Inspector Gadget: The Rogue and The Jackal
Written by: Erin Weinstock
"Uncle, you can open your eyes now." The teenage girl named Penny Heyward said turning to her Uncle John sitting in the front passenger seat beside her.
John hesitantly opened his eyes, and leaned forward to look to the front of the car to eye it's distance to the following car before it. Then to look out the window nearest to him. Noting the side of the car's closeness to vehicles to that side. Then he made a request to the car.
"Go go Gadgetmobile sunroof."
The car complied and opened it's sunroof. Within moments John, Inspector to the national global protectorate named H.A.P.P.Y., Which stood for:
Was inspecting the car from yet another angle. Using the robotic implants in his spine, his neck extended it's self to allow his head to rise well above the sunroof to view around the car.
The vehicle, John noted with relief was not touching any other parked car on his niece's side of it.
"Penny, if I knew a convention focusing on Chinese culture would draw in a crowd like this. I don't think I'd have let you use this drive for practice. However good job. I'm shocked given the circumstance ..um well." He blushed as he said the words, lowering his head and neck back into the car. Returning them to their normal positioning on his body.
"Thanks Uncle." She said with an amount of displeasure as she checked her pocketbook for her convention ticket. To then unlock the driver's side door.
When they were both out of the modified 1983 Toyota Supra, and walking across the parking lot to the hotel & convention center. John openly started to question his long thought assumption about what they were about to be entering.
"I'm starting to think this might be the wrong place. Either that, or I've greatly mistaken what Alan told me about the event going on here." The questioning came by way of what he saw entering the building with them.
There were people in outfits not Oriental Chinese looking at all. Hooded robed men, carrying lightsaber toys which didn't look to be cheaply made. Some wearing gold, blue, and red shirts with black pants. Their shirts branded with an upward shooting star insignia. Others wearing tan outfits which had jackets with an odd series of pyramids stacked in a patch on them. Their close company, being people dressed head to toe in shining bulky metal. Mask slash helmets covering their faces to the point, John wasn't sure how they could see out of them.
Penny laughed before grabbing her ticket from the pocketbook, and replying to him. "You really really didn't listen to him about this scene today did you?"
"I heard him say him & Chief Quimby are at it, and he can't locate the chief. A matter of he's sure the man has an assignment for me, and is being unreachable about it, and is disguised somehow here." John answered as he fished in one of his jacket pockets for his ticket to get into the convention.
Nearly at the door to the building when locating the ticket finally. He guessed why his superior might be hard to find in the crowd.
"Penny, you don't think he's dressed like one of these weird folks do you?" John questioned her.
"Hey, we're not weird! We are enthusiasts to what we enjoy." The shout of exclamation came from a man with a woman. As the two of them handed in their tickets to a person in a booth at the hotel's entrance.
He had over heard the Inspector, and John wasn't sure how exactly to reply to him except for saying. "Your lady friend is covered in green paint."
"Orion Slave Girl, and you?" Again John wasn't sure what to say. This time to the woman accompanying the man, to her proclamation and question of him.
A short time into the awkward silence Penny grabbed her uncle's ticket from him. "I'll get us checked in." she said as she took the initiative to get them into the building.
After being handed a badge black and white with clip, labeling him an attendee, from Penny. John questioned himself, and despite low voice, his niece heard him.
"What sort of event is this Dragon Convention?" He asked.
"You really know nothing about the nerdier side of society do you, Uncle John? Penny asked him, smiling.
As the teenage girl counted her money she had just sprung out of her purse. John in a half shout said what to every one else was a clear fact. "It's a festival meant for geeks!"
He looked at Penny still puzzled, but now for a much different reason. "You're planning on buying something here?" He questioned her.
"Yeah, I want to see if I can score some celebrity autographs. Some of the cast of Serenity slash Firefly is here. Brain wants an autograph too. Not sure what he sees in Third Rock from the Sun, but some of it's former cast members are here too."
"You have fun. I'm going to try and spot the Chief." John said looking from her to then around the lobby of the building.
"Do you know what movies and shows he enjoys? You're probably right that he might be dressed up. The reason Alan can't locate him, past his cell phone might be turned off." Penny asked him, and then started looking around the room herself eying the other attendees with him.
"Do you think he could be that one there in the black rubber suit with that long head piece?" He was hoping maybe she knew what these people were dressed as better then him in knowledge.
While he knew what the chief looked like. He only knew what he looked like in normal clothes and dress clothes. Currently he felt somewhat dumbfounded by the scene before him, and wasn't quite sure what to make of the people he was seeing. He felt embarrassed by this, but hoped this lack of proper detective judgment. A key part of his job as an inspector. Was something for the moment she wouldn't think too deeply on. Hopefully not a matter she'd laugh at him for new reasoning today over added to his not knowing at first what sort of place he was stepping into.
"No, he isn't that skinny." Penny replied evenly.
"What about the one dressed as the blue robot?" It felt like another stab in the dark as he ask the question.
"Too short." Was Penny's slightly sounding bemused answer.
"Then what about the one dressed as the orange robot near him?" He knew Penny wasn't capable of taking much more of this, as he asked the question. He knew she once in a while had answers he didn't, but if he didn't get the guess right with this last stab. She was just going to poke fun at him, and really leave him to ponder this alone.
"You're kidding, likely a twin of the blue one. They're the same height," was her answer.
She didn't leave him, so he was at least half way right about something.
"You are a total newbie to cons aren't you, long coat." A person that for a change of role had singled him out, paused looking at him.
"Say what is your cosplay? It has to be something?" Is what the person finally asked when taking a closer look at him.
Was it a man or woman in the head to toe suit that made them look like a pink wolf, John couldn't tell. What he did know was he had to do an act fast to save face in front of everyone knowing he didn't belong there. Even Penny who by now still had not left his side. But had just put one of her hands over her face to then shake her head.
He reached a decision he hoped was the right one to what he was now joking to himself was an alien situation to be in.
These people were all pretending to be creatures of fantasy and science fiction. He on the other hand was the world's only true human cyborg. If he revealed that fact, maybe just maybe it would draw out the chief. After all the man wasn't fond of the Inspector showing people he was different. Likely, he would try, and put a stop to the action if noticed.
"A cyborg from the planet Lettuce Head." He stated as he grew a few inches by extending his legs and neck a little. Followed shortly by his arms lengthening some, his third arm with attached hand emerging from his chest. His gadgets built into his arms revealing themselves from concealment. The gadgets in his hands revealing outwards from their former hiding places as well.
This caused the pink wolf to faint. Some screaming from some of the near by attendees. Some hoots of applauding from still other attendees. Plus Some one that called convention security as John soon discovered within minutes after the act was done.
Finding what the convention staff affectionately called the brig wasn't too hard. What was hard was step two as Louis and Terry called it.
"I don't think it can be done. Killing Heyward minus weapons. You know this is an impossible task, Terry." Louis said as he and Terry peered from around a bend in the wall that gave them a view of the brig room's entrance.
"Well I want to be a member of the Elite for MAD. You want it too, you're just not as driven as I am for the goal." As Terry told Louis his thoughts in reply. He slipped out from standing to the side of the wall to standing fully in the walkway of the hotel convention center's second floor.
"You'll be spotted! Get back here!" Louis half shouted at his co-worker and friend, noticing the action. "We'll get a arrested unless you think this through right! Do you want jail again!?" was how he continued, grabbing Terry by his shirt collar, and back to the wall.
"There are what looks to be a thousand people here. Surely not all of them, in fact I bet only the Inspector and his niece know who we are. So no worries." Terry spoke his statement of confidence sounding prideful in his logic.
Before he could return to being in better view of the other attendees and staff in the area. Hearing a voice near by stopped him in his tracks. "Guys he's no harm to any one here. There must be some misunderstanding I'm sure." Told the unseen owner of the voice.
"I know that voice." Louis said in a low voice, and taking in a deep breath. As he started to show fear at the inclination he was sure he was right about.
Attempting to discover if the guess was right. Terry peeked out in the direction it had come from. The action was almost too late to miss seeing the suspect man enter the room.
"Is it him?" The question at first showed fear, Louis felt about if he was right. If it was Alan Engenis, who he had just heard talking. However by it's end when Terry snapped him a look of concern, the tone had become more bold sounding.
"All I caught was the man's back going into the room. The person was wearing a cape, but that means nothing in a place like this. All these people are nuts, and you shouldn't be afraid of the man even if it is him!" Shaking his head, Terry finally let go of his own fear firmly now.
"I don't care what Doctor Claw says. I'm going to lie. I'm going to steal one of those real blades I've noticed some of these freaks wearing. That will give me an edge in taking him out." Terry said as he left the hiding spot, not even looking back at Louis as he did so.
Thinking that it was unbelievable what was going on the grunt for MAD, Louis slunk down the wall into a crouch. "He's going to get himself killed, and I'll be to blame for it." He said in shock looking outwards towards the cut patch of open space which centered downwards through the hotel near him.
"Does this man have something to do with your panel, ?" Asked a lady of the convention staff in the brig room.
John turned his gaze from the ground which he'd been staring at since when he gave up attempting to explain himself to her and her volunteer co-workers. The last twenty minutes had been nothing but silence since.
While he had told them he meant no harm to any one there. They had not believed him. He was an unknown factor to keeping the convention safe and friendly.
Telling them he was an officer of the law didn't help & neither did telling them he was there to try and find his superior. What finally helped get them to calm down a little was him telling them, he did know one of his
co-workers could be located at the convention, and in fact was part of it. That the co-worker was doing some part to help out, and was the source of information over the missing chief.
What that was exactly Alan was there for, John was not totally sure on. At the house, the other man had been excitedly babbling about making a presentation about HAPPY. It's when the man started talking tech talk, the Inspector had tuned him out. Tech talk to him felt like the talk the man used on him when he had hurt his components, and needed examining. Talk of gears, circuits, and relays he would rather not think about in his body. Tech talk as far as John was concerned was an unwelcome topic, he was grateful he could tune out. The only reason he enjoyed the mute function he could activate to his hearing.
Only now it was that he looked at Alan, and wondered anew why he was here. Yes, John knew it had to do with HAPPY, but that didn't explain his clothes. He was wearing the cape he had created that gave him real superpowers. A fact the Inspector had once thought that before seeing it in action with the other man, thought he was delusional about. It had no place on him here John thought. It's place was once in a while when he was on a case, and the man was accompanying him. It was then in that case only brought out when Alan felt the danger, justified it's use. This fact John knew had to be questionable because of odd reports he had heard from the neighbors around where he lived. He was sure the cape had been put on at least a few times cause of those reports, just to have fun flying.
What also puzzled John about the man's appearance was his chest. A glowing white disc just below it's surface which was giving Alan the appearance, he too was a cyborg like himself.
"Alan, they think I'm making up everything you told me about the chief being here." John told the man, standing up from his chair.
"Is what this man telling us, true? Because it sounds a little hard to swallow." Came the response of the lady connected to the convention staff.
"I think the Chief might have lost his phone either that, or he's avoiding both of us. Do you have a lost and found?" Alan questioned her, putting both his hands casually in his pants pockets, thumbs out.
"We had one phone brought to our attention a couple of hours ago. Something tells me a Chief working for an international protection agency, wouldn't have a phone with a shell on it boasting My Little Pony." Was her reply to him.
After trying not to laugh, Alan finally responded to her, and in mid sentence turned to John at the same time. "If Chief Quimby is a Brony, it's news to me. How about you?"
"What is a Brony?" John replied.
Alan finally let out a laugh before adding, now turning his attention back to the staff. "Every thing Inspector John Heyward is saying is true, and you don't have to worry about him except his lack of knowledge over everything geek related."
"May I go now?" John asked slowly heading towards the door to the room, and at the same time towards the direction Alan & the staff lady were at.
"Just don't do any sort of demonstration like what you did in the lobby earlier, and we'll be fine with you here. It's un-nerving to all of us even if we clearly enjoy what is normally just fantasy." The staff woman answered as he reached the door.
John at this wanted to say a few comments to her, but decided against it.
Open minded? Too open minded? That is what he had started to think about the people attending the convention, when it had really dawned on him what it was. People who wanted a different slice of life that wasn't reality. People who liked to embrace what was different and generally not accepted as normal. He wasn't normal, and their treatment of him didn't seem well warrantied.
For fear anything he said would instead of the confinement of the brig room, would actually get him kicked out of the hotel slash convention center. That his own minor actions would keep him from doing such a small needed act of finding his superior for his next job. That was his reasoning not to say the words going through his mind at that moment. The female wording for a dog was not the right word to say to her, among other words he was thinking of.
"Listen, I'm sure you'll locate the chief eventually. I have a panel I need to attend to shortly. Why don't you try, and enjoy this in trying to locate him? Discover where Penny is for another?" Alan stated to John, as the two of them stopped to look down on the first floor. The wood lined railing to a short glass barrier, being their support as both men gripped it in the view.
"This isn't my kind of place, you know that. Remember, how I never watch those kinds of films you, her, and Brain enjoy? The lack of comic books in my library? I own real books, not fake ones. Besides, I have a good idea where Penny is right now." Feeling a little embarrassed he paused before asking the question in relation to Penny's where-a-bouts. "Who is a mister Fillion? She said she was about to get in line for his autograph when I last saw her."
Putting a hand on one of John's shoulders, Alan answered the reply with concern shown towards the other man. "You really should watch what your kid is watching. I need to get going."
"One question before you go" John shot at him, as Alan took his hand off John's shoulder.
"Fast." Came Alan's reply.
John could tell, his co-worker was now a little annoyed at him.
"We aren't in danger here, so you don't need the cape. Also unless you've decided to alter yourself. I don't know what that circle of light is on your chest. What is it all for?" He couldn't withhold the questioning of the man's attire any more, answers had to come.
The answers he wanted unfortunately didn't come. Alan's reply was fast, and for the reasoning John guessed was his lack of time to answer properly. The answer that came felt slightly rude. "John, sometimes I pity you."
At this Alan started going down the steps to the first floor.
After John watched him go out of sight, and he assumed towards the one of the meeting rooms there unseen to him from his vantage point of looking at the floor below. According to the schedule that had been given to him in a small gift bag at check in. Alan's panel was indeed starting in a short while. "The Super Technologies of Tomorrow: A H.A.P.P.Y. Q & A of What is to Come." Was the title of his event. The man had five minutes till he was needed at it. The Inspector felt the need to follow him.
Not that he wondered what the co-worker would be telling people about. John had no interest in that. What did hit him was the reasoning Chief Quimby might be there at the panel.
Sure, he was not one of it's speakers. To John's knowledge only Alan was speaking. No, he guessed Quimby might be in the audience watching what was said by the other HAPPY agent. The chief had always shown concern about the Engineer's actions since John had first witnessed them together. Surely he reasoned, this open talk about HAPPY in public had to be of new concern to the chief. If Alan stepped out of line, the Inspector's instincts told him Chief Quimby would surely show up to put a stop to it.
It wasn't hard to steal the blade from the surprised man dressed as some form of alien with ridges going up his head. It wasn't hard to catch the Inspector by surprise either.
Having slowly made his way down the steps to the first floor. John had been hugging the wall as he looked at a map showing the floor plans of the convention layout. All the man's attention had been focused on that, and the descent down the stairs. Not the possibility of what to him would be an unexpected, and what Terry hoped most, a fatal encounter.
The impact of the weapon shocked John. It ripped through the map he was carrying, but fortunately not him, or even his clothes for that matter. Terry noticing this tried stabbing the Inspector over and over with the blade. Despite it looking futile, he didn't feel like giving up on it.
"I remember you." was all John could think to say at first. The attacks with the quote un quote weapon were annoying him, but that was as far as that went. If the other man was actually hurting him. Other words of greeting would have been John's first choice of striking up a conversation with the MAD agent.
"How?! Why?" Terry said in a drawn out way. The one worded questions being uttered as he withdrew the blade, and stared at it in horrified astonishment.
"It's fake. You know weapons aren't allowed at this." The man with the ridged forehead by makeup said angrily, grabbing the blade back from Terry.
All eyes of the other attendees and passing guests were focused on the formerly attacking MAD agent & victim HAPPY agent. Again John was the center of the attention, but this time not at him causing it.
This time though, convention security was near by, and While no one was called to the scene to take care of it. They had discovered fast what had taken place. The crowd had started to laugh at Terry after the blade had been grabbed back by it's owner. That had attracted their attention, looking out to the floor below from the guard rail lining the second floor's walk way.
Soon a group joined the formerly robbed man. All with the same look of ridged heads. A comment made from the tallest, found Terry suddenly more embarrassed by the failed attempt to kill his prey. His mission, the same one as his friend Louis, in a job here. Kill Inspector Jonathan Heyward.
On so many levels Terry knew it would help him in his career with MAD. Sadly this was now a failed mission, or was it.
"Never mess with a Klingon." Said the tallest of them boldly.
Terry glared at John without looking at the person he assumed was the group's leader.
"When did you get out of jail? Or even make it into the United States for that matter?" John questioned him, still annoyed. The Inspector turning his attention from the would be assassin to his torn map as he gave the questions.
Growling was the only reply Terry could think to give John.
Balling his fists ready to strike the HAPPY agent, Terry got stopped short of the action.
"Maybe lying is the better course of action here. Do you know how many people are watching you?" Louis asked grabbing Terry's swinging arm as he tried to attack again.
"Both of you here!" John had not really taken notice of Louis's approach till he had spoken. The last time he had not only last encountered Terry Skinie, but also Louis Largoe. Was months back during his first mission for HAPPY.
Terry had been the first of the pair he had really interacted with on that first mission. He had been in the rear of a stolen tow truck, talking John into what he later learned was a trap.
Louis on the other hand had hit him with a weapon that after the mission was over, he discovered was called an Electro Nerve Pulse or ENP gun. It had made him virtually helpless to help himself out of the danger the two men had placed him in. Louis stuck in John's mind better of the pair. While the skinnier and taller man had been met first. It was the bulky more muscled one that stuck aside from the gun shot. He had carried him over to a table where he was going to do surgery to him that John was grateful never came to pass. He had also been very vocal about hating his niece Penny's pet dog, Brain. Plus had given John an interesting memory of watching Alan kick the snot out of him, in rescuing the inspector. An odd memory to say the least considering he had watched the event happen with his head on the floor, viewpoint upside down.
"I'm not as desperate to kill you as he is." Louis growled as by the arm he dragged Terry away from the inspector.
Given the MAD agent had failed in the attempt on John's life, and his co-worker was hauling him away. The HAPPY agent puzzled over what the next action should be?
Arrest the men? First thought, but nothing had happened except a toy dagger that had been stolen, being reclaimed by it's owner after a short while. He had not been hurt at all, and the only damage done was to a cheaply printed map of the hotel & convention center's layout. Not a big loss when he really thought about that. The only purpose it served as far as he saw it was locating the meeting room, Alan would be using in short time for his public talk about HAPPY. Given the time he had to study it. He was sure he had the location memorized. Other reasoning to have the map? Nothing he could think of. This festival for geeks was not his idea of a good time, and Penny knew where to meet him at the end of the day.
Detaining the men for Chief Quimby to decide what to do with them? This wasn't a matter he liked. He was forbidden from using his gadgets in any way here. Unless ...
John craned his head backwards and upwards so as to look up to the second floor. Making sure while doing so, not to use his robotic neck extensions at all.
The convention staff that had witnessed the attack answered the question on his mind to a point when they noticed him looking at them. The lady that ran the brig shouted at him the simple answer of "no." Then a second shout came from one of her colleagues, this one directed at the pair of MAD agents leaving the scene.
"Leave here and don't return! No violation of convention policies will be tolerated!"
Feeling nervous about what he was about to do felt a little out of place to Alan.
He had given talks before to groups, but those had not been to people not in his field of work. Those had been small lectures to co-workers over how to do their jobs, or how to improve their work. What he was thinking could be done to solve a dilemma in engineering.
These people he doubted had the degrees he did. But they did have the same drive he did over what could be, and would be given effort. Working for HAPPY allowed him access to tools and the funds he needed for making things happen. Projects those he was watching take seats before, him likely thought only existed in the pages of science fiction books. He just hoped whatever expectations they might have of what he had been planning to say, weren't over the top.
As he contemplated the great idea he had thought up over a month prior to this day. The thought of if he did a panel, he could get into the convention for free. The feeling of his stomach dropping as the minutes passed leading up to his presentation, grew until he noticed something out the corner of his eye.
Entering the room was John. The engineer straightened in his chair watching John take a seat four rows from the front where he was.
The Inspector's presence made the difference beyond what he had chosen to wear that day.
The cape project had been openly mocked at by anyone he knew personally and professionally for ages while it was being worked on. So much laugher and mean pokes had been given to him that after a while he decided not to tell people directly what it was he was making. That was up until he got to formally talk to John. When they had first met, John had not even been aware of Alan's presents. He had met the inspector while the man was under heavy general anesthetic. John was in an unstable state from having just been flown in from a car wreck. The man was at near death, and him & the team under his command. Plus a woman named Eda Venture & the team under her command. Both teams took to work fast to not only ensure they were saving a life, but also doing their orders of creating a HAPPY super agent. John was living proof to Alan he wasn't bad at what he did. It didn't help that the Inspector thought he was crazy. When he felt that he could reveal his project that would grant him his own superpowers, but that passed. Due to a bad event happening shortly after that revealing of information. John learned what others had called an insane pipe dream, truly wasn't.
