Chronicles of a Caped Crusader: Against All Odds - Part Four
Citizens of Neopia Central ran screaming through the streets, fleeing from the giant monstrosity that had just landed and was walking through the streets, leaving destruction in its wake. Judge Hog could hear the screams a good distance off. He was already on his way when his wrist communicator buzzed.
"Chief Constable, what is it?" Judge Hog asked.
"I don't know. Some giant robot just landed in the Plaza district and is carving a path of destruction through it. It might be Sloth's, which would mean this is the beginning of an onslaught. We are trying to get in contact with Mira and the Resistance, but we haven't gotten through yet. We need you to stop it before it does more damage," Alan told him.
"I'm already on my way," Judge Hog reported.
A moment later he could see it, a giant robot with thin arms and legs attached to a circular body, the top half was a dome of tinted glass. He couldn't see into the dome, the tinting clearly made it one-way. The arms were swinging out to the sides, like it was stretching, battering the buildings on either side of it.
Judge Hog picked up speed, coming at it like a rocket. He collided with the main body. He didn't smash through, but the force of the impact knocked the robot over backwards. It fell with a deafening thud. Judge Hog circled round, appraising the situation.
"Well, that was just rude," a voice said over loudspeakers, broadcasting from within the robot.
"Who are you? Did Dr. Sloth send you?" Judge Hog demanded.
"No, I have no affiliations with the good doctor. I have my own agenda. I have come to see you. You may call me Captain Nefarious."
Judge Hog's mind flashed back to the letter he had gotten several weeks earlier. The initials signed to it were C. N., Captain Nefarious.
"What's your game?" Judge Hog asked.
"I already explained it to you, remember?" Captain Nefarious replied.
"Every hero needs an arch-villain?" Judge Hog repeated.
"Exactly!" Captain Nefarious said. "So, we are going to have a lot of fun with this. I'm going to cause havoc, you're going to try to stop me. When you do, I'll escape to fight another day. Repeat until the game grows boring and I end it. Are you ready for this?"
"More than likely," Nefarious replied. "But I'm also bored. Let's begin!"
With a wild cackle, the robot sprang to its feet, the rockets on its back giving it the lift it needed to get up. Judge Hog once again took off at it, ready to ram it. This time Nefarious countered with a punch that sent Judge Hog flying backwards into a building. He pulled himself out of the wall and shook off the blow. That trick was clearly not going to work twice.
He examined the robot, looking for weaknesses. He decided on the legs. The area where the leg joined the body looked susceptible. If he took out even one leg, the robot would be useless. Getting close enough to do damage might be tricky, though.
Judge Hog looked around; he noticed a downed street lamp lying on the ground near him. He grabbed it and got ready to throw. It struck Nefarious' robot in the hand, partially passing through and becoming lodged in it.
"Is that really your best shot?" Nefarious taunted.
With his other hand he pulled it out and threw it to the ground. He then turned to look for Judge Hog. He was gone.
"Where are you hiding, Judge Hog?" Nefarious called out in a singsong voice.
At that moment his robot tottered and fell forward, one of the legs severed. Judge Hog moved to the other leg, breaking it off. Nefarious laughed from within the robot.
"Very good, Judge Hog. You're more clever than I gave you credit for."
The dome shot off and something went flying out. Judge Hog tried flying after it, but it was much too fast. He hadn't even gotten a good look at the person who had escaped from the wreckage of the machine.
Below him a crowd had gathered, and they roared with cheers and applause. The flash-bulbs of cameras went off as reporters captured images of the heroic Moehog floating in the air. The Chia police arrived to quarantine the area until they could get a crew out there to remove the pieces of the battered robot.
Judge Hog was oblivious to the confusion of noise and business below, his mind on Nefarious.
'All heroes need an arch-villain.'
This was only the beginning, and what was to come would undoubtedly be worse.
Marcus slipped his jetpack off his back and rolled his neck to loosen up the muscles in it. Of course, that was just mere habit now; gears whirred as he did that. The Eyrie looked in the mirror on the wall, the reflection that looked back at him was that of a Robot Eyrie, rather than the Electric one who had been there all of his life. Gears whirred as his mouth pulled into a smile, he liked his new form.
He spun around in wild, insane glee.
"That! That was exactly perfect. He's not a genius, but he rises to the occasion, and faster than I expected him to. Yes, he'll be interesting for a while, maybe longer than anything else has ever been interesting!" Marcus shouted at the empty room. "Let the battles begin!"
