid succession, before Supermouse gave a gentle smile and a kind wink as the frontal view swept back... showing him in his full glory.

                Angel-Devil nodded his head. "Pose in your nice guy public image, please."

                And Supermouse did that, remembering not to make a toothy grin.

                "And now, show us the other you... the one you think makes you an anti-hero."

                Supermouse visibly shuddered at the request. He KNEW what that meant. But this guy was a professional and had likely seen worse in his every day line of work. He first changed back into Joey, then he started the second change...

                Joey's eyes sparked fiercely as he focused on causing his metamorphosis. There came a flash of darkness that overtook his body causing the transformation. When the darkness subsided, a slender yet athletic male humanoid rat stood there, with glowing blood red eyes. He was wearing a black costume with dark ebony like armor in the fashion of a pirate standard, the Jolly Roger, though with a rat skull. Close ups of the costume and rat parts then occurred in rapid succession, before Super Rat grinned, revealing his sharp teeth as the frontal view swept back... showing him cracking his knuckles.

                Angel-Devil noticeably backed up when he saw this. He was clearly shaken.

                That 'grin' was super disturbing... just as his brother and Overcat both had said. It was... sadistic. You didn't know if he was going to do bodily harm to you or not.

                This time, it took some effort to force himself to change back into lovable Joey. The Super Rat form was a dominant force. But he succeeded finally as he slowly sat down again. "So... what's the verdict?"

                Angel-Devil was obviously quiet and in shock for some time, before he coughed, remembering to breathe. Then he started filling out the registration form and ran it through the processing machine. When the official card was spit out and handed to Joey, the title on the card read... 'Supermouse - Hero' / 'Super Rat - Anti-Hero'.

                End of Chapter 08


                • #9
                  Chapter 09

                  Virus and Joey were then on their way over toward the Hero/Villain Union offices in Metro-Gotham.

                  The hench-rat was already complaining a little. "I can't believe they classified you as both a Hero AND an Anti-Hero. But at least you're registered as a Hero. Now we have to speak to the union about your joining up. This may be a little tricky because I have to go inside with you this time."

                  "I'm not too thrilled with it myself, Virus. He asked me to grin showing all of my teeth. You know the effect."

                  Virus chuckled. "The one your brother and Overcat got spooked over. In truth, I like it when you smile showing your rat teeth. They are so clean and pearly."

                  "It spooked the crap out of Angel-Devil. It took him nearly ten minutes to remember to breathe."

                  Virus laughed out loud. "Well, I happen to like your smile. We're here... let's head inside and talk to the union."

                  The Hero/Villain Union didn't look like much on the outside, but on the inside, it was really sophisticated. At first, Joey was impressed. But then he remembered that it was this same union that wouldn't allow his family to do law enforcement locally in Meta-Star City. Maybe he could do something about that now that he was personally here.

                  The hench-rat pointed toward an office door. "In there, Joey." Virus was riding on Joey's shoulder.

                  Inside the office, getting registered with the union didn't take hardly any time at all. And Joey did ask about his family practicing law enforcement in Meta-Star City and explaining how his family WAS key in saving Overcat not once, but twice. The family had only received one reward for the two saves. After nearly an hour of negotiations, Joey won his case with the union. The Williams would be able to work on Q.C. Planet as long as Joey was with the union. That was the main stipulation.

                  Then came part two of the meeting...Virus laid out his plan for the Supermouse cartoon show. A TV show detailing Supermouse's rise to superhero-dom. Overcat fans would be able to see their hero in the show, and of course... Virus would be in the show, too, since it was his venom that helped to give Supermouse his powers. The only blockade in the plan was Minos Del Malign whose Overcat cartoon show license had been revoked for a year.

                  But then Joey came to Virus' rescue by mentioning that while his Overcat show license was in suspension, was there a rule that prevented him from getting a Supermouse show license so he could appear on the Supermouse show?

                  And obviously, there was no rule in place for that stipulation. Therefore, the Supermouse cartoon show's plans were set in motion and Virus and Minos would be working again.

                  But Joey was still stuck working for Virus since the original wording of their agreement in the contract was that Joey worked for Virus until Minos' Overcat show license was re-instated; NOT any other license, new or otherwise.

                  Outside of the Union Building, Joey and Virus was walking toward their next destination. Virus said, "You did good."

                  Joey was smiling. "Yeah. Dad will be able to work in Meta-Star City, if he wants."

                  End of Chapter 09


                  • #10
                    Chapter 10

                    About an hour and a half later, Joey and Virus were at the black wrought iron gates of an extremely spooky estate and mansion. The yard was overgrown, the canopy of the trees were thick and there was so many trees that you couldn't see the mansion from the gates. Virus hopped down off of Joey's shoulder and landed on a bus stop bench.

