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    APQC-JW-01 Project Our Hero

    Meta Star City - Q.C. Planet

    APQC-JW-01 Project Our Hero
    Re-Written by Darrel James Vanwinkle (Ratseye/Pouchlaw)

    Chapter One

    Two large Ford trucks pulling horse trailers and a moving van formed their own little convoy as they sped in toward the Transportal of Q.C. Planet from the real world. While it was true that the family had chosen, with the help of Mr. Williams fellow police officer friends, to leave in the middle of the night, it was still dark out as they approached the Western Check-Point of the Meta-Star City region. Green Arrow and Hawk-Eye were on duty that night at the Western Check-Point and when they saw what was coming, they quickly opened the gates to admit immediate passage into the Meta-Star City region. "Those Georgia State Highway Patrol officers weren't kidding when they told us that the Williams were moving in tonight, Green Arrow," exclaimed Hawk-Eye. "I am surprised they are driving so fast!" Green Arrow replied, "The way I heard it, Hawk-Eye, was that they didn't have much choice in the matter. I'll just let a Flashback show you what happened to get the Williams family here..."


    Joseph "Joey" Williams wasn't anyone really special. Up until last week, that is, he was nothing more than the obedient son of a family of law enforcement officers. They lived on a Georgia horse farm, of sorts, with several horses, a German shepherd, and a talking parrot. His mom, Martha, was even with the newest member of the family, Daisy, whom to Joey was nothing but a whiny brat. But when you're a baby, every one thinks being whiny is cute. The Williams were a large family from good Southern stock and nearly all of them lived, ate, and breathed law enforcement. His father, Johnathan, had been a commissioner on the Georgia State Highway Patrol, serving many years as a Captain. His two older siblings, Samuel and Valeria, never had the problems that Joey was about to have. In fact, none of the family nor their ancestors had ever had this kind of problem at all.

    But their story actually started far before that day way back during the Captain Rabbit and the DigiCard days. (See APQC references to their own series.)

    Lieutenant Commander Lazarus Greene had originally created the outline and blueprints for a Pentagon approved project under the public working name of 'Our Hero'. It was to be officially based on Ellis Island for the public record, it was actually located on Shelter Island just East of Long Island, New York. In its early days, the project scientists passively studied the activities of known Meta Star City empowered beings with the approval of the hero and villain union. However, it became apparent over time that new players were entering the field from an unlikely source. General Osric Sloan was head of the Empowered Activity Investigations team in North America and it was he who discovered the first new player to migrate from Earth to QC Planet was none other than Captain Rabbit. A human boy whom gained his powers on Earth yet afterward was quickly ushered off to QC Planet for questionable reasons.

    This interested Sloan because until that day, no one else within Atticus, Georgia, had ever gained powers; accidental nor otherwise. According to a few reports, a few nosy eye witnesses (think of the nosy neighbor from the Bewitched sitcom for reference) told Sloan's agents about the lapine aliens whom had attacked the town and how a female rabbit had apparently injected something into the boy which was what gave him his powers. It didn't take much investigation after that to learn that the Toonium City council mysteriously and suddenly developed a need to have a real world human on their board of greats and the boy's father just 'happened' to get chosen. The father to the son whom just got empowered.

    Taking soil samples of the outfield where the boy's extraterrestrial encounter occurred, Sloan had the lab boys begin work on deciphering possible residue sources for resulting in an empowerment. This would take those in the lab four years to complete and just before they could finish, the next Earth to QC Planet event occurred. A nearly destitute family in Dalton, Georgia. This time it was yet another young man who reportedly met a QC Planet devil mouse whom in turn gave the boy a toon partner card for a popular card game that was all the rage in Montropolis. This boy just 'happened' to be chosen for receiving an ultra rare Platinum partner card for this card game. Sloan didn't believe in coincidences; this had to be deliberate in his own professional opinion. Migrating the entire family to QC Planet, this boy 'suddenly' became empowered after an 'accident' involving the partner card he had been given.

    "Accident my ass," remarked Sloan as he reviewed the data report and he browsed over the photos of the boy and his partner in which he could transform into. "Blackjack Jerbodra; master thief of Monstrotopia." There was no way this was an accident; exactly four years apart and another American citizen and their family just 'happened' to get empowered and quickly moved to QC Planet... never to return to Earth. Sloan felt it was high time to check in with the lab boys to learn what they had discovered from the first encounter locale.

    U.S. Government Research Labs... 12 April... Tuesday afternoon...

    "Run that by me again," remarked the General as he met the head technician's gaze in the private lab room. "Like I told you, sir; we hit pay dirt. The soil sample from the Atticus outfield contains Toonium; a substance in which Lord Albert claimed originally was a QC Planet only resource. He told the supreme courts some years ago that Toonium could not develop naturally on its own anywhere else because it required the 'toon' element which his planet provides to properly conjugate into its final compound form. However, we successfully dissected the material components of this Toonium sample and we have discovered what combination is required to make it ourselves. The final catalyst requires what Lord Albert referred to as an enchantment which he used to keep the compound from separating. But we were able to duplicate his enchantment through electrolysis. We successfully created a sample of our own Toonium. It is NOT a QC Planet only product, sir; Lord Albert lied to the Supreme Court so they would grant him all rights over Toonium. As if he knew that someday that someone might discover the truth behind what he did and what he has falsely claimed."

    The lab scientist then continued as he walked over to a table where a vial with the homemade mixture resided. "This is our theory on how Captain Rabbit became empowered. The right component ingredients were already together in the dirt of the outfield; minus the enchantment. When the boy underwent the high velocity baseball strike on that fateful day, it caused him to fall and hit his head on something in the field which caused a minor head injury which had minor bleeding. The components from the soil had already mixed with the boy's blood and it staged him for the empowerment to come. However, that alone wasn't enough to induce the empowerment, sir. Therefore when Commander Rabbit arrived on planet and she used a 'toon electrolysis generator' to beam the enchantment into the boy's eyes, the components that were then in his blood stream activated and it was that which gave him the final empowerment. Ergo, the appearance of Captain Rabbit, the alien lapine hero that the eye witnesses reported to us. Toonium is NOT a QC Planet only product sir; it is American made."

    General Sloan smiled with a winning grin as he unfolded his arms. "How little of the right ingredients does it take to properly stage someone for an empowerment?" The lab technician used an eye dropper to siphon a little of the homemade sample and he then allowed a single drop to fall out and dampen a piece of construction paper. The wet circle was smaller than a dime. "This is all it takes, sir. Mix this into an active blood stream; subject the patient with a safe band of electrolysis; and then splice in the animal resource for the ending empowered form desirable. A lapine strain resulted in Captain Rabbit; a lizard strain gave the other boy the Blackjack Jerbodra partner. Apparently large animals do not result in ideal outcomes. Thus any desire to have a rhino or elephant hero must remain in fantasy." The General nodded his head as he glanced off toward the nearby window. "Now we have to select the best subject."

    End of Chapter One

    Chapter Two

    U.S. Government Research Labs... 15 April... Friday morning...

    "Explosive?" remarked General Sloan in surprise. "Was anyone hurt?" The chief research division scientist replied, "A few people were surprised by the blast but no one sustained any serious injuries. Apparently the magical infusion that Lord Albert uses prevents a Toonium explosion in the test subjects. However, not even he was deliberately testing Toonium on live humans; in fact, he often worked with local law enforcement to make sure normal humans were kept away from Toonium research facilities." He then glanced at his notes and continued. "On a side note, sir... none of the government approved military volunteers for the program have responded well to the homemade infusion process. All of them reported stomach cramps which was followed by an uncontrollable bout with diarrhea. Afterward, all test subjects checked out as having purged out the Toonium infection as if it were a virus."

    "Then there must be a magic margin age that is acceptable which allows the infusion to work," said the general as he read over the previous two specific information targets. "Gerard Prince became Captain Rabbit and the Toonium infusion he got was not purged. Perhaps that is the answer; it only works for teenagers between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. The Prince boy was that age when his so-called accident happened to him. He would be twenty three to twenty four now and he still has the power. I didn't want to subject a civilian to Project: Our Hero; Capitol Hill is already breathing down our necks for taking over ten years to make this program work. We need a break through soon or the project's funding will be cut off."

    The lead scientist then tapped his pencil to the side of his head. "What if we were to ask West Point Cadets if they were interested, sir? A few are just barely within the magic margin age bracket you just mentioned. We could try it on a few of them minus the animal agent insert and see if any of them develop enhanced abilities." General Sloan replied without looking at the other, "If you want to go try that, then go ahead and do it. I get the feeling that it will be more of the same though. We have to be missing something." He paused as he turned to look at the scientist suddenly. "I am going to go take a drive down to Georgia. I will wear civilian clothes and just visit a few towns near the former Quad Counties and see what I can find out. I will keep in touch." And then he quickly departed to get his trip started. Whatever idea he had in mind had better work or the project was to be in serious trouble.

    Georgia farms... 16 April... Saturday afternoon...

    Equipped with a Geiger counter, General Sloan had been driving around the various towns waiting for the counter to to give off an alert. But it was being oddly quiet. That is until he had pulled up to a farmer along the side of the road to ask for directions. The farmer had been polishing a leather saddle with a local turpentine cleaner. And while Sloan spoke to the farmer, the Geiger counter began to give an alert. Both men looked at the car for a moment before the general in civilian clothes reached in and pulled out the radiation detection unit. The farmer asked, "What is that thing?" To which Sloan replied, "Its a Geiger counter for detecting all forms of toxic substances and various radiation levels. I cannot imagine what it is detecting here on the side of the road." And then he began pointing it at various sources... until the target became the turpentine bottle itself, in which is hit a one hundred percent readout. The counter's gauge coding told Sloan that there was active Toonium almost point blank. "Where did you get that turpentine at?" The farmer replied, "The general store at Peterson's Feed and Grainery over by the railroad tracks. He has a whole bunch of this stuff from when the company that made it was still operating. Everyone throughout the area uses it for making saddles and leather products look new." Sloan remarked as he turned off the detector. "Thank you very much, sir. You have been most helpful."

