Inspector Gadget: The Nature of Change & Destruction Written by: Erin Weinstock
The dog looking at him in the face was his first memory, that and pain.
What had happened? Driving home after the worse day of his life. Fired from work and forced to detour around traffic that clogged the highway on his normal route home. It had been a long drive about midway through and then a feeling of something. An impact?
A nurse or doctor then angrily pulled the dog away from him and started speaking. Why no sound?
The lips are moving but no sound is coming out.
She pulls a remote control device from a pocket in her scrubs and turns a dial on it.
"Mr. Heyward? Jonathan Heyward, can you hear me now?" She asked him looking lightly puzzled.
"Y-Yes, what happ -?" He couldn't finish his question. The sleepy feeling that had been nagging at him since awakening was tugging too hard on his attention. All his body felt like doing was going back to sleep. But his mind in combination to the feelings in his body wanted otherwise. He felt odd beyond the pain.
"Car wreck?" John questioned the woman.
"A pickup truck, don't worry, you're fully covered for it," She answered looking concerned at him. Then continuing with, "how are you feeling?"
"Strange and in pain ...what kind of medication have you given me for the pain?"
"Standard medication, Mr. Heyward but well, that strange feeling. You are my first living patient to undergo massive bionic augmentation corrective surgery. How is every thing working?"
That snapped him most of the way out of the state of sleepy grogginess he was in.
"Wait?! What?! Massive bionic?! Living patient what?!" He wanted to go on in his fearing questions, but the more he spoke the more a light headed feeling started to over come him.
In the beginning the woman acted like she wanted to settle him down, but that happened on it's own accord, and he slunk backwards to the pillow from having jutted halfway up in bed, to start at her.
"I don't approve of your niece's pet here at all, and neither does any of the hospital staff, but would the k9 being back to your bed here help you with um interesting news?"
"That Brain doesn't belong here, and no I don't find him a comfort," he answered in a slight growl, closing his eyes.
"Do you think you're in a good frame of mind to hear how you had to be saved after you were taken in here?"
"Does it have something to do with why I couldn't hear you talking at first when you came in here?"
"Yes, that was part to do with how we saved you." She paused not sure about how to continue delivering the news without upsetting him further. The man sitting halfway up in bed suddenly had panicked her, but not for her safety.
She worried about how delicate he was at the moment. With standard surgeries the patient was normally at risk of opening up stitches on the worked on area of the body. With John Hayward, she worried him physically exerting himself could not only open stitches on him, but open him into falling apart literally.
"You ..couldn't hear me at first since you had your hearing set to mute. I forgot at first you haven't been given instructions yet how to operate your body."
He didn't know how to respond to her.
As she continued with him being silent, he learned she was one member of a team of surgeons that had worked on him.
He learned that his health insurer "Happy Health Insurance", a company he had turned to for his necessary by law health coverage, wasn't all it showed it's self for in public face.
The word "Happy" was an acronym. "H.A.P.P.Y., in truth stood for:
. Hector . Agents . Providence . Protection . Yare
He learned it was not only his finances that qualified him for their health coverage, but also his job on the police force as an inspector too that qualified him.
Only one break happened in his silence of listening to her explain things to him.
Him telling her he no longer held that job. That he had been fired earlier that day under false accusations.
She continued with saying he now had a job. That HAPPY was his new employer, that he was one of their agents and he'd be doing the same job he'd done for the police, but on an international level.
Bad shock turned briefly to good shock at hearing he was employed again and at that a job he loved with an added bonus.
The bad shock returned when he discovered in detail what she and the team of surgeons had done to him.
They had turned him into the damn six million dollar man, but with modern technology. The real deal Not Hollywood special effects. These people had turned him into a cyborg.
"Sir?" She asked as he leaned over the side of the bed.
"I feel sick."
"Hold it! Hold it! I'll get you a basin!" she stated quickly drawing the door to his room shut and leaving him.
His groaning, joined by inhuman whining.
"You leave too Brain. Penny is in a world of trouble for you being in this room you know?"
The dog licked his face bent over the bed.
"That was a mistake dog."
Brain ran to the other end of the room and turned his face away from the man who was unable to hold back his queasiness any more.
"Uncle?" Penny's voice came from outside his room, from the door the lady surgeon had left from.
"Leave me alone," he tried to shout.
Her uncle's voice was weak she noticed, but it didn't sound too mad.
As Penny stood at the door taking this in trying to make the decision to enter his room, the surgeon came back to it, and to her side.
"Can you help him cope with new things?" The lady asked Penny.
"I am a new thing to him. I just started living with my Uncle John just over a month ago. He doesn't seem to want me in there."
"I doubt he's in the mood for much else new in his life right at this moment, but at least you're a welcome new to him."
"Please come inside with me," she stated as she opened the door letting herself into John's hospital room, and motioning Penny to follow her inside.
"Not welcome new thing in his life is more accurate lady." The girl said under her breath to herself.
"Mr. Heyward, I got you a -"
She stopped in her statement seeing the floor by his bedside.
"Too late," John said back to her, not looking up from what he'd done to the floor.
"I can see that," she replied.
"Uncle," was the only thing Penny could think to say as she walked over to him.
"I told you to leave me alone," he stated trying to motion her to move away from him, trying to look up as he did so, gripping the bed with one arm.
Wincing in pain at his grip on the bed, he stated to falter in his balance with the bed.
The surgeon ran to him, and grabbed him keeping the possible fall from happening.
"How badly were you hurt?" His niece asked.
"You helped get me fired."
"What?" Penny was taken back a little at the unexpected reply.
Putting the basin on John's chest, the surgeon spoke to Penny. "Good, you distract him. That might help him deal with the change."
"What change? How badly did he get hurt?"
Not deterred by the stink eye being given weakly by her relative, Penny Heyward got closer to his bed watching him all the while.
Being stubborn was a part of John's personality those around him were used to, but not hospital staff.
The lady surgeon who had been there as he woke up in his room, who later revealed her name to be Eda Venture got forced into extra duties because of this fact. That, and she didn't trust the teenage girl who was his niece to drive her patient home in the insurance given rental car.
John stayed wrapped in blankets the whole way back to his suburban house, all the while rubbing the top of his head.
Exiting the car with Penny taking his keys from him to open the front door. He finally just burst out with thoughts that had been nagging on his mind.
"What did you do up there exactly?! Turn my head into some kind of USB Port?!"
"A link station for multiple tools, and yes in a sense you do have a universe linking device in your head."
"I hate you."
"I'm glad I'm only a co-worker to you then, and even then one who doesn't need to be around you 24 / 7."
"How am I going to get to this new job for HAPPY? I no longer have a car, and this medical transport van you used to get me here doesn't feel like standard issue."
"It will be delivered tomorrow."
As Eda showed him inside the house with Penny waiting for him shortly into the doorway, and her dog turning around every few moments to look at him & make sure he was coming. Eda turned to Penny, "I feel sorry for you. You have to deal with him 24 / 7."
"I can handle him."
"I heard that," John replied as he slowly sank himself down on to the sofa in the house's living room.
Sleep came to him fast. That, and strange dreams that made his stomach turn thinking of what else HAPPY might have done to him that he wasn't yet aware of despite Eda telling him quote un quote everything new about himself.
As the night passed, Penny slept in her room, while the dog, Brain kept an eye on his co-master sleeping in the living room.
Brain wasn't as dumb as John believed him to be. A fact his full master Penny was aware of.
The dog had not been a favorite at the pound. He hadn't been a favorite of his former owner either.
The former own, and master had simply looked upon him as some kind of failure.
Why, Brain wasn't sure.
He had been a loving puppy, but the man, and his men working with him had kept pushing him away.
A cage kennel had been his home most of the time with his old master. That, and food he only learned at the pound tasted funny compared to the good stuff they fed him.
It wasn't until his new master that he learned play time wasn't being forced to try, and solve puzzles.
He was sure he could do it now. That was something his old master had not given him a firm chance with.
His new master however enjoyed him helping her with puzzles. The ones she sometimes presented to him after she got home from school to see him, he enjoyed helping her with.
It's just a shame he couldn't tell her in proper dog talk the answers. His claws tapping out messages on her magic thick paper were his only way to talk to her.
It had more information than he could ever digest in it, and it could change it's face. Smarter than the magic paper she had to sit down to, and tap alphabetically & numerically labeled keys to enter information into it for it to understand her. This magic paper could move with her, and fit in a coat pocket.
Brain's attention went off thinking of his now good life to a problem he couldn't seem to get rid of.
The dog howled at the feeling interrupting his thoughts.
His co-master threw a pillow at the ground.
Likely it was meant for him, but lucky him the man's eyes were half closed, and it was a weak throw.
Pillows were fun things, to him. Play!
But now wasn't a good time for play. He knew the co-master was hurting, and play was a bad idea at the moment.
At the moment he wanted more than anything in the world to bite the invader he felt around him, but couldn't see!
The invader was safe by hundreds of miles across the country.
The man was dressed in a drab colored uniform looking at information on a computer monitor.
He was reviewing data collected from the former agent of the people he worked for. This MAD employer which stood for:
. Malevolent . Agency of . Destruction
Looking at the daily feed of translated neural signals feed to the dog through out his day. The agent's interest in the dog suddenly found meaning.
His boss, who's face he never saw, had decided that even though this subject had failed to become a proper infiltrator that was genetically altered enough to understand orders. The subject was still worth keeping tabs on by embedded translator & broadcasting / tracking hardware in the canine's brain.
Where genetic alteration had failed. His boss, a Doctor Claw. A name the agent was sure was merely a made up code name. Had taken up cyber-augmentation as MAD's new way to achieve creating new, and proper four legged agents who could spy in government installations without suspicion.
The human agent knew of HAPPY, MAD's counter organization.
That they had technology too, but he had no idea up until this news feed from the dog this evening, that they had surpassed what MAD could do.
The dog's master guardian, John Heyward now was what the agency needed, but he was working for the wrong side of the coin.
He doubted Heyward could be persuaded to switch sides especially with the likely realization what would happen to him once he did so.
Reverse engineering was the only way MAD could gain the knowledge it needed to make more beings like this gadget man.
Death was assured for the man in that case.
The agent grinned wickedly at the computer monitor at that thought.
While changing the man's mind was out of question, killing him, and turning him over to MAD's scientists wasn't.
Doing such a useful act like that would assure him a promotion, and pay raise to boot.
All he had to do now was inform Doctor Claw of his intentions, get permission, and go out on his mission.
That wouldn't be hard after all right? Because what benefited Doctor Claw benefited MAD, and it's current mission.
Aside from aching all over, the next morning, John felt normal.
Penny acting abnormal however didn't help him trying not to think about current events.
"Breakfast in bed? Penny, this isn't you," John stated looking at a meal she had prepared that looked like a heart attack on a plate.
As he started slowly trying to lift himself up to a sitting position on the sofa, she replied.
"Uncle, I know I'm not the easiest person in the world to share a house with. But you took me in when services would have sent me else where. I'm still sorry for the fire, and the TV, and the FBI visit, and the toilet paper in Ms. Dic's trees, and for -," he cut her off.
"I get it, you're sorry, but acting out of the um "norm" doesn't make me feel any better. I appreciate it, but I don't want to think about yesterday at all."
"The accident happened three days ago, Uncle John. It just happens to be that yesterday is when you finally woke up."
Trying to brush off the new information she had just given him, pointing to the plate as he took it in one hand, "is that French toast?"
"It's an attempt. I haven't made it since I was little."
"Thanks," and with that he proceeded to take from Penny the knife & fork she was offering him.
Ready to start cutting the toast into bite sized pieces. A buzzing alert noise started sounding and a panel opened up towards the end of one finger of John's hand holding the knife.
"No no, what is this tech?" He asked to himself lifting the hand nearer to his face, still holding the knife.
As he started looking at the blinking light, the alert buzz continued. A different panel opened up on the index finger to the opposite side. This panel revealed a small thermometer.
Experimenting, he moved the revealed technology hand around the room before turning it towards the plate of food.
The thermometer was quick to take readings, and was more accurate than a normal house thermometer.
It varied it's readings when he had been moving it around, and at the plate it was reading only one degree higher than the average room temperature.
"Uncle, do you know why that gadget they installed in you is buzzing at my food?"
"You're asking me? I wish it wasn't doing it, I wish it wasn't there!"
The buzzing finger opened up it's tip, and directed a stream of flame at the plate.
"Wowzers!" He exclaimed as the flames licked the plate that he dropped to the floor.
After only moments the fire from his finger ceased, and the buzzing stopped, and the panels slid back into place, making that part of his hand look once again normal.
Shaking lightly he moved to the plate, and directed his thermometer at it.
The plate of scored food was no longer slightly at room temperature. It was 40 percent higher than room temperature.
"I swear nothing I cooked for you was underdone."
"Tell that to the hand."
The doorbell rang in the next room which led to the front of the house.
Penny started to move, "No, I can get it." John stopped her.
"You're going to hurt yourself. Don't you think you should pace yourself?"
"It's the front door. I don't think you need to look out for me over that."
Penny continued going away from John, but now to the living room's large window, and not the door in the adjacent room.
"Who is it?" He asked getting up, and heading to the door.
"Um, while HAPPY cares about your health, and you having a job, I don't' think they care about how you get to work." Penny replied wincing a little looking outside.
"So long as it has wheels, and it's safe," John replied as he opened the door.
Eda stood before him having her smile drop at seeing John's interest quickly turn from her at the entrance to eying the car recently un-hitched from a tow truck in his drive way with a man standing by it.
"It's nice to see you too again, Mr. Heyward," she stated evenly to him as he returned his gaze to her.
"Sorry. Hello again, Ms. Venture.
"I take it your new car isn't what you expected, by your reaction?"
Gripping the frame of the doorway he tried to brace himself, and crane his neck to see around her better, to see the delivered present.
This action made newly installed software connected to hardware in his brain execute a function by default it knew the man's spine must preform.
"Ooooh ah huh?" He stated in confusion as his neck extended beyond it's normal length from his body by mechanical robotic moving rings which moved smooth in interlocking form to each other.
Pushing his head down, and subsequently his extended neck, Eda continued, and walked over to the car. "It's not what any one would expect an agent of HAPPY to drive. That's why we've given it to you, it's appearance will help with undercover work."
"I'm grateful, but it looks like it's 30 years old. It's in decent working condition?"
Moving back to him, and Taking one of his hands, Eda guided John to the car, while stating, "Mr. Engenis was one of the people who helped upgrade the car to HAPPY standards. This car isn't the Toyota Supra it looks like. It's just as altered as you are."
Still not feeling at ease with the weak feeling the he couldn't shake from his legs, John trying to hold himself up with respect clutched the driver's side mirror to the car as he looked in on Engenis who smiled ready for what was coming.
"You're going to explain this 30 year old's beast upgrades aren't you?" John asked the engineer.
Alan Engenis with great pride told John every modification he helped give the 1983 blue and white Supra.
In the end John was convinced it wasn't so much a modded sudan, but something that more belonged on the set of a James Bond film.
In the end he also had to be convinced to step one foot in the thing for a test drive with Engenis in the front passenger seat.
It felt too soon to be behind the wheel of a car again.
Turning to see Penny standing in the doorway to the house watching him. Knowing how protective she had been acting since the accident convinced him he needed to hit the open road again. He didn't want, and didn't feel like the teenager should be protecting him.
He was the adult. It was his job to protect her, not the other way around.
What also convinced him to test drive his new if however old in appearance wheeled steel paneled steed, was the other concerned woman present.
Eda had only accompanied Alan to greet him over the car, simply to give a small check up on him, and ask how he was doing.
A somewhat in contradiction word to like, and he hadn't had much use for prior to when he had his training in being an investigator. The word "deny".
In training he had been taught to deny his identity if by accident found out or suspected by the perp.
Here he was deeming it on himself, but for a matter other than identity.
Here it was being used on dealing with all recent events in his life he'd rather lock in a closet, and forget forever after destroying the key to the closet door with a normal, not from his body, incinerator.
Because of an altered outlook used at that moment. The check up got bypassed.
Well into a drive that moved through roads not heavy commuters. "Push that button," Alan requested of John.
The engineer looked like he had hidden surprises of his own past what the car had.
A pair of pointy horns is what John suspected right now of the man.
"What will it do? Trigger off rockets, or turn off radar guns within a couple miles radius of the thing?"
"No, no nothing so mundane. Besides that isn't the right button for the rockets. Although your comment about the radar detection sounds good! I'll get working on it the moment I get back to HAPPY headquarters!"
John took a moment to pause, and look at the engineer with scrutiny.
Turning his attention fast back to the road, "That information doesn't temp me to pluck the apple, and eat it, Mr. Engenis."
The man seemed to comply with the other's wish, but this didn't last.
After crossing his arms, and looking defeated, the wild look returned to his face.
John didn't have the time to react fast enough to Alan's action.
The car started making noises from all over. Grinding metal sounds, clicks, and small hisses.
"Mr. Engenis, what haven't you told me about this thing!?" John asked wanting to look around the cabin of the car, but too fearful to really take his eyes off the road.
"One of it's transformations. Well the only one the team, and I have been able to upgrade it with so far." Replied Alan happily looking around in every direction the driver refused to, watching changes happen to the interior walls of the car.
Finally looking back towards the road, Alan continued, "This is going to be a great test! The car has never been in motion before while doing this!"
"You're insane!" John snapped at the man.
The car slowed down, but not to the puzzled driver's actions.
"Ha, I think whatever it was meant to do, it failed? See why would you alter a car to slow down?"
"Six five four -" Alan clearly was anticipating something to happen.
John however thinking of what the count down could mean, stopped the car, and removed the key from the ignition.
It wasn't long before the horns of the cars behind the modded Supra started going off in protest of the sitting car in the road.
"If I restarted the car, would it continue with doing whatever it was you knew would happen at the end of the count down you were preforming?"
"No," Alan stated once again returning his attention to the interior of the car.
The transformation was reverting, and both men could hear similar noises from the beginning of the process moving through the machine again.
"I just have to see this before it fully changes back," John said unlocking the driver's side door, and getting out.
Alan followed him out in turn from the passenger side door to the road outside.
John walked around the car which he took well note of, was no longer truly a car.