He smiled at John. John pressed himself back more into his seat at noticing the expression on the other man's face. Added with the engineer trying to wave him to the front where he was.
Recognizing that the inspector must think he was about to lay something on him, he'd not enjoy. Alan got up from his seat behind the fold up long table he had been sitting behind, to walk over to John.
"Join me please. I think it would help my presentation." Alan asked in an insistent half whisper to John. That while voicing the request had him standing at an awkward bend position of leaning in from the third line of seating to the forth line to speak to the man.
"Al - Alan, I'm not here for you exactly. I'm here for the Chief. I'm sure he will be showing up to sit in on your presentation." John stated knowing that while truth be told, it wasn't what the other man wanted to hear. A truth that certainly given the noticed emotional state the other man was in, couldn't have helped matters.
Disappointed, Alan put his hands behind his back, and locked them together. The walk back to his seat behind the table marked with a motion John had learned meant the man was preparing for some abrupt action of a likely subtle motion. The man was fidgeting with his fingers.
When he sat down, after taking note of the time. John learned what the other man had been planning on doing. His introductory speech to the audience gathered before him could not the Inspector believed. Couldn't have been the formally prepared one. At least not all of it.
"So before I begin here on talking about what technology HAPPY. That is an acronym people, not a mood. The incredible technology being developed at where I work. I have to say some of you have some amazing cosplay you've done. Tell me are any of you secretly here undercover? MAD or HAPPY agents, some times that makes talking about this stuff hard, when certain crowds are watching!" Alan couldn't help but nervously laugh by the end of his speech.
No one answered back, and turning pale, he dimmed the room's lights for a projector to have better lighting, that linked to his laptop. The setup aimed at the wall behind him.
Given failure to lure out the missing Chief the Inspector thought might be present, Alan went straight into his planned talk. This covered the very basic to what HAPPY did which was public knowledge, John noted. Just not one detail Alan had made sure to skip over. The cover it used as a cheap health insurance provider.
Alan caught the dirty look John had given him at the end of the introduction over the organization both of them worked for. As far as why the look had been given. The engineer tried to brush it off fast, and continue to the next part of his lecture. Talking about what kind of technologies they relied on. Communication simplified to a network of satellites, that worked through a group of operators. No cell towers or complex international dialing codes. Robotic surveillance using drones that didn't fly. Instead they wheeled around low to the ground in camouflage, using suspension treads developed for use in extra planetary NASA probes. Mechanical transformation using soft, flexible, metal alloys developed by them. The engineer stressed what that meant thinking the crowd would enjoy the ramifications it meant to that science fiction loving crowd. It meant machines like real robots in disguise could now be built.
When asked if such a thing had in fact been made already by himself at HAPPY. Alan replied with saying it had only at that point been applied to revamping a car once only junk. That now had use by one of their special agents.
After the car was talked about to some extent, Alan started talking about projects in development. Some John had heard Alan talk about around the home in excitement. Some John had not heard about, and he wondered to which reasoning why had he not had heard the enthusiastic engineer talk about them. There could only be two explanations behind it.
1: He had simply muted the conversation out. Meaning it wasn't a matter he had just ignored. It meant he had done the same thing he did when Alan did tech talk while helping him with his gadgets. That literally he couldn't hear what the other man was saying.
2: What Alan was talking about was not meant to be public knowledge. That the projects he was now talking about were top secret, and were being let out without the man thinking about what he was saying.
John guessed the explanation had to be the second one after a short while. To what reasoning this had was strange, and wasn't a matter he could hypothesize about. Because what explanation could explain the man's voice going out, and him trying to continue talking?
Noting, he could hear others around him talking softly in wonder what had happened to the presenter. John knew it wasn't a matter of muted sound he had chosen. No, this had some how happened to Alan's voice. The man had been saying too much about what HAPPY had in store for tomorrow, and now he was mute!
This was not only a very concerning factor to Alan, but also one to John. Things like this simply didn't happen out of the blue. There had to be an explanation behind it.
Standing up from his seat, John looked around for anything that seemed strange and out of place causing the disruption of sound from his friend, but he couldn't see anything. That is until Alan brought up the lighting again, and the culprit was spotted.
Someone in full costume as The Question, was standing along the back of the wall pointing a device at Alan.
Noticing the person with the device pointed at him. Alan tried to curse a name out, glaring at him. The movement of the muted mouth wasn't hard to make out what the name was that the engineer had tried to utter as the Inspector guessed it. The name was Quimby.
Giving what Alan felt constituted the universal sign language for "cut it" with swiping an arm in slashing motions while looking at the disguised man. Chief Quimby stopped using the transmitter on the device he had been aiming at the engineer.
After clearing his breath but for no reason other than to show, the so-called anomaly with his voice was over. Alan proceeded to address the crowd before him over action he was being he felt, forced to take.
"Sorry every one, but due to a matter not predicted I have to end this panel lecture early. No questions please." The end of his statement that while he was looking out at the crowd, his sole focus had not been to them in general like it should have. He was looking directly at his co-worker superior. The cause of the end of what he had deemed the biggest event for the whole day to him.
While everyone left the meeting room, only three remained behind. The ticked off engineer, a curious inspector, and an annoyed chief that had the odd secondary title of also being a sergeant. John feeling the need to do action that he knew might later be regrettable, yanked the blank flesh colored mask off his immediate superior.
Finally being able to see the face of the Chief, Alan barked in rage at him. "You could have told me before hand what you didn't want me to say here!"
"I thought you might have more common sense about what you reveal publicly about HAPPY!" Chief Charles Quimby snapped at Alan with equal force in his voice.
Noticing the two men looked like they wanted to come to blows with each other. John quickly looked around the room for any security cameras he might have over looked earlier. Seeing now there were truly none in the room, and
also noting the door was closed to where they were. He extended his arms out to opposite directions. One hand was used to keep Alan at bay, and the other to keep Quimby at bay.
Trying to break the tension further. John asked one of the foremost questions that had been on his mind, since given the request to be present at the convention. "Chief why hasn't any one been able to reach you all day? Alan, here says he thinks you have a mission for me."
"My phone, at first I thought it was simply lost, but given I already have checked the lost & found and come up with nothing. I'm sure it's been stolen." He said after taking a out a fast snort of air before hand, not looking at John or Alan as he did so.
"And the mission from HAPPY? Is there one?" John pressed him. He hoped that while the questions were in fact relevant to the moment. The distraction of bringing them up would give the Chief, and engineer some time to cool their jets at one another.
Backing away from the inspector, and still staying at an extended arm's length away. Chief Quimby reached into an interior pocket of his coat. What he produced was what John had been hoping to see. A large orange mailing envelope. The way he had learned the man always preferred to present him with his orders.
After being handed the envelope, John proceeded to open it, to only be met with protest from his superior.
"Not here Inspector Heyward, we're in a public place." Quimby snapped at him.
That led John to again pushing away the Chief, and saying a one word statement he'd started using to annoy the man with. He replied with saying, "boom."
"That isn't real and you know it. People will see what you have there, we're not alone. There are over one thousand people in this building right now!" The retort given by Quimby was made with a break-away from contact with John.
The meaning of saying boom from the inspector, was no one would ever see the mission statement. Why? Because it didn't exist to others it had in a figurative sense meant to be taken literally vanished or exploded. A very real idea, Alan had tried over time to get HAPPY to do with mission papers. Get them to explode after having been read. The Chief refused to let such a thing become reality, and kept the research from happening to make such a form of progress happen.
"Chief Quimby, before I decided to keep things from well coming to blows between you and Mr. Engenis. I checked for cameras, and whether or not the door to this room is shut. We are truly alone right now. Nothing more today of HAPPY's activities will be revealed to the public, I can assure you." John said using the most calm demeanor he could to the chief.
As Qumiby made his way to the door to the room, he did now acknowledge was closed. He said his final words over the only matter at hand which wouldn't cause Alan to gain a black eye. The matter of John's new mission which concerned the chief to no end, the inspector took to with an ease he didn't.
"Inspector after you read those papers, and start to deduce how to follow through with your inspection. If you have a shredder built into you. Use it on them before you leave this room."
Leaving the room, the chief slammed the door to it behind him. Leaving both men left in the hotel slash convention center's meeting room to mull over the given papers.
In a patch not yet consumed by the lengthening shadows that preceded night at sunset. A member of MAD's Elite agents stood across the street to the home of a man he pondered the thought in question was just like himself. The man named John Heyward, an inspector agent of HAPPY. This added more questions to the MAD agent's thoughts. HAPPY was MAD's counterpoint organization, so why would his counter part be working for the bad guys?
This man was the only other successfully total cyborg human being in the world. When MAD had created him, the figure watching the Inspector's home. He had come about after much trial and error. Many lives had either been lost or destroyed before he had come into being. But despite him being the only success by who he worked for. A product built from those that had fallen before him. Ones medical practitioners and engineering teams had to learn from their failures first. He felt now he was losing himself, and they cared not that it was happening at all.
Over the last month that he had been living as a cyborg, he felt like he was losing touch to everything that mattered to him, including his own past. Knowledge and memories that made him who he was seemed to be fading away from him. He assumed it had to do with what he had become.
This other cyborg he wondered with the increasing certainty about being his a counter part. Could have answers for him over who he was and what he was.
With a mental command he opened a portal on the right side of his chest, and his servants emerged to help him with the job at hand. The job at hand being one he had personally decided to undertake. Not the one MAD had given him to do. No, they had given him a job, and that involved leaving the country. That was something he didn't feel like doing yet. This job was getting answers from the inspector for HAPPY, he knew sadly was not in his home at this moment in time. Rummaging through his memories, his belongings for now would just have to do with his lack of presence at the house.
The MAD agent that he knew for much longer might not even have that title to him. Watched his servants pour out of his chest, and run as quickly as they could to the home of his thought to be kindred spirit. Doctor Claw had personally communicated his disgust to him on contacting the inspector. That it was unneeded & unwarranted, and served no purpose. Right as his boss was threatening to dismantle him in the most cruel inhumane way possible. The agent had cut him off by ripping out his communications interface located under and behind his right ear.
Now watching his servant army of cyborg shrews enter Heyward's household. He decided that since by all likelihood he was no longer employed by MAD. That he was slowly becoming not himself. That his name seemed to be becoming a shadow of what it meant. He should use a new name, something more fitting to his new self to what it was he was becoming. The decision of what to now call himself felt natural.
Walking across the street in a leisurely stride. I Rogue, but to his personal pronunciation iRogue. Followed his servants into the house. The house not even reacting with it's quote un quote fully alert highest of high tech security system. The shrews were too small for it to detect.
Entering the home before him, they went to work fast to disable the security system for him to enter. Micro sized universal connection ports on the ends of their noses, sniffed at the air taking in sensor readings of the home's electronic layout. Once locating through this act where interfacing with the abode's computerized network could be accessed with ease. They ran to it, and hacked in.
When iRogue knew from internal commutation with his army it was safe to enter the home. Unlocking the door with a lock pick built into one of his pointer fingers, he entered. Though as he did so he sensed something had gone awry his shrews could not handle.
Being now in the house, and standing in the home's kitchen which connected it's self to the front door. He saw what the shrews didn't know how to handle. The house had a dog in it. He did remember reading up on the dog. The animal had been with MAD for a while. It was a product of the organization's genetic engineering prior to Doctor Claw, changing what route MAD used to employ it's animal agents. Bionic augmentation replacing recoding genetics. That act was now no longer something MAD was reserving for it's animal members. The dog named Brain was holding one of the shrews in his mouth, and on top of that had just started to growl at him.
"Why do you even want to be a member of the Elite?! Have you heard the rumors surrounding those guys!?" Louis spat at Terry over his car's cell phone hookup.
From in his own car a short distance from Louis's on the highway, Terry replied. "I don't like my status with MAD, and I'm sure you don't like it either. Come on we're just goon grunts to Doctor Claw. Sure ones he loves to put to good use, but wouldn't you like to have more respect on the job? Better missions? Have you heard what the Elite's pay looks like?"
"I want respect too, but I don't want to be dead! I don't even think there truly is a section of real elite employees for MAD. I hear they all go into some building to have something done to them in preparation for the job, and they never come back out." After he said his words of concern, Louis felt even more fearful for his friend. Those words didn't feel like enough.
Watching a driver ahead of him swerve into his lane and into the one after it. Getting more angry and scared, he continued talking to Terry, now shouting louder. "Terry, I will backup the lie that gadget freak is dead, but I don't want to see you become a member of the Elite! There are better jobs you can have for MAD, you know that! We are on the bottom end of the staff, and there are a bunch of different ways you can go up in the organization besides the Elite!"
"I think that rumor of agents dieing in a building when they become members of the Elite is false. Just a scare tactic to see who is willing to go the distance for MAD." Terry replied, and then added before turning up his car's radio. "I'm going for the distance."
Louis tried more than once on route back to MAD's headquarters to contact Terry again. The man refused to answer his phone. He even wouldn't truly acknowledge Louis when he hit the other man's car lightly to get his attention. The result of then was just a salute & grin, before breaking away from the speed limit, and shooting well head of him.
Watching the car speed away, and watching lights flick on to a traffic cop's squad car to chase Terry. Louis knew he could do nothing, but attempt to help his friend. If possible he would prefer from a closer distance, but that would take a car chase, and police fines he wasn't up for right now.
Before entering the drive way in the modded Supra, the gang in it saw something was wrong with their home. The front door was open at a crack, and Brain could be heard barking franticly at a distance.
Getting out of the car first, John moved slowly, and motioned for Penny and Alan to stay a few paces behind him. While they complied, Alan got himself into the readiness, the same as his co-worker was getting into. John as he reached the door, revealed every gadget he had built into himself that could intimidate whoever the intruder could be. His laser, his swiss army knife, with it's blade switched to an outwards position. Plus his least favorite weapon of choice, his blowtorch.
Penny knew better then to try, and tangle with whoever might be lurking in the house. Her weapon of choice was not at hand. While her uncle always had his weaponry on hand, correction in his hands. Also while Alan had brought his cape to the convention which while for show at the con., it was useful beyond allowing the man to fly. It also made him invincible. She wished right now she too could be invincible. Her weapon, her bat was in her bedroom, leaning against her study desk.
Knowing it was a poor idea for her to enter the house with the two men who could defend themselves while she couldn't. She thought of what she could do which should have been the very first thing she did once leaving the safety of the car. Her attention like the men had been more focused on the door to the house and what was inside the house. Not the noise coming from outside the home. Brain's barking she was sure was coming from outside.
Unless the intruder was outside with her pet, it was safer for her to tend to him, than whoever was lurking in the house. Not making a sound she ran softly up to John, and tapped him on the back to alert him to her coming action. His reaction wasn't the best to this.
He was ready to deal with what he suspected was a robber that had some how bypassed the home's security system. Not suddenly have his attention pulled from that to a sixteen year old with no foul intentions. At her touch, he jumped slightly, and shot a pin prick laser mark into the throw rug which marked the start to the inside of their home.
Once turning around and seeing her, he furrowed his brow in frustration at her. Then lightened up on her once seeing her motioning with added softly spoken words as to what she was about to do.
Given she now knew her uncle knew she likely wasn't in danger any more. Penny ran into the backyard for her K-9 companion.
She found him tied to the one thing HAPPY had not cared to bother with when renovating the home, and it's surrounding property for her family and business friend to live in. Brain was tied to the midway in the backyard weatherbeaten casibo. Which whenever it's good days had been, she was sure had not been in her lifetime.
When she made it to him and started to untie him from the broken garden hose that had been turned to the use of rope. She noticed he was hurt. Not badly, but enough to make her wonder what had happened. The dog had slash marks across his muzzle like another animal had struck him. The puzzling factor to her about this was none of the other dogs in the neighborhood had ever shown aggression towards him. Wild animals she dismissed on the account she had never seen any thing around their home rougher looking then a squirrel. Doubting a rodent had done this to her beloved pet, she betted it was whoever was in the house at the moment that didn't belong there.
Once untied from the half-rotten casibo, Brain took off for the house with his master trailing fast behind him.
The intruder was discovered fast. When John and Alan caught sight of the MAD agent that was questionable to that title, iRogue. The man was a really unexpected sight on more than one account.
The first noticeable thing which was a shock was John noticing the other man, like himself was a cyborg. The intruder was holding record keeping folders and scrap books in sets of clawed hands, not his by natural design. The hands holding his family's memorabilia and important records, were mechanical. They were attached to a set of arms which sprouted out from the man's back. The man's normal arms, if you could call them that. Arms which had saw blades lining part of the fore section of them. The mostly biological arms, had their hands holding a photo album John remembered creating shortly after moving into the house.
That was the second noticeable thing over the intruder. What the man was doing.
As John prepared to speak up, iRogue noticed him, looking up from the photo album. The inspector's movement being what had alerted the other cyborg, he was no longer alone in the room.
Looking at John with scrutiny, iRogue tried to comprehend his counter part, the HAPPY agent. The man didn't seem to have lost anything. At least anything notable. His recordings of before and after being transformed into a cyborg had not taken the same toll on him as it had iRogue. A change of lifestyle yes, but that was something any one in case would have undergone given circumstance. Shortly after becoming a cyborg there were photos of the house becoming his home. Some matter unknown had caused a shift in where the man was living, the MAD created cyborg doubted had to do with personal identity.
That and photos of the man, iRogue now swifted his gaze to. Alan's presence was a mystery to the distraught agent. The engineer was not family, and from a few photos of the other cyborg in what iRogue could only assume was practice with his gadgets. The inspector didn't get along with the other man, so he couldn't have been a close friend.
Twitching his head between the two men standing before him. After a few moments of this, John finally spoke up to brake the unease he felt at seeing the strange intruder that clearly wasn't respecting his personal property.
"Sir, I haven't the foggiest idea why you've broken into my home. Clearly we have a little common ground, but I think it stops there. what you've done is illegal, and you will now be put under arrest for the police to handle." As John said the words, he unbuttoned his shirt down his chest some. The reason it was being done was it the only way he could expose his third arm which in it's hand held a pair of handcuffs
When the third arm extended out towards iRogue, and presented the handcuffs to him. He didn't react to them, but simply looked at them. What he did react to was what happened as John approached him. Not the Inspector himself. That had not been the reasoning which caused the MAD cyborg to take action. What got his attention was the pair which had just rammed into the room. A girl which just before she showed up, had been preceded by a dog, iRogue had met earlier that evening.
Brain showed no fear of the man. The dog had his reasoning to, but just didn't care. Both his master and co-master were there, along with the odd one. They needed protection, and the small injury he had suffered at the claws of the intruder earlier wouldn't be enough to slow him down.
Before the dog could lash out in protective vengeance at the man. The unwelcome cyborg in the room took care of Brain in the only way that felt right at that moment.
Killing the dog felt wrong, iRogue had decided that fast, and even when he'd first encountered the animal. Seeing it take hold of a member of his precious army, and knowing the dog was once a MAD agent same as him. Meant by at least in the second half of the assessment done with Brain. He couldn't kill him. The dog was almost kin to him having worked for the same organization as himself. Although on the other hand, the dog had gotten one of his shrews.
Not wanting to hurt the dog again who clearly didn't have a hold of one of his servants this time. The MAD agent, that likely no longer had employment. Called forth with mental command all of his minions.
As they scampered into the room he was in that also contained all the house's residents at the same time. Brain snapped at the rodents running across the floor towards their master. The humans who lived there watched the scene in stunned horror that's feeling deepened as the event continued.
The rogue didn't want to hurt the animal this time. He didn't want to hurt the others in the room either, especially the one that was the only other true cyborg man in the world. The girl and the other man simply meant nothing to him, and he wanted to keep it that way. Getting the dog to stop his attack minus killing him. The intruder had an idea that likely would work unless the dog was too desensitized by the other cyborg's actions in the past to notice the act.
Opening the door in his chest to allow the coming shrew army into him. The unwelcome guest displayed all his gadgetry at once. His second set of arms quickly spreading themselves out to full length from him. Throwing away what they had been holding to smash against the walls of the room. His saw blades became active in spinning, and from his head, up through his hat, emerged a sight too strange even for John.
As the weapon gadgets on flexible rods came out from his head, two reactions came of this. One of them was what iRogue had been intending from the start of the display. The dog backed off, and stopped trying to attack his servants. Brain, the man could tell, by the tail now tucked between his legs, and ears lowered to a non-threatening stance, was scared of him. The second reaction that surprised him was the inspector's reaction.
"Where are his brains?" John questioned in shock seeing all the devices and cutlery come from the other cyborg's head.
With the act of dropping the photo album he had been holding, and seeing he couldn't recall all of this army back into him. Had iRogue decide his mission while not over by far, was over in the home of his counter part for now.