    U.S. Government Research Labs... 17 April... Sunday mid-morning...

    "What did you find out when you examined the crates of turpentine I bought in Georgia, Professor?" asked Sloan as he believed he already knew the answer. "You were right, sir," said the lead scientist as he held the test results in a report he then handed to the General who was once again in his uniform. "The turpentine in those crates contain prepared and properly infused Toonium which was already magically balanced to prevent an explosion. Talk about the cream of the crop discovery, sir. We were able to extract the Toonium mixture out of the turpentine chemicals and now have a ready batch for testing on select individuals. The only thing that bothers me is that the Georgia-based turpentine chemicals are not like chemicals in similar products from the other states; when mixed with the existing Toonium it acts as a balancing agent. Remove the balance and we suspect it might lead to another explosion."

    "But you still subjected the new find to a few test subjects, right?" asked General Sloan as he glanced from the papers to the scientist. "Yes, we did. And as expected they reported stomach cramps and diarrhea; exactly as before." General Sloan was not really surprised by that outcome since without the balancing agent, it was simply the same stuff they had created the first time. "What would happen if this Toonium contaminated turpentine mixture were to get into a human's fresh injury? Would that be enough to create the infusion puzzle piece we are lacking? We know blood activates the Toonium, but when this stuff is injected into the subjects' blood streams, they purge it out. If that isn't the answer, then what is?"

    The lead scientist commented, "I do not think it is ethical to shoot our own people just to give them an injury for us to play with." General Sloan in one of those rare humanitarian moments nodded his head. "I completely agree with you, Professor. I was just asking the question; you are the one with the theories. Not to mention the knowledge that gunpowder from a bullet would burn off the mixture needed for the infusion and we would be left with nothing for our effort except a ticked off soldier."

    Just then one of the lower ranked researchers came in and said, "Sirs... I had a theory myself which the professor here denounced as irrelevant. But if all else fails, then what does it hurt to consider my theory?" The lead scientist was about to shoo him away but General Sloan stopped him. "Oh let him talk. We need at least some extra idea to consider just in case his thoughts hold water. What is your theory?" The secondary researcher continued, pleased that the General was giving him a chance. "I took some creative liberties and subpoenaed the medical records on Gerard Prince and made an interesting discovery, sir. It turns out that our empowered boy in question has a very unusual blood type. It is a type unheard of in modern history. In fact, no one is sure where it originated from. This blood type is called X-Chromosome AB-Negative. Unless you know what you are looking at, most doctors end up killing their patients when they try to give them an AB-Negative blood transfusion. Since if it doesn't have the X-Chromosome variant, the result always kills the subject in question. Gerard has this blood type. And further research into medical records revealed that Felix Kornel also possesses this blood type. Perhaps this was the missing puzzle piece, sir. Find a match for the blood type and you have a successful volunteer test subject for the program. Otherwise, get used to hearing about stomach cramps and diarrhea."

    General Osric Sloan looked at the reports again and then back at the secondary researcher. "How hard will it be to find that blood type in all of our project personnel? If this is the missing link, then I want someone found who has this blood type. I get the feeling that this particular type only appears once every four years. Someone who is in the proper age margin currently has this blood type and when exposed to Toonium, they will become empowered. And I want that person involved in Project: Our Hero. I don't care what it takes, gentlemen... find him and get him here. Offer him money, patriotism, a college scholarship, I just don't care what you offer him. Just find him and bring him in."

    End of Chapter Two


      Chapter Three

      Project: Our Hero... New York Operations Hangar... 22 April... Friday afternoon...

      When the blood type match had been verified a few days later and within someone inside the magic age margin, the project scientists were naturally ecstatic. But General Sloan kept a calm expression on his face because they needed to play this in an open and civil manner in order to get the young man to freely volunteer for the program. This meant that they could not force it upon him or he could call them out with a coercion law suit. The Williams family were born and bred law enforcement which meant that they understood the law better than anyone. And for that reason alone, if they wanted this boy, they had to play it from the book. Play up on the 'right thing to do to preserve human freedom' idea.

      "My son has the once in a leap year blood type that matches your program's protocol for successfully empowering a human to become a heroic law enforcement officer?" inquired Commissioner Johnathan Williams as he, his two sons, and a couple of family friends walked with General Sloan through the project base. "We only learned of the blood type requirement within the last month, Commissioner," said the General. "Previously, we had well over nine hundred patriotic soldiers and established police officers who wanted to be the one which the program would work for. And now we learn that unless they have your son's blood type, none of them can get the empowerment. However, and this is not to coerce you into a fast decision or anything, we have learned that once every four years, foreign powers target the one with the special blood match to turn them toward their sinister designs and once they have been converted over into their organization, the victims are shipped out of the country never to be seen in America ever again. At least, not as we knew them. We were lucky to make this breakthrough in the discovery of this blood type so we could at least possibly have at least one American citizen to become an empowered hero in the defense of American freedom. I do apologize that your son is the one. If he decides not to join the program, within a year, the sinister others will make contact with him and force a conversion upon your son and then you would never see him again."

      "They would dare to set foot on the horse farm?" asked Johnathan in a direct manner. "I am afraid they would," replied Osric Sloan as he led the group on the tour of the project base. "They would do whatever it took to trick your son into believing their story in order to get him out of your protection zone. And sad to say, they have been known to employ look alike Toons; rejects from QC Planet; to assist them in making the deception work. A toon look alike of your son's favorite TV star might contact him, sounding and acting just like the original. Your son wouldn't know the difference and might even agree to side with that toon against whomever they were facing. It has happened before. In fact, there is a government program in effect right now called Top Dog whose sole goal is to catch evil toons who are on Earth performing these very acts which I just told you about." Joseph then said, "I only watch one cartoon on TV and it would be harder than nails to duplicate him. Although you might claim otherwise, I could call the fake out on my knowledge of my favorite character and get him to fess up if he got it wrong." Joey didn't exactly trust this whole situation just yet which was why he had not mentioned which character was his favorite.

      Project: Our Hero... New York Operations Hangar... 23 April... Saturday morning...

      The next morning was to be Joseph's first POH examination. His father and the two friends were allowed to watch from the safety booth where the examining doctor was also stationed. In fact, General Sloan was not even present for this at all. Standing in his undershorts, Joey stood upon the scanning plate in front of what seemed to be a x-ray grid device as the doctor managed his work on the controls as he read over the gauges and bar graphs regarding the human boy's genetic schematics. "As you can see on monitor two, Joseph's genetic encoding is much greater than that of a regular human of a similar build which stems from his unusual blood type, Mr. Williams," said the scientist as he politely but studiously worked the controls. "Although we can run the preliminary tests on your son here, a lot of his character development is best done in the privacy of your horse farm away from prying eyes. If you do not have the necessary private space at your farm, the Project does have sufficient training facilities for Joseph to make use of at any time."

      "How exactly does the empowerment work, Professor?" asked the Commissioner as he watched his son through the safety glass window. "Will it hurt him?" The Professor glanced at the Williams' parent briefly as he replied, "Under controlled circumstances, there wouldn't be any pain at all. In an open environment, he could experience pain, bleeding, suffering, or even mental anguish if he should be involved in any interaction with misguided and evil Toons operating for the foreign governments. The process for success is to give him a clean scan, which is what we are doing right now, followed by a specially prepared meal of his favorite foods and drink, then he have him do a few activities before bringing him back in for a final examination. If he passes the tests in the final examination, we would have him swallow the empowerment capsule which would then take up to two weeks to activate within his system. Under the Our Hero program, we intend to give your son the empowerment he asks for. The sinister foreign powers would simply get him empowered and stuck as something obviously not human and then there he would be afraid and feeling lost. His best chances at staying human reside with Project Our Hero."

      "So you are saying that if he fails the tests in the final examination that it implies that you and the others made a mistake in diagnosing my son's blood type?" asked Johnathan as he seemed to catch on to that one important bit of information. "There is no mistake, Mr. Williams," said the scientist as he focused on recording the readings the devices were giving off regarding Joseph's body chemistry. "Your son beyond the shadow of a doubt has this blood type. We know the guaranteed way to force the empowerment. But we really do not want to go that route while trying to stay on your good side. Forcing the issue would make you and your sons resent us. Therefore we are trying the empowerment the gradual and drawn out way first." Commissioner Williams then asked, "And what exactly is the enforced way, just out of curiosity?"

      "As crude as this may sound, sir," he began making the final notations in his notepad. "We could have you use a specially prepared hypodermic needle to inject the empowerment fluids directly into your own son's blood stream. And then you would permit our pumping a few thousand volts of electrolysis through your son's body which would super charge both the blood and the serum, and finally, an injection with an animal of choice to give him the superior empowered abilities to make the hero in question. Sadly we cannot use a large or super large animal in this, so small and medium are the limits in this process. And because I get the feeling that you would never be the cause of your own son's anguish, we have to conduct the empowerment the way we have chosen to do it. Which is the gradual way. Unless you surprise me by being more realistic..." It was an implied hint which was lost on Mr. Williams.

      Project: Our Hero... New York Operations Hangar... 23 April... Saturday evening...

      Having passed the final examinations (which were never in doubt?) the scientists provided Joseph with the small empowerment capsule which contained a preselected animal's genetic fluids (mouse) mixed with a sample of the young man's blood and a drop of their homemade Toonium. The only thing left to give him was the electrolysis treatment which according to their tests would activate the empowerment within Joseph Williams' body. Choosing not to tell his father about their plans, the scientists planned on having the electrolysis happen to Joseph when he went to shower one last time and before getting dressed for the return trip home. A preplanned delay which would give them an excuse to keep the boy an extra day longer than they planned. When Joseph entered the shower to get cleaned up for the trip home, one of the hidden scientists activated an electric plate in the shower which sent a volt into the boy without warning.