It was some kind of hybrid between car, and finned hovercraft. The most high tech looking hovercraft he'd ever seen.
"Damn," he said under his breath watching it's air cushions continue their deflation into the car.
"Sweet huh?" Alan said grinning at John.
From somewhere behind the car in the long line now forming behind the Supra, a different car honked loudly.
"How soon till it's ok to drive again?" John asked.
"By the time we get back inside it." Alan, eyes downcast opened the front passenger door again to return to his seat.
"Plan to surprise me in any other way this trip by testing out the car's functions?" John asked half way in the car back to his seat.
"Go Go Gadgetmobile rev up." Alan replied letting a smile flick back on to his face as he said it.
The car then sped up reverting to it's former shape at lightning speed.
"What did you just do? This car takes voice command as well?" John asked staring at the other man in shock.
"Yes, and I might add that first part of what you heard me say -." Alan buckled his seatbelt, and then crossed his arms taking on an air of pride.
"That first part is the command prompt you have to use to get the car to do any of it's functions by auto execution."
"Would you like the honor of telling it to "Go go" get us home, huh? It will mean you won't even have to touch the steering wheel." Alan asked with clear expectation John would say yes.
After explaining to the enthusiastic engineer the need to not return to the hospital so soon after having left it the day before, he returned the key to the car's ignition, and proceeded to continue the drive.
The MAD agent didn't need to see the face of his boss hidden below the low brimmed hat he wore to know he wasn't in good graces with the man.
The opening of his desk while he spoke, and fitting an armored claw blade decorated gauntlet to his left hand, told the agent what was going to happen next.
Running from the medieval styled office wasn't an option.
"It is not your job to take care of such things as death, Mr. Intell. That is my job and some of the more elite of my MAD agents." Claw growled in a gravelly low voice.
The agent Mac Intell instinctively started to back away from Claw's desk as the older man got up slowly, flexing his gloved hand as he did so.
Seeing prey show fear, Doctor Claw's cat ran around behind Intell to stop him from backing up even further.
Unsheathing his claws which MAD's scientific efforts had provided. The extending needles entered Intell's calves, and injected their paralyzing chemicals into the man's blood.
The cat ran out of the way before Intell could fall backwards on to it.
Doctor Claw stood over him, and smiled as he saw panic consume the man.
"You know too much about what needs to be done. Granted it was you who connected the proper points together of what we at MAD need, but -."
Bending down to Mac Intell, Doctor Claw continued his speech, driving the spikes of his armored fist into the man's chest, turning them slowly in circles in a clock-like fashion. "The less an agent knows the better. That is why darkness rules, Mr. Intell. I can do better than you."
Small cracking noises started coming out from Mac as he started having problems breathing.
His ribs were cracking under the stress pressure from Claw's hand grinding down on him. The bone fragmenting as the metal blades cut in, and down.
Mac's eyes going wide were his last act just before hearing, "meow?"
Claw's cat was now rubbing all over the side of his owner.
"Enjoy your lunch Mad cat, he's all yours." Doctor Claw stated as he stood up, and the cat moved to the fatal wound in the former agent's chest.
Chief Quimby, HAPPY's top representative of law enforcement for Metro City in North Dakota, read the statistics he had just been faxed, with an air of unease.
His suspicions about HAPPY's so-called counter agency MAD seemed to no longer be suspect of the worst case scenario.
The scenario he feared was coming into the light to be the truth of the matter.
The reports now confirmed agents of MAD poking into classified Pentagon files over the Trinity Project.
That they might have even pinned done the location to where the failure was resting.
Did MAD really have the resources to make the Trinity Bomb a reality?
He hoped not, and thinking of resources, he hoped he had heard wrong about his new resource.
A chief in title to the organization of HAPPY, a sergeant to his fellow officers at the police station where he worked as a cover.
He knew of Inspector John Heyward by having seen him around the office when he worked there.
The man wasn't the most skilled detective he'd ever seen, and only had a success rate with his work that shouldn't have been enough to qualify him for the force. But some how he had made it.
He had also been recently fired from the police force not to Quimby's surprise, but not for the reasoning he always thought the man would go out by.
His suspicion was it was the stubbornness to read the signs right on a case that would cost him his job.
That the police station's chief would finally realize the man wasn't fit for his job.
What shocked Quimby was it was his niece that, and had recently entered his life at permanent residence, that caused Heyward to finally be fired.
The girl had some how hacked her way into the internal LAN network in the station to clear a police report on one of her school buddies.
The officer actually defended her.
He knew it was wrong what she had done, but he asked for people to take it light on her since she was just a "kid".
Charles Quimby put his head in one hand closing his eyes, thinking about his newest responsibility from HAPPY.
Inspector John Heyward now had to report to him.
Likely Quimby knew HAPPY would ask him to put Heyward on the MAD case. Because after all, he was the one who had been the most vocal to them about the suspicions he had over MAD with the Trinity Project.
After returning home John learned with a different car in his drive way with a sign stamped into it's door labeling it Happy Health Care. That Alan Engenis wasn't going to just be around him for his vehicle. But also as a house guest.
"Sorry Mr. Heyward it just slipped my mind to tell you I'm going to be staying here." Alan stated as he signed for his forgotten luggage he'd left behind at HAPPY's field office in the city.
Giving a grunt, John asked the lady that had delivered Alan's luggage a question he'd been too fearful to ask earlier, that he knew Eda Venture could have answered.
"You're a member of HAPPY medical staff right?"
Unlocking the trunk to the medical transport she answered, "Yes, but I can't help you."
Alan started taking out his bags from the trunk.
Mystified, John continued but now with more questioning in mind than what he had first started to ask about. "You don't even know what it was I was going to say. How can you say you can't help me?"
Looking emotionless the lady looked John square in the eyes, and stated she was a temp, and wouldn't know any thing till she actually worked for Happy Health Care.
Alan slapped an arm around John's shoulders as they watched the woman drive away from the house, leaving the man still in the dark with unanswered questions.
"Your augmentations, Heyward? Is that what you were going to ask her about?"
The man had asked that to John with what the inspector now believed to be a personality trait which must have been passed down to him from he was sure the Cheshire Cat.
Alan was nuts, and the more John observed of him the more he thought that if he got near his toaster, it wouldn't be a toaster any more.
The man would with a smile turn it into a sci fi inspired robot.
Seeing the same look Alan had noticed John give in the Supra as the man was telling him to not demonstrate any more of the car's extra functions.
Alan removed his arm from around John's shoulders, and dropped his near perpetual smile.
"Good." John stated, and then proceeded to try and help Alan with his luggage.
The weight of the bags was too much, and in frustration he sat down with them on the ground, and glared at them.
Sighing, John finally answered Alan, "Are those why I feel so weak? The bionic augmentations?"
Alan gathered what he could with both hands of his suitcases while replying to the question. "The alterations that were made into your spine, meaning just your neck. That oddly enough has the fastest recovery time noted. Your arms & legs getting used to the robotic implants, and their recovery from surgery. That will take longer.
"Strange, aside from a little pain when I touch them," he paused letting it fully sink in what Alan had just said.
"What did you do my limbs, and neck?" John continued.
"Considering you should really be considering buying a wig or hat to cover the connection port on your head, which I'm sorry to say I'm not too sure how to manufacture an artificial scalp replacement to cover it. I think we should go to the back yard for me to guide you through what those alterations are." Alan stated as he walked what he could of his luggage to the front door of the house.
When Alan returned to John, picking up his last suitcase, he also proceeded to take one of the other man's hands to help him up.
"Why in the backyard?" John asked once standing again.
"I don't think it's wise for HAPPY technology to freak out your neighbors."
It didn't matter whether, or not Brain paid attention to the events taking place in the back yard or what was happening directly behind that.
Both worried the dog intensely.
In his domain he worried about his co-master doing acts which looked to belong to one of the many horror, and sci fi films he enjoyed watching.
The limbs of the man disfiguring themselves from his body, and snaking outwards in different directions.
It made the dog feel sick with worry, and lightly nauseous, but he couldn't lose a meal he hadn't eaten yet.
He was determined to keep his meal to himself.
That was what worried him about the property beyond his domain.
The co-master had fed him outside today, and that was always a problem.
While the co-master had the best of intents of moving Brain's food bowl to locations in the yard he thought would be of good reach to the dog, but not other animals. It was never enough to deter the troop of cats which forever plagued his outdoor eating.
The persian brown one, the one Brain was sure was the leader was noting every thing the dog did with the bowl.
Brain growled at the cat.
The cat seemed to grin in a feline fashion at Brain for thi,s and before the dog could catch the action in progress. The siamese cat of the troop had started to swiftly knock away the food bowl from the dog.
"Rrrwooww!" the siamese cat roared out, as the troop fled in every direction at once.
Brain jumped too at the crash that had disturbed the cat troop.
The crash had been one of his co-master's arms falling near by to them, and then retracting out of view from the animals.
He looked at his bowl for a moment, and then walking over to it, he sat down and placed it firmly in between his front paws and proceeded to watch the action in his domain.
John looked down at his new watcher which moments before he was afraid he might have struck. One of his arms waving around trying to help keep him balanced. The other arm with it's hand, holding down the towel wrapped around the top of his head.
"I don't think you hit the dog, Heyward! Remember, concentrate! Their bigger tools to you now than they've ever been in your life!" Alan shouted at John who was raised 20 feet into the air by his robotic extensions in his legs.
"If it wasn't for the waver you people had me sign when I agree to you being my health provider, I'd sue you!" He shouted back, wobbling in the legs as he did so. Now with both arms attempting to balance him by waving outwards from him.
Within seconds he couldn't control the wobbling any more and he crashed again.
This time into the roof of the house with a belly flop.
Dazed, his robotic extended legs retracted into him, and gave his body a more normal appearance as he lay on the roof.
Hearing the ending wopp of a police car's siren helped him clear the sudden fuzz which came with shortness of breath he had gotten from the impact.
Knowing the sound had to have come from near by, he carefully climbed up the roof to see what it's highest edge would reveal of his front yard, and beyond.
Much to his surprise the patrol car was parked in the street in front of his house.
It's former occupant, a former co-worker.
"Hello Sergeant Quimby!" John shouted from the rooftop to the man below.
Quimby after looking around in every normal direction, finally turned his gaze near skyward with John's shouted coaxing of "Warmer, warmer!" After many shouts of yelling "Cold, colder."
"What on Earth?! Inspector Heyward what are you doing?" Quimby stammered at the sight of the man on the roof.
Dropping his gaze back towards the earth, he continued, "Forget it, it's you. I'm sure you have a perfectly logical explanation why you're on the roof."
"A mistake in stretching my legs!" John shouted in response.
Charles rolled his eyes skyward once more, but not in John's direction.
"Chief Quimby, what brings you here? Is he being assigned to a case already?" Alan asked rounding around the corner of the house from it's back to the front.
"Hes not a chief, Mr. Engenis," John shouted to the man.
"Get down here Heyward, now! I feel ridiculous shouting to you up there!" Quimby demanded to the inspector.
"All it will take is one step for Heyward!" Alan shouted at John.
The look on the engineer's face told him, he wanted him to make good use of his robotic limb extensions yet again in practice.
Having recently just had the wind knocked out of him by falling into his house. John decided he'd had enough practice with that for one day.
"Good thinking Inspector!" Quimby stated as John made his way over to an attic window, opened it, and climbed inside it.
"Why sir would you ever encourage him to jump off the roof?" Quimby asked to Alan, worried for the man's reasoning.
"Jump? Sir, Chief I know he could have easily have made it down in one jump. That wasn't what I was asking of him. What I was asking of him was to simply step off the roof."
Stunned by the seemingly preposterous notion that the inspector could do such an act, Charles Quimby looked at Alan Engenis with a dumbfounded expression.
"I don't care what HAPPY says about you, I'm not letting you into law enforcement." Quimby stated turning away from Alan as John exited the front door to the house.
"He isn't a Chief, Engenis," John stated as he got the the two men on the sidewalk.
Feeling tried of explaining this more than once, but never in the present of John, Quimby started to explain. "For the Metro City Police department that is true, Heyward. But to HAPPY I am a Chief, and from now on that is how I'd like you to address me."
"Are you my new supervisor?" John asked in mild shock.
"Unfortunately, the answer to that right now is yes." Quimby answered looking none too happy with the forced fate he had apprised the other man of.
"Do I have to take orders from any one else in the precinct?" John asked sheepishly, remembering how Quimby, and his former fellow officers regarded him.
"Just me. HAPPY has other agents working all across Metro City, but I am it's law enforcement officer here." Quimby replied.
"Chief, are you only here to deliver news of your assignment to him, or -."
Even though he had guessed this earlier, and had been vocal about it. Part of him feared the reply given John Heyward's lack of experience with his upgrades.
Continuing with hesitance, Alan went on to ask, "Or give him an assignment?"
"For having just gotten out of the hospital from a car wreck, he looks surprisingly ok except the -."
Now Quimby had to pause over what was taking place at observing the inspector.
"Why are you wearing a towel on your head like a turban, Inspector?" He finally asked.
"I'd rather not go into that Serg - I mean Chief Quimby," John answered.
Handing John a large orange mailing envelope, Quimby stated, "Since you seem fit for duty, this is your mission. Deduce what you can of the facts, and email me with any requests and requisitions needed from HAPPY for you to succeed in it."
"Why email? Why not simply call the station?" John questioned him.
"You do realize HAPPY works primarily undercover Inspector, right?"
The Chief glared at the Inspector before stating he was the only officer in the station who knew about his second job, and that it should & would stay that way.
The Trinity Project had been a joined multinational military undertaking, mainly funded by the United States military.
It began it's formal work in a remote area of Antarctica on July 23rd 1999 and ended in failure on March 11, 2003.
The project was the creation of a weapon twice as powerful as a nuclear based one, but with no radioactive aftereffects. The usefulness of such an instrument being annihilation without obliteration of resources, and less fear of national repercussions.
Technical glitches that could never be resolved caused the abandonment of the project, and the prototype named for the project it stood for was hidden in an undisclosed location.
HAPPY finally has gained conformation that it's counter organization MAD has been trying to locate the Trinity Bomb, and attempt to make it active.
Tracking the where-abouts of the MAD agents in question to recovering the Trinity Bomb have been unsuccessful. It is suspected they have spy technology of operation type yet unknown, but powerful enough to allude detection.
We here at HAPPY have been questioning this notation of MAD's unknown, and suspect resources for sometime.
Along with locating the resting place of the Trinity Bomb, and delivering it into safe keeping. It is also your mission to help HAPPY understand the nature of MAD's technology that is allowing their agents to recover information without being traced over 90% of the time.
"Boom." Alan broke in at seeing John finish reading the mission information / assignment from HAPPY.
"Did you have to read that over my shoulder Engenis?" John asked turning to him slightly with a non-too pleased look.
"Well I'm here to help you out until I'm reassigned. Besides I should know what your missions are in order to do that, and Engenis is such a formal way to address me, please call me Alan." He replied to John.
"Alan, you said "boom" at the conclusion of me reading. Thank you for the high confidence in me to do my job." John told him.
"That had nothing to do with you solving the case. It's something I've always wanted HAPPY to approve happening to mission assignment papers. A joke on that Mission Impossible show remember?" Alan replied joyfully.
"Why on Earth would you want such a thing to happen in reality?"
"Because it would be just plain cool, plus no one could get a hold of the papers afterwards and use them for nefarious purposes."
Taking the papers from John and crumbling them into a ball. Alan continued his explanation, "Picture this, crumble up the paper to active it's trigger and -."
Alan tossed the mission statement paper ball into a waste bin near the door of the dining room.
As the paper landed, he concluded the explanation, "Boom, and an unexpected attack!"
"Please guys, keep it down. I'm trying to do my homework." Penny stated non-enthusiastically as she entered the room.
Noticing his niece in the room outside of standard meal time, John knew the reason she had intruded on them past telling them, their talking was annoying her.
Trying his best, he itched his chair more into the table in front of him so he could be better out of the way for the girl to reach the book shelf behind him.
Not looking at Penny grab a book on world records from the shelf, John was sure he knew the subject of her studies she was working on.
"Biographical history assignment?" He questioned her.
"Uh huh," she replied as Alan watched her remove the paper ball from the waste bin, and depart from the room also carrying her book in tow.
"Do you need any help, Penny?" John was eager to talk to a person who didn't sound off center. She would do.
"Your niece is no longer in the room Heyward," Alan stated looking pass the room into the other room which out of sight had a staircase in it, he knew led to her room on the second floor of the house.
"And you either call me Inspector or just John. Please if you're going to be living here for a while, there's no need to be so formal with me." John replied, then added noticing how the other man was distracted.
"Is something the matter?" John asked Alan.
"I think it's best that I leave you to contemplate the mission before we go any further. I think I need to be elsewhere." Alan said leaving the room, and John sitting by himself now a little puzzled by his co-worker's actions.
"Uncle?" Penny questioned the knocking at her bedroom's door.
"No, it's me Alan, can I come in?" Came the reply to her query from the other side of the door.
"Sure," she sighed as she continued doing her homework.
"How long were you observing your uncle John and I, before coming in to get that book you need for your studies?" Alan questioned her as he closed the door behind him entering her room.
"I don't know what you're talking about sir." She replied starting a new paragraph on her report paper.
"You know darn well what I'm talking about. I saw you take that mission statement from HAPPY out of the trash. While I don't know you yet, I have doubts picking through trash is normal for you." Alan stated taking a seat on her bed.
Penny stopped working, and turning to him, she stated her bottled up thoughts she'd been having to him.
"Alan, I'm concerned for Uncle John. I don't think he can do this, and he's refusing help at every turn from me. I figure there has to be some way I can help him with his work until he's actually fit for duty again. I was watching out the window when he lied to Chief Quimby about the turban."
After a few moments he finally replied. "I've noticed that streak in him too, Penny, but this kind of work is -." He stopped himself thinking of his personal motto.
"Now, I don't know you, but Uncle did warn me today what it means when you smile. What crazy thing are you thinking of doing right now?" Penny questioned him, backing away from him a little.
"A hero can come from any where, any source. Let here say never down the possible good one can do." He stated to the worried teenager.