                    "Okay, Joey," said Virus. "I'm going to sit here and read up on the stock market. You head on inside and meet with Lord Albert. I am not exactly welcome in there since the last bit of trouble I caused here. Just remember to tell him that you need his help and to explain the whole situation to him. You need him for the press conference in the Real World."

                    Joey was rather in shock over this extremely spooky location. "Lord Atticus lives here? It looks like the lair of a mad scientist or a B-Movie villain."

                    Virus smirked. "A lot of people say that. But this is one of the few places that Lord Albert can govern over his Familiar Cats. They are a rather sexual and playful bunch, but they love meeting new victims, I mean, new boys."

                    "And you want me to go in there alone?" asked Joey.

                    Virus grinned. "You're braver than your boastful brother, aren't you? Remember what Samuel was saying just this morning?"

                    Joey had to giggle at that, as he turned and headed inside the estate. He knew his brother was talking about shoveling horse manure from the stables and not actual bravery. But Virus didn't need to know that. The family deserved to have some secrets after all.

                    He was almost up to the front door when he saw Lord Albert, the black furred Cat Lord opening his garage doors manually. The Cat Lord was the sharpest dresser you could imagine and he was about as sexy and as handsome as anyone could ever hope to be able to drool over in one sighting. Not bad for a black cat.

                    "Lord Atticus, sir?" exclaimed Joey. "I'm Joseph Williams from Meta-Star City? I really hope I am not bothering you today, but I really need your help with a public function in the Real World. Virus said you were the one the ask."

                    The Cat Lord glanced aside at the Williams boy and walked over slowly and circled him, looking him over, and... sniffed him. "You smell like..." he paused, then said, "...a new strain of Toonium. Very well, Joseph. Come into my labs so I may give you an official chemical physical. While I am doing that, you can tell me why Virus sent you to me."

                    Some time later inside Lord Albert's labs, Joey sat on an examination table naked while the Cat Lord examined him in detail, through and through. "So how does it look, sir? And can you help me?"

                    Lord Albert smiled, as he petted on Joey softly. "You are perfectly healthy, Joseph. Unfortunately, Virus wasn't exaggerating when he predicted your rat metamorphosis. In one year from the time you gained your powers... the human you will be replaced with the rat anti-hero as the base form. While you can still change into your human form afterward, if you are ever unconscious while in Supermouse or Joseph Williams forms, you will automatically change back into Mr. Scary Rat."

                    Joey hummed. "I was afraid of that. What can I do, sir?"

                    Lord Albert replied, "First we handle that Real World press conference that Virus suggested that I assist you with. After that... Virus is going to feel like an idiot for bringing you to me. His contract with you will be null after this."

                    End of Chapter 10


                    • #11
                      Chapter 11

                      At the Pentagon in Washington D.C., General Sloan Osric was suddenly interrupted by his second in command. "Sir! Joseph Williams is on TV right now! And he has Lord Atticus of Q.C. Planet with him! They are having a press conference in Animation Park!"

                      General Osric quickly turned on the wide screen television and turned up the volume.

                      In Animation Park in Georgia, Lord Albert had called for every major network in the United States, as well as television companies from other nations. "Thank you all for coming here today, ladies and gentlemen. The reason for this press conference is this young man, a human named Joseph Williams, the son of Commissioner Johnathan Williams, who is currently residing on my project world for animation, Q.C. Planet. The main reason to draw your attention to this young man is because within the last month, he gained super powers by means of exposure to Toonium based catalysts."

                      "It came to my attention that the Pentagon has been trying to get their paws on this boy to force him to be their secret military weapon for the United States. However, there is one little flaw with that plan. They are in error to assume that because Joseph gained his powers in the United States, that he and his powers belong to them. I say this is an error in their judgment because as every judge on Planet Earth knows, all Toonium and Toonium based catalysts, powers, and products belong solely to me, Lord Albert Atticus of Q.C. Planet."

                      "And because the Catalysts contained variant Toonium types, save for his own blood and the horse leather turpentine, the powers gained from Virus cannot be called a U.S. product. Katniptonite is compromised of Crystal Toonium. And Virus the Hench-Rat's venom is Saline Toonium. Joseph's blood is currently Toonium based, which is what enables him to use the super powers that he has acquired. And now, Joseph Williams is going public with his powers to the entire world, which will render his usefulness to a government power as useless. Go ahead, Joseph... show them what you can do."

