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EJ-01 Saving the Comics

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    "He is in severe condition, but Americat and Tracker are patching him up," stated the five foot tall frog anthro. "He was partially changed back into his fox form in his apartment when Americat initiated the retrieval on him. When you went through the portal to return to your labs, it was a typical crossing. But when Canon went through the portal, the entire portal made a shorting sound and even sparked. At the time, we couldn't find anything that would have caused it. And now this happens to your friend. Americat sent me over here to assist you in repairing your lab to full working order and to... try to cheer you up at the same time. I know you hated that cat form, but... I could help you attain a different form to use over there."

    He paused as he noticed a picture of Chris and Drake together. "Um... so what's the story on your brother?"


    Americat released a sigh of relief. "I got his head to stop bleeding. How are you doing on your end, Tracker?"


      Tracker says, "We...may have a problem... His body is trying very hard to react to this injury... his lower regions are actually starting shift toward kangaroo while his top is fox, and it's actually making the situation worse with his three forms fighting each other. I'm not sure there will be anything human left if this keeps up."


      Christopher sighs, "Armand... Do you really care about that? Right now, I don't. My brother.... My brother is DEAD. And I'm REALLY worried about the only person in my ENTIRE life who means anything to me. I ... I don't care how I look over there... I just want to Canon is okay, alright? I just...want to know he's safe...and alright."


        Armand replied, "I understand, Chris... my brother is also dead. And it was my fault that it happened. As for Canon... if you want to go over and show your support, I'll open the way for you. I'll even extend extra power so you don't arrive pet sized, like a chibi. The ladies didn't mean to fawn all over you." And he opened the portal and sent Chris through it...

        ...where he arrived the same species of feline he had been before, but now he was a five feet tall anthro version... and yes, naked. Just as Canon had been the first trip.


        Americat hummed. "I have an idea, old chum." And Americat opened a drawer and removed the safety on a hypo gun the team rarely had to use. The fluids within had one specific affect and that was to remove a biologically unwanted alien takeover of an anthro's body. The risk in doing this was that the serum could treat the human form as the alien takeover and Canon could lose that form permanently. He then pressed the hypo gun to Canon's torso and he fired it, silencer style.

        Canon's body jolted briefly when he got the shot, but then he was just laying there unconscious.

        Americat glanced at Tracker again as he put the hypo gun away. "Not a word. It was my call."


          Armand had no idea the fireworks he was about to unleash. What he did discover, however, is that even in (temporarily) human form, the spell doesn't go entirely as planned. He has to expend quite a bit of energy to make it happen, more than even he anticipated. What's more, it seems the suppression effect of the rings around his wrists, ankles, and tail begin quickly feeding on the spell. It won't last long, maybe an hour or two, at maximum power. However, the boy is unaware of that and as he lands, he actually fairly grateful for Armand doing that.

          Tracker says, "I wasn't going to say anything. As you said, it was your call."

          Christopher, however, saw the whole thing and, not knowing what was in the serum, in an instant, was over and grabbing Americat by the throat, "WHAT did you do? What was your call?"

          Tracker blinks but it doesn't take him long to put two and two together given the anthro form and the species. He glances at the now brightly glowing cracking rings around the anthro's limbs and says, "We're going to fix your friend, Christopher. We're going to make him one of us. Permanently. Sure he didn't get to have any say in the matter... but it probably will save his life. Maybe. Either way. He's one of us now. He won't be human again. Why don't you just go home and leave him to us. You're worthless here." Tracker's tone was entirely dismissive and hostile and to Americat, it seemed deliberately provocative.

          Chris slowly turned to look at Tracker, his eyes actually and literally blazing with rage as he dropped Americat, finally letting the feline get some air in his lungs. A tremendous burst of energy washed over the entire group, knocking all the furs back, except for Canon who seemed unaffected or shielded from the effect. The stone-like rings blue runes were now shining a bright baleful orange as red light shone brightly between the cracks before finally shattering into scale like shapes that swarmed the former feline body. In mere seconds, a massive dragon-feline hybrid stood over Canon's body. It moved far quicker than someone of that size and musculature should be able to and grabbed Tracker in one claw, lifting from the floor by his throat, squeezing. A deep, roaring growl building from in his throat as he snarled, "You. Will. Not. Take. My. Friend. Away!" Each word seemed to take an extraordinary amount of control to say.

          Just then, from the hall, a blaze of fiery light and energy hit the dragonoid as Firestar unleashed her most potent attack. Not once but four times in rapid succession, each blast knocking the dragonoid further into the heavily reinforced wall, and finally THROUGH it and two others to land in a heap near the outer wall of the compound where it disappeared under a pile of rubble.

