Drew, A Departure, And A Cookie
The phone rang.
"I'VE GOT IT!" X-Raytor screamed, even though no one made a move for the phone.
"Hello, Hall of Justice, Head Quarters of the Justice League, X-Raytor speaking, how may we help you?"
"Oh, hi Raven! How's therapy going?"
"Bad. I'm locked in a padded cell with three other head cases."
"Well, that's what you get for playing too much PM2 and then downloading PM3, which is completely in Japanese."
"Shut up. Listen, I can't talk for long, I just need you to-" There was a pause, then Raven returned, exasperated. "Hold on a sec, Holden wants to talk to you."
After a moment, a new voice came on. "Hello?"
"Hi freak, er, Holden!"
"Um, hi. You're a superhero, right?"
"So... you know stuff, right?"
X-Raytor paused. "Wait, is that a trick question?"
"Never mind. Listen, I have a very important question for you, so listen up: you know when it's winter and it gets cold and the pond freezes over, okay? Well, what happens to the ducks? I mean, do they fly away? Does someone come in a truck and take them to the zoo? What?"
X-Raytor thought for a moment. "Well, Holden, when life gets hard like that, and it feels like no one cares, they feel trapped, right?"
"Yeah," Holden said. "Yeah."
"As the cold sets in, their brains start to slow down, and their focus slips; their motivation just fades way."
"So what do they do, in this world where no one cares, where they are slowly freezing, where their former teachers pet them on the head when they're asleep? There's only one thing they can do, Holden,"
"What?!" Holden cried. "What?!"
"Well, they stay in the pond... AND DIE!! THEY FREEZE AND FREEZE AND FREEZE UNTIL THEY CAN'T KEEP THEIR BODIES WORKING ANYMORE AND THEY EITHER SUCCUMB TO THE COLD OR GO AND OFF THEMSELVES AND RID THE WORLD OF THEIR PATHETIC EXISTENCES!!!!!!!!!!"
"Uh, okay, thanks," A somewhat disappointed Holden said. "I'll put Raven back on...HEY!"
A new voice came on the phone, a male voice.
"I am the One."
X-Raytor blinked. "Really?"
"Yes. And if you become one of my Chosen Few you can follow my Path. To Purity."
Then, in the background: "Gimme that!" and sounds of a scuffle. Raven came back on.
"Sorry about that."
"He is the One!"
"...Yeah, I've heard. Listen, I need you guys to get down here right away and-"
In the background: "Hey! What's going on here?"
"Ooooh! Dr. Lansky! Can I talk to him?" X-Raytor asked.
There was no answer, but there were sounds of a scuffle. Then he heard Dr. Lansky's voice, closer.
"How many times do I have to tell you: no outside contact! It's part of the therapy!"
In the background, he heard Raven screech. "Raven Hamee free or dead! FREE OR DEAD!"
Holden and "The One" took up the chant. "FREE OR DEAD! FREE OR DEAD! FREE OR DEAD! KET HALPAK FREEEEEEEEE!"
X-Raytor hung up.
"Who was that?" Oreo Avenger asked, walking in.
X-Raytor shrugged. "I don't know, I think it was a wrong number."
And X-Raytor returned to his heavily fortified room, and his new TiVo.
Suddenly, three knocks were heard on the door, followed by a pause, and three more knocks. "It's the secret code! Eric, to the bat mobile!" X-Raytor exclaimed, only half joking.
Pinzz rolled her eyes. "Maybe one of us should just become a villain so I don't die of boredom and...his outbursts."
The knocks came again, more impatiently. Pinzz looked around the room, noting no one else was moving. "Is anyone going to get that?" she asked before getting up and answering the door herself.
She had only opened the door slightly when a gust of wind burst through and slammed the door into the wall. Rainwater fell everywhere, collecting in a puddle at the feet of a teenage girl.
"Uh- is this the right place?" she said as she peered into the room. The girl was about seventeen, pretty, but drenched with water. She peeled off her hooded jacket, exposing a pale yellow tank top and a ring that hung from a chain on her neck.
"Depends who you happen to be," Pinzz answered, suspicious.
"Drew," she smirked, a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. "And I suppose this is the Justice League Headquarters?"