      End of Chapter Three


        Chapter Four

        Project: Our Hero... New York Operations Hangar... 24 April... Sunday morning...

        "How are you feeling, Joey?" asked Johnathan as he sat beside his son who was still laying in bed undressed. "What in the heck hit me, dad? I just barely entered the shower and all of a sudden you are looking down on me here in my assigned bedroom." His father helped him into an upright position. "The scientists said that there was a short circuit from the electronic switch and the shower mechanism which caused a brief and accidental flash of electricity to course through your body. Pardon the pun, but in short, you were nearly electrocuted."

        Joseph then focused on his law enforcement father as he held him by one arm. "Wait a minute... I just 'happened' to get electrocuted just hours after the scientist told you that the fast and crude way for me to get empowered was to undergo electrolysis, right?" The last part was both forced and pained. "Dad... there is no way in Hell that this was an accident. They caused me to get zapped after I swallowed their empowerment capsule. And they never asked me what animal I wanted. Did they ask you or Samuel about it?" Commissioner Williams realized too late that the scientists had never given them the choice in the matter when the capsule was presented. The animal type was only mentioned during the primary examination; never again afterward. "Oh my god... they played us. Get dressed and then let us get the others in gear and we will drive you back to the horse farm where we will have the family doctor give you a real examination. I want to know what they had you swallow."

        Williams Family Horse Farm... outside of Atlanta Georgia... 24 April... Sunday late afternoon...

        "It is a good thing you called me to come and take a look at him, Johnathan," said the family doctor as he stood in the living room with Joey's parents. "There was the remnants of a capsule in his stomach which I identified as having weak traces of an ordinary mouse's genetic fluids. However, Joey's body was already rejecting the mouse and I gave him a laxative and told him to spend some time in the toilet to purge off the rest of the contents. I knew government scientists were a little wacky, Johnathan, but not to this degree. What were they thinking?" The Commissioner then explained the whole weekend to their doctor, to Mrs. Williams, and to Teriaki (the family parrot.) "Brawk! Unca Sam no good! Brawk!"

        While out in the tack room of the barn, Joseph and his brother Samuel were standing together at the older brother's chemistry mini-lab. Samuel had just finished mixing together some sort of fluid override concoction in an attempt to help purge the unwanted rodent out of his brother's stomach. "There; all finished, Joey. Thunderfire and Trooper were all too happy to help me with this once they found out what had been done to you. I have mixed in your favorite drink as well as the doctor's laxative to cover what might be a bad taste. After downing all of this, by tomorrow you shouldn't have to worry about the mouse ever again. Go on, Joey... bottoms up."

        It wasn't until after drinking the strange mixture when Joseph recalled what his brother said about the donors for this Samuel created homemade cure. Mainly because of the undercurrent taste he was detecting beneath his favorite drink. "Samuel... what exactly did you get from Thunderfire and Trooper to put into this quick fix you created? And you had better say saliva or else you are going to need a doctor after I am through with your body." But his brother was already near the exit door of the tack room ready to bolt after his reply. "Do you really believe that the government scientists used mouse saliva in their stupid mixture? You said you trusted the animals we have on the farm. Getting animal semen from them wasn't easy but they would do anything for you, Joey." And he was out of the room like a gun shot the moment his younger brother exploded with an angry shout as he started to give chase with a pitchfork.

        From within the main house, the adults heard Samuel yell "Help! Joey's trying to kill me!" which was followed by Joseph yelling "Killing you for tricking me into drinking Thunderfire's and Trooper's urine will be the least of your worries, you bastard! Stop running so I can skewer you with this pitchfork!"

        The doctor turned to look at Mrs. and Mr. Williams. "Do I even want to know what they did or will you be needing my services once they are done?" The parrot squawked in her typical way. "Brawk! Sammy make potion! Brawk! Trick Joey! Brawk!" Johnathan covered his face with one hand. "Teriaki... shut up." Martha said to their doctor, "Perhaps you should stay in the house until we don't hear them anymore; it might be safer."

        The chase lasted longer than Samuel figured it might as he was expecting the laxative to kick in and force his brother to purge out the unwanted toxins that anyone might have put into Joey's body. But it wasn't for several hours before the need to use the outbuilding on the property's back side forced Joey into giving up the chase for the time being so he could expel the fluids out of his bottom. Of course showing some honor, Samuel waited just outside the door with a few canteens and several rolls of toilet paper. "Sure took the laxative long enough to work on you, Joey. In the old days, the doctor's nasty assed laxative would have had the both of us in the bathroom for hours the moment we drank it. What took it so long this time?" Joseph replied as he did his business, "It could be that whatever the government put into me provided an immunity from certain laxative effects to ensure that what they put in me stayed in just long enough to affect me. I'll bet they didn't figure on you making me drink from our horse's and canine's tap like that. Sometimes you are worse than Frankenstein."

        "But if it helps you to stay human," Samuel started as he handed one of the canteens to his brother not mentioning that they contained water laced with a mixture of Thunderfire and Trooper fluids to ensure that if an animal was to be in his brother, it would be one that the Williams approved of. "then what I did was simply to override what Project Our Hero tried to do to you. Besides... who has ever heard of trying to create a mousy hero? And you called me Frankenstein." Joey asked, "And a horsy hero or canine hero isn't just as weird?" To which his brother replied, "BraveStarr's Thirty-Thirty and the Road Rovers. Could you really complain if you ended up like them?" That made his younger brother stop to think about those choices.

        "Like I said, Joey," Samuel continued as he provided another canteen when his brother asked for one. "Thunderfire and Trooper would do anything for you; they both adore and love you. And I apologize for caring about you to try to make you become more of a law enforcement species that dad would approve of. A mouse... I mean, seriously... What moron came up with that as a hero form choice? Unless they turned out like the Biker Mice from Mars, would you have shrunk to mouse size so any of the neighbor's cats might try to eat you?" Joey groaned as more nasty fluids emerged from him. "Then I forgive you for trying to help me stay a Williams instead of joining the Mighty Mouse fan club. Overcat is my hero on TV currently." Samuel smiled. "Ever since he got his own animated hero show, a lot of people from the Underdog days almost forgot that he even existed. Although my current hero is Champion Pony from the MLP Boys Ranch series; the show that deals with problem laden young men whom the boy ponies try to help to solve their life problems so they can rejoin society normally. That show also teaches real life horsemanship skills and information. I know you got several tips from the show yourself."

        "I'm just glad that dad hasn't learned that I have been learning rodeo styled acrobatic tricks to use from the saddle," said Joey as he moaned once again to release some more fluids. "I think he might force me to birth out a cow if he found out." His older brother remarked, "I have kept my lips shut about it, Joey. That is one thing I have never broken my word on."

        End of Chapter Four


          Chapter Five

          Williams Family Horse Farm... 25 April... mid-morning Monday... one year later...

          Within a hot air balloon slowly drifting over the horse farm spread, General Sloan spoke to one of the head scientists of the hero project. "You mean to tell me that even after a year, the mixture implanted into Joseph Williams didn't activate? You people must have done something wrong. You told me that you had every possible conundrum figured out and with the right test subject, we would see instant results. What happened?" The head scientist replied, "Sir... with all due respect, we followed every guideline from the base plan down to the very letter. However, after implementing the test, the Williams returned to their farm and had their family doctor give Joseph a complete physical along with a laxative to purge out what the doctor considered to be foreign toxins. It could be that his interference caused the formula in the boy to fail." Implying that they still didn't know what Samuel had done to his own brother after the doctor prescribed the laxative. "However, through careful monitoring, we have deemed that the entire test is not a failure. Parts of the expected results have activated. Everything except the transformation and the expected powers we predicted would appear when the transformation occurred. Aside from that, he has been exhibiting better than normal human attributes." Osric Sloan rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "A virtual super soldier. That is what you are implying." The head scientist nodded his head quietly. "Then the project is not lost. We will continue to monitor Joseph Williams and hope for the catalyst transformation which we know will occur. It happened twice before around about this time of the year. We are close."

          Williams Family Horse Farm... 25 April... Monday afternoon...

          Joseph had been riding Thunderfire on the far back side of the property; he had just rode around the bend of a large cropping of rocks when he saw a scene right out of a Saturday morning cartoon show; a very serious scene was unfolding. Lying on the ground about seven hundred fifty feet away was a large cartoon cat with muscles wearing a purple costume and a cape, while standing directly over him was an evil looking cartoon human who wore white, pink, and orange. And he was bald and ugly, too. Sitting on his shoulder was an evil looking brown rat with red glowing eyes. Neither cat nor human nor rat had seen Joey on his horse just yet. "There is no union here, Overcat!" exclaimed the mad scientist with the rat. "I can destroy you however I like!" The young man recognized the cartoon like participants immediately! It was Abyssios Feliston otherwise known as Overcat the super feline from Meta-Star City and his arch nemesis Minos Del Malign along with his hench-rat, Virus. Overcat was Joey's most favorite cartoon superhero; and he was in trouble.

          PRESENT DAY

          Hawk-Eye suddenly interrupted. "Wait a minute! You mean they were fighting outside of Q.C. Planet and out of the Hero/Villain Union jurisdiction?" Green Arrow nodded his head as he poured himself a cup of coffee. "That's what I'm telling you, Hawk-Eye. Minos and Virus had tricked Overcat into meeting them there but it was all a trap designed to eradicate Overcat once and for all. Minos had been trying for quite some time, but the Union kept getting in the way. Now where was I? Oh yeah..."