Feeling more at ease that the action was one that, wasn't one to be feared needlessly, Penny questioned him. "What is that supposed to mean?" As she moved back to where she had been before he smiled.
"It means I'll get you in, but this has to be our little secret." He stated with a wink, and finger near his mouth indicating the want for her silence.
"Got yuh." She answered, now taking on a smile of her own.
"Say I have another question for you. What is your dog doing?" Alan said staring at the dog on the floor who was staring at something else. A school book that looked to be the thickness of a few hundred pages in length.
"Reading." Penny stated bluntly as if her words meant nothing.
"Cute trick. Most people train their dogs to do the expected." Alan said as he got off the bed and proceeded to crouch down beside the reading dog.
"Roll over? Um, shake hands?" Alan requested of the dog and in the latter half of his words moving one hand forward to indicate the wanted action of the k9.
Brain lifted his gaze from the book. Saw Alan ready for the expected hand / paw shake. Then promptly shook his head in a fashion that looked to be of the answer "no", and continued on with his book.
"Did he just tell me to bugger off?" Alan asked Penny in shock.
"He's smart. That's why I named him Brain." Penny replied as she took her homework, and stashed it into a standard sized cardboard folder.
"What breed is he?" Alan asked looking over the dog as best he could without picking him up.
"Unknown mutt. He was a drop off at the pound with no papers."
"Does he do any other tricks?" Alan asked finally sitting down to the floor fully, and resuming his normal cheshire grin.
"He helps me with my homework," she replied as she then took the folder she had just packed with her assignment, and then packed that into her backpack.
As she zipped up the bag, Alan requested that he'd like to see that.
Penny stated that it wouldn't happen that night since there was nothing that needed to be worked on since she had finished every thing that needed to be done.
"There is one interesting thing you'll see, or more accurately hear from Brain tonight, Alan." She added as he started leaving her room.
"Oh, whats that? He can talk too?" He questioned her as he thought she was making up everything about the mutt.
"That would be neat if it were totally true, but no. Every night he has howling fits, and thinks someone is intruding in the house. Given you're new here. Tonight should be interesting."
"Ha, um interesting. Thank you for that information. I'm going to check on your uncle, and then call it a night." He replied none too happy with what she likely was indicating could happen between himself, and her pet.
Closing the door on her room, and standing in the hallway, looking over towards the guest room he would be calling home for a while. He was grateful dogs couldn't work doorknobs.
As if on que, Brain started howling at 1 am that night.
This night it was different where the dog had chosen in the house to alert it's residents to the unseen intruder,
This night he was with his master, and while such a circumstance would normally bother any one having a dog howl in their room. Penny had learned long ago how to deal with the situation.
With earplugs lodged in her ears that could cover a sound range up to 32 decimals. At close range to the dog she could only barely hear him, and at that not so much that it could disturb her sleep.
The dog broke his howling when he heard the sound of glass shattering from some place below him which meant the first floor of the home.
Leaving his doggy bed he sniffed the air at the crack in the bedroom door.
Intruders were present. Intruders were really present!
He listened to one crash, and then another crash from below.
The smell they cast off was strange, and some how familiar to him.
Noises started coming into the room now not of the intruders.
The co-master, and the odd man. They were up, but only one on this floor.
Hurt the co-master still wasn't fond of sleeping in his own room up here on the second floor. He was in danger more than the odd man!
Shouting and growling were taking place. Animals!
He had to do something.
Whimpering he licked Penny's face which brought her to being awake.
Not much of a state of being awake granted, but no longer sleeping.
Brain pulled the covers off her bed.
"Hey! Brain what are you doing?!" She demanded as he then bit the fabric of her pajamas pant leg.
More crashing, and shouting made it's way to be heard in the room.
Penny removed her earplugs and listened as she ignored the tugging the dog was preforming to her pant leg.
"A burglar?" She questioned as she got off the bed.
With her walk starting to head for the door of the room. Brain now with more force started pulling her more towards his goal of safety with her, the closet.
She looked from the dog to the closet, knowing what was going on. This had happened before. Not with this circumstance, but with her first night owning the dog.
Shortly after he had started howling that night, he grabbed her, and started dragging her away from others. That night she had complied, and spent the rest of the night in the bathroom as she listened to him growl outside the door at nothing she could see.
She knew this sort of thing with there being an intruder was normally just in the dog's head.
This one time. This as a first time. Brain actually wasn't acting delusional about unwanted house guests.
Remembering her vow to be a better person to her uncle after his accident. That he was in no shape to deal with whatever had broken into the house. Despite having been transformed into what HAPPY hoped was a real life Robocop, that didn't help.
"I'll see what I can do, Brain, don't worry." She chided the pet politely, crouching down, and pulling his mouth off her pajamas.
In the hallway by the stairwell, the ruckus down on the first floor could be heard clearly.
Listening to it, and realizing some how an animal, or animals were down there helping cause the disturbance. Penny went back to her room, and grabbed her softball bat from the closet.
A howl resounded through the house. Penny looked to Brain and the dog proceeded to look at her cockeyed.
"Not one of your friends I assume?" She asked the dog.
He shook his head to the reply of no.
"I thought as much." She answered back.
When both girl & dog reached the top of the stairs to start heading to the first floor to assist with the matter below. They got greeted with one of the unexpected guests.
This guest had not been the one who had emitted the howl a short while ago.
At the bottom of the steps was what to a degree looked like a mountain lion.
It had a targeting scope over one of it's two glowing eyes. Lights lined the center of it's head upwards. The ribcage it had looked like a metal frame with bright fluorescent lights that were red, and seemed to indicate they were the animal's lungs. The paws replaced by monstrous metal counterparts. The lashing tail, a whip of interlocking cylinders with a hole in the very end tip.
The back held more concern for Penny however than the still feline teeth, and unnatural claws coming from it's metallic feet.
It held what looked to be some kind of cannon. That the animal promptly fired in her direction as it let out a roar.
Penny quickly moved, and missed the shot fired by the large cat by inches.
Before the mountain lion could pursue the teenage girl to the second story of the house. It got a surprise of it's own as a jet of flame shot the animal across it's back.
The wild cyborg cat cried in pain, and bounded off the stairs to the assailant that had just attacked it.
"Uncle John?!" Penny shouted as she ran down the stairs with Brain almost tripping her up as he made it to the bottom step faster.
The sight was unbelievable of what Penny could see of the living room to one side of the stairs, and the dinning room to the other.
In the living room Uncle John was providing one of the strangest sights she'd ever been witness to. From the look on his face, it was clearly that to him as well.
With his left hand he was holding one of the mountain lion's forepaws. With his right hand the other of the cyborg cat's forepaws. With the mechanical arm's hand coming from his chest, he was holding the animal by it's neck as it lashed at him trying to break free of the trio of hands holding it at bay.
In the dinning room Alan smashing a book repeatedly over the head, and back of a cyborg wolf, trying to keep it away from him as he crouched on top of the center table.
"Yahow!" Penny shouted as she felt pain surge through one of her legs.
Looking down at where she had felt the pain from, she saw two more bionically augmented animals. A fox, and a beaver.
It took nothing to surmise which of the two had hurt her. The fox was most of the way covered in sharp knife-like blades. The saw ones protruding from the sides of it's head looking more menacing than it's others.
It looked at her, and shook it's head before diving at her legs for a second round.
Jumping out of the way in time, this time knowing of the danger she faced, the fox missed her in it's attack.
While dealing with the rampant relative of her pet, she couldn't believe what the fourth animal was doing.
Not an animal that would be a predator in the wild. In fact not by any means threatening at all. She wondered why among all these fierce animals a cyborg beaver was rapidly eating away at the home's staircase banister post.
"Penny get outside! Alan, and I will handle this!" John shouted noticing his niece dodging the attacking fox following her around as she repeatedly tried hitting it with her bat.
Being distracted from the large cat was a split second mistake as he had loosened his grip ever so slightly on the animal while it happened. One of cyborg Mountain Lion's forelegs got loose of his grip then, and slashed him with it's claws high on the arm to the hand which had been holding it.
The numb feeling that brought came to John in moments, and he fell backwards on to the floor as the feeling proceeded to spread past the arm to his legs.
Robotic or not, they couldn't help him. Their actions were tied directly to his nerves.
In an unprecedented gesture, the wild cat seemed to break off it's attack at this development, and carefully it took hold of John's shirt.
It was trying to carry him off in a manner that wouldn't harm him, he realized. But that wasn't any consolation to the mere fact he knew what had gotten a hold of him.
In jumpy mechanical movements he lifted one hand towards the cat, and out stretched it's fingers at the animal.
Snorting, and growling came from the mountain lion as it retracted from the man after having received an attack by not only flame, but also a wire driven ruler, knife, and now a lightly burnt tooth brush.
Both noticed the fire to the ceiling fan simultaneously.
The cat ran for the nearest window, and broke through it to the outside. The fox followed it, and the beaver waddling at it's fastest pace also went out with it's companions in destruction.
Having been hit too many times for it's computerized brain to fully comprehend by way of the most recent edition Websters Dictionary. The cyborg wolf had to be guided out the front door by Alan.
The fire was spreading, and all John could do was watch it.
He couldn't move in any way that counted towards escape from the blaze. The only thing he could do was twitch, and attempt to speak. Whatever the cyborg cat had done to him when it slashed him, it had caused him to go into paralysis.
As he started closing his eyes he sensed movement, and suddenly he was moving.
Alan had him by his shoulders, and was dragging him backwards out towards the front door of the house.
"I'd be carrying you better if I'd thought a lighter alloy was called for in your reconstruction, sorry John." Alan stated as they departed the house with Penny holding the door open.
John's reply was inaudible being not only numb over his whole body, but also feeling tired with a deepness he knew had nothing to do with being woken at that early hour of the morning it was.
Penny, Alan, and Brain watched the fire consuming the house from it's open doorway, and broken window.
After a short while, Alan spoke up again. "Penny 911."
"I don't have my cell phone on me." She replied looking bashful.
Alan was stunned at the news. "You're a teenage girl?! And in this day & age?!"
"Listen I didn't know this was going to happen! How could I have?! I just thought coming out of my room that it was a burglar! Then I heard the animal noises! Wild animal noises, and I thought gee I don't want them biting my hands! I'd better use a baseball bat to drive them out! Never once did I think I'd need my cell phone to call 911 because my uncle can shoot fire from his hands now thanks to you! She snapped at him.
Knowing nothing he could say could help things, Alan sat on the ground with John laying in front of him. After a moment an answer came to mind he hoped she wouldn't verbally kill him over.
"Watch your Uncle, I'm going to go to your neighbors over making the call." He said getting up.
As the firemen sprayed the house, and the neighbors looked out at the scene, either from a distance in the street, or peering out their windows. Chief Quimby strode up to John sitting beneath a tree, also taking in the event as he slowly regained full consciousness, and feeling through out his body.
"Do you know how this happened?" Quimby asked John professionally.
"I was purely aiming for the cougar, it was a mistake." John replied weakly still watching the house which was now simply smoking as it continued to be sprayed with water from the fire men's hoses.
"What a blow torch?" Quimby's professionalism breaking a little, now puzzled.
After thinking over how to reply without adding unneeded complexity to the moment. He answered, "- in a sense."
Again for the not the first time in the last 24 hours Quimby couldn't believe his ears at what he was being told.
He turned to Alan who was also by the tree, but in a much different state than the new officer forced under his wing.
Alan was covered from head to toe in a blanket, looking soaked, with suitcase bags out before him facing the house. His eyes however weren't focused on the house, but on the bags.
"I was told just after I got here what you did just after the fire department came. Are you nuts?!" Quimby asked trying to make eye contact with the other man.
"Important papers, important equipment, important project." Pausing momentarily he concluded his statement in a louder voice. "No regrets!"
"You could have waited for the fire to be put out more before rushing in." Quimby stated closing his eye's in disbelief.
No answer came as Alan continued staring at his belongings.
Shaking his head, Chief Quimby went over to Penny who was walking around one of the fire trucks as Brain eyeballed over every inch of the red metal behemoth, sniffing away at it.
Penny noticed him standing at a small distance from her as he was deciding how to approach talking to her.
She broke the silence lightly snapping at him, "Can I guess what you're thinking about the fire?"
"I have doubts it was started by your uncle using a torch against a puma. Do you know the real story?" He asked dismissing the girl's suspicion to his questioning.
"That really is the case, but add in things were a real mess at the time it happened. I don't think Uncle John meant to start the fire at all." she answered evenly, noting he wasn't going to bring up old encounters they had with one another in the police station when she had done things to warren her being there.
He stood there watching her, remembering her history. Why she had snapped at him when he approached her. Eventually ending the discussion he stated, "I think that can rule out arson."
Quimby looked back in the direction he had last noted Inspector Heyward to be in.
The man was gone.
For a few seconds he panicked, and wondered if what he had just said to the man's niece was a false assumption. Then he remembered if the other man might have simply shifted his position slightly.
After all he had been sitting beneath a tree. Maybe he had simply decided to change which side of it he was on, a side not to Quimby's view of the large Linden.
His stomach knotted with fearing this was now a criminal case, and not a matter of incompetence. He hoped the man had not run away. Hoped the man wasn't guilty.
Reaching where he had last seen John, he walked around to the other side of the tree, and in a sense was relieved to see his fears were wrong.
What he didn't expect was the sight of the Inspector in the state he was in.
The man was testing robotic alterations which showed themselves to be coming from his forearms, fingers, and chest.
Stunned by the sight, Chief Qumiby was at a loss for words to the other man. What could he say? What would be fitting? This was unreal, and far beyond his realm of normal thought consideration over topics of discussion.
John taking notice of his boss, said nothing once he was perceived. The only action taken was stopping the testing he was preforming to see if his new additions were working properly after his experience with the mountain lion.
"One -one of those things was a torch wasn't it?" Qumiby finally asked him to break the ice.
"Yes," John replied softly, also shaking his head lightly to the same notion.
"When?" Qumiby asked.
without having to be told the full question, John knew what is it was. "HAPPY's idea of helping me after the car wreck," he answered.
"Ah," Qumiby took in the answer, still in a state of shock, but now starting to feel more at ease with what he was seeing.
Qumiby continued after a few moments. "The assignment, MAD and the Trinity Bomb?"
"Not enough information to truly deduce a location. I say start with locating the bomb from where it originated. It won't be there, but people there might have clues as to the where abouts it's hidden at." John stated, starting to turn around to view the commotion again surrounding his house.
Qumiby stopped him in his tracks by putting a hand to his chest.
He winced at seeing the machinery still noticeable at the area. "Inspec- Inspector please I don't think any one wants to see that, you like this, it's strange."
John frowned as he retracted his robotic augmentations back into himself.
When the machinery was packed away, and the man looked again normal except for a towel taped on to his head. Qumiby continued with a question he thought was important to the matter at hand, "You do realize "where" the Trinity Bomb was being worked on?"
"So it's not Miami Beach. It's still HAPPY's best place to start." John stated casually.
The firemen were now backing up, and getting ready to move out. Every one not wearing turnout styled clothes started to come in for a better view of the scene of the now no longer smoking house.
"Should I put up barrier tape, Sergeant Qumiby?" A trooper running up to Qumiby asked him.
"Yes, do that." He answered turning to the officer.
Returning his attention to John, "This case is a top priority to HAPPY which deals in matters on international security. I'm going to send you off to work on the case immediately. I'll have staff from HAPPY take Penny, and her dog into custody for the time."
When the squad car came to pick the teenage girl, and her dog. Being made aware of the assignment handed to her uncle suddenly becoming full blown active faster than it should have in given under normal circumstances. Penny figured out how to weasel her way out of the ride.
"But I don't know him!" She whined. She could act, but this acting was in truth done with truth. She just didn't want to comply. She had a vow to keep.
"I'll make sure she gets to where she needs to be, I know those agents that are taking her in." Alan stated, smiling with an arm around her shoulder.
The smile didn't escape John. "Honest? Nothing else?" He questioned the younger man.
Penny in subtle motion, and as hard as she could scrunched down one of her feet on to one of Alan's feet.
His smiled dropped at the crushing of his foot. "That's right honest," he replied.
"Penny?" John still felt unsure of leaving her with the man he was thinking that if he ran a background check on him, he was sure he'd find had once been institutionalized.
"Better than a total stranger." She answered shrugging her shoulders.
As the Inspector talked over the new arrangement with the agent who was to be her escort. He couldn't help, but miss the new development of his niece behind him.
Penny Heyward was smiling.
The modded '83 Surpra was falling to the icy earth below like a stone despite the parachute billowing up from it's roof.
HAPPY had insisted the car be utilized on the mission, and had refused to land on the antarctic landscape due to fierce wind conditions normally present on this area of land.
That was the reason this was chosen by the engineers & scientists who had worked on the Trinity Project. The remoteness of the location, combined with the brutal weather it faced year round.
Penny and Brain, hidden in the trunk space of the car. clung to each other as they could hear the rushing air hit the underside of the car. They could also hear the voices of the two men in the cabin of the vehicle. The girl's uncle, and a work associate to him. The men were arguing over actions to take next.
The uncle insisted the fall would lessen at a nearly present altitude. The co-worker to him insisted they press a button letting the car convert to a hovercraft, and in turn letting it glide-fly down to the ground.
The girl didn't need to see the car's altimeter to know they were closer to the ground than everyone, but her thought.
The auguring from outside of the trunk stopped, and after a moment she heard her uncle concede to the other man in a calm voice.
After a few more moments after hearing the car clicking, and hissing, and grinding it's metal parts. Not to mention feeling it shift around her. and her pet, grateful the car wasn't crushing them. The landing it gave to the ground was soft.
Foot steps could be heard from outside the trunk moving in two different directions. One towards the trunk, and the other to take in a view of the location they had landed in.
Penny didn't worry about which set of feet she had heard crunch the snow and ice, move towards the car's trunk.
Before they had started their mover, their owner had said, "I'm going to get some essential gear out of the trunk." Meaning the girl, Alan Engenis had made a promise to that she could help her uncle on his mission.
What had been meant to be a secret between the engineer and the girl, didn't last long.
John felt faint with fear when he took in the sight of his niece sitting on the car's rear bumper. What had given her away was the cold air making her cough as she took it in for the first time.