"Drew, eh? Were your parents expecting a boy?" Pinzz countered the new girl's attitude.
"Were yours expecting a human?" Drew returned and pushed past Pinzz.
A collective gasp silenced the room. No one dared to insult Pinzz-- at least not to her face, that is. Pinzz let out a short laugh, "Your answering the ad, aren't you?" Drew nodded, still smiling. "Well, let's see if you powers are as big as your attitude."
With that, Pinzz touched a spot behind her ear and blue liquid encased her body. She held her hands in front of her, a deadly expression on her face, and her fingertips raced towards Drew's neck. Drew ducked, but she was too slow, Pinzz held her tight, threatening to strangle her.
"Let her be, I don't think she can do anything," Oreo spoke up. With a sigh, Pinzz let go, but not without enough force to slam Drew into a wall. A cut appeared on the side of her head where she hit a picture frame, and her cheek was beginning to swell.
"Jeez, this is unreal. You guys are a bunch of loonies!"
"Then why are you here?" Xiao asked, folding her arms across her chest.
"I thought it was a joke, you know, some sort of cult," she mumbled, not caring how offended the superheroes appeared.
"Hey, let's get you cleaned up," Oreo interrupted before anyone could injure the new girl any further.
"No, I'm fine." Drew stood up and took a step towards the door, but son found herself dizzy and on the floor. "Or maybe I could use an aspirin..." she added.
"Here, come with me." Oreo led Drew into the Justice League bathroom, complete with a Jacuzzi sized bathtub, and pulled open the medicine cabinet. She handed the girl two pills, which drew swallowed greedily, before the two began to exit the bathroom.
"What's that?" Drew yelled over the noise, covering her ears.
"I don't know!" Oreo responded. The girls ran into another room, where X-Raytor was sitting before his Tivo and the other superheroes were yelling at him to fix it. Drew's eye's brightened.
"Is that the 500X version, yet to be released in the United States?" she asked, her eyes glistening. "With 100Mg and satellite internet connection?"
"Yes..." X-Raytor answered.
"How on earth did you get that? You don't appeared to be the smuggling type!" she shouted over the noise and approached the toy. Moments later, the beeping stopped as she pulled her fingers away from the many buttons.
X-Raytor looked at her perplexed, Drew quickly spoke. "You didn't register this, did you? If you had--which would have been nearly impossible unless you lived in Japan, you would have been sent a code to override this lovely little feature. All I did was punch in the correct code."
"Which you knew how?"
"I didn't until about five seconds ago," Drew answered, shrugging her shoulders.
"What are you, some kind of genius?"
The birds outside flitted outside on the Deck of Justice. Oreo Avenger watched them closely, ignoring whatever was going on in the Hall. She was going to catch one of those birds one day. And then she would crunch it up...
She mentally shook herself. No! She wasn't a cat anymore! But when she was a cat...there was something about Isomorphix, and a battle...why couldn't she remember?
Oreo Avenger retreated into the computer room. There was a rumor going around that Raven had downloaded PM3. It was in Korean, but she could figure out what was going on. Trying to remember was giving her a huge headache.
Pinzz threw a backpack on the bed. Packed her clothes. Hats. Shoes. Opened her suitcase. Threw in socks and underclothes. Jacket. Her money. A few valuable things.
"See ya later guys." She headed for the door.
"When are you coming back?" Scarlett asked, glancing at the clock.
"Never." I said.
She looked up, worried.
"I’m just done with all of this. I have to go.”
"Okay, Pinzz. If you have to." She smiled sadly.
X-Raytor came in. He nodded at the news and sat on the couch. No hugs, No kisses, no tearful goodbye, Pinzz left.
Scarlett looked around the Justice League headquarters, and sighed loudly as Pinzz shut the door behind herself.
"That's it! We have to get off our butts and do something before we start bickering worse than normal or forget our own superpowers," she said.
"Hey, guys, there's something you should see," Midnight Chatter called from the other room.
"But I can't remember what my superpower is," said Superdude, ignoring Midnight Chatter.
"Eh, who cares about you anyways? You never do anything," X-Raytor said to him. "Heck, Slushies are your weakness. What kind of superhero has Slushies for a weakness?"
"And your weakness is par for the average superhero?" Eric retorted.