          Overcat weakly said, "You'll never get away with this, Minos. The Union will find out what you did." Minos cackled as he pulled out a glowing red rock from his pocket and held it over his foe. "Do you recognize this, Overcat? A little souvenir from your home world, yes?" Overcat moaned as the rock was brought out into the open. "Katniptonite! You're totally evil, Minos! Get it away! Please!" With the loud crack and pow of a fired gun, the Katniptonite flew out of Minos' hand and away to the other side of the battlefield into a patch of weeds and rocks. Minos turned toward the origin of the gun fire and saw Joey on his horse with the still smoking magnum in hand. "A visitor! How droll... I didn't want any witnesses, Overcat, but this one is armed." Joey exclaimed, "Away from that cat, Minos Del Malign, or I'll be forced to pour turpentine on you!" Minos did back away from Overcat but then he whispered to the hench-rat, "Get me that Katniptonite and bite anyone who tries to stop you." Then aloud he said, "No need to be nasty, human... We're all adults here."

          Joey leaped off his horse and landed on his feet. Apparently he had been practicing that stunt and if his father caught him performing it, there would be Hell to pay. He kept the gun pointed at Minos, as he walked over to the animated feline. "Are you alright, Overcat?" The cartoon feline hero slowly stood up and said, "I'm weak, but I'll make it now. Give me your gun and I'll watch Minos. You go find that Katniptonite and pour your turpentine on it. That should destroy it and then I'll get all of my powers back." Joey quickly gave Overcat the magnum, then he ran over in the direction he had seen the glowing red rock fly when shot. Minos said, "The tables have turned, haven't they, Overcat? I never thought I would see you using a gun."

          Overcat made a scary face. "Desperate times call for desperate measures." As Joey knelt down and pulled out his bottle of turpentine (that he used to work the leather parts of his saddle and bridle gear), he looked around acutely then saw his target, lodged between two rocks. He then opened the bottle and reached over to pour the turpentine on the Red Katniptonite, when suddenly and without warning, Virus leaped out of nowhere and bit down hard on Joey's hand, causing him to slam the bottle down on the rocks and Katniptonite, which not only shattered the bottle into glass shards, but splashed the turpentine all over the evil rat, the Katniptonite, and Joey's now bleeding hand from not only the rat bite, but the turpentine, the glass shards, and the exploding Katniptonite.

          Virus let out a squeak of painful agony, as he tried to run back to his master. Overcat was distracted when the explosion when off, so he didn't see Minos quickly grab Virus and activate their personal transporter to return to their lair in the Meta-Star City region. "OH NO!" Overcat exclaimed, as he dashed over to where the young man lay on the ground and began performing CPR on the prone boy. When Overcat was rewarded with the boy coughing, he then began to tend to Joey's bleeding and injured hand. But a simple bandage would not be enough. He knew he needed to get the boy to a local doctor.

          Overcat picked up Joey in his arms and flew over and landed on Thunderfire's back. "Listen, horse... your master is hurt and I don't know the way back to your homestead. So I'll hang on and you ride. Do it." Thunderfire wasn't all too happy with having the superhero cat on his back, but the feline had a point. His master had been injured and quick medical help was desired. Thunderfire began galloping back across the land toward the front of the horse farm where Johnathan Williams was sure to be working.

          PRESENT DAY

          Hawk-Eye said, "You mean Minos Del Malign injured a real world civilian, then fled? That's against Union policy!" Green Arrow nodded his head. "That it is, Hawk-Eye. But the tale is just getting warmed up."

          End of Chapter Five


            Chapter Six


            Shortly thereafter, Thunderfire was parked in front of the main house, while inside, the doctor looked over Joey's injuries. Across the room, Johnathan was giving Overcat the once over, asking a lot of questions. Of course, Overcat answered every question without so much as flinching. He was a hero and had nothing to hide. Finally, the doctor said, "Johnathan... Overcat... I am not sure what went on out on the back side of the property today, but... Joey's hand... has healed over. There isn't even a scar on his hand. I saw the injury when I first arrived, but the more I worked on cleaning it up, the more it healed on its own. I am not sure what is causing it. Its a miracle." Johnathan looked at Overcat, who returned to look right back. "You said Joey was about to pour turpentine on Red Katniptonite when Minos' pet rat, Virus, attacked and bit Joey's hand, causing him to accidentally slam the bottle down on the rocks and the Katniptonite..." Overcat added, "...and as Joey's blood mixed with the rat's venom and the turpentine, the Katniptonite reacted in a way I had never seen before and it exploded. Virus was perhaps more injured than Joey was, as Minos made good his escape and I quickly attended to Joey's injuries and spurred the horse into bringing us both back here."

            Johnathan hummed. "Sounds like a chemical reaction based on a previously unknown formula. If you weren't Joey's favorite cartoon superhero, Overcat, I'd have you arrested and in jail for hurting my son." Overcat said, "I would never do anything to hurt your son. He saved my life today. I owe him for that." He then paused, while looking at his watch. "Tell you what I'll do, Mr. Williams... in the future, if Joey ever needs my help again, for any reason, you send word to me in Meta-Star City on Q.C. Planet, and I'll drop everything to help Joey... no questions asked. Right now, I do need to get back to Meta-Star City and report this whole incident to my union. Minos Del Malign will be facing some serious repercussions for his actions here in the real world." Johnathan thought it over, then finally said, "OK, Overcat, we have a deal. But how will we get a hold of you? Meta-Star City phone numbers are not in the real world directory." Overcat handed Johnathan a platinum card with information and several phone numbers on it. "Use the first toll-free phone number if its a super emergency. Otherwise, use the second regular number. I do need to get going now, Mr. Williams. We will be in touch. That I promise you." He then looked over at Joey in the bed. "Good luck, Joey. You saved my life." Overcat then departed the Williams horse farm and took flight toward Q.C. Planet. He was sure Minos Del Malign would have some sort of cockamamie alibi for where he was. But little did he know how soon he would see Joey again.

            PRESENT DAY

            Hawk-Eye sipped on his coffee then said, "As far as Meta-Star City citizens go, that should have been the end of the story. But it obviously isn't, Green Arrow. So what happened next?" Green Arrow leaned back in his chair and propped his feet up on a counter top. "Not the end indeed, Hawk-Eye. The Williams lives were about to become very interesting, though no one experiencing the events would pay to be in it."


            Dawson County Fairgrounds... 28 April... Thursday evening...

            The Dawsonville county fair was supposed to be a time when everyone could relax and unwind. And of course, all of the Williams family as well as their family friends were attending the event. There were rides to ride and games to play. And if you were lucky... games to win. Lance Oscarson and Samuel headed off together to ride on one of the larger more scary rides while Valeria chose to stay with Martha and Daisy, who was the newest addition to the Williams' family, while Joey was just glad to be out of the house for a change. The doctor had nearly kept him in bed for three days and this was his first time free since that day.

            "Hey Joey! We need your help over here at this game!" Johnathan smiled at his son and winked with a grin. "Better go see what your school chums are wanting." Joey giggled. "Thanks dad. Don't arrest too many people while I'm gone." And he headed off immediately. Johnathan laughed a bit, but the smile faded when he saw a few of his fellow law enforcement friends standing nearby in uniform and he walked over to talk to them. Unbeknown to the Williams, Sloan's government operatives in plain clothes were in position all over the fair mostly minding their own business, but in truth they were keeping a unobtrusive watch on Joseph himself.

            But over where Joey had gone, there was a milk bottle pyramid and baseball throw booth, and his school friends were there, each trying their luck at knocking over the milk bottles. But none of them could do it. Joey's eyes seemed to spark for a second as he saw the milk bottle pyramid stack as he turned to look at the booth operator. "Charlie? You're not using the weighted bottles, are you?" The booth operator whose name was Charlie replied, "No, Joseph... I wouldn't do that at the county fair." Joey then placed a quarter on the counter. "I want to try my hand then." Charlie said, "But Joseph, you stink at baseball throwing games. Don't throw your money away like this." Joey gritted his teeth and glared at Charlie. "My father and his friends are standing right over there. Do you want me to call them over here to inspect your booth? If not, then give me my baseballs and let me throw."

            Charlie was shaken that Joey had snapped at him, as he handed over the three baseballs.

            Of course, the first two baseballs missed the target entirely. Then Joey looked at the last baseball in his hand and that spark seemed to go off again, and what happened next no one standing there was sure how to describe... for everything seemed to go in slow motion, as Joey reared back in a professional National League pitcher's style, and... threw the ball toward the milk bottle pyramid! And in that moment of slow motion, Joey's eyes sparked a third time, as the baseball left his hand and hit the pyramid square on, which caused it to explode in a near fireball of power! But the baseball didn't stop there, as it continued to fly through the back of the booth, destroying the back wall, punching a hole in a tree some distance behind the booth, before lodging squarely and deeply inside the trunk of a second tree -- still smoldering!

            Nearly everyone was standing there agape looking at the yawning hole in the back of the baseball booth. Joey slowly backed away, then fled out of the county fair and hid himself behind an old smokehouse near the fairgrounds. The police converged on the baseball booth afterward and when Mr. Williams found out what had happened there, he said, "I'll go find Joseph. And I don't want ANY of you talking to the press about this. The first people who try to turn this situation into a media circus is going to be thrown in jail without parole."

            And with that, Mr. Williams headed off in the same direction Joey had run in an attempt to find where his son had gone, but in mid route, he was joined by one of the government operatives which almost made the patrol commissioner stop until the agent said, "I know where your son went. Let us just get to him if you truly care about him."

            End of Chapter Six


              Chapter Seven

              Dawson County Fairgrounds... 28 April... Thursday evening...

              About an hour later, Johnathan and the government agent arrived behind the smokehouse where Johnathan's son was in hiding. Mr. Williams calmly called out, "Joseph?" Joey slowly glanced over toward the two men and that was when they both saw they young man's glowing eyes. " I'm scared... what's happening to me?" Johnathan quietly released a breath of air as he tried to brave, hoping to set an example for his son to follow. "Come on, son. I'll take you home. I can come back after the family once I am sure you are secured in your room. You haven't been the same since that Katniptonite explosion. This is... beyond what we're used to dealing with. Come on... time to go home."