Leaning forward and moving his weapons, made them back off. As he started to leave the room for the entrance leading back to outside, else where in the abode. He took a good look at the Inspector. John wasn't attacking him for the intrusion he had just made into his private life. Nor was he placing his handcuffs on the man. Not what iRogue had expected at all from the HAPPY agent. What he did get however were a couple displays past the disgusted reaction the man had given to seeing his army. John glared at him, and just at the tip and no further, lit his blowtorch.
No one followed the former MAD agent to see where he went. In the silence of the moment which had come by way of shock, they heard the front door to the house close. Penny broke the silence.
"Uncle John, do we still have mousetraps on the top shelve of the cupboard in the kitchen?"
The two aspirin and quart of lemon tea, Chief Quimby had already downed didn't seem to be doing their job fast enough. It was 7 am in the morning, but he'd been awake an hour at that point already.
His head sat on the desk he was sitting at, his eyes weakly looking at his new project which he'd bought the day before. A model of an old TV series starship, no where near fully made yet. He wasn't sure what show it represented, only that the vending room dealer claimed it wasn't connected to a movie. To whatever science fiction show it belonged to, it had to be well dated. It's plastic parts sheets where harder to work with than modern ones which he knew had by now been around for over a decade.
It helped his headache which he was sure came as the result from dehydration. What added to his pain was hearing knocking at his home's front door. That had been what made him set his head on the surface of the desk. He did not feel like answering the call to action. It was too early in the morning. Plus besides whoever was there waiting to speak with him. Quimby knew the person could not have been too important in his life. If it was job related, some recently committed crime that needed his attention. Some one at the police station he worked for would have been contacting him by phone over the matter.
That unlike the day before was not a problem here. Here in his house, in what he called his Study, had a land line phone in it. The lack of having the now stolen cell phone, didn't cause a problem with contacting him.
Then he remembered not everyone important in his life would call him by land line phone. HAPPY never contacted him that way. This had to be someone representing them. That, or someone disconnected from his second job was going to be yelled at as best he could with the state he was in.
Noting how whoever it was at his front door wouldn't leave. He got up from his desk, taking in a good stretch as he stood up. Before walking to where his attention was needed.
When opening the door finally, he scowled at his early morning visitor. John however wasn't in a foul mood, and broke right into saying what had been plaguing his thoughts since the evening of the day before.
"Chief, I think yesterday evening I made a discovery HAPPY should be aware of." The Inspector said not seeming to really invest thought into the disheveled appearance of his superior.
"Inspector Heyward, why does some little odd discovery you've made, you think HAPPY needs to know about? Needs to be told to me first? First thing in the morning?" Quimby asked him in reply. Just the thought this could be on some minor detail to the case the man had just been handed. Something that the inspector could handle solo bothered him. Although Quimby thought it could just be him unfairly riding the subordinate's case. It was early in the morning, and his headache didn't help the moment.
"I'm not sure what to make of it. Chief, I learned yesterday I'm not the world's only true cyborg. One broke into my house, and temporarily held my property." As John told Quimby the short summary of what had occurred. The chief became more alert to him in the positive sense.
"MAD." Was the only thing the other man could think to say at the simple summary of hearing of the other cyborg.
"In the sense of emotion or the Malevolent Agency of Destruction type?" The question seemed slightly irrelevant, but the hunch had to be confirmed the superior agent had just said to him. That of what John feared of it being the latter half of his guessing.
Charles Quimby took the moment in best way he felt he could in the condition he was in. He gripped the door frame, and looked at the ground before replying. "Inspector I have a headache from what I did to myself by mistake yesterday. You fortunately didn't wake me up, but I have pain medicine I'm currently waiting to have kick in. I don't know if this is the sort of thing we should be talking about here or inside." The last part of his statement started with a yawn.
John now took note of air Quimby had to him. He was sure that the oversight had to do with his excitement & puzzlement over why he had come to visit the man. This had to be corrected, and fast. Even back in the days when he had to call the Chief, Sergeant. He knew the man had a quick temper. Not noticing the guy felt bad at that moment. John knew could lead to insulting words he didn't want to hear.
"How about you explain it here on the step? The morning air and sunshine might help that headache go away." As John told the suggestion to his immediate boss in rank. He bent down, and positioned himself into sitting on the step which led to the inside of Quimby's home.
After seeing the inspector pat the ground beside him to invite the chief to sit on the spot felt. Quimby started to soften to his subordinate requesting information about a matter he knew the other hadn't been debriefed over.
As Quimby started to turn his attention to the inside of the house, he answered John. "Let me get us some coffee first. It's for dealing with dehydration. That's the headache's source. Never have too much fun at a convention, Inspector, and forget your basic needs."
After both men had drank a cup each of coffee while watching the sun's rays rise higher into the morning sky. Quimby started to feel better. Whether it was in fact what John had suggested would help, or his pain medication, he couldn't tell. To which ever the source however, it helped him talk with the inspector over the scenario.
"Inspector I want you off that case assignment I handed you yesterday. What has now come up. I will be presenting it to my superiors at HAPPY, and I'm sure they will agree with my judgment." The Chief told the other man in a mellow fashion one would not expect from a person steadily becoming more alert by the moment on caffeine.
"So that mission to that southern pacific island to stop those people you think are MAD agents from knocking out it's citizens with sleeping gas. That isn't an important mission any more, investigating that?" John questioned his immediate superior.
Being called off of a mission? Unheard of in the inspector's book. Not when he had worked for the police force, and in the months of employment he'd spent so far with HAPPY. He'd never known them to do the same. This either meant the job on the southern pacific island was so minor a thing. That HAPPY didn't care if it was looked into, or his encounter with the other cyborg meant something massive. Something HAPPY was more fearful of then normal threatening situations to the safety of people's lives.
"That is still important, but another agent can be assigned to the case replacing you. This other cyborg could mean world peace might be in jeopardy. Have you heard in the news about those talks coming up in Tel Aviv?" Quimby questioned him, hopeful the man had been keeping track of current events well.
"I tend to only keep up on the local news, sir. Please tell me about this business in Israel." John asked inquisitively.
The Chief's explanation was drawn out. Not by how much there was to say, but by a matter of how hard it was to say. He felt fearful of what could come of the situations combined.
That HAPPY had for months now after the inspector had been changed into a cyborg, knew MAD was well aware of him. That they had an overwhelming hunch the counter organization might attempt making their own mechanically enhanced human agents. That if such a thing came to pass, as they were sure had likely already happened. MAD might try sending such a being into places where they could cause the most damage. Where a normal human being might not be able to accomplish the same job as efficiently.
HAPPY knew for a fact being a force to be reckoned with on international crime prevention. That soon there were going to be peace talks represented by top ambassadors & diplomats from many different countries. Some with a long history of war, and others known for peacefulness, but that had been struck with invasion many times in the past. These coming talks were going to be named the Pax Fusion, meaning peace combined.
The lead organizers had contacted HAPPY about the event weeks back. They asked the organization for protection for those that would be of the most importance to the event. HAPPY at the time had told them they had no cause for alarm, and would not need their form of protection.
Now knowing for a fact there were other cyborgs out there. That the one the inspector had encountered likely was working for MAD. Changed the stance of what HAPPY formerly was standing on with the talks.
Quimby was sure HAPPY would approve of the Inspector being sent to the Pax Fusion conference.
After John took in the information in, he only made one comment about the new mission given to him. "I don't think the Gadgetmobile has a gas tank that can store enough fuel to get me to Tel Aviv."
After gathering up a bundle of her clothes, Penny went into her uncle's room. Then with grabbing some of his clothes from the room's closet, added them into her load.
"Is that some form of trick you're trying on him?" Alan asked standing in the doorway to the bedroom.
After making sure she had a good hold on the large pile of garments. Carrying them on her front for padding, she struck the man in the gut with them to force her way out of the room, and around him.
"Sort of yes." She exclaimed with a pursed lipped smile.
As he watched her start to make her way to the stairway that led to the first floor. He grabbed a suit case he had set in the hallway by his room.
"Define sort of? Wait does this have -," Alan felt he might know what she was going to try with her uncle. She knew figuratively how to press the man's buttons right. In remembering how John had denied her going on a field trip with her school classmates a few weeks back. He felt he knew what she was going to do to get what she wanted.
"Winnipeg?" Alan shouted at her as she descended the stairs.
"Yeah, no sneaking into his work this time. This time it's guilt trip time!" Her answer to him came as she hit the bottom step which put her now on the home's ground level.
When Penny entered the living room, she found John crunching with one hand the ball cap he normally would wear off duly. His focus being on one of the two semi-filled bookshelves the room contained. Something was frustrating him, and she now questioned her revenge on him with the trip she wanted.
"Uncle John?" She asked meekly, as she came to his side slowly.
"I feel like such a dunce Penny, and I'm sure people at the talks will treat me that way." He said grabbing a book for learning to speak Japanese off one of the book selves.
"Why is that, and why are you holding that book?" She cocked her head to look better at the cover of the book, after eying him in saying her thoughts.
"I don't know one word of either Hebrew or Arabic. I only bought this one book on learning Japanese since I thought it might be nice to learn one other language. Now at this conference I'll be around people from virtually every nationality. They'll see me as an idiot when they discover I don't understand them, and can't even say one word back to them in a reply they'll understand!" John replied with frustration in his voice as he put the book back in the place he had grabbed it from.
After a pause in thought, Penny tried to give him what she hoped was a comforting lie he wouldn't see through. "I'm sure HAPPY has taken it into account that you don't know much in foreign languages. Likely you'll have a multi-language interpreter with you while you're there. While we're there."
His reply to her was silent in just staring at her.
"Winnipeg Canada, you said you'd make it up to me some day," she continued.
"Fine," he said closing his eyes for a moment before adding. "If security at a festival for geeks is tight. I can imagine that its even tighter, much tighter at an event like national peace talks. Plus I'm only going to be there as protection against a threat HAPPY isn't even sure will come to pass in being true. You likely won't be in an danger, and also I bet this will be more educational than a trip just a little up north."
"I'd hug you if it wasn't for this." Penny said forcing a little bounce of the clothes pile she was holding against herself.
Leaving the room smiling, she added in more to her request as Alan entered the room. "Brain comes too."
"I don't know if dogs can come to this." John replied a little upset at her for the addition she had just put into her coming with him.
Shouting from the dinning room which connected by way of the kitchen to the living room. Penny told him, "He should be fine. The dog is a service animal after all!"
This note from his niece, made John roll his eyes. After a moment and cracking up at the amusement of how wrong it was what she had just given as her answer to Brain coming. The Inspector shouted back to her with, "for evil and unknowing and unwilling. Plus he's no longer in service!"
"Deny it John. Just tell people Brain is a service dog. I don't think HAPPY, or any one at the talks will mind him," Alan suggested.
John hadn't really noticed the engineer standing in the room with him up until now. His focus had been on the teen, and not the man that while older than her, was younger than him. Being reminded of his old training when he was just becoming an inspector. Alan now had his full attention.
Shaking his head no, John complied, "Why not, they're like glue to one another."
"That is a good point, and why you have to take me along as well." Alan eagerly said & motioned, whipping a finger at John as he spoke.
"We aren't like glue, Alan." John replied before starting to walk towards the dinning room.
Following John with his suitcase in hand, Alan continued to make his point to the other man. "You may not need me to explain and train you in how to use your gadgets any more, I know. But you still need me for maintenance reasons. Think about if your mechanical parts started acting up half a world a way? Do you think HAPPY will provide you with a different member of my team on the fly for this mission. No, they know you have me. So what does logic tell you, you need?" Alan put himself in front of John as best he could when ending his statement.
A real feat in odd positioning when the Inspector was standing in the dinning room at it's table. Sorting though his and his niece's clothes over what suitcases they belonged in. Alan was bending into the table with one foot on the ground, and in a half laying stance on the furniture. At John's best guess in the observation. He was sure Alan's attempt to get his attention had to be uncomfortable.
"You're going to present every reason why you think I'll be needing you along for this trip, aren't you?" John questioned Alan, certain the answer was yes. His packing taking a momentary halt as he did so.
"Yes, I am. Plus I also have business curiosity in what you might encounter in the assignment." As Alan spoke his reply, the table became too much of a pain to his ribs, and he put himself into a standing position.
Unhappy with hearing this added reasoning for wanting to accompany him on the assignment. John quickly threw a balled pair of socks into the suitcase he was working on. Shut the bag with a slam, and looked at Alan coldly.
"You know I know what that is in regards too. I'm not a zoo animal, Alan. Looking at how another cyborg goes around, what he can do." John snapped at the other HAPPY agent.
Alan backed away from John before replying to him in a soft tone. "I don't see you like that John. Nor, to I see that frea - I mean MAD agent we met last night. It's just getting even a distant observation of this guy, could help me get ideas how to improve HAPPY's technologies."
"That's the reasoning MAD tried to use on me remember? Dissect me, and figure out my technology for their purposes." John said opening a suitcase Penny had already packed, and observing what was inside it.
"True, but I have no intent on cutting this person up. Nothing foul, you know I'd never do to any one like what they tried to do with you." Alan knew as he said the words, John could throw them back at him. Not that the engineer would, and had ever done what he was saying he wouldn't. It was a matter of the violation he'd made to the man already. The one John would never forgive him for. Continuing he added. "I'd just be taking scans, and making eye visual observations. Passive stuff, John."
Not feeling like answering Alan right away, John took the time to focus on the other priority to him at the moment. Turning his gaze from the bag he was looking at to it's owner. He commented to Penny, "I don't see any toiletries in this."
"Hotel, motel, where ever your bosses shack us up. They'll be there." Penny replied nonchalantly to him.
"John?" Alan had to know where he stood with his co-worker then, at least where he thought he did. Only hearing a yes or no to him being allowed to come on the trip would confirm the man's thoughts about him. The engineer hoped that what the man had seen as an off color remark. A mistake in wording Alan had thought nothing of. That it was now not a permanent block in their working relationship and friendship as far as that went.
Now feeling like he could face Alan, John finally answered him. "Mainly for the first reason you gave me, why you need to come. Yes, you can come too. As far as your other reasoning, you don't bring that up again to me. You got that?"
"Crystal clear," Alan said allowing himself a slight smile in relief.
Between the three of them, it took till the mid-point of the night's end to finish packing. Sleep was a matter they knew had to wait. No breaks could be taken. The charter flight Chief Quimby had made arrangements with HAPPY about, wanted them at the airport as soon as possible. A sign from the protection agency that what the inspector was about to undertake was of the highest standing to them as a mission of importance.
Having forced the hands, and later quieted the mouths of some of the agents working as intelligence operatives for MAD. Terry discovered the information he needed on the Inspector. That he was going to be protection for the very people, the MAD agent was seeking to enrage and even destroy if necessary.
After having uncovered this information he did a new act of intimidation to force his colleagues to keep their mouths shut about the query. The query that if his supreme boss Doctor Claw found out about could land him in hot water. That he was looking for the HAPPY agent that he'd personally told Claw, he had finished off.
That had earned him his new rank and an alteration to himself, he knew in the afterwards to it happening, he should have foreseen coming. He was now a cyborg, and one equip with gadgets he was sure were much more lethal than what the Inspector had.
With one of his new internal accessories, or more accurately five of them to each hand. He had intimidated the lead intelligence agent who had worked for him, not to tattle on him. The threat being what he could now produce from either set of the ends of his fingers. Sets of retractable cat-like claws made completely from stainless steel. That with one hand posed from him at a close distance from the other man's face. Terry had produced out the claws, and moving closer, told him that he could expect the same form of death the Doctor gave those he didn't like. Only being more personal from him since he didn't need an armored glove to conduct the business. That if the man said one word of his questioning, or any one working under him did, he'd strike them all down.
He did the same form of threatening to the employees of MAD he could get a hold of who worked for the organization's travel department. Louis just shook his head in disbelief about it when his friend did this for the second time.
As their plane did it's touch down into the airport they knew the Inspector would be going to on route to the coming peace talks. Louis finally spoke to Terry, his new boss just before Claw in rank, after a long silence. "They didn't know, didn't need to know what you blurted out at them."
"I was having fun." Terry said shrugging his shoulders before unbuckling his seatbelt.
"I wouldn't have done that if I were you." Louis noted to Terry with concern in his voice, staying buckled into his seat.
Standing up, and shakily holding on to his former seat on it's headrest. Terry replied with, "So I let it leak by mistake what happened with me needing to know about the where-abouts of that HAPPY inspector. Yes, a mistake, but we're still on route to where we should be. No detour in this."
"I more meant unbuckling your seatbelt, and getting up. We're still in motion, you could get hurt." Louis shook his head again in protest a second time while speaking the concern more vocally.
"MAD technology here Louis! Unlike that HAPPY agent, I got real steel going through me! I can handle anything he can, and better!" Terry stated taking away his grip from the headrest. Then in balling one fist that with the arm attached to it, tried to flex the combination of metal and flesh under it. The arm bent into an upwards L shape. The hand to the other arm, patting the other's biceps brachii at the same time.
"Would you like me to test you being different than Heyward by shooting you with my ENP gun?" Louis asked while looking out the window next to him. The scenery being watched by the man, of the rapidly moving by tarmac of the runway, slowing down. The view of seeing other planes & jets taking off and landing near by, becoming easier to view.
"Try it Lou. Nothing can take me down!" Terry laughed in reply.
When the plane came to it's assigned gate, coming to a halt. Terry learned a lesson. The sudden lack of forward momentum while not effecting the jet-plane's pilot, who was buckled into his seat, and Louis who was in the same state of fixed positioning. Did effect the bragging of MAD's newest Elite agent of falling forward, and crashing into the floor of the cabin.
"Shouldn't it have taken longer to get to Tel Aviv?" John questioned the charter plane's pilot, as he walked down the aircraft's small ramp, towards the ground.
"Pit stop Inspector, this plane can't make it all the way to Israel on a single tank of gas. Heck -," The pilot laughed at the comment he'd heard relayed to him from second hand sources.
"What heck?" To whatever it was the man found funny, it bothered the Inspector that the laughing had started midway though explanation.
"Heck you, I'm told you wanted to drive your car all the way to where we're going. You told your immediate superior you didn't think the car had a gas tank that could make it!" By the end of the explanatory statement, the man was rolling in his seat in laughter. One arm now part ways out the window of the plane's cockpit, and his face nuzzling against it muffling the sounds of his hysteric reaction.
Penny gave her uncle a light push to encourage the man to meet the bottom step, and off the ramp as he paused to add, "It's also a hovercraft! It can go very very long distances! Why just the other day I drove it to Atlanta and back in a day. That's fast when you consider where Metro City is!"
The pilot at this explanation of the Gadgetmobile's hovercraft mode finally stopped his laughing, and pulled himself back into the plane.
While the man was unbuckling himself from his seat to leave the plane. John asked another question he felt was vitally important. "Where are we exactly? I know it's not that important since we're not staying long, but it would be nice to know."
Awaiting the answer, John hoped the other HAPPY employee who moments ago had just had a fit of laughter at his expense by mistake in reasoning. Wouldn't break into it again, at yet again what the Inspector saw as a very simple question.
"This is Lisbon, Portugal, and we're in the Lisbon Portela Airport. Don't worry about this fuel up. We'll be back flying again after I get this place's staff to give my craft a full fill up. Go wait in the nearest lounge to this terminal gate ok," the pilot replied.
"Should we take our things in with us while we wait?" Alan asked him.
"Couldn't hurt. I wouldn't do anything to them, but I don't know about other people." Came the pilot's reply as he started walking down the plane's ramp.
Once the pilot was clear of the ramp, Alan ran back inside the plane, and grabbed his suitcases. When he came back outside the plane again, he got met with a question to himself.
"What important things did you pack? You're not the one of high importance on this mission here?" The pilot asked him eying his thick plastic suitcases.
"I don't like leaving invaluable equipment behind, especially when it's hard to replace," Alan answered.
"Do I dare ask what kind of equipment you're referring to? You guys in the engineering department all make such wild and insane things on & off work. I can only imagine what's in there." The question asked with a smirk by the pilot.
"Ignore the question, Alan. Let's just get inside and into the lounge." John told the engineer, putting one hand on the man's shoulder. The words and contact helping the other man, that John could tell since he'd now known him for a time, was fuming inside.
Walking away from the plane, and pilot walking in a different direction of his own from the others. Brain started sniffing the air.
Penny took notice and assumed she knew the answer to the dog's scent query.
"It's another country, Brain. Different scents that's all. Come on," she told the pet as she motioned for him to follow after her more closely.
At a distance unseen to the group and even the pilot. Terry & Louis watched them, mainly the charter plane's former occupants. Both men keeping themselves obscured from their view by hiding behind a plane only slightly larger than the one owned by HAPPY.
"So mister now amazing, why don't you just go after him now? Just be done with it?" Louis asked in an almost mocking fashion.
Turning his attention away from the former guests of the charter plane. Terry looked at the aircraft they had been in. An idea forming in his head over the next action to take. As he watched an airport employee walk to the plane carrying a fuel hose to it. Then shortly start signaling for another near him to start the pump.