"Hey, shut up nekkid boy!"
"You shut up!"
"No, you!" Eric and X-Raytor started throwing punches. X-Raytor missed and caught Superdude in the jaw. Before the other Justice Leaguers knew it, they had a full-fledged fight on their hands.
Twisk tried throwing water on them, but that only made the guys' superhero costumes cling to their bodies even tighter than before. Finally Oreo threw some time-release Oreos into the milieu, and the fight stopped as X-Raytor, Eric, and Superdude turned into a handbag, a picnic basket, and a copy of Moulin Rouge on DVD.
X-Raytor was the first to turn back into himself, then Eric. They had calmed down considerably, but now their attention was focused on Oreo Avenger. "You turned me into a handbag?!" X-Raytor yelled. "A handbag?!"
"Something wrong with getting in touch with your feminine side?" commented Crystal with a short laugh. X-Raytor glared in silence.
Midnight Chatter chose this particular moment to run into the living room and yell at the top of his lungs, "WE HAVE AN EMERGENCY ON OUR HANDS, PEOPLE! THERE IS AN ENORMOUS OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIE TERRORIZING DOWNTOWN!!!"
"A cookie is doing WHAT?"
"There is an enormous oatmeal raisin cookie terrorizing downtown! We have to get there right away!"
The superheroes sprung into action, grabbing whatever gear they needed and racing towards downtown to deal with the Cookie Monster.
Drew looked up from the toy robot she had been taking apart and searched the room. Someone had mentioned a giant cookie attacking the city, and now the superheroes were basically running around like maniacs.
"What's going on?" she asked a strange blobby-figure with the air of a llama. The blob looked at her for only a moment before rushing off down a corridor.
"How can a cookie terrorize town?" She asked a pretty red-haired girl.
"Rule one of Justice league: Don't ask questions," she stated simply before pulling her hair back in a tighter ponytail.
"A cookie is an inanimate object-- I can't move on it's own!" she stated. No one responded, for by now they had all put on their costumes are were racing, heroically, out the door.
"I guess I'll stay here then..." Drew trailed off, before suddenly realizing that superheroes probably had a really cool computer network and happily proceeded to find the command room.
Xiao decided to ignore the cookie crisis. For one thing, if a giant monster-mutant cookie WAS attacking the city, her "superpower" wouldn't be much use against it. And another reason was she wanted to get to know the new girl, Drew. She hadn't exactly gotten off well with the other newbies when they had arrived, and so she decided to try to get off on the right foot. This time, anyway.
At first, she slipped off into her room, doing her best to be ignored by the others. Once she was sure they were gone, she followed Drew around.
"Don't you have any…well, hi-tech stuff around here?" She asked, sounding annoyed.
Xiao shrugged. "Iso has a sweet computer, but I'm sure you could use it. Raven plays PM on it."
"Iso?" Drew asked absently, as Xiao led the way to Iso’s little sanction of solitude.
"He's um, well, uh…Iso," Xiao said, not knowing quite how to describe him. "He hasn't been around for awhile. Probably off thwarting underground crime rings and drug dealers or something as we speak."
Drew sat down at the computer and after a few minutes was typing away furiously, having become enveloped in her own little world. She seemed to have forgotten Xiao was even around. Biting her lip, Xiao shrugged and went off to her own room again. Fred suddenly appeared behind her, making her jump several feet when he grabbed her shoulder.
"Jeez Fred, you could at least warn me when you're going to do that."
"Well well. Look who woke up on the wrong side today!" Fred cackled maliciously. He was in a particularly evil mood, and wanted to go "hunting." It was his word for going into town and draining small-time crooks to add to his own power.
"Some other time," Xiao said distractedly. "I'm busy. Find another lackey."
"Slight problem," Fred's voice got cold. "I'm attached to you, dearie, and can't exactly go out on my own. In case you hadn't noticed, that is."
She turned to look at him closely. He was acting like the evil king-demon he said he was, for once. His humor was gone and he'd taken some semblance of a human, and looked extremely cross. Xiao shrunk a little, feeling a bit afraid, for once. Fred might act funny, but he really was evil.
"I think," he said, his eyes boring into Xiao's, "I need to show you who the boss is. You see, you are the mousy slave. I am the master. And you will do what I say.
"I'm tired of messing around, and listening to your complaining. I didn't possess you so I could become your mentor. I have a mission, and if you interfere with that, you will be very sorry. From now on, if I say jump, you won't say 'When I feel like it.' It'll be 'How high, O Most High and Mighty Leader?'"
"Yes, sir," Xiao said meekly.
Oreo Avenger heard the alarm. Right in the middle of her game of PM3! She was going to win this one, too! Curses.
A giant cookie was terrorizing the city. She glanced over at the cages on the south wall. Yes, one of her cookies was missing. It must have eaten an entire bakery to get so big.
She flew up the stairs and locked the basement door. She joined the other superheroes gathered in the main hall before they all set off.
Everything was so-blurry, memories, painful memories swirling everywhere. I remembered escape, friendships, destruction, distortion, memories were flooding back at blinding speeds. There was an object of great power near me. I could feel, I was some sort of gelatinous blob, but the, the-Oreo was near to me. I felt its presence. The other beings had communicated to me that this would restore me from my current form.
I began to explore, to feel around the Oreo, I felt raw energy in me, there was so much pain, I thought of the other justice leaguers, reached out to their minds, felt their thoughts and powers, and suddenly I was reborn
I stood up, but then, I felt incredible pain surge through my body, as it formed and reformed electric, water, ink, I thought I saw an elephant trunk sprouting from me somewhere.
I also felt a presence-no many presences, the Justice League members. They were at a place of food where a monster was attacking. I tried to figure out what had happened to me, it seemed that I could use all of the other Justice League's powers, and absorb others, yet the energy it took to do it depleted me completely, but also I could feel their presence and communicate with them telepathically. I would not be able to use my powers until further testing and experimentation to see if I was stable enough to be relied upon in a battle.
Scarlett, Twisk, and Crystal found the Cookie Monster first. Sure enough, it was an enormous oatmeal raisin cookie, and even as it obliterated the local Krispy Kreme, the superheroines could smell the delicious fragrance of oatmeal raisin goodness.
"Why is it destroying the Krispy Kreme?" Omega asked as he arrived on the scene. "I like Krispy Kreme."
"Because that's just what Cookie Monsters do, apparently," replied Twisk.
"That, and because half the police force was probably there when it struck."
"Well, are we going to just stand around here and let it demolish the city, or are we going to get our superhero butts in gear and take care of this Cookie Monster dilemma?" asked Eric as he arrived.
"Any ideas on how to go about this? You're the expert in the cookie field, Oreo," said Scarlett.
"I think we'll probably have to outright destroy it--setting it on fire or freezing it or whatever might just make the situation worse if it doesn't stop it."
X-Raytor coughed loudly. "I believe my powers could come in handy in this particular situation..." He stood up straighter and struck a pose.
Crystal rolled her eyes. "Look, X-Raytor, the Cookie Monster is not going to run away out of fright if you use your X-ray vision to peek at its lingerie."
"But that's not my only--" X-Raytor tried to say, but his words were drowned out by the sound of a Waffle House being smashed into pieces.
"Hey, Scarlett, what's your biggest morph?" asked Oreo.
"Um...I've got an African elephant morph, why?"
"You could just morph and stomp on it!" exclaimed Twisk, catching onto Oreo's train of thought.
"Uh...okay!" So Scarlett began to morph into an African elephant; when she had finished morphing, she turned toward the Cookie Monster, and noticed it was about to destroy The Coffee Filter, her favorite cafe.
Neomatrix didn’t know what to do; he wanted to get himself under control before he destroyed something, but he was also worried about the others who were confronting the oatmeal monster.
He concentrated and focused himself on communicating with the others, and unfortunately for Scarlett, she was in mid-charge in African elephant morph when he informed everyone of the situation. He felt her elephant mind totally freak and stop right in front of the oatmeal monster as it finished its demolishment of the Waffle House.
The Oatmeal monster, noticing Scarlett, quickly plucked her up and tossed her to the ground. Scarlett was hurt, but she valiantly gored the monster with her tusks until it subdued her.
Scarlett demorphed quickly as the others attacked the oatmeal monster as a diversion.
This was going to be one tough cookie....
C is for Cookie! That's good enough for me!...
That damned song was playing over and over and OVER in X-Raytor's mind. Why wouldn't it go away, damn it, WHY?!?!?!?!
X-Raytor watched from the top of a building as the other JLers who could fly took on the Cookie Monster from the air. Why hadn't that damned malfunctioning x-ray given him the power to fly as well as zap people and see through clothes? Super Man had x-ray/heat vision and could fly! Martian Manhunter had heat vision and could fly! Cyclops had heat vision and could... well, actually, he couldn't fly, but he seemed to have more mobility than X-Raytor anyway!
"Well I'll show them! They'll all learn, every single one of them! Soon they'll all bow to John, Lord of Darkness (Dum Dum Duuuuuuuum!)!!!!!!!"
"Crap. Um, I mean, they'll all recognize the powers of X-Raytor!!!!!!!!"
He jumped off of the building... and immediately hurt himself.
Pulling himself up, X-Raytor ran at the gargantuan cookie beast. Suddenly, its football-field sized raisin eyes turned on X-Raytor and, lifting a fist of pure oatmeal, sugar, and whatever the hell else Oreo Avenger used to bake with, wound up like a pitcher and-
Hurled a giant blob of oatmeal his way!
X-Raytor threw himself under a crushed bus just as the missile hit, splattering all over the street.
"Well, I'm not cleaning that up," He muttered, and broke cover.
The Cookie Monster was distracted, swatting at Rosma, who was constantly disappearing and reappearing, slipping out of its grasp. Now or never.
X-Raytor mentally kicked the power of his x-ray vision up, all the way up to a level he hadn't used since blowing up Neomatrix's ship.
"One flash cooked mound of psuedo-health food, coming up!" He called, and let loose.
Two blinding red beams exploded from his tin foil covered eyepieces and streaked towards the Cookie Monster. They pierced what should have been its chest, punching two SUV sized holes. The Cookie Monster looked down at the holes in puzzlement.
"Yeah! That's right! Told you my heat vision would come in handy!" X-Raytor cheered.
It was then that the Cookie Monster began to shake. Before X-Raytor's slightly hot eyes, oatmeal poured into the two holes and solidified. The Cookie Monster was complete once again.
"Ha! Yes! The regeneration worked!" Oreo Avenger said. X-Raytor gave her a look that would have been indignant if she could see it.
With a earth shaking roar, the Cookie Monster swatted down everyone in its path and charged directly at X-Raytor.
X-Raytor was up and running a moment before a glob of oatmeal smashed into where he had been standing.
He climbed over the wrecked bus, hopped off the tilted roof and ran down an alleyway. The Cookie Monster hesitated for a second, and then stuck both "hands" into the alley, and tore the buildings on either side apart.
As X-Raytor ran, the Cookie Monster seemed to squash itself into the ground. And then, like there was a giant spring in it, leapt up and over, crashing down in X-Raytor's path. X-Raytor dodged to the side, and ran right into the wall of the local asylum. The Cookie Monster made as much of a smirk as possible and a glob of oatmeal formed in its hand. This was bigger than the others, much, much bigger. There wasn't going to be any dodging this one.
The oatmeal glob hit X-Raytor like a train, and he was barely conscious enough to feel himself be plowed through the walls of the asylum. But he did feel the numerous desks, windows, and that stupid fish tank as the rammed into his back. He hit one, final wall, a wall that felt like it was made of titanium, and then he felt himself fall, oatmeal still all over his face, and his back hit something soft.
With weak, almost broken arms, he rubbed the oatmeal off of his eyepieces. Raven was staring down at him.
"Nice rescue, X-y."
He just groaned.
Dr. Lansky stormed in through the gigantic hole in the wall. "Wh- what is this? John! Did you try to smuggle in all of this oatmeal?!"
X-Raytor groaned again.
"Ah, put a lid on it, slappy." Raven said, whacking Dr. Lansky over the head with an over-sized raisin. She jumped on top of the oatmeal pile and turned to Yago, Holden, and the comatose Liesa.
"This is it everyone! Our time has come! FREE OR DEAD! FREE OR DEAD!"
"FREE OR DEAD!" Holden shouted.
"FREE OR DEAD!" Yago agreed.
"..." Liesa said.
"FREE OR DEAD! FREE OR DEAD! JARA HAMEE AND KET HALPACK FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!"
And with that, Raven, Holden and Yago ran out of the asylum.
The other JLers were feeling defeated when the Head-job Trio joined the fray.
Raven immediately lowered the solidity of her body, allowing her to climb up the Cookie Monster without being felt. When she finally reached the head, she made herself completely solid again and started to pry at the Cookie Monster's raisin eyes.
Holden pounced on the Cookie Monster's leg like he had pounced on Stradlater the night he left Pencey, and started punching like a bastard. He was crazy, I swear!
Yago leapt onto the Cookie Monster's foot and started to... eat it.
"We're going to need more help than this!" Raven called, making herself insubstantial just as the Cookie Monster was about to swat her. It swatted itself instead and knocked one of its eyes loose.
"I can help with that!" Holden said, and whistled. Suddenly, over the horizon, a flock of ducks came! They immediately started to nip away at the Cookie Monster, tearing loose chunks of oatmeal and raisins too fast for it to regenerate.
"My Children will come as well." Yago said quietly, and looked up at the sky with a blissed out look on his face. Immediately, twenty nine quadruped aliens in blue space suits broke from the clouds and opened fire on the Cookie Monster with flechette guns and mini-missiles, ripping it apart.
"I think it's time we helped!" Rosma said.
"And I've got just the way to do it!" Twisk answered, and ran over to one of the few undecimated fire hydrants. She laid her hand on top, and pointed her other hand at the Cookie Monster, right where its eye used to be. She shuddered for a few seconds and then, in an explosion of white, a solid stream of water exploded from her finger, up, up until it hit the Cookie Monster's eye socket.
Water rushed into its head, down through the holes that the flechettes and duck bites had made, into every part of the Cookie Monster. It began to look bloated, soggy even-
Raven jumped off just as it exploded in a wet, gooey mess.
"NOOOOOOOO!" Oreo Avenger cried. "My baby!"
Tons of soggy oat meal rained down on the city, with the occasional water logged grape. Yago spit it out.
"EWWWW! Soggy! Soggy is NOT pure!"
"Well, thanks for your help, guys," Raven said as Holden and Yago recovered. "And I guess you'll be going back to New York, now, Holden,"
"Actually, I was thinking that I could hitch hike on the Lincoln Tunnel, and go all the way out to Texas and get a job and-"
"You're going back to New York, Holden." She growled, and Holden just nodded his head. "And you, Yago, I guess you'll be going back to Mother."
"Yes! They need me there! They must be brought to purity!"
"Yes! Very!" Yago turned to his aliens. "And now, my Children, we will fly! Up, up and awaaaaaaaaay!"
Yago ran into a wall and fell down. Two of the aliens picked him up with the tentacles that framed either side of their faces and took off, carrying him up into the sky. One of them scooped up Liesa, to deposit her on the planet she had been on originally.
"Hey? Where'd the ducks go?" Holden asked.
"Away." Eric said, sagely.
"But, I mean, did they fly away? Did some guy come and put them in a truck to take to the zoo? Did they just stay in the pond?"
"Er, I'm not sure..."
"Hey, where's X-Raytor?" Midnight Chatter asked.
"I'm going for the 'some guy came and put him in a truck to take to the zoo' option." Scarlett said, fully demorphed.
"I’ve got him," Netic said, and a steel supporter beam that had originally held up the asylum wound out into the street like a snake, with X-Raytor draped across it.
"All's well that ends well, I guess..." Crystal said. "I mean, sure, someone's going to have to pick all of this up..."
"I WILL!" Oreo Avenger screeched. "I'll pick up every piece and bring my baby back to life! ...Albeit much smaller, and with none of that pesky artificial intelligence, but he will live again!"
"And I'll eat him!" SuperDude said proudly.
Oreo sneered. "I'm counting on it."
"Meh." Violet said. "I'm tired. Let's go home and see if Iso's ba- er, if Xiao or techie girl have wrecked the place..."
And so, that's what they did.
From the diary of Raven:
"So, Yago went home, Liesa went home, and Holden wandered around aimlessly, and then went home, and back onto his medication. I miss him, and Yago. I think I even miss that god damn Dr. Lansky.
Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."