              Joey slowly stood up, but didn't come over just yet. He was purposely staying in the shadows. "Dad... I... I have... a tail and... a mousy kind of head... I don't want anyone to see me like this. I'm a freak..." The agent at that point pulled out a pocket flashlight and flicked it on as he pointed it at the law enforcement officer's son and that was when their breaths caught in their throats. Standing there in the dark shadows was a humanoid mouse with brown fur wearing Joseph's clothes. And there were tears running down his whiskered cheeks. "I don't want to be seen like this, dad. What are we going to do?"

              The agent turned off his flashlight as he said to Johnathan, "Call your other son; I'll make sure no one tries to make a fast buck off of your son." Johnathan nodded his head. He was glad some of the government agents were not as crooked as some seemed to be acting. Or perhaps this was simply an act. He pulled out his portable intercom radio and flicked it on. "Samuel? Lance? Could you boys bring the pickup around to the old Henderson smokehouse? I found Joseph... he's... we need to get him home. ASAP. And boys, don't get out of the pickup when you get here. I'll meet you." He then turned off the radio. "Joseph. You are still you on the inside. We're all scared sometimes but everything in life happens for a reason. I just can't figure out why this is happening to you, that's all. Now please come on over to me. I want to help you get home."

              Later that night, with Joey secured off in his upstairs bedroom with the shades drawn and his door closed, Johnathan wasn't surprised that there were now two agents offering to guard the door to Joey's room. He just knew that had to be involved in Project Our Hero, but he didn't have time to grill them police style at the moment. He had to return to the fair to get the rest of his family. He did, however, opt to have Samuel and Lance to help keep watch on Joey's door, but to NOT to go in.

              Samuel tried to talk to Joey through the closed door. "Are you okay, Joey? Talk to me at least. I'm your brother." Joey was heard to sigh. He was sitting in the center of his bed totally covered up and had a hood over his hood and thick sunglasses over his eyes, as he sat in the totally dark bedroom. "Samuel... Lance... I don't know what happened to me... I know dad is trying to be brave but I'm a monster now. A humanoid rodent. And I don't know how I got like this." Lance looked at Samuel. "Did he just say that he was a humanoid rodent?" Samuel replied to Lance, "That's what it sounded like to me. This must be related to that explosion he was in."

              Williams Family Horse Farm... 28 April... Thursday evening...

              Once the family was back home, Johnathan took a deep breath and entered Joey's bedroom, with Samuel, Lance and Jerry Wellington (Joey's family friend) just behind him on either side to lend support. The two agents remained outside at the door out of respect for the family's privacy. "Joseph? You don't have to sit in the dark in your own room." From the center of his bed, Joey replied, "I'm a humanoid mouse, dad. Why is this weird stuff happening to me?" Samuel then said, "Joey... come on, don't look at the bad stuff that's happening with you; weigh in the good that you're overlooking. Aside from the humanoid mouse, what are some of the good things you now have?" Lance smiled. He thought that was the right thing to say. Johnathan was glad Samuel said that one thing. "Yes, Joseph. Think of the good. What benefits do you seem to have now?"

              Joey sighed a little. "Being a humanoid mouse is what is bringing me down, guys. Aside from that, super strength and super regeneration seem to be present. The world's strongest mouse." Lance then snapped his fingers. "That's it!" Johnathan and both sons looked toward Lance as he began his explanation. "When the chemical reaction began with the mutant rat, the Katniptonite, the turpentine, and the final key element... Joey's blood... they combined and bathed Joey inside and out with a copy of Overcat's powers. But with the cat and the rat conflicting, the more gentle mouse became the resultant form. A mouse with Overcat's powers." He paused, then said with a smile. "Joseph Williams has become... Supermouse! As powerful as Overcat, but coupled with the compassion of a mouse. But Joey... like Overcat... and I am sure you know this because you have seen his cartoon show on TV... its a super powered form. When Overcat doesn't need it, he changes back into his regular non-powered self. You just have to learn how to do that."

              Jerry smiled as he said, "Yeah! Remember that one episode... where Overcat explains to Power Penguin during their team-up for how his transformation power operates...?" Johnathan focused on Joey. "I believe in you, Joseph... you can do this. Overcat is your most favorite cartoon superhero. He explained how the transformation power works. It is almost like... he was preparing you to learn his trick. Remember how Overcat does it, Joseph... focus and do it." Joey closed his eyes and he used his super memory pulled open that memory from his mind.

              Power Penguin said, "You're so lucky that you can transform, Abyssios. When I got my powers, I was totally stuck in this current form. I'm a freak. A super powered penguin. I am too ashamed to show my face in public. I would give almost anything to learn how to change back to normal." Abyssios smiled, patting Power Penguin on his shoulder. "You helped me when I was down because of the Katniptonite... so I'll help you now by teaching you how to focus your powers to the point where you can transform back to normal." Power Penguin smiled with a tear running down his cheek. "I'll be in your debt forever, Abyssios. Thank you." A brief explanation later... and Power Penguin... focused really hard, as his eyes began to glow and then... there came a flash of light and Power Penguin transformed into... Phineas Neil, mild mannered reporter for the Daily Iceberg. "I'm me again! I never thought I would ever get back to being me again! I love you, Abyssios!" Abyssios grinned. "No hugging and no kissing, Phineas. I'm a heterosexual cat." He winked!

              Joey slowly opened his now glowing eyes. "If Phineas could learn to do it... then I can learn to do it. He claimed that he was stuck and Overcat still helped him return to normal. Here goes..." And he began to focus really really hard... mentally picturing himself as a human once again as normal as could be. Wavy brown hair, fair skin, sky blue eyes... completely human... and then, he was rewarded as there came a flash of light all around his body and... the Supermouse, as Lance had coined it... had transformed back into... Joseph Williams. Obviously, after that, Joey was hugging his father tightly, while Samuel and Lance were high-fiving each other.

              Johnathan smiled. "I knew you could do it, Joseph! But now you have a secret identity... for the greater good, right? I want you to promise me that you won't be using these new powers for personal gain. If you use your powers like that, I'll let Overcat come back and spank you."

              End of Chapter Seven


                Chapter Eight

                Williams Family Horse Farm... 28 April... Thursday evening...

                Joey straightened up with a smile. "I promise to only use my powers for the good of law enforcement, dad. After all, its in our blood. Its what we do, isn't it?" Johnathan sighed and frowned. "There is something I need to explain to you three. Every family has an unmentioned Black Sheep. We are no different. Back during the turn of the century, the Williams had a family member who was using his knowledge of law enforcement then... to commit crimes. He was almost never caught. The shame occurred when he was caught by his own brother in public. His own brother had to place him under arrest. It was a black day in the Williams family for generations to come. So you see... about every hundred years... the Williams produce a Black Sheep villain. And I just didn't want you boys to become that villain. A new Black Sheep is overdue. He may already be out there."

                Samuel said, "Oh my... I had no idea. So his brother was a police officer?" Johnathan shook his head sadly. "No, he was a star reporter for the media, at the time. He had to arrest his own brother and hand him over to the law afterward. And now you understand why I don't want anyone to turn Joey's new powers into a media circus. It would be the end of us. Back then, shutting up the press meant threatening the editor of the newspaper. Today, everyone has cameras and video. It is not so easy to shut up the press. So please, Joseph... if you simply HAVE to use your powers for any reason... don't say who you really are and PLEASE don't lead anyone back home, NOR let anyone see you change between forms. One slip could be your downfall. Be discreet, but brave. You're a superhero now."

                Joey hummed. "If I am a superhero now, then I better start thinking about a superhero costume, dad. Something that when I am in Supermouse form... the public will see on sight that I am a good guy and not some monstrous rodent from another planet. But what kind of costume would give the public the right idea? I can't show up wearing my human clothes." Lance, being the smart guy and an artist to boot, left the room and returned with his sketchbook and charcoals, and sat down in chair facing Joey. "Strip down to your underwear and strike a pose and hold it for me, Joey. I'll craft you a costume based on what I think your family and Overcat would approve of. I have an idea in mind... Remember Overcat's one movie that he made? He does encounter a super powered rodent guy who thinks Overcat is a villain. The rodent loses his powers afterward, and the costume is never seen again... so, let's modify that costume and..."

                Ten minutes later, Lance had told Joey that he didn't have to pose anymore, and he worked with his colored charcoals a bit more, putting the finishing touches on the new super costume for its owner... Supermouse. "Oh... kay... just about done. And..." He made a few more charcoal strokes and... "...voila! The new threads for Supermouse, champion of justice." Samuel looked at the picture and smiled. "Thanks for not putting a cape in. Capes are so yesteryear, in my opinion." Lance had made front, back, and side views of the costume, because the left side had a bit of armor on it that the right side didn't have. And perhaps even better, Lance had woven in the stars, bars, and stripes of the American flag into the costume. "And now, the public can see at a glance that you're a good guy, Joey." Johnathan smiled, too. "I do approve of that costume. But one thing bothers me about this. How are we going to get this made without tipping off anyone locally as to what we're doing?"

                Joey hummed, considering an idea. "Let me try something, dad. If it doesn't work, then we'll focus on making the costume. In his cartoon show on TV, the costume makes the change with Overcat when he transforms. So... I should be able to do the same thing because I am using his own version of the transformation ability." Samuel said, "That's a great idea, Joey. Think you can make a costume appear when you change into Supermouse?" Joey grinned back. "I'm certainly going to try. You guys believe in me. And I know Overcat would want me to try, too. That's enough for me." He then stepped back into the center of his bedroom. "Here goes my first attempt..."

