Lights Out|Side Quest

Zzzttt-wah-MMMmmm…

One by one the lights went off. Within minutes the city went dark. Everything started to shut down from the holo-boards advertising the new diet soda to the residential holo-screens playing the sixtieth season of The North Wilbertons. The VirtNet and Internet went down in seconds. A few moments later, vehicles started to shut down…except for one ion-mag lev commuter train…that one was just running out of control.

I needed to take care of the runaway quick—not just because there was a group of citizens aboard or that the train would soon derail and destroy a couple city blocks but because I needed to get to the power station and put a stop to the one behind this power out.

Luckily, my Dog Toys (aka gadgets) operate on a different system, so the Dogfighter was still operational. I positioned the advanced fighter jet ahead of the runaway.

“Dogboy,” Brain said via the Dog Whistle communication system. “SPOT just scanned the train; it was hacked. This is a distraction.”

“Well, it’s a pretty good one,” I said. I flipped a switch. The Dogfighter sprayed a foam-like substance along the tracks. It would slow the train while also keeping it from derailing.

A second after I finished coating the tracks, the train ran over the foam. The train itself, thanks to magnetic levitation, hovers over the tracks. The foam is designed to lessen that connection so that the train slows but not cause it fall to the ground. The train jerked and moaned like someone who’d been at the gym too long. It slowed some, but I could tell it wouldn’t be enough.

I flew the jet ahead of the oncoming train and jumped out. I landed with a heroic thud. I braced for impact with the train while holding my paw-like hands out in front of me.

WHAM!

The claws on my paw-like feet dug into the rails. Sparks jumped around me as the claws tried to find purchase in the rails. My purple cape folded around me like a cocoon as I pushed against the train. Two handprints began to form in the train’s front. I pushed against the train, pouring on my telekinetic power. I could feel the phantasmic energy flowing out of me and down through the train. I groaned.

Finally, the train began to slow.

Thanks to the foam and my push, the train finally came to rest. I panted, my tongue almost reaching the ground. The passengers and workers shouted out thanks as the Dogfighter angled to pick me up. With a leap, I soon was back in the cockpit.

“Now for Terabyte,” I said.

***

When I arrived, Terabyte was having a fun time blasting transformers. Machine bits sprayed everywhere and plumes of fire reached high into the sky. I jumped down behind the cybernetic villain.

Without turning, the villain in yellow, said, “Well, well, well. Look who’s here. Next time I’ll sabotage two trains.”

“End this now, Terabyte, before someone gets hurt,” I demanded with a swipe of my arm.

He turned slowly towards me. His body crackled and glowed with energy. “But, Dogboy…that’s the whole point. Humanity’s time is over. It is time for the Digitrons to rule. It is only natural: the son always replaces the father. Humanity created us; now we will rule.” Terabyte spread his fingers. Arcs of electricity danced between his fingers. “Besides, it serves them right for imprisoning me.”

“Then I’ll stop you.” I thrust out my hand, launching a blast of telekinetic power at him.

Nothing happened.

“Uh-oh,” said Terabyte with a sneer. “Someone’s running on empty.” Terabyte moved his hand before him like some Tai Chi student. A lightning ball began to form in his hand. “Fortunately…I just ate.” He lobbed the ball at me.

ZZZzzttt…BOOOM!

I spiraled through the air like a toy shot out of a cannon. I crash landed into the side of a transformer with my back. I left a small dent. As I tried to stand, electrical wires wrapped around me.

I fruitlessly struggled against the wires. Terabyte laughed mercilessly as he hovered into the air. Electricity shot all around us.

“With you out of the way,” Terabyte monologued, “this city will be helpless against my army.”

“What makes you think I’ll be ‘out of the way’?”

“Because you have no power to stop me.”

“Really?” I relaxed my arms and chest. Earlier as the wires wrapped around me, I puffed up my chest and arms in order to be larger than I was. By relaxing, the wires loosened enough for me to use my claws to cut myself free.

Terabyte yelled in frustration before firing a lightning bolt at me. I managed to dodge and summon one of my Dog Toy gadgets. It looked like a tennis ball but was really an explosive.

I tossed the ball at Terabyte. He, of course, blasted it in order to make it explode early. He was momentarily blinded by the flash and by the resulting smoke. In that moment, I summoned another tennis bomb from my belt and tossed it. This one did connect and Terabyte fell to the earth. While he was recovering, I ordered my belt to print up a superpower suppression dog collar. Just as Terabyte was standing, I jumped at his chest, knocking us to the ground. After a brief struggle, I snapped the collar around his neck and his powers faded.

With Terabyte under control, the workers were able to move on the scene and began repair work. Within a matter of minutes, power was restored to the city. Not long after that the authorities arrived for Terabyte.

“You can’t stop us!” shouted Terabyte. “One day this world will belong to us!”

I rolled my eyes. “Super-villains.”

________________

Joe Rover eBooks are available at most online retailers.

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