          Firestar pants as she staggers for a moment, severely drained... Getting herself together, she makes her way over to check on Tracker, Canon, and Americat, "Are you guys okay?" The intense heat of the demonic-like energy had Tracker still gasping for breath. He nodded a little, "Y...yeah. Seemed best... to get that over with. Good to know...what secrets...the boy has." He looks over at Canon, who the dragonic energies seemed to have also hit but in a very different and regenerative way, aiding the chemicals in the injection to bring the forms back in proper alignment, however, it seems that the side-effect has caused some bleed over between the two, rendering all of Canon's form now in possession of a very roo-like pouch.


            The Timekeeper, having gotten a mental message from Firestar, withdrew the extra energies and larger form from Chris, restoring him to his pet like cat form. The frog, however, did find the special DVD that Canon had already watched and he made a copy of it to share with the team because it would likely help them to understand why Chris is like he is.

            Armand was now getting the copy prepared in the lounge of the headquarters.


            Strikeback speeds into the room when she hears the commotion as she helps Americat to his feet. "Did the Red Bone attack us?"

            Americat replied, "No, it was just Christopher reacting badly to our trying to stabilize and save his friend's life. Apparently Mr. Kitty Cat has a dragon form buried deep inside of himself. But I think that is why he was given the small pet like cat form when we first saw him... a containment effect because of the dragon."

            Canon was still laying there, partially awake... he was a pouched kangaroo from the waist down and a studly fox from the waist up to his ear tips. His feet twitched now and then on their own. "...uhnnn..."

            Americat took a deep breath as he focused his work back on Canon once again. "No offense to Christopher, but until he calms down, we cannot have him visiting again. That dragon temper is too dangerous. It was either the hypo shot to save Canon's life or simply do nothing and watch his friend be torn apart. It was my call."


              Tracker rubbed his throat, "You really do have a way of under-stating things, Americat. On the plus side... And the reason I antagonized him like that, now we should have a much better idea of what we're dealing with. Most likely, when he was hit with those attacked and knocked unconscious, he probably reverted back to his small form. We can go pull him out from under the rubble when we're done with Canon and deal with him later, though I may have an idea on that front depending on what the scanners revealed. Regardless, we need to focus on Canon right now and get him back on his feet and well..."


                Armand came in and said, "I have the cat in confinement for the time being, Tracker. I apologize for sending him over at that exact moment. I really didn't know what you were about to do here. Um, why does Canon have a pouch? He is no female roo."

                Americat said, "I know, which is why I will need your help with this. I need you to siphon out any dragonic energies from Canon that might have interfered with his restoration because this pouch only formed AFTER Chris attacked us. He was exuding dragon energy left and right. He probably did more harm to his friend than we ever could. If you could restore his male kangaroo appearance, that would help immensely. I liked it better when Canon was simply an anthro fox. His being a hybrid like this doesn't feel natural. At best, he could have ended up with super leaping and landing powers. But with the bottom of a kangaroo, he may not have those powers anymore."

                Strikeback nodded her head. "You mean, when Chris drew out the kangaroo from Canon, it could have literally destroyed any powers he could have had."

                Americat looked at her. "That is exactly what I mean. Before this happened, he had been an anthro fox who was developing mutant kangaroo powers. Now he has the legs of a kangaroo, but our devices are not detecting hardly any powers. In other words, Chris accidentally changed his friend into a flat out hybrid with no powers... while he himself obvious has more powers than he knows. Which is why we need to have this accident reverted to the state he had been in just before Chris interfered, but after I gave Canon the shot."

                Armand spent the next hour reversing time and energy flow on Canon's body and the kangaroo legs slowly reverted back into his fox legs. But he was now back at the stage where Americat and Tracker had been about to help him at before the surprise interference. "I've done what I can, guys. Now it is up to you. Changing someone into a hybrid is more monstrous than Dr. Moreau turning furries into humans."

                Americat got right back into the operation now that they had a restart.


                  Tracker did what he could and stepped back, letting the cat work. Medicine wasn't his strongest forte.


                    Strikeback stepped in at the moment to assist Americat since she was a Chemist.

                    Armand led Firestar and Tracker off to just outside of the confinement chamber where the now small pet cat was unconscious within. "What are we going to do with him, Tracker? From what Firestar told me, you guys literally had to knock him through a puncture proof wall to knock him out."


                      Tracker says, "I have some ideas." He leans against a wall. "We knew from the start, there was more to him than met the eye. Though everyone here, including you, sure are awefully quick to ship him off back to the world. I can't blame you. He is a handful. Doesn't quite fit in with what you were hoping and wanting, I assume." He looks down at the scanning results.