The idea the Elite MAD agent had grew as he watched the airport employee fuel the plane. The gas, or lack there of would be his way to ensure things happened.
"Nothing yet, but I want to make sure they stay here for a while." As Terry spoke his reply watched the employee finish up working the fuel hose with the plane's gas tank, and leave. Once the man had left the plane, without catching sight of Terry or his partner. He ran over to the plane owned by MAD's counter organization.
Being just a little more cautious in his actions. Louis followed his friend over to the plane, walking as he did so. All the while turning his head around looking to check if he was being spotted and hoping not to be at the same. Luck, he felt at that moment must be on his side. Although on the side of his new commander just below Doctor Claw to him. He wasn't sure about that. Terry, he felt wasn't totally thinking through his actions. That while he'd had poor luck dealing with the Inspector in the past. He felt that the HAPPY agent could have been holding out on how he handled the man.
Louis guessed the first gadget loaded cyborg working for the wrong side. Might just view the MAD agent like a large adult vicious animal around the young of it's own kind. That while a well capable killer, he knew not to strike one less fearsome and younger than him. The enhanced human knowing not to swat down the more simple, normal human.
Furthering this line of reasoning to guessing Inspector Heyward's set of morals. Louis made an easy bet that if Terry had been a cyborg back at the convention, last time he had encountered the inspector. The inspector would have tore into the co-worker, and he'd have lost his best friend.
Watching Terry uncap the gas tank from the HAPPY owned charter plane. Louis now knew what his plan was, at least what he had spoken of before running to the aircraft. "You're going to stall them from leaving by draining the gasoline out? Terry, they'll just refill it again. Heck, think about it. This airport can gas up that plane more times than I bet you can count." Louis pointed out to him.
"Yes, it's not the best of plans to stall them. It keeps me busy, hee -." The Elite MAD agent broke off his reply while siphoning off the gas for a new idea. One he should have had the moment he had thought to render the aircraft useless over and over. He was now boss to Louis. He didn't have to do that one form of dirty work.
"Louis, I have a job for you. I now am starting to get a better idea how to deal with taking out the Inspector." Terry exclaimed grinning and motioning for his forced subordinate to take his place at the plane.
After only a short time of patiently sitting in the lounge nearest to Gate 86A. The pilot of the charter plane for HAPPY, gave the group unwanted news. "We can't get back in the air, something is wrong with the plane." He told them greatly concerned.
"The ride felt fine on the way here. What could have happened to it?" Penny asked the pilot. Her attention shifting from her tablet computer that she had been reading thanks to her dog's input, to the man in the room's doorway.
"It seems to be leaking gas some how. Any way, this is going to take a while for us guys, meaning myself and those working here. It's going to take us a while to get this straightened out. You might not want to stay here long unless you're comfortable in this room." The charter plane's pilot replied, with the worry rising in his voice.
"How long at a guess?" John asked while taking hold of his normal to work wear of a long coat, in straightening it's front in reflexive habit.
"I say find a hotel. This isn't normal and that's just a good precaution in cases of unknown aircraft malfunctions. HAPPY should be able to cover the bill of where ever it is you find a place for the night." After making the suggestion to the group, the pilot added, and with a higher sounding emphasizing on the words that followed quickly after. "If needed over night."
Finding a place wasn't hard to do. What was hard was procuring the place minus understanding one word of Portuguese. None of the travelers knew a single word of it.
John took that fact the hardest as he stood at the check in desk of the Altis Park Hotel. While he was attempting to communicate with the staff, and having his worst fears come to life, he'd voiced to his niece back on the outskirts of Metro city. The young lady on the other hand was finally obliging the attention she had noticed of a boy seeming to be around her age.
She'd noticed him as she, and the company with her traveled from place to place near the airport in seeking shelter. Stalking her? While she knew such a thing was wrong, she couldn't help, but take it as a compliment. Being vain wasn't much of a part of her, but seeing something good come along? A boy interested in her, that even if there were some form of foul play up his sleeve for her in interacting with him. She knew she was safe from any furthering embarrassment or relation complications. she was not staying in Lisbon long, or even the country long for that matter. Plus if he was a truly bad sort, she knew she could take care of him. Security didn't care what was carried into the airport for aircrafts such as charter planes. Her favorite protection of her wooden M110 Easton softball bat was with her today.
"You've been following me, care to explain?" Penny asked the boy with a coy smile.
Returning the show of affection in attitude, the young man answered to her. "Sim, eU er. Mas a somente por causa eU encontrar ti bonita, e faria gostar de para o socorro ti para fora."
Penny twitched her expression in shock and embarrassment at the answer. She should have known better. Lisbon, the country's capital or not. Portugal was not a primarily English speaking land. While America was known as the world's melting pot. Portugal had a much longer history, but that's cultural mix didn't have the same type of integration. It was there.
"Yes, I have. But only because I find you pretty, and would like to help you out." The boy repeated, touching one of Penny's pigtails, grinning as he said the words in English this time.
"Why didn't you say that? I mean why not English first since you've been following me. Surely you've noticed I'm not from around here?!" Penny said surprised, backing away from him a little.
"It is clear you're an American. Your accent, I don't know from where in the states you're from. But I'd like to show you around here while you are here. Also teach you, my tongue." The teenage boy was acting sly as he replied to the girl, and Penny knew that. She also didn't care. This whole trip's focus wasn't on her. She was baggage that had wanted to tag along. He was a surprise and a distraction. Also while his actions towards her speaked of not being totally innocent. She at least now had a better idea what was going on. This was something she'd let him pursue.
"I'm from North Dakota. Let me ask my uncle if he's ok with that ok?" Penny said playing lightly with the pigtail, he had been touching a few moments before.
Turning her attention back to the check in desk. Her uncle and his co-worker still standing at it, now making headway into securing a room in the place. She noticed Alan had his attention fixed on her. The look from the engineer being one of concern.
As she approached the two men, Alan spoke his thoughts. "I don't think it's a good idea to go wandering off, Penny. We aren't staying here long likely, and he doesn't seen well honorable if you get what I mean."
"You're just saying that since I'm 16. Alan, I'm sure he's fine, and if he's not I can take care of myself." She replied to him with a touch of anger in her voice. She knew that her age made her a target by adults to question every action she took. That didn't mean she didn't know what she was doing. A matter that more than once she had tried to point out to her parents when they had been around. Plus also to her uncle once she had moved in with him, and actually started to care what he thought of her actions.
"We'll see about that." Alan stated, as he started tapping John for his attention to be brought to the new matter at hand.
"Room 440? We're booked in there now?" John questioned the lady behind the desk. The hope she fully understood him racking his nerves as she was now the third employee he'd spoken with at the check in counter for lack of him and them understanding each other. He turned to Alan after he asked the question.
"What is it? You know I'm having a hard time with this?" He asked Alan in frustration.
"Do you approve of your niece running off with strange guys in foreign countries. John?" Alan asked as Penny scowled at the engineer.
"This would be a first, and I must say I don't think highly of the idea." The Inspector said turning to look at Penny in the eye. Her expression even to him, being unchanging.
"Uncle John, I can handle myself. Everything will be fine." She said coldly, putting her hands to her hips.
Feeling the need to defend himself among other thoughts, the boy approached them. "I am honorable, I will not do anything bad to her. I only want to show her around. Show her a good time, and give her some teaching." He said looking to John, showing a smile that the Inspector would more associate seeing on his present co-worker. The type of smile that said, beware something is coming.
"Would you mind it if I accompanied you two around? I think that doing a little sight seeing would be a good thing to do while grounded here." John said before turning to Alan, and continuing with. "Do you think you could finish things up here? Ensure we're really checked in, and get them to confirm payment with HAPPY. That sort of thing?"
"Uncle!" Penny snapped at John trying to keep her voice down. With the fact that her anger had already been building, this act had now set it to the boiling point. She didn't want to make a scene, but thanks to the teenage boy. He helped her evade doing such a thing.
"It's perfectly ok if your uncle comes along. Perfectly understandable given you and him don't know me. Senhor would you like to come with us?" The boy asked extending a hand to the Inspector.
"I can finish things here, John. Remember it's room 440, ok?" Alan finally replied before turning his attention to the check in desk. Then started talking with hotel's staff behind it which the other HAPPY agent had been speaking to previously.
Brain attempted then to get in on the action too at the desk. By moving on to his hind legs, with his paws of his front legs on the counter. The puzzle being finally cracked of communication. A matter he refused to miss.
Taking the boy's hand, John shook it in a fast action he hoped came across as friendly. "Yes sir, I would like to come along with you and my niece."
"Kind of a deceptive sounding name isn't it?" John questioned openly, directed somewhat at the local boy escorting him and Penny. The question not so much being as it was, but more meant to be a statement.
In the name "Lisbon International Fair," he had picked out the word "fair", and assumed it meant they were passing by a fun to be place. Learning it was an establishment meant for companies to conduct business affairs. Not a large sprawling outwards place of amusement, came as a disappointment to him.
Passing by the large multi-building complex, the boy replied a little annoyed. "I guess you could view it that way, but that's not what I want to show you two."
Before continuing the reply, the local teenager looked around him in a manner he hoped came across as casual. His eyes trying to find a lock on something he wasn't seeing. Which was to be expected he guessed. He knew he wasn't where he should be yet, but that didn't stop his hopes. When his gaze met the man's niece, he held the stare, and smiled at her.
"We are going to the Living Science Centre just a short walk further away. If that is not to you're liking then maybe we could go to the Vasco da Gama Tower." He added finishing what he had been saying.
"The only other language I know is a little Spanish. Considering which country is right next door. Um, que la haria ser gran. Que la haria ser gran?" Penny told him, questioning her knowledge in repeating her words a second time if they indeed sounded right. One of her hands, moving on top of one of his. The gesture from her to him, she needed assurance she'd not made a mistake.
"When you said "would" in Spanish, it didn't sound right. But it came close." He answered back, patting the hand of hers witch covered his hand not taken. An act which didn't escape John's attention of the young man.
"Does this Living Science Center have animals in it? Because if it does I have to warn you fast I don't like snakes." When John spoke his mind to the teenage boy. Both him and Penny caught the meaning of the words beyond their literal translation. Now Penny had enough of the man's protective nature.
"I don't think you'd like it in any case, Uncle John." She said coldly while tugging the boy in the direction they were already heading in. A slight shock to the younger male. But an unexpected change of actions from the young lady he felt he could handle.
Forcing his way out of her grip, he took needed initiative over the matter. Suddenly for the first time he looked at the girl's uncle quite seriously. This came as a shock to John. Wanted yes, that the boy was no longer in contact with Penny. Although somehow it's don't measure up right. Why it had happened though that the boy continued his pursuit of her, but with more consideration to him.
"Senhor, I am sure you will be fine with the wild caged animals there. Please continue being with us." The boy requested of the Inspector.
John shook his head to the motion of "yes" in agreement for the continuation, of the joint excursion. Worry still present, but feeling better about the boy now that he'd insisted the HAPPY agent stay with them. Maybe he thought it could be unfounded the way he was thinking of the kid. After all how much did he know about the behavior to be expected of this culture's people.
Watching her uncle act agreeable with her now, and she liked to think her new friend. Penny started to feel that despite the trust she was trying to exude on multiple fronts. Them being of establishing it between herself and the boy. Plus also that of between herself and her uncle. Trust she'd after nearly a year living with him, she knew he still didn't completely have in her. She felt she might be making a mistake now, and one at that she could not back out of.
It was true what the boy had told the Inspector. What wild animals were being held at the Living Science Centre didn't bother him. Although unknown to him at this moment other animals in the place were moving about uncaged. As Terry sat in the position he'd been in for half an hour. He'd been waiting & watching for his chance to strike at the HAPPY agent he swore he would finally take down. He too was being watched, but by eyes belonging to an animal unnoticed by him. A single shrew with red eyes, and metal parts that replaced some of it's natural body parts.
The shrew's master saw what the animal saw. Not only that, but what all his servants were seeing at that moment. The former Elite agent of MAD currently had that function of his extra computerized driven senses active. The sights being transmitted into his brain feeling like almost too much for him to handle. The visual data surging into his brain like video media played in fast forward, and from different screens all at once. It didn't help his already building confusion.
After he had left Metro City to pursue his mission. The one he had been assigned to overseas. He learned by way of a death threat from one of MAD's minor hit men, that he was no longer employed by them. That his job, and also his life were now forfeit. Breaking into the home of the HAPPY agent had been going against Doctor Claw's orders. Ripping out his communications hardware, an even bigger violation. MAD wanted close tabs on the man that had recently named himself iRogue, and taking that out made him a true rogue. One MAD could not afford to keep in the organization, or even alive for that matter.
The MAD agent was beneath him. A fact he was still sure of with fog in his mind becoming greater and greater. Due to the fact the MAD agent was not high ranking, it meant he could not have been of real importance either. Those that meant nothing to the boss within the company, meant they were done for. Just like him, but he wasn't ready to be done in. Nor was he going to let it slip by him the person threatening him, ready to kill him, had virtually the same status.
Dealing the death blow to the hit man wasn't hard. All it had taken was a quick step forward, and a slash across the jugular using one of his saw blades in it's active mode.
The newest member of the Elite was readying himself for action. The former agent could tell this by the changing of position, and the twitching of his head around. A sign the man was trying to figure out the best place to strike from in making mental calculations.
The Inspector, iRogue felt was his counter part, was nearing. HAPPY's cyborg agent was in the building, and the rogue had to do something.
Standing just within the entrance of the Center, the young man of new acquaintance to Penny, took her into a hug from behind. A surprise to her at first, but one she let pass. A violation of space as far as John saw it. This was moving too fast for him, and a stop had to be put to it.
Seeing that the concerned man was ready to tare the boy away from the girl he was embracing. The local teenager moved off the man's niece, and calmly attempted to explain himself. "You don't hug ladies in the states?" He asked John, the look on his face betraying his tone of voice. The expression missed by Penny with his positioning.
John was sure it, his positioning had to be on purpose, and snapped finally at him. "We need to talk!"
"You need to lighten up." Penny told John in as stern and frank a way as she could.
"Maybe some where alone? I don't want to upset your niece further." The statement when the boy made it came out sounding serious, and not at all suggestive of foul intent. Finally John thought maybe action the kid could be trusted on, but he added in further thought. An action which had to be followed through with. No cultural misunderstanding here he hoped.
"Penny you stay here." John shook a finger at her, and then pointed to the ground at her feet. Continuing his reply, he turned to the boy. "You know this place? Where would this talk be best." The HAPPY agent inspector could barely contain his rage as he finished the question.
"I know a little spot not far away, come on." The boy said trying to contain his emotions. He enjoyed it that he didn't have to deal with what the man did for much longer. He had done his job most of the way, and had fine results so far of it. He had pissed the man off, and now he was about to get the agent away from his relative. The emotion the teenager had to keep in check from surfacing? The Joy that accompanied anticipation of completion, and payment for his service to MAD. He motioned in a wave for John to follow him away from the entrance, and away from Penny.
"Is it ok that we're in this place? It looks like the kind of area only reserved for personnel." John questioned looking at the sign on the wall behind him. The sign reading "No entry beyond this point unless supervised. No food or drink allowed on person." The idea he was sure meant handlers only. Bring in food, and you are food. That guess coming from seeing an enclosure for jungle cats when he was outside the building that connected inwards.
"That's a good question I've never thought about before in this area. How about I go ask some one that works here, ok?" The teen answered, but as he started to leave the Inspector added new words to comfort him. Pointing in the opposite direction they'd come from, he continued with. "Staff I'll find that way. Not in the direction we came from where your niece is. Just hold tight here."
Feeling it could do no real wrong. John leaned up against the wall behind him, and put his hands in his pockets. His attention drawn back to the sign once more after seeing the boy leave him.
"Wild animals, wild boys, unknown aircraft errors this isn't my day." John said to himself sighing, talking in a low tone.
Terry in position now readied himself to fire his gun. Only shot one at this point in time had been fired. He felt sure he didn't need real practice despite that. It was after all a part of him. It was his right forearm on it's underside. A chamber cavern which opened up to reveal an energy cannon. The first shot it had fired had been by mistake. Him in a gym shortly after having recovered from the anesthesia used on him from the surgery which made him a cyborg. He wanted to test out his new implanted gadgets. The gun being a fun discovery, but a cut from his next paycheck. Doctor Claw wasn't pleased with the hole the new Elite agent of his, had shot through the floorboards. Damage to MAD headquarters of level six straight into level seven by energy fire? 200 dollars, and a reprimand that warned never to do it again unless he wanted to lose his gun.
In considered what he thought to be two delightful choices. Terry waved his revealed energy cannon gun of a arm at John. The choices he favored being either the man's head or chest. The Elite MAD agent wanted the moment to last longer, but knew such a thing was a bad idea. The Inspector might move, and his shot would be missed. At least the sniper shot he wanted in any case.
Before he could fire however after finally deciding to shoot the HAPPY agent between the eyes. Terry got an interruption from a source which made him fall back into his hiding spot by surprise. Augmented by technology hands attached by robotic extensions coming down over his gun. They wrapped around the arm, only to bend it backwards in his direction.
He wanted to shout in shock, but his sense of professionalism told him not to. He did want to catch the Inspector off guard, and revealing himself through a cry of surprise spoke nothing good of his rank status. Elite MAD agents as he had been told were the best of the best, and never made mistakes. While no one working for MAD aside from his friend and subordinate, Louis. Others he'd made the mistake of informing, he hoped knew what was good for them. This knowledge that he was even on this side mission from his assigned one. They wouldn't know, but he'd know of the shout. Just it as that mere fact would tarnish his self image in his mind.
"So simple way to dispatch of the gadget man. I'd think to do something more clever if I was in your place. You are such low-tech to me." Came the voice of the man controlling the movements of Terry's right forearm.
The current Elite MAD agent looked up finally, and saw his interference. A different cyborg that from his menacing appearance given. Terry was sure couldn't have been a HAPPY agent.
"Who do you work for?" Terry asked puzzled looking at the other cyborg, he felt sure of his guess being right that the man didn't work for HAPPY. MAD, another Elite agent like himself? He remembered hearing co-workers mutter about another Elite agent. One that went wrong, and had to be dismissed by the organization by it's normal extreme methods. Was this that fabled agent? The mistake one that in some of those mutterings had his mission?
He tested his theory. "You're the one I'm replacing high-tech or not you're not fit for duty, buster. Lay off my gun-arm, or I'll blast you off." Terry threatened the unknown assailant.
In the wait for the teenager to return to the spot he'd left John. The Inspector was beginning to feel it might be pointless. The kid might have just left, and forgot about him there. Worse yet, the kid knew how to return to his niece minus using the route used to get to where he was.
As mild fear started to take over John, he left the post for waiting at, for the teen. Walking or even running back to Penny, a feeling he was trying to fight, but knowing to a degree was justified.
"Your quarry is leaving," iRogue exclaimed as the former MAD agent saw John start to walk away. His position abandoned from where he'd been standing, and leaning against the nearest wall to him.
Cursing Terry fought to regain his right arm from the rogue, and won. The battle not an easy victory in strength. The former MAD agent, Terry learned was his match. An odd and chilling thought when he pondered it in depth. He had been weak his whole life until MAD had transformed him into a cyborg. This man with having the same strength he did. Told him that if it wasn't for how the fight to regain his arm had ended. On the fact he was sure the rogue had given up. Terry knew MAD likely had given the former agent equal strength capability. That was what was odd. Two MAD agents matched on physical ability. Something he'd never been witness to with other agents. What was chilling was not knowing why the rogue had given up the fight.
Terry dropped down from his perch on a short wall's roof, which thanks to area lighting was hard for people to see. The point of the short wall's architectural design being that of unique design and aesthetics. It had worked for him. What had not, was it's closeness to the metal grid of rafters which lined the ceiling. That had concealed the rogue. Darkness even he had failed to notice.
John missed Terry's energy blast by inches. The surprise of impact hitting near him however, throwing him off his balance. He fell to the floor, and quickly turned around to see what had caused the blast.
Seeing Terry was a shock, but one that didn't strike him with much wondering. What truly shocked him was seeing the gun sticking out from the underside of his arm. Another cyborg in his presence. The gadget loaded inspector was starting to feel less unique now on his status in medical science.
As Terry aimed to fire again at John, the MAD agent got his own shock that got shared also my the HAPPY agent as well. Of that from out of the darkness from which Terry had sprung down from his concealment. On the same form of robotic leg extensions both the Elite MAD and HAPPY agent had. The man who called himself iRogue stepped down into the hallway's better lighting.
The Inspector noticed the unwelcome guest to the scene taking place, before Terry did. Terry noticing only when it came too late to stop what was taking place.
Opening the door in his chest, iRogue released his servant army. The words he spoke as he did so being what jogged Terry's attention to him. "You are my quarry."
It went by quickly, the attack the shrews mounted on Terry. John ran at iRogue, his intent being to get the other man to stop the attack by force. He knew the other somehow controlled the rodents, likely through radio transmission. This crime unlike the last the rogue had committed by breaking into his home, would be punished. No hesitation this time, and failure to do his job right.