Captain Nefarious was here to stay.
Judge Hog stood in his office at the precinct; he was in front of the wall that he was using to put up the information about Nefarious on. It had been a month since his first fight with Nefarious. So far the crazy self-appointed arch-villain had attacked once more. He had gotten away after Judge Hog had crippled his machine, but this time a reporter had caught the villain on film. It was a blurry image, but thanks to Virtupets technology it was able to be cleaned up and enlarged. Nefarious appeared to be a Robot Eyrie.
Dismantling the discarded robots had also been dead ends. When it was opened up for inspection all that they found beneath the metal casing was a smoldering mess. Nefarious clearly wired his robots to self-destruct on the inside so as to leave no clues to track him by. The two robots had differed greatly except for one detail, that dome. Judge Hog had a feeling that the dome was his stamp.
There were no clues or tips coming in either. People had no idea who Nefarious could be and were not willing to pretend they did. Robot Eyries were highly uncommon already, and every one registered as living in Neopia Central or close by on Roo Island or Kiko Lake had been checked out clean.
Judge Hog's wall was woefully bare of usable information. The letter he had received was pinned in the very center, a chilling reminder of his promise.
Someone knocked on the door and an officer opened it. "Sir, there is someone here to see you. He's really insistent. Would you like to see him?"
"Is it a reporter?" Judge Hog asked. He had a strict policy of not talking to the press. Alan Higgson was handling the media in regards to him and Nefarious.
"I don't think so," the officer replied.
"Well, send him in. I'll see what he needs. I can always turn him out if it turns out to be some sort of prank," Judge Hog said.
The officer chuckled. "He's a big kid; you might have a bit of trouble with that."
He was gone before Judge Hog could ask him to clarify. The officer came back a minute later, behind him was a Green Lupe. The officer was right, he was a big kid. He was a good two feet taller than the average Lupe and he was built huge, his muscles clear beneath the sweatshirt he wore. Judge Hog motioned to the chair in front of his desk. The Lupe sat down as the officer left.
Judge Hog settled into his chair. "Well, shoot."
"Um, well, thank you for seeing me, Judge Hog. I wanted to talk to you about, well, what it is you do. I mean, being a superhero. How do you become a superhero?"
Judge Hog wasn't really sure how to answer that. He had been born especially strong and with the ability to fly. He had been taught right from wrong, and had decided to go into law enforcement. He had always worked out, so he was especially strong, and with the flying he knew he could do more good working a different way than the normal police force. He had gone to Chief Constable Alan Higgson who had worked out all the details, and as a joke suggested he put on a costume and get a superhero name. In the end he had, and it worked out better that way. But, the idea that others would want to try being a superhero had not occurred to him.
"Well, having super powers helps," Judge Hog said.
"Oh, but I do!" the Lupe insisted. "I'm just like you, super strength and I can fly. I've been like this since I was born. I mean, I thought I was some freak until I read about you in the papers. But, now I know that there must be more people like us out there. I want to do good with my special abilities, like you. So, I figured if I came to you, you could tell me about how you did it, so I can learn from that and do it too."
'There must be more people like us out there.' Those words got Judge Hog thinking. Yes, there must be, and what if more of them wanted to use their unique talents to help fight crime? They could expand beyond Neopia Central; they could help fight crime all over Neopia. They wouldn't even need to limit it to people with superpowers; they could take on those who possessed the right qualifications. But also, they could help him fight Nefarious. Maybe if he changed the equation on Nefarious, he could best him before he did more harm to Neopia.
"So, can you?" the Lupe asked.
"I might be able to do better. Come back and see me tomorrow," Judge Hog replied.
The Lupe beamed.
"What's your name?" Judge Hog asked.
"Well, if I become a superhero, I was thinking Orig the Great," the Lupe replied.
"It suits you."
"I like that idea," Alan Higgson said. Chias' smiles are already naturally wide, but Alan's looked as if it was ready split his head completely in two. "But, you'd need a special place for that. This precinct is not equipped to handle it, and I think it would be wise to make your group a separate organization, one that could be affiliated with all of Neopia, rather than just Neopia Central."
"Where should we go with it?" Judge Hog asked.
"Staying in Neopia Central is a good idea. Just leave those details to me, I know people who can help out with this. Meanwhile, you take that kid on board and start training him. With that wacko Nefarious around, we can use all the extra help we can get," Alan said.
"Will do, sir." Judge Hog rose and saluted.
To be continued...