                      "From what I can tell, Armand, our initial guesses were fairly accurate. Much of his powers are tied to emotions. His power balance when he erupted was 80% draconic(including draconic magic), 15% demonic, and 5% magic of an unknown type that we've never seen before. He also only hit his current maximum potential when he directly thought his friend's life was in danger and that were going to do something to harm Canon. This suggests that like most new-born heroes, his powers are tied around when he needs them. There is a chance in time he could learn to control them. Even access his other form without needing that emotional trigger. However, you are right. Right now that makes him incredibly dangerous." He sets the tablet down and looks at Armand.

                      Tracker crosses his arms, "Frankly, Armand. You only have a few choices. I still have that catalyst that that shaman mage person made when we stopped that dragon lord from taking over the city and turning all the population into his kobold and drake slaves. It requires the blood of an evil true dragon to make so we only have enough catalyst to make a single dose at the moment. Thus our options are: Option 1: You put him back on Earth. Strikeback and I mix up a memory-erasing serum with the catalyst to completely erase his memory of all events involving us or Canon, permanently. Option 2: We try to deal with an emotional child with the power to hulk out when he gets pissy WHILE dealing with a budding hero who really needs our help. Or Option 3: We mix up the serum with some special additives and cause the boy to forget about Earth and his past completely. The serum, and some careful programming from when he wakes, will make him think he's always been our new recruit's helpful pet cat sidekick. Then we can deal with Canon, get him stable, up to par on our level, and then when we get another dose of catalyst, we can brew the antidote to the serum and let him remember. That's my choice. However, for this to work... Canon HAS to be in on it. Because if we want ANY chance of recruiting the boy AFTER we restore his memory, Canon has to be the one to have done it. That's why it has to be Canon's choice from the start. Either send his friend home with no memory of him, send him home ANYWAY and just let Earth folks deal with it, keep him here and try to make him part of the team... or the last options, make him into an nonspeaking, meowing lil pet cat with psychic powers who works as the boy's sidekick until Canon's done, THEN we deal with mr. explosion."

                      Tracker shrugs, "In the end though... It's Canon's choice. And we should do our best to respect that choice."


                        That night; Extreme Justice HQ

                        With the walls repaired, Americat wheeled Canon out of the infirmary in a wheelchair as he and Strikeback joined the others. "Thanks to chemical knowledge, Strikeback's brilliant suggestion actually worked. We simply had to immerse Canon's body in water. Once he was in the water, his body completely stabilized although... his ears changed into kangaroo ears. But fortunately, the rest of him is fox. He is back to developing powers although we're not sure what those powers will be."

                        When Armand explains what Tracker has suggested, Canon replied, "If you are going to erase one of his memories, simply remove the memory of his seeing you give me a shot and what you said afterward. That way, he won't remember hulking out and what caused it. Otherwise, if his dragon form he has is that dangerous, I think you guys know as well as I do what has to be done. I care about my friend, but if he has that little control over himself when mad, that cannot be good for your world and could eventually lead to his being used by your enemies. Plots like that happen in a lot of comic books. But would I want him sent back to Earth? Only as a last resort. He deserves to be over here as much as I do. Although that cat form is really degrading. Because of that, he was about to write off ever wanting to help you guys anymore. And it was his idea which helped you find the bomb. My original idea was an oil tanker and paper towels. Yes, I didn't think ahead and Chris did. His suggestion saved your city; not mine. I simply repeated what Chris said."

                        Strikeback arched an eye. "Paper towels?"


                          Tracker says, "Unfortunately, this serum would be FAR too potent to use on such a small period of time. At least with my knowledge. Strikeback may know more. Which is why my third option was my suggestion, Canon." He sighs, "I mean we could kill him. That is an option, but I don't think you'd want that one either, Canon. So, my best idea was to let him be your pet cat sidekick. That way, he adjusts to his form, and can still do most everything he could if he was suck helping us from Earth, while at the same time, adjusting to life here. And potentially being more able to control himself. Since we'd all be available to watch him. Also keep in mind... he is a psychic cat, even if we took away his speech, he could still talk to you mentally AND Build machines for you with his telekinesis."

                          Tracker sighs, "Sorry, Canon. I'm just running out of ideas. Though, I think Armand mentioned that he might be able to use those runes to amplify the effect. Essentially force him back into the cat form such he go too far. But that still means, he's stuck in that form for now until he learns to control it. I think what made him break so easily was effectively to make him into the anthro form, Armand's spell weakened the suppression effect of the rings."

                          Firestar says, "Look, I'm all for helping out Canon, but this guy... If I hadn't been there, Tracker, there is a chance you'd be DEAD right now."

                          Tracker holds up his paws, "Firestar, I knew you were coming, I saw you on the base's camera feed. He only reacted to his friend being in danger, and I DELIBERATELY provoked him. Let's no over look that."