Hitting the rogue with as much force as he could. John found out didn't phase the other. The partially animal, partially machine shrews continued their attack on the MAD agent now in the throws of screaming in pain. John's added demand of asking, "call it off!" Also still having no effect on the acknowledgment iRogue showed to him.
What did phase the man, or at least get him to comply with John. Was the inspector attempting to deal out enforcement of the law on him. Not feeling like using his third arm to it's full extend of existence. John opened up the plate that normally hid it, and with one of his first given normal arms. If they could be called that at all. Took the set of handcuffs held in the fully robotic arm, and tried to place them on the rogue.
A feat that failed fast due to the rogue's saw blades becoming active, and slicing through the restrainment device. The former MAD agent twisting around afterwards to face John at an unnatural position. His spine if it were still his birth given one would have snapped at such an act. All his body beyond his hips backwards from where it should have been.
"He was my only reason to be here gadget man John Heyward. Until Our paths cross again, I - I - iRogue wish you bad luck." The rogue stated as he reopened the portal secured into his chest which normally held his army in containment till needed.
The army, his servants, the altered shrews given to him in his alteration to being what he was, started to return to him then. They ran off of Terry lying on the ground. The fallen man twitching spastically with no signs of control showing in the movements.
Once clear of the animals loose in the area, all the servant army returned to iRogue, but a few. The ones not retreating back into their master seeming to act like normal rodents. Something John had witnessed back in his home with his first encounter of the rogue. The former MAD agent seeing he could not finish the needed retrieval of the lost shrews. Twisted his upper body back into a more natural positioning, and broke free of the grip of the HAPPY agent.
Penny saw the men then. she'd started running to the place where they were at hearing not only the blast of the energy cannon gun in Terry's arm, but Terry screaming as well. She had known something was very wrong, and had to investigate it.
Beginning to take his leave of the Inspector and his niece, plus the man he hoped he had destroyed. The man known as iRogue in a bow lifted up his hat for a moment towards them before exiting their view. The view they got stuck with them, and sickened John.
At his home, John had voiced his thoughts in question. Where were the rogue's brains with all the mechanical devices built into his head, which were confined in it. This tip of the hat in iRogue's bow, showed him what the man had in his head. Nothing but machinery that filled a hole through the center of the man's skull.
Trying not to loose the breakfast he'd eaten on the charter plane. John started to more deeply give thought to what could make the mad man tick. As he made his way over to the MAD agent named Terry. He lifted the Elite MAD agent up part of the way to take a better look at him. Terry didn't seem to notice the actions given by the Inspector at all. The other cyborg seemed lost in whatever pain he was still experiencing from the attack he'd suffered from the enhanced animals.
"Uncle?" Beyond just saying that one part of his name. Penny wasn't sure what to say. What to make of what she had just seen, and what she was currently viewing.
"I know he wants me dead, but I don't want to see any one dead. I think this man might need a doctor, and Alan's expertise." The Inspector said with deep concern in his voice, still holding Terry up in a half leaning position against him.
In room 440, Terry awoke to feeling his head lifted, and seeing a form of scanner being held in front of him. It looked very much like one of the ones he'd seen carried by the medical staff he'd met the other day. The staff he only knew now because of becoming a member of MAD's Elite.
Turning his eyes to who held the device, sent him into shock followed by anger. The person before him wasn't so much his mortal enemy, but his friend and co-worker's one. Alan Engenis backed away with the device, and asked him how he was feeling other than being in rage.
"How are you feeling?"
"Where am I, and what were you just doing?" Terry growled in answering the engineer.
"Grateful for helping to save your life, thank you." Alan said with at first looking at the MAD agent, and then to John.
Noticing the Inspector, Terry's look turned meaner. John's look was no less as aggressive in nature. Neither were the looks he noticed of the others around him too. The girl who's feelings he chosen to manipulate by using the local kid to lure her uncle to what Terry hoped would have been his death. Also the dog, the mutt was there too. Not his mortal enemy, but the animal felt damn close in his book.
Brain was bearing his teeth at Terry, as the MAD agent looked around the room he was in.
"Are we in a hotel room?" The MAD agent questioned, sounding a little less hostile than he had with his first question.
"Yes, we are. First answer my friend. If it wasn't for him you'd likely be dead. The shrews didn't do much to harm the natural parts of your body. That just needed attention by antiseptic and bandages. Your mechanical parts however, those were a different case. Now once you answer him, you answer more questions that I intend to give you." John told Terry in demand and statement. His arms crossed across his chest, his further stance of positioning being one of Terry could tell, a man ready for action.
"I hurt, but I'm feeling better than I did at that Living Science place. Attack by cyborg shrew. That's something I didn't see coming. Attack by other animals employed by MAD. Bigger much bigger animals, I think that I would have expected." His answer when delivered not said to the engineer despite him being the one that was meant to take in the information. Terry told it to the inspector. Looking at John, and not letting the pain he'd mentioned, make his voice waver.
Uncrossing his arms, and putting one behind his back, John started his grilling of the would be assassin. "Question one: you're a cyborg now. That's new because I'm sure I would have noticed that the other day, or when we first met. Did you become a cyborg to overcome your short comings? That your bigger friend got to do all the action that first time, and your only job was torturing my niece's pet?"
Terry wondered if the Inspector's glare could look any colder, as he answered in shouting at him. "I had my job and Louis had his! Now I can do what he can and better!"
"Question two: that was a second attempt on my life back in the Living Science Center? Do you have something to do with the boy who led Penny and I there? That left me where you tried to strike." John asked, getting closer to Terry as he did so. Meant as a form of intimidation, the inspector hoped it would work. Also that the MAD agent was in no shape to strike at him now.
Answering the second question, Terry activated the function in his new mechanical muscles that resided in the ends of his fingertips. He presented his favorite of his new weapons to John. One of his set of talons.
"Your niece, and your friend, and your -." He glared at Brain, then added, "dog." Returning his look back to the Inspector, away from the K-9 that looked like he wanted to bite him. He then continued, "they came to your rescue. I wanted to see how devote you were to them by putting the weakest of them in harms way, or at least what you'd perceive that way. Yes, I did set up the kid to lead you to me." Terry finished, snapping in tone as he did so.
"Do you think those scare me?" John asked indicating in glance at the talons. The Elite MAD agent was showing on one clawed hand at him.
"It works on others. How about you?" Terry stated, and asked. The man's metal tipped fingers drawing closer to John as the question part of his reply came out.
John's reply came out without words, but an answer Terry understood. The gadget loaded inspector opened the containment ports on one arm and hand, to show to the MAD agent what he could do if he wanted to. Terry didn't fear seeing the watch, UV light, third brain sensor, or even John's swiss army gear. What he did fear was what he recognized as the man's non-active at the moment laser.
"I have another question for you before I call into the local police to take you in before HAPPY arrives. I called my employer before you woke up. Question three: Are you planning to do any form of foul play at the Pax Fusion talks? Any kind of criminal activities there?" John asked Terry.
Not wanting to further explain himself. Also not wanting to deal with the man any more. A reminder of failure. The Elite MAD agent went for the Inspector's throat, attempting to choke him.
John let out a small laugh at the act. The grip of the other man's hands not hurting his wind pipe at all.
Putting his robotic extensions in his upper spine into action. The Inspector extended his neck well beyond what any normal person should be capable of, and talking with his head raised over the MAD agent, exclaimed. "Honestly how dumb can you be? Your boss once tried to kill me through his idea of normal means. A normal human yes, would have been killed by the crushing & grinding action he tried, but I have metal under my skin. That counts my neck too. You're cyborg, Terry Skinie. Surely you understand your new strengths and weaknesses now?" By the end of the commenting, John's arms had also extended themselves well beyond their normal length.
He was trying to break free of the Elite MAD agent, and having a hard time of it. The reason being is Terry now was his match. The other man had the same ability as the inspector. Terry could extend his limbs as well. The fight not being one the MAD agent wanted to lose. This had become more than a matter of his failed job. It was a bigger matter of pride than he had first looked at it as. Inspector Heyward, the first true cyborg had to die. The HAPPY agent that seemed to mock his ability to do any job right, had to be finished off.
Watching the bizarre looking scene from what the trio considered to be the sidelines. Penny, Alan, and Brain were clear of the action taking place before them. A fight Penny wanted nothing to do with since she knew she'd only get in the way, and likely hurt. Brain felt otherwise about the battle his co-master was fighting. Knowing her pet all too well, Penny held on to him and his collar to keep the dog at bay. Alan knew he could help, and removed from one of his vest pockets, his cape.
Noticing the action of the engineer tucking the cape into the collar of the back of his shirt. Penny finally commented on what was taking place around them, and cautioned to him. "Truly Grateful for having his life saved isn't he? I wouldn't do that if I were you. They seem matched, and you know what Uncle John can do."
"Penny, I don't think villainous people ever are grateful." Alan said ignoring the second half of the girl's words.
Starting to come between the two bionically augmented men. Fearless with the fact he knew no harm could befall him. Alan broke into the fight, trying to force Terry away from John. Terry's reaction to the intruding HAPPY agent over the one he was fighting made the scene turn worse.
The Elite MAD agent revealed his energy cannon, and fired it. Alan being impervious at the moment to the impact of harm, got a different result than death by this. He got shot into and through the door to the hotel room. Wood splintering, and falling out into the hallway with the man as he left an oddly shaped hole at his size through the forced exit.
Knowing this meant she definitely would come to harm if she stayed. Penny watching the MAD and HAPPY agent locked in battle, carefully made her way out of the room. Thanks to the HAPPY agent not in the combat zone at the moment. She didn't need to open the door to the room to leave. She used the hole he had provided. Brain followed her with the same air of fear in his thoughts. He may have wanted a piece of Terry then, but he knew better than to attempt it then.
"Call the police!" John shouted, the sound well making it into the hallway. His family and co-worker, taking note of the demand.
Getting up from the floor, and rubbing himself pointlessly. The normal thought one should have been hurt being knocked through a door. Alan asked weakly at first, but stronger by the end of his question.
"Can I do anything more added to that John?"
"I'll call the police, Alan. Hopefully some one at the station will know English." Penny said looking between him, and through the hole into room 440. The battle inside it still raging with cursing, and the added sound of furniture breaking to top that. The men inside the room in such a scuffle, Penny wondered if anything of the place would remain intact at it's end.
"But I want to help." Alan replied, watching the fight too. At least what he could catch of it.
To the same as the girl and her pet. The engineer was only catching sight of what of the fight fell into view from through the hole he'd made. The tech HAPPY agent's thoughts not only being of what's he'd spoken. What the teenager was thinking, but also of his and the inspector's employer. Would HAPPY cover the costs of the damages being inflicted to the hotel room currently being demolished?
"We all know that, but you can't do anything beyond being a repair man." Penny told Alan as she started acting antsy in standing where she was. One of her hands reaching into a pants pocket as she said the words, grabbing onto her cell phone.
Alan continued looking wide eyed into the hole leading into room 440. One of his hands starting to fiddle with part of his cape.
Dialing what she hoped was the idea of 911 for the country, Penny looking at Alan, looked around them further. She noticed that the commotion of their former room going on, had attracted the attention of some of the hotel's other guests. To top that some of them were staring in her direction. although she made a bet it wasn't really her they were looking at.
"Take off the cape, Alan. People are staring at you." She insisted as she waited for the dialed number to be answered on the other end of her call.
"Yeah, I'll do that. Um, I think I'll check on our flight. Get more and hopefully updated information from the pilot." His words coming out softly. A lie just said. Not of checking on the charter plane and speaking with it's pilot. That lie being removing his cape.
With one look backwards, Alan saw the girl start to attempt to talk with the area's local authorities. In adding another look he noticed people really were looking in their direction. Starting to move away, he noticed they were in fact watching him more. This note of observation sinking in, but not a discovery he felt the need to socially correct.
Walking into the elevator nearest to him for the fourth floor, Alan didn't currently care who was looking at him. What they thought of him? He wasn't sure he thought anything of that too. What was he worth in this foreign land? The answer he pondered likely meant little more than what Penny had just told him. He was a repairman. That was the main reason he was even with them.
When the door to the elevator closed, leaving just the teenager and her pet in the hallway outside the door with scattered wood in front of it. Penny noticed that the people who had been keeping their distance, now were starting to approach her. Her reaction in seeing this being one she knew she had in common with the adults she was traveling with. That of her uncle's outlook in these moments, and his now no longer present co-worker. Protective fear, these people should stay clear of the danger present. She would try to keep them away from room 440 till more help came.
The staff of HAPPY working in HQ knew better than to try, and interact with Team Launched Bug. Simple reason being it was hard, and they felt it was getting harder the more the team bonded with each other. Normally the staff not involved in the engineering devision considered their talk to simply be technobabble. Words of technical meaning not worth knowing unless you needed to for some odd reason. All the teams did this act, but the one named Launched Bug had taken it to a new level.
In the team's formation it gained an employee named Von Slickstein, that while being bilingual. The man's native tongue was Dutch, and so more spoke it than English. This common way of speaking to his team members had forced them to want to understand what he was saying most the time. A really important element they reminded him of cooperating on projects together. The man had a sense of humor at first that the other team members got grateful was dropped after four sessions of language lessons. He made them pay to learn words from him. The money idea dropping when he decided he liked working with them, and wanted to play with the other staff using them.
Words not belonging to an environment such as theirs, a development & testing lab. Then got introduced into their vocabulary from the Dutch representative of the team. The team's vocabulary becoming a blend of normal English. A matter staff outside the engineering devision could deal with. The normal addition of technobabble. A matter staff outside the engineering devision couldn't deal with easily. Plus an added in mixture of Dutch combined with what some could only guess was slang in the language. A matter staff outside the engineering devision couldn't deal with in full. The combination of the different ways of speaking together into one another.
one representative of Team Launched Bug, not at HAPPY HQ knew this speak well. Alan was sure he knew one word of what he was hearing or had heard around him. Walking towards the Lisbon Portela Airport, he didn't care what was taking place around him. After all he reasoned, it wasn't like he'd see any one of these people again after today. He was basically a tourist. One of he guessed hundreds that must visit the city every day. So what if they thought he looked weird. That guess coming from the one word he'd understood said to him passing by a woman. In Dutch she had called him a freak. He was sure other words he'd heard around him. while spoken in Portuguese likely meant near the same thing.
"Plan on flying some where bucko?" An older man laughed at Alan, stopping in front of the engineer to block his path.
The HAPPY agent not feeling like replying at first. He was surprised to hear English clearly spoken without an accent. No one except the company he was traveling with had done that so far here. Knowing this person likely was a tourist himself. Alan wondered as he finally worked himself up to speaking, if he'd ever encounter this person back home.
"I am - I'm going to the airport, and I don't feel like flying right now. This hasn't been the best of days for me so far today." The man's tone coming across somewhat melancholia.
The man Alan had guessed to be a fellow tourist after hearing the reply, now laughed harder at his. Nothing more said, he walked now around the tech.
Alan watched him fade off into the deep crowd which surrounded them. The city dwellers moving in, off to do their own tasks and errands for others. The fellow tourist when he had been leaving the man, had looked behind himself once in a while to chuckle at Alan. Unlike the other people not speaking to him, that had made an impression on Alan. Being with all the possible insults he'd been told in his walk so far. One he knew for a fact said in Dutch. Now one boldly laughed at him in plain English. The impression the man had left on him was not to talk to these people at all. Just to do the task at hand.
He achieved this all the way back to Gate 86A of the airport, where him and his company had basically started their time in the country. Forced to, and grudgingly knew he must. Alan asked the ticket check lady at her desk if there was any word of what was going on with the charter plane he'd flown in on.
"Any thing on the plane owned by HAPPY? At last note, something was wrong with the plane."
"Um, what?" She understood him. She just like the others he noticed, wasn't sure what to say to him.
Repeating himself using slightly different wording, and more sternly. He told her again. "Any thing on the plane owned by HAPPY? At last note, something was wrong with it's gasoline tank."
Regaining her composure at the sight of the man, she turned her attention to a computer monitor before her. The information not presented on it's screen, or by request when she tried to call it up. She grabbed a walkie talkie on her desk, and called for help which soon came.
An employee came to the booth that looked to be more on the maintenance side of the airport's staff than the representative side which the lady was on. After looking quickly at Alan in wonder, he started talking to the woman. Alan caught none of what was being said. For the millionth time today he guessed in listening to them, and trying to understand their words. He regretted not knowing the local language.
Once they stopped talking the regret was soon smoothed over. When she finally answered his question in English. "It keeps losing it's oil. There are no signs as to why this is happening. The plane is in good shape. Maybe if this mystery persists you can get another plane to take you to Israel, was it?"
With hearing the known facts repeated, Alan slid one of his hands up and over his face into his hair in frustration. Nothing had been achieved in asking her the question.
Looking to her co-worker, he remembered Penny's words to him of what he was. He was a repairman. Likely what this person was. Maybe even without a knowledge geared towards aircraft maintenance, he could still help out some how.
"May I try and help with the plane? There is a chance I might be able to diagnose and fix what is going on." Alan asked turning back to the woman at the booth.
Again not too sure what to say at first she paused before remembering airport guidelines of circumstances such as this. At least circumstances involving small aircrafts not owned by commercial companies. Despite having never heard of HAPPY before today, she was sure it was a non-commercial airline. What she guessed she knew had to fit the bill here. Plus it got her to be able to move on to work she was used to handling. Normal passenger jets with normal clientele.
"The charter plane doesn't belong to a commercial airline. That means if you represent it's owner, there is no reason for me to hold you back, sir." She stated with a false smile & a wave for Alan to walk by her, and through the departure gate & ramp, to the outside.
As Alan was entering the gate he heard the maintenance employee talk to the woman with mild laugher in his voice.
The HAPPY agent had it then. He was tired of guessing, and had to know if his guessing was correct. True, he didn't really care what they thought of him. conformation of his thoughts of what they were saying was something he felt was now needed.
"Before I leave you to your business. Please in English tell me what you find so funny?" Alan requested, his gaze switching back and forth between the two employees.
Snickering, the maintenance employee took his leave of Gate 86A, as his co-worker replied. "There is no need to play hero here. We don't think it's a criminal matter. You could get hurt pretending you are Superman or something."
Taking in her words, Alan dropped his eyes to the ground. He kept them fixed there didn't look away from it till he was down the ramp from the gate, and outside.
Louis fell backwards on to the suitcases in the storage section of a luggage tug near the charter plane, closing his eyes. He'd just done his job again, and felt he needed a break.
Ever since Terry had his brilliant idea hours ago, Louis had been siphoning the gasoline out of the HAPPY charter plane every time it got fueled up. Every time the action was taken he kept an eye out for the airport's staff. To & from the airport's luggage tugs he went, in and out of hiding. Feeling pooped of all his energy, he rested now in the first one he had used for concealment.
Hearing foot steps near by got his attention. From his state of relaxation in trying to keep comfortable on bulky fabric and leather covered cases, he opened one eye. The fuelers, he questioned. Could they be back already?
Listening again with both eyes closed now. He tried to picture from sound who was walking near by him. The sound of the tough fueling hose being dragged across the ground, not present. The MAD agent smiled realizing this couldn't have been an employee he should be concerned about. Now he could rest, and not worry until he heard the dragging noise of the hose being carried to the plane.
Nothing looked wrong with the plane, Alan noted. Even with a lack of knowledge of what could be viewed as awry with aircraft. He felt sure nothing was out of place with this one.
Looking out around it, he took in the sight of the large commercial jets which dominated the surrounding area. They too, he was sure if he checked them out, would be like the one owned by HAPPY. Nothing to compare against for to a hypothesis of what could be wrong. With feeling disappointment again, now in the loading and fueling area of the airport. The engineer turned his eyes downcast to the ground again. What could he do now? Sit in the lobby of the Altis Park Hotel until a new room could be booked? If they'd let John or him even attempt such a thing again. Alan ventured they would be sore about the destroyed room, and wouldn't allow the HAPPY agents to get a new one.
In his time of pondering what to do next. Looking at the ground, he shifted his look from directly below the charter plane's gas port, to near by it. Gasoline soaked foot prints, and a lot of them. None of them leading back to where the tanks surfaced to the cement with their connection port leads for the fueling hoses. These tracks went to most of the luggage tug vehicles around the immediate area.
Feeling the need to quench his curiosity about the foot prints. Not expecting to really see anything other than other people's luggage. Alan went to peer into the tug vehicle nearest to the charter plane. The sight he got, not being what it was he expected. Although he immediately guessed he might now have an answer about the HAPPY plane's gas problem.
Louis feeling a slight rocking of the cart's compartment section, sat up to view the disturbance. It was Alan, the last man on Earth he ever felt like meeting again. The MAD agent growled in frustration as he with effort, stood up in the compartment to face the HAPPY agent. Alan was also standing as best he could in the compartment section. The suitcases which covered the ground beneath their feet causing both men unsure footing as they faced each other.