                Standing before everyone in his undershorts, Joey closed his eyes and focused on the image of Lance's costume design that was now in his super memory. Then he pulled up the humanoid mouse with the mousy head and the tail... and slid the two images together. There came a flash of light in his mind at the same time that a flash of light overtook Joey's physical body. In his mind, the resultant superhero was then seen from all angles at rapid speed, before sweeping back from the front to show the combined costumed superhero before him. And in the waking world, the flash of light slowly subsided, revealing the humanoid mouse wearing the very costume that Lance had just designed. Close ups of the new costume and mouse parts then occurred in rapid succession, before Joey, now in his Supermouse identity, smiled, and the frontal view swept back... showing him in his full glory.

                "I am Supermouse, newest champion of justice. And I know what we can tell anyone who gets too nosy, dad. That I am a law enforcement project that you and your friends have been working on recently. The super powers were given to me to save my life. How does that sound?" He then posed and grinned, showing all of his sharp teeth. Samuel gulped a little. "Um, Joey... I don't think you should make that kind of smile in public. Its a little scary." Supermouse hummed, as he saw his reflection in a mirror. "Ugh... I see what you mean. A gentle smile then. Now, who is up for finding out what all I can do?" Johnathan was impressed with his son's new appearance. The shock of seeing a mouse man had passed and now he wanted to help, same as the others. "First of all, let's detail a list of all of Overcat's main powers and we will see if Supermouse can do any of these powers. What all is there?" Jerry grinned as he turned on Joey's computer and opened up the official Overcat web page. "When in doubt, use the Internet."

                Everyone was astounded at the list of the super powers that were detailed on the powers page. There were literally too many to list in a single chapter. Supermouse then said, "Okay, Jerry. I have memorized the list into my super memory. Now, how can we test these powers safely? I somehow don't think testing these powers indoors is such a great idea. Especially in a wooden house." At that moment, however, a call came in on Johnathan's portable intercom radio. He raised it up to his mouth and activated it. "Johnathan Williams here."

                "Commissioner! Thank god you didn't go to bed yet! A deranged bald mad man that looks like a short scientist with a rat on his shoulder sabotaged the Ferris Wheel and the Parachute Ride! We have civilians stuck in their seats and its all about to collapse! I was hoping you had an idea on what we could do!" Johnathan was about to mouth to Supermouse with the words, 'Go help them, son!', but Supermouse was already over at his window, unlocking it and opening it up, preparing to make the trip. He smiled, mouthing, 'Go on, son! I'll call Overcat!'

                Supermouse smiled and winked back, then went out the window and took the leap of faith... and sure enough... he could fly!

                Johnathan spoke into the radio. "I am sending in a secret project that I have been working on here on the farm! Don't freak out when you see him! You will see what looks like a flying mouse man wearing an all-American costume! I'm on my way!" He then turned off the radio and said to Samuel and Lance. "Let's go, both of you. Supermouse may need our help. I need to call Overcat right quick. He said we should use the emergency number, so I sure hope he isn't having sex or something."

                One of the agents then said, "I am sure Joseph's favorite hero has more important things on his mind aside from sexual activities, Mr. Williams."

                End of Chapter Eight


                  Chapter Nine

                  Dawson County Fairgrounds... 28 April... Thursday night...

                  Over the county fair, Supermouse made his public debut, as he saw the Ferris Wheel beginning to fall over and its passengers were screaming frantically. "I sure hope I can pull off Overcat's catch and save stunt!" And he flew over and under the Ferris Wheel and caught it in both hands, trying to steady it and gently lower it to the ground. He shouted, "Everyone! Get out of your seats and run to safety while I am holding the Ferris Wheel!" Of course, the passengers didn't need to be told twice and we soon scrambling away from the downed Ferris Wheel.

                  Minos Del Malign was sure it was Overcat who had shown up out at the county fair as he leveled his Katniptonite Ray Gun at the individual under the Ferris Wheel and pulled the trigger. A beam of red right shot out and struck Supermouse whom felt his powers increase a hundred-fold. Minos blinked his eyes when he saw that the ray had no apparent effect. "Perhaps I have it set too weak... I'll just turn it on full power and see what that does to that costumed cat." And he made the new settings and leveled the gun at Supermouse and fired again. The beam of red light that shot out this time had an aura all its own as it fully struck and enveloped Supermouse's body. But this time the hero's powers increased to maximum capacity and at that point, the ray gun exploded in Minos' face which knocked him and Virus backward into a wall.

                  Just then, Overcat arrived on the scene and saw the chaos that was ensuing. He immediately headed over to the Parachute Ride and assisted the people out of their predicaments, depositing them safely on the ground. When Minos saw that Overcat was helping at the Parachute Ride, his gaze returned to the target he had shot twice with the Katniptonite Ray Gun. And that's when he saw Supermouse with a muscular body, like Overcat's body. Supermouse was just as amazed as anyone. When he first became Supermouse, he was scrawny; now he was built like his hero.

                  PRESENT DAY

                  Hawk-Eye blinked his eyes. "You mean Minos Del Malign went out into the real world a second time?" Green Arrow nodded his head as he refilled their coffee cups. "Yes, he was determined to kill Overcat while away from Meta-Star City. But his current mistake was about to be his downfall."


                  With the Ferris Wheel out of the way, Supermouse was directly over on top of Minos Del Malign. And Supermouse's eyes were glowing red with heat. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't flash fry you right here on the spot, Minos!" he growled with intent to do harm. "There is no union here to save your sorry little ass!" Minos was, to say the least, afraid for his life. Just then, Overcat was there. "No. Not like this, Supermouse." Then he lowered his voice. "People are watching. You give them the wrong idea about yourself and its over." Supermouse was steaming mad, however. It was the first time he had ever blown his cool. And poor Minos was on the receiving end of that anger. "Get his worthless ass back to Meta-Star City, Overcat. If he comes here to this county a third time... you will never see him again. Ever. And that goes triple for his pet rat, too."

                  Minos and Virus were both cringing against Overcat's legs, in very obvious fear. Overcat picked the two up and said, "You and I are going to have a talk later tonight, Supermouse. The usual place. Be there or I'll come looking for you." And with that, he launched himself into the sky and headed back toward Meta-Star City with Minos and Virus in tow. "I sincerely hope you two learned something tonight. He was mad enough to flash fry all three of us. Next time, I might not be able to save you. And you're going to be busy explaining to the Union why you were out in the Real World again. You had a false alibi the first time, but this time, they know you came out here."

                  Supermouse simply stood there, trying hard to cool his jets. He wasn't in the mood for anyone's crap at the moment. "Supermouse?" came an adult female's voice. "May I have a word with you?" He slowly turned and looked at the person calling his name and he almost flash fried the female and her companion. It was a local reporter named Anne Jenison and her camera man, Gustav Gunner. "Ms. Jenison... please... now is not the time." Anne had Gustav lower his camera, as she handed him her microphone and slowly approached Supermouse. "No camera or microphone, Supermouse. What's wrong? Maybe I can help?" Johnathan was actually glad that Anne had chosen to take the talk off the record. But he watched from nearby, just in case. Supermouse quietly said, "Someone increased all of my powers while I was saving lives tonight. I am not sure if I can handle it. I almost destroyed Minos Del Malign with my super vision. I really wanted to... and that scares me." Anne patted Supermouse on the back and said, "You saved lives. That's what counts. Tell me something though... will I ever know what is really going on around here?" Supermouse chose to smile at Anne with his sharp teeth showing. "Maybe you already do." He winked at her and then turned to walk away.

                  Williams Family Horse Farm... 28 April... Thursday night...

                  When Johnathan and Joseph (as Supermouse) returned to the farm, they saw an unexpected guest awaiting them at the front gate in his military jeep. "Oh my god... General Sloan. I knew the agents being around was too good to be true. Well, let us see what he has to say. And for the record, son... if he says the wrong thing, you can use your super vision on him."

                  Pulling the pickup into the drive, the man and the mouse got out of the vehicle and they both walked over to the side of the jeep. "Why are you here, Sloan? Come to check out your government tampering handiwork that got me changed into a filthy rodent?" Supermouse was obviously still upset over the Minos Del Malign incident. "Is that what you think of law enforcement? Cause if it is, I haven't gotten to use my new super vision yet and you make a tempting target."

                  Sloan never flinched from the scowl the newest hero was giving him. Instead, he pulled out what looked like a copy of a legal agreement and he handed it to Johnathan. "Do you recall signing this document, Commissioner Williams? The original is in the hands of a supreme court justice right now. When you agreed to let your son undergo the confirmation tests at Project Our Hero, you apparently forgot that the agreement says that if your son should meet all of the requirements that you would consent to his joining the project. And as you know, he passed all of the tests positively. We permitted you to take him home for preparation but now that his powers have emerged, your son is legally government property which, by law mind you, you will relinquish peacefully to the US Government. Or was all this talk about being born and bred law enforcement just for public show... say, for the locals entertainment?"

                  Supermouse grabbed the agreement and sped read down the page, before handing it back. "Line 34 states that the test subject gets to choose the animal for the empowerment. I never got that choice. So unless you want the supreme court justice to learn about that little snafu, then you better back off, Sloan. Two people can play the contract game. You did say that the justice had the original, right? One phone call and your case would fall flat on its ass. I suggest you and your agents get off of the Williams' spread as fast as your asses can travel."

                  End of Chapter Nine


                    Chapter Ten

                    Williams Family Horse Farm... 28 April... Thursday night...