                          Firestar grumbles, "Then your stupid."

                          Trakcer nods, "That...I'll grant you. It was stupid and risky. But I wanted more information."


                            Canon sighed. "Tracker... I really like you, but... I don't want Chris to be my sidekick. The better choice would be to make him forget everything that happened today from the moment he woke up to now. He needs to remember the first accidental trip we made over here and then he could awaken human in his own bed. If he wanted to join us after that, he could have to accept the fact that he would have that cat form with the runic security stones. Let's face it... that's what those stones have to be. They are power locking devices to control his inner draconic spirit. But again there is the fact that if Chris forgets everything, it might bring the dragon fully to the surface and then you would be dealing with that and only that. But never as my sidekick. I don't deserve to have a sidekick since I am still a starting hero myself. Well, a hero with whatever powers I am developing. At the moment, Tracker has more powers than I do."

                            Americat hummed. "I understand what Tracker is suggesting, Canon. If your friend is to be sent back to Earth, it would be best if he forgot about you entirely. Otherwise, he would be trying to make contact with you however possible and might even rediscover how to make the crossing again. He did it once; he might do it again. What happens if his crossing drops him in the Red Bone's lap? Our enemy ends up with a dragon under his control. You would never forgive yourself, Canon. Or we simply let him wake up as is and see that you are not hurt. He would remember everything that Tracker said then our own teammate would not be able to be in the same room with your friend. Or the final option, we make him forget about Earth and/or you entirely. Perhaps the sidekick idea was a bit out there, but even Tracker should consider this... if he himself would never accept a sidekick, then why should you?"

                            Canon nodded his fox muzzle. "You're right. Option 1 is obviously out. He would try to get to me at every given moment. And ending up with the Red Bone... eww... I get dirty thoughts just thinking about that possibility. Option 2 is obviously also not an option for keeping it safe around here. He WOULD try to kill Tracker for what he said. And worse, he can make it seem like Tracker's own equipment is doing it." He retells them about the VCR incident. "As for Option 3... it could work, but I don't want him as my sidekick. Plus, since he is mental, he might learn the truth by reading my mind and then you guys would be back at Option 2 again."

                            Strikeback then said, "I think Option 2, but have Canon be the only one in the room when Chris awakens and Canon explain the ruse to make Chris mad and how it wasn't the truth at all... that the shot was simply to stabilize the conflicting forms which would have otherwise killed him in the process. And rather than make Chris madder at us doing nothing to save his friend, we had to use the shot serum. But since we are fudging the truth a bit and telling the full truth at the same time, Canon explain that he isn't going to be stuck as a furry and to explain about Chris' dragon side. Hulk, arr, ha."

                            Armand just keeps his mouth shut. He personally thinks Option 1 because someone as dangerous as Chris shouldn't be over here at all. Especially since he refused the make nice attempt that the frog was honestly making toward him. Chris only cared about himself and then Canon secondly.

                            Canon looked at Firestar but he could figure out what she might be thinking since she had to blast Chris off of Tracker and through a wall. Option 4, death. No, that wasn't acceptable. He looked down into his lap and then he finally said, "We can try Strikeback's idea first... a variation of Option 2. And if he starts to get unruly after that, then we resort to Option 3, but minus the sidekick thing. Just let him think that he is a hero in training who had an accident that left him in that form. Comments before we do this?"


                              Tracker says, "Well the sidekick thing was just an example, not a definite nor meant to force you into anything, Canon. But yeah. I do. Just one." He walks over and kneels down in front of where Canon is sitting and looks him in the eyes, those deep pools of almost hypnotically dashing green, as he smiles and says softly. "It's something we all need to know. Something I need to know, Canon. All other things aside, nothing else matters but answering this question honestly. Do you, in your heart of hearts, believe this boy is worth it? I need to know the answer. I don't care what the answer is... But I need to know that answer."


                                "If he could open up and allow people to help him find closure because of his dead brother... he would be worth it. But as-is..." Canon was stuck looking at Tracker's eyes. "...without hope, I would have to say no. He is not worth it. Yes, he is a genius, but he can be so stubborn sometimes. But I don't want him dead."

                                Americat glanced aside at the rest of his teammates. Tracker was totally right in asking Canon this question. Why should any effort be made at all to help Chris if he won't let others help him. If he only cares about himself first; and others second. True, the young men were friends; but perhaps Chris would be more helpful from his labs. Labs which Armand completely restored to working order. At the moment, Canon was definitely one of them; there was no doubt about it. Perhaps someday he could learn how to change back into his human form. But for now, he was stuck as an anthro fox with developing powers. But at least Canon's powers weren't at the deadly level like Chris' were.