                      Joseph stepped up into center stage. "Ladies and gentlemen. I have two different and distinct super forms. One is the superhero that the government has been after. He is called Supermouse. Allow me to demonstrate."

                      Joey's eyes sparked as he focused on causing his metamorphosis. There came a flash of light that overtook his body causing the transformation. When the flash of light subsided, a muscular male humanoid mouse stood there, wearing a costume and armor in the fashion of the stars and bars of the American flag. Close ups of the costume and mouse parts then occurred in rapid succession, before Supermouse gave a gentle smile and a kind wink as the frontal view swept back... showing him in his full glory.

                      And after posing front, side views, and back... Joseph transformed back into his human form. "And now, for the first time publicly... my other super form... the anti-hero known as... Super Rat."

                      Joey's eyes sparked fiercely as he focused on causing his metamorphosis. There came a flash of darkness that overtook his body causing the transformation. When the darkness subsided, a slender yet athletic male humanoid rat stood there, with glowing blood red eyes. He was wearing a black costume with dark ebony like armor in the fashion of a pirate standard, the Jolly Roger, though with a rat skull. Close ups of the costume and rat parts then occurred in rapid succession, before Super Rat grinned, revealing his sharp teeth as the frontal view swept back... showing him cracking his knuckles.

                      The reporters, the General, and even Lord Atticus who himself hadn't seen that form nor that grin... all gasped, then fell totally silent. Super Rat's grin had struck again. It was the very thing that no one would ever forget. General Osric slowly turned off the television after that. He was speechless. Worse, he knew he had lost this fight.

                      End of Chapter 11


                      • #12
                        Chapter 12

                        It was about a week later in the countryside of Meta-Star City. Remington was perhaps in a place he really shouldn't have entered, at least not without supervision. But he was blinded by greed at the moment. All he could think about was getting enormously RICH from Toonium.

                        He had just carried a bucket into the old mine and was about to use it to dip some of the fluid Toonium into the container, when he suddenly lost his balance and... he fell directly into the Toonium pool! SPLASH!

                        Needless to say, he found that it was impossible to stay afloat in this stuff. So just before going under, he screamed for help toward the one he was sure wouldn't let him die.

                        "JOEY! HEEELLLLLPPPPPP!!!! DON'T LET ME DIE!!!"

                        Way over on the studio stage where the Supermouse show was being filmed, Joey was actually in his Supermouse form posing while holding up a mock Ferris wheel. Overcat, Minos Del Malign, and Virus were all on the set today as well as Lord Albert, simply to make sure everything worked out okay.

                        Suddenly, Supermouse's ears perked as he pivoted his head to the left sharply. "Remington is in trouble!" And he dropped the Ferris Wheel mock-up and flew like a shot over toward the countryside, quickly homing in on his cousin's terror.

                        Overcat wasn't about to let Supermouse run off by himself. He was carrying Virus, Minos, and Lord Albert as he followed Supermouse directly toward the old mine.

                        Minos exclaimed, "I recognize this place! Lord Albert marked it as off limits after Virus and I accidentally discovered a new type of slippery Toonium here! It is really HARD to mine! Lord Albert was studying it's properties!"

                        But Supermouse was flying right down the entrance tunnel like lightning! "I'm coming, Remington!" And then he saw Remington's hand slipping under the Toonium's surface in the pool just ahead. Toonium be damned, this was family! Supermouse dove directly into the pool himself!

                        Overcat shouted, "Joey! No! Oh no... I can't look!" He covered his eyes with a paw.

                        Moments later... from out of the calm surface of the Toonium pool, Supermouse in a fat glob of Toonium came flying out carrying another fat glob of Toonium. "Lord Albert! I'm heading for the Insanitarium! Tell them to get the Detox Tank ready!" And off he flew in that direction.

                        That afternoon at the Insanitarium, Dr. Warner was saying to Lord Albert. "That boy is a REAL superhero, sir. I have never heard of anyone purposely diving into Toonium to rescue a family member."

                        Lord Albert asked, "How is Joey doing? The truth, Warner."

                        Dr. Warner replied, "Well, you know how unpredictable Toonium is. Joey reverted to his human form just after the Detox bath. We examined his human body and there was no adverse effects on him whatsoever. But... I wish we could say the same for his cousin. Remington Miles Williams is currently an anthro Pegasus. All of his memories from before his criminal life up to now has been wiped out. The only memories he has is that of the Williams family, before he turned bad. He was asking if Joey was all right. Like I said... that boy is a REAL superhero."

                        End of Chapter 12
                        End of Episode Three: The Black Sheep

                        Stay tuned for Episode Four: Samuel's Courage