                    Later that night on the back side of the Williams farm, Overcat was meeting with Supermouse, whom the latter was looking sad and sorry about what he had said earlier and how he acted. "You were heated up; it was your first time out and Minos targeted you by mistake. He somehow enhanced all of your powers by accident; but you kept yourself in reserve. The first time is always the toughest, Joey. You pulled through and no one thinks you're a menace; you saved lives and you impressed that reporter." Supermouse sighed. "I was so mad, Abyssios. In that moment... I really wanted to use my new super vision on him. If you hadn't stepped forward when you did-" he paused with a shudder. "I was so scared that I was going to lose control." Overcat smiled as he hugged the other hero. "First time fear is okay, Joey. But... you are just raw. You seem to have a copy of all of my powers, thanks to that Katniptonite, and you don't know how to use most of them. You simply need some training. And probably worse; the very thing that makes me weak increases all of your powers." Supermouse then said, "Calming down isn't going to be easy, Overcat. General Sloan of Project Our Hero is the one who had his scientists prep me with a serum that was supposed to give me super powers. Earlier tonight, he showed up at the farm demanding that I be handed over to the project since my powers had activated. He said I was US Government property. It made me so mad and I was already steaming."

                    "So that is their plot," replied the cartoon super feline as he tapped his chin with one hand. "Lord Atticus has an operative in Washington supposedly keeping an eye out for stupid stunts like this. I suppose this one got through the net; it happens sometimes." Supermouse then said, "The only reason he didn't get me earlier was because there was an error in his contract that I threatened to make public if he didn't back off." Overcat replied, "If I know them, a little error won't stop them from trying to get at you again. And since you need to be in a safer environment to train in your super powers, what if you were to come like in Meta Star City on QC Planet? That way I could personally train you and no one would get hurt."

                    At that moment at the Williams farmhouse, the local news van arrived and nearly made a doughnut in the driveway as Anne jumped out of the van, ran up to the house and beat on the door frantically. "Open up, Commissioner! This is an emergency!" Johnathan opened the door and nearly growled. "Anne?! We just laid the baby down! Are you out of your mind?" Anne quickly said, "Listen to me, Johnathan! There's no time! I just got a tip from one of my undercover contacts in Washington! General Sloan is sending the military down here in the morning! He was able to get a legalized military writ which states that powers created in the US must have military coverage! The writ doesn't become active until 6 AM and at that time, they will come here to get Supermouse! Where is he?" Johnathan said, "He's, well, he's..." Anne placed her hands on her hips. "I put two and two together already, Johnathan. I know Supermouse is Joseph. Where is he? I am actually trying to help you guys protect him. If the military gets their hands on him, you will never see him again."

                    Johnathan sighed. "He's on the back side of the property with Overcat. They were having a heart to heart talk about the events this evening. How much time do we have?" Anne replied, "My contact said that if you were still here by sunrise, then you would never get out of here; and they will take Joseph away from you legally. I have a friend making a fake Supermouse costume for our morning show. By the time the military arrives, the whole town should know about our morning show stunt. We're going to unmask the fake Supermouse on TV and he is going to explain away how he pulled off the super feats last night at the county fair. Johnathan, please; get him out of here and if you have a safe haven somewhere, take Joseph there for his own safety." The commissioner nodded his head and shouted, "OVERCAT! BACK DOOR OF MAIN HOUSE! NOW!" He then pulled Anne inside and took her through the house to the back door, where Overcat and Supermouse were now standing. "Anne just brought us a warning, Overcat. We've run out of time. We need to move the whole horse farm and our family to Meta Star City. We have to be out of here by sunrise. Think you can make the arrangements for us? And I'll need a job with one of Q.C. Planet's highway police departments, too."

                    Overcat said, "I was just telling Supermouse that I would like for him to come to Meta Star City where I could give him powers training sessions in privacy. Of course I can make the arrangements. I will take Supermouse with me so you can focus on getting the rest packed up and headed for Meta Star City. Use the Western Check-Point in Animation Park when you make the drive. I will have a message for the gate patrol to let you people through." Anne said, "I called your highway patrol friends. They are on their way over right now to help you move."

                    PRESENT TIME

                    At that moment, two fully packed motorcycles with sidecars full of luggage and a Georgia news van sped through the Western Check-Point and the still open gates leading into Meta Star City. Like the convoy ahead of them, they were also doing about 90 miles an hour. Hawk-Eye exclaimed, "I thought the family already went through!" Green Arrow chuckled and helped Hawk-Eye to close the gates once again. "Friends of the family, I'd say. I saw Anne Jenison and her camera man, Gustav Gunner, in the news van. The boys on the motorcycle were the family friends, Lance Oscarson and Jerry Wellington. Unless anyone else knows to come this way, then we've seen the last of any activities here at the Western Check-Point tonight." Hawk-Eye then asked, "Was that the end of the story, Green Arrow?" Green Arrow smiled. "Just the beginning, Hawk-Eye... just the beginning. Like all other good superhero tales. In order to hear the rest, we'll just have to watch and see how the family and Supermouse adjust to life in Meta Star City." Hawk-Eye grinned. "Our shift is about over with. I'll be glad to go get some shut eye soon. The ladies can have their turn here at the check point in the morning." He was implying Black Canary and Black Cat.

                    The New Williams Family Horse Farm... QC Planet... 28 April... Thursday night...

                    Meanwhile on the other side of Meta Star City at the new Williams Horse Farm, Overcat was greeting the arriving family members, Lance, Jerry, Anne and Gustav. Johnathan smiled. "This place looks just like our place back in Georgia, Overcat! How did you do it?" Overcat smiled back. "I told the Hero/Villain Union how you guys helped me catch Minos, and then, I cashed in a favor with the Creators. Jointly, the union donated this spread of land and the Creators allowed me to instantly make an exact copy of your farm in Georgia... and place it here on this spread of land. Every thing is totally identical. Right down to the trees, flowers, and rocks. The insides of the buildings are devoid of furnishings, unfortunately. You people will have to make good with the home redecorating spiel." Martha was looking around. "I am amazed how identical this farm is to our own back home." Samuel and Lance were high-fiving each other again, while Valeria was seeing to their animals.

                    "Brawk! Toons stink! Brawk!" said the family's talking parrot. Valeria said, "Now you behave, Teriaki!" Teriaki just grinned.

                    Supermouse was sitting in the gazebo with the family's German Shepherd, Trooper, petting and gently scratching on his head and body, when Anne and Gustav joined the two there. "Hello Anne. Gustav. Why are you guys here? Did you get fired?" Anne slyly grinned. "In a manner of speaking, it is against station policy to prefabricate a news story. But the Meta Star City TV News heard what we did to protect one of our newest superheroes and they hired both Gustav and I to come work for them." Supermouse chuckled. "Looks like you joined the insanity of the Williams family. Glad to have you here."

                    End of Chapter Ten


                      Chapter Eleven

                      Williams Family Horse Farm... Planet Earth... 29 April... Friday morning...

                      General Sloan spoke to one of the other officers in charge of the army forces they had brought in. "Did they pull a Jesse James like we figured they would, Captain Kullock?" The captain replied as he stood at attention, "Yes sir. Every animal and person on the farm was completely cleared out. They even took their furniture, sir. I know a house can be built in seven days, but I have never known a family to entirely clean out their full blown horse farm in a single night. I wouldn't have thought it possible." Sloan nodded his head. "Born and bred law enforcement my ass. They claim to know the laws but the moment we have them over the legal barrel, they run away."

                      Just then, the general's cellphone vibrated and he opened it up to answer it. "Sloan speaking." He paused as he listened to the report. "The Western Check-Point in Animation Park around 11 PM, you say. And they had the gates already open for them? No, you did well. Expect extra salary for being in the right spot. What's that?" He paused again to listen to the last part. "They clocked in at 90 MPH in a 20 MPH zone? Thank YOU, Corporal. You just made my morning." He closed the cellphone and looked at the captain again. "The Williams not only had their place cleaned out in less than three hours but they were speeding in a twenty mile per hour zone in Animation Park. We have eye witnesses who video taped the Williams convoy speeding through the strangely OPEN Check-Point. Any other time on a regular night, those check-points would have had the gates closed and they would stop any car trying to enter. Those toons planned this in advance. Now we have them for sure. Captain? Get on the horn and call up the Fair Visitation Committee in Washington DC. Have them put the pressure on the cat lord in charge of that planet. We have us some fugitives in toon territory. And Joseph Williams belongs to us."

                      The captain made the call while Sloan got into his jeep and led the military forces over to Animation Park where they would block the roads entering Albert's so-called toon retirement world aka amusement park. If Albert wanted those roads open, he would hand over Joseph Williams. Otherwise... the tourism dollars would be cut off. Hit the cat lord where it hurts... in his wallet. Sloan was sure that Albert would do anything to get those roads open again.

                      Atticus Estate... QC Planet... 29 April... Friday mid-morning...

                      Lord Albert Atticus was a solid black cat man with black fur and dark blue eyes instead of the standard green for most cats. He wore business clothes with a flap in the back for his long feline tail. He was a powerful magic user and could easily teleport the military off into a black hole if he wanted to. But that was the last thing he wanted to do since doing that would prove the toons were guilty. Therefore he chose to do what anyone with this problem would do; he contacted the Yuskay Law Firm. Lord Yuskay's anthropomorphic hell hound lawyers also wore business suits although aside from that, they were the sexiest and most well built beings alive. Eye candy for the unsuspecting is what Albert often called them.

                      But their winning streak was unmatched in the court systems. And that is why Lord Albert trusted them.

                      The first thing the Yuskay lawyer had to determine was if the US Government's claim held any water; their blocking off the tourists was definitely going against United Nations directives. Using both a computer and phone calls to the supreme court justices involved, he was able to glean one half of the supposed story. The next part of the plan involved the Yuskay lawyer simply appearing in Georgia at the Highway Patrol department where he asked the officers there some pointed questions regarding the Williams family. When they showed deception in not answering truthfully, he got them to change their minds by stating that lying to a Yuskay lawyer was grounds for seeing in favor of the government on behalf of Lord Albert. They gave in and told the lawyer the true information after that. With two-thirds of the story, his next stop was to speak to the Williams family themselves.

                      QC Williams Family Horse Farm... 29 April... Friday afternoon...