"What is it with you?" Alan exclaimed in shock, and shaking of his head a little in disbelief.
"I could ask the same thing!?" Louis replied, the urge to shout being controlled, but barely.
Holding on to the plastic wall of the compartment section, on it's top rim. Alan, moving closer to Louis, questioned him. ""You're here with your partner aren't you? He's locked in battle with Inspector Gadget right now."
"Inspector Gadget?!" Louis openly questioned, not knowing what to make of the name. He figured it could be a description applying to one person he knew of. The HAPPY inspector, could be given that name, if one wanted to over generalize him.
"A code name I gave him he uses off & on now. It happened after you two tried to do him in the first time." Alan replied to the question. Then after pausing continued with his query.
"You have to do with the charter plane owned by HAPPY not keeping it's fuel aren't you? An assumption I can only make by the oily footprints across the tarmac. Some of those sets of prints leading here."
Glaring at Alan, Louis felt he knew what this could lead to, and then voiced his thoughts. "This is gonna be history repete'n it's self isn't it?!"
Taking on an air of calmness, not befitting the moment at hand. Alan answered the question. "Well you guys have a habit of trying to do away with my partner. You shot me multiple times, and you're causing an important mission to be delayed. Do you want Corporal Capeman to kick your behind back into a jail cell again?" The engineer's left hand motioning briefly in a wave-like circle as he finished talking.
"God, you've got a codename too? What did Heyward or a.k.a. Inspector Gadget come up with that for you?" Louis rolled his eyes as he questioned the tech. The idea both of the counter organization agents whom him and Terry were dealing with. Having these comic book like nicknames felt unbelievable to Louis.
"No, I invented that one as well." Alan replied as he reached into one of his pant's pockets to pull out his cell phone. Shaking his head in the fashion of saying "no", the HAPPY agent continued, now showing more frustration about the matter being dealt with.
"Just "F" this." He said while starting to dial on the phone. The memory of the airport's security center number still fresh in his mind. Something he wouldn't have noticed if not for being held up by waiting at the booth by the charter plane's gate. It had been on a sign behind the lady standing there. Everything posted on it being vital information for patrons of the airport's business.
Figuring he knew at a strange guess what made the man seem to have superpowers, Louis pulled off Alan's cape, fast. At also the same time, he attempted to take away the man's cell phone at the same speed.
With a forced pause in the use of his phone, Alan went pale in the realization of what had just happened. He was up a creek, and couldn't help but vocalize it. When speaking it was hard not to show his fear about what the MAD agent had just done to him.
"Ok, you figured right. It is the cape." The words had come out right. He didn't have the fear enter his voice, but he knew the opposing agent knew better. Bending down and trying to balance himself on the suitcases. Alan went to pick up his cape.
"You're nothing without it. I want my revenge, plus I'm not going back to jail!" Louis shouted at the tech, being forgetful of not being noticed. His rage at Alan being so strong it didn't seem to matter. That's when the MAD agent grunt finally went for it. Months of anger in thinking about how he'd been taken down by a man who looked weaker than him. Louis dove at Alan in trying to punch him as hard as he could.
Alan missed the punch, with catching sight of it out the corner of his eye as he took hold of his cape again. The impact of the blow however, and the shaking presented in Louis moving fast over the suitcases. Did cause both men to fall at the action of the punch. Alan in a short smack into the luggage. Louis with a larger fall, but on to Alan. The impact felt at full force by Alan without his cape tucked back into his shirt. The simple looking cloth enhanced garment, still held in one hand.
"Funny, your partner felt the need for upping the ante more drastically!" Alan snapped & shouted at Louis. The hand of the engineer holding cape attempting to slide correctly on his back to tuck in the fabric. The man's other hand at the same time, trying to reactivate the cell phone's interface screen for calling.
Seeing the double action the tech was trying to undertake, Louis made a choice. The choice worked, but he hoped it wouldn't cause him to regret the action. The MAD agent got hold of the HAPPY agent's phone, and threw it out of the luggage tug.
Forgetting about trying to reattach his cape into the back of his shirt. Alan stood up to try and climb down out of the vehicle's compartment section, for the ground. The urge to have the MAD agent removed from his sight. To see him put behind bars again being the most important thing he could think to do at the moment.
Louis knowing what was going to happen next did an act which made him smile. The grunt bracing himself with one hand against the plastic siding of the compartment section's wall. Grabbed the cape held in the engineer's hand, and with one foot kicked him out of the luggage tug. In the start of his fall to the ground, Alan lost his hold over the cape. Louis holding it disregarded it, and threw it aside from him.
Hurting, and laying on the ground, Alan saw Louis hop out of the luggage tug. The MAD agent's look was that of a predator's. Louis was ready to either hurt Alan badly or kill him. Alan knew he had to act fast, and scrambled for his phone.
Reaching the phone, Louis reached him at the same time. With the phone in hand, but body still on the ground, Alan kicked the MAD agent in the gut before getting up.
Louis bent in pain, tried to grab the tech, as the man ran past him. The other man activating the cell phone's interface finally getting to dial the airport's security center. The act done as he not only got past his possible killer, but also done as he got back into the luggage tug.
Watching Alan climb into the vehicle's compartment section, Louis now went pale.
The call now connected presented the engineer with the same problem he had been getting since speaking with the country's first natives. The security center greeted him understandably in Portuguese. The person talking to him on the other end changing fast as they heard which language he was using. They had other staff on hand, and by the sound of Alan's voice, knew something was wrong.
The questioning started with asking his location.
"Look for the only man in flight out here not using a plane." Alan answered holding the phone in a pressed state against his shoulder to one ear. His hands busy at the collar of his shirt. The answer about to become a reality as he fitted his shimmering technology enhanced garment into position.
As Alan rose up into the air above the compartment section of the luggage tug. He told them to hold on one moment before asking him more questions. Glaring down at Louis, and holding the phone away from his head, he spoke to him. "Ok, maybe I'm not much in a fight without this, but I don't need to change who I am to be useful. Maybe the Inspector, he can pretty much handle his own, but that doesn't mean my assistance isn't needed."
Louis only wondered lightly what the words meant. Although he had the feeling he did know what was about to happen. What he could do to stop it? The answer was nothing.
Returning the phone to his ear, and speaking into it, the engineer stated he had found out why the charter plane couldn't hold it's fuel. That as soon as they could send men out to his location. They would have the explanation in their custody.
Terry watched his friend and subordinate co-worker, get led into what constituted the police station he was in. Handcuffed and looking like he'd taken a beating, the Elite MAD agent wondered what had happened to Louis. Only two officers were moving him along into the room. Normally Terry knew it would take more brute force to move the man. He wondered more now what event or events could have taken their toll on him.
He had to break the ice some how for answers. His own failure felt like as best a place as any to start from in this. "I tried dealing with the Inspector. How'd you get busted?"
"I'd rather not talk about it." Louis replied as he got pushed up against a desk. An officer sitting down to the desk, starting to type at a computer, noted the two men conversing asked the logical question.
"You dois saber each other?" He asked looking between them, eying one another.
Both the MAD agents looking to each other, didn't know how to reply. What to reply.
Standing by the door which had been the entrance Louis had been led in through. His niece and her pet along, with them. John answered for the counter organization agents, to the questioning officer. "They're a team, and a pair of MAD agents at that."
The officer at the desk with Louis on it's side shook his head in acknowledgment, and continued typing.
Coming in through the door now, Terry now got his answer, or at least what felt like a part ways answer. The only man Louis seemed to hold a real grunge against. The HAPPY engineer that always accompanied the inspector on his missions, Alan was walking in. What Terry couldn't figure out about the picture was the guess Louis had put forth about the man looking wrong. The source of his power, the cape wasn't on him.
The thought was voiced at the same time it had occurred to him. Terry asked, "how could he without the cape?"
Louis didn't answer, but Alan smiling in his normal Cheshire cat way did. "Oh, I was wearing it then. I'm just not wearing it now." Hooking a thumb at Penny, he continued. "She made a good point to me earlier today. It makes some people stare at me the wrong way."
Once he'd finished with answering the MAD agent's question. Alan wondered what was going on with the man. A major question he thought. Terry Skinie should not be out in the open. Sitting in a chair, wrapped up in cable, and handcuffed, only felt to a point like a good precaution in dealing with him. Alan had witnessed Terry to a point was like John. Except for the talons and energy cannon. That is what made him more dangerous, and Alan wondered then beyond those differences. Plus the extending of his limbs and neck, an act the inspector could do, what other surprises the man contained, he wasn't aware of.
"Why isn't he in a jail cell? I mean Terry, the ungrateful SOB that could easily -." Alan paused thinking deeply about what the Elite MAD agent could do if he wanted to.
"The station is too fearful to lock him away with other prisoners. Now at least he has company. Alan, you are behind this? Catching what was mister Louis Largoe did this time?" John answered and questioned him at the same time.
"He was Causing our flight delay." Alan answered looking at first to Louis, and then to John as he did so.
Walking away from the wall the Inspector when over to, and looked over a fingerprint machine not in use. He flipped up it's on switch before stating his thoughts openly to anyone who'd listen, that and questioning his niece. The turning on, and use of the machine something he'd started doing in his old police department station back in Metro City a few months back. He'd started this habit shortly after he had become a cyborg. "While I don't know how it is a crime. I'm sure these local Public Security Police? Penny?"
The officers who noticed the inspector's actions with the fingerprint machine didn't object to seeing the man make use of it. To them it meant more records, and why not let the man use it to begin with? While he claimed to work for an international protection agency. They still questioned it's place in upholding the law. The name HAPPY not being one they had heard often. Getting the man's finger prints felt like a bonus they were going to allow. The man acted strange, and what better way to start a profile on him.
Penny, Alan, and Brain understood the act. Penny paused watching him in light worry while the machine scanned in her uncle's finger prints before answering him. He didn't need it again she knew. The conformation he still was himself. Still had his from the day he was born fingerprints. Not a set of new ones fitted to him after he'd become what he currently was. Altered drastically inside with little that really showed different outside, not unless revealed. HAPPY had managed to make sure he had kept 90% of his skin after he'd been changed. His fingerprints included in being kept.
What worried her was he wasn't on familiar ground here. This wasn't a Metro City police station, this wasn't even the well familiar with HAPPY, 21st Precinct station in Stanley. Given these facts she was sure for the first time since her uncle had started doing these self checks on himself. He was about to get disappointed, and even possibly emotionally hurt at the results. "I think I remember from Geography class, they're formally called the Polícia de Segurança Pública, but your right Uncle John. Not in Portuguese, that's what they're called."
"I thought you didn't know the language? Never mind, I don't think I can pronounce the name. But I'm sure the Public Security Police know what they're doing, and stopping planes must be a crime in this country." John replied, getting a lump in his throat. Not because of what was being talked about, but what came up on the fingerprint machine's monitor.
The Inspector was not recognized in it's system database. John Heyward did not exist in it's listing. The machine at reading his fingerprints was requesting new and standard information on what to do next with the fresh set of prints it had just been fed. Was he listing his prints as an offender of the law, or defender or rookie officer of the law? The information shown at first in Portuguese. English after he'd used the machine's mouse to click on the British flag. The translation only taking one moment to change over. He clicked the second choice listed before turning off the machine.
After taking in what he knew to be a disappointing lack of information for his co-master. Brain decided he'd help distract the man, and at the same time enjoy the moment. The MAD agent that while the K-9 knew had to be one of many people who had done this act to him. Work the relay he once had in his brain to give information to MAD. An event which used to torture the dog to no end each night with the feeling of an intruder present that wasn't physically there. Skinie was the only one of these people Brain had ever personally witnessed doing this act on him.
The pet dog had already once attempted revenge on the man. His cowering on a counter keeping the agent out of reach during the attempt. When Brain had been lifted onto the counter to actually reach him. The fun of the revenge some how felt hollow. Likely because he'd needed the help in reaching the MAD agent. That when Brain had become eye to eye with him, the dog knowing the local police would soon be on their way to take him in. Felt at the time to help create the hollow feeling.
Knowing now one jail couldn't hold the man. plus knowing also the MAD agent was even more dangerous now than he had been months ago. Well that just told Brain maybe now he could bite him. Who would reject it happening? Not the co-master he guessed. The co-master hated the man too, and Brain was sure that the MAD agent getting chomped on wouldn't be minded by him. The only question the dog had about the revenge being exactly how to carry it out.
He'd never tried biting the co-master in his now cyborg state. That of little flesh to bite into before hitting un-crunch-able metal. Just what could a normal dog do in that case? He didn't quite care as he raised the fur on his back, and started to walk slowly to the bound & handcuffed man. He was sure with a few bites he'd find a satisfying spot to take out his feelings of aggression on the MAD agent.
When Brain started growling in a low tone in his walk to Terry, that's when Penny noticed the dog's activity. That's when she quickly ran to him and grabbed hold of his collar to stop him in his tracks.
"Brain, he's bound and handcuffed. It wouldn't be right." Penny said to the animal.
His reaction, his reply to her being one he knew would get him what he wanted. Brain replied to the teenage girl with the fastest pouting and pitiful expression he could bring himself to muster on the fly.
It worked, she released his collar with a smile on her face he'd grown to love. A look of approval that after his collar was out of her grip, now got words to further validate her expression. "Well maybe if we weren't in a police station."
He wagged his tail, and smiled back at her in as best a fashion as his K-9 face could. Then after that turning from her, dropped his tail down again, keeping it now in a still state. His face turning fierce & determined once more. His ears folding into his head lower than normal. His walk resuming, now feeling more rewarding then before.
Fun things like this had Brain let his face scowl in thought. Don't last long sometimes. Not when people who you'd think would approval of such actions are near by, and don't want you to do them. His thoughts after being grabbed yet again by the collar. Not by his loving master, but by his co-master, the girl's uncle.
Terry had been watching the dog the whole time the animal had been in the act. The Elite MAD agent now grinning with joy at seeing one foe take care of the other foe. That at least with this encounter with the mutt, he'd been spared of it. Thanks to strangely a man at any other time he'd rather see dead.
"That's right you can't get me now you dumb dog!" Terry shouted across the station to Brain. The man reveling so much in the moment he failed to notice a new dog near him.
Not another dog like Brain. A mutt created by geneticists working for MAD. This was a police dog, and what at least appeared to be a full blooded German Shepherd at that. The animal was being led into the room without leash by one of the station's officers. Calm when entering the room, that soon changed when the animal caught sight of Terry.
At the animal's acknowledgment of seeing the Elite MAD agent, it shook it's head as if trying to deal with a matter going on in it's mind. The police dog's temperament suddenly changing after it had dealt with the shaking. Looking at Terry now as if studying the man. The dog broke away from it's handler, and walked up to Terry, putting it's paws on his upper legs.
Not being fearful of this dog, all the MAD agent could think to do at the animal's interest in him was try, and poke fun at it. "Did that comment offend you?" He cracked at the K-9, figuring some how the animal must have heard his comment to the former MAD agent mutt.
Not expected, the dog started into a reply that caught everyone in the room watching the man with beast off guard. It narrowed it's eyes and opened it's mouth. An act which could be looked at as odd? No. If not for what happened to the animal's mouth when it became fully opened. That coming up from under the dog's tongue, some how concealed well inside the lower jaw of the creature, came a speaker. The police dog was in fact a cyborg.
Knowing HAPPY could not have been the party responsible for the animal's bionic augmentation. John only had one word to say in seeing the unexpected sight. what he'd always utter when caught off guard in such a fascinated way as he was now with the sight of the altered German Shepherd, "wowzers."
No one else spoke until the next unexpected thing happened. The police dog spoke. "Did you honestly think you could keep this lie from me forever! Inspector Heyward is alive, and here in the same room! You deserve what is coming to you, but you are my only option right now over the peace talks!"
It was Doctor Claw's voice. The animal was being used as a puppet for the will of his boss. Terry didn't know what to do except face the music. He'd been caught, and knew what fate was about to befall him.
"Death?" The Elite MAD agent asked the dog, questioning & hoping he was some how wrong. The man wincing at the thought as he spoke the single word.
Knowing that the end was near for his friend, Louis brought up the courage in himself to do the most insane thing he'd ever done in his life. Ask the bad guys for help, but more accurately the only person in the room beyond his nemesis, he thought could handle the cyborg animal.
"Inspector Gadget, a little help here?" Louis shyly asked John, turning his attention to him.
Yet again surprise filled the room, and the inspector nearly felt like asking Louis how he even knew of his invented code name. It didn't happen because to him at this moment nothing else felt necessary other than, again trying to save a life. John started to move towards the police dog, and man it was confronting.
Before he'd reached the altered animal, it acted, but not how Terry expected it to on Doctor claw's behalf. Right before the dog took a savage large bite into one of Terry's wrists. The act of the bite damage did do harm to him, but not death. As the dog was about to bite him, Doctor Claw explained his actions before taken.
"Punishment and release! You will continue with your mission, or you will in fact die by my personal claws!" The man said through the German Shepherd. Moments before ripping off the Elite MAD agent's left hand, and at the same time freeing him of the hold the handcuffs he was bound with, held him in.
While the rest of the people occupying the station watching, looked at the sight of Terry holding up his left arm. The injured limb with just a stub now where once it had a hand. The onlookers mortified and repulsed by what they just seen happen. Terry saw it differently. A loss yes, but not with what he'd think to expect at it happening.
"That didn't hurt as much as I'd thought." He voiced, then in remembering Louis's state of freedom at the moment. Terry continued in speaking with what to him felt like a good question to help the other out. "Louis would you like Doctor Claw to help?"
"No no no! Real hands here! I can live with jail for now!" Louis said frantically, while at the same time trying to some how tuck his hands into himself against his gut.
Having not missed the co-worker / subordinate's whine not to lose one of his hands to the possessed dog. Doctor Claw continued speaking his thoughts to his employees. Although with focusing his attention on to Terry as he spoke through the K-9.
"Your incompetent partner in crime staying here will suit MAD fine for now. As of this moment I, your boss, and chief representative of MAD, will do the job you claimed you did through this dog!" At saying this, the animal jumped on to one of the near by desks, in a leap Brain looked at with partial admiration. The lack of full approval stemming from the facts the fellow K-9 clearly was working for MAD, and what it did just after the jump. The dog showed it's self to be more of a bionically altered creature than before.
The tail of the police dog extended it's self out from the animal's body. The rear end of the spine now looking like a metal snake at a ridiculous length. That once fully outstretched, whipped up into a long fluorescent lamp fixture above the animal, on the ceiling. It's eye's lighting up red as it's tail cracked the plastic protecting the light bulbs held within the casing. The lights not only blacking out in the fixture as the dog damaged them, but also in all the surrounding lighting inside the station. The German Shepherd not only had just blacked out all the area's lighting, but at the same time powered off all of the plugged in devices in the place too.
The fellow dog had caused a blackout, and Brain didn't approve of this one bit.
With the sudden darkness of the station, and no windows to the outside allowing sunlight to shine in. The officers belonging to the station, shouted in words of exclamation the Americans present could only guess at. Likely cursing, and panic they thought. Given every one had a mild idea where the police dog was from time to time. What gave away it's location, was not. so much the occasional sound of items being shifted or crashing as it moved through the station, but it's eyes.
The altered MAD K-9 had it's eyes blinking in, and out of being lighted up in the red they first showed when it knocked out the power. Being helpless to truly locate the animal was felt by all except by John. He could shed light on this problem literally.
Using a mental command revealed a flashlight he had built into one of his fingers. This to a degree helped locate the dog, but not by much. The animal was moving fast, much to rotten discovery. The Inspector for the first time noticed his personal flashlight wasn't much good in a place like this. It's power output in lumens more noticeable in his home, in a closet, than a large police station's main operating room.
Activating another of his gadgets, his laser. John fired at the animal when he could finally locate it for more than a second at a time. The cyborg K-9 yelped at this, with getting hit briefly in it's side by it's flank. It ran faster than before making sure to stay well hidden by the man, it had been given an order to destroy. A strange prospect John mused with what was going on here.
"That was a little cry. Did you get it John? I can hear movement. Brain?" Alan questioned.
The answer came from two places. When the first reply came it was not from the fellow HAPPY agent. Not hurt, but feeling panic himself. Brain replied with a bark that almost sounded like a whimper. Then came John's answer.
"Little unsure what to do here, Alan. The dog is a killer agent of MAD, but on the other hand he's police property." John's problem, and one he'd faced over and over. The conflict of knowing what should be done, but having so much respect for the enforcement of the law it was hard to do it. This dilemma left him dumbfounded as to how to resolve it's out come.
"Extinguir o cachorro!" Came a shout from one of the station's officers in answering John's question.
"What was that?" John questioned, his regret of not knowing a second language surfacing again. Now not just to his niece Penny, but also, and new to every one else present.
"I think that might have meant you have permission, Uncle. Um, Uncle shine your flashlight at me. I think I know -," Penny was feeling too afraid to continue her statement. The reason being was the feeling of hot breath on the skin of her neck, and the smell accompanying it. Dog breath, but she guessed not from her beloved pet, as she started trying to move away from it.