"You're responsible for her being here, and the dog too!? John shot out in surprise as he made his way back to the Surpra as fast as he could against the wind hitting him with crystal specs of snow.
"You can't do this alone, Uncle. You need our help." Penny responded to him, glaring as she did so.
John acted like he wanted to say something as he raised a hand with his pointer finger up. He turned away from them for a moment, and then repeated the same action.
There was nothing he knew he could say that could change things now. He highly doubted with calling his superiors, they'd come to get the girl and dog. He'd just have to deal with them being with him and Alan, and hope they didn't run into any danger.
A buzzing noise sounded, harking, breaking the silence.
This was a noise John, and is present family remembered from the other morning. It meant nothing good.
The Inspector shoved his gloved hands into his thick furred long coat, and scowled to the mid-ground before turning his eyes to his co-worker, Alan.
The man was smiling, and in quick realization John went pale, and bolted his hands from his pockets, pointing his right hand towards the icy ground at an angle.
"And you, Alan! You know of course what this means! In a moment I'm going to be shooting fire again!" He shouted to the other man, closing his eyes for a moment as he did so.
"No, not fire." Alan paused, and continued speaking once he had opened the near by door to the backseat of the car. "Your temperature alert function acts as a type of third brain to your body, um third that is to your medulla oblongata. It senses need, and acts as best it can to correct what is wrong. Right now I'm guessing that winter gear your wearing isn't quite cutting it."
Alan took a heavy plastic case out, and set it on the ground, opening it up. "I don't think it's fire your body wants right now." He stated as he continued.
Now looking at John, and not the case's contents, Alan looking to the Inspector and asked, "Remove your hat, John."
"I'll freeze, and besides my scalp looks wer - odd. I'll, I'll freeze off what little hair I have left." John griped at the co-worker with facts if however needing more logic to back them up than they really presented.
He gave in after a minute. The buzzing alert wouldn't stop despite putting his hands back in his pockets, and it was now annoying him more than the full picture of his current circumstance.
Moments after the hat was off his head, and the sub-zero winds started bitting him at a more brutal force than they had before when the hat was still on him. Plastic panels with metal plated connectors flew right at him.
John fell down backwards into the snow as the machine parts came in for the tackle on him. Although more specifically, they tackled the plugin socket on the top of his head.
As the plastic plates locked themselves into the plug socket by way of metal extensions coming from them. John panicked at the feeling it presented. He was being hit without any feeling of pain, just impacts, and clicks that seemed to vibrate through out his skull.
When the sensory bombardment was over he sat up slowly from the snow and ice. The panels which had locked themselves into his head had formed a transparent segmented umbrella around him, and were now taking new action.
Just above the connection socket on John's head, grape sized spheres were admitting warm air at high pressure without sound. His upper body was being engulfed in warmth. The panels were catching the air, and deflecting it onto him.
"And now you have a reason to smile. See that wasn't so bad." Alan stated proudly, walking over to John, and with a hand helping him off the ground.
"Nice, but I don't like the feel of the attaching process." John told Alan, almost face to face with him.
"Do you want to have our or more accurately your situation improved more now." Alice's companion in the sub-zero wonderland of white asked.
"Yes, please." John replied for once not worried about why Alan was smiling.
"Go go gadget computer!" Alan shouted in a laugh.
The instant the engineer had said the words, the plastic panels in front of John's face turned into computer screens. They still showed every thing around him, but now they had information moving on them. Stats on the environment, measurements of distance, ID tags for every thing he focused his gaze on.
"You can use that command on me as well?! It's not just the car, it's me as well?! John stated in frustration looking at Alan as the computer noted the man's next actions in prediction.
John caught Alan by the arm as he started to move away.
"Yes." Alan replied almost inaudibly, his voice at a whisper.
"Disable that!" John shouted.
"The computer?" Alan asked meekly, his voice still in a whispering tone.
"No, people being able to control my body other than me, Alan! That is disturbing, and just wrong!" John answered still shouting.
"When this mission is over, at HAPPY HQ, I swear I'll get that adjustment made to you." The engineer stated sounding fearful, but now at a more normal decibel level of speech.
"Thank you." John said bluntly as he finally let go of Alan's captured arm.
Out the corner of one eye, John noticed an icon spring up on one of the transparent panels of his computerized shielding & warmer.
He turned his head to look at where the computer viva icon was indicating the presents of something.
"Penny, Alan, I don't think we're alone." John stated calmly as he looked off into the distance behind the car.
The shape was human. Man or woman, this couldn't be told from how far away it was, and the swirling ice crystal winds made the details harder to make out even further.
Who ever it was, the person seemed to be watching them. John was sure of this.
The figure watching them then moved a little. It lifted one arm, and something fell out from the sleeve of the coat it was wearing.
Dark, darker than the person it's self. Long and serpentine? How could it be a snake. They couldn't live in a land like this, but then again neither could human beings.
The person was unmoving, this was indicated by the computer. Not even by a one planck length. However the mysterious dark object it had dropped was moving and very fast. It was heading right for them.
As it moved towards him, John could see it better. It truly was a snake, but not like any he'd ever seen before. The speed it was moving at was incredible for what it was, but the Inspector had doubts it could be what it appeared to be.
Snakes couldn't make quickly repeating metallic sounding clinking noises as their bodies twisted in movement. It was a robot of some kind.
"I should have brought my bat along." Penny stated watching the machine get closer and closer to them.
Alan grabbed one of his suitcases from the car and from it, pulled out what looked to be a scientific instrument of some sort.
"Every one get behind me!" John shouted at the lot.
The robot snake as it got so close the group, one could make out it's finer details, shot into the car. By piercing through the hood, and drilling into the depths of the engine parts & computer circuits laying beneath.
"It's going to destroy the -." But before John could finish his statement of fear. Out popped the snake, and now it sprung at him.
By reflex combined with instinct John pulled at the snake to remove it from him as it wrapped around him. Without thought in this new instinct, his robotic extensions kicked in.
Both weren't totally sure what to do.
As John gave the snake a good look he could see it didn't actually have fangs. What it had were razors quickly moving around the front of the mouth like buzz saws. Beyond them shifting interface ports which lined the whole interior of the mouth.
Watching Inspector John Heyward, the snake was trying to make up it's mind what to do next.
Lunging forward at his face, and being forcibly pulled away each time with inhuman machine strength. The snake changed which interface port that was foremost in it's mouth every time it got close.
"Use your EMP pulse gun!" Alan shouted to John as he struck the snake with his instrument.
The snake for a moment had it's eyes grow wide, and froze with the shock of the device, then returned to it's struggle with John.
"EMP?! What's an EMP!? I have a gun in me too!? John was getting no where fast in his fight.
A reply didn't come.
While all attention had been focused on the snake attacking John. Penny and Alan had failed to notice more of the dark serpent robots had joined company with them.
Brain snapped his fangs at the snakes, and tried bitting them at every chance he got.
Penny's combatant was twining around her, trying it's best to retract into her body to crush her ribs.
Alan's snake was trying to do the same. The reason no reply could be given.
Noticing the situation, John changed the positioning of his hands on the snake he was dealing with, and tried the hidden function out by voice command. "Go go gadget EMP pulse!"
The shot wasn't fired from his fingers as he had expected. The pulse shot from his palms into the snake from where they had their hold over it's body.
The snake stopped all it's movement, as did the snakes with a hold on John's company, and the one that had been being tossed about the ground.
John now took a moment to examen the robotic snake which had been attacking him.
Remembering the last 24 hours, he started to wonder about the attacks he, his niece, and co-worker had been through. A connection he wondered aloud saying, "MAD?"
Penny realized fast what he meant by the single word, or more accurately the name uttered. "But how could they know you're on the case? Heck, how could they have even tracked you all the way here?" She questioned her uncle.
Brain was now no longer growling at the now no longer functional robotic snake he had been fighting. Now he was growling at the distant figure which had produced that snake and it's companions.
As uncle and niece looked out at the lone figure the dog now was barking at. John questioned Penny, "and you would know about MAD how?"
"You shouldn't go throwing out things like mission assignments, Uncle." She replied.
Noticed by the quartet, but not the provider of the robotic snakes. Some one was coming up behind the dark figure.
The action taken by the new mysterious individual was done too fast for any one to really react to it. To call out do something to prevent it.
The new person had struck down the snake bringer with a blunt weapon of some kind. The snake bringer had been struck over the head with it from behind.
The group could no longer keep their distance from the snake bringer.
Whatever the person's intent was of sicking robotic snakes on them, it was over. That person was out for the count given he, or she had fallen out of sight with the blow they'd just taken to the head.
When the group reached the person who had taken down the snake bringer, they got surprised.
John got out a pair of handcuffs despite the surprise.
The old man stared at them, and puzzled at John as he put the hand cuffs on the him.
Surprise to the group about the attacker being an old man who had clearly seen better days. A surprise to him at being bound by handcuffs.
"So much for thinking you weren't MAD agents." The old man said examining his bound hands by lifting them into better view.
"Sir, I'm not a MAD agent, but you've committed a crime. No matter where I am I'm always on duty." John stated firmly, glaring at the attacker to the snake bringer.
"You don't know who that was, or who I am, do you?" The old man questioned John.
"You worked on the Trinity Project, didn't you?" Penny questioned the old man.
The old man smiled when answering Penny. "Their aren't may of us left out here because the governments who funded our work aren't quite sure what to do with us now. That, and people like him are another reason to that." The statement finished by a awkward expression of disgust on his face. looking at the fallen man on the ground.
"Who is he?" Alan asked, poking the snake bringer lightly with a kick to just below his shoulders in the back.
As the old man answered, he gave a harder kick to the man laying on the ground. "His name is Professor Venom. He is an agent of MAD."
"Both of you kicked a man when he's down, MAD agent or not." Penny looked between Alan and the old man, scorning them both.
"I only nudged him." Alan stated sounding like a plea of innocence to the act.
"I meant to kick him." The old mans shot showing no guilt over the act as he proceeded to kick Professor Venom again.
Taking hold of the old man, John asked, "Do I have to restrain your legs as well?"
In stunned shock, the man turned on John, and angrily shouted at him. "His snakes, those robots he keeps! They destroy all things artificial and electronic! They destroyed what machinery was left for us engineer weapons scientists, and collected the data from our research! If it wasn't for the attack he chose to do on you, I might have never gotten the chance at him being distracted long enough to give him a knock in the first place!"
"You're an engineer?" Alan asked the old man ,worried.
"Yes." The other man answered hesitantly.
As Alan took in the old man for a hug, he said, "this must really suck for you."
"You're weird." The older engineer stated as he pushed Alan away from him.
"That's a mutual opinion we all share about him," Penny proclaimed.
"HAPPY is not going to be so much, well it's non-acronym name sake if I don't take the handcuffs off you, are they?" John questioned the older engineer as he unlocked them from the man's wrists.
"I knew you had to be in law enforcement of some kind. Although this is my first encounter with HAPPY agents." The older man said while rubbing his wrists, and looking at the gang.
Focusing his attention on Penny, he continued, "You're a little young for a HAPPY agent aren't you?"
"She shouldn't be here. Tell me you wouldn't happen to know why MAD is trying to get a hold of a defunct defective weapon would you?" John asked the old engineer, while pointing towards the direction the car was in, indicating he wanted Penny in the modded Supra.
"They believe they can make it active and working. Say what are you exactly? I saw one of Venom's snakes go into major attack mode on you, but you don't truly look like an android."
As if John could take the old engineer's question with ease. He couldn't. He felt like simply shouting at the man in primal rage, but that wouldn't accomplish any thing. He wasn't a machine, but the more and more he got familiar with his "new enhancements" as Alan called them. The more he felt HAPPY had turned him into one.
Without replying, John headed back to the Supra, following Penny's lead.
"I think you touched a nerve there." Alan said as both him and the Trinity Project engineer, watched the pair get closer and closer to the car.
John lifted the hood of the car to examine the damage done by the snake. The act didn't help the matter. Under the hood were components to run the vehicle he'd never seen before. He should have known better.
"What's busted?" Penny asked, peering in at the scene of the bizarre machinery.
"I haven't the foggiest." John replied.
"You know this car's every component, right?" John continued, now addressing Alan. As he, and not only the Trinity Weapons engineer they'd met who had knocked out Professor Venom, but also some of his company, a woman, and younger man came with him.
"Can't make heads or tails of what you're looking at can you?" Alan asked, now just a few feet from John.
"Cut the smile, Alan. This is our fastest way out of here ...once we know which way we need to go." John said in what was at first frustration, and then worry. A statement that by it's end he found himself biting his lower lip.
John looked at the partly assembled team of the Trinity Project.
"Without any comments asking why that snake was attacking me how it was. Do any of you know the resting place of the Trinity Bomb? John asked.
One would think the team would look between themselves and might come to a consensus over that answer. What John got was a much faster, but less than an adequate answer.
"No." Came from the team present. Just a straight forward reply, all eyes on him.
John unhitched the stand for the car's hood, and after the hood fell, he hit it with a fist.
The one lady representative of the Trinity Project spoke up. "But we do know where it made a pit stop before going on to it's destination."
"And that would be?" John asked eager for an answer, and motioning so.
The younger man on the team, replied, "The Falkland Islands, likely in Stanley or Bluff Cove."
A small argument broke out among the team present then about the matter of location. The reasoning to the fight being the location pit stop was the last news they had heard of the failed bomb since 2003.
Alan broke up the fight. "Say, who here has some tools I can borrow? My ha ha my 45R adjustable current director got fried by the EMP pulse."
The old engineer looked at Alan, puzzled before asking, "would one of those be good for on fixing a car? We don't even know what's wrong with the machine, outside of one of Venom's data collecting snakes jumping in and out of it like water one time."
"Personal project I'm working on. I'm using it for aligning circuitry inside bio-electric reactant fabric." Alan stated looking proud about his hobby that had been taken along with the mission in his suitcases.
The old man just stared at Alan for a few moments before answering, "I don't even want to guess what you're making that would cross such boundary areas of technology, let alone picturing it to a possible fashion statement. You guys get us out of here. All of us, and I'll give you mine."
Alan lifted up the hood of the car again, and turning to John asked, "You call HAPPY in for these guys, I'll see what damage the snake did, and see what I can do."
"I don't think my cell phone can work out here. No, towers." John replied looking a little agitated.
The HAPPY Engineer wasn't totally paying attention to the Inspector at that moment. Because at that moment he had found what was damaged by the snake. Alan with a little force, pulled out a circuit board from a place near the car's Transmission. With his mind concentrating on two things at once, his reply to John was simply, "Yeah, that's it, and no."
"What is that supposed to mean?" John asked looking at Alan, and then to the damaged circuit board to which the evidence something was wrong with it was a hole running smack through it the exact diameter in size to the snake that had punched through it.
Wagging one finger at it, Alan pointed out what he was holding. "This is the board that controls the reversion of the car's transportation modes. We aren't in deep trouble. We just can't treat it like a car till it's replaced. Man, is it good the Gadgetmobile is in it's hovercraft form right now!"
"Alan," John said to the man in a slight growl.
Finally taking true notice of the Inspector, Alan clarified his earlier comment. "It's not a completely vital part of the car, and you can contact HAPPY from any where in the world. We don't use cell towers, we use satellites. Talk into your left pinkie finger by flipping up the nail. The operator will get you in touch with the right people in a flash."
With a feel of skepticism and worry, the Inspector followed the engineer's instructions, and put in the call.
The replacement tool was delivered as promised after a wait, the group of new comers to the Antarctica were grateful that didn't come in it the chill of the night. Because if this was the normal daytime temperature, they feared what the night would have been like if they had arrived at a different time of the year.
They had to wait. The team, which unsaid in the report from HAPPY in the mission statement. Actually had nineteen members in it. In the beginning twenty one, but because of Professor Venom, that had changed.
John further changed his tune about the old engineer's actions once it sunk in that despite the nature of it being wrong, of the man hitting the MAD agent how he had been. That opportunity had been rare. The Professor had no snakes to side with him, and protect him, as they had attacked the new comers. This had given the man not only the chance at revenge, but also the chance to be helpful.
It wasn't right, John inwardly thought to himself over the matter. He still couldn't quite get over the man's actions. But decency & manners had to make a show here, because of the help rendered.
That changed tune as far as his family, co-worker, and helped strangers were concerned was real. To him it was only skin deep, and that truth is something he'd never reveal to them.
After by way of difficult landings of more than one helicopter hampered heavily by strong winds even the the well skilled pilots knew awaited them and knew to be prepared for. The team made their way out of the seemingly endless frozen oblivion. The small team who weren't truly a team left the icy plane too.
After arguing with one of the pilots for half and hour he just gave up. The pilot absolutely refused to break them up. To take his niece back to more civilized lands.
This justification being simply that he was family, and hence the girl couldn't have been in better care else where because of this.
Upon leaving aside from being in not the best of moods, John made a discovery about the sizing of the modded Supra in it's hovercraft mode. That no matter how hard he tried to change how he got in, that until removed from his head plugin socket. He could not properly enter the car with his computerized shielding & warmer attached.
Wow what wind! Brain thought to himself, head out the window of the modded '83 Supra, or Gadgetmobile as the odd one or Alan called it.
Hours to make it over the frozen Antarctic, then to a few hours over open ocean waters, and now coming up the Falkland Sound heading to Stanley. Every one was restless to get out of the hovercraft car.
The dog restlessness however was causing problems. Why that was so he didn't understand.
Why must they complain at me? How can I sit through this? How can my master, oh wonderful master sit through this?
She wanted me to come, and I did, but that winterland was too cold for me, brr that wasn't a nice place. I think I'd rather visit the vet again thank you, then there again, and it's wildlife, most hostile!
All that water! All that water! Shame I think it must be saltwater?
"Bark!" No, Brain thought to himself after yelping for want as the master held him back from climbing out of the window.
I want a drink! I want food! Come on it's been hours you guys.
"Bark? Bark!?" Brain questioned his master, Penny to let him out of the car-hovercraft.
"Alan, why with all the strange things you helped put in this car, why didn't you add in a seatbelt for pets?" Penny questioned Alan in the front passenger seat, leaning forward, holding onto the seat with one hand.
"If I'd known John had a dog, I would have had it incorporated." Alan answered before sighing to himself.