                      After presenting his credentials to Johnathan, as well as passing the Teriaki test... the Yuskay lawyer met with everyone involved in the move from Georgia on Earth to QC Planet. Even Overcat was present since his testimony was going to be needed. "Thank you for agreeing to speak to me on behalf of Lord Atticus himself. The American government has issued an ultimatum for the return of Joseph Williams, the property of Project Our Hero, for which legal paperwork was willingly signed by the head of this household. Due to what was deemed an accident, or so they said, you took your son and returned to the farm where you had a normal doctor tamper with a Project serum which your son was not forced to swallow." He then held up a hand quickly. "You will be given a chance to counter the events I am reciting. This is for the legal record on behalf of Lord Atticus. A year later, Minos Del Malign and his Hench-Rat injected your son with magical Toonium based catalysts which overrode the Project serum and ultimately caused your son's transformation. However, and as you might have guessed, Virus has no mouse fluids in his saliva whatsoever. He is a toon rat. The Katniptonite Ray Gun contained Katniptonite Toonium Radiation, again of the magical variety. The main reason the government's serum failed is that it takes actual magic to make a transformation in a willing subject. But it also takes someone with Joseph's special blood type. You may now give me your accounts on what happened... in chronological order if you don't mind. We are trying to resolve this matter in the correct manner."

                      And as was told in the prior parts of this story, everyone gave off accurate (painfully accurate for Samuel) details on how they were each involved in what was done to Joseph. Of course everyone almost slapped Samuel for his deception of the equine and canine semen experiment on his brother. Finally, the lawyer was conferring notes with the cat lord via his cell phone.

                      The snafu that Supermouse had countered General Sloan about was now public with both the lawyer and Albert himself. As was the partial deception to coerce the Williams to agree to the Project tests. There were no foreign governments involved as Sloan had originally said. Knowing this made everyone in the family angry. And rightfully so. Johnathan said, "We cannot fault the entire government for the crooked behavior of one of their generals. The others under his command are only following orders. The leader is always to blame; never forget that, Joey." Joseph replied, "I am not so upset with Samuel's deception now. I think I would have been better off with a horse or a German shepherd form. Hindsight is 20/20, they say." Samuel said, "I am sorry I tricked you into drinking the semen mixture, Joey. But I wanted to help remove the mouse those idiots put into you. I guess my efforts failed since you became Supermouse."

                      Overcat then said, "I did some research into this so-called Project Our Hero. It turns out that before Sloan was put in charge of the program, it was once ran by a General Anderson of Connecticut. He tried to keep the whole project on the up and up but failed to produce the heroic effect in test subjects. He eventually retired and the project passed hands to you know who. A shame you couldn't have dealt with the first guy. The report says that he was an all around nice guy although many in the government didn't like him for his honest methods."

                      Joseph nodded his head. "It seems that the nice guys DO finish last in this case. Oh well, I have a super empowered mouse to deal with."

                      End of Chapter Eleven


                        Chapter Twelve

                        QC Williams Family Horse Farm... 30 April... Saturday morning...

                        The following morning, General Sloan along with several other designated legal personnel from the American government as well as the official Pentagon representative and a member of the supreme court were all gathered in front of the horse farm on QC Planet. Just inside the front gate was Lord Albert Atticus, Lord Paul Hellsform (an underworld panther lord who was on Albert's staff,) and the Yuskay Lawyer whom was hired to represent both the cat lord and the Williams family. Sitting on the front porch with the Williams family was none other than the mayor of Meta Star City, Wonder Woman; she was curious about this event. The lawyer approached the court judge and they spoke candidly before separating for the publicly stated spiel.

                        The Yuskay lawyer started things off by reciting off both versions of the events from typed forms which he had just shared with the supreme court judge. The first version was Project Our Hero's claim of the events from the beginning and up to the moment. General Sloan was seen nodding his head in agreement but he was about to stop short when the second version from eye witnesses was recited. The Yuskay lawyer then detailed what all had been told to the Williams family in excruciating detail which included several of the flubs made from the projects own scientists and doctors which also included the snafu on how Joseph never got to choose the animal to involved with the project. The scientists had the boy swallow rodent fluids followed by a planned near electrocution during the boy's shower which almost killed him. General Sloan's expression never displayed deception however; instead, his head had turned to scowl at those who were working with the Williams that day after Sloan had definitely left the project to go check in with a superior.

                        "The fluids of a rodent?" exclaimed the General with obvious upset tones vibrating from his voice. This was no act; the scientists didn't even tell HIM what they had put into the serum. "What part of 'Give them the choice' was lost in translation, Professor Fleming? You said you had worked with projects of this nature before." The scientist in question replied, "I had been part of such works before and what we learned then was that any animal of sheep size or greater would result in a violently sick reaction. Going with the smallest animal available was more ideal since it guarantees a transformation and the desired power activation. It isn't my fault that the electrolysis method the others underhandedly attempted to use was doomed to failure. Even I know that it takes real magical influence to induce a transformation and they weren't using magic."

                        General Sloan then looked up into the sky for a short moment before turning his attention back to the Yuskay lawyer and stepping forward. "In light of the errors made on behalf of the project, I wish to express my apology to the Williams for any part of what they have endured while dealing with inferior mad scientists who shouldn't even have access to plastic building blocks. However, despite the errors made... Commissioner Williams did sign his son up for a hero based government controlled project of his own free will. Any smart individual would have asked for a lawyer to be present at the time that the offer was made and being that he chose not to and he simply signed the form without legal consultation, your involvement now could be considered as criminal interference in the contract being fulfilled. Despite the errors, the agreement states that if Joseph Williams gained any powers after his Project Our Hero examination, only then would be become part of the project's training program. Also despite the sabotage that the family doctor performed as well as his own brother tricking him into drinking the semen of both a horse and a police dog... that was disgusting to even learn about..." He then refocused on the lawyer directly.

                        "I humbly ask that the agreement be rewritten and any training Joseph Williams performs is done with witnessed government supervision. How he trains would be up to him but he would permit the rest of us to monitor his vitals and his progress. That was the intention of the original agreement. Once he felt as if he was fully trained, he could be given assignments for the American government involving heroic efforts. While we do not have super villains as QC Planet is populated with, certain situations sometimes call for a hero for which we do not have access to at the moment. And we do not feel comfortable with having to deal with the Meta Star City hero and villain union for which we have heard that even Wonder Woman is not happy to deal with herself." He looked to Wonder Woman at that point. "See, Mayor Prince? We do pay attention to QC Planet politics!" General Sloan looked to the lawyer once again. "However, the presence of the supreme court justice is not for the Project Our Hero nor Joseph Williams agreement. Another legal matter came up regarding a lie Lord Albert told the Supreme Court on Earth concerning something that cannot exist on Earth according to his own prefabricated report."

                        Lord Albert then stepped forward and stood before the group. "I try not to ever lie to the Supreme Court, General Sloan. So your accusation better hold water because my lawyer is standing right here and if you cannot prove yourself and your statement, I will press slander charges against you for damaging my integrity. What 'lie' have I told?"

                        General Sloan had a few of his scientists set up a sterilized table and in exhibit 'A' they placed a transparent container of their homemade Toonium. "This is a manually created sample version of the substance we found in Atticus Georgia's baseball field."

                        Lord Albert took one look and sniff at the substance in the container. "Ah yes, Synthetic Toonium. The stuff that almost obliterated Toonime Island when an evil cat lord tried to take over my Project by creating his own Toonium to replace the original Toonium with. unfortunately, Synthetic Toonium has a property that I am sure your scientists are not aware of Sloan. Permit me to demonstrate. " He placed a call on his own cellphone and an emergency transport shuttle arrived with two toons dressed in pink safety Hazmat suits. They placed a second container on the table and then they uncorked a bottle and filled the second Toonium resistant glass container with the real Toonium. Now, General Sloan. For this next part, I would like you to have one your own men fetch a real world stick and bring it here. It must be about a foot long and intact."

                        Once Sloan ordered one of his men to go fetch the stick of wood in question, it was handed over to Albert who promptly broke the stick across his leg into two pieces. "I did that so you could see that both sticks came from the same wood. Now, I will gently poke your Toonium with the first stick and then I will let go of the stick. If the stick doesn't disappear into the container, then it will prove that you recreated Synthetic Toonium. I will do the same with my Toonium with the remaining stick. Watch what happens." And when he did this, the stick dropped into the container with the real Toonium seemed to drop down through a hole in the bottom of the container leaving behind only Toonium. While the stick in the other simply leaned against the side of the container. "As I said, If you had made actual Toonium, no tool created on Earth would be able to touch the Toonium as you saw what happened to a simple stick of Earth wood. Now for the second part your lab boys probably do not know. Mrs. Williams, do you have a box of matches made on Earth."

                        When she went into the house and fetched the matches for Albert, he had her return to the porch before having Sloan and his boys step back for their own safety. Then he lit the first match and dropped the lit match into the real Toonium container. Everyone heard the match extinguish upon hitting the Toonium and the flame was instantly out. Then he lit the second match and as he tossed the lit match into the second Container, he leaped backwards fast... just in time as the container and the table exploded with a magnificent forceful blast. Obliterating the table and all that resided on it. Including the real Toonium. "Thus, this is what happened to the Synthetic Toonium the other cat lord tried to make on Toonime Island. You will notice that everything in the blast was destroyed. In effect, Sloan, your lab boys recreated a very dangerous explosive. Not regular Toonium; if you injected any of this stuff into Joseph Williams, he is lucky to be alive, since it is life threatening." When the demonstration ended, Sloan said, "Accusations will be dropped, Albert, but as we agreed upon, we expect to be able to watch Joseph's training sessions so no funny business. The Yuskay lawyers can work in reverse, you know. Come on boys. Let's go find a motel room. We will return this afternoon."

                        End of Chapter Twelve
                        End of Episode One

                        Stay tuned for the next episode, Team Spirit