"Penny?" he replied, turning in the direction of her voice, John saw what neither of them could when she had spoken. The altered K-9 was upon her. The animal was standing on it's hind legs. It's forelegs holding on to the wall on either side of the girl. Mouth open it looked like it was ready to bite likely in the throat since the dog stood to that height with her. Although that was not the dog's plan right then, at least at that moment. Doctor Claw spoke when taking notice himself through the animal, this had been discovered. What the police dog was doing without orders.
"Such is the animal. The predator. The weakest are normally the first to die. Not my choice, young lady. You are a bonus." Words said as when the animal drew in closer to the teenager's throat. The speaker under it's tongue starting to retract into the lower jaw of the animal. It's reasoning being for a better chance to take hold of the flesh of her windpipe.
She couldn't speak, to whatever words the young lady wanted to say, they were caught in the throat, so near the dog.
John knowing what must be done then without hesitation. Extended his arms out to take hold of the police dog, to rip it away from his niece. The animal catching sight of what was approaching it, then took action to prevent the Inspector from protecting his family. It wrapped it's abnormally long tail around his arms up to his wrists. The hold the tail held over the HAPPY agent was like what John could only imagine was the same form of restriction a boa-constrictor must use on it's prey.
As the altered K-9 started to touch the girl's neck with it's fangs. John spoke the last words it would ever hear.
"You leave me no choice." He said as he revealed the laser gadget concealed on one of his fingers a second time. The weapon without true aim, being locked into the place, the grip of the dog's tail held over it. Ripped into the animal's back for where it was pointed. No noise was made in the action, for when the beam of deadly red light hit the beast through it's back. It went straight through to one of the animal's lungs.
No longer alive, the altered dog fell on to Penny who shrieked at the feel of the mound of lifeless fur hitting her.
Knowing the threat to his family was over with. The Inspector knew there was one other important task at hand. One created thanks to the now dead cyborg dog. The animal had helped free one of it's fellow MAD agents just before the blackout it had created. John was sure the man was now free of his bonds given his resourcefulness. "Not to kill, but now on to the other on the loose." John said wide eyed sweeping his flashlight in the direction he'd last seen the agent in.
"Terry Skinie?" The Inspector continued his query, now more worried at the confirmed fact found by his light. The Elite MAD agent gone from location the HAPPY agent had his attention focused on.
"I think he is gone." The reply came by the way of one of the law enforcement officers that worked in the building.
Having the urge to know who had just spoken to him. John shined his flashlight on to the officer, before asking. "You know English I take it?"
"Little pouco, he's gone." Came the officer's reply, blinking at the light hitting his face.
Now knowing at seeing the basic reaction of the man at John's light. The sole light in the whole room being while dim, enough to bother his company in the area. The Inspector shut it off, leaving the station in total darkness in it's absence. Being both a literal and figurative matter at the same moment. In the darkness the bilingual officer spoke up again. "So what do we do now?"
"Louis Largoe?" John now questioned into the darkness.
"Still here you dumb lug!" The only MAD agent left in the station replied.
It was a little unexpected getting the call to duty for the peace talks just around the corner. Getting shipped out to Tel Aviv, and now standing in the reception area of the Conference Center holding the talks. Agent of HAPPY Fairfax Caldwell, reviewed the faxes and printed emails being found all over the building.
On every computer screen upon start up the name "Ferdinand" was in bold print on the desktop. The same occurrence was present in the faxes & emails as well. The reason it was brought to the attention of the freshly dispatched agent to the scene. Caldwell guessed with dread why this was happening, which reminded him why he was at the Pax Fusion talks.
From another agent of HAPPY, one that had been assigned to this mission of protection from the start. The other agent had informed HAPPY that there were now two MAD agent cyborgs out there. One which could only be guessed was the threat HAPPY suspected over the talks. Plus a second one, the HAPPY agent was sure was a threat to the talks. The second cyborg agent had attacked him when questioned if he was planning any foul play during the event.
The man had escaped while in custody, and Caldwell wondered what he could possibly do to stop this MAD agent from disrupting the talks. He wasn't enhanced by machinery like his co-worker, who was about to arrive on the scene. All he had was normal training to deal with normal hostiles which might threaten others. The HAPPY agent had a partner though, he was grateful for. In the form of one of the staff representatives working in the Conference Center. The other man that while not in the employment of HAPPY, Caldwell had noticed could have easily been one. He was efficient in his job. He was giving the HAPPY agent all the requested documents, and making sure none of the international guests of high importance knew he was doing it.
Agent Caldwell didn't want the representatives of the conference to see the electronic message which was all over the building. Reason being he was sure he knew why all of them read the name of Ferdinand. His dreaded guess being he was sure it was short for "Archduke Franz Ferdinand". The man that's assassination had helped kick off the start of World War One. A scare tactic, Caldwell was sure MAD was trying to use to create anxiety among the representatives. MAD was trying to start a war. All the HAPPY agent could do then to stop the scare tactic was hide the name message from those who would take it for what it was.
When his partner delivered the last papers which relayed MAD's message, to HAPPY agent thanked him for the good job. Then after confirming everything seemed safe in the building for the moment, and all the messages created by MAD had been taken care of. The official and non-official representatives of HAPPY left the Conference Center for the nearest air field. Given what had been also relayed in the report of what had taken place in Lisbon. HAPPY didn't want to risk further expense in landing one of it's charter planes at an airport again. The bill from the Lisbon Portela Airport being through the roof on gasoline. The protection agency figured that even with the culprit caught who had caused the problem. It was best not to risk further cost for budget sake.
Without laughing the pilot of the charter plane watched the aircraft's former occupants leave the aircraft. The aviator now aware the people he'd been helping in transportation were serious in what they told him. He waited inside the cockpit of the plane in silence until seeing two men run on to the airstrip.
"One of you Agent Caldwell?" The pilot questioned the men when they'd reached the plane, and company it once held.
"I am sir, and I don't think I'm ready to leave just yet. Thanks anyway for the thought." Caldwell answered, before turning his attention to the Inspector, shaking one of his hands.
"It's great to meet you sir, I've heard a lot about you. HAPPY called me in to help with this because of what you reported to them, Inspector Heyward." Caldwell continued, sounding rushed as he did so.
Stopping the handshake, John withdrew his hand, and taking note of Caldwell's help, finally spoke up. "I have a bunch of questions for you. One for starters, and I don't know how relevant it is. Who is that with you?"
"He's not with HAPPY. He's just a new good friend. Local guy who works in the Conference Center, I feel glad to understand Hebrew. Care to introduce your self to him, Inspector Heyward?" Caldwell said putting a hand behind John's back, leading him to the assistant.
Feeling nervous on the account that yet again John knew he couldn't communicate with those native to the land he was in now. He declined the new co-worker's gesture of goodwill to the new friend. The assistant to Caldwell not taking it well, giving the Inspector a cold look at John backing away.
Penny had to go over to him to attempt to explain the barrier between him and her uncle. Not understanding Hebrew herself, the teenager tried her best and prayed in private. That he got the message she was trying to relay through sign language of her own design.
"Inspector?" Caldwell said softly watching the man's niece work with the native worker to the Conference Center. Penny was a surprise to him. Seeing Alan a surprise too, but one that didn't shock him too much, knowing the inspector was a cyborg who the other HAPPY agent had helped to create. The dog, fell into a category of surprise he wasn't sure what to think of.
The extra assigned man to the mission knew of the Inspector's presence, but his company was a different matter. John wasn't sure where to start with explaining things to him, but tried anyway.
"My niece Penny, it's a bit of a story that dates to me not letting her go on a field trip with her schoolmates. Plus she's been helpful to my missions with HAPPY in the past. Alan, forced reasoning I had to comply with." John stated, thinking that at least made for a good start in talking with the fellow agent.
"Well I don't think they belong here." Caldwell told John before turning his attention back to the charter plane.
Attempting to get rid of the passengers in the Inspector's company failed too late for Caldwell to take care of. For when he had turned to face the plane, it's pilot knowing he wasn't to take the additional agent back to HAPPY HQ. Had decided he didn't need to stick around. The plane's engines were roaring too loudly to have speech over power them. As the agent had spoken his thoughts, it was already starting to move down the flight strip for take off.
"Damn it!" The extra agent cursed as he watched the plane start it's ascend into the air.
John smiled at seeing his new co-worker's disgust at not being able to send back what to him didn't seem like necessary company. "I've tried to ditch them in the past too. It doesn't work, and trust me it isn't worth it. I assure you everything will be fine with them present." The Inspector told him, grinning while saying the fact and what was a guess to fact.
Dissatisfaction turned to worry at hearing the inspector's words. Caldwell knew likely the man's belief for the positive outcome would not work here. Speaking calmly, he told John what he suspected. That one or even both of the MAD agent cyborgs might be in the building which would soon be holding the Pax Fusion peace talks.
Remembering the danger presented by the strange & disturbing first cyborg suspected of being a MAD agent. John knew his family and co-worker friend might be in danger from the one who of all odd things. Used an army of shrews to help do his bidding in destruction. This person had not only broken into his house for some unknown reason already. But had also later, and John assumed he knew why. Attacked another MAD agent, nearly killing him through his bionic augmentations, in the shrews distorting and destroying their circuitry. Reasoning guessed, the insane one wanted his co-worker out of the way. A rivalry being the likely reason.
As for the other MAD cyborg, the one John knew slightly better. He was nuts, but not in the same way is the first encountered. He'd met Terry prior to his transformation into what he currently was. Once a minor threat, now a bigger one. Thanks to a fight the man had started with him, the two of them had destroyed a hotel room. If not for the protection Alan's cape rewarded him with. Terry in all likelihood would have killed the co-worker with one of his energy blasts when shooting the man through the hotel room's door. Penny would be dead if not for her common sense to leave the men in battle. Her pet dog, Brain too, he had not the same understanding as his master when to leave things be that could hurt them.
Maybe something should be done, John mused in thought watching the charter plane fly into the cloudy sky, and up out of his sight. Possibly the one chance to help those he cared for, to escape danger was now gone.
Looking at his pinkie finger with concealed satellite phone under it's nail, John thought about calling HAPPY to get the plane to return.
Caldwell having read up a little on John personally past what he'd heard, guessed at the other man's thoughts. Taking hold of the hand the Inspector was staring at. The agent brought in for extra help, did as assigned, but not intended by HAPPY. He didn't know those with the man, except by rumor one was called an eccentric. What he knew was only known by recently uttered words. The inspector cared for them.
"I don't know where it would be safe for them exactly until these MAD agents are dealt with. So Until then, while we handle the situation. I'll make sure they're well guarded outside the Conference Center. HAPPY isn't the only protection this world has to offer. Body guards can be found in all parts of the world too.
With the fog increasingly taking over his thinking, iRogue wouldn't let it stop him from doing his job. His job while not even being truly his any more, he didn't want to give up. Not to MAD's newest Elite for that matter any way. That person he thought he had taken care of by attempting, and thought destroyed, back in Portugal, was alive.
How he with his army could have failed, even with the fog, he guessed at the answer which seemed to make sense. His servant shrews had attacked what made the man formidable, his bionic augmentations. Not really attacking his born with biological birth given systems. Some how even with being crippled in circuitry, the other cyborg had been repaired, and put back to duty. His duties the rogue made sure the other man knew, he was taking care of.
He had made sure the other Elite agent was aware he'd not given up his original mission. The message displayed of Ferdinand every where, not just for scaring the representatives from the foreign countries visiting the Conference Center, but also to scare the agent. Fear was something the rogue hoped to drive into the heart of every person in the building. Fear was what Doctor Claw hoped would drive the men and women of the talks into suspicion of one another & help cause anxiety n' tension. With further prodding through attacks which couldn't be pinned to MAD by lack of evidence. That hopefully would make the first mission of iRogue's a success. War, and the biggest one seen in decades. MAD with understanding knew what to do with such situations. Make money off of the conflict in any way possible.
How this fear was to be used on the agent was to let him know a cold fact. If Terry got in his way, he would not be using his army to rid the man of his last breath. This time it would be through either his hands or his blades or his guns. He had many weapons with which he could personally attack the other agent with without having to resort to his rodents. He knew it was true using the message of Ferdinand on the agent didn't carry the same weight with him it would the others. But it told him what he needed to know. That Terry was not alone.
Feeling increasingly more alone, iRogue felt this place, offered an opportunity to help him lift his fog up. Possibly up all the way. With increasing speed he was forgetting more and more of who he was. Even the agent cyborg inspector working for HAPPY was starting to feel like a lost connection. Was the Inspector, a man he should trust since the man was like him? Unknown, but the rogue still wanted to cling to the idea it was a yes.
This place offered his past, his roots. His culture was here, and he'd get his answers to who he was from the person who represented it.
An order which was a light note when the Inspector had been given this mission assignment, now had become much more prominent in it's standing. That none of the talks representatives were to know of the MAD agent cyborg threat. The reasoning behind this being HAPPY was sure it would raise tensions during the event. While a cyborg in the employ of MAD represented no nationality per say. The presence of one just as a hostile meant questioning which could in lead to competitive development outside the two quarreling agencies.
That among two national powers. One good: which was accepted, and used to help keep the peace. Plus a second dark mirror version: that while not accepted by the international community, had power. Control in the hands of two powers. Chaos in the hands of 196 countries, most of which don't firmly get along with each other. The less cyborgs that existed in the world, the better HAPPY felt about the matter.
Currently the two HAPPY agents & assistant help, outside the Serbian ambassador's room were sure this order had been broken already, and not by the MAD agent which had by mistake just made his presence known. While Terry had been planting evidence to pit various national representatives against each other. He'd noticed the grouping formed outside the door of the ambassador's room, and dropped his incriminating belongings in shock at seeing the Inspector.
True, he'd known the man would be here, but to be in his presence was a different matter. After their last encounter with each other in Lisbon, Terry still wanted to finish the job of finally killing the man. He just didn't feel too eager about the job right now. He chalked that up to the stub on his left arm that once had a hand attached to it. That loss gave him now reason to be more hesitant in how he dealt with things.
Seeing Terry, John glared at him, and questioned if he knew what was going on with the locked room. Why with every other talks representative, this was the only one that's occupant was silent and unreachable.
"Um uh, I can fix that even though I don't know what's going on. Really!" Terry sputtered, now dropping everything he'd had been attempting to hold. The man now aimed his right arm at the room's door, revealing his energy cannon for firing.
Shooting as John grabbed hold of the man a moment too late. Terry obliterated the entrance.
As the smoke cleared from the explosion, the Elite MAD agent grinned. "Something amiss not right, taken care of. Something amiss plus the death of an ambassador even better."
John hit him before following his co-worker and his assistant help, into the room. All men, but Terry hoping the worse had not come to pass. That no one had been caught in the blast. That there was no need for alarm, despite what warning signs showed contrary to it being needed.
Entering the room, all discovered cause for alarm was present. The Serbian Ambassador had been taken hostage, and at that not by a MAD agent. That fear was what HAPPY had been half expecting. A MAD agent present had been the reason they had assigned John to the mission he was on for protecting the people of the Pax Fusion talks. What was holding the ambassador hostage here was worse than a typical MAD agent. Worse than Terry, an Elite member of the counter agency, a cyborg like the Inspector. This person was a rogue that had once worked for MAD. A killer who didn't care whose side he was on. His weapons had shown themselves effective multiple times already. His mind not all together.
Caldwell and his assistant having never encountered the man known as iRogue before, weren't sure what to make of him. Added the army of shrews roaming the room didn't help the puzzled men either. Terry shot at every shrew he saw, and while the HAPPY agents weren't glad for the enthusiastic killer's actions. Neither of them felt like stopping him.
Energy blasts topping the door to his room being demolished. This scared the ambassador to Serbia even more than he was already in for a state of fright. The rogue agent formerly an employee by MAD held him tighter in the grip of his artificial arms, noticing the intrusion as well. He whimpered not knowing if help had come for him, or more trouble he should be fearing.
As the shrews which weren't out of Terry's sight got destroyed. The rogue yelled in rage, and in an extra tone John wasn't sure about. That at a guess it almost sounded pained. Joining into the cry, the Serbian Ambassador yelled too.
"Pomoć ми" The words being said through tears, while iRogue held him. With his clawed metal hands sinking into the man further than they had been already sunk in.
Looking down at the ground, scorched from mild energy blasts & rodent bodies intact and otherwise, Terry smiled at a job he considered well done. One act of revenge among many he had the urge to carry out. A hard slap from John reminded him of other acts of violence the MAD agent wanted to carry out as well.
"I'd ask what you were thinking, but it's your job to not care about what lives you might take to do your job. You I will put under arrest after I've dealt with him." The Inspector scorned the Elite MAD agent.
Knowing well that the situation had escalated, and feeling now a cloud overtaking his thoughts. The fog in his mind feeling more dense. The former MAD agent known as iRogue decided to try, and push forward his own agenda faster. With the new surprise of yet another weapon revealed to the Serbian Ambassador. A long knife which moved on the end of a mechanical stick like arm, up and out from the hat on the rogue's head. Caused him to stop whimpering, and just stare at the newest threat to his life. The ambassador just looked at it like a deer in the headlights. His eyes not even shifting to those in the room ready to help him, when iRogue started addressing them.
"You are still human, Inspector of gadgets! MAD agents?! Were we ever are we even?! The rogue snapped at the grouping of men before him.
The pair of HAPPY agents and added help, weren't sure what to say. John had thought to correct the man's poor grammar, but decided it was best not to try. Defusing the situation's hostile over tones, and further analyzing his guessing to the rogue's strange behavior, felt more pressing.
The employee local to the area helping Fairfax Caldwell. His reaction, came as one of dependence. Wanting to help, but not being sure what to do given lack of professional training. Looking up to the trained HAPPY agents didn't help then. Their silence not helping him.
Only the other associated to MAD person in the room had an idea what to do now.
"You mean Inspector Gadget, you freak, and I still have my gun!" Terry shouted as he aimed his right arm's energy cannon, fully revealed at the pair of men. John's reaction to this was fast of using his middle arm's hand to clamp down the man's ready weapon, and shake his head in the motion of "no" at him.
Seeing his rival, an enemy who still worked for MAD, being held back by the Inspector. The rogue laughed at the sight, and at the same time started to draw blood from the ambassador. His claws now sinking in so deeply into the man's flesh they couldn't help, but finally break through the representative's double layer suit. The ambassador's reaction to this being a low cry of pain and wincing as the curved blades sunk into him.
"Let him go." John demanded sternly to iRogue.
Basically dragging the Serbian Ambassador with him, until the man snapped back to the formal reality of the moment mentally. The representative moved his feet now, as iRogue moved forward to the Inspector a little. Answering the demand given by the HAPPY agent. If however not with an answer wanted, or even truly what John was expecting to hear from the other man. "He is mine! He has answers to who I was! My heritage has been replaced by circuits, and I will pick his brain to get out what I need!"
"You chose to be a cyborg, same as me! You are who you want to be, and you tried to destroy me!" Terry howled at the former MAD agent.
The Inspector knowing Terry wanted blood, positioned himself in between the insane rogue and the Elite MAD agent. Flat facing one palm of each of his two normal hands to both men, he tried to evenly speak to them. "Let him go. I have a form of EMP gun built into both of my hands. It doesn't effect my technology, but I know it can effect MAD's technology. Please let him go, he doesn't have what you need."
Suddenly fearful in realizing what John was saying. Terry voiced what he was thinking. "I heard about that, when we got Prof. Venom back. I'm out of here." He stated as he started to back off from the inspector, and the rogue. Walking backwards towards the entrance of the room.
"Agent Caldwell?" The Inspector's question was a fast understood order which needed no extra wording.
Beating Terry to the punch. Caldwell circled in behind the MAD agent, and wrapping around him, handcuffed his one remaining hand.
Then for the second time on this mission John saw yet again a mistake in judgment made, he was the first victim of. The rogue had cut through his handcuffs, destroying them back in the Living Science Centre, in Lisbon. Now here in a Conference Center in Tel Aviv, thousands of miles from the first incident. Terry used his energy cannon to destroy his handcuff. Not a matter which John ever felt the need to practice fact with himself being a tester of. A lesson now to be a fact every HAPPY agent should know, he'd write into a report. Cyborgs can not be handcuffed for any given length of time, period.
Being inactive, but until now not feeling useful to the scene taking place. The staff member of the building, and assistant helper to agent Caldwell finally took action at Terry's escaping handcuff trick. He kicked the back of one of the MAD agent's knees, and brought him down to the floor. In the actions taking place Caldwell knew what to do fast seeing Terry hit the ground by force. Both representatives for the right side of the law then, held the Elite MAD agent, locking him into a position he couldn't free himself from. Terry now facing the carpet, felt sure he knew what to do.
The staff member again realizing he could almost read Terry's thoughts. shouted at him a warning of what would happened, if he dare acted on the predicted action. "הפצץ ל ה רצפה,ו אתה הפצץ שלך רגליים!"