Turning to John he continued with, "Are you quite sure you know where you're going? You haven't used the GPS once."
"No, thank you, I have a firm sense of direction, one of the few things I've managed to keep about myself despite what you did to me." John nearly growled, not looking over to Alan, but keeping his attention fixed on the docks moving in closer to the transport him was maneuvering.
"Bark?" Brain was worried for the co-master's mood.
Alan was worried about what felt to him at the moment like the entire predicament they were in.
Sounding a little sheepish, Alan replied to John, "If it wasn't for people like me you'd be dead Inspector. And the computer to the Gadgetmobile, it's GPS, a fine lady's voice. I don't think you'd mind her guiding you to Stanley, likely that place over Bluff Cove over where the pit stop was."
After a minute of silence, John stated his thoughts to Alan over the car speaking directions to him. "I don't believe cars were ever meant to talk, Alan. I can live without that."
Brain sensed his intruder, and starting his alert to his company. John snapped his next reply, "And my GPS, My non-gadgettized GPS tells me we'll be in Stanley soon. Penny!"
Penny cupped her hands over Brain's mouth as he panicked about the people, or persons he couldn't see, but could sense.
The people of San Carlos watching the modded car-hovercraft run up the shore in between the docks, and on to the road. Their panic was less vocal then the worming dog. However far less restrained as they ran out of the vehicle's way. Most dropping whatever actions they were undertaking at the time of it's intrusion into their lives.
Step one had not succeeded. That was ridding the area of any one that could be helpful to the agents of HAPPY. That the MAD agents knew to expect.
They couldn't clear out an unknown population of the island's nation capital. Doctor Claw of course would show his agency's not acronym name sake with such a failed task as this. Did they dare tell Dr. Claw that? Heck no.
Louis Largoe and Terry Skinie knew what happened to MAD agents who failed. Worse yet, agents who knew too much about the mission at hand. They were told about Mac Intell's death. That he wanted their job. That he knew things no agent in the field should know. That had caused his death.
They were semi in the dark about their task at hand and that suited them fine.
Step two, they knew what to do, and it was taking place right now.
Photos of the HAPPY agents had been faxed to them, and even photos of their involuntary agent. Thanks to those photos, they knew who to flag down.
Of course minus the photos, the pair of MAD agents were sure they could have identified the HAPPY agents any way. Their quote un quote car was impossible not to identify.
Terry sitting in the back of the tow truck newly relabeled to say, "Angerous Top Dock Auto", waved at the people he could see in the finned hovercraft cruising slowly down a road filled with tourist catering establishments, and ocean related businesses. The man shouted at the strange vehicle to get it's occupant's attention. "You in there! Hey you, there something wrong?! Something people like us could help you with!? You're driving awfully slowly down this road here!" Being on the side closest to the tow truck, Alan was the first to respond to disguised MAD agent, Terry, "How could you possibly know that?"
Brain bounding into the front of the car, causing John to swerve the hovercraft, having Brain crush Alan's lap, was second to respond, "bark!"
"Shit." Was Terry's statement upon seeing the dog remembered him.
The dog's reaction although wasn't negative. Brain was overjoyed at seeing an old familiar face. Correction, as the dog looked to the front of the tow truck at the driver in it's cabin. He saw two familiar faces.
"That wasn't a good answer there." Alan shouted to Terry, thinking of course the curse had been directed at his question.
"No no no, not your query sir! I'm just not happy with dogs doing that sort of thing. That causes accidents you know." Terry replied, hoping he'd covered his reaction to Brain's recognition of him well.
"Ask him where the garage is, Alan." John requested to the engineer, now looking at him with a baffled expression.
"Why John? You know I can do the job. All I need is a proper workshop / garage to do it." Alan said, still worried at the Inspector's need to query the help outside in the tow truck.
"Brain likes them. Haven't you noticed that? If the dog likes them. I like them, and I doubt they'd offer help if they didn't know a thing, or two about vehicles like this." John answered with an air of smugness which also constituted a show that he still wasn't at ease with the engineer's help.
Dumbfounded, Alan could only reply to John with, "this is a purely one of a kind car. No other vehicle on Earth is designed like the Gadgetmobile."
"Odd name. Listen Mr. Engenis, my mind is made up about this matter. They will fix the damaged circuit board." John replied refusing to he swayed from the stubbornness he had set himself into over the matter.
Grumbling that the cyborg he'd helped create should also have the prefix in his name of gadget. Alan shouted out the window a couple moments later at Terry, and in reply from the MAD agent, got the needed address to their shop.
A stone's throw beach over from the garage for Angerous Top Dock Auto. Penny slipped into the cold water in her newly acquired bathing suit and snorkeling gear.
It didn't sit right with John what she was doing, but at least he felt sure she couldn't cause any trouble down in the water. His niece claimed to him she had gone wreck diving before off the coast of South Carolina with her parents. A dangerous activity, but he knew with all Penny was capable of, he knew she had to be telling the truth about the matter. A matter he wondered if his sister, her mom, and also his brother-in-law dad ever knew about.
Brain walked nervously along the beach at a fast pace. Not daring to go into the water, more than he had tried venturing when she first started moving into it.
With a quick run into the surf, he had learned what Southern Ocean felt like in September.
Now with wet fur all he could do was watch her disappear into the water. Shaking himself dry didn't help the feeling of dread he had about this. The memory of the impact of the cold saltwater enforcing the feeling. He had witnessed this activity of his master before, but before it had always been friendly warm water.
Wanting a better view of his master's exploring without getting wet again, he joined Alan sitting on the nearest dock.
To Alan's relief the dog had no interest in him.
While Penny's diving worried him to nearly the same degree as it did his co-worker. He felt the forced down time could be put to good use.
With his equipment and suitcases to either side of him, he was working on refining the fibers of cloth of his project, using the new 45R adjustable current director.
The pacing changed when a patch of sunlight hit the engineer's project. The cloth wasn't normal fabric. It under normal lighting shimmered in iridescent hues. This fact had not been noticed by Brain until now because of the sky being cloudy. The sparkle peeked the dog's interest.
He roamed slowly over to Alan, who didn't notice the dog until he was standing in one of the open tool cases, nosing the fabric in hand.
"John!" Alan shouted at the Inspector standing on the beach, watching the surf to the girl unseen by him in it.
Noticing the predicament Alan was in, John ran over to Alan, and along the way grabbing up a piece of what was half buried rope, broken off from something unknown from the sands of the beach.
"Sorry, Alan I guess he's just taking after her. Trouble, you know?" John stated as he removed Brain from the tool case and tied the rope to his collar.
Continuing his work with the 45R director, Alan grabbed another tool from the formally dog occupied case, which looked like a set of tweezers with a square metal stamp on one tip filled with what looked to be dozens of tiny indents in it.
Looking at his work, and not John, Alan said, "I don't mind dogs most of the time, but I think that one has issues, John."
"Issues?" John said with sarcasm in his voice, watching the engineer work.
As Alan tried to pinch the fabric with the tweezer like tool and with the other hand work the 45R director. John lifted one corner of the fabric, and questioned him. "What kind of mad science is this?"
Alan stopped his work, and started beaming with pride at the fabric he had in his lap.
Holding up an opposite area of it to what the inspector was holding he stated with a smile. "My project. My ticket to fiction turned reality. John, once this is finished, wearing this will give me superpowers while it's on."
John wasn't sure what to say, as he moved his mouth trying to find words to fit his opinion of now he knew Alan had to be more nuts than he originally thought.
As he dropped the fabric he was holding to simply stare at the man in disbelief. A shout directed at him gave him a reason not to tell Alan, he thought the man was insane among other words he was sure a psychiatrist could label the man with.
"Mr. Heyward, hey over here, we need your words on this!" The shouting was coming from Louis, in the garage.
Taking a better grip on Brain's leash, John walking away from Alan, but eying the other man a little with concern, shouted back to the disguised MAD agent in mechanics clothes, "Coming."
"So what made you buy this thing?" Louis questioned John as they both entered the garage. Louis at first waving him in, and then pointing at the modded Supra.
"It was a present from work." John replied before asking, "What is it you really need to ask me about it? How it got damaged I assume?"
Terry walked over to them, and then crouched to Brain's eye level, looking at the dog.
Brain didn't seem afraid of the man. In fact he seemed to be over joyed at seeing Terry, who he then tried to hug the man by getting up on his hind legs, and putting his forelegs over the man's shoulders, with tongue out of his mouth.
Terry pushed the dog away from him as John continued. "Are these questions about the dog? Did he do something to the interior of the car I need to be aware of?"
As Louis put an arm around the Inspector's shoulders, Terry took Brain's leash away from the officer. "Nothing, nothing like that."
While Terry walked over to a cluttered work table, Louis asked him, "You make sure the dog's leash is secure, Terry. We don't need any thing interfering with this."
"I'm on it." Terry replied as he sat Brain in a chair, and tied the dog's leash to it.
This was now making the Inspector feel nervous. Tightly gripping one of John's shoulders, Louis led John towards the messy table by the didn't help the nervous feeling, and made it grow more intense.
"What is going on here?" John asked forcing himself out of Louis's grip, now looking at the man sternly.
His reaction should have been faster, but the thought never hit him this was coming.
When he was in training to be an Inspector he had also received the same basic training a police officer would have. He should have dropped down to duck the moment he saw the look on the other man's face as he reached into a lower pocket of his jumpsuit.
Maybe it was seeing the unknown type of gun he had grabbed out that made the hesitation happen in John's brain.
The shot was like nothing he had ever felt before. It made every thing go blank for him. He could see, he could hear, but it felt disconnected. He felt like he was in a fog, not like the other night. The other night when the cyborg cat attacked him it had induced a kind of paralysis, but this time he didn't feel sleepy. This time however while he felt nothing like how the cat's scratch had effected him before. This time he could move.
Step three accomplished. The living technology, needed by Doctor Claw and other agents working on the big mission, was now no longer a threat.
As Louis took back his grip on the HAPPY agent Inspector, Brain tried to pull away from the chair his leash was attached to. Whining, the dog even tried to bite it off to try, and help his co-master.
John felt like he had in the backyard to his home the other day. No control. He could move, but not how he wanted to.
Was it the lack of practice with his new limbs that was causing this he wondered? Or that weapon that had been pulled on him?
Entering a room that looked to be filled with equipment of a kind unknown to John, Terry was beginning to start work on something in it.
As Louis reached the work table, he let John fall to the floor, as he in swift motions cleared it of all that was on it. The tools when flying every where, but on the injured man. Some how John felt that had to be intentional.
Brain tried to bite Louis, as he took his next action at witch John felt he could only watch. The action being grabbing a piece of fabric the length of a man with ropes held on in multiple places to it by rings. The layout of the cloth seemed to indicate it was meant to hold something.
John's stomach dropped as he was now sure he knew what that must be.
"Penny? Alan?" His throat hurt some how. The words were soft.
Brain's whining wasn't as soft, as he mentally kept flipping through decisions of what he should do.
On one hand his co-master needed help, needed him. On another hand one of his former co-masters had hurt him, and he felt feral instincts over what to do with them.
The dog tried biting at Louis again as he laid the fabric with rope straps over the now cleared table.
"Terry, I'm sick of this dog. Could you turn on his relay? I want to get this done. Maybe that will keep the frankenstein mongrel busy, and not thinking of biting." A request the MAD agent Louis made at first starting with a shout, and ending with a soft growl in his voice. His attention going from the co-worker he could see through windows in the next room, to the growling dog.
After Terry flipped some switches, and pressed a few buttons, activating the equipment around him. Louis had a hard time concentrating on his job. A simple job.
All he had to to was lay out the fabric with ropes attached to it neatly across the work table, and lift the helpless Inspector on to it. All he could get done in actuality was the first of these two tasks. Brain's barking, and the fighting his leash had now gone off the deep end.
"I'm going to muzzle you, you near worthless failure!" Louis snapped at Brain.
Surfacing to empty out some water that had some how found it's way into her snorkeling gear. Penny heard her dog bawling at the top of his K9 lungs.
Something was wrong. She saw no sight of her uncle, and Alan was standing she last saw him seated, now staring in the direction of the barking.
Drying herself off with a towel she walked over to Alan, and questioned him. "Do you know where Uncle John is and why Brain is barking like that?"
Shaking his head to the motion that means no, Alan also verbally answered. "No, and I have a bad feeling about both."
"Either Brain is having one of his fits, or Uncle needs my help." Penny stated putting her normal clothes over her swimsuit.
"You won't be alone. He's my co-worker remember." Alan replied picking up his project from where he had left it a short while ago in one of his tool cases.
"You work with machines? Sure Uncle John is like a machine now, loaded internally with gadgets in every which way up the wazz -." Penny stopped her complaint to the engineer of stating her thoughts he was useless to help in the case of trouble. An awful thought had just struck her about her own wording, and what the engineer might have done to her Uncle.
"Alan, you didn't put mechanical gadgets up his -?" She couldn't bring herself to fully ask the question.
"No, and second if something has gone awry. I might be able to help the matter more than you'd ever expect a dork who works with machines could." He said looking to her, and then to his fabric project.
The barking stopped abruptly.
This could be taken one of two ways Penny thought. One, is John finally shouted at her pet to shut up which she had heard him do on many occasions. Such an action didn't seem to hold water here considering she had not heard him shout, or one of the mechanics. Two, some one had forcefully shut up the dog, and not in a polite way.
"They're in trouble." She stated, and then looked down at the cases containing the engineer's tools.
Continuing the statement of concern, she asked, "Alan, could any of these tools work as a blunt instrument?"
Alan was now worried for every one he was working with now.
"You're a very violent girl aren't you?" He asked her feeling edgy now around her.
As he handed her a simple metal tool that looked to have no place with what he had been doing minutes before. She replied, "Only in defense most of the time."
Her smile made him start to fidget nervously with his cloth project, as both of them made their way over to the garage.
They were MAD agents. He saw that now, that and the rope straps hurt him. Apparently Eda with her team, Alan with his team. Both had done a good job adding in his bionic augmentation. The thought had never hit him before mechanical components could feel anything, let alone pain.
John knew this was his end and this time he had a good view of it coming. He closed his eyes. He didn't want to see what the quote un quote mechanic was about to do to him.
Brain whined still struggling against his leash tied to the chair as Louis gave him a good look, and cocked up the dog's head in one hand.
He no longer feared the dog biting him. A makeshift muzzle wrapped around his head took care of that.
"Getting a good view of your master's uncle? That's exactly what Doctor Claw wants. A front row seat into the mechanics of this cyborg cop."
God it was the dog, John thought. MAD was using animals. Animals that he knew had to be augmented. Had to be their source of information that HAPPY couldn't pin down. That made sense now. That, and the man's crack about the pet being a frankenstein mongrel. They had to have been Brain's original owners, and he had to be some kind of breed they had made. The dog was a service animal meant for evil.
"What is going on here?"
Alan? John considered opening his eyes, but knew hearing the man had to be a hallucination brought on by fear. His co-worker / maintenance teacher over his new mechanical body. He wasn't the hero sort despite being a tad nuts in thinking he could be.
Penny? Penny!? Lord no, please be just an imagining! Please let her voice be just the same as Alan's. Not here. Not in harms way!
The immobilized Inspector opened his eyes, and tried to turn to see the loading entrance partially open he had used to get in. It was them! Both of them had found him.
Penny was welding a heavy looking tool of some kind. Alan was ..tucking his project cloth into the back of his shirt collar? Crap those two are going to get themselves killed too if he didn't do something!
Trying to get free of the restrains more forcefully now. He prompted new reflexes to take over.
With no control except the motivation to try, and help his niece, and new friend. One arm's interlocking robotic extensions let it's self loose, and go limp to the floor. Next his neck did the same action, and he found himself with an upside down viewpoint of the action taking place before him, head seated on the floor for the show.
"Get out of here, or you'll regret it fast." Louis shot angrily at the unexpected company in the garage. The breaker bar he picked up and proceeded to pound against one flat palm, putting more weight into his words for them to see.
"You've strapped my Uncle to a table and it looks like you're going to -." She couldn't bring herself to say what she knew he must be intending. What came out to finish her statement, came out as she ran for the large MAD agent. "You're sick!"
she hit him with the tool she was holding, bashing him in his arm that's hand was wielding his weapon of choice.
Shouting in pain he dropped the breaker bar to the ground.
She then ran over to the set of furniture restraining her family.
Alan taking on a tough look approached Louis, and hit him too, but in the face.
This time the MAD agent knew to expect the pain of a blow from someone. The girl having any kind of power in her muscles had come as a shock to him. It hurt sure, but he knew of a better way to deal with a full grown man, and at that one who worked for MAD's counter organization, HAPPY.
This time the gun was a normal one. Used by the likes of the good patrolling the streets, and the bad who hid in the alleyways just beyond them.
Alan never saw the gun, but he felt the impact of the bullet hit his gut.
Having just had his muzzle removed, Brain started howling again, but softer than he had before. The mutt was upset, but glad to see his master again.
"Never take on MAD you prozac nut." Louis exclaimed looking down at the fallen engineer.
Taking a better look at the HAPPY agent, Louis's voice took on a new tone. It was shock at what he was seeing. "No, blood? What the hell?"
Blinking out of his shock, Alan bent his head down to look at his belly. No blood was there. The bullet while it had hurt, had simply bounded off him. He could see it laying on the ground near him by his waist.
"Ha," was his only response to the sight before grinning, and getting up to face Louis.
Fearful, Louis shot Alan again in the chest.
The engineer took the pain in stride as the bullet ricocheted off him. Then Louis shot him between the eyes.
Alan at this with the bullet dropping to the ground, furrowed his forehead, rubbed it was one hand, and exclaimed to the gun happy MAD agent. "That - that hurt just a little."
Louis ran. Alan flew at him, and rammed him to the floor.
Penny had only watched the first part of the scuffle between the two agents. She had been ready, and had started to come over to the engineer in concern until the MAD agent had stated his shock about the lack of blood.
Now she was purely fixated on freeing her uncle from his bonds. The action taking place around her couldn't break her concentration as she desperately tried to unknot the rope straps.
John was aware of everything taking place around him.
His niece, that he now knew he had pegged wrong for being nothing, but a pain in his life. Was now trying to save his life. His co-worker and new friend. Nuts as he maybe, he was proving he wasn't as much a mad scientist engineer as, John once thought he was. Now the man was taking shots that would normally kill people, and flying. It was unreal.
The HAPPY agent inspector didn't like the feeling of helplessness he was forced into since the blast he'd taken from the unknown weapon. There had to be something he could do to change this predicament. Help Penny in someway, help him.
He wasn't a normal man any more, and that's why he had been targeted by the MAD agents.
Trying to remember the tools at his disposal the thought of his left index finger hit him. More to the point the fact it was now something of a swiss army knife.
Could he cut the bonds Penny was trying to free him from with that? After all there was a knife in that set.
He wormed the arm still up on the table and tried to not only force outwards it's mechanical interlocking metal extension rings, but also the tools on the in the hand it was attached to.
What he managed to do was have that arm as well fall off the table. The extensions had kicked in lengthening his arm, but they had gone too far in the act.
The move however wasn't completely a waste he noticed. As his right arm had slid off the table. He had noticed his hand comply with his wish to access it's tools, by opening up the ports for them, and exposing them.
The arm & hand flopped around the floor like an out of water fish. As he tried to move them back on the table for the rope restraints.
He groaned at the futility that he felt was going on about him. Every one was trying to help him out of this mess, well nearly every one.
Brain had other ideas. The K9 had slipped out of sight shortly after Penny had untied him from the chair.
All John knew now of the dog was growling he was sure was coming from the room the other MAD agent was in. The other MAD agent, the one that had turned on the dog's relay. Now was shouting at the MAD agent that currently, the Inspector could hear, and occasionally see, as the battle shot into, and out of his eye sight. Alan was fighting with, and with a weird twist of emotions on his face John couldn't make sense of.
"Please forgive this Uncle. You have the right idea, but I think only I can carry it out right now." Penny exclaimed as she reached for his flopping right hand on the floor, and picking it up, started working his hand like the multi-tool it now was, cutting the restraints.
Once freed from the bonds he made an attempt to thank Penny, which didn't work out so well.
With getting a little help into a sitting up position, from Penny, he told her, "thank you." As best he could with his voice still feeling horse, and at the same time tried to put one hand on her shoulder.
It more came across as a flat palmed hard slap.
"It's ok, Uncle, I understand." Penny stated smiling mildly at him. Now helping him to get off the table.
Else where in the garage Louis watched the inspector but refused to get up and do his job. The pain of the just fought battle keeping him at bay.
Doctor Claw didn't need to know about this he thought. His boss hopefully knew nothing about his failure to dissect the HAPPY agent so the man could learn more about the technology that ran him.
The agent's niece's dog, and their former property had not been by the operating table for too long. So maybe he was in the clear. Maybe the broadcast to Doctor claw's office had never made it to him. Although this in it's self presented other problems if true.
That would mean either way he was in trouble. Did his boss even know he had made it to step three? Would his boss even know step four had failed? Was he willing to take another stab at doing the job?
Louis aching from numerous blows taken by the other HAPPY agent. The one no warnings had been pinned on by intelligence officers of MAD. Now watched where the man had gone off to after the fight, he felt embarrassed for losing.
The unexpected caped nut powerhouse was entering the room where Terry was, and shutting the door behind him. This combined with the dog being in there too. Louis felt their mission was over, and wondered if they could flee to South America to escape the coming wrath of their superior.
"You've just sealed your fate, geek!" Terry snapped at Alan, from his hiding place from Brain on the desk built into the wall of the room, holding most of the place's electronic equipment.
"Just try me." Came the engineer's reply as he picked up the growling dog placing him onto the counter with the MAD agent, now more frightened by his predicament.
Quickly locating an old fashioned corded phone, Alan did want he felt was needed at that moment.
A call for law enforcement, and request for paramedics.
He knew from what it looked like, his co-worker and current mechanical responsibility wasn't in the best of ways for contacting HAPPY right now. Local law enforcement would just have to do in this case. Plus whatever had taken him down. Alan was sure it wasn't just a matter of Heyward's mechanical parts that needed tending to. The only work he knew how to do. The Inspector's biological parts, that was a matter only doctors could take care of.
"Hello? Is this the right number? The 911 for this country?" The engineer wasn't sure if he had gotten it right.
The Falkland Islands weren't a place he thought he'd ever be visiting. The conversation then being with the authorities wasn't as poetic as he had hoped for.
"Thank you operator. Thank you for the transfer. Hello? Are you the police, or bobbies? Coppers? Bluebottles? Sorry, I don't know what you're called here. I need your -. Yes, I am making a report. Have you heard of an evil organization named MAD? No, I'm not making this up. They attacked one of my co-workers with an intent ..well it wasn't nice what it appears they were ready to do with him. They're here. No, I don't think they're much of a threat right now. Yes, they are armed, well at least one of them is. A gun. Yes, a few shots. No, the co-worker wasn't shot, but I was a few times. Yes, medical attention is needed. No, I'm not bleeding. Please send EMTs. Hello?" The hang up from the other end of the line was abrupt.
"You can't be the person who called in the report, that person had a male voice. Were you witness to what those two did to that man over there?" The local officer hooked a thumb towards John, while addressing Penny.
"I was witness to rescuing my Uncle, heck I helped in it. The guy that called in what happened his seeing what he can do about the effects of the blast, at least on his mechanical components." Penny stated not being fond of the man's tone with her. The statement slightly coming out disgruntled.
"Mechanical components? What like a pace maker?" The officer wasn't sure what to make of Penny's reply. Now fixedly staring at John and Alan, sitting on near by on the edge of the cement road leading to the garage, that within mere itches of where they were, dropped off to the ocean.
"If he has one it wouldn't shock me. He's totally cyborg." Penny said shrugging her shoulders at the further questioning officer.
Giving up, thinking something had to be wrong with the teenager. The officer went over to the two men.
"Sir?" The local law officer questioned John. "Sir, what exactly happened?"
"Can't I just file a report later?" John replied not even looking up from the view to the ground below which also counted crashing waves.
"We already got a report of sorts over the phone, but I need to write more on this incident in the records. From I assume that man with you was the one who called in." The local officer wasn't sure what to make of the scene he was witnessing between the inspector and engineer upon closer view. Alan was taking electronic readings over John's limbs and back with a device the man had never seen before. Even the act being preformed with it seemed somewhat mysterious to him.
"That girl wasn't kidding was she?" The local officer finally continued after watching this act close up for a minute.
"Yes, I am a cyborg. Not a fact I'm completely fine with, but am adjusting with. The paramedics are here too right?" John shot at the officer.
The man knew when to back off. "I'll ask the kid for more details. You two do, um, you two continue with whatever it is you're doing."
As the local officer left them. the engineer finally spoke up. "I'm no doctor, but I more think this is a matter of your natural biology."
"I want some water," John replied.
"I'm betting it's more than that." Alan said, putting his scanning device into one of his vest pockets.
"I don't want to go back to the hospital, its too soon." John whined in reply.
"Hopefully that won't be needed, but some rest at the very least." Alan stated now taking a seat beside John.
"The dog is a spy. MAD is using animals to get their inside intelligence." John said taking a deep breath in between the two sentences.
"Far out," Was all Alan could think to say at the wild revelation told to him by his co-worker.
"That's all you have to say? You know part of what I said was Penny's pet dog is working for the bad guys." John stated to Alan, glancing towards him, concerned and worried.
"Sorry, my mind has been off on other matters a little. Did you catch that action I laid done in that garage?" The man's Cheshire cat smile returning as he questioned John.
"At first I thought hearing you at all in there was a hallucination. What I saw you do from my, blood rushing into my head from it being upside down on the floor. ...I'm convincing myself that was a hallucination." John shook his head at the ocean in a no pattern as he spoke the words.
"You thought I was crazy when I told you about my project, didn't you?" Alan replied with at first slow words that sped up towards the end of his question.
John didn't answer. To him this felt like one of those times it was best not to be honest. Opening his mouth at all he knew would hurt the co-worker's feelings in saying the truth.
"We're both super powered you know? You with amazing gadgets. Capable of doing any task imaginable. Me with my cape. Giving me the ability to fly, and letting me be impervious to harm."
Alan felt giddy about the next part of his statement to John. As the result he started swinging his legs, kicking lightly at the air, and hitting the cement wall was they'd crash back to it on upon return.
Bracing himself to the ground, he continued boldly, "I think we need code names.
"No." John replied with a tone of complete finality.
"What do you think? Inspector Gadget? Has a nice ring to it don't you think?" Alan wasn't going to give up easily on ending the subject.
John wanted only to focus on matters he felt were relevant. This code name business felt like nothing of the sort. "This isn't a comic book, Alan. This is real life. We need to focus on what's important." Anger was starting to creep into his voice.
"Call me Captain Capeman." Alan replied smiling, brushing off John's words entirely.
"That sounds nuts." John replied giving the other man a weird look as he did so.
Lifting a finger, and continuing the seemingly ever present smile. Alan rephrased his comment. "You're right. I think Corporal Capeman has a better ring to it."
Again not for the first time that day John groaned, but with a now added in eye roll sky wards.
"Don't take this the wrong way, Alan, but I need some time alone. Please go away." He'd had enough of the man's insanity. It didn't belong in the moment and more important things needed attention, like the assignment he was trying to follow through with.
As the concerned engineer got up, and walked away from the inspector. The local officer of the law, now done talking with the inspector's niece was making his way back over.
"Sir, it's an honor to have you guys here. Name it, and I'll see if the 21st Precinct can oblige it to happening!" Crouching down to John, he then continued, "Need a little help getting up? I've heard you've been through a lot today?"
"Sure." John replied almost grunting as he took the now offered hand out stretched to him, lifting him up from his sitting position.
"What has my Niece Penny been telling you? Although I must admit, I'm almost afraid to ask?" He continued, now questioning the officer.
"That you, and that other man work for HAPPY. What happened with the MAD agents. This place is far from a hot zone for international affairs of this sort. That's a big reason one of those people working for the Trinity Project decided to stick here after her work was said & done with the failed thing." The local officer couldn't have stated the facts with more pride.
"You've met? You know one of the people who was on the project team for that?!" If he had just heard the other man right. This might just be the little beam of light that made his day better than the nightmare it had been so far.
"Thirteen years ago, in the project's staff change over on who carried the bomb to it's final destination. Ms. O'Momenta decided she'd had it with big projects. That she wanted a more simple life away from the tribulations of destruction that she felt were looming over most of the Northern Hemisphere nations. She works now with us. Good Correctional Officer. Um, speaking of officers, I got a question for Inspector Heyward, agent of HAPPY?" The man's enthusiasm was bubbling as he spoke of the project member. When he asked the question at the end, the enthusiasm had hit a new height. It was bubbling over the top.
"What is is this that has you so excited?" John chose that moment to ignore the pain in his hand, as the other man that while the intent came across as friendly. The tight grip he had on the Inspector's hand was too much friendliness.
"Is HAPPY recruiting new staff?! New agents right now?! Because just name it, and the 21st Precinct will provide it!"
John wondered how much sugar the man must put in his coffee every morning, to reply like that to him.
"Contact with Ms. O'Momenta, and a glass of water, and I can only guess my co-worker's remark. But a bunch of different vitamins, make that multi-vitamins, the strong kind." As John made his requests, he hoped he was right about his state of health in the afterwards of the effects of the blast given by the MAD agent.
After an escorted ride to the 21st Precinct's station. John and Alan were met by the same enthusiasm given at the scene of the crime. Representatives of HAPPY were more than welcome there.
Penny was fine with this, her attention needed focus elsewhere. Praise, something which normally would never happen from police. In fact police at all thrilled with her presence would have felt a little odd to her.
Right now what was important was her dog, Brain.
She could read his moods, and what he was displaying was a mix between being in a fowl one, and being saddened.
He was intelligent. Penny knew the dog had to have realized what was going on with him. If he didn't she would be amazed. Because otherwise it would have made no sense why the dog had terrorized the skinny MAD agent for what he had been using the dog for, right before his eyes.
"Brain, if I had known. I'm sorry, I would have taken you to a vet to fix this, but I'm not sure even they could help." She told the dog bending over in her walk beside him, as he trotted along with her.
Brain stopped walking, and just stared at her, before turning his gaze to her uncle and his co-worker.
"Rowf." He barked lightly indicating attention meant for the two men to her attention.
As the men where questioned, and praised continuing to go deeper into the police station. Penny then had it click why the pet chose then to focus at that moment on them.
"I hope you mean other people working for HAPPY. Uncle John wouldn't know the first thing about helping you with the relay. As for Alan ...I'm grateful and I'm sure you are too, his thing isn't medicine." Penny stated to the dog, smiling while she showed her hope for the dog getting the help he needed.
"Bark!" He replied happily, and wagged his tail at what she had just told him.
The office in which Nikki O'Momenta worked out of was a mess. It was a shared space she held with the police department's Master Sergeant. John had the feeling due to years of working in law enforcement. The clutter was not due to the Sergeant's ownership of the room.
There wasn't a need to knock on the open door, and Nikki quickly took notice of him in the doorway.
"Which one of the agents are you? The Inspector or The Tech?" She asked him, looking puzzled.
"A bit of both." John answered now entering the room, and standing in front of the woman focusing between an expandable cardboard folder filled with papers, and him.
"What?" She responded, the inspector's crack comment was lost on her, or at least appeared to be.
"Sorry, bad stab at myself. Madam, I'm the Inspector, Inspector John Heyward of the international protection agency known as HAPPY." John said his more formal greeting to her outstretching a hand to greet her.
"Oh, oh I get it now!" She said laughing, and shaking his hand.
"Huh?" Now John felt a little confused.
"I got informed about you and the other Happy agent before you came over here. Over the crime that got stopped. Over HAPPY's interest in the Trinity Project. You being a cyborg, and can you feel me? Our hands shaking?" By the end of her exclamation she was examining his hand in hers, closely.
Shaking his grabbed hand away from her gently, he replied, "Yes, although there have been a few times in recent days I wish that wasn't so. On the plus side at least I'm not dead."
"You know you don't look like an Inspector." She remarked at him, shaking a finger at him.
"I've heard that before. Listen un-like police officers, Inspectors aren't confined to wearing a standard uniform. So long as we carry our badge, we're good." He could tell as he told her this, it disappointed her.
"Oh, well would you ever consider a trench coat added to your look, I'd be glad to provide it. I've cooked up my own useful take on one." She replied, clearly disappointed by his answer.
"If you like, I'll give it a try. My Chief back home didn't react too well when seeing me test out my gadgets after haa -" Looking back on the event with the cyborg animals, and the fire he only had himself to blame for. He wasn't thrilled to explain why he had been testing out his new mechanical augments to see if they were in any way damaged.
"Oh, thank you so much!" She replied enthusiastically as she then started to rummage through a box in one corner of the room.
"Say any chance you know the location chosen by the governments involved with the Trinity Project for the bomb's final resting place?" As he stated the question, the thought struck him that while she had been involved in the project, she still might not have been the best person to ask.
If this was how she took care of her workspace, he could only wonder about her mind. Then again unlike the abandoned team left to rot in Antarctica, she had been treated to a much better environment for the last thirteen years. Hopefully unlike them, she didn't question the old facts about the project.
"Your badge?"A request she made as she now held a crinkled mass of brown garment found in the box she had been digging through.
"Why didn't you request to see it from the start?" He asked as he grabbed his wallet from a pocket in the back of his pants.
"Failed or not, that bomb isn't exactly a toaster oven. Knowing beyond just words you're an Inspector for HAPPY, has to happen." She replied the statement as she told a good look at his former badge for the Metro City Police.
"You're lying?!" The words engraved on the metal badge catching her off guard.
sighing, John explained how hectic the last few days had been. Getting fired from the local police force where he lived, only to be hired a by the international law enforcement agency of HAPPY. He didn't feel like relaying to her the rest of the events that had happened to him recently, and at that thought of a new request for the 21st Precinct hit him. How he could continue his mission more worry free.
Before his additional request was made, She told him what he needed to know. what she had been tight-lipped about for over a decade. s 42, 25, 24.4435 w 17 50 30.4688 s 42 25.407391 w 17 50.507813 minus 42.423457 minus 17.841797.
Feeling clueless about the sets of numbers didn't last long as she further went to explain what they meant. Latitude & longitude, of what she called between where they were and Hope.
Now he felt the need to make his request that now had become two.
That his niece and her pet be given haven by the 21st Precinct. That his co-worker be taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Plus the newly added redefinition of what she meant by halfway to "Hope".
When she explained she meant, a place named Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, he felt embarrassed.
In the in a chamber branching off of the office belonging to MAD command leader, Doctor Claw. The Doctor was checking over what he knew of his organization's top mission assignment of the moment, on a tablet computer.
His agents, his failures in Stanley. Their lack of unlocking the mechanical secrets HAPPY had implanted in one of their own agents. The fools thought their inability to do their job had gone unnoticed, but they had forgotten. He had spies everywhere. While the dog owned by the agent's niece had been discovered. His Sight-Seagulls where on duty outside. They had witnessed his men taken in by the local authorities.
Now he felt it was up to him to finish this mission. Using knowledge gained by reverse engineering the agent inspector. That was something that would have to be a later step part of his plan to end the mission over gaining the bomb. First he would have to use the Inspector in a different way.
Keeping an eye on the HAPPY agents had stopped upon them entering the police station. Although knowledge was there, that at least one. The more important one, the one Claw wanted now knew the bomb's resting place.
He had requested to meet with a former member of the Trinity Project. A fact Claw now felt enraged at himself for not thinking of before. Keeping tabs on more than just the members of the team left in the wasteland of Antarctica.
While the information was a blank what the woman had told the Inspector. Claw knew the man had one of the same goals as himself. To find the Trinity Bomb.
With the help of his Sight-Seagulls it would not be hard for him to keep track of the HAPPY agent's trek to recovering the bomb.
Beyond the chamber, Doctor claw entered his first pride of personally constructed equipment. His vehicle, his jet-rocket car.
Tracking the Inspector he thought should indeed not be a problem for his spies. Because in the whole world, to his knowledge. The only thing with wings and wheels more unique than his jet-rocket car, was the HAPPY agent's Gadgetmobile.
Sitting in what felt like the dead center of the Atlantic Ocean, John regretted how he had left Stanley. He should have thought to fill the car with gas prior to leaving.
Instead rather than thinking of the essential for the trip to make it to the longitude and latitude coordinates given by Ms. O'Momenta. He had been focused on his now former traveling companions. Protest and urging from the two that could talk. Nothing from the dog and last one he'd ever want now to be around.
For as much trouble as John had recently realized the dog had caused in his life. At least the animal had the smarts to know when he wasn't wanted around.
His niece, as helpful as she wanted to be. He knew was still a bad idea to have hanging around him. She had no business poking her nose into his work. It had caused problems at his former job. He now hated to picture what her intertwining herself into HAPPY's affairs would result in. Plus to top that fear, the added one that since starting work for HAPPY, it was a new ballgame of the sort of criminal element he was encountering. So far he felt it was amazing she hadn't gotten hurt in this whole mess except near it's start. A scratch from a mechanically altered, fox and some inhaled smoke from his mistake in setting his house on fire.
While he was to blame for the second of the two acts. He, given the dog's howling just before the animal attack. The attack he was sure also had to do with MAD. The K9's howling he now knew had to do with the counter agency using the mutt. John felt he had a dead on hunch, that night it was them getting a view of his house before busting in to it, or something very close to that effect.
Given the villains he was now facing, he knew just a simple scratch could be much more in the future. Deep wounds? Broken bones? Kidnapping? Death? John knew his niece should be no where near him while he was working. The grim possibilities felt endless of what could befall the girl.
As for his co-worker, Alan. He just plain didn't like him. The man was a reminder of what was done to him. While John had signed the papers that got him into HAPPY, in what he thought at first was just a company which handled medical insurance. They took advantage of him when he got wounded. He felt no matter how many papers one read over & signed. Such a thing like being transformed into a cyborg, should have been in the fine print some where that they could do that to him. A yes, or no question mark box that all he needed to do was check "no" in case of worse medical scenario happening.
Alan was there to help him adjust to his new life, and teach him how to handle what it now presented to him. That while such a thing was indeed useful, it was still a reminder, of something he didn't agree to. That, and there was one other reason he didn't want the other HAPPY agent around. John was sure that once the man's psychiatric evaluation was over, he'd have proof the guy was nuts.
Thinking about the next step as the waves made the hovercraft-car bob up and down in the waves gently. He thought about his options from here.
This could not be the end of the road, and certainly swimming the rest of the way didn't feel doable.
He wondered if maybe the car had some hidden secret. Something that in the car ran on independent power, that had no reliance on the car's gasoline dependent combustion engine. This was the first time he felt regret about leaving his companions behind in Stanley. Alan knew everything about the car. Surely he had installed a gadget in it for such an emergency in transportation.
Remembering a fact he was last reminded was a factor within himself. That he to a point could be controlled by voice. A matter he hated Alan and his team for. The first time he had learned of the voice control had not to do with him, but with the car. Alan given a similar command had once made the car speed up, packing up it's hovercraft conversion, and return to looking like a normal car.
The thing that frustrated John over the matter of trying to unlock it's secrets is he had forgotten exactly what that command sounded like. Maybe it was just like the voice override that worked on him.
When the insane engineer had used the voice command on the car. John had been thinking of the big picture more. All the new changes that had just occurred in his life, and trying to move out fast to avoid road rage from the drivers stuck behind his new car.
Thinking of any thing related to transportation that could have been installed into the car, but some how hidden from normal sight. John proceeded to try voice command over the machine.
"Go go gadget plane." No reaction stirred from the car.
"Go go gadget jet." Again no reaction was to be felt from the modded 1983 Supra.
"Go go gadget submarine." Given still no sounds of the car's parts clicking, and hissing, and grinding together it's pieces to reshape the machine. John was beginning to feel a tad defeated in his effort to proceed with the mission solo.
"Go go gadget helicopter." No sounds came from the body of the car.
With quick painful regret, John hit his head backwards against the driver's seat in frustration.
After a few moments he noticed a noise not coming from the waves rocking the hovercraft-car as if it were a boat. What he heard didn't fit into the normal range of expected sounds one would hear when alone with a seemingly powerless vehicle. It sounded like rattling. Like something trapped, or caught, or stuck in the car, but what?
Looking around the cabin, John found the sound source. It was one of the equipment cases Alan had insisted be packed for the trip when it started. One of the cases containing some gadget meant for use by him. In him. He remembered how one of these helpful tools felt like it had launched an attack on his head, before becoming useful.
Grabbing the case from the backseat of the car, he rested the shaking box in his lap.
Not feeling eager for a repeat of the first experience of pounding equipment nestling and installing it's self into his head. He thought about how best to under go the mild, hopefully mild transformation it would do to him.
Maybe he could hold back it's pieces, and have it install it's self one piece at a time? Less of a bashing that way, and less need to think about Tylenol in the afterwards.
Opening the case up slowly, he mentally prepped himself for what was now needed.
Withholding eager components, and letting them, what he would allow in a timely manner, enter his installed plugin-socket on top his head.
The act failed fast. The rapid fire action of his add-on body parts couldn't be slowed down. The blades meant for the helicopter accessory, when unpacking themselves broke the hovercraft-car's windshield. Catching him in surprise in weight, the rotor engine impact knocked his head to the driver's side window when it attached it's self. That act too broke yet more additional glass.
John considered for a moment looking at himself in the car's rear view mirror to see what he looked like with the accessory now attached, but figured it was best not to. There were bigger things to think about now. Although he hoped that the ocean water, if it now entered the car, thanks to the windows he had helped break, would not damage the vehicle further.
Climbing through the broken windshield carefully, he felt grateful for the seemingly little things in life. The helpful things the former project member for the Trinity Bomb, had given him. Coordinates that he knew weren't too far away from him to get to at this point. That, and protection against the chilly breeze of the sea air. Now he liked the trench coat.
He didn't need to think about the coordinates for the resting place of the bomb to guess he was at them.
What was before him was one of the strangest looking sights he had ever seen in reference to real life, and not a work of fiction.
Looking to be the spanning size of a small room, was what looked to be a cylinder-cut, endless looking hole into the ocean. The water just pouring down into it at a straight drop angle with razor's edge accuracy.
Upon closer look at the cut hole in the Atlantic ocean, he noticed two things. One expected, it was what he had been hoping for, or at least it appeared to be what he was seeking. At the bottom he could make out something resting there. Something that looked to be the right shape and size of what would be used in the military for a large bomb. The unexpected, the second thing was the top of the hole. It was glass. When he had approached the hole, sunlight caught on it's surface, and he could now see a reflection of the sky above him and himself in it. The helicopter accessory he decided looked decidedly bad on him.
Landing, he stepped on to the glass, and the helicopter's rotor powered down.
Walking to the ever edge of the hole, he found where the glass plate ended. Right up against the falling water.
While he was sure the people who had built him into what he now was, had thought of him encountering water. He made a bet what they had thought of in design was him simply taking a bath or shower. Not some how descending a strange waterfall into the depths of the ocean.
Feeling the edge of the water he noticed there was no form of wall seemingly causing the cylinder shape. It was nothing, but what appeared to be pure water.
Moving in deeper to the start of his forearm into the water wall, he felt it upturn. Unseen but clearly felt, was the deeper water moving upwards in the wall.
To which ever government had thought this idea up, and had executed it, he applauded them. This chamber, was of the most unique design of anything he had ever seen. Plus strangely he thought it's down & up currents might be the way to move down into it's depths safely. Provided he could do the act without getting crushed by the water's opposite forces at work.
Carefully moving over the side of the glass surface, he took his first hand holds into the wall of water. Opposite forces making a feeling of a solid surface, if not one that felt alive. The climbing down into the hole soon took an unexpected turn, but be it something he should have for saw coming.
The moment the top of his head touched the water he got caught. The helicopter blades were now trapped in the currents of the wall. Too large for movement he guessed with the fact he could move his hands and feet in and out of the forced liquid crevices he was creating.
Pulling away from the wall, but still trying to keep in touch with it. He attempted to yank out the caught blades. No effect was taken by the effort except by mistake shaking lose one foot from it's hold in the wall.
With one leg dangling over the pit, he remembered his new tools. That, and practice done with them that had ended in crashing into the roof of his house. Although thinking back on that now he had little fear of the result of using his robotic extensions.
No, house to crash into. No, just a defunct bomb that he hoped truly held no power what so ever. That was the only thing he could crash into. Plus as far as his limbs not responding correctly like they had been doing thanks to the unknown energy blast he'd taken by the MAD agent. Ever since he had replenished nutrients the blast had some how forced out of him. That, and drinking a quart of water. He felt much better, and to that effect was sure in the use of the robotic extensions, wouldn't make him feel like a fish on of water again for lack of control.
Thinking over the logic he had been mulling over. He laughed at the last thought. Because looking off a short distance into the water into the un-altered ocean he could see it's fish swimming about.
With a non-vocal command he extended the dangling leg to the bottom of the floor of the ocean. A second command, once freeing his other leg from the water wall, brought down the second leg to meet the first extended one.
Now instead of thoughts he might feel like a fish out of water. He was sure he felt like a giraffe of sorts. Problem was that even though he was in a sense at his destination. He sure wasn't eye level with it.
Acting on hesitant thought, John activated his helicopter accessory's rotor.
To this, the mechanical blades did in fact make progress in movement. They twitched in the water wall, attempting to spin in normal fast procession. Trying to look above to the blades, all John could think of in seeing them attempt movement was thinking of what it must look like if a gear in a clock was prevented from moving, and wanted to continue with it's steady onwards march of ticking time. An hour hand trapped at twelve 'o clock, unable to reach twelve 'o one.
Just as he started wishing the blades could some how pack themselves up into his head to tuck away, and end his trapped predicament. They found their way free in as best a sense that they could. The trapped blades broke off.
Given situation, things could have been far worse. At least John thought his feet were on the ground.
Retracting the robotic extensions in his legs he made his way to the sea floor, and to a normal height again. Looking at the Trinity Bomb, he wondered how he was going to take it out of it's strange surroundings, and back to his car. The failed multi-national science project was nearly as large is he was. A cylinder with both ends looking like rounded cones. To which end was the end one had to worry about for impact, he wasn't sure. At least it wasn't in operation. With that he wondered what were the technical problems the Trinity Project team were never resolve about it's inter workings. For all he knew, the device he was just a few feet from could either be the most deathly weapon on the planet, or as safe as a feather-down pillow.
Eying it he walked closer to it. Hoping seeing it more up close would help his thoughts about it's retrieval.
A thought struck him that he knew should have occurred to him earlier.
Why the very reason he even knew about the defunct weapon was HAPPY. A global protectorate with extensive resources he had only just begun to find out about. He'd call them in for help.
Thirty seconds into feeling his jacket and pants pockets, he blushed to himself in embarrassment. The patting down, and searching had been for his normally carried cell phone. An object currently no where near his location. What he had forgotten is the fact he no longer needed it.
Lifting the nail on his left pinkie finger he proceeded to attempt calling in the help. Nothing was happening.
Had he damaged the gadget already? It had worked in Antarctica. When he'd been hit by the MAD agent's gun, when the insane engineer scanned his hardware for faults, it hadn't come up.
Then he looked up. That had to be the answer. The glass plate had to be more than it appeared to be. It had to be shielding the signal from his personally concealed micro-cell phone.
Blackness suddenly over took the sky above him. An object he couldn't quite make out now had moved into place over the glass shield covering the hole.
"Inspector Heyward to HAPPY operator, hello? Assistance needed!" The dark object made him nervous. Another attempt at calling again to his employers in vain was all he could think to do at this point.
When the glass bust into fragments at the dark object moving down in decent. Firing it's now visible rockets turned to point downwards, John had reacted fast.
The inspector bend over, and shielded his head with his hands as best he could. With what was left of the helicopter accessory, causing him a little confusion at first where to place the hands.
When it was clear, when all of the glass had hit the ocean floor, John then looked up to the dark object. It was a vehicle, some form of car, but looking more powerful than what he drove. Definitely not a product of 1980's visual reconstruction. It was sleek in black & red, the roar of it's rockets and engine, adding a menacing quality to it's being.
The car stopped in the air mere feet from the ground, and the rocket's roar became more intense than they had in descent. Likely John guessed this was their way of maintaining lift by more exuding thrust.
Given the black and red car's overwhelming sound. Other sounds were lost on him.
For the second time in the last few days he felt as if he were deaf, but with different cause for the belief.
Turning away from viewing the machine hovering over him, he noticed something about the wall of water he'd somehow missed before. A fact that had either escaped him, or was now new.
The room was starting to have water drip into it. The wall wasn't containing all of the sea water outside.
With not hearing anything beyond the deafening, blasting rockets, John failed to notice a different matter. The car's front driver's side door was now open.
The driver took care not to land on the Trinity Bomb when jumping down to the ocean floor. Shortly afterwards the driver's pet followed in suit into the hollow space to it's floor.
John didn't know there was a change of any kind till the visitor grabbed him, and turned the inspector to face him.
Pushing the other man away, John took a good look at him. A long red jacket accented with black. Face obscured by a black down turned Downs fedora style hat, and a scarf of the same color. While the outfit he wore looked a little cheesy. John wondered about the one thing with it which wasn't red or black. The medieval looking spiked, clawed glove being worn on one of his hands. It showed signs of dried blood on it.
As the driver's cat proceeded to nose around the room, John asked the man, "Who are you?"
The driver replied in a gravelly voice loudly. "All that is evil bent on destruction. The leader of an organization that leads to criminal world to glory in defeating justice. The man who will succeed where his followers have failed. The bringer of -!"
John cut him off with, "You're the person who runs MAD aren't you?
"I am Doctor Claw!" He stated in a shout which sounded like a growl.
Quickly Doctor Claw was at John again, this time knocking him to the ground, instead of taking the inspector by the shirt.
Eagerly the leader of MAD started to do a task which he had done many times in the past. To bring another to their doom. To deal out warranted death to those he felt deserved it.
Where others working below him failed, he would succeed. He rammed his gloved fist into John's chest and turned it to try, and grind away it's flesh and bone. To stop the man's heart, and do what he must later with it, and the rest of the man's body in study.
He didn't get far.
Beyond taring the shirt under the partially unbuttoned trench coat, and some blood from ripped skin, Claw couldn't go further.
The villain sat confused, and then simply hit the inspector's chest a few times. The sound made wasn't one, one would hear when hitting flesh. The sound heard was that of a metal plate.
"I don't know if I should be deeply self concerned about that or relived." John said turning to Claw, grinning.
While both men got up from the ground. The pet cat now was starting to meow nervously as it paced around the room. The water wall holding together the place now was doing more then letting lose a little of it's water. It was having puddles form quickly around it's base.
"Mad cat assist me!" Doctor Claw shouted at the cat when he noticed the meowing the pet was giving off.
"What are you going to have your fluffy tabby do? Scratch, or bite me to death?" Buttoning up his coat to cover the torn shirt, and ripped skin. John felt amused by the notion that with all the man's agents had tried to do to him in the past. The great leader of MAD now thought a house cat could do him in.
"He has served me well in the past with helping me dispatch men of good and evil alike." Claw replied in the gravelly voice, John now believed must be normal way the man talked in.
The cat didn't comply to his master's command. The animal's only acknowledgment to the command was mournfully crying at the man's feet before running off to the Trinity Bomb.
"Why animals?" John asked looking from the cat to his master.
It was a loaded question Claw knew, and one which the Inspector didn't need the full answer to. Instead what he did was tell him, his basic reasoning. The most primal and black & white reasoning why they were used. "What we humans lack, they have in abundance. The claw and the fang. Instinct and swiftness. The ability to sin without regret and remorse."
As Claw told John his reasoning, Mad cat was trying to jump back into his master's jet-rocket car by bounding off of the Trinity Bomb in giant leaps. Howling all the while, and while doing so looking back to past the two men every so often to look at the room in detail.
The floor was now completely wet with the ocean water from outside the hole.
When Doctor Claw had said what John Heyward thought was the ending sentence of his speech. The Inspector was smirking and feeling like he wanted to laugh. The cat by then could be heard well over the roar of the jet-rockets in the car.
"Less brains granted, but loyal." Was how the leader of MAD chose to end his speech.
Turning his attention away from the Inspector, Claw looked from the Trinity Bomb with jumping cat on top it, to view the underside of his vehicle.
Removing a form of remote control from an interior pocket of his jacket. Doctor Claw pressed a button in it that commanded the hovering car to change.
A slot door opened up beneath it, and a large mechanical claw descended from it. The device John decided looked similar to the robotic interlocking mechanical extension rings used with his arms and legs. If he ever so dared to try, and take a look. He was sure his neck had the same appearance when extended.
The claw moving down to the Trinity Bomb snapped once in the air, sending an odd mechanical ringing through out the hole, before reopening, and then closing down over the bomb, clamping on to it tightly. The feline jumped again at this, but not towards the car aloft in the air. Instead the cat sprung on to his master, and using his claw's clung to the man's jacket.
"Raaooh!" The cat waled as Claw grabbed the animal by it's scruff, and threw it to the ground.
The splash of water wasn't missed by either man. Especially not to the distraught pet that then claw climbed up his master's back now, and bounded off of his hat to the open car door.
Inches of water now covered the surface of the floor.
"You must have broken some form of security seal when you broke the glass!" John shouted to Claw, worried about the notable change in the cavern's circular wall. The fact it was slowly losing it's ability to withhold the whole of the Atlantic Ocean outside it.
The reaction the MAD agent took to the revelation that if they stayed in the hole longer would mean drowning. Was an act which the HAPPY agent saw coming.
In a way that said the man was in no rush, he went back to the Trinity Bomb, and when he had gotten on top it. Pressed another button on his remote. The claw holding it then started ascending back to the awaiting vehicle it was attached to.
The ride given by the mechanical grabbing claw didn't last long to it's rider. As the device holding the bomb got half way back to it's origin, Doctor Claw springed off it, and grabbed hold of the door of the rocket driven, predatorial looking machine. The act of the jump, grab and slide back into the driver's seat, was something John was sure had been practiced many times before. For it's movements had taken very little time.
It told him this wasn't the first time the other man had stolen objects this way. That to the point, he was sure the other man likely thought he could get away with the act. However else could he have gained such an ego for being a villain.
The roaring of the car's rockets then grew louder, and John knew what was taking place.
The machine had to either be stopped, or had it's cargo retrieved. John went for it's cargo. His arms extended with their metal rings moving outwards. Moving the limbs now out over ten times their normal length. They wrapped around the bomb as the car continued it's assent up trough the collapsing hole.
Holding on tight to the prized device the vehicle rocked around a little in the air before with more thrust started pulling upwards harder. This changed the odds in favor of the Inspector. An act he was sure wasn't intended by the leader of MAD. The mechanical claw lost it's grip on the bomb.
In the blink of an eye the Trinity Bomb hit the flooding ocean floor.
A hit from a feather-down pillow was not an accurate description of the bomb's explosion. Nor the most deadly force on the entire planet. If it had been the latter. John would not have even had the ability to contemplate the act. No, what the bomb had done was react in the most basic way such a device could. It produced a pressure blast.
The moment it exploded, Doctor Claw's rocket car was blasted up, and out of the collapsing hole. John got the blast of sudden release of air pressure differently. Where as his nemesis was put out of harm's way. He was thrown into the ocean far beyond the air in the artificially generated hole.
John choked on the sea water, and started swimming as fast as he could back to the little safety the collapsing hole that once contained the now exploded Trinity Bomb offered. It felt like more effort than he was used to.
Was it the shock of the blast, and sudden water pressure baring down on him causing the hard journey, or something different. The thought also hit him, this was the first time he had attempted to swim, post car wreck. Because of what he knew about surgeries having been in the past only a minor recipient of them. He knew he shouldn't expose healing places to much water, a warning he'd heard doctors and nurses say to him before. Given there wasn't much of him unaltered now thanks to multiple teams having worked on him. His body still healing, he had been avoiding much exposure to water.
While he was sure Penny would have eventuality complained about the matter. It had been his intent prior to the house burning down. That for at least one month he wasn't going to attempt to take a shower, or bath. Remembering the old vow brought with it more reasoning to this second line of thought why swimming now was a hard task. The night of the fire, with as hard a time as he was having with dealing with the effects of the cyborg mountain lion's scratch. He remembered Alan's words as the man hefted him outside the house to safety. That the engineer should have constructed him out of lighter alloys. His new altered body could be the reason moving in the water was so hard. Human beings weren't made out of metal.
The thought brought tears to his eyes that were immediately taken into the saltwater.
Finally the effort of the swim paid off. He was back in the hole, or at least what was left of it. The hollow space was quickly disappearing.
Gasping for breath, John tried his best to stay in the diminishing space of air for as long as he could. The currents of water pushing him around wildly. The ocean he felt didn't know what to do. For the first time in years, the space that's science defied the normal laws of physics, was now becoming no more.
As he treaded water as forcefully as he could he noticed it was more than simply his new cyborg body's weight causing swimming harder. This observation was easy to pin down if however one he found strange. His trench coat was inflating.
When he had first put on the garment he felt that it's lining was of some fabric he couldn't identify, but refused to ask O'Momenta about. Given it was a gift, he felt it rude to ask what the coat had been made from. Now he was learning it was indeed something special. Although why she'd ever invent clothes like this, he could only wonder. She was living on an island nation after all. Maybe it was meant as an emergency life jacket of sorts if some one fell from a boat unprepared on the job?
What ever the reasoning, the expanding jacket felt like a curse and a blessing. While it was making it even harder for him to swim. Being able to swim was not as necessary an action as it normally should be.
Then John took notice of another new element to enter the chaos of the moment. What sounded like his temperature alert function, or third brain, was buzzing. Lord he thought to himself, this would be a bad place for his blow torch to activate if some how hitting the trench coat. Then again this wasn't the same alert. Even if it was a similar sensor trying to tell him to attach an attachment to himself to try, and survive the ordeal he was going through. He was no where near enough to his car to open his equipment cases to make the discovery of what he needed.
While the third brain sensor alerted him with buzzing from his right ring finger. This sensor, or at least what he could only assume was a sensor, was buzzing from his left ring finger.
Puzzled by learning he still had much to learn about his new body, thinking over what the alert could mean. He stopped trying to fight the ocean's rage as the hollow space of the hole continued it's collapse further. The ocean while still acting as if it were a wounded beast. Was now nearly filled with water, recovering from the wrong that had been done to it long ago.
For what felt like hours he floated on the surface of the ocean, bobbing in it's waves.
John tried a couple times to call for help, but the act was futile. The inflated coat was preventing the movement of him reaching for his internal phone in his hand. Other matters that added to the hours passing with slowness, was attempts to get the time. He learned from voice command over himself, he did indeed have a built in watch, but he couldn't read it.
Alan and his team had given him the device right where one would expect to find a watch. The gadget was built right into his left whist, he had felt the slot open. Sadly again what was preventing him from calling for help, also was causing him not to be able to check the time.
Through the hours he lay on his back staring up at the sky, the buzzing continued. He for a short while wished it would stop until realizing what that would mean. It was powered some how by him. If he ceased to be, that would then be the reason the buzzing would stop.
He wondered if this would have been the result if he had not left his companions back in Stanley. Would his Niece Penny have been able to help? Was she really the potential victim he felt she could be? The teenager had spunk, more of it than he wished was there. It had led her to trouble more times he was sure of than what he knew of. Whether that be more then his sister had told him of over the years about the girl, and what he had personally witnessed from her after taking her in. That spunk, the spark in her personality how ever as much trouble as it was. Was how she made it in the world. Maybe she with, her mind being not as morally abiding as his, would have helped him deal with the leader of MAD differently?
Could his cheshire cat co-worker Alan have helped him, if he had not forced his stay back on the island? The man was smart but also impulsive, and also loony. Being what John suspected was unsound in his mind, the other man. Alan was a dangerous mad man. No, he just thought he was a superhero. That craziness was a matter, John wanted to dismiss as delusional fantasy. An opinion he was now forced to deny. The nut had helped save his life. John had in fact witnessed proof beyond his own construction, the man was an engineering genius. He had made what looked to be a length of cloth, turned cape into a superpower giving clothing accessory. How he would have dealt with Doctor claw, had John thinking of actions he thought would normally only have a basis in the reality of comic books & cartoons.
As the sky darkened with the coming of night, the twilight brought change to his seclusion. A sound grew louder in his ears. It went in and out of hearing as the waves of water around him, splashed around his head. One moment a loud mechanical humm, and the next moment spulp, one moment humming and the next moment splop.
When the noise was growing so loud, John could even hear it with his ears submerged in the sea water. The source of the sound shown a light on to him. It was a helicopter, and at that a familiar looking one. Watching it hover in the sky, he wondered if it was the same exact one he'd last seen in Antarctica. The massive vehicle was labeled H.A.P.P.Y, some how his employer had found him.
A door slid open on it's side, and with that more familiarly jumped to his mind. Faces he had been wondering for the last few hours if he'd ever see again.
"Baah ha ha ha ha ha!" Penny couldn't contain her laughter at the sight of her uncle bobbing on the water like a strange looking inflatable.
"Have some maturity, Penny." Alan chided the girl as he tried to restrain himself from laughing. Simultaneously giving her a nudge hit in one of her shoulders to sharpen his request of her.
"Do you like the trench coat, Inspector!?" Nikki O'Momenta questioned him shouting as she let a rope latter drop down from the open doorway, to the ocean below.
"It's fine! Wonderful, a life saver! Please help me up!" He had not needed to shout his reply, but after the countless hours he had spent alone drifting in the ocean, it felt necessary. Ms. O'Momenta was more than half way down the latter to him when he had said his answer. Well within her earshot range.
Reaching John finally, Nikki tried her best to hold on to the latter, and help him at the same time.
Trying not to fall into the water as she did the act, she grabbed hold of the front of his coat, and pressed it's top button right below his chin. The air burst the garment let out felt like a good start to getting dry again. To Ms. O'Momenta, it was the thing that finally made her lose her restraint. All she did was giggle as her hair fell back into her face from having it shoot upwards in the blast.
"Take my hand." She requested as he then, finally able to move, reached up to take her invitation.
On board the helicopter, John once being handed a towel looked between them all as he started drying himself off.
"What happened?" Was the only question he could think to voice off the bat.
He had more questions, but one was answered without words. Sitting beside Alan was some kind of GPS unit with a variety of buttons and knobs on it. John couldn't fathom what they were for, except one. When the engineer pressed one of it's buttons, John's buzzing alert signal than had been droning on for hours finally stopped it's noise.
"You didn't think you could get rid of me that easily could, you Uncle?" Penny said smiling as she leaned back in the curving wall of the craft's cabin they were in.
"Once I convinced the people, you um insisted see me, there wasn't anything wrong with me. Ms. O'Momenta mentioned to me that you had been gone too long. We got worried, and started your tracking signal software to find you." Alan stated with at first a glare at John that softened by the end of his sentence with a light smile.
"The car ran out of gas, and - and I encountered Doctor Claw. He's the man behind MAD." As John explained what had happened to a point, he started turning his head around, looking about the cramped cargo hold.
"Where is Brain?" John continued, wondering what had happened to the poor mutt. Why he wasn't present with them.
"Taken into care by HAPPY. They have veterinarians on staff too. Some agents have service animals, and they help them out." The girl looked emotionally down as she said the statement. While it was a good thing what the agency was doing for her pet, she didn't like the separation from the K9.
"Hopefully he's still a dog when you get him back, and not a robot." John said to her giving her a grin as he did so.
She readied herself to throw a seat cushion at her relative, when the helicopter's pilot finally broke the discussion at hand, relieving John of the fear he was about to be clobbered by his niece. She had stopped with her arm bent backwards ready for the toss when the man asked. "What ever happened to the bomb, sir?"
For a moment he didn't want to answer the question. Because in a sense at least one reasoning of a sense, he had failed his mission. On the plus side though, MAD had not gotten a hold of it, at least for long that was. He had put a stop to that. How ever now it was permanently un-retrievable.
John looked at Alan for a moment, and then towards the front of the craft where the pilot sat, almost unseen to him.
"Sir, is such a non-formal way to address me. Please call me Inspector Gadget, and what happened to the bomb takes some explaining."
To John the week him and his niece Penny spent at the Lexington Hotel felt like times he almost wished weren't coming to an end.
The stay had been paid for by HAPPY. They knew what had happened to his home in detail. A matter the inspector wasn't thrilled to relay the details about, but knew he had to. That among the many gadgets installed in him, all of them resources they decided he would need use of in their employment of him. The torch being one of those devices, they knew unless they compensated for his loss they would never live it down. That, and Alan had relayed to them, his legal protests of actions he wanted to take against them.
HAPPY's compensation wasn't just the hotel stay. John thought smiling to himself as he packed up his belongings. It was also a new home. In a sense any way new that is.
His new employer he noticed had a trend of how it made changes to make things happen.
They with all their resources could have just made a robot or android to do the work of an inspector. Instead they looked at which suckers er people, they had roped into their health care system, and saw who fit the bill best for the work. Then waited for the worst, and changed him into what they needed.
For his transportation, again in a sense the same thing. They likely had found the 1983 Toyota Supra in a junk yard. Cleaned it up, and changed it into something different than it had been. Like him, almost like him, as he remembered the top of his head, he now liked to continuously cover with a Ragtime styled fedora hat. Nothing different showed it's self to be out of the ordinary about the machine. Yet both him and the car were high tech. Both loaded with machinery which he knew would catch any normal criminal off guard in their usage.
The trend HAPPY had shown with him and his car now was going to become yet another big part of his life. They had found him a new home, but before he moved into it, they were going to change it.
With his belongings packed as well as Penny's, he headed out of the hotel room. His left hand held his suit case. His right hand held Penny's suit case. His middle hand from the robotic arm in his chest, pocketed the room's key card into his long coat.
Looking down at her new tablet computer, Penny worked on forced school homework.
She had already done all the make up work she needed to that had been missed while she had taken adventure leave to help out on the case days ago. This was new work. this had been forced on her by her Uncle talking to her school about needing more constructive ways to spend her time.
It had been done to her as a type of revenge for following him on his mission. The odd thing was, Penny knew. He actually loved her for it. What only showed on the surface with her Uncle John, every one saw, was concern. Exactly what the man wanted to show. Deep inside however by how he'd been treating her the last few days told her otherwise.
While the school work annoyed her, she was grateful for the distraction. She missed Brain. The dog's care with the vets working for HAPPY, was taking more time than she could bare to be apart from the mutt. Penny had been told they had never encountered a case like his. That the dog's mind and senses were being used to relay information wirelessly as an unwitting spy. They did discover how to change the animal's brain back to normal. she just hoped not too normal for a dog.
Discovering Brain's ability to think as he always had, was a matter she was about to find out about.
As she sat on the side of the small walk path of cultivated nature, a short while from the hotel's pool, doing her work. The employee / driver meant to take her and her uncle to their new home, was having trouble with his charge.
Brain was pulling so hard on his leash, the man could barely keep his hands on it. The dog knew his master was near the moment the van had stopped. When they headed out of the door to the vehicle, that's when the driver's fun time started with him.
Penny looked up from the computer, and saw the K9 at the gate leading to the pool area. Brain was happily standing on his hind legs, pawing at the fence, eager to join her. The driver that had his leash was bent over catching his breath. Grateful that the animal had stopped running.
"You can come in here, its ok!" Penny exclaimed putting down her work, and slapping her legs to indicate she wanted him to move to her.
The driver watched in shock as the dog started grabbing the latch to the fence in his mouth. Then from there held it in the paw of one foreleg, and bent it down. Brain had opened the pool area's gate. The man's dragging was about to begin again.
He gave up.
Brain ran to Penny with the leash sliding and skipping along behind him. When the dog made it to her, he knocked her and her computer off the rock they had been sitting on. She smiled, and just let the dog lick her as she hugged him. Both over joyed to see each other.
"How have you been?" She asked the mutt still hugging him.
The hug had to break when Brain saw his best true way to communicate to her. There was magic paper by them with a document already on it's surface, awaiting his typing.
When Brain had finished writing his message to her, she smiled broader than before. This was more proof the vets had not changed every thing back to normal for the dog. While he may not be a spy any more, he was still intelligent. The message on the computer screen was:
"Lots of people. Nice people looked after me. Wasn't fond of the treatment for a time. It reminded me of the old days before you. In a cage, forced sleep times. Now no more nightly intruder. The good people brought me back to you. New magic paper?"
"I lost my, and I've told you this before. It's called a computer. This is a replacement one to the one I lost in the fire." She giggled as she told the pet the information, taking him in for another hug.
"I see Brain appears to be ok now." John said interrupting the moment, as he stood a few feet away from them, taking in the scene.
"It's time to go?" Penny asked, still in the upside down position she had fallen into when Brain ran into her. The dog still nuzzling & licking her, as she looked into the leafs of a bush almost over her head.
"Van's here, Penny. That's how the former spy dog got here. Time to go." John pulled the dog off her, and she sat up as he uttered the words.
"Has Alan revealed to you anything about this place?" She asked standing up.
As they walked to the gate, John told Penny all he knew about the home. Alan had not told either of them much. The man had been staying in the hotel, but not as much as them. Most of the engineer's time had been spend at the site where the house was being worked on. He was the team supervisor. Him and his secrecy, John wondered what the man had been cooking up the last few days.
All that the agent had revealed was it was still a home on the outskirts of Metro City, like before with their old home. The place looked to be 40 or 50 years old, but it's paint and up keeping over time well hid that age fact. That the neighborhood was nice, and rarely had crime happen in it.
When they arrived at the house, the parking of the van was forced to the street side. The drive way was filled with utility and contractor vehicles, plus a sight not seen since John was in the Atlantic Ocean. The modded Supra or Gadgetmobile, as he was now starting to call it was there. It now looked like a car again, windows repaired, and was dry as a bone.
The house looked great from it's outside. Two stories, same as before. With a yellow coat of paint instead of white which as a change. Silver Maple trees instead of Littleleaf Lindens. A short stone patio before the front door, instead of a long cement brick step to the same place.
All where eager to check out the new home, but Brain led the charge with no leash on him now.
When the dog ran across the nicely cut grass of the yard, past the patio, and in through a doggy door built low into the house's front door. A loud alarm sounded within seconds of the pet's entry into the residence.
John and Penny both at the same moment started running for the house. For them just the simple knowledge the dog had triggered some form of home security, worried them both immensely.
As they entered the house the siren sounding alert ended. Brain sat looking up at them while a man in a plumber's outfit held his collar. It was Alan who had shut off the alarm. The noise ended as he tapped in a code sequence to a numerical pad attached to the wall by the door they had entered.
"I think your home security system needs some tweaking, Alan. Brain shouldn't be setting it off I think." John said looking between the engineer and the doggy door.
"It's a bug that needs fixing, I know. But think about it we don't want any wild animals entering the place? Remember the last time that happened?" Alan's cheshire cat smile returned as he spoke the reply.
Continuing he motioned out his hands and arms to indicate the home at large. "Welcome to your new home Inspector Johnathan Heyward a.k.a Inspector Gadget. This place has build into it every modern high tech convenience you could ask for and more!"
"What kind of more?" John asked hesitantly.
"Ummm, say ask the house for something?" Alan grinned as he answered the question.
"Your grinning." Now John felt worried.
"No need to worry, I'm sure Brain setting off house security is the only bug. Go on try something. Oh, and it's voice command here works some what like how it does on yourself and the car. I'm sure you can guess the code activator by that." As he made his request to John, he sat down in a near by chair, taking to it backwards to face the group.
With reluctance John complied. "Go go house cleaning, um maid?"
shouts of surprise resounded through out the domicile as workers got shocked by the reaction the building gave to the command. Flattened, domed robots through near hidden doors emerged from their resting places, and started running around the house. Some looked to be vacuum cleaners. Some had small arms that had attachments on them of dusters, dust pans, spray bottles, and brushes.
The little machines scampered about quickly cleaning all the dirt their sensors could detect. Once done they moved as quickly as they could back into their normally hidden compartments in the home's walls. When this activity ended Alan asked, "what do you think?"
"I think I could get use to this." John answered smiling.