In shock from the impact of the two men hitting him slash taking him down. Plus now getting what sounded like a warning he didn't understand, not knowing the language spoken. Terry didn't know how to reply to the assistant's words. "Waa," being to only thing he could think to say as a response resulted from these facts.
"Where your blasted gun arm is aimed! Blast again, and you blast your legs off!" Caldwell replied to Terry in translating the other man's words. Not exact, but the HAPPY agent felt that with stronger wording, likely it would have a deeper effect on the MAD agent's thoughts in comprehending his situation.
Seeing the look of acknowledgment flash fast on to the features of Terry's face. The silent reaction showing promise of compliance. Caldwell continued speaking, only now to his assistant, and in a much calmer tone of voice. "You care for this building well."
"אני עשה שלי הכי טוב." He replied, looking proud as he spoke the sentiment.
In thought to Terry, but switching his attention to John, in mid-pronouncement. The rogue tried his best to proclaim what he thought of the Elite MAD agent, and what he believed himself to be. "Low tech piece of garbage! I am the first success in the science we are. I am not MAD technology!"
"I think I have an answer figured out that I questioned back when I first saw you." John stated in a sober voice. Worry touching on his face that didn't meet his tone of speaking to the distraught cyborg.
"And what would that be?!" The former agent of MAD shouted demandingly at the Inspector.
Starting his explanation, John couldn't really look the other man in the eyes. One reason being, iRogue's face didn't have eyes any more, at least not in the traditional sense of them. Thanks to medical engineers at MAD, his birth given eyes had been replaced by camera lenses. Those lenses now fixed on John ready to hear his words. The second reason John couldn't bring himself to look at iRogue's face, other than feeling it to be a monstrous distortion of nature, was what he knew to be the explanation wasn't at either man's height. It was much lower to the ground.
"Where your brains are with that technology packed in your noggin. Why you act this way. Your mind isn't really in your head any more."
"What do you mean by that! Nothing is missing that he can't answer for me! He knows what makes me tick, not you gadget man!" The rogue shouted, not feeling at all that what John was beginning to say made any sense what so ever.
"Listen rogue agent of MAD, I have a question for you." John continued in the same tone as before, only now sounding softer and quieter as he did the act.
"What!? I have no answers for anyone!" The rogue screamed as he spoke. His claws dug further into his hostage at the same time as the words were spoken.
The Inspector felt like he was failing in dealing with the situation. But at least a little progress had occurred, while the moment seemed to worsen. At the same time, in hurting the man, John hoped to get free of iRogue, the other cyborg's fake clawed hands doing that job. Blood had now started to be drawn from the Serbian.
The knife which had come out of the rogue's head, that had been pointing at the ambassador, now had dropped. Not to the floor, which is what he preferred even if impossible since it was attached to an arm coming out from the man's head. It had dropped as in lost it's strain to be held. Limply it now hung off the stick like arm, not posing a threat any more.
Hoping as he continued, the man who called himself iRogue would not harm the man he was holding further. John further commenced his explanation, and now added a question for the rogue. "How many of those shrews have you lost since you first gained them?"
Unsure of the answer period, iRogue wasn't sure what to do while replying to John. Success ensued in this as the result. With the confused cyborg shaking his head and moving his limbs, given by birth & given by alteration made to him. The man let go of the ambassador as he verbally attempted to bring out his thoughts. "Some! Unknown! They're tiny, I can keep track of what stays in my range! They have minds of their own, but I control them almost total!"
"They are you." The HAPPY Inspector told the former agent of MAD.
True, John had satisfaction from knowing the foreign representative was now better out of harm's way than he'd been in since first, he'd been noted in. The Inspector refused to smile in noticing this development.
As the words had been delivered. A good man was freed, while a man that had worked for the bad guys. Unknown purely what sort of man he was prior to MAD turning him into a cyborg. That man was now more broken in mind than he had been before.
The rogue now laughed hysterically. The inspector's answer to what had been plaguing him in thought, felt mad to him. His identity and memories slipping away. The fog clouding his brain making it harder & harder to think as time passed. His servants? His little helpers in the form of bionically augmented shrews, being to blame? Being his brain?! That couldn't be so, and he refused to accept the reasoning of this.
"You are mad!" The rogue laughed at John, weeping as he did so.
With one hand pointing towards the floor to one of the shrews, Terry had killed earlier. The Inspector didn't reply to the accusation which had just been thrown upon him by iRogue, but did continue to explain to the man who he actually was.
"You aren't you. Those rodents are you, not this man." As the words were uttered by John, the hand not pointing towards the dead shrew made contact with the rogue's forehead. No expression crossed iRogue's face before he fell to the floor.
After a few moments of silence, Caldwell finally spoke up while watching the other HAPPY agent crouch down to check on the vital signs of the fallen man.
"Inspector?" Caldwell asked hesitantly, not sure how to take what he had just been witness to. Also not sure what to make of what he was now seeing.
"He's alive, but HAPPY, can HAPPY help put what remains of his marbles back into his head?" John answered after a second, now feeling satisfied to know he had not done the unforgivable. His checking had revealed the rogue was still breathing, and seemed to have a normal pulse to his heart.
"Rodent to human transplant? If MAD can do it, I'd say we have a good shot at it too. I'd say yes." Caldwell answered back.
Almost hidden beside Little Rabbit Lake, in a town named Riverton in Minnesota. sat an aging lodge that sometimes got called a community center. Nothing about it's outwards appearance would draw people's attention to it. This building that like the rest of the town's other dwellings, showed no signs of architectural enthusiasm had gone into it's design. Also for that matter like most other buildings in the town, it had not seen any form of repairs done to it in probably forty years.
The town's folk which noticed it's existence only took notice of the cars that parked around it sometimes. These only being the fancy ones that looked out of place to the country town that's last census noted only 117 people lived there. None of the 117 were rich, and that is what presented the mystery to them of the vehicles.
When the town's folk investigated the building when the fancy cars where parked outside it. Nothing about the people inside revealed why they'd come there except to make use of it's indoor recreational activities it was designed to facilitate. The people owning the fancy cars, or at least the people the town's folk believed to own the fancy cars. Playing basketball in it's largest room, which could on the fly be converted to a dinning hall. Others making use of it's gym, the equipment inside the room being nothing that spoke of their financial holdings. Everything the people visiting were using in the room was dated, and could easily be found in lower end thrift stores. Worthless treadmills, rowing machines, and punching bags dotted the room. The wear of the machines showed little use which only part wise made sense to the locals looking in pondering what sort of people these guys were. None of the people observed looked heavily muscle toned. In fact the least athletic looking ones ever seen.
The ones that were almost always being seen around a couple sets of ping pong tables. Played the paddle ball sport, jabbering in some form of language unknown to the investigators. To them it sounded like some form of modern talk more suited to Silicon Valley than Riverton. Once a member of the town thought she knew what form of language they might be using till she realized it didn't quite sound like the Dutch she'd read about in books. Mostly pale skinned were the people, the town's folk of Riverton tried to figure out. They wondered if these outsiders ever saw much daylight outside driving to the old building for their fun.
Observed, but not noticed for what it acted as, was the sole soda machine outside the building's kitchen. Once in a while the people of Riverton made use of the machine. Un-pocketing the change of 75 cents which even to them, in a town where the changing of the times felt like always a couple steps behind the rest of the world. Shelling out 75 cents for a can of soda, when they knew else where it would normally cost up and over a dollar, floored them. Standing by the machine, watching the supposed owners of the fancy cars move around. The ones who'd buy the soda did question them that why with fresh cans of soda in the machine. Why didn't the company providing the soft drink ever up the charge of the pop to it's modern pricing?
The answer given back in turn, was always they believed the company must just feel friendly to them. That the distributor just wanted them to be happy with the cost how it was. Questioning the low cost for cola machine, never went beyond that. Although it certainly would have if the town's folk ever paid witness to the machine being opened for new cans to be placed in it.
When opened up with a key most visitors to the building had. At least the visitors who knew what the old building truly was. They'd see that past the plastic shield and metal framing, plus device mechanism which allowed the machine to distribute it's soda cans. Was a compact elevator that could only hold one person at a time in it.
This elevator that's top position was the vending machine cover. Only went to one place. That place found would happen by the clicking shut of the vending machine's plastic shield front. Down the small carriage would go into the ground, and past all connections to the building above. At it's destination, where the town's folk answers lay, but a place they'd never see. Was the establishment headquarters for HAPPY. Other levels of constructed building being accessible through here, but by means of other elevators, and roads which led out well beyond Riverton in the complex.
To HAPPY's headquarters the word complex in the sense of a building only fitted it loosely. Given the miles of tunnels which connected it all together. If the locals to the small town, which served as quote un quote it's entrance, ever did discover it. Surely they'd opt to change Riverton's standing from being a town to a city.
It was a good thing the town's folk who questioned the lodge's visitors had yet to discover what the building acted as. For If they did, and ever made it into HAPPY HQ, they wouldn't like what they would find in one area of it.
In one of the establishment building's few jail cells, lay an Elite MAD agent behind thick bullet proof glass. Terry Skinie's foul mood had been forced to sit under the surface since starting a short time after he'd been placed in the cell. That with his one purely good arm having a restraint on it. Forbidding him from being able to fire his energy cannon, the best he could do in trying to break out was claw & pound the glass keeping him confined to the small room. All that had done was make markings across the front of his cell which gave un-knowledgeable staff of HAPPY a misimpression over what had likely been in the cell before the human being had been placed in it. The claw marks made by Terry's right hand, gave them the impression an animal had once been in the cell.
Stirring his attention away from the ceiling of the cell. His thoughts had been locked into trying to visualize if he had a drill build into him. How he'd be using it in moving his way up through the ceiling, and returning to sunshine & fresh air, if MAD had given him one. A lady he'd had off and on chats with since he was first brought into the jail cell, spoke up.
"Considering we are helping you regain having a left hand again. It would be unwise to try anything." Eda Venture told him, in an even sounding tone.
Looking away from the ceiling, shifting his head on the only soft item on his bed, it's pillow. Terry saw the surgeon doctor that some times had people refer to her as a nurse. Was not visiting the outside to his cell alone.
For the first time since the initial visit when they had met, and she learned he couldn't harm her through the bullet proof glass. She had guards with her, and just enough of them for the Elite MAD agent to know she meant business.
"Like I could do much." He replied to her, waving his right arm for show.
The point of the gesture wasn't lost on her, and she continued with her prepared speech any way. Even with his energy cannon confined inside the restraint, other staff of HAPPY had fitted on to him. she still knew he had his talons, and likely the same strength & limb lengthening capability, as HAPPY's sole cyborg agent. Knowing even without the Inspector having claws of his own. Just being familiar with the other man's abilities this one shared. Eda wasn't taking a chance here.
"There are well trained guards here to help with your escorting to surgery prep., we know that is not your only weapon."
Terry grinned as the door to his cell got unlocked, as he not only noted that, but also a second fact he'd noticed. A flick of brief fear which had shown on the woman's face when she had just spoken to him.
"It may not be a weapon, but if I ever get back to working for MAD. Could it not be a hand? Like maybe a claw of some kind? Cool, and I'm sure the boss would love it." The Elite MAD agent cracked at her.
He had caught the expression she hoped had not surfaced, but she knew how to level the fear playing field being created here. She'd inform him of a fact she had been thinking he'd only discover when being brought into the operating room.
"You are getting a simple fully functional hand. Nothing more. Oh, and besides these guards and my medical team. Others will be present, a team I need to assist me in giving you your new hand. You've met one of it's members before. He's assigned with our only cyborg, Inspector Heyward. You know, the man who helped bring you here, who you call Inspector Gadget? Engenis and Heyward are both going to be in the operating room with us." Eda told Terry with an air of smugness in how she delivered the words to him.
Given the new knowledge, of the man who he'd failed to assassinate multiple times. Plus the guy also having the status of being the one to finally deliver him into the hands of MAD's evil counter agency. Terry stopped feeling good about the emotion he thought he'd set in the surgeon doctor. She had him, and he now felt he couldn't do much, but just except HAPPY's gift to him. No escape included out of their establishment due to what he saw as Happy's team of Elite agents being present for the coming event.
As the group walked in tight formation to where, Terry could only assume was HAPPY's main medical area. One of the guards leading the group received a call over his walkie talkie that forced him to stop moving.
When Everyone else noticed his action of talking over the local communications channel, they stopped too. All, but Terry that is. The Elite MAD agent's attention, again else where. His thoughts envisioning him no where near his current location, but instead nearer, and imagining ever nearer to the surface. Blue skies and green grass calling to him in his mind. Eda had to put a hand out in front of him to put a stop to his walking.
The guards could hear what was being said same as the guard who had taken the call. A Security breech, at the south-sub entrance, and east top level entrance. Knowing the importance of what was taking place else where in the complex. The guard who had taken the call looked to Eda, as he held the walkie talkie waiting to gain knowledge on how to respond to the other end. He didn't know quite what to do, and neither did his work companions assisting him. With the exception of Terry, all eyes now looked to Eda. The first guard to take note of the situation. Finally speaking up after a fellow member of his security staff prodded him for an answer of if he and his team could help.
"I need my team else where, Ms. Venture. Can we take care of this? I'd say it's a bigger priority."
Knowing she'd have little chance of winning a battle of reason over the matter. Eda, felt she had no choice, but to allow her help to disappear. A chill ran up her spine as she answered him. This time as she let fear enter her mind over the predicament she was in with the MAD agent. She controlled her reaction better when talking, so not Terry, or any one else watching. Knew she felt afraid to see the protection of the guards leave her side. "Return as soon as you can. I don't have much time for dealing with this today."
While the guards ran off to do their job. They divided into team sets to tackle the different areas of HAPPY currently in need of their assistance over it's security breaches. Eda turned to Terry, glad to see the man had not seemed to have taken in what fully had taken place around him.
Shame, she thought as she forced to make him acknowledge their lack of protective escort. Well at least protective escort to her. To him, the guards had been there to help keep him in line. This call to duty the men and women helping had to take on, just made her day, but in the bad sense.
"Mr. Skinie, the smart thing to do right now is wait, and not try anything dumb." She stated to him, mentally crossing her fingers he'd actually listen to her without his normal feisty attitude surfacing in return.
Having it click in Terry's mind there were no guards around them took a moment to sink in. Once the fact did sink in. Eda didn't get in another word to him before he took off from her.
Alarmed and relieved at the same time watching the MAD agent leave her sight. Eda, minus owning one of the walkie talkies held by all of HAPPY's guards, pulled out her cell phone. Her hope as she proceeded to dial the number of the section's security staff. Being that all of them weren't too preoccupied with the breaches to help her get back her amoral & somewhat dumb patient.
Day dreaming of escape from HAPPY headquarters had not been good preparation for the real escape. Terry wasn't sure where to go. The complex felt like a labyrinth to him, and he knew what he saw before him was just a tiny fraction of it.
Currently he was standing a good distance from where he'd taken off from. A location he was unfamiliar with, but out of sight from the surgeon doctor. It was a crossroads of sorts. To Terry's far left branched off an area with a lighted up sign indicating it would have him moving into another section of HAPPY. A different form of detention area to the complex. The MAD agent was almost positive it was as heavily guarded as what he was used to in the section he had been living in for days. Not worth pursuing since he was sure it wouldn't lead him to the outside of HAPPY, and would likely lead him back to being in his cell.
Just a little further to his right from that, then branched off a tunnel he could hear voices echoing down. To where ever that led, Terry didn't want to take a chance with it. Although to his severe right lay another path, another tunnel. It looked to be a service path meant for people to use, and not cars. He had not heard the roar of an engine since being moved into HAPPY for jail time. This was what made him sure it couldn't have been one of the highways in the complex leading to far off areas of the place.
Taking note it did have security cameras lining high along the rim where it's walls touched it's ceiling. Terry gulped in air, and hoped no one, some how caught sight of him. Wanted, but hopefully not as wanted as who or whatever was causing the security breaches. He crossed the fingers on his only remaining hand. The gesture he could only wish granted him, HAPPY would be paying more attention to that problem. Than the one they perceived him to be.
Understanding the mind of his lost and incarcerated friend. Louis in the guise of a HAPPY security guard. Shot one of the agency owned cameras with his gun. The uniform stolen, the gun was property he'd taken in with him. The camera shot not being the first one he'd taken out since entering the complex. The MAD agent slowly moving deeper into the heart of HAPPY's establishment headquarters, smiled in how easy his job was feeling.
It was an assigned job, and at that the only one Doctor Claw had ever given him, both men had thought to have happen. Return Terry Skinie to active duty. Louis had been ready to approach his boss with his normal respectful fear. When Doctor Claw had called for him, saving him time. Although being unknown at the time, that he and his boss were both thinking the same thing on job assignments. Louis had jumped pass mentally what he'd been thinking about to other matters concerning his boss. This led to him nearly not coming into the man's office. MAD agents not returning out of Claw's office minus a body bag covering them was a normal fact of life to his job. His boss needing a reason to do him in, to Louis never in his book felt necessary. He almost fainted when he discovered his new mission. Also to other emotional reaction. That of fighting the urge to run from Doctor claw's office at hearing his new assignment for more than one reason.
A short distance ahead, Terry heard the sound of gun fire, and slowed down his pace. A short time later, his walk now almost at a crawl, he saw who had fired the shot. At least who he thought he could take an easy guess had done the act. One of HAPPY's guards wearing a ball cap which broadly showed a badge indicating the man's job status. The man's gun being more of a prominent fact to Terry than the show of title.
As the man walked to Terry, he lifted the gun on the Elite MAD agent, pointing it at him. The business end of the weapon. Terry's reaction remembering his confined energy cannon, was that of surrendering. Using his ability to extend his limbs to out maneuver the man, to get around him? Pointless in Terry's eyes. The other man had a gun, and his was useless at the moment.
Walking closer to the Elite MAD agent, the normal MAD agent smiled at him. Looking confused at the man dressed as a guard for the counter agency. Terry wasn't sure what to make of the smile, with his arms raised over his head. Then his confusion grew greater when the man dressed as the guard, with a good show of agility. Flipped the gun to being backwards in the hand that had been holding it, and offered it to Terry.
"Take the gun moron." Louis told Terry, with his smile slowly fading from his face.
The new scowling expression and offered gun, forced Terry to draw a blank at understanding his predicament. Louis at seeing and understanding the mind of the other man. Then placed the gun in Terry's one hand, before laughing at him.
"What!?" Terry snapped at Louis, who the Elite MAD agent sill had failed to recognize. The single word shouted also having a gesture attached to it. The gun, in Terry's possession now aimed at his disguised friend.
Louis stopped laughing when seeing Terry was ready to kill him. The normal MAD agent, Terry's subordinate lifted off his ball cap and shades, revealing himself better for the other man to see his face at this. Disappointed at Terry, Louis had only one thing to say about the other man threatening his life. "You've been captive too long here. You've been with these bad guys so long, you've forgotten who the good guys are."
Finally realizing the thought to be guard was actually his friend slash co-worker. Terry attempted to high five Louis until nearly making contact with him for the action. That is when the sad thought struck him. If the connection had happened, it would have been with the stub that now sat at the base of where his left hand used to be.
Rubbing the stub on his left arm with the side of the gun, he'd just been handed. Terry said what he had planned to say during the action of the high five he had stopped. Plus what entered his mind remembering why he stopped the high five. "Forgiving, thy name is MAD." Then after a pause, he continued.
"They will replace my hand right? Because the prozac boys in blue were just about to do that strangely enough."
"Doctor Claw, he's not that forgiving. But you know for old time sake, and to get back into the normal swing of things. How about we remind HAPPY we're a real force to be dealt with. Un-needed force can be fun, and afterwards back to the plan to get out of here." The reply Louis gave that had started with the sound of utmost sympathy changed it's tone quickly after having begun. The thought of causing mayhem again, and doing it in such a choice location. Had the idea of fun written all over it, and he was sure it would perk Terry up. That, and give him a new left hand. Killing, Louis was sure wouldn't be easy in the future for Terry otherwise.
As the two agents of MAD. The pair of grunts that never had much luck in their job proceeded to go deeper into the territory of HAPPY's HQ complex. The Elite agent returning to it. The normal one, doing so more than prior to teaming up again with his co-worker. Terry voiced a sudden thought he felt should have clicked in his head earlier. ""Um, Louis, the thorn that got me landed here, Inspector Gadget. He's in the building right now, with your nemesis to boot."
"Crap, tech and tech. Techs about your hand. Can you live without it?" Louis replied, feeling a little uneasy about encountering the pair of HAPPY agents that seemed to be a form of bane on their lives.
"No," Terry answered, sounding at once stubborn and almost undetectable in tone, worried.
With a sigh, Louis replied none too happy, but well accepting of the soon fated battle coming. The Good guys versing the evil ones. Louis felt great that fellow MAD agents had helped to create this opportunity of distracting the evil security staff working for HAPPY. That had given him the time to come in, and get Terry out of their clutches. He felt good about getting his friend back too. Although the coming battle with HAPPY's super agents? Not fun, but at least a good credit on his work history. Louis planned to show Doctor Claw when asking for promotion. "You know this